New cardinal Tagle admits knowledge of Papal selection process still limited

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle on Sunday admitted that he still has limited knowledge of the process to select the successor to Pope Benedict XVI, who announced his resignation last week. Tagle, the Roman Catholic Church’s youngest cardinal who has been described by an international news agency as a future papal contender, said he is still in the process of preparing for the conclave set to be called in Rome in the next few weeks following the Pope’s resignation. "Aaminin ko sa inyo, hindi ko pa masyadong alam kung ano ang mangyayari. Nagbabasa pa nga ako kung ano ba talaga ang gagawin. Bagitong-bagito pa,” Tagle said in a speech at a leadership forum on Sunday afternoon. He added that he remains surprised and saddened by the Pope’s decision to give up his ministry after seven years of being the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. “We were all caught by surprise by the announcement. Now, we are beginning to assess the pontificate,” the cardinal said. Tagle, however, refused to answer more questions on his preparations for the papal conclave, and on his chances of being chosen as the next Pope. Conclave Last Monday, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he will resign on February 28, making him the first pope in centuries to do so. The Vatican cited the 85-year-old Pope’s declining health as the official reason for his resignation, but media reports said scandals that rocked the Roman Catholic Church under his watch may have taken their toll on the pontiff. Tagle, for his part, said he will always remember how Pope Benedict XVI wanted to focus on the “fundamentals” of the Roman Catholic faith. “The thing that most strikes me about him is that he wanted to bring the Church back to the basics,” the Filipino cardinal said. In the coming weeks, Tagle will join the 120-member College of Cardinals at the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City to select Pope Benedict XVI’s successor. Cardinals under the age of 80 have between 15 and 20 days to gather in Rome to select among themselves Pope Benedict XVI’s replacement. Until a new Pope is elected, the College of Cardinals governs the Roman Catholic Church. — BM, GMA News

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