01/23/2008, 00.00
PHILIPPINES
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Thousands of Christians and Muslims attend the funeral of Fr Roda who was killed while praying

by Santosh Digal
During the ceremony officiated by 6 bishops and 65 priests Father Roda’s kindness was remembered. Killed by allegedly pro-al-Qaeda militants, he was committed to justice and inter-faith dialogue.

Datu Odin Sinsuat (AsiaNews) – Thousands of Christians and Muslims attended the funeral Mass of Fr Reynaldo Jesus Albores Roda who was shot to death on January 15 by allegedly pro-al-Qaeda militants. The Oblate clergyman was killed when he tried to resist about ten armed men who had barged into the chapel at Our Lady School in Tabawan, near Tawi-Tawi. A Muslim teacher, Omar Taub, was abducted.

Pupils from Catholic schools raised banners outside the cathedral demanding “justice for Father Roda” and a “stop [to] killing priests.”

Parents, students and teachers from Kidapawan, Maguindanao, Tabawan and Tawi-tawi in southern Mindanao attended the service.

The burial ceremony, presided by the Superior of the Oblate Order of Mary Immaculate (to which Father Roda belonged), took place at Our Lady of Lourdes Cemetery in Tamontaka.

During the funeral, officiated by 6 bishops and 65 priests, Mgr Angelito Lampon said: “How can people harm such a real nice person?”

The bishop answered his own question. “Somebody,” he said, “was bound to hurt Fr. Roda’s because of his missionary work for the poor and his commitment to justice and social issues and to both Christians and Muslims.”

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