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CBCP Monitor vol14-n6

CBCP Monitor vol14-n6

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Published by cbcpmonitor
- Protest mounts over condom promotion
- Anti-mining groups question mining consultation in Palawan
- CBCP head warns clergy off partisan politics
- Davao will have Vote for Life; Cebu, Vote God
- Women’s groups dismayed on demeaning ad
- Protest mounts over condom promotion
- Anti-mining groups question mining consultation in Palawan
- CBCP head warns clergy off partisan politics
- Davao will have Vote for Life; Cebu, Vote God
- Women’s groups dismayed on demeaning ad

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Published by: cbcpmonitor on Jun 28, 2010
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 Vol. 14 No. 6
March 15 - 28, 2010
Php 20.
00
The CROSS
A Supplement Publication of KCFAPIand the Order of the Knights of Columbus
 
A3
C1
‘There is a greatneed of prieststhat speak of God’
B1
Namfrel bids goodbye toquick count
SAYING that the poll body is ‘not interested,’ theNational Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel)
nally gave up its application to become citi
-zens’ arm of the Commission on Elections.
Namfrel ofcials said it decided to withdraw
their plan to be accredited for the May 10 local
and national elections because their ght isgoing nowhere.“It’s obvious that the Comelec is not inter
-
ested in Namfrel’s assistance,” said Jose Cuisia Jr., head of the poll watchdog which pioneeredthe parallel quick count in the country.
Philippine health sectordying, says doctors’ alliance
A FEW days ago, news reports quoted formerHealth Secretary Jaime Galvez-Tan saying thatthere are 200 hospitals in the country had ceasedits operations, while 800 more are now partiallyclose due to the lack of health personnel.
Most of these hospitals are in the Visayasand in Mindanao, and majority of them are
either run by the local government units or thenational government itself.Almagro Community Hospital in WesternSamar, the Capul Municipal Hospital, TangkilMunicipal Hospital, Pangutaran District Hos
-
Quick count / A6Dying / A6
Solid priestly identityessential as secularismgrows, Pope tells priests
Protest mounts overcondom promotion
   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
By Roy Lagarde
NOW it’s the lay people speaking.In an apparent show of disgust over the government’saggressive campaign for condom use, more people arecoming out in the open to protest the State’s pro-contra-ceptive policy.
In Manila and Cebu City, various groups and concerned parents took thestreets to protest what they call government’s ‘immoral propaganda.’The health department is currently under an aggressive campaign to pro
-
mote the use of condoms and pills to avoid unwanted pregnancies and stopthe spread of HIV/AIDS.The government estimates that in 2009 there were around 4,400 cases inthe country with 126 new ones in January alone.The rallies in different parts of the country break the impression that contra
-
ception is only a ght between the government and the Catholic hierarchy.In Cebu City, a group of doctors, parents, students and professionals arestill vehemently opposed to condom use, despite the health department’sambitious HIV/AIDS prevention campaign.In a protest rally through Cebu streets on March 16, demonstratorscalled for a total ban on condom advertising to protect children from earlyexposure to sex.Dr. Josef Bullecer, national director of AIDS-Free Philippines, said that thepromotion of condom use to combat the dreaded disease was an “immoraland misguided weapon”.ENVIRONMENTAL advocates representing indigenous peoples, farmers,women, youth and elderly from affected communities have denounced thepublic scoping consultation recently conducted by two mining companiesin Palawan.Amid accusation of bribery and collusion with the Department of Envi
-
ronment and Natural Resources (DENR), anti-mining groups slammed thehighly irregular joint public consultation by MacroAsia Corporation andIpilan Nickel Corporation (INC) at Barangay Mambalot, Brooke’s Point,Palawan on March 13.“This process relentlessly favors mining companies, which share the ex
-
penses in the conduct of a joint public consultation, limits the time for publicscrutiny or inquiry for each proponent, breeds questionable stakeholdersrepresentation and has an irregular and confusing social acceptability stan
-
dard procedure,” said Jaybee Garganera, national coordinator of AlyansaTigil Mina.Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) is an advocacy group on environmental andhuman rights issues and people’s movement, composed of more than 80organizations from mining-affected communities and civil society organiza
-
tions nationwide.“How DENR allowed this joint public consultation of MacroAsia and INCcame no surprise to us knowing that this happened under the leadership of
IN the face of
slowly rising
politics in
the “pulpit”,Tandag Bish
-op NereoOdchimar
warnedhis clergyagainst
overtly par-tisan preach-
ing.
