Dear CBCP,

WE DO NOT FORGET, EITHER!

We, the Filipino people are thankful to your contributions in restoring the long lost democracy to this country. Because of your noble efforts we now have a government of the people, for the people and by the people. We have seen this many times over in the past when we came out to choose our President in very election since Marcos’ ouster. Again, WE have seen that free exercise of the right to choose a leader in the last May election . Indeed, we have democracy. Thanks to you but no thanks.

Please do not “…mock our fight to restore democracy.” We also fought for our freedom. You do not own our freedom, lest our democracy – this belongs to the people. We the Filipino people are the rightful owner of this fight. WE, the people of the Philippines, who speak through ballot owns this democracy. No one else but the Filipino people!

WE DARE ASK YOU, FORGIVE!

You only have taught us that “Christian prayer extends to the forgiveness of enemies… “ 1  Why it seems difficult to “…find the efficacious and undoubted sign of his (God) forgiveness in the sacraments of his Church2 and in his Bishops? Have you forgotten the Seven Petitions the Holy Church solemnly preaches for ages? “And Forgive Us Our Trespasses, as We Forgive Those Who Trespass AGAINST US” 3  

Why in God’s name you keep dwelling on the sins of a dead person knowing that in doing so may promote hatred among the people instead of preaching forgiveness? Can you hold a Dead man accountable for his crimes? Of course not, yet with your statement on Supreme Court decision to allow the burial of former President Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani you “..see this as another step to build the culture of impunity in the country”4 just because you cannot forgive the sins he committed against thousands of Filipinos during Martial Law. Yet again the Church teaches us that “there is no limit or measure to this essentially divine forgiveness…”5.  I now wonder, what really is it that you preach to people these days.

How can you talk about unity and peace “if you do not forgive your brother from your heart”6 ? When you say “WE DO NOT FORGET” you know that this would incite hatred among the Filipino people and you (the Bishops) know well too, as teachers of church doctrine, that “deliberate hatred is contrary to charity.”7  Forget hatred in your hearts.. “…then the unity of forgiveness becomes possible and we find ourselves ‘forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave’ us.” 8 

May be it’s high time for you to let go of your hatred against Marcoses. Anyway, “forgiveness also bears witness that, in our world, love is stronger than sin..”9  and submit yourselves as law abiding citizens to the democratic process that we longed desire to reign – a society governed by rules of law and respect for the law. By doing so, this “…burial [may not become].. an insult to the EDSA spirit. After all, the Church teaches us that “forgiveness is the fundamental condition of the reconciliation of the children of God with their Father and of men with one another.” 10

Footnotes

1. Catechism of the Catholic Church, Article 3 THE SEVEN PETITIONS, 2844

2. Catechism of the Catholic Church, Article 3 THE SEVEN PETITIONS. 2839

3. Catechism of the Catholic Church, Article 3 THE SEVEN PETITIONS. V. “And Forgive Us Our Trespasses, as We Forgive Those Who Trespass AGAINST US”

4. CBCP Statement on the Supreme Court decision to allow the burial of former president Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani

5. Catechism of the Catholic Church, Article 3 THE SEVEN PETITIONS, 2845

6. Catechism of the Catholic Church, Article 3 THE SEVEN PETITIONS, 2843

7. Catechism of the Catholic Church, Article 5 THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT, 2303

8. Catechism of the Catholic Church, Article 3 THE SEVEN PETITIONS, 2842; c.f Mt 18:23-35.

9. Catechism of the Catholic Church, Article 3 THE SEVEN PETITIONS, 2844

10. Catechism of the Catholic Church, Article 3 THE SEVEN PETITIONS, 2844

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