CBCP head appeals for prayers for captured Marawi priest » Manila Bulletin News




By Leslie Ann Aquino

Catholic Church leaders asked for prayers for the safety of the priest and other hostages that were taken by the Maute Group in Marawi City.

Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas
(Credits: Ali Vicoy | Manila Bulletin file photo)

“We beg every Filipino to pray fervently for Fr. Chito and for other hostages,” Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said in a statement.

According to Archbishop Villegas, the head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, Fr. Chito Suganob and others were in the Cathedral of St. Mary’s Tuesday when members of the Maute Group forced their way into the Cathedral, taking with them the priest and other hostages.

“They have threatened to kill the hostages if the government forces unleashed against them are not recalled,” said Villegas.

He said the capture of the priest and other hostages violates every norm of civilized conflict.

“At the time of his capture, Fr. Chito was performing his ministry as a priest. He was not a combatant. He was not bearing arms. He was a threat to none,” Villegas said.

He called on the government to ensure the safety of the hostages.

“As the government forces ensure that the law is upheld, we beg them to make the safety of the hostages a primordial consideration,” said Villegas.

To the Maute Group, the prelate issued this appeal: We call on the Maute Group which claims to bear arms in the name of a Merciful and Benevolent God — the very same God we Christians worship and adore — to do the One God true honor by the mercy and benevolence that are two of our God’s most exalted attributes.


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