Saturday, December 7, 2013

Pope Francis to visit the Philippines in 2014 or 2015?

Fr. Francis Gustilo SDB is the sole current Filipino member of the International Theological Commission and the third-ever Filipino to have been appointed to that august body (the other two having been Fr. Catalino Arevalo SJ and Fr. Luis Antonio Tagle, who would later on become Bishop of Imus, then Archbishop of Manila and Cardinal.)

He posted the following status on his Facebook page in the morning of the 7th of December, Manila time. As it is now being widely shared on Facebook I believe that the news can be considered to be sufficiently public to be also posted on this and other blogs. 


Two hours ago, all the members of the International Theological Commission {ITC} went to the Apostolic Palace {palazzo apostolic} where the Holy Father has his office. 
Alas dose en punto, there he was with us, smiling, waving, feeling so relaxed. Now here are the real news! 

[1] During his short speech to us, he did not simply read the prepared text but became extemporaneous. {a} the theologian must be pioneer not a soldier staying in the military barracks; he must be at the frontlines! {b} the theologian cannot have beautiful theological lessons with a heart that is dry; theology is not merely the mind speaking but the heart burning; {c} the theologian must teach catechism to the children especially the poor; St Ignatius {"I am not promoting with this my Ignatian roots"} told the Jesuits that they ought to teach catechism to the youth

[2] Each one was given time to kiss his hand and say some word tete-a-tete. When I approached him, he told me: "Oh, the Filipino I met yesterday at Santa Marta!" I replied: "Holy Father, thank you so much for helping my suffering people and specially for praying for them and encouraging others to help our devastated country." And he immediately added: "I will visit your country, it is in my agenda. Only I am not sure whether next year or at the end of 2015. But don't worry I will be with you all". 

There you are. What better news can I send than meeting our highest spiritual leader, having a wonderful exchange of kind words and being assured that he has the Filipinos at heart!!!!

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