IN PHOTOS: When the Church rose up vs killings in 2017

Paterno Esmaquel II
Rappler compiles 12 best images of the Philippine Catholic Church that prayed, marched, and fought for the value of life this year

MANILA, Philippines – Fed up with drug war killings under President Rodrigo Duterte, the Catholic Church rose up in 2017 to condemn these deaths.

From launching rehabilitation programs to staging the “Walk for Life,” the Catholic Church proved there is hope for drug dependents, and there can be justice without bloodshed. 

Rappler compiled 12 best images of the Church that prayed, marched, and fought for the value of life this year. 

This is the Philippine Catholic Church of 2017.

NOT HOPELESS. Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle embraces a graduate of the Archdiocese of Manila's Sanlakbay drug rehabilitation program on October 21, 2017. Photo by Maria Tan/Rappler

RELATED STORY: Cardinal Tagle to ex-drug dependents: You’re not a ‘hopeless case’

Up to 3,000 Catholics join a Good Friday 'Walk for Life' procession in Manila on April 14, 2017. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

IN PRAYER. Nuns pray during the Good Friday 'Walk for Life' event in Manila on April 14, 2017. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

RELATED STORY: IN PHOTOS: Penitential ‘Walk for Life’ on Good Friday

'ACTIVE NON-VIOLENCE.' Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle pushes for 'active non-violence' at the 'Walk for Life' against extrajudicial killings and the death penalty, held at the Quirino Grandstand Parade Ground on February 18, 2017. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

RELATED STORY: Cardinal Tagle urges ‘active non-violence’ amid killings

LED BY THE CROSS. Hundreds of Catholics join the Walk for Life in Navotas City at around 5 am on July 2, 2017, to protest against the drug war killings in the Philippines. Photo by Roy Lagarde

RELATED STORY: Daan-daang Katoliko, sumama sa ‘Walk for Life’ sa Navotas

EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS. Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David listens to a woman lamenting extrajudicial killings (EJKs) in her community, after a Mass for EJK victims on July 2, 2017. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

RELATED STORY: Bishop slams vigilantes as ‘termites,’ ‘new Judases’

ATENEO VS KILLINGS. Ateneo de Manila University president Father Jose Ramon Villarin (2nd from right) and activist priest Father Robert Reyes (3rd) join a rally against killings, held outside the Ateneo de Manila gates on May 19, 2017. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

RELATED STORY:  Ateneo priests, La Salle brothers hit drug war killings

PROTECTING WITNESSES. Caloocan Bishop Pablo David in a press conference on September 14, 2017, shows a document executed by the father of one of the witnesses to 17-year-old Kian Delos Santos' death. The father chose to seek the protection of the Catholic Church, not the Philippine National Police. Photo by Maria Tan/Rappler

RELATED STORY: Caloocan Bishop Pablo David: Shepherd of his slaughtered sheep

'HEAL OUR LAND.' Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas returns to EDSA on November 5, 2017, for a Mass and procession against drug war killings. Photo by Maria Tan/Rappler

RELATED STORY: Villegas hits priests, cops, politicians in EDSA Mass

EDSA PROCESSION. This image of Our Lady of Fatima is brought in a kilometer-long procession from EDSA Shrine to the People Power Monument on November 5, 2017. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

RELATED STORY: WATCH: Our Lady of Fatima returns to EDSA

PRAYER POWER. Catholics return to EDSA on November 5, 2017, to denounce the killings in President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

RELATED STORY: Catholics return to EDSA as bishop warns of ‘curse’

FAITH IN GOD. A Filipino prays inside San Agustin Church on September 21, 2017, during a Mass for a day of massive protests against drug-related killings and other forms of tyranny. Photo by Maria Tan/Rappler

RELATED STORY: Churches show force in biggest rally under Duterte

This year, we also talked about drug war killings in two Rappler Talk interviews – one with Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, and another with Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas.

Watch our full interview with Bishop David here.

RELATED STORY: ‘Killing of conscience’ worse than killing of addicts – Bishop David

Watch our full interview with Archbishop Villegas here.

RELATED STORY: Despite tears, Villegas says heading CBCP a ‘blessing’

The Church we saw in 2017 evokes memories of the words of Pope Francis. 

“Do not close yourselves in! Go down among your faithful, even into the margins of your dioceses and into all those ‘peripheries of existence’ where there is suffering, loneliness and human degradation,” Francis told a group of bishops in September 2013.

Two months later, the Pope proclaimed: “I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security.”

Mobbed by trolls and denounced by Duterte himself, the Catholic Church in 2017 followed the words of Pope Francis, went out into the streets, and stormed heaven with prayers to stop the drug war killings in the Philippines.

Will heaven heed its plea in 2018? – Rappler.com

Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.