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CBCP Monitor vol13-n4

CBCP Monitor vol13-n4

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- CBCP urges solon to craft a ‘constitutional’ magna carta for women
- Still no to VFA—CBCP
- Bishops blast violent dispersal of farmers
- Probe alleged rigged NIA bidding now—bishop
- Bishop Soc vows to lead protest vs nuke plant revival
- CBCP urges solon to craft a ‘constitutional’ magna carta for women
- Still no to VFA—CBCP
- Bishops blast violent dispersal of farmers
- Probe alleged rigged NIA bidding now—bishop
- Bishop Soc vows to lead protest vs nuke plant revival

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Published by: cbcpmonitor on Jun 28, 2010
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Protagonist of Truth, Promoter of Peace
 Vol. 13 No. 4
February 16 - March 1, 2009
Php 20.
Rediscover confession,urges Benedict XVI
Calls it sacrament of forgiveness
‘He fasted for forty days andforty nights, and afterwardshe was hungry’ (Mt 4, 1-2)
Message of His Holiness Benedict XVI for Lent 2009
A Supplement Publication of KCFAPIand the Order of the Knights of Columbus
Mrs. Arroyo’s stimulusplan, a spin—IBON
THE independent think-tank IBON Foundation,Inc., called the Macapagal-Arroyo government’sStimulus Plan a mere spin or a public relationsgimmickry just to create an impression that it
is doing something about the current nancial
crisis that is plaguing the country.In a statement sent to CBCPNews, JoseEnrique “Sonny” Africa, IBON research chiefsaid, the Stimulus Plan of Mrs. Arroyo is justa repackaging of the existing allocations, soit cannot treat the economic sickness that thePhilippines is enduring right now.
PGMA urged to spare noone in war on corruption
A CATHOLIC bishop urged President Arroyo
to stand rmly on the ght against corruption
and spare no one involved in anomalies in thegovernment.Retired Novaliches Bishop Teodoro Bacanisaid Arroyo’s sincerity to free her administra-tion from irregularities means holding thoseproven guilty accountable even if it’s someoneclose to her heart.Bacani made the statement amid the allegedinvolvement of Arroyo’s husband, Mike, intothe reported bribery and collusion that have
Still no to VFA—CBCP
By Kris Bayos
SAYING the proposed Magna Carta of Women remains inconsistent with morallaw and the Constitution, Church leadershave urged Congress to purge the bill ofall anti-life and anti-family provisions soas to truly advance the dignity and wellbe-ing of women.
CBCP President and Jaro Archbishop Angel Lag-dameo, Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Ro-sales and Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidalhave joined Pampanga Archbishop Paciano Anicetoand Lucena Bishop Emilio Marquez in questioning the“unconstitutional” provisions of the legislation, fromboth versions of the House of Representatives and theSenate.“The inclusion of anti-life and anti-family provisionsin the bill threatens to make the otherwise commendablepiece of legislation unduly controversial and unaccept-able on ethical and constitutional grounds. These provi-sions must be expunged if the Magna Carta of Womenis truly to advance the dignity and wellbeing of Filipinowomen,” the bishops said in a statement.Aniceto, chair of the Episcopal Commission on Familyand Life (ECFL), and Marquez, chair of the CBCP Com-mission on Women, issued on Jan. 25 a statement titled“The Dignity of Women is Divinely Ordained,” whereinthey strongly criticized the congressmen’s tendency toanchor the bill on the anti-life and anti-family provisions
CBCP urges
to craft
a ‘constitutional’ magna
carta for women
Bishopsblast violentdispersal of farmers
CATHOLIC Church leaders condemned the vio-lent dispersal of protesters at Mendiola Bridge inManila on February 12 that resulted to the hurtingof several farmers.Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines(CBCP) president Archbishop Angel Lagdameosaid authorities must respect the democratic rightsof freedom of speech of the farmers holding apeaceful assembly.Lagdameo said those farmers calling for the re-distribution of the Arroyo-owned lands in Negroscame from his metropolitan jurisdiction in Jaro.“The authorities should have respected thefarmers because they have a valid cause. They’ve
sacriced a lot and left their families behind just to
call the government’s attention,” he said.Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo calledon the government to help the protesting farmersinstead of hurting them.“I appeal to the government not to use forcerather to heed the cries of the farmers for lawsbased on social justice,” said Pabillo who alsochairs the CBCP’s National Secretariat for SocialAction-Justice and Peace.Around 40 farmers were reportedly injuredwhen police forces dispersed some 300 farmersfrom Negros Occidental and Leyte who campedout for some hours at the Mendiola Bridge eveningof Feb. 12.They also clamored for the passage of a billseeking for the extension of the ComprehensiveAgrarian Reform Program (CARP) with reforms.Civil Disturbance Management operatives of theManila Police District (MPD) used water cannonsto disperse the farmers who lay down on the pave-ment in an attempt to resist dispersal.Bayombong Bishop Ramon Villena said theclergy is in solidarity with the farmers in theirclamor for land.
