Bishop urges action to foster peace amid unrest in Negros Island

The revival of Negros Island Region is being hoped under the next administration. (File Photo)
The revival of Negros Island Region is being hoped under the next administration. (File Photo)

San Carlos Diocese Bishop Gerardo Alminaza has outlined a series of actions for his congregation to actively pursue peace and community healing in response to the ongoing unrest on Negros Island.

In a pastoral letter, entitled "Embracing Our Christian Duty to Work for Integral Peace" to be read in all anticipated and ascension Sunday masses, Alminaza encouraged the diocese to engage in various peace-building activities.

Key initiatives include facilitating dialogues within parishes and community groups to address local tensions, advocating for policies that protect individuals affected by violence and hunger, and extending support through community service and charitable works.

Additionally, the bishop is calling all church communities to continue the nightly ringing of church bells at 8 p.m. as a prayer for peace and for a dialogue among all parties involved in the armed conflict to address the roots of the unrest.

The letter emphasized the role of Christian values in fostering a compassionate community and highlighted the teachings of Pope Francis on the importance of dialogue and solidarity.

As the diocese also marks Mother's Day, the bishop draws parallels between maternal nurturing and the broader nurturing of the community through peace efforts.

Alminaza's message is a call to the faithful of the Diocese of San Carlos to become agents of change, embodying Christ’s peace in a region striving for stability and justice.

The pastoral letter concludes with a prayer for peace titled "Peace Prayer of the Icon of ‘Reyna sa Paghidaet’ (Queen of Peace)," which embodies the call for food security, equality, justice, and harmony among different religious and social groups.*

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