From CBCP News.
Pope interested in naming more Filipino bishops, says RP envoy [geez! you think? Pinoy bishops are aging and the Pope needs to appoint new bishops. You can see the slant in this article with the choice of the word 'interested', eh?]LIPA CITY, April 11, 2010—The Philippines’ Ambassador to the Holy See, Mercedes Reinares-Arrastia Tuazon said Pope Benedict XVI looks forward to appointing more Filipino bishops in the near future.
The ambassador said she was informed by the Papal Nuncio to the Philippines Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams that His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI is interested in naming more Filipino bishops soon.
A number of Filipino archbishops and bishops have already reached retirement age, while a number of dioceses have no resident bishops. [That is why!]
To date, Masbate has yet to have a bishop with the appointment of Bishop Joel Z. Baylon to Legazpi last year. The Archdiocese of Caceres still has to have an auxiliary after Bishop Jose Rojas Jr. was appointed Bishop of Libmanan. The Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Lipa Salvador Q. Quizon has already retired last April 2, 2002.
Tuazon also mentioned that the government has made representations to the Holy See to appoint new cardinals because “we are such a big Catholic country.” [No! Don't count on it. Unless we have more bishops who are more faithful to their role as Catholic bishops, who are more in line with the reform of Benedict XVI...Don't count on it! I am not counting on it. I do not foresee any Filipino cardinal in this year's consistory unless a new archbishop is appointed to Manila and Cebu. But that is wishful thinking. Getting the red hat is not the same as in Parliament or in Congress. Reasons for elevations have varying reasons for different popes. It is not because of 'number of Catholics' in the home country.]
She said while the country has three cardinals, two (Cebu Archbishop Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal and Manila Archbishop Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales) are set to retire anytime.
The ambassador also confirmed reports that the Philippine Church has sent an invitation to the Holy Father to visit the Philippines next year.
Earlier reports said the Holy Father was invited to grace the quadricentennial celebration of the Pontifical University of Santo Tomas which was established in 1611 by Dominican missionaries.
Tuazon said she anticipates the Holy Father’s visit to the Philippines. [Hopefully the Holy Father comes! Pray for it. I think he will come since Gloria Arroyo won't be president by that time anymore. HA!]
Should the visit materialize, it would be the fourth papal visit to the archipelago, the first was by Pope Paul VI in 1970 as Pope John Paul II visited the country twice in 1981 and 1995 in time for the World Youth Day. (Melo M. Acuna) [1995! Mixed emotion year. I had a trully blessed moment in World Youth Day and a few weeks after, my dear father died. Requiescat in pace!]
I would not keep my hopes high for a new Filipino cardinal. I am hoping for one, though...Archbishop Socrates Villegas. But I think he would be appointed to a cardinatial see first, either Manila or Cebu but that is highly unlikely since he was just appointed to Lingayen-Dagupan. And Cardinal Vidal wants a native Cebuano to be appointed to the See of Cebu. The Primatial Manila See is one that the CBCP 'decides' upon so to speak since all Filipino bishops are consulted as to who will be the next archbishop.
If my sources are right, the list is being trimmed to Archbishop Soc Villegas, Bishop Chito Tagle of Imus (who I hope just retires, stops teaching in Theology schools and focuses more on his TV appearances.) Archbishop Angel Lagdameo of Jaro and Archbishop Ramon C. Arguelles of Lipa where Cardinal Rosales was archbishop before being appointed to Manila.