It takes “wisdom of the ages”.
Cultural sensitivity and religious tolerance come from the most unexpected people.
Catholic leaders are serious in their charity work.
They have a term for it—“preferential option” for the poor, the sick, the elderly, and victims of natural and man-made disasters.
But sometimes, their religious zeal overtakes their respect for other people’s culture, religion, and traditions.
If we must offer charity to other people, we must do it without hurting or upsetting their beliefs or faith.
After all, Christianity preaches kindness above all other virtues.
And so we heap praises on a former Catholic bishop for reminding the faithful to respect people of other faiths.
A retired Catholic prelate on Monday criticized the alleged giving away of Bibles along with relief goods at evacuation centers for the Marawi siege refugees.
With this, former Davao Archbishop Fernando Capalla noted that such act is encouraging tension with Muslims.
“If they do it deliberately, it’s either an insult or ignorance of the needs of the Muslims,” he said in an article posted on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines news website.
Capalla added that “proselytizing” shows lack of respect and calls into question the sincerity of one’s charity.
“If you want to help, then give only the needs of the Muslims… the basic needs like clothing, food, water, among others,” said the co-convenor of the Bishops-Ulama Conference, an interreligious group.
He added, “We should be more sensitive. They should also ask Muslim leaders what to give in that area of religion.”
Copies of Bible and translated in Maranao language included in relief goods were reportedly being distributed to those affected by the conflict between government troops and Maute group.
However, it’s not known who were behind the distribution of the Bibles.