Pope eyes more bishops than cardinals in RP

September 18, 2010 6:13 am 

By Ferdinand G. Patinio

MANILA, Sept. 17 – Pope Benedict XVI is likely to appoint more bishops than cardinals to the Philippines.

Vatican Ambassador Mercedes Reinares-Arrastia Tuazon said the Pope is inclined to name more prelates since they are more involved in parishes.

“The Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams, said the Holy Father wants the Philippines to have more bishops because the bishops are working in the community,” she said, in an interview over Radio Veritas 846.

On the other hand, Tuazon said that the Filipino family would be represented for the first time this year in the traditional Christmas Belen (nativity scene) in the Vatican.

“This is the first time that the Filipino family is represented in the Belen this Christmas. We will be on the site. It will be a great event,” she said.

Tuazon also said that she is in the country to check on the progress of the artist assigned to do the figures for the belen.

In 2007, Senator Joker Arroyo filed a resolution urging Archbishop Adams and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to look into the “disproportionate” number of Filipino cardinals to the huge Catholic population of the country.

He also compared the number of cardinals of other countries with smaller Catholic populations such as the United States of America, France and Spain.

“Whereas, the Philippines, the only Christian country in Asia and with 73 million Catholics, yet we have only three cardinals,” the resolution states.

Earlier, former Vatican Ambassador Leonida Vera said that the country was only allotted with three cardinals.

“We are allotted with only three cardinals. For as long as these three cardinals are alive, they cannot nominate. The Vatican also has to consider a lot of things because there is a process for this,” she said that time.

The country’s cardinals are: Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal and prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Clergy in the Vatican, Jose Cardinal Sanchez. (PNA) FGP/utb

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