MANILA, Philippines -- Like many Filipinos, actress-host Kris Aquino is supporting Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle to be the next pope.
In an interview with ABS-CBNnews.com on Monday, Aquino, the youngest sister of President Benigno Aquino III, said she hopes Tagle would get the position but at the same time advised fellow Filipinos not to expect.
"Sana pero huwag tayong umasa, hindi ba? European pa din siguro sila. Baka not in our generation yet, but we never know, hindi ba?" she said.
The next pope must get the votes of two-thirds of the cardinals in a conclave after Pope Benedict steps down on February 28. A Vatican spokesman said the new Pope could be named before Easter.
Tagle, 55, is one of the youngest potential popes. Other possible replacements are Peter Turkson (Ghana), Angelo Scota (Italy), Odilo Pedro Scherer (Brazil). Leandro Sandri (Argentina), Marc Ouellet (Canada) and Joao Braz de Aviz (Brazil).
Aquino believes Tagle's relative youth has its advantages. For instance, she noted that last Christmas Day, Tagle had to celebrate six masses.
"Sana nga bata ang makuha natin kasi kailangan bata para may energy," she said.
In the interview, Aquino also revealed how Tagle tried to reach out to their family despite their support for the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill.
"Siguro pwede ko nang sabihin ang tagal nang nangyari. Noong Christmas Eve, siya ang nag-mass for us but we were requested not to talk about it kasi kakatapos ng RH (issue) and all but, he just radiates so much. Alam mo 'yung personality na feeling mo tao siya and yet speak with so much spiritual wisdom," Aquino revealed.
"Christmas lang 'yon but kasi nakaugalian na they sent words na tuloy ang mass pero ang request lang just don't talk about it at that time, no pictures and all para lang hindi makulayan and all. They never talked about it. There was nothing said doon sa (RH); it was all about Jesus' birth doon sa sermon. We had a quick dinner and all pero wala," she continued.
Aquino said Tagle could have chosen the occasion to make a sermon about the Aquino family's support for the controversial bill.
"Doon ako bumilib sa kanya, doon ko na-realize na may healing na pwede. Kasi kung ikaw din si Noy my God may mga tumawag sa iyo na baby killer na pari, so ikaw din naman. So ang ganda may nag-reach out, bongga," she shared.
Last year, the President was criticized by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines for pitching the Responsible Parenthood Bill during his third State of the Nation Address.
The Senate and the House of Representatives approved the House Bill 4244 or the RH Bill last December.