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Cbcpmonitor Vol45 n24

Cbcpmonitor Vol45 n24

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- Embryos cannot be destroyed even for important research, says pope
- Church response to the challenge of climate change in Asia: Towards a new creation
- The Cross: A Supplement Publication of KCFAPI and the Order of the Knights of Columbus
- CBCP releases new primer on HIV/AIDS
TO help stem the growing tide of new HIV/ AIDS cases, the Catholic hierarchy has come up with a primer on the dreaded disease. “Love Casts Out Fear” is a 43-page booklet made by the National Secretariat for So
- Embryos cannot be destroyed even for important research, says pope
- Church response to the challenge of climate change in Asia: Towards a new creation
- The Cross: A Supplement Publication of KCFAPI and the Order of the Knights of Columbus
- CBCP releases new primer on HIV/AIDS
TO help stem the growing tide of new HIV/ AIDS cases, the Catholic hierarchy has come up with a primer on the dreaded disease. “Love Casts Out Fear” is a 43-page booklet made by the National Secretariat for So

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Published by: cbcpmonitor on Nov 23, 2011
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 Vol. 15 No. 24
November 21 - December 4, 2011
Php 20.
Church response to the challengeof climate change in Asia:Towards a new creation
Embryos cannot bedestroyed even for importantresearch, says pope
The Cross
A Supplement Publication of KCFAPI andthe Order of the Knights of Columbus
CBCP releases new primer on HIV/AIDS
TO help stem the growing tide of new HIV/AIDS cases, the Catholic hierarchy has comeup with a primer on the dreaded disease.“Love Casts Out Fear” is a 43-page bookletmade by the National Secretariat for SocialAction (Nassa) of the Catholic Bishops’ Con-ference of the Philippines.Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo,Nassa chairman, said the primer is primarilyintended to raise awareness and strengthen
the church’s ght against HIV/AIDS.
“Awareness is very important because
Primer / A7Environment / A6
Bishop calls fornew environmentcommitment
By Roy Lagarde
AT a time when the impactof climate change remains amajor concern, Catholic bish-ops are calling for a renewedcommitment toward environ-ment.
Recently, Cagayan de Oro Arch-bishop Antonio Ledesma pointed outthe central role of people in the con-servation, sustainable managementand development of the country’sforests.“We need to renew our commit-ment in protecting our environmentbecause this is the basis for build-ing peace,” said Ledesma, formervice president of the Catholic Bish-ops’ Conference of the Philippines(CBCP).“This is all our responsibility somore intense participation is needed in
ghting climate change, not just more
on mitigation,” he added.While other Church leaders arebusy dealing with the different so-cial issues like illegal gambling andthe reproductive health (RH) bill,Ledesma is known for his campaignin addressing the issue on climatechange.In fact, climate change adaptationhas been placed on top of the Archdio-cese of Cagayan de Oro’s developmentagenda which look at the farmers’ very
vital role of not just helping feed the
people but also bringing about foodsecurity.In December 2009, Ledesma was thelead convenor of the Climate ChangeCongress of the Philippines which
called for “inter-generational justice”
and a stronger global and Philippineresponse to the challenge of climatechange.
Bishop to gov’t:Prioritize resolutionof Maguindanaomassacre
A CATHOLICbishop urged theAquino administra-tion to exert similareffort in resolv-ing the high pro-file Maguindanaomassacre case, asto what it did toformer presidentGloria Arroyo.Cotabato Auxilia-ry Bishop Jose ColinBagaforo said thegovernment’s han-dling of Arroyo’selectoral sabotagecase only showthat it can expeditethings if there is awill.“If they can havea speedy resolutionon GMA’s case in amatter of overnight,they can also do it for the Magu-indanao massacre,” Bagaforo toldCatholic Church-run RadyoVeri-tas.“If the government is seriousand give top most priority on theresolution of the case, I think theyhave all the resources for that andthey can do it,” he said.But the way it appears rightnow, the bishop lamented thatthere seems to be no sense of ur-gency being shown by the nationalleadership.
In this le photo, members of civil society groups lightcandles during an indignation rally held in Cebu City for the victims of Maguindanao massacre.
  w  w  w .  a  r   k   i   b  o  n  g   b  a  y  a  n .  o  r  g
Women deserve truthabout the Pill's dangers,says doctor
WOMEN’S lives are worthdisclosing the truth for, so theyshould be informed of the dan-gerous consequences of contra-ceptive use, said a Cebu-basedphysician.The risk of cancer, blood clot-ting, stroke, heart attack, diabe-tes and other diseases is oftendownplayed as a side effect of
articial contraceptives, but “the
health of women is being sacri-
ced,” said Dr. Rene Josef Bul
CBCP exec backs hospital arrest for Arroyo
IF only for ‘humanitarian rea-
sons,’ a prison ministry ofcial
of the Catholic Bishops’ Confer-ence of the Philippines backs theidea of hospital arrest for formerpresident Gloria Arroyo.Rodolfo Diamante, executivesecretary of the CBCP’s Com-mission on Prison Pastoral Care
said the current jail system in thecountry is not t for those who
are sick.“For humanitarian reasons, itshould be provided. They can’t
confine her in our jails,” said
Diamante.“I think it should be lookedinto not because she is a very im-portant person but I think healthwise, that should be the numberone consideration,” he said.
