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Looking for another 'Cardinal Sin'? Let him rest, says Villegas.

Are the people looking for another Cardinal Sin? A larger-than-life figure that will lead the Catholic Church and the Filipino people?

That was the question raised during the Meet Inquirer Multimedia forum with Lingayen-Archbishop Socrates Villegas on Monday as he responded to queries on the strength of the Catholic Church's stand against the death penalty and extrajudicial killings.

Villegas, who has been called the late Jaime Cardinal Sin's protege, thought otherwise.

'We should not look for another Cardinal Sin because he died already. Let us give him rest,' he said.

The archbishop explained that the situation during the 1970s until the 1990s, when Cardinal Sin was still the archbishop of Manila, was 'different from how it is now.'

Cardinal Sin was among those who played important roles in the relatively peaceful People Power Revolt in 1986.

Today, we have social media, Villegas said. 'Cardinal Sin never saw Facebook.'

God's gift to Filipinos

'So times have changed. So Cardinal Sin, in a matter of speaking, was God's gift to the Filipino people at that point in our history,' he said.

'And I think, if you look for Cardinal Sin in 2017, it would be unfair to Cardinal Sin, it would be unfair to God, it would be unfair to the leaders that God sent to his people because the situation is different,' Villegas said.

'God sends leaders to his people according to the needs of the people at that particular time,' he explained.

Earlier in the forum, Villegas explained that while the Church was vocal and active during the martial law, there were times when Cardinal Sin would go to Malacanang to say mass.

He said the Church was 'walking on a tightrope' as it sought to achieve 'balance' and 'reconciliation.'

'We will denounce what is evil but we will also offer the ministry of healing,' Villegas said.

The Catholic Church is currently being criticized by President Rodrigo Duterte for allegedly meddling in the campaign against illegal drugs, which has left thousands of drug suspects and innocent people dead.

The CBCP earlier released a pastoral letter reminding the people that summary killings are wrong.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Feb 13, 2017
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