'We need to move from an old politics that is toxic to a new kind of politics that is self-giving.' This is the message of Bishop Patricio A. Buzon, SDB, D.D. in his Pastoral Letter issued on March 4, 2022.
Bishop Buzon exhorted the faithful of the Diocese of Bacolod to “put to death” traditional politics which he described as a politics by “patronage, vote buying, corruption, dynasty, deception (and) fake news.” Instead, he proposed a “principled politics grounded on truth, goodness, justice and peace.”
The bishop also reiterated the Church stance of being “non-partisan”. Bishop Buzon, however, noted that “While being non-partisan, the Church cannot be neutral when the gospel values are violated or compromised.”
“She (the Church) fulfills her prophetic role through her leaders, priests and consecrated persons, in providing spiritual and moral guidance to our people in the exercised of principled politics.”
According to the bishop, while Church ministers are to be non-partisan, the laity are “to actively participate in the political arena, either as candidates or voters.” Likewise, he encouraged the lay people to actively campaign for candidates “who are discerned to be worthy of support because of their commitment to the common good and to the gospel values.”
In a Circular Letter No. 2022-006, the Bishop has asked that his pastoral letter be read during Masses in all the parishes and chaplaincies throughout the diocese for the First Sunday of Lent.
“A Favorable Time: A Pastoral Letter on Lent and the Elections” by Bishop Buzon draws inspiration from the Second Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians, chapter 6, verse 2.