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Cardinal Tagle: Don’t be distracted from pressing problems

Cardinal Tagle: Don’t be distracted from pressing problems

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila

By Roy Lagarde

June 27, 2018

Manila, Philippines

While stressing the need to defend Catholic Church against attacks, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila called on the people “not to be distracted” from other issues that affect them.

With the increasing prices of goods, the rising unemployment, corruption, and the continued killings, he said that these are real issues that need attention and must be addressed. 

“Let us not be distracted from addressing other pressing concerns with fervor of faith and love,” Cardinal Tagle said in a statement issued Wednesday.

He lamented the worsening traffic in big cities, flooding, exploitation of women and children, the vulnerabilities of Filipino workers abroad, and terrorism as among the problems besetting the nation. 

“We need to come together and contribute to positive responses according to each one’s capability. We cannot address these problems by just blaming someone,” he said.

The cardinal, who is currently in Geneva for the UN Conference on Migrants and Refugees, made the statement after President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent tirade against the Church, its teachings, and even calling God “stupid”. 

Duterte also blasted the creation story in the Bible and questioned the characters in the Last Supper and called them “idiots”.

But Tagle urged the faithful to harbor no grudge and to remain firm in their faith.

“Be at peace. Be calm. Don’t let things disturb your inner peace. Let us read the situation with eyes of faith,” he said.

As a constructive step, he encouraged the church’s philosophers, scientists, theologians, Bible scholars, catechists and social workers to revisit these concerns “and present responses appropriate to our contemporary sensibilities”. 

“Maybe a renewed apologetics is needed for those who are sincerely searching for the truth,” he added.

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo earlier said that Duterte’s criticisms against the Church were tactics mean to divert public attention away from critical issues involving the administration.

“The criticisms of Duterte against the Church are diversionary tactics to cover the failures of his administration,” he said.

Below is the full text of Cardinal Tagle’s statement:

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