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Philippines

Pope Francis names new Filipino cardinal

Archbishop Advincula of Capiz will be eligible to elect the next pope

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Pope Francis names new Filipino cardinal

Archbishop Jose Advincula heads the Archdiocese of Capiz on the island of Panay in the Visayas region. (Photo supplied)

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Pope Francis has named 68-year-old Filipino Archbishop Jose F. Advincula among 13 prelates to be installed as cardinals at a consistory on Nov. 28.

He made the announcement at the Vatican on Oct. 25. 

Archbishop Advincula currently heads the Archdiocese of Capiz on the island of Panay in the Visayas region in the Philippines.

He was born on March 30, 1952, in Dumalag, Capiz. He was ordained a priest on April 4, 1976, and was made papal chaplain of Pope John Paul II on March 19, 1997.

Pope John Paul II appointed then Father Advincula bishop of San Carlos in Cebu city in the Visayas region. Pope Benedict XVI made him archbishop of Capiz on Nov. 9, 2011.

Archbishop Advincula finished his theological studies at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila before studying canon law in Rome in 1983.

As a member of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, he was chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Indigenous Peoples from 2003 to 2005. He also served on various commissions including the Commission on Vocations, Commission on Women, and the Commission on Family and Life.

The election of Archbishop Advincula came as a surprise to clergymen and churchgoers in the Philippines.

“Cardinals from the ‘unknown’ or/and ‘unexpected’ from the margins ... [Pope] Francis’ trait to be handed down to the next pope. Creating these cardinals would have a chance for a pope coming from the farthest lands and communities,” said Father Roy Eco, a Filipino priest in the US.

Churchgoers said Archbishop Advincula was not among the prelates expected to be named cardinals.

“We did not expect that the pope would name someone from the south [of Luzon]. We are still waiting for the announcement of the next archbishop of Manila, which is a seat for a cardinal, but Pope Francis has chosen someone from the Visayas region,” said churchgoer Marites Pantaleon.

In August, Archbishop Advincula had said online learning during the pandemic had not changed the formation of future priests in Philippine seminaries.

“The goals of training and formation of future priests remain the same regardless of the medium or mode of learning. The essence of your [seminarians] formation remains the same despite the challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Archbishop Advincula in his homily to a group of Filipino seminarians.

Cardinal-elect Advincula will join the rank of Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, who is now prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in Rome, former Manila archbishop Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales and Cotabato archbishop Cardinal Orlando Quevedo.

At 68, he and Cardinal Tagle are eligible electors in the next conclave. Cardinals Rosales and Quevedo are over 80 years old, which disqualifies them from voting, according to canon law.

In next month's consistory, Archbishop Wilton Gregory will become the first African-American cardinal in the United States.

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