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CBCP Monitor Vol. 17 No. 25

CBCP Monitor Vol. 17 No. 25

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Protagonist of Truth, Promoter of Peace
Protagonist of Truth, Promoter of Peace

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 Vol. 17 No. 25
December 9 - 30, 2013
Php 20.
00
NASSA, Caritas Int’l map out rehab plans for typhoon-ravaged areas
THE National Secretariat for Social Action  Justice and Peace (NASSA) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) met with members of Caritas Inter-nationalis and local partners to discuss and map out coordinated response for a compre-hensive rehabilitation of areas devastated by typhoon Yolanda.The meeting held at the Archbishop’s Residence in Cebu City, tackled a long term
NASSA / A6
A3
 
C1
Ugnayan
The News Supplement of Couples for Christ
 
B1
Filipino Catholic Laity:Called to be Saints… Sent Forth as Heroes!Pope to dedicate 2015 to consecrated life
Laity / A7
CBCP declares 2014 ‘Year of the Laity’
By Jennifer M. Orillaza
THE Catholic Bishops’ Con-ference of the Philippines (CBCP) on December 1 de-clared 2014 as the Year of the Laity to emphasize the role played by the Catholic faith-
ful in the “sanctication and
transformation of the world.”
“It is certainly a shameful proof of our failure to evangelize our country
that our churches are lled with people,
our religious festivities are fervent, our Catholic schools are many, but our country is mired in poverty and in cor-ruption,” the CBCP said.In its pastoral exhortation “Filipino Catholic Laity: Called to be Saints…Sent Forth as Heroes,” the bishops’ collegial body stressed the need to empower the laity, noting that the political upheavals faced by the country may be caused by the evident disconnection between the faith they profess and the actions they commit. “Many, perhaps the majority of the corrupt people in politics and in busi-ness are graduates of our own Catholic schools and are “practicing” Catholics. The majority of those who cheat in elections and those who sell their votes are also baptized Catholics. This is also
true of the bribe takers in public ofces
and the looters of our public coffers,” it added.“The criteria for decisions taken by many in politics do not derive from faith but from other sources inimical to the Christian life. The poison of the greed for power and wealth has already pervaded the political and business systems,” it said.Noting the “systemic” corruption destroying the country’s political and
Rehab of Samar, Leyte top priority of new CBCP ofcers
LESS than a week after assuming
ofce on Dec. 1, the new set of ofcers of the Catholic Bishops’
Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) readily targeted the re-habilitation of Samar and Leyte, which were recently struck by super typhoon ‘Yolanda’, as a top priority.
“The rst immediate concern
is helping our suffering country-men in Leyte and Samar… We must move forward from relief work to rehabilitation work then hopefully to developmental programs,” new CBCP president and Archbishop of Lingayen-
Dagupan Socrates Villegas said
in a recent interview.
Simple lifestyle
Villegas, who was particularly
moved by the recent disaster and penned a prayer calling on God to spare the Philippines from further disasters, said the urgent
need of people in the Visayas
demands a certain “simplicity of lifestyle” to make it possible to help “the displaced and grieving typhoon victims.”“It is Jesus who is suffering. We must serve the Lord among our suffering countrymen,” he added.According to a recent report from Caritas Manila, weeks after
the disaster, as many as 1.6 mil
-lion families in Samar and Leyte continue to be in dire need of basic necessities like food and toiletries.The Manila archdiocese’s charity arm calls on the public to donate basic provisions like rice, biscuits, bottled water, coffee, canned goods, soap, toothpaste, new underwear, cooking ware, beddings, tool boxes, working/
school clothes, crucix/rosaries.
The Joy of the Gospel
Aside from concerns on the national level, the CBCP sees the
Pope calls for action against scandal of hunger in a world of plenty
VATICAN City—People
must stand united against the scandal of hunger while avoiding food waste and ir-responsible use of the world's resources, Pope Francis said.People should "stop thinking that our daily actions do not have an impact on the lives of those who suffer from hunger
rsthand," he said in a video message Dec. 9, launching a
global campaign of prayer and action against hunger.Organized by Caritas Inter-
nationalis, the Vatican-based
federation of Catholic chari-ties, a global "wave of prayer"
was to begin at noon Dec. 10 on the South Pacic island of
Samoa and head west across the world's time zones.Pope Francis offered his blessing and support for the "One Human Family, Food For All" campaign in a video message released on the eve of the global launch.
With about 1 billion people
still suffering from hunger to-day, "we cannot look the other way and pretend this does not exist," he said in the message.There is enough food in the world to feed everyone, he said, but only "if there is the will" to respect the "God-giv-en rights of everyone to have access to adequate food."By sharing in Christian charity with those "who face numerous obstacles," the pope said, "we promote an authentic cooperation with the poor so that, through the fruits of their and our work,
they can live a dignied life."
