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Cbcpmonitor Vol15 n19

Cbcpmonitor Vol15 n19

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Published by cbcpmonitor
- Church can’t stay neutral in the face of injustice—bishop
- Abortion stats ‘may or may not be true,’ admits pro-RH senator
- RH bill sponsors questioned on birth control supplies as ‘essential medicines’
- Church, workers urge govt to create just labor policies
- Santiago’s theology faulty, says Dominican priest
- Church assesses growth of BECs
- Pope Benedict describes how beautiful art can lead to God
- Ugnayan: The News Supplement of Couples for Christ
- Church can’t stay neutral in the face of injustice—bishop
- Abortion stats ‘may or may not be true,’ admits pro-RH senator
- RH bill sponsors questioned on birth control supplies as ‘essential medicines’
- Church, workers urge govt to create just labor policies
- Santiago’s theology faulty, says Dominican priest
- Church assesses growth of BECs
- Pope Benedict describes how beautiful art can lead to God
- Ugnayan: The News Supplement of Couples for Christ

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Published by: cbcpmonitor on Sep 15, 2011
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 Vol. 15 No. 19
September 12 - 25, 2011
Php 20.
Church assesses growthof BECs
BECs / A7
FIFTY years after the Second Vatican Coun-cil, Church leaders are looking back on howthe basic ecclesial communities in Asia havebeen faithful to the vision that brought themto their very existence.BEC practitioners from India, Sri Lanka,Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, China and thePhilippines gathered at the One World Com-munity Service Center in Taipei from Sep-tember 2 to 5 for the Asian Continental BECMeeting to report on the state and develop-ment of BECs in their respective countries.
Abortion / A6Injustice / A6
Be what youmust be
Pope Benedictdescribes how beautifulart can lead to God
Church can’t stay neutral inthe face of injustice—bishop
Church, workers urge govt to createjust labor policies
Santiago’s theology faulty, says Dominican priest
RH bill sponsors questionedon birth control supplies as‘essential medicines’
Church and labor leaders discuss priority concerns of Filipino workers during workshops atthe four-day national conference of Church people and workers in Cebu City.
Abortion stats ‘may or may not be true,’ admits pro-RH senator
The News Supplement of Couplesfor Christ
THE supposed 570,000 abortions peryear which Sen. Miriam Defensor-San-tiago claims happens in the country isbased on mere “extrapolations” and aretherefore not necessarily accurate.
During the September 6 oor debates
on Senate Bill 2865 or “An Act Providingfor a National Policy on ReproductiveHealth and Population and Develop-ment,” Santiago, a sponsor of the bill,
revealed that the gure came from 2008
extrapolations by the Guttmacher Insti-tute and the UP Population Institute.The New York-based GuttmacherInstitute is the former research arm ofPlanned Parenthood, the largest pro-vider of abortion services in the UnitedStates and whose clinics have beenunder heavy investigation in recentmonths due to mounting evidence ofcover-ups involving sexual offend-
ers and trafcking of underage girls,
discoveries of improper disposal offetal remains and of multiple botchedabortions.To arrive at the total number of abor-tions in a year, Santiago said the Gutt-macher methodology simply multipliesthe number of women hospitalized forcomplications due to abortion “by a fac-tor of 6 or 7.” She did not explain howthe so-called multiplier was derived.“In other words this may or may notbe true,” said Senate President JuanPonce Enrile who was interpellatingSantiago, to which the latter replied in
the afrmative.
An estimated 3.371 million pregnan-cies in 2008 supposedly led to 573,000abortions (or 17% of the number ofpregnancies), based on the Guttmacherpaper in question.Guttmacher claimed that based onhospital records, there were 90,000admissions in 2008, which means themultiplier used by Guttmacher was
between 6 and 7 to produce an inatedgure of 573,000 induced abortions—
easily half of abortions in the UnitedStates, where abortion is legal.During the debates, Enrile pointed outthat Guttmacher made the extrapolation
based on data from the year 2000—morethan a decade ago—without examining
2008 hospital records.The extrapolation methodologystates: “Numbers of induced abortionsby region, 2008: We applied the regionalnumber of induced abortions per 1,000women aged 15–49 in 2000 (the mostrecent data available) to the numbersof women aged 15–49 in 2008.”The 2000 data is contained in theolder study “The Incidence of InducedAbortion in the Philippines: CurrentLevel and Recent Trends,” also by Gutt-macher and UP. That study, publishedin 2005, claimed 78,901 women werehospitalized due to abortion complica-
By Pinky Barrientos, FSP
ECHOING the wordsof Pope Benedict XVI, Jaro Archbishop AngelLagdameo stressed therole of the Church asthe voice of the poorin the face of injusticeand oppressive societalstructures.
