On May 3, it was announced that former Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle was promoted to the role of cardinal-bishop, the second highest position in the Catholic Church.
The Filipino faithful were quick to congratulate the well-loved cardinal for his new title. It comes as by being a cardinal-bishop, Tagle has become a part of a group of 20 priests from the around the world who share the same title.
But what exactly is a cardinal-bishop and what does the role entail?
A cardinal-bishop is someone who oversees and presides over one of the seven suburbicarian sees in Rome: Albano, Frascati, Ostia, Palestrina, Porto and Santa Rufina, Sabina and Mentana, or Velletri.
Currently, Cardinal Tagle does not oversee any suburbicarian see—which requires special papal permission.
Aside from having jurisdiction over one of the seven suburbicarian sees, a cardinal-bishop also works at one of the departments of the Roman Curia, the central administration of the Church.
Cardinal Tagle is currently the prefect of the Congregation of the Evangelization of Peoples, which is in charge of the missionary work and other related activities of the Church.
Being a cardinal-bishop means helping the pope in deciding on important matters relating to the Church and its believers. The pope can also ask for their thoughts and opinions on certain matters and activities of the Church.
Back in 2013, Pope Francis appointed the then-55-year-old Cardinal Tagle as the head of Caritas International, the Catholic Church’s relief agency. And just recently, in December 2019, he was appointed as the new prefect of the Congregation of the Evangelization of Peoples. The Congregation is said to be merging with the Pontifical Council for New Evangelization, making it what is said to be a “super-dicastery.”