Msgr Lito Cortes: big job ahead
After such a grandiose celebration of installing the 4th bishop of the diocese of Dumaguete last Thursday, the meat of the matter begins with mounting challenges facing the new shepherd Msgr Julito Cortes, 57.
Msgr Cortes in his message of acceptance thanked all visiting church dignitaries and the attending laity for their support to his assumption.
Provincial dignitaries led by Gov Roel Degamo , Gov Zaldy Villa of Siquijor and Mayor Manuel Sagarbarria led local leaders in welcoming the new prelate.
His jurisdiction which has close to a million catholic members from Negros Oriental and Siquijor (bigger than that of a governor) may not be rocked with major controversies as it was well handled by his predecessors, but big challenges mount ahead such as:
The restoration of three big municipal church damaged by the last earthquake of 2012 ; the equitable reassignment of priests in the towns and cities; the dwindling enrolment of various catholic schools in the towns; the frequent “travel and solicitations” of priests going out of the country; the lack of priests to “cathecize” the laity; and the unsolved robbery of close to half a millon pesos inside the sacristy of the cathedral two new years eve ago, among others.
However, his two predecessors did a good job according to the papal nuncio His Grace Giuseppe Pinto , archbishop and head of the diplomatic corp who officiated at Cortes’ installation.