Tagle not pope, but Catholic PH embraces Argentinian
MANILA - The mainly Catholic Philippines was rooting for Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle to become the next pope, but easily embraced the man who emerged from the balcony of the Sistine Chapel.
Netizens took to social media to show their support for Argentinian Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio, now known as Pope Francis. They were disappointed not hearing the name of Tagle, an early favorite when Pope Benedict XVI resigned from his post.
A netizen even joked, “Cardinal Tagle should have won as Pope if election of pope was thru txt votes. hahaha.” The Philippines, of course, has earned the moniker text capital of the world – with Filipinos using their cellphones to implement change and sway opinion.
Government officials were more diplomatic, choosing to welcome Pope Francis to the Catholic papacy.
“The President, along with the Filipino people, joins all the Catholic faithful as they receive their new leader and meet his proclamation with a sense of boundless promise. As the first pope from outside Europe in a millennium-the first pope from the Society of Jesus, and the first from Latin America-the election of Pope Francis brings with it the promise of renewal in the Catholic Church, as it strives to fulfill its mission here on earth,” said presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda.
Vice President Jejomar Binay also joined the Filipinos in welcoming the pope.
“Just like his namesake, Pope Francis has shown affinity with the poor, both preaching and practicing compassion for our less fortunate brothers and sisters. He reminds us that serving our fellowmen is a duty not only of the Church, but of all Catholics. As he begins his Papacy, we pray that he will lead the Church with wisdom, humility, compassion and grace.”
Other sectors expressed open mindedness and wariness at the same time.
ProGay Philippines welcomed the new pope, but said: "The marginalized lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities especially the discriminated, poor, and jobless millions living in the slums welcome a leader who has publicly criticized neoliberal economic policies that destroy livelihoods, the ecology, and health.”
Pope Francis, as a cardinal in Argentina, reportedly fought tooth and nail against gay marriage.