The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Wednesday elected Bishop Jose Rapadas of Iligan as its pointman for promoting small Christian communities in the country.
Rapadas succeeded Bishop Ronald Lunas of Pagadian as chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC) after the latter’s passing early this month.
The commission coordinates the directions and thrusts of the BECs in keeping with the CBCP’s focus on “integral evangelization” and synodality at the various levels of the local Church.
The BECs in the Philippines celebrated their 50th year in 2019.
In 2021, the CBCP approved the elevation of what used to be its BEC “committee” to that of a “commission”.
At 51, Rapadas is one of the youngest bishops in the Philippine Church, serving the Iligan diocese as his first episcopal assignment since 2019.
The bishops also elected Archbishop Julius Tonel of Zamboanga as chairman of the CBCP Committee on Bishops’ Concern, which attends to the personal concern of bishops.
The election was held during the bishops’ seminar in preparation for their plenary assembly scheduled on Jan. 27 to 29 at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Manila.
During the assembly’s opening Mass on Saturday, the members of the bishops’ Permanent Council and heads of different CBCP commissions, committees, and offices who have been elected to serve from December 2023 to November 2025 will be sworn into office.