Statement of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente
on the Philippine Visit of His Holiness, Pope Francis
“When (Jesus) saw the
crowds, he had compassion for them,
because they were
harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”
(Matthew 9:36, ESV)
The Iglesia Filipina Independiente joins the
Filipino people and the entire Catholic community in the Philippines in
welcoming the historic visit of Pope Francis and in praying for his safe
We greet Pope Francis, a brother in the Lord
Jesus Christ, with a kiss of peace.
Pope Francis personifies a Catholic
spirituality which embraces a radical way of being with the poor among God’s
people. He himself declared - “I believe in God, I believe in Christ, I believe
in the Gospel, and the heart of the Gospel is the poor.”
The world stands witness as to how the Pope
is slowly breaking down the walls of elitist culture in the Catholic Church,
inaugurating revolutionary reforms within the Vatican, as he leads his Church
in incarnating genuine preferential option for the poor. Equally, the Pope, a
true defender of the poor, has condemned global capitalist greed and strongly
censured the few who lives in extreme wealth at the cost of the majority who
wallows in poverty.
We are certain, therefore, that with his deep
concern for the poor, Pope Francis can identify with the continuing passion of
the Filipino people who were abandoned and abused by the leaders of this nation.
With a heart that truly belongs to God’s Kingdom, we know he shares our
people’s aspiration for genuine social transformation, as the Gospel means land
and life, job and justice, food and freedom, shelter and sovereignty, democracy
and dignity for our people.
We, therefore, kindly ask the Pope to give
his benediction to our people’s courageous struggle for the genuine
transformation of Philippine society, and his prayers for those who have lived
and died in the hope that just peace will soon dawn in the country. We also
humbly appeal to the Pope to exhort the leaders of our nation to renounce their
greed for political power and economic wealth which has brought untold misery
to the toiling masses among our people, to peasants and workers, to the urban
poor and indigenous people.
For our part, we offer to Pope Francis the
Iglesia Filipina Independiente’s sincere friendship, cooperation and commitment
to his mission of healing the world from the violence of war and terror, hunger
and deprivation, tyranny and oppression, so justice and peace, joy and
prosperity may flourish for all people.
We pray for the ministry of Pope Francis, and
may God, the Father of us all, keep him safe in his every step.
the peace of Christ,
† Most Revd Ephraim S. Fajutagana
15th January 2015