Lilia sees more interfaith dialogue initiatives with new Zambo bishop PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 19 March 2014 13:13

District 2 Rep. Lilia Macrohon-Nuño yesterday welcomed the appointment of Bishop Romulo Dela Cruz as the new archbishop of Zamboanga, saying she was looking forward to working closely with him in promoting more interfaith dialogues in Zamboanga City.

“Bishop Dela Cruz is a known advocate of peace,” Nuño said. “We are certain that he will contribute largely not only to our aspirations to foster more interfaith dialogue initiatives, but also to the overall promotion of peace and prosperity in our city.”

“We look forward in working closely with him and he can definitely count on my support as the Representative of the Second District of Zamboanga City on all his peace initiatives and endeavors,” Nuño said.

Bishop Dela Cruz was scheduled to meet with Rep. Nuno during a courtesy call next week.

The 66-year-old Dela Cruz of the Diocesan Clergy of Cotabato (DCC) has been the bishop of Kidapawan since June 2008. He was born on June 24, 1947 in Balasan, Iloilo. In December 1987, Pope John Paul II appointed him as Coadjutor Bishop of Isabela, Basilan. His episcopal ordination was on March 16, 1988, and later became Bishop-Prelate of Isabela, Basilan by succession.

“Having served in conflict areas like Cotabato and Basilan, Bishop Dela Cruz must be well-equipped in dealing with peace issues and could guide us in our quest for a just and lasting peace in Zamboanga City,” Nuño said. “Now is the time for all Zamboaguenos, Christians and Muslims alike, to rally behind our leaders in pursuing that promise of peace and prosperity.”

Dela Cruz was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of San Jose de Antique on Jan. 8, 2001. Currently, he serves as a member of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Episcopal Commission on Social Communications and Mass Media and vice chair of the Episcopal Office on Women.

It will be recalled that Nuño had urged local church, civic, and political leaders pursue more interfaith dialogue programs to bring back what she described as a “long-cherished Christian-Muslim harmony that has prevailed in Zamboanga City for many years in the past.”

Nuño said that the unfortunate Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) siege in Zamboanga City last year has “triggered a seeming return of animosity” between Christians and Muslims in the city.

She stressed that the only platform available for the residents to address such animosity was through interreligious dialogue. “Let us engage in interfaith dialogue, especially among the younger generation, in order to bring back that long-cherished Christian-Muslim harmony that has prevailed in Zamboanga City for many years in the past,” Nuño said.

Nuño revealed that there are many organizations working silently on the ground promoting peace and interfaith dialogue in Zamboanga City and among them are the Peace Advocates in Zamboanga, The Peacemakers’ Circle, The Bishops Ulama Conference, and Silsilah Dialogue Movement that specifically undertake interfaith dialogue.