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CBCPMonitor vol12-n09

CBCPMonitor vol12-n09

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Protagonist of Truth, Promoter of Peace
Vol. 12 No. 9
April 28 - May 11, 2008
Php 20.00
Social / A6
Duplex houses turned over to
100 fam ilies in Legazpi
Couple for Christ Supplem ent
Holy Father\u2019s Address to the General
Assem bly of the United Nations
By Kris Bayos

No less than the head of the Bish- ops\u2019 Conference Office on Bioet- hics lauded the Department of Health (DOH) for mandating a total ban on kidney transplant for foreign patients.

CBCP Office on Bioethics chair and Malolos Bishop Jose Oliveros said the recent mandate will con- sequently put an end to the ille- gal sale and traffic of human or- gans in the country.

\u201cAlthough the ban is not a per- manent one, I think it is a good move towards curbing rampant sale of kidneys and other human organs illegally transacted in the suburbs and countryside,\u201d Oliveros said.

The bishop however said his approval of the ban of the kidney transplant for foreigners does not mean he has negative biases to- wards them.

\u201cI have nothing against the foreign patients coming to our country to avail of kidney trans- plant but I would personally pre- fer if the kidney transplant indus- try would give primordial prior- ity to our local beneficiaries,\u201d Oliveros said.

The Philippines has been iden- tified by the World Health Orga- nization (WHO) as among coun- tries promoting \u201ctransplant tour- ism\u201d to attract foreigners looking for organ transfers.

Reports disclosed that non-Fili- pinos are being prioritized for medical procedure on organ transplant over local patients.

Foreigners are reportedly will- ing to pay P100,000 to P200,000 for each donated organ, a pos- sible explanation for the influx of foreign patients to the country for medical tourism.

Health secretary Francisco Duque III issued an administra- tive order last March dispelling the hoax that \u201ckidney transplan- tation is part of medical tourism.\u201d

Organ transplantation for for- eigners has been suspended since January as the DOH worked on drafting the recently promul- gated order.

CBCP Statement

The CBCP after its 96th plenary assembly last January issued a statement condemning the abuse that has spawned a lucrative ille-

gal trade of kidneys.

\u201cOrgan transplant is a modern development in the field of medi- cine and organ donation is natu- rally good. But when the organ is offered for immediate finan- cial gain, the donation is no longer moral. As such, the Church condemns it,\u201d Oliveros was quoted saying after the ple- nary assembly.

The bishop was quick to dispel claims that the Church likewise condemns the poor who are in- volved in such immoral trade.

\u201cWe do not necessarily con- demn the poor who, in their sheer financial needs, trades their or- gans for immediate financial gain,\u201d Oliveros said, adding that his office has acquired informa- tion on specific localities where

trade and traffic of human organs
are prevalent.

What the Church condemns, according to the prelate, are the \u201cmiddle men\u201d who brokers for such trade, without properly in- forming the organ giver of the implications of organ donation.

\u201cInformation reached us that the brokers are the ones who gain more than the organ giver. The brokers are the ones who gain in the trading, pocketing more than half of the price of the sold or- gan,\u201d he said.

\u201cThey are human beings iden- tified and cannot be treated as commodities. We encourage vol- untary organ donation from ca- davers and also from living do- nors.\u201d

The bishops also called on the
government to impose stricter
regulations on organ donation.

Stern laws, the prelates said, should be enforced to stop the commercialization or selling of organs and prioritizing local pa- tients over foreigners.

Organ Committee

The Catholic bishops said they are ready to accept that they be part of a special team that will screen all human organ trans- plants in the country.

Malolos Bishop Jose Oliveros, head of the CBCP\u2019s Office on Bio- ethics, said they are more than willing to be part of a solution against the problem surrounding human organ sale.

Oliveros said he and Sr.

THE National Secretariat for So- cial Action, Justice and Peace (NASSA) of the Catholic Bishops\u2019 Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) called on the government to amend existing laws that are detrimental to the environment.

In a statement released on the occasion of the celebration of Earth Day, NASSA Executive Sec- retary Sr. Rosanne Mallilllin, SPC, called on the government to \u201camend existing laws and poli- cies particularly national mineral policies that are proven to be det- rimental to the environment and are disadvantageous to the Fili- pino people.\u201d

\u201cThe Government should en- courage the prosecution of all who violate environmental laws and /or fail to properly imple-

NASSA asks gov\u2019t to amend existing
laws detrimental to environment

ment them because such negli- gence results in various environ- mental tragedies,\u201d said the state- ment entitled \u201cReclaiming the Integrity of Creation\u201d.

According to Mallillin, \u201csuper typhoon Reming\u201d in 2006 left Sorsogon with nearly 750 fatali- ties, and the destruction of some US $508 million worth of prop- erties, infrastructure and agricul- ture.

In September 2006, another strong typhoon, Milenyo left Metro Manila with over 100 fa- talities. Heavy rainfall caused landslides and mudslides in Guinsaugon which left 200 people dead and displaced 1,500 individuals.

She added extreme weather
conditions seen in longer dry

spells caused infertile and unpro- ductive agricultural lands as \u201ceven more frequent and stron- ger typhoons destroy crops\u201d which significantly affect farm outputs. Natural disasters \u201care even more aggravated by man- made and man-induced disasters such as mine tailing spills in Boac, Marinduque, cyanide spills in Rapu-rapu, Albay and the col- lapse of mine tunnels in Mt. Diwalwal.

NASSA is the Catholic Church\u2019s social action arm which attends to relief and rehabilita- tion requirements of various dio- ceses across the country.

\u201cThe frequency and intensity of these occurrences give us a sense of urgency to evaluate and resolve what has gone wrong,\u201d

she added.

In the same statement, NASSA called on everyone to limit the consumption of fossilized fuels to decrease greenhouse gases and use renewable sources of energy including solar and wind energy.

It also called for an aggressive reforestation program along with proper waste disposal and for the government to amend existing laws and policies that have been proven detrimental to the environment and disadvan- tageous to the Filipino people as it encouraged the government to prosecute everyone who violate environmental laws or fail to properly implement them as negligence results in various en- vironmental tragedies.

Earth Day a call to support
farmers, says CBCP head
SVD Superior General
renews stand on
THE new Davao City Jail Catholic Chapel has helped in the
spiritual growth and maturity of the inmates.

Senior Inspector Thomas Augustine Catarata, regional chaplain of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) said the existence of the chapel inside the jail becomes a vital factor in chang- ing the overall character, perspective and attitude of the inmates.

Catarata said the inmates become participative in the on-going faith-based or spiritual programs conducted by different religious organizations inside the city jail.

Catarata added that the inmates, despite their wrongdoings
have dignity to be respected and values to be nurtured.

\u201cA person, who is entrusted to us for safekeeping carries a value, a value that is embedded at the very core of his/her hu- manity. Such value is inviolable and God-ordained,\u201d he said.

\u201cWhether the person is guilty or not of the crime he/she is
accused of, still the value remains,\u201d Catarata said.

Fr. Hermes Larry Sabud, local superior of the Society of Mary Fathers and in-charge of the Archdiocesan Commission on Prison Welfare also said that because of the on-going spiritual programs among inmates there is an increasing desire among them to change and know Christ more.

Sabud added that the construction of the chapel, although fi- nanced by some friends and benefactors was a \u201clabor of love and gratitude\u201d by the inmates.

Chief Inspector Ferdinand D. Pontillo, CSEE, the jail warden,
Jail\u2019s chapel promotes spiritual growth of inmates

SORSOGON Bishop Arturo M. Bastes, SVD, was elected Chair- man and President of the Phil- ippine Bible Society (PBS), April 20.

Bastes is currently the chair- man of the Episcopal Commis- sion on Biblical Apostolate (ECBA) of the Catholic Bish- ops\u2019 Conference of the Philip- pines (CBCP).

He was also chair of the Bastes Commission, a fact-finding body that investigated in 2006 the controversial polymetallic mines in Rapu-Rapu, Albay, that recommended for the can- cellation of the operation permit of Lafayette Philippines, Inc.

The Philippine Bible Society is a non-profit, non-stock inter- confessional Christian organi- zation aimed at promoting the Bible by providing people \u201cwith Scriptures in the lan- guage they understand, in for- mats they prefer, and at prices they can afford.\u201d

PBS is an affiliate of the

United Bible Societies, a soci- ety of more than 137 Bible Soci- eties operating in 200 countries and territories worldwide.

The mission of the Philippine Bible Society (PBS) is to achieve \u201cthe widest possible effective and meaningful distribution of the Holy Scriptures in lan- guages and media to meet the needs of our people, in transla- tions that are faithful to the Scripture texts in the original language and which effectively communicate the biblical mes- sage, at prices people can afford, giving opportunity to everyone to pray, to give, to volunteer, and helping them to interact with the Word of God.\u201d

Its vision is to see \u201ca Bible for every home in the major lan- guage of their locality; a New Testament for every literate Christian; a Scripture portion for everyone.\u201d

Bastes is the first Catholic bishop to get elected to this post.( C B C P N e w s )

Bastes elected Bible
Society chair
also believes that the chapel will deepen the spiritual awareness of
the inmates.
\u201cI know that by God\u2019s grace this chapel will bring light, healing
and reconciliation among the inmates,\u201d said Pontillo.

