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Mindanao Church people committed to peace

Addressing issues and concerns affecting the environment also a priority

Mindanao bishops during the Mindanao-Sulu Pastoral Conference in Digos. (Photo courtesy of Arniel Ranalan) Mindanao bishops during the Mindanao-Sulu Pastoral Conference in Digos. (Photo courtesy of Arniel Ranalan)
  • Mach Alberto D. Fabe, Cagayan de Oro
  • Philippines
  • January 4, 2011
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Church leaders in the southern Philippines have reaffirmed their commitment to protect the "integrity of creation" as a key issue in the promotion of peace in a statement released recently by the Mindanao-Sulu Pastoral Conference.

Archbishops, bishops, priests, Religious, and lay people from 21 ecclesiastical jurisdictions in Mindanao said they "have reflected on and rediscovered the importance of the Word of God in addressing issues and concerns affecting the environment and peace."

"We are challenged to follow the paths toward the new evangelization which would transform our context," read the statement signed by Bishop Guillermo D. Afable of Digos.

The Church leaders also expressed condemnation of "every sin which creates disorder, disrupts peace and harmony in individuals and the society at large."

They said that even though"Mindanao is a beautiful land... (and) home of good and beautiful people," it is also "damaged by violence, aggression and selfishness."

"We know that the situations of unpeace are often land-based, and so geographically localized. They are all related to maldistribution, usurpation, monopoly, misuse and abuse of resources," the Church leaders said.

"The corruption of economic and political powers, the distortion of moral and spiritual values, the materialistic culture of amassing wealth for vested interests have very high environmental and social costs," they added.

They, however, said that signs of hope are many, especially among "conscientious" individuals, groups, and institutions who work for the "protection of creation as well as for the promotion of peace."

The Church leaders’ meeting, which was held in Digos City, carried the theme “Word of God in Mindanao, Creation and Peace.” It aimed to help dioceses and prelatures create and prepare plans of pastoral actions for the resolution of problems in the region.

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