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CBCP Monitor Vol. 18 No. 5

CBCP Monitor Vol. 18 No. 5

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

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Published by: cbcpmonitor on Mar 06, 2014
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 Vol. 18 No. 5
March 3 - 16, 2014
Php 20.
Bishop gives thumbs down to Aquino rehab efforts
THE government has failed to provide ad-equate help for typhoon Yolanda survivors that devastated several towns in Eastern Sa-mar three months ago, a Catholic bishop said.Aside from the controversial bunkhouses, Borongan Bishop Crispin Varquez said the government’s concrete rehabilitation pro-grams are yet to be seen.“I always visit the affected areas but so far, I’ve only seen bunkhouses. That’s so far the concrete thing that the government did here (in Eastern Samar),” Varquez said.
Efforts / A7
The Cross
A Supplement Publication of KCFAPI and the Order of the Knights of Columbus
Poverty that dehumanizes, poverty
that sanctifes
Poverty / A7
Work against poverty that dehumanizes — CBCP
By Jennifer M. Orillaza
CONDEMNING poverty as a “social scandal” that “de-grades and dehumanizes hu-manity,” the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) exhorted the lay faith-ful to shun the “economy of exclusion” by living simply and in solidarity with less fortunate individuals.
In a Lenten message issued two days before Ash Wednesday, bishops called
on the laity to ght “degrading and
dehumanizing” poverty. “This Lenten season, Christ invites all, but especially the laity, to oppose degrading and dehumanizing poverty and to embrace humanizing and sanc-tifying poverty. In other words, He invites us to imitate His example,” the CBCP said in a statement issued by its president, Lingayen-Dagupan Arch-bishop Socrates Villegas.“We are invited to practice material poverty by taking up a simple lifestyle and works of mercy and justice that at-tend to the poor and aim for an economy of inclusion,” Villegas said.Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, the 40-day religious tradition of Christians where they observe a period of fasting and spiritual discipline as
a means to sacrice and repent from
their sins.“We are to exercise moral poverty by strengthening our resolve to prac-tice solidarity with the neglected and to denounce injustice and all forms of radical inequality,” he said.
Keep EDSA spirit alive, Villegas urges Filipinos
LINGAYEN Dagupan archbishop Socrates Vil-legas urged the people to keep the spirit of EDSA alive in their hearts and learn wisely from its les-sons during a Mass he celebrated at the Mary Queen of Peace shrine to mark the 28th anniversary of the EDSA People Power on Feb. 25. Coming all the way from Dagupan to celebrate the thanksgiving Mass, the prelate couldn’t help but express his sadness in seeing that so few people came to celebrate. “After 28 years is this all that we can gather to thank the Lord for an event that made Filipinos 10 feet tall in the family of nations. I cannot resist re-turning to the Gospel, and returning to the question of the Lord after he cured 10 lepers and only one re-turned, and said, “Where are the other nine?” Vil-legas said. “But I am not here to accuse you. I am not here to make you sad. I am not here to contaminate you with my sadness and loneliness. I am here to bring you joy, the joy of the Gospel, the joy of the Lord,” he said. President Benigno Aqui-no had this year’s EDSA anniversary celebration transferred to Cebu, where he visited typhoon-rav-aged areas and spent time with victims of typhoon Yolanda. Villegas lamented how the EDSA spirit “has been manipulated, abused, raped, [and] prostituted” through the years. Nonetheless, he said, “we must always return to it [as] EDSA was a gift from God and it will al-ways be so.” The EDSA celebration can take on many forms and its story may be retold in many ways but there is one element in its his-tory that cannot be erased, and that is God, Villegas pointed out. “You can tell the story of Tita Cory but don’t
Cardinal Quevedo: ‘I want to work for peace’
WITH many calling him ‘Cardinal Peace’ because of his involvement in the Mindanao peace process, Archbishop Orlando Car-dinal Quevedo said it is his desire to work for peace in the southern region, but would prefer that he does it behind the curtain.“When they say ‘Cardi-nal Peace’, I am not in front. I am behind. I am behind the curtain. [Both sides] would consult me, but my name does not appear…. I want to work for peace, yes, but not in the forefront. I want to stay in the back-ground,” Quevedo said during a conference he gave at the Collegio Fillipino in Rome on Feb. 23.Quevedo, who have been silently involved in a dia-
logue for peace in conict
ridden Mindanao for many years, said “mutual mis-trust that creates all the mis-information” is at the root
of the Mindanao conict.
“The fear of the Chris-tians and the fear of the Muslims towards each other are fed by these mis-understandings and mis-trust,” the newly-installed cardinal explained.
