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Cardinal to remain active in retirement

SOUTH COTABATO (UCAN): Orlando Cardinal Quevedo of Cotabato, in the Mindanao, the Philippines, has vowed to remain active after his retirement in January 2019 especially in his peace advocacy. Pope Francis accepted Cardinal Quevedo’s resignation on November 6.
The country’s eighth cardinal and the first from Mindanao had originally tendered his resignation, as mandated by Church law, on 11 March 2014 upon reaching the age of 75. He had, however, been made a cardinal two months earlier.
The cardinal, who is from the Oblates of Mary Immaculate congregation, said he will write books on inter-religious dialogue, the peace process, and Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs).
“I am a priest forever,” the 79-year-old cardinal said in an interview. “I will not retire, slow down maybe,” he said.
Pope St. John Paul II made Cardinal Quevedo archbishop of Cotabato 20 years ago. He has since focused his pastoral ministry on the challenges faced by Christian communities in Mindanao, the peace process, and Christian-Muslim relations.
“Only others can tell you how well or how badly I pursued the task of peacemaking, inter-religious dialogue and renewing BECs,” he said.
The cardinal said that what he did was provide a vision and empowered others to do the work on community building and peace.
In previous pronouncements, Cardinal Quevedo said stopping violent extremism in the Philippines should begin by fighting social injustice, particularly in Mindanao.
The cardinal said poverty in Mindanao demands “long-term engagement” as it is the Philippines’ most resource-rich island but has consistently been home to some of the poorest provinces.
He said inter-religious dialogue is “essential, imperative and indispensable” in the midst of recent conflicts in the region.
The cardinal said it is the task of religious leaders to address the root causes of terrorism, including deep-seated mutual biases and prejudices that often erupt when social disputes and violence occur.
Pope Francis named Bishop Angelito Lampon of Jolo, who is also a member of the Oblates congregation, as Cardinal Quevedo’s successor.
The cardinal said the Holy Father “has chosen well.”

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