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Cardinal Tagle: The ambivalence of our society's success and its wounds on the family

(Vatican Radio) Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, the archbishop of Manila in the Philippines, was among the participants at this week’s plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Family. In an interview with Susy Hodges he spoke of “the winds of change” arising from secularization and the new media that are buffeting the family in the Philippines and how the Church can respond to these challenges. The Cardinal also spoke of the ambivalence of the success of our modern society and the wounds that this has inflicted on individuals and the family.

Listen to the full interview with Cardinal Tagle: RealAudioMP3

Cardinal Tagle says he is grateful that “the traditional values that have kept families together and alive” are still there in his homeland but acknowledges that “they are beginning to see the effects of secularization and the media” and the “winds of change” that they herald.

When asked if he predicts that these “winds of change” will become more threatening, he replies “in a sense yes” but adds that he believes that the resources and the imagination of the families will prevail. At the same time, he believes that the Church should be able to communicate to all those “who shape culture” the “beauty of the family” and notes that many of the Church’s beliefs concerning the family are shared by non- Christians and can be used to forge a common “mission and vision” on this key issue.

“The Church,” says Cardinal Tagle, “needs to present the human face of Jesus” and goes on to speak about how humanity “is very much aware of the ambivalence of the success (of modern society) and the wounds that this has inflicted on individuals and families.”

Asked for his assessment of Pope Francis’ papacy so far, Cardinal Tagle says it’s a question of continuity when it comes to Church traditions but like the other popes, he has brought, “his personal way of incarnating the papal ministry” that is shaped partly by his personal background. He says the Pope’s humbleness and his desire to be close to his flock really resonates with the faithful and that’s the way to evangelize, especially in Asia.

When it comes to the views of young people in the Philippines and what kind of Church they want to see, Cardinal Tagle shared with us the results of a recent survey on this topic in his homeland.
He said the survey showed that young people “are turned off by a Church that is quite judgmental, a Church that comes across as pessimistic and heavy” … that does not rejoice at anything.” If, on the other hand, the Church projects “joy and hope”, the Cardinal added, then “the young people are more disposed” to listen to the “No” or prohibitions.