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Cbcpmonitor Vol15 n05

Cbcpmonitor Vol15 n05

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Published by cbcpmonitor
- Fortify marriage, Pope tells Filipino bishops
- Follow US House, CBCP official tells lawmakers
- Prelate fears railroading of RH bill
- Priest starts drive vs gambling in wake
- CBCP suspends talks with Malacañang on RH bill
- Fortify marriage, Pope tells Filipino bishops
- Follow US House, CBCP official tells lawmakers
- Prelate fears railroading of RH bill
- Priest starts drive vs gambling in wake
- CBCP suspends talks with Malacañang on RH bill

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Published by: cbcpmonitor on Mar 08, 2011
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 Vol. 15 No. 5
February 28 - March 13, 2011
Php 20.
00
Fortify marriage, Popetells Filipino bishops
President Benigno Aquino III, Vice PresidentJejomar Binay, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, ManilaArchbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, Papalnuncio Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams andseveral bishops release doves during the unveilingceremony of the late Jaime Cardinal Sin’s statue,witnessed by hundreds of people in Manila, February25, 2011. The monument commemorates Sin’s rolein the popular 1986 EDSA revolution that ended theMarcos dictatorship.
   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
www.cbcponlineradio.comwww.youthpinoy.com
A3
 ‘God Created Men andWomen for Resurrectionand Life’ 
IPs call for end of miningon ancestral lands
TRIBAL folks in Nueva Vizcaya called for anend of mining activities on their ancestral lands,saying large-scale mining will destroy theirforests and leave them with nothing.“Respect the indigenous people’s rights. Andour call: NO TO LARGE-SCALE MINING.Mining will not feed us, it will take our land;ravage our forests and leave us with nothing,”said Lucas Buay, a representative of KasibuInter-tribal Response for Ecological Develop-
Pro-life advocate lauds Ayala Alabang ordinance
PRO-LIFE Philippines President Eric Manal-ang called on barangay councils opposed tothe reproductive health bill to take measuresthat respect human life.Manalang said village officials shoulddefend their positions against the RH bill bymaking ordinances that would protect thesanctity of life especially of the unborn.The anti-RH bill advocate cited, for in-stance, an ordinance in the posh confines of
IPs / A6Alabang / A6Railroading / A6Priest / A6Suspends / A6Marriage / A6
Pope says Lent istime to renounce
selfshness
www.cbcphealthcare.org
   ©   R  o  y   L  a  g  a  r   d  e   /   C   B   C   P   M  e   d   i  a   ©   N  o   l   i   Y  a  m  s  u  a  n   /   R   C   A   M   F   I   L   E   P   H   O   T   O
CBCP suspendstalks withMalacañang onRH bill
Follow US House, CBCP ofcial tells lawmakers
Prelate fears railroading of RH bill
B1
Priest starts drive vs gambling in wake
Archbishop Paciano Aniceto
Ugnayan
The News Supplement of Couples for Christ
C1
By Roy Lagarde
POPE BENEDICT XVI calledon the Filipino bishops tostrengthen the sacrament ofmatrimony especially among the young couples.
