Crowds locked out of UST for Pope's youth encounter
MANILA, Philippines – Thousands wait for security guards to let them inside the University of Santo Tomas, in time for Pope Francis' encounter with young people.
This is a test of patience and faith for the Catholic faithfuls on this fourth day of Pope Francis' visit in the Philippines.
Buena Bernal reports.
A sea of young people sing songs of worship and listen to scripture in an early morning mass here at the University of Santo Tomas or UST, the oldest university in Asia and the second in the world to be branded pontifical status.
Outside the campus, men and women, old and young inch their way to the gates of UST where Pope Francis is set to meet with the religious leaders and address an estimated 24,000 youth delegates.
Security is tight as with the first 3 days of the Pope’s visit. Bags were checked one by one and security enforcers were positioned in every area and building in the campus.
At 5 am a mass is heard. A group of 60 young people traveled 4 hours from Pangasinan province, hoping to catch a glimpse of the man they call Holy Father.
Youth delegate Richmond Dacanay is part of this group.
RICHMOND DACANAY, YOUTH DELEGATE: Since this is a rare opportunity ayaw namin i-spoil na masayang yung opportunity para makita yung Holy Father natin since he’s the Vicar of Christ on earth. Siyempre yung opportunity bilang kabataan na nanggaling pa kami ng Lingayen, Dagupan gusto rin naming mai-shaire yung blessing na para pagdating namin sa Lingayen Dagupan maishare din namin yung blessing sa mga kasama naming mga kabataan na naiwan namin. (Since this is a rare opportunity, we don’t want to spoil it, to waste the opportunity to see the Holy Father since he is the Vicar of Christ on earth. Of course the opportunity as young people who came from Lingayen, Dagupan. We also want to share the blessing so when we go back to Lingayen, Dagupan we will be able to share the blessing to the youth we left there.
But not everyone it seems is as privileged as Dacanay. A huge crowd remains outside the campus Sunday morning, waiting for guards to allow them in.
Buena Bernal, Rappler, Manila. – Rappler.com