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CBCP Monitor Vol16 n12

CBCP Monitor Vol16 n12

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 Vol. 16 No. 12 June 4 - 17, 2012
Php 20.
 A good number of farmers from Batangas join the contingent of 250 farmers from Negros as they leave the St. John the Evangelist Parish Church in Tanauan City on their way to Malacañang to demand the full implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), 4 June 2012. They will join around 4,000 other farmers from other provinces including those from Mindanao in the march to Manila. The inset photo shows Lipa ArchbishopRamon Arguelles welcoming the farmers upon their arrival at the Batangas pier and assured them of the Catholic Church’s support in seeking for a genuine land reform.
The Cross
A Supplement Publication of KCFAPI andthe Order of the Knights of Columbus
Youth alliance urges young people anew to back pro-life solons
Representatives of a youth coalition urge fellow youth tosupport pro-life legislators in next year’s mid-term electionseven as they call on lawmakers to heed the voice of theyouth and junk the controversial RH bill.
REPRESENTATIVES of a youthcoalition that openly declaredits support for pro-life lawmak-ers in May have once againcalled on the nation’s youthto vote for candidates whoreject anti-life legislation suchas the Reproductive Health(RH) bill.“We ask our fellow youth–use your right of suffrage. Useyour vote very wisely. Cebu isvery lucky to have legislators[who are pro-life]… let us sup-port legislators who are oppos-ing this [RH] bill that is againstlife, against the future [of theyouth],” said Eilleen Esteban,president of Youth Pinoy! at
a press brieng organized by
Human Life International (HLI)Pilipinas country director Dr.Rene Josef Bullecer.Esteban was one of three
youths who ew to Cebu from
Manila to represent an alliance
of various youth organizations
and movements that signed amanifesto expressing strongopposition to the RH bill andpresented it to the media at apress conference held on thesame day as the resumption ofCongress on May 7.Hundreds of pro-life youth
also lled the galleries of the
plenary hall at the House ofRepresentatives on that day tosend a clear message of supportto pro-life solons.“This is our voice and thisis going to be our vote. Ourpoliticians had better heed thiscall. It’s not a narrow-mindedrequest… it’s not just to opposethe RH bill. It’s to oppose theRH bill but in a deeper sense,invest in this country,” said Ki-boy Tabada, who heads UP forLife, a group of students, fac-ulty, staff and alumni from theUniversity of the Philippinesthat has chapters in different
TESDA partners with nunsin bringing jobs to youth
THE Technical Educational Skills Develop-ment Authority (TESDA) has partneredwith the Mountain Maid Training Center in
Baguio City to help its students nd jobs.
Supervised by the Religious of the GoodShepherd (RGS), the training facility pro-vides livelihood and education to youth inthe Mountain Province area.The RGS said it has long been their desirethat students, who after being trained from
three to ve years in food processing andbaking, receive a National Certicate Level
 NASSA calls on parishes to combat 
human trafcking 
AN agency of the Cath-olic Bishops’ Confer-ence of the Philippinesurged the dioceses, par-ishes and church-based
organizations to help
ongoing efforts and ini-tiate other measures to
combat human trafck
-ing in the country.The CBCP’s NationalSecretariat for SocialAction – Justice andPeace (Nassa) said theChurch must pro-ac-tively campaign andcalled on Catholic chari-ties to help victims of
human trafcking.
Along with assistingvictims, Nassa’s Anti-
Human Trafcking Pro
-gram said dioceses andparishes must also beout in the communityto bring awareness tothe issue.According to ManilaAuxiliary Bishop Brod-erick Pabillo, Nassachairman, it is part of
Priests urged to improvetheir preaching
Gov’t fails to meet CARP
By Roy Lagarde
 WHEN it comes to landreform, the Aquino admin-istration has got the worstdistinction compared toother post-EDSA adminis-trations.
Despite mounting calls for suchreform, some Catholic bishops saidthe government appears adamantto seriously implement the Compre-hensive Agrarian Reform Program(CARP).Manila Auxiliary Bishop BroderickPabillo in fact said that the DAR hasconsistently been underperformingin implementing CARP, particularlythe land acquisition and distribution(LAD).“The current DAR administra-tion has recorded the lowest CARPaccomplishment when compared toall DAR-CARP administrations,” saidPabillo in an open letter to PresidentBenigno Aquino III.Pabillo chairs the National Secre-tariat for Social Action – Justice andPeace of the Catholic Bishops’ Con-ference of the Philippines (CBCP).This is shown, he said, by thehuge backlog of 1,093,000 hectaresof agricultural lands. In 2011, it onlyaccomplished 54.6 percent of its na-tional LAD target.In Negros Occidental, accordingto him, the current DAR only man-aged to distribute 1,798 hectares in2011. The DAR will have to work at20 times its current pace to meet itstargets.
