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Papal Visit 2015 Official Website Launched

Lingayen, Pangasinan—PapalVisit.ph, the Official Website of the Apostolic Visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines, is now live!

The website, commissioned by the Papal Visit 2015 Central Committee through the Episcopal Commission on Social Communication (ECSC) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and the CBCP Media Office, was formally launched here by CBCP President Most Rev. Socrates Villegas, bishop of Lingayen-Dagupan, during the Catholic Social Media Summit v3.0 (CSMS v3.0).

Villegas said PapalVisit.ph “aims to bring the Holy Father closer to the Filipino digital generation, with features on the life and teachings of the Pope and his message of Mercy and Compassion,” the Official Theme of the Apostolic Visit on January 15 to 19, 2014. PapalVisit.ph will have the latest updates on the forthcoming apostolic journey, covering breaking news from the Philippines and all the way from the Vatican, as well as the latest videos and photos including from social media. It will also be the main resource for catechesis, official prayers, songs, and liturgy guides.

The new site offers historical context on previous apostolic journeys and why the Philippines holds a special place in the heart of the Pope and in the life of the Universal Church. Infographics will help explain the rationale for the Papal Visit and other interesting topics about the Holy See, the Papacy, the Church in the Philippines, and the Catholic faith in general.

PapalVisit.ph will also be the go-to site for media accreditation and will be the official source of statements, press releases, homilies, speeches and publicity materials, said Most Rev. Mylo Hubert Vergara, CBCP-ECSC chairman.

Bishop Vergara urged netizens to first capitalize on the messages, quotes, and apostolic exhortations of Pope Francis regarding mercy and compassion. “Through social media, we can gather and share them with others. Second, let us use whatever we gather and receive on Pope Francis’ teaching in our social media network interaction as matter for reflection and prayer.  By contemplating on them, we interiorize the Holy Father’s insights so that they penetrate the heart more deeply, leading us to meaningfully celebrate the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist, as well as our Eucharistic adoration,”said  Bishop Vergara, in his message on PapalVisit.ph.

“Third, let what we read and contemplate lead to actions of mercy and compassion.  Social media, then, becomes a potent tool to make us practice corporal and spiritual works of mercy like visiting the prisoners, the sick and the elderly, and showing compassion especially to the poor in our midst.”

For his part, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Taglesaid the Papal Visit should open ways to furthers journeys of faith and mission. “The pastoral visit of Pope Francis focused on Mercy and Compassion would certainly offer vast opportunities to experience grace, to hear callings, to disturb comfort zones, to value the poor, to renew society, to care for creation and to live honorably. At the end of the visit and at some unknown future, let us share stories of how the journey of Pope Francis to us has led us to other journeys of faith and mission,” Cardinal Tagle said in his message on PapalVisit.ph. #