Thursday, December 24, 2020

Statement on the Killings

 CBAP Statement on the Killings

In the holy spirit of discernment, we, teachers, students, and servants of the Word of God, belonging to the Catholic Biblical Association of the Philippines (CBAP), are prompted by our Christian faith to dare come forward to issue this statement and to ask “How can we celebrate  Christmas,  the  birth  of  our  Lord  Jesus,  in  the  midst  of  death  and  the  utter disregard for human life?”

If we love  Jesus,  we will obey  God’s commands.  This includes,  “YOU  SHALL  NOT MURDER” (Exodus 20:13). This command is not just for Old Testament believers and the Jewish people, but for Christians as well, for Jesus himself said: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.” (Matthew 5:17). Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15).

Unfortunately, many would claim to have a relationship with Jesus, but do not obey his commands.  Jesus made it clear:  “You are my friends if you do what  I  command you” (John 15:14). “Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me” (John 14:21).  “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn 15:12-13).

Loving Jesus means giving importance to the things and people that are important to Him. We know that something and someone is important to us when we get frustrated or angry when it is violated. Christians, those who professed to love Jesus, ought to be the first ones to cry out, “STOP THE KILLINGS!” for this is against the will of their Master. If we are not angry with the killings, if we are not even disturbed with the recent, brutal murders of lawyers, doctors, human rights advocates, and the poor people including the senseless death of the Gregorio mother-and-son of Paniqui, Tarlac, in the hands of a police officer, then we do not really love Jesus in words and deeds. We worship God with our lips, but our hearts are far from Him. We are hypocrites!

Indeed, we are being hypocrites when we celebrate Christmas, the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ while ignoring and not valuing His commands. Those who do not condemn the killings are like those who wanted to kill Jesus as a baby and as an adult.

Christmas is about the birth of Jesus who gave his life so that others may live. Killing is against the will of our Lord Jesus who promised life, not death: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). 

So, we express our individual and collective indignation against this culture of violence and impunity which has fractured our national psyche and damaged our moral sense of right and wrong; we denounce this sin; we demand justice for the victims of these killings; we plead for respect for life, respect for human dignity and rights, respect for each and everyone; we commit ourselves to the active and authentic restoration of God’s reign in our world.

Let this be our fervent prayer this  Christmas,  and the gift we offer to the world:  Peace on earth, glad tidings to men and women upon whom God’s favor rests.

1. Clarence C. Marquez, OP, SThD
2. Federico G. Villanueva, PhD
3. Marilou Ibita, PhD, SThD
4. Bernardita Dianzon, FSP
5. Alejandro Gobrin, CMF
6. Miriam Alejandrino, OSB
7. Edgar Ebojo, PhD, Pastor, Bethel Pentecostal Church
8. Randolf Flores, SVD, PhD
9. Bp. Broderick Pabillo, DD
10. Abigail R. Teh, PhD
11. Helen Graham, MM, PhD
12. Bienvenido Q. Baisas, OFM
13. Cielito Almazan, OFM
14. Cristino Robles Pine, OFM
15. Edilberto B. Cepe, CSsR, SSL
16. Vu Tran Xuan, SVD
17. Francis Eugene A. Fadul, SThL, MLS
18. Mirasol C. Navidad, RSCJ, PhD
19. Nimfa Ebora, PDDM
20. Restituto R. Adoremus
21. Fr. Jesus B. Layug, Jr.
22. Michael B. Lapid
23.    Marites Rey
24.    Rhoneil Arevalo, PhD
25.    Den Mark Malabuyoc, OSJ, SSL
26.    Joel N. Camaya, SDB, SSL
27.   Dr. Archie Ligo, PhD
28.   Anicia Co, RVM, SThD
29.  Dr. Maricel Ibita, PhD  

Rappler wrote a piece of news on the statement, please click here to read.