Is it Tagle time? It may be, but it’s too early to be certain.
I’m talking about Luis Antonio G. Tagle. That’s Cardinal Tagle. Cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church. Tagle is the highest ranking Catholic official in the Philippines.
Could he be the next Pope? Some are saying so. I predicted it in my 2013 Philippine Predictions just last month! Indeed, I predicted that there would be a new Pope in 2013, and that new Pope would be Filipino!
When Pope Benedict announced the other day that he will be resigning on February 28, my prediction became half right, because there will indeed be a new Pope, we just don’t know who yet.
A lot of people are saying that this will be the first Third World Pope, indicating that the new Pope may come from the developing world as opposed to a European as has always been the case.
How did I predict it?
Since the resignation of Pope Benedict, I have gotten a lot of e-mails asking my how I possibly knew that there would be a new Pope in 2013, it seemed to be so unlikely.
Well, to be honest, I just sat here trying to think of things that I think will happen in 2013, and when it came down to looking for my last prediction, I remember hearing something on the news that Pope Benedict had been falling ill. He is in his 80’s, so it’s not outlandish to think that he may pass at some near date. I never figured he would resign, in fact, I didn’t even know that a Pope could resign, it’s been like 600 years since that happened! On top of remembering the news that Pope Benedict was getting a bit sickly, I remembered that Luis Antonio Tagle had been elevated to a Cardinal toward the end of 2012, and I had also read an article that Tagle may be considered as a possible contender to be Pope at some time in the future. I knew it was a pretty wild prediction, but I put the two together and went with it as a kind of wild prediction that was like 99.9% unlikely to ever happen. Now we are half way there.
Do I think that Tagle will be the next Pope?
I think it is a possibility, but still unlikely. I mean, there are literally dozens of possible Papal candidates, and to focus on one man is a real long shot. But, I do hope that it happens. Even just the possibility of a Filipino becoming Pope has brought a lot of joy and hope to the Philippines. I just can’t imagine what this place would be like if it were to actually come to be. Remember when Pope John Paul II become Pope. He was from Poland, a country that was still under the thumb of the Soviet Union when he became Pope. John Paul II played a big role in bring the end to the Soviet Empire and in freeing his homeland. What could Cardinal Tagle accomplish for the Philippines were he to become Pope?
Can you imaging the impact that a Filipino Pope could have on ending corruption in the Philippines. I can’t imagine any Filipino politician, no matter how corrupt, doing corrupt actions with a Filipino Pope keeping a close eye on his homeland! I believe that a lot of good could happen for the Philippines and for the Filipino people should Luis Antonio Tagle become the next Pope.
Tagle has a few things against him. Chiefly, he is young, just 55 years old. The problem with youth is that those who choose the new Pope may not want to make a decades long commitment to a single leader of the Church. Then again, others may consider youth to be a benefit, in that he could have a long time to fully implement reforms in the Church. Truth is, there is no way to know for sure what would be considered strengths and weaknesses.
I am not Catholic
I was raised Catholic, but left the Church when I was 18 years old. It just was not the right Church for me. Because of that, I don’t really have a horse in this race. I watch with interest, though, because the country where I live is such a strongly Catholic nation. If Tagle were to become Pope I believe that for the first time, who the Pope is would have an impact on my life, because I do believe that he would have an impact on the Philippines. His impact could be good or bad. I mean, having an even more influential Church meddling in the government of the Philippines may not be a good thing. But, in the end, I believe that if Tagle were to become the Pope, his impact would be positive. At least I hope so. At the very least, it would raise the hopes and dreams of the Filipino people, and that is a good thing, no doubt.
So, is it Tagle time? I hope it is! We’ll know in a month or so, I’d guess.