BISHOPS and diocesan administrators in the country were asked to pray for former Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, who has tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
In Circular 20-61, Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, acting president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), urged them to include the cardinal in their Mass intentions until he is free of the virus.
“May I ask you to please have him included in all your daily Mass intentions until he recovers fully from Covid-19 so that he can resume his important ministry for the universal Church,” David said in the circular released on Saturday.
Tagle, Archbishop Emeritus of Manila, is in the country for a brief late summer break and to visit his parents.
He has been away from them since he began serving at the Vatican as Prefect of the Congregation for the New Evangelization of Peoples.
“Cardinal Chito came home also to visit his elderly parents in Imus, Cavite. Now he is prevented from doing so because he has to stay in isolation in the next 14 days,” David said, adding that Tagle is asymptomatic.
At the same time, David added that five bishops have been infected with COVID-19.
“Among them, we have lost Bishop Manuel Sobreviñas (Bishop Emeritus of Imus) and Archbishop Oscar Cruz (Archbishop Emeritus of Lingayen Dagupan). Bishop Broderick Pabillo (Administrator of Manila) and Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez (Bishop Emeritus of Kalookan) have fully recovered. And now we have Cardinal Chito. Let us all please support him with our prayers,” he said.
Tagle tested negative in Rome last September 7 before his trip to Manila two days after.
He arrived in the country on Thursday and the results indicating that he tested positive for COVID-19 came out on Friday.
“In all likelihood, he may have picked up COVID-19 right at the airport or in the airplane. He probably could not avoid being greeted by people, especially overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), who recognized him at the airport or inside the plane,” David said.
Meanwhile, the social action arm of the CBCP asked the faithful to offer 10 Hail Mary’s for the immediate recovery of Tagle.
“Please let the good Cardinal know that we are storming heavens with our prayers. We ask all Filipinos to offer 10 Hail Mary’s for Cardinal’s healing and remember him in your daily prayers,” Kidapawan Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, national chairperson of NASSA /Caritas Philippines said in an interview over church-run Radio Veritas.
Bagaforo also reminded the people to always follow health and safety protocols.
“This is a call for everyone that we take seriously the necessary precautions against COVID-19. Wear face masks and face shields, observe physical distancing, and sanitize our hands always. Let us help each other by observing this health protocol,” he added.
– Philippine News Agency