Tagle calls on Catholics to ‘pray for the nation’

MANILA, Philippines – Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle called on priests, religious men and women, and churchgoers in the Archdiocese of Manila to "pray for the nation" as several bishops and priest suffered from "false accusations" hurled against them.

Archdiocese of Manila Chancellor Father Reginald Malicdem announced Tagle's request in a circular on Thursday, August 1. Malcidem said the "Prayer for the Nation" was to be prayed at all Sunday Masses starting on Sunday, August 4.

"Our dear Archbishop, Cardinal Luis Antonio G. Tagle, is asking all of us, priests, religious men and women, and lay faithful in the Archdiocese of Manila, to offer our Masses and prayer for all our bishops and priests, especially those who suffer because of persecutions and false accusations," Malcidem said.

The "Prayer for the Nation" will take the place of the Prayer of the Faithful of the Mass and will be prayed standing.

The Archdiocese of Manila covers cities of Manila, Makati, Pasay, San Juan, and Mandaluyong in the Philippines' National Capital Region.

Tagle also urged Catholics to "be aware and discerning of the many disturbing issues in our society today" as he invited them to "respond in faith and hope through our common prayer."

Tagle's request comes after 4 Catholic bishops were accused of sedition in the complaint filed by the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation Group (CIDG) against 35 individuals led by Vice President Leni Robredo.

The bishops named in the complaint are Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, Bishop Teodoro Bacani Jr, and Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco.

The charges stemmed from the viral Ang Totoong Narcolist videos that tagged President Rodrigo Duterte and his family in the drug trade. The man who admitted to be "Bikoy" in the videos – Peter Joemel Advincula – earlier surfaced to support the allegations, but later did a complete turnaround by not only recanting the allegations, but also accusing those in the CIDG complaint as behind the videos.

President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles earlier hit the allegations, saying they were “beyond belief.”

The "Prayer for the Nation," Malcidem said, would serve as the "best expression of our solidarity and fraternal support" for the bishops and priests.

Below is the full "Prayer for the Nation":

PRAYER FOR THE NATION

Almighty and merciful God
you have brought us together in the name of your Son Jesus.
We beg for your mercy and grace in our time of need.
Open our eyes to see the evil that we have done.
Forgive us for failing to do what is good and just.
Touch our hearts and bring us back to You.

We pray for an end to the violence perpetrated by harsh words, malicious propaganda,
deadly weapons, or cold indifference.
May our homes, our nation, and our world
become havens of Your peace.

Grant us the grace to see every human being as a child of God,
regardless of race, language, or culture,
even drug addicts, criminals, and hardened sinners.

Give us the strength to teach our children and youth
how to resolve differences non-violently and respectfully.
May elders become models of decent and honorable behavior.

We entrust to your mercy those who hate the Church
and spread prejudice against our Catholic faith.
Illumine their minds with the light of your truth.
Touch their hearts with your love.

Inspire those in public office
to uphold, preserve, promote, and defend
the dignity of every human being
and acknowledge you, our God, as the Source and Lord of all life.

Touch the hearts of those who oppress others
and those who take the law in their own hands.
Touch the consciences of the perpetrators of heinous crimes,
violence, senseless, and indiscrimate killings.
Move them to abandon their pride and their instruments of destruction.

We also remember the police and first responders
who risk their lives daily to ensure our safety.
May they also be instruments of fair and just law enforcement
that guarantees the dignity of persons
and promotes truth, peace, and wellbeing in society.

We lift up to you our bishops, priests, consecrated persons, and lay faithful
who suffer from misunderstanding, false accusations, and persecution
on account of their faith and their promotion of justice.
Grant them holy joy
that will see them through the dark nights of suffering.

Welcome to your eternal feast in heaven
the people who died in senseless brutal organized killings,
including priests who have lost their lives
in the pursuit of truth and justice.

With St. Paul, we say:
“We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained;
perplexed, but not driven to despair;
persecuted, but not abandoned;
struck down, but not destroyed;
always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus
may also be manifested in our body.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-10).

Since you, O God, are with us,
nothing that has happened,
nothing still to come,
can rob us of our hope in Christ.
In your enduring love we trust.

You alone can heal our broken hearts.
You alone can wipe away the tears that well up inside us.
You alone can give us peace.
You alone can strengthen us to persevere.
Assure those who are discouraged that with you nothing is impossible.
Filled and invigorated by the Holy Spirit,
may our love for one another be deepened.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Mary, Mother of Hope, pray for us.
St. Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
St. John Marie Vianney, pray for us.
San Lorenzo Ruiz, pray for us.
San Pedro Calungsod, pray for us.
Blessed José María de Manila, pray for us.
Blessed Justo Takayama Ukon, pray for us.

***

PANALANGIN PARA SA BAYAN

Ama naming makapangyarihan at mapagmahal,
tinipon mo kami sa ngalan ng iyong Anak na si Hesus.
Padaluyin mo sa amin ang iyong awa at biyaya sa panahon ng aming pangangailangan.
Imulat mo ang aming mga mata sa kasamaang aming nagawa.
Patawarin mo kami sa mga pagkukulang naming maging mabuti at makatarungan.
Himukin mo ang aming mga puso at akayin mo kami pabalik sa iyo.

