Filipino cardinal and papal ally, cardinal tagal has virus


ROME (AP) – Filipino Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, one of Pope Francis’ top aides and a future pope contender, has tested positive for coronovirus, the Vatican said on Friday.

Tagle, who heads the powerful office of the Holy See in charge of mission territories, last saw the pope during an official audience on 29 August. He recently tested negative for the virus as sept7, but tested positive on Thursday of his arrival in Manila. The Vatican said.

In a statement on Friday, the Vatican press office said the 63-year-old cardinal has no symptoms and is self-isolated in the Philippines. Meanwhile, the Vatican is tracing Tagle’s recent contacts.

Francis brought the former Archbishop of Manila, Tagle, to Rome earlier this year to take him to one of the largest and most important Vatican congregations. The Association for the Development of Peoples oversees the Catholic Church in Asia, Africa and other mission areas.

Francis later made Tagle a cardinal-bishop, a ranking that clarified the Pope’s honor for him.

The promotion has promoted Tagley’s visibility within the church hierarchy and has given him experience of working within the sacred visual bureaucracy. Those two factors help make him a potential papal contender in a future conference despite his relatively young age. Francis, 83, became 76 when he became Pope.

The Vatican, a small city located in the center of Rome, closed with the rest of Italy at the beginning of March, stopping all non-essential meetings, spectators and travel. A dozen confirmed virus cases have been reported in it.

Francis, who was part of a lung disease when he was young, resumed his general audience before a limited crowd last week. This week he was seen wearing a face mask for the first time.