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New Archbishop assumes office

Emphasizes his duties as shepherd rather than grandeur of position

Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle
  • ucanews.com reporters, Manila
  • Philippines
  • December 12, 2011
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Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle assumed office as Archbishop of Manila today, stressing his desire to serve God.

Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales handed the seat of the archdiocese to his successor during canonical rites that followed early morning festivities, including joyous street dancing by priests, parishioners and Archbishop Tagle himself.

“I appear before you as one who serves,” Archbishop Tagle, 54, said at his thanksgiving Mass attended by government and civic leaders, members of the diplomatic corps, thousands of Catholics and their priests and bishops.

Archbishops Charles Bo of Yangon, Francis Xavier Kriengsak of Bangkok and Murphy Pakiam of Kuala Lumpur joined the celebration, along with Bishops Cornelius Sim of Brunei and John Baptist Lee Keh-mien of Hsinchu, and Father Raymond O’Toole, assistant secretary general of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC). Monsignor James dela Fuente also attended to represent the Archbishop of Agana in Guam.

Archbishop Tagle stressed that the sense of hope in his appointment is not about himself, but about Jesus Christ and God’s plan for his people.

He urged all Christians to work together. “When we compete against each other, we are not engaging in mission,” he said, reminding pastors to “gather the sheep instead of scattering them.”

Archbishop Tagle also addressed his concerns as a pastor.

“When in spite of our good intentions and efforts there are still the multitude of hungry people we cannot feed, homeless people we cannot shelter, battered women and children we cannot protect, cases of corruption and injustice we cannot remedy," Christians must continue trusting that God watches over his Church.

The archbishop also spoke of a new evangelization toward transformation.

“Putting on the mind and eyes of the Lord … we see differently. A child, especially the unborn, is no longer seen as a burden but a gift. The youth are not a problem but a promise. Women are not objects but persons. Laborers are not machines but partners; and the poor are not a nuisance but our jewels, and creation is not an object of manipulation, but a sign of God’s sustaining love.”

Archbishop Pakiam said following the Mass that “Archbishop Tagle brings such great hope not only to the Church of Manila and the Philippines, but also the rest of Asia.”

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