Tolling of bells not enough in fight against killings, says priest

Tolling of bells not enough in fight against killings, says priest

Jesuit Fr. Albert Alejo called on the church people to act against killings during the Philippine Congress on New Evangelization at the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion in Manila, July 18, 2018. MARTINA SUMMER DAGAL

By Joselle Dela Cruz

July 19, 2018

Manila, Philippines

A Catholic priest urged the clergy and consecrated persons to “wake up” and act to fight for life as killings in the Philippines continue unabated.

Speaking at the first day of the Philippine Congress on New Evangelization in Manila, peace advocate Fr. Albert Alejo said the church must make a noise against killings the way it did against the reproductive health bill.

“The issue before was RH bill. Nuns and seminarians would go to Congress to defend the sanctity of life. But now the fertilized egg is full-grown person… who are being killed. Why are you not going to do something?” Alejo said.

“Isn’t it a time for the Church to be more active? Are we just until the tolling of bells? This sociologist of religion said, ‘We need you prophet’,” he said.

In recent months, several dioceses have called for the tolling of church bells in their parishes as they called for prayer for victims of drug-related killings.

The Jesuit priest said there’s a need for church people to be actively involved in “public discourse” even amidst attacks on the church.

“Are we to remain as bystanders?” Alejo said.

“We need to learn the language of joining, participating in public discourse with the readiness to be interrupted by those who find faults in us but it should not stop us from speaking out,” he added.

He also warned that even the killings of clergymen are only indications of the “whole culture of impunity”.