ILIGAN CITY, Lanao del Norte, Philippines — Bishop Jose Rapadas III, the newly installed bishop of the Diocese of Iligan, has promised to look after the interest of the poor and become an instrument of peace as he leads the Catholic faithful in this city and Lanao del Norte province.
“I want to see myself as a servant who is willing to listen,” said Rapadas, who, at 47, is the youngest Catholic bishop in the country. He was installed in rites held here last week.
Rapadas stressed the need to “listen to the crying of the poor” whom, he said, suffered from joblessness, landlessness, lack of education and unfair pricing of their agricultural produce.
“God is generous but those who distribute society’s wealth lack sensitivity and compassion,” the bishop said.
Rapadas said he would also pursue inter-religious dialogue to maintain peace.
“There is so much violence around the world, in Mindanao. It is essential that our community today is active in the process of dialogue—interfaith, inter-religious dialogue—so that we can maintain that faith,” he said. —Richel V. Umel
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