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CBCP Monitor vol13-n16

CBCP Monitor vol13-n16

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- Nation mourns for loss of moral icon
- Asian bishops to tackle challenges of evangelization
- Pope sends condolences to Aquino family
- Many priests being urged to run in 2010—CBCP official
- Prelate asks Filipino youth to help promote Asian Youth Day
- Nation mourns for loss of moral icon
- Asian bishops to tackle challenges of evangelization
- Pope sends condolences to Aquino family
- Many priests being urged to run in 2010—CBCP official
- Prelate asks Filipino youth to help promote Asian Youth Day

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Published by: cbcpmonitor on Jun 28, 2010
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Protagonist of Truth, Promoter of Peace
 Vol. 13 No. 16
 August 3 - 16, 2009
Php 20.
MANY priests are being pushed to run for public ofce in the forthcoming nationalelections, a Catholic Church ofcial afrmed recently.Fr. Francis Lucas said some of them are almost enticed to enter politics because ofintense pressure from the parishioners seeking for reform in governance.Lucas, who is a commission executive secretary in the Catholic Bishops’ Confer
ence of the Philippines, said that for these priests, their decision provides the peoplea better choice.He said the current situation in the Philippines is the primary reason why peopleresort to church leaders to serve for them.And the complaint, he said, is valid.If one will look at the kinds of candidates who ran for public ofce, he said, many ofthem belong to political dynasties, scion of rich families and other popular gures.Another reason why many people want priests in public ofce is the belief, Lucassaid, that they can provide a better leadership for the upliftment of the country.Needless to say, according to Lucas, the country is really in a sad state.Lucas also admitted that he himself is one of those priests who are being urged torun for a local post in the 2010 elections.He said a lot of people in Infanta, Quezon have been trying to convince him formany years to run for mayor there.“I
saw their point. We priests, we keep on looking for alternatives, pushingfor principles that are good for the people.So they said why don’t we justrun? But I said, as priests,we are not allowed to run forpublic ofce based on CanonLaw,” added Lucas.To help him decide whetherto leave the priesthood or not,Lucas asked for a “sign fromGod” and this he got last Junewhen he was appointed ex
ecutive secretary of the CBCP’sCommission on Social Communi
cations and Mass Media.“I told them since you are pushing
Pope’s message for2010 World Peace Dayto focus on environment
The News Supplementof Couples for Christ
Values Involvedin a FinancialCrisis
 Archbishop to warring
parties: ‘Enough is enough!’
COTABATO Archbishop Orlando B. Quevedo,OMI strongly condemned the methods beingused by warring parties in his ecclesial provincewhich covers the troubled Maguindanao andSultan Kudarat provinces and several townsof Northern Cotabato.In his statement titled “Open Appeal forPeace and For Our Evacuees” and released intime for the SOBA – State of the Bakwits Ad
dress (State of the Evacuees Address) at theNotre Dame University in Cotabato City, theprelate said he respects the warring parties’
Enough / A7
Bishop calls aerialspraying ‘inhuman’
AN ofcial of the Catholic Bishops’ Conferenceof the Philippines has joined the growing chorusagainst aerial crop spraying in Davao del Sur.Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillosaid aerial spraying is a moral issue because itdegrades the dignity of the people.Bananas are the second most abundant exportedcrop in the Philippines. The island of Mindanaoproduces 75 percent of the country’s yield.Philippine Banana Growers and ExportersAssociation (PGBEA) claimed that the aerialspraying ban will cause substantial economic
Spraying / A6
 WITH the demise of formerPresident Corazon Aquino,the country has lost one ofits moral forces, the Catholichierarchy said.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference ofthe Philippines hailed Mrs. Aquino andher husband, the late Senator Benigno“Ninoy” Aquino for their courageouscommitment to the freedom of the Fili
pino people.Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, CBCP
president, said no couple in Philippine
history has had a great positive impactthan the late Senator Benigno “Ninoy”Aquino, Jr. and his wife, former Presi
dent Corazon “Cory” Aquino.The couple might not be the mostastute political leaders, but Lagdameosaid they are not liars like many of thetraditional politicians.Their idealism, moral values, strongfaith in God, plus Cory’s unique na
-tional and international stature as a
freedom ghter make them a positivemoral force, he said.The CBCP head lauded the Aquino
Nation mourns for loss of 
moral icon
By Kris Bayos
couple’s sacrices like Mrs. Aquino’s17-month ordeal with colon cancer, be
fore succumbing to cardio-respiratoryarrest on August 1.“At the most crucial stage of ourcountry’s history, President Cory andNinoy were there to become the symbolof reformation and transformation ourcountry has long for,” Lagdameo said.“She was there not only to start themovement of renewal and reform (be
