The new head of the Catholic bishops' conference says Church leaders in the Philippines have failed to evangelise the faithful despite there being large numbers of Filipino Catholics, reports Ucanews.
'Many of our people do not even know the fundamentals of our faith,'
Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan said in a pastoral
letter on the Year of the Laity released yesterday.
'It is certainly shameful proof of our failure to evangelise our
country that our churches are filled with people, our religious
festivities are fervent, our Catholic schools are many, but our country
is mired in poverty and corruption,' he said.
'Many, perhaps the majority of corrupt people in politics and in
business, are graduates of our own Catholic schools and are "practicing"
Catholics,' Villegas said, adding that most of those who cheat in
elections and those who sell their votes are baptised Catholics.
'This is also true of the bribe takers in public offices and the looters of our public coffers,' he said.
Villegas, who took over as head of the bishops' conference on
Saturday, also said Catholics have become 'very vulnerable to the
seductions of other religious groups who find [Filipinos] easy targets.'
Recent political developments in the country have highlighted
corruption that is connected with 'blatant misuse of political
patronage,' he noted.