Celebrating 500 years of Christianity is about God’s love — CBCP chief

Celebrating 500 years of Christianity is about God’s love — CBCP chief

By CBCP News

October 8, 2019

Manila, Philippines

Despite the colonial past, the upcoming jubilee is an invitation to celebrate “God’s love”, the head of the Catholic bishops’ leadership said.

Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao said that the colonial realities are “no doubt” a “very painful” part of the country’s history.

However, he said that it is also “undeniable” that Christians must celebrate the “gift of faith”.

“Compared to the crooked lines… there’s the straight subtle line of God’s love for us,” Archbishop Valles said.

“And in order to appreciate that love of the Lord to us, we should be equipped with the eyes and gift of faith,” he said.

The prelate was speaking during Mass for the 33rd parochial fiesta celebration of the St. Mary of the Perpetual Rosary Parish in Davao City on Oct. 6.

Christians, according to him, are called to celebrate the 500 years of Christian faith in 2021.

“Our celebration is about journeying, growing, and deepening our faith with Jesus,” he added.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has been preparing since 2013 to mark 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the country.

Archbishop Valles also attended a meeting on Oct. 4 in Cebu City, where major activities related to the celebration will be held.

The choice of Cebu as the venue underscores its role as the “cradle of Christianity” in the Philippines.

When the Spanish missionaries came in 1521, the first baptism was held on the island and gave the native population the icon of the Santo Niño or the child Jesus.

Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan earlier said that the Jubilee Year of 2021 is not about colonialism but a celebration of faith as a gift “albeit from people who were not necessarily motivated by the purest of motives”.

“The mere fact that we eventually repudiated colonial rule but continued to embrace the Christian faith even after we won the revolution could only mean that the natives did not equate Christianity with Colonialism,” he said.