Pope expresses solidarity with Filipinos amid Marawi crisis

Pope expresses solidarity with Filipinos amid Marawi crisis
Pope express solidarity with Filipinos amid Marawi crisis
Archbishop Martin Jumoad of Ozamiz receives the pallium from Pope Francis during Mass on the Feasts of Sts. Peter and Paul in St. Peters Square at the Vatican, June 29, 2017. CTV/SCREEN GRAB

MANILA— As fighting continues in Marawi City, Pope Francis expressed his solidarity with all those affected by the violence and assured the people of Mindanao of his prayers.

The Pope relayed his message to Ozamiz Archbishop Martin Jumoad during the Pallium Mass on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul at the Vatican on June 29.

“When I kissed his hand and told him that I am from Mindanao in Ozamiz, I could sense that he wants to listen more and then he told me that ‘I know that you suffered a lot more,’” Jumoad said over Radio Veritas.

“It was a very touching moment because immediately, he said, ‘I know you suffered a lot. I know, I know and for that I pray for you and for your people,’” he said.

The government claimed 351 Maute terrorists have been killed along with 85 security forces and 39 civilians since the fighting erupted in Marawi City last May 23.

The conflict has also displaced more than 300,000 people, mostly Muslims.

The terrorists also continue to hold a number of hostages including Fr. Teresito Soganub, the Vicar General of the Prelature of Marawi.

The atrocities prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to put the entire island of Mindanao under martial law.

Jumoad and Archbishop Gilbert Garcera of Lipa were among the 32 archbishops from around the world who received pallium as a symbol of their authority as pastors and unity with the Pope. MARIA KATREENA SAGUID, UST INTERN/CBCPNews