Pope to PH: Don't get tired of mercy
MANILA, Philippines – To the most predominantly Catholic country in Asia that is also among the poorest, Pope Francis appealed for mercy toward the poor and neglected in a message aired Friday, October 18.
“Don’t get tired of bringing the mercy of the Father to the poor, the sick, the abandoned, the young people, and the family,” Francis said in his video message for the Philippine Conference on New Evangelization (PCNE) at the University of Santo Tomas.
Up to 5,000 PCNE delegates listened to the Pope's message, incidentally aired 3 days after a magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck the Visayas, killing at least 172 and affecting 3.4 million people. READ: Tagle, faith, and ruins from the quake.
In his first video message to Filipinos, the Pope said: “Bring Jesus now into the world of politics, business, arts, science, technology, and social media. Let the Holy Spirit renew the creation and bring forth justice and peace in the Philippines and in the great continent of Asia that is close to my heart.” (Watch Rappler's video report below.)
“Please pray for me. I need it. I promise to pray for you especially to our mother, the blessed Virgin Mary, star of the new evangelization,” Francis added.
He said, “Mabuhay ang Pilipinas! Mabuhay ang Asia! Pagpalain kayo ng Diyos.” (Long live the Philippines! Long live Asia! May God bless you.)
Since his election in March, the Pope has emphasized mercy in dealing with the poor, homosexuals, and non-Catholics, among others. READ: Pope to 'intolerant' Catholics: Good atheists exist.
Vatican watcher John Allen, in fact, said if there is one word to describe Francis' papacy so far, it is “mercy.”
“For Francis, his signature idea is mercy,” Allen wrote for the National Catholic Reporter. “Over and over again, he emphasizes God's endless capacity to forgive, insisting what the world needs to hear from the church above all today is a message of compassion.”
Read and watch the Pope's entire message below:
My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ,
I greet all of you with the peace and joy of our Lord. The first Philippine Conference on the New Evangelization is our offering to the Year of Faith. For this I thank all of you: brother bishops, the priests, religious men and women, seminarians, and the lay faithful who organize and are participating in the conference. I am happy to learn that you came to Manila from different parts of the Philippines and Asia. The Holy Spirit has actively called you.
The Church of Christ is alive. Through this conference, I hope you would experience the presence of Jesus in your lives, that you would love the Church more and that you would share the Gospel to other people with humility and joy. Don’t get tired of bringing the mercy of the Father to the poor, the sick, the abandoned, the young people, and the family. Bring Jesus now into the world of politics, business, arts, science, technology, and social media. Let the Holy Spirit renew the creation and bring forth justice and peace in the Philippines and in the great continent of Asia that is close to my heart.
Please pray for me. I need it. I promise to pray for you especially to our mother, the blessed Virgin Mary, star of the new evangelization.
Mabuhay ang Pilipinas! Mabuhay ang Asia! Pagpalain kayo ng Diyos.
God bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
The Pope's message is consistent with Tagle's statement Friday morning. In a rare move, Tagle apologized for the sins of the Church against non-Catholics and the poor, among others. READ: Tagle says sorry for sins of Church.
Tagle also appealed to the public to "purify our memories" – "memories filled with prejudice, of anger, of hatred; memories that we passed on from generation to generation."
He said: "Let us remember how much God has loved us. Let us remember how much God has been patient with all of us. Let us remember how all of us have a spot in the heart of God. Those are the memories that we should have and pass on."
The PCNE aims to renew Catholic faith in the face of secularism. (Watch Rappler's video report below.)
It is the brainchild of Tagle, who says change begins with humility. – Rappler.com