Union of Catholic Asian News
Pope Francis has appointed a Filipino Jesuit priest as a consultor to the Vatican’s dicastery that oversees Catholic schools, universities, and learning institutions of higher education around the world.
Jesuit Father Jose Quilongquilong is the newest consultor for the Dicastery for Culture and Education with a five-year term, the Loyola School of Theology said in an announcement on Aug. 30. Father Quilongquilong, 58, has served as the president of the institute under the aegis of the Jesuit-run Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippine capital, for six years until 2019. He also worked as the regional secretary for Asia-Pacific at the Jesuit General Curia in Rome “Loyola School of Theology is pleased to announce the appointment of its former president, Fr Jose V.C. Quilongquilong SJ, by Pope Francis as Consultor of the Congregation for Catholic Education for a term of five years. Congratulations, Fr. Joe!,” the institute posted on its official Facebook page. The Loyola School of Theology is the alma mater of Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, former archbishop of Manila and now Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation of the Evangelization of Peoples. Father Quilongquilong would be in charge of seminary formation around the world and all other related programs to the priesthood. “I am deeply humbled by this appointment from the Holy Father,” said Father Quilongquilong, according to the Jesuit Conference of Asia-Pacific. “The work of a consultor is simply to assist in any way the apostolic work of the Congregation for Catholic Education to promote the Catholic identity of our schools since the work of education is always tied to the Church’s evangelical mission in the world,” he added. “Father Joe is now a member of the Congregation for Catholic Education, a part of the Roman Curia, responsible for universities, faculties, institutes, and higher schools of study around the world. His post is very important in shaping future vocations and priests,” said Father Noel Gerao, a priest from Libmanan Diocese and a former student of the educationist. Fr. Quilongquilong is an acclaimed theologian with a licentiate and a doctorate in spirituality from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. While many Filipino Catholics congratulated Quilongquilong’s appointment, others cast doubt on his contribution to making seminary formation “more accessible” to the poor.
“Yes, he may have the competence in terms of his academic background. But we hope to see more of the pastoral aspect of the Catholic Church in Catholic universities and institutions of learning, especially with the way they accommodate the poor,” said a seminary professor who wished to remain anonymous told UCA News.
He said it was high time the Catholic Church should address sensitive issues in seminary formation like accepting gay seminarians.
“Certain issues have to be addressed like, how serious are we in allowing or not allowing those that show gay tendencies yet serious in searching for God?”, he said.
Fr. Quilongquilong is currently the administrator of the Mirador Jesuit Villa Retreat House and Eco-Spirituality Park in Baguio City.
He finished his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan in Cagayan de Oro City, and his Master of Arts in Theology at the Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City.
Fr. Quilongquilong obtained his Bachelor in Sacred Theology at the Loyola School of Theology in Quezon City.