Quevedo Red Hat Boots Hope for Local Church

By Viehland, N. J. | National Catholic Reporter, January 31, 2014 | Go to article overview

Quevedo Red Hat Boots Hope for Local Church


Viehland, N. J., National Catholic Reporter


MANILA, PHIUPPINES* Pope Francis fueled hope for renewed interest in the pastoral theology inspired by the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences when he announced Jan. 12 in Rome that Archbishop Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato is among a group of new cardinals.

The pope during his weekly Sunday public address at St. Peter's Square named Quevedo among 19 bishops he will formally instate as cardinals at a Feb. 22 consistory Quevedo was secretary general of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC) until 2011.

Around Manila, proponents of the FABC's orientation and thinking on the way church must be structured, developed and lived in Asia expressed joy in hearing that Quevedo would join the body of church leaders who head pontifical councils and elect popes.

"I am very happy with the news of Quevedo being made a cardinal," said Claretian Fr. Samuel Canilang. director of the Institute for Consecrated Life in Asia, a theological school and formation center in Quezon City for priests and other religious serving in Asia.

He told NCR: "Many people I talked to this morning were very happy with it also because they see it as the pope sending a very strong signal and significant statement that the church is now going to take this direction toward the pastoral theology which Quevedo is known for"

Canilang said the bishop's nomination as cardinal "confirms the orientation of our institute, which is pastoral and missionary"

Quevedo is well-known for his experience as a bishop who is a pastor and for his "involvement in the lives of the people, especially the poor," Canilang said.

The 50-year ministry of Quevedo since he was ordained a priest of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate has taken him to parishes in mission areas served by his order, including Jolo in southwestern Philippines, where 97 percent of the population are Muslim.

He has come tace to tace with violence. In 1985, while he was serving as bishop of Kidapawan, North Cotabato. anti-communist cult members shot and killed Italian Fr. Tulio Favali in his parish in Tulunan.

While leading the Nueva Segovia archdiocese from 1986 to 1998 in the province of Blocos Sur, what was known then as the "solid north" stronghold of loyalists for deposed President Ferdinand Marcos, Quevedo worked to boost social concern and commitment to the common good through the development of basic Christian communities.

Red hat, 'crown of thorns'

Quevedo told NCR he was "totally surprised" and felt humbled to be included in the College of Cardinals. He asked for prayers for the gift he received out of God's "double-edged" love.

"It is a not a gift that provides only happiness and joy. It can cut you," he said. "You have to wear some kind of crown, which is not golden but like a crown of thorns."

This is especially so today, during Francis' papacy, he said. In an earlier interview, he shared with NCR his view of challenges the pope poses to the church in the Philippines and Asia.

"To be a church of the poor is for me the most formidable dimension of the renewed vision of church articulated in [the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines, 19911 because the vision requires a radical change for clergy religious and laity," Quevedo told NCR.

While he said he believes it is impossible for the church as an institution at its present stage to completely do away with pomp and power, "it must avoid triumphalism and 'holier than thou' attitude. …

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