Cardinal Tagle eyed as int'l Caritas president
MANILA, Philippines – Known for his work in disaster-prone Philippines, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle is likely to be elected president of Caritas Internationalis next week, a report said.
The Catholic News Agency (CNA) reported on Tuesday, May 5, that Tagle was "identified as a candidate" when the search for the group's next president began early 2015.
Two sources "who work in Vatican charities" told CNA that Tagle "will likely be elected" as the next Caritas Internationalis president during the group's general assembly from May 12 to 17.
Caritas Internationalis is a 118-year-old group of 164 national aid organizations, including one in the Philippines. Caritas – the Latin word for charity – aims to help the poor across all continents.
The confederation will elect its next president during its 20th general assembly, which is held every 4 years.
A source from Caritas Internationalis reportedly added that "there is another candidate to the presidency: a Maronite archbishop who will remove himself from the running so that Cardinal Tagle can be the only candidate."
CNA explained, "The Filipino cardinal has been widely appreciated for his work carried out with local Caritas agencies in the face of frequent typhoons hitting the island nation."
In the Philippines, Tagle already chairs Caritas Manila, the social services arm of the Archdiocese of Manila.
Through Caritas Manila, Tagle has not only appealed for aid for survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in the Philippines, which killed more than 6,300 people in November 2013.
He has also appealed for donations for Nepal, which was devastated by a magnitude 7.8 earthquake in April, and Vanuatu, which was ravaged by Severe Tropical Cyclone Pam in March. (READ: Cardinal Tagle to Filipinos: Help storm-hit Vanuatu)
Trusted by Pope Francis
The incumbent Caritas Internationalis president, Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, has served two terms – from 2007 to 2011 and from 2011 to 2015. He is set to step down as president, CNA said.
Rodríguez Maradiaga, the archbishop of Tegucigalpa in Honduras, is one of the cardinals closest to Pope Francis.
Francis in fact named him on April 13, 2013, as the coordinator of the group of 8 cardinals to advise him on governing the Catholic Church.
Like Rodríguez Maradiaga, Tagle is one of Francis' most trusted bishops.
Tagle, for instance, has received 5 new international positions in the Catholic Church under Francis. (READ: In 2 years, Pope gives plum posts to Filipinos)
The most prominent among these appointments is his role as a president-delegate of the Synod of Bishops on the Family in October 2014, one of the Pope's pet projects.
The Manila archbishop's new positions under Francis include the following:
- President, Catholic Biblical Federation
- Member, Pontifical Council for the Laity
- Member, Sacred Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Consecrated Life
- Member, Sacred Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples
Noting Tagle's rise in the global scene, veteran Vatican analyst John Allen Jr described Tagle as the "Asian Francis." He is touted as possibly the next pontiff. – Rappler.com