Cardinal-Designate Tagle Expresses Gratefulness for Pope's 'Trust and Confidence'

Views Appointment as Call To Take Mission in Asia Seriously

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 25, 2012 ( Cardinal-designate Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, who is currently in Rome attending the Synod of Bishops, expressed his gratefulness to the Holy Father for his «trust and confidence» in appointing him as Cardinal. The announcement came yesterday during Pope Benedict XVI’s Wednesday General Audience.

«I take this not only as a gift but also as a call for the Church in the Philippines to take seriously our mission especially in Asia,» Cardinal-designate Tagle said in an interview with Vatican Radio.

«Nowadays, especially through our migrants [and]Filipino workers all over the world, […]the Christian faith is made present, it spreads all over the world., So maybe this is a time for us to thank the Lord and to take seriously our mission.»

Regarding his intervention at the Synod of Bishops, Cardinal-designate Tagle was struck by how his intervention was received by not only the members of the Synod, but also the press. «The Church of Asia is often a minority Church, like John the Baptist crying in the wilderness we’re not even sure that people give you a fair hearing, even in the Philippines,» he said.

The Filipino prelate also spoke of the sufferings and difficult questions of people, saying that they should be seen as invitations to be «in solidarity with them.»[It is] not to pretend we have all the solutions. They love the Church, they can resonate and see the concrete face of God in a Church that can be sometimes silent with them, as confused as they are, and telling them that we share the same. It becomes a home for many people.

Concluding his interview, Cardinal-designate Tagle highlighted the difficulty of evangelizing in Asia, saying that while he believes that the Church should contribute to the public square, it is challenging for people to listen «if the manner by which you communicate reminds them of a triumphalistic, know-it-all institution.»

«I know that in some parts of Asia the relative silence, calmness of the Church is interpreted as timidity, but I say no – it makes the Church more credible,» he said. 

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