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FEATURE: Cardinal Tagle to ZENIT: Caritas Wants to Be 'Spokesperson,' the Living Witness, of God's Love for All People

President of Caritas Internationalis and Archbishop of Manila Reminds ‘Every Needy Person Is a Brother, Sister, My Neighbor…We All Dwell in One Home’

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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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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': or

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