Cardinal Tagle to lead top Vatican office

MANILA, Philippines – Pope Francis appointed Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle to a top position in the Vatican that oversees the spread of Catholic faith globally.

The Vatican announced on Sunday, December 8, that Tagle is the new Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

Established by Pope Gregory XV in 1622, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples is in charge of spreading the Catholic faith around the world.

This appointment means Tagle now heads part of the Roman Curia, which functions like a Cabinet of the Pope. It also comes as the Philippines is set to mark the 500th year of Christianity in the country in 2021.

Tagle replaces Fernando Filoni, who is set to become the next Grand Master of the Order of the Holy Sepulcher, according to Vatican News.

The Roman Curia, according to the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus by the late John Paul II, is the bureaucracy that helps the pope "in the exercise of his supreme pastoral office."

There are only 9 congregations in the Pope's "Cabinet," one of which is Tagle's office. This makes Tagle one of the most powerful men in the Catholic Church.

Members of the Roman Curia are usually based in Rome, and it is still unclear if Tagle will soon have to leave his post as archbishop of Manila.

Tagle became the 32nd archbishop of Manila in 2011. Prior to this, he served as bishop of Imus, Cavite, from 2001 to 2011.

He was then appointed as cardinal in 2012 by then-pope Benedict XV.

Tagle was ordained in 1982 at 25 years old. He obtained his bachelor's degree in pre-divinity from the Ateneo de Manila University. – with reports from Paterno Esmaquel II/Rappler.com