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CBCPMonitor vol12-n08

CBCPMonitor vol12-n08

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cbcpmonitor@cbcpworld.netwww.cbcponline.net/cbcpmonitor
Protagonist of Truth, Promoter of Peace
 Vol. 12 No. 8 April 14 - 27, 2008Php 20.
00
CBCP head worries over PAGCOR City
C1•A3
Bomb / A6Social / A6
Bomb attack on ZamboChurch condemned
Church’s feeding programdoing more with less in DavaoThe CROSS
Knights of Columbus Supplement
Bishop urges directBishop urges directBishop urges directBishop urges directBishop urges directmeasures vs. food crisismeasures vs. food crisismeasures vs. food crisismeasures vs. food crisismeasures vs. food crisis
By Roy Lagarde
A SENIOR Roman Catholicbishop has called for both imme-diate and long-term measures tocheck the looming food crisis.
Kalookan Bishop DeograciasIñiguez also warned that the cri-sis could not only push peopledeeper into poverty but also havelarger political and security im-plications.He called on the public towork with the government andnon-government organizations(NGOs) and exert all possiblemeans to fight the crisis.“We must know how to net-work our resources with theagencies of the government suchas the National Food Authorityand other NGOs,” said Iñiguez.Rising prices of rice and otherbasic commodities in the coun-try has turned many people fromapathy to panic.Analysts said the panic is a po-litical reaction to a crisis that cancollapse governments and sendthe poor to riot and loot.Over the weekend, violent pro-tests erupted in other countriessuch as Bangladesh and Haiti ap-parently over soaring foodprices.Iñiguez called on Filipinos toremain calm, adding that resort-ing to violence will not solve theproblem.A ROMAN Catholic bishop has denounced thelatest attack on a Catholic church in ZambongaCity early dawn on April 13.Hitting out those who bombed the cathedral,Zambonga Archbishop Romulo Valles said suchactivities should stop and must not even hap-pen at all.He tagged the attack by still unknown assail-ants as an “act of darkness” and urged the peopleto pray and stay united.“We are greatly saddened by these incidents.It is clearly an act of darkness. We should stand
Bishop / A6
 
Sacraments denied to pro-LDPC councilors
THE archbishop of Davao issued a sternwarning against councilors who supportthe local development plan for children(LDPC) in Davao City, that the sacra-ments of the church will not be adminis-tered to them.Archbishop Fernando Capalla de-scribed the acts of the councilors as an“open defiance and ridicule” of theChurch’s moral teachings which createpublic scandal thereby making them“unworthy” to receive sacraments.In an appeal letter sent by Capalla toCity Mayor Rodrigo Duterte yesterday,the prelate stressed that “LDPC is dan-gerous and detrimental to the moral andspiritual of the people.”He added that LDPC is dangerous anddetrimental because in the guise of “re-productive health and safe pregnancy”,which mocks parental authority belittlesthe value of family, denigrates the virtueof chastity, makes available all contracep-tives to children 0-18 years old and pro-motes pre-marital sex and promiscuity.Capalla also reminded Duterte thatLDPC offends the Catholic faith and thereligious sentiments of the people. “Iappeal to our councilors to be sensitiveand respectful of the religious feelingsand moral values of the people,” he said.The prelate also warned the city offi-cials who directly and indirectly exertmoral pressures to their subordinates inthe adoption and later implementationof the LDPC that they too shall be de-nied of the sacraments of the Church forthey are also “unworthy.”Capalla, however, said that the judg-ment of one’s unworthiness “is not au-tomatic” and needs thorough verifica-tion by Church authorities.Meanwhile, the clergy of Davao to-gether with all the members of the pas-toral agencies, family and life apostolate,Couples for Christ and theCatholic Women’s Leaguetrooped to the City Coun-cil today to watch theTuesday’s regular sessionwhere the LDPC is being de-liberated.Some of them offeredprayers by praying theholy rosary outside thecity council buildingwhile others stayed in-side the session hall.An insider from the council revealedthat late this afternoon the councilors willcome up with a decision on LDPC. Yes-terday, the councilors had an emergencymeeting after they received the appealletter of Capalla.Unconfirmed reports said that somecouncilors were troubled in the contentof the appeal letterwhich denied “sac-raments for thosewho directly andindirectly sup-port the LDPC.”
