MANILA, Philippines—Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle will become a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church on Saturday, giving the Philippines one vote should there be a need to elect a new pope.
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, said Tagle’s elevation to the College of Cardinals was a recognition of the “talents and gifts” he brings to the worldwide Church.
“I praise God. It’s a recognition of Cardinal Tagle’s giftedness and talents that can be of great service to the Pope and the universal Church,” Palma said in an interview with the Church-run Radio Veritas.
Palma said he and other Filipino bishops would watch the live feed of the consistory in St. Peter’s Basilica at 11 a.m. Rome time (5 p.m. in the Philippines).
Peachy Yamsuan, communications chief of the Archdiocese of Manila, said Tagle would receive from Pope Benedict XVI the symbols of his new rank as a “prince” of the Church.
“(Tagle) will receive a red hat and the ring, symbols of his membership in the College of Cardinals, during the solemn consistory (today), the eve of the Solemnity of Christ the King,” said Yamsuan.
“The three-cornered hat is said to be a symbol of a cardinal’s readiness to lay down his life for the gospel. It also signifies his rank in the Church that qualifies him to elect a Pope,” she added.
Yamsuan said Tagle would be the seventh Filipino cardinal in the nearly 500 year history of the Catholic faith in the Philippines.
“This consistory has been considered unusual since it is the second that will be held in the same year. The last time this happened was in 1929 during the pontificate of Pius XI,” she said.
Yamsuan added the new cardinals will also be assigned a “titular church” in Rome, “formally making them members of the diocesan clergy of Rome.”
After the consistory, Tagle will attend a “thanksgiving lunch” at the Pontificio Collegio Filippino in Rome, she added.
From 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., relatives and friends of the new cardinals can make “courtesy visits” to the freshly-minted “princes” of the church in designated places within the Vatican.
On Sunday morning, Pope Benedict XVI will concelebrate a Mass with the new cardinals at St. Peter’s. Later that day, Tagle will celebrate a Thanksgiving Mass at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls.