Tagle to media: No labeling, please

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MANILA, Nov. 5, 2014—A member of the local Church hierarchy bemoaned the practice of “labeling” current among some media practitioners, arguing it is disrespectful to people.

Manila Archbishop Luís Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle (Photo: Roy Lagarde)

In a press briefing he gave recently, Manila Archbishop Luís Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle reminded journalists that labeling others as “progressives”, “conservatives”, or “traditionalists” may hinder “a full listening to them”.

“If we have already decided in our mind this person is traditionalist, whatever this person says, you or we will always say, ah, traditionalist… Or if the person says something that does not sound traditionalist we change the label: Ah hindi na siya traditionalist, progressive na!” [Ah, he’s no longer a traditionalist, he’s already a progressive!] he said.

“Hindi naman. [It’s not necessarily the case.] A person will always be deeper than any label. And no person, especially talking about deep, deep mysteries—love, marriage, relationships—could be labeled. It is not helpful to the public. It is not helpful to us and it is not helpful to you to think of human persons based on labels,” the 57-year old prelate said.

Tagle enjoined the press to listen to the totality of perspectives, so that they will get a better picture of events.

“I said that many times in Europe and I am very happy that the French journalists took it. I have been receiving a lot of emails from French journalists who say, ‘Thank you for saying that’,” the prelate shared.

According to the cardinal, a female French journalist personally emailed him to express her appreciation to him for sharing this view on labeling.

Tagle quoted her as saying, “This is my personal advocacy. I get hurt when I am labeled. Thank you for reminding us [of] respect for the human person.”

The prelate stressed, “The person is a human person and not an etiketa [item tag].” (Raymond A. Sebastián)

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