Pontillo also encourages different religious groups and volun- teers serving in the jail apostolate to continue with their faith- based activities or spiritual programs. (Mark S. Ventura)

WHILE expressing the congre- gation\u2019s solidarity and joy with the Paraguayan people at the elec- tion of Fernando Lugo as their new president, the Society of the Divine Word assured them of prayers that their former confrere \u201cmay lead the nation with wis- dom and courage, justice and compassion.\u201d

SVD Superior-General Anto- nio M. Pernia, a Filipino, issued a statement April 22, reiterating \u201cthat in principle we are not in favor of priests or religious en- tering politics.\u201d He, however, admitted their vocation and mission \u201cdo have a political di- mension.\u201d He hastened to add that \u201cthis dimension is ex- pressed by carrying out our prophetic and pastoral role in society, and not in involvement in partisan politics, the attain- ment of political power, or the assumption of a government position.\u201d

Pernia said that \u201cas a con- cerned citizen of Paraguay, Fernando Lugo felt he had to respond to the call of the people.\u201d He said then Fr. Lugo\u2019s \u201coption for the poor was seen as a source of genuine hope to the majority of the people of Paraguay.\u201d

He added that the congregation respects \u201chis personal discern- ment and the clear choice of the people in the election.\u201d

The Filipino superior-general added they hope their former confrere\u2019s \u201cexperience as a reli- gious missionary priest and bishop will help him bring about the change desired by the people.\u201d

The congregation expressed optimism that \u201cmeaningful change will be achieved if he suc- ceeds in changing the hearts and minds of the people\u2014those he serves and those who serve with him.\u201d

FOR Filipinos, Earth Day is a call to support our farmers whom we have neglected for so long now to cause the present rice crisis, said Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, president of the Catholic Bishops\u2019 Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), in a statement issued April 22.

\u201cFor so long a time these farmers have been neglected. And today we are reaping the fruit of that neglect: the present rice crisis,\u201d said Lagdameo who is also the Archbishop of Jaro in Iloilo.

Leaders of various peasants\u2019 groups with some Catholic bishops led by NRC-II chairman and Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma,
SJ, seek for CARP extension during a dialogue with some lawmakers at the Batasan Complex in Quezon City, April 23.
Bishop hails DOH ban
Bishop hails DOH ban
Bishop hails DOH ban
Bishop hails DOH ban
Bishop hails DOH ban
on kidney transplant
on kidney transplant
on kidney transplant
on kidney transplant
on kidney transplant
Vol. 12 No. 9
April 28 - May 11, 2008
CBCP Monitor
CBCP Monitor
World News

NEW YORK, April 29, 2008\u2014The archbishop of New York said the city\u2019s former pro-abortion mayor should not have received the Eucharist during Benedict XVI\u2019s trip to the United States.

In a statement released Monday, Cardinal Edward Egan recalled the Church\u2019s position on abortion, noting that it \u201cis a grave offense against the will of God.\u201d

\u201cThroughout my years as archbishop of New York, I have repeated this teaching in sermons, articles, addresses and interviews without hesitation or compromise of any kind,\u201d he continued. \u201cThus it was that I had an understand- ing with Mr. Rudolph Giuliani, when I became archbishop of New York and he was serving as mayor of New York, that he was not to receive the Eucharist because of his well- known support of abortion.

\u201cI deeply regret that Mr. Giuliani received the Eucharist during the papal visit here in New York, and I will be seeking a meeting with him to insist that he abide by our understanding.\u201d

Giuliani, who is also on his third marriage, received the Eucharist during Mass at Yankee Stadium on the last day of the Pope\u2019s visit.(Zenit)

MOSCOW, April 29, 2008\u2014 Changes implemented to Russia\u2019s visa system in October have caused problems for the nation\u2019s religious workers.

A decree mandating that for- eign citizens with either busi- ness or humanitarian visas can only spend half their time abroad in Russia has forced priests and other pastoral workers to spend more time away from their faithful, ac- cording to a report from Fo- rum 18 News.

Father Igor Kovalevsky, secre- tary of the Russian bishops\u2019 con- ference, said the change to the visa system is not the root of the prob-

VATICAN CITY, April 29, 2008\u2014The Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue sent its annual Message to Buddhists for the Feast of Vesakh. The letter stated the importance of environmental concerns and spoke of Chris- tians and Buddhists uniting to care for the earth.

