Jaime Sin

Cardinal Archbishop of Manila
Sin in 1988
ProvinceManila (Emeritus)
SeeArchdiocese of Manila (Emeritus)
InstalledMarch 19, 1974
Term endedSeptember 15, 2003
PredecessorRufino Santos
SuccessorGaudencio Rosales
Other post(s)Cardinal-Priest of Santa Maria ai Monti
OrdinationApril 3, 1954
by Antonio Frondosa
ConsecrationMarch 18, 1967
by Antonio Frondosa
Created cardinalMay 24, 1976
by Pope Paul VI
Personal details
Jaime Lachica Sin

(1928-08-31)August 31, 1928
DiedJune 21, 2005(2005-06-21) (aged 76)
San Juan, Philippines
BuriedCrypt, Manila Cathedral
DenominationRoman Catholic
ParentsJuan Sin (father)
Máxima Lachica (mother)
Previous post(s)Auxiliary Bishop of Jaro (1967–1972)
Archbishop of Jaro (1972–1974)
Alma materSt. Vincent Ferrer Seminary
"I will serve"
SignatureJaime Sin's signature
Coat of armsJaime Sin's coat of arms
Styles of
Jaime Lachica Sin
Reference styleHis Eminence
Spoken styleYour Eminence
Informal styleCardinal
Ordination history of
Jaime Sin
Priestly ordination
Ordained byAntonio Frondosa
DateApril 3, 1954
PlaceJaro, Iloilo City
Episcopal consecration
Principal consecratorAntonio Frondosa (Capiz)
Co-consecratorsJuan Nicolasora Nilmar
Manuel S. Salvador
DateMarch 18, 1967
DateMay 24, 1976
Episcopal succession
Bishops consecrated by Jaime Sin as principal consecrator
Antonio BuenafeMarch 30, 1976
Federico O. EscalerJuly 31, 1976
Generoso C. CamiñaMay 24, 1978
Manuel C. SobreviñasMay 25, 1979
Lucilo B. QuiambaoApril 27, 1982
Warlito Cajandig y ItcuasJune 21, 1989
Crisostomo YalungMay 31, 1994
Rolando Joven Tria TironaDecember 29, 1994
Pedro D. ArigoMay 18, 1996
José Paala SalazarJune 7, 1996
Jesse E. MercadoMarch 31, 1997
Honesto OngtiocoJune 18, 1998
Socrates B. VillegasAugust 31, 2001
Nereo P. OdchimarNovember 27, 2001
Luis Antonio TagleDecember 12, 2001
José Corazón Tumbagahan Tala-ocJuly 30, 2003

Jaime Lachica Sin PLH, OS, OL (Chinese: 辛海梅, 辛海棉; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Sin Hái-mûi, Sin Hái-mî; August 31, 1928 – June 21, 2005), commonly and formally known as Jaime Cardinal Sin, was the 30th Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila and the third cardinal from the Philippines. He was instrumental in the historic and peaceful 1986 People Power Revolution, which toppled the dictatorship and ended martial law under Ferdinand Marcos and installed Corazon Aquino as his successor in the Fifth Republic of the Philippines.[1] He was also a key figure in the 2001 EDSA Revolution that replaced President Joseph Estrada with Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Early life

Sin was born on August 31, 1928, in New Washington, Aklan, on the island of Panay to Juan Sin, a merchant of Chinese descent, and Máxima Lachica, an ethnic Aklanon. "Jim" as he was known, was his mother's favorite. As the 14th of 16 children he was painfully thin, asthmatic child, who often used to cuddle up between his parents to sleep at night. When he asked his nurse why his mother lavished such attention on him, he was told it was because he was "the weakest and ugliest of the brood".[2]

Life as a priest

Early priesthood

He left his childhood home and his family to study in St. Vincent Ferrer Seminary,[3] and was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Jaro on April 3, 1954.[4][5] He was the first rector of St. Pius X Seminary in Lawaan Hills, Roxas City, Capiz, serving from 1957 to 1967. On February 29, 1960, he was named Domestic Prelate (now called honorary prelate, with the title of Monsignor).

Bishop of Obba

He was appointed auxiliary bishop of Jaro on February 10, 1967,[5] and was consecrated bishop of the titular see of Obba on March 18 of that year.

Archbishop of Jaro

On March 15, 1972, Sin was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Jaro, taking on administrative roles in the archdiocese, while holding the titular see of Massa Lubrense.[5] On October 8, 1972, Sin was appointed Archbishop of Jaro.

Archbishop of Manila

The coat of arms used by Cardinal Sin as Cardinal-Archbishop of Manila from 1976, the year he was created as cardinal by Pope Paul VI, to 2003, the year he retired.

Sin was appointed archbishop of Manila on January 21, 1974. Initially, he was reluctant to take on the role of leader of the Catholic Church in the Philippines.[6] He was officially installed as Archbishop of Manila at Manila Cathedral on March 19, 1974, making him only the third native Filipino in the office after centuries of Spanish, American, and Irish archbishops.