He said there has been no signi
-cant movement in the 135,199-hectaretotal provincial backlog as of January2012 and no notices of coverage hasbeen issued on large estates.“The DAR performance for the
rst six months of 2012 is expected
to be equally dismal,” Pabillo furthersaid in the letter.“With this appalling situation,farmers and tillers become restlessand desperate. They fear the windsof August 2014, the end year of theextended period of CARP. They havefought for land reform for decadesand fear that it will be all for naught,”he said. 
‘National march’
At least 30 more bishops alsobacked the letter requesting anaudience with the President for thefarmers currently on a “national
march” to seek a rm commitment
that he would fully implement theCARPer (CARP with Extension andReforms).CATHOLIC priests shouldpump up their sermonsand make them more excit-ing, a retired bishop said.Novaliches Bishop Emer-itus Teodoro Bacani said agood communicator is agoal worth pursuing andall preachersshould workto improvetheir skills inthis area.“[Homilies]should be lively
Bishop dares Congress toapprove FOI bill
A CATHOLIC bishop has laudedthe Senate Committee on PublicInformation for sponsoring acommittee report consolidatingthe Freedom of Information (FOI)Bill, and challenged the House ofRepresentatives to do the same.“This action was somethingcommendable, it means that theissue of the FOI bill has improvedin the Senate,” Manila AuxiliaryBishop Broderick Pabillo said dur-ing the General Assembly of theKilusang 99% at the CBCP com-pound in Intramuros, May 31.On May 29, the Senate Commit-tee on Public Information headedby Senator Gregorio B. HonasanII has submitted the FOI bill to theplenary for deliberations.“I hope that the House of Rep-resentative will also initiate theapproval of FOI’s bill,” addedPabillo, who is also Chairman ofthe National Secretariat for SocialAction – Justice and Peace of theCatholic Bishops’ Conference ofthe Philippines (NASSA-CBCP)and convener of “Kilusang 99%”.Pabillo said the FOI bill will helpresolve the issue of alleged “lackof transparency” among govern-
ment ofcials as was the case of
the ousted Chief Justice RenatoCorona.The controversial bill, however,did not pass during the 14th Con-gress due to lack of interest amongmembers of Congress.Kilusang 99%, a social reformmovement consists of more than
Calungsod should be OFWs’model, says Vatican ofcial
 Antonio Maria Veglio, President of the
Pontical Council for the Pastoral Care of 
Migrants and Itinerant People, lauds the+Big movement that seeks to propagatePedro Calungsod as a model of virtues,especially for Filipinos overseas.
A VATICAN ofcial urged Filipi
-nos overseas to imitate the virtuesof Filipino missionary catechist,Blessed Pedro Calungsod.Commenting on the ubiquitouspresence of Filipinos worldwide,Antonio Maria Cardinal Veglio saidit would be “an awesome gift tothe Philippine Church” if migrantFilipinos would be more like PedroCalungsod by embracing his simplespirituality.In a meeting with one of +Big’sfounders, Clarke Nebrao, at the
Palazzo San Calisto in Rome, thePresident of the Pontical Council
for the Pastoral Care of Migrantsand Itinerant People added that ifonly every Filipino abroad emulatedCalungsod, their presence would“carry the love of God to all the coun-tries and peoples of the world.”While Filipinos are encouraged tobe like Calungsod through simple
TESDA / A6NASSA / A6Preaching / A6
acts of kindness and service, otherFilipinos abroad are already livingmissionary lives that closely mirror
Model / A6FOI / A7Alliance / A7CARP / A7
   D   i  a  n  a   U   i  c   h  a  n  c  o  w  w  w .   f  a  c  e   b  o  o   k .  c  o  m   /   P   l  u  s   B   i  g   M  o  v  e  m  e  n   t
Illustration by Bladimer Usi
‘Christ Gives You a Share inHis Spousal Love’
Benedict XVI encourages families to renewand nourish the Civilization of Love
   P   h  o   t  o  s  c  o  u  r   t  e  s  y  o   f   V   i  n  c  e  n   t   G  o   /   T   F   M
 Vol. 16 No. 12
June 4 - 17, 2012 
CBCP Monitor
World News
Vatican Briefng
Pope saddened over massacre in Houla
The Holy See on May 29 condemned the recent massacre in the Syriantown of Houla which resulted in the deaths of more than 100 people in-cluding 49 children. Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Vaticanpress office, expressed the Pope’s worry and distress over the attack. “Inrenewing its call for the cessation of all forms of violence, the Holy Seeurges the parties concerned and the international community to spareno effort to resolve the crisis through dialogue and reconciliation,” hesaid.