Amid “secularism,” he said caremust be given to show young peoplethe importance of the sacraments “asinstrument of God’s grace and as-sistance.”“This is particularly true of the sac-rament of matrimony, which sanctifiesmarried life from its beginning, so thatGod’s presence may sustain youngcouples in their struggles,” he said.The pontiff made the statement dur-ing the “ad limina” visit of Bicol andVisayas bishops in Rome on Feb. 7-19,2011 amid reports of the decliningCatholic marriages in the country.An official of the Catholic Bishops’Conference of the Philippines previ-ously said that the number of churchmarriages dropped from 177,940 in2008-2009 to just 166, 000 in 2010.Fr. Melvin Castro, executive secre-tary of the Episcopal Commission onFamily and Life (ECFL), said this wasbecause Filipinos were marrying at alater age.He said couples were also opting forcivil marriages first before going for a“grand” church wedding.Another official of the NationalAppellate Matrimonial Tribunal alsoadmitted before that the high cost ofchurch weddings is deterring couplesfrom getting married.According to retired ArchbishopOscar Cruz, churches must encour-age couples to have simple wedding
AN ofcial of the Catholic Bish
-ops’ Conference of the Philip-pines (CBCP) urged Philippinelawmakers to look to US Con-gress’ example by defundingcontraceptive use.Fr. Melvin Castro of the CB-CP’s Commission on Family andLife said the US has realized itsmistake for funding contracep-tion and the country can avoidit by rejecting the ReproductiveHealth (RH) bill.“If the US Congress defundedsuch entity, we ask our Congressto reject the RH bill which hasthe same effect of allocatingpeople’s money against whatthey believe in,” he said.On Feb. 19 (Manila time), theUS House voted a measure thatwould ensure no federal dollarsto fund abortions.Voting 240-185, the Congres-sional body also cut off a federalfamily planning program thatPlanned Parenthood relies on forgrants and contracts in taxpayerfunding.The amendment to the 2011
THE Catholic BishopsConference of the Phil-ippines is suspendingits dialogue with thegovernment on the is-sue of the reproductivehealth bill.On February 19, CBCPpresident and Tandag
AN ofcial of the Catholic Bishops’ Con
-ference of the Philippines feared thatsupporters of the reproductive healthbill are trying to railroad the passageof the legislation.Despite a Malacañang pronounce-ment that it is no longer a priority,CBCP’s Commission on Family andLife chairman Archbishop PacianoAniceto can’t stop but wonder why itis fast-tracked.“It’s like there’s somebody dictatingthem to railroad it. There is double talkhere in the government. Malacañangsaid there is prioritization. But theHouse is (working) double time,” hesaid.The CBCP has strongly opposed thepassage of the bill for going against
Church teachings against articial birth
control and for imposing sex educa-tion among primary and high schoolstudents.The House of Representatives can-
celled on March 1 the rst plenary de
-bates on the RH bill due to problems inthe building’s air conditioning system.IN a bid to stop the prolif-eration of gambling in hisparish, a Catholic priesthas vowed to deny givingburial rights to Catholicsif there is gambling duringthe wake.Fr. Valentine Dimoc of theSt. Mary Magdalene Parishin Lagawe, Ifugao madesuch order in a pastoralpolicy he issued recently.Dimoc said the parishwould uphold the policy ofnot holding funeral Massto persons whose bereavedfamilies opted to allow gam-bling during the wake.“The policy is pastoralin nature, in response to asocial and moral issue in aparticular place; the LocalGovernment Unit’s ordi-nance against gambling iswhat should be implement-ed for the common goodbut sometimes the power isFederal Spending Bill, intro-duced by Rep. Mike Pence, willnow go before the Senate.In a statement, Pence describedthe vote as a “victory for taxpay-ers and a victory for life.”“By banning federal fundingto Planned Parenthood, Con-gress has taken a stand for mil-lions of Americans who believetheir tax dollars should not beused to subsidize the largestabortion provider in America,”Pence said.
The CBCP ofcial called on the
Filipino lawmakers to take a cuefrom the US Congress ‘before it’stoo late.’“Ours is a poor country. Wehave to do something before it’stoo late for us to realize that theRH bill is wrong and spent mil-lions of pesos for its implementa-tion,” Castro added.“We ask our government andour legislators, let us not followtheir mistakes of the past, andthen only to realize we have tocorrect it in the future,” he said.
(CBCPNews)
President Benigno Aquino’s spokesman, Edwin Lacierda (left), and CBCP secretarygeneral Msgr. Juanito Figura face the media after CBCP-Malacañang dialogue on the RHbill last December 15.
