Vol. 16 No. 23
November 5 - 18, 2012
Faith overcomes spiritual blindness, Pope saysat synod close
VATICAN City, Oct. 29, 2012―At a
Mass on Sunday closing the bishops'
synod on the new evangelization, thePope reected on the need for faith in
overcoming spiritual blindness andalso appealed on behalf of the victimsof Hurricane Sandy.Drawing from the day's Gospel ofMark reading, the Pope noted thatChrist curing the blind man Bartimaeus“is the last miraculous healing that Jesusperforms before his Passion, and it is noaccident that it should be that of a blindperson, someone whose eyes have lostthe light.”Pope Benedict noted that physical
blindness “has great signicance in the
Gospels” because it “represents manwho needs God’s light, the light of faith,if he is to know reality truly and to walkthe path of life.”“It is essential to acknowledge one’sblindness, one’s need for this light, oth-erwise one could remain blind forever.”The blind Bartimaeus representsmankind, the Pope went on to say,because he “represents man who haslost the light and knows it, but has notlost hope.”Pope Benedict made his remarks atthe close of the Oct. 7 - 28 synod on the
new evangelization in Rome, which
gathered bishops from the world overto Rome to discuss the transmission ofthe Christian faith in the modern world.The synod “meaningfully coincided”with the opening of the Year of Faithand the 50th anniversary of the SecondVatican Council, the Pope said.Synod fathers have released a docu-ment of 58 propositions about the
new evangelization. Pope Benedictwill review the ndings of the synod
and will write a post-synodal apos-tolic exhortation, after considering theirpropositions.During his homily, the pontiff saidthat Sunday's Gospel reading directlyapplies to the recent synod, and high-light three themes that emerged fromthe event.
“The rst concerns the Sacraments
of Christian initiation. It has been reaf-
rmed that appropriate catechesis must
accompany preparation for Baptism,
Conrmation and Eucharist,” he said.
“The importance of Confession, theSacrament of God’s mercy, has also
Secondly, “the Church’s task is to
evangelize, to proclaim the message of
salvation to those who do not yet know Jesus Christ.”
“A third aspect concerns the baptizedwhose lives do not reect the demands
of Baptism...Such people are found inall continents, especially in the most
“The Church is particularly con-cerned that they should encounter JesusChrist anew, rediscover the joy of faithand return to religious practice in thecommunity of the faithful.”The Pope then encouraged all thefaithful to embrace full sight in Christ,putting away “all blindness to the truth,all ignorance and, removing the darknessthat obscures our vision like fog before theeyes, let us contemplate the true God.”He also pointed out that while many
lands need to be re-evangelized, this is
“essentially linked to the Missio ad Gen-tes” and that there are “still many regionsin Africa, Asia and Oceania whose inhab-itants await with lively expectations” the
rst proclamation of the Gospel.
Following the Mass Pope Benedictexpressed his own solidaritywith the victims of HurricaneSandy, which struck the Carib-bean this past week.“I wish to assure you of mycloseness and my recollec-tion of those who have beenaffected by this natural disas-ter, while I invite everyoneto prayer and solidarity, inorder to alleviate the pain ofthe families of the victims andoffer support to the thousandsof people who have been hurtin various ways by the storm.”More than 60 people have
Pope urges respect for rights of migrants, refugees
VATICAN City, Oct. 30, 2012―
The Vatican has released PopeBenedict's message for the up-coming ninety-ninth World Dayof Migrants and Refugees, inwhich he urged global respectfor those forced to leave theirhomelands.“Every migrant is a humanperson who, as such, possessesfundamental, inalienable rightsthat must be respected by every-one and in every circumstance,”the Pope said Oct. 29, quotinghis 2009 encyclical “Caritas inVeritate.”Held on Jan. 13, 2013, the up-coming day's theme will be “Mi-grations: Pilgrimage of Faith andHope.” This title, the Pope said,was chosen especially in light ofthe Year of Faith he inauguratedon Oct. 11 which marks the 50thanniversary of the Second Vati-can Council.“Faith and hope are insepa-rable in the hearts of many mi-grants, who deeply desire a betterlife and not infrequently try toleave behind the 'hopelessness' ofan unpromising future,” he wrotein his message, presented at a
Vatican press brieng Monday.
