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No Vatican 'second thoughts' about Manila's new archbishop

December 20, 2011

Manila’s newly installed Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle has the full support of the Vatican, despite questions about an article he once contributed to a controversial volume on Vatican II, writes John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter.

Archbishop Tagle, who was installed in Manila on December 12, earned his doctorate in theology at Catholic University of America. In 1999 he wrote an essay for a history of the Second Vatican Council, edited by Giuseppe Alberigo and Alberto Melloni. Because these scholars, associated with the “Bologna school,” have backed the notion that Vatican II constituted a break with previous Church teaching—a notion that Pope Benedict XVI has rejected—the archbishop’s involvement has raised some eyebrows. Sandro Magister of L’Espresso reported that some Vatican officials were even having “second thoughts” about Tagle’s appointment to the most prominent episcopal post in the Philippines.

But Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, has no reservations about the appointment, Allen reports. Vatican officials say that Archbishop Tagle’s record as a bishop during the past decade is far more important than an article he wrote in 1999.

Still, it may be significant that the 1999 article was not included in the dossier studied by the Congregation for Bishops before Archbishop Tagle's appointment to Manila. A more telling indication of the Pope's confidence will come if and when the new Archbishop of Manila is elevated to the College of Cardinals.


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