cause her example remained with) hersuccessors who tried to continue whatshe began.”“(Just recently) undergoing the pain
ful ordeal with cancer, President Coryhad found a new meaning to the phrase‘the Filipino people is worth dying for’through her sickness that pinned her toher hospital bed,” he added.A known critic of the incumbent ad
ministration, Lagdameo recounted thelegacy Mrs. Aquino’s administrationhas left the country.“After six years, President Cory will
ingly and readily turned over the gov
ernment to her successor. She rejectedthe temptation to extend her stay inSCORES of bishops from across Asia are to meetin Manila to review obstacles and problems theyface in their ministry, and to deliberate how theycould get over it.About 120 Asian archbishops and bishops, sevenof them cardinals, are expected to address theseconcerns during a week-long plenary assembly ofthe Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences.Archbishop Orlando B. Quevedo, OMI, FABCsecretary general, said they will put evangeliza
tion as their centerpiece during the meeting at
the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Paco, Manila
from Aug. 10 to 16.He said the delegates will certainly be discuss
ing the challenges facing the evangelization oftheir regions and nd ways to accomplish theirmission.In a continent where Christianity is a “verysmall” minority religion, Quevedo said workingtogether among them as church leaders is veryimportant.“It is important that we together collaborate in acontext that is very much interreligious, intercul
tural and, third, because of the massive poverty,”he said during a press brieng Friday.“From these three commonalities alone one
Asian bishops to tackle challenges of evangelization
can see the necessity of collaboration among ourEpiscopal conferences,” said the prelate who ispresently Archbishop of Cotabato.
Quevedo also said the expected participants arecurrently considering the working document on“Living the Eucharist in Asia,” which is based inrecent church teachings on the topic.It also mirrors on Asia’s particular living ofthe Eucharist, as “a unique experience of God’sdialogue with us and our response to God as adialogue of life and love.”The document deals with the subtopics of livingin community, in faith, hope and love, and livingin mission.
Other concerns
Aside from the main topic about Eucharist, theFABC ofcial said the oor is also open for other“urgent concerns” which may not necessarily beon the program.“Maybe some bishops would want to talk aboutthe problems of the church in other countries. It’slisted in the agenda but we give them freedom notto say,” Quevedo added.He said common issues in Asia like migration,social justice, and ecology including the religiousside could also be discussed.“But these are not in the agenda. We just wantto contextualize the living of the Eucharist in Asiaand the living of the Eucharist would address somethe particular issues,” he said.
Pope sends condolences to Aquino family
ALTHOUGH the fth Asian Youth Day (AYD5) this Novem
ber will only be open to a small delegation, Masbate Bishop Joel Baylon said youth groups from the diocesan and paro
chial levels can still partake in the celebration by helping inthe promotion of the event.The chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth(ECY), Baylon disclosed that this year’s gathering of Asia’sCatholic youth is only eyeing at least 2,000 delegates, half ofwhich will come from 22 countries of the continent and theremaining half will be lled by local delegates.“We are hoping to have with us at least 2,000 delegates. Thisis quite a small number [because] we have decided that thisevent should not be a youth day [dominated by] the Filipinos.This must have an Asian character,” he said.Given the limited number of participants, Baylon urgedthe youth interested to attend the AYD to instead bring thespirit of AYD in their respective diocese and parishes byputting up exhibits.HIS Holiness Pope Benedict XVI hasextended his heartfelt condolencesand assurances of his prayers to thefamily of former President CorazonC. Aquino and the Philippine gov
ernment.In a communiqué sent to ManilaArchbishop Gaudencio B. CardinalRosales by the Vatican Secretary ofState His Eminence Tarcisio Bertone,the Holy Father recalled PresidentAquino’s “courageous commitmentto the freedom of the Filipino people,her rm rejection of violence and intol
-erance, and her contribution to the re-
building of a just and cohesive politicalorder in her beloved homeland.”“His Holiness commends her noblesoul to the eternal mercies of God ourheavenly father,” Cardinal Bertonesaid.The Secretary of State further saidthe Holy Father “remembers her as awoman of deep and unwavering faithand thus he prays that the same faithand hope which guided her life willnow come to abundant fullment.”“Invoking upon all the Filipinopeople an outpouring of divine graces,the Holy Father cordially imparts hisapostolic blessing to all taking part
in the Mass of Christian burial, as apledge of consolation, strength and
peace in our Lord Jesus Christ,” theSecretary of State concluded.
