MANILA, Sept. 11, 2013— With the Archdiocese of Zamboanga currently in security crisis, its clergy have felt more the need for a new archbishop to lead them. 

The archdiocese has been without an archbishop for more than a year now and the current armed conflict in the area has put the clergy in a more ‘difficult’ situation. 

“We can manage, but it’s really difficult. I’m glad the priests are cooperating and helping us,” said Msgr. Crisologo Manongas, the current administrator of the archdiocese. 

“I’m sort of a security guard, manager and speaker of the archdiocese,” he said. 

Manongas said they are hoping that Pope Francis will assign their new archbishop soon to help them resolve the various concerns of the archdiocese. 

“We have been making our request and we have been hoping. All we can do now is simply wait,” he said. 

The Zamboanga archdiocese had been vacant since last May 2012 after Archbishop Romulo Valles was installed as head of the Archdiocese of Davao, also in Mindanao. 

Renewed fighting erupted on Wednesday between government troops and rogue Moro National Liberation Front gunmen rebels on Wednesday as Zamboanga City crisis enters the third day. 

Military officials said their paramount concern is the safety of the civilians as thousands of residents have also fled the city. 

About 250 hostages remained in the custody of the MNLF fighters including a Catholic priest. 

At least six people have been killed and dozens more wounded during the clashes that started on Monday. (CBCPNews)