Dumudulog kami na mawakasan na ang karahasan dulot ng masasakit na salita, mapanirang paratang, nakamamatay na sandata, o pagbubulag-bulagan.
Nawa’y maging kanlungan ng iyong kapayapaan
ang aming mga tahanan, ang aming bayan, at ang buong mundo.

Biyayaan mo kami upang makita namin sa bawat tao ang isang anak ng Diyos
anuman ang kulay, wika, o kultura
kahit na ang mga drug addict, kriminal, at makasalanan.

Pagkalooban mo kami ng lakas na hubugin ang aming mga anak at kabataan
na harapin ang mga pagkakaiba at alitan
sa mapayapa at magalang na pamamaraan.
Nawa’y maging huwaran ang mga nakatatanda
ng marangal at matuwid na pamumuhay.

Ipinagkakatiwala namin sa iyong awa ang mga may galit sa Simbahan
at tumutuligsa sa pananampalatayang Katoliko.
Tanglawan mo ang kanilang mga isipan ng liwanag ng iyong katotohanan.
Himukin mo ang kanilang mga puso ng iyong pag-ibig.

Gabayan mo ang mga lingkod bayan na maipagtanggol,
mapangalagaan, maisulong, at maitaguyod ang halaga ng bawat tao.
Kilalanin ka nawa nila bilang Diyos na Bukal at Panginoon ng Buhay.

Himukin mo ang puso ng mga nambubusabos sa kapwa
at inilalagay ang batas sa kanilang mga kamay.
Himukin mo ang budhi ng mga nagsasagawa ng mga karumaldumal na krimen,
karahasan, at walang saysay na pagkitil sa buhay ng tao.
Akayin mo silang isantabi ang katigasan ng kanilang puso
at mga kasangkapan ng pamiminsala.
Inaalala rin namin ang kapulisan at ang mga nagbubuwis ng buhay
upang tiyaking ligtas ang lahat.
Maging kasangkapan nawa sila ng patas at makatarungang pagpapatupad ng batas
na gumagalang sa karangalan ng tao,
nagsusulong ng katotohanan, kapayapaan, at kapakanan ng lahat sa lipunan.

Itinataas namin sa iyo ang mga obispo, pari, relihiyoso, at layko
na nagdurusa dahil sa maling paratang at pag-uusig
dahil sa kanilang paninindigan sa pananampalataya at katarungan.
Pagkalooban mo sila ng banal na kagalakan at kapanatagan
na magtatawid sa kanila sa madidilim na gabi ng paghihirap.

Tanggapin mo sa iyong hapag sa kalangitan
ang mga napaslang sa mga marahas na organisadong pagpatay
kasama ang mga paring nagbuwis ng buhay
sa pagsusulong ng katotohanan at katarungan.

Kasama ni San Pablo aming sinasambit,
“Kabi-kabilaan ang pagpapahirap sa amin, ngunit ‘di kami nalulupig.
Kung minsa'y nababagabag kami, ngunit ‘di nawawalan ng pag-asa.
Inuusig kami, ngunit hindi kami pinababayaan ng Panginoon.
Napapabagsak kami, ngunit ‘di tuluyang napapatay.
Lagi naming taglay sa aming katawan ang kamatayan ni Hesus,
upang sa pamamagitan ng aming katawan
ay mahayag ang kanyang buhay” (2 Corinto 4:8-10).

Dahil kapiling ka namin, Panginoon,
walang anumang naganap na o darating pa
ang makaaagaw sa aming pag-asa kay Kristo.
Nagtitiwala kami sa iyong walang maliw na pagmamahal.
Ikaw lamang ang makahihilom ng mga sugatang puso.
Ikaw lamang ang makapagpapatahan sa aming pagluha.
Ikaw lamang ang makapagbibgay sa amin ng kapayapaan.
Ikaw lamang ang makapagkakaloob ng lakas upang kami ay magpatuloy.
Palakasin mo ang mga pinanghihinaan ng loob
at bigyan ng katiyakang walang imposible o hindi mapangyayari sa iyo.
Puspos ng Espiritu Santo, lumalim nawa ang aming pag-ibig at malasakit sa bawat isa.

Hinihiling namin ito sa pamamagitan ni Kristong aming Panginoon.

Amen.

Maria, Ina ng Pag-asa, ipanalangin mo kami.
San Miguel Arkanghel, ipanalangin mo kami.
San Juan Vianney, ipanalangin mo kami.
San Lorenzo Ruiz, ipanalangin mo kami.
San Pedro Calungsod, ipanalangin mo kami.
Beato José María de Manila, ipanalangin mo kami.
Beato Justo Takayama Ukon, ipanalangin mo kami.

Rappler.com

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs, the overseas Filipino workers, and elections. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.

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