Pope Francis invited all people to act "as one single human family, to give a voice to all of those who suffer silently from hunger, so that this voice becomes a roar which can shake the world."The Caritas campaign is also a way to invite people to pay attention to their own food choices, "which often lead to waste and a poor use of the resources available to us," the pope said.Caritas Internationalis in-
vited its 164 member orga
-nizations and local churches to pray for an end to hunger and malnutrition, by acting on a local, national or global level against food waste and in favor of food access and security worldwide.Caritas is urging Catholics to take a few moments at
noon Dec. 10 to join the world
in praying against hunger, and to engage in long-term action through raising aware-ness, advocacy, charitable work or other efforts support-ing food security.The right to food is part of
the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights and the "Food
For All" launch-date of Dec. 10 marks the U.N.'s Human Rights Day.
The Caritas campaign is calling on the United Nations to hold a session on the right
to food at its 2015 General As
-sembly and is asking govern-ments to guarantee the right to food in national legislation.People can contact their local Caritas organization for more information or the campaign's main site at food.caritas.org
(Carol Glatz / Catholic News Service)
Producer bankrolls Calungsod movie to inspire youth to holiness
DESPITE know
-ing that religious films hardly make it to the blockbuster list, an investment banker has agreed to “throw money away” to bankroll the production of “Pedro Calungsod, Batang Martir” mov-ie, knowing that the film adaptation of the life of the second Filipino saint must be made. While recouping appears a distant reality, Tiongson said inspiring chil-dren to holiness is worth more than recovering their losses or even bag-ging awards for the movie.
Bishop appeals to public, ‘Help our old, sick priests’
IF the shepherd gets sick, will
the ock help? This is a question
a young bishop posed to the public recently as he appealed for help in behalf of old, sick and retired priests in his diocese. “It would be a big slap on our face as a Christian community if we hear any word of a priest that is just left alone to die by himself somewhere, forgotten, uncared for after many years of hard work for God’s kingdom,” newly-installed San Carlos Bishop Gerardo Alminaza said during a holy mass last Novem-
ber 29 at the EDSA Shrine.
Give up parties but celebrate Christmas—priest
A CATHOLIC priest urged the public to cele-brate the spirit of Christmas even if they choose to do without parties in solidarity with the victims of Ty-phoon Yolanda.“Forego Christmas party but please, cel-
Movie producer Ida Tiongson and the cast of “Pedro Calungsod, Batang Martir” movie answer questions during a press conference.
Rehab / A7Inspire / A6Parties / A6Help / A6
 A team of 40 workers-survivor clear access roads from logs and other debris in three zones and elementary school in Palo, Leyte as part of the Cash for Work Program initiated by the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) together with NASSA/Caritas Philippines.
   P   h  o   t  o  c  o  u  r   t  e  s  y  o   f   T   i  o  n  g  s  o  n   '  s   F  a  c  e   b  o  o   k   P  a  g  e   Y  e  n   O  c  a  m  p  o
 Bishops, priests and lay workers from in and outside the country attend the planning and logistics coordination meeting of Caritas international network in Cebu City, December 4. The Caritas network, the second largest humanitarian network in the world, mapped out a comprehensive rehabilitation of areas devastated by super Typhoon Yolanda. The agency has been coordinating with the Philippine government, the United Nations and other humanitarian groups, in its emergency response on food relief, shelter and hygiene and household kits.
   Y  e  n   O  c  a  m  p  o   I   l   l  u  s   t  r  a   t   i  o  n   b  y   B  r  o   t   h  e  r  s   M  a   t   i  a  s
 
A2
 Vol. 17 No. 25
December 9 - 30, 2013
CBCP Monitor
 World News
Vatican Briefng
South African cardinal says iconic Mandela had touch of humanity
CAPE TOWN, South Africa, Dec. 6, 2013—Nelson Mandela, who
led the struggle to replace South Africa’s apartheid regime with a
multiracial democracy, died Dec. 5 at his home in Johannesburg.Mandela, 95, became the coun
-
try’s rst black president in 1994.
He was awarded the Nobel
Peace Prize in 1993.
One of the world’s most re-vered statesmen, Mandela had a touch of humanity rarely seen in political leaders, said Cardi-
nal Wilfrid Napier of Durban,
South Africa in an interview with Catholic News Service earlier this year.Cardinal Napier represent-ed the South African Catholic Church in discussions between Mandela and church leaders
beginning in 1990, following
Mandela’s release after 27 years in prison, until he retired from
public life in 2004.
Cardinal Napier said he came to treasure Mandela through regular meetings church leaders had with his African National Congress in the transition from apartheid to democracy.“I always felt we should in-troduce ourselves to him again, but it was never necessary,” said the cardinal, who was president of the Southern African Catholic
Bishops’ Conference from 1987 to 1994.