Vesakh, the main Buddhist festivity, marks three funda- mental moments in the life of Gautama Buddha. It is held during the full moon of the month of May because, accord- ing to tradition, Buddha was born, achieved enlightenment

NEW DELHI, India, April 28, 2008\u2014Yesterday, 1,793 tribal Christians reconverted to Hin- duism in a ceremony in Borivli (Mumbai), presided over by Hindu leader Swami Narendra Maharaj. Maharaj, who led the ritual of shuddikaran (purifi- cation), said that 42,200 people have been reconverted, above all in the tribal areas of Maharashtra and Gujarat.

He accused Christians of using \u201cluring and mislead- ing\u201d methods to convert Hin- dus, and said that \u201can anti- conversion law is needed,\u201d because \u201cnobody should be converted, whatsoever be his religion\u201d. He criticized the political parties that \u201chave re- fused to take a firm stand on the government\u2019s conversion bill\u201d, and expressed his hopes for the creation of a \u201cpressure group\u201d that would protect Hindu \u201cinterests\u201d. He also blamed the Hindu fundamen- talist parties Bharathiya Janata and Shiv Sena for not being decisive enough.

There are laws in various In- dian states punishing the activ- ity of proselytism. In general, these are interpreted in the sense that it is not prohibited to convince someone to renounce other religions in order to return to Hinduism, which is consid- ered the \u201cnatural\u201d religion for Indians.

On April 14, in the city of Tirunelveli (Tamil Nadu), over one thousand Christian Dalits reverted to Hinduism, and the organizers of the ceremony an- nounced their intentions to re- convert another 20,000 Chris- tians in Villupuram in upcom- ing months.

The auxiliary bishop of Mumbai, Percival Fernandez, told AsiaNews yesterday that \u201ctwo points must be clarified:

1) no adult can receive or be given the sacrament of bap- tism without his or her free consent. Baptism given by co- ercive methods is totally in- valid, hence the person so baptized cannot be numbered among Catholics. 2) We have been asking persons who are shouting from the house-tops that we are converting people to Christianity by force or other coercive methods, that they should produce before us per- sons who have been thus bap- tized and received into the Catholic Church: so far not a single person has been pro- duced. If they feel shy to do so before us Catholics, let them produce such persons before the courts of law in our coun- try\u201d.

On the state anti-conversion laws, Bishop Percival, who is also the chairman of the St. John\u2019s National Academy of Health Sciences, maintains that it is more important that \u201clegislators spend their pre- cious time in the legislatures to plan and execute projects that get drinking water, decent housing, daily affordable bread and primary education to the millions who are deprived of these basic requirements for which they have a right. Instead of wasting precious time in working out anti-conversion laws, it would be much more profitable if they appointed a high level commission consist- ing of excellent judges that we have in plenty in the country, identify the persons converted by the Catholics by force and allurements and identify the person who did such a con- demnable deed, and punish both concerned with laws that are already available in the constitution of our beloved country.\u201d(AsiaNews)

cese decided to sue the govern-

The archbishop of the capital, Murphy Pakiam, maintains that the domestic security minister and the federal government are making a mistake: \u201cI am advised by my solicitors that I have a le- gal right to use the word \u2018Allah\u2019 in theHerald, and this legal right stems from the right to freedom of speech and expression as en- shrined in Article 10 of the Fed- eral Constitution\u201d, the arch- bishop explains in an article for the next issue of theHerald. Arch- bishop Pakiam further reports that he has been under constant pressure from the government to conform to the \u201cdirectives\u201d.

At the same time, numerous threats have been issued, creat- ing a climate of \u201capprehension\u201d. The bishop concludes by describ- ing as \u201cunreasonable and irratio- nal\u201d the justification of the min- istry, according to which the use of the word \u201cAllah\u201d is a \u201csecu- rity issue which is purportedly causing much confusion and which threatens and endangers peace, public order and security\u201d. Over thirteen years of publica- tion, he adds, no article in the

Herald has ever caused any inci-

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, April 28, 2008\u2014The lawsuit by the archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur against the government of Ma- laysia has been adjourned until tomorrow, April 29. The arch- diocese is claiming the right to use the word \u201cAllah\u201d in its Catholic weekly, theHerald. Be- tween last December and Janu- ary, the case had raised serious controversy and accusations from minorities and activists against the Malaysian authori- ties, who are charged with vio- lating freedom of expression and religion.

