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Pope to Filipino bishops: Love, pray for persecutors

Pope to Filipino bishops: Love, pray for persecutors

Pope Francis meets with bishops from Luzon at the Vatican on May 20, 2019. VATICAN MEDIA

By CBCP News

June 18, 2019

Manila, Philippines

Pope Francis reminded the Philippine bishops that they are called to imitate Christ by loving their enemies and praying for those who persecute them.

The pope assured the bishops, who recently went on pilgrimage to Rome, that he is aware of the Philippine situation and the issues the local Church is facing.

In spite of these, he said that the bishops are called to be pastors, even to politicians who are in conflict with the Church.

The bishops’ encounter with the pope was shared by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle to Manila’s clergy during their monthly recollection and meeting at the San Carlos Seminary on Tuesday.

In an article posted at the archdiocese’s website, it said that the gathering started with a Mass presided over by the cardinal.

In his homily, he drew inspiration from the day’s Gospel, in which Jesus teaches that love must be universal, so as to be “perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect”.

“Politicians who give us trouble might be wounded people and their behavior might be a cry for help… Can we empty ourselves and be the pastor’s love towards the enemy?” Cardinal Tagle said.

He also encouraged the clergy to continually work and minister to the youth and the poor who remain “underserved” in the archdiocese because of their sheer number despite the church’s anti-poverty programs.