ASIA/PHILIPPINES - Promote a culture of honesty, take part in the process of national transformation, build conditions for peace and intensify struggle to uproot corruption: jobs for Catholics in post election Philippines

Tuesday, 13 July 2004

Manila (Fides Service) - Recently in Manila, after the Congress of the Clergy, the Catholic Bishops of the Philippines gathered in assembly to discuss the Catholic community’s role in the country after the 10 May elections. The President of the Bishops’ Conference Archbishop Fernando Capalla of Davao, said the Bishops agreed that the vote was regular also on the basis of information from Catholic who monitored the elections. Archbishop Capalla announced that the Bishops’ Conference will form a special committee with the future objective of preparing dioceses to preserve the honesty and transparency seen in the elections.
The Archbishop said: “It is time to look beyond the elections. Our people must move forward wth faith and hope. Filled with love for our country we are called to promote a culture of honesty to take part in the process of national transformation to build conditions for peace and intessify efforts to uproot corruption.. This is a long process which demands perseverance and care, but we can work effectively for social change only by way of conversion of minds and hearts”.
In the meantime 3,900 priests attended the first national Congress for Catholic clergy held in Manila 5 to 9 July, an experience of shared prayer, reflection and discernment. At the end of the Congress the participants renewed their commitment to work for a renewed clergy, renewed Church and renewed country and to build peace and unity.
During the Congress the clergy was united with the entire nation living the anguished story of Angel de la Cruz Filipino hostage in Iraq threatened with death. The whole Church was mobilised to a nation wide prayer at the news of the terrorists’ ultimatum, while the government in Manila announced the withdrawal from Iraq of its contingent of 50 soliders in the hope of obtaining the release of the unfortunate man.
“The Congress was an extraordinary time of grace”, the final message reads. “ These days have been an intense experience of union with the Lord and with each other in the Lord”. “ We commit ourselves to a joyful embrace of the underserved gift of our vocation (...)We will strengthen our communion with the Church and humanity through conscientious proclamation of the Gospel, faithful celebration of the sacraments, and humble shepherding of the communit (...)Through the prayers of Mary may we priests put on the mind and heart of Jesus so as to become a Renewed Clergy In A Renewed Church For A Renewed Country!”.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 13/7/2004 lines 40 words 454)