Vatican City, May 5, 2015 / 17:02 pm
Two sources who work in Vatican charities told CNA on Tuesday that Cardinal Luis Tagle of Manila will likely be elected next week as head of Caritas Internationalis, a confederation of worldwide Catholic charities.
Caritas is due to elect a new president and a secretary general during its 20th general assembly, being held May 12-17 in Rome. The assembly is to include a Mass with Pope Francis in St. Peter's Basilica on its opening day.
Representatives of the 164 international members will elect their new top officials, and discuss the theme “One Human Family, Caring for the Creation.” The assembly will also provide a strategic framework to anchor Caritas' work over the next four years.
Among the guest speakers at the assembly are Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez, considered to be the father of liberation theology, and Jeffrey Sachs, an economist at Columbia University who is an advisor to Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary general.
The current president of Caritas is Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, and its secretary general is Michel Roy, who was formerly head of Secours Catholique, Caritas' French branch.
Since a 2012 reform of its statues, candidates for the posts of president, secretary general, and treasurer are to be submitted for approval by the Pope, and once he has acceeded they can be presented to the general assembly for a vote.
Roy is the sole candidate for the post of secretary general, which he has held since 2011; he is certain to be confirmed.
Cardinal Rodriguez will step down as president, having served two mandates, from 2007-2011, and 2011-2015.
Cardinal Tagle was soon identified as a candidate for his successor when the process began earlier this year. The Filipino cardinal has been widely appreciated for his work carried out with local Caritas agencies in the face of frequent typhoons hitting the island nation.
According to a source within Caritas Internationalis, there is another candidate to the presidency: a Maronite archbishop who might remove himself from the running so that Cardinal Tagle can be the only candidate.