‘He would feel sad and angry today’
MANILA, Philippines–If Jaime Cardinal Sin were alive today, he would probably be appalled by the current political situation in the country, according to Novaliches Emeritus Bishop Teodoro Bacani Jr.
“He would surely feel sad and angry in many ways,” Bacani said when asked what he thought Sin’s sentiments would have been about the corruption and other controversies hounding the government.
Bacani was among the Catholic prelates who concelebrated a Mass commemorating Sin’s ninth death anniversary on Saturday.
The Mass, which was held at the Manila Cathedral’s burial chamber where Sin’s tomb lies, was attended by some of the late cardinal’s relatives, prelates and nuns.
Sin’s protege, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, failed to make it to the occasion because his mother was reportedly ill. Villegas usually organizes and leads Eucharistic celebrations for Sin.
Sin was a driving force in toppling dictator Ferdinand Marcos in February 1986 when he called on people to go to Edsa and defend the military rebels led by then Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and Armed Forces Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Fidel Ramos.
Sin was also instrumental in the ouster of President Joseph Estrada in 2001 when he rallied thousands to Edsa to force the latter out of office amid corruption allegations.
Sin died of kidney complications on June 21, 2005, at the age of 76.
During his homily, Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes highlighted Sin’s simple traits that endeared him to many, especially the poor.
According to Reyes, one of the things he did was to ask Mother Teresa of Calcutta to send missionary nuns to Manila to work for the poor.
“Apparently, Mother Teresa’s response then was that while she wanted to help the poor of Manila, she did not have enough sisters,” Reyes said. “So Cardinal Sin answered back and told Mother Teresa: ‘You know, Mother, when I die and face the Lord, He might ask me why I did not care enough for the poor people in Manila. I will tell the Lord that it’s because Mother Teresa did not come to Manila.’ And that was the beginning of so many convents here of the Missionaries of Charity of Mother Teresa.”
Reyes also cited Sin’s strong devotion to the Blessed Mother.
He said one of the stories that Cardinal Sin used to share was about his own mother who showered him with more love and attention because he was sickly when he was a young boy.
“Cardinal Sin said the Blessed Mother was like that—she gives more attention and love to the miserable ones, to the poor, either materially or spiritually. He said we should be like the Blessed Mother. We should also give attention, more love to the miserable, to the little ones. That’s why the stories that he usually shared were simple stories because they were meant for the people in the barrios, the poor communities,” Reyes said.
He noted Sin’s way of always seeking the will of God even as he urged the faithful to do the same.