PHNO EDITORIALS & OPINIONS OF THE WEEK:  FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

OPINION: 2015 - YEAR OF PROGRESS  

by Former Press Secretary Hector R. Villanueva ----The year 2015 opened with great optimism. The year promises prosperity and, hopefully, lasting peace and tranquility. For President Benigno Simeon Aquino, it should be a good year. To begin with, for the Philippines and President Noynoy Aquino, it is a great honor and privilege to host the papal visit of Pope Francis which comes but once in a generation. With the euphoria of the papal visit as a starting point, the administration should be off and running. READ FULL COLUMN....

ALSO: Framers of the 1987 Constitution support Bangsamoro 

By Florangel Braid: ON the constitutionality of the provisions in the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), the surviving members of the 1986 Constitutional Commission have come out with a seven-page statement expressing their support. Based on the vision and spirit behind the provisions on autonomous regions, they believe that the proposed Bangsamoro reflects the true aspirations of its people and their sincere and earnest efforts to pursue the core principles of the Constitution – pursuit of social justice and the common good, and the provision of an environment that would empower and best serve the interests of its people and the Filipino nation. Following is the executive summary of the statement: RED FULL COLUMN...

ALSO Editorial: Not only clean but also transparent elections


The Commission on Elections has been under fire for deciding to award a P300-million contract to the Smartmatic consortium to check on and refurbish the 80,000 PCOS machines it used in the 2010 and 2013 elections, for use in the coming 2016 elections. We can understand that Smartmatic would be the best entity to do this job, as it provided the machines in the first place. But there is a law requiring public bidding for government contracts and that is a legal issue that will open the Comelec and its officials to court action. EditorialBut apart from this legal issue, the question arises: Why use the PCOS machines all over again in the face of public doubts about their reliability, their openness to manipulation like all other electronic gadgetry, and the failure of the Comelec in the previous elections to assure the public that the needed source codes and other safety measures were in place? READ FULL EDITORIAL...

Editorial: Paris violence recalls our own Maguindanao massacre


Five years ago, 34 Filipino journalists were massacred as they covered the filing of a certificate of candidacy in the Mindanao province of Maguindanao, then dominated by the Ampatuan family. They had been invited to witness the filing of the certificate, which must have been seen as challenging the family’s political rule. The 34 journalists were among the 58 victims in a convoy of six vehicles and two cars which just happened to be travellng along the same highway. They were stopped by some 100 armed men who proceeded to gun them down and then began to bury the bodies with an excavator. It was the deadliest incident in the history of Philippine media. At least 198 suspects were charged with murder, but with nearly 200 defendants and 300 witnesses, the trial has proceeded ever so slowly. It is now five years since the massacre on Nov. 23, 2009, and the end is nowhere in sight. READ FULL EDITORIAL...

(ALSO Editorial) Awareness: Ensuring an orderly, peaceful papal visit


Catholic Philippines is eagerly awaiting the first apostolic visit to the country of His Holiness, Pope Francis, on January 15-19, 2015. It will be the fourth time that the Philippines, a bastion of Catholicism in Asia, will host a Papal visit: Pope Paul VI in 1970, and St. John Paul II in 1981 and in 1995 for the 10th World Youth Day. For those at the fringes of Rizal Park, 18 giant LED screens will be set up along Roxas Boulevard and Anda Circle to allow spillover crowds to join the Mass, to be capped by candlelight singing of “Tell the World of His Love,” to mark the 20th anniversary of 10th World Youth Day in the Philippines. READ FULL EDITORIAL...

What is a pope? 

By Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD ---More than 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ chose a band of simple men, mostly fishermen, and gave them power to teach, to sanctify, and rule the members of his Church. These were the apostles, the first bishops of the Church. * * * Christ intended that the power of the apostles should be exercised also by their successors. He said: “As the Father has sent me, I also send you” (John 20,21). * * * The apostles first preached in Judea on the first Christian Pentecost. Then they spread out to the various countries of the then known world. The apostles chose men to assist them. Before leaving a place, they chose a successor with full powers (Acts 14:22). READ MORE...

