Jaime Lachica Cardinal Sin † Jaime Lachica Cardinal Sin †
Archbishop Emeritus of Manila, Philippines
Cardinal Priest of S Maria ai Monti
Aug 31, 1928
May 24, 1976
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English Cardinal Sodano downplays significance of conflicts within Vatican
Jun 23, 2012

Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the former Vatican Secretary of State, has rejected the notion that there are sharp divisions within the Roman Curia.

Cardinal Sodano told the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano that the media is spreading “disinformation” about the Vatican by interpreting an unprecedented release of confidential documents as an indication of severe internal conflicts. He argued that the documents which have come to light show only “a diversity of opinions” among Vatican officials.

"It is understandable that with different personalities, different nationalities, different cultures and different social sensitivities, there may be different judgments on different working methods," the Italian prelate said. He also suggested with nearly 5,000 people working at the Vatican, it is not surprising that “there may be someone who is not carrying out their duties.”

Cardinal Sodano’s comments seemed clearly to understate the extent of the “Vatileaks” scandal, since the workers who have leaked confidential documents to the press have clearly intended to embarrass other Vatican officials. Moreover, while many people are involved in Vatican correspondence, only a handful would have had access to some of the private papal documents that have been made available to the Italian press.

Although he stepped down as Secretary of State in 2006, Cardinal Sodano--who remains Dean of the College of Cardinals at the age of 84--still retains considerable influence within the Vatican. Veteran Vatican-watchers have noted that officials loyal to the former Secretary of State have shown signs of impatience with his successor, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. Many of the documents that have been released put Cardinal Bertone in an unfavorable light.

Spanish Cardenal Angelo Sodano niega "divisiones" en el Vaticano
Jun 23, 2012
Sodano recordó que 2.843 personas trabajan en la Curia Romana y 2.001 en la administración del Vaticano

Ciudad del Vaticano.- El exsecretario de Estado de la Santa Sede, el cardenal Angelo Sodano, mano derecha por décadas del fallecido papa Juan Pablo II, desmintió el miércoles que reine un clima de "divisiones" dentro del Vaticano y sostiene que se trata sólo de "opiniones diferentes".

El purpurado, "genio político" del largo pontificado de Juan Pablo II, intervino por primera vez sobre las inéditas filtraciones a la prensa de documentos reservados del papa Benedicto XVI, que develan los conflictos, peleas y odios internos dentro de la Curia Romana o gobierno de la Iglesia, resaltó AFP.

"Que se hable de varias maniobras me sorprende porque la diversidad de opiniones no significa que estemos divididos... Es claro que entre personalidades tan diferentes, por nacionalidad, cultura, sensibilidad social, los juicios suelen ser distintos sobre los diferentes métodos de trabajo", declaró Sodano en una entrevista al diario del Vaticano, L'Osservatore Romano.

"Nosotros, los cardenales, queremos crear un cenáculo alrededor de Pedro, sin asombrarse por las dificultades del momento", explicó el cardenal italiano, de 84 años, quien fue Secretario de Estado de 1990 al 2006.

El cardenal considera que el Vaticano es víctima de la "desinformación" que domina actualmente en los medios de comunicación.

Sodano recordó que 2.843 personas trabajan en la Curia Romana y 2.001 en la administración del Vaticano.

"En un grupo tan numeroso, hay gente que no cumple sus deberes", comentó.

Según el diario italiano La Repubblica, uno de los "espías" responsables de las filtraciones, que han desestabilizado al gobierno central de la Iglesia, anunció que entregará nuevos documentos internos hasta que "no sean expulsados del Vaticano los verdaderos responsables", indicando entre ellos al actual número dos de la Santa Sede, el cardenal italiano Tarcisio Bertone y el secretario particular del Papa, el alemán Georg Gänswein.

La imagen del Vaticano salió afectada gravemente por la filtración de un centenar de documentos internos, entre ellos numerosas cartas privadas dirigidas al Papa o a su secretario, lo que ha provocado una de las mayores crisis del papado de Benedicto XVI, ya que puso en discusión inclusive su liderazgo como guía de la Iglesia.

English Cardinal Sin back where he’s endlessly remembered
Sept 26, 2007
Finally, “Ame” is coming home.

(Inquirer, 08/26/2007) MANILA, Philippines -- Two years after his death, Jaime Cardinal Sin will make a much-awaited return to New Washington, a small port municipality in Aklan, where the charismatic religious leader cum freedom fighter was born and raised.

And this time, he’s staying for good.

The former Archbishop of Manila will return in the form of a 13.5-foot brass statue built by brothers Ronald and Jonell Castrillo, nephews and assistants of world acclaimed sculptor Eduardo Castrillo.

The statue, a donation of Ambassador Antonio Cabangon Chua, will be unveiled on Aug. 31—Sin’s 79th birth anniversary—at the old town plaza fronting the Shrine of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary.

The plaza itself has been renamed after the late cardinal by virtue of a town council resolution last year. The resolution hailed the outspoken Sin as “a great leader, patriot and Church dignitary” who “contributed much in the restoration of democracy to the Filipino people.”

No simple addition

The statue is no simple addition to already existing structures of Sin in his hometown.

To begin with, it’s the first sculpture of the cardinal to be erected in the town, according to Ronald Castrillo. Most of his images are in Manila, the latest of which is the Napoleon Abueva-made brass statue standing at the entrance of the Cardinal Sin Village in Punta, Sta. Ana.

For the townsfolk, the Castrillo brothers’ creation is the closest they can get to a remnant of New Washington’s beloved and dearly missed son, according to Dr. Ramon Sin, the cardinal’s younger brother.

“They really miss him so much,” he told the Inquirer in an interview.

The younger Sin said townmates would have preferred that the cardinal were buried in the town. But church tradition and protocol reserved him a slot at the crypt beneath the Manila Cathedral.

The statue doesn’t show the realism of a wax figure. Instead, it beams with the majesty of brass, naturally reinforced by the stature and arresting presence of Sin when he was still alive.

Patterned after one of his famous images, the bust shows the late cardinal in full vestment. His left hand holds his bishop’s staff, his right hand raised as if blessing the church before him, a structure he had rebuilt in 1984.

Cardinal’s ‘smile’

The Castrillo brothers, builders of around 20 statues at Eternal Garden memorial parks in Laguna and Batangas, paid particular attention to the cardinal’s “smile.”

“He had quite a serious smile and it was not easy to depict,” he said.

Anybody who really knew Sin, of course, knew that the idea of a “serious smile” could not pass even as an oxymoronic reference to him. Besides his marriage of spiritual guidance and political leadership, the man was famous for his joke and hearty appetite.

This knowledge of the “personal” Sin is not lost on the people of New Washington, at least, to those who are too old to forget, according to his brother Ramon. They know him, not in book and newspaper accounts, but in personal encounters that have left deep impressions about the man.

“In our town, he’s known to many people as simply Ame,” he said, referring to his late brother’s childhood nickname.

Sorely missed

Ramon said Sin had been sorely missed since he was ordained priest in 1954, an alternately joyous and downcast event—the former in the sense that any new addition to God’s servants was most welcome to the deeply religious town of New Washington, the latter on the idea that its people would also have to part with their beloved son.

Since acquiring his vestments, Sin had been out on religious missions, becoming bishop in 1967, and then moving to the Archdiocese of Manila—the country’s premier diocese—in March 1974.

“Our townsfolk had accepted the fact that he had to be away most of the time, but they longed for his visit,” Ramon said.

Fortunately for the people he had physically left behind, Sin seemed to have the uncanny ability to be all over the place.

Despite the great distance between Manila and Aklan, the cardinal took every opportunity in his hectic schedule to drop by for a visit in his hometown, his brother recalled.

Deeply personal

Visits were never confined to formal gatherings and ceremonies akin to the atmosphere of a returning politician. They were deeply personal, often having the cardinal receive relatives, friends and ordinary folks at the two-story ancestral home near the plaza.

And people knew how to touch the cardinal’s heart—they did so through his belly.

Ramon said visitors often brought native chicken and eggs, seashells, crabs and popular catches such as “tamilok” (white worms picked from mangroves and are eaten raw) and “mangla” (white shrimps that come out usually after a rain in the town).

These encounters between Sin and his people were often obscured in the popular memory by his so-called “feats”—his role in the restoration of democracy in 1986 and his fight for freedom and character renewal from the very beginning.

Grateful people

But not to New Washington’s folks, like the many nameless priests he had sponsored and still many other ordinary people he had helped get by Aklan’s tough life, according to Ramon.

“To this day, I’m occasionally approached by people I do not know,” he said. “Out of the blue, they say they would like to thank the cardinal for the help he had extended to them.”

Many of these people came by the busloads in Manila to visit Sin at his wake at the Manila Cathedral two years ago. Many others would have loved to come, but were too old, too weak, or too poor to make the long trip.

These same people, according to Ramon, are awaiting the formal unveiling of cardinal’s towering figure at the end of the month. In a manner of speaking, their collective memory of him will breathe life into the statue of Sin.
English Cardinal Sin's Birthday
Sept 26, 2007
President Arroyo declares August 31 a non working holiday in Aklan.

KALIBO, Aklan (Sept. 1, 2007) - President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has declared August 31, the birth anniversary of the late Roman Catholic leader and Archbishop of Manila Jaime L. Cardinal Sin as a special non-working holiday in the province of Aklan.

Presidential Proclamation No. 1370 duly signed by Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita on August 29, 2007 lauded Cardinal Sin as a true-blooded Aklanon that contributed to the nation's political history and social transformation which left a lasting impact on the lives of the Filipino people.

"It is fitting and proper that the people of the Province of Aklan be given full opportunity to celebrate the occasion with appropriate ceremonies," Ermita stressed.

Last August 10, Aklan Gov. Carlito Marquez and Aklan solon asked President to declare every August 31 a non-working holiday in observance of the birth anniversary of Cardinal

“As a prime mover of the first EDSA Revolution and a highly respected religious leader whose ideals can be a continuing inspiration to our youth, President Arroyo is urged to declare August 31 a non-working holiday,” they said in their letter.

The unveiling of the 13.5 foot towering statue commissioned by Ambassador Antonio Cabangon Chua is part of the Aklanons and the Filipino’s commitment to perpetuate the legacy of the late Cardinal Sin.

The National Historical Institute (NHI) will unveil a marker as part of the installation rites in New Washington, this province, lead by NHI chairman Ambeth R. Ocampo following the blessing of Cardinal Sin's statue at the town's public plaza fronting the Roman Catholic Church.

Among the government officials to attend the unveiling of the towering statue are Senate President Manuel Villar Jr., House Speaker Jose de Venecia, Oriental Mindoro Rep. Rodolfo Valencia, Las Piñas Rep. Cynthia Villar, Social Welfare and Development secretary Esperanza Cabral, Labor Secretary Arturo Brion, Ambassador to Italy Henrietta de Villa, Roxas City mayor Vicente Bermejo, Postmaster General Hector Villanueva, NHI chairman Ocampo, Presidential Management Staff head Cerge Remonde, Environment and Natural Resources secretary Lito Atienza, Transportation and Communications secretary Leandro Mendoza, Cabinet secretary Ricardo Saludo and Manila mayor Alfredo Lim.
English Erap, Sin reconciled before death of cardinal
Sept 03, 2005
Detained President Joseph Estrada and his erstwhile nemesis the late Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin had reconciled with each other two weeks before the cardinal's death in June 2005.

(Daily Tribune, August 16, 2005) This revelation was made in open court by Estrada's surprise witness, Father James Reuter, a Jesuit priest and director of the office of Mass Media for the Catholic Church of the Philippines before the Sandiganbayan Special Division yesterday.

Reuter, the 67th witness for the defense said during yesterday hearing of the plunder case that Sin had accepted Estrada's conciliatory gesture through a letter when the detained leader asked to visit the ailing archbishop after learning about Sin's failing health.

Reuter was presented by Estrada's defense lawyer, Rene Saguisag, to elaborate on his many column items which pointed out that Estrada had been demonized by the civil society without the group giving him the opportunity to present his side of the controversy and his humane nature.

“It is our purpose to present before the justices the other side of President Estrada before they decide on this case which carries the penalty of death through lethal injection,” Saguisag stressed.

The defense lawyer added Estrada was a victim of a very vicious trial by publicity that led to his downfall without the benefit of his side being heard.

There were also many Filipinos who did not join the indignation rallies against Estrada and yet suffered following the collapse of his administration.

Reuter told the court it was Estrada, whom he referred to as Erap during his testimony, who personally requested him to initiate reconciliation moves with the ailing cardinal, stressing it was the desire of Estrada to personally visit with the ailing prelate.

Reuter, however, added this meeting failed to push through.

At that time, Sin was already seriously ill but still managed to express his concern for Estrada's health and security.

Through Reuter, the two managed to exchange letters. Cardinal Sin's last letter to Estrada expressed his whole-hearted acceptance of the reconciliation offer and blessed the detained leader.

“Cardinal Sin replied to Erap (Estrada) in a very beautiful letter,” Reuter testified. “He said he had forgotten any mistake Erap may have made “ and pointed out that, as Estrada would be accompanied by security escorts that might attract the attention of reporters. He said the media were bound to misinterpret the visit,” Reuter told the justices of the Special Division.

It will be recalled that Estrada and his camp had openly accused the late cardinal of conspiring with the elite and members of the so-called civil society to oust him from power in 2001.

Reuter made four visits to the President's detention place in Tanay, Rizal.

“I thought it was a very good gesture on the part of Erap to seek reconciliation with Cardinal Sin,” Reuter said.

The priest during examination admitted he is close to the former president since he saw personally the soft spot Estrada has for the poor on various occasions.

He cited a particular incident when, during the Estrada administration, businessman Alfonso Yuchengo donated P15 million to the Our lady of Peace Mission Hospital in Parañaque City to build a charity ward.

Despite the donation, however, they could not begin construction without an assurance of maintenance, which was estimated to cost at least P1 million a month. The priest said he did not hesitate to approach the former President for help, and fortunately Estrada did not turn him down.

“He asked me how much it was all going to cost. I was blushing when I told him, P1 million a month.”

Estrada, Reuter recounted to the court, said: “I'll give you one and a half million (pesos).” Then I asked him when we could expect the money and he replied, 'Tomorrow'.”

This resulted in the fast-track construction of the hospital which is currently fully operational. The P1.5-million maintenance fund previously approved by Estrada was continued by the government of Mrs. Arroyo.

He also noted the mission has survived largely on the basis of the maintenance donation.

“It is hard to believe the charges against a person with such a humane (side),” Reuter said.

During the initial stage of the hearing, the open court heard the petition of Estrada to be allowed on Saturday, Aug. 20, to go to the Cardinal Santos Memorial Hospital in San Juan for a medical check-up and to attend the El Shaddai prayer mass at the Luneta on the occasion of the group's anniversary.

Chief Special Prosecutor Dennis Villa Ignacio did not object to the medical check-up but vehemently opposed his request to attend mass at the Luneta for security reasons.

But former Manila Fiscal Jose Flaminiano pointed out that security would not be a problem because there would be many prominent personalities, including the President, who would be in attendance.

Flaminiano also assured the court that Estrada will not deliver any political speeches during the occasion but will be there to join the nation in prayers “as we now need the collective prayers of all Filipinos who turn to the Almighty to resolve the current economic and political crisis facing our nation.”
English Thousands bid farewell to Cardinal Sin
Jul 04, 2005
Thousands of Filipinos gathered at Manila Cathedral in Intramuros yesterday to bid farewell to the late Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin, the Roman Catholic leader who rallied the nation twice in the last two decades for mass pro-democracy protests that ousted two presidents.

MANILA, June 29, 2005  (STAR) By Mike Frialde - Mourners lined the streets around the cathedral as political and business leaders, nuns, students and thousands of others inside heard the funeral rites for Sin, who died on June 21 at age 76 after suffering from a kidney ailment.

Funeral rites for Sin started at 9 a.m., with Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales welcoming the congregation.

"He was the ultimate outspoken cardinal. He is a patriot of the country’s recent history. He never feared, for the Lord said, ‘If you do it to the least of my brethren, you do it to me.’ It was in the poor that he found Christ," Rosales said.

Notably absent were leaders of the political opposition, many of whom are linked to former presidents Ferdinand Marcos and Joseph Estrada, both ousted in public rallies called by Sin, among other figures.

Rosales, who took over from Sin as Manila archbishop, lauded the late cardinal for inspiring people to rise up against Marcos, who ruled from 1966 to 1986, much of it under martial law.

"He was more than a pastor. In the context of the country’s... dictatorship, he was the ultimate, outspoken prophet who was completely unafraid of despots and those who were unjust, dishonest and oppressive," he said.

After his welcome remarks, Rosales led 10 former auxiliary bishops of the archdiocese in bringing out Sin’s casket to the patio for the cardinal to be conferred state honors.

Before Sin was laid to rest alongside other bishops in a crypt beneath the altar, his mahogany casket was draped with the Philippine flag and paraded around the cathedral’s plaza on a horse-drawn carriage bedecked with white flowers. Soldiers then fired a 21-gun salute.

Military pallbearers folded the flag, which the honor guard commander handed to President Arroyo. She gave the flag to Dr. Ramon Sin, the cardinal’s younger brother. Also present as Sin was conferred state honors were former President Corazon Aquino, Vice President Noli de Castro, and Sin’s sisters Ceferina and Mary.

White balloons filled the clear sunny day as the coffin prepared to enter the cathedral for burial. A giant white streamer read: "We love Cardinal Sin."

The President, accompanied by De Castro, Aquino and Sin’s siblings, entered the cathedral. They were followed five minutes later by the 10 former Manila auxiliary bishops and by members of the archdiocese’s College of Consultors.

At the cathedral doors, Rosales sprinkled holy water on the casket and circled it, bearing a censer. Fr. Rufino Sescon and Fr. Gener Geronimo covered the casket with a pall, a large piece of white cloth bearing Sin’s coat of arms.

As the casket rested at the foot of the altar, Rosales began the funeral Mass, attended by Senators Joker Arroyo and Aquilino Pimentel, former senator Francisco Tatad, former Central Bank governor Jose Cuisia, Manila Mayor Lito Atienza, Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr., and members of the diplomatic corps. Also present were four cardinals said to be Sin’s close friends: Los Angeles Archbishop Roger Mahony; Tokyo, Japan Archbishop Seiichi Shirayanagi; Jakarta, Indonesia Archbishop Julius Darmaatmadja; and Kaohsiung, Taiwan Archbishop Paul Shan Kuo-hsi.

During the Mass, a message from Pope Benedict XVI was read aloud.

Papal Nuncio Archbishop Antonio Franco, Vatican’s representative in the Philippines, read out the Pope’s message.

Offering "heartfelt condolences" to Rosales and the clergy in Manila, the Pope commended Sin’s "unfailing commitment to spread the gospel and promote the dignity" of Filipinos. He also said he is joining the Filipino faithful in praying "that (Sin’s) soul will be welcomed in the kingdom of God."

Franco also read the message sent by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano, who also extended his condolences "at the passing of a true pastor."

Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal urged Filipinos to continue Sin’s work.

"A great man does not leave his people orphans. He empowers them to stand on their own and fulfill their own destiny. We as a people can stand on our own to continue his work and try to bring it to fruition. He was a visionary. At a time when all things were not clear, he knew what the Filipino could do," Vidal said.

Davao Archbishop Fernando Capalla, the incumbent president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, described Sin as a "man of contradiction."

"He was loved and he was disliked. He was a gentle pastor and he was an unyielding prophet. He was a conservative protecting the tradition of the Church and he was also a progressive who preferred to work along the frontiers where brutal poverty broke human lives," Capalla said.

He added that few could match Sin’s "instinctive insights into the essence of problems" and "unerring use of humor" in following the public pulse and garnering great support.

In his homily, Balanga, Bataan Bishop Socrates Villegas — who served as Sin’s assistant for 18 years — recounted Sin’s fondness for using the Spanish word "vamos" (let us go) whenever he would give orders or invite people to eat with him.

"He meant it that way. He did not send us off; he walked with us and held our hands as we walked through the uncertainties of life. He came with us each time," Villegas said.

He added that vamos was the last word Sin uttered before he died.

"Although it looks like he has left us behind... I believe what he meant was ‘Vamos! Let us go together.’ He did not say farewell. He did not say adios. He said vamos, with certainty that we will go to heaven one day," Villegas said.

Only the 50 people closest to Sin were allowed into the crypt to witness the lowering into a tomb lined with brown marble. A stainless steel time capsule was also placed inside.

The time capsule contained a rosary, six miraculous medals of the Blessed Virgin Mary, newspapers containing stories of Sin’s death, coins to mark the year of his death and a "rogito" or biography of the late cardinal and a blueprint of the Cardinal Sin Village, an urban poor settlement in Punta, Sta. Ana sponsored by Sin himself.

Church sources said the rogito was signed by Franco, Rosales, Villegas and Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes.

Sin’s epitaph, engraved on black marble, was in English and listed the dates of his ordination as a priest, appointment as archbishop of Manila, and elevation to cardinal. It also listed the date he died and his age at the time of death.

‘Moral compass’

One of Asia’s most prominent religious leaders, Sin was known for his vocal stances on everything from birth control to poverty, politics and the United States-led war in Iraq. Seen as the moral compass in the overwhelmingly Catholic Philippines, he even once apologized for church neglect of the poor.

In 2003 Sin stepped down as head of the Manila archdiocese, which he served for nearly three decades, after reaching the retirement age of 75. Declining health forced him to curtail his appearances, including at the Vatican conclave that chose a new pope in April.

Sin left a mixed legacy to a nation still struggling with vast political and social division after the uprisings that ousted two presidents.

"He saw the great need for unity among Filipinos but it must have pained him deeply that his charisma remained insufficient to accomplish this elusive goal," Capalla said.

Sin spoke out about the plight of tens of millions of poor Filipinos but also rubbed shoulders with the rich and powerful who resisted moves to break up their vast estates of land.

He was a staunch opponent of artificial birth control and abortion. Butting heads with then President Fidel Ramos, who once called the cardinal "the divine commander-in-chief," Sin mobilized hundreds of thousands of people in 1994 to denounce a policy encouraging condoms and pills to curb rapid population growth.

But the cardinal also had a renowned sense of humor, often joking about his name by welcoming guests to the "House of Sin."

While critics branded him a "politician priest," Sin believed the church had an important role to play in politics.

"Politics without Christ is the greatest scourge of our nation," he said in his retirement speech in 2003.

Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz, who once served as Sin’s auxiliary bishop, said the cardinal was "at ease with the powerful and influential but joyful in the company of the poor and helpless. He loved his friends, but at the same time understood those who were not."

Cruz, who now spearheads a crusade against the proliferation of the illegal numbers game jueteng, added that he had learned much from Sin, who shared his "understanding of God and man. He taught me the power of truth, the meaning of life, the dignity of every human person — the unborn included."
English Big crowd at state honors, last rites for Cardinal Sin
Jun 30, 2005
About 20,000 people gathered at the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, Manila yesterday morning to witness the state honors and funeral rites for the former Archbishop of Manila, Jaime Cardinal Sin.

(Manila Bulletin Online, June 28, 2005) National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Director Vidal Querol said as early as 7 a.m., hundreds of people started to gather in the cathedral’s vicinity. Banners expressing love and gratitude to the late prelate were also hoisted.

A procession around the Plaza Roma, participated in by Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales, the former auxiliary bishops of Manila, and members of the College of Consultors of the Archdiocese of Manila, kicked off the funeral ceremonies.

The crowd cheered as the late prelate’s coffin passed them, with "Tisoy," the horse that also carried the coffin of the late movie actor and 2004 presidential candidate Fernando Poe, Jr., pulling the caisson.

The state honors were led by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo who handed the folded Philippine flag to Cardinal Sin’s "next-of-kin," his brother Dr. Ramon Sin.

Among the personalities present were former President Corazon Aquino, Tarlac Rep. Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III, Mrs. Gina de Venecia, National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) National Chairman Jose ConcepBig crowd at state honors, last rites for Cardinal Sin

About 20,000 people gathered at the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, Manila yesterday morning to witness the state honors and funeral rites for the former Archbishop of Manila, Jaime Cardinal Sin.

(Manila Bulletin Online, June 28, 2005) National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Director Vidal Querol said as early as 7 a.m., hundreds of people started to gather in the cathedral’s vicinity. Banners expressing love and gratitude to the late prelate were also hoisted.

A procession around the Plaza Roma, participated in by Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales, the former auxiliary bishops of Manila, and members of the College of Consultors of the Archdiocese of Manila, kicked off the funeral ceremonies.

The crowd cheered as the late prelate’s coffin passed them, with "Tisoy," the horse that also carried the coffin of the late movie actor and 2004 presidential candidate Fernando Poe, Jr., pulling the caisson.

The state honors were led by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo who handed the folded Philippine flag to Cardinal Sin’s "next-of-kin," his brother Dr. Ramon Sin.

Among the personalities present were former President Corazon Aquino, Tarlac Rep. Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III, Mrs. Gina de Venecia, National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) National Chairman Jose Concep
French « Nous avons perdu un frère et un ami », disent les Evêques
Jun 30, 2005
Le flot des fidèles ne cesse de passer dans la cathédrale de Manille pour rendre un dernier hommage au Cardinal Jaime Sin, Archevêque émérite de Manille décédé le 21 juin dernier.

Manille (Agence Fides, 27 juin 2005) - Dans la cathédrale, les veillées de prière et les cérémonies d’Adoration du Saint-Sacrement se succèdent, avec une participation intense des fidèles de la Capitale. Le Cardinal, qui a dirigé l’Eglise des Philippines pendant plus de 30 ans, était une personnalité très aimée.

Les funérailles du Cardinal Sin auront lieu le 28 juin dans la cathédrale de manille, en présence de nombreuses autorités religieuses et civiles. On prévoit la présence de la Présidente du Pays, Mme Gloria Arroyo, et de plusieurs membres du gouvernement, de nombreux Evêques des Philippines, et d’autres Pays du Sud-est asiatique.

Il y aura aussi des dirigeants d’autres communautés religieuses, ainsi qu’une foule que l’on prévoit nombreuse qui remplira la cathédrale et la place devant l’église.

« Avec lui, nous avons perdu un frère et un ami », déclarent les Evêques des Philippines », par l’intermédiaire du Président de la Conférence Episcopale, Mgr Capalla, Archevêque de Davao. « C’était un grand homme, un grand Philippin, une grand Prince de l’Eglise. Nous sommes vraiment peinés qu’il nous ait laissés, mais nous nous réjouissons de son entrée dans la vie éternelle ».

Le corps du Cardinal Sin reposera dans la crypte de la Cathédrale de Manille, selon la volonté du Cardinal, près de ses deux prédécesseurs, l’Archevêque Mgr Reyes, et le Cardinal Santos.
English Teacher of service and of love
Jun 30, 2005
Thousands of people joined the funeral rites for Archbishop Emeritus of Manila Jaime Cardinal Sin who was finally laid to rest yesterday at a crypt below the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros.

(Manila Bulletin Online, June 28, 2005) People, both young and old, rich and poor, trooped to the cathedral as early as 6 a.m. to be able to secure a seat inside the church where most of the proceedings was held.

At exactly 9 a.m., the Cardinal’s funeral began with Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales providing the opening remarks.

In his message, Cardinal Rosales thanked God for giving to the Filipino people a one-of-a-kind shepherd for the Church, Jaime Cardinal Sin.

"Thank you for serving and inspiring us in love and for teaching us that to serve is also to love," he said.

After his welcome remarks, the casket was wheeled outside the cathedral to Plaza Roma where the state honors took place.

Draped with a Philippine flag, the Cardinal’s casket placed on a white carriage was paraded around the plaza, escorted by honor guards from the Philippine Navy, Marines and nine of Sin’s former auxiliary bishops.

When the procession came back to its place of origin, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo then turned over the flag draped on the casket to the Cardinal’s brother, Ramon with his other siblings as witnesses. The troopers fired a 21-gun salute.

The casket was then taken in front of the altar for the Eucharistic celebration presided by Archbishop Rosales.

The homily, however, was provided by Sin’s long time private secretary, and now Balanga Bataan Bishop Socrates Villegas.

In his homily, the Bishop spoke of the times he spent with the Cardinal, particularly the times when the latter would call him to go with him.

But it was the part when Villegas was narrating the Cardinal’s last moments in the hospital that his voice broke.

"Vamos!" Let us go! And for so many years, it truly meant that I would go with him. Yet this time, the invitation was there and I could not believe that he left me alone and left me behind," he said.

But although the Cardinal is no longer here on earth he said, his invitation to the faithful is still the same. Only this time he said, the Cardinal is inviting us to be real followers of Christ so that we could be with him in Heaven.