On May 24, 1976, Pope Paul VI made him a member of the College of Cardinals, creating him Cardinal Priest of the titular church of Santa Maria ai Monti. As is traditional for cardinals, the title "Cardinal" is inserted before his surname when addressed formally. He participated as a cardinal-elector in both the August 1978 and October 1978 papal conclaves which elected Popes John Paul I and John Paul II respectively. In the August conclave, he reportedly told Albino Luciani, "You will be the new pope."[7] After Luciani was elected as John Paul I, Cardinal Sin paid him homage, and the new pope said: "You were a prophet, but my reign will be a short one."[7] He remained the youngest member of the college until 1983.

His title and surname as "cardinal sin" (another term for a deadly sin) were a point of humour in the Philippines and for Filipino Catholics. Examples included "The greatest sin of all: Cardinal Sin," and even his own pun of "Welcome to the house of Sin" that he used to greet guests at Villa San Miguel, the archiepiscopal palace in Mandaluyong.[3]

1986 People Power Revolution

Events in the Philippines under President Ferdinand Marcos forced Sin, the spiritual leader of Filipino Catholics, to become involved in politics. He became witness to corruption, fraud, and even murder by the regime and rising popular discontent with the dictatorial rule of Marcos and his wife, Imelda.[6] Within six months of his appointment as Archbishop, Sin was criticizing authorities after the military raided a Manila seminary on the grounds that it was harbouring insurgents.[3] Sin appealed to Filipinos of all religions to follow the teachings of Jesus in the Gospels and use peaceful means to change the political situation in the Philippines.

Beginning in the 1970s, Cardinal Sin, a moderate, was among the leaders who publicly pressured President Marcos to end martial law, which had been imposed in the belief that leftist radicals would overthrow the government.[8] Sin eventually decided to speak out in support of Corazon Aquino, the widow of the assassinated opposition leader Benigno Aquino Jr., in calling for an end to martial law. This led to massive popular demonstrations, often led by nuns whom riot police dared not attack.[6] In February 1986, Sin called on Filipinos to surround the police and military headquarters in Manila to protect then-military Vice Chief of Staff Fidel Ramos, who had broken with Marcos.[8] More than one million people took to the streets praying the rosary and singing hymns in an outpouring that shielded anti-government rebels from attack. Some soldiers decided to join the marchers.

In what later became known as the People Power Revolution, Marcos, his family, and close advisors were forced to flee the Philippines[6] and took up residence in Honolulu, Hawaii, US, on the invitation of U.S. President Ronald Reagan. Cardinal Sin, along with presidents Corazon Aquino and Fidel Ramos, became known to Filipinos as the architects of the People Power Movement.

2001 EDSA Revolution

Sin decided to intervene again in 2001 to become spiritual leader of another People Power Movement. Some Filipinos alleged that president Joseph Estrada was guilty of widespread corruption and graft because of the controversial "second envelope". Poor people marching in the streets, with the support of Sin, the elite, and military generals, succeeded in toppling Estrada from power and elevating Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as acting president in what was perceived by the international community as a "triumphant" democracy. The "second envelope" was opened after the coup and turned out to be Estrada's bank account. Commenting on the endemic corruption that persisted after Marcos, Sin said, "We got rid of Ali Baba, but the 40 thieves remained."[9] It was reported that the cardinal's actions caused uneasiness at the Vatican and that he was summoned to Rome to explain himself.[10]

Hours before hundreds of soldiers and officers staged a failed revolt against President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in July 2003, Sin urged Filipinos to be vigilant against groups plotting to violently overturn the country's democratic institutions.[9]

Two and a half years after Sin's death, it was reported that at the height of EDSA II, Sin received a directive from the Vatican ordering him and the Philippine clergy to adopt a non-partisan stance towards the political crisis.[11] Sin, who by then had committed support for the EDSA II revolt, was said to have threatened to resign as archbishop if compelled to withdraw his support.[11] The standoff was reportedly resolved with the mediation of the Supreme Court Associate Justice Artemio Panganiban (later, Chief Justice of the Philippines), a member of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, a department of the Roman Curia.[11] As a result, the Vatican did not persist with its earlier demand. The reports were attributed to persons reputed to have first-hand knowledge of the events,[11] but they were not confirmed officially by the Vatican or the Archdiocese of Manila.

Retirement and death

Sin retired as Archbishop of Manila on September 15, 2003, and was succeeded by Lipa Archbishop Gaudencio Borbon Rosales. He was too ill to travel to the 2005 papal conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI. Afflicted for years with a kidney ailment brought on by diabetes, he was taken on June 19, 2005, to the Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan, Metro Manila, because of a slight but lingering fever. He died of renal failure on June 21, 2005, at the age of 76, two months before his 77th birthday.[8] The government accorded him the honour of a state funeral and a period of national mourning through Presidential Proclamation No. 863, s. 2005 signed by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. He was buried beside his three immediate predecessors in the crypt of Manila Cathedral after a funeral attended by thousands of Filipinos.[12]

