By CBCP News
December 4, 2018
Pope Francis has recognized the Philippines as among the best Catholic nations in the world.
The pontiff particularly noted the country’s work of mission and evangelization around the world as one the country’s contribution to the universal Church.
“Indeed, the noble Church in the Philippines now stands among the great Catholic nations in the entire world,” said Francis.
“Hence, no wonder, she continuously sends missionaries to other regions,” he said.
The pope made the statement in a letter to Cardinal Thomas Manyo Maeda of Osaka, appointing him his envoy to the 60th anniversary celebration of the postwar Manila Cathedral on Dec. 8.
The pope also recognized the role of the cathedral as “Mother Church” of the country while imparting his special blessings to those who will attend the celebrations.
In his visit to Manila in 2015, Pope Francis said Filipino Catholics are called to be “outstanding missionaries of the faith in Asia.”
According to him, being the predominantly Catholic nation in Asia is “both a blessing and a vocation”.
Cardinal Maeda is currently the vice president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan (CBCJ).
Last April 12, he celebrated Mass at the Manila Cathedral, and after a month was named a cardinal on May 20 by Pope Francis.