MANILA, Nov. 29, 2012—Fresh from his elevation to the College of Cardinals during the consistory, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle arrived back in Manila from Rome at around 11 a.m. today.
The Cardinal was welcomed by some Church officials, members of the clergy, friends and members of the media, together with officials of the Manila International Airport Authority.
In a press conference at the VIP lounge at NAIA Terminal 1, the Cardinal thanked all the Filipinos who gave their support and offered prayers for him.
He shared to members of the media that he heard some Filipinos talking about his elevation and who said that they feel the grace of God for the Church and the Filipino faithful.
“I attest that the grace and recognition is not just for me but for my family, for our archdiocese of Manila and for our Church in the Philippines,” the cardinal said.
Tagle mentioned the experience he will not forget in Rome was when he said mass for the Filipino community at the St. Paul Basilica outside the walls of Rome.
“I thought the basilica will not be full but during the procession at the start of the mass, I was in awe to see the basilica is full of Filipinos, particularly the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW). We can see the striking faith in the hearts of our OFW’s for the Church and for our country,” Tagle added.
Position on issues
Aside from thanking Filipinos who supported and prayed for him, the cardinal also answered questions from the media, especially on issues concerning the Reproductive Health (RH) bill, the upcoming election and the so-called ‘Catholic Vote’.
On the issue of the RH bill, Tagle said that he is also a Filipino bishop and the opinion of the bishops in the country is not different from his opinion on the issue.
Meanwhile, when asked about the upcoming elections, he reiterated that those who will be running must think about the interest of everybody, not just the candidate’s personal interest and the interest of a small group.
He is also asking the candidates to pray and to undergo the process of discernment if the job or task of a public servant is for them, so that the motivation of running for public office is purified.
Reporters also asked his opinion on the issue of Catholic vote but Tagle said “pag-aralan ko muna ‘yan kasi I was away”.
Next week, the cardinal will preside on a series of thanksgiving Masses for those who have supported and prayed for him. (Jandel Posion)