By Ferdinand G. Patinio
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle has been appointed as Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI.
Tagle was elevated to the College of Cardinals along with five other archbishops from different countries.
Based on an article on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) news website, a consistory will be held on November 24 to formally elevate the six new cardinals.
Tagle will be the country’s seventh cardinal joining the line of retired Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, 80, and Cebu retired Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, 81.
Other Filipino cardinals who already passed away include Rufino Cardinal Santos, Julio Cardinal Rosales, Jaime Cardinal Sin and Jose Cardinal Sanchez.
At 55, Tagle will be the world’s youngest cardinal. The oldest living cardinal, following the death of Cardinal Mayer in 2010, is Ersilio Tonini, 98, the Archbishop Emeritus of Ravenna-Cervia.
Tagle is currently in Rome for the ongoing Synod of Bishops for New Evangelization.
Among the duties of cardinals are to attend the meetings of the Sacred College and to make themselves available individually if the pope desires their counsel. Cardinals also have additional duties either leading many of the church’s dioceses and archdioceses or running the Roman Curia.
The most important function of Cardinals in the Church is to elect the Roman Pontiff who usually comes from their rank.
Tagle was appointed to head the Archdiocese of Manila last December. He is the 32nd archbishop of Manila, succeeding Rosales.
Born in Manila on June 21, 1957, Tagle took his Philosophy and Theology at the Ateneo De Manila University’s San Jose Major Seminary.
He was ordained to the priesthood on February 27, 1982, at the age of 25. From 1985 to 1992, he was sent for further studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. where he earned his Doctorate in Sacred Theology.
Since 1997, Tagle has been a member of the International Theological Commission of the Vatican. In 1998, he was an expert at the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for Asia that took place in Rome.
On December 12, 2001, he was ordained Bishop of Imus. Since then, he has been engaged in many activities. He travels throughout the country in answer to many invitations as a speaker.