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CBCP Monitor Vol. 16 No. 25

CBCP Monitor Vol. 16 No. 25

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Published by cbcpmonitor
December 3 - 30, 2012

Vol. 16 No. 25

Php 20.00

Devotees wave their hands to the pilgrim image of San Pedro Calungsod, the second Filipino saint, as it arrives at the South Road Properties (SRP) Cebu City for the National Thanksgiving Mass following a fluvial parade from Mandaue City, Nov. 30, 2012. The occasion gathered an estimated one million people, including Church dignitaries and top government officials.

‘Red army’ storms Congress
Cardinal Tagle leads call for more discussion, transpar
December 3 - 30, 2012

Vol. 16 No. 25

Php 20.00

Devotees wave their hands to the pilgrim image of San Pedro Calungsod, the second Filipino saint, as it arrives at the South Road Properties (SRP) Cebu City for the National Thanksgiving Mass following a fluvial parade from Mandaue City, Nov. 30, 2012. The occasion gathered an estimated one million people, including Church dignitaries and top government officials.

‘Red army’ storms Congress
Cardinal Tagle leads call for more discussion, transpar

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Published by: cbcpmonitor on Dec 06, 2012
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Red Army / A6
 Vol. 16 No. 25
December 3 - 30, 2012
Php 20.
Cebu, country celebrate canonization of homegrown saint
AROUND a million people cel-ebrated with thanksgiving andbustling enthusiasm the gift ofits homegrown saint— PedroCalungsod.Devotees coming from all overthe country and abroad filledthe expanse of the 27-hectarebusiness development area atSouth Road Properties (SRP) inCebu City during the NationalThanksgiving Mass held No-vember 30 for St. Pedro Calung-sod.Leading the celebration wasCebu Archbishop-emeritus Ri-cardo Cardinal Vidal, who calledon the faithful to live an inte-grated life, stressing that ‘dual-ity’ has no place in the life of atrue Christian.
Faithful Christian, faithful citi-zen
Speaking before the vastcrowd of devotees, Vidal said atrue Christian can be faithful inliving his Christian faith and bea faithful citizen of his countryat the same time.Fidelity to the Christian faithshould not run counter to one’sobservance of the law, he said.“If we have to be Christians, letus be good citizens as well, ob-serving every just law, practicing
‘Red army’ storms Congress
Cardinal Tagle leads call for more discussion, transparency over RH Bill
By Roy Lagarde
A GOOD number of red shirtprotesters against the “repro-ductive health bill” packedthe House of Representativesto show their vigilance overthe controversial measure.
The period of amendments, whichstarted on Dec. 3, brought hordes ofpeople inside the HOR complex, pack-ing the 1,000-seat capacity of plenaryhall gallery.It was a full house and the galleriesof redness with anti-RH bill comingin droves. Majority of them were laypeople along with some Catholic bish-ops, priests, and the religious.Curiously, the red shirts have ap-parently outnumbered those wearingpurple shirts or supporters of the RHbill the entire week that the lawmakershave been discussing the measure.The Lower House has resumed de-liberations on the population controlmeasure following a pressure fromPresident Benigno Aquino III.The president gave his allies at leasta week to wrap up amendments to theRH bill, after which they must vote on it.The move immediately triggeredvarious reactions with the head ofManila’s Catholic Church joining thegrowing chorus for the lawmakers notto rush the passage of the bill.In a statement, Luis Antonio CardinalTagle, who led 14 other bishops of theecclesiastical province of Manila, saidthat there is a need to discuss the pro-posed legislation thoroughly.“We are appealing to the HonorableRepresentatives to give ample time todeliberations and discernment and notto unduly rush them,” they said.In their pre-Christmas gathering held
on Dec. 4, the bishops reected on the
discussions on the population controlmeasure in Congress recently.Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes saidthey agree that the bill will promote
harm than its supposed benets to the
country.“They should not hurry up the billbecause it is the future of Filipinos thatis at stake here,” said Reyes who alsochairs the CBCP’s Episcopal Commis-sion on Family and Life (ECFL).
