A Statement on the 116th Philippine Independence Day Celebration
June 12, 2014
In behalf of the bishops and priests of the Visayas Clergy Discernment Group (VCDG), I join the Filipino nation in the celebration of the 116th anniversary of the victory of Filipino heroism against foreign tyranny and oppression.
The Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines also declared this year as the Year of the Laity, in which the laity are called to: “Choose to be Brave: Called to be Saints, Sent Forth as Heroes!”
A fitting way to celebrate our freedom from Spanish Colonization is the commitment to genuine human liberation or integral salvation, where all peoples have “life in its fullness” (John 10:10).
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Pastoral Exhortation for the 2014 Year of the Laity called on everyone, especially the laity, to address these situations which are not pleasing to God: dehumanizing poverty, graft and corruption, greed for power and money, and ignoring the common good.
The CBCP reminds us, “The renewal of our country thus demands of us all, and especially of our lay faithful, a return to truthfulness and the fostering of the sense of the common good.”
Furthermore, the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (PCP II) said that in our country “where the poor and marginalized have little genuine participation… we realize that integral development of people will be possible only with their corresponding empowerment” (PCP II, 326).
We, bishops and priests of the VCDG, believe that an organized and empowered people will be able to get rid of an elite politics, thus achieving genuine democracy.
Today, we join our people in the call to end corruption and to abolish the pork barrel system. We are one in the call that the welfare of our people, especially the poor, must be held supreme.
All of us must continually work for genuine freedom, so that all peoples will have the fullness of life.
For a society without justice is not really free. According to St. Augustine, “A state which is not governed according to justice would be just a bunch of thieves.”
On behalf of the Visayas Clergy Discernment Group,
MOST REV. GERARDO A. ALMINAZA, D.D.
Bishop of San Carlos
VISAYAS CLERGY DISCERNMENT GROUP
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