Pope negative for Covid; tested after possible exposure from Cardinal Tagle

© Sabrina Fusco / ALETEIA
Pope Francis with Cardinal Tagle.

Cardinal Tagle unable to visit elderly parents in his homeland.

According to reports, Pope Francis was again tested for coronavirus and came back negative; the Holy Father was found to be in good health. The test was administered after Cardinal Luis Tagle was found positive for the virus when he arrived in his native Philippines on September 10.

The 63-year-old cardinal had been with the Holy Father on August 29.

The Vatican confirmed the cardinal’s positive test on September 11, but added that the cardinal “does not have any symptoms and will remain in mandatory self-quarantine in the Philippines, where he is located.”

Cardinal Tagle had tested negative in the Vatican just a few days before, on September 7.

This is at least the third time that Pope Francis has been tested for coronavirus. During the height of the outbreak in Italy in March, he underwent testing on at least two different occasions.

Meanwhile, Cardinal Tagle will be unable to visit his elderly parents during his visit home; Manuel Sr. and Milagros Tagle are in their 90s.

“Cardinal Chito came home also to visit his elderly parents in Imus, Cavite. Now he is prevented from doing so because he has to stay in isolation in the next 14 days,” said Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, acting president of the Bishops’ Conference, in a letter to his fellow bishops, September 12.

Chito is the cardinal’s nickname.

The cardinal — widely considered to be someone who could eventually be elected pope — calls himself an OFW, that is, an “overseas Filipino worker.” Like many OFWs, he was hoping to be able to see his parents during his trip home.

The cardinal was appointed to a Vatican post in December of 2019, and left his post as archbishop of Manila. He is now prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, as well as the president for the Church’s charity organization, Caritas Internationalis.

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