Quevedo, 18 others installed as cardinals at Vatican

Pope Francis will elevate Cotabato Archbishop Orlando B. Quevedo, OMI, with 18 others, to the Vatican’s College of Cardinals in ceremonies at the Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Italy, on Feb. 23.

The Pontiff will lead the public consistory for the creation of the new cardinals at the basilica with a papal mass at 11 a.m. Rome time (6 p.m. Manila time). The 19 new cardinals from 12 countries – 16 active and three retired archbishops – will receive their rings, skullcaps (zucchetti), and birette (a three-cornered silk hat), both in scarlet, from the Holy Father during the ceremony.

[caption id="attachment_99632" align="aligncenter" width="576"] Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo (left) emerges from the Synod Hall at the Vatican City with prelates, among them Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle (right), on Thursday. Pope Francis elevates Quevedo and 18 other bishops to cardinal. (AP)[/caption]

On Feb. 23, at 10 a.m., Pope Francis will lead a papal mass with the new cardinals at the basilica. As senior ecclesiastical officials of the Church, cardinals, whose most important function in the Church is to elect the Pope, rank just below the Holy Father.

Quevedo, the eighth Filipino cardinal, joins Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle as the country’s second active cardinal, and one of four surviving Filipino cardinals. The two other Filipino cardinals are retired Manila Archbishop Emeritus Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales and Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal.

Four other Filipino cardinals who have passed are Rufino Cardinal Santos, Julio Cardinal Rosales, Jaime Cardinal Sin, and Jose Cardinal Sanchez.

Born on March 11, 1939, in Laoag, Ilocos Norte, Quevedo, 74, served as head of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines from 1999 to 2003) and was one of the organizers of the Federation of Asian Bishops Conference (FABC). He served as bishop of the Prelature of Kidapawan from 1980 to 1983, the Diocese of Kidapawan from 1983 to 1986, Archbishop of Nueva Segovia from 1986 to 1998, and Archbishop of Cotabato from 1998 to the present.

The consistory, an assembly of cardinals presided by the Pope for the promulgation of Papal acts such as the creation of cardinals, coincides with the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter. Celebrated in Rome since the 4th century, the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter highlights the authority of the Bishop of Rome as the Vicar of Christ. When the Pope gives a dogmatic definition for the Universal Church, he is said to speak “Ex Cathedra,” or “From the Chair.”

The College of Cardinals assists the Pope in governing the Catholic Church. Cardinals are in charge of the various congregations of the Roman Curia.

At the consistory, each of the new cardinals will also be assigned a “titular church” in Rome, formally making them members of the diocesan clergy of Rome. The Church’s first cardinals were from the diocese of Rome.

It was last month that Pope Francis announced that he was naming Archbishop Quevedo cardinal along with 18 other church leaders around the world. At that time, the cardinal-elect said he will continue to give focus on promoting interreligious dialogue and peace in Southern Philippines.

“I pray that I can contribute to the good of the people here in Mindanao and to the peace and dialogue being undertaken by the people of various faith in Mindanao specially with the Bangsamoro,” Quevedo said in a radio interview.