Probe alleged rigged NIA
bidding now—bishop
A CATHOLIC Church lead-er has called for an investiga-tion into the alleged anoma-lous bidding of equipmentby the National IrrigationAuthority (NIA).Cagayan de Oro Arch-bishop Antonio Ledesma,SJ, said it’s a very seriousmatter and he’s hoping itwill be investigated by theauthorities.“There should be a strongpursuit for transparency inthis issue again and findout what really happened,”said Ledesma, a staunchadvocate for agrarian reform.The archbishop said since the issue is another addition to the in-creasing list of allegedly anomalous government projects, the morerelentless efforts to seek the truth is needed.On Feb. 16, Senator Mar Roxas has sought an inquiry into anotheranomaly-tainted bidding process, this time involving the purchaseof p1.4 billion worth of earth-moving equipment by the NIA.Roxas claimed the bidding process for irrigation equipments wasmanipulated to limit the number of participants and ultimatelyaward the project to their favored contractor.Ledesma also admitted he is also fed up hearing controversiesinvolving supposed aid programs for farmers and agriculturaldevelopment.“...And I think our farmers and their actions could attest to that,”he lamented, noting the uneasiness shown in the series of protestsmade by land tillers all over the country.The controversy is already the second one involving farming-
related projects with the rst one being the P728 million fertilizer
fund scam.
Corruption / A6Spin / A6Women / A6Dispersal / A6
CALLS to abolish the Philippine-US VisitingForces Agreement gained momentum, with the
inuential Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the
Philippines joining the bandwagon.CBCP Media Director Msgr Pedro Quitorio saidthe bishops’ leadership has long been opposed to
it in the rst place.
Quitorio said the CBCP’s position, issued elevenyears ago, against the VFA was never changed andstill stands until now.
“The bishops’ statement in 1998 was never
changed, which is to say that it still holds untilnow,” he said.Calls to repeal the bilateral agreement mountedover the past few days as the US government keeprefusing to hand over the custody of convictedrapist Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith back to the Philip-pine authorities despite a ruling from the SupremeCourt.Senator Francis Pangilinan, in a senate Resolu-
tion No. 892, formally called on President Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo to abolish the VFA.He urged Arroyo to “revisit the provisions ofthe VFA and accordingly exercise our right toterminate the agreement considering that super-vening events have rendered the VFA as uncon-stitutional.”
In a 1998 pastoral statement, the CBCP, then led
by Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz,declared that the VFA, “as it presently standsshould be rejected.”The bishops observed that the agreement wassigned in secret, “vaguely worded”, and treats USpersonnel preferentially better than Filipinos.The CBCP also noted that the VFA “does notfoster the independence of the Philippines.”The prelates also questioned the criminal juris-dictions of erring US personnel believing the VFA“seems to surrender national sovereignty to theUS authorities” and, in effect, “grants US forcesdiplomatic immunity.”Quitorio said the pastoral statement somehowpredicted certain circumstances surrounding theSmith case.
(Roy Lagarde)
Infanta Bishop-emeritus Julio Labayen (right) gestures as he explains how the spirituality of stewardship is experienced and lived by basic ecclesial communities in the prelature of Infanta. CBCP president and Jaro archbishop Angel Lagdameo (left) convened the one-day seminar-workshop on the Spirituality of Stewardship for Episcopal Commission executivesecretaries last February 13 at the Our Lady of Reparatrix Center, Tagaytay City.
