Vatican, CBCP welcomes Pope as TIME’s Person of the Year

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

THE Vatican and the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) immediately welcomed the naming of Pope Francis as TIME magazine’s Person of the Year.

The Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi said the Pontiff welcomes the award given by TIME magazine and hopes it will help attract people to the hope of the Gospel.

“It’s a positive sign that one of the most prestigious recognitions in the international press goes to a person who proclaims to the world spiritual, religious and moral values and speaks effectively in favor of peace and greater justice,” said Lombardi as quoted by CBCP News.

“The choice of Pope Francis is not surprising, given the wide appeal and huge attention to his pontificate so far,” added Lombardi.

This was seconded by CBCP President Archbishop Socrates Villegas, who said the CBCP believes hat Pope Francis deserves the award for being the “refreshing wind of new life” in the world.

“I am very sure that Pope Francis gratefully accepts the honor not for himself but for God. He has always spoken about putting God at the center--not the Church, not churchmen,” said the Lingayen-Dagupan prelate.

“He is a refreshing wind of new life that God has given the world. I encourage our Catholics to stay focused on the Pope's eyes -- always on God,” added Villegas.

In turn, the CBCP head asked the Filipino faithful to mark the feat of the Pontiff by following his humility despite being the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church.

“The sincerest form of honoring him is to imitate him. In his simplicity and down to earth faith we have much to learn,” said Villegas. (HDT/Sunnex)

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