The church leaders also called fortransparency if the controversial mea-sure will be put into a vote.“We are appealing to them to con-duct the deliberation and decision withtransparency through nominal votingand respect for the diversity of views,”they said.Under the said voting procedure,each lawmaker will be allowed to castand explain their votes on the controver-sial population control measure.According to Reyes, the people havethe right to know the position of their re-spective representatives on the RH bill.And if the lawmakers would continuewith the “viva voce” scheme of voting,he said it only means the issue will affecttheir election chances next year.“They know that they will have aproblem in the coming elections if theyvoted for RH bill because there are so
Pope highlights Church’suniversality at consistory
FOCUSING on the catho-licity of the Church as histheme, Pope Benedict XVIcreated six new Cardinalsduring a consistory held atSt. Peter’s Basilica in Rome,November 24.Through the words “Ibelieve in one, holy, catho-lic and apostolic Church”which they professed dur-ing the consistory the newcardinals proclaimed their
solemn delity to the one
Church founded by JesusChrist.“Only by professing andpreserving this rule of truthintact can we be authentic
‘Catholic vote may happen, butChurch must educate’
THE so-called ‘Catholic vote’can happen in the upcomingelections, but the Church musteducate the electorates on theissues involved, a Catholicbishop said.Basilan Bishop Martin Ju-moad, in a recent interviewsaid the Catholic Church
still have a big inuence on
the people but sees the needfor a concerted effort amongthe clergy and religious tocome together and plan somestrategies.“If only the church willhave a concerted effort tocome together and really havethe guts that we can do it, thenwe can really make a differ-ence,” Jumoad said.He said the issues need tobe explained to the people inthe light of the teachings ofthe Church.In view of the coming elec-tions, he said strategies andplans should be made to effec-tively conscientize the people.“I think we really have toplan and set some criteria interms of what to do, prioritiesto be done to reach out to thedisciples of the Lord,” the pope saidin his homily.Pope Benedict, on the eve of the So-lemnity of Christ the King, bestowedthe red hat and ring on six new cardi-nals, all of them non-Europeans.As observers noted, the non-inclu-sion of Europeans among the new setof cardinals has leveled somewhatthe playing field in the College ofCardinals increasing the number ofnon-European cardinal-electors to 58.The creation of six new cardinalsraised the number of cardinal-electors,those eligible to vote in a conclave tochoose the successor of Pope Benedictto 120, of this, 62 are Europeans.The six new “Princes of the Church”come from North and South America,Africa and Asia and represents boththe Latin rite and the rite of EasternOrthodox churches: Archbishop JamesM. Harvey, Prefect of the Papal House-
‘RevitalizeBECs inMindanao’
AFTER years of existence as faithcommunities, the Basic EcclesialCommunities (BEC) need to berevitalized and be in tune with thepresent times, BEC expert priestssaid during the recently concluded1st Mindanao BEC assembly heldin Tagum City.Catholic Bishops’ Conference ofthe Philippines Episcopal Com-mission on BECs executive sec-retary Fr. Amado Picardal, CSsR
Church pushes moratorium on Apeco
A GROUP of indigenouspeoples, farmers and
shermen are marching
across central Luzon todemand a moratorium onthe ecozone’s operationin Aurora province.Previous protestshounded the 12, 923-hect-are Aurora Pacific Eco-nomic Zone and Free-port Authority (Apeco),though it remains opera-tional.More than a hundredpeople are taking partin the 20-day marchfrom Casiguran, Aurorato Malacañang Palace,roughly 370 kilometersnorth of Manila.Dubbed “Lakad Kata-rungan, Lakad Matuwidna Daan”, the walk fromNov. 24 to Dec. 14 willcross through treacher-ous mountainous areas,rainforest and coastal
zones, rural atlands and
peri-urban landscapes.The protesters, backedby the Catholic clergyand several civic organi-zations, will be represent-ing the more than 3,000families, whose land andlivelihoods have beenthreatened by the mega-project.Among their demandsis for President BenignoAquino III stop the bud-get allocation for Apecofor 2013. They also wantthe government to pushforward the creation ofan independent body to
CBCP to priests: Improve content of your homilies
WITH the advent season at the thresh-
old, a ranking church ofcial reminded
priests to seriously prepare their homilyand make sure that it is related to theGospel readings of the day morethan the prevailing political andsocial issues.In an interview with YouthPi-noy, Msgr. Joselito Asis, secretarygeneral of the Catholic Bishops’Conference of the Philippines,made the reminder especially withthe looming start of Simbang Gabior Misa de Gallo, the traditional dawnnovena Mass that Filipinos attend for justice, in all our affairs beinghonest in word and deed.”“Let our citizenship be em-powered by our Christian faith,seeking to apply God’s will in
The national thanksgiving day for Saint Pedro Calungsod ends with a
cultural show and grand reworks display in Cebu City, Nov. 30, 2012. Anestimated one million devotees attended the celebration.Pope Benedict waves to the faithful as he leaves St.Peter Square after the consistory on Nov. 24, where heelevated six new cardinals, including Manila ArchbishopLuis Antonio Cardinal Tagle.
Vote / A6Consistory / A6APECO / A6Homegrown / A7BEC / A7Homilies / A6
Devotees wave their hands to the pilgrim image of San Pedro Calungsod, the second Filipino saint, as it arrives at the South Road Properties (SRP) Cebu City for the National Thanksgiving Mass following a uvial parade fromMandaue City, Nov. 30, 2012. The occasion gathered an estimated one million people, including Church dignitaries and top government ofcials.
   R  o  y   L  a  g  a  r   d  e   /   C   B   C   P   M  e   d   i  a   R  o  y   L  a  g  a  r   d  e   /   C   B   C   P   M  e   d   i  a   N  o   l   i   Y  a  m  s  u  a  n
nine days preceding Christmas Day.Asis even said that the Year of Faith
   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
 Vol. 16 No. 25
December 3 - 30, 2012 
CBCP Monitor
 World News
Vatican Briefng
Catholics strongly support new Mass translation after rst year
WASHINGTON D.C., Nov.30, 2012—One year after theChurch introduced revisions tothe English-language liturgy,an overwhelming majority ofCatholics continue to view thechanges in a positive light.
