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CBCP Monitor Vol. 16 No. 23

CBCP Monitor Vol. 16 No. 23

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 Vol. 16 No. 23
November 5 - 18, 2012
Php 20.
FOI’s non-passage notacceptable, advocates say
WITH only more than a month left beforeCongress adjourns, freedom of informationadvocates said that the non-passage of theFreedom of Information (FOI) Bill is “notacceptable.”In a strongly-worded statement, the Rightto Know, Right Now! (R2KRN) Coalition saidthat FOI is needed by the Aquino administra-
tion to ght corruption and institutionalize
transparency and accountability in govern-ment.The Aquino administration prides itself
FOI / A6
Faith overcomes spiritualblindness, Pope says atsynod close
AMRSP calls formilitary pulloutafter Tampakanmassacre
AN inuential organization of religious
men and women called on the militaryto pull out its troops near the Tampakanmining project following last month’smassacre of a tribal family.The Association of Major ReligiousSuperiors of the Philippines (AMRSP)said the move is necessary to avoidfurther human rights violations par-ticularly against those who are opposedto mining.Carmelite priest Fr. Marlon Lacal,AMRSP co-executive secretary, saidthe killing last month of three civil-ians shows the “ruthlessness” of theperpetrators.“We call on the Armed Forces of thePhilippines to immediately pull out themilitary detachment in the area, as thecommunity feared more violations mayhappen…,” Lacal said.There are two conflicting versionsof the circumstances surrounding thedeath of B’laan tribal leader DaguilCapion’s wife and their two children.The military said troopers from the27th Infantry Battalion were approach-ing Capion’s house in a remote villageof Tampakan last Oct. 18 when they
were red at by at least ve suspects,prompting the soldiers to return re.
However, witnesses and reportsreaching the Diocese of Marbel andhuman rights watchdogs revealed thatthe soldiers allegedly strafed the hutof Capion.The incident resulted in the death ofCapion’s wife who was two-monthspregnant and their two children agedeight and 13 and wounding of anotherdaughter.Capion is the leader of the armedband who declared war against Sagit-tarius Mines operating in Tampakantown for allegedly abusing the rightsof B’laan tribesmen.The AMRSP condemned in strongestterms the incident and called on thegovernment to conduct a thoroughinvestigation to ensure that “justice beserved.”“The excessive use of force by themilitary should be thoroughly inves-
Still no to amended RH bill
By Pinky Barrientos, FSP
IN an apparent move to get theapproval of the Catholic Churchfor the passage of the contro-versial reproductive health bill,Congress has amended some ofthe most contentious provisionsof the measure to soften its anti-life stance.
But Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes, ina statement said, despite amendments
the Church remains rm in its stand
against the measure because of provi-sions which it considers inimical to life.“Our aim in [opposing] HB 4244 is toprotect not only the good of Catholicsbut the good of all, Catholics and non-Catholics,” he stressed.Reyes is the chairman of the Episco-pal Commission on Family and Life ofthe Catholic Bishops Conference of thePhilippines.“Despite some good amendments,this latest version remains harmfulbecause of the bad provisions that arestill there,” Reyes said.The latest version of House Bill 4244,the bishop pointed out, has not veered
from its promotion of articial methods
of birth control, of which the Church isvery much against.“In fact, the promotion of contracep-tion is a constitutive or an essentialpart of this latest version [of the bill],”he said.The Catholic Church has alwayspromoted the use of natural methodsfor family planning as against the use of
articial contraception which it consid
-ers “intrinsically wrong”. 
Amended paragraph
Among those amended in the con-troversial bill is the third paragraph of
Section 2—Declaration of Policy―which
promotes universal access to reproduc-tive health care services, methods anddevices. The latest version prohibits“reproductive health care services,methods, devices and supplies” which
prevent the implantation of a fertilized
ovum.But Reyes said that although “it limitsthe giving of ‘free reproductive healthcare, services, and supplies to the poor
and marginalized,’ this does not make
the bill acceptable because it is wrongto promote contraception and give freecontraceptives whether to the rich orthe poor.”He also said that contraception, ashistory has shown, brings “physical andmoral harm in its train.”
Tagle laments ‘practical atheism’
FRESH from the Vatican, Car-dinal-designate Luis AntonioTagle lamented ‘practical athe-ism’ as one of the major obstacles
to evangelization.
The leader of the Manila’sCatholic Church stressed inhis homily before a throng ofchurchgoers at a parish churchin Paco that some Filipinos’ faithare better said than done.He said that some Catholicsare calm in conscience convinc-ing their selves that they believein God, but then their actionshave nothing to do with thatbelief.“There is atheism which theyopenly said that they don’t be-lieve in God and there are alsothose who claim that they arefaithful but live as if God doesn’texist,” Tagle said.“During Sundays, we profess
Ati leaders urge Aquino
to ght for them
our faith to God. But startingMonday, cheating happensbecause of money… we takeadvantage of other people forour own interests,” he said.The archbishop’s sermon setthe tone as the Manila Arch-diocese embarked on the Yearof Faith on Saturday.Thousands of priests, nunsand churchgoers attended theevent at the San Fernando deDilao Parish Church in Paco,Manila.With the occasion, the archdio-cese joined the universal Churchin the observing the Year of Faithas declared by Pope BenedictXVI.Tagle, who just arrived inManila on Nov. 1 after almost amonth in Rome for the Synod ofBishops, said that the occasionseeks to bring the faithful backto the fundamental tenet of theChristian faith.“The Year of Faith is for all ofus. Like what a theologian said,there is an unbeliever in everyTHE Ati tribal leaders in thecountry are calling on PresidentBenigno Simeon Aquino III to
ght for their rights.
Delsa Justo, the tribal chieftainof the Boracay Ati lamented thatdespite owning the ancestral
land and being the rst settlers in
Boracay, they are being treatedas squatters and businessmenwanted them to out of the is-land. Justo said they want to ad-dress their problem directly toPresident Aquino.“NCIP [National Commissionon Indigenous Peoples] awardedus the title for the ancestral do-main but yet, we cannot movefreely on the land given to usbecause of people who are con-testing the land given to ourtribe,” Justo said.She urged PresidentAquino or any govern-ment official to visittheir place and see theircondition so they canrender some help to theIPs in Boracay.On November 4,a group of 20 armedmen who are allegedlyemployees of CrownRegency Boracaymarched into the AtiCommunity in Brgy.Manoc-Manoc.Reports cited thatarmed men demol-ished the fence andforcibly entered theAti community and threatenedthe IPs.
Dexter Condez, Boracay AtiTribal Organization (BATO)
spokesperson claimed thataround 7 p.m. of November 4,some 20 armed men with shot-guns alighted from three vehi-cles of Boracay Crown Regency.“We were approached by a
person named Teddy Jimenez
who said that a certain Mr. Kingordered them to demolish thefence due to the failure of theAtis to secure a fencing permit,”
Condez said.
He argued the fence shouldnot be demolished because theAtis hold the title to the land
and the order of nality from the
National Council for IndigenousPeople (NCIP).
Vatican warns CBCP against schismatic group in PH
THE Vatican sounded warn-ing against two schismaticcommunities, one of whichis present in the Philippines,which are not in full commu-nion with Rome.The Holy See told the Fili-pino bishops that it does not
recognize the Roman Catholic
Society of Pope Leo XIII andthe Igreja Catolica ApostolicaBrasileria (ICAB) as legitimate
Catholic Church organizations.
The Vatican relayed theinformation to the CatholicBishops’ Conference of thePhilippines (CBCP) through acommuniqué from the Apos-tolic Nunciature in the Philip-pines.Msgr. Gabor Pinter, chargéd’affaires of the ApostolicNunciature, said that the RC-
Online devotionto St. Pedro,very Pinoy
NEWS on the country’s new saintmay have died down a bit, butit seems like online shout outsand prayer requests to St. PedroCalungsod are here to stay, re-vealing a very Filipino faith.
Pinoy devotion
“It’s a very Filipino way ofdevotion,” Cebu ArchbishopEmeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidalsaid in an interview.Even before St. Pedro’s can-
onization last October 21, hisofcial Facebook
fan page, www.facebook.com/FilipinoSaintPedroCalung-sod, has countless requests,mostly for intercession for fam-ily concerns, healing, and guid-ance.The fact that promotions weremade on social media for St.
Pedro’s canonization has made
him not just a truly viral and
recognizable saint for a lot of
Pullout / A6Atheism / A6Amended / A6Ati/ A6Online / A6Schismatic / A6
Cardinal-designate Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle during thelaunching of the Year of Faith at the San Fernando de Dilao Parish Churchin Paco, Manila, Nov. 3, 2012.
   ©   R  o  y   L  a  g  a  r   d  e   /   C   B   C   P   M  e   d   i  a   ©   Y  e  n   O  c  a  m  p  o   /   C   B   C   P   M  e   d   i  a
The News Supplement of Couples for Christ
Message to the People of Godfrom the XIII Ordinary GeneralAssembly of the Synod of Bishops
Ati tribal leaders in Boracay seek government’sintervention against move by business entitiesin the island to displace them from theirancestral lands.
   I   l   l  u  s   t  r  a   t   i  o  n   b  y   B   l  a   d   i  m  e  r   U  s   i
Catholic faithful venerate the image of Saint Pedro Calungsod outside the Manila Cathedral, Nov. 7, 2012. The statue of the second Filipino saint arrived in Manila from Rome lastOct. 25 and went on a “Duaw Nasud” around the country that will cap with the Nov. 30 national thanksgiving celebration in Cebu City.
   ©   R  o  y   L  a  g  a  r   d  e   /   C   B   C   P   M  e   d   i  a
 Vol. 16 No. 23
November 5 - 18, 2012 
CBCP Monitor
Bishops’ delegation says international supportcritical for Syrian refugees
WASHINGTON D.C., Nov. 2,2012—A delegation from theU.S. bishops’ conference thatrecently visited the Middle Eastbelieves that the Syrian refugeecrisis is getting worse and thatwithout increased aid to sur-rounding countries it couldbecome a disaster.“It was clear to all of us on thedelegation that the Syrian refu-gee crisis is worsening and thatmore international support will
be needed if the conict in Syria
continues,” said Bishop AnthonyB. Taylor of Little Rock.He noted that this is the sec-ond major refugee crisis in areain the past 10 years, followingthe Iraqi refugee crisis, so “theresources of neighboring coun-tries are already stretched.”“Without more support,neighboring countries may beunable to support and protectthe refugees going forward, leav-ing the most vulnerable at highrisk,” he said.At a Nov. 1 press conferencecall, members of a delegationfrom the U.S. bishops’ Migrationand Refugee Services warnedthat the Syrian refugee crisis isgrowing worse and could be-come a major humanitarian crisisif it’s not quickly addressed.Bishop Taylor, a member ofthe U.S. bishops’ migration com-mittee, headed the delegation,which visited Lebanon, Jordan,Turkey and Egypt from October7-20 to observe the situation ofrefugees in those countries.The bishop explained that asmany as 700,000 refugees arepredicted to leave Syria by theend of the year, driven by esca-lating violence in the nation, andthat number will likely increasedrastically over the next year.As the number of refugeesgrows, the most vulnerable areat risk and unable to get protec-tion, he said.
