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CBCPMonitor Vol14 No 25

CBCPMonitor Vol14 No 25

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Published by cbcpmonitor
- Pass moral judgment on public order, Pope says
- Prelates welcome 18-day Christmas truce
- 2011 is ‘CBCP Year of the Youth’
- Bishop laments over Christmas commercialization
- Catholic schools to PNoy: Dismantle private armies
- Pass moral judgment on public order, Pope says
- Prelates welcome 18-day Christmas truce
- 2011 is ‘CBCP Year of the Youth’
- Bishop laments over Christmas commercialization
- Catholic schools to PNoy: Dismantle private armies

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Published by: cbcpmonitor on Dec 08, 2010
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 Vol. 14 No. 25
December 6 - 31, 2010
Php 20.
The News Supplement forCouples for Christ
‘A Unifed and Positive
Voice Needs to Be
Presented to the Public’
Church, urban poordiscuss prospectsunder Aquino gov’t
THE Catholic Church’s religious men andwomen under the aegis of the Associationof Major Religious Superiors in the Philip-pines and Metro Manila’s urban poor meton December 6 to look into the prospectsfor improvement under the current Aquinoadministration.Dubbed as “Prospects of the Urban Poor
3 Kuwait churches hold‘simbang gabi’ massesfor OFWs
FILIPINOS in Kuwait will have the chance toattend the traditional Simbang Gabi begin-ning December 16 at the Holy Family Cathe-dral, Our Lady of Arabia in Ahmadi and theSt. Therese Parish in Salmiya. This will be the
rst time Simbang Gabi will be held simulta
-neously in three different churches.Fr. Ben Barrameda, the only Filipino priest
Prospects / A6Kuwait / A6
Church needs a
voice in the media,says Pope
www.cbcphealthcare.org www.cbcpmedia.com
By Pinky Barrientos, FSP
The Curc as t proptic duty to pass moral judgmnt in tos mattrs wic rgards publicordr wnvr t fundamntal uman rigts ofa prson or t salvation of souls rquirs it, PopBndict said on Novmbr 29 as  rcivd t
 rst group of Philippine bishops during their ve-
yarly “Ad limina” visit.
   ©   R    y   L  a  g  a  r        /   C   B   C   P   M        i  a
A YEAR after the Maguindanaomassacre that killed 58 people,including 32 journalists, Catholiceducators urged the governmentto dismantle private armies whichcontinue to perpetuate the cultureof impunity in the country.In a statement released today, theCatholic Educational Association ofthe Philippines (CEAP) said solvingthe problem would prevent a repeatof the Nov.23 “gruesome” incidentwhich is rooted in political rivalriesand private armies.
Bishop lamentsover Christmascommercialization
Pope / A6Armies / A6Commercialization / A6Youth / A6Truce / A6
THE rst Mass of the traditional
Misa de Gallo or Simbang Gabievery December 16 marks thestart of the special nine-day no-vena of Filipinos in preparationfor Christmas Day.
