Monday, February 10, 2014

Cardinal Tagle calls for effective evangelization

Cardinal Louis Antonio Tagle of Manila on Feb. 1 said the efficiency of the church’s evangelization efforts needs to be reassessed to counter the effects of secularization in modern-day Philippines.
Addressing the Manila Archdiocesan General Pastoral Assembly (MAGPAS), he said that the predominantly Catholic country might need a deeper catechetical approach to effectively reach out to the faithful.

“Whatever ministry we participate into, I hope that we will all be treading the same direction. Members of the parish council may change, but what is important is for us to have one vision,” he stressed the need for everyone to be united in the common goal of intensifying efforts to evangelize the good news.

Records from the 2013 Catholic Directory of the Philippines showed that the total number of priests in the country as 9,040 for the year; too few to attend to the spiritual needs of 76.18 million Catholics out of an estimated population of 96.8 million.

The cardinal noted that while priests in other countries rarely get the chance to administer the sacraments due to the dwindling number of Catholics in their area, Filipino priests could hardly accommodate all those needing pastoral guidance.

“With the many individuals to whom we administer the sacrament of reconciliation, are they being catechized properly? With all those who are getting married, do they really live by the teachings of the good news?” he asked.

The prelate urged the faithful to come up with a formation program for the archdiocese that would address its specific needs to be holistically catechized.

“It would be better if we are all together—priests, religious, and the lay people—this year of the laity so we may come up with a formation program for the archdiocese,” Cardinal Tagle said.

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