Vidal ‘was an instrument of peace, reconciliation’

FORMER President and now Pampanga 2nd District Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo visited the wake of Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal yesterday.

Accompanied by her staff, Arroyo stayed for an hour in the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral to pay her respects to the prelate.

Aside from attending the wake, Arroyo also attended an 11 a.m. mass presided by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma.

In an interview, the congresswoman said Vidal served as an instrument in her reconciliation with former President Joseph Estrada.

Once allies, Arroyo and Estrada became bitter rivals following the latter’s removal from power after the second EDSA Revolution in January 2001. Vidal privately advised then President Estrada to step down from office.

“He was always a man of peace. He always wanted to reconcile everyone,” Arroyo said.

Palma, in his message during the mass, thanked Arroyo for paying her last respects to the cardinal.

Organizers of Vidal’s funeral have advised members of the clergy who plan to attend the burial rites tomorrow to coordinate with their episcopal vicars.

Msgr. Joseph Tan, Cebu Archdiocesan spokesperson, told reporters that for the funeral mass and final rites of internment and burial, priests who plan to bring their vehicles are advised that parking anywhere near the Cathedral is strictly prohibited.

Designated parking areas will be at the St. Joseph Parish in Barangay Mabolo for priests from northern Cebu; St. Pedro Calungsod Chapel at the South Road Properties for priests from southern Cebu; and the Archbishop’s Palace and Sacred Heart Parish for priests assigned within Cebu City.

After parking their cars, the priests can proceed to the Cathedral on buses provided by the Cebu City Government. The buses will depart at 8 a.m.

Tan also advised the clergy, whether religious or diocesan, to bring their albs or clerical vestments as their supply is reserved for out-of-town priests. (JKV)
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