.- The people of the Archdiocese of Manila were pleased to hear that their 75-year-old archbishop, Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales, will stay on as their spiritual leader, reports UCAN.
The cardinal submitted his resignation to the Pope, two months before his 75th birthday. But Pope Benedict replied, asking that he continue as archbishop of Manila beyond his 75th birthday, which he celebrated Aug. 10.
Canon law stipulates that bishops must submit their resignation from diocesan office on the occasion of their 75th birthday. However, the Pope can decide to prolong the bishop’s mandate at his discretion.
"I'm happy that despite my old age, God has given me the strength to continue serving the Church," the cardinal told Radyo Veritas Aug. 9. News of the Pope’s decision was shared during a mass Aug. 8 at the chancery.
Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, told reporters Aug. 9 that the conference is delighted with the Pope’s decision.
The following day, Manila clergy and laypeople told Radyo Veritas that they were pleased their archbishop would remain in office. They cited his concern for the poor and his personal and personable approach with people.
The Archdiocese of Manila has more than two million Catholics, served by 619 priests, 61 religious brothers and 916 religious sisters.