By Leslie Ann Aquino
Lingayen Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said anti-Christian forces shaking Catholic values.
“We have anti-Christian forces around us shaking our Catholic values,” he said in a pastoral reflection.
“Please pray and from prayer let us act together to defend the values of Christianity,” added Villegas.
The former head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said while there are many things that are happening in the country that are repulsive and revolting such as the spread of fake news, he said the murders and vulgarity topped the list of social ills eating the national soul.
“Among all the social ills that are slowly eating up our national soul, the murders and the vulgarity are incredibly and sadly on top of the list,” Villegas said referring to vulgarity and murder as anti- Christian.
Years from now, he said this chapter in our history as a people will be called the Reign of Murder and Vulgarity.
The Lingayen Dagupan lamented how murder is offered as a solution to our problems and vulgarity is glorified as a way of life.
“The poor Filipinos killed by still unknown assassins for the past two years are enough to fill up the Narciso Ramos Athletic Field in Lingayen. Most of them are adults, many are youth, a few are children but all of them have a common adjective to describe them—defenseless and silent poor. If they were not killed by government agents, the government agents have been incredibly yet systematically unable to trace the killers and bring the wheels of justice to roll. Sumosobra na talaga!” said Villegas.
He said vulgarity in language used to shock us years ago but now we have become numbed to it and even laugh at vulgarity instead of getting shocked and angry.
“But it has been only two years since this downslide to vulgarity started rapidly. Women are disgraced in words not once but habitually, as if it were a standard policy to mock womanhood and reduce the God given dignity of personhood to genitals. Anger can be righteous but in recent months, anger had lost its righteousness. If you are angry, you have a right to be vulgar. If you are afraid of the backlash do not get angry at the wrongdoer,” Villegas said.
“Now, vulgarity has taken another twist—to mock the memory of the murdered; to calumniate a faithful departed who cannot defend himself; to gossip about the dead; to add inconsiderate sorrow to the grief of those they have left behind. Is murder to be excused due to the unproven immorality of the killed? Tama na! (Enough),” he added.
Archbishop Villegas said it would be naïve to hope things will improve without us lifting a finger.
“Hindi ba sobra na? Hindi pa ba tayo maninindigan? Kung hindi ngayon kailan pa? Turn to Mary Help of Christians and let her send you forth in battle for her Son,” he said.
The pastoral reflection will be used as reference material of priests under the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan in their homilies on May 24, the Feast of Mary Help of Christians.