Pope Benedict urges end to bloodshed in Syria


Mary and the Culture of Life and the Culture of Death


A Supplement Publication of KCFAPI and the Order of the Knights of Columbus

The Cross

Fr. Sinnott to fellow priests: ‘Be not afraid’
BE not afraid. This was the call made by Fr. Michael Sinnott, an Irish missionary kidnapped and freed by armed bandits in 2009 to his fellow priests and missionaries as he left the Philippines for good on July 20. A true witness of Christ will be someone who is fearless, said 82-year old Columban missionary who opted to retire in Ireland. “The Lord has told us over and over again not to fear, not to worry and not to be afraid that He will always be with us,” Sinnott said.
Fellow / A7

Church takes fight vs. RH bill to EDSA
By Diana Uichanco

July 30 - August 12, 2012

Vol. 16 No. 16

Php 20.00

PROPONENTS and supporters of the controversial population control measure will have to contend with thousands of people marching in the streets.
In a very rare move, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is taking its fight against the RH measure to the historical EDSA Shrine on August 4. The Church had organized anti-RH bill rallies before but this will be the first time that it will be held in EDSA, site of two peaceful demonstrations that toppled Presidents Ferdinand Marcos in 1986 and Joseph Estrada in 2001. The CBCP called on the faithful to stand up and express their opposition to the bill, which requires massive government funding for contraception, sterilization, and questionable sex education programs. Organized by the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Family and Life (ECFL) and the Archdiocese of Manila, the rally is expected to draw thousands, as strong opposition to the bill grows among faith-based groups, youth organizations, family and life advocates, and concerned citizens. The event takes place three days

before the fate of the RH bill is decided at the House of Representatives wherein lawmakers will vote whether or not to terminate interpellation on the measure. Simultaneous rallies will also be held in the Archdiocese of Lipa, Cebu and other dioceses across the country. Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes, ECFL chairman, said that “this is a moral issue and therefore this event will not be a political rally but a prayer rally focused on praying for the nonpassage of the (RH bill).” Population, poverty and economic growth Rather than suppress the population, the government should harness the country’s human resources to boost economic growth, CBCP president and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said. He warned that the bill would curtail economic growth, citing the experience of countries with ageing populations and shrinking workforces. “The draconian population control policy of the Reproductive Health bill would only curtail our economic growth. The problem of countries with former robust economies is the lack of young workers for their industries and inadequate support for their aging population,” Palma said. “There is an ill-portent for the nation when government does not look at its own population as a source of grace
Fight / A6

NO TO RH BILL. Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines president, called on the faithful to join a mass action at the EDSA Shrine against the passage of the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill, three days before the actual House vote on it. Speaking on July 31 at “The Forum”, a weekly media forum of the Catholic Media Network in Intramuros, Manila, Palma and Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes said it’s about time for the people to show “our sentiments about our advocacy for life.”

Church survey: 140 lawmakers reject RH bill
CATHOLIC bishops cheered the result of their own survey showing that at least 140 lawmakers are against the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill. Antipolo Bishop Gabriel said the latest poll merely reaffirmed the sentiments of many lawmakers about the population control measure. “We are happy about that. We just hope that they (anti-RH lawmakers) won’t change their stand,” said Reyes, chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, CBCP president, acknowledged that the survey’s result is a boost to the Church’s campaign to uphold the culture of life in the country. He said they expect that more lawmakers will reject the bill following the report that the House minority bloc already withdrew their support for the RH measure. “We expect something like that with the passing of time. Initially, with the passing of time and with more and more sharing, discussions or fora and with reports coming from many places in the world―but we have a broader perspective of what’s happening all over the world and therefore it also becomes a basis for their assessment and decision,” Palma said. The survey was conducted by the bishops themselves in their respective dioceses before the State of the Nation Address (Sona) of President Benigno Aquino III. To recall, the bishops earlier asked their lawmakers of their position on the RH bill. Reyes then collated the answers of the lawmakers through his fellow prelates early this month. “Out of the 85 dioceses in the Philippines, 77 (bishops) answered. These bishops surveyed 215 congressmen and out of that number, 49 said they will vote yes to the RH bill, 140 will vote no, and 26 are undecided,” he said. On July 30, House minority leader and Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez, revealed that

© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

Catholic Social Media Summit inspires bishops, priests to blog homilies

they are withdrawing their support for the RH bill. According to him, some members of the minority bloc only supported the bill because they were influenced largely by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, who then led the minority. The decision of the lawmakers came days before the Church-led prayer rally against the RH bill at the Edsa Shrine in Quezon City on August 4. Father Melvin Castro, ECFL executive secretary, said simultaneous rallies will also be held in Cebu City and other dioceses across the country. He called on the faithful to attend the gathering on August 4 to show to the country’s lawmakers the real sentiments of the people on the bill. “Let us show our opposition to this RH bill. Let us go to Edsa and pray,” Castro said. Members of the House of Representatives are scheduled to vote on either terminating or continuing the period of debates on the RH Bill by August 7. (CBCPNews)

Inspired by the success of the recently-held 1st Catholic Social Media Summit, Episcopal Commission on Youth Chairman and Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon encourages fellow bishops and clergy to establish online presence.

Little-known fact: Pedro Calungsod had an artistic side
canonization, also shared that this historical blip is the basis for asking Angono artists to do a set of paintings of Calungsod. He explained that during the 15th century, Angono and Taytay were part of the larger Politico Militar Distrito de Morong, which also included Manila, Makati, Cainta and WITH Pasig. news of Pedro This was further corCalungsod paintroborated by Angono ings coming Mayor Gerardo Calout, it may deron who, during come as a sura meeting with the prise for many Illustration by Bladimer Usi Angono artists yesthat Blessed Pedro terday, said during Calungsod’s Calungsod was a bit of an artist time, Angono and Taytay were himself. connected by a huge river and According to Clarke Nebrao, people traveling to Taytay from research shows that from 1666 the other parts of the Distrito de to 1668, a young Calungsod Morong had to go through Anstayed at the St. John the Baptist gono on boat. parish in Taytay, Rizal where he cultivated his passion for the ‘Blessed’ to paint arts as he learned how to draw Jan Blanco of the famous Blanco and paint. family of artists said he felt “honNebrao, the head for promotions ored” and “blessed” to learn that and merchandise for Calungsod’s Artistic / A7

Bishop chides Aquino’s failure to solve extrajudicial killings
A CATHOLIC bishop could not understand how President Benigno Aquino III flaunted the supposed decrease in crime rate despite the unabated extrajudicial killings in the country. Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said he is disappointed that it was not even mentioned by Aquino during his State of the Nation Address on Monday how the government will
Killings / A7

Bishop Broderick Pabillo

IF the first Catholic Social Media Summit (CSMS) has encouraged the lay faithful to participate in “online evangelization,” it has also challenged the religious to gather their “virtual flock.” Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon said he himself is considering posting his homilies online so that his Gospel interpretations will also reach those who frequently visit their Facebook pages more than their local parish to hear Mass. “The CSMS has encouraged priests to blog their homilies, even us bishops, to gather our virtual flock,” he said. “But it will take time.” Baylon admitted that while quite a number of priests and bishops have already established their online presence, there are still others who need time to study and maximize the benefits of the online technology. The prelate added that the Holy Father himself has encouraged bishops during their ad limina visit to establish their

online presence. “He encouraged us all to put up our own blog especially those who are already retired because they have more time to post their homilies and reflections in the internet,” he said. Baylon, who is also the chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth, echoed the Holy Father’s invitation saying “the more homilies and Gospels we share, the more seeds we sow” in the Lord’s vineyard. During the first CSMS last July 14 to 15, Baylon also urged parents and teachers to make use of social media to reach out to the “unchurched” young people. The 1st CSMS, which gathered at least 450 participants nationwide, was organized by YouthPinoy, +Big Movement, CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth, CBCP Media Office, CBCP Commission on Missions, Catholic Media Network, and Pontifical Missions Societies. (YouthPinoy)

Land dispute behind clashes in Basilan - bishop
THE recent bloody conflict in Basilan between the military and suspected Abu Sayyaf bandits is part of a longstanding dispute over land in Basilan province, a Catholic bishop said. The clashes on July 26, which left 10 soldiers and 9 militants dead, have led Isabela Bishop Martin Jumoad to call on the government to resolve the land dispute to forestall further bloodshed. He believes those encountered by the military were not legitimate Abu Sayyaf bandits but workers of a rubber plantation in Sumisip town’s Tumahubong village that were removed from their jobs for no apparent reasons. “I hope the Department of Agrarian Reform would do something about this. I’ve been telling them before to determine who really owns the land there,” Jumoad said. The land, the bishop said, is currently being managed by a cooperative because the farmer-beneficiaries of the land distribution program are not yet determined. He said that current residents of TuDispute / A7


© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

From speed skating to religious life: Former Olympian on the call to join Franciscan Order
LONDON, July 27, 2012—With the London summer Olympics commencing today, a former Olympian—now a sister with the Community of the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal in Leeds, England—shared with ZENIT her journey toward answering the call to the religious life. For CFR Sister Catherine Mary of the Holy Trinity the Olympics were a family affair. The Wisconsin native—whose legal name is Kristin Holum—is the daughter of Dianne Holum, who gained international fame by becoming the first American to win Olympic gold in woman's speed skating, competing in the 1968 and 1972 games. She went on to coach three consecutive Olympic teams, and later would contribute as a commentator for the sport. "It was very natural for me to get involved in speed skating," Sister Catherine told ZENIT, "and really the Olympics in our family has been such a focal point." Kristin began competing as a young child, with her mother as her coach. "When I first started skating I was like any other kid. I didn't excel in any direction. But as I grew up and started maturing, there was a lot of gifts that the Lord had given me, and a lot of talent in the sport, and a lot of determination and excitement about competing. By the time I was 13, I had already qualified for the national junior team, and had started traveling all around Europe and North America." In spite of the strict schedule that comes with competing, Dianne Holum would ensure that she and her daughter nonetheless made it to Sunday Mass. "Even when we were traveling my mom and I would first of all find a Catholic church where we could get to Mass on Sunday. Usually there was some way we could get to Mass, no matter where we were, and fit that into the speed skating event schedule. That was really important to me growing up: our faith, and the priority of that." Kristin retired from speed skating following the 1998 Olympics, graduated from high school, and eventually went on to receive a bachelor of fine arts in photography from the Art Institute in Chicago. Although she remained a practicing Catholic, her commitment to the faith waned in the absence of a Catholic community, and she had forgotten about her call to be a sister by the time she graduated. It was at WYD that she encountered the CFR sisters for the first time. "There was just this immediate connection that I felt in my heart that I could see myself doing that; I have a desire to do what they're doing." After discerning and visiting other religious orders, she made the call to the CFR sisters. "As soon as I got off the plane and saw the sisters waiting for me at the airport, I felt this tremendous peace, and knew that I was home. It just felt like I was meant to be there, like this was the community that I was meant to join." Kristin joined the CFR sisters in September 2003 in New York City, where the order is based, and made her final profession of vows in 2010. Shortly after she was sent to Saint Clare's Convent in Leeds, England, where she continues to work with the poor and the homeless. Sister Catherine spoke of the certainty that has come from "reflecting on the London Olympics and reflecting on my life as an Olympian and what God has done with that, and really seeing how this has been such an opportunity, that it's all God's work. Everything in my life has been God's work." (Zenit)

World News

CBCP Monitor
July 30 - August 12, 2012

Vol. 16 No. 16

‘Use your body for the glory of God,’ archbishop tells Olympians
LONDON, England, July 28, 2012—Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster reminded Olympians this afternoon that the deepest meaning of sporting achievement is giving “glory to their maker.” “We will see many fine sports men and women use their bodies, their minds and their spirits in the quest for glory. But the message of the Gospel goes deeper. It reminds us, vividly, that our bodies are for the glory of God,” Archbishop Nichols said at a July 28 Mass to give thanks for the London Olympics. “Indeed our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. This does not detract from that physical achievement of sport, with its beauty, symmetry, harnessing of speed, finesse and power. Rather it enhances those achievements and gives them their deepest purpose – that of giving glory to their Maker,” he said. The special Mass at London’s Westminster Cathedral came less than 24-hours after the official opening of the 30th Olympiad in the city’s east end. During the next two weeks the English capital will play host to over age were explored as the foundation of true human achievement, whether in citizenship or sport,” Archbishop Nichols said of the project. Meanwhile, the John Paul II Foundation for Sport, which was launched by Pope Benedict XVI during his 2010 visit to London, has been attempting to “build spiritual character through excellence in sporting skills and fitness.” Archbishop Nichols said this would be the key project “through which our Catholic community can help our society build a legacy worthy of these Games.” He concluded by asking God to bless all those participating and attending the Olympic Games. “Bless all who take part in them. Keep us safe. Bless alike our joys and our disappointments,” he said. “Teach us, in these weeks ahead, to thank you for all your gifts and to give a generous welcome to all, especially those most in need. Then, indeed, we know you, the one true God, in the glory of all your creation.” (CNA)

Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster, visits Olympic Park.

10,000 athletes from over 200 countries. Archbishop Nichols praised the Olympic Games for holding up “high ideals of fairness in competition, of friendship between adversaries, of individual achievement and national pride.” He hoped these ideals would be achieved during the London event, despite the “huge pressures of world attention, corporate investment and political prestige.”

Over the past months the Catholic Church in England and Wales has launched various initiatives related to the Olympic Games. The 100 Days for Peace project campaigned for an “Olympic truce” between warring nations for the duration of the games. It also encouraged schoolchildren “to train for peace,” just as athletes train for events. “The classic virtues of temperance, fortitude, justice and cour-

World Conference of Secular Institutes concludes in Assisi
ASSISI, Italy, July 26, 2012—The Congress of the World Conference of Secular Institutes concluded its annual meeting in Assisi today where a new executive council and president have been elected. The conference also gave participants an opportunity to reflect on the more than 60 years since its inception. Secular institutes became part of ecclesiastical legislation in 1947 when Pope Pius XII promulgated an apostolic constitution that gave them a juridical basis. The World Conference highlights the importance of lay people giving witness to the Gospel in the world. "We work as a link among institutes and a link among secular congregations," said Giorgio Mazzola, member of the Executive Council of the Institute, in an interview with Vatican Radio. "Every four years the Conference renews its Executive Council and the President. And usually the assembly is preceded by a Congress. This year we chose to reflect on the very source of our vocation: going back to the very beginning ... the subject we chose hearing the word of God within history." Through his secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Pope Benedict XVI sent a message to the participants, encouraging the particular vocation of consecrated lay men and women, which is rooted and centered in Christ, but lived within wider society. Regarding the vocation of lay men and women, Mazzola said that "since the very beginning, the message has been that not only this particular apostolate happens in the world, it actually grows out of the world." "We are not looking for great works, for hospitals or schools. We are not looking for visibility. We are like the salt that should be in the world. And we know the grace of the Lord will do something out of our lives if we remain faithful to this original intention which was full consecration, with full secularity: a full commitment in the world." The town of Assisi, where the Conference was held, had a special significance. St. Francis, according to Mazzola, was "a man who lived in times of change, and in times in which the Church was suffering a lot." "It is very interesting to remember that when St. Francis chose to create an order, he called them the Friars Minor. Minor which means small but necessary, because St. Francis worked a lot for the renewal of the Church." The Secular Institute, he concluded, "is on the same path: small but necessary." (Zenit)

Vatican Briefing
Papal spokesman laments false rumors

Peru University loses Catholic status

The Holy See has withdrawn the titles of “Pontifical” and “Catholic” from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. The university, founded in 1917 and canonically erected by decree of the Holy See in 1942, has many times since 1967 unilaterally changed its statutes “with grave prejudice to the interests of the Church,” a Vatican statement declared. The Vatican explained that starting in 1990 the university was asked on numerous occasions to bring its statutes into accord with the apostolic constitution Ex Corde Ecclesiae (August 15, 1990), but that it has not complied with this request. (Zenit)
Priests to be assigned to Vatican museums

Fr. Martin Lally, pastor of Queen of Peace Catholic Church speaks during Mass on July 22, 2012.

