Tagle assures support of Filipinos to Pope Francis-A A +A
Friday, March 15, 2013
MANILA Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle on Thursday said he assured newly-elected Pope Francis that millions of Filipino Catholics will be supportive of his papacy.
“When I approached Pope Francis to assure him of the closeness and collaboration of the Filipinos, he said, 'I have high hopes for the Philippines. May your faith prosper, as well as your devotion to Our Lady and mission to the poor',” he said.
Over 80 percent of the country’s nearly 100 million people are Catholic, making it the third biggest in the world after Brazil and Mexico, according to American think tank Pew Research Center last month.
Tagle, referred in media reports as a papal contender, also thanked those who prayed for him and other 114 cardinal electors who chose the successor to resigned Pope Benedict XVI.
“I thank you for your fervent prayers for the cardinal electors. We never felt alone even for a moment. Your love sustained us,” he said.
Like Tagle, former Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio is a member of the Society of Jesus, a religious order not known for taking high leadership roles.
Joining the celebration are the order’s local representatives under the Philippine Province Society of Jesus (PPSJ).
“They have chosen a man with long experience leading God’s people in Argentina, with a heart very much concerned for the needs of the poor and disadvantaged, and whose manner of life is touched by great simplicity and faith,” said Jose Magdia, S.J. in a statement.
The group also wished the new pope grace, wisdom, and strength as he assumes his new role.
In a separate statement, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said the cardinals picked the right person to guide the 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide.
“He is the pope of the people. Yung kanyang pagiging malapit sa tao dahil sa kanyang vision as a Church ay sama-sama tayong naglalakbay. Napatunayan niya ang kanyang pagiging malapit sa tao matapos siyang humingi ng prayer para sa kanya bago niya basbasan ang mga tao,” said CBCP president Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma.
"Well nagagalak din tayo and it was totally unexpected I think. He was really a Pope for the poor and he was more siguro in touch with the suffering of the people of Latin America din," said Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma.
Cotabato Auxiliary Bishop Jose Collin Bagaforo, meanwhile, said the result of the papal election only showed that the cardinals can never be swayed by media opinion because it is the “working of the Holy Spirit.” (HDT/Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)