‘When prophets fail, Jesus is betrayed’ — Archbishop Soc

‘When prophets fail, Jesus   is betrayed’ — Archbishop Soc

Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan blesses the tomb of Cardinal Jaime Sin to commemorate the latter’s 15th death anniversary in the crypt of the Manila Cathedral June 21. SCREENSHOT/MANILA CATHEDRAL

By Roy Lagarde

June 21, 2020

Manila, Philippines

What the country needs today are “fearless prophets” who will proclaim the Gospel even if it means being prosecuted, a Catholic leader said.

Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan said the signs of the times show the need for brave prophets who are prepared to be unpopular in reminding the people of the demands of justice and truth.

“We need prophets who will proclaim the truth with courage, who will tell the truth even if we are unloved, who will proclaim the truth even if it means difficulty or even death,” Villegas said.

He was speaking in his homily during Mass to commemorate the 15th death anniversary of Cardinal Jaime Sin at the crypt of the Manila Cathedral on Sunday.

According to him, the demands for prophets is not only exclusive to the church and schools but even more in government.

“The bottom line is where there is no courage, there will be no prophets. Where faith is absent, there will be no prophets,” said Villegas, who is also a former president of the bishops’ conference.

“We’re all anointed as prophets when the day we were baptized. All it takes is faith, all it takes is much love,” he said. “Where courage is lacking, teaching will not have any credibility.”

Villegas added that Cardinal Sin, who played a key role in two “people power” revolts in 1986 and 2001, was a prophet in his time, not because of his own doing but of Jesus.

And the works of being prophets must continue, he also said, because “when prophets fail, Jesus is betrayed”.

Cardinal Sin served as Manila archbishop for 29 years until his retirement in 2003. He died in 2005.