CBCP – Pastoral on the Philippine Socio-Political (Nov. 2016).pdf

CBCP – Pastoral on the Philippine Socio-Political (Nov. 2016).pdf

http://cbcpwebsite.com/

GENERAL SECRETARIAT: 470 Gen.
Luna St., Intramuros, Manila P.O. Box 3601, 1076 Manila, Philippines
cbcpsecretariat@yahoo.com, cbcpsecretariat@gmail.com
CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE OF THE PHILIPPINES
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord!(Psalm 33:12)
OUR COUNTRY AND OUR FAITH The Philippine Socio-Political Landscape and our Christian Response
“Since we Filipino Catholics constitute the great majority of our nation, we hold the primary responsibility for building a just Philippine society. Contrary to the commonly voiced opinion that politics and public life are ‘dirty’ and to be shunned, PCP II ‘stands on record to urge lay faithful to participate actively and lead in renewing politics in accordance with the values of the Good News of Jesus’.” (Catechism for Filipino Catholics, n. 1193) This, brothers and sisters, is the compelling reason
for this letter.
We are aware that many would rather that we desisted from public statements, especially in the wake of unpleasant incidences in the recent past! The Church is constituted to be prophetic, and prophets are not anointed to keep their peace so that they can be quiet and live undisturbed. In our silence, we still proclaim. From prayerful silence, we teach. We cannot protest to the Lord and say: In these troubled times, we do not know how to speak. We dare not speak, lest we be shamed, chastised, ridiculed.
The words of the Lord to Jeremiah are addressed to us as well: “Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you…See, I place my words in your mouth! Today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms, to uproot and to tear down, to destroy and to demolish, to build and to plant.” (Jer 1, 10)
In all things, however, it will be the love of Christ that impels us to speak (cf. 2 Cor 5:14-15) : whether it be in praise or in admonition, whether it be to applaud encouraging signs and signals or to express concern over disturbing developments. We wish nothing for ourselves.
We plead for no privileges other than what the laws of the land and the paramount laws of God guarantee us. We carry no favors. We seek only to serve, for that is what we have been anointed to do! Poverty and Our Catholic Response.
The President’s heart for the poor is commendable and his swift action in addressing the everyday concerns of the poor is evident. Poverty and mass inequality are the major problems so widespread in our country. Human development in our country is massive failure. There are, to be sure, encouraging observations in the economy. But because there is a direct relation between economic stability and the strength (or the weakness) of the Rule of Law, the picture cannot remain rosy when there are
perceived fissures in the Rule of Law. Contemporary society is rules-based, and when it becomes apparent that the law inadequately safeguards expectations, the economy takes a dip and the poor suffer most.
Any news that the economy is picking up is good news for all, and we Catholics must both felicitate the government and do our part towards an even more prosperous state of affairs. We urge our Filipino businessmen and entrepreneurs to generate not only wealth, but, more importantly, well-being for our people. The concept of “corporate social responsibility” has been a welcome development in the re-
moralization of business and of the market. It must be anchored in genuine solidarity with all, especially society’s weakest and most vulnerable. Too many Filipinos still leave the country–and leave their families and homes–to be able to assure themselves and their families of a more promising future.
We exhort Filipino businessmen as well as foreign investors to make it possible for every Filipino to aspire after a fulfilling future for herself and for her family in our own land! There is a dimension of increasing prosperity that we cannot pass over in silence: Riches fulfill their function of service to man when they are destined to produce benefits for others and for our society…In the perspective of St. John
Chrysostom, riches belong to some people so that they can gain merit by sharing them with others.
Wealth is a good that comes from God and is to be used by its owner and made to circulate so that even the needy may enjoy it. (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, n. 329)
Inclusive economic growth is not only a charming concept. It is a moral imperative. Promising corporate figures must translate into fuller lives for those who live in barangays and the far-flung reaches of our Archipelago! Rights of Labor The President boldly announced that he was putting an end to the regime of
contractualization and to better the lot of those who, while employed for a period of less than six months, find themselves jobless, no matter their diligence and dedication, and must once more go on the hunt for jobs. The Church joins the President in this resolve because it is as concerned about the travails of those who work under contracts that make use of them for a time, but guarantee that they never get to enjoy the benefits of permanent employment. We are not unaware that there have been concerns expressed by the
management sector about the slow-down in the economy if contractualization and out-sourcing are outlawed.
We do not pretend to have answers for these delicate and complicated issues, but of one thing, we remain sure: There is no moral justification for the exploitation of the working Filipino, and for denying the laborer the benefits of permanent employment. We urge the President, his Cabinet and the Legislature to be resolute in this respect and to side with those who have for so long labored under the exploitative conditions of contractualization.

 

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