Duterte claims Tagle angered Pope Francis with 'politicking'

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 10 2020 10:27 PM

MANILA- President Rodrigo Duterte claimed Tuesday that former Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle angered Pope Francis when the Filipino prelate supposedly meddled in politics.

Tagle was transferred to Vatican City because the pontiff allegedly found out that the Filipino cardinal funneled funds to the “yellows,” Duterte claimed.

Politicking was also supposedly the reason why Pope Francis only assigned an administrator of the Philippine capital's archdiocese instead of a new archbishop.

“Tingnan mo, ginamit nila ang pera, kinontribute nila doon sa yellow, yellow. Tingnan mo ang nangyari, wala tayong bishop ngayon. Di mo ba alam? Tinanggal,” Duterte said in a speech at the 2020 General Assembly of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines in Pasay City.

(Look, they used the money and contributed it to the yellows that’s why we don’t have a bishop. He was removed.)

“Binigyan lang tayo caretaker na pari. Wala bishop ang Manila, nagalit si Pope kasi nakialam sa pulitika. Iyan ang totoo diyan,” Duterte said.

(They left us with a caretaker priest. Manila has no bishop because the Pope got mad because of politicking. That’s the truth.)

Duterte said he knew about the issue because as President, he listens to everyone.

“Eh siyempre ako Presidente, malaman ko kasi nakikinig ako sa lahat,” he said.

(Of course as President, I knew because I listen to everyone.)

Tagle left Manila last month to assume his new post as prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the Vatican’s top missionary department. 

The pontiff later appointed Bishop Broderick Pabillo, a staunch critic of President Duterte’s drug war, as "Apostolic Administrator" of the Manila archdiocese.

An apostolic administrator usually leads a diocese or an archdiocese when it has no ruling bishop, a period known as "sede vacante". He will stay as caretaker of the diocese until a new bishop is chosen. 

“Kaya binigay sa atin, officer-in-charge na lang, wala tayong bishop. Tagle was out. He was investigated. Yan ang open secret diyan,” he said.

(We were only given an officer-in-charge. We don’t have a bishop.)

Tagle served as head of the Philippine capital’s archdiocese for 8 years before he assumed his new post in Rome.