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CBCPMonitor vol12-n23

CBCPMonitor vol12-n23

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Published by cbcpmonitor
- Corruption derails rural dev’t, says BEC Congress
- Holy See: Migrants’ humane conditions are vital for dev’t
- But it should be addressed even from below
- P728M fund scam witnesses told: ‘Come out in the open’
- BCBP holds competition on ‘Be honest’ advocacy
- UST to focus on ‘faith and life issues,’ supports CBCP’s stand vs RH bill
- Corruption derails rural dev’t, says BEC Congress
- Holy See: Migrants’ humane conditions are vital for dev’t
- But it should be addressed even from below
- P728M fund scam witnesses told: ‘Come out in the open’
- BCBP holds competition on ‘Be honest’ advocacy
- UST to focus on ‘faith and life issues,’ supports CBCP’s stand vs RH bill

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cbcpmonitor@cbcpworld.netwww.cbcpnews.com
Protagonist of Truth, Promoter of Peace
 Vol. 12 No. 23
November 10 - 23, 2008
Php 20.
00
Pabillo
•A3
Victim of abortion: ‘We crywithout tears and we screamwithout a voice’ at abortion clinics
The CROSS
Knights of Columbus Supplement
•C1•B1
 ‘Bringing to thePriesthood Only ThoseWho Have Been Called’ 
Church leads signaturedrive vs mining
THE Roman Catholic Diocese of Butuan haslaunched a signature campaign for the closureof all mining operations in Agusan del Norteprovince.Butuan auxiliary bishop Zacharias Jimenezsaid the “house to house” signature driveaims to serve as a wakeup call for authoritiesthat people are against the extensive miningactivities.He accused the mining operations, in aninterview aired over Radyo Veritas, of ruin-ing the province’s environment which is now
Carmelites demand ‘radicalreforms’ against corruption
FILIPINO Carmelite priests are demanding“radical reforms” against corruption and holdcurrent corrupt-ridden administration account-able to the people,” said Fr. Jerry Sabado, Con-venor, Carmelites-Justice, Peace and Integrityof Creation (JPIC) in a press statement.To this day, the truth about the NBN-ZTEdeal and other strings of corruption charges didnot see the light. The people are again scandal-ized by the euro generals, he said.“And now we continue to witness shamelesscover-up of the multi-million fertilizer scam.
Signature drive / A7Carmelites / A7
But it should beaddressed evenfrom below
By Pinky Barrientos, FSP
 WITH a big percentage of Fili-pinos living in poverty and agovernment reeling from theperception of being the most cor-rupt, a nationwide Basic EcclesialCommunities (BEC) Congress onrural development comes at a mostopportune time.
Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, SJ, in hishomily at the opening of the second BECNational Congress held at St. AugustineMetropolitan Cathedral in Cagayan de Oronoted that the theme of the congress was acontinuation of the discussion of what hastranspired in the recently concluded ruralcongress. Ledesma is the national chairman ofthe National Rural Congress which convenedlast July.He underscored the role of BECs in ruraldevelopment saying that BEC members cancontribute a lot in making good governancea reality in the country.Lack of good governance and the problemof corruption have been seen as some of theproblems that derail the pursuit of develop-ment especially in the rural areas.“In all of these it is the small people, the
Corruption derails rural
dev’t, says BEC Congress
THE Holy See has called on governments for seriousinternational cooperation in order to ensure humaneconditions of migration.
Pontical Council for Migrants and Travelers secre
-tary Archbishop Agostino Marchetto said agonies ofmigrants must be stopped because they too are entitledto enjoy human rights.“Special attention must be given to avoid discrimi-nation and to protect vulnerable migrants such aswomen, unaccompanied minors, elderly and disabledpersons,” he said.Marchetto made the call last Wednesday in his
P728M fund scam witnesses told:‘Come out in the open’
UST to focus on ‘faith and life issues,’ supports CBCP’s stand vs RH bill
THE Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen
and Professionals (BCBP) will hold the rst
National “Be Honest” Oratorical Competi-tion among 3rd and 4th year students of toppublic and private schools nationwide.BCBP-Davao Chapter is a Catholic Renew-al community of businessmen and profes-sionals with principals in Makati City whichpromotes the value of honesty through its“Be Honest” campaign program.
The program was launched ve years ago
participated in by 113 BCBP chapters andoutreaches all over the country in a nation-wide motorcade.The advocacy was manifested by puttingup of billboards, posters, streamers, car stick-ers, t-shirts and other collaterals bearing thenow familiar program’s message: “Be Hon-est, Even if others are not, Even if others willnot, Even if others cannot.”With 60 BCBP Chapters participating allover the country, they expect that about 700schools will be represented in competitions
Holy See: Migrants’ humaneconditions are vital for dev’t
talk during the Global Forum on Migration held at thePhilippine International Convention Center in PasayCity last Oct. 27-30.Only too often the world is confronted nowadays withimages of migrants risking their lives in the attempt tocross borders in search for a better life for themselvesand for their families.These incidents, he said, are symptomatic of the sadreality many migrants face today in their quest for a joband for a living wage.But this suffering has to stop, Marchetto said.
BCBP holds compe-
tition on ‘Behonest’ advocacy
A RANKING Catholic Church ofcialhas called on the people with “rst
hand” information on the alleged P728million fertilizer fund scam to comeout in the open.Manila Auxiliary Bishop BroderickPabillo made the appeal Tuesday fol-lowing former Agriculture secretary Jocelyn “Jocjoc” Bolante’s vow tocooperate with the coming Senateinvestigation on the issue.“I call on those who know some-thing about the alleged scam to tellthe truth,” he said at the sidelines ofthe ongoing 2nd Basic Ecclesial Com-munities (BEC) Congress in Cagayande Oro City.Pabillo said as long issues on allegedcorruption under the Arroyo govern-ment left hanging, so is the credibility
THE Pontical and Royal Uni
-
versity of Santo Tomas (UST)
will focus on the promotionof “faith and life issues” andcontinue to support the stand ofthe Filipino Bishops against thereproductive health bill.As a Catholic university of thePhilippines, the Dominican-run
UST will stress “faith and life
matters” given the on-goingdebate on “Reproductive Health(RH)” bill pending in the Con-gress, said Fr. Filemon I. de laCruz, Jr., OP, Vice-rector forReligious Affairs.De la Cruz, also director ofCenter for Campus Ministry,was addressing faculty membersof the Institute of Religion, whichhe heads too.
UST, the oldest University in
Asia, has decided to envisionsome areas of concentration, and“faith and life matters” is one ofthe most important areas, De laCruz said.
De la Cruz said UST sup
-
ports the stand of the inuential
Catholic Bishops’ Conference ofthe Philippines (CBCP) againstthe RH bill.
Corruption / A6UST / A6 ‘Be honest’ / A6Fund scam / A6Migrants / A7
The nearly 400 delegates of the CBCP- Committee on Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC) 2nd National Congress listen to a reection on rural development by BEC chairman and CotabatoArchbishop Orlando Quevedo (inset). The prelate told the participants that the formation of BECs is not a matter of getting people to church, but how to be authentically church to them.
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of her administration.“We will not really improve as longas these issues are not resolved,” saidPabillo who also heads the NationalSecretariat for Social Action-Justice andPeace of the Catholic Bishops’ Confer-ence of the Philippines.The prelate also vowed to lead in pro-viding refuge to Bolante if needed. Hesaid they are open to the idea if Bolantehimself would ask their assistance.“It’s our obligation to protect truth-tellers,” Pabillo said. “I appealed to Mr.Bolante to just tell the truth as a serviceto the nation.”The Senate has allowed Bolante tostay at the St. Luke’s Medical Centereven after his doctors ordered himdischarged.
