CBCP releases itinerary of Pope Francis’ visit to PHL in January PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 16 November 2014 14:22

By FERDINAND G. PATINIO

 

Pope Francis will only stay seven hours in Tacloban to be with the survivors of super typhoon “Yolanda”, during his Apostolic and State Visit in the country on January 15-19, 2015.

Based on the official itinerary of the visit released by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippine (CBCP), the Pontiff will be in Tacloban on January 17 (Saturday), where he will have lunch with some of the survivors of the storm at the Archbishop’s Residence in Palo, Leyte.

Before the lunch meeting, a Holy Mass will be held near the Tacloban International Airport. He will also attend the blessing of Pope Francis Center for the Poor.

His last schedule event in Tacloban will be a meeting with the Priests, Women and Men Religious, Seminarians and Families of the survivors at the Cathedral of Palo. He will then fly back to Manila.

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle said the Pope will spend one full day in Tacloban and in Palo, Leyte to be with the people who suffered when the super typhoon hit the province in November 8, 2013.

“He (Pope) devoted one full day for Tacloban and Palo,” Archbishop Tagle said in press briefing Friday evening during the announcement of the official schedule of the Holy Father’s visit in the country.

Meanwhile, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa said that President Benigno Aquino III is eager to welcome the Holy Father.

“On behalf of President Benigno S. Aquino III, may I express the government’s eagerness to warmly welcome His Holiness Pope Francis on his forthcoming visit to the Philippines this January,” he said.

“Pope Francis will be here not only as the leader of the Roman Catholic faith, but as the head of state of the Vatican. As such, His Holiness will be extended all the courtesies provided to visiting heads of state,” he added.

Pope Francis is scheduled to meet President Aquino on January 16, 2015, as courtesy visit at Malacanang Palace.

He will also meet with other government officials and members of the Diplomatic Corps.