Tagle to social media trolls: Do you know how to love?

MANILA, Philippines – In a homily during the service on Good Friday, April 19, at the Manila Cathedral, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle asked social media trolls and fake news peddlers whether they are capable of love.

In a time where one can pretend to be someone else and get away with hateful words online, Tagle reminded Filipinos one of Jesus’ lessons: owning up to one’s words and actions, no matter the consequence.

Tagle said Jesus’ captors were not aware who he was, yet Jesus still admitted that he was the person they were looking to arrest. 

“Pati social media iba-iba ang ginagamit [na pangalan]… at dahil gumagamit ng ibang pangalan, nagtatapang-tapangan. Matapang lang kasi di niya inaamin ang tunay niyang pangalan,” Tagle said on April 19.

(Even in social media, some use different names. And because the identity is concealed, one pretends to be brave. That is not true bravery because one did not admit one’s identity.)

“Ang mga sinungaling, marunong ba yan magmahal? Si Hesus na nagmahal, totoo,” he added.

(Do liars know how to love? Jesus’ love is real.)

Tagle went on to share the apostle Peter’s story, where he denied his ties with Jesus thrice to save himself from persecution. 

The archbishop, still drawing from parallels of the current times, said that people should learn from what happened to Peter and face one’s sins.

Moreover, Tagle reminded churchgoers that it was the loud, hateful words that further led to Jesus' crucifiction.

"Mangako kayong Biyernes... hindi kayo maninindak, hindi kayo magiging marahas, magiging bully sa inyong mga kaibigan o kahit kanino pa. Ang nagpapatay kay Hesus, mga naninindak pasigaw-sigaw lang," Tagle said.

Tagle's statements come as various social media platforms struggle to combat misinformation and coordinated attacks on the press.

He has also been known to use the homily to comment on social and political issues, sometimes earning the ire of President Rodrigo Duterte. – Rappler.com

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.