But the CBCP ofcial stressed
that such “special treatment”should not be limited to Arroyobut must also be accorded to in-mates with medical conditions.“There are many prisonerswho have medical conditions…it should be the same treatmentto all prisoners with the samecondition,” said Diamante.The Commission on Elections
led an electoral sabotage against
Arroyo before the Pasay City Re-gional Trial Court, which issued awarrant of arrest against Arroyo
ve hours later.
On November 21, the courtallowed Arroyo to stay at the St.Luke’s Medical Center while wait-ing for her doctors to submit a re-port about her medical condition.Similarly, the police has alsoprepared an air-conditionedroom inside the SPD headquar-ters that may serve as the deten-tion facility of Arroyo in case thePasay RTC orders her transferfrom the hospital.The former president is suffer-ing from hyperparathyroidism aswell as a “rare bone disease” andhad been seeking medical treat-ment abroad.Arroyo was confined at thesaid hospital since after she andher husband attempted to leavethe country, but was barred bythe government from doing so.
Prelate bansSSPX priests fromexercising ministryin archdiocese
A CATHOLIC prelatehas forbidden a groupof priests belonging to aschismatic community toexercise their ministry inhis ecclesiastical territory.Davao Archbishop Fer-nando Capalla prohibitedthe priests of the Societyof St. Pius X from exercis-ing their ministry in thearchdiocese saying theylack the canonical statusto do so.In an open letter to theSSPX local superior Fr.Francois Laisney, Capallasaid that SSPX priests can-not exercise their ministryin the archdiocese “with-out genuine authorizationor approval from [him]as archbishop and localordinary.”“…You cannot exerciselegitimately your priestlyright to minister in ourChurch territory or Dio-cese. And the reason—which perhaps you failedto explain to our people—is the grave error in doc-trine committed by yourSociety against the author-ity of the Pope and theVatican Council, a seriousoffense and crime againstthe unity of the Church,our unfortunate schism,”Capalla said.The religious commu-nity of the SSPX was orga-nized by Archbishop Mar-cel Lefebvre in 1969. It has
rejected the ordinary form
of the Mass as approvedby the Second VaticanCouncil and continued tocelebrate the liturgy in the
Prelate urges action against profanity on FM radio
SORSOGON Bishop Arturo Bastesis bothered over the use of pro-fane languages on the radio andurged concerned agencies to actagainst it.Bastes said there is a necessityto curb the use of obscene lan-guages, which according to him,can be heard over some FM radiostations.“Dapat talagang i-monitor atparusahan ng KBP (Kapisanan ngmga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas) ang
Pills / A6Maguindanao / A6Prelates / A6
   R  a  y  m  o  n   d   B  a  n   d  r   i   l   /   C   B   C   P   M  e   d   i  a   C   B   C   P   M  e   d   i  a
Rudy DiamanteDr. Rene Josef Bullecer Amid heat of the sun, around 3,500 young people from different dioceses joined the Marianprocession along Roxas Boulevard during the last day of the National Youth Day 2011, Nov. 18.From the Philippine International Convention Center grounds, the procession ended at the CunetaAstrodome in Pasay City, where the closing Mass and the Grand Festival Night, the highlight eventsof the NYD celebration, were held.
   R  o  y   L  a  g  a  r   d  e  r   /   C   B   C   P   M  e   d   i  a
mga anchor-DJ’s (disc jockeys)
sa radio na malaswa magsalita,”said Bastes.“Nakakahiya ‘yan. We shoulduse good words on air namakakatualong upang maiangatang pagkatao at moralidad ngmga Filipino,” he said.
The bishop specically noted
that profanity is common amongsome late night FM radio pro-grams.He was referring to some radioprograms that accept calls fromthe public, wherein they givethem relationship, personaland even sexual advices.“Some of the DJ’s, especiallyin midnight programs, are usingindecent language and vulgarlanguage, which is not good,”said Bastes.Other programs discuss sexual-ly-oriented topics with some DJsusing “double-meaning” words.
   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. 24
November 21 - December 4, 2011
CBCP Monitor
 World News
Vatican Briefng
Unemployment can lead to identity crisis, says Pope
Since work brings man to experience his role as a partici-
pant in God’s creative plan, a lack of work ― or precariousemployment situations ― can lead to identity crises, said
Benedict XVI to Ecuador’s 2nd National Conference on theFamily Nov. 11. In his message, the pope spoke of work,
through which, “man experiences himself as subject, a
participant in the creative plan of God.” “This explains,”he said, “why the lack of work or precarious work un-dermines man’s dignity, creating not only situations of
injustice and poverty, which frequently degenerate into
despair, criminality and violence, but also into an identitycrisis in persons.”
