After almost three decades of being the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cebu, Ricardo Jamin Vidal retires.
The 79-year-old Archbishop, who hails from Marinduque, officially retired from his post on October 15, 2010. The cardinal first submitted his intention to resign in 2006, when he turned 75. Pope Benedict XVI, however, extended his tenure as Cebu’s Archbishop.
The well-loved Cardinal Vidal was ordained as a priest in 1956. He was consecrated as a bishop in 1971, and less than two years later, Pope Paul VI appointed him as Archbishop of Lipa, Batangas. In 1981, he was appointed by Pope John Paul II as Coadjutor Archbishop of Cebu, eventually becoming Archbishop of Cebu in 1982.
In 1985, Pope John Paul II made him Cardinal in the assembly of cardinals, thereby earning the designation of Cardinal-Priest of Ss. Pietro e Paolo a Via Ostiense. He participated in the papal conclave of 2005, which elected Pope Benedict XVI. He is currently a member of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the Congregation for Catholic Education and the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers in the Roman Curia.
In the local scene, Cardinal Vial is the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, the chairman of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on the Clergy, and the convenor of the Standing Committee of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences. He has been President of the Pontifico Colegio Filipino since 2002. He was vital in the foundation of the Catechist Missionaries of St. Theresa.
The esteemed Archbishop has received honorary doctorates from the University of San Carlos, University of Santo Tomas, Ateneo de Manila University, and the Manuel S. Enverga Foundation University. He has also been the recipient of a number of awards including Ecclesiastical Papal Chaplain (1969), Outstanding Filipino Award (1998), Rizal Peace Award (2002), and the Sovereign Order of Malta’s Bailiff Grand Cross of Honor and Devotion (2002).
In 2005, Cardinal Vidal participated in the papal conclave which selected Pope Benedict XVI as the successor of Pope John Paul II. In 2006, upon reaching retirement age, he tendered his resignation as Archbishop of Cebu but it was declined by Pope Benedict XVI, who personally invited Cardinal Vidal to continue his apostolic work.
With confirmation of Cardinal Vidal’s retirement, Cebu’s officials have issued separate statements stating their appreciation and gratitude to the humble prelate who gently and unceasingly shepherded the Archdiocese of Cebu for more than two decades.
Following his approval of Cardinal Vidal’s request to retire, Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Archbishop Jose Palma of the Archdiocese of Palo to lead the Archdiocese of Cebu.
Cardinal Vidal has yet to decide whether he will be retiring in Manila, in Marinduque, or in Cebu. Still, a retirement house in Sto. Niño Village, in Banilad, Cebu City, has been prepared for him.
The turnover ceremonies concerning the Archdiocese of Cebu are expected to convene in January 2011.