Why the Catholics have a Pope


by Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD January 15, 2015 Share this: St. Augustine of Hippo once said that the Catholic Church is of divine institution but human in composition. Despite the frailties and foibles of Peter, the first pope, and his successors, the Church of Christ will go on forever. Jesus made the assurance when He said: “The gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Mt. 16:19). More than 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ chose a band of simple men, mostly fishermen, and gave them power to teach, to sanctify and rule the members of His Church. These were the apostles, the first bishops of the Church. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA EDITORIALS & OPINIONS  HERE:

OPINION: 2015 — Year of Progress


by Former Press Secretary Hector R. Villanueva He has served as the Postmaster General and CEO of the Philippine Postal Corporation, and was also Press Secretary during the Ramos administration (June 21, 1995-June 29, 1998).

MANILA, JANUARY 15, 2015 (MANILA BULLETIN)  by Former Press Secretary Hector R. Villanueva January 8, 2015 Share this:

“The happiness of society is the end of government.” — John Adams

The year 2015 opened with great optimism.

The year promises prosperity and, hopefully, lasting peace and tranquility.

For President Benigno Simeon Aquino, it should be a good year.

To begin with, for the Philippines and President Noynoy Aquino, it is a great honor and privilege to host the papal visit of Pope Francis which comes but once in a generation.

With the euphoria of the papal visit as a starting point, the administration should be off and running.

This year’s prognosis promises increased tourist arrivals, robust stock market activity, more private long-term investments, continuing OFW remittances, healthy BPOs, accelerated infrastructure spending, supplemental budget to complete projects funded by the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) but left unfinished, rehabilitation outlays to typhoon Yolanda-devastated provinces, and the start of the political resource mobilization by politicians running for public office in 2016.

Thus, with this rosy forecast, the economy should be operating at full throttle.

President Noy Aquino can expect an impressive GDP of 7 percent or higher with moderate inflation.

However, with Murphy’s Law that if something can go wrong, it will, prudence and unsolicited strategy suggest that President Aquino leans on the conservative side by not taking unnecessary risks and step down gracefully in 2016.

First, with just over a year before signing off, it is too late for President Aquino to launch innovations, or giant infrastructure projects, or landmark or game-changing legislation that will not see the light of day before this Congress retires in 2016.

At the very least, if this government wants to redeem itself before the eyes of the public, it can do so by rationalizing or revamping the management of the transportation industry, especially the MRT-LRT system, and the anti-public airline policy.

Second, President Noynoy Aquino should talk to the Nacionalista Party’s Manny Villar, and seek his cooperation to prevent Senators Antonio Trillanes and Allan Peter Cayetano as well as Koko Pimentel from re-opening and continuing with their anti-Binay demolition job and inquisition in aid of political ambition.

To unleash them to the public, the travesty that follows will decidedly dampen and slow down economic activity in the first and second quarters.

Third, the third possible fly-in-the-ointment is for President Noynoy Aquino to railroad and force Congress to pass into law an infirm and unacceptable Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that will be controversial, acrimonious and unconstitutional.

Another issue that can wait for the next administration is the approval and implementation of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) as the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) is already in place.

You be the judge.


Framers of the 1987 Constitution support Bangsamoro by Florangel Braid January 13, 2015 Share this:


Florangel Braid: Dr. Florangel Rosario Braid is a multi-awarded development communication specialist and educator, a member of the 1986 Constitutional Constitution, former chair of the UNESCO National Commission and consultant of several national and international development projects.

ON the constitutionality of the provisions in the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), the surviving members of the 1986 Constitutional Commission have come out with a seven-page statement expressing their support. Based on the vision and spirit behind the provisions on autonomous regions, they believe that the proposed Bangsamoro reflects the true aspirations of its people and their sincere and earnest efforts to pursue the core principles of the Constitution – pursuit of social justice and the common good, and the provision of an environment that would empower and best serve the interests of its people and the Filipino nation. Following is the executive summary of the statement:

PREAMBLE: In a first formal meeting since the drafting of the 1987 Charter, former members of the Constitutional Commission forged a consensus on the issue of Bangsamoro. Representing the unanimous sentiment of 14 of the 18 surviving members of the 1986 Constitutional Commission (four of us are either bed-ridden or could not be reached) out of the original 48, this Statement on the Bangsamoro deals with the vision, spirit, and the core principles behind the provisions on autonomous regions which to our mind constitute the essential constitutionality of the propose Basic Bangsamoro Law.

