Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, among the papabili or potential papal contenders, highlighted the importance of the Letter of First Peter (I Peter) to the early Christians during his talk at the 15th Lambeth Conference at the University of Kent, Canterbury.
Cardinal Tagle of the Philippines delivered a talk titled "The Church of I Peter for the Coming Decade" on Saturday, a Vatican News report bared.
Joseph Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, is the conference's convenor.
The conference's theme is "God's Church for God's World, the article said.
What Cardinal Tagle's Talk Contained
In his address before a congregation of Episcopal bishops belonging to the Anglican Communion, Tagle started by wondering if the Letter was addressed to the Church and today's world.
He explained that I Peter urged Christians to hold on to the faith amid hardships and possible persecution.
Tagle said that the Letter also called upon Christians to show humility, compassion, love, and singularity of mind.
He said that he 'dreams of such reality,' and then voiced his wish to have a Church "united as a human family" in a home where the above said virtues thrive, the article noted.
The cardinal underscored how the Letter talked to early Christians who lived in an age in which they experienced being estranged or made to feel like they were social outcasts.
He then called on everyone to "dream together" so such a home could be realized in the Church through the Lord's way.
'Is This Reality Still Felt Today?'
Tagle asked the Episcopal bishops if they could feel the reality he's talking about as the Church inches toward the home of the future.
The cardinal explained how asking such a question is needed, given how people are used to doing things their way.
Tagle said that the members of the Church should reach out to people and become a "spiritual home" for people from various cultures and experiences.
A Welcoming Church
Cardinal Tagle also expressed his observation about the multitude of people who find themselves without homes or families because of issues like armed struggle and forced labor.
He called such people "the new strangers in our midst," saying that the Church should welcome them.
Tagle said that the Letter of First Peter is an inquiry to people, specifically those belonging to the Church, about their treatment of the "new strangers," the homeless people numbering millions around the world.
He likewise asked if Christians are caring and compassionate towards such people as expected of individuals practicing the Christian vocation.
In closing, Cardinal Tagle talked about his personal experience dealing with displaced individuals in a refugee camp.
He said the refugees come from different backgrounds but were similar in their path to seek safe grounds and out of a desperate landscape.
Tagle recounted how his encounter with a local government official struck a deep chord in his heart.
He said the official told him she was there not as a public official but as someone who came from a family of refugees and saw the displaced people in the camp as her brethren.