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Only 2,000 attendees allowed for Pope Francis’ Mass at Manila Cathedral


Only 2,000 bishops, priests, and religious individuals are allowed to attend the Papal Mass at the Manila Cathedral on January 16, 2015, the second day of Pope Francis' visit in the Philippines.

According to Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, only 10 priests and five religious sisters from every diocese are allowed to attend the Mass as per instructions of the papal visit steering committee.

Ledesma shared that in his archdiocese, those who will attend the gathering were chosen by lottery.

"We were able to choose by lottery and section by the vicariates. Among the sisters, I think they just have to choose among themselves who will attend," he said.

Although the Mass at Manila Cathedral is only exclusive to some 2,000 Filipinos, the archbishop reminded that the public can still attend Pope Francis' Masses in Luneta and Tacloban, which are open to everyone.

"They will also have the chance since the Holy Father will also have a general Mass... If it's [an] outdoor Mass, there will be more accommodation for everyone," he said.

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle also previously said that they can't accommodate everyone on some activities of the pope because of the venue constraints.

Only selected delegates are also set to attend the Pope's meeting with the families at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on January 16.

Pope Francis will be in the Philippines from January 15 to 19, 2015.

According to the Pope's itinerary, he is set to go to 11 venues in Manila and Leyte. Aside from meeting Philippine authorities, diplomatic corps, bishops, priests, and other religious individuals, he will also have lunch with some survivors of super typhoon Yolanda. —Trisha Macas/KBK, GMA News