Jose Tomas Cardinal Sanchez, 1920-2012

While I was at ABS-CBN Cebu today, one of our brothers Lance Nicole Catacutan called me up and informed me of this sad news. Jose Tomas Cardinal Sanchez died in Manila today at 5:00 a.m. He was a week short of his 92nd birthday.

Here’s the item from GMA News:

A retired Filipino cardinal who served in a key post of the Holy See died in Manila before dawn Friday, one week before he was to turn 92.
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines spokesman Msgr. Pedro Quitorio III said Jose Cardinal Sanchez died at 5 a.m. in Metro Manila.
Pumanaw ang butihing cardinal mga 5 a.m., ngayong umaga siya pumanaw,” Quitorio said in an interview on dzBB radio.
Quitorio said Sanchez retired as bishop 10 years ago at the age of 80 but spent time in Rome before returning to the Philippines.
He said Sanchez had been appointed to head a department of the Vatican but had since retired.
Siya ay nakadestino bilang head ng department sa Vatican. Nang nag-retire siya, nag-stay siya sa Roma at bumalik sa Pilipinas,” Quitorio said.
For now, Quitorio said plans are still being finalized for Sanchez’s burial.
The website said Sanchez was born on March 17, 1920 and became a priest of Sorsogon on May 12, 1946.
He was appointed auxiliary bishop of Caceres (Nueva Caceres), and appointed bishop of Lesvi. He was ordainted titular bishop of Lesvi on May 12, 1968, the same website said.
Sanchez became co-adjutory bishop of Lucena on Dec. 13, 1971 and became Lucena bishop Sept. 25, 1976. He became archbishop of Nueva Segovia on Jan. 12, 1982.
On Oct. 30, 1985, he was appointed Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in the Vatican, resigning as Nueva Segovia Archbishop on March 22, 1986.
He was elevated to cardinal on June 28, 1991 and was appointed Cardinal-Deacon on S. Pio V a Villa Carpegna on the same day.
He was appointed prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, and appointed president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See on July 1, 1991.
Sanchez retired as prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy on June 15, 1996. He was appointed Cardinal-Priest of S. Pio V a Villa Carpegna on Feb. 26, 2002.


With the death of Cardinal Sanchez, does this mean that we will have new Filipino cardinals? If we look at the circumstances now, Archbishops Luis Antonio Tagle and Jose Palma of Manila and Cebu, respectively, are ordinaries of cardinalatial sees. Remember, their predecessors are cardinals, and most likely Pope  Benedict XVI may create them cardinals.

However, their predecessors are still alive, which makes the possibility for them to be cardinals actually remote at this time.

Should Tagle be appointed cardinal however, he may actually even be appointed to the Roman Curia, considering his credentials as former member of the International Theological Commission during the presidency of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. This development may bring back Lingayen-Dagupan archbishop Socrates Villegas to Manila as its new leader.

Palma, on the other hand, may still remain a strong voice in the Philippine Church especially in his stint as president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. He may be appointed Cardinal in due time.

As to when they may be created cardinals, one thing is for sure: it is the Pope who calls the shots.


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