MANILA — The gathering of religious leaders in the Philippines with Pope Francis underscored a significant milestone in the ecumenical movement that aims, among others, to foster inter-religious cooperation and unity committed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Gospel call to faithfulness and justice.
Most Rev. Ephraim S. Fajutagana, Chairperson of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) and Obispo Maximo XII of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) on Sunday expressed their full appreciation of Pope Francis’ public emphasis to the importance of the least ones and the Gospel imperative to seek justice and peace in the world.
“We are a country of a few rich and many poor and those who seek to defend the human rights of the vulnerable are now defending themselves from various forms of abuses and perpetrators remain at large with impunity” Fajutagana said.
He added that these injustices and social inequality are the roots of the armed conflict that the people wish to be resolved through the resumption of talks between the Government of the Republic Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front (NDF).
Fajutagana urged Pope Francis to add his voice in calling both parties to return to the negotiating table and honor previous agreements in attaining a just and lasting peace in the country.