There was a problem sending you an sms. Check your phone number or try again later.
We've sent a link to the Scribd app. If you didn't receive it, try again.
A RANKING official of the influential Catho- lic Bishops\u2019 Conference of the Philippines said the reported poll fraud in Maguindanao should be viewed with utmost gravity as he called for a deeper investigation into allega- tions.
CBCP Vice President and Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, S.J. said he hears reports of massive cheating that may affect the peace process in Mindanao.
THE special elections in the Prelature of Marawi proved to be \u201ca very frustrating ex- perience\u201d for Catholic church-based volun- teers. This was how Bishop Edwin dela Pe\u00f1a, MSP, described the latest political exercise where professionals and youth volunteers gathered under the aegis of Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting, NASSA- NAMFREL andLENTE.
BALANGA (Bataan) Bishop Socrates D. Villegas ap- pealed to national and local midterm election winners not to \u201cdisappoint\u201d the people and urged them to pur- sue the common good.
In a statement, Bishop Villegas said elected public of- ficials need to create an inclusive and accessible soci- ety, especially for the poor.
A close confidant of the late Manila Archbishop Jaime L. Sin, Villegas urged winners to remember voters who believed and trusted them with their future.
\u201cA new breed of leaders would help remove the Phil- ippines from the list of the world\u2019s most corrupt coun- tries,\u201d he further said.
He appealed to the losers to accept defeat honorably as \u201cthere are many ways of serving the poor aside from getting elected into public office.\u201d
\u201cBy the very fact you are born in the Philippines, you are called to serve the Filipinos with or without any position in government,\u201d the 46 year-old prelate added.
He urged everyone to move forward and \u201cforget di- visive politics, corrupt politics and let us give the kind of politics that gives life, that lives to progress and that\u2019s God-centered,\u201d Villegas said.
On the same appeal, CBCP Philippines President and Jaro Archbishop Angel N. Lagdameo asked Filipinos to watch winners during the past elections deliver their campaign promises.
INTERRELIGOUS dialogue is a must to achieve peace and unity in the world\u2019s most populous region, thus said CBCP Vice President and Cagayan de Oro Arch- bishop Antonio Ledesma, S.J.
In a radio interview, Archbishop Ledesma, CBCP Chairman of the Episco- pal Commission on Interreligious Dialogue and head of secretariat of the Bishops- Ulama Conference, spoke before regional leaders of the Asian Concerence on Reli- gions for Peace (ACRP) on the Bishop- Ulama dialogue and its programs to pro- mote peace and understanding between Christians and Muslims.
ACRP is the Asian network of the World Conference on Religions for Peace (WCRP) and had its assembly at the Pius XII Catho- lic Center last Thursday, May 24 to plan
for the forthcoming general assembly scheduled to be held in Manila in October 2008.
ACRP Secretary-General Dr. Sunggon Kin said the group is closely coordinating with the Catholic community, especially with the bishops who they plan to invite for the coming assembly.
\u201cRoman Catholic is the major religious community in the Philippines so we expect the assistance of the country\u2019s Catholic community,\u201d Kim said.
Dr. Lilian Dizon, ACRP Philippine Chap- ter Secretary-General said next year\u2019s as- sembly will be in partnership with the CBCP and the country\u2019s pontifical univer- sity, the University of Santo Tomas.
Now on its 30th year, the Asian Confer- ence on Religions for Peace\u2019s general as- sembly is held every five years which tack- les important issues that concern the re- gions of over two billion people.
ACRP Secretary General Kim said their three-pronged approach to the region\u2019s pressing concerns include the exchange of religious people for peace and understand- ing, second, peace, education and compli- mentary researches and third, service and helping people in need.
For next year\u2019s general assembly, the theme is Peacemaking in Asia with five sub-commit- tees to work on five sub-themes which in-
CBCP National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace Chair and Marbel Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez led the 13- man Philippine delegation to the 3rd Asia Pacific Interfaith Dialogue at Waitangi Bay of Is- lands in New Zealand.
With the theme \u201cBuilding Bridges,\u201d the three-day event which begins Tuesday, May 29, is a follow-up to the 2nd Asia Pacific Interfaith Dialogue held last year in Mactan, Cebu. The first meeting was held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia in 2004.
and Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, S.J. also joined Bishop Gutierrez along with representatives from the Philippine Council of Evangeli- cal Churches with Bishops Ephraim Tindero and Cesar Punzalan and Philippine Is- lamic Council President Com-
missioner Taj Basman, all active officers of the Interfaith Com- mission.
