Philippines' Cardinal Sin dies

Roman Catholic Cardinal Jaime Sin, the Philippines' moral compass and a key figure in the "people power" revolts that ousted two presidents, died yesterday. He was 76.

According to The Age, no cause of death was immediately given, but the cardinal had been ill for years and retired as Manila archbishop in November 2003. He was unable to attend the Vatican conclave that chose a new pope in April.

Sin was one of Asia's most prominent religious leaders, known for his vocal stances on everything from birth control to poverty, politics and the US-led war in Iraq. When he spoke, presidents listened.

He stepped down as head of the Manila archdiocese, which he served for nearly three decades, after reaching the retirement age of 75 in November 2003. Declining health forced him to curtail his appearances, but he still remained a staunch guardian of democracy.

Hours before hundreds of soldiers and officers staged a failed coup against President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in July 2003, he urged Filipinos to be vigilant against groups plotting to violently overturn the country's democratic institutions. The 19-hour uprising failed.

"As I enter a new chapter in my twilight years, I can say with gratitude that I have given my very best to God and country," he said after the late Pope John Paul II accepted his resignation. "I beg pardon from those I might have led astray or hurt. Please remember me kindly."

Comment by Cardinal Pell on the death of Cardinal Sin

Cardinal Jaime Sin was a giant of the Catholic Church. He was a man who loved God, loved his people and loved the Church. He was fearless in his denunciation of injustice and oppression, a man of compassion and courageous public witness to Christ. All those who love freedom and truth recall the extraordinary role he played in supporting the people-power revolt which toppled the Marcos regime in the Philippines. Cardinal Sin will be deeply missed, and the Catholics of Sydney join with their brothers and sisters in the Philippines in praying for the repose of his soul.

Mgr Cruz: Cardinal Sin, "a man larger than life" (AsiaNews 21/6/05)
Cardinal Pell's Comment from Catholic Communications, Archdiocese of Sydney

LINKS (not necessarily endorced by Church Resources)
Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines | Cardinal Jaime Sin

Cardinal Sin fighting for life in Manila hospital (CathNews 12/10/04)
Pope accepts resignation of Manila's Cardinal Sin (CathNews 16/9/03)
Cardinal calls for reform in Philippine society and Church (CathNews 31/7/03)
Philippines Cardinal urges public to rally behind President (CathNews 28/7/03)
Manila Cardinal recovering from stroke (CathNews 1/4/03)

The Pope sends condolences for Cardinal Sin's death (AsiaNews 21/6/05)

22 Jun 2005