Pope Francis on Wednesday appointed Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle as a new member of the Vatican body that supports the Eastern Catholic churches throughout the world.
The cardinal is the sole addition to the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, which also assists the Latin-rite Catholic dioceses of the Middle East.
As prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples or Propaganda Fide, which oversees the church’s vast “mission territories,” Cardinal Tagle’s new appointment was not surprising.
Formerly known as the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, it began as part of the Propaganda Fide, established by Pope Pius IX in 1862.
In 1917, Pope Benedict XV declared it independent and named it Congregation for Eastern Churches.
Cardinal Tagle’s new role in the Vatican will allow him to work alongside Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, who has been its prefect since 2014, and its other members.
To date, the congregation collaborates with about 23 Eastern Catholic churches and communities, and works to ensure that the universal Catholic Church treasures its diversity, including in liturgy and spirituality.
The dicastery also runs eight colleges in Rome and coordinates the work of a funding network known by the Italian acronym ROACO.
Since arriving in the Vatican in February 2020, Cardinal Tagle has also been a member of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue and the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, which operates like the Vatican’s central bank.