SIN TO GMA: DON'T SUPPORT U.S. WAR

Manila, Jan. 31, 2003 - Manila Archbishop Cardinal Jaime Sin yesterday reminded President Arroyo of her promise to be a "faithful daughter" of the Church and urged her not support a US-led attack on Iraq.

"A few days after your inauguration, at the Manila Cathedral, you declared that you would be a faithful daughter of the Church. This is now a good opportunity for you to follow the Holy Father rather than be aligned with the super power of the world," he said.

"I therefore strongly appeal to President Arroyo not to support the unjust war efforts being proposed by the United States of America," Sin said in a pastoral statement.

He said Arroyo should show support instead to the Church and the Pope who are opposed to any war.

"Be a peacemaker! Show the world that we Filipinos are promoters and defenders of peace. That is what EDSA 1 and 2 are about! We are not anti-American. We are anti-war! We are not pro-Iraq. We are pro-peace!" Sin said.

Sin said Arroyo's moral principle should take over. He said he believes war is not inevitable and that a solution can be found.

He expressed concern for over 1.4 million Filipino workers in the Middle East who will be affected by war.

Sin said the Church is not imposing its stand on the people and the government.

"By its intervention in this area, the Church magisterium does not wish to exercise political power or eliminate the freedom of opinion of Catholics. The Church intends to instruct and illuminate the consciences of the faithful, particularly those involved in political life," he said.

The prelate urged the faithful to pray for peace this Saturday, the Day of Our Lady, by reciting the 20 mysteries of the Holy Rosary.

He urged parishes and religious communities to hold an hour of eucharistic adoration for world peace and penitential dawn processions with the image of the Blessed Mother.

Sin also called on people to light candles at 6 p.m. on Saturday as a gesture for the cause of peace.


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