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 A2
 Vol. 12 No. 23
November 10 - 23, 2008 
CBCP MonitorCBCP Monitor
 World News
Pope marks Feast of Dedication of
Lateran Basilica, commemoratesanniversary of Kristallnacht
VATICAN, November 9, 2008—Presiding over the recitation of theSunday Angelus, Pope Benedict XVI commemorated the Feast ofthe Dedication of Rome’s Lateran Basilica. Calling Christians the‘living stones’ of a ‘spiritual building,’ he reminded the faithful thatGod wants to build in the world a community that “worships himin spirit and truth.”The Basilica, called the “mother and head of all churches of theCity and the World,” was built after the Emperor Constantine’s Edictof Milan, which in 313 granted Christians freedom to practice theirreligion. The same emperor, the Holy Father recalled, “gave PopeMiltiades the old property of the family of the Laterans and built theBasilica, Baptistery and the residence of the Bishop of Rome, wherethe Popes lived until the Avignon period.”The dedication of the Basilica was celebrated by Pope Sylvester in324 and the temple was dedicated to the Most Holy Savior; the namesof Sts. John the Baptist and John the Evangelist, for whom the basilica
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is commonly named, were added only after the sixth century.
“This anniversary at rst interested only the city of Rome; then,
in 1565, it was extended to the Churches of the Roman rite. Byhonoring the Basilica, one intends to express love and veneration
for the Roman Church, which, as St. Ignatius of Antioch afrms,
‘presides over the charity’ of the entire Catholic communion,” thePope said.“The beauty and harmony of churches, destined to render praiseto God, invites us, limited and sinners, to form a ‘cosmos,’ a well-
ordered edice, in communion with Jesus, who is the true Holy of
Holies,” he added.After the Marian prayer of the Angelus, Benedict XVI recalledthat today is the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht, “when Nazi furyagainst Jews broke loose in Germany.” He prayed for the victimsand invited Christians to demonstrate “profound solidarity withthe Hebrew world.”
(CNA)
VATICAN, November 9, 2008—BenedictXVI is calling upon all involved to restorepeace and respect for the law and humanlife to Congo.After reciting the Angelus together withthe crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square,the Pope called attention to the ongoing
conict taking place in the North Kivu region
of Congo.“Bloody armed skirmishes and systematicatrocities have caused and continue to causemany casualties among innocent civilians.Destruction, looting and violence of everytype have forced tens of thousands of per-sons to abandon even what little they had to
Pontiff calls for restorationof peace in Congo
survive,” he lamented.Saying that the number of refugees isestimated at more than one and a half mil-lion, the Pontiff also called “upon all to worktogether to restore peace, respect for law andthe dignity of every person to that land, fortoo long martyred.”“To all and to each one I desire to expressmy special nearness, as I encourage andbless those who are working to alleviate theirsufferings, among whom are the pastoralworkers of the Church of that region,” thePontiff stated. “To families and their lovedones I offer my condolences and assure myprayers.”
(Zenit)
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Vatican: Catholic-Muslim
forum
a ‘step forward’
VATICAN, November 9, 2008—
The rst seminar of the Muslim-Catholic Forum was “a signi
-cant step forward in dialogue,”says a Vatican spokesman. Jesuit Father Federico Lom-bardi, the director of the Vaticanpress office, made this claimon the last episode of “OctavaDies,” a weekly program ofthe Vatican Television Center.The three-day Catholic-Muslimmeeting ended last week inRome.
The Church, he recalled,“has regular meetings withvarious groups of Muslim rep-resentatives,” but this meeting“demonstrated the possibilityof entering more deeply andfrankly into essential themesand of successfully express-ing, with greater clarity and
fdelity, that which unites and
differentiates [us].”
The final joint declaration“contains important statementsabout respect for persons andtheir choices in matters of con-science and religion [and] onthe equal dignity of men andwomen.”Disclosing that Benedict XVIis encouraging the efforts atdialogue, the Vatican spokesmancharacterized the dialogue ofthe forum as “open” and takingplace in “a climate of trust.” Headded that there are hopes thatthe dialogue will extend itself tolarger circles in the Christian andMuslim world.The priest observed that the
often bloody conicts between
Christians and Muslims in theMiddle East and the Balkanshave made the dialogue “com-
plex and difcult, but they must
not hamper or stop it.”Benedict XVI, Father Lombar-di said, has invited the two sidesto “unite their efforts, with thegoal of overcoming incompre-hension, overcoming prejudicesand correcting the distorted im-age of the other.”“The road remains a long onebut this is a step in the rightdirection,” Father Lombardiconcluded.