Bishop Soc vows to lead protest vs nuke plant revival
BALANGA Bishop Socrates Villegassaid he would lead a protest rally inopposing the planned revival of theBataan Nuclear Power Plant.Villegas called on the public to par-ticipate in the mass action which will beheld in front of the San Jose Cathedralin Balanga on February 23.“Kung kayo ay may malasakit sabayan, dumalo kayo at manindigan,”he said.The main proponent of the plant’srevival in Congress, Pangasinan Rep.Mark Cojuangco, earlier brought agroup of legislators on a tour of thefacility.Cojuangco is seeking to revive andoperate the 22-year-old white elephantwith his bill, the “Bataan Nuclear
Power Plant Commissioning Act of
2008,” which has al
-readygained 190 signatures in theHouse.The bill is lookingto establish a full-blown nationalnuclear powerprogram in abid to com-bat globalwarmingby limiting use of fuel products.
According to Villegas, the benets
being proclaimed by those pushingfor its revival are naturally being out-weighed by its negative effects.He said that among the dangers be-ing posed by the plant’s revival includethe presence of toxic materials.The uncertainty of the place wherenuclear wastes will be dumped andthe possibility that it could be a targetof terrorist attacks are things that theyalso fear, he said.This, Villegas added, also includethe risks being posed by human errorand natural calamities resulting tomore damaging effects to residents andenvironment.The bishop also called on those push-ing for its revival not to make hastydecisions but rather seriously study
and reect on the pros and cons of the
Illustration by Bladimer Usi
   P   h  o   t  o  c  o  u  r   t  e  s  y  o   f   P   A   R   R   D   S   ©   P   i  n   k  y   B  a  r  r   i  e  n   t  o  s ,   F   S   P   /   C   B   C   P   M  e   d   i  a
Members of the League of Filipino Students (LFS) slam theUS embassy seal during a renewed protest against the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).
   ©  w  w  w .   l   f  s .  p   h   ©   C   B   C   P   M  e   d   i  a
Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ
 Vol. 13 No. 4
February 16 - March 1, 2009
CBCP Monitor
Twelve year-old becomes YouTube hit by explainingthe tragedy of abortion
CNA STAFF, February 16, 2009—An unnamed 12 year-old girlhas become a hit on YouTube because of the simplicity andeloquence with which she explains the tragedy of abortion.“Every day, 115,000 are dying through abortion… a hundred
and fteen thousand! That means that 5,000 children will die ev
ery hour. That means all those lives, gone! All that potential, gone!And all that hope in the future gone!” says the young girl, reading
from a script and very naturally addressing the camera.In her presentation, the young girl summarizes the pro-lifecounter arguments to most of the pro-abortion objections, in-cluding the usually ignored fact of Post Abortion Syndrome.“My daughter prepared and delivered this speech for her
grade 7 class. Even those who didn’t agree with her loved it,”
writes the anonymous poster of the video.But after 403 comments, she had to turn off the commentfunction for the video.“This was not to stop genuine discussion or debate on theissue but was, rather, a response to the cowardly who used itas an opportunity to throw insults and threats at a young girlthat they hated without reason.”The video can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOR1wUqvJS4&e.
 World News
 Apostle of the Lepers
mystic among 10to be canonized
VATICAN CITY, February 16, 2009—Today the Vatican announced that itwill recognize 10 blesseds as saints onFebruary 21 in a ceremony at the Vati-can. Among the soon-to-be canonizedis Bl. Damian de Veuster, a Belgianmissionary who spent much of his lifein Hawaii caring for lepers.The ceremony, which is called a con-sistory, will take place in the Vatican’sClementine Hall at 11:00 a.m. on Feb-
ruary 21 and will ofcially recognize
as saints 10 blesseds who hail fromPortugal to Italy.In addition to Bl. Damian, Bl. RafaelArnáiz Barón, is unique because he died
at the young age of 27 of a diabetic
coma. He was a member of the Cister-cian’s of the Strict Observance and isconsidered one the greatest mystics ofthe 20th century.When the Catholic Church canonizesa person, it is a statement by the Churchthat she believes the person in questionlived a saintly life worthy of imitation andthat the sainted person is in Heaven.A full list of the blesseds who will becanonized follows.- Blessed Zygmunt Szczesny Felinski,Polish former archbishop of Warsaw andfounder of the Congregation of Francis-can Sisters of the Family of Mary.- Blessed Arcangelo Tadini, Italiandiocesan priest and founder of the Con-gregation of Worker Sisters of the HolyHouse of Nazareth.- Blessed Francesc Coll y Guitart,Spanish professed priest of the Orderof Friars Preachers and founder of theCongregation of the Dominican Sistersof the Annunciation of the BlessedVirgin Mary.- Blessed Jozef Damian de Veuster,Belgian professed priest of the Congre-gation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus andMary, and of the Perpetual Adorationof the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar(PICPUS).- Blessed Bernardo Tolomei, Italianfounder of the Olivetan BenedictineCongregation.- Blessed Rafael Arnaiz Baron, Span-ish oblate friar of the Order of Cister-cians of the Strict Observance.- Blessed Nuno di Santa Maria Alva-res Pereira, Portuguese religious of theOrder of Friars of the Blessed VirginMary of Mount Carmel.- Blessed Gertrude Comensoli (neeCaterina), Italian virgin and foundressof the Institute of Sisters of the BlessedSacrament.- Blessed Mary of the Cross Jugan (nee Jeanne), French virgin and foundress ofthe Congregation of the Little Sisters ofthe Poor.- Blessed Caterina Volpicelli, Italian vir-gin and foundress of the Institute of Hand-maidens of the Sacred Heart.