Families join in helping earthquake victims
The Catholic Church and families of the world, gathered in Milan for theVII World Meeting of Families, shared in the grief of the recent earthquakethat struck the Italian regions of Emilia Romagna and Lombardia. On May29, a donation center was established by ‘Family2012,’ in collaboration with‘Caritas Ambrosiana,’ to receive donations for the earthquake victims. TheItalian Bishops’ Conference also announced that they have sent 1 millioneuros to the relief effort and will take up a national collection at all masseson June 10.
Man detained for illegal possession of Vatican documents
 Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press ofce, an
-nounced on May 25 that an investigation undertaken by the Gendarmerie,has made it possible to single out a person in possession of private papaldocuments. According to sources, the person in question is a personal as-sistant to the Holy Father. The man is now in the custody of the Vaticanmagistrate for further investigation. On May 19, the Holy See announcedits readiness to start legal proceedings, following the publication of a seriesof private documents and letters of the Vatican.
Reasons for dismissal of Vatican Bank boss emerge
The Vatican Bank’s president was dismissed for failing to carry out “basicduties,” giving people inaccurate information about the institution and“progressively erratic personal behavior,” according to board memberCarl Anderson. Ettore Gotti Tedeschi was removed as president of the
Vatican Bank May 24, following a no condence vote by the other four
board members. The 67-year-old Italian served as the head of the bank,
ofcially known as the Institute for Works of Religion, since 2009.
(CNA/  EWTN News)
Pope meets Costa Rican president, discusses defense of life
Pope Benedict XVI met with President Laura Chinchilla of Costa Rica atthe Vatican, discussing a number of issues including the task of defendinghuman life from the moment of conception. The May 28 discussion cameas Costa Rica faces continued pressure from the Inter-American Human
Rights Court to legalize in vitro fertilization. The cordial talk between the
two leaders focused on the excellent relationship between the Holy See andCosta Rica.
Pope: The married family can change the world
MILAN, Italy, June 3, 2012—Pope Bene-dict XVI has told the 7th World Meetingof Families in Milan that the family
based upon marriage can revolutionize
modern society for the better.“Your vocation is not easy to live, es-pecially today, but the vocation to loveis a wonderful thing, it is the only forcethat can truly transform the world,” hesaid during his homily to almost 1 mil-lion pilgrims gathered in Milan’s BressoPark on June 3.Pope Benedict was concluding athree-day visit to the event in north-ern Italy. Over the past week it hasbrought together families from over 150countries to pray, celebrate and studymarriage and family life. The theme forthis year was “The Family: Work andCelebration.”The Pope used his homily to providesome advice on the “elements that buildup family life.”He recommended: “maintaining aconstant relationship with God andparticipating in the life of the Church,”“cultivating dialogue, respecting theother’s point of view, being ready forservice and patient with the failingsof others,” agreeing on “principlesof upbringing,” “being open to otherfamilies, attentive towards the poor, andresponsible within civil society.”The Pope also stressed the importanceof family life built upon a man andwoman who are married to each other.This is because God “created us maleand female, equal in dignity, but alsowith respective and complementarycharacteristics, so that the two mightbe a gift for each other, might valueeach other and might bring into beinga community of love and life.”He told the married couples presentin the large outdoor congregation thatthey were “not giving each other anyparticular thing or activity” in marriage“but your whole lives.”This love becomes most fruitful inits desire to “accomplish one another’sgood” as well as in the “generous andresponsible procreation of children,”followed by their “vigilant and wiseeducation.”The Pope also explained that the ben-
ets of married families go beyond the
spouses and children to include society
at large, since “family life is the rst and
irreplaceable school of social virtues,such as respect for persons, gratuitous-ness, trust, responsibility, solidarity,cooperation.”He then urged parents to transmit totheir children “with serenity and trust,reasons for living, the strength of faith,pointing them towards high goals andsupporting them in their fragility.”Pope Benedict next turned his at-tention to the children present andencouraged them to “always maintaina relationship of deep affection andattentive care for your parents, andsee that your relationships with yourbrothers and sisters are opportunitiesto grow in love.”Towards the conclusion of his hom-ily, the Pope addressed the damagingimpact that modern economic theoriesbased upon “a utilitarian concept ofwork, production and the market” canhave upon the family.Both God’s plan and experience, hesaid, show that this “one-sided logic of
sheer utility and maximum prot” is
not conducive to the good of the person,family or society.“Indeed, the utilitarian mentalitytends to take its toll on personal andfamily relationships, reducing themto a fragile convergence of individualinterests and undermining the solidityof the social fabric.”One of the ways in which Christianfamilies can combat this trend is bymaking sure they keep Sunday as aspecial day for the family each week.It should be a day “of man and hisvalues,” set aside for “conviviality,friendship, solidarity, culture, close-ness to nature, play, sport,” said thePope.“Dear families, despite the relentlessrhythms of the modern world, do notlose a sense of the Lord’s Day! It is likean oasis in which to pause, so as to tastethe joy of encounter and to quench ourthirst for God.”At the conclusion of the Mass, PopeBenedict announced that the next WorldMeeting of Families will take place in2015 in Philadelphia.“I send my warm greetings to Arch-bishop Charles Chaput and to theCatholics of that great city, and look for-ward to meeting them there along withnumerous families from all around theworld. May God bless you all!”
