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Pope asked: Stand for women, child rape victims

06:16 PM January 18, 2015

MANILA, Philippines – Some pilgrims braved the heavy rains lashing Manila on Sunday to lead the fight for the rights of the voiceless.

Elay Pacardo, 52, from Quezon City, went to Rizal Park on Sunday morning to ask for Pope Francis to intercede for child rape victims.

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“I wish swift resolution and justice for children who are victims of rape perpetrated by those in authority such as the military and those in high government positions,” Pacardo said in Filipino.

Waving violet and white ribbons and small flags, Pacardo and other volunteers from the Gabriela Women’s Party also asked the Pope to “stand and hear the cries of women.”

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“Pope Francis, hear the cries of women! Stand with us for justice. Stand against impunity!” they pleaded.

They also wore shirts bearing the Pope’s message blasting rape as a grave assault to the dignity of women.

“Rape is a most grave offense against the dignity of women, a violation of body and spirit, a trauma hard to erase,” the supreme pontiff said in his message.

Pope Francis said Mass before millions of people at the Quirino Grandstand at around 3:00 p.m. under heavy rains. Pilgrims lined up at the Roxas Boulevard to get a glimpse of the Pope who arrived at the venue riding the jeepney “popemobile.”

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