New pope has ‘high hopes’ for Filipinos

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MANILA, March 14, 2013— The new pope of the Catholic Church is banking on the Filipinos in preserving and extending the ideals of Catholic faith in the world. 

Manila Archbishops Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle said that no other than Pope Francis told him after the conclave about his optimism for the Catholic Church in the Philippines. 

“When I approached Pope Francis to assure him of the closeness and collaboration of the Filipinos, he said, ‘I have high hopes for the Philippines. May your faith prosper, as well as your devotion to Our Lady and mission to the poor,” Tagle said. 

“What a compelling message from this humble man of God! All praise and glory to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,” he said. 

Tagle, who is currently in Rome, is the lone Filipino out of the 115 cardinal-electors in the two-day conclave that elected Buenos Aires Archbishop Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio as the new pope. 

“Let us join the whole Church and the world in thanking God for His special gift in the extraordinary person of Pope Francis,” he also said. 

“I thank you for your fervent prayers for the Cardinal electors. We never felt alone even for a moment. Your love sustained us,” added Tagle. 

Pope Francis is the first Jesuit pope and the first pontiff from outside Europe in over a thousand years. 

In Manila, the Philippine Province Society of Jesus said the cardinals have chosen a pontiff “with long experience” in serving the people in Argentina. 

“[He’ is a man with a heart very much concerned for the needs of the poor and disadvantaged, and whose manner of life is touched by great simplicity and faith,” said Fr. Jose Magadia, SJ Provincial Superior. 

“We are grateful for his generosity and spirit of service to assume the heavy burden that goes with his office in these difficult times.” 

“We certainly pledge him our prayers and filial support, and wish him grace, wisdom and strength as he assumes this new mission,” he said. (Roy Lagarde)

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