(Melo M. Acuna)
Prelate asks Filipino youth to helppromote Asian Youth Day 
Earlier, the AYD5 Media and Promotions Team has dis
tributed an AYD5 Diocesan Promotion and InformationKit, which contains the AYD5’s posters, banners, logo, andaudio-visual presentation for posting and viewing at thedifferent parishes.“These materials are being sent to the dioceses to helpthem set up exhibits that will truly help the youth to be moreinformed about AYD5. It will also make all Filipino youth beone in our efforts and prayers as we continue to prepare forthe gathering,” the prelate added.Sponsored by the Federation of Asian Bishops Confer
ences, the CBCP-ECY and the Diocese of Imus, the AYD5will be held at the Rogationist College of Silang, Cavite fromNovember 20 to 27. The week-long gathering is themed“Yasia Fiesta: Come Together, Share the Word, Live theEucharist!”The Asian Youth Days began in Thailand in 1999, and themost recent was held in Hong Kong in 2006.
(Kris Bayos)
The Manila assembly follows the last plenary onthe role of family in Asia in Daejon, Korea in 2004.Plenary assemblies, the highest governing body ofthe Federation, are held once every four years.This year’s assembly was planned originally for January 2009 in Bangalore, India but later post
poned and transferred to Manila.
Many priests being urged to run in2010—CBCP ofcial
   I   l   l  u  s   t  r  a   t   i  o  n   b  y   B   l  a   d   i  m  e  r   U  s   i
Run / A6Moral icon / A6
FABC secretary-general and Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo gives a press brieng on the forthcoming Asian bishops’
plenary assembly on Aug. 11-16 at Pope Pius XII Center in Manila.
   ©   R  o  y   L  a  g  a  r   d  e   /   C   B   C   P   M  e   d   i  a   ©   R  o  y   L  a  g  a  r   d  e   /   C   B   C   P   M  e   d   i  a
Catholic nuns gather around the casket of the late former President Corazon Aquino at the Manila Cathedral on
August 3. Until her last breath, the former president talks about politics in moral and religious terms. Aquino’s death has left a void in the hearts of 
many Filipinos in search of a leader steeped in moral values and truly committed in serving others.
 Vol. 13 No. 16
 August 3 - 16, 2009
CBCP Monitor
ON Tuesday, August 4, the Church will celebrate the feast day of St. John Vian
ney, patron of priests. This day will mark the 150th anniversary of the saint’sdeath and comes during the newly-begun Year for Priests. John Vianney, also known as the Holy Curé de Ars, was born May 8, 1786 inDardilly, near Lyon, France to a family of farmers. He was ordained a priest in1815 and became curate in Ecully. He was then sent to the remote French com
munity of Ars in 1818 to be a parish priest.Upon his arrival, the priest immediately began praying and working for theconversion of his parishioners. Although he saw himself as unworthy of hismission as pastor, he allowed himself to be consumed by the love of God as heserved the people.Vianney slowly helped to revive the community’s faith through both hisprayers and the witness of his lifestyle. He gave powerful homilies on the mercyand love of God, and it is said that even staunch sinners were converted uponhearing him. In addition, he restored his church, formed an orphanage, “LaProvidence,” and cared for the poor.His reputation as a confessor grew rapidly, and pilgrims traveled from allover France to come to him in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Firmly commit
Catholics to honor St. John Vianney 150 years after his death
ted to the conversion of the people, he would spend up to 16 hours a day in theconfessional.Plagued by many trials and besieged by the devil, St. John Vianney remainedrm in his faith, and lived a life of devotion to God. Dedicated to the BlessedSacrament, he spent much time in prayer and practiced much mortication. Helived on little food and sleep, while working without rest in unfailing humility,gentleness, patience and cheerfulness, until he was well into his 70s. John Vianney died on August 4, 1859. Over 1,000 people attended his funeral,including the bishop and priests of the diocese, who already viewed his life asa model of priestly holiness.The Holy Curé of Ars was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1925. He is the patronof priests. Over 450,000 pilgrims travel to Ars every year in remembrance ofhis holy life.Commemorating the 150th anniversary of St. John Vianney’s death, this yearhas been declared the Year for Priests by Pope Benedict XVI. The Pope inaugu
rated the Year for Priests on June 19, and wrote a Letter to Clergy, encouragingall priests to look to the Curé of Ars as an example of dedication to one’s priestlycalling.
