TO PRESIDENT DUTERTE
“It is peace not only of the country but also the right relationship between the leaders and the Church,” was what Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Villegas, a known staunch critic of the Duterte administration, is praying for.
This he told local newsmen after celebrating New Year’s Day mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.
“There should be proper collaboration and oneness because we are all Filipinos who may differ in our views, and strategies but all want good for our nation,” Villegas said in Pilipino.
He thanked President Rodrigo Duterte and the members of Congress for declaring December 8 every year as a holiday to enable Catholics to celebrate the feast of Immaculate Virgin Mary.
He said the declaration by Congress that December 8 as a holiday is a “recognition of the obligation of the Catholics to become partners in achieving change for the nation.
“Remember, we can not achieve the progress we have in mind for our nation without God because the Constitution itself decreed that the nation must be pro-God.”
To underscore his wish for peace, he said ”…we can ask God to forgive us for those mistakes and misgivings in the past (2017) and ask from Him to make 2018 the year of peace.”
“Without hope it could be the end to everything.” he added as he pointed out that “there is hope because, people are waiting for something better to come for them by tomorrow.”
“We cannot achieve progress for our nation when we are separated from God,” he intoned.
The archbishop also pointed out that 2018 marks the start of the 10-year preparation for the celebration of the 100 years anniversary of the Lingayen-Dagupan Archdiocese.
He called on the faithful to get involved so that the 2018 and the years ahead will be more blessed for the Catholics. (Leonardo Micua)