Towards the end of the mass, three fellow bishops of the Cardinal also delivered their messages — Papal Nuncio to the Philippine Archbishop Antonio Franco, Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal and Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) President Archbishop Fernando Capalla.

When all the messages were delivered, the pall bearers then brought the casket down to the crypt below the cathedral’s altar.

Inside the crypt, only the Cardinal’s family, former auxiliary bishops, and staff from his residence at Villa San Miguel were allowed entry for lack of space.

But although not everyone was allowed to go down the crypt, everything that transpired was seen by everyone with the video walls set up by the Archdiocese of Manila.

Also at the funeral were former President Corazon Aquino, Vice President Noli De Castro, Senate President Franklin Drilon, Manila Mayor Jose Atienza Jr., and other highranking government officials.

With Jaime Cardinal Sin gone, many are already guessing who will take his place as the "people’s conscience." His successor Archbishop Rosales is the probable candidate for cardinal.
English Manila prepares for largest burial
Jun 30, 2005
As thousands of mourners are expected to troop to the Manila Cathedral tomorrow to bid farewell to the late Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin, Church officials said they are preparing for what they described as the grandest funeral in the history of the archdiocese.

(The Philippine Star, 06/27/2005) "Definitely this will be the biggest burial in the archdiocese of Manila. There will be a huge turnout. People will come in droves. I am sure those who will come will come not just for the sake of curiosity," said Fr. Rufino Sescon, Sin’s former spokesman and secretary.

Preparations for the funeral rites are in full swing. Sescon said four large video screens will be installed outside the cathedral to give mourners a chance to see what is going on inside, especially at the crypt where Sin will be buried.

Sescon said they have made arrangements with the Manila city government and the Philippine National Police to ensure that the entire affair will be safe, orderly and secured.

Personnel from the Metro Manila Development Authority and the Intramuros Administration will marshal the flow of vehicular traffic around the cathedral, which will be surrounded by steel barricades installed by the Department of Public Works and Highways.

President Arroyo, Vice President Noli de Castro, and Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr., as well as Metro Manila mayors and congressmen are expected to attend the funeral Mass at 9 a.m. tomorrow.

Students from schools belonging to the Manila Archdiocese and Parochial Schools Association and the College Educators Association of the Philippines are also expected to attend the Mass. They will gather at Rizal Park at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow and proceed to the cathedral.

The Apostolic Nunciature is expected to send a delegation led by Papal Nuncio Archbishop Antonio Franco, the Vatican’s representative in the Philippines.

Four foreign cardinals, Sin’s close friends, will fly into the country to attend the funeral rites: Julius Darmaatmadja from Indonesia, Roger Mahoney from Los Angeles, Stephen Kim from Korea and Paul Shan from Taiwan.

Clergymen from Kalibo in Aklan, Jaro in Iloilo and the province of Capiz, where Sin had served as bishop, will attend the funeral rites "in force," Sescon said.

Church officials will close the cathedral at 2 a.m. Tuesday and throw open its doors four hours later for the funeral rites.

Sin will be accorded full military honors, including a 21-gun salute, at the cathedral steps. His remains will be loaded onto a horse-drawn carriage for a procession around the Plaza de Roma in front of the cathedral.

"Normally, church people are not given (such) honors, but because of his role in history, the President has ordered that he be given full military honors. This is the first time that such an honor has been given to a clergyman," Sescon said.

After the procession, Sescon said Sin’s casket will be brought inside the cathedral for burial in the crypt underneath the altar. Church officials said only 50 people will be present as Sin’s casket is lowered into the crypt.

"As of now we only want it at 50. But this is already too much. (Expected to be present) are members of (Sin’s) immediate family, including his brothers Manuel and Ramon and sisters Ceferina and Mary; Davao Archbishop Fernando Capalla, Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal; Franco; (and) former auxiliary bishops of the Archdiocese of Manila, including now Dagupan-Lingayen Archbishop Oscar Cruz," Sescon said.

Though the President will be present at the rites and will hand the national flag to Sin’s relatives after the procession, Sescon said he does not expect her to go down the crypt. The President may be provided with a special television monitor for her to watch the burial, he said.

Sescon said staff members of Villa San Miguel, Sin’s official residence in Mandaluyong City, will get the casket from the priests and "will be the ones to lower it down the crypt. These people were really the ones serving the cardinal."

Sin’s remains will rest beside the tomb of another former Manila archbishop, Rufino Cardinal Santos.

Meanwhile, Cruz said there is a "100 percent" probability that the Vatican may choose Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales as the next Filipino cardinal following Sin’s death.

"As far as the process is concerned, the archdiocese that has a cardinal and he dies, that archdiocese will get another cardinal," Cruz said.

Cruz added that though Rosales will retire at age 75 two years from now, he is convinced that Rosales can still serve effectively as cardinal. He pointed out that by tradition, the archdioceses of Cebu and Manila are always led by cardinals, the "princes" of the Church who are called on to elect a new pope from among their ranks.

Sescon is also convinced that Rosales will be a shoo-in for the post of cardinal.

"It is very possible. Whoever occupies the See of Manila, becomes a cardinal," he said.

Last Friday, National Artist Napoleon Abueva took a plaster cast of Sin’s face to create a death mask.

"Certain sectors have approached us and asked if we could have a death mask (made) for the cardinal. As we know, the death mask is an important symbol for great persons of history. And after asking friends and family members of the cardinal, we called up... Abueva, who also made the death mask for Fernando Poe Jr. and also made the statue of the cardinal at the Cardinal Sin Village" located along the banks of the Pasig River in Punta, Sta. Ana, Sescon said.

Sin’s bronze death mask will be available by next week, according to Sescon, who added that the mask may be used as a reference for statues bearing Sin’s image.

"You will notice that the archbishops buried in the (Manila Cathedral) crypt have busts. But they do not really resemble their features. The bust should really resemble his (Cardinal Sin’s) features," Sescon said.

He believes Sin would not object to having a death mask.

"The cardinal is humble. But part of humility is also accepting how people love and admire you. He knows that this is the way people want to show their affection and that is also part of humility," Sescon said.

Sescon said Abueva has not said how much he will charge the archdiocese of Manila for Sin’s death mask. "We have not agreed on a price yet. I hope the cardinal (referring to Rosales) will intercede (on this)," he said.

Meanwhile, Sescon said Sin will be buried along with a "rogito," a time capsule similar to those that accompany popes into their final resting place.

"The time capsule will be a summary of his life and reign as archbishop of Manila. The time capsule will contain newspaper clippings of his death, coins to mark the year of his death, and a miraculous medal," he said.

Since his days in the seminary, Sin has always carried what Catholics call a "miraculous medal," which bears an image of the Virgin Mary.

Sescon also said Sin’s staff, which has the word "serviam" — Latin for "I serve" — written along its length, will be buried along with him.

National Capital Region Police Office chief Director Vidal Querol said at least 300 policemen will be deployed around the cathedral to provide security since more than a dozen foreign cardinals are set to attend Sin’s funeral rites.

Querol will meet with church leaders today to finalize preparations for the burial and security arrangements for top government officials, foreign dignitaries, and VIPs paying their last respects to the late cardinal.

Aside from managing the flow of traffic and allocating proper parking areas, Querol said policemen are set to keep petty criminals and vendors away from the cathedral premises today and tomorrow.

He warned rallyists against taking advantage of Sin’s burial to air their grievances.

"They should refrain from capitalizing on the gathering of people to air their political opinion," Querol said. "Let us abide by the wishes of the Church to keep the occasion solemn and prayerful."
English Sin funeral to mimic Pope's on smaller scale
Jun 29, 2005
The funeral rites for Manila Archbishop Emeritus Jaime Cardinal Sin would be like that for the late Pope John Paul II's, albeit on a smaller scale.

(Inquirer News Service, June 26, 2005) The Manila Archdiocese is preparing a mix of state and religious ceremony for the cardinal as a final tribute to one of the country's most influential persons.

The late cardinal will be given a state burial at the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros on Tuesday. The interment ceremony will start at 9 a.m., according to preliminary details released by the Manila Archdiocese and Sin's private secretary, Fr. Rufino "Jun" Sescon.

Sin's casket will be taken out of the cathedral and placed on a carriage to be paraded around Plaza Roma in front of the cathedral so the people could have their last glimpse of the cardinal.

Before the coffin is brought back into the cathedral, President Macapagal-Arroyo or the highest ranking government official present would hand over the Philippine flag draping the casket to either Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales or Sin's next of kin.

The casket will then be brought into the cathedral, after which a concelebrated Mass by the country's top Roman Catholic Church prelates will begin.

Foreign prelates and representatives of various dioceses in the Philippines are expected to attend the funeral rites.

Sescon said four cardinals from abroad who were close friends of Sin would attend the rites: Archbishop Julius Darmaatmadja SJ of Jakarta, Indonesia; Archbishop Roger Mahony of Los Angeles, California; Archbishop Emeritus Stephen Kim of Seoul, South Korea, and Bishop Paul Shan Kuo-hsi SJ of Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

He said they had yet to receive word on who the Vatican would send to the funeral.

Sin's remains will be entombed in the cathedral's crypt, located beneath the right side of the main altar.

Only immediate members of Sin's family, close friends and a few ranking Church officials would be allowed to enter the crypt to witness the burial as the area can only hold 50 people.

After the final commendation, Sin's assistants at his Villa San Miguel home in Mandaluyong City will lower his casket into the concrete tomb.

The crypt contains the tombs of three former Manila archbishops - Michael O'Doherty, Gabriel Reyes and Rufino Santos. Sin, as he requested, would be laid beside Santos.

From the Sin family, expected to attend are the cardinal's sisters Ceferina and Mary and his brothers Ramon and Manuel.

Sescon said a time capsule, containing a summary of Sin's life and some news articles about his death would also be placed in the tomb, as will Sin's rosary, a miraculous medal, a book of the Gospels and possibly the late cardinal's staff.
English Cardinal Sin, leader of 'People Power' movement, dies
Jun 29, 2005
A prime motivator of the "People Power" movement that led to the ouster of two presidents, Cardinal Jaime Sin of Manila died June 21 at the age of 76.

(The Tidings, June 24, 2005) The cardinal had been in poor health for years, suffering from kidney ailments that forced him to undergo daily dialysis treatments even before his retirement as archbishop of Manila in 2003. His health prevented him from participating in the April 18-19 conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI.

Father Jun Sescon, Cardinal Sin's spokesman, told Philippine Radio that the cardinal was hospitalized June 19 with a high fever and suffered multiple organ failure before his death early June 21.

In a June 21 telegram to the Archdiocese of Manila, Pope Benedict recalled the cardinal's "unfailing commitment to the spread of the Gospel and to the promotion of the dignity, common good and national unity of the Philippine people."

The pope offered his prayers "that God, our merciful father, will grant him the reward of his labors and welcome his noble soul into the joy and peace of his eternal kingdom."

L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, dedicated an entire page to Cardinal Sin's life and death, saying the cardinal was "one of the most powerful figures in the history of the church in Asia."

The Philippines has lost "a firm pastor, a sure guide, a sweet father, a caring teacher and a strenuous defender of freedom and democracy," the newspaper said.

In Los Angeles, where several of the cardinal's family members live, he was recalled as a loving and gifted leader for the hundreds of thousands of Filipino Catholics living in Southern California.

"Cardinal Sin was my friend and my mentor," said Msgr. Loreto (Mac) Gonzales, pastor of St. Barnabas Church, Long Beach, and former head of the archdiocesan Filipino Ministry office. "We came from the same province (Aklan) in the central Philippines, and he was the seminary rector when I was there. He became like a father to me, and to many others studying for the priesthood.

"I thought him to be very similar to Pope John Paul II. Both had a strong devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, a strong dedication to the Eucharist and the formation of the laity, and both were dedicated to pastoral care for the clergy."

Good Shepherd Sister Mary Christine Sevilla, current director of Filipino Ministry, called Cardinal Sin "an inspiration for me as a sister and for all Catholics. He was a model for church leaders who speak out against corrupt government. He rallied the people and gave them hope, and he was not afraid to enter into the political arena."

Over the years, Cardinal Sin had been an outspoken commentator on public life in the Philippines, one of two majority-Catholic nations in Asia. He played a leading role in the 1986 "People Power" nonviolent movement that sent former President Ferdinand Marcos into exile.

"He stood for the teachings of the church; he was a lightning rod for peace," said Msgr. Gonzales. "And what he helped accomplish with a peaceful revolution in the Philippines became a model for other countries around the world."

Born Aug. 31, 1928, in New Washington, Philippines, he was ordained a priest at age 25. He was named a bishop in 1967 and was appointed to head the Diocese of Jaro in 1972. Two years later, Pope Paul VI transferred him to the Archdiocese of Manila.

Pope Paul named him a cardinal in 1976 and Pope John Paul II accepted his resignation as head of the Manila Archdiocese in 2003.

After the 1983 assassination of opposition leader Benigno Aquino, husband of future President Corazon Aquino, Cardinal Sin became more outspoken in his criticism of the Marcos regime.

In 1986 elections, both Marcos and Corazon Aquino claimed victory and had themselves sworn into office in separate ceremonies. Aquino accused Marcos of gross election fraud and called for nonviolent demonstrations against the government. The action put the country and its predominantly Catholic population on the brink of civil war.

After top military leaders defected to the rebel side, Cardinal Sin broadcast an appeal on a Catholic radio station for Filipinos to take to the streets in support of the rebels. The cardinal's pleas led a million unarmed Filipinos to place themselves between rebel leaders and military loyal to Marcos, thus preventing a bloody confrontation.

Shortly after the protests, Marcos fled the Philippines and Aquino was installed as president.

During the Aquino administration, Cardinal Sin said government corruption remained widespread. But he said the president, whom he strongly supported, was "honest and sincere." Referring to the corruption during the Marcos regime, he said, "we thought it would end with the fleeing of the ousted dictator, Ali Baba, yet there are still 40 thieves around."

For a long time, a picture of the smiling Aquino hung in a room at Cardinal Sin's residence. At the bottom of the ex-president's picture is a handwritten message from Aquino saying, "Your Eminence, With my thanks for your contribution to People Power and Prayer Power ..., Corazon C. Aquino," reported UCA News, an Asian church news agency based in Thailand.

Cardinal Sin reportedly enjoyed the joke about his name, and would welcome visitors to his residence by saying, "Welcome to the house of Sin."

