Pope Francis to say Masses in English in PH visit
MANILA, Philippines — Pope Francis will celebrate Masses in English during his five-day visit to the Philippines more than a week from now.
Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said the Pope will use English in his Masses in Tacloban City on January 17, and at the Rizal Park in Manila on January 18.
“The Pope wants to reach out to more people,” Villegas said in a text message to reporters.
“Latin is difficult for many Filipinos, English is easier to understand,” he added.
The original plan was for the Pope to celebrate Masses in Latin and have the public respond in English. He will also speak English when he addresses Filipinos during his visit.
“The Pope is the Pope of surprises. He might make off-the-cuff comments in Italian and Spanish,” Pasig Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara, chair of the CBCP Commission on Social Communications, said in a previous press briefing.
The Argentinian Pope speaks six languages—Spanish, Italian, Latin, French, German and English, which he spoke during his recent visit to South Korea.
The Pope, however, will say his Mass at the Manila Cathedral in Latin “because the clergy and bishops are supposed to understand Latin,” Villegas explained.
The Mass at the Manila Cathedral on January 16 will be attended bishops, priests and religious women and men.
The Pope is scheduled to arrive in Manila on January 15 from Sri Lanka. He will fly to Tacloban on January 17 to meet with the survivors of Super Typhoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan).
He will return to Rome on January 19.
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