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Cardinal Tagle Opens up About COVID-19 Experience

The beloved cardinal says the struggle was not with the disease itself, but with isolation.

When news that Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle tested positive for the coronavirus disease broke out, the Catholic community has sent prayers his way.

And now that the beloved Cardinal has finally recovered, he opened up about his recent experience with COVID-19. According to Padre Chito, as he is fondly called in the Philippines, he still felt like a “threat” to other people even though he is now considered COVID-19 free. (Read: Prayers Pour in from Around the World for Cardinal Tagle)

“Your enemy will be the feeling that you are isolated, that you are a threat now, that you don’t even trust yourself, that you are a danger to yourself and could be a danger to others,” said Cardinal Tagle during the conference of Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines.

The prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples added that while he thinks that it’s better to isolate himself, the isolation bothers him.

However, he said that it is important to have a “deep sense of interconnectedness” so one will survive the feelings of isolation, fears, and anxieties that come with contracting the disease. (Read: 3 Ways to Support a Friend Who Tested Positive for COVID-19)

Dialogue of Faith

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (Photo from Roy Lagarde / CBCP News)

For nearly an hour, Cardinal Tagle discussed the event’s theme, “Mission: Dialogue of Faith and Life and Culture Beyond Creed, Beyond Borders, Beyond COVID.”

“That’s why I could say that for the survival.., this connectedness or what we call dialogue is important,” Cardinal Tagle said. “Your existence depends on a rediscovery of the reality that you are not alone, you are always connected.” (Read: Bishop Broderick Pabillo Tests Positive for COVID-19)

The 63-year-old cardinal tested positive for the disease upon his arrival in Manila for what was supposed to be a low-profile visit to his elderly parents. The former Manila archbishop noted that he did not develop symptoms during his mandatory two-week quarantine, and he is thankful for that.

After another test on Sept. 23, he finally came out negative.

“I’m very grateful to the many many people who prayed, assuring you that you are not alone,” Cardinal Tagle said.

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