CARDINAL Luis Antonio Tagle, archbishop of Manila, on Wednesday, lamented on how it has been “easy to change truths” and criticized people who lied “for political expediency or out of fear.”
“Test of that freedom in truth is when you are persecuted. How easy it is to change truths. So, now everyone is entitled to create his or her own truth for political expediency or out of fear,” said Tagle in his homily at the Radio Veritas’ thanksgiving mass at the medicine auditorium of the University of the Santo Tomas in Manila.
Tagle’s statements come after Sara Duterte-Carpio, daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte and Davao City mayor, claimed that honesty should not be an electoral issue and insisted that the Constitution did not legally require aspiring senators to be honest, truthful and have good moral character.
Duterte-Carpio’s own statement came after she endorsed Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos as a candidate for senator under her political party, Hugpong ng Pagbabago, despite allegations that she falsified her foreign university documents.
Tagle expressed hope that the faithful would be like the four Jews named Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego who resisted to abandon their faith despite death threats from Nebuchadnezzar 2nd, conqueror from the Babylonian empire from 605 or 604-562 BCE (before the common era). The ruler was portrayed in the Bible as an “enemy of God.”
“He thought that by threatening them with death, they would abandon the truth about true God or discipleship. They refused to be enslaved by idolatry, to change allegiance from the personal God of their history to statue the false god that is being proposed to them look at the level of freedom coming truth. There is no need for us to defend ourselves to you in this matter, they said. The truth will set us free,” he said.
The Manila archbishop also underscored the importance of “serving” the truth.
Tagle said truth should not be kept but shared, so “that the darkness of ignorance or illiteracy may be wiped out and the values may be shared by Christians all over Asia” so they may be set free.
He also said that the truth “defines the whole of human existence.”
He added that slavery to untruth is a sin for Jesus Christ, the central figure in the Christian religion.
“And what is the opposite of truth, what is enslavement, it is not just ignorance, for Jesus it is sin. It is when our relationship with God is not right then miss out on the truth, we fail,” he said.
“Jesus leads us to that liberation if only his word coming from the father could be accepted, could be loved then we are set free,” he said.
The mass, which was attended by prelates from the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, Filipino priests, and UST students and faculty members, was celebrated by the Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, the apostolic nuncio to the Philippines.
Tagle said that in December 1958, it was in the same auditorium where Southeast Asian bishops in Manila, have decided to establish a radio station for Asia and Oceania “to spread the truth and drive away ignorance and illiteracy and to direct the minds of Asians to the true values and meanings of life,” he said. (C. A. Modesto, TMT)