Filipino Cardinal Luis Tagle, a man touted by some media as a potential pope, is the new president of Caritas Internationalis, a global umbrella for Catholic charities and he is the first person from Asia to hold the position.
The general assembly of the umbrella organization of Catholic charities elected Tagle with 91 votes out of 133, the Vatican announced May 15.
"Thank you for your trust. I am limited in my capacities, but with all of you, with the love that Jesus has poured into our hearts and in the name of all the poor people in the world," said Tagle, speaking May 14 by phone to delegates from Caritas member organizations.
"Let us together strengthen the church of the poor so our witness can help guide us to a world of understanding justice, true freedom, and peace," he said.
Tagle will replace Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga as president of Caritas Internationalis.
Rodriguez offered his congratulations and warm support to the new president, stepping down after serving two terms.
Caritas Internationalis' May 12-17 general assembly is outlining and designing the goals for the next four year term during this general assembly, whose theme is "One human family, care for creation."
Born in Manila in 1957 and ordained a priest in 1982, Cardinal Tagle was appointed bishop of Imus in 2001.
In 2011, the Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Archbishop of Manila, and created him cardinal in November 2012.
Caritas Internationalis is said to be the world's biggest network of aid organizations next to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the Philippines social network site Rappler.com reported.
Caritas is a confederation of 165 Catholic relief, development and social service organisations operating in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. The staff and volunteers at these organisations number about one million.
This 118-year-old group uses Caritas – the Latin word for charity.
It aims to help the poor and promote social justice.