The core principles of the 1987 Constitution in mandating a special status for the autonomous regions is the human development of the people of Muslim Mindanao and the Cordilleras. Hence, the public conversation should not be about semantics but about people – their needs, their aspirations, their choices, and about empowering them with the environment and institutional framework for social justice.

Social justice that calls for genuine social change is the central theme of the 1987 Constitution and here, it is broader in scope and intent than in the 1973 and the 1935 Constitutions. An interpretation of any relevant provisions of the Constitution that results in war and abject poverty would be contrary to its intention.

Reason tells us that a Bangsamoro Autonomous Region can close the centuries-old gap between law and justice and that we are on the cusp of a historic opportunity to make it happen.

The decision on the Bangsamoro will ultimately rest on what the people want of our country. And what the deliberations and the overwhelming vote in the plebiscite for the Constitution tell us is that they dream of a free people in a democratic society where peace and justice reigns. It was clearly a vision borne of EDSA – an extraordinary event in our history because it was the coming together of ordinary people from all walks of life to peacefully regain their freedom.

Let us set aside partisan politics and stop the urge to exhibit our ability to find nuances of legalism that can delay, or worse, derail the process, feeding on the cynicism and playing on the fears in the national psyche that are more reflex reaction than reasoned response.

It has been 27 years since it was approved by our people but we are still living in the mass poverty, gross inequalities, and cultural inequities of the past, and the promise of genuine social change has not unfolded. There is no better way to demonstrate our commitment to peace and development than by giving the Bangsamoro people the opportunity to create a higher and better future for themselves than what they have. This calls for courageous statesmanship from our leaders and the generosity of spirit of a united nation.

In turn, the challenge to the Bangsamoro people is to demonstrate the same commitment by treating other indigenous peoples and uniting other Muslim communities with magnanimity and statesmanship. In this manner, Bangsamoro can be a model for us to do the same for the rest of the country and thereby build together a more just and peaceful nation.

We fully support the creation of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region.

Signatories: Felicitas Aquino Arroyo, Adolfo S. Azcuna, Teodoro C. Bacani, Joaquin G. Bernas, Florangel Rosario Braid, Hilario G. Davide Jr., Edmundo G. Garcia, Jose Luis Martin C. Gascon, Christian S. Monsod, Ricardo J. Romulo, Rene V. Sarmiento, Jaime S.L. Tadeo, Wilfrido V. Villacorta, Bernardo M. Villegas


Editorial: Not only clean but also transparent elections January 14, 2015 Share this:

The Commission on Elections has been under fire for deciding to award a P300-million contract to the Smartmatic consortium to check on and refurbish the 80,000 PCOS machines it used in the 2010 and 2013 elections, for use in the coming 2016 elections. We can understand that Smartmatic would be the best entity to do this job, as it provided the machines in the first place. But there is a law requiring public bidding for government contracts and that is a legal issue that will open the Comelec and its officials to court action.

But apart from this legal issue, the question arises: Why use the PCOS machines all over again in the face of public doubts about their reliability, their openness to manipulation like all other electronic gadgetry, and the failure of the Comelec in the previous elections to assure the public that the needed source codes and other safety measures were in place?

In the cases where manual recounts were made, there were substantial discrepancies between the machine-issued report of election results and the manual examination and count. Some election counts were simply unbelievable – 2013 presidential candidate Joseph Estrada lost in his own San Juan City!

Sen Sergio Osmena III has said that he leans towards the proposal that votes be manually counted on the precinct level, then transmitted electronically to the municipal, provincial, and national canvassing centers. This will provide the public with a record of the precinct count, which can be used by independent sectors in making total counts. If this proposal requires congressional action, Senator Osmena called on his colleague Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel , chairman of the Senate Committee on Electoral Reforms, to take immediate remedial action.

If PCOS machines are again used in 2016 as they were used in 2010 and 2013, the doubts that have been gathering over the years may grow to such an extent that the presidential election results will be in doubt. We cannot have that. This early, we must take all possible steps to ensure not only clean and honest, but also transparent and readily accountable elections.

In 2010, then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo wanted the introduction of automated elections – which enable the nation to know election results in days or even hours instead of months as before – as part of her legacy. President Benigno S. Aquino III might want to make it part of his legacy to stop any abuses that have since come up and thus make automated elections a truly vital working part of Philippine democracy.


Editorial: Paris violence recalls our own Maguindanao massacreJanuary 13, 2015 Share this:

Five years ago, 34 Filipino journalists were massacred as they covered the filing of a certificate of candidacy in the Mindanao province of Maguindanao, then dominated by the Ampatuan family. They had been invited to witness the filing of the certificate, which must have been seen as challenging the family’s political rule.

The 34 journalists were among the 58 victims in a convoy of six vehicles and two cars which just happened to be travellng along the same highway. They were stopped by some 100 armed men who proceeded to gun them down and then began to bury the bodies with an excavator. It was the deadliest incident in the history of Philippine media. At least 198 suspects were charged with murder, but with nearly 200 defendants and 300 witnesses, the trial has proceeded ever so slowly. It is now five years since the massacre on Nov. 23, 2009, and the end is nowhere in sight. dsfdzv

We recall the Maguindanao massacre in the wake of the recent killing of five journalists – the editor-in-chief and four cartoonists of the Paris satyrical magazine Charlie Hebdo – and seven other people by two Islamic militants infuriated by the publication of cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed. The next day, the gunmen assaulted a printing office and a Jewish supermarket just ouside Paris. Two days of violence took a total of 21 lives.

The Paris attacks have been condemned in rallies held in cities in Europe. United States (US) President Barack Obama has been quick to assure French President Francois Hollande of sympathy and support, as have the leaders of Britain, Italy, Germany, Russia, Canada, Japan, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, and Iran.

Fears have also been expressed that the Paris attacks may be signaling a new phase in terrorist violence in various parts of the world. The US is specially concerned about the danger to US citizens in East Asia and the Pacific, including the Philippines. It cited kidnapping threats in Sulu and the ongoing threat of violence in central Mindanao.

We join in the worldwide condemnation of the Paris massacre, especially since we have suffered our own massacre of journalists. But we are hopeful that the threat of violence in Mindanao will soon be eased by peace efforts that have been undertaken by the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Force.

Those efforts have now reached a final stage in Congress where a Bangsamoro Basic Law is about to be taken up and debated. There are questions of constitutionality, among others, but there is great expectation that a way will be found to reach agreement on the vital issues. On that expectation rides the great hope for peace in that troubled part of our country.


Awareness: Ensuring an orderly, peaceful papal visit January 14, 2015 Share this:

Catholic Philippines is eagerly awaiting the first apostolic visit to the country of His Holiness, Pope Francis, on January 15-19, 2015. It will be the fourth time that the Philippines, a bastion of Catholicism in Asia, will host a Papal visit: Pope Paul VI in 1970, and St. John Paul II in 1981 and in 1995 for the 10th World Youth Day.

Pope Francis will celebrate a liturgical Mass on January 18, the feast of the Sto. Niño at the Rizal Park. Preparations for the visit, whose central theme is “Mercy and Compassion,” ensure that the Holy Father is safe and secure wherever he goes, and that the people are able to demonstrate their faith and spiritual fervor.

As in Rome, the Pope, who likes to be close to the people, will go around Rizal Park to greet and bless the faithful prior to start of the Mass, in which 200 bishops and 2,500 priests will concelebrate with the Pope. There will be 20 communion chapels, 5,000 communion distributors, and 5,000 communion ushers to guide the faithful, and they will carry white umbrellas with papal seal and logo for identification.

For those at the fringes of Rizal Park, 18 giant LED screens will be set up along Roxas Boulevard and Anda Circle to allow spillover crowds to join the Mass, to be capped by candlelight singing of “Tell the World of His Love,” to mark the 20th anniversary of 10th World Youth Day in the Philippines.