Dialogue on three levels
Quevedo said he carries out his role in the inter-religious dialogue on three levels.“First, in my dialogue with students in my univer-sity, we have a dialogue of life,” he said.The Cardinal described
Cardinal Orlando Quevedo poses with members of the Filipino community in Rome after he was installed cardinal in the Vatican on Feb. 22.
Tagle urges faithful to fast, donate money to calamity victims
MANILA Archbishop Luis Anto-nio Cardinal Tagle called on the Filipino faithful to participate in a fund-raising program that aims to feed children of disaster-stricken areas this Lenten season. In a pastoral statement for Ash
‘In Yolanda-hit areas, Jesus is the face of suffering’
LENTEN activities in typhoon stricken province of Leyte will be focused in preparing the faithful
spiritually, a Church ofcial said.
Palo Archbishop John Du said that “in the midst of all these crises”, now is the time for seeking the spiritual well-being of everyone within the Church. “We really have to prepare the people spiritually that they would be strengthened and nourished not only in terms of material assistance… there should also be spiritual compo-nent,” Du said. In Leyte and other devastated
Secret to success: put God frst—priest
APPARENTLY, the self-help books got it wrong. The secret to success in life is putting God first, a priest said. “You want to be successful, put God first. And for sure, success will follow,” Fr. Mario Sobrejuanite, SSP said during a private celebration of the holy mass for the Garden Prayer Partners of Mahal na Ina.
God first, solutions follow
According to Fr. Sobrejua-
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle imposes ashes on the forehead of a parishioner on Ash Wednesday, which begins the 40-day period of fasting and repentance for Christians before the Holy Week and Easter, on March 5 at the  Arzobispado chapel in Intramuros, Manila.
   P   h  o   t  o  c  o  u  r   t  e  s  y  o   f   P   C   F   N  o   l   i   Y  a  m  s  u  a  n   /   R   C   A   M
Peace / A7Donate / A6 Success / A6 Spirit / A6 Face / A6
   R  o  y   L  a  g  a  r   d  e
Stories from Ground Zero
Redemptorist priests celebrate Mass last February 21 with survivors of typhoon Yolanda in Anibong district, a coastal village in Tacloban City, in the midst of several cargo vessels that were swept inland by storm surges during the onslaught of the typhoon. At least eight vessels are still stuck in the area over three months after the super typhoon.
   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
 Vol. 18 No. 5
March 3 - 16, 2014
CBCP Monitor
 World News
Vatican Briefng
Walk with those who suffer failed marriages, Pope exhorts
In his daily homily Pope Francis reected on the beauty of
marriage, emphasizing that when it fails, we should not con-demn the couple, but accompany them on a path of healing in the Church. “When this love fails—because many times it fails—we have to feel the pain of the failure, (we must) ac-company those people who have had this failure in their love. Do not condemn. Walk with them,” the Pope encouraged in his Feb. 28 daily Mass. Directing his homily to those present in the chapel of the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse, the pontiff began by referring to the attitude of the Pharisees in the day’s Gospel, taken from Mark, in which they question Jesus on divorce, trying to make him fall into a trap with the law. Although the question is important, the Pope warned against falling into the temptation of “special pleading” regarding questions of marriage, and noted that the Pharisees’ method is always “casuistry—is this licit or not?” “It is always the small case. And this is the trap, behind casuistry, behind casuistic thought, there is always a trap: against people, against us, and against God, always,” he explained.
Belgium’s child euthanasia move lamented as ‘unbelievable’
In the wake of Belgium’s recent decision to legalize euthana-
sia for children, several members of the Vatican’s Pontical
Academy for Life voiced their dismay at the new practice. John Haas, president of the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia, Pa. and governing member of the academy, called the development “dreadful.” “They are appealing to ‘rights of children’ to make these determinations, but children aren’t capable of making those types of self-determinations,” Haas told CNA in Rome Feb. 21. “So what is really going to happen is that, under the rules of children making these decisions for themselves, parents and physicians are going to be making those decisions, for children, to eliminate them because they’ve be-come excessive burdens on them and on the rest of society.” “It’s a terrible situation. Unbelievable, if I may say so.”
Pope: Inconsistency in our actions causes Church scandal
In his daily homily Pope Francis spoke of the harm done when Christians don’t practice what they preach, noting that this incoherence leads others away from the Church and often brings scandal. “When there is no Christian coherency, and you live with this incoherence, you’re giving scandal. And the Christians that are not coherent are giving scandal,” the Pope said in his Feb. 27 Mass. Speaking to those gathered in the chapel of the Vatican’s St. Martha guesthouse, the pontiff
began his reections by drawing attention to a person to whom he administered the Sacrament of Conrmation during the
Mass, observing that they had “manifested the desire to be a Christian.” “To be Christian means to bear witness to Jesus Christ,” he said, adding that to a Christian person “thinks like a Christian, feels like a Christian and acts like a Christian. And this is coherency in the life of a Christian.”
