April 3, 2016, 6:32p.m. – TAKING to heart the Church’s teachings is one way to change the world, Novaliches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani said in a forum last week.

Bishop Bacani, who was one of the speakers during the “Siglang Tomas” theological forum at the Central Seminary held March 30 to April 1, underscored the Church’s role in society in light of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy.

Drawing from Pope St. John XXIII’s 1961 encyclical “Mater et Magistra”, which discussed the Christian response to social progress and the promotion of human dignity, Bacani said the Church is a teacher but also a merciful mother.

“The Church is mater et magistra. A mother teaches what is right or wrong. That is one of the ways of uplifting and transforming the world,” Bishop Bacani said.

He also stressed the importance of the Church’s teaching on charity, which he said was vital against the “globalization of indifference.”

“Most people today are indifferent towards others, which sometimes leads to death. Most Christians today are selfish and also indifferent. The Church wants to give her love to the people who need it. The Church also wants us to love the others,” he said.


Environmental issues

Thomasians were also urged to be well-informed on environmental issues plaguing the country.

Maria Sanita Quilatan, faculty member from the Institute of Religion, criticized the Aquino administration’s “hypocrisy” on environmental issues as she tackled Pope Francis’ ecological encyclical “Laudato Si.”

“They (administration) are all talk. They are vocal on climate change issues, but they built a coal plant,” Quilatan said.

Carbon dioxide emissions, illegal logging and mining are major contributors to global warming, she pointed out.

One way to help is by segregating wastes, Quilatan said.

The three-day forum concluded with a Eucharistic celebration led by Central Seminary Rector Fr. Quirico Pedragosa, O.P. Gabriel M. Agcaoili and Lea Mat P. Vicencio


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