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Pope not coming to RP for UST quadricentennial anniversary

May 14, 2010 7:41am
Pope Benedict XVI has turned down an invitation to attend this year's 400th founding anniversary of one of Asia's oldest university, the University of Santo Tomas, and will send a representative instead.

Papal Nuncio Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams formally relayed the information to the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in a May 7 letter.

"The Holy Father will not be coming to Manila for the anniversary, but given the importance of the quadricentennial celebrations of the university, His Holiness will be sending for the occasion his special envoy, whose name will be published in L'osservatore Romano the afternoon of Saturday, 27 November 2010," Adams said in a letter to CBCP president Tandag Bishop Nereo Odchimar.

Excerpts of the letter were posted Thursday on the CBCP news site.

It was the third time that Pope Benedict XVI was invited to visit the Philippines since his installation to the Papacy in 2006, according to the CBCP.

He was invited to grace the Asian Youth Day held in Cavite last November and the second National Congress of the Clergy held at Pasay City last January.

Founded on April 28, 1611, UST holds the distinction of being the only Pontifical University in Asia. It is under the authority of the Holy See as a pontifical university, and was visited by Pope Paul VI on Nov. 28, 1970 and by Pope John Paul II on Feb. 18, 1981 and Jan. 13, 1995. — RSJ/LBG, GMANews.TV
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