Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle called on the people who joined the Penitential Walk for Life to prevent the "culture of killing" from prevailing in the country.
"Huwag nating hayaan na ang kultura iyong parang natural na lang ang pagpatay ay kumalat kasi po baka masanay tayo di natin namamalayan tayo ay nagpapalaganap na ng isang mentalidad," he said on Good Friday.
(We mustn't allow a culture that makes killing people natural to proliferate. If we get used to this mentality, we begin to spread it without noticing it.)
The Manila archbishop also urged Catholics to reflect on the sufferings of Jesus Christ.
"Mga kapatid, pinatay si Hesus at nakalulungkot (na ang) mga uri ng pagpatay na naranasan Niya ay patuloy pa rin, subalit ang mabuting balita, may katarungan ang Diyos. Bubuhayin ng Diyos ang pinatay ng kasalanan at ng mundo," he said.
(It's sad that the type of killings that Jesus experienced in his time continue to happen now. But the good news is, there is justice in God.)
Tagle encouraged Catholics to spread a "culture of love," adding that these are times when being passive won't cut it.
"Di pwede tayo ay nagmamasid na lang at magrereklamo. Dapat kumilos ang bawat isa sa maliliit na pamamaraan, paano palalakasin at palalaganapin ang kultura ng pag-ibig, malasakit, pagdadamayan, paggalang na nagtataguyod ng buhay," he said.
(We can't be mere spectators, we can't merely whine. We need to be more active in our own little ways in terms of spreading a culture of love and care.)
Tagle also led the reflection for one of Christ's "7 last words" — "I thirst" — in which he urged the faithful to have a thirst for a Christ-like mission instead of revenge and violence.
Church leaders have repeatedly criticized the rise in the number of killings since President Rodrigo Duterte launched his bloody war on drugs.
Duterte in response, has repeatedly blasted priests and the Church on allegations of corruption and sexual abuse.