Mandela “remembered names and faces and always gave us a hearty welcome,” he said.“I came to realize that if he had met someone he had no trouble remembering their names or where they were from. To him, people mattered because of who they were, not the position they held,” he said. “That’s what I really treasure about the man.”Negotiations between Man-dela and South Africa’s apart-
heid regime began in 1989 while
he was still imprisoned. The
late Archbishop Denis Hurley of Durban told Catholic News
Service at the time that he was “astonished” to hear that the notoriously intransigent former President P.W. Botha had ap-proached Mandela to discuss negotiating an end to the armed struggle against apartheid.The negotiations were fraught
with difculties, and Mandela
frequently called on the coun-try’s church leaders to help over-come the deadlocks, Cardinal Napier said.“When there was a problem, Mandela would say exactly how he saw the problem,” he said, noting that the South African leader was a “direct man and it was easy to engage with him.”Mandela’s humility and self-deprecating sense of humor were other qualities Cardinal Napier said he valued.
In February 2001, when Car
-dinal Napier was inducted into the College of Cardinals by Pope  John Paul II, Mandela was in Mozambique.“He tracked me down to St. Peter’s to congratulate me. He said, ‘Archbishop Napier, how wonderful that you’ve been pro-moted to this esteemed position and you still have time for all of us back home.’ I called him Mr. Mandela and he said, ‘No, it’s Madiba.’ He wished me luck and asked me to pass on his greetings to everyone there.”Mandela, who was born in
1918 into the Xhosa-speaking
Thembu people in a village in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province, was often called by his clan name ‘Madiba.’Cardinal Napier recalled a
1991 meeting at retired Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s On July 18, 2007, his 89th
birthday, Mandela formed The Elders, a council that aims to tackle global problems.In honor of Mandela’s birth-
day in 2011, U.S. President
Barack Obama called the South African leader “a beacon for the global community and for all who work for democracy, justice and reconciliation.”Two years earlier, the U.S.
and 192 other U.N. member
states created Nelson Mandela
International Day to honor the
African leader through acts of community service.
Every July 18, people around
the world take up Mande-la’s call for citizens to “take responsibility to change the world into a better place” by
donating 67 minutes of their time—one minute for each year
of Mandela’s struggle against
white-minority rule—to help
-ing others.The parishioners of Regina Mundi Church in Soweto are among thousands of South Africans who have heeded the call, said Oblate Father Bene-dict Mahlangu, a priest at the parish.
On July 18, 2011, members of
the Catholic Women’s League
were at the church at 6 a.m. to
prepare a special meal for un-employed and homeless people in and around Soweto, Father Mahlangu said, recalling that Mandela came to a service at the church to celebrate his birthday
in 2010.
The church, the largest in Soweto, served as a refuge for anti-apartheid activists for de-cades. Bullet holes in the ceiling and the broken marble altar have been preserved and serve as reminders of the apartheid era.
(CNS)
Asian bishops encourage biblically-based apostolates
PATTAYA, Thailand, Dec. 6, 2013—The
Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences is hosting a seminar on biblical apostolates and the new evangelization this weekend, drawing clerics, religious, and laity from across the continent.“The main crux is to reawaken the mis-sionary challenge of the Word,” Fr. Jacob Theckanath, executive director of the bishops’ conference, told CNA, explaining “Crossing the Borders: Renewed Biblical Apostolate,”
being held Dec. 5-7 in the Thai city of Pattaya, located 90 miles southeast of Bangkok.
The seminar marks the release of Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation “Evangelii gaudium,” on the new evangelization; Fr. Alberto Rossa, an Argentine missionary, has supplied copies of the document to the participants.The group aims to draw on both Pope
Francis’ text and “Verbum Domini,” Bene
-
dict XVI’s apostolic exhortation on the Word
of God in the Church’s life and mission, to amplify the role of the biblical apostolate.The seminar was also inspired by the message of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences’ tenth plenary assembly, pub-
lished in December 2012, on “renewed evan
-gelizers” for the new evangelization in Asia.
Drawing people from 19 countries across
Asia and Oceania, the seminar aims to help participants produce more effective biblical apostolates, using lectio divina and integrat-ing missionary zeal for the new evangeliza-tion into all forms of biblical and pastoral ministry, Fr. Theckanath explained.The Christian community should not be “introverted” with their use of the Bible, but rather carry and integrate the Gospel into all walks of life, he stressed.Fr. Theckanath was encouraged by the “tremendous representation of the laity,” making up half of the participants in the seminar, calling it a “positive sign of the interest and hunger for the Word of God.”
(CNA)
 Asian bishops' federation's 2013 biblical seminar in Thailand.
Over 10,000 youth to send birthday card to Pope Francis
STEUBENVILLE, Ohio, Dec. 6, 2013—More than 10,000 young
people have signed a giant birthday card for Pope Francis, offering their prayers and well-wishes for the Holy Father’s
77th birthday on Dec. 17.
“We wanted to give the Pope a gift he would truly appreciate; something he would be proud of,” said Mark Nelson, founder of Catholic to the Max, the Ohio-based arts and gifts outlet company behind the initiative.