 World News
VATICAN, August 3, 2009—Pope BenedictXVI has instructed his envoy to the upcom
ing Federation of Asian Bishops’ Confer
ences meeting to ask the prelates to encour
age Catholics to attend Sunday Mass, go forConfession and draw spiritual nourishmentfrom the Scriptures.He has also asked the envoy, Cardinal
Francis Arinze, a senior African prelate,to encourage the bishops to support their
priests, especially during this special Yearfor Priests.The Pope ofcially designated CardinalArinze as his special representative to theFABC’s 9th plenary assembly on June 13,the Vatican said, when it released the Pope’sletter to the cardinal on Aug. 1.In sending the letter dated June 24, PopeBenedict followed a long-standing traditionwhereby the pontiff conveys his instructionsin Latin to his personal envoys attendingmajor events.In the two-page letter, the pontiff saidhe knows that “all the bishops of Asia” arekeen that their faithful “should understandand love the Eucharist,” and for this reason
Pope instructs envoy forFABC meeting 
they decided to discuss the theme, “Livingthe Eucharist in Asia” at their plenary as
sembly. The event is to be held Aug. 11-16in Manila.
The Pope noted that for their deliberations,
the bishops are “also drawing inspiration”from “Sacramentum Caritatis” (“Sacramentof Charity”), the apostolic exhortation he is
sued after the October 2005 Synod of Bishopson the Eucharist.He revealed that the FABC had asked himto send “an eminent prelate as his personalenvoy” to the meeting.
The Pope said he concluded that Cardi-
nal Arinze was the most “suitable” personbecause of his “great concern” for “thegood of souls” and for “the full celebra
tion of the divine worship in the rite theChurch.”Outlining his message to the assembly, thePope said he wanted “all the pastors (of Asia)to teach their Christian lay faithful” that theyshould “participate” in the celebration of theSunday Eucharist, receive the Sacrament ofReconciliation, and draw nourishment fortheir lives from the Sacred Scriptures andfrom the Eucharist.He said he also wished to exhort the Asianbishops to support their priests, “who arechosen by God and constituted as ministersof the Eucharist.” The bishops are to doso “through prayer and sacrices” so thatpriests “may remain faithful to the sublimemystery of their vocation.” The Pope wantedthe bishops to do this particularly at this timewhen the whole Church is celebrating theYear for Priests.Cardinal Arinze, 76, is the most prominentAfrican cardinal. When he was appointedbishop of Onitsha in Nigeria by Pope Paul VIin August 1965 at the age of 32, he was thenthe youngest bishop in the world.Some years later, he was elected presidentof the Nigerian bishops’ conference, andin that role welcomed Pope John Paul II toAfrica in 1982.In 2002, the same Pope appointed him asprefect of the Congregation for Divine Wor
ship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, apost he held until last December when PopeBenedict accepted his resignation, as he hadpassed the age for retirement.
Cardinal Francis Arinze
ARS, France, July 31, 2009—CardinalClaudio Hummes will represent Bene
dict XVI at celebrations in Ars on thefeast of John Vianney, the saint the HolyFather has proposed as the model forthis Year for Priests.
The prefect of the Congregation for
Clergy will be the papal legate for theAug. 4 Mass in the town where JohnVianney practiced his ministry.
Pope to send clergy Congregation Prefect to Ars
The celebration this year marks the150th anniversary of John Vianney’sdeath; the Year for Priests is markingthat anniversary and a jubilee year inArs has also celebrated the event.The sanctuary will have two daysof celebration. On Aug. 3, Father Jean-Philippe Nault, rector of the sanctuary,will give a conference titled: “The Cured’Ars: Holy Patron of the World’sPriests.” Later that day, Bishop GuyBagnard of Belley-Ars will give a talk onthe Year for Priests. A Mass will then becelebrated to pray for priestly vocations,and a prayer vigil with confessions willfollow.Cardinal Hummes will celebrateMass the next day. At the end of Mass,there will be adoration of the BlessedSacrament, and the closing event willhalting frequently before the tabernaclefor a visit to Jesus in the Blessed Sacra
ment.”And, he added, it was the saint’s“deep personal identication with thesacrice of the cross [that] led him—by asole inward movement—from the altarto the confessional.”
