Bishops mourn death of Cebu's Cardinal Vidal
MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – Members of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Wednesday, October 18, mourned the death of Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, a bishop remembered as a "true servant-leader."
Born in Mogpog, Marinduque, the 86-year-old Vidal died shortly before 7:30 am on Wednesday, when the Catholic Church marks the feast of Saint Luke the Evangelist.
Vidal's death came a week after he collapsed into a coma then woke up in a semi-coma state.
"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 Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, who is also president of the CBCP.
Villegas said that Vidal "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," the archbishop added.
"Rest well, Eminence. Pray for us in the Father's House," Villegas said.
Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Cardinal Quevedo said of Vidal, "For me, his legacy is his own outstanding character."
Quevedo said he remembers Vidal for his "humility and 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 Revolution; and charity for those considered as enemies."
Quevedo also referred to Vidal's humility even as cardinals like them have traditionally been referred to as "princes of the Church."
Quevedo said Vidal was "a true servant-leader rather than a 'prince.'"
Before Vidal died, there were only 4 living Filipino cardinals – Vidal, Quevedo, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, and Manila Archbishop Emeritus Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales.
Their position is significant because the 1.2-billion-strong Catholic Church has only around 222 cardinals as of May, all of whom serve as the Pope's advisers, and around half of whom can elect the Pope's successor.
Voice of sobriety
Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, incoming vice president of the CBCP, also recalled that Vidal "played an important role in the restoration of democracy in our country."
"He was always regarded as the voice of sobriety in the plenary assemblies of the CBCP," David said.
He pointed out, too, that Vidal "is the main figure behind the beatification and canonization of San Pedro Calungsod," the second Filipino saint.
David said, "Cardinal Vidal (whom we fondly called Lolo Carding) will be sorely missed in the CBCP."
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle said, "The Archdiocese of Manila is united with the whole Church especially the Archdiocese of Cebu in sorrow at the death of our beloved Cardinal Ricardo Vidal."
Vidal was former president of the CBCP and former archbishop of Lipa, Batangas. He became cardinal in April 1985. – Rappler.com