Message of His Excellency Archbishop Charles John Brown,
Papal Nuncio to the Philippines at the Thanksgiving Mass
of the Philippine Carmelites for the Canonization
of St. Titus Brandsma, O. Carm priest and journalist
May 28, 2022
Your Eminence, Cardinal Jose Advincula, Archbishop of Manila
Reverend Father Rico Ponce, prior provincial of the Order of Carmelites
Carmelite priests, brothers, and sisters, faithful here in the Diocese of Cubao ...
It gives me so much joy as the representative of Pope Francis here in the Philippines to be with you this afternoon for this joyful celebration, in which we have reflected and celebrated here in the Philippines, the canonization of St. Titus Brandsma, which happened about two weeks ago in Rome.
What a beautiful example of the Catholicity of our Church. Here we are, many miles, many kilometers away from Rome, celebrating the memory, the example, the luminous example of this priest, Fr. Titus Brandsma, now St. Titus Brandsma, an opponent of the Nazis, a journalist, a defender of truth, a martyr of press freedom.
Here we are in the Philippines, I as Apostolic Nuncio coming from America, all of us here, and I want to recognize in a very special way, the representatives of the Embassy of the Netherlands that are here present with us in the Cathedral this afternoon representing their country on this joyful occasion. One example of the Catholicity of the Church - Philippines, Netherlands, all over the world rejoicing in this glorification of St. Titus Brandsma.
The Importance of Truth
As Cardinal Advincula told us in his inspirational homily, St. Titus Brandsma is an example to us of the importance of truth. Truth in journalism, truth in the media.
He used the truth to speak against the power of Nazi ideology. He was part of the courageous resistance in the Netherlands to Nazism. And he gave his life for that resistance some 80 years ago in July of 1942, in the concentration camp of Dachau.
Certainly, in his time, the media environment was very different from our time. In the time of Titus Brandsma, you would probably read one or maybe two newspapers a week. You would probably read the secular paper; and if you were a Catholic, you probably received a Catholic newspaper - two sources of news. And if you saw an article you liked, maybe you would give it to your family member or to one of your friends. You might cut it out of the paper and pass it to one person. How different our environment is today in the media. All of us who are on Instagram, or Twitter or Facebook, are receiving information, not from one or two sources, but from maybe 100 or 200, sources. Much information coming into our media environment, our personal media environment.
How important it is for us to be students of the truth, and to search for the truth in the people that we follow in our media consumption.
But also in the time of Titus Brandsma, we were generally passive recipients of the news of the media when we read something in the newspaper. Now we are active participants because when we see something online, we can share it with many people - our followers. We can like it on Facebook, we can send it to our friends on Twitter, and so forth.
So we have a large responsibility now as participants in this media environment to be discerning of the truth, to love the truth. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. The Catholic Church is never afraid of the truth. And we as Catholics need never be afraid of the truth. But we need to only be afraid of lies and falsehoods.
St. Titus Brandsma is a great example for us of how we should consume and also divulge and spread media around us in our own lives.
Whether on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or even YouTube. What a beautiful example of the Catholicity of the Church and the need for us to love and really to adore the truth.
I thank you for the invitation to be with you. For me, it's a special joy because when I was a young priest in Rome in the 1990s, my spiritual father was a Carmelite of the ancient order, the OCarms Father Redemptus Valabek. And in those years, he was working on the cause of canonization of Titus Brandsma, now St. Titus Brandsma. Father Redemptus has gone to heaven, and we can, I can be sure, in my own way, that he is rejoicing with St. Titus Brandsma now in heavenly glory.
God bless you. Thank you. Let us love the truth and be disciples of the truth.
Eucharistic Celebration: Philippine Carmelites
Mass Livestream: Diocese of Cubao
Message transcribed by Gel Katalbas