Manila (Agenzia Fides) - "The current crisis linked to Covid-19 can bring out the best in us all. The fear and suffering, anxiety and uncertainty we experience today are caused not only by the new coronavirus, but also by the old social virus of selfishness and corruption": this is what Bishop Rex C. Ramirez, at the head of the diocese of Naval, and President of the Episcopal Commission for health care says in a letter addressed to all the "People of God" living in the Philippines. The letter, sent to Bishops, priests, religious and laity, to all parishes and ecclesial associations - and sent to Agenzia Fides - was approved and co-signed by Bishop Pablo Virgilio S. David, interim President of the Bishops' Conference.
"We cannot allow the current health crisis to encourage the worst in us Filipinos. Rather we are on the side of those who, understanding that health is not just about physical well-being, spend their best efforts on the global improvement of our communities, our country and ourselves", says Bishop Ramirez, noting that "the social virus of selfishness can harm people and the whole nation. "The letter, in a period marked by uncertainty and precariousness, intends to "keep hope alive and ask for a collective effort to face the crisis together".
The letter cites words pronounced by Pope Francis on the Covid-19 pandemic, and states: "Like a sudden storm, the coronavirus crisis has taken us all by surprise, abruptly changing our personal, family, work and public life globally". In this framework, the text observes, believers spread and promote a culture characterized by mutual respect, responsibility, patience and hope, and all are invited to prayer that keeps the relationship with God alive.
As a sign of responsibility and commitment to the common good, the Church points out to everyone the example of the so-called "heroes", the health workers engaged in the fight against coronavirus, "including those who lost their lives anonymously". Celebrating a special day dedicated to them, on 31 August last, the Bishops' Conference of the Philippines exhorted the faithful to "pray for those who render their service and sacrifice during the public health crisis".
In Manila, Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Administrator of the archdiocese, thanked the "heroes of our days" during a mass celebrated at the parish of San Filippo Neri in Mandaluyong City. On the other hand, he noted that, alongside those who give their lives with dedication, spirit of sacrifice and altruism, there are people who "know how to sink our country" among debts, corruption and the lack of concrete plans against the pandemic.
Mgr. Ruperto Santos, Bishop of Balanga, also wanted to mention Overseas Filipino workers (OFW) who "with their work and financial aid support our fragile economy", showing "the best there is in Filipinos, like our strong faith in God and our resilience". (SD-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 2/9/2020)