The 4-foot-tall card consists
of a tri-fold plaque featuring an image and prayer of one of the Holy Father’s favorite Marian devotions, “Mary, Un-doer of Knots.” After collecting both physical and digital signatures, Catholic to the Max intends to send the card to the Pope later this month.Nelson said that the idea to give the Holy Father gifts of prayer and service came from
the Pope’s rst “Urbi et orbi,”
when he asked that the faithful pray for him before he imparted his blessing.“From day one, he has asked all of us to pray for him and to serve the poor. This is our response,” Nelson said.The card traveled to the National Catholic Youth Con-ference in Indianapolis last month and acquired signatures
from more than 10,000 young
people.Now that the card is back in Steubenville, Ohio, it has been gathering signatures at local Catholic parishes and Francis-can University.A website has also been cre-ated to allow even more youth to digitally sign the card, which will be sent in time to reach the Holy Father for his birthday.Well-wishers can choose from different spiritual gifts or works of mercy to give the Pontiff on his birthday, such as visiting the Blessed Sacrament, praying the Rosary or serving the poor.Those wishing to sign the card can do
so until Dec. 9, when
the pages containing physical and digital signatures will be or-ganized and bound together with the Mar-ian image and sent to the Holy Father.To learn more about Catholic to the Max’s project, visit pope-francisbirthdaycard.com.
(CNA)
  w  w  w .  c  a   t   h  o   l   i  c  n  e  w  s .  c  o  m   A  n   t  o  n   i  o  n   G  o  n  s  a   l  v  e  s   /   C   N   A
Priest lauds Pope's commitment to protection of children
The founder of a new center aiding victims of abuse and their families praised the “courageous” actions of Pope Francis in facing the issue, stressing also the importance of helping
victims to heal. Discussing a new commission authorized by
Pope Francis which seeks to increase efforts preventing the
abuse of minors, Father Fortunato Di Noto stated that “the
commission is a proof” of the Pope's “commitment to prevent
abuses and take care of the victims.” Fr. Di Noto is originally
from Sicily, and is the founder of the new “Meter House” in
Rome, which ofcially opened Dec. 9 and offers psychological,
spiritual and legal assistance to both victims of abuse, as well as their families.
(CNA)
Pope says caring for sick brings 'the smile of God'
Pope Francis released his message for the World Day of the Sick Dec. 7, emphasizing the important role of hope both for those
who suffer and for their caregivers. “When we come together, with tenderness, with those who have need of care, we carry the hope and the smile of God in contradiction to the world,” said the Pope’s message. Because of Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection, Pope Francis explained, “we are placed in this
world before the mystery of God’s love for us, which lls us
with hope and courage: hope, because in the design of God’s love even the night of suffering opens to the Easter light; and courage, to confront every adversity in his company, united to Him.”
(CNA)
Vatican fnance group signs agreement with German
counterpart
The Vatican's nancial watchdog, the Financial Information
Authority, has signed a memorandum of understanding with
its German counterpart, the Federal Criminal Police Ofce.
René Bruelhart, director of the Financial Information Author-
ity, stressed in a Dec. 4 press release “this memorandum
strengthens the FIA's international reach and further integrates
the Holy See and the Vatican City State with a coordinated global effort to ght money laundering and the nancing
of terrorism.” Bruelhart added that the “signing underlines our fruitful relationship, and will further facilitate our joint efforts.”
(CNA)
On Marian feast, Pope Francis prays for holiness
On a day dedicated to celebrating the Mother of God, Pope Francis made a special trip in Rome to pray before a tradi-tional statue of Mary. “Enkindle in all of us a renewed desire for holiness: may our words glow with the splendor of truth, may our works resound with the song of charity, may purity and chastity live in our bodies and in our hearts, may our lives express the presence of all the beauty of the gospel,” he
prayed on Dec. 8. Pope Francis had crossed the city to Piazza
di Spagna, where on the top of a tall ancient Roman column
stands a statue of the Virgin Mary under the title of “Our Lady
of the Immaculate Conception.” (CNA)
Pope, with Egyptian Catholic leader, prays for Middle East Christians
Concelebrating Mass with the leader of Egypt's Coptic Catho-lics, Pope Francis prayed for the safety and religious liberty of Christians in the Middle East. "Let real guarantees of religious liberty be given to all, together with the rights of Christians to live peacefully in the places where they were born, in the native
country they love as citizens of more than 2,000 years, in order
that they might contribute as always to the good of all," the
pope said Dec. 9 during morning Mass in the Vatican guest
-house, where he lives. Pope Francis concelebrated the Mass with Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sedrak of Alexandria, Egypt, who had come to make his traditional gesture of "ecclesiastical communion" with the Holy See, following his appointment in
 January by Pope Benedict XVI.
(CNS)
In conversations with parishioners, pope reveals he once was a bouncer
In addition to having worked sweeping oors and running
tests in a chemical laboratory as a teenager, Pope Francis re-vealed he also used to work as a bouncer. No longer kicking troublemakers out of clubs, he has discovered the secret to bringing people back, this time, into the church, according to
the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, Dec. 2. The
pope spent four hours at a parish visit of the church of San Cirillo Alessandrino in a working-class neighborhood on the
outskirts of Rome Dec. 1. He chatted informally with a large
number of parishioners before and after celebrating Mass. He told one group that when he was young, he worked as a bouncer, and that his work later in life, teaching literature and psychology, taught him how to get people back into the church.