Iraqis who ed the war in Iraq
and are now residing in Syria arein a particularly precarious situ-ation, Bishop Taylor reported.They are being denied entryinto neighboring countries as
they seek to ee again Syria and
are told that they must return toIraq before they can enter Jordan,Lebanon or Turkey.The bishop also said that Syr-ian Christians, both those who
are eeing and those remaining
in Syria, are at great risk. Chris-tian communities are alreadysubject to threats, and they couldface “targeted and sustained per-
secution” if the conict dissolves
into an ethnic and sectarian war,he warned.Bishop Taylor also revealedthat the delegation discovered“refugees from Eritrea and otherAfrican countries are being traf-
cked” by tribes in the Sinai des
-ert, where they are tortured, heldfor ransom and sometimes killed.“This brutality must bestopped,” he said.Despite the grave situation inthe Middle East, Bishop Taylorsaid that he was “heartenedby and proud of the work thatChurch agencies are perform-ing to help those in need” in theregion.These groups need more aidto continue their valuable and
life-saving work, he emphasized.
Anastasia Brown, directorof resettlement services for theU.S. bishops’ Migration andRefugee Services, also spoke onthe conference call. She stressedthe high number of vulnerablewomen and children and thesevere medical needs of manyof the refugees.“In many instances, people wesaw had been shot coming acrossthe borders,” she said.Efforts to offer support mustfocus not only on refugees incamps, but also on those in urbanareas and the surrounding ruralareas, she explained, and those
giving aid must realize that “this
is not a short term situation.”Kevin Appleby, director of
the bishops’ ofce of Migration
Policy and Public Affairs, out-lined policy recommendationsto respond to the refugee crisis.More international support forrefugees will be needed as the
conict in Syria continues andintensies, he said, citing localconcerns that the conict could
be long-lasting.The United States needs to“show leadership” in offeringaid and also “encourage ourallies to provide support,” headded.Appleby recommended thatthe U.S. urge nearby countriesto protect religious minorities
and Iraqi refugees eeing Syria,
aware of the special concernsthat these groups have.“Vulnerable African refugeesin Cairo who are unable tointegrate and remain at risk ofharassment and attack shouldbe considered for resettlement,”he stated. The U.S. government,Appleby advised, should alsowork with the Egyptian govern-ment to stop the kidnapping and
trafcking of Eritrean refugees in
the Sinai peninsula.“As a proclaimed leader inanti-trafficking efforts aroundthe world, the U.S. needs to stepup to the plate and halt this hor-
ric practice,” he said.
Cardinal Dolan sees heartbreak, hope in Sandy’s wake
NEW YORK CITY, N.Y., Nov. 2, 2012—In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy’sdestructive passage across the EastCoast, Cardinal Timothy Dolan ofNew York expressed his “solidarity inlove and prayer with so many who aresuffering.”“What do you say? Our hearts arebroken when you see the loss of life,the grieving families, the devastation,the ruination,” Cardinal Dolan toldFox News co-anchor Martha MacCal-lum Oct. 31.“But throughout all of it, too, you be-gin to see a glimmer of light and hope:people coming together.”He said that people can become “self-ish” and “violent” or they can “pitch in,in solidarity and community, to help oneanother, to help rescue one another.”“Thanks be to God, that’s what’s hap-pening throughout Connecticut, New Jersey, and throughout our belovedNew York,” the cardinal said. “The best,the most noble sentiments of people arecoming out.”The storm killed at least 80 peopleacross the U.S. and 38 people in NewYork City alone after making landfallOct. 29. Hundreds of thousands ofpeople in New York City remain with-out access to power, water, heat andtransportation.Cardinal Dolan said Catholic Chari-ties and Catholic health care facilitiesare in action and are helping those inneed. He plans to visit some of the af-fected areas.An iconic photo of a lone statue of
Knights of Columbus aid HurricaneSandy relief efforts
NEW HAVEN, Conn., Nov. 2,2012—The Knights of Columbusis making an immediate $100,000donation to assist with HurricaneSandy relief, dividing it equallybetween the state councils of NewYork and New Jersey.“Knights have a long tradition ofproviding disaster relief, and this isno exception,” said Supreme KnightCarl Anderson.“Our communities need our time,our help, and our financial assis-tance, and we are going to do allthat we can—working closely withour local and state councils—to helpthose most in need as a result of thisstorm.”The donation is being made by theKnights' Supreme Council, in con- junction with state and local councilsin the northeast of the United States.In addition to the $100,000 dona-tion, the Knights have started anonline donation drive. They areaccepting contributions from bothKnights and the general public, withone hundred percent of the proceedsgoing directly to relief efforts.Hurricane Sandy made landfall inthe U.S. on Oct. 29 and proceeded tosweep through the northeast, killingmore than 80.Around 4.5 million remain with-out power in their homes. Hundredsof thousands will not have powerrestored until at least next week.Transportation has been crippledin the region. Swaths of the NewYork City subway are still out ofcommission, and Amtrak does notplan to resume its train service inthe area until Nov. 2. Boardwalkson the coast have been swept awayin many areas.In West Virginia, Sandy collidedwith an arctic blast, leaving as much
as ve feet of snow on the ground.
