By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Malacañang congratulated Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle on his promotion to the rank of Cardinal-Bishop, saying his new position is the success of every Filipino.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after Pope Francis promoted Cardinal Tagle to the highest rank within the College of Cardinals.
In his Monday presser, Roque thanked Tagle for the honor he brought to the country.
“Kami po ay binabati ang ating His Eminence Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle sa kanyang pagkakatalaga bilang isang Cardinal-Bishop. Ito po ang pinaka highest title ng isang cardinal sa Simbahang Katolika (We congratulate His Eminence Cardinal Tagle for his promotion as Cardinal-Bishop, the highest title for a cardinal in the Catholic Church),” he said.
“Ang tagumpay niya po, Your Eminence, ay tagumpay ng buong sambayanang Pilipino. Maraming salamat po sa karangalan and congratulations (Your success, Your Eminence, is the success of the Filipino people. Thank you for the honor and congratulations),” he added.
With his elevation to Cardinal-Bishop, Tagle now joins the ranks of 13 other cardinal bishops — 10 from the Latin Church and three cardinal patriarchs from the Oriental rites.
The 62-year-old Tagle was the Manila Archbishop before Pope Francis appointed him as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, a major Vatican post in December last year. Cardinal Tagle started serving in his new post in February 2020.
It may be recalled that somtime in March this year, President Duterte claimed that Pope Francis was angry because Cardinal Tagle was meddling with politics. Duterte alleged that Tagle was funneling funds to the opposition.
According to the President, Tagle was moved to a top post in the Vatican because the latter was undergoing investigation. He added the information was an open secret.
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) vice-president Bishop Pablo Virgilio David refuted President Duterte’s claim and referred to it as “unbelievably ludicrous” in a Facebook post.
David likewise urged Duterte to stop wasting time on baseless allegations and focus on efforts to contain the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
President Duterte has been at odds with the Catholic Church due to its opposition to alleged extrajudicial killings as an offshoot of the Chief Executive’s drug war.