Message of peace at the heart of Archbishop Gallagher’s visit to Philippines

On the second day of his visit this week to the Philippines, the Vatican Secretary for Relations with States and International Organizations meets with President Marcos Jr and with the Secretary for Foreign Affairs.

Greeting Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher at the Presidential Palace of Malacañang in Manila, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr said “We are not only a Catholic country but a very Catholic country.”

The Vatican Secretary of State has been in the Philippines since July 1 and will remain in the Southeast Asian country until tonight (July 5).

“We have continued to work closely with the Vatican for many, many years now,” the president added.

Before meeting with President Marcos on Tuesday morning, Archbishop Gallagher was received by Enrique Manalo, the Secretary for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Philippines. They discussed common issues concerning the Philippines and the Holy See.

Voicing the Philippines’ firm commitment to upholding a rules-based international order, the Minister said “We recognize the contribution of the Holy See in promoting peace, human rights, and development cooperation worldwide.”

Liverpool-based Archbishop Gallagher noted that the Holy See gives particular value to its relationship with the Southeast Asian country “for the very significant contribution that Filipinos make, as Catholics, worldwide to the well-being of the Catholic Church and many of our communities.”

Filipino Catholics, he added, “are excellent agents for evangelization and for sharing the Good News of the Gospel.”

The archbishop noted that the priorities for the Holy See at this time “are clearly the many, too many, conflicts in the world today, and the need to promote peace through dialogue and negotiations.”

“We believe that in many of these aspects, the Holy See and the Republic of the Philippines share the same values, the same vision of things, and therefore we will likely be able to work together also in the future,” he said.

The programme of Archbishop Gallagher’s visit to the Philippines included a visit,  on July 3, to Malaybalay, in the Northern Mindanao region, to participate in the plenary session of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

The following day, July 4, together with the bishops, the prelate celebrated the Eucharist at the Abbey of the Transfiguration in Malaybalay.

Finally, today, July 5, he is participating in the conference at the Foreign Service Institute, affiliated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Manila.

Pic: Archbishop Gallagher and Filiipino President Ferdinand Marco Jr, courtesy Vatican News