Cardinal Jaime Sin Archbishop emeritus of Manila died in Manila during the night of 20 June at the age of 76 after a long illness. He was suffering from diabetes and kidney failure for which he was under dialysis. The late Cardinal's secretary Rev Jun Sescon said his health took a downhill turn following the death of Pope John Paul II. "He was deeply saddened by the ! Holy Father's death", the secretary said recalling that Cardinal Sin was too ill to travel to Rome for the funeral or to take part in the conclave for the election of the new Pope. However on that occasion he was kind enough to speak to Fides on the telephone and said: "Benedict XVI is a brilliant and good man and he belongs to the same tradition as John Paul II." Cardinal Sin retired from active pastoral ministry in November 2003 but remained a figure of reference for this Catholic country. "History will remember with sadness the day of the death of a great liberator of the people of the Philippines and a champion of God," said the President of the Philippines Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The Cardinal was an active supporter of the popular movements which led to the fall of two presidents, dictator Fernando Marcos in 1986 and president Joseph Estrada in 2001, in what were called 'Rosary Revolutions' because the people found in his words expressed in radio messages encouragement for peaceful protests without violence. President Arroyo who succeeded Estrada said: "He leaves us a legacy of freedom and justice forged with profound personal courage". Cardinal Sin saw clearly the Church's role in the country as a moral guide for the development of the nation and because of this conviction he was often criticised for interfering in political matters. He actively promoted respect for the Gospel values of peace and justice, encouraged transparency and denounced corruption and violence. Born in 1928 to a Chinese mother and Filipino father he was ordained a priest in 1954. After exercising his ministry in parishes in a mountainous region, in June 1957 he was appointed rector of St Pius X seminary. Pope Paul VI appointed him bishop of Jaro in 1967, Archbishop of Manila in 1974 and created him Cardinal on 24 May 1976. He was President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines from 1977 to 1981. He welcomed Pope John Paul II to the Philippines on two apostolic visits 1981 and 1995. During the second visit for the 10th World Youth Day 15 January 1955 an estimated four million people gathered for Mass at Rizal Park in Manila. Hundreds of thousands are expected to attend the funeral as well as civil, religious and political personalities. The Cardinal will be buried in the crypt of Manila Cathedral. Source: Fides
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