Cardinal Vidal dies at 86

October 18, 2017 - 10:15 AM
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In this January 2016 file photo, Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal is wheeled into the Cebu City Sports Center to officiate a Mass for the International Eucharistic Congress. (The Freeman/Paul Jun E. Rosaroso/PhilStar file)

MANILA, Philippines — (UPDATE 3 – 12:51 p.m.) Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, archbishop-emeritus of Cebu, died in a hospital Wednesday morning, October 18. He was 86.

“After several attempts to revive him, his heart stopped beating. At 7:26 this morning (October 18, 2017), the Cardinal died due to septic shock caused by massive infections (in) his body and of old age,” Monsignor Joseph Tan, spokesman of the Cebu archdiocese, said.

Vidal’s physician, Rene Josef Bullecer, doctors attempted to revive Vidal around 6:30 a.m. but the prelate was declared dead an hour later.

Vidal, who served Cebu for 29 years, was admitted to Cebu’s Perpetual Succour Hospital at dawn last Wednesday, October 11, after suffering nausea and shortness of breath and was described by Bullecer as “semi-comatose.”

But he regained consciousness two days later, October 13, an event his doctors described as a “miracle.”

And on October 15, his condition was said to have slightly improved after he underwent dialysis for a blood bacterial infection.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma and Vidal’s former priest secretaries were with him when he died.

His wake will be at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral with a holy mass held at 8 p.m..

Reacting to the news of Vidal’s death, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella issued the following statement:

“The Palace condoles with the Cebu faithful on the demise of Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal this morning.

“President Rodrigo Duterte and Cardinal Vidal had a friendly, cordial relationship. The good cardinal paid a courtesy call to Malacanan shortly after PRRD assumed office and assured the Chief Executive of his fervent prayers for him and his administration.

“We are thankful for the kind bishop’s pastoral role of the Catholic faithful.”

(with a report from Camille Aguinaldo, InterAksyon)