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Pope Francis appoints Batangueño bishop as Zamboanga’s apostolic administrator

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Pope Francis has appointed a young Batangueño bishop, His Excellency Moises Macatangay Cuevas, as the apostolic administrator “sede plena” of the Archdiocese of Zamboanga.

The appointment was made in the Vatican City on Wednesday, Aug. 11 and was made public by the archdiocese on Thursday, is just two weeks ahead of the first anniversary of the bishop’s episcopal ordination.

As administrator, the archdiocese said that Cuevas will have “all the powers and duties of a diocesan bishop”.

Normally, the pope appoints an apostolic administrator when a see is vacant or “sede vacante”, but “sede plena” is a term used to signify that a see is still occupied by a bishop.

Bishop Moises Cuevas as he visits the Basilica of the Immaulate Conception in Batangas City, December 2020.

Hence, Archbishop Romulo de la Cruz, who just turned 74 last June, continues to be the head of the southern Philippine archdiocese while he is recovering from a stroke.

Born in Batangas province’s Cuenca town, Bishop Cuevas was ordained a priest for the Zamboanga archdiocese in 2000.

On March 19, 2020, the pope appointed him as auxiliary bishop of Zamboanga and was ordained to episcopacy and was officially installed to his post on Aug. 24 of the same year.

Meanwhile, the Archdiocese of Zamboanga was erected a diocese on April 10, 1910, together with the then Diocese of Lipa (now Archdiocese of Lipa) in Batangas, the then Apostolic Prefecture of Palawan (now Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa), the then Diocese of Tugegarao (now Archdiocese of Tugegarao) and the Diocese of Calbayog in Eastern Samar.|

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