Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle strongly believes Filipinos will survive all storms and quakes “if they put God in the center of their lives.”
He cited the recent devastation from the fighting in Zamboanga, the storms in Luzon and the earthquake in Central Visayas, which claimed dozens of lives, damaged heritage churches, buildings and vital infrastructure.
Tagle lamented the “crumbling of (heritage) churches.” He recalled the Lord’s message to Saint Francis to “build my church with Jesus as the cornerstone.”
Tagle addressed the first day of the Philippine Conference on the New Evangelization (PCNE) attended by 5,000 Catholic Church officials from Asian countries at the University of Santo Tomas which was centered on strengthening the churches rooted on Jesus’ words.
Saddened by the collapse of the historical churches in Bohol and Cebu, Tagle said he doubts “if the churches will still be used.”
Reverend Victorino “Ino” Cueto of the Redemptorist Church said he will suggest to the disaster teams to post earthquake safety tips in some churches of the country, especially in historical churches.
He said the Redemptorist church (more commonly known as Baclaran) was inspected on August 24. “The structures are okay from ceiling to wiring.”
Fr. Genaro Diwa, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ Commission on Liturgy, said that masses in areas stricken by the earthquake will be held outside the churches.
Diwa said that the mass is “usually celebrated in a different place adjacent to the church” similar to what happened in Santo Domingo church, which served as evacuation center during storm Santi.