“During their journey many ofthem are sustained by the deeptrust that God never abandonshis children; this certainty makesthe pain of their uprooting andseparation more tolerable andeven gives them the hope of even-tually returning to their countryof origin,” the pontiff said.“Faith and hope are oftenamong the possessions whichemigrants carry with them.”The Pope's message was pre-sented by Cardinal AntonioMaria Veglio and Archbishop Joseph Kalathiparambil, respec-tively president and secretary
of the Pontical Council for the
Pastoral Care of Migrants andItinerant Peoples.Citing the International Orga-
nization for Migration's World
Migration Report 2011, CardinalVeglio noted the magnitude of theissue: Roughly one billion people,a seventh of the world’s popula-tion, are either seeking refugeabroad or internally displacedwithin their own countries.“On their existential pilgrim-age towards a better future, mi-grants carry with them feelingsof faith and hope, even if theyare not yet aware exactly whatthey are searching for,” CardinalVeglio said.“To say that they are tryingonly to improve their economicor social situation would be toover simplify the issue.”He went on to note that notall migrants, even if they havestrong faith, “consider their journey as a movement towardsGod.” Even so, they may come
to recognize God’s love through
the ministries of the Church. Thisis especially true in countries of“ancient Christian tradition.”Cardinal Veglio then went onto point out that the messagefor this World Day is beingpresented soon after the Pope'sSeptember journey to Lebanon.
“Thus,” he said, “our gaze canturn specically to the countries
of the Middle East where thepresence of Christian migrants,among believers of other reli-
gions, has a signicant role in cre
-ating the very special identity ofthat region...And this is true notonly of the Middle East, but of theentire world. The phenomenon ofmigration obliges us to encounterdifferent lifestyles and differentcultures, stimulating the creationof new relationships.”Archbishop Joseph Kalathipa-rambil, a native of India, drewattention to harmful restrictivemeasures imposed by certaincountries “to hinder access totheir territories,” such as “therequirement of visas, sanctionsapplied to transporters, and listsof safe countries of origin.These measures,” he said, “haveencouraged the activities of smug-
glers and trafckers, and led to
dangerous sea crossings duringwhich far too many human liveshave already been lost.”“Even so, the Holy Father'smessage stressed that charityshown toward migrants entailsreciprocal obligations: Migrantsand refugees must be good guests,attentive “to the values offeredby the society to which they nowbelong,” the archbishop said.Pope Benedict added in hismessage that through its vari-ous agencies and ministries, theChurch seeks to assist migrantsand refugees out of a desire ani-mated by love—not only materi-ally assisting them, but offeringthem that “precious gift whenshe guides people to an encoun-ter with Christ, which opens theway to a stable and trustworthyhope.
Evangelization morethan strategy, cardinal-designate says
VATICAN City, Oct. 30, 2012―A
new cardinal-designate said hewas encouraged by the recentbishops' synod in Rome, which
emphasized an encounter with
the risen Christ as the basis of
What “caught my attentionin the synod was the desire of
everyone to make evangeliza
-tion not so much a strategybut a living encounter with theliving Lord,” Archbishop LuisA. Tagle of the Philippines toldCNA Oct. 29.“I guess in the past decadesor so we were so focused onhow to do things all over theworld—churches were trying to
strategize. In itself it is not bad.
