Their purpose is clear: prayer.
The head of the Philippine bishops’ conference is mobilizing the parishes to pray for the clergymen who are facing imprisonment should they be found guilty of sedition and other charges, CBCP News reported August 2, 2019.
Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao has no doubt that the accused bishops and priests are innocent of the charges but they need support in the “difficult days ahead”.
He made the call to prayer in light of the upcoming investigation aimed at Archbishop Socrates Villegas, bishops Pablo Virgilio David, Honesto Ongtioco, Teodoro Bacani, and three other priests.
“Let us be in solidarity with them in prayer. Let us invite our priests, our religious, our people to join us in this solidarity in prayer,” Valles said in a letter to the dioceses.
The CBCP head particularly asked that Masses on Aug. 6, the Feast of the Transfiguration, and Aug. 15, the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary, be offered for their intention.
“Let us pray for them, include them in our reflection and homilies, in the prayers of the faithful,” Valles said.
“Let us also entrust them to the maternal protection of the Mother of God, the Mother of Jesus, and who is our Mother too,” he said.
Government prosecutors have set on Aug. 9 the preliminary probe on the cases filed by the police against the clergymen and several opposition figures including Vice President Leni Robredo.
The Justice Department has already summoned all the accused to the investigation.
Archbishop Valles also invited the faithful to pray for all those involved in the probe “so that fairness, justice, and truth will guide them”.
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila has earlier released a special prayer for the church leaders who are “persecuted and falsely accused”.
The “prayer for the nation” is to be recited in all Sunday Masses in Manila this August.