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Cbcpmonitor Vol16 n04

Cbcpmonitor Vol16 n04

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Published by cbcpmonitor
- Priests, EWTN sue US gov’t for illegal mandate
- CDO archbishop reiterates call for mining moratorium
- HIV is a workplace issue—NGO
- Philvolcs calls for immediate repair of old Churches
- PH’s 1st anti-mining monument erected in Romblon
- Catholics pay Valentine tribute to retired priests
- Bishop appeals for mining moratorium in Samar
- NASSA to offer Mass for struggling HLI farmworkers
- Pope: Lent is time to help others spiritually, materially
- ‘Let us be concerned for each other, to stir a response in love and good works’ (Heb 10:24)
- The Cross: A Supplement Publication of KCFAPI and
the Order of the Knights of Columbus
- Priests, EWTN sue US gov’t for illegal mandate
- CDO archbishop reiterates call for mining moratorium
- HIV is a workplace issue—NGO
- Philvolcs calls for immediate repair of old Churches
- PH’s 1st anti-mining monument erected in Romblon
- Catholics pay Valentine tribute to retired priests
- Bishop appeals for mining moratorium in Samar
- NASSA to offer Mass for struggling HLI farmworkers
- Pope: Lent is time to help others spiritually, materially
- ‘Let us be concerned for each other, to stir a response in love and good works’ (Heb 10:24)
- The Cross: A Supplement Publication of KCFAPI and
the Order of the Knights of Columbus

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Published by: cbcpmonitor on Feb 15, 2012
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 Vol. 16 No. 4
February 13 - 26, 2012
Php 20.
A View to a Kill.
With apologies to a movie with the same title, this exactly describes this once beautiful view that is now the site of a nickle mine in Manicani, Guiuan in Eastern Samar that is feared to exact not only social cost, butespecially the denudation of marine life. Borongan Bishop Crispin Varquez has recently appealed to the Aquino administration to impose a moratorium on both large-scale and small-scale mining operations in Eastern Samar.
 ‘Let us be concerned for eachother, to stir a response in loveand good works’ (Heb 10:24)
Pope: Lent is timeto help othersspiritually, materially
The Cross
A Supplement Publication of KCFAPI andthe Order of the Knights of Columbus
Priests, EWTN sue USgov’t for illegal mandate
Gov’t policy shows parallel elements with RH bill 
By Diana Uichanco
“THE rule is unjust. You don’tadapt to injustice; you opposeit.”
This is what Fr. Frank Pavone, Na-tional Director of the New York-basedorganization Priests for Life, saidrecently, referring to the new law thatrequires employers to provide healthinsurance coverage for sterilization,contraception and abortion-inducingdrugs even when these violate theirconsciences or religious beliefs.As a result of the forced coverage,
Priests for Life will le a lawsuit against
the Obama administration, Pavone an-nounced.“It’s unthinkable that PresidentObama would force Americans of anyfaith to violate their consciences. Yethere he is, arrogantly imposing theseregulations that clearly discriminateagainst Catholics and all Christians, aswell as people of any faith who believein the sanctity of innocent human life.This has clearly become a human rightscase—and is no longer just a partisanpolitical football,” the priest said in an
ofcial statement released February 9.
“We at Priests for Life are opposingthis mandate as employers, not as a reli-gious group. Religious freedom is not aright just of religious groups; it’s a rightof every American,” he continued.Noted civil rights attorney CharlesLiMandri, who is representing Priestsfor Life in the group’s lawsuit againstPresident Barack Obama, said, “This
is the rst time in history any adminis
-tration has used brute force to compelsomeone to violate his conscience ormoral convictions. It’s unheard of. It’salso antithetical to the core Americanprinciples of religious liberty and free-dom from invasions of privacy.”
Same coercive element in RH bill
As the public outcry against the “freebirth control” policy becomes moreintense among Americans, the coercivenature of the Philippine reproductivehealth (RH) bill continues to be ignoredby the measure’s proponents and sup-porters despite being repeatedly decriedfor its constitutional and conscienceviolations.Among the vehemently opposedprovisions in the measure is the re-quirement for employers to providefamily planning supplies and servicesto employees.The bill also proposes procurementand distribution of the full range ofbirth control supplies and a mandatorycomprehensive sex education programfor all private and public schools fromGrade 5 to 4th year high school. Theseshall be implemented using taxpayers’money—regardless of the religiousconvictions of taxpayers.“The duty of the State is to respect and
CDO archbishopreiterates call formining moratorium
THE highest ofcial of Cagayan
de Oro archdiocese has reiter-ated calls for a moratorium onmining even as he hit claimsthat mining has not contributedto the devastation wrought bytropical storm Washi (Sendong)last December.Mining industry defenders,like Mayor Vicente Emano andmost members of the City Coun-cil, admitted that he had issued“special permits” to mine severalhectares in the city’s hinterlandsand have not suspended theseoperations despite snowballingcalls for him to halt these opera-tions.“I admit I have granted specialpermits, the law allows me to dothat. But [the mining operations]must not destroy the ecology,”Emano said, adding that he willonly order the stop of all miningoperations in the city if a studywill be conducted immediately“showing that mining operationsdestroyed the environment, thenwe will immediately order thecancellation of the permits.”Archbishop Antonio J. Ledes-
HIV is a workplace issue—NGO
NASSA to offer Mass forstruggling HLI farmworkers
