Friday, May 14, 2010

Pope turns down invite to the Philippines for the 3rd time

MANILA, May 13, 2010—The Supreme Pontiff is not attending the 400th founding anniversary of the Philippines' only Pontifical and Royal University.

The Apostolic Nuncio in the Philippines, Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams, has informed the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines that His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, cannot attend the grand quadricentennial anniversary celebration of the University of Santo Tomas that will culminate next year.

In his May 7, 2010 letter to CBCP president and Tandag Bishop Nereo Odchimar, Adams said the Holy Father cannot come to Manila to attend UST’s historic event. The Apostolic Nuncio’s letter however failed to disclose the reason for the Pope’s announcement[I can think of a reason why but I'll keep it to myself but I believe my fellow traddy Pinoy Catholics think the same reason as I do.]

"The Holy Father will not be coming to Manila for the anniversary, but given the importance of the quadricentennial celebrations of the university, His Holiness will be sending for the occasion his special envoy, whose name will be published in L'osservatore Romano the afternoon of Saturday, 27 November 2010," Adams said.

As of press time, UST officials declined to comment on Adam’s announcement, saying Fr. Rolando dela Rosa, who is currently out of town, should be the one to officially comment on the issue being the university's rector.

It was the third time that Pope Benedict XVI is expected to visit the Philippines since his installation to the Papacy in 2006. The Holy Father was invited to grace the Asian Youth Day held in Cavite last November and the 2nd National Congress of the Clergy held at Pasay City last January.

Founded on April 28, 1611, UST holds the distinction of being the oldest existing university in the Philippines and in Asia. Being under the authority of the Holy See as a pontifical university, UST has been visited by Pope Paul VI on Nov. 28, 1970 and by Pope John Paul II on Feb. 18, 1981 and January 13, 1995. (Kris Bayos)


  1. The Pope isn't as energetic as his predecessor. Travel to the Philippines requires a long haul flight of 16 hours. He will have to acclimate to a hot and humid [and polluted!] Manila climate. In Australia for WYD he needed to have a few days of "adjustment" to the weather and that was during the pleasant Australian autumn.

    April is the hottest month in the Philippines. If we have another episode of what we are experiencing now, the Pope may suffer from heat exhaustion. And traddies expect him to wear those baroque vestments designed before we had global warming!

    Also there may be concerns about securing the Pope. When JP II came here, there was a plot to assassinate him. And this was before 9/11. Now the terror threat is even greater.

    If you are observant enough, Pope Benedict XVI can only travel abroad [excepting Italy and San Marino] 2x or 3x a year or about once every 6 months or a quarter. For the last quarter of this year, the Pope will travel to Great Britain under turbulent ecumenical times.

    Let's just accept that the Holy See has the Pope's welfare into consideration and NOT READ ANY INTO any possible THEOLOGICAL disagreements that traddies presuppose. [I have to say that British Traddies have that predisposition!]

  2. Oh come on Ben. You have no idea how the Holy See is closely watching Filipino bishops these days.

    I know for a fact the Apostolic Nuncio went to personally meet a bishop to tell him that Rome wants him to stand down on his involvement in political rallies. At the drop of a hat, the bishop has ceased to even give press statements.

    One bishop even lost his diocese because he pre-empted an appointment from Rome giving his diocese a co-adjutor.

    So, Ben, my sources are not within the realms of security, climate or what you have in mind.

    Read between the lines...Rome did not offer an explanation why the Holy Father declined the invitation.

    As a guy working in PR and the media, silence is deafening.

  3. The Nuncio has year in and year out given what the Pope thinks on our bishops' prolonged "EDSA hangover"! His Holiness isn't amused and the broadsheets were able to get wind of that!

    But if the Pope won't visit us here, it is not just a slap on the hierarchy but on the laity as well!

    BTW a bit off topic. An Anglican Use parishioner from the US and now working in the Philippines is considering organizing an Anglican Catholic ecumenical Evening Prayer sometime later this year. So far a traditionalist Filipino Episcopal priest is interested in leading the service. If this ever happens, this would be the first Anglican Use liturgy in the country (in the wake of Anglicanorum Coetibus). To be honest there has been resistance on the Catholic side. We have to ask the Catholic bishop to grant us permission and a friendly Catholic priest advised us that it might be seen as another "EF headache". In the absence of an Anglican Ordinariate, the Anglican Use can only be celebrated outside the USA with permission from the local bishop.

    Given the problems facing the Anglican Communion, I was told by the Episcopalians interested in the idea that their bishops are not enthusiastic at all. Well I get the impression that getting permission to hold the EF in Anglican churches may be easier than getting an OK from the Catholics to hold a Catholic traditional liturgy (which is legitimate) in their churches!

    Please say a Rosary for our intentions here. And God bless you and your family.