Joseph Peter Calleja, Manila
Updated: February 23, 2021 05:46 AM GMT
Pope Francis and Cardinal Luis Tagle greet each other at a Mass in Manila in this 2015 file photo. (Photo: Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines)
Pope Francis has appointed Cardinal Luis Tagle as a new member of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See, the body that manages and deals with church assets.
The former archbishop of Manila is the current dean of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, also known as Propaganda Fide, at the Vatican.
Pope Francis also appointed Ghanian Cardinal Peter Turkson to the same body. The Vatican announced the appointments on Feb. 22.
Cardinal Tagle’s appointment was greeted warmly by Filipino Catholics.
“Proud to be Filipino! The Holy Father has once again appointed Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle [to a key post], this time as a member of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See. Thank you so much, Holy Father, for the trust and confidence that you have given to our beloved Cardinal Chito,” a Catholic group called A Church in Action said in a social media post.
Chito is the nickname that Cardinal Tagle often goes by.
His new responsibilities now include managing the Catholic Church’s assets around the world including priceless works of art at the Vatican and elsewhere.
Several churchgoers believed Pope Francis appointed Cardinal Tagle because he required someone who had a “lesser” interest in material possessions but who would manage the office well.
“Pope Francis knew Cardinal Chito’s simplicity and that he is not attached to material things and money. These qualities are essential in someone who manages church assets and properties. Detachment is important in making correct decisions,” Mario Sarmiento from Manila told UCA News.
Sarmiento recalled how Cardinal Tagle started his ministry as a pastor in Imus, his hometown in Cavite province, south of Manila.
“He used to ride a bike going to the seminary where he taught. Even when he became a bishop, he rode a bus. He even said in one of his homilies that he wore the same watch his parents gave him when he was young … this is the kind of simplicity that we as a church need today,” Sarmiento said.