Latest Stories

Archbishop hits Rolling Stone for comparing Pope Francis, resigned pope Benedict XVI


Catholic Bishops Conference of Philippines president and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas. cbcpforlife.com photo

MANILA, Philippines — The predominantly-Catholic Philippines has felt the “ripple effect” of Pope Francis who recently made the cover of an iconic rock magazine Rolling Stone.

“Indeed, Pope Francis’ ripples have reached the Philippines too. Greater fire to share the faith. (It has) increased church attendance,” Catholic Bishops Conference of Philippines president and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villages said.

The Argentinian-born pope was the recent cover of the Rolling Stone Magazine, which usually features icons of American pop culture.

The “rock star” pontiff as described in the social media in the Philippines was hailed for simple lifestyle and his opinions on homosexuality and real world economic issues in contrast to his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI.

But Villegas, who had recently assumed the leadership of the 120-strong collegial body of bishops just last month, criticized the magazine saying it could not be treated as responsible journalism.

“It praises Pope Francis at the expense of Pope Benedict. We should not bring down one to glorify another,” Villegas said.

This image obtained January 29, 2014 courtesy of Wenner Media LLC, shows the February 13, 2014 cover of Rolling Stone magazine. Pope Francis is taking his place alongside the icons of American popular culture by appearing on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, which hits newsstands January 31, 2014. It’s the first time the staunchly liberal rock-music bible has featured a Roman Catholic pontiff on its cover, which is typically graced by pop stars and movie idols.”Pope Francis: the times they are a-changin’,” reads the cover headline that borrows the title of Bob Dylan’s classic early 1960s anthem.The Argentine-born pope, who took office in March last year, has previously been Time magazine’s Person of the Year. He also made the cover of The Advocate, the respected US gay rights magazine. AFP PHOTO / WENNER MEDIA LLC / HANDOU

But still Catholic officials admitted that, the pope made an impact in the prelates and the laity in the Philippines.

In a separate interview, Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz said even the prelates were struck by Pope Francis’ “simplicity.”

“I listen to him speak at tinatamaan din ako. (and I am struck). I decided to give away some of my shoes, some of the things I don’t need. A lot of priests and bishops would also say that,” Cruz, who has been vocal about his opinions in politics, said in a phone interview.

He described the pope as a “cowboy” who has been brave to institute changes in the Vatican. One of his moves is his decision to limit the honor of “monsignor” among diocesan priests to those at least 65 years old, which others see as the Pope’s tack in reducing careerism and elitism among priests.

The pope’s stand on world economic issues, Cruz said, could also influence the Catholic Church to emphasize social doctrine.

In a recent pastoral letter, the CBCP slammed the “economy of exclusion” in the Philippines, calling the perennial poverty “scandalous.”

On the increased church attendance, Villegas noted that the Church, aside from wanting to see more people joining the holy Masses, would like people to improve the quality of their faith and spiritual life.

“The bigger question is ‘Are people growing closer to God?’ We have more people joining processions and falling in line for communion but ‘Are they becoming, living, loving like Jesus?’” Villegas said.

He said the number of churchgoers could only give an illusion of an active Church.

“But the real focus must be an individual personal intimacy with God. The verifiable indicators of a revitalized Church will be honest governance, citizenship with integrity, care for environment and business for common good not just for the capitalist,” he said.


Pope tells missionary group to respect culture in PH, rest of Asia

Pope Francis superhero street art disappears

Pope Francis‘ visit to ‘Yolanda’-devastated Leyte eyed

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines , Catholic Church , Global Nation , Pope Benedict XVI , Pope Francis , Rolling Stone magazine , Socrates Villegas , Vatican

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Luzon grid power reserve ‘enough’ for Holy Week
  • Pimentel proposes incentives for companies that will hire ex-convicts
  • State seeks guilty verdict for Abalos
  • SBMA execs, 2 others face graft raps
  • Pangasinan beachgoers warned vs jellyfish
  • Sports

  • My ideal weight is 140, declares Pacquiao
  • Freddie Roach: I’m satisfied; Manny Pacquiao did well
  • New-look Azkals tie Qatari side
  • San Miguel Beermen eye No. 2 slot, battle Air21 Express
  • Filipinos yield to Iraqis anew Asian club volley
  • Lifestyle

  • Celebrate Easter Sunday at Buddha-Bar Manila
  • Moriones feast: A slow, steady transformation
  • Weaving ‘palaspas’ a tradition kept alive in Tayabas City
  • Finalists announced for best translated books
  • Summer treat for your aspiring astronomers
  • Entertainment

  • Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels US concert
  • Otaku Summer Jam 2014: Summer’s hottest J-rock/Cosplay event
  • 2NE1 returns to Manila with “All Or Nothing” Tour
  • Gary Valenciano just keeps moving
  • Noisy celeb spews venom, backs off when confronted
  • Business

  • Longer TRO sought on rate hike
  • Make a stylish statement with the all-new Yaris
  • Hearing set in Olarte case
  • BOC sues steel importers
  • BIR continues to miss collection target
  • Technology

  • Tech company: change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Another reason to quit social media this Holy Week: your safety
  • Philippines may watch ‘blood moon’ online
  • Opinion

  • We may never know
  • Couple of things
  • Mommy D’s magic
  • Stop bizarre and bloody Good Friday rituals
  • Holy Week taboos
  • Global Nation

  • No travel restrictions to Middle East amid MERS-CoV scare
  • Measures set against entry of MERS-CoV
  • Japan backs PH in case before UN
  • Las Vegas union starts pickets over wages, benefits
  • Fil-Am Daly City councilor has eye on Superior Court seat
  • Marketplace