Vatican-bound Cardinal Tagle prays for peace in Middle East
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle lead a concelebrated mass Thursday midnight, ahead of the annual Traslacion.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila Office of Communications/Eric Paul Guanlao

Vatican-bound Cardinal Tagle prays for peace in Middle East

(Philstar.com) - January 9, 2020 - 9:58am

MANILA, Philippines — Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle called on the faithful to pray for peace in the Middle East and for the safety of Filipinos in the region as tensions escalate between the United States and Iran.

At a midnight mass for this year’s feast of the Black Nazarene, Tagle expressed hope that the brewing conflict in the Gulf region would not lead to war.

“Ating alalahanin na sa ilang bahagi ng mundo ay nakaamba ang panganib ng karahasan. Harinawa, huwag itong umuwi sa giyera, sa digmaan,” Tagle began his homily.

(Let us remember that in some parts of the world, there is a threat of violence. May it not lead to war.)

He added: “Ipanalangin natin na maging ligtas ang ating mga kapwa sa Middle East, humupa ang mga pagnanais na sirain ang kapwa, humupa ang mga hangarin na maghiganti, at ipanalangin ang mga kapwa Pilipino at kanilang mga pamilya dito na nangangamba.”

(Let us pray for the safety of our fellowmen in the Middle East, to stop the desire to destroy one’s neighbor and desire to take vengeance and let us pray for our fellow Filipinos and their families here who are anxious.)

Tagle then asked the crowd to observe a moment of silence.

Over 1.2 million Filipinos work in the Middle East, who are at risk of being affected by the escalating conflict. This, after a US airstrike killed top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in Iraq.

The Philippine Embassy in Iraq raised Alert Level 4 Wednesday, which called for evacuation or mandatory repatriation.

Thursday’s mass was seen as Tagle’s last as Manila top prelate, a post he has held for eight years. He is set to move to Vatican as prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

The Feast of the Black Nazarene, which culminates in the annual procession called Traslacion, is expected to draw millions of Catholic faithful. — Gaea Katreena Cabico

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