The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) wrote, “This is a great event that we are highly anticipating… “That all may be one” is a wish and vision that we all want to achieve. It is the prayer of Jesus. It can be achieved if we all work and pray together.” Writing to the organizers of Genfest 2018, then CBCP President Archbishop Socrates Villegas said, “I pray with you that this event will bear fruit in an experience of unity.”

The CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth “recognizes the gains this coming together will be able to contribute to [the] life of the Church and her youth.” Bishop Jesse Mercado of Parañaque sees the upcoming event as something that “offers a refreshing message of hope and love”, while Bishop Mylo Vergara of Pasig hopes and prays that the Genfest “would foster the much-longed universal brotherhood among future leaders.” He also believes that the sharing of experiences “will surely help widen the horizon of our youth in terms of relationship and service.”

Referring to the title, “Beyond All Borders”, Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu said, “Such theme aims to help young people of today realize that the dream for a united world can only become true if urged by love, we can learn to accept, listen, and understand one another despite differences in creeds, codes, and cults.” For Bishop Enrique Macaraeg of Tarlac, the title “underscores frontiers to be overcome both personally and as a society, in order to build a happier and more united world, to breathe, love, work, and live with an open and inclusive vision”.

In his video message, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Archbishop of Manila, invites the young people all over the world to “Please come. Let us celebrate Jesus in our midst. Let us celebrate the gift of being young. Let us celebrate the calling to be one, to be united.”

These are some excerpts from the several endorsement letters released by the bishops to express their support for the upcoming Genfest. The Youth for a United World, who are in the forefront of the organization, are eagerly waiting to welcome all the young people who will be coming.

Giancarlo “Gio” Francisco
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