The papal nuncio has informed Philippine bishops that Pope Benedict XVI won’t attend next year’s quadricentennial celebrations, according to the official news agency of the local episcopal conference.

In a May 7 letter, Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams, apostolic nuncio to the Philippines, told Tandag Bishop Nereo Odchimar, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), that the pope won’t be present for the 400th year celebration of the University of Santo Tomas.

CBCP News said no reason was given. The 83-year-old Supreme Pontiff will instead send a representative.

“The Holy Father will not be coming to Manila for the anniversary, but given the importance of the quadricentennial celebrations of the university, His Holiness will be sending for the occasion his special envoy, whose name will be published in L’osservatore Romano the afternoon of Saturday, 27 November 2010,” Adams was quoted by the CBCP News website as saying.

UST, founded April 28, 1611, is the only pontifical university in Asia. The CBCP story noted that UST had hosted three papal visits: Pope Paul VI on Nov. 28, 1970 and Pope John Paul II on Feb. 18, 1981 and Jan. 13, 1995.


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