 
A2
 Vol. 15 No. 5
February 28 - March 13, 2011
CBCP Monitor
Chinese bishop, imprisonedfor decades, dies at 90
 World News
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MADRID, Spain, Feb. 25, 2011—As apreparation for the upcoming WorldYouth Day in August, at least 300,000youth are planning to visit variousdioceses around Spain in the days pre-ceding Benedict XVI’s arrival.The “Days in the Dioceses” event willtake place Aug. 11-15 in 63 Spanish dioceses,where young people from other countrieswill be able to spend time with their peersin preparation for the youth day.This preparatory even began in Parisbefore the 1997 youth day, as a way offacilitating youth ministry in Frenchdioceses, having the whole country wel-come the pilgrims from other countries,and encouraging French young peopleto attend the activities with the HolyFather. The experience was so success-ful that it was repeated in subsequentWorld Youth Days in Italy, Canada,Germany and Australia.Over 150,000 participants from 137countries have already registered, andan estimated 300,000 youth will takepart in the program.The plan for those days may include:cultural activities, historical visits, mo-ments for celebration, time for prayerand visits to shrines that make up thelocal religious identity. Javier Igea, who is in charge of orga-nizing this event, pointed out that thisnetworking of young people is “sowingbonds of peace in the global village.”An effort is being made in manyplaces so that the accommodation of theparticipants is free.Young people who come from countrieswith greater economic difficulties areguaranteed cost-free participation in thisVATICAN City, Feb. 27, 2011—Bishop Augustine Hu Daguo ofthe apostolic prefecture of Shiq-ian, Shihtsien, in the Chineseprovince of Guizhou, died onFeb. 17 at the age of 90.The bishop, who was ap-proved by the Pope and part ofthe underground Church, spentdecades in prison and forced la-
bor camps because of his delity
to the Pontiff.In China, religious practice isonly permitted by the govern-ment with the oversight of theCatholic Patriotic Association,the body through which theauthorities recognize religiouspersonnel and register places
Tunisian prelate horrifed by priest’s murder
300,000 youth to visit Spanish dioceses
KABUL, Afghanistan, Feb. 25, 2011—AnAfghan man who converted to Christi-anity was freed from prison, where hehad been held for nine months, and mayhave been secretly smuggled out of thecountry this week. Sayed Mussa, 46, ranthe risk of a death sentence for apostasy.His release came after months of discreetdiplomatic efforts between the Afghangovernment and western representativesin Kabul.Sayed Mussa, married and father of sixchildren, worked for the International Com-mittee of the Red Cross before his arrest. Hewas released on February 21 from KabulDetention Centre after the judges had found
that there was insufcient material to pursue
the charges. This, according to Gen. QayoumKhan, prison director.It is unclear whether Sayed Musa is stillin Afghanistan, or whether he has alreadyleft the country. Some relatives, includinghis wife, say they have heard nothing fromhim. Diplomats, the U.S. embassy in the
rst place, refuse to conrm news of his
release, and say they will continue to keepthe case Mussa, and others like it, underobservation.Gen. Qayoum Khan said that Mussa was
brought to court ofces last Monday, after
the prosecutor sent a letter to the prison,which said there was no evidence againsthim, and that he was to be released.Sayed Mussa was arrested in May 2010after a local television station showed someWesterners baptizing Afghans, and otherAfghans who were praying in a secret Chris-tian gathering. Local sources, on condition ofanonymity, say the Afghan government hasbeen under massive pressure for his release,and was uncertain, because it feared the reac-tion of radical Muslims.Some believe Mussa could have renegedon his conversion, before being released.Mussa was one of at least two Afghans inprison on charges of apostasy. Another,Shoaib Assadullah Musawi is in prisonsince November 2010 in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, accused of having given a Gospelto a friend.The Afghan constitution guarantees free-dom to practice religion, but ambiguouslyleaves the option to courts of referring to theShari’a on many issues, including conver-sion.
(AsiaNews)
Christian in prison for apostasysecretly released in Kabul
of worship. Hence there is a
“national” or “ofcial” church,
directed by the Association andthe Bishops’ Conference of theCatholic Church in China.And then there are the laypeo-ple, priests and bishops who op-pose such control and who wishto obey the Pope directly. The
latter constitute the non-ofcial,
or underground, Church.L’Osservatore Romano re-ported today on the death ofBishop Hu, noting that “the civilauthorities, who never recog-nized him as bishop, impededhis residing in Shiqian.”It continued: “Despite thefact that his residence was inDuyun, in the Archdiocese ofGuiyang, with discretion andeffectiveness he administeredthe clergy and faithful of hisapostolic prefecture with greatzeal and spiritual fervor, givinglife and hope to the various par-ish communities, scattered in themountainous region.“Bishop Hu led a life teachingsimplicity and poverty, in fulladherence to the principles ofthe universal Church and to theprimacy of Peter.“He was very gifted from theintellectual point of view andwas always esteemed by all asan ecclesiastical saint.”“In the last years,”
Vatican Briefng
Schoenstatt prepares to welcome Benedict XVI home
The Schoenstatt Movement is preparing for Benedict XVI’svisit to his home country of Germany in September with acampaign to show support for the Pope. Members are or-ganizing a crusade of love and support of the Pontiff called“Postcard Action,” gathering prayers for the upcoming event.Some 30,000 postcards have already been distributed for thecampaign, which the faithful are encouraged to send to thePope with their personal messages. Another 20,000 cards havebeen printed for distribution.
