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Jul 01, 2014
Vatican Officials to scout places Pope Francis can visit on Philippines tour

By Miko Morelos

Ecumenical News



Pope Francis during his weekly blessing at the Vatican on Sunday.

Vatican officials were set to arrive in the Philippines this week to begin scouting for places to be visited by Pope Francis when he heads to Asia in January next year.

Holy See officials will visit Leyte province, one of the badly hit areas when Typhoon Haiyan cut its path of destruction and havoc in Tacloban City and other towns last year, Palo Archbishop John Du said Monday, Ucanews reported.

Du told the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines' news service that the visit by the Vatican team will determine the places the Pope is likely to stop by during his visit to the country in Asia with the biggest Christian population.

"The venues ... are not decided yet because it has to be approved by the Vatican people," the archbishop said.

Likewise, it will be up to the inspecting officials if Francis will go to Palo Cathedral, which sustained massive damage as Haiyan whipped Leyte in November last year, according to Du.

Repair works on the cathedral have been on schedule so far, the Archbishop noted.

On Sunday, he shared the news with the laity in Tacloban City about the upcoming visit of the Pope to the Philippines.

He announced at a Mass he was celebrating that Francis was "tentatively scheduled to visit" the southeast Asian country from January 15 to 20.

In June, Manila Archbishop Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle explained that the Pope intended to "come close to the people" who suffered in the calamities that hit the Philippines last year.

Aside from Haiyan, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake shook Bohol province a month before the typhoon struck. It also dealt significant damage and casualties to the people there.

Du described the upcoming papal visit as "another big blessing" that would certainly lift the spirits of the survivors still piecing their lives back together.

The predominantly Catholic nation is likewise ecstatic about the papal visit, as the last time a pope flew to the Philippines was in 1995 when St. John Paul II presided over the World Youth Day in Manila.






May 28, 2014
Pope Francis says he is to visit the Philippines in 2015

Ecumenical News



Pope Francis waving to the crowd as he arrives.

Pope Francis will pay a two day visit to Sri Lanka in January 2015 and then to Philippines he announced during a news conference in the aircraft on his return home to the Vatican from the Holy Land.

"There are two Asian trips planned: one to South Korea (August) and then next January, a two-day trip to Sri Lanka and the Philippines, to the area affected by the tsunami," the Pope said during his May 26 inflight press conference.

In November 2013, the devastating Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippies during one of the strongest storms recorded and more than 6,300 people were killed.

Francis, who is the leader of 1.2 billion Catholics, will be the third pontiff to visit the Philippines, the country in Asia with the greatest number of Christians.

Pope Paul VI visited the Philippines in 1970. St. John Paul II visited the Philippines in 1981 and again in 1995 during a trip that included Sri Lanka, Australia, and Papua New Guinea.

The Philippines is a predominantly Catholic country, with about 81 percent of the Philippines estimated 107 million people Roman Catholics. Other Christians account for about 7.5 percent of the population and there is a significant Muslim minority





 




 
 

 
 



 











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