(Mark S Ventura)
Davao Church dismayedover approval of LDPC
THE local Church in Davao ex-pressed dismay that Local Devel-opment Plan for Children (LDPC)termed by Davao ArchbishopFernando Capalla as “dangerousand detrimental to the moral andspirituality of the people,” hasbeen approved by the City gov-ernment despite opposition fromChurch and faith-based groupshere.Even if Church authorities, pro-life groups and church-based or-ganizations stormed the heavenswith prayers to oppose the pro-posed local development plan forchildren (LDPC), it was stillpassed.City councilors had twice post-poned action on the measure, andthe Catholic Church marked atemporary victory against theprogram two weeks ago after leg-islators were furnished a copy ofa pastoral letter issued on EasterSunday by Archbishop FernandoCapalla.A staff of one of the city coun-cilors opposed to LDPC whospoke on conditions of anonym-ity said that prior to the approvalof LDPC, Duterte called each leg-islator in a “closed-door meet-ing” except for Councilor TessieMarañon, who is the principal
Dismayed / A7
ferred to Pope John Paul II in his hom-ily during the opening mass at St. Peter’sSquare on April 2 recalling the great-ness of the late pope amidst pain andsuffering.Castro who is also the founder of theConfraternity of Our Lady of Mediatrixof All Grace said their motley delega-tion was headed by Archbishop RamonArguelles of Lipa and composed of devo-THE first World Apostolic Congress onMercy (WACOM) held in Rome fromApril 2-6 drew more than 200 delegatesfrom the Philippines, according to a re-port from Monsignor Josefino Ramirez,the Continental Representative for Asiaand Oceania.Fr. Melvin Castro, Executive Secre-tary of the Episcopal Commission onFamily and Life and part of the Lipadelegation said Pope Benedict XVI re-
Mercy / A7
Over 200 RP delegates attendOver 200 RP delegates attendOver 200 RP delegates attendOver 200 RP delegates attendOver 200 RP delegates attendWorld Congress on MercyWorld Congress on MercyWorld Congress on MercyWorld Congress on MercyWorld Congress on Mercy
THE head of the Catholic Bishops’ Confer-ence of the Philippines has spoken of his con-cerns after the Las Vegas-style casino wasopened in Pasay City. Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo said hewas worried a casino, built with “shifts inpresentation to gain acceptability in a Catho-lic culture,” would increase addictive gam-bling.The Philippine Amusement and GamingCorp. said the “gaming complex” would in-clude hotels, a theme park, museums andother facilities.“Definitely with so much money at the dis-posal, it will be all three: gambling, enter-tainment and tourism. And only the futurewill tell which will be the dominant one,” hesaid.With the Pagcor saying that it would gen-erate thousand of jobs, Lagdameo said theplan is “impressive” but it will also be a com-plex of “not-so-good.”The prelate underscored that the CBCP’sstand against gambling is irreversible.“We advocate the combating of the expan-sion of organized and systemic legal gam-bling into a culture of gambling,” he said.
Negative effects
The CBCP is for whatever good, moral, eco-nomic and social that is in the planned com-plex, said Lagdameo.“But the CBCP had made it clear throughits past statements that all forms of gambling,legal or illegal, must be discouraged fromspreading as a moral and social cancer,” hesaid.He said any financial benefits to the com-munity through the income that would fromthe “gaming complex” must be weightedagainst the negative effects.“We had said that gambling exploits thepoor. With their hard-earned money the poorare attracted and lured by the easy moneythat gambling vainly promises. Loss ofmoney through gambling inflicts great suf-fering on families,” Lagdameo also said.“We advocate the adoption of more altru-istic and socialized alternatives for the greatsum of money spent by both rich and pooron gambling.”“While it is true that games of chance arenot in themselves contrary to justice, the pas-sion for gambling risks becoming an enslave-ment which results in the deprivation ofpeople of what they need,” the prelate added.
(CBCPNews)
CBCP head backs wagehike
A TOP Catholic Church offi-cial supports the appeal ofworkers for a wage increaseas a means for them to beable to cope with rising costof living.CBCP president and JaroArchbishop AngelLagdameo urged the gov-ernment to consider the sadstate of the workers amidstskyrocketing prices of basicgoods, particularly rice.He said ordinary peoplecannot stop inflation of com-modities, but he said, au-thorities must not also for-get the welfare of the many.“Let’s look into how wecan help our workers,”Lagdameo said.“We have no control overprice hikes. Only the busi-nessmen can do that. So thebest thing to do is to increasethe salaries of the people, healso said in a separate inter-view over
Radyo Veritas.