THE National Secretariat for Social Ac-tion (NASSA) of the Catholic Bishops’Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) willoffer Mass for struggling Hacienda Luisitafarmworkers at the Minor Basilica of BlackNazarene in Quiapo, Feb. 17.Themed “Isang Pagkain, Isang Bayan:Lupa at Hustisya sa Asyenda Luisita,” theEucharistic celebration is NASSA`s way ofresponding to the continuing struggle forland and justice of HLI farmworkers.Luisita People’s Alliance (LUPPA) con-
Bishop appeals for miningmoratorium in Samar
A CATHOLIC bishop has appealed to theAquino administration to impose a morato-rium on mining in Eastern Samar to protectthe province’s remaining forests.Borongan Bishop Crispin Varquez saidthat several large-scale and small-scalemining operations in the province do notguarantee responsible mining, environmentprotection and rehabilitation.“We, in the Diocese of Borongan and otheranti-mining organizations are calling for a
mining moratorium to x all these concerns
PH’s 1st anti-mining monumenterected in Romblon
ANTI-MINING ad-vocates witnessed theunveiling of a Memo-rial in Romblon on Feb.14, commemoratingthe biggest protest heldin the province againstmining by the Church,
local ofcials and resi
A rst in the country,
the anti-mining monu-ment is a reminder ofthe people’s struggleagainst the entry oflarge scale
Philvolcs callsfor immediaterepair of oldChurches
THE country’s seismologybureau has called for an im-mediate repair of old CatholicChurches which are prone todamage by earthquakes.According to the PhilippinesInstitute of Volcanology andSeismology (Philvolcs) warnedthat historical churches mustbe prepared for quakes as thecountry is not far from activefault lines.Leonila Bautista, Philvolcs’associate scientist, noted theinitiative of the National Com-mission for Culture and theArts to renovate old churchesbut he said this must be doneas soon as possible.“It’s a race against time… Ihope they will do it fast,” hesaid. “These churches are im-portant because of their his-tory and also for tourism.”Bautista issued the statement
a day after a 6.9 magnitude
earthquake hit Visayan prov-inces and reportedly killed atleast 52 people.Several highways, churches,houses and buildings werealso damaged.
There were 90 destructive
earthquakes that shook the
Philippines over the past 400years and 40 of them generated
Catholics pay Valentine tribute to retired priests
VARIOUS lay faithful have devised anoble way of celebrating Valentine’s Dayand that is by spending time with a num-ber of old and retired priests.
Around 40 retired bishops and priests
attended this year’s Valentine’s Daytribute organized for them by Kadiwa saPagkapari Foundation, Inc. at the Villa SanMiguel in Mandaluyong City.It was a scene of old priests who canhardly walk and were using canes andsome are already in wheelchairs.Msgr. Sabino Vengco, Jr., who heads theKadiwa sa Pagkapari Foundation, said theevent was intended to express their concernfor the old priests.“While the world talks and dreams about
Moratorium / A7Farmworkers / A6Mining / A6Monument / A6Priests / A6Philvolcs / A6Illegal / A6
love this Valentine’s Day, we focused onthat love [that] is concretely expressed onHUMAN immune-deficiencyvirus (HIV) is a workplace issuethat needed to be properly ad-dressed. This was the statementof the International Seafarers’ Ac-tion Center (ISAC) as discrimina-tion continues against peopleliving with HIV (PL-HIV).In a paper by ISAC projectdevelopment officer JeremyO. Cajiuat titled “REVERSINGTHE CULTURE OF BLAME:The case for HIV-AIDS as aworkplace issue for seafarers”,he said that prejudice from em-ployers, in the form of denialof employment possibilitiesand adequate assistance make
it difcult for PL-HIV to cope
with the often fatal complica-tions of this illness.“Sadly, contrary to acceptedinternational principles thatseek to protect PLWAs [peopleliving with HIV-AIDS], gov-ernment agencies in the Philip-pines continue to adopt theseprejudiced views that even-tually result in more seriousconsequences,” reads Cajiuat’spaper. Cajiuat is referring tothe alleged negligence of theseafarer, or worker, for exam-ple, that is why he contractedthe dreaded disease.
Seafarers’ work nature makesthem susceptible to HIV/ AIDS
The HIV-AIDS preventioncourse, included in the pre-de-parture orientation seminars(PDOS), a series of lectures forthe migrating Filipino worker,seemed to be inadequate “giv-en the severity of the situationand the precariousness of theseafarers’ nature of work… ortheir susceptibility to exposureto this dreaded disease.”Citing the InternationalTransport Workers’ Federa-tion (ITF) manual, Cajiuatsaid that the document had
afrmed the veracity of the fact
that seafaring is indeed a workthat makes one vulnerable ofcontracting HIV-AIDS.The ITF Manual states thatsince the seafarers, by the na-ture of their work had a verylong time of non-contact with
HIV / A7
   P   h  o   t  o  c  o  u  r   t  e  s  y  o   f   N   A   S   S   A
A memorial testifies to thesteadfast commitment of the localpeople to protect the environmentfrom destruction brought by large-and small-scale mining.
mining rms in Rom
-blon.Romblon GovernorEduardo C. Firmalosaid the province willnot allow any miningactivities to destroy theenvironment and bringsuffering to the people,stressing that local gov-ernment units have theautonomy to defendthe general welfare ofthe population.“Today we com-
   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    P   h  o   t  o  c  o  u  r   t  e  s  y  o   f   R  o   d  n  e   G  a   l   i  c   h  a
 Vol. 16 No. 4
February 13 - 26, 2012 
CBCP Monitor
 World News
Vatican Briefng
Pope shares vision of a better earth
Benedict XVI says that earth can become a place of love, good-ness, truth and beauty if the will of God is done here, as it is
in heaven. The Pope made this reection as he spoke Feb. 1
at the general audience about Christ’s prayer in Gethsemane,saying that “nowhere else in sacred Scripture do we gain sodeep an insight into the inner mystery of Jesus as in the prayeron the Mount of Olives.” “In Jesus’ prayer to the Father on thatterrible and wondrous night of Gethsemane, ‘earth’ became‘heaven’; the ‘earth’ of his human will, shaken by fear andanguish, was assumed by the divine will, so that the will ofGod might be accomplished on earth,” he said.