Polish academic prize goes to Benedict XVI
Benedict XVI was selected to receive a Polish honor rec-
ognizing his contribution in the elds of theology and
culture. The Pope expressed his gratitude for the “Laurel”academic prize during a Polish-language greeting at theend of Wednesday’s general audience. He thanked theuniversity rectors of the athenaeums of Wroclaw, Opole,Czestochowa and Zielona Gora. The award was grantedto Benedict XVI in the context of the bicentenary of the
University of Wroclaw. Pope John Paul II was the rst
recipient of the prize in 2003.
Vatican publishes book on Latin America’s zeal forGospel
The Vatican Publishing House released a book by the Pon-
tical Commission for Latin America on religious fervor
in the continent and how it has contributed to the spreadof the Gospel. “Blessed John Paul II learned to appreciateand encourage this popular piety of Latin America verypositively, especially during all of his untiring pilgrimagesto the Marian shrines of all the countries of Latin America,which are the true spiritual capitals of those nations,”Cardinal Marc Ouellet, president of the commission, saidon Nov. 17. The new book is titled “Popular Piety in theEvangelization Process of Latin America,” and containsinformation from the commission’s recent plenary meetingat the Vatican in April of this year.
Pope will use iPad to light up world’s largestChristmas tree
Pope Benedict XVI will light up the largest Christmas treein the world on Dec. 7 located in the Italian city of Gub-bio in the region of Umbria. Vatican Radio reported thatthe Pope will use an iPad to turn on the tree’s lights fromhis residence in the Papal Apartments. Built in 1981, theChristmas tree stretches more than 2,000 feet up the faceof Mount Igino outside Gubbio. It contains hundreds oflights and more than 25,000 feet of electrical cables and isconsidered the largest electric tree in the world accordingto the Guinness Book of World Records. Before turning thelights on using a special iPad application, Pope Benedictwill deliver a video message to the residents of Gubbioand the surrounding towns.
Pope asks African Catholics to be ‘apostles of reconciliation’ 
In a wide-ranging document on the church’s future inAfrica, Pope Benedict XVI urged Catholics to become
“apostles of reconciliation, justice and peace” across
the troubled continent. The key to the church’s missionin Africa, the pope said, is for all Catholics to know thefaith and the church’s social doctrine well, then witnessit in daily life. The pope signed the apostolic exhortationtitled “Africae Munus” on Nov. 19 during a ceremony inOuidah, Benin, a slave trade city on the Atlantic coast. Hewas making a three-day visit to Benin, where he met withbishops from the African continent.
French-based Catholic movement says founder wassex abuser
A Catholic movement based in France has acknowledgedwith “humility and repentance” that acts of sexual abusewere committed by its founder and other important mem-bers of the organization. The Community of the Beatitudes,in a statement posted on its French website Nov. 16, saidthat under the oversight of a commissioner appointedlast year by the Vatican, it was undergoing a process of
“purication, restructuring and re-founding.” The de
-tailed statement came two weeks ahead of the scheduledstart of a criminal trial of Brother Pierre-Etienne Albert,a top member of the community, who has been accusedof dozens of acts of sexual abuse of minors over a periodof 15 years.
