Protecting human rights key to Church’s mission, says new Filipino cardinal

Protecting human rights key to  Church’s mission, says new Filipino cardinal

Cardinal-designate Jose Advincula of Capiz. PHOTO FROM CAPIZ ARCHDIOCESAN YOUTH APOSTOLATE

By Roy Lagarde

October 28, 2020

Manila, Philippines

The country’s new cardinal said that protecting human rights is neither optional nor secondary but must be at the heart of the Church’s mission.

Cardinal-designate Jose Advincula of Capiz said that defending the dignity of every person is the key to confront the many social problems afflicting the nation.

“The Church has to see to it that the human dignity and the human rights of the people are respected,” Advincula told Vatican News on Tuesday.

This commitment, according to him, helps in the alleviation of poverty because he believes it is “one of the reasons why we have social problems”.

“And education is the way to develop the people so that they can earn more in order to live a more decent life,” he said.

The 68-year old archbishop was among the 13 new cardinals from all over the world named by Pope Francis on Sunday.

The new status of these candidates will be formalized at a consistory in the Vatican on November 28.

The ceremony will be Francis’ seventh consistory for the creation of new cardinals since he was elected pope in March 2013.

Advincula will be the second Filipino named cardinal under Francis’ papacy after Cardinal Orlando Quevedo, the 81-year-old archbishop emeritus of Cotabato.

Coming from a lesser-known diocese, the cardinal-designate admitted he was surprised by the appointment.

“This might be a way the Holy Father wants to convey to the people the presence of the Church in the peripheries,” he said.

He added that it might be also because he had been establishing mission stations and mission schools in far-flung areas.

The archbishop has been bishop of San Carlos for 10 years until his transfer to Capiz in 2011.

“I always thought that the Church has to be closer to the people, especially those that are in the peripheries,” Advincula said.

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