04/16/2014, 00.00
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Good Friday in Manila: a "journey of penance" to protect the country from natural disasters

The Special Way of the Cross will start at 5 am in Pasay City and end in front of Manila Cathedral. All of the capital's 500 parishes will send a delegation. Prelates from areas affected by typhoons and quakes will all attend. Card Tagle calls for "solidarity" with the victims, to be one with those who suffer.

Manila (AsiaNews/CBCP) - The Archdiocese of Manila is organising a 7-kilometre "journey of penance" this Friday to ask for safety and protection in a country recently battered by devastating natural disasters, like typhoon Yolanda last November.

In the Filipino capital, Catholic broadcasters TV Maria and Radio Veritas sponsored a good weather 'Way of the Cross' from San Juan De Dios Hospital in Pasay City to the renovated Manila Cathedral.

In a message, Mgr Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), told the faithful "to offer personal prayers and sacrifices" for the country's protection "against various natural calamities and disasters that have taken place" over the past year.

Mgr Camilo Gregorio, bishop of Batanes; Mgr Ramon Arguelles, bishop of Lipa; Mgr Honesto Ongtioco, bishop of Cubao; and Bernardino Cortez, auxiliary bishop of Manila, will be some of the prelates taking part in the "penitential" walk.

"Everyone is welcome to join us," said Radio Veritas president Fr Anton Pascual. "There is no need to register for the event."

Delegations from all 500 parishes of the capital are expected to participate in the special Way of the Cross. The latter starts at 5 am and ends at 10 am in front of the cathedral, where Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle will be waiting for the faithful in order to offer his personal reflection and solemn blessing.

During Palm Sunday celebrations, the archbishop of Manila called on the Catholic community to show "solidarity" with the victims of natural disasters.

In his homily, the cardinal urged Filipinos to be one with those who suffer from natural disasters, like the earthquakes and typhoons that frequently strike the archipelago.

"To our brothers and sisters still suffering in Zamboanga, Bohol, Samar, Leyte, Capiz, Aklan, Iloilo, Palawan, Cebu," Card Tagle said, "even if others have left you and have forgotten you, I am here and I bring you the love of Jesus".

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