Since 1994 His Eminence, Ricardo Jamin Cardinal Vidal, has served as an international advisor for HLI. Archbishop of Cebu since 1982, he has always provided remarkable pro-life leadership in the Philippines and abroad. HLI’s Dr. Rene Bullecer sings his praises eloquently.
Cardinal Vidal serves on the presidential committee of the Pontifical Council for the Family, and has made the family & life ministry in his own archdiocese a model to be emulated. In April 2008, during the meeting of the Pontifical Council for the Family in Rome finalizing the preparations for the 6th World Meeting of Families to be held in Mexico City in January 2008, Cardinal Vidal served as the acting president, in the absence of Cardinal López-Trujillo who was in critical condition.
For several years now the anti-life bills in the Philippines Congress proposing abortion (under the guise of “reproductive rights”), gay rights bills (misrepresented as anti-discrimination acts), and legislation legalizing divorce and euthanasia have been defeated in no small part due to the powerful influence of Cardinal Vidal. Pro-lifers in the Philippines turn to him during crucial moments in the battles, and he has personally intervened with great success. In this overwhelmingly Catholic country, legislators listen attentively when a cardinal calls them up for a chat about the importance of defending the right to life and the family.
His Eminence presented the Blessed Pedro Calungsod Pro-Life Awards to the 20 most active pro-life congressmen in 2002 and to the 12 most active and vocal pro-life congressmen in 2007. In the year 2000 Cardinal Vidal created the Catholic Mass Media Award which is given every two years to outstanding mass media programs and personalities who stand up as Catholics and defend church teachings, especially regarding the rights of the unborn and of the family. This initiative and program have tremendously encouraged good journalism.
Cardinal Vidal issued a series of pastoral letters against the evils of population control, artificial contraception and anti-life bills. In 2004 he announced latae sententiae (automatic) excommunication for doctors, nurses or midwives who perform sterilizations despite warnings from the Church and their parish priest.
Cardinal Vidal turned 77 last February 7, feast of San Ricardo de Lucca. Although by Canon Law he could have retired two years ago, the Holy Father has asked him to continue leading the Archdiocese of Cebu. We pray for continued health and strength for His Eminence. HLI is most pleased to confer our Cardinal von Galen Award on Ricardo Cardinal Vidal for a lifetime of service to God and His Church, especially our preborn brothers and sisters.