Church detached from the poor, admits the cardinal

MANILA Archbishop Cardinal Jose Advincula has admitted that there is a “dark and wide gulf” between the Church and the poor in the country.

Advincula said the “disturbing achievements” came during national synodal consultations held in Tagaytay City last July.

“Our local Church is far from being 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,” Advincula said in his homily at the chapel of the Pontificio Collegio Filippino in Rome.

“Our poor and marginalized brethren feel their views and values ​​are ignored in our communities and church organizations,” he said.

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Advincula said the distribution of gifts is not enough and that the Church must be “immersed enough in the lives of the poor that we feel like the poor.”

“We must immerse ourselves in the life of the poor, be friends with them, walk with them, empower them for a mission, include them in the life and activity of the Church and defend their dignity,” he said. declared.

Advincula traveled to Rome to attend the consistory for the creation of 20 new cardinals in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican on August 27.

He also participated in the extraordinary two-day consistory, which began on August 29, called by Pope Francis.

The cardinal said the faithful are drawn to the virtue of Christian humility, which involves not only docility and heavenly guidance, but also solidarity with the humble.

Humility, according to him, is more than the simple ascetic denial of worldly pleasures and prestige, or the willingness to suffer shame and dishonour.

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

Members of the Philippine Conference of Catholic Bishops (CBCP) earlier acknowledged that their shortcomings are why the country is still “far from our dream of a Church of the poor.”

“We have seen gaps and closed doors in our work of evangelism. We have seen shadows,” read a statement released by church leaders following the national synodal consultation in the city of Tagaytay.

The bishops vowed to “open doors for all of us to go out and go on a mission again” and “to seek out those who are far away, different, excluded”.

Martha J. Finley