Tagle to Filipinos: ‘Focus on commonalities, not differences’

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Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle (Photo: CBCP News)

MANILA, September 13, 2014–Taking a swipe at armed conflicts happening in various parts of the world, the archbishop of Manila has called on the Catholic faithful to live by the spirit of communion through focusing on the commonalities they possess and ignoring the differences that divide them.

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle emphasized the need for communion among the faithful, noting that focusing on common characteristics instead of individual differences is a way to foster peace among conflicting parties in the world.

“Our world right now is so divided that conflicts are happening everywhere—in the Gaza Strip, in Iraq, in the Golan Heights, and in Ukraine,” Tagle said in his talk during the Manila Archdiocesan Pastoral Assembly (MAGPAS) held at the Malate Catholic School last September 6.

“It seems like even the international community has been too preoccupied in finding ways to compete against each other, dominate, and trample upon the weak,” he added.

As the church is called to live in solidarity with others, Tagle noted that the spirit of communion must be reflected in all levels of the community -— be it in the smallest unit which is the family up to the whole world.

“I hope that as a community called by the Lord, we will be witnesses to the communion of God who is love. Let us not add up to the division, angst, and discrimination characterizing our present world,” the cardinal said.

Communion with others

Tagle urged the lay faithful to focus on factors that bind them together instead of looking at individual differences that cause conflict and destroy the communion fostered among them.

“Before we think about our dissimilarities, let us first look at what is common among us for it is very easy to be divided if we focus our attention to our individual differences,” he said in Filipino.

“For example, when we focus on the difference between the rich and the poor, division easily sinks in. But if we think about the fact that regardless of our socioeconomic status, we are all commonly seeking for a comfortable and peaceful life for our families, then maybe we will easily be united because of the common cause that binds us,” he added.

“Why don’t we start on our commonalities? Let us hold on to what is similar among all of us for that is communion,” Tagle said. (Jennifer M. Orillaza)

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