Pope invites cardinals to Day of Prayer
The College of Cardinals and those who will join its number
Feb. 18 will gather for a day of prayer and reection prior
to the consistory, by invitation of Benedict XVI. The Vaticanannounced that the Feb. 17 prayer day (the consistory is Feb.18) will focus on “the announcement of the Gospel today,between ‘missio ad gentes’ and new evangelization,” a themethat will be introduced by one of the cardinals-designate,Timothy Dolan of New York. Cardinal-designate Dolan is thepresident of the U.S. bishops’ conference.
Scholars analyzing pope’s Easter homilies
A series of meetings is being held in the Vicariate of Rome toanalyze Benedict XVI’s Easter homilies. The homily under ex-
amination Jan. 26 was that of the Easter Vigil of March 22, 2008,
and a round table looked at the theme: ‘’Man’s Identity in Timeand Beyond Time.’’ The speakers at the meeting were Monsignor
Livio Melina, president of the John Paul II Pontical Institute;
Laura Palazzani, a teacher of bioethics at LUMSSA University,
and Angelo Luigi Vescovi, scientic director of the Hospital
Home for Relief of Suffering of San Giovanni Rotondo.
A bishop’s love can overcome his fears—CardinalGeorge
A bishop’s love for Jesus Christ and the Church can overcome allhis fears, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago said at St. Peter’s
tomb on Feb. 9. Cardinal George is visiting the Vatican along with
the bishops of Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, who began their
“ad limina” visit Feb. 9. “In the responsorial psalm we asked the
Lord to protect us, to take away our fears, which means that thepsalmist and the apostles were afraid at times – as are we. Thereis reason to be afraid. But, nonetheless, stronger than fear is faith,and stronger than both is love,” he said.
Loving Christian family is best soil for vocations, Pope writes
Christian families should be a happy and loving environmentin which young people can discern calls to the priesthood orreligious life, Pope Benedict XVI says in his message for theWorld Day of Prayers for Vocations “Families are not only theprivileged place for human and Christian formation; they canalso be ‘the primary and most excellent seed-bed of vocationsto a life of consecration to the Kingdom of God,’ by helpingtheir members to see, precisely within the family, the beautyand the importance of the priesthood and the consecratedlife,” the Pope said on Feb. 13.
Jesus our contemporary’ shakes Asia and Europe
ROME, Italy, Feb. 10, 2012—”Je
-sus is my contemporary throughthe saints and people who aresuffering”: this is how Cardi-nal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, bish-op emeritus of Hong Kong,summed up his experiencespeaking at the internationalconference “Jesus our con-temporary” promoted by theCultural Project of the ItalianBishops Conference, of whichCardinal Camillo Ruini is presi-dent.Speaking before severalhundred people last night,Cardinal Zen spoke his per-sonal life in Shanghai andHong Kong and the periodwhen he was teaching in theseminaries of mainland China,underlining the deep faith ofthe Chinese Church, as wellas the difficulties in which itis immersed.The “contemporary natureof Jesus” is also seen from the“contemporary nature of thecross,” said the cardinal andhe recalled a great champion ofthe faith in China, Msgr. Antho-ny Li Duan, the late bishop of
Xian (d. 2005), a great promoter
of the unity of the Church inChina, and unity with the pope.
Cardinal Zen said that in 2000
Msgr. Li Duan twice refused tosubmit to the religious policyof the party, refusing to go toan illicit episcopal ordination(without the mandate of thePope) and a meeting in Beijingwhere he was to sign a docu-ment against Pope John PaulII (who had canonized theChinese martyrs).Cardinal Zen has shown thateven within the pressures andpersecutions, there are manyconversions to Christianity inChina. And in Hong Kong, a
small community of 350 thou
-sand faithful in a populationof 7 million people, every yearthere are thousands of adultbaptisms.ness of Christianity is palpableand young Churches (like SouthKorea) are growing at a diz-zying pace, we do not registerthe same enthusiasm, the samezeal in announcing Jesus Christas Lord and Savior, because ofwhich the “faith is in danger of
dying out like a ame without
oxygen”.Today, Cardinal Bagnascoreiterated, there is “a strangereluctance to speak of Jesus”that threatens to transformbelievers into “tired receptorsof a bland Christianity that istaken for granted”. Hence thenecessity and urgency of “aseason of new evangelization”,starting from the knowledgethat man “without Christ,easily loses himself” and thatthe issue “on the ultimate anddefinitive meaning of life andthe world, on the enigma oftime and death “is” the ques-tion that runs through humanhistory.”To mark the occasion, Bene-dict XVI sent a message to thepresident of CEI in which hespoke of his appreciation forthe choice of dedicating theconference “to the Person of Jesus”, which will have a deepresonance in Italy’s social andecclesial communities.”For the pope, “... many signalsreveal how the name and themessage of Jesus, even in suchdistracted and confused times,provokes ... interest ... eventhose who are unable to adhereto his word of salvation.”And after having reiteratedthe urgent need to “open a pathto God in the hearts and livesof men,” Benedict XVI said that“the story of Jesus of Nazareth,in whose name still many be-lievers in different countriesof the world face suffering andpersecution, cannot therefore
be conned to the distant past,
but it is decisive for our faithtoday”.
Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco,president of the CEI, began theconference yesterday, evidenc-ing the differences betweenEuropean and non-Europeancountries on the issue of faithin Jesus Christ: “While in Africa,Asia, Latin America, the fresh-
Ofcial logo unveiled for
World Youth Day 2013
zil, Feb. 9, 2012—The
colors of the Brazilianflag and the famousChrist the Redeemerstatue of Rio de Janeiro
form part of the ofcial
logo for World Youth
Day 2013, designed by
Gustavo Huguenin,25.The designer prayedabout the theme of theevent, “Go thereforeand make disciplesof all nations” (Mat-
thew 28:19) before
submitting his win-ning drawing, the of-ficial WYD Web sitereported.“In this passage wesee that Jesus met Hisdisciples on a moun-tain. So, from the be-ginning, the image ofChrist the Redeemerwouldn’t leave me— Jesus, who is on amountain. Besides be-ing the universal sym-bol of Rio de Janeiro,it has everything todo with the theme. Inthe process of creationI first put the conceptwhich must be trans-mitted. It should havethe figure of Jesus,the figure of the dis-ciple and maybe somereference to nations.These three wordswould be essential ifthey could be trans-mitted graphically.Christ the Redeemerrepresents Christ, thedisciple is representedby the heart, for thedisciple is one whocarries Jesus in hisheart, and the nationsare represented bythe forms that recallRio de Janeiro, thecity which at that mo-ment will be the heartof the world for theyouth and which willwelcome them, in ref-erence to the moun-tain and the sea,” Hu-guenin explained.The logo is heart-shaped with a depictionof the Christ the Re-deemer statue in yellowin the middle. The upperhalf of the heart is green,with a small white crosson the left, and the bot-tom half is blue.
WYD 2013 will be
held in Rio from July 23
to 28, 2013.
US Bishops uncertain about Obama’s newcontraception policy
WASHINGTON D.C., Feb. 10, 2012—
The U.S. bishops are hesitant to predictthe effects of an ambiguous new policyannounced by the Obama administra-tion on its controversial contraceptionmandate.“While there may be an openness torespond to some of our concerns, wereserve judgment on the details untilwe have them,” said Cardinal-designateTimothy M. Dolan of New York, presi-dent of U.S. bishops’ conference.He noted the “remarkable unity” withwhich Americans have united in recent
weeks to ght “the erosion of religious
freedom and governmental intrusioninto issues of faith and morals” andcalled for continued efforts to ensurethat religious liberty is protected.
On Feb. 10, President Barack Obama
announced a new policy that requiresmany religious employers to contractwith health insurance companies thatprovide contraception free of charge.Under the new policy, religiousemployers will not have to directlypurchase contraceptives, but will berequired to pay for health care plansfrom insurance companies that offerthem without cost.The policy was announced in responseto the massive outcry against the Obamaadministration’s earlier mandate, which
Cardinal-designate Timothy M. Dolan,president of the U.S. Conference of CatholicBishops, speaks at the fall General Assemblyon Nov. 14.
would require virtually all employersto purchase health insurance plans thatinclude contraception—including earlyabortion drugs—and sterilization at nocost to their employees.In recent weeks, the administrationhas faced widespread protest for refus-ing to expand the mandate’s narrowreligious exemption, which appliesonly to organizations that exist for thepurpose of inculcating religious valuesand that restrict their employment andservices to primarily members of theirown faith.A vast number of Catholic schools,hospitals and charitable organizationswould be excluded from the exemp-tion because they offer their services topeople of all faiths.
Well over 150 bishops from across
the country have spoken out againstthe mandate, along with people fromacross a wide spectrum of political andreligious beliefs who have voiced con-cerns that the government is infringingupon the religious freedom guaranteedby the First Amendment.Obama said that his new policy “ac-commodates religious liberty” becauseit does not require religious employersto directly pay for products that theybelieve to be immoral.However, a statement on the bish-ops' conference website alongside thecardinal-designate's remarks indicatedthat it is not yet clear whether the newpolicy addresses the central concernsof religious freedom. It suggested thatlegislation is still necessary in order tosecure religious liberty for all.While Cardinal-designate Dolan be-lieves that the new policy may be the
“rst step in the right direction,” he
continued to express concerns.“We hope to work with the Admin-istration to guarantee that Americans’consciences and our religious freedomare not harmed by these regulations,”he said.
