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CBCPMonitor vol12-n01

CBCPMonitor vol12-n01



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Published by: cbcpmonitor on Jun 12, 2008
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Attack on the family undermines
Attack on the family undermines
Attack on the family undermines
Attack on the family undermines
Attack on the family undermines
world peace, says
peace, says
peace, says
peace, says
peace, says Holy Father
Holy Father
Holy Father
Holy Father
Holy Father
Protagonist of Truth, Promoter of Peace
Vol. 11 No. 25
December 10 - 30, 2007
Php 20.00
Bishop warns vs. toy gun
A RANKING Catholic Church official has issued
a stern caution against giving toy guns to chil-
dren as Christmas gifts.
Bishop Joel Baylon, chairman of the CBCP
Episcopal Commission on Youth, discouraged
such presents because it doesn\u2019t match up with
the message of peace.
\u201cI had been negative towards that (giving toy
guns) because of its possible bad effects to chil-
dren,\u201d he said.
CBCP head: Put God at the heart of Christmas
The more / A6
Bishop / A6
Attack / A6
\u201cJesus must be experienced at Christmas, not simply as a great prophet, a religious founder or genius but as God\u2019s ultimate Word to mankind. In him concrete human life is
found in its most basic and radical form.\u201d -- Archbishop Angel N. Lagdameo
The more fortunate
should renounce their
r igh ts\u2014Lagdam eo
\u201cTHE more fortunate should renounce some of
their rights (even over material possessions they
justly possess) so as to place their goods more
generously at the service of others,\u201d said CBCP
president and Jaro archbishop Angel Lagdameo
in his blog (www.abplagdameo.blogspot.com).
This he said in the spirit of the celebration of
International Human Rights Day and in the con-
Pope\u2019s second
encyclical invites
people to personally
encounter Jesus
CBCP Head / A6
Cubao / A6
United / A6
The Hum an Fam ily, a
Com m unity of Peace
Christm astide
Impact magazine is 41. It may
be the oldest running Asian
magazine for human
transformation in the region.
Get updated with the latest trends in
social development vis-\u00e0-vis the
social teachings of the Church.
To subscribe: email to
Or write to: Impact, 470 Gen. Luna St.,
Intramuros, Manila.
Or call (02) 4041612 / 4042182 / 5274139
tion for the upcoming 41st
World Day of Peace, which
will be celebrated on Janu-
ary 1, 2008.
Before launching into his
explanation of why the fam-
ily must be protected, the
Pope defined the family say-
ing that it is \u201c \u2018a divine insti-
tution that stands at the foun-
dation of life of the human
person as the prototype of
every social order\u2019.\u201d
Benedict XVI insisted that,
\u201cthe family is the first and in-
dispensable teacher of peace,\u201d
and it is also, \u201cthe foundation
of society ... because it enables
its members in decisive ways
to experience peace. It follows
that the human community
cannot do without the service
provided by the family,\u201d the
Pope emphasized.
Referencing the Universal
Declaration of Human
Rights, Pope Benedict re-
minded everyone that the
family is entitled to protec-
tion from society and the
\u201cConsequently,\u201d the Pope
said, \u201cwhoever, even un-
knowingly, circumvents the
institution of the family un-
dermines peace in the entire
community, national and in-
ternational, since he weak-
ens what is in effect the pri-
mary agency of peace.\u201d
The Holy Father also
stressed that \u201ceverything that
serves to weaken the family
based on the marriage of a
man and a woman, every-
thing that directly or indi-
rectly stands in the way of its
openness to the responsible
acceptance of a new life, ev-
erything that obstructs its
right to be primarily respon-
sible for the education of its
children, constitutes an ob-
jective obstacle on the road
to peace.\u201d
While some people live with
the attitude that mankind lives

Pope Benedict XVI called upon the international community to protect the family at all costs because it is \u201cthe first and indispensable teacher of peace.\u201d He also insisted that who- ever undermines the family, attacks peace in the entire com- munity.

The Holy Father\u2019s message was made public in prepara-
JESUS should be at the core of our Ad-
vent and Christmas celebration, a high-
ranking Church official said.
Jaro Archbishop and Catholic Bishops\u2019
Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)
President Most Rev. Angel Lagdameo
stressed it is important to put Jesus at
the center of our festivities during the
Christmas season.
The Advent season, although a time
of waiting for the coming of the Lord is
being celebrated as if it is already Christ-
mas, observed Lagdameo.
But he lamented saying that in the
midst of frenetic activities people tend
to forget the reason for the celebration.
\u201cJesus seems no longer a part of our
Christmas parties during the Advent and
Christmas season,\u201d Lagdameo noted.
\u201cAnd yet without Jesus, all our festivi-
ties, gift-giving, decorations, Christmas
carols are without meaning,\u201d he added.
We celebrate Christmas every year,
the prelate said, to remind us of God
who decided to be with us (Emmanuel).
