MANILA – Two new dioceses have been created in the Archdiocese of Cebu to better serve the spiritual needs of the faithful.
This came after the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) approved to divide the archdiocese -- creating the Diocese of Carcar in southern Cebu and the Diocese of Danao in northern Cebu.
The bishops voted in favor of the proposal of Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma to create the new dioceses during the 126th CBCP plenary assembly over the weekend.
“These new dioceses aim to enhance the pastoral and spiritual care of the faithful residing in the north and south of Cebu while keeping the Central Cebu as the seat of the archbishop and head of the Metropolitan Province of Cebu,” CBCP president and Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David said in a statement Tuesday.
David was reelected to the post, as he was given another two-year term.
The endorsement of the CBCP is one of the requirements to be submitted to Rome, seeking the Pope’s approval to allow the division of the Archdiocese of Cebu. David plans to present the proposal to the Vatican in January.
Palma said the Cebu archdiocese is home to the biggest Catholic population in the country numbering 5 million.
Aside from the archbishop, the archdiocese is being served by Auxiliary Bishops Midyphil Billones and Ruben Labajo, and emeritus Bishops Emilio Bataclan and Antonio Ranola.
The prelates are being assisted by 600 priests -- 400 of whom are diocesan and 200 are religious.
Meanwhile, the CBCP also supported the proposal to create another diocese in the Diocese of Butuan.
The diocese is presently comprised of the provinces of Agusan del Sur and Agusan del Norte.
Under the proposal, the Diocese of Butuan will be composed only of Agusan del Norte while Agusan del Sur of which the seat of the diocese would be in Prosperidad town.
“The body also voted in favor of the proposal of the Bishop of Butuan Bishop Cosme Almedilla to establish a new diocese comprising mainly the whole province of Agusan del Sur, with its seat in Prosperidad, with the diocese of Butuan to comprise mainly Agusan del Norte,” David said.
“This strategic move seeks to cultivate the spiritual growth of the faithful and improve administrative efficiency within the respective dioceses, once approved by Rome,” he added. (PNA)