Other delegates came from Miriam College\u2019s Center for Peace Education, Interfaith Center for a Culture of Non- Violence, the Peacemakers Circle Foundation, Inc. and the Bishops-Ulama Council\u2019s secre- tariat.
Government officials from the Department of Foreign Af- fairs, Presidential Council on Values Formation and Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process also joined the delegation.
The Philippines is home to more than 80% Roman Catho- lics, 5% Muslims, and 2% each from
Evangelicals, Aglipayans and Inglesia ni Cristo, according to religious diversity profile for the Waitangi
MSGR. Andres Cosalan, Vicar General of the Diocese of Baguio expressed alarm over the increas- ing number of abortion cases over the past few months.
In his remarks during the 5th Joint Biennial National Conven- tion of the World Apostolate of Fatima of the Philippines last May 24, Msgr. Cosalan said he is very disturbed by the fact that Baguio City placed second na- tionwide.
He said the Church will re- main firm in its stand against abortion and will not, in any way, change its position.
a sad reality for Baguio City and its faithful will be considered \u201ca challenge\u201d for those involved in Family and Life Apostolate.
He added the Church and its leaders will have to double its efforts in espousing everyone\u2019s moral responsibilities but still needs the support of local politi- cal leaders to strictly go against abortion.
He called on the participants to be involved in the youth apostolate, especially through its campus ministries.
CBCP Commission on Social Communications and Mass Media Chair and Manila Aux- iliary Bishop Bernardino Cortez said in an era where almost ev- eryone has access to various forms of media, its practitioners ought to be reminded of their crucial responsibilities.
While he did not specify which medium should be given prime importance, Bishop Cortez said he is concerned
He said violence, disruptive behavior and vulgar sexual content in the media will re- main unacceptable to the Church and the general public.
In a statement released on the occasion of the 41st World Com- munications Day, Bishop Cortez said the Church\u2019s teach- ings on human relationships should be given prominence. He said the media is another source of value formation which is becoming \u201cstronger\u201d than the family, school and the Church.
OUR Lady of Sorrows Par- ish church along F. B. Harrison St. in Pasay City, where the late Senator Benigno and former Presi- dent Corazon Aquino ex- changed marital vows, will remain closed for several weeks after it was hit by fire early Sunday morning.
The fire lasted for two hours and severely damaged the interior of the church. In-
vestigators said the fire be- gun at around 4:00 A.M. at the altar boys\u2019 quarters. Bu- reau of Fire Protection per- sonnel are still trying to de- termine what caused the fire.
Damage was placed at over half a million pesos. No one was reported injured in the fire. The church was ca- nonically erected and inau- gurated on October 5, 1941.
THE Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) opened a fund drive to assist its volunteers who may have been injured and assist the nearest of kin of those who died while serv- ing as poll watchers during the May 14 midterm elections.
The \u201cHeroes Fund\u201d has been established following the public\u2019s response to the series of violent incidents recently. \u201cUn- sung heroes\u201d will be given due recognition as they braved \u201cguns, goons and gold\u201d to pre- serve the ideals of suffrage and democracy.
During a simple ceremony held in Makati City last Tuesday, May 22, the government\u2019s socio- economic planning agency, Na- tional Economic and Develop- ment Authority, turned over to PPCRV officials P740,000.00 do- nation, raised from contributions of concerned businessmen.
\u201cThis is our way of showing sympathy and support for those who were killed or hurt in the line of duty,\u201d NEDA Secretary Romulo Neri said.
Rev. Fr. Antonio Navarrette, parish priest of San Juan Nepomuceno Parish in Malibay, Pasay City recieves rolls of used tarpaulins from MacGraphics Carranz, intended for livelihood projects of the poor.
John Paul II Credited with the Revival of Vocations in England and Wales
LONDON, May 21\u2014The Catholic Church of England and Wales has seen an increase in the number of men who have entered the seminary to study for the priesthood since the death of Pope John Paul II in 2005.
Fr. Paul Embery, director of the National Office for Voca- tions of the Bishops\u2019 Confer- ence of England and Wales, ex- plained in an interview with SIR that the death of John Paul II generated a lot of interest in the Catholic Church.
