The President of the influential Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Archbishop Socrates “Soc” Villegas made headlines earlier after he rebuked Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on his statement against the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis.
The Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates “Soc” Villegas who was re-elected and remained the president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) came under fire by loyalists and supporters of Mayor Duterte who pinpointed that the archbishop should forgive Duterte’s words against the Pope and served as a role model for all Catholics.
One of the most intriguing statement against the CBCP President became viral online after it was posted and shared on Facebook. The concerned Catholic faithful shared his views with the Archbishop by sending an open letter.
Here’s the Viral Open Letter to Archbishop Villegas:
I was born and raised as a Catholic. I grew up and was educated from a catholic school. I worked with Caritas Manila during the time of Cardinal Sin. Those years of my growing up as an educated Roman Catholic were the years of confusion and questions. But I continued to be obedient and follow the dogmatic laws of the church.
Why did I have many whys? I answered it myself and defended churchs’ ills and defects from within me. Through research and democratic discussions, I discovered the muddled history of the church to which I belong, but I continued to stand firm on my faith, although, I became less attendant to some activities and practices imposed by the church.
I wanted to be honest to myself so I refrained from going to church, but I came back after my friends invited me again to join in them in prayers. I forgave the ills of my church. I hope this very church should also know how to forgive its flock whenever he/she commits mistakes.
That is what we are taught to do Rev. Villegas, why sensationalize the blunder of a great leader when you can invite and talk to him. Then you can save one member who can bring back million members back to the Catholic faith. You have been teaching about the prodigal son, Mayor Duterte is not even a prodigal son, but a son whose faith like me, was tainted by the ills committed by our church. But we continued to embrace our faith, for we both believe in God. Why an appointed one (like you) by men considered holy can’t forgive an unintentional speech (slip of the tongue) from a leader of the people. A mistake which he admitted and was not intended to disrespect the Pope.
The church has many blunders too, since time immemorial, have killed many Christians like Joan of Arc for the considered holy man branded her heretic who later was declared a saint by the Roman Catholic Church. Many faithful have forgiven the very church for its wrong doings, for stealing the independence, the human dignity and worst of all, for stealing the properties of many indigenous Filipinos and ruled this country by force for 400 years, the church, of which I am faithful, had also raped many women in the olden days, aborted babies to cover up for their sins, yet ordinary folk like us forgive this very church for that is the teachings we learned.
Thus, I ask the Rev Soc Villegas to become the model of what they teach, do not attribute and muddle again the teachings of Christ. Be a Roman Catholic in line with the teachings of the early Christian like Paul to the Corinthians. All of us have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. God came not for the good, but for the sinners. Please work on the sinners and do not despise them.
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