Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle reminded the faithful not to reduce the Sacrament of Baptism to a mere family “custom.”
The prelate made the statement when he baptized two Filipino children at the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome on April 11.
In his homily, Cardinal Tagle, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, told parents that baptism is the beginning of a journey of faith.
“To the parents of the baptized, raise your children in proper upbringing, food, education, good manners and faith,” said the cardinal.
“Train them to unite in prayer and the life of the Christian community,” he said, adding that some people are more focused on the gifts or the “party” after baptism.
Cardinal Tagle said there is more to being godparents than just giving “pakimkim” (cash gifts) to their godchildren.
“You don’t become a good godfather and godmother with such a gift,” he said. “The depth of faith is not measured by the size of celebration.”
“The role of godparents is to help the parents in raising their children in faith,” said the cardinal.
The baptism and the Sunday’s Mass was part of the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines.
Due to health restrictions, only a limited number of people were accommodated inside the basilica.