Archbishop Cabantan takes helm of Cagayan de Oro archdiocese
Archbishop Jose Cabantan is seated in his cathedra during his installation Mass on Aug. 28, 2020. SCREENSHOT/ARCHDIOCESE OF CAGAYAN DE ORO
By CBCP News
August 28, 2020
Cagayan de Oro City
Archbishop Jose Cabantan took his new mission amidst the coronavirus pandemic on Friday by telling the flock “to confront the unseen enemy” with “hope and care for one another”.
In a solemn ceremony at the city’s St. Augustine Cathedral, Cabantan was formally installed as the fifth archbishop of Cagayan de Oro.
The archbishop sat in a symbolic “bishop’s seat” for the first time after his appointment was read declaring him the archdiocese’s new shepherd.
He said his appointment during a health crisis “calls us to rise as one, to survive as one, to live in solidarity, to strengthen our communion with one another and with God above all”.
“This pandemic allows us to shape once again the kind of church we should be,” the 63-year-old Cabantan said.
By calling the church a “field hospital,” the former Malaybalay bishop said that Pope Francis calls a radical rethinking of ecclesial life.
“Like the field hospitals which are built to be able to treat more of our infected brothers and sisters, the church then should not just stay at the center of the parish but to be in the field,” Cabantan explained.
“This the church in the midst of people, a church that goes forth, a church always in mission. To infect our brothers and sisters with love and mercy of God is our common mission,” he added.
The ceremony included the rite of imposition of pallium conferred by Cardinal Orlando Quevedo, the archbishop emeritus of Cotabato.
Attendance was limited because of the pandemic but the service was streamed on the archdiocese’s Facebook page.
Pope Francis appointed Cabantan on June 23 to lead the southern Philippine archdiocese with more a million Catholics in 62 parishes.
He replaced Jesuit Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, who served the archdiocese for 14 years until his retirement two months ago.
Cabantan was ordained a priest for Cagayan de Oro in 1990, until he was appointed bishop of Malaybalay in 2010.
The pope has yet to announce Cabantan’s successor in Malaybalay.
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