Organized labor group-Trade Union Congress of thePhilippines (TUCP) ap-pealed Tuesday for a P60across-the-board wage hike.The group said the de-mand is due to non-stop bur-geoning of prices from ba-sic goods to transportation.The TUCP also said manyworkers are alreadycrippled by the devaluationof their money’s worth.
(CBCPNews)
To deepen their knowledge and understanding on the importance of rituals, hundreds of participants from theManila archdiocese attended the Liturgy Conference 2008 held at San Carlos Major Seminary auditorium inMakati City, April 8-10, 2008. Inset: CBCP Episcopal Commission on Liturgy executive secretary Dom. AnscarChupungco, OSB, delivers a talk on Theology of Sacramentals and Blessings.
Climbing the Lord’smountain
•B1
 
A2
 Vol. 12 No. 8
April 14 - 27, 2008 
CBCP MonitorCBCP Monitor
 World News
Pope promises to “doeverything possible” toheal scandal of sex abuse
Catholics should confront Socialist “culturalrevolution”, says Spanish archbishopPresident Bush pulling out all stops to welcome the Pope
Polish bishops seek return of John Paul II’sheart to PolandMuslim cleric proclaimsRome will soon beconquered by IslamBishops’ Conference calls for an end to violencearound the Madhu Shrine
Tamil Nadu: A thousand DalitChristians reconvert to Hinduism
ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE, April 15,2008—While in transit to the United Statestoday, Pope Benedict XVI took the opportu-nity to respond to the clergy sexual abusescandal in the Catholic Church, saying thathe will do “everything possible to heal thiswound” and that he will work to ensurepedophiles don’t become priests.The Pope’s words were part of answers hegave to questions submitted in advance byreporters aboard Shepherd One, a specialAlitalia airliner that is ferrying him to theUnited States.“It is a great suffering for the Church in theUnited States and for the Church in generaland for me personally that this could hap-pen,” Benedict said. “It is difficult for me tounderstand how it was possible that priestsbetray in this way their mission ... to thesechildren.”“I am deeply ashamed and we will do whatis possible so this cannot happen again in thefuture,” the pope said.Benedict XVI also said he was determinedto prevent pedophiles from becoming priestsin the Roman Catholic Church.“We will absolutely exclude pedophilesfrom the sacred ministry,” Benedict said inEnglish. “It is more important to have goodpriests than many priests. We will do every-thing possible to heal this wound.”Pedophilia is “absolutely incompatible”with the priesthood,” Benedict said.The Catholic Church in the United Stateshas been hit particularly hard on the EastCoast by the sex abuse scandals, and thePope’s visit could serve as a key step in thehealing process for the Church.The Holy Father also spoke about how hesees this, his first visit as Pope to the U.S.He described his visit as a voyage to meeta “great people and a great Church.”When the Pope lands at Andrews Air ForceBase at 4 p.m. EST, President Bush will givehim the honor of picking him up at the base.On board the plane, the Pope also said thatwhen he meets with President Bush tomor-row, he will discuss immigration and the dif-ficulties of families who are separated byimmigration.
(CNA)
ROME, April 11, 2008—Polishbishops are trying to have Pope John Paul II’s heart extracted andmoved to the Polish cathedralwhere the Pope served as cardi-nal, AKI News reports.Bishop Tadeusz Pieronek,speaking to the Polish Catholicnews agency KAI, said that manyPoles wanted the exhumed heartto be sent as a relic to the WawelCathedral in Krakow.Since his death in 2005, Pope John Paul II’s burial site in thecrypt of St. Peter’s Basilica hasbeen venerated by thousandsdaily.Pope Benedict XVI, the presentPontiff, has waived the ordinaryfive-year waiting period requiredbefore investigations begin intoPope John Paul’s cause for beati-fication.At a Mass last week commemo-rating the death of his predeces-sor, Pope Benedict praised JohnPaul II’s “many human and su-pernatural qualities,” including“an exceptional spiritual andmystical sensibility.”
(CNA)
“When jihad becomes an indi-vidual duty, it applies to womentoo, because women do not dif-fer from men when it comes toindividual duties,” he said in a June 23, 2007 interview. Al-Astalalso called Jews “the brothers ofapes and pigs” who should “tastethe bitterness of death” in the in-terview.The parliamentarian returnedto this slur on Friday, saying thatRome “has planted the brothersof apes and pigs in Palestine inorder to prevent thereawakening of Islam.”“I believe that our children, orour grandchildren, will inheritour jihad and our sacrifices, and,Allah willing, the commandersof the conquest will come fromamong them,” Al-Astal said.“Today, we instill these goodtidings in their souls—and bymeans of the mosques and theKoran books, and the history ofour Prophets, his companions,and the great leaders, we preparethem for the mission of savinghumanity from the hellfire atwhose brink they stand.”
