The theme of the Pope’s 15-19 January apostolic visit – “Mercy and Compassion” – was announced by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, Fides News Agency reports.
“With the presence of the Pope, the God of mercy and compassion comes close to us”, said Bishop Mylo Vergara, president of the Episcopal Commission for Social Communication and the media. “This is a great blessing for the Church in the Philippines,” he said in a message to Fides. “Pope Francis’ visit can be considered a visit from God to the Filipino people, in need of His mercy and compassion”.
The bishops, he added, have urged the faithful to prepare themselves through the words of Francis, and be apostles through mass media: “We try to make ours the Pope’s messages, quotes, apostolic exhortations on the subject of mercy and compassion,” said Bishop Bergara, adding: “we can collect and share them with others.
“Secondly, we invite the faithful to use what we gather and receive on the teaching of Pope Francis as a matter of reflection, prayer and action,” he said.
In this way, “mass media and social networks can become a powerful tool for us to practice works of mercy such as visiting prisoners, the sick and the elderly, especially showing compassion towards the poor”.