End discrimination toward the marginalized, Tagle tells 6,000 youth participants of Genfest 2018

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FILE PHOTO. Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle poses for a photo with an foreign delegate at the Genfest 2018, an international youth festival, held at the World Trade Center in Pasay. (Photo by Miguel Sunglao/The Varsitarian)

MANILA Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle urged the youth from across the globe to end discrimination toward the poor, migrants and drug addicts, at the closing Mass of Genfest 2018, an international youth festival held at the World Trade Center in Pasay.

Tagle decried the “scapegoating and endless blaming” of the marginalized for the ills in society, and said they should be seen instead as God’s instruments of love and evangelization.

“Migrants, the poor, drug addicts, they are always blamed as though they can never do anything good. For all we know, they would evangelize all of us too. If we allow our eyes to see, they can be God’s chosen instruments of love,” he said in his homily last July 9.

The cardinal, who has been vocal on the plight of migrants and refugees all over the world, lamented how bias, prejudice and discrimination have become “walls” that prevent people from respecting one another.

“Even before we have a concrete personal encounter, we have already set up some walls. No matter how they relate to us, we don’t see them for what they are. What we see is what our barriers, called prejudice and even discrimination, dictate on us,” he said.

Tagle called on the youth to cross their own personal borders or weaknesses by manifesting their faith and love, which transcend economic, social, cultural, racial and even religious barriers.

“Being able to transcend because there is something higher [is] love. And without love, I don’t know how we can go beyond borders. [Y]ou go where God sends you. It is not always a comfortable place where you are sent. This is not adventurism [but] faith. Love and faith can enable us to cross borders,” the Manila archbishop said.

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Archbishop Gabrielle Giordano Caccia, the apostolic nuncio to the Philippines, encouraged the youth to be the “ray of light for the world” amid different cultures, religions and languages.

“All the colors [and] differences are not against the unity but can be a ray of light for the world. We can see in different languages, in a different way but there is one God, one faith, one baptism. [O]ur world sometimes is in darkness and you who have experienced the beauty of the love of God, you are called to be light of this world, each one of you,” he said.

With the theme “Beyond All Borders,” Genfest 2018 drew over 6,000 delegates from 100 countries. It featured 110 workshops and forums on interreligious dialogue, politics, media, economics, culture, sports and ecology.

Genfest, an international youth festival organized by the Youth for a United World, the youth arm of the Focolare Movement, is held every six years.

The Focolare Movement is a worldwide organization founded in Italy in 1943, committed to promoting unity and brotherhood among people and religions.

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