Davao archbishop emeritus Fernando Capalla dies at 89

By: Julie Alipala - Inquirer Mindanao | January 06,2024 - 08:31 PM

Davao Archbishop Emeritus Fernando Capalla.

Davao Archbishop Emeritus Fernando Capalla. | Photo courtesy of St. Francis Xavier Regional Major Seminary of Mindanao

ZAMBOANGA CITY — Archbishop Emeritus Fernando Capalla of Davao City passed away at 1:23 a.m. on Saturday, the Davao archdiocese said in a statement. He was 89.

Ozamiz Archbishop Martin Jumoad said Capalla died four days after Pagadian Bishop Ronald Lunas died Tuesday, January 2, from complications after undergoing heart bypass surgery in Davao City.

“It is a really very sad year because two of our conferres in the episcopacy, Bishop Emeritus Fernando Capalla and Bishop Ronald Bong Lunas, died,” Jumoad said in a phone interview.

“May the soul of Archbishop Fernando Capalla and the soul of Bishop Ronald Ignacio Lunas rest in peace. Let us entrust them to the mercy of God,” added Jumoad, who is attending a gathering of bishops in Manila.

Jumoad remembered Capalla mostly for his work in interreligious dialogue and peace-building, alongside the late Muslim cleric Mahid Mutilan, the late Bishop Hilario Gomez of the National Council of Churches of the Philippines, and now Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Emeritus Antonio Ledesma, through the Bishops-Ulama Forum.

Born in Leon, Iloilo, Capalla was ordained priest in 1961 at age 26. After 14 years of service in the Archdiocese of Jaro, he was appointed auxiliary bishop of Davao in 1975 and had stayed in Mindanao ever since.


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