(CNA)
CNA STAFF, April14, 2008—A highprofile Muslim clericand Hamas memberof the Palestinianparliament gave asermon last Friday inwhich he declaredthat soon Rome, “thecapital of the Catho-lics” will be soonovertaken by Islam.Yunis al-Astal, thecleric in question,told his listeners that “Very soon,Allah willing, Rome will be con-quered, just like Constantinoplewas, as was prophesized by ourProphet Muhammad. Today,Rome is the capital of the Catho-lics, or the Crusader capital,which has declared its hostilityto Islam…”The diatribe was aired onHamas’ Al-Aqsa TV and pre-dicted that Rome would become“an advanced post for the Islamicconquests, which will spreadthough Europe in its entirety, andthen will turn to the two Ameri-cas, even Eastern Europe.”“Allah has chosen you for Him-self and for His religion,” al-Astaldeclared, “so that you will serveas the engine pulling this nationto the phase of succession, secu-rity and consolidation of power,and even to conquests throughda’wa and military conquests ofthe capitals of the entire world.According to FOX News, Al-Astal preached last June that itwas the duty of Palestinianwomen to martyr themselves bybecoming homicide bombers.MADRID, Spain, April 15, 2008—ArchbishopEmeritus Fernando Sebastian of Pamplona saidCatholics in Spain should confront the “culturalrevolution” that is being carried out by the So-cialist Party in the country by proclaiming God.In an interview on COPE radio, the arch-bishop said, “Today in Spain Catholics needto be aware that we are capable of sustaininga face-to-face discussion with the message ofthe culture of the Socialist party which is seek-ing to promote a cultural revolution. “We arenot the opposition party,” he said, “but ratherthe Church of Jesus.”“Fortunately our faith does not depend onpolitics,” he continued. Politicians must be “putin their place” and not be allowed to legislatewhatever they want.“The world is governed by the principle ofpleasure,” and in order to confront it and livein the truth we must realize that “we do notexist alone, but rather we exist in the world.”This problem, he said, has its origin in the“non-recognition of God.”Archbishop Sebastian said, “We need to pro-claim God, to recover the notion of creation. Idon’t understand how one can be happy with-out having global vision.”
(CNA)
honoring the Pontiff.Until this visit, the Associated Press reports,no president has given a visiting leader thehonor of picking him up at the airport.The White House arrival ceremony for thePope will feature the anthems of the UnitedStates and the Holy See, a 21-gun salute, andthe U.S. Army Drum and Fife Corps. Bothmen will deliver remarks before they meetin the Oval Office.The expected welcoming ceremony crowdof 12,000 will be the largest ever at the WhiteHouse, exceeding in number the 7,000 peoplewho came to greet Queen Elizabeth II lastspring.Though the White House dinner will fea-ture Bavarian-style food for the German-bornpontiff, the Pope will miss the dinner andinstead attend a prayer meeting with theUnited States Catholic bishops.President George W. Bush, speaking in aninterview with EWTN, explained the reasonsfor his novel airport tarmac greeting of thePope.“One, he speaks for millions,” the presi-dent said. “Two, he doesn’t come as a politi-cian; he comes as a man of faith; and Three, Iso subscribe to his notion that there’s rightand wrong in life, that moral relativism un-dermines the capacity to have hopeful andfree societies. I want to honor his convic-tions, as well.”The president also described himself as a“believer in the value of human life.”Since President Dwight Eisenhower’s meet-ing in Rome with Pope John XXIII, every U.S.president has met with the Pope at least once.Pope Benedict’s visit will mark PresidentBush’s fifth meeting with a pontiff, a newrecord.While Pope Benedict and President Bushshare some common ground regarding abor-tion, homosexual marriage, and embryonicresearch, they have disagreed on the war inIraq and the death penalty. Pope Benedicthas also spoken against punitive immigra-tion laws and the U.S. embargo against Cuba,while favoring social welfare programs inways that differ from the positions of theAmerican president.
