Manila faithful flock to bury Sin

Cardinal Jaime Sin, a driving force of two popular uprisings in the Philippines, has been laid to rest. 

The influential and outspoken cardinal died last week at the age of 76, after a history of illness including kidney and heart problems. 

As Cardinal Sin's coffin draped in the Philippine flag reached the cathedral steps, President Gloria Arroyo oversaw a 21-gun salute. 

It was a fitting honour for the man known as the divine commander-in-chief. 

Thousands of Filipinos started lining the streets of Manila before dawn to catch a last glimpse of Cardinal Sin. 

The horse-drawn carriage bearing the mahogany casket began its short journey at about 0900. 

Former presidents, religious figures and ordinary people watched the procession around the grounds of Manila's oldest cathedral. 

Military officers flanked the carriage alongside bishops dressed in gold and white. 

'Prophet'

Many mourners shed tears as the homily was read, while outside the cathedral, people waved colourful umbrellas and released doves. 

His successor as Manila archbishop, Gaudencio Rosales, called Sin a "prophet" 

"He was more than a pastor... he was the ultimate, outspoken prophet who was completely unafraid of despots and those who were unjust, dishonest and oppressive," he said. 

Cardinal Sin was revered for the role he played in marshalling street protests that ousted two presidents, Ferdinand Marcos in 1986 and Joseph Estrada in 2001. 

He spoke out against injustice and poverty as much as abortion and birth control in this country of 86m, a population which is still growing. 

Millions of Filipinos will remember him warmly as the man who led two people power uprisings and shaped Philippine history.

28/06/2005

Bron : BBC News

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