We dedicate this page to our dear Cardinal Jaime Sin, who is regarded as the clearest voice of the Philippine Church. Cardinal Sin played a pivotal role in the country’s new era of democracy.
“Cardinal Sin has courageously promoted human rights, social justice, democracy, peace and authentic devotion to the Eucharist and to Mary”
- Fr. Fausto Gomez, O.P., the dean of sacred theology of the Pontifical University of Santo Tomas.
I consider everything as God’s handiwork… I am just an instrument. I am just like the donkey the Lord rode on. I cannot boast of anything. Everything is grace!”
- Cardinal Sin
Cardinal Jaime Sin, also Jaime Lachica Sin (August 31, 1928–June 21, 2005), was a priest of the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines.
Cardinal Jaime Sin led the Archdiocese of Manila as its archbishop and was later elevated to the rank of cardinal by Pope Paul VI. He concurrently served as Primate of the Philippines. He retired as the Archbishop of Manila on September 15, 2003 and was succeeded by Gaudencio Borbon Rosales.
Cardinal Jaime Sin was only the third native Filipino Archbishop of Manila — following centuries of Spanish, American and Irish episcopacy. He died at the age of 76 on June 21, 2005.
Priesthood and episcopacy
Cardinal Jaime Sin was born in New Washington, Aklan, Philippines to Juan Sin (of overseas Chinese ancestry) and Maxima Lachica. He was the fourteenth of sixteen children. He eventually left his boyhood home and his family to study in seminary.
On April 3, 1954, he was ordained to the presbyterium and became a priest of the Archdiocese of Jaro. He was appointed its auxiliary bishop on February 10, 1967. Following his appointment, he was ordained as bishop of the titular see of Obba on March 18 of that year.
On March 15, 1972, Sin was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Jaro, taking on administrative roles in the archdiocese. Concurrently, he was created archbishop of the titular see of Massa Lubrense.
On October 8, 1972, Sin assumed the office of Archbishop of Jaro, taking full control of the archdiocese.
Sin’s service as Archbishop of Jaro ended with his appointment on January 21, 1974 to the larger archdiocese seated in the nation’s capital of Manila. Sin was officially installed as Archbishop of Manila at Manila Cathedral on March 19, 1974.
On May 24 of 1976, Pope Paul VI summoned Sin to the Holy See to be raised into membership of the College of Cardinals, created Cardinal Priest of the titular church of Santa Maria ai Monti. Cardinal Jaime Sin remained the youngest member of the College until 1983.
People Power Movement
Events in the Philippines under President Ferdinand Marcos forced Cardinal Jaime Sin, the spiritual leader of all Filipino Catholics, to become involved in the politics of the region. Cardinal Jaime Sin became witness to corruption, fraud and even murder at the hands of the regime — events that pushed Filipinos on the brink of civil unrest and even war.
Cardinal Jaime Sin appealed to Filipinos of all religions to follow the teachings of Jesus in the Gospels and use peaceful means to change the political situation in the Philippines.
At the same time, President Marcos and First Lady Imelda Marcos, appealed to Cardinal Jaime Sin to side with the regime. Sin respectfully pleaded with the president and first lady to refrain from unleashing the armed forces against Filipinos marching in the streets of Manila.
President Marcos ordered his generals to deploy against the marchers, however, tanks and troops were stopped in the streets with people on their knees praying the Rosary and singing English language translations of sacred hymns. Some soldiers decided to join the marchers.
Cardinal Jaime Sin was convinced it was a miracle granted by the faith of his followers in God and nonviolence.
What later became known as the People Power Movement or the EDSA Revolution, President Marcos, his family and close advisors were forced to flee the Philippines — taking up residence in Honolulu, Hawaii upon the invitation of President of the United States Ronald Reagan.
Cardinal Jaime Sin, along with Presidents Corazon Aquino and Fidel Ramos, became known to Filipinos as the architects of the People Power Movement.
Cardinal Jaime Sin was called upon Filipinos again in 2001 to become the spiritual leader of another People Power Movement. Filipinos alleged that President Joseph Estrada was guilty of widespread corruption and graft. Marches in the streets, with the support of Sin, succeeded in toppling President Estrada from power and elevating Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as his successor.
Cardinal Jaime Sin was decorated three times by the Philippine government. The first was by President Corazon C. Aquino, who conferred him with the Philippine Legion of Honor, rank of Chief Commander; the second, by President Joseph Estrada, who confered on him the Order of Sikatuna, rank of Rajah; the final time was shortly after his retirement, when President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo conferred on him the Order of Lakandula, rank of Bayani (Grand Cross).
