Pope’s visit ‘confirms faith’ of Pinoys—lay preacher

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QUEZON City, Jan. 16, 2015—A Catholic lay preacher believes the ongoing visit of Pope Francis to the Asia’s largest Christian nation will bring forth what the St. Luke the Evangelist calls “confirming the faith” of the Filipino faithful.

The faithful need not line up for holy Communion because of the crowds packed around Manila Cathedral during the Holy Father's holy Mass on Jan. 16, 2015. (Photo: Johann Mangussad)

The faithful need not line up for holy Communion because of the packed crowds around Manila Cathedral during the Holy Father’s holy Mass on Jan. 16, 2015. (Photo: Dominic Barrios )

Lawyer Marwil N. Llasos, who is also a consecrated member of the Archdiocese of Manila (RCAM)’s Company of Saint Dominic (CSD), noted the natural connection between the Pope and Filipinos, given what he considers the “more or less similar cultures” of Argentina, the pontiff’s home country, and the Philippines, as both used to be colonies of Spain.

“Argentina and the Philippines sprung from the same root of Catholicism and share the same religious background and experience,” he said.

According to Llasos, while the “Pope Francis Effect” will not be immediately felt in the Philippine Catholic Church hierarchy, it will give the impetus needed for a new direction marked by a “more pastoral, pro-poor and pro-active stance”.

He shared that the marginalized, as well as victims of man-made and natural disasters will find in the Holy Father a “ray of hope,” with his visit enabling everyone to feel that the highest authority in the Church is one with them in sorrow and suffering.

As such, Llasos expressed optimism that the world will have renewed and deeper respect for the Argentine pontiff in particular, and the papacy as an institution in general.

“The Pope is the embodiment of Catholicism. His presence in our country for five days will give Filipinos the chance to experience Catholicism in person – that the Catholic faith is real and not a mere illusion. We have the personification of that in the Pope,” he stressed. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)

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