Cardinal Pell to head new Vatican office for economic oversight
Today Pope Francis announced the establishment of a new entity for oversight of Vatican economic and administrative affairs, headed by Cardinal George Pell of Sydney, Australia. According to Feb. 24 statement issued by the Holy See’s press
ofce, the new Secretariat for the Economy “will have author
-ity over all economic and administrative activities within the Holy See and the Vatican City State.” Cardinal Pell has been appointed Prefect of the new Secretariat. His role includes the implementation of policies decided upon by a new 15-member Council for the Economy, made up of 8 Cardinals or Bishops
“reecting different parts of the world” and 7 “lay experts of different nationalities with strong professional nancial experi
ence.” According to the Holy See Press Ofce, the Council for
the Economy will replace the now obsolete “Council of 15,” composed only of cardinals.
Pope Benedict says it’s absurd to question validity of his resignation
In a letter to an Italian journalist, retired Pope Benedict XVI said questions about the validity of his resignation are “ab-surd.” “There is absolutely no doubt regarding the validity of my renunciation of the Petrine ministry,” the retired pope wrote in a letter to Andrea Tornielli, a Vatican correspondent for the newspaper La Stampa and the website Vatican Insider. Tornielli said he wrote to the retired pope Feb. 14 after reading articles questioning the canonical validity of his announcement Feb. 11, 2013, that he was stepping down. In the letter, Pope Benedict described as “simply absurd” doubts about how he had formulated his announcement to cardinals gathered for a meeting about canonization causes.
Pope: Anointing the sick doesn’t bring bad luck, it brings Jesus
Never hesitate to call a priest to bless and anoint sick or el-derly family members, Pope Francis said. Some people worry receiving the sacrament of the anointing of the sick “brings bad luck” and “the hearse will come next,” the pope said. “This is not true!” The sacrament brings Jesus closer to those in need, strengthening their faith and hope, he said Feb. 26 during his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square. The pope thanked the estimated 50,000 people who attended the outdoor audience despite weather forecasts of rain. “You came anyway; you’re courageous. Way to go!” he said, as the wind blew big gray storm clouds overhead.
Ukrainian archbishop sees lingering threat of war, but signs of hope
VATICAN City, Feb. 25, 2014—The three months of protests in Ukraine that ended with government snipers killing dozens of people strengthened the commitment to democracy of many Ukrainians, but also left the country vulnerable to further violence and division, said the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church.“The danger that our neighbor (Russia) will provoke a civil war has not passed,” Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kiev-Halych told report-ers in Rome Feb. 25, adding that the
protests have solidied the Ukrainian
people’s commitment to indepen-dence, freedom and democracy.Bishop Hlib Lonchyna, head of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy in England, told Catholic News Service, “Our church stayed with the people as the struggle widened from a political one over inte-gration with Europe into a larger one for basic human rights and dignity. “We hope the Russians won’t try to meddle, since this would create a situ-ation even worse than before. Having once seemed immutable, conditions have suddenly changed—and although dangers still lurk ahead, solutions must be worked out by Ukrainians.
Snipers opened re on protesters in
Kiev’s Independence Square Feb. 19, killing at least 70 people. President Viktor Yanukovich, who sparked the protests by deciding not to sign an agreement with the European Union but forge closer ties with Russia, left Ukraine’s capital Feb. 21, and the country’s parliament voted to remove
him from ofce the same day.
“Yanukovich saw his support melt-ing away like the snow when the sun comes out,” Archbishop Shevchuk told reporters at the Vatican. “The security forces disappeared and so did the president.”The archbishop described himself “as an eyewitness” to the protests and insisted it was untrue that the pro-testers were “extreme nationalists.”
At rst, he said, they were students
who dreamed of living in a “free, democratic and European” Ukraine.When the government tried to use force to end the protest in December, he said, people from all walks of life started joining the students to say, “No to corruption, no to dictatorship, no to the denial of human dignity,” and yes to citizens’ right to decide the future of their country.Throughout the protest, the arch-bishop said, the All-Ukrainian Coun-cil of Churches and Religious Orga-nizations supported the protesters’ objectives, pleaded for them to remain peaceful and tried to mediate between them and the government. The coun-cil, he said, includes Catholic, Ortho-dox, Protestant, Jewish and Muslim representatives.Ukraine is diverse, he said. Regions in the East tend to have more people who are Russian speakers or ethnic Russians and belong to the Ukrainian
Orthodox Church afliated with the
Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church. Ukrainian speak-ers are concentrated in the West, as are the members of the Ukrainian Catholic Church and the independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church.The diversity, he said, is natural for any large country. Each region has its own history, “but all of the people saw themselves as Ukrainians.”Those seeking power, however, see the diversity as something to exploit for their own purposes, he said, which is why the council of churches issued an appeal for unity and has clearly
dened as “morally unacceptable” and
“a crime” the attempt to use religious or cultural differences for political gain.Archbishop Shevchuk said there is “no desire within Ukraine” to split the country, “but maybe someone from outside, seeing that he can’t eat the whole pie, would want at least part of it.”The evening before he met the press, Archbishop Shevchuk and Ukrainians working in Rome joined the Sant’Egidio Community for a prayer service for peace. In a packed Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere,
tears owed as the archbishop led
the singing of the Lord’s Prayer in Ukrainian.