He said Jesus had embraced the nitty-
gritty of human existence, so that man
may learn from him how it is to become
fully human.
\u201cHe lived among us, laughed and
cried like us, showing us how it is to be
truly human yet totally attuned to God,\u201d
said Lagdameo.
Glimpse of hope
In the face of natural calamities and
social ills people have to endure nowa-
days, the season of Advent and Christ-
mas nonetheless instills hope in the
hearts of the faithful.
The Advent season\u2014four weeks of
preparation before Christmas\u2014is a pe-
riod of waiting for the coming of the
\u201cWe always ask God to come and
change the world\u2026 to free our world
from poverty, violence and war\u2026to
make us more concerned of other people,
our environment and country,\u201d
Lagdameo said
United front vs child pornography neededCubao bishop warns flock of \u2018anti-life\u2019 bills
Volume of child
overwhel mi ng
in Asia
THERE have been over four mil-
lion women and children who
have fallen prey to human traf-
fickers in the Philippines and
other southeast Asian countries
over the past few years.
According to the Asia Against
Child Trafficking, an interna-
tional non-government organiza-
tion, the figures are \u201coverwhelm-
Sr. Rosanne Malillin, SPC,
NASSA executive secretary, said
child trafficking and sexual ex-
ploitation of women and minors
occur frequently in the poorest
regions of the country. She de-
scribed the illegal activities as
\u201cmost severe form of abuse\u201d
against women and children.
\u201cThe figures should send a
strong signal to make all sectors
help abate the incidence of child
trafficking and exploitation,\u201d Sr.
Rosanne added.
Along with NASSA\u2019s and its 54
Diocesan Social Action Centers\u2019
commitment to spearhead com-
munity mobilization for effective
and efficient delivery of basic so-
cial services and implement pro-
grams on healthcare and educa-
tion, the concerted efforts will
further be strengthened by its
linkages with the consortium of
OPTICAL Media Board Chair-
man Eduardo Manzano called
on every sector of society to
come together and form a
united front against child por-
Speaking at the kick-off
rites before the Metro Ma-
nila-wide caravan, Manzano
Community, Congressman
Bienvenido Abante and
Gabrielaamong others.
Manzano said his group
will try to replicate the cara-
van in various regions where
child pornography is preva-
In a statement, CBCP Presi-
dent and Jaro (Iloilo) Arch-
bishop Angel N. Lagdameo
said the advocacy and cam-
paign against child pornog-
raphy \u201cmust be supported by
civil society to protect the
moral welfare of future gen-
erations.\u201d He added civil au-
thorities have the duty to pre-
vent the production and dis-
tribution of pornographic
CBCP Media Director
Pedro C. Quitorio said while
the country celebrated Hu-
man Rights day yearly, the
expressed his thanks to the
CBCP Ad-Hoc Committee
Against Child Pornography,
MTRCB under Chairperson
Ma. Consoliza P. Laguardia,
Office of Muslim Affairs, Na-
tional Commission on the
Role of Filipino Women,
Iglesia ni Cristo, Jesus Is Lord
A CATHOLIC bishop has re-
newed his alarm over two pend-
ing \u201canti-life\u201d health measures
filed before the local govern-
ment of Quezon City.
In a circular to his flocks,
Cubao Bishop Honesto
Ongtioco warned that the pro-
posed ordinances by Councilor
Joseph Juico imperil the sanctity
of human life and family.
\u201cAs your shepherd, I admon-
ish you to defend the sanctity of
human life and family that are
now in tremendous dangers,\u201d he
The proposed laws, he said,
\u201ccleverly crafted\u201d under the
guise of Reproductive Health
and Population Management
pushes \u201csafe\u201d abortion and the
use of abortifacients.
The same policies, he said,
will make compulsory the
teaching of contraceptive meth-
ods to students from elemen-
tary up to high school.
What\u2019s worse, Ongtioco ex-
claimed, is that recipients of said
policies, if approved, are under
a punitive provision of impris-
onment and fines if they are not
\u201cThey use the name of the
poor on the issue of poverty to
push their deadly intent of pro-
Volume / A6
Bishop Honesto Ongtioco
Vol. 11 No. 25
December 10 - 30, 2007
CBCP Monitor
CBCP Monitor
World News
CDF to release important document on evangelization and catechesis
Catholic population growing in
United Arab Emirates
VATICAN CITY, December 6,
2007\u2014The Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith (CDF),
headed by Cardinal William Jo-
seph Levada, is about to release
an important document on evan-
gelization and catechesis,
Vatican sources told CNA this
According to the Vatican
sources, the document, which
could be made public this Ad-
vent, \u201ccan be regarded as an ap-
plication of the principles of the
document \u201cDominus Iesus\u201d to
the way evangelization is trans-
mitted and catechesis is taught
within the Catholic Church.\u201d
In \u201cDominus Iesus\u201d the CDF,
then under the leadership of Car-
dinal Joseph Ratzinger, clearly
established the differences be-
tween the Catholic Church and
other religions including other
Christian denominations. \u201cDomi-
nus Iesus\u201d states that only the
Catholic Church possesses the
fullness of the Christian faith.
