Adapt to change, Church leaders urged

File photo by Alvin Joseph Kasiban

THE HEAD of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has urged fellow prelates to adapt to change to draw young Catholics to the Church, amid the waning influence of religion in society.

At the opening of the CBCP plenary assembly last Jan. 28, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said Church officials should acknowledge “rapid changes happening in Philippine society.”

“It is imperative for us churchmen to acknowledge them (changes) so that our pastoral praxis can better answer the needs of the Filipino nation. We can be victims of change, but we can be its authors as well as its guardians,” the CBCP president said.

Villegas, citing the youth and call center agents, said “there are no longer fixed spaces and time for different activities.”

He asked bishops if they were ready to set unconventional Mass schedules and use technology to minister to their flock.

“Looking beyond our adoracion nocturna (night Eucharistic adoration), maybe we should consider nocturnal ministry for call center agents? Are we ready to ride on Facebook as our pulpit to proclaim Christ to our young generation?” he asked.

Villegas admitted to the Church’s fading influence. “The experts are admired and extolled … but this extolling of experts has also resulted in the lessening of trust in the traditional repositories of confidence unless these institutions captivate the fancy of a society of experts and specialists,” he said.

“Our youth say we are experts in God but then ‘Who cares about God?'” he added.

The three-day assembly is being held at the Pius XII Catholic Center in Manila until Jan. 30.

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