AMRSP Statement on the occasion of Confessio Peccati 2019
We are gathered today for our annual Confessio Peccati in order to express the sincere repentance of our sins and to ask for forgiveness from God. First and foremost, we ask for the forgiveness of Christ, our teacher, and master, whom we have sinned against because of our weaknesses and infraction of our vows to live as consecrated women and men, living in imitation of Christ; the poor, chaste and obedient One. We ask for His forgiveness for the times that we have failed to be authentic witnesses of His mercy and compassion because of our insensitivities, cowardice, and desire to protect ourselves instead of dying for others.
We likewise ask for the forgiveness of our sins against the poor, whom we have failed to respond when they asked for our solidarity and presence.
We are called to be servant-leaders. And as servant-leaders, we are confronted every day with the worsening conditions of our people, many of whom suffer in silence. The environment is being destroyed at a rapid scale by the so-called development projects and indiscriminate logging and mining companies. The farmers remain landless and are being subjected to various abuses. The laborers have no security due to contractualization, low wages, and unjust labor practices. Church people and human rights defenders are often met with outright hostility and death threats. The blood of the poor continues to soak the land as the unjust war on drugs continues to target the poor, while the syndicates that perpetuate the illegal trade remain unscathed. The urban poor communities are being continually demolished and driven away like rats in the name of the build-build-build policy which seeks to “develop” the economy but without due regard to the poor who will bear the brunt of this development aggression.
Today, violence is the new normal with perpetrators going scot free; democratic institutions are systematically weakened, and religion and women are mocked and disdained. Lies are peddled as truth through systematic disinformation. Subservience to foreign interest is given priority. The youth are abandoned and left in the dark.
Therefore, let us open our hearts to the movements of the Spirit and break the walls that separate us from the people and take the steps towards forging and strengthening stronger unity with the people. We are responsible to one another, we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, and we are to “smell like the sheep”, as his holiness Pope Francis challenges us. As we continue our prophetic witnessing in this challenging time, we always put in our hearts the words of Jesus the Christ, whom we have vowed to follow:
“If I then, your Teacher and Lord, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example that you also should do as I have done to you.” (John 13: 14-15)
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