In 2000, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo reportedly sought the cardinal's advice during events leading up to the second "people power" uprising, which occurred early the following year against impeached president Joseph Estrada.

Cardinal Sin's continued pronouncements against corruption, social injustice and other moral issues affecting the life of the nation, however, drew criticism from politicians and other critics who believed church authorities should not be involved in politics.

Cardinal Sin explained his view at the Synod of Bishops in October 1987 in Vatican City. The Western concept of separation of church and state is "unthinkable" in Asia, where "religious traditions form the basis of the establishment, growth and development of cultures and nations," he said.

"To shut oneself away from the demands of political transformation of Asia is in a sense a denial of Christian identity," the Philippine cardinal told fellow bishops, saying lay people must promote the common good in politics, economics, culture and social relations, UCA News reported.

Nonetheless, he stressed that the risk of placing emphasis on ideologies must be avoided. Rather, he cited "particular emphasis on nonviolence as a Christian value" as something lay people could contribute to political life in the Philippines.

Near the end of his life, suffering from kidney disease, Cardinal Sin remained a powerful and inspirational presence to his people, said Sister Sevilla. "The last time I saw him was two years ago," she said. "I was so sad, because he was suffering, but he was happy to see me and to hear about the activities of our Filipino Catholic community in Los Angeles. It will be hard to be without him, but I am happy that now he is with God. He did what he was sent by God to do."

The late cardinal's body arrived at the Manila cathedral, the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, in an open bronze casket June 21. Ten priests rolled the casket to the front of the altar, and Aquino, four bishops, 91 priests and other dignitaries viewed the body before Mass, UCA News reported

In his homily, Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales of Manila expressed hope that Cardinal Sin would "whisper" a prayer in God's ear for peace in the Philippines.

Cardinal Sin's body will remain in the cathedral until the June 28 funeral Mass, after which it will be entombed in a crypt in the basement of the cathedral with the bodies of other previous archbishops of Manila.

Compiled by CNS and Mike Nelson. At press time, arrangements for memorial Masses in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles were being made, including one at St. Barnabas on July 4, 11 a.m. Others will be announced in future issues.
English Cardinal’s death leaves vacuum in Church, says bishop
Jun 29, 2005
The death of Jaime Cardinal Sin has left a vacuum in the Catholic Church and the man who will take his place has yet to be born, according to Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz.

(Inquirer News Service, June 24, 2005) Speaking with members of the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (Focap) at the Manila Hotel, the outspoken prelate said he had once told Sin his observation. "To me, that is true up to now," he said yesterday.

Cruz, who is waging a crusade against "jueteng," had been compared to Sin even when the latter was still alive.

He may not have Sin's charisma and overwhelming presence, but like the cardinal, he can be brutally frank and has no qualms about clashing with the rich and powerful, including President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Earlier, he said jueteng had become a P13-billion-a-year industry under the Arroyo administration.

Like Sin, Cruz respects the separation of Church and State, but does not hold back whenever the situation calls for the guidance, if not the concrete participation, of the Church.

"A Church that keeps quiet when things are wrong, when social issues are serious, when human rights are under siege, when people are starving, when the poor are being taxed more in order to serve them, when freedom of speech is being curtailed, and when the truth is being covered-I don't want that Church. You can have it," he told Focap.

But Cruz told the Inquirer that he could never measure up to Sin, with whom he worked in different capacities in the past.

"I can never be like him," he said. "The man was big. He was bigger than life."

Bataan Bishop Socrates Villegas said the cardinal was both "ecclesiastic and patriotic," and unique in Philippine history.

"I don't think we will have [another] man of his stature, courage and heroism right away," Villegas told reporters at the Manila Cathedral on Wednesday night. "In our lifetime, we were lucky to have met Cardinal Sin."

But Villegas said that "for all of [Sin's] political activism, he was always hesitant in his involvement in politics. It was not a joy for him."

The reluctance brought Sin much closer to prayer, and "that is why his positions on corruption and politics ended up always blessed by the Lord," Villegas said.

"The cardinal's involvement in politics went beyond political tactics and science. It was grounded in prayer and discernment," he said, adding that his mentor "perfectly combined prayer and activism."
Spanish Miles de filipinos dan último adiós al Cardenal Jaime Sin
Jun 25, 2005
La Catedral Metropolitana comienza a recibir a los miles de filipinos que llegan para dar su último adiós al querido Cardenal Jaime Sin, Arzobispo Emérito de Manila, fallecido hoy a los 76 años de edad.

MANILA, 21 Jun. 2005 (ACI).- Según fuentes de la Iglesia Católica, el Purpurado falleció a causa de problemas renales y diabetes. Tenía tres días hospitalizado y falleció a las 06.30 a.m.(hora local) en el hospital Cardinal Santos Memorial Medical Center, en Manila.

Sus problemas de salud le impidieron viajar a Roma en abril pasado para los funerales de Juan Pablo II y tampoco pudo participar en el Cónclave que eligió a Benedicto XVI.

La prensa local ha destacado hoy su papel de líder religioso en los momentos de mayor tensión en la historia reciente del país como el derrocamiento del dictador Ferdinand Marcos en 1986.

La presidenta filipina Gloria Arroyo lamentó su muerte y consideró que el Purpurado fue un "gran liberador del pueblo filipino que jamás dejó de unir a los filipinos en las batallas más cruciales contra la tiranía y el mal. Su sueño de una Filipinas unida en paz y justicia nos llevó a derribar la torre de Babel y a construir una nación única e indivisible”.

“Muchas veces fui guiada por su sabiduría y su profundo amor por los pobres y los oprimidos, pues él recibía su inspiración del pueblo como nadie más en su tiempo”, agregó.

La ex mandataria Corazón Aquino participó en la primera Misa de cuerpo presente, lo recordó como “un buen pastor” a quien siempre estará agradecida por su ejemplo. “Espero que podamos ser un poco como él, sirviendo a Dios, a nuestro país y a nuestra gente”, indicó Aquino.
Su vida

Hijo de un mercader chino y una filipina, el Cardenal Jaime Sin tuvo 15 hermanos. Nació el 31 de agosto de 1928, New Washington, diócesis de Kalibo, Filipinas.

Estudió en el Seminario de San Vincente de Paul de Jaro. Fue ordenado sacerdote en 1954, Jaro y elegido obispo en 1967. Fue nombrado Arzobispo de Jaro en 1972 y en 1974 asumió la Arquidiócesis de Manila. Fue creado Cardenal el 24 de mayo de 1976 por el Papa Pablo VI.
English Cardinal Jaime Sin
Jun 25, 2005
Cardinal Jaime Lachica Sin, “divine commander-in-chief” of the Philippines is dead. The highly respected cardinal died early this morning (Filipino time) in Manila’s Cardinal Santos Medical Centre of renal failure, aged 76, after two days in intensive care.

Manila (AsiaNews, 21 June, 2005) – Internationally renowned for being a tireless defender of democracy, Cardinal Sin retired in 2003 after leading the Filipino Catholic community of 80 million strong for nearly three decades. During this time, Sin played a pivotal role in the Philippines’ turbulent politics, especially in deposing long-time dictator, Ferdinand Marcos. As bishop and later as archbishop of Manila, Cardinal Sin was an outspoken critic of the martial law imposed by Marcos and he also used his influence to champion the rights of the poor.

In 1986, Cardinal Sin led peaceful protests which led to Marcos’ overthrow. He achieved the same years later in 2001, when he called people onto the streets in protests which finished the allegedly corrupt government of Joseph Estrada. It was his skill in rallying people that earned him the nickname “divine commander-in-chief”. Even after his retirement, Cardinal Sin remained a key backer of current president Gloria Arroyo, who lamented his death in a statement describing him as a “blessed man who never failed to unite Filipinos during the most crucial battles against tyranny and evil”.

Cardinal Sin was always clear in his view that religion had a role to play in affairs of the state, a conviction he summed up at his retirement ceremony: “My duty is to put Christ in politics. Politics without Christ is the greatest scourge of the nation.” A staunch opponent  of artificial birth control, Cardinal Sin used his ability to organise demonstrations to protest against state endeavours to curb population growth. In August 1994, he mobilized hundreds of thousands of people in a rally denouncing a state policy encouraging use of condoms and pills.

Born on August 31, 1928 on the Philippine island of Panay, Cardinal Sin was the 14th of 16 children. He was ordained priest in 1954, becoming a bishop in 1967 and archbishop in 1974. He was appointed a cardinal in 1976 at the age of 47, becoming the youngest member of the Vatican's College of Cardinals. Born of Chinese parents, Cardinal Sin visited his country of origin twice. In 1995, he succeeded in bringing a group of Chinese Catholics to Manila to attend World Youth Day celebrations presided over by Pope John Paul II. It was the first time Chinese Catholics were allowed to attend a meeting led by the pope.

Cardinal Sin also set up a seminary called San Lorenzo Mission Institute in Manila. The aim of the institute is to prepare young seminarians to be priests on mission for the needs of the Chinese apostolate, not only in the Philippines but also throughout the world.
English The life and times of Jaime Cardinal Sin
Jun 25, 2005
The times were dynamic and from accounts, the life of the late Jaime Cardinal Sin was no less so. His birth and that of his living siblings preceded by parental grief, and growing to adulthood and the priestly life during World War II, he was tested by fire and emerged sharp, stern and outspoken, but also full of humor -- and grace.

(Inquirer News Service, June 23, 2005) In the article "Grace in the House of Sin" (Celebrity magazine, Oct. 15, 1979), Abe Florendo wrote of disorder and early sorrow in the family living in the improbably named town of New Washington in Aklan province:

"The mother's milk was poisonous -- but the doctors didn't know it. Child after child died soon after birth. But the sorrowful and perplexed couple were unfazed; they kept on blessing themselves with babies.

"The irony of the mother's life-giving breasts was discovered finally after the sixth child was born. With renewed enthusiasm they produced the seventh child, and the eighth, and so forth until the 16th child.

"The seventh of the living children went on to become, in the profound ways God guides the destinies of men, a servant of His people and a prince of His Church, Jaime Cardinal L. Sin.

"Dr. Ramon Sin, the cardinal's younger brother, chuckled when told how Cardinal Sin described the mother's milk as "poisonous."

"That's what our yaya (nanny) told us," he said....

"There was a set of twins, named Pastora and Disposoria, who also died as babies.

"As you can see," says Cardinal Sin, taking up the tragedy of the mother's milk, "we were all brought up [on] Carnation milk ... That is a promotion!"

"He follows this sally with a laugh, childishly clamping one hand on his mouth, a characteristic way of his."

Ugly but loved

Florendo wrote of a misty-eyed Sin recalling how he was "really loved" by his mother among her nine living children.

"Then twinkling: 'Because I was the ugliest among them. I was asthmatic then, too. Is it not true there is one very ugly, very sickly child and he gets all the attention of the mother? That was me.'"

The young Jaime was gradually drawn to the priesthood. He served as altar boy to the cura parroco (parish priest), and, before he was 12, was taken to the minor seminary in Jaro town, Iloilo province.

Florendo wrote: "When war came all the seminarians were sent home because of the bombing all around. Going up the steps of their house, he was met by his mother, who gasped: 'What are you doing here?'...

"Go to Manila," she ordered, where the seminaries are open. When a priest prevailed, cautioning it wasn't safe in Manila either, the unrelenting matriarch decided Jim should stay in a convent in Kalibo, 10 km from New Washington.


"So for three years and nine months he stayed with Fr. Salvador Esmero (now a monsignor in Pototan, Iloilo). 'Mother wanted me to learn Latin from him so that when the war was over [he] could recommend me to a higher level,' [Sin says]. 'But the war kept us jumping from one barrio to another so I wasn't able to study. And so I became his cook, at the same time sacristan -- and editor of a weekly magazine.'

"It was a mimeographed affair called The Sunday Visitor (he was to also edit the seminary magazine).

"He pulled together all the young men in the locality, and 'we wrote stories about weddings,' he roars with laughter, 'because we could not get news about Japanese landings. But our editorials were scriptural messages -- beautiful, isn't it?'"

But the young man had asthma, and was always laid low by it.

Quoting Sin, Florendo wrote: "I wrote a letter to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal and I said, 'If I am sick and become a priest I will be a burden to society, to the diocese. If I am not cured I would prefer to leave the seminary. I give you a deadline.'
"The Virgin beat him to the deadline. 'I got cured, I don't know how. I forgot all about my sickness. The asthma has not returned [since then].'"


As a cardinal facing the "many issues that confront him and the Church, [Sin] is at once decisive and controlled, pertinacious and prudent. It would be all wrong to mark him as a moderate right or a liberal left: His politics is no more or no less than that of a man of God."

"The Holy Father said we should not interfere in [politics]," Sin told Florendo. "I would put it this way: There is a morality in politics as there is a morality in boxing...

"For example, if I denounce those who committed anomalies during the election, am I engaged in politics or am I not doing my duty as priest by correcting my people? I'm a priest and I'm supposed to perform my ministerial duties. But then I should not be confined to the sacristy..."


Jose Maria Sison, founding chair of the Communist Party of the Philippines and now chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front, said he never met Sin personally but knew the cardinal as "a good priest and moral leader through close friends and relatives."

In a "personal homage" to Sin sent to the Inquirer, the Netherlands-based Sison wrote:

"He was close to my uncle, the late Archbishop of Nueva Segovia Juan Sison. They were often together on trips to Rome. After my arrest in 1977, Archbishop Sison sent my mother to Cardinal Sin to request him to intercede with [Ferdinand] Marcos to stop the tortures being applied on me.

"When my mother asked him to officiate at the silver wedding anniversary of my brother Dr. Ramon C. Sison and his wife Rosario in 1984, Cardinal Sin [said] he would like to baptize my son Jasm, who was born in the Army prison hospital in Fort Bonifacio in 1981.


"The Free Jose Ma. Sison Committee decided to make the baptism a meaningful event of the united front. Friends of mine like [the late] Senator Lorenzo M. Tañada, my lawyers Juan T. David and [now Sen.] Joker Arroyo and other prominent opponents of the fascist regime stood as godfathers of my son."

Former President Corazon Aquino once told the Inquirer that being considered Sin's best friend made her late husband, Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr., feel like "the proudest Filipino."

When Ninoy was severely weakened by his hunger strike in April 1975 to protest the Marcos regime's continued detention of political prisoners, the Aquino family requested Sin to tell Ninoy to end his strike.

Sin visited Ninoy in his prison cell but the latter refused to end the hunger strike. But he allowed Sin to administer the sacrament of the sick to him.


