Archbishop Jose Cabantan celebrates the opening Mass of the 17th Mindanao-Sulu Pastoral Conference at the St. Augustine Metropolitan Cathedral in Cagayan de Oro City on Nov. 7, 2022. SCREEN GRAB FROM MSPC FACEBOOK PAGE

By CBCP News

November 9, 2022

Manila, Philippines

A Catholic archbishop on Monday said the Church is called to serve the faith that does justice in a more integral way.

Speaking at the opening Mass of the 17th Mindanao-Sulu Pastoral Conference (MSPC) Archbishop Jose Cabantan said that a faith that does justice helps people put their faith into action.

As MSPC reached 50 years, the Cagayan de Oro archbishop emphasized in his homily at the St. Augustine Metropolitan Cathedral that they must never lose the passion for mission.

“Mindanao bleeds for freedom, for peace, and MSPC also clarifies its task for justice and love. It bridges faith formation into a faith that does justice,” Cabantan said in his homily.

But he clarified that the Church’s mission “is not pure activism” but something that is done “through prayer and contemplation”.

According to him, they should “walk by faith and not by sight” in responding to the challenges affecting the region.

“This affirms our missionary identity as a Church, manifested by its faith without being swayed to other ideologies,” Cabantan pointed out.

“It is by listening to the whisper of the Holy Spirit in our hearts that we are called on mission and fulfill it,” he stressed.

The ongoing conference, which ends on Nov. 11, gathered hundreds of bishops, priests, consecrated persons, and lay people from all over MIndanao.

Speaking before the conference on Tuesday, papal nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown encouraged the delegates to proclaim the Gospel with commitment, creativity and courage.

“If we’re going to be missionaries, if we’re going to proclaim the person of Christ with commitment, creativity and of courage, we need to do it in a way that mirrors the person of Christ,” he said.

Established in 1971, the MSPC was the main instrument for enabling Vatican II to be honed to the needs of the Church in MIndanao.

The first MSPC was held in Davao City, and the following conferences were held every three years.

The Cagayan de Oro archdiocese’s hosting of the conference was originally scheduled in 2020, but it was postponed because of the pandemic.


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