Ukrainian Catholic archbishop prays for Crimea
KYIV, Ukraine, Mar. 1, 2014—The head of the Ukrainian Greek Catho-lic Church issued a state-ment Feb. 28 praying for the people of Crimea and appealing for the unity of Ukraine, as Russia has reportedly deployed troops in the peninsula.“The entire family of the UGCC faithful pleads to the compassionate Lord for his protection and assistance to peacefully overcome the deteriorat-ing situation in Crimea, and that the unity of our country might be pre-served,” Major Archbish-op Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kyiv-Halyc said.Earlier that day, armed men in unmarked mili-tary uniforms took con-trol of airports in Crimea, as well as the autono-mous republic’s parlia-ment building and state telecommunications and television centers. Flights from Crimean airports have been grounded.
Unconrmed reports
suggest that Russia has
own hundreds, or even
thousands, of troops into Crimea.Russia’s U.N. ambas-sador, Vitaly Churkin, said any of his country’s military movements in Crimea are “within the framework” of long-stand-ing agreements between Moscow and Kyiv—also known as Kiev; Russia’s
Black See eet has a base
at the Crimean city of Sev-astopol.Oleksander Turchyn-ov, Ukraine’s acting pres-ident, accused Russia of deploying its troops in Crimea, trying to pro-
voke armed conict.
“The UGCC faith-ful pray for the Krym exarchate and for the preservation of the unity of Ukraine,” said a state-ment from the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.“In these days, we pray for peace and se-curity for all residents of the Crimean peninsula, especially the clergy and laity of our Krym ex-archate.”The Krym exarchate of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church was established only two weeks ago, on Feb. 13. It was split from the exarchate of Odesa, and serves the Ukrainian Catholics in Crimea.These developments in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church come among profound political transition in the nation.Protests in Kyiv began in November, when the government announced it would not sign a major economic partnership agreement with the Eu-ropean Union, in favor of a $15 billion bailout agreement with Rus-sia. Tens of thousands of protesters filled the streets of Kyiv, at times occupying government buildings.Protests continued through February, until more than 80 people were killed —some of them by snipers—during protests at Maidan in Kyiv.On Feb. 21, Viktor Yanukovych, then the president of Ukraine,
ed Kyiv; the next day,
parliament voted to re-move him from power. Turchynov was appoint-ed acting president Feb. 23 by parliament.Turchyov has already announced his desire to strengthen ties with the European Union, and formed a government Feb. 27, with Arseniy Yatsenyuk appointed as prime minister. Elec-tions have been sched-uled for May 25.Ukraine’s acting pres-ident quickly warned against the dangers of separatism, a risk from the majority-Russian areas of eastern Ukraine, particularly Crimea.Crimea is a southern peninsula of Ukraine where nearly 60 percent of the population are ethnic Russians, and more than 50 percent of the popula-tion speak Russian as their
rst language.
The territory was transferred from Russia to Ukraine in 1954 under the Soviet Union.
 A Divine Liturgy of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church celebrated during protests in Kyiv earlier this month.
Jesuits start school in poor Cambodian province
BANTEAY MEANCHEY PROVINCE, Feb. 28 2014—The Jesuits have started a school in a poor areas of Cambodia, with a clear idea that Jesuits should serve poor children, an
ofcial has said.
The Jesuit education project will be in Siso-phon, Banteay Meanchey Province. “it was very clear that we Jesuits should serve poor
children rst,” said Jesuit Father Francisco
Oh In-don, delegate of the Korean provincial to the Cambodia Mission.Father Oh explained in a letter to members of the Cambodia mission and collaborators that he chose Sisophon over Battambang because it has many fewer educational opportunities. “The city itself is poorer. Battambang is already the location of two reputable schools, Salesian School and Borey School. In Sisophon there is nothing. This is the most important reason for my decision.”The school will be named “Xavier Jesuit School,” named after St. Francis Xavier the Patron Saint of Sisophon Parish. Also, “Xavier” is the name of many Jesuit schools and institutions across the world and, as Fr Oh said, “Anyone who hears this name
recognizes that it is afliated with the inter
-national Society of Jesus.”In November 2013, Jesuits met with Pro-vincial Director of Education, Mr. Chheuy Vanna, who welcomed the proposal to develop a primary school, secondary school and teacher resource centre. On January 21, the Minister of Education, Youth and Sport expressed its support for the project and on February 6, the Governor of Banteay Meanchey province, also approved and signed a letter of support for the project.The land is already being bought at the cost of half a million US dollars and was paid for entirely by the Korean Jesuit Province. The whole project is estimated to cost US$8 million dollars.