On June 22, 2003, the already sickly cardinal called on the faithful nationwide to support and pray for priests, particularly those in distress.

It was during this period that the Philippine Catholic Church was in the news because ranking members of the clergy were being implicated in sex scandals.

In a statement, Sin said: "I enjoin the priests, religious and lay faithful of the Archdiocese of Manila to observe June 22-29 as a week of prayer for the sanctification of priests...

"To my beloved priests, let this period [of crisis] be a moment of purification and conversion. Let this be an opportunity to examine ourselves if we are truly configured to the image of the Good Shepherd...

"If we are united in prayers, we will be able to unite our sufferings with the Lord. And if we unite our suffering with Jesus, we will experience God's saving strength and consolation. Like the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we may be wounded and trampled, but we will emerge effective living agents of God's compassionate love."


Fr. Joey Faller, spiritual director of the Grotto of Healing and Purification of the Kamay ni Hesus Healing Miracle in Lucban town, Quezon province, has a vivid memory of his brief meeting with Sin:

"Four months ago, I was in Villa San Miguel, the official residence of the cardinal, attending a spiritual recollection. Someone brought me to his room, apparently upon his invitation. The cardinal asked me to pray for him.

"That short meeting was a very humbling experience for me. I couldn't help myself -- I cried after I prayed over him. Cardinal Sin is the epitome of humility." With reports from Delfin Mallari Jr. and Romulo Ponte, Southern Luzon Bureau.
English Key facts about Jaime Cardinal Sin
Jun 25, 2005
Following are some key facts about Jaime Cardinal Sin, the driving force behind two Philippine "people power" revolts who died yesterday morning.

(Philippine Daily Inquirer, June 22, 2005) Jaime Lachica Sin was born on Aug. 31, 1928 in New Washington town, Aklan province, on Panay Island. Jim or Amie as was fondly called was the 14th of 16 children.

Sin's father Sin Puat Co (Juan), from Xiamen, settled in the Philippines and became a prosperous businessman. His mother Maxima Lachica was from landed gentry in Kalibo town, Aklan. His father was Buddhist who converted to Catholicism upon his marriage to Maxima but became as devout a Catholic as his wife.

Ordained in 1954, he became the youngest member of the Vatican's College of Cardinals when he was made a prince of the Church at the age of 47.

Became archbishop of Manila in March 1974

Elected president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines in January 1977. He was reelected to the post in July 1979.

Sounded the clarion call on Feb. 22, 1986 for people to come to EDSA (Epifanio delos Santos Avenue) to defend the military faction led by Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and Vice Chief of Staff Fidel Ramos, which had broken away from Ferdinand Marcos.

Spearheaded with Corazon “Cory” Aquino on Sept. 21, 1997 a huge rally at the Rizal Park in Manila that opposed the lifting of the constitutionally imposed term limits of elected officials led by then President Fidel Ramos.

Teamed up once again with Cory Aquino on Aug. 20, 1999 to lead a massive rally on Ayala Avenue in Makati against moves by then President Joseph Estrada to amend the Constitution.

Rallied thousands to EDSA on Jan. 16, 2001 to force Estrada, who was accused of massive corruption, out of office.

Apart from orchestrating the people power uprisings, Sin was a staunch opponent of artificial birth control. In August 1994, he mobilized hundreds of thousands of people in a rally denouncing a state policy encouraging use of condoms and pills to curb rapid population growth.

Among his published works are "The Revolution of Love" (1972), "The Church Above Political Systems" (1973), "A Song of Salvation" (1974), "Unity in Diversity" (1974), "The Future of Catholicism in Asia" (1978), "Christian Basis of Human Rights" (1978), "Separation, Not Isolation" (1978) and "Slaughter of Innocents" (1979).

His health had suffered in recent years because of impaired kidneys which required him to undergo dialysis.

Rumors of his imminent death had swept the country several times.
English Cardinal Sin’s funeral and state honors scheduled on June 28
Jun 25, 2005
Jaime Cardinal Sin will receive state honors during his funeral on Tuesday, June 28, in a fitting tribute to a man who devoted his life to helping the country steer through the stormiest of waters.

(The Manila Bulletin Online, June 23, 2005) Fr. Rufino Sescon, the cardinal’s private secretary for seven years, said Sin’s funeral will begin at 9 a.m. at the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros.

The former Archbishop of Manila’s casket, draped in the country’s flag, will be placed on a carriage and paraded around Plaza Roma to give the people a chance to honor him.

Before the cardinal is again brought into the cathedral for the funeral mass, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will give the Philippine flag that draped his casket to either Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales or Sin’s next of kin.

Expected to attend the funeral mass of the cardinal are Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines Archbishop Antonio Franco, Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal and Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president and Davao Archbishop Fernando Capalla.

After the final commendation, the cardinal’s casket will then be brought to the crypt located underneath the cathedral’s altar.

Sescon said Sin, who will wear a cardinal’s red cassock, sash and skull cap and a white alb and stole, will be interred near Cardinal Gabriel Reyes in a place the cardinal himself chose several years ago.

Sin will also be wearing the gold chasuble and miter, both given to him by the late Pope John Paul II.

To be buried with Sin are his rosary, symbolizing the cardinal’s devotion to the Blessed Mother, and the book of Gospel which symbolizes his being a teacher of the faith.

The cardinal’s staff engraved with word "serviam" will not be placed in the casket as this will be placed in a museum together with other memorabilia that will soon be set up at the Cardinal Sin’s Village in Punta, Sta. Ana.

Sescon urged those planning to give donations to give these to the Serviam Foundation, established by the cardinal to oversee the Jaime Cardinal Sin Village, a housing project for the poor of Sta. Ana.

The Archdiocese of Manila announced that masses are currently being held four times a day at the cathedral starting at 7:30 a.m., until 7 in the evening. Aside from the masses, there will also be the recitation of the rosary and prayer vigils.

GMA, Noli visited wake of Cardinal Sin at Manila Cathedral

President Arroyo and Vice President Noli de Castro joined last Tuesday night the wake for former Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin at the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, Manila.

Mrs. Arroyo and De Castro arrived at around 10:25 p.m.

The Chief Executive and the Vice President casually joined the line of a group of journalism students from the University of Santo Tomas waiting to take turns in paying their last respects to Cardinal Sin who was placed in a glass coffin.

"We didn’t know that they were behind us but it’s an honor to be with them in the line," said a UST student, adding that Cardinal Sin was truly a great loss to the nation.

Mrs. Arroyo and De Castro spent a few minutes praying with the Sin family inside the Cathedral. They did not make any statements to the media. Both left the wake at 10:55 p.m.

All the flowers at the funeral were noticeably without ribbons because Catholic Church leaders reportedly did not want any political color to mar Cardinal Sin’s wake.

Also seen at the wake the other night were former President Fidel V. Ramos, Philippine National Police chief Director General Arturo Lomibao, Western Police District Director Chief Supt. Pedro Bulaong, and Philippine State College of Aeronautics president Enerico Sampang.

De Venecia eulogizes Cardinal Sin as ‘great Filipino patriot’

House Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. yesterday eulogized His Eminence Jaime Cardinal Sin as "a great Filipino patriot who helped regain and rebuild Philippine democracy as the nation’s most influential leader."

The speaker, who is in France as part of his official European trip, also praised the former Manila archbishop as "a passionate defender of freedom and liberty and the oppressed, and whose contributions to the restoration of Philippine democracy were enormous."

De Venecia was apparently referring to Cardinal Sin’s role in the downfall of two presidents in two People Power revolts on EDSA in 1986 and 2001.

"As spiritual leader of millions of Filipinos, Cardinal Sin stirred the nation’s conscience during one of its darkest periods," the House leader said.

"His call for action in the fateful days of February 1986 was one of his defining moments and a pivotal turning point in our recent political history," he added.

Meanwhile, former President Fidel V. Ramos said on the death of Jaime Cardinal Sin:

"In this sad moment, may we all receive consolation from the thought that he did not only lead a full and meaningful life, but also did more than a substantial share in faithful service to God, country and people.

"To his everlasting credit, Cardinal Sin eminently represented that rare breed of Filipino who performed as he prayed, and prayed as he performed – with total dedication, resolve and patriotism."

Jaime Cardinal Sin, known for battling dictatorship and corruption, is greatly missed by the people especially at this time when the national leadership faces controversies related to poll fraud and illegal gambling, according to party-list lawmakers.

Representatives Teodoro Casiño (Bayan Muna) and Rafael Mariano (Anakpawis), however, said they believe the people would always take inspiration from Cardinal Sin’s contributions to society.

They praised the late archbishop as a freedom fighter, taking into consideration his great deeds as one of the prominent leaders of two EDSA People Power uprisings.

"The people will always take inspiration from Cardinal Sin’s service to the poor and his fight against dictatorship and corruption. He faced down two presidents and used the pulpit for the people’s benefit," Casiño said.

Mariano called on the Filipino faithful to follow the footsteps of Cardinal Sin in combating social injustice in the country.

"Cardinal Sin’s battle against corruption, militarism and social injustice is far from over. The Filipino faithful are duty-bound to carry the torch of Cardinal Sin’s fight especially in the face of the President’s raging tape and jueteng scandals," said the labor leader-turned lawmaker.

Representatives Ruffy Biazon (Muntinlupa City) and Florencio Miraflores (Aklan) said Cardinal Sin is a great loss as the country lost one of its "guiding lights."

Muslims feel Catholics’ loss over Cardinal’s demise

Muslims feel the great loss of their Catholic countrymen and mourn with them the death of Jaime Cardinal Sin, whom they described as a staunch advocate of peace, justice, equality, unity, and an unfailing defender of the downtrodden.

"The passing away of that great Filipino and faithful man of the cloth, Cardinal Sin, is a loss of the people of the ARMM and all Muslim Filipinos," said Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Gov. Parouk S. Hussin. "We mourn with our Catholic brothers and friends the cardinal’s demise."

Amina Rasul, convenor of the Philippine Council for Islam and Democracy (PCID), remembers Sin for his support of Muslims as part of the nation.

"We pray for Cardinal Sin and remember his support for Muslims to become part of the Filipino nation. I will always remember his advice and support for my mother, Senator Santanina Rasul, when she ran for the Senate. Cardinal Sin believed that peace, values, and family were important issues which unite people of all faiths," the young Rasul said.

The Cultural Section of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, through Counselor Mehdi Rokni, also condoled with the Catholic Church and the Filipino people.

In a letter to Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales of Manila, and Archbishop Fernando Capalla, Rokni said Sin was "a man of principle and piety, who served the great nation of the Philippines in contemporary times."

Quezon City leaders mourn death of Cardinal

Catholic faithful in Quezon City mourned yesterday the death of Jaime Cardinal L. Sin, saying he is a big loss to his flock whom he guided to the path of righteousness during the most trying times.

They said they are deeply saddened by the death of Cardinal Sin, a great spiritual leader who impressed upon the Catholic faithful the value of humility, love and brotherhood.

Led by Rep. Annie Rosa L. Susano of the second district of Quezon City, QC Council Majority Floor Leader Antonio Enrile Inton Jr. of the fourth district, and Asst. Majority Floor Leader Dante M. De Guzman of the third district, the Catholic faithful have scheduled prayers and masses in various churches for the eternal repose of the soul of Cardinal Sin.

"We always looked up to Cardinal Sin for inspiration and guidance during his lifetime," a member of the Quezon city Catholic faithful said.

They said the respect, love and admiration of the people for Cardinal Sin were strengthened by his historic roles at EDSA I and EDSA II that brought about the transition of power in the country in a peaceful and bloodless manner.

Inton recalled that when the Pope John Paul II died, the Catholic faithful in his district recalled vividly the great role Cardinal Sin played in the late Pope’s two historic visits to the Philippines.
Spanish Católicos chinos: Card. Sin ha sido un gigante de la fe para toda Asia
Jun 25, 2005
La muerte del Arzobispo Emérito de Manila, Cardenal Jaime Sin, ha afectado también a los católicos chinos, quienes se han reunido para orar y celebrar Misas en sufragio de quien consideran “un gigante de la fe” para Asia.

ROMA, 23 Jun. 05 (ACI).- La agencia Fides informó desde Pekín que los católicos de China, entre feligreses y religiosos, se reúnen para recordar y agradecer al Purpurado por la gran labor apostólica que desarrolló a favor de la Iglesia fiel a Roma.

“La historia recordará siempre la contribución del difunto Cardenal Sin a la Iglesia y a los católicos chinos –expresó un sacerdote–. Es él quien ha dado la posibilidad a los jóvenes chinos de estar realmente en comunión con la Iglesia universal durante la Jornada Mundial de la Juventud de Manila, en 1995”.

Asimismo, indicó que el Purpurado dio a los sacerdotes y a las religiosas chinas la posibilidad de adquirir en Manila las enseñanzas del Concilio Vaticano II, creando para ellos el instituto misionero de San Lorenzo.

El sacerdote afirmó que “el Cardenal Sin ha sido un gigante de la fe no sólo para el pueblo filipino sino para toda Asia”.

“Los chinos no olvidarán nunca al Cardenal Sin en su oración y piden para que su herencia espiritual y pastoral no se pierda”, manifestó.

El Arzobispo Emérito de Manila fue protagonista de la historia de Filipinas a través de las “Revoluciones de los Rosarios”, con las cuales contribuyó, a través de la protesta no violenta, a la caída del dictador Ferdinand Marcos en 1986 y del cuestionado Presidente Joseph Estrada en 2001.
English VIPs, plain folk mourn Cardinal Sin’s death
Jun 25, 2005
Mourners in the thousands yesterday paid their respects to the late Jaime Cardinal Sin, the moving force of the EDSA I and II people power uprisings.

Inquirer News Service, June 23, 2005) Busloads of students from Catholic schools, government workers and ordinary folk arrived in droves at the Manila Cathedral, where the body of the former archbishop of Manila lay in an open casket a day after he died at 76 from complications due to kidney problems and diabetes.

"Cardinal Sin is a monumental figure. He is an inspiration," said Renalyn Bay, a teacher who arrived with high school students from the Catholic-run Lourdes School. "His death, though it makes Filipinos sad, can produce greater blessing because of his example."

On Tuesday night, intermittent rain contributed to the somber mood as VIPs and ordinary people came to mourn.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo arrived with her younger son Diosdado at around 10:15 p.m. and immediately joined the queue to view the cardinal's remains.

