Archbishop Villegas: Do not be afraid of ‘hot water’

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Undated photo shows the late Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin with Archbishop Socrates Villegas during a visit to an orphanage in Manila. (CBCPNews file photo)

MANILA, June 21, 2016— Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan gave a strong message that nobody should be afraid to denounce any kind of injustice.

This morning the archbishop led a Mass to commemorate the 11th death anniversary of former Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin at the Manila Cathedral crypt.

In his homily, the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) asked the the faithful not to let other people scare and shame them into doing what is right.

“Clean people never got dirty… never took the risk. Pure people might have been dirtied by situations but they come out pure because they have been tested by fire,” Villegas said.

Like Sin, he said, people should not be afraid of “hot water” but “when you look at his life you also allow the Gospel to speak to us, take the narrow door, and take the road less traveled by.”

For reasons he doesn’t know, Villegas, who had served as Sin’s private secretary, said the cardinal always found himself in trouble, “not his own making but he was always in trouble, a risky life.”

“Cardinal Sin would say ‘oh, hot water! I love hot water it keeps me clean,” he said. “Hot water keeps you clean and finding ourselves in hot water should not be a reason for us to withdraw from a good fight.”

The influential cardinal played a key role in the People Power Revolution that toppled the regime of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1986. Sin died in 2005, at the age of 76.

According to Villegas, Sin “always stood at the tip” but was not afraid to fall because “he knew he would not fall and his God would always be there.”

“So do not be afraid of hot water. If you want to be clean, stay clean. But it is not only a matter of staying clean, it’s a matter of staying pure because the vision of God is not promised to be clean but to be pure,” he added.

“And purity comes always with fire. do not be afraid of hot water, do not be afraid of trouble, do not be afraid of getting dirty in the fight, do not be afraid of being bloodied in the fight because these things like hot water cannot kill us, they can only make us pure,” said Villegas. (R. Lagarde/CBCPNews)

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