Philippines' new cardinal underlines need for Church to help the poor
Cardinal Quevedo calls for fundamental reorientation
Picture: National Catholic Reporter
The Catholic church must fundamentally reorient itself to place its institutions and financial resources at the service of the world's poor, one of the 19 new members of the select and powerful group of church prelates known as the College of Cardinals said.
"The origin of the church is poverty," said Philippine Cardinal Orlando Quevedo. "And the journey of Jesus Christ was the journey with poor people."
"Today, the church has riches, institutions," Quevedo continued. "But I would like to think that the only way the church can redeem these resources as well as its institutions would be to place them at the service of justice and of the poor for the sake of the kingdom of God."
Quevedo, who heads the Philippines' Cotabato archdiocese, was made a cardinal along with 18 other prelates in a ceremony Francis led Saturday. He hosted an hourlong press briefing Friday at the Pontifical Filipino College in Rome.
He spoke of an Asian vision of church built on basic ecclesial communities with a collaborative leadership style.
Asia's vision of church is relevant to the vision of Pope Francis, "who is looking at the periphery rather than at the center," he said.
In the past, cardinals, known for their wearing of red vestments, were sometimes called the "princes of the church" because they usually served either as archbishops in the world's largest dioceses or in the Vatican's central bureaucracy.
But changes big and small seem to be afoot for the group, whose primary role is to gather in secret conclave following the death or resignation of a pope to elect his successor.
Giving a homily during a Mass Sunday with the cardinals at St. Peter's Basilica, Francis pointedly told them they are "not a royal court" and must avoid "intrigue, gossip, cliques, favoritism and preferences."
And like many of the others chosen for the honor by the pontiff, Quevedo comes from an area of the world not previously represented in the elite group. His Cotabato archdiocese, located in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, is known for struggles with high rates of poverty and near equal populations of Catholics and Muslims (48 and 47 percent, respectively).
Noting that more than 50 percent of the people in his archdiocese live below the poverty line, Quevedo said the idea of the church becoming "a church for the poor" is "not extraneous to the beginning and the core of what the church should be."
Source: National Catholic Reporter
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