\u201cThe young saw the fidelity that the Pope had for his voca- tion and were attracted by his faith,\u201d he said. The number of vocations is higher today than it was three years ago, he added.
The average age of candi- dates has risen. Fr. Embery said the typical candidate to the priesthood today is a 30- year-old graduate, English or Welsh. Very few are from non- white ethnic minorities.
\u201cIn 2003 the low point was reached with only 24 new en- trants into seminaries. Last year, by contrast, there were 44 new priests, an increase that is a strong sign of hope,\u201d said Fr. Embery.
Still, the number of candi- dates to the priesthood is very low compared with the 1950s and 1960s, and there are fewer priests that are ordained each year than the number who die or retire.
year and only one new one is or- dained,\u201d he said. \u201cLast year, 20 priests were or- dained in England and Wales, a num- ber insufficient to replace those who died.\u201d
Fr. Embery said there is currently one priest for every 800 faithful in the country. He calls this a \u201cvery gener- ous ratio for these times\u201d compared with the ratio in other European or Latin
American countries. \u201cIn Latin America,\u201d he said, \u201cthere is only one priest for every 9,000 inhabitants.\u201d
The priest attributes the de- cline in vocations to the drop in church attendance and reli- gious practice. As well, he said, there is very little in terms of Catholic outreach to young people past the age of 18 and those in university.
\u201cIn Great Britain, the Catho- lic movements are not so strong and young university students must be highly moti- vated if they want to continue to go to church,\u201d he said. On the plus side, this also trans- lates into vocations to the priesthood that are also more highly motivated than before \u201cbecause aspirant priests must be very conscious of the rea-
sons that motivate their work and be able to justify it to non- believers,\u201d he said.
The National Office for Vo- cations has attempted to reach younger age groups with their vocations campaign by using Japanese Manga cartoons.
\u201cMany priests and religious confirm they had thought of their own vocation for the first time when they were little more than 10 years old, some- times even earlier,\u201d said Fr. Embery. \u201cSo we thought these cartoons, which speak of real vocations, were the best way to communicate with children who aspire to become priests.\u201d
PASADENA, California, May 25, 2007\u2014The Virgin Mary was honored at a Rosary Bowl that gathered a crowd of 60,000 and featured speakers as diverse as Cardinal Roger Mahony and Miss Mexico.
The event, held last Saturday, was hosted by Holy Cross Fam- ily Ministries and the Archdio- cese of Los Angeles, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
The Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, who Benedict XVI recently ap- pointed a member of the Pon- tifical Council for the Family, invited the audience to unity that crosses frontiers.
\u201cThe rosary and Our Lady, especially under her title of Our Lady of Guadalupe, must be seen as the common bond of our Catholic hemisphere,\u201d Carl Anderson said. \u201cOur Lady of Guadalupe points us to her Son, but she also points us to unity in her Son and for Catholics this unity must transcend borders.\u201d
The Rosary Bowl included adoration and the recitation of the glorious mysteries of the rosary.
Speakers included Cardinal Mahony, archbishop of Los Angeles; Bishop Oscar Solis, vicar for ethnic ministries of the archdiocese;
Ilibagiza, a Rwandan genocide survivor; actor Eduardo Ver\u00e1stegui, of \u201cBella\u201d; and Jacky Bracamontes, Miss Mexico 2000.
Anderson added: \u201cWhile many continents have never been Christian, and while Europe\u2019s churches are nearly empty, ours are still full. It is here that the Church faces a bright future.
\u201cNo other place on earth has as many practicing Catholics as the Americas. It is up to us\u2014in our lives, in our homes, and in our families \u2014 to put our faith into practice.\u201d(Zenit)
ANN ARBOR, May 22, 2007\u2014 A bill is being proposed in the Michigan house that would le- galize adoptions by homo- sexual partners. Supporters of the bill point to the lack of op- position from the Michigan Catholic Conference as their reason for hoping the bill will pass.
Detroit Free Press Columnist Brian Dickerson recently wrote, \u201cThe Church\u2019s neutrality un- derlines the fact that adoption and gay marriage are separate issues, practically as well as le- gally.\u201d
To counter this false impres- sion, the Thomas More Law Center revealed today that it has sent a letter to over one hundred members of the Michi- gan state House of Representa- tives informing them of the Catholic Church\u2019s unequivocal opposition to adoptions by ho- mosexual partners.
