Wenceslao: Being ‘banal na aso’

RICARDO Cardinal Vidal will be laid to rest this morning at the mausoleum inside the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral beside the tomb of the man he succeeded as archbishop of Cebu, Julio Cardinal Rosales.

One sidelight: Rosales was the one who ordered the construction of the mausoleum in 1983. Also buried there are Juan Gorordo, the first bishop of Cebu; Mariano Gaviola, archbishop emeritus of Lipa; Sincero Lucero, bishop emeritus of Calbayog and Manuel Salvador, auxiliary bishop of Cebu.

The funeral procession will start at the front of the Cathedral, turn right to Osmeña Blvd., pass by the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño, turn right to Jakosalem St. turn right to Gomez St. then on to the back of the Cathedral.

Msgr. Joseph Tan, the spokesperson of the Cebu Archdiocese had earlier said only priests and VIPs are allowed to join the procession. The clergy will be led by the country’s three living cardinals: Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle, Manila Archbishop Emeritus Gaudencio Rosales and Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo.

Vidal, if one listens to the homage being paid on him the past several days, is a well-lived prelate, not only by Cebuanos but by all those who knew him and interacted with him when he was still alive. A little bit of the homage paid, though, merely follows the Filipino tradition of not saying anything bad to the dead.

But my hope is that the funeral and the life and times of the good cardinal would serve as a reminder that not everything is bad in the Catholic Church. The reminder is necessary considering the time we are in when the Catholic Church is being bashed and demonized.

I have read early on in social media people pointing to the supposed hypocrisy of those who are now paying homage to the cardinal. I go that far in the criticism but the point there is that all those praises should be placed in perspective and should not be buried with the man.

The past several months actually saw what can be considered the worst attack on the clergy, especially in social media, just because of the Catholic Church’s stance against extrajudicial killings and its defense of people’s rights. As a result, all the good things that the church, to whom Vidal dedicated his entire life, is being forgotten.

The tragic part of that is that the attacks are being led by Catholics themselves, who exhibit their supposed piety by showing everybody that they go to church and pray. I am sure the good cardinal, like the other members of the clergy, cringed every time the church was bashed. But that is the current nature of our politics and governance. Decency is being set aside and values are being spit upon.

Which reminds me of Yano’s song “Banal Na Aso, Santong Kabayo,” which partly mentioned a Catholic that is prone to cursing when criticized: “Kaharap ko sa dyip ang isang ale, nagrorosaryo mata niya’y nakapikit. Pumara sa may kumbento. ‘Sa babaan lang po, sabi ng tsuper,” kase me nanghuhuli. “Mura pa rin nang mura ang ale.”

We and not only Cardinal Vidal can be practicing Catholics. By that I mean holding on to our faith and using Catholicism as guide in our every action.
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