Cardinal Tagle gets major evangelisation role in Rome

Pope Francis, Sunday, named Filipino Cardinal Luis Tagle to lead the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.

In what some are calling a very significant move, the 62-year-old Archbishop of Manila will move to Rome to oversee the work of the Catholic Church in Asia, Oceania, New Zealand and most dioceses in Africa. These areas cover around one-third of the world’s Catholic dioceses.

Tagle replaces Italian Cardinal Fernando Filoni, 73, who as been re-assigned to be Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

Filoni replaces Cardinal Edwin O’Brien, 80, who has reached the retirement age.

Tagle’s appointment is seen as furthering Francis’ desire for a missionary church. It is also seen as a further expression of his outreach to Asia.

Historically the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples is usually referred to by its historic name, Propaganda Fide, which is one of the largest curial departments, with a size and scope exceeding most others.

And, it is likely to get larger.

Praedicate Evangelium, the new curial constitution, not yet promulgated, is expected to place even further emphasis on evangelisation as the structural priority of the Church’s mission.

The expectation is Propaganda Fide will merge with the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization into a single department.

Seen as an impressive communicator, Tagle hosted hour-long television programmes in the Philippines, sharing scriptural insights and answering viewer’s questions on the Bible and faith.

Then beginning in 2007, Tagle hosted a talk show “Light Talk,” for which he often invited professionals and young people to discuss current issues.

John Paul II appointed Tagle as bishop of Imus in 2002 and in 2011 Benedict XVI made him Archbishop of Manila. One year later Benedict created him a Cardinal.

Tagle has been on three successive synods of bishops and was elected to the council, generally a sign of respect and esteem by his peers.

Since May 2015, Tagle has been president of Caritas Internationalis.

He is known to share the synodal vision of a missionary church promoted by Pope Francis and like Francis, his concern for the disadvantaged is reflected in his lifestyle.

By moving him to the Vatican, Francis gives Tagle the chance to gain experience at the heart of the Church’s central administration.


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