VATICAN CITY, Febru-ary 16, 2009—BenedictXVI is recognizing PopePius XI’s work in opposi-tion of Nazism and totali-tarianism in the 1930s.The German Pope re-called the papacy of AchilleRatti (1922-1939) in an ad-
dress Saturday on the 80th
anniversary of the creationof Vatican City State.He acknowledged Pope
Pius XI as “the rst and
main architect and pro-tagonist of the LateranPacts,” which led to thebirth of the Vatican state.At this moment, the HolySee was given sovereignty over this smallpiece of land, ensuring the pope’s gover-nance of the Church outside of the taxationpolicies of Italy, which was then ruled byPrime Minister Benito Mussolini.Benedict XVI recalled “the Pope of mychildhood, whom we looked upon with somuch veneration and love.”He continued: “Precisely in these days his
Benedict XVI lauds Pius XI’sopposition to Nazism
Spain, and the confrontations triggered bytotalitarianism—national socialism andfascism—which arose and were consolidatedin those years.“In Germany, his great encyclical ‘MitBrennender Sorge’ has not been forgotten, asa strong sign against Nazism.” The encycli-cal’s impact was so evident that Adolf Hitlerordered Reinhard Heydrich, head of theGestapo, to seize and destroy all copies.Benedict XVI asserted: “The wise andstrong work of this Pontiff truly awakensadmiration, who only wished for the Churchthe freedom that would allow her to carryout her mission integrally.“Vatican City State […] was also consideredby Pius XI as an instrument to guarantee thenecessary independence from all human au-thority, to give the Church and her supremePastor the possibility to fully comply with themandate received from Christ the Lord.
The usefulness and benet of this small
but complete reality for the Holy See, forthe Church, as well as for Rome and thewhole world, was seen just 10 years later,when World War II broke out, a war whoseviolence and sufferings reached the doors ofthe Vatican.”
name has resonated on sev-eral occasions, as with the lu-cidity of a lofty outlook andindomitable will he was the
real founder and rst builder
of Vatican City State.“Moreover, the historicalstudies on his pontificate,which continue to take place,make us perceive increasing-ly the greatness of Pope Rat-ti, who guided the Church in
the difcult years between
the two World Wars.”The Holy Father acknowl-edged how his predecessor“stimulated ecclesial actionin its many dimensions: Letus recall the missionary ex-pansion, attention to the formation of God’sministers, promotion of the activity of thelay faithful in the Church and in society,and the intense relationship with the civilcommunity.”
