Nuncio: Pope Francis has deep, abiding love for Filipino people

Published June 18, 2021, 6:01 PM

by Leslie Ann Aquino

Papal Nuncio to the Philippines Archbishop Charles Brown on Friday, June 18, spoke of Pope Francis’ great love for the Filipino people and church.

Pope Francis and Archbishop Charles John Brown in the Vatican in December, 2018. (VATICAN MEDIA FILE PHOTO)

He cited the elevation of outgoing Capiz Archbishop Jose Advincula to the cardinalate as a reflection of this.

“Pope Francis has a deep and abiding love for the Filipino people. The fact that he chose your archbishop to be a cardinal, to be of that select group of papal adviser and papal electors…the fact that he had chosen your beloved archbishop Cardinal Advincula for this honor reflects the great love Pope Francis has for the Filipino people and for the Filipino church,” he said at the Immaculate Conception Metropolitan Cathedral in Roxas City, Capiz, where the red hat ceremony for Cardinal Advincula, the Archbishop-elect of Manila was held.

The nuncio bestowed the red hat and ring to Advincula, which are the symbols of his membership in the College of Cardinals.

“What we celebrate today very infrequently takes place outside of Rome…your dear beloved archbishop Advincula has received his insignia of his office as cardinal,” said Brown.

“Let’s pray for Cardinal Advincula during his time of transition and let’s pray also for the Holy Father Pope Francis,” he added.

In his homily, Advincula said his cardinalate is a gift to the church in the Philippines.

“The cardinalate which His Holiness has bestowed upon this lowly servant is a gift to all of us. It is a gift to the local church, it is a gift to the church in the Philippines,” he said.

The cardinal asked for prayers from everyone.

“I sincerely thank you for your prayers, understanding and cooperation. Honestly, I was expecting to serve here in Capiz until the Lord calls me back to Him,” said Advincula.

“The Holy Father has called me to go to Manila and I have to obey. Please accompany me with your prayers as I journey into this new field of ministry,” he added.

It was in October last year when Pope Francis announced the 13 new additions to the College of Cardinals.

But with the consistory on Nov. 28 occurring during the pandemic, Advincula and another cardinal from Asia didn’t make it to Rome because of travel restrictions.

He joined the celebration at the St. Peter’s Basilica online.

Cardinal Advincula will be formally installed as the 33rd Archbishop of Manila on June 24 at the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros.