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Before last year’s papal election, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila in the Philippines was known as the face of a distinctly Asian form of Catholicism.
He rejects ostentation in dress and manner, preferring to be called by his nickname “Chito” rather than formal titles. He emphasizes the need for the church to listen as much as it talks, and he exudes a sort of slow-burn charisma that does not smack you in the face so much as it gradually envelops you. Today, there’s an easier way to say all that: He’s the Asian Pope Francis.
Francis clearly likes what he sees in the popular Philippine prelate, who at 56 is the fourth-youngest cardinal in the world.