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Cardinal Filipe Neri Ferrão Elected New FABC President

Cardinal Filipe Neri Ferrao Elected New FABC President
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Bangkok: The Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences (FABC) has announced the election of Cardinal Filipe Neri Ferrão as its new President during the Central Committee meeting held in Bangkok from February 19 to 22, 2024. Cardinal Ferrão, who currently serves as the President of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI), will succeed Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, S.D.B., Archbishop of Yangon, Myanmar, in January 2025.

In addition to Cardinal Ferrão’s election, Bishop Pablo Virgilio Siongco David of Kalookan, Philippines, has been elected as the Vice President of the FABC, while Archbishop Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi, S.V.D., Archbishop of Tokyo, Japan, has been reelected for a second term as the Secretary-General.

Cardinal Filipe Neri Ferrão, the Archbishop of Goa and Daman, was first elected as the President of the CCBI during its 31st Plenary Assembly in Chennai in 2019 and subsequently reelected during the 33rd Plenary Assembly in Bangalore in 2022. He served as the Chairman of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences Office of Education and Faith Formation (OEFF).

Born on January 20, 1953, in Aldona, Goa, Filipe Neri Ferrão studied philosophy and theology at the Seminary of Poona. He furthered his studies, obtaining a licentiate in biblical theology from the Pontifical Urbanian University in 1988 and a licentiate in catechetics and pastoral theology from the International Lumen Vitae Institute in Brussels in 1991. He was ordained a priest on October 28, 1979.

Throughout his priestly ministry, Cardinal Ferrão has held various positions, including parish vicar in Salvador do Mundo (1979) and Chinchinim (1981-1984), prefect and lecturer at Our Lady Minor Seminary in Saligao-Pilerne (1984-1986), diocesan director of the Centre for the Apostolate of the Laity (1991-1994), ecclesiastical consultant of Saint Luke’s Medical Guild (1993-1994), and episcopal vicar of the Archdiocese of Goa.

On January 25, 1994, he was appointed titular bishop of Vanariona and auxiliary of Goa and Daman. On January 16, 2004, he was appointed archbishop of Goa and Daman by Saint John Paul II, with the title of Patriarch ad honorem of the East Indies (Patriarch or Primate of the East Indies). He was installed as archbishop on March 21, 2004. Additionally, he has served as Vice President of the CCBI and CBCI, as well as Chairman of the CBCI Offices for Justice, Peace and Development (1995) and the Laity (1998-2002).

Cardinal Ferrão was created and proclaimed a Cardinal by Pope Francis in the consistory of August 27, 2022, with the title of S. Maria in Via. He is a member of the Dicastery for Evangelization and is fluent in Konkani, English, Portuguese, Italian, French, and German.

Report by:- Dr Stephen Alathara

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