Rorate Caeli

IF this is true, one cannot help but think...

...that a bit of research on the Internet might actually have averted this appointment.

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:


  1. Anonymous4:23 AM


  2. I too read the column over at Mr. Magister's site and was dismayed at the last two sentences. Archbp. Tagle's appointment seems to have given a new bounce to the step of the liberals and new impetus to those who thought that the School of Bologna was on its way out in the halls of the Vatican. On the contrary, now we have an unabashed liberal, rupturist appointed to a See of significance and are thus subjected to Mr. Allen's prognostications of His Excellency's great humility in "eschewing clerical dress."

    Right, because in this world, clerics and laypeople are pretty much the same and so ought to act as such.

    In any case, the buck stops with the Holy Father for these appointments. That being said, that he has such inept men doing the groundwork on these decisions of great significance is immensely frustrating. How could they not even know of his association with the School of Bologna???

    I feel bad for the faithful of the Archdiocese, likely subjected to Archbp. Tagle's Boloney for 21+ years.

  3. Prof. Basto5:46 AM

    I do not doubt that the bureaucracy of the Church works badly, that they do not do their jobs properly and with competence. Otherwise we wouldn't be in this huge crisis.

    But that the senior clergymen who are members of the Congregation would be so poorly informed about a candidate; that it would be possible to "hide" information from them; that they only read what is contained in the official report, is unbelievable.

  4. Prof. Basto5:47 AM

    The appointment should be withdrawn.

  5. Right after I read John Allen's article about Archbishop Tagle and how he virtually imposed the red hat on the new archbishop, I knew right then that Mr. Allen does not even know what he is writing about and that he does not even know how this bishop is even frowned upon by his fellow Filipino bishop.

    Great job Mr. Allen! Just what your credibility needs!

    And to Manila. Poor Manila my beloved See.

    Still baffling how Tagle got the post when he is a disaster at Imus.

  6. Right: a prominent scholar of the most radical historical school of thought in the entire History of the Church is appointed to the largest See in the Asia-Pacific region, and nobody in the Vatican knew exactly who he was.

    This is insulting to any reasonable person, and Magister should be ashamed of himself for even publishing this declaration without making clear how untenable it is.


  7. I have always thought that there was something wrong with Tagle's appointment. For one, he is closely assoicated with the generally liberal Jesuits in the Philippines. He may be the "best theologian" the Philippines may have at the moment; but, we cannot deny the fact that he is a liberal. Villegas could have been a better pick.

  8. Gratias9:21 AM

    Only priests that have offered both forms of the Latin liturgy should be promoted. The rest are not priests in full. This young VC2 will damage the Church in Philippines for decades to come. And much more when he becomes a Cardinal.

  9. Nathaniel3:37 PM

    One of two explanations:

    (1) Pope Benedict approves of this appointment.

    (2) Pope Benedict has lost control of the Vatican bureaucracy (that's assuming he ever had it).

    Either way: not good.

  10. "Let Reagan be Reagan" was the slogan chanted by conservatives whenever the pretender took a decision they disapproved of and one can see the same sort of faux defense mounted on behalf of Our Holy Father - How could they have not known?

    It really is demeaning in a fundamental way to credit Our Holy Father when he takes decisions one likes yet sloughs-off onto the Curia responsibility for the bad decisions he takes.

  11. D. MOrgan6:34 PM

    I find this articl in keeping with this one as well:

    Seems all is not well in the Philippines.

  12. I am not Spartacus: I agree with your derision for this nonsensical take on the Vatican's activities. There can be drawn a rough analogy to the way some financial types in the US are accused of working on the principle of privatizing gains and socializing losses. Some conservative Catholics, in a similar fashion, attribute whatever good that happens to the Pope, but pass on all the ills (of which there is a considerable number) to his underlings.

  13. John L5:03 AM

    The explanation is the fundamental problem in the Church today; the pretense that 'liberal' clerics are Catholics, rather than modernist heretics opposed to the Catholic faith. This pretense leads to modernists being treated as a group within the Church that has to be given some representation. The superiors including the Pope who act on this pretense may well not believe it themselves, but that does not matter; as long as it is kept up in public, they must conform their actions to it. And conforming their actions to this pretense eventually leads to accepting it, which in turn tends to lead to accepting modernist positions as legitimate for Catholics.

