Pope sends envoy to typhoon-ravaged Leyte on Christmas

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Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto in Cebu during the National Thanksgiving Mass for San Pedro Calungsod on Nov. 30, 2012.

MANILA, Dec. 23, 2013— As a sign of personal solidarity, Pope Francis is sending his envoy to typhoon-stricken areas of the Visayas this Christmas. 

Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, will travel to Tacloban City on Dec. 24 to be with the victims of Typhoon Yolanda,  Palo Archbishop John Du said. 

Du said the papal nuncio will first attend a gathering of the clergy and the religious before leading the Midnight Mass scheduled at 10pm at the Cathedral of Our Lord’s Transfiguration in Palo town. 

Pinto will stay at the Palo archbishop’s residence which was also damaged by the typhoon last November 8. 

Du said he was concerned where Pinto will sleep but the nuncio is determined to visit the area. 

“I will sleep wherever you sleep,” Du quoted Pinto as saying. 

On Dec. 25, Christmas Day, Pinto will also preside over a Mass at 10am at the Sto. Niño Church in Tacloban City before going back Manila. 

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said Pinto has been in touched with the church’s relief efforts in typhoon-ravaged areas Eastern Visayas. 

According to him, the nuncio would often come to Cebu City where Caritas International’s command center is currently based. 

“Archbishop Du was concerned where he (nuncio) will sleep but he said ‘never mind I will sleep under the tent,’” Palma said. 

“These are some of the ways on how we can help to make people feel that they are not alone. We are willing to journey with them,” he said. (CBCPNews)

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