Tagle officially becomes cardinal

Posted at 11/24/2012 6:42 PM | Updated as of 11/25/2012 5:33 PM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle was officially named cardinal on Saturday.

Tagle, along with 5 other non-European archbishops, were installed as cardinals by Pope Benedict the XVI in a ceremony at the Vatican.

Tagle became emotional when he faced the 85-year-old pontiff, whom he considers as his mentor.

The other cardinals are James Michael Harvey, United States; Bechara Boutros Al-Rahi, Lebanon; Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal, India; John Onaiyekan, Nigeria; and Ruben Salazar Gomez, Colombia.

The Catholic Church's College of Cardinals is an elite body that advises the Pope and elects his successor upon his death.

Tagle has said his appointment as cardinal is a call for unity for the Church in Asia.

The 55-year-old Tagle will be one of the 3 living Filipino cardinals, 2 of whom are already retired.

The new “Princes of the Church" were given red hats and gold rings during a ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica.

"By convening this little consistory I wanted to complete the one held in February in the context of a new evangelism... showing that the Church belongs to all peoples, speaks all languages," the Pope told bishops last month.

"It is not the Church of one continent but a universal Church," he added.

New cardinals

Tagle, noted for his young and modern approach, has openly urged the Church to address child-sex-abuse offenders and has called on bishops to report pedophile suspects in the wake of the scandals.

The 63-year-old Harvey was the direct supervisor of the Pope's former butler Paolo Gabriele, who was sentenced this month to 18 months in prison for stealing secret Vatican documents.

Harvey will be named archpriest of one of the four principal basilicas in Rome.

The 72-year-old Bechara, the head of the Christian Maronite Church in Lebanon, called on the West to give Syria's President Bashar al-Assad a chance in 2011, amid fears that Islamic extremism would threaten Christians.

Thottunkal, meanwhile, is the youngest cardinal to be appointed at age 53 and is the second prelate from Southern India to be named cardinal this year.

Onaiyekan, 68, has pushed for peace after attacks on Christians by the Islamist sect Boko Haram in Nigeria.

The 70-year-old Salazar Gomez has been the archbishop of the Bogota diocese since 2010, and has always promoted national peace talks between the government and the FARC.

After the new consistory, there are now 62 European cardinals, 14 North Americans, 21 South Americans, 11 Africans and 11 Asians eligible to vote.

A mass will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday (4 p.m. Manila time) to be led by the Pope and the new cardinals.

At 3:30 p.m. (10:30 p.m. Manila time), Tagle will celebrate a Thanksgiving mass at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls.

'Great joy and pride'

Vice President Jejomar Binay, who was present during the installation rites at the Vatican, said the event brings “great joy and pride to Filipino Catholics.”

“The installation of His Eminence Cardinal Tagle and the canonization of St. Calungsod are important events not only for the Catholic Church, which is celebrating this year as ‘The Year of Faith,’ but also for our predominantly Catholic nation,” Binay said in a statement.

St. Calungsod was canonized in October. -- With reports from Agence France-Presse; ANC; dzMM