Pope Francis: Defend poor, weak

Also calls on gov’ts to protect the Earth


ROCK STAR Pope Francis is received like a rock star by tens of thousands as he’s driven in his popemobile at St. Peter’s Square before his inaugural Mass. AP

VATICAN CITY—Tens of thousands, including sovereigns and representatives of 180 countries, witnessed the highly dramatic investiture of Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square on Tuesday, as past, present and future converged for a Church seeking to go back to the basics of the Christian message in dealing with what its critics call a problem of relevance.

Addressing an estimated 200,000 people including foreign leaders in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis, his voice raised in emotion, said a pope must “embrace with tender affection the whole of humanity, especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important.”

The Church’s mission “means respecting each of God’s creatures and respecting the environment in which we live. It means protecting people, showing loving concern for each and every person, especially children, the elderly, those in need, who are often the last we think about,” Pope Francis said in his investiture homily.

To lusty cheers, Pope Francis went around St. Peter’s Square in the pope jeep at the start of the ceremony, waving and blessing well-wishers.

Hundreds of flags from Francis’ native Argentina were waving in the square, along with the Vatican’s yellow-and-white standard and the flags of countries with dominant Catholic populations, as the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires smiled warmly.

Also waving were flags from Argentina’s neighbors—Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, and others—indicating the shift of the papacy from the Old World of Europe to the New World of the Americas.

Asian and African churches were also represented. Aside from staunchly Catholic Philippines, there were flags of South Korea, Sri Lanka and Kenya.

Old and New Worlds

Francis succeeded Benedict XVI, the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, a German, who stunned the world last month by announcing he was renouncing the papacy due to old age.

Benedict himself succeeded Pope John Paul II, the first Polish Pope whose election in 1978 broke the Italian hold on the papacy for centuries.

But Francis’ election could also be viewed as an Italian restoration since he has Italian blood.

The former Buenos Aires Archbishop, whose parents hailed from Italy, said he chose to name himself after St. Francis of Assisi because of his “spiritual ties with this land.”

The saint from Assisi, who founded the Franciscan Order that, together with the Dominicans, Augustinians and Carmelites, helped reform the Church in the Middle Ages, is the patron saint of Italy.

In his homily, the Pope made references to St Joseph, whose feast was being celebrated on the installation, as protector of the Church and to St. Francis as the patron saint of the environment in order to call for the “protection of creation.”

“Please,” the Pope said, “I would like to ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill: let us be ‘protectors’ of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment. Let us not allow omens of destruction and death to accompany the advance of this world!”


After the rock-concert-like reception of the crowd in the square, the “inizio” investiture ceremony was highly symbolic and dramatic.

Pope Francis went inside the basilica and descended to the tomb of St. Peter, traditionally known as the first Pope. He was accompanied by patriarchs of the Orthodox churches from the East, an indication of the growing rapprochement and unification between the churches of Asia Minor and the Latin West, which split in the 11th century.

The Pope, together with the Eastern patriarchs and the cardinals, then marched and was greeted by thunderous applause from the crowd.

“Francesco!” the crowd chanted. “Viva il Papa!”

As the prelates filed outside, the traditional Litany of Saints was chanted, with the inclusion of three canonized Popes who were considered reformists—Gregory VII (1073-1085), Pius V (1566-1572), and

Pius X (1903-1914).

Like Francis, who’s a Jesuit, two of the three canonized Popes were religious.

Gregory VII was a Benedictine monk while Pius V was the Dominican Pope who rallied Europe against the Ottoman Turks in the Battle of Lepanto and who implemented the reforms of the Council of Trent to stem the Protestant revolt.

Pius V, known in Italian as Pio Quinto, was said to have continued wearing the Dominican simar even when he was already Pope so that the fashion tradition was passed on to the succeeding Popes, including Francis, who appeared on the loggia on March 13 with the Dominican cloak when he was introduced as the new Pope.

