02/22/2006, 00.00
PHILIPPINES
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Card Gaudencio B. Rosales (Profile)

The new cardinal from the Philippines is Gaudencio B. Rosales, 31st archbishop of Manila. Born in Batangas City on August 10, 1932, he was ordained priest in 1958. Over the next 14 years he served as rector in two seminaries, and parish priest in San Vicente (Lipa) and in Batangas City.

Pope Paul VI appointed him auxiliary bishop of Manila in 1974, and eight years later he became coadjutor bishop in the future diocese of Malaybalay, Bukidnon.

In this part of the country, he launched a campaign against what he called "unrestrained illegal commercial logging", an issue made more topical by the February 17 landslide on Leyte Island, a tragedy whose "real causes lay in the uncontrolled logging that has left the forests clear-cut and in the lack of any planning for reforestation".  In appeal to the government, he said that the "authorities must deal with this problem in a serious manner if we are not to see it repeated".

In 1992 John Paul II named him bishop of Lipa. In 2003 he succeeded Jaime Cardinal Sin as archbishop of Manila. Sin, who held that post since 1974, retired for age and health reasons. Sin, who passed away in June 2005, is remembered for leading the 1986 Rosario Revolution.

During Sin's funeral service, Archbishop Rosales said about his predecessor: "He was more than a pastor. During the years of the dictatorship he was a fearless prophet in denouncing despots and unjust and dishonest oppressors."

The new cardinal has insisted that he will focus on "evangelisation, spreading the Good News about Christ's Resurrection, as well as encouraging a dialogue between the various sectors of the diocesan Church and promoting charitable deeds for the poor".

On several occasions he reiterated the Church's opposition to "the country's corruption" and stressed the need for "the Gospel's values to be embodied in society."

Archbishop Rosales has also served in other posts such as national director of the Pontifical Mission Societies, delegate for Asia in the Congregation Propaganda Fide, deputy chairman of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines. As its representative he attended three synods of bishops in 1990, 1997 and 2001. 

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