MANILA (UCAN): Pope Francis appointed Bishop Broderick Pabillo, auxiliary bishop of Manila, the apostolic administrator for the Archdiocese of Manila following the departure on February 9 of Luis Cardinal Tagle to assume the leadership of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of the Peoples, better known as Propaganda Fide at the Vatican.
With his departure, the archdiocese is considered to be sede vacante or without a bishop.
“The 64-year-old Bishop Pabillo has been auxiliary bishop of Manila since May 2006. He was ordained a priest of the Salesians of Saint John Bosco by Jaime Cardinal Sin on 8 December 1982. He has been a vocal critic of the drug war of Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, and in 2018, called Duterte’s remarks labelling God “stupid” as “blasphemous.” He also accused the president of making “irresponsible statements” when Duterte said he was wishing death on bishops whom he called useless.
In 2017, Bishop Pabillo rejected an invitation from the police for priests to observe anti-drug operations, saying it was “propaganda.”
In a farewell message, Cardinal Tagle called on Filipino Catholics to pray “for docility to the Holy Spirit as we continue our life as an archdiocese and await the next archbishop.”
He assured them of his prayers as he asked them to also pray for his new mission. “I will always treasure my time with you. You can count on my prayers. Please pray for me and my mission as well,” he said.
The cardinal is expected to immediately start work on his arrival at the Vatican.