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Cardinal Advincula is installed as Manila's new archbishop

New prelate of Philippines' largest diocese vows to listen to and protect the poor and marginalized

Cardinal Advincula is installed as Manila's new archbishop
Manila's new archbishop, Cardinal Jose Advincula, kisses the cross during his installation ceremony at Manila's historic cathedral on June 24. (Photo: AFP)

Cardinal Jose Advincula was installed as the new archbishop of Manila in a ceremony at the Philippine capital’s historic cathedral on June 24.

The 69-year-old cardinal from Capiz became the 33rd archbishop of the country’s largest diocese, succeeding Cardinal Luis Tagle, now prefect of the Congregation of the Evangelization of Peoples in Rome.

The installation was attended by the papal nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown, along with another former Manila archbishop, Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales, and apostolic administrator Bishop Broderick Pabillo.

Several other bishops were also present as were a limited number of priests and civic officials in a ceremony that was scaled down to avoid the spread of Covid-19. 

Cardinal Advincula, who is the sixth Filipino to hold the office, promised to fulfill his new mission by listening and knowing his sheep — Manila’s poor and marginalized.

“It is my ardent desire to listen to all, especially the lambs which represent the youth and the people on the peripheries because of the least attention given to them by the Catholic Church sometimes,” Cardinal Advincula said in his homily.

I have nothing new to tell you except to renew my heart’s desire to be a listening shepherd

Likening the poor to lambs, he said, “they are easy prey for the wolves. I cannot feed my flock unless I listen to them first. While listening to them, I may be able to journey with them in their joys and sorrows, in their sufferings and glory, so I may bring them closer to Christ.”

The new archbishop shared his pastoral vision in his new diocese.

“I have nothing new to tell you except to renew my heart’s desire to be a listening shepherd. To my flock entrusted to my care, I have nothing to tell you today except by commitment to be a listening shepherd — a shepherd who knows each of his sheep,” he added.

Cardinal Advincula said he was aware of Filipino Catholics’ expectations of him, one of which was for him to be as “eloquent” as Cardinal Tagle.

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“I am deeply aware of my people’s expectations of me. Like Moses and the prophet Jeremiah, I am not a good speaker. Despite my limitations, God has used them to be his messenger,” Cardinal Advincula said.

Meanwhile, Cardinal Tagle called on his successor to remember the heart of his mission.

In a video message shown before the installation rites at Manila Cathedral, Cardinal Tagle said: “Just be who you are. You are called by God. It is you who will serve. It is you who will give yourself as God’s blessing to his flock. Don’t worry, you are God’s gift. So be who you are.”

Cardinal Advincula entrusted his ministry to the Good Shepherd to grant him the strength not to abandon his sheep in times of trouble.

“Lord, use me. I beg you to grant me to have steadfast faith that you will always be with me … If the Lord were to use me as his herald, then that means I should listen attentively to Christ what he wills me to do with his sheep. Please pray for me that I may have a heart after that of Christ, the Good Shepherd,” he said.

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