Archbishop Socrates Villegas decries ‘rape’ of EDSA spirit

Archbishop Socrates Villegas decries ‘rape’ of EDSA spirit

Cardinal Jaime Sin (File photo)

MANILA, Feb. 23, 2017— Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan has decried the “rape” of EDSA People Power with the “four glorious days of February 1986 now dimmed”.

Amid the “relentless killings of the poor in the name of change”, he said “the glory now flickers in the darkness of fear and terror again”.

As the number of suspected drug users and pushers reaches more than 7,600 in seven months, he said it is quite possible the death toll exceeds the number of martial law victims.

“It is a nightmare, Your Eminence! It is a shame,” Villegas said in a letter to his former boss, the late Cardinal Jaime Sin, who played a major role in the relatively peaceful uprising.

“The bloodless revolt now stained by the blood in our streets and street gutters. The statistics of unresolved murder continues to rise and not a single one has been investigated and brought to justice,” he said.

The protégé of the late Jaime Cardinal Sin also lamented the hero’s burial for the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos as well as the attempts to “rewrite the history”.

“History books are rewritten. Historical memory is revised. The hero is a villain. The plunderers are now heroes,” he said. “Thank God, Eminence, you did not see these days we are going through.”

But the archbishop said there is always reason to celebrate the spirit of Edsa and for Filipinos to live up to its meaning despite some attempts to “prostitute” its meaning.

For EDSA, according to him was not about the enemies of peace and democracy but the faith and bravery of  Filipinos “who called upon the Lord in their distress and whose cry the Lord has heard from heaven”.

“EDSA is our people’s cry and our God’s loving reply,” Villegas added. “The EDSA spirit is worth celebrating always. It is people who have raped it.”

“This land may be ruled by tyrants and killers, murderers may win in elections, plunderers may grin at the ignorant voters they have cheated, trolls may keep hurling invectives at their peace loving countrymen, commanders may prostitute the meaning of EDSA… but we will still celebrate,” he said. (Roy Lagarde / CBCPNews)

Read the source: http://www.cbcpnews.com/cbcpnews/?p=92007

EDSA is our people’s cry and God’s loving reply

Undated photo shows the late Jaime Cardinal Sin with Archbishop Socrates Villegas during a visit to an orphanage in Manila. (File photo)

Dear Cardinal Sin,

 
It is you I miss most these days.
 
I do not mean to disturb your peace. You already have passed from this valley of tears to the House of the Father but please Cardinal Sin, do not forget us in our present travails as a nation. I know you can receive this message. I believe. Nothing can separate you from us in the Lord. You love this country so much. You will not let us lose our hope.
 
I know you can hear me and I know you are here. As I know your love for this country, I also believe that in heaven your heart pleads to the heart of God to embrace this beautiful land.  Cardinal Sin, embrace us and ask God to embrace your God loving people. Do not look at the blessings we have squandered and the heroism we have ridiculed. Do not look at the news we have faked and the people we have cheated. Do not look at our uncaring attitude about the victims of extra judicial killings now exceeding the number of victims during martial law.  
 
Look at us in our fears and pray for us to God to heal our land. Give is courage. Give us hope. Shake us up from our timidity.
 
Thirty one years after EDSA 1986, I hear our people ask: What shall we celebrate? What is there to celebrate?  By the corner of EDSA and Ortigas, I want to sit and weep as I remember the four glorious days of February 1986 now dimmed. The glory now flickers in the darkness of fear and terror again. The songs of peace now drowned by the cuss words of hate that invite murder. The bloodless revolt now stained by the blood in our streets and street gutters. The statistics of unresolved murder continues to rise and not a single one has been investigated and brought to justice.
 
Four days of bloodless revolution! Wow!
 
Now eight months of relentless killings of the poor in the name of “change”! It is a nightmare Your Eminence! It is a shame.
 
The dictator ousted by People Power is now buried among heroes. The Lady of one thousand two hundred pairs of shoes is now Representative in Congress. History books are rewritten. Historical memory is revised. The hero is a villain. The plunderers are now heroes. Thank God, Eminence you did not see these days we are going through.
 
