DUMAGUETE CITY – Bishop Julito Cortes of the Diocese of Dumaguete is appealing to the lay faithful here to offer prayers, especially the Oratio Imperata, and extend financial assistance to the victims of the Taal Volcano eruption.
In an interview on January 15, he said the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) had prepared the special prayer for such purpose.
The Oratio Imperata is an obligatory prayer of invocation that a local ordinary or prelate authorizes for grave concerns, such as calamities.
Bishop Cortes said the Oratio Imperata for the Taal Volcano eruption shall be prayed in the different parishes in the Diocese of Dumaguete.
The prayer invokes the Lord’s protection for those in harm’s way, to keep “safe and free from harm and danger all of us but most especially, the sick and disabled, the poor and the helpless, the children and those who are alone with no one to care for them.”
It also seeks to “stir up in us the spirit of compassion, charity, and mercy towards our vulnerable, suffering and weak brothers and sisters.”
Cortes also asked the faithful to help the people of Batangas affected by the volcanic eruption by sharing some of their financial resources through the diocese, such as during the second collection in certain masses, which will be announced later.
He said the diocese would no longer accept relief goods, such as used clothing and foodstuff unlike in the past, as it would be easier, faster, and more convenient to send financial assistance instead to the evacuees.
On the recent natural disasters around the world, the prelate said, “For me, (this) is the call of nature to us to take care of the environment.”
“The four elements – earth, air, water, fire – are already calling us, for our attention because of the neglect and abuse of the environment and now, they are coming back to us,” he said.
In the face of climate change, his appeal to the people is that “number one, we should pray for the victims of these natural calamities; second, to find it in our hearts to help them in whatever way we can; and thirdly, we should be grateful and thank the Lord that right now we are spared from this although we have had our share of natural calamities in the past.”
“We should continue to be mindful now of our actions that they are not destructive of the environment because what we do to creation, we do to ourselves,” Cortes said. (PNA)