As Elec-
tion Day
approaches,
with localand national positions up for grabs, Odchimar hassent a circular to all his priests and the religious notto express support for political candidates.The circular warns explicitly the church’s roleof becoming instrument for unity could be at riskif the rule is violated.Odchimar, currently the president of theCatholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines(CBCP), said that under Canon Law, clerics areforbidden from playing “an active role in politi
-cal parties.”
He said the Church has clearly defined lawsfor priest in dealing with partisanship and
politics.
The soft-spoken prelate also cautioned his priestsagainst candidates’ “political gimmicks involvingchurch leaders and other people whom they thinkare effective and capable of doing such.”Odchimar, a Canon lawyer, advised fellow pas
-
tors to mind what they say or do, and make surethey will not be misunderstood.
Exception
The CBCP head said priests can only break thenon-partisanship rule when a political gure orgroup opposes divine laws and principles.But as far the Diocese of Tandag is concerned,the situation does not require Church to engage
in partisan politics.
“In our prudent discernment, concrete situationin the diocese does not warrant a justiable devia
-
tion from this general principle,” said Odchimar.
Moral judgment
While priests are discouraged to actively takepart in partisan politics, the Church must notabandon its competence in passing moral judg
-ment, Odchimar added.
In other words, he also said, while the lay faithfulare urged to engage in political activity, pastors canteach moral principles and issue moral guidelinesregarding political activity but cannot engage in
partisan politics.
“It must be admitted, though, that sometimeseven teaching moral principles is actually in
-
terpreted by some as partisan politics becauseof actual circumstances; nonetheless we haveto contend ourselves with it,” Odchimar said.
(CBCPNews)
IN celebration of Women’s Month,
leaders of various organizations in thePhilippines condemned what they de
-
scribed as “the utilization of women indemeaning advertisements” includ
-
ing the one which was published in anational broadsheet last March 3.Catholic Bishops Conference of thePhilippines’ Ofce on Women’s Ex
-
ecutive Secretary Zenaida V. Rotea,MD said the advertisement supposedto advertise a mobile phone but “usesa woman with her legs spread wide
open.”She added that the mobile phone
was “strategically placed between”the model’s legs.
 Anti-mining groups questionmining consultation in Palawan
CBCP headwarns clergy off partisan politics
pro-mining longtime Mines and Geosciences Bureau director, now DENRchief Horacio Ramos, who is determined to fast-track all mining applicationsand process before the Arroyo Administration ends,” added Garganera.Artiso Mandawa, National Coordinator of Ancestral Land/Domain Watch(ALDAW), said the joint consultation was an obvious attempt to rush theissuance of the environmental compliance certicate (ECC) to mining com
-
panies to fully operationalize their operations.He said the joint consultation demonstrated irregularities that should notbe taken lightly by authorities and stakeholders.“Originally, people were informed that a separate public consultation ofMacroAsia and INC will be facilitated. The mine projects of MacroAsia andINC are both located in Brooke’s Point and to a certain extent the proponentshave the same affected areas such as Barangay Ipilan but this should not bethe basis for the joint consultation,” said Mandawa.Earlier, INC conducted a consultation with local government units butfailed to get social acceptability from the barangays of Ipilan, Maasin, Mam
-
balot and Calasaguen, Mandawa said.The law provides that a mining company should allow an interval of one yearbefore it can conduct another consultation with concerned stakeholders.“We fear that INC is riding with MacroAsia’s consultation with the attemptAFTER the Davao Archdiocesan Committee onEvangelizing the Electorate (DACEE) launchedits “Kay Kristo Ako, Sagrado Akong Boto”campaign, it is also planning to intensify thisby producing a new campaign slogan “I VOTE
for LIFE”.
