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Catholic Mission welcomes Cardinal Tagle appointment

Catholic Mission has welcomed the appointment of Cardinal Luis Tagle as head of the Church’s global missionary arm, calling it a ‘game-changer’.

Pope Francis made the announcement on Sunday, just weeks after a tour of Thailand and Japan. Cardinal Tagle becomes just the second Asian to be appointed Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, after Indian Cardinal Ivan Dias.

The Congregation was established in 1622 to oversee the missionary activity of the global Church and to spread faith throughout the world. It is responsible for dioceses in much of the developing world.

Outgoing Prefect Cardinal Fernando Filoni has been appointed the Grand Master of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre.

Catholic Mission National Director Father Brian Lucas welcomed the announcement, paying homage to Cardinal Filoni’s contribution during his eight years as Prefect. ‘Cardinal Filoni served with great zeal in a challenging role,’ Fr Lucas said.

‘We welcome this appointment of Cardinal Tagle as Prefect of the Congregation for Evangelization of Peoples, which will bring a different perspective and acknowledges the vibrancy of the church in Asia.

Lawrence Gigliotti, Programs Manager at Catholic Mission, said it is a positive step forward for mission in the Church. ‘This is huge news. It gives a new lens to the Congregation,’ says Mr Gigliotti.

‘For us, as part of the Pontifical Mission Societies, Cardinal Tagle brings a unique mission perspective to the role, which helps to inform how we can better serve our brothers and sisters in mission lands.

‘This move shows what Pope Francis wants to achieve. It represents a dynamic force of change, setting up the direction of the Church for years to come. It’s a real game-changer.’

Cardinal Tagle has developed a reputation as a progressive leader. Appointed Archbishop of Manila in 2011 by Pope Benedict XVI, he became known as an outspoken advocate for justice and peace in the Philippines. He was made a Cardinal in 2012.

He hosted television programs and talk shows inviting youth and other lay people to participate in important discussions of faith. His charismatic, joyful and outspoken nature have earned him respect among his compatriots as well as at all levels of the Church.

Catholic Mission is the Australian agency of the Pontifical Mission Societies, which is directly subject to the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.