New Filipino cardinal astonished by appointment

New Filipino cardinal astonished by appointment

Cardinal-elect Jose Advincula of Capiz. COURTESY OF SMMRS

By Roy Lagarde

October 26, 2020

Manila, Philippines

The country’s new cardinal said he was surprised by his appointment that he did not believe at first.

Archbishop Jose Advincula of Capiz, a canon lawyer, admitted having no idea that he would be elevated to the rank of cardinal.

“I don’t want to believe it because I have not heard anything, even small talks, there is none,” Advincula said. “And my first reaction was maybe they had an error in communication.”

There are at least three bishops in Panay Island with “Jose” as their first name so he said, “maybe they got the wrong surname”.

The cardinal-elect said he first heard the news from two priests who are with him before his cellphone was barraged with messages.

“I was surprised! I haven’t thought about it nor crossed my mind that this time will come as I serve the Church,” Advincula said.

“My initial reaction is the fear of that responsibility,” he said. “If there is that feeling of joy, it’s very small because my feelings are focused on the responsibility that is given to me.”

Advincula was among the 13 cardinals Pope Francis appointed on Sunday to help in his “task as bishop of Rome for the benefit of the holy people of God”.

Aged 68, he is among the nine new cardinal electors in a conclave, while the four are over the age of 80 and do not have that right.

Advincula said his elevation to the College of Cardinals shows the recognition the pope offers to the people in his archdiocese.

“He (Pope Francis) may also have seen in different ways the efforts of the priests here in our archdiocese,” according to him.

Advincula also asked for more prayers as he took his new responsibility in the Church.

The appointments will be formalized in a consistory, a meeting of cardinals, on November 28, the vigil of the First Sunday of Advent.

Advincula served as bishop of San Carlos for 10 years before he was appointed Capiz archbishop in November 2011.

In the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, he is currently the vice chairman of the Commission on International Eucharistic Congress and the Office on Womem.

He also served as former chairman bishops’ Commission on Culture.


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