Cardinal Tagle reveals ‘ordeal’ of traveling

Cardinal Tagle reveals ‘ordeal’ of traveling

Former street kids who are under the care of Tulay ng Kabataan greet Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle on his 60th birthday in Arzobispado de Manila, Intramuros, June 21, 2017. ROY LAGARDE

MANILA – On his 60th birthday, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle spoke candidly about his priestly journey and the “ordeals” he goes through when he’s off traveling.

Speaking during a Mass at the Manila Cathedral on Wednesday, the cardinal quoted parts of a birthday letter he received from his mother, Milagros.

In the letter, the mother recalled how she gave birth to Tagle six decades ago as an “overdue” baby.

“‘You did not want to get out’. That was her expression. I didn’t want to face the world,” a laughing Tagle said in his homily. “And now look at me, I’m always being thrown out… ‘Go there, go there.’”

“And to tell you the truth, when I read the letter I said, no wonder every time I have to travel, I suffer. I really don’t want to go, it’s an ordeal. It’s the womb again,” shared the prelate.

Holding several posts at the Vatican, Tagle is probably one of the world’s most traveled cardinals.

Serving as president of Caritas Internationalis, a global federation of Catholic charities, he is often outside the country visiting disaster areas or conflict zones.

He also remains a prominent figure on the church lecture circuit, much sought after by the international media.

“Why would I choose to go to refugee camps? Why would I choose to go to Beirut, to Ukraine?” he added. “But you go, you go! This time, it’s no longer the mother pushing you but maybe the womb of the Church, the Spirit pushing you.”

In his previous statements, Tagle said he considers himself a “migrant” for having so much work-related travel.

In one of his past interviews with the Catholic News Service, a teary-eyed cardinal revealed that airports have become a “traumatic place” for him.

It’s not because he had a terrible experience there, but because he saw in airports how people are forced to migrate because of poverty and conflict around the world.

Among those present during the Mass were Tagle’s predecessor, Cardinal Gaundencio Rosales, and Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier of Durban in South Africa.

More than 2,000 churchgoers and well-wishers also attended the celebration, including former President Benigno Aquino III.

After the Mass, Tagle prayed and blessed the tomb of Cardinal Jaime Sin whose death 12 years ago coincides with his birthday. CBCPNews