Vol. 15 No. 16
August 1 - 14, 2011
Pope Benedict’s WYD: Space made for silence, solemnity
Tribal women leaders give PNoy a failing mark
VATICAN City, July 22, 2011—PopeBenedict XVI has put his own stampon the church’s celebration of WorldYouth Day, and it’s especially clear inthe gathering’s moments of prayer.In Cologne, Germany, six yearsago—Pope Benedict’s first WYD aspope—he surprised the youths at theSaturday night vigil by urging them toquiet down.The Cologne event was where hestarted a major new WYD tradition:Instead of ending the vigil with a bois-
terous musical nale, he ended it with
eucharistic adoration—with tens ofthousands of young people kneeling si-
lently in a eld. The scene was repeated
in Australia in 2008.During World Youth Day 2011,scheduled for Aug. 16-21 in Madrid,eucharistic adoration again will capthe pope’s participation at the vigil.Adoration and prayer also will continuethroughout the night on the edges ofthe military airport where many of theyoung people are expected to campovernight.In fact, organizers are planning tohave 17 tents set up as chapels for all-night adoration.The visual focal point when the popeleads the adoration and Benedictionwill be a monstrance set into a tower-ing 16th-century gothic structure of
Pope decries terror attacks in Norway, calls for end to violence, evil
VATICAN City, July 25, 2011—In the wake of two terror attacksin Norway that left at least 93people dead, Pope Benedict XVIcalled for an end to hatred andideologies that promote evil.“We are all deeply saddenedby the serious terrorist acts,”the pope said after praying theAngelus with pilgrims at the pa-pal summer residence in CastelGandolfo July 24.The pope launched an appeal“to abandon once and for allthe path of violence and avoidprinciples of evil.”As a further expression ofhis condolences and prayersfor those affected by the at-tacks, the pope sent a messageto Norway’s King Harald V.Written on behalf of the popeby Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone,Vatican secretary of state, thepope said he was praying forall those affected by “the acts ofsenseless violence perpetratedin Oslo and Utoya.”The pope asked that thecountry “be spiritually unitedin a determined resolve toreject the ways of hatred andconflict and to work togetherfearlessly in shaping a futureof mutual respect, solidarityand freedom for coming gen-erations.”Explosives ripped throughNorwegian government head-quarters in Oslo July 22, leav-ing seven people dead anddozens injured. Shortly after thebombing, witnesses said a man
dressed as a police ofcer shot
at people attending a summeryouth camp run by the coun-try’s governing Labor Partyon the island of Utoya. Policesaid at least 86 people died atthe camp, but authorities weresearching the island and thewaters just offshore for severalmissing people.At least 96 other people wereinjured in the twin attacks.The suspect, 32-year-old An-ders Behring Breivik, has admit-ted to carrying out the killingsbut has not admitted any crimi-nal wrongdoing. He pleadednot guilty in an Oslo court July25 after being charged under thecountry’s terrorism act.His lawyer told journalists July 24 that his client thought “itwas gruesome having to committhese acts, but in his head, theywere necessary.”“He wished to attack societyand the structure of society,” saidthe lawyer, Geir Lippestad.The suspect is believed tohave links to far-right groupsand to have produced materi-als espousing anti-Muslim andanti-immigration views, and adesire to bring about a revolu-tion against the government inNorway.Meanwhile, Bishop BerntEidsvig of Oslo told VaticanRadio July 25 that the countrywas united in mourning for thevictims and still in shock overthe killings.“It has affected every one ofus. Despite political differencesor other differences, this is atragedy,” he said. “We do notknow anything like it in our his-tory, that 100 people are killedin cold blood. So it is creatingunity, and in spite of the grief,also strength.”Bishop Eidsvig said in theinterview that people wereshocked the prime suspect wasNorwegian saying, “Of course inall countries, there are disturbedand misled persons. I am quitesure he is one of them. He mustbe mentally disturbed. I don’tthink ideology is sufficient toexplain this.”The bishop said he expecteda traditionally lax approach tosecurity around governmentbuildings would be quickly re-versed, saying they had alreadybeen planning to block off thestreet where the suspect alleg-edly parked a car with a bombinside.“In Oslo, you’ve practicallybeen able to drive your car to the