The rst educational activities will begin
in June 2014 using borrowed facilities. The team will run an enrichment course for 160 disadvantaged primary school students from four local primary schools.
Iraqi patriarch urges prayer, fasting that Christians remain
ROME, Italy, Feb. 27, 2014—Archbishop Louis Raphael I Sako, the Chaldean Catholic Pa-triarch of Babylon, has issued an urgent appeal to mark the begin-ning of Lent, calling for “prayer and fasting that Christians not leave Iraq.”“Our Christian identity has had profound roots in the his-tory and geography of Iraq for 2000 years,” Patriarch Sako said, according to the Fides news agency. “Our roots and our clear sources are found in our country, and if we leave, we would be separated from our roots.”Christians in Iraq need to “persevere and wait,” and avoid listening “to those who instill fear” and to those who “in different ways invite or encourage Iraqi Chris-tians to aban-don their country,” he said.“We are here because of God’s will and we are here with the help of his grace to build bridges and work with our Muslim brothers and sis-ters for the development of our country.”In his message, Patriarch Sako also called for prayers for Syria, Lebanon and the entire region for an end to the unrest.It is urgent that “the page be turned” in Iraq with the upcom-ing elections, he added, “so that the country can return to peace and security for the good of all citizens.”
Iraq Archbishop Louis Sako.
Korean Masses strengthen migrant community in Thailand
PATTAYA, Thailand, Feb. 27, 2014—This month’s introduction of Sunday Masses celebrated in Korean at a parish in the Thai city of Pattaya has united both emigrants and tourists from South Korea.“This regular Korean lan-guage Mass unites, strengthens, and revitalizes faith life in the parish,” Fr. Giovanni Lee Sung-hyun, chaplain at St. Nikolaus parish in Pattaya, about 80 miles southeast of Bangkok, told CNA Feb. 24.He added that the other sacra-ments are also offered in Korean,
in response to a growing inux
of Korean emigrant workers, as well as tourists, to the port city.“Understanding and interior-izing the Word of God is very important,” Fr. Lee commented, adding that the Thai language is a major impediment for Kore-ans’ participation in the liturgy, which hinders their spiritual growth.Celebration of Mass in Ko-rean makes for “a participatory church, and also connects to the nostalgia of Korean liturgy,” added Fr. Lee.St. Nikolaus has also estab-lished a volunteer center and a women’s league; Fr. Lee said, “we affirm our responsibility and role in the mission of the Church, and march forward for a new evangelization and inter-religious dialogue.” The community of Catholics from Korea is also active in Bangkok, where there are some 200 members.The need of the Church in Thailand to provide for immi-grant communities is likely to increase in the future, as the na-tion prepares to implement the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015. The economic commu-nity will produce a free-trade re-gion in east and Southeast Asia,
allowing more exible migration
of laborers.The Church in Thailand has to prepare for “new pastoral challenges and interreligious dialogue,” Msgr. Andrew Vis-sanu Thanya Anan, deputy secretary-general for the Thai bishops’ conference, told CNA.Thailand is also home to a community of Catholics from Vietnam, and hosts a large num-ber of Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic group from neighboring Burma.
   J  a   k  u   b   S  z  y  m  c  z  u   k   /   G   O   S   C   N   I   E   D   Z   I   E   L   N   Y  w  w  w .  u  c  a  n  e  w  s .  c  o  m   A   i   d   t  o   t   h  e   C   h  u  r  c   h   i  n   N  e  e   d   U   K
 Vol. 18 No. 5
March 3 - 16, 2014
CBCP Monitor
News Features
Pope says bishops should be evangelists and men of prayer, not CEOs
VATICAN City, Feb. 27, 2014—Pope Francis said bishops should act not like ambitious corporate executives, but humble evange-lists and men of prayer, willing to
sacrice everything for their ocks.