(CNS)
Pope tells theologians 'sense of the faithful' is not majority opinion
Pope Francis said the church must pay attention to the 'sense
of the faithful' ('sensus delium') when exercising its teaching
authority, but never confuse that sense with popular opinion
on matters of faith. The pope made his comments Dec. 6, in an
address to members of the International Theological Commis-
sion, a Vatican advisory body. "By the gift of the Holy Spirit, the
members of the church possess the 'sense of the faith,'" he said. "It is a question of a kind of 'spiritual instinct,' which permits us to 'think with the church' and discern what is consistent with the apostolic faith and the spirit of the Gospel."
(CNS)
Red February: Pope to hold meeting with cardinals, create new ones
In late February, Pope Francis will be seeing red and a lot of it as he meets with the College of Cardinals and creates new
members. Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokes
-
man, told reporters Dec. 5 that the international Council of
Cardinals advising the pope on the reform of the Roman Curia and church governance decided to extend by a day their next
meeting. It will be Feb. 17-19. The spokesman also announced
that Pope Francis would hold a consistory or consultation with
the entire College of Cardinals Feb. 20-21 at the Vatican.
 (CNS)
Cape Town ofce, where church
leaders and liberation movement leaders were introducing them-selves to each other.“I could see Mandela quite clearly from where I was seated, and when the Methodist bishop’s turn came to introduce himself Mandela said, “That’s my bish-op.’ He’s the only political leader I’ve known who’s ... allowed him-
self to be dened in terms of his
faith, not just in terms of political allegiance,” the cardinal said.After serving one term in
ofce, Mandela became a high-
profile ambassador for South Africa and helped with peace negotiations in other African countries.Mandela was diagnosed with
prostate cancer in 2001 and,
three years later, at the age of
85, retired from public life. He
made rare public appearances after that, but helped to secure South Africa’s right to host the
2010 FIFA World Cup soccer
tournament.
On his 80th birthday, he mar
-ried Graca Machel, the widow of the former president of Mo-zambique.After his official retirement, his public appearances were primarily connected with the work of the Mandela Foun-dation, a charitable fund he founded.
Catholic leaders recall Mandela’s complicated legacy
WASHINGTON D.C., Dec. 7, 2013—Church
leaders in the United States offered prayers for the late Nelson Mandela, remembering both his courageous anti-apart-heid leadership and his promotion of one of the world’s most liberal abor-tion laws.Cardinal Timothy M.
Dolan, Archbishop of
New York, called Mande-la “a hero to the world.”“His bravery in defend-ing human rights against the great evil of apartheid made him a symbol of courage and dignity, as well as an inspiration to people everywhere.”He noted that Bl. John Paul II, in his visit to South Africa, called Mandela “a silent and suffering ‘witness’” of his people’s “yearning for true libera-tion.” The Pope had said Mandela had to “shoulder the burden of inspiring and challenging everyone to succeed in the task of national reconciliation and reconstruction.”Carolyn Woo, presi-dent of Catholic Relief Services, said the U.S.-based international relief agency mourns Man-dela’s passing, calling him “a champion in the struggle for justice and equality for all.”“His life inspires all of us to re-dedicate our-selves to helping the op-
pressed nd their voice
and their way to lives of meaning and dignity. His personal example of forgiveness and non-violence will challenge us to work for peace and reconciliation even in the
midst of deep conict.”
Mandela, who served as South Africa’s presi-
dent from 1994 to 1999, died Dec. 5 at the age of 95 of a lung infection.
The former prisoner won world recognition for opposing the oppressive racial segregation of the South African govern-ment’s apartheid policy.Mandela had been a campaigner against apart-
heid since 1952, when he
organized protests across South Africa against the policy. He was arrested on treason charges in
1956, and acquitted after a ve-year trial. He then
secretly sought help from other African nations and in England.After the South African government banned the
party in 1960, the move
-ment against apartheid became an armed strug-gle led by Mandela. In
1962 he was sentenced to ve years in jail for incit
-ing a strike and for leav-ing the country without a passport. Additional charges of sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow
the government in 1964
led to a sentence of 27 years behind bars.Mandela’s then-wife Winnie and other cam-paigners worked to end apartheid and secure his freedom, helping trans-form him into an icon of human rights. He
was released in 1990. In 1993, he won the Nobel
Peace Prize with white South African president
F. W. De Klerk, who also
worked to end apartheid.Political violence killed
over 4,000 people ahead of the country’s rst post-
apartheid elections in
1994, when South Af
-rica’s black population voted overwhelmingly for Mandela. Upon his election as president, Mandela worked to help reconcile white and black South Africans.However, pro-life ad-vocates also noted a dark side to Mandela’s legacy, observing the key role he played in pushing for abortion in the country.
“In 1996, Mandela
signed into law the Choice on Termination of Preg-nancy Bill, which permits abortion on demand,”  John Smeaton, director of Society for the Protec-tion of Unborn Children,
noted in a Dec. 6 post.
