A Prophetic Call for Societal Change and Church Unity
We in the Sisters’ Association in Mindanao, an aggrupation of some 360 nuns coming from more than 40 congregations in Mindanao, renew our call for Mrs. to step down.
We have been unequivocal in the past. We continue to be unwavering in spite of the perceptible absence of a uniting spirit within the Church. But we are inspired by the Church as people of God where the Spirit permeates to bring about righteousness and morality in governance and in our communal life.
Our assertions in previous statements remain true until today, in the light of the ZTE-National Broadband Network scandal. We stand by our belief that “ has committed the grave sin of stealing her legitimacy from the people. She has committed a serious immoral act in governance| like the rulers of old whom God had banished from their thrones for violating covenants with His people to uphold truth, justice, and peace.”
As soon as Mrs. Arroyo betrayed the 10-point Agenda she signed with people’s organizations when People Power 2 catapulted her to power, she had broken her covenant with her people and had already lost the moral ascendancy to govern. When she refused to heed the people’s clamor for her resignation following the “Hello Garci” controversy, she has morphed into a more vicious sinner. With the ZTE-NBN deal and the serial corruption dipped into by the First Family, and the various conspiracies to suppress the truth, Mrs. Arroyo has become a recidivist sinner. ‘Evil’ has been her ultimate transformation as illegitimacy, corruption, idolatry of foreign powers and globalization, and tyranny have merged and is now responsible for the malevolent spirit of poverty, hunger, extrajudicial killings and human rights violations, and serious moral bankruptcy that has engulfed our nation.
The rottenness starts from the core of our country’s leadership.
There is no equivocation in our minds and in our hearts, therefore, that Mrs. Arroyo should be removed from power NOW. We lose our own self-dignity and righteousness if we tolerate Mrs. Arroyo’s sins until she finishes her term in 2010. We in our faithfulness to God if we allow the regime to further commit sins that are a direct affront to the Gospel values of truth, justice, and peace.
We also assert that the brokenness of the Church as People of God has been brought about by this ‘evil’ in the helm of our country’s leadership. We and our people are yearning for Church unity anchored on the upholding of truth and justice so that reconciliation and national renewal can begin. Systemic corruption has erupted in almost all facets of our society like wounds and sores on the Body of Christ. It is time for social renewal, starting with a cleansing from the top coupled with a conversion in the culture of corruption that visits our daily individual and communal life.
Aware that the Church hierarchy can not as yet make a definitive call for Mrs. Arroyo’s ouster or voluntary relinquishing of power, we nevertheless take the cue from the CBCP statements that empower the laity to assert their sovereign will and take “communal action.” “Citizens are not obligated in conscience to follow the prescriptions of civil authorities if their precepts are contrary to the demands of the moral order, to the fundamental rights of persons or to the teachings of the Gospel” (#399 Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church).
There is HOPE and LIFE after Mrs. Arroyo. The continuing history of our salvation gains valuable learnings from our struggle to remove her from power. It provides us a momentous opportunity to put forward a people-centered program for national renewal.
It is our prophetic imperative as religious, and doubly so as women disciples, who are called to follow Jesus the Good Shepherd, to walk abreast with our people in calling for an end to a morally bankrupt regime.
We reaffirm our pledge to “support our people by joining them in prayer and in action until Mrs. Arroyo is booted out from office.” We take inspiration from Mary who has shown us the way to be truly prophetic and faithful to God. We sing her Magnificat to proclaim the message: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit exults in God my savior| He has shown the strength of His arm, He has scattered the proud in their conceit.” (Luke -48)
Sr. Elsa Compuesto, MSM
Executive Secretary, SAMIN