Lingayen-Dagupan archbishop emeritus Oscar Cruz dies at 85
MANILA, Philippines — Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz died Wednesday morning “due to a lingering illness.” He was 85.
“Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz of Lingayen-Dagupan died today at 6:45 am at the Cardinal Santos Hospital due to a lingering illness,” read a tweet from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.
In a Facebook post, Lingayen Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said that Cruz died due to multi-organ failure caused by critical COVID-19 infection.”
“Following health protocols, his mortal remains will be cremated immediately,” Villegas added.
BREAKING: Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz of Lingayen-Dagupan died today at 6:45am at the Cardinal Santo Hospital due to a lingering illness. He was 85. pic.twitter.com/nT0reHGgT6
— CBCPNews (@cbcpnews) August 26, 2020
Cruz, a Canon lawyer, was president of the CBCP from 1995 to 1999, and is known for his vocal criticism of sitting presidents, including President Rodrigo Duterte.
In one instance in April 2017, Cruz dismissed Duterte’s remark that the Catholic Church will become irrelevant in the next 30 years because of its alleged abuses and flaws.
The prelate noted that even though there may be sinful men in the Church, it was founded by Jesus Christ himself who had no sin.
“That’s why if the Church per se were not really a true Church and was not founded by Christ, it should have been gone a long time ago. That the Church is still up and about up to this time is an argument that is beyond debate,” Cruz pointed out.
“One thing is very certain. While the churchmen may be sinful, the Church per se being founded by Christ is one holy Catholic apostolic,” he also said.
The cremated remains of Cruz will be brought to the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist in Dagupan City. The Catholic faithful may pay their respects to the late archbishop on August 27, Thursday, from 6:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m, according to Villegas.
“Masses will be celebrated by the diocesan and religious clergy of Lingayen Dagupan the whole day,” the archbishop added.
The funeral Mass will be held at 9 a.m. on August 28, Friday, at the Saint John the Evangelist Cathedral. His remains will be laid to rest at the Santuario de San Juan Evangelista right after the Mass.
“In adherence to prevailing health protocols, only the priests and bishops together with the Archbishop’s family will be in attendance at the funeral Mass as we encourage the Catholic faithful to follow the liturgical rites on social media livestream,” Villegas also said.
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