TACLOBAN City – Underscoring the effectiveness of Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs) in guarding a local community against terrorist attacks, Palo Archbishop John Du explained that close ties fostered by BECs would eventually reveal suspicious individuals, who are up to no good in an area.
“With all these terror threats right now, if we know each other, the terrorists will get out. They will be afraid because they are well identified as strangers in the community and act differently and not participating, not sharing [themselves], so right away [you] will be identified that you are a bad element in the community,” he stressed during a concelebrated pontifical Mass he presided over on the 128th Feast Day of Señor Santo Niño de Tacloban on June 30.
The prelate then called on BEC members to know one another and think of the welfare of others by reporting strangers’ suspicious movements to the authorities.
Naval (Biliran) Bishop Felomino Bactol expressed similar sentiments in his homily during the vesper Mass for same feast.
He said the faithful should work to overcome “destructive counter-communion instigated by people who want to sow terror and fear among peace-loving people.”
“That is why the priests and the bishops are telling us to build once more a communion of communities,” added Bactol.
Standing by the faith
For Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Oscar Jaime Florencio, Christians should stand their ground and defend their faith in the face of Islamic extremists’ attacks.
Citing the killing of Christians in Marawi, he said: “Many of those who stood [by] the faith were killed. In fact, it was the basis. They were asked if they are Christians but others did not admit they are.”
“Our Church will be able to sustain being missionary church, an active and vibrant church, a communion of all the communities in our parish, [if we] stand our ground, that this is what we believe in,” Florencio said.
Florencio was the presider in the afternoon concelebrated Mass held on the 128th feast of Señor Sto. Niño de Tacloban. (EILEEN BALLESTEROS)