VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 15, 2003 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II accepted the resignation of Cardinal Jaime Sin as archbishop of Manila and named the head of the Philippine bishops’ Commission on the Clergy, to succeed him.
Cardinal Sin presented his resignation, in keeping with canon law, as he turned 75 on Aug. 31. He is succeeded by a former auxiliary, Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales, the Vatican press office said today.
Archbishop Rosales, 71, has been chairman of the clergy commission since January 2000, having been re-elected to a second term in July. Earlier, he chaired the bishops’ Commission on Seminaries.
Over the past decade, Archbishop Rosales has focused on priestly formation. He helped initiate a national seminary formation program that is now being finalized by the seminaries commission, UCA News Agency reported.
The clergy commission has just finalized ethical guidelines for the conduct of priests.
The archbishop is a native of Batangas City in Lipa, 75 kilometers (45 miles) southeast of Manila. After his priestly ordination in 1958, he served in the diocese’s minor and college seminaries as instructor and spiritual director. He did pastoral work in Lipa parishes for four years before being ordained a bishop in 1974, serving as auxiliary in Manila.
As auxiliary he served as national director of the Pontifical Mission Aid Societies (1975-1982) and director of the Mission Society of the Philippines (1977-1982). He was elected twice to the Supreme Council of Pro Propaganda Fide in Rome, representing the Philippines and Asia.
In 1982, he was appointed coadjutor bishop of the Malaybalay Diocese in Bukidnon province, 835 kilometers (518 miles) southeast of Manila.
In a statement to the media today, Cardinal Sin wrote, “As I enter a new chapter in my twilight years, I can say with gratitude that I have given my very best to God and country.”
“Please remember me kindly,” the cardinal said, and asked pardon from those he “might have led astray or hurt.” He also asked for love, respect and obedience for his successor. Archbishop Rosales, he told Manila Catholics, “deserves your utmost love and esteem.”
No date has been set for the installation of Archbishop Rosales, who is on his five-yearly visit to Rome. Cardinal Sin will continue to serve as apostolic administrator of Manila until the installation of his successor, UCA News reported.
Archbishop Rosales will take control of an archdiocese much smaller than that headed by his predecessor, as five new dioceses have been split off from the Manila Archdiocese in the past year.