Cardinal Tagle: mercy, cure for the modern ills of a wounded society

For the archbishop of Manila, the world has “many wounds" that even the Risen Lord cannot eliminate. The faithful must "see and touch" these wounds to understand mercy and compassion. Infidelity, individualism and abuse within the Church are some of the most urgent wounds to heal.

Manila (AsiaNews/CBCP) – Card Luis Antonio Tagle, archbishop of Manila, spoke about modern ills during the annual recollection that follows the celebration of Easter.

In his address, the prelate said that such problems do not exist because of hurting individuals, but because of a largely “wounded society”.

“Our world still has a lot of wounds,” he explained. “Wounds remain wounds, even the Risen Lord does not eliminate wounds . . .  Wounds are everywhere,” he said during the Jesuit Communication’s ‘Rise Up in Mercy’ Easter recollection last Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum, in Metro Manila.

For the cardinal, the faithful need to “see and touch” the wounds of society to truly experience mercy and compassion. “It is seeing and touching others’ wounds that we see and touch our wounds,” he said. indeed, identifying with those in need is what sparks true mercy for others.

Mgr Tagle named several issues as “wounds of society” that need treatment, such as infidelity in the family, lack of nutritious food, a sense of cultural superiority, individualism, ethnocentrism, misuse of social media, and abuse and neglect within the Church.

For the Filipino cardinal, who also chairs Caritas Internationalis, the failure of family relationships causes deep wounds, which can be "passed on to children and grandchildren."

Lack of food not only causes physical pain, but also spiritual damage in children that may hinder their development and create learning difficulties. One can expect low academic performance from "so many children who go to school without even eating breakfast," Card Tagle said.

The prelate also mentioned indigenous cultures, so often wounded by other cultures who think – and act – as if they were "superior" to them, as well as the ethnocentrism and nationalist xenophobia that prevail in some regions experiencing an influx of refugee.

As for the internet and technology, if used incorrectly, they can cause deep wounds by facilitating money laundering, as well as the exploitation of women and children through cybersex. 

Lastly, Tagle acknowledged that abuse and neglect within the Church have also caused a lot of hurt.

Still, redemption, he believes, can only come when the faithful consciously desire to immerse themselves in the wounds of society.

“The Risen Lord is telling us, ‘Look at my wounds and touch them.’ That’s how we will rise and that’s how we show mercy [. . .] seeing and touching the wounds of the Risen Lord present in the wounds of our brothers and sisters.”