MANILA Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle slammed the widespread corruption in government and exhorted the Catholic faithful to shun all forms of corruption and show Christian examples in their daily lives.
“I find it very puzzling why acts that we should be ashamed of are being committed with pride,” Tagle said during his homily at the Luneta in a mass celebrated before the procession of the Black Nazarene.
“For instance, we are now unashamed to steal when we are supposed to be ashamed of it,” Tagle said. “Yoong pagnanakaw hindi na ikinahihiya. Yoon ang dapat ikahiya! (We’re no longer ashamed to steal. That’s what we should be ashamed of!)”
Doing nothing to stop corruption might lead to the perception that it is acceptable, usual and normal in Philippine politics, Tagle said, criticizing the government for the misuse of public funds.
But the Palace said the government remains “vigilant in eradicating corruption.”
“We join the faithful and the devotees in celebrating the feast of the Black Nazarene. The annual event is one of the strongest manifestations of our faith,” Palace spokesman Sec. Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a statement.
“We affirm the call of Cardinal Tagle that as Christians, we should exercise our faith and manifest our love of God both in thought and in deed,” he said.
“We are one with the Filipino people and the entire Catholic community in praying and working for the rehabilitation of calamity areas while remaining vigilant in eradicating corruption and institutionalizing reforms,” Coloma said.
During the mass, the cardinal reiterated previous remarks during a homily at a church in Paco, that the government must think about the plight of the nation and not just about enriching themselves at the expense of the country’s coffers.
He urged Filipinos to express love and loyalty to the country by acting against corruption and striving to restore the integrity of the Filipino people.
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