Cebu (Agenzia Fides) - The Marian Congress dedicated to the Jubilee of the Mother of Perpetual Help, which opens in Cebu city in the sanctuary run by the Redemptorist Fathers, will not only be dedicated to spiritual themes: it will also discuss social issues such as the campaign of the national government against drugs, which has claimed more than 7,600 victims in six months, occupying the front pages of newspapers and dividing the Catholic Church and the government of President Rodrigo Duterte. This is what Redemptorist Fr. Cris Mostajo says to Agenzia Fides illustrating the activities of the conference which celebrates the 150th anniversary of the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help with the Redemptorists. More than 700 people are present at the Congress, which began today, 16 February. Fr. Mostajo says: "We are saddened by the fact that despite the faith of the Filipinos and devotion to the Virgin Mary, many are fascinated by the culture of death and indifference". "Today we are faced with the sad reality of our country where the sanctity of human life is violated by a kind of 'cleansing' of undesired members of society" he explains. "It is necessary that faith affects the life of the believer".
During the Congress the presence and role of women in the Church, the history of Marian devotion in the Philippines will also be discussed. There will also be the testimonies of missionaries, teachers and spouses and liturgical celebrations which will involve the faithful.
Even the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the Redemptorists explain to Fides, "may be the wellspring of personal redemption: If alcoholics and drug addicts approach the sacrament, this may be the beginning of a path of healing and rehabilitation". The Redemptorists promote meetings and accompanying paths reserved for people struggling to get out of drug and alcohol addiction, gambling. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 16/02/2017)