Originally Published on the Mission,Unity,and Dialogue website at www.harrywinter.org
On January 12, 2014, Pope Francis announced the names of 19 Bishops who will be elevated to the rank of cardinal on February 22nd. Among them is Archbishop Orlando B. Quevedo, OMI, Archbishop of Cotabato, Philippines. Archbishop Quevedo’s Archdiocese of Cotabato is located on the southern island of Mindanao the population of which is overwhelmingly Muslim. In naming a man like Archbishop Quevedo who’s ministry has depended upon friendship and dialogue with Muslims, The Oblate Superior General, Fr. Louis Lougen believes the Pope is promoting an ecumenism which has long been a priority with the Missionary Oblates.
“By naming Archbishop Quevedo cardinal, Pope Francis is giving a signal to all of us: it is the recognition of a very committed missionary, a priest and bishop who leads by serving others, whose main concern is the Gospel and the poor and who has worked tirelessly to promote friendship between Christians and Muslims, to support their struggle to live together in respect and peace,” stated Fr. Louis Lougen, OMI, Superior General of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate , the religious congregation to which Msgr. Quevedo, Archbishop of Cotabato, on the island of Mindanao, belongs.
Fr. Lougen explains: “Archbishop Quevedo is a man of the Church with many gifts and who has always chosen to live simply and whose option as a Missionary Oblate of Mary Immaculate has always been to be very close to the poor. He is a man of compassion, joy and generosity. Pope Francis is showing what kind of Church we are called to be by naming Archbishop Quevedo as cardinal”. The Superior says he is convinced that for Quevedo, this honor at being designated a cardinal is not to be “a prince of the Church” but is a confirmation that the Church, and Archbishop Quevedo’s own life, are “to be like Jesus, a servant who washed the disciples feet”.
“As Oblates of Mary Immaculate we are happy and proud,” he continues, “and rejoice in his being recognized for his prophetic ministry as religious, missionary, priest and archbishop”.
Fr. Lougen concludes with a hope for peace in Southern Philippines: “The process of peace depends on the efforts of everyone. It is my hope that this honor may bring attention to the importance of dialogue, respect and peace-building and may reinforce the commitment of all of us to this process.”
For a deeper understanding of the Spirituality of Dialogue, you will enjoy reading an article from 1998 written by former Oblate Superior General, Marcello Zago (1932-2001.)
CLICK HERE to read the article.