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Filipino human rights defender and academician priest receives prestigious Old Catholic award

Aglipay Central Theological Seminary’s rector, the Very Rev. Eleuterio Revollido, S.Th.D, has been named as the recipient of the Andreas Rinkle Prÿs 2019 in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to theological studies and ecumenism.

The Andreas Rinkle Prÿz was granted by the Jury of the Old Catholic Seminary at Saints Anne and Mary Cathedral, in Haarlem, The Netherlands.

Fr. Revollido, who received his Doctorate in Sacred Theology magna cum laude at the Catholic pontifical and royal University of Santo Tomas in 2009, is the first non-European and non-Old Catholic to have received the prestigious academic award.

In his message at the beginning of the ceremony, President of the Jury Rev. Dr. Peter Ben Smith acknowledged Fr. Revollido’s important works in the ongoing process of articulating the Iglesia Filipina Independiente’s (IFI) theology.

He also applauded the significant contributions of Fr. Revollido in the Old Catholic understanding of ecclesiology and mission. “Fr. Revollido has challenged our appreciation of Old Catholic theology in the broader context of ecumenism,” Dr. Smith said.

Rev. Dr. Smith is a prominent theologian and scholar of the Old Catholic Church, and giving professorial lectures in Utrecht University and the University of Amsterdam.

Fr. Revollido, apart from being a distinguished theologian, has been an active actor in the democratic struggle in the Philippines. He was the provincial chairperson of the the ecumenical movement Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR) in Pangasinan.

Like other human rights defenders, he has been the target of violent state attack. He was put under surveillance, subjected to harassment and intimidations, and received threats to his life. Suspected state agents have tried to break into his seminary residence several times in the past.

The Old Catholic Church offered sanctuary to Fr. Revollido during the height of attacks against him in 2006 and 2007.

Fr. Revollido was joined by his wife Marife in the awarding ceremony. Marife, a faculty member of ACTS, was invited to lecture on the Birhen ng Balintawak to seminary students and theologians of Utrecht University.

“As we give Fr. Revollido this award today, which marks a dark day in the history of Philippines democracy, we also acknowledged his works for justice and peace,” Rev. Dr. Smith said.

Fr. Revollido received his award at the Cathedral of Saints Anne and Mary, Diocese of Harlem, on September 21, 2019, the day martial law was declared in the Philippines by the late dictator President Ferdinand Marcos in 1971.

Attending the ceremony were fellow Filipino human rights defenders and peace advocates based in the Netherlands. Ramento Project for Rights Defenders (RPRD) Fr. Jonash Joyohoy and Fr. Wilfredo Ruazol, who were in Geneva for the 42nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, also came to witness the awarding.

Congratulating Fr. Revollido on the occassion were Utrecht Archbishop Most Rev. Dr. Joris Vercammen and Bishop of Harlem Rt. Rev. Dick Schoon.

“The award given to Fr. Revollido is one of the fruits of the concordat between the IFI and OCC. We hope for a more dynamic encounter between our Churches in the days and years ahead,” Archbishop Vercammen remarked.

The Old Catholic Church and Iglesia Filipina Independiente entered into formal Concordat in 1965, with the agreement signed by former Archbishop Andreas Rinkle and 4th Obispo Maximo Isabelo de los Reyes Jr.

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