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WATCH: ‘Church cannot be neutral about good or evil’ – Archbishop Villegas

Paterno R. Esmaquel II
WATCH: ‘Church cannot be neutral about good or evil’ – Archbishop Villegas

Rappler screenshot

'The Church is biased in favor of of righteousness, in favor of goodness, in favor of holiness,' says Archbishop Socrates Villegas on Rappler Talk

MANILA, Philippines – The camp of presidential bet Ferdinand Marcos Jr. scored Catholic priests and nuns on Friday, March 4, for “openly meddling in politics” and using the pulpit for negative campaigning.

The Catholic Church has repeatedly stressed, however, that it speaks out on politics as part of its moral duty.

In a Rappler Talk interview on February 21, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas asserted, “The Church should always be nonpartisan, but the Church cannot be neutral kapag ang pinag-usapan ay good or evil (when we talk about good or evil).”

Watch the interview excerpt below:

WATCH: ‘Church cannot be neutral about good or evil’ – Archbishop Villegas

“When you proclaim the truth, the liars will get angry. When you proclaim ‘Thou shall not steal,’ the robbers will get angry. When you say ‘Thou shall not kill,’ the murderers will get angry. Now, because you don’t like people to get angry at you, you will just keep quiet about ‘Thou shall not kill,’ ‘Thou shall not steal,’ ‘Thou shall not bear false witness against your neighbor’? Hindi naman talaga dapat ‘yon (That really shouldn’t be the case),” he said.

For the full Rappler Talk interview, click the YouTube video below:

WATCH: ‘Church cannot be neutral about good or evil’ – Archbishop Villegas

Individual Catholic leaders have been vocal against the presidential bid of Marcos, with Villegas himself describing the late dictator’s son as a threat to the country. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, on February 25, also warned against “radical distortions” about the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ regime, which was marked by human rights abuses, corruption, debt crisis, and other atrocities.

It can be recalled that on February 22, 1986, the late Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin called on Filipinos to flock to EDSA, near Camp Aguinaldo, to support two senior officials who had just withdrawn support for Marcos – Juan Ponce Enrile and Fidel Ramos. Three days after his appeal, Marcos was ousted through a bloodless revolt.

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– Rappler.com

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

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