Filipino prelate: New pope will reduce secularism

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03:12 PM March 21st, 2013

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March 21st, 2013 03:12 PM

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle. INQUIRER file photo

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines’ top Roman Catholic leader says Pope Francis’ acts of reaching out to the masses will strengthen a church endangered by secularism.

Three Philippine cardinals who witnessed the installation of the Argentine pontiff returned home Thursday and heaped praise on the pope’s down-to-earth ways.

Francis, the first non-European pope since the Middle Ages, has won raves in his first days in the papacy by wading into crowds at St. Peter’s Square to meet common people and eschewing an armored limousine for an ordinary car to pick up his bags at a downtown Vatican hotel.

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle says such papal outreach will help the embattled church reconnect with people.

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