MANILA, August, 31, 2014—The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People (EMI) voiced out its admiration for two Filipino priests who have opted to stay in Libya standing by the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) stranded there due to an ongoing conflict.
EMI executive secretary Fr. Resty Ogsimer told Radyo Veritas that a critical situation like the one happening in Libya calls for pastors who can facilitate communications between officials of the Philippine (PH) government and OFWs in need of the former’s assistance.
According to Ogsimer, Filipino chaplains abroad often serve as channels through which government services meant for OFWs are promoted.
“Let’s pray to God to keep them all safe, that they get through this crisis the soonest, and that the evacuation process run smooth,” said he.
Priests Amado Baranquel of the Mary Immaculate Parish in Benghazi, and Celso Larracas of the St. Francis Catholic Church in Tripoli, who are both Franciscans, reiterated their willingness to remain in the war-torn, predominantly Muslim country, inviting Filipinos in the meantime to pray for them and the immediate end of the conflict.
Larracas assures the faithful the Church will take a “firm stand” as long as there are OFWs in Libya. (Raymond A. Sebastián)