Vol. 14 No. 13
June 21 - July 4, 2010
© w w w . c a t h o l i c n e w s . c o m
VATICAN CITY, June 16, 2010—Yester
day evening, Pope Benedict XVI inau
gurated the diocesan congress of Rome
in the Basilica of St. John Lateran. The
congress, which is being held June 15
to17, has as its theme this year, “‘Their
eyes were opened, they recognized Him
and announced Him:’ The Sunday Eu-charist and the witness of charity.”“The faith,” said the Pope, “cannever be taken for granted, becauseeach generation needs to receive this giftthrough announcement of the Gospel
and knowledge of the truth that Christrevealed to us. Thus the Church con
-stantly strives to present the heritage ofthe faith to everyone. This also includesthe doctrine on the Eucharist.”Unfortunately, he continued, thisdoctrine “is insufficiently understood
in its profound signicance and in the
relevance it has for believers’ lives. It isimportant, therefore, for people to have amore profound knowledge of the mysteryof the Body and Blood of the Lord.”Speaking about the Mass, the Pontiffexplained that “when it is celebratedwith respect for liturgical norms, andwith adequate attention for the impor-tance of signs and gestures, it favorsand promotes the growth of Eucharisticfaith.” He encouraged the faithful “torediscover the fruitfulness of Eucha-ristic adoration, ... and to ensure thatour apostolic activity is not reduced tosterile activism; rather, that it be a testa-ment to the love of God.”
“Drawing nourishment from Him, we
free ourselves from the bonds of indi-vidualism. And through our communionwith Him, we ourselves become, all to-gether, a single unit, His mystical Body,”said the Pope. “Thus we overcome thedifferences due to profession, social classor nationality because we discover thatwe are all members of one large family,that of the children of God in which each
individual is blessed with a specic grace
for the common good.”
“When we receive Christ,” the Holy
Father explained, “the love of Godexpands inside us, radically modify-ing our hearts and making us capableof gestures which, by the contagiouspower of goodness, can transform thelives of people around us.”“For the disciples of Jesus,” he con-tinued, “witness of charity is not somepassing sentiment; quite the contrary, itshapes their lives in all circumstances.”The Pope invited those in attendance toshow “commitment in the delicate andvital area of education in charity, as apermanent dimension of individual andcommunity life.”
“Our city of Rome,” he added, “callsChrist’s disciples to a renewed announce
-ment of the Gospel and to a clearer wit-ness of charity.” He also expressed hisgratitude “to the people who work invarious charitable structures, for thededication and generosity with which
they serve the poor and marginalized.”
The Eucharist “requires us to become,and at the same time makes us capableof becoming, the bread broken for ourbrothers and sisters, meeting their needsand giving of ourselves. For this reason,a Eucharist celebration that does notlead us towards men and women wherethey live, work and suffer, to bring themthe love of God, fails to express the truthit contains.”“In the present economic and socialcrisis, let us show solidarity with thosewho live in poverty, offering everyonethe hope of a better tomorrow worthy ofmankind,” the Pope concluded.Finally, he encouraged young peoplenot to be afraid “to chose love as the su-
preme rule of life,.. to love Christ in thepriesthood, ... to create Christian families
that live a faithful and indissoluble love,open to life.”
MANILA, June 11, 2010—TheFilipino Human rights workerswho attended the 14th Session of
the UN Human Rights Council
have been invited to speak at the
World Council of Churches, also
The World Council of Church
es (WCC) through its Commis
sion of the Churches on Interna
tional Affairs (CCIA-WCC) hasasked the Ecumenical Voice forPeace and Human Rights in thePhilippines (EVPHRP) to speak
on the country’s human rightssituation.
WCC is one of the interna
tional organizations that issued
a statement calling for the releaseof the 43 health workers ar-rested on February 6 in Morong,
Rizal.The EVPHRP group has gone
to Geneva to attend the session
of the UN’s Human RightsCouncil and to formally le their
complaint against the Philippine
Council of Churches afrms solidarity with RP human rights workers
VATICAN CITY, June 11, 2010—Pope Benedict XVI said the Year for
Priests might have been ruined by theclerical sex abuse scandal, but instead
became a “summons to purication”
in the church.
Concelebrating Mass June 11 withsome 15,000 priests, the pope said that
“the enemy,” Satan, wants to driveGod out of the world and opposesthose who work to ensure that God isat the side of every man and woman,especially in times of trouble.“And so it happened that, in thisvery year of joy for the sacramentof the priesthood, the sins of priestscame to light -- particularly the abuseof the little ones, in which the priest-hood, whose task is to manifest God’sconcern for our good, turns into itsvery opposite,” the pope said in hishomily at the Mass concluding theYear for Priests.