Religious leaders, academics rebuff Obama’s contraception policy change
2012—Over 200 college presi
-dents, academics, religious lead-ers and journalists have signed aletter that denounces PresidentObama’s “accommodation” tothe contraception mandate forfailing to “remove the assault onreligious liberty.”“It is an insult to the intelli-gence of Catholics, Protestants,Eastern Orthodox Christians, Jews, Muslims, and other peopleof faith and conscience to imaginethat they will accept an assault ontheir religious liberty if only it iscovered up by a cheap accountingtrick,” the letter states.Its signatories include Arch-bishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville,Archbishop Charles Chaputof Philadelphia, SouthwesternBaptist Theological Seminarypresident Dr. Paige Patterson,Catholic University of Americapresident John Garvey, RabbiDavid Novak of the University
of Toronto, and 207 other profes
-sors, scholars, journalists andreligious leaders.The list of signers includes asubstantial number of represen-tatives from the University ofNotre Dame, but not the univer-sity’s president, Fr. John Jenkins,C.S.C.Titled “Unacceptable,” the let-ter was released Feb. 14 on thewebsite of the Becket Fund forReligious Freedom, in response to
President Obama’s Feb. 10 change
to the contraception mandate. TheObama administration’s regula-tion will now require all insurancecompanies to cover contraception,sterilization and some abortion-causing drugs, without charge.Although President Obama’srevision was panned as a “com-promise,” the signers of the letterrejected that description becausethe new rule “still coerces reli-gious institutions and individualsto purchase insurance policiesthat include the very same ser-vices” they objected to before.“It is no answer to respondthat the religious employers arenot ‘paying’ for this aspect ofthe insurance coverage. For onething, it is unrealistic to suggestthat insurance companies will notpass the costs of these additionalservices on to the purchasers,” theletter states.It is a morally weak argu-ment, the signers say, to assertthat it is different for the insur-ance company to explain to anemployee that she is “entitled to
the embryo-destroying ‘ve day
after pill,’” than for the religiousemployer to do so.“It does not matter who ex-plains the terms of the policypurchased by the religiously af-
liated or observant employer.
What matters is what services thepolicy covers.”The letter closes by observingthat since the new policy con-tains the same narrow religious
exemption as the rst version
of the mandate, the Obamaadministration “has effectivelyadmitted that the new policy …amounts to a grave infringementon religious liberty.”They also joined in prayer forthe success of Pope BenedictXVI’s visit to Mexico and CubaMarch 23-28, “that it may be atime of spiritual renewal for thesesister nation and for the Churchin Latin America.”
(CNA/EWTN  News)
Spanish bishops denounce TV censorship of religion ad
BILBOA, Spain, Feb. 9, 2012—Catholic
bishops in the Spanish dioceses of Bilbao,San Sebastian and Vitoria criticized thepublic television station EITB for pulling anad that promoted religion classes in publicschools.Church leaders called the move “a viola-tion of fundamental rights such as freedomof expression and religious freedom” afterthe station said the the public service an-nouncement was “incompatible” with theiradvertising policies.In a statement sent to CNA on Feb. 7, thebishops said the two ads (one in Spanish andthe other in Basque) were sent to the station,which were slightly edited and then airedtwo days later.They were soon pulled off the air, howev-er, and despite complaints from the bishops,
the station has reafrmed its decision.The bishops said the ad removal reected
“a secular outlook that sees religion as some-thing to be excluded from social life” whichis “unsuitable for a public institution at theservice of all.”The ads featured two mothers discussingthe importance of religious education fortheir children and encouraged parents to signtheir children up for religious classes.Religious instruction in public schoolsin Spain is optional, and parents must signtheir children up in order for them to at-tend.
  w  w  w .  a  s   i  a  n  e  w  s .   i   t  w  w  w .   i  o   b  s  e  r  v  e .  o  r  g  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 .   4 .   b  p .   b   l  o  g  s  p  o   t .  c  o  m
 JAKARTA, Indonesia, Feb. 8,
2012—Indonesian Catholics
have organized an outreachprogramme to prevent famineon East Sumba Island, East NusaTenggara province, where cropsfailed in September threateningfood supplies.With the lives of hundredsof local villagers at risk, theChurch appealed for “A bowl ofrice” for East Sumba as a showof solidarity. Members of theKelompok Bakti Kasih Kemanu-siaan (KBKK), a lay humanitariangroup led by German dermatolo-gist Irene Setiadi, were among the
rst to give a positive response.
Speaking to his congregation,Msgr. Hilarius Moa Nurak, bish-op of Pangkal Pinang on BangkaIsland, off the main island ofSumatra, said, “It is time to showuniversal solidarity” among In-donesians.Diocesan priest Fr. Hans Je-hartu Pr issued the same appealusing the KBKK mailing lists andreceived a positive response.Catholics in West Sumba alsoorganized “A bowl of rice” fundraising with the enthusiastic helpof activists in Jakarta who madedonations.After starting low key, thecampaign took off. About US$
2,000 were raised in a few days.
Catholics also collected rice,which is the main staple in thelocal diet.“It is not necessary to collecthuge amounts of rice,” IreneSetiadi said. What counts “is toshow our compassion” and keepat it every day. She hopes thateach Catholic family will be able
to collect at least ve kilos in 30
days. That should come to some
60,000 Indonesian rupee worth
of rice.In addition to working for therice collection campaign, theCatholic group KBKK is cooperat-ing with the Diocese of Manado(pictured) to provide pastoralservices and medical care in theremotest areas of North SulawesiProvince.Thirty-three people from eightdioceses, including Padang inWest Sumatra, took part in themission in Manado.The local bishop, Msgr. YosSuwatan, thanked KBKK volun-teers during the Mass celebratingthe 25 years of priesthood of Fr.Terry Ponomban Pr’s, one of theKBKK’s founders.
