New cardinal overwhelmed but ready to serve flock

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His elevation into the College of Cardinals to advise Pope Francis has initially overwhelmed Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo with the magnitude of the challenges he faces, but says he will humbly serve the people through the Pope in his new role.

“I feel very insecure. I have always been very self-confident, but this one fills me with trepidation, with a sense of great inadequacy not only because I’m being raised with a new title, with new authority, but as an adviser to the Pope,” Quevedo said.

“How can one advice the Pope, and with others who are much older and more experienced, and also act as a cardinal in Mindanao?” he added.

Quevedo said he is overwhelmed by the challenges of his new role.


Cardinals are in charge of the various congregations of the Roman Curia.

Comparing himself with some “old and experienced” cardinals, Quevedo said he is afraid of “failing to serve the people and the Pope.”

But he said this “sense of inadequacy” may serve him well and will strengthen “the idea of being humble and the calling by God to serve the people through the Pope.”

The cardinalship will help him become more aware of the issues in the country because he will be listening to his fellow brothers and bishops, he said.

Pope Francis installed Quevedo and 18 other bishops from 12 countries as cardinals last month.

He is the eighth Filipino to be installed as cardinal. Other living Filipino cardinals are Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle, retired Manila Archbishop Emeritus Gaudencio Rosales and Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Vidal.

Those who have died are Rufino Cardinal Santos, Julio Cardinal Rosales, Jaime Cardinal Sin, and Jose Cardinal Sanchez.

Quevedo will be celebrating his 75th birthday on March 11.

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) President Socrates Villegas said a thanksgiving mass will be offered at the Cotabato Church for the new cardinal.

Margie Reyes, Secretary Chancery of the office of Cotabato, said the mass will commemorate not only Quevedo’s birthday but also the 50th anniversary of his priesthood and his 34th anniversary as a bishop.

“It’s a quad celebration,” Reyes said.

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