A press statement by the Promotion of Church People's Response
April 17, 2018
The Promotion of Church People's Response indignantly condemns the Bureau of Immigration's arrest and detention of Sr. Patricia Fox, NDS, without due process and respect for her fundamental rights and rights as a Church person.
Sr. Pat belongs to the religious congregation of Notre Dame de Sion. Her congregation sent her here as a missionary in 1990.
Impelled by the Christian faith and the mandate of the Church, she has obediently accepted the mission of preaching the Good News and be in solidarity with the poor. Inspired by Church teachings and especially encouraged by Pope Francis' admonition to be Church of the Poor and be present at the periphery, Sr. Pat "gave food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty. She visited the sick and those in prison". She lives simply and works tirelessly with the poor.
Yesterday afternoon, April 16, agents from the Bureau of Immigration arrested her in her convent and brought her to the BI detention room without any court order. She was shown pictures of herself joining rallies and present in fact-finding and mercy missions among the indigenous peoples and the plundered ecological environment.
When has it become a crime for Church people to exercise their right to preach the Gospel and be in solidarity with the poor?
The PCPR is most deeply thankful for the support accorded to Sr. Pat by the poor peasants, the urban poor, the lay movements and human rights advocates and Church people, especially the consoling presence and inspiring intervention of Bishop Broderick Pabillo, D.D. and of the Papal Nuncio through his representative.
The PCPR calls on Church People to stand our ground, assert our rights to preach the Gospel and be in solidarity with the poor and to pursue the Gospel imperative to respond effectively to human needs and to the cry of creation with love and compassion, truth and freedom in the pursuit of and Peace.
The PCPR calls on the Philippine Government through its Bureau of Immigration to set Sr. Pat free so she continue to bless the people and our country with her blessings.