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Jolo Bishop named member of Rome-based council for inter-faith dialogues

COTABATO CITY, Oct. 31 –- The Oblates of Mary Immaculate, a missionary congregation of priests and brothers welcomed Wednesday with great honor and prestige the appointment of Jolo Vicariate Bishop Angelito Lampon to the Rome-based Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogues (PICD).

Pope Benedict XVI appointed Bishop Lampon, OMI, as member of the PCID.

The appointment was made on October 27 and was announced through the Vatican Information Service (VIS), according to the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines news online.

According to Lampon, he was elated by the appointment as he expressed the belief that his being the head of Catholic Church in a predominantly Muslim communities in Sulu and Tawi-Tawi made him qualify for the PCID.

Lampon was Apostolic Vicar of Jolo since 1977.“It’s so happened that I’ve been working in an area where 97 percent of the populations are (Muslim) Tausug, Badjao and Samal,” he was quoted by cbcponline.

The Council will be led by Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

Filoni served as Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines from February 25, 2006 until his appointment as Substitute to the Secretariat of State in June 9, 2007.

As member of the agency, Lampon said he may attend the Council’s one or two meetings and receive regular correspondence from Rome on matters that need consensus from the other members.

Lampon is currently the chairman of the Commission on Inter-religious Dialogue of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

Other members of the PCID are bishops and prelature heads in conflict affected Christian communities around the globe.

Lampon braved the threat against Christian religious leaders in the provinces of Sulu and Tawi-Tawi where the Oblates of Mary Immaculate have “difficult” missions of promoting inter-religious dialogues.

The OMIs assigned in isolated and far-flung and island communities are into education, livelihood, parish works, and environment preservation. (PNA)

FPV/NYP/EOF/EBP

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