A teary-eyed Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila has lamented the deaths of innocent people killed since Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s assumed office during the last day of a summit on new evangelization on July 22.
Addressing a crowd of priests, nuns, religious and lay people, the prelate asked if people were happy with all the deaths around them.
“Do you rejoice at the deaths of the innocent?” Cardinal Tagle asked in the wake of a statement released by the country’s Catholic bishops condemning a wave of killings across the country.
In his prayer, the Manila archbishop spoke to God about many innocent people dying.
“We want to believe that you do not rejoice in their death. But there are so many of them,” said the prelate. Police have reported more than 23,000 killings over the past two years, which human rights groups said were likely linked to the government’s war against narcotics.
The cardinal included in his prayer a 36-year-old migrant worker who was killed in Slovakia for defending two women from being attacked.
“Where do we see your face? Where do we hear your word? Some people are asking, where are you?” asked the cardinal.
The cardinal told about 8,000 participants at the Fifth Philippine Conference on New Evangelization to become “bread” for others amid the hunger in the world.