He added: “During his ponticate, the‘librarian Pope’ had to address the difcul
-ties and persecutions that the Church wassuffering in countries such as Mexico andPRETORIA, South Africa, Jan-
uary 28, 2009—The Catholic
bishops of southern Africa haveaccused Zimbabwe PresidentRobert Mugabe of perpetrat-ing genocide, saying, “We, theCatholic bishops of southern
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Southern Africa bishops call on Mugabeto relinquish power
Africa, call on Mugabe to stepdown immediately.”Their remarks came in a Tues-day statement from the South-ern African Catholic BishopsConference (SACBC). Presentedby SACBC president and Arch-bishop of Johannesburg ButiTlhagale, the statement resultedfrom a Praetoria meeting be-tween the bishops of Botswana,South Africa and Swaziland.According to the CatholicInformation Service for Africa(CISA), the bishops called onregional leaders to cut ties withMugabe, warning that a failureto do so would make them guiltyof “passive genocide.”“The appalling tragedy inZimbabwe means that the timeof talking is over,” the bishopssaid. They asserted that media-tion and negotiations have failed,claiming that six months of talkshave resulted in stalemate.They called on the 15-memberSouthern African DevelopmentCommunity (SADC), whichopened another summit on Zim-babwe in Pretoria on Monday, tostop supporting and giving cred-ibility to the Mugabe regime.“Failing this, SADC leadersaccept complicity in creating theconditions that have resulted instarvation, displacement, diseaseand death for ordinary Zimba-bweans. This is nothing short ofpassive genocide,” the bishopssaid, CISA reports.They urged that Mugabe stepdown to allow a coalition interimgovernment to be formed for thepurposes of national recoveryand to prepare for immediateinternationally supervised andcredible presidential elections.
row that has led to tens of dead and thou-
sands of eeing their homes.In early October 2008 Bodo and Muslims
clashed and burned each other’s houses inUdalguri and Darrang districts. Muslims,who are out-of-state migrants, have become
Muslims and
tribal Hindu
a majority in some districts. Bodos are in-digenous and some groups within the com-
munity have been created to ght the central
government for an independent state.Tensions broke into open warfare whenBodos began calling for Muslims to leave.Quickly violence escalated to engulf 35villages, causing 50 dead and hundreds ofwounded. About 60,000 people were forcedto leave their homes for the relative safety of32 camps set up by the Indian army.But for Monsignor Menamparampil the
rst meeting last February 5 was an “unbe
-lievably great breakthrough.”A spokesperson for the Guwahati diocesesaid that local Christians waited for the meet-ing’s outcome with “great anxiety” becausethey were not sure of the Muslim response.Representatives of the Muslim and tribalcommunities agreed to avoid any “furtherinstance of violence” and establish a jointMuslim-tribal peace team.“A clearly good start has been made,”Archbishop Menamparampil said, addingthat much work still remains to be done.
Also, the “conicting groups are eager for a
settlement,” he noted, adding that governmentinvolvement will be important.
MUMBAI, India, February 12, 2009—Mus-lims and Hindus have agreed to peace talksat the initiative of Archbishop ThomasMenamparampil of Guwahati, in the Stateof Assam. Leaders of the local Muslim andBodo tribal communities met to sort out aROME, Italy, February 13, 2009—The well-connected Italian journalist Paolo Rodari,who writes for Il Reformista, is reporting that Archbishop Timothy Dolan of Milwaukeewill soon be announced as the new head of the most important U.S. diocese.Church watchers have been itching to hear who will replace Cardinal Edward Egan foralmost two years and as Rodari reports, “the announcement should arrive shortly.”Rumors have been circulating with increasing frequency over the past several weeks,including a January 29 report by Edward Pentin on Newsmax.com that pointed specu-lation in the direction of Dolan.Rodari reports today that Il Riformista has “collected leaks” that say “Pope BenedictXVI has decided on Archbishop Timothy Dolan of Milwaukee.”Rodari also claims that although other American prelates would have preferred astronger personality to take on the Obama Administration’s animus towards Catholics,Dolan is being tapped as a pastoral leader with a “soft touch.”Agreeing with Pentin’s earlier report, Rodari says that Archbishop of Hartford Henry Man-sell, Archbishop of Atlanta Wilton Gregory, Archbishop of Newark John Myers and the Arch-bishop of San Juan, Puerto Rico Roberto Gonzalez Nieves, were all in the running.
Vatican watcher: Pope has chosen ArchbishopTimothy Dolan for New York
First Korean cardinal dies at age 87
SEOUL, SouthKorea, February16, 2009—Cardi-nal Stephen KimSou-hwan, Ko-rea’s first cardi-nal, died on Feb.16 in Seoul. He
was 87.
