Dagupan, Philippines, May 9, 2019 / 18:00 pm
A new bishop in the Philippines has called for Catholics to show courage in the face of violence and persecution.
Speaking at his own consecration, Bishop Fidelis Layog addressed the difficult circumstances facing the Church in the country, but called them an opportunity to witness to the strength of God and his Church.
Pope Francis appointed Layog to serve as auxiliary bishop in the diocese of Lingayen-Dagupan last month. He was consecrated on April 8, at St. John the Evangelist Cathedral in Dagupan City.
“This is the time for us to show how strong we are in faith and how strong the foundation of our Church is,” the new bishop said, according to the Manilla Bulletin.
“Let us not fear knowing that we are never alone. God is with us. God will prevail.”
Thousands of people attended the liturgy, led by Archbishop Socrates Villegas, who leads the archdiocese where Layog will serve as auxiliary bishop and chair the Commission on Bible Apostolate.
According to social media posts from St. John Evangelist Cathedral, Villegas said the event was a witness to hope and faith at a time “when bishops are bashed, threatened, and cursed.”
“Who would want to be a bishop these days?” the archbishop asked the assembly.