02/03/2007, 00.00
PHILIPPINES
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Mgr Camina, “champion of the poor”, dies

The Bishop Emeritus of Digos died of liver cancer. He was known for his criticism of the economic policies of several governments and was held to be one of the fathers of the struggle against social inequality in the country.

Digos City (AsiaNews) – A champion of the poor, an outspoken critic of the government but above all a simple man who was close to his community: this is how Catholics of Digos remember their Bishop Emeritus, Mgr Generoso Camiña, who died on 1 February of liver cancer.

“Bishop Gene” to his friends, Mgr Camina was appointed the first bishop of Digos when – in 1980 – the pope made it a diocese. Known for his anti-poverty campaigns and for his criticism of the economic policies of several governments, the bishop was held to be one of the fathers of the struggle against social inequality in the country.

On 22 August 1989, the bishop founded the Apostolic Daughters of Mary, a congregation of religious sisters, to work with the poor. Since its inception, the congregation has implemented humanitarian works in different provinces and was especially active in relief assistance in the disaster wreaked by the El Niño typhoon in 1998.

Ordained a priest in 1962, he was appointed bishop on 24 May 1978. He continued to serve the Church after he retired, celebrating Mass in parishes across the diocese. The date of his funeral has not yet been announced. Hundreds of people are expected to attend.

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