Pope Benedict XVI celebrates Mass at the seventh World Meeting of Families on June3, 2012.
Pope reveals next World Meeting of Families is in Philadelphia
MILAN, Italy, June 3, 2012—PopeBenedict XVI announced this morn-ing at the closing Mass of the seventhWorld Meeting of Families that thenext gathering will be held in theArchdiocese of Philadelphia."I send my warm greetings toArchbishop Charles Chaput and tothe Catholics of that great city," hesaid as he delivered the news thatthe 2015 World Meeting of Familieswill be hosted by the Archdiocese ofPhiladelphia.Pope Benedict, who delivered thenews in a short speech after Com-munion, said he is looking forwardto meeting "them there along withnumerous families from all aroundthe world."Reacting to the news, ArchbishopChaput said he is "so grateful tothe Holy Father that he has chosenPhiladelphia and excited that wewill host the 2015 World Meeting ofFamilies.”"It's fitting that this gathering,which celebrates the cornerstone ofsociety, will take place in America'scradle of freedom. The Holy Father'schoice is a gift to the local Church inPhiladelphia and to the whole na-tion," he said.The international gathering takesplace every three years and bringstogether hundreds of thousands ofpeople to pray, celebrate, and studymarriage and family life. This year,pilgrims from 150 countries havecome to Milan.The 2012 event was held in Milan,Italy and featured a Family Fair forthose who work in family ministry,a Theological and Pastoral Congress,and a series of speeches delivered byPope Benedict to families, priests andreligious, and to civil authorities.This edition of the meeting alsofeatured Pope Benedict meetingwith all of those children who have
received or will receive Conrmation
in the Milan archdiocese. The youthmet with the Pope in San Siro soccerstadium, in keeping with a traditionthat is usually attended only by theArchbishop of Milan, Cardinal An-gelo Scola.The culmination of the gatheringwas the Sunday, June 3 High Massat Milan’s Bresso Park, which was at-tended by almost 1 million faithful.The theme of this year’s eventwas “The Family: Work and Cel-ebration.” The Pope has focusedhis message on how the family is“humanity’s principal patrimony,”and through Christ, it helps ensurea “true and stable culture in favor ofman.”
Families join together in helpingearthquake victims
MILAN, May 31, 2012—The CatholicChurch and families of the world,gathered in Milan for the VII WorldMeeting of Families, shared in the griefof the recent earthquake that struck theItalian regions of Emilia Romagna andLombardia on Tuesday.The Church has, throughout history,participated in the joys and sufferingsof its members. That same Churchtoday shares the pain of the familiesaffected by the earthquake, whilepraying, remembering and helping
them. Even when the rst earthquake
struck, Cardinals Scola and Antonelli,while attending a press conference,expressed their solidarity for thoseaffected.This afternoon, a donation centerwas established by ‘Family2012,’ in col-laboration with ‘Caritas Ambrosiana,’to receive donations for the earthquakevictims.‘Caritas Ambrosiana’ has alreadysent more than 1,500 personal hygienekits, 4 temporary structures with a ca-pacity of 800 beds, as well as collecting €15,000 of donations.The Italian Bishops’ Conference an-nounced this morning that they havesent 1 million euros to the relief effortand will take up a national collection atall masses on Sunday, June 10.On Friday, Eucharistic Adorationwill be held in Milan’s Cathedral, ledby Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, President
of the Pontical Council for the Family,
in the presence of the bishops from themost affected areas: Bishop RobertoBusti, from Mantova, Bishop AntonioLanfranchi, from Modena, BishopPaolo Rabitti, from Ferrara and BishopFrancesco Cabina from Carpi. Theywill also take up a special collection atthe event for the earthquake victims.During the Eucharistic Adorationin Milan’s cathedral on Friday, BishopBusti, from Mantova, will address the
faithful, giving his rst-hand witness
of the region hardest hit by the earth-quake.Earthquake survivors will also jointhe Holy Father during the Vigil ofWitnesses to be held Saturday eveningin Bresso.The company in charge of cateringfor the World Meeting of Families hasalso offered to donate any food left overfrom the event as well as other productsthat might be of need.
