Vatican News reported Wednesday the appointment of new members of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue (PCID) led by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of the Philippines, who is now prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, and Cardinal Michael Czerny of Canada, undersecretary of the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.
The Pope also appointed as new members of the Pontifical Council cardinals from the Central African Republic, Laos, Indonesia, and Luxembourg, along with bishops and archbishops from Ukraine, India, Albania, Myanmar, France, Japan, Taiwan, India, Italy, Australia, Israel, Poland, England, the United States, Algeria, and Vietnam.
Cardinal Tagle was appointed by Pope Francis last December, 2019, to head the 400-year-old Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. It was seen as reflecting the Pope’s desire for a missionary church and an outreach to Asia , where two thirds of the world’s population live.
The PCID to which he has now been also appointed is the central office of the Catholic Church for promoting religious dialogue, in line with the spirit of the Second Vatican Council in 1962-65 called by Pope John John XXIII. The PCID’s primary goal is the promotion of mutual understanding, respect, and collaboration between Cathollcs and followers of other religious traditions.
Cardinal Tagle’s appointment to the PCID was lauded by retired Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, once head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). “Cardinal Tagle comes from Asia, birthplace of the world religions, and the Philippines is practically the only majority Christian country in Asia,” he said. His appointment to the council, he added, “sends a message to us for the New Evangelization.”
The Pope’s new appointments to the PCID have been cited as being in line with the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions -- Nostra Aetate.
That the new appointments led by our own Cardinal Tagle may well reflect the Pope’s great expectations for the role of the Philippine Church -- of Cardinal Tagle, in particular – in the Church’s outreach to the world, particularly to Asia.