EDSA 20: “Parang boses ng Diyos”

I think it was a terrific coincidence, the naming of Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales of Manila as one of Pope Benedict XVI’s 15 new cardinals, on February 22 — the first day of this year’s 20th anniversary celebration of the Edsa revolution.

The timing, of course, was deliberate, but for a different reason: February 22 is the feast of the Chair of St. Peter, a decidedly appropriate time for Peter’s successor to name his new cardinals. (In fact, here in Manila, Rosales was at a Mass marking the feast at the Manila Cathedral, with Papal Nuncio Antonio Franco, when Franco made the official announcement.)

Last week, veteran Vatican watcher John Allen had already written an ahead-of-the-curve report. (I wondered, though, about his evaluation of Rosales’ chances as possible rather than probable; the See of Manila is the oldest in Asia, and since the second half of the 20th century its bishop has always been a member of the College of Cardinals.) Still, the news came as a pleasant surprise. (I had found out at around 5pm, courtesy of a colleague with contacts deep inside the labyrinth of the archdiocese.)

Pleasant, appropriate, deeply fitting: I thought the nomination helped remind many of us who needed reminding about the pivotal role of Jaime Cardinal Sin in the miracle that was Edsa. As Sister Terry Burias, one of the nuns who without meaning to stopped the tanks exactly 20 years ago, said, ever so gently, in her interview: The voice of Cardinal Sin was "like the voice of God [parang boses ng Diyos]."


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Filed under Readings in Media, Readings in Politics, Readings in Religion

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