Latest Stories

Manila archbishop leads Cebu recollection


Be a good shepherd.

This was the challenge posed by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle to all candidates vying for electoral posts in the upcoming May 13 polls.

“Our people long for a true shepherd. We can learn from Jesus. The shepherd is the way rather than the stumbling block for people to reach green pastures. A good shepherd knows his sheep and offers the supreme sacrifice of giving up his life. He will endanger his life so that the sheep will be saved and will have life in abundance,” Tagle said in yesterday’s “discernment recollection” at the Sacred Heart Center in Cebu City.

About 800 people attended the morning session which was intended for voters while candidates listened to Tagle’s reflections in the afternoon.

The 55-year-old prelate, who will be the lone Filipino cardinal-elector in next month’s conclave to elect Pope Benedict XVI’s successor, celebrated Mass in the morning. He then drew applause and laughter from the audience several times with his wit and humor as the recollection master.

(Tagle avoided answering media questions later about the Pope’s resignation and would only smile when pressed for comment. )

At the start of his talk, when the audience stood up to applaud, he joked, ‘You may remain standing,” putting everyone at ease immediately, the better to absorb a serious one-hour reflection on the need to listen deeply with empathy to other people, and be attentive to the will of God.

Tagle said anyone who wishes to have a seat in government should be willing to listen well like a good shepherd.

“When we talk of listening, it is not just opening an ear and a brain to words. The most profound way of listening is when I’m able to empathize or being able to penetrate the world of the other person. From that world, I begin to understand and I begin to love,” he said.

“The reverse of listening is not just the lack of attention. Maybe the other person is not connecting to the other. Because I failed to appreciate the condition of the other, I am deaf to them,” he added.

In the afternoon session, which was off limits to media coverage, the same message was delivered to candidates.

Among the candidates who attended were Acting Cebu Gov. Agnes Magpale, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, Councilor Eduardo Labella, former Representatives Raul del Mar and Nerissa Ruiz, former senator John Osmeña, and Liberal Party’s gubernatorial candidate Hilario “Junjun” Davide III.

Tagle admonished candidates to avoid being “false shepherds” which the Lord promised to go against.

“As the Lord says through the Prophet Ezekiel, woe to you shepherds of Israel who have been pasturing themselves. Should not shepherds pasture the flock? You consumed milk, wore wool, and slaughtered fatlings, but the flock you did not pasture. You did not strengthen the weak nor heal the sick nor bind up the injured,” Tagle said.

“You did not bring back the stray or seek the lost but ruled them harshly and brutally. So they were scattered for lack of a shepherd, and became food for all the wild beasts,” he went on, citing passages in the Old Testatment.

Tagle said the Lord had vowed to go go against false shepherds who don’t take care of their flock.

“The false shepherd is a stranger. He is not united with the sheep. He does not know the sheep and the sheep do not know him. You, false shepherd, are instrumentalizing the sheep to serve yourself,” he said, discussing the Bible’s warning about false leaders.

The cardinal advised candidates to know their constituents and their conditions.

“As Jesus said, a false shepherd is a hired person. He is the one who takes care of the sheep but his real interest is his pay. When danger comes, the false shepherd runs away and saves his life and exposes the sheep to danger. While running, he could hear the sheep being murdured, but he will say ‘they are not mine. Im here for the pay,’” Tagle said.

He reminded candidates to pattern their programs of governance after what the Lord wills.


Meanwhile, he said voters cannot just point a finger at their leaders. Tagle said citizens are equally accountable and should do their part to help government leaders.

He said people are “shepherds” to one another in different roles such as parents to their children, teachers to their students and spouses to their partners.

In the same account in Ezekiel, Tagle showed how God also evaluates the flock as rams and goats.

“Not everyone are sheep. There are goats. There are bullies, using their size and their shoulders to bump off others,” said Tagle.

Each individual will have to answer for his actions before God.

The cardinal also advised voters and candidates to devote quiet time to reflection.

“We face an important exercise as citizens who espouse and follow the teachings of the Lord. This requires really a lot of sacred space,” he said.

Tagle focused his talk on the importance of listening.

“I’m sure all of us also have experiences of not listening. I think we would humbly admit that we encounter difficulties in listening. We get hurt when other people do not listen to us. Before we expect them to listen, we have to ask ourselves, am I also good in listening? Or am I becoming an expert in non-listening?” he said.

Fr. Carmelo Diola, executive director of Dilaab, said the way Philippine elections are conducted is one root of graft and corruption because many politicians view elections as “an investment while public servcie has become a business.”

“It’s part of the culture to buy votes. When they win, they make bawi (recover what they spent),” he said.

The recollection was organized by Dilaab Foundation Inc. and the Couples for Christ.

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: Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle , Religion & Belief

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
  1. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  2. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  3. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  4. Massive infra spending set
  5. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  6. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  7. Passengers denied chance to escape sinking South Korea ferry
  8. South Korea president shouted down by distraught parents
  9. Two Popes who would be saints
  10. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  7. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  8. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  9. Massive infra spending set
  10. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  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. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  5. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  6. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  7. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • US teacher fired over comment on black president
  • Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  • Title of new Hillary Clinton book: ‘Hard Choices’
  • Filipinos, Dutch re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  • 14 killed in car bombing in Homs
  • Sports

  • Nadal ousted by Ferrer in Monte Carlo quarters
  • Pacquiao shorts in Bradley fight sold for P1.7M in LA auction
  • Ryu pitches Dodgers past Giants
  • Alonso sets the pace in Chinese GP practice
  • Heat seek Three-peat but Spurs, Pacers top seeds
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • 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’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • 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

  • Las Vegas ‘Pinoy Pride’ fest hails Filipino heritage
  • Marking Jesus’ journey on Good Friday
  • Filipina accomplice arrested for fake bills in Malaysia
  • DoH denies Filipino nurse no longer positive for MERS virus
  • WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  • Marketplace