HomeNewsPhilippine diocese launches Rosary prayer campaign against China

Philippine diocese launches Rosary prayer campaign against China

The Catholic Church in Lingayen-Dagupan, north of Manila, has launched a Rosary prayer campaign aimed at countering what it describes as aggressive actions by China in Philippine territorial waters.

In a Pastoral Letter issued on June 16, Archbishop Socrates Villegas of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan initiated a diocese-wide Rosary campaign from June 27 to the Solemnity of the Assumption on August 15, urging the faithful to pray, fast, and perform acts of penance. 

“This is not superstition, because it is through meditating on the mysteries of our Salvation, as we move through the beads of the Rosary, that we are configured into the mind and heart of God who has revealed himself in his Son Jesus,” Villegas explained.

“Lord Save Us! We Are Perishing!” were the evocative opening words of Archbishop Villegas’ letter, read across all Masses last weekend. 

Villegas highlighted what he termed as “insidious attempts by a foreign power” to undermine Philippine sovereignty through both overt maritime incursions and covert operations within the country.

“The threat is no longer imagined. It is no longer mere conjecture,” Villegas wrote, detailing incidents involving the Chinese Coast Guard and the broader implications of China’s actions in the Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone, particularly around Escoda Shoal. 

The prelate criticized China’s efforts to “convert features into islands and militarized platforms,” which he viewed as a direct threat to the Philippines’ environmental and territorial integrity.

- Newsletter -

Villegas raised concerns about potential infiltration at various levels of the government by those on Beijing’s payroll or those who have received favors, thereby putting the nation’s independence at risk. 

“The investigations conducted by both the House of Representatives and the Senate have made clear that due to the lackadaisical, if not criminal, conduct of many government personnel, it is not impossible for foreigners with malicious intent to acquire documentation allowing them not only entry but residence in the Philippines,” he said.

In his pastoral letter, Villegas also condemned the operations of Philippine Off-Shore Gaming Operators (POGOs), linking them to a range of social ills including human trafficking and money laundering, and called for their immediate cessation.

Echoing the successes of past spiritual mobilizations, such as the Marian Year preceding the EDSA people power revolution of 1986, Villegas called upon the Catholic faithful to reaffirm their commitment to defending the nation’s sovereignty through faith-inspired action.

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