Papal legate calls on Filipino families to evangelize the world

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CEBU City (Feb. 1, 2016) – Pope Francis’ representative to a global Catholic congress here called on Filipino families to re-populate and re-Christianize Europe and North America as well as countries where Christians are a minority, declaring Filipino families and youth as the future of the Church.

Cardinal Charles Maung Bo

Cardinal Charles Maung Bo

In his homily for the Statio Orbis or Closing Mass of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) on Sunday, Jan. 31, Papal Legate Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Myanmar said Christianity is in a “twilight zone” in the West and Filipinos, where 52 percent of the population are below 25 years old, could usher in a “new dawn” for the religion.

The Philippines is the “favorite daughter of the Church in Asia,” said the Yangon archbishop, as he noted that in 2021 it would mark the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity. The Philippine Church is a source of hope for the Church in many ways, Cardinal Bo said. “The youth of the Philippines is the hope of the Church,” he said.

“This nation will become light not only to Asia, but to the whole world,” Bo added in the homily for the “Mass of the World.”

Cardinal Bo, who spoke in Filipino, Cebuano and English, encouraged Filipinos to revitalize the Church by “multiplying” the number of families and missionaries. He said: “Paramihin ninyo ang inyong mga anak. Paramihin ninyo ang inyong mga misyonero … Pumunta kayo sa Europa at Amerika, doon ay mas marami silang aso at pusa!” (Multiply your children. Multiply you missionaries. Go to Europe and America, there they have more cats and dogs than children!)

Echoing the Holy Father who condemned “ideological colonization” during his apostolic visit to the Philippines last year, Cardinal Bo warned against efforts by international organizations to push distorted concepts or new forms of the family. He also criticized coercive laws passed to redefine marriage in some countries.

“The destruction of the family is the greatest danger … Mortal danger awaits humanity because some countries have started the path of destroying families through laws,” Bo said. “The future of the Church depends on Catholic families.”

Bo called young people a “blessing” and urged the Church not to neglect the youth, who “deserve understanding, not judgment.” The government should also invest more on the youth, he said.

Moral power, he said, is the greatest power, citing the Church-backed 1986 Edsa Revolution that toppled one-man rule. This time, however, the revolution should be against poverty. “You need a new Edsa Revolution, a revolution for human development,” the Myanmar prelate said. (CBCP News)

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