“[The Church] cannot andmust not remain on the sidelinesin the fight for justice,” Lag-dameo said, quoting a line fromPope Benedict XVI’s celebratedencyclical,
Deus Caritas
.Speaking on September 13before participants of the Na-tional Conference of ChurchPeople and Workers in CebuCity’s Mariners Court, Lag-dameo quoted extensivelyfrom Church social documentshighlighting the Church’s posi-tion on the dignity of labor andrights of workers.He explained to 800 churchpeople and workers gatheredat the plenary hall, the devel-opment of the Church socialdocuments from Pope Leo XIII’sCHURCH people and workers calledon government to put an end to ex-ploitative working conditions andcreate just labor policies that giveworkers their right to security anddecent living.In a conference held by churchpeople and workers in Cebu Cityon Sept. 12-15, participants threshedout, through a series of testimoniesand workshops the three main issues
plaguing Filipino workers today—
contractualization, unjust wages, andthe violation of the workers’ right toorganize.“Ignoring its inherent immorality,the legalization of contractualizationallows capital to violate the workers’IF contraceptives are only meant forbirth control, then why are they taggedas “essential medicines” under theRH bill?Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrileasked this and other questions as theSenate resumed the period of interpel-lation for the controversial “reproduc-tive health” (RH) bill on Sept. 13.Enrile cited Section 9 of Senate BillNo. 2865 titled “An Act Providing fora National Policy on ReproductiveHealth and Population and Develop-ment,” which orders the inclusion ofhormonal contraceptives, intrauterinedevices, injectables, and “other safe,legal and effective family planningproducts and supplies” in the NationalDrug Formulary.“These products and supplies shallalso be included in the regular pur-chase of essential medicines andsupplies of all national and local hos-pitals, provincial, city, and municipal
health ofces, including rural health
units,” the Senate version of the RHbill states.The section is titled “Family PlanningSupplies as Essential Medicines.”Interpellating one of the RH billsponsors, Sen. Pia Cayetano, Enrilenoted that condoms do not cureanything while pills, injectables, andintrauterine devices work to preventfertilization.Enrile reiterated his belief that theRH bill is a population control measuredisguised as a health measure, since“You cannot reduce the size of the fam-ily without reducing the population ofthe country.”“There is no coercion but the resultis population control,” he said.Aiding Cayetano, Sen. Miriam De-fensor-Santiago, also an RH sponsor,said birth control, the supposed aim ofthe bill, was different from populationcontrol. The former allows women tocontrol the number of children whilein the latter, the State uses its powerto reduce the population, particularly
those of the unt.
Enrile, however, pointed out thatthe RH bill is particularly aimed atthe poor.“This is a law where the state itselfintervenes in the size of the family. Itis cleverly devised and disguised asa health measure. It is not health, it’s
reproductive health, a very specic
kind of health,” he said.He asked: “Why zero in on repro-ductive health? How many peopleTHEOLOGY should not be used toadvance one’s personal advocacy,especially when it runs contraryto Church teaching, according tothe dean of the theology schoolof the University of Santo Tomas(UST).Reacting to Sen. Miriam Defen-sor-Santiago’s speech sponsoringthe “reproductive health” (RH)bill last month, Fr. Rodel Aligan,O.P. said the phrase “follow your
Policies / A7Theology / A7Supplies / A7
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma (2nd from left) assures workers of Church’s active involvement on labor issues during a press conference at the opening of a national conference of “Church People-Workers Solidarity” in Cebu City, 13 September 2011. Also in the panel are, from left, Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, Jaro Auxiliary Bishop Gerardo Alminaza, and Protestant Bishop NathanaelLazaro, President of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP).
