CEBU CITY – Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal is dead.
“It is with great sadness that I announce the death of Cardinal Vidal. He has returned to the Father’s home at 7:28 a.m. today (Wednesday),” said Msgr. Joseph Tan, the spokesperson of the Archdiocese of Cebu.
Details of Vidal’s internment had yet to be discussed.
“I ask the people to pray for his eternal repose,” Tan said.
Tan also said he had no full details yet on Vidal’s cause of death.
“The doctors’ last bulletin was that he was in stable condition. But as it is, his heart may have given up due to his age,” he noted.
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma gave Vidal the Sacrament of Extreme Unction last October 11, shortly after the 86-year-old cardinal went unconscious at the Perpetual Succour Hospital in Cebu City.
The sacrament is performed on a seriously ill person for spiritual and physical strength.
Vidal, the country’s most senior cardinal, was in coma throughout October 12, but showed positive signs on October 13 when he began to open his eyes.
Vidal was archbishop of Cebu for 29 years before he retired in 2011. The native of Mogpog in Marinduque chose to spend his retirement years in Cebu where he continues to preside over Masses and attend special events in the country’s biggest archdiocese.
Since his retirement, he has been staying at the Sto. Niño Village in Cebu City.
Vidal is one of the country’s four living cardinals. The others are Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Cardinal Quevedo, and Manila Archbishop Emeritus Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales.
But Vidal has been plagued by health problems.
In 2004, Vidal underwent a coronary angiogram procedure, an examination of the heart and blood vessels, and had a pacemaker installed to monitor his heart beat.
On September 23, 2013, Vidal was rushed to the hospital after a mild stroke. But he had been going in and out of the hospital due to pneumonia since 2014. Last May, he was confined at a hospital in Manila for the same ailment.