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Church in spiritual war vs drugs

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle blesses Tokhang surrenderees during Sanlakbay, a church rehabilitation and restoration program that aims to reach out to drug dependents and their families, at the Manila Cathedral on sunday.(photo by ali vicoy)

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal G. Tagle yesterday called on the faithful and authorities to join the Catholic Church in its spiritual war against the illegal drugs trade.

Tagle said the government should not only work to arrest criminals, especially those involved in the illegal drugs trade, but also exert effort on how they can be reformed through restorative justice since they are also victims of their addiction.

He said their addiction on material things like illegal drugs, gambling, and even pornography shows they have neglected spiritual needs.

“Addiction happens if one’s heart is ruled by darkness instead of the Lord…it is a spiritual concern…our response should not only be to judge them, but also how they could once again be reintroduced with God,” Tagle said.

“Through our joint efforts, we could help them become upright before the eyes of God and also helping their victims to recover. We are seeking healing justice not revenge. Only justice heals. Revenge wounds all the more,” he added.

Tagle made the appeal during his homily at the mass he celebrated for the launching of the Church-based drug rehabilitation program, “Sanlakbay sa Pagbabago ng Buhay,” and the commemoration of the week-long Prison Awareness Week at the Manila Cathedral in Manila.

The event was attended by representatives from Church, the Philippine National Police, and least 700,000 drug surrenderees together with their families.

Under the Sanlakbay program, the Church will mobilize its ministries and partner organizations in providing catechism, livelihood, and skills training to detained drug users and peddlers. (Samuel P. Medenilla)

  • malcolmkyle

    Alexander Lucie-Smith is a Catholic priest, doctor of moral theology and consulting editor of The Catholic Herald. The following text is an extract from his article, published in the Catholic Herald, August 2016:

    “The effects of President Duterte’s war on drugs will be catastrophic. The drugs trade is inherently violent because it is illegal. The way to tame it is to legalise it.

    The government of the Philippines, in taking on the criminals, using the same methods of the criminals, risks the worst of all outcomes: fighting the war on drugs and losing it. When that happens the criminals take over the government.

    But when the drugs trade is legalised, taxed and regulated (like the alcohol and tobacco trades) then the criminals lose control of their fiefdom and are put out of business. Moreover, when drugs become legal, addicts can be recognised for what they really are: sick people needing medical help, rather than criminals.”

  • malcolmkyle

    The Rome Statute defines murder or persecution that is knowingly “committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack against any civilian population” as a crime against humanity. The wide-scale extrajudicial killings carried out under Duterte’s orders meet that definition. Duterte and many of his entourage will soon stand trial in the International Court of The Hague for the unlawful murder of many thousands of civilians.

    An elected government should not declare war and militarize against its own people. Historically, the use of deadly force to address/prohibit peaceful, consensual transactions between adults, such as gambling, prostitution, drug/alcohol use/sales, has only ever produced negative results. Such a violent crusade against civilians invariably evolves into a full-blown civil war.

    With Duterte’s blessing, members of the police special forces disguise themselves with wigs and masks, operate in tandem on motorbikes, and murder known anti-crime crusaders. After completing their killing mission, they flee under the cover of darkness, only to appear the next day to hold a press conference. These same special forces then claim that drug dealers are behind the killings. The public agree and the killings duly continue ad infinitum, and with total impunity.
    Kindly google: “2 Cops Kill Anticrime Crusader in Mindoro”

    Dear people of the Philippines:

    It is now obvious (at least to the rest of humanity) that you have foolishly elected a psychotic despot for president. A darkness has engulfed your whole nation. You no longer have due process, constitutionally protected rights or fair trials in a public forum. Suspicion or rumor is now all that’s required to terminate the life of any citizen with a state-sanctioned death squad.

    Nowhere on this planet has any nation ever had success with the policy of drug prohibition. Many of your villages, towns and cities will be turned into killing fields. Hundreds of thousands of you may now die. Your most precious institutions and possessions will be destroyed—but the drugs, the corruption and the violence will still be there and the world will finally realize how dangerous and utterly destructive prohibition really is.

    You are actually in the process of destroying your own society and nothing can change your fate. Every one of you is now vulnerable to deadly attack; world-wide drug prohibition has finally reached its inevitable conclusion.

    Thank you for helping to teach the world this powerful lesson with the blood of your own families!