Dear Cardinal Tagle, Walk with Us


tagleDear Luis Cardinal Tagle,

Filipinos rejoiced when you were appointed a Cardinal. Not because of any labels like liberal, progressive or conservative. What meant a lot to many of us, Catholics and those from other faiths, was your reputation as a cleric of integrity and compassion.

The last decade has seen the rot of corruption spread deep and wide, not just among the institutions of governance and commerce but also, sadly, among the churches, Christian or otherwise.

This has unfortunately weakened the moral power of faith leaders to step in on behalf of their faithful when times get too oppressive. This, for me, is painful at a very personal level, having spent the first few decades of adulthood marching in step with the clergy, the nuns and other faith leaders in search for relief for our people.

Your appointment as Cardinal, prince of the Church, and the election of Pope Francis as pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church gave deep comfort to so many having a crisis of belief and trust.

pope francisThe Pope has led the way… continuing with his simple lifestyle, reaching out to society’s margins at every opportunity, speaking out on behalf of those battered by abuse and those who have fallen between the cracks of development.

When we saw you cry tears of sorrow while talking of how the powers-that-be have betrayed their public trust, Filipinos felt more confidence in pursuing the long and winding fight to cleanse our society of corruption.

Many believe you will stand behind the people on this. I believe you will.

Now, a serious challenge has landed on your lap. It will perhaps cause you much pain.

But I hope you will see this case as a way to shore up the foundations of trust among the faithful and rebuild the bridge of unity between the Church and Filipinos.

We’re not talking of a few Pajeros here, Cardinal. We’re talking of the tip of a scandal that has deprived Filipinos of many urgent needs they could have received — had not thieves stolen it from us.

We’re not saying the clerics named here are guilty of thievery. But there’s need to come clean:

How much in all these years has the Church received from Janet Napoles? Who received these funds? How were these funds used?

I know that all Bishops answer to the Pope. But your stature as Cardinal could help prod Filipino bishops to craft policies that match the sermons they give.

Because, frankly, I find it hard to understand how someone can thunder against corruption from the pulpit and then turn around and welcome the fruits thereof.

We know Jesus preached compassion. We know all of us must take a look at the mirror.

But we also know that there lies a vast chasm between compassion and collusion.

Many times, we’ve heard guardians of institutions warn against exposes and truth-telling. You could send the house of cards tumbling down, is a favorite expression.

But those are men and women of little faith who say it.

I do not see anything in the Bible that points at Truth as an enemy of God and His Church. And this talk you gave on A Just God gives me hope that you stand firm against those who cry about the supposed danger to the Church.

If we are going to embark on a campaign to cleanse society of the taint of corruption, we will look at you to take one of the first giant steps. I know we must have compassion for the aged and the infirm… but that is not a reason to give up on investigation. At the least, before they face the Maker, can they help us get to the truth, please?

Most respectfully,

Inday Espina-Varona

28 thoughts on “Dear Cardinal Tagle, Walk with Us

  1. I, too, am a Catholic and I am very much po with you in asking Cardinal Tagle to really be honest and humble re: pork barrel issue….
    good luck to you. good luck to me.. good luck to our Inang Bayan…

  2. cardinal tagle has already expressed his stand on the napoles issue in the most eloquent and impassioned manner, in case you haven’t heard the news. it’s the CBCP’s silence that is deafening.

  3. Dear Inday,

    I know you through some mutual friends and have been following your writing for a long time now. This latest wave of exposed corruption in the islands has infuriated my soul and stirred up emotions to fight back for the poor. I went for a 2.5-mile walk this morning and dedicated that walk to the people responsible for meting out punishment to Napoles and all the sleazeballs involved. I applaud you for writing an open letter to the Cardinal. It is beyond disheartening to know that the clutches of corruption have infiltrated the last bastion of morality in the islands. I promise you this. No distance can stop me from doing my part. I am no longer a silent bystander. Enough!!! I will help you in your crusade. From thousands of miles away (I’m in Chicago), consider me a supporter of the fight against corruption. Today we launched the “CORRUPTION in the PHILIPPINES…NOT F-U-N! movement!” Keep up the great work that you do!

    Nelia Dingcong Bernabe

  4. Shared in Filipino forums / community groups i am active in ( hope you wouldn’t mind me posting the link without prior permission)
    Filipinos like me ( and we are numerous) are thankful for Filipinos like you.
    Not all of us have your gift for articulation, but rest assured there are a lot, lot, more standing firmly with you.
    You have my prayers.
    Angelo

  5. the society of joseph of arimathea is one of you who cause this for shedding of ligth for the filipino people

  6. maraming salamat po ms.inday espina- varona sa pangunguna ng gawaing ito. idinadalangin ko po ang adhikaing ito na sana nga po ay makiisa ang ating mga obispo sa usaping ito. i support this endeavor for the betterment of our country and for our youth.

    john carlo c. perez
    faculty, global city innovative college

  7. Maybe she wearing an Abito and hiding in the church now where she has a lot of contributions.
    This issue is Shabu Shabu for the time being, let’s wait after a few months this issue will go through nothing once this lady paid off all of them in the senate. Who knows?..

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