MANILA, Jan. 25, 2013— Two Filipino Catholic bishops have resigned before the mandated retirement age of 75. Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignations of Bishops Deogracias Iñiguez, 72, of Kalookan and Leo Drona, 71, of San Pablo.
The information was relayed to the Media Office of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) by Archbishop Guiseppe Pinto, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines on Friday.
The two prelates’ resignation was made under Canon 401, par. 2 of the Code of Canon Law which provides that a diocesan bishop who becomes unsuited for duties due to illness or other grave reason is requested to tender his resignation from office.
Meantime, Benedict XVI has appointed current Gumaca Bishop Buenaventura Famadico, 56, as successor of Drona.
Famadico was ordained a priest in 1983 and was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Lipa in July 2002. In June 2003, the pontiff appointed him as the second bishop of Gumaca in Quezon province.
Currently, he is a member of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Family and Life.
As the new bishop of San Pablo, Famadico will serve the more than two million Catholic population of the diocese.
Drona was ordained a priest on December 22, 1967 in Rome, Italy and was appointed bishop of San Jose, Nueva Ecija in July 1987 and served until 2004 until he was transferred to San Pablo.
Iñiguez, meanwhile, was the first bishop of Kalookan and had served the diocese since August 2003.
Born in Cotabato City in December 1940, Iñiguez was ordained a priest in 1963. He served as Auxiliary Bishop of Malolos from 1985 to 1989 and bishop of Iba in Zambales from 1990 to 2003.
Iñiguez is currently the chairman of the CBCP’s Permanent Committee on Public Affairs. (CBCPNews)