Denver missionaries' weekend event brings love to homeless youth
DENVER, Colorado, June 2,
2012—Dozens of homeless
young people in Denver arereceiving food, clothing, andother essentials through "48Hours," a new initiative be-ing launched by the Catholicgroup Christ in the City.“Christ in the City’s goalfor the 48 Hours Event is tobuild on our relationshipswith the homeless youth inorder to promote their God-given dignity,” said HollynErnstmann, who has spentthe past year participatingin the volunteer programthat combines service withspiritual and intellectualformation.
Organizers expect to serve
50 homeless youth duringthe June 1-3 event. Hosted atCentral Presbyterian Churchand the local YMCA, it hasbeen undertaken in partner-ship with the Denver Home-less Ministry and Stand Upfor Kids.Christ in the City's HomelessTaskforce Director Adam Ure-neck told CNA that it had “trulybeen a blessing” to collaboratewith other groups working to“offer a comprehensive arrayof resources and care” to youngpeople in need.As the YMCA opens itsdoors for recreation andshowers, the Catholic mis-sionaries will offer suppliesand food donated by resi-dents of the Denver arch-diocese. Program directorYvonne Noggle said theevent comes at a criticaltime, as the city prepares toimplement a ban on urbancamping.Local shelters are report-ing unusually high occu-pancy, as the new ban goesinto effect. In a May 30 Den-ver Post editorial, DenverMayor Michael Hancockargued that the controversialordinance will help “connectthose in need with vital hu-man services.”During this time of transi-tion, Noggle said, Christ inthe City's weekend event“allows the youth to get off
the street, and nd resources
for permanent housing whilebeing loved and doted on byour missionaries.”Ureneck said the initiativewas part of the group's mis-sion to help homeless teens
realize their potential, calling
them to a “new future” and
“a dignied life” that rises
“to the stature of Christ.”Formed in response toBlessed John Paul II's call
for a “New Evangelization”
of Western culture, Christ in
the City is completing its rst
year of service in July.In August, the programwill begin training a newgroup of college-age Catho-lic missionaries for servicein the Denver archdiocese.
Members of Christ in the City participate in StreetBeatz. Courtesyof Christ in the City.
Brazil's Copacabana Beach, air force base to be main WYD sites
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, June 1,2012―A Brazilian bishop and top orga
nizer revealed today that CopacabanaBeach and the Santa Cruz Air Base will
be the venues for the main events ofWorld Youth Day Rio 2013.The global youth event will take place July 23-28 next summer, which PopeBenedict XVI is expected to attend.During a press conference, Arch-bishop Orani Joao Tempesta saidCopacabana will be the venue for theopening Mass, the welcoming ceremonywith the Pope and the Via Crucis – theevent's traditional Way of the Crossprocession.
The Santa Cruz Air Base, on the
western side of the city, will be thevenue for the vigil on July 27 and theclosing Mass on July 28, where sometwo million young people are expected
to gather. Operated by the Brazilian Air
Force, the base covers an area of nearly3.5 square miles.Accompanied by his auxiliary bish-ops, Archbishop Tempesta was in Rome
yesterday to meet with ofcials at thePontical Council for the Laity, who
approved the venues for the event.“We will begin the main events underthe protection of Mary – CopacabanaBeach is named after Our Lady ofCopacabana – at the place where largeevents have traditionally been held inRio de Janeiro and that will now havethe privilege of hosting these events andwelcoming young people from all overthe world,” he said.Archbishop Orani said he has invitedthe Pope to visit the Christ the Redeem-er statue that overlooks the city and tohold a gathering at Maracana Stadiumwith the nearly 60,000 volunteers ex-pected to participate in WYD.Asked about whether confessions
would be heard in specic place similarto what organizers did in WYD Madrid
2011, Father Arnaldo Rodrigues of the
organizing committee said the Madrid
model would not be possible but thatconfessions would be heard at variousvenues across the city. He also said thelocations of the catechetical sessionshave also yet to be determined.The Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro also
said it would ask city ofcials to allow
the Shrine of Christ the Redeemer toremain open around the clock to accom-
modate the constant ow of pilgrims.
