By Robin Gomes
The Archbishop of Manila on Wednesday spoke about adhering to the truth today, hitting out at manipulators of truth and those who lie “for political expediency or out of fear.”
The “test of that freedom in truth is when you are persecuted. How easy it is to change truths. Now everyone is entitled to create his or her own truth for political expediency or out of fear,” said Filipino Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle in a homily during a thanksgiving Mass at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in Manila to commemorate 50 years of Radio Veritas.
The Mass, attended by prelates from the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, Filipino priests, and UST students and faculty members, was presided over by the Holy See’s Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia.
Radio Veritas was inaugurated 50 years ago on April 11, 1969, in Fairview, Quezon City, by Cardinal Antonio Samore, a Vatican official, and the then Archbishop of Manila, Cardinal Rufino Santos.
Card. Tagle reflected on the First Reading from the Book of Daniel where 3 young Hebrews, condemned by King Nebuchadnezzar to death in a burning furnace for refusing to worship his image, were unharmed.
The cardinal used the biblical episode to focus on the word “Veritas”, or “truth” in Latin. He hoped that Christians would be like the 3 young men who refused to abandon their faith despite death threats from the king, whom he called the “enemy of God”.
The Archbishop of Manila underscored the importance of “serving” the truth by not keeping it for oneself but by sharing it so “that the darkness of ignorance or illiteracy may be wiped out and the values may be shared by Christians all over Asia”, setting them free.
He explained that truth “defines the whole of human existence”, and that slavery to untruth is
“Jesus leads us to that liberation if only his word coming from the father could be accepted, could be loved then we are set free,” he said.
In his homily, the Archbishop of Manila noted that it was in the very auditorium of the UST, more than 60 years ago, in December 1958, that the bishops of Southeast Asia decided to establish a radio station for Asia and Oceania “to spread the truth and drive away ignorance and illiteracy and to direct the minds of Asians to the true values and meanings of life.”
On April 11, Thursday, celebrations will be held at the Radio Veritas Asia studio in Quezon City, where the
A Mass will be presided over by the Archbishop Stephan Burger of Freiburg, Germany, together with FABC president, Cardinal Charles Bo of Myanmar.