(Zenit)
 BALTIMORE, November 9, 2008—Since theelection of Barack Obama as the next Presi-
dent of the United States, several Catholic
commentators have speculated on how theoriginal agenda of the annual Fall General
Assembly of the United States Conference ofCatholic Bishops (USCCB) will change.
According to bishops involved in theorganization of the three-day meeting, theagenda, including a public discussion ofabortion and politics, is fully on track.Speculation that the agenda might changecame late last week when several prominentCatholic commentators argued that thebishops had “lost authority” by speakingout strongly against Catholics voting forpro-abortion politicians, like Obama andother mostly Democratic candidates, who
were elected to ofce recently.
Earlier, Religion News Service reported
Obama’s election may change agenda
of forthcoming USCCB meeting
that the USCCB “has scuttled plans to dis
-cuss abortion and politics next week in Bal-timore,” citing the bishops’ spokeswoman,Sister Mary Ann Walsh. RNS also quotedSister Walsh saying that the agenda had yet
to be nalized.
Peter Steinfels reportedly argued in hisregular New York Times column that “any-one constructing a list of the big losers on[the recent election] would probably includethe nation’s Roman Catholic bishops.”Steinfels supported his assertion that thebishops were “defeated” on the groundsthat nominal Catholics voted 52 percent to45 percent for Obama.“Will that fact be candidly addressed
when the United States Conference of Catho
-lic Bishops meets next week in Baltimore?,”he asked, suggesting that the bishops should“change strategy.”
(CNA)
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People of different religions attend celebration for Saint
Alphonsa
BHARANANGANAM, India, November 10, 2008—More than100,000 people from various religions attended a program celebrat-ing the canonization of Saint Alphonsa of the Immaculate Concep-
tion, India’s rst woman saint.
The Nov. 9 program included a concelebrated Mass and a publicmeeting at Bharananganam, the village in Kerala state’s Kottayamdistrict where the Franciscan Clarist nun’s tomb lies. The village isabout 2,650 kilometers south of New Delhi.Pope Benedict XVI canonized the nun, a native of Palai diocese,and three other saints on Oct. 12 at the Vatican. The Church in Keralaorganized a nine-day long celebration that culminated on Nov. 9.The Nov. 9 program began with a public meeting that former In-dian president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam opened and Cardinal LeonardoSandri, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Oriental Churches,chaired.Kalam, a Muslim by faith and rocket engineer by profession,asked people to emulate Saint Alphonsa’s ideals such as love andcompassion, “for which she lived her short life of sufferings, pen-ance and prayer.”
The nun, who died in 1946 at the age of 36, was mostly conned
to bed because of constant illnesses. Records show she suffered herphysical pains with joy and offered them as penance for the sins ofothers.“Each one of us must take a vow that we would remove the painof at least one person every month, as the saint had shown throughher personal example,” Kalam said. A “deeper study” into thesaint’s life would reveal “she renounced the world but worked forthe world,” he added. “When others belittled her, taunted her, sheaccepted all these sufferings with a smile.”Kalam and other dignitaries prayed at the saint’s tomb. CardinalSandri presented Kalam a medallion Pope Benedict XVI blessedduring the canonization ceremony.Addressing the public meeting, the cardinal hailed Saint Al-phonsa as “a precious gift of the Indian Church to the globalChurch.” She is a “role model of all of us” because her “life wasfull of miseries and pain,” but she suffered it with joy, the Vatican
ofcial said.
(UCAN)
Church leaders express hope,
reservations over Obama’s win
SEOUL, South Korea, Novem
-ber 10, 2008—Church leadersin South Korea have expressedhope but also concerns fol-lowing the historic election ofSenator Barack Obama to the
U.S. presidency.
“Korea can learn a good les-son from Obama’s success,”said Father John Choi Byoung- jo, noting how the 47-year-oldson of an immigrant fatherobtained a good education in
the United States, where he
was born, and is now poisedto become a global leader.