Catholic artist paints 143 metre-long ‘Indian Bible’
KOCHI, India, June 1,2012—Edwin Parmar, aCatholic painter from Gu- jarat, is the author of an oilpainting on canvas, 143 by0.90 metres, with a biblicaltheme. In the Indian-stylework, Eve has waist-lengthblack curls, Our Lady wearsa sari and Moses is holdingthe tablets with the TenCommandments in Hindi.The work is currentlyon display at the Pasto-ral Orientation Centre atPalarivattom, Kochi, at an
exhibition organized by the
Bible Commission of theKerala Catholic Bishops’Council.Working 16 hours a dayfor 40 days, Parmar com-pleted the big painting in2005. At that time, he wasliving in Kalol, 40 kilome-tres from Ahmedabad, thelargest city in Gujarat.“I am Catholic,” Parmartold AsiaNews. “In thestate [Gujarat], Christiansare a tiny minority, barelytolerated. One day I got anidea. Why not use Indianculture, which I love andwhich unites us all, to ex-plain the Bible and our faithto Hindus and Muslims[the local majority]. Theoutcome was positive andnon-Christians were quiteimpressed.Fr. Paul Kattukaran, Art-ists’ Forum coordinator forthe Office of Social Com-munication of the CatholicBishops’ Conference ofIndia, helped Parmar inpromoting his work.“His paintings are thoughtfrom the perspective of or-dinary people,” the priesttold AsiaNews. “Seeingfigures with Indian featuresimpresses people becauseit eliminates differences.Today, everybody is caughtup in electronics, television,but when they look at thesepaintings, they are struck bytheir depth.”Parmar’s work has beenexhibited in 39 churches inThrissur Diocese, to whichFr. Kattukaran belongs. Inview of his great success inKerala, Parmar and his wifeManeesha moved to Kerala.
  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 .  c  a   t   h  o   l   i  c  n  e  w  s  a  g  e  n  c  y .  c  o  m
 Vol. 16 No. 12
June 4 - 17, 2012 
CBCP Monitor
News Features
Benedict XVI encouragesfamilies to renew and nourishthe Civilization of Love
ROME, June 4, 2012―Many criti
cize him. Others have betrayed
his trust by causing scandal.Some call for his resignation.But in the face of one of themost troubling times in hispapacy, Pope Benedict XVI hasshown the world the beautyand regenerating strength ofChristianity.Echoing the words of St. Paul,“When I am weak, I am strong,”Pope Benedict XVI demonstrat-ed, at the VII World Meeting ofFamilies in Milan, Christianity’srenewed strength in convertinghearts and giving hope to thepeople of the world.In a world where everything
seems to be collapsing―nance,
ideologies, idols, political par-ties, public buildings and evenreligious ones, the Pope gath-ered 80,000 young candidatesfor Confirmation, and morethan one million families fromall over the world, to tell themthat the future belongs to thosewho have faith in Jesus Christ.To the young people who
lled the “Giuseppe Meazza”
Stadium in Milan, the Pope in-dicated sanctity as “the normalpath for Christians,” and invitedthem to be “be available andgenerous to others, overcomingtemptations to put yourselves atthe center because egoism is theenemy of true joy.”“Be open to what he suggestsand if he calls you to follow himon the path of the priesthoodor the consecrated life, do notsay no to him! It would be mis-
guided laziness. Jesus will ll
your hear for the rest of yourlife!”, he stressed.Benedict XVI confirmed tofamilies that they are the pri-mary resource of every societyduring his homily at the ClosingMass. “Dear married couples,in living out your marriage youare not giving each other anyparticular thing or activity, butyour whole lives. And your love
is fruitful rst and foremost for
yourselves, because you desireand accomplish one another’sgood, you experience the joy ofreceiving and giving,” he said.The Pope explained that mar-riage between a man and awoman is “fruitful in yourgenerous and responsible pro-creation of children, in yourattentive care for them, and intheir vigilant and wise educa-tion.”“It is fruitful for society, be-
cause family life is the rst and
irreplaceable school of socialvirtues, such as respect forpersons, gratuitousness, trust,responsibility, solidarity, coop-eration.”In the midst of huge crowdsin Milan, Pope Benedict XVIshowed his serene yet strongdetermination in guiding “St.Peter’s boat”, illuminating thehearts and mind of the wholeworld.Upon his election in April19, 2005, the Pope said that hewould be “a humble laborer inthe vineyard of the Lord.” Up tonow, he has kept his promises:he is trimming the vineyard,making it more open and stron-ger against attempts to conditionand pollute it.The Holy Father is elderly andseems frail in body, but the wayin which he is cleaning “Peter’shouse”, rendering it transparentand open, is something extraor-dinarily heroic.No pontiff has succeededin such a short time to cut offthe dry parts, free vine shootsfrom impediments, and makethe vine grow in the midst of a
thousand difculties.
For Catholics and for theworld, the Pope has increas-ingly assumed the dimension ofa “blessing of God.”
