MANILA, Feb. 22, 2014—Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo will be formally elevated to the College of Cardinals on Saturday through a special Vatican consistory to be led by Pope Francis.
Quevedo, who served as president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) from 1999 to 2003, will be the country’s second active cardinal, following Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle’s installation to the collegial body two years ago.
In the Vatican ceremony, Quevedo will receive his red hat and ring—symbols of his membership to the College of Cardinals—together with 18 other cardinals from across the world.
“As was previously announced, on February 22, the Feast of the Chair of Peter, I will have the joy of holding a Consistory, during which I will name 16 new Cardinals, who, coming from 12 countries from every part of the world, represent the deep ecclesial relationship between the Church of Rome and the other Churches throughout the world,” Pope Francis earlier said in his announcement posted on the Vatican Radio website.
“Let us pray for the new Cardinals, that vested in the virtues and the sentiments of the Lord Jesus, the Good Shepherd, they might be able to help more effectively the Bishop of Rome in his service to the universal Church,” the Supreme Pontiff added.
As part of the College of Cardinals, Quevedo will assist the Supreme Pontiff in leading the Catholic Church. The collegial body of cardinals is tasked to elect a successor in the event that the Pope dies or steps down from his post.
Quevedo, 74, is the first Filipino cardinal to be appointed by Pope Francis. He will be the country’s eighth cardinal, following his installation to the collegial body. Other Filipino cardinals are Rufino Santos, Julio Rosales, Jaime Sin, Ricardo Vidal, Jose Sanchez and Gaudencio Rosales.
‘Cardinal for peace’
Philippine Church officials earlier expressed elation over Quevedo’s appointment to the College of Cardinals.
CBCP President Socrates Villegas regarded Quevedo as a “blessing for the Church” who is “an intellectual giant with a very simple lifestyle and very warm fraternal manners.”
“(Cardinal-elect Quevedo)is known in the CBCP for his mental clarity and intellectual brilliance. He is an archbishop who is truly passionate for the formation of basic ecclesial communities,” Villegas said.
“A Cardinal from Mindanao is a papal tribute to the strength of the Catholic faith in that region of our country. It is a proof that the Catholic faith in Mindanao is now bearing rich fruits; Cardinal Quevedo is its living testimony,” he said.
Tagle also expressed gladness over Quevedo’s new role in the Catholic Church hierarchy.
“The Church in the Philippines and Asia has been greatly blessed these past decades by the service and leadership of Archbishop Quevedo. Now this blessing extends to the whole Church,” he said.
“I thank Pope Francis for associating Archbishop Quevedo and the church in Mindanao to his Petrine ministry and solicitude for all the churches…I am extremely happy to have him as a confrere in the College of Cardinals where our collaboration and friendship nurtured these past 30 years will continue on another level,” Tagle said.
Iligan Bishop Elenito Galido, for his part, described Quevedo as the “cardinal for peace” brought by his notable efforts in upholding social justice and promoting peace and unity in conflict-stricken Mindanao.
“We join in the spirit of joy and gratitude praising the Lord for giving us our first Mindanao cardinal,” Galido said in an interview over Church-run Radio Veritas. “He will be the cardinal for peacemaking especially in our aspiration for peace in Mindanao.” (Jennifer Orillaza)