MANILA, Dec. 2, 2014— The head of the Archdiocese of urged politicians not to take advantage of Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines next year to gain political mileage.
With less than two years to go before the presidential elections, Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle said the papal visit is not an occasion for political campaigning.
“This is a pastoral visit. Let’s not use it for other personal interests,” Tagle said during a press briefing on Monday. “I appeal to those planning to welcome the pontiff not to use the occasion for other motivations.”
The cardinal said the Pope is coming to the country for a pastoral visit and expressed hope that he will be welcomed as a “pastor of the Church.”
“This is a spiritual visit of the Pope. Let us respect the nature of his visit,” he said.
The church official warned against plastering the route of the papal visit with tarpaulins and other promotional materials in welcoming the pontiff.
He also reminded the public that the Pope wants his visit to be simple.
“The reminder, first of all, is not to make the preparations costly. We know that it’s not just that the pope is calling for simplicity, but also because this is the call of the times,” Tagle said.
It is not bad to make ways to welcome the Pope, he said, but “we can be hospitable in simple ways.”
With millions of faithful expected to see the Pope, Tagle also called on the public to make the occasion garbage-free.
He lamented how big events are often marred by reckless littering.
“Our Pope also wants us to protect our environment,” Tagle said. (CBCPNews)