The “I VOTE for LIFE” campaign is similar tothe Vote God campaign which was launched inthe Archdiocese of Cebu through the initiative ofthe Circles for Discernment for Elections (CiDE).Gagmayng Kristohanong Katilingban (GKK)Coordinator Fr. Pete Lamata said that there is asense of urgency to launch the “I VOTE for LIFE”in order to guide the electorates in making anenlightened choice this coming election.In Cebu, Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal saidthe Vote God campaign will further help out in sus
-
Davao will have Vote for Life; Cebu, Vote God
taining political awareness among the electorate.“Vote God initiative complements what we havebeen undertaking on a sustained basis throughour Cebu Citizens Involvement and Maturationin People Empowerment and Liberation (C-CIMPEL),” he said.Vidal has also thanked and blessed the CiDE fortheir initiative to continually educate the peoplefor the coming elections.The prelate has earlier reminded the public toexercise their voting responsibilities efciently.In a report, Vidal said candidates unconsciouslyinvoke God in their decisions whether to run ornot to run.“If we are going to consider all the declarationswe have heard so far from candidates about God’swill for them, we get the impression that God is asconfused as our electorate on whom to side withthis coming elections,” he said.But Vidal cited “God is not God if He confusesus for He is the God who gave us our reason sothat we may think with clarity. He is the Godwho gave us our conscience so that we may actrighteously.”The campaign challenges every FilipinoChristian to use their conscience in casting theirvotes while urging candidates not to practicevote buying.It also aims to raise awareness among thosewho need discernment in choosing the country’s
next leaders for the 2010 May elections.This is also in response to the clarion call of
Pope Benedict XVI to evangelize politics.
(MarkS. Ventura w/ Kate Laceda)
Women’s groups dismayed on demeaning ad
In an open letter addressed to gov
-
ernment authorities and private institu
-
tions, the signatories led by Rotea pro
-
tested the “deplorable use of a woman’s
body in advertisements that in effect
reduce it to a mere commodity.”
She said the advertisement not
only tries to sell the product but“subliminally promotes a mentalitythat actually insults the consumer’sintelligence.”In a separate interview with CB
-
CPNews, Rotea cited Article IVof the Advertising Code of Ethics,particularly a provision in its Section1 entitled Presentation which states“Advertisements should not causeserious or widespread offense againstgenerally accepted moral, social orcultural standards or offend public
sensitivities.”
The provision further
stated “Advertisements
should not depict or exploit
persons as sex objects.”
The letter was also signed
by representatives from theAssociation of Major Reli-
gious Superiors in the Phil
-
ippines, National Councilof Churches in the Philip
-
pines, Religious of the GoodShepherd, Batis-AWARE,Institute of Women Studies,SPA-St. Scholastica, Citizens DisasterResponse Center and Gabriela among
others.
(Melo M. Acuña)
Bishop Nereo Odchimar 
Condom / A6Anti-mining / A6
A mother distributes anti-condom yers during a protest rally by a group of parents in front of the Department of Health’s (DOH) main ofce in Manila, March12. The demonstrators also slammed the agency’s promotion of condoms and pills to stop spread of AIDS and unwanted pregnancies.
   ©   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
 
A2
 Vol. 14 No. 6
March 15 - 28, 2010 
CBCP Monitor
   ©   b   l  o  g  s .  r  e  u   t  e  r  s .  c  o  m
 World News
 Vatican: Pope was ‘completely 
extraneous’ to Munich sex
abuse decision
Pontiff cleared of reassigning pedophile priest
VATICAN CITY, March 12, 2010—Benedict XVI was presentedwith a volume that compiles, for the rst time in Italian, the cor
-
respondence of Blessed Aloysius Stepinac, a Croatian cardinalmartyred in 1960.The Pope received this Italian-language volume, “Lettere dalmartirio quotidiano” (Letters of Daily Martyrdom), Wednesdayduring the general audience.The Pontiff called the initiative “extraordinary” as he receivedthe book containing 180 letters written during the period of thecardinal’s imprisonment by the Communist authorities in formerYugoslavia.The volume was presented to the Holy Father in Paul VI Hallby Monsignor Alberti Di Chio of the Archdiocese of Bologna andLuciana Mirri, an expert in Eastern theology and spirituality, whowere in charge of the edition, together with Luciano Lincetto,director of the Catholic Promotion Publishing Association.“The Holy Father was very happy because of the extraordi
-
nary contribution that these letters make to the Year for Priests,”Lincetto explained to ZENIT.He also said that “the volume has been sent to all the bishops ofItaly” and that they hope to “send it, with the help of Providence,to a great number of priests.”During the meeting, Lincetto informed Benedict XVI of the launch
-
ing of a new Italian Catholic newspaper, “La Via” (The Way).Giving a blessing to the project, the Pontiff said with a big
smile: “We need it.”
(Zenit)
VATICAN CITY, March 13, 2010—Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See's Press Ofce,released a statement on Saturday morning in which he made three "observations" regarding sexualabuse by people and in institutions of the Catholic Church. He also addressed dismissed as unfoundedattempts to link the Pope to a decision to transfer a priest found to have committed sexual abuse whenBenedict XVI was Archbishop of Munich.The rst of the three "observations" made by Fr. Lombardi was to point out that the "line taken" bythe German Bishops' Conference has been conrmed as the correct path to confront the problem in its
different aspects.
