Cardinal Tagle: ‘Consecrated life is human ecology at its best’

Cardinal Tagle: ‘Consecrated life is human ecology at its best’

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila. PHOTO BY MINNIE AGDEPPA

By Minnie Agdeppa

February 11, 2018

Manila, Philippines

The consecrated life is the epitome of how human ecology should be. This was one of the main messages of Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila in his keynote message during the first-ever Laudato Si Conference held by the Ecclesiastical Province of Manila, at De La Salle University on Feb. 2.

“The consecrated people through your poverty, through your community living, through the sharing of your resources, through your obedience, your chastity, your life is supposedly the most beautiful example of human ecology in support of environmental ecology,” explained the prelate to at least 1,000 delegates from 12 dioceses.

According to Tagle, the consecrated life is an example of “how to live joyfully, fully with respect also for the gift of creation.”

‘Human ecology’

Aligning the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord with the conference theme, “Ugnayang-Buhay Para Kay Inang Kalikasan!” (The Connectedness of Life For Mother Nature), he cited various themes present in Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si and explained the context of “the human meaning of ecology”.

“There is environmental ecology, but [the encyclical asks us], ‘Do not forget human ecology,’ [that is,]the care of man should not contradict with the care for nature,” he explained.

Tagle then cited how nowadays the best and more expensive meals are given to pets while the nearly spoiled food is sometimes given to the household help. He also noted how carefully a flower vase is handled because of its fragility but at times words are not chosen well so as not to crush another’s heart.

He linked this to another theme mentioned in Laudato Si, “the value proper to each creature”.

“Every creature of God is important,” he said, “This is why Pope Francis chose the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi, ‘Laudato Si Mi Senore'”.

According to the cardinal, the other themes recurring in the Pope’s encyclical are (1) the relationship between the poor and the fragility of the planet, (2) the conviction that everything in the world is connected, (3) the critique of new paradigms and forms of power derived from technology, and (4) the call to seek other ways of understanding the economy and progress.

Celebrating consecrated life

He explained the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord is “also the day to celebrate consecrated life”.

“So we greet our consecrated persons here–the religious men and women and the consecrated lay. Thank you very much for offering your lives to God, the Church, and society,” said Tagle.

The Ecclesiastical Province of Manila’s Laudato Si Conference addressed the urgent call raised by Pope Francis “for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet” through his encyclical Laudato Si released on June 18, 2015. More specifically, the conference aimed to bridge the gaps in information, understanding, and translation of the encyclical in the daily life of Christians, especially Filipino Catholics.

Other speakers included Kalookan Bishop Pablo David, Manila’s Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, and Br. Raymundo Suplido, FSC. While the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Assistant Regional Director Region 3 Atty. Arthur Salazar; Atty. Antonio Orosa, Jr., environmental law expert; Dr. Antonio Lavina, a climate change expert; and Senators Cynthia Villar and Heherson Alvarez provided political and legal perspectives on the encyclical.


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