08 December 2019, The Tablet

Asia cardinal takes top evangelisation post in Rome

by Vatican News

Asia cardinal takes top evangelisation post in Rome

Cardinal Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, pictured in Manila in April.
SOPA Images/SIPA USA/PA Images

The Cardinal Archbishop of Manila, Luis Antonio Tagle is the new Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples. The appointment of Pope Francis was announced today, Sunday 8 December. 

The current Prefect, Fernando Filoni, assumes the post of Grand Master of the Order of the Holy Sepulcher in place of Cardinal Edwin Frederick O'Brien, who resigned in April 2019 and turned 80.

With the nomination of Tagle, an Asian cardinal has returned to the leadership of Propaganda Fide (the ancient name of the important department for evangelisation, which is also responsible for episcopal nominations in mission lands), after the years of Indian Cardinal Ivan Dias (2006-2011).

Luis Antonio Gokim Tagle, born on 21 June 1957 in Manila to a Catholic family – his father of Tagalog ethnicity and his mother of Chinese origin – was ordained priest in 1982. He studied in the United States where he obtained his doctorate in theology with a thesis on the evolution of the notion of episcopal collegiality since the Second Vatican Council. He spent seven years in Rome to deepen his studies and in 1997 joined the International Theological Commission. 

After having been parish priest of the cathedral of Imus, at the age of 44 he was nominated bishop of that diocese by Saint John Paul II in October 2001. He dedicated himself in particular to youth ministry and inaugurated the first meeting of young Asians in Imus.

On 13 October 2011 Benedict XVI appointed him Metropolitan Archbishop of Manila and thirteen months later, in November 2012, during the last consistory of the pontificate of Pope Ratzinger, he received the cardinal's hat. In addition to leading the diocese of the Philippine metropolis, Tagle is also president of Caritas Internationalis.

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