Fr. Lombardi included some elements of the statement made by Archbishop Robert Zollitsch at aFriday press conference following his audience with the Pope. The Vatican spokesman highlightedthe approach established by the German bishops to respond to the possible abuses: "recognizing thetruth and helping the victims, reinforcing the preventions and collaborating constructively with theauthorities—including those of the state judiciaries—for the common good of society."Fr. Lombardi drew attention to Archbishop Zollitsch's afrmation, without any doubts, of the expertopinion that the vow of celibacy of the priest has no relationship to cases of pedophilia.He also reafrmed that the Holy Father supports the German bishops in their plan and that thisapproach could be considered "useful and inspiring" to other episcopal conferences in similar situa
-tions.
Secondly, Fr. Lombardi referred to the interview given to Avvenire by the "promoter of justice" fromthe Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Monsignor Charles Scicluna, who explained in detailthe norms of the Church for investigating cases of sexual abuse of minors.The Vatican spokesman highlighted the most important element of the interview: that the Church hasin no way promoted hiding the crimes, but has put an "intense activity" in motion to confront, judgeand punish them in an appropriate manner "within the framework of ecclesiastical ordinance."He also wrote that it is important to note that special attention was given to these themes whenCardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict, was the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine
of the Faith.
"His line has always been that of rigor and coherence in confronting even the most difcult situa
-
tions," added Fr. Lombardi.The nal observation Fr. Lombardi made was that a recent communique from the Archdiocese of Mu
-
nich answers questions about a priest who was found guilty of abuses after being transferred from Essento Munich, where Cardinal Ratzinger was archbishop at the time. The communique, he stressed, showsthat the archbishop was completely "extraneous" to the decisions made after the abuses were veried."It's rather evident that in recent days there are those who have sought—with a certain tenacity, inRegensburg and in Munich—elements for personally involving the Holy Father in the questions of theabuses. For every objective observer, it's clear that these efforts have failed," he stated.The Vatican spokesman concluded by reafrming that "despite the tempest," the Church sees thecourse to follow "under the sure and rigorous guide of the Holy Father."Fr. Lombardi concluded by expressing his hope that the process might help all of society to "takecharge" of improving ways to protect and form children and youth.
(CNA)
VATICAN CITY, March 14, 2010—It was not the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Archbishop of Munich and Freising, Germany,who gave a new pastoral assignment to a pedophile priest at thebeginning of the 1980s.A communiqué issued Friday evening by the Vatican press ofceclaried claims by a German newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung,which implicated Benedict XVI in the reassignment of a pedophilepriest, while the former was archbishop of Munich.The article wrote "about a priest of the Diocese of Essen with ahistory of sexual abuse, who transferred into the Diocese of Munichin Bavaria and who, after a period of treatment, was given a pastoralassignment during the time when Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger wasarchbishop."The Vatican note referred to a press release published by the Arch
-
diocese of Munich and Freising that "explains the facts, for which thediocesan vicar general of the time, Father Gerhard Gruber, assumes'full responsibility.'"The Archdiocese of Munich explained that the current vicargeneral, Monsignor Peter Beer, put together a team to study theprocedures adopted in the past in confronting the accusations ofsexual abuse attributed to clergy during the 1980s.This team made it known that a priest—whose identity was notrevealed but who is simply referred to as "H"—at the request of theDiocese of Essen, was received into the Archdiocese of Munich toundergo therapy in January of 1980.Studying the dossier, the archdiocesan team determined that thepriest received psychotherapeutic treatment as a result of his havinghad sexual relations with boys.In 1980, the note continues, the decision was made to permit the
priest to stay in a rectory at the end of his treatment.
"This decision was made by the archdiocese", which was headedby Cardinal Ratzinger at that time. But rather than follow throughwith this decision, the archdiocese explained, "the vicar general atthe time assigned 'H' to pastoral ministry in a parish in Munichwithout any restrictions."This provision, therefore, was not the work of Cardinal Ratzinger,who a short time later, on November 25, 1981, was nominated pre
-
fect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith by Pope JohnPaul II.
