Vatican City, Mar 25, 2021 / 09:00 am (CNA).- Pope Francis on Thursday named Cardinal Jose Fuerte Advincula as the next archbishop of Manila in the Philippines, succeeding Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle.
The Holy See press office made the long-awaited announcement March 25, the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord.
Advincula, the current archbishop of Capiz, central Philippines, was created a cardinal on Nov. 28, 2020.
The cardinal, who turns 69 on March 30, takes over the leadership of Manila archdiocese from Tagle, who was appointed prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples on Dec. 8, 2019.
Tagle left for Rome in February 2020 after serving as Manila archbishop since 2011. Bishop Broderick Pabillo, a Manila auxiliary bishop, acted as apostolic administrator as the pope considered who to name as the next archbishop.
The appointment makes Advincula the most prominent Church leader in the Philippines, which has the world’s third-largest Catholic population after Brazil and Mexico. Around 85% of the country’s estimated 110 million people are baptized Catholics.
The cardinal will shepherd an archdiocese with approximately 2.5 million Catholics, significantly larger than Capiz archdiocese, which has around 800,000 Catholics.
The Philippines is currently facing a new wave of COVID-19 infections. The government has said that it will force churches to close if priests hold public Masses in defiance of public health orders.
Advincula was born on March 30, 1952, in Dumalag, Capiz archdiocese. After his elementary studies in Dumalag, he entered the high school of the St. Pius X seminary in Roxas City, where he also studied philosophy. He later attended courses in theology at the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas of Manila.
He was ordained a priest of Capiz archdiocese on April 14, 1976. He was then named a spiritual director of the St. Pius X Seminary, while also serving as a professor and dean of studies.
He studied psychology at the De La Salle University of Manila and canon law at the University of Santo Tomas and the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas – Angelicum in Rome, obtaining a licentiate in canon law.
He then served in the seminary of Vigan, Nueva Segovia, and the regional seminary of Jaro. In 1995, he was appointed rector of the St. Pius X Seminary, as well as defender of the bond, promoter of justice and, finally, judicial vicar of Capiz. In 1999, he became parish priest of St. Thomas of Villanueva in Dao.
Pope John Paul II named him bishop of San Carlos on July 25, 2001, he was consecrated on Sept. 8 that year. Benedict XVI appointed him archbishop of Capiz on Nov. 9, 2011.