(CNA)
WASHINGTON DC, April, 2008—PopeBenedict’s visit to the White House onWednesday will be only the second time aPope has visited the home of the President ofthe United States, the Associated Press re-ports.In an unprecedented move, President Bushwill drive out to meet Pope Benedict’s planeafter it lands at Andrews Air Force Base. Thepapal visit will bring an audience of 12,000to the South Lawn of the White House, wherethe president will host an East Room dinnerWhat is more, the HMK is alsoplanning to re-convert another20,000 Christians in Villupuramdistrict, starting next August.Caste discrimination prevailsamong Christians in TamilNadu. Last 9 March in the parishof Eraiyur, Pondicherry-Cuddalore archdiocese, clashesbetween upper caste Christiansand lower Dalit Christians ledto police intervention, resultingin the death of two people. Thesituation is such that the twogroups have separate cemeter-ies and, in church, separate pews.Pope John Paul II urged TamilNadu bishops during their ‘adlimina’ visit of 17 November2003 to overcome this division.On that occasion the HolyFather said: “Any semblance ofa caste-based prejudice in rela-tions between Christians is acountersign to authentic humansolidarity, a threat to genuinespirituality and a serious hin-drance to the Church’s missionof evangelization. Therefore,customs or traditions that per-petuate or reinforce caste divi-sion should be sensitively re-formed so that they may be-come an expression of the soli-darity of the whole Christiancommunity. As the Apostle Paulteaches us, ‘if one member suf-fers, all suffer together’ (1
Cor.
12:26). It is the Church’s obliga-tion to work unceasingly tochange hearts, helping allpeople to see every human be-ing as a child of God, a brotheror sister of Christ, and thereforea member of our own family.”
(AsiaNews)
NEW DELHI, India, April 14,2008—A thousand Dalit Chris-tians were reconverted to Hindu-ism today, the 117th anniversaryof the birth of BhimraoAmbedkar, the messiah of theDalits, in the town of Tirunelveli(Tamil Nadu).Arjun Sampath, president of theHindu Makkal Katchia (MMK), alocal political party, announcedthat “185 Christian Dalit familiesfrom villages in Tirunelveli dis-trict will formally return to Hin-duism.”The function involved anatonement ritual (prayaschithayagam) followed by a purifica-tion rite (sudhi chadangu).“We’ll purify all those who re-turn to Hinduism by sprinklingGanga theertha (Ganga water)and Sethu theertha (sethuwater),”Arjun said, adding thatall of them would also get sacredHindu names as well.Those who want to follow theShiva (Saiva) cult will be givensacred ash (bhasmam) and a stringof dark berries of elaeocarpusganitrus (rudraksha).Followers of Vishnu will get amark on their forehead (tilak) anda string of holy basil (tulsi).All Christian Dalits who returnto the Hindu fold will get a for-mal initiation (mantra deeksha)in both Sanskrit and Tamil.Indeed a statement of faith isnot enough for the HMK. “Themembers who return to Hindufold will take an oath [. . .] andsign affidavits. Later, we’ll get theconversion certificates from AryaSamaj to get their names changedin the Gazette,” Arjun said.COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, April 14,2008—Security is getting worsearound the Marian Shrine ofMadhu as clashes between Tamilseparatists and the army con-tinue. At the same time requestsfrom the Catholic Church for anend to violence and for respectfor this “haven of peace” con-tinue.In the wake of the recent ap-peal by Msgr. Rayappu Joseph,bishop of Mannar, the CatholicBishops’ Conference of Sri Lanka(CBCSL), which met on 9-11 Aprilto discuss the situation, made itsown appeal to both governmentand Tamil rebels.In a statement signed by theCBCSL Secretary general, Msgr.Vianney Fernando, the bishopsreiterated the importance theshrine has for the entire popula-tion, whatever their ethnicity orreligion, and called on thebelligerents to prevent furtherdamages to the sacred building.Last 4 April for security reasonsMonsignor Rayappu ordered thetransfer of the venerated statueof Our Lady of Madhu to thechurch of Thevanpitti, which isin area under the control of theLiberation Tigers of Tamil Elam(LTTE)The decision has fed the rumormill which claimed that the prel-ate had the statue moved as a re-sult of rebel pressures.The CBCSL has denied the alle-gations, stating that the prelateacted for the best. Thevanpitti, itsaid, was the parish closest to theshrine, adding that “the sacred fig-ure will return to the shrine assoon as security made it possible.”On 7 April Monsignor Rayappurenewed the request he made toPresident Rajapakse and LTTEleaders to recognize Madhu as a“zone of peace” and respect it assuch by avoiding any militaryaction.In his last letter to the presi-dent, the prelate has said that thepeople of Mannar were draftingan agreement to that effect signedby thousands of residents to bepresented to Rajapakse in a weektime.
