MANILA, Philippines — Cardinal José Advincula of Manila urged Catholics to profess their faith by shouting for truth and justice instead of seeking money and fame.
Modern Catholics are crying for wealth and power instead of for Christ, truth and justice, Advincula said during a Mass in Manila to mark Palm Sunday, April 10. His remarks were reported by ucanews.com.
“When for money, wealth, position, power and popularity, the cry of Hosanna is very loud,” he said. “But why — when for God, when for our faith, when for truth and justice — why do we seem to be just whispering or silencing our cries?”
Advincula called on Filipinos to remember what happened after Jesus entered Jerusalem. “Many were shouting Hosanna,” he said in his homily.
However, although people praised Jesus, they also condemned him to death and chose a thief over him. He was referring to the occasion when Pontius Pilate allowed the people to choose whether he would free Jesus or Barabbas, the thief. The crowd chose the criminal over Christ.
Choosing a thief over Christ is choosing worldly offers like money and material possessions, Advincula said.
Observers believed he was referring to a similar choice being asked of Filipinos in the May 9 elections.
The comments were seen as an apparent swipe at some candidates who claim they have the passion and the heart to serve the people but were being accused of corruption and nonpayment of taxes.
For instance, presidential front-runner Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has found himself at the center of a scandal over a huge tax bill owed to the government.
The family was ordered by a court in 1999 to pay 23 billion pesos ($440 million) in taxes on the estate left by dictator Ferdinand Marcos, his father.
That amount was not paid, and the total amount now owed has risen to 203 billion pesos because of interest and penalties imposed since then, according to the Bureau of Internal Revenue.