Working Towards a Reconciled Diversity

Statement of Catholic Bishops and Educators on
Peacebuilding in Mindanao
Davao City, April 10, 2014

Sustainable peace and the righting of historical injustices have been elusively pursued for decades in Mindanao.  We, Catholic bishops and educators of Mindanao, have always joined the call for lasting peace among the diverse cultures of Mindanao and Sulu.

It is in this light that, together with the representatives of Catholic schools, seminaries, radio stations and peace centers in Mindanao, many of us have engaged in the “Conversations on Peacebuilding in Mindanao.” This was held on April 9-10, 2014, at the Ateneo de Davao University.  It was jointly sponsored by the Episcopal Commission on Interreligious Dialogue of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (ECID-CBCP) and the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) in Mindanao.

The signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) on March 27, 2014, is certainly warrant for optimism.  But it also signals a greater challenge to all in our nation to be involved in this quest for peace, which is our shared responsibility.

We call on all to inform themselves of the issues involved in this struggle.  We call on negotiating parties to strengthen their dialogues by ensuring profound inclusivity, hearing all the voices who have a stake in peace – indigenous peoples, religious leaders, nongovernment organizations (NGOs), academe, the poor, even the dissidents – to ensure that the road we are taking is not motivated merely by political ambitions, but by genuine and sustainable peace for all peoples. Continue reading

From Conversations for Peace to Action

By: Fr. Joel E. Tabora, S.J.

For St. Ignatius, “conversations” were a good first step in discernment. From conversations arise great desires. From great desires come the discernment necessary to find God’s will. Nothing is more important nor more urgent than doing God’s will.

ADDU has hosted two major conversations recently. The first were the “Conversations on the Jesuit Mindanao Apostolate” last December 26-28. These were initiated by the Provincial Superior of the Jesuits of the Philippine Province of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Antonio Moreno, to explore how the Jesuits might improve their apostolic service in Mindanao. It came in the context of the 200th anniversary of the Restoration of the Society of Jesus, when the first mission of the Jesuits returning to the Philippines was not Manila but Mindanao.

The second were “Conversations on Peacemaking in Mindanao” held in ADDU last April 9-10. These were initiated by Abp. Antonio Ledesma and Bishop Angelito Lampon of the Episcopal Commission on Interreligious Dialogue of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. It was conducted in partnership with the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines, educators, religious congregations, and various organization like the Silsillah, Catholic Relief Services, and the Assisi Foundation. Senior representatives of the Catholic Church iat the Conversations were Abp. Antonio Ledesma, of Cagayan de Oro, Abp. Fernando Capalla or the Bishops-Ulama Conference, Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao, Bishop Angelito Lampon of Jolo, Bishop Elenito Galido of Iligan, Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez of Marbel, and Bishop Romulo de la Cruz of Kidapawan, Archbishop-elect of Zamboanga. Continue reading