MANILA – A former top official of the Catholic Church in the Philippines on Tuesday advised the faithful to be wary of the “virus of selfishness” amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
“Kahit mawala na ang (Covid-19), ingatan ang virus na palaging nariyan. Hindi lang natin pinapansin dahil natanggap na, ang virus ng pagkamakasarili. (Even if the Covid-19 outbreak is over, we must be wary of the virus that is always there. We just don’t notice it because it seems like it has been accepted, the virus of selfishness),” Manila Archbishop-Emeritus Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle said in his Facebook post titled “Tagle Kape’t Pandasal: Pagkamakasarili, deadly virus”.
This virus, Tagle said, is spread by the act of taking advantage of other people, hardness of heart, turning a blind eye, and indifference.
“Hindi ba kayo natatakot sa mga symptoms na yan? (Are you not afraid of these symptoms?),” he said.
Tagle, who is now the Vatican’s Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, urged the people to distance themselves from those who are self-centered.
“Lumayo, mag distansya sa nakakamatay na virus ang pangalan, ‘pagkamasarili’. Oh Jesus, puksain mo ang pagkamasarili namin at turuan kaming ikalat ang pagmamalasakit, (Stay away and keep your distance from the deadly virus known as ‘selfishness’. Oh Jesus, destroy our selfishness and teach us to spread compassion). Amen,” he added.
Meanwhile, Tagle noted that the pandemic has restored beautiful things, such as the gathering of families at home, helping the needy, and a clean environment.
“Nagkasama ang pamilya, nagluto na ulit mga magulang, hinahanap ang mesa, nagbabayanihan, luminis din ang hangin, maaliwalas ang kalangitan, pero hangad pa rin natin na masugpo na ang coronavirus (Families have come together. Parents are cooking again. They are searching for the table. Everyone is helping one another. The air is clean. The skies are calm. But still, we want to curb the coronavirus),” he said, adding that the virus has “changed the world’s way of life.”
Latest data show that more than 2.2 million people worldwide have caught Covid-19.
In the Philippines, as of Tuesday, 6,599 have contracted the disease, 654 have recovered from it, and 437 have died. (PNA)