   ©   R  o  y   L  a  g  a  r   d  e   /   C   B   C   P   M  e   d   i  a
own conscience” has long beenabused.Aligan said a person cannot just invoke his or her consciencewithout studying the Church’steachings as well as a careful scru-tiny of one’s self before God. Thisis because one’s conscience, whilecertain, can be wrong.“A conscience may be right andcertain or erroneous and certain.Generally, a certain consciencecomes from rightconscience,” theDominican priestsaid in an inter-view with TheVarsitarian, UST’snewspaper.“[A person]has the right tofollow [his orher] own con-
   ©   R  o  y   L  a  g  a  r   d  e   /   C   B   C   P   M  e   d   i  a   l  u  s   t  r  a   t   i  o  n   b  y   B   l  a   d   i  m  e  r   U  s   i
 Vol. 15 No. 19
September 12 - 25, 2011
CBCP Monitor
 World News
Vatican Briefng
NY archbishop hopes US canrecover post-9/11 unity
WASHINGTON D.C., Sept. 11,
2011—New York Archbishop Timo
-thy M. Dolan hopes the United Statescan overcome social, economic, andreligious troubles by recovering the“spirit of unity” that prevailed afterthe Sept. 11 attacks 10 years ago.“Ten years ago we came togetheracross religious, political, social andethnic lines to stand as one peopleto heal wounds and defend againstterrorism,” wrote Archbishop Dolan,who currently serves as presidentof the United States Conference ofCatholic Bishops, in a Sept. 8 state-ment released by the conference.“As we face today’s challenges ofpeople out of work, families strug-gling, and the continuing dangers ofwars and terrorism, let us summonthe 9/11 spirit of unity to confrontour challenges.”Archbishop Dolan described the10th anniversary of the attacks on theWorld Trade Center, the Pentagon,and United Flight 93 as “a time for re-membrance, resolve and renewal.”“In a special way,” he wrote, “we
recall the seless rst responders—reghters, police, chaplains, emer
-gency workers, and other brave
persons—who risked, and many
times lost, their lives in their coura-geous efforts to save others.”The archbishop urged Americansto look for renewal through prayerand service, as many did after theattacks.“We turned to prayer, and thenturned to one another to offer helpand support,” the archbishop re-called. “Hands were folded in prayerand opened in service to those whohad lost so much.”He observed that compassionatefaith is “the greatest resource wehave” in the struggle to “reject hatredand resist terrorism.”The U.S. bishops, ArchbishopDolan said, are committed to rejecting“extreme ideologies that perverselymisuse religion,” while embracing“persons of all religions, includingour Muslim neighbors.”With regard to Islamic extremism,he said, the bishops “steadfastly re-frain from blaming the many for theactions of a few.”The New York archbishop recalledthose whom the terrorists killed on
9/11, particularly the “seless rst
responders – firefighters, police,chaplains, emergency workers, andother brave persons – who risked, andmany times lost, their lives in theircourageous efforts to save others.”He also called to mind the “con-
tinuing sacrices” of who have died
in the wars that resulted directly orindirectly from 9/11, and called for
a “responsible end to the conicts in
Afghanistan and Iraq.”“Let us pray that the lasting legacyof 9/11 is not fear, but rather hopefor a world renewed,” ArchbishopDolan stated.He encouraged the Church toembrace Pope Benedict XVI’s wordsduring his 2008 visit to Ground Zero,when the Pope prayed at what hecalled the “scene of incredible vio-lence and pain.”During that visit, the Pope prayedthat “those whose lives were spared,may live so that the lives lost here maynot have been lost in vain.”Pope Benedict also asked God, onthat occasion, to grant “the wisdomand courage to work tirelessly fora world where true peace and lovereign, among nations and in the heartsof all.”
Archbishop Timothy Dolan
Swiss bishops support maternity, nursing benefts
With charity comes responsibility, says Pope
Benedict XVI underlined the importance of fraternal correc-tion in the life of the Church on Sunday, Sept. 4 in his weeklyaddress before praying the midday Angelus. Addressing thecrowds that gathered in the courtyard at Castel Gandolfo, the
Pope reected on the Gospel for the day, which centered on
the theme of fraternal charity, which he said “has its sourcein the communion of the Trinity.” The Pope notes that in theGospel text, taken from Matthew 18, it states that “brotherlylove also includes reciprocal responsibility, on account ofwhich, if my brother sins against me, I must be charitable to
him and, rst of all, speak with him personally, showing him
that that what he said or did is not good.”
Pope to youth: Don’t let routine swallow prayer
Benedict XVI is inviting young people to protect their prayertime as vacation ends and usual activities return. The Popesaid this Sept. 7 at the end of the general audience, which washeld again in St. Peter’s Square, after the several-week breakduring which the audiences were given from Castel Gandolfo.The Holy Father’s traditional greeting to youth, sick and new-lyweds focused on prayer, which is the theme of his currentcatechesis series. “Dear young people, returning after vacation
to the usual activities, may you know how to nd time each
day for conversation with God, and may you radiate his lightand his peace to all those around you,” he said.
Ireland stands by criticism of Vatican in Cloyne report
The government of Ireland has thanked the Vatican for itsresponse to the Cloyne report, but stands by its criticism ofa 1997 letter that Ireland says gave some clergy a pretext forcovering-up sexual abuse accusations. In a brief statementissued today, the government of Ireland said “it welcomesthe statement in the response that the Holy See is sorry andashamed for the terrible sufferings which the victims of abuseand their families have endured.” The 400-page Cloyne report,published in July, found that Bishop John Magee of Coyne,who resigned in 2010, ignored the 1996 child protection guide-lines set down by the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference andfailed to report to the police at least nine of 15 sexual abuseallegations in that period.
Benedict XVI praises us for resilience after 9/11
Benedict XVI is praising the people of the United States for their“resilience in moving forward” after the terrorist attacks of9/11, which left some 3,000 dead. In a letter sent to ArchbishopTimothy M. Dolan of New York, the president of the UnitedStates Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Pope expressedhis prayerful support as the United States marks the 10th an-niversary of the attacks on the Twin Towers in New York, thePentagon in Washington, D.C., and on a plane that crashed inPennsylvania. The note, dated Sept. 11, 2011, states: “On thisday my thoughts turn to the somber events of September 11,2001, when so many innocent lives were lost in the brutal assaulton the twin towers of the World Trade Center and the furtherattacks in Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania.