Mary’s life remindsus to trust God’splan, Pope says
VATICAN City, June 1, 2012—The Virgin Mary’s docility tothe will of God should remindeverybody that the Lord has aplan for each of us, Pope Bene-dict XVI said at the conclusionof a Rosary vigil to mark theend of May.“The Magnificat is the hymnof praise that rises from human-ity redeemed by divine mercy,rises from all the people of God;at the same time it is a hymnwhich denounces the illusionof those who believe they arelords of history, arbiters of theirdestiny,” he said May 31 at theshrine to Our Lady of Lourdesin the Vatican Gardens.“In contrast, Mary has God atthe center of her life, she aban-doned herself, confident in hiswill, in an attitude of humbleobedience to his loving plan.”Mary was chosen “to be thetemple that carries the Word,God made man,” the Popesaid, because of her “poverty ofspirit and humility of heart.”Pope Benedict was joinedby several thousand pilgrimswho had made their way tothe grotto in candlelit proces-sion while reciting the Rosaryand singing Marian hymns.The annual vigil is a rare op-portunity for the public towalk relatively free throughthe Vatican Gardens. The finaldestination of the pilgrimagewas the Vatican’s replica of thegrotto at Lourdes in France.“Dear friends, this evening
we wish to turn our gaze to
Mary with renewed filial af-fection,” the Pope told thepilgrims as the sun set overthe grotto.“We all need to learn fromour heavenly Mother: her faithinvites us to look beyond ap-pearances and to believe thatdaily difficulties prepare theway for a springtime that hasalready begun in the risenChrist,” he said.With his butler being chargedlast week for stealing confiden-tial papal documents, the Popealso prayed that Mary’s inter-cession may bring “spiritual joy” to “those families that herein the Vatican serve the univer-sal Church.”“It was most beautiful thingthis evening to pray to OurLady at this difficult moment intime for the Holy Father, and Ipray this brings him great com-fort,” Alessandra Brambilla,a 28-year-old pilgrim fromRome, told CNA.
“It is amazing to conclude the
month of May with the Holy Fa-ther,” said her friend and fellow
Roman, 29-year-old Luca Pezzi,
“and what he said about Marywas beautiful, too.”
Vatican conference to examine‘language of the body’ in marriage
VATICAN City, May 27, 2012—This coming September an inter-national colloquium in VaticanCity will consider how men
and women become "one esh"
in marriage, and examine the"language of the body" fromChristian perspectives."What type of union is theconjugal union, which comesabout when a man and a womanbecome 'one flesh'?" asks theconference announcement.The Vatican City-based Pon-
tical John Paul II Institute for
Studies on Marriage and Familyis hosting the Sept. 20-21 col-
loquium, titled "'One esh: the
Language of the Body and theConjugal Union."The colloquium's title drawsfrom Pope Benedict XVI's May13, 2011 address to the institute
in which he reected on the cre
-ation of Adam and Eve.
"The esh received from God
is required to make possible theunion of love between man andwoman and transmit life," hesaid. "Before the Fall the bod-ies of Adam and Eve appearin perfect harmony. There is alanguage in them that they didnot create, an eros rooted in theirnature which invites them toreceive one another reciprocallyfrom the Creator, so as to be ableto give themselves."The conference will examineand deepen the understand-
ing of the "one esh" union in
both its "biblical and patristicrichness" and in theological
The conference announcementsaid it is necessary to distinguishthe conjugal union from "substi-tutes" in a society that has lostthe sense of what it means to
become "one esh."
This union "consummateslove," unites the persons "in a uniqueway" and opens "a fruitful journeytowards the total unity of life."Colloquium topics includemarital intercourse as an "inter-
personal" union, the "one esh"
union and the Creator, and howfruitfulness relates to the "oneflesh" of marriage. Speakerswill consider the topic fromtheological and psychologicalperspectives as well as from theperspective of canon law.Professor David Crawfordof the Pontifical John Paul IIInstitute in Washington, D.C.will speak on the topic "The 'one
esh' in time: mutual promotion
of the spouses."Colloquium sessions will havesimultaneous translation intoEnglish, Italian and French.Online registration is avail-able through the Vatican City John Paul II institute's websiteat http://www.istitutogp2.it
Citizens activeparticipants in pro-lifecrusade, says bishop
MANILA, May 24, 2012—If
ordinary citizens assumed
they are powerless againstthe advancement of anti-lifelegislation, Cubao BishopHonesto Ongtioco assert-ed otherwise, saying thatcomprising majority of thepopulation empowers themto influence the directionof the pro-life, pro-familycrusade.“The promotion of theculture of life will dependreally on [the lay people].Even Gaudium et Spes—one of the important docu-ments of the Church in themodern world—says thatthe lay people have a greattask because they serve asthe frontlines,” Ongtiocopointed out. “We are justleaders. A leader cannot domuch if he has no peoplethat will back his leader-ship.”The prelate acknowledgedthe great contribution thatordinary people have beenmaking in promoting theculture of life.Citing the laity’s role inthe campaign for life es-pecially in opposing theRH bill, he said it is “thelay people who are behindit in terms of lobbying inCongress, giving seminars,enlightening and educatingpeople with regard to theimportance of life and howlife should be seen in theperspective of the Church,in the eyes of God—not inthe eyes of man.”The general tendencynowadays is to evaluateissues using a purely secu-lar perspective, Ongtiocoexplained, taking into ac-count economics, humanpsychology or human wis-dom without considering“the divine plan, what Godhas intended for the hu-man family, the humanperson.”