be the unveiling of a new statue of St. John Vianney.In the June 16 letter by which BenedictXVI proclaimed the Year for Priests, thePope reected on the life of the saintof Ars.“Saint John Mary Vianney taughthis parishioners primarily by the wit
ness of his life,” he wrote. “It was fromhis example that they learned to pray,
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Cardinal Claudio Hummes
SAN ANTONIO, Texas, August 1, 2009—Inhis newest column, Archbishop of San An
tonio José H. Gomez has discussed PopeBenedict XVI’s latest encyclical “Caritas InVeritate.” Highlighting some of its mainpoints, he exhorted all Catholics to read this“valuable contribution” to Catholic socialdoctrine, since it cannot be captured bymedia sound-bites.Writing in his column for his archdioc
esan newspaper Today’s Catholic, Arch
bishop Gomez said Caritas In Veritate is“not only a true source of guidance for allCatholics, but it is also a valuable contri
bution to the building of the fundamentalstructure of society that is the social doctrineof the Church.”Neither the secular media nor supportersof different economic theories have givena “proper interpretation” of the encyclical,he wrote.“Some have tried to nd in the Pope’sthird encyclical a reafrmation of their own
ideological and political tendencies, others,
including some journalists who, in goodfaith, have only reported on selected prin
ciples in the encyclical in a way that makesit sound more like ‘news’, linking it to someeeting events.”
Archbishop Gomez: Caritas In Veritate a ‘valuable
contribution’ that requires a thorough read
However, the encyclical is best understood“in the full context of the social doctrine ofthe Church,” Archbishop Gomez said.“I believe that each Catholic should read it,ponder it, and live it,” he wrote, highlightingve points.First, he remarked, it is important to knowthat the Church has a “social doctrine,” a set
of proposals for the organization of public
life that emanate from Christian charityunder the governance of truth.
The second point that the archbishop
drew from the Pope’s encyclical was thatCatholic social doctrine places the humanperson and his “true development” at itscenter, a progress that “cannot be limitedto material success.”He linked Caritas In Veritate with PopePaul VI’s 1967 encyclical PopulorumProgressio, which said wise reflectionand a “new humanism” are even morenecessary than technical experts to helppeople enjoy love, friendship, prayer andcontemplation.Archbishop Gomez then mentioned histhird point, saying that Catholic social doc
trine cannot be separated from the defenseof the right to life and the “explicit proclama
tion” of the Gospel.
The fourth insight the archbishop noted
was that “all the aspects of the contemporaryworld, such as globalization or the acceler
ated development of technology, can andshould be analyzed and judged from thefoundation of Faith and reason, to promotewhat is good and to prevent what is harmfulto human beings.”Finally, the San Antonio archbishop em
phasized that Christians have the right andthe duty to take the Gospel to the publicsphere because “the building of a worldwithout God necessarily leads to the build
ing of systems that go against the humanperson.”
Catholic priests receivedeath threats
KATHMANDU, Nepal, August 3, 2009—Many Catholic priestshave received grave threats from unknown callers claiming tobe Hindu fundamentalists, urging them to leave the country “assoon as possible”.Fr. Pius Perumana, who runs the Vianney pastoral centre inGodavari, told AsiaNews that in recent days strangers calledhim on the phone and told him that he had “a month to leaveNepal if I did not want to face grave consequences.”The priest led a complaint against person unknown butthe authorities did not provide any protection to the pastoralcentre.The unknown voice said that he belonged to the Nepal DefenceArmy, an extremist Hindu group headed by one R.K. Mainali,who is a suspect in the murder of Fr. John Prakash and thebombing of the Church of the Assumption in Kathmandu on 23May. A woman member of the group was arrested in connectionwith the blast.Fr. Benjamin Pampackel, superior at the Don Bosco Schoolin Lubhu, also received a threatening night time phone call on20 July.The gatekeeper who was on duty that night picked up thephone and was told that anyone in the service of Christianscould lose his life.Fr. Lawrence Manivar, who works at the St. Xavier School,told AsiaNews that a stranger claiming to be from the NepalDefence Army “warned me either to leave Nepal or face death”.The clergyman added that the caller told him that they wanted“Nepal to be Hindu and all Christians to be chased away.”Chirendra Satyal with the Catholic Media Ofce said that “wedon’t know who the callers are” but added that they should notbe underestimated.Msgr. Anthony Sharma, vicar apostolic of Nepal and titularbishop of Gigthi, urges prudence. He said that he had not re
ceived any threats but that each incident was being reported tothe authorities.
