MANILA, Philippines — Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Manila Archdiocese’s apostolic administrator, has tested positive for COVID-19, making him the most prominent churchman in the Philippines to contract the disease.
The prelate made the announcement July 23 following confirmation from swab and laboratory results, reported ucanews.com. The bishop appeared to be asymptomatic and was undergoing mandatory self-isolation. He said his staff had tested negative, and everyone with whom he had contact had been advised to observe precautionary measures.
“We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purposes,” he said, quoting St. Paul’s letter to the Romans. “So, we know that in whatever happens, God’s love is always with us,” Pabillo said in a letter to priests in the archdiocese.
“Although I do not feel anything, I’m following the protocol that is set. I am now in a designated area for quarantine and observing strict protocol as required,” Pabillo said in his letter. He also said that his condition was being monitored and that he was advised to take vitamins and to exercise regularly.
“I know this virus will pass, so please do not worry about me, although prayers would be very much appreciated. Since I am my normal self, thank God, the scheduled online meetings that we have set will continue,” Pabillo added.
Pabillo is considered one of the Philippines’ most active bishops, ucanews.com reported.
In February, Pope Francis appointed him apostolic administrator of Manila Archdiocese after Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle left for Rome to take up his duties as prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
Pabillo is also known for his active involvement in the Philippine church’s response to social issues and has been a vocal critic of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.