Although his name prompted many jokes – a cardinal sin is one of the seven deadly sins – Cardinal Jaime Sin himself made light of it. He often referred to his residence as “the house of Sin.”
Retirement and death
Cardinal Jaime Sin retired as the Archbishop of Manila on September 15, 2003 and was succeeded by Gaudencio Borbon Rosales. He was too ill to travel to the conclave which elected Pope Benedict XVI.
The prelate — for years afflicted with a kidney ailment brought on by diabetes — was taken on June 19, 2005 to the Rufino Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan, Metro Manila because of a slight but lingering fever. Cardinal Jaime Sin died of renal failure June 21, 2005 at 6:15 a.m.. He was 76 years old.
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License Source: Original text from the article in Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia: Jaime Cardinal Sin.
Influential Cardinal Jaime Sin dies at 76
As reported by PAUL ALEXANDER, Associated Press Writer Tue Jun 21, 7:46 AM ET
MANILA, Philippines – Roman Catholic Cardinal Jaime Sin, an outspoken advocate of democracy who played a key role in the “people power” revolts that ousted two Philippine presidents, died Tuesday. He was 76. Cardinal Jaime Sin had been ill with kidney problems and diabetes for years and was unable to attend the Vatican conclave that chose a new pope in April, although colleagues said he desperately wanted to go.
Known for his dedication, engaging personality and sense of humor — he often referred to his residence as “the house of Sin” — the cardinal was one of Asia’s most prominent religious leaders.
Cardinal Jaime Sin served as the moral compass in the overwhelmingly Catholic Philippines, where he took vocal, sometimes controversial stances on everything from birth control to poverty, politics and the U.S.-led war in Iraq. He once apologized for church neglect of the poor.
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who continued to seek his counsel even after he retired in November 2003, called him “a blessed man who never failed to unite Filipinos during the most crucial battles against tyranny and evil.”
“Cardinal Jaime Sin leaves a legacy of freedom and justice forged in deep personal courage,” Arroyo said in a statement.
The U.S. Embassy, in a statement, said: “We recognize his many contributions to the political, spiritual and moral life of the Philippines, and we extend our condolences to his family and to the Catholic faithful.”
Aides had to help a weak-looking Cardinal Jaime Sin to the altar toward the end of his tenure as Manila archbishop. But he remained a staunch defender of democracy after he stepped down as head of the archdiocese that he served for nearly three decades.
“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.”
Father Jun Sescon, Sin’s spokesman, told DZBB radio that the cardinal was taken to Cardinal Santos Medical Center with a high fever on Sunday evening and suffered multiple organ failure. Cardinal Jaime Sin died at 6:15 a.m. Tuesday.
“Our call to all the faithful is to include in their prayers the soul of Cardinal Sin,” Sescon said.
The 14th of 16 children of a Chinese merchant and a Filipino woman, Cardinal Jaime Sin balanced joviality with deep spirituality and seemed to have a sixth sense, said Archbishop Oscar Cruz, former president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.
“He would say, ‘A bishop just died, would you please call to find out who he is?’” Cruz recalled.
Cardinal Jaime Sin burst onto the international stage when he called on Filipinos to surround the police and military headquarters in metropolitan Manila in 1986 to protect then-military Vice Chief of Staff Fidel Ramos and Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile, who broke away from dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
That led to the “people power” revolution that ousted Marcos over alleged corruption and human rights violations. The largely peaceful revolt became a harbinger of change in authoritarian regimes worldwide. Marcos died in exile in Hawaii in 1989.
But the country’s problems continued, partly because of the endemic corruption that blossomed under Marcos.
“We got rid of Ali Baba, but the 40 thieves remained,” Sin once quipped.
Cardinal Jaime Sin also helped lead large street protests that led to the ouster of President Joseph Estrada over alleged corruption and misrule in January 2001. The church wasn’t fond of Estrada, a notorious womanizer who sired children by several women and was known for late-night drinking and gambling sessions.
Impoverished followers of Estrada, denouncing Sin and politicians who forced their leader from power, stormed the presidential palace in May 2001 in riots that killed six people.
Sin issued an unprecedented apology to the poor shortly thereafter, acknowledging that the church had neglected them and made them easy prey for selfish, powerful people. He offered reconciliation to the poor and assured them that the church is not “anti-Estrada, but pro-morality.”
Although revered by many Filipinos, Cardinal Jaime Sin came under criticism over his active advocacies. He had a thorny relationship with President Fidel Ramos, a Protestant whose 1992-98 administration promoted the use of artificial birth control. Sin advocated only natural methods.
Church leaders were consulting with Cardinal Jaime Sin’s family on funeral arrangements. His body was to be buried in the crypt beneath Manila Cathedral.