Catholics raise funds, collect food for East Sumba villages at risk for famine
 Vol. 16 No. 4
February 13 - 26, 2012 
CBCP Monitor
Pope: Lent is time to help others spiritually, materially
VATICAN City, Feb. 7, 2012—In his
Lenten message, Pope Benedict XVIcalled on the faithful to be concerned forone another and “not to remain isolatedand indifferent” to the fate of others.Materialism and a sense of self-
sufciency are obstacles to a Christian
life of charity, the pope said.Instead of looking first to Godand then to the well-being of oth-ers, people often have an attitude of“indifference and disinterest born ofselfishness and masked as a respectfor ‘privacy.’”He said that God’s commandment tolove “demands that we acknowledgeour responsibility toward those who,like ourselves, are creatures and chil-dren of God.”The annual Lenten message waspresented during a Vatican news con-ference Feb. 7 by Cardinal Robert Sarah,
president of the Pontical Council Cor
Unum, the office which handles thepope’s charitable giving, along withMsgr. Segundo Tejado Munoz, thecouncil’s undersecretary.The cardinal highlighted the pope’scall for “fraternal correction” and thechurch’s prophetic mission in denounc-ing situations of injustice and povertyin the world.To overcome such injustices, onemust get to the moral roots of such situa-tions, he said. Corruption, accumulationof wealth, violence, and living off thework of others without contributing areall cancers that weaken a society fromwithin, the cardinal said.But, he said, the true root of theworld’s injustices stems from ignor-ing or denying God’s existence. Bynot acknowledging there is a creatorand Lord who is greater than man,
society degenerates into a “conict
-ual individualism” and a struggle ofone person against another, CardinalSarah said.
The theme of the 2012 Lenten mes
-sage was taken from St. Paul’s Letter tothe Hebrews: “Let us be concerned foreach other, to stir a response in love andgood works.”The pope outlined his message withthree points taken from St. Paul’s letter:“concern for others, reciprocity andpersonal holiness.”Concern for others, the pope said,means wanting what is good physi-cally, morally and spiritually forone’s neighbor. But he noted thatcontemporary culture “seems to havelost the sense of good and evil.”“There is a real need to reaffirmthat good does exist and will pre-vail,” the pope said, defining goodas “whatever gives, protects andpromotes life, brotherhood and com-munion.”The pope warned against what hecalled “spiritual anesthesia,” whichnumbs people to the suffering of oth-ers. Only a “humbleness of heart andthe personal experience of suffering canawaken within us a sense of compassionand empathy,” he said.The suffering of others is not onlyphysical or material, he said, but itis also spiritual, and he encouragedChristians to remember their “spiritualresponsibility” toward their neighbor.He called for a renewal of a forgottenaspect of the Christian life, that is, “fra-ternal correction.”Fraternal correction, he said, is a kindof Christian charity that speaks outagainst people indulging in sin.“We must not remain silent beforeevil,” he said.Often, “out of human regard orpurely personal convenience,” Chris-tians fail to warn others against ways ofthinking and behaving that are contraryto the truth.The reluctance to confront others inthe name of truth, he said, stems froma world view dominated by individual-ism, which “accepts any moral choice inthe name of personal freedom,” whichthen makes people blind to physicalsuffering and the spiritual and moraldemands of life.However, God wants Christians tohelp and encourage each other to strivefor the truth, for good and holy lives,he said.Fraternal correction must never bemotivated by a spirit of accusation orrecrimination,but instead beboth loving andadmonishing,as God is withhis children, headded.“Both oursins and ouracts of lovehave a socialdimension,”which is whythe church asksforgiveness forthe sins of itsmembers and atthe same timerejoices in ex-amples of vir-tue and charityin the church,he said.The pope saidtime is preciousand people mustnot become luke-warm about per-forming goodworks and usingtheir God-givenspiritual andmaterial riches
for the benet of others.
In a world “which demands of Chris-tians a renewed witness of love and
delity to the Lord, may all of us feel the
urgent need to anticipate one anotherin charity, service and good works,” hesaid.
Pope applauds ‘Jesus Our Contemporary’ conference in Rome
VATICAN City, Feb. 10, 2012—
Pope Benedict praised the launchof a three-day conference inRome that seeks to explain tomodern society why Jesus Christ
is more than a historical gure.
“I am glad and grateful foryour choice to dedicate to theperson of Jesus, several daysof interdisciplinary study andcultural offerings, destined toresonate within the Church com-munity and throughout Italiansociety,” said Pope Benedict XVIin a message to Cardinal AngeloBagnasco, President of the Italian
Episcopal Conference, Feb. 9.
“Jesus Our Contemporary”
runs from Feb. 9-11 and is or
-ganized by the Italian EpiscopalConference.The Pope explained how Jesusentered “forever” into humanhistory “and continues to livethere” through “his beauty andpower in that body which isfragile and always in need of pu-
rication but also innitely full
of divine love – the Church.”“The contemporary nature of Jesus is revealed in a special wayin the Eucharist,” he said, “inwhich he is present with his pas-sion, death and resurrection.”It is through the Church that Jesus is “a contemporary ofevery man, able to embrace allmen and all ages because she isguided by the Holy Spirit withthe aim of continuing the workof Jesus in history.”Over three days, numerousevents such as lectures, semi-
nars, discussions, lm showings
and photographic exhibitionsare taking place at various loca-tions in and around the Vatican.Several thousand visitors areexpected to attend, mainly fromthe dioceses of Italy.The topics they’ll be able toexplore include Jesus in contem-porary literature, Jesus and thepoor, Jesus and the Jerusalem ofYesterday and Today as well asa study of Pope Benedict XVI’sbiographical trilogy of Christ’slife, Jesus of Nazareth. The thirdin the series is expected to bepublished later this year.“This is a major question thatniggles at the heart of man todayincluding Christians,” CardinalAngelo Scola of Milan told CNA
Feb. 9.