Francis also received the pallium, a wool tie-like collar that represents the Bishop of Rome as a shepherd and as a sacrificial lamb.

Fisherman’s Ring

Francis also received the papal ring, known as the Fisherman’s Ring in reference to St. Peter, who was a fisherman.

The gold-plated silver ring bore an image of St. Peter holding the keys of heaven.

Vatican insiders told the Inquirer that the Pope had adopted the design of the ring of Pope Paul VI, who was Pope from 1963 to 1978, and who implemented the contentious reforms of Vatican II aside from issuing the controversial encyclical Humana Vitae, which banned contraception.

During the inizio, the liturgy had the people praying for the new Pope that he would “gather peoples as one through doctrine, in charity” and the people obey him.

The prayer might refer to the divisions plaguing the Church as a result of many Catholics, some of them theologians, demanding more liberal interpretations of Catholic norms amid modernity.

Among those witnessing the investiture were Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, the president of Argentina who had criticized the Church and called it “medieval” after Bergoglio opposed her plan to pass a law legalizing same-sex marriages.

Also present was Prince Felipe of Asturias, the crown prince of Spain representing his father, King Juan Carlos de Borbon.

Starting in the late 15th century, Spain and Iberian rival Portugal colonized the Americas, in the process also evangelizing them, so that the South American continent now has the biggest concentration of Catholics in the world.

Also among the dignitaries were Vice President Jejomar Binay and Zairean President Robert Mugabe, representing Asia and Africa, promising mission continents for the Roman Catholic Church that claims its faith to be embraced by people universally.

Also present were top leaders of the Eastern Orthodox churches, other Christian denominations, and Judaism.

Later, six cardinals—two each from cardinal-deacons, -priests, and –bishops—swore fealty to Pope Francis, representing the allegiance of all of the cardinals, bishops and priests to the Vicar of Christ.

Tribute to Benedict

During the Mass to mark the solemnity (or feast) of St. Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus, the Gospel was read in Greek to better emphasize the bonds between the Catholic Church and its Eastern relations.

The two prior readings were in Spanish and English.

The Gospel reading, Matthew 1:16,18-21,24a, was about Joseph’s obedience in faith and trust, again emphasizing Francis’ call on Catholics to go back to the fundamental tenets of the faith and the need for heroic witnessing of Christianity.

To emphasize the universality of the Catholic Church, the traditional Prayers of the Faithful were read in Russian, French, Arab, Swahili and Chinese.

At the start of his homily, Pope Francis made a fond reference to his predecessor, noting that the Mass was for the feast of St. Joseph, after whom Joseph Ratzinger, who became Benedict XVI, was named.

The crowd applauded.

He said the protection of creation should be the duty of all but would presuppose the spiritual conversion of everyone.

He explained that the protection should extend as well to the protection of the poor, making a reference to the reason why he chose Francis as his papal name—Francis who exalted poverty and simplicity.

To protect Jesus with Mary, the Pope said, “is to protect the whole of creation, to protect each person, especially the poorest, to protect ourselves: this is a service that the Bishop of Rome is called to carry out, yet one to which all of us are called, so that the star of hope will shine brightly. Let us protect with love all that God has given us!”

Asian churches

Helping distribute communion during the Mass were priests from Asia.

Fr. Paul Robinson, a Sri Lankan priest taking up doctoral studies at the Angelicum, praised the new Pope for his “down-to-earth ways,” which would make the Church “closer to the people.”

Fr. Kim Silvaus, a Korean priest also taking up higher theological studies in Rome, praised Francis for “emphasizing continuity” with Benedict XVI.

The two priests said that while they would welcome papal focus on the Asian churches, they understand that Pope Francis would have to prioritize the reform of the Vatican bureaucracy and deal firmly with scandals involving alleged hushed-up sexual abuse of children by pedophile priests mainly from the West.

Pope Francis has indicated he would deal with the problems facing the Church by emphasizing fundamental “witnessing” of the faith.

