Papal visit can help, but change starts within—priest

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MANILA, Oct. 2, 2014—The change which Filipinos hope Pope Francis’s upcoming visit is expected to make actually begins with oneself, a Catholic priest believes.

Fr. Carlos V. Reyes, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)’s Episcopal Commission on Interreligious Dialogue (ECID), pointed out that while the Holy Father’s visit can do wonders in terms of the nation’s spiritual renewal, he stressed it will still be up to Filipinos whether to take steps towards living that blessing to the fullest.

Pope Francis will be in the Philippines for a state and pastoral visit in January 2015. (Photo: CNA)

“Let us look within ourselves. Find out what are the good traits we possess. These are the ones we should strive to cultivate, and the bad ones we should avoid,” shared Reyes in a recent interview over Church-run Radyo Veritas.

The priest explained an examination of one’s conscience provides clues on how the faithful can effectively transform society with themselves as the starting point.

According to Reyes, the apostolic visit will be a boon, not only to the Philippines, but to the rest of Asia as well.

The CBCP-ECID executive secretary shared that aside from Catholics, many adherents to other faith traditions also look up to Pope Francis.

Reyes called on all Filipinos to prepare themselves spiritually for the coming of Pope Francis, whose scheduled visit to the country on January 15 to 19, 2015, is expected to raise the morale of a people, Yolanda survivors in particular, who have been through many hardships. (Raymond A. Sebastián)

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