PH’s oldest cardinal dies at 86

PH’s oldest cardinal dies at 86
Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Cardinal Ricardo Vidal

MANILA— Cardinal Ricardo Vidal, the former Catholic archbishop of Cebu and the oldest among the four Philippine cardinals, has died at the age of 86, a church spokesman said.

In a message, Cebu archdiocese’s spokesman Msgr. Joseph Tan said the prelate died earlier today, Wednesday, at 7:26 a.m. “due to infection leading to septic shock”.

Requesting prayers for the prelate’s soul, Tan said the wake will be at the Cebu Cathedral. Details of funeral rites will be made available as soon as possible.

Vidal became seriously ill and was admitted to the city’s Perpetual Succour Hospital on Oct. 11.

In a statement released shortly after Vidal’s death, CBCP president Archbishop Socrates Villegas stressed Vidal’s legacy will live on despite his passing.

“Cardinal Vidal cannot die. He who has always shared in the dying and rising of the Lord daily in his priestly life cannot die. He now joins the immortal ones who served the Lord faithfully here on earth. His wisdom and his humility, his love for priests and his devotion to the Virgin Mary must live on in us whom he has left behind,” he said.

Villegas also expressed hope in Vidal’s intercession for the faithful. “Rest well Eminence. Pray for us in the Father’s House.”

Meanwhile Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Cardinal Quevedo praised Vidal for being a “true servant-leader rather than a ‘prince.’”

“For me his legacy is his own outstanding character. Some of these are: Humility, low profile style; Simplicity and Approachability; Ability to listen even to opposing views; Prudence in political issues; Courage in presenting and defending the CBCP position leading to the 1986 People Power; Charity for those considered as ‘enemies,’” he said in a message to CBCPNews.

A native of Mogpog, Marinduque, Vidal was ordained a priest in 1956 by Bishop and Servant of God Alfredo Maria Aranda Obviar.

Then Pope John Paul II appointed Vidal head of the Cebu archdiocese in 1982. He retired in 2011. With reports from Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews