Cardinal Jose Advincula of Manila has called on the people to resist forces and structures that oppress and cause injustice.
“Let us fight any force and structure of oppression, exploitation, and the use of the poor to advance their selfish interests and welfare,” said Cardinal Advincula over Radio Veritas 846.
On Monday, he led a dialogue at the Manila Cathedral with representatives of the different marginalized sectors in the archdiocese.
In the Mass that followed, the cardinal criticized those who used the poor for their own gain.
Cardinal Advincula also took a swipe against those who only remember the poor when it is election season.
“When we just remember the poor and put them on the center stage because it’s election time or because it’s the World Day of the Poor, we are more miserable than them,” he added.
He then encouraged the faithful “to stand in solidarity with the poor to alleviate their sufferings.”
On Sunday, the head of the Episcopal Commission on the Laity of the Philippine Catholic bishops’ conference also warned politicians against using the poor for their political interests.
“[Politicians] want people to remain poor so that they can instrumentalize them, use them,” said Bishop Broderick Pabillo of Taytay in an interview with Church-run Veritas 846.
“During the election campaign, the poor must be helped, not used,” said the prelate in his message during the observance of the World Day of the Poor.
Bishop Pabillo said politicians should used their money to provide genuine service to the poor, not to buy people’s votes.
The prelate urged the faithful to look into the background of candidates before supporting or electing them next year.
“Looking into the track record of politicians who help the poor even before running for election is the most effective way to see their real intentions,” said the bishop.
He also pointed out that one way of helping the poor is to stand against policies that make take advantage of those who don’t have they economic means.
The prelate reminded the faithful to support Church programs that help the poor, such as the “Pondo ng Pinoy” that accepts any amount to show love and care for the poor. – with a report from CBCP News