He warned against the temptation to become “swept away by person-ality cults,” saying that Catholics must “stand
up to public gures with
anti-life and anti-family records,” to defend these fundamental and founda-tional rights.
Mandela signed the 1996
Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Bill, which the New York Times said at the time “replace(d) one of the world’s toughest abortion laws with one of the most liberal.” The law granted state-financed abortion on demand up to
the 12th week; abortion on demand to the 20th week;
and abortion for “serious medical reasons” until birth.The Guttmacher In-stitute, a pro-abortion
group, wrote in 2000 that
in South Africa, “the lib-eralization of abortion be-came possible only after
the 1994 elections” which
made Mandela president and ended apartheid.
(CNA)
   C  a   t   h  o   l   i  c   t  o   t   h  e   M  a  x
 
A3
 Vol. 17 No. 25
December 9 - 30, 2013
CBCP Monitor
News Features
Pope to dedicate 2015 to consecrated life
VATICAN City, Dec. 2, 2013—At a
meeting with the Union of Superiors
General held Nov. 29, Pope Francis
mentioned that he would be dedicating
2015 to consecrated life, thanking reli
-gious for their witness to Jesus Christ.“Thank you for what you do and for your spirit of faith and your service. Thank you for your witness and also for the humiliations through which you have had to pass,” the Bishop of
Rome said to 120 superiors present for
the group’s general assembly, held in
Rome Nov. 27-29.
Pope Francis’ decision follows a con-ference on “vocational perseverance” held one month ago, at which Archbish-op José Rodriguez Carballo, secretary of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life, maintained that
“in ve years, 13,123 left religious life.”The dedication of 2015 to religious
life should promote and draw attention to the challenges facing God’s call to consecrated persons. To proclaim a year
dedicated to a specic topic, shedding
light on an issue deemed to be of par-ticular importance, has recently become a common tool for Popes.
Benedict XVI proclaimed a Pauline year in 2008, a Year of the Priesthood in 2010, and the Year of Faith in 2012-2013.
Pope Francis met with the superi-ors general for three hours, holding a wide-ranging question-and-answer session, beginning with the subject of consecrated life’s identity and mission as a witness to the kingdom of God,
according to the Vatican.
The consecrated are those who “can awaken the world,” he said. “Conse-crated life is prophecy. God asks us to
y the nest and to be sent to the frontiers
of the world, avoiding the temptation to ‘domesticate’ them. This is the most concrete way of imitating the Lord.”The Roman Pontiff added that newer dioceses are bearing much fruit, and gave this as a reason for inculturating the charisms of religious life.He emphasized the importance of good formation for candidates to reli-gious life, saying that it is “not a form of policing, but is “an artisanal craft … its aim is to form religious persons with a tender heart; not acid, not like vinegar.”Continuing that theme, Pope Francis ex-horted religious not to “act like managers”
when faced with conict when living in community, but rather to accept conicts and deal with them rstly as persons.
Religious are to be respected for
their charisms, he reected, and not
seen merely as “helpers” when a local Church is in need of priests.
(CNA/  EWTN News)
Be counter-cultural, Pope encourages university students
VATICAN City, Nov. 30, 2013—During evening prayer with
local college students on Nov.
30, Pope Francis emphasized the
importance of remaining faithful to the truth in the face of modern ideologies.“If you don’t let yourselves be conditioned by prevailing opinions, but remain faithful to Christian ethical and religious principles, you will find the courage even to go against the current,” he said in his homily at St. Peter’s Basilica.“The fullness of the Christian life that God carries out in man, in fact, is always threatened by the temptation to succumb to the spirit of the world,” he cautioned.“For this reason God gives us his aid by which we can preserve the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the new life in the Spirit that He has given us.”
“Dear young university stu
-dents,” Pope Francis encour-aged, “your willpower and your capabilities, united to the power of the Holy Spirit that lives in each one of you from the day of your baptism, permits you to be not spectators, but protagonists in contemporary events.”He then acknowledged the importance of facing life’s many
difculties. “One can’t live with
-out looking at the challenges, without responding to the chal-lenges.”But “God is more power-ful than our weaknesses,” he stressed. “God’s faithfulness never disappoints.”“There are several challenges that you university students are called to confront with inner strength and evangelical cour-age,” he continued.“The socio-cultural context in which you are placed is some-times weighed down by medi-ocrity and boredom. We must not resign ourselves to the mo-notony of everyday life, but cultivate large-scale projects, going beyond the ordinary: don’t let your youthful enthusiasm be stolen!” he urged.
Christian youth must nd the
balance between independent
thought and delity to the truth,
he noted.“The model to follow is not the sphere, in which every pro-trusion is leveled and every difference disappears; instead, the model is the prism, which in-cludes a multiplicity of elements and respects unity in variety,” explained the Pope.Independent thought becomes fruitful not merely because it stands apart, but rather “when it is an expression of an open mind that discerns, always illuminated by truth, by goodness, and by beauty.”“In fact,” he said, “the plural-ity of thought and of individuali-
ty reects the multiform wisdom
of God when it approaches truth, when it approaches the good, when it approaches beauty, with honesty and intellectual rigor.”“May the task of journeying in the faith and of carrying your-selves in a manner consistent with the gospel accompany you in this time of Advent, in order to live in an authentic way the commemoration of the birth of the Lord,” the Pontiff concluded.
