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  • Writer's pictureMelo Acuna

Church renewal needed as it celebrates its quincentennial anniversary

Manila Archbishop-designate calls for church renewal

MANILA – Capiz Archbishop Jose Fuerte Cardinal Advincula underscored the need for deeper reflection on the history of the Church in the Philippines because it needs a “sense of renewal.” This was his message during his last Easter Sunday celebration at the Immaculate Conception Metropolitan Cathedral in Roxas City this morning in time for the quincentennial celebration of the arrival of Christianity in the country.

He said there were “ups and downs” in the five centuries history of the local Church and would definitely require such reflection.

“As we recollect the history of the Church in our country and in discerning our current setting, we cannot deny the fact that as individuals, as an institution and as a people, we do need a continuous renewal,” said Cardinal Advincula in Hiligaynon during his homily this morning.

“If there is no renewal then we would tend to forget, get weak and our services and zeal for Godly things would become cold and tasteless,” he further explained.

This year’s Easter Sunday, April 4 coincides with Cardinal Advincula’s 45th anniversary of his sacerdotal ordination in 1976.

He said despite its imperfections, the Risen Lord will always be on the side of the Church.

The Archdiocese of Capiz marks its 70th year as a diocese and 45th year as an Archdiocese.

Created into a diocese through Pope Pius XII’s bull “Ex Supremi Apostolatus” in 1951, Capiz has grown into a vibrant community of faith for the past seven decades. Three of Capiz-born priests became Archbishops of Manila, Msgr. Gabriel Reyes, Jaime Cardinal L. Sin and Archbishop-elect Cardinal Advincula.

Both Cardinals Sin and Advincula were ordained by Capiz Archbishop Antonio Frondosa.

The ninth Filipino member of the College of Cardinals called on the faithful to set their eyes on the next 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines.

“The triumph of the Church in the next 500 years lies in our hands,” the 69 year-old prelate said. He added the faithful’s attitude should be like that of Jesus upon carrying his Cross, “humbly, lovingly and trustingly.”

During the Easter Sunday Mass, the Cardinal formally opened the Jubilee Dorr and the Cathedral for the Extraordinary Holy Year granted by Pope Francis on the country’s celebration of 500 years of Christianity.

It will be recalled last February 25, His Holiness Pope Francis issued a decree addressed to the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) granting a plenary indulgence to Catholics who will make a pilgrimage to at least one of the jubilee churches, go to confession, receive communion, and have prayed for the Pope’s intentions.

A Holy Year, popularly known as Jubilee year take place every 25 years unless a Pope calls for an extraordinary jubilee year to call the attention of a particular issue or to celebrate a momentous event.

Catholics can obtain special “indulgences” or the remission of their sins if they fulfill certain conditions and do good works or make pilgrimages. An indulgence is the remission of punishments for sins that are already forgiven through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

There are 537 pilgrimage churches across the country within 85 dioceses from April 4,2021 to April 22,2022.

Over in the Archdiocese of Capiz, the Immaculate Conception Metropolitan Cathedral, , Roxas City, St. Monica Church in Panay, Capiz, St. Joseph the Worker Church in President Roxas, Capiz, St. Martin of Tours in Dumalag, Capiz, St. Catherine of Alexandria of Mambusao, Capiz and St. Thomas of Villanova in Dao, Capiz have been identified as pilgrimage churches. (Melo M. Acuña)

His Eminence Jose Fuerte Cardinal Advincula, Manila Archbishop-designate, delivering his homily this morning at the Immaculate Conception Metropolitan Cathedral in Roxas City. (Archdiocese of Capiz handout photo)

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