Cardinal Kimdied of old age at6:12 p.m. at Kang-nam St. MaryHospital in Seoul,according to Seoularchdiocese. His body will be moved to Seoul’s Myeongdong
Cathedral. Funeral arrangements are yet to be nalized, an arch
diocesan ofcial said half an hour after the cardinal’s death.Cardinal Kim was born on May 8, 1922, according to the
lunar calendar, in Taegu, during Japanese colonialism. He wasordained a priest on Sept. 15, 1951 during the Korean War andmade Bishop of Masan in 1966.
Pope Paul VI named him Seoul metropolitan in 1968. Thefollowing year the pope made him the rst Korean cardinal as
well as the youngest cardinal in the world at that time, at theage of 46.
Cardinal Kim in 1998 resigned as Seoul archbishop and
apostolic administrator of Pyongyang diocese in North Korea.Bishop Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk, now cardinal, succeeded himin the two posts.Cardinal Kim and the local Church came to be seen as defend-
ers of human rights against dictatorships in the 1970s and 1980s,
and Seoul’s Myongdong Cathedral was seen as a prominentsymbol of the people’s aspiration for democratization. Manylocal people have called the late cardinal the guardian of humanrights and democracy.His road to the priesthood was not easy, he often recalled.He was forced to serve in the Japanese army during the SecondWorld War when he was a seminarian.Cardinal Kim was also instrumental in founding the Federa-tion of Asian Bishops’ Conferences.His contribution to the Church in Asia received symbolic ac-knowledgment through his serving as one of the three presidentdelegates of the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for
Asia held at the Vatican in 1998.
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 Vol. 13 No. 4
February 16 - March 1, 2009
CBCP Monitor
Rediscover confession,
urges Benedict XVI
Calls it sacrament of forgiveness
VATICAN CITY, February 15, 2009―Sin
is what puts distance between the believerand God, and it’s the sacrament of confes-sion that brings the two back together, saysBenedict XVI.The Pope said this today in a Gospel
reection on Mark’s account of the healed
leper, which he delivered before praying themidday Angelus with those gathered in St.Peter’s Square.In the Gospel account, recalls the Pontiff,the leper “gets on his knees and says: ‘If you
wish, you can make me clean!’ Jesus, moved,
stretches out his hand, touches him and says:
‘I do wish it. Be made clean!’”
“According to the ancient Jewish law,”the Holy Father explained, “leprosy was notonly considered a sickness but the gravestform of ‘impurity.’”He continued: “Leprosy thus constituted akind of religious and civil death, and its heal-ing was a kind of resurrection. We might seein leprosy a symbol of sin, which is the trueimpurity of heart, distancing us from God.“It is not, in effect, physical malady thatdistances us from him, as the ancient normssupposed, but sin, the spiritual and moralevil.”
Benedict XVI reected: “The sins we com
-mit distance us from God, and, if they arenot humbly confessed, trusting in the divine
mercy, they will nally bring about the death
of the soul. This miracle thus has powerfulsymbolic value.“In the Sacrament of Penance Christ cruci-
ed and risen, through his ministers, puri
es us with his innite mercy, restores us to
communion with the heavenly Father andour brothers, and makes a gift of his love, joy and peace to us.”Dear brothers and sisters,” he concluded,“let us invoke the Virgin Mary, whom Godpreserved from every stain of sin, that shehelp us to avoid sin and to have frequentrecourse to the sacrament of confession, thesacrament of forgiveness, whose value andimportance for our Christian life needs to berediscovered today.”
VATICAN CITY, February 13, 2009―Celebratingthe 80th anniversary of the foundation of the Vati
-can City State, Pope Benedict attended a concertfeaturing both a choral and orchestra from Dublin,Ireland. Afterwards, the Holy Father addressedthe audience and prayed that God would continueto watch over the small state.The concert took place last night at the PaulVI Hall, and featured a performance of Handel’s“Messiah” by Our Lady’s Chorale Society and theRTE Concert Orchestra, both from Dublin, Ireland.The concert was part of a series of events organizedto commemorate the anniversary, with the theme:“A small territory for a great mission.”After the concert concluded, the Holy Fatherexpressed his gratitude for the celebration saying,“I would like to thank all the people who havecontributed to solemnize such an important mo-
ment for the Catholic Church.” Reecting on thepast 80 years of the city-state’s existence, he added
that it is also important to pay tribute to the chief“protagonists” throughout “these eight decades ofhistory of this small parcel of land.”The Pontiff then recalled “the most important
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Benedict XVI prays for guidanceas Vatican marks 80 years
NASSA  welcomessafety netsfor displaced workers
MANILA, February 9, 2009─The CBCP Na
-tional Secretariat for Social Action, Justice andPeace has welcomed the detailed safety netsthe Arroyo administration plans to provideto assist local and foreign-based workers who
lost their jobs due to global nancial crisis.
