Another official of the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines will join the eight Filipino cardinals as Pope Francis formally elevates Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo to the College of Cardinals today (Feb. 22).
Quevedo is the first Filipino cardinal to come from Mindanao.
Quevedo, together with 15 other new cardinals from 12 countries, will formally receive his red hat and ring during a consistory ceremony at the Vatican City.
The red hat and the ring are the symbols of Quevedo’s membership in the College of Cardinals. Whenever there is a vacancy in the papacy, the College of Cardinals elects from among their ranks the new pope.
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle said that Quevedo’s elevation is a historical blessing from the Lord to the people of Mindanao.
Mindanao is a land that has endured one of the world’s longest running Muslim insurgencies
“Ito ay isang biyaya at misyon kay Cardinal Quevedo, kaisa niya sa panalangin at pagsuporta ang mga kasamahan niyang Obispo sa Pilipinas at mananampalatayang Pilipino,” Tagle said.
As a new cardinal, Quevedo will assist the Pope in governing the Catholic Church.
Meanwhile, other bishops in the Philippines felt elated at Quevedo’s elevation.
Iligan Bishop Elenito Galido stressed that Cardinal Quevedo will become a “cardinal for peace” in rebuilding Mindanao.
“We join in the spirit of joy and gratitude praising the Lord for giving us our first Mindanao cardinal,” Galido said.
Basilan Bishop Martin Jumoad congratulated Quevedo. He said he expects the new cardinal to serve his people as he will “go down to serve the people.”
On the other hand, during the consistory the new cardinals will also be assigned a “titular church” in Rome, formally making them members of the diocesan clergy of Rome. The Church’s first cardinals were from the diocese of Rome.
It was only last month when Quevedo was named cardinal by Pope Francis.
At that time, the cardinal-elect said he would continue to give focus on promoting inter-religious dialogue and peace in Southern Philippines.
“I pray that I can contribute to the good of the people here in Mindanao and to the peace and dialogue being undertaken by the people of various faiths in Mindanao especially with the Bangsamoro,” Quevedo said in a radio interview.
Among those who will be elevated are Pietro Parolin, Titular Archbishop of Acquapendente, Secretary of State Lorenzo Baldisseri, Titular Archbishop of Diocleziana, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops; Gerhard Ludwig Mûller, Archbishop-Bishop emeritus of Regensburg, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Beniamino Stella, Titular Archbishop of Midila, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy; Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster (Great Britain); Leopoldo José Brenes Solórzano, Archbishop of Managua (Nicaragua); Gérald Cyprien Lacroix, Archbishop of Québec (Canada); Jean-Pierre Kutwa, Archbishop of Abidjan (Ivory Coast); Orani João Tempesta, O.Cist., Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil); Gualtiero Bassetti, Archbishop of Perugia-Città della Pieve (Italy); Mario Aurelio Poli, Archbishop of Buenos Aires (Argentina); Andrew Yeom Soo Jung, Archbishop of Seoul (Korea); Ricardo Ezzati Andrello, S.D.B., Archbishop of Santiago del Cile (Chile); Philippe Nakellentuba Ouédraogo, Archbishop of Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso).
Pope Francis will also include as members of the College of Cardinals three Archbishops emeriti. They distinguished themselves for their service to the Holy See and to the Church.
These three Archbishops emeriti are Loris Francesco Capovilla, Titular Archbishop of Mesembria; Fernando Sebastián Aguilar, C.M.F., Archbishop emeritus of Pamplona; Kelvin Edward Felix, Archbishop emeritus of Castries.