(AsiaNews)
Yunis Al-Astal
 
A3
CBCP MonitorCBCP Monitor
 Vol. 12 No. 8
April 14 - 17, 2008 
News Features
Pope: Good priests morePope: Good priests morePope: Good priests morePope: Good priests morePope: Good priests moreiiiiimportant than many priestsmportant than many priestsmportant than many priestsmportant than many priestsmportant than many priests
Paulines hold assembly to strategize media ministry 
People’s Food Summit declares:hunger is governance crisis!
Peace requires development,affirms Pontiff
ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE, APRIL 15,2008—Benedict XVI says that it is hard forhim to understand how sexually abusivepriests could have betrayed their mission, andpromised that the Church will do everythingpossible so that such a situation does not re-peat itself.The Pope affirmed this today from theAlitalia Boeing 777, “Shepherd One,” that iscarrying him to the United States for a 4 p.m.arrival at Andrews Air Force Base.Some 70 journalists are on-board the flight.“Really, it is a great suffering for the Churchin the United States and for the Church in gen-eral and for me personally that this could hap-pen,” he said. “If I read the histories of thesevictims, it’s difficult for me to understand howit was possible that priests betrayed in thisway their mission to give healing, to give thelove of God to these children.“We are deeply ashamed and will do allpossible that this cannot happen in the fu-ture.”The Holy Father affirmed that the Churchmust select candidates for the priesthood whoare healthy and balanced. He said it is moreimportant to have good priests than to havemany priests. “We will absolutely excludepedophiles from the sacred ministry,” thePope added.The Pontiff responded for about 20 min-utes to five questions from the journalists.According to L’Osservatore Romano, theVatican’s semi-official daily, the interchangegave an inside look into the themes the HolyFather will discuss while in the United States.Benedict XVI highlighted the eminentlyreligious and pastoral nature of his trip, andhis hopes for his meetings with U.S. Catho-lics and representatives of Judaism and otherreligions, and with leaders from other Chris-tian confessions. He also mentioned his visitto the United Nations, marking the 60th an-niversary of the Universal Declaration ofHuman Rights.Finally, he analyzed the increasing pres-ence in the United States of immigrants fromLatin American countries, emphasizing thattheir presence is a challenge for the Church,which is called to accompany them with greatpastoral solicitude, aware of the risk theirfamilies run of being broken apart.
(Zenit)
VATICAN CITY, APRIL 14, 2008—Peace isunimaginable without the development ofeach person and all peoples, says BenedictXVI.The Pope affirmed this in a message madepublic Saturday, which he addressed to Car-dinal Renato Martino, president of the Pon-tifical Council for Justice and Peace. The mes-sage was sent on the occasion of an April 11-12 conference in Rome titled: “Disarmament,Development and Peace: Prospects for Inte-gral Disarmament.”“Tension and war exist in various parts ofthe world,” the Holy Father wrote, “and evenwhere the tragedy of war is not present, feel-ings of fear and insecurity are nonethelesswidespread. Furthermore, such phenomenaas global terrorism blur the distinction be-tween peace and war, seriously compromis-ing the future hopes of humankind.“How can we respond to these challenges?How can we recognize the ‘signs of the times’?Certainly, joint action on a political, eco-nomic and juridical level is needed, but, evenbefore that, it is necessary to reflect togetheron a moral and spiritual level. What is evermore vital is to promote a ‘new humanism.’”
Integral humanism
Benedict XVI highlighted how “develop-ment cannot be reduced to simple economicgrowth; it must include the moral and spiri-tual dimension. A truly integral humanismmust, at the same time, also express solidar-ity.”“True and lasting peace is unimaginablewithout the development of each person andof all peoples,” he contended. “Nor is it con-ceivable to think of reducing arms if first wedo not eliminate violence at its roots, if mandoes not first turn decisively to searching forpeace and for what is good and just.“As long as a risk of hostility exists, thearming of states will remain necessary forreasons of legitimate defense. [...] Nonethe-less, not all levels of armament are permis-sible. [...] The vast material and human re-sources used for military expenditure andarmaments are, in fact, taken from projectsfor the development of peoples, especiallythe poorest and those most in need of help.”In this context, the Pope made an appeal“for states to reduce military expenditure onarms and to give serious consideration to theidea of creating a global fund for peacefuldevelopment projects.”He affirmed the need to do everythingpossible to ensure that “the economy is di-rected to serving human beings and solidar-ity, and not just to profit. On a legal plane,states are called to a renewed commitment,especially as regards international agree-ments on disarmament and arms control, aswell as the ratification and subsequent imple-mentation of previously adopted instru-ments such as the Comprehensive NuclearTest Ban Treaty. [...] Finally, every effort mustalso be made to combat the proliferation ofsmall-caliber arms.”
