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Pope Francis Appoints Cardinal Tagle as Member of Eastern Churches Congregation

Tagle, who is currently the prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, was the sole addition to the congregation.

Pope Francis has assigned Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle to yet another leadership role in the international arena.

On Wednesday, June 9, the Pope appointed Cardinal Tagle as the new member of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches— a Vatican body that supports Eastern Catholic churches around the world. The group is also in charge of providing assistance to Latin-rite Catholic dioceses in the Middle East.

Cardinal Tagle, who is currently the prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and a member of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA), was the sole addition to the congregation. (Read: What exactly will Cardinal Tagle be doing as new cardinal-bishop?)

The new role will allow him to work alongside Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, who has been its prefect since 2014.

Congregation for the Eastern Churches

pope-appoints-tagle-to-eastern-churches-congregation
Cardinals, Patriarchs, and Major Archbishops of the Eastern Catholic Churches attend the end of the Solemnity of Christ the King in St. Peter’s square on November 24, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. (Photo from Franco Origlia/Getty Images/AsiaNews)

The congregation, formerly known as Congregation for the Oriental Churches, was founded in 1862. It began as part of the Propaganda Fide established by Pope Pius IX.

In 1917, Pope Benedict XV declared the congregation an independent group and named it Congregation for Eastern Churches. (Read: Cardinal Tagle’s Advice Amid New Normal: ‘Be Humble’)

As of the writing, the congregation is working with about 23 Eastern Catholic churches and communities around the world. Their primary aim is to ensure that the universal Catholic Church is properly representing its diversity, including in liturgy and spirituality.

The dicastery also runs eight colleges in Rome and coordinates the work of a funding network known by the Italian acronym ROACO.

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