In his first homily as Pope on March 14, he told cardinals, “(I)f we do not witness to Jesus Christ then … we might become a philanthropic NGO, but we wouldn’t be the Church, the Bride of the Lord.

“When we don’t build on rock, what happens? The same thing that happens to children when they build sandcastles on the beach. They wind up falling down because they have no solidity.”—With a report from Agence France Presse

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  • Islander

    It is good to see a pope who looks alive and can interact with the people. I used to think of popes as relics that are preserved inside glass-encased cubicles and are carried around on palanquins.

  • browndarwinian

    “Defend the poor and the weak” is NOT the same as saying “let’s end poverty.” The latter is incompatible to the core teaching of an institution that preaches “take no thought for tomorrow.”

    • txtman


      • browndarwinian

        Yes. It’s a pity there’s no hell for you to go to.

      • Crazy_horse101010

        yes their poor philippines average wage 3400 dollars america 45000 dollars a year. i think i would rather be poor in america. and what is your proof i would like to see where you got the figures

      • boldyak

        better compare also the expenses of the poor in america and philippines…

  • mabyrik

    “Defend the poor and the weak” says Pope Francis.

    This is one way of telling Philippine bishops to “Stop defending the corrupt, like GMA, Corona, etc and do your job well”.

    • txtman


      • mumbaki ak

        pitiful palagi ikaw. pitiful ka talaga. pitiful.

      • mabuhay_si_marKy

        i want to add to the list: macoses, estradas, garcias

      • Don Dee

        Tama ka sa isang punto, pabor talaga kay PNoy ang defend the weak, etc — this new direction of the church as commanded by the new Pope. Yung dating SUV and brown bag mentality ng CBCP, na by inference ay ayaw ng bagong Papa ay talaga patama kay Gloria at mga Mitsubishops.

  • daniboy2012


    • txtman


      • Crazy_horse101010

        sad case pitiful

  • China_Lee

    Kanya kanyang opinion nag lalabasan. Pag iba Relihiyon iba din ang pananaw. Ang buhay tlaga parang life. Kahit anong gagawin mo may nakikitang mali.


    >>>Pope Francis: Defend poor, weak<<<

    CBCP: Defend the rich, strong, and influential!

    • txtman


      • UrHONOR

        AND, oh…. the mentally deranged!

      • txtman

        MORON KA NGA

      • Crazy_horse101010


      • MATONeeta

        siguro gaya mo.

      • Crazy_horse101010

        brain dead pitiful and patheic

    • nakawan

      As long as defending the poor and weak doesn’t mean coddling illegal settlers aka squatters, I’m cool with that.

      • Crazy_horse101010

        ask why are the squatters there why did they leave their homes where they lived all their lives its because there is nothing for them in the bonnies what are they going to eat grass. if you had kids that are hungry and you hear that manila is the promised land what would you do

      • nakawan

        so you’re saying it is completely right of them to steal someone else’s property? to illegally occupy a piece of land that does not belong to them? please answer, thank you.

      • Crazy_horse101010

        im will answer no its not right but again why are they there. why did they leave their homes in the mountains. you see i live on the other end where they come from everyone says go to manila its the promised land so they go there and find out theres nothing. my wifes cousins went and found out the only way they could make a living was on their back. when people get there they have no place to go back to so maybe they could live in government condos or maybe on the church property. some times desperate people do desperate things especially when have kids whats your solution shoot them all. if there was something for them home do you think they want to live there .

      • nakawan

        Is it the landowner’s fault that they chose to come to Manila? You said it yourself, they chose to go to Manila, they took that risk.

        My solution? Send them back. Nakita na nila na walang opportunity sa Manila, so the best thing to do is go home, period. The fare per person would still be cheaper than relocating them to another government owned land area.

        My point is, no matter what their reasons are, hindi problema ng landowner yun. Naghihirap ang landowner para makabayad sa lupa na pinagtrabahuan nila, tapos kelangan pa nila gumastos para ipaalis at i-relocate ang mga squatter dun? Fair ba yun?