New San Francisco archbishop vows to support marriage, immigrants
for the defense of marriage. When he is installed at archbishop of San Francisco on October 4, he will assume pastoral care of an archdiocese deeply embroiled in cultural debates over immigration and same-sex marriage. Archbishop George H. Niederauer, who is retiring after serving as the archbishop of San Francisco since 2005, said that he was “very pleased” to welcome ArchbishopCordileone. He offered his prayers, support and friendship to the incoming leader. Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles also welcomed San Francisco’s new shepherd, extending “fraternal best wishes and prayers” in a July 27 statement. “I look forward to continuing to work with Archbishop designate Cordileone and all the Catholic bishops of California to strengthen the faith of our Catholic people and to help build a more just society for all who live in the Golden State,” he said. At the press conference, Archbishopelect Cordileone said that the “cultural diversity” within his new archdiocese will be “both a strength and a challenge.” He explained that the devotional life of many immigrant groups enriches the local church, but added that it can be difficult to overcome “cultural factors” and bring people together. While he said that he will need time to get to know the area, the archbishop-elect anticipates that many of the challenges he faces will deal with “issues of family life,” which are ultimately rooted in “foundational philosophical issues” about the nature of the human person and the purpose of sexuality. “Marriage is a foundational good,” he emphasized, explaining that the Church’s stance against “gay marriage” is not discriminatory but is simply rooted in the nature and definition of marriage as an institution. Children “can only come about through the embrace of a man and a woman coming together,” he said, adding that this necessarily limits marriage to the type of union that can bring new life into the world. “Children deserve to have a mother and a father,” the archbishop-elect said, and so “we need to do everything we can to strengthen marriage.” In addressing “moral challenges” involving the weakening of family life, it is important to realize that strong marriages benefit all of society, he said. He added that there is a need to lovingly welcome those who “feel alienated from the Church” due to their sexual orientation, showing them that “our stand for marriage is not against anyone, but it’s because we believe this is foundational for the good of our society.” Archbishop-elect Cordileone also praised a recent executive order by President Barack Obama which effectively puts the DREAM Act into effect, allowing residency for many immigrants who had illegally entered the country as minors. “The DREAM act very closely corresponds to the elements of a just immigration reform that the U.S. bishops have been advocating for many years now,” he explained. He said that he hopes this will “kick start” Congress to pass legislation that will be a more stable basis for “comprehensive immigration reform.” Commenting on sex abuse within the Church, he said that he plans to build on the momentum and progress of his predecessors, continuing in their “firm resolve in addressing the problem.” Archbishop-elect Cordileone said that he looks forward to assuming his new role and thanked Archbishop Niederauer for his support. He voiced confidence that with prayer, hard work and God’s grace, “we will, together, be able to further the New Evangelization in this corner of the world we call home.” (CNA)

Vatican welcomes largely positive report on financial transparency

The Vatican is welcoming a largely positive report from the European body responsible for monitoring financial transparency, while also committing itself to further improvement. “In this light, the report released today is not the end, but is rather an important passage of our continuing efforts to marry moral commitments to technical excellence,” said Monsignor Ettore Balestrero of the Vatican’s Secretary of State at a July 18 media briefing. The Council of Europe’s Committee of experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism – Moneyval – found the Vatican to be “compliant” or “largely compliant” on nine of the 16 “key and core” recommendations for combating terrorist financing and money-laundering. (CNA)
Don’t take a vacation from protecting the environment, Vatican says

Archbishop-designate Salvatore J. Cordileone.

Going on vacation must not be an occasion to relax one’s commitment to saving energy and protecting the environment, the Vatican said. Tourism can have “a serious environmental impact owing, among other factors, to the immoderate consumption of energy resources” and an increase in pollution and waste, said a message from the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers. The message, released by the Vatican July 25, was written in preparation for the observance Sept. 27 of World Tourism Day, an event promoted by the United Nations World Tourism Organization and supported by the Vatican. (CNS)

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., July 27, 2012— Shortly after his appointment to lead the Archdiocese of San Francisco was announced, Archbishop-designate Salvatore J. Cordileone committed to defend marriage and serve the needy, particularly immigrants, in his new position. “The Church of San Francisco has a tremendous legacy of Catholic ministries and participation in the local community for serving the common good,” he said, adding that he is inspired and encouraged by the rich history in the archdiocese. At a press conference in San Francisco in July 27, he said that he was “humbled” by the “unexpected” appointment. Born in San Diego in 1956, Archbishopelect Cordileone was named to lead the Diocese of Oakland in 2009. He is known for his staunch defense of marriage and his intercultural ministry and work with immigrants, previously serving on the U.S. bishops’ cultural diversity task force and currently leading the group’s subcommittee


The Vatican announced on July 26 that beginning in August, two priests will be assigned to attend to visitors to the Vatican Museums. They will be available to dialogue with the visitors and to offer them, should they wish spiritual advice and assistance. As Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca, secretary general of the Governorate of Vatican City State, explained in L’Osservatore Romano, “there is nothing institutional or pretentious about the initiative. The priests will simply be on hand with a table and two chairs at two strategic points on the normal itinerary visitors follow, and anyone who wishes may approach them to exchange a few words, or to reflect together.” (Zenit)


Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press Office, shot down rumors that have been circulated throughout newspapers in Italy and Germany involving the investigation into the leaking of Vatican documents. The rumors hinted at “serious suspicions of complicity on the part of certain persons close to the Holy Father.” “The Secretariat of State expresses its firm and total disapproval of those publications, which are not based on objective criteria and seriously damage the honor of the people concerned, who have served the Holy Father faithfully for many years,” Fr. Lombardi said in a statement released by the Vatican. (Zenit)

God draws greater good from evil acts, Aurora priest says at funeral
AURORA, Colo., July 27, 2012—In his funeral homily for a parishioner killed in the July 20 shooting in Aurora, Father Martin Lally said God allows evil things to happen in order to allow and inspire good. “While none of us can know precisely the mind of God, it is ... consistently proven that the response to evil acts is more powerful acts of kindness, compassion and courage,” Fr. Lally said July 28. “Our presence here is a true sign that love is more powerful that evil; that a gentle presence is stronger than bullets.” Parishioner Alexander (A.J.) Boik was one of 12 victims killed by a gunman who opened fire at a midnight showing of the newest Batman film, “The Dark Knight Rises.” The 18-year-old graduated from high school in May and planned to start classes next month at a Denver art school. Boik's family also released a statement, recalling how he dreamed of teaching art and opening his own studio. “He was a talented young man ... with a warm and loving heart,” the family said. Fr. Lally said he “can't help but smile” at memories of Boik, who loved life so much he “wanted to teach others how to create art that would beautify and enhance (it).” “Those memories are treasures to family and friends,” Fr. Lally said. “Let us ... hope that our greatest testimony to AJ's life will be that we will, as he did, have high ambitions and firmness of purpose in our lives.” Boik is survived by his parents, grandparents and a brother. (CNA)


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 16 No. 16
July 30 - August 12, 2012

News Features
He called for humanitarian assistance to be provided to those in need and he assured those suffering of his prayers. The situation in Syria has been a consistent feature of Pope Benedict’s comments in recent months. In July he expressed a fear that the internal conflict “risks becoming a generalized conflict which would have highly negative consequences for the country and the entire region.” In June he called upon the international community to “spare no efforts to resolve this crisis through dialogue and reconciliation.” Earlier in his Angelus address, Pope Benedict reflected on Sunday’s gospel in which St. John recounted Christ’s feeding of the five thousand by the shore of the Sea of Galilee. The Pope described the episode as “a sign of God’s immeasurable providence in the Eucharist.” “Strengthened by that sacrifice, may we always work for the spiritual nourishment of our brethren, not forgetting the poor and needy,” he said. (CNA/EWTN News)


Pope Benedict urges end to bloodshed Catholics need help experiencing interactive in Syria
CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, July 29, 2012―Pope Benedict XVI called for an immediate halt to “all violence and shedding of blood” in Syria during his weekly Angelus address on Sunday. “I ask God to give the wisdom of the heart, especially for those who have the greatest responsibilities, so that no effort is spared in the quest for peace, including the international community, through dialogue and reconciliation, for a proper political settlement of the conflict,” said the Pope to pilgrims at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo July 29. His comments come as government forces and rebels battle for control of Aleppo, Syria’s largest city. The armed revolt against President Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011 and has since claimed over 10,000 lives according to latest U.N. estimates. Opposition forces claim the true figure is nearer to 20,000. The Pope said that he has been following events “with concern” for

prayer, magazine says

the “growing and tragic episodes of violence in Syria” which have created a “sad sequence of deaths and injuries among civilians.” He also lamented the large number of internally displaced people and refugees who have moved to neighboring countries.

Pope hosts top-level meeting on leaks in Vatican
VATICAN City, July 27, 2012―Although technically on vacation, Pope Benedict XVI hosted a top-level meeting of Vatican officials involved in investigating and responding to the leak of Vatican documents. The meeting on July 26 included the commission of cardinals appointed to conduct an administrative review of Vatican offices and procedures, as well as the judges involved in the criminal case against the pope's personal assistant. The meeting also included the head of the Vatican police and representatives of the Vatican secretariat of state, said Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman. Greg Burke, the former U.S. journalist appointed by the pope to advise the Vatican secretary of state on communications strategy, also participated, he said. "The Holy Father was informed about the conclusions" of the investigation carried out since late April by the cardinals' commission, and about the status of the official investigation of his former valet, Paolo Gabriele, Father Lombardi said July 27. The pope thanked the cardinals for their report and "asked the Vatican magistrates to continue their work with diligence," Father Lombardi said in a statement. The spokesman said the conclusions of the criminal investigation of Gabriele and the Vatican judge's decision on whether to indict Gabriele and put him on trial are expected to be published Aug. 6 or 7. A parallel, wide-ranging inquiry of leaks was conducted by retired Spanish Cardinal Julian Herranz, retired Slovakian Cardinal Jozef Tomko and retired Italian Cardinal Salvatore De Giorgi. Pope Benedict had asked the cardinals, all former Vatican officials, to help him understand the reasons behind the leaks and the problems they appear to indicate. The cardinals' commission was formed about a month before Vatican police arrested Gabriele; confidential letters and documents addressed to the pope and other Vatican officials were allegedly found in his Vatican apartment. Similar documents had been published in the Italian media beginning in Janu-

VATICAN City, July 20, 2012―The church must offer people―especially the young ― a spirituality that responds to their computer-driven desire for interactive experiences, said an influential Jesuit magazine. The Italian magazine, La Civilta Cattolica, said the church does not have to invent a new spirituality for a new generation. It just has to recognize that because of intensive computer and social network use people have changed, so the church must change the way it offers its spiritual treasures. The key, the magazine said, is to help people take the step from superficial interaction ― "surfing the net" and clicking on link after link―to contemplation. First, people must recognize the need "to safeguard spaces that allow interiorization to develop." That means a bit of silence and being out of arm's reach of the computer or smartphone, the magazine said. But the church also must offer Catholics ideas of what to do with that quiet time, and the magazine started with something its Jesuit staff knows something about: the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuits whose feast is July 31. The exercises, it said, offer a systematic formula for helping someone take the already-interactive experience of reading to a new level. For example, its suggestion for contemplating the birth of Jesus begins by asking the reader to "see with the imagination the road from Nazareth to Bethlehem, considering the length and


breadth of it, whether it is a flat road or goes through valleys or over hills; and similarly to look at the place of the Nativity, to see how big or small it is, how low or high, and what is in it." The reader is asked to look around the cave or grotto and see who is there and then to imagine himself or herself in the scene as well, watching, listening and helping, if possible. In the exercises, the magazine said, the person praying imagines being in the biblical scene, shares the emotions of those present and tries to relive the mystery, "interacting with the personalities and the environment." Through the use of prayerful imagination, the Bible becomes a "virtual reality" for the reader, it said. How deep the experience is depends on "the intensity of the relationships and interactions that are created during the contemplation." The church needs to help people "learn to live their spirituality interacting and immersing themselves in the word of God," the magazine said. (CNS)

ary. Many of the documents published in the press dealt with allegations of corruption, abuse of power and a lack of financial transparency at the Vatican. Gabriele was granted house arrest July 21 after 60 days in Vatican custody. His lawyers have told reporters that what their client did, he did out of love for the pope and the church. They said, he has written to the pope asking forgiveness. The lawyers added, however, that whether anything Gabriele did was a crime will be up to Vatican magistrates or a Vatican court to determine. (CNS)

Aquino should not ignore economic impacts of RH bill, youth say
MANILA, July 27, 2012―Several youth groups are having an “I told you so” moment after a recent Wall Street Journal article said passing a “reproductive health” bill will hurt the Philippine economy. Kiboy Tabada, 21, of UP For Life, a network of pro-life University of the Philippines students, faculty and employees, said in an interview, “[The article] echoes what we’ve been trying to say about the [RH Bill's] economic impacts all along. If the President ignores this, that’s blatant arrogance right there.” The online Wall Street Journal article titled “Keeping the Philippine Dream Alive” commented on several salient points from President Benigno Aguino’s State of the Nation Address but lamented that “[President Aquino's] promotion of a “reproductive health” bill is jarring because it would put the Philippines in danger of following China’s path into middle-income development followed by a demographic trap of too few workers. The Philippines doesn’t have too many people, it has too few pro-growth policies.” This broad economic assessment goes head to head with President Aquino’s assertion during his SONA that the lack of classrooms can be solved by “responsible parenthood”. Aside from agreeing with the article, Aaron Veloso, a project assistant at the Development Academy of the Philippines, the National Productivity Organization of the Philippines, said that the Philippines should learn from the experience of neighboring countries like Singapore and Japan that are now suffering from a deficient workforce due to an aging population, something the Wall Street Journal article described as a “demographic trap.” Veloso, who is also the PrefectGeneral of the Society of the Immaculate Conception, said, “There is a myth of overpopulation in the Philippines,” adding that what government really needs to do is provide wider access to education and basic health services. Seemingly, even the Asian Development Bank (ADB) sees economic power in a young, massive workforce. The ADB Keynote Remarks at the Dialogue with Workers’ Organizations said, “The ‘youth bulge’ has enormous potential for stimulating economic growth through productive employment, asset creation, and investment.” According to ADB Key Indicators 2011, 900,000 young Filipino workers enter the labor force every year. ‘Demographic sweet spot’ The Philippines is said to be the last of major economies in Asia to enter a “demographic sweet spot,” a phase associated with a young, vibrant labor force ably supporting the pension system, and an economy experiencing high economic growth rates due to a large base of consumers. Early this year, the governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Amando Tetangco, said the country will taste its “demographic sweet spot” by 2015. “While some countries are facing problems relating to their aging population, the Philippines is set to enter its demographic sweet spot. Studies have shown that extended periods of accelerated economic growth have coincided with the countries entering this period,” the BSP governor said. The Financial Times recently declared an end to Asia’s demographic free ride, citing shrinking workforces in China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore. The Philippines, however, is one of the few fortunate countries with favorable demographics. Population-control lobbyists are pressuring Congress to vote on the RH bill which seeks billions of pesos in taxpayers’ money to fund contraception, sterilization, and a questionable sex-education program. (Nirva'ana Ella Delacruz/Dominic Francisco)

