Pope Francis invited to Philippines

  • Karpal Singh dies in road accident, son injured
    Karpal Singh dies in road accident, son injured

    Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh died in a car accident on the North-South Expressway this morning near Gua Tempurung, Kampar in Perak. Police has confirmed the incident that happened shortly before 1am at KM301.6 of the expressway. Karpal, who would have turned 74 in June, was believed to be travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Penang to attend a... …

  • Sales of Malaysian products normal in China despite boycott call – Bernama
    Sales of Malaysian products normal in China despite boycott call – Bernama

    The sales of Malaysian products in China, particularly food and beverage (F&B) products, remain normal despite calls by Chinese netizens to boycott them following the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370. A Malaysian importer of various products here, Loh Wee Keng, said the sales of F&B products were normal, especially in... …

  • Detainee’s ‘sudden death’ in jail due to viral infection, say police – Bernama

    A man who was remanded by the police last week on a drug-related offence was found dead at the Jinjang police station lock-up in Kuala Lumpur early today. The police found A. Mogan, 48, on the floor of the cell and foaming at the mouth at 12.45am. Sentul police chief ACP Zakaria Pagan said after finding Mogan unconscious, the police called... …

  • Sea Dragon and other probes that can go deeper may take over if mini-sub fails, says CNN
    Sea Dragon and other probes that can go deeper may take over if mini-sub fails, says CNN

    The search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is nearing the end of its 40th day without any significant development and CNN aviation consultant Mary Schiavo said underwater probes which can go deeper may be deployed if current efforts using a high-tech mini-submarine fails. The mini-submarine or autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), known as... …

  • Police cadet delivers baby in toilet while under training
    Police cadet delivers baby in toilet while under training

    A police trainee who was undergoing training at the police training centre (PULAPOL) delivered a baby girl in a toilet at a hospital yesterday, three months after she was tested negative for pregnancy. A source said the trainee, delivered her baby in a toilet of the Kuala Lumpur Hospital at 11am. Both mother and child are in good health. It... …

  • Mahathir wants Causeway replaced with ‘Friendship Bridge’ to Singapore – Bernama
    Mahathir wants Causeway replaced with ‘Friendship Bridge’ to Singapore – Bernama

    Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pic) today suggested the removal of the Johor Causeway in order to build the Friendship Bridge proposed by the government.    He said the Johor Causeway causes various problems, mainly involving environmental issues and traffic congestion, in Johor Baru.   "If it is a bridge, then what need is... …

Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - Two retired Filipino cardinals have invited Pope Francis to visit the Philippines, Asia's bastion of Roman Catholicism that the Pontiff has called "Islands of Saints".

Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, the archbishop emeritus of Manila, and Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, the retired archbishop of Cebu, extended the invitation to Francis during the new Pope's audience with the world's cardinals at the Vatican on Friday.

Rosales and Vidal said the Pope could make the 2016 International Eucharistic Congress to be hosted by Cebu an occasion to visit the Philippines.

They said Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, archbishop of Manila, wanted to organise a third National Day of Clergy that could be expanded to include Asian clergy. The occasion could also provide Pope Francis an opportunity to address the churches of Asia.

Vidal said Pope Francis met all of the 155 cardinals, retired or active and eligible to vote and be voted as Pope, one by one, giving each of them an opportunity to foster "fellowship" with the new leader of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.

On seeing the retired Manila prelate, Francis recognised him immediately. "Oh, you're Cardinal Rosales," the Pope said.

'Islas de santos'

Rosales said he told the Pope in Spanish, "Your Holiness, the Philippines is now preparing for your first pastoral visit as Pope!"

Rosales said the Pope smiled and said, "Vamos a ver (Let us see)."

On seeing Vidal, who took part in the 2005 conclave where then Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires, placed second to the Pope he has now replaced, Francis exclaimed, "Filipinas, islas de santos (The Philippines, islands of saints)!"

Vidal said he was initially stumped by the Pope's remark, explaining that "islas de santos" can also mean "islands of holy people" because the Philippines is known to be devoutly Catholic.

It could also mean that the Pope was making a reference to the recent canonisation of Pedro Calungsod, whom Cebu and the other Visayan islands claim as their own, as the Philippines' second canonised saint after another martyr, San Lorenzo Ruiz.

Both Filipino saints were canonised by the new Pope's predecessors, Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.

Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See Merceditas Tuazon said she would soon make a request to the new Pope for the image of Calungsod to be set up at St. Peter's Basilica in recognition of the Philippines' contributions to Christianity.

A painting of Lorenzo Ruiz already graces one of the chapels of the basilica.