A new poll nds that 70 per
cent of U.S. adult self-identied
Catholics agree with the state-ment, “Overall, I think the newtranslation of the Mass is a goodthing.”The poll, conducted in Sep-tember 2012 by the Center forApplied Research in the Apos-tolate at Georgetown University,sought to gain an understandingof how adult Catholics perceivedthe third edition of the RomanMissal that went into use onNov. 27, 2011.The overwhelming majority ofrespondents either agreed—50percent—or strongly agreed, 20percent, that the new translationis a good thing.Catholics who attend Massat least once a week were mostlikely to approve of the revisedliturgy, with more than 80 per-cent agreeing that it was a goodthing. However, even amongthose who rarely attend Mass,more than 60 percent approvedof the new translation.Respondents who said thatthey had noticed great changesin the Mass were more likelyto view the new translation ina negative light, compared tothose who had noticed moder-ate changes, small changes ornone at all.Commissioned by the Institutefor Policy Research and CatholicStudies at The Catholic Univer-sity of America, the survey askedparticipants whether they havea good understanding of themeaning of the prayers recitedby the priest and people at Mass,and if the words of those prayersmake it easier for them to partici-pate in the Mass.They were also asked whetherthose prayers of the Mass helpthem feel closer to God and in-spire them to be a more faithfulCatholic in their daily lives.In each case, at least three-quarters of respondents eitheragreed or strongly agreed. Cath-olics who attend Mass moreregularly were more likely thanothers to strongly agree witheach statement.Among weekly church-goers,
there were no signicant differ
-ences between the responses tothese questions in the September2012 survey and a similar studyconducted by the Center forApplied Research in the Apos-tolate in 2011, before the revisedliturgy was in use.The results of the new survey
were rst presented by Fr. An
-thony J. Pogorelc of The CatholicUniversity of America at a Nov.9 meeting of the Society for the
Scientic Study of Religion and
the Religious Research Associa-tion in Phoenix, Ariz.“This is a preliminary study,”Fr. Pogorelc told CNA, addingthat various follow up projectscould be conducted to explorewhy people have responded invarious ways.Those who do not see thechanges to the Mass as a goodthing may have a poor under-standing of the new texts, heexplained, or they may think thatit is better to translate the liturgyusing a method of “dynamicequivalence.”This method, which was usedin the previous edition, sought totranslate the Latin into the ordi-nary “language of the people.”However, it was replaced with amore literal and accurate trans-lation in the third edition of theRoman Missal in order to restoresome of the theological meaningthat may have been lost.While every generation in-cluded in the survey demon-strated a positive view of thenew translation, Fr. Pogorelcsaid that age difference couldhave an impact on how differ-ent groups are reacting to thechanges.For example, while they over-whelmingly believe the changesto be a good thing, members ofthe pre-Vatican II generation,
born before 1943, may nd the
new liturgy challenging, strug-gling to remember the new re-sponses due to their age, he said.The millennial generation,born in 1982 or later, shows thehighest rate of dissatisfactionwith the new translation, al-though even among this group,nearly 60 percent approve of thechanges.While the reasons for this arenot clear, Fr. Pogorelc suggested
that it may be tied to ndings in
other studies that this younger
generation is less afliated with
religion and churches in general.In addition, he said, social fac-
tors could inuence this group
of Catholics. For example, thedecline of the family meal couldbe leading to a weaker under-standing of “ritual” in connec-tion with the Mass.“It would be interesting toexplore this a bit more, nowthat we have this basic data,”Fr. Pogorelc said, observing thatperhaps focus groups could beassembled in the future to betterassess people’s understanding ofthe liturgical changes at a deeperand more thorough level.In the meantime, he suggest-ed, it is good for priests to con-tinue preaching on the texts ofthe Mass, particularly when they
t in closely with the readings.
Much of the Mass referencesScripture, he observed, and“integrating some of the texts ofthe Mass into the preaching” canshow the people the close con-nection between the two.“I think that kind of thing canbe very helpful,” he said.
UK bishops’ conference tweeting for Year of Faith
LONDON, England, Dec. 1, 2012—Theevangelization office of the Englishand Welsh bishops' conference haslaunched a program of daily tweets toteach the faith to Catholics throughoutthe countries.“This is within the spirit of the newevangelization, using new means andmethods of communication to sharethe Gospel,” Clare Ward, home missionadviser for the bishop's conference, toldCNA Nov. 28.
“The great benet of something like
Twitter, is that it offers bite-sized piecesof information that are immediatelydigestible, immediately accessible, anddon't pose too many demands uponpeople during a very busy day.”The service, @YoFtweets, leads itsfollowers through the documents of theSecond Vatican Council, the Catechismof the Catholic Church, and books ofScripture.“We think it's the first time that
Twitter is being used with a specic
