MANILA, May 21, 2015—A member of the Philippine episcopate believes the election of Manila Archbishop Luís Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle as the new president of Caritas Internationalis only proves that the worldwide Catholic community recognizes the contributions of the local Church on behalf of poor Filipinos, proving that the “Church of the Poor” is a reality in the country.
In a recent interview over Radio Veritas, retired Caloocan Bishop Deogracias S. Iñiguez, Jr. noted that the Caviteño prelate’s installment as head of the Church’s global charities network is a testament to the many good things he has done as a shepherd for the sake of the less fortunate of his flock.
He shared leaders of the Catholic Church from all over the world acknowledge the Archdiocese of Manila (RCAM)’s the programs for those who have less in life, especially in the light of the ongoing local observance of the Year of the Poor
“Cardinal Tagle’s election becomes more meaningful and gives us, followers of Jesus, more reason to revitalize our spiritual lives as we prepare for the forthcoming Year of Mercy, keeping in mind Him who laid down His life for the lowly and miserable,” he added.
Helping the needy
Meanwhile, the newly-elected Caritas Internationalis chief on Tuesday called on all Catholics to go out into the streets and help other people, especially the needy.
The Manila archbishop made the appeal during the closing of the 20th general assembly of the confederation of Catholic charities in Rome, Italy.
In a statement relayed through Caritas Philippines, the cardinal lamented the “typhoon of poverty” and “an earthquake of corruption, injustice and human trafficking” that continue to take a toll on human dignity.
“This is why we should bring ‘Caritas’ (Latin word for love) to where the people are, to the neighborhood, and to the streets. This is where we want Caritas to happen,” Tagle said.
The Filipino cardinal, known for his humility, assumed his new post by entrusting his mission to Christ, aware of his shortcomings.
“I know that I lack the knowledge and capabilities. But if I will trust in the love of Christ and the love present in the hearts of others and the poor, altogether we can make this work,” he said.
Tagle is the first ever Asian to take the helm of Caritas Internationalis.
One human family
The general assembly wrapped up its weeklong activities by adopting a vision of “One Human Family, Caring for Creation.”
It also drew attention to the plight of Christians suffering religious persecutions in Syria and Iraq, as well as of migrants and refugees worldwide.
“With the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Pope Francis’s encyclical on ecology and the UN climate meeting in Paris this year, Caritas will work towards putting the human family and human dignity at the heart of development,” Tagle said during his acceptance speech. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News with reports from Riza Mendoza)