MANILA -- How is Pope Francis different from St. John Paul II?
Pope Francis is currently in the Philippines for a five-day apostolic visit, while St. John Paul II, who served as Pope for 27 years, visited the Philippines twice -- in 1981 and 1995.
Archbishop-Emeritus Oscar Cruz, who got the chance to meet both popes during their respective visits to the Philippines, described St. John Paul II as more reserved.
"Si John Paul II, ang haba magdasal. Medyo reserved po siya eh. Francis has his own charisma," Cruz said in an interview on radio dzMM on Saturday.
Cruz also noted that security is tighter this time compared to 20 years ago.
"Kay Pope John Paul II, walang problema sa security," he said. "Pero tingnan niyo ngayon, pati ba naman 'yung dagat, may bantay pa rin."
The archbishop added that the tighter security measures suggest that even those like the Pope are not safe from harm.
"Signs of the times po iyon na wala nang ginagalang. Bakit umuunlad na naman itong panatisismo na ganito," Cruz said, referring to people who kill in the name of religion.
Homily from the heart
Cruz said Filipinos should take note of the Pope's messages, especially those he delivered in his mother tongue, Spanish, which for Cruz means these came from his heart.
"Ang kanyang sinabi ay galing sa kanyang kalooban, 'yun ang matitindi. Ibig sabihin, siya 'yun. Hindi ko naman sinasabi na ang mga homily na nakasulat ay wala siya roon. Siyempre sasabihin niya kung anong gusto niyang sabihin, tapos ihahanda noong mga writer saka babasahin. Pero oras po na itinabi ang nakahandang homily, at nagsalita pa sa kanyang sariling linguahe, talagang from the inside 'yun, from the hear,t" he said.
"He says what is from his heart, he says what he thinks is right, and that’s it. I think you cannot have a homily better than that. It comes from within, and the homily is you," Cruz added.