STA. CRUZ, Ilocos Sur (Mar. 16) — Prayer is a powerful tool in our quest for truth, says an Ecumenical group in Ilocos Sur as they unite for truth and accountability amid the controversies that the Arroyo government is facing.
Tagged as “Nagkaykaysa a panagkararag para ti kinapudno ken kinatakneng,” more than 200 members of catholic and protestant denominations, led by the Ilocos Sur Ecumenical Movement (ISEM), gathered around the Parish of the Immaculate Conception, Sta. Cruz, Ilocos Sur on March 16 to call for truth and accountability in the government and support Rodolfo “Jun” Lozada in his exposé on the National Broadband Network (NBN) issue.
According to Msgr Sammy Rosimo, convener of ISEM and parish priest of the Parish of the Immaculate Conception, this ecumenical service is our way of supporting the Filipino people in our quest for truth.
“We pray that the people will be enlightened and that more church people like us will speak and act for truth and accountability.” He furthered as he read the statement of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). Also read was the statement of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP).
In the sermon, Rev. Joel Bengbeng of the United Methodist Church (UMC) stressed that true Christians do not lie. “True Christians live and unite for truth, for justice and condemns dishonesty, deceit and violence.” He noted as he told anecdotes on unity, truth and justice in his sermon to “challenge” the people to act in the midst of the economic and political crises that the country faces.
In the Prayers of the Faithful, prayers for religious leaders, government officials, families, the youth, peasants and workers, indigenous peoples and victims of human rights violations were lead by conveners of ISEM.
During the candle lighting, Rev. Marcelino Mariano of the UCCP said that the candles symbolize the prayers of the people for truth. “That the Lord of our History may heal the nation as it faces unbridled corruption, injustice and violence…” He said as they sung the song “Lord Heal our Land” and “Bayan Ko”.
“May the Lord shed a light for us and have mercy on us and may He show His face and give us Peace.” The Church leaders concluded.
This activity, according to Rev. Lorenzo Apalet of ISEM, is a proof, “that people and church leaders in the province did not choose to remain silent in the light of all the unfolding events in the government.”
Prior to the said ecumenical service, Catholic and Protestant Church leaders held a mass for truth and accountability at the St. William’s Cathedral last March 6 in Laoag City which was attended by some 400 members. # Rod Tajon for NORDIS