Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, returned to the Vatican on Sunday after spending a month’s late summer vacation in the Philippines, of which he spent two weeks in quarantine.

As soon as he arrived in Manila on September 10, the cardinal tested positive for the coronavirus, although he was asymptomatic, and was immediately placed in isolation.

He recounted this experience after his full recovery when he spoke on September 25 at the Conference of Filipino Catholic Educators, where he stressed the importance of dialogue and connection with God and others in this difficult time of the health emergency.

“Use resources responsibly”

During his stay in the Philippines, the Prefect of Propaganda Fide also presided, on October 4, over a Mass in the Manila Cathedral to culminate the “Season of Creation”, a month of prayer for the care of the natural world that began on September 1.

On that occasion, the cardinal renewed Pope Francis’ exhortation “to use resources responsibly”, especially in the midst of the pandemic, stressing that the global health crisis “is an opportunity to re-examine our way of life, without abusing or wasting human and natural resources”.

“During these moments of crises, when resources are scarce, when some people have even lost jobs, we are being asked to review our lifestyle, our priorities”, Tagle insisted.

“Let us heed the call of the Season of Creation. Let us be grateful, open our eyes to how God loves us especially through other people, through creation”, he added.

“I hope that we will never say again ‘what a waste’ because we will all learn to value God’s presence and love”, the cardinal underlined.

“We are all connected”

Cardinal Tagle also spoke again about the coronavirus emergency during a Eucharist celebrated in the cathedral of Imus, his hometown, before leaving for Rome.

In his homily there, the cardinal reiterated the importance of solidarity and compassion in overcoming the pandemic.

“We are all connected and we are all affected, and hopefully the response of helping, caring and empathy will be general… an attitude that does not discriminate”, he stressed.

“So we hope that a deeper collaboration will live in the midst of the pandemic. Let us show that this virus can be defeated by stronger love and sympathy”, he said.

(With reporting by Vatican News)

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