Puno praises pope’s grasp of global problems

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Retired Chief Justice Reynato Puno, a United Methodist layman, said Pope Francis has a good understanding of the causes of worldwide problems such as poverty and human rights violations.

Puno and nine other religious leaders and peace advocates from various denominations met with the Catholic pontiff on Jan. 18.

Francis traveled to Taclobon to pray for survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, the Category 5 storm that killed more than 6,000 people. The Associated Press reported that he dedicated the four-day trip to the poor, marginalized and victims of injustice. The typhoon is known as Yolanda in the Philippines.

The trip to Tacloban was cut short because of bad weather.

Puno’s group met with the pope just before his dialogue with thousands of youth representatives at the University of Santo Tomas.

Puno said that Pope Francis has a good grip on the underlying causes of problems such as increasing terrorism, climate change, corruption, and greedy ruling elites.

“In truth, Pope Francis will similarly be espousing Christ’s social, political and economic creeds and will be iterating and reiterating Christ’s solution to mankind’s perennial problems – to live God’s love if we want an earth without enmity and a neighborhood without enemy,” Puno said.

Francis mentioned in his homily that social structures perpetuate slavery, starvation, and corruption.

"Have we learned how to weep for the marginalized? Let us learn how to weep. Only tears can make our eyes see," Francis said.

The pope also spoke about the role of women, saying they see things at a different angle, raising questions that men do not.

The pope also admonished everyone “to be a beggar, learn how to beg, only then you will know how to receive with humility, those who give must also learn how to receive.”

Puno said the problem of the Philippines as a Christian nation has always been less knowing what to do with God’s words, but in doing it.

“All theologies to matter must end in doxology – praising God for his everlasting mercy and compassion,” he said.

Mangiduyos is a correspondent for United Methodist News Service.

News media contact: Vicki Brown, news editor, [email protected] or 615-742-5469.

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