By JOENALD MEDINA RAYOS
SAN JOSE, Occidental Mindoro – POPE Francis has accepted the early resignation Saturday of Bishop Antonio Palang from the pastoral care of the Apostolic Vicariate of San Jose here.
The Vatican’s bulletin did not mention why Palang, who is just 71 years old, resigned from the post which he served since 2002. Church law requires bishops to submit their resignation at the age of 75.
Bishop Palang was born on June 13, 1946 in Consolacion, Cebu. He was ordained a priest of Society of the Divine Word on July 8, 1972. Pope John Paul II appointed him Apostolic Administrator of the Vicariate Apostolic of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro on June 26, 2000, when then Bishop Vicente C. Manuel, SVD went on leave. Manuel, however, also resigned in October 2000 at the age of 61.
On March 1, 2002, Palang was appointed Vicar Apostolic and was ordained and installed Bishop on May 31, 2002.
At the time of his retirement, Bishop Palang is a member of the of the Episcopal Commission on Mission and the Episcopal Commission on Indigenous Peoples Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
Since Palang would be stepping down, Nueva Segovia Auxiliary Bishop David William Antonio will take charge of the vicariate, after the pope reappointed him as apostolic administrator sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis (with the See vacant and at the pleasure of the Holy See).
Meanwhile, Bishop Antonio was born on December 29, 1963 at Nagtupacan, Sto. Domingo, Ilocos Sur. He was ordained priest for Nueva Segovia on December 1, 1988; and later on was appointed to the episcopacy in June 2011.
It was on Nov. 21, 2015, when Antonio, 54, was first named apostolic administrator of San Jose.
To date, the resignation of Palang brings to 10 the list of vacant sees in the Philippines. These include the dioceses of Bayombong, Butuan, Daet, Iligan, Isabela, San Fernando de La Union, and San Jose de Antique; the Territorial Prelature of Ilagan (Basilan), the military Ordinariate of the Philippines, and the Apostolic Vicariate of San Jose de Mindoro.|With reports from CBCP News / #BALIKAS_News