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CBCP reminds faithful ‘take comfort in the passion of Christ’ with Marawi bombing incident

Lanao Del Sur Governor Mamintal Adiong Jr. looks on as law enforcement officers investigate the scene of an explosion that occurred during a Catholic Mass in a gymnasium at Mindanao State University in Marawi, Philippines, on December 3, 2023. Lanao Del Sur Provincial Government/Handout via REUTERS and Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, Diocese of Kalookan.

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) reminds the faithful to ‘take comfort in the passion of Christ’ with the Marawi bombing incident on the morning of the first Sunday of Advent, which authorities said had killed four people and injured 42 others.

”A group of Catholics was gathered together for the Eucharist to mark the beginning of a new liturgical season and to light the candle for the first Sunday of Advent,” said Pablo Virgilio David,  Bishop of Kalookan and president of the CBCP, in a statement on Sunday.

“The perpetrators had chosen that very occasion to detonate a bomb, instantly killing three of our Catholic faithful and wounding ten others in the gymnasium of the Mindanao State University in Marawi City,” said David.

“They are now counted among those persecuted Christians around the world who are remembered every November 29 of the year, dubbed Red Wednesday,” said David.

”We take comfort in the thought that they have participated in the passion of Christ, that their blood has been poured out as a libation like the blood of Christ,” said David.

“They professed their faith at that last Mass that they attended, especially in the ‘communion of the saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting’,” said David.

“Through the same eucharist which we celebrated with them on this Day of the Lord, we have united ourselves with them by the same faith that we profess and in the same grace of baptism through which we participate in the life-giving death of Christ,” said David.

“Surely, the killers who precipitated such a horrendous act of violence have their loved ones too.  What would it take to get them to see in the families of their victims their own families? Such violence should not only be denounced; it should also be renounced as a way of seeking redress by every peace-loving Filipino,” said David.

“This attack is an assault on our core values and our commitment to creating a safe and inclusive community for all. We could not agree more. With them we reaffirm our unrelenting commitment to peace and our repudiation of violence,” the prelate said.

“We pray for the eternal repose of those who have died, and for the healing of those who have been injured. We unite ourselves spiritually with our families and draw strength and consolation from our faith in Christ who will “restore all things to himself, making peace by the blood of his cross…” (Col. 1:20),” said David.

Bishop Marcelino Antonio Maralit, head of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Social Communications,  on Sunday, speaking during the 12th Catholic Social Media Summit at the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu in Mandaue City, condemned the violence and requested a moment of prayer for the people killed in the middle of his talk.

In the meantime, classes at MSU on Monday resumed with stricter security.  Police authorities said on Sunday that it left four people dead and injured 42 others. 


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