(Zenit)
Global Catholic population continues to grow
The number of baptized Catholics on the planet continues togrow and half of their number are in the Americas. This issome of what can be learned from the data of the 2011 papal
yearbook, the Annuario Ponticio, presented to Benedict XVI
on Feb. 19, by his secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone,and Archbishop Fernando Filoni, undersecretary for generalaffairs. The statistical data from the year 2009 furnish a sum-mary view of the principal dynamics of the Catholic Churchin her 2,956 ecclesiastical entities across the globe: The numberof baptized Catholics has increased from nearly 1.16 billionin 2008 to 1.18 billion in 2009, with an absolute increase of 15million faithful.
(Zenit)
Pope to visit site where Nazis executed hundreds of Italians
Next month Pope Benedict XVI will mark the anniversary ofa brutal massacre that took the lives of 335 Italians duringWorld War II. On March 24, 1944, Nazi soldiers slaughteredthe hundreds of individuals to exact revenge for a surprisebomb attack in the heart of Rome that killed 33 of theircolleagues. The Pope will go to the site, called the “FosseArdeatine,” on March 27 to observe the 67th anniversary ofthe executions. It is very near the Catacombs of St. Callistuson the outskirts of Rome. He follows in the footsteps of PopesPaul VI and John Paul II, who also paid their respects to thedead.
(CNA)
Vatican charity ofcial says new challenges call for
new leadership at Caritas
The Vatican believes that its top aid agency, Caritas Interna-tionalis, needs new leadership to build a stronger Catholicidentity within the organization, said Cardinal Robert Sarah,who oversees the agency’s work as president as president of
the Pontical Council Cor Unum. The Rome-based Caritas re
-cently announced that the Vatican would not permit its currentsecretary general, Lesley-Anne Knight, to run for re-election tothe position this May. Cardinal Sarah explained the Vatican’sreasons during the course of a Feb. 22 press conference torelease the Pope’s annual Lenten message.
(CNA)
Pope to canonize 3 in October
Benedict XVI presided at an ordinary public consistory thatapproved the Oct. 23 canonization of three blessed — twoItalians and one Spaniard. Blessed Guido Maria Conforti(1865-1931) founded the Society of St. Francis Xavier for For-
eign Missions. John Paul II beatied him on March 17, 1995.
Don Luigi Guanella (1842-1915) was a priest who foundedtwo congregations: the Servants of Charity and the Instituteof the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence. Pope Paul VI
beatied him on Oct. 25, 1964. Blessed Bonifacia Rodríguez
de Castro (1837-1905) is a nun from Salamanca, Spain, whofounded the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph, and cre-ated the “Nazareth workshop” to help poor or unemployedwomen.
(Zenit)
Pope tells Vatican academy that abortion ‘resolvesnothing’ 
Abortion “resolves nothing,” Pope Benedict XVI told the Pon-
tical Academy for Life Feb. 26. The academy was meeting at
the Vatican to present studies on “post-abortion syndrome”and the use of umbilical cord stem cell banks for therapeutictreatments. The Pope told them that the effects on a womanafter an abortion reveal “the irrepressible voice of moral con-science and the terrible wound it suffers each time a humanaction betrays the human being’s innate vocation to good.”The academy has studied many aspects of the abortion issuein past meetings. A focus of these most recent talks was toexamine the risk for the woman and the existence of socialpressures, especially in some parts of the world, to turn toabortion.
(CNA/EWTN News)
L’Osservatore Romano reported,
“he did not hide his difculties
with language, with understand-ing and with mobility, though hecontinued to spend his energiesin the service of the Lord and todedicate himself particularly tohearing the confessions of thefaithful.”The prelate’s funeral was heldon Feb. 20. The news articlenoted, “In him, as in so manyother Chinese bishops whohave died in the last years, were
fullled the words of the Book
of Wisdom (3:1): ‘But the soulsof the righteous are in the handof God, and no torment will evertouch them.’”
