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IEC visitors told to refrain from politicking

Kristine B. Quintas (The Freeman) - December 28, 2015 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines – Political candidates and prime ministers who are planning to attend the 51st International Eucharistic Congress in Cebu this January are advised to come “in their individual capacity.”

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said it is expected that people, especially government or state leaders and political aspirants would be present at the event.

“If they come they may come as individuals but never representing the state or anything,” he told the members of the Cebu media after yesterday’s ordination of 13 deacons.

Palma assured that none of the political candidates and government officials who will be joining the IEC will be allowed to speak during the congress.

He said only some of the “official” church leaders—cardinal and archbishop— are allowed to deliver a speech.

“They (political hopefuls) will not have speaking engagements,” he said. 

Palma also called “a hoax” the list of names of those who are supposed attend and cover the event which was recently posted on Facebook.

“This is not the way we invite people,” he said, adding that he hasn’t seen the final list yet though.

Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Dennis Villarojo, who also sits as secretary general of the 51st IEC, earlier appealed to the public, especially political candidates, to respect the “integrity and sacredness” of the congress.

He called on all political aspirants to respect and preserve the non-partisan nature and stand of the Roman Catholic Church by not holding any political activities inside churches or IEC venues.

At least 15,000 delegates from around the world are expected to attend the IEC in Cebu City from January 24 to 31.

Street Children

Palma said they are discouraging the rounding up of street dwellers because of the congress and other huge events.

“We are not in favor of that as if they are an eyesore. We believe they are part of the reality of life,” he said.

But he said Cebu has also to show its best.

“When we have guests, we have to show the best that we can depende na sa pag-manage,” he said.

Palma pointed out that the church has a program for street children for them to participate in the congress and somehow address the issue.

He said they included a committee on solidarity and communion headed by Reverend Father Carmelo Diola to make the IEC relevant to all, especially to the poor.

One of the activities set forth to benefit the poor or street dwellers aims to reach out to many street children who are found living and begging in the major streets and thoroughfares in the city.

Around 500 street children and 4,500 students will receive their first Holy Communion during the congress.  —/JMD (FREEMAN)

 

ACIRC CEBU CEBU ARCHBISHOP JOSE PALMA CEBU AUXILIARY BISHOP DENNIS VILLAROJO CEBU CITY HOLY COMMUNION INTERNATIONAL EUCHARISTIC CONGRESS POLITICAL REVEREND FATHER CARMELO DIOLA ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH STREET CHILDREN
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