Cardinal Tagle elected Caritas president

MANILA, May 15, 2015 - Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle has been elected as the new president of Caritas Internationalis, a confederation of global Catholic charities.

He was elected by more than 300 Caritas delegates from around the world at the second day of their general assembly in Rome on Thursday.

The first Asian elected to head the confederation of worldwide Catholic charities will replace the agency’s current president Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa after serving his second and last term.

Cardinal Tagle will become the global representative of the Caritas confederation of 165 members as its head when he officially takes office at the end of the assembly on May 17.

Strong support

Fr. Edu Gariguez, Caritas Philippines executive secretary, has lauded the cardinal’s appointment, saying that Tagle “has the qualities of a good leader for the organization”.

“I assured him of our support at Caritas Asia. And this is not for anything else but for our commitment and whole hearted service for the poor so we need him for this,” he said.

Gariguez, who is also Rome for the assembly, said the “clamor” for the cardinal to be nominated was led by Caritas Asia when the process started early this year.

But it was only last week, he said, when he learned that Caritas agencies in Europe and other countries are also in full support of the Manila archbishop.

“The charism and reputation of the cardinal is not only here in the Philippines and it’s because he remains much the same low-profile personality, he’s not grandstanding but is making a huge impact,” he said.

‘Darling for Europe’

Mr. Chacko Joseph, head of Caritas Internationalis’ Solidarity Team for Emergency Preparedness (STEP) program in the Philippines, also said that Tagle has many supporters from most Caritas networks.

“I strongly believe that Cardinal Tagle is the darling for Europe. He is well-versed with everybody there and he is a down to earth person,” Joseph said.

According to him, the cardinal will be “a huge advantage” for Caritas because of his close ties with Pope Francis “and they really understand each other”.

“And for a Catholic country like the Philippines, that will be a huge advantage because he could bring the people’s voice to Caritas,” he said. (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews)

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