Cardinal Sin

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This work by Ernesto G. Sonido Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Philippines License

The man seemed to have a perpetual smile on his face. It was the smile Buddha would have had. Not the thin one but the chubby one. The personification of Hotei or Putai. Indeed the man had a sense of humor, self-effacing sense of humor.

And it seemed apt for the man who would be known as Cardinal Sin. I met the man only once or probably twice but he was a very visible face to me and probably a number of Filipinos at that time he was the only one who could be the foil to Marcos and still not be caught.

The man who smiled at Marcos and welcomed Imelda to the House of Sin.

Of course the Archbishop of Manila has nearly always been the defacto ruler of Manila and the Philippines. There was the Governor-General who was forced to don a hair shirt and do penance And then there is Governor General Bustamante who was killed.. assassinated by a angry mob of friars, clergymen and loyal Catholics after he had the Archbishop placed in jail.

And by looking at nearly every town in the Philippines at the center stands a church. A very powerful force in the Philippines.

Even at its present state it can be influential.

Jaime Sin though bought something more to the mix. At least something, possibly modern or even contemporary … a sense of humor – self effacing sense of humor or the ability to laugh at one self. For man known as Cardinal Sin this has got to be a pre-requisite.

he once welcomed Imelda Marcos to the Archbishop Palace as the House of Sin.

This jolly and sanguine man proved to be the nemesis of President Ferdinand Marcos. Sin was instrumental in the lifting of Martial Law. And during the last years of Marcos Sin became one of the guiding and directing force.

Joseph Stalin once asked how many divisions does the Pope have? Failed to measure the significance of the influence of leaders of the faithful. Sin for example could drawn on the support of his flock when needed. And he could easily spread out his word through the pastoral letter. Also more importantly with Radio Veritas he could broadcast his message.

And these weapons, if you can call them weapons, were used time and time after the assassination of Ninoy Aquino, the snap election, what was to be known as the Edsa Revolutions Sin played an instrumental part in rallying support and spreading the word.

It became so important that in the last days of the Marcos regime the transistor tower of Radio Veritas was destroyed.

Sin bested Marcos. Sin supported Cory. Sin stopped Ramos’ attempt to changed the constitution. Sin toppled Estrada. Well not Sin alone but Cardinal Sin played an important role in making these things happen. History will probably prove that Sin was a better politician than these gentlemen. But he was not perfect.

Sin was not able to prevent Ramos from ascending to the Presidency and failed to stop Juan Flavier from becoming Senator

During his tenure the church in manila lost its bank Monte de Piedad. There were also allegations on misappropriation of funds. Upon his retirement he Archdiocese of Manila was subdivided. Cardinal Sin would probably the last Archbishop of Manila who would have control over a large ecclesiastical real estate.

There would only be one Sin in the Philippines and it is Cardinal Sin.

Creative Commons License
This work by Ernesto G. Sonido Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Philippines License

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