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A name isn’t just label, says Cardinal Tagle

A name isn’t just label, says Cardinal Tagle

By CBCP News

January 4, 2021

Manila, Philippines

Naming a child is an important decision and how it sounds is not the only thing parents have to consider, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle said.

That is why naming, he said, is an important process because a name is a “sacred” thing.

“The name is not just a label. The name of a person contains the very identity of a person,” said Tagle, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

The cardinal made the statement during Mass at the Pontifical Filipino College in Rome, Italy on January 1, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.

He went on to share how he was “hurt” upon learning that children, especially those new born, in a refugee camp that he visited are not given “the dignity of names”.

According to him, it is illegal to give them a name because they don’t have an identity as far as the host country is concerned.

How are the children called? They have numbers, he recalled.

“I was shocked that that still exists,” Tagle said. “That’s why I realized how sacred the name is.”

As the new year comes, he said that it is common for people to ask God for blessings of a better year ahead.

But oftentimes, according to him, people associate blessings with material things.

Reflecting on the day’s readings, the cardinal reminded the faithful that “it is God who blesses people”.

“And the name of God is the blessing,” Tagle said. “When God comes, God saves. God does not destroy but saves.”

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