Marawi prelate: Locating Christians a must aside from church rehab

MANILA -- Apart from rebuilding the war-ravaged Marawi Cathedral, the Prelature of Marawi is also prioritizing to locate the whereabouts of Christian parishioners in the city.

With this, Bishop Edwin dela Pena admitted that it would take a while to reconstruct the cathedral, that is why they are more focused in gathering Roman Catholics in the area.

It is clear that process is going to take a long time so we don't look forward to the start of the reconstruction of the Marawi Church. It may take a long time before we can do that. We are more focused on locating our Christian population because it's very important that you establish, you build up the community before building the structures, he said in an interview.

The Catholic prelate noted that a temporary cathedral has been set up in Iligan City, where the faithful from the war-torn city may pray or attend masses.

It's called temporary cathedral because cathedral is the place where the seat of the bishop is located. In as much as our main cathedral has been desecrated we have to find another place so this is temporary, he added.

The temporary cathedral is the Redemptorist Church in Iligan City.

The Cathedral of the Prelature of Marawi is located in Santo Tomas de Villanueva Parish in Balo-i, Lanao del Sur.

The population, the parishioners would be those who are already living in the vicinity of Balo-i. They want also to be sure that there is space allotted for them in the whole program of reconstruction, dela Pena added.

The crisis, which started last May 23 ended on October 23 after the military killed the leaders of the terror group.

Source: Philippine News Agency