Huge Catholic event in UST during Pope's Philippine trip
MANILA, Philippines – The Catholic Church will hold a huge conference on faith at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) alongside Pope Francis' trip to the Philippines in January 2015, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle announced.
In a letter to his parish priests, Tagle said the Archdiocese of Manila will hold the second Philippine Conference on New Evangelization (PCNE) from January 15 to 17, 2015, at the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion. The event will run from 7:30 am to 7:30 pm on those days.
The event coincides with the Pope's Philippine trip from January 15 to 19, 2015. (READ: Vatican: Philippines to help Pope reach Asia)
Started by Tagle, the PCNE aims to rekindle the Catholic faith in the face of secularism. This year's PCNE aims “to explore the relationship between the Beatitudes and Evangelization.”
The Beatitudes refer to the teachings of Jesus on who is “blessed.” The first of the Beatitudes says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” – a basis for the Pope's call for “a poor Church for the poor.”
An unprecedented event, the PCNE was first held in UST in October 2013. Back then, it drew around 5,000 participants from all over the Philippines. (READ: When a girl tells Cardinal Tagle: 'You're fake!')
It was for the PCNE in 2013 that Francis delivered his first message in English. Often uncomfortable with his “poor English,” he conquered the language barrier to address the Philippines. (Below, watch the Pope's message to the Philippines in 2013.)
'Spend more time in Visayas'
Will Francis attend the PCNE in 2015?
Tagle said nothing about this, but in an indication that the Pope will, a report by the Philippine Daily Inquirer in July said the pontiff will visit UST.
UST, a pontifical university, hosted two previous popes in the Philippines – Paul VI and John Paul II.
Tagle said the official itinerary for the Pope's Philippine trip will likely be out by November, after the Vatican approves it.
The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) earlier announced that the Pope's “main objective” for visiting the Philippines is “to bring Christ's compassion” to the survivors of the magnitude-7.2 earthquake and Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in the Visayas.
Reports quoted by CBCP News, however, said organizers have prepared for only a 6-hour visit to Leyte. The schedule reportedly makes him spend the rest of his 5-day trip in Manila.
In an article by CBCP News on Wednesday, October 15, Father Edu Gariguez said: “Kaya nga rin ako nagtataka kasi ang orihinal intention ng Pope eh pumunta dito sa mga nasalanta. Pero bakit isang araw lang ang ititigil niya doon? Dapat mas matagal. Bakit puro Manila?”
(That's why I'm wondering, because the original intention of the Pope is to visit the disaster survivors. But why will he spend only a day there? He should stay longer. Why is it mostly Manila?) – Rappler.com
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