Luis Antonio Tagle
Archbishop of Manila
Luis Antonio Tagle
Luís Antonio Gokim Tagle is the Filipino Roman Catholic archbishop of of Manila and de facto primate of the Philippines. Appointed by Pope Benedict XVI, Tagle succeeded the Archbishop Emeritus, Gaudencio Rosales. Tagle is also an Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at the Loyola School of Theology of the Ateneo de Manila University. Tagle is widely known for his charismatic nature and views in line with Catholic teachings.
Luis Antonio Tagle's personal information overview.
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  • 2015
    Age 57
    On May 14, 2015, he was elected President of Caritas International replacing Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga.
    More Details Hide Details Some Catholic media that judge Tagle's views to be too liberal criticized the appointment. Tagle has been Chairman for the Episcopal Commission on the Doctrine of Faith of the Philippines since 2003. Tagle is the Professor of Dogmatic Synthesis at the Graduate School of Theology of San Carlos Seminary, the archdiocesan major seminary of Manila, and an Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at the Loyola School of Theology of Ateneo de Manila University. He also taught at the school of theology of the Divine Word Seminary in Tagaytay City. Tagle's personal coat of arms (sinister side) is impaled with that of the Archdiocese of Manila (dexter side). The dexter side is derived from the arms of the City of Manila. The tower of Castille signifies belief in the one God, its three windows professing devotion to the Trinity. The crescent moon is a symbol of the Blessed Virgin Mary as the Immaculate Conception, the principal patroness of the Philippines. On the lower portion, a sea-lion bearing a cruciform staff is on an azure field, signifying the City of Manila. The sea-lion is originally a Spanish heraldic designation for the Philippines as an ultramar (overseas) possession. Today, the device is also found on several state arms such as the Presidential Seal.
    He was also confirmed by Pope Francis as President of the Catholic Biblical Federation on March 5, 2015.
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    On July 11, 2015, he was made a member of the Pontifical Council 'Cor Unum'.
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    In 2015, he said that "Every situation for those who are divorced and remarried is quite unique.
    More Details Hide Details To have a general rule might be counterproductive in the end. We cannot give one formula for all." Cardinal Tagle is a member of the Congregation for Catholic Education, Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Pontifical Council for the Family, Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, Pontifical Council for the Laity, XIII Ordinary Council of the Secretariat General of the Synod of Bishops.
    In a March 2015 interview, Tagle said the Catholic Church needed to develop a new language for addressing homosexuals, unwed mothers, and divorced and remarried Catholics because "what constituted in the past an acceptable way of showing mercy" changes and needs to be re-imagined.
    More Details Hide Details He said: A columnist in the National Catholic Register objected that "It is never mercy to refrain from telling a necessary truth. Those who refrain from truth, those who refrain from true but necessary 'harsh' words do not walk the path of a follower of Jesus." A report in LifeSiteNews contrasted Tagle's views with those of Cardinal Raymond Burke, who said the defense of traditional marriage might require martyrdom, and said Tagle opposed "the use of 'harsh' and 'severe' language to describe the sins of adultery and homosexual behavior". Following the publication of Pope Francis' encyclial Laudato si', Cardinal Tagle launched a campaign in the Philippines to collect signatures for a petition against anthropogenic global warming caused by carbon dioxide emissions.
  • 2014
    Age 56
    As the 2014 session of the synod approached he said he hoped that "the pastoral care of divorced and civilly remarried couples is debated openly and with good will" but emphasized other challenges drawn from his Philippine experience, especially the separation of married couples from one another and their children caused by poverty and migration.
    More Details Hide Details After the synod failed to approve admitting divorced and remarried Catholics to communion by the required two-thirds majority, he emphasized that the majority has approved the idea and the issue remained open. He said:
    As the Synod on the Family opened public discussion of allowing divorced and remarried Catholics to receive communion, Tagle repeatedly signaled his openness to doing so. In March 2014 he said he was open to hearing arguments on the question.
    More Details Hide Details He said: "We have a principle we have to believe in. But the openness comes on pastoral judgments you have to make in concrete situations, because no two cases are alike."
