Tagle warns youths against 'fake news,' gadget addiction

Manila prelate reminds young people to always be 'truthful' even on social media
Tagle warns youths against 'fake news,' gadget addiction

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila warns against modern-day enslavement during the Chrism Mass in Manila on Holy Thursday. (Photo by Jire Carreon)

The spread of fake information and addiction to gadgets like mobile phones have slowly enslaved a lot of people these days.

This was the warning of Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila during the observance of the Easter Triduum last week.

In his message during the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday, the cardinal urged Catholics, including priests, to "live your consecration" and "proclaim good news."

"There are a lot of purveyors of bad news, fake news, hate speech," noted Cardinal Tagle. 

"We today, all the consecrated, all the baptized, bearing the Holy Spirit, will say, 'I will not deliver fake news, hate speech,'" he said.

The Manila prelate called on parents, teachers and members of the clergy to "bring good news to the poor and the suffering."

"Our imprisonments are very subtle," he said as he described those who use mobile phones even during the celebration of Mass as "imprisoned by many so-called signs of progress."

"So many young people never hear good news," he said. "They only hear criticism. They only hear their incapacity to meet the expectations which are not realistic," added the cardinal.

On Easter Sunday, Cardinal Tagle reminded young people to be always "truthful" even on social media.

"It's saddening [that] even in social media there are those who use different names.... If you are truthful, use your own name ... you are a coward if you are hiding your identity," he said.

He said that because people do not use their real name on social media they have no qualms in maligning others.

The cardinal admitted that he himself has become a victim of identity theft. He said he discovered that he has four Facebook accounts that he did not create.

"You also have a name why borrow mine?" he said.

Last year, he also became a victim of "fake news" when he was reported to have supposedly died.

"Somebody sent me a post saying I died. It says I died at Cardinal Santos Hospital surrounded by my parents and loved ones and that I left this world peacefully," Cardinal Tagle recounted.

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"To the youth, start living with dignity today. If you are at fault admit it. Don't point fingers at others who will be made to suffer because of your lies," he said.

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