CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE OF THE PHILIPPINES
By Archbishop Oscar Cruz
It is not hard to understand that a “Pastoral Approach” basically means the following: 1st. It is coming from Pastors in the Church with the primary duty of guiding their flock, leading this to the path of what is right, what is true and just. 2nd. It has the basic mandate and obligation to speak and to act when their flock need timely advisory as to what to do or to abstain from so doing, how to ac one way or another such as on the occasion – such as a National Elections. 3rd. It is nevertheless in the form of but an Appeal – something the Pastors would like their flock to listen to, think about and attend to as an ardent advisory, a special and fervent pleading.
The above cited CBCP pastoral appeal is specifically made on the occasion of the fast approaching National Elections. As some kind of a Preamble, it speaks of the right and duty of the Church to teach and guide people of good will not only about heavenly truths but also about earthly realities – with the thought that both heaven and earth has God as their origin and should wherefore also have God as its ultimate destiny. It is after the recall of such fundamental truths in the realm of faith and reason that the Appeal forwards the main following timely affirmations:
a. That the past weeks have already given the Filipinos a good glimpse of the persons of political candidates – specially those in pursuit of national public offices, viz., their many verbal pronouncements plus behavioural bearing, not to mention their many promises and avowed commitments, their preferences and respective value systems – all of which forward their respective personality constitution and pursuant action and reaction patterns.
b. Would that the Filipino electorate cast their votes in favour of those with the right sense of values (Rectitude), those who subscribe to and act in accord with the dictates of right reason (Ethics) and who observe the mandates of sound faith (Morals). The People of the Philippines have had enough of politicians who live exactly the opposite such as egoism instead of altruism, vicious disposition in place of virtuous agenda, egoistic love instead of altruistic concerns.
c. Wherefore comes the imperative of prayer in addition to the mandate of choosing well the public officials who will prove to be the blessing not the curse of the people, who will make the Philippines a better Country to live it – not an infamous land of criminality 24 hours a day to the extent of killing hungry farmers, beheading foreigners plus the continuous manufacture, sale, use and export of illegal drugs – not to mention that a good number of Filipinos are wallowing in poverty and misery, eating from garbage cans, sleeping on dirty sidewalks.
The Pastoral Appeal – with a sense of urgency and necessity ends with the prayer by invoking “…the Blessed Mother to cover our nation with maternal love and beseech her Son to grant us all the favour of meaningful, peaceful elections and a government that unites our people.”
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