Cardinal Tagle tests positive for COVID-19

Published September 11, 2020, 11:26 PM

by Manila Bulletin

State, church, netizens join hands in praying for his speedy recovery

By Analou de Vera, Argyll Cyrus Geducos, and Czarina Nicole Ong-Ki

The faithful were asked to offer prayers for the speedy recovery of Filipino Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle after it was reported that he tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Friday night.

“Cardinal Tagle actually tested positive for COVID-19 with a pharyngeal swab carried out yesterday (Thursday, September 11) on his arrival in Manila,” said Matteo Bruni, the director of the Holy See Press Office as quoted by the Vatican News.

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle

The CBCP News reported that the 63-year-old cardinal arrived in Manila on September 10, from the Vatican where he holds the position of Prefect of the Congregation for the New Evangelization of Peoples.

“Let’s join together our hands in prayers to our Almighty God for our beloved Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle for his swift recovery,” Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos told Church-run Radio Veritas on Saturday, September 12.

“We humbly beg our dear God to help, to heal our Cardinal, as we offer Holy Masses for him,” added Santos.

The Archdiocese of Manila, which Tagle previously headed, also echoed the same call for the prelate.

“Let us join in prayers for our dear Cardinal Chito for his protection, safety, and quick recovery,” it said.

Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, who is also the current acting president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), asked all bishops to include Tagle in their Mass intentions.

“May I ask you to please have him included in all your daily Mass intentions until he recovers fully from COVID-19 so that he can resume his important ministry for the universal Church,” said David through a circular.

Cardinal Tagle “does not have any symptoms and will remain in mandatory self-quarantine in the Philippines, where he is located. In the meantime, necessary checks are being carried out among those who have come into contact with His Eminence in recent days,” added Bruni.

The Vatican News said that Tagle underwent a swab test in Rome last Monday, September 7 and yielded a negative result.

The CBCP News reported that the 63-year-old cardinal arrived in Manila on Thursday, September 10.

David said that Tagle went to Manila “for a brief late summer break.”

“Cardinal Chito came home also to visit his elderly parents in Imus, Cavite. Now, he is prevented from doing so because he has to stay in isolation in the next 14 days,” added David.

The CBCP News also said that Tagle’s “last meeting with Pope Francis in a private audience was August 29.”

Prayers from Palace

Malacañang joined the church in praying for the speedy recovery of Cardinal Tagle.

“We extend our prayers of speedy recovery and good health to Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle following the unfortunate news that he had recently contracted COVID-19 and entreat the public to pray for the good Cardinal as well,” Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said.

Andanar is hoping that Tagle will get well soon so he can continue his work and inspire Catholics during the pandemic.

“May his recovery be immediate so that he can continue to fulfill his good works, and be an inspiration to the Catholic faithful to continue the fight against COVID-19 virus and be on our way to heal and recover as one nation,” he added.

Praying netizens

Netizens also extended prayers for Cardinal Tagle.

@lykalykalykaaa wrote, “Please include Cardinal Tagle in your list of prayers. We do need him. The church needs him.”

@ellamellifluous tweeted that the “world needs more prayers” as she called for collective prayers of healing: “Spare Cardinal Tagle some of your time and please do include him in your prayers. He (has) tested positive for COVID now. Let’s be a helping hand by spreading our hearts to pray for him and for other COVID patients.”

@BenLics described Tagle as “one of the most progressive church leaders” and prayed for his speedy recovery. @ibetdiz added, “Let’s pray for Cardinal Tagle and all those who are sick of COVID-19, for healing.”

Several individuals such as @kurap_paroco commented that the disease really spares no one, as even church leaders can test positive: “Beware and be aware… COVID-19 spares no one! Don’t let your guards down. Boost your immune system… sleep well, take vitamins, exercise, and refrain from going out if not necessary. We pray for Cardinal Tagle as he recuperates from the virus.”

Meanwhile, @AiiRiz lamented that the “good” people are the ones sadly testing positive for the virus.

“Why does COVID-19 go for the good ones? Praying for you, Cardinal Tagle! May God’s healing powers be upon you,” she said.

After learning about Tagle’s condition, @micadeguz hopes that her mother would at least try to be more careful now against the virus.

“Cardinal Tagle tested COVID positive. Maybe, now I can tell my mom that although she is vaccinated by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, she still has to lessen non-essential trips to her friends’ houses,” she said.

On the other hand, @EJZeit said that people should also pray for all those who tested positive for COVID-19 and not just for Tagle. “When you pray for Cardinal Tagle, please also include all other patients. We want to see the end of this pandemic real soon,” she said.

Tagle had served as the Archbishop of Manila since 2011 before he was appointed as Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in the Vatican in December, 2019.

His appointment was announced by Pope Francis on December 8, 2019. Tagle then left Manila last February to assume his new post.