DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/23 Feb) – Archbishop Orlando B. Quevedo of the Archdiocese of Cotabato received the three symbols of his new role as Cardinal from Pope Francis at around 11:50 a.m. Saturday, February 22 (6:50 p.m. Philippine time) during the Ordinary Public Consistory at the St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican in Rome.
Quevedo received the traditional red hat (a scarlet zucchetto or skullcap topped with a biretta or four-cornered hat), a ring, and a scroll which is a papal bull assigning him a titular church, the Santa Maria “Regina Mundi” a Torre Spaccata, making him an honorary pastor of a church in Rome.
Quevedo’s titular church was set up on June 28, 1988. According to the Catholic Hierarchy’s website, http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/diocese/d1m37.html, the Santa Maria “Regina Mundi” a Torre Spaccata (St. Mary, Queen of the World at the Split Tower,” was first held by Cardinal Simon Ignatius Pimenta, Archbishop Emeritus of Bombay, who died on July 19, 2013.
Quevedo, the lone Filipino and the first Mindanawon, is among 19 newly-appointed Cardinals, 16 of them under 80 and therefore eligible to vote for the next Pope and the remaining three over 80 and without voting rights.
Quevedo is turning 75 on March 11, the same day he will be officially welcomed by the Archdiocese of Cotabato, as Cardinal. He told MindaNews that March 11 is a “four-in-one event” in that it will also be a celebration of his 50th year as priest and his 34th year as bishop.
In his homily, published by the Vatican’s website, Pope Francis urged the new Cardinals to walk with Jesus, “to journey with him, and then to build and to profess.”
“Jesus is often walking and he teaches his disciples along the way. This is important. Jesus did not come to teach a philosophy, an ideology… but rather ‘a way,’ a journey to be undertaken with him, and we learn the way as we go, by walking. Yes, dear brothers, this is our joy: to walk with Jesus.”
He said what the Church needs is “you, your cooperation, and even more your communion, with me and among yourselves.”
The Pope said the Church needs their courage to proclaim the Gospel and bear witness to the truth, their prayers for the progress of Christ’s flock, their compassion, “especially at this time of pain and suffering for so many countries throughout the world.”
He said the Church “must fight every form of discrimination.”
Pope Francis also reminded the new Cardinals that the Church “needs us also to be peacemakers, building peace by our words, our hopes and our prayers. Building peace! Being peacemakers! Let us therefore invoke peace and reconciliation for those peoples presently experiencing violence, exclusion and war.”
Quevedo, two-term President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), wrote an oft-quoted paper in 2003, titled “Injustice: the Root of Conflict in Mindanao,” citing three injustices committed to the Moro peoples: Injustice to the Moro identity, Injustice to Moro political sovereignty, and Injustice to Moro integral development.
He was the Bishop of Kidapawan when Italian priest Tullio Favali was murdered in Tulunan, North Cotabato on April 11, 1985. He wrote strongly-worded letters to then Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and then Philippine Constabulary chief Fidel Ramos.
He was appointed Archbishop of Nueva Segovia in Vigan, Ilocos Sur from 1986 to 1998 and returned to Cotabato City as Archbishop of Cotabato.
Ordained in 1964, he served as assistant parish priest in Cotabato City, was
President of Notre Dame University from 1970 to1976 and parish priest of Jolo in Sulu from 1977 to 1979. He was awarded one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men in the Philippines in 1973.
He was born in Laoag, Ilocos Norte but his family migrated to Marbel in South Cotabato as he was entering Grade 4.
By the time he was in Grade 5 or 6, he was serving as altar boy during masses everyday. Quevedo said he knew as early as then that he would be apriest.
“I always thought I would be a priest.. and an Oblate… I never thought of becoming anything else except being a priest,” he said.
Asked what his personal prayer is as Cardinal, Quevedo told MindaNews: “The same prayer I have as a Bishop. As a Bishop I prayed that I would be, holy as a Bishop, a wise Bishop, humble Bishop, zealous Bishop, generous Bishop. Holy, wise, humble, zealous, generous.” (Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews)