MANILA – Cardinal-elect Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo vowed to promote inter-religious dialogue and peace in Mindanao, a report by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) News said.
"I prayed that I can contribute to the good of the people here in Mindanao and to the peace and dialogue being undertaken by the people of various faith in Mindanao specially with the Bangsamoro," Quevedo said over Catholic Church-run Radio Veritas, as quoted by CBCP News.
In the same report, Isabela de Basilan Bishop Martin Jumoad said Quevedo, having been exposed to the Bangsamoro peace process, can help strengthen the ongoing peace talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
"His voice can really guide the framers of the agreement, which would be acceptable to Muslims, Lumads and Christians," Jumoad said.
Quevedo, the Philippines' eighth cardinal, said he will also address the problem of corruption in government.
"I prayed that I can also contribute in promoting the formation of righteous political leaders in our country," he said.
He also wants to help Pope Francis in his shift of focus towards the poor.
"I pray that I can contribute a little to that vision of Church of the poor in the Philippines," he said.
"I thank the Holy Father for recognizing the people in Mindanao specially the places where there are great problems of peace and to recognize also the poor people of the Philippines."
Quevedo admitted that he was surprised by his elevation to the College of Cardinals, saying it never even crossed his mind.
"And I still did not believe it because I was not thinking all about it. God’s gift has always a surprise and makes one humble before God," he said.
Quevedo and 15 other bishops will be "cardinal electors," which means they can take part in the election of the next pope.
Also among those who will be named "cardinal electors" are bishops from Italy, Germany, Britain, Nicaragua, Canada, Ivory Coast, Brazil, Argentina, South Korea, Chile, Burkina Faso, and Haiti.
The ceremony to elevate the new cardinals, known as a consistory, will be held on February 22.