Cardinal Tagle opens Holy Door, hits ‘merciless’ corruption

Paterno Esmaquel II
Cardinal Tagle opens Holy Door, hits ‘merciless’ corruption

Vincent Go

'Without mercy, no church, no society, will ever be built up,' Cardinal Tagle says as he opens the Jubilee Year of Mercy

MANILA, Philippines – Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle on Wednesday, December 9, opened the Holy Door of the Manila Cathedral as the Catholic Church begins its Jubilee Year of Mercy.

In a homily on Wednesday, Tagle also slammed “merciless” acts of corruption as well as practices that exploit the poor.

The Jubilee Year of Mercy, a special period declared by Pope Francis, runs from December 8 this year until November 20, 2016. 

During this Jubilee Year, the Catholic Church encourages more acts of mercy. 

It also opens more opportunities for Catholics to seek forgiveness for their sins. One of these is by designating special churches for pilgrimage. These special churches, like the Manila Cathedral, have Holy Doors that symbolize the mercy of God.

“Without mercy, no church, no society, will ever be built up,” Tagle said in his homily on Wednesday.

ENTERING HOLY DOOR. Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle becomes the first to enter the Holy Door of the Manila Cathedral on December 9, 2015, as he opens the Jubilee Year of Mercy in Manila. Photo by Roy Lagarde/Rappler

‘May habag ang Diyos’

The cardinal then delivered the following litany of “merciless” acts that need forgiveness from God:

  • “Itigil na ang pagnanakaw na walang habag. Ipakita ang pagdamay na may habag.” (Stop the merciless theft. Show compassion that comes with mercy.)
  • “Itigil na ang korupsyon na walang habag. Palitan ng katinuan, katinuan na mahabagin.” (Stop the merciless corruption. Replace it with uprightness, uprightness that is merciful.) 
  • “Itigil na ang paglapastangan at paghalay sa mga babae at mga bata. Walang habag! Ipalaganap ang habag ng paggalang.” (Stop the exploitation and rape of women and children. Merciless! Propagate the mercy of respect.)
  • Itigil na ang kawalang-habag ng pagsasamantala sa mga mahihina. Tugunan ng habag ng pagtulong, pag-akay. (Stop the merciless practice of taking advantage of the weak. Respond to them with the mercy of help, assistance.)
  • “Itigil na ang walang habag na pangungutya sa hindi nakakarinig, at pagtatawa sa hindi nakakakita. Palitan ng habag ng pakikiisa, pakikibuklod.” (Stop the merciless mockery of the deaf and the insults against the blind. Replace it with the mercy of unity, solidarity.)
  • “Itigil na ang kawalang-habag ng karahasan, pagpapatayan na walang humpay, at palitan ng habag na yumayakap sa kapwa.” (Stop the merciless violence, the murders that don’t cease, and replace these with the mercy that embraces one’s neighbor.)

For these, Tagle then urged his flock to ask forgiveness from God, one’s neighbor, and also Mother Nature.

Tagle said, “May habag ang Diyos.” (God has mercy.)

‘Society of mercy’

He added, “Let us build a society on the foundation of the mercy of Jesus, and let each one of us be a stone in the construction of a just, truthful, loving society – a society of mercy.”

In opening the Holy Door on Wednesday, representatives from poor families and persons with disabilities accompanied Tagle. 

(Watch the opening of the Holy Door in the video below)


VIDEO: Cardinal Tagle opens Holy Door of the Manila Cathedral, as the Catholic Church begins the Jubilee Year of Mercy

Posted by Paterno Esmaquel II on Tuesday, December 8, 2015


A day before this, the Pope himself opened the Holy Door in St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.

“This Extraordinary Holy Year is itself a gift of grace,” said the pontiff known as the Pope of Mercy.

“To pass through the Holy Door means to rediscover the infinite mercy of the Father who welcomes everyone and goes out personally to encounter each of them. This will be a year in which we grow ever more convinced of God’s mercy,” the Pope said. –

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Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at