(Zenit)
TUNIS, Tunisia, Feb. 24, 2011—The archbishop of Tunis ex-pressed horror and sadness overlast week’s murder of FatherMarek Rybinski, a 33-year-oldPolish missionary. On Monday,police apprehended a suspect inthe killing.Archbishop Maroun Lahhamexpressed “horror, sadness, an-ger, revolt, concern, fear, doubt”in response to the Feb. 18 mur-der of the priest who had beenworking in Manouba, Tunisiasince 2007.The prelate lamented: “Whywas Father Marek killed? For2,000 dinars ($1,300)!”He noted that the priest hadwritten two weeks earlier thatTunisia “is a nation that isyoung, intelligent, incapable ofviolence, profoundly good andnot capable of hate.”The missionary had also writ-ten: “During my stay in Tunisia,my attitude toward my fellowMuslims has changed dramati-cally. This fear of terrorismand extremism has completelydisappeared.“Tunisians are so welcoming,friendly and warm. They teachme this attitude.”The archbishop recalled Fa-ther Rybinski’s offer to cometo Tunisia shortly after his2005 ordination. He praised themissionary’s efforts to collectdonations “from everywhereto build new premises for theschool he loved and he wasdirecting.”Archbishop Lahham stated:“Where do we go from here?There is no question that times
of difculty are not the moments
for running away.”“This is no time to panic,”he said. “It is time for faith, pa-tience, precaution.”The prelate continued: “I sayin my own name first, and Ithink I can say on behalf ofany religious personnel of theChurch in Tunisia, and on behalfof Christians in the country,as well as on the behalf of ourbrother Muslims and Jews: Wewill stay put in this country thathas welcomed us, who loves usand who we love.”Referring to the Gospel pas-sage about the seed that fallsto the earth and dies, the arch-bishop affirmed that FatherRybinski “fell, he died, and inthe example of Christ to whom[he] had consecrated himself to,it has borne fruit.”Killer apprehendedOn Monday the Tunisianauthorities reported the arrestof 44-year-old Chokri Ben Mu-stapha Bel-Sadek El-Mestiri forthe murder of Father Rybinski.El-Mestiri was a handymanwho handled repairs at the Sale-sian school where the missionarywas stationed.Father Rybinski reportedlygave him some $1,300 to buysupplies for repairs, but thehandyman spent the moneyelsewhere. The Tunisian au-thorities suspect that El-Mestirikilled the priest because he wasunable to repay or account forthe money.Given the recent unrest inthe country, the minister of theinterior denounced the murderof the priest while expressing“relief” that it was not politicallymotivated.Archbishop Lahham observedthe numerous messages of soli-darity and sympathy from theTunisian people after this trag-edy. He noted that many dem-onstrated outside the cathedralwith signs that said, “Marek,sorry!”A group of youth, the prelate
noted, came with owers and
tears in their eyes, stating: “Wehave not killed. It is not Tunisia.Forgive us!”
(Zenit)
program. For example, the Diocese of Ciu-dad Real will be hosting 260 Haitians freeof charge along with another 1,750 youthwho will take part in the city’s program.
Preparatory mission
Some 250 young Puerto Ricans willgather in Corozal, in their own coun-try, this weekend, for another event inpreparation for World Youth Day.They will walk two-by-two aroundthe city, visiting children and the sick.Father Orlando Lugo of San Jose de Ca-muy explained: “We are going to beginthe mission in Puerto Rico, because weunderstand it must begin here. This is the
rst meeting of this whole delegation.”
The Puerto Rican delegation will latertravel to a town in the province of To-ledo, Spain, where from Aug. 14 to Aug.19 they will visit the elderly and the sickand will invite other young people fromto take part in the youth day activities.Roxana Zamot, 22, who belongs to theyouth ministry leadership team in her par-ish, stated: “It is a unique experience wherewe will be missionizing and getting toknow other people, other cultures. To takepart with the Pope in the [World YouthDay] is the greatest thing that can happento us as Christians and as young people.”In another initiative to prepare youth forthe event in Madrid, a competition has beenconvoked for journalistic works centeredon the theme “Watchmen of the Future,”an expression with which John Paul IIdescribed young people in his last visit toSpain in 2003. A prize will be awarded for journalistic works published before May
1 that reect what Madrid’s World Youth
Day is and what it means.