2011 is ‘CBCP Year of the Youth’
Prelates welcome 18-dayChristmas truce
But this year’s rst Simbang
Gabi will be extra special espe-cially for the Filipino youth sinceit will also usher in a year-long
celebration of their signicant
contribution to the life and activ-ity of the Church.This, as the Catholic Bishops’Conference of the Philippines(CBCP) will formally launch onthat day the start of the “CBCPYear of the Youth,” which ismeant to dedicate the incomingyear in generating efforts to raiseawareness about the youth andpromote the youth ministry.Aside from overlapping with
Illusrai by Blaimr Usi
The Holy Father stressed thatin proclaiming the Gospel, theChurch may touch upon “is-sues relevant to the politicalsphere.”“This is not surprising,” thepope said, “since the politicalcommunity and the Church,while rightly distinct, are never-theless both at the service of theintegral development of everyhuman being and of society asa whole.”Quoting a Vatican II document,he said “the Church contributesmost toward the building of a just and charitable social orderwhen, ‘by preaching the truths ofthe Gospel, and bringing to bear
on all elds of human endeavour
the light of her doctrine and ofa Christian witness, she respectsand fosters the political freedomand responsibility of citizens’.”(Gaudium et Spes, 76)The Holy Father noted thatthe truth of the Gospel have led“generations of zealous Filipinoclergymen, religious and laity[to promote] an ever more justsocial order.”Pope Benedict also lauded theefforts of Philippine bishops insafeguarding the sanctity of lifeand preserving the integrity ofmarriage and the family.The pontiff said it is the taskof the Church to speak out onmatters of moral and spiritualmatters that affect the lives ofbelievers.He commended the Catholichierarchy “for seeking to playits part in support of human lifefrom conception until naturaldeath, and in defence of theintegrity of marriage and thefamily.”The Church must act as a leav-en in society, the pontiff said. Butto be such, it must speak out thetruth, he added.This is best conveyed, accord-ing to the pope, “in the publicwitness offered by the Bishops,as the Church’s primary teach-ers, and by all who have a role in
Pass moral judgment onpublic order, Pope says
AS people are in a frenzybuying Christmas decora-tions, a Catholic bishopfrowned on the commer-cialization of the celebra-tion.Novaliches Bishopemeritus Teodoro Bacanitold a church radio stationthat noisy festivities arethe opposite of prayerfulmeditation expected fromChristians in remembering
Catholic schools to PNoy:Dismantle private armies
“We reiterate our earlier demandfor our government to apply thefull force of the law against thoseresponsible for the brutality,” saidCEAP which is headed Msgr. Ge-rardo Santos.“All responsible governmentagencies must exhaust all legalmeans to meet the correspondingpunishment for the perpetrators ofthe heinous crime and to dismantleprivate armies and put an end to theanarchy of clans in the region.”Christ’s birth.“Ang idea nitong atingsociety lumalayo talagakay Kristo under the influ-ence of secularistic ide-ology,” Bacani saidover RadioVeritas.On theotherhand,the re-CATHOLIC bishops welcomed the reported
Christmas holiday ceasere with the Com
-munist Party of the Philippines which thegovernment declared on December 3.Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio
Ledesma, SJ said the ceasere is a welcome
development. In a statement sent to CBCP-News, the 67-year old prelate said he hopesthat “both sides in the renewed (peace) talkscan forge a lasting peace.”Butuan Bishop Juan De Dios Pueblos said
he is supportive of the ceasere “being a man
of peace.” The prelate said the people cantake advantage of the situation to work forpeace beyond the Christmas season.
“We have just nished the Mindanao Week
of Peace where our guest speaker, a Muslim,talked about the Blessed Mother who has al-ways been an icon of peace,” the 67-year oldprelate said. He added both the governmentand the Communist Party of the Philippinesshould work together for peace.The Diocese of Butuan comprises of the
Filipinos join an unprecedented pro-life vigil for the unborn called by Pope Benedict XVI and was met with a massive positive response from around the world and from pro-life leaders on November 27, the eve of Advent. In Manila, where articial
contraception remains a sensitive issue, thousands join the vigil against the passage of the controversial reproductive health bill which seeks to control the country’s growing population.NavarraPueblosTumulak
 Vol. 14 No. 25
December 6 - 31, 2010 
CBCP Monitor
Honduran cardinal sayspapal remarks on condomsoffer teachable moment
 World News
