Philippines' cardinal steps down

The leader of the Roman Catholic church in the Philippines, Cardinal Jaime Sin, has formally stepped down after 29 years in office.

At a ceremony marking the occasion, the ailing 75 year-old appealed to the country's politicians to be more responsible, saying that politics without Christ was the greatest scourge of the Philippines.

Cardinal Sin has been enormously influential in the devoutly Catholic nation and played a key role in popular revolts which led to the toppling of two presidents.

He is succeeded by Gaudencio Rosales.

Former president Fidel Ramos said he hoped Cardinal Sin would continue to be the conscience of the Philippines, even after his retirement.

'People power'

Cardinal Sin, who as Archbishop of Manila was head of the Philippines' 65 million Roman Catholics, announced his intention to retire in September.

He played an influential role in the "people power" uprising that led to the removal of Ferdinand Marcos in 1986.

Marcos - accused of corruption and human rights violations - died in exile in Hawaii in 1989.

Two years ago, Cardinal Sin took to the streets again, this time to lead protests against President Joseph Estrada, who was subsequently deposed.

Mr Estrada is now detained in a military hospital for the duration of his trial on corruption charges.

In recent years, the cardinal has suffered a variety of health problems, including diabetes and a kidney complaint.


Bron : BBC World News

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