CBCP official identifies 10 religious leaders to meet Pope Francis at UST

By on December 22, 2014

Pope Francis. Photo by Paul Haring / Catholic News Service via Twitter
Pope Francis. Photo by Paul Haring / Catholic News Service via Twitter

MANILA — A Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) official has identified the 10 religious leaders who will meet with Pope Francis during an event at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) on Jan. 18, 2015.

Fr. Carlos Reyes, executive secretary of the Inter-religious dialogue of the CBCP, said the meeting will only be short as it is expected to last for only 15 minutes.

“There is no program, just a 15-minute meeting with the religious leaders. I don’t know what will be his message,” he said during the weekly press briefing for the 2015 Papal Visit in Manila on Monday.

The Catholic priest said those who will have the chance to interact with the Holy Father are: His Eminence (H.E.) Nektarios Tsilis (Orthodox Church); Ven. Master Hsing Yun (Buddhist); Rabbi Eliyahu Azariah (Judaism); Maharaj Rajesh Sharma (Hinduism); H.E. Ephraim S. Fajutagana (Christian); Bishop Cesar Vicente Punzalan III (Evangelical Church); Dean Julkipli M. Wadi (Islam); Imam Ebra Moxsir (Islam); Dean Lilian Sison (Catholic); and former Chief Justice Reynato Puno.

“The CBCP is really very happy that the pope himself desires to meet with the religious leaders. This shows that the pope is… in dialogue with the world,” he added.

The meeting will be held after the Holy Father’s interaction with a pre-selected group of Filipino youth also at the UST.

The pontiff is expected to be at the venue at 10 a.m. until past 12 noon. His last event for the day is the Eucharistic Celebration at the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park.

Pope Francis will be in the country from Jan. 15 to 19, 2015.