Some priests decline appointment as bishop, cardinal says

Some priests decline appointment as bishop, cardinal says

Catholic bishops arrive in a procession for the canonical installation of Bishop Dennis Villarojo as the new head of the Diocese of Malolos at the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception in Malolos City Aug. 21. ROY LAGARDE

By Roy Lagarde

August 26, 2019

Manila, Philippines

Some priests tapped for the office of bishop have turned down the appointment, a senior church official said.

Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales, the archbishop emeritus of Manila, said that it is no longer unusual for priests who do not want to be a bishop.

He said among the reasons for declining the appointment was because of the “big responsibility” that comes with the post.

“There are those (having second thoughts). Actually, there are priests who refuse. I know, but I cannot divulge,” Rosales said.

He said that those who came to him for advice refused the post because they think they cannot handle the tasks.

“They know how big the responsibility of a bishop is,” said Rosales.

The 87-year-old cardinal also said that no one could force any priest to accept the appointment.

“You cannot violate their conscience. If they think they cannot do it, I will respect that,” he added.

Pope Francis named at least eight new Filipinos to the episcopate since January this year. They are Bishop Rex Andrew Alarcon of Daet, Bishop Marvyn Maceda of San Jose de Antique, Auxiliary Bishop Fidelis Layog of Lingayen-Dagupan.

Other new prelates include Bishop Cosme Damian Almedialla of Butuan, Bishop Leo Dalmao of Isabela, Bishop Roberto Gaa of Novaliches and Auxiliary Bishop-elect Midyphil Billones of Cebu, who will be ordained to the episcopacy on Aug. 26.

On March 14, the pope also appointed then Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Dennis Villarojo fill the vacant diocese of Malolos. He was formally assumed his new post on Aug. 21.

The appointments brought down the number of vacant ecclesiastical jurisdictions in the country to three, which include the apostolic vicariates of San Jose in Mindoro, Taytay, and Jolo. CBCPNEWS