PHILIPPINES A bishop for Filipino migrants in the world

More than 200 bishops, priests and laity gathered in Tagaytay for the conclusion of the national stage of the Synod ordered by Pope Francis. For its part, the Episcopal Conference is discussing the proposal to ask the Vatican to establish a “personal prelature” for the 10 million Filipinos who work outside the country.

Manila () – The synodal journey called by Pope Francis has reached its final stage in the Philippines: from today until July 7, 200 bishops, priests and lay delegates from all the dioceses are meeting in Tagaytay, south of Manila. Manila, for the national meeting where the reflections carried out locally will be shared and the synthesis will be prepared to send to Rome, in view of the Synodal Assembly of Bishops from all over the world, which will take place in October 2023.

At the opening of the meeting, Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, bishop of Kalookan and president of the Episcopal Conference, invited the Philippine Church to take advantage of the opportunity of the Synod to leave the Cenacle and “open its doors”, especially to the poor and the last . “Our method for this assembly is to look, listen and love -he said- a more evangelical way of saying see, judge and act. During this synod we are taking the time to look closely and acknowledge our fears, our hurts, and our blinders, to listen carefully, sifting through all the discordant voices we hear to discern those that lead us to peace, joy, and healing. . We will identify the doors that must be opened in order to advance together on the path of love, the path of Jesus, the path of the cross and the resurrection”.

“This synod – Bishop David added – has allowed us to give a name to all the abysses or gaps that have kept us apart in the unequal society that we have built in this modern world. The good news is that the gaps described as unbridgeable in the parable of Abraham and poor Lazarus can now be bridged by our greatest bridge builder. Indeed, through his cross, his passion and his death, Jesus made himself ‘a bridge over troubled waters’. That is why the Church, both local and universal, is invited to participate in the mission”.

Creating bridges capable of shortening distances is one of the objectives that the Philippine bishops will discuss in their Plenary Assembly, scheduled for July 9, at the end of the work of the Synodal Assembly. Indeed, after two years of study, the proposal to ask the Vatican to create a “personal prelature” for Filipino migrants around the world is on the agenda. According to this hypothesis, a Filipino bishop would be entrusted with the pastoral care of more than 10 million compatriots (almost 10% of the total population of the Philippines) who have left the country to go to work in all corners of the world. This special “diocese without borders” would have its own clergy, duly trained, who would accompany Filipino emigrants throughout the world

If the bishops decide to approve the proposal and the Vatican gives its consent, it would be the first such institution in the Catholic Church.

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Written by Editor TLN

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