AN OFFICIAL of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) joined calls on Friday, November 24, 2023, for the safety of the Filipino seafarers abducted by hijackers in the Red Sea.
In a radio interview, CBCP-Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People (ECMI) vice chairman Bishop Ruperto Santos asked the faithful to pray for the safety of the 17 Filipino crew members of the hijacked cargo vessel Galaxy Leader.
"Let us pray constantly to God for the change of hearts, and for the conversion of those armed groups. That with God in His mercy and power will touch them to respect life, to renounce violence and return to the right, legal and moral ways of life. May they realize, for God whom all accept and believe, that He despises violence, senseless losts of life and denounces destruction and destruction," said Santos.
"May they come to the basic truth that violence begets only violence, mistakes cannot be corrected with mistakes, and peace is attained thru promotion of human rights and preservation of human life and dignity," he added.
The prelate also called for prayer for government officials who are currently working for the release of the Filipino seafarers.
He said there is a need to pray for government officials for them to make the welfare of the Filipinos as their first and foremost priority.
"Let us pray consistently for our government officials that they may not be tired to exhaust all the ways and means, try and open other possibilities to liberate our high jacked seafarers," said the bishop.
"Under the guidance of God and together with our prayers is also our support to their perseverance and patience to pursue the welfare and wellbeing of our seafarers, and to free them all from that troubled and dangerous situation," added Santos.
Last Sunday, November 19, the Galaxy Leader and its all 25 crew members were seized in the Red Sea by Yemeni Houthi rebels.
Records indicate that there are 17 Filipino seafarers listed as crew members of the Israeli-linked vessel. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)