Cardinal Jaime Sin Calls for Reform in Philippine Society and Church

MANILA, JULY 29, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Following the failed coup d’etat, Cardinal Jaime Sin of Manila, Philippines said today that «every sector of society, including the Church, needs reform.»

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«We cannot and must not deny that so much is yet to be accomplished and fulfilled,» the cardinal said in his homily on the Thanksgiving Mass for Peace, held today at the EDSA Shrine.

Two days after the non-violent mutiny attempt carried out by disgruntled military officers and soldiers, the cardinal called on the faithful in his diocese to gather at the Shrine to celebrate the Holy Eucharist, «for the swift and peaceful resolution to the mutiny last Sunday.»

Firstly, he thanked the Lord for the numerous religious, seminarians, and laymen who came to the Shrine and their respective churches to intercede through prayer for peace in the country, MISNA missionary agency reported.

Although the means used by the small military group, the ‘Magdalo group’, are considered immoral and illegal, the cardinal noted, however, that the soldiers have «called our attention as well as the government’s to the evils of corruption in our environment.»

But above all, the cardinal thanked the Lord «for leading us to the victory of peace.»

Many still do not have adequate food and medicine, decent shelter, proper education and employment. The youth are unprotected from the temptations of illegal drugs, violence, pornography and loss of moral values.

The use of weapons by the military cannot solve the problem of insurgency in the country, particularly in Mindanao. «Peace is not achieved at gunpoint but through human development,» the cardinal said. The use of violence merely destroys and never builds, nor does it give birth to hope but breeds hatred and division among the people.

«Genuine reform can only happen if it is built on justice, goodness, and peace,» he continued. But ultimately, it is not just the government’s policies and programs that must change; what is important is the change of hearts, for «peace begins within hearts.» Peace is not simply a human endeavor but a sublime gift from God, Cardinal Sin said, and reiterated that all should be «sentinels of peace, intercessors for peace.»

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