Bataclan: Vidal always saw the good

By Ador Vincent S. Mayol |October 21,2017 - 11:02 PM

In this 2012 photo, retired Bishop Emilio Bataclan (second from left) joins Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal in celebrating the 62nd birthday of Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma. With them are several priests and (L–R) Msgr. Achilles Dakay, retired Bishop Antonio Rañola and Dumaguete Bishop Julito Cortes.

No matter how awful the situation was, Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal always saw the good in it.

In a Mass presided over by retired Bishop Emilio Bataclan on the third night of Vidal’s wake last Friday, Bataclan recounted an incident when a man who appeared to have a mental illness suddenly attacked the cardinal during a Mass in a Talisay City parish several years ago.

Msgr. Achilles Dakay, the former secretary of Vidal, quickly tried to stop the man but got hit instead.

“Si (Monsignor) Dakay ang unang naigo. Nisarasay intawn si Dakay. (It was Monsignor Dakay who was hit first. Dakay staggered),” said Bataclan,

who served as Vidal’s auxiliary bishop for many years.

The aggressor, he said, also managed to hit Vidal on the face.

The following day, Bataclan said he visited Vidal and asked him how he was.

“Giingnan ko ni cardinal, ‘Ato-ato lang ni ha, pero naayo ang akong sinus. (The cardinal told me, ‘Just between the two of us, but that blow healed my sinus),’” said the bishop as the congregation listening to the account laughed.

Throughout Vidal’s life and ministry, Bataclan said the cardinal never hated anyone nor spoke ill about others.

“Cardinal Vidal was human like us. But he had that certain kind of discipline and faithfulness to the teachings of Christ,” he said.

Bataclan said Vidal taught him that being a bishop is not a privilege nor an honor, but rather a mission and task.

“He reminded me that God chose us, not because we are the best but because we are the worst so that the power of God will be visible through us,” he said.

After he retired as bishop, Bataclan said he asked Vidal what they could do now that they were already old.

“He told me to pray the rosary for the priests and for the parishes where we were once assigned,” Bataclan recounted.

“Last September 20, I requested Cardinal Vidal to bless me. Now, I’m asking him to continue praying for me in heaven. I know he is praying for us so that one day, we too will enter the Father’s house,” he added.

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