LEARNING AND DOING AGLIPAYAN SPIRITUALITY
South-Central Luzon Conference Clergy Convocation Statement
We, Bishops, Priests and Deacons of the South-Central Luzon Conference of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente, gathered for three full days of study, reflection and fellowship at Ouan’s Worth Farm & Resort, Lucena City, inspired by the IFI triennial theme, “Ipagpatuloy ang Mabuting Gawa Tungo sa Higit na Pagpapala,” (Galacia 6:9) with a sub-theme, “Malakas at Masiglang Kapariang Tumutugon sa Hamon ng Pananampalataya,” (Romans 12:2), issue the following statement.
We are challenged to articulate our Theology and actualize the Aglipayan Spirituality in our everyday life by heeding the call of St. Paul, “So that you may discern what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and perfect.” It is a reiteration of the call of the Old Testament Prophets especially the Prophet Micah 6:8: “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”(NRSV).
We learned to put our theology of peace into practice, looking to our Lord Jesus Christ as our model of the true Peacemaker. We have been reminded of the problem with our liberalism in interpreting Church policies and to rectify, given this right perspective, how to properly submit to the guidelines for the general well-being of God’s vineyard. We renew our commitment to our vocation and comply diligently with the Clergy Rule of Life or code of ethical conduct. We came to develop an awareness, to learn with insight and to deepen our understanding of ourselves that our human sexuality is a gift from God; as well as to become more sensitive and respond with compassion to the needs of others.
Challenged to face the contentious issues both external and internal to our Church, we commit ourselves to promptly act on the following concerns: The prevailing demand of the peasant masses for land to till; the rights to the ancestral domain of the Bangsamoro and national minorities; the pursuit of meaningful permanent jobs and financial security of the workers both in the private and public sectors of the economy; the guarantee of the emancipation rights of women and the protection of children’s rights; the promotion of human rights and democratic rights of the people; the support and protection of the rights of overseas Filipino workers; and the liberty to live freely anywhere in the country without the threats of destructive mining operations and devoid of foreign intervention especially influenced by the United States and other powerful countries.
We are united to reaffirm our commitment to the IFI’s vision and heritage with a pledge to steadfastly carry the mission entrusted to us by Christ to our Conference and local communities.
In this regard, we declare to respond to the following IFI concerns by vigorously and aggressively supporting the programs of our Church, particularly:
- The IFI Pension Program – by maximizing all available resources at our disposal at all levels in the Local Church.
- The Financial Management System (FMS) – by striving for all-out centralization of funds in the diocesan level by December 2012.
- The Peacemakers in our local churches – by mobilizing our people for a cohesive response in accompanying the Filipino people in their quest for justice and genuine peace.
- The Ramento’s Project for Rights Defenders (RPRD) – by supporting its programs.
- The New Bilibid Prison Ministry – by extending this at the Local Church.
We resolve to take prompt action on the following salient points:
- To produce reading materials on the IFI faith and theology for dissemination to our constituents.
- To push for the re-investigation of the Bishop Ramento’s case through the Department of Justice.
- To demand for a Congressional inquiry on the Bayles’ case.
- To call on the Government of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (GPH-NDFP) to resume the formal peace talks based on the previous agreements; to further urge the government to release all detained NDFP peace consultants; and for the Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (GHP-MILF) to resolve the demand of the Bangsamoro for their rights to their ancestral domain and self-determination.
- To support the “Free All Political Prisoners Campaign” through the General, Unconditional and Omnibus Amnesty so that the Peace Talks between the GPH and NDFP will move further.
- To actively campaign for the passage of the Reproductive Health Bill 4244 by reiterating the 1994 SCB Pastoral Letter “On Sex and Family” through information dissemination to our constituents.
In witness thereof, we affix our name and signature on this day, the 10th day of November, in the Year of the Lord, 2011, at Lucena City.