The Thomas More Law Cen- ter is a national Christian legal advocacy group based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The Law Center\u2019s letter ex- tensively quotes from a 2003 document issued by the Con- gregation for the Doctrine of Faith headed by then Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. The document entitled, \u201cConsiderations regarding Pro- posals to Give Legal Recogni- tion to unions Between Homo- sexual Persons,\u201d was intended to give direction to Catholic politicians and all persons com- mitted to defending the com- mon good of society.
The document states: \u201cAl- lowing children to be adopted by persons in such [homo- sexual] unions would actually mean doing violence to these children, in the sense that their condition of dependency would be used to place them in an environment that is not con- ducive to their full human de- velopment.\u201d
Richard Thompson, Presi- dent and Chief Counsel of the Law Center commented, \u201cNot only does this House Bill vio- late Catholic doctrine, but it is
a disguised effort to do an end- run around the state constitu- tional ban on same\u2013sex mar- riages overwhelmingly passed by Michigan voters in 2004. Ev- ery citizen concerned with the common good of the commu- nity and our vulnerable chil- dren should oppose this Bill.\u201d
The Law Center\u2019s letter also expressed concern that if HB 4259 passed, it would cause Christian adoption agencies to withdraw from adoptions alto- gether rather than violate their religious principles. Typically, these Christian adoption agen- cies handle the hardest to place children.
Thompson added, \u201cAl- though the Catholic Church teaches respect for homosexual persons, the Church is em- phatic that that respect \u2018cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behavior or to le- gal recognition of homosexual unions.\u2019 Allowing homosexual partners to adopt children would be giving them such rec- ognition.\u201d(CNA)
NEW YORK, May 25, 2007\u2014 The Archdiocese of New York received a record-breaking gift of $22.5 million from self-styled atheist Robert Wilson to pro- vide educational scholarships for inner-city children.
Wilson, a philanthropist and former Wall Street investor, gave the money to the Cardinal\u2019s Scholarship Pro- gram, started in 2005, to aid dis- advantaged students.
Cardinal Edward Egan, arch- bishop of New York, has ex- pressed his gratitude for the \u201chistoric and far-sighted sup- port from Mr. Wilson for the education and future well-be- ing of our neediest children in the archdiocese.\u201d
Wilson, 80, told Bloomberg News, that, although an athe- ist, he has no problem giving money to fund Catholic schools.
\u201cLet\u2019s face it, without the Roman Catholic Church, there would be no Western civiliza- tion,\u201d Wilson said. \u201cShunning religious organizations would be abhorrent.\u201d
Wilson added, \u201cIt was a chance for a very modest amount of money to get kids out of a lousy school system and into a good school sys- tem.\u201d
Another anonymous donor, after learning of Wilson\u2019s gift, gave an additional $4.5 million to the program.( Z e n i t )
APARECIDA, May 21, 2007\u2014 In a message for World Com- munications Day, celebrated on May 20, the Communica- tions Committee of the 5th General Conference of the Latin American Bishops\u2019 Council sent greetings to those who work in the media and re- minded them that they are called to \u201ctransmit the truth.
\u201cWe send our cordial greet- ings to members of the media that have been with us both during the first visit to Latin America of His Holiness Benedict XVI and the celebra- tion of the 5th Conference,\u201d the bishops said in their message.
\u201cChildren are the greatest thermometer for measuring the capacity to critically and actively form the new genera- tions,\u201d they said. \u201cDo not abandon this beautiful service that makes you sowers of free- dom, identity and community. Receive our blessing and spe- cial prayers to Our Lady of Aparecida on this day,\u201d the statement said in conclusion.
Earlier during the same press conference, the director of
David Gutierrez provided some sta- tistics on the press\u2019 coverage of past papal visits and the
CELAM conferences. He said that during the visit of John Paul II, some 1,500 journalists covered the papal trip, but that the number decreased to 300 for the General Conferences of Puebla and Santo Domingo that followed the pope\u2019s de- parture.
During Benedict XVI\u2019s trav- els outside Italy, 2,700 journal- ists covered his visit to Turkey and 4,500 his visit to Germany. For this most recent trip to Bra- zil, some 3,700 journalists were accredited to attend. 500 have remained to cover the 5th Gen- eral Conference at Aparecida.
