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Pope Francis appoints new bishops for dioceses in India, Philippines

Pope Francis named four new Asian bishops — two in India and two in the Philippines — on June 29 on the occasion of the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul in Rome.

Bishop Broderick Pabillo has been named bishop of the Apostolic Vicariate of Taytay in the central Philippines while Monsignor Noel Pedregosa was appointed bishop of the Diocese of Malaybalay in the southern region of Mindanao.

In India, Father Savarimuthu Arokiaraj was appointed bishop of Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu while Father Visuvasam Selvaraj was named bishop of Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Bishop Broderick Pabillo celebrates Mass at the Manila Cathedral on May 13., 2020. (Photo by Jire Carreon)

Bishop Pabillo

Bishop Pabillo is not new to Palawan. In 1999, he worked as a missionary priest and lived with small Christian communities in villages in the province.

He lived in the province for seven years until May 2006 when he was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as auxiliary bishop of Manila in charge of the social action office.

Bishop Pabillo was born on March 11, 1955. He was ordained priest by Cardinal Jaime Sin of Manila on Dec. 8, 1982.

On May 24, 2006, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him auxiliary bishop of Manila. He was consecrated bishop on Aug. 19, 2006, by Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales.

On Feb. 10, 2020, with the departure of Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle following his appointment as Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Bishop Pabillo was appointed by Pope Francis as the apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila.

Bishop Noel Pedregosa of Malaybalay

Bishop Pedregosa

Bishop-elect Pedregosa was ordained priest for Malaybalay in 1991.

Since 2017, the 56-year-old priest has been vicar general of the diocese and rector of the Malaybalay Cathedral.

The diocese has been without a bishop since August 2020 after the bishop-elect’s predecessor, Archbishop Jose Cabantan, formally assumed his post in the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro.

Bishop Visuvasam Selvaraj of Port Blair

Bishop Selvaraj

Bishop-elect Selvaraj, 55, was born on Jan. 4, 1966, in Raja Anna Malaipuram, in the Archdiocese of Madras-Mylapore.

He attended the Diocesan Minor Seminary in Santhome, Madras (1981-1985) and later studied Philosophy at the Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Poonamallee, Chennai (1985-1988).

He took up Theology at St. Albert’s College, Ranchi (1990-1994). He obtained a Master degree in Canon Law from St. Peter’s Pontifical Seminary, Bangalore (2001).

He was ordained priest on May 8, 1994, for the Diocese of Port Blair.

Savarimuthu Arokiaraj of Tiruchirapalli

Bishop Arokiaraj

Bishop-elect Arokiaraj was born on Oct. 24, 1954, in Lalapettai, Diocese of Tiruchirappalli.

He studied Philosophy and Theology at St. Peter’s Pontifical Seminary, Bangalore (1973-1980).

He was ordained priest on Jan. 8, 1981, for the Diocese of Tiruchirappalli. He obtained a Doctorate in Liturgy from the Institute Catholique de Paris, France (2002). – with a report from Radio Veritas Asia

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