There was one over-all guiding principle that ruled the CBCP Pastoral Letter dated 9 July 2006: prudence. This precious though difficult virtue to adopt and act is mandated by the very nature, significance and implications of the ministry of “Shepherding and Prophesying in Hope” which in fact are the substantive qualifying factors of the Letter.
What is good, true and just constitute the basic composite of the mission of Shepherds and the commitment of Prophets. What is left, right or center, who are the majority or the minority, which is popular or otherwise—these are irrelevant to real good, objective truth and due justice. In its prayerful deliberations, the CBCP as a whole had no option other than to proclaim and affirm what the social doctrine of the Church herself teaches directly or impliedly.
Thus it is that the CBCP with good will to all and malice towards none, openly and clearly says:
First: No to family destruction. The family has the right to self-defense plus the claim to protection by the Church when there are official public acts and secular proposals precisely countering its inherent nature and dignity, denying or even violating the right and degrading the obligations of parents towards their own children. Destroying the family eventually means the destruction of its destroyers.
Second: No to Charter Change. Whereas the present Constitution of the land is neither perfect nor untouchable, its needed change nevertheless rightfully demands proper public consultations and wide popular deliberations. These primarily come in the form of public knowledge of what provisions need to be changed as well as how the change is to be made.
Third: No to extra-judicial killings. There is no justifiable ground to kill people just because they are angry with the government and/or because the government is angry at them. This is anti-civilization and pro-savagery. Officially, there is no death penalty, unofficially, there is. This posture is not acceptable irrespective of who the killers are and who in fact are killed.
When families are destroyed, what would take its place in society? If the wrong Charter Change is made, who could really rejoice for it? If extrajudicial killings go on, what would be next? May the CBP be justly blamed for espousing what is good, true and just—under the aegis of prudence?
19 July 2006