By Christina Hermoso
The head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Pontificio Collegio Filipino cited the recent appointment of Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle as Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples as “an honor to Filipinos and an immense blessing to the country.”
“It is an immense blessing to our country, overflowing grace to His Eminence,” said Balanga Bishop Ruperto C. Santos, head of the CBCP-PCF, of the trust given by Pope Francis to Cardinal Tagle to head one of the Vatican’s nine major congregations.
“The timing of his appointment is perfect as we prepare to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the country in 2021,” Santos said over Church-run Radio Veritas.
The Philippines ranks third in the world next to Mexico and Brazil with the biggest number of Catholics that comprise more than 80 percent of its total population.
“Cardinal Tagle makes us proud as Filipinos, and our country as beacon for new evangelization,” the bishop said.
Tagle is the second Filipino Church leader to be named to an important Vatican post after Jose Tomas Cardinal Sanchez who served in the Holy See for four decades.
Sanchez served as Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in1985, and as Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy in 1991 until his retirement in 1996. He served as Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Clergy until he passed away in March 2012 at the age of 91.
Tagle’s new mission was announced by the Vatican on December 8. He is set to be installed in Rome early next year.