‘Cancel culture’ is contrary to synodality, says CBCP head

January 30, 2023 - 1:54 PM
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Bishop David
Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, delivers his welcome address during the 125th CBCP Plenary Assembly at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Manila on Jan. 28, 2023 (Photo from CBCP News)

The head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines issued a warning Saturday against so-called “cancel culture” during his address to the CBCP plenary assembly.

Speaking on the first day of their plenary assembly, Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, CBCP president, said cancel culture has become a negative trend in society through the influence of social media.

“Nowadays, with a click of a finger, it is so easy to simply unfollow, unfriend, or cancel out the social media account of anyone who represents a contrary opinion,” David said.

“It is the exact opposite of synodality in the sense that it stops any further dialogue or conversation,” he said.

The CBCP head then reminded the bishops that being “supreme bridge-builder” is a role not only exclusive to the pope.

“We are ourselves called to participate in his role as a supreme bridge-builder, a facilitator of dialogue, reconciliation and communion in the local Churches entrusted to our care,” he added.

In January 2022, Pope Francis had made the same warning on cancel culture, which is “invading many circles and public institutions”.

“As a result, agendas are increasingly dictated by a mindset that rejects the natural foundations of humanity and the cultural roots that constitute the identity of many people,” he said in his annual address to the Vatican diplomatic corps.

Around 80 bishops are currently gathered at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Manila for their 125th plenary assembly.

The gathering marks their second face-to-face meeting since the Covid-19 pandemic erupted in March 2020.

Among those present in the meeting are Cardinal Jose Advincula of Manila and Cardinal Orlando Quevedo, the archbishop emeritus of Cotabato.

Archbishop Charles Brown, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, also delivered his address to the assembly at the start of the day’s session.