Imus Bishop Luis Antonio Tagle: New Archibishop of Manila

by Kobakila News

MANILA – The Vatican has appointed Imus Bishop Luis “Chito” Antonio Tagle, as the 32nd Archbishop of Manila.  He will govern a diocese with a population of 3.2 million people, 2.8 million of whom are Catholics.  According to the terms of canon law, Tagle must take possession of the See of Manila within two months of his appointment.

Archbishop-elect Tagle’s appointment was officially announced in Rome on October 13. This was communicated to the Apostolic Nunciature in Manila by Monsignor Gabor Pinter, Charge D’ Affaires of the Vatican and was officially received by the Media Office of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

Tagle succeeds Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, who turned 79 years old last August 16.  The Cardinal submitted his resignation in 2007 when he turned 75, the mandatory retirement age for prelates, but Pope Benedict XVI extended his term indefinitely.  However, Cardinal Rosales had been informed that his resignation was accepted earlier this year and he was waiting for his successor to be named.

Tagle’s appointment comes at a time when secularization is making headway in the Philippines and presenting many challenges to the faith including changes in legislation regarding family life, birth control, and marriage.

Archbishop-elect Tagle was born in Manila on June 21, 1957. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy at St. Joseph Seminary in Manila in 1977 and earned the Master of Arts in Theology degree at the Ateneo de Manila University in 1982.  He attended courses in Theology at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. from 1987 to 1991, and obtained his Doctor of Theology degree, summa cum laude. He also took courses at the Institute of Paul VI.

After his ordination to the priesthood in February 1982, he served as parochial vicar of St. Augustine Parish (1982-1983), spiritual director (1982-1983) and rector (1983-1985) of the diocesan seminary of Imus.  After pursuing further studies in Rome from 1985-1992, he was appointed episcopal vicar for religious (1993-1995), then pastor fo the Cathedral of Imus from 1998 to 2001.

Since 1997, Tagle is a member of the International Theological Commission of the Vatican. In 1998, he was an expert at the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for Asia that took place in Rome.

At the Synod of Bishops held in Rome in 2005, he was elected member of the post-synodal Council and assistant to Cardinal Angelo Scola, general reporter of this Synod.

Tagle was appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Imus on October 22, 2001 and ordained on December 12, 2001.  He is currently the chairman of the Commission on Doctrine of the Faith of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

He is the host of The Word Exposed, a Catholic TV program produced by the Jesuit Communications Foundation (JesComm) and a co-host of the early morning Catholic program Kape’t Pandesal (Coffee and Bread), also produced by JesComm.

No date yet has been set for the installation of the new Manila archbishop.

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