– a sequel –
From Pope Benedict XVI’s Deus Caritas Est, we read: “The formation of just structures is not directly the duty of the church, but belongs to the world of politics, the sphere of the autonomous use of reason. The Church has an indirect duty here, so that she is called to contribute to the purification of reason and to the reawakening of those moral forces without which just structures are neither established nor proved effective in the long run.”
“The direct duty to work for a just ordering of society, on the other hand, is proper to the lay faithful. As citizens of the State, they are called to take part in public life in a personal capacity” (DCE, no. 29).
The call for a WATCH AND PRAY GATHERING in the Dioceses stays because it is a call for the purification of reason, for the reawakening of the moral forces, for the just ordering of society: PAGMAMALASAKIT PARA SA BAYAN.
In response to the call of WATCH AND PRAY many Dioceses are preparing for the scheduled December 15 prayer gathering. In the Archdiocese of Manila, we are told, it will be on December 17. These gatherings will be one great occasion for the lay faithful in the Dioceses to express their love and concern for the good of our country. Our answer to the crisis of leadership in our land is prayer: that our leaders may be enlightened and may have moral force also to lead the country toward truth, justice, peace and love.
We join the sentiments of many people to put CHARTER CHANGE in the wider perspective of many concerns (social, economic, politics) that qualify our situation. As we have said before, if Charter change is really needed, or when such shall be decided to be held, the best option is to do it through a Constitutional Convention. Please, hold the CON-CON, purified from “negative impact” that accompanied People’s Initiative and CON-ASS. The Filipino people deserve the best of the best.
May the work of the CON-CON, if and when it shall be opportunely convoked, be the work of statesmen, whose concern will not be to fit it to a pre-determined framework, but who will discern, discuss, debate on what will be the best for our country.
Our lay faithful must take the greatest interest in praying and working for the greatest good of the Filipino People. As we have stated in the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines, “we as citizens of the this ‘earthly city’ need to be maka-tao, maka-bayan, and maka-Diyos. We need to exercise a healthy nationalism which would require the living of such values as: pagsasarili, pagkakaisa, pakikipagkapwa-tao and pagkabayani. (PCP-II 251)
For the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines
+ ANGEL N. LAGDAMEO
Archbishop of Jaro
December 11, 2006