Vatican official to inspect ‘Yolanda’ rehab effort

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Cardinal Robert Sarah

MANILA, Jan. 24, 2014— One of the most touted “papabili” or cardinal who could be pope during last year’s conclave that elected Pope Francis is visiting typhoon-ravaged areas in Leyte next week. 

Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, will arrive in Manila on Jan. 27, and will proceed to Tacloban City the following day. 

Former Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See Henrietta de Villa said Cardinal Sarah wants to get a first-hand look at the progress of the Church’s ongoing recovery efforts. 

De Villa is a consultor to the Cor Unum, an administrative body that serves in the name of Pope Francis for the Church’s worldwide charitable activities. 

It also distributes papal funds to disaster-torn areas in the world. 

“He will visit some areas worst hit by the typhoon the whole day,” De Villa said. The cardinal, she added, will just return to Manila on the same day. 

Upon his arrival on Monday, Cardinal Sarah is also scheduled to meet the country’s Catholic bishops who will gather for their plenary assembly in Manila starting on Saturday, January 25. 

Fr. Marvin Mejia, CBCP Secretary General, said the cardinal is expected to deliver a talk and discuss the Church’s recovery works in areas worst hit by Typhoon Yolanda last November. 

“I think his talk has something to do with the efforts of the Church to address the situation in Yolanda hit areas,” Mejia said. 

De Villa said Cardinal Sarah will return to Rome on January 30. 

The 68-year old Guinean cardinal was among the leading names drawing buzz in Rome as the conclave was drawing near last year. 

According to US-based Catholic News Service, he was known as a defender of rights and promoter of charity. 

As Pope Benedict XVI prepared to leave office in late February last year, Cardinal Sarah was visiting Syrian refugee camps in Jordan. (Roy Lagarde)

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