Despite bomb attack, Church will continue its mission, says bishop PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 28 December 2010 14:38

Despite the daring attack on a church in Sulu, Jolo Vicariate  Bishop Angelito Lampon said the Church will continue its mission.

On Sunday, Bishop Lampon expressed grief over the bombing and called on the authorities to be always ahead of lawless elements and extremists.

"The Church has done nothing wrong against those people who perpetrated the bombing," he said in his homily a day after the blast that ripped through the Church and wounded at least nine people, including an Oblate missionary priest.

Lampon said before the bombing, Muslims and Christians had been living harmoniously "but there are people who are against this good relationship."

The Church in Jolo has long been into charity works with Joloano Muslims as the main beneficiaries.

Speaking through Catholic-run Radio Veritas, Lampon said the Church will continue what it has been doing, not only for its flock but also among its neighbor-Muslims.

Before Christmas, the Catholic Church had a housing project for poor Muslims and prior to the bombing, the Church also distributed gifts to disabled Muslims.

"What they have done was really condemnable and barbaric because it hurts innocent civilians," he said.

“We want to help, that's why we are doing it," he said, adding that he was sad "there are some who are opposed to it and they use violence."

“It is saddening that it has to happen on Christmas Day… we have done them no wrong,” Lampon said.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front also condemned the bombing.

Sheikh Muhammad Muntasir, a graduate of a Saudi Islamic university and the chairperson of the MILF Committee on Da’wah (Islamic Call) called the act “barbaric and satanic and devoid of any religious ethics”.

He said Islam strictly prohibits violence in any form except on the basis of fighting tumult and oppression, and cited the following verses in the Qur’an:

1. “Do no evil nor mischief on the (face of the) earth.”
2. “Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong.”
3. “Do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbors who are of kin, neighbors who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (ye meet), and what your right hands possess.”

He said that Muslims’ tolerance toward the People of the Book (Christians and Jews) rests primarily on the Qur’an which is the source of guidance for Muslims.

"It sets the foundation for their creed, legislation, ethics, moral behavior, and every matter of daily life. With its multiple dimensions, the Qur’an teaches Muslims how to interact and relate with non-Muslims.    There are many verses that set the groundwork for these relations that recommend kindness and excellent behavior," Muntasir said.