New cardinal for Philippines increases hopes for peace in troubled region
Cardinal-designate Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato renowned for his peace efforts
The elevation of Cardinal-designate Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato to the College of Cardinals is being welcomed by many Filipinos. There are high hopes that his elevation will quicken the peace process in the conflict-plagued southern region.
The elevation of Cardinal-designate Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato to the College of Cardinals is being welcomed by many Filipinos.
The bishop also expressed confidence that the naming of Quevedo by Pope Francis as one of the Catholic Church's 19 new cardinals will help advance the cause of peace in the southern Philippines. In addition, the rebel Moro Islamic Liberation Front said the elevation of the cardinal-designate is a "welcome development.
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"It's good for peace efforts in Mindanao," rebel spokesman Mohagher Iqbal said.
Quevedo was one of two Asian prelates named to the College of Cardinals by Pope Francis this past weekend. Also named was 70-year-old Korean Archbishop Andrew Yeom Soo-jung of Seoul.
Of the new appointments, five are from Latin or Central America, two are from Africa, two are from Asia and one is from North America. The appointments were seen as consistent with the pope's emphasis on the Church's role in serving the needs of the poor.
Other cardinals named included prelates from Haiti, Nicaragua, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and the pope's home country of Argentina.
"Let us pray for the new cardinals, that vested in the virtues and the sentiments of the Lord Jesus, the Good Shepherd, they might be able to help more effectively the bishop of Rome in his service to the universal church," Pope Francis said on Sunday.
Quevedo is widely known for being at the forefront of peace efforts in the southern Philippines over the past two decades.
In a 2003 paper titled "Injustice: the Root of Conflict in Mindanao," Quevedo said the root cause of the Moro rebellion in the southern Philippines was "injustice" to the Moro people's "identity, political sovereignty, and integral development.
"Through the years I have gained some understanding of the Moro viewpoint that has significantly influenced, even altered, my Christian viewpoint ... being with Muslim students and professionals for many years," Quevedo wrote.
The Catholic bishops' conference welcomed the elevation of Quevedo, citing it as proof of the strength of the Catholic faith in Mindanao and "Cardinal Quevedo is its living testimony."
Cardinal-designate Quevedo will be the eighth Filipino to be elevated to the College of Cardinals.
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