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CBCP slams 'misleading' Papal visit T-shirts
By Camille Diola Updated Monday December 29, 2014 - 12:24pm

In this picture provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis delivers his "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and to the world) blessing from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Thursday, Dec. 25, 2014.  AP/L'Osservatore Romano

MANILA, Philippines ¬ó The Church hierarchy in the Philippines on Monday decried T-shirts being sold carrying "misleading" slogans on the upcoming visit of Pope Francis.

Lingayen Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, in a statement urged Catholics not to purchase and patronize items carrying deceptive statements.

"Beware!" Villegas said. "While the words in the shirt attempt to convey the openness of the Holy Father, the phrases 'NO RACE, NO RELIGION' are definitely misleading and quite frankly erroneous."

The bishop explained that Pope Francis is aware that "he heads an organized religion with a vast membership throughout the world" and that "race forms part of the identity of individuals and of peoples."

"He has never said and taught that religion and race do not matter, because they most certainly do. It is what selfish, uncharitable and judgmental people do with religion and race that is a problem," Villegas said.

Netizens, meanwhile, noted that the questionable T-shirts being sold online also carry the official logo of the upcoming Papal visit in January.

They suggested that promoters and designers of merchandise that may appear "official" should consult the bishops' conference first before offering them to the public.

Visit Philstar.com's comprehensive coverage on the Papal Visit.

  
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