Speaking with UCA News
the day after the Nov. 4 elec-tion, the director of Suwondiocese’s pastoral services formigrant laborers said SouthKorea should similarly wel-come skilled migrant workersand foreigners with other tal-ents, and help them live securelives here.The country should alsoprovide good education tochildren of marriages involv-ing a Korean and an immigrantspouse, because they can be a“bridge to other countries,” hesuggested.Before such policies could beimplemented, however, “weneed to change our discrimina-tory attitude toward migrants,”the priest asserted.Father Peter Pai Young-ho,executive secretary of theCatholic Bishops’ Conference
of Korea (CBCK), told UCA
News he was concerned thatsome of Obama’s policy state-ments, such as his objection tofree trade agreements, wouldbe detrimental to Korea.South Korea presently hassuch an agreement with the
United States.Furthermore, the U.S.
president-elect’s acceptanceof abortion is also againstChurch teaching, Father Paipointed out.“However, I expect him tosolve lots of problems, espe-cially the economic crisis, forthe betterment of the world,”
the Church ofcial said. “I also
hope he would consider theChurch’s stand on life issues.”Father Pai noted that many
people followed the U.S. presi
-dential election with interest
since the United States hasgreat inuence in the world.
“With the election of Obama,an African-American from analienated and discriminatedclass in society, Americanshave shown their passion fordemocracy and openness,” hedeclared.
(UCAN)
TEWATTE, Sri Lanka, No-vember 10, 2008—Catholicsin Sri Lanka are hoping for
the beatication of their rst
and still only cardinal, whose20th death anniversary theyrecently celebrated.Archbishop Oswald Gomisof Colombo told 700 laypeo-ple and 70 clergy at an Oct.29 anniversary Mass at theBasilica of Our Lady of Lankain Tewatte, on the northernoutskirts of Colombo, thatCardinal Thomas BenjaminCooray should join the listof saints.The Oblate prelate, born in1901 to a poor family, became a priest in 1929. He was ordainedco-adjutor archbishop of Colombo in March 1946 and succeededas head of the archdiocese in July 1947, becoming Sri Lanka’s
rst native archbishop.
After Pope Paul VI elevated him to cardinal in 1965, he tookpart in the election of Popes John Paul I and John Paul II. Car-dinal Cooray retired as archbishop of Colombo in September1976 and died on Oct. 29, 1988.Archbishop Gomis reminded the congregation that the car-dinal did vital work for the local Church during the period ofpopular agitation for the end of British colonial rule, which camein 1948. He also recalled the cardinal’s efforts to prevent the statefrom nationalizing Catholic schools during 1960-61.Plans are underway to put the late cardinal on the path tosainthood. The local Church has no native saint, but it has sup-ported the cause of Blessed Joseph Vaz, a 17th-century Indianpriest who kept people’s faith alive during harsh persecutionunder Dutch rule.The Cardinal Cooray Memorial Committee, appointed lastyear, “has started to collect all the details of stories, miracles,remedies and answered prayers,” Father Marcus Ferdinandez,
its patron, told UCA News on Nov. 6. The next step will be to
inform the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in Sri Lanka, addedthe priest, episcopal vicar for Colombo archdiocese’s easternregion.The committee has been advertising in Catholic weeklies forpeople who believe they have experienced miracles through thelate cardinal’s intervention to come forward.
“Our hope is to see his beatication soon,” said Nimal Bastian
Silva, principal of Basilica Vidyalaya (school) in Tewatte. Ac-cording to him, hundreds of thousands of people pay homageat the tomb every year.
(UCAN)
Sri Lankan Catholics take steps toward
 
beatication of Cardinal Cooray
 
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 A3
 Vol. 12 No. 23
November 10 - 23, 2008 
CBCP MonitorCBCP Monitor
News Features
 Victim of abortion: ‘We cry without
tears and we scream without a
voice’ at abortion
clinics
MADRID, Spain, November 11, 2008—The author of the book, “IAbor ted,” Esperanza Puente, said during a press conference lastweek that abortion clinics are inhumane, treat women as mere “cus-tomers,” and consider the babies they kill as mere “blobs of tissues”or “clusters of cells.”According to the newspaper “El Dia,” Puente said the abortion
clinic she went to exemplies the inhumanity of such places.