She waited in line for her turn, accompanied by Vice President Noli de Castro who arrived about 15 minutes earlier, before taking a seat at the front pew.

She stayed seated for about 30 minutes, talking with Sin's relatives and officials of the Manila archdiocese.

Bataan Bishop Socrates Villagas, a former auxiliary bishop of Manila and a protégé of Sin's, greeted the two top officials.

Before leaving, the black-clad President again fell in line to view Sin's remains.

Neither she nor De Castro signed the condolence book or issued a statement.

Earlier, former President Fidel Ramos arrived to express his family's condolences.

Ramos said in a chance interview that Sin was "irreplaceable" and a "unique Filipino."


"May his legacy remain with us Filipinos for all time," Ramos said.

At the 7 p.m. Mass on Tuesday, the main celebrant, Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez of Marbel in Cotabato, exhorted the assembly to give thanks for Sin's three-decade service as Manila archbishop.

The assembly responded with applause that lasted for about a minute.

It was after the Mass that people from all walks of life, including street vendors, socialites, nuns, priests and seminarians, even tourists, began arriving.

Among the mourners was Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption legal counsel Pete Principe, known among anticrime crusaders as "Attorney Bitay" for securing death sentences for a number of people charged with heinous crimes.

Asked about his pro-death penalty stand vis-à-vis Sin and the Catholic Church's pro-life advocacy, Principe said: "I came to express our gratitude to him and to honor his great legacy as the major instrument of the restoration of democracy in the country."

Principe also said he and other residents of Bulacan province were among those who heeded Sin's radio message in February 1986 for the faithful to support what came to be known as EDSA I.

Princely burial

Sin is to be buried on Tuesday at the Manila Cathedral crypt, where other archbishops, including his immediate predecessor, Rufino Cardinal Santos, are interred.

A horse-drawn carriage bearing his dark mahogany casket will lead a procession around the cathedral, highlighting a ceremony fit for a prince of the Church, complete with full state and military honors including a 21-gun salute.

Father Rufino Sescon, Sin's private secretary for seven years, said the President would lead the state honors at the cathedral steps.

Bishop Villegas is expected to deliver the homily.

Sin's successor, Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales, Papal Nuncio Antonio Franco, Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, and Davao Archbishop Fernando Capalla, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, will each deliver a message.

"We will make the burial orderly," Sescon said, adding that the cardinal expressed this wish after viewing on TV the interment of Pope John Paul II in April.

To ensure an orderly ceremony, organizers will allow only 50 people in the crypt, Sescon said.


According to Sescon, Sin personally chose his burial place -- the spot beside that of Manila Archbishop Gabriel Reyes.

The cardinal will be buried with all the important symbols of his priestly life.

His body is garbed in a red cassock and sash -- the basic uniform of cardinals -- along with an alb, pectoral cross and stole, as well as a gold chasuble given to him by Pope John Paul II and a gold-trimmed miter, another gift from Rome.

A staff bearing his "serviam" logo, the first he received when he was ordained bishop in Jaro, Iloilo, is in the casket. But Sescon said it would likely be transferred to a museum before the burial.

"This is his original staff," Sescon said. "He preferred this one even if he received so many other staffs."

Sescon said organizers were considering putting a "time capsule" summarizing Sin's life inside the casket.

The last important items that Sin will bring to the afterlife are a rosary, a symbol of his intense Marian devotion, and his bishop's ring.
Spanish Semana de luto en Filipinas por fallecimiento de Cardenal Sin
Jun 25, 2005
La Presidenta de Filipinas, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, declaró una semana de luto nacional por el fallecimiento del Arzobispo Emérito de Manila, Cardenal Jaime Sin, a quien definió en la víspera como “gran libertador del pueblo filipino y campeón de Dios”.

MANILA, 22 Jun. 05 (ACI).- En un comunicado, el portavoz presidencial, Ignacio Bunye, instó a los filipinos a “resolver sus diferencias en tributo a ese gran hombre". “Esperamos que su legado sirva a la nación y que su muerte marque la realización de su visión de unidad, reconciliación y cooperación para este gran país", agregó.

El período de luto se prolongará hasta el próximo martes, día en que está previsto el entierro del Purpurado en la cripta de la Catedral de Manila. Bajo fuertes medidas de seguridad, millones de filipinos se acercan al lugar para darle el último adiós.
English Famous quotes from the irrepressible Cardinal Sin
Jun 22, 2005
Published on page A9 of the June 22, 2005 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Ferdinand Marcos administration

"That’s because I am crucified between two thieves." -- Late 1970s, replying to Ferdinand Marcos' question on why there was a "sepulchral" 30-minute silence when Jaime Cardinal Sin joined Marcos and his wife Imelda in their limousine.

* * *

"There was election in Jerusalem between Jesus and Barabbas. And Barabbas won," after Marcos had gloated during his inauguration that the "people still love me." -- 1981.

* * *

"Our two good friends (Armed Forces Vice Chief of Staff Fidel Ramos and Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile) have shown their idealism. I would be very happy if you would help them. I wish that bloodshed will be avoided. Pray to Our Lady that we will be able to solve our problems peacefully. I am sorry to disturb you at this late hour, but it is precisely at a time like this that we most need your support for our two good friends." -- Feb. 22, 1986, asking for the people's help through Radio Veritas, after Ramos and Enrile had asked for his assistance.

Corazon Aquino administration

"Separation of the Church and State is like a railroad track. It cannot be close to one another, neither can it be distant, because there will be derailment. We (Church) should cooperate with the government and the government should cooperate with us because we're serving the same people." -- February 1992, on the separation of Church and State, which he was often accused of ignoring.

* * *

"She does not follow good advice." -- Feb. 12, 1992, referring to then President Corazon Aquino who endorsed Fidel Ramos for the upcoming presidential election.

* * *

"We still have a long way to go before our electorate shall have reached maturity that is required for a properly functioning democracy." -- May 1992, saying that because of poverty, many voters are still swayed by bribes.

Fidel Ramos administration

"We believe the (government's family planning) program dehumanizes man . . . Let's leave the bedroom to the couples. I don't think the government should be there." -- November 1992, said in a homily shortly after President Ramos had endorsed artificial methods of family planning.

* * *

"They impugn our very humanity. They mock our civil society ... Either the property system must be compelled to make the land available, or the system must be overturned." -- Dec. 5, 1992, lashing out at the Ramos administration for the “unjust demolition” of squatter shanties and for failing to house the poor.

* * *

"If he does not listen, even God cannot force you to go to Heaven if you want to go to Hell." -- Dec. 4, 1994, when asked what would happen if Ramos did not follow Church advice.

* * *

"We are brothers and sisters; not enemies. It is not the will of God that countrymen go to war against one another." -- May 11, 2000, upon calling for a 50-day prayer and fasting crusade as an appeal for peace in Mindanao.

Joseph Estrada administration

"May we all strike our breasts and bow our heads in shame because we have brought all this upon ourselves. We have no one to blame but ourselves for being complacent, easy-going and uncaring." -- October 2000, chiding the Filipino people in a homily for their apathy amid Ilocos Sur Governor Luis "Chavit" Singson's accusation that President Joseph Estrada had received jueteng payoffs.

* * *

"We pray to the Lord to enlighten our President and to make him a real patriot and nationalist. May God show him the heroic value of relinquishing his post for the sake of our people." -- October 2000, calling for Estrada's resignation.

* * *

"If Satan appears to me and gives me money, I will accept the money and spend it all for the poor. It is not the practice of the Church to ask donors where their donations come from. Our duty is to make sure all donations go to the poor. The devil remains . . . my enemy but I will use his resources to feed the poor." -- Oct. 25, 2000, defending the Catholic Church's acceptance of a total of P181 million in donations from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. since 1998.

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration

"I consider everything as God's handiwork . . . I am just an instrument. I am just like the donkey the Lord rode on. I cannot boast of anything. Everything is grace!" -- August 2003, when asked by the Inquirer what his greatest handiwork as a bishop was.

* * *

"I am retiring but I will not stop serving. You cannot stop me from loving and serving you . . . I will be here. I will stay here. Do not be afraid." -- November 2003, retirement speech.

* * *

"Let us move the EDSA spirit from street rallies to the poor communities. Let us translate people power to common action for the poor." -- Feb. 25, 2004, in a homily celebrating the 18th anniversary of the EDSA Revolution.

* * *

"If only for these jubilees, I am a bejeweled man. I am rich." -- April 2004, referring to his diamond year when he turned 75 and his golden year as a priest, in a piece titled "I am Rich."

* * *

"It is the most important chapter of my life. I admit finding secret joy and pride in being called the Cardinal of the EDSA Revolution. I do not claim that as a right. It is a grace that I do not deserve at all. It is a blessing to have been the Archbishop of Manila at that moment in history." -- April 2004, on his role at the EDSA Revolution.
English In near death, Sin still wanted to serve flock
Jun 21, 2005
While in the throes of certain death, former Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin still wanted to serve his flock by insisting on getting out of his sickbed to report to his office.

(ABS-CBN NEWS, 21 June 2005) Dr. Ramon Sin, brother of Cardinal Sin, said Tuesday the once influential prelate insisted on getting up Monday to go to his office-residence at Villa San Miguel in Mandaluyong.

"Well, he wanted to get up. He wanted to get up and go to the office, then I told him [that's impossible] because he had some, you know, some [life-saving] gadgets and all these," Ramon said.

He added: "He wanted to get out of the bed."

Ramon said he will always remember the humor and optimism of his late brother.

"He was full of humor, he was always praying and he was optimistic," he said.

Ramon said Cardinal Sin was also the ever generous provider to the needy.

"He gave away finances and pieces of property to the poor,” he said.

Sin, a driving force behind two "People Power" revolts, died at the Cardinal Santos Memorial Medical Center in Greenhills, San Juan on Tuesday morning.

He was 76 years old and the officials said he died from an infection relating to a longstanding kidney ailment.

Sin was once called "the divine commander in chief" by former President Fidel Ramos for marshalling huge protests in the mostly Roman Catholic country that drove presidents Ferdinand Marcos from office in 1986 and Joseph Estrada in 2001.

In February 1986, Sin rallied a million people to form human barricades on Manila's main highway and protect a puny band of 300 army rebels against advancing Marcos tanks.

His radio broadcasts in support of mutineers ignited the now legendary "People Power" revolt that drove Marcos into exile and swept political novice Corazon Aquino to the presidency.

Ordained in 1954, Sin became the youngest member of the Vatican's College of Cardinals when he was made a prince of the Church at the age of 47.

Sin was a staunch opponent of artificial birth control, and in August 1994, he mobilized hundreds of thousands of people in a rally denouncing a state policy encouraging use of condoms and pills to curb rapid population growth.

Cardinal Sin, People Power icon, dies

Cardinal Jaime Sin, a driving force behind two "People Power" revolts, died at the Cardinal Santos Memorial Medical Center in Greenhills, San Juan on Tuesday morning, Church officials said.

He was 76 years old and the officials said he died from an infection relating to a longstanding kidney ailment.

"Jaime Cardinal Sin, archbishop emeritus, died early this morning," Sin's information officer, Peachy Yamsuan, told reporters.

The Roman Catholic radio station DZRV played hymns to mourn Sin, who retired as archbishop of Manila in 2003, and said a wake would be held at Manila cathedral.

"The nation lost a spiritual leader," said Senator Aquilino Pimentel. "He was irreplaceable."

Sin was once called "the divine commander in chief" by former President Fidel Ramos for marshalling huge protests in the mostly Roman Catholic country that drove presidents Ferdinand Marcos from office in 1986 and Joseph Estrada in 2001.

"My duty is to put Christ in politics. Politics without Christ is the greatest scourge of our nation," Sin said at his retirement ceremony.

In February 1986, Sin rallied a million people to form human barricades on Manila's main highway and protect a puny band of 300 army rebels against advancing Marcos tanks.

His radio broadcasts in support of mutineers ignited the now legendary "People Power" revolt that drove Marcos into exile and swept political novice Corazon Aquino to the presidency.

"I am sad, but I am certain he is now with our Lord," said Agnes Sanchez, a devout Catholic.

His departure from the office he had held for 27 years marked the end of an unprecedented period of political activism by the Church, although it remains a potent force and a key backer of President Arroyo.

His death comes as Arroyo faces allegations of electoral fraud that the government says are part of a plot to unseat her. A congressional inquiry into the allegations was due to start on Tuesday.

Ordained in 1954, Sin became the youngest member of the Vatican's College of Cardinals when he was made a prince of the Church at the age of 47.

Sin was a staunch opponent of artificial birth control, and in August 1994, he mobilized hundreds of thousands of people in a rally denouncing a state policy encouraging use of condoms and pills to curb rapid population growth.

'Great liberator'

President Arroyo expressed deep sorrow Tuesday on the death of Sin, Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said.

"History will mark this day with sadness when a great liberator of the Filipino people and a champion of God passed away," Mrs. Arroyo said in a statement read by Bunye in a radio interview.

The President added: "Cardinal Sin leaves a legacy of freedom and justice forged in deep personal courage. Many times I was guided by his wisdom and profound love for the poor and the oppressed where he lived in the fountain of the people like no other in his time."

In citing Sin's important role in history, the President said: "His dream of the Philippines united in peace and justice beacons us to bring down the Tower of Babel and build a nation one and undivided in memory of EDSA I and II, a blessed man who never failed to unite the Filipinos during the most crucial battles against tyranny and evil."
English Jaime Cardinal Sin’s 49-years of priesthood (8:30 a.m.)
Jun 20, 2005
Jaime Cardinal Sin was born on August 31, 1928 in New Washington, Aklan. He was the 14th of 16 children of Juan Sin, a Chinese merchant and Maxima Lachica, a Filipina.

MANILA - (Sun Star,June 21 2005) He was ordained to the presbyterium and became a priest of the Archdiocese of Jaron on April 3, 1954.

He was appointed its auxiliary bishop on February 10, 1967. Following his appointment, he was ordained as bishop of the titular see of Obba on March 18 of that year. On March 15, 1972, Sin was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Jaro, taking on administrative roles in the archdiocese. Concurrently, he was created archbishop of the titular see of Massa Lubrense. On October 8, 1997, Sin assumed the office of Archbishop of Jaro, taking full control of the archdiocese.

His service as Archbishop of Jaro ended with his appointment on January 21, 1974 to the larger archdiocese seated in the nation's capital of Manila.

