MANILA, May 8, 2015– Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle will be “a great asset” if elected president of Caritas Internationalis, a priest said.
Fr. Edu Gariguez, executive secretary of Caritas Filipinas, said Tagle has all it takes to lead the confederation of Catholic relief, development and social services organizations worldwide.
“I think he represents the values and qualities that are important to lead Caritas organizations globally being in Asia and from one of the poor and developing countries because Caritas is about working for the poor,” Gariguez said.
He said what is good about Caritas’ involvement in the Philippines is its focus not just on charity and emergency response, but also on development work and justice-related advocacies.
This means that Tagle has “good combinations” of experiences, he said, that would make him worthy of the Vatican post.
According to him, the cardinal played major roles in raising issues affecting the marginalized sector to the government.
On several occasions, he said the cardinal served as a ‘bridge’ for farmers and some workers’ unions to have a dialogue with President Benigno Aquino III.
“But he is doing these interventions in a very quiet way and without publicity,” Gariguez said. “And he’d been effective.”
Not just an NGO
In the past calamities, he added that Tagle was among those who contacted the Caritas Filipinas immediately to offer help.
“He really has the charism of Pope Francis– the genuine love and concern for the poor and the marginalized,” he said.
“Whatever work is given to the cardinal, his commitment and dedication is really there. That’s the kind of leadership that we need,” Gariguez also said.
As a theologian, the priest said Tagle will also be an advantage because Caritas needs “theological guidelines”.
“Caritas is not just an NGO but also [part of the] Church,” said Gariguez.
Caritas Internationalis is due to elect a new president and secretary general during its 20th general assembly on May 12 to 17 in Rome and the Filipino cardinal is reportedly a strong candidate for the post.
Gariguez said he and Caritas Filipinas chairman Archbishop Rolando Tirona will be in Rome next week to attend the meeting. (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews)