Manila cardinal apologizes for sins of Catholic Church
Catholic News Service
MANILA, Philippines — Manila Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle apologized for what he called the sins of the Catholic Church against non-Catholics and the poor.
The apology came on the last day of the Philippine Conference on New Evangelization during a program on interfaith dialogue as the cardinal addressed representatives of different religions in an audience of about 5,000 people from across Asia.
"In memory of Blessed Pope John Paul II and his collaborators before the year 2000, including Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, I humbly, humbly, in the name of my brothers and sisters in the Catholic Church or even the Christian communities, I beg for pardon," Cardinal Tagle said.
"We want to say how sorry we are for the sins, the hurts, that we have inflicted on non-Catholics and non-Christians," Cardinal Tagle said.
"We want to say, we want to ask forgiveness to the poor that have been neglected, the hungry, the thirsty, that we did not see or hear. We want to ask forgiveness from the women who have been degraded, dehumanized," he said.
He continued by asking forgiveness of "children who did not experience caring" and "youth that do not find in our communities always a home that will welcome them." He asked forgiveness of strangers and foreigners who were not made to feel welcome; orphans, widows, the vulnerable, "for they are loved by God; how come we have not loved them?"
"And we want to ask forgiveness of the earth that we have abused and misused," Cardinal Tagle said.
Addressing delegates a day earlier, Cardinal Tagle asked the gathering to help "rebuild" the Catholic Church from "egoism and self-interest," reported the Asian church news portal ucanews.com.
In an interview with Vatican Radio prior to the start of the conference, the cardinal noted that almost half of Asia's Catholics are in the Philippines, with just about 3 percent of the continent being Christian, and so the three-day event was another way to mark the Year of Faith and respond to the call of the church for new evangelization.
Cardinal Tagle told Vatican Radio that recent popes have called on the Philippines "to perform its singular mission in Asia, which is to share the light of Jesus."
At the close of the conference, organizers played a video message from the pope who gave his first public address in English since he became pontiff. Pope Francis called the gathering a "worthy offering to the Year of Faith."
He expressed hope that the faithful would "again experience the loving presence of Jesus ... and love the church more" and enjoined them to share the Gospel "to all people with humility and joy."
"Don't get tired of bringing the mercy of the Father to the poor, the sick, the abandoned, the young people and families," said Pope Francis. "Let Jesus be known in the world of politics, business, arts, science, technology and social media."
The pope said, "Let the Holy Spirit renew the creation and bring forth justice and peace in the Philippines and in the great continent of Asia that is close to my heart."