Bishop Broderick Pabillo, apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila, called on his fellow Church leaders not to remain silent but to stand up against the “evils” of society.
“Sad to say, we, Church leaders, take refuge in silence. We are like watchdogs, who have lost the courage to at least bark,” said the prelate on the occasion of Good Shepherd Sunday on April 25.
Bishop Pabillo noted what he described as the “temptation” for Church people to be silent despite the spate of killings, “red-tagging,” and other human rights abuses.
“In the Church, there are those that choose not to speak despite the obvious evils in the society,” said the bishop in his homily at the Minor Basilica and National Shrine of San Lorenzo Ruiz.
He said the pandemic should not be a reason to be distant from the flock.
“Do we really protect ourselves from the virus or do we protect ourselves from the people and our responsibility toward them?” said Bishop Pabillo.
He said the ministry of the Church must be connected with societal issues not with “intra-church matters.”
The bishop called on the faithful to pray not just for more shepherds “but good shepherds,” adding that there is also lack of good leaders even in the Church.
“We see that there is a lack of shepherds in the church. Lack of priests, lack of nuns, lack of lay leaders. And not just lacking in numbers. There is also a lack of being good shepherds,” he said.
“Let us pray to the Good Shepherd to give us good leaders in the Church and in the country,” said Bishop Pabillo.
“Now that the election is near, let us assess our leaders. Did they take advantage of their role? Are they richer in their role?” said Bishop Pabillo.
The Philippines will be holding national elections in 2022.