Jaime Cardinal L. Sin

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Jaime Cardinal L. Sin

Cardinal Jaime Sin, Archbishop of Manila, Philippines (1974-2003)
Born August 31, 1928
New Washington, Aklan Flag of the Philippines
Died June 21, 2005

Jaime Cardinal L. Sin, also known as Jaime Sin and Jaime Lachica Sin (Chinese name: Xīn Hǎiméi; Xīn Hǎimián), was born on 31 August 1928 in New Washington, Aklan, Philippines. Also called as "Cardinal Sin" which should not be confused with "cardinal sin" (synonym for the seven deadly sins). It has also been the source of many jokes in the Philippines revolving around him such as "The greatest sin of all...Cardinal Sin" or "Welcome to the house of Sin" referring to his Church.

He was an archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines. He led the Archdiocese of Manila as its archbishop and was later became cardinal by Pope Paul VI. As Archbishop of Manila, he was widely considered Primate of the Philippines, though no formal dignity has ever been attached to the archdiocese. He retired as the Archbishop of Manila on 15 September 2003, having reached the age of retirement for prelates under Canon Law, and was succeeded by Gaudencio Borbon Rosales. He was only the third native Filipino Archbishop of Manila, following centuries of Spanish, American and Ireland. He died on 21 June 2005, at the age of 76.

In 1994, he was awarded the Premio Zobel for his sustaining the Spanish language and legacy in the Philippines. He has been an actor in the plays La sombra de Miriam, El Veneno and others. He has written literary works in liturgy, religion, and poetry. Moreover, he has given lectures in Spanish abroad. In his speech El Papel que Desempeña la Hispanidad en la Formacion Moral de la Juventud (The Role of Hispanism in the Moral Formaation of the Youth), he stressed the essence of the Present, the Past and the Future that help and complement each other.

Cardinal Sin openly involved himself not only once but twice with politics in the Philippines with wide support from the people majority of which are Catholics. He played a vital role in ending Martial Law days of President Ferdinand Marcos with his participation with EDSA I along with Fidel Ramos, Ponce Enrile and the widowed Corazon Aquino. He 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. With People's Power, the long-awaited end of martial law was finally achieved. Along with Presidents Corazon Aquino and Fidel Ramos, Jaime Sin became known to Filipinos as the architects of the People Power Movement.

He also became the spiritual leader of another People Power Movement when the Filipinos alleged President Joseph Estrada guilty of widespread corruption and graft. Thus, he was also honored by the Philippine government. First was by President Corazon C. Aquino, who bestowed him with the Philippine Legion of Honor, rank of Chief Commander; second, by President Joseph Estrada, who conferred on him the Order of Sikatuna, rank of Rajah; and shortly after his retirement, when President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo conferred on him the Order of Lakandula, rank of Bayani (Grand Cross).


  • Brillantes, Lourdes. 81 Years of Premio Zobel: A Legacy of Philippine Literature in Spanish. Manila:Filipinas Heritage Library, 2006.



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