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Pinoys mark 60 years of PHL-Vatican relations

April 14, 2011 4:57pm

Tags: Vatican
Filipinos based in the Vatican celebrated the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and the Holy See on Thursday with a Holy Mass presided over by a senior Vatican official.

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, the Vatican's foreign minister, presided over the mass.

"Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See, Mercedes Tuason has invited all Filipino priests, religious and lay members of religious communities in Rome to the event which was held at the Cathedra Petri (altar of the chair of St. Peter) inside the Basilica of St. Peter," the CBCP said in an article posted on its website.

Mamberti, before his current assignment at the Vatican, had been apostolic nuncio to Sudan (2002) and Eritrea (2004).

The CBCP said Tuason was grateful that the liturgical celebration was held at the altar of the chair of St. Peter.

She said this highlights the bonds of communion between the Philippines and the See of St. Peter.

Bond of communion

In November last year, Pope Benedict XVI, in his message to Philippine bishops who conducted an ad limina visit last November, cited this special “bond of communion which stretched back over four centuries to the first offering of the Eucharistic sacrifice upon our shores."

Benedict XVI prayed that this communion of faith and sacrament “may continue to serve as a leaven in the broader culture, so that current and future generations of Filipinos will continue to encounter the joyful message of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ."

It was during the term of President Elpidio Quirino that the Apostolic Delegation to the Philippines was raised to the status of Nunciature.

Archbishop Egidio Vagnozzi became the first Apostolic Nuncio on April 9, 1951, and Manuel Moran became the first ambassador of the Philippines to the Holy See when he presented his Letters of Credence to Pope Pius XII on June 4, 1951.

"The celebration hopes to strengthen more the diplomatic bond between the Philippines and the Holy See which has been marked by fruitfulness in promoting the gospel values for all God’s people," the CBCP said. – VVP, GMA News
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