Vatican phone numbers not revealed in WikiLeakscable dump
A WikiLeaks release of leaked State Department cables hasdrawn criticism for exposing sensitive diplomatic informa-
tion. However, the massive release did not reveal condential
Vatican phone numbers but contained information alreadyavailable in the city state’s public directory. A December 27,
2004 unclassied cable from the U.S. Embassy at the Vatican
contained contact information for figures in the Vatican
government. It included numbers for the papal ofce and
residence and for the residence of then-Secretary of State Car-
dinal Angelo Sodano. The number for the papal ofce reachesthe Prefecture of the Pontical Household, the ofce which
maintains the Apostolic Palace and organizes events such asthe general audiences. The phone number listed for the papalresidence is in fact a direct line only to the Vatican’s telephoneoperators, who are religious sisters.
BERN, Switzerland, Sept. 8,
2011—The Swiss Episcopal
Conference is supporting the
ratication of the International
Labor Organization’s Conven-tion 183, on maternity leave andbreastfeeding.The bishops’ Justice andPeace Commission releaseda statement supporting theconvention because it stresses“the well-being of the workingmother and the child.”The commission noted thatthe protection afforded by theconvention “contributes notonly to the well-being of thefamily, but also to a societythat is a promoter of life. Thus,the protection of maternityconstitutes one of the pillars offamily policy.”The commission also spoke
out about the modication of
federal law on pay for timeused for breastfeeding.“In Swiss legislation, the timenecessary for nursing is recog-nized as time of work, but itsremuneration is not regulated,”the statement noted.The commission pointed outthe “numerous advantagesof nursing” for the health ofthe child and the mother, andrecalled the World Health Or-ganization recommendation:exclusive maternal nursing un-til the child is six months old.“Despite WHO’s recommen-dation, only 14% of womenin Switzerland still maintainmaternal nursing at six months,according to a national studyof 2003,” the commission in-dicated. “For many women,the return to work after the14 weeks of maternity leaveis a reason to stop or diminishmaternal nursing.”“Measures such as remuner-ated leave for nursing and mak-ing the necessary infrastructureavailable for nursing, for express-ing milk and preserving it arevery important to promote thecontinuation of maternal nurs-
ing,” the commission afrmed.
The Justice and Peace Com-mission also pointed out that“according to the Christian im-age of the human being, everyman and every woman has thesame dignity.”And “human dignity must betaken into account in the workplace, especially if it is a ques-tion of particularly vulnerabledependents.”In this connection, the textadded, by ratifying Convention183, “Switzerland could be giv-en the opportunity to promotethe protection of maternityboth in the national as well asthe international realm, thus
conrming its commitment to
human rights.”
Caritas to aid state education goals
DHAKA, Bangladesh, Sept. 9, 2011—Caritas
Bangladesh yesterday joined government of-
cials in endorsing the goal of total literacy in
the country by 2014 during an event markingInternational Literacy Day in the capital.Afsarul Amin, primary and mass educa-tion minister, told a gathering of educa-
tors, government ofcials and NGO staff
members at Osmani memorial auditoriumthat education was vital to the country’sdevelopment.“Without absolute literacy no nation canprogress. The government is working hardto attain that goal by 2014,” he said.“This year almost a hundred percent ofchildren have enrolled in school. I especiallythank those NGOs who helped make thathappen.”He added that literacy was also an integralpart of achieving and maintaining peace.Shishir Rozario, education project coor-dinator for Caritas who attended the event,said the group is one of the leading NGOs inthe country focused on education issues, andthat it will continue to assist the governmentin reaching its goal of complete literacy.“We’ve been working to eradicate il-
 Archbishop reopens 50 year oldchurch
NGADA, Indonesia, Sept. 9,
2011—A 50-year-old church
building in Aimere, Ngadadistrict in East Nusa Tenggara,was reopened yesterday byArchbishop Vincentius SensiPotokota of Ende after beingrenovated three times.The reconstruction of the1,500 sq m Church of St. Fran-cis of Assisi and St. Clara hascost 2.3 billion rupiah (aboutUS$270,600). This fund came
from 6,038 parishioners—
whose main livelihood are
farming and fishing—and from
donors.In his homily during theblessing ceremony the prelatesaid that a church buildingmust be physically and tech-nically sound. “Whatever webuild, it must be built on astrong foundation,” he main-tained.He believed that the parishio-ners had worked hard to buildthe church in order to make iteasier for them “to build the realtemple of God, which is our lifeas God’s followers.”The blessing ritual includedthe slaughter of a buffalo donesymbolically by ArchbishopPotokota.Traditionally, such slaughteris led by a custom leader andaims to thank the ancestorsfor being able to finish theconstruction of a traditionalhouse.“Since it was a church, theslaughter was done symbolicallyby the archbishop,” MartinusMada, secretary of the parishcouncil, said.
