Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila has been elected president of Caritas Internationalis, becoming the first person from Asia to hold the post.
The cardinal was nominated at the confederation’s 20th General Assembly in Rome while he was in Chicago receiving an honorary doctorate from the Catholic Theological Union.
Following his election, the cardinal, nicknamed the “Asian Francis”, spoke by phone to delegates, saying: “Buona sera a tutti! Thank you for your trust. I’m limited in my capacities but with all of you, with the love that Jesus has poured into our hearts and in the name of all of the poor people in the world, I accept this election.”
He added: “Let us together strengthen the Church of the poor so our witness can help guide us to a world of understanding, justice, true freedom and peace.”
Caritas Internationalis is a confederation of 165 Catholic relief, development and social service organisations operating in over 200 countries and territories worldwide. The staff and volunteers at these organisations number about one million.