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Pope meets heads of other religions at UST

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 09:53 AM January 18, 2015

Pope Francis listens to the message of young people during the encounter with the youth at the University of Santo Tomas Sunday, January 18, 2015. Screengrab from RTVM

MANILA, Philippinies — Pope Francis briefly talked to the heads or representatives of various religions after arriving at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Sunday ahead of an encounter with 24,000 Filipino youth.

His Holiness arrived at UST at 9:25 a.m. and entered through the Espana gate.


The Roman Catholic pontiff walked through the Arch of the Centuries,  the old gate of UST when it was still in Intramuros and the gate that National Hero Jose Rizal passed through as a student, before meeting the representatives of several religions.

Among those met by the Pope were:


  • Bishop Cesar Vicente Punzalan III, (Evangelical Church)
  • Julkipli Wadi (Islam Dean, UP Institute of Islam Studies)
  • Imam Ebra Moxsir (Islam)
  • Dean Lilian Sison, UST (member, Religious for Peace Philippines)
  • Chief Justice Reynato Puno (present and chairman of the Board Ph Bible Society)
  • Nektarios Tsilis (Orthodox Church)
  • Venerable Master Hsing Yun (Buddhists)
  • Taiwan Rabbi Eliyahu Azariah (Judaism)
  • Maharaj Rajesh Sharma (Hinduism)
  • E. Ephraim S. Fajutagan (Christian)

Various popes in recent years have made it a tradition to meet and talk to the heads of different religions whenever they visit a country.

This is to foster religious cooperation and promote interreligious dialogue and coexistence.

After the informal meetings with the religious leaders, Pope Francis took the popemobile and went around the university Sports Field to meet the thousands of youth gathered there.

He circled the UST Main Building starting from Plaza Mayor then right to Quezon Drive, left to the Quadricentennial Square, left again to Osmeña drive then proceeded to the UST Grandstand.


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TAGS: Luneta, Papal Visit 2015, Philippines, Pope Francis, Pope Francis visit, UST, Vatican, Youth
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