Friday, October 31, 2014
Don't Feel Bad if You Won't Meet Pope Said By Tagle
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle yesterday appealed to the groups seeking an audience or a visit from Pope Francis during his visit here January 15-19 not to feel bad if that cannot be arranged.
His Eminence issued the appeal during a press briefing, noting the number of requests received from groups and individuals.
“Many are requesting for the pontiff to visit this and that community or attend this and that…which will entail a lot of travel…let us be realistic, he is 77-years old,” Tagle said in a press briefing in Intramuros, Manila yesterday.
Among the groups seeking a visit from the Pope are the street children from the Tulay ng Kabataan, and the prisoners of the National Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City.
The cardinal said it’s possible that the pontiff might just meet certain groups in one of the places where he is expected to hold an activity. He cited the case that happened during his recent visit in South Korea.
“Instead of him visiting a mosque or a Buddhist temple, they gathered all the leaders of non-Christian religions in the sacristy (of the cathedral) and he spent 15 minutes with them,” said Tagle.
He said that was an hour before the pontiff presided a Mass at the cathedral. Before the Mass, the Holy Father also met with comfort women during the war, he said.
“It was not announced to us that some comfort women were gathered there…when the Pope reached the area, instead of going to the altar, he greeted them,” said Tagle.
“I’m citing these examples so that people will understand so that they won’t feel bad. But rest assured that something is being done already so that encounters will happen but in a manner that the travel is reduced,” he added.
His Eminence, however, did not cite the places that the Pope will be visiting in the country. His exact itinerary is still being finalized by the Vatican organizers.
In the coming months of November to December, the Vatican people who are in charge of the international visits of the pope will come again to see the progress of our preparations and the final program, Tagle said.
“The details might be available at the end of November or early December because it is still undergoing close scrutiny. They are not only looking at the security concerns but also the health of the Pope. As we know he is already 77, turning 78 years old. He is also being asked what is comfortable for him,” he added.
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