Pope Francis may visit Typhoon Haiyan victims

The pope sent the Cardinal Robert Sarah to the Philippines to visit the areas struck by the typhoon and to extend more assistance for rehabilitation efforts.

January 30 2014, 2:14 PM
Pope Francis may visit Typhoon Haiyan victims
From right, Palo Archbishop John Du and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas greet Cardinal Robert Sarah upon his arrival in Manila.

Pope Francis wishes to visit typhoon-ravaged areas in Leyte, a Vatican official said in Palo on Tuesday.

“You go now because I might be going there also,” Cardinal Robert Sarah, President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, quoted the Pope in his homily at the La Libertad Mission Church, drawing cheers and applause from the faithful.

The pope sent the cardinal to the Philippines to visit the areas struck by the typhoon and to extend more assistance for rehabilitation efforts. The cardinal did not give dates for the papal visit.

Pope Francis had donated an initial US$150,000 in emergency aid through the Cor Unum. He had also sent his ambassador to the Philippines, Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, to Leyte to be with the Haiyan survivors during Christmas.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi had recently announced that the Pope may visit South Korea’s Daejeon for the Asian Youth Day this August. It would be his second papal visit to Asia, as he is scheduled to visit the Holy Land in May. The Pope has made only one international trip so far, visiting Brazil for the World Youth Day last July.

Archbishop John Du of Palo said, “People were really clapping,” when they heard the news.

Cardinal Sarah visited Tacloban and distributed relief goods in devastated areas. He also made a quick visit to the Sisters of Mercy Hospital, a health facility dedicated to the poor, in Tacloban City and the Sacred Heart Seminary in Palo town.

At the compound of the Archbishop’s Residence in Palo, Cardinal Sarah led the ground breaking ceremony for the proposed orphanage, clinic and home for the elderly.

Archbishop Du said Cor Unum, an administrative body that serves in the name of the pope for the Church’s charitable activities, would finance the construction of the facilities.

The project will also include a small convent for the nuns who will administer the facilities, a chapel and a dispensary.

“These are really part of the Holy Father’s desire to reach out to the least. I decided to have the destitute home within the compound of my residence because I also want to live with these people,” Archbishop Du said.

Around 3.8 million people from 851,000 families have been left homeless by Haiyan, according to Caritas Philippines.

Source: CBCP News