(Zenit)
 
A3
 Vol. 15 No. 5
February 28 - March 13, 2011
CBCP Monitor
News Features
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Pope says Lent is time to renounce selshness
VATICAN City, Feb. 25, 2011—Rea-sonable access to clean water is a fun-damental human right and its distribu-tion should not be left solely to private
companies seeking prot, a top Vaticanofcial said.
Bishop Mario Toso, secretary of the
Pontical Council for Justice and Peace,
told participants at a meeting regardingthe future of water supplies around theworld that water is not a commercialproduct but rather a common good thatbelongs to everyone.People have a “universal and inalien-able right” to access, a right that is sofundamental that “governments cannotleave its management solely in privatehands,” he said.Bishop Toso made his remarks at aninternational meeting near the Vati-can called “Dammi da bere” (give mesomething to drink), promoted by theCatholic-inspired Italian environmentalassociation Greenaccord.Bishop Toso cited Colombia, Phil-ippines and Ghana as examples ofcountries where water management“inspired exclusively by private andeconomic criteria” has failed to produceadequate distribution for the populationand where water costs three to six timesthat of large cities such as New York orLondon.“The great paradox is that poorpeople pay more than the rich forsomething that should be a universalright: the access to drinkable water,” thebishop said. People in poor countries,he said, often suffer not for the lack ofwater but because “access is economi-cally impossible.”
Conicts between peoples over their
 Vatican ofcial says cheapaccess to water a right for all
Environmental group calls for total mining ban
MANILA, Feb. 21, 2011—Theleader of the Catholic hierarchylauded the efforts of the Philip-pine government to forge peacewith the Moro Islamic LiberationFront and Communist Party ofthe Philippines, even as he calledon people to support the peaceprocess.In a statement, CBCP presi-dent and Tandag Bishop NereoOdchimar called on the faithfulto support the peace talks andpray for its success “so that peace
is nally forged and armed con
-
icts are nally ended.”
He emphasized that peace iseveryone’s responsibility.“Together, hence, let us showour earnest desire to achievepeace. Time and again we haveshown the world that together
VATICAN City, Feb. 20, 2011—Reect
-ing on last Friday’s World Day of theSick, the Vatican spokesman says he
thinks Pope John Paul II’s beatication
on May 1 will bring a focus to illness andrevive the Christian spirit with whichthe Polish Pope endured Parkinson’sdisease. Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi,director of the Vatican press office,gave this prediction on the most recentedition of Vatican Television’s “OctavaDies.” He recalled how it was John PaulII who wanted the Church to celebratea World Day of the Sick each Feb. 11,feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.“Sickness,” the Jesuit said, “is such anessential part of the human experiencethat it is also necessarily at the heartof every experience of faith. It touches
every person directly in his esh or in
his mind, or persons who are close tohim and dear,” and “it involves man inthe depths of his soul, challenging love,hope and faith itself.”“Jesus Christ, with the attention thathe paid to the suffering, with his per-sonal passion and death, is the mostcredible word of comfort for the sick,and the whole Church must try to bethis way. [She must be] the animator ofMANILA, Feb. 24, 2011—An environ-mental group has called for a “genuine”moratorium to all large-scale miningactivities across the archipelago, in abid to salvage the remaining forests inthe country.Kalikasan People’s Network for theEnvironment (KPNE) made the appealin a forum, attended by environmental-ists and conservationists at the Univer-sity of the Philippines (UP) Institute ofBiology in Diliman, Quezon City.Records show that many of the virginforests, especially those who are consid-
ered haven for various ora and fauna,
are being destroyed by mining activitiesof different foreign-funded, but Filipinomanaged, companies.KPNE national coordinator Clem-ente Bautista Jr., in a statement said,that while cancellation of 600 miningpermit applications, is a welcome ges-ture, President Benigno C. Aquino IIIMANILA, Feb. 21, 2011—An executiveof the Catholic Bishops Conference ofthe Philippines said poverty and lackof opportunity to get high-paying jobsat home has led some Filipinos to givein to tempting offers from internationalsyndicates.Fr. Edwin Corros, Executive Secre-tary of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commis-sion on Migrant and Itinerant People,said poverty is a serious factor thatcan push people to do even illegalthings because they wanted to cash onoverseas employment at the soonestpossible time.“Another factor which one shouldseriously consider is poverty – whenpeople cannot land decent and well-paying jobs in the Philippines, theywould seek employment elsewhere,”he added.
