04/05/2006, 00.00
PHILIPPINES
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Pope urges Philippines to evangelise the East, says Cardinal Rosales

Back from Rome and his fresh nomination as cardinal, the archbishop of Manila speaks to his faithful about his meetings with Benedict XVI, who reiterated Filipinos' "special role" in spreading Christian witness in Asia and the world.

Manila (AsiaNews) – The "Pope said 'the Philippines has a special role in the evangelization of the Orient'; he mentioned this twice in our (four) encounters during the Consistory", said Card Gaudencio Rosales, archbishop of Manila, who shared with his community the "Holy Father's personal message" that made him cardinal last March 24 during the consistory.

The prelate spoke to the faithful in Manila Cathedral during his first mass since he came back from Rome last Saturday. He said that Benedict XVI "was thinking of the thousands of Filipinos and Filipinas in different Asian countries living and working as missionaries. Or did he have in mind the Christian witnessing that Filipinos even here and abroad could give to our neighbors?"

Cardinal Rosales reminded those present that the last two popes, John Paul II and Paul VI, had also called on the Filipino population to be on mission.

"Underneath this challenge to our Christian vocation is a call to unity," he explained, "and a challenge to make our society a true community of believers, eliminating injustice and inequalities that deny anyone a dignified life. And Asia is looking to us for the light which we have already received in Christ."

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