By Analou De Vera
A Filipino priest has been elected Master of the Order of Preachers, also known as the Dominican Order, a report on the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said Saturday.
Fr. Gerard Francisco Timoner III is the first Asian to hold the post and will serve for nine years.
“His election came during the ongoing General Chapter of the religious order in Biên Hoà, Vietnam, the first ever meeting of the order’s priors provincial in a non-Christian country,” the CBCP said.
“Fr. Timoner was previously socius or assistant for Asia and the Pacific of the outgoing master, the Frechman Bruno Caderè, and head of the Filipino Dominicans,” it added.
Fr. Timoner was appointed by Pope Francis in 2014 to join the International Theological Commission, a 30-member commission tasked to examine Catholic doctrinal matters, the CBCP said.
Born in Daet, Camarines Norte, the 51-year-old priest has obtained his philosophy degree from the Philippine Dominican Center of International Studies; and his theology from the University of Sto. Tomas, the CBCP bared.
Fr. Timoner was ordained a priest in 1995. He finished his licentiate in sacred theology at the Catholic University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands in 2014.
The prelate also “served as vice rector for religious affairs and rector of the UST Central Seminary from 2007 to 2012.”