The priests, 80 cardinals and 350
bishops and archbishops, who weresitting under the hot sun in St. Peter’sSquare, signaled their agreement withthe pope’s statement by applauding.
The Vatican said that with so many
priests vested for Mass and recit-ing together the key words of theeucharistic prayer with their handsextended toward the altar, the liturgymarked the largest concelebration
ever held at the Vatican.
Addressing the abuse scandal inhis homily, Pope Benedict said the
Catholic Church begs forgiveness
from God and “from the personsinvolved, while promising to do ev-erything possible to ensure that suchabuse will never occur again.”In admitting men to the seminaryand priesthood, he said, “we will doeverything we can to weigh the authen-ticity of their vocation and make everyeffort to accompany priests along their journey, so that the Lord will protectthem and watch over them in troubledsituations and amid life’s dangers.”The priests and bishops, who turnedSt. Peter’s Square into a sea of whitealbs and stoles, were well aware of thescandal and of the shadow of doubt it
cast over the Catholic priesthood.
But, the pope said, the scandal shouldmake priests grow “in gratitude forGod’s gift, a gift concealed in ‘earthenvessels’ which, ever anew, even amidhuman weakness, makes his love con-cretely present in this world.”“Let us look upon all that happened
as a summons to purication,” the pope
said. He then led the priests in the sol-emn renewal of their priestly promises
to be faithful ministers of Christ, work
-ing not for their own interests, but forthe good of all men and women.
Father Paul Daly, pastor of St. Joseph
Parish in Heywood, England, said, “Ithink the pope was spot on” in sayingthe Year for Priests was about thanks-giving and renewal, not shouting theglories of the priesthood.“It wasn’t a triumphalistic celebration,
but was calm and reective,” he said.
As for the pope using the Mass to
apologize for abuse, Father Daly said,
“He says and continues to say from theheart that he is shocked and sorry. Thepope would have been pilloried if hehadn’t said anything, but he also needed
to apologize for the past and renew the
church’s commitment to making thechurch safe for children.”In his homily, the pope said, “Godwants us, as priests in one tiny mo-ment of history, to share his concernabout people.”
Called to be shepherds, imitatingChrist the Good Shepherd, he said,
“we are not fumbling in the dark.God has shown us the way and howto walk aright.”When priests, like anyone else,walk through “the dark valleys oftemptation, discouragement andtrial,” they must remember that Godis there, he said.“God personally looks after me,after us, after all mankind. I am notabandoned, adrift in the universe andin a society that leaves me ever morelost and bewildered,” he said.
Continuing the work of the Good
Shepherd, the pope said, “the church,too, must use the shepherd’s rod, therod with which he protects the faithagainst those who falsify it, against cur-
rents which lead the ock astray.”
The “rod and the staff” help thechurch exercise its love for peopleand for their true good, he said.“Today we can see that it has nothingto do with love when conduct unwor-thy of the priestly life is tolerated,” hesaid. “Nor does it have to do with loveif heresy is allowed to spread and thefaith (is) twisted and chipped away, asif it were something that we ourselveshad invented,” the Pope said.The Year for Priests coincided with
the 150th anniversary of the deathof St. John Vianney, the patron saintof parish priests. During the liturgy,
Pope Benedict used a chalice that be-longed to the saint and was brought
to Rome from his former parish in
Pope apologizes for abuse, says priestscalled to bring God to the world
MANILA, June 10, 2010—Environmen-talists have demanded transparency
from the Department of Environmentand Natural Resources (DENR) even as
they accused the government agency ofentering into a “midnight deal” with amining company.
Green groups have charged DENR
of fast tracking a mining contract in
Palawan in favor of MBMI Resources,
a mining company that has a stake on awide area of forested lands in the prov-ince that is rich in biodiversity.They claimed the alleged contract iscontained in a Financial and TechnicalAssistance Agreement (FTAA) whichcombines other contracts separatelyawarded to Narra Nickel Mining and
Development Inc. (NNMDC), TesoroMining and Development Inc. (TMDI),
and McArthur Mining, Inc. (MMI).The smaller mining contracts coverfour mining projects located in the mu-
nicipalities of Rizal, Bataraza and Narra,
all in Palawan.
Fr. Edu Gariguez, Executive Director
of the National Secretariat of Social Ac-
tion of the Catholic Bishops Conferenceof the Philippines (CBCP-NASSA), has
expressed alarm on the alleged award-ing of contract.“The granting of this latest FTAAin Palawan, if true, goes against the
Catholic social teaching of stewardship
of the Earth and preferential treatmentof the poor,” he said, adding that “giventhe fragile ecology of Palawan and theopposition of local communities, espe-cially IPs, the mining contract should berescinded as soon as possible.”