“The relationship between doctors and ‘clients’ is cold. Everyonethinks that those who go there are going to use a service they arepaying for,” she said.“In the waiting room, women cry without tears and screamwithout a voice,” she continued, “and the standard procedure isthat women don’t see ultrasounds of the baby, which is consideredto be a ‘cluster of cells’ or a blob of tissue, as one doctor in Madridtold a woman a few days ago.”Puente stressed that in her case, as with many other women,“the psychologist doesn’t follow the law either, because he is not aspecialist outside the clinic but rather is involved and only wantsto get the woman to sign the informed consent papers as soon aspossible, but he does not inform her of the scars the mother will bearfor the rest of her life.”
Recalling the most difcult moments of her experience, including
when “the nurse forgot about the remains of my child at my side,”she denounced “the lucrative business of the elimination of fetuses,which are used in cosmetics.”Puente questioned whether the new abortion law under consider-ation in Spain would “provide complete information to women aboutthe scars they will bear after an abortion.”
(CNA)
VATICAN CITY, November 10, 2008—On Saturday,Pope Benedict met with participants in a congress titled,“The Heritage of Pius XII’s Magisterium and VaticanCouncil II.” During the event, the Pontiff called to mindPius XII’s teachings, his relationship with Christ, and his
inuence on the Church.
The conference was held from November 6-8 and orga-
nized by the Pontical Gregorian and Lateran Universi
-ties, and came to a close with Pope Benedict’s remarkson the impact Pius XII had on the Church through hiswritings and teachings.Pope Benedict XVI explained that along with his 40encyclicals, the late Pontiff spoke of the “responsibility ofthe laity within the Church” and “the great importanceof the modern communications media,” especially “jour-nalists’ duty to provide factual information respectfulof moral norms.”Pius XII also warned against the progress of sci-ence impacting morality, the Holy Father pointed out.Though he was a great admirer of technology, he neverfailed to “caution against the risks that research couldbring if inattentive to moral values,” and “warned ofthe need to prevent at all costs the possibility of brilliant
scientic advances being used to build deadly arms
which could cause immense catastrophes and even thecomplete destruction of mankind.”Benedict XVI continued to address the congress byfocusing on Pius XII’s teachings on Mary. The words ofPius XII reached their culmination “in the proclamationof the dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin,by which the Holy Father intended to highlight theeschatological dimension of our lives, and to exalt thedignity of women.”Turning to focus on Pius XII’s personality and spiri-tuality, Benedict XVI noted that the late Pope was arealist who desired “to give all of himself to God, hold-ing nothing back and unconcerned for his own delicatehealth.” “Everything in him arose from love for his Lord Jesus Christ, and love for the Church and humanity. Hewas, in fact, a priest in constant and intimate union withGod,” Benedict said.“In the person of the Supreme Pontiff Pius XII, the Lordgave His Church an exceptional gift for which we must allbe grateful,” the Holy Father concluded.
(CNA)
ROME, November 10, 2008—Members of the newly formed Catholic-
Muslim Forum saw their rst meeting as a space of dialogue, respect
and a growing harmony between people of the two creeds.
During Thursday’s closing ceremony of the rst Catholic-Muslimseminar, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontical
Council for Interreligious Dialogue, spoke about the highlights of
the historical nal declaration, jointly written by members of both
religions.“We believe that Catholics and Muslims are called to be instru-ments of love and harmony among believers, and for humanity ingeneral, rejecting any type of oppression, aggressive violence andterrorism, above all when it is committed in the name of religion,
and maintaining the principle of justice for all,” the prelate afrmed,
citing the declaration.The Nov. 4-6 seminar united a forum of 24 representatives and
ve advisors from each of the religions and ended with an audiencewith Benedict XVI. It was organized by the Pontical Council for
Interreligious Dialogue and by the signatories of the October 2007letter “A Common Word,” which united high-level exponents ofvarious branches of Islam.One of the Muslim participants at the forum, Yahya Pallavicini,vice president of the Italian Islamic religious community, commentedto ZENIT that the seminar resulted in the “uniting of theology withpraxis and not establishing just a theological dialogue that remainsabstract, nor a pragmatic discourse that only notes the social.”
