Florida Pinoys pray for Pope Francis

SUNRISE, Fla. – Filipino American members of a Sunrise, Fla. Catholic church joined millions of Filipinos who were excited for the arrival of Pope Francis in the Philippines.

North Lauderdale parishioner Vicky Canonigo said, “Hinintay ko talagang mag-touch down yung airplane, Sri Lankan Airlines, then nakita ko si Pope dun sa window. Sumisilip-silip siya. Parang eager din siya na makita yung mga tao.”

Rommel Glabog of Hollywood, Fla. said, “I always admire Pope Francis. In fact, we named [our son] Peter Francis.”

Born on the feast day of Pope John Paul II, 1-year-old church-goer Peter Francis was named after the second Filipino saint, San Pedro Calungsod, and the Pope for the Poor — Pope Francis.

Peter Francis Glabog’s parents say they are the Pope’s biggest fans in Hollywood, Fla.

Demples Glabog said, “We’re so blessed that we’re being visited by the Pope. Of course he’s the one entrusted by God to take care of the Catholic Church.”

In light of the deadly terror attack in France last week, the Pontiff, on his way to the Philippines, spoke against faith-based violence. 

Pope Francis said, “Everyone has the right to practice his religion, his own religion without giving offense. That’s how we do it, we all want to do that. Second, one cannot offend, make war, kill in  the name of one’s own religion, that is in the name of God.

But as the Pope defended free speech and condemned faith-based violence — his controversial comments are now generating lots of social media buzz.

“But if Dr. Gasbarri, a great friend says a swear word against my mother, then a punch awaits him. But it’s normal, it’s normal,” said the Pope. “One cannot provoke, one cannot insult other people’s faith, one cannot make fun of faith.”

The Vatican made it clear that the Pope’s comment, by no means, justify the violent attacks on Charlie Hebdo.

Perlita Espejo says the Catholic Church has received its share of insults from critics and anti-Catholic groups. But none of them resulted in a deadly terror attack by its church members.

“I don’t like it either, but then that’s the freedom of the press as they say so,” Espejo said.

Demples Glabog said, “My prayer for Pope Francis is for him to always have the strength because he’s just  a human being too. We need to pray for him. He prays for us, so all of us should pray for him.”

You may contact Don Tagala at don_tagala@abs-cbn.com for more informaion.

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