MADRID, Spain, Dec. 3, 2010—TheOrganization of the Islamic Conferencehas sponsored a draft resolution at theUnited Nations that would condemnthe “defamation of religion” and createa global “anti-blasphemy law.”The draft resolution was presentedby Pakistan in the name of the Islamicconference, which holds a majority ofthe seats on the U.N. Human RightsCouncil, according to the Spanish dailyABC.The Muslim organization hopes tosecure passage of the resolution bythe U.N. General Assembly. How-ever, the resolution has been met withwidespread rejection, especially for itscondemnation of the criticism of radicalPERTH, Australia, Nov. 29, 2010—Thepublic debate on church teaching oncondoms triggered by Pope BenedictXVI’s comments in a new book is anideal opportunity for parish prieststo clarify it for the faithful from thepulpit, said the president of CaritasInternationalis.Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiagaof Tegucigalpa, Honduras, told The Re-cord, Catholic newspaper of the Arch-diocese of Perth, that many Catholicsdo not know what the church teachesin this regard.“This could be a good opportunityfor us in the parishes to clarify and toteach,” said the cardinal, who has com-pleted separate doctorates in philoso-phy, theology and moral theology andholds a diploma in clinical psychologyand psychotherapy.The book, “Light of the World: TheWASHINGTON D.C., Dec. 3,2010—An extensive new web-site dedicated to a book onPope Benedict XVI’s papacy waslaunched on Dec. 1 under thesponsorship of the U.S. Confer-ence of Catholic Bishops.The bishops’ conference pub-lished the book “Benedict XVI:
Essays and Reections on His
Papacy” in the fall in conjunction
with Rowan & Littleeld Pub
-lishers’ imprint Sheed & Ward.The new website provides atour of the new book with a photogallery and excerpts from its es-
says and personal reections.
It provides video clips fromcontributors Cardinal SeanO’Malley of Boston, CardinalFrancis George of Chicago andArchbishop Timothy Dolan ofNew York.The book itself is edited by Sr.Mary Ann Walsh, RSM, who directsUSCCB media relations. She char-acterized it as a “Cliff Notes” forunderstanding Pope Benedict.Forewords to the book were writ-ten by King Abdullah II of Jordanand President Shimon Peres of Is-rael. It includes introductory mate-rial from Cardinal George, VaticanSecretary of State Cardinal TarcisioBertone, and John Thavis, who isRome bureau chief for CatholicNews Service.The book includes more than100 full-color photographs show-ing Pope Benedict in formal publicappearances, in meetings withleaders and lay Catholics, and inquiet moments of personal studyor contemplation.Visitors to the new site can alsopurchase the book through variousretailers. The site is located at
http:// www.popebenedictbook.com
U.S. bishops launch new websitefor book about Pope Benedict
Islamic states push for globalanti-blasphemy resolution
Islam by the media.The United States and Europeancountries have warned that a resolu-tion of this kind constitutes an attackon freedom of expression and couldlead to greater persecution of religiousminorities. Experts say “defamation”can only be liable to legal sanction whenit involves persons and not concepts orfeelings.According to the Spanish daily,many Muslim states have a legalsystem based on Sharia (Islamic law)and have established anti-blasphemylaws that in practice only condemninsults against the prophet Muham-mad but not against other religions.
Pope to Youth: Be Intrepid Like the Martyrs
Calling to mind the example of Vietnamese martyrs St. Andrew Dung-Lacand his companions, Benedict XVI on Nov. 24 invited young people to beintrepid in their witness to Christian values. The Pope made this invitationat the end of the general audience when he gave his customary greetings toyouth, the sick and newlyweds. “Today, remembering St. Andrew Dung-Lacand his companions, Vietnamese martyrs, I invite you, dear young people,to be intrepid in witnessing Christian values, always being faithful to theLord,” the Holy Father said.
Pope urges greater unity with Orthodox
Benedict XVI sent a delegation to Istanbul Nov. 30 to mark celebrations ofthe Feast of St. Andrew, the traditional patron of the Orthodox Church. In amessage delivered to Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, the Popeurged greater efforts towards unity and praised the patriarch’s “promo-tion of Christian values” on the world stage. “In a world characterized byincreasing interdependence and solidarity, we are called to proclaim thetruth of the Gospel with renewed conviction, and to present the risen Lordas the response to the most profound spiritual questions and aspirations ofthe men and women of today,” the Pope said.