Regarding interreligious violence, Pallavicini afrmed that suchconict occurs because of “reciprocal ignorance.” When there is
a lack of “liberty, sense of responsibility and fraternity, arbitraryviolence arises.”To avoid this, he continued, we should “unite ourselves to con-demn all types of violence when it uses religion and guarantee,through educational activities, a better respect for all diversity andhuman dignity.”One of the Catholic representatives, Ilaria Morali, doctor in theol-
ogy at the Pontical Gregorian University, said that one of the fruitsof the seminar has been an “increasing reciprocal condence, which
is the presupposition for all dialogue.”“If one is afraid of the other, he’s not free and is not serene abouttalking about himself,” she recognized.There is on both sides a desire to understand each other, the profes-sor observed, and “as in every human path, it begins by accepting
that there are difculties.”
Morali concluded by saying that the two religions share themission of “bringing God to the center of the life of our world, tointerpret our times in the light of God,” but “without falling intooverly secularist divisions” that threaten the “vocation of everyperson.”
(Zenit)
Catholics, Muslims
say Forum brought
them closer
Participants reect on results of historic seminar
Pope Benedict
recalls Pius XIIs teachingsand impact on the Church
Environmentalists echo CBCP’s stance on mining: it’s plunder
MALABON CITY, November 2, 2008—Themilitant environmental group, KalikasanPeople’s Network for the Environment(Kalikasan-PNE) had declared accord withthe Catholic Bishops’ Conference of thePhilippines (CBCP) on their condemnationagainst the corrupt practices of the presentadministration, especially on the issues ofenvironmental and economic plunder.This was done yesterday in line with the
“commemoration” of the massive shkill
in Rapu-Rapu Island in Albay, Bicol regionyesterday,In a statement sent to CBCPNews, Cle-mente Bautista Jr., national coordinator ofKalikasan-PNE said, the mining practice inthe Philippines, being the Macapagal-Arroyo
government’s agship, is a model of legal,
ethical and moral wrongs.“It is corruption in its purest form and wedemand that this be immediately halted andcorrected as our Church leaders demanded
it also, on the rst place,” he said.
The Department of Environment andNatural Resources (DENR) said in 2005Rapu-Rapu Poly-metallic Project will show-case state of the art mining facilities, thus
declaring it as the agship project of the
Philippine government’s Mineral IndustryRevitalization program.The DENR said further that if it will fail,the Rapu-Rapu mining project will ‘makeor break’ the entire government’s miningprogram.But untrue to its promises, six months afterAustralian-owned Lafayette Mining Inc. hadbegun its mining operations in April 2005,two mining tailings spills occurred on Octo-ber 11 and 31 respectively, causing a number
of shkill incidences in the Albay Gulf.
On November 1, 2007, another massivefishkill occurred. This time it made themembers of the communities to troop at theLegazpi City Hall to urge the mayor to putthe town under state of calamity.Most of the residents of Rapu-Rapu are
shermen and the Albay Gulf is their only
source of livelihood.Notwithstanding the October 25, 2008report by international aid agency OxfamAustralia which showed that cyanide-laden
spillages by Lafayette have devastated sh
-ing-dependent communities of Rapu-Rapu,the Macapagal-Arroyo government is stillunmindful of the crimes of the foreign miningcompany, Bautista disclosed to CBCPNews.What is more saddening, although thecompany was found liable by the Philippinegovernment of contaminating the waters inRapu-rapu with cyanide in November 2005
and was ned P10 million for damages, the
government did no further steps in ensuringthe rehabilitation of the island, he added.On the other hand, on the same report,Oxfam Australia’s Mining OmbudsmanShanta Martin said that the Australian min-
ing company and the banks that nanced
