MANILA, Philippines—Several Catholic bishops have scheduled Masses in their respective dioceses for the intention of Pope Benedict XVI on the days leading to his resignation on Thursday.
Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles has announced his archdiocese will have a concelebrated Mass on Monday (Feb. 25) at the Metropolitan Cathedral of San Sebastian (or Lipa Cathedral) for the Holy Father, who announced on Feb. 11 that he was stepping down from the papal throne.
“After which, the priests will continue our prayer for the conclave and God’s guidance for the next Pope,” Arguelles told reporters in a text message.
He added that all the archdiocesan and parish council leaders, as well as all religious congregations, associations and school representatives had been asked to be present during the Mass on Monday.
A conclave will be held next month to elect the 266th leader of the 1.2 billion Catholics around the world. At least 117 cardinals under the age of 80 are expected to participate in the closed-door election in Rome.
Two days before the Pope’s resignation, a Mass on Feb. 26 at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Cubao will be held at 6 p.m., according to Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco. Special prayers for the Pope would also be said during the Masses prior to Feb. 28, he added.
Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes said his diocese has also scheduled a special Mass for Pope Benedict XVI at the cathedral on Feb. 26 at 5:30 p.m.
In Marbel, South Cotabato, prayers will be said in all the Masses this week for the intention of the pontiff and for the coming conclave, according to Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez.
“We will have a Mass for him on March 1, the first Friday, at 6 p.m. at our cathedral,” added Malolos Bishop Jose Oliveros.