Pope Francis has elevated cardinals Luis Antonio Tagle and Beniamino Stella to the rank of cardinal bishop.

The appointments were made in an audience granted to Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra, Substitute for General Affairs for the Secretariat of State, on 14 April 2020.

In naming Cardinal Tagle, 62, to the order of cardinal bishops, Pope Francis made him equal in all respects to those cardinals with suburbicarian sees, which are the titles traditionally awarded to cardinal bishops.

Those suburbicarian sees are the dioceses nearest to Rome which, although they have their own bishops for day-to-day affairs, have traditionally enjoyed a special prominence in Catholicism because of their proximity to the Vatican.

Cardinal Tagle has served as Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples since February this year and as President of Church aid agency Caritas Internationalis since 2015.

Before coming to the Vatican, he served as Archbishop of Manila, in the Philippines, from 2011 to 2020.

Cardinal Stella, 78 – who has been the Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy since 2013 – was in turn granted the title of the suburbicarian see of Porto-Santa Rufina.

– Duties in the College of Cardinals

With the promotions of Tagle and Stella – both considered allies of Pope Francis – the total number of cardinal bishops, who also include the Eastern Catholic patriarchs, rises to 14.

Among the duties of those holding the largely ceremonial position in the College of Cardinals – which also includes the orders of cardinal deacon and cardinal priest – is that of electing deans of the College.

In December last year, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of 92-year-old Cardinal Angelo Sodano as dean and took the opportunity to set a term limit of five years for the post, renewable only once.

In January, the cardinal bishops elected 86-year-old Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re as Sodano’s successor and 76-year-old Cardinal Leonardo Sandri as the new subdean.

– New vice camerlengo

The Vatican also announced on Friday the appointment of Archbishop Ilson de Jesus Montanari as vice camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church.

Archbishop Montanari is the secretary for the Congregation for Bishops. As vice camerlengo, he will work alongside Cardinal Kevin Farrell, the Prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life, who was named camerlengo by Pope Francis on 14 February 2019.

The vice camerlengo assists the camerlengo in carrying out his duties, which include the formal certification of the death of a reigning Pope, as well as the care and administration of the temporal goods of the Holy See during the time of sede vacante (the period between the death of the Pope and the election of his successor).

(With information from Vatican News)

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