MANILA (Mabuhay) – Catholic prelates were elated with the naming of Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo, OMI as Cardinal by no less than Pope Francis at the Vatican.
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle thanked Pope Francis for associating the Cardinal-elect prelate and the church in Mindanao to his Petrine ministry.
Over the weekend, the Holy Father announced the names of 19 new Cardinals including Quevedo at the Vatican.
“I thank Pope Francis for associating Archbishop Quevedo and the church in Mindanao to his Petrine ministry and solicitude for all the churches,” he said in a statement.
He added, “The Church in the Philippines and Asia has been greatly blessed these past decades by the service and leadership of Archbishop Quevedo. Now this blessing extends to the whole Church.”
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) immediately welcomed the news on the Archbishop of Cotabato’s being named as a Cardinal.
“He is known in the CBCP for his mental clarity and intellectual brilliance. He is an archbishop who is truly passionate for the formation of basic ecclesial communities.
“Cardinal Elect Quevedo is a senior member of the Catholic hierarchy in the Philippines,” said CBCP president Archbishop Socrates Villegas.
He believes that Quevedo’s election as member of the College of Cardinals is the Pontiff’s acknowledgement to the intensity of the Catholic faith in the region.
“A Cardinal from Mindanao is a papal tribute to the strength of the Catholic faith in that region of our country. It is a proof that the Catholic faith in Mindanao is now bearing rich fruits; Cardinal Quevedo is its living testimony,” the Lingayen-Dagupan prelate said.
He added, “As a member of the College of Cardinals he will be able to assist the Pope in reaching out to the marginalized in Mindanao.”
For his part, Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo said, “Archbishop Quevedo very well deserves it. He has been active in the Federation of Asian Bishops Conference.”
Another Mindanao prelate, Basilan Bishop Martin Jumoad, said Quevedo is the first Cardinal from the region.
“He is the First Cardinal of Mindanao and, truly, his elevation can help in strengthening the peace talks between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Philippine government,” he said in a text message.
Jumoad added, “His voice can really guide the framers of the agreement, which would be acceptable to Muslims, Lumads and Christians.”
Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma said, “Archbishop Quevedo is a known advocate for inter-religious dialogue and the peace process in Mindanao.”
Marbel Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez also believes that Quevedo’s cardinalship only shows that the Pope appreciates the efforts of the dioceses to uphold the Christian faith.
“This is positive news. Pope Francis recognizes the efforts of the Mindanao dioceses to promote the Christian faith,” he said.
“Archbishop Quevedo is a very qualified prelate, a pro-active leader, a visionary yet well grounded on stark realities, a great communicator, and a man of prayer,” said Tagbilaran Bishop Leonardo Medroso.
Likewise, Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles said that the announcement of Quevedo “is a great blessing for Mindanao and the Philippines. Archbishop Quevedo is a great Church leader of international fame.”
For his part, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz said that Quevedo’s nomination for cardinalate is long over due.
“Archbishop Quevedo is well-known for his intelligence as well as being visionary minded. Therefore, nomination for cardinalate is long expected,” he added. (MNS)