Wednesday, February 27, 2008

CBCP Pastoral Statement

Seeking the Truth, Restoring Integrity

Beloved People of God: Greetings in the peace of the Lord!
Today in the midst of restlessness and confusion, we come to you aspastors, for that is our precise role. We do not come as politicianswhose vocation it is to order society towards the common good. Ourmessage contributes to the flourishing of a democracy which must notbe built only on political formulae.We face today a crisis of truth and the pervading cancer ofcorruption. We must seek the truth and we must restore integrity.These are moral values needing spiritual and moral insights.Therefore, we address this pastoral statement to everyone particularlyyou our beloved people and in a special way to our political rulersand officials.We are convinced that the search for truth in the midst of charges andallegations must be determined and relentless, and that the way totruth and integrity must be untrammeled, especially at the presenttime when questions about the moral ascendancy of the presentgovernment are being raised.For this reason, we strongly:

1. Condemn the continuing culture of corruption from the top to thebottom of our social and political ladder;

2. Urge the President and all the branches of government to take thelead in combating corruption wherever it is found;

3. Recommend the abolition of EO 464 so that those who might haveknowledge of any corruption in branches of government, may be free totestify before the appropriate investigating bodies;

4. Ask the President to allow her subordinates to reveal any corruptacts, particularly about the ZTE-NBN deal, without being obstructed intheir testimony no matter who is involved;

5. Appeal to our senators and the ombudsman to use their distinct anddifferent powers of inquiry into alleged corruption cases not fortheir own interests but for the common good;

6. Call on media to be a positive resource of seeking the truth andcombating corruption by objective reporting without bias andpartiality, selective and tendentious reporting of facts;

For the long term we reiterate our call for "circles of discernment"at the grassroots level, in our parishes, Basic Ecclesial Communities,recognized lay organizations and movements, religious institutions,schools, seminaries and universities. It is through internalconversion into the maturity of Christ through communal and prayerfuldiscernment and action that the roots of corruption are discovered anddestroyed. We believe that such communal action will perpetuate at thegrassroots level the spirit of People Power so brilliantlydemonstrated to the world at EDSA I. It is People Power with adifference. From the grassroots will come out a culture of truth andintegrity we so deeply seek and build. We instruct our CBCPCommissions to take active role including networking for this purpose.

May the Lord bless us in this sacred undertaking to build a new kindof Philippines and may our Blessed Mother be our companion and guidein this journey to truth and integrity.

For and on behalf of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of thePhilippines:+Angel Lagdameo, D.D.Archbishop of JaroPresident, CBCPFebruary 26, 2008

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