MANILA, June 15, 2014 — Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle last Saturday called on the Catholic faithful to manifest the characteristics of a renewed church through the promotion of Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC) in every Catholic household.
In his talk during the Manila Archdiocesan General Pastoral Assembly (MAGPAS), Tagle stressed the importance of BECs as the “expression of a renewed Church,” as decreed by the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (PCP II).
“Basic Ecclesial Communities, under various names and forms—Basic Christian Community, Small Christian Communities, Small Lay Communities, Covenant Communities—must be vigorously promoted for the full living of the Christian vocation in both urban and rural areas,” Tagle said, citing the words of PCP II in his talk held at the Paco Catholic School last June 7.
According to Tagle, PCP II emphasizes the need for BECs to rally the faithful behind the Second Vatican Council’s “vision of a renewed Church” and “for the full living of the Christian vocation.”
“PCP II does not tell us to establish BECs only in places where it would be easily accepted. What the PCP II urges us to do is promote it, regardless if it would be easy or hard,” he said in Filipino.
Noting the different characteristics of a renewed church, Tagle called on the faithful to live in communion with one other, noting that individual differences should not serve as a hindrance to achieve unity in diversity.
“Even if each of us has different backgrounds, state of life, and natural talent…these should not stop us to live in solidarity with others. Communion opens our hearts and doors to anyone,” he said.
Seeing the importance of “equality in dignity,” Tagle said no worldly standard may belittle the dignity possessed by each and every person.
“In the eyes of the world, a sense of equality might be hard to attain. But in the renewed Church of Communion, regardless of who you are and what you have become, we are all equal because we are all created with dignity, baptized Christians in the name of the Holy Spirit, Jesus, and the Almighty Father,” Tagle said in the vernacular.
Giving and receiving
Participation among members of a community is also a mark of a renewed church, the archbishop said, noting that the Year of the Laity is a very timely opportunity to fulfill this mission.
“Participation comes in two ways—everyone gives, everyone receives…Participation in the Philippines means enabling the lay people to participate more fully in the life of the Church and its task of mission,” Tagle said.
“The vision of PCP II of a renewed church in the Philippines is a more active participation of the laity in the life and mission of the Church. Live a life of serving and following Christ in your respective communities,” he added. (Jennifer M. Orillaza)