Archbishop Palma: Pray Oratio Imperata to end extrajudicial killings, ‘convert hearts’

THE top Catholic prelate in Cebu has urged the faithful to continue praying the Oratio Imperata to end the spate of killings in different parts of Cebu.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said the obligatory prayer will continue in 2020 and this will be recited as the post-communion prayer.

Palma issued the Oratio Imperata in 2018.

That year, law enforcers and politicians were killed, including Ronda Mayor Mariano Blanco III and his nephew, Vice Mayor Jonah John Ungab. Blanco was killed because of his alleged involvement in illegal drugs, while his nephew was the lawyer of self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa.

The archbishop said the obligatory prayer would make the faithful aware of the killings, and he believed it would change the hearts of the perpetrators.

He noticed that the killings perpetrated by groups of armed men decreased in 2019.

“We do believe prayer can help and we also believe in the conversion of hearts,” he said.

He also urged the faithful to pray for the murder victims so their families can attain justice.

Palma celebrated the New Year’s Eve Mass on Dec. 31, 2019 at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.

In his homily, he talked about the future, saying human beings cannot predict what would happen to them in the coming years.

However, Palma said good things would happen in the future to the persons who do their best and “walk a straight path.” (JCT)