It’s now Cardinal Tagle

6 named new princes of ‘universal’ Church


Newly-installed Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, right, receives the red three-cornered biretta hat as he is elevated to cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI during a consistory inside St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, Saturday. AP

Pope Benedict XVI inducted Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle and five other non-European prelates into the College of Cardinals on Saturday, bringing a more geographically diverse mix into the exclusive club of red-robed churchmen.

During a solemn consistory in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, Benedict bestowed a three-pointed red hat and a gold ring on Tagle, installing him as the seventh Filipino cardinal in the nearly 500-year history of Catholic faith in the Philippines.

Benedict embraced Tagle after conferring the symbols of the Fillipino prelate’s new rank as a “prince” of the Church.

Rising star

Tagle, seen by many to be a rising star in the church, visibly choked up as he knelt before Benedict to receive his biretta and gold ring, and wiped tears from his eyes as he returned to his place.

The 55-year-old Tagle is noted for his young, modern approach. In February, he openly urged the Church to tackle child-sex-abuse offenders and has called on bishops to report rather than protect paedophile suspects in the wake of the scandals that rocked the Catholic Church.

Cardinal Tagle was assigned the Church of Saint Felix of Cantalice a Centocelle, once held by the late Cardinal Stephen Kim Sou-hwan, Archbishop of Seoul, South Korea.

The prayer guide released by the Vatican for the consistory said the back part of the cardinals’ rings represented “the stylized column found in St. Peter’s Basilica, while the face is a bas-relief in the shape of a cross.”

“On the face are figures of St. Peter and St. Paul, modeled on their statues located in front of the basilica, representing faith and missionary proclamation,” the guide said.

“Between the two saints, as if to illumine them, is placed an eight-pointed star, a clear reference to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Inside the ring, beneath the face, are the arms of Pope Benedict XVI in bas-relief,” it said.

The pontiff presided over the ceremony where five other clergies from Colombia, India, Lebanon, Nigeria, and the United States were elevated.

Aside from Tagle, Benedict elevated Archbishop James Harvey, the American prefect of the papal household; Abuja, Nigeria Archbishop John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan; Bogota, Colombia Archbishop Ruben Salazar Gomez; Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites in Lebanon, His Beatitude Bechara Boutros Rai; and the major Archbishop of the Trivandrum of the Siro-Malankaresi in India, His Beatitude Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal.

Cheers, applause

As Benedict read each name aloud in Latin, cheers and applause erupted from their friends and family members in the pews.

Abuja, Onaiyekan, meanwhile, seemed to want to sit down and chat with each one of the dozens of cardinals that he greeted in the traditional exchange of peace that follows the formal elevation rite.

Benedict has said that with this “little consistory,” he was essentially completing his last cardinal-making ceremony held in February, when he elevated 22 cardinals, the vast majority of them European archbishops and Vatican bureaucrats.

Benedict said Saturday that the new cardinals represent the “unique, universal and all-inclusive identity” of the Catholic Church.

“In this consistory, I want to highlight in particular the fact that the church is the church of all peoples, and so she speaks in the various cultures of the different continents,” he said.

Universal church

The six new cardinals “show that the Church is the Church of all peoples and speaks in all languages,” Benedict said in November. “It’s not the church of one continent but a universal church,” he said.

That said, the College of Cardinals remains heavily European, even with the new additions: Of the 120 cardinals under age 80 and thus eligible to vote in a conclave to elect a new pope, more than half—62—are European.

Critics have complained that the College of Cardinals no longer represents the Church, since Catholicism is growing in Asia and Africa but is in crisis in much of Europe.

The issue of numbers is significant since these are the men who will elect the next pope from among their ranks: Will the next pontiff come from the southern hemisphere, where two-thirds of the world’s Catholics live? Or will the papacy return to Italy, which has 28 voting-age cardinals, after a Polish and German pope?

The new cardinals do make the papal voting bloc a bit more multinational: Latin America, which boasts half of the world’s Catholics, now has 21 voting-age cardinals; North America, 14; Africa, 11; Asia, 11; and Australia, one.

CNN Senior Vatican analyst John Allen Jr. has tagged Tagle as a “new papal contender.”

Harvey, as the American prefect of the papal household, was the direct superior of the pope’s former butler, Paolo Gabriele, who is serving an 18 month prison sentence in a Vatican jail for stealing the pope’s private papers and leaking them to a reporter in the greatest Vatican security breach in modern times.