Sentenced
The priest was then removed from his ministry in 1985 when thediocese became aware of the accusations of sexual abuse against himand of the fact that he was at the center of a judicial inquest.In June of 1986, in fact, the district court of Ebersberg gave him an18-month suspended prison sentence and ned him for the sexualabuse of minors. He was also ordered to undergo psychotherapeutic
treatment.
From November 1986 to October 1987 the presbyter was chaplainin a nursing home. Afterward he was assigned to a parish in Garch
-
ing on the basis of two elements: the relatively light sentence givenhim by the court and the help offered to him by the psychologistwho was treating him.Since the 1986 sentence, no charges of sexual abuse have beenmade against the priest.On May 6, 2008 he was removed from his position as parish ad
-
ministrator in Garching. In October of that year he was reassignedto pastoral work in tourism and barred from having contact withchildren, young people and altar servers.A dossier prepared at the request of Archbishop Reinhard Marx,head of the Munich Archdiocese since 2008, conrmed that he wasnot to be given parish ministry.The former vicar general, Father Gruber, himself stated in thecommuniqué that "the reassignment of 'H' to pastoral work was agrave mistake."He continued: "I assume full responsibility for this action. I deeplyregret that this decision allowed crimes to be committed that in
-
volved young people and I ask forgiveness from all those who havebeen harmed."
(Zenit)
Pope presented with letters
of imprisoned priest
MADRID, Spain, March 12, 2010—In response to a request by theApostolic Nuncio to Haiti for assis
-
tance in rebuilding and organizingliturgical life in the country, various
bishops in Spain have donated andsent “almost 100 chalices, ciboria,
patens and numerous liturgical
vestments.”
According to a press release, therequest for assistance was madeby Nuncio to Haiti, ArchbishopBernardito Auza through the NGO,“Messengers of the Peace.” Arch
-
bishop Auza met with founder and presidentof the NGO, Fr. Angel Garcia and communi
-
cated his request to the dioceses of Spain.
Liturgical vestments sent to Haitito revive liturgical life
stricken country. The priest notedthat several religious goods stores
responded immediately, send-
ing their donations directly to thechurches in Haiti.
Fr. Garcia added that a box of
rosaries from Rome was mailedto Archbishop Auza. They will bedistributed to seminarians in Port-au-Prince.
The statement then noted that thedonations from the Spanish bishops
“will be personally delivered toArchbishop Auza by Fr. Julio MillanMedina, president of “Messengers of thePeace” in the Spanish region of Andalusia,during his trip to Haiti on March 13.
(CNA)
   ©  w  w  w .  n  y  s  e  n  a   t  e .  g  o  v
Prelate speaks of abuse scandal at UN
GENEVA, Switzerland, March 12, 2010—The Holy See's permanentobserver at the Geneva ofces of the United Nations said the Churchis trying to "denitively resolve" the problem of sexual abuse ofminors by priests and other Church leaders."There are no excuses" for this behavior, Archbishop Silvano Tomasisaid Wednesday in an address to the 13th session of the Human RightsCouncil on the rights of children.Echoing Benedict XVI, the prelate said the sexual abuse of minorsis an "odious crime."
Vatican Radio reported that Archbishop Tomasi pointed to the
Pope's "very clear condemnation of sexual violence against chil
-
dren and youth," to which the Holy Father has added "the religiousdimension, reminding that abuse is also a grave sin, which offendsGod and human dignity."The Holy See representative noted how abuse violates the physi
-
cal and psychological integrity of minors, "with destructive conse
-
quences.""Protection from sexual aggression is high on the list of prioritiesfor all ecclesiastical institutions, which struggle to put an end to thisgrave problem," he afrmed.The archbishop said the "Catholic community continues its effortsto resolve this problem denitively.""Those guilty of these crimes are immediately suspended from theexercise of their functions and treated according to the civil norma
-
tive and canon law," he explained.
The prelate also proposed that the prevention of these crimes is the
truest priority, and prevention requires "education and promotionof the culture of respect for the human rights and dignity of everychild, especially through the use of effective methods in contractingschool personnel."
(Zenit)
LAHORE, Pakistan,March 15, 2010—Catholic churches inLahore are praying for
peace after Friday’s
deadly bombingswhich saw 60 killedand 100 injured.
