Philippine cardinal who fought Marcos’ dictatorship dies

Cardinal Vidal praised by senior Catholics for his humility and willingness to listen reporter, Manila, Philippines   | October 18, 2017

Philippine Cardinal Ricardo Vidal who stood up against the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos in 1986 has passed away in a Cebu hospital aged 86.

The retired archbishop of Cebu died at 7:26 a.m. on Oct. 18 “due to infection leading to septic shock,” said Monsignor Joseph Tan, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Cebu.

Cardinal Vidal had been seriously ill and was admitted to Cebu’s Perpetual Succour Hospital on Oct. 11.

Cardinal Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato described the late prelate as a “true servant-leader rather than a prince.”

“For me, his legacy is his own outstanding character,” said Cardinal Quevedo, recalling Cardinal Vidal’s “humility, low-profile style, simplicity and approachability, (and) ability to listen even to opposing views.”

Cardinal Vidal, the oldest of three Filipino cardinals until his death, in 1986 defended a statement condemning the Marcos dictatorship which led to the People Power Revolution and ended the political strongman’s 20-year reign.

Born on Feb. 6, 1931, in Mogpoc town, Marinduque Province, Cardinal Vidal was ordained a priest in 1956.

Pope John Paul II appointed him as head of Cebu  Archdiocese in 1982. He was elevated to the College of Cardinals in 1985 and retired in 2011.

Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupann, president of the bishops’ conference, said the cardinal’s legacy will live on. He took part in the conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI.

“Cardinal Vidal cannot die. He who has always shared in the dying and rising of the Lord daily in his priestly life cannot die,” said Archbishop Villegas.

“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,” added the prelate.

Funeral arrangements for Cardinal Vidal are still being organised.

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