Winds of change from Vatican II to the Diocese of Sorsogon

Bishop Arcilla’s term as the bishop of the Diocese of Sorsogon came at the time when Pope John XXIII convened the Second Vatican ecumenical Council (Vatican II) which brought progressive changes in the Church. Pastoral attempts to keep abreast with the emerging changes enabled Bishop Arcilla to initiate reforms in areas of Worship, Christian education and Temporalities. Social action programs were also introduced. Bishop Arcilla spear headed low-cost housing and tried to implement the program of cooperativism in the parishes.

As the spirit of Vatican II began to renew the notion of “being Church,” progressive thinking permeated the ranks of the clergy with a deepening involvement in Social Transformation. True to the historical attitudes toward change, a struggle to better understand the interplay of ecclesiastical structures,took its toll in the local church.

In the later part of Bishop arcilla’s term, administrative difficulties emerged. This led the Holy See to appoint on august 30, 1977 the Most rev. Concordio ma. Sarte, D.D., as auxiliary Bishop of Sorsogon.

When Bishop Arcilla retired on December 12, 1979, the Holy See appointed Bishop Sarte as apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Sorsogon “ad Nutum Sanctae Sedis” (directly responsible to the Holy See).

Clearly needed was a pastor with a gift of integrating and reconciling diverse pastoral viewpoints into harmony.

Most rev. Jesus Y. Varela, then still the Bishop of Ozamiz, was designated by the Holy See as 3rd Bishop of Sorsogon on November 27, 1980. Meanwhile, Bishop Sarte was awaiting transfer to his new assignment as Bishop of the Diocese of Legazpi.