GOJRA, Pakistan, August 3,2009—Church people haveformed a committee to bring
peace to a troubled district in
Punjab province after sevenCatholics were burnt alive and19 others injured in anti-Chris
tian rioting on Aug. 1.The violence came in the wakeof an attack on the nearby Chris
tian village of Korian on July 30.Tension between the Christianand Muslim communities in the
Korian area arose after pages
containing Islamic inscriptionswere found in front of a Chris
tian home on July 26 following awedding. Muslims then accuseda family there of blasphemyagainst Islam. About 60 houses
Christian leaders seek peace following deadly rioting
and two churches belonging tothe Church of Pakistan and theNew Apostolic Church were de
stroyed and livestock stolen.In the latest incident, familiesof the deceased, who includedtwo children and three women,placed the coffins on railwaytracks in protest, disruptingtrafc for four hours on Aug.2. Hundreds of Christians alsostaged protests led by Bishop Joseph Coutts of Faisalabad. He
and a Protestant bishop later
presided at the funerals.
The Catholic Church has
formed a committee compris
ing two bishops, three Catholicpriests and several councilors,who are meeting politiciansand Muslim clerics to stop anyfurther violence.“Christians in many surroundingvillages and towns (near Korian)began receiving threats as mullah(Muslim clerics) began preachinghatred and revenge,” wrote BishopCoutts in an Aug. 3 email to Churchpeople across the world.
“There are indications that
the attack on Korian as well ason Gojra was planned and thepeople instigated by a bannedIslamic group which wants to‘purify’ Pakistan by making it astrictly Islamic, theocratic state.Democracy is rejected as some
thing Western and un-Islamic,”the bishop said. He also stated thatthe group wanted non-Muslims to“either convert to Islam or leavethe place.” He added, “They wanta sort of religious cleansing.”Archbishop Lawrence John
Saldanha, head of the Catholic
Church in Pakistan and chairper
son of the National Commissionfor Justice and Peace (NCJP) has
also called upon all Christian insti-
tutions in Punjab to close for threedays to mourn the killings.A statement by the archbishopand Peter Jacob, NCJP’s execu
tive secretary, demanded thatthe government address the root
causes of religious intolerance in
Pakistan. “This is not a solitaryincident but a phenomenon thathas been there for quite sometime,” it said.
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 Vol. 13 No. 16
 August 3 - 16, 2009
CBCP Monitor
News Features
VATICAN, July 29, 2009—Pope Benedict XVI will focus on theconnection between protecting the environment and working forpeace in the message he will publish for World Peace Day in 2010,the Vatican said.The theme the pope has chosen for the Jan. 1 celebration is "IfYou Want to Cultivate Peace, Safeguard Creation," the Vatican an
nounced July 29.The Vatican said the pope intends to discuss the fact that in aglobalized world there is a strict connection between protecting theenvironment and promoting peace."The use of resources, climate change, the application and use ofbiotechnologies (and) demographic growth" are all issues that canhave repercussions across national borders for generations to come,the statement said.The papal message will underline the fact that protecting thenatural environment is a challenge all people must face together,
Pope’s message for 2010 World
Peace Day to focus on environment
recognizing they have an obligation to respect a gift God createdfor all, it said.Pope Benedict also wants to emphasize how the "current eco
logical crisis" is impacting the entire world and, therefore, requiresinternational action to resolve, it said."If one wants to cultivate the good of peace, in fact, one mustpromote a renewed awareness of the interdependence that links theearth's inhabitants to one another," the Vatican statement said.Together people must preserve and restore the natural environ
ment, eliminating at least some of the causes of environmentaldisasters, it said.The Vatican statement said Pope Benedict intends his World PeaceDay message to be a further development of the four paragraphson the environment included in his encyclical "Caritas in Veritate"("Charity in Truth").In his encyclical, published in early July, Pope Benedict said, "Theenvironment is God's gift to everyone, and in our use of it we havea responsibility toward the poor, toward future generations andtoward humanity as a whole."While the encyclical focused on development, and therefore dis
cussed the need to share natural resources equitably and not exploit
those found in poor countries, it also insisted there is a connection
between environmental protection and peace."The stockpiling of natural resources, which in many cases arefound in the poor countries themselves, gives rise to exploitationand frequent conicts between and within nations. These conictsare often fought on the soil of those same countries, with a heavy tollof death, destruction and further decay," the encyclical said.Pope Benedict's message for the World Day of Peace in 2008, whichfocused on the family and on the world's population as forming onehuman family, also included a section on the obligation to protectthe environment.
