CBCP’s New Year message: Eradicate corruption

The leader of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Friday urged the people to refuse corrupt practices and dishonesty which affect every level of the society.

“Let us then intensify and sustain this righteous effort of eradicating graft and corruption,” said Bishop Nereo Odchimar in his New Year’s message.

However, despite the troubles the people are facing, the prelate assured them of God’s concern for them and to keep in the memory of their hearts the goodness of the Lord, “who sees us through in our joys and pains, despite our human inequities,” Odchimar said.

“As we embark for another year of challenging journey, we bring with us this memory of God’s unfailing presence so that we shall face the future with renewed strength and hopeful spirit,” he added.

With this, the Tandag prelate said the hardship, injustice and unpeace that still lies ahead the Filipino people in 2011.

“What awaits the majority of Filipinos in the year ahead, much as we hope for the better, perhaps are still the same dehumanizing conditions of poverty, injustice, and unpeace,” he said.

He further said, “This indubitable reality manifests in different circumstances of various groups of people such as: the landless farmers, jobless Filipinos, homeless urban poor, dislocated tribal groups, the fatalities of nefarious massacre in Cotabato, the recent victims of blast in Jolo and the like.

“The late venerable Pope John Paul II once spoke that there are negative repercussions for peace when the entire populations live in poverty. Poverty is often a contributory factor or a compounding element in conflicts, including armed ones. In turn, these conflicts fuel further tragic situations of poverty,” Odchimar added.

The prelate noted that poverty is not the consequence of increasing population, citing the worldwide campaign to stamp demographic growth even “using methods that often fail to respect even the right to life.”

He also quoted Pope Benedict XVI: “The extermination of millions of unborn children in the name of the fight against poverty actually constitutes the destruction of the poorest of all human beings. And yet it remains the case that in 1981, around 40% of the world’s population was below the threshold of absolute poverty, while today that percentage has been reduced by as much as half, and whole peoples have escaped from poverty despite experiencing substantial demographic growth.”

Odchimar pointed out that the Pontiff’s message explains that poverty can be fought “even without depopulation.” PNA

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