Christians and Muslims unite to mourn slain priest

Christians and Muslims gathered in the Philippines to pay their respects to slain priest Fr Jesus Reynaldo Roda, in an united front of mourning.

Fr Roda was killed by suspected Islamic militants last week after a botched kidnapping attempt.

Independent Catholic News reports the whole province of Tawi-Tawi - where Fr Roda worked - was in mourning.

Abdul Khan, a member of the Darul Ifta (House of Opinion) in the province said they had lost a "dear friend" and condemned the murder.

"Fr Roda was well loved because he was so kind. In fact, he built a mosque for Muslim students on the Notre Dame campus," Khan said.

Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), President Archbishop Angel Lagdameo said he was "deeply saddened" by the death of Fr Roda.

Fr Roda, a member of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) congregation, was director of the Notre Dame school in Tabawan town and head of the mission station there. He would have been 54 next month.

Fr Ramon Bernabe, head of the OMI in the Philippines, said the congregation was saddened by the death of a dedicated missionary who offered his life for the poor.

The ten gunmen who killed Roda are still holding captive a teacher from Notre Dame and a local fisherman.

Fr Roda will be buried at the OMI cemetery in Shariff Kabunsuan province tomorrow.
To honour Fr Reynaldo Roda, the Notre Dame of Tabawan High School in Tawi-Tawi will remain closed until then.

Philippines: Muslims and Christians mourn slain priest (Independent Catholic News 22/01/08)
Tawi-Tawi schoolchildren honor slain priest (GMA News 21/01/08)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Province of Tawi-Tawi (Wikipedia)
Oblate Communications

Priest killed in militant kidnap bid (CathNews 17/01/08)
20 years for beheading three Christian girls (CathNews 22/3/07)
Indonesian prosecutors allege man planned hundreds of Christian decapitations (CathNews 9/11/06)
Philippines killings sign of undemocratic society: Bishop (CathNews 17/8/06)
Bishop's nephew in latest Philippines political shooting (CathNews 7/8/06)

22 Jan 2008