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Philippines Catholics hope, pray for Asia's first pope

Published on Feb 12, 2013 5:37 PM
 
A worker hangs a portrait of Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of the Philippines (right) next to a portrait of Pope Benedict XVI inside the Roman Catholic Archbishop headquarters in Manila on Feb 12, 2013. With attention turning from Europe to the "new" world, worshippers in the Philippines prayed quietly and took to social media on Tuesday in the hope their cardinal might be chosen as the next leader of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.  -- PHOTO: REUTERS

MANILA (REUTERS) - With attention turning from Europe to the "new" world, worshippers in the Philippines prayed quietly and took to social media on Tuesday in the hope their cardinal might be chosen as the next leader of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.

Many Catholics in the Philippines, the largest Christian community in Asia, were shocked by Pope Benedict's resignation, including their charismatic leader, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle.

"Pope Benedict XVI's renunciation of the ministry as Bishop of Rome on February 11, 2013 came as a surprise," Cardinal Tagle said in a statement.

"The announcement also brought sadness to us. We felt like children clinging to a father who bids them farewell," he said, praising Pope Benedict's "humility, honesty, courage and sincerity".

 
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