The Philippine bishops’ conference started a prayer vigil to protest thousands of killings in the government drive to eradicate drug abuse and drug dealing.
Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan, outgoing president of the conference, led the ‘Lord, Heal Our Land’ Mass on Sunday 5th November. He called for repentance and an end to the killings and warned that “the journey of healing for the values of our nation turned upside down will be a long journey still.”
In his message at the Shrine of Mary Queen of Peace on EDSA, the avenue where the 1986 peaceful overthrow of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos took place, Archbishop Villegas said clergy, politicians and security forces needed to repent for complacency, ambition for power and instilling fear rather than respect.
“Peace to you in the armed forces and police,” he said in his homily. “Stop the violence and uphold the law.”
Archbishop Villegas called on the faithful to pray the Rosary daily until Friday 8th December, the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Many churches across the country have been winding down the exercise of tolling bells nightly to remember those killed.
Picture: Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan, Philippines, addresses the crowd during the ‘Lord, Heal Our Land’ Mass on Sunday 5th November at the Shrine of Mary Queen of Peace in Manila. (CNS photo/Dondi Tawatao, Reuters).