Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle urges Filipinos to prepare their spirituality for the 2015 Papal visit during the press conference at Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Manila. Photo by Basilio H. Sepe

07 July 2014, 11:24 p.m. – THE CATHOLIC Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is urging Filipinos to prepare spiritually for Pope Francis’ visit to the country in 2015.

Logistics and security concerns will be addressed, but the faithful should understand what they are preparing for, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle said in a press conference earlier today, the last day of the 109th CBCP Plenary Assembly at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Paco, Manila.

CBCP President Archbishop Socrates Villegas said the Vatican would release the Pope’s itinerary around the end of July or first week of August.

Last Friday, Vatican officials led by Dr. Stephanie Izo of the Holy See’s secretariat; Dr. Alberto Gasbarri, chief organizer of the pastoral visit; and Dr. Paolo Cornvini, office of protocol, visited Leyte to inspect proposed sites for the papal visit.

“The Vatican is showing solidarity and compassion already by sending Vatican officials to Manila and Tacloban,” Villegas said. “However, we will have to wait for the official announcement.”

In a pastoral letter read during the press briefing, Villegas said the faithful should prepare for the Pontiff’s visit by being “rich in mercy and compassion.”

“The most distinctive way to prepare for the coming of Pope Francis for the Philippines is to become people rich in mercy. Let us make mercy our national identity,” Villegas said. “We encourage you our dear people to resolve to make an act of mercy everyday.” D. A. F. Gabriel

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