catechetical theme in mind; it's not justrandom tweets, there's a catecheticalscheme behind each tweet that's pro-vided every day,” Ward said.“They are being offered as a resource tothe Christian community...to help them doprecisely what the Holy Father has askedfor, which is to re- read the documents ofVatican II, to re-read the Catechism andto study it, to know the scriptures and togenerally know the faith.”Ward said that to cover each day ofthe Year of Faith, more than 400 tweetshad to be prepared by the Home Mis-sion Desk, “which as one can imaginewas a ginormous task.”“Even though they're just bite-sizedextracts, trying to put together mate-rial...that has some sense of coherencywas an enormous challenge.”Bishop Kieran T. Conry of the Arun-del and Brighton diocese, and who ischair of the English bishops' depart-ment for evangelization and catechesis,stated Nov. 27 the department hopes“that by reading the material on Twit-ter people might be inspired to readmore of the documents, the Bible andthe Catechism. The Twitter initiativeis, we hope, a helpful starting point forpeople.”Ward added, “It's important to seethe Twitter initiative as part of a big-ger picture which stems from, goingright back to the visit of the relics ofSt. Therese of Lisieux to England andWales that few would have predicted,in 2009.”“Then again, the great joy of welcom-ing the Pope in 2010 and then all thelegacy initiatives that come from that,and now the Year of Faith. Its really agood time, we've had so many positivenational events that have gone on, itscreated a sense of buoyancy.”The Pope's 2010 visit to England iswhat has “set the tone for the CatholicChurch” in the country in recent years,Ward said.“The bishops have done a hugeamount of work since then to sup-port the legacy of that visit, througha vast array of new initiatives andrejuvenating existing initiatives, sothe feel here at the Conference is oneof great enthusiasm and buoyancy atthe moment.”She said the Twitter enterprise shouldbe seen in context with other initiatives,including those reaching out to lapsedCatholics and to non-Catholics.Bishop Conry's evangelization de-partment, she added, will have a “Come
Advent calendar to promote work of Bethlehem hospital
WASHINGTON D.C., Nov. 29, 2012—Supporters of Holy Family Hospitalof Bethlehem will launch an internetAdvent calendar to help the worldlearn more about the patients and staffat the maternity hospital located only500 yards from what is traditionallyconsidered the birthplace of Jesus.“So many families have come to knowHoly Family Hospital as the birthplaceof hope because they know that no oneever arrives at its doors to hear, ‘there isno room,’” Colleen Marrotta, executivedirector of the Holy Family Hospital ofBethlehem Foundation, said Nov. 28.“We hope visitors will use the calen-dar as they prepare for Christmas. Inthe process, they will learn about theimportant work of the hospital,” shesaid. “Doctors and staff save the livesof thousands of mothers and babiesannually. And they provide the highest-quality medical care without regard torace, religion or ability to pay.”The U.S.-based foundation’s websitewill launch the Advent calendar Dec. 2and unlock new content daily throughChristmas. It will offer videos that intro-duce internet visitors to the hospital, itsstaff, its patients and its mobile medicaloutreach. The calendar will also feature
reections from Catholic priests, vowed
religious, writers and bloggers.The calendar’s photos aim to showhow the hospital helps one of the poor-est, most war-torn areas of the world.The French Daughters of Charityopened the hospital in 1885 with anaccompanying orphanage. They wereforced to close in 1985 because of eco-nomic, social and political pressures.Pope John Paul II asked the SovereignMilitary Order of Malta to reopen the hos-pital. The hospital has delivered over 55,000babies since it reopened as a maternity andgynecological hospital in 1990. It has the onlyneonatal intensive care unit in the West Bank.The 150-employee hospital recruitsand trains native-born medical pro-fessionals and midwives to meet its
stafng needs. It also operates a mobile
medical clinic to care for women andtheir families, many of whom lack ac-cess to running water and sanitation.The website for hospital’s foundationand the Advent calendar can be foundat: birthplaceofhope.org.
Mother Teresa Award given to two women targeted by the Taliban
MUMBAI, India, Nov. 29,2012—The 2012 edition ofthe Mother Teresa Memo-rial International Award forSocial Justice conferred bythe Harmony Foundationwent to Sima Samar, a formerAfghan vice president, andMala Yousufzai, the 15-year-old Pakistani girl attackedby the Taliban for her com-mitment to women's rights.The teenager is presentlyhospitalised in Birmingham,Great Britain, after she wasshot in the head on 9 Octoberby Muslim extremist.Harmony FoundationPresident Abraham Mathaisaid the two women werechosen for their courage, forputting their lives on the linefor an ideal.Sima Samar was recog-
nised for her work in the eld
of women's rights, educationand emancipation. Afterthe Taliban's takeover of
Afghanistan, she ed to Paki
-stan where she worked for20 years to raise awarenessabout the plight of Afghanwomen. After the theocraticregime was overthrown, shebecame the most prominentwoman in the country. Cur-rently, she is in charge ofthe Afghan IndependentHuman Rights Commission(AIHRC).Malala Yousufzai is ateenager who was chosenfor a special jury award inrecognition of her courageand her determination tofight against discrimina-tion against Pakistani girlsin the Swat Valley, wherethe Taliban have imposedSharia.From Great Britain, Ma-lala's father, Ziauddin You-sufzai, sent a touching letteron his daughter's behalfthanking the Harmony Foun-dation for the award. "Thismeans a lot to us," he writes,"especially during our timeof crisis. Honouring Malalawith this award sends out astrong message of supportto those whose daughters
have to ght and speak out
for their basic right to edu-cation."A special national awardswere given to Nayyar Kul-deep, a famous Indian writer,for his contribution to India-Pakistan peace efforts; toVinay Shetty, for furtheringthe cause of blood donation;Flavia Agnes, a lawyer, forher commitment to wom-
en's rights and ght against
domestic violence; Gujarat
police ofcer Sanjeev Bhatt,
for his efforts in favour ofcommunal dialogue; and theShillong Chamber Choir forpromoting national integra-tion through music. The Pan-dita Ramabai Mukti Missionwas also recognised for itswork towards empowermentof women.In October 2005, AbrahamMathai founded the Harmo-ny Foundation to promotethe idea of peace, dialogueand help for all communi-ties without distinction ofreligion, caste, creed, genderor region.In 2007, the Foundationestablished the Mother Te-resa Memorial InternationalAwards for Social Justice inhonour of Mother Teresa ofCalcutta.
