PASTORAL MESSAGE FOR 2022 ELECTION
My dear brother Priests, Consecrated Persons and Lay faithful,
I pray you are all in good health and are facing the challenges of day-to-day life with courage and tranquility.
Sadly, it is getting harder for many of us Filipinos to face every new day. Life in our country is getting harder to bear with the higher cost of living, widespread poverty, trillion of pesos in debt, unabated corruption, unequal justice, underpaid workers and laborers, non-payment of taxes of high profile politicians, uncontrolled spread of illegal drugs and gambling, especially, E-sabong, weakened educational system, and countless other ills that weigh heavily on the Filipino people, especially the poor.
This coming May 9, 2022, we are once again asked to exercise our right to vote. This year’s national election is crucial and would have an impact never before experienced by our country. The way we Filipinos vote will determine whether we rise and restore our dignity as a nation, or we sink deeper into the quagmire of a failed nation.
For this reason, I write this pastoral message to you my dear brother and sisters in Christ to challenge you to be active agents of CHANGE in our country, and to committedly participate in political education and engagement. We have never witnessed in our history such massive systemic propagation of fake news, highly organized and well-paid TROLLS whose job is to propagate LIES and historical distortions. These people are truly agents of Satan because biblically, Satan is called the father of all lies. Tragically, many of the victims of these lies and black propaganda are our poor kababayans who are often manipulated and led to falsehood.
It is high time for us to muster our courage and harness our talent and spirit to join political forces that fight for and promote the best interests of our nation, and of our people.
Let us be discerning and vote for candidates who are truly Pro-God, Pro-Philippines, Pro Poor. Let us support those who fight for justice and who do not make a mockery of our institutions. Let us examine their background, both family and experiences in governance. Let us not be blinded by offers of money and favors, in exchange for our sacred votes. To sell one’s vote is a grave sin. Graver still for the candidates who solicit votes through vote-buying and political pressure. They will not escape the judgment of God!
The transformation of our nation can only happen when moral and ethical values are at the center of the candidates’ political platforms. Political power by itself cannot effect positive change to a nation. History testifies that political power alone can destroy a nation. For this reason, it is imperative that we, voters, must seriously examine the motives of the candidates who run for public office. Very often, the selfish interests of the candidates are deviously masked and presented attractively to lure us, especially the most vulnerable. We must unmask the self-interests of these candidates and show their true colors.
Let us join with those who truly stand for the common good of our people and the redemption of our nation.
On May 6, starting at 3.30 PM, in Magsaysay St., Naga City, we will witness and join the massive gathering of those who will brave the rain or the heat of the sun, to declare a firm commitment to common good and the transformation of our nation. I myself will be there for the Inter-Faith invocation.
I enjoin you all my dear brothers and sisters, Priests and Religious to join this massive march for change. We are at the threshold of hope for our nation. Now, more than ever, is the time to show our conviction and inner strength to fight the evil designs of political crooks. Let us reject them.
Before us is the opportunity to show our solidarity with those candidates who understand the plight of the poor, who stand side-by-side with the poor and who can deliver what is best for the poor. Let us vote for them and elect them to the public office they deserve.
We turn to our INA, Our Lady of Peńafrancia, and seek her motherly intercession for a true, honest and peaceful electoral process this coming May 9. Let us trust the power of prayer!
May the Holy Spirit enlighten our voters to choose the candidates who will promote governance with integrity and uplift the lives of our people.
St. Joseph, the Worker, pray for us!
God bless us all. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!
In Jesus Christ,
+ROLANDO J. TRIA TIRONA, OCD., D.D.
Archbishop of Caceres