Cardinal Tagle hits hate speech, fake news

MANILA, Philippines – Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle slammed the spread of false information online and hate speech, likening them to the act of enslaving others.

This was Tagle’s message in his homily on Thursday, April 18, as he celebrated the Chrism Mass at the Manila Cathedral.

“Parents, teachers, peers: Go, live your consecration. Proclaim good news. Ang dami-dami na na tagapagpadala ng (There are a lot of purveyors of) bad news, fake news, hate speech. We today, all the consecrated, all the baptized, bearing the Holy Spirit, will say, ‘I will not deliver fake news, hate speech. I am consecrated by the Spirit. I will bring good news to the poor and the suffering,’” said Tagle. 

“Those consecrated by the Spirit will proclaim liberty to the captive. Those consecrated by the Spirit will not lead others to further captivity and imprisonment and enslavement,” he added.

False information and government propaganda have been spreading online since President Rodrigo Duterte rose to power in 2016. Government officials and propagandists alike use the internet to vilify those who oppose them. (READ: State-sponsored hate: The rise of the pro-Duterte bloggers)

Often, journalists are tagged as “fake news” whenever they criticize Duterte’s decisions and policies. (READ: Journalists on fighting fake news: Be more discerning, take a stand)

Do not waste ‘common consecration’ 

In the same homily, Tagle mentioned other forms of modern-day enslavement, including people who still use their cell phones during the Mass and parents who are never satisfied with their children’s grades. 

“Our imprisonments are very subtle. Thats why the Spirit is given to us, the Spirit of wisdom and discernment, in order to detect, ‘Am I still free for God or am I already imprisoned by many so-called signs of progress?’” said Tagle.

He then urged the public “not to waste our common consecration.”

“Ang pinupuspos ng Espiritu Santo nagiging daan hindi ng pagkabulag kundi ng paglinaw ng isip at mata at puso. Katulad ni Hesus, puspos ng Espiritu Santo, ang Kanyang katawan, ang sambayanan ng mga sumusunod sa Kanya, ay gagawin din, lalo na para sa ating kabataan. Ang hinihingi ng ating Panginoon, for the sake of the young and for the sake of all of us, let us not waste our common consecration,” said Tagle. 

(Being blessed by the Holy Spirit should pave the way not to blindness but to the clearing of the mind, eyes, and heart. Like Jesus, blessed by the Holy Spirit, His body, the people following him, should do this, especially for the youth. What the Lord is asking, for the sake of the young and for the sake of all of us, let us not waste our common consecration.)

Tagle delivered the homily during the Chrism Mass, when bishops consecrate the chrism or the holy oil used in baptism, confirmation, and other Church rituals. It is one of the Catholic rituals during Holy Week. – 

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.