ROME, May 22, 2007\u2014Plans by Italy\u2019s RAI television net- work to air a BBC program on sexual abuse have been con- demned by Italian Church leaders. However, the pro- gram is not certain to air be- cause Mario Landolfi, who heads RAI\u2019s parliamentary oversight committee, has re- quested a ban on its broadcast. According to Landolfi, the program unfairly attacks the Church.
An editorial in the daily Avvenire, published by the Italian bishops\u2019 conference, accused the bloggers who posted the video of \u201ccalumny against the Church and the Pope.\u201d The Italian version of Google has also posted the documentary which has be- come the most viewed video on the site, according to the Guardian.
The BBC program, \u201cSex Crimes and the Vatican,\u201d aired in England last October, drawing bitter protests from Cardinal Cormac Murphy- O\u2019Connor, the Archbishop of Westminster.
The firestorm of criticism began when RAI made plans to purchase the program from the BBC and broadcast it on its \u201cYear Zero,\u201d popular current affairs show hosted by Michele Santoro.
sentation is C r i m e n Sollicitationis, a Vatican document that
was p r o m u l - gated
in 1962. The p r o g r a m described that docu- ment as \u201cse- cret,\u201d and c l a i m s credit for
exposing it, although the full text of Crimen Sollicitationis was published in 2001 and covered extensively by Catho- lic publications in 2002.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops responded to these allegations back in 2003 stating, \u201cthe document is be- ing taken out of context, that it\u2019s a church law that deals only with religious crimes and sins. And that the secrecy is meant to protect the faithful from scandal.\u201d
Crimen Sollicitationis cov- ers canonical discipline for priests accused of the sexual misconduct\u2014including, but not limited to, the sexual abuse of minors. Because the document emphasizes the confidentiality of canonical trials, the BBC report sug- gested that the Vatican policy,
and its enforcement by then- Cardinal Ratzinger, was an effort to conceal evidence of abuse.
According to Avvenire, the BBC report missed the crucial distinction between canonical and civil trials, and noted that the Vatican document did not require victims of abuse to re- main silent. On the contrary, paragraph 15 of the document \u201cobliged anyone knowledge- able of sexual abuse commit- ted in the confessional to tell authorities or they would be excommunicated.\u201d
The BBC program distorts the facts of the case, Avvenire said, in order to raise \u201caccu- sations
Joseph Ratzinger of being the indi- vidual responsible for cover- ing up the crime of pedophilia by priests.\u201d( C N A )
VATICAN CITY, May 24, 2007\u2014\u201dLatin Future: the lan- guage for building the identity of Europe\u201d is the theme of an international congress to be held in Rome and the Vatican from May 25 to 26.
The event is being promoted by the Italian National Research Council (CNR) and the Pontifi- cal Committee for Historical Sciences.
Professors, senators, writers and journalists from various countries, the majority Italian, are due to participate in the
On the first day Friday, May 25, discussions will focus on the question of \u201cthe role of Latin in the formation of Europe\u201d and on the \u201cmodernity and signifi- cance of Latin for scientific and cultural progress.\u201d
Among those present on Sat- urday, May 26, to consider the question of \u201cpolicies to follow in order to support the study of Latin\u201d will be Jan Figel, Euro- pean Commissioner for Educa- tion, Training, and Culture, and Wang Huansheng, a member of
Before the closing address, due to be delivered by Msgr. Walter Brandmuller, president of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences, the winner of the \u201cad Fontes\u201d journalism prize will be announced.
The prize, now in its second edition, is awarded for the pub- lication of articles on subjects associated with the importance of Classical languages in edu- cation and scientific and cul- tural development.(VIS)
BEIJING, China, May 22, 2007\u2014China\u2019s internet admin- istrators have released a draft voluntary code of conduct for bloggers and service providers after months of preparation that involved input from popular portals like MSN, Sina.com, Sohu.com and People.com.cn. Their goal is to tighten the au- thorities\u2019
The draft code of conduct was posted yesterday on the website of the semi-official Internet Society of China for a week of feedback.
