MANILA, August 26, 2013—Joining the protest rally at the Luneta with fellow Filipinos in indignation against government’s misuse of public funds is a call from God towards conversion of our government officials and all Filipino people, a priest said.
The Church should be the conscience of the state, especially when it fails to fulfill its role of serving the people, Fr. Anton C.T. Pascual, president of Caritas Manila, said during his homily at a Mass held at the Luneta.
Pascual said the public should be constantly vigilant in its role of watching the government fulfill its duty towards the people it upholds to serve.
“We need to watch the government closely. There is nothing wrong in government spending lots of money for projects. But we need to know where our taxes are going, so we are for transparency. That’s why the Church is also pushing for the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill, in order for us to know the expenditures of the government. Always remember power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” he stated.
Pascual stressed those who have less in life should have more in terms of social justice.
“In times of calamity, natural or man-made, they are always the victim. It is the government’s duty to give attention to those who have no voice, oppressed, and neglected in society. [But it does not always happen in our case.] So how will the Church act? We need to pray. Because this is a spiritual warfare,” he said.
He added that the public needs the power of the Holy Spirit by means of prayer in order to be empowered in the country’s fight for good governance.
One with the poor
In every calamity, natural or man-made, our poor brothers and sisters are always the victims, he said.
“Their condition hasn’t change, so the Church must always be an ally to them. Let us help one another. And with prayer, being vigilant and in solidarity with the poor, we can really be the Church of the poor,” he furthered.
More than a thousand members of the clergy, different religious congregations of men and women, the laity and the youth attended the mass at the side of St. Lorenzo Ruiz statue at the Quirino Grandstand during the rally against Pork Barrel, August 26. (Jandel Posion)