Cardinal Tagle hits ‘violent, cocky kings’

Edu Punay - The Philippine Star
Cardinal Tagle hits �violent, cocky kings�

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle blessing the palm fronds during a mass at the Manila Cathedral. Edd Gumban

MANILA, Philippines — As Christians celebrated Palm Sunday, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle slammed leaders who set bad examples to their followers.

Without naming names, the head of the country’s Catholic hierarchy scored what he branded as modern-day “kings” who are boastful and violent, in a mass he celebrated at the Manila Cathedral.

“In our world today, kings, who are full of cockiness and devoid of humility, are lording over,” Tagle lamented in his homily yesterday.

“Today, many follow the kings  who use violence, arms and intimidation but are without any understanding and oneness with the weak,” Tagle stressed.

He urged these leaders to instead emulate the example of humility in leadership set by Jesus Christ.

“Our king does not rely on violence, in arms, in swords, in bullets and guns. Our king trusts in God alone,” Tagle stressed.

“The serene dignity and silence of the person, who trusts in God and who is in full solidarity with sinful humanity, that is true authority. That is our true king. That is the king that will save the world,” Tagle explained.

He said Jesus Christ could have chosen not to be crucified and to escape the penalty imposed by Pontius Pilate, but opted not to use his power.

“In truth, Pilate has no chance against Christ. But our king need not to defend himself. His personality shows he has full trust in God and love for us. That is the true king. That is dignity. That is power,” he added.

Tagle led the celebration of Palm Sunday to kick off the final week of the Lenten season.

Apart from his message of humility, Tagle also called on the Catholic faithful to take this Holy Week as an opportunity to do charity and help people in need.

He specifically urged Catholics to support the Church’s annual fundraising program, Alay Kapwa Telethon 2018 of the Caritas Manila and Radio Veritas set today.

“I call on our brothers and sisters in Christ to participate in Alay Kapwa 2018 and to be generous in sharing their blessings this season of Lent,” he appealed.

He stressed that charity is essential in today’s Catholic life, especially after the numerous calamities happening throughout the year.

“With the increasing number and magnitude of disasters and calamities being responded by Caritas Damayan, our Alay Kapwa funds immediately get depleted,” he added.

Donors may call 925-7931 to 39, 563-9311 or 562-0020 to 25 during the telethon to be held from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

It will be open throughout the live broadcast over Radio Veritas 846 and also via live streaming at www.veritas846.ph.

Last year, Alay Kapwa Telethon proceeds were used in extending Caritas relief operations for the victims of the Surigao earthquake, Typhoons Urduja and Vinta, Marawi’s rehabilitation and recovery, and various natural and man-made disasters.

Tagle made the appeal as he led the celebration of Palm Sunday, which marks the entry of Jesus to Jerusalem aboard a donkey while he was being welcomed by people waving palm fronds.

Thousands attended the masses at the Manila Cathedral carrying palm branches to have them blessed by the priests.

The Lenten season ends next Sunday with the Easter celebration, which also marks the conclusion of Holy Week.

Leni: Reflect on values

For her part, Vice President Leni Robredo urged Filipinos to slow down and reflect on deeply rooted values.

“Lent is the time to slow down and reflect what is really of value to us,” said Robredo after the launching of the Albay Provincial Library Gender and Development Section at the Albay Provincial Library and Information Center last Friday.

“Sometimes due to the frenzy of our daily work, we forget the most important things,” she said.

Robredo added that Lent is not just a holiday but a time to take stock of things, and a time to ask for forgiveness and renewal.

“Even for non-Catholics, it is a time to go back and return to those things that really matter,” she said.

Meanwhile, parish priest Ramon Navarro at Santiago, Isabela, echoed Tagle and Robredo, saying Lent is a “celebration of the great mystery of salvation.”

“It is the central feast of the Church and that is the foundation, actually, of our faith. All other beliefs or other feasts find their meaning and efficacy in this mystery,” Navarro added.

The priest also reminded the Catholic faithful that they have sinned and that Jesus Christ redeemed the world through his suffering and resurrection.

Navarro asked for intense prayer and conversion, encouraging Catholics to do acts of charity. – With Celso Amo, Kurt Adrian dela Peña

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