POPE Francis on Sunday night appointed Archbishop Jose Advincula of Capiz as one of the 13 new cardinals of the Catholic Church, a development welcomed by Filipino bishops.
In separate statements, Kalookan Bishop Pablo David, Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco, Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos, and Sorsogon Bishop Emeritus Arturo Bastes congratulated Advincula for his appointment.
“Archbishop Joe: A Man of Compassion, like Pope Francis,” said David, the acting president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), which broke the news of Advincula’s appointment.
Advincula, 68, said he was surprised by his appointment and feared the responsibility that comes with it.
“If there is that feeling of joy, it’s very small because my feelings are focused on the responsibility that is given to me,” he said.
In a report yesterday by CBCP News, Advincula admitted that he was surprised by his appointment.
“I was surprised! I haven’t thought about it nor (it) crossed my mind that this time will come as I serve the church,” Advincula was quoted as saying by CBCP.
“My first reaction was maybe they had an error in communication… maybe they got the wrong surname,” added Advincula, who has been serving as archbishop of Capiz since January 2012.
Advincula and the other new cardinals will be elevated at a consistory on Nov. 28, 2020, the CBCP said.
A cardinal ranks just below the pontiff in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church.
Their primary responsibility as members of the College of Cardinals is to elect a new pope when a pope dies or abdicates the papacy.
Advincula is set to become the second active Filipino cardinal eligible to participate in a papal conclave after Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, who had been named by the pontiff as the prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
He is also set to become the fourth living Filipino Cardinal after Tagle, Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales, and Cardinal Orlando Quevedo. Rosales and Quevedo have retired.
“We are indeed very happy for this new appointment of Archbishop Jose Advicula as one of the 13 new cardinals. We assure him of our prayers and support. God bless you!” said Ongtioco.
“It is abundant blessing to our country, indeed immense grace to our Church. We now have a Cardinal from Visayan region, a worthy gift to the universal Church,” said Santos.
“A great and happy news! Congratulations to the new Filipino Cardinal Advincula!” said Bastes.
Ongtioco assured Advincula of his brother bishops’ support as he takes on his new assignment.
“Let us remember the appointment is not just honor but also the responsibility and duties that would go with this honor. We assure him of our prayers and support,” said Ongtioco.
“Amidst this COVID-19 pandemic, the appointment of Archbishop Jose Advincula is our sign of hope, source of joy, and moment of comfort,” said Santos.
Bastes said the appointment of Advincula gives the country more say on who would become the next Pope.
“We, Filipinos, are grateful to have another Cardinal, who can participate in the next conclave, who will elect the successor of Pope Francis,” said Bastes.