Pope Francis on Friday promoted former Manila archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle to the highest order of the College of Cardinals.

Tagle, the prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in the Holy See, is now among the 11 cardinal bishops in the Vatican.

The appointment was announced on the feast of St. Joseph the Worker by Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra, substitute for general affairs for the Secretariat of State.

“[The Pope] decided to co-opt [Tagle] in the Order of Bishops, equating him in all to the Cardinals awarded the title of a suburbicarian Church,” the Vatican statement said.

Tagle is the first Filipino and Asian to be elevated to the rank of cardinal bishop.

Cardinal Beniamo Stella, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, was also among the newest members of the group.

The three ranks in the College of Cardinals are cardinal deacon, cardinal priest and cardinal bishop.

Cardinal bishops hold jurisdiction over a diocese outside of Rome. They may also be tasked to work at the departments of the Roman Curia, which is the central administration of the church.

The Dean of the College of Cardinals is also selected among the cardinal bishops. In case of a period when there is no pope, the dean will preside over Church affairs.

Originally, only six cardinal bishops are assigned the titles of the seven suburbicarian dioceses in the vicinity of Rome.

In 2018, Pope Francis broke tradition by naming more cardinal bishops. 


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