The government and the Church are working together for a memorable Papal visit. President Benigno S. Aquino III is expected to welcome the Pope on his arrival at Villamor Air Base. Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle and Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines President Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas are members of the 32-man Papal entourage.

The military and the police, coordinating with Vatican security and Swiss Guards will be on hand to provide security. The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is deploying a huge operation involving 7,000 troops as back-up in areas for the events – Metro Manila (Malacañang, Manila Cathedral, Mall of Asia, University of Santo Tomas, and Rizal Park) and Leyte (Tacloban and Palo). The areas may be declared no-fly zones on the dates of the papal visit.

The military will provide air cover for Pope Francis to be able to monitor him on top of the crowds. Up to 5,000 reservists will help man security. The AFP is ready for “people surge,” an uncontrolled crowd situation. Filipino and Vatican security will guard the Apostolic Nunciature on Taft Avenue where the Pope will stay. Department of Health will field 120 personnel, 20 first aid stations, and 20 ambulances.


What is a pope? by Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD January 14, 2015 Share this:


Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD --Word Alive He was born on November 19, 1944 in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte. His father is Francisco San Luis, and his mother is named Encarnacion, second of four siblings. He finished his Master’s degree at the Divine Word Seminary, and sucessfully obtained a Master’s degree in Mass Communications in Leicester, England. He is currently practicing his vocation as a priest, at the Christ the King Parish located at E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue in Quezon City.

More than 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ chose a band of simple men, mostly fishermen, and gave them power to teach, to sanctify, and rule the members of his Church. These were the apostles, the first bishops of the Church.

* * *

Christ intended that the power of the apostles should be exercised also by their successors. He said: “As the Father has sent me, I also send you” (John 20,21).

* * *

The apostles first preached in Judea on the first Christian Pentecost. Then they spread out to the various countries of the then known world. The apostles chose men to assist them. Before leaving a place, they chose a successor with full powers (Acts 14:22).

* * *

It was the command of Christ that the apostles should have successors to continue the Church.

Without successors to the apostles, the Church would have no rulers, and being unorganized would never have lasted. No organization can be effective or enduring unless it has a head. If it has no head, you could never tell which way it is headed!

* * *

THE FIRST POPE. Jesus Christ made Peter the head of the apostles and conferred upon him the power of ruling His Church.

* * *

When Jesus and His apostles were in Caesarea Philippi and he said, “Who do people say that I am?” the apostles replied, “Some say you are John the Baptist; others say Elijah or one of the prophets.”

* * *

But Peter made the memorable confession of faith in the name of the apostles, saying: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mt 16:17).

In reply the Lord said, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 16, 17-20).

* * *

Our Lord changed Simon’s name to Peter, petrus in Latin and kepha in Aramaic, which means Rock. As stones are the foundations of buildings, Peter was to be the foundation of Christ’s Church.

* * *

It is noteworthy that while the Lord said to all the apostles “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you shall forgive will be forgiven them” (Jn 20:23), but to Peter alone the Lord said these words: “I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.”

* * *

Thus, in conformity with Lord’s teachings, the Catholic Church gives primacy of honor and jurisdiction to Peter. From Peter, the first pope, Francis I is the 266th pope.

* * *

St. Augustine of Hippo once said that the Catholic Church is of divine institution but human in composition. Despite the frailties and foibles of Peter, the first pope, and his successors, the Church of Christ will go on forever. Jesus made the assurance when He said: “The gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Mt. 16:19).

* * *

FEAST OF SVD FOUNDER. Today is the feast of St. Arnold Janssen, founder of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD), Mission Congregation of the Holy Spirit Sisters (SSpS), and Congregation of the Holy Spirit Sisters of Perpetual Adoration (SSpSAP), known as “Pink Sisters.”

We request your continuing prayers and support.


Why the Catholics have a Pope by Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD January 15, 2015 Share this:


POPE FRANCIS

St. Augustine of Hippo once said that the Catholic Church is of divine institution but human in composition. Despite the frailties and foibles of Peter, the first pope, and his successors, the Church of Christ will go on forever. Jesus made the assurance when He said: “The gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Mt. 16:19).