  • 2013
    Age 55
    Tagle was mentioned by some news organizations as a possible candidate for election as pope during the papal conclave that elected Pope Francis in 2013.
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    On January 31, 2013, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Cardinal Tagle to serve as a member of the Presidential Committee of the Pontifical Council for the Family and the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerants.
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    On January 9, 2013, Tagle delivered a televised homily at the Quirino Memorial Grandstand denouncing cafeteria Catholics in the Philippines as "enemies of the Church, false witnesses with pretentious devotion", specifying those who claim to follow Jesus Christ but reject Roman Catholic doctrine by refusing to respect the sanctity of human life and natural law.
    More Details Hide Details He hinted at the recently enacted the Reproductive Health Bill. Tagle also spoke against nominal Catholics who worship their "jewelry" (wealth), but ignore Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.
  • 2012
    Age 54
    He received the pallium, the symbol of his authority as a metropolitan archbishop, from Pope Benedict XVI on June 29, 2012, in Rome.
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    On November 30, 2012, upon his return to the Philippines, he presided at a thanksgiving Mass at the San Fernando de Dilao Church in Paco, Manila, which President Benigno Aquino III, Vice-President Jejomar Binay, and Mayor Alfredo Lim of Manila attended.
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    Pope Benedict XVI announced he was naming Archbishop Tagle to the College of Cardinals on October 24, 2012.
    More Details Hide Details Tagle himself had been notified the night before. At the consistory where he was formally made a Cardinal on November 24, he was assigned the titular church of San Felice da Cantalice a Centocelle. Tagle was the seventh Filipino to be made Cardinal of the Catholic Church. When he became a cardinal he was the second youngest one.
    Benedict XVI named Tagle as one of the Synod Fathers for the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelisation on September 18, 2012.
    More Details Hide Details In his intervention at that synod, he outlined how he believed the Church should approach the process of evangelization. He said: In an interview with Vatican Radio, he explained how his view reflected the experience of Asian and Philippine culture:
    On August 4, 2012, Tagle delivered a speech at a prayer rally against the Reproductive Health Bill, which included provisions for the funding and distribution of birth control information and devices.
    More Details Hide Details He advocated for the recognition of women's rights by recognizing their valued role as mothers and wives, deserving of genuine love and respect as reflections of God and a gift to mankind. Tagle also denounced sexual prostitution as an affront to women's femininity. He took a more moderate stance on the legislation than other Philippine bishops, refusing to threaten politicians who supported the legislation with excommunication or to have posters criticizing its supporters as "Team Death" distributed in Manila's parishes.
    On June 12, 2012, Tagle was appointed a member of the Congregation for Catholic Education for a five-year renewable term.
    More Details Hide Details That same day, Tagle spoke at the 50th International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin, Ireland. He discussed how the sexual abuse crisis requires the Church to reevaluate its relationship with the media. He said: "As we challenge them to be fair and truthful in whatever they are reporting, the Church should also be prepared to be scrutinised by media, provided the norms of fairness and truthfulness are applied to all, especially the victims". He decried the tendency of Church officials to resent negative media coverage even when accurate, while noting he had witnessed some media coverage in Asia that is tainted by "an anti-Christian sentiment". He also mentioned the various issues which distinguish the experience of the Church in Ireland and similar cases in Asia.
    In February 2012, Tagle attended the Symposium for Healing and Renewal at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.
    More Details Hide Details Tagle discussed the way the sex-abuse crises manifests itself in Asia, where it is more common for priests to violate their vows of celibacy by taking mistresses than to engage in the sexual abuse of minors. Tagle maintained that the deference to authority typical of Asian culture combined with the dominance of the Catholic Church in a country like the Philippines produced a "culture of shame" that continued to inhibit the reporting of instances of abuse. He said that culture needed to change though he anticipated great difficulties: He said the fact his country had a "touching culture" that created problems of interpretation and mandatory reporting laws would face cultural hurdles as well.
  • 2011
    Age 53
    He was installed as Archbishop on December 12, 2011, the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the tenth anniversary of his episcopal consecration.
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    Prior to his installation, Tagle made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in October 2011.
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    Pope Benedict XVI appointed Tagle the 32nd Archbishop of Manila on October 13, 2011, to succeed Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales.