“Jesus lived in the time
and space of 2,000 years ago.
How can he save me today ifhe is not my contemporary?”Answering this question, hesaid, is the “challenge” of theconference.“Many elements are beingproposed that explain to ushow Jesus breaks through andtranscends time and, for eternityfrom his resurrection, particu-larly through his Eucharist, hereaches out to my freedom andthat of every man and the free-dom of all the human family.This is the sense of the event.”Among the other clerical guestspeakers are Cardinal Gian-franco Ravasi, President of the
Pontical Council for Culture,
Cardinal Camillo Ruini, formerVicar General of Rome andCardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun ofHong Kong.Also taking part are the Ger-man theologian Klaus Berger,the French philosopher and his-torian Jean-Luc Marion, Italian
lm director and screenwriter
Liliana Cavani and the Italianmagazine L’Espresso’s Vaticancorrespondent, Sandro Mag-ister.“The title certainly attractedme to the conference,” said a lo-cal Catholic teacher as she wentinto the opening session. Shedescribed the issue as “the chal-lenge of our times,” as “Jesus isalways seen as a man of the past,especially by children.”“I think this is the most beauti-ful message that Jesus left us, thelove of God the father and thislove of God is a universal lovethat has no time, no boundaries,so Jesus is a contemporary man.
Pope says renewal requires ‘Christ-like’response to abuse
ROME, Feb. 7, 2012—Pope Benedict
XVI called upon bishops to respondin a “Christ-like” manner to clericalabuse as part of a “profound renewal”of the Church.His Feb. 6 comments marked theopening of an international symposiumin Rome to discuss the issue. The Pope’swishes were expressed in a communi-qué from Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, theVatican's Secretary of State.“He (the Pope) asks the Lord that,through your deliberations, manybishops and religious superiorsthroughout the world may be helpedto respond in a truly Christ-like man-ner to the tragedy of child abuse,” thestatement said.“As His Holiness has often ob-served, healing for victims must be ofparamount concern in the Christiancommunity, and it must go hand inhand with a profound renewal of theChurch at every level.”The “Towards Healing and Re-newal” symposium is being orga-
nized by Rome’s Pontical GregorianUniversity and runs from Feb. 6-9.
Delegates have arrived come from
about 110 bishops’ conferences, alongwith the superiors of more than 30
religious orders.The message from Cardinal Bertonesaid that the Pope “supports and en-courages every effort to respond withevangelical charity to the challenge ofproviding children and vulnerableadults with an ecclesialenvironment conducive totheir human and spiritualgrowth.”Pope Benedict urgedsymposium participantsto “continue drawing on awide range of expertise” topromote “a vigorous cul-ture of effective safeguard-ing and victim support”throughout the Church.All bishops’ conferencesaround the world have
until May 2012 to draw
up guidelines for dealing with casesof abuse. Those guidelines will thenhave to be approved by the Vatican.Many countries already have ap-proved guidelines in place.The symposium was opened onthe evening of Feb. 6 with an addressfrom Cardinal William J. Levada, Pre-fect of the Vatican’s Congregation forthe Doctrine of the Faith. His depart-ment has handled all alleged cases of
abuse since 2001 when his predeces
-sor Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, nowPope Benedict XVI, was in charge ofthe congregation.“The Pope has had to suffer attacksby the media over these past years invarious parts of the world, when heshould receive the gratitude of us all,in the Church and outside it,” Cardi-nal Levada told delegates.He outlined how then-CardinalRatzinger centralized and stream-lined the Vatican’s procedures fordealing with allegations of abuse,while also significantly increasingpenalties for those found guilty.Cardinal Levada also explainedhow since his election to the papacy
in 2005, Pope Benedict XVI has made
a priority of implementing best prac-tices for handling abuse allegationsaround the globe.The Pope was also praised by Car-dinal Levada for meeting with abusevictims during his pastoral visits toEngland, Malta, Germany, Australiaand the United States.“I think is it hardly possible tooverestimate the importance of thisexample for us bishops, and for uspriests, in being available to victimsfor this important moment in theirhealing and reconciliation.