The Vatican spokesman has denied Harvey, 63 from Milwaukee, is leaving because of the scandal. But on the day the pope announced Harvey would be made cardinal, he also said he would leave the Vatican to take up duties as the archpriest of one of the Vatican’s four Roman basilicas. Such a face-saving promotion-removal is not an uncommon Vatican personnel move.

Harvey’s departure has led to much speculation about who would replace him in the delicate job of organizing the pope’s daily schedule and arranging audiences.

Main task: Elect new pope

Cardinals serve as the pope’s closest advisers, but their main task is to elect a new pope. And with Benedict, 85, slowing down, that task is ever more present. For the second time, the consistory ceremony was greatly trimmed back, lasting just over an hour to spare the pope the fatigue of a lengthy ceremony.

He will, however, celebrate Mass on Sunday with them.

While Benedict didn’t mention the cardinals’ primary task in his remarks, he did remind them that the scarlet of their cassock and hat that they wear symbolizes the blood that cardinals must be willing to shed to remain faithful to the church.

“From now on you will be even more closely and intimately linked to the See of Peter,” he said.

The six new cardinals are all under age 80. Their nominations bring the number of voting-age cardinals to 120, 67 of whom were named by Benedict, all but ensuring that his successor will be chosen from a group of like-minded prelates.

Saturday’s consistory marks the first time in decades that not a single European or Italian has been made a cardinal — a statistic that has not gone unnoticed in Italy. Italy still has the lions’ share of cardinals, though, with 28 voting-age “princes” of the church.

Among those present at the consistory were Vice President Jejomar Binay and Lebanese President Michel Suleiman and lawmakers from India and Nigeria. With a report from Associated Press in Vatican


First posted 6:44 pm | Saturday, November 24th, 2012

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Jose

    As a Catholic who supports the RH Bill and thinks the Church needs a LOT of reform…

    Congratulations to Cardinal Tagle!  My opposition to the Church’s stand on the RH Bill (and many other issues) doesn’t mean I don’t see that the Church is, overall, a positive force in society, and it doesn’t mean that I can’t stand up and applaud a good and honest man being recognized for his excellence.

    • po6is777

      Jose, I agree with you if you are talking about “organizational and disciplinary reforms within the church”. But if you are talking about reform or change in the “DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH”, to suit your own personal preference as in the case of RH Bill, it cannot be. The church has never changed or will never ever change doctrines. The church does not mind sinuman ang mag-against sa tinuturo niya because the church has the obligation/responsibility to tell the TRUTH and defend it.

      Nasabi ko ito because the essence of your comment suggests that the Church should change its position in the RH debate and accept the core principles of this RH bill which ESSENTIALLY will go against the teaching (doctrines) of the church particularly in the provision of “contraceptives”.

      Now, if you insist on your own preference that the church should reform its stand on RH Bill and accept it, it is hypocrisy to still call yourself and claim that you are still a Catholic. You are throwing yourself out of the Catholic Faith because you are ESSENTIALLY PROTESTING ITS DOCTRINES and TEACHINGS. By this, I think you I can rightly call you a “protestant” and maybe I can call your church as JOSE Protestant Church where you are the head pastor (or the POPE) of this protestant church.

      • Jose

        I’m not insisting on ANYBODY changing their beliefs to suit my beliefs.  I do believe however, that the Church sorely needs reform.

        I wasn’t even talking about the RH Bill: the Church is facing several challenges around the world, with more and more catholics getting less and less devout, and churches in Europe (for instance) losing attendance.  A large part of that is the Church promoting archaic and outdated beliefs, and people simply not being able to relate to it.  Everyone needs to adapt to the changing times, and the Church is no exception.

        You might want to argue that it shouldn’t adjust, and should stick to current beliefs, but anyone arguing that should take into account that if they’d done that they would still be arguing that the Sun revolves around the Earth, and that is was cool to go enslave people for the sake of converting them.

        For the record, I’ve never had issue with the Church not accepting artificial contraceptives.  I believe it’s a misguided, archaic stand, but they’re free to believe and preach what they will.  I would be against the RH Bill is it forced contraceptives on people, but it doesn’t: it gives people choices, and THAT is what I have issue with.  The tactics the Church has been employing to delay and hamper the bill include spreading information and intimidation, and frankly I think that is abhorrent.

