MANILA, Philippines – Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle took an apparent swipe at the newly enacted Reproductive Health law as he officiated Mass during the Feast of the Black Nazarene Wednesday.
“Life is sacred . . . it should be respected . . . The family is a blessing, the husband, wife and children,” said Tagle, the Manila archbishop, in Filipino in his homily before thousands of barefoot devotees at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila.
Tagle made no direct reference to the new piece of legislation, but he told the 500,000 faithful that “money that can be used to feed the people, build schools is being spent to kill . . . This nonsense should be stopped.”
President Benigno Aquino III signed the bill into law in December.
The Catholic Church has remained a staunch critic of the new law, threatening legislators who voted for its passage of withdrawing its support during the midterm elections in May.
“Hindi niya tayo sasamahan sa pagrerebelde sa Diyos [He will not help us in fighting God]. Bato-bato sa langit, ang tamaan, bahala nang magalit [A literal translation in English would be Stone, stone in the sky, whoever gets hit, don’t get mad]… Si Hesus ay nagdusa dahil sa mga huwad na saksi [Jesus suffered for the false witnesses]. May mga binayaran para magbulaan at gumawa ng kaso laban kay Hesus [There were those who were bribed to spread lies and make a case against Jesus],” said Tagle.
“Ang tunay na nananalig kay poon Hesus Nazareno, lalabanan ang kabulaanan na sumisira hindi lang sa tao at lipunan kung hindi sumisira sa anak ng Diyos [Those who truly believe in Jesus the Nazarene will fight the falsehoods that destroy not only man and society but also destroy the son of God]. That shall not happen again,” he vowed.
True devotees should not be materialistic, Tagle also said, airing his disapproval for those who value their gadgets and wealth more than their faith. He lamented how many seemed to worship their cellphones more, feeling that they could not live without technology.
He questioned how the rich could provide their pets with quality food and only give their household help stale left-overs.
Tagle urged them to ask themselves “Kamusta ang ugnayan ko kay Hesus, buhay ba siya sa akin [How is my relationship with Jesus. Is he alive in me]?”
“We need to be witnesses to the truth that Christ came not to destroy others but to give life so that they may receive everlasting life and peace,” he said.