Palma: Pope invited for the event
Rowena D. Capistrano (The Freeman) - June 13, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma has initially informed Pope Francis of the local church’s intent to invite the highest church leader for the celebration of the 500 years of Christianity in the country.

Palma, who was in Rome to attend the Ad Limina Apostolorum along with other bishops in the Visayas, said that the Pope had just asked them to send a letter, so he can check his schedule.

The pope reportedly told him that he would check his schedule because of the numerous invitations sent to him.  If Pope Francis would not be able to attend, he said he would surely send someone to represent him for that momentous event.

Palma is however hopeful that Pope Francis would be able to attend the event.

The local church leaders are not also alarmed with President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncements that the 500 years of Christianity need not be celebrated at all.

Palma said he respects Duterte’s position, although the Cebu prelate is also hoping that the country’s chief executive would change his mind, considering that those who are not even Christians are even looking for ways to attend the event.

Palma added that the celebration of the 500 years of Catholicism in the country would push through with or without the president.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Commission on the Laity Fe Mantuhac-Barino said that the government’s refusal to support the event will not affect the celebration, since the laity sees the celebration and vocation would last for more than a decade.

She said that the vocation to propagate the Christian teachings does not depend on the support of the government.

She, however, said that the government’s support for the event would have further motivated the faithful, considering that the Philippines is still a Christian country. — GAN (FREEMAN)

JOSE PALMA
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