        Masama pa, nowadays (and I have been victim to this) breaking and entering pa sila sa lupa, kahit naka fence. That’s not technically squatting anymore, that’s theft.

        So before you take up the cudgels for these squatters with a bleeding heart, think about the other side. Better yet, common sense na lang, ang binayaran mo at may titulo ka ay iyong pag-aari, hindi yan pag-aari ng tao na pumasok lang at tumira na lang sa lupa mo dahil wala daw siyang mahanap tirhan.

      • AlexanderAmproz

        The poor aren’t land-grabbers,

        the majority of the Pinoy’s don’t have any land where to stay,
        as any piece of land where stollen by the Clergy since centuries.

        When the US bought the country, all was own by the Clergy !
        The new Master order them to sell what they don’t need for their own use.
        They gave their stollen assets to their relatives for a song !

        40 families owning 76% of the country, left 24% for hundred millions,
        a Philippines christian fairness ?

      • nakawan

        So again, let me ask you: does that make it right for a squatter to illegally occupy a piece of property that’s not theirs? Yes or No?

        To further validate, let’s suppose this landowner is not a haciendero, but is instead a normal ordinary working guy like you and me, who is trying to make payments on his property every month.

    • disqus_EWrSdjV1nv

      cbcp. practikal.

  • bogli_anakdami

    flipland’s kaksucker padre dumbassos defend their biggest donors ~ traposakals, magnanakaws, uniformed thugs, et al…
    while they use the hampas lupas/pulubis/palamnins as fodders for charity orgs for more abuloys and ukay-ukay from the civilized countries…

    • txtman



    >>Pope Francis: Defend poor, weak<<<

    HAVE mercy on the bible-toters and bible-quoters for they know not what they say. SHOW compassion to the mentally-ill and afflicted. PITY those who act more popish than myself.

    • GKLer

      Have mercy on FOOLS called atheists who talk about God and Religion.

      reference: Psalm 53

    • Ronilo Yap

      You’ve said it. Maniwala lang ako pag yong mga abuloy nila, ipapadala sa africa at papakainin ang nagugutom doon..

  • Ferdinand Poe

    Let us all pray and hope for the Pope success!

  • Ari Putan

    POOR people are the milking cows of catholic…..
    Nations where majority are catholics, poverty and crimes are rampant..
    catholics = curse.

    • Yxon

      POOR SOUL….the RC Church doesnt even demand tithing on their faithful. you go to INC, Quiboloy, at iba pa… yung 10% tithes ay iba pa sa love offering.

    • boldyak

      talagang palagi ang lumalabas sa Ariputan ay mabaho…

  • virgoyap

    The Pope is not only continuing Benedict XV! but he is going farther than what his predecessor did. For me Benedict is aloft but Pope Francis is the people’s Pope. He is not afraid to mingle.

  • noreligionhavefaith

    Religion = the greatest story ever told!

  • twitgurl

    lahat naman ng simbahan IGLESIA NI MANALO AT BORN AGAIN mga MAGNANAKAW AT KAMPI SA MAGNANAKAW.. Ang simbahan ng katoliko bukas pag nagbabaha at bumabagyo pinapapasok ang mga tao kahit anong relihiyon eh ang IGLESIA NI MANALO at BORN AGAIN ayaw papasok sa simbahan nila kahit dami ng binabaha dahil madudumihan daw ang simbahan nila.. nkakahiya kayo!!

  • twitgurl

    lahat naman ng simbahan IGLESIA NI MANALO AT BORN AGAIN mga MAGNANAKAW
    AT KAMPI SA MAGNANAKAW.. Ang simbahan ng katoliko bukas pag nagbabaha at
    bumabagyo pinapapasok ang mga tao kahit anong relihiyon eh ang IGLESIA
    NI MANALO at BORN AGAIN ayaw papasok sa simbahan nila kahit dami ng
    binabaha dahil madudumihan daw ang simbahan nila.. nkakahiya kayo!!!