The standoff over the use of the word \u201cAllah\u201d is just one more chapter in the difficulties facing the majority Muslim country, where a secular constitution is accompanied by Islamic courts charged with applying sharia. On December 10, the domestic security ministry\u2014which over- sees media permissions\u2014had prohibited the Malay-language section of theHerald from using the word \u201cAllah\u201d to designate the Christian God, claiming it could be used in this way only by Muslims. Fr Andrew Lawrence, the director of the newspaper, was forced to accept the restriction, but the archdio-

PARIS, April 28, 2008\u2014The French episcopal conference confirmed today the dates for Benedict XVI\u2019s trip to France marking the 150th anniversary of the Lourdes apparitions.

The Pope will arrive in Paris on Sept. 12. He is scheduled to meet with civil leaders, includ- ing President Nicolas Sarkozy. Later on, he will give a dis- course directed to the world of culture.

That evening in the Cathe- dral of Notre Dame, the Holy Father will celebrate vespers with priests, deacons, religious and seminarians. Afterward, he will give an address to youth.

On Saturday, Sept. 13, the Pon- tiff will celebrate a public Mass. Also during his time in the capi- tal city, Benedict XVI will meet with representatives of other Christian confessions, as well as Jewish and Muslim leaders, the French bishops reported.

Saturday afternoon, the Holy Father will travel to Lourdes, where he will give an address to the pilgrims.

Sunday, Sept. 14, the Pope will preside over a solemn Mass with the pilgrims. That after- noon, he will meet with French bishops and participate in a Eu- charistic procession.

The next day, the Holy Father will administer the anointing of the sick during a Mass. He will return to Rome that Mon- day afternoon.( Z e n i t )

ROME, April 29, 2008\u2014High- ranking officials in India have acknowledged the macabre scope of the selective abortion of girls, a practice that is in- creasingly more common in the country.

India\u2019s Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, harshly criticized this situation, call- ing it \u201cone of the most inhu- mane, uncivilized and repre- hensible practices.

The IANS news agency re- ported that the phenomenon above all affects the wealthi- est regions of India and has led to a drop in the number of women versus the number of men. In the northeastern region of Punjab, there are only 798 girls for every 1000 boys; in Haryana, 819; New Delhi, 868 and in Gujarat, 883.

\u201cThis indicates that the growing economic prosperity and the education levels have not led to a corresponding al- leviation of the problem,\u201d Singh said.

He stressed that girls in In-
Cardinal: Giuliani shouldn\u2019t
have received communion
1,793 Christians
reconverted to Hinduism
Catholic weekly takes
government to court over
use of the word \u201cAllah\u201d
Russian visa system
leaves priests scrambling

lem. The real issue is getting tem- porary residency or work per- mits.

Ninety percent of Russia\u2019s Catholic clergy are foreign-born. And the process to get them a residency or work permit takes six months, he said.

The new regulations corre- spond with those in the European Union, Andrei Sebentsov, vice chairman of the government\u2019s Commission for Issues Concern- ing Religious Associations, stressed to Forum 18.

As humanitarian visas are now no longer suitable for prolonged religious work, he explained, work visas are the main alterna-

Christians and Buddhists can cooperate on the environment, pontifical council says
Pope to visit
France Sept
12 -15
and passed away in that period.

The message entitled, \u201cChristians and Buddhists: Caring for the Planet Earth,\u201d in- dicates that the \u201cpreservation of the environment, promotion of sustainable development and particular attention to cli- mate change are matters of grave concern for everyone.\u201d

The letter points out that con- tribution of religious leaders is not \u201cjust a reaction to the more recent pressing threats associ- ated with global warming. Christianity and Buddhism have always upheld a great re- spect for nature and taught that

tive, for which work permits are

\u201cOur priests are really, really suffering from this,\u201d one Russian Catholic told Forum 18. He men- tioned one priest, limited to 180 days a year with his parish in the region of Moscow, making a gru- eling 24-hour commute from his native Poland to lead weekend Masses.

Others are spending extended periods outside Russia as their 180 days are already up, he la- mented. And with fewer priests to go around, there are no week- day services in some towns.

Prime Minister deplores selective
abortion of girls in India

dia are more vulnerable be- cause their parents fear early marriage, the payment of dow- ries, deficient nutrition or the lower status of women relative to men in society.

