Admit your weaknesses, Cardinal Tagle says

MANILA, Philippines – Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle urged Catholics on Friday, July 28, to admit their weaknesses, as he criticized too much self-sufficiency as a source of evil. 

On the first day of the 4th Philippine Conference on New Evangelization (PCNE), Tagle also told his flock to defend the weak, as he reminded them that people need each other.

Tagle was delivering a homily on a Gospel reading about a child-like person being "the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." He was speaking at a 3-day event that aims to rekindle the Catholic faith, drawing up to 5,000 people at the University of Santo Tomas (UST).

"Ang pagiging bata sa paghahari ng Diyos ay 'yung pag-amin, kailangan ko ng Diyos," the cardinal said. (Being a child in the kingdom of God is to admit that I need God.)

"Ito po ay nasisira sa panahon natin ngayon," he continued. "Parang ang gusto ng mga tao, maging self-sufficient: 'Hindi ko na kailangan ang Diyos, hindi ko na kailangan ang tao. Kasi kaya ko 'yan! Kaya ko 'yan!"

(This is being damaged in our times. It seems that people want to be be self-sufficient: "I no longer need God, I no longer need other people. Because I can do that! I can do that!")

'Help the frail'

He explained that these "illusions of grandeur" can lead people to get drunk with power, money, and honor. 

"Wala namang masama sabihin sa Diyos, 'Kailangan kita,' at sabihin sa kapwa, 'Kailangan natin ang isa't isa,'" Tagle said. (Nothing is wrong about telling God, "I need you," and about telling our neighbor, "We need each other.")

He said the problem nowadays, however, is that weakness is seen as an occasion to exploit others. 

"Bakit gano'n? 'Yung sitwasyon ng frailty and dependence, sa halip na maging okasyon for communion ang compassion, nagiging okasyon sa pagsasamantala?" he asked. (Why is it like that? The situations of frailty and dependence, instead of being occasions for communion and compassion, become occasions for exploitation?)

Tagle then urged Catholics to help "the little ones in society – the frail and dependent." 

"When we see the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the homeless, the people with disabilities, those in prison, those who are denied access to the basic needs and services for a decent human life, when we see them, these children, we hope our hearts would be opened, our hearts would become divine, and with divine eyes would see Jesus in them, the one who became a child and has united himself with all children and lowly people," Tagle said. –

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior reporter leading Rappler’s coverage of religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at