Sudanese Prelate: ‘At least remember us in prayer’
KHARTOUM, Sudan, Nov. 29, 2012—”The bombings are carried out on dailybasis and what saddens me most isthat even the universal Church seemsto have forgotten us, the people of theNuba Mountains. At least rememberus in the prayers of the faithful duringSunday Masses!” said Bishop MacramMax Gassis of El Obeid in Sudan toFides Agency.The Nuba Mountains has been thesite of a continuing war between theSudanese government and the Sudan’sPeople’s Liberation Army (SPLA). “The
rst victims of this war are civilians,
especially women, children and theelderly,” said Bishop Gassis.“Just the other day the church of He-ban was bombed, which thankfully hasreported limited damage. In the month
of November, which has not nished
yet, the aviation of Khartoum launched330 bombs, which caused 36 deaths,mostly women and children, and 22injuries. Only in this month 30 homeswere destroyed and 92 crops.”The Sudanese prelate also cited thelack any humanitarian or relief organi-zation in the region. “The Church is theonly presence of hope for these people,with our sisters and four doctors andsurgeons (2 Americans, a German andan Englishman),” he said.Bishop Gassis recounted the courageof priest and religious who brave theviolence to aid the needy:“My priests walk the paths that leadfrom the Nuba Mountains to our structurethat we created in South Sudan in Yida inUnity State, to take supplies and medi-cines. The journey takes 8 hours to go and8 to return, under the threat of Sudanesebombers. Only thanks to the courage of anAustralian Sister of Mercy, of Italian origin,
who has returned specically, the forma
-tion and primary schools are still open.”The Bishop of El Obeid had recentlyreturned from a world tour to plead thecause of those suffering in the NubaMountains. The prelate visited Londonwhere he addressed the House of Com-mons and Lords as well as addressingthe Episcopal Conference. The bishopalso visit Brussels, Paris, Berlin, Wash-ington, New York, Oslo, Luxembourgand Geneva where he addressed theCommission for Human Rights.“To all I asked for the internationalcommunity to impose on the regime inKhartoum to stop the bombing on civil-ians and to allow food and medicine tobe brought to the exhausted people,”Bishop Gassis told Fides Agency.
Home for Christmas” campaign thiswinter, similar to the American “Catho-lics Come Home.”And on the eve of the Year of Faith,Ward reported, the Faith Departmentprinted some 1 million “faith cards” anddistributed them across the dioceses ofEngland and Wales.“They are to support to Catholicidentity, to give people something to
carry to give them Catholic condence,
and secondly to be used as a tool ofevangelization, to have that in yourwallet,” so that others can see that yourCatholic faith is just as important toyou as the photos of family kept also inyour wallet.“It would be used to give to someonewho expresses interest in the Catholicfaith.”The Twitter initiative is of particularimportance, Ward suggested, becauseit shows that the Church is “connectedwith contemporary culture and is em-bracing new means and methods tocommunicated and to dialogue withpeople.”“We hope that, especially for verybusy people, it will provide an easilyaccessible daily encouragement to growin faith and to share it. Please do 'follow'and share it with your friends,” BishopConry requested.
  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  w  w  w .  c  a   t   h  o   l   i  c  n  e  w  s  a  g  e  n  c  y .  c  o  m
Pope names new bishop for Cloyne
Pope Benedict XVI appointed a new bishop of the diocese of Cloyne, Irelandon Nov. 24. Bishop-elect William Crean was up until now the parish priestof the Daniel O'Connell Memorial Church in Cahirciveen, Diocese of Kerry.He will replace Archbishop Dermot Clifford, who has been the ApostolicAdministrator of the diocese since March 2009. He was appointed as theadministrator following the resignation of Bishop John Magee who left ow-ing to controversy about his handling of sex abuse allegations in the diocese.Bishop Magee stepped aside in 2009 and later resigned in 2010.
Vatican judges nd computer tech's testimony not credible
The Vatican court said in a detailed sentence issued Dec. 1 that the testimonygiven by the computer technician Claudio Sciarpelletti was neither “cred-
ible” nor “truthful.” The sentence was handed down Nov. 10, and was ledDec. 1, as the nal installment of the “Vatileaks” saga. It is not unusual for
Italian courts to deposit sentences weeks after the handing down of a ver-dict. The court found the computer technician guilty of aiding and abettingformer butler to the Pope, Paolo Gabriele, in his theft of sensitive documents.Sciarpelletti was originally sentenced to four months in prison, but his sen-tence was reduced two months due to extenuating circumstances.
Pope Benedict will make Twitter debut with @pontifex
The Pope's Twitter account will be @pontifex and will start on Dec. 12, thefeast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Vatican representatives announced. The
news of the 85-year-old tweeting came out weeks ago, but ofcials nally
revealed the account's name and that it will be launched on the Marian feastday, which they said was a coincidence. But instead of informing people ofhis favorite band and other trivia, the Pope’s goal will be to impart spiritual
messages to people around the globe. The ofcial announcement of the ac
-count was made at a Dec. 3 news conference.
Holy See welcomes UN recognition of Palestine
The Vatican "welcomed with favor" the U.N.'s vote to allow Palestine to becomea non-member Observer State, and pressed for a permanent two-state solution.The statement came one day after the U.N.'s General Assembly voted resound-ingly for the change on Nov. 29. "The vote manifests the sentiment of the majority
of the international community and recognizes a more signicant presence for
Palestinians within the United Nations," said the Holy See. "But this doesn't
constitute a sufcient solution to the region's existing problems," it added in aNov. 30 press release. "They can only nd an adequate response through an ef
-fective commitment to building peace and stability, in justice and in the respectfor legitimate aspirations, both of the Israelis and of the Palestinians," the Vaticansaid. The decision means Palestinians will be able to participate in U.N. debatesand possibly join some of its bodies like the International Criminal Court.
Fixing economic crisis requires nancial and moral truth, priest says
The solution to the ongoing economic troubles is to adopt a worldview thatcombines both economic and moral truths, Father Robert Sirico said as he pre-sented his new book. Fr. Robert Sirico, co-founder of the Acton Institute thinktank, introduced his book titled "Defending the Free Market: the Moral Casefor a Free Economy" on Nov. 28 in Rome. Fr. Sirico, originally from Brooklyn,said that his approach to economics is anthropological and combines economictruths with moral ones. When it comes to the current economic crisis, Fr. Siricofaults regulations that were based only on good intentions.