Seven small explo-
sions hit the Punjab
provincial capital on
March 12, hours aftertwin suicide attacks killed bystanders and eight soldiers at amajor bus stand.The incident has been regarded as the biggest militant attackin the country this year.The buildings damaged in the attacks included ve housesrented by nine Catholics families. The ceilings collapsed injuring35 people and destroying furniture.The affected Catholics are presently living under tents nearthe blast site. During a Mass held for the victims on March 14,catechist Lazar Yousaf told about 50 people, including victimsand their relatives: “The Lord has saved you and blessed youwith a new life. You can take comfort in his blessing.”Father Abid Habib, regional coordinator of the Justice andPeace Commission of the Catholic major Religious superiorscondemned the blasts. “This is sickening, the innocent continueto be victims of terrorists and the government seems unwilling
Catholics pray for peace after Lahore bombings
CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh,March 15, 2010—Spurred on
by concerns over the effect of
climate change on Bangladesh,school teachers in Chittagongdiocese have vowed to help
protect the local environmentand save “Mother Earth.”“God has a plan for the planet,
which are the laws of nature. Weare breaking these natural lawsfor our own comfort and are thus facing challenges,” said Holy CrossAuxiliary Bishop Lawrence Subroto Howlader of Chittagong.The prelate was the keynote speaker at a Lenten seminar at
-
tended by 90 Catholic school teachers from 10 Church-run and
other schools in the port city.
The daylong “Saving Mother Earth” program was organizedby the Diocesan Education Commission in St. Joseph’s Oratoryat St. Placid’s High School on March 13.“Lent is a time of prayer. We should focus our prayers for the
Teachers in Lenten vow to ‘Save Mother Earth’ 
Fr. Garcia also urged listeners of his ra
-
dio program on COPE Radio Network todonate liturgical items to the earthquake-
Bishop Lawrence Subroto Howlader 
   ©  w  w  w .  u  c  a  n  e  w  s .  c  o  m
Lahore / A7Earth / A7
 
A3
 Vol. 14 No. 6
March 15 - 28, 2010 
CBCP Monitor
News Features
Solid priestly identity essential assecularism grows, Pope tells priests
VATICAN CITY, March 12, 2010—Pope Benedict met with priestsand bishops participating in an international theological conventionon Friday and spoke with them on the importance of understandingwhat it means to be a priest. This awareness of their identity is allthe more important as secularism advances and some try to reducethe priesthood to being almost a ‘social worker.’Speaking of priestly identity in the modern “policentric” context,which often fades our idea of identity, “it is importantclearly to bear in mind the theological specicity ofordained ministry, in order not to surrender to thetemptation of reducing it to predominant culturalmodels,” the Pope began.In the presence of “widespread secularization whichprogressively tends to exclude God from the public
sphere and from the shared social conscience, the priest
often appears ‘removed’ from common sense,” PopeBenedict said, adding that it’s often a result of “themost fundamental aspects of his ministry.”
For this reason, he explained, “it is important to
avoid a dangerous reductionism which, over recent
decades... has presented the priest almost as a ‘social
worker,’ with the risk of betraying the very Priest
-hood of Christ.”
Reacting to this dangerous reduction of priestlyidentity, the Pope proposed understanding the priest
-
hood by looking at it as the Church sees the texts ofthe Second Vatican Council, using a “hermeneutic ofcontinuity.”In the same way, the Pope explained, “there appearsto be a need for a hermeneutic that we could describe as‘of priestly continuity,’ one which, starting from Jesusof Nazareth, Lord and Christ, and passing throughand who present the world to God; men not subject to ephemeralcultural fashions, but capable of authentically living the freedomthat only the certainty of belonging to God can give.”
“Today,” said the Holy Father, “the most necessary prophecy is
that of faithfulness” which “leads us to live our priesthood in com
-
plete adherence to Christ and the Church.”Priests, said the Pope, cannot forget about this fundamental as
-
sociation with God which “is the right framework inwhich to understand and reafrm, also in our owntime, the value of celibacy which in the Latin Church is
a charism imposed by Holy Orders” and “an expression
of the gift of the self to God and to others.”
“The vocation of priests is an exalted one, and remains
a great mystery even for those of us who have receivedit as a gift.”He continued saying that the “limitations and weak
-
nesses” of priests “must cause us to live and safeguardthis precious gift with great faith, a gift with whichChrist congured us to Himself, making us participants
in His mission of salvation.”
“Dear priests,” the Holy Father concluded, “the menand women of our time ask us only to be priests to thefull, nothing else.“The lay faithful will be able to meet their humanneeds in many other people, but only in the priest willthey nd that Word of God which must always be onhis lips, the Mercy of the Father abundantly and gra
-
tuitously distributed in the Sacrament of Penance, andthe bread of new life.”Five hundred priests and 50 bishops attended thetwo-day convention from March 11 - 12 at the PonticalLateran University in Rome.