According to sources con-
sulted by CNA, the new docu-
ment on evangelization will
stress the need to make the per-
son of Jesus Christ, in his role as
God incarnated to bring the full
revelation of God\u2019s plans
through the Catholic Church, the
corner stone and center of every
program of evangelization and
The intention of the docu-
ment, according to the source, is
\u201cto bring back the centrality of
Jesus to the programs aimed at
transmitting the faith to future
generations, since several of
these programs are centered on
feelings or confused ideas about
the teachings of the Church on
the nature of Jesus.\u201d( C N A )
Cardinal William Levada
DUBAI, UAE, December 7, 2007\u2014
The KAI news agency reports that
the number of Catholics in the
United Arab Emirates (UAE) is
steadily growing.
Forty-five priests serve 20 par-
ishes and 1.3 million Catholics in
the UAE. The largest parish is
spiritual home for 65,000 Catho-
lics\u2014nearly all of them workers
from India, the Philippines,
China, and Africa.
In May, the Holy See estab-
lished diplomatic relations with
the United Arab Emirates, which
honor a constitution that guaran-
tees freedom of religion.
Burma bishops: Fewer parties
and more prayers for Christmas
Australian Catholic Church
running ads in movie theaters
Cancer is my \u2018angel,\u2019 says
Taiwanese prelate spreads message of courage
New director for Vatican newspaper
Holy See delegation at
climate change conference
YANGON, Myanmar, December 7, 2007\u2014The
Catholic Bishops\u2019 Conference of Myanmar
(CBCM) exhorted the faithful to cut down on
\u201cexternal\u201d Christmas celebrations\u2014games,
songs and parties\u2014in order to focus on
\u201cprayer and adoration until the country finds
peace and prosperity\u201d. The statement was
referring to the Advent and Christmas cel-
According to UCA News during a special
announcement on December 3rd, the bishops
of Myanmar invited lay people, priests and
the faithful to focus all their energy to pro-
mote peace. The country formally known as
Burma, has experienced unrest since Septem-
ber after a violent government crack down on
peaceful protests led by Buddhist monks. At
least 15 people were killed and several mon-
asteries were forced to shut down.
\u201cWe would like to exhort all the faithful of
the dioceses,\u201d the message said, \u201cto cut down
on the external forms of celebrating the feast
such as carol singing, Christmas parties and
similar gatherings, and spend much time in
prayer, fasting, contemplation, and in adora-
tion of the Eucharistic Lord.\u201d
The letter signed by Archbishops Paul
Zinghtung Geawng, president of the CBCM,
and by Charles Bo, secretary general, arrived
after a meeting on November 30th between
the bishops of Myanmar in Yangon and the
Apostolic Nuncio of Myanmar, Archbishop
Salvatore Pennacchio.
Father Joseph Soosay, secretary of the Na-
tional Liturgy Commission, likewise sug-
gested Catholics \u201cneed to celebrate Christ-
mas after realizing its essence.\u201d He explained
that the call for more low-key celebrations
derives from the need to \u201cguide the people\u2019s
spirituality to celebrate Christmas meaning-
VATICAN CITY, December 4,
2007\u2014The 13th session of the con-
ference of States parties to the
United Nations Framework Con-
vention on Climate Change is
being held on the Indonesian is-
land of Bali from December 3 to
14.A communique made public
yesterday afternoon affirms that
the Holy See will be present at
the Bali meeting with a delega-
tion led by Archbishop Leopoldo
Girelli, apostolic nuncio to Indo-
nesia, and composed of Msgr.
Andrew Thanya-anan Vissanu,
nunciature counsellor in Jakarta,
and of three local experts from
the Philippines and Indonesia: Fr.
Benito B. Tuazon, Fr. Alexius
Andang Listya Binawan S.J., and
Vera Wenny Setijawati.
\u201cGiven that the sessions of the
Convention on Climate Change
are held once a year in various
countries,\u201d the communique
reads, \u201cthe Holy See is usually
represented at such meetings
with a delegation led by the ap-
ostolic nuncio and made up of
experts from the area, so as to
take advantage of local resources
and to achieve a broader and
more differentiated vision of the
questions being examined.\u201d
Romano, means the opening of a new era for
the Vatican publication, which will include
its complete publication online.
L\u2019Osservatore Romano was founded in 1861
at the request of Pope Pius IX in order to give
a public voice to the Vatican, just months af-
ter the Pontifical states were lost in the wake
of Italian unification.
The Vatican daily, which is currently pub-
lished daily in Italian, has a limited circula-
tion of around 3,000 with only about 1,000
actually sold. The actual impact of the paper
is much larger though because it reflects the
position of the Vatican on critical issues.
