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Military Bishop Tumulak laid to rest

Military Bishop Tumulak laid to rest

Catholic bishops sprinkle holy water over the coffin of Bishop Leopoldo Tumulak during the Funeral Mass at the St. Ignatius Cathedral inside Camp Aguinaldo, June 22, 2017. ROY LAGARDE

Bishop Leopoldo Tumulak of the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines was laid to rest with full military honors at the Shrine of St. Therese of the Child Jesus in Pasay City on June 22.

The burial followed a moving liturgy celebrated by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle with the prelate’s family, friends, clergy, religious, military officials, and faithful at the St. Ignatius Cathedral inside Camp Aguinaldo.

The service included music by an Army band and a military procession in which Tumulak’s remains were placed in a flag-draped coffin and transported to his grave site in the shrine’s crypt.

In his homily, Tagle said that Tumulak has always touched them with “his gentleness and profound appreciation of the human condition that makes him less judgemental and more understanding yet firm”

“Gently firm,” Tagle said. “That’s one legacy of Bishop Leo to us.”

The cardinal also stressed how Tumulak devoted a lot of his energy to “fraternal communion” among his priests.

“When he starts talking about priestly brotherhood you could see he’s fired up. You could not stop him. It’s a passion for him,” he aid.

“This is the gentleness, the truthfulness, the humanity, the simplicity of someone who has known Jesus or has been known by Jesus or has been loved by Jesus and has responded with equal love,” Tagle added.

Bishop Tumulak succumbed to pancreatic cancer at the Cardinal Santos Hospital on June 18. He was 72.

For 12 years, he headed the pastoral jurisdiction serving all military and police personnel, their dependents and civilian employees.

A day before the funeral, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año led the government security sector in honoring the bishop.

“He had been one of the military’s spiritual guides who helped our members unite towards upholding our mandate of protecting the people and the state,” Año said.​

At the time of his death, Tumulak was also serving as chairman of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care.

The bishop also served as the first chairman of the bishops’ Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church from 1996 to 2005.

In 2000, Pope John Paul II appointed him as a Consultor to the Vatican’s Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church, a position he held until 2005.

More than 30 bishops also attended the funeral including Archbishop Socrates Villegas, CBCP President, and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma. CBCPNews