Tagle sees appointment as call to mission for all Filipinos-A A +A
Thursday, October 25, 2012
MANILA (2nd Update, 3:40 p.m.) -- Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle said Thursday that he feels that his country – not only him – is being challenged by Pope Benedict XVI to evangelize others now that he has been appointed as one of the six new cardinals of the Catholic Church.
In his official statement released by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila (RCAM) Thursday, Tagle said he has mixed reactions upon knowing of his appointment.
"To be called to collaborate with the Pope as Cardinal both consoles and terrifies me," said the 55-year-old Manila archbishop, who, along with other Filipino bishops, is currently in Rome for the ongoing Synod of Bishops for New Evangelization.
Tagle said he is willing to take on the challenge being posed by the Pontiff upon his appointment knowing that he has millions of Filipinos to work with.
"I take this not only as a gift but also as a call for the Church in the Philippines to take seriously our mission especially in Asia," said Tagle over Vatican Radio.
He said that he knows he can do it considering that there are also millions of Filipinos abroad who can help him.
"Through our migrant Filipino workers all over the world, the Christian faith is made present and spread all over the world. Maybe this is a time for us to thank the Lord and take seriously our mission," said Tagle.
On Wednesday, the Pontiff announced the appointment of six new cardinals, including Tagle, from Lebanon, the Philippines, Nigeria, Colombia, India and the United States.
The Pope made the surprise announcement during his weekly general audience Wednesday and said they would be elevated at a consistory November 24. The nominations help even out the geographic distribution of cardinals, which had tilted heavily toward Italy.
The Manila archbishop said he is being terrified by the magnitude task at hand since it requires the broadening of horizon, and a careful study of worldwide developments in society and the Church.
With his appointment, Tagle becomes the country's seventh cardinal joining the line of retired Archbishops Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, 80, of Manila, and Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, 81, of Cebu.
Other Filipino cardinals who already passed away include Rufino Cardinal Santos, Julio Cardinal Rosales, Jaime Cardinal Sin and Jose Cardinal Sanchez.
Since 1970, those over 80 years old cardinals have not been considered as active anymore.
The appointment qualifies Tagle as official representative of the Philippines in case of a conclave, which is a meeting of the College of Cardinals to elect a new Pope.
Former Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Archbishop emeritus Oscar Cruz, meanwhile, said he believes that another Filipino cardinal could be appointed soon by the Pontiff.
He said he foresees the appointment of Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma as cardinal following the appointment of Tagle.
"(The archdiocese of) Manila and Cebu will always have a cardinal archbishop," said Cruz, who is a Canon law expert.
Asked why Tagle's appointment came ahead of Palma's, Cruz said it is immaterial to the Holy See.
"It's not a question of the order of time. It does not follow a route. The nomination of bishops, archbishops, and cardinals are all according to the will, knowledge and precedence of the Holy Father," said Cruz.
A cardinal is a senior ecclesiastical official in the Roman Catholic Church, ranking just below the Pope, and is appointed by him as a member of the College of Cardinals during a consistory.
The duties of the cardinals are to attend the meetings of the Sacred College and to make themselves available individually if the Pope desires their counsel.
Cardinals also have additional duties either leading many of the church's dioceses and archdioceses or running the Roman Curia.
The most important function of Cardinals in the Church is to elect the Roman Pontiff, who usually comes from their rank. (HDT/Sunnex)