\u201cThe patriarchal mentality

and preference for male chil- dren is complicated even more by the unethical conduct of members of the health care in- dustry who offer sex determi- nation services,\u201d Singh said.


we should be grateful stewards of the earth. Indeed it is only through a profound reflection on the relationship between the divine Creator, creation and creatures that attempts to ad- dress environmental concerns will not be marred by individual greed or hampered by the inter- ests of particular groups.\u201d

\u201cOn a practical level can we Christians and Buddhists not do more to collaborate in projects which confirm the re- sponsibility that falls to each and every one of us? Recy- cling, energy conservation, the prevention of indiscriminate

destruction of plant and ani- mal life, and the protection of waterways all speak of careful stewardship and indeed foster goodwill and promote cordial relations among peoples. In this way Christians and Bud- dhists together can be harbin- gers of hope for a clean, safe and harmonious world.\u201d

It is the hope that such ideas may be promoted \u201cwithin our respective

communities through public education and our good example in respect- ing nature and acting respon- sibly towards our one common planet Earth.\u201d(CNA)

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Holy Father sends new
Holy Father sends new
Holy Father sends new
Holy Father sends new
Holy Father sends new
priests to spread joy
priests to spread joy
priests to spread joy
priests to spread joy
priests to spread joy
CBCP Monitor
CBCP Monitor
Vol. 12 No. 9
April 28 - May 11, 2008
News Features

VATICAN CITY, April 27, 2008\u2014 Benedict XVI sent forth 29 newly ordained priests to spread the \u201cjoy of Christ\u201d in a world that is \u201coften sad and negative.\u201d

The Pope presided at an ordi- nation Mass today in St. Peter\u2019s Basilica in which, as Bishop of Rome, he bestowed the sacra- ment of holy orders on candidates from his own diocese.

All of the men studied for the priesthood in Rome, although seven of the new priests are from outside Italy. The non-Italian priests are from Iraq, Colombia, Chile, Paraguay, France, Haiti and India.

In his homily Benedict XVI ex- plained that today a new mission was beginning for them. Being missionaries of the Gospel, he said, they must \u201cproclaim and witness to joy.\u201d

The Pontiff asked, \u201cWhat can be more beautiful to us than this? What can be greater, more excit- ing, than working together to spread the Word of life in the world, than communicating the living water of the Spirit?\u201d

Priests are called to bring the Gospel to all \u201cso that all experi- ence the joy of Christ and there be joy in every city,\u201d the Holy Father observed. They are called

to be \u201cmessengers of this joy,\u201d to multiply and transmit it, espe- cially to those who are sad and disheartened.

\u201cIf you are to be co-workers of the joy of others, of people who are often sad and negative, the fire of the Gospel must burn in you, the joy of the Lord must live in you,\u201d he told the ordinands.

After the Mass, in his address before reciting the Regina Caeli with the faithful gathered in St. Peter\u2019s Square, Benedict XVI re- turned to the theme of his homily.

The Pope said, \u201cWhere Christ is preached with the power of the Holy Spirit and he is accepted with an open soul, society, though it be full of problems, becomes a

\u201ccity of joy\u201d\u2014which is also the title of a book about the work of Mother Teresa in Calcutta.

\u201cThis then is the wish I have for the newly ordained priests, for whom I invite all to pray: that where they are sent they may spread the joy and hope that flow from the Gospel.\u201d(Zenit)

DAVAO CITY, April 28, 2008\u2013 The Imams-Pastors-Priests\u2019 Fo- rum (IPPF) is planning to come up with a vision and mission statement, which will serve as their guidelines in the further- ance of interreligious dialogue in Mindanao.

The IPPF group earlier created a new set of convenors and members which will also head in its operations.

During the meeting partici- pated in by 10 imams, five pas- tors and three priests held in Camp Alano, Toril this city early this month, the group discussed and outlined their plans for the approval of the proposed vision and mission statement.

The group agreed to approve the statement during their planned general assembly this coming April 28 to 30 still at Camp Alano.

Aside from that, IPPF-Davao
IPPF to come up with vision
for M\u2019danao dialogue

co-convenors Fr. Pedro Lamata, Pastor Mariano Apilado and Aleem Mahmod Adilao, also dis- closed their action plan for 2008.

Various activities scheduled like brochure designing and pro- duction, IPPF fora and Mindanao Week of Peace 2008.

Programs and services provided by IPPF Mindanao are also included in their plans which will be tackled again during their general assem- bly to be participated in by existing IPPF in the areas of Digos, Cagayan de Oro, Cotabato and Davao.

The co-convenors also agreed to have a regular prayer and meet- ing once every two months \u201cin order to ensure that we have a constant follow-up on our plans,\u201d said Ustadz Mahmod Adilao, co- convenor of IPPF.

The group agreed to hold the first meeting on June 12 to be hosted by the Catholic priests.

(Mark S Ventura)

LEGAZPI CITY, April 28, 2008\u2014Despite pouring rain, 100 recipients of 50 duplex houses built with the funding acquired by the Social Action Center (SAC), expressed satis- faction they will now have a safe and permanent place they could call their home.

