Friday, January 13, 2012


A year ago I was in the Queen City of the South in order to witness the solemn installation of Archbishop Palma as Archbishop of Cebu, succeeding Cardinal Vidal, who had faithfully served Cebu for more than twenty years. I posted the event, which could be found here. The accession of course left the cathedra of Palo vacant, and thus it remains to this day, a year after that apotheosic welcome and reception took place in the golden splendor of the newly-renovated Cebu Cathedral ("too much gold", our home expert in liturgical vestments and architecture commented). 

I'm sure that I'm not the only one who's looking forward to the arrival of the new Archbishop, whoever he may be. Like the first Christians who tended toward the final coming of the Lord in the Parousia, we were  certainly hoping that the Holy Father would choose on and reveal his name soon. New appointments were announced for other dioceses, the euphoria (well at least in many sectors, but not all) about Bishop Tagle's appointment to the nation's premiere Archbishopric came and went, and still no archbishop for Palo.

The wait comes right in the middle of the preparations for the Jubilee Year of 2012, in which Palo would be marking three quarters of a century since Pius XI erected the Diocese of Palo, separating the whole island of Leyte (including the nearby island of Biliran), from the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Calbayog, which in those times comprised the whole island of Samar. Now, seventy-five later, the whole territory of Samar and Leyte is home to five dioceses and one archdiocese: the dioceses of Boronggan and Catarman, separated from the mother diocese of Calbayog in 1974 and in 1960, respectively, and that of Naval, erected by Bl. John Paul II in 1988. All of these dioceses form the ecclesiastical province of Palo, which is the metropolitan see. The other diocese within the island, Maasin, created in 1968, belongs to the neighboring ecclesiastical province of Cebu.

I've been told that the process of choosing the man for the job is painstakingly complicated. I guess it should be. To date I don't think not a lot of people know the true reason for the long wait. Nobody knows the reasons nor how long we have to wait. Bishops aren't made in a day, you know. 

while were waiting, the best thing to do is basically to pray. Pray for the new Archbishop, whoever he may be. 

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