Papal foundation plans to expand assistance to AIDS patients
VATICAN City, July 21, 2011—Apapal foundation dedicated to AIDSpatients may expand its services toinclude a global program of distribut-
ing anti-AIDS drugs, a Vatican ofcial
said.The initiative would respond to theshortage of antiretroviral and otherdrugs in poorer countries, where thevast majority of AIDS patients receiveno adequate treatment, Msgr. Jean-Marie Mupendawatu, secretary of
the Pontical Council for Health Care
Ministry, said in an interview July 21with the Vatican newspaper.Msgr. Mupendawatu is a delegate
prime minister’s ofce or to the
king’s palace if you pretended tohave business there. But I thinkall this will come to an end fairlysoon,” he said. “I think we arewaking up to reality.”President Barack Obama sentcondolences to the people ofNorway soon after the attacks.He said the incidents were areminder that the world mustwork together to prevent futureterror attacks.The president recalled in astatement the warm receptionhe received from Norwegiansduring his 2009 trip to Oslo toreceive the Nobel Peace Prize.“So our hearts go out to them,and we’ll provide any supportwe can to them as they investi-gate these occurrences,” Obamasaid.
w w w . a b c . n e t . a u
silver andgold usual-ly housed inthe Toledocathedral.The tra-ditional,solemnsense com-municatedby the To-ledo mon-strance willbe echoedin the papalliturgiesthroughoutthe trip,organizerssaid.“Thepoint is tohighlightthat the central person of World YouthDay is Jesus Christ, and the pope iscoming to proclaim him,” said Father Javier Cremades, Madrid coordinatorof the liturgies.However, not all of Father Cremades’plans emphasize the formal.“We’ll wake the young people withmariachi music” the morning of Aug.21, hours before the pope arrives to
celebrate the nal Mass at the Cuatro
Vientos military airport, he said.“Young people will come to WorldYouth Day to celebrate with the HolyFather,” he said. “If they did not wantto attend a liturgy in the pope’s style,they wouldn’t be coming.”Young women and men will proclaimthe Scripture readings at the Mass andread the prayers of the faithful; seminar-
ians will fulll the role of altar servers.
Up to 6,000 singers 25 years old andyounger—members ofchoirs fromaround theworld—will singthe hymnsat the Mass.Blessed John Paulwas thepope withthe reputa-tion for ral-lying andenergizingthousands ofyoung Cath-olics andparticularlyfor drawingenergy fromthem.
KORONADAL City, July 27, 2011―In
-digenous women leaders gave PresidentBenigno Aquino III a failing grade forhis failure to deliver on promises madeduring the presidential campaign period
and his rst state of the nation address
(SONA).At least 45 tribal women leaders rep-resenting 19 tribes and sub-tribes acrossthe country gathered on July 23-24 atthe Christ the King Retreat Center inKoronadal City to share with one another
their thoughts and reections regarding
their life conditions under the PNoy ad-ministration.Aquino’s high popularity among the peo-ple partly due to his pedigree and people’sdisenchantment of the previous govern-ment because of allegations of corruption,also led to high expectations from those whosupported him that fundamental changeswould occur once he is in power.But many people, including the IPwomen leaders expressed disappoint-
ment that one year into ofce, the Aquino
administration appears to have no clearroad map to guide its actions. Judy A. Pasimio, an NGO leader andorganizer of the tribal gathering said thatbeing at the forefront of struggles theyhave always dreamt of positive changes inthe country every time a new administra-
tion sits in ofce.
“In his speech in 2010, PNOY said‘Ngayon, pwede na tayong mangarap.’(We can now dream.) As women whoare in the forefront of struggles, we havealways kept our dreams. The more criticalquestion is – do we have an ally in PNOY
in moving closer to the fullment of ourdreams?” Pasimio, who is also an ofcer
of Legal Rights and Natural ResourcesCenter (LRC-Ksk/Friends of the Earth-Phils.), asked.
The women leaders also expressedto the Good Samaritan Foundation,established by Blessed John Paul II in2004 to provide economic support tothe sick who are most in need, particu-larly those suffering from AIDS.Msgr. Mupendawatu said the foun-dation planned to strengthen its activ-ity, especially in Africa, by increasingits promotion of donations of phar-maceutical and medical material, andby working more closely with localCatholic leaders to place the churchin the forefront of the care for AIDSpatients.To favor these efforts, he said, the
foundation may open ofces on every
continent, which would function in
coordination with the central ofce
in Rome.“The foundation is also studyingthe possibility of creating its own‘pharmaceutical center’ which wouldallow the collection and distribution ofmedicines in poor countries,” he said.The center would work in cooperationwith other church agencies.Msgr. Mupendawatu said that whilemore than 25 percent of the globalhealth care to AIDS patients is provid-ed by Catholic institutions, the churchneeds to do even more in the face ofthe epidemic, which infects about 7,000additional people each day.One of the church’s priorities is tohelp make “universal and free access totreatment” a reality for all those infectedwith AIDS, he said. Today, only about5 percent of people with AIDS patientsreceive adequate care, he said.“It’s enough to realize that the ma- jority (of AIDS patients) in Africa liveon a dollar a day and cannot afford anytreatment. Therefore, it’s necessaryto reach the essential goal of no-costdrugs,” he said.Msgr. Mupendawatu said thechurch’s insistence that education inresponsible sexuality be part of anyanti-AIDS strategy has found appreci-
ation in scientic circles. The church’s
position is that effective prevention ofAIDS must include the abandonmentof high-risk behavior and the adop-tion of a “balanced sexuality” basedon premarital chastity and marital
delity, he said.
He noted that Pope Benedict XVI’smonthly prayer intention for Julyevoked the church’s commitment toAIDS sufferers: “That Christians mayease the physical and spiritual suffer-ings of those who are sick with AIDS,especially in the poorest countries.”
Talks boost youth groups’understanding of RH issues
MANILA, July 29, 2011—The youthare hungry for information aboutthemselves and about vital issuesof the day—this much was evidentbased on requests received byFilipinos for Life to deliver talkson the Reproductive Health (RH)bill at a school and to an audiencecomposed of high schoolers.Some 150 students from variouscampus organizations of AMA EastRizal gathered for a symposium onthe House Bill 4244, dubbed “RH BillAwareness.”In a three-hour presentation, Dr.Melissa Poblete and Dr. AbrahamCruz tackled key portions of thebill and explained relevant medicalstudies to help the students un-derstand the repercussions of al-lowing the measure to be enactedinto law.Poblete, also a board member ofPro-Life Philippines, pointed outseemingly harmless sections ofthe P3 billion piece of legislationbut devoted much time to tackleprovisions that ought to be rejectedand which the doctor referred to ascoercive, anti-poor and anti-life.Armed with documented medicalresearch, she presented how oralcontraceptive pills—the procure-ment and distribution of which aremandated by the RH bill—are actu-
ally carcinogenic, specically linked
to an increase risk of breast cancer.“It is unethical for a medicalprofessional not to disclose thesemedical facts,” Poblete said.She also pointed out to the stu-dents that these birth control pillsas well as other contraceptive drugsand devices, are being pushed tobe categorized as “essential medi-cines” under the law via the billauthored by Albay RepresentativeEdcel Lagman.After the speaker’s presentation,the question about abortion beingconsidered a “necessity” in somecases came up as a student queried,“Ano po ba ang masasabi ninyo saaborsyon na isang option kung angsitwasyon ay dapat papiliin, ina osanggol?”“If a treatment should be ap-plied on the mother, and the babydies [as a result of] the treatment,that is unintentional. It is differentfrom intentionally killing the baby,”Poblete replied. “It’s a matter of eth-ics that the life of the baby shouldbe considered as well.”The youth parishioners of SanPablo Apostol in Tondo, on theother hand, were reminded aboutthe importance of embracing chas-tity and keeping relationshipspure, as Filipinos for Life founderAnthony James Perez provided abrief overture before nurse trainerAnna Cosio launched into a simplebut informative talk on the medicalaspects of the RH bill.The high school juniors andseniors of the parish were visiblyfascinated by the knowledge theyacquired through the talk even afterthe speakers bade them goodbyefor the night.The forum was preceded by aEucharistic celebration led by SanPablo Apostol parish priest Fr.Ricky Cabugsa FdCC, followedby a short musical performanceby youth parishioners.