“We don’t need a manager, the CEO of a business, nor someone who shares our pettiness or low aspirations,” the pope said Feb. 27. “We need someone who knows how to rise to the height from which God sees us, in order to guide us to him.”Pope Francis’ words came in a speech to the Congregation for Bishops, the Vatican body that advises him on the appointment of bishops around the world.He stressed the importance of
self-sacrice in a bishop’s minis
-try, which he described as a kind of martyrdom.“The courage to die, the gener-osity to offer one’s own life and
exhaust one’s self for the ock
are inscribed in the episcopate’s DNA,” he said. “The episcopate is not for itself but for the church,
for the ock, for others, above all
for those whom the world consid-ers only worth throwing away.”Pope Francis listed several desirable virtues in potential bishops, including a “capacity for healthy, balanced relation-ships,” “upright behavior,” “or-
thodoxy and delity” to church
doctrine; and “transparency and detachment in administrating the goods of the community.”The pope laid special em-phasis on a bishop’s ability to evangelize and pray.In preaching the Gospel, bish-ops should be appealing rather than censorious, upholding church teaching “not in order to measure how far the world falls short of the truth it contains, but to fascinate the world, enchant it with the beauty of love, seduce it by offering the freedom of the Gospel.”“The church doesn’t need apologists for their own causes, nor crusaders for their own battles, but humble sowers who trust in the truth ... bishops who know that even when night falls and the day’s toil leaves them
tired, the seeds in the eld will
be sprouting.”As models of prayer for bish-ops, Pope Francis cited Abraham and Moses, who argued with God to dissuade him from de-stroying their sinful people.“A man who lacks the courage to argue with God on behalf of his people cannot be a bishop,” the pope said.Quoting from an address he gave to Vatican diplomats last  June, Pope Francis said bish-ops should be “meek, patient and merciful,” embracing both spiritual and material poverty, and renouncing any ambition for appointment to more important dioceses.The pope voiced anew his con-cern about bishops, “in this time of meetings and conventions,”
traveling too much to fulll their
pastoral duties at home. He sug-gested the congregation study the latter-day relevance of a de-cree by the 16th-century Council of Trent requiring bishops to live in their dioceses.Pope Francis also stressed that bishops should be suited to the particular local needs of their dioceses.“There is no standard pastor for all the churches,” the pope said. “Christ knows the singular-ity of the pastor every church re-quires, able respond to its needs and help it realize its potential.”
“Where can we nd such men?
It is not easy. Do they exist? How can we choose them?” Pope Francis asked in closing. “I am sure they exist, because the Lord does not abandon his church. Maybe it is we who do not spend
long enough in the elds looking
for them.”
Cardinals bring ‘voice of poor’ to Vatican
VATICAN City, Feb. 23, 2014—Pope Francis’ appointment of new cardi-nals from distant and impoverished countries has helped bring the topic of pastoral care for those struggling in poverty to Vatican discussions.“I suppose looking back now, it’s not surprising that he chose cardinals from the poorest countries in the world. Nicaragua, Burkina Faso, and Haiti - to have cardinals from those countries, we’d never have thought in the past of having those cardinals,” Cardinal Cor-mac Murphy-O’Connor of the United Kingdom told CNA Feb. 22. “But he said, ‘no, I want to hear the voice of the poor.’ So it was surprising, but I think I understand.”Cardinal Chibly Langlois of Haiti, who was appointed in yesterday’s consistory, said that he felt that his
new ofce helps “continue to show the
importance of our Pope for the people of Haiti.”“That means to be with him, to bring to our Pope the situation of our coun-try,” he told CNA.Haiti is one of world’s poorest coun-tries. It is still recovering from a devas-tating 2010 earthquake that killed over 200,000 people and left over one million homeless.For Cardinal Langlois, being given the red hat means “to be in the service of God, (and) of the people. So for us in Haiti, that means we have to continue to serve the people, and serve the Church around the world.”Pope Francis’ homily at Mass this morning also focused on the importance of serving God and the Church, particu-larly through a life of sanctity.“Dear brother cardinals, the Lord  Jesus and mother Church ask us to wit-ness with greater zeal and ardor to these ways of being holy,” he said, encourag-ing them to have a spirit of “goodness, forgiveness, service.”The Pope went on to stress that entrance into the College of Cardinals means a life of service, not privilege. “A cardinal enters the Church of Rome, the Church, not a royal court,” he insisted.“May we always allow ourselves to be guided by the Spirit of Christ, who
sacriced himself on the Cross so that
we could be ‘channels’ through which
his charity might ow. This is the at
-titude of a cardinal, this is how he acts.”After Mass during his Angelus mes-
Cardinals at the Feb. 23, 2014 Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica.
