UST, Dominicans taught new Baguio bishop critical thinking, love for truth

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THE NEW bishop of Baguio City credited UST and the Order of Preachers for teaching him critical-mindedness and love for truth, which he said helped him in his priesthood.

“I have learned so many things in UST. [It] taught me to be critical-minded, especially in the search for truth. The Dominicans also taught me to stand by what the Church teaches, because we know the Church teaches what is true,”  Msgr. Victor Bendico told the Varsitarian in an interview.

The prelate visited the Central Seminary on Oct. 5 to meet UST officials and fellow alumni.

Bendico, former parish priest of the Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral in Capiz, was appointed to the Baguio see by Pope Francis last Oct. 2, following the resignation of Msgr. Carlito Cenzon.

“I could not believe what I heard when I was informed about [this appointment]. I feel that with this new assignment, God is calling me to be closer to Him,” he said.

Bendico believes obedience to the Pope is enough for him to do his duties.

“I do not have any preparations at all for these kinds of things, except maybe my 32 years [of] experience [in] priestly ministry. [I would] just follow the will of the Holy Father,” he said.

Bendico said his new post was a big challenge as Baguio has an entirely different culture compared with Capiz.

“The difference would be how to incarnate the Gospel, and in that sense we have to take [its] culture in consideration, [and] the language of the people also,” he said.

Bendico finished his philosophical and theological studies in UST. He  earned his doctorate in sacred liturgy at the Pontifical Institute of St. Anselm in Rome. He was ordained priest on April 14, 1984. With reports from Joel Sebastian D. Cristobal Jr.

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