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Pope Francis to pick Tagle’s successor

By: - Reporter / @santostinaINQ
/ 04:29 AM January 27, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Since the announcement of Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle’s appointment to one of Vatican’s top post, there have been a lot of speculations as to who will be his possible successor to head the influential archdiocese.

“We truly do not know. It’s really up to the Pope to decide who will it be,” said Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo in an interview with the Inquirer.

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On Dec. 8, 2019, Pope Francis announced the appointment of Manila archbishop Tagle as Prefect of the Congregation on the Evangelization of Peoples. But the Pope has yet to announce Tagle’s successor.

“There may be names that surface but all of those are just speculations. It’s useless to speculate so better not to guess anymore. We will all just be surprised,” Pabillo said.

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Fr. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ (CBCP) permanent committee on public affairs, has enumerated the characteristics expected of the next Manila archbishop.

“In relation to his priests, one who is both a father and a brother. In relation to the faithful, a good communicator and a doer, someone who inspires with words and deeds,” Secillano told the Inquirer.“In relation to the government, one who is firm in leading and offering moral clarity to public officials and to the public at large,” he said.“In other words, he is to be a caring and holy shepherd but can crack the whip if he must and should be a man of dialogue and reason,” he added.

Like Pabillo, Secillano said he did not have an inkling of who may be Tagle’s replacement in Manila.

“It’s the Pope who will appoint … but I’m pretty sure that the Cardinal will be consulted about it,” the priest said. Pabillo explained the “long and tedious” process of selecting the next archbishop of Manila.

“We know that positions in the Church are not by popularity, much less by our so-called padrino system,” Pabillo said in a Facebook post.

“Positions in the Church are not promotions like in the secular world. They are modes of service,” he said.

According to Pabillo, a particular department in Rome, the Congregation on Bishops, is on top of the selection process.

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Consultations are conducted in the countries concerned by the apostolic nunciatures. These are equivalent to the embassies of the Holy See in countries with ties to Rome, he said. INQ

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