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Cardinal Tagle: Bring back ‘every life is a gift’ mentality

Cardinal Tagle: Bring back ‘every life is a gift’ mentality

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle delivers his homily during Mass for the Walk for Life at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila, Feb. 24, 2018. ROY LAGARDE

By Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz

February 24, 2018


Speaking to thousands gathered for this year’s Walk for Life at the Quirino Grandstand, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle urged the faithful to counter the world’s “materialism and pragmatism” by seeing every life “as a gift.”

“One thing that is changing our view on life and valuing of life is the changing of the mentality… Because the prevailing culture, the view on the world and life is too functional, pragmatic and a bit materialistic. …We need to bring back the view and appreciation [of] life as offering and gift of God,” said the prelate in Filipino during the Mass to conclude the walk, which kicked off at around 4:30 a.m.

According to Tagle, the prevailing attitude is to see everything as a “commodity or thing” that can be disposed. “… What is in our mind is whether this thing benefits me. When a thing is not beneficial or is a hindrance to me, I will do away with it. I will throw it away, I will eliminate it. … We are losing our perspective on the gift, on gifts, on God’s offering.”

Thousands of people flocked to the Quirino Grandstand to “walk for life,” particularly on prevailing issues in the country like the persecution of Christians; the continuing drug menace and the Duterte administration’s drug war, abortion; the proposed revival of the death penalty; destruction of the environment and resulting threats to the lives of indigenous peoples; the plight of farmers awaiting genuine land reforms; labor contractualization; the new tax law; human trafficking; and the lack of decent housing for the urban poor

In a culture that puts a premium on achievement, Tagle noted that “the first casualty is life.”

“Everything is achievement, there is no gift. … When we no longer see gifts and the thinking is ‘Is this beneficial to me? Can I use this?’, life is the easiest to eliminate,” he added.

According to Tagle, this is especially true when the life in question belongs to someone who is seen as a menace to society.

“I won’t see this as a gift of God, what I see is this is a pest. This is not beneficial, this has to be removed,” said the prelate, who also heads Caritas Internationalis.

Organized by Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas, the biggest umbrella organization of national Catholic lay organizations and archdiocesan and diocesan councils of the laity, this year’s Walk for Life gathered members and leaders of various lay organizations like Soldiers for Christ, Adoracion Nocturna, Couples for Christ, Couples for Christ – Foundation for Family and Life, Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals, Ligaya ng Panginoon, Buklod ng Panginoon, among others.

This year, simultaneous walks were held in the cities of Tarlac, San Pablo, Cebu, and Cagayan de Oro. CBCPNews