sage, Pope Francis said the Church “entrusts the testimony of this pastoral lifestyle to the new cardinals,” adding that their presence at the consistory “of-fered a valuable opportunity to experi-ence the catholicity, the universality, of the Church.”Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor ex-pressed a similar feeling regarding the series of meetings that took place among the cardinals in the days preceding the consistory.“One or two of them have spoken, these cardinals who are coming from these very poor countries. They’ll get used to these meetings in time and be able to speak, as it were, with more experience. But even to see them there, it was very good.”The pastoral concerns for those in very impoverished circumstances are often different than in other areas of the Church. Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila told CNA that the biggest chal-lenge facing families in the Philippines is poverty.“We don’t have any divorce, but what separates families is poverty. People look for jobs elsewhere. They leave their villages, they go to the big cities, they go abroad, so even without the divorce law, de facto there is separation because of migration,” he explained.“I have appealed to dioceses that have accepted Filipino migrant workers to support them pastorally,” he said, not-ing that “the pastoral care of family, of a person, who is married, but whose fam-ily is not physically present,” presents a special challenge.“How do you provide pastoral care so that they will remain faithful to their spouses and their children left behind? It’s an approach to family life which is quite unique.”Cardinal George Alencherry, who heads the India-based Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, also expressed con-cern for migration due to poverty.“The families are split up, the chil-dren—either for studies, or for a job, etc. —are going in different parts of the world, and that unity of the fam-ily is broken,” he said. “That’s a big problem.”“There are many who are poor, in our country, and how to attend to the needs of the poor—all these are problems,” he added.When asked if there was hope of a solution, Cardinal Alencherry replied,
“God is always rich, and we will nd
way—they may not be 100 percent perfect ways, but we will try in our own way what we can do.”Cardinal Tagle also expressed hope in
the face of difculties, explaining that in
the Philippines, “you also see how the extended family supports especially the children who are left behind, so the ‘tra-ditional’ clan, the traditional extended family, is serving its purpose. And we rejoice where something, in a way disappears, another reality is present to take on responsibility, especially for the children.”
Pope urges families to pray for upcoming bishops’ synod
Pope Francis greets a family of pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square, Dec. 4, 2013.
VATICAN City, Feb. 26, 2014—In a letter written to families, Pope Francis spoke of the im-portance of family life in the Church, stating their prayers are crucial for the upcoming synod which is dedicated to the unique challenges they face.“I ask you, therefore, to pray intensely to the Holy Spirit, so that the Spirit may illumine the Synodal Fathers and guide them in their important task,” the Pope requested of families in his Feb. 25 letter, adding that “your prayer for the Synod of Bishops will be a precious treasure which enriches the Church.”Announced by the Vatican last au-tumn, this year’s Synod of Bishops is slated to take place Oct. 5-19, and will explore the theme of “pastoral chal-lenges of the family in the context of evangelization.”Established by Paul VI in 1965, the Syn-od of Bishops meets in an extraordinary general assembly when the matter under
consideration requires a rapid denition.
Referring to the “urgent pastoral needs” facing the life of the family today, the Roman Pontiff highlighted that the meeting will consist of bishops, priests, consecrated men and women, and lay persons, who are all preparing “through practical suggestions and the crucial support of prayer.”“Such support on your part, dear fam-
ilies, is especially signicant and more
necessary than ever,” he emphasized, noting that the synod “is dedicated in a special way to you, to your vocation and mission in the Church and in society.”Drawing attention to the Ordinary Assembly which will take place one year after the Synod of Bishops, and which will also focus on the theme of the family, as well as to the World Meet-ing of Families which is to take place in Philadelphia in September 2015, Pope Francis called on families to pray that “through these events the Church will undertake a true journey of discernment and adopt the necessary pastoral means to help families face their present chal-lenges with the light and strength that comes from the Gospel.”Highlighting how he chose to write this letter on the Feast of the Presenta-tion, Pope Francis recalled how Simeon took Jesus “in his arms and thanked
God that he had nally ‘seen’ salva
-tion,” and how “Anna, despite her ad-vanced age, found new vigor and began to speak to everyone about the Baby.”
“It is a beautiful image,” he reected:
“two young parents and two elderly people, brought together by Jesus. He is the one who brings together and unites generations!”“He is the inexhaustible font of that love which overcomes every occasion of self-absorption, solitude, and sadness.”“In your journey as a family, you share so many beautiful moments: meals, rest, housework, leisure, prayer, trips and pilgrimages, and times of mutual support,” continued the Pope, emphasizing that “if there is no love” in these acts “then there is no joy,” and “authentic love comes to us from Jesus.”Concluding his letter, the Bishop of Rome explained to families that their prayers for the upcoming events are “a precious treasure” for the Church, and thanked them for their offerings.“I ask you to pray also for me, so that I may serve the People of God in truth and in love,” he stated, asking that the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph “always accompany all of you and help you to walk united in love and in caring for one another.”“I willingly invoke on every family the blessing of the Lord.”