Sin was officially installed as Archbishop of Manila at Manila Cathedral on March 19, 1974. On May 24 of 1976, Pope Paul VI summoned Sin to the Holy See to be raised into membership of the College of Cardinals, named Cardinal Priest of the titular church of Santa Maria ai Monti. He remained the youngest member of the College until 1983.

After serving the Manila Archdiocese for 29 years the cardinal retired on September 15, 2003. He was succeeded by Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales.

The cardinal is the third native Filipino Archbishop of Manila following centuries of Spanish, American and Irish episcopacy.

Events in the Philippines under President Ferdinand Marcos forced Sin, the spiritual leader of all Filipino Catholics, to become involved in the politics of the region. He became witness to corruption, fraud and even murder at the hands of the regime — events that pushed Filipinos on the brink of civil unrest and even war. Sin appealed to Filipinos of all religions to follow the teachings of Jesus in the Gospels and use peaceful means to change the political situation in the Philippines.

At the same time, President Marcos and First Lady Imelda Marcos, appealed to Sin to side with the regime. Sin respectfully pleaded with the president and first lady to refrain from unleashing the armed forces against Filipinos marching in the streets of Manila. President Marcos ordered his generals to deploy against the marchers, however, tanks and troops were stopped in the streets with people on their knees praying the Rosary and singing English language translations of sacred hymns. Some soldiers decided to join the marchers. Cardinal Sin was convinced it was a miracle granted by the faith of his followers in God and nonviolence.

What later became known as the People Power Movement or the EDSA Revolution, President Marcos, his family and close advisors were forced to flee the Philippines — taking up residence in Honolulu, Hawaii upon the invitation of President of the United States Ronald Reagan. Cardinal Sin, along with Presidents Corazon Aquino and Fidel Ramos, became known to Filipinos as the architects of the People Power Movement.

Sin was called upon Filipinos again in 2001 to become the spiritual leader of another People Power Movement. Filipinos alleged that President Joseph Estrada was guilty of widespread corruption and graft. Marches in the streets, with the support of Sin, succeeded in toppling President Estrada from power and elevating Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as his successor.

Upon the death and funeral of Pope John Paul II, Sin was sometimes named as a possible papabile, since he and two other cardinals (including the current Pope Benedict XVI) were the only ones who were present during the Papal Conclaves of 1978.

Others were quick to disqualify Sin, considering the Filipino archbishops as highly unlikely candidates allegedly due to their being Asians, and given his age and state of health. (There has been much speculation as to his chances had the papal vacancy occurred several years earlier.) Suffering from inoperable cancer, Sin was unable to make the trip to Vatican City for the 2005 papal conclave.

He was one of three cardinals eligible to vote for the successor of Pope John Paul II who were not elevated to the cardinalate by the Polish pope. (The others were Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger of Germany and William Wakefield Cardinal Baum of the United States.)
English Jaime Cardinal Sin dies at 76
Jun 20, 2005
Former Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin, the Philippines' moral compass and a key figure in the "people power" revolts that ousted two presidents, died Tuesday. He was 76.

MANILA (Sun Star, Juni 21 2005) - No cause of death was immediately given, but the cardinal had been ill for years and retired as Manila archbishop in November 2003. He was unable to attend the Vatican conclave that chose a new Pope in April.

Sin was one of Asia's most prominent religious leaders, known for his vocal stances on everything from birth control to poverty, politics and the U.S.-led war in Iraq. When he spoke, presidents listened.

He stepped down as head of the Manila archdiocese, which he served for nearly three decades, after reaching the retirement age of 75 in November 2003. Declining health forced him to curtail his appearances, but he still remained a staunch guardian of democracy.

Hours before hundreds of soldiers and officers staged a failed against President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in July 2003, he urged Filipinos to be vigilant against groups plotting to violently overturn the country's democratic institutions. The 19-hour uprising failed.

"As I enter a new chapter in my twilight years, I can say with gratitude that I have given my very best to God and country," he said after the late Pope John Paul II accepted his resignation. "I beg pardon from those I might have led astray or hurt. Please remember me kindly."

Sin suffered kidney problems and diabetes. Aides had to help a weak-looking Sin to the altar toward the end of his tenure as Manila archbishop.

Father Jun Sescon, Sin's spokesman, told dzBB radio that the cardinal was taken to Cardinal Santos Medical Center with a high fever on Sunday evening and suffered multiple organ failure. He died at 6:15 a.m. Tuesday.

"Our call to all the faithful is to include in their prayers the soul of Cardinal Sin," Sescon said.

Church leaders were consulting with Sin's family on funeral arrangements. His body was to be taken to Manila Cathedral. The pope's representative here, the papal nuncio, has been informed of death.

The 14th of 16 children of a Chinese merchant and a Filipino woman, Sin had a sense of humor about his name, often referring to his residence as "the house of Sin."

He burst onto the international stage when he called on Filipinos to surround the police and military headquarters in metropolitan Manila in 1986 to protect then-military Vice Chief of Staff Fidel Ramos and Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile, who broke away from dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

That led to the "people power" revolution that ousted Marcos over alleged corruption and human rights violations. The largely peaceful revolt became a harbinger of change in authoritarian regimes worldwide. Marcos died in exile in Hawaii in 1989.

But the country's problems continued, partly because of the endemic corruption that blossomed under Marcos.

"We got rid of Ali Baba, but the 40 thieves remained," Sin once quipped.

Under Sin's leadership, the church opposed calls to change the national constitution - ratified a year after Marcos' ouster - saying it could endanger provisions safeguarding the nation from future dictatorships.

Sin also helped lead large street protests that led to the ouster of President Joseph Estrada over alleged corruption and misrule in January 2001. The church wasn't fond of Estrada, a notorious womanizer who sired children by several women and was known for late-night drinking and gambling sessions.

Impoverished followers of Estrada, denouncing Sin and other politicians who forced their leader from power, stormed the presidential palace in May 2001 in riots that killed six people.

Sin issued an unprecedented apology to the poor shortly thereafter, acknowledging that the church had neglected them and made them easy prey for selfish, powerful people. He offered reconciliation to the poor and assured them that the church is not "anti-Estrada, but pro-morality."

Although revered by many Filipinos, Sin came under criticism over his active advocacies. He had a thorny relationship with President Fidel Ramos, a Protestant whose 1992-98 administration promoted the use of artificial birth control. Sin advocated only natural methods.

The local Church has also been hit by accusations of sexual misconduct by priests. Two years ago, Catholic bishops apologized for grave cases of sexual misconduct by priests in recent years and pledged to act on complaints.
English Arroyo: Sin never fails to unite Filpinos
Jun 20, 2005
"History will mark this day with sadness when a great liberator of the Filipino people and a champion of God passed away," President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said in a statement on the death of Jaime Cardinal Sin as read by Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye over a radio interview.

MANILA (Sun Star, June 21 2005) The President acknowledged the role of Cardinal Sin in ousting former president Ferdinand Marcos in 1986. He also helped lead large street protests that led to the ouster of President Joseph Estrada over alleged corruption and misrule in January 2001. The church wasn't fond of Estrada, a notorious womanizer who sired children by several women and was known for late-night drinking and gambling sessions.

"His dream of the Philippines united in peace and justice beacons us to bring down the Tower of Babel and build a nation one and undivided in memory of EDSA I and II, a blessed man who never failed to unite the Filipinos during the most crucial battles against tyranny and evil," Mrs. Arroyo said.

"Cardinal Sin leaves a legacy of freedom and justice forged in deep personal courage," she said.

Mrs Arroyo herself admitted that for many times she was guided by the cardinal's wisdom and profound love for the poor and the oppressed where he lived in the fountain of the people like no other in his time.

Cardinal Sin died early Tuesday morning of renal failure. The cardinal had been suffering from a kidney ailment and diabetes.

Father Jun Sescon, Sin's spokesman, told dzBB radio that the cardinal was taken to Cardinal Santos Medical Center with a high fever on Sunday evening and suffered multiple organ failure. He died at 6:15 a.m. Tuesday.

"Our call to all the faithful is to include in their prayers the soul of Cardinal Sin," Sescon said.

Church leaders were consulting with Sin's family on funeral arrangements. His body was to be taken to Manila Cathedral. The pope's representative here, the papal nuncio, has been informed of death.

Under Sin's leadership, the church opposed calls to change the national constitution - ratified a year after Marcos' ouster -
saying it could endanger provisions safeguarding the nation from future dictatorships.
English Cardinal Sin gets Golden Palm award
May 02, 2005
Retired Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin, 76, received the prestigious Golden Palm of Jerusalem, the highest service award given by the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

(Inquirer News Service, April 30, 2005) He is the first Filipino to receive the honor. Sin was cited for his "active benevolence in the Holy Church" while serving as the Order's Philippine chapter.

The award was issued in Rome last Jan. 17 by Carlo Cardinal Furno, grandmaster of the Equestrian Order, representing then Pope John Paul II.

"As I receive this award, I again commit myself to the Lord," he said in a message during formal rites at his Villa San Miguel residence in Mandaluyong on Thursday.

"I believe I am still here because I still have a mission. And that mission is to convince you to become saints. Do not be afraid to become saints," he said.

Present at the ceremony were former President Corazon Aquino and President Macapagal-Arroyo.

In his homily, Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales paid tribute to Sin's unwavering allegiance to the Faith.
English Twilight of the Hierarch
Apr 16, 2005
On August 31 this year, another chapter in the history of the local Catholic Church will close, when Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin gives up the red hat that has been the symbol of his 29-year reign in the Archdiocese of Manila. On that day, he turns 75, the retirement age under Church rules.

(Newsbreak, 2004) Sin will go into the books as the most politically influential prelate the country ever had. His episcopate survived four presidents, including the reign of a dictator and a Protestant chief executive. He was the moving force in the ouster of two presidents and the installation of two female heads of state.

Sin is also the longest resident of Villa San Miguel, the Malacañang of the Philippine Catholic Church, where some crucial political decisions in the past had been made.

If it so wishes, the Vatican may extend Sin’s rule for several more years, but the Cardinal is not in the pink of health as he undergoes dialysis almost every day, according to Fr. James Reuter, a long-time Church media officer.

Rome "does not have to accept" Sin’s retirement, but Sin has indicated his desire to step down, says Reuter.

The creation of five dioceses in Metropolitan Manila, which was completed recently, was one of Sin’s last major attempts "to put his house in order" before he retires, he adds.

As early as last year, the Vatican started scouting for Sin’s successor. A choice has already been made, Newsbreak learned, but the identity of the Cardinal’s successor remains under wraps.

‘Provinciano’ Kingmaker

If only for his significant role in Philippine politics, Sin has secured his niche in history. His transformation from a jovial but shy and unassuming provinciano to a kingmaker is a classic study for sociologists and political analysts.

His colleagues in the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) say that Sin was the right choice at the right time. A virtual unknown from the diocese of Jaro, Iloilo, Sin bested more fancied bishops who were tipped to succeed the late Cardinal Rufino Santos as head of the See of Manila, recalls former Lingayen Archbishop Oscar Cruz, a former CBCP president.

It was an appointment more shocking than surprising. "We did not even know him," Cruz tells Newsbreak. Cruz was rector of San Carlos Seminary when Sin came on board in 1974.

From the start, Sin’s provincial background was very evident, Cruz says. "He was not sophisticated, but he was also not superficial. He exuded an informality that was very endearing."

Long-time Church observers say, however, that Sin’s appointment was really not surprising. While in Jaro, he impressed Vatican officials with his managerial abilities and suave political skills.

In his book, The Happy Life of Sin, the Cardinal’s latest biography, author Fr. Sid Marinay relates that Sin deftly handled a financial crisis in Jaro with the impending death of Archbishop Jose Maria Cuenco. Then a bishop, Sin was instructed by the Papal Nuncio to avert a possible scandal. He passed it with flying colors.

Political analyst Alex Magno says that part of Sin’s appeal to the Vatican at that time was his being "one of the boys," in contrast to the activist stance assumed by Bishops Antonio Fortich (recently deceased) and Francisco Claver at the start of martial law.

Criticized for his political meddling every now and then, "Sin is still doctrinally conservative, part of the mainstream," Magno says.

CBCP colleagues agree Sin is an activist only in the political sense but a traditionalist on Church issues. "He is very obedient to the Pope and to Rome," notes one bishop.

Sin’s obedience to the Pope is not lost on his former secretary, Bishop Socrates Villegas. In Marinay’s book, Villegas is quoted as saying that "one of the most important things I have learned from [Sin] is his obedience to the Holy See."

A Product of His Time

Sin has served as the face of the local Catholic Church for almost three decades. For close friend and long-time associate Jose Concepcion Jr., "he will be best remembered as the leader that helped transform Philippine Catholicism and as one of the heroes of EDSA."

Magno says Sin "is a product of his time," and was "reluctantly" thrust into the political limelight. He says the Cardinal, before his tussle with Marcos, was just "a clone of Cardinal Santos."

"Without Marcos, he is really apolitical. He just responded to the issues of the day. What else can he do?" Magno asks.

In Nick Joaquin’s Book of Sin, Sin’s older brother, Dr. Ramon Sin, describes the newly installed archbishop’s initial relationship with the Marcos regime as "a nice honeymoon."

"The classic policy of the Church is to cooperate with any government that respects the freedom of the Church to worship and preach. And this was the policy enunciated by Msgr. Sin at his installation," Joaquin wrote.

The honeymoon abruptly ended when the military raided the Sacred Heart Seminary in Novaliches late August 1974 on suspicion that the Jesuits there were hiding Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison.

Sin issued a scathing pastoral letter condemning the raid, in what could have been the "first open protest against martial law," Joaquin wrote. "That gave the people the courage to complain and the hope to gain justice."

But one Church insider says Sin only came out with the pastoral statement after Rome itself protested the raid. "It was Church property they raided and do you expect Rome to just sit down?"

Magno says that to his credit, Sin took up the challenge when the people turned to the Church for refuge against the dictatorship. He became the mouthpiece against the dictatorship. A lesser bishop, he says, would have succumbed to the pressure.

Perhaps the worldwide change that the Church was experiencing at that time also contributed to Sin’s political involvement, Magno adds. Vatican II, which instituted major changes in the Roman Catholic Church and its preferential option for the poor, helped shape Sin’s firebrand politics.

Legacy to the Church

For the institutional Church, Sin will be leaving behind a legacy his successor will find hard to match. That he was once considered a candidate for the papacy speaks volumes of his international prominence even without EDSA 1.

David Yallop, in his book In God’s Name, wrote that Sin garnered a number of votes from the Sacred College Cardinals in the 1978 conclave that elected Polish Cardinal Karol Wojtyla as Pope John Paul II.

