Senior Cebu church exec promoted to auxiliary bishop

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ONE of the vicar generals of the Archdiocese of Cebu has been appointed as Cebu's second auxiliary bishop by the Holy See.

In its official Facebook page, the Archdiocese of Cebu announced on Thursday, June 23, 2022, that Monsignor Ruben Labajo was appointed by the Holy See as the new Auxiliary Bishop of Cebu.

Labajo, 55, is one of two vicar generals of the Archdiocese and is also the head of the team of pastors serving the St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Balamban town.

He, along with Msgr. Rey Penagunda, served as administrative deputies of Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma.

Msgr. Joseph Tan, spokesperson for the Cebu Archdiocese, told SunStar Cebu that as auxiliary bishop, Labajo will work in tandem with fellow Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Midyphil Billones in assisting Palma in managing the affairs of the Archdiocese of Cebu, considered to be the largest in the entire country.

Tan added that they greatly welcomed Labajo's appointment considering his experience of managing Cebu's clergy in his two-year stint as vicar general.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Palma initially had two auxiliary bishops namely Billones and Bishop Oscar Jaime Florencio.

But Florencio, who was appointed auxiliary bishop of Cebu in 2015, left the post after Pope Francis appointed him as apostolic administrator of the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines following the death of Bishop Leopoldo Tumulak in 2017.

Labajo, who was born in Talisay City, was the former team moderator of the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral before he was transferred to Balamban in 2019.

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