Eqecat, a catastrophe risk model-
ing rm, estimates the costs of the
storm could cost up to $50 billion ineconomic losses.Catholic Charities agencies alongthe East Coast are assessing thedamage left by Hurricane Sandyand respond to the needs of thoseleft in its wake. The agencies will besetting up distribution sites in theregion to provide for whatever needsarise.
the Virgin Mary infront of a destroyedhome in the fire-
and ood-ravaged
Queens neighbor-
hood of Breezy
Point caused himparticular concern.
“I love Breezy
Point,” he said, de-scribing its localpastor Msgr. Mi-chael Curran as “avery close friend.”“I’m worried be-cause I can’t get
Asian bishops’ plenary hurriedly rescheduled
HO CHI MINH CITY, Viet-nam, Nov. 2, 2012—The un-expected announcement of aconsistory by Pope BenedictXVI to appoint six new cardi-nals has led to the hurried re-scheduling of a long-plannedassembly of Asian bishops inVietnam.This in turn has led tomixed reactions within theAsian Church.The plenary of the Fed-eration of Asian BishopsConferences was due to takeplace at the Xuan Loc diocesepastoral center, near Ho ChiMinh City, on November19-25. It would have markedthe 40th anniversary of theConference’s foundation.But after Pope Bene-dict’s announcement of theNovember 24 consistory– where Archbishop LuisAntonio Tagle of Manilaand Archbishop Baselios Cl-eemis Thottunkal of Trivan-drum, India, will be madecardinals – the meeting hasbeen hastily rescheduled toDecember 10-16. The venuefor the meeting will remainthe same.Rev. Federico Lombardi,the Vatican’s chief spokes-man, told ucanews.com thatthe surprise sparked by thedecision is “a sign that itwas a very personal decisionof the Pope, all decided in arelatively brief span of time.”Another Vatican official
cited a notication on October
13, regarding the appoint-ment of Cardinal GaudencioRosales, former Archbishopof Manila, as a papal envoy.This also quoted the Novem-ber dates for the FABC meet-ing; another indication of theunexpected suddenness ofthe Pope’s announcement.Earlier reports had spokenof discontent at the FABC overthe change. One unnamedsource described as ‘close tothe FABC’ had gone so far asto call the decision “a blatantexample of the carelessness of
Vatican ofcials toward Asian
religious leaders.”But Father RaymondO’Toole, Hong Kong-basedassistant secretary-general ofthe FABC, seemed to shrugthis off when he said “ev-erything ran very smoothly,it was just a matter of switch-ing the dates.”He added that most of theAsian bishops he has contact-ed so far have said they wouldbe available on the new dates,despite earlier fears that thecloseness to Christmas couldlead to diary clashes.Those who could not at-tend would arrange to sendsubstitutes, said Fr. O’Toole.Monsignor Savio Hon Tai Fai,secretary of the Vatican’s Con-
gregation for the Evangelization
of Peoples, which oversees the
Church in Asia, emphasized
that the decision to postpone theplenary had been made autono-mously by the FABC.He added that the Con-gregation’s prefect, CardinalFernand Filoni, had declinedan invitation to attend theoriginal FABC meeting be-cause of concurrent commit-ments, but would now beable to re-evaluate it in lightof the new dates.Last month, when the datewas still set for November,there had been suggestionsthat some bishops were hav-
ing difculty obtaining visas.