The society said that the code is \u201caimed to enhance regulation of the responsibilities and obli- gations of bloggers and blog service providers through in- dustry self-regulation and an
It also claimed the code would ensure \u201ccontinuous and healthy development of China\u2019s internet\u201d since \u201csome people are using blogs to spread un- healthy information, seriously disturb social order and public interests, and pollute the internet environment.\u201d
Under the code, bloggers would have to sign an agree- ment saying they will not spread unhealthy, illegal, por- nographic, defamatory or false information that might infringe on others\u2019 legal rights. They would also have to promptly delete illegal or unhealthy re- sponses to postings.
Service providers would have to insist that users live up to obligations, and could refuse
The code also deals with the issue of real-name blogger reg- istration, which has generated considerable opposition from bloggers for its effect on free- dom of speech.
For two years the society has been working with Ministry of Information Industry to imple- ment real-name registration but has run into widespread con- cerns over reduced freedom of speech on the internet.
A marketing manager of Zol.com.cn backed the require- ment arguing that porno- graphic content on the website came mainly from posts by anonymous users and was hard to regulate.(AsiaNews/Agen-
THE CBCP Office on Women (CBCP-OW) held a one-day training program for prospective desk coordi- nators on April 28 at the Holy Spirit School Multi- Media Center in Tagbilaran City.
Fifty lay leaders from dif- ferent parishes and represen- tatives of different organiza- tions such as the Council of the Laity of Tagbilaran, Catholic Women\u2019s League, Family Life Apostolate Pro- Life Movement, HNU Guid- ance Center, and Brother- hood of Christian Business- men and Professionals par- ticipated in the training seminar.
Organized by Tagbilaran bishop, Most Rev. Leonardo Medroso, and the Diocesan coordinators, the seminar was conducted to prepare desk coordinators for the task of assisting women/ children in crisis situation by equipping them with neces- sary knowledge and skills on basic counseling, network- ing and netbonding.
CBCP-OW executive sec- retary Dr. Zenaida Rotea and Pro-Life Philippines founder Sr. Pilar Versoza, RGS led the panel of speakers coming from various government
Issues tackled during the seminar included Women and Child concerns, domes- tic violence in all its forms, poverty, ignorance, and mi- gration.
The participants were also trained on the area of coun- seling principally in specific cases like domestic violence, pre-marital sex and un- wanted pregnancy, post- abortion, marital crisis and sexual abuse.
The training program con- cluded with participants and trainors mapping out strate- gies on how to address the various concerns of women and children as discussed during the seminar. The ba- sic guidelines for setting up a diocesan/parish desk were also laid out.
The Office on Women is conducting the seminar in various parts of the country as part of its ongoing pro- gram of empowering women and helping them regain their dignity. The of- fice has so far covered 48 dio- ceses.
Recently, the diocese of San Jose in Antique launched its own diocesan commission on women.
in Guangxi is a sign that China\u2019s population is less and less will- ing to put up with the one-child policy so much so that it is ready to take to the streets. Many voices in the country\u2019s scholarly community are also calling for a policy overhaul for the sake of society and the economy.
Riots broke out in several towns in Bobai County last weekend when thousands of people stormed a local govern- ment office, smashing furniture and destroying vehicles. Some even tried to set the building alight. All of them are fed up with government officials and police trying to enforce the one- child policy, reportedly using violence in some cases.
Many families were hit with arbitrary fines for violating the policy. Those who could not pay had their homes ransacked
by officers. The residents also accused the authorities of forc- ing women to have abortions in order to fulfill the annual newly-born quotas the central government has set for each city. Last April 61 women were forced to have an abortion in Youjiang County (Guangxi), two in the ninth month of preg- nancy.
Such is the situation that the government has been forced to station police units to protect the hospital where abortions were performed.
Last September legal scholar Teng Biao and blind human rights
Chen Guangcheng slammed the au- thorities in Linyi (Shandong) for using violence against fami- lies with \u201cillegal\u201d children.
In Gaoping (Hunan) in the last four years, officials took away 12 children from their families in order to get them to pay the fine because they failed
Also in Hunan province, the authorities forced unmarried women to undergo \u201cpregnancy checks\u201d making the test com- pulsory for any woman seeking a share of community land-sale revenues and voting rights.
