Albay bishop calls on parishioners to pray for Pres. Duterte

Albay bishop calls on parishioners to pray for Pres. Duterte

This is not your typical news wherein a high ranking official of the Catholic church would openly support the president, especially since 2016 he has his own entanglements with each other.

The Diocese of Legazpi has declared Monday, July 27, as a "Day of Prayer and Fasting" in all parishes in Albay, the same day where the President is scheduled to deliver his State of the Nation Address (SONA).

A pastoral letter was issued by Bishop Joel Baylon calling all parish priests and the religious and lay people to offer prayers for the President and all government officials.

Bishop Joel Baylon of Legazpi
(photo credit to PNA)

The pastoral letter will be read by 47 parishes across the province during which will also offer Holy Masses for peace, reconciliation and healing in the country.

Bishop Baylon likewise encouraged the parishes to have a “Holy Hour” where priests and the faithful can hold “organized prayers" after the last mass in the morning.

"Our nation will once again listen to (the) President's SONA. As Catholic citizens of this nation, let us pray that the light of the Holy Spirit and the Gospel be their guide in making decisions for the country," he said.

In the same pastoral letter, the bishop reminded government leaders that  public office is a public trust; that they must, at all times, be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency, act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest and exemplary lives.
"In the end, like all of us, they are accountable to God," he said.
The Bishop also said: “We are not enemies of the State. We are not anti-government. The church is in fact a great collaborator of the government especially amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, during many calamities like typhoon volcanic eruptions and other disasters.”
The church, according to him, respects the mandates of officials to govern the country, but “we, as shepherds of the flock, also have to fulfill our pastoral duty of proclaiming the Gospel values and ensuring that human rights are not threatened and always respected". 

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Report from PNA

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