Holy Father to travel to Benin in 2011
Benedict XVI will travel to Benin from Nov. 18-20, 2011, reports the Vati-
can. Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press ofce,conrmed that the Pope will travel to the West African country to mark the
150th anniversary of the nation, led by the missionaries of the Society ofAfrican Missions. During the trip, the Pope will also deliver the post synodalapostolic exhortation for the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synodof Bishops, which was held in October 2009 on the theme “The Church inAfrica in Service of Reconciliation, Justice and Peace.”
Catholic newspapers have ‘irreplaceable’ role—pope
Pope Benedict XVI said the Catholic press has an irreplaceable role in forming
Christian consciences and reecting the church’s viewpoint on contemporary
issues. Despite the crisis in print media today, the Catholic newspaper still hasa vital role to play in diocesan communications, the pope said. He made theremarks Nov. 26 to members of the Italian Federation of Catholic Weeklies,which represents 188 Catholic newspapers. The pope said that while secular
media often reect a skeptical and relativistic attitude toward truth, the church
knows that people need the full truth brought by Christ.
Massive WikiLeaks disclosure involves Vatican cables
As the uproar increases over WikiLeaks publishing hundreds of thousands
of condential U.S. State Department cables online, the latest reports show
that 852 of the communications involve the Vatican. U.S. leaders are de-crying WikiLeaks founder, Australian Julian Assange, for incrementally
publishing over 250,000 cables on his non-prot website. The cables are
suspected of being leaked to Assange by 23 year-old U.S. army intelligenceanalyst Bradley Manning, among others. Manning is currently being heldat a military base in Virginia. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton blasted themove Nov. 29 as “not just an attack on America’s foreign policy interests”but an “attack on the international community.”
Pope intensies prayer for China, as state church prepares to
choose leaders
On the rst day of December, Pope Benedict XVI asked Catholics around the
world to pray for the Church in China, as the country’s state-run CatholicPatriotic Association prepares to choose new leaders. “I commend to yourprayers and to those of Catholics throughout the world the Church in China,”he said, mentioning that the country’s Catholics were “going through a
particularly difcult time.” The Catholic Patriotic Association will meet Dec.7-9 to select its new top ofcial, as will the so-called “Bishops’ Conference
of the Catholic Church in China.”
Cardinal says Christians face discrimination in many forms
The international community must begin ghting discrimination against
Christians with the same determination it shows in opposing intolerance anddiscrimination against members of other religious groups, said the Vaticansecretary of state. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone told the Organization for Se-curity and Cooperation in Europe Dec. 1, “It has been widely documentedthat Christians are the most persecuted and discriminated against religious
group. More than 200 million of them, belonging to different confessions, ndthemselves in difculty because of legal and cultural structures.”
Vatican Brieng
Pope, the Church and the Signs of theTimes,” was based on interviews PopeBenedict granted to German journalistPeter Seewald. The book was releasedNov. 23.In the book, Pope Benedict said:“There may be a basis in the case ofsome individuals, as perhaps when amale prostitute uses a condom, where
this can be a rst step in the directionof a moralization, a rst assumption
of responsibility, on the way towarddiscovering an awareness that not ev-erything is allowed and that one cannotdo whatever one wants.”Cardinal Rodriguez laughed offclaims made in secular media globallythat the pope had changed the church’steaching on the use of condoms.“It has been the doctrine of the churchall the time that when there are emer-gency cases the principle of doubleeffect (applies). The pope was onlyquoting the extreme cases, so I believeit is coherent (with existing Catholicteaching),” Cardinal Rodriguez told TheRecord Nov. 26 during a four-day tripto Australia.The church teaches that the principleof double effect may be employed whenone is considering an action that is mor-ally good, yet the action involves oneor more unintended bad consequences.Because these consequences are side ef-fects and not directly willed, the choicethat brings them about is morally ac-ceptable.“We, as disciples of Christ, have alot to learn; we cannot pretend that inspecial matters all the baptized knoweverything, as we are always learn-ing and trying to implement what themother church is teaching us,” thecardinal said.
