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Manila Archbishop Tagle asks to toll bells for slain Cagayan priest

MANILA — Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle has appealed anew to parishes under the archdiocese to continue tolling bells every evening amid unfortunate incidents that have happened including the brutal death of a Catholic priest, who was gunned down right after celebrating Mass in Gattaran, Cagayan last Sunday.

The head of the Archdiocese of Manila asked priests to toll the bells every 8 p.m.

“The bells will beckon us to remember the dead, never to forget them, and to ask God to remember them. The bells haunt the perpetrators of violence and killing to remember their victims, never to forget them,” he said in a letter dated April 30 to priests in the archdiocese.

“The bells urge us to commit actions of truth, justice, love and respect God’s gift of human life and dignity. The bells beg us to transform the mourning of our people into hope and peace,” the Cardinal added.

Tagle’s appeal was a reiteration of his earlier request to his fellow clergy members to invite communities to pause, remember and pray.

“Last September 8, 2017, I issued an appeal for the tolling of our church bells in the Archdiocese of Manila every evening at 8 p.m. in remembrance of the dead. I am asking you to continue the practice and to invite our communities to pause, remember and pray,” he said.

“As we continue celebrating the victory of God over sin and death this Easter Season, we are also continuing to witness cases of violent killing in our country, done for varying motives. Yesterday, April 29, 2018, Fr. Mark Ventura of the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao was killed after celebrating Mass. Needless to say, the poor, needy, helpless, and vulnerable are the usual casualties,” Tagle said.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has condemned the death of the 37-year-old priest and urged authorities to bring to justice the perpetrators. (PNA)

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