But Cardinal Jean BaptistePham Minh Man of Ho ChiMinh City insisted that theVietnam Church has had no
difculty from government
authorities in this regard.The government requesteda list of participants and aninvitation letter signed byFABC secretary-general, Car-dinal Oswald Gracias, andPeter Nguyen Van Nhon,president of Vietnam’s Cath-olic bishops’ conference.With those in place, assur-ances have been given that Viet-namese embassies will grant therequired visas.
in touch with him,” said the cardinal,who added that the priest had told thecardinal he would stay in the area “withmy people.”“I just trust he’s well,” the cardinaltold Fox News.
On Nov. 1 Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio
of Brooklyn also commented on thestorm.“Hurricane Sandy has left her trail ofdeath and destruction across our cityand region,” he said in his diocese’snewspaper The Tablet.
“We all pray rst and foremost for our
fellow New Yorkers and their familieswho perished. While things may always bereplaced, we are all mindful of how impor-tant our homes are in our lives and so ourthoughts and prayers turn to those whoseproperty was destroyed or damaged.”He announced a second collection inhis diocese’s parishes to fund CatholicCharities’ relief efforts for those affectedin Brooklyn and Queens, most of whomare middle class or working poor.
Bishop DiMarzio said that the re
-sponse of faith to natural disasters is “notso much about the question why is thereevil but the conviction that the power ofGod always conquers sin and evil.”“The deep has come to us in thisstorm, but we must always be ready tomeet the challenge and put out into thedeep to meet the needs of those less for-tunate than ourselves,” he said. “Pleasebe as generous as you can to help thosewho are in such great need.”Both Cardinal Dolan and Bishop
DiMarzio dispensed with Catholics’
normal obligation to attend Mass onthe Feast of All Saints in their dioceses.Catholic Charities agencies are perform-ing damage assessments and are reachingout to parishes to offer support. The agencyis working closely with government andother disaster relief partners.
India’s Religious elect new chief 
KOLKOTA, India, Nov. 1, 2012—ASalesian priest was elected as the newpresident of the Conference of ReligiousIndia (CRI) during its national assemblythat ended yesterday.Father V. M. Thomas took the op-portunity as the new head of more than125,000 Catholic Religious to urge themto recommit to the mission of servingthe poor.“Those who need the most today getthe least, and those who need the least getthe most, even from the Church,” he said.The 61-year-old priest was speakingat Kolkata airport yesterday, on his wayback from the CRI meeting with about550 delegates in Hyderabad.Making a strong appeal to members
for a commitment to the marginalized,
the priest insisted that “we include theexcluded and give our best to the least.”He also encouraged members to live“our life as our proclamation.”Quoting the New Testament parableof “new wine in new wineskins,” hecalled upon those who are “relishingthe old wine” to wake up to the fastchanging realities of today.Fr. Thomas, a human resource devel-opment consultant, has been trainingpeople for the Indian AdministrativeService for years. He is known as apassionate youth worker and ardenteducationalist.“Quality education and opportuni-ties for the poor in education and job-oriented skills training with competenceand commitment… is the mission of theReligious today,” he said.Born in the southern state of Kerala in1951, he has lived in northeastern India,mostly in Assam, since 1962. He nowresides in Guwahati province.He graduated from Harvard with adegree in education and has been onthe Faculty of the Lal Bahadur ShastriNational Academy of Administration atMussoorie for the past 18 years.As new head of the CRI, he is re-sponsible for a total of 334 religiouscongregations and 822 major superiors,representing India’s Catholic Religiousbrothers, priests and nuns.Most of the schools, hospitals, socialservice centers and other institutionsof the Catholic Church are managed bythis group.
