Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle on Friday opened up about his experience during the coronavirus quarantine and his recovery.
Speaking at an online conference for Catholic educators, he admitted struggling with “fear and anxiety” during the isolation.
“But getting out of the quarantine I realized that for you to really survive, you need a deep sense of interconnectedness,” Cardinal Tagle, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, said.
Now that he has recovered, the 63-year-old cardinal said the “enemy” is still the feeling that he is a “threat” and “danger to others”.
“Then you feel like maybe it is better to just isolate yourself. But then the isolation also bothers you,” according to him.
“But it is the sense that you’re interconnected… you are connected to God, to the water, to the air — that will energize you,” he said.
The Vatican official was the keynote speaker of this year’s Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) Congress that was held online due to the pandemic.
Cardinal Tagle is also a member of the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.
For nearly an hour, he discussed the event’s theme, “Missio: Dialogue of Faith and Life and Culture Beyond Creed, Beyond Borders, Beyond COVID”.
“That’s why I could say that for the survival, even the mentally of those who go through this crisis, this connectedness or what we call dialogue is important,” he said.
“Your existence depends on a rediscovery of the reality that you are not alone, you are always connected,” he added.
What was supposed to be to be a low-profile visit to Manila made international headlines when Cardinal Tagle was tested positive for the coronavirus after flying from Rome on September 10.
He remained asymptomatic the entire two-week quarantine. And after another test on September 23, he finally came out negative.
“I’m very grateful to the many many people who prayed, assuring you that you are not alone,” he said.