Pope Francis holds the cross as he leads a vigil mass during Easter. Photo from Reuters
MANILA - Pope Francis may visit the Philippines in 2016.
CBCP News quoted Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma as saying that he received a request from the Vatican to move the International Eucharistic Congress to a much earlier date.
The event, which will be held in Cebu, was originally scheduled on May 23 to 29, 2016.
“Two weeks ago, we received a letter from Archbishop Marini asking us if we could move the event to the second preferred date because the Pope has another schedule in May,” Palma said.
He is referring to Archbishop Piero Marini, the president of the Pontifical Committee on the International Eucharistic Congress.
“We told them that January is fine because our suggestion was to make the Pope’s visit to the Philippines a priority,” Palma said.
The congress will instead will be held on January 25 to 31.
Palma called on Filipinos to pray that the visit will push through.
“We know that the Pope continues to inspire us and his visit will have an enormous impact on our faith and our Christian life," he said.
Government officials, led by Vice President Jejomar Binay, earlier invited Pope Francis to come visit the Philippines.
Binay represented the Philippines during the Pope’s inaugural mass.