In New Year’s message, bishop calls on people to work for change

In New Year’s message, bishop calls on people to work for change

Bishop Broderick Pabillo celebrates Mass on Christmas Day at the Manila Cathedral, Dec. 25, 2020. PHOTO COURTESY OF ERIC PAUL GUANLAO/MANILA CATHEDRAL

By CBCP News

December 31, 2020

Manila, Philippines

The caretaker of Manila’s Roman Catholic Church used his New Year’s message to call on people to hope and work for change.

Bishop Broderick Pabillo said that while the Covid-19 pandemic is a major challenge, concerns for climate and social justice should not be placed on the back burner.

“The change that we all dream will not come abruptly nor quickly. Let us all work for it,” Pabillo said.

“Let our attention not only be focused on the coronavirus and its various strains. The climate emergency is still upon us.”

“Human rights should also not be set aside. There cannot be a better future if human rights and human life are not respected and valued,” he said.

The prelate said there are more reasons to hope now that Covid-19 vaccines are now on the horizon.

However, he said that it was “unfortunate” that top government officials were vaccinated “surreptitiously and without undergoing the transparent process”.

The controversial vaccination, according to Pabillo, “does not bode of a good beginning”.

“We hold on to hope as we enter the new year 2021 – hope for a cure to the virus that is transparent and equitable, hope for a no-nonsense response to the climate emergency that is upon us, hope for respect to human rights and human life for everyone,” he said.

Another glimmer of hope, he added, are the growing calls for solidarity and cooperation.

Pabillo said that the global crisis is calling for “greater solidarity and fraternity” among all peoples “rather than competition that leaves the vulnerable behind”.

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