MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Catholic community mourns the passing away of His Eminence, Jose T. Cardinal Sanchez, D.D., Archbishop Emeritus of Nueva Segovia, on March 9, 2012. He was 91.
Cardinal Sanchez was the fifth Filipino to be elevated to the position of Cardinal. He lived a life dedicated to the Lord; he served as priest for over 65 years, a Bishop for over 43 years, and a Cardinal for more than 20 years. He was the first Filipino prelate to be appointed Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy at the Vatican in 1991. The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said Cardinal Sanchez ''left a legacy of ministry worthy of emulation and a source of pride for Filipinos.'' CBCP described him as a Prelate of ''passionate love who loved God and loved the Church with joy and dedication.'' Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Tagle said he thanked God for Cardinal Sanchez and his gift of service to the Church and society.
Born on March 17, 1920, in Pandan, Catanduanes, Cardinal Sanchez was ordained priest of Sorsogon at the age of 26 on May 12, 1946. He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Nueva Caceres on February 5, 1968, and Titular Bishop of Lezvi at the age of 47. Then Papal Nuncio to the Philippines Archbishop Carmine Rocco ordained him to the Episcopacy. He was named coadjutor Bishop of Lucena on December 13, 1971, at the age of 51. He was named Archbishop of Nueva Segovia on January 12, 1982, and was appointed Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples on October 30, 1985. He left on March 22, 1986 from the See of Nueva Segovia, but on June 28, 1991, he was elevated to Cardinal and appointed Cardinal-deacon of S. Pio V a Villa Carpegna by Pope John Paul II in the consistory of June 28, 1991.
He was named Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy on July 1, 1991, and was appointed President of the Commission for Preservation of Artistic and Historic Patrimony of the Apostolic See. He retired on January 15, 1996, as Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy. He was appointed Cardinal-Priest of S. Pio V a Villa Carpegna on February 26, 2002.
The Manila Bulletin, headed by its Chairman, President, Directors, Officers, Editors and Employees, join the Catholic faithful in mourning the passing away of His Eminence, Jose T. Cardinal Sanchez, D.D., Archbishop Emeritus of Nueva Segovia. We shall pray for his eternal repose. May he rest in peace.