Pope: Ideological colonization, materialism destroy families
MANILA, Philippines–“There is an ideological colonization that we have to be careful of that destroys the family.”
That was the warning of Pope Francis to families in his reflection of the Gospel during the “Encounter of the Families” held on Friday at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena.
Although he did not elaborate the kind of “colonization” which is destroying the family, he said that this will come from the outside.
Pope Francis also warned people against “materialism” which is encountered by people who seek excessive wealth.
To everybody’s surprise, the Pontiff departed from his prepared address to make informal remarks.
‘Lolo Kiko, we love you’
With the theme, “The Holy Family’s Journey: The Pilgrimage of Every Family”, the assembly of families in the Philippines was said to be the first of its kind to be led by Pope Francis in his almost two years of papacy.
Family members who gathered to have a rare audience with the supreme pontiff are said to be burdened with poverty, disability and migration.
The crowds roared and waved flags as the Pope entered the premises of the MOA Arena at 5:15 p.m in an open “popemobile” as if the exhaustion they felt from waiting under the sweltering heat was washed away from their faces.
Upon his arrival, Pope Francis kissed a baby brought to him by the adoring crowd.
Inside the MOA Arena, all eyes were glued to the big LCD screens as the faithful held their breath and watched the Pope’s journey from the Apostolic Nunciature to the MOA Arena.
Cheers of “Lolo Kiko, we love you.” occasionally filled the arena.
Pope Francis also blessed those who are inflicted with disabilities, some crying as they kissed the hand of the Holy Father. He was also seen blessing an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary and accepting gifts from thankful Catholics.
King Rodrigo, in his speech in behalf of all families present, said that Pope Francis inspired people to bring Christ to “the margins”
“You inspired us to have a school of new evangelization, to bring Christ from Manila to the farthest ends of the world,” Rodrigo said.
The two-part event started at around 2:30 p.m. The first half of the assembly was filled with music, dance and laughter as songs from The Voice Kids winner Lyca Gairinod and other guests and a medley of Philippine folk dances kept the crowd entertained.
By the end of the liturgy, the Mall of Asia turned into a sea of lights as the participants gave thanks to Jesus Christ.
Inspirational diva Jamie Rivera also sang “We are All God’s Children”, the official hymn of Pope Francis’ papal visit to the Philippines.