The Nov. 30 celebration of Vespers with the university
students of Rome is a papal tra-dition taking place every year in
anticipation of the rst Sunday
of Advent.An icon of Mary, patroness of university students, stood under the title “Seat of Wisdom” to the side of the altar. At the end of the evening, a group of French students processed out bearing the image on their shoulders.The icon had been kept for the
celebration of World Youth Day
in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and will now be received in university chaplaincies in France.
(CNA/  EWTN News)
Pope Francis stands before a statue of Mary in St. Peter’s Basilica on Nov. 30, 2013.
Pope to set up advisory commission on sexual abuse
Boston Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, a member of Pope Francis’ advisory Council of Cardinals, speaks during a press conference at the Vatican Dec. 5.
VATICAN City, Dec. 5, 2013—
Pope Francis accepted a proposal to set up a special commission on the sexual abuse of children, which will advise him on ways to prevent abuse and provide pastoral care for victims and their families.Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston, a member of the pope’s advisory Council of Cardinals,
announced the decision at a Vati
-
can brieng for reporters Dec. 5,
during a break in the council’s meetings with the pope.The cardinal said the new commission would continue
the work of Pope Benedict XVI
against clerical sex abuse, and that among its tasks would be to “study the present programs in place for the protection of chil-dren, and to come up with sug-gestions for new initiatives” by
the Vatican, in collaboration with
national bishops’ conferences and religious orders around the world.
According to the Vatican
spokesman, Jesuit Father Fed-erico Lombardi, Pope Francis heard the proposal on the after-
noon of Dec. 4, during the second
of three days of meetings with his eight-member Council of Cardinals, and announced his decision to the council the fol-lowing morning.The council, which the pope formally established in Sep-tember to advise him on church governance and reform of the
Vatican bureaucracy, was hold
-ing its second round of meetings, following an initial three-day session in October.Cardinal O’Malley said the new sex abuse commission would be of international com-position, consisting perhaps of
12 members, including lay peo
-ple, members of religious orders and priests. The members will be persons with “competence in the safety of children, relations with victims, mental health, law enforcement” and other relevant subjects, he said.The new body will not take over the Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith’s authority
for disciplining abusive priests, and local bishops will remain responsible for the safety of children in their dioceses, the cardinal said; but the “Holy See will try to be helpful and help to identify best practices.”The cardinal said he did not know whether the commission would play any role in disciplin-ing bishops who fail to prevent or punish sex abuse by those under their authority.
In 2011, the Vatican instructed
the world’s bishops’ conferences to establish formal guidelines on dealing with clerical sex abuse,
but reported in February 2013
that about a quarter had failed to comply.Asked whether the new com-
mission was intended to ll a
particular gap in the church’s response to the problem, Cardi-
nal O’Malley said the Vatican’s
focus so far had been on legal procedures, and that the new body would represent a more pastoral approach.The cardinal said the commis-sion would study a number of areas, including programs to ed-ucate pastoral workers in signs of abuse, psychological testing and other ways of screening candidates for the priesthood, and the church’s “cooperation with the civil authorities, the reporting of crimes.”Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., called the pope’s decision to establish the commission “a most welcome initiative.”“Abuse of minors is a sin and a crime, and every step must be taken to eradicate this blight. Such abuse is especially grave when committed by anyone in ministry in our church,” the archbishop said in a statement released in Washington. He is president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.“The problem of sexual abuse of minors exists throughout society and every effort must be made to protect children, particularly within the church,” he added.The commission represents a needed international, broad-based approach to address “this horrific problem,” said Arch-bishop Kurtz, pledging the “full cooperation” of the U.S. bishops’ with its work.“In the United States, we have learned of the importance of background checks, educa-tion of children and adults on child safety, the swift removal of offenders, and the need for the church and civil authorities to work together,” he added. “While these efforts have result-ed in a dramatic reduction, much work remains to be done.”
(CNS)
‘Be good shepherds, not hired workers,’ Tagle tells priests
MANILA, Dec. 8, 2013—Ending
the celebration of the Year of Faith with the ordination of new priests, the top churchman of the Manila Archdiocese on Saturday called on the ordained ministers of the church to remain true to
their priestly vocation by “xing their gaze” to the Divine and
shunning the allure of power and riches. Manila Archbishop Luis An-tonio Cardinal Tagle lamented over the worsening commercial-ization of the world, saying that priests must not be concerned on gaining wealth and must instead be focused on bringing Christ closer to the Catholic faithful. “Learn from Jesus how to be a shepherd rather than a hired person. Jesus laments the false
shepherds—those who appear
like shepherds, but in their minds and in their hearts they do not care about the sheep because they only care for their pay,” Tagle said in his homily during the Year of Faith closing celebration of the Manila Arch-diocese held at the San Fernando
de Dilao Parish.
