- Published: Wednesday, 04 September 2019 22:22
MSC COURAGEOUS STATEMENT, PHILIPPINE PROVINCE
We, Missionaries of the Sacred Heart – Philippine Province, meeting in a Provincial Conference, are convinced of Pope Francis’ advice to view reality from the “periphery” and not from the center in the light of the Gospel (EG, 51). We are inspired by our Founder, Jules Chevalier, when he said: “From the love of his heart comes the infinite mercy that Jesus shows towards sinners and that tender compassion for those who suffer” (Chevalier, Le Sacre-Coeur, 214). We are heartened by this call of Jesus: “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened and I will refresh you. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden light (Matt 11:28-30)”. And thus, we are deeply moved by the following reality as one Sign of the Times:
- Above all, the almost daily killings happening throughout the land that victimize the poor and church people. In Negros Island, four Catholic Bishops have issued an Obligatory Prayer to stop the killings and massacres of the poor done in the name of the War against Terrorism and Communist Insurgency. In Cebu, the Catholic Archbishop has urged the faithful to recite the “Oratio Imperata” to stop the killings done in the name of the War Against Drugs. In the Lumad ancestral lands in Mindanao and Northern Luzon, indigenous people, human rights advocates and defenders and the clergy and the lay especially of the Protestant Church and the Iglesia Filipina Independiente are killed, after their Bishops, Priests and Lay Leaders were demonized as members of the New People’s Army or its sympathizers, again invariably in the name of the War against Drugs and Terrorism and Counterinsurgency. In the urban areas of Manila and in the peripheral nooks of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, the killings are done either by men in uniform or by assassins riding in tandem.
We MSC declare that we take the side of the poor seriously. The Signs of the Times we cite above plea for Compassion and Conversion and Conversation for Change and Transformation.
- In the name of the God of Compassion, we urge the killers and the brains behind them: Stop the killings of the poor! Stop the attacks against human rights advocates and defenders! Stop persecuting the pastorally-engaged Church people, both clergy and lay!
- In the name of the God who calls us to Conversion, we plea: Give the poor who are into drugs a chance to reform themselves just as you are given the chance for conversion to mercy and justice! Put an end to this impunity to kill which is really in your political will power to stop!
As we plea for Compassion and Conversion, we also ask that we engage one another in a fruitful and honest Conversation on what is best for our people and our common home even in the midst of war. For God’s love and justice which we share are more powerful than the greed and self-interest that divide us.
Missionaries of the Sacred Heart
August 2019 Provincial Conference