Tagle takes seat as new Manila shepherd Monday

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Sunday, December 11, 2011


HIS Eminence, Luis Antonio Tagle, will be formally installed Monday as the 32nd Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila (RCAM) in solemn liturgical and canonical rites at the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros.

Tagle's scheduled installation at 9 a.m. will be preceded by the traditional "caracol" procession to be participated by more than 1,500 priests, religious men and women, and lay faithful from Cavite.

Upon reaching the façade of the historic cathedral, there will be a civic reception by the five mayors of the five cities in the Archdiocese of Manila, namely: Manila, Pasay, Makati, Mandaluyong, and San Juan, where they will hand over to the new Archbishop a symbolic key to their cities.

This signifies the cooperation and collaboration of Church and civic authorities in the promotion of the common good and the pursuit of peace and justice.

After the civic reception, Tagle will enter the Cathedral and the rite of liturgical reception and canonical installation begins.

The rite of reception happens at the door of the Cathedral when Tagle is received by Manila Auxiliary bishops Broderick Pabillo and Bernardino Cortez.

Manila Cathedral Rector Msgr. Nestor Cerbo will then offer the Archbishop a crucifix to be kissed and a sprinkler of holy water with which the bishop sprinkles himself and those present.

The kissing of the crucifix serves as a reminder of his relationship with Christ, who suffered and died for his flock, while the sprinkling of the holy water recalls the baptismal character from which the people have been made children of God.

Afterwards, Tagle will be escorted to the Blessed Sacrament chapel, where he kneels for a moment in adoration.

The rite of canonical installation then begins where the main rite of "taking possession of the diocese" takes place.

"After reverencing the altar, the bishop goes to his chair. Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales, the administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila, begins the celebration of the Eucharist and greets the people of God gathered for the celebration. After the greeting, the Cardinal asks that the Apostolic letter be shown and read," said Fr. Carmelo Arada of the RCAM Ministry of Liturgical Affairs.

After the Apostolic letter is read, the new archbishop is led to his "cathedra" or his "chair".

"With the reform of the liturgy in Vatican II, the 'cathedra' of the bishop has come to signify his seat of leadership, no longer a throne. The 'cathedra' is a sign of his teaching office and pastoral power in the particular Church," Arada said.

The archbishop is then greeted by members of the clergy, religious men and women, the faithful, and representatives of the civil authority, which signifies the respect and obedience the people of God ought to render the chief shepherd of the archdiocese.

The celebration of the Eucharist, then, continues and will now be presided by the new Archbishop.

It was last October 13, when Pope Benedict accepted Rosales's resignation/retirement and appointed Tagle as his successor.

Prior to his appointment, Tagle had been the bishop of the Diocese of Imus in Cavite since 2001.

The RCAM said they expect some 2,000 people to attend the ceremony in the 1,700-capacity cathedral.

This is the main reason why they would be setting up tents and screens outside the cathedral in order to accommodate those who cannot enter the building, said RCAM Security Committee head Fr. Dave Concepcion.

Tagle was born on June 21, 1957 and was ordained to the priesthood on February 27, 1982 at the age of 25.

He took his philosophy and theology studies at the San Jose Major Seminary based in the Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City.

The prelate earned his doctorate in sacred theology at the Catholic University of America in Washington DC, where he studied from 1985 to 1992.

He has been a member of the International Theological Commission of the Vatican since 1997, and sat as an expert at the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for Asia in Rome.

Tagle is currently the chairman of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Commission on Doctrine of the Faith. (AMN/Sunnex)

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