Conversion to good
“Nonetheless,” Benedict XVI acknowl-edged, “it will be difficult to find a solutionto the various technical problems withoutman’s conversion to good on a cultural, moraland spiritual level.”He emphasized the “ever greater need fora choral invocation of the culture of peaceand for a joint education in peace, especiallyamong the new generations. [...] The humanright to peace is fundamental and inalien-able,” and upon it “the exercise of all otherrights depends.”Although the current situation in the worldcould give rise “to a justified sense of dis-comfort and resignation,” the Holy Fathersaid, also pointing out that “war is never in-evitable and peace is always possible. Evenmore so, it is a duty! The time has come tochange the course of history, to rediscovertrust, to cultivate dialogue and to nourishsolidarity.”“The future of humanity depends upon acommitment on everyone’s part,” he con-cluded. “Only by pursuing an integral andsolidary humanism, in which disarmamentassumes an ethical and spiritual dimension,can humanity progress toward the true andlasting peace for which it longs.”
(Zenit)
summit. UP-Los Baños scientistDr. Ted Mendoza, Dr. ReneOfreneo of the Free Trade Alliance(FTA) and Dean Jorge Sibal of UP-SOLAIR were among those whogave relevant inputs giving lighton the current rice crisis.Adopted during the summit isthe People’s Declaration on FoodCrisis declaring among others;that the Philippine food crisis isman-made, not a mere outcomeof the global food shortages.It stressed that the rice crisis isnot a surprise but an outcome ofthe following governance factors:collapse of the agricultural sector;import dependency; chemical in-tensive farming; failure to effec-tively implement the Compre-hensive Agrarian Reform Pro-gram (CARP) which has vastlyweakened the agricultural sector;anti-Filipino trade policies such asthe RP-China Agri-deals.The Summit forwarded imme-diate measures, among others, amassive campaign for food pro-duction: early planting of riceand other essential crops so thatharvesting shall coincide withhistorical lean months for thesecommodities; support servicesshould be extended such as seeds,credit, irrigation, etc.; instead ofidentifying so-called idle landsfor big agribusiness, governmentshould encourage landless urbanand rural poor to undertake de-velopment of these lands; mora-torium on land conversion; in-ventory of rice supply; crackdown of hoarders; permanentsuspension of the RP-ChinaAgrideals. It also called for anemergency food and jobs pro-gram for the urban and ruralpoor, who will be hardest hit bythe crisis.It also called for major policyreforms, among others are: riceself-sufficiency instead of rice im-port dependency; making agrar-ian reform and agricultural devel-opment the center of national de-velopment and global competi-tiveness and transforming smallfarmers into modern agribusinessmen and women; shift to sustain-able agriculture, among othersOrganizers led by the PARRDS,Urban and Rural Poor in Solidar-ity, UPA, COPE, CRSS and UP-SOLAIR together with the del-egates and representatives of vari-ous sectoral and church groupswere determined to put forwardthe summit’s Declaration to thegovernment for immediate con-sideration to solve the food crisis.
