FILIPINO Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle has been promoted by Pope Francis to the rank of cardinal-bishop, the highest position within the Church’s College of Cardinals.
The Catholic Church on Friday, May 1, announced that the Pope elevated the rank of the former archbishop of Manila.
“The appointment was made in an audience granted to Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra, Substitute for General Affairs for the Secretariat of State, on 14 April 2020,” the Vatican press said.
“In naming Cardinal Tagle to the Order of Bishops, Pope Francis made him equal in all respects to those Cardinals with suburbicarian Churches,” it added.
Tagle has been serving as Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples since February, replacing Cardinal Fernando Filoni.
Before the Pope appointed him to the role in Vatican City, Tagle was the 32nd Archbishop of Manila from 2011 to 2020.
He is also the president of Caritas Internationalis, a confederation of 165 national Catholic relief and development agencies, since 2015.
According to the Pontificio Collegio Filippino, the home of Filipino priests in Rome, Tagle is the first Filipino to be named cardinal-bishop.
The College of Cardinals are divided into three orders: cardinal-deacons, who are often called “the pope’s cabinet;” cardinal-priests, who are working in dioceses all over the world; and cardinal-bishops, who are holding jurisdiction over a church in a suburb of Rome, while working in departments of the Roman Curia, the central administration of the church.
“Traditionally, six cardinal bishops from the Latin Church are appointed as titular bishops of Rome’s ancient suburbicarian sees. Eastern Catholic patriarchs who are cardinals are also cardinal-bishops,” the Catholic News Agency explained.
However, Pope Francis broke tradition in June 2018, expanding the number of cardinal-bishops beyond six.
“Tagle was not assigned a suburbicarian see. Instead, Pope Francis issued a rescript giving the Filipino cardinal the same status as other cardinal-bishops,” it added.
Tagle is now among the 14 cardinal-bishops who are assigned to the Vatican, and are consulted by the Pope anytime individually or as a group, with regards to any question in the Church.