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Cardinal Tagle: ‘Welcome everyone despite differences’

Cardinal Tagle: ‘Welcome everyone despite differences’

Photo. Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle speaks during Mass to open the Share the Journey Campaign Global Action Week at the Binondo Church in Manila, June 17, 2018. PHOTO COURTESY OF ERIL PAUL GUANLAO/RCAM

By Joselle Dela Cruz

June 21, 2018

Manila, Philippines

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila has appealed to Catholics to welcome everyone regardless of nationality and differences of one another.

At a Mass to open the “Share the Journey Campaign-Global Action Week” at the Binondo Church on June 17, he emphasized that accepting a “stranger” is letting Jesus enter their lives.

“As we welcome the stranger, we welcome Jesus who said, ‘When I was a stranger you welcome me’,” said Tagle, who is also the president of Caritas Internationalis, the global network of Catholic charitable agencies.

“But as we welcome the strangers, let us also welcome each other because, after all, even if we are not foreigners, each one is unique, we need to welcome one another, [have a] personal encounter and promote human dignity,” he said.

Share the Journey is an initiative of Caritas Internationalis. It is meant to promote dialogue and understanding between communities and migrants and refugees.

Reinforcing the campaign, Caritas is promoting a global week of action with activities to help people really “get in touch” and take action as Pope Francis appealed, when he launched the initiative in September 2017.

The cardinal pointed out that there are 10 million Filipinos out of the 65 million forced migrants around the world “who often sail in dangerous circumstances” without even knowing if “there are people who will welcome them.”

“Every day we hear reports, we see images and we Filipinos we know there are, they say around 10 million Filipinos who have also migrated to other lands,” Tagle said.

“There are 65 million forced migrant and Pope Francis and Caritas is inviting all of us, go encounter a stranger, meet a stranger person to person, welcome [them], promote human dignity, protect their lives [and] their rights, and help integrate them into the community,” he added.

Cardinal Tagle said people were forced to migrate due to several unfavorable reasons.

“We have the right to migrate, to live where we want to live but many people in the world are forced to migrate, they go to countries, to other places because of poverty, because of violence, because of hunger, because of lack of work, because of conflicts, because of environmental distraction,” he said.