But we might forget that faith isnot a product of a strategy.”“Faith might bring forth newstrategies. But if it is not rootedin friendship with Jesus Christand the following of Jesus Christ,
then what kind of evangelization
will happen?”Archbishop Tagle attended
the Oct. 7-28 new evangelization
synod in Rome, during which itwas announced that the Manilaprelate was among the six bish-ops to be appointed cardinal.The group will be elevated at aconsistory to be held Nov. 24.“It is a real calling, a real mis-sion,” he said, “to share...in theuniversal mission of the HolyFather.”Archbishop Tagle will be ap-pointed to the Congregation forCatholic Education upon hiselevation. At 55, he will becomethe world's second youngestcardinal.“It came as a total surpriseto me,” said Archbishop Tagleof the appointment. “But whatconsoles me is this: The an-nouncement came three days
after the canonization of the
second Filipino saint, PedroCalungsod, a young catechistwho joined the Jesuit mission-aries to Guam and…witnessedto Jesus to the offering of hisown life.”On the recently ended synod,Archbishop Tagle said the new
evangelization presents ques
-tions not given to easy answers.“There are many opportunitiesfor spreading the Good News
and of the Lord and his salvic
presence in our midst,” he said.“But maybe because some ofthem are relatively new, we’venot yet been able to grasp fullythe impact of all of these.”“Some are worried, some are
concerned. But we realize, too,
that being concerned is OK solong as we don’t jump or aremoved to pessimism. We have
to afrm our faith that our Lord
is risen, he is here, he is verymuch present, we have to listento him.”This complexity “led us inthe synod to humility,” he said,adding that the lack of concretemeasures by the synod as anopportunity “for exploration.”“The Holy Father, in his post-synodal exhortation, will giveus basic orientations. Now the
specic, concrete implementa
-tion would have to be done onthe local level.”“The complexity of the situ-ation just merits openness,”and he is glad that there is noneed for bishops worldwideto “act similarly, uniformly,disregarding our unique con-texts.”Archbishop Tagle added thathe was encouraged by the syn-od's call to personal conversionamong Catholics.The response to the word ofGod “would always entail beingrenewed in the mind and theheart according to Jesus Christ.This theme struck me as a leit-motif in the whole synod,” saidthe archbishop.He is especially hopeful thatfellow Filipinos continue tospread the faith wherever theygo.“The presence of overseasFilipino workers in many placesacross the world is for us an
evangelizing moment. And we
now feel the responsibility…ofgiving them initial formation sothat when they leave the countrythey could be equipped to con-tribute to the life of the Churchwherever they are.”Archbishop Tagle also saidhe looks forward to the Yearof Faith—which kicked off onOct. 11 in honor of the 50th an-niversary of the Second VaticanCouncil—as a chance to return to“a living encounter with Christ”and for “a deepening of theknowledge of the content of thefaith.”“Faith is a content, and thisis an opportunity to rediscoveranew Vatican II's teachings.”
Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle
‘Sell’ the Gospel as part of New Evangelization, clergy urged
MANILA, Oct. 26, 2012—If companies spendmillions to sell its products, how does theChurch “sell” the Gospel to make it appeal-ing to the laity?Msgr. Gerry Santos, executive secretaryof the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Cat-echesis and Catholic Education (ECCCE),urged the clergy to exert an extra effort topresent the Gospel in a language that is un-derstandable to the lay as part of their work
for the New Evangelization.“High school and college students nd
out messages and preaching boring andunappealing. What do we do to make ourpreaching come alive?” Santos said.“A company spends millions of dollarsto sell its new product. How do we “sell”the Gospel today that will evoke a positiveresponse for the people?” he added.In a homily delivered for him during theCatholic Educational Association of the Phil-ippines’ (CEAP) Mass for the opening of theYear of Faith, Santos said clergymen’s single
most important work for New Evangeliza
-tion is “to make Jesus known and loved.”“Each of us should have one single ambi-
tion: that people may continue to gaze on the
beauty of God and be consumed by his love.To make Jesus known and loved is the single
most important work for New Evangeliza
-tion,” he said.
Santos said the canonization of Pedro
Calungsod as the second Filipino saint comesat a time when the local Church faces thevarious challenges in society and even at-tacks on its existence.“With a second Filipino saint, will thismake us a ‘better’ Church – a church humbleenough to admit its faults and failures? Achurch that speaks not from a position ofpower but from a position of humble lovingservice? A church that needs to speak thelanguage of families, the young, the womenand the poorest? A church that brings joy topeople’s faces because it celebrates what isessential in the Filipino spirit?” he said.Echoing the call of Pope Benedict XVI for
the clergy to engage in the New Evangeliza
-tion, Santos said “confession is not effectivewithout caritas.”“The Church is called to make a confes-sion of faith in the Triune God: that our Godmade himself known to us. Our responseis to know the faith, to own the faith, tosafeguard the faith and to proclaim thefaith,” he said.“But confession is not effective without
caritas—the re of love that captures the
hearts and imagination of people. People getto know Jesus because of love and becauseof charity,” Santos added.Several prelates around the globe are gath-ered in Rome, Italy for the 13th Ordinary Syn-
od of Bishops on New Evangelization and the
Transmission of Faith. The synod is currently
in its third and nal week.
been killed by Sandy, which has alreadystruck the Bahamas, Cuba, Haiti, and Jamaica. It is due to hit the Mid-Atlanticcoast of the United States today.At his Angelus prayer followingMass, the Pope stressed the need for “arenewed proclamation of the Gospel
in secularized societies, in the twofold
certainty that, on the one hand, he, JesusChrist, is the only true innovation thatmeets the expectations of people of allages, and on the other, that his mes-sage asks to be shared in a manner thatis appropriate to changing social andcultural contexts.”This, he said, is the focus of the new
evangelization, that call to present
Christ and his Church anew to themodern world.
