Tagle to Synod bishops: Be calm, avoid stereotyping | Inquirer News

Tagle to Synod bishops: Be calm, avoid stereotyping

/ 11:45 AM October 20, 2014


Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle. Screengrab from Salt and Light Media Youtube account

MANILA, Philippines – Following controversial debates on homosexuality and the concept of family in the Catholic Church, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle has called on his fellow bishops to remain calm and avoid stereotyping each other.

“My suggestion to them is,  ‘Let us be calm.  And let us not stereotype each other,’” Tagle said during an interview with Salt+Light, a Catholic media network based in Canada.


“Let us not stereotype persons, countries, local churches. We  are here, all of us have something to contribute. But all of us are also learning,” the archbishop said at the sidelines of the third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which ended on Sunday.


Tagle was one of the three delegate presidents tasked to preside over the assembly “in the name and by the authority” of the Pope.

Pope Francis is scheduled to visit the Philippines in January.‎

The historic synod, held October 5 to 19, made headlines the past week after its “relatio” or interim report hinted at the Church’s willingness to embrace homosexual believers, only for that particular passage to be deleted in the final report.

While the initial report mentioned that “homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community,” the final report, according to media, mentions only the need to accept “with respect and sensitivity” “men and women with homosexual tendencies” and avoid “unjust discrimination.”

The decision was said to reflect deep divisions in the Church amid Pope Francis’ attempt to reach out to gay people.

Tagle mentioned “stereotypes” aamid reports that Pope Francis added six progressive bishops to the synod leadership, none of which were Africans, said to be among the most conservative on family issues.


Two days before the synod ended, Tagle admitted that the synod had been taxing but insightful.

“I’m tired physically and mentally but what keeps me going is the excitement of  learning something new everyday…I am fascinatd but by at the end of the sessions I am humbled,” he said of his discussion with bishops from all over the world.

Although the interview was done before the final report was released, Tagle pointed out that the recently concluded synod was not the end of the line.

“This synod is unique because it’s happening in two stages. We have the whole year to continue studying and continue consulting people,” he said.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said that the third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will be followed by an Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October 2015, which will also tackle topics related to the family and evangelization.

The first assembly, composed of a smaller group of bishops, focused on defining the current situation pertaining to the family in the context of the Catholic Church. It is seen as a preparatory step for the ordinary general assembly in 2015, which aims “to formulate appropriate pastoral guidelines.”

Copies of the final report of the recent synod will be distributed to bishops all over the world in preparation for the Synod of Bishops in 2015.



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Bishops say gays have gifts to offer church

TAGS: bishops, Canada, Family‎, Pope Francis

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