 Vol. 16 No. 25
December 3 - 30, 2012 
CBCP Monitor
News Features
Pope names holiness, unity and peace as cardinals’ mission
VATICAN City, Nov. 27, 2012—PopeBenedict XVI met with six new car-dinals and their families, just twodays after they made their vows,and encouraged them to promote the“holiness, communion and peace ofthe Church.”The Pope addressed the gatheringat noon on Nov. 26 in the Pope PaulVI Hall. He first greeted AmericanCardinal Harvey, Indian CardinalThottunkal, Nigerian Cardinal Onai-yekan and Filipino Cardinal Tagle inEnglish, before addressing CardinalRaï in French and Colombian CardinalSalazar in Spanish.“The College of Cardinals, whose ori-gin is linked to the ancient clergy of theRoman Church, is in charge of electingthe successor of Saint Peter and advisinghim in matters of greater importance,”said the Pope.
“Whether in the ofces of the Roman
Curia or in their ministry in the localChurches throughout the world, thecardinals are called to share in a specialway in the Pope’s solicitude for theuniversal Church,” he added.He noted that “the vivid color of theirrobes has traditionally been seen as asign of their commitment to defending
Christ’s ock, even to the shedding of
their blood.”“As the new cardinals takes on the
burden of ofce, I am condent they
will be supported by your prayersand assistance as they strive with theRoman pontiff to promote throughoutthe world the holiness, communion andpeace of the Church,” Pope Benedictstated.As he addressed Lebanese CardinalBoutros Raï and his family in French,the Pope recalled his recent visit toLebanon, saying that those days were‘’happy memories.’’“I wish to encourage life and particu-larly the presence of Christians in theMiddle East where they must live theirfaith freely, and start again an urgentappeal for peace in the region,” he said.“The Church encourages all efforts forpeace in the world, and the Middle Eastpeace will only be effective if it is basedon a genuine respect for each other.”
Pope Benedict nished his greetings
by speaking in Spanish to ColombianCardinal Ruben Salazar Gomez with hisfamily and friends, as well as the Arch-bishop of Bogota and the president ofthe Episcopal Conference of Colombia.“May Mary, most holy, who in thosenoble lands is sweetly invoked underthe name of Our Lady of the Rosaryof Chiquinquirá, always hold withinher motherly love all beloved sons anddaughters of Colombia, whom I havevery present in my heart and prayers…” he said.“I invite everyone to raise ferventprayers for the new cardinal, that heis increasingly linked to the Successorof Peter and to work tirelessly with theApostolic See. Ask God also to assisthim with his gifts, so that it remainsa witness to the truth of the Gospel ofsalvation, righteousness and faithful-ness …”He told the new cardinals that their“ministry has been enhanced with anew commitment to supporting theSuccessor of Peter, in his service to theChurch universal.”“Therefore, as I again offer to each ofyou my most cordial good wishes, I am
condent in the support of your prayersand your help. Continue condent and
strong in your spiritual and apostolic
mission, keeping your gaze xed on
Christ and strengthened in your lovefor his Church. “
He nished his speech by saying that
this love can also be learned from thesaints, which is the fullest realization ofthe Church.
Pope counsels parents to share faith with joy, dialogue
VATICAN City, Nov. 28, 2012—Sharing the faith with childrenand others should be done ina joyful, clear and simple man-ner, Pope Benedict said at theWednesday general audience.“In our time, a special placeto talk about God is the fam-ily, the first school to com-municate the faith to newgenerations,” Pope Benedictsaid Nov. 28 in the Vatican’sPaul VI Hall.He delivered his remarks,which are part of an ongoingweekly series on faith, to thou-sands of pilgrims who weregathered in the hall.“The Second Vatican Coun-cil,” he noted, “speaks of parents
as the rst messengers of God,
called to rediscover their mis-sion, taking responsibility ineducating.”“They are called to open smallminds to the love of God as afundamental service to their
lives, being the rst catechists
and teachers of the faith to theirchildren,” he added.The Pope also emphasizedthat “it is important to developa critical consideration for the
many inuences to which chil
-dren are subjected.”When it comes to teaching theCatholic faith, Pope Benedictadvised parents to always havea tone of joy. “It is important tohelp all members of the family tounderstand that the faith is nota burden but a source of deep joy,” he said.He also spoke about the im-portance of the ability to listenand dialogue.“The family must be an en-vironment where you learn tobe together, to reconcile the
conicts in mutual dialogue,”
said the Pope.“It is done by listening andspeaking to understand andlove, to be a sign, the one for theother, of the mercy of God.”Pope Benedict also touchedon ways everyone can speakabout God.
“Speaking of God means rst
of all to be clear about what webring to men and women of ourtime, which isn’t an abstract Godor a hypothesis, but a concreteGod that exists,” he said.He also noted that “to speakof God requires a familiaritywith Jesus and the Gospel” andone must ‘’follow the method ofGod,” which is humility.“We need a recovery of sim-plicity, returning to the essential,the good news of a God who isinterested in us and who drawsnearer to us in Jesus Christ.”The Pope spoke about theapostle Saint Paul and said heoffers a lesson on how to talk toGod with great simplicity.“Paul isn’t talking about a phi-losophy that he has developed…but speaks of God who came intohis life, a real living God, whospoke with him and who talkswith us,” he said.“To speak of God, we mustmake room in the hope that itis he who acts in our weakness.Make room without fear, withsimplicity and joy, in the pro-found conviction that the morewe put him in the middle andnot us, the more our communica-tion will be fruitful,” he added.
Pope Benedict nished his ad
-dress by saying that speaking ofGod means to understand thathe is not a competitor of our exis-tence, but rather the true guaran-tor of the greatness of the humanperson.
