QUEZON City, June 22, 2014—Amidst the mounting distrust of Filipinos in their elected leaders, the country’s chief prelate cautioned against losing trust even in a world where everybody is suspect.
“Be trustworthy and help restore trust in the world,” said Manila Archbishop Luís Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle in a recent forum hosted by the Novaliches diocese where he underscored the importance of trust in a well-governed society.
Most trusted institution
Quoting a survey by Index, which, he said, has for two consecutive years placed the Church on top of institutions Filipinos trust most, Tagle, not being complacent, urged the need for an ever strengthening clergy, given that the clergy are also humans with weaknesses.
“In case society tears itself apart, people will at least still have one thing to cling to: the Church. But if we church people ourselves break down, where will this leave us?” he asked.
Noting the need for good governance, Tagle lamented the skepticism and paranoia brought about by the post-modern era which, he explained, subjects all to doubt and suspicion.
The archbishop explained that because of this mentality, people no longer know whom and what to trust.
The ongoing challenge this leaves Filipinos, Tagle stated, is how to bring back trust their in their leaders, in institutions, and in one another.
The prelate reasoned that a society like the Philippines cannot function without trust.
Bane of modernism
“No projects, no proposals can get delivered without it,” he said.
The prelate shared that this mentality arose in reaction to a preceding trend—modernism—which was tied up with the concept of freedom.
According to Tagle, modernism had promised freedom: freedom of thought, freedom of expression, and even freedom from morality.
He said “The nations are free …The sciences, economies are free …and everything and everyone wants to be free. But did modernism root out poverty? Did it stop abuses?”
The cardinal pointed out that modernism has spawned two World Wars and the development of nuclear arms, which explain the wars in Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, and Afghanistan. (Raymond A. Sebastián with reports from Mark Lloyd Ranque)