By FR. WILFREDO DULAY*
When the second Vatican Council reminded the Church of its essentially missionary character, it was actually pointing out its fundamental task of evangelizing a sinful situation, of proclaiming life and light over and above the forces of death and darkness.
A good fifty years later, the Philippine Congress is just about to punish Filipino children for being born poor. Our political leaders have chosen blindness to the reality that there is no victim more innocent than a child born into poverty and oppression; none as helpless as a child born poor.
They have failed to discern that here we are dealing with the poverty of the most deprived. Poverty may not be described as a mere social ill for it provides us an indisputably clear picture of a sinful situation. Poverty is a theological and moral issue and Church leaders may not turn around or look past it just because there is no easy or comfortable way of confronting it.
We are here confronted with something opposed to the reign of life that Jesus proclaimed by his birth in Bethlehem; something that all Christians must reject because our solidarity with orphans and widows, with those yet to be born but already poor and oppressed is based on our faith in the God of life and light revealed in Jesus Christ.
In contemplation and prayer we are called to silence before God. But theological discourse is to speak about God. There is a time to shout and cry to the high heavens to defend the powerless. There is a time to speak truth to power. Blessed are those who risk name and limb in defence of God’s children. Makarioi!
* The author is a convenor of the Religious Discernment Group