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Cbcpmonitor Vol15 n16

Cbcpmonitor Vol15 n16

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Published by cbcpmonitor
- Bishops back FOI bill’s passage
- Catholics mull charges vs CCP over ‘blasphemous’ exhibit
- CBCP launches website for World Youth Day
- CBCP to Santiago: RH bill not the answer in solving poverty
- Priest, ex-PNP chief to run 2888 km marathon for peace, unity
- Church to put pressure on gov’t over Hacienda Luisita row
- No divorce an ‘honor’ for PH―Nuncio
- Bishops back FOI bill’s passage
- Catholics mull charges vs CCP over ‘blasphemous’ exhibit
- CBCP launches website for World Youth Day
- CBCP to Santiago: RH bill not the answer in solving poverty
- Priest, ex-PNP chief to run 2888 km marathon for peace, unity
- Church to put pressure on gov’t over Hacienda Luisita row
- No divorce an ‘honor’ for PH―Nuncio

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Published by: cbcpmonitor on Aug 04, 2011
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 Vol. 15 No. 16
 August 1 - 14, 2011
Php 20.
THE Filipinoyouth who areunable to partici-pate personally inthe forthcomingWorld Youth Daycelebrations inMadrid will havethe opportunityto join the youthday celebrationsin a virtual man-ner.The Episco-pal Commissionon Youth of the
No divorce an ‘honor’ for
THE Philippines should take pride for being theonly country in the world that does not have adivorce law, an aide of Pope Benedict XVI said.Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, papal nuncio tothe Philippines, said that Filipinos should con-tinue to protect the sacredness of marriage.“I think it is a point of honor for the Philip-pines and in keeping the family with the tradi-tion according to the doctrine of the Church, ofcourse in the Natural Law,” Pinto said.Discussion on the controversial divorce billresumed after Malta, a largely Catholic country, ap-
Website / A6Poverty / A6Hacienda / A6Divorce / A6Marathon / A6
Catholic Bishops Conferenceof the Philippines (CBCP)has launched a website thatwill provide young FilipinoCatholics the chance to par-ticipate in the various WYDactivities in Madrid fromAugust 16-21.The online portal www.wydpinoy.com will pro-vide a continuous update ofevents and activities as theyhappen for the entire dura-tion of WYD celebrations.The site will enable youngpeople who were not ableto go to Madrid as well asparents of pilgrims to followclosely the events as theyunfold and will be able tocommunicate interactivelywith delegates as they posttheir sharings and testimoni-als online.
 WYD Media Team
April Frances Ortigas, WebAdministrator of YouthPinoywill be heading the YP MediaTeam for the WYD 2011.Ortigas said that theirpresence in cyberspace is aresponse to the call of PopeBenedict XVI to make useof digital media and socialcommunications and to makeGod visible in cyberspace.“The media team is the 1stmedia delegation consists ofsix journalists [to] be sent toSpain to document what ishappening with the Philip-pine delegation during theduration of the celebrationof WYD,” she said.“We will [upload] personal
sharings and reections, [as
well as] updates on what
FOI / A6
The State of theSoul of the Nation
Pope Benedict’sWYD: Space made forsilence, solemnity
   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
The Cross
A Supplement Publication of KCFAPI andthe Order of the Knights of Columbus
CBCP launches website for World Youth Day 
Catholics mull charges vs CCP over ‘blasphemous’ exhibit
VARIOUS lay Catholic groups
are now considering the ling of
charges against those behind the“sacrilegious and blasphemous”art exhibit at the Cultural Centerof the Philippines (CCP).The complainants alreadysent a demand letter to the CCPand the artists who claimed tobe from the University of SantoTomas (UST) to stop the exhibitin 48 hours or face the legal con-sequences.Pro-life Philippines presidentEric Manalang said the demandletter was sent to the CCP onAugust 1 but their ultimatumstarts August 2.“By Thursday afternoon, we
will le a case if they do not stop
the exhibit and if they do not alsomake amends because stoppingis not enough. The damage hasbeen done,” Manalang said.He said they are currently
looking into the possibility of l
CBCP to Santiago: RHbill not the answer insolving poverty
Church to put pressure on gov’t over Hacienda Luisita row
