Newly-created Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle was unable to hold back tears during the Consistory at St. Peter’s Basilica on Saturday. The moment came as Benedict XVI handed him his gold ring and biretta. Tagle later explained why he became so emotional during the ceremony.
RomeReports quotes CARD. LUIS ANTONIO TAGLE Archbishop of Manila (Philippines)
“I cry easily, and I guess when you are before a great mystery that you know is beyond you, a calling, a grace, a mission, then, you know, you tremble, but at the same time you’re happy.”
Cardinal Tagle, 55, is the second youngest member of the College of Cardinals. Saturday’s Consitory reinforces the growth and presence of cardinals from Asia. Tagle was one of three Asian cardinals created during the ceremony, raising the continent’s representation to 20 total. Of those 20, 11 of them are eligible to become papal electors.
Cardinal Tagle’s tears confirm the impression his words and deeds give about him as being a very sensitive, sensible, compassionate and humble pastor. Like his immediate predecessor as Manila’s archbishop, Tagle—Jesuit-trained like Cardinal Rosales—is, I believe, a Vincentian lover and evangelizer of the poor. The universal Church and the local churches need more pastors like him. The Philippine Church “can use” some of his compassion. It needs pastors who are so compassionate they will also shed tears of holy indignation at the face of poverty and injustice and inequality prevailing in the Philippines. There has got to be, on the part of church leaders in the Philippines and elsewhere, more than just statements and interventions that appear to be politically motivated and intended to score points against government officials not to their liking. And action, of course, speaks louder than words.
And now a Cardinal who says we should laugh more.
“It means we have to laugh more, …”
He is now the youngest member of the College of Cardinals, his name, Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal, from India. The cardinal is very active in Indian society, helping those less fortunate. He has built two hospitals for patients with AIDS, a homeless shelter, and an education foundation to help needy children.