WYD congratulates Fukushima heroes forwinning humanitarian award
MADRID, Spain, Sept. 8, 2011—The orga
-nizers of World Youth Day 2011, who were
nalists for this year’s Prince of Asturias
Award in Spain, have congratulated the win-ners of the prize, the Heroes of Fukushima.World Youth Day organizers said Sept. 7that the Heroes of Fukushima are examplesof what Benedict XVI was speaking aboutin Madrid when he said, “Our society, inwhich the inestimable dignity of life, of eachlife, is too often questioned, needs you: youmake a decisive contribution to building thecivilization of love.”The Prince of Asturias Award recognizesinitiatives “that contribute in an exemplaryand relevant way to understanding and topeaceful coexistence among mankind.”Auxiliary Bishop Cesar Franco, the gen-eral coordinator of World Youth Day 2011,expressed gratitude for the more than 10,000votes to award the Prince of Asturias Prizeto the youth event.“To have been nominated for an award that
exemplies the best values of humanity was
an honor. That World Youth Day Madrid wasconsidered is itself an award,” he said.The Heroes of Fukushima are the groupof men and women who worked to mitigatethe nuclear catastrophe caused by the 9.0earthquake and the tsunami that stuck Japanon March 11.“This group of people represents the high-est the values of humanity in their effortsto prevent the spreading of the devastatingeffects of the nuclear disaster caused by thetsunami that struck Japan, by setting asidethe grave consequences that this decisionwould have upon their lives,” the jury forthe prize said.
literacy since 1983to help the govern-ment. Currently werun 463 schools invarious areas of thecountry that ben-
et 27,780 poor stu
-dents.The state-run Non-Formal EducationBureau estimatesthat the country’scurrent literacy ratestands at 53 percent,with an estimated37.3 million peoplequalifying as com-pletely illiterate.Supti Biswas, a teacher in Dhaka, saidpoverty remains a challenge to achievingtarget education goals.“Poor parents are reluctant to send theirkids to school. Moreover, they are not awareof the bad effects of illiteracy.”She added that some parents consider sub- jects such as music or art as useless or a wasteof time.He added that Caritas schools also provideadditional curricula, including music and art,for the intellectual growth of students.Most Caritas schools are located in ex-tremely poor and remote areas where gov-ernment facilities have yet to reach.“We’re keen to make schooling a pleasingexperience for the kids. So we try to do it ina way they love,” Rozario said.
Children study at a Caritas-run school in rural Bangladesh
   P   h  o   t  o  c  o  u  r   t  e  s  y  o   f   C  a  r   i   t  a  s   E   d  u  c  a   t   i  o  n   P  r  o  g  r  a  m  w  w  w .  c  a   t   h  o   l   i  c  n  e  w  s  a  g  e  n  c  y .  c  o  m
Archbishop Vincentius Sensi Potokoa of Ende holds a machete normally usedby ethnic leaders
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 Vol. 15 No. 19
September 12 - 25, 2011
CBCP Monitor
MANILA, Sept. 8, 2011—Archdioceses and
dioceses in the Philippines started remittingmonetary subsidy to sustain the operation
of the Ponticio Collegio Filippino (PCF),
the home of Filipino priests pursuing higherstudies in Italy.This after the Catholic Bishops’ Confer-ence of the Philippines (CBCP) approved therequest of former PCF rector and Balanga,Bataan Bishop Ruperto Santos for annualsubsidy from the Church in the Philippinesto help maintain and operate PCF, which isstrategically located near Vatican City andvarious ecclesiastical centers in Rome.During the CBCP’s 101st plenary assemblyin July 2011, the bishops unanimously agreedto oblige all archdioceses and dioceses in thePhilippines to remit monetary contribu-tion to help support the PCF. According toCBCP assistant Secretary General Msgr. Jo-selito Asis, the ecclesiastical territories havestarted remitting their subsidies this year, intime for the PCF’s 50th anniversary.“Based on the decision of the bishops, thesubsidy to be remitted by each territory is pro-rated according to its capacity to contribute.The subsidy will be remitted every three yearsto the Commission on the PCF,” Asis said.In the past, the PCF maintains its opera-tions only through payments from certainarchdioceses and dioceses that send theirpriests to study in Rome and to stay at the Col-legio. The Collegio can accommodate at least50 resident-priests but according to incum-bent PCF rector Fr. Gregory Gaston, only 18
News Features
Pope urges Catholic-Orthodox cooperation on new evangelization
Pope Benedict describes how beautifulart can lead to God
  w  w  w .  u  p   l  o  a   d .  w   i   k   i  m  e   d   i  a .  o  r  g  w  w  w .   b  e   l   l  a  m  a  r   i  a  m  o  m .   b   l  o  g  s  p  o   t .  c  o  m
CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, Aug. 31,
2011—Artistic beauty can lead the hu
-man heart to God, said Pope BenedictXVI at his Aug. 31 general audience.“Art is capable of making visible ourneed to go beyond what we see and it
reveals our thirst for innite beauty,
for God,” the Pope said to over 5,000pilgrims at his summer residence ofCastel Gandolfo, 15 miles to the southof Rome.“Dear friends, I invite you to be opento beauty and to allow it to move you toprayer and praise of the Lord.”The Pope explained how this “pathof beauty” can be “an open door on the
innite” and is something experienced
by all people, not merely by those whoregard themselves as cultured.He observed that when people standbefore a sculpture or painting, read afew verses poetry or even listen to asong, everyone has “experienced deepwithin us an intimate emotion, a senseof joy.” This sensation, he said, is aninterior recognition that says that wasis being seen or heard is “not only merematter” but “something bigger, some-thing that speaks, capable of touchingthe heart, of communicating a message;of elevating the soul,” and leadingpeople, ultimately, to God.Pope Benedict also noted that thereare “artistic expressions that are truepaths to God, the supreme Beauty,” andthat these works can “help nurture ourrelationship with Him in prayer. Theseare works that are born of faith andexpress faith.”The Pope then illustrated his pointusing his own personal experience. Herecalled attending a performance ofthe works of J.S. Bach, conducted byLeonard Bernstein, in Munich.“After the last piece of music, oneof the Cantate, I felt, not by reasoning,but in my heart, that what I heard hadconveyed to me truth, something of thetruth of the great composer’s faith andthis pressed me to praise and thank theLord.”The Pope said he was so moved bythe experience that the turned to theLutheran Bishop of Munich sitting nextto him and exclaimed, “Hearing thiswe understand: it is true, true faith is sostrong, and the beauty of it irresistiblyexpresses the presence of God’s truth.”The Pope also described how variousartists themselves had observed thesame in their own artwork. He recalledhow the 20th century expressionist art-ist, Marc Chagall, once wrote “that forcenturies painters have dipped theirpaintbrush in that colored alphabet thatis the Bible.”This is why forms, colors and lightthat are “the fruits of the faith of the art-ist,” such as paint-ing or frescoes,can “direct ourthoughts to Godand nourish in usthe desire to drawfrom the source ofall beauty,” said thePope.One dramatic ex-ample Pope Bene-dict offered was thelife of 19th centuryFrench poet andplaywright PaulClaudel.An anti-clerical-ist, he had attendedChristmas Mass atthe Basilica of NotreDame in Paris in1886 “in search of
VATICAN City, Sept. 2, 2011—
Pope Benedict XVI is encour-aging Catholic and OrthodoxChristians to work together inre-evangelizing traditionallyChristian countries.“For a renewed proclamationof the Gospel in the modernworld we need evangelizersanimated by the same apostoliczeal of (Saint) Paul,” the Popesaid in a letter to mark the closeof the twelfth Inter-ChristianSymposium.Over the past four days,the symposium has broughttogether both Catholic andOrthodox scholars in the Greekcity of Thessaloniki to discussthe topic of “The witness of theChurch in the Modern World.”The Pope described the themeas “very timely and central”to his “concerns and prayers”for a “new evangelization” oftraditionally Christian coun-tries where the practice of theChristian faith has declined inrecent times.Pope Benedict noted thatalthough the Church has never
ceased to “proclaim the salvic
mystery of the death and res-urrection of Jesus Christ,” theregions in need of re-evangeliza-tion are “currently experiencingthe effects of a secularization ca-pable of impoverishing the mostprofound aspects of man.”People living in these regionsseem to give a “contradictory”response to the Christian Gospel,the Pope said. On the one hand,“there is widespread disinterest,even a lack of sensibility” to-wards transcendent things, andon the other hand, there seemsto be “a profound nostalgia forGod” that “persists in the heartsof many, expressing itself in vari-ous ways.”Christianity was brought tothe city of Thessaloniki by St.Paul in the first century. The
Collegio Filippino starts getting subsidy from CBCP
Pope asked for his intercessionthat the talks between the Or-thodox and Catholic Churchesencourage “a climate of frater-nal charity,” and observed thatthe “mutual understanding ofour traditions and true friend-ship are already in themselvesa contribution to the cause ofChristian unity.”Pope Benedict also pointedout that the current cultural, so-cial and economic environment“presents the same challengesto both Catholics and Ortho-dox.” Instead of divisions,these challenges should callforth a Christian evangelizerswho are “mature in faith andcapable of finding a meetingpoint beyond the real ten-sions,” he said, quoting PopePaul VI.The Inter-Christian Sympo-sium is co-organized by theFranciscan Institute of Spiri-tuality at Rome’s PontificalAntonianum University and theOrthodox faculty of theology atthe Aristotle University of Thes-saloniki. The initiative hopesto help heal the rift betweenthe Catholic and OrthodoxChurches which has persistedsince the 11th century.
