Manila Archbishop is youngest cardinal-A A +A
Thursday, October 25, 2012
VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI has named six new cardinals, adding prelates from Lebanon, the Philippines, Nigeria, Colombia, India and the United States to the ranks of cardinals who will elect his successor.
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 new cardinals are: Archbishop of Manila, Philippines, Luis Antonio Tagle; Monsignor James Harvey, the American prefect of the pope's household; Archbishop of Abuja, Nigeria, John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan; Archbishop of Bogota, Colombia, Ruben Salazar Gomez; Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites in Lebanon, Bechara Boutros Rai; and the major Archbishop of the Trivandrum of the Siro-Malankaresi in India, Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal.
“At 55, Tagle will be the world’s youngest cardinal,” noted the official news agency of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
During the general audience in St. Peter’s Square, Benedict XVI announced that he will hold a consistory on November 24 to formally elevate the six new cardinals.
“The Cardinals have the task of helping the Successor of Peter in the performance of his ministry of confirming the brethren in the faith, and the principle and foundation of unity and communion of the Church,” the Pope
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.
With Tagle’s appointment, the Philippines now has a representative in case of a conclave, which is a meeting of the College of Cardinals to elect a new Pope.
Tagle, along with other Filipino bishops, is currently in Rome for the ongoing Synod of Bishops for New Evangelization.
To note, 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.
Born in Manila on June 21, 1957, Tagle took his Philosophy and Theology at the Ateneo De Manila University’s San Jose Major Seminary.
He was ordained to the priesthood on February 27, 1982, at the age of 25.
From 1985 to 1992, he was sent for further studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. where he earned his Doctorate in Sacred Theology.
Since 1997, Tagle has been a member of the International Theological Commission of the Vatican. In 1998, he was as an expert at the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for Asia that took place in Rome.
On December 12, 2001, he was ordained Bishop of Imus and has been engaged in many activities. He travels throughout the country in answer to many invitations as a speaker.
At the Synod of Bishops held in Rome in 2005, he was elected member of the post-synodal Council and assistant to Cardinal Angelo Scola, general reporter of this Synod.
The Manila prelate has been serving as the 32nd archbishop of Manila since last December, succeeding the then retiring Rosales.
Tagle is also the current chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Doctrine of the Faith of the CBCP.
The appointment of Tagle comes at a time when Filipinos around the globe celebrated the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod into a saint.
The image of San Pedro Calungsod that was blessed by Pope Benedict XVI in Rome will be arriving on Thursday.
The image is set to arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA 1) at 4:45 p.m., October 25 via Cathay Pacific CX 919 flight from Hong Kong.
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Bernardino Cortez, former Ambassador to the Vatican Henrietta de Villa and other priests will be welcoming the statue.
The secretary general of the National Commission for Calungsod’s Canonization (NCCC), said that upon arrival, there will be a short welcome ceremony, prayers, some messages and a brief press conference.
The NCCC added that the image will be brought to the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in Manila for the start of the Duaw Nasud (pilgrimage), where it will stay there until Friday, October 26, before it will be transferred to the Diocese of Pasig.
‘There will be a grand welcome in UST…I heard 2,500 students as well as parishioners of the Santisimo Rosario Parish Church will be singing to welcome the image,” it said.
De Villa said that mass will be held at 7 p.m.
The image will be placed on an intricately decorated elf truck when it goes around the country.
Calungsod, the second Filipino saint, was canonized by the Pontiff in Rome last October 21, 2012. (HDT/PNA/AP/Sunnex)