MANILA, Oct. 8, 2012— Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, along with six others, will represent the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines in the upcoming Asian bishops meeting in the communist-ruled Vietnam.
As CBCP president, Palma will lead the group of seven Filipino prelates who will join the 10th plenary assembly of the Federation on Asian Bishops’ Conferences in Xuan Loc, Vietnam on Nov. 19 to 25.
The delegation will be composed of three archbishops and four bishops from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, said CBCP secretary general Msgr. Joselito Asis.
They include Archbishops Socrates Villegas of Lingayen Dagupan and Antonio J. Ledesma of Cagayan De Oro, Bishops Mylo Hubert Vergara of Pasig, Crispin Varquez of Borongan, Leonardo Medroso of Tagbilaran, and Emmanuel Cabajar of Pagadian.
Asis said that except Palma who is an ex officio member of the FABC, the six other prelates were elected during the CBCP’s regular meeting last July in Manila.
The FABC’s plenary assembly is held every four years, the last being in Manila in 2009. This year’s gathering will mark the 40th anniversary of FABC, the apex body of the Catholic Church in Asia.
About 100 participants consisting of presidents of bishops’ conferences, theologians and other church leaders are expected to attend the event.
With the theme “FABC at Forty Years – Responding to the Challenges of Asia: The New Evangelization”, they will discuss the ways of “living the spirit of renewal and the vision of evangelization in Asia.”
The working document for the assembly invites the delegates to discern how the Church can spread the Gospel values in Asia impacted by dynamics triggered by globalization, cultural diversity, poverty and other factors.
They will also try to take account of concerns such as migrants and refugees, indigenous peoples, population, religious freedom, threats to life, social communications, ecology, laity, women, youth, Pentecostalism and vocations.
FABC has 15 bishops’ conference members – Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Laos-Cambodia, Malaysia-Singapore-Brunei, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
It also has 10 associate members – Hong Kong, Macau, Mongolia, Nepal, Kyrgyzstan, Siberia (Russia), Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and East Timor. [RL/CBCPNews]