Palma’s leadership

READER'S VIEWS - The Freeman

Most Reverend Jose Serofia Palma was installed last January 13, 2011as the fourth archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cebu replacing the ailing Cardinal Ricardo Vidal. The Iloilo-born Bishop humbly accepted his new assignment, firmly dependent on the Lord's help in taking care of the flock entrusted to him.

I spent a lot of time browsing the internet in search of his biography and what I got was already a convincing proof that this man from Dingle, Iloilo deserves to be made a cardinal.

For the past years since he assumed as head of the Archdiocese of Cebu, I can only recall one complaint lodged before his office against a parish priest of a church in Toledo City, Cebu and it caught the attention of Bishop Palma.

The complainants were just a handful of parishioners dissatisfied and unamenable to the new style of management of their parish priest. They got a chance to talk with the Bishop face to face to air their grievances, but far from their expectation, Bishop Palma told them, "Don't you worry because there is going to be a general reshuffling of priests by 2019."

What else can we say about Bishop Palma? Well, he is really a man God imbued with the wisdom to resolve a conflict without fear or favor. Under his leadership, there never was any conflict or dispute between clergymen and parishioners within the Archdiocese of Cebu which the good Bishop failed to settle on time.

Unfortunately, however, it was during his incumbency as Archbishop of Cebu that the Holy See made a stunning disclosure of a child abuse case against Msgr. Cristobal Garcia that happened in the early 80s in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. The priest was ordered suspended and stripped of his priestly functions on orders of Pope Benedict XVI.

The Roman Pontiff has the final say to elevate to the cardinalate a certain bishop who, upon prudent and careful assessment by Church authority, contributed greatly to the growth of the Church of God. We hope and pray that Pope Francis, aided by his eagle-eyed advisers, will come up with a historic decision to make Bishop Jose Palma a new prince of the Roman Catholic Church.s

Joselito S. Berdin

Lapu-Lapu City

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