Our cardinal in council for religious dialogue

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.