Barely seven days before the May 9, 2016 national and local elections, thousands of Boholano Catholics missed out on a “pastoral appeal” contained in a pastoral letter from the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) that was meant to be read in all Sunday masses yesterday.
DYRD Balita learned through sources from the local Catholic hierarchy that the pastoral letter arrived late and was still in the process of translating the document written in English into the vernacular.
Listeners of DYRD “Inyong Alagad” upon hearing snippets of the pastoral letter as read from the CBCP website and translated in the vernacular by Alagad anchors Fred Araneta and Chito Visarra urged local church hierarchy to read the pastoral letter during this week’s daily masses until Monday, May 9, 2016 – the day of the elections.
The pastoral letter entitled “Prophets of Truth, Servants of Unity” contained a “pastoral appeal in the spirit of our love of God and country” signed by Socrates Villegas, Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan, President of the CBCP.
The Pastoral letter released on May 1, 2016 cited the Catechism of the Catholic Church about Church pronouncement on political issues that states “It is a part of the Church’s mission to pass moral judgments even in matter related to politics, whenever the fundamental rights of man or the salvation of souls require it . .”.
Aimed at the presidential candidates, the pastoral letter talked about the three presidential debates and their much “publicized utterances and actuations”.
The Bishops pleaded to the presidential candidates “to allow each Filipino the free and untrammeled right to an informed choice”.
The Bishops also admonished the candidates not to “deceive or mislead the people by proffering them falsehood, much less defraud the nation”.
The Bishops acknowledged the people’s desire for change and their suffering from incompetence and indifference but cautioned the faithful of supporting a candidate whose speech and actions, whose plans and projects show scant regard for the rights of all, who has openly declared indifference if not dislike and disregard for the Church specially her moral teachings”.
The CBCP has set preconditions for its support to whoever wins honestly,takes his or her oath of office seriously, heal the wounds of divisiveness of politics and respects the rights of all and is earnest in their fear of God and his precepts.
In return the CBCP together with the priests in the remotest barangays, will do everything to rally around a “just and God-fearing government” that harbors no vengeance on their enemies but governs with mercy and compassion for all.
The Bishops encouraged the faithful to hear Mass, pray the rosary and novena and receive Communion starting yesterday, May 1 until Election Day – May 9 for the “gift of a godly electoral process”.
The CBCP, with the permission of the Bishops in their respecttive dioceses to expose the Blessed Sacrament for public adoration. (Chito M. Visarra)