(CNA/  EWTN News)
Palma underscores women’s crucial role in nation building
MANILA, Feb. 3, 2012—Catholic Bish
-ops’ Conference of the Philippines(CBCP) President and Cebu Archbishop
 Jose S. Palma stressed the signicant role
of women in society as he addressed acrowd of more than a hundred womenat a conference organized by Women inNation Building in the Catholic Church(WNB-CC), February 1.After calling out the various circum-stances under which women are able to
fulll their potential and demonstrate
their natural strengths, the prelateunderscored the indispensable role ofthose who devote themselves to nurtur-ing life and the home.“Because motherhood is a key ele-ment to a woman’s identity, the womanwho embraces it plays a special role innation-building. Through motherhood,she contributes to the nation’s strengththrough the basic unit, the family,”Palma said.The prelate noted the many challengesconfronting modern family nowadays,such as the global campaign to promotedivorce or replace male-female unionwith homosexual partnerships.He said the situation calls for a heroicresponse from society, especially fromwomen.“We are aware [that] at no other pe-riod in our history has the family beenconfronted with so many challenges —challenge of the institution of marriageand conjugal procreation being ques-tioned, the rising cost of rearing andeducation of children, in some placesstigmatizing women who devote them-selves solely to the care of the home, ofhusband and children,” he said.Palma praised the innate qualities ofwomen which equip them “to persevereeven in extreme conditions.”He noted that being endowed withsuch God-given gifts only shows the
need to enable them to fulll their po
-tential and live out their vocation—ascitizens of this world and the next.“Obviously, women can do more andwould like to do more. They need to begiven every opportunity to help trans-form the nation and the world. This iswhere your vocation as Catholic womencomes in, for you are not only citizensof the state; you are, foremost, citizensof the Kingdom of God.”Palma stressed also the duty to impartthis understanding, and transmit faith-fulness to the Magisterium, to otherswho may still regard legislative mea-sures that disregard the eternal valueof each human life or the sacredness ofmatrimonial union as possible solutionsto the nation’s problems.“Part of our life as Christians iscontinued openness—we are beingexhorted to pray that they may be opento the light of the Spirit, the light of theLord, and therefore discern and knowGod’s design,” he said.He pointed out that this finds itspractice even in dealing with anti-lifelegislation such as the RH bill by wayof study and discernment, “but aboveall, have that docility to the mind of theChurch. And this we can do in prayer.”
(CBCP for Life)
MANILA, Feb. 6, 2012—Pregnancy sup
-port services not only address the needsof women dealing with unexpectedpregnancies, but save babies and buildstrong Christian families as well, asshown during the regional conferenceand training on pregnancy crisis coun-seling and post-abortion healing held atSt. Michael’s Retreat Center in AntipoloCity last week.Dubbed “Heart to Serve”, the FirstHeartbeat-Pregnancy Support Servicesof Asia (PSSA) Regional Conference
brought together nearly 200 counselors,
family and life ministry workers, physi-cians, who learned from speakers whospoke on various subjects, from post-abortion survivor syndrome to the basicsof setting up pregnancy crisis centers.Participants came from different partsof the Philippines as well as Australia,Pakistan, Seychelles, and the UnitedArab Emirates.Giving the keynote address at thethree-day conference was Jor-El God-
sey, Vice President for Afliate Services
of Heartbeat International, who pre-sented a talk titled “Pregnancy CrisisCenter: The Heartbeat InternationalExperience.”Rev. Fr. Joel O. Jason, STL, Dean ofSan Carlos Seminary’s Theology De-partment, delivered a talk titled “TheDignity of Human Life,” pointing outthe importance of life and the threatssurrounding it. Jason, who also heads the Com-mission on Family and Life of Manilaarchdiocese and a member of the Car-dinal Santos Memorial Medical Center’sBioethics Committee, likewise wentinto an extensive explanation of thevital lessons contained in the encyclicalEvangelium Vitae.The Federation of Asian Bishops’Conferences (FABC) Office of Laityand Family (OLF) chairman and InfantaBishop Rolando J. Tria Tirona, OCDcelebrated mass for the participants.Other speakers include Mrs. Lily R.Perez, a registered nurse and foundingPresident of Heartbeat PSSA; Dr. NestorLumicao, a pediatric surgeon, and hiswife Therese, pediatric cardiologist, bothof Serve Life Philippines; Dr. OrpahMarasigan DVM, coordinator of HopeAlive Asia; Ms. Naomi David, a registerednurse and child psychotherapist; Ms. Lu-cita Tagle, an industrial psychologist; andMs. Carol A. Perez, a guidance counselorof the University of Santo Thomas.The conference topics were “TheDignity of Life, the L.O.V.E. Approach,The Positive and Negative Tests Client,Post Abortion Syndrome, Post AbortionSurvivor Syndrome, Healing the Effectsof Abortion Related Trauma (HEART),and How to Set Up A Pregnancy CrisisCenter.”The talks highlighted the importantrole of pregnancy support services tosave babies, the need to support womenin pregnancy crisis and build strongChristian families, to identify the chal-lenges and issues faced by women inpregnancy crisis and their families, andto discuss the practical steps in settingup pregnancy support service centersin the Philippines and Asia.The three-day event was organizedby Heartbeat PSSA in partnership withthe Episcopal Commission on HealthCare of the Catholic Bishops Conferenceof the Philippines, and in cooperationwith the Commission on Family andLife, Archdiocese of Manila, Couplesfor Christ Global Mission FoundationInc. and Serve Life Philippines.
Heartbeat PSSA is a non-prot as
sociation of life-afrming pregnancyresource centers under a Joint Afliation
Program with Heartbeat InternationalInc., based in the Philippines, initiatingthe establishment of centers in Asia.Hearbeat PSSA’s pregnancy resourcecenters offer concrete services to peoplewho experience problem pregnanciesincluding pregnancy testing, pregnancycrisis counseling, referral to host homes,medical care, post-abortion healing,Natural Family Planning, abstinenceeducation (Sexual Integrity Program)and other life and family affirmingprograms.
(CBCP for Life)
Int’l group holds training onpregnancy support services
   E   d   G  e  r   l  o  c   k  w  w  w .  c  a   t   h  o   l   i  c  n  e  w  s  a  g  e  n  c  y .  c  o  m
Conference participants shown here with Infanta Bishop Rolando Tirona came from differentparts of the Philippines and abroad.
   P   h  o   t  o  c  o  u  r   t  e  s  y  o   f   C   l  a  r   k  e   N  e   b  r  a  o
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