  14. Gratias8:59 AM

    The important point is that in February 2012 our Benedict XVI will have a new consistory. Many slots are open. It is not certain the youtful Philippino Modernist Tagle will get the hat. Probably many good Conservative Catholic reliable votes will get in. The important thing is that Benedict XVI keeps the bases loaded with his own appointments of new Cardinals. I doubt he wants a repeat of 2005 when liberal Jesuit Cardinal Bergoglio, famous for going to work by bus and not allowing a single every-Sunday TLM in the huge Archdiocese of Buenos Aires, got in second. Benedict XVI loves our Church and will want someone like him as a successor. He understands the grave dangers of Liberation Theology. Please keep replacing the College of Cardinals with the Pope's men.

  15. So we're seeing an interesting trend here. People in the Vatican not doing their research when making important decisions. Explains a lot...

  16. GQ Rep10:30 AM

    Is there a way to keep this joker out of office?

    Could there be a groundswell of opposition among faithful Catholics to have this appointment trashed? If even his fellow bishops in the Phillipines have a bad view of this could he possibly get thru the process?

    Cardinal Ouelette is probably the problem, as are the other members of the Sacred Congregation for Bishops. Ouelette is hardly a conservative. That he was less liberal than he rest of his brother bishops back in Canada doesn't say much. The Church is dead there.

    Pope Benedict XVI has been content to let the Catholic Church of John Paul II and all its rot stay in place. He raises John Paul II to the altar (a huge mistake), he quotes John Paul II at every opportunity. He immitates John Paul II at every turn, from the people he meets, the gatherings he officiates at (Assisi III), the trips he makes (Benin this week), even down to re-introducing the ridiculous looking papal "push cart" that John Paul II invented to travel down St. Peter's nave due to Pope benny's "arthrosis" in his knees.
    Even friends who were in Italy afew weeks and attended a Papal Mass said the cart looks stupid. But it would look fine if they put a platform and a papal throne on top of it. It wouldn't be quite the Sedia Gestatoria, but it would look similar.
    As it is now, he looks like he's being rolled down the aisle on one of the carts I used to use in my first job as a senior in Highschool at the QVC warehouse when we would stack boxes of merchandise and wheel them to their appropriate aisle of the warehouse for unloading.

    The Pope looks really stupid looking on that cart. It's embarassing!! But then again, so was alot of what J P II did.

  17. Manilenyo11:27 AM

    One thing regarding the Church here in the Philippines - the present Archbishop of Manila won't be given a red hat as long as the emeritus is still alive. That has been the case with Cardinals Santos (Emeritus) and Sin (incumbent), and Cardinals Sin (emeritus) and Rosales (incumbent), in turn.

    I don't see the pattern breaking, and may God let the pattern continue.

    With regards to Archbishop Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan, the prevailing opinion in circles here is that he is too young to gain the See of Manila.

  18. Don Pietro Pasquarelli6:49 PM

    I am a bit confused by Magister's assertions in this article, as John Allen has pointed out that Monsignor Tagle is well known to Pope Ratzinger from their service on the International Theological Commission. Moreover, is it not the case that the bishops of the Philippines are appointed by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples? And, the current Prefect of Propaganda Fide (soon to be Cardinal) Fernando Filoni, is a former apostolic nuncio to Manila...

  19. Alsaticus11:17 PM

    Blogger The Pinoy Catholic said...:
    And to Manila. Poor Manila my beloved See.

    Still baffling how Tagle got the post when he is a disaster at Imus."

    Could expand a little bit on the Bp of Imus ?

    i thought he was among the first bishops to grant a TLM in his diocese ? without being a trad himself in any way.

  20. Does everyone remember the fiasco over the then new Archbishop of Warsaw about 3 years ago...Welgus or something like that? He was approved by Benedict XVI, and at the very last minute it was discovered he had worked as an informant for the Communists in Poland years earlier, and his appointment was withdrawn.

    Maybe faithful Catholics can protest enough to have this guy's appointmetnt withdrawn.

  21. I think the Archbishop of Manila did not mean to say that non-Catholics are no longer evangelized to convert to the See of Peter. Of course, this is the mission of the Church founded by Jesus and taught in the Gospels. You have to understand the homily from an empathic way with reference to the state of the Church in the Philippines working against divorce, abortion and many other evils under the cloak of their Reproductive Health Bill. I don't find anything wrong with the Archbishop, he seems like a holy man and I suspect he may even become a very soon prince of the Church as a Cardinal in the next Papal Consistory. Only the Holy Spirit knows.


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