“You, priests, are not ordained to become hired workers. Our country is suffering because there are already too many hired people whom you could not trust to become shepherds,” he added. Tagle urged them to become
true shepherds by “xing their
gaze on Jesus,” noting that it is only through learning from Him that the allure of wealth and riches can be ignored. “Learn from Him the unity that He had with the Father for it is your unity with the Father that will lead you to unity with
the ock,” he said.
“It is not a unity born out of sociological or ideological reason. The unity of the shepherd with the
ock is born out of the spirituality
in communion with the Father and only that school of commu-nion with the Father prepares us adequately to be in communion
with the ock,” he added.
Tagle reminded church min-isters that their ordination to the priesthood is meant to render service to the church and not to enrich themselves and pursue their personal interests. “(We should) not focus on ourselves but to the church and the wider community. The Holy Spirit has appointed you to over-see the faith of this community. Watch over yourself and watch over this community for it was obtained at the cost of the blood of Christ,” he added.
Spirit-sensitive followers
He stressed that only those who are open to listen to the ac-
tions of the spirit can efciently
communicate the message of the good news to others. “We need spirit-sensitive fol-lowers of Christ and we need or-dained priests who are driven by the spirit. Not the spirit of the world
that is for the esh,
but the spirit of the risen one,” he added. “It is only those
who are lled with
the spirit of Jesus who could go and bring the good news to the poor, lowly and igno-rant …Their need for sanctification will be the driving force to wake you up every morning. They will occupy your minds…And you will not go wrong if you bring the good news where the Spirit wants that good news to be brought,” he added.
 (Jennifer Orillaza)
   P   i  n   k  y   B  a  r  r   i  e  n   t  o  s ,   F   S   P   L  a  u  r  e  n   C  a   t  e  r   /   C   N   A   C   N   S   /   P  a  u   l   H  a  r   i  n  g
Life advocate chides ‘growing immorality in media usage’
MANILA, Dec. 2, 2013—The increasing
sexualization in today’s mass media must be given prime attention for leaving its
inuences unmediated may lead to the cor
-ruption of moral and ethical values among the Catholic faithful, a life advocate said.
Rolando Delos Reyes, Pro-Life Philip
-pines Board Member and Courage Phil-ippines President, urged the public to be more vigilant in looking after mass media to help lessen the proliferation of sexual themes in various media platforms.“Why do we have to teach the public
about sex? … Is there any indication tell
-ing that (sex-oriented media) are only for
married people? Anybody can pick it up
whether you are a single person, a married
person, or even a young person,” Delos
Reyes said during the Pro-Life Seminar Series on Sex Education and the Media
held last Nov. 16 at the Our Lady of Loreto
Church in Manila.He noted that the proliferation of sexual themes leads the public to perceive that pre-marital sex and homosexuality, for in-stance, are normal and acceptable despite the staunch opposition of the Catholic Church.Citing the increase of gay-themed inde-
pendent lms, Delos Reyes urged media
practitioners to use mass media for the common good and not to sexually titillate the minds of the public with the use of pornographic materials.“Because here in the Philippines, when
we say independent lms, we immediately
incorporate it with sex. They are giving in-
dependent lms a bad name. It is unfair for those people doing independent lms that
are not catering to sexual themes,” he said.
Delos Reyes chided sexually-oriented
books, movies, songs, and fashion shows, noting that they manifest “glamorized prostitution and pornography.”
Need to counter-act
In countering the increasing sexualiza-
tion in today’s media, Delos Reyes called
on parents to be aware of current media trends and be more critical in monitoring what their children listen to and watch.“When it comes to gadgets, televisions, and computers, make sure that these are in public places. Meaning to say, don’t allow your kids to have these devices inside their rooms. Let them use it in (the living room) but never inside their rooms to prevent things from happening,” he said.“As much as possible keep these devices away so you can monitor them and they would be afraid to open such (sexual) material,” he added.
In conversing with the youth, Delos
Reyes said teachers must engage in a meaningful conversation with their stu-dents on the proper use and appreciation of the mass media.He also emphasized the need to show a good example to the youth so they may have role models to follow on how to deal with the
media inuence they encounter every day.
“Continually remind about the social and moral teachings of the church in the media. Let us all be good examples to our youth in communicating the proper use of any form of mass media,” he said.
Making a statement
Delos Reyes urged the people to “ex
-press concern over the growing immorality in media usage” primarily through letting their voice be heard with the use of letters, manifestos, signature campaigns, and boycotting brands that promote media sexualization. “If we will not speak up, they will say that everything is okay. We need to work and as we are working, my invitation to you is to pray for the media, for the young people, and for all of us,” he added.“Let us prevent bad media from coming
to our homes, schools, and churches,” De
-los Reyes noted.
(Jennifer Orillaza)
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle lays his hands on one of the candidates for priesthood during the ordination held at the San Fernando de Dilao Parish, December 7.
   N  o   l   i   Y  a  m  s  u  a  n   /   R   C   A   M

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