Bishop Ruperto Santos (File photo)

MANILA – Pope Francis has named Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos as the new bishop of the Diocese of Antipolo.

Archbishop Charles Brown, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, announced the new appointment on Thursday.

The new designation was made after the Vatican accepted the resignation of 75-year-old Bishop Francisco de Leon from the pastoral governance of the Antipolo diocese, whom he served since 2016.

Born in San Rafael, Bulacan, the 65-year-old Santos was ordained a priest in 1983 for the Archdiocese of Manila.

Before becoming bishop of Balanga in April 2010, he had been serving as Rector of the Pontificio Collegio Filippino in Rome, Italy. He also received a licentiate in history from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 1990.

He is the current vice chairman of the Episcopal Commission for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People (ECMI) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). He led the Commission for a couple of years.

A date has yet to be set for the installation of Santos as the fifth bishop of the diocese.

Antipolo City is the home of the newly declared International Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage.

On the other hand, de Leon turned 75 on June 11, 2022, the mandatory age for bishops to submit their resignation to the Holy Father as required by the Canon law.

He first served the diocese as auxiliary bishop from 2007 until November 2015 when he was appointed as its coadjutor bishop.

In September 2016, he assumed the leadership of the diocese, succeeding retired Bishop Gabriel Reyes. (PNA)