Manila Archbishop Emeritus and Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle. (File photo)

MANILA – Catholic prelates on Thursday lauded the appointment of Manila Archbishop Emeritus Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle as one of the new members of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue.

Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila Bishop Broderick Pabillo said he is elated with the new position of the cardinal.

“I am happy with the appointment. Now that he is in Rome, he can participate more in the work of the dicasteries there,” he said in a text message.

Sorsogon Bishop Emeritus Arturo Bastes, meanwhile, believes that Tagle is a good choice for the position.

“He is a good choice because he is Asian and a Filipino. Asia and the Far East are home to the major religions of the world. In the Philippines, we have Muslims and Buddhists. And Cardinal Tagle is the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples,” he said.

Bastes added that Tagle, being the one in charge of bishops in “mission territories” where non-Christians comprise the majority of the population, is fit to become a member of the council.

Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Emeritus Antonio Ledesma said Tagle’s appointment will inspire Filipino clergy members to boost evangelization activities.

“Since Cardinal Tagle comes from Asia, the birthplace of the world religions and the Philippines is practically the only majority Christian country in Asia, this sends a message to us for the new evangelization,” he said.

On Wednesday, the Vatican announced the appointment of Tagle, who is the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, and several other Cardinals as members of the Council.

The Pontifical Council is the central office of the Church for the promotion of interreligious dialogue in accordance with the spirit of the Second Vatican Council. (PNA)