DOH order on contraceptives mocks lawmakers, says lawyer
MANILA, July 20, 2012―With RH bill proponents facing imminent defeat in Congress, the Department of Health (DOH) has circumvented the legislative process with the sudden release of an administrative order laying out a nationwide strategy for the distribution of artificial contraceptives. This was bared by the lawyer heading the legal office of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), who described DOH Administrative Order 2012-0009 as practically the implementing rules of the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill which has yet to pass Congress. “Its issuance at a time when Congress and the Senate are deliberating on RH bills mocks and disrespects the authority of a co-equal branch of government,” Atty. Jo Aurea Imbong stated in her preliminary critique of the DOH order. ‘Unmet need’ myth Moreover, the DOH is peddling the myth of “unmet need” to justify the surprise order, whose strategy of “subtle coercion and undue influence” could impinge on religious freedom, she added. Citing a 1996 study presented at the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health by Prof. Lant Pritchett, professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Imbong said millions of women may want to delay or avoid pregnancy, but that does not mean they want to use contraception. “The idea of unmet need for contraception ignores the reasons for unmet need that women express, such as concern about health and other side effects of artificial contraception, incompatibility with religious and ethical beliefs, and the financial cost of contraception,” the study said. Imbong said that “In the Philippines, non-use of a ‘modern’ family planning method among women does not mean they have an ‘unmet need.’ There are myriads of reasons why women do not use artificial contraceptives.” “Some women refuse to use a method for reasons of religious conviction. Others refrain because of aversion to the side effects, others for fear of mortal consequences to health from the carcinogenic substances. In these cases, there is refusal, hence, there is no ‘need’ to speak of. And yet, all cases of non-use is routinely interpreted as a gaping ‘need’ to justify a massive family planning program such as this,” she pointed out. The pill has been labeled by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer as a Group 1 carcinogen along with asbestos, formaldehyde and other harmful substances. More recently, a largescale US study found that injectables more than doubled the risk of breast cancer. In the Philippines, breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths. If there is really an unmet need, Imbong questioned why the order explicitly mandates the Commission on Population (POPCOM) to make sure that there is always “increased demand” for contraceptives. Upsetting cultural, religious values Imbong warned that the new DOH program’s communication plan involves “behavior change,” which means people will be encouraged to turn against their religion. “The ‘communication’ program described in the Administrative Order is clearly patterned after the WHO strategy of neutralizing and overturning the citizens’ traditional religious, cultural and family values. These are considered by WHO as barriers or obstacles to the population control agenda,” she said. For instance, DOH teams will go door-to-door to “preach” and exhort couples and individuals in the ethos of contraception in a manner that is person-to-person, “client-centered, life-cycle approach on delivering family planning services at any point of contact.” “This is a highly unethical and unlawful act of ‘meddling with the private life or family relations’ of spouses and individuals,” the lawyer said. Imbong also said the DOH’s plan would be a “betrayal of the poor,” who need livelihood more than condoms and pills. “The incessant targeting by DOH of poor families for contraception and sterilization abuses and exploits the moral dependence, indigence, and other weakness of the poor. This is an open violation of human rights of the poor,” she said. “If the poor and indigent families have an unmet need, these are for food on their table, medicine for common ailments, nutrition for mothers, infants and children, clean drinking water, electricity, sanitation, education, and means of livelihood.” (Dominic Francisco)

RH bill incompatible with democracy, says solon
MANILA, July 23, 2012—Anybody who values democracy and freedom of choice will oppose a proposed bill that renders people of faith criminals — like what the reproductive health (RH) bill does — a member of the 9YL, or Nine Young Legislators, said to over a thousand young people during a National Capital Region (NCR) Youth Day for Life. “Our country, the epitome of people power, has created the image of democracy for the world, and because of this passion for democracy, we as Filipinos want to be a democratic country. We want to instill democratic principles, and therefore we respect choice,” said Lanao del Norte Rep. Fatima Aliah Dimaporo at the wholeday youth gathering yesterday that brought together some 1,400 delegates from the 10 ecclesiastical territories of NCR. “In essence, if you support the RH bill, you are not pro-choice. You’re not only anti-life; you are also not pro-choice because if you were truly pro-choice, you would give the choice for your fellow citizens whether or not to use contraceptives.” She specified doctors as the ones who will be among the hardest hit if they remain faithful to their principles and if they steer their patients away from abortive measures or other measures promoted in the RH bill. They will be penalized, and if they refuse to pay the fine, they will be jailed, Dimaporo said. “You are made a criminal just because of your Catholic principles. Is that pro-choice?” The Muslim congresswoman pointed out that people right now have a choice since birth control supplies are available in numerous stores; people have the choice, too, whether or not they will wait till they are married before engaging in sexual activity. “That is their choice,” the lawmaker said. But she explained that people should not allow the government to pass a bill that would make it a law to define responsible parenthood as limiting the size of a family, that we should allow girls as young as 13 to be able to get condoms for free over the counter without the consent of their parents… She said if the State is given the power to make such conditions into a law and impose penalties on those who don’t obey the law, “that is not choice. That is the opposite of democracy. And this is why the RH bill is very dangerous.” Reiterating her position, Dimaporo said what the country needs are more and better health and education facilities to improve the poverty situation. The NCR Youth Day for Life, which revolved around the theme “Learn. Live. Love,” was organized by the Archdiocese of Manila, Dioceses of Parañaque, Pasig, Antipolo, Novaliches, Cubao, Kalookan, Imus and Apostolic Vicariates of Puerto Princesa and Taytay in Palawan. (CBCP for Life)




The classroom shortage logic

CBCP Monitor
July 30 - August 12, 2012

Vol. 16 No. 16

AT his 2012 State of the Nation Address, President Benigno S. Aquino III, has seen, rightly or wrongly, Responsible Parenthood as the answer to the shortage of classrooms, chairs and textbooks. These are the exact words he said: “Bago matapos ang susunod na taon, ubos na ang minana nating 66,800 na kakulangan sa silid-aralan. Ulitin ko po, next year pa po ‘yan; 40,000 pa lang this year. Ang minana po nating 2,573,212 na backlog sa upuan, tuluyan na rin nating matutugunan bago matapos ang 2012. Sa taon din pong ito, masisimot na rin ang 61.7 million na backlog sa textbook upang maabot na, sa wakas, ang one is to one ratio ng aklat sa mag-aaral. Sana nga po, ngayong paubos na ang backlog sa edukasyon, sikapin nating huwag uling magka-backlog dahil sa dami ng estudyante. Sa tingin ko po, Responsible Parenthood ang sagot dito.” In the natural course of things, there is hardly any logic to that. Unless, of course, one equates Responsible Parenthood with the overpopulation myth or the most contentious Reproductive Health Bill―which actually he grossly does. But granting that the good President meant overpopulation as the cause of classroom shortage, there is still no iota of plausibility because according to the National Statistics Office, the number of babies born per year has stopped increasing since 2000—and it even dropped by 2.2% to 1.745 million babies born in 2009 vs. 1.784 million babies per year in 2008. Thus from the national count, there is hardly any increase in Grade One enrollees because of the stagnant birth rate. Admittedly, there is shortage of classrooms—and of almost everything—in Metro Manila and in some urban centers. And the reason is migration. The centralization of the population is the reason why in the rural areas classrooms are becoming less and less occupied. Well meaning demographers will agree that what is needed is not really population deceleration but decentralization. At the end of the day, it will all boil down to population and resource management or the lack of them—and not a careless legislation that grossly oppose the logic of even economics and ethics. Seriously, it is disturbing, to say the least, to have political leaders with this kind of thinking. The President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, Archbishop Jose Palma lately said: “It is therefore quite disturbing when the country is told that having too many children is a burden to the national budget.” But then, as said earlier, it is not even about having too many children because the birth rate is plummeting. But Palma says more: “There is a grave reason to worry when the government would rather suppress the population through RH Bill instead of confronting the real causes of poverty.” Actually, even if the Congress legislates the Reproductive Health Bill every year for the next ten years—which, of course, is funny and sarcastic—life for Filipinos would still be the same, if not worse. Because, believe it or not, this bill is more of a problem than an answer.

Fr. James H. Kroeger, MM

Living Mission
Vatican II Perspectives
THE Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) has accurately been described as a “Council of the Church about the Church; for four years the Church reflected on her own self-identity as the community of Christ’s disciples. This short reflection recalls what Vatican II said about the Church as mission, sacrament, servant, and family. Missionary Identity. A fundamental description of the Church is found in the missionary decree Ad Gentes: “The pilgrim Church is missionary by her very nature” (AG 2). Thus, if the Church is not engaged in evangelization and an active preaching of the Gospel, she is not being faithful to her very self. Ad Gentes centers the Church’s missionary identity in the Trinity. The Father sends Jesus Christ and together they send the Holy Spirit. Our Christian God, Father, Son and Spirit, is a “missionary God,” a loving God who goes out of himself for the sake of others. This is the mission of the Church in the world.

Vatican II Ecclesiology Four important insights
environmental preservation, promotion of women, interreligious dialogue, catechesis and proclamation; the list seems nearly endless. However, it is not alone how much we do or accomplish; we must ask: how deeply are our efforts imbued with the love of Christ? Family: The Domestic Church. The family is called the “domestic church” in Lumen Gentium 11. This beautiful description suggests that the community of faith begins in the home, in the family unit. Families beget new members for the Church. It is in the home that the faith is first transmitted by the word and example of parents. Love is best imbibed in the family setting; children learn to care for one another, share life in common, and to practice forgiveness and reconciliation. Family prayer and devotions can effectively foster the faith. The family is the “seed-bed” of the Church. Indeed, each of these four Council insights is an ongoing challenge to authentically become the living Church of Jesus Christ!

Love of Preference for the Poor
IT is also a demand of Christ for his disciples to follow hisown love of preference for the poor. This option takes on the greatest urgency in our country where a very great number of our people wallow in abject poverty and misery while tremendous social privileges and deference are accorded the rich and the powerful. The common good dictates that more attention must be given to the less fortunate members of society. We as a Church, indeed, opt for all men, women and children of the world but above all, preferentially we opt like Jesus for the “little ones,” the poor and marginalized of our societies. This is an essential option of Christian faith, an obligatory choice. Eternal salvation depends on the living out of a love of preference for the poor because the poor and needy bear the privileged presence of Christ. Our present Holy Father tells us that solidarity “must be present whenever it is called for by the social degrading of the subjects of work, by exploitation of the workers, and by the growing areas of poverty and even hunger.” He goes on to say that for the Church, this solidarity is “her mission, her service, a proof of her fidelity to Christ, so that she can truly be the ‘Church of the poor’.” Such a love is a basic attitude that must pervade all plans and legislation for development, long skewed to favor the better off sectors of our society. In the Scriptures, the prophets were known for their denunciations of injustices against the poor. The Old Testament, in fact, views God as “liberator of the oppressed and the defender of the poor. And the Beatitudes clearly indicate how Jesus considered the poor and the lowly. The value of being “pro-poor” has a truly evangelical basis. It urge us to be more concerned about the substantive issue concerning street children, the unemployed, poor fishermen, farmers and workers, exploited women, slum dwellers, sidewalk vendors and beggars, Tribal Filipinos and others at the margins of human and social life. . . (Acts of the Council, nos. 312-314) ―Acts and Decrees of the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines, 1991

Sacrament of Salvation. A unique description of the Church in Vatican II notes that the Church is a “sacrament” (cf. LG 1, 48; SC 26; AG 5). This assertion may sound strange to the ears of Catholics who have been catechized to know only seven sacraments. What is the Council saying? Employing a common description of sacrament as “an external sign instituted by Christ to give grace,” one sees how this is true of the Church. Founded by Christ, the Church is visible in the world as a community of faith that points to the Kingdom of God. Vatican II challenges Church members to be credible, concrete, witnesses of God’s presence in today’s world. Church as Servant. In Gaudium et Spes (Church in the Modern World) the Council asserted that the Church is to be a “servant Church,” imitating Jesus himself who came “to serve and not to be served” (GS 3). There are literally dozens of ways for the Church to imitate her servant-master: health-care, education, justice and peace,

The AIDS Epidemic – why blame the Church?
BEINGS a member of PHILCHAN (Philippine Catholic HIV AIDS Network), I am always on the lookout for any publications on the topic dealing with HIVAIDS. This group was started over a year ago with Bishop Broderick Pabillo as chairman because this advocacy is part of some NASSA projects. I was quite peeved then when I came across the Editorial of Phil. Daily Inquirer last July 8, 2012 titled “Overlooked Epidemic” because once again, the bias of some writers against the Catholic Church was evident. I alerted members and indeed, quite a few responded immediately. I would like to quote from this letter made by Fr. James McTavish, a physician and moral theologian, to make sure that it will reach many people since, in our experience, we are never sure if a letter we send to a newspaper will ever get published. Here is his letter in full: “The recent PDI editorial “Overlooked Epidemic,” draws attention to the rising number of HIV/AIDS cases in the Philippines. It correctly points out that the country needs to invest more funds and mobilize more resources to combat the growing epidemic. Unfortunately however it overlooks some vital facts. Teresita Marie Bagasao, who heads the Manila office of the United Nations Program on HIV-AIDS (UNAids), is quoted as saying “The country also needs to focus on where the disease is.” To correctly address any epidemic it is vital to focus on the most at risk groups and where the disease actually is. Surprisingly the editorial failed to do just that—to focus on where the disease is and those most at risk. If we do not focus we end up just shooting in the dark. The Church also becomes a victim of unjust and haphazard firing with the criticism that she “has not been of much help, with its continued opposition to the use of condoms.” Let us analyze this

Sr. Mary Pilar Verzosa, RGS

Love Life
statement to see if it has a basis or whether vital facts have been overlooked. The Church and other faithbased organizations are actually responsible for the majority of HIV and AIDS care worldwide. In the Philippines the Catholic Bishops have produced two insightful pastoral letters the most recent being “Who is my neighbor?” published in July 2011. The Church is at the frontline of the battle against AIDS, helping and supported by many NGO’s alongside government efforts to combat this deadly disease. It may thus be unfair and even a sign of ignorance or prejudice to claim that she has not been of much help. How about the Church’s opposition to condoms? Well, she does not support the widespread distribution of condoms because there is no evidence that this strategy is effective at a population wide level. None other than Edward Green, the former Director of the prestigious AIDS Prevention Research Project at Harvard University wrote that scientific studies in “the Lancet, Science and BMJ (British Medical Journal) have confirmed that condoms have not worked as a primary intervention in the population-wide epidemics of Africa.” This can be explained by inconsistent condom use and by the phenomenon of “risk compensation” whereby an individual who thinks he is protected actually takes more risks as explained by Fr Michael Czerny, S.J., Director of the African Jesuit AIDS network. He noted that “greater availability and use of condoms is consistently associated with higher (not lower) HIV infection rates, perhaps because when one uses a risk reduction ‘technology’ such as condoms, one often loses the benefit (reduction in risk) because people take greater chances than they would without the technology” (Thinking Faith, Online Journal of the Brit-

Love Life / A5

www.cbcpmonitor.com cbcpmonitor@cbcpworld.net

Fr. Roy Cimagala

Candidly Speaking
Pedro C. Quitorio

‘Olympify’ the games
darker motives like vanity, pride, urge to dominate others, etc. This is what it means to ‘Olympify’ the games. It is to root the spirit of competition on the spirit of God. It is this spirit that makes everyone winners, never disfiguring our natural strengths but purifying and elevating them to the supernatural order. Victors and losers share the same spirit of love—for God and for others. It’s the spirit that brings out the best in everyone, irrespective of the scores and our human system of ranking. There’s always something that can represent the best in us whether we win or lose in a game. We need to understand this point very well. That’s because everyone is expected to do everything for the glory of God. This is what
Candidly Speaking / A6

Ronalyn R. Regino
Layout Artist

Pinky Barrientos, FSP
Associate Editor

Gloria Fernando
Marketing Supervisor

Roy Q. Lagarde
News Editor

Ernani M. Ramos
Circulation Manager

Kris Bayos
Features Editor

Marcelita Dominguez

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

WORLD attention will be riveted on the London Summer Olympics that will run from July 27 to August 12. The London Olympics organizers have chosen as slogan, “Inspire a generation,” and I think it’s truly apt, since the world seems to be sinking in gloom, what with all the problems, political, economic and social, we are having in many countries at the moment. We need a lift, at least in spirit. Let’s pray that the games can truly inspire a generation, and ignite an impulse that would spring all of us to a new beginning, more able to cope with the challenges, both old and new. We are facing some uncharted oceans and unmapped territories in world developments today, and it’s good that we confront these challenges with a sporting attitude, well-

grounded on what is already known and yet very open and hopeful to what is still to be known. The Olympic Games can contribute a lot to build this kind of attitude. But for this, we have to realize that we need to spiritualize the games. The games just cannot be left in the purely physical and material sphere. It has to be animated by a proper spirit. This is the real Olympics, when the spirit behind our pursuit for the “citius, altius, fortius” (faster, higher, stronger), the general Olympic motto, is the spirit of God, and not just any spirit. Let’s remember that games, sports, fun and competition are all human acts, and as such they just cannot be left at the mercy of market forces and merely worldly values, for example, and much less, other lower and

Illustration by Bladimer Usi

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 16 No. 16
July 30 - August 12, 2012

Real Parties
real party in a democracy? 1st of all, a political party is an institution – an organization having a public character, therefore with a heavy responsibility to society. It is to the State what a religious order is to the Church. 2nd, it consists of people who—united by a common set of principles, philosophy or ideology about the national interest and well-being of society— invest time, talent, and treasure (paying dues!) for the attainment of its goals. 3rd, it is organized to capture political power by electing choice candidates to office so that its philosophy or ideology will become public policy to guide government programs and projects—as described or defined in the party’s platform. 4th, in vying for power, a real party promotes democracy by exemplifying the democratic process especially in selecting its officials and candidates, taking care that they represent the core beliefs or preferences of the constituency. This is consistent with the dictum that sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them, and is best achieved through a nomination process involving the rank and file and other adherents guided by a coherent set of criteria. 5th, just as a religious order operates a seminary for priests and acolytes to promote the faith, a real party has a political institute, training center, or program to promote its philosophy or ideology and platform—producing a cadre of campaigners, recruiters, organizers, champions. 6th, its structure consists of officers, members, and party committees or chapters at every level down to the grassroots— i.e. barangay, precinct. The key role of the committee is recruiting candidates, for for local posts (kagawads, chairmen, mayor, governor, etc) then accrediting and proclaiming them, then sending delegates to nominating committees or conventions at higher levels to choose national candidates. Where there is more than one aspirant to a given public office, the local committee or chapter oversees the process of selection in accordance with party rules and regulations. After elections, more sophisticated parties form a shadow government parallel to the incumbent administration, with designated or volunteer party members as informal counterparts to sitting officials. The designated ‘shadows’ monitor the operations, activities and conduct of their official counterparts—making appropriate comments or suggestions, while helping the party formulate its positions. A Party Platform will usually address substantive issues such as the Economy, Foreign Affairs, Education, Environment, Security, Defense, Trade, etc. And these are formulated in generalizations that can be interpreted in various ways—ambiguous by design, difficult to contradict or take issue with. Mother statements! This points out the importance of party caucuses or public meetings where questions can be asked to clarify what they
Spaces of Hope / A6

Fr. Francis Ongkingco

Fr. Carmelo O. Diola

Spaces of Hope
IN my last column I wrote about “forging new paths...from the inside” as a key insight towards new evangelization in our country. I ended the article by referring once more to seven questions based on the LASER test that are meant to help individuals discern if they have a vocation in politics. Nearly two months ago I asked a potential candidate to answer the questions. He obliged me. We spent two hours going through and reflecting upon his answers. The exercise helped him clarify his thoughts on the matter. We ended the mini-recollection with a prayer for enlightenment. I continue to pray for him as he makes up his mind. I will be sharing the same questions to three other individuals even if they have already made up their minds. Since these individuals belong to different political affiliations, my effort is transpartisan (or panpartisan) rather than partisan. I am experiencing a deeper appreciation of my role as a pastoral companion for a “new generation of Catholics working in politics,” as Benedict XVI puts it. It involves the skill of listening intently even as one raises questions. It requires a spirit of detachment as one tries to help individuals come to a decision. After all, as one theologian puts it, man’s experience of power as a sharing in the divine dominion is concretely felt in the act of making a decision. What if members of various Church networks would deliberately—individually or as a group—offer their services to or scout for individuals who may have a calling in politics and then share these questions to them? What if they assure these individuals that their answers would be circulated among their members? After all, politicians seek to be known. It seems to me that raising questions and circulating these correspond to two realities in the effort to evangelize politics. The first is the need to be idealistic since we assume that people have consciences and that we can appeal to this voice of God embedded in the depths of our being. The second corresponds to the need to be pragmatic since numbers is the language of politics. The action of raising questions rather than just watching the political scene unfold – which is what many of us experience—is already the start of a paradigm shift. If elections seem like an exercise in futility, it is because it is first of all an exercise in passivity. Asking questions reverses this reality. *** But politics is not just an individual endeavor. It involves groups to socialize individuals into adopting a particular group ethos and to provide support for such individuals who engage in politics. Politics demand real political parties. I wrote my friend Manny Valdehuesa, founder of Gising Barangay Movement, several months ago to ask him to share his thoughts regarding political parties. Here is his erudite explanation to me. “What are the elements of a

Whatever My favorite Saint…?
“ONE, two, three…,” the new religion teacher eagerly counted the pile of reports submitted by her students. “…twentyseven! Everyone’s here!” Clearly all the pupils were excited to write about their ‘favorite saint’. Cynthia began ordering the reports alphabetically. She made herself a cup of coffee and pulled out the first report. It had a beautiful crayon drawing of St. Francis of Assisi surrounded by birds and other forest animals. “This is such a wonderful idea,” Cynthia thought. “I should have asked them to also include a drawing or picture of their favorite saint.” After going through half of the pile she decided to take a break. But she decided to finish one more paper before going. Her eyes popped out with shock as she read the plainly printed huge bold letters on the cover page: MY FAVORITE SAINT: ADOLF HITLER Cynthia tried her best to remain calm. She immediately observed that the terms and style of the report were clearly copied and pasted from some website. In fact, the pupil was honest enough to include the web address at the end of her report. In their next class she discretely called the student and asked her what made her choose A. Hitler. “Miss, I didn’t have a favorite saint,” she replied. “And…?” “…I asked my sister to help me find one. She was busy and I kept bugging her and she angrily said, ‘Why don’t you do Adolf Hitler!’” “…did you ask her who Hitler was?” “Nope,” the girl shrugged her shoulders. “I just Googled him and printed my report.” “Did you bother to read what you got, dear?” Cynthia asked. “I tried, but got bored ‘coz I couldn’t understand anything.” *** Don’t be shocked if I told you that this story is true. And don’t be more shocked –as if it weren’t a known fact—that more and more young children out there are doing more than just innocently raising Hitler to the altars. But the story above would have ended differently if the older sibling had gone out of her way to guide her sister. But why didn’t she? What occurred in her head to suggest something totally contrary to the common notion of holiness? Clearly, a lot of individualism is manifested in her behavior. In the first place, she doesn’t want to be bothered by her sister; second, she doesn’t care or ponder on the consequences of her impatient suggestion; and third, it subtly reveals the breakdown of family love when others find it burdensome to help in something as menial as Googling for a saint. The crisis of charity in the family is the real culprit of what we often witness or hear about today when children go awry. Yes, we can blame technology, media, music, peers and even professional concerns. These are, however, only secondary aggravating ingredients to our children’s moral deformation. When the family, the cradle of love, breaks down children become the easy prey of many vicious forces. The mission of infusing charity into the family greatly rests upon parents. This is where they are authentically responsible for their children. They must constantly remind themselves that marriage is ‘a concrete path to holiness’ as St. Josemaría tirelessly taught. If parents forget this divine calling, individualism and materialism become the vicious substitutes of love and peace within the family. He said, “Only if a person forgets himself and gives himself to God and to others, in marriage as well as in any other aspect of life, can he be happy on this earth, with a happiness that is a preparation for, and a foretaste of, the joy of heaven.” (Christ is Passing By, no. 24) To overcome individualism, St. Josemaría advices: “Listen to your children. Give them your time, even the time that you have reserved for yourselves. Show them your confidence; believe whatever they tell you, even if sometimes they try to deceive you. Don’t be afraid when they rebel, because, at their age, you yourselves were more or less rebellious. Go to meet them half-way and pray for them. If you act in this Christian manner, they will come to you with simplicity, instead of trying to satisfy their legitimate curiosity by taking it to some rough or vulgar friend. Your confidence, your friendly dealings with your children, will receive an answer in their sincerity in dealing with you.” (Ibid.) *** With God’s grace and a sincere human love and sacrifice it would not be unthinkable or uncommon for children to one day submit a report entitled “My Favorite Saints: My Grandparents.”

‘New Age rosary’
DO you notice how at Catholic gatherings like conferences, seminars, etc. rosaries are one of the most popular “tiangge” items? Rosary bracelets, rosary rings, rosary necklaces; with beads made of plastic, glass, wood, swarovsky and other semi-precious stones. Makes one wonder if they’re buying rosaries to pray them or to flaunt them a ala Madonna and Lady Gaga. This is a rosary-shopping tip: look before you buy. During my last trip to Italy two months ago, I noticed that the so-called “New Age rosary” has crept its way into religious souvenir shops; while pilgrims have attested that they are given away at certain pilgrimage sites like Medjugorje. Thus, people think they’re okay to use, coming from presumably holy or at least “blessed” places. What does the “New Age rosary” look like, and why is it so-called? It’s usually made of plastic, comes in white, pink, blue or black; no one knows where it came from, who designed it, and why it was designed, but it may have been called such because it bears symbols associated with New Age. Like the pentagram impressed on the crucifix’s four tips: the pentragram is a five point star commonly associated with occultism, Satanism, et al. A serpent is usually wound around the cross, with its head ending up close to the Christ’s figure’s face, evoking the image of the caduceus, a winged staff entwined with two serpents which is the symbol of the Greek god Hermes, or his Roman counterpart Mercury in Roman. Conspicuously absent in the “New Age rosary” is the “INRI” sign. There are symbols, and depending on your

Teresa R. Tunay, OCDS

…and that’s the truth
these “New Age rosaries” are sold or given away at pilgrimage sites, riding on the atmosphere of piety or superstition enveloping these places. (Reminds me of how people from different persuasions try to take advantage of Catholics’ innocence or ignorance in order to push their own agenda, like the Jehovah’s Witnesses distributing flyers and teaching their “truths” to young people at the World Youth Day in Sydney!) So what now? If you found one lying around in your favorite adoration chapel, would you use it but exorcise it first? Do not fear this “New Age rosary” because you believe it’s “the work of the devil”. As long as you don’t invest your faith in it, it’s only recyclable plastic—treat it as such. Break the beads loose and dump them along with discarded mineral water bottles. We give power to that which we fear or believe in. But we do have a choice—fear the devil or believe in Jesus Christ. I believe in Jesus Christ, and Mother Mary’s rosary as it is, by the grace of God, is already an excellent vehicle to know, love and obey Him. Ours is a free society. We can’t stop rosary-makers from promoting their beliefs (or to make money out of our gullibility), but we can protect ourselves from their spurious religiosity, whether new age or old age whatever, by purifying our own. We need no New Age “borloloy” as meditation aids, but we need not fear them either. We should rather search our souls if we are so easily fazed by anti-Christ forces. Perhaps we fear the devil because Jesus Christ is only a plastic figure on our car’s dashboard. That can be a real problem. And that’s the truth.

knowledge and orientation, any one symbol may be read in so many ways. Perhaps the designer of the “New Age rosary” wanted to project Jesus as a healer, so he/she turned the cross into a caduceus, which, by the way, is a popular medical insignia, being associated with the Greek god of healing, Asclepsius. (Note the logo of Mercury drugstore?) The caduceus is also a symbol of mediation between heaven and earth (and a plethora of other things and powers) and is sold at occult, New Age and witchcraft stores. Jesus is a sublime healer and a “mediator between heaven and earth” like no other, so? As for the serpent found in this “New Age rosary”—don’t Christians associate the serpent with sin (Garden of Eden) and see it as a tempter which Jesus vanquished anyway? Then, again, the pentagram—a five-point star within a circle—while being imbued by occult believers with magical powers, may be seen by Christians as nothing more than a harmless “parol”. The pentagram also strongly resembles the passion flower, so called because it is a lovely reminder of Jesus Christ’s passion with its five (penta) petals representing the five wounds of Christ, a crown of filaments likened to His crown of thorns, and with three styles that resemble and represent the three nails that pierced him on the cross. What about the absence of the sign INRI over the figure’s head? Could it be that the designer was Jewish and didn’t want any anti-semitic symbol there? Or maybe he simply thought it would spoil the aesthetics of his masterpiece, so away with it! What merits close examination is why

Love Life / A4

Atty. Aurora A. Santiago

Duc in Altum
IT is fitting to start this column by storming heaven with our prayers, seek the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to enlighten our lawmakers to reject the Responsible Parenthood Bill, a.k.a. Reproductive Health (RH) Bill. Oratio imperata for the respect of all human life God, our loving Father, Creator and lover of all life, You fashioned in your own image and likeness every human person. Give us the strength and courage to defend and protect human life from conception to natural death. We pray for your divine healing, comfort and peace for all affected by past abortions. Help us serve actively in alleviating the sufferings and troubles of all women with pregnancy problems. We pray that all our leaders and legislators may be guided by the grace of the Holy Spirit to act responsibly on this critical present issue. Mary, our loving Mother, to you we entrust the cause of life. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen. Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us. Saint Rosa of Lima, pray for us. Saint Lorenzo Ruiz, pray for us. *** Responsible Parenthood was given a different meaning by the lawmakers who want RH

No to Responsible Parenthood Bill, a.k.a. RH Bill!
Bill passed into law. In their desperate effort, our congressmen resorted to terminology intended to deceive the people. Legislators must never forget that they were elected into office by their constituents and it is the primordial duty of all elected officials to provide the basic needs of the people. *** In his third State of the Nation Address, Pres. Aquino mentioned the problems of education system such as the shortage of textbooks and lack of classrooms. He stated in Tagalog “We are ending the backlogs in the education sector, but the potential for shortages remains as our student population continues to increase. Perhaps Responsible Parenthood can help address this.” *** Pres. Aquino’s all-out endorsement of the Responsible Parenthood Bill or RH Bill, drew several passionate and heated comments from the Catholic clergy. Archbishop Jose Palma, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) stated that “It is about time to remind our congressmen and senators that they have responsibility to our people to come up with a sincere evaluation of what they believe for the good of the nation.” He said that the Church would support rallies against the RH bill which destroys morality, family and cultural values of Filipinos. Lipa, Batangas Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, former ViceChairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Family and Life (ECFL), commented that “Aquino declared an open war, a head-on collision against us and against the Catholic Church. So terrible, so blatant,
Duc In Altum/ A6

ish Jesuits, March 25, 2009). The “Overlooked Epidemic” editorial surprisingly overlooks the group most at risk of HIV, the so called MSM group, men who have sex with other men. The MSM group are responsible for around 80% of the new cases of HIV. It is unclear if this glaring omission is due to insufficient research and ignorance or a failure to present the medical data clearly from a misplaced political correctness. If we want to target the epidemic we need to target the most at risk groups otherwise we are in danger of overlooking their real needs. The USAID report from 2001 clearly stated that “the Church is not a hindrance to the high risk groups which is where the rise in HIV is happening. The prevailing mode of transmission of HIV is men having sex with men. Those men probably do not have hesitations about condoms because of their Catholic faith.” The evidence shows that it would be thus ludicrous and rather short sighted to blame the spread of HIV in the MSM group on the Church seeing as this group does not even adhere to her teaching in this area. The Catholic Church

correctly teaches that an active homosexual lifestyle is a dangerous one and the medical and scientific data supports this stance. Those who blandly promote condom use as a magic panacea for the MSM group are doing our brothers a great disservice and an injustice. Instead we should be working to encourage a chaste lifestyle especially in the MSM group, and educate those involved in these risky and illicit sexual activities that they are putting their physical and moral well-being and that of many others at grave risk. In this regard, the voice of the Church should be listened to and not be simply disregarded or overlooked. This is the best way to truly love our neighbours, to tend to them, like the Good Samaritan who did not overlook the suffering and predicament of his wounded brother, but instead lent himself wholeheartedly in a mission and ministry of compassionate care and healing. May Jesus, our Good Samaritan, always guide us in our care for those most in need and give us strength and courage never to overlook the truth. (Fr James McTavish, FMVD, MD, FRCSEd, MA (Bioethics), STL)


Local News

CBCP Monitor
July 30 - August 12, 2012

Vol. 16 No. 16

RH Bill will be an issue come elections―CBCP official
THE Catholic hierarchy will bring the issue of a proposed population control measure to the voters to decide on in next year’s election, an official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said. Monsignor Joselito Asis, CBCP secretary general, said the Church is strongly against the reproductive health (RH) bill and it will do everything even to the point of campaigning against politicians supporting it. Even though supporting the RH bill is not a ground for excommunication, he said the fate of all lawmakers in politics still lies on the voters, majority of whom are Catholics. “The people will excommunicate by not voting for them. The people themselves will judge them… they are the ones who will decide. The role of the Church is just to explain the (flaws of the RH bill),” Asis said. While admitting that there is no such thing as “Catholic vote” in the country, the CBCP official said that RH bill will be part of other issues that will be included in the Church’s voters’ education program. “We do not impose… there is no bloc voting because we respect the freedom of choice. What we are saying is that
Spaces of Hope / A5

Bishops pray for safety of Filipinos in war-torn Syria
THE head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) appealed to the government to ensure the safety and return to the Philippines of Filipinos caught in the conflict in Syria. Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, CBCP president, urged the concerned agencies to do everything to bring home safely the thousands of Filipinos left in the war-torn country. “Our prayer for those who are concerned (agencies) to facilitate the return of our fellow Filipinos who are still in Syria especially those who already want to go back home,” Palma said. The CBCP official added the bishops are one with the nation in praying for the safety of Filipinos there and that Syria ends its internal conflict. “We are really concerned for our OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) in Syria because we know that they are only doing this for their family,” he said. Earlier in the week, ranking Syrian government officials were killed when opposition fighters launched a bomb attack at the National Security Headquarters in Damascus. This came amid beliefs that a civil war has already engulfed Syria, which has been marred with political tension and violence since early last year. Based on the records of the DFA, there remains an estimated 6,000 to 7,000 Filipinos in Syria. This, after the Philippine government managed to repatriate almost 2,000 Filipinos since March 2011. (CBCPNews)

Msgr. Joselito Asis

we will make the bill an election issue to raise the awareness of the people,” he added. So far, Asis claimed that the Church has a number of most lawmakers who assured their opposition against the measure, which requires huge government funding on artificial contraceptives. He said they also believe that the bill would still have to undergo a “long process” and would not be passed in

the current 15th Congress. But Asis stressed that there is no reason yet to celebrate. “The problem with these congressmen is that when they are facing the bishops, they are saying a different thing,” he also said. “The Church will never give up. We have to fight for what is right. The Church will not stop fighting,” Asis said. (CBCPNews)


mean or pin them down on their claims, positions, or commitments. Unfortunately, such forums are no longer being held, especially by poorly educated, intellectuallychallenged, and insecure or insincere candidates. Even the platforms are missing, prepared for show only but not generally circulated. This explains why so many misfits, incompentents, and corrupt candidates dominate especially at the grassroots. It is a measure of our citizenry’s apathy, lack of sophistication, and attitude of resignation to a system that trapos bastardize beyond repair that no community
Duc In Altum/ A5

insists on holding such forums. In fact, the Church, campus institutions, and civil society circles and clubs ought to make it their mission to fill the countryside and barangays with the sound of such caucuses, consultations, and fora (sometimes called ‘deliberative conversations in the community’)—until transparency becomes real and assertive sovereignty awakens in our democracy. You know, Father, a case should be made of the ‘priesthood’ of politics. If the ultimate ideal of the priestly vocation is to be a saint, that of a politicians is to be a statesman or patriot.

While one marches towards the heavenly ideal and the other towards the earthly, both require the spirit of a man-for-others. Both demand dedication. Both serve unselfishly. Statesmanship must characterize our political culture!” *** I was moved by the passion and vision Manny displayed in his letter to me. At 72 he has not lost any of that fire in the belly he mustered as a Christian socio-political worker in his younger years. Yes indeed: Why can’t our candidates’ and voters’ fora be geared towards challeng-

ing our candidates and their groups to move towards real political parties? Why can’t our fora discourse adopt the elements identified by Manny and so lay the groundwork for real parties? As the N2G3 (National Network for Grassroots Good Governance) connects with local churches—with whole-day gatherings for public servants from both Church and State in Novaliches, Bulacan, Batangas, and Cebu—an impulse to restore sanity into our politics is slowly being felt. With sacrifice, deep prayer, and an authentic spirit of discernment, perhaps we can make Manny’s dream our own.

CBCP to present Catholic Social Media Summit to Asian bishops

Aquino missed the point. We in the pro-life movements are so disgusted with these vigorous pronouncements in support of responsible parenthood a.k.a. RH bill.” Abp. Arguelles stated that the real machine that will keep the country’s economy going is the robust population and the serious education of the youth. San Pablo Bishop Leo Drona chided the President as confused to the real reasons for the backlogs in classrooms and facilities, instead he used the increasing student population as scapegoat to drum up support for the RH bill. The bishop said the President was misleading the nation into believing that aggressive population reduction through an RH law would be better for the country. He noted that no less than US State Secretary Hillary Clinton said in one of her speeches on reproductive health: “And if we’re talking about maternal health, you cannot have maternal health without reproductive health. And reproductive health includes contraception and family planning and access to legal, safe abortion.” Malolos Bishop Jose Oliveros, ViceChairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on the Laity, asked President Aquino to listen to the voice of the people if they are really his boss.“Now, he is imposing to the Filipino people his own stand on the RH bill. He should listen to the voice of the majority of our people who are Catholics. I think he is listening more to the external voices like that of the present US administration.
Fight / A1

This is in contradiction to the theme of his SONA.” Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes, member of the CBCP Permanent Council, said the President’s remark is a bad omen for what the Catholic Church stands for. He is undermining the moral force of the Catholic Church.’”We have to move our people to vigilance and teach more our congressmen about the dangers of the RH bill.” Fr. Melvin Castro, Executive Secretary of the CBCP-ECFL said “it is now clear that the proposed reproductive health bill or Aquino’s version of it called ‘responsible parenthood’ is not about health but about birth control.” He said that the President’s latest pronouncement has only affirmed the Church’s concern that RH bill is nothing but a population control bill “disguised” as a health measure. He further stated that “We do not see any connection between the education problem and RH bill because these are about promoting and funding of contraceptive usage.” *** Our shepherds had spoken. Our lawmakers should reject RH Bill due to dangers that it would bring to our country. (1) Contraceptives are “abortifacients” or abortion-causing. The World Health Organization itself published studies that contraceptives are cancerous. (2) It is pure selfishness to use taxpayers’ money to finance the government’s contraception, sterilization, and questionable sex-education program instead of delivering the basic services

to our countrymen such as medicines in barangay health centers, emergency lying-in clinics, classrooms, jobs, etc. (3) Overpopulation is a myth, there is a downtrend in population growth rate in the country as reported by government agencies. The Wall Street Journal reported, passing the RH Bill will hurt the Philippine economy; that the Philippines should learn from the experience of Singapore and Japan which are now suffering from a deficient workforce due to an aging population. (4) “Sexuality Education” should be left to the parents and not taught to Grade V pupils. *** Those interested in Laiko 10 days Pilgrimage on the Occasion of the Canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod from October 18 to 27, 2012, land arrangements are also available. You may get pilgrimage flyers from Laiko office or please contact Joseph S. Jesalva/ Catherine Buenconsejo, LAIKO Building, 372 Cabildo Street, Intramuros, Manila; Telephone No. 527-5388; Fax No. 527-3124; Mobile No. 0919-863-4218, email laiko_phils@yahoo.com.ph. *** Happy Birthday to Laiko Vice President for Ecclesiastical Province of Manila, Dr. Marita Wasan and Diocese of Kalookan clergy Fr. Boyet Pedroso, Fr. Luis Zapata and Fr. Joel Sabijon. Also Happy 18th Sacerdotal Anniversary to Fr. Jun Bartolome, Oeconomus of the Diocese of Kalookan. between 30,000 to 50,000 people showed up. The prayer rally, dubbed “Filipinos Unite Under God For Life!” gathered not just concerned citizens, celebrities and government officials opposed to the bill but also leaders of different religions and faith movements, who declared a common stand versus the population control measure. Since then, an increasing number of Filipinos have been expressing opposition to the RH bill, owing partly to the continuing catechesis that the clergy as well as faith-based groups have been conducting in parishes and schools. Palma referred to the August 7 prayer rally as “a demonstration of our sentiments and our advocacy for life.” “Let us show that what we believe in is for the common good,” he added.

Speakers at the recent 1st Catholic Social Media Summit, among them Msgr. Pedro Quitorio III, CBCP Media director, discussed the challenges of using social media for evangelization.

THE Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conference (FABC) took notice of the success of the first Catholic Social Media Summit (CSMS) held in the Philippines, that it even invited the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) media director to present it to Asian Bishops in a conference on September. The FABC Office on Social Communications (FABC-OSC) has asked CBCP Media Office director Msgr. Pedro Quitorio III to report the recently concluded CSMS to the 8th Bishops’ Institute for Social Communication (BISCOM) conference scheduled from September 3 to 9 in Bangkok, Thailand. The CBCP Media Office has organized the first CSMS in Marikina City last July 14 to 15 together with online evangelization-oriented group YouthPinoy, the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth, CBCP Commission on Mission, San Pedro Calungsod lay-movement “+Big,” and many others. In an invitation letter sent to Quitorio, FABC-OSC executive secretary Fr. Raymond Ambroise said a report on the first CSMS will be in sync with the BISCOM 8 theme “Social Media: Surfing, Networking, Blogging, Gaming, Addiction… Challenges and Opportunities for Communication Ministry in Asia.” Aside from reporting about the CSMS, Quitorio was asked to present a talk on “Social Media and EvangeliCandidly Speaking / A4

zation in the Philippines and how the technology is used in faith formation and development.” In an interview with YouthPinoy, Quitorio confirmed that he accepted the invitation and will present the concept of the CSMS to the FABC and BISCOM. Quitorio said the Philippine Church has made a record of having organized a CSMS, which is first of its kind in the Catholic world. It was recalled that the Vatican’s call to use the internet as a pulpit to proclaim the Gospel has started during the papacy of Blessed John Paul II. Pope Benedict XVI shared his predecessor’s call, even urging the youth to bear witness to their Catholic faith in the digital world. “We broke the record for organizing the world’s first Catholic Social Media Summit. Who knows, we might even host the first Asian Catholic Social Media Summit,” Quitorio said. The first CSMS gathered some 450 delegates from archdioceses, dioceses, schools, parishes, and communities across the archipelago during its two-day assembly at the Riverbanks Convention Center in Marikina City. The success of the CSMS has prompted organizers, including officials of the CBCP, to schedule CSMS every July 14th or the weekend following the CBCP’s midyear plenary assembly. (YouthPinoy)

and blessing,” he said. President Benigno Aquino III earlier said that population control is the answer to the backlogs in education, particularly in classrooms, chairs and textbooks of students. But Palma said it is unacceptable if the Aquino administration would rely on the “wrong” measure to solve the problem instead of finding the real solution. “It is therefore quite disturbing when the country is told that having too many children is a burden to the national budget,” the Cebu archbishop said. “There is a grave reason to worry when the government would rather suppress the population through RH Bill instead of confronting the real causes of poverty,” he added. He also scored claims by RH bill proponents that the measure is not to control the

population but to address maternal health issues. “The issue in maternal death as it has been mentioned is a serious concern, yes. But the solution does not lie in suppressing birth as provided in the RH Bill,” said Palma. “Providing proper and adequate maternal care could be done without passing the RH bill, but by strengthening and improving access to existing medical services,” he said. Pro-RH bill advocates have been saying the bill is necessary to stem the maternal deaths linked to pregnancy but the “anti” camp stressed the solution is not to legislate a law, but simply increase resources and manpower for health care. Red Day Participants are enjoined to wear red—the Church’s symbol of martyrdom—and

to bring religious images, rosaries and candles to the event. The event will also include dynamic presentations and music besides speeches to shed light on—and show the beauty and vitality of— an authentic culture of life. The prelate has also requested for the daily recitation of the Angelus at 6 p.m. in every home and parish during these days leading up to next week’s crucial vote. The Church has been relentlessly opposing the RH bill, a P13.7 billion-ayear-population control measure. Mass actions demonstrating the people’s rejection of the RH bill have been organized by various dioceses across the country, but the largest Church-led protest event so far took place at the Quirino Grandstand on March 25, 2011, in which

equalizes everyone of us, no matter how we place in a game. Sad to say, this truth of our faith is not well understood and appreciated by many of us yet. There are those who think that winning is the end-all of the games. This kind of thinking is to fall into a very limited and distorted vision of life. What are we to do then with the losers who will be the great majority of the players? Just try to pursue that line and immediately see the absurdity. No, it cannot be just winning. It is rather in participating in the games, doing one’s best even if his best does not make him a winner, and offering all of it for God’s glory and for the common good of all men. We need to inculcate this understanding of sports in everyone, and especially among the young still in school. We need to understand that games and competition are a reflection of both the personal and social character of our life based on love of God and others. They are meant to reinforce that character. Indeed we have to be most careful in handling where our thoughts, desires

and feelings are when we win or lose. In any of these possibilities, we can be either at our best or at our worst depending on the motives we have in pursuing the games and in accepting the results. Win or lose, we should love God and neighbor more every time we play. We should be wary of being held captive by impulses of our unpurified and spontaneous feelings and emotions that usually are self-centered and attracted only to material and worldly values. This tendency of our human flesh as shown in our feelings and passions in reacting to whatever results of our games and competition is behind the highly anomalous situations of commercialism, envy, body cult, etc., that we also sadly see today. We need to humanize and Christianize our sports by infusing it with the proper spirit. Thus, in the family, schools and other venues, ‘Olympifying’ our sports, giving it the proper spirit, should be consciously held as the goal, and never just the winning.


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 16 No. 16
July 30 - August 12, 2012

Diocesan News


Coalition vows to relocate Sendong survivors before Aug. 28
CAGAYAN DE ORO City—Sendong survivors may yet celebrate the feast of their patron saint soon in their own home. At least that’s what partners of the Multisectoral Coalition on Housing, meeting at the Archbishop’s House on July 26 have agreed to do. “That is the least we can do for them so that they will have reason to thank St. Augustine during his feast day on August 28,” said Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, convenor and prime-mover of the multisector coalition. DSWD records showed that as of July 23, there are still 8,368 families that need permanent housing units. However, 4,787 or 57 percent of them are about to be relocated permanently to their new homes constructed by partner agencies and institutions. Acquisition of the lands needed for the construction of the remaining 43 percent or 3,581 housing units is now being fast-tracked, said NHA Assistant General Manager Froilan Kampitan. Kampitan reported that government has already approved the acquisition of lands for the construction of at least 3,564 housing units. He specifically mentioned the properties of the Gallares and Roa families for construction of 214 and 3,350 housing units, respectively. Second legislative district Rep. Rufus Rodriguez reported that he already allocated P90 million of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to the NHA for this purpose. Rodriguez also said that he has allocated funds for the purchase and development of the lands of the Carmelites (3 hectares), Mabulay family (5 hectares), and Villaranda family (2.5 hectares) for permanent housing for the “formal sector.” “Formal sector” refers to those Sendong displaced but have regular employment and sources of livelihood who formed themselves into organizations to enable themselves to avail of the Community Mortgage Program (CMP) implemented by the Social Housing Finance Corporation’s (SHFC) and Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF). There are now at least 31 community associations composed of Sendong survivors in the city or a total of 7,756 CMP beneficiaries, said the SHFC representative. The SHFC has identified the Bermudo property in Indahag, Tan property in Lumbia, and Cabañeros property in Gusa for its CMP program. SHFC is allocating P165, 000 for each beneficiary and it is up to the association to agree on the floor area of each housing unit. Rodriguez also reported that in have already agreed to respectively build school buildings and health centers in each of the eight permanent resettlement sites in the second district. He also specifically asked NHA’s Kampitan to allocate a portion of the permanent sites for churches. “The needs of the IDPs are also spiritual. Building churches near their new homes is the way to build communities,” Ledesma said. The International Organization for Migration (IOM), meanwhile, reported
Photo courtesy of Bong D. Fabe

Survivors of Typhoon Sendong will soon transfer to their own homes in time for the celebration of the feast of their patron Saint Augustine on August 28. The Multisectoral Coalition on Housing led by Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma and other partner agencies had promised to meet the deadline.

that as of July 18, there are still a total of 2,220 families that remain in 27 transitory sites and evacuation centers in the city. However, there are no more IDPs living in schools as the last school used as evacuation center was closed on July 17.

During the meeting, Ledesma, Rodriguez and Kampitan wondered why there was no representative from the city government in the meeting. Others present noted that the City Hall also snubbed the multisectoral and other related meetings called by the ACDO and/or CSOs. (Bong D. Fabe)

Sendong survivors attend hands-on training on urban container gardening

Church, civil leaders sign covenant for good governance
League of Barangay officials of Cebu province. Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and the Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo witnessed the covenant signing. Msgr. Antonio Labiao, coordinator of the Ugnayan ng Barangay at mga Simbahan (UBAS) of the Diocese of Novaliches, shared his story in organizing efforts in the grassroots level of the diocese since last year. He emphasized the crucial role of the priests and the Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC) in the implementation process. Labiao’s speech was received with applause several times particularly when he gave instances of good governance practices in the local church of Novaliches, including budget hearings for proposed pastoral plans of parishes. Meanwhile, Fr. Carmelo Diola, Overall Steward of the Dilaab Foundation Inc. in an interview, said that the way we conduct our elections is the original sin of graft and corruption in our country. “We need to prepare for the next elections by emerging discerning voters and credible candidates through a mechanism and process that is nonpartisan,” he added. Kintanar also added that “the barangay—church partnership will be sustained in future activities of the Archdiocese with the help of the DILG and the Liga ng mga Barangay representatives.” The Cebu gathering follows in the heels of the UBAS gathering and covenant signing last April 7, 2011 in St. Peter’s Shrine of Leaders, Diocese of Novaliches and the recently-held Archdiocesan Symposium on Good Governance at the Archbishop’s Residence, in the Archdiocese of Lipa. (Jenny Tan)

Bishop consecrates priests, seminarians for renewed fight vs RH Bill

SAN PABLO City―San Pablo Bishop Leo Drona has consecrated his priests, religious and seminarians to prepare them for a renewed battle against the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) Bill which Congress wants railroaded and passed. During the recent Monthly Clergy Recollection, the bishop gathered over 300 priests, religious and seminarians inside the San Pablo Cathedral to pray the Holy Rosary and consecrate them to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He said the consecration of the clergy and seminarians was intended to prepare priests and the whole diocese to face head-on the battle against the evil of the RH Bill which wants to reduce Philippine population by artificial means including abortion. (Fr. Romy Ponte)
Christians urged to reflect during Ramadan

Church and civil leaders pledge to work together in pursuit of good governance. Photo shows Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Julito Cortes, representing Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma signing the covenant.

ZAMBOANGA City—The Silsilah Dialogue Movement (SDM) has encouraged Christians to take time to reflect and find spiritual meaning in their lives during the Muslim’s the holy month of Ramadan. The SDM, which actively promotes interfaith dialogue and friendship between Christian and Muslims especially in Mindanao, made the call before the start of the Ramadan July 20. “In this special occasion of the month of Ramadhan, Christians are invited to understand better the religion of Islam and to appreciate more the spiritual journey of the Muslim Umma,” the Movement said. The Ramadhan Calendar in Philippines started July 20, 2012 and ends on August 18. The end of Ramadan, Eid ul Fitr 2012, will be celebrated on August 19, after the completion of Ramadan Calendar 2012 in the country. (CBCPNews)

CEBU City— Around 1000 Public servants—elected, appointed, career, religious, professional, volunteers in civic clubs, advocacy programs, or concerns—have gathered in an effort to forge a collaborative stance in the pursuit of good governance. Organized by the Archdiocese of Cebu, the gathering called Cebu Discernment Conference on Political Engagement of Public Servants was held last July 20 at the Cebu Mariners’ Court, ALU (Associated Labor Union) Compound in Cebu City’s Port Area. Msgr. Romualdo G. Kintanar, Convener of the Archdiocesan Discernment group, said that “the event created a venue where different or even opposing interests can come together and start a process for Church-State collaboration for the common good.” “It also raised the awareness that public service in politics or in any field is a

noble Christian vocation,” he said. The event hoped that various sectors working together can be enough initial force to affect a “dent” or to “shovel off” the mountains of social problems the country is facing. Since social problems are on the rise there is an urgency to come together and help one another, through prayers and sharing of resources. Even as they focused on their respective approaches, representatives of the various sectors shared the common conviction that the church and the state also need to be united and to actively collaborate in some specific activities. The event was highlighted by a signing of a covenant between the church and the barangay for good governance. In attendance were Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Julito Cortes, who represented Archbishop Jose Palma and various

Artistic / A1

Rosary Crusade for peace between Phl and China launched
JARO, Iloilo―Amidst brewing tension between China and Philippines over the Scarborough (Panatag) Shoal the Family Rosary Crusade has launched a Rosary Crusade for Peace between the two countries. Riding on a dream born of faith, the FRC celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2011 inviting one million Filipinos to pray the rosary each day for world peace. With the endorsement of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, it launched “A Million Roses for the World: Filipinos at Prayer, Peace for All Nations” in October 10, 2011 with the goal of praying for world peace. All the nations in Africa, the Americas, Austral-Asia and Europe were lifted up in prayer. The rosary prayer-campaign culminated on May
Fellow / A1

Killings / A1

address the problem. “I was sad. I was expecting that he would discuss the country’s human rights situation and the extrajudicial killings,” said Pabillo of the National Secretariat for Social Action – Justice and Peace (Nassa). From 1986, he said that there were around 153 victims of extrajudicial killings and 13 of these cases happened under the 2-year-old Aquino administration. Various rights group said the latest victim is environmental activist Willem Geertman who was shot dead by motorcycle-riding men last July 3. “From the 153, 10 cases have reportedly been solved by the government but those prosecuted are just the acDispute / A1

complice, not the masterminds,” said Pabillo. In his third SONA, the President said crime rate have gone down since he assumed office from over 500,000 in 2009 to 246, 958 in 2011; and carjackings down from 2,200 in 2010 to 966 in 2011. The New York-based rights group Human Rights Watch also claimed that Aquino failed to make good on its promise two years ago to “bring those responsible for serious abuses to justice.” Amnesty International also condemned the continued torture, summary executions, and enforced disappearances that remain unresolved in the country. (CBCPNews)

consecration of China, that the people may come to know the Gospel; 5th Decade will be for blessings for China. Banson explained during the celebration in Jaro that the prayer crusade will be a one-year campaign so that each parish in the Philippines will pledge at least 200 parishioners who will pray the Holy Rosary each day for peace. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas)

mahubong are among those listed beneficiaries but there are also “outsiders” who want to own parts of the land. “So there is conflict now. I don’t know why DAR is not doing something on this,” he said. “I hope they will settle this because innocent people are [being] killed here.” According to him, there is a possibility that the dismissed workers of the rubber plantation just “connived” with the Abu Sayyaf out of their frustrations.

Even the ambush of a convoy of rubber plantation workers last July 11 may be connected to the issue, the prelate added. At least five workers and government militiaman were killed in the incident perpetrated by around 10 gunmen. The attack also injured 22 others. “As usual, we condemn incidents like this but we hope the government would finally act on the problem. Let’s not wait for more violence to happen here,” he said. (RL/CBCPNews)

“And looking back on my life there have been hard and difficult times but he was always there.” According to him, fearless witnesses are those who trust God’s presence, adding that the world needs people who will evangelize a difficult world. “My message to them is go ahead, trust the Lord. Try to be in contact with Him and develop a deep personal relationship with Him,” he said. Sinnott left the Ninoy Aquino International Airport yesterday evening, after 42 years of missionary work in the country, particularly in impoverished

communities of Mindanao. Before boarding flight for Ireland, Sinnott reiterated that he is leaving the country with a heavy heart. “I was delighted when I was assigned to the Philippines and that delight has continued over the years. I found a very fulfilling life here. There were ups and downs, good and bad times but the Lord was always there to help me,” he said. But even if he is in Ireland, Sinnott said he would still keep in touch with his parishioners in Pagadian City and the children of “Hangop Kabataan”, a rehabilitation program for children

with special physical needs, which he established in 1998. “As I said I have left part of my heart here; I will always remember them. That would be my constant prayer when I go home with the few years that I have,” added Sinnott. Sinnott spent the rest of his missionary work in the Diocese of Pagadian for around 33 years until he was held captive by suspected Abu Sayyaf bandits for a month. The priest was subsequently brought to the Columban’s regional house in Manila and was never assigned again in Mindanao. (RL/CBCPNews)

Photo courtesy of Pinky Barrientos, FSP

the young martyr Calungsod shared his passion for the arts. Also a lay minister at St. Clement parish in Angono, Blanco shared that he wished to capture Calungsod in the last moments before his martyrdom, preaching to a group of locals. Like the rest of his family members, Blanco is trained in the artistic style of realism. In collaboration with the National Commission for the canonization of Pedro Calungsod, some 50 to a 100 Angono artists will be coming out with 50 to 70 paintings of Calungsod by the first week of September, showing different aspects of his life and death. (Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz)

30, 2012 with a Thanksgiving Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Candles, Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral, in Iloilo City. Chairperson of “A Million Roses for the World” Prayer Campaign, Ms. ZaragozaBanson, said in an interview during the event that the celebration of ‘A Million Roses for the World’ Prayer Campaign should rather be called a “rounder” and not a “culmination” because the completion of the 200-day campaign on May 30 does not mean that the appeal to pray one Rosary for every country a day has ended. It only means, she stressed, that the first 200-day campaign has been completed and now has to be continued with greater vigor. In this vein, the Family Rosary Crusade will continue the Rosary praying project for world peace, with

31 countries slated to be prayed for the whole month of August. FRC is encouraging people to pray for the countries of Africa from Monday to Saturday, and to pray for the Philippines and families on Sundays. Five special intentions will be prayed for in this Crusade: for peace and justice over the waters between the Philippines and China, to consecrate the two nations, and to ask for God’s blessings for both countries. 1st Decade will be for peace and justice over the waters between the Philippines and China; 2nd Decade will be for the re-consecration of the Philippines to strengthen our faithfulness to the Church; 3rd Decade will be for God’s blessing on the Philippines; 4th Decade will be for the


CAGAYAN DE ORO City—Challenged to transform tragedy into an opportunity, and thus chart their families’ own destiny, survivors of Typhoon Sendong actively participated in the hands-on training on urban container gardening (UCG) at the covered court of the St. John Vianney Theological Seminary. At least 60 survivors from the barangays of Iponan, Bonbon, Indahag, Macasandig and Carmen spent the whole day of July 25 learning how to grow vegetables using discarded recyclable materials such as plastic water containers and household wastes under UCG’s developer and expert Perfecto Rom Jr. Organized by the Balay Mindanaw Foundation, Inc.’s Disaster Response, Risk Reduction Management and Resiliency Building team, the training was its way of “pulling the bull by its horns” in fast tracking the recovery of those devastated by last year’s calamity. (Bong D. Fabe)


People, Facts & Places
THE Diocesan Seminarians’ Network of the Philippines, Inc. (SemNet) held its quarterly meeting at San Jose Seminary on July 20 and 21 and renewed its commitment to participate in the campaign for an honest and clean elections come May 2013. “To keep the tradition of SemNet alive and burning, we are trying our best to be faithful to the humble beginnings of the network. As future priests, we signify our support so that the true voice of the people will be heard in the ballot,” said Seminarian Ralph Ogayon, National Coordinator of SemNet. Representatives from different seminaries discussed during the meeting how the network can contribute to the Church’s advocacy for truthful elections. Fr. Edwin Gariguez, the Executive Secretary of the CBCP-National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace, prepped the seminarians with a talk on electoral reforms during the gathering. Gariguez emphasized the crucial nexus of proclaiming the Gospel and the need to fight for peace, justice and integrity of creation. “Our theologizing must end in concrete actions,” Gariguez reminded seminarians who are doing their theological studies. Ogayon said they don’t have yet any specific plans on what to do but they are ready to participate to be able to contribute for change in the society. “Before we concretize our plans, it would be helpful for us to go back to the foundation of our advocacies: the example of Jesus’s person, life and ministry. Though our resources are limited, we know we can make a big difference by tying up with other service-oriented groups like NASSA. Wherever and whenever we are greatly needed, the seminarians will be there,” said Ogayon. Aside from its participation in the upcoming elections, SemNet was also able to update other members its plans for the school year in the different pillars of formation namely: academic, human, spiritual and pas-

CBCP Monitor

July 30 - August 12, 2012

Vol. 16 No. 16

Church wants venue for Calungsod Mass declared heritage site
CATHOLIC Church officials have asked the Cebu City government to declare the location of where the national celebration of Blessed Pedro Calungsod’s canonization will be held as a heritage site. Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma and retired Ricardo Cardinal Vidal are particularly referring to the “template” at the 27hectare South Road Properties (SRP) where a Mass will be held on November 30. Their appeal was contained in a letter sent to Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama whom they also thanked for allowing the Church to use a portion of the SRP for their activity. “To forever etch in the hearts and minds of every Filipino the significance of our thanksgiving activity, may we request the city to declare the location of the template as historical site,” part of the letter read. The move, they added, would help the people to “look back and remember in the coming years our celebration of gratitude and grace for this very important milestone in our archdiocese.” The template is a 1,200-sq.m. structure where the Mass and other spiritual activities will be held in honor of the soon-to-be second Filipino saint. The first Visayan martyr will be canonized October 21 in Vatican City. At least a million participants are expected to attend the celebration including local and foreign dignitaries and church leaders. Organizers said the template will be made of indigenous materials that would hold around 140 bishops and priests. It will include a sanctuary, altar, and other ecclesiastical elements in building a church. (CBCPNews)

Seminarians’ network backs drive for clean, honest 2013 polls
toral formation. At least 32 theology seminarians coming from 14 theological seminaries in the Philippines attended the meeting. Participating seminaries were Domus Josephi Formation Center (Pasay), St. Francis Theological Seminary (Lipa), Sto. Domingo Formation House (Quezon City), UST Central Seminary (Manila), St. Alphonus Regional Seminary (Lucena), Holy Apostles Senior Seminary (Makati), Mother of Good Counsel Seminary (Pampanga), Lorenzo Mission Institute (Makati), San Carlos Seminary (Makati), St. Vincent School of Thelogy (Quezon City), San Pablo Theological Formation House (Tagaytay), Tahanan ng Mabuting Pastol (Tagaytay), St. Augustine Major Seminary (Tagaytay) and San Jose Seminary (Quezon City). The meeting also gave the seminarians a chance to pray together and share their common dreams to be formed after the image of Christ. It also served as a venue to renew the organization’s commitment to become a network of authentic seminarians who responsive to the signs of the times in loving service to God and country. Established in 1991, SemNet was formed as a network with only San Jose Seminary, San Carlos Seminary, UST Central Seminary and the Tagaytay Cluster of seminaries as initial members. It took part in the 1992 Elections in collaboration with NAMFREL, PPCRV, Votecare, and Radio Veritas. Since then, the network expanded through the years. It has not only been active during elections but also in many socio-political issues; and later, in the integral formation of theology seminarians. SemNet has become the official organization of diocesan theology seminarians in the Philippines with 27 seminaries comprising the network. It meets five times a year for regular meetings of seminary representatives, the fifth being the annual Kapatiran which gathers all diocesan theology seminarians. (Edmel Raagas)

Filipino student-priests travel to Rome ahead of classes
FILIPINO student-priests pursuing higher studies in Pontifical Universities here have arrived at the Pontificio Collegio Filippino (PCF) ahead of the start of their classes to study the Italian language. PCF rector Fr. Greg Gaston said four student-priests from the archdioceses of Lipa and Jaro and from the dioceses of Laoag and Pagadian are attending Italian language classes from July to August before the opening of classes in September. Gaston said the two-month Italian classes will help student-priests comprehend their professors and communicate in class. He claimed that Filipino students, despite being more conversant in English than in Italian, are able to graduate on top of their classes. The newcomers include Fr. Jayson Alcaraz from Tanauan, Batangas who is set to pursue a licentiate degree in Social Communications from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross; Fr. Yves Francis Martinez from Pototan, Iloilo who is set to pursue a licentiate degree in Sacred Scriptures at the Pontifical Biblical Institute (Biblicum); Fr. Nolasco Pascua Jr. from Pinili, Ilocos Norte who is set to pursue a licentiate degree in Canon Law at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas (Angelicum); and Fr. Nestor Remasog from Dumalinao, Zamboanga del Sur who is set to pursue a licentiate degree in Moral Theology at the Accademia Alfonsiana. The PCF houses Filipino priests sent by their archbishops and bishops to pursue specialized areas of study in Rome. Due to the small number of Filipino priests being sent to Rome to study, the PCF has also opened its doors to accommodate non-Filipino priests, primarily to generate funds to sustain its operation and maintenance. The batch of newcomers said they are thankful for having PCF as their “home in Rome.” “The Collegio Filippino is thousands of miles away from home but the brotherhood of priests here makes it a home away from home,” said Fr. Alcaraz. Meanwhile, Fr. Pascua admitted that he was “apprehensive” about returning to the classroom after a nine-year hiatus from the academe. “The anxiety is heightened by the fact that our lessons will be in Italian,” he said, adding that he is already “missing home, but the Collegio Fathers and Sisters are very accommodating that the feeling of homesickness is fading by leaps and bounds.” He also noted the Filipino food served at PCF is “good and close to overflowing, that every meal makes one feel very much welcome.” For his part, Fr. Martinez said being in the Eternal City and learning the Italian language are both challenging and exciting. “After two weeks in Rome, I already feel challenged and humbled because I have to study again and to learn many things. The adventure and spiritual journey here is quite difficult but also exciting,” he said. Similarly, Fr. Remasog admits that going to a foreign country to study is a difficult change in his life, especially as it involves going beyond his comfort zone. “To be in Rome is for a change, this is what I commonly hear from priests and people. Yes, change is good. However, to be far away from my family, from my country for the sake of change, changes my perspective on it (and) I am already shying away from change,” he shared. But Remasog was quick to say that he feels destined to be in Rome, adding that “change is good, indeed. Change is necessary in every facet of life.” Aside from the four priests, the PCF is expecting “five more Filipinos and five non-Filipino priests” to arrive, according to Fr. Gaston. (CBCPNews)


CELEBRATED. Most Rev. Leo Murphy Drona, SDB, 25th anniversary of Episcopal Ordination, July 25; at the Cathedral of St. Paul the Hermit at San Pablo City. The momentous occasion was attended by bishops, members of the clergy from Laguna and Nueva Ecija, religious, nuns and laity. Consecrated bishop in 1987, Drona first served as Bishop of San Jose, Nueva Ecija from 1987 to 2004. He succeeded Bishop Francisco San Diego as third bishop of San Pablo Diocese in 2004. Drona was born on October 18, 1941 at Pangil, Laguna. He spent his elementary years at Thomas Earnshaw Elementary School, and high school years at Don Bosco Technical Institute in Sta. Ana, Manila. He finished his seminary training at Salesian Seminary College in Hong Kong, where he earned PhB. He was ordained to the priesthood on December 22, 1967. He obtained his Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Universita Pontificia Salesiana in Rome in 1968. Drona was Dean of College of Don Bosco College Seminary in Calamba, Laguna from 1968 to 1973, then was appointed Rector of the same college seminary from 1974 to 1981. From 1981 to 1987, he was Vice-Provincial Superior of SDB Provincial Office in BLS-Parañaque. DECLARED. The oldest Church in the province of Davao Oriental was the latest addition in the roster of national historic sites in the country. The 128-year old San Salvador del Mundo Church in Caraga municipality in Davao Oriental was proclaimed national historic site by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines in an unveiling ceremony on July 16, the parish’s parochial feast day. The Church has retained about 70% of the original component of its structures. It exudes a solemn atmosphere, strengthened even with age and undying religiosity of all Caragenos. Among the stunning features of the church are the two centuriesold giant seashells that serve as holy water fount for church goers to make the sign of the cross with before taking a seat, and the baptismal font. The baptismal font was used during the Spanish era, was preserved, and now being kept at the Holy Door of San Salvador del Mundo Parish. Mati Bishop Patricio Alo blessed the historic marker. After the declaration of San Salvador del Mundo Parish as a national historic site, the faithful of Caraga is now set in pursuing to have it named as a national landmark. Fr. Roland Sayman, one of the 5-man team organized by the Diocese of Mati as National Historical Committee for the San Salvador del Mundo Parish declaration, disclosed that vying for the recognition of a national landmark would entail more records to prove and more requirements to comply with. “We have many records with archeological facts already. This will be our next move, from a national historic site, we will pursue San Salvador del Mundo as a national landmark. We have reasons to ask for this,” he reasoned.

CBCP to release registration guidelines for WYD 2013 by August
EXACTLY a year before the next World Youth Day (WYD) takes place in Brazil, organizers are yet to come up with the official registration guidelines for young people who want to fly to Rio de Janeiro to participate in the global youth event. This explains why the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth has not yet issued the primer it customarily releases to brief interested attendees about the details of the upcoming WYD and the physical, spiritual and financial requirements that attending it entails. CBCP ECY executive secretary Fr. Conegundo Garganta said the delay in the release of the WYD primer is “primarily due to another delay, that of information on registration from the Brazilian organizers.” Garganta said the CBCP ECY is targeting to release the primer by August. For his part, CBCP ECY chairman and Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon encouraged interested Filipinos to participate in the WYD 2013 to start soliciting for funds to finance their WYD pilgrimage. “Although the WYD host country have yet to disclose the financial requirement of the event, it is prudent to start soliciting early,” he said. The prelate also reminded would-be WYD participants to seriously study the primer and undertake personal preparations that the primer advises. Baylon also invited individuals, schools, organizations and dioceses to join the delegation that the CBCP ECY is organizing for the WYD 2013. The CBCP ECY delegation is considered as the official Philippine delegation by the WYD 2013 organizers. “There are many perks in joining the ECY delegation, including the facilitation of visa application and accommodation in the host country. For the Days in the Diocese, we are already working to get a diocese that is near Rio de Janeiro so that travel to the host city won’t take too long,” he said.

Baylon added that being a part of the national delegation is an advantage. “We celebrate the WYD experience as a national delegation. If we are together, we can share our experiences and get in touch with each other more easily,” he added. The CBCP ECY delegation has led a total of 422 Filipino pilgrims to the WYD in Madrid, Spain in 2011. (YouthPinoy)

Bible games, a chance to use social media for good inspire youth
SOME young participants at the recent 1st Catholic Social Media Summit eagerly anticipated exploring another kind of online games upon the prodding of Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle—biblebased games. Asked how she and her companions found the summit, 15-year-old Alina Zano said it was interesting and didn’t make them feel sleepy at all – especially when online games were mentioned. “Katulad nung mga bible games, I would ‘like’ them but I did not try playing them. Pero ngayong nalaman ko na [mukhang maganda] pala, eh di i-ta-try ko na.” The prelate during his keynote speech at the event broached the idea of game developers coming up with more games based on virtues rather than on vices. “I hope there are more games based on the Bible in the internet. Why don’t (game developers) create games based on the Beatitudes where the more hungry people you feed, the more thirsty people you quench with drinks, or more prisoner you visit in jail, the more successful you become?” he asked. Another speaker, Fr. Stephen Cuyos, MSC of the Communications Foundation for Asia, mentioned a particular game called “Journey on Jesus: The Calling,” which is available on Facebook, and urged summit participants to play Bible games and install Bible apps in their gadgets. University of the Philippines student John Juat said he was aware that social media could be used as a tool to evange-

© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

Manila youth assembly to focus on Calungsod
A YOUTH assembly organized by the Catechetical Foundation of the Archdiocese of Manila (CFAM) focused on the life and works of Blessed Pedro Calungsod to entice the youth participants to imitate the values of the saint. Themed “Life that is Offered, Faith that is proclaimed”, the 1st quarterly CFAM Youth Assembly aimed to continue the spirit of the Year of the Youth, establish and strengthen the youth’s relationship with Christ like Blessed Pedro Calungsod, provide opportunities for personal growth and encourage community involvement and, inspire and empower the youth to become citizens imbued with Gospel values for the service of the society and the local Church. According to Roque Palero, Ministry Assistant for Youth of CFAM, Calungsod is set as the model because of his service to the Church and to God which young people can imitate. Palero said that around 1,500 high school students registered for the assembly on July 21, more than the early estimate of only 1,400 youth participants. Novaliches Bishop Antonio Tobias presided the Holy Mass in the morning. Msgr. Gerry Santos, head of Manila Archdiocesan and Parochial Schools (MAPSA) delivered an inspirational message to the youth participants while Fr. James Nitollama gave a talk on Faith which was linked to the life and works of Blessed Pedro Calungsod. The event also had celebrities Rodjun Cruz and Diane Medina who shared on their faith. Palero also said that the awareness campaigns for Pedro’s such as the countdown to his canonization and the ‘I like Pedro’ page were introduced during the assembly. The youth assembly was a gathering of young people from public high schools of the Archdiocese of Manila and other suffragan dioceses. The event was held at San Bartolome de Novaliches Parish. (Jandel Posion)

Hundreds of young people from various dioceses across the country participated in the 1st Catholic Social Media Summit held in Marikina City, July 14-15, 2012.

lize “but I didn’t really use it to evangelize – more of for academics and games. But now I learned that you can also learn new things by playing bible games.” Juat uses the internet also to store his pro-life poetry on his blog and share it with others, but he said he could do more after being inspired by all that he saw and heard during the two-day event. “It’s very, very helpful, very inspiring, and I actually made a promise to myself that I will start reading the bible more, because how can you give to others what you don’t have?” he said. Jam Serquina, who heads the Youth Commission of the Last Supper of Our Lord Parish in Parañaque, actively uses Facebook and Twitter mainly to communicate with friends. Attending the summit with her group, however, was geared

toward the task of evangelization. “Social media is a big part of our life now. So for us to be able to communicate with this generation as well, [it would be important to] use social media to inspire them to become good Christians,” she said. Christine Gomez, actively involved in youth training, appreciated the event and agreed with the Manila Archbishop’s take on social media’s potential to bring about a lot of good. “At least for us Catholics and Christians, it’s a reminder of how to contribute positively to cyberspace, to make a difference with your online presence. Because like any instrument it’s indifferent. You can use it for good or for bad. It depends on the intentions and the dispositions of the user.” (CBCP for Life)

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 16 No. 16
July 30 - August 12, 2012

Pastoral Concerns
means the endeavor to obtain for every man and woman the fullness of life, to work so that every man and woman can lead a life worthy of the dignity of a human person, that he be liberated from sub-human conditions of living, from living in a condition of poverty, disease, unhealthy housing, that he be liberated from injustice, oppression, etc.—from any diminishment of life. In the narrow sense, the promotion of the culture of life vs. the culture of death, the pro-life advocacy means the fight against contraception, abortion, and euthanasia. This meaning is the prevalent one. People usually mean this when they say the culture of life or pro-life advocacy. We who are engaged in the culture of life, in pro-life advocacy in the narrow sense, as in the fight against the Reproductive Health Bill, are time and again accused of being against contraception, abortion, and euthanasia but are not at all concerned about the injustice, poverty, and the sub-human conditions in which many of our fellow Filipinos are living. This is not true of course. But let us just be careful not to cause this false impression regarding ourselves. Although our thrust in the “pro-life advocacy” is first against contraception, abortion, euthanasia, etc., let us join in the great endeavor to free many of our countrymen from injustice, poverty, and sub-human conditions of living. I will not anymore explain to you why contraception, abortion, and euthanasia are wrong. I will just remind you that although contraception is not abortion, it often leads to abortion. In countries where contraception is widespread, abortion also increases. As Evangelium Vitae, 13 says: “But despite their differences of nature and moral gravity, contraception and abortion are often closely connected, as fruits of the same tree… In very many instances such practices are rooted in a hedonistic mentality unwilling to accept responsibility in matters of sexuality, and they imply a self-centered concept of freedom which regards procreation as an obstacle to personal fulfillment. The life which could result from a sexual encounter thus becomes an enemy to be avoided at all costs, and abortion becomes the only possible decisive response to failed contraception.” I would like to point out some wrong ideas, principles, and attitudes of people who accept and promote these anti-life practices. 1. In relation to abortion and euthanasia, John Paul II says that an


BEFORE talking about Mary in connection with the culture of life and the culture of death, let me review with you the meaning of the culture of life. In short, the culture of life is a way of thinking, a way of living that is in accordance with the Gospel of Life. To explain the gospel of life, I will depend much on the encyclical letter of Blessed John Paul II, “Evangelium Vitae” the Gospel of Life.
Basically the Gospel of Life teaches that human life has to be respected, promoted, and protected because of the human person. According to Vatican II, “man is the only creature on earth which God willed for its own sake.” Because of the transcendent dignity of man “he is the subject of rights which no one may violate—no individual, group, class, nation or state.” (“Centesimus Annus”, 44) Human rights are rights inherent in every person and prior to any Constitution and State Legislation. The right to life is a primary right of the human person. The dignity of the human person is based on three things First, man has been created in the image and likeness of God. He is an image of God through his intellect and will. “You have made him little less than a god and crown him with glory and honor. (Ps. 8:5) The glory of God shines on the face of man. Second, he has been redeemed by Christ, the Son of God, through His suffering and death. Furthermore, Vatican II says: “By his incarnation the Son of God has unites himself in some fashion with every human being.” This saving event reveals to humanity not only the boundless love of God who “so loved the world that he gave his only Son” (Jn. 3:16) but also the incomparable value of every human person (Evangelium Vitae, 2). Third, man is called to share in God’s own life, in divine life. “Man is called to a fullness of life which far exceeds the dimension of his earthly existence, because it consists in sharing the very life of God. The loftiness of this supernatural vocation reveals the greatness and inestimable value of human life in its temporal phase (EV, 2). Through the redemption wrought by Christ, God shared his divine life with man making

(A talk delivered by Most Rev. Gabriel V. Reyes, Bishop of Antipolo and Chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines; at the National Marian Conference and Pilgrimage of the Clergy held at St. James Parish Church, June 19-20, 2012)
him his son. “We see here a clear affirmation of the primacy of man over things; these are made subject to him and entrusted to his responsible care, whereas for no reason can he be made subject to other men and almost reduced to the level of a thing.” (EV, 34) Life is not only God’s gift to man but is also a sacred reality entrusted to man. He has to take care of it and protect it. He has to bring it to perfection through love and through the gift of himself to God and to his brothers and sisters. New Threats of Human Life Evangelium Vitae in number 3 says that aside from the “ancient scourges” of life such as poverty, hunger, war, there are new crimes and attacks against human life. I quote, “Whatever is opposed to life itself, such as any type of murder, genocides, abortion, euthanasia, or willful self-destruction, whatever violates the integrity of the human person, such as mutilation, torments inflicted on body or mind, attempts to coerce the will itself; whatever insults human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery, prostitution, the selling of women and children; as well as disgraceful working conditions, where people are treated as mere instruments of gain rather than as free and responsible persons; all these things and other life them are infamies indeed. They poison human society, and they do more harm to those who practice them than to those who suffer from the injury. Moreover, they are a supreme dishonor to the Creator.” (EV, 3) What is worse, a new cultural climate (the culture of death) is developing and taking hold, which considers attacks against life as justified. In many countries, these attacks, such as contraception, abortion, and euthanasia are protected and promoted by laws as rights. Before going further, allow me to make an observation. We can define our promotion of the culture of life, our prolife advocacy in two ways: in the broad sense and the narrow sense. In the broad sense, the culture of life, pro-life advocacy excessive concern for efficiency is taking hold in our society. Because of this, “a person who, because of illness, handicap, or more simply, just by existing, compromises the well-being or life-style of those who are more favored, tends to be resisted or eliminated. (Ex. Story of Cardinal Bengsch of Berlin) 2. Relativism: According to Benedict XVI, “A dictatorship of relativism is being constituted that recognizes nothing as absolute and which only leaves the “I” and its whims as the ultimate measure.” Relativism says that there are no universal truths, which are true always and everywhere. Everything is relative. Truth depends on your situation, on the way you see things. Ultimately, it means truth is what I think is true. I have “my own truth” You have “your own truth.” There is no truth that all must accept. If everyone has its own truth, then this will lead to chaos. When there is a conflict of truths (my truth, your truth, his truth) what usually happens is that one imposes his own truth on others. Finally, this will lead to the rule of the most powerful. But there is only one truth that is based on reality, which we arrived at by right reason. This truth which is objective, that is, conforming to reality, is the criterion we should use to settle our differences when our truths are in conflict. Applying relativism to the RH Bill, people say that contraception is not always evil. Whether it is moral or immoral depends on the situation or motive of the person doing it. This is against the teaching of the Church which says that contraception is intrinsically evil, that is, it is evil in itself, or evil by its nature. No circumstance or motive can make it good. It is always evil. 3. Wrong Notion of Freedom of Conscience Those who support HB 4244 say something like this: I have freedom of conscience. I have a right to follow my conscience. If I think that teaching of the Church is wrong, then I have not to follow it. Conscience is the practical judgment of reason upon an individual act as good and to be performed or as evil and to be avoided. Conscience in the strict sense applies our basic knowledge of the general moral principles (synderesis) to a particular situation, to an individual act. Freedom of conscience does not mean that we have the right to decide on the goodness or “evilness” of an act in any way we like. Freedom is not the right to do whatever we like. Freedom is not individualistic or self-centered. Freedom is the right to do what we ought. What we ought to do is linked to what is true and what is good. So, freedom of conscience is the right to decide in accordance to what is true and what is good. Freedom of conscience includes the obligation to do our best to have a correct conscience, that is, a conscience that is conforming to the truth, a conscience that does not run counter to what is good. It is true that we have the obligation to follow what our conscience tells us before we act. Conscience is the proximate norm of morality. But we also have the obligation to try our best to have a correct conscience. For us Catholics, as members of the Catholic Church, we believe that a correct conscience is one that is in conformity with the teaching of the Church, with the moral teaching of the magisterium. “As members of the Church, all Catholics are obliged to shape our consciences in accord with the moral teaching of the Church.” (On Responsibilities of the Catholics in Public Life, statement issued by the U.S. bishops’ conference.) 4. Secularism: In simple words, it means that religion (God) or the Church has no place in public life, in government, in laws, in public education, in public debates, etc. Religion is a private affair. It should limit itself to the sacristy. Many of those who support the HB 4244 are basing themselves on this intolerant secularism. They say that the Church has no right to participate in the making of laws of government because of the principle of the separation of Church and State. This principle means that the state has no right to intervene into the beliefs and doctrines of any religious denomination and that the state should not have official religion (state religion). It also means that the state should not favor one religion over another. The Philippine Constitution does not prohibit any group of citizens, civic or religious, to express, promote, or campaign so that their views on what is good for the country and for the individual person be accepted by society and have an influence on the laws of the country. If atheists can, why not those who believe in God? The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in its “Doctrinal Note regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life” tells us that all citizens, including Catholics, have the right “to base their contribution to society and political life— through the legitimate means available to everyone in a democracy—on their particular understanding of the human person and the common good.” It says further; “It is not the task of the Church to set forth specific political solutions—and even less to propose a single solution as the acceptable one—to temporal questions that God has left to the free and responsible judgment of each person. It is, however, the Church’s right and duty to provide a moral judgment on temporal matters when this is required by faith or the moral law.” Man cannot be separated from God, nor politics from morality. Our Christian Faith gives us the true meaning of man and our world. It provides a firm foundation for the duty to respect the dignity of man and his basic rights and the duty to contribute to common good. For us, Christians, very man has to be respected and loved because he was created in the image of God and called to be a child of God, participating in God’s own life. In history, many regimes or governments that rejected God in their laws and policies ended disastrously. We can cite the regime of Hitler and Nazis (totalitarian and racism) and that of Stalin (atheistic communism, Marxism) that ended up in the murder of millions due to their lack of respect for the dignity of the human person. Their rejection of God, the Creator and Lawgiver, led to their rejection of the dignity of every human person. “When the sense of God is lost, there is also a tendency to lose the sense of man, of his dignity and life” (EV, 21). Senator Adlai Stevenson, a former candidate for president in the United States, said: “Communism is a corruption of a dream of justice.” Here it is good to quote Benedict XVI in his book, Jesus of Nazareth: “The German Jesuit Alfred Delp, who was executed by Nazis, once wrote: “Bread is important, freedom is more important, but most important of all is unbroken fidelity and faithful adoration.” When this ordering is no longer respected, but turned on its head, the result is not justice or concern for human suffering. The result is rather ruin and destruction even of material goods themselves. When God is regarded as a secondary matter that can be set aside temporarily or permanently on account of more important things, it is precisely these supposedly more important things that come to nothing. It is not just the negative outcome of the Maxis experiment that proves this. The aid offered by the West to developing countries has been purely technically and materially based, and not only has left God out of the picture, but has driven men away from God. The issue is the primacy of God. The issue is acknowledging that he is a reality without which nothing else can be good. History cannot be detached from God and then run smoothly on purely material lines. If man’s heart is not good, then nothing else can turn out good either. And the goodness of the human heart can ultimately come only from the One who is goodness, who is the Good itself.” 5. Religious Freedom and pluralism It is also good to point out that the church teaching regarding contraceptives, abortion, and euthanasia, is not based on Faith or revelation, although it is confirmed by our Faith. This church teaching is based on natural law, which we know through natural reason. By studying through correct reasoning the nature of the human person, we arrive at this teaching regarding contraception, abortion, and euthanasia. All human beings, Catholic or not, are obliged to act according to right reason. By the efforts of the Church to go against the RH Bill, the Church is not imposing her religious
Mary / B2

Mary and the Culture of Life and the Culture of Death




CBCP Monitor
Vol. 16 No. 16
July 30 - August 12, 2012

By Fr. Jaime B. Achacoso, J.C.D.

The Formal Act of Defection from the Catholic Church
whether or not they needed to be re-accepted formally into the Church somehow. Yet another question that arises with regard to such fallen away Catholics is the applicability of merely ecclesiastical laws to them, especially as regards marriage. Canon 11 of the Code of Canon Law expressly provides that: Merely ecclesiastical laws bind those baptized in the Catholic Church or received into it and who enjoy the sufficient use of reason and, unless the law expressly provides otherwise, have completed seven years of age. There is no exception made for cases of formal defection from the Catholic Church. It is for these reasons that we revisit a Notification, with Prot.N. 10279/2006, issued by the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts on 13.III.2006, which was approved by Pope Benedict XVI and transmitted to all Presidents of Episcopal Conferences. We shall quote extensively from this document. Constitutive Elements of the actus formalis defectionis ab Ecclesia “For the abandonment of the Catholic Church to be validly configured as a true actus formalis defectionis ab Ecclesia (…) it is necessary that there concretely be: the internal decision to leave the Catholic Church; the realization and external manifestation of that decision; and the reception of that decision by the competent ecclesiastical authority.” Let us go over these three constitutive elements closer. a. Internal decision to leave the Catholic Church. “The substance of the act of the will must be the rupture of those bonds of communion—faith, sacraments, and pastoral governance—that permit the Faithful to receive the life of grace within the Church.” The question that the parish priest needs to ask the returning Catholic is whether or not he/she decided to abandon the Catholic faith (what Catholics believe in), the sacraments (especially the Eucharist and Confession) and subjection to the pastoral governance of the bishops and the priests. b. Realization and external manifestation of that decision. “[The] formal act of defection must […] be configured as a true separation from the constitutive elements of the life of the Church: it supposes, therefore, an act of apostasy, heresy or schism.”

Time and again, Bishops, Judicial Vicars and canon lawyers have asked for clarification regarding the socalled “formal act of defection from the Catholic Church”, mentioned in cc.1086, §1, 1117 and 1124 of the Code of Canon Law. These canons deal with provisions of canon law for marriage where at least one party “is baptized in the Catholic Church or has been received into it and has not left it by means of a formal act”. Although the aforementioned canons have been amended by Pope Benedict XVI through the Motu Proprio Omnium in mentem (6.XI.2009)—which removed the difficultly verified requirement of formal act of defection from the Catholic Church in such cases (thus limiting the provision simply to those who have been baptized in or received into the Catholic Church)— the juridic notion of formal act of defection from the Church does not cease to have canonical relevance. Concrete Application in the Philippines The relevance of the notion to the Philippine setting is in relation to the phenomenon of so many Catholics falling away to other Christian denominations (especially the so-called born again sects) and even nonChristian groups (e.g., Jehovah’s Witnesses, Iglesia ni Kristo). One cannot forget that three centuries of Spanish missionary work had left a legacy of a clear Catholic majority in the Philippines. Unfortunately, the post-Conciliar crisis in the Catholic Church on the one hand (characterized by the neglect in catechetical instruction, in the administration of the Sacraments particularly Confession, and in the liturgical—all of which eroded the fidelity of the Catholic faithful), and the propensity of the sects to “evangelize” the already evangelized Catholics on the other (taking the easy way of preying on the weakened Catholics rather than on really evangelizing the non-Catholics as the generations of Spanish friars had done before them) have resulted in an alarming number of Catholics being enticed into joining the born-again sects. The hopeful fact is that a good number of such born-again Catholics end up being more disenchanted in those groups after a while, and revert to Catholic practice. Not infrequently, this gives rise to questions on the part of some priests and many of the Catholics concerned on

The document is quick to clarify, however, that “heresy (whether formal or material), schism and apostasy do not in themselves constitute a formal act of defection if they are not externally concretized and manifested to the ecclesiastical authority in the required manner.” This brings us to the third element. c. Reception of that decision by the competent ecclesiastical authority. “The defection must be a valid juridical act, placed by the person who is canonically capable and in conformity with the canonical norms that regulate such matters (cf. cc.124-126). Such an act must be taken personally, consciously and freely.” The document clarifies further “that the act be manifested by the interested party in written form, before the competent authority of the Catholic Church: the Ordinary or proper pastor, who is uniquely qualified to make the judgment concerning the existence or non-existence of the act of the will” as described above. “In such cases—the document finally stipulates— the competent ecclesiastical authority mentioned above is to provide that this act be noted in
Mary / B1

the baptismal registry (cf. c.535, §2) with explicit mention of the occurrence of a defectio ab Ecclesia catholica actu formali.” Even if just for the complications implied by the third element, it is easy to see why such an act of formal defection from the Catholic Church hardly happens in the case of fallen-away Catholics in the Philippines. On the other hand—the document clarifies—the juridical-administrative act of abandoning the Church does not per se constitute a formal act of defection as understood by the Code, given that there could still be the will to remain in the communion of faith.” Subjection to Merely Ecclesiastical Laws As mentioned above, c.11 of the Code does not contemplate an exception to merely ecclesiastical laws of those who have defected from the Catholic Church by formal act. In fact, the only cases for such defection were those contemplated by Matrimonial Law in c.1086, §1 (for disparity of cult), c. 1117 (subjects of the canonical form), and c.1124

(for mixed marriage). With the disappearance of the exception due to formal defection from the Catholic Church—brought about by the aforementioned Motu Proprio Omnium in mentem of 6.XI.2009—there seems to be no exception anymore to merely ecclesiastical laws by reason of defection from the Catholic Church, whether formal or informal. In fact, during the elaboration of the new Code, a formula was considered to the effect that those who abandoned the Catholic Church continue being obliged by canon law, except when the Law expressly states the contrary. Even if this formula was eventually abandoned, its orientation was not, based on the conviction that the Church is not an associative or contractual entity, “from which each one may opt to defect as he wants.” 1 On the other hand, we cannot forget that the binding force of the Church laws stems from spiritual factors (not coercion), the efficacy of which depends in good part on the personal dispositions of the subject. Thus, it is reasonable to affirm the existence of an objective obligation to observe

ecclesiastical laws, which does not disappear with the formal defection from the Catholic Church. A Final Note: The Permanence of the Sacramental Bond of Baptism “It is clear, in any event—the document concludes—that the sacramental bond of belonging to the Body of Christ that is the Church, conferred by the baptismal character, is an ontological and permanent bond which is not lost by reason of any act or fact of defection.” Thus, in the case of Catholics who had fallen away for a time to non-Catholic sects, their return to the Catholic fold will not need any formal act of reception into the Church; much less would it require a repetition of Baptism, since this sacrament—together with Confirmation and Holy Orders—confer a Sacramental bond which is permanent. What the reborn again Catholic would need to do is to go to Confession to be reconciled to God.
Footnote: 1 Communicationes, 14 (1982), p.133.

Counting Ordinary Time
(Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university, answers the following query:) Q: How come “Ascension Sunday” is included in the counting of Sundays of ordinary time? I am more amenable to Pentecost Sunday being considered simultaneously as the resumption of ordinary time. My reason has to do with the 50-day Easter season. -- A.A., Province of Isabela, Philippines A: Actually, Ascension Sunday (or Thursday) is not a factor at all in calculating the Sundays of ordinary time. In those countries that move the Ascension from its traditional Thursday to the following Sunday, what loses out is the 7th Sunday of Easter, not a Sunday of ordinary time. The amount of time for Easter remains the same: It always runs 50 days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday. The reason why ordinary time is sometimes 33 weeks and sometimes 34 is based on other factors. In the Catholic Church, ordinary time begins on the day following the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. The Church normally celebrates this feast on the Sunday after the solemnity of the Epiphany (Jan. 6). Some countries, however, always celebrate Epiphany on the Sunday after the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (Jan. 1). In this latter case if the Epiphany falls on Sunday, Jan. 7 or 8, they move the feast of the Baptism of the Lord to Monday, Jan. 8 or 9, respectively, and the 1st week of ordinary time starts the following day, Tuesday, Jan. 8 or 9. There is a 1st week of ordinary time but no 1st Sunday of ordinary time. The Sunday following the feast of the Baptism of the Lord is always the 2nd Sunday of ordinary time. Ordinary time continues until the day before Ash Wednesday, which falls between Feb. 4 and March 10 (inclusive) and marks the beginning of the season of Lent. Thus the period of ordinary time between Christmas and Lent may end amid the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, or 9th week of ordinary time. Ordinary time resumes on the Monday following Pentecost Sunday, which can fall between May 10 and June 13 and concludes on the Saturday afternoon before the 1st Sunday of Advent (Nov. 27 to Dec. 3). Ordinary time thus always includes the entire months of July, August, September and October and most or all of June and November. In some years, ordinary time includes a portion of May, a day or two in early December, or both. The feast of Christ the King is celebrated on the last Sunday of ordinary time. The length of the Advent season varies between three and four weeks, depending on which weekday Christmas falls. However, the Church wishes to ensure that the readings for the 34th week of ordinary time are always read. In order to achieve this, the Church often omits the week that wouldnaturallyprecedetheresumption of ordinary time following Pentecost Sunday. For this reason the actual number of complete or partial weeks of ordinary time in any given year is mostly 33 and occasionally 34. For example, in 2012, the Sunday before Ash Wednesday was the 7th Sunday in ordinary time and the day after Pentecost Sunday began the 8th week in ordinary time and so we will have 34 weeks. In 2013, however, the week before Ash Wednesday will be the 5th while the 7th week will start after Pentecost, omitting week 6.

beliefs on others. She is trying to stop a bill which is against natural law, a law which all human beings, Catholic or not, should follow. The RH Bill, judged from the principles of natural law, is against the good of the human person and the common good. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in its “Doctrinal Note regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life” tells us that all citizens, including Catholics, have the right “to base their contribution to society and political life – through the legitimate means available to everyone in a