Pope requests removal of his posters in Leyte

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

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Pope requests removal of his posters in Leyte
Heeding the Pope's request, the archdiocese of Palo vows to replace the posters of Francis with those of Jesus Christ and the saints
LEYTE, Philippines – Pope Francis requested organizers of his Philippine trip to remove posters greeting him along the roads of typhoon-ravaged Leyte, Palo Archdiocese spokesperson Fr Amadeo Alvero said Tuesday, January 13.
Alvero said the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, relayed this message to him last week.
Quoting Villegas, Alvero said Francis told organizers to have his posters replaced with posters of Jesus.
Hindi naman daw siya ang pinakabida dito. Ang bida, si Kristo,” he said in a media briefing. (The Pope said he’s not the focus of this event. He said the focus is Christ.)
Posters of Francis line the road from the Tacloban Airport to the Palo Cathedral, and back, as he is set to hold a motorcade in these areas.
Alvero told Rappler that the archdiocese of Palo is heeding the Pope’s request to replace his posters in Leyte.
He said the archdiocese is replacing these “as much as possible” with posters of Jesus, as well as Leyte’s patron saints. He said posters of Francis could be transferred to other places.
“We must be happy to welcome Christ through the Pope, to welcome Jesus’ message of mercy and compassion through the Pope,” Alvero said.
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle earlier said, too, that Francis wants Jesus, not him as pontiff, as the focus of his Philippine trip.
Francis is visiting the Philippines under the theme “mercy and compassion.” The highlight of his trip is his visit to Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) and earthquake survivors in the Visayas onSaturday, January 17. A possible storm, however, could cancel this trip, another spokesman of the Palo archdiocese told Rappler. – Rappler.com

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Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email pat.esmaquel@rappler.com