Archbishop Charles John Brown. (File photo)
MANILA – Catholic prelates on Tuesday welcomed the appointment of Archbishop Charles John Brown as Papal Nuncio to the Philippines.
In an interview with the church-run Radio Veritas, Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos, chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines – Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People (CBCP-ECMI), said this proves that Pope Francis is keeping a close watch on the welfare of Filipino clergy.
“It is very good news for us. The appointment of (the) new Nuncio is a welcome relief and comfort for us in this trying and troubling time of Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019). With the physical presence of the Apostolic Nuncio, we are ‘sub umbra Petri’, as if our beloved Holy Father is not only watching us from afar but walking with us and working for us,” Santos said.
San Pablo Bishop Buenaventura Famadico, chairman of the CBCP – Episcopal Commission on Clergy, expressed gratitude for the blessing of the new mission of Brown, in coordination with the clergy, in the country.
“It’s a blessing from God that we should be thankful for,” Famadico said.
Manila Apostolic Administrator Bishop Broderick Pabillo, chairman of the Episcopal Commission on the Laity, said he is praying that the new representative of Pope Francis would have a successful stint in the country for the benefit of the Filipino faithful.
“This is good news for us that we have a new Nuncio. We are happy to welcome him and we pray that he will have a fruitful work here in the country,” Pabillo said.
Novaliches Bishop Roberto Gaa said he believes that the sending of the new representative of the Holy Father only shows the good relations between the Vatican and the Philippines.
“We welcome you to this different church. We’re always serving the people and because of this pandemic, there is a new normal, a new way of loving people, a new way of serving people, and we are very thankful (for) having a new Nuncio to journey with us to receive guidance from the Pope,” Gaa said.
He added that the appointment of a new Papal Nuncio is important in determining who would be the next archbishop of Manila, which is currently headed by Pabillo as its administrator.
On September 28, coinciding with the feast of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Filipino saint, the Vatican announced the appointment of Brown as the successor of Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia, who was named by Pope Francis as the permanent observer of the Vatican to the United Nations.
Brown, a native of New York in the United States, is currently the Papal Nuncio to Albania.
He was ordained on May 13, 1989. (PNA)