(CNA/EWTN  News)
CEAP member-schools to discuss Bangsamoro Framework Agreement
MANILA, Feb. 26, 2014—Adminis-trators of Catholic schools, colleges and universities are convening next month to study the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) and to map out programs to promote and enhance peace in their respective communities. Members of the Catholic Educa-tional Association of the Philippines will meet in Manila on March 19 and in Cebu in March 20 for a convoca-tion that is meant to gain critical awareness and contextualized un-derstanding of the implications of the FAB in the outstanding pursuit of peace in Mindanao. In an invitation, Fr. Joel Tabora, SJ, chairman of CEAP-National Advo-cacy Commission, said the signing of the last of the four Annexes of the FAB has completed the long hoped-for comprehensive agreement. “This milestone certainly warrants for elation. But it also signals a greater challenge to all in our nation to be in-volved in this quest for peace, which is our shared responsibility,” he said. Tabora said school communities can help achieve peace by being “spaces of dialogue and reconciliation, to be actively involved in the healing pro-cesses in our communities, and to be the vanguards of the common good and faith that does justice.” The priest likewise called on both the government panel and the representatives of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to include other stakeholders in their dialogue. “We call on negotiating parties to strengthen their dialogues by insur-ing profound inclusivity, hearing all the voices who have a stake in peace—indigenous peoples, the religious communities, the dif-ferent ummahs, non-government organizations, academe, the poor, the dissidents—to ensure that the road we are taking is not motivated merely by political ambitions, but by genuine and sustainable peace for all peoples,” Tabora added. To recall, the government and MILF panels formally signed the last annex to the FAB during talks in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last month. The annexes will be used as guides for the formulation of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, which the Bangsamoro Transition Commis-sion is now drafting. The Congress has to enact the Bangsamoro Basic Law before a plebiscite is held for
the ratication of the law.
The Bangsamoro Transitional Authority is created to replace the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. The BTA will be replaced upon election and assumption of the members of the Bangsamoro legislative assembly and formation of the Bangsamoro government.
(Kris Bayos)
100 professionals, young students ‘choose to be brave’
PARAÑAQUE City, Feb. 19, 2014—About a hundred young pro-fessionals, college stu-dents, and school kids ages 10 and up will intersect in a monthly catechism called ‘Jesus Got Mail’ under the diocese’s challenge for the young to “Choose to Be Brave” in faith at San Antonio de Padua Parish Church on Feb-ruary 22, Commission on Youth Coordinator Marie Joy C. Lumbad, said.“You will get a mail from Jesus in our ac-tivities,” she said in vernacular. “‘Jesus Got Mail’ is composed of Bible study, fellow-ship, and worship as core activities of the monthly gathering. The topics mainly touch on the challenge to the young people to “Choose to Be Brave,” in contemporary time.The participants are asked with thought-provoking questions like ‘Are you brave enough for your faith’ and ‘Have you already found your true love, who is Christ,’ Lum-bad said.Choose to Be Brave because “love knows no fear,” she said. Young professionals, college students, as well as children can become missionaries of Christ in their own simple ways, Lum-bad said. One can be a good Christian with-out taking the course to martyrdom, the way taken by saints, who were beheaded and burnt at the stake for faith.“By simply becom-ing a good employee, a good student, a good child, a good neigh-bor—a good person in general, one is brave enough in his faith,” she said. “One can be a good Christian without being perse-cuted to death, the way saints died. As simple as that, we can be good Christians.”To communicate in the tongue of the young people of today, the group takes on the usage of creative semantics to capture attention and elicit re-sponse, Lumbad said. One example, since February is the month of love, the group calls it the month of “Peg-Ibig.”Lumbad wishes to share with young women that “masarap magmahal” [to love is wonderful] if one is brave enough. Brave enough because one will come to it after graduation from col-lege, a time when her parents will likely ap-prove.“Hindi naman ma-sama magmahal, pero dapat ang tama,” Lumbad said. [Noth-ing is wrong in having a boyfriend as long as it comes with propri-ety.] This is one of the lessons participants to ‘Jesus Got Mail’ will learn.‘Jesus Got Mail’ also binds together members of Youth for Christ (YFC), sacris-tans, usherettes, alms collectors, members of the church’s theater performers, and other young people seeking more of God, she said.‘Jesus Got Mail’ cat-echism starts at 6:00 pm every fourth Sat-urday of the month, Lumbad said. Time aptly chosen, and dubbing it “Sabado Night with the Lord,” the young warriors of faith join the gathering after work and school.“We do this to en-courage the youth to get closer to God,” she said. “At the same time, they can share with others their ex-perience of God. And wherever we go, we shall share the love and experience of God with others. This is to evangelize the youth.”Rev. Fr. John Fran-cis Frederick K. Man-lapig, San Antonio de Padua parish priest, is the oversight of the group, who is also in charge of the youth in the diocese.
(Oliver Samson)
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