Church leaders hit cycle of hate, express solidarity with victims of Jolo bombing

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2023
(Photo Courtesy of CBCP News)

THE CATHOLIC Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Monday called for an end to the cycle of hate in the country, following the bombing of the Jolo Cathedral.

Two improvised explosives went off at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Jolo, Sulu taking 20 lives and injuring more than 100 people, last Jan. 27.

“The culture of violence has gradually prevailed in our land. The recent bombing of the cathedral of Jolo is further evidence to the cycle of hate that is destroying the moral fabric of our country,” the statement, titled “Conquering Evil with Good,” read.

CBCP President Archbishop Romulo Valles called on Filipinos to continue the dialogue between Muslims and indigenous people, combat violent extremism and uphold the peace process.

“The freedom of expression does not include a license to insult other people’s faith, especially our core beliefs,” Valles said.

Calling the blasts senseless, inhuman and abominable, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle urged the attackers to stop destructive activities and start a new life of “truthfulness, justice and love befitting true human beings.”

“Shock, anger and sadness envelope our hearts. What has happened to humanity? Is there no more room for decency and conscience?” Tagle said in a separate statement.

Since 2000, there have been at least 10 attacks on the cathedral and the surrounding area, allegedly by terrorist groups. P. A. M. Gumapos

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