Pope Francis picks 4 Philippine delegates for October synod
By CBCP News
July 9, 2023
The Philippine Catholics will be represented by three bishops and a lay woman when church leaders gather in Rome in October for a weeks-long series of prayer and discernment.
In less than three months from now, Cardinal Jose Advincula of Manila, Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan, Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara of Pasig will depart for Rome for the Synod on Synodality.
David was reelected on July 8 as the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) during their 126th plenary assembly in Kalibo, Aklan.
Vergara, meanwhile, will continue to serve as CBCP vice president after he was reelected for a second and last term of two years.
Along with the three is Estella Padilla of Bukal ng Tipan, who was selected by Pope Francis from among a few candidates from Asia to serve as a lay woman delegate with voting rights.
A part of the national synodal team, she also became part of the continental synodal team in Bangkok.
For the first time, lay people will not only participate in the synod assembly, they also will be full members, with the power to vote on a final document at the end of the process in October 2024.
More than 50 women will be participating as voting members in the synod assembly.
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle will also be part of the gathering as pro-prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Evangelization.
David earlier encouraged the faithful to “pray seriously” for the upcoming Synod of Bishops and the whole idea of becoming a “synodal” Church.
Speaking during Mass at the Antipolo Cathedral on May 31, he asked for prayers so that the synod “will become a new Pentecost event for the universal Church”.
“We pray, therefore, that the coming synod may become an opportunity for genuine renewal among our laity, religious and ordained ministers, so that we can grow together in greater synodality into a more participatory Church,” David said.
The CBCP head made the call as he led a day of prayer for the Synod of Synodality in the Vatican that will take place in two sessions: in October 2023 and October 2024.
The religious activity was in response to the call of pope’s for Marian shrines across the world to pray for the Church’s entire synodal process.
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