New Filipino cardinal surprised, grateful for recognition
ILOILO CITY, Iloilo, Philippines — The first cardinal to hail from Capiz province thought that the Vatican got the wrong “Jose” when Pope Francis announced on Sunday the appointment of 13 new cardinals of the Catholic Church.
“I was surprised. I did not imagine that this would happen,” Archbishop Jose Advincula Jr. said through Fr. Jose Arturo Emilio Arbatin, spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Capiz. “My first reaction was that there might have been a mistake because there are three bishops in Panay named Jose. Maybe there was a mistake in the family name,” Advincula said, referring to Jaro Archbishop Jose Romeo Lazo, Kalibo Bishop Jose Corazon Tala-oc and himself.
He was later convinced that he was indeed appointed after news and social media reports, as well as text messages, congratulating him kept coming.
Advincula, 68, a native of Dumalag town in Capiz, has been serving as archbishop of Capiz since 2011. He is the ninth Filipino cardinal and among four who are living, including Gaudencio Rosales, Orlando Quevedo and Luis Antonio Tagle.
Pope Francis appointed Tagle in December last year as prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.Advincula is expected to attend a consistory or council of cardinals on Nov. 28, but it is unclear if the meeting will be virtual or in person at the Vatican.
He sought God’s blessing and help, noting that his appointment carried a huge responsibility. “This is an honor, not only for me, but for the faithful in the archdiocese,” he said.
—Reports from Nestor Burgos Jr. and Carla Gomez
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