By Balitang America Staff

Feb. 11, 2013

His Eminence, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Archbishop of Manila, is among a list of potential popes, according to a Reuters report.

While there are no official lists yet, the Reuters list included the 55-year old Tagle, who is often compared to the late Pope John Paul II, in terms of leadership style.

Tagle is said to be close to Pope Benedict XVI, who announced today that he will resign because of old age.

The 85-year old German-born leader said he would leave his post on February 28, a move that has stunned more than one billion
Catholics all over the world.

He has only served eight years as pope, one of the shortest terms in history.

The Vatican said a conclave of cardinals will be held in March within 15 or 20 days of the resignation. A new pope will be elected before Easter Sunday on March 31.

During this season of Lent, Filipino Catholics in Los Angeles are now praying for the best — for the pope’s health to get better and for his replacement to come soon.

Filipino Catholic Avilina Malata said, “I was very surprised and saddened by the pope’s announcement. I hope and pray that whoever will take his place will guide us to become good Catholics.”

Pope Benedict XVI, who was then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, became pope in 2005.

Despite being in his 80s, he tried to bring the church into the digital era by promoting the use of social media to spread religion.
He made history as the first pope to meet with victims of clergy abuse, despite accusations that as cardinal, he had made attempts to cover up abuse scandals.

Pope Benedict XVI is the first pope to step down in 600 years.

Many Filipino Catholics can only hope that by a miracle, a fellow Filipino could be given a chance to lead the Catholic Church as pope.

With a report from Steve Angeles.

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