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PIA Press Release

Capalla invites media as dialogue partners

by JMD Abangan

By Jean Duron-Abangan

Davao City (3 October) -- Archbishop of Davao Fernando R. Capalla sought the support of media practitioners as dialogue partners.

Capalla believed that media practitioners "are in the position of understanding" the religious sector advocacy on "Development and Peace through Dialogue."

Speaking on behalf of the Bishop-Ulama Conference, Capalla said BUC had brought together media practitioners to bring about common understanding on how the religious conference and the media can work towards peace through dialogue.

Capalla is one of the co-convenors of BUC which is composed of 24 Catholic bisops who are also members of the Catholic Bishops Conference in the Philippines (CBCP), 26 Ulama and Ustadz, members of the Ulama Leagues of the Philippines (ULP); and 18 Protestant bishops and pastors who are members of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines.

As an offshoot to the 1996 peace accord the government had signed with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), BUC was formed with Archbishop Capalla; Dr. Mahid Mutilan, president of the Ulama League of the Philippines; and Bishop Hilario M. Gomez Jr, bishop emeritus of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) as co-convenors.

The BUC invited some media practitioners from various media outlets in Mindanao to the recently held two-day, BUC-Media Conference which bannered the theme, "Peace and Development through Dialogue."

In his welcome remarks, Capalla shared his conviction that "peace is the result of development" and that dialogue "is an indispensable element of the development process."

He referred development as "total human development", meaning "the growth of human soul, spirit and body."

Much have been heard about development projects which to him, "are material things" which "refer to the corporal element of the human person which is the body."

Capalla looked at total human development as a process which includes "the development of his/her spirit" encompassing "the intellect, memory and will," and that this also embraces the "development of the soul," which he referred to as "the transforming power in the human psyche."

To bring about physical development, Capalla talked about a healthy coordination or sense of order which can be observed when "one addresses the needs of the body, spirit and soul."

He put emphasis on the need to observe "moderation" in doing human activities, and in developing the body and the spirit so one can avoid getting into trouble of becoming "overdosed" due to taking much more than what the body, spirit and the soul can take.

"So when disciplined moderation is observed in our thinking process, in our speaking moments, in our personal behavior, then we experience physical, mental and spiritual well-being or health," Capalla explained.

This then brings about peace of mind and peace of heart, which he expressed in Latin as "Mens sana in corpore sano," meaning a healthy mind in a healthy body, he said.

To Capalla the value for sense of order and moderation are elements to total human development to bring about peace of heart and mind. "There would be sickness and mental imbalance when there is no order or moderation in the development process," he explained.

On the other hand, Capalla said dialogue is a necessary and "absolutely" indispensable course to take as society has become "pluricultural and religiously pluralistic."

It is the path that peacemakers and peace-builders can take,(who he cited as true developers), as they "relate to other human beings who may or may not yet be peace-makers and developers."

Capalla defined dialogue as the act of human beings "to be in a friendly and respectful relationship with others", in a way to show the realization that "human beings have common origin and destiny.

"To arrive at that destiny, which is to be with the Creator, humans must be engaged in dialogue with each other," he said.

In a dialogue, Capalla saw the need for involved participants to show "conscious, willing, true and joyful presence" and to listen "with the ear of the heart," meaning to pay close attention.

Afterall "God has given us two ears and one mouth so that we would listen twice as much as we talk," he said. (PIA) [top]

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