‘Pope Francis this year’s biggest grace’

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THE Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) considers Pope Francis as the biggest grace this year.

CBCP president Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said that the election of Pope Francis in March as the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church was “refreshing.” He said the Pope is a good example of a true leader because “the way he speaks, the way he acts, and the way he lives is down to earth.”

“We are reminded by the presence of God. In the 1960’s, Pope Paul VI already said that what the world needs now are not preachers and teachers and speakers … what the world needs now are witnesses and examples, and if teachers and speakers will be credible, it’s because they have first been good examples and Pope Francis is that,” Villegas said.

Pope Francis appointed Father Narciso Abellan as the fifth bishop in Romblon and Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Julio Cortes as the new Dumaguete bishop.


The Pope has called on priests to become true leaders of the Church by living a simple life.

Villegas, who was elected as the new CBCP president in July, has urged the Catholic laity to take action and help end the twin problems of poverty and bad politics.

Leaders of the Catholic Church were alarmed by recent reports of corruption and abuse of the people’s money. Bishops and priests have participated in protests and rallies against corruption, especially after the misuse of the Priority Development Assistance Fund or pork barrel involving Janet Lim Napoles came to light.

Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Yniguez Jr. had said that the protests against pork barrel will not stop until it is scrapped, but Nueva Segovia Archbishop Ernesto Salgado believed that the abolition of the pork barrel won’t end corruption in the country.

In November, the Supreme Court ruled that pork barrel of lawmakers is unconstitutional.

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  1. “We are reminded by the presence of God. In the 1960’s, Pope Paul VI already said that what the world needs now are not preachers and teachers and speakers … what the world needs now are witnesses and examples, and if teachers and speakers will be credible, it’s because they have first been good examples and Pope Francis is that,” Villegas said.

    To be a credible witness for the Lord, it is imperative to start by presenting the true Gospel.