Cardinal Tagle praises Bangladeshi Catholics' humanitarian efforts

'Nothing is small when love is great,' says Filipino cardinal
Cardinal Tagle praises Bangladeshi Catholics' humanitarian efforts

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, president of Caritas Internationalis, presides over a special Mass at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Dhaka on Dec. 4 to mark the first anniversary of Pope Francis’ visit to Bangladesh in late 2017.  (Photo by Stephan Uttom/

The Catholic Church in Bangladesh is small but its actions and services are full of love and greatness, said Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, president of Caritas Internationalis, during his two-day visit to the South Asian nation.

"Even in small actions, nothing is small when it is about love. Because of love, there will always be greatness. Life stops when we stop loving. For as long as you love, you live," Cardinal Tagle, 61, archbishop of Manila, told Catholics in Dhaka on Dec. 4.

The prelate was addressing a thanksgiving celebration to mark the first anniversary of Pope Francis' visit to Bangladesh in late 2017.

Cardinal Tagle visited Bangladesh from Dec. 3-4 in what was his first pastoral trip to the Muslim-majority country.

On Dec. 3, he flew to Cox's Bazar in southeastern Bangladesh and visited Kutupalong camp, one of the 30 shelters in the district where hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees reside after fleeing deadly persecution in Rakhine State of Myanmar.

On Dec. 4, the cardinal visited Caritas Bangladesh's central office in Dhaka and talked with Caritas staff and local officials.

The Catholic Church and Caritas in Bangladesh have been very active in serving humanity, Cardinal Tagle said.

"Our mission is to build one body of Christ, and even attracting collaborators who are non-Christians and non-Catholics, in order to show what humanity is all about," he said. "It is the triumph of human dignity, triumph of truth, the triumph of justice, and triumph of love."

Caritas has operated in Kutupalong camp since the latest influx of Rohingya started arriving in August 2017.

It has so far spent about 750 million taka (US$8.92 million) in helping refugees from its emergency appeal fund created with donations from Caritas members across the globe. It has also received and spent 8 million taka from UNHCR.

Cardinal Tagle also attended a reception and thanksgiving program and presided over a special Mass at the Holy Rosary Catholic Church on Dec. 4. At this same church, Pope Francis last year met and spoke to hundreds of priests, religious and candidates to priestly and religious life.

Cardinal Tagle said the pope again sent his greetings to the people of Bangladesh.

Cardinal Patrick D'Rozario of Dhaka thanked Cardinal Tagle for his visit.

"Pope Francis has made a huge vibration in the life and culture of Bangladeshi people. You have brought us the same feeling again," Cardinal D'Rozario said. "You represent the youthfulness of the church and the future of the church. We are glad and grateful to you."

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