By Roy Lagarde

The key step on the journey of dialogue is to have a “personal encounter” with others, particularly those considered “unique”, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle said on January 29, 2020, reported CBCP News.

Giving his synthesis on this year’s Philippine Conference on New Evangelization (PCNE), he stressed that they are real persons and “not just caricatures or a concept.”

“And when we do this we hopefully will learn the path of humility, admitting our prejudice and even the injustice that we have committed,” Tagle said.

“Let us be converted to the truth. From humility and repentance, hopefully, I will be open to the others who are God’s creatures too,” he said.

And to follow the path of dialogue, according to him, also means “to be a neighbor”.

He said that this means getting away from the fears, pride, and self-righteousness that prevents one from seeing a neighbor who is unique.

According to him, someone in need is a neighbor “and that means every person”.

“Everyone has needs but everyone also has a gift. Your gift is the response to the needs of the others,” Tagle said.

A neighbor, the cardinal added, both invites and gives compassion.

“We don’t only ask who is my neighbor, we also ask can I be a neighbor to others,” he said.

Now on its seventh year, the PCNE was held at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City with the theme “And who is my neighbor?”

Talks and testimonies of the two-day conference focused on the Year of Ecumenism, Interreligious Dialogue, and Indigenous Peoples.

An ecumenical prayer service also highlighted the gathering, including a presentation of the indigenous peoples’ hopes and dreams called “Magkaugnay”.

A brainchild of Cardinal Tagle, PCNE was introduced in 2013 as a response to the call of the New Evangelization.

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