A Catholic archbishop in the southern Philippines reminded Church workers to serve with “faith that does justice.”
Speaking at the opening Mass of the 17th Mindanao-Sulu Pastoral Conference (MSPC), Archbishop Jose Cabantan of Cagayan de Oro said “faith that does justice” helps people put faith into action.
“Mindanao bleeds for freedom, for peace, and MSPC also clarifies its task for justice and love. It bridges faith formation into a faith that does justice,” said the prelate in his homily.
The archbishop, however, said that the Church’s mission “is not pure activism” but something that is done “through prayer and contemplation.”
He said the faithful should “walk by faith and not by sight” in responding to the challenges of society.
“This affirms our missionary identity as a Church, manifested by its faith without being swayed to other ideologies,” he said in a report on CBCP News.
“It is by listening to the whisper of the Holy Spirit in our hearts that we are called on mission and fulfill it,” he said.
The MSPC conference, which is set to end on November 11, gathered hundreds of bishops, priests, consecrated persons, and lay people from all over Mindanao.
Archbishop Charles Brown, papal nuncio to the Philippines, urged delegates to the meeting to proclaim the Gospel with commitment, creativity, and courage.
“If we’re going to be missionaries, if we’re going to proclaim the person of Christ with commitment, creativity and of courage, we need to do it in a way that mirrors the person of Christ,” he said.
Established in 1971, the MSPC became the instrument in implementing Vatican II teachings in Mindanao during the 1970s.