Vidal calls for prayers, witnesses for Camomot

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Friday, October 15, 2010

CEBU Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal called for prayers and for witnesses to testify in the ongoing investigation for the process of beatification of the late Archbishop Teofilo Camomot.

“Pray and we will invite people to come out and give testimonies,” Vidal told reporters yesterday after leading the concelebrated mass for the 50th anniversary of the Daughters of St. Teresa (DST) congregation.

“The Holy See has given me the permission to begin the diocesan process on the way for beatification. So whatever the tribunal of Cebu will be able to finish, then we'll submit that to Rome for examination and further investigation until beatification,” he said.


Archbishop Teofilo Bastida Camomot, a Carcar native, founded the DST, which is one of seven congregations he founded.

He resigned as archbishop of Cagayan de Oro in June 1970 due to poor health and returned to Cebu.

Camomot was 74 years old when he died in a vehicular accident in Barrio Baho, San Fernando town, Cebu on Sept. 27, 1988.

“We are given sufficient time because it is hard. We have to ask for witnesses, we will also look for experts, medical authorities because he is not a martyr. Martyrdom is already a miracle once it is proven that he really died in defense of the Papacy,” said Vidal.

“He died as a confessor and a bishop. He needs one miracle and we have many,” he added.

The prelate said he received a letter from the Vatican two weeks ago called, Nihil Obstat, which means there is no impediment.

“I submitted first a summary of his life and ministry as a priest and as a bishop. After six months, then came the permission to begin the diocesan process. Mabilis (it was fast),” he said.

Vidal said there were several testimonies about Camomot's bilocation or there were people who would see him present in two places at the same time.

The archbishop himself has signed an affidavit in relation to a witness' account on this phenomenon where Camomot was sleeping beside him at a meeting of the College of Consultors.

“I have already authenticated his presence at a meeting. But a woman said at that time he was on a mountain (in Carcar) giving the last sacrament to a dying person,” he said.

“He (Camomot) was at my left, and Archbishop (Manuel) Salvador-- discussing about the pastoral (thrust) of the diocese--at my right. I said 'Monsignor, we have a votation and you have to vote,’” he added.

The 79-year-old prelate, who is on his fourth "extension" as archbishop of Cebu, said the investigation into the life of Camomot would continue even after his retirement.

“I can hand it over to my successor,” he assured.

Vidal handed to Pope Benedict XVI his resignation as archbishop when he reached the mandatory age of retirement, 75. But the Pontiff asked him to stay on.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 15, 2010.

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