VATICAN CITY: Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle has been elected as the new president of Caritas Internationalis. He was nominated at the confederation’s 20th General Assembly in Rome.
The Filipino prelate got 91 votes out of 133.
Cardinal Tagle will replace Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga as president of Caritas Internationalis.
He 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.
Maradiaga, who offered his congratulations and warm support to the new president, stepped down after serving two terms.
Following his election, Tagle, speaking by phone to the delegates from over 130 member organizations from all over the world, said “Buona sera a tutti [Good evening everyone]!”
Thank you for your trust. I’m limited in my capacities but with all of you, with the love that Jesus has poured into our hearts and in the name of all of the poor people in the world, I accept this election.”
He added, “Let us together strengthen the church of the poor so our witness can help guide us to a world of understanding, justice, true freedom and peace.”
Tagle is the first Caritas Internationalis president to be elected from Asia.
Fr. Edu Gariguez, Caritas Philippines’ executive secretary, said Cardinal Tagle “has the qualities of a good leader for the organization” and recounted that the clamor for the cardinal to be nominated was led by Caritas Asia when the process started early this year.
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo asked the Filipinos to pray for Tagle.
“That is great news for us in the Philippines. That means, many people from different parts of the world recognize the leadership of a Filipino. But that places a great responsibility on Cardinal Tagle’s shoulders. That is why we have to pray for him that he would be able to do his duty well. It’s really a big trust given to him,” Pabillo said.
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