Cardinal Vidal's birthday wish: Peace between Duterte, Catholic Church | Inquirer News

Cardinal Vidal’s birthday wish: Peace between Duterte, Catholic Church

President Rodrigo Duterte is blessed by Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal during a meeting at Malacañang in this July 18, 2016 file photo. (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE PRESIDENTIAL PHOTOGRAPHERS DIVISION)

President Rodrigo Duterte is blessed by Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal during a meeting at Malacañang in this July 18, 2016 file photo. (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE PRESIDENTIAL PHOTOGRAPHERS DIVISION)

CEBU CITY — Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal voiced out his birthday wish as he turned 86 on Monday: peace between the Catholic Church hierarchy and President Duterte.

“There should be understanding between the government and the Church. If there is no harmony, when will peace come?” said Vidal in an interview with reporters in his house in Sto. Niño Village, Barangay Banilad in Cebu City.


Catholic leaders in the country have criticized the President for his bloody war on drugs that resulted in the deaths of over 7,000 drug suspects nationwide.


The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines recently released a pastoral letter, expressing concern over the high death rate and killings in the campaign against prohibited drugs.

While recognizing the government’s intent to address the problem on illegal drugs, the bishops’ collegial body said the solution would not lie in the killing of suspected drug users and pushers. According to the Catholic Church, the government is only God’s steward and does not own life.

The pastoral statement was read in all Masses in the country last Sunday.

Vidal urged the people to pray for President Duterte whom he said might have felt uneasy over the statements of some bishops about his campaign against illegal drugs.

“We in the Church, we are all obliged, as citizens, to pray for our President, whether we like him or not. Since he won in the elections, we have to accept that. Let us cooperate with him in whatever way we can,” he said.

Vidal visited President Duterte in Malacañang days after the latter assumed office, hoping to bridge the gap between Catholic Church bishops and the new administration.


They didn’t discuss controversial issues like extrajudicial killings and the possible revival of the death penalty that clashed with the Church’s doctrines.

While they wanted to establish a good rapport with the President, Vidal said the Catholic Church would continue to abide by what is right, in accordance to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

“We are pro-life. Therefore, we have to protect the life God has given us,” he said.

Vidal was born on Feb. 6, 1931 in Mogpog, Marinduque, and was ordained as priest on March 17, 1956, a bishop on Nov. 30, 1971 and a cardinal on May 25, 1985.

He first came to Cebu in 1981 when he was coadjutor archbishop and was installed as the Cebu archbishop on Sept. 18, 1982 after the death of Julio Cardinal Rosales.

Vidal retired in 2011 and was replaced by Archbishop Palma.

In celebration of his birthday, the country’s most senior cardinal presided over a Mass at his private chapel and had lunch with his visitors, mostly bishops, priests, and nuns.

Among those present were Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Dennis Villarojo, Palo Archbishop John Du, and retired Bishops Christian Vicente Noel and Emilio Bataclan—all of whom are Cebuanos.

Also present were former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. and some priests in the archdiocese.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, who was attending an activity in Guam as of Monday, wasn’t able to attend Vidal’s birthday celebration but had sent his greetings to his predecessor.

At the end of the Mass, the congregation led by the Society of the Angel of Peace sang a birthday song for Vidal whose spiritual guidance and advice are still sought by Church leaders in the country.

At 86 years old, Vidal expressed gratitude to God for the blessings he received throughout his life.

“It sounds awkward to greet oneself. But when you get older, it makes sense. It is another way of saying that I am getting older but I am happy. I have less wishes (now). I am more of memories,” he said in his homily.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Vidal also expressed his wish to continue serving better the Catholic Church in any way possible despite his age.  SFM

TAGS: Conflict, Human rights, peace, Politics, Ricardo Vidal, understanding, war on drugs

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.