Pope Benedict names new auxiliary bishop for Cotabato
() - February 3, 2006 - 12:00am
Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Msgr. Jose Bagaforo as auxiliary bishop of the diocese of Cotabato to assist Archbishop Orlando Quevedo, the National Office of Mass Media (NOMM) said yesterday.

Bagaforo’s appointment was confirmed by Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Antonio Franco in a letter.

"I am pleased to inform you that the holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has appointed Rev. Msgr. Jose Mendoza Bagaforo as auxiliary bishop of Cotabato, assigning him the titular see of Vazari-Didda (Vazaritanus Diddensis)," Franco said in his letter.

NOMM secretary Fr. James Reuter, however, said Bagaforo’s appointment does not mean that Quevedo’s retirement is imminent or that he will be transferred to another archdiocese.

"The assignment of an auxiliary bishop is just to help (Quevedo) with his big, complex archdiocese," Reuter said in a letter to the media office of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

Bagaforo, 52, was born in Cotabato, where he was ordained as a priest at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral on March 1, 1980 at the age of 26.

He went to the Saint Francis Regional Major University in Davao City to study theology and earned his master’s degree in education management at Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro City.

Bagaforo went on to study systematic theology at the Weston School of Theology, a National Jesuit School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

He is the vicar-general of the Archdiocese of Cotabato and president of Notre Dame College in Tacurong City.

Franco said no definite dates have been set yet for Bagaforo’s consecration as a bishop.

The Jesuit-trained Bagaforo will be serving in an archdiocese manned mostly by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

"This is interesting because it demonstrates growing unity among the clergy in the Philippines," Reuter said.

Bagaforo’s appointment was announced simultaneously in the Vatican City and in Manila and brings the number of CBCP’s auxiliary bishops up to 10. Edu Punay

APOSTOLIC NUNCIO ARCHBISHOP ANTONIO FRANCO ARCHBISHOP ORLANDO QUEVEDO ARCHDIOCESE OF COTABATO BAGAFORO CATHOLIC BISHOPS CONFERENCE OF THE PHILIPPINES COTABATO DAVAO CITY EDU PUNAY IMMACULATE CONCEPTION CATHEDRAL JAMES REUTER POPE BENEDICT
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