Priest welcomes Cebu basilica’s declaration as national cultural treasure

Published April 18, 2021, 10:51 AM

by Christina Hermoso

A priest cited the recent declaration of the Basilica Minore Del Santo Niño De Cebu as a National Culture Treasure as vital to the preservation of the historic church.

Photo shows a huge crowd of churchgoers at the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño in Cebu City before the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis. (PNA file photo by John Rey Saavedra)

   “This is for the betterment of the church. The government and the basilica can now work hand in hand in its preservation. The declaration will also help deepen the faith and witnessing of the faithful,” Rev. Fr. Ric Anthony Reyes said over Radio Veritas.

   The priest clarified that the revered image of the Santo Nino which is enshrined in the basilica is not part of those declared as National Culture Treasure. “What was declared as National Cultural Treasure were the church, the convent and the Magellan’s Cross Pavilion,” he said.

   According to Fr. Reyes, the Augustinian community will discuss with the National Museum of the Philippines the importance of the image of the Child Jesus “which is more than a cultural treasure as it symbolizes the deep faith of the people.”

   The National Museum of the Philippines formally declared the basilica as a National Cultural Treasure on Abril 14 to coincide with the commemoration of the 500 Years of Christianity in the country. Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines Archbishop Charles John Brown, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, and other church leaders attended the event.