MESSAGE TO THE CATHOLIC FAITHFUL OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF DAVAO on the recent commentaries and pronouncements regarding the faith of the Catholic church and the teachings from the bible
My dear brothers and sisters in the Catholic Church:
Peace! Recently, we have heard of some pronouncements and commentaries regarding our faith in God in the Catholic Church, and our teachings from the Bible. I believe that these pronouncements and commentaries have caused us uneasiness, worries, sadness and confusion. And for some, even anger. Perhaps, you are asking what I would say about these events, as your father and shepherd here in the Archdiocese of Davao. First of all, as faithful children of God, let us strive to maintain a peaceful and charitable spirit in our hearts in the midst of these events. Let us ask for these gifts from God in our prayers during these days. If we keep this peace and charity in our hearts, we would be able to love and respect others. Secondly, these events give us a great opportunity to revisit our Catholic faith, the faith that we have held for so many years. For most of us, this faith has always been the faith of our forefathers. Let us look back and examine the living experiences of our faith in God in the Church – our faith in Jesus Christ our Savior. Never forget how you, yourselves, experienced how beautiful, how precious and how powerful this faith is! Never forget the countless moments in which you were touched, through this faith, by the Mystery of the Holy Eucharist that we celebrate, in your reception of the Body and Blood of Christ. You were inspired by the Word of God as you listened to the preaching and explanation of your priests.
Never forget how you experienced the presence of God as you knelt before the Blessed Sacrament in the Tabernacle of the Church. Never forget your experience of the Mysterious Presence of God, the God who is full of love and mercy towards us, in the other Sacraments, like the Sacrament of Holy Anointing of the Sick and the Sacrament of Confession.
Never forget those beautiful moments when the Blessed Virgin, our Mother, and the saints manifested their abiding presence and accorded you their constant assistance. This is our living faith in the Church, our faith in Jesus Christ, our God.
Brethren, for many years, this is our faith amidst the joys and the sufferings of this life. Love and cherish this faith. This is the faith that binds us as a Church, and urges us to serve and to love and to respect our fellowmen.
As St. Paul says, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus, our Lord” (Rom 8: 38).
Let us remain steadfast in this faith, the faith that gives us joy and peace of heart, the faith that is grounded on total trust in God through Jesus, who always abides with us.
With great trust in Christ Jesus,
ROMULO G. VALLES, D.D.
Archbishop of Davao
28 June 2018
Vigil of the Solemnity of St. Peter and St. Paul, Apostles
The 38th Anniversary of the Dedication of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Davao