Where there is social justice, there is peace.
This was stressed by the Vatican’s envoy to the Philippines, Archbishop Charles John Brown as he celebrated Mass at the iconic EDSA Shrine on Wednesday, Feb.24, or on the eve of the 35th commemoration of the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution.
The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) News has reported that the papal nuncio reminded all Filipinos that there can be no peace without social justice.
“Justice is the foundation of peace in the society. When there is no justice, when people can’t receive justice, they react in violent ways.” Brown said in his homily.
“So whenever we can to promote justice in society, we are promoting peace,” he said.
The papal nuncio said to achieve true social justice, social inequalities should be addressed.
“Fairness and justice means that equality in dignity is respected,” he said. “In order to have peace in society there needs to be justice, people need to be treated fairly.”
According to the CBCP news, before the Mass, Brown led the ceremonial release of 35 pigeons outside the Shrine to symbolize the 35 years since the historic revolution that ousted the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Brown also cited the crucial intercession of Mary in the peaceful transition of power in the country 35 years ago.
“We thank Mary for her intercession at that moment as a mother of peace in order to allow a peaceful transition of power here in the Philippines,” he said.
Meanwhile, other Catholic prelates have reminded Filipinos “not let go of the promises of freedom of EDSA”, even as they took the opportunity to also urged the country’s leaders to “live up to our trust and to the legacy of EDSA”.
“Let us oppose all attempts to control us and to scare us off in expressing ourselves,” Archdiocese of Manila Apostolic Administrator Bishop Broderick S. Pabillo said.
Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga described the EDSA People Power revolt as a “blessing” and showcased “what was best in us and beneficial to our country”.
“Let us commemorate Edsa to give what is best, right and moral to our country and to God; not to oneself or to a particular party or color,” he said.