The one-child policy is likely to fuel further social unrest as human rights activists have pointed out. Increasingly people are unwilling to accept the unfairness of a system that allows rich people\u2014for ex- ample, actors, landowners and business men\u2014to have more than one child because they can afford the fine whilst others cannot. The one-child policy is thus feeding into the debate over the growing gap between rich and poor and the rising corruption scandal among rank and file party officials, too ready to turn a blind eye on ex- tra children in order to collect taxes and money.
Officials at the State Family Planning Office are the first to become aware of the danger of unrest since they are caught be- tween the government\u2019s de- mands and threats against their job and the increasingly dissatis- fied and belligerent population.
China\u2019s one-child policy came into being in the late 1970s as part of a strategy to put the country on a path of economic growth. However, it runs against the grain of Chinese mentality, which considers gen- erational ties and ancestor wor- ship the bases of the family unit.
Ye Tingfang, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), said that only about 35 per cent of the popu- lation has observed the policy, and that it is increasingly criti- cized because of its many social and economic side effects like an ageing population and gen- der imbalance.
Another CASS member, Prof Zhang Yi from the Institute of Population and Labour Eco- nomics, said that the country is ageing faster than expected and that the situation will worsen as the number of retired workers grows and the pool of people paying into pension funds shrinks.
As fewer rural workers stream into the cities, labor shortages are starting to appear in booming coastal regions. \u201cIn the beginning, it was believed that our big population would be a hindrance to our economic development. But over the past decades, experience has told us otherwise,\u201d said Professor Ye. \u201cJapan, for instance, has little in the way of resources and boasts one of the highest population densities in the world, but it is a thriving economy and one of the richest nations. Labor is the most important source of wealth.\u201d(AsiaNews)
YOUNG people from all over the province of Rizal and neigh- boring Marikina City gathered last April 27-28, 2007 for an overnight jamboree celebrating the culture of vocations at the gymnasium of La Salle College in Antipolo City.
The Vocation Ministry of the Diocese of Antipolo, through its Antipolo Diocesan Vocations Office (ADVOC) organized the event in celebration of Diocesan Vocation Festival, already in its 13thyear.
This year\u2019s vocation festival was hosted by the Parish of San Isidro Labrador.
Around 2,000 young people from the different parishes of the diocese and from various youth organizations and ecclesial movements partici- pated in the festival. Also par- ticipating were a big number of priests, seminarians, religious men and women, and lay vo- cation promoters coming from the Diocese of Antipolo and other places in Metro Manila and Cebu.
oed Pope Benedict XVI\u2019s mes- sage for the 44th World Day of Prayer for Vocations on April 29, 2007: \u201cThe Vocation to the Service of the Church as Com- munion.\u201d The festival sought to highlight the call to a change of mentality among the people of today\u2014from a consumerist and individualistic mindset to a life of self-giving, sacrifice and ser- vice \u201cfor\u201d and \u201cin\u201d God in the spirit of a common call.
The program started early in the afternoon of April 27 with various religious communities setting up vocation exhibits to present to the participants their different charisms and way of life. The youth trooped to the exhibit area where the priests, seminarians and nuns pre- sented their lives through infor- mal conversations and sharing.
The festival formally started with the celebration of the Holy Mass. After supper, a festive welcome for the delegates en- sued with a string of lively songs led by a hundred youth animators. The opening pro- gram also included a produc- tion number from the diocesan
Fr. Jason Laguerta, National Coordinator of the Directors of Vocations in the Philippines (DVP), gave a lively but chal- lenging talk to the participants. Through his personal experi- ences, insights and videos, he challenged everyone to live
sharing followed with religious men and women, and lay vo- cation promoters acting as fa- cilitators. Towards midnight, a Holy Hour was held. The youth lifted to God all their prayers and intentions in discerning their life commitment.
The early morning program was dubbed as a \u201cyouth festi- val of vocations.\u201d The youth remained awake with songs and dances that lifted their spir- its. Seminarians and religious women from different congre- gations danced to modern and ethnic tunes to the delight of the crowd. Vocation stories and in- sights were shared in between presentations which resonated the call to discern particular vocations in life. It was interest- ing to hear testimonies shared by a priest, a nun and the mother of a seminarian.
