Manila, Card. Tagle bids farewell to his archdiocese and arrives at the Vatican

The former archbishop is the new prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. Before leaving for Rome, the cardinal greeted the faithful: "It was an honor and a blessing to have known you and to have collaborated with you".

Manila (AsiaNews) - Card. Luis Antonio Gokim Tagle arrives today in the Vatican to take office as prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. The prelate took leave of the Archdiocese of Manila yesterday morning, celebrating a mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and publishing a greeting.

Card. Tagle had served the Catholic community in the capital since 13 October 2011, when Pope Benedict XVI appointed him 32nd archbishop. On December 8, Pope Francis chose him as the third Asian prefect to head the dicastery, once called Propaganda Fide. The Archdiocese of Manila will remain "sede vacante" until the pontiff names the successor to Card. Tagle.

Before leaving for Rome at 10 pm, the cardinal published a greeting to the faithful. "“Tonight I say goodbye. Work starts for me this week at the Congregation. It was an honor and blessing to have known you and have collaborated with you. I will always treasure my time with you. You can count on my prayers,” Cardinal Tagle said in his farewell message to the faithful of the Archdiocese of Manila.

“Please pray for me and my mission as well. Let us pray for docility to the Holy Spirit as we continue our life as an Archdiocese and await the next Archbishop. Stay well and joyful,” he wrote, signing “Cardinal Chito ”- as Filipino Catholics affectionately call him.