Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Archbishop of Manila, Philippines, said that in a recent conversation, Pope Francis affirmed that “the future of the Church is in Asia.”
According to Asia News, the Filipino prelate revealed the Pope’s sentiments during a conference organized by the Pontifical Athenaeum for Philosophy, Theology and Canon Law in Bangalore, India.
In his address, Cardinal Tagle said that he recently met with the Holy Father to discuss his appointment as head of Caritas Internationals and of the Catholic Biblical Federation. He asked that he be relieved of his duties, but the Pope refused, saying that he wanted an Asian in those positions because “the future of the Church is in Asia.”
“It is not a matter of honour. Is it a challenge, a prophecy or a great calling? We do not know. But it is surely a matter of great responsibility, a great mission,” the cardinal said.
The Church in Asia, he went on to say, takes “our mission seriously and seek ways on how we can contribute to the worldwide Church, in terms of reflection, research and best practices.”
Cardinal Tagle said that Church is concentrating in regions such as Africa, Asia and Oceania, saying that “places of deep suffering and pain have become the centre of gravity of Church life and reflection.” (J.A.E.)