Cardinal William Goh of Singapore urged his fellow Asian bishops to act as “courageous” shepherds and to “stand firm” against what he called as the “erosion” of truth and justice.
“Defending the Gospel requires us to stand up against the erosion of truth, of justice, the fight against discrimination, violence, and to alleviate the poverty of our people,” the cardinal said in his homily on Sunday Mass before an assembly of Asian bishops in Thailand.
He said the present challenges in society call the Church more urgently to act as “courageous” shepherds.
Among the so-called challenges cited by Cardinal Goh is the attack on traditional culture and values of society, of marriage, family, and even gender.
“We are living in a confused state,” he said.
Calling the Asian bishops to be witnesses, the cardinal stressed the importance of prayer, and for the clergy and the laity to journey together.
While there is a time to be silent, there is also time to speak and act, he said.
“Not every time we need to speak. But when the time comes that we have to speak, we must speak. Not to speak will be an act of irresponsibility,” said Cardinal Goh.
“As leaders we need to be firm when it is necessary,” he added.
More than 150 bishops have gathered in Bangkok since October 12 for the general conference of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC).
The meeting, which will culminate on October 30, also marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the federation.