it have not demonstrated an ability to putsound environmental policies into practice.Furthermore, until now, there are no re-ports that the company paid for the damagesit incurred to the community.Bautista further disclosed that Lafayettedeclared bankruptcy on December 2007, andnow the Korean transnational companies LGInternational and Korean Resources Corpo-ration (KORES) gained majority control ofLafayette Philippines Incorporated (LPI) onApril 2008 but there are still no updates ofhow and when they will pay the damagescaused by the spill.“If this act of letting foreign environmentalplunderers and destroyers go off the hookis not depravity, then I don’t know what is.What is even unspeakable and shameful ishow the government allowed the resump-tion of Rapu-rapu Pollymetallic MiningProject, now under new management.It is very apparent that the Arroyo govern-ment has no reservations in worsening theconditions of the people of Rapu-rapu.The DENR even waived the prerequisiterehabilitation fund and readily allowed theKorean companies to operate in the island,”Bautista said, with a hint of dismay.Despite the alleged shortcomings by thePhilippines’ environmental department,Kalikasan-PNE still appeals:“What happened to Rapu-rapu is just anexample of how offenders are not penalizedin the country and even encouraged to com-mit more crimes. This can be compared tothe ZTE scandal, fertilizer scam, Jose Pidalaccount and countless other cases of cor-ruption that have not been resolved. We areasking the civil society, especially churchpeople to insist that these offenders, likethe Arroyo government and foreign miningtransnational corporations like Lafayette, beheld accountable for their crimes. For as longas they remain unpunished, environmentaldestruction, economic hardships and humanrights violations will be experienced by moreand more Filipinos.”
(Noel Sales Barcelona)
Solidarity Phils afrms bishops’ call for social transformation
QUEZON CITY, October 31, 2008— An organization of the reli
-
gious and the laity had commended the stance of ve Catholic
prelates, including the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philip-
pines head, Jaro Archbishop Angel N. Lagdameo for their rm call
for the change in the society, especially in government.Solidarity Philippines said in a statement that no matter how
seemingly belated the articulation made by ve bishops for radicalchanges in view of the moral bankruptcy and prolic proclivity
to corruption of the GMA administration, an overwhelming judg-ment stands ostensibly clear—the common good and the promo-tion of social justice will not be advanced and benchmarked underthe present dispensation.“Solidarity Philippines believes that the pronouncement of the
ve leaders of the Catholic Church in the Philippines carry sucha signicance which must be treated as developments in terms of
maturity and decisiveness of the ruling made by various progres-sive individuals and groups in November 2007 to reject a morallybankrupt government,” the statement reads.It added that the kleptocratic-oligarchic character and illegiti-mate fundamentals of the GMA administration has pushed thesebishops from plainly having an exhortative stance on curbinggraft and corruption to shift towards a more imperatives-centeredapproach.
“These bishops are denitely and proactively taking to heart, inall seriousness and sincerity, the charge from APOSTOLORUMSUCCESSORES, the Directory for The Pastoral Ministry of Bishops
issued by the Vatican Congregation for Bishops on the 22nd of Feb-ruary 2004 wherein Chapter VII, Section 6, Paragraph 209 reiteratesthat the bishop, as an individual, [and the conference of bishops in
a specic national territory, by extension] has a role of promoting
 justice and peace,” said the Philippine Solidarity statement.A pericope in the mentioned document worth noting is: “TheBishop is called to be a prophet of justice and peace, a defender ofthe inalienable rights of the human person… by proclaiming theChurch’s teaching, especially in defense of the right to life fromconception to natural death; in defense of human dignity; and,taking to heart the defense of the weak, he lends his voice to thosewho have no voice of their own, to assert their rights… the Bishopneeds to condemn vigorously all forms of violence and to raise hisvoice in favor of those who are unemployed, oppressed, persecutedor humiliated, and in favor of children who suffer grave abuse.”Solidarity Philippines further said, the bishops’ viewpoints and judgments on the moral bankruptcy of the GMA administrationand the call for a top-to-bottom radical change undoubtedly ad-here to and dovetail the principle regarding the assumption andexercise of political authority embodied in the Social Doctrine ofthe Church, which stated “It is from the moral order that authorityderives its power to impose obligations and its moral legitimacy,not from some arbitrary will or from the thirst for power, and itis to translate this order into concrete actions to achieve the com-mon good.” (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church,396.)
(CBCPNews)
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Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran

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