More than 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ chose a band of simple men, mostly fishermen, and gave them power to teach, to sanctify and rule the members of His Church. These were the apostles, the first bishops of the Church.

Christ intended that the power of the apostles should be exercised also by their successors. He said: “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you” (John 20:21).

The apostles first preached in Judea on the first Christian Pentecost. Then they spread out to the different countries of the then known world.

The apostles chose men to assist them, imparting on them greater or less powers. Before leaving a place, they chose a successor with full powers (Acts 14:22).

It was the command of Christ that the apostles should have successors to continue the Church, which He said would last till the end of the world. “I am with you always even to the consummation of the world” (Mt 28:20).

Without successors to the apostles, the Church would have no rulers, and being unorganized would never have lasted.

PETER, THE FIRST POPE

Jesus Christ made Peter the head of the apostles and conferred upon him the power of ruling His Church.

When Jesus and His apostles were in Caesarea Philippi and He said, “Who do people say that I am?” the apostles replied, “Some say you are John the Baptist; others say Elijah or one of the prophets.” But Peter made the memorable confession of faith in the name of the apostles, saying: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mt 16:17).

In reply the Lord said, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father in heaven. And I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever

THE ROCK

you shall bound on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Mt. 16, 17-20).

Our Lord changed Simon’s name to Peter, petrus in Latin and kepha in Aramaic, which means Rock. The Lord had a special purpose for changing Simon’s name. As stones are the foundations of buildings, Peter was to be the foundation of Christ’s Church.

The Lord promised to Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven. In ancient as well as modern times, keys are symbol of authority.

It is noteworthy that while the Lord said to all the apostles “Receive the Holy Spirit, whose sins you shall forgive, will be forgiven them (Jn 20:23), but to Peter alone the Lord said these words: “I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.”

266TH POPE

Thus, in conformity with the Lord’s teachings, the Catholic Church gives primacy of honor and jurisdiction to Peter. From Peter and his successors, the Vicar of Christ and visible head of the Church are called pope, in Greek “pappa,” an endearing word for father. From Peter, the first pope, Francis I is the 266th pope.

The Catholic Church traces its root all the way to Jesus Christ Himself, who chose Peter as the first pope. All other Christian churches branched out from the apostolic Church of Christ starting only after the year 1,500, while the original Church started more than 2,000 years ago with direct, historical link to Jesus Christ.

PAPAL VISIT

As shepherd of the universal Church, the Pope makes pastoral visits to the flock with the purpose of meeting the religious leaders and members as well as the lay people, strengthening them in their faith and showing concern for their spiritual needs and, in certain instances, material assistance for victims of calamities and the impoverished.

This is what Pope Francis I will do when he goes to Tacloban, Leyte: Manifest solidarity with the suffering victims of the super typhoon “Yolanda.”

In times past, the Pope undertook visits but limited only to the European countries. Subsequently, however, with greater expansion of the Church, the popes extended their pastoral reach to the whole world.

St. John Paul II, who reigned as pope for 25 years, in more than 2,000-year history of the Catholic Church broke all records, traveling 104 international journeys which included two to the Philippines: In 1981 and 1995 for the World Youth Day. He was called “Pope-circumnavigator.”

Since the pope is also the head of a state, the Vatican, his trips to other countries are also state visits. Thus, he is accorded with the same honor, esteem and tribute as any head of state.

PERSON OF THE YEAR

On December, 2013, Time magazine named Pope Francis as Person of the Year for 2013. Time managing editor Nancy Gibbs wrote that Francis got the nod “for pulling the papacy out of the palace and into the streets, for committing the world’s largest church to confronting its deepest needs and for balancing judgment with mercy.”

Pope Francis is the third Roman Pontiff to earn the title. Pope John XXIII was named “Man of the Year” in 1962 and Pope John Paul II was on the cover in 1994.

The Holy See does not seek “fame,” but that it is a “positive sign” that religious and moral values are being recognized.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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