Cardinal Tagle slams ‘false gods’ creating ‘false worlds’

Paterno Esmaquel II
Cardinal Tagle's warning – about the threat to the Filipino 'culture of caring' – comes at a time of rampant killings to create a drug-free Philippines

'CULTURE OF CARING.' Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle says the Filipino 'culture of caring' is threatened by false gods who create false worlds. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle on Friday, September 1, slammed “false gods” who create “false worlds” that threaten the Filipino culture of caring for others.

Tagle also stressed the need to listen to “the cry of creation and the cry of the poor,” as he led a Mass in Rizal Park at 4:30 am. 

The Mass was meant to open the month-long “Season of Creation” in the Archdiocese of Manila. A “Walk for Creation” attended by hundreds of Catholics also followed the Mass.

In his homily, Tagle said, “Let the Walk for Creation be also our way of promoting and protecting a very beautiful human and Filipino culture – a culture of caring, which is very much threatened by so many idols, false gods, false creators of false worlds.”

Tagle did not refer to specific personalities as “false gods” in his homily. His warning, however – about this threat to the “culture of caring” – comes at a time of rampant killings to create a drug-free Philippines.

False worlds ‘packaged beautifully’

Tagle said: “Every false god is a false creator, and its creation is a false world, a phantasma. Every false god and false creator creates a false world, which is a big lie.”

“But it is packaged beautifully, you don’t even realize it is a lie. And so it attracts so many inhabitants that care for that false world, that are responsible in nurturing that world,” the cardinal added. 

In these false worlds, he said, this is the mentality: “If I can eliminate you because you are a nuisance to me, then I am making my world better. If I could use you for my purposes, then I have reconstructed my world according to my plan.” 

“But in the end,” Tagle said, “what spreads is a culture not of caring, but of destruction. And in the end we destroy the earth, we destroy humanity.” 

The cardinal then called for “a culture of true caring, of true responsibility for the creation of the true God and not the false worlds created by false gods.”  –

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