Protecting marriage, human life part of serving common good, pope says
VATICAN City, Nov. 19, 2012—Catholicsare called to serve the common good ofsociety, including by protecting traditionalmarriage and defending human life, PopeBenedict XVI told bishops from France.Being Catholic means being faithful "to themoral teaching of the church" and having"the courage to demonstrate their Christianconvictions—without arrogance, but with re-spect—in the various spheres in which theywork," the pope said Nov. 17 as he welcomeda group of bishops making their periodic "adlimina" visits to the Vatican."With the bishops, they must pay atten-tion to proposals for civil laws that canundermine: the safeguarding of marriagebetween a man and a woman, the protectionof human life from conception to death, andthe correct orientation of bioethics in faithful-ness to the documents of the magisterium,"the pope said.In several French cities Nov. 17-18, thou-sands of Catholics took to the streets toprotest government plans to legalize same-sex marriage. President Francois Hollandesaid he wanted to legalize gay unions bymid-2013.Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois of Paris toldthe Vatican newspaper Nov. 17 that thechurch has been expressing its oppositionto the proposed law and "we have warnedabout the dangers" such a change can bring.In the interview with L'Osservatore Ro-mano, the Vatican paper, he said the law,which would include allowing gay couples toadopt, "risks producing devastating effects,"particularly for children who would grow upnot having both a male and female parent.Early in November, Jesuit Father FedericoLombardi, Vatican spokesman, talked aboutgay marriage proposals in Spain, France andseveral U.S. states.In an editorial comment for Vatican Ra-dio, Father Lombardi said it is "clear thatin Western countries there is a widespreadtendency to modify the classic vision of mar-riage between a man and woman, or rather
to try to give it up, erasing its specic and
privileged legal recognition compared toother forms of union.""It is not, in fact, a question of avoidingunfair discrimination for homosexuals, sincethis must and can be guaranteed in otherways," he said.The history and development of modernmarriage between one man and one womanwas "an achievement of civilization," hesaid. If it is not what is best for individualsand for society, "why not also contemplatefreely chosen polygamy and, of course, notto discriminate, polyandry," which is whena woman has more than one husband.The Catholic Church, he said, will notstop urging society to recognize the specialplace of marriage between one man and onewoman.
Nobel laureate: Don’t imposecondoms as family planning method
MANILA, Nov. 29, 2012—Abreath of fresh air. Here’s a
prominent Western political g
-ure acknowledging the wisdomof the Church and calling for“proper consciousness” whenit comes to responsible parent-hood.According to Lech Walesa –the former president of Polandwho won the Nobel Peace Prizein 1983 for his role in the down-fall of communism in Europe –his country’s approach was notto impose the use of “condomsand other items” on couples.Walesa made the remarks fol-lowing a lecture at the Universityof Santo Tomas (UST), where hewas awarded the title “honoraryprofessor” for liberating Polandfrom Soviet rule.The Polish hero said he yieldsto the wisdom of the Church’sconstant teaching on the sanctityof human life, declaring him-self “an old-day Catholic” and“the faithful son of the CatholicChurch.”While the central Europeannation had tried to check popula-tion growth, “In Poland, we doit through proper consciousnessand proper education. It has tobe responsible motherhood orparenthood,” he said.In 1994, Walesa vetoed anabortion bill passed by Poland’slegislature, saying he wouldrather resign than be an in-strument in the legalization ofabortion.“The Polish Church is alwaysconscious of such and is appeal-ing that it will be the responsibil-ity and proper education that willlead to proper birth control. It hasto come out from the conscience,not from imposing condoms andother items,” Walesa said.In Manila’s pontifical uni-versity last Tuesday, Walesawas cited by the rector, Fr. Her-minio Dagohoy, OP, for draw-ing strength from his Catholicfaith amid Poland’s quest fordemocracy.Walesa credits his compatriot,Karol Wojtyla, Blessed John PaulII. The Polish pontiff’s landmarkvisit to Poland a year after his1978 election to the papacyignited the Polish democracymovement. The Pope’s wordsstill resonate today: “Be notafraid! Change the face of theearth!” John Paul II’s words awak-ened the Poles, and millions joined Walesa’s Solidarity, thepolitical force that eventuallybrought down the Iron Curtain.Recalling how the Poles suc-ceeded despite Soviet nuclearstrength, Walesa encouraged theyouth to make their democracieswork. Idealism is not romanti-cism, he said.“I was looking for 10 yearsfor some people to join me and Ifound only around 10. The restdidn’t want to get engaged, theywere afraid. When the heavengave us John Paul II, in a year,I had 10 million members! Andyou can have the same chance.Start working and all the rest willcome,” he said.Democratic societies shouldlisten to the Church, Walesa said.“Today we do not know howin democracy we can put every-thing in the right place. Youngdemocracy is not playing togeth-er well and has a lot of doubts.Intellectually, they cannot matchthe intellect of the Church. That’swhy democracy is afraid of theChurch and they do not knowhow to behave properly. Myrevolution in Poland… Polandwould not be ever free withoutthe Church,” he said.“We have to understand asimple truth. There is no colli-sion here. The Church, based onthousands of years of prepara-tion here, and rules of wisdom,is preparing us for the future.”
(JB Serrano)
Lech Walesa with ofcials of the University of Santo Tomas.
Priest urges zero budget on APECO
MANILA, Nov. 28, 2012―A
Church official has expressedsupport on the policy demandsof Casiguran Marchers andurged the Aquino governmentto prove his ‘Daang Matuwid’by giving the Aurora Ecozone azero 2013 budget.