The safety nets include assistance in theform of alternative sources of income providedto global crisis–affected workers, short-termemergency employment to affected workersto meet their daily basis needs, assistance toconnect the displaced workers to employmentopportunities through retooling, training andupgrading and assistance to retrenched work-
ers to ease their nancial burdens.
Sister Rosanne Mallillin, SPC, NASSA Ex-ecutive Secretary said she looks forward to asuccessful implementation of the importantstrategies coming at the heels of reports aboutlocal and foreign-based workers losing their jobs due to the global economic meltdown.“The Catholic church can identify the
people, the sectors, the specic individuals
who could avail of the job opportunities andchallenge various government agencies todeliver,” said Mallilin in an interview Mondayafternoon.She said dioceses with active Basic Eccle-sial Communities or BECs may gather all theinformation about displaced workers andpresent them to their respective provincialgovernments and even government line agen-cies to help out.
“We’ll identify the possible sectors, specic
individuals and communities who can availof these projects,” she added.The government has sought the CatholicChurch’s assistance to monitor the wide arrayof “safety nets” for displaced workers. Shesaid they can provide the government thenecessary “feedback on what’s really happen-ing in their dioceses.”
“The Church can ask for specic allocations
on a per province basis and which communi-ties have been tapped and how much moneyhas been allocated,” she added.She cited the government’s plan to enlista nurse for every village, receiving a salary
of P8,000.00 from the national government
and an additional P2,000 from the LGU.Asked if all LGUs would be able to defraythe complementary P2,000.00 to their nurses,Mallilin said it would be “relative to the LGU’scapability and priorities.”Asked if the massive assistance to displacedworkers would not be used for the comingpolitical exercise in 2010, Sr. Rosanne saidit is the government’s obligation to providelivelihood to its people.“This is what government owes us, hindinatin ito utang sa gobyerno ito ay obligasyonna dapat i-deliver nila sa atin,” the church
ofcial said.
Caritas Philippines Foundation togetherwith the Trade Union Congress of the Philip-pines, Federation of Free Workers and otherchurch-based groups and non-governmentorganizations will act as conduits of govern-ment for information dissemination on assis-tance packages and for training, retooling andlivelihood projects.
(Melo M. Acuna)
of those protagonists,” thevenerated Pius XI who, “inannouncing the signingof the Lateran Pacts and,especially, the foundationof Vatican City State, choseto use an expression of St.Francis of Assisi. He saidthat the new sovereign sta-tus was for the Church, asit had been for St. Francis,‘just enough body to holdthe soul together’.”The Holy Father thenasked the Lord, who“guides the fortunes of the‘Ship of Peter’ among thenot-always easy events ofhistory, to continue to watchover this small State.”“Above all,” he continued,“let us ask Him to help, with the power of His Spirit, Pe-ter’s Successor who stands at the helm of this ship, thathe may faithfully and effectively undertake his minis-try as the foundation of unity of the Catholic Church,which has its visible center in the Vatican whence itexpands to all the corners of the earth.”
