04/06/2012, 00.00
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Christ saves from poverty, discrimination and bad government, says archbishop of Manila

by David Viehland
In his first Chrismal Mass, Mgr Tagle calls on priests and lay people to spread the Gospel to free people from the enslavement of material things. He calls on the faithful to pray for the priests of his archdiocese, which serves 3 million people.

Manila (AsiaNews) - "We are all baptised," said Mgr Luis Antonio Tagle at his first Chrism Mass as archbishop of Manila. During the service, he enjoined people to work together to bring joy to God, show everyone that "happiness will be found only in Jesus" and free people from material constraints like poverty, social discrimination and bad government. The capital's new archbishop spoke before 236 diocesan priests and hundreds of believers, packed inside San Fernando de Dilao Church, temporary seat of the archdiocese whilst Manila's Immaculate Conception Cathedral undergoes extensive repair

In his homily, the prelate urged the priests of his diocese not to waste their priestly life but follow Christ instead. He asked Church members to "pray for us priests" and forgive them for hurting or failing to serve people. "Always pray for us and remind us to serve," he said.

The Archdiocese of Manila has more than 3 million members. Its territory is served by 412 diocesan and religious priests divided among 27 diocesan parishes with another 58 run by religious congregations.

Before his appointment as metropolitan archbishop on 13 October 2011, Mgr Tagle, 55, served for six years in the Diocese of Imus where he paid close attention to the needs of the young.

Online catechesis and biblical commentaries are among some of the initiatives he promoted. In 2009, the Diocese of Imus also held Asia Youth Day.


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