But in a passage that sounds like hewas surprised about the impact that thecelebration had on him, Pope Benedicttold an interviewer, “these youth dayshave actually turned out to be a genuinegift for me.”In the book “Light of the World,” hetold Peter Seewald that he was struck bythe “intense joy” and “the spirit of rec-ollection that, amazingly, pervades theactual World Youth Days themselves.”Talking about the experience inSydney at WYD 2008, he said, “Itwas quite simply the common joyof faith that carried us through andthat made it possible for hundredsof thousands of people to remain insilence before the sacrament and soto become one.”Pope Benedict has insisted that real,even prolonged moments of silence beadded to every liturgy he celebrates.Visiting Sulmona, Italy, in 2010, hesaid, “We live today in a society inwhich every space, every moment must
be ‘lled’ with initiatives, activities and
sound,” so that there is no time for lis-tening and dialogue.“Dear brothers and sisters, don’t beafraid of silence outside and inside our-selves, if we want to hear not only thevoice of God but also of those who areclose to us, the voices of others,” he said.Yago de la Cierva, executive direc-tor of World Youth Day Madrid, saidthat while organizers, priests and eventhe pope cannot control what the HolySpirit does in the lives of the youngpilgrims, they must be serious aboutpreparing an atmosphere where theSpirit’s action can be recognized.“One important thing is to take greatcare with the liturgy, so the young willsay, ‘Wow, the Mass is beautiful,’” hesaid.
frustration on the government’s failureto address poverty and the fundamentalissue of human rights.Keynote speaker Beverly Longid ofKatribu Partylist explained that “food onthe table and other basic needs are amongthe main concerns of most indigenouswomen, and PNoy failed to address thesebasic problems one year after his assump-tion to power.”She criticized PNoy’s 4P’s (Pantawid Pam-ilyang Pilipino Program), saying the program“perpetuate discrimination of indigenouswomen”, as well as “becoming another
source of corruption among ofcials.”
T’boli leader Amihan Ambag echoedthe same sentiment saying that PNoy“failed to stop the continuing increase ofprices of goods, oil, rice and [their] otherdaily needs.”The group lamented that they have yetto gain rightful ownership of their ancestraldomain even as they noted that the govern-ment is not extending any help so they candevelop their lands.Aquino also failed to stop militarizationin the country sides which resulted invarious cases of human rights violations,the group said.
A ray of hope
But with the appointment of a newchair in the National Commission forIndigenous Peoples (NCIP) the womenleaders expressed hope that some positivechanges will happen in due time.NCIP chair Bridgettte Hamada, is anIfugao and has been in the vanguard ofstruggle for the protection of IP rights.The Commission on Human Rights, whichis headed by Etta Rosales, is also likely to “acton issues raised by indigenous communities,especially of women who are discriminatedand threatened both as an indigenous peopleand as woman.”The group also expressed the desire toget involved and make their voice heardin the current peace negotiations betweenthe government and rebels.“We hope that the peace talks will not just solve these political problems but alsoaddress the very issue of the lack of basic
social services provided in far-ung areas.We reafrmed in the sessions that basic
needs such as food, education and healthneeds are not delivered in the poorest ofthe poor communities,” they said.The National Gathering of IndigenousPeoples had the theme “IP women weavingdesires together, forging collective strengthtowards solidarity and genuine changes.”Proceedings of the two-day gatheringwill be put together into an IP womenagenda and will be given to relevant agen-cies both at the national and local level.
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