On April 25, Good Shepherd Sunday, Bishop Broderick Pabillo of the Manila archdiocese urged fellow church leaders to stand up against the evils of society.
Speaking during his homily at the Minor Basilica and National Shrine of San Lorenzo Ruiz in Binondo, Manila, the bishop said that temptation had always been there to silence church amid societal issues like extrajudicial killings and red-tagging.
“In the Church, there are those that choose not to speak despite the obvious evils in the society,” said Pabillo, who, before the Mass, led the opening of the “Jubilee Door” of the Binondo Church.
“Sad to say, we, church leaders, take refuge in silence. We are like watchdogs, who have lost the courage to at least bark,” he added. (Read: Bishop Pabillo Declares May 8 a Day of Prayer for COVID Victims)
Have Courage, Speak up
According to Bishop Pabillo, the COVID-19 pandemic should not be a reason for people to keep their distance from their flock.
“Do we really protect ourselves from the virus or, do we protect ourselves from the people and our responsibility towards them?” he asked. (Read: Hey, Catholics! Bishop Pabillo Has This Advise for the 2022 Elections)
Pabillo then added that everyone, especially church leaders, should always speak up against injustice. He said that the Church must not only deal with “intra-church matters,” but, more importantly, it must find connectedness in application with societal issues.
“There are so many in the peripheries, who have to be reached out to, and not only the usual flock that we have,” he said.
Good Shepherd Sunday, according to Bishop Pabillo, is also known as the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. It calls on the faithful to pray not just for more shepherds, “but good shepherds”.
Pabillo added that in the Philippine setting, the lack of good leaders is very much evident in practically all organizations— politics, civic and business sectors, and even the churches. This is why he is urging the faithful to become active citizens who call for good leaders as their shepherds.
“Let us pray to the Good Shepherd to give us good leaders in the Church and in the country,” he said. (Read: Remembering Sr. Fidelis Atienza, the Brain Behind Good Shepherd Ube Jam)