THE caretaker of Manila’s Roman Catholic Church called on the people to hope and work for change in the new year.
Bishop Broderick Pabillo, in his New Year’s message, said that while the COVID-19 pandemic is a major challenge, concerns for climate and social justice should not be placed on the back burner.
“The change that we all dream (of) will not come abruptly nor quickly. Let us all work for it. Let our attention not only be focused on the coronavirus and its various strains. The climate emergency is still upon us. Human rights should also not be set aside. There cannot be a better future if human rights and human life are not respected and valued,” he said.
Pabillo said there are more reasons to hope now that COVID-19 vaccines are on the horizon.
However, he said that it was “unfortunate” that top government officials were vaccinated “surreptitiously and without undergoing the transparent process.”
The prelate said the controversial vaccination “does not bode of a good beginning.”
“We hold on to hope as we enter the new year 2021 – hope for a cure to the virus that is transparent and equitable, hope for a no-nonsense response to the climate emergency that is upon us, hope for respect to human rights and human life for everyone,” he said.
Another glimmer of hope, Pabillo added, is the growing calls for solidarity and cooperation.
“The global crisis is calling for greater solidarity and fraternity among all peoples rather than competition that leaves the vulnerable behind,” he said.