Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle's tears last year when he received the red hat from Pope Benedict XVI helped make him an instant darling of the media and of Catholics worldwide, reports Ucanews.
But more than six months after becoming a cardinal, the Archbishop of Manila, Luis Antonio Gokim Tagle, says he still hasn't got used to people calling him “Your Eminence,” the title Vatican etiquette reserves for cardinals.
The surprise at the unexpected promotion was among the reasons that led to the tears during the Consistory of November 24. "I cry easily, even if I don't want to. I don't know if it's weakness or strength but [tears] come easily for me. I don't hide my emotions,” Tagle explained.
“Those were the tears of a man who knows himself, his sins and his limits, but that received a call you can't say ‘no’ to, but can only answer ‘yes’ with joy and trust. Those were tears of fear – but also of joy,” Tagle added almost as an afterthought.
Tagle was in Rome to take possession of his “titular church” of San Felice da Cantalice last weekend. Every new cardinal is assigned a parish church in Rome, which entitles him to elect a new pope.
But on Friday evening, on the occasion of the launch of the Italian translation of his book Easter People: Living Community, he met with eager Italian and foreign journalists who had put him on their list of papabili ahead of the March 2013 conclave.
Tagle was one of the last red hats appointed by Pope Benedict ahead of his resignation – a small group of six who led observers to think that the German pontiff, already resolved to quit, wanted to re-balance the College of Cardinals, which is overwhelmingly European, with churchmen from Asia, Africa and the Americas.
At the book launch, Tagle said the Church in Asia, which has a 2,000 year tradition of being a minority, could help Catholics in the West recognize that secularization and shrinking numbers are not just symptoms of crisis.
“The weariness of the [Western] Church to me seems to be mostly a consequence of an attitude that only looks for the causes and consequences of problems, without recognizing the opportunities that the modern world offers to the Church's work of evangeliszation,” he noted.
During the hour-long chat, Tagle recounted how he, at age 55, received a puzzling convocation from the Vatican just one day before being announced as the Church's second youngest cardinal.
FULL STORY The truth behind Cardinal Tagle's tears (Ucanews)