The appointment of the Philippines’ ninth cardinal, Capiz Archbishop Jose Advincula, brings hope and happiness to the country amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, a Catholic prelate said on October 26, 2020.

“Amidst this Covid-19 pandemic, the appointment of Jose Advincula is our sign of hope, source of joy, and moment of comfort. We are grateful to our Holy Father and we accompany Jose Cardinal Advincula with our prayers and collaboration,” Bataan Bishop Ruperto Santos said in an interview.

Top photo: Capiz Archbishop Jose Advincula. (CBCP file photo)

He added that Advincula’s promotion is a great blessing to the Philippines and huge honor to the Church.

“It is an abundant blessing to our country, indeed immense grace to our Church. We now have a Cardinal from Visayan region, a worthy gift to the universal Church,” he said.

Meanwhile, Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco said Advincula’s appointment as a cardinal is not just about honor but also entails the “responsibility and duties that would go with this honor”.

“We are indeed very happy for this new appointment of Archbishop Jose Advincula, DD as one of the 13 new cardinals… We assure him of our prayers and support,” he added.

Sorsogon Archbishop Emeritus Arturo Bastes also praised the new Filipino cardinal.

“A great and happy news! Congratulations to the new Filipino Cardinal Advincula! The Pope has the sole privilege to “create” Cardinals,” he said.

The retired bishop added that the cardinal will have the chance to participate in choosing the next Holy Father.

“We Filipinos are grateful to have another Cardinal who can participate in the next Conclave who will elect the successor of Pope Francis. With Cardinal Advincula, the Philippine Church will have two Cardinal electors — (Luis Antonio Cardinal) Tagle and Advincula,” Bastes said.

Advincula was among 13 new cardinals appointed by the Pontiff, which he announced during his Sunday Angelus in the Vatican.

The new cardinals would be elevated at a consistory on Nov. 28.

Advincula becomes the ninth Filipino cardinal, following cardinals Orlando Quevedo, Luis Antonio Tagle, Gaudencio Rosales, Jose Sanchez, Ricardo Vidal, Jaime Sin, Julio Rosales and Rufino Santos.

He will also be the fourth living Filipino cardinal, alongside Rosales, Quevedo and Tagle, who is the prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

The cardinal-elect has been serving as head of the Archdiocese of Capiz since January 2012.

Born in Dumalag, Capiz, he was ordained a priest for the Capiz archdiocese in 1976.

In 2001, he was appointed bishop of San Carlos, a post he served for 10 years until he was transferred to Capiz as its fourth archbishop.

Advincula is currently the vice-chairman of the Committee on International Eucharistic Congress and the Office on Women of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. (Ferdinand Patinio, PNA)