(CNA/EWTN News)
   ©  w  w  w .   f   i  c   k  r .  c  o  m   /  p   h  o   t  o  s   /   j   k  u  r   i   t   t  u
the two thousand years of history, the greatness, sanctity, cultureand piety which the Priesthood has given the world, reaches ourown day.”In the times in which we live, he continued, “it is particularly im
-
portant that the call to participate in the one Priesthood of Christ inordained ministry should ower from the ‘charism of prophecy.’”“There is great need for priests who speak of God to the world
Priests must promote confession, show people God’s mercy, pope says
VATICAN CITY, March 11, 2010—Priests todayare challenged with the task of drawing the faith
-
ful back to confession and assuring them thatPriests are called on to educate their ocks inthe "radical requirements of the Gospel" and helpthem resist "the mentality of this world" and makechoices that take courage and are sometimes un
-
popular, the pope told the group.The times are difcult, he said, and marked by"a hedonistic and relativistic mentality that cancelsGod from peoples' lives." This mentality makes itdifcult to "distinguish good from evil and developa proper sense of sin."Priests must be particularly good examples intheir lives so that Catholics will understand theirown sins and nd the courage and desire to seekGod's forgiveness, he said.During the course, Archbishop Gianfranco Gi
-
rotti, regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary, spoke tothe priests about the challenges and the complexsituations that confessors are required to handle.He reminded them that the church seeks to help"even in situations that are humanly so difcultthat they seem to have no solution."Among these situations is the plight of divorcedCatholics who, if they remarry, are no longer al
-
lowed to take Communion. Archbishop Girotti
said that in those cases, if the person cannot sepa-
rate from the new spouse for various reasons, theconfessor could suggest that refraining from sexand transforming the relationship into one offriendship might open the way to the possibilityof partaking once again in Communion.He also said confessors must be careful withthe psychological states of penitents; if they ndthemselves with someone with serious problemsthey should not "try to be a psychologist," butrather seek expert help.Archbishop Girotti warned that in the case ofrepeat offenders, who don't show even a mini
-
mal intention to change, absolution must not begranted. However, the priest must be very patientbecause a conversion is always possible, he said.Showing that there is a better way to live is al
-
ways the job of a priest, especially as an antidoteto increasing hedonism and selshness in contem
-
porary society, said Archbishop Fortunato Baldelli,who heads the tribunal as major penitentiary. "It'sthe duty of the confessor to open the consciencesof people and make them understand the needsof others, showing them that doing so won't takeanything away from them, but will make themricher."
(CNS)
their true repentance will be met with mercy andcompassion, Pope Benedict XVI said.In an address to several hundred youngpriests, Pope Benedictsaid March 11 that "wemust return to the con
-
fessional" not only as
a place to confess sins
and receive absolu
-
tion, but also as a placewhere "the faithful cannd mercy, counsel and
comfort, feel loved and
understood by God."
The pope addressed
some 700 priests at theconclusion of a March8-12 course designed todevelop their skills asconfessors; the coursewas offered by the Ap
-
ostolic Penitentiary, aVatican court that han
-
dles issues related to the
sacrament of penance.
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MANILA, March 4, 2010—Environ
-
mental groups on Thursday said theTampakan mining venture in South
Cotabato create environmental devas-
tation and will further induce conict
in the area.
The national anti-mining allianceAlyansa Tigil Mina said the TampakanCopper-Gold project (TCGP) dubbedby the Regional Development Council(RDC) and the Regional Mineral De
-
velopment Council (RMDC) as theiragship project is a “bad business thatwill put lives of the people in SouthCotabato in danger due to the environ
-mental threats.”ATM national coordinator Jaybee
Garganera said the TCGP lies withinthe watershed areas, wherein an esti
-
mated 20,000 hectares of sustainablefarmlands would be threatened by theenvironmental impacts of mining thatwill jeopardize South Cotobato’s localeconomy and food security.
The project also encroaches the an-
cestral homes of the B’laan indigenouscommunity, he claimed.
