Cardinal Luis Tagle
50 Asians to watch
They are the new stars in business, the arts and sports. They are changing lives for the better, and making their presence felt. Meet Asia’s rising stars.
The lead contender from Asia for the papacy in 2013, Manila’s social media-savvy and charismatic archbishop is considered a “rock star” in the College of Cardinals.
He delivers inspiring, light-hearted liturgies on Facebook, and preaches and sings on TV and on stage. He rides his bicycle across Manila’s streets and invites the homeless to his dinner table.
A native of Manila and a banker’s son, with Chinese forebears on his mother’s side, Cardinal Tagle initially planned a career in medicine before being recruited to religious vocation by a Jesuit friend. After earning his doctorate at Catholic University, he rose quickly in the church, becoming bishop in 2001 and archbishop of Manila a decade later. Last year, Pope Benedict XVI welcomed him into the College of Cardinals.
His relative youth perhaps diminished his chances to become Pope. But it has also made the baby-faced cardinal among the most out-of-the-box choices and a favourite among those who are pushing for change.