13 April 2014

Meet the Philippine Pope Francis

Meet the Philippine Pope Francis, by John L. Allen, Jr. (Boston Globe, 15 March 2014)

Before last year’s papal election, Tagle was known as the face of a distinctly Asian form of Catholicism. He rejects ostentation in dress and manner, preferring to be called by his nickname “Chito” rather than formal titles. He emphasizes the need for the church to listen as much as it talks, and he exudes a sort of slow-burn charisma that doesn’t smack you in the face so much as it gradually envelops you. Today, there’s an easier way to say all that: He’s the Asian Pope Francis. Francis clearly likes what he sees in the popular Philippine prelate, who at 56 is the fourth-youngest cardinal in the world. The pope recently appointed Tagle one of three copresidents for a critically important summit of bishops in the fall. Francis also reaches out informally.