Although the Vatican daily will never be
profitable, as it rarely prints ads, Vian has
proposed not only creating greater interest
in the newspaper but also expanding its read-
The day after becoming director, Vian in-
stituted a significant change in the format and
content of the newspaper: pages two and
three, usually full of Italian news, have be-
come international pages, with Italy covered
as just another country.
More importantly, the new director has
begun providing space for extensive opin-
ion articles by renowned experts addressing
such sensitive subjects as the future of the
liturgy, the dialogue between faith and cul-
ture and the reform of the curia.
One such article by Valentin Miserach
Grau, current president of the Pontifical In-
stitute of Sacred Music, criticized the state of
liturgical music at the Vatican.
Vian has also allowed international ana-
lysts ofL\u2019Osservatore Romano to sign their own
articles, a decision that has pleased the paper\u2019s
editors and motivated them to work harder.
According to Vatican sources, the refur-
bished newspaper has the support of Vatican
Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.
In addition, while editors prepare to pub-
lish the complete newspaper online, Vian has
begun sending articles out via email to sub-
scribers and to the editors of the principal
Italian news agencies in Rome.
Although there are currently no plans to
make changes to the weekly editions in other
languages, sources atL\u2019Osservatore Romano are
looking into the possibility of translating
these opinion columns into English and Span-
ish. The idea of publishing some of the ar-
ticles online that are not normally featured
in the weekly editions has also been floated.
of the Gospel\u201d at the last stage of
his life.
A contribution
The cardinal said he had visited
a drug abuse center in Taitung and
met 300 inmates there Nov. 22. He
told them, \u201cThe cancer let me
know that as I am entering the last
stage of my life, I should try my
best to contribute to society.\u201d
He prayed for the inmates and
appealed that people should use
\u201clove\u201d to settle the problems in
their daily life.
Cardinal Shan Kuo-hsi was di-
agnosed with lung cancer in July
2006. He shared with those he
met on the tour that he was
shocked with the diagnosis, and
with the prospect of only having
a life expectancy of 4 to 5 months.
\u201cAt first I asked the Lord, \u2018Why
me?\u2019 When I calmed down, I rec-
ognized that it is the will of the
Lord,\u201d the cardinal said. \u201cHe
wanted me to help the others by
sharing my personal experience
with them.
\u201cAnd now, I will confirm that
\u2018Why it is not me?\u2019 A cardinal does
not have a privilege to stay
healthy forever!\u201d
He said that after his death, his
body will be turned into fertil-
izer for the land of Taiwan, but
his soul will be returned to the
The Chinese cardinal also
praised the heroic example of the
late Pope John Paul II, who tried
his best to live out the last min-
utes of his life with dignity.
Cardinal Shan Kuo-hsi is a na-
tive of Hebei province, northern
China. He left mainland China
after he joined the Jesuits in 1946.
He was ordained priest in the
Philippines in 1955.
He was named bishop of
Hualien, Taiwan, in 1979, and
bishop of Kaohsiung in 1991. He
was elevated to cardinal in 1998,
and retired in January 2006.
HONG KONG, December 7,
2007\u2014After being diagnosed
with lung cancer last year, Car-
dinal Paul Shan Kuo-hsi didn\u2019t
wait to die, but rather got up to
inspire others to face life with
The Jesuit cardinal, who is the
retired bishop of Kaohsiung and
former president of the Chinese
regional episcopal conference in
Taiwan, began his \u201cFarewell to
My Life\u201d tour in October.
His first visit was to Hsinchu,
located on the northwestern coast
of Taiwan, and since then has vis-
ited the six other dioceses of the
\u201cI treated the cancer as my \u2018little
angel,\u2019\u201d the cardinal told ZENIT
in a telephone interview. \u201cIt
guides me to tell people that we
should have the courage to face
the challenges in our life.\u201d
The tour came to completion
Wednesday when the prelate vis-
ited Fu Jen Catholic University
in Taipei. The university offered
him an award to honor his love
for life.
Cardinal Shan Kuo-hsi turned
84 on Sunday.
The Chinese cardinal said he
was \u201cvery happy to be a witness
Holy See extols respect for immigrants\u2019 rights
Archbishop addresses Migration Organization
GENEVA, December 7, 2007\u2014
Migrants who know their rights
and have them respected can be a
positive force for their new coun-
tries, as well as their nations of
origin, says the Holy See.
Archbishop Silvano Tomasi,
permanent observer of the Holy
See to the Office of the United
Nations and Specialized Institu-
tions in Geneva, said this Nov.
29 when he addressed the 94th
Council Session of the Interna-
tional Organization of Migration.
The session was held Nov. 27-30
in Geneva.
Archbishop Tomasi, speaking in
English, said: \u201cEstimates now give
more than 200 million persons in
the world living and working in
countries different than the one in
which they were born or were citi-
zens and the 90 million workers
among them are almost 3% of the
3 billion strong labor force.
