MANILA, Dec. 12 –The head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines urged the faithful to imitate Pope Francis, named as “Person of the Year by Time Magazine”.
“I encourage our Catholics to stay focused on the Pope’s eyes—always on God. The sincerest form of honoring him is to imitate him. In his simplicity and down-to-earth faith we have much to learn,” said Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas in a text message.
The CBCP president is certain that the recognition will be welcomed by the 76-year old Pontiff but not for himself but for God.
“I am very sure that Pope Francis gratefully accepts the honor not for himself but for God. He has always spoken about putting God at the center not the church, not churchmen,” Villegas added.
He also described the recognition as “a refreshing wind of new life that God has given the world.”
Meanwhile, the Holy Father is the third leader of the Roman Catholic Church to have been named as the magazine’s “Person of the Year”.
According to an article posted on the CBCP news website, Blessed John Paul II and Blessed John XXIII were previously chosen as “Person of the Year” in 1994 and 1962, respectively. (PNA)