Pope Francis mourns death of Cardinal Vidal
Pope Francis is greeted by Cardinal Ricardo Vidal as he meets the cardinals for the first time after his election, at the Vatican, March 15, 2013. L’OSSERVATORE ROMANO
MANILA— Pope Francis has joined in mourning the death of Cardinal Ricardo Vidal, a leader of Catholics in Cebu for 29 years, commending his “untiring and devoted service to the Church”.
In a letter to Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, the pope said he was “deeply saddened” to learn the death of the retired cardinal.
“I extend my sincere condolences to you, and to the clergy religious and lay faithful of the Archdiocese of Cebu,” Francis said.
The pontiff praised the cardinal “for his constant advocacy of dialogue and peace for all the people in the Philippines”.
“I commend his soul to the infinite love and mercy of our heavenly Father,” he said.
“As a pledge of consolation and hope in the Lord, to all who mourn his passing in the certain hope of the Resurrection, I willingly impart my Apostolic Blessing,” the pope added.
Msgr. Joseph Tan, the archdiocese’s spokesperson, said Vidal died on Wednesday at 7:26am “due to infection leading to septic shock”. He was 86.
The cardinal became seriously ill and was admitted to the city’s Perpetual Succor Hospital on October 11.
His wake started tonight at Cebu cathedral and will be held for eight days except on October 21 wherein his remains will be brought to the St. Pedro Calungsod Shrine, located inside the archbishop’s residence compound.
Vidal’s funeral will take place on October 26 at 9am at the cathedral. He will be buried at the mausoleum at the back of the sacristy. CBCPNews
PH’s oldest cardinal dies at 86
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