AN official of the Catholic Bishops’Conference of the Philippines saidthey will continue to put pressure onthe government, asking it to ensure thedistribution of the Hacienda Luisitaland to the farmers.“We will take a watchful eye on thiscase and we will not allow anotherdefeat for the Hacienda Luisita farmworkers,” said Fr. Edu Gariguez, execu-tive secretary of the CBCP’s NationalSecretariat for Social Action.The Church, he said, would make surethat social justice is served primarily inthe 6,435 sugar estate in Tarlac ownedby the family of President Aquino.He also urged the Supreme Court tofollow the government which earlierstated that it is standing by its order in2005 for land distribution, not sharesof stocks, to farmer-beneficiaries ofHacienda Luisita.“The stock distribution option andreferendum should be junked. There canbe no real agrarian reform without thedistribution of land,” said Gariguez.“We cannot allow a confusing Su-preme Court decision to galvanize thestranglehold of the Cojuangcos to theland,” he said. “In the name of social justice, Hacienda Luisita should bedistributed to the farmers. Time andagain, the Cojuangcos have skirted thedistribution of land to the farmers,”Gariguez said.On July 22, the Department of Agrar-ian Reform and Presidential AgrarianReform Council asked the SC to orderthe land distribution of the HaciendaLuisita Inc. (HLI) by removing fromits July 5 decision the provision giv-
ing farmer-beneciaries the option to
remain as stockholders.To recall, the SC, in its order, had
Priest, ex-PNP chief to run 2888 km marathonfor peace, unity
AN unlikely pair of friends is doing a marathon runacross the country to promote peace and unity.Dilaab Foundation Inc., overall stewardFr. Carmelo O. Diola and former Philip-pine National Police Chief Superinten-dent Samson R. Tucay will run a 2,888kilometer marathon traversing thePhilippine Maharlika Highway.
A support staff of ve will accom
-pany the duo as they begin their runthrough the country’s principal transportbackbone on August 8, 2011.
ing charges against CCP ofcials
and artists of the exhibit dubbedas “Kulo.”The exhibit features imagesof Jesus Christ and the VirginMary adorned with objects notrelated to Christianity. One
even showed a crucix with a
One Christ the King gurine
had rabbit ears.Laywer Jo Imbong, executivedirector of the St. Thomas MoreSociety Inc., said as a publicagency, the CCP should not haveallowed such exhibit for it con-tradicts its legal mandate.“It was created by law andfunded by our taxes for thepurpose of awakening the con-sciousness of our people toour cultural heritage,” Imbongsaid.“Is it our cultural heritageto mock and insult religiouspersonages and icons? Is it aes-thetic to vandalize a veneratedrepresentation of objects of wor-ship and reverence? Is vulgar-ity and blasphemy a Filipinovalue? What Filipino pride canemerge for such works? Is thisour national identity? And CCPpromotes it?” she asked.Imbong said those responsiblefor the exhibit also violatedArticle 201 of the Revised PenalCode on Immoral Exhibitions.“Those responsible for thepublic exhibit…the artist…theyhave a liability because theyoffended the religious beliefof a country that is 85 percentChristian,” she added.The CCP exhibit whichopened last June 17 and will rununtil August 21, has receivedflak from various groups, in-cluding the Catholic Church,for the unconventional useof religious figures in the artpieces.
Bishops back FOI bill’s passage
By Roy Lagarde
PRESIDENT Benigno AquinoIII is confusing the public asto whether he remains com-mitted to his anti-corruptionagenda, a Catholic bishopsaid.
Manila Auxiliary Bishop BroderickPabillo himself said he is wonderingwhy Aquino did not at least clearlystate his position on the Freedom ofInformation (FOI) bill during his Stateof the Nation Address (Sona).The measure, the prelate said, is need-ed because that would complement thePresident’s goal to achieve transparencyand accountability in government.“But the FOI is not even one ofPresident Aquino’s priorities. Is theresomething to hide that he doesn’t wantthe public to know?” Pabillo said.
“If he is serious in ghting corruption,
government transactions should be ac-cessible to the public not just of the pastbut also of the present administration,”he said.Pabillo chairs the National Secretariatfor Social Action – Justice and Peace ofthe Catholic Bishops’ Conference of thePhilippines (CBCP).The controversial bill mandates all
public ofces to give the public access to
the budget spe nding and other relatedinformation.Pabillo expressed concern that thePresident appeared to be retreatingfrom his earlier commitment to push theFOI bill, which would guarantee greater
public access to ofcial contracts, data
and documents.During his presidential campaign,Aquino had repeatedly assured themedia that he would back the bill aspart of his push for transparency ingovernment. 
Signature drive
Two other prelates said they are onewith various organizations calling forthe FOI bill’s passage to institutionalizetransparency in government.
The church ofcials said they also
support a signature drive by mediagroups for Aquino to prioritize the pas-sage of the bill.According to Lipa Archbishop Ra-mon Arguelles, Aquino’s support forthe measure would prove his sincerityto combat corruption in the govern-ment.Sadly, he said, there is no clear sig-nal yet whether the President is for oragainst the FOI bill especially becauseAquino did not categorically state hisposition on the issue during his StateONE need not ask an expert in liberationtheology to understand that the repro-ductive health (RH) bill is not the keyin solving poverty in the country, a
Catholic Church ofcial said.
Monsignor Juanito Figura, secretarygeneral of the Catholic Bishops’ Confer-ence of the Philippines, said that whileliberation theology is good, the “social
forces of oppression” must rst be de
-termined and be taken in the Philippinecontext.These “forces”, he said, could referto the widespread corruption in thegovernment, unequal distribution ofland, widening gap between the richand the poor, worsening criminality,severe incidents of hunger, and human
“I cannot see why I would supportthe RH bill because the good provisions,for the sake of mothers and children,are already stated in the mandates ofgovernment agencies,” Figura said.“The pro-poor provisions are alsoalready with the agencies. There is noneed for a new law. What we need issincere and committed implementationof the already existing laws,” he said.
The CBCP ofcial was reacting to Sen.
Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s call to theCatholic hierarchy to support the pas-sage of the controversial RH bill.Santiago, who authored RH bill in
DISTRIBUTE LAND NOW. A Catholic nun joins farmers and agrarian reform advocates led by the National Secretariat for Social Action - Justice and Peace of the Catholic Bishops Confer-ence of the Philippines (CBCP) and Hacienda Luisita workers to denounce the Supreme Court order for another round of referendum among farmers to choose between stock distribution
option (SDO) and land distribution during a protest rally outside the Supreme Court ofce in Manila, July 22, 2011.
   ©   R  o  y   L  a  g  a  r   d  e   /   C   B   C   P   M  e   d   i  a   ©   R  o  n  a   l  y  n   R  e  g   i  n  o   /   C   B   C   P   M  e   d   i  a   ©   R  o  y   L  a  g  a  r   d  e   /   C   B   C   P   M  e   d   i  a
Msgr. Juanito FiguraFr. Conegundo Garganta, ECY executive secretary, led the launching of the WYD website (www.wydpinoy.com) that would provide continuous updates of WYD activities in Madrid from August 16-21.
 Vol. 15 No. 16
August 1 - 14, 2011
CBCP Monitor
 World News
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Vatican Briefng
Cor Unum: Hundreds of thousands could die in East Africa
The Pontical Council Cor Unum is warning that hundreds of
thousands of people in the Horn of Africa are at risk of dying dueto a lack of basic necessities. In a communiqué July 19, the council,which oversees the Church’s charity work, noted Benedict XVI’s ap-peal Sunday for international solidarity in response to the droughtthat has caused the emergency, complicated in some areas by violent
conict. Echoing UNICEF, Cor Unum called the situation a “critical
humanitarian emergency.”
Vatican did not aid abuse cover-up in Ireland, saysspokesman
Fr. Federico Lombardi said claims that the Vatican encouragedIrish bishops to not report sex abuse cases to police are untrue andignore everything the Holy See has done to the counteract the is-sue. “In attributing grave responsibility to the Holy See for whathappened in Ireland,” Fr. Lombardi, S.J., wrote, “such accusations… demonstrate little awareness of what the Holy See has actuallydone over the years to help effectively address the problem.” TheVatican spokesman made his remarks July 20 amid accusations byIrish lawmakers that a 1997 letter to Irish bishops sabotaged theirchild protection policy by instructing them to handle abuse casesstrictly by canon law.
