Archbishop-elect Julius Tonel of the Archdiocese of Zamboanga. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE DIOCESE OF IPIL

By CBCP News

May 25, 2023

Manila, Philippines

Bishop Julius Tonel, who has been appointed by Pope Francis to serve as the seventh archbishop of Zamboanga, will officially assume his new role on August 22.

The CBCP General Secretariat said Tonel, 65, will be installed as archbishop in a Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Zamboanga City.

He has served as bishop of Ipil in Zamboanga Sibugay province for around 15 years. His appointment as archbishop was announced by the Vatican on April 25.

Zamboanga has been without an archbishop since Dec. 10, 2021, when Archbishop Romulo de la Cruz died due to a lingering illness.

But even before De la Cruz passed away, the archdiocese had been under the care of Auxiliary Bishop Moises Cuevas, who Pope Francis appointed as apostolic administrator “sede plena” on Aug. 11, 2021.

“Sede plena” is a term used to signify that a diocese is still occupied by a bishop.

Once Tonel is installed as Zamboanga archbishop, the Ipil diocese will be declared “sede vacante”. During this period, it will be administered by a diocesan administrator until a new bishop takes over.


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