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Tagle urges Filipinos to open hearts to the world



Manila Archbishop Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle told delegates on Sunday to open their hearts to the world by helping one another as economic and social problems arise in society.

During the fourth Philippine Conference on New Evangelization held at the Quadricentennial Pavilion, Tagle said that everyone is experiencing “xenophobia” which becomes a hindrance for many to open themselves in helping others.

“How can you do mission if the doors are closed? How can you go out? It’s not just protecting the house from those who intrude but how about you? You don’t want to go out? You must be very fearful. You must really be scared,” he explained.

The Archbishop pointed out that shuttering oneself others comes from a fear of personal wounds and that individuals are afraid to face it.

“We like to pretend ‘I am not wounded’, but if I entered the open doors of the wounds of other people, I am entering my own wound. And then, I see myself in them,” he said.

“We have wounds in our own country, but we need to also enter the wounds of our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world, in communion and solidarity with them.”

Moreover, Tagle said that being open to others is a new way of evangelization, comparing it to the biblical story of Jesus healing the crippled man in the Book of Matthew.

“During these past three days, I have seen roofs being opened. So that we could be brought near Jesus,” he said. “The roof opened by God, so that His communion with us will be complete.”

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Witnesses to faith and mission

Television personalities and non-government organizations share their stories of faith, and being of one heart with the marginalized people.

Actor Dingdong Dantes shared to the participants how his life as a student fueled his desire to help others now.

“Hindi po siya naging automatic, yung realization, siyempre bilang teenager iba-iba pa yung mga gusto, yung mga wants, yung mga desires,” he explained.

Dantes revealed that he provides scholarships to the children of soldiers.

“From scolarships nag-evolve po siya sa pagpapatayo ng school buildings, pamimimgay ng mga upuan especially in Yolanda affected areas. Now naman we are focusing on disaster preparedness.”

Meanwhile, Teach Peace, Build Peace Movement founder and executive director Bai Rohaniza Sumndad-Usman, shared her mission of teaching the value of peace to children who experienced war and violence.

“We often say that, gusto natin ng kapayapaan. For our organization, we strongly believe that we have to teach peace to build a culture of peace because it is in a culture of peace that we can create a different generation peace builders.”

Usman said that they start teaching children in their formative years to build a foundation of a peaceful character the child can be.

“So that as they grow up, no matter what forms of conflict yung maranasan nila, what violent narrative ang ma-introduce sa kanila, they will still follow the path of non-violence,” she said.



The promise of change can save a ‘fallen’ relationship, Rector says



Photo by Abbie Vinluan/TomasinoWeb

UST Rector Fr. Hermino Dagohoy, O.P. said the promise of change can save a fallen relationship during the Ash Wednesday Mass, which concurred with the Valentine’s Day.

“Kung tayo ay nasasawi sa pag-ibig, the best way we can actually return and save the fallen relationship is to promise to our loved one that we are going to change,” he said during the University mass held at Plaza Mayor.

Dagohoy reminded Thomasians that Ash Wednesday is not just a day to remind us of our mortality but a day that we proclaim that we belong to God.

“As we remember our love ones, today, by giving them roses, chocolates, or balloons, today God imposes on us the sign of his cross as a sign of the greatest love ever told.”

Moreover, Dagohoy said the greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live although there is “no human reality that scares us the most.”

“Ang kamatayan daw ay hindi ang pinaka malaking kawalan sa tao, ang pinaka malaking kawalan ay ang pagkamatay ng ating loob hanbang tayo’y nabubuhay. Kaya yung mga tao na namamatayan ng kalooban ay mukha nang patay kahit sila ay buhay,” he said.

Ash Wednesday marks the start of Lent season, a 40-day period of fasting, abstinence from meat, giving alms, and penance as to recall Jesus’ being taunted by the Devil in the desert for 40 days. – H.M. Amoroso 


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UST vice rector: Partial truth must find its place



Since the truth will not contradict itself, even partial truth must find its place in this age of fake news, said the University vice rector on Friday, Jan. 26.

“Pope Francis has this to say: education for truth is important. It would help people discern, evaluate, and understand, the news. Personally, I believe the truth is a form of charity,” said Rev. Fr. Richard Ang, O.P during the Eucharistic celebration for the feast of the University’s patron saint, St. Thomas Aquinas.

Ang reminded that today’s digital age could negatively affect everybody as unverified information easily proliferates nowadays.

“This is an era when fake news and propaganda proliferate in cyber thoughts, which may cause irreparable damage to someone’s self-esteem and reputation,” he said in his homily.

“It helps to see the bigger picture, it pays to scope a hole”, he added. “St. Thomas Aquinas was in a constant search for truth because it [also] was a constant search for God.”

UST will celebrate St. Thomas’ feast day on Jan. 28, with the theme, “Non Nise Te, Domine (Nothing but Thyself, Lord): Celebrating with St. Thomas Aquinas the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons.”

by Heather Marian Amoroso


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Tagle says free speech is Church’s conviction

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle stressed the promotion of upright social communication in evangelization, truthful information dissemination and social development through the help of technology.



Screen grabbed from TV Maria Facebook live of the forum "Catholic Media in Challenging Times."

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle emphasized the Church’s “conviction” that freedom of speech is significant amid concerns over the cancellation of online news organization Rappler’s license.

Tagle cited the Vatican II in stating that while people are entitled to freedom of sharing and receiving information, the press is likewise part of that right, during the forum “Catholic Media in Challenging Times” on Friday, Jan. 19.

“Walang question dun ‘no… hindi na ito opinion,  it is our conviction that there should be freedom of people to share information and the right of people to receive,” he said, answering the question of a reporter on his take on the current issue of Rappler.

While firm on their stand on the freedom of speech, both Tagle and Mylo Hubert Vergara, Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines Commission on Social Communications head, refused to answer the question directly, stating that facts, implications and further understanding of the issue is still needed for them to respond appropriately.

“Ito aaminin ko na po sa inyo, kasi minsan hindi ko nasusundan lahat pati detalye. Ako ay ayokong basta magbigay ng opinion sa isang bagay na hindi ko napag-aralan kasi pag nasabi na, hirap namang bawiin,” Tagle said.

The decision of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to revoke Rappler’s license to operate on January 11 was due to the news agency’s “deceptive” violation of the Foreign Equity Restriction of the Philippine Constitution mandating 100-percent Filipino control and ownership of local mass media entities.

Rappler accepted over $1 million from foreign investor Omidyar Network Fund LLC through Philippine Depository Receipts (PDR) in 2015 which secured two-thirds of all the PDR holders on corporate matters.

PDRs are derivative instruments that permits foreign bodies to purchase into private agencies for financial returns but don’t grant ownership or any control in the company.

Also, Tagle mentioned points in the Vatican II, an ecuminical council in 1960s which tackled relations of the Church and the modern world.

He stressed the promotion of upright social communication in evangelization, truthful information dissemination and social development through the help of technology.

“Since public opinion is at stake through information and more seriously the involvement of human being in societal development, each person must be given the opportunity to be formed in the use of social communications,” Tagle added.  

Tagle also warned of the arising threats of the means of communication specifically the new form of “noise”, evasiveness, quest for stimulation and exploitation.

“Some people are proposing the digital detox, detoxification… through silence, a return to reflection and prayer life. At a time where we have multiplied the means of social communication, people are looking for silence,” he said.

SEC’s ruling has raised concerns from local and international groups, as well as from some politicians, stating that the move is an attack on press freedom, whereas the government has denied the accusations (READ: Media groups protest attacks on press freedom).

The news agency currently continues to operate since the decision of SEC was not yet final and executory.—B. Laforga


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