Today on Rappler.
POPE FRANCIS LEAVES THE PHILIPPINES
Pope Francis leaves the Philippines Monday morning after a 5-day visit. Crowds again gathered to see the Pope Monday morning, this time, to say goodbye. Natashya Gutierrez filed this video blog.
And so it ends. After 5 days of nonstop events with Pope Francis, the Philippines finally bids farewell to the beloved pontiff.
Pope Francis departs Manila a little before 10 am from Villamor Airbase. President Benigno Aquino III, church leaders and cabinet members send him off, as well as throngs of Filipinos who line the streets to say goodbye and get a final glimpse of the pope.
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle asks Filipinos after the visit to relish the Pope's trip, especially the central theme of serving the poor. He says the people must allow the pope's message to deepen and influence their actions. He also says the visit is not only for Christians but for all Filipinos.
LUIS ANTONIO CARDINAL TAGLE, ARCHBISHOP OF MANILA: We need to allow it to deepen... the centrality of loving the poor, centrality of appreciating children who are helpless.
Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma also thanks the public for their cooperation in making the trip a huge success.
SONNY COLOMA, COMMUNICATIONS SECRETARY: Our people responded from the heart and they responded with faith.
Tagle agrees, saying the Philippines is able to show the world that communication and collaboration is possible, adding Vatican officials praise the hospitality of the Filipino people.
The Pope returns to Rome after a successful visit but it's fruitfulness depends on whether Filipinos, government officials or the church will take to heart his messages on corruption, poverty and service. As Pope Francis departs, pilgrims say he leaves behind a Philippines that is stronger in faith, and in hope.
Natashya Gutierrez, Rappler, Manila.
Largely seen as a huge success, the Popes 5 day visit is marred by the death of a volunteer in Leyte. 27 year old Kristel Padasas died when a scaffolding collapsed on her after the Pope said Mass at the airport. In a press conference Sunday, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle said the Pope met with the grieving father.
LUIS ANTONIO CARDINAL TAGLE, ARCHBISHOP OF MANILA: Of course the Holy Father was searching for words. How do you console a father who just lost his only child? What struck the Holy Father was the statement of the father of Kristel. First he said he felt devastated when the news reached him. And even asked God, why, I have only one child, why is she taken away from me? But it surprised the Holy Father when this grieving father said, “I have accepted this, I have resigned the fact that my daughter.
Tagle also addressed questions from the media struggling to define the Popes world view.
Francis on Friday warned Filipinos against what he called “ideological colonization” that threatens the family with efforts to “redefine marriage.”
The statement is seen as a condemnation of same sex marriage.
In contrast, Rollingstone Magazine once called his openness to gays and divorcees and moves to reform the Church bureaucracy a “gentle revolution.”
I asked whether the Pope is a conservative or a liberal, Tagle said the Pope transcends labels.
LUIS ANTONIO CARDINAL TAGLE, ARCHBISHOP OF MANILA: A Pope has no liberty to invent his own teaching so there’s an element of receiving from the past. The pope has said, "I am the son of the Church." But he is attentive to society, he has a desire to see how the tradition of the faith can be further explored. Somebody asked me point-blank: is he conservative or a liberal? "What is he?" He is what he is.
FRANCE ATTACKS, IRAQ CONFLICT TO DOMINATE DAVOS MEET
Recent attacks in France and the conflicts in Iraq and Ukraine will dominate the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. On Tuesday at least 2500 world leaders will gather at the annual event including French President Francois Hollande, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Following the Paris attacks, leaders are expected to discuss the threat posed by young extremists returning to Europe after fighting with the ISIS and Al-Qaeda-linked groups. Another conflict likely to be raised is Ukraine's battle against a pro-Russian rebellion.
OIC URGES RESTRAINT AFTER CARTOON 'HATRED'
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation or OIC, an alliance of 57 Muslim nation states, accuses Charlie Hebdo of "ridiculing the most revered personality" of Islam. But the group, which sees itself as the “collective voice of Muslims,” urges the world's more than 1.5 billion Muslims "to continue to exercise restraint." The OIC says the new cartoon is an "intolerant, disrespectful and manifest expression of hatred as well as insensitivity" toward Muslims.
NEW THAI CONSTITUTION MAY RECOGNIZE THIRD GENDER
Thailand, which is drafting a new constitution, may soon recognize a third gender. CNN reports Constitution drafting committees spokesperson Kamnoon Sittisamarn says… "It is a human right... if you want to have a sex change or lead a life of a different gender." Third gender means an individual does not have to identify as either male or female, and gives them a right to self-identify. Gender reassignment surgery is widely available in Thailand.
LONG-LOST BRITISH SPACE PROBE FOUND ON MARS – UK AGENCY
A British-built space probe that disappeared more than a decade ago has been found on Mars, ending the mystery of what happened to the mission. The lost lander was found through satellite images taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The probe detached from Mars Express on December 26, and was never heard from again.
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