Vatican expresses support for UN Conference onWeapons Regulations
The illegal weapon trade has contributed to numerous situations ofhuman suffering, and a set of global regulations are needed, saysthe Holy See. In a statement prepared for the Third PreparatoryCommittee for the U.N. Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty,which took place July 11-15 in New York, the Holy See Mission tothe United Nations expressed support for “a set of internationally-agreed standards,” which will be discussed at next year. “In manyparts of the world,” the statement began, “the illicit trade of weapons
and ammunition has led to human suffering, internal conicts, civil
unrest, human rights violations, humanitarian crises, crime, violenceand terror.”
Pope remembers Cardinal Noe’s diligent work
Cardinal Virgilio Noe, archpriest emeritus of the Vatican Basilica,former vicar general for Vatican City, and president of the Fabric ofSt. Peter, died on July 24 at the age of 89. Pope Benedict XVI sent atelegram of condolence to the cardinal’s sister, Maria Noe, mourningthe man. “In everything he did he provided highly-valued testimonyof fervent priestly zeal and faithfulness to the Gospel,” the Popewrote. He called the cardinal “a diligent collaborator of the Holy See,
particularly in the Ofce of Liturgical Celebrations.”
Vatican recalls nuncio in Ireland
The Holy See has recalled its nuncio in Ireland, Archbishop GiuseppeLeanza, to Rome for consultations with the Secretariat of State, theVatican reported July 25. A communiqué issued by the Vatican
press ofce said the recall comes after “the release on July 13 of
the report by the Irish government commission of enquiry into al-legations of abuse of minors by clergy in the diocese of Cloyne (theCloyne Report), and in particular in the wake of the subsequentreactions.”
Contraception mandate tramplesreligious freedom, US bishops say
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WASHINGTON D.C., Aug. 1,2011—The U.S. bishops spokeout on August 1 against federalrules requiring nearly all newhealth plans, including thoseof most religious agencies, tocover all government-approvedmethods of contraception as wellas surgical sterilization.“Under the new rule our in-stitutions would be free to act inaccord with Catholic teaching onlife and procreation only if theywere to stop hiring and servingnon-Catholics,” said CardinalDaniel N. DiNardo, chairmanof the U.S. bishops’ pro-lifecommittee.“Although this new rule givesthe agency the discretion to au-thorize a ‘religious’ exemption, itis so narrow as to exclude mostCatholic social service agenciesand healthcare providers,” thecardinal noted.The guidelines, announcedby Health and Human ServicesSecretary Kathleen Sebelius onAugust 1, offer the exemptiononly if a religious employer “hasthe inculcation of religious val-ues as its purpose,” “primarilyemploys persons who share itsreligious tenets,” and “primar-ily serves persons who share itsreligious tenets.”Cardinal DiNardo wonderedwhether the federal governmentmay actually “intend to pressureCatholic institutions to ceaseproviding health care, educationand charitable services to thegeneral public,” by forcing theinstitutions to choose betweenfollowing Catholic principles onthe one hand, and serving non-Catholics on the other.In a July 22 letter to Congress,the cardinal stated that “thosewho sponsor, purchase and is-sue health plans should not beforced to violate their deeplyheld moral and religious convic-tions in order to take part in thehealth care system or providefor the needs of their families ortheir employees.”“To force such an unac-ceptable choice,” he wrote,“would be as much a threatto universal access to healthcare as it is to freedom ofconscience.”In his remarks on August1, the bishops’ pro-life chair-man also objected to Sebelius’statement that the “historicguidelines” would “help ensurewomen get the preventive health
benets they need.”
“Pregnancy is not a disease,and children are not a ‘healthproblem,’” Cardinal DiNardosaid. “They are the next genera-tion of Americans.”He added that Catholics were“not alone in conscientiouslyobjecting to this mandate,”which would include drugssuch as the controversial drug“Ella.” While it was approvedas an emergency contracep-tive, the cardinal noted, Ella“can act like the abortion drugRU-486,” and “abort an estab-lished pregnancy weeks afterconception.”“The pro-life majority ofAmericans—Catholics and oth-ers—would be outraged to learnthat their premiums must beused for this purpose.”Cardinal DiNardo said it was“now more vital than ever” forCongress to pass the Respect forRights of Conscience Act, so that“employers and employees alikewill have the freedom to choosehealth plans in accordance withtheir deeply held moral andreligious beliefs.”That proposal, which nineRepublican and Democraticsenators introduced in the Houseon March 17, would amend thePatient Protection and Afford-able Care Act (popularly knownas “Obamacare”) to allow con-scientious objectors to opt outof providing some medical treat-ments.The conscience-protectionproposal has made no progressin the House since its referral toa subcommittee on March 28.
