MANILA, Sept. 9, 2016— Bishop Francisco De Leon will take over leadership of the Diocese of Antipolo after Pope Francis on Friday accepted the retirement of Bishop Gabriel Reyes.
De Leon, 69, was named as Coadjutor bishop of Antipolo in November 2015. Now, without any further action, he assumes pastoral care of the diocese with over 3 million Catholics.
Reyes, who served the diocese for 13 years, stepped down after reaching the retirement age of 75 last month.
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila will lead the installation rites for De Leon at 9:30am at the Antipolo Cathedral on Saturday, Sept. 10.
Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, and other members of the CBCP are also expected to grace the occasion.
De Leon was born on June 11, 1947 in La Huerta, Paranaque. He was ordained a priest on June 28, 1975 in the Archdiocese of Manila.
In 2007, he was named Auxiliary Bishop of Antipolo and appointed Coadjutor of the same diocese last year.
Antipolo diocese is one of the nine suffragans that make up the ecclesiastical province of Manila. (CBCPNews)