Pope Francis invited to Cebu event in 2016 - Tagle
Louis Bacani (The Philippine Star) - January 19, 2015 - 11:50am

MANILA, Philippines - Will Pope Francis return to the Philippines next year?

After Pope Francis left Manila on Monday morning, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle said the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines has invited the pontiff to attend the 51st International Eucharistic Congress to be held in Cebu in January 2016.

"Nagpadala na sa Santo Papa noon pa ang [Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines] ng invitation para pumunta siya. Ngayon, dahil nga nagpunta na siya (recently concluded trip), tingnan natin," Tagle said in a televised press conference at the Villamor Airbase.

"Kung pupunta siya, wow! Salamat! Kung gusto pa ulit ninyo, anytime!" he added. "It is the decision of the holy father. The event is there but the Holy Father will have to decide."

The 51st International Eucharistic Congress will be held in Cebu from January 24 to 31 next year, with an expected 15,000 local and international delegates.

Several activities had already been lined up for this year prior to its staging in 2016.

Pope Francis departed for Rome, Italy earlier Monday to conclude his five-day state and apostolic visit in the Philippines.

During his first trip here, the Catholic leader met President Aquino, members of the diplomatic corps, government and Church leaders and the Filipino youth and families.

His visit was highlighted by a trip to typhoon-hit Tacloban City on Saturday and a holy mass at the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park on Sunday, which drew a record crowd of six million.

AFTER POPE FRANCIS CATHOLIC BISHOPS CEBU CONFERENCE OF THE PHILIPPINES HOLY FATHER INTERNATIONAL EUCHARISTIC CONGRESS MANILA ARCHBISHOP LUIS ANTONIO CARDINAL TAGLE POPE FRANCIS PRESIDENT AQUINO QUIRINO GRANDSTAND RIZAL PARK
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