July 16, 2024

Pope Francis has appointed a new bishop of the Diocese of Baguio, over a year after the position has been vacant.

The Vatican announced the appointment of 64-year-old Fr. Rafael Cruz on June 13, according to a report of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) website.

The bishop-elect is a priest of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan and also one of the vicar foranes in the archdiocese, which is led by Archbishop Socrates Villegas.

He is currently the parish priest of St. Ildephonse Parish in Malasiqui, Pangasinan.

Born in Mapandan, Pangasinan, Cruz studied philosophy at the San Pablo Regional College Seminary in Baguio and finished Theology at the Immaculate Conception School of Theology in Vigan City.

He was ordained in September 1985.

He holds a master’s degree in Counseling Psycho-logy and a doctorate of Philosophy in Cli-nical Psychology from the Ateneo de Manila University.

He had his residency training at Loyola University of Chicago and the Carl Jung Institute in Evanston, Illinois.

In the Lingayen-Dagupan archdiocese, Cruz was also the parish priest of Saints Peter and Paul in Calasiao, Pangasinan, from 1985 to 1987.

Since 2022, he has been a member of the Permanent Committee for the Protection of Minors of the CBCP. – PNA