The next archbishop of Manila may be named soon, Archbishop Charles John Brown, the Papal Nuncio to the Philippines, hinted.
In an interview with CNN Philippines on Wednesday, February 24, Brown said that Pope Francis may soon appoint the Archbishop of Manila who will take over Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle’s previous responsibilities.
It can be recalled that Cardinal Tagle flew to the Vatican last year to assume his duties as president of Caritas Internationalis and prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. Since then, the position in the Manila archdiocese has been left “sede vacante.”
However, this vacant seat may be filled soon, as Brown hints in the interview, “I don’t think the waiting will go on that much longer.” (Read: Meet 3 Filipinos Who Work in the Vatican)
The Manila Archdiocese is known to be one of the country’s largest, with around three million Catholic population in more than 80 parishes. It is currently led by Bishop Broderick Pabillo as apostolic administrator.
In September 2020, Pope Francis appointed Brown as the new Papal Nuncio to the Philippines. In general, a papal nuncio serves as an envoy or a diplomatic representative of the Holy See to a state or to an international organization.
In the Philippines, the Papal Nuncio post has been left vacant since November 16, 2019, before Brown officially assumed the role when he arrived in the country in December last year. (Read: Vatican’s New Apostolic Nuncio Arrives in Manila)
Upon his arrival, one of the priorities that Brown declared was ensuring that the naming of the new Manila archbishop will move “much more quickly”. He said, “I think that before too long his successor will be appointed here in Manila.”
Aside from Manila, there are five more vacant seats for an archbishop in the country. These are in San Jose de Mindoro, Taytay, Calapan, Alaminos, and Malaybalay.