(CNA/  EWTN News)
The Disputation of the Sacrament painting by Raphael at the Vatican Museum.
arguments against Christians.” Instead,Claudel was instantly converted to Ca-tholicism by the beauty of the basilicachoir’s as they sang the Magnificat.The Pope described this moment as thegrace of God working in his heart.Pope Benedict concluded by invitingeverybody “to rediscover the impor-tance of this path for prayer, for ourliving relationship with God,” pointingout that most towns and cities acrossthe world “preserve works of art thatexpress the faith and remind us of ourrelationship with God.”He said that visiting churches, artgalleries and museums “is not only anoccasion for cultural enrichment” but canalso be “a moment of grace, an encour-agement to strengthen our relationshipand our dialogue with the Lord.”It is “where we can to stop andcontemplate, in the transition fromsimple external reality to a deeperreality, the ray of beauty that strikesus, that almost wounds us in ourinner selves and invites us to risetowards God.”Appropriately, the Pope’s commentscome hours ahead of a classical concertbeing hosted in his honor at CastelGandolfo. Various compositions byCardinal Domenico Bartolucci, the Di-rector of the Sistine Chapel Choir, willbe performed by a combination of vo-cal soloists, choir and orchestra.
(CNA/  EWTN News)
US gov’t behind population control in PH for 40 years
MANILA, Sept. 8, 2011―Wash
-ington has been behind a pop-ulation-control drive in thePhilippines for the past 40 years,a leaked State Department cablefrom whistleblower websiteWikileaks revealed.The leaked cable, authored byformer US ambassador KristieKenney, offers direct proof for
the rst time of Washington’s
long-armed, behind-the-scenesintervention to force developingcountries like the Philippines tolimit their populations.Kenney’s July 31, 2008 cablewelcomed draft legislation pro-
moting articial contraceptives,
referring to the “reproductivehealth” (RH) bill, as well as Con-gress’ decision to allocate $3.38million and $27 million in 2007and 2008 for “contraceptive sup-plies” in the wake of the UnitedStates Agency for InternationalDevelopment’s (USAID) decisionto “phase down support for con-doms, pills, injectable contracep-tives and intra-uterine devices.”“Landmark appropriations
and draft legislation reect in
-creasing commitment within thePhilippine Government to furtherexpand and sustain programsstarted forty years ago with U.S.Government’s assistance throughUSAID,” Kenney said.“The U.S. Government con-tinues to be the largest donor inthe Philippine population sectorsupporting efforts to improvelocal government service deliv-ery and increase private sectorcontributions to family healthoutcomes,” she added.Kenney noted that USAID’sfunding for “population and familyplanning” in the Philippines hadgone up to $15 million annually.“The U.S. Government continuesto be a leader in population assis-tance to the Philippines,” she said.USAID was also helping man-ufacturers lower the prices ofcontraceptives, she said.“In parallel, within the privatesector, USAID technical assis-tance enables pharmaceuticalcompanies to launch lower-priced contraceptive products,and to expand choices amongconsumers with more brands onthe market,” Kenney said.Echoing Henry Kissinger’s in-famous National Security StudyMemorandum (NSSM) 200, Ken-ney’s cable noted that the Philip-pines is already the twelfth mostpopulous country in the world,and is “expected to double itspopulation size by 2044.”NSSM 200 or the so-called
“Kissinger Report”—the declas
-sified document that uncoveredWashington’s coercive populationcontrol policies – identified thePhilippines among several high-population-growth countries thatshould be subjected to depopulationto protect US commercial interests.Kissinger, who served as Sec-retary of State, had warned thatpopulation growth in less-devel-oped countries could hamper USaccess to natural resources.NSSM 200 recommended a)
the legalization of abortion; b) 
-nancial incentives for countries toincrease their abortion, steriliza-tion and contraception-use rates;c) indoctrination of children; andd) mandatory population control,and coercion of other forms, suchas withholding disaster andfood aid unless a less-developedcountry implements populationcontrol programs.During Monday’s Senate de-bate on the RH bill pro-RH Sen.Miriam Defensor-Santiago ad-mitted that the RH bill still needsto be cleaned up of all referencesto population control.Acknowledging the existence ofthe “Kissinger Report,” Santiagosaid a United States-dictated policyon population control was “anath-ema” to herself and the other RHbill sponsor, Sen. Pia Cayetano.Kenney has drawn the ire ofthe Aquino administration foranother cable in which she de-scribed the late president Cora-zon Aquino as a “tarnished” and“weak” icon of democracy. In re-sponse, Foreign Affairs SecretaryAlbert del Rosario said Kenney,who is now assigned to Bangkok,was a “dismal failure” in the Phil-ippines.
