MANILA (UPDATED) - After 15 years of being an assisting prelate, Bishop Broderick Pabillo will now have his own ecclesiastical jurisdiction to lead.
The Vatican on Tuesday announced that Pope Francis has chosen Pabillo as the new vicar for the Apostolic Vicariate of Taytay in Palawan.
Pabillo, currently auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Manila, will succeed Bishop Edgardo Juanich, who resigned in 2018 due to health reasons.
The Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines Archbishop Charles John Brown also announced the news before the Pope's Day Mass at the Manila Cathedral.
"I know that you will be sorely missed here in Manila, which we sense also from the beautiful applause that you are receiving. But the Holy Father is asking you to take on a new and challenging mission in Palawan," Brown said.
Pabillo has been serving as the auxiliary bishop of Manila since his appointment in 2006.
He then served as the apostolic administrator or the caretaker of the Archdiocese of Manila when then archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle was appointed by the pope as the new prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
"I thank the Holy Father that in the near twilight of my life I am still given a chance to work in a mission territory and to to live poor among the poor, the fisherfolks, the subsistent farmers, and the indigenous peoples," Pabillo said.
"It will be a totally different engagement than what I have been doing these 15 years in the Archdiocese of Manila. As God is here in Manila, He is also there in Northern Palawan. This is the basis of my confidence, my saying yes."
The Apostolic Vicariate of Taytay was established in 2002.
According to the Code of Canon Law, an apostolic vicariate is a "certain portion of the people of God which has not yet been established as a diocese due to special circumstances and which, to be shepherded, is entrusted to an apostolic vicar or apostolic prefect who governs it in the name of the Supreme Pontiff."
"The Apostolic Vicariate of Taytay in Palawan is one of the youngest ecclesiastical jurisdiction within the Metropolitan of Manila, barely 19 years old and I would say the poorest in terms of material resources," Pabillo said.
"As Church, it is also challenging in terms of the location of the Christian communities, crossing mountains and seas to reach them. In a word, it is a mission territory."
Pabillo is no stranger to Palawan. Ordained as priest of the Salesians of St. John Bosco in 1982, he served as parish priest of St. Ezequiel Moreno Parish in Puerto Princesa City before his elevation to the episcopacy.
As apostolic vicar, Pabillo is now equal with diocesan bishops.
He will also work again with Cardinal Tagle, as apostolic vicariates are under the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, which the Filipino cardinal currently leads.
The apostolic nuncio also announced the appointment of Rev. Fr. Noel Pedregosa as the new bishop of the Diocese of Malaybalay.
Pedregosa has been serving as the administrator of Malaybalay since 2017, when then bishop Jose Cabantan was transferred as archbishop of Cagayan De Oro.
There are still three ecclesiastical jurisdiction in the Philippines without a bishop: the Diocese of Alaminos, Apostolic Vicariate of San Jose in Mindoro, and the Archdiocese of Capiz, after its former metropolitan Jose Cardinal Advincula was appointed as Manila's 33rd archbishop.