MOTORISTS are reminded about the road closure in Cebu City for the funeral procession for Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal’s burial on Thursday, Oct. 26.
City Transportation Office operations head Francisco Ouano told SunStar Cebu that a portion of Osmeña Blvd., Legaspi St., P. Burgos St. and D. Jakosalem St. will be temporarily closed to traffic starting at 7 a.m.
Cardinal Vidal will be laid to rest on Thursday at 9 a.m. in the mausoleum inside the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.
The Cathedral will be closed at midnight of Wednesday and will be reopened at 7 a.m. the following day.
Those who wish to join the procession are discouraged from bringing bags, especially backpacks, to avoid delaying the security inspection.
Attendees are also requested to not take selfies inside the church to ensure the solemnity of the funeral mass.
In a separate interview, Nagiel Bañacia, head of the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CCDRRMO), asked attendees of the procession to park their vehicles outside of the affected area.
“They should park away from the affected area to avoid causing traffic. The downtown area will be very busy by then, so we ask for everybody’s cooperation,” he said.
Bañacia said that they have assigned Plaza Independencia as the parking lot for attendees coming from the provinces.
Carpooling for attendees coming from the same point of origin to avoid congestion is also advised, he said.
CCDRRMO will also field close to 50 volunteer emergency responders, Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation personnel, army reservists and members of the quick response team along the 620-meter procession route.
“We are expecting thousands of people to join the procession, that’s why were asking the public to help us ensure safety by following the guidelines,” Bañacia said.
Pope Francis is set to appoint a papal legate to represent him during the burial of the late Cebu archbishop.
Msgr. Joseph Tan, Cebu Archdiocesan spokesperson, told SunStar Cebu on Sunday, October 22, that they received word on the appointment of a papal legate last week.
But Tan said they’ve yet to know who will represent the Pope during the burial rites on Thursday.
Tan said that the Papal Legate could be appointed from among the living Filipino cardinals like Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle and Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Cardinal Quevedo.
Living cardinals from countries closest to the Philippines could serve as Papal Legate during Vidal’s burial.
During the 51st International Eucharistic Congress in 2016 in Cebu City, Myanmar Archbishop Charles Maung Cardinal Bo represented Pope Francis as his Papal Legate.
Tan said they have yet to receive confirmation from members of the College of Cardinals who will be attending Vidal’s burial.
But they received word that Cardinal Tagle and his predecessor, Manila Archbishop Emeritus Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, will be attending Vidal’s wake on Wednesday.
They’ve yet to hear word from Quevedo if he plans to attend the wake and burial.
Church officials are now preparing for Thursday’s rites.
Fr. Mhar Vincent Balili, who is in charge of the liturgical aspect for Vidal’s burial, said Cardinal Vidal’s face will be covered with a white veil just before the burial.
Balili said the white veil placed on the face symbolizes Vidal’s baptism and his belief in what may come after death as stated in the Creed.
During the funeral rites, a parchment containing Vidal’s biography will be read, then placed in a capsule. The capsule will then be placed in the coffin.
Balili said the capsule can be used as reference if officials of the church will open the coffin in the future.
Cardinal Vidal will be interred at the mausoleum of the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.
The mausoleum, constructed during the time of his predecessor, the late Cebu Archbishop Julio Cardinal Rosales, is the final resting place of Cebu’s bishops. (JKV/RTF/SunStar Cebu)