Cardinal Vidal, ‘man of profound faith,’ laid to rest

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By John Michael D. Pineda
Umatuna Si Yu’os

The Archdiocese of Agaña joins the Archdiocese of Cebu in mourning the passing of Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal.

On Oct. 18, Cardinal Vidal passed away at the age of 86 after a series of health complications.

Guam’s bond with Cebu and other Visayan provinces of the Philippines dates back to colonial times when Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores and St. Pedro Calungsod were on our island to evangelize and spread Christianity.

In fact, Cardinal Vidal was a key component regarding the pursuit of having San Pedro Calungsod canonized, whose memorial shrine now stands at Tumon along with Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores and companion martyrs.

Documentation that were necessary to get the cause of Calungsod’s sainthood moving were provided by the late Archbishop Felixberto Flores after he invited Cardinal Vidal for the beatification of Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores in 1985.

Father Joseph Anore, parochial administrator of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Inarajan remembered Cardinal Vidal saying, “It was the late Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu, Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal, who ordained me as a priest on June 17, 1997. My recollection of him as a bishop and person can be described that he was a man of profound faith, exquisite and exemplary humility, undeniable simplicity and ‘undaunting’ love of the Church.

“It was during his helm as the chairperson of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines Commission On Clergy that he formed the so-called Emmaus Center, a halfway house of those priests in the Philippines who are in crisis or are troubled in the priestly ministry.”

He added, “Another distinguishing trait of the late Cardinal Vidal was his meekness and approachability to all walks of life.  You would never feel intimidated, but rather comfortable, because his big smile melted your fear being in front of the so-called ‘prince of the church.’”

Also, according to accounts in the Umatuna Si Yu’os, Cardinal Vidal gave an image of the Santo Niño de Cebu to the Archdiocese of Agaña in 1999, which resulted in the composition of various Filipino organizations that have since united in celebration to the worship of the Holy Infant Jesus every January.

Father Anore also said, “Absolutely his death left a big hole to the local church of the Philippines as well as the universal church, because he had shown to us that a prince of the church is not grounded on reverence from authority solely. But more so as a servant-leader fashioned to the heart of the Lord, our master of the vineyard of God.”

The funeral Mass for Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal was scheduled to be held at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral in downtown Cebu City on Oct. 26.