MANILA, April 28, 2008\u2014The Manila Metropolitan Cathedral, the Minor Basilica of the Im- maculate Conception will cel- ebrate the 50th anniversary of its present structure on December 8.

To mark the occasion, various programs are being planned, Jade Villanueva, an official of the Cathedral, told CBCP News.

One of these is the second Manila Cathedral Pipe Organ Festival scheduled for Dec 2, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 10.

Now the eighth cathedral, the present Neo-Romanesque-Byz- antine building rose from the ruins of its predecessor, which was bombed along with the rest of Intramuros during the Battle of Liberation in 1945. The recon- structed church, designed by Architect Fernando Ocampo, was solemnly consecrated on Dec. 7, 1958 in honor of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception.

Manila Cathedral was raised to the status of a basilica on April 27, 1981 by virtue of a papal bull (decree) issued motu proprio by Pope John Paul II, three months after his first papal visit to the Philippines.

The building has undergone major repairs and renovations but has remained every angle a picture of its old form, outshin- ing in grandeur and magnifi- cence, said Msgr. Nestor C. Cerbo, rector.

Cerbo is focusing on the stra- tegic and operational concerns, worship, education, services, temporalities and youth.

In each of these areas, concrete projects and programs are in the lineup, enjoining the support and participation not only of its

Duplex houses turned over to 100 families in Legazpi

The simple turnover was held at barangay Sipi, another relocation site for disaster-dis- placed families.

\u201cOkey lang ang ulan na \u2018yan, blessing \u2018yan sa amin, \u201d (\u201cIt\u2019s alright, the rain is a blessing for us\u201d) said a disaster victim from Barangay Binitayan

whose house was covered with sand and volcanic boulders when super howler Reming came more than a year ago.

The rains never dampened
the spirit of the beneficiaries.

Bishop Lucilo B. Quiambao, Administrator of the Diocese; Sis. Rosanne Mallillin, SPC of

NASSA-CBCP and this town\u2019s Social Welfare Officer Emma N. Lindio, had to squeeze them- selves into a small makeshift tent during the ceremonies.

Bishop Quiambao exhorted the family-recipients \u201cThis is your new house, make it your home.\u201d He underscored the family and life protection pro- grams of the Catholic church as basis for the social action programs.

Sister Rosanne said the funding used for the construc- tion of duplex houses came from Caritas Internationalis and Caritas Filpinas and from donations of concerned Catholics who believed in chipped-in unity despite di- versity.

The CBCP-NASSA executive secretary proposed to name the newly constructed community \u201cDamayan Village\u201d as it was realized with the concerted ef- forts of everybody.

\u201cSana, magdamayan kayo sa
pamayanan,\u201d she further said.
(Elmer James Bandol)

THE Media Office of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is organizing a seminar for news correspondents on May 7-8 at the CBCP headquarters in Intramuros, Manila.

The upcoming seminar aims to orient the news corre- spondents on the prophetic role of Church journalists in reporting news according to Church\u2019s standpoint. Like- wise it endeavors to highlight the importance of having a news


as CBCPNews that is dedicated in \u201cproviding accurate news written from a distinctively Catholic perspective.\u201d

Msgr. Pedro Quitorio, CBCP Media Director, said the train- ing of CBCPNews writers, re- porters and correspondents is a continuing program.

\u201cThis is the third that the Media Office will be giving. In 2006 there were two trainings conducted: one was on media work and the other on news writing,\u201d he explained.

Manila Cathedral to
celebrate golden jubilee

Mass goers or immediate commu- nity but also of others who rightly valued the Cathedral as the pre- mier temple of the Archdiocese of Manila and an important cultural and historical wealth in the Phil- ippines, said Cerbo


The Cathedral traces its origin to a nipa church built in 1571 by Fray Juan de Vivero. In Sept. 1581, the said church was re- modeled into a better structure made of wood, bamboo, and nipa and on Dec. 21, 1521, it became a cathedral.

The first cathedral was ravaged by fire in 1583 and a new structure, made of stone and mortar, was erected in 1591. The earthquake of 1599 and 1600 completely de- stroyed the second cathedral and from its rubbles followed further cycles or restorations and ravages.

The third cathedral, built in 1614 and destroyed by earthquake of 1621 and 1736, and demolished in 1751; the fourth cathedral, in- augurated in 1760, repaired; the sixth cathedral, constructed from 1854 to 1858, repaired and reno- vated in 1850, and destroyed by earthquake in 1852; the sixth one, constructed from 1854 to 1858 and destroyed by earthquake in 1863; and the seventh one, inaugurated in 1879, damaged by earthquake in 1880, was converted into a hos- pital for wounded soldiers during the Filipino-American War in 1898-1902, and fully destroyed in 1945 during World War II, giving way a decade later to the construc- tion of the present edifice (eighth structure)through the effort of Archbishop Rufino J. Santos.

