From Sandro Magister's latest column: The school of Bologna gets its own Cardinal.
But let's get back to Archbishop Tagle, who, as soon as he was appointed to Manila, was immediately honored with the title of "new papal contender" by vaticanista John L. Allen of the progressive American weekly "National Catholic Reporter."
It was Allen himself who emphasized how Tagle, after being a student of the theologian Joseph Komonchak of the Catholic University of America, joined the team of scholars put to work by Alberto Melloni and his mentor, Giuseppe Alberigo – both disciples and successors of Fr. Giuseppe Dossetti – on their controversial history of the Council. In the fourth volume of this history, published in 1999 and dedicated to the turbulent conciliar period of the autumn of 1964, it is Tagle who signs the key chapter, the one dedicated to the "storm in November: the black week."
The candidacy for the new archbishop of Manila was discussed at the Vatican by the cardinals and bishops of the congregation for bishops at their meeting on Thursday, September 22.
At this meeting, Tagle, who had been the bishop of Imus since 2001 and was already the first of three candidates for Manila, was preselected over the second contender, Socrates Buenaventura Villegas, the archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan since 2009 and previously the personal secretary of Cardinal Jaime Sin, a protagonist of the peaceful revolution that led to the downfall of the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos in 1986.
Benedict XVI confirmed the selection, and promoted Tagle to Manila.
In commenting on the appointment of his pupil, Komonchak, the editor of the American edition of the history of Vatican II produced by the school of Bologna, deduced from this with satisfaction that having worked on this history "is not enough to make oneself entirely 'persona non grata' in the Vatican."
The "Philippine Daily Inquirer" wrote that the connection between Tagle and the liberal school of Bologna "makes his appointment more intriguing," because Benedict XVI "is known for his conservative views on Catholic doctrine."
The strange thing is that the cardinals and bishops who considered Tagle's candidacy found out about this connection with the school of Bologna only after the publication of the appointment.
In fact, in the customarily ponderous documentation – called the "ponenza" – given to them on each candidate, this aspect of Tagle's biography, effectively "intriguing" and ecclesiastically of great weight, was nowhere to be found.
And here's a short interview with the Archbishop-elect: