Church leaders have called for aid to victims of the Taal eruption.
But Lipa Archbishop Gilbert Garcera warned against groups using his name to ask for donations.
Garcera lamented the spread of “fake news,” which he said was causing confusion.
“Let us get information from credible sources because a lot of fake news is emerging,” the prelate said in a homily during Mass for volunteers in the Church’s relief efforts.
Garcera said those who would like to help in the relief efforts may get in touch with the Archdiocesan Committee on Social Action (tel. 043-7565581).
Catholics in Metro Manila may also get in touch with Caritas Manila (tel. 85620020-25 local 126 and 142).
‘Eruption of goodness’
Fr. Virgilio Ojoy, OP, former vice rector of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) and ex-rector of Aquinas University in Legazpi City, praised the help extended to victims.
“We are experiencing a volcanic eruption in Taal whose full potential for destruction has yet to materialize,” he said.
“Fortunately we are also experiencing another eruption—an eruption of goodness, a flood of help flowing to the evacuation centers, a storm of material assistance.”
Father Ojoy, now the director of the Center for Intramuros Studies of the Colegio de San de Letran in Manila, was speaking during the Holy Mass marking the 92nd anniversary on Jan. 16 of the Varsitarian, UST’s official student paper.
Commenting on the day’s Gospel reading (Mark 1:40-45), about how Jesus healed a leper, Father Ojoy said that while society may have somehow conquered “bodily leprosy, there is a spiritual leprosy that may plague the country.”
“You may also call it political leprosy which can render us isolated from the rest of the international community,” he added.
“When we are covered by lies and fake news that make us believe everything is well with us, truth suffers from leprosy. When human rights are violated and people are killed without fair trial, we are mesmerized by political propaganda in terms of romantic words and gestures toward victims of calamities, there exists in the midst of us a spiritual leprosy.
“When we howl in protest over an OFW brutally murdered in the Middle East, and we remain silent over the thousands killed in our streets, we are afflicted with leprosy in our judgment and vision.”
‘Eruption of truth’
Father Ojoy called for “healing” of the people’s spiritual and political leprosy.
“Our God always has overriding desire to heal us, to allow us to develop into a people that values human dignity that is rooted in our being created in His image,” he said.
Himself an associate editor of the Varsitarian when he was a UST seminarian, Father Ojoy urged the staff and alumni “to help trigger an eruption of truth and goodness in our country.”
Saints of the week
St. Fabian (200-250), pope and martyr, and St. Sebastian (256-288), martyr, Jan. 20; St. Agnes (291-304), virgin and martyr, and St. Fructuoso of Terragano (+259), bishop and martyr, Jan 21; St Vincent of Zaragoza (+304), Protomartyr of Spain, Jan. 22; St. Ildephonsus (+667), bishop of Toledo and teacher of the “perpetual virginity of the Virgin Mary,” and Blessed Henry Suso, OP, German friar and mystical theologican, Jan. 23; St Francis of Sales (1567-1622), bishop and patron saint of writers and the media; Conversion of St. Paul, Jan. 25.