CDO diocese picked priests, nuns who will attend Pope Francis’ Mass by lottery
MANILA, Philippines — Here is one lottery any priest and member of a religious group would definitely want to win.
Citing the cramped space at the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, organizers of Pope Francis’ visit in January 2015, have decided to make the papal Mass at the 2,000-seat capacity church a “by invitation only” event, limiting the number of guests to only 10 priests and five religious sisters per diocese.
Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma said the papal visit steering committee has asked every diocese to send only 10 priests and five religious sisters for the Holy Mass, where Pope Francis will deliver his homily. There are 85 ecclesiastical territories in the country and a Military Ordinariate.
The papal Mass with the bishops, priests and religious women and men will be held on Jan. 16, the second day of Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines.
To be fair in picking out who get to attend to the Holy Mass, Ledesma said priests were chosen by way of lottery in his archdiocese.
“We were able to choose by lottery and section by the vicariates. [But] among the sisters, I think they just have to choose among themselves who will attend,” Ledesma told reporters in an interview.
As for the lay members who want to have the opportunity to get a glimpse of the Pope or attend a papal event, Ledesma said they could attend the public Mass scheduled for Jan. 18 at the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta, Manila.
“They will also have the chance since the Holy Father will also have a general Mass…it is an outdoor Mass [so] there will be more accommodation for everyone,” said the senior prelate.
Earlier, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle has explained that only a few delegates will be accommodated in some of the events during the papal visit due to limited space in some of the venues.
“The public Masses, these are open to the public like the one in Tacloban and Luneta,” said Tagle.
“But in some of the events, like the Encounter with the Families, because of the limitations also of the venue, only a certain number of delegates from different sectors or provinces will be accommodated,” said the cardinal at a press briefing last Friday.
Pope Francis will arrive in Manila on January 15 from Sri Lanka. He will fly to Tacloban on January 17 to mingle with the survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). He will return to Rome on January 19.
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