Paid Ministers of Manalo's INC™ Church have been lying to their members that the Catholic Church in the Philippines is losing its members to the Iglesia Ni Cristo®-1914. I don't think a strong 6-7 million attendees is a proof of that "losing members" in the Catholic Church.
And YES! One thing is obvious! INC™ Ministers LIED again!
And YES! One thing is obvious! INC™ Ministers LIED again!
6-7M attend Pope’s Mass at Luneta
Philippine Inquirer: MANILA, Philippines–Pope Francis on Sunday concluded his apostolic visit with a pastoral message in his final Mass attended by an estimated 6 million Filipinos who beat their own record of love for the world’s largest papal gathering: Find your identity as God’s children in the Sto. Niño, and thereby, cherish each child and protect the family.
The Pontiff hailed the Philippines as the “foremost Catholic country” in Asia whose citizens have a vocation to be “missionaries of faith” in the region.
Celebrating his concluding Mass at Manila’s Rizal Park before euphoric Filipinos on the rain-drenched Feast of the Holy Infant, the Pope wove his homily around the symbolic message of the Holy Child.
“In these days, throughout my visit, I have listened to you sing the song: ‘We are all God’s children.’ That is what the Sto. Niño tells us. He reminds us of our deepest identity. All of us are God’s children, members of God’s family,” he said.
Citing the day’s second reading from St. Paul, Francis said that “in Christ, we have become God’s adopted children, brothers and sisters in Christ.”
“This is who we are. This is our identity. We saw a beautiful expression of this when Filipinos rallied around our brothers and sisters affected by the typhoon,” he added, referring to 2013 supertyphoon.
The torrential rains had left many in the crowd wet, cold and freezing.
Manila officials and the Vatican said a record 6 million people attended the Pope’s final Mass and lined his motorcade route.
The chair of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Francis Tolentino, said a record 6 million people attended the final Mass. The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the Holy See had been told by local officials that the figure was between 6 million and 7 million.
Officials had hoped that the number of people attending the Mass would surpass the 5 million who turned out for St. John Paul II’s final Mass in the park 1995.
“Based on our monitoring of the crowd in Luneta and the people along the streets, the number of people who attended the Pope’s Mass was definitely bigger than during the 1995 Mass of Pope John Paul II,” said a senior government official involved in the security operations.
“Easily, the crowd reached more than 6 million during the Mass. That number includes those who watched the Mass on the streets where we set up giant LED screens,” he said.
Light of God’s grace
Before beginning the multilingual Mass, highlighted by music fusing the country’s many languages and musical rhythms, the Pontiff blessed an image of the Holy Infant, even as the faithful held up their own images.
The Pope said the image of the Holy Child Jesus accompanied the spread of the gospel in the Philippines from the beginning.
“He continues to remind us of the link between God’s kingdom and the mystery of spiritual childhood,” he said, proceeding to quote from the Gospel of Mark: “Whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.”
“The Sto. Niño continues to proclaim to us that the light of God’s grace has shone upon a world dwelling in darkness, bringing the Good News of our freedom from slavery, and guiding us in the paths of peace, right and justice,” he added.
At the same time, the Holy Child “reminds us of our call to spread the reign of Christ throughout the world.”
And yet because of the devil’s distractions, “promise of ephemeral pleasures and superficial pastimes, such as ‘tinkering with gadgets,’ we forget to remain, at heart, children of God,” Francis said.
“For children, as the Lord tells us, have their own wisdom, which is not the wisdom of the world. That is why the message of the Sto. Niño is so important. He speaks powerfully to all of us. He reminds us of our deepest identity, of what we are called to be as God’s family,” he said.
“The Sto. Niño also reminds us that this identity must be protected. The Christ Child is the protector of this great country,” he continued.
Mercy and compassion
While the Mass carried the theme of mercy and compassion, the Pope harped on the Holy Child’s contemporary message to this developing country of 100 million Filipinos.Before President Aquino, Vice President Jejomar Binay and millions of Filipinos, the Pontiff said the Christ Child “is the protector of this great country” and so every child and his family must be protected.
“In the Gospel, Jesus welcomes children, he embraces them and blesses them. We too need to protect, guide and encourage our young people, helping them to build a society worthy of their great spiritual and cultural heritage,” he said.
“Specifically, we need to see each child as a gift to be welcomed, cherished and protected. And we need to care for our young people, not allowing them to be robbed of hope and condemned to life on the streets,” he added.
After all, it was a “frail child, in need of protection, who brought God’s goodness, mercy and justice into the world,” said the 78-year-old Francis.
“He resisted the dishonesty and corruption, which are the legacy of sin, and He triumphed over them by the power of His cross,” he added.
Too, the Child Jesus was threatened when he was born, but was protected by St. Joseph, and so he “reminds us of protecting our families,” such as the Church, God’s family, the world and human family, the Pope said.
“Sadly, in our day, the family all too often needs to be protected against insidious attacks and programs contrary to all that we hold true and sacred, all that is most beautiful and noble in our culture,” he said.Follow InquirerOnline: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook