MANILA, July 6, 2013— If Archbishop Jose Palma would have his way, one term as head of the Catholic bishops’ leadership is enough for him, so he can devote more time to his pastoral works in Cebu.
Palma said he would be asking his fellow members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines not to re-elect him when they meet for their election on Saturday.
“I’m going to tell the plenum to please elect somebody else,” Palma said.
“There are many bishops who are also capable (of the task). Cebu is a very big archdiocese and I have tons of work to do there but I cannot do that since I’m here,” he added.
Palma and his vice president, Archbishop Socrates Villegas, are both in their first term in office, and by tradition they get to be elected for a second term.
Officials of the bishops’ collegial body have two-year tenure in office, or a total of four to include the second term.
Around 90 active bishops are expected to attend the election, coinciding with their regular plenary assembly at the Pius XII Catholic Center in Paco, Manila that will end on Monday, July 8.
The CBCP’s honorary members may still attend the meeting but only those who are active in service are allowed to vote for a new set of officers who will be taking over next year.
Msgr. Joselito Asis, CBCP secretary general, said the election will probably take place on the first day of the meeting.
“It’s (election) usually on the first day but it will probably take two days to finish it because there are discussions while the election is ongoing,” he said in an interview.
As to the possibility of Palma being re-elected as CBCP head, Asis said this is very likely since he is just in his first term.
“He is still eligible for second term. That will depend on the bishops,” he said. (CBCPNews)