By Roy Lagarde

November 12, 2022

Manila, Philippines

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle told the delegates of a Catholic forum in southern Philippines to transmit the faith, ‘not just as doctrine or structure’, but by being living witnesses of God’s Words.

The cardinal currently serving as the Pro-Prefect for the Section of Evangelization of Dicastery for Evangelization said that it is crucial for the mission of evangelization to first deepen their faith, “the faith that makes people love Jesus with passion”.

“A person who has not fallen in love with Jesus will not become a missionary. He or she does not have any Good News to share,” Tagle said. “So we need to be evangelized in order to share that experience of joy that we have found in Jesus.”

“This our prayer for our Church in Mindanao and Sulu. Please transmit the faith not just as doctrine, not just as structure, but as the living person of Jesus,” he said.

The cardinal made the call in a video message shown Friday, the last day of the 17th Mindanao-Sulu Pastoral Conference (MCSP) that was hosted by the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro.

The five-day event gathered more than 200 delegates composed of bishops, priests, consecrated persons, and lay people from across the Mindanao region.

This year, the delegates reflected on the theme, “The Gift of Faith and Evangelization as a Synodal Church”.

Among the topics discussed was ecumenism, interreligious dialogue and indigenous peoples. A situation unique for the Church in Mindanao and Sulu is the presence of the Muslims and cultural minorities.

“Dialogue promotes and deepens understanding between religions,” said Archbishop Angelito Lampon of Cotabato and chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Ecumenical Affairs.

“The goal is to understand other religions as they understand themselves. This step aims at facilitating communication between people of different faith traditions,” he added.

A forum of ideas and issues affecting the local churches, the MSP has a history of 50 years, and has been held every three years since the first conference in Davao City in 1972.

The MSPC idea was introduced by the late Archbishop Lino Gonzaga of Zamboanga, who patterned it after the All India Pastoral Conference that he attended in 1968.


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