MANILA - The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Saturday urged its members to stand up against what is wrong even in "the wilderness with only a handful listening."
CBCP president and archbishop of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan Socrates Villegas made the exhortation at the 113th plenary assembly at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Manila.
Villagas told some 100 bishops present that they must "take a more active stand in defending for what is right and resisting the moral wrong," the CBCP News reported.
"We will stand and defend every person's life and dignity. We will shield the weak from harm. We will protect the confused from error," he said.
The prelate stressed bishops must do their duty even though the Church is now "a voice gone hoarse proclaiming Christ in the wilderness with only a handful listening."
"We will teach, even it seems like a voice in a hostile wilderness, till the day we die, that right is right and wrong and wrong and we will not withdraw from mission of the Lord," Villegas said.
"We will stand and defend every person's life and dignity. We will shield the weak from harm. We will protect the confused from error," he added.
The Catholic Church has been repeatedly lambasted by President Rodrigo Duterte as the "most hypocritical institution" after the CBCP supposedly attempted to erode public support for him before the May 9 elections.
Also clashing with the teachings of the Catholic Church are the President's plans for the the restoration of death penalty, legalization of divorce and distribution of contraceptives.
The Philippines has the largest Catholic concentration of any Asian country.