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New archbishop 'humbled' by appointment

Bishop was 'overwhelmed' by his appointment

Archbishop-elect Luis Antonio Tagle (left) Archbishop-elect Luis Antonio Tagle (left)
  • John Francis Lagman, Manila
  • Philippines
  • October 19, 2011
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Archbishop-elect Luis Antonio Tagle has revealed he was “overwhelmed” and “humbled” after being appointed to head the Manila archdiocese.

“I can’t understand what I’m feeling right now; it’s like I don’t have emotion. I feel dizzy, I have nothing in mind. I don’t know what is going on with me,” the prelate told Church-run Radio Veritas in an interview last weekend.

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines announced on October 13 that Pope Benedict XVI had accepted Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales' resignation as archbishop of Manila, as he had reached the mandatory retirement age of 75.

The announcement went on to reveal Bishop Tagle of Imus as his successor.

Archbishop-elect Tagle said he barely slept that night and was tearful when he woke up.

“All I can say is that I’m overwhelmed, humbled by God’s blessings and my vocation. Who am I to turn it down and who am I not to respond to this calling?” he said.

He told listeners that he learned of his appointment "a few days earlier." But then, he said, “I couldn't believe it would push through. I thought maybe the Pope would change his mind.”

So far, the diocese of Imus has not announced any plans for his send-off, nor has Manila archdiocese set the date for his formal installation, which usually takes place within three months of appointment.

Archbishop-elect Tagle said he will continue to serve as bishop of Imus until the installation. He also explained that being appointed Manila archbishop does not necessarily mean he will become a cardinal. He pointed out that Pope John Paul II broke the tradition of automatically elevating the archbishop of certain jurisdictions to cardinal.

“Being appointed as cardinal is different,” he said. “It depends on the Pope and whoever he wants to be next.”
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