Archbishop: The mission of the Church is faith that does justice, love

A Catholic archbishop recently said the Church is called to serve the faith that does justice more integrally.

Speaking at the opening Mass of the 17th Mindanao-Sulu Pastoral Conference (MSPC), Bishop Jose Cabantan said that a faith that does justice helps people to put their faith into action.

As the MSPC reached 50 years, the Archbishop of Cagayan de Oro emphasized in his homily at St. Augustine Metropolitan Cathedral that they must never lose the passion for the mission.

“Mindanao bleeds for freedom, for peace, and the MSPC also clarifies its task for justice and love. It links faith formation to a faith that does justice,” Cabantan said in his homily.

But he clarified that the Church’s mission “is not pure activism” but something that is done “through prayer and contemplation”.

According to him, they should “walk by faith and not by sight” to respond to the challenges affecting the region.

“It affirms our missionary identity as a Church, manifested by its faith without being influenced by other ideologies,” Cabantan stressed.

“It is by listening to the whispering of the Holy Spirit in our hearts that we are called to mission and fulfill it,” he explained.

The conference, which ended Nov. 11, brought together hundreds of bishops, priests, consecrated persons and laity from across Mindanao.

Speaking ahead of the conference, Papal Nuncio Bishop Charles Brown encouraged delegates to proclaim the gospel with commitment, creativity and courage.

“If we want to be missionaries, if we want to proclaim the person of Christ with commitment, creativity and courage, we must do so in a way that reflects the person of Christ,” he said.

Created in 1971, the MSPC has been the main instrument for adapting Vatican II to the needs of the Church in Mindanao.

The first MSPC was held in Davao City, and subsequent conferences have been held every three years.

The hosting of the conference by the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro was originally scheduled for 2020, but was postponed due to the pandemic.

Image credits: Screenshot of the MSPC Facebook page

Charles K. Eckert