        Lastly, the idea that disagreeing with certain aspects of the Church is absolutely bloody stupid.  Do YOU disagree with certain cases of the Church harboring and protecting pedophiles?  If so, you MUST not be a Catholic, as you’re going against Church practice.  You see how dumb that viewpoint is?

        You do not define who is and who isn’t Catholic.  If the Vatican wants to declare that anyone who disagrees with doctrine isn’t a Catholic, than they’re free to do so.

      • po6is777

        You said, “Lastly, the idea that disagreeing with certain aspects of the Church is absolutely bloody stupid.  Do YOU disagree with certain cases of the Church harboring and protecting pedophiles?  If so, you MUST not be a Catholic, as you’re going against Church practice.  You see how dumb that viewpoint is?”

        How come you claim you are Catholic when you cannot even differentiate what are “doctrines” of Catholic faith from “practices”! Harboring/protecting pedophiles IS NOT a teaching or a doctrine of the Church! The Church does not teach that!! Meron lang mga iilan na mga lider ng Simbahan ang gumagawa niyan para sa mga pansarili nilang interes at dahil narin sa kahinaan nila. Pero kailanman HINDI YAN TURO O MAGIGING TURO NG SIMBAHAN!! Dito sa mga area na ganito ang kelangan ng reform na sinasabi mo sa Simbahan hindi yong mga DOKTRINA niya o MORAL TEachings niya. Stupid comparison! See? how dumb or ignorant you are in the faith you are claiming. Read the Catechism and you will see how beautiful Catholic faith is.

      • Jose

        It isn’t doctrinal (and frankly, given that I never said it was, I don’t see where you got that idea), but when it’s general Church practice to support pedophile priests and hide them from the law, you KNOW it’s a problem with the institution.  The Church is an institution that frankly needs more transparency, oversight, and democracy, and that is and always has been my main point.

        But beyond that, the Church needs to change with the times.  One start would be repudiating the ridiculous myth that disagreeing with certain parts of doctrine makes you a non-believer.  I believe in God, I believe in Christ, I believe in the sacraments, etc.: I just do not believe in one specific interpretation of the Bible’s teachings on one specific issue.  If that doesn’t make me a Catholic, then you’d have to cut the number of Catholics in the world by at least half, as surveys have shown that many Catholics disagree with Church DOCTRINE on things like female priests, abortion, and yes, contraceptives.  But beyond specifics, the Church, like all institutions, needs to change with the times, because it really doesn’t want to again be the institution that opposed evolution and heliocentrism, that was a-ok with torturing nonbelievers, that sent armies to kill people for following different religions.  It doesn’t do those anymore, because it’s CHANGED ALREADY, and IMO it needs to continue doing so or see it’s flock keep thinning.

        And sod off with your religious advice.  I make MY own decisions on what is right and what is wrong, and if you want to outsource yours to the Vatican, that’s your business.

      • po6is777

        Then, don’t call yourself a Catholic because for me its an insult. I believe in THE TOTALITY, THE WHOLE, not part of the teachings, doctrines of the Church. And I abide with the good practices within it and not to the bad practices of some of its leaders such as harboring and protecting pedophiles and pray for them.

        When you believe in God, believe in Christ, believe in the Sacraments (these are doctrines) that the Catholic Church taught you, it is therefore you believe and submit in its AUTHORITY (recognizing her authority) to proclaim these truths to you to believe. But when it teaches you about morality or about contraceptives which in essence is about teaching (doctrine), all of the sudden hindi ka na naniniwala sa “AUTHORITY” niya?? How stupid! This is what we call a cafeteria Catholic — picking and choosing only doctrines what is fitting to your preference. It really makes you a non-Catholic because you are protesting its doctrine!
        Hindi mo pa rin ba mkuha kung ano ang pagkakaiba ng mga practices at ng mga “teachings” (doctrines)? Oo, sang-ayon ako sa sinabi mo na dapat umayon din ang simbahan sa panahon pero ito ay patungkol lamang sa mga “DISIPLINA”, “PRACTICES”, RITUALS, etc. and not about changing doctrines that’s why the the Second Vatican Council was convened in order for the church to go along with the modern times. But as you can see in this Vatican Council 2, all of the doctrines of the Church ever since has not changed including the teaching on contraceptives which is a centuries-held TRUTH of the Church . only the rituals, disciplines, practices had its adjustments to go along with the times such the mass or Eucharistic proper.

