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PIA Press Release
2007/11/07

Mindanao bishops call for sobriety, peace

Manila (7 November) -- Eighteen Catholic bishops in Mindanao said that the "whole truth about any moral issue must be ascertained first before subjecting it to moral scrutiny and judgment, otherwise, any statement on the matter may be premature and counter-productive."

In a pastoral statement issued at the conclusion of their annual recollection in Siargao, Surigao del Norte last Oct. 21, the bishops expressed their solidarity with those who expect of their leaders, including members of the Catholic hierarchy, moral integrity and fiscal transparency.

They cautioned, however, against any precipitate statements invoking moral issues that spark controversies, without first establishing and ascertaining the truth and nothing but the truth of the matter at bar.

The bishops issued the pastoral letter in the wake of the recent controversy over the government's National Broadband Network (NBN) deal with a Chinese telecommunications giant and the alleged payoffs in Malacaņang.

"We believe that the whole truth about any moral issue must be ascertained first before subjecting it to moral scrutiny and judgment, otherwise, any statement on the matter may be premature and counterproductive," the bishops said.

The Mindanao bishops invited the faithful to pray for national unity through reconciliation which, they said, is part of the evangelizing mission of the Church.

"We pray for a relentless search for and courageous exposition of the truth anchored on the rule of law and moral principles," they said.

The pastoral statement was signed by the following: Archbishop Jesus Dosado of Ozamiz, Archbishop Fernando Capalla of Davao, Archbishop Romulo Valles of Zamboanga, Bishop Antonieto Cabajog of Surigao, Bishop Nereo Odchimar of Tandag, Auxiliary Bishop Zacharias Jimenez of Butuan, Bishop Wilfredo Manlapaz of Tagum, Bishop Guillermo Afable of Digos, Bishop Elenito Galido of Iligan, Bishop Julius Tonel of Ipil, Bishop Martin Jumoad of Basilan, Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos of Butuan, Bishop Patricio Alo of Mati, Auxiliary Bishop George Rimando of Davao, Auxiliary Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo of Cotabato, Bishop Emmanuel Cabajar of Pagadian, Bishop Jose Manguiran of Dipolog, and Bishop Angelito Lampon of Jolo. (OPS) [top]

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