Manila Archbishop admits there is still wide gap between Church and the poor

Manila Archbishop Jose Cardinal Advincula, during a mass at the Pontificio Collegio Filippino in Rome, admitted that there is still a “dark and wide gap” between the Church and the poor in the country.

“Our local Church is far from being with the Church of the poor that we aspire to be. The Church does not know the poor and the poor do not know the Church,” the Cardinal said in his homily.

“Our poor and marginalized brethren feel that their views and values are disregarded in our Church communities and organizations,” he said.

According to the cardinal these “disturbing realizations” came during the recent National Synodal Consultations last July held at Tagaytay City.

“We must immerse ourselves in the life of the poor, be friends with them, journey with them, empower them for mission, include them in the life and activity of the Church and advocate for their dignity,” the prelate said.

According to the Cardinal for the Church to cover the wide gap, those who are active in the Church is called to live the virtue of humility, which not only entails docility and heavenly orientation, but also solidarity with the lowly.

Humility is more than just the ascetic denial of worldly pleasures and prestige, according to the Cardinal,  nor simply the willingness to suffer shame and dishonor.

“True humility must be expressed as solidarity with the last, the least, and the lost among us.”

Attending the consistory in Rome, the Manila Archbishop was present at the creation of 20 new cardinals in Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican on Aug. 27.

He is also taking part in the two-day extraordinary consistory, which started on Aug. 29, called by Pope Francis.

Earlier, members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines owned up to their shortcomings why the country is still “far from our dream of a Church of the poor.”

“We saw gaps and closed doors in our work of evangelization. We saw shadows,” read a statement released by the Church leaders following the National Synodal Consultation held in Tagaytay City in July.

“We saw gaps and closed doors in our work of evangelization. We saw shadows,” read a statement released by the Church leaders following the National Synodal Consultation held in Tagaytay City in July. (Mio Angelo Hermoso/SOCOM-Vicariate of Santa Clara)

 

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