CEBU Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal has passed away, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Cebu said in a statement. He was 86.
“It is with great sadness that I announce the death of Cardinal Vidal. He has returned to the Father’s home at 7:28 a.m. today (Wednesday),” said Monsignor Joseph Tan.
Tan asked the people to pray for Vidal’s eternal repose.
Vidal was rushed to the Perpetual Succor Hospital in Cebu City on October 11 due to fever and shortness of breath. He had been in and out of the hospital due to pneumonia since 2014.
Archbishop Palma administered the Sacrament of Extreme Unction, commonly called the final anointing to Vidal on October 11.
On Friday, Vidal awoke from his comatose state although his attending physician, Dr. Rene Josef Bullecer, was not optimistic, saying those under similar conditions would open and close their eyes spontaneously but would not reply to voice command or grip.
Surprisingly, however, Vidal responded to body reflexes and felt pain until his death. The infection in his kidneys had reportedly spread to his blood.
Vidal was the most senior of the four living cardinals before his death. The other three are Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle, Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo and Manila Archbishop Emeritus Gaudencio Rosales. Vidal retired in 2011 after serving 29 years as Cebu archbishop.
Cebu gave its Cardinal the highest award – the Order of Lapu-Lapu. Cebu City and Talisay City made him their “adopted son.” In March 2009, the University of the Visayas endowed him the title Doctor of Humanities honoris causa.
Ricardo Tito Jamin Vidal was born on February 6, 1931 in Mogpog, Marinduque to Faustino Vidal of Pila, Laguna and Natividad Jamin of Mogpog, Marinduque.
He studied at the Minor Seminary of the Most Holy Rosary (now the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Seminary) in Sariaya, Quezon and the San Carlos Seminary in Makati City. He studied Philosophy at the Saint Francis de Sales seminary in Lipa, Batangas.
He was ordained a deacon on September 24, 1955 and as a priest on March 17, 1956, after which he served as assistant parish priest of Mogpog.
From 1957 to 1965, the Cardinal was the spiritual director of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Seminary. Later, he served as rector of the school from 1965 to 1971.
Vidal was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Malolos on September 23, 1971. He became Archbishop of Lipa on August 26, 1973.
He was installed as the Archbishop of Cebu on September 18, 1982 and was elevated to the College of Cardinals on April 14, 1985.
From 1986 to 1987, Vidal served as the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
The Cardinal was a member of the Permanent Council of the Synod from 1989 to 1994.
Vidal joined Jaime Cardinal Sin in supporting the 1986 People Power Revolution. In 2001, he was among those who called for the ouster of former president Joseph Estrada. RENAN ALANGILAN, ARLO CUSTODIO, ARIC JOHN SY CUA