Towards the end of the festi- val, a candlelit procession was held around the athletic oval of the school. It was a beautiful sight seeing hundreds of candles encircling the oval while participants were pray- ing the \u201crosary for vocations.\u201d
The closing ceremony of the festival saw participants mak- ing concrete commitments to live a culture of vocations in their families and communities. This was symbolically done as
each participant tied multi-col- ored strips of paper they were holding with one another to the strains of the festival theme song,\u201cIisa.\u201d
Pope John Paul II\u2019s \u201cPrayer for Vocations\u201d was prayed aloud by all those present. The
R i z a l , where the next dioc- esan voca-
For thirteen years, the voca- tion festival has been held with an overwhelming response from the youth who continues to seek not only fun-filled ex- periences but a serious discern- ment of God\u2019s call for them. It has been noted that the Diocese of Antipolo has been encoun- tering a shortage of candidates to the priesthood and religious life. Thus, the event has become a venue for the young people to experience initial stirrings to particular vocations in life.
The celebration was said to be a success not only because of the large number of partici- pants. The young people talked about forming new friendships and renewing their zeal as youth leaders of the Church. Many feedbacks also came from participants who told stories of serious discernment to particu- lar calling like the priesthood and religious life.
The festival also set the tone where a number of youth made concrete steps to journey to- gether seeking God\u2019s will for them!
Those who participated in the 13th Antipolo Diocesan Voca- tion Festival are invited to con- tinue their links with one an- other by being part of <email@example.com>.
MOSCOW, May 25, 2007\u2014 The message from Mary\u2019s appearances in Fatima is still relevant after 90 years, because it is linked to the transformation of the hu- man person, said Arch- bishop
The anniversary of the ap- paritions was marked on May 13. The leader of the Archdiocese of the Mother of God said that the 1917 appearances are reason for hope.
ZENIT asked him what the 90th anniversary should mean for young people.
\u201cIn the first place young people must understand that Our Lady of Fatima gave us hope in 1917,\u201d he said. \u201cShe warned of up- coming dangers for which we needed to pray.
\u201cShe predicted the devel- opment of the history of Russia and the world, but at the same time she gave us hope and offered her Im- maculate Heart as the ideal or symbol for us to follow to have a pure heart: \u2018My Immaculate Heart will tri- umph and Russia will be converted.\u2019
\u201cThis is the hope she gave to Russia and the entire world.\u201d
remember this, \u201cbut her appa- ritions are relevant today be- cause the call to repentance is always present: the call for man\u2019s heart to be pure.\u201d
He continued: \u201cThe words of Our Lady were a warning to carry out the will of God\u2014to respect her Immaculate Heart\u2014 because only in this way can we have a pure world; if not, many difficulties arise.
\u201cToday we see in various parts of the world new prob- lems like war, euthanasia, fam- ily problems\u2026 because man does not observe the Ten Com- mandments.
\u201cIt is because of this that the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima are still relevant after 90 years and are looked upon with interest because they are linked, above all, to the transformation of the person.\u201d
The 61-year-old archbishop further affirmed that Mary\u2019s message was significant for Russia also in an ecumenical sense.
He said: \u201cOur Lady of Fatima spoke of the conversion of Rus- sia to God, she didn\u2019t say that it had to be exclusively Catholic.
\u201cAs the Catholic Church, we help our Orthodox brethren and we work together to con- tinue and develop dialogue be- tween us.
\u201cMary is just as present in the Orthodox Church as she is in the Catholic Church and, I
would say, much more in Russia. Her image is a fig- ure that is always pure for every Catholic and Ortho- dox for whom, without a doubt, her apparitions have ecumenical significance.\u201d
According to Julio Loredo, the coordinator of the Apostles of Fatima for the Light Over the East or- ganization, the faith in Rus- sia is vibrant.
In Russia, \u201cI saw a faith that was much stronger that that of many people in the West because it is watered in blood,\u201d he told ZENIT.
\u201cBlood is strong, it hurts, but what is bathed in blood will grow. In Russia, I see the fruit of the blood of mar- tyrs which was shed for many years, and the faith seems strong and very en- thusiastic,\u201d he added.
Loredo said he considers Mary\u2019s reference to Russia in the third part of Fatima\u2019s \u201csecrets\u201d as providential: \u201cWhy the focus on Russia? [\u2026] The apostolate in Rus- sia is in a sense providential and prophetic because we are touching the mystery of Fatima which says that this age of crisis will end and it will be the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.\u201d
Now bringing you back...
Does that email address look wrong? Try again with a different email.