Cardinal Tagle calls for Covid-19 ’jubilee’

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle visits a shanty community in Manila’s Tondo district on April 17, 2019. CBCPNEWS

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle has called for a “jubilee” as many countries struggle to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

In streamed Mass from Rome on Sunday, he described it as “forgiveness of debts”, especially of poor nations, and redirection of military spending for social needs.

“Now we realize that we don’t have enough masks but there are more than enough bullets,” Tagle, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, said in his homily.

“We don’t have enough supplies of ventilators but we have millions of pesos, dollars or euros spent on one plane that could attack people,” he said.

The lack of resources, according to him, could be among the “tombs” of the poor countries and their people today.

He appealed to rich nations to “forgive” the interest they imposed on loans by poor countries “so that they could use their dwindling resources” on pressing concerns.

“Forgiveness of debts so that those who are in the tombs of indebtedness could find life,” Tagle said.

The cardinal also called for redirection of military spending to “real security” such as education, housing and food.

“Could we stop wars, please? Could we stop producing weapons, please? Could we get out of the tomb and spend the money for real security?” he said. - CBCP News