‘Young Swiss Guards’ to greet Pope for World Youth Day 
MADRID, Spain, July 30,2011—Sixty children dressed inthe uniform of the Swiss Guardswill welcome Pope Benedict XVIduring World Youth Day thisAugust in Madrid.The director of the group,nicknamed the “Young SwissGuards,” told Fides news agencythat the group was born out ofaffection for the Pope after John
Paul II’s rst visit to Spain in
1982.Bl. John Paul II visited thecountry again in 1993 and 2003,always accompanied by theyoung Swiss Guards.The group will welcome thePope at the airport in Barajas,Spain and will greet him thereat the end of World YouthDay.Their uniforms took about5,000 hours of work to createand used more than 450 metersof fabric and 4,200 meters offabric tape.Unlike their young imi-tators, the Pontifical SwissGuards number 110 and areresponsible for the Pope’ssafety. They guard his homeand assist him during impor-tant ceremonies celebrated inthe Vatican.The guard marked its 505thanniversary in January. On Jan.22, 1506, 150 Swiss soldiers en-tered the Vatican at the requestof Pope Julius II. It is the oldeststanding army in the world.
Abuse report will not delayIrish Eucharistic Congress
DUBLIN, Ireland, July 30,2011—Ireland’s 2012 Interna-tional Eucharistic Congresswill continue as planned,from June 10-17, despite callsto postpone the event fol-lowing the recently releasedCloyne Report on clericalabuse.“It is especially importantfor people in times of challengeor crisis that they can gather insolidarity and rediscover theiressential truths,” said FatherKevin Doran, secretary generalof the Eucharistic Congress, on July 29.He told CNA that “Catholicsare no different in this regard”and the Eucharistic Congresswill “support that need” with-in the Church.Senator Cait Keane, a mem-ber of Ireland’s ruling FineGael party, had proposed thepostponement, telling the Irishparliament on July 27 that “ev-eryone will be better served,given the sensitivities around
the ndings of this report,” if
the congress is “held at a laterdate.”The controversial Associa-tion of Catholic Priests, whichcalls for a “re-structuring ofthe governing system of theChurch” and a “redesigningof ministry in the Church,”has backed the idea of post-ponement.But Fr. Doran said there was“substantial enthusiasm for theCongress,” both locally andinternationally, and noted thatthe Church had been planningthe event since June 2008.He added that the Con-gress is not just a week-longevent but a “pilgrimage ofrenewal,” where participantscan come together to explorethe meaning of Eucharist in allits dimensions, including thechallenge of acting justly andwalking humbly with God.”
Thousands of catechists meetacross Vietnam
HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam, Aug. 1,2011—In all of Vietnam’s 26 dioceses, Julyis a month dedicated to catechists. Confer-ences, seminars, forums, training coursesand personal activities attract thousandsof them, brought together by the memoryof the Blessed Andrew of Phu Yen, “proto-martyr of Vietnam”.Born in 1624, Andrew was an assistantto a Jesuit missionary. He was arrested in1644 and put death on 26 July of that yearafter he refused to give up his faith.
During his beatication cer
-emony on 5 March 2000, JohnPaul II said, “The words herepeated as he advanced onthe path of martyrdom are theexpression of what motivatedhis whole life: ‘Let us returnlove for love to our God, let usreturn life for life’.”For this reason, late July hasbeen dedicated to catechistswho bear witness to the faithand try to overcome the chal-lenges of every day.
In the Diocese of Đà Lat, all
185 catechists from the parishesin
Bảo Lộc
met on 14-15 July fora training course.On 22- 23 July, the Dioceseof Phan Thi
t held a meetingat the Saint Nicolas Seminary.The heads and deputy chiefsfrom 80 catechism commit-tees came together from allof the diocese’s parishes. Allcatechists were thus providedwith an opportunity to celebrate the BlessedAndrew.Speaking to the gathering, Bishop
 Joseph Vũ Duy Th
ng said, “Catechistshave an important role in the develop-ment of catechism teaching and thecommunion with the Church. I have ap-preciated to your sacrifices in daily life.You have strived for co-operation withparishes, getting involved in Catholicfaith education for children and youngpeople”.On 25 July, all 250 catechists from the par-ishes of H
i Phòng diocese met in a friendlyatmosphere in the Bishop’s Residence todiscuss training orientation and share theirexperiences in teaching the catechism.During the meeting, H
i Phòng Bishop
 Joseph Vũ Văn Thiên said, “Teaching
catechism is not a job, but a mission. Weare invited to cooperate with the Church,which has entrusted us to go out to preachthe good news, whilst bearing witness ofour faith in our own lives.”
