Cardinal Tagle 'surprised' by pope's gift
Pope gives Manila prelate signed copy of the apostolic letter 'Misericordia et Misera'
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila shares a joke during a meeting on evangelization in Manila. (Photo by Angie de Silva)
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila said he was surprised upon learning that he was one of those chosen by Pope Francis to receive a signed copy of the apostolic letter "Misericordia et Misera” (Mercy and Misery).
The Manila prelate said the pope handed the gift after the Mass for the closing of the Holy Door of St. Peter's Basilica and the end of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy at the Vatican on Nov. 20.
"It came as a surprise. I was informed of it only at the beginning of the Mass. When the Holy Father handed the copy to me he said, 'Implement this in Manila,'" he said in a letter to Filipino Catholics.
The first copies of the letter signed by the pope were given to seven dioceses, including the Archdiocese of Manila, organizations, and sectors.
"The gift and mission have been given, let us now fulfill it," said Cardinal Tagle in a letter to Filipino Catholics. The prelate said Manila "represents evangelization in the big metropolitan centers of the world."
"To the merciful God be all praise and thanksgiving. Miserable sinners that we are, we have received mercy in this singular mission. May Mary the Mother of mercy protect us," he added.
One of the highlights of the pope's apostolic letter was to allow priests to forgive the sin of abortion.
"Misericordia et Misera" aims "to look to the future and to understand how best to continue, with joy, fidelity, and enthusiasm, experiencing the richness of God's mercy."
During the observance of the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis put emphasis on the value of forgiveness, healing, and reconciliation, saying it was the "favorable time to heal wounds."
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