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Dumaguete bishop, priests hold ‘penitential walk’ to protect life, environment

Dumaguete bishop, priests hold ‘penitential walk’ to protect life, environment

Priests hold a “Penitential Walk” in Dumaguete City on Sept. 6, 2021. PHOTO COURTESY OF JOHN CARLOS HISOLER

By Ryan Sorote

September 7, 2021

Dumaguete City

Despite the rain and the gloomy weather, the clergy of the Diocese of Dumaguete held Monday a penitential walk for the protection of life and the environment.

Bishop Julito Cortes led the penitents in praying for the victims of extrajudicial killings and the Covid-19 pandemic.

They also offered the penitential walk from the Redemptorist Church to the Dumaguete Cathedral for the scrapping of the controversial 174-hectare reclamation project in the city.

It was supposedly for the clergy and the religious but several laypeople joined the solemn activity along the way.

Following health protocols, the penitents made a symbolic stop, lining themselves along the iconic Dumaguete Boulevard where they recited “A Prayer for Our Earth,” taken from Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’.

Cortes entrusted their petition against the P24-billion reclamation project through the intercession of the Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, as the Church commemorates her nativity on Sept. 8.

The bishop said the Church has just entered the “Season of Creation” where Pope Francis reminded the world how people had become “remiss” with God and each other.

“(We have become) remiss in our relationship with each other because of different forms of selfishness and corruption. Remiss in our relationship with the earth because of our greed,” Cortes said.

The prelate also reiterated the Church’s appeal to dialogue with Dumaguete City Mayor Felipe Remollo.

In March of this year, Cortes said they forwarded to Remollo’s office and the city council a document detailing why they should stop reclaiming its shoreline.

“What I hoped was he (Remollo) would acknowledge it and invite us to explain himself. Since then, there have been none,” he said. “In professional communication, when you send something, you respond.”

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