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Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal G. Tagle yesterday called on the faithful and authorities to join the Catholic Church in its spiritual war against the illegal drugs trade.
Tagle said the government should not only work to arrest criminals, especially those involved in the illegal drugs trade, but also exert effort on how they can be reformed through restorative justice since they are also victims of their addiction.
He said their addiction on material things like illegal drugs, gambling, and even pornography shows they have neglected spiritual needs.
“Addiction happens if one’s heart is ruled by darkness instead of the Lord…it is a spiritual concern…our response should not only be to judge them, but also how they could once again be reintroduced with God,” Tagle said.
“Through our joint efforts, we could help them become upright before the eyes of God and also helping their victims to recover. We are seeking healing justice not revenge. Only justice heals. Revenge wounds all the more,” he added.
Tagle made the appeal during his homily at the mass he celebrated for the launching of the Church-based drug rehabilitation program, “Sanlakbay sa Pagbabago ng Buhay,” and the commemoration of the week-long Prison Awareness Week at the Manila Cathedral in Manila.
The event was attended by representatives from Church, the Philippine National Police, and least 700,000 drug surrenderees together with their families.
Under the Sanlakbay program, the Church will mobilize its ministries and partner organizations in providing catechism, livelihood, and skills training to detained drug users and peddlers. (Samuel P. Medenilla)