Bacolod diocese to ring church bells for 40 days

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – All Catholic churches here will ring their bells every night for 40 days starting Saturday, September 23.

This was announced by Bacolod Bishop Patricio Buzon after the prayer rally at the San Sebastian Cathedral Thursday night, September 21, which marked the 45th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law.

He said that the ringing of the church bells is a "revival of a century-old practice for the departed. Now it becomes even more meaningful, in the context of extrajudicial killings."

This will be done every 8 pm until November 1, and is in solidarity with the victims and their families, he said. "It is also a call for prayer. A statement."

The diocese is likewise in solidarity with all the Catholic churches nationwide in the ringing of bells every night for 3 months to protest the rising number of drug killings. This started on August 22.

Meanwhile, Buzon stressed that the gathering is a "prayer vigil, not a political exercise or an advocacy."

The bishop, who led the prayer rally that was attended by about 300 faithful and members of the clergy who lit candles and braved the rain for a procession around the public plaza, called on the public to overcome the feeling of helplessness.

"Sometimes we feel hopeless because no less than the government seems doing acts against human rights," he said.

However, he remained positive, adding that "the more we let our voices be heard about our intolerance for the restoration of martial law, the more officials will come to their senses." –