Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle wants to bring the Catholic Church closer to people, a vision his fans say comes from a genuine passion for helping the poor and one that could make him Asia's first pope, reports AFP on Yahoo7.
The 55-year-old cardinal from a working-class family close to the Philippine capital is being touted at home and abroad as a genuine chance to succeed Pope Benedict XVI during a historic Vatican vote next month.
Tagle has a reputation across the devoutly Catholic Philippines as a humble man with a lifelong commitment to helping the poor, while senior Church figures regard him as a moderate progressive who balances conservative doctrines.
Tagle, the archbishop of Manila who was appointed a cardinal in November, has refused to discuss his chances for the papacy since Benedict announced he would resign on February 28 due to poor health.
But speaking at a public seminar in Manila last weekend, Tagle elaborated on his well-known views that Church leaders needed to do a better job at reaching out to the people within their communities, particularly the youth.
"The young want to be connected," Tagle said at the forum.
"That is the basic of the faith - (to be) connected to God, connected to others, to the Church. We need to go back to that fundamental."
Eloquent and with a soothing voice, Tagle has also made high-profile speeches in recent years calling for a humbler Church that is more open to the public's concerns.
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