Philippine cardinal stresses that church must address poverty
'The journey of Jesus Christ was the journey with poor people,' Cardinal Orlando Quevedo says
Philippine Cardinal Orlando Quevedo is adamant that the church, with its wide range of resources, must address the needs of the poor. "The origin of the church is poverty," he says. "And the journey of Jesus Christ was the journey with poor people."
Cardinal Quevedo's archdiocese, located in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, is known for struggles with high rates of poverty and near equal populations of Catholics and Muslims, set at 48 and 47 percent, respectively.
"Today, the church has riches, institutions," Quevedo continued. "But I would like to think that the only way the church can redeem these resources as well as its institutions would be to place them at the service of justice and of the poor for the sake of the kingdom of God."
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Cardinal Quevedo is one of the 19 new members of the select and powerful group of church prelates known as the College of Cardinals.
Leading the Philippines' Cotabato archdiocese, Quevedo was made a cardinal along with 18 other prelates in a ceremony Francis led this past weekend. He also hosted an hour long press briefing at the Pontifical Filipino College in Rome.
In particular, the cardinal spoke of an Asian vision of the church which is built on basic ecclesial communities with a collaborative leadership style.
Asia's vision of church is relevant to the vision of Pope Francis, "who is looking at the periphery rather than at the center," he said.
Cardinals in the past have been known for their wearing of red vestments. They were at times called the "princes of the church" as they typically served either as archbishops in the world's largest dioceses or in the Vatican's central bureaucracy.
Changes appear to be on the way. The chief role of the cardinals had previously been to gather in a secret conclave following the death or resignation of a pope to elect his successor.
Pope Francis pointedly told the cardinals during a Mass with the cardinals at St. Peter's Basilica that they are "not a royal court" and must avoid "intrigue, gossip, cliques, favoritism and preferences."
Quevedo comes from a part of the world which has not been previously represented in the elite group. His Cotabato archdiocese, located in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, is known for struggles with high rates of poverty and near equal populations of Catholics and Muslims, set at 48 and 47 percent, respectively.
Addressing the fact that more than 50 percent of the people in his archdiocese live below the poverty line, Quevedo said the idea of the church becoming "a church for the poor" is "not extraneous to the beginning and the core of what the church should be."
Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...
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Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
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