Church leaders call for ‘communion’ amid killings, corruption

Church leaders call for ‘communion’ amid killings, corruption

Archbishop Socrates Villegas greets churchgoers after celebrating Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Manaoag in Pangasinan province. GLENN MUNOZ LOPEZ

DAGUPAN City— The wave of killings and other problems besetting the country today urges Christians to move along the path of “communion”, local Church leaders said.

In a post-synodal message to the faithful, the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan reflected on the importance of communion as “the light that can dispel all the shadows”.

Among these shadows hovering the country today, they said, include the continued killings of drug suspects, terrorism, corruption, and even online bullying and abuse on social media.

“Communio if truly lived has the incredible power remove all the shadows of our lives and make this world a better and more beautiful place where God’s light always shines,” part of the statement reads.

More than a hundred clergymen, religious, and lay people gathered for their second synod which was held after 32 years.

The weeklong assembly ended with a Mass presided over by Archbishop Socrates Villegas at the Basilica of Our Lady of Manaoag on Saturday, September 9.

According to them, summary executions will not rule the country if only the people allow “the message of love in communio” to reign “in the way we live”.

The spate of killings and terror in Marawi, they said, is the “howling symptom” that the spirit of communion “is lacking if not absent”.

“When love is forgotten, violence prospers. When God’s face in every person is ignored, death becomes the only way to end criminality,” they said.

‘Healing balm’

The church leaders also offered the spirit of communion as the “healing balm” to cure the rampant culture of corruption.

As a spirituality, they said that communion will jolt those tempted to steal secretly “that nothing is secret because God knows”.

“If communio is lived, it will become the conscience to stand in the way of stealing public funds. In communio nothing is hidden; stealing hurts right away and sin is punished always,” they said.

Trolls, fake news

Corruption and violence are serious concerns, and abuses on social media is a key part of the problem, they said, lamenting the existence of trolls and the spread of fake news.

The church leaders also noted the continuing “erosion” of courtesy and civility in the way people use social media.

“Social media must be put at the service of communio so that it can do great things. It must connect not divide. It must build not destroy. It must help us do great things not diminish our human values,” they said. CBCPNews