MANILA - Pope Francis has added another role for Filipino prelate Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle.
The Vatican announced on Thursday that the pontiff appointed Tagle as a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments.
The department, currently headed by English prelate Cardinal Arthur Roche, is responsible for all affairs relating to liturgical practices in the Latin Church.
Tagle, the former archbishop of Manila, has been serving as the prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples since Pope Francis called him to Rome in 2020. He is also the president of Caritas Internationalis, a confederation of global Catholic charities, and is the first Asian to occupy such position.
Aside from the Filipino cardinal, other notable prelates who were also appointed to the liturgy department are Yangon Archbishop Charles Maung Bo, Chicago Archbishop Blase Cardinal Cupich, Papal Almoner Konrad Krajewski, Cardinal Kevin Joseph Farrell, prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, and Archbishop Lazzaro You Heung-sik, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy — all close allies of Francis.
The liturgy congregation attracted controversy under its former prefect Cardinal Robert Sarah when the pope himself corrected him for publicly advocating that the Holy Mass should be celebrated "ad orientem," meaning facing the east.
It was the norm in the Latin Church before the reforms instituted during the Second Vatican Council that advocated for "versus populum," meaning facing the people.
It remains a controversial issue within Catholic circles as several traditionalist groups still insist on using the pre-Vatican II liturgy.
Former pope Benedict XVI, in his attempt to take back in those who are still attached to the pre-conciliar mass, issued the apostolic letter Summorum Pontificum, which expanded the circumstances in which priests can celebrate the Tridentine Mass. Thus the Traditional Latin Mass was referred to as the Extraordinary Form (EF) while the new form of the liturgy promulgated by Paul VI was referred to as the Ordinary Form (OF).
However, in 2021, Pope Francis issued Traditionis Custodes, effectively limiting the use of the Traditional Latin Mass while insisting that the liturgical reform made after the Second Vatican Council is irreversible.