Cardinal Tagle, Archbishop of Manila, says Caritas wants to be the ‘spokesperson’, the living witness, of God’s love for every person…
The Filippino Cardinal told this to ZENIT in an interview following a briefing at the Holy See Press Office, presenting Caritas’ 21st General Assembly in Rome, May 23-28, 2019, an encounter which takes place every four years. This year’s Assembly’s theme was “One Human Family, One Common Home”, inspired by Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si’, on the environment.
The Filippino cardinal, who is leader of Caritas Internationalis, emphasized the work Caritas is doing to help the needy all over the world.
“This general assembly is an affirmation of Caritas’ mission,” he said, noting: “This mission isn’t only work, work, work… this mission is to take the face of Jesus Christ to others, along with the Church’s solidarity.”
The Cardinal expressed that these efforts are spread throughout the world. “We, participating in this mission,” he said, “share the same faith, we share the Eucharist, we share the community identity that is called the Church.”
“The love of God isn’t concentrated only on Christians; it’s universal!” he said, underscoring: “And Caritas wants to be the spokesperson, the living witness of this love, which also welcomes non-Christians. Every needy person is a brother, a sister, is my neighbor.”
“We all dwell in one home,” he said.
Cardinal Tagle also spoke to ZENIT about the welcome of the Holy Father’s recent Apostolic Exhortation ‘Christus Vivit’ on Young People which followed the Pope’s Synod on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment in the Vatican in October 2018. The document on, or rather ‘letter to’ young people which Francis offered to the Virgin Mary in the Italian town of Loreto in March 2019, was published on April 2, 2019, in various languages on the Memorial of the passing away of Saint Pope John Paul II.
Reflecting on his own young people, Cardinal Tagle stressed: “In Manila, we have witnessed different levels of commitment of the youth: Charismatics, etc., also at a parish level and various youth movements.”
“Volunteers,” the Cardinal said, are numerous, applauding the many young people he said are “rebuilding homes after the tsunamis.”
The Philippines has been hit hard by various tsunamis. On Dec. 29, 2018, an undersea 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck off the southern coast of the Philippines, and caused a tsunami-threat warning for the Philippines and Indonesia. Indonesia, on Dec. 22, was struck by a tsunami which killed 430 people.
“Children and young people love being involved,” he said, adding the importance of families.
“It’s sad,” he said turning to a dark side of what he sees as a Filippino Cardinal, “but we also see that it’s the parents that promote exploitation; therefore, we have different realms of pastoral action: with the parents, with the children, and with the young people.”
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