Statement of 3 Bishops: To guide our feet into the way of peace...
by Bishops Villena, Beltran, and Talamayan, 13 February 2008
Peace Be Upon You All:
In solidarity with the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, we raise our voices in a call to communal action. Above all the action to which we invite all our people must be on the way of peace!
We call our people:
To prayer, because it is only when we turn back to the Lord, in prayer, fasting and good works, that our land can be healed. No matter how deep the wounds may be that afflict our nation now, there is nothing that the Lord cannot make well. He who cleansed lepers, raised paralytics and restored life to those who were dead can certainly heal our land.
To self-examination in the light of the summons of the Lord Jesus to perfection. We are quick to condemn corruption when perpetrated by others. It is more difficult to acknowledge that the seeds of corruption lie in all our hearts.
To earnestly seek out the truth, and to distinguish between the truth and insinuation and suspicion. It is important to remember that it is easy to accuse, but it is competent proof that establishes truth. The truth must be relentlessly sought, and no attempt should be made to suppress it. One way the truth is suppressed is when inquiries and investigations become instruments of propagandizing and vendetta. To be credible investigations must be conducted by persons who are honestly in search of the truth, for the welfare of the nation and not in furtherance of their own political ambitions. We also exhort all to make the crucial distinction between opinion and certainty. It is a fundamental moral precept that resolute action is justified only when one is sure.
We call on politicians to serve in the likeness of HIM who came among us as one who serves, seeking neither self-aggrandizement nor privilege but the welfare of those they swore to serve.
We call on the Department of Justice and the Office of the Ombudsman to commence the investigations that may lead to the truth. We believe that any investigation, to be credible and fruitful must be carried out before those forums tasked by law to investigate and to prosecute.
We call on media to be fair. In many respects, media reportage only fuel the flames of discontent, often by unwanted and unwarranted commentary and innuendo. We must all be instruments of justice - its fundamental demand being fairness!
In solidarity with His Eminence Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, we call on all to seek not confrontation, certainly not revolution or violence, but a communal action for deep reflection, discernment, sobriety and for the way of peace!
(SGD) +RAMON B. VILLENA, D.D.
Bishop of Bayombong
(SGD) +RODOLFO F. BELTRAN, D.D.
Apostolic Vicar of Bontoc-Lagawe
(SGD) +DIOSDADO A. TALAMAYAN, D.D.
Archbishop of Tuguegarao