Tears flow. Uncertainties choke us. It is hard to choose silence and take the blows. How long can we endure? It is hard to fight for the right without question or pause and be willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause. You remember that song Eminence? That was your favorite line I remember. Singing it again makes me smile and makes me tear.
 
Did you also cry quietly in the dark years of the dictatorship? Were you ever discouraged and did you also question yourself if what you were doing was right? Were you ever afraid or did you ever feel the urge to stay in your zone of comfort instead of fighting the unbeatable foe?
 
Cardinal Sin, I feel the same and you know that. I know many feel this way. Teach us how to cope. Teach us your courage. Teach us your humor. Teach us your faith.  Teach us righteous indignation. Wake us up from our pacifism and pull us into the fire of passion and courage again.
 
They are looking for you but you are not here. They are waiting for your voice but they cannot hear. They want to see you again but you seem so far away now. Is it wrong to miss you?
 
Can we still celebrate EDSA people power? I asked you that years ago and you said, “Yes we must celebrate because EDSA is people! Please celebrate even when Cory and I are gone”.
 
For as a long as there is a child willing to right the unrightable wrongfor as long as there is a young man willing to reach the unreachable star even if his hands have grown weary; for as long as there is a war weary soldier willing to smile at  a colegiala who bravely puts a flower onto the muzzle of his gun; for as long as there is priest willing to offer the Mass for the healing of this broken and bleeding land…this land may be ruled by tyrants and killers, murderers may win in elections, plunderers may grin at the ignorant voters they have cheated, trolls may keep hurling invectives at their peace loving countrymen, commanders may prostitute the meaning of EDSA… but we will still celebrate.
 
For EDSA is not about the enemies of peace and democracy but the faith and bravery of a people who called upon the Lord in their distress and whose cry the Lord has heard from heaven. EDSA is our people’s cry and our God’s loving reply.
 
In your final years Your Eminence, you saw how that spirit was diluted and some even wanted it reversed. But you were firm to remind me even from your sickbed that EDSA is heroic courage and will always be. What the pimps of that spirit have done cannot remove the purity of EDSA’s valor and the nobility of its lesson. The EDSA spirit is pure worth celebrating always. It is people who have raped it.
 
Against all odds, Cardinal Sin, we will remember. We will give thanks. We will challenge ourselves to live for God and to live for country as you did.
 
Rest now Cardinal Sin. You have left us lessons to last us many lifetimes. All we must do is to keep on remembering and to keep the fire aglow. You have passed on that torch to us and we will not fail you. Promise!
 
Hug me in my dreams. Embrace me in my prayer. Guide me by your memory. Please hug my parents for me in the Father’s House.
 
Lovingly,
 
Soc

 Read the source: http://www.cbcpnews.com/cbcpnews/?p=91944

CBCP president Villegas writes letter to late Cardinal Sin about PHL ‘nightmare’

Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines president Archbishop Socrates Villegas on Thursday wrote a letter to the late Jaime Cardinal Sin over the “nightmare” the nation has been experiencing the past eight months.

Less than a year under the Duterte administration, Villegas said many people in poverty have been killed “in the name of change,” while the history on Martial Law is being revised.

“It is a nightmare Your Eminence! It is a shame,” Villegas said.

“History books are rewritten. Historical memory is revised. The hero is a villain. The plunderers are now heroes,” Villegas said.

He noted that even the late dictator, former President Ferdinand Marcos, is now buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani while his wife Imelda holds a seat as Ilocos Norte representative.

“The dictator ousted by People Power is now buried among heroes. The Lady of one thousand two hundred pairs of shoes is now Representative in Congress,” Villegas said.

Two days before the 31st anniversary of the 1986 EDSA People Power, Villegas told Sin that questions now linger on whether the nation should still celebrate the historic uprising.

“Thirty one years after EDSA 1986, I hear our people ask: What shall we celebrate? What is there to celebrate? By the corner of EDSA and Ortigas, I want to sit and weep as I remember the four glorious days of February 1986 now dimmed,” Villegas said.

He added the glory achieved by the four-day bloodless revolt now “flickers in the darkness of fear and terror again. The songs of peace now drowned by the cuss words of hate that invite murder.”

“The bloodless revolt now stained by the blood in our streets and street gutters. The statistics of unresolved murder continues to rise and not a single one has been investigated and brought to justice,” Villegas said.

Villegas asked Sin, his mentor who was instrumental in toppling Marcos, whether he experienced discouragement in overthrowing an “unbeatable foe” since the nation has been struggling to fight for what is right.

“Tears flow. Uncertainties choke us. It is hard to choose silence and take the blows. How long can we endure?” Villegas said.

Nonetheless, Villegas vowed that the nation will still celebrate the anniversary of the uprising as long as Filipinos beam with hope despite others’ attempts to “prostitute the meaning of EDSA.”

“For EDSA is not about the enemies of peace and democracy but the faith and bravery of a people who called upon the Lord in their distress and whose cry the Lord has heard from heaven. EDSA is our people’s cry and our God’s loving reply,” Villegas said.

“You were firm to remind me even from your sickbed that EDSA is heroic courage and will always be. What the pimps of that spirit have done cannot remove the purity of EDSA’s valor and the nobility of its lesson. The EDSA spirit is pure worth celebrating always. It is people who have raped it,” he added. Joseph Tristan Roxas/KG, GMA News

Read the source: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/600721/news/nation/cbcp-president-villegas-writes-letter-to-late-cardinal-sin-about-phl-nightmare

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An Assessment of the New USCCB Document Faithful Citizenship: FCFC (#34) lists “intrinsically evil acts,” and says that Catholics cannot vote for a political candidate “who favors a policy promoting” them http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/01/06/an-assessment-of-the-new-usccb-document-faithful-citizenship-fcfc-34-lists-intrinsically-evil-acts-and-says-that-catholics-cannot-vote-for-a-political-candidate-who-fav/

US Bishops release latest version of ‘Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,’ Catholic guide to voting http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/08/12/us-bishops-release-latest-version-of-forming-consciences-for-faithful-citizenship-catholic-guide-to-voting/

Kansas bishops offer election year guidance  http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/09/28/kansas-bishops-offer-election-year-guidance/

Here’s one clear and uncomplicated principle for voting: Don’t vote for pro-abortion politicians http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/08/16/heres-one-clear-and-uncomplicated-principle-for-voting-dont-vote-for-pro-abortion-politicians/

THE DOWNLOAD—YOUR VOTE COUNTS – But it’s your own soul that’ll do the counting http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/09/20527/

THE VORTEX: A TIE IS A LOSS – Maybe Catholics should concentrate more on the Faith than on politics http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/15/the-vortex-a-tie-is-a-loss-maybe-catholics-should-concentrate-more-on-the-faith-than-on-politics/

Catholic Bishops: Voting for Candidate who supports abortion is formal cooperation with evil

Should Pope Francis get involved in politics? Of course he should   http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/19/should-pope-francis-get-involved-in-politics-of-course-he-should/

Is Health Care a Pro Life Issue? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/14/is-health-care-a-pro-life-issue/

BISHOP ROBERT MCELROY GOES SOFT ON INTRINSIC EVIL: San Diego bishop says intrinsic evils don’t automatically prioritize issues for voters http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/12/bishop-robert-mcelroy-goes-soft-on-intrinsic-evil-san-diego-bishop-says-intrinsic-evils-dont-automatically-prioritize-issues-for-voters/

WATCH: Fr. Pavone on why Catholics can’t sit out the election http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/09/28/watch-fr-pavone-on-why-catholics-cant-sit-out-the-election/

Archbishop Oscar Cruz on the forthcoming elections: Principle of participation

Is Socialism Making a Comeback? – Despite Bernie Sanders’s best efforts, socialism is still as bad an idea as it ever was http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/10/is-socialism-making-a-comeback-despite-bernie-sanderss-best-efforts-socialism-is-still-as-bad-an-idea-as-it-ever-was/

CBCP President Archbishop Soc Villegas grieved over Duterte’s cursing of Pope

“When we find vulgarity funny, we have really become beastly and barbaric as a people. When a revered and loved and admired man like Pope Francis is cursed by a political candidate and the audience laugh, I can only bow my head and grieve in great shame.”