Quantcast
Latest Stories

Christmas without faith is an empty Christmas—Archbishop Villegas

By

Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas (cbcpforlife.com photo)

With Christmas becoming more commercialized each year, a Catholic Church official on Monday encouraged Filipinos to reclaim its true meaning by never forgetting the real significance of the season.

In his Christmas message, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said that Christmas is about a poor couple, Joseph and Mary, having difficulty finding a room in Bethlehem and the birth of Jesus, the Savior of the world, on that glorious night more than 2,000 years ago.

“Christmas is a feast of faith. Without faith, [it] will only be a social festival,” Villegas said.

“Christmas giving is only a commercial gimmickry for profit and business gain [and] wishing ‘Merry Christmas’ without faith is no better than fools laughing madly without reason,” Villegas, vice president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, added.

Villegas’ message echoed the theme of the Christmas message issued by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle on Saturday.

In that message, Tagle encouraged Filipinos to renew their faith in God this holy season.

Without faith, Tagle said, “Christmas will be emptied of its meaning.”

In his own message sent from the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist, Villegas observed that today, the holy season has become just an adjective to describe parties and  bonuses “because we have forgotten that Christmas is an event of the past that must still continue to happen through us.”

“Christmas has become a season for festive lighting and amazing carnivals,” Tagle said.

“[P]eople have forgotten how difficult it must have been for Mary and Joseph to find a room in the inn—the [poor] couple continues to be rejected in our broken homes,” he said.

Villegas pointed out that  Christmas carols have been replaced by songs about missed loved ones and that caroling has metamorphosed into yearly fundraisers because people have put a price tag on “almost everything and everyone.”

“[P]eople have forgotten the angels that announced [Jesus’] birth, the sweetest carolers of all time,” he said.

The traditional simbang gabi—a novena of Masses celebrated at dawn—is also slowly turning to be just another feature of Christmas in the Philippines, with Filipinos forgetting that it was originally a thanksgiving novena for the gift of Catholic faith, “which we now ridicule and ignore and consider obsolete,” Villegas said.


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 Socrates Villegas , Catholic Church , Christmas , Religion




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. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Massive infra spending set
  5. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  6. DOJ to NBI: Arrest Cedric Lee, 4 others
  7. Cardinal Tagle to faithful: Join politics to clean it
  8. Estrada, Gigi Reyes denied access to evidence from other respondents
  9. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  10. DOJ orders arrest of Cedric Lee
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  4. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  5. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  6. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  7. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  8. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  9. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  10. Palace: We can’t blame increase in population on Vitangcol
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  5. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  6. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  7. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  8. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  9. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  10. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
Advertisement

News

  • World reacts to death of Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Two Popes who would be saints
  • Anti-gay demo in Ethiopia cancelled
  • Obama launches measures to support solar energy in US
  • Nebraska toddler gets stuck inside claw machine
  • Sports

  • Duke freshman declares for NBA draft
  • Vietnam says it will not host Asian Games
  • Nadal passes clay landmark with 300th victory
  • Wawrinka waltzes through with Monte Carlo walkover
  • Power Pinays smash India in Asian Women’s Club volleyball opener
  • Lifestyle

  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Entertainment

  • Cannes film festival launches race for 2014 Palme d’Or
  • Jones, Godard, Cronenberg in competition at Cannes
  • Will Arnett files for divorce from Amy Poehler
  • American rapper cuts own penis, jumps off building
  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Business

  • Oil prices mixed ahead of long Easter weekend
  • US stocks end mostly higher after earnings deluge
  • Total says makes ‘very promising’ oil find off Ivory Coast
  • ‘Chinese Twitter’ firm Weibo to go public in US
  • World stocks subdued, Nikkei flat on profit taking
  • Technology

  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Last call for nominations to ’14 Presidential Awards
  • San Francisco business coalition slams proposed tax on sugary drinks
  • A ‘time-travel’ production of ‘Les Miserable’ at Stanford
  • Filipina Maryknoll sister honored for years of service
  • Malaysia quarantines 64 villagers over MERS virus
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement