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Philippines' Synod representatives: Listening transforms perspectives

The Heart-to-Heart Talk segment on the first day of the Philippine Conference on New Evangelization. (Photo credit: EWTN Asia Pacific)

Synod's representatives from the Philippines talked about the transformative potential of attentive listening characterized by humility and openness during the Philippine Conference for New Evangelization (PCNE) on January 19 at the University of St. Thomas in Manila.

“Listening has transformative power, especially if we are listening with humility and openness,” said Manila Archbishop Jose Cardinal Advincula during the Heart-to-Heart Talk segment on the first day of the PCNE.

CBCP President and Bishop of Kalookan, Pablo Virgilio David, also said that it is true that humility in listening is important, but he added that we must also listen to “the spirit speaking through each other.”

Estella Padilla, one of the 70 non-bishop members appointed by Pope Francis to join the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops and the only laity invited to this segment, also expressed that listening, particularly to the diverse stories, can be a transformative and beautiful experience.

Former Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, the host of the segment, commented about the diversity of people, saying that sometimes it “threatens” us, but if we are ”open and listening, that is a treasure.”

For this reason, Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara of Pasig and CBCP Vice President believe that “there is hope, but we have to listen, we have to learn the truth, and we have to face reality even if it hurts.”

Through listening, people will learn about their differences and defects, but sometimes “the defect is on us; we believe that we are already the best,"  Advincula said.

Manila Cardinal further elaborated that it is important to learn each person’s differences: “Some people might have already gone far when it comes to their faith, and some might have just begun."

Cardinal Tagle concluded the segment by expressing his conviction that this synodality would continue further and that the contribution of everyone in the community would be essential. The participation of the clergy, religious and laity is vital if we all want betterment for the church.

The Office for the Promotion of the New Evangelization of the Archdiocese of Manila coordinated the PCNE in its tenth year, and it is back to its home in the University of Santo Tomas Quadricentennial Pavillion.

It is also the first face-to-face gathering after the 3-year pandemic. During the talks and segments on the first day of PCNE, the audience experienced an interactive session where they used their smartphones to scan QR codes and submit comments and answers to the panelists.- Leahna Villajos 


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