Pope Francis has instructed Papal Nuncio to the Philippines, Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, to spend Christmas in Leyte province.
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said he was told by Archbishop John Du of the Archdiocese of Leyte that Pinto will be spending Christmas in the diocese despite the ongoing reconstruction of the roof of the church damaged by Super Typhoon Yolanda.
“I am also happy when he told me . . . that the Holy Father, he said, has instructed the nuncio to stay with the bishop for Christmas in Palo. He said I am kind of concerned where he will sleep but he [Nuncio] said never mind I will sleep under the tent,” he said in an article posted on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) news website.
Pinto will be staying in the archdiocese today and tomorrow.
The Cebu prelate said the Papal Nuncio has often traveled to Cebu since the province is the center of distribution of relief goods.
“So anyway these are the ways we can help . . . they may not be really big but I thought it’s enough to make the people feel that they are not alone, we are willing to journey with them, and I think it’s part of our own conviction . . . that we are one people and of course one faith, we are brothers and sisters and God we believe in, and we often say yes our faith is stronger than the typhoon and the earthquake,” Palma said.
“And when you go to Leyte, you will see efforts on the rehabilitation and we are grateful to many, both local and international organizations, really coming over for assistance and for help.”
Du said that Pinto told him “I will sleep wherever you sleep.”
While in Leyte, the Papal Nuncio will attend a gathering with the religious and in the evening, he will lead a Mass at the Palo Cathedral.
On Christmas Day, Pinto will say Mass at the Santo Niño Church in Tacloban and will also lead other activities such as gift giving.