Bishops: Stand up for truth amid ‘radical distortions’ of history

February 25, 2022 - 1:07 PM
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This file photo shows CBCP office in Intramuros, Manila. (Philstar.com/File)

The country’s Catholic bishops exhorted Filipinos to stand up for truth amid what they called ‘pandemic of lies’ as the race to the May 9 elections ramp up.

In a pastoral letter issued Friday, Feb. 25, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) urged the faithful “not to give up on our search and defense for truth”.

“Let us diligently seek the truth that we may do what is right and avoid evil,” the bishops said. “An election or any process that is not based on truth is but a deception and cannot be trusted.”

“Remember: goodness without truth is pretense. Service without truth is manipulation. There can be no justice without truth. Even charity, without truth, is only sentimentalism,” they explained.

The bishops expressed dismay over the “blatant and subtle distortion, manipulation, cover-up, repression and abuse of the truth” as election approaches.

They particularly lamented the spread of “fake news” and the attempt to influence elections through “troll farms which sow the virus of lies”.

“Let us examine ourselves. Perhaps we, too, sow the virus of lies, which spreads wildly, numbs our consciences,” the bishops said.

“This virus paralyzes our capacity to recognize God, respect truth and goodness. Thus, we do not realize that there is a ‘pandemic of lies,’ especially in the social media. This is very serious,” they said.

Signed by CBCP president Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, the statement was issued as the country marks the 36th anniversary of the 1986 people power revolution that ended the 20-year rule of dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

The church leaders, many of whom witnessed the “injustice and cruelty” of the military rule, lamented how the martial law history is being distorted for political interests.

According to them, they are “alarmed” by efforts “to delete or destroy our collective memory through the seeding of lies and false narratives”.

“We wish to warn you of the radical distortions in the history of Martial Law and the EDSA People Power Revolution,” the bishops said.

“This is dangerous, for it poisons our collective consciousness and destroys the moral foundations of our institutions,” they said.

The bishops then called on Catholics, especially the youth, “to examine carefully what is happening in our quest for a true and just society” by engaging in dialogue and discernment.

“We all seek the common good. And, in the light of the Gospel of Jesus, let us follow the path of truth, goodness, justice and peace – not the path of violence, vengeance or evil,” they added.

“Let us not give up on our search and defense for truth – by way of reason and faith, by common dialogue and discernment, prayer and action,” they also said.