Cebu church official urges faithful to help bear cost of hosting Pope Francis

CEBU CITY, Jan. 30 (PNA) — A Cebu church official has urged the faithful to help bear the cost of hosting Pope Francis should he decide to visit super typhoon Yolanda-hit areas in central Philippines.

Cebu Archdiocese Episcopal Vicar Monsignor Esteban Binghay said aside from the Pope’s proposed visit to typhoon victims, he is expected to visit another important event in Cebu in 2016.

Binghay was referring to the Eucharistic Congress which the country is hosting in 2016 and which will be held in Cebu, the country’s cradle of Christianity.

Binghay recognized the high cost of hosting the Holy Father but expressed optimism that the people will not fail the Church as soon as the trip materializes.

“It’s not easy to invite the Pope. It is expensive. But the people will help,” he said.

He said priests and bishops in the Archdiocese of Palo in Leyte must take into consideration that they could not make solicitations to local parishioners in Eastern Visayas since they are all victims of the typhoon.

Palo, Leyte Archbishop John Du signified interest in inviting the Holy Father when a Vatican envoy, Guinean Prelate Robert Cardinal Sarah, recently visited Tacloban City, Palo and other Yolanda-ravaged areas to personally bring the message of solidarity from the pope.

Du, who hails from Bantayan in Bantayan Island off northern Cebu, replaced Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma when Palma was transferred to the Cebu Archdiocese upon the retirement of Ricardo Cardinal Vidal. (PNA)