“The Church cannot be neutral about good or evil” – Bishop Villegas
“The Church is biased towards justice, towards goodness, towards holiness,” Archbishop Socrates Villegas says on Rappler Talk
MANILA, Philippines — Presidential betting camp Ferdinand Marcos Jr. tagged Catholic priests and nuns Friday, March 4, for “openly meddling in politics” and using the pulpit for negative campaigning.
The Catholic Church, however, has repeatedly stressed that it speaks out on politics as part of its moral duty.
In a February 21 Rappler Talk interview, the Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan, Socrates Villegas, asserted, “The Church should always be non-partisan, but the Church cannot be neutral. Kapag ang pinag-usapan is good or bad (when talking about good or bad).
Watch the interview clip below:
“When you speak the truth, the liars will get angry. When you proclaim “Thou shalt not steal”, the thieves will get angry. When you say “Thou shalt not kill”, the murderers will get angry. Now, because you don’t like people getting mad at you, you’re just gonna keep silent about ‘Thou shalt not kill’, ‘Thou shalt not steal’, ‘Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour’ ? Hindi naman talaga dapat’yon (It really shouldn’t be),” he said.
For the full Rappler Talk interview, click the YouTube video below:
Individual Catholic leaders have spoken out against Marcos’ presidential candidacy, with Villegas himself describing the late dictator’s son as a threat to the country. The Philippine Catholic Bishops’ Conference on February 25 also warned of “radical distortions” in late dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ regime, which has been marred by human rights abuses, corruption, crisis debt and other atrocities.
It can be recalled that on February 22, 1986, the late Archbishop of Manila Jaime Cardinal Sin called on Filipinos to flock to EDSA near Camp Aguinaldo to support two senior officials who had just withdrawn their support for Marcos – Juan Ponce Enril and Fidel Ramos. Three days after his appeal, Marcos was ousted in a bloodless revolt.