Francisco re-elected bishop in Philippines
Bishop Ciriaco Q. Francisco, who currently oversees the Davao Episcopal Area, has been re-elected as a United Methodist bishop.
Francisco, 64, was elected on Dec. 2 on the 12th ballot by delegates at the Philippines Central Conference meeting at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Angeles City. He received 318 of 457 votes cast.
After the election, Francisco, who has been in the ministry for 40 years, expressed gratitude to the delegates for putting trust in his leadership for a second time. He was first elected to the episcopacy in 2012.
"I promise to do my best as your bishop, to guard the faith, to keep the doctrine of our church, to try my best by the grace of God to be your servant leader,” the bishop told the conference.
“I cannot do it alone. It is you who put me into this office. I expect you to join me in my journey. My success is your success; my failure is your failure.”
Challenges in the Davao Area during the past four years included responding to two major typhoons, including Typhoon Haiyan; a 7.2-magnitude earthquake in Bohol; a bombing in the night market in Davao City and other acts of political violence, including the Kidapawan massacre in front of Spotswood Methodist Mission Center.
The bishop has advocated for the improvement of living conditions of church workers by increasing or subsidizing the financial support of pastors and deaconesses who received meager support from the local church. He also supports the journey of the indigenous people of Mindanao, especially the Lumads, who are displaced, marginalized and vulnerable to human right violations.
Francisco, who thanked the retired bishops and other mentors, was the second bishop elected by the delegates to the Philippine Central Conference. The assignments of bishops for the next four years will be announced later in the week.
Francisco earned his Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in the Philippines and has a second master’s degree in educational administration from the University of the Philippines.
He was assigned in various local churches from 1976 to 2000 and 2008 to 2012. He served as superintendent in the North and South Bulacan districts from 2001 to 2008. He was elected delegate to the 2000 General Conference.
Francisco is a member of the Council of Bishops executive committee; vice chairperson of the Connectional Table; chairperson of the Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters and a member of the Commission on a Way Forward. He also is president of the College of Bishops of the Philippines Central Conference.
He and his wife, Restetita Victoria, a professor of Bulacan State University, have three children and three grandchildren.
Mangiduyos is a correspondent for United Methodist News Service.
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