Church mourns death of 2 bishops
MANILA, Philippines – Two bishops who once chaired the Catholic Church’s National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA) died on Sunday, February 10.
Bishop Emeritus Dinualdo Gutierrez of Marbel diocese died at the age of 79, while San Carlos Bishop Emeritus Nicolas Mondejar, the country’s second oldest bishop, died at the age of 94.
Bishop Allan Casicas, who is currently leading the Marbel diocese, asked the faithful to pray the repose of the prelate's soul.
Gutierrez served the diocese for 35 years until he reached the mandatory retirement age of 75.
In a CBCP News report, Casicas described Gutierrez as a strong environmental advocate in South Cotabato – an area being threatened by mining interests.
Alyansa Tigil Mina, a national alliance of anti-mining organizations, also expressed grief over the death of the prelate. The allaince described Gutierrez as a “champion of environmental awareness.”
The group said Gutierrez personally led creative actions to highlight issues of the basic masses and was able to protect the integrity of creation.
Meanwhile, a few hours after the announcement of Gutierrez’s demise, Mondejar died as the San Carlos diocese celebrated the 31st anniversary of his installation as its first bishop.
Current San Carlos Bishop Gerardo Alminaza referred to Mondejar as an intercessor in heaven.
“We have another intercessor in heaven! I'm sure Bishop Nick will continue to journey with us…,” said the prelate.
Alminaza also said in a CBCP News report that Mondejar promoted a more participatory church through the building and strengthening of the basic ecclesial communities.
Mondejar served the diocese for 12 years until his retirement in 2000. – Rappler.com