MANILA — Pope Francis is urged by an official of the social action arm of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines to spend more time with the victims of the Super Typhoon Yolanda during his visit in the country next year.
“The intention of the Pope in coming here is really to meet the survivors of the disaster. If he really wants to do that, then I think one day is not enough,” said Fr. Edwin Gariguez, executive director of the CBCP-National Secretariat for Social Action Justice and Peace (CBCP-NASSA).
“I’m just wondering why he would be spending only one day there (Leyte) and the rest of his stay will be spent in Manila. I hope…whoever was making the itinerary for his visit, they let him spend more time with the victims,” he added.
The Pope is visiting the country from January 15 to 19 and has earlier expressed that he wants to visit the survivors of the Typhoon.
Yolanda was the strongest Typhoon to ever hit the land and has greatly devastated areas in Eastern Visayas on Nov. 8, last year.
“I’m not trying to interfere with their plans, but I hope they consider the requests of the victims looking forward to meet the Pope. I hope he gets to visit other places, aside from Leyte, that were also affected by the typhoon,” said Gariguez.
“The people in Manila have all the time and the means to go to Rome to see the Pope as compared to these people who lost almost everything when the disaster struck. The victims are in Leyte, Samar, not in Manila,” he added.