Church offers addicts ‘concrete hope’

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Cardinal Tagle presides over a Mass before the launching of the “Sanlakbay para sa Pagbabagong Buhay” program at the Manila Cathedral on Oct. 23, 2016. (RCAM photo)

MANILA, Oct. 24, 2016— A parish-based center for the treatment of drug addicts was launched in the Archdiocese of Manila on Sunday, offering concrete hope and a chance to change to countless drug dependents.

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle believes that drug addiction is about “spiritual warfare” – good and evil battling against each other.

“We seek healing justice, not revenge, because only justice heals. Revenge wounds all the more,” said the prelate in his homily during a Mass at the Manila Cathedral.

A second chance

The “Sanlakbay para sa Pagbabagong Buhay” program will be under the auspices of the archdiocese’s Restorative Justice Ministry, which seeks to provide psycho-spiritual support to drug surrenderees.

It also highlights the Church’s call that drug addicts deserve a second chance and are capable of transforming their lives for better.

“This is our reaction to what is happening to our country now. Are we not going to do anything and let them die? Let us help them,” said Fr. Roberto de la Cruz, RJ ministry head.

Surrendering to God

“Now that they’ve surrendered to the government, our task is to ask them to surrender themselves fully to God because that’s when transformation will start,” he said.

The rehabilitation program will be set up in parishes to reach people and will be supplemented by 12 modules participants need to go through.

They will undergo spiritual formation, counselling, livelihood projects, and skills formation training, an arts and cultural program as well as sports activities that will help them develop holistically.

The Center for Family Ministry, UST Graduate School of Psycho-Trauma, Department of Interior and Local Government, and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency have been tapped for the program. (CBCPNews) 

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