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ROME, July 31, 2009—The president of the Ponti
cal Academy for Life, Archbishop Rino Fisichella,on Friday lamented the decision by Italy’s govern
ment to allow the distribution of RU-486, which isa drug that aborts a developing child. The Churchwill never accept it, he said.In an article published by L’Osservatore Ro
mano, the archbishop pointed to the urgency ofdefending human life from conception to naturaldeath, an issue addressed by Pope Benedict XVIin his new encyclical Caritas in Veritate.Archbishop Fisichella also warned that “whetherthe use of this pill is less traumatic than undergo
ing an operation [surgical abortion] has yet to bedemonstrated. The initial trauma occurs when thepregnancy is not accepted and what must be doneis to intervene and help the woman understand thevalue of unborn life.”The embryo, he went on, “is not a mass of cellsor a ‘thing,’ as some have dened it. It is a trueand complete human life. No one can be allowedto kill it without fully understanding the conse
quences.”After noting that the drug is just another method for obtaining an abor
tion, the archbishop underscored that this anti-life practice “is an evil in and
RU-486 is abortifacient and the Church
rejects it, Vatican ofcial says
of itself because it takes a human life. This life,which is only visible through the assistance oftechnology, possesses the same dignity inherentin every person.”
For this reason, he added, “the respect due the
embryo cannot be less than that that is given toevery person walking down the street, and it de
mands to be accepted for what it is: a person.”The Church “can never be passive to what ishappening in society,” Fisichella stated. “She iscalled to always make present the proclamation
of life that has enabled her to be throughout thecenturies a tangible sign of the respect for the
dignity of the person.”The task of forming consciences for the defenseof life and human dignity not only entails a com
mitment from every person but also demands thatone speak out and be convincing, he explained.“The Church’s opposition to all methods ofabortion is a 'yes' to life and everything that itentails,” he added.In concluding his message, the archbishop calledfor better formation of young people in the defense of life, and that they beencouraged to embrace a correct understanding of sexuality, affection, andlove, “rather than succumbing to worry, anxiety and distress.”
Archbishop Rino Fisichella
Oldest workers’ group seeks
party-list accreditation
MANILA, July 30, 2009— The Federation ofFree Workers (FFW), one of the oldest existinglabor federations in the country, has decidedto take part in politics after years of absten
tion by filing for accreditation in the 2010party-list polls at the Commission on Electionsyesterday.“As a primary economic driving force, there isa real need for lowly workers to be representedand their voices be heard in Congress,” said Al
lan Montaño, National President of the FFW.Afliates and members of the FFW haveregistered with the COMELEC under the name“Free Workers”, which will be known by thesame acronym, FFW.FFW, the labor federation, has been in ex
istence since 1950. It was ofcially registeredand issued a certicate of registration by theDepartment of Labor and Employment (DOLE)in November 19, 1956.FFW has been actively involved in manytripartite bodies in the country, particularly onissues involving labor-management relations.It has consistently represented workers for 50years now, as part of the Philippine TripartiteDelegation to the International Labor Confer
ence of the International Labor Organization(ILO) held each year in the month of June inGeneva, Switzerland.One of the main platforms of government bythe FFW is the promotion of Decent Work.“While they are most in numbers, the laborsector has not been truly represented in Con
gress these days”, Montaño stressed.“We, therefore, need representatives thathave the capacity and would genuinely repre
sent the interest of workers in the legislature,”Montaño said.“This role can best be served by the FFWrepresentatives in Congress once given themandate,” he added.The FFW has historical ties with the CatholicChurch having been established by a Jesuitpriest and a group of idealistic youth almost60 years ago.