(Belinda L. Formanes)
MANILA, April 4, 2008—ThePeople’s Food Summit was suc-cessfully held April 2, 2008 at theUP-SOLAIR premises meeting itspurpose beyond expectation.Four hundred sixty (460) lead-ers representing various sectors—farmers, urban poor, fisherfolks,bishops, scientists and the aca-demic community actively partici-pated while some sixty-four (64)organizations have also addedtheir voice during the crucial high-level meeting.Cagayan de Oro ArchbishopAntonio J. Ledesma andKalookan Bishop DeograciasIñiguez were also present in sup-port of the summit.In his talk Archbishop Ledesmaraised the alarm on the risingprice of rice. He asked govern-ment to seriously assess the cur-rent food crisis situation. If indeedthere is stable and steady supplyof rice, then why prices are unre-strained and going up continually.The Archbishop proposed aninventory of the rice supply to beimmediately undertaken andmake rice accessible, adequate andaffordable for all, especially thepoor. Food crisis, he added, is re-lated to the crisis of skewed landownership in the countryside,making the farmers still landlessand without capacity to feed theirown family. He stressed thatagrarian reform becomes moreurgent and called on the legisla-tors to extend CARP and instituteprogressive reforms to address themajor flaws of the law and otherimplementation problems.Archbishop Ledesma alsoraised concern on the RP-ChinaAgricultural Deals which provides1.2M hectares for the food and bio-fuel needs of China. He noted thatit undermines agrarian reform,ancestral domain claims of thefarmers and the indigenous com-munities. It also has major impactsto the nation’s food security, es-pecially during these times of foodcrisis, he added.Towards the end he urged ev-eryone, the stakeholders, to studythe People’s Declaration on FoodCrisis to help come up with ap-propriate actions.Bishop Iñiguez extended hissupport and asked for strong soli-darity. He encouraged the assem-bly to bring the People’s Decla-ration to the 2nd National RuralCongress and to the nationalgovernment.The academe also renderedtheir expertise as resource personsand presenter during the 1-dayDrawing from the wealth of herexperience, she gave suggestionsin preparing modules for mediaeducation emphasizing the im-portance of adapting it accordingto the type of audience.Sharing experiences on theirrespective ministries in the vari-ous dioceses where they are as-signed, the Sisters reflected onthe strengths and weaknesses oftheir apostolic works, opportu-nities that help them fulfill theirministry, and negative influencesthat hinder them to do so.Together they drew a strategicplan to follow for the next fiveyears, committing themselves towork in synergy to become moreresponsive to the needs of theChurch using the means of com-munication.In a mission statement formu-lated at the end of the assembly,the sisters reiterated their com-mitment “to live and promotegospel values in order to respondcreatively to the needs of thepeople in line with the prioritiesof the local Church and of the 9thGeneral Chapter by improvingthe quality of our relationships,constantly renewing our zeal forthe apostolate and living theevangelical service of authorityand obedience.”The Philippine province of theDaughters of St. Paul has com-munities in 14 arch/dioceses inthe country and another 4 in Ma-laysia, Papua New Guinea andThailand.Their radio programs are airedin all diocesan radio stations andin some commercial stations inManila and the provinces.
(PinkyBarrientos, FSP)
with world events.Likewise, she gave a briefsketch of various Church docu-ments that highlight the impor-tance of media in evangelizationas well as its great role in shap-ing people’s lifestyle and way ofthinking.She said that the Church’s atti-tude towards mass media wasgenerally negative before the Sec-ond Vatican Council. But VaticanII’s declaration through its docu-ment “Inter Mirifica” proclaimingmedia as gifts of God, and thusshould be used for evangeliza-tion, had changed the generallypessimistic stance of the CatholicChurch towards media.Sr. Clothilde, who has beeninvolved in media education formany years, gave an animatedpresentation of conducting me-dia education in the dioceses.Resource speakers during theassembly were Sr. ConsolataManding, FSP, Directress ofPaulines Institute for Communi-cation in Asia (PICA), and Sr.Clothilde de las Llagas, FSP, Co-ordinator of PICA’s Mobile Me-dia Literacy Education program.Sr. Consolata reflected on thesignificance of the celebration ofWorld Communications Day(WCD) in the Church, especiallyfor the Daughters of St. Paul,emphasizing that for Paulines,“celebrating WCD is a duty.”“Celebrating WCD is theChurch’s recognition of thepower of media and its influencein the life of people,” she said.She gave a historical presenta-tion of various messages forWorld Communications Day not-ing that the theme chosen foreach year had some connectionMANILA, April 14, 2008—In a bidto address the demands of the me-dia apostolate and to becomemore effective in the exercise oftheir ministry, 23 Sisters of theDaughters of St. Paul represent-ing various sectors of electronicmedia apostolate and pastoral in-volvement (radio, television, au-dio visuals, newspaper, informa-tion technology and media lit-eracy education) gathered for afive-day assembly to discuss andstrategize their media and pasto-ral involvement for the next fiveyears.With the theme “Working insynergy to broaden our presencefor effective service in the worldof communication,” the meetingwas held April 7-11 at the PaulineCommunications Center, Daugh-ters of St. Paul, Harrison St. PasayCity.
Participants to the Paulines media assembly held from April 7-11 at the Daughters of St. Paul, Harrison St., Pasay City.
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