\u201cMigrant workers, skilled and
unskilled, have taken central
place in many current debates.\u201d
\u201cThis type of migration,\u201d he
continued, \u201cis looked at as a posi-
tive force for development of
countries of origin, especially
through the billions of dollars in
remittances sent home by the
migrants\u2014$167 billion sent to
developing countries in 2005\u2014as
well for the economy of receiv-
ing countries.\u201d
\u201cIn fact, for a growing number
of countries, immigrants have
become a necessity to compen-
sate for the dwindling work force
and for their demographic defi-
cit,\u201d Archbishop Tomasi ex-
plained. \u201cFairness in recognizing
the contribution immigrants
make can serve as a good base
for their integration.\u201d
Human priority
However, the 67-year-old prel-
ate added, \u201ctwo important di-
mensions of contemporary mi-
grations are not adequately dis-
cussed and paid attention to in
the formulation of policies: the
victims of migration flows and
the priority that persons have
over the economy.
\u201cPresent political trends ap-
pear clear and slanted in the di-
rection of responding to the more
emotional and vocal demands of
public opinion for control and
\u201cIn the long run, however, a
fair and effective solution will
come from a comprehensive ap-
proach that embraces all policy
components: the rights of the
state and of the receiving com-
munity, of the migrants, and of
the international common good.\u201d
\u201cIn a parallel way,\u201d Arch-
bishop Tomasi emphasized, \u201cthe
social teaching of the Catholic
Church, and in fact that of all re-
ligious traditions, looks at mi-
grants as human beings in the
first place and then as citizens or
guests, or as economic and cul-
tural agents.\u201d
\u201cEducation can play a major
role,\u201d concluded the archbishop.
\u201cMigrants, aware of their rights,
can be more secure in offering
their services and talents and the
receiving community, well in-
formed and respectful of these
rights, will feel freer in extend-
ing its solidarity in order to build
together a common future.\u201d
Let us defend the human dignity of North Koreans, says prelate
SEOUL, Korea, December 7,
2007\u2013 In a message released on
the occasion of the 26th Human
Rights Sunday scheduled for 10
December, Msgr. Boniface Choi
Ki-san, bishop of Incheon and
chairman of the Committee for
Justice and Peace of the Catho-
lic Bishops\u2019 Conference of Ko-
rea, writes that \u201c[t]rue effort for
the reconciliation of the Korean
people should include defend-
ing the human dignity of [our]
North Korean brethren as well
as giving material aid to them.
We should struggle to im-
prove the human rights situa-
tion and to make the freedom
of faith and of missions recog-
nized in North Korea.\u201d
In \u201cour society,\u201d he adds, \u201cthe
dignity of human life is not val-
ued sufficiently, so the poor and
vulnerable life is not properly
protected.\u201d Indeed, in his opin-
ion, suicide, abortion, cloning
of human embryos and capital
punishment are currently the
greatest threats to the dignity
of human life.
For this reason, \u201c[w]e must
strengthen our effort to protect
the weaker members and mi-
norities of society\u201d like unborn
children so that they do not pay
for our weaknesses.
In his
titledH u -
man dignity
is the high-
est value,
the prelate
also urges
ready con-
s c i e n -
tiously for
the presidential election on 19
Given the fact that every \u201cciti-
zen has the right and duty to
vote, we should elect as presi-
dent a candidate who respects
human dignity and takes it as
the supreme value in making
decisions and carrying out poli-
cies.\u201d( A s i a N e w s )
ROME, November 26, 2007\u2014The recent nam-
ing of Catholic intellectual Giovanni Maria
Vian as the new director ofL \u2019 O s s e r v a t o r e
SYDNEY, Australia, December 6,
2007\u2014The Catholic Church in
Australia on Wednesday debuted
its first ever movie advertising
campaign, CathNews reports.
The advertising targets those
who might be more open to God
during the Christmas season.
The cinema ad is brief and non-
intrusive, showing a montage of
images of Catholic life. It asks,
\u201cHave you ever wanted to know
what Catholics believe?\u201d
The ads will run during the
animated film \u201cThe Bee Movie\u201d
from December 6-19, and during
showings for the movie \u201cAtone-
ment\u201d from December 26 to Janu-
ary 9.
Archbishop John Bathersby,
Chairman of the Bishops Com-
mission for Mission and Faith
Formation, said the goal of the
advertisements is to invite people
to translate their Christmas ex-
perience into lasting peace by
finding out more about Jesus
Christ through the Catholic
The timing of the advertise-
ments was no accident.
\u201cBoxing Day is the biggest
movie-going day of the year and
we are excited about this new
method of taking the message of
Christ and the Church out to the
broader Australian community,\u201d
the archbishop said. He noted
that the New Year was a time
when people reassess their lives
and look for what is missing from
\u201cPerhaps\u2026 they will be
prompted to find out more about
how the Catholic faith can help
them find the peace they are
searching for,\u201d Archbishop
Bathersby said.(CNA)
CBCP Monitor
CBCP Monitor
Vol. 11 No. 25
December 10 - 30, 2007
News Features
Fr. Renato Manubag, CMF Provincial, assists Papal Nuncio Archbishop
Edward Joseph Adams cut the ribbon at the opening of Hope Center.