CBCP lauds gov’t peace efforts
as one, Filipinos can do whatseemed impossible, for no task isinsurmountable to the commit-ted hearts and dedicated hands,”he added.The prelate called on the Fili-pino people to mobilize efforts tomake a resounding declaration:“WE WANT PEACE!”“Peace has always been thedream and aspiration of peoples.And it is not elusive,” Odchimarsaid.The Phl government and theMILF and the CPP-NPA-NDF,respectively, have agreed toresume the peace talks thismonth.Peace talks between the Philip-pine government and the MILFresulted in an impasse when inAugust 2008, the Supreme courtsolidarity and love in every dimensionof the human community,” he added.A lot of loveFather Lombardi characterized JohnPaul II as a “great witness to sicknesslived in faith.”“Like Jesus who carries the cross,he too is a great friend and intercessorfor every sick person,” the spokesmanasserted.
Father Lombardi went on to reect
that “beyond comfort there is commit-ment.”He explained: “Benedict XVI says:‘The true measure of humanity is es-sentially determined in relationshipto suffering and to the sufferer. Thisholds true both for the individual andfor society. A society unable to acceptits suffering members and incapable ofhelping to share their suffering and tobear it inwardly through “com-passion”is a cruel and inhuman society’ (“SpeSalvi,” 38).”“Suffering calls for and awakenslove,” Father Lombardi concluded. “Alot of love. Without sickness we wouldnot know the depth of love. We needto understand it and live it to grow inhumanity.”
(Zenit)
should also consider implementing atotal ban in mining, just like what hedid in logging.Bautista also said that the cancelledmining permit applications seem to bedubious as it was not made to protectthe environment as some of the can-celled permits are either cancelled dueto lack of necessary documents or themining proposal is deemed specula-tive.“After being ‘cleansed’ of old andincomplete mining applications, areasonce closed will again be opened formining projects and operations. Agenuine mining moratorium is needed.This will greatly help in the rehabilita-tion and recovery [of] our degradedenvironment. It will allow the replen-
ishing of our ora and fauna. Likewise,
the government should also hold ac-countable mining companies like Mar-copper in Marinduque, Oceana GoldHe said it is very probable that theyget lured into becoming drug mulesas soon as they are offered huge sumsfor “a small delivery” to places likeChina.Corros said a number of lessons canbe learned from the case of Filipinosconvicted of death in China.He thanked the Filipino nation forthe prayers that Chinese authoritiessuspend, if not commute the deathsentence to life imprisonment.Corros said countries like China areseriously implementing their laws,which simply means, should the pen-alty calls for death, it will be implement-ed. But he is thankful to the Chinesegovernment for heeding the call of theFilipino nation to defer the convicts’execution earlier scheduled today andtomorrow.
(CBCPNews)
John Paul II seen as greatfriend of the sick 
water supplies, especially in arid areas,are inevitable without fair and demo-cratic policies regarding the sharing ofwater, the bishop said.He added that many analysts warnthat “in the future, following the oilwars that have characterized the pastfew decades, we will see new warsover water.” That situation is sure tobe aggravated by climate change, hesaid.