No to pro-RH candidatesin 2013
He also welcomed therecent call made by Arch-bishop Jose Palma, CatholicBishops’ Conference of thePhilippines (CBCP) Presi-dent, enjoining Filipinos torefrain from voting for pro-RH candidates in the 2013election, citing the need tobe clear and more explicitabout these matters.
Ongtioco said citizens—
as well as civil leaders—should express their con-victions through their ac-tions.“They should be true …hindi yung ‘I’m a Catholicand then I profess anothercommitment, another con-viction.’ In the Philippineswe’re not that strong [but]in other countries, the re-ligious leaders really chal-lenge the lawmakers andpoliticians to the extent ofsometimes warning themor denying them somethingthat normally [the lawmak-ers] would enjoy if theyare Catholics,” the prelatesaid.He was emphatic that ed-ucation is a pressing need,and that educating people[about the RH issues] has tobe done relentlessly.“A lot of people don’tknow the consequencesof this bill that is beingproposed. They say it isreproductive health, it’s nothealth…. We keep preach-ing, we keep educating thepeople, then the peopleexercise their freedom.”
(CBCP for Life)
‘Sex issues’ top youth problem—survey
MANILA, May 26, 2012―The
most urgent concern of youngpeople today are sex-relatedissues like pre-marital sexand teen pregnancies, accord-ing to a recent survey amongCatholic youth ministers in thecountry.The survey, which was com-missioned by the NationalSecretariat for Youth Apos-tolate (NSYA), showed thatyoung Filipinos are grapplingthe hardest with “sex issues”,followed by “growth in faith”,ranked the second highest con-cern, followed by “nurturingrelationships”, third.“Family issues” and “drugabuse, vices” hold the fourth
and fth highest spots respec
-tively.Runualdo Villamata, Dioc-esan Youth Leader of Lucena,
Quezon, admitted that earlyphysical intimacy jeopardizes
young people’s future.“In our place, there are 16year olds who have two kidsalready,” he said.According to Villamata, theChurch and youth ministry,in particular, is respondingmore actively to this reality ofyoung Filipinos. He said thatsince January, the Diocese ofLucena has been holding BasicOrientation Seminars, whichhave talks on God, the Church,the Christian family and youthministry.Villamata, who oversees theyouth ministries in Lucena’s36 parishes, said that suchseminars also encourage youngpeople to wait before plunginginto exclusive relationships andto see the value of chastity.The NSYA, the executivearm of the CBCP – EpiscopalCommission on Youth, sur-veyed youth ministers from86 dioceses in the country
and 27 member organizations
of the Federation of National
Youth Organizations last
April.The survey was done pri-marily to consult youth minis-ters regarding the program andcontent of the National Confer-ence for Youth Ministers to beheld in October.
(Nirva’ana Delacruz)
Healthcare cannot disregard moral rules
MANILA, May 25, 2012—“Universal health-care coverage” may sound like a manifesta-tion of more equitable distribution of ser-
vices, but an ofcial of the Holy See issued a
reminder of the moral dimension that appliesto healthcare issues as well.Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, headof the Holy See delegation to the 65thWorld Health Assembly, yesterday ad-dressed the assembly on the Holy See’ssupport for Resolution WHA64.9 – or theSustainable Health Financing Structuresand Universal Coverage – meant to urgemember-states to provide affordableuniversal health coverage and access for
all citizens on the basis of equity and
solidarity.Zimowski, who is also president of the
Pontical Council for Pastoral Assistance
to Health Care Workers, echoed the wordsof Benedict XVI, saying that “the world ofhealthcare cannot disregard the moral rulesthat must govern it.”More and more countries, especially thosewith emerging economies, have been mov-ing towards universal coverage.In the Philippines, the controversial mea-sure known as the Reproductive Health (RH)bill pending in both chambers of Congresscontains questionable provisions that disre-gard moral criteria with which even healthcare must be evaluated.Zimowski pointed out that progresstowards universal coverage cannot be theeffort of State machinery alone; it requiressupport from civil society.The Catholic Church, with over 120,000social and healthcare institutions worldwide,has remarkable concentration of its op-erations in developing countries, providingservices in low-income urban populationsto remote areas, enabling people even in
far-ung places to have access to services
that would otherwise be out of their reach.
(CBCP for Life)
  w  w  w .  m  e   d   i  a .  p  e  n  n   l   i  v  e .  c  o  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  w  w  w .  c  a   t   h  o   l   i  c  n  e  w  s  a  g  e  n  c  y .  c  o  m

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