FAST FACTS: Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal

MANILA, Philippines – Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal died on Wednesday, October 18. He was 86.

The prelate played key roles in both the 1986 People Power Revolution and EDSA II revolt in 2001.

Vidal was president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in 1986. He and the CBCP condemned the results of that year's snap elections and called for a "non-violent struggle for justice."

During EDSA II, he privately advised then-President Joseph Estrada to step down from office.

Vidal later wrote President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo a letter – co-signed by then-Senate President Manuel Villar and House Speaker Jose de Venecia – to pardon her predecessor Estrada, who was convicted of plunder in 2007.

The cardinal was born on February 6, 1931 in Mogpog, Marinduque, to public school teacher Maria Natividad Jamin and town treasurer Fructuoso Vidal.  

When he was 6, Vidal and his family traveled to Manila for his first holy communion at the first International Eucharistic Celebration (IEC) held in the country in 1937. He was chosen by the Bishop of Lipa to represent Mogpog during the Children's Day event of the IEC.

Vidal entered the Most Holy Rosary Seminary (now the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Seminary) in Sariaya, Quezon, then studied philosophy at the Saint Francis de Sales Seminary in Lipa City, Batangas, and took up theology at the San Carlos Seminary in Makati City.

He 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 the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Seminary.

In 1971, Vidal was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Malolos and later consecrated a bishop. Two years after, in 1973, he became the Archbishop of Lipa.

Vidal became the Coadjutor Archbishop of Cebu, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cebu, and parish priest of the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral in 1981.

In 1982, he was installed as the Archbishop of Cebu. Three years later, in 1985, he was elevated to the College of Cardinals at the Vatican.

His resignation as Archbishop of Cebu was accepted by Pope Benedict XVI in October 2010.

The cardinal fell into a coma on October 11 this year, but woke up from it two days later. His condition slightly improved but remained critical in the days that followed.

CBCP president Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said Vidal "now joins the immortal ones who served the Lord faithfully here on earth."

Villegas added: "Cardinal Vidal cannot die. He who has always shared in the dying and rising of the Lord daily in his priestly life cannot die." (READ: Bishops mourn death of Cebu's Cardinal Vidal– Rappler.com

Michael Bueza

Michael Bueza is a researcher and data curator under Rappler's Research Team. He works on data about elections, governance, and the budget. He also follows the Philippine pro wrestling scene and the WWE. Michael is also part of the Laffler Talk podcast trio.

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