Palma We need unity

Posted on January 16, 2012

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Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma called for unity in Cebu and among all Filipinos in a mass celebrating the feast of the Sto. Niño yesterday.

His homily in the 6 a.m. pontifical mass at the Pilgrim Center of the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño also touched on the need to preserve the family and protect the environment.

“Thanks to the image of the Sto. Niño. Among several places, Cebu was the first to accept it. Through the years, our devotion to the child Jesus has grown,” the 61-year-old prelate said in his homily delivered in Cebuano.

While Cebu has been spared from calamites in the past year, Palma said there is a need to help one another.

“We need one another. The city needs the province; the province needs the city. There is a feeling of need between the city and the province,” said Palma, also incumbent president of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Phililppines.

“The clergy needs the laity; lay people needs the clergy so we will grow in holiness. The sick needs the healthy; the healthy needs the sick. The capital needs labor; and labor needs capital. We pray that we feel the need…,” he said.

Palma said the appeal for unity extends to the government and its three branches even as the country braces for today’s start of the impeachment trial against Chief Justice Renato Corona.

He also reiterated the Church stance against the Reproductive Health Bill and the urgency of protecting the environment.

The applause after the homily lasted for 20 minutes.

During the singing of the hymn to the Sto. Niño, Bato-Balani sa Gugma (Magnet of Love), balloons were released in the air.

Rolled pieces of paper containing prayer petitions were tied to the baloon strings.

The devotees overflowed the basilica grounds. Around 70 priests concelebrated with Palma during the fiesta mass.

The 446th Fiesta Senor celebration has the theme “Senor Sto. Nino: Refuge of the Filipino Christian Families. Palma said the Filipino family should be protected against anti-life bills.

He echoed the words of Pope Benedict XVI who said “In our time, there are people in governmemt who are afraid of numbers.”

“People think that if other nations would grow in number, they would become competitors,” Palma said.

“Cebu is a province and a city which is pro-life. We know the problem. Its solution is neither abortion nor contraception but eduaction,” he said.

Palma also said logging should be stopped.

Palma said was grateful that the 6.8 kilometer solemn procession of the Sto. Nino last Saturday was successful.

“We should continue to pray to the Sto. Niño. We believe that, if it would be for good, He shall grant it,” he said. Reporter Ador Vincent Mayol

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