Pope to African leaders: have the courageto do what is right
COTONOU, Benin, Nov. 19, 2011—PopeBenedict XVI has called upon the politicalleadership of Africa to govern with wisdomand integrity.“Adopt a courageous ethical approach toyour responsibilities and, if you are believ-ers, ask God to grant you wisdom! Thiswisdom will help you to understand that, aspromoters of your peoples’ future, you mustbecome true servants of hope,” the Pope tolda gathering of political and religious leadersin Benin’s Presidential Palace in the city ofCotonou, Nov. 19.Alluding to the continent’s history of cor-ruption and cronyism amongst its elites, thePope recognized that it is “not easy to livethe life of a servant, to remain consistentamid the currents of opinion and powerfulinterests.” Power, he warned, “easily blinds,”especially when private, family, ethnic orreligious interests are at stake.The event was the Pope’s first publicengagement on the second day of his visitto Benin.His audience included Benin presidentThomas Boni Yayi along with members ofthe country’s government and diplomaticcorps. The presidential palace in Cotonouwas constructed in 1960 to mark Benin’sindependence from France.Despite its troubled past, the Pope con-tended that Africa is “a continent of hope.”He added that he was not “indulging inmere rhetoric,” but was “simply expressinga personal conviction which is also that ofthe Church.”This hope is to be found both in the con-tinent’s economic life and in interreligiousdialogue.The Pope reflected upon recent eventsacross Africa. He said many of its people haveshown their desire for liberty, their need formaterial security, and their wish to “live inharmony according to their different ethnicgroups and religions.”In the north of the continent many dic-tatorial regimes have recently been sweptaway as part of the “Arab Spring,” whilethe people of South Sudan have gained theirindependence.In charting a new socio-economic way for-ward for Africa, the Pope said, “the Churchdoes not pro-pose any tech-nical solutionand does notimpose anypolitical solu-tion,” giventhat “we knowthat no politicalregime is idealand that no eco-nomic choice isneutral.”What theChurch canprovide, how-ever, is “a mes-sage of hope,”which “gener-ates energy,which stimu-lates the intel-lect and gives the will all its dynamism.” Forwhile despair is individualistic, he said, hopeis communion.He quoted Cardinal Jules-Géraud Saliège,the mid-twentieth century Archbishop ofToulouse in France, who said that “to hopeis never to abandon; it is to redouble one’sactivity.”“The Church accompanies the State and itsmission; she wishes to be like the soul of ourbody untiringly pointing to what is essential:God and man,” explained the Pope.So while Catholicism takes on great worksin education and care across Africa “aboveall,” he said, the Church is “she” who “prayswithout ceasing, who points to God and towhere the authentic man is to be found.”Turning to the issue of interreligious
dialogue, the Pope rejected intolerance and
violence between religions.“Aggression is an outmoded relational
form which appeals to supercial and ignoble
instincts.”The starting point of dialogue, he sug-gested, is a greater knowledge and practiceof one’s own faith. Someone cannot love un-less he loves himself, and this love “can onlybegin by sincere personal prayer on the partof the one who desires to dialogue.”In this prayer the believer should ask God“for the gift to see in the other a brother to be
loved and, within his tradition, a reection of
the truth which illumines all people.”
The Pope rejected “muddled thinking” and
“syncretism,” saying these can result from“interreligious dialogue when badly under-stood.” He charted practical ways in whichreligions can work together, such as coopera-tion in social or cultural areas. This collabora-tion can advance mutual understanding andhelp people “live together serenely.”In ordinary life in Africa, he said, manyfamilies have members who profess differentbeliefs, and yet remain united.He concluded by using the image of a hand
to explain himself. “There are ve ngers on
it and each one is quite different,” yet “eachone is also essential and their unity makesa hand.”There is a “vital duty,” he said, to havegood understanding between cultures,consideration for each other that is notcondescending, and respect for the rights ofeach person.“This is my wish for the whole of Africa,
which is so dear to me! Africa, be condent
and rise up! The Lord is calling you.”After his address, Pope Benedict held abrief private meeting with President YayiBoni where he met the president’s family andexchanged gifts.
6 nations beneft
from Papal planepassing over
EN ROUTE TO BENIN, Nov. 18, 2011—Though they only
had Benedict XVI visiting for brief moments ― and then,only from the air ― six African countries received the as
surance of papal prayers as the Holy Father ew over them
on his way to Benin today.As is customary, the Pope sent his best wishes to theleaders of the countries the papal plane passed over as heheaded for his three-day trip to Benin, his second apostolic
 journey to Africa.The ight, stretching more than 4,000 kilometers (2,500
miles) gave the Pontiff an opportunity to express his wishesfor peace and stability in Tunisia.He sent his best wishes to Algeria and invoked upon the
whole country “the benets of the Almighty.”
“May the Most High bless Mali and grant to all its in-habitants prosperity and happiness,” stated the telegramfor this country.To Niger, the Holy Father expressed the hope that it will“live in prosperity and progress unceasingly in concordand peace.”For Burkina Faso the Pope voiced his hope that it would“live always in peace and fraternity” and that God wouldgrant it prosperity and happiness.For Ghana he prayed for “God’s blessings of peace andsocial harmony.”
Spanish diocese petitions for 2015 to be year of St. Teresa
AVILA, Spain, Nov. 18,2011—The Diocese of Avilain Spain has begun collect-ing signatures for a petitiondeclaring 2015, the 500thanniversary of St. Teresa of Jesus’ birth, as a “Year ofPrayer.”St. Teresa was a “masterof prayer” who “left thetestimony of her personalexperience of prayer in herwritings,” said campaignorganizers.Local Church leaders ex-pressed hope that Pope Bene-dict will declare 2015 as a“Year of Prayer” and make St.Teresa the patroness for thecelebration.The campaign is beingorganized by the CarmeliteFathers, with the support ofBishop Jesus Garcia Burilloof Avila, who has writtento all the pastors of thediocese inviting them toparticipate.Signatures are being col-lected at parishes, religiouscommunities and at the di-ocesan chancery. They willbe sent along with a specialletter to Vatican Secretaryof State, Cardinal TarcisioBertone.“In time, St. Teresa becamea master of prayer, not onlyfor her spiritual sons anddaughters, but for the entireChurch,” organizers said.
Catholic laity conducts mission in Indonesia’s far east
 JAKARTA, Indonesia, Nov.18, 2011—The Kelompok BaktiKasih Kemanusiaan (KBKK), alay Catholic humanitarian group,carried out a two-week missionamong indigenous communi-ties in Agats, eastern Indonesia.Twenty-four lay people with amixed professional backgroundperformed pastoral and hu-manitarian work in one of thecountry’s remotest and most ne-glected dioceses, Agats-Timika,some nine hours by plane from Jakarta, plus an hour by smallboat.Ingrid Barata headed the mis-sion. Speaking to AsiaNews, shesaid the group included peoplefrom different provinces. The tripto Agats was a tense one. Timika,the town closest to Agats, and itsonly point of access, was recentlyracked by mass demonstrationsby miners working for the Free-port Company.Unknown gunmen fired onprotesters, killing a number ofthem. “We were held back at theairport for security reasons untilthings quieted down. They even-
tually ew us to our destination
on small planes,” said former Jesuit Abdi Susanto, who alsotook part in the mission.The situation was still tense be-cause of political unrest in Timikaand Jayapura. The group wasforced to split up, stopping at dif-ferent airports for security reasonsand because of fuel shortages.After 24 hours, they all made itto their destination, in the heart
of the Papuan jungle, a place
where people lead a simple life,
based on shing, hunting and
gathering. Because the land isswampy and has no drinkingwater, rainwater must be col-lected in big tanks for humanconsumption.The humanitarian missionfocused on four different areas,far from Agats. “At least three orfour hours of navigation on smallboats were needed to reach our
destination,” Suparman Surjadi,
from Bogor, told AsiaNews.In the two-week period, na-tives were provided with necessi-ties, as well as medical and healthcare, Msgr. Aloysius Murwito,OFM, said as he praised thegroup for its work. “I am grate-ful to God that in Indonesia theChurch has the KBKK, which iscommitted to serving others.”To date, the KBKK has carriedout missions in 24 Indonesiandioceses, offering aid to areasaffected by natural disasters.
Catholics take to the streets in Hanoi demanding justice
HANOI, Vietnam, Nov. 18, 2011―Thousands
of Catholics took to the streets this morning in
Hanoi (pictured), demanding justice for Thai
Ha Parish and the nearby Redemptorist mon-astery. They waved banners: one stated, “Donot trespass on religious land and property”,another called on the government to “returnwhat you borrow”, and a third said, “Weprotest Hanoi TV’s defamation and distortionof the truth about Thai Ha parish”.The protest was provoked by a decisiontaken by the Dong Da District People’s Com-mittee to seize the limited land that is leftto the local Catholic community in order tobuild a sewage treatment system for a nearbyhospital.Bought in 1928 by the Redemptorists, theoriginal property covered an area of 61.455 sqm. Now only some 2,700, sq m are left.
The conict reached its peak in 2008 and
2009 when days of protest by thousands ofCatholics ended in the trial and convictionof eight of them for disturbing the publicorder.The dispute’s latest round began on 8 Oc-tober when the local parish priest, Fr. JosephNguyen Van Phuong, was summoned toappear before the Dong Da District People’sCommittee to be informed that they haddecided on how todispose of the parish’sland.Men and womenreligious as well asparishioners reactedby staging protests.This was followedon 3 November byan assault carried outby hundreds of policeagents and soldiersusing dogs and trun-cheons, taped by aTV crew. Using loud-speakers, the attack-ers hurled insults andstones at the convent,breaking its main door. Only the quickintervention of faithful from neighbouringparishes brought in by tolling bells stoppedthe attack.On Wednesday, 500 riot police and secu-rity forces escorted dozens of bulldozers tostart building the hospital sewage treatment
system, just a few metres from the existing
church.At the same time, despite threats of retali-ation by the authorities, people began theirprotest in front of the People’s Committeeheadquarters, whilst plainclothes policeofficers take pictures and videotape theprotesters.“I’m not scared,” Peter Tuan Nguyen toldAsiaNews. “We need to lift the veil from the
injustices committed in Vietnam.”
“Why I came here? Well, to protest beforethe international community [against] theongoing persecutions we have suffered foralmost seven decades,” said Maria ThanhTran.
  w  w  w .  c  a   t   h  o   l   i  c  n  e  w  s  a  g  e  n  c  y .  c  o  m  w  w  w .   2 .   b  p .   b   l  o  g  s  p  o   t .  c  o  m  w  w  w .  a  s   i  a  n  e  w  s .   i   t
 Vol. 15 No. 24
November 21 - December 4, 2011
CBCP Monitor
News Features
Embryos cannot be destroyed even forimportant research, says pope
VATICAN City, Nov. 14, 2011—In re-
 jecting research using embryonic stem
cells, the Catholic Church is not tryingto impede science or delay treatmentthat can save lives, Pope Benedict XVIsaid.The church’s opposition to the use
and destruction of embryos ows from
the conviction that all human life issacred and that destroying the mostdefenseless will never lead to a truebenefit for humanity, the pope saidNov. 12 to participants in a Vatican-sponsored conference on research usingadult stem cells.“When the end in view is so eminent-ly desirable as the discovery of a cure fordegenerative illnesses, it is tempting forscientists and policy-makers to brush
aside ethical objections and to press
ahead with whatever research seems tooffer the prospect of a breakthrough,”the pope said.However, “the destruction of even
one human life can never be justiedin terms of the benet that it might con
-ceivably bring to another,” he said.
The Pontical Council for Culture
partnered with NeoStem Inc., a U.S.company researching and marketingadult stem-cell therapies, to sponsor theconference, “Adult Stem Cells: Scienceand the Future of Man and Culture.”The 30 speakers, along with patientswho had been treated with stem cells,
looked not only at the scientic progress
being made with adult stem cells, butalso at the cultural, ethical and politicalissues surrounding the research, its useand its availability.Pope Benedict told conference par-ticipants that “in drawing attention tothe needs of the defenseless, the churchthinks not only of the unborn, but also ofthose without easy access to expensivemedical treatment.”“Illness is no respecter of persons,
and justice demands that every effortbe made to place the fruits of scientic
research at the disposal of all who stand
to benet from them, irrespective of
their means,” he said.The pope said the church supportsresearch with adult stem cells, whichhave the possibility of developing into avariety of specialized cells and can alle-viate degenerative illnesses by repairingdamaged tissues.Adult stem cells are obtained notfrom fertilizing and destroying humanembryos, but from “the tissues of anadult organism, from the blood of theumbilical cord at the moment of birth orfrom fetuses who have died of naturalcauses,” he said.By calling for respect for the ethi-cal limits of biomedical research, thepope said, the church does not seek
“to impede scientic progress, but on
the contrary to guide it in a direction
that is truly fruitful and benecial to
 Vatican takes legal action against clothingcompany over Pope ad
VATICAN City, Nov. 17, 2011—TheVatican will take legal action against Italianclothing company Benetton to prevent thecirculation of an ad featuring Pope BenedictXVI kissing a Muslim imam.The move on Nov. 17 comes a day afterBenetton hastily withdrew the image froma new advertising campaign following pro-tests from both religions.“The Secretariat of State has authorizedits lawyers to initiate actions, in Italy andelsewhere, to prevent the circulation, via themass media and in other ways, of a photo-montage used in a Benetton advertising cam-paign in which the Holy Father appears in away considered to be harmful, not only to thedignity of the Pope and the Catholic Church,but also to the sensibility of believers,” readthe Vatican’s Nov. 17 statement.The image was used as part of a new adver-tising campaign by Benetton titled “UNHATE”which was launched yesterday at a press con-ference in Paris. It was immediately followedby the unveiling of a new poster campaign atvarious locations around the globe.The posters feature various religious andpolitical leaders kissing each other on themouth including a mock-up of Pope BenedictXVI kissing Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayeb, theImam of the Al-Azhar mosque in Cairo.A large banner bearing the image wasunfurled from a bridge over the River Tiberin Rome. Within a few hours, however, theimage had been withdrawn.“We are so sorry that the use of the imageof the Pope and the Imam has so offendedthe sensibilities of the faithful in this way,”said a spokesman for Benetton Nov. 16. “In
conrmation of our feelings we have de
-cided, with immediate effect, to withdrawthis image from every publication.”The Islamic religious authorities in Romeare also threatening to take legal actionagainst Benetton for defamation.“It is a serious lack of respect for the Pope,an affront to the feelings of the faithful andan evident demonstration of how, in the
eld of advertising, the most elemental rules
of respect for others can be broken in orderto attract attention by provocation,” saidVatican spokesman Fr. Federico LombardiS.J. Nov. 16.Other posters include U.S. President Ba-rack Obama and Chinese leader Hu Jintaoand the Palestinian president Mahmoud Ab-
bas and the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu.Benetton is an Italian based fashion com-pany with around 6000 stores in 120 coun-tries. Their main clothing brand, the UnitedColors of Benetton, has become known inrecent decades for the shock value of their
Human rights groups pay tribute to environmental martyrs
MANILA, Nov. 12, 2011―Church
and human rights organizations paidtribute to martyrs who lost their livesprotecting rural communities and theenvironment in a prayer and candle-lighting ceremony held in various keycities nationwide.The activity was part of the obser-vance of the Global Day of Remem-brance of the Heroes, Heroines andMartyrs of the Resistance againstMining, Oil and Gas on November10.In Manila, around 100 human rightsadvocates gathered at the Pope PiusXII Center in UN Avenue, to payhonor their fallen comrades in prayerand songs.Church groups and human rightsorganizations delivered solidar-ity messages and urged for therepeal of Mining Act of 1995 andthe enactment of an AlternativeMining Bill.Simultaneous with the activity inManila was a prayer gathering in Pala-wan, Cebu and another in Cagayan deOro that drew more than 30 partici-pants from human rights groups, civilsociety and government.Human rights advocate Judy Pasi-mio from Legal Rights and Natural Re-sources Center – Kasama sa Kalikasan
(LRC-KsK) urged for justice for killed
environmental martyrs.
“We seek justice for these martyrs.
People and the government must
bring their assailants to justice, for true
peace to be achieved,” she said.“The Philippine government mustnot put the interests of the miningcompanies over the welfare of thecommunity and the whole nation,by serving the greed of these largemining transnational corporations,”she added.Human rights groups had earliercriticized the Aquino government’sdecision to allow mining companiesto form militias to defend its interestsfrom rebels’ attacks.Pasimio said Aquino’s decision topermit mining corporations to haveits own paramilitary units can beconstrued that “he is for mining andagainst those who opposed it.”She lamented that mining has be-come “synonymous to violence” asmany advocates have lost their livesbecause of their anti-mining stance.Italian priest Fr. Fausto Tentorio wasthe latest of a string of environmentalistswho were killed this year, when he wasgunned down in Cotabato last month.Another outspoken anti-mining activ-ist, Datu Roy Gallego, was also killed inSurigao del Sur last October 14.Early this year, Dr. Gerry Ortega, abroadcaster and anti-mining advocate,was killed in Puerto Princesa.Other documented killings relatedto mining include Councilor ArminRios Marin from Sibuyan Islandwho was killed by a mining securityguard last 2007 right in front of a rallyagainst mining; Gensun Agustin fromCagayan Valley, gunned down in ahighway last 2009, on his way froman anti-mining forum he organized;and Rudy Segovia, shot and killedat a barricade set-up in Zamboangadel Norte to prevent the entry ofmining equipment in their ancestraldomains.The tribute to environmental he-roes was part of the global solidarityactions organized in Nigeria, Indo-nesia, Guatemala and Australia tomark the anniversary of the murderof Nigerian writer Ken Saro-Wiwa.Together with eight other Ogoni lead-ers, Saro-Wiwa was executed in 1995for speaking out against the impact ofShell and other oil companies in theNiger Delta.
Christian volunteers are signs of God’s love, pope says
VATICAN City, Nov. 11,2011—Through volunteer work,Christians become signs of God’slove in the world, Pope BenedictXVI said.Especially at a time of seriouseconomic crisis, moral uncertain-ty and social tension, Christianvolunteers show “that goodnessexists and that it is growing inour midst,” the pope said Nov.11 in a speech to participants ata Vatican meeting on Catholicvolunteer activity in Europe.The two-day meeting, spon-
sored by the Pontical Council Cor
Unum, which promotes and coor-dinates Catholic charity, was held
in conjunction with the European
Year of Volunteering. It broughttogether about 160 bishops andrepresentatives of charitable orga-nizations from 25 countries.The pope thanked the Eu-ropean volunteers and “themillions of Catholic volunteerswho contribute, regularly andgenerously, to the church’scharitable mission throughoutthe world.”
As he wrote in his rst encycli
-cal, “Deus Caritas Est” (“God IsLove”), the pope said Catholiccharitable activity isn’t simply
philanthropy, it’s a reection of
Christian faith and the obligationto love others as Christ loved.“His grace perfects, strength-ens and elevates” the basic hu-man vocation to love others and“enables us to serve others with-out reward, satisfaction or anyrecompense,” the pope said.At the same time, throughvolunteering “we also becomevisible instruments of his lovein a world that still profoundlyyearns for that love amid thepoverty, loneliness, marginaliza-tion and ignorance that we see allaround us,” he said.Pope Benedict also asked themeeting participants to stepup efforts to involve youngCatholics in volunteer work as“a way to grow in the self-givinglove which gives life its deepestmeaning.”“We must not be afraid to setbefore them a radical and life-changing challenge, helpingthem to learn that our hearts aremade to love and be loved. It is inself-giving that we come to livelife in all its fullness,” he said.Kristalina Georgieva, the Euro-pean commissioner for interna-tional cooperation, humanitarianaid and crisis response, was oneof the speakers at the meeting.She told Vatican Radio Nov. 10that volunteering is “extremelystrong” in Europe, with about100 million people formallyvolunteering on the continent orabroad each year.While volunteers meet many ofthe needs a government probablyshould, volunteers are essentialbecause the needs are over-whelming and emergency situa-tions are increasing, she said.For example, she said, “in 1975there were 78 natural disasters”
ofcially categorized as such in
the world, but in 2010 they hadrisen to 385.“Unfortunately, the impact ofthese disasters has increased be-cause the global population hasincreased,” particularly in urbanareas. When an earthquake or
ooding hits a major city, there
are more victims, more damage,and a need for more volunteersto help, she said.
RH bill is about Statepowers, illusion of ‘choice’
CEBU City, Nov. 17, 2011—Leg-islation that promotes reproduc-tive health (RH) is not aboutrecognizing the rights of womenand of couples but about giv-ing the State powers beyond its
 jurisdiction, said former Sena
-tor Francisco “Kit” Tatad at theNational “Philippines for Life”Congress in Cebu City.“It was never the purpose togive women and men [the rightto use contraception and availof sterilization,] a ‘right’ theyalready have. The real purposeof the [RH] bill has always beenwhat is written in the bill now,namely, to give the State a power,a right, and a duty it does nothave – namely, to require marriedcouples to practice birth controlas a necessary precondition andan essential component of mar-riage,” Tatad asserted, startingoff the three-day event with arousing message on the most vitalissue about the pro-life crusade.Tatad pointed out that inti-mate matters between spouses
cannot be made the subject of
legislation, as “the right andduty to procreate is not con-ferred by law or local ordinanceupon the citizens of a town, acity or a state. It belongs to ournature, bestowed upon us byGod. It belongs to every man asman, even before he becomes acitizen, or even if he does not getto become a citizen at all.”“It precedes the existence of
the State, and is not subject to
the approval or disapproval ofthe local Sanggunian, Congressor the President. It is not and can-
not be made the subject of any
statute passed by even all of themembers of Congress,” Tatadfurther explained, adding thatit is “the most important pointthat must be very clear to us, sowe can communicate it to [thepeople on] the other side.”
He enjoined the more than 200
attendees at the event organizedby Human Life International(HLI) Pilipinas to help make“our pro-RH friends in Con-gress” understand that there are“certain areas of human activitywhere the State may not intrude.The intimate union between manand wife is one such activity, andeverything else that naturally
ows from it.”
“This is so clear to anyone whoknows the distinction betweenman and God, between the crea-ture and his Creator, that, no re-sponsible government has foundit necessary to put this downin any legal or constitutionaldocument. It is a meta legal right,something written in our verynature as men and women, asfundamental and inviolable asour right to breathe,” he said.
‘Illusion of choice’
While the RH bill’s proponentshave been claiming that their aimin crafting the measure is to givewomen and couples the chanceto make their own choices asregards family planning, Tatadrevealed how the bill gives theillusion that it gives people thepower to choose what familyplanning methods to use.While the bill mentions natu-ral family planning as an option,“nothing is said about how thegovernment will promote natu-ral family planning, and makesure those who need it would getit. In contrast, the bill is a virtualmanual on how contraceptivesand sterilization agents are to bedistributed by clinics and hospi-tals as essential medicines.”
“It’s not just you are given a
bogus choice,” the former sena-tor continued. “The graver of-fense is that while you are giventhe illusion of choosing whatcontraceptives to use, the deci-sion that you must use contra-ceptives in one form or anotherhas already been made for youby the authors of the bill, claim-ing to speak for the State, but inviolation of the Constitutionalduties of the State.”The “Philippines for Life”congress, focused on the theme“Surrender is not an option,compromise is not the solution,”aptly described what ought tobe the mindset of every pro-lifecrusader, according to Tatad.“It is the only correct positionto take. That is to say, if we trulybelieve the sanctity of humanlife, marriage and the family is
worth ghting for; or even dying
for,” he stressed.
The HLI event on its rst day
also featured Msgr. Cris E. Gar-cia, SAP, H.P., Chair of the CebuArchdiocesan Committee on Lit-urgy and Worship and Rev. Fr.
Ervy Davy Lajarra, HLI-Asia &
Oceania Spiritual Director.A Holy Mass celebrated byCebu Archbishop and incomingpresident of the Catholic Bish-ops’ Conference of the Philip-pines (CBCP) Most Rev. Jose S.Palma, DD capped the afternoontalks.
  w  w  w .   i  n  p   h  o   t  o  s .  o  r  g  w  w  w .   l   i  s  a  g  r  a  a  s .  c  o  m
publicity stunts.In 1991, the company ran a poster cam-paign featuring a young priest in black cas-sock about to kiss a nun. Catholic groupssubsequently failed in legal attempts to havethe image removed from over 1300 billboardsites across the United States.Other images used in recent years byBenetton have included a young man dyingfrom AIDS, a bloodied newborn baby withuncut umbilical cord, a colorful mix of con-doms, the blood stained uniform of a deadBosnian soldier and pictures of inmates ondeath row.
Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ
   C   B   C   P   M  e   d   i  a
File photo shows ofcials of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Associationof the Philippines distribute relief goods to typhoon victims.

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