Pope sad over passing of Archbishop Oscar Cruz

Published August 28, 2020, 2:14 PM

by Leslie Ann Aquino

Pope Francis expressed sadness over the passing of retired Lingayen Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz.

Pope Francis (Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / POOL / AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin relayed the message of the pontiff in a letter to Lingayen Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, which was read by retired Novaliches Bishop Antonio Tobias, Friday during the funeral Mass of Cruz at the Saint John the Evangelist Cathedral in Dagupan City.

“His Holiness Pope Francis was saddened to learn of the death of Archbishop Emeritus Oscar V. Cruz and sends prayerful condolences to you and to the clergy, religious, and lay faithful of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan,” read part of the letter.

“His Holiness joins you in giving thanks to the Almighty God for the late archbishop’s many years of episcopal ministry and his forthright witness to the Gospel, and in commending his soul the loving mercy of Christ the Good Shepherd,” it further read.

The pontiff also imparted his apostolic blessing to all those who mourn the passing of the former head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

“To all who mourn his passing in the sure hope of the resurrection, the Holy Father cordially imparts his apostolic blessing as a pledge of consolation and strength in the risen Lord.”

Cruz, 85, died on August 26 due to “multiple organ failure caused by critical Covid-19 infection.”

His cremated remains were interred at the Santuario de San Juan Evangelista in Dagupan.