    More Details Hide Details According to Father Catalino Arévalo, SJ, the first Asian member of the Vatican's International Theological Commission, Tagle's appointment was promoted by the Papal Nuncio to the Philippines Edward Joseph Adams and Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales, but some objections were submitted to the Congregation for Bishops, which caused some delay in processing his appointment.
  • 2008
    Age 50
    At the 2008 International Eucharistic Congress in Quebec, Canada, he delivered a talk on the importance of the Eucharist that, by one report, moved the audience to tears.
    More Details Hide Details He contrasted Christian worship with false forms of adoration:
  • 2005
    Age 47
    At the first gathering of bishops under Pope Benedict XVI in 2005, the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, he spoke from the floor about the inadequacy of the number of priests in the Philippines.
    More Details Hide Details He said: To the concept that priestly vocation are a gift from God he countered: "we should also ask whether the Church is a good steward of the gift." He told a news conference that "The first Sunday after my ordination as a priest, I said nine Masses, and that is regular in the Philippines." Discussing priestly celibacy, Cardinal Angelo Scola, the synod moderator, expressed reservations about modifications to the Church's requirement of celibacy for the priesthood. In response, Tagle suggested that the Church should consider such a change to combat the shortage of priests.
  • 2001
    Age 43
    In 2001, Tagle was appointed Bishop of Imus on October 22 and consecrated on December 12.
    More Details Hide Details During his ten years in Imus, he made a point of living simply, owned no car and invited the destitute to join him for a meal.
  • 1997
    Age 39
    Pope John Paul II appointed Tagle to the International Theological Commission, where he served from 1997 to 2002 under its President, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.
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  • 1995
    Age 37
    From 1995 to 2001 he was a member of the editorial board of the "History of Vatican II" project.
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  • 1985
    Age 27
    After studies in the United States from 1985 to 1992, he returned to Imus and was Episcopal Vicar for Religious (1993–1995) and parish priest and rector (1998–2001) of Nuestra Señora del Pilar Cathedral-Parish.
    More Details Hide Details He also taught theology at San Carlos Seminary (1982-1985) and Divine Word Seminary in Tagaytay, Cavite.
  • 1982
    Age 24
    Tagle was ordained in the Diocese of Imus on February 27, 1982.
    More Details Hide Details After ordination, he held the following positions: associate pastor of San Agustín Parish – Méndez-Núñez, Cavite (1982–1984), spiritual director (1982–1983) and later rector (1983–1985) of the diocesan seminary of Imus.
  • 1977
    Age 19
    Tagle earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in pre-divinity from Ateneo in 1977 and then a Master of Arts in theology at its Loyola School of Theology.
    More Details Hide Details Tagle earned his Doctorate in Sacred Theology at the Catholic University of America from 1987 to 1991. He wrote his dissertation under the direction of Joseph Komonchak on the development of the concept of episcopal collegiality at the Second Vatican Council and the influence of Pope Paul VI. Tagle also attended doctrinal courses at the Institute of Pope Paul VI University. In Komonchak's estimation, Tagle was "one of the best students I had in over 40 years of teaching" and "could have become the best theologian in the Philippines, or even in all of Asia" had he not been appointed bishop. Tagle has received honorary degrees from La Salle University and the Catholic Theological Union.
  • 1957
    Tagle was born on June 21, 1957, the eldest child of devout Catholic parents, Manuel Topacio Tagle, an ethnic Tagalog and his Filipino Chinese wife, Milagros Gokim, who previously worked for Equitable PCI Bank.
    More Details Hide Details Tagle's paternal grandfather, Florencio, came from Imus, Cavite; the Tagle family were part of the country's hispanic, Christian aristocracy, known as the Principalía, in the era before the 1896 Philippine Revolution. Florencio was injured by a bomb explosion during the Second World War; Tagle's grandmother made a living by running a local diner. Tagle was able to recite the Rosary by age three. After attending elementary and secondary school at Saint Andrew's School in Parañaque, he was influenced by priest friends to enter the Jesuit San José Seminary, which gained him automatic admission to Ateneo de Manila University.
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