Yesterday, April 27, the Cathe- dral inaugurated its official website, www.manilacathedral.org.

(Santosh Digal)
CBCP to hold seminar for news correspondents

Quoting Pope John Paul II\u2019s Apostolic Letter Rapid Develop- ment, Quitorio said the continu- ing formation is essential for media to be used appropriately. \u201c\u2026a vast work of formation is needed to assure that the mass media be known and used intel- ligently and appropriately. The new vocabulary they introduce into society modifies both learn- ing processes and the quality of human relations, so that, with- out proper formation, these me- dia run the risk of manipulating and heavily conditioning, rather than serving people.\u201d (11)

\u201cThis is in response to the call of the Vatican to continu- ously train media workers in the Church,\u201d he said of the seminar.

Topics to be discussed dur- ing the seminar include \u201cWhat is the Church Beat? CBCPNews as an alternative news organization, Enhanc- ing Basic Skills in News Writ- ing, and Managing the News.\u201d

(www.cbcpnews.com) is the

only local Catholic news agency in the country at present. Offi- cially launched by the CBCP Media Office in June 2007, CBCPNews averages 3,000 hits a day. To date, it has reached more than 1.1 million hits.

With news correspondents strategically posted in different dioceses, CBCPNews gets its daily dispatch straight from the \u201cbattle ground\u201d. The news are uploaded everyday as they come in and distributed to email subscribers free of charge.

Church news get into the mainstream media through CBCPNews.


launched CBCPNews, we noticed that our news are carried not only by the international church news services but even by the local mainstream media,\u201d Quitorio observed.

\u201cIf only because of this, I think CBCPNews is some- thing, because what happens is the mainstream media get the lead of our story,\u201d he added. (Pinky Barrientos, FSP)

MANILA, April 25, 2008The Epis- copal Commission on Youth of the Catholic Bishops\u2019 Confer- ence of the Philippines (CBCP) will organize the biennial Na- tional Conference for Youth Ministers (NCYM) at Colegio de San Jose in Jaro, Iloilo City, May 5-9.

As year 2008 is acknowledged as the Year of Word of God, youth ministers in the Philip- pine Catholic Church are called to reflect on their identity as wit- nesses to the Word of God as they draw life from it and share it with others, especially the young, said Masbate bishop Joel Z. Baylon, chair of the CBCP- Episcopal Commission on Youth.

The theme is \u201cThe Word of God lives in you (1 Jn 2:14), youth ministers: drawing and sharing life in God\u2019s Word, wit- nessing to the world.\u201d

God\u2019s Word takes central place in the lives of youth ministers. The Word of God does not only serve as inspiration, but it actu- ally is the source of truth guid- ing youth ministry. From it, youth ministers draw their per- sonal project of life. Drawing life from God\u2019s Word, they then are compelled to share this: in their interaction with young people, in their plans and programs, in their participation in the mission of the Church. In a most pro- found sense, the minister draws and shares life in his/her en- counter with the Incarnate Word, Jesus Christ, said Baylon.

CBCP Commission to hold Nat\u2019l
Conference for Youth Ministers

As the Synod of Bishops on the Word of God is convened this year, the Episcopal Commis- sion on Youth has thought it very relevant for this gathering of youth ministers to reflect on the Word of God and its place in living the faith and ministry, he added.

The conference aims to help the youth minister to identify the place of the Word of God in his/ her personal life and in the min- istry, evaluate his/her choices, opinions and options in the light of God\u2019s Word, respond, person- ally and as part of a youth minis- try team, to the inspirations, and challenged of the Word of God in the youth ministry, celebrate the gift of God\u2019s Word and of his/ her fellow ministers.

The Archdiocese of Jaro, through the generosity of Arch- bishop Angel Lagdameo, presi- dent of CBCP, and his youth ministers, clergy, religious and lay extends its arms to partici- pating youth ministers, direc- tors, coordinators and leaders.

Participating youth ministers will stay with foster families within the Jaro District. The or- ganizers will provide accommo- dations for NCYM participants.

Some of the topics that will be dealt with include commu- nity structured learning experi- ences, Bible service, Bible quiz, Filipino Catholic youth minis- tryThe last NCYM was held in

Youth apostolate coordinators in a meeting with CBCP-ECY execu-
tive director Fr. Conegundo Garganta prior to the event.

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