The inuential Catholic Church in the
Philippines has consistently been vocalin its opposition against large-scale min-ing because of its destructive impact onecology and livelihood of the people.For his part, Jaybee Garganera, Na-
tional Coordinator of Alyansa Tigil
Mina, an alliance of mining-affectedcommunities and support groups, dared
DENR to be transparent and urged it to
release documents for perusal.“It is unacceptable that affected com-munities and the rest of the Filipinopeople learn about this midnight min-ing contract from international sourcesand the mining company, and yet the
DENR itself is mum about it,” Gargan
-era said.The groups believed that the FTAAapproval will allow MBMI and its Phil-ippine partners to expand in its explora-tion activities in the province.At least more than 3,200 hectaresforested lands rich in biodiversity alongMt. Bulanjao range in southern Palawanwill be impacted by mining if pushedthrough, not to mention the six majorrivers that provide water supply to thepopulation.“It is the highest form of irony andhypocrisy that a destructive midnightmining deal was fast-tracked in Pala-wan, a province that is considered asa global biodiversity hotspot, and hostto one of the wonders of the modern
world – the St. Paul Subterranean River
System,” Garganera lamented.
Artiso Mandawa, spokesperson for
ALDAW/NATRIPAL (Ancestral Landand Domain Watch-Nagkakaisang
Tribo ng Palawan), also decried the
DENR’s alleged sneaky decision.
He lamented that mining has so far
brought conict among the people as it
destroys not only the environment butalso the cultural values of the people.“Mining is the worst activity of manbecause it destroys our mother earth; itdestroys our livelihood and our Life,”Mandawa said.
Eco groupshit Palawanmining‘midnight deal’
government and military on theillegal arrest and detention ofMorong 43.
Dr. Mathews George Chu
nakara, director of CCIA-WCCwelcomed the delegation of RP
human rights workers led by Fr.
Rex Reyes, general secretary ofthe National Council of Church
es in the Philippines (NCCP) andMarie Hilao-Enriquez, chairper
-son of human rights watchdog
KARAPATAN.Thanking WCC for its unwav
-ering support to the churches in
the Philippines, Reyes said it is
essential to speak up in defenseof human rights especially incountries “where it seems not
to exist” emphasizing the im
portance to “afrm the church’s
self-understanding as being forand with people.”“We do our best to preservehuman dignity in that part ofthe world, conscious of the factthat we are your representativesthere. It is an ecumenical task”,
Reyes told WCC.
The group presented to thecouncil the situation of thedetained health workers alsoknown as Morong 43, highlight-ing their illegal arrest by themilitary, torture and continuingdetention.
Atty. Edre Olalia, acting Sec
-retary General of the Nation-al Union of Peoples’ Lawyers(NUPL) and a legal counsel ofthe Morong 43 discussed thevarious human rights violationsthe health workers have experi-enced which he said affordedsolid grounds “for citing the ar-rest and detention as illegal.”
Jigs Clamor, a member of the
delegation, and husband of oneof the detained health workersrecounted the sufferings hisfamily has undergone and stillgoing through while his wife isunder detention.He described how the militarythreatened his wife of reprisalsto her family unless she admitsher group’s association withNew People’s Army.“This is the same story withthe families of the other detain-
ees,” Clamor said.
The health workers who have
been illegally detained at CampCapinpin since their arrest on
February 6 have since been
transferred to Camp BagongDiwa, in Manila. Five of the
detainees have turned state wit-ness amid alleged torture andharassment from military.
The Catholic Bishops’ Confer
-ence of the Philippines, for itspart, has also issued a statementexpressing grave concern on thecontinued detention of healthworkers while calling the illegalarrest as a “seeming lack of re-gard of the Armed Forces of thePhilippines (AFP) for humanrights and the rule of law.”
Citing the importance of in
ternational pressure, Enriquez
said, “the number of humanrights victims in the Philippinesshoot up each time nobody iswatching.”The delegation also called on
WCC general secretary Dr. Olav
Fykes Tveit who also reiterated
the WCC’s continuing support
and interest on the case of Mo-rong 43.
The 14th Regular Session of theUN Human Rights Council began
May 31 and ended June 18, 2010.
(Pinky Barrientos, FSP)
The panel of speakers in a round table discussion with members of the World Council of Churches. (Contributed photo)
Benedict XVI calls for ‘more pro-found knowledge’ of the Eucharist