(Julius Cainglet)
Cardinal Bertoneoffers encyclical
as responseto society’schallenges
VATICAN, July 28, 2009—The Italian Senate tooktime on Tuesday to hear about a topic not usuallyon their agenda—a papal encyclical. CardinalTarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s Secretary of State,addressed the senators about “Caritas in Veritate”and how it can help them respond to the “ethical,cultural and social challenges of today.”The speech by Cardinal Bertone was delivered atthe invitation of the president of the Italian Senateon Thursday morning.Cardinal Bertone highlighted some of the an
thropological and theological aspects of the Pope’slatest encyclical, which is devoted to encouragingcountries to promote the true development of man,a development that encompasses the material,spiritual and moral arenas.The Secretary of State also recalled that in 2004the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger had given a“lectio magistralis” in the Senate library on thetheme: “Europe. Its spiritual roots, yesterday,today and tomorrow.” On that occasion, he re
minded, the future Pontiff had focused on certainthemes that are now contained in his third En
cyclical, such as “the afrmation of the profoundreasons behind the dignity of individuals and theirrights,” and marriage and the family as elementsthat have forged European identity.The cardinal said that he believes the represen
tatives of the Italian people will nd the Pope’swords to be “an exalted and profound sourceof inspiration when carrying out their mission.”Hopefully, the encyclical will enable them torespond “adequately to the ethical, cultural andsocial challenges of today.”
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone
MELBOURNE, Australia, July24, 2009— Filipino and Aus
tralian environmental activists jointly condemned the "destruc
tive" mining practices in the Phil
ippines advocated by Australiancompanies in a protest that wassimultaneously done in otherparts of world.Activists unfurled banners
of protests on a bridge along
Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway, July 22, denouncing open-cutmining in the Philippines withwords, “Open-cut mining scarsthe Earth, No to Roxby Expan
sion” and “Philippines: Yes toFood, No to Mining.”The protest was also staged inMexico, Philippines and Canadaby members of Friends of theEarth International.An anti-mining alliance ofvarious groups and organizations
called Mining Action Philippines-
Australia (MAP-Oz), joined
Friends of the Earth-Melbourne
(FoE) in a Global Day of Actionagainst open-pit mining.MAP-Oz convenor and Aly
ansa Tigil Mina (ATM) ofcer
Rodne Galicha denounced the
trampling of human rights andreckless ecological destructioncaused by mining.“Despite wanton environmen
tal degradation, human rights vi
olations and indigenous peoples’
rights abuses, Philippine and
Filipinos, Australians denounce‘destructive’ mining in RP
Australian companies continueto connive with the governmentto exploit our natural resources,”Galicha, in a media release sentto CBCPNews, said.Citing Philippine govern
ment’s failure to protect thepeople’s right to a sustainablelivelihood and safe environment,Galicha further accused the gov
ernment of implementing lawsthat favor mining companies.“The Philippine governmentstill denies these abuses and viola
tions, and continues to harmonizeenvironmental policies in favorof the mining law, thus mininglicenses are being given immedi
ately without genuine consulta
tion and consent from communi
ties,” Galicha said, adding:“Open-pit mining has beenpromoted and causes wide
-spread deforestation and land
use conversion that causes 20 to25 percent of carbon emissionsthat cause climate change. Wenever learned our lesson,” helamented.In the same media release
posted on MAP-oz blog, Austra-
lian Mia Pepper, an FoE mem
-ber, said Australians should beconscious of real issues behind
anti-mining advocacies in thePhilippines.“Australians should be awareof mining companies like BHPBilliton which put a protected
area in danger, Indophil/Xstrata
which is continuously being op
-posed, Central Gold Asia facing
opposition everyday in Masbate,OceanaGold challenged by thelocal government of Nueva Viz
caya for tax issues and opposedby the indigenous communi
ties, Pelican Resources with its
Filipino partner that caused the
murder of a local ofcial, Roy
alco creating divisions among
indigenous peoples, and the list
still continues,” Pepper said.The environmentalist criticizedAustralian investors for exploit
-ing people and resources in pur-
suit of their own convenience.“Through AusAID, we helpthe Filipinos, but our fellowAustralians with mining invest
ments take the opportunity ofexploiting their resources andthese poor people in the villageswhere some of our aid go are
being displaced, abused and
sometimes their lives at stake.Australians should avoid expe
diency,” she stressed.MAP-Oz is a newly-formedalliance of various Filipino and
Australian groups and organi-
zations. The group monitors,assesses, evaluates and exposesvarious environmental, humanand indigenous peoples’ rightsissues of Australian mining com
panies in the Philippines.
(PinkyBarrientos, FSP)
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