Honors and awards

National honors

Foreign honor

Sin also received 26 honorary doctorates in various fields from higher education institutions in the Philippines and abroad (mostly from notable universities in the United States of America), among which are the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Yale University, Georgetown University, Brandeis University and Boston College.[15]

Views on Catholic social issues

Views on condom use

As a predominantly Catholic country, issues in the Philippines have and are influenced by the church to varying degrees. Condom usage has historically been a controversial topic.[16] As the incumbent Archbishop of Manila in 1996, when the government distributed condoms to curb HIV infection rates, Sin called the programme "intrinsically evil",[17] in line with Church teaching on the matter. Sin also denounced then-Health Secretary Juan Flavier, with some asserting that the latter's condom promotion had made him an unwitting agent of Satan.[18] Prominent Catholics also protested against the government's condom-distribution programme by publicly burning boxes of condoms.[17]


  1. ^ "The late Cardinal Sin: A benevolent and unselfish church leader". www.pna.gov.ph. Archived from the original on January 25, 2022. Retrieved February 19, 2021.
  2. ^ Adam Easton (June 22, 2005). "Obituary: Cardinal Jaime Sin". The Guardian. Archived from the original on September 28, 2016. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Easton, Adam. "Cardinal Jaime Sin: Outspoken prelate with a key role in the fall of President Marcos" Archived September 28, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, The Guardian (obit), 21 June 2005
  4. ^ "SIN Card. Jaime Lachica". press.vatican.va. Archived from the original on August 14, 2018. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
  5. ^ a b c David M. Cheney. "Jaime Lachica Cardinal Sin [Catholic-Hierarchy]". Catholic-hierarchy.org. Archived from the original on August 17, 2016. Retrieved September 24, 2016.
  6. ^ a b c d Stowe, Judy. "Cardinal Jaime Sin: Archbishop of Manila who saw his duty as being 'to put Christ in politics'", (obit) Archived July 25, 2019, at the Wayback Machine, The Independent, 22 June 2005
  7. ^ a b Knowles, Leo (2003). Modern Heroes of the Church - Leo Knowles. Our Sunday Visitor. ISBN 9781931709460. Retrieved February 15, 2014.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ a b c O'Donnell, Michelle. "Cardinal Jaime Sin, a Champion of the Poor in the Philippines, Is Dead at 76" (obit) Archived January 25, 2022, at the Wayback Machine, The New York Times, 21 June 2005
  9. ^ a b "Philippines' Cardinal Sin dies at 76 - World news - Asia-Pacific". NBC News. June 20, 2005. Archived from the original on April 1, 2020. Retrieved September 24, 2016.
  10. ^ Weil, Martin. "Philippine Cardinal Jaime L. Sin Dies at 76" Archived December 16, 2017, at the Wayback Machine, Washington Post, 21 June 2005
  11. ^ a b c d Labog-Javellana, Juliet (January 21, 2008). "Sin opposed Vatican order, pushed Edsa II". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on January 22, 2008. Retrieved January 21, 2008.
  12. ^ "Thousands gather for Cardinal Sin's funeral, Philippine's 'champion of the poor' :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)". Catholic News Agency. June 28, 2005. Archived from the original on November 28, 2005. Retrieved September 24, 2016.
  13. ^ "Nobiliary law – Adelsrecht – Droit nobiliaire: Who is entitled to the prefix of 'Sir'?". October 25, 2015. Retrieved November 13, 2022.
  14. ^ GOVPH. "Filipino recipients of Spanish Decorations | Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines". Gov.ph. Archived from the original on January 25, 2022. Retrieved September 24, 2016.
  15. ^ "Jaime L. Cardinal Sin, D.D". Cbcponline.net. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved September 24, 2016.
  16. ^ Engel, Jonathan (2006). The epidemic: a global history of AIDS. New York: Smithsonian Books/Collins. p. 262. ISBN 978-0-06-114488-2.
  17. ^ a b Shenon, Philip (January 21, 1996). "DEADLY TURNING POINT: A special report.;AIDS Epidemic, Late to Arrive, Now Explodes in Populous Asia – Page 7 – New York Times". The New York Times. New York City. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on December 14, 2014. Retrieved November 2, 2011.
  18. ^ McIntosh, Alistair (January 4, 1995). "Philippines: Manila Health Minister an Unlikely Agent of Satan". Reuters NewMedia. Archived from the original on June 30, 2007. Retrieved November 2, 2011.
Catholic Church titles Preceded byPaul Aijirô Yamaguchi Titular Bishop of Massa Lubrense February 10, 1967 – October 8, 1972 Succeeded byRobert Fealey Morneau Preceded byJulio Rosales CBCP President 1976–1981 Succeeded byAntonio Lloren Mabutas Preceded byJose Maria Cuenco Archbishop of Jaro October 8, 1972 – January 21, 1974 Succeeded byArtemio Casas Preceded byRufino Santos Archbishop of Manila 1974–2003 Succeeded byGaudencio Rosales Preceded byRufino Santos Cardinal-Priest of S. Maria ai Monti May 24, 1976 – June 21, 2005 Succeeded byJorge Urosa