The marchers are sherfolks,
farmers and indigenous peoplesfrom Casiguran, Aurora prov-ince displaced by the creation of
Aurora Pacic Economic Zone
(APECO) in the area.The government has alreadyshelled out more than P800 mil-lion to fund the constructionof the APECO, even though it
has brought no benets to the
marginalized sectors of Casigu-ran, Aurora, said Father EdwinGariguez, Executive Secretaryof the National Secretariat forSocial Action, Justice and Peace(NASSA).“The Aquino administrationmust instead hold it accountablefor its incompetence and pastmishaps, rather than enlargingAPECO’s budget for 2013,” Ga-riguez added.He explained the Casiguranmarchers have six policy de-mands in order to protect theirlands and livelihoods.“We at the CBCP-NASSAsupport the demands of the Ca-siguran marchers because theybelieve in participatory and sus-tainable development where theyenvisioned an implementation ofthe asset reforms,” the priest said.Gariguez, who is also co-conve-nor of the Task Force Apeco, citedthat the testimonies given by theaffected families in Aurora wereenough to prove that the APECOproject was a large-scale plunderand land grabbing by a powerfulpolitical dynasty in Aurora.The Casiguran marchers havedemanded for an independentreview of APECO towards apossible repeal of APECO lawor the RA 9490 and RA 10083;zero budget allocation for 2012;to provide settlement areas for
small sher families already dis
-placed by APECO; to distributethe 105 hectares of prime agricul-tural land to 56 landless farmersof Sitio Reserva, Brgy. Esteves;execute guidelines and mea-sures to ensure the credibilityand integrity of FPIC-solicitingprocesses within the Casiguranmunicipality; and to ensure therespect of stewardship contractsof 90 households under Integrat-ed Social Forestry programs in288-hectares of APECO-coveredareas.
Fr. Edu Gariguez
Behavior change, not condoms, key to HIV-AIDS prevention
MANILA, Nov. 24, 2012—No amount ofcondom can prevent the spread of AIDSunless a person adopts a responsiblesexual behavior.This is how an AIDS specialist andesteemed physician expressed hisconcern for the Filipino people after
a government ofcial shared the nd
-ings of another study conducted by theUnited Nations Programme on HIV/
Acquired Immunodeciency Syndrome
(UNAIDS), which pointed to condoms
as AIDS-ghting ammunition.
UN agencies consistently insist on the
use of articial contraceptives, includ
-ing condoms, as part of responsiblesexual behavior, and call access to theseby the youth – regardless of maritalstatus—and children as a “sexual right.”“While AIDS is incurable, it is a‘behavioral disease.’ No matter howmany condoms you wear, it’s never aguarantee of protection,” warned ReneBullecer, M.D., who heads the privateorganization AIDS-Free Philippines andwho has been entrenched in the AIDSprevention campaign for 20 years now.Department of Health (DOH) AssistantSecretary Eric Tayag, in a forum at theHouse of Representatives Tuesday, an-nounced that the Philippines is one of ninecountries that have failed to keep the spreadof HIV at bay, based on the UN study.Bullecer, however, blasted this claim.“I have been in the anti-AIDS campaignsince 1992, and I can tell everybody andlook them straight in the eye that theseso-called ‘anti-AIDS pro-condom advo-cates’ are not happy that after 28 years,the Philippines has only cumulativecases of less than 12,000,” the doctor said.He added that non-governmentgroups working “under the shadow ofthe DOH” have been, for nearly twodecades now, receiving “millions infunds from condom advocates. Thus,in return, they have to promote theirproducts.”Bullecer, who also heads HumanLife International (HLI)-Pilipinas,pointed out that such advocates—mostof whom aren’t doctors—either fail tosee or refuse to acknowledge the factthat countries in which prophylacticsare openly promoted and vigorouslyencouraged experience sky-rocketingcases of HIV and AIDS.“Just take a look at Thailand, the verycountry also in Asia that adopted an RHlaw as early as 1995. Just check theircurrent Population Growth Rate andAIDS cases. You will be shocked,” theAIDS expert said.Tayag pegged the number of newHIV cases per day this year at nine,amounting to over 21,000 persons inthe Philippines living with HIV—againprompting reports in the mainstreammedia to refer to the situation as an
“epidemic.” The discrepancy in gures
does not surprise Bullecer.“It’s either the UNAIDS telling us thatwe are on the brink of an AIDS epidemic,thus we need to pass the RH and the Anti-discrimination bills… or, it’s us convinc-ing the UNAIDS and its partner fundingagencies like the USAID, RockefellerFoundation, EU etc. that we need moneyby sometimes blowing up the number ofAIDS cases to justify the ‘need’ for fundsto be delivered to our shores,” Bullecerexplained, chiding those involved for theeasily anticipated approach they take asregards marketing the idea of contracep-tives as a need in the Philippine scenario.As expected, too, in the forum heldat the Lower House in which Tayagannounced the alleged increase ofHIV rates to epidemic proportions, theDOH Assistant Secretary segued into apush for the controversial reproductivehealth (RH) bill, implying it is necessarydue to the HIV-AIDS problem and forthe sex education component of themeasure.“Of course, we know that both theDOH and the pro-condom NGOs haveone common agenda: to pass the RHbill, which means millions more infunds for condoms and eliminatingall forms of discrimination especiallyamong active homosexuals (now called‘MSM’ or men who have sex with other
men), to allow the continuous ow of
condoms, and—consequently—moreand more cases of HIV and AIDS, andthereby more and more funds comingin. Very simple mathematics for everybusiness-minded individual,” Bullecersaid.
(CBCP for Life)
   C   N   A   /   L  e  w   i  s   A  s   h   t  o  n   G   l  a  n  c  y   C   N   A   /   M  a  r   i  a  n   M  e   d   l   i  n   C   B   C   P   F  o  r   L   i   f  e   F   I   L   E   P   H   O   T   O

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