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‘You want Tagle to be pope? Shut up, pray’

Robertzon Ramirez - The Philippine Star
âYou want Tagle to be pope? Shut up, prayâ
Former Manila archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle added that those who want Tagle to become the next pope should storm the heavens with prayers, as “it is the Holy Spirit who will choose the next pope.” Tagle is currently in the Vatican working as prefect for the Congregation of the Evangelization of Peoples.
Edd Gumban, file

MANILA, Philippines — Amid reports of former Manila archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle possibly becoming the next pope, an official of the Catholic Church urged the Catholic faithful to pray for him if they want him to succeed Pope Francis.

St. John Paul II parish priest Aris Sison told “The Chiefs” on Cignal TV’s One News that the conclave, or the election of a pope, is not an ordinary election and is not a matter of popularity where the most talked about cardinal is likely to get elected.

He added that those who want Tagle to become the next pope should storm the heavens with prayers, as “it is the Holy Spirit who will choose the next pope.” Tagle is currently in the Vatican working as prefect for the Congregation of the Evangelization of Peoples.

“The papacy is not a matter of popularity. You don’t campaign for someone to become a pope. I have been telling my friends who want Cardinal Tagle to be pope. ‘If you want Cardinal Tagle to be pope, shut up. Keep quiet and just pray,” Sison said.

“You can’t campaign for it. And all of these speculations … it’s the Holy Spirit who chooses the next pope,” he added, as he recalled that Pope Francis was not the popular cardinal when he was elected into the papacy.

Premature

Sison also emphasized that it is still premature to talk about the successor of Pope Francis since the 85-year-old pontiff is still alive and capable of serving the Catholic Church around the globe despite his medical condition.

He said Pope Francis is still able to perform his duties as the leader of the Catholic Church even if he has only one lung, had his left colon removed, had undergone therapy on his knee and has been suffering from sciatica.

“He’s getting old (turning 86 on Dec. 17). He’s showing signs of age. He has given hints about retiring … The pope may be getting old, but he is alive. And if you saw him during his recent trip to Canada, he was relatively fine,” he said.

“He is well and he has not resigned. For those who are asking about possibilities of the next pope, I would say pray for the pope more than anything else. Pray for the pope,” he added when asked to comment about the possibility of Pope Francis cutting short his papacy.

Sison explained that a pope is elected through a conclave of the cardinal electors. He said that there is going to be a consistory, where a fresh batch of at least 16 new cardinals will be “created” on Aug. 27.

Citing Vatican records, Sison said there are a total of 206 cardinals as of Aug. 8. Of the number, only 116 are cardinal electors capable of electing and becoming the next pope, while four are non-voting cardinals.

LUIS ANTONIO CARDINAL TAGLE

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