Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle on Sunday, December 8, was appointed by Pope Francis as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, usually referred to by its historic name of Propaganda Fide.
According to Catholic News Agency, the Propaganda Fide is one of the largest curial departments, with a size and scope exceeding almost any other. It is also the most financially autonomous curial department.
As the Propaganda Fide, the 62-year-old cardinal is tasked with the Church’s missionary works and territories.
This appointment marks the end of Tagle’s eight-year reign as pastor of the country’s capital city, including Makati, San Juan, Mandaluyong and Pasay as he will no longer be the archbishop of Manila once he assumes office in the Vatican
“Historically, the prefect is based in the Vatican. The prefect has to be in Rome to advise the pope. Cardinal Tagle’s post is one of the top posts in the Vatican,” a Church official who requested anonymity said.
Tagle, who is now one of the most powerful figures of the Catholic Church, follows Cardinal Fernando Filoni, who will now take the post as Grand Master of the Order of the Holy Sepulcher from Cardinal Edwin Frederick O’Brien, who retired last April when he turned 80 years old.
The appointment was met with a warm welcome from Tagle’s fellow pastors.
“We have again a Filipino cardinal who is working in the Vatican. He can bring his wisdom to the work of evangelization. We will him success in this heavy responsibility and we pray for him,” Bishop Broderick Pabillo said.
Bataan Bishop Ruperto Santos, meanwhile, stated that Tagle’s appointment is “an immense blessing to our country.”
“It is an immense blessing to our country, overflowing grace to His Eminence. His appointment shows the trust and confidence of His Holiness to our dear Cardinal Tagle. He makes us proud as Filipinos, and our country as beacon for new evangelization. For his appointment we glorify our God, we are grateful to His Holiness. And we give to His Eminence our collaboration and services,” he said.
Senator Richard Gordon also congratulated Tagle, saying his appointment brings pride and joy to our country because it is another manifestation that the world recognizes the ability and talent of Filipinos.