MANILA - Former Archbishop of Manila and now prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle has been cleared of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
In a report from CBCP News on Wednesday, Fr. Gregory Gaston, rector of the Pontificio Collegio Filippino in Rome, said Tagle's recovery "is indeed a great joy for the whole Church."
"God wants him to continue serving in the Vatican’s office for the Missions, to bring God’s Good News of love, joy, peace, justice, forgiveness and reconciliation — all of which the world needs in a special way these days," Gaston said.
"The Collegio Filippino in Rome has witnessed his hard work, dedication and prayers. We wish him all the best in his short visit to the Philippines, to rest a bit and be with his family back home."
Tagle tested positive for the virus when he arrived in Manila from Rome last September 11. The cardinal, who has been staying at the Vatican as part of the Roman Curia or the pope's Cabinet since February this year, went back to the Philippines for a late summer break and to visit his elderly parents.
The archbishop, who is also the head of Caritas International, met Pope Francis on August 29 in a private audience, prompting the pontiff to undergo a coronavirus test, which later turned out negative.
As a precautionary measure, the more than 30 priests and staff at the Pontificio Collegio Filippino, where the cardinal has been residing since he came to Rome, also underwent swab tests for the coronavirus and all of them have tested negative.
Tagle is the first head of a Vatican dicastery to test positive for coronavirus. He is also the fifth Filipino bishop to contract COVID-19.