MANILA – Pope Francis has been practicing his English skills in preparation for his visit to the Philippines, Vatican Spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi said.
Il Pontificio Collegio Filippino rector Fr. Gregory Ramon Gaston told state-run Radio Television Malacañang that Pope Francis has been studying his English speeches.
''Ang sagot ni Father Lombardi lahat (ng speeches) English. Nakahanda na lahat ng text in English. Kung may conversations, may mga tanong, sagot sa local dialects, nandoon ang mga cardinals na magtatranslate,'' he said.
''Ang nangyari ngayon, naka-prepare lahat sa English, nagpa-practice ang Pope sa pagbabasa ng babasahin niya - mga homilies -- tumutulong sa kanya ang Vatican official na in-charge sa English section."
The National Catholic Register said Pope Francis admitted having difficulty understanding foreign languages such as English and prefers not to speak publicly using any language other than Italian.
In his biography, Pope Francis said ''What has always caused the most problems for me has been English, especially the phonetics.''