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Cardinal Tagle urges faithful to work for justice, poor

Acts of mercy should not be seen as 'extracurricular activities'

October 10, 2016

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila has called on Catholics not to be contented with only attending Mass and praying but to also work for justice and for the poor.

Doing acts of mercy, such as helping the poor or feeding the hungry, should not be treated as "extracurricular activities," said Cardinal Tagle in a thanksgiving Mass to mark the canonization of St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

"Others will say that they go to church every Sunday and recite the rosary and novenas ... that's good and these should be continued," said the Manila prelate.

"But our faith life won't be complete if we don't work for the restoration of justice, if we don't love and show compassion to the poor," he added.

Cardinal Tagle said acts of mercy are not limited only to feeding the hungry and thirsty, taking care of the sick, or visiting those in prison. "It also includes acts of justice such as removing from one's midst oppression, false accusation and malicious speech," he said.

"It doesn't mean that just because you attend Mass you will no longer help the poor thinking others can already do this," he added.

Cardinal Tagle cited Mother Teresa who showed how her faith and love for God was by serving the poor or those considered by some as "nameless or strangers" in society.

"Poverty makes people strangers, especially to those who wield influence and power," said the prelate.


Nuns of the Missionaries of Charity pay their respects before the relics of St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta after a thanksgiving Mass in Manila on Oct. 7. (Photo by Roy Lagarde)


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