    • Aisa Pangdan

      Oh yeah…look at UST and Ateneo, pinakamamahal na tuition fee sa kanila. How about Catholic hospitals, napakamahal ang medical/admission costs. these institutions are so anti-poor

      • disqus_EWrSdjV1nv

        magiging libre na tuition sa Lasalle!!! sa ateneo!!! sa UST. pati hospital bills sa st lukes libre na rin!!!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/4EKSPU6WJ2RCLRXCYUU5YEGHFY Nani

    Cardinals and Bishops in the Philippines should heed the Call of the Pope Francis I. Get out of your churches and comfort zones and go to the poor, exploited and oppressed. Don’t be lapdogs of corrupt politicians, big business and landlords.

    • Don Dee

      And leave your SUVs home, or better yet sell them and use the money to help the poor.

      • Ronilo Yap

        Mag lakad sila pa puntang kapilya, healthy lifestyle pa, iwas high blood.

  • GKLer

    Pope Francis says “(I)f we do not witness to Jesus Christ then … we might become a philanthropic NGO, but we wouldn’t be the Church, the Bride of the Lord.”

    So CBCP should spend less time with politics, Caesar’s affairs, elections, RH law, mining laws… and do the work of WITNESSing about JESUS CHRIST (in layman’s terms that means you preach about Jesus Christ and his teachings found in the Bible).

    • MATONeeta

      sino ka ba pati na CBCP pinagsasabihan mo? wala kang galang sa opisyal ng simabahan. palibhasa hindi ka catholic binabastos mo ang simbahan. pakialaman mo sarili mo. bastos.

      • GKLer

        I am a nobody raising a valid question to your leaders. If they won’t answer, then perhaps you can speak on their behalf??

        Q. When do you think the CBCP will follow your Pope or the Lord Jesus Christ when he gave his disciples the order to serve as WITNESSES about Christ to the people?

        Acts 1:8 (Jesus speaks)
        But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my WITNESSES in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

        I ask because it looks like they are too busy with their time on non-Godly affairs? Perhaps they didn’t receive power from the Holy Spirit – in that case they cannot WITNESS?

      • MATONeeta

        bakit kung anong jesus ang binubusa mo CBCP ang pinaguusapan. wala akongpakialam sa kaugukan na sabi nga ng isa dito na numero mong pinaglalakandakan. huwg mo gawing religion class ito. may tatay ka ba o sacristan ang trabaho mo.?

      • GKLer

        Q. Who does the CBCP claim they follow?
        Q. Who does the Catholic Church claim founded their Church?
        Q. Who does the Pope claim he represents?
        A. Jesus

        2 Timothy 3:16-17
        16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

        Q. What does my job have anything to do with my original question, which you didn’t bother to answer, yet you seem to have time to continue to reply to me?

      • Ronilo Yap

        Yan ang escape goat ng mga taong bulag. Maraming palusot.

        Sige sagutin mo lang ang tanong, PLEASE.

    • http://www.facebook.com/PatPalmares Pat Palmares

      And what? Keep a blind eye and deaf ear on the immorality that plagues this great country with the RH law? O common, if not for the church, we would still be at the helm of the country’s dictator!

      • GKLer

        How poorly do you think the Romans treated the Jews at that time?
        (Yes the Jews even revolted against their Roman masters)
        –Acts 5:17-41

        Even Jesus said “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” And they were amazed at him. – Mark 12:17

        Romans 13
        1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God……
        5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience……
        11 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.

        1 Peter 2:13
        Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority,….

        Your concerns, will be taken care of by God here are 2 prophecies:

        Luke 3:6
        And all people will see God’s salvation.'”

        Isaiah 40:5
        And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

      • Ronilo Yap

        Na iintindihan mo ba yong katagang “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”

        Hint: Separation of the state and the church.

