Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle launched last Sunday (October 23) the ‘Sanlakbay para sa Pagbabagong Buhay’ with a celebration of the Holy Mass at the Manila Cathedral.
The SANLAKBAY program is a response of the Catholic Church to become a refuge to the large number of drug addicts who surrendered themselves resulting from the Philippine government’s war against illegal drugs.
It was described as a parish community-based rehabilitation and recovery program that further encourages more drug dependents to surrender, undergo rehabilitation, and give themselves another chance to start a new life.
The rehabilitation program will be set up in parishes to reach people and will be supplemented by 12 modules to be given to participants. They will undergo spiritual formation, counseling, livelihood projects, and skills formation training, as well as arts and cultural program and sports activities that will help them develop holistically.
The launch was attended by different Catholic communities and organizations involved in the implementation of the program which includes Caritas Manila’s Restorative Justice Ministry, Center for Family Ministry, University of Santo Tomas (UST) graduate School of Psycho-Trauma, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
During the homily, Cardinal Tagle said that “Crime (in general) is a spiritual issue.” He expounds that those involved in doing illegal activities such as theft, drug addiction and other crimes are following a different God. When people do these things the Cardinal asks “Sino ang Diyos mo?”
Therefore, a crime also deserves a spiritual action. It is the mission of the Catholic church to bring this person or persons back to the real God.
In conclusion, the Cardinal stresses that “Healing Justice Heals, while all Revenge wounds.”
Joining Cardinal Tagle during the launch were Rev. Fr. Roberto Dela Cruz, Minister of Restorative Justice Ministry, DILG USEC John Castriciones, Bishop Antonio Tobias and Rev. Fr. Anton Pascual, Executive Director of Caritas Manila.
Here’s a video of the attendees singing “Pananagutan” during the launch: