ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews / 18 March) – City government and church leaders have welcomed the appointment of Kidapawan Bishop Romulo dela Cruz as the new archbishop of this city.
Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar said Dela Cruz is familiar with the situation in this city having served as the bishop of the nearby Prelature of Basilan several years ago.
She said that hopefully the assignment of Dela Cruz will bring renewed hope to this city, which is still in the recovery stage from the damages brought about by the September 2013 siege.
“We look upon him as a shepherd of the people in crisis and in mourning and in pain. We pray that his coming to the city of Zamboanga will bring us renewed hope,” Salazar said.
Pope Francis named Dela Cruz as the new archbishop of this city last Saturday.
Dela Cruz will succeed Archbishop Romulo Valles, who moved to Davao City in May 2012.
It will be the second time for Dela Cruz to succeed Valles since he succeeded him in Kidapawan when the latter was named Archbishop of Zamboanga in 2007.
“We are happy with this development because we have been praying, we are waiting for the Pope to name our bishop and finally it has come,” Monsigñor Crisologo Manongas said.
Manongas was named as the administrator of the Archdiocese of Zamboanga when Valles was named as Davao archbishop in 2012.
Manongas described Dela Cruz as a fatherly leader.
“We like to extend our gratitude and acknowledgement to Monsignor Crisologo Manongas who took care of the Catholics (in this city) for more than two years,” the mayor said.