Francis' description of the Philippines could also be a reference to the high profile that the country has earned as a result of the intense speculation in the Philippine press that Cardinal Tagle could become Pope because of his sterling qualifications.

In the run-up to the conclave, Tagle had been much bruited about in the media and by key "Vaticanologists" as a leading contender from outside Europe.

But Rosales said he had always cautioned against too much speculation about his successor's prospects for the papacy.

"As I always tell Filipinos, let's not just pray for one of our own to become Pope; let's pray for the good of the Church," he said.

Rosales and Vidal participated in the congregational discussions among active and retired cardinals before the papal conclave that started on March 13 and ended quickly after only five ballotings.

At more than 80 years old, both Rosales and Vidal were no longer eligible to vote or be voted in the conclave.

'God's humour'

Vidal said the 2005 conclave was his "first and last".

They said they had known of Bergoglio as a "quiet and unassuming man". In Vatican conferences where the bishops would congregate, the former archbishop of Buenos Aires was usually quiet and reserved, they said.

Rosales couldn't help but chuckle that for all the media frenzy about the papabile, the possible successors to Pope Benedict, and the probability that the conclave would be drawn out, none from the news agencies and the social media was able to predict that a self-effacing and very modest archbishop from Argentina would be elected in one of the quickest papal elections in history.

Asked why the media did not get it right, Rosales said, "God does not read social media."

Rosales attributed the conclave's result to "the surprise of the Holy Spirit" and the "humour of God".

Vidal, sitting beside Rosales at the refectory Pontificio Collegio Filippino, where Filipino priests studying or working in pontifical institutes are boarded, agreed. "God knows how to surprise us," he said.

From across the globe, Vidal's successor, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, sent in his agreement. "We must prepare for surprises," he texted. "To me, it's the work of the Holy Spirit."

But Rosales said the biggest surprise was the papal name of Bergoglio-"Francis," from St. Francis of Assisi, who founded the Franciscan movement that highlighted the charism of poverty in order to check the materialism of the medieval church of his time.

"St. Francis was a joker," Rosales said, referring to the saint's well-known lightheartedness. He said the saint should indicate the humour of God.

"We had been speculating about this and that but in the end, God surprises us with his humour," Rosales said.

On Saturday, Pope Francis chose the name of the founder of the mendicant movement because he wanted "a poor Church" to work "for the poor".

He explained that when he was elected, a fellow cardinal embraced him and said, "Don't forget the poor."

"That's when I thought of Francis of Assisi," he said. "And that is how the name came to me: Francis of Assisi, the man of poverty, of peace."

"This is what I want," he added. "A poor Church for the poor."

Pope Scola

Rosales himself displayed lighthearted humour when he joked that the soda giant Coca-Cola had been known to have been very much against the possible election of Cardinal Angelo Scola, a papabile. "Because if he becomes Pope," he explained, "he will be called Pope Scola," a pun on Pepsi Cola, Coke's rival.

He also poked fun at himself and Vidal for being "fundidos", as retired cardinals no longer eligible to take part in the conclave are called.

When Tuazon brought with her during a breakfast with the cardinals a bottle of natural squeezed kiwi juice, known for its rejuvenating properties, Rosales christened the tonic "Fundido's Juice".

COPYRIGHT: ASIA NEWS NETWORK

Follow @YahooMalaysia on LINE for daily news updates.

Comments on Yahoo pages are subject to our link to Comments Guidelines. You are responsible for any content that you post. Yahoo is not responsible or liable in any way for comments posted by its users. Yahoo does not in any way endorse or support comments made by its users.

  • ‘Huge’ Hindu, Buddhist statues against Islam, ex-judge says The Malay Mail Online
    ‘Huge’ Hindu, Buddhist statues against Islam, ex-judge says

    KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 — The “huge” statues at a Hindu temple in Batu Caves and Buddhist temple in Penang are an affront to Islam as the religion forbids idolatry, a retired Court of Appeals judge... …

  • Wreck hunter confident MH370 crash site found, says Aussie paper The Malaysian Insider
    Wreck hunter confident MH370 crash site found, says Aussie paper

    A wreck hunter is confident that the search teams had pinpointed the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 and believes that the black boxes will be located soon, the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) reports. David Mearns, director of Blue Water Recoveries told the ABC's 7.30 programme yesterday, he was confident that, because of their... …

  • ‘All the best’, Selangor MB tells Bible society at exit The Malay Mail Online
    ‘All the best’, Selangor MB tells Bible society at exit

    SHAH ALAM, April 15 — Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said today he wished the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) well on its decision to move its headquarters out to Kuala Lumpur to... …