(Dominic Francisco)
Filipinopriestsand eightforeignpriests arecurrentlystaying atthe PCF.Gastonsaid thedecliningnumberof PCF’s resident-priests puts to risk theCollegio’s operation and maintenance giventhe scarce funds.“We are under-populated right now and anyhelp to the PCF would be useful,” Gaston said.As per PCF’s estimate, each resident-priestis to spend a minimum of 10,000 Euros an-nually for their tuition, board and lodgingexpenses at the PCF. Although the priceof studying in Rome and staying in theCollegio is expensive, Gaston said it is rela-tively cheaper than sending priests to othercountries and paying 15,000 US dollars persemester for tuition alone.“We are trying to encourage our bishopsto send their priests to study in Rome. Weare trying to convince them that solicitationsfrom lay people within their dioceses canfund their priests’ schooling if their archdio-ceses or dioceses can’t afford it,” he said.Gaston warned that not only is the declin-ing number of Filipino priests studying inRome threatening the operation of PCF, itis also going to affect the quality of the nextgeneration of Filipino priests.“For every priest you send to study inRome, there is a multiplying effect becauseour alumni usually become professors andformators in the seminary. Conversely, the
decline will denitely affect the quality of
our seminarians, who will eventually be-come our priests,” he said.Gaston added that the great return of in-vestment made in sending priests to studyin Rome will be evident “in terms of thequality of priests that our alumni will helpeducate and in terms of the spiritual forma-tion of the laity.”The PCF is currently celebrating its year-long jubilee celebration this year. A series ofactivities, including a private audience withPope Benedict XVI last February, was plottedsince last October 7 for the celebration.Collegio alumni are expected to comehome on October 4 to 10 for a culminatingactivity set on October 7.
(Kris Bayos)
FilipinoChaplains abroadreject RH Bill
   F   I   L   E   P   H   O   T   O
MANILA, Sept. 7, 2011—Fili
-pino chaplains across Europe,Middle East and Africa haverejected the reproductivehealth bill declaring the pro-
posed law as “unt for pas
-sage” and vow to mobilizetheir constituents to opposethe anti-life measure.In a statement, the chap-lains said enacting RH Bill4244 into law is the last thingmigrant workers would wantto happen as it will “furtherundermine the authority ofparents and guardians of thechildren left behind in thePhilippines” by the OFWs.“We, shepherds to the Fili-pino faithful, declare the Re-productive Health Bill 4244
unt for passage, and with
the fullness of conviction weare determined to inform,educate and mobilize ourconstituents in Europe, theMiddle East and Africa touphold our cherished valuesthrough the rejection of thisbill,” the statement partlyread.The chaplains said migrantworkers reject the idea of us-ing taxpayers’ money to fundcontraceptives.“They would rather seetheir monetary gains allottedfor programs that improvelife for families in the Philip-pines, like better livelihoodprospects and educationalopportunities for their chil-dren, and for measures thatassist OFWs in times of emer-gencies abroad,” the state-ment said.OFWs are regarded as“modern day missionaries”because of the “God-centeredand family-oriented Filipinovalues” they witness wher-ever they go.A law on RH bill will onlylead “to the decay of the mor-al foundation underpinningthese life-giving values,” thechaplains asserted.“We want the best for ourchildren and their children,and so we protect our rightas parents to be the primarymolders of their values, par-ticularly those relating to thepurpose of human sexual-ity. Thus we reject RH Bill4244 which aims to legislatethe blatant violation of ourConstitutional right and ourconscience as Catholics,” thestatement further read.The statement was releasedduring the Filipino chaplains’IX Regional ConsultationMeeting for the Filipino Min-istry in Europe held last Au-gust 25-28, 2011 in Adliswil,Zurich, Switzerland.Fr. Edwin Corros, CS,executive secretary of theCatholic Bishops Conferenceof the Philippines EpiscopalCommission on Migrantsand Itinerant People, said 17chaplains discussed variousconcerns in their respectiveareas, including the RH bill.According to him, the com-munities have seen the needto develop vocations fromamong the Filipino familieswho have opted to settleabroad because the CatholicChurch in the Philippinesmay no longer be capableof attending to the spiritualneeds of Filipino communi-ties in other countries.“The chaplains have cometo realize that Filipino mi-grants are continuouslygrowing in number and theneed to have seminariansfrom the migrants’ families[to] help the local chaplain-cies,” he said.The chaplains have alsoexpressed concern on thepractice of some Filipinocommunities who invitepriests from the Philippines
to ofciate Masses and ad
-minister sacraments withoutinforming the local chaplain-cies.Corros said the chaplainshave called for coordinationamong the chaplains andpriests being invited to for-eign countries.
(CBCPNews/  Melo M. Acuna)
The community of Ponticio Collegio Filippino in Rome.

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