SAO PAULO, Brazil, Dec. 1, 2010—Four dioceses in theBrazilian state of Sao Paolo have announced a joint effort toprevent the legalization of abortion.The dioceses of Taubate, Lorena, Caraguatatuba and Guar-ulhos are pushing for changes to the state constitution thatwould protect life from conception to natural death.The move would prevent the legalization of abortion in thestate. Hermes Nery, the coordinator of the pro-life commissionfor the Diocese of Taubate, explained that the initiative waslaunched Nov. 27 at Taubate’s diocesan cathedral. Supportersaim to collect 300,000 signatures to put forth a proposal forchanges to the Sao Paolo state constitution.“The federal constitution already states that life cannot beviolated, but it does not spell out at what point. We want thestate constitution to explicitly declare that human life beginsat conception and ends with natural death,” Nery said.Bishop Carmo Joao Rhoden of Taubate spoke to VaticanRadio, saying, “I think this initiative is important, consid-ering that all the polls show that the Brazilian people are
Brazilian bishops seekconstitutional protection for unborn
pro-life and therefore against abortion. They are for theprotection of human life from the moment of conception,”he added.Bishop Luiz Gonzaga Bergonzini of Guarulhos told thepublication “Status on the Defense of Life” that the effort “is
the rst step” toward preventing the legalization of abortion
in the federal Constitution.“Life is the greatest value we have and it should be de-fended from the moment of conception,” he said.Bishop Gonzaga has been one of the most outspoken criticsof the Workers’ Party in Brazil, to which outgoing PresidentLula da Silva and President-elect Dilma Rousseff belong.Dilma Rousseff has voiced her support of legalized abor-tion on various occasions. Her position cost her some seven
million votes in the rst round of Brazil’s 2010 presidential
elections. As part of her strategy for the run-offs, she saidshe was “personally opposed to abortion” and promised thatif she is elected president she would not sent proposals tolegalize the procedure to Congress.
 Vol. 14 No. 25
December 6 - 31, 2010 
CBCP Monitor
CEBU City, Nov. 25, 2010—The
rank-and-le workers’ union of
the Visayan Electric Company(Veco) is prepared to hold astrike if their grievances will notbe addressed, a Catholic prelatewarned.In a letter to Cebu’s prominentbusiness groups, Bishop Ge-rardo Alminaza cautioned that
they will be the rst to suffer
if the grievances of the VECOEmployees Union will not beaddressed.He said that if Veco manage-ment continues to be “immov-able”, the workers can andmight avail of the “last resort”,to strike—which no governmentorder can prevent.“Then, we would be in deeper
trouble, and, the rst to suffer
would be the business com-munity; and of course the or-dinary public consumers,” saidAlminaza, the Auxiliary Bishopof Jaro.The prelate is the head conve-nor of the Visayas Clergy Dis-cernment Group that earlier of-fered to mediate between unionmembers and the managementof Cebu’s largest power utilitiesdistributor.Alminaza urged the businessgroups to help them persuadethe Veco management to accedeto the proposal for a mediationor dialogue with the union
News Features
   C   o   n   t   R   I   B   U   t   e   d   P   h   o   t   o  w  w  w   2 .  p   i  c     u  r    s .  z   i  m   b   i   .  c    m  w  w  w .   1 .   b  p .   b   l    g  s  p      .  c    m
VATICAN City, Nov. 29, 2010—Benedict XVI is underlining theneed to give a voice to the Churchin the realm of social communi-cations and the media.The Pope stated this todayupon receiving in audience theFilipino bishops who are in
Rome for their ve-yearly “ad
limina” visit.
