Catholic prelates express sadness over the twin bombings in Brussels

MANILA — Catholic church officials have expressed sadness over the terrorist attacks in Brussels, Belgium, killing at least 30 people and wounding many others on Tuesday.

“Bago ang lahat, nakakalungkot po ang nangyari sa mga kapatid natin sa Brussels. Tayo, we want to express our solidarity with those people,” said Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle before officiating a mass at a chapel inside the Manila City jail on Wednesday.

With this, the head of the Archdiocese of Manila asked for God’s mercy for the people of the said country and also for those behind the attacks.

“We call on God’s mercy for the people of Belgium and even for those who perpetrated this horrible incident,” Tagle added.

For his part, Bataan Bishop Ruperto Santos is praying for peace in the country and offered masses for those who perished in the gruesome attacks.

“We pray for Belgium for peace and offer holy masses for eternal rest of the innocent victims,” he said.

At the same time, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines–Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant Peoples (CBCP-ECMI) is also praying to give the Belgian people, especially the families of those who died and the injured for strength and fast healing.

“We commend to God for strength and healing of those who survived this senseless and sinful carnage. It is human tragedy that those heartless people who nurtured destruction and death on others. All must reject violence. All must respect the rights and dignity of others, regardless of color, creed and customs,” it said.

Santos added, “We pray that they realize their evil deeds, selfish and sinful ideologies and reject the paths of death. All those guilty and harboring death should have contrition and conversion.”

Meanwhile, vice presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said continuing the peace process will discourage the entry of the international terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the country.

He made the statement in reaction to the twin bombing attacks in Brussels, Belgium.

After the terrorist group admitted of administering the bombings, Marcos noted this should be another compelling reason why the peace process should be pursued.

“The peace process is the key and the logic is really quite simple. Dapat magkaroon tayo ng pagkakaisa sa mga kapatid nating MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) at MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front) at iba pang grupo upang sila ay patuloy na kasama sa ating lipunan at para hindi sila sumama sa mga grupong katulad ng ISIS,” Marcos added.

At the same time, he also expressed sadness for the people of Belgium. Although Belgium is quite far from the Philippines, the incident is highly relevant because it touches on the aspect of terrorism which can happen to any country, he said. PNA /