MANILA - Pope Francis has appointed Filipino Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle as a member of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, the Catholic Church's central office on the promotion of understanding among religions.
In a statement, the Vatican named Tagle, currently the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, among 22 new appointees to the council, including five other Cardinals, seven archbishops and 9 bishops from around the world.
The body is the Church's arm that aims to "to promote mutual understanding, respect and collaboration between Catholics and the followers of others religious traditions," the Vatican says on its official website.
Its members and officials carry out dialogues through engaging local churches, hold plenary assemblies every two or three years, receive religious leaders on visits, including meetings with the Pope, and also undertake trips to local churches "to become more familiar with the local situation and to encourage dialogue."
The council's current president is Spanish Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, who was appointed to the post in May 2019, according to Vatican News.
The council on inter-religious dialogue was established in 1964 as a special department of the Roman Curia, the administrative body governing affairs of the Church.
The Roman Curia has 12 Pontifical Councils for various sectors and areas of concern: Laity, Promoting Christian Unity, Family, Justice and Peace, Cor Unum, Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, Health Care Workers, Legislative Texts, Inter-religious Dialogue, Culture, Social Communications, and Promoting New Evangelization.
In May, Pope Francis elevated Tagle to cardinal-bishop, the highest in the College of Cardinals.
The 62-year-old former Manila archbishop was appointed to the Vatican in December last year as prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the Vatican's missionary arm.