Quantcast
Latest Stories

Aquino leads high gov’t officials at Tagle thanksgiving Mass

By

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle. AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – Signaling a thawing of relations between Church and State, President Benigno Aquino III  turned up Saturday at the San Fernando de Dilao Parish Church in Paco, Manila, to hear Thanksgiving Mass for the elevation of Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle to the College of Cardinals.

Cardinal Tagle, 55, acknowledged Mr. Aquino’s presence as he took the lectern to deliver his homily.

“I thank you all for [coming] . . . and our gathering has become more meaningful with the presence of the President of our nation, President Benigno Aquino III,” Tagle said.

The congregation applauded at the cardinal’s mention of the President’s name.

Tagle then went on to acknowledge other high-ranking government officials, diplomats, and representatives of religious orders who came for the Mass.

President Aquino also went to the Thanksgiving Mass for the canonization of the Philippines second saint, Pedro Calungsod, in Cebu City on Friday. Mr. Aquino and Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal were seen embracing briefly after the Mass.

Relations between the Church and Malacañang have iced up since Mr. Aquino began pressing for passage of a reproductive health bill that would slow down the growth of the country’s population.

Actually the President and Tagle are “very good personal friends,” according to Fr. Catalino Arevalo, SJ, who was spiritual adviser to Mr. Aquino’s mother, the late former President Corazon Aquino.

Besides the President, his sisters Ballsy and Viel also showed up for the Mass, concelebrated by Manila Archbishop Emeritus Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales and attended by bishops, priests, nuns and lay leaders.

In his efforts to give Filipinos universal access to family planning services, Mr. Aquino earned the ire of the leadership of the Catholic Church, which is leading the opposition to the Reproductive Health Bill.

The RH bill remains stuck in the Senate and in the House of Representatives, with the latter unable to muster a quorum to have the measure adopted before adjournment this month.

Tagle shunned divisive temporal issues and instead preached from the book of the Prophet Ezekiel, dealing with eternal unity between God and his creation.

He said God Himself descended on earth to dwell with mankind through Jesus Christ.

“This is pure grace—God in our midst,” said the cardinal, explaining that Christ represented the “life-giving water… that comes from the throne of God” in the City of God “where light abounds and there is no darkness.”

After the Mass, the two cardinals went down from the altar and approached Mr. Aquino, who was seated on the left front pew with Vice President Jejomar Binay and his spouse, former Makati Mayor Elenita Binay; and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and spouse, Cristina, a former Ambassador to the Vatican.

They were all smiles as they exchanged pleasantries.

The beaming Cardinal and President engaged in small talk during a photo opportunity on the steps of the altar.

Contacted by phone, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad hinted at the significance of Mr. Aquino’s presence at the Mass.

Asked if the warm reception accorded by Tagle to Mr. Aquino signaled a thaw in relations between the Aquino administration and the Church, Abad said:

“Cardinal Tagle and President Aquino go along quite well. Partly, it’s generational; partly, because they share the same moderate views on social issues.”

Asked “how far back” the relationship began, Abad said, “I am not sure if their acquaintance goes all the way back, but somehow, they seem to connect well.”

Abad revealed what some quarters believe to be the ties that bind Tagle and the President.

“Cardinal Tagle is quite close to fellow Jesuit, Fr. Catalino Arevalo, who was the spiritual adviser of  ‘Cory’ Aquino, and now President Noy,” said Abad, a close friend and top political lieutenant of Mr. Aquino.

Asked to confirm the thawing of relations, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas said: “Relations have always been good if not warm. Differences of sincerely held opinion don’t mean relations are bad.”

To expedite the plenary action by the House, the President has summoned congressional officials to a meeting over lunch in Malacañang on Monday.

But in an ambush interview in Mandaue City, Cebu on Friday, Mr. Aquino, appeared to have discarded his confrontational stance, preferring to let lawmakers decide the fate of the bill.

“I think, I have stated publicly (that) I have a position—I’m pro-Responsible Parenthood—that this is a matter of conscience. We all have a value system, a belief system, and we must listen to what our conscience says. So the party will not impose, and our allies (will listen to) each other’s conscience. They should be the ones to decide. But the suggestion is to decide,” said Mr. Aquino.

Asked about the talking points for the meeting on Monday, he disclosed that first, he would make sure that the chamber would get the needed quorum, and second, “we will make sure that there will be a decision.”

“If we leave this hanging, it would have a divisive factor. But, you know, we hope to get past this division. There should be a decision either way. Whatever they pass, that’s what the executive will enforce,” said the President.

Mr. Aquino also had second thoughts about certifying the bill as urgent.

“That’s why we have to talk to see whether we should (still certify it as) urgent. As a general rule, you all know that I am parsimonious when it cones to certifying bills as urgent in consonance with procedures laid by in the Constitution.”


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle , Benigno Aquino III , Birth Control , Church , Government , News , Politics , RH bill




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
Advertisement

News

  • Drilon denies involvement in pork scam
  • Complex health care system for California’s elderly and poor explained
  • Malang the croc must regain strength before return to swamp, says mayor
  • Palace: Lacson’s version of Napoles testimony to be evaluated
  • Scientists eye iceberg bigger than Guam
  • Sports

  • Promoters Dela Hoya, Arum in talks for Pacquiao-Alvarez—report
  • Benzema guides Madrid to 1-0 win over Bayern
  • Suns’ Goran Dragic win NBA’s Most Improved Player award
  • Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97
  • Ronaldo shakes off injury fears to play Bayern
  • Lifestyle

  • Gongs and southern dances star in a workshop at San Francisco Bayanihan Center
  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • Entertainment

  • Smithsonian wants photos, videos for ‘Day in the Life of Asian Pacific Americans’
  • What Garcia Marquez left behind
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Business

  • Metro Pacific acquires stake in Victorias
  • How ‘one percent’ economic elite was uncovered
  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  • Fil-Am youth conferences unite under one theme
  • Embassy advisory: Filipinos still need visas to enter US
  • No travel restriction to Mideast, DFA clarifies
  • PH-HK relations repaired, but families of victims still being courted
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement