His impact is much like what the Beatles did to rock and roll
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 03:00 AM January 16, 2015
“POPE Francis is a breath of fresh air to me! I absolutely adore his humility and how he puts PEOPLE first.“I’m glad he’s coming to the Philippines. However, what will happen after he’s gone? Will people simply go back to the way they were before the Christmas season?
“Another thing that bothers me is that the politicians are using his visit to showboat their causes. I can’t believe the Church and government are spending all this time and money, yet it’s all the exact opposite of what Pope Francis represents.
“I’m sure there are a lot of people who will benefit from his visit, but I’ll revisit my comment: What will happen after he leaves?”—Bennii Obaña
“To me, Pope Francis is the leader the Catholic Church needs in this day and age, when we all need to embrace a culture of tolerance and compassion. I am hoping that his visit will teach us the importance of these two values and renew our spirituality, and that people will fully grasp what it means to be disciples of Christ.”—Annelle Tayao-Juego
“I think he’s a man capable of bringing about change despite representing an organization known for being so archaic, bureaucratic, behind the times and ‘closed.’
“His messages to the world are positive—he reminds us to reach out to those who need it most. He has spoken on the divide between the wealthy and the poor, he has talked about climate change.
“There are messages we need to hear from the leadership down—about accountability and social justice. I am curious about what his messages to the Filipino nation will be and if this visit will inspire positive change. For all our excitement and eagerness to see him, will we really listen?”—Karen Kunawicz
“I’m actually a secular humanist, but I recognize Pope Francis’ importance to a lot of Catholic Filipinos. I’ve also read some news about how Pope Francis accepts evolution and the Big Bang Theory. Note that in science, ‘theory’ means a tested idea supported with a lot of evidence, as opposed to what’s taught in Philippine schools (i.e., evolution is ‘just a theory,’ never explaining what scientific theory means.). I think the Pope is broad-minded in that area.
“How do I feel about his visit? It’s a five-day holiday, and the government has already decided about that. There will be effect on the economy due to lack of production and, most important, it shows how the government prefers Catholicism.
“For a country claiming to be secular, that’s an ironic move. One wonders if there will be any long holiday if leaders of other religions, notable humanists and scientists visit Philippines, too. That might seem so negative but, in a real secular country, the government won’t give preference to any religion, as it should be.
“Nevertheless I’m hoping people can learn a thing or two from the Pope and actually heed his advice with regards to morality.
“A pope who supports science, birth control, respects gays, divorced couples and unmarried couples? Not bad. Not bad at all.”—Jenn Besonia
“Pope Francis reminds me of my late grandfather Eusebio Sta. Barbara. His face is very maamo, ibang-iba ’yung charisma niya compared to the previous pope, kaya no wonder maraming nagbabalik-loob sa Catholic Church. I’m happy that he decided to include the Philippines in his Asian tour.
“After all that the country has been through the past few years, malaki magiging impact ng pagbisita niya. Pope Francis gives us hope and positivity in life.” —Czarina Maye Mariano
“I’m quite ambivalent about the visit, being a nonpracticing Catholic. I had my papal visit experience in 1995 covering PJP2 for the Varsitarian, so I’m not exactly awash in excitement.
“But here’s where the ambivalence lies: On one hand, I’ve always believed that one’s expression of faith is more powerful and more meaningful than one’s expression of religion. I’d rather pray quietly in the room than attend Masses and listen to sermons that sometimes preach hate (i.e., when they rail against LGBT and the RH bill). So religious rituals don’t really mean much to me—Nazarene, papal visit, etc.
“On the other hand, even I have to admit Pope Francis is such an intriguing fellow. If the papacy were the grunge scene, Pope Francis would be Kurt Cobain, admired by hard-core grunge fans and widely accepted by mainstream music fans.
“It is the person who has captured my attention, not what he represents. It is his acts of faith I admire, not his standing in the religion he leads.”—Francis T. J. Ochoa
“Pope Francis to me is our guide to the future of the Catholic Church, and the best example of what it is to be a Christian and a human being.
“I’m feeling excited with everything that has to do with his visit. But I also feel saddened about it. Ang daming pakitang-tao lang (showoff). After his visit, everything will go back to normal, I assume.” —Jay Salvador
“Pope Francis to me is a symbol of faith, beyond his post as head of the Catholic Church.
“Today, I describe my religious beliefs in one phrase: I don’t necessarily believe in religion, but I believe in faith, in a God. With his visit, I feel hope that while I do not practice Catholicism, the God I believe in (again, not necessarily the Roman Catholic God) is still out there watching over me.” —Sara Pacia
“Pope Francis to me is the symbol of the modern, more forward-thinking Catholic given his open-minded take on social issues. Personally, though, I am rather indifferent about his visit. [But] it’s great that he’s visiting the country as this will, for sure, inspire a lot of Catholics.” —Janlee Dungca
“Pope Francis is sort of the rock star of religion right now. He’s a shining beacon of hope for humanity, a leader you could trust.” —Kimi de la Cruz
“Pope Francis is someone I hope the leaders of the Church, Christian and Catholic, could learn from. I hope his visit schools them. And also I hope the traffic won’t be too bad.” —Aimee Marcos
“I see him as a new-age symbol of faith, given his liberal perspective on life in general. He does not shun modern concepts, but instead seeks to understand and bridge them with tradition. He is that rare example of unselfish and unbiased piety, taking the value of humility as the core of his legacy.
“He offers an equal chance for everyone to join God’s Kingdom, regardless of one’s background and the extent of their faith.
“His visit makes me feel privileged, hopeful, and creates a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”—Patricia Liza
“I think as a pope he stands to have a huge impact on the whole of Catholicism. It’s just sad that this potential is squandered by those who take his words out of context for their own ends.
“It’s just so maddening to see politicians using his visit to do advanced campaigning via their tarpaulins welcoming the Pope.” —Rocky Fajardo
“He’s the coolest pope! Not because he has Twitter or what not. But because he’s more open with today’s generation. He reaches out to everybody.”—Blessilda Praise
“Pope Francis is the new-age pope. Much like the Beatles’ impact on rock and roll, maybe. It gives hope to the marginalized people in the society.”—Asti de Guzman