Catholic Church

New Manila archbishop from Capiz says new post is ‘very overwhelming’

Paterno Esmaquel II
New Manila archbishop from Capiz says new post is ‘very overwhelming’

NEW ASSIGNMENT. Manila Archbishop-elect Jose Cardinal Advincula says he is accepting his new post in a spirit of obedience.

File photo from the Archdiocese of Capiz

'This will be my first time to be assigned to a highly urbanized area, Metro Manila, which is the capital of the country,' says Manila Archbishop-elect Jose Cardinal Advincula

The incoming archbishop of Manila, Cardinal Jose Advincula, admitted he is fearful as he prepares for his new assignment in the nation’s capital but said he accepts this mission in obedience to God and Pope Francis.

“I felt fear when I was told by the nuncio that the Holy Father has appointed me as archbishop of Manila, because this will be my first time to be assigned to a highly urbanized area, Metro Manila, which is the capital of the country,” said Advincula in a mix of English and Filipino, in an interview with church-run Radio Veritas.

“I know it is [a] very challenging assignment and very overwhelming, but because this is the will of God and of the Holy Father, then by obedience I have to accept,” Advincula said.

Being a priest in itself, he added, “is already a gift, a gift not to be kept for myself alone but a gift that should be used for the service of the people of God.”

Pope Francis on Thursday, March 25, appointed 68-year-old Advincula as the new archbishop of Manila, succeeding Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle who is now a top official at the Vatican. 

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Advincula is the first cardinal from Capiz, where he is known to have established mission stations in far-flung communities. Advincula’s projects for the poor, experts told Rappler, have likely influenced the Pope’s decision to name him cardinal and later Manila archbishop.

In a separate statement, Advincula said his appointment as Manila archbishop is also a blessing for Catholics in Capiz and the whole country.

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“This is a blessing from God through the Holy Father and to the Archdiocese of Capiz. This blessing is not only mine but also for the faithful of the Archdiocese of Capiz, and of course for the entire Philippines. I ask the faithful to pray for me as I pray for everyone,” Advincula said. – Rappler.com

Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.