DUMAGUETE CITY, Nov. 26 (PNA) –- The Most Reverend Julito B. Cortes, prelate of the Diocese of Dumaguete, has reiterated the stand of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on serving the poor as a country of mercy and compassion.
Lifting quotes from the CBCP’s pastoral exhortation on the country’s poor, Bishop Cortes stressed several points to bring down poverty among the people and be mindful of their needs.
During the recent opening here of the Year of the Poor, Bishop Cortes underscored the need to “stop the misuse of people’s funds and to stop the wanton destruction of the environment”.
Emphasizing that it was the CBCP’s stand in addressing the needs of the poor, the Dumaguete prelate also quoted the collegial body’s suggestion to “build vibrant companies that use our resources to create wealth for our people but distribute that wealth equitably”.
“Build an economy that responds to the unconscionable poverty of the fishermen, tillers of the soil, the urban laborers; build an economy that is open to the world but whose benefits do not exclude the poor”, Bishop Cortes added.
According to the bishop, these are “certainly strong words” and could even be “intimidating”.
Bishop Cortes also underlined that “man does not live by bread alone” and that fullness of stomach from physical food must be accompanied by spiritual nourishment.
“Hear the word of God and we will become better brothers and sisters to the poor and better supporters to those who consecrated themselves to the service of the church, and to the Lord,” he added.
The Diocese of Dumaguete ended the Year of the Laity and opened the Year of the Poor with a concelebrated Mass on November 21, as it also celebrates the Year of the Consecrated Life.
The Year of the Poor, part of the Catholic Church’s New Evangelization for the Philippines’ nine-year era, will be celebrated through 2015.
The Social Action Center of the Diocese of Dumaguete, headed by its director, Fr. Burton Villarmente, is taking the lead in the Year of the Poor celebration.
Meanwhile, Bishop Cortes also issued an invitation to the young people to seriously consider a religious vocation.
It is a “food for thought”, especially among the young, who have the vitality and creativity, on how to respond to the needs and plight of those around them, especially the poor, he said.
“May you have the grace to be generous, if you feel or sense a calling to the consecrated life,” he said. (PNA)