“A specic area in which the
Church must always find its
proper voice comes in the eld of
social communications and themedia,” the Pontiff stated.He continued, “The task setbefore the whole Catholic com-
munity is to convey a hope-lled
vision of faith and virtue so that
Filipinos may nd encourage
-ment and guidance on their pathto a full life in Christ.”
“A unied and positive voice
needs to be presented to thepublic in forms of media bothold and new,” the Holy Fatherurged, “so that the Gospel mes-sage may have an ever morepowerful impact on the peopleof the nation.”“It is important that the Catho-
lic laity procient in social com
-munications take their properplace in proposing the Christianmessage in a convincing and at-tractive way,” he said.“If the Gospel of Christ is to bea leaven in Filipino society, thenthe entire Catholic communitymust be attentive to the force ofthe truth proclaimed with love,”Benedict XVI stated.
“The Church must always
seek to nd its proper voice,” heafrmed, “because it is by proc
-lamation that the Gospel bringsabout its life-changing fruits.”The Pope continued: “Thisvoice expresses itself in themoral and spiritual witness ofthe lives of believers.“It also expresses itself in thepublic witness offered by thebishops, as the Church’s primaryteachers, and by all who have a rolein teaching the faith to others.”He added, “Thanks to theGospel’s clear presentation ofthe truth about God and man,generations of zealous Filipinoclergymen, religious and laityhave promoted an ever more justsocial order.”The Pontiff commended “theChurch in the Philippines forseeking to play its part in sup-port of human life from concep-tion until natural death, and indefense of the integrity of mar-riage and the family.”“In these areas you are promot-ing truths about the human per-son and about society which arisenot only from divine revelationbut also from the natural law, anorder which is accessible to hu-man reason and thus provides abasis for dialogue and deeper dis-cernment on the part of all people
of good will,” he afrmed.
The Holy Father particularlynoted “with appreciation theChurch’s work to abolish thedeath penalty in your country.”
Church needs a voice in the media--Pope
VATICAN City, Nov. 28, 2010—PopeBenedict XVI heralded the beginning ofAdvent this year with an unprecedentedworldwide pro-life vigil. On Saturdaynight at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome,he urged respect for human life and
warned against “selshness” by adults
and the “darkening of consciences” inmodern society.On Nov. 27, St. Peter’s was the centerof global focus, as dioceses around theworld joined the Pope’s invitation toprepare for the season of Christmas by joining in a special Vespers service forthe unborn.Although it is common for the Popeto encourage prayer for particularintentions, the request for a coordi-nated worldwide vigil—to be held onthe same date and approximately thesame time, in all dioceses—is highlyexceptional.Pope Benedict began his homily say-ing that God became a child to experi-ence the life of man in order to “to saveit completely, fully.”“The beginning of the liturgical yearhelps us to relive the expectation ofGod made flesh in the womb of theVirgin Mary,” he said, adding that the“Incarnation reveals to us, with intenselight and in an amazing way, that everyhuman life has an incomparable, a mostelevated dignity.”Because “God loves us so deeply,totally, without distinction,” the Popenoted that belief in “Jesus Christ alsomeans having a new outlook on man, alook of trust and hope.”Humankind, therefore, “has the rightnot to be treated as an object of posses-sion or something to manipulate at will,not to be reduced to a mere instrument
for the benet of others and their inter
-ests,” he said.
