HomeChurch & AsiaPope Francis congratulates Marcos Jr as he becomes Philippines' 17th president

Pope Francis congratulates Marcos Jr as he becomes Philippines’ 17th president

“In assuring you of my prayers that you will be sustained in wisdom and strength, I invoke Almighty God’s blessings of peace and prosperity upon the nation”

Pope Francis has expressed his congratulations to Philippine president-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. ahead of his inauguration as the 17th president of the country this week.

“In assuring you of my prayers that you will be sustained in wisdom and strength, I invoke Almighty God’s blessings of peace and prosperity upon the nation,” said the pontiff in a message shared by Archbishop Charles Brown, papal nuncio to the Philippines.

Pope Francis extended his “congratulations and cordial wishes to Your Excellency as you begin your mandate as the President of the Republic.”

Earlier, Archbishop Brown said that Marcos Jr. is willing “to collaborate” and “cooperate closely with the Church.”

“We had a very productive, encouraging, and positive discussion,” the archbishop described his meeting with the president elect on June 10.

He said Marcos “assured me of his desire to collaborate, cooperate closely with the Church and Holy See.”

Following Marcos Jr.’s inauguration, Archbishop Brown said the international community “harbor(s) the same hopes” for Marcos Jr.’s presidency and for the country.

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“We pledge our cooperation and collaboration with your administration in achieving the success of your mandate,” said Archbishop Brown, representative of Pope Francis in the country, during the vin de honor at the presidential palace.

“There are certainly challenges as there are for every administration, but Mr. President you bring to the office of the presidency an extensive experience of many years in governmental service and your call for unity has resonated deeply and widely with the Filipino people,” the papal nuncio told Marcos Jr.

“For these reasons you begin your term as president with a strong note of hope and confidence in the future. May God bless that future and make it fruitful for the good of the nation,” added the prelate.

Local Catholic Church groups earlier expressed their willingness to engage in “principled cooperation” with the incoming administration of Marcos.

In a statement on May 26, the social action arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said “it will exercise principled cooperation” with Marcos.

“As such, we will support all [Marcos] administration’s programs that will respect the rights and dignity of the Filipino people,” read the organization’s statement.

The Council of the Laity of the Philippines (Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas) also called on the faithful to support the position of Caritas Philippines.

“Aligned with the statement of Caritas Philippines, the laity and all peace-loving Filipinos should exercise ‘principled cooperation’ with the government,” said Raymond Daniel Cruz Jr., president of Laiko.

Cruz said that “with the many ‘unfinished businesses’ in connection with the recent electoral exercise, we are called not to be at the waiting mode.”

He urged everyone to “pro-actively engage our constituents” — local Churches, Catholic educational institutions and civil society — and “address the ‘foundational footings’ which has been shaken and weakened through the years.”

Marcos Jr. was formally sworn in as president on Thursday, June 30, after being elected by majority of Filipinos in the May 9 elections.

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