Pope\u2019s second encyclical invites
Pope\u2019s second encyclical invites
Pope\u2019s second encyclical invites
Pope\u2019s second encyclical invites
Pope\u2019s second encyclical invites
people to personally encounter Jesus
people to personally encounter Jesus
people to personally encounter Jesus
people to personally encounter Jesus
people to personally encounter Jesus
Local TV program features Caceres archbishop
Claretians launch
Hope Center
Pope OKs plenary indulgence for Lourdes\u2019 150th anniversary
Lights and shadows of Church life in Asia
VATICAN CITY, December 3, 2007\u2014It\u2019s diffi-
cult to select a single summarizing line in Pope
Benedict XVI\u2019s encyclical \u201cSpe Salvi\u201d, but a fun-
damental point is found in its first few pages.
Christ\u2019s sacrifice, the pope said, overturned
the pagan worldview of the early Christian
era. In Christianity\u2019s new vision, the universe
was governed not by the laws of matter but
by a personal God who revealed himself in
the person of Jesus Christ.
\u201cAnd if we know this person and he knows
us, then truly the inexorable power of mate-
rial elements no longer has the last word; we
are not slaves of the universe and of its laws,
we are free,\u201d he said.
Throughout its 76 pages, the pope\u2019s encyc-
lical on hope is not just an exposition of philo-
sophical and theological arguments, but an
invitation for people to personally encoun-
ter Jesus Christ.
That invitation has been the core of Pope
Benedict\u2019s mission over the last two and a
half years.
In his first encyclical, \u201cDeus Caritas Est\u201d,
the pope said Christianity\u2019s main purpose
was to help people accept God\u2019s love and
share it\u2014beginning with love \u201cin its most
radical form,\u201d the sacrifice of Christ.
In \u201cSpe Salvi,\u201d the pope argued that faith in
Christ brings well-founded hope in eternal
salvation, the \u201cgreat hope\u201d that can sustain
people through the trials of this world.
In presenting Jesus Christ as the source of
love and hope for contemporary men and
women, the pope has tried to explain the
Church\u2019s beliefs in ways that are convincing
without being authoritarian.
Certainly he has been a critic of contempo-
rary culture in these pages, warning against
the exaltation of science and technology, eco-
nomic and individual selfishness, ideologi-
cal excesses and misconceptions about free-
But his critique is based on reasoned analy-
sis, reflecting the pope\u2019s conviction that Chris-
tianity, more than just an exercise in faith,
does and must make sense to the modern
The pope also has shown sympathy for
people who may doubt, or who are no longer
attracted by the Church\u2019s traditional arguments.
In \u201cSpe Salvi,\u201d for example, the pope ac-
knowledged that many people today may
find the idea of eternal salvation monoto-
nous and \u201cmore like a curse than a gift.\u201d He
went on to say that \u201ceternal life\u201d is an inad-
equate term and suggested that people think
of salvation more in terms of a supreme
moment of satisfaction or joy.
Some readers of \u201cSpe Salvi \u201c were struck by
the fact that the pope did not mention the Sec-
ond Vatican Council or cite its documents.
Pope Benedict in general appears to prefer the
writings of individual Christians\u2014ancient and
contemporary\u2014to illustrate his points.
In this encyclical, the pope quoted early
Church fathers and contemporary saints,
making powerful arguments for hope that
drew from centuries of Christian experience.
Both the sermons of St. Augustine and the
diary of a 19th-century Vietnamese martyr
were at home in this text.(CNS)
VATICAN CITY, December 7, 2007\u2014The 11th
Meeting of the Special Council for Asia of
the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bish-
ops was held in Rome on November 20, un-
der the presidency of Archbishop Nicola
Eterovic, secretary general of the Synod of
bishops, according to a communique made
public today.
During the meeting, attention was focused
on \u201cthe situation of the Church in the nations
of Asia, ... the implementation of the post-
Synodal Apostolic Exhortation \u2018Ecclesia in
Asia,\u2019 ... the influence exercised by the recent
post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation\u2018 S a c r a -
mentum caritatis\u2019 on the various Churches of
Asia, and proposals and suggestions for the
Twelfth Ordinary General Assembly which
will have as its theme \u2018The Word of God in
the Life and Mission of the Church.\u2019
\u201cThe debate,\u201d the communiqu\u00e9 adds,
\u201cmade it possible to create a broad overview
of ecclesial life in Asia, and of the living con-
ditions in civil society, which in many ways
are favorable to Church activity. Nonethe-
less, various areas of concern were identi-
fied, ... deriving from wars, the arms race,
ethnic strife, violence, terrorism, repression
and the various limits placed on freedom of
\u201cThe primary victims of persecutions are
minorities,\u201d the communiqu\u00e9 notes, \u201camong
them Christian minorities who are often
forced to abandon their countries of origin,
suffering violence also at the hands of funda-
mentalist groups. The lack of religious lib-
erty takes various forms: limits to communi-
cation among bishops and between them and
the Holy Father, ... the impossibility of creat-
ing episcopal conferences, difficulties in ob-
taining visas for pastoral card workers, lim-
its on the building of places of workshop,
and impediments to [religious] presence in
public life.\u201d
The communiqu\u00e9 also notes a number of
positive aspects such as \u201cthe fraternal wel-
come shown to Christians who have fled in
fear of their lives; the increase in the num-
ber of Catholics in regions where they have,
up to now, been scarce; the faithfulness even
unto the giving of life, as in the case of the
four priests killed in Asia in 2006, ... an in-
crease in vocations to the priesthood and to
consecrated life, so that now Asians them-
selves have become missionaries to other
particular Churches in Asia and on other con-
Moreover, \u201cthe Church remains open to
dialogue with the great religions of Asia,
making a notable contribution to tolerance
and civil harmony, to reinforcing the State of
law and the process of the democratization
of society.\u201d The Church also exercises an im-
portant influence \u201cthrough her social activi-
ties in schools and hospitals, and in favor of
human promotion.\u201d
The communiqu\u00e9 also notes how the post-
Synodal Apostolic Exhortation \u201cEcclesia in
Asia\u201d is \u201cproducing abundant fruits above
all through programs of diocesan activities
and bishops\u2019 pastoral letters,\u201d while the post-
Synodal Apostolic Exhortation \u201cSacramentum
caritatis\u201d is being \u201ceffectively disseminated,
and translated into local languages such as
Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Thai.\u201d
The next meeting of the Special Council
for Asia of the General Secretariat of the
Synod of Bishops will be held on December
11 and 12, 2008.(VIS)
VATICAN CITY, December 5,
2007\u2014To mark the 150th anni-
versary of Mary\u2019s appearance to
St. Bernadette Soubirous near
Lourdes, France, Pope Benedict
XVI authorized a special indul-
gence to encourage renewed ho-
Catholics can receive a plenary
indulgence for taking part in any
public or private devotion to Our
Lady of Lourdes, said U.S. Cardi-
nal J. Francis Stafford, head of the
Apostolic Penitentiary, a Vatican
court dealing with indulgences
and matters of conscience.
As Christians strive to become
more holy, they can look to Mary
who \u201ccalls the faithful to her Son
and his sacrifice and to the love
of the Father,\u201d said the cardinal,
quoting from \u201cLumen Gentium,\u201d
the Second Vatican Council\u2019s
Dogmatic Constitution on the
The Vatican published the
cardinal\u2019s statement announcing
the indulgence and outlining the
requirements for receiving it
Dec. 5.
An indulgence is a remission
of the temporal punishment due
for sins committed. A plenary in-
dulgence is the remission of all
Cardinal Stafford said the in-
dulgence can also be applied to
the souls of the faithful in purga-
Catholics can receive the indul-
gence during two time frames.
Massabielle grotto, where Mary
appeared to St. Bernadette, can
receive the indulgence during the
Lourdes jubilee year, which runs
from Dec. 8, the feast of the Im-
maculate Conception of the
Blessed Virgin Mary, until Dec.
8, 2008.
Pilgrims who visit any public
sanctuary, shrine or other wor-
thy place dedicated to Our Lady
of Lourdes may receive the in-
dulgence Feb. 2-11. Feb. 11 is the
day the first of 18 apparitions oc-
curred and is the feast of Our Lady
of Lourdes. Feb. 2 is the feast of
the Presentation of the Lord.
Cardinal Stafford said that to
obtain the special indulgence one
must fulfill the normal require-
ments set by the Church for all
plenary indulgences; these in-
clude the person going to confes-
sion within a reasonably short pe-
riod of time, receiving the Eucha-
rist and praying for the intentions
of the pope, all in a spirit of total
detachment from the attraction of
Those who make a pilgrimage
to Lourdes must visit the follow-
ing sites, preferably in this order:
\u2022 The parish where St. Bernadette
was baptized.
\u2022 The Soubirous family home.
\u2022 The Massabielle grotto.
\u2022 The chapel where St. Bernadette
received her first Communion.
At each location the faithful
should end their meditation by
praying the Lord\u2019s Prayer, the
creed and the special jubilee
prayer or a prayer to Mary.
Those visiting a holy place
dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes
in another part of the world Feb.
2-11 also should pray the Lord\u2019s
Prayer, the creed and the special
jubilee prayer or a prayer to
Catholics who cannot visit
Lourdes or join a communal ser-
vice dedicated to Our Lady of
Lourdes because of illness or other
serious reason could still earn the
indulgence \u201cin their own home
or wherever they are\u201d Feb. 2-11,
Cardinal Stafford said.(CNS)
NAGA CITY, December 10,
2007\u2014Simbanwaan, Caceres
Commission on Communica-
tions\u2019 television program; aired
its first season\u2019s final episode on
November 24 featuring the Arch-
bishop of Caceres, Most Rev.
Leonardo Legaspi as Shepherd
and Teacher.
The final episode also showed
the parishes and its services, and
individuals who have been fea-
tured earlier on the show\u2019s seg-
The program was launched
August 18 and has aired 13 epi-
sodes since then.
The 30-minute television show
tackles the programs and activi-
ties of the archdiocese of Caceres
and discusses issues that are pre-
sented in different segments. The
TV show has already gained a
following even in such a short
time it has been on air.
Wow Simbahan, Tao.com, Tabang
Komunidad, Simbareta, Isyuand
VOX POP are just few of the seg-
ments of the program.
Wow Simbahan introduces se-
lected parishes with its special
programs and services. Some
memorable segments include a
feature story on St. Jude Parish,
considered as a \u201cWedding Capi-
tal\u201d, subtitled Sikat sa Karasalan.
Another hit is the Resurrection
Garden where the remains of the
priests of the Archdiocese were
Tabang Komunidad, a feature on
various religious institutions of the
Archdiocese introduces viewers to
Hospital Apostolate, the Holy Ro-
sary Seminary and the seminary
life, the contemplative life and
mission of the Carmelite nuns, and
Gualandi-Center for the Deaf.
Simbanwaan also has a feature
on protecting the environment
with Mount Isarog Integrated
Area Development Program
which has programs for the con-
servation of Mt. Isarog;
Hablondawani, an institution that
offers integrated services for girls
and women; and theA l t e r s h e i m ,
the home of the retired priests.
Some of the issues discussed
under theI s y u segment are the
challenges being faced by surviv-
ing marriages, preparing for
death, modernization and its ef-
fect on vocation and the impor-
tance of prayer.Isyu is a segment
that discusses pressing concerns
of society and clarifies various
doctrinal teachings of the Catho-
lic faith.
Tao.com on the other hand fea-
tures persons whose lives pro-
vide inspiration. Mother John of
Jesus of the Carmelite Sisters, Fr.
Jomar de Hitta and Msgr. Gerardo
Espedido were featured in this
Skycable Channel 20 broadcast
a replay of the program every
Sunday at 8:00 PM after Misa nin
Manindogan, a radio program
aired at RMN-Naga, 91.1 FM at
9:00-10:00AM on Sundays cel-
ebrated its fist anniversary last
November 26.M a n i n d o g a n tack-
les and features important and
timely issues affecting family and
society. It also presents some
light and heartwarming stories
of people from all walks of life;
success stories of individuals;
love stories of married couples;
and other informative and help-
ful topics and issues.( P i d e s
MANILA, December 8, 2007\u2014
opened its first Hope Center
at Aurora Boulevard, Quezon
City in a simple but meaning-
ful ceremony led by Papal
Nuncio to the Philippines,
Archbishop Edward Joseph
The Hope Center, a com-
munication center that caters
to various spiritual and pas-
toral needs of people through
spiritual books and other
means, has a specific thrust\u2014
to be a place where hope is
nurtured and shared.
Fr. Benedict Dilag, CMF,
CHCFI Executive Director ex-
plained the Center\u2019s mission,
saying it aims to be a place
where young people can come
together and feel accepted and
cared for.
\u201cWe desire to make it pos-
sible for them to feel that they
belong in our center\u2019s com-
munity, which does all things
at all times in a loving, digni-
fied, Christ-like manner,\u201d said
Fr. Dilag.
According to Fr. Dilag,
people today especially the
youth have this desire to
deepen their spirituality,
strengthen their relationship
with God, and find solutions
to their problems.
\u201cOur heart is for the center
to be a blessing on the secular
marketplace, to infuse the
lives of young people and
their generation with hope,
and to help them realize that
our love-in-action approach is
a reflection of God\u2019s life-
changing love,\u201d he added.
In the Hope Center, young
people both Catholic and non-
Catholic can have the oppor-
tunities to explore various
means available for receiving
and communicating the Word
of God. Spiritual books, maga-
zines, periodicals, audio-vi-
sual materials, software and
the internet are available to
satisfy one\u2019s quest for wisdom
and knowledge.
The Center also has an au-
dio-visual display, coffee
lounge, an internet caf\u00e9, e-
loading counter, and religious
giftshop. It has a private cor-
ner for counseling and a
prayer room where one can
pray and meditate.
With the launching of the
Hope Center, the Claretians
are not merely opening a new
bookstore but going beyond
the usual way of proclaiming
the Good News, Fr. Dilag said.
Present during the launch-
ing were the CMF Provincial,
Fr. Renato Manubag, the Pro-
vincial Council, the Board of
Directors of Claretian Com-
munication Foundation Inc.
(CCFI) and Claretian Hope
Center Foundation Inc.
(CHCFI), and Religious Men
and Women, friends and col-
laborators of Claretian Mis-
sionaries. (Pinky Barrientos,

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