“In this vein we nd the Church’s
concern for the unborn, the most fragile,
the most threatened by the selshness
of adults and the darkening of con-sciences,” the Pontiff added.He then reiterated the Church’sstance against abortion, warning against“cultural tendencies that seek to anes-thetize consciences with misleadingmotivations.”“With regard to the embryo in thewomb, science itself highlights its au-tonomy capable of interaction with the
Pope heralds beginning of Advent with pro-life vigil
Respect for life leads todevelopment of peoples,states Vatican archbishop
VATICAN City, Dec. 2, 2010—The
president of the Pontical Council
for Health Care noted this week thatrespect for human life is what fostersthe comprehensive development ofnations.Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowskimade his comments during a con-ference on Pope Benedict XVI’sencyclical “Caritas in veritate.” Theevent was organized by the PoliticalCharity International Associationand held at Rome’s Sacro CuoreUniversity.Archbishop Zygmunt said theChurch’s social doctrine pays specialattention to the protection of humanlife. Since the 1970s, he explained,the threats to human life haveincreased as laws that protectedthe right to life against abortion,
euthanasia, articial insemination
and in vitro fertilization began to beundermined. Such actions led to thehuman embryo being “reduced to amere thing,” he added.These problems constitute “majorchallenges for Christian social teach-ing and demand an adequate re-sponse,” he added, pointing to JohnPaul II’s encyclical “Evangeliumvitae” and Benedict XVI’s “Caritasin veritate” as cornerstones for ad-dressing them.Archbishop Zimowski warnedagainst “an anti-life mentality”whose advocates attempt to pass itoff to other countries as “culturalprogress.” “This mentality has in-creased because of laws contraryto life that have been enacted inthe most economically developedcountries,” he continued. Theselaws end up defending attacks onhuman life, such as abortion, as ifthey constituted “rights of indi-vidual freedom.”The task for believers who dealwith a society on these terms is “todevelop an ethos capable of pre-senting arguments in psychologicaland socio-cultural terms about themeaning and value of the norms thatrespect human life,” the archbishopcontinued. “We must overcome veryabstract or formal arguments that donot lend themselves to an adequateapproach to the present experience,”he said.The archbishop also urged achange in today’s idea of the “qual-ity of life,” understood only in terms
of nancial success, physical beauty
and unrestrained consumerism,with no room for the relational,spiritual and religious dimensionsof existence.He also referred to the urgency ofchanging today’s paradigms. Life isnot a product but rather a “gift thatmust be appropriately appreciated,”especially in families, “who havethe task of supporting a culture oflife.”
Bishop urges business groupsto help solve Veco feud
members.It would be advantageousto the business community, hesaid, if they can convince theirbusiness colleague to submit to“amicable settlement” throughmediation.The bishop’s letter was ad-dressed to Cebu Chamber ofCommerce and Industries Presi-dent Consul Samuel Chioson,Mandaue Chamber of Com-merce and Industry, Inc. Presi-dent Eric Ng Mendoza, CebuBusiness Club President GordonAlan Joseph and Cebu FilipinoChinese Chamber of CommercePresident Filomeno Lim.Veco management repeatedlyrefused the church organiza-tion’s offer for mediation as the
case is already certied with the
National Labor Relations Com-mission (NLRC), and it deemsthat the on-going dispute cannotbe resolved through mediationproceedings.Alminaza added that, “com-pulsory arbitration could dragon and on, with endless motionsfor reconsideration,” and thiswould leave all concerned “un-sure” and the labor’s patience“stretched.”Veco workers have alreadywritten to NLRC last Nov. 18 ofthe union’s willingness to par-ticipate in the proposed media-tion.
