Manila - Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila will wash the feet of 12 migrants and refugees or displaced during Mass on Holy Thursday, March 29, at Manila Cathedral. As reported to Agenzia Fides by the local Church, the initiative was inspired by the message of Pope Francis dedicated to the phenomenon of migration.
Among those whose feet the cardinal will be washing there is Fr. Teresito Soganub, the priest held captive by the Maute terrorist group in Marawi City, on the island of Mindanao, in last year's terrorist attack. There are also Crisanto and Eva Demafelis, parents of a girl found dead in a freezer in Kuwait, where she had emigrated for work. Among the others chosen, the Pakistani Catholic couple who sought refuge in the Philippines because of religious persecution in their homeland. Isidro Indao and Kaylo Bontolan are instead representatives of the indigenous "lumads" of Mindanao, who fled their lands of origin due to the massive militarization and destruction caused by lodging and mining companies.
In his Easter message, signed as Archbishop of Manila and President of Caritas Internationalis, Cardinal Tagle said that "rising from the dead, Christ invites us to remove the stones that block our hearts and our imagination and to share the journey towards the most vulnerable people, such as migrants".
The local Church intends to focus attention "on the difficult condition of our Filipinos working abroad who, despite the dangers, risk their security to give their families in the Philippines a dignified life", says a statement released by the archdiocese. With this gesture, concludes the note sent to Fides, "we want to embrace all those fleeing war and hunger, or forced by discrimination, persecution, poverty and environmental degradation to leave their lands". >>