He also pointed out that in reecting
on Pope John XXIII and the SecondVatican Council we see that “the new
evangelization is not our invention,
but is a dynamic that developed in theChurch particularly in the 50s of the lastcentury.”
Church ofcials urge probe on Tampakan massacre
MANILA, Oct. 30, 2012―Mem
-bers of the Church and variousgroups called on the Aquinoadministration to conduct anurgent investigation and bring justice on the victims of theTampakan Massacre.
Fr. Edu Gariguez, executive
secretary of the CBCP’s NationalSecretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace (Nassa) con-demned the brutal killings of Juvy Malid Capion and two sons,13-year old Jordan and 8-year old John, from the B’laan tribe.“We condemn with sadnessand disgust the Tampakan mas-sacre. Atrocities and human rightsviolation like this committed toprotect the interest of miningcompanies should give PNoy’sadministration compelling reasonto permanently stop Tampakan
mining project,” Gariguez said.
Twenty-seven years old Judy,who was 3 months pregnantwhen killed, was the wife of Da-guil Capion, a B’laan tribe leaderwho staunchly opposed the min-ing operations of the SagittariusMines Inc. in Tampakan.Daguil Capion has been a fu-gitive since the military ordereda manhunt for him because ofhis opposition to mining. At thetime of the massacre, the mili-tary claimed that there was anencounter with the armed groupof Daguil and the communitiesopposed to Xstrata/SMI.
Gariguez said the killings
of anti-mining advocates arealready alarming and sends achilling effect to other environ-mentalists. He also called onthe government to act on theunresolved killings and bring justice to the victims.“We also demand justice forthe family and ask the govern-ment to bring the perpetrators toaccount for this barbaric crime,”
Marbel Bishop Dinualdo D.
Gutierrez, in a statement has
also condemned the killings ofthe innocent civilians, allegedlyby members of the military inDavao Del Sur last October 18.
Gutierrez has demanded a
thorough, factual, speedy andobjective investigation on theTampakan massacre to be con-ducted by the Commission onHuman Rights (CHR), NationalCommission on IndigenousPeoples (NCIP), Department ofnational Defense, and the De-partment of Interior and LocalGovernment (DILG).Reports cited that the troublestarted when the Sagittarius,Xstrata, Indophils took over West-ern Mining Corporation and re-located the B’laans of Brgy. BongMal to Atmorok which did not sitwell with the B’laans in Atmorok.
Representative Teddy BrawnerBaguilat of the lone district of Ifugaotogether with the IP leaders andother groups urged the governmentto act fast on the Tampakan mas-sacre and other IP killings.Baguilat said that the killingincident was a crime committedto the whole indigenous com-munity and it was a big insultto the Indigenous Peoples RightAct or IPRA (RA 8371).“We condemn these acts ofharassments, terrors and attacksto our IP leaders and communi-ties, much so when the perpe-trators are the military who aresupposed to protect the Filipinopeople. I don’t know if they areaware that we have IPRA,” Ba-guilat said.The latter also encouraged theIP communities to join them in ad-vancing sustainable developmentin their ancestral domains andpromote peace and solidarity in ayearlong IPRA commemorationfrom October 2012 to October 2013. Jaybee Garganera, NationalCoordinator of Alyansa TigilMina, pointed out that Sagit-tarius Mines Inc. had seriouslyviolated the rule cited in theIPRA because the SMI has failedto get consent from the threeB’laan communities.That should have been a clearindication that they should nolonger implement the Tampakanproject, Garganera said.The Indigenous Peoples BasicSector of the National Anti-Pover-ty Commission has also releaseda statement calling on the govern-ment to give justice to the victimsof Tampakan massacre and otherIP killings in the country.“We further call to stop threat-ening the lives of our men andwomen leaders and to stop
vandalizing our indigenous
sacred lands,” the group cited.
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