His close friendship with the Holy Father is widely acknowledged and no local bishop can lay a similar claim.

Reuter says Sin is perhaps the only prelate who can disobey direct orders by the Vatican and still emerge unscathed. Twice, Sin disobeyed Vatican officials and only his ties with the Pope apparently saved his neck.

Reuter recalled that shortly after the 1986 snap elections, Rome warned Sin and Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, then CBCP president, against issuing a pastoral statement condemning the irregularities in the elections and calling Marcos’s victory a fluke. Sin and Vidal were both summoned to Rome to explain their defiance of the Holy See’s order.

The second incident was when Sin called on the people to troop to EDSA and surround Camp Aguinaldo against the advice of the Nuncio, Reuter says.

When he finally went to Rome to explain his side, Sin was received with a congratulatory hug by the Pope instead of the expected reprimand, Reuter says.

His close ties with the Vatican was also instrumental in having the Pope visit the Philippines twice; a third one, scheduled January this year, was botched only by the Pontiff’s failing health. Sin’s intense lobbying also produced the first Filipino saint, San Lorenzo Ruiz.

Last Emperor of Manila

Sin raised the Philippines’ stature as the missionary country in Asia when he laid the groundwork for the thawing of ties between Rome and Beijing by visiting China twice. He was the first Catholic official to visit China after the communists severed its ties with Rome.

With his retirement, Sin earns the distinction as Metropolitan Manila’s "last emperor." His replacement will have to contend with a downsized territorial jurisdiction—Manila, Pasay, Makati, Mandaluyong, and San Juan—with the secession of Novaliches, Parañaque, Pasig, Cubao, and Kalookan as separate dioceses. This means the five areas are no longer under the administrative control of the Archdiocese of Manila.

For many, the separation was meant to clip the influence of the Cardinal, but Church insiders say the division was actually part of Sin’s prophetic vision.

Contrary to general belief, it was Sin who pushed for the division to address the increasing needs and growing numbers of the faithful in Manila, according to Manila Auxiliary Bishop Teodoro Buhain.

With a flock of more than eight million, Buhain says attending to the needs of the faithful in Manila has become next to impossible. He says the division was a plan conceptualized by Sin as early as 20 years ago.

For Archbishop Cruz, Sin’s legacy to the archdiocese was the establishment of seminaries and parishes, which tripled in number under his stewardship. For this alone, he is amazed at Sin’s administrative skills and foresight.

Joaquin, in his book, says Sin’s fondest project is the Bahay Pari in Guadalupe where retiring Manila priests can seek shelter until their death. Sin also credits himself for reviving the Cardinal Santos Hospital after years of closure.

On a pastoral level, it was in Sin’s watch that the Second Plenary Council of Manila was convened to redirect the apostolate of the archdiocese and make it in tune with the times and the challenges of the new millennium.

‘Shaped by Events’

This early, Church observers and insiders say the next archbishop will pale in comparison with Sin and inevitably work under the retiring Cardinal’s shadow.

Having steered the Catholic Church during martial law and into the new millennium, Sin ensconced himself in Church history as one of the most colorful prelates in modern times.

"He is a hard act to follow," concedes Archbishop Cruz, one of the few expected to succeed Sin. He says the cardinal exerts influence and charisma on all sectors of society that will be difficult to duplicate.

Magno says Sin’s episcopacy was caught in a cusp of change that his predecessor or successor would not have the privilege of enjoying to help define their episcopacy. His legacy, at most, was "shaped by the events."

For Concepcion, who also chairs the national Movement for Free Elections, Sin brought inspiration and made the Church a force for social development and change, which his successor would be challenged to continue and pursue.

"Whoever will replace the Cardinal will be hard-pressed to deal with the many challenges of the Philippines, particularly in inspiring the laity to transcend who they are and make our society more equitable."

Buhain says the new archbishop "will have to do other things" if he is to make his own imprint in the local Church. "He does not have to imitate Sin. Cardinal Sin did not try to imitate Cardinal Santos."
English Cardinal Sin raring to go but needs doctors' OK
Apr 06, 2005
The Spirit is willing but it is the doctors who will decide if retired Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin can go to the Vatican to help elect the new pope.

(Philippine Daily Inquirer, Apr. 6, 2005) The 76-year-old prelate is eager to leave but is grounded by kidney and heart problems, his private secretary, Fr. Rufino Sescon, said yesterday.

"The cardinal really wants to go and we're still trying to get clearance from his doctors," he told the Inquirer.

Doctors from the Cardinal Santos Memorial Hospital and the University of Santo Tomas Hospital are monitoring Sin's condition and will decide within the week if he is fit to fly to the Vatican, Sescon said.

Vatican reports said the conclave of cardinals, which will choose the new pontiff, will likely not be held before Sunday, giving Sin just enough time to make it to Rome in case the doctors give him the go-signal, he said.

By tradition, the conclave is held 15 to 20 days after a pope's funeral.

Doctors are apparently worried that he might not be able to withstand the rigors of a conclave.

No proxies

Vatican rules do not allow any proxy or representative to vote on behalf of an absent cardinal.

Sin, who is undergoing regular dialysis, has been using a wheelchair when he wants to go out for "long walks" for quite sometime now, Sescon said.

In the meantime, he is trying to cope with the passing of a dear friend in Pope John Paul II.

"He's very sad and silent about his friend's death," the priest said. "They were really very close."

Despite his illnesses, Sin stayed up at his Villa San Miguel residence in Mandaluyong City until 5 a.m. last Sunday, monitoring the Pope's deteriorating condition on cable television, Sescon said.

Enduring friendship

He fell silent after the Vatican announced that the 84-year-old Pontiff had died, the priest said.

Sin and John Paul's friendship dated back to the 1978 conclave that elected the Polish cardinal to the papacy.

"Being among the youngest members of the conclave then, they were neighbors in makeshift rooms at the Sistine Chapel," Sescon said. "The better quarters were usually reserved for the older cardinals."

The closeness endured even after the Pope became busy with Vatican affairs and Sin with pressing issues in the Philippines, which was then under the Marcos dictatorship, he said.

Only Filipino electors

"There was a time during the early part of the pontificate when the cardinal traveled to the Vatican six times a year," he said. "That's how close they were."

If Sin gets his medical clearance, he will join Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal in the conclave.

Sin and Vidal are the country's only cardinal electors, or those qualified to participate in the election of the next pope.

A third cardinal, 85-year-old Jose Cardinal Sanchez, is no longer eligible to take part. Electors must be below 80 years old.

Conclave's doorman

For many years after his elevation to the Sacred College of Cardinals at the age of 48, Sin was the youngest of the Church's "princes."

Thus, at the conclaves which elected Pope John Paul I and, months later, Pope John Paul II, he served as doorman, a position traditionally reserved for the youngest of the cardinals, said Sin's biographer, the late professor Felix B. Bautista.

Sin helped lead two bloodless popular revolts that ousted two presidents -- the late Ferdinand Marcos in 1986 and Joseph Estrada in 2001.

Before Vidal flew to Rome yesterday, some priests told him in a light vein to prepare a new name for himself in case he was elected pope.

'Pope Niño I'

Episcopal vicar Monsignor Esteban Binghay said the priests suggested the name "Pope Niño 1," after Señor Sto. Niño, the patron saint of Cebu.

Vidal, 74, is among the 117 members of the College of Cardinals.

Vidal said he was not interested in becoming pope because he was sickly and already old.

"First of all, I hope I survive the trip because of ... I've just have had my procedure of the heart," Vidal told reporters.

Holy Spirit to decide

Vidal last November underwent an angioplasty, a medical procedure in which a balloon is used to open up narrowed or blocked blood vessels of the heart.

Vidal said he was excited about his trip because it would be his first time to join a conclave.

Asked about the possibility that the new pope could come from the Third World, the prelate replied: "We leave that to the Holy Spirit, we cannot dictate.

"I hope he will follow the same path of John Paul II, especially in matters of preserving the faith of the church, and at the same time, he will give us a true guide in this moment of crisis in the world in the modern times," he said.

Peanut vendors at Vatican

Another priest, Fr. Dan de los Angeles, said he teased Vidal about becoming the next pope.

The cardinal quipped that if it happened, Filipino vendors might go to the Vatican Plaza to sell peanuts.
English Cardinal's passion: Visiting poor in village of Sin
Apr 02, 2005
The frail figure alighting from the white sedan is an all-too-familiar sight to residents of this poor community in Punta, Sta. Ana district, Manila.

(Philippine Daily Inquirer, Mar. 24, 2005) At least three times a week, retired Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin visits this place which some have aptly called "The Village of Sin." When he comes, the people receive him like a celebrity, if not a king.

Cardinal Sin, 76, has made the two-hectare Cardinal Sin Village his second home away from Villa San Miguel, his Mandaluyong retreat for more than three decades. He built the village for some 500 residents of Punta, one of the poorest communities in the capital city, soon after he retired from the Archdiocese of Manila two years ago.

This is where he now finds the strength to withstand the exactions of a lingering kidney ailment and heart problem. "He comes usually in the morning and somehow feels rejuvenated just by observing the community," said Peachy Yamsuan, the communications director of the Archdiocese

Cardinal Sin usually arrives not later than 9 a.m. As soon as he gets off the car, children would swarm around him, becoming his instant entourage as he goes on a tour of the village, checking on the houses and the ongoing construction.

"He really loves the kids," said Fr. Mark Munda, the village caretaker.

"His visits don't really last long, just between 15 and 30 minutes. But he spends most of his time with the children," Munda said.

Not even his illness can keep the cardinal from these regular visits.

Once last December, after a weeklong stay in hospital, Sin stopped home only for a change of clothes and went straight to the Punta community, recalled Munda.

The visit came as a surprise to the villagers who knew that Sin had been down with low-grade fever that necessitated his being confined for a week at the Cardinal Santos Hospital.

Earlier in October 2004, he had spent 17 days in hospital after suffering from a heart attack while undergoing dialysis. But apparently nothing can keep the energetic Sin down.

Munda recalls the prelate suddenly showing up at the village on the afternoon of New Year's Day. "I thought he was sleeping at the villa because I know he was receiving a lot of guests. He's always very excited to come. He would always ask, 'Anything new? How many have been given houses already'?"

No one could be more excited about having the multimillion-peso project completed soon.

'Father and son' duo

Sin and his protégé, now Bataan Bishop Soc Villegas, had envisioned the community to be the continuation of the prelate's ministry after his retirement, said Munda.

The dynamic "father-and-son" duo raised the initial P6 million -- through donations, supplemented by the sums that Sin received on retirement -- for construction of the first building which is now occupied by 84 families.

Among the supporters of the project was the Couples for Christ group whose Gawad Kalinga program helped build the houses.

Sin and Villegas chose the plot themselves, which used to be the site of an oil company compound and which is separated by the Pasig River from the Pandacan oil depot.

'Richest' resident

Munda says the plan was to build a decent community for the poorest of the poor in Punta. Probably the "richest" resident in the community is a taxicab driver who earns an estimated P2,000 a month.

The village design is something to marvel at. Located in the very middle, just a few steps from the entrance, is the Parish of the Mother of Perpetual Help. Its elevated structure and basement are curiously similar to the Edsa Shrine where Villegas used to be the rector.

On both sides of the church are two residential buildings available for free for a total of 168 families.

Behind the church is a 14-classroom learning center whose teachers will be provided by the nearby Montessori School.

At the far end of the community is the site of a planned low-cost housing project, also for Punta residents. Lots are for sale at a very low price.

2nd building

Munda says workers are rushing to complete the second building by May, the church and the school in time for Sin's 77th birthday on Aug. 31.

The low-cost housing project remains in the planning stage as there's no funding yet, Munda says.

In the meantime, Sin and his staff are busy screening residents who will be awarded spaces in the village. Everything is for free so recipients really have to be poor.

Much of the basic work on the buildings is done by the beneficiaries themselves, supervised by engineers, architects and a small group of construction people.

Each family is required to put in at least 24 hours a week, working on the house they would soon be occupying, says Munda. They can help carry cement bags, do some painting or carpentry work.

No clothesline on display

The 21-sq.-m. building units are a cheap but slick version of high-end condominiums. They're built in such a way that clotheslines, a common eyesore in squatter communities, are hidden in "laundry areas" in the middle of the buildings.

A unit is big enough to accommodate a living room at the front end, a small bedroom in the middle and a kitchen and toilet at the far end.

Munda says large families sacrifice headroom by building a second mezzanine where the children can sleep.

Sin's vision doesn't stop at simply building houses, said Munda.

Help to the fullest

"If we really want to help the poor, we have to help them to the fullest," he quoted the prelate as saying.

The village of Sin now has a livelihood program, helping generate income for the families there.

There's a bakery run and staffed by villagers. Another group makes bags. Others segregate the garbage of the community from which they are able to earn some income.

On Sundays, residents attend Mass at the still only half-built parish, a gesture of gratitude to a Church that indeed never abandons the poor.

And thanks also to an indefatigable prelate, they now live in comfort in the Village of Sin.
English Cardinal Jaime Sin Retires
Sept 16, 2004
Cardinal Jaime Sin, the controversial Philippine Catholic leader credited with leading popular revolts that ousted two presidents, is retiring after turning 75 last month, the Vatican's representative office in Manila announced on Monday.

(September 16 2003) "His Holiness Pope John Paul II has accepted the resignation of His Eminence Jaime Cardinal Sin from the pastoral governance of the Archdiocese of Manila," said Father James Reuter, a church spokesman. The Vatican praised the ailing cardinal for his dedication to the Catholic faithful and his "untiring actions in defence of the common good."

Cardinal Sin, a Filipino of ethnic Chinese ancestry, is only the second Philippines national to serve as bishop of Manila, the capital. He was appointed in 1974, barely two years after then-president Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law and imposed one-man rule.

The Pope named Gaudencio Rosales, archbishop of a city south of Manila, as the Cardinal Sin's replacement.

Cardinal Sin first rose to international prominence in February 1986 for his role in mobilising thousands of Catholic priests, nuns and lay people in demonstrations that forced Mr Marcos from power. In January 2001, he again called on Manila's Catholics to gather in peaceful rallies that led to the ousting of then President Joseph Estrada, who faced an impeachment trial for alleged corruption.

Cardinal Sin supported civil liberties, good government and often voiced anti-globalisation rhetoric. He also took a firm stand against artificial family planning and campaigned against politicians who supported contraception.
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