MANILA — Pope Francis on Friday called on the participants of the Asian Conference on the Family (ACF) to deepen their Catholic faith and share it with others.
The four-day event was capped Friday by a Festival of Families held at the Quadricentennial Pavilion of the University of Santo Tomas.
The Holy Father, “calls upon all the lay faithful gathered to deepen their experience of faith and communion, under the guidance of the Successor of Peter and the Bishops, so as to be a leaven of Christ’s love in the midst of humanity.”
The pontiff’s message was relayed by Archbishop Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) through the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Pinto.
Likewise, Pope Francis imparted his apostolic blessing to the conference “as a pledge of peace and joy in our Lord Jesus.”
Some 5,000 attended the event including 11 bishops and 30 priests, religious and lay people from Asian countries, and about 15 bishops and 300 priests, religious and lay people from dioceses all over the Philippines.
CBCP president Archbishop Socrates Villegas presided the closing mass at UST while Bishop Jean Laffitte, Secretary of the Pontifical Council on the Family, delivered his final address at the festival.
The ACF was held in the country under the auspices of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and the Pontifical Council on the Family of the Holy See on the theme, “Families of Asia: Lights of Hope.”