Thursday, April 21, 2016

Pope Francis: Marinduque in his mind (Part 4) His thoughts

His Holiness, Pope Francis, has already expressed his sensitivity to the cry of the many people who've suffered as a result of irresponsible mining activities, and he has likewise expressed his thoughts about the "short-sighted and often unbridled exploitation" of the natural environment and of the "widespread evasion of accountability".

As conveyed by the Most Rev. Bishop Maralit in an address to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, during the Congregation for Bishops held at the Vatican in September last year, he informed the body that he was in the company of all new bishops appointed by the Pope.


It is at the Clementine Hall where the Pope
addressed his newly appointed Bishops

No less than the Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation, former Archbishop of Quebec and Primate of Canada, conveyed to the Bishop from Marinduque that the Pope was interested to know where the environmental case on Marinduque was heading for after the Nevada dismissal of the case on jurisdictional grounds.


Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation of Bishops

Prior to his trip to the Vatican the Bishop was following local developments on the case and therefore had a specific response. Maralit was fully aware of the clamor to move the case to Canada, and had prior knowledge of arrangements being made by local authorities for direct talks among the provincial government, stakeholders involved, a high caliber Canadian law firm, as well as the U.S. law firm that represented Marinduque in the Nevada case.

"At kung makadaragdag po sa inyong lakas ng loob, nais ko pong ipaalam sa inyo ang pagkaalam ng ating Mahal na Santo papa sa sitwasyon ng ating kaso," the Bishop to the Sanggunian.

"Noong Setyembre po ako ay nanggaling sa Roma at humarap sa ating Mahal na Santo Papa. Ako po ay isinantabi sa lahat ng Obispong bago at sinabihan po ako ni Cardinal Ouellet na galing sa Canada, hepe ng Kongregasyon ng mga Obispo, at binanggit sa akin ang pagpapaabot ng Santo Papa, saan pupunta sa susunod ang kaso ninyo?" Dahil alam niya ang naging desisyon sa Nevada.

"Kaagad-agad ang aking tugon ay pinag-uusapan na po, sapagkat noong ako at umalis at naroon na po ang pag-uusap na merong mga kakausapin na mga abogado at ini-schedule ang pagdating," he added.

"At ang sabi ng Santo Papa sa akin, ipinaabot ay hayaan ninyong malaman mo ang aming pag-alam at pagsuporta sa kasong ito. Kaya nga at nabanggit ko po sa Santo Papa ay kung maaari ipagdasal kayo, para kayo ay malinawan para sa dapat nating hakbangin", said Maralit in his address at the provincial session hall.


Catholic prelates joining calls by civil society groups in this Inquirer article

Catholic prelates, civil society groups and the people of Marinduque have been offering prayer petitions every Sunday mass for this class suit to move forward. The Bishop has then personally conveyed his humble request to the Pope for prayers for the enlightenment of Marinduque's decision makers. 

The power of prayers, pontifical prayers even, that brings renewed perspective, that opens eyes, and sheds light to shame and pride.

What happened next?

(To be continued)

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Susong Dalaga Hill
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