The Pope’s Visit

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By Ver F. Pacete

As I See It

Saturday, August 2, 2014


POPE Francis, the 266th Pope is coming to the Philippines in 2015 (the year before the presidential election). Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergolio took the name of Francis to remind him that there are more poor people in this world. He was a great fan of St. Francis of Assisi.

St. Francis was simple, humble and promoted Christian poverty against the luxury, pride, and vanity of the civil and ecclesiastical authorities of the time. I do not say that he was a “woman hater.” Pope Francis would want-to-do-a St. Francis. (Many Filipino politicians will not like that. For them, simplicity is hard. Humility does not make them celebrities. Poverty is not in their vocabulary. Pride is difficult to swallow.)

The coming of the Pope may alarm some of our civil and ecclesiastical authorities because some of them (some only) could not hide their vanity. For them, it is a sacrifice to depart from vanity. Vanity is what makes the Earth different from the Planet of the Apes. Pope Francis (I am sure.) will be teaching us not to reside in luxurious houses. (He is practicing it.) He will demonstrate to us to refuse wearing the red Prada. He will show off his donated black leather shoes.

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Jorge becomes Francis. Pope Francis (A.K.A. Jorge) is following tradition. Simon the Fisherman was changed by Jesus to Peter, meaning “Rock” (not hard-headed). Peter became the Fisher of Men. The chosen name for the Pope signifies the spirituality and the missions of a Pope. (I hope our senators and congressmen would also change their names after their election so that they could become genuine servants of the people. Amen.)

Why is the Pope coming to the Philippines? He wants to touch the hearts of the Filipinos, not only of Catholics but also the members of other religions and denominations. (That also holds true with the hearts of the members of the different political parties… presuming that they still have the hearts.) (To those who are concerned only. Some politicians have big hearts.)

Even the atheists speak well of Pope Francis, “The Lord has redeemed all of us, not just the Catholics, and even the atheists… even if they do not believe, we may meet them in doing good.” I advise fellow Catholics not to construct a big (bigger or the biggest) arena for the coming of Pope Francis. We are not interested to break what is in the Guinness Book of World Records. Remember humility!

Pope Francis will visit the areas ravaged by super typhoon Yolanda not to audit international donations but to see what happened to his flock. He would prefer to ride on top of the “caro” drawn by a carabao, our national animal destined to be slaughtered young to feed the hungry. The poor people (some of them do not have houses yet) will gather in thousands to attend the mass with the Pope as main celebrant.

At the end of the Holy Mass, the Pope would say (again), “My people are poor and I am one of them.” The rich who are there would pretend to be poor. The gathering would be a combination of those who are really poor and those who are poor in spirit. “May the spirit of the Lord be upon them. Amen.”

PNoy will probably invite the Pope to visit his humble abode in the Palace. If Pope Francis agrees, simple food will be served. The cabinet members may serve the Pope’s meal (no pork) to show that they really are the servants of the people. The meeting will be behind closed door. Topics will be apolitical… just on salvation, redemption, purgation, forgiveness, repentance, and blessing (for 2016).

Pope Francis may grace Congress having a joint session. The senators and congressmen will be in their drab attire… no expensive barongs and coats, no fancy dress and fairy tale gowns (for the lady legislators). The Pope may tell them the “Parable of a Prodigal Son” or the “Sermon in the Mount.”

“Live like diamonds…because diamonds are forever. Don’t live and let die because your constituents depend on you. I bless you for your eyes only and be good to each other by not entertaining a view to a kill. Remember that the living daylights are hopes for you to believe that tomorrow never dies.” (Not from Pope Francis.)

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 02, 2014.

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