SAN PABLO City, Nov. 20, 2012—The country’s oldest Catholic prelate, retired San Pablo Bishop Pedro Bantigue, passed away Tuesday just two months before his 93rd birthday.
St. Claire of the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Face of Jesus, which the bishop founded, said that Bantigue died at about 2:45pm at the Intensive Care Unit of the San Pablo Medical Center.
On Monday, Dr. Cynthia Sanchez, Bantigue’s physician, informed the Laguna clergy that the bishop’s health was degenerating because of an internal bleeding.
The doctor, however, was in quandary as to where the bleeding was coming from.
The bishop was the only living Filipino participant of the historic Second Vatican Council in Rome about 50 years ago.
Last July 25, 2012, Bantigue had celebrated his 51st Episcopal anniversary.
According to MaryKnoll Theologian and professor Father James Kroeger in a documentary essay, Bantigue was among those who played important role during the Vatican II in Rome in 1960s.
Bantigue was born on January 31, 1920 in Hagonoy, Bulacan. He was ordained priest on May 31, 1945, and became secretary to the archbishop of Manila from 1945 to 1954.
Upon his ordination as bishop on July 25, 1961, he was made Auxiliary Bishop of Manila.
On April 18, 1967, six years after being lifted to the Episcopate, he was appointed the first bishop of San Pablo in Laguna and stayed there until his retirement at the age of 75 in 1995.
Bantigue also served as member of the Marriage Tribunal, chairman of the CBCP Commissions on Family and Life, Clergy and Prisoners’ Welfare. He was Treasurer of the CBCP in 1976.
The details of Bantigue’s wake and interment would be announced later, according to Church officials. (Fr. Romy O. Ponte/CBCPNews)