(UPDATED) Retired archbishop Oscar Cruz passed away on Wednesday due to a multi-organ failure caused by a “critical Covid-19 infection,” according to the Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas.
He was 85.
Cruz, archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan in Pangasinan from 1991 to 2009 and a former CBCP president, was an anti-jueteng (illegal numbers game) crusader and a critic of several administrations.
As a canon lawyer, he led the national appellate tribunal that handled church cases. He published “CBCP Guidelines on Sexual Abuse and Misconduct: A Critique” in 2003 to guide bishops in handling sexual misconduct cases among the Filipino clergy.
According to Villegas, Cruz’s remains will be cremated immediately.
“The cremated remains will be brought to the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist in Dagupan City. The Catholic faithful may pay their respects to the late archbishop on August 27 from 6:00 am until 8:00pm,” Villegas wrote on his Facebook page.
Masses will be offered by diocesean and religious clergy of the said Archdiocese the whole day, while the funeral mass will be held on Friday, Aug. 28.
“In adherence to prevailing health protocols, only the priests and bishops together with the Archbishop’s family, will be in attendance at the funeral Mass as we encourage the Catholic faithful to follow the liturgical rites on social media livestream,” Villegas continued.
Cruz was the president of the CBCP from 1995 to 1999 and archbishop of San Fernando from 1978 to 1988. He was the first Filipino rector of the Archdiocese of Manila’s San Carlos Seminary, occupying the post from 1973 to 1978. Francis David T. Perez