      • Ronilo Yap

        Alam mo ba ang gamit ng “ORGANIZATIONAL DIAGRAM, HIERARCHY” and the like na naka post sa opisina ng kompanya mo?.

  • edpoeto

    The statement discriminates the Rich, the people in power (leaders, the one chosen by people in politics). The statement provokes enmity between two distinct forces. Why not say instead for everyone to work in harmony with nature for peace and stability. Such statement is the source of hatred for Catholic leaders to profit from the sane and the insane. They are the one’s who will benefit because really there is a wide gap between the have’s and have not’s. Hypochrites!!!

    • Don Dee

      READ the bible. Jesus Himself said it, it is harder for a rich man to enter heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle. Blessed are the poor, walang rich and poor should work together. Sorry, it is what it is.

      • edpoeto

        In what way can you say that there are two entrance to heaven. Is it not contrary to man’s nature to enter at the same entrance. The BIBLE is one source of many errors and contradictions. If a man believes in the writings of a fool, he himself is a fool.

      • GKLer

        People who say the Bible is full of contradictions and errors really don’t know what it says…and likely haven’t even read it.

      • juanpedro de jose

        At ang nagsasabi na HOLY ang Bible ay TANGA!…

      • GKLer

        Not my words…but God’s

        Psalm 77:13
        Your ways, God, are HOLY. What god is as great as our God?

        2 Timothy 3:16
        All Scripture is God-breathed…

        Psalm 53
        The FOOL says in his heart,
        “There is no God.”
        They are corrupt, and their ways are vile;
        there is no one who does good.

      • joshmale2004

        Ooops. Kasasabi mo nga lang na ____ ang Bible. Ikaw na nga.


    Beware of bible-toting, bible-quoting CHARLATANS that come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Pagans pretending to be something else by using the bible as a tool to mask their evil schemes. Always calling for attention. CAVEAT! –UrH

    • GKLer

      Beware of FOOLS called atheists who pretend the know God or the Bible.

      Refer to Psalm 53

      • Ronilo Yap

        Agree.. They study the Bible for them to find faults. They will find reason why they dont believe the air they breathe is not theirs. But soon they will realize they are low as animals.

  • Aisa Pangdan

    Very good! He can start by requesting UST and Ateneo to lower down tution fees and other school fees. Also, order Catholic hospitals to lower down medical and hospitalization costs. These Catholic institutions are so anti-poor.


    Beware of bible-toting, bible-quoting CHARLATANS that come to you in sheep’s clothing……

    • GKLer

      Beware of FOOLS called atheists who claim they know about God and the Bible

      Reference: Psalm 53

      • MATONeeta

        bakit takot ka sa beware. tinatamaan ka ba. para kang linta sa sinasabi nung poster totoo naman. sa tinginko ikaw angg FOOL. lol.

      • Guest

        Psalm 14
        The FOOL says in his heart,
        “There is no God.”
        They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
        there is no one who does good.

  • AlexanderAmproz

    A Good lesson to the Philippines Clergy !

    Do they will be able to change their too long times outnumbered disgusting habits ?


    CBCB ang naka-salang sa sinabing yan ni Francis….kasama na yong mahihilig gumamit ng mga numero na parang mga sira-ulo na sa bawat kilos mo ay naka-numero na ng ng Jhn 0:210 na makukuha ng kahit na sinong magtataho sa internet at gustong palabasin na sila ay nakakahigit sa pinagbubusa nilang kapeke-an at atat-na-atat mangaral sa mga taong maraming ulit na nakakahigit sa utak nilang de numero. PSHAW!!

  • Ronilo Yap

    Narinig ko na to sa homily nong grade 6 pa ako.. hanggang ngayon, homily pa rin?

  • kuz_n_efek

    I wish to think that there will be a Pope Francis II. The present Pope is a precursor of Cardinal Luis Tagle who will take the name Pope Francis II in his papacy. Pope Francis I is preparing & widening the road to Vatican for Cardinal Tagle. “Don’t forget the poor Cardinal!”

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