The Philippines has lost a cardinal, after Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal died at the Intensive Care Unit of the Perpetual Succuor Hospital due to septic shock.
Now for those who didn’t know Cardinal Vidal, here are some facts you should know about him.
- Vidal was a native of Mogpog, Marinduque. Born on February 1931.
- Vidal was appointed by Pope John Paul II Coadjutor Archbishop of Cebu in 1981.
- He became the Archbishop on August 24, 1982, succeeding Cardinal Julio Rosales.
- He was the Archbishop of Cebu from 1982-2010.
- He received his first communion at the International Eucharistic Celebration.
- He studied at the Minor Seminary of the Most Holy Rosary (now Our lady of Mount Carmel Seminary) in Sariaya, Quezon and at the Saint Francis de Sales Seminary in Lipa, Batangas where he studied philosophy. He also studied theology at the San Carlos Seminary in Makati, Metro Manila.
- He was the President of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in 1986.
- During EDSA II, he privately advised former President Joseph Estrada to step down from office.
- He also wrote a letter to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to pardon her predecessor Estrada, who was convicted of plunder in 2007.
- Vidal was ordained a priest on March 17, 1956, becoming an assistant parish priest in his hometown. From 1965 to 1971, he was the rector of our lady of Mount Carmel Seminary.
- In 1971, he was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Malolos and later consecrated a bishop. Two years after, in 1973, he became the Archbishop of Lipa.
- Vidal and the Cardinal Archbishop of Manila Jaime Sin supported the 1986 Philippine People Power Revolution.
- In 1989, President Corazon Aquino asked Vidal to convince General Jose Comendador, who was sympathetic to the rebel forces fighting her government to surrender peacefully.
- On December 7, 2010, the Senate of the Philippines recognized his service by Senate Resolution No. 306. “It is resolved by the Senate, to honor Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, Archbishop of Cebu, for his service to the people of Cebu, providing spiritual leadership and inspiration, helping the community avert or survive several crises and conflicts, often acting as a peacekeeper and giving the voice of moderation amid clashing views and interests in local and national issues.”
- He also received recognition from the House of Representatives through House Resolution 593. The Province of Cebu gives the highest award that a province could give, the Order of Lapu-lapu. The cities of Cebu and Talisay made him an “adopted son” of the two localities. In March 2009 the University of the Visayas granted him the title of Doctor of Humanities honoris causa.
- Pope Benedict XVI accepted Vidal’s resignation as Archbishop of Cebu on October 15, 2010. He was succeeded by Archbishop Jose S. Palma of palo.
- After his retirement, Vidal still continued presiding at masses and attending events organized by the Archdiocese of Cebu.
- He experienced mild stroke on September 2013.
- He underwent coronary angiogram procedure and had a pacemaker installed in 2004.
- He was confined to the hospital multiple times starting in 2014.
- He received the Catholic sacrament of anointing of the sick on October 11, 2017 before falling into a coma the day alter. His condition had an improvement when he opened his eyes on October 13. However he was pronounced dead on the morning of October 18, 2017.
- Vidal will be buried beside the tomb of Cardinal Rosales inside the Mausoleum ordered built by Rosales in 1983.
The three surviving Filipino cardinals are Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Cardinal Quevedo, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, and Manila Archbishop Emeritus Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales.