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‘The causes of underdevelopment are not primarily of the material order’
A Supplement Publication of KC Life and the Order of the Knights of Columbus
Thousands of devotees flock to Peñafrancia tercentenary
‘Pro-life’ advocates holding emergency meeting on RH
ANTI-ABORTION advocates will hold an emergency meeting this week, following President Benigno Aquino’s decision to promote contraception. The most likely agenda is to discuss their next move now that the Aquino administration made official its stand on population control. Pro Life Philippines president Eric ManaEmergency / A6
Comply with SC ruling on source code review, Comelec urged
A POLL watchdog welcomed the Supreme Court decision ordering the Commission on Elections to reveal the source code of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines used in the national and local elections last May. In a statement, Kontra Daya said the complete disclosure of the source code is needed for it to be reviewed in the wake of the many complaints
Source Code / A6
September 27 - October 10, 2010
Vol. 14 No. 20
Economist debunks claim of population explosion in RP
By Pinky Barrientos, FSP
Is the Philippine population indeed a ticking time bomb as proponents of RH bill say so? One of the country’s economists and academicians thinks otherwise.
Dr. Bernardo Villegas, PhD, calling himself a long-term student of demography, claimed that the country’s population data is a “statistical abracadabra”. Debunking the claim of population control advocates, Villegas in an article published in this paper said, that “he had always suspected some doctoring of population data by birth-control pushers”, to justify the government’s push for artificial family planning methods. Villegas, a university professor and senior vice-president of the University of Asia and the Pacific, said the congested slums in Metro Manila area could have created the illusion that the country’s population is a “ticking time bomb”. That, coupled with the “inflated” data of the 2000 census, gives the wrong idea that the population is indeed “exploding”. On the contrary, he said, the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) quotes in its website that “the Philippine Population Growth Rate (PPGR)
Population / A6
Cardinal seeks radical measures to end Jueteng
THE head of Manila’s Roman Catholic Church called on the government to take drastic measures against “organized extortion” such as the illegal numbers game called jueteng. Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales said Jueteng must be stopped because it’s the Jueteng lords that get richer and benefit from the underground and multi-million lottery. “Jueteng is an organized extortion… extorting money from the poor in order to become rich,” Rosales said over Church-run Radyo Veritas. According to the cardinal, many of those victimized by jueteng operators belong to the marginalized sector of the society who hopes to double their hard-earned money by placing bets. He discouraged the people from placing bets and patronizing the illegal numbers game in order for it to be finally stopped. A moral and social cancer The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in a pastoral statement on gambling has referred to Jueteng as a moral and social cancer. “Gambling exploits the poor in a particular way. Fleecing the poor of the little they have, some 85% of gambling profits return to the pockets of gambling operators. With
Jueteng / A6
© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media
Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz and Department of Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Rico Puno take their oath before testifying at a Senate investigation over allegations that some ranking officials of the Aquino administration are receiving millions of monthly jueteng payola, Sept. 21, 2010.
Group marks `Save Sierra Madre Day` on Typhoon Ondoy anniversary
A NETWORK of Church and non-government organizations committed to the preservation of Sierra Madre Mountains commemorated the anniversary of Typhoon Ondoy by rallying the public to protect the mountains and forest cover. The Save Sierra Madre Network (SSMN), a group of more than 30 organizations dedicated to the conservation of the Sierra Madre Mountains, marked September 26 as “Save Sierra Madre Day”. In a statement, SSMN said the observance of “Save Sierra Madre Day” will be
© Dennis Dayao / CBCP Media
Church alarmed over successive discovery of fetuses
GAUDENCIO Cardinal Rosales expressed alarm on Sept. 16, days after human fetuses were found in the cities of Manila and Malabon that week. In a statement, Rosales condemned the incidents as he reiterated the stand of the Catholic Church against abortion. With “possible malicious intent” the ugly part of life, he said, is again gaining the limelight as the frequency of aborted fetuses is publicly exposed. “The placing and exhibiting of aborted human fetuses in public places are not favored in other cultures, and decent people refuse to do the same,” said Rosales. “If the expositions of discarded human fetuses are not done with evil intent, then the practice alone of rampant abortion is symptomatic of a grave moral decadence and irresponsible behavior that now seriously threaten the country.” On Sept. 14, a 5-to 7-monthold fetus, wrapped in a green plastic bag, was found inside the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, Manila at around 5 p.m. An hour later, devotees were shocked when another fetus was found at the doorstep of the Church of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo. Authorities said the fetus described as about seven to nine months old, was in a red shoe box when found by a churchgoer. The following day, a 7-month old fetus, wrapped in plastic and then stuffed into a sack, was found in Catmon district.
held annually on September 26, the anniversary of Typhoon Ondoy. With the observance of Save Sierra Madre Day, the group wanted to create public awareness that would serve as a catalyst to move people to action to protect the environment. Member organizations will initiate various activities in the provinces of the Sierra Madre Mountains, including Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Viscaya, Nueva Ecija, Aurora, Quirino,
Sierra Madre / A6
Priest slams US ‘meddling’ in Aquino birth control stance
A CATHOLIC priest has accused the United States of meddling in the Philippines after President Benigno Aquino III revealed his plan to promote contraception. “I’m certain that the US government had a hand over Aquino’s abrupt decision to support population control,” said Fr. Melvin Castro, a priest of the diocese of Tarlac and executive secretary of the bishops’ Commission on Family and Life. The church official said it’s no secret that the US and other foreign nations have tried to pressure the Philippine government for a more aggressive birth control program. One example, he said, is the granting of huge foreign funding for the government’s development projects, but it all comes with a price. On Monday, Aquino, in townhall-style meeting in the US, said his government would provide contraceptives such as condoms and pills to poor couples, to curb the Philippines’ high birth rate. “This is clearly a form of colonization of morality. They are imposing their morals on us, disrespecting our own principles and morality,” Castro said. He said if the Obama administration is sincere in helping the Filipinos, it should give aid with “no strings attached” and pre-conditions. “The assistance should be selfless and have no strings attached,” the CBCP official said. President Aquino arrived in Manila early Tuesday after his week-long working visit to the US where he met with President Barack Obama and attended the UN General Assembly. The bishops have previously conBirth Control / A6
Fetuses / A6
Illustration by Bladimer Usi
Be updated with Church issues. Listen to CBCP Online Radio at www.cbcponlineradio.com
September 27 - October 10, 2010
Vol. 14 No. 20
Sex abuse lawsuit involving Wisconsin priest names Pope Benedict as defendant
MILWAUKEE, Wis., Sept. 24, 2010—A lawsuit filed by a man sexually abused decades ago by a Wisconsin priest has named Pope Benedict XVI as a defendant. However, two authors have claimed the latest charges against the Pope repeat “widely debunked” inaccuracies. The suit has been brought by 60-yearold deaf abuse victim Terry Kohut, who says he was abused by Fr. Lawrence C. Murphy while he was a priest and principal at St. John’s School for the Deaf in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. According to CNN, Kohut said through an interpreter that the abuse first took place in the priest’s office when he was in his early teens. The abuse continued for years. About 200 former students have said they were molested by Fr. Murphy, sometimes even in the confessional. Victims reported abuses to the civil authorities in the mid-1970s, but authorities dropped the investigation. The case came to prominence earlier this year, with media outlets such as the Associated Press claiming that Fr. Murphy was “spared a defrocking” because he was allegedly “protected” by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who is now Pope Benedict XVI. Clergyman such as current CDF head Cardinal William Levada and former judicial vicar of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee Fr. Thomas Brundage have said the CDF only suspended canonical proceedings against Fr. Murphy because he was dying. A lack of records in the archdiocesan archives also impeded the canonical case, which was opened in the mid-1990s after advocacy by Murphy’s victims. Until 2001, the CDF had limited jurisdiction over sex abuse cases. Generally it was only involved in cases concerning allegations of abuse which took place in the confessional and possibly involved violations of the Sacrament of Penance. Prior to that year, most cases were handled in the Roman Rota. In its March reports on the case, the New York Times relied on documents provided by lawyers Jeff Anderson and Mike Finnegan, some of which were poorly translated from Italian. Anderson is one of the leading attorneys in sex abuse lawsuits and has claimed that Pope Benedict was “the mastermind, head, of an international conspiracy to cover up their own crimes and keep them above the law.” According to CNN, Anderson is the lead lawyer in Kohut’s lawsuit. The suit alleges that through a policy of secrecy the Holy See “knowingly allowed, permitted and encouraged child sex abuse by its priests, including Murphy.” Gregory Erlandson and Dr. Matthew Bunson, authors of the Our Sunday Visitor book “Pope Benedict XVI and the Sexual Abuse Crisis: Working for Reform and Renewal,” have claimed that the latest allegations concerning the Pope’s involvement in the Fr. Murphy case rehash discredited charges. “While the Murphy case is a glaring example of the poor oversight and inadequate communication that typified many abuse cases in the U.S. dioceses in the past 50 years, it does not show Cardinal Ratzinger in any way tolerant of, or insensitive to, the actions of abusers,” they said in a press release from Our Sunday Visitor. (CNA)
US basic methodology isagainst book on sexuality bishops warn unsound Say
WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 23, 2010—The U.S. bishops are cautioning about a book that claims to teach “Catholic anthropology” but in fact goes against Church doctrine on human sexuality. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops released a statement from its Committee on Doctrine, headed by Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, regarding the book, “The Sexual Person: Toward a Renewed Catholic Anthropology.” The statement noted that the book “does not offer minor revisions to a few points of Catholic sexual ethics,” but rather, “the authors insist that the moral theology of the Catholic tradition dealing with sexual matters is now as a whole obsolete and inadequate and that it must be re-founded on a different basis.” Consequently, it continued, the authors, Creighton University professors Todd Salzman and Michael Lawler, “argue that the teaching of the magisterium is based on this flawed ‘traditional theology’ and must likewise be substantially changed.” The doctrine committee issued the statement in response to a request from the archbishop of Omaha, Nebraska, to review the book. Creighton University is in Omaha. In 2007, Archbishop Elden Curtiss, then archbishop of Omaha, had already published a statement in the diocesan newspaper regarding various articles by these professors. In his statement, Archbishop Curtiss said: “In these articles, Professors Lawler and Salzman argue for the moral legitimacy of some homosexual acts. Their conclusion is in serious error, and cannot be considered authentic Catholic teaching.” Clear conflict Then, in 2008, when the book, “The Sexual Person,” was published, the prelate requested the aid of the doctrine committee. In its statement, dated Sept. 15, the committee detailed some of the errors of this book. It asserted, “The fact that the alternative moral theology of ‘The Sexual Person’ leads to many positions in clear conflict with authoritative Church teaching is itself considerable evidence that the basic methodology of this moral theology is unsound and incompatible with the Catholic
tradition.” “The Committee on Doctrine wishes to make it clear that neither the methodology of ‘The Sexual Person’ nor the conclusions that depart from authoritative Church teaching constitute authentic expressions of Catholic theology,” it added. “Moreover,” the statement continued, “such conclusions, clearly in contradiction to the authentic teaching of the Church, cannot provide a true norm for moral action and in fact are harmful to one’s moral and spiritual life.” Rather, it affirmed, “In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, where we find a genuine systematic presentation of the faith, we look for that wisdom that reflects the words of everlasting life.” (Zenit)
Colombian archbishop calls for authentic sex ed to prevent teen pregnancy
BOGOTA, Colombia, Sept. 27, 2010—Archbishop Ruben Salazar of Bogota stressed last week that if the root causes of teen pregnancy are not addressed, the problem will never be solved. “The truth is that if the root causes are not attacked, we will never prevent teen pregnancies from happening, no matter how many contraceptives are distributed,” the archbishop said. The archbishop warned that sex-ed programs must not be focused on promoting contraception. “As long as there is no authentic education on the relationship between sex and love, on the meaning of marriage and the family, and while children are not taught values that encourage responsible sexuality, we will always have this problem,” he added. For his part, the secretary of the Colombian bishops, Bishop Juan Vicente Cordoba, rejected proposals by one local official to provide teenage girls with contraceptive implantations in order to prevent pregnancies. “We are creating one problem to solve another,” he said. “Our teenage girls are not animals, like cows that we sterilize on a farm. They are human beings with dignity. We are turning them into objects by putting a device in them so they can’t be mothers. I agree that a girl of that age should not become a mother but that is not the way to do it,” the bishop said. (CNA)
Pope asks youth to learn from beatified teen
Benedict XVI urged the youth to emulate Blessed Chiara Badano’s “example of Christian consistency,” because she was certain of God’s love even as she was dying. “Only Love with a capital L gives true happiness,” and that’s what Blessed Badano showed her family, her friends and her fellow members of the Focolare Movement, he said Sept. 26 during his midday Angelus address. In Rome on Sept. 25, Archbishop Angelo Amato of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes led the beatification of Badano who succumbed to bone cancer just before her 19th birthday in 1990. (CNS)
‘Non-nuclear weapon agenda must be based on human dignity’
Vietnam remembers Cardinal Van Thuân
ROME, Sept. 23, 2010—A gathering of some 2,000 faithful at a Mass in Ho Chi Minh City marked the eighth anniversary of the death of Cardinal François Xavier Nguyen van Thuân, the prelate who became known worldwide for his holiness in the face of fierce persecution. Cardinal Van Thuân died Sept. 16, 2002, in Rome. During his episcopal ministry in Vietnam, he spent more than 13 years in a Communist “re-education” camp, nine of those in solitary confinement. Years later, after his forced exile from Vietnam, he was appointed president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. He preached spiritual exercises to Pope John Paul II and the Roman Curia in 2000 and the next year, was made a cardinal. His cause of beatification was opened on Sept. 16, 2007, on the fifth anniversary of his death. This Saturday in Italy, there will be a symposium marking the eighth anniversary of his death at the Verona-based International Observatory Cardinal Van Thuân On the Social Doctrine of the Church. (Zenit)
Vatican’s delegate to an international conference on atomic energy has stressed the value of human life as the central issue in “every step” towards a nuclear weapon-free world. “Humanity,” he said in a speech, “deserves no less than full co-operation” of the governments of the world in reaching agreements establishing peace and security. Among the 1,400 participants in the recent 54th general conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency is Bishop Ettore Balestrero, the under-secretary for the Vatican Secretariat of State’s department for relations with states. (CNA)
Forgiveness is foundation of real reform – pope
Cardinal Văn Thuận
Forgiveness is the backbone of all true reform, both in the life of an individual Christian and in the life of the whole church community, Pope Benedict XVI said. The current spiritual crisis, in fact, is rooted in “obscuring the grace of forgiveness,” the pope said Sept. 25 as he met with a group of bishops from Brazil. The prelates were making their “ad limina” visits to Rome to report on the status of their dioceses. (CNS)
Catholics urged to reflect on impact of work, free time on family
Chinese Academy of Social Sciences calls for a rethink of religious policy towards Catholics
BEIJING, China, Sept. 27, 2010—A researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) said that the Chinese government should review its religious policy towards Catholics. In the study, she criticizes the current role played by the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA) and the Bishops’ Council. She also raises doubts about the National Assembly of Catholic Representatives, the governing body if the official Catholic Church in China. In the CASS annual report on religions in China that was released in mid-September, Wang Meixiu, a member of the Institute of World Religions, a research unit at CASS, noted that Chinese Catholics have increased their ties with the universal Church. A keen observer of Catholic affairs in China, she said that China constitutes a unique case because of the existence of the National Assembly of Catholic Representatives, whose “democratic” choices are imposed on official bishops, and the CPCA, which supervises the Bishops’ Council, roughly the equivalent of a national bishops’ conference elsewhere in the world, but without Holy See recognition. In the report, Wang Meixiu suggests that the two organizations ought to specialize according to tasks. The Bishops’ Council should be left to run the Church, whilst the CPCA should act as a “bridge” between Church and state. Currently the CPCA, whose secretaries are often atheist, runs every aspect of Church life, from vocations and Episcopal appointments to financial matters. For Ms Wang, clearing defining the responsibilities of each organization should improve the government’s religious policy. As for the National Assembly of Catholic Representatives, she notes that it has failed to meet since 2004 even though it is viewed as the governing body of the official Catholic Church. The next meeting should elect the new presidents of the CPCA and the Bishops’ Council, both of which are vacant. Patriotic Bishop Michael Fu Tieshan, elected CPCA president tin 1998, died in 2007. Mgr Joseph Liu Yuanren, patriotic bishop of Nanking and president of the Bishops’ Council, passed away in 2005. For one reason or another, the meeting to elect their replacements has been postponed, because of an earthquake and the Olympic Games in 2008, the 60th anniversary of the People’s Republic in 2009 and the Shanghai Expo this year. Still, as Wang Meixiu points out, the government is bound to convene the assembly after Expo, in late October, to avoid “criticism”, which is coming from various directions. With the CPCA pushing for the election of unlawful Bishop Ma Yinglin (pictured), official bishops recognized by the Vatican would face a major dilemma over whether to participate or not. In March, the Vatican Commission for the Church in China issued a statement in which it called on bishops accepted by the Pope to avoid “actions (like sacramental ceremonies, Episcopal ordinations and meetings) that contradict the communion with the Holy Father.” (AsiaNews)
The Holy Father has called on the world’s Catholics to use 2011 as a time to reflect on the impact of their work and their free-time pursuits on their family life. The reflection, he said, should help the church prepare for the Seventh World Meeting of Families, which will be in Milan May 30-June 3, 2012. The theme of the gathering will be: “The Family: Work and Celebration.” (CNS)
Benedict XVI says West needs to see role of faith in public life
Pope Benedict XVI said his message in Great Britain about the enduring importance of faith-based values in public life is valid for the entire Western world. He said one of his key messages was “the importance of evangelizing culture, especially in our age when pervasive relativism risks overshadowing the unchanging truth about the nature of man” and about the importance of faith in the education of active, creative and responsible citizens. (CNS)
Vatican aims for 2012 release of new marriage preparation document
The Pontifical Council for the Family is working to create a document to guide marriage preparation efforts in dioceses throughout the world. Through it, the council hopes to better inform young couples of what they are asking of the Church when they opt to receive the Sacrament of Marriage. (CNA)
Vol. 14 No. 20
September 27 - October 10, 2010
Pope tells British bishops they must Religious satisfy people’s spiritual hunger leaders hail Gov’t, NDF willingness to talk peace
MANILA, Sept. 20, 2010—The Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform hailed the willingness between the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines to resume direct talks. In a statement, the organization acknowledged that the road to just and lasting peace is “complex” but said “it’s not impossible to go through.” “We also recognize the long arduous work done by both parties to establish mutually agreed principles or framework upon which the peace negotiations are built,” it said. The ecumenical group particularly commended the “spirit and intent” of the substantive agenda of the peace talks like the comprehensive deals on the respect of human rights, social and economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms, and the disposition of forces. “We believe that these principled agenda emerged from the crucible and contain the fundamental issues that need to be addressed by both parties if the road to genuine peace and justice is to be pursued,” they said. “Even as we still have a long way towards the ideal, at least the first substantive agenda was accomplished. There is now a standard that both sides must follow with respect to human rights.” The faith-based formation of peace advocates, meanwhile, vowed to encourage the government and the communist rebels to sustain the “principled” peace process. “We will continue to remind all of the necessity to implement and put into practice mutually agreed best practices for just and lasting peace to flourish,” they added. The statement was signed by PEPP co-chairpersons Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, and Ms. Sharon Rose Joy Ruiz-Duremdes and PEPP Secretariat head Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez, Jr. (CBCPNews)
BIRMINGHAM, England, Sept. 19, 2010—Meeting Catholic bishops at the end of his visit to Great Britain, Pope Benedict XVI said he had spent four days witnessing signs of spiritual hunger that bishops have an obligation to help satisfy. Pope Benedict urged Scottish, English and Welsh bishops to give people real spiritual nourishment, not just easy or popular answers to their questions and doubts. “As you proclaim the coming of the kingdom − with its promise of hope for the poor and the needy, the sick and the elderly, the unborn and the neglected − be sure to present in its fullness the lifegiving message of the Gospel, including those elements which call into question the widespread assumptions of today’s culture,” the pope told the bishops Sept. 19 during a meeting at Oscott College in Birmingham. At the end of a trip that saw him become the first pope to visit the Anglican archbishop of Canterbury’s residence and the first pope to pray in the Anglicans’ Westminster Abbey, Pope Benedict also asked the bishops again to be
generous in welcoming Anglicans who want to enter into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. The British bishops have been criticized by some conservative Catholic commentators for an apparently lukewarm reception of provisions Pope Benedict made last year that would allow for the establishment of special church jurisdictions for former Anglicans who want to maintain some of their Anglican heritage and practices. The jurisdictions, known as ordinariates, have not yet been established anywhere in the world. Some people involved in efforts to promote full Anglican-Roman Catholic unity said the pope’s special provisions were essentially an admission that full unity was virtually impossible because of the ordination of women priests and bishops and positions on homosexuality in some parts of the Anglican Communion. Speaking to the Catholic bishops, though, the pope said his provision “should be seen as a prophetic gesture that can contribute positively to the developing relations between Anglicans
and Catholics” by promoting unity while accepting differences. The Rev. David Richardson, director of the Anglican Center in Rome and the archbishop of Canterbury’s representative to the Vatican, said the idea of the ordinariate was initially billed as a “pastoral provision” for disaffected Anglicans and appears to offer benefits to them, but “seems to contribute nothing to the full visible unity” of the Anglican and Roman Catholic communities as a whole. Full unity can only be achieved through formal dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion as a whole, Rev. Richardson told Catholic News Service. Pope Benedict also told the bishops that as they, like bishops in the United States, prepare to begin using a new English translation of the Mass, they should “seize the opportunity that the new translation offers for in-depth catechesis on the Eucharist and renewed devotion in the manner of its celebration.” As the bishops seek to evangelize “in a highly secular society,” challenges
come not only from widespread public opinion on ethical issues like biotechnology, abortion or homosexuality, he said, they also come from the current economic crisis and people’s assumptions about wealth and poverty. “The specter of unemployment is casting its shadow over many people’s lives and the long-term cost of the illadvised investment practices of recent times is becoming all too evident,” he said. As pastors of a Christian community, the pope said, the British bishops must encourage their flocks to be generous and stand in solidarity with the poor. Pope Benedict told the bishops he knows that the “shameful” clerical sex abuse crisis “seriously undermines the moral credibility of church leaders.” “I have spoken on many occasions of the deep wounds that such behavior causes − in the victims first and foremost − but also in the relationships of trust that should exist between priests and people, between priests and their bishops, and between the church authorities and the public,” he said. (CNS)
Holy Father speaks to schoolchildren, emphasizes importance of reading
ROME, Italy, Sept. 24, 2010—Hundreds of kids felt the personal “warmth” of the Pope as they met with him in a private audience on Thursday evening. According to the children’s school principal, they received his message to them about learning to read so they can better know God and the world. The Holy Father hosted nearly 400 children from a local Catholic school at the Apostolic Villa of Castel Gandolfo on Thursday evening. The kindergarten and primary school students of the local Paul VI Pontifical School, run by the Maestre Pie sisters of the Philippines, were accompanied by their parents, grandparents, friends, brothers and sisters as they met with the Holy Father in the villa courtyard. In his message to them, the Holy Father told the children of the importance of studying and learning to read so they can know the thought of others throughout time. One can learn about the “spiritual continents of the world,” communicate with others and, he said, turn to the Bible “to read what God says to us.” He emphasized the importance of going to school “to learn all of the things necessary for life and learning also to know God, to know Jesus and thus to know how to live well.” Sister Anna, the principal of the Paul VI Pontifical School told CNA that the kids were “happy” with the encounter and had “received the Pope’s message.” She said that they arrived prepared to listen to his words and to put them into practice. Pope Benedict XVI, she said, was visibly “so serene and so happy” also to meet with them, responding with gratitude to the songs that were sung for him and the gifts he received. Among their gifts to the Holy Father was a picture made by the children themselves in which “the magic of life” was depicted through in which they incorporated their handprints into the design of the world brightened by a rainbow. Sr. Anna said that in the encounter also the little ones felt the “warmth, this humanity, this affection” of the Pope towards children. (CNA)
Sibuyan local officials sign joint resolution vs mining
MANILA, Sept. 17, 2010—Local officials in Sibuyan Island’s three municipalities have signed a joint resolution rejecting mining operations in the island. The municipalities of Magdiwang, Cajidiocan and San Fernando issued Joint Resolution No. 1 and 2, indicating the people’s opposition to mining in the island. In Joint Resolution No. 1, the local officials asked President Benigno Aquino “to declare Sibuyan Island free of all metallic mining (all forms of mining except gravel and sand)”, while Joint Resolution No. 2, addressed to DENR Secretary Ramon Paje asked that all mining permits issued in the island be revoked. Sibuyan’s officials recently trooped to the office of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to insist that their autonomous decision to free the island from mining activities be respected. Environmentalists and anti-mining advocates hailed the local officials’ joint resolution to reject mining to protect and preserve the island’s rich ecosystem. Sibuyan island, dubbed as the Galapagos of Asia, is rich in natural resources and biodiversity. It is known to have the densest forest in the world. The island is home to a rich biodiversity of flora and fauna. One hundred twenty-three species of trees, 54 of which are not found anywhere in the world, 700 vascular plant species, and 131 species of birds, and many mammals and rodents still yet to be catalogued, are found in Mt. Guiting-guiting Natural Park. (CBCPNews)
Anti-mining advocates pray, light candles for victims of extra judicial killings
MANILA, Sept. 16, 2010— Anti-mining advocates held a prayer service outside the country’s premier hotel in memory of the victims and martyrs of anti-mining struggles. Religious, seminarians and anti-mining activists gathered outside the Manila Hotel Sept. 14 holding lighted candles, as the International Conference on Mining, hosted by the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines was being held. Photos of those who have died in their struggles against mining that include former Councilor Armin Marin of San Fernando, Sibuyan Island in Romblon, Ricardo Ganad, ABC Chairperson of Victoria, Oriental Mindoro, Eliezer ‘Boy” Billones of South Cotabato, Gensun Agustin of Cagayan Province, Fernando Sarmiento of Compostela Valley, and Samson Rivera, of Oriental Mindoro were presented during the rally. “We are gathered [here] not to rally against mining companies but to pray for the many lives the irresponsible mining industry has taken. Several years back, we already condemned the
killings and grave effects of mining to indigenous peoples, and the degradation of the environment,” said Fr. Edu Gariguez. Gariguez, who is Executive Secretary of the National Secretariat for Social Action-Justice and Peace of the Catholic
Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP-NASSA) has led protests against mining companies in Mindoro while heading the Mangyan Mission in the province. The Catholic Church has consistently opposed large scale mining in the Phil-
ippines because of its negative impact on people’s lives and the environment. Fr. Archie Casey, Co-Chair of the JPICC-AMRSP said the government should stop making mining a priority in its economic policy, adding that there is no such thing as a sustainable and green mining. “Mining has killed a lot of people. It has affected many communities and we have seen this in the many tragedies that occurred in mining sites in the Philippines,” he said. “Today we pray for the souls of the lives taken by mining, as we also seek for President Aquino’s action upon this issue,” he added. They also called on the Aquino government to revoke EO 270-A, or the revitalization of mining industry. The gathering was led by the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Commission of the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (JPICC-AMRSP) and the Seminarian Network. Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) co-organized the event. (CBCPNews)
© Danny Pata
The Jueteng agenda
September 27 - October 10, 2010
Vol. 14 No. 20
AT first blush it would seem that Archbishop Oscar Cruz is a solitary prophet crying in the wilderness yet with admirable courage and gait in his crusade against what he calls a persistent curse that is Jueteng. But actually he is not. He is backed up with three pastoral statements of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. In 2003, the bishops issued “Eradicate Gambling: It is Moral and Social Cancer.” In 2005, “CBCP Statement on Gambling.” And again, in 2006, “Plea and Appeal: Stop STL, Please.” And this, not to mention the pastoral letter on gambling issued by Northern Luzon Bishops in 1993 titled, “Make Yourselves a New Heart and a New Spirit: A Joint Pastoral Letter on Gambling.” Yet all this aside, it is really his deep conviction and conscience that give him the drive to transcend to a realm of fools where even holy angels fear to tread. This is the kind of witnessing that erstwhile we only read in conciliar documents and encyclicals, but now we see incarnated in an exemplary valor of one man—a man who has always been willing to trade off the comfort of an ivory tower with the risk of one’s life attendant to denouncing evil, in much the same fashion and reminiscent of John the Baptist in the holy book. Be that as it may, but the social transformation advocated by the present dispensation will remain a hollow slogan unless Jueteng or the preferential option for gambling remains in tow. No social reforms will ever be feasible if Jueteng and all its dubious variations are on the ledge. To drive home the point, take, for instance, electoral reforms. While it is true that with poll automation quite a number of electoral anomalies have been skirted, vote buying has morphed exponentially. In the last elections, reports have it that the votes of one household in predominantly Jueteng areas were priced from ten to twenty thousand pesos. In such places where vote buying is bankrolled by Jueteng, no amount of political education in parishes will ever sink in the minds and hearts of the electorate. He who controls the “cabos”, controls election results. Indeed, Jueteng or its various forms robs the country of a democratic process and the sanctity of people’s right to suffrage. And this is not even saying about the other evils of gambling that fleece the poor of the little they have. Which is why the move to legalize Jueteng because of the government’s happy inability to stop it, does not even smack of defeatism, but of a self-serving agenda that is obviously very profitable.
Illustration by Bladimer Usi
Oscar V. Cruz, DD
Views and Points
NOTWITHSTANDING all rhetoric and propaganda made by public officials, despite all the alleged bleeding hearts for the poor brought to fore by civil authorities, and despite loud, repeated and impressive resolves by one government after another, the stark truth and standing fact is that Jueteng continues to be a disastrous, hideous and deeply rooted vice nonchalantly persisting as a vibrant racket in this already too long suffering country. Specifically in conjunction with this long-lasting, disgusting national phenomenon, it is in good order to point out formally and categorically the three following solid and standing truth of the matter: One: It is exactly the poor and the helpless, the miserable and the ignorant that are continuously exploited and duped every time they are enticed and duped into betting their hard earned money into this vice. The reality is that for the very few bettors chosen to win by expert manipulation on account of their meager bets as “consuelo de bobo”, literally thousands upon thousands of bettors are infallibly destined to lose in this well syndicated racket. What numbers win and what numbers lose—all these are at the absolute command of the jueteng syndicates operating in their well assigned territories. In
A curse that refuses to die
the matter of the determination of what numbers/bets win or lose, there was a time when these were decided by tampered “tambiolo” surreptitiously held in supposedly “secured” house backyards. However, behold and wonder, during these times, the winning numbers are conveniently decided and communicated by the mere use of cell phones at the dictate and wish of operators! Two: It is concretely the socalled “Jueteng Lords” plus their “Operators” plus their “Protectors” plus their “Revisadores” plus their “Pagadores” who categorically exploit and literally rob the poor and helpless individuals of the meager they have. Result: Destitute and ignorant people remain needier than before. Meantime, the Jueteng Syndicates amass fortunes, Protectors enjoy more and more luxurious lives, and all payola beneficiaries happily have and gleefully keep progressively big fat bank accounts here and abroad. Three: It does not take much thinking, much less any formal study why Jueteng continue to proliferate. It is simply for the same elementary and simple reason: the local public officials and their assigned police authorities simply love and cherish to have Jueteng in their respective territorial jurisdictions. And, of course, everybody knows why.
Church in the Philippines—Called to Mission
WE as Church are called to be in our part of the globe “the universal sacrament of salvation”, sent out by the Lord on a mission to the whole of the human race (Lumen Gentium 13). The Church universal is Catholic because of this mission. But each particular or local Church, being Catholic, shares in the same mission. Hence to each local Church the mandate is also given to proclaim Jesus’ message and invitation to give living witness of God’s love in Christ Jesus, and to share the gifts it has received from the Lord. For the Church in the Philippines, for every one of our local Churches, there is a new insistence and a new urgency to fulfill this mandate. We believe that in recent years the Spirit has awakened among us a new awareness of the Church’s missionary task, and has also poured out his gifts to begin to realize it in deed and in truth. For in recent decades, a constantly increasing number of our brothers and sisters—priests, religious brothers and sisters, laypeople—have left our shores to share their Faith with peoples of other lands, in every continent on the face of the earth. The Mission Society of Philippines has sent several priests as missionaries in many parts of the world. Many Filipino priests, brothers and sisters belonging to different religious congregations as well as diocesan priests are now working in the foreign missions. Several lay missionaries, both men and women, who underwent training through the Catholic Lay Mission Program, are also working in the foreign missions. New movements of faith such as the covenant communities, initiated by the Filipino laity under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, have spread to particular churches of other countries and have surely contributed to the efforts of evangelization of those sister churches. Our overseas workers have in so many instances become missionaries, bringing the Gospel and Faith where these have not been present, renewing and reactivating Christian life and practice where these have been in decline. Through Radio Veritas Asia, based in Manila, the saving message of Christ has reached millions of people living in many parts of the vast continent. May we not see in these events the hand of the Lord, and the movement of his Providence? It is imperative then that we—all of us—renew our own understanding of mission. We urge most especially the formators of our seminarians, the candidates for the priesthood, to help the future leaders of the Church to develop a personal and profound understanding of mission during their priestly formation. Our young priests should experience life in the missions either here or abroad so that they can become effective agents of renewal in mission consciousness among the faithful. Mission is the proclamation of the Good news of salvation given by the Father in Christ Jesus. It is about the forgiveness, the communion, peace and hope Christ brought to us for all time, and unto everlasting life. Mission is the sharing of the promise of a new heaven and a new earth, the ultimate triumph of life over death, of grace and glory over evil and sin in the new Jerusalem which will be given to us by God. But mission does not proclaim only God’s victory in the life to come, but also the redemption of time and history in the cross and resurrection of Jesus. −“Missions” and the Church in the Philippines: A Pastoral Letter on the Church’s Mission in the New Millennium, 2000
War against abortion in Quiapo
I WAS only in high school when I first heard in whispers about the herbal vendors in Quiapo where one can buy concoctions for abortion—euphemistically identified by the vendors as you pass by—“pamparegla, Miss?” Now, as a Good Shepherd Sister counseling pregnant girls and women who have attempted abortion, I hear of how they tried those preparations unsuccessfully, thank God. However, in our Pro-life Counseling Center, I have also been counseling women who aborted due to the tablets that they bought from those Quiapo herbal vendors. Yes, those vendors have become sophisticated in their offering ways and means to accomplish abortion on demand. The tablets they are referring to is called Cytotec, an anti-ulcer medicine that is being misused to induce bleeding and the eventual expulsion of the fetus (unborn baby). Fifteen years ago, I and the Pro-life staff ran after the pharmaceutical company to stop distributing this drug. Within a year, we were able to have DOH/BFAD declare it as a banned drug. However, those tiny white hexagonal-shaped tablets continued to proliferate in small drug stores and the herbal vendors. According to the manufacturer, those tablets are made in Bangkok and Korea and enter the country illegally. Lately, young lovers are able to source them through the internet (along with contacts to abortionists).
Sr. Mary Pilar Verzosa, RGS
saw the photos of the aborted babies, others looked away, while others stared defiantly at those leading the rosary. We prayed silently in our hearts that the police standing around would face up to their responsibility and help once and for all in stopping the sale of the abortifacient drugs in their area. Fr. Anton Pascual was the main celebrant in last Saturday’s Eucharistic Celebration. He gave a very pointed homily on the importance of defending the life of the unborn and explained emphatically the Church teaching on excommunication, not only of the mother of the aborted baby, but of all those involved – the father of the baby, the grandparents, the doctors, “hilot” and sellers of the abortion drugs. I was very happy to hear Msgr. Clem read the Pastoral letter of Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, issued last Sept 15, Feast of the Sorrowful Mother, on “Abortion, a Crime against the Unborn”. This was promulgated in connection with the spate of fetus being left in church premises these past few weeks. We welcome the many efforts of various groups to stop abortion through prayer rallies, seminars and counseling centers. But the deeper issue that must be attended to is the prevention of the “need” to have an abortion by the thousands of women who find themselves in troubling pregnancy. Each one has to do her/his part. Care to help? Call Pro-life office at 733-7027.
Many times in the past, former Mayor Lito Atienza would have those vendors arrested but since the law that could be cited for their illegal vending is simply a misdemeanor (non-medical professionals prescribing drugs), they would be released from detention within a few hours then back they were around Quiapo Church. Then along comes Msgr. Clem Ignacio who could not tolerate the notoriety attached to abortion happening right there in the Church premises. Several dialogues with the police (who by now have been identified as part of the syndicate distributing the illegal drugs as well as the abortion tablets) did drive away the vendors a few streets away from the church patio for a couple of years. But lately, the vendors are back. Apparently, Mayor Lim assigned a station commander who is once again allowing the vendors to do their “business”. Permits to vend, of course, means a daily income for the assigned collectors who will see to it that the cash gets to the right persons up there! Msgr. Clem is waging an all out war at this time. These past two Saturdays, he organized the parish organizations plus many pro-life groups to hold a prayer rally to stop abortion. Before the Mass for the Unborn, they held a procession holding placards with pro-life slogans and pictures of the unborn, both live and aborted. Thousands of people watched the procession pass by, some grimaced as they
Teresa R. Tunay, OCDS
… And That’s the truth
Pedro C. Quitorio
PUBLICATION LAYOUT BY KRIS BAYOS
at “…for the kingdom, the power and the glory are Yours…”, etc.—but after that, when we leave the church, how much of that prayer remains with us to guide us through the day? In the family or in our places of work, does this prayer make us more ready to forgive our loved ones or our offending co-workers? Does it increase our faith in God’s goodness, our tolerance in dealing with strangers we meet on the streets? Does it encourage us to do right even when everybody else says “Hindi na uso ang mabait”? (It’s no longer “in” to be righteous.) Seventeen seconds is all it takes to pray the Our Father with the lips, but look how praying it with all our being can change our 24 hours. At once the prayer puts us in touch with the Holy One, a Father who has given us life, and whom we’re asking to bring His Kingdom down here to where we stand. Empowered by that, how can we fear, how can we lose, how can we fail when we are asking for that which He Himself longs to give us? Praying the Our Father with the lips touches our mind, praying it with attention opens our heart to mystery. Let us embrace the mystery, carry it around with us, and we will see the world transformed. And that’s the truth.
Pinky Barrientos, FSP
Melo M. Acuña
Ernani M. Ramos
Roy Q. Lagarde
The CBCP Monitor is published fortnightly by the CBCP Communications Development Foundation, Inc., with editorial and business offices at 470 Gen. Luna St., Intramuros, Manila. P.O. Box 3601, 1076 MCPO. Editorial: (063) 404-2182. Business: (063)404-1612.; ISSN 1908-2940
ONE thing blows the mind when reading about and pondering Jesus teaching His disciples how to pray. The prayer He taught them is what is now popularly known to us as the “Our Father”. As we all know it was not invented by a medieval saint or by theologians, not even by a pope. That’s what’s mind-blowing about it: it was taught by Jesus Himself, over two thousand years ago, in the open air (we imagine), while sitting upon a rock and surrounded by so many followers hungry for the truth. Now, two thousand years later, perhaps it’s worth looking into the truth about the place
of the “Our Father” in our life. How many times a day, or a week, do we pray it? And how do we pray it—fast, slow, sung, said aloud, meditated on? Does praying it make us better human beings, or does it only make us think we’re better than others? Does singing it lead us closer to Jesus? And does this closeness to Jesus make us more like Him? You’ve probably observed that even during the Mass, people pray the Our Father using many “styles”—holding hands (which by the way is not called for), or arms outstretched in imitation of the priest (another no-no), raising the arms and the voices high
Vol. 14 No. 20
September 27 - October 10, 2010
built into the human being. He begins his attempt by studying the formation of insights in mathematics and science before proceeding to other areas of human knowing. He died in 1984 and his influence continues to grow. Lonergan is theoretical but also very practical. The two ladies soon had a lively conversation. They discovered they had many things in common. Both are visible women leaders whose concern for others is inspired by their Christian faith. Both also enjoy painting as a way to relax and express themselves. They also consider education as the way to truly liberate the poor. Josette does this through her science teaching. Armi has supported a good number of her workers through college. But their interest in education converges in one more significant aspect. “When people ask me what I consider to be the most important need in education, they usually expect my answer to be ‘a research center.’ They are surprised when I tell them what we need are good pre-schools. Yes, pre-schools,” Josette says. She continues: “Pre-schools are not just for playing games but where the basics of learning begin.” As she says this, I recall Lonergan’s definition of method: “A normative pattern of recurrent and related operations yielding cumulative and progressive results.” Pre-schools create these physical, mental, emotional, psychological and social templates that prepare the young students to take on life itself. Being a nursery drop-out, I could not help but try to imagine what my life could have been had I persevered. But that is another story. Armi could not contain her excitement: “I completely agree with what you are saying. I have actually been inviting active professionals and retirees to consider sharing their talents in setting up a pre-school in a town in southern Cebu.” “What is the name of your town?” Josette asked. “Bito-on in Barile,” Armi responded. “Really?” countered Josette. “You know,” she continued, “the Philippine Science High School I teach at is located in Bito-on, Iloilo!” Bito-on is “star” in both Ilonggo and Cebuano. I am star-struck.
Fr. Carmelo O. Diola, SSL
Spaces of Hope
I WAS upset when I was informed that my flight to Cebu from Manila had been moved to 9 a.m. After all, I had been up and about the wee hours of the morning just to be at the airport for my 4:30 a.m. flight. However, recalling the sage advice, “When you are angry, you are punishing yourself for the mistakes of others,” I decided to spend my time placidly at the airport longue. On entering the place, I saw a familiar figure. It was Josette Biyo, a science teacher from the Philippine Science High School in Iloilo who had won international acclaim for being the first Asian to win the prestigious Intel International Excellence in Teaching Award in 2002. The award meant Josette was the best among 4,000 candidates from all over the world and had merited for her the name of an asteroid. It is now called Planet Biyo, a decision made by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory. Josette was hoping to catch an earlier flight to be able to attend to one of her students in Iloilo who had contracted dengue. As we started to exchange pleasantries and updates on each other, I realized the delay in flight had been divinely planned. I saw fire in Josette’s eyes as she explained her many works and commitments. She is truly an untiring figure with a heart of gold. I then mentioned to her the recent formation of a Lonergan Circle in Cebu to introduce the concept of intellectual conversion in support of social transformation. She listened intently. Suddenly I saw another figure enter the longue and my eyes, so to speak, nearly popped out. It was the honorary consul of Russia in Cebu, Consul Armi Garcia. Armi also happens to be the wife of Atty. Jesus “Sonny” Garcia, Jr. whom I had just mentioned to Josette as the lecturer and sharer in the Lonergan Circle. I beckoned to Armi to join us. She too was a bit upset with the delay in her flight. We were now taking the same flight to Cebu. Lonergan was a Canadian Jesuit priest who tried to do for the 20th century what Thomas Aquinas did for the 13th century: integrate all bodies of knowledge into a single whole by identifying a method that is
We need penicillin, not condoms, in central Africa
EVER since it gained independence in 1960, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been in chaos. By some statistics, the hinterland outside of the capital Kinshasa has suffered through the worst war since World War II as rival armies of thugs, warlords, or surrogates of hostile neighbors battle it out over our rich mineral resources. The DRC is rich in people, too. It has a population of about 70 million and by the year 2050 it will be one of the ten most populous countries in the world. Our total fertility rate is 6.3, one of the highest in the world. Abortion is illegal here, with some exceptions for the health of the mother. Unsurprisingly, our health care is in a mess, especially for women, and it is actually getting worse, year by year. The current maternal mortality rate (MMR) is estimated at 2,000 per 100,000 live births; in 1990 it was 800. (The rate in Canada is 6 per 100,000 births.) Infant mortality in the first year is estimated at 92 per 1,000. (In Canada, it is about 6 per 1,000.) At the moment, however, at least by the standards of the DRC, the country is relatively calm and the thoughts of foreign aid donors have turned to improving health care. And the band-aid they are offering is vigorous family planning programs. Back in December, the DRC’s First Lady, Marie Olive Lembe Kabila, opened a National Conference to Reposition Family Planning in Kinshasa. It was attended by all the nabobs of DRC’s health bureaucracy as well as USAID, the American aid agency, and UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. “This is an issue that concerns us all,” said Mme Kabila. “No one among us wants to lose a child, a loved one we waited nine months for, and no man wants to see his wife left on the delivery table.” USAID is investing US$8.4 million in family planning in the DRC. The US Ambassador to the DRC, William Garvelink, told the conference that the unmet need for family planning is more than 24 percent. Satisfying this unmet need could avert over 18,000 maternal deaths and 850,000 child deaths. I share the desolation of the First Lady, but this is almost literally insane. No one can fail to weep at a stillborn child or the death of a mother in childbirth. But it is absurd; it is criminally irresponsible, for the United States and international aid agencies to argue that the solution to the DRC’s calamitous maternal mortality is family planning. The real solution is quality basic health care. Not conferences about foreign aid. Not plans drawn up in air-conditioned offices in New York. We need real health care. We need $8.4 million worth of penicillin, not $8.4 million worth of condoms. A few years ago, the slogan was “Health for All by 2000”. Now it is the propaganda of “Millennium Development”. We even have a home-grown slogan, “the five yards of the president.” This is all pie-in-the-sky stuff. What the DRC needs is not a scaled-down version of the American health care system, but an understanding of how to deliver primary health care throughout the whole country, not just in Kinshasa and the provincial capitals. In the DRC, as in most Third World countries, lack of medical care is the principal cause of maternal mortality—and this is the case regardless of the legal status of abortion or the level of family planning. Here are a few of the dismal statistics. The World Health Organisation says that medical problems linked to maternity are the cause of 19 percent of deaths amongst women and girls. Life expectancy was 42 years in 2002, when the mean for Africa was 51 years. Access to health services is less than 26 percent. Throughout the country, especially in the interior, basic health care and prenatal care is inadequate or nonexistent. There are no midwives and clinics lack minimum conditions of hygiene. Even major cities lack the infrastructure and equipment for emergency care. Where it does exist, only a small minority can afford it. Doctors are poorly trained. Many are not equipped to deal with emergencies in childbirth. In large public hospitals there are excellent physicians, but sometimes they lack antibiotics and sterile gloves. Malaria is widespread. Eradicated diseases such as trypanosomiasis, leprosy and plague have reappeared. HIV/AIDS affects more than 4 percent of the population between the ages of 15 and 49. In the eastern provinces where fighting is still going on, that figure rises to about 20 percent. According to recent estimates, 750,000 children have lost at least one parent due to sickness. During the 1997-2005 war, 3.9 million of our people died. Most of them succumbed to infectious diseases which they were too weak to withstand because of malnutrition and the stresses of migration. Although the DRC has an abundance of natural resources, it is one of the poorest countries in the world, with vast disparities in wealth. This is due mainly to the never-ending war which scourges the country. In 2002—the last year for which I have statistics—80 per cent of the population were living below the poverty line of US$2 per day. Nearly 44% of women and about 22% of men had no income. Regional disparities are very strong. In the eastern districts, people were living on $32 per year; in the southern districts, $138; and in the capital Kinshasa, $323. Malnutrition affects between 30 and 50% of women and children. In total, 16 million people live in conditions of food insecurity. In these chaotic circumstances, how can the US ambassador seriously propose family planning as a solution? He and his cronies in the aid agencies are living in Never-Never Land. I firmly believe that what the DRC needs to turn around the appalling statistics on maternal deaths is good nutrition, basic health care, good obstetric care during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum. In industrialized countries, birth-related deaths declined with the development of better obstetric techniques and improvements in the overall health of women. In England and Wales, for example, the maternal mortality rate dropped from more than 550 pregnancy-deaths per 100,000 births in 1931 to less than 50 in 1960, through the use of antibiotics, blood transfusions and the management of hypertensive disorders during pregnancy. According to the World Bank’s 2006 Development Report, Malaysia and Sri Lanka have managed to reduce maternal mortality by enabling access to midwives and nurses in rural areas and regularly supplying provinces with medicines and medical equipment. Severe bleeding contributes to 44 percent of maternal deaths in Africa, deaths which could be prevented if doctors had access to clean blood. Rather revving up the engines of family planning, foreign aid donors should think of ways to bring modern medicine and better health care to the DRC. If they don’t, it will just confirm our suspicions that family planning is merely a Trojan horse for legalizing abortion in the DRC. (Gaston Asitaki is editor of the magazine Construire la famille in Kinshasa and a lawyer.)
P-Noy’s two months in office
THE results of the investigation of Secretary of Justice Leila de Lima, who headed the Incident Review and Investigation Committee (IIRC) spared no one. Twelve persons were found liable for the tragic outcome of the August 23 hostage drama broadcast all over the world. Undersecretary Rico Puno, Mayor Alfredo Lim, Vice-Mayor Isko Moreno were among the high profile personalities recommended to be charged for criminal neglect. Media, specifically Radio Mindanao Network’s Michael Rogas and TV5’s Erwin Tulfo were also included among the list for prosecution. This is the baptism of fire of our new President. Despite the effects of this tragedy on our tourism income, there is a boost in the confidence of foreign investors. A record sale of $1B worth of peso denominated bonds early this September, as well as high interest of foreign capital for investments in the Philippines shows great confidence in the new leadership. President Aquino’s promised fight against graft and corruption, has given these potential investors the assurance that their investments in the Philippines will not be tainted by corruption scandals similar to the NBN-ZTE deal during the Arroyo administration. While there is delay in the filling up
Jose B. Lugay
salaries of all employees, permanent and contractual. Sec. Cesar V. Purisima of DOF now questions all overseas development funds which need our own counterpart funds and determines the sources of funds, local and foreign to meet budget goals. It may take some time for a smooth takeoff of the economy since eradicating graft and corruption starts with the election of local officials including the barangay officials and representatives of the Sangguniang Kabataang Barangay which had been disbursing internal revenue allocations without control. The burden of eradicating jueteng which impoverishes the poor and enriches political landlords is the greatest challenge to P-Noy. No less than Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz had sounded the alarm that officials of P-Noy’s new cabinet are involved! The Small Town Lottery which was the past government’s solution to the jueteng problem has now become its shield for continuing the jueteng business. The Archbishop’s expose’ has endangered his life. I suppose one can say that the good Archbishop or the President himself are risking their lives to let the truth be known. But is this not what is demanded of us as Catholics? After all, that is what our Lord Jesus Christ died for—saving mankind from sin and eternal damnation!
of vacancies in government, there is also the abolition of eight offices reporting to the President, including the Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group (PASG) as well as the Presidential Anti-Graft and Corruption office (PAGC). The newly appointed Secretaries have been doing extremely well, at least for their two months in office. Sec. Rogelio Singson convened advocacy groups in anti-graft and corruption to help him change the corruption ridden Dept. of Public Works and Highways. Sec. Ramon Page of DENR came to hear the SONA presentation of the Advocacy Groups belonging to the Green Convergence and NASSA at the Environmental Science Institute of Miriam College. He ably answered many concerns on the environment, mining, reforestation, etc., creditably while maintaining the government’s right to implement existing laws. Sec. Enrique T. Ona of DOH has invigorated the campaign on membership for Philhealth by declaring a day of enrollment in many places including all government hospitals in the Philippines. Sec. Florencio Abad of DBM has changed the budgetary system which previously allowed using the previous year’s budget plus an increase of 10%. Now it starts from zero. This would mean itemizing all expenditures for projects and services as well as
Fr. Russell Bantiles
ANC’s edition of Truths last Monday left me preoccupied. Aside from the fact that clearly the mentality behind is a latent support for the legalization of abortion in the Philippines (as can be deduced from its arguments), I am deeply troubled by the misunderstanding it feeds on our people regarding the Church-backed Natural Family Planning. As the Church ordained minister and the people’s conscience formator, I feel the obligation to clarify some points here. In the program, the narrator presents an interview of a Catholic priest who explained how the two dimensions of sexual activity—the unitive and the procreative—should not be separated. Immediately, the reporter notes that the Church’s teaching here involves a contradiction since the Church also promotes Natural Family Planning which entails doing sexual activity during infertile periods; hence, separating the procreative from the unitive dimension. The reporter could have asked the interviewed priest how to explain this. But she did not. She simply jumped into his conclusion. This gave me reason to assume that the Truths’ edition last Monday is grossly biased in favor of the anti-life mentality. *** In the Natural Family Planning, the couple is engaged in sexual activity during infertile periods. Naturally, no life could come out; hence, the sexual activity does not yield the creation of new life. But this does not mean that the unitive and procreative dimensions of the sexual activity are separated. Why? Simply because it does not involve an anti-life mentality. Let me explain. The procreative dimension refers to openness in the transmission of life or fecundity. In God’s design of creation, fecundity is a cycle. And there are periods wherein transmission of life is not possible. Sexual activities done within these periods are still open to life; it’s just that no life yet is possible. Hence, it cannot involve an anti-life mentality. And the couple’s desire not to have a baby is only secondary to God’s will. They simply cooperate in God’s procreative design, so to speak. On the contrary, in the use of artificial methods or contraceptives, the anti-life mentality is clearly manifest. Regardless of whether the woman is fertile or not, the couple’s intention in sexual activities is to block the transmission of life. Hence, it intentionally separates the procreative from the unitive dimension. In the natural way, the couple’s desire not to have a baby seconds God’s will as manifested in nature. In the artificial way, the couple simply rejects God’s will to transmit
life. That is why, it is rightly called contraception (“contra” = against; “conception” = life). The Church’s teaching on this aspect is quite clear. It is a total irresponsibility on the part of the reporter not to have researched on this and to simply brush aside the Church’s teaching as contradictory. To fill-in that gap left by ANC’s Truths’ half-truths, here is the full truth. *** “Never is it permitted to separate these different aspects [unitive and procreative] to the point of excluding positively either the intention of procreation or the conjugal relation”. (Pius XII, Allocution to the Members of the II World Congress of Fertility and Sterility, May 19, 1956) “The husband and wife do no wrong in seeking out and enjoying this pleasure [cooperating with God in propagating the human race]. They are accepting what the Creator intended for them. Still, here too, the husband and wife ought to know how to keep within the bounds of moderation. As in eating and drinking, they ought not to give themselves over completely to the promptings of their senses, so neither ought they to subject themselves unrestrainedly to their sensual appetite. This, therefore, is the rule to be followed: the use of the natural, generative instinct and function is lawful in the married state only, and in the service of the purposes for which marriage exists”. (Pius XII, Allocution to Midwives, October 29, 1951) “The moral lawfulness of such conduct [limiting the use of the marital act to times of natural sterility] would be affirmed or denied according as to whether or not the intention to keep constantly to these periods is based on sufficient and reliable moral grounds. The sole fact that the couple do not offend against the nature of the act and that they are willing to accept and bring up the child that is born notwithstanding the precautions they have taken, would not of itself alone be sufficient guarantee of a right intention and of the unquestionable morality of the motives themselves”. (Pius XII, Allocution to Midwives, October 29, 1951) *** Watching ANC’s Truths left me preoccupied but with another important lesson learned: not everything that the media feed us is the truth, even though they would call it Truths. Hence, we need to be very careful and critical. Knowing better our faith and the Church’s teachings is our effective shield against the obvious ideological indoctrination that is going on around us. There’s no deadliest danger than being misinformed.
September 27 - October 10, 2010
Vol. 14 No. 20
PRO-LIFE groups renewed their call on legislators to support the promotion of life by enacting into law the Citizen Protection Act 2010. Pro-Life Philippines Foundation Inc. together with Alyansang Bayanihan ng mga Magsasaka Mangagawang-Bukid at Mangingisda (ABA) and the Ang Kapatiran Party (AKP) has recently filed a petition at the House of the Representatives to ratify Citizen Protection Act of 2010. Citizen Protection Act of 2010 is a proposed law that urge for the security of any citizen against forms of injustice, human rights violations, torture, or abuse of power by the military, emphasizing the “right to life in every human activity,” and calling for a firm control over the issue of firearms, and “respect
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for life in professional and social actions.” Pro-life said the filing of the bill on September 21 signified the oneness of the group on the celebration of the International Day of Peace (September 21) and the Imposition of the Commission on Election (COMELEC) Gun Ban for the forthcoming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Elections on October 16. According to a report, the total gun ban will be effective from September 25 to November 10, 2010. Pro-Life Philippines is a non-profit organization that delves with issues on values, dignity and nurturance of human life with corollary issues of survival, security, sustainability. On the other hand, ABA is a party-list
that advocates for dialogue and understanding with the police and military forces while AKP is a political party that promotes a pro-God, prolife platform as a solution to the traditional personality-based parties. (Kate Laceda)
of election failure nationwide. “Its review will enable groups to trace back where the problem areas had been and find evidence that will shed light on complaints of fraud from the local to the national level,” they said. The SC said that the poll body has to comply with the Automated Election Law which states that “Once an AES (Automated Election System) technology is selected for implementation, the Commission shall promptly make the source code of the technology available and open to any interested political party or groups which may conduct their own review.” A few days before the elections, software testing company SysTest came out with a report on the source code and revealed several problems that the Comelec did not admit and discuss to the public. Among the problems cited in the report include claims that source codes are
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not properly commented and several of the logging functions in the Smartmatic CCS project appear to omit the inclusion of the time and date from the logged messages. SysTest also reported that the voting machines used do not log events when feeding ballots and that the reviewer was unable to verify that identity of the contacted wireless device was logged when the resident device made a connection. The software testing company also lamented that the certificate of canvass and statement of votes documents are not always encrypted before transmission and that software inventory provided by Smartmatic is “inadequate.” Kontra Daya, together with the Computer Professionals Union, has already warned Comelec before the elections that the erroneous and seemingly hasty programming of the PCOS machines as found by SysTest can lead to serious
problems in the accuracy and integrity of election data. The failure of Comelec to open the source code to the public opened the election results to possible manipulation, it added. The group also asked the poll body to adopt the necessary operational safeguards recommended by SysTest. “A complete review of the source code will reveal whether the Comelec took heed of the warnings and implemented the precautionary measures recommended by different groups,” it said. “There is no reason for Comelec to keep it from public scrutiny now that the election season has long been over.” “The commission’s continued resistance casts serious doubt as to whether the Comelec is hiding something from the public,” Kontra Daya added. (CBCPNews)
PRISON Chaplains and jail workers have called on the government and other concerned agencies to look into the situations of the prisoners in the country. The group urged government authorities to improve prison environments and ensure the implementation of the “UN Standards, Principles, Covenants and Recommendations on the Treatment of Prisoners”, while promoting the culture of life. They also asked Church leaders to address the concerns of jailed offenders by assigning prison chaplains that would administer to them. According to the group, “the problems of the prison situation are far more serious now than at any other time in the long history of our involvement in prison ministry.” They noted that prisoners have been also deprived of their most baEmergency / A1
sic rights as ventilation, hygiene and food because of too much congestion inside the prisons. Other concerns raised are: putting young offenders together with adult offenders inside the jails; punishment and torture; and lack of access to a good defense of the cases. “There were also corruption in the criminal justice system not to mention the biases and discrimination against vulnerable sectors of society; long and life sentences; executions and death penalty; and increase in number of foreign prisoners due to drug trafficking and large scale migration trends,” they added. These issues and concerns were tackled in the recent 6th International Prison Chaplains’ Association Worldwide Conference held at the Clarion Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden. (CBCPNews)
lang said they also see the possible passage of the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill under the Aquino administration. “A stronger force is needed now against RH bill. President Aquino’s support for birth control is a go signal for RH bill advocates,” he said over Church-run Radyo Veritas. Manalang vowed they will do everything to block the passage of the RH bill and would stage protests if Aquino pushed through with his
plan to provide contraceptives to the poor. “We will definitely organize and come out strongly and we will be more active in protest,” Manalang said. “We are not going to allow it even if we have to lie down on the street.” Expected to attend the 9:30 a.m. meeting at the Quezon City Sports Club are representatives of other “pro-life” coalitions such as the Ang Kapatiran party, Buhay party list and Couples for Christ. (CBCPNews)
for the year 2010 to be at the slowing rate of only 1.82 percent per annum (vs. the 2.36 percent during the census year 2000, which figure is often still used to justify the view that PGR is “exploding”).” Villegas also cited the claims of former Population Commissioner Dr. Jose Sandejas that the NSCB “single-handedly added 146,582 babies to the actual number recorded in the 2000 census.” The “arbitrary addition”, he said, increased the “population growth rate (PGR) and the total fertility rate (TFR) by some 9 percent more than the actual figure measured in the 2000 census.” “The TFR for the year 2000 should have been reported as only 2.7 babies per woman, already dangerously close to zero population growth rate,” he
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further explained. The NSCB quoted the TFR for 2010 at 2.96 births per woman, which according to Villegas, “represents a significant decline from the NSCB figure of 3.41 births per woman.” He said that even without “aggressive population control campaigns”, population is obviously declining because young couples decide to have fewer children than their elders before them. “The main factors for the decrease in fertility are urbanization, later marriages, and increased education of women,” he said. Villegas quoted Sandejas that the country “does not need a policy on family planning which will tend to slow down PGR even more rapidly” instead it “can reap a demographic dividend if
we can slow down or reverse the declining PGR or TFR.” “The government’s role is to assist parents to educate and nurture the youth leaders so that they can be more productive citizens in the future.” Natural family planning The Church has always maintained its stand against the use of contraceptives as it goes against Church teachings. It urges couples to apply the natural family planning methods in spacing out children, saying natural family planning is “the only morally acceptable way of practicing responsible parenthood.” The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in an earlier statement, has stated that “the Church does not forbid the advocacy of the increase or
decrease of population provided the freedom of the couple to exercise sexual and family morality according to their religious conviction are respected.” Contraceptive policy disappoints Church President Benigno Aquino’s contraceptive stand has disappointed the Catholic Church and threatened to launch protests if he will pursue the policy. Although “saddened” by Aquino’s support towards the use of contraceptives in family planning, Fr. Melvin Castro said it did not surprise them because Aquino was already veering towards the support of contraceptives during the campaign period. “I won’t conceal the fact that we are hurt… we were hoping that he will be like his mother,”
said Castro, who is also the executive secretary of CBCP Commission on Family and Life. The CBCP official warned they will do everything just to block the measure even if it means going back to the streets again in protest. Castro also said he is hoping Aquino will not use the family planning issue to divert people’s attention from controversies hounding his administration. “There are more pressing issues that the government should prioritize,” he said, referring to the Manila hostage fiasco and jueteng controversy involving some of his allies. He added that the government should also provide long-term solutions such as job opportunities to address poverty in the country.
Speaking via a satellite television interview from the United States where he was on a 7-day visit, President Aquino announced his plan to distribute contraceptives such as condoms and pills to poor couples. He stressed that the number of children a couple had was a matter of personal choice. “The government is obligated to inform everybody of their responsibilities and their choices. At the end of the day, government might provide assistance to those who are without means if they want to employ a particular method,” he said. “I believe the couple will be in the best position to determine what is best for the family, how to space (the births), what methods they can rely on and so forth,” said Aquino. (With reports from Roy Lagarde)
their hard-earned money the poor are daily lured by the easy money that gambling vainly promises. Whatever little recreational value it might have cannot justify the immense suffering inflicted on entire families because of the loss of money needed for the basic necessities,” the bishops said in a 2003 pastoral statement titled “Eradicate Gambling: It is Moral and Social Cancer.” In an interview with CBCPNews, Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes, SVD, said he fully supports the campaign of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines against illegal gambling as he pledged to issue another pastoral
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statement for his diocese reiterating his commitment against the proliferation of the illegal numbers game. The 66-year old prelate said his stand against gambling has not changed and the CBCP has been very vocal against it. “Gambling, legal and illegal like jueteng simply impoverishes poor people while gambling operators, the politicians and some law enforcement people take advantage of the people’s ignorance making them hope of winning instead of working hard,” he explained. He said it is the gambling lords who benefit from the illegal numbers game,
including the politicians who control the police. “I am in favor of the crusade led by my good friend (Lingayen-Dagupan) Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz and I hope he will continue his crusade,” he further said. Step up Jueteng fight Bishops, priests, and the religious must give more for the fight against jueteng or risk jeopardizing the morals of the society, retired archbishop Oscar Cruz said. He noted the seemingly lack of effort among church leaders to combat the illegal numbers game “which destroys
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the society” and “corrupts the government.” According to the founder of the Krusadang Bayan Laban sa Jueteng, it’s about time for church leaders to fight and put into action their position against the multi-million illegal lottery. He said the campaign should be more aggressive especially in teaching people against gambling and other vices. “Ang ibig ko lang sabihin ay hindi na pwedeng malamya… hindi na pwedeng masyadong mabait,” Cruz said over Church-run Radyo Veritas. “Kailangan po siguro meron na konting sipa yung mga pangaral natin para
ganun baka sakali naman maiba natin,” he furthered. In the pastoral statement cited above, the bishops categorically denounced the legalization of Jueteng. “We strongly denounce any attempt to legalize it. We once again appeal to our political leaders, lawmakers and law enforcers to put teeth to our antigambling laws, ferret out the gambling lords and their protectors, and punish them with the full force of the law. We encourage and support citizen’s movements, such as Krusadang Bayan Laban sa Jueteng, to root out gambling from our culture,” the bishops said. (Roy Lagarde/Melo Acuña)
Cardinal Rosales said that a deliberately procured abortion is a moral evil and the Church attaches the canonical penalty of “excommunication” on those who procure and helped obtain it. “Abortion is a grave sin against a defenseless life; and for this the severe canonical penalty to
Birth Control / A1
perpetuator/s is excommunication,” he said. Rosales added that unwanted pregnancies could be avoided if only people are “less selfish, and more disciplined and capable of self control, exercising a strong will, and capable of making sacrifices.” “These are virtues that are
much needed in a country of disciplined people,” the Manila archbishop said. In Churches where public exposition of fetuses occurs, special prayers and acts of reparation will be made, for the sins of the perpetrators, at the church’s Prayer and Adoration Chapels. (CBCPNews)
demned the US-AID, the United Nations Population Fund and other international aid agencies for allegedly meddling in Philippine government’s affairs. The funding, Castro said, goes to the maternal health and population management program, a multi-lateral program in several decades after the government suspended it due to strong Church’s pressure.
Foreign funding institutions claimed they are concerned with the fast growth rate of the Philippine population. With this scenario, they believe that it will be difficult for the government to address poverty and achieve sustainable economic growth unless an effective population management measure is implemented. Castro said these agencies are
also key players in pressuring the lawmakers to pass the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill while linking increased aid to its passage. With Aquino’s support for artificial contraception, the CBCP official admitted being “afraid” over possible passage of RH bill. “On our side, that’s how we look at the situation now,” he said. (Roy Lagarde)
Bulacan, NCR, Rizal, Quezon, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay and Sorsogon. Among the various issues SSMN wanted to bring to public awareness through the event are forest deforestation, illegal logging and mining, and people’s active participation in conservation. Last year’s tragedy brought by Typhoon Ondoy “was caused by an unusually high level of precipitation, aggravated by anthropogenic factors including deforestation and destruction of the Sierra Madre Mountains.” The longest mountain range in the Philippines, the Sierra Madre wall protects a greater part of Luzon from typhoons that visit the island every year. But with rampant illegal logging, quarrying and other development projects the mountains’ rich bio-diversity is fast shrinking.
In partnership with the Diocese of Antipolo, SSMN observed the “Sierra Madre Day” with a Mass, Rosary, Vigil and Photo exhibit last September 26 at the Provident Village Chapel in Marikina. Other activities included a Memorial service and Mass, followed by tree planting at the Marikina watershed with each seedling bearing a name of someone who perished in the Ondoy tragedy. SSMN members count Grace Padaca, former Governor, Isabela; Tony Abuso, Episcopal Commission for Indigenous Peoples (ECIP); Donna Paz T. Reyes, Ph.D. Executive Director, Miriam-P.E.A.C.E. (Public .Education and Awareness .Campaign for the Environment); Nina Galang, Green Convergence; Fr. Bien Miguel,
Diocese of Antipolo; Fr. Ernie P. Pesimo, Diocese of San Jose, Nueva Ecija; Sr. Angie Villanueva, RC, JPICC – AMRSP; Sr. Susan Esmile, SFIC Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Concepcion, Coordinator, Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation; Sr. Glocar Eamiguel, FMM, FMM-JPIC; Ruby Ephraim M Rubiano, MD, Agham Partylist; Rogelio Buban, SAGIBIN- LN, Quezon; Sr. Malou Santos, DW, Daughters of Wisdom; Order of Friars Minor-Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (OFMJPIC); Franciscan Movement for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (FMJPIC); Haribon Foundation, EcoWaste Coalition, Task Force Sierra Madre, Task Force Kalikasan, Earth Day Network, COPE Infanta, Tribal Center for Development. (Pinky Barrientos, FSP)
Pro-life groups ask Congress to enact Citizen Protection Act
Gov’t urged to improve prison environments
Vol. 14 No. 20
September 27 - October 10, 2010
TUGUEGARAO City— The clergy of the ecclesiastical province of Tuguegarao has called on the government to respect human rights and serve the cause of peace. In a statement, the clergy vowed to respect the fundamental rights of people even as they asked all others to do the same. “We invite the officials of government, the men and women in uniform, non-governmental organizations as well as those who have taken up arms against the government to join us in the cause of peace,” the statement partly read. The statement was released during the Priests’ Congress in celebration of the Centennial Jubilee of the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao last August 23-25, 2010 held at the Auditorium of the Cagayan State University. The priests praised the courage of men and women in uniform who defend freedom and the constitution but they also expressed “regret that many among them must still cultivate a healthy respect for human rights.” “We will do what we can to help win the trust of our parishioners for men and women in uniform, but we also insist that they always take up the cause of justice and that they be uncompromising in their respect for human rights,” they said in the statement. They also expressed their concern on the plight of farmers who have been deprived of land to till and fisher folks whose livelihood is threatened because of environmental abuse, “including pollution and mining in different guises”. “We share in the struggle of indigenous peoples for the recognition of their rights. And we mourn with those who have lost their loved ones to a dreadful cycle of violence and vendetta,” they said. The clergy urged lawmakers to repeal the Mining Act of 1995, another source
of human rights abuses, while reiterating the Church’s stand that large-scale mining is detrimental both for the people and the environment. They asked government leaders to pay attention and dialogue with them for they communicate more often with the people in their parishes “whose voices seldom reach the offices of the government.” The group also stated their unwavering support and help with the farmers, fisher folks, laborers and “those who live by the sweat of their brow to organize themselves in ways that will promote their interests and the welfare of the community.” Signatories of the statement were Tuguegarao Archbishop Diosdado Talamayan, Bayombong Bishop Ramon Villena, Ilagan Bishop Joseph Nacua, Tabuk Bishop Prudencio Andaya, Jr., Tuguegarao Auxiliary Bishop Ricardo Baccay and the priests in their arch/ dioceses. (CBCPNews)
Clergy calls on gov’t to respect human rights
Ozamiz holds symposium on labor laws for school heads
OZAMIZ City— The Archdiocese of Ozamiz held a conference on labor laws affecting local churches and Catholic schools for the clergy, school administrators and principals of the Archdiocesan Commission on Education (ACE). Held on Sept. 16 at the Tudela Function Hall, Tudela, Misamis Occidental, the symposium was attended by principals and school administrators from 14 parochial schools in the province. Atty. Ulpiano Sarmiento III, dean of San Beda College of Law, was the resource speaker of the one-day conference. Sarmiento focused on the education laws in private schools, labor code, and explained regarding the security of tenure. He emphasized that employees should not be terminated from services except for a just cause or when authorized by law. A similar symposium was held two years ago in the ecclesiastical province of Dipolog, Ozamiz, Pagadian, Iligan and Marawi (DOPIM) with CBCP Legal Counsel Atty. Sabino R. Padilla, Jr. as the resource speaker. Both confabs discussed on labor law affecting the Catholic schools and how to foresee potential problems in parochial schools. (Wendell P. Talibong)
© Luis Liwanag
Western Visayas Catechetical Directors attend 50th Assembly meeting
ROXAS City—The Catechetical Commissions Directors of the Western Visayas have participated in the 50th Assembly meeting organized by the Western Visayas Regional Association of Catechetical Commissions Training Institutes and Schools (WV-RACCTIS). Highlighted during the assembly was the approval and ratification of the Constitution and By-Laws of the Association and the formation of a committee that would study the Catechism for Filipino Catholics. (Kate Laceda)
Aquino skips biggest Mindanao business confab
Power-Coop consumers assert right to legislate
CAGAYAN DE ORO City—Organizers of the 19th Mindanao Business Conference are “wondering why” President Benigno Aquino has “snubbed” the recent and biggest gathering of businessmen in Mindanao here. “We were left wondering why he has prioritized the turn-over of MinDA in Davao when we have sent him the invitation a long time ago,” said Conference Director Ruben Vegafria of the CDP Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation, Inc. (Bong D. Fabe)
Governor promotes organic agriculture as tool for peace
PAGADIAN City—The local chief executive of the Province of Zamboanga del Sur is promoting organic agriculture as a tool for peace after experiencing the benefits of such venture for his constituents. Gov. Antonio Cerilles explained that since the province, like most provinces of the Philippines, is basically an agricultural province, the best tool to promote the culture of peace is through agriculture. (Bong D. Fabe)
Consumers protest power hike
Photo courtesy of Elmer James Bandol
LEGAZPI City—Militant groups have staged mass protests here opposing the power rate increase imposed by Albay Gov. Joey Salceda to consumers of Albay Electric Cooperative. Various militant organizations staged a picket at Penaranda Park fronting Albay Capitol on Sept. 15 in protest of the P1.66 per kilowatt hour power hike which the power cooperative has passed on to more than 200,000 member-consumers. (Elmer James Bandol)
Sorsogon bishop backs CBCP stand vs illegal gambling
LEGAZPI City—Multi-stakeholders of the power cooperative here have approved a resolution mandating the Board of Directors (BOD) of the Albay Electric Cooperative (ALECO) to facilitate a special meeting of member-consumers on October 16, to come up with solutions that will bail out the ailing power facility ALECO consumers asserted their right to call for a special assembly under Article 3, Section 2 of the cooperative by-laws to find a way out of the problems hounding the power cooperative. Fr. Ramoncito Segubiense,
Legazpi diocese Social Action Executive Director facilitated the meeting at the Pastoral Center of St. Gregory the Great Cathedral. The assembly assailed the inability and negligence of the management and the board to come up with effective solutions and policies that will solve the financial crisis experienced in ALECO. Earlier, Albay Gov. Joey Sarte Salceda has imposed on consumers an added P1.66 per kilowatt hour to the present power rate to be paid within three years. The generated amount will pay off the P982 million
indebtedness of ALECO to the Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC). PEMC threatened a power blackout in the entire province unless the additional rate was imposed. Salceda’s formula was concurred by the ALECO board without public consultation and clear presentation of the financial status of the cooperative. The decision created howl of protests from militant groups and the church. The protesting groups believed that the announced power cut off by PEMC to ALECO was only a “ploy” to pass on to con-
sumers Salceda’s imposition of additional power rate. During the assembly dubbed as “Energy Consumers Forum, An Liwanag sa ALECO”, business sector represented by Benjie Santiago explained that the added cost of power is unproductive and will not help their sector compete with other businesses outside the province. Engr. Virgilio Perdigon of Aquinas University has challenged local officialdom to “provincialize” the power cooperative and enjoy “first” the benefits of the two existing geothermal fields in Albay. (Elmer James Bandol)
SORSOGON City—Bishop Arturo Bastes said he fully supports the campaign of the CBCP against illegal gambling as he pledged to issue another pastoral statement for his diocese reiterating his commitment against the proliferation of the illegal numbers game. He said his stand against gambling has not changed and the CBCP has been very vocal against it. He added it is the gambling lords who benefit from the illegal numbers game, including the politicians who control the police. (Melo M. Acuña)
Migrante Mideast asks help for sick OFW
QUEZON City—Migrant workers’ watchdog Migrante Middle East (ME) called on the Philippine government to help an overseas Filipino worker who was hospitalized due to stroke. Migrante ME regional coordinator John Leonard Monterona said that Tamano Saltan Ismail, 35, and a Maguindanaon, was rushed to the King Saud Medical Center on August 24, due to blood clot in his brain. Dr. Ali Bin Salamah, the attending physician, said Ismail was almost unconscious when he arrived to the hospital and suddenly fall into the state of coma. (Noel Sales Barcelona)
Proactive parenting seminar next month
Family Bible Encounter holds bible quiz anew
MANILA—The National Catholic Family Bible Encounter (NCFBE) is again holding a diocesan-based bible quiz in preparation for a national biblical competition. Launched last February 2010, the Family bible quiz is a program of various bible advocates and organizations aiming to increase knowledge and love for the Bible and Catholic faith among family members. Among the arch/dioceses that have already conducted the bible quiz are the Archdioceses of Palo, Ozamiz, Zamboanga, Tuguegarao and Pampanga; Dioceses of Antipolo, Balanga, Bayombong, Borongan, Daet, Dipolog, Boac, Iligan, Kidapawan, Legazpi, Lucena, Maasin, Malaybalay, Malolos, Pagadian, Romblon, Sorsogon, Tagum, Urdaneta, and the Apostolic Vicariates of Jolo and Puerto Princesa. Participants to the Bible quiz are coming from Catholic families. To qualify for the quiz, Couples must be married in Church with 2-3 children, single, 8-25 years old (elementary, high school, or college level/ graduate), regularly attend Sunday mass and must have basic knowledge of the Bible and Catholic Catechism. Organizers said that to be able to compete in the Regional level, the official arch/diocesan family participants must have won the eliminations in the arch/diocese. Together with the NCFBE, other convenors are the Episcopal commission on Bible Apostolate (ECBA) of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Philippine Bible Society (PBS) and the Power to unite Catholic Family Bible Group, Inc. With the theme, “The Word of God calls us to be Caring Stewards of Creation,” the bible quiz is also in pursuit of strengthening family ties and relationships and fostering the Eucharist and the devotion to the Blessed Mother. (CBCPNews)
MANILA— Parents, teachers and guidance counselors are invited to a seminar on instilling values in the family next month in Sampaloc, Manila on Oct. 12. Hosted by the Pro-life Philippines Foundation, Inc., the seminar titled “Effective Parenting for Peace and Nation Building” will be held at the St. Joseph Retreat House from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. “This seminar aims to help participants learn more about the culture of life and how they could inculcate its values to their style of parenting,” organizers said. (CBCPNews)
Ecumenical labor group launches ‘Globalization Lecture Series’
Lipa holds first National Marian Prayer Congress
LIPA City—The Archdiocese of Lipa in coordination with the Pueblo Amante de Maria Mariological Society of the Philippines (PAMMSPhil) has convened the First National Marian Prayer Congress last September 8-12 at the Mt. Carmel Monastery in Lipa City. The congress began with a Eucharistic Celebration at the Metropolitan Cathedral of San Seb ast ian followed by a grand procession of the statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary from the Cathedral to Carmel Church. PAMMSPhil, headed by Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, is tasked to openly advocate the declaration of the so-called fifth Marian dogma. Dr. Manfred Hauke, president of the German Mariological Society, and author of many Marian books was the keynote speaker during the congress. Lauds and praying of rosaries as well as singing of Marian hymns were also prepared to further develop the congress. A Centennial Marian Exhibit showcasing various images of the Blessed Virgin Mary was opened last Sept. 9 at the Bishop Alfredo Obviar Center. The opening of the congress coincided with the feast of the Nativity of Our Lady and ended with the commencement of the 7th National Marian Pilgrimage. Hundreds of devotees, religious and some bishops and priests have gathered and participated in the Marian congress. (Kate Laceda)
ANTIPOLO City— The Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (Eiler), Inc., in line with its 30th Founding Anniversary will do a series of lecture about globalization and its effect on labor, the environment, and the local industry and world trade. Anna Leah Escresa-Colina, Eiler executive director, said that the 10 lectures will enlighten the public more on the ill-effects of globalization to the economies of underdeveloped countries like the Philippines. All the lectures will be done every Saturday, starting Oct. 9 to March 5, 2011. (Noel Sales Barcelona)
Fisherfolk group scores DENR P1-B computer project
MANILA, Sept. 21, 2010—Members of the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) scored the P1-Billion computer project of the DENR, saying that it is just a “brazen wasting of taxpayers’ money.” The DENR proposes to buy 50,000 computer sets, software and web cameras, which, according to Pamalakaya, is more than twice the number of DENR personnel, citing the latest Department of Budget and Management (DBM) staffing summary. (Noel Sales Barcelona)
MANY of the faithful may prefer Tridentine Mass with the blessing of the Vatican but Filipino liturgists still advocate the use of the vernacular in liturgy. The diocesan directors of liturgy said they would rather prefer that masses and other liturgical celebrations in parishes and communities use the native language. The statement was made at the conclusion of the National Meeting of Diocesan Directors of Liturgy (NMDDL) held at Pope Pius XII Center, Manila. They said that while they respect the option to use Latin and celebrate the Tridentine liturgy, they would recommend the use of vernacular and “recommend translations that faithfully reflect both the spiritual doctrine of the texts and the linguistic patterns of our vernacular languages.” Calling attention on “the unfinished agenda of liturgical inculturation” which began after Vatican II, the liturgists noted that “our rich cultural heritage has much to offer to make the Roman liturgy truly Filipino.”
People, Facts & Places
September 27 - October 10, 2010
Vol. 14 No. 20
Filipino liturgists advocate use of vernacular in liturgy
Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales presides the concluding Eucharist of the National Meeting of Diocesan Directors of Liturgy last Sept. 16.
Caritas Manila strengthens scholarship program
CARITAS Manila is strengthening its scholarship program to provide more educational opportunities to poor but deserving students from elementary to college. The social action arm of the Archdiocese of Manila made the announcement on Sept 23, four days before it celebrated its 57th anniversary. Fr. Anton Pascual, Caritas Manila executive director, said that this year, special focus is given to its flagship program, Youth Servant Leadership and Education Program (YSLEP). Caritas Manila’s scholars receive financial support for their transportation allowances and miscellaneous expenses. But what makes the YSLEP unique is that it stresses leadership and moral transformation in training scholars to become future servant leaders and model citizens. Pascual said the country has a leadership in crisis “and it is moral in nature”. “We need to develop our youth to be educated and with the right mindset and moral upbringing. This is what we are trying to do in Caritas Manila through our YSLEP,” he said. “We want our scholars not only to graduate and end up with a diploma, but to be good citizens and become servant leaders who will serve in the various communities.” “And we need more funds so we can offer more scholarships and leadership formation to more unfortunate students, not just scholarship but leadership,” Pascual added. YSLEP has over 3,000 scholars this year with priority being given to the children of the poorest of the poor among the urban poor sector of Metro Manila. Caritas Manila’s anniversary celebration was a two- day event. On Sept. 25, a Mass and the commissioning of over 3,000 volunteers were held at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City led by Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales. During the event, the agency also officially welcomed its partnership with Meralco Bolts, the newest basketball team in the PBA. Pascual said that with Meralco’s sports advocacy program in support of the youth, Caritas Manila has been selected as the beneficiary of its basketball team. (CBCPNews)
The liturgists also mentioned the need for some dioceses to encourage participation of women in liturgical ministries. “Some dioceses in the Philippines still reserve to male persons ministries like serving at the altar and leading Sunday celebrations in the absence of a priest. We believe that we should encourage the ministry of women where it is allowed by universal law,” they said in a statement. The delegates also mentioned the need for liturgical studies of those involved in liturgy, especially the clergy. “[They] should be sent by their bishops or superiors to enroll in academic institutions that specialize in liturgical studies.” The NMDDL meeting, organized by the Episcopal Commission on Liturgy of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines and hosted by the Archdiocese of Manila, was held from Sept. 13-16. Themed “The Veneration of the Saints”, the meeting also coincided with the 25th anniversary of NMDDL. (Pinky Barrientos, FSP)
Youth cruise marks int’l Day of the Galleon
YOUNG people here and abroad are taking a cruise dubbed as “Viaje del Galeón,” on Oct. 8–11, to mark the climax of the country’s participation in the first ever international commemoration of the “Día del Galeón” (Day of the Galleon). Over 300 youth delegates from the Philippines and other countries are expected to board Super Ferry 20, Aboitiz Transport System Corporation’s latest acquisition, to participate in the event. Aboitiz is the main sponsor of the event. Under the supervision of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts, the four-day cruise from Manila to Cebu will feature lectures and interactive events, grounding on Filipino culture and the effects of the centuries-old Galleon trade to the Filipinos. Highlights of the event include a procession of the pilgrim image of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, cultural exhibits and presentations, and the “Gabii sa Kapilin,” a night heritage tour in Cebu. The awarding ceremonies for the national essay writing, oratorical, and declamation contests in relation with “Día del Galeón” will also be held
AWARDED. Ozamis Archbishop Jesus Dosado, Capiz Archbishop Onesimo Gordoncillo, Fr. James Meehan, S.J. and Fr. Hermann Gräf, SVD, and the late Bishop William Brasseur, CICM and Fr. Camilo Marivoet, CICM, with the Sacrosanctum Concilium Awards, for their contribution to the promotion of the Church’s teachings on liturgy. The awards were handed out at the conclusion of the annual National Meeting of Diocesan Directors of Liturgy (NMDLL) held at Pope Pius XII Center, Manila on Sept. 13-16. The recognition award was part of the silver jubilee activities of the NMDLL. CITED. Fr. Benigno Beltran, SVD as “Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Warrior” in simple rites at Eastwood City in Libis, Quezon City, Sept. 16, 2010; for his unselfish involvement and dedication in helping the poor of Smokey Mountain better their lives. Formerly pastor of the Risen Christ Parish in Smokey Mountain, Fr. Beltran has worked for almost three decades rebuilding the lives of Tondo’s scavenging communities by providing livelihood programs through recycling of waste materials, and educating them to becoming responsible and self sufficient individuals. Among his many projects include the creation of an environmental performing arts group whose young members all came from Smokey Mountain. Through dances and rituals, the performing group aims to educate people on the importance of protecting the environment and all of God’s creation. Beltran was born on June 5, 1946 in Kolambugan, Lanao del Norte. Ordained in 1973, he received his Doctorate in Theology from Gregorian University in 1985 and was Scholar-in Residence at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago from 1985-1986. A prolific writer, Beltran has won the Manila Critics’ Circle National Book Award in 1988 for “The Christology of the Inarticulate.” He also wrote the book “Smokey Mountain: Ravaged Earth and Wasted Lives.” ORDAINED. Ulysses Salgado Cabayao, SJ, Ismael Jose III Villarino Chan-Gonzaga, SJ and Richard Villacrucis Ella, SJ, to the diaconate on September 25, 2010, at the Oratory of St. Ignatius, Loyola House of Studies, Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City. Imus Bishop Luis Antonio Tagle, DD presided the ordination rites. ELECTED. Fr. Primitivo Viray, SJ, as the new President of Ateneo de Naga University, by the university’s Board of Trustees, September 22, 2010. Fr. Viray will assume office at the end of current academic year. He will succeed outgoing AdNU President Fr. Joel E. Tabora, S.J. In a letter announcing the appointment of Fr. Viray as new AdNu president, Jesuit provincial Fr. Jose Magadia, SJ thanked Viray for generously accepting the responsibility of taking over the university leadership. Magadia also cited Tabora’s accomplishments as university head for 11 years. “In that time, AdNU has expanded in size and outreach. A new campus was added for the High School; home campus infrastructure was improved with various structures (including a new University Church and Jesuit Residence); and the University has taken on an increasingly significant role in social development and entrepreneurship in Bicol,” Magadia said in his letter. LAUNCHED. “Celebrating Milestones: 75 Years of SVD Mission at USC”, a coffee table book chronicling the 415 years of existence of the University of San Carlos, Cebu. The book launching was held on September 26 at SM Cebu to mark the diamond jubilee of SVD Fathers’ administration of USC. The book is co-authored by Jose Eleazar Bersales and Patrick John Lim with modern digital images provided by Fr. Generoso Rebayla, Jr., SVD and Lorens Gibb Lapinid. The University of San Carlos formerly Colegio de San Carlos was under the administration of the Vincentians when the SVD Fathers took over in 1935 upon the invitation of then Cebu Archbishop Gabriel Reyes.
onboard the ship. “Día del Galeón” is being organized in accordance to the Oct. 2009 proclamation of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in Paris, France, declaring every year’s eighth day of October as the Day of the Galleon. The event aims to give tribute to the monumental Galleon Trade culture, which prospered from
1565 to 1815. The arrival of Augustinian Fray Urdaneta in Mexico onboard the San Pedro Galeon is noted in history to have happened on Oct. 8, 1565. Historians have attributed to this event the establishment of the ManilaAcapulco route, which led to the bridging of continents—Asia, Americas, Europe, and Africa— through trade.
The Philippines will be the only country in Asia to officially partake in the monthlong celebration, which will simultaneously be held in Mexico and Spain from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. More information can be gleaned through the event’s secretariat at 0916-2676977 or send an email to viajedelgaleon2010@ gmail.com. (Levine Lao)
RP Youth joins global campaign for disarmament
THE Filipino youth has joined the global crusade for disarmament in the name of peace by collecting 1M signatures for the “Arms Down” Campaign last September 18. Held at the Colegio De San Juan De Letran in Intramuros Manila, the event was dubbed as “I Am For Peace, I Am For ARMS DOWN!” With a pledge to shoulder 1M signatures, the Filipino youth has linked up with other youth leaders across the globe in a worldwide campaign of collecting 50M signatures to lobby the UN General Assembly for the abolition of nuclear arms production. Youth leaders from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ (CBCP) Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY), Religion For Peace Interfaith Youth Network represented by Youth Desk of the National Council of Churches of the Philippines (NCCP), Focolare Youth’s Gen/Youth for a United World Movements, The Center for Moderate Muslim Youth (CMMY) and the indigenous people’s youth organizations such as Tuklas Katutubo and Katribu and student leaders from the University of Sto. Tomas led and joined the campaign. YouthPinoy, a joint project of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Episcopal Commission on Youth and Media Office, has also joined the signature
campaign. “Arms Down” is a campaign organized by the youth of the worldwide Religions for Peace, the world’s largest multi-religious organization. Through the campaign, youth from various countries such as the Philippines, Kenya, Liberia, Japan, Indonesia, Latin America and other countries in the world will be able to work together for peace. The campaign aimed to abolish nuclear arms production; stop the spread and misuse of conventional weapons and the allocation of the 10% of military budget for the millennium development goals. (Kate Laceda)
Lay faithful reaffirms role in Church during Laity Week
THE lay faithful will again reaffirm and revitalize their essential role in the life and mission of the Church, through active promotion of freedom, justice, peace, sharing and solidarity in a week-long celebration of the National Laity Week from Sept. 26- October 2. The National Laity Week is under the auspices of Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas, the implementing arm of the Episcopal Commission for the Laity of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines. With the theme, “Sharing the Richness of Mother Church for Social Transformation,” the celebration will open on September 26, 2010 at the Lay Formation Center Chapel in Guadalupe, Makati City. The festivity will kick off with a Eucharistic Celebration and some activities and exhibits. National Laity Week celebration is in honor of St. Lorenzo Ruiz and Blessed Pedro Calungsod, Patron Saints of the Catholic Laity of the Philippines. Organizers hope that the annual event further promote lay involvement in social transformation. Various conferences and workshops about lay vocation will also be organized during the celebration. Laiko also suggested that other activities such as Eucharistic mass, prayer meetings, seminars on the pastoral priorities of the Church, exhibits and outreach programs may also be conducted by various arch/dioceses to celebrate the laity week in their respective areas. The week-long event will culminate with a Eucharistic Mass on October 2, 2010 at the Medicine Auditorium of the University of Sto. Tomas in España, Manila. (Kate Laceda)
© Noli Yamsuan/RCAM
Vol. 14 No. 20
September 27 - October 10, 2010
(Address given on September 20, 2010 to the United Nations in New York by Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and head of the Holy See delegation to the summit of heads of state and government on the Millennium Development Goals.)
Mr. President, I have the honour to convey the cordial greetings of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to the Heads of State and Government assembled here during these days to work together towards a world free of the plague of extreme poverty and to ensure that all children, women and men in every country of the world have the conditions necessary to live their lives in freedom and dignity. HisHoliness,asasignoftheuniversality of the message of the Catholic Church, desires to collaborate with men and women from all over the world, both developed and developing countries, both Christian and non-Christian cultures. So it was that Pope Benedict XVI appointed me, a son of Africa and of the Church, to be his assistant for the questions concerning justice and peace among peoples. In so doing, he affirms that Christianity forms part of the African culture, rich in fundamental human values that contribute in a specific way to a “human” management of global affairs, notwithstanding material setbacks suffered in the 20th and early 21st centuries. In the year 2000, with the unanimous endorsement of the Millennium Declaration, all Heads of State at the United Nations acknowledged that the international struggle against poverty could not be limited to the management of the great economic variables, such as finances and foreign debts, commerce and development aid. Rather, the Family of Nations appreciated the more specifically “human” aspects of development, such as eradicating hunger, promoting education, providing health care and social services, ensuring equal opportunities for work, and advocating responsible stewardship of the environment. Efforts to reach the Millennium Goals have involved the entire international community at global, regional and national levels, in spite of armed conflicts, financial crises, commercial differences, natural catastrophes, and a myriad of other human and social problems. Progress has been made in various ways towards halving the number of people living under the absolute poverty line, particularly in the area of primary education and equal educational opportunities for men and women. Encouraging signs are also noted in the area of access to basic sanitation and to safe drinking water. However, achievements are mainly concentrated in the so-called “emerging” economies, which have succeeded in reaching an extraordinary degree of development in the past decade. Unfortunately, less than half of the countries suffering from child malnutrition will be able to eradicate this affliction before 2015. Despite rapid economic growth and improvement of the social indicators in many countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, this region as a whole continues to face the greatest number of problems in the struggle against poverty. As if that were not enough, even in middle and highincome countries, there are important concentrations of poverty. Therefore, much still needs to be done to maintain and strengthen political mobilization, through continued economic and financial solidarity, in order to guarantee the availability
Underdevelopment / B4
‘The Causes of Underdevelopment are not Primarily of the Material Order’
September 27 - October 10, 2010
Vol. 14 No. 20
Collaboration of Non-Ordained Faithful in the Sacred Ministry of Priests (Part III)
Bowing while kneeling
(Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university, answers the following query:) Q: At Mass some folks are beginning to bow after the consecration of each of the elements, although our rubrics require that we be kneeling. Isn’t kneeling already an act of adoration and reverence, thus making the bow superfluous? For some reason, bows seem to be proliferating during the liturgy like rabbits multiplying. If one is prevented from kneeling due to circumstance or size of the congregation it might be understandable to make some simple act of reverence, but it seems this is simply an act of piety imposed on the liturgy. Also, it’s my understanding that, according to the GIRM a bow is prescribed for those in the sanctuary, that is, those ordained: deacons or concelebrants.—A.R., Mishawaka, Indiana A: This question is addressed in the Introduction of the Roman Missal, nos. 274-275: “(274) A genuflection, made by bending the right knee to the ground, signifies adoration, and therefore it is reserved for the Most Blessed Sacrament, as well as for the Holy Cross from the solemn adoration during the liturgical celebration on Good Friday until the beginning of the Easter Vigil. “During Mass, three genuflections are made by the priest celebrant: namely, after the showing of the host, after the showing of the chalice, and before Communion. Certain specific features to be observed in a concelebrated Mass are noted in their proper place (cf. above, nos. 210-251). “If, however, the tabernacle with the Most Blessed Sacrament is present in the sanctuary, the priest, the deacon, and the other ministers genuflect when they approach the altar and when they depart from it, but not during the celebration of Mass itself. “Otherwise all who pass before the Most Blessed Sacrament genuflect, unless they are moving in procession. “Ministers carrying the processional cross or candles bow their heads instead of genuflecting. “(275) A bow signifies reverence and honor shown to the persons themselves or to the signs that represent them. There are two kinds of bows: a bow of the head and a bow of the body. “a. A bow of the head is made when the three Divine Persons are named together and at the names of Jesus, of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and of the Saint in whose honor Mass is being celebrated. “b. A bow of the body, that is to say a profound bow, is made to the altar; during the prayers Munda cor meum (Almighty God, cleanse my heart) and In spiritu humilitatis (Lord God, we ask you to receive); in the Creed at the words Et incarnatus est (by the power of the Holy Spirit . . . made man); in the Roman Canon at the words Supplices te rogamus (Almighty God, we pray that your angel). The same kind of bow is made by the deacon when he asks for a blessing before the proclamation of the Gospel. In addition, the priest bows slightly as he speaks the words of the Lord at the consecration.” And also No. 43: “In the dioceses of the United States of America, they should kneel beginning after the singing or recitation of the Sanctus until after the Amen of the Eucharistic Prayer, except when prevented on occasion by reasons of health, lack of space, the large number of people present, or some other good reason. Those who do not kneel ought to make a profound bow when the priest genuflects after the consecration.” Some other countries and dioceses follow the same custom for kneeling as the United States; others prescribe kneeling only during the consecration until the “Mystery of faith.” There is no mention here of bowing while kneeling but only of bowing when for some good reason one is unable to kneel. The practice of bowing while kneeling is not a novel custom. In the extraordinary form it is a general rule that kneeling does not substitute a prescribed bow. But the vast majority of the ritual gestures where this might occur refer to ministers and clergy in choir rather than to the faithful in general. In some countries the double genuflection before the Blessed Sacrament exposed, which incorporates a bow while kneeling, is still normative. In the ordinary form the practice of bowing while kneeling is not common except for celebrant and acolytes before and after incensing the Blessed Sacrament exposed. It is not foreseen while incensing the sacred species during Mass. I would hazard to guess that some people have acquired the practice of bowing when the priest genuflects after showing the host as a consequence of seeing concelebrants bowing at this moment. This bow while kneeling is not required, but I don’t think it does any harm and would likely be very hard to eliminate once someone has acquired the habit. The same cannot be said for those who bow during the showing so as not to look at the host. While such a gesture is understandable in the light of the divine majesty, the practice contradicts the very reason for raising the host and chalice in the first place. They are raised precisely in order to be seen, contemplated and adored. These gestures entered relatively late into the Roman rite in the 12th century. At a time when reception of Communion was at an all-time low, a popular movement arose among the faithful desirous of at least beholding the sacred host. The showing of the host by the priest responded to this devotion. The parallel gesture of raising the chalice followed more than a century later. Finally, our reader understands that “according to the GIRM a bow is prescribed for those in the sanctuary, that is, those ordained: deacons or concelebrants.” Actually the bow is carried out ordinarily only by concelebrants. The deacon would normally be kneeling. However, he kneels only during the consecration, even in countries where the faithful kneel for the entire Eucharistic Prayer. If, for some just cause, the deacon is impeded from kneeling, then he would also make a deep bow.
By Fr. Jaime Blanco Achacoso, J.C.D.
IN a recent Workshop of the Executive Committee of the Canon Law Society of the Philippines, a nagging question was again raised: What is the canonical status of Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC)? The matter was raised by the canon lawyers from Mindanao (priests and a bishop), because of the growing frictions between the ecclesiastical organization and the so-called basic ecclesial communities. In the past, this question had always been sidelined by the lack of any clear theological notion of such communities; hence—the argument went—it was futile to attempt a canonical analysis of the problem. This time, however, it was pointed out that even if it might be premature to attempt a definition of the canonical status of Basic Ecclesial Communities, some working guidelines might be in order, by way of delimiting the scope of pastoral action of such communities, in accordance with Church Law. In short, even if it might not be possible to categorically state what Canon Law states these communities are, it might be possible to draw from existing legislation what these communities are not. In more practical terms, perhaps we can glean from Canon Law what these communities may and may not do. In fact, this is the task that the Canon Law Society of the Philippines proposed to tackle in its National Convention in May 2011. As a starting point for the canonical investigation, the CLSP Execom identified a little-known document of the Holy See, which was issued in 1997. To arouse interest in this topic, we are revisiting that document in a 4-part series that started in the previous two issues of the CBCP Monitor. The Dispositive Part of the Instruction The second part of the Instruction is entitled Practical Provisions and consists of 13 Articles: Two articles covering general provisions, and 11 articles containing specific practical provisions in as many areas where collaboration of the lay faithful is possible─and in fact exists─in the pastoral ministry of priests. Without reproducing that part of the Instruction, we can focus our attention on the strictly dispositive parts of the text, following the original numbering of the articles. General Provisions Article 1: Care in using the terms Ministry and Minister John Paul II had emphasized the need to clarify and distinguish the various meanings that have accrued to the term ministry in theological and canonical languagei. “For some time now, it has been customary to use the word ministries not only for the officia (offices) and non-ordained munera (functions) exercised by Pastors in virtue of the sacrament of Orders, but also for those exercised by the lay faithful in virtue of baptismal priesthood” (§1). The Instruction made the
following reminders: 1) “Only with constant reference to the one source, the ministry of Christ, may the term ministry be applied to a certain extent and without ambiguity to the lay faithful: that is, without it being perceived and lived as an undue aspiration to the ordained ministry or as a progressive erosion of its specific nature, (because) only in virtue of sacred ordination does the word obtain that full, univocal meaning that tradition has attributed to it” (§2). 2) “The non-ordained faithful may be generically designated extraordinary minister when deputed by competent authority to discharge, solely by way of supply, those offices mentioned in c.230, §3 and in cc.943 & 1112” (§3). 3) “Temporary deputation for liturgical purposes─mentioned in c.230, §2─does not confer any special or permanent title on the non-ordained faithful. It is unlawful for the non-ordained faithful to assume titles such as pastor, chaplain, coordinator, moderator or other such similar titles which can confuse their role and that of the Pastor, who is always a Bishop or priest” (§3). Article 13: Necessary Selection and Adequate Formation “Should it become necessary to provide for supplementary assistance in any of the cases mentioned─i.e., in the other articles below─the competent authority is bound” by the following criteria: 1) He should “select faithful of sound doctrine and exemplary moral life.” The importance of this criterion of selection should be obvious: conduct reflects doctrine, and the good conduct of such non-ordained faithful in the exercise of their functions would depend on their intellectual comprehension of the doctrinal foundations of such functions. 2) The following Catholics “may not be admitted to the exercise of such functions”: 1° Those “who do not live worthy lives”─i.e., worthy of the ministry they are being deputed to perform, the more stringent standards (logically) to be applied to the extraordinary ministers of the Holy Eucharist. Thus, the Pastors should make sure that such lay ministers are habitually in the state of grace─obviously only by the assiduous and frequent reception of the sacrament of Penance─because of their intimate contact with the Body of Christii. 2° Those “who do not enjoy good reputation”─and this obviously so as to avoid scandal in the rest of the faithful. Thus, it would not be enough that the Pastor himself knows that the layman in question is living a worthy life; he must also project such righteousness to the rest of the community─e.g., upright profession and professional practice. 3° those “whose family situations do not conform to the teaching of the Church”─e.g., irregular marriage situation.
3) “Those chosen should possess that level of formation necessary for the discharge of the responsibilities entrusted to them”. More specifically: 1° “In accordance with the norms of particular law, they should perfect their knowledge particularly by attending, in so far as possible, those formation courses organized for them by the competent ecclesiastical authority in the particular Churches”. It is interesting to note that the Instruction hurries to advert that these courses should be carried out “in environments other than that of the seminary, as this is reserved solely for those preparing for the priesthood”─thus forestalling yet another tendency to erode the line between the ordained and the non-ordained faithful. 2° “Great care must be exercised so that these courses conform absolutely to the teaching of the ecclesiastical Magisterium and they must be imbued with a true spirituality.” The use of the adverb absolutely is noteworthy: it shows the concern of the Supreme Legislator that such formation courses not be done haphazardly─just to comply with the letter of the law─, without fulfilling the spirit of the norm. 3° “Precisely to avoid a functionalistic, pragmatic and utilitarian conception of ministry in the Church─Cardinal Ratzinger adds─it is essential to emphasize clearly the doctrine on the nature of the ministerial priesthood and on the unity and diversity of ministerial tasks in the service building up the Body of Christ.” Specific Practical Provisions Article 2: The Ministry of the Word: Preaching in General This ministry refers to the pastoral preaching, catechetics and all forms of Christian instruction, among which the liturgical homily holds pride of place (§1). The Instruction emphasizes the following norms: 1) “The non-ordained faithful, according to their proper character, participate in the prophetic function of Christ. Therefore, (they) can be invited to collaborate, in lawful ways, in the exercise of the ministry of the Word” (§2). 2) “The use of the expression admitti possunt─in c.766 of the Codex which establishes the conditions under which non-ordained faithful may be invited to preach in ecclesia vel oratorio─makes clear that in no instance is this a right”. Furthermore, “the terms in which these conditions are expressed in c.766...make the exceptional nature of such cases clear” (§3). 3) It is up to the Conference of Bishops to lay down the opportune criteria─which must receive the recognitio of the Apostolic See─to help the diocesan Bishop discern the advisability of making use of this prerogative (§3). 4) “Preaching in churches or oratories by the non-ordained faithful can be permitted only as a supply for sacred ministers ...
It cannot, however, be regarded as an ordinary occurrence or as an authentic promotion of the laity” (§4). Article 3: The Homily The homily is the “preeminent form of preaching, (in which) the mysteries of faith and the norms of Christian living are expounded from the sacred text throughout the course of the liturgical year” (§1).iii Thus, the Instruction makes the following reminders: 1) “The homily must be reserved to the sacred minister, priest or deacon, to the exclusion of the non-ordained faithful, even if these should have responsibilities as pastoral assistants or catechists in whatever type of community or group... All previous norms which may have admitted the non-ordained faithful to preaching the homily during the Holy Eucharist are to be considered abrogated by c.767, §1”(§1). 2) “The diocesan Bishop cannot validly dispense from (this) canonical norm, since this is not merely a disciplinary law but one which touches upon the closely connected functions of teaching and sanctifying” (§1). 3) “The practice, on some occasions, of entrusting the preaching of the homily to seminarians or theology students who are not clerics is not permitted” (§1). 4) “A form of instruction designed to promote a greater understanding of the liturgy─including personal testimonies─is lawful, if in harmony with liturgical norms, should such be considered objectively opportune as a means of explicating the regular homily preached by the celebrant priest... (and) not assume a character which could be confused with the homily” (§2). 5) “As an expositional aide, and provided it does not delegate the duty of preaching to others, the celebrant minister may make prudent use of dialogue in the homily, in accord with liturgical norms” (§3). 6) “Homilies in nonEucharistic liturgies─e.g., blessings─may be preached by the non-ordained faithful only when expressly permitted by law and when the prescriptions for doing so are observed” (§4). 7) “In no instance may the homily be entrusted to priests or deacons who have lost the clerical state or who have abandoned the sacred ministry” (§5). Article 4: Participation in the Pastoral Work of the Parish Priest The Instruction deals in this section with two fundamental realities: 1) Participation of nonordained faithful in the pastoral care of a parish - The Instruction begins this article by stating that “the non-ordained faithful may collaborate effectively in the pastoral ministry of clerics in parishes, health-care centers, charitable and educational
Collaboration / B4
© Noli Yamsuan/RCAM
Vol. 14 No. 20
September 27 - October 10, 2010
What’s missing from the Millennium Development Goals programme?
By Carolyn Moynihan
AS th e UN summit on its Millennium Development Goals wound up this week the global face of poverty came into sharp focus, and it was female. That is how Josette Sheeran, executive director of the U.N.’s World Food Program saw it. “We know that the most powerful intervention we can do is ensure women have access to food so they can build a future for their children, for themselves and for their villages.” It was also the vision headlined by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, launching his Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health. “In many parts of the world, women have yet to benefit from advances that made childbirth much safer nearly 100 years ago,” Ban said. “Millions of children die from malnutrition and disease which we have known how to treat for decades. These realities are simply unacceptable. The 21st century must be and will be different.” Associated Press reports that more than $40 billion in financial commitments by governments and nonprofit agencies were announced for the global strategy, which aims to save the lives of 16 million mothers and children over the next five years. “You can count on the United States and the Obama administration for the success of this initiative,” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told Ban at the “Every Woman, Every Child” event. Maternal and child mortality Maternal and child survival/health cover just two of the eight MDGs but with five years to run of the 15-year global antipoverty programme, these are goals that seem unlikely to be reached. According to a World Health Organization Report, some 358,000 women died from treatable causes while giving birth in 2008—down from 546,000 in 1990—but the rate of progress is “less than half of what is needed” to reach the goal’s target. Diarrhea, a Kenyan pediatrician points out, kills 1.5 million children under five each year, and yet the solutions are simple: increased access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation (called for under MDG 7) rotavirus vaccinations, oral rehydration therapy, exclusive breastfeeding, and zinc supplements. Against a backdrop of skepticism that new pledges would be honored by recession plagued richer countries, and calls for a shift of emphasis from aid to development, the UN needed something to shame governments into keeping up the momentum of the MDG programme, and the plight of so many women and children was the obvious choice. Certainly the statistics are shameful, and there is no doubt that developing the health and other basic infrastructure which will save the lives of mothers and children will benefit whole communities and countries. These are absolute priorities. But there comes a point in the rhetoric about women’s and children’s health where it begins to spin off into ideology. When Ms Sheeran of the World Food Programme wants to enable women to “build a future for their children, for themselves and for their villages”; when Hillary Clinton talks about “Every woman, every child”; and when former Chilean President Michele Bachelet, who will head the new, super-sized, US$500 million budget UN Women agency, chants slogans like “women’s issues are human rights issues”, one fears that something vital is being deliberately left out. Where do men come in? Isn’t there something slightly worrying about a picture from which men are so notably absent? It is true that women and children are particularly vulnerable to poverty— after the birth he very definitely has a role in providing the necessities of life, including education, for his family. If only his upbringing, education and earning capacity equip him to do it. This is something that the MDGs, and development programmes generally, fail to address. They seldom speak of husbands and fathers except in the context of “gender equity” where they loom as the and the Gates Foundation, which, reports the Guardian, “will focus on the dearth of family planning in developing countries”. Access to contraception and abortion seems to be Clinton’s idea of “maternal health”. What will happen in the long term if governments and aid agencies keep dealing with women and children as though they do not belong to families but are simply hand, global mass media culture can corrode good traditional values and undermine a man’s fidelity to his wife and responsibility for his children. Women, of course, are not perfect and have made their own contribution to family breakdown in the developing world, as elsewhere. None of these difficulties—or others that might be raised—is a reason for giving up on men and the family unit. In fact, there are compelling reasons for building family “capacity” in developing countries, as current development-speak would have it. Building family capacity For one thing, the United Nations, its signatories and its agencies, are committed, by Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to the recognition the family as the “natural and fundamental group unit of society … entitled to protection by society and the State”. And this founding document is not talking about “families” consisting of women and children, but of families founded on marriage. Nor was Article 16 meant only for white middle class people living in rich countries; it is a fundamental principle for all societies. Secondly, marriage is a wealth building institution, while single parenthood and marriage breakdown are major causes of poverty. This is true of the richer countries, as family scholars have repeatedly pointed out—as recently as last week—and developing countries that want to wipe out poverty should take note. Steps to strengthen families will deliver longterm dividends long after specific aid programmes have ended. Thirdly, strong families will build democratic capacity. Committed, responsible parents will raise children with similar strengths and such families will be more resistant to extreme political agendas and corrupt government. This is important because corruption continues to divert and waste untold amounts of national budgets and aid money. Most importantly, strong families are essential for the emotional health of children as well as their material security. It would be a sad mission to save children from death by diarrhea only to deprive them of responsible and loving fathers. If men in poverty-stricken countries are not up to their role, there needs to be an intensive effort to educate and support them in it. Partly this is a moral and spiritual task, one of those to which faith-based NGOs can make an important contribution—as the Holy See’s delegate to the summit hinted in his address. At government level, nothing could be more important to building the morale of men than shaping an economy that delivers decent jobs for them, and not only for women (see MDGs 1 and 3). All the money in the world will not make up for social weaknesses. The terrible mortality rates of mothers and little children in developing countries urgently need to be reduced. But the ongoing health and wellbeing of women and children is intimately tied up with the family unit, and, whatever weakens that, also needs urgent attention. (Carolyn Moynihan is deputy editor of MercatorNet. This article is reprinted here under special publication arrangements with MercatorNet)
Women, children, poverty…
By Fr. Shay Cullen
Fair-Trade fights for justice and freedom
it. If He came to visit the people there he would not be happy, he would cry out and weep over the cities and he would say again, as he did to his apostles and followers “I have been with you a long time and still you do not understand my message”. And he would tell again the story that we read and heard in the gospel today. How the rich man named Mr. Richman had good food every day, he dressed in expensive clothes and completely ignored the suffering and starving man called Lazarus who was begging for the scraps of food that fell to the floor. But even the crumbs, the rich man would not share. The malnutrition cause sickness and sores and there was no one to help, no one had pity, or compassion, but it was only the dogs that came to heal him and have pity. That was the situation that I found in the Philippines, a vastly rich and wealthy elite, about 200 powerful families owned the land, the food, the factories and all industry. The millions of Filipino people were mired in poverty, hunger, sickness and to change. I started a charity called PREDA, an organization that works for justice in all aspects of life. It rescues the children from the jails, save children from the human traffickers and sex slavery in brothels. Today there is training to the youth so they could get jobs and we would try to protect children in every possible way from abusers and traffickers. The goal of the charity is to make justice real, and to work to stop the corruption and wrongdoing and bring freedom to many people. The charity called PREDA brings economic freedom and human dignity, and self-reliance, to thousands of people through the practice of FAIR TRADE. This aspect of our work at Preda Fair Trade is to help the poor by establishing livelihood opportunities so the poor can learn and use their skills in the home and farm and produce quality products for the market. Preda fair trade gives interest free loans to the producers. Fair Trade finds buyers that pay a good fair
women, because they are the ones who give birth, often lacking the most basic obstetric care, and because of their financial dependency; and children because of their physical immaturity and dependency. It is also true, in a third world setting, that the man involved in begetting a child—the husband and father—can do little by himself about ensuring a safe delivery; that is dependent on healthcare and other infrastructure that is beyond his control. But before and
perpetrators of inequality and violence. For the same reason, the family unit is ignored and the word “family” is hardly ever heard except in combination with “planning”—in which case the context is not the family as such but women’s rights and/or population policy. In this connection it is not encouraging that during the UN summit Hillary Clinton announced a new alliance between USAID (the official US development agency), the UK, Australia
classes of people whose material and social status needs to improve? Granted, there are serious obstacles to men in developing countries fulfilling their role in the family (as there are among the poor in developed countries also): lack of productive land or employment, sickness and disability, social conflict and wars, for a start. Traditional cultural attitudes can lead men to dominate their wives and withhold education from their daughters. On the other
© Dennis Dayao / CBCP Media
BEFORE I became a missionary priest I thought about my life during a spiritual retreat and asked how could I best live usefully and worthwhile since human life is so short. Would I reach eternal life? No one can know the answer, we have to die first. So I realized that since I was not a brilliant student I would not be rich in this world but I could be spiritually rich by helping others in this world and that’s when I became a missionary priest. It was by God’s will I was sent to the Philippines on mission to spread the message of the gospel to the Filipino people. The Philippines was already a catholic country converted by the Spaniards who occupied the Islands for many hundreds of years. So why was it necessary for missionaries to go there and what more are needed to be done? Well, as I discovered there was the established Catholic Church and people went to church on Sunday for Mass and participated in the rituals, devotions, pilgrimages and processions but this did not mean that the gospel was being lived out as Jesus Christ preached
were begging for the scraps that fell from the tables of the rich who lived in palaces and made billions of money from corruption. They even owned the government. The congress was stacked by the relatives and friends of the rich and government served them and not the poor. But these rich people were very religious, went to Mass, thanked God for their wealth and gave money to the church.
I wanted to put into action what Jesus preached and did; he said the poor were the salt for the earth, the most important of all, that innocent children were the models of sanctity that we should imitate so we will be worthy to enter the Kingdom of God. It was a big challenge and much progress together with many other development agencies implementing the social teaching of the church and society began
price for the products. There is no cheating or price fixing or corruption and the producers share in the profits. Fair trade is another word for economic justice and improving the lives of hundreds of thousands by getting buyers for their produce at fair prices, it means that they can live in dignity and economic freedom. Fair Trade is working to give life to the hungry like Lazarus at the gate of the rich man. To save the children from the international criminals that abduct and sell children into slavery. We rescue them and give them a new life. We rescue and save the child workers in brothels and when they are pregnant save them from forced abortions. We take legal action to bring the abusers to justice and jail where they cannot harm and abuse children. All this important work is supported by the earnings that come from the selling of fair trade products like dried tropical fruit, juice concentrates, and other handicraft products. Buying fairly traded products is a way to fight for justice and reduce hunger and poverty. Fair trade helps them to help themselves and to stand on their own and survive and prosper in dignity.
September 27 - October 10, 2010
Vol. 14 No. 20
The Philippine population is not exploding
‘Save Sierra Madre, Save Ourselves’
By Dr. Bernardo M. Villegas
I AM glad that Dr. Jose S. Sandejas, former commissioner of the Population Commission, has a Ph.D. in engineering and is steeped in mathematical and statistical sciences. Unlike some of our ignorant journalists or commentators who talk about an exploding population, he cannot be fooled by the statistical abracadabra being performed by some people in the National Statistical Coordination Board. He recently wrote a letter to the chairman of the NSCB expressing his surprise that in projecting population data from the 2000 census, some of the statisticians in the NSCB single-handedly added 146,582 babies to the actual number recorded in the 2000 census. The flimsy excuse given in a technical note, hidden in very small letters, is that they assumed that the Philippine population pyramid should continue to be “pyramidlike” (instead of an inverted pyramid). In fact, if they had not added the 146,582 babies to the data for the year 2000, the Philippine demographic data would no longer conform with the classic form of a pyramid. It would start to show the makings of an inverted pyramid which now characterizes aging countries like Japan, Spain, Italy and South Korea. As a long-term student of Philippine demography, I had always suspected some doctoring of population data by birthcontrol pushers. When the United Nations Population Commission was already reporting Philippine population growth
Collaboration / B2
September 26: Save Sierra Madre Day
By Fr. Pete Montallana, OFM
MEMBERS of Save Sierra Madre Network (SSMN), consisting of more than 30 organizations based or with development and conservation projects in the Sierra Madre Mountains, commemorated September 26 as Save Sierra Madre Day. On September 26, 2009, Typhoon Ondoy wrought havoc to the population of Metro Manila and Rizal and Bulacan. Together with Typhoon Pepeng one week after, these calamities caused the death of several hundreds of people and loss of billions of pesos’ worth of property. The Typhoon Ondoy disaster was caused by an unusually high level of precipitation, aggravated by anthropogenic factors including deforestation and destruction of the Sierra Madre Mountains. Sierra Madre, the longest mountain range in the country, is strategically positioned to serve as the eastern wall of Luzon that protects much of the island from an average of 26 storms emanating from the Pacific Ocean each year. What is disturbing is that Sierra Madre’s biodiversity-rich rainforest and capacity to shield much of Luzon from the raging Pacific storms is fast diminishing due to rampant logging, quarrying, and other developmental aggressions, such as dam and landfill or garbage dump projects. In the face of climate change and impending typhoons, it is feared that similar if not worse floods and natural calamities might happen. To turn around this hopelessness, citizens have to be proactive and collectively share in the mitigation of floods, landslides and other disasters. Sierra Madre Mountains needs to be conserved. Thus there is a need for more awareness and participation in rehabilitation, reforestation, protection, conservation and natural resources management among the communities in the mountains and the downstream areas as well as other stakeholders and support groups. Thus, Save Sierra Madre Day, a special event to act as a catalyst for this awareness and action. SSMN agreed that Sierra Madre Day will be celebrated annually on September 26, the anniversary of typhoon Ondoy. Save Sierra Madre Network coordinated Sierra Madre Day 2010, with member organizations initiating activities in their own localities. Events happened simultaneously in the provinces of the Sierra Madre Mountains: Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Viscaya, Nueva Ecija, Aurora, Quirino, Bulacan, NCR, Rizal, Quezon, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay and Sorsogon. Partnerships with government, NGOs, POs and the private sector were encouraged. People converged in the Sierra Madre, doing various activities, covered by media. In this way, Filipinos can become aware of the issues that confront Sierra Madre such as forest deforestation, illegal logging and mining, and can actively participate in conservation. In Metro Manila, the following activities, in partnership with the Diocese of Antipolo were held: September 25 (Saturday) at Provident Village chapel (Marikina City), 7:30pm - Mass, Rosary, Vigil, Photo Exhibit; September 26 (Sunday) at Provident Village chapel (Marikina City), 8:15am, Memorial Service; 8:30am, Mass; 10am, Caravan to Marikina watershed for Tree-Planting. Each seedling bore a name of someone who died in the Ondoy tragedy. For those who were not able to come were encouraged to do parallel activities in their respective parishes and communities. (Fr. Pete Montallana, OFM, heads the Save Sierra Madre Network)
rate of anywhere from 1.6 to 1.8 percent annually, the neo-Malthusians continued to report a growth rate of 2.3 percent. Only when some of us insisted that the growth rate had already decelerated did government demographers start to report a rate of less than 2.0 percent. That is why Dr. Sandejas has all the right to question the scientific validity of the unwarranted adding of 9 percent more babies to the actual data that resulted from the 2000 census. The net effect of the arbitrary addition is to inflate the population growth rate (PGR) and the total fertility rate (TFR) by some 9 percent more than the actual figure measured in the 2000 census. The TFR for the year 2000 should have been reported as only 2.7 babies per woman, already dangerously close to zero population growth rate. The inflated figures that some gullible journalists unwittingly accept can mislead economic and social planners, including legislators who are pushing the Reproductive Health Bill and other population-control measures based on wrong and even deliberately doctored data. Contrary to the view that the Philippine population is still exploding (seemingly supported by the common sight of overcrowded slum districts in the Metro Manila area), the Philippines’ National Statistical Coordination Board in its website, quotes the Philippine Population Growth Rate (PPGR) for the year 2010 to be at the slowing rate of only 1.82 percent per annum (vs. the 2.36 percent during the census year 2000, which figure is often still used to justify the view that PGR is “exploding”).
Equally worrisome is the Total Fertility Rate (TFR), the average number of children per woman, quoted by the NSCB for the year 2010 at 2.96 births per woman. This represents a significant decline from the NSCB figure of 3.41 births per woman. This big drop in the TFR is quite palpable. All around us, we see young couples having fewer children than their elders (even in informal dweller areas), with many young couples saying that they plan on having no more than two or three children (or much less than their elders who had four to six children per family). In fact, in 1975 the TFR was six children per fertile woman. This decline in fertility has happened without aggressive population control campaigns. The main factors for the decrease in fertility are urbanization, later marriages, and increased education of women. Dr. Sandejas concludes that the Philippines does not need a policy on family planning which will tend to slow down PGR even more rapidly. The Philippines can reap a demographic dividend if we can slow down or reverse the declining PGR or TFR. The government’s role is to assist parents to educate and nurture the youth leaders so that they can be more productive citizens in the future. I hope that some of our media people will stop their hysterical cries about the Philippine “population bomb.” They have unfortunately been misled by the “doctors of statistics.” (Dr. Bernardo M. Villegas is senior vice president of the University of Asia and the Pacific. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org)
institutions, prisons, Military Ordinariates, etc.” (italics added). Nevertheless, subsequent allusion to c.517, §2 makes it clear that it is dealing not so much with a simple collaboration, but with “a participation in the exercise of the pastoral care of a parish” (c.517, §2 in medio, italics added)─i.e., a real exercise of the power of jurisdiction. Thus, the Instruction underscores the following points: a) This is an exceptional provision, and before employing it, “other possibilities should be availed of, such as using the services of retired priests still capable of such service, or entrusting several parishes to one priest or to a group of priests”, keeping in mind “the preference that (c.517) gives to deacons” (§1). b) “This exceptional provision (should) be used only with strict adherence to conditions contained in it” to wit: 1° it is “due to a dearth of priests and not for reasons of convenience or ambiguous advancement of the laity, etc.” 2° it is only “a participation in the exercise of the pastoral care, and not directing, coordinating, moderating or governing the parish─which are competencies of a priest alone” (§1).
c) “These forms of participation in the pastoral care of parishes cannot, in any way, replace the office of parish priest” (§1). 2) Tenure of Parish Priest “The parish priest is the pastor proper to the parish entrusted to him and remains such until his pastoral office shall have ceased”. The following clarifications are made as regards the duration of this tenure: (§2) a) “The presentation of resignation at the age of 75 by a parish priest does not of itself (ipso iure) terminate his pastoral office. Such takes effect only when the diocesan Bishop...shall have definitively accepted his resignation in accordance with c.538, §3.” b) “Having reached the age of 75 does not constitute a binding reason for the diocesan Bishop to accept a parish priest’s resignation”. In fact, the Instruction points out that it may seem better to extend the tenure of an old but still able parish priest, rather than resort to the extraordinary measure of allowing non-ordained faithful to participate in the exercise of the pastoral care of the parish, as stated above. Article 5: Structures of Collaboration at the Diocesan and Parish Levels
“These structures─the Instruction starts─have produced many positive results and have been codified in canonical legislation.” While the previous article dealt with participation in the pastoral care (properly speaking) of the Parish, this article deals more specifically with the structures provided by law for the collaboration of the non-ordained faithful with the hierarchy at the parish and at the diocesan levels. Noteworthy are the following reminders: 1) Council of Priests (Presbyteral Council) “Membership in it is reserved to priests alone. Deacons, nonordained members of the faithful even if collaborators with the sacred ministers─i.e., as per Article 4─and those priests who have lost the clerical state or who have abandoned the sacred ministry do not have either an active or a passive voice in the Council of Priests” (§1, italics added). 2) Diocesan and Parochial Pastoral Councils and Parochial Finance Councils - These are the only two structures provided by the Code, which may have nonordained faithful as members with the following conditions (§2): 1° They have “a consultative vote only and cannot in any way become deliberative
structures.” 2° “Only those faithful who possess the qualities prescribed by the canonical norms may be elected to such responsibilities.” 3) The Parish priest presides at Parochial Councils - “Any deliberations entered into (or decisions taken) by a parochial council, which has not been presided over by the parish priest or which has assembled contrary to his wishes, are to be considered invalid, and hence null and void” (§3). 4) Special Study Groups - “Ordinaries may avail themselves of special study groups or of groups of experts to examine particular questions. Such groups, however, cannot be constituted as structures parallel to diocesan presbyteral or pastoral councils”, nor to parochial pastoral or finance councils. “Neither may such a group deprive these structures of their lawful authority” (§5). [To be concluded.]
Cf. John Paul II, “Address to a Symposium on Collaboration of Lay Faithful in the Priestly Ministry”, loc. sit. Joseph Ratzinger, “Unity of the church’s mission involves diversity of ministries”, in L’Osservatore Romano, N. 17 (29. IV.1998), 18. Cf. Post-Synodal Exhoration, Christifideles laici, n.23, §6. Cf. CIC, c.767, §1.
Underdevelopment / B1
of resources. In this regard, the Holy See emphasizes the importance of strengthening a global partnership for development which is a necessary condition for the achievement of all other goals, and supports the full and integral compliance of the Monterrey Consensus and the Doha Declaration of Financing for Development. Furthermore, in addition to providing the financial means to redress the problems associated with the international financial system, hard work is still needed to eradicate the debts of poor countries and to prevent the recurrence of certain situations of international usury that have marked the last decades of the 20th century. We need constant low-cost cash flows for the less developed countries, specifically destined to create structures for sustainable local productivity and stable high-level employment. Developed countries and emerging economies should also generously keep their markets open, without excessive demands for trade reciprocity, in order
to help poor countries grow towards the economic independence necessary to promote their socio-economic development. A constant sharing of knowledge in the areas of science and technology has to be offered to poorer countries so that they can generate, on a local level, the capacities necessary to solve effectively, by themselves, their health-care problems and their need to diversify agricultural and industrial production. Notwithstanding the international financial crisis, an essential part of a deeper and lasting solution, is the reinforcement of ODA (Official Development Assistance) pledges, so that the commitment to allocate 0.7% of the GDP to this kind of aid may be quickly applied, while ensuring that these sums do in fact reach the poorest countries. Promotion of this effort will require a renewed understanding that will enable us to expand our vision from the donor/recipient paradigm to see each other for who we are: brothers
and sisters, with equal dignity, and opportunity to access the same markets and networks. The campaign for development carried out by international agencies has revealed that success is not so much economic assistance but rather creativity and resourcefulness, commitment and countless sacrifices of “small actors.” For example, there are local governments and municipal authorities, the myriad of subjects who make up civil society—large and small NGOs, international and national trade unions, cooperatives, consumer associations, advocacy groups— as well as a plethora of “Faith-based Organizations.” Such local ownership constitutes a new phenomenon, which has succeeded, almost spontaneously, in combining the most modern technology with socalled “appropriate” and “intermediate technology” thus giving life to the expression “small is beautiful.” Indeed, this reality was predicted many years ago by economists such as Ernest Friedrich
Schumacher, and strongly inspired by the Encyclicals Rerum Novarum of Pope Leo XIII and Mater et Magister of John XXIII (cf. also Pope Benedict XVI, Encyclical Caritas in Veritate, n. 72). The struggle for development has therefore stressed the importance of actively mobilizing all subjects of civil society; and in this way, has proven to be, beyond a doubt, the centrality of the human person, as the subject primarily responsible for development (Caritas in Veritate, no. 47). Real men and women who have formed partnership and alliances to bring the north and the south together are showing that it is possible to unite the immense possibilities of intelligence and human will in the service of integral human development. There is a vast amount of experience, from Africa and from other poor regions, to demonstrate that positive change is possible. This involvement, at the ground level, where local communities become key actors in their own development, is something
indispensable for the true effectiveness of international aid and for better international financial and commercial structures, which nevertheless continue to be necessary. Mr. President, although, local civil societies seem increasingly conscious of their role as actors in their own development, unfortunately, most of the obstacles encountered are imputable to bad governance and irresponsible State conduct on regional and international levels. Therefore, to overcome definitively the obstacles that impede development, the positive experiences of civil society must become values that guide political action. Countless innocent victims, whole populations, have been left in the wake of the international financial crisis. The unethical and irresponsible conduct of large private financial operators, together with the lack of foresight and control by Governments and the international community, have all played a role.
Underdevelopment / B7
© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media
Vol. 14 No. 20
September 27 - October 10, 2010
Abortion, A Crime Against Life
National Meeting of Diocesan Directors of Liturgy Silver Jubilee Statement
September 13-16, 2010 Manila PEACE! We, the delegates to the 25th National Meeting of Diocesan Directors of Liturgy (NMDDL), raise our hearts and voices in thanksgiving to Jesus Christ, the Leitourgos of divine worship. For twenty-five years, NMDDL has been a consistent instrument of the continuing liturgical formation of diocesan directors of liturgy. It has created closer ties among the directors and has promoted better coordination between the Episcopal Commission on Liturgy and the diocesan commissions in the implementation of the liturgical reform of Vatican II. As we look back with gratitude at what NMDDL has accomplished, we look forward to what remains to be done so that the liturgy will become more vibrantly the source and summit of the Church’s life in the Philippines. Hence, we recommend attention in the future meetings to topics like the following: 1. The Use of the Vernacular. While we respect the option to use Latin and celebrate the Tridentine liturgy, we uphold the use of the vernacular in our parishes and communities and recommend translations that faithfully reflect both the spiritual doctrine of the texts and the linguistic patterns of our vernacular languages. 2. Spirituality of Liturgy. Active participation is one of the many blessings Vatican II has bestowed on our parishes and communities. We wish to remind ourselves, however, that active participation should lead to deeper spiritual encounter with Christ and the Church. Hence our liturgical celebrations should foster the necessary environment of prayer and awe in the presence of the divine mysteries, excluding those expressions that trivialize the sacred celebration. 3. Liturgical Inculturation. The interest in recent times to revive the Tridentine Liturgy should not draw the attention, especially of the Church leaders, from the unfinished agenda of liturgical inculturation. We are of the persuasion that liturgical renewal, as envisioned by the Constitution on Liturgy of Vatican II, entails liturgical inculturation and that our rich cultural heritage has much to offer to make the Roman liturgy truly Filipino. 4. Liturgical Studies. Sound tradition and legitimate progress are key phrases that express the program of liturgical reform. It is consequently necessary to study the history and theology of the liturgy, be familiar with culture, and be imbued with liturgical spirituality and pastoral zeal for the Church. We, therefore, recommend that those involved in liturgy, particularly the clergy, should be sent by their bishops or superiors to enroll in academic institutions that specialize in liturgical studies. 5. Lay Ministers. Our parishes and communities are blessed with numerous and worthy lay liturgical ministers. However, some dioceses in the Philippines still reserve to male persons ministries like serving at the altar and leading Sunday celebrations in the absence of a priest. We believe that we should encourage the ministry of women where it is allowed by universal law. 6. Liturgy Newsletter. Part of continuing liturgical formation of diocesan directors and their collaborators is liturgical information. We request the Episcopal Commission on Liturgy to publish and disseminate regularly through newsletter, in print or by electronic media, recent liturgical norms, guidelines, and other pertinent information on the liturgy. As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of NMDDL, we recall the visionary initiative of Archbishop Jesus Dosado who, together with Fr. Camilo Marivoet, CICM, and Fr. James Meehan, SJ, established and promoted the annual meeting. We are in their debt. Likewise, we remember with gratitude the dioceses that have generously hosted NMDDL and the speakers that shared their liturgical expertise with us. Lastly, we thank His Eminence Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales of the Archdiocese of Manila for hosting NMDDL at this significant year of its existence. That in all things God may be glorified!
WITH possible malicious intent the ugly part of life is again gaining the limelight in our country as the frequency of aborted fetuses is publicly exposed. The placing and exhibiting of aborted human fetuses in public places are not favored in other cultures, and decent people refuse to do the same. Thou shalt not kill! A deliberately procured abortion is a moral evil and the Catholic Church attaches the canonical penalty of Excommunication on those who procure it and on those who help obtain abortion (Canon 1398). If the expositions of discarded human fetuses are not done with evil intent, then the practice alone of rampant abortion is symptomatic of a grave moral decadence and irresponsible behavior that now seriously threaten the country.
Human lives are always precious to God and any violation of it will be dealt with by Him for He said, “Vengeance is mine... He will avenge the blood of his servants” (Gen. 4:15, Deut. 32:43). Abortion is a grave sin against a defenseless life; and for this the severe canonical penalty to perpetuator/s is Excommunication. Unwanted pregnancies could be avoided if only people are less selfish, more disciplined and capable of self control, exercising a strong will, and capable of making sacrifices. These are virtues that are much needed in a country of disciplined people. Short cuts to progress even by way of new laws cannot compensate for abandoned values. Human life, created in the image of its Maker, (Gen. 1:27), the very source of the
rights and dignity of the human person, must always be respected and defended. In Churches where public exposition of fetuses occurs, special prayers and acts of reparation will be made, for the sins of the perpetrators, at the church’s Prayer and Adoration Chapels. Pray and include also in your prayers the special prayers to ST. MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL, for the perpetrators and instigators of this grievous sin against the life of the innocent. May Mary, Mother of Life, intercede for all who value the sacredness of life. GAUDENCIO B. CARDINAL ROSALES Archbishop of Manila Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows 15 September 2010
Ecclesiastical Province of Tuguegarao; August 25, 2010
WE, the assembled members of the clergy of the Ecclesiastical Province of Tuguegarao, consisting of the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao, the Diocese of Ilagan, the Diocese of Bayombong and the Apostolic Vicariate of Tabuk, humbly address our brothers and sisters in these ecclesiastical jurisdictions, after having met for three days of discernment and fraternal exchange. In the full realization that we have been ordained to be bearers of Christ’s Peace, we pledge to serve the cause of peace. There will be less recrimination and more constructive effort towards peace. We invite the officials of government, the men and women in uniform, non-governmental organizations as well as those who have taken up arms against the government to join us in the cause of peace. We shall, as priests, be more respectful of the fundamental rights of our brothers and sisters so that all else shall show the same respect. We shall be less demanding of privilege and prerogative so that there will be more to share with those who truly need. We are especially concerned about the lot of farmers who are at the mercy of middlemen and fall victim to various schemes that deprive them of their land, of fisher folks who are threatened by different forms of environmental abuse, including pollution and mining in different guises. We share in the struggle of indigenous peoples for the recognition of their rights. And we mourn with those who have lost their loved ones to a dreadful cycle of violence and vendetta. We earnestly ask our lawmakers to repeal the Mining Act of 1995 and reiterate the position of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines in 1998. “Through Agreements arising from the Mining Act, our land is being offered to foreignowned companies under liberal conditions, while our people continue to grow in poverty.” We are not opponents of government, because we are aware that inspired government is indispensable to the well-being of the people, but we also ask our government leaders to listen to us, dialogue with us because in several ways, we touch base with the people in our parishes whose voices seldom reach the offices of the government. We are in admiration of the risk to which our gallant men and women expose their lives in defense of our freedoms and Constitution, but we also regret that many among them must still cultivate a health respect for human rights. We will do what we can to help win the trust of our parishioners for men and women in uniform, but we also insist that they always take up the cause of justice and that they be uncompromising in their respect for human rights. Many of our people remain poor. We, as priests, will endeavor to live simple lives, to keep only that which we need, so as to be more credible witnesses of that poverty that the Lord called blessed. We consecrate ourselves to the education of the youth so that they may be productive members of the society, and so that there may be, in their own lives, the promise of flourishing. We will ceaselessly inspire farmers, fisher folks, laborers and those who live by the sweat of their brow to organize themselves in ways that will promote their interests and the welfare of the community, as we shall ever be vigilant against attempts at exploiting them. By the love we hope to be able to show for each other, we also pray that all will recognize that we are Christ’s Disciples. By the humble service we render our brothers and sisters, we hope that our communities will experience the presence of the Spirit that was poured out on us on the day of our Ordination to bring glad tidings to the poor and liberty to all who are in captivity. As we beg the Lord of the Harvest, one hundred years after Quae Mare Sinico, to allow us to advance in wisdom, age and grace before God and his people, we ask His Mother, and ours, who, in this ecclesiastical province, we venerate under the title of Our Lady of Piat, to journey with us. + DIOSDADO TALAMAYAN, DD Archbishop of Tuguegarao +RAMON VILLENA, DD Bishop of Bayombong +JOSEPH NACUA, OFMCap., DD Bishop of Ilagan +PRUDENCIO ANDAYA, JR. CICM, DD Apostolic Vicar of Tabuk +RICARDO BACCAY, DD Auxiliary Bishop of Tuguegarao Clergy of the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao Clergy of the Dioceses of Bayombong and Ilagan Clergy of the Apostolic Vicariate of Tabuk
Statement of the Priests’ Congress
Statement of the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines on the Hacienda Luisita Case
“Let none of you wrong his neighbor, but fear your God; I am Yahweh your God” (Lev. 25: 17) THE Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP) is thankful that the Highest Court of the land is setting in motion the case of the Hacienda Luisita towards hopefully a definitive resolution. After the presentation of the oral arguments of the contending parties regarding the stock distribution option scheme (SDO), we, the religious men and women expect that in the soonest possible time the Supreme Court will finally issue a resolution that will render justice to the farmers and farm workers of Hacienda Luisita. We urge the same Court to make use of the facts based on the records of the case. We denounce the stock distribution scheme and we support the farmers and the farm workers’ petition for the revocation of the SDO to pave the way for actual land distribution. Any attempt to resolve this issue that deviates from the actual land distribution will not put the case to rest but will only fuel another round of peasant unrest in Hacienda Luisita. We uphold the position of the farmers and farm workers that transforming them into stockholders will not give them better lives than the actual land distribution. Moreover, they had suffered far too long from the callous resistance of the landowners to maintain their ownership of the land, in defiance of the essence of the agrarian reform law and of the moral demands of social justice. In addition, we make this stand based on our discernment that the actual distribution of land of Hacienda Luisita is an issue of national significance and impact to our Philippine society. It is a dispute that shouldnotjustbelefttothecorporateofficersandmajoritystockholders of Hacienda Luisita Incorporated to decide upon. It is wrong to simply consider it as “intra-corporate dispute”. It is an issue of national interest considering the fact that it is a test case of the effective implementation of the agrarian reform law in the country. We, therefore, call on the Filipino people to rally behind the farmers and farm workers and to support their demand for land distribution. We call on the landowners and management of Hacienda Luisita to stop their obstinate opposition to land distribution so that the farmers and the farm workers can have the piece of land that each one of them dreamed of. We will be vigilant and will continue to monitor every step of the way until the Supreme Court, finally decides in favor of the rights of the farmers and farm workers of Hacienda Luisita. We are confident that justice will finally be served: Sa matuwid na daan, lupa para sa mga magsasaka; katarungan para sa lahat na mamamayan hindi para sa iilan. SR. MARY JOHN M. MANANZAN, OSB FR. QUIRICO PEDREGOSA, JR., OP AMRSP Co-Chairpersons
An Open Letter on the Hostage Crisis
TO our fellow Filipinos here and abroad To all men and women of goodwill everywhere: For us, Filipinos, 23 August 2010, now known all over the world as the “Philippine hostage crisis” will forever stand as a very dark day in our people’s history. On this fateful day, a former police officer hijacked a tour bus in Rizal Park, Manila, carrying 25 tourists from Hong Kong, including 5 Canadian nationals and 1 British. At the end of a ten hour negotiation and siege, 8 hostages and the hijacker lay dead. Finger pointing, investigations, damage control, continue to take place even now. Blunders in the negotiations and in the assault have been pointed out and admitted. As Filipinos we are ashamed. It is as though we are now afraid to face the world. But let us “not be taken aback at the testing by fire which is taking place” among us (1Pt. 4: 12). Let us remember that we also had our brightest moments as a nation, when the whole world acclaimed us for our heroism to defend our country and for our determined courage to restore our democracy. These are peak moments in our history that must inspire us. We are not an undisciplined nation staggering in blunder and chaos. We are a nation with a proud heritage of righteousness, of heroism and discipline. It is from this Filipino heritage that with God’s grace we shall overcome our shame and shout with pride, “Let us rise and move on.” With the Lord we must persevere and we shall surely “not lose heart and come to grief” (see Heb.:12: 3). But we have to begin with confession. We admit with great sadness the grave inadequacies in the entire process of the hostage crisis, negotiating, decision-making, media role, communicating, coordinating, and assaulting. With transparency our government must thoroughly and impartially investigate every inadequacy to the satisfaction of everyone concerned. We express our deep grief with the families of the victims. We are truly numbed by the tragedy that has befallen visitors in our own land. Deeply tragic, indeed, was the great loss, and made more so by the knowledge that it could have been avoided. Even as our shame is deep, our grief and sympathy with the bereaved families are beyond words. We assure you, the grieving families of victims as well as all men and women of good will here and abroad, that the true heart of the Filipino is demonstrated not by the fatal inadequacies of the few, but by the great human and professional qualities of the many. Kindly observe the thousands upon thousands of Filipinos working abroad. With great love and sacrifice they are taking care of families, children, and old people in various parts of Asia, including Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and Singapore, and in many other parts of the world. They are contributing their professional skills towards the economic development of other countries. In them you will see the true heart of the Filipino. We ask our brother bishops in other countries to communicate this message to their people. In the Lord, + NEREO P. ODCHIMAR, DD Bishop of Tandag President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines 6 September 2010
28th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year C (Luke 17:11-19) October 10, 2010
September 27 - October 10, 2010
Vol. 14 No. 20
Healing and saving faith
By Msgr. Lope C. Robredillo, SThD
WHEN the two commercial jets that terrorists had hijacked brought down the historic World Trade Center in New York, leaving in its wake thousands of casualties and tons of debris, bringing havoc to the American psyche, a number of people went to the nearby St. Patrick’s Cathedral to thank the Lord for having been absent in the vicinity of the twin-towers when the tragedy struck. They attended Mass in gratitude to God who saved them from the disastrous attack. But events of course are not always as mindboggling as the assault on the World Trade Center. And what is or has become ordinary does not normally make a dint. Understandably enough, when one becomes accustomed to an event, however momentous it may be, it becomes so normal that he misses to see even its significance, still less perceive the meaning that has yet to be uncovered in the long run. A sacristan, for example, may tend to regard the change of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ to be just an ordinary part of the rite, no different from the making of the sign of the cross at the beginning of the mass. Indeed, sometimes it takes the inquisitive mind of a little boy, who wishes to have his first communion, to make us realize the profound significance of the ritual. At other times, it requires the touch of God’s finger to make us aware that what is happening is far from ordinary, as in the miracle of the Eucharist in Lanciano, Italy. And only then are we conscious that the hand of God is behind what is happening before our very eyes. Today’s Gospel about the healing of the ten lepers (Luke 17:11-19) provides us an example of that experience. At the outset, it may be noted that leprosy was
a general term in the ancient world to cover a variety of skin anomalies—from rashes, acne, boils to actual Hansen’s disease (Lev 13). In instances of actual Hansen’s disease, the afflicted were ostracized from villages, although they lived near enough on the outskirts to receive alms. Their isolation, which was regulated by Lev 13:45-46 (see also Num 12:15; 2 Kings 7:3-4), was bridged by warning the people of their approach by shouting “Unclean! Unclean!” Whether the ten lepers in the present story had Hansen’s disease or not, the data do not enable us to determine. At any rate, the episode seems to be a miracle story, in which the lepers called out for pity and mercy, and Jesus answered their plea by healing them while they were on the way to the priests to present themselves for examination (Lev 13:49). One gets the impression that here Luke shows Jesus as a healer who meets the needs of those who cry for help. He is portrayed as a liberator who frees the afflicted from the slavery to evil condition and restores them to the community of Israel. It seems, however, that—as Luke narrates it—this is not the main point of the Gospel story. For one thing, the narrative ends with a pronouncement: “Your faith has been your salvation” (Luke 17:19). Secondly, the Samaritan’s faith is praised, obviously in contrast with that of the nine other lepers, and the gratitude of the former is starkly set over against the ingratitude of the latter. One is tempted to say, therefore, that Luke’s point revolves around the act of salvation that Jesus performed. Let us uncover what this means. To be sure, the healing of leprosy was not distinctive of Jesus. There were many miracle workers in the Near East at that time, and the Greeks called them theios aner, divine men. Which is why one can assume that although the nine Jewish lepers showed faith in Jesus, as
Healing / B7
Fr. Francis Ongkingco
Bishop Pat Alo
Love and Yogurt
“HEY, Andy,” Timy waved a flyer for her friend to see. “Check this out! There’s a new craze called frogurt!” “Frogurt?” Andy was busy licking the remnants of chocolate icing from the spatula for his recent experimental baking session. “Would that stand for ‘frozen yogurt’?” “Guessed right, dude!” Timy approached him the kitchen counter. “And it looks inviting!” “Well, why don’t we try it out this weekend, and we can exchange our culinary impressions about it?” “That’s a good idea,” she said. “I’m badly needing a break from all my classes and exams.” *** “Waiter!” Timy called out. The young man eagerly approached to take their order. “We would like to have some frogurt?” she asked. “Oh, I’m really sorry miss,” he frowned. “Unfortunately, it is only served in selected franchise outlets.” “What a pity,” Andy wiped his lips after sipping his lemonade. “We actually came only for that!” “I’m so sorry sir. But maybe if you come by next month, it may already be part of our products. Would you like some ice-cream instead?” *** “Geez, we came all the way here for nothing?” Andy looked at Timy with disappointment. “I’m sorry, I didn’t read the small print saying it’s not available in all outlets,” Timy apologized. “I guess there will be a next time. What about when my brother comes over?” “Timy, that’s like a month and a half from now,” Andy said. “Yeah, but let’s just wait for that moment to exchangeourimpressions.Inthemeantime,Iguess there won’t be frogurt for both of us,” she smiled. “Alright, I guess so. ‘Sides, you got me into this.” *** [BEEP, BEEP, BEEP] Timy’s cell sounded a new text message. It was from Andy She was miffed with what she read: [Timy, u hav 2 try d frogurt! 8s gr8!!!] Timy couldn’t contain herself and texted back: [Bt we agred dat we wnt try 8 til my bro cmes frm UK!] She waited for a reply, but nothing came in that day. The next day, she woke up and read Andy’s reply: [M sori, I ddnt knw tkng 8 2gthr mnt smthng 2 u. Lts cht. :( ] *** “…come on Timy, we casually agreed to enjoy it together. Hey, it wasn’t anything like we made some promise or vow. ‘Sides, I was eatin’ lunch with my folks that day and…,” Andy defended himself. “Okay, okay, okaay! No big deal, no offense committed, Andy. It’s just that I felt that since we’ve been longtime culinary buddies, taking it together for the first time would give us a crisp and raw impression about the dessert,” she explained. Timy noticed that Andy suddenly became serious and pensive. “I’m sorry, Andy. I didn’t mean too…,” “No, it’s perfectly alright, Timy,” he said. “I was only struck by what you said, and realized that friendship and love are like having frogurt together.” “Duh?” Timy gaped at him. “Hey, that doesn’t sound like you speaking…hello? Is Andy still there? How are frogurt and friendship or love related?” “I saw that ‘tasting something together’ like frogurt meant so much to you. And between friends, sharing things together for the first time is very important. Whatever they experience as friends, say, watching a movie, reading a book, and sharing a dessert is a lot more meaningful when they are enjoying it together and for the first time. It would be like sharing that first impression and never getting used to it.” “You mean they would be enriched by their raw impression of that first time experience together?” “Exactly! It wouldn’t be the same, for example, if I’ve done something already –like having watched a film– and I just go through it again to accompany you to watch it. But the impact would be different if I hadn’t watched it yet. The same goes with a book, a song, a poem and frogurt.” “That’s really something,” Timy chuckled. “I wonder what you had for breakfast!” “Reflecting a bit more, we can apply the same idea to people who are in love and preparing for marriage. It wouldn’t be the same if the exchange of affection of two people would have already been selfishly tainted by previous experiences. It would be sad if in their most intimate moments, of the greatest exchange of love and affection either of them would start comparing or basing their love with past experiences.” “I see your point, now Andy, but I’m just a bit curious…,” she was a bit hesitant. “By saying all this…were you alluding to something else?” “Alluding to something like…?” “I mean… ah, you know, like…us?” “Us…huh?” Andy scratched his head. He glanced at his watch and exclaimed, “Of course, you’reright.It’slunchtime!Allthatreflectin’made us forget the most important thing: FOOD!” “Grrr! Boys! [SIGH!]” Timy rolled her eyes in frustration.
The contraceptive issues
A soul dream was born
I HAD my spiritual conversion at age 12. And as a 13-year-old boy, I read the life story of St. Francis of Assisi. That was when I felt something stir deep in my soul. I dreamt of becoming like Jesus and Francis, loving the poor the way they did. So I brought home street kids and elderly poor people wandering about in the streets, which didn’t exactly make my mother jump up and down with glee. When she told me it was impossible to do what I wanted to do, I nurtured a dream in my young heart. This time, I was not anymore dreaming for a toy robot with a tiny head, a sword handle on its chest, and rectangular arms and legs. I dreamt of building a huge home where I could welcome the poorest of the poor. By age 14, I would do outreach work in the slums, sometimes sleeping there. I would live in a shanty, sharing a tiny room with nine people. I breathed their air, ate their food, and laughed at their jokes. The experience changed my life. Unlike the dream for a robot, the dream to serve the poor never died. Sixteen years later, we built a huge home for the poorest of the poor. With the help of my friends, we bought a huge land (today, it consists of five hectares), built a number of houses on it, and called it Anawim—a Hebrew word that means the poor of the Lord. Since 1995, we have been picking up abandoned elderly from the streets and giving them a loving home. What dreams do you have in your heart that has never died?
MANY misunderstand the Church’s official position versus the use of artificial contraceptives and abortion, which are included in the controversial RH Bill; so too the present issues on sex education, which the Church sees as to be gradually developed as is natural within the family supervision rather than to be publicly taught in the public schools. This is exposed to corruption of the youth since pornography or indecent images are very much commercialized without control in the Internet media. There’s no denying the fact that the proliferation of artificial contraceptives, many of which are abortifacient, can and do really reduce population. A friend Bishop of mine, Bishop R. Baccay, from the Tuguegarao Archdiocese, confided to me his observation in various places or sites he visited abroad where you can’t any more hear babies’ cries but rather the coughing of older people. Where then is the future of our country if the young people are being cut down in number. Yea, if there be a plan for a 2-child policy, can we then have the famous Cardinal Sin who was 14th in a family of 16 children, or a Manny Pacquiao who is 3rd among the children? The Church would rather we endeavor to increase the food production and school facilities rather than limit the guests to the table of life. The Bible tells so in the very first chapter of the book: “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and conquer it” (Gen. 1:28). And we must not forget in conscience lest we commit a big mistake if we do not listen to the successor of Peter, the first Pope, whom the Lord Jesus commissioned, saying: “You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church. And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven” (Mt. 16: 18-20). There is still the angle to consider that the use of artificial contraceptives may lead to concealed cases of infidelities or immoralities in the sexual relations of the male and female population, as well as many other abuses because of the various anti-life and money syndicates that capitalize on the weakness of the human person in the line of sexuality. As an addendum we include below the Church’s official stand on the matter of sexual ethics which falls under the 6th commandment, taken from an address by Pope John Paul II to the bishops of the United States of America: “With the frankness of the Gospel, the compassion of Pastors and with the charity of Christ, you have dealt with the question of the indissolubility of marriage correctly saying: “The covenant between a man and a woman united in Christian marriage is as indissoluble and irrevocable as is the love of God for his people and the love of Christ for his Church. Exalting the beauty of marriage, you have rightly taken a position against both the theory of contraception and contraceptive practice, as did the encyclical letter Humanae vitae. I myself, today, with the same conviction as Paul VI, ratify the teaching of that encyclical issued by my Predecessor “in virtue of the mandate confided us by Christ”. Describing the sexual union between husband and wife as a special expression of their covenant of love, you have correctly said: “The sexual relationship is a human and moral good only within the sphere of marriage: outside marriage it is immoral”. As men who speak with “words of truth and the power of God” (2 Cor 6,7), as authentic teachers of the law of God and as compassionate pastors, you have correctly said: “Homosexual practice (which is to be distinguished from homosexual orientation) is morally deceitful”…. “Both the Church’s teaching, according to its constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have stated without any hesitation that masturbation is a practice grievously and intrinsically disordered” (Declaration of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith concerning certain questions of sexual ethics, Dec. 29, 1975, No. 9).
Vol. 14 No. 20
September 27 - October 10, 2010
Jesuit foundation feeds undernourished school children
By Sr. Marietta H. Alo, OND
THE leading microfinance institution in the diocese of Mati celebrated the 15th anniversary of the People’s Credit Finance Corporation (PCFC) through a feeding program for all elementary school children in a remote barrio rated low in nutrition. The Ad Jesum Development F oundat ion, Inc. (AJDF I) organized snacks and a substantial lunch for the 560 school children, including the pre-school, of the Taguibo
Underdevelopment / B4
Elementary School on Sept. 14, 2010, as their way of joining in the nationwide feeding program of the state funding agency, PCFC, living out this year’s theme: “We care, we share, we rear.” Sr. Bernadette “Badette” R. Dollete, CSJ, executive director, led the AJDFI head office and Mati staff in going to the area with sacks of rice and food ingredients to be cooked in time for lunch by selected parents of each class. They are equipped with their respective kitchen utensils, while the children brought along their own plate and eating paraphernalia.
This was the first time the AJDFI conducted the outreach feeding program on the PCFC anniversary. According to Sr. Badette, in the past years, PCFC officers across the whole country would go to Manila for a party celebration. She then broached the idea to the Manila office to hold a reach-out activity instead in the local areas, such as what AJDFI does every December for the poor children in Ceboley Beach, Mati. Thus, for a change, the Manila central office decided to allot funds to active institutional members in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao with a history
of malnourished children. In Mindanao—Davao Oriental, Cotabato and Zamboanga were selected. Mr. Jeffrey Ordoñez, executive director of the Mindanao Microfinance Council (MMFC) attended the activity in Mati, Davao Oriental, and brought along donations of books and hundreds of cakes-ensaymadas from Red Ribbon bakeshop for the outreach activity. The school principal, Mr. Merlito Enad, declared no classes in the morning, while the parents were busy cooking outside their assigned rooms, and the children, supervised by their
respective teachers, enjoyed a holiday atmosphere with games, song-dance-recitation renditions, and messages from the guests, culminating in a fiesta lunch galore in the barangay gym, courtesy of Brgy Capt. Alombro Mabawad. Sr. Badette thanked the Taguibo academe, PTA, Barangay officials, PCFC, the whole community present, PCFC, and everyone who supported the feeding venture. With the feeding activity, AJDFI was able to help the poor, undernourished children attain a healthy growth, in line with the foundation’s vision of
“providing the poor families with sustainable and innovative opportunities for transformation towards economic self-reliance and political will power for Total Human Development.” Now in its 13th year of existence, AJDFI has expanded “to the provinces of Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte, Compostela Valley, Malungon, Sarangani Province, Bislig City and Lingig, Surigao del Sur, serving 30,936 clients, mostly women in the unserved and hard to reach areas in the region with portfolio of Php91,507,752.24..” (AJDFI annual report 2009).
Excessive nationalism and corporate self-interest as well as old and new ideologies, fomenting wars and conflicts, are all obstacles to development. Illicit trafficking of persons, drugs and precious raw materials linked to the situation of war and extreme poverty, on the one hand, and the lack of scruples of certain economic and social contractors from more developed regions, on the other hand, continue to be serious impediments to development. The reality of tax evasion, money laundering and the so-called “tax havens” set up to drain the coffers of Governments in poor countries by diverting limited resources away from development, remains a problem. The financial crisis, which has finally given rise to protectionist trade, has become yet another obstacle to the development of poor countries. All Governments, both of developed and developing countries, must accept their responsibility to fight corruption against reckless and sometimes immoral behavior in the areas of business and finances, as well as irresponsibility and tax evasion, in order to guarantee the “rule of law” and to promote the human aspects of development such as education, job security and basic health care for all. Likewise, all countries, especially richer or more powerful ones, must act in accordance with responsible
Healing / B7
international solidarity. Today more than ever, it is difficult for national measures not to have international consequences that may at times weigh heavily on countries that are distant and unknown to the immediate beneficiaries of such measures. In addition, within their own territories, Governments —the donors as well as the recipients— should not interfere with or hinder the particular character and autonomy of religious and civil organizations involved in the areas described above. Rather, they should respectfully encourage such organizations as well as promote and financially support them as much as possible. The generosity and commitment of religious and civil organizations should inspire governments and international organizations to make proportional efforts. For all these reasons, any attempt to use the MDGs to spread and impose egoistic lifestyles or, worse still, population policies as a cheap means to reduce the number of poor people, would be malevolent and short-sighted. I say this, not just as a religious leader, but also as an African and a man coming from a poor family. I urge the international community not to be afraid of the poor. MDGs should be used to fight poverty and not to eliminate the poor! Instead, give poor countries a friendly financial
and trade mainframe and help them to promote good governance and the participation of civil society, and Africa and the other poor regions of the world will effectively contribute to the welfare of all. The inherent and equal dignity, the individuality, and the transcendence of each human being must be the foundation of each and every policy on development. Morally responsible openness to life represents a rich social and economic resource (Caritas in Veritate, 44). Reverence for human life, from conception until natural death, and respect for the capacity of men and women to live upstanding moral lives, affirms their personal transcendence, even if they live in poverty. Controlling one’s passions and overcoming hedonistic impulses, constitute the starting point for building a harmonious society. Such respect is also the necessary and essential condition for sustainable economic development and integral human development. Hence, the Holy See reaffirms its conviction that great benefits will accrue to all men and women now living in poverty, only if the MDGs are understood and pursued in harmony with objective moral standards and human nature (cf. Caritas in Veritate, nos. 44, 68- 70 and 75).
In this regard, on the much debated issue of maternal health, the Holy See, respectfully and fervently invites the Countries participating in this HLM, to provide quality resources for the health care needs of mothers and their babies, including the unborn. Moreover, repeated references in the Outcome Document to “sexual and reproductive health” and “family planning” raise deep concerns. These are controversial terms, often interpreted as including access to abortion and methods of family planning that are not in accordance with the natural law, known by right reason. Mr. President, In his latest Encyclical Letter Caritas in Veritate, Pope Benedict XVI explained that the vision of development as a vocation brings with it the central place of charity within that development. Indeed, the causes of underdevelopment are not primarily of the material order. In the pursuit of development, in a globalizing world, only “the deep thought and reflection of wise men in search of a new humanism...will enable modern man to find himself anew” (Populorum Progressio, 51). While reason, by itself, is capable of grasping the equality between men and women, and of creating the means to give some stability to their civic coexistence,
it cannot establish fraternity; since authentic fraternity originates in a transcendent vocation from God (cf. Caritas in Veritate, no. 19). The Family of Nations has committed itself to fighting material poverty. This is a key and noble goal to pursue; but in this effort let us never forget that material poverty has partners—relational, emotional, and spiritual poverty. The human person must be at the centre of concern in our quest for development. If everyone’s political, religious and economic rights and freedoms are respected, we will shift the paradigm from merely trying to manage poverty to creating wealth; from viewing the person as a burden to seeing the person as part of the solution. The fundamental mission of the Holy See is above all spiritual, and this mission encompasses a solicitude for all people and all of creation. For this reason, the Holy See feels obliged to be present in the life of the nations and carry out its commitment, in partnership with the international community and the civil society, to promote justice and solidarity among peoples. It is with this conviction that the Holy See desires to collaborate with this Summit in the quest of an era of peace, social justice and authentic human integral development. Thank you, Mr. President.
evidenced by their shouts for help, yet they must have viewed their restoration to health as no different from the various healings that miracle workers performed in Israel. Their mindset was completely that
of an Israelite who lived under the law of Moses. It was for this reason that they were content with fulfilling the prescription of the Law, which stipulates that those cleaned of their leprosy must show themselves to the
priests so they could be restored to the community of Israel (Lev 13:49). But for Luke, the healing was not ordinary. Although the nine lepers were blind to the salvific act involved in the healing,
it took a Samaritan—a social outcast and religious heretic in the eyes of the Jews—to recognize that what happened to all of them was more than a miracle of healing and restoration to the community.
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For the Samaritan, the healing was over and above all a miracle of coming to faith in Jesus, and an experience of the salvation that comes from him. The nine Jewish lepers were completely blind to this. In the theology of Luke, Jesus is the bringer of the messianic salvation; he proclaims the Kingdom of God, makes it present in the salvific acts he performs, and invites men to experience the blessings of salvation. But to experience and participate in the messianic blessings, one must come to faith in him. That precisely happened to the Samaritan. It is for this reason that Jesus said to him, “your faith has been your salvation” (Luke 17:19). In other words, in contrast with the nine Jewish lepers, the Samaritan was more than healed; he was saved. Consequently, in contrast to the comportment of nine Jewish leprous who did not show gratitude to Jesus because of their blindness, the reaction of the Samaritan to his experience of the messianic blessings from him, made possible by the eyes of faith, was one of thanksgiving. He recognized that Jesus was God’s agent who not only healed but brought
or shared the experience of salvation. Hence, he came back to thank him, and glorified God through him. In contrast, the nine Jewish lepers did not recognize this; it was, therefore, understandable that they were content with simply carrying out the command of Jesus to show themselves to the priests. For lack of the perception of faith, they were simply healed, but never saved. They were never converted to Jesus; they remained under the Law. Hence, they did not feel the urge to thank him. They were unlike Naaman, an army commander from the Arameans in the 1st Reading (1 Kgs 5:14-17) who-despite his being a pagan and, like the Samaritan, despised by the Jews—having been cured of his leprosy, recognized the superior power of the God of Israel at work in the prophet Elisha, and returned to give thanks, again like the Samaritan. Thus, the story anticipates the gradual blindness of Israel to God’s work of salvation in Jesus, and the growing acceptance of it by the Gentiles, whom the Samaritan represents. For Luke, this Samaritan exhibits the basic element of discipleship: faith in Jesus.
Photo courtesy of Sr. Marietta Alo, OND
September 27 - October 10, 2010
Vol. 14 No. 20
Abhorrent Disturbing Acceptable Wholesome Exemplary
Poor Below average Average Above average Excellent
Resident Evil opens with gripping scene showing umbrellas on a rainy day in Tokyo. In the middle of all this hustle and bustle stands a girl, dripping wet and apparently stoned. Soon she sinks her teeth into the neck of an innocent passerby—aaah, so she’s “one of them,” a newly converted zombie, one of those that will engage Alice (Milla Jovovich) in her battle to save the world from the bad guys. Real life fashion model Milla Jovovich slips back into her black tights as Alice for this fourth entry in the series based on the video game. In post-apocalyptic Los Angeles, Alice is armed with an arsenal of high-powered guns and flying knives to fight off zombies infected with a virus developed by the Umbrella Corporation (with headquarters in Tokyo). Whatever the zombies’ role is in the bad guys’ attempt at world domination is obscured by their clicheic participation—mobbing
after humans, waving their arms and sputtering monosyllables which together may be taken to mean they want the humans as snacks, just as moviegoes crave popcorn and soda. Clearly, Resident Evil relies on its main attraction Jovovich to make a story out of a video game. If there is an attempt to make a moral pronouncement, it is pitifully overshadowed by the stylish presence of its main star, shown throwing flying knives are people in an obviously choreographed way, and in alltoo-often close-up shots that distract from the story with her parted lips. Even if you didn’t know that Jovovich is a fivestar fashion model whose face and figure has appeared in so many high-end advertisements, you’d wonder here if she’s a heroine out to save humankind or an endorser selling guns. One question pops up: is it okay to be killing so many people on the
Title: Resident Evil: After Life Cast: Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Kim Coates, Shawn Roberts Director: Paul W.S. Anderson Screenwriter: Paul Anderson Producer: Paul Anderson Running Time: 97 minutes Location: Tokyo and Los Angeles, California Technical Assessment: ½ Moral Assessment: CINEMA Rating: For viewers 18 and above
way to finding the real culprits? What happens to the families of those killed? But what do you expect when a video game is given flesh and blood via a full length feature film? Forget about the justice and the value of human life and the consequences of killing. The lesson Resident Evil: After Lifeincidentally teaches is: if you want your kids to grow up smart, cut down their video game playing.
MAC en COLET
Ni Bladimer Usi
Look for the images of St. Michael the Archangel, Church aisle and Baptismal cake.
Title: Going the Distance Cast: Drew Barrymore, Justin Long, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Christina Applegate Director: Nanette Burstein Genre: Romance/Comedy Distributor: Warner Bros Running Time: 97 minutes Location: USA
ERIN and Garrett meet in a Manhattan watering hole on the very night when Garrett’s girlfriend has broken up with him, citing his insensitivity and commitment phobia. He just hasn’t met the right girl yet. Enter Erin, a Stanford graduate student in New York for a summer internship at a daily newspaper. They sleep together, but in the morning realize something more meaningful than a one-night stand is possible. After a six-week idyll, she must head back out West and they agree to attempt a bicoastal relationship. Over the better part of a year, when they aren’t texting or saying goodbye in the airport after brief visits, Garrett banters with pals Box (Jason Sudeikis) and Dan (Charlie Day), while Erin fields advice from her protective older sister Corinne (Christina Applegate). Erin has been burned before after dropping everything for a guy. Garrett, who works as a talent scout for a record company, tries to find a job in San Francisco without success. Unless something gives, they’re doomed. In addition to whining about being apart, Erin and Garrett lament the beleaguered state of the newspaper and music industries—a plaint that will resonate most with so-called media elites. Lacking authenticity, the graphic language and unsavory situations overlaying the plot, by contrast, will ring false to a cross-section of viewers. For two educated, presumably intelligent people, Erin and Garrett have limited vocabularies and imaginations. Ditto their cohorts. The copious amount of alcohol everybody consumes may be a contributing factor. One positive element of Going the Distance is that it implicitly endorses committed, monogamous relationships. Still, there’s no indication Erin and Garrett will marry in the end. (From the USCCB Office for Film and Broadcasting)
Vol. 14 No. 20
September 27 - October 10, 2010
A Supplement Publication of KCFAPI and the Order of the Knights of Columbus
Wreath laying at the statue of Fr. George J. Willmann, S.J. on the occasion of his 33rd Death Anniversary led by Chairman Hilario G. Davide, Jr. and KCFAPI President, Alonso L. Tan.
KCFAPI celebrates 52nd anniversary
KCFAPI President Alonso L. Tan delivering his Anniversary Message in front of employees, Board members, Fraternal Counselors, Area Managers and guests during the celebration of the Association’s 52nd Anniversary last September 9, 2010, held at its Head Office in Intramuros, Manila.
THE Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) marked its 52nd years in service with a Eucharistic celebration on September 9, 2010.
It was on September 9, 1958 when KCFAPI was duly licensed by the Insurance Commission to operate as an insurance system for the exclusive protection of the members of the Knights of Columbus and their immediate family members. Fraternal Benefits Group (FBG) Sales force meeting; 2010 Annual Awards Teaser and product information on CMBP Guaranteed Acceptance were organized later in the afternoon. The occasion also served as a venue for giving recognition to KCFAPI Service Awardees. These are employees who have been with the Association for at least ten years. Likewise, Certificates of recognition were also given to employees who have completed the basic course or who have achieved a designation from the Life Office Management Association (LOMA). Life Office Management Association (LOMA) is an international organization based in USA which provides quality employee training and development especially to those who belong in insurance and financial services industries. KCFAPI is a Mutual Benefit Association that provides KC Members and their families and all of its insured members, divisible surplus of the Association. (KCFAPI News)
KCFAPI holds TV Mass for the 33rd death anniversary of Fr. Willmann
IN commemoration of the 33rd death anniversary of Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ, the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) has organized a TV Mass at the San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila last September 14, 2010. Recorded as live, the Eucharistic celebration will be aired September 26, 2010 on IBC Channel 13 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. The mass was presided by Tandag Bishop Nereo Odchimar, President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and concelebrated by KC Priests namely: Msgr. Joselito C. Asis, Fr. Isabelo R. San Luis, Fr. William D. Araña, OSA, Fr. Asis R. Bajao, OSA and Fr. Jerome J. Cruz. Odchimar, during his homily, has emphasized the works and deeds of Fr. Willmann and the Knights of Columbus. He also said that Fr. Willmann and the Knights of Columbus will always come together for one cannot think of Fr. Willmann without thinking of the Knights of Columbus. Officers of the Fr. George Willmann Charities led the attendance. Those present were Chairman Justice Jose C. Reyes, Jr., President Tan, Atty. Rizal V. Katalbas, Jr., Asst. Corp. Secretary and Fr. Cruz, Trustee of the Board of Officers. KCFAPI officials such as Chairman Hilario Davide, Jr., President Alonso L. Tan, Executive Vice President Ma. Theresa G. Curia, and their spouses have attended the mass. Vice-President of the Fraternal Benefits Group, Joseph P. Teodoro; Vice President for Finance, Magdalene Flores; Vice President for Actuarial and Business Development, Angelito A.
TV Mass / C2
Knights of Columbus officials together with Chairman Hilario G. Davide, Jr. (6th from left) and KCFAPI President, Alonso L. Tan (5th from left) pose in front of the statue of Fr. George J. Willmann, S.J.
Luzon Jurisdiction holds GK, FS Seminar in Naga City
THE Knights of Columbus-Luzon Jurisdiction has recently conducted a seminar for the Grand Knights, Financial Secretaries and Treasurers from the Bicol Region. The seminar was held last September 4, 2010 at the Regent Hotel in Naga City. Organizers said the seminar was intended to discuss the duties and responsibilities of the Grand Knights and Financial Secretaries.
Cofradia del Sto. Niño de Cebu visits KCFAPI
THE pilgrim image of Sto. Niño de Cebu visited the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) head office in Intramuros, Manila in September. In cooperation with the Cofradia del Sto. Niño de Cebu and the KC Luzon Jurisdiction, KCFAPI housed the image of Señor Sto. Niño from August 31 to September 6 coinciding with the 7-day novena in connection with the Annual Pilgrimage of Cofradia del Sto. Niño de Cebu. The visit intended to propagate the devotion to the Divine Child and to raise consciousness to the faithful about the devotion. The story of the Señor Sto. Niño began way back in the 1500s when the image was discovered in Cebu unscathed decades after it was left by the early Spanish explorer, Ferdinand Magellan, as a gift during the baptism of Raja Humabon and his wife Hara Amihan. Numerous tales of miracles of the image spread ever since, making Cebu as the cradle of Sto. Niño devotion. Up to this time, devotees of the Señor Sto. Niño continue to increase throughout the country. At present, the original image of the Sto. Niño de Cebu is housed at the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño, Cebu City. (Ira Tee)
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KCFAPI President, Alonso L. Tan leading the employees, members of the KC Luzon Jurisdiction and representatives of Cofradia del Sto. Niño de Cebu in praying to the pilgrim image of Señor Sto. Niño during one of the 7-day novena offered to propagate the devotion to the Divine Child.
WE have just reached our 52nd year of fraternal service. Over our 52 years, we have grown by leaps and bounds from a humble P32,000 seed money; we now have P3.2B in total resources. We have paid millions in death claims and maturities. We have extended benefit certificate loans and other benefits attached to the benefit certificate. We have also donated millions to the KC Foundation, Fr. George J. Willmann Charities, Inc. and other institutions as part of our civic, social and spiritual reach to our brother Knights and to the community as a whole. As we travel through the corridors of time, we will continue to provide the fraternal “promise” we have envisioned and will improve our systems to level up the service that we provide. We could not do these without the guiding support of all the Board of Trustees, Advisors, Founder Members Committee (past and present) and to the Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao Jurisdictions. To the KCFAPI Officers, staff and salesforce, we extend our heartfelt congratulations. To the benefit certificate holders and all Knights of Columbus members, our many thanks. Let us also thank the Almighty God for His guidance, as we work in the fulfillment of our avowed objectives.
TV Mass / C1
September 27 - October 10, 2010
Vol. 14 No. 20
Alonso L. Tan
KCFAPI holds joint area meeting in Benguet
THE Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) conducted a Joint Area Meeting for Fraternal Counselors. The meeting was held last August 21, 2010 at Benguet State University’s Gladiola Center, La Trinidad, Benguet. Present during the said meeting were the Central Luzon Conquerors (CLC), Northwestern Luzon Thunders (NWL), and host area Northern Luzon Gold Miners (NL). With Gari M. San Sebastian, Manager for Fraternal Benefits Services Department facilitating, the meeting took up monitoring performance, analysis and improvement measures on the three areas for the last quarter of the year. Other matters discussed were the KCFAPI incentives for the KC Order such as the Council of Honors, Most Outstanding District Deputy, and Fr. George J. Willmann Award for Academic Excellence. Meanwhile, Area Managers gave inspirational messages after conducting their individual meeting. (KCFAPI News)
Columbian Squires acquire 2010-2011 Corps d’ Elite Award
THE Knights of Columbus-Columbian Squires has once again garnered awards from the Knight of Columbus Supreme Council. Corps d’ Elite is the highest honor given to a Circle that is active from the start of the Columbian Year and that is instituted or reinstituted during the program year. According to Jose Cuaresma, State Chairman of the Columbian Squires, the award recognizes outstanding achievement in all areas of Circle operations, including programming, recruitment and circle administration. The overall circle feats of every Circle are being recognized to qualify for this award. Among the qualifications for the award are Circles that have conducted at least four major activities under the Squires program which are service, spiritual, circle and membership and must achieve at least two new members before the end of the Columbian Year. In this award, Circles and Chief Counselors of the Squires in the Philippines are being granted. Cuaresma said that “out of the 42 circles recognized for the Award Orderwide, 13 Circles came from Luzon Jurisdiction.” “All Circles from Luzon Jurisdiction have won at least two years in a row,” he added. Awardees for this privilege are Circle 2450, Cavite City, Council 4071 Chief Counselor Arjay Uy Alejo; Circle 3066, San Antonio, Cavite, Council 7686, Chief Counselor Glen P. Ravelo; Circle 3655, Valenzuela Bulacan, Council 9591, Chief Counselor Edgardo O. Luna; Circle 3702, Council 9440, Malhacan, Bulacan, Chief Counselor Alfredo A. Balcora; Circle 3767, Meycauayan, Bulacan, Chief Counselor Fernando Galsim; Circle 3925, Meycauayan, Bulacan, Chief Counselor Juanito J. Perancullo; Circle 4019, Taguig, Council 8922, Chief Counselor Vicente P. Orellano; Circle 4154, Calumpit, Bulacan, Council 10582 Mark Anthony Lodrigito; Circle 4625, San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan, Council 12204 Chief Counselor Arnel S. Borcena; Circle 4709, Lawa, Meycauayan, Bulacan, Council 12890, Chief Counselor Rolando E. Hernandez; Circle 4863, Calumpit, Bulacan, Gat Blas Ople Assembly 1408, Chief Counselor Fernan Dealca; Circle 5198, Tugatog, Meycauayan, Council 12892, Chief Counselor Bernardo P. Gacam and Circle 5327, Luna, La Union, Council 5363, Chief Counselor A. Flores. (KCFAPI News)
Bala; Manager of the Fraternal Benefits Services Department, Gari M. San Sebastian; and other officers have also participated. KC Luzon officials arrived and attended the mass namely: State Secretary Arsenio G. Yap, State Treasurer Joven B. Joaquin, and Jose F. Cuaresma, State Columbian Squires Chairman. Employees of KCFAPI and its subsidiaries, and KC Luzon Jurisdictions were also present. Fr. George J. Willmann is regarded as the Fr. Michael McGivney of the Philippines being
Naga / C1
the person responsible for spreading the Order of the Knights of Columbus throughout the country that now counts about 265,000 in active membership. He is also the founder of KCFAPI, a mutual benefit association of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines, and the Fr. Willmann Charities, a foundation that has already graduated over a hundred seminarians who became priests, and priests who have taken up further studies in various ecclesiastical disciplines. (Kate Laceda)
KC Luzon launches awards
IN recognition of those who dedicated themselves in establishing and strengthening the Columbian Squires Circles in their archdioceses, the Knights of Columbus Luzon Jurisdiction has launched various awards. Among these awards are the Most Outstanding Squires Area Chairman for Circle Development, Most Outstanding Squires Area Chairman for Membership Development, Luzon Deputy Awards for Circle Development and the Luzon Deputy Awards for Membership Development. The Most Outstanding Squires Area Chairman for Circle Development is intended for dioceses with the highest net gain in the Circle Development based on the Supreme Council summary as of June 30, 2011. On the other hand, the Most Outstanding Squires Area Chairman for Membership Development is for the dioceses with the highest net gain in membership development based on the Supreme summary as of June 30, 2011. The Luzon Deputy Awards for Circle Development, meanwhile, will be awarded to the District Deputy and Chairman of the Roundtable of District Deputies wherein the District and Diocese must have attained the highest net gain in the Circle Development based on the Supreme Council summary as of June 30, 2011. Qualifications needed for the Luzon Deputy Awards for Membership Development, however, that will be awarded to the District Deputy and Grand Knight/Faithful Navigator is that the District and Council/ Assembly must achieve the highest net gain in Membership Development based on the Supreme Council summary as of June 30, 2011. (KC News)
Marbel Knights work for nation building
THE members of the Order of the Knights of Columbus from the Diocese of Marbel in southern part of Mindanao have committed to help work for nation building during a convention held in General Santos City from August 7-8, 2010. “To cultivate peace and protect creation” in nation building was the theme of the 24th Grand Diocesan Convention attended by KC members from Marbel diocese which comprises the whole province of South Cotabato and two municipalities of Sultan Kudarat. Led by Convention Chair SK Luciano M. Acuba, Sr., Council 6501 of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish of Lagao, hosted the convention. During his talk, retired Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno, author of the “Writ of Kalikasan” and a proactive environment legal advocate, told the convention participants that “pollution and degradation of the environment threatens the people’s right to a balanced and healthful ecology.” Several concerns about the threats posed by an open pit mining project planned by the Sagittarius Mines, Inc (SMI) in the region were also tackled. Meanwhile, SK Mario Nery, former San Miguel Corporation Executive, urged the knights to consistently support the community, the church and the country. According to Adrian B. Boston, Fraternal Benefits Associate, Marbel Bishop Dinualdo D. Gutierrez said that open pit mining of SMI is an abuse of God’s command to care for creation since it
The seminar also discussed on various issues on the membership of the diverse councils of the areas. Also present in the event were the District Deputies, and Treasurers of the various councils in the Luzon jurisdiction. Officials from the Luzon Jurisdiction present were Jose
Cuaresma, Columbian Squires Chairman, Efren Mendoza, State Seminar Director and Ramon Sanchez, District Deputy of the Sta. Teresita Council 12308 of the Diocese of Cubao. Attendees were the Brother Knights from the provinces of Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur. (KC News)
would destroy forest cover, remove top soil and pollute water resources. According to Boston, the convention theme, “To cultivate peace, Protect creation,” was the core message of Pope Benedict XVI during the 43th World Day of Peace. Culminating the convention were the raffle draws and some fun fares. (Ramon Fuentes, Jr. – KC MindaNews)
Vol. 14 No. 20
September 27 - October 10, 2010
necessities, but instead saw God as the provider of gifts through people, people who give. The Knights of Columbus has already distributed about 1,000 wheelchairs to those injured in Haiti, with even more on the way. And brother Knights at both the state and local level have been generous in supporting our relief efforts for Haiti and in donating to Knights of Columbus Charities. However, there is still more to do. We learned that Project Medishare—the group that runs the hospital in Port-auPrince—needed about $1 million to supply a prosthetic limb for every child who lost an arm or leg in the earthquake. With this financial assistance, they can also supply new prosthetic limbs and two years of physical therapy as the children grow. In response, the Knights of Columbus Board of Directors has launched a new initiative, called “Hope for Haiti’s Children,” with the promise to provide every child in Haiti who has lost an arm or a leg in the disaster with the prosthetics and physical therapy they need. It is a once-in-a-lifetime charitable opportunity, and the Knights of Columbus are honored to help. In undertaking this work in Haiti, the Knights have an excellent example in Pierre Toussaint, a Catholic who was a true model of charity during the 18th and 19th centuries. Born into slavery in Haiti, young Toussaint suffered upheaval at the time of the Haitian revolution and fled to New York City with the family he served. With his income, he bought his sister’s freedom, as well as the freedom of many others, although he chose to remain a slave until he was released in 1807. A married layman, he spent his life assisting orphans, schools, the Church and the underprivileged. Today, in the wake of the earthquake, Haitians face different challenges, including hunger, homelessness and lack of medical attention. Like Venerable Pierre Toussaint, Knights do not simply recognize that the suffering people in Haiti have physical needs that we can help alleviate. The practice of charity, the first principle of the Order, also helps to meet spiritual needs as we make a gift of ourselves to our neighbors. In 1852, a year before Pierre Toussaint died in New York, Michael J. McGivney was born about 70 miles away in Connecticut. Father McGivney may have never heard of Pierre Toussaint—but they shared a common vision. The lives of both were personally transformed by Jesus Christ, which allowed them to see the potential for Catholic laymen to put their faith into action. Today, we follow their example as a force for good, as helpers of those in need. Vivat Jesus!
Giving Hope to Haiti’s Children
By Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson
WHEN a massive earthquake struck Haiti in January, it killed a quarter million people and injured even more. Some of the youngest victims lost the most—with around 800 children losing an arm or leg. If this happened in the United States or another developed nation, medical services and prosthetic limbs would be provided. This is not the case in Haiti. For the hundreds of Haitian children who lost a limb in the earthquake, there was little hope of living a normal life. Recently, a video produced by the Global Wheelchair Mission premiered at the 128th Supreme Convention, held in Washington, D.C. It included the story of a young Haitian woman at the Knights of Columbus wheelchair distribution in Haiti earlier this year. She lost her entire family in the earthquake; she also lost her home and, more importantly, a leg. Although she had been treated too late to receive a wheelchair, she was undeterred, and prayed to God that more people would come to help. When I, along with other K of C representatives, met this woman last April and presented her with a wheelchair, we were moved by her situation, but we were even more moved by her prayers. She did not simply pray for material
Joseph P. Teodoro
For Brother Knights by Brother Knights
Atty. Rizal V. Katalbas, Jr.
From the Legal Standpoint
Various programs served as tools to generate better FYCI. They include the following: 1. The KCFAPI Council of Honors Awards which encourages the councils to help promote the fraternal benefits program of the Order. 2. The Minimum 12 New Paid Lives Campaign which calls for every fraternal counselor to bring in at least 12 new paid lives during the year. The fraternal counselors were also reminded that cash gifts await if they make the 12 benefit certificates by October 30, 2010. 3. The monthly update that FBG provides to the candidates for the annual awards also contributed to the improvement of sales. FBG will be recommending plans of actions for the last quarter to sustain the momentum which commenced during the month of August 2010.
KCFAPI Posts Double Digit Sales
KCFAPI posted a double digit first year contribution income (FYCI) for the month of August 2010. The FYCI of 10.8 million pesos became the highest FYCI in a month during the current year. FBG expressed optimism that this development signals the start of improvement of sales and the attainment of the 2010 FYCI target. This optimism is based on the following factors: 1. At least 50 fraternal counselors are campaigning for a slot in the 52nd Anniversary Sales Drive which is now being co-shared by Bros. Lorenzo Dufale and Reynaldo Segismundo. Both are fraternal counselors of the Northwestern Luzon Thunders under the able leadership of Area Manager Josefino Valencia. 2. The recent announcement that the next annual awards will be held in Boracay motivated producers to aspire anew for a slot in the prestigious circle of fraternal counselors. During the early part of September Bros. Lauro Evangelista (CLB1) and Venancio Capiral (SL) are among the fraternal counselors who have registered considerable new businesses that will not only give them the annual awards but also served notice that they have thrown their hats in the FC of the Year derby. Other fraternal counselors who will figure in the tightly contested FC of the Year Award are Maria Teresa dela Mota of the Western Visayas Bulls, Teofilo Samson of the Southern Luzon Lakers and Amado Miranda of the Central Luzon Diamonds. 3. The area managers have stepped up their recruitment for new fraternal counselors. The actual number of new fraternal counselors recruited from January to August 2010 is just two heads shy of the target. Reports indicated that new fraternal counselors will be more than the target for the month and make up for the deficit during the year.
WHEN applying for insurance coverage or Membership Benefit Certificate with KCFAPI, there are variations of accident plans that may be attached as a supplementary contract, depending on the plan chosen. It may either be the Accidental Death Benefit (ADB), Fraternal Accidental Death Benefit (FADB) or the Extended Accidental Death Benefit (EADB), either way it involves death arising from an accident. Under this supplementary contract, where the insured dies in an accident, the beneficiaries are entitled to an amount equivalent to the face value. The general rule is that death or injury is not considered to have resulted from an accident or accidental means if it is the natural result of the insured’s voluntary act, unaccompanied by anything unforeseen except the death or injury. The exception to this general rule is when some additional unexpected, independent and unforeseen happening occurs which produces or brings about the result of death or injury. It must be emphasized, however, that the burden of proof that the death was a result of an accident rest with the claimant. An example would be in a boxing match. In one case decided by the court, the insured died during a boxing contest, when he slipped and was hit by the opponent at the back of his head, then hit his head on the rope. The insurer denied the claim contending that the insured’s death was caused by his participation in the contest. The court ruled, otherwise, saying that his death was the result of an accident. Although engaging in a boxing match is attended with the risk of external injuries it does not make any injuries received in the course of the game not accidental. (Dela Cruz v. Capital Insurance & Surety Co. Ltd. 17 SCRA 559 ) When an insured willfully exposes himself to a known danger it negates the accidental character of what follows after the known danger. Thus when the insured’s death was a result of playing “Russian roulette” (pulling the trigger of a revolver after spinning the cylinder with one bullet in it) it was held not within the coverage of accident insurance. It would be different, if the insured was cleaning his gun and it suddenly goes off, in this case it would be compensable under the accident insurance. It is important to note that the Accidental Death Benefit contract contains provisions excepting deaths resulting from intentionally inflicted injuries. The phrase “intentionally inflicted” is interpreted based on the circumstances of the case.
Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines Inc.,
an established mutual benefits association is currently looking for:
Auditor Accounting Staff BC Holders’ Relations Office Staff Treasury Staff Customer Relations Assistant
If you are dedicated, service-oriented, and have the promising potential to join us in our continuous drive to provide mutual aid, assistance and excellent service to our members. Kindly send your comprehensive resume’ thru fax number 527-2244 or hand-carry resume’ with a 2x2 photo and transcript of records to:
The Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines Inc., is an established and progressive mutual benefits association operating for 52 years, has been highly committed to provide mutual aid and assistance to its members and their immediate families. KC Fraternal firmly believes that the continued progress and success of the association depends to a great extent on its human capital KC Fraternal also believes that through training and a host of other benefits if coupled with hard work, will help employees and the association attain their goals and objectives. In our continuous drive to provide excellent service to our members, we are currently on the look-out for individuals with promising potentials. He must be dedicated, service oriented, and willing to undergo training . Our compensation and employee benefits are comparable, if not better than most companies of our same size and nature of business.
Frequently Asked Question
Reduced Paid-Up Insurance
Q: I received a letter informing me that my Benefit Certificate has been converted to Reduced Paid-Up status, what does this mean? A: Reduced paid-up insurance (RPU) is one of the nonforfeiture options available to a benefit certificate holder in case of contribution default. Once a benefit certificate is converted into RPU status, you are no longer required to make any succeeding contributions. However, the benefit amount is reduced to what the available cash value can buy, with the lowered benefit still payable on the same terms and conditions as the original certificate. The BC also loses its right of entitlement to any annual dividends declared by the Board of Trustees and other benefits previously available to your BC. To revert back your BC to contribution paying status and restore the original sum of protection, BRO (BC Holders’ Relations Office), requests the submission of necessary documents and payment before a specified date.
KC Family... Our Concern
You may also call 527 – 2223 local 202 for queries and look for Ms. Kristianne or Ms. Juno.
KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS FRATERNAL ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC. Gen. Luna cor. Sta. Potenciana Sts., Intramuros, Manila
September 27 - October 10, 2010
Vol. 14 No. 20
K of C Luzon undertakes Watershed Tree Planting
IN support of the Annual Tree Planting Program of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources - National Capital Region and Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, around 800 members of the Knights of Columbus - Luzon Jurisdiction planted more than 1,000 tree saplings at the La Mesa Critical Watershed in Novaliches, Quezon City last September 18, 2010. This eco-friendly undertaking of the KC - Luzon Jurisdiction, headed by Luzon Deputy Alonso L. Tan, is being held annually as an institutionalized activity of the Order for environmental protection. A Eucharistic celebration was held at the Sacred Heart Novitiate Chapel with Most Rev. Bishop Antonio R. Tobias, JCL, DD., as celebrant, in commemoration of the 33rd death anniversary of Fr. George J. Willmann, S. J. Luzon State Secretary Arsenio Isidro G. Yap and Bishop Tobias led the wreath laying ceremony at the tomb of Fr. George J. Willmann, S.J. following the mass, which KC - Luzon Jurisdiction state officers, state service program directors/chairmen, district deputies, grand knights and council members of the archdiocese of Manila, dioceses of Cubao and Novaliches attended in remembrance of the Father of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines. Prior to the tree planting, Bro. Raymund Gubat, RTDD Chairman of the Diocese of Novaliches, reiterated that local indigenous tree species will be used for this year’s planting at the watershed areas. These tree varieties were provided by DENR-NCR courtesy of Dr. Jose L. Diaz, Regional Exec. Director of DENR-NCR who also graced the occasion. A very happy and appreciative Bro. Bonifacio Martinez, State Program Director, together with Bro. Ramoncito A. Ocampo, State Community Director, expressed their gratitude to all the officers and members of KC - Luzon Jurisdiction and Novaliches Diocese who supported and participated in this Tree Planting project. (Bro. Eduardo S. Manabat)
Most Rev. Antonio R. Tobias, Bishop of the Diocese of Novaliches during the opening rites of Tree-Planting activity at the grounds of the Sacred Heart Novitiate, Novaliches, Q.C. With him are State Secretary Arsenio Isidro Yap, State Warden Pascual Carbero and other state directors & chairmen.
DURING this month of September, two scholars of the KC Fr. George J. Willmann Charities, Inc. were ordained to the Sacred Order of Priesthood in their respective Dioceses. Last September 20, 2010, the community of San Isidro Labrador Parish in Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur joined Rev. Fr. Paterno Trapa Dalumpines as he pledged his perpetual vow of celibacy to Most Rev. Emmanuel T. Cabajar, CSsR, DD, Bishop of Pagadian. Fr. Pat, as he is fondly called, was born on August 22, 1974 to Mr. Silvano Dalumpines and Mrs. Margarita Trapa of Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur. In March 1996, he graduated from a twoyear Associate in Computer Science course at Southern Mindanao Colleges in Pagadian City. He then proceeded to take up his Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education, major in Mathematics from the same school and graduated in October 2001. Fr. Pat began his seminary life in 2002 when he entered the Holy Infant Semi-
Knights of Columbus seminarian-scholars ordained priests
nary in Pagadian City for a two-year scholar in the person of Rev. Jupe Lao of Mr. Ramon Garalde, a retired police Pre-Theological formation. Thereafter, Garalde at the Holy Infant Jesus Parish officer and Mrs. Juanita Lao, a retired public school teacher. Born on July the seminary formators recommended in Matnog, Sorsogon. that he pursue his priestly formation. Most Rev. Arturo M. Bastes, SVD, 02, 1982, Fr. Jupe finished his primary course at Matnog CenHe was then selected tral School in 1994. during the school year Inspired by their Par2004-2005 as one of ish Priest, he entered the scholars of the KC the Our Lady of PeFr. Willmann Chariñafrancia Minor Semities, Inc. for a five-year nary for his secondary course in Theology at studies which he comSt. Mary’s Theologate pleted in 1998. Upon in Ozamiz City. He the recommendation finished his studies of then Bishop of Sorin March 2009 and goson, Most Rev. Jesus immediately begun Y. Varela, Fr. Jupe was his Pre-diaconal proable to continue his gram. Bishop Cabajar seminary formation at ordained him to the the UST Central SemiSacred Order of DeaFr. Paterno T. Dalumpines Rev. Jupe L. Garalde nary where he attained con last December 29, his Bachelor’s Degree 2009. September 28, 2010 is the DD., Bishop of Sorsogon, presided the in Classical Philosophy in 2002 at the feastday of San Lorenzo Ruiz and solemn Eucharistic Celebration with the young age of 19. Because the former Rector of the Seminary, Rev. Fr. HonCompanion Martyrs. This is the date of clergy of Sorsogon as concelebrants. ordination of a second KC seminarianFr. Jupe is the third and youngest son orato Castigador, OP thought that he
was still too young for Theological formation, Fr. Jupe was told to undergo a two-year Regency which he spent in various Apostolate programs of the Diocese of Sorsogon. After two years outside the seminary formation, he decided to return to the Central Seminary and pursue his Theological studies. He was granted a scholarship by the Foundation for the school year 2005-2006 during his second year of Theological Studies in UST. He graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2007 and still with a scholarship under the Foundation, proceeded to enroll at the Loyola School of Theology-Center for Family Ministry (CEFAM) for an M.A. degree major in Family Ministry and Counseling. He finished his Masteral Degree in 2009 and was recommended for Pre-diaconal Program. Fr. Jupe was ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacons last March 25, 2010, the feast of the Annunciation of the Lord, at the Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral. (Denise Solina)
Ferdinand Magellan Province holds 19th Annual Provincial Assembly meeting
THE Ferdinand Magellan Province has conducted the 19th Annual Provincial Assembly meeting. The assembly was held at the Richmonde Hotel in San Miguel Avenue, Ortigas, Pasig City last September 18, 2010. Pedro M. Rodriguez, Jr., Vice Supreme Master, presented the annual report while Gerardo Domingo Coloma, Luzon District Master I opened the assembly with a prayer. The talk on the assembly programs and projects was delivered by Dionisio R. Esteban, Jr., Visayas State Deputy while Mindanao State Deputy Sofronio R. Cruz talked on the fourth degree exemplification/assembly reporting/membership growth. The resolutions committee report was presented by Januario B. Espejo, Jr. Mindanao District Master 14. Several discussions were also tackled such as the fraternal programming, membership growth, assembly growth, duties and responsibilities of officers. Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio, III, KCFAPI Spiritual Director, facilitated a spiritual talk and presided the Eucharistic celebration during the assembly. KCFAPI President Alonso L. Tan, Luzon Deputy and Supreme Director, gave an overview of the Order of the Knights of Columbus while Executive Vice-President Ma. Theresa G. Curia talked about insurance. The Installation of Masters of the 4th Degree where KCFAPI Chairman Hilario G. Davide, Jr. was the guest of honor was conducted at the conclusion of the assembly. The event culminated with the awarding of certificates and plaques presented by Rodriguez. The following District Masters were present: Gerardo D. Coloma, Armando C. Gonzales, Ruel D. Tecson, Deovides F. Reyes, Isagani B. Maghirang, Antonio B. Bonaga, Pepito O. Palomero, Mauricio A. Padawan, Rufino P. Soriano, Crisostomo T. Lagare, Enrique G. Siaboc, Sagrado P. Navarro and Januario B. Espejo, Jr. Joseph P. Teodoro, Vice President of the Fraternal Benefits Group, and Gari M. San Sebastian, Manager of the Fraternal Benefits Services Department were also present during the occasion. (Kate Laceda)
KCFAPI Alonso L. Tan giving an overview of the Order of the Knights of Columbus to the District Masters during the 19th Annual Provincial Assembly meeting held at the Richmonde Hotel in San Miguel Avenue, Ortigas, Pasig City.
Knights attend the GK, FS Seminar in Legazpi City KCFAPI holds joint area meeting in CMBP Banners guaranteed acceptance feature General Santos City
BROTHER Knights from the provinces of Sorsogon, Masbate and Catanduanes have participated in the recent Grand Knights’ and Financial Secretaries’ Seminar. Organized by the Knights of Columbus Luzon Jurisdiction, the seminar was held last September 5, 2010 at the Nazpen School of Safety in Legaspi City. Officials from the Luzon Jurisdiction present were Jose Cuaresma, Columbian Squires Chairman, Efren Mendoza, State Seminar Director and Ramon Sanchez, District Deputy of the Sta. Teresita Council 12308 of the Diocese of Cubao. Also present in the event were the District Deputies, and Treasurers of the various councils in the Luzon jurisdiction. The seminar discussed the duties and responsibilities of the Grand Knights and Financial Secretaries. It also tackled various issues on council membership. (KC News) KCFAPI will be offering a new Council Mortuary Benefit Plan (CMBP) with a new guaranteed acceptance feature starting on October 1, 2010. The launching of the new CMBP which was dubbed as KCFAPI HAPPY was held at the 3rd Floor, Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ., Intramuros, Manila on September 22, 2010. Present were KCFAPI officers, area managers and selected employees and fraternal counselors. Sis. Maria Theresa G. Curia, KCFAPI Executive Vice President, was the main speaker of the occasion. In her speech Curia reiterated a number of comparative advantages of KCFAPI earned after 52 years of its existence. Among them are KCFAPIs financial stability, expeditious adjudication of death claims and contributions to various charitable and benevolent projects which include the CBCP SEED OF HOPE FUND, scholarship programs benefitting children of members and those desiring to becoming priests. The product presentation and the ensuing open forum were facilitated by Bro. Gari San Sebastian, Fraternal Benefit Services Dept Manager. The 4 KCFAPI Group Heads/Vice Presidents were on hand and answered the questions posed by the attendees. The features of the new CMBP are as follows: 1. The CMBP is open to all KC members and their wives who are between the ages 18 and 70 on enrolment date. Children of KC members who are between 1 and 20 years old may also enrol in the program. KC members who are single may also enrol their parents provided they are not over 70 years on enrolment date. 2. There is a minimum of 30 enrolees before a council may be issued a CMBP group contract. Twenty of the enrolees must be K of C members while the rest from family members. 3. The insurance contribution will be the same rates as before. The new CMBP is expected to obtain better availment from the K of C councils. THE Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) has recently conducted a joint area meeting for the Fraternal Counselors of Central Mindanao and North Central Mindanao. Aiming on improving their sales performance, the meeting was held at the Sydney Hotel in General Santos City. Adrian Boston, Fraternal Benefits Associate, facilitated the joint area meeting. Gari San Sebastian, Manager of the Fraternal Benefits Services Department, gave an update on the current development in the Association and the activities of FBG to upgrade the skills and knowledge of the sales force. He also discussed the rules governing the incentive programs of KCFAPI for 2010 such as the sales drive in celebration of KCFAPI’s 52nd Anniversary, The Most Outstanding District Deputy (MODD) and KCFAPI Council of Honors which is given to District Deputies and Grand Knights for supporting the Association. San Sebastian also announced the program, Fr. George J. Willmann SJ Award for Academic Excellence, which is intended to encourage members of KC family to achieve outstanding academic performance. The project for the loan program packages for the Area Managers, Team Leaders and Fraternal Counselors were also tackled. (KCFAPI News)
Vol. 14 No. 20
September 27 - October 10, 2010
Tercentenary of Our Lady of Peñafrancia
PEÑAFRANCIA AT 300. Thousands of Bicolanos from all over the country and several parts of the world await the traditional procession from the Caceres Metropolitan Cathedral to the Bicol River where thousands more have lined-up themselves for the fluvial procession. For the first time in years, the original image of Bicol Region’s well-loved icon of Our Lady of Peñafrancia was brought out for the tercentenary celebration.
By Melo M. Acuña
Thousands of devotees flock to Peñafrancia tercentenary
Msgr. Romulo Vergara, Rector of the Basilica Minore de Nuestra Senora de Peñafrancia told CBCPNews their preparations paid off as everything went smoothly well according to plans. “The lay faithful and the religious had their different committees from the spiritual and physical preparations and all the other activities we had,” Msgr. Vergara said. He added they begun the month of September with the Harubay announcing the coming novena masses and coming fiesta of Ina involving various organizations with the appropriate recollections. Trade Fair A trade fair in honor of Bishop Francisco Gainza y Escobas, prelate of Caceres circa 1863, ended September 20 at the SM Naga grounds. Bishop Gainza is acknowledged as responsible for bringing new farm equipment to the rich farming community in the Camarines provinces during his time. The fair showcased the products of farmers and entrepreneurs from the archdiocese. “The traslacion was a success, from the procession from the Peñafrancia Shrine to the Metropolitan Cathedral to the security and the traffic,” Msgr. Vergara said. He acknowledged the close coordination between the archdiocese and the city government and other agencies including the military and the medical professionals. “The procession which usually last for four hours, has been significantly reduced to an hour and a half, through
THOUSANDS flocked the Bicol region’s commercial center as the Archdiocese of Caceres rolled out the red carpet to the faithful devotees of Our Lady of Peñafrancia in celebration of the three hundredth year of devotion to the revered icon.
the spiritual formation of the participants,” he added. Cultural Presentations “All the activities were done by the Church with the exception of the traditional Civic-Military Parade, which was supervised by the city government,” Msgr. Vergara further said. He said this year’s theme “Growing in Holiness with Ina” is more than appropriate because it emphasizes the devotion should not end with Ina but rather on God as the Blessed Mother is just an instrument, a way to God.
Naga declared Bicol region’s pilgrimage capital
THE city of Naga and the province of Camarines Sur have been declared pilgrimage capitals of the Bicol region and recognized top tourist destinations in the country in a presidential proclamation by President Benigno Aquino III. Aquino, in Presidential Proclamation No. 33 released on Sept. 10, said Bicol’s Feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia “is the only regional feast in the country [and] for the past three centuries has become an epic historical event that has become part of our cultural heritage.” Aquino noted the contribution of the Peñafrancia celebrations to the local economy, and the sense of unity and religious fervor that bond all devotees who come from all over the world. He said the festivities also “provide an environment conducive to tourism, a venue for appreciation of Bicol arts and culture, its indigenous and culinary arts, natural wonders and archaeological treasures.” Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims flock to Naga and Camarines Sur every year from September until middle of October to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia whom Bicolanos endearingly call “Ina”. This year’s festivities also featured the tercentenary celebration of the Devotion to Our Lady of Peñafrancia highlighted by an International Pilgrims’ Congress (IPC) held Sept. 16-17 at the Basilica Minore in Naga City. The presidential proclamation stresses the government’s participation by providing assistance to maintain peace and order and preserve the solemnity of the occasion. “The government shall ensure that the conduct of the observances essential to the feast, which include but are not limited to the Traslacion, the Fluvial and Dawn Processions and other cultural and historical remembrance activities, shall be respected, and that commercial exploitation during the pilgrimage period such as street parties that may become rambunctious, drinking sprees in plazas, street vending that obstruct passages towards the pilgrimage sites, and other similar activities, shall be discouraged,” part of the proclamation read. The proclamation also mandates the local government units to partner with other government agencies and the Archdiocese of Caceres to put together “their technical and financial resources and participate in the conduct of trade fairs, job fairs, skills training and seminars on agriculture, aquaculture and crafts during the months of September and October.” The decree likewise underscores the role of the Philippine National Police to maintain peace and order and provide security to all pilgrims during the celebrations. The annual Peñafrancia festival begins every second Friday of September with the traslacion, a procession from the Basilica Minore to the Metropolitan Cathedral where the nine-day novena is held. Last Sept. 18, the venerated image of Our Lady of Peñafrancia and the icon of Divino Rostro were carried in fluvial procession to the Bicol River with thousands of voyadores in small boats amid chants of Viva La Virgen. The procession was capped with a 6 p.m. Pontifical Mass at the Basilica Minore led by Papal nuncio Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams. (Pinky Barrientos, FSP)
THE Bicolanos’ deep devotion to Our Lady of Peñafrancia is what makes the region’s faithful different and distinct from other devotees. This was the impression shared by Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes, SVD in an interview with CBCPNews at the Archbishop’s Chapel, a couple of hours before the traditional fluvial procession along the Bicol river. “(The devotion to Our Lady of Peñafrancia) is something different and very unique,” he said. Recalling his first visit to Naga City eight years ago while preparing for his assumption as co-adjutor bishop of the Diocese of Sorsogon, Bastes said Caceres Archbishop Leonardo Z. Legazpi, OP insisted then that he spent his first days in the Bicol region “to pay homage to Ina” before assuming his new appointment in Sorsogon. Bastes said he was truly overwhelmed to see the fluvial procession and hear the Bicolanos’ shouts of joy and victory For his part, Virac Bishop Manolo Delos Santos said his province of Catanduanes has its share of significant number of Peñafrancia devotees. Asked of ways to further deepen the faith, Bishop Delos Santos said there should be
Devotion to Peñafrancia is distinctively Bicolano—bishop
renewal, education and evangelization. Former Senator Francisco S. Tatad said that while the Bicolanos’ devotion to our Lady of Peñafrancia has reached various parts of the world, it has remained “basically identified with Bicol, (the Archdiocese of) Caceres as we sing in the hymn Patrona del Bicol.” “On the 300th year anniversary of the Bicolanos’ devotion to Our Lady of Peñafrancia, we’re seeing the arrival of pilgrims from all over the world,” Senator Tatad said. The presence of overseas Filipinos who participated in the International Pilgrims Congress from September 16-17 showed that the devotion has spread across the world, he added. He said the solemn Mass presided by Archbishop Leonardo Z. Legazpi, OP with several archbishops from various places even outside the country showed the “great fervor, which you don’t see in other places.” The former lawmaker said a foreign bishop who saw the multitudes shouting Viva La Virgen! almost broke down to tears because it was a moving experience. Filipinos look at Our Lady of Peñafrancia as a source of hope, the former senator said.
“Inspite of all our problems, the moral difficulties of the times, marked by secularism and relativism spreading around the world, the faith seems to be strong,” he explained. Legazpi City-based businessman Romeo Tan said he is a staunch devotee of Our Lady of Peñafrancia. Interviewed after the briefing for the voyadores and other passengers of the barge bearing the region’s icon, Tan said he attributed his being able to overcome trials through Mama Mary’s intercession. “I believe in her intercession and as a businessman, I am calling on my colleagues to seriously consider becoming devotees in the near future,” Tan said. Police Chief Supt. Cecilio Calleja said he appreciates the preparation and cooperation of Church leaders and local government units and national government agencies in keeping the Peñafrancia celebration peaceful and orderly. Interviewed by CBCPNews, the Bicol police director said they have not monitored any untoward incident despite the influx of hundreds of thousands of devotees from all walks of life, the country and various parts of the world. (CBCPNews)
© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media
© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media
© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media
Vol. 14 No. 20
September 27 - October 10, 2010
Tercentenary of Our Lady of Peñafrancia
THIS year, the Church in the Philippines celebrates the 300th Anniversary of the Devotion to Our Lady of Peñafrancia. The CBCP Monitor is preparing a supplement in time for this most special occurrence, and I am happy to contribute these few words that have been asked of me. “From now onwards all generations will call me blessed, for the Almighty has done great things for me” (Luke 2:48-49) All nations call Mary blessed. This is true of the whole of the Catholic world, but much more so in this Philippines! It can be said that the Catholic faith and the devotion to the Blessed Virgin and to her mysteries belong to the very identity, and characterize the piety, of Filipinos. This piety is the true expression of their uniqueness, since it is a piety touched by grace and forged by the happy meeting between the Gospel and what they are. From the time Father Miguel Robles de Covarrubias introduced the veneration of Mother Mary under the special title, Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia, to the people of Bicolandia, they began to come to her, to love her and to experience her healing power. Affection for the “Ina” spread not only throughout the region, but the entire country as well. May the 300th Anniversary of the Devotion to Our Lady of Peñafrancia be an occasion for God’s family in this Country, especially the Christian communities in Bicol, to reaffirm their loyalty and love for the blessed Mother and to intensify their faith. Guided by the constant action of their pastors, may they be able to experience fully the mystery of their Catholic faith according to “Ina’s way”, that is, to live and pray like Mary. In the name of the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI, I greet and bless all the Bicolano faithful and all those devoted to Our Lady of Peñafrancia. Viva La Virgen! +EDWARD JOSEPH ADAMS Apostolic Nuncio in the Philippines HEARTIEST greetings on your Tercentenary Celebration of the Devotion to Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia! The celebration of the 300th Year of devotion to our Lady of Peñafrancia is, above all, a celebration of the victory of our faith. This devotion endures through centuries, which boldly manifests the ever deepening trust and dependence among Catholic Christians in the loving providence of God through the intercession of Our Lady. Despite the apparent weakness of this divine yet human church, the fondness of the faithful towards Mary remains steadfast. In fact, through her unfailing maternal care, Mary continues to win the hearts of many unbelievers and draws more people close to Her Son. Your theme writes: “A gift received, a gift to share.” In Salve Regina, we boldly profess our nothingness and humbly accept the misfortunes of our humanity before the graciousness of Mary. We realize how much need we have of Mary’s intercession. But most importantly, we must know that some hope and good things take place in us, poor banished children of Eve, because Mary never ignores our cry. Indeed, Mary is a gift to the church—a woman so richly blessed among others and full of grace as the Angel Gabriel announced (Luke 1:28). Hitherto, Mary extends her maternal concern for her children and constantly serves as an open vessel into which God pours His abundant blessings and from which we also share. She bears the Son for us, the greatest of all gifts that the Heavenly Father can offer to men. Thus, particularly among Bicolanos, if not Filipino Marian devotees, the commemoration attributed to Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia is surprisingly grandiose and overwhelmingly solemn. This profoundly expresses the Bicolanos’ deep gratitude to Mary’s unwavering love and concern especially for the needy This gift should serve as blessings to others too—a gift to share. Our devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary only finds complete meaning in making ourselves truly blessings to others too, that is, we make Mary and Jesus readily present to others by the kind of life we live. We proclaim to the ends of the world how richly blessed are we the moment we encounter Jesus and Mary, but most importantly, our very own lives, our very own actions should tell the people that indeed we, who are touched by the goodness of so loving a Mother, now become bearers of God’s blessings ourselves. May we never cease to trust in the intercessions of the Blessed Mother as we seek everyday God’s favors. Viva Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia! +NEREO P. ODCHIMAR, DD Bishop of Tandag CBCP President “THERE is need of only one thing” (Lk. 10: 42). This passage is set in the straightforward way that Jesus reminded Martha to prioritize the concerns of God over others. At the heart of a disciple’s life and service is the unconditional surrender to the will of the Divine Master. The Church of Bicol, in celebrating the historic moment of the 300th anniversary of the devotion to Our Lady of Peñafrancia, pauses for a moment to realize what God has bestowed them for more than a third of its history, attempts to acknowledge the immensity of the grace received and asks herself: “How can I repay the Lord for all the good done for me?”(Psalm 116:12) For three years since 2007, we have embarked on a spiritual journey or pilgrimage of faith rooted in our gratitude to God for the gift of Ina, the Patroness and Queen of the region. We experienced even more deeply that our love for Ina necessitates an intimacy with her Son, Jesus. It is in this articulation of our love for His mother, that we come into full circle the munificent love of God. The people of God in the Archdiocese of Caceres, in communion with the dioceses of Bicol, are one in answering to our collective vocation as inheritors of a glorious past, protagonists of the present, and shapers of the future. The gift of devotion handed down to the present generation, makes us remember that in 1710, Fr. Miguel Robles de Covarrubias, has been chosen by God as an instrument for the propagation of the devotion to Our Lady of Peñafrancia. The call to a renewal of life in faith challenges us to cease being passive spectators and to rise up as active agents in building up the Kingdom of God. Our love for Ina invites us to look further to the next generation by preparing them in and with great hope. In these threefold act of remembering, renewing, and sharing do we manifest our response to Jesus’ heed “to choose the better part “(Lk. 10: 43). It is in this spirit that I enjoin everyone to take part in our humble prayer as one local church in singing Mary’s hymn: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord” (Lk. 1: 46). Viva la Virgen! +LEONARDO Z. LEGASPI, O.P., D.D. Archbishop of Caceres
MY warmest greetings to all Bicolanos and devotees of Ina as you celebrate the Tercentenary Year of the Feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia. Your festivities mark one of the most memorable fiestas in the history of the Bicol region and the Philippines. As you promote a deeper appreciation of our heritage and a sense of solidarity among our people, may a sense of communal responsibility and the spirit of Ina hold sway over all of us Filipinos. Pray that she guides us, that we can stay true to the principles that inspire us to take the straight and righteous path, and that we can hold the course despite the challenges we might encounter. Your celebration comes at a time when our country has chosen to take a great leap towards social transformation. As we rise to this occasion, may we remain steadfast in gratitude and devotion to the Creator. With the benevolence of our Lord and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, we shall pursue with more vigor our mission to glorify Him and His teachings. Let us remain committed to the spirit of renewal through positive, meaningful change. Sama-sama nating tahakin and tuwid na landas tungo sa pagbabago! BENIGNO S. AQUINO III President, Republic of the Philippines INDEED, for the last three centuries, our Ina has been our fount of harmony; our source of strength; our stronghold; and our protector, as we have solemnly avowed in our devotions and prayers. And on this momentous occasion, it is but fitting that we observe the three hundred years of devotion to our region’s loving and faithful Mother who is truly a gift to the Bicolanos from God the Father; and more importantly, to share the blessings granted through Our Lady’s intercession with the multitude. Henceforth, in behalf of my family, I join my fellow Bicolanos in commemorating the Tercentenary of Our Lady of Peñafrancia! Nawa’y ipagpatuloy ng ating mahal Ina ang kanyang kalinga sa Kabikulan para makamtan nating lahat ang kasaganaan at kapayapaan na kalakip ng kanyang pagmamahal na siyang magbubunsod ng isang bagong simula para sa ating bayan! Mabuhay! FRANCIS “CHIZ” G. ESCUDERO Senator I JOIN our kababayan in celebrating 300 years of devotion to our Ina—Our Lady of Peñafrancia. Indeed, this year marks a milestone not only because it is the Tercentenary celebration of our ever-growing faith and our outpouring affection to Ina, but also it is the time to rejoice for the overflowing blessings and gifts of Our Lady of Peñafrancia. This annual commemoration of Ina’s feast day showcases the growing faith of the people along with the diversity of the cultural heritage of the country. These blessings, ultimately, we lift up to Ina and graciously share to the world. Let this year be an inspiration, that our devotion to Ina is not only a gift worth remembering but more so, a gift more sharing. Mabuhay! ANTONIO “SONNY” F. TRILLANES IV Senator IT is with heartfelt jubilation that I join my beloved Bicolanos, devotees, sponsors, patrons, visitors and spectators in a glorious tradition of religious, cultural and social event that has transcended many generations, era and borders… the feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia, now even more monumental on its grand tercentennial celebration. If there is one major thing that keeps the Bicolanos united and proud as one race above the rest and over a test of time, it is their deeply rooted reverence to Mahal na Ina, Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia. On this tercentenary of our Patroness, may we offer our sincerest prayers, lofty intentions, magnanimous deeds and supreme thanksgiving as a fitting homage and adoration to Her as our constant light, shield and consolation. Let this occasion be also a worthwhile opportunity to strengthen our vows and relationship with God and Mama Mary as we strive to become better followers, stewards, servants and fellow to one another. There is no obstacle too tough to hurdle, no crisis too serious to overcome, no summit too high to conquer, no road too arduous to tread on and no dream too big to make come true if the power of faith, hope, love and goodness dwell in our hearts. This humble representation takes advantage of this moment of prayerful celebration with renewed fervor and firmer commitment to be loyal to my oath of office and henceforth make my tenure of service worthy of divine intervention. Peace and prosperity to all! Viva La Virgen de Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia! ELMER E. PANOTES Representative 2nd District, Camarines Norte ON behalf of my family and staff, I would like to express my solidarity in observance of Tercentenary of Devotion of Our Lady of Peñafrancia. This year’s celebration which is dubbed as Tercentenary, highlighted from the traditional Traslacion and Fluvial Procession, is a fitting occasion that vividly underscores the rich religious history and culture of the Bicol Region, from which can emanate the pride, faith and confidence to take bigger and bolder strides into the future. This occasion showcases the strong regional spirit prevailing among the Bicolanos, which should serve to remind everyone that we can only grow and prosper through unity, solidarity and involvement. Only when we keep in mind the nobility of our race and the glory of our past, and put our shoulders together can we move forward as one nation and people towards the new century and beyond. It is my fervent hope, therefore, that this momentous occasion will move us towards closer participation and teamwork in local and national affairs. Let us draw from within ourselves the power, capability and collective energy to keep our beloved Philippines on the path of sustainable progress. Let us reaffirm the pride and strong devotion we take in our religious, historical and cultural heritage and strengthen our ability to unite, to sacrifice and to serve in the best interest of our nation and our people! VIVA LA VIRGEN! VIVA LA VIRGEN! NARCISO R. BRAVO, JR. Representative, 1st District of Masbate
ALL PhOtOes © ROy LAgARde / CBCP MediA
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