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Filipino faith in God ‘not deep enough’ to effect social change — Manila prelate

The Philippines is no better, "and sadly, even worse" than countries that do not have any Christian majority, said Bishop Broderick Pabillo

The Filipino people’s faith in God seems to be not enough to effect social change.

“More than 93 percent of [Filipinos] are Christians belonging to different denominations and churches, but our Christian faith is not deep enough to influence the way our country is being run,” said Bishop Broderick Pabillo of Manila.

The apostolic administrator of the Philippine capital called on ecumenical Church leaders in the country this week to continue working on the people’s understanding of their Christian faith.

He made the call during an ecumenical Church leaders’ summit on peace organized by the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform on February 18.

Bishop Pabillo noted that despite 500 years of Christianity in the country, the government, businesses, and media “are no better, and sadly, even worse than those of other countries that do not have any Christian majority.”

“Is there a more just society among us because the majority of us are Christians? Is there more love, more forgiveness, more sharing?” he said.

He said the people’s faith seems to be “not yet rooted enough to have an impact in our public institutions.”

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The bishop admitted that “there is a veneer of religiosity” in the country’s institutions and in public life, “but why is there still so much corruption?”

He said the government and businesses still have “no consideration of the poor,” “human rights easily violated and set aside,” and “the environment being sacrificed at the altar of so-called progress.”

“We can perhaps reason that many of the people up there in the high echelons of authority are already blinded by power or money or both,” said the prelate.

But he said that the lack of deeper understanding of faith is also evident among the Filipino people who are silent and “much worse … cheer on their officials who violate decency and integrity.”

The Manila prelate urged Churches to boost efforts to “deepen and ground” the people’s faith” and guide the flock to be concerned about the situation of the country.

He noted, however, that there are very few religious leaders “who are concerned about truth, justice, peace, and social love.”

“How many denounce injustices and condemn manipulations of facts?” said Bishop Pabillo.

“There are abuses both on the side of the military and the Left, and we keep silent. Are we blinded or muffled by our ideologies, by our biases, or by our fears?” he added.

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