In Ban Mê Thu
t diocese, some 900
catechists met in Long Đi
n parish on25- 26 July to take part in a conferencetitled “Meeting – dialogue to do wit-ness”.“You are enthusiastic catechists,” BishopVincent Nguy
n Văn B
n told those pres-ent. In his address, he urged his audienceto “continue this mission, because manypeople are in need of you.”On 26-27 July, L
ng S
n Diocese, whichis located in a mountainous region, or-ganised its 12th examination programmein catechism and Bible studies. The two-day event brought together adults whoshared their experiences and 200 children,who were able to learn more about thefaith. Hundreds of young people from 13parishes were also given a chance to learnand take the exam.In Ho Chi Minh City, the Archdioceseof Saigon organized a week (18-24 July) ofactivities centred on the theme ‘I choose Jesus’. Some 2,000 catechists took part inthe event, which included seminars andassemblies.
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 .  c  o  m
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo
Peruvian cardinal: Life and thefamily must be protected
LIMA, Peru, July 26, 2011―Cardinal Juan Luis
Cipriani of Lima, Peru has issued a special callto protect human life and the family from thethreats of abortion and same-sex marriage.He denounced the “foreign” agenda ofabortion, euthanasia and gender ideology.“I don’t want that agenda to destroy thePeruvian family. I would like our agendato be one that respects life from conception,one that respects the family consisting ofa man and a woman, and the stability ofthe family. We should not be so concernedabout these other side issues,” he said, dur-ing his radio program, Dialogue of Faith.Cardinal Cipriani said families deserve tolive in an atmosphere of respect for humandignity and that more attention should bepaid to the formation of a moral conscience,as Peru’s President-elect, Ollanta Humala,
prepares to take ofce on July 28.
“I am worried about the family, theeducation of children and morality,” thecardinal continued. “Salary increases, con-
tract renewals and GDP growth are all ne,
but the human being is not a consumptionmachine. He is a being that loves, and thegreat motivating factor for working is toprovide for his family,” he stated.“We can’t be turning out kids who getinvolved in drugs or gangs because of pooreducation, nor can we lead young people tothink that everything is just fun and games,booze, careers and sex,” he said.Cardinal Cipriani encouraged parents toprovide a decent education for their childrenand to help them avoid falling into drugsand violence. “All these issues are linked,”he said.The Peruvian cardinal also thanked
outgoing President Alan Garcia for his ve
years of service to the country.“Above and beyond the polls, I think an im-portant era is coming to an end. The relation-ship with the Church has been one of respect.The relationship with the country has been oneof improvement and growth.” He added thatthere is always work to be done, but warnedagainst focusing only on the negative.Cardinal Cipriani also offered his bestwishes to the new administration and hishopes that it would “promote unity, peace,order and moral growth.”“My best wishes and prayers of thanksgiv-ing to Dr. Alan Garcia and that the Lord en-lighten and strengthen Mr. Ollanta Humala.The Church never sides with any government,but at the same time she hopes that the Peru-vian family will maintain its Christian rootsand that development will take place in thearea of morality as well,” he said.
 Vol. 15 No. 16
August 1 - 14, 2011
CBCP Monitor
News Features
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 ofcer 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 ofcial
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 Pontical Council for Health Care
Ministry, said in an interview July 21with the Vatican newspaper.Msgr. Mupendawatu is a delegate
prime minister’s ofce 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.
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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 fulll 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 reections 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 ofce, 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 ofce.
“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 fullment of ourdreams?” Pasimio, who is also an ofcer
of Legal Rights and Natural ResourcesCenter (LRC-Ksk/Friends of the Earth-Phils.), asked.
Vital issues
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 ofces on every
continent, which would function in
coordination with the central ofce
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 scientic 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, specically 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.
(Raymond Bandril)
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 ofcials.”
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 reafrmed 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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