A homily of the Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan gained online traction for its message which delved into neutrality in times of oppression.
Father Socrates “Soc” Villegas presided over the Sunday afternoon mass held at the Metropolitan Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist last December 12 and talked about how being neutral “empowers the oppressors.”
Part of his Gaudete Sunday homily was also uploaded on his official Facebook page, where it has gained 16,000 likes and “love” reactions, 1,900 comments and more than 390,000 shares on the social networking platform.
“When we are neutral and there is an oppression, we end up empowering the oppressors,” part of his caption said, which was taken from his mass homily.
Gaudete Sunday is the third Sunday of Advent where the priest wears rose-colored vestments to signify a lighter mood of the Church in joyous anticipation of Christ.
In his homily, Villegas said that the Lord told his followers to choose what is right and moral, saying that they should side with “moral choices.”
He also said that the Church cannot be neutral as it is an indication of enabling the oppressor by not siding with the one being oppressed.
“Kapag naririto ‘yung mamamatay-tao, at naririto ‘yung pinapatay, kapag neutral ka, kakampi ka ng mamamatay-tao. Because neutrality, in the face of murder, favors the murderer. Halimbawa, magnanakaw ka at tsaka isang ninakawan. Puwede ka bang neutral doon?” Villegas said.
“Hindi. Kapag neutral ka doon, pumapanig ka na doon sa magnanakaw. Sapagkat, the moral choice is to defend the victim. The moral choice is to defend human life. Dagdagan pa natin. Halimbawa, naririto ang sinungaling, naririto ‘yung troll, at nandidito ‘yung truth,” he added.
“Nandito ‘yung troll farm, nandito ‘yung truth farm. Neutral ka diyan? Hindi ka puwedeng neutral. Kasi kapag neutral ka diyan, ibig sabihin, hindi mo pinipili ‘yung mabuti. At kapag neutral ka diyan, ibig sabihin isang paa mo, nandoon na sa trolls. Nandoon na sa kasinungalingan,” Villegas further said.
The archbishop’s video was shared by some Filipinos who urged their followers to “vote wisely” especially as the 2022 national elections draw near.
“Louder and clearer at the back,” a Twitter user who saw the clip commented.
“Amen, Father. Truth VS Oppressors,” another online user commented.
“Reason for my Twitter presence. A whole bunch of us are gnashing our teeth at the order to remain apolitical. Neutral, especially in this time of misinformation and lies?” a different Twitter user noted.
Last October, Villegas said that people who are “unwilling to condemn blatant injustice becomes its enabler.”
The archbishop at that time was condemning the supposed misuse of COVID-19 pandemic funds amid Senate’s investigation to the controversial Pharmally Pharmaceuticals Corp.