Following the death of Jose Cardinal Sanchez, either Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle or Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma will likely be named a cardinal when Pope Benedict XVI calls for the next consistory, according to Church officials.
Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz on Sunday said that normally the Philippine Catholic Church had three cardinals but the Vatican had not yet named the replacements of Sanchez, former Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales and former Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal when the three retired.
Though retired, the two remaining living cardinals - Rosales and Vidal - are still members of Vatican’s College of Cardinals but can no longer vote during a Papal conclave.
The College of Cardinals is a body of all the cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church whose functions include advising the Pope on Church matters and electing a successor following the death of a Pope.
“It’s hard to answer why the Vatican is taking its time, but sooner or later, the Archbishop of Manila and of Cebu will be named cardinals because the observance of the Church is that if you replaced a cardinal, you will also be elevated to cardinal,” Cruz explained to reporters.
Tagle, then bishop of Imus, was named late last year as Rosales’ replacement.
Palma, who is also currently president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, replaced Vidal when the latter retired in 2010.
“In due time, Archbishop Tagle and Archbishop Palma will be elevated to the College of Cardinals,” said Cruz.
Sanchez, the fifth Filipino to be elevated to the Vatican’s College of Cardinals, died on Friday at the age of 91.