Bishop hits killings as Padre Pio heart relic visits UST
MANILA, Philippines – Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David slammed drug war killings, corruption, vulgar language, and even hypocrisy in the Catholic Church, as the incorrupt heart relic of Saint Padre Pio visited the University of Santo Tomas (UST) on Monday, October 8.
“We’re not just here to venerate a relic. We’re here to reflect on the priestly heart of Padre Pio,” David said in his homily, pointing out that the saint’s heart is “so configured to the heart of Jesus.”
On killings, David said killing “is never the way of Jesus Christ.” He said, “Christ’s way is never about the eagerness to kill but the zeal to offer one’s life.”
“The heart of Padre Pio, like that of Jesus, burned with a priestly zeal to save and not to condemn sinners,” said David.
David is one of the bishops most outspoken against drug war killings in the Philippines. He is also vice president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines.
In his homily on Monday, David also blasted hypocrisy in the Catholic Church. “Like Christ, Padre Pio was also indignant towards religious leaders who turn religion into politics and business."
“Minamahal kong mga kapatid, kapag ang ating mga parokya ay naging mga bahay kalakalan na lamang, kapag nilalagyan na natin ng takdang presyo ang mga sakramento at dahil dito’y alangan nang lumapit sa simbahan ang mga dukha, kapag hindi na nila maramdaman na bahagi rin sila ng ating mga pamayanan, ibig sabihin wala nang apoy sa ating mga simbahan,” David said.
(My beloved brothers and sisters, when our parishes have become mere houses of business, when we have placed price tags on sacraments and because of these the poor already think twice about approaching the church, once they haven’t felt that they’re part of our communities, it means there’s no more fire in our churches.)
Compassion for widows, orphans
“Kapag wala na tayong madamang malasakit sa mga asawang nabalo at sa mga batang naulila ng mga araw-araw na pinapaslang na mga taong napagbibintangang drug suspect; kapag hindi na tayo nababahala sa karahasan, sa patayan, sa katiwalian, sa mga pagmumura, sa panlalait, sa paninirang puri, sa mga kasinungalingan; kapag wala na tayong pakialam sa pagkasira at pagkawasak ng kalikasan at ng ating kapaligiran, o sa paglapastangan sa ating pananampalataya, sa panlalait sa ating mga martir at mga banal; kapag tuluyan na nating isinantabi ang kapakanan ng bayan para lamang sa pansariling interes o kapakanan, muling masusumpa ang ating mga bahay dalanginan at manganganib na mawasak na muli ang ating lipunan,” the bishop added.
(When we no longer feel compassion toward widows and orphans of drug suspects killed every day; when we are no longer disturbed because of violence, killings, corruption, vulgar language, mockery, calumny, lies; when we no longer care about the destruction of our environment, or the mockery of our faith, the insults against our martyrs and saints; when we have totally put aside the welfare of our country for the sake of our personal interests, our houses of worship will be cursed again, and we risk the destruction of our society.)
The heart relic of Padre Pio is staying at UST for an overnight vigil, until it is transferred to the Manila Cathedral on Tuesday morning, October 9. The Manila Cathedral will be open for 24 hours on the days that Padre Pio’s heart relic will be there.
Padre Pio is one of the most popular saints in the Catholic Church, and devotion to him is believed to have caused many miracles. In life, he carried the stigmata, the wounds of Christ that miraculously appeared on the saint’s body. He is also remembered for having performed bilocation, or appearing in different places at the same time.
Padre Pio’s incorrupt body remains on display at San Giovanni Rotondo in Italy. – Rappler.com