MANILA , Philippines — Manila Archbishop Cardinal Luis Tagle warned erring government officials on Friday that even if they escape man-made laws, there is still a supreme law waiting for them.
“Even those who can run away from human laws, in the end, cannot run away from God who sees the heart and who is the real law-giver,” Tagle said during a Mass for the National Police Commission’s 52nd anniversary.
Tagle, the figurehead of the country’s Roman Catholic prelate, also asked officials to avoid predicting what people want, which might lead to “playing God.”
“Let us not pretend that we can read the minds and hearts of people. In other words, we cannot play God. The scribes and the Pharisees were so eager with implementing the law according to their interpretation,” Tagle said.
“In the end, they were the ones who brought Jesus to trial. They put the law-giver to test,” he added.
The cardinal has been known as one of the critics of President Rodrigo Duterete’s war on illegal drugs. During the Mass, he asked government officials not to judge too easily amid talks of arresting alleged drug suspects based on “prima facie” evidence.
He cited a situation where a woman unjustly judged him based on his appearance. According to Tagle, the woman was surprised to know that he is a priest and even said that she would not have said unkind words if only she knew.
“She told me, why am I wearing maong pants? That’s when I was irked,” Tagle said, to the delight of his audience. “I said, why was my whole personality judged because of maong pants?”
“Is that the measurement of dignity? Why, if you’re wearing clean black pants, are you sure that he or she has a clean conscience? Who are we to judge?” he asked.
Tagle clarified that he is not asking to abandon “decorum”, but instead, be cautious and humble in judging other people.
“I am not saying that we should abandon decorum, but the reminder is that sometimes, we are quick to judge even if we have not talked to the person, or even if we do not know him or her personally,” he claimed.
“And that’s what we call prejudice. It becomes discrimination. We are often targets of discrimination, but sometimes, we instigate it. We are mad if we are targets of discrimination, but laugh when we judge,” he added.(davaotoday.com)