“The presence of
the Xstrata-Saguittar
-
ius Mines, Inc (SMI)in South Cotabato has
its environmental andsocio-political implica-
tions what put the livesof people in South Co
-
tabato in grave danger,”said Garganera.“The people of SouthCotabato will continu
-
ously live in fear, espe
-
cially with the presenceof the 27th Infantry Bat
-
talion who are strength
-
ening the barangay de
-
fense system (BDS) inthe area. The BDS is
the local translation ofthe investment defense
Groups slam Tampakancopper-gold mining project
forces created to protect the Xtrata–SMIinvestment,” added Garganera."We are not surprised by the deci
-
sion of the RDC and RMDC to highlyfavor the TCGP. For many years theyhave closed their eyes to the bitter truththat Xtrata-SMI’s mining venture hasbrought endless conicts in the area.In fact, the people are now living infear knowing that they will soon be
relocated,” said Jean Marie Feraris,
team leader Legal Rights and NaturalResources Center (LRC) – Davao.“We would really like to challengethe RDC and RMDC to go to the af
-
fected communities and listen to thesentiments of the indigenous peoples.Their decision to back the TCGP asthe region's flagship project wouldnot result to mutual benefits. It willonly lead to cultural ethnocide," she
also said.
For his part, HARIBON executivedirector Blas Tabaranza said it is ironicthat the government recognizes extrac
-
tive activities such as mining as a ag
-ship project.
“Mining severely endangers lives,livelihoods and the environment, whichis our national and natural security. Itis unfortunate that the local develop
-
ment council lacks the clear vision fora perpetual means of livelihood thatwill ensure the balance between devel
-
opmental needs and the environment,"
said Tabaranza.
Meanwhile, a multi–sectoral coali
-
tion of various groups working forclimate justice and is campaigningfor the pull out of Xtrata–SMI in theregion—SOCSKSARGENCAN (Cli
-
mate Action Now) spokesperson Sr.Susan O. Bolanio, OND expressed her
sentiments on the possible rationale of
RDC and RMDC’s endorsement on the
mine project.
“Is this RDC recognition and en
-
dorsement of SMI as the agship of theregion’s development not self-servingconsidering that Governor Dominguezwho is its chairperson is at the same timeconnected with the Dominguez familyinvolved with the business interest ofSMI? Did he not have the professional
decency to abstain fromthe deliberation on this
matter,” said Bolanio.Bolanio added, “thatthe real stakeholdersare the broader commu
-
nity—indigenous peo
-
ples, other barangays,the neighboring towns,etc.—whose natural en
-
vironment and well be
-
ing of future generationare put to risk becauseof the mining presence
of this company and
not just the selected fewcommunity who directlybenefited from Sagit
-
tarius in terms of jobs
and other short-lived
benets”.
(CBCPNews)
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Balatoc Mines, Benguet
ANTIPOLO CITY, March 5, 2010—TheEcumenical Institute for Labor Educa
-
tion and Research (EILER), Inc., with thesupport from the European Union, haslaunched an info-video teaching the Fili
-
pino workers how to vote this comingMay 10 elections using the automated
electoral system (AES).
Called the “Five Easy Steps sa Pag
-
boto sa AES,” the four minute and 37-second video provides the 34 millionworkers adequate information on howto cast their vote using the AES.In a statement, EILER ExecutiveDirector Joselito Natividad said thatthe info-video is a part of the programunder the Workers’ Electoral Watch(WE-Watch) project with the fundingfrom the EU.
The said alliance is composed of more
than 50 workers’ unions and federa
-
tions representing key industries in thecountry such as telecommunications,banking, pharmaceutical, manufactur
-
ing, and electronics.“The primary goal of the alliance is tosafeguard the 34 million workers’ vote,”
Natividad said in a statement.
Ecumenical labor group releasesinfo-video for automated polls
Also included in the roster of conve
-
ners of WE-Watch were church-basedlabor institutions and other organiza
-
tions that advance the workers’ rightsand welfare.
The video is available on the WE-Watch
website, http://www.we-watch.net.Meanwhile, WE-Watch and EILERhave also set-up a 24-hour text hotline
that voters can report incidence of
fraudulence and other irregularities inthe conduct of the polls: for SMARTsubscribers - 0929-3361581; for GLOBE– 0915-6701434; and for Sun Cellular –0923-5320142.
AES does not guarantee fraud-freeelections
On the other hand, Natividad ex-
presses doubt about the credibilityof elections even though it is alreadyautomated.“We in the Philippine labor sectorare not against the automation ofthis important tool of governance,nor are we traditionalists rejectingtechnological advancement in the
   ©  s  o  u  r  p  o   l   i   t   i  c  s .  w  o  r   d  p  r  e  s  s .  c  o  m
Automated / A6

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