MANILA, Dec. 2, 2010— A Catho-lic bishop is disappointed overthe slow grind of justice for thevictims of the 1993 Marcoppermining as no one had been heldliable yet on the disaster.Boac Bishop Reynaldo Evan-gelista said it has been 17 yearssince the country’s worst min-ing disaster struck and causedhavoc to the environment and theMarinduque folks, and yet, noth-ing had been resolved. he prelate
lamented cases led in courts had
been there for as long as people ofMarinduque can remember butthe Boac River had never beenrestored and the people’s lives had
Prelate deplores slow justice in Marcopper tragedy
never been repaired.“The most important thing hereis environmental justice that theDiocese of Boac and the wholeMarinduque province are hopingfor,’ Evangelista said.“(But) until now, talks are atslow pace. The case has alreadybeen filed but we are not surehow many years or decades itwill take.”The bishop called on the Aqui-no administration to give due at-tention to their problem so as the
long-awaited justice be satised
for the victims. With the aggres-sive campaign for mining even intheir province, Evangelista said
Eco groups call for passage of new mining law
MANILA, Dec. 3, 2010—A coalition of envi-ronmental groups has called on legislatorsto pass a new mineral management law thatwould ensure a more ecologically balanceduse of natural resources.Around 200 environmental advocatesdressed in santa suits and singing Christmascarols gathered outside Congress on Decem-ber 1 and pressed the lawmakers to act onthe bill. The activists were representativesof mining affected communities, indigenouspeoples, church, urban poor organizationsand civil society environment groups. Judy Pasimio of the The Legal Rights andNatural Resources Center-Kasama sa Kalikasan- Friends of the Earth, Philippines (LRC-KsK/FoE, Phils) lauded the proposed measure sayingthe bill was the outcome of many years of hardwork from the people concerned.“This bill is the product of years of painstak-ing consultations and writeshops with grass-roots communities of indigenous peoples andrural folks, multisectoral organizations andcivil society groups as well as church forma-tions who are actual victims and witnesses,of the havoc created by the present miningpolicy of the government,” she said.
House Bill 3763, led on December 1, 2010
“seeks to regulate the rational exploration,development and utilization of mineral re-sources, and to ensure the equitable sharing of
benets for the state, indigenous peoples and
local communities, and for other purposes.”The bill was sponsored by Rep. Kaka Bag-ao and Rep. Walden Bello of Akbayan Partyl-ist, Rep. Rufus Rodriguez of the 2nd Districof Cagayan de Oro, Rep. Maximo Rodriguezof Abante Mindanao Partylist, Rep. TeddyBrawner Baguilat of the Lone District of Ifu-gao, Rep. Carlos Padilla of the Lone District ofNueva Vizcaya and Rep. Roilo Golez of 2ndDistrict of Paranaque.
mother, the coordination of biologicalprocesses, the continuity of develop-ment, the growing complexity of theorganism,” he said. “This is not anaccumulation of biological material,but a new living being, dynamic andwonderfully ordered, a new uniquehuman being.”“So was Jesus in Mary’s womb, so itwas for all of us in our mother’s womb.”Pope Benedict went on to say thateven after birth, children around theworld face abandonment, hunger,poverty, disease, abuse, violence orexploitation.“I urge the protagonists of politics,economic and social communications todo everything in their power to promotea culture which respects human life, toprovide favorable conditions and sup-port networks for the reception anddevelopment of life,” he said.The Pope concluded by entrustingprayers for the unborn to the VirginMary, “who welcomed the Son of Godmade man with faith, with her maternalwomb, with loving care, with nurturingsupport and vibrant with love.”
(CNA/  EWTN News)
it seems that the government hasnot learned from the past.“This is what we feel, what thepeople feel. Until now, the govern-ment continuously pushes miningin the country,” the 47-year oldprelate said.Recent Aquino administra-tion’s pronouncements that itwill continue to pursue miningas an economic policy has alsoalarmed mining affected com-munities, anti-mining activistsand advocates.Attorney Mario Maderazo ofthe Philippine Misereor Partner-ship – Anti Mining Campaignsaid, “We don’t think that thisdirection is the right path towardsthe ‘straight path’ that Aquino haspromised to embarked into.”“Mining historically has onlybrought devastation, misery,death, human rights violations,as what was clearly shown by
the horric experiences in Marin
-duque,” he said.Aquino had vowed to revisitfailed mining projects in the pastand large-scale disasters likeMarinduque, Rapu-Rapu andDiwalwal so that there be properrehabilitation and compensationfor individuals and communitiesvictimized by these mining disas-ters’.

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