 World News
Vatican Briefng
Pope meets with PM of Croatia
Pope Benedict XVI received on Oct. 29 in audience Zoran Milanovic, primeminister of the Republic of Croatia. Shortly after, Mr. Milanovic met withVatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. Cardinal Bertone wasalso accompanied by Archbishop Dominiqe Mamberti, the Vatican Secre-tary for Relations with States. According to a communiqué released by the
Holy See Press Ofce, the cordial discussions that took place allowed for a
“productive exchange of opinions” regarding the challenges that Croatiais facing amidst the current economic crisis. The Vatican Secretary of Stateand the Prime Minister of Croatia also discussed several issues of mutualinterest that were “within the framework of bilateral relations.”
Vatican agency accepts traditionalist group’s request for more time
In a statement released late October, the Pontical Commission “Ecclesia
Dei” accepted the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X’s request for moretime to prepare its response to two documents presented to them by theHoly See: namely, a doctrinal declaration, and a proposal for the canonical
normalization of the Fraternity’s status within the Catholic Church. The
Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X made this request for more time in an
ofcial communication dated September 6, 2012, in which they “indicatedthat additional time for reection and study is needed on their part as they
prepare their response to the Holy See’s latest initiatives.”
Conference on Metaphysics to be held in Rome
The Fifth World Conference on Metaphysics, organized by the Idente Foun
-dation for Study and Research, will be held in Rome at the ARSO Confer-ence Center (Via Aurelia 773), Nov. 8-10, 2012. This event, the only one ofits kind, since its inception in 2000 has become an international forum fordialogue where representatives of the most varied academic disciplines caninteract in a context of mutual enrichment, in both human and intellectualterms, which provides a stimulus in the search for the ultimate foundations
of their respective elds.
Pope expresses solidarity with America’s hurricane victims
During a general audience on Oct. 31, Pope Benedict XVI expressed hiscloseness to the victims of Hurricane Sandy while addressing the English-speaking pilgrims in attendance. “Conscious of the devastation caused bythe hurricane which recently struck the East Coast of the United States ofAmerica, I offer my prayers for the victims and express my solidarity withall those engaged in the work of rebuilding,” the Holy Father said.
Vatican computer technician goes on trial over press leaks
Despite his lawyer’s appeal to drop the case on the opening morning ofhearings, a Vatican judge ruled that the trial for the second man accusedin the so-called Vatileaks scandal will continue. Claudio Sciarpelletti, theVatican Secretariat of State’s computer programmer, is accused of aidingand abetting the Pope’s former butler, Paolo Gabriele, in stealing documents
from Benedict XVI. Senior Vatican communications ofcer Greg Burke said
the charge is “more like an obstruction charge” related to his contradictorytestimony during an investigation last May. Sciarpelletti’s trial began Nov.5 and is expected to be shorter than Gabriele’s weeklong series of courtappearances.
  w  w  w ,  c  a   t   h  o   l   i  c  n  e  w  s  a  g  e  n  c  y .  c  o  m  w  w  w ,  c  a   t   h  o   l   i  c  n  e  w  s  a  g  e  n  c  y .  c  o  m
 Vol. 16 No. 23
November 5 - 18, 2012 
CBCP Monitor
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 reected 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 signicance 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,
Conrmation and Eucharist,” he said.
“The importance of Confession, theSacrament of God’s mercy, has also
been emphasized.”
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 reect the demands
of Baptism...Such people are found inall continents, especially in the most
secularized countries.”
“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 brieng 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 Pontical 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 specically to the countries
of the Middle East where thepresence of Christian migrants,among believers of other reli-
gions, has a signicant 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 trafckers, 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
all evangelization.
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 salvic
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 afrm 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
specic, 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 reecting
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 ofcials 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,”
Gariguez urged.
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.
News Features
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