(CNS)
VATICAN City, Feb. 22, 2011—Lent is a time for self-examina-tion and to let go of all traces
of selshness, which is the root
of violence, Pope Benedict XVIsaid.“The greed of possession leadsto violence, exploitation anddeath,” which is why duringLent the church encouragesalmsgiving, “which is the capac-ity to share,” the pope said in hisannual message for Lent.The text of the pope’s mes-sage for Lent 2011, which beginsMarch 9 for Latin-rite Catholics,was released at a Vatican newsconference Feb. 22.Guinean Cardinal Robert Sar-
ah, president of the Pontical
Council Cor Unum, which pro-motes Catholic charitable giving,told reporters, “Intense miseryleads to economic and politicalinstability, creating a vacuum for
conict and unrest that produce
a vicious circle of deepeninghardship, especially for the mostvulnerable.”The cardinal said the pope’smessage underscores the factthat “the encounter with Christin his word and the sacramentsmanifests itself in concrete worksof mercy.”The theme of the pope’s mes-sage was taken from the Letterto the Colossians: “You wereburied with him in baptism,in which you were also raisedwith him.”Pope Benedict said Lent is aspecial time for people eitherto prepare for baptism or tostrengthen the commitment tofollowing Christ originally madeat baptism.“The fact that in most casesbaptism is received in infancyhighlights how it is a gift ofGod: No one earns eternal lifethrough their own efforts,” thepope said.In his message, the pope tookthe year’s Lenten Sunday Gos-pels and used them to drawlessons he said would be helpfulin making the Lenten journeytoward Christian conversion.The Gospel account of Jesus’victory over temptation in thedesert “is an invitation to be-come aware of our own fragilityin order to accept the grace thatfrees from sin and infuses newstrength,” he said.The story of Jesus meeting thewoman at the well is a reminderthat all people, like the woman,desire the “water” of eternal life,he said. Only the water offeredby Jesus “can irrigate the deserts
of our restless and unsatisedsoul until it ‘nds rest in God,’”
as St. Augustine said.The Gospel account of Jesushealing the man born blind “is asign that Christ wants not onlyto give us sight, but also to openour interior vision so that ourfaith may become ever deeperand we may recognize him asour only savior,” the pope said.The story of the raising of La-
zarus, read on the fth Sunday
of Lent, reminds Christians thattheir destiny is eternal life withGod, who “created men andwomen for resurrection andlife,” he said.The Lenten process of conver-sion, he said, is designed “to freeour hearts every day from theburden of material things, froma self-centered relationship withthe ‘world’ that impoverishesus and prevents us from beingavailable and open to God andour neighbor,” Pope Benedictwrote.Through fasting, almsgiv-ing and prayer, he said, “Lentteaches us how to live the loveof Christ in an ever more radi-cal way.”Fasting helps people overcome
selshness and self-centeredness;
almsgiving is a reminder of thesharing that should mark eachday of a Christian’s life; and timededicated to prayer is a reminderthat time belongs to God andhis desire is for people to spendeternity with him.
(CNS)
declared as unconstitutional thecontroversial Memorandum ofAgreement on Ancestral Domain(MOA-AD), while the govern-ment’s talks with the CPP hadbeen stalled in 2005.“The resumption of the talks,therefore, is a golden opportunity
to nally put an end to the conicts
that have ‘held hostage’ the coun-try’s development for so long, andhave created so many heartaches,division and misery among ourpeople,” Odchimar said.The CBCP president also sup-ported the call of Military BishopLeopoldo Tumulak for everyone toget involved in the peace efforts.“I implore everyone to maketheir personal commitments topeace known, by supportingthe peace activities that a multi-
Bishop Nereo Odchimar
sectoral group has initiated thesedays,” he was quoted saying. Hedescribed the activities as “bothsymbolic and substantive notonly to generate interests butmore importantly, to deepenour dedication to true and last-ing peace.”Odchimar said a Peace Walkwill be held on Friday, Febru-ary 25 to commemorate the 1986EDSA People Power.“Forums and discussions inthe national and communitylevels will continue to be heldto deepen understanding ofthe issues at hand. Above all,together with my brother Bish-ops, I exhort you to consistentlyand fervently pray for healingand peace in our land,” he said.
(Melo M. Acuna)
in Nueva Vizcaya, TVI in Zamboangadel Norte, and KORES in Rapu-rapu,Albay for the environmental destruc-tion caused by their operations,” saidBautista.Loi Manalasan, president of UP Ex-plore, meanwhile said that mining issueis not only about saving trees, animalsor beautiful places in the Philippines butsaving the future of the current and thenext generations.“The youth should stand against largescale foreign mining operations beforethe time comes when what is left for usto call our country is a wasteland left bythe mining companies after taking ourmineral resources,” Manalansan said.The group also urged Congress torepeal Mining Act of 1995 as it legalizesgreen crimes such as environmentaldegradation and corporate plunder ofthe country’s natural resources.
(NoelSales Barcelona)
Poverty pushes some OFWs to
 become ‘drug mules’—CBCP ofcial
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