Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, called for a “pandemic response” through dialogue to address the global health crisis brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking at the annual meeting of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines that was held online on September 25, the cardinal said the only way to emerge stronger from the pandemic is through dialogue.
“A pandemic requires a pandemic response, a general response. And it has to be done through dialogue,” he said, adding that without the “spirit of dialogue” and a “culture of dialogue,” the crisis will continue to worsen.
He warned that the deterioration of the situation will not only be in terms of contagion “but in the sense that the worst in humanity is coming out rather than what is best in all of us.”
“The [coronavirus] pandemic is asking from each one of us the best that is in you and not to keep it to yourself but to share it, that’s the culture of dialogue,” said Cardinal Tagle who has just recovered from the new coronavirus disease.
In his address, the former prelate of the Archdiocese of Manila, said the pandemic brought more urgency for the “culture of dialogue.”
He said problem will continue if there is lack of dialogue “or when borders are set up” even as he criticized how the pandemic has been “politicized” by some groups including politicians and health experts.
“How you wish that they could sit down, share the truth that they have discovered,” said Cardinal Tagle.
“If everyone is unsure then at least dialogue on the level of uncertainty and share the common uncertainty. And that is already a big step towards a general response,” he said.
The cardinal, who was supposed to be in Manila for a brief visit but was found to have contracted the new coronavirus disease, shared his experience of his quarantine and eventual recovery despite the “fear and anxiety” during the isolation.
“But getting out of the quarantine I realized that for you to really survive, you need a deep sense of interconnectedness,” he said, adding that the “enemy” is still the feeling that he is a “threat” and “danger to others.”
“Then you feel like maybe it is better to just isolate yourself. But then the isolation also bothers you,” said the 63-year old Vatican official.
He said the sense that “you’re interconnected … you are connected to God, to the water, to the air … will energize you.”
“That’s why I could say that for the survival, even mentally, of those who go through this crisis, this connectedness or what we call dialogue is important,” he said.
“Your existence depends on a rediscovery of the reality that you are not alone, you are always connected,” added Cardinal Tagle.
What was supposed to be to be a low-profile visit to Manila made international headlines when the cardinal was tested positive for the disease after flying from Rome on September 10.
He remained asymptomatic during the entire two-week quarantine, and after another test on September 23 was finally found to be negative of the virus.
With CBCP News reports
Leave a Reply