Catholic Church to hold Asian ‘festival of faith’ in Manila

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Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle: Rediscover the beauty of faith. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Buffeted by secularism and fast-changing technology, the Catholic Church is inaugurating a “festival of faith” in October to keep its message in tune with the times, according to Church officials.

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle said on Tuesday the Philippine Conference on New Evangelization (PCNE), to be held on October 16-18 in Manila, would enliven the faith of Catholic Filipinos and spur them to spread the Gospel to other nationalities “who have yet to hear” about Jesus Christ.

He added that delegates from Taiwan, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, Thailand and Myanmar would be attending the three-day conference to be held in the University of Santo Tomas.

“Why did we have this kind of inspiration? First of all, there is that call of Pope emeritus Benedict XVI on this year of faith for us and the world to rediscover again the beauty of faith,” Tagle said in a press conference.

“There are parts of the world where the faith has become some kind of extracurricular activity which some even say you can do without,” he added.

Monsignor Gerardo Santos, PCNE vice-chair, said Christian Filipinos had a “missionary vocation” in Asia where Christians have become mostly in the minority.

“The Philippines is the biggest Christian country in Asia, having the most number of Christians. But if you think of it, the faith is simply not for ourselves. It has to be shared,” Santos said.

Former Ambassador to the Vatican Henrietta de Villa said Church leaders have been planning for the PCNE to become a version of such joyous Church gatherings like the World Youth Day or the World Meeting of Families that were started by the late Pope John Paul II.

“It is a festival of faith that will enable people to bring about a new world, a new way of being and loving. This is like no other,” De Villa said.

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