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ROME, Italy, February 12, 2009―Father Marc
Leclerc, professor of Natural Philosophy at the
Gregorian Pontical University of Rome, explained
in a recent article for L’Osservatore Romano thatthere is no problem with the theory of evolution.The problem, he said, lies in the ideology that iscreated as part of the theory.In his article, the Jesuit priest said that in the past,and much more so in the present, “many, whetherthey are fans and foes of Darwin, have confused
his scientic theory of evolution—which should
be discussed at a scientific level by competentpersons—with the reduction of it to an ideologi-cal system, a vision of the world that forcibly fallsupon on all men.”Father Leclerc underscored that “as then CardinalRatzinger rightly wrote, the controversy has not come from the theory ofevolution as such, but from the turning some of its elements into a universalphilosophy, in order to explain all of reality’.”Darwin, he noted, “applied his theory of natural selection to how our spe-cies emerged, but not to the functioning of current human societies, under-
scoring instead as a benecial aspect for the species the acquisition of moral
and religious faculties that lead man to protect the weakest, contrary to the
Vatican has problem with evolutiononly when it becomes an ideology
MANILA, February 15, 2009―The head of the Cath
-olic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)has challenged the executive secretaries of EpiscopalCommissions to develop a “comprehensive theol-ogy of stewardship” as decreed by PCP II.In his homily during the opening mass of a one-day seminar for Episcopal Commission secretar-ies, CBCP President and Jaro Archbishop AngelLagdameo said the group might just have to sittogether again to articulate atheology of stewardship for theCBCP.“It is hoped that through yourgroup one of the decrees of PCPII will come to life, which says‘The Church through the initia-tive of CBCP should developa comprehensive theology ofstewardship…’(Art. 31, sec 1). Ithas never been done. Will it bedone this year? Through you?That is the challenge I am put-ting on you,” Lagdameo said.Lagdameo was the convenor ofthe seminar-workshop on Spiri-tuality of Stewardship (Buhay-Katiwala) held February 13 at theabsurd pretentions of social Darwinism.”“Evolution and creation pose no opposition toeach other, but rather they show themselves to becomplementary,” the priest added.
He went on to say, “Reection on the place of
man in evolution and in creation” is of particular
importance. Man, as a living being, can nd his
own place in the evolution of species which, whenread post factum, had prepared for his coming fora long time. But man cannot reduce himself to apure product of the evolution of species withoutcontradictions: in other words, man is not reducibleto mere animality.”“Good philosophical criticism shows that man
can justify the rst beginnings of his knowledge,”
Father Leclerc argued. “The human being has a ca-
pacity for reection, self-knowledge, and freedom that necessarily transcends
pure animality and cannot be simply the product of evolution,” he added.
“As Catholic theology rightly afrms,” he continued, “each human person is
the object of a singular creative act by God, who also inserts himself naturallyin the homo sapiens species, and appears at the end as the culmination ofan immense evolutionary process about which some secrets are now beingdiscovered.”
Lagdameo challenges CBCP ofcials to develop theology
of stewardship
Our Lady of the Reparatrix Center, Tagaytay City.The CBCP president told participants that thespirituality of stewardship is a common way eachone can adopt in accomplishing respective respon-sibilities, “in the spirit of unity in diversity.”“Each one of us, each one of you, may considerhimself/herself as a steward, steward not onlyof the bishop-head of the commission, but moreimportantly of God himself in the work of yourcommission,” he said.As stewards, he said, one is not the absoluteowner or master of himself and possessions, northe world of nature and of grace.He stressed that everythinghas been received as gift andtalent from God.“We must use them as grate-ful, accountable and responsiblepersons, in accordance with theintention or plan of the DivineOwner, to promote the commongood and to establish the reign ofGod in the hearts of men,” saidLagdameo.Citing the various Commis-sions’ diverse ministries he en-couraged each one to bring thespirituality of stewardship to awider spectrum according to theCommission’s sphere of activity
and inuence.
“The Spirituality of Stewardship would then bean overarching value that will provide other relatedvalues such as cooperation, co-responsibility, part-nership, collaboration, interdependence, solidarity,servanthood and subsidiarity,” said Lagdameo.He said the spirituality of stewardship wouldbring a shared approach to the various concernsof the Church.“Through you, individually and collectively, thePhilippine Church will be in a state of steward-ship,” said Lagdameo.“This you will do together with the priests,religious and other lay people and of course, withthe bishops, who are the primary stewards in theirrespective local churches,” he added.Expressions of stewardship include the spend-ing and use of God’s gifts such as time, talents andtreasures for God and neighbor.The February 13 conference came at the heels ofa 4-day journey on the Spirituality of Stewardship
attended by over 100 participants from 18 dioceses
and 4 Episcopal Commissions.The Tagaytay meeting is the sixth in a seriesof gatherings on the Spirituality of Stewardship,made possible by the partnership of St. ThomasMore Parish, in Denver, Colorado and the Socio-Pastoral Institute.Cebu was the site of the 2003 conference; PiusXII in Manila in 2005; Lucena in 2006; and practi-
tioners gathered twice in Tagaytay in 2008.
(PinkyBarrientos, FSP)
News Features
CBCP President and Jaro archbishopAngel Lagdameo was the convenor of the day-long seminar on the Spiritualityof Stewardship last February 13.
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