        Mind you the Church does not bother kung kumonti man ang miyembro nito, what he is after for is to TEACH, SPEAK FOR AND DEFEND THE TRUTH in all parts of the world and in all generations. Its your choice to not or hear and follow it all. Pananagutan mo yan.

      • Jose

         I don’t really care about your opinion, or that you think my defining myself as a Catholic is an ‘insult’, because I honestly think people like you are the cause of most of the pain and destruction on this world, and have been for centuries now.

        People like you, who are unable to accept differing opinions, are the kind of people who strap suicide bombs to themselves on the say so of the men you fanatically follow, or start attacking your neighbors because they follow a different religion.  People like you are the reason for the Palestinian situation, for the Final Solution, for so, so many of the wars that have ravaged this planet throughout the centuries.

        People like you, frankly, disgust me.

        So no, I don’t care what you think about how I define myself.  Why would I when given what you’ve been saying on here, I do not respect you?

        I’d debate doctrine on contraception with you, but I rather get the feeling speaking to a brick wall would be more productive.

        I believe in Catholic beliefs, but the day that actually means I have to follow every single thing the Church says like a mindless zombie is the day I leave the Church.  I believe God gave us brains for a reason, and the likes of you, who DO NOT use those brains, who blindly follow the whims of old men in Rome, are wastes of human flesh.  You’re insulted by my having free will?  I am bloody OFFENDED that given God’s magnificent gift of it to humanity, you’ve made the conscious decision not to use it.

        You know what?  You can be offended that I consider myself a Catholic if you want, but I am insulted that you consider yourself a human.  You may have the genes, but you don’t THINK, so no, you’re not.

        I just pray that the CBCP never sends out a call for people to suicide bomb Malacanang, because I think we both know you’ll be at the front of the queue.

  • ShineMother

    malaki ang posibilidad na maihalal pa si tagle bilang papa sa hinaharap. bata pa kasi, at ang bansang pinanggaligan eh punong-puno ng mga katoliko. 

    ~~mas binibigyang pansin na ang mga asyanong gaya natin dahil pababa na ng pababa ang katolisismo sa europa.

    • arn_arn

      As of 2010 there were 1.7 billion Roman Catholic Believers Worldwide.
      As of 2011 there were 1.9 billion Roman Catholic Believers Worldwide.
      As of 2012 there are  more than 2 billion+ Roman Catholic Believers Worldwide.
      How come that it is decreasing?

      Did you ever read the latest survey?

      Or did you just post there “decreasing” JUST to convince other Catholics to go and Convert into your religion?

      Or if you did “Convince” them, what kind Christian Protestant Religion will they be since there are 35,000+ Different kinds of Christian Protestant Religion in the WORLD?

      Ok sana kung isa lang yung klase ng Protestante.

      ehh kasu umabot ng 35,000+
      Sinu pa ba naman ang hangal na maniniwala sa mga Protestante.

      parang naglulukuhan lang ata tong mga toh..

      Or parang pinaglalaruan lang yata nila yung mga PANINIWALA nila..

      • ShineMother

        ang sabi ko sa europa, hindi sa buong mundo. oo, sa buong mundo tumataas dahil sa mga taga south america, africa at asia.

        ~~by the way, hindi ako INC, protestante at kung ano pa man. 

      • Guest

         There are two ways of decrease: in absolute terms and in terms of percentage

  • 903

    Dear Lord, just wondering.
    We claim to be christians but takes delight to insult, persecute, and falsely say all kinds of evil against each other.
    On the other hand, I am blessed that this is not the teaching of Your Holy Catholic Church and I bore witness to it. It teaches us that the Life of Man is TO KNOW AND TO LOVE GOD.
    Help us to understand that “RELIGION is not what we own, it is WHAT WE BECOME”

  • Baruk

    If only we Christians and all the rest of human kind will believe and follow Jesus Christ we will have a wonderful world to live in (1 Peter 2:20-22).

    Apostle Paul said follow me as I follow Christ. Jesus Christ preached the Gospel of the Kingdom Of God and/or Heaven (Matt 4:12-17 and Mark 1:14-15). The Apostles preached the same Gospel (Act 14:21-22; Acts 28:30-31; Act 8:12). Isaiah wrote an overview of the coming wonderful world in the God’s Kingdom (Isa11:1-10).

    Be accursed to those who preached different gospel (Gal 12:6-9).

    The Jews inspired the Romans to kill Jesus Christ because He is preaching something different with the Jewish scholars.

  • Edgardo Mendoza


To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks




latest videos