The Vatican, Italy – Pope Francis continues to send shockwaves to Catholics and others worldwide with his radical actions and pronouncements, many of which break away from centuries-old Vatican dogma and practices.
In his latest move, Pope Francis announced that he is delegating the papal duties to selected cardinals in various continents. His first appointment is Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, the young and charismatic bishop from the Philippines who was on the short list of candidates during Pope Francis’ election last year. Tagle will be the new pope for the Asian continent. Pope Francis is expected to announce the other popes for Africa, South America, North America, Antartica and Australia in the next few weeks. He is not appointing a pope for Europe since The Vatican is already in the European continent.
The Vatican said that this new arrangement will bring the papacy closer to the people around the world.
Manila, Philippines –In his message to the Filipino people on Ash Wednesday – the beginning of Lent – Philippine Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle admonished the Catholic faithful to “fast and abstain not to be slim and sexy, and be charitable not to be popular.”
Many Catholics abstain from eating meat for 40 days during Lent in the spirit of sacrifice.
Responding to the cardinal’s appeal, Philippine legislators in both the Senate and House of Representatives unanimously agreed to give up pork for the next 4o days – pork barrel, that is.
The decision by the politicians couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time in view of the current legislative investigation of the 10 Billion-peso pork barrel scandal which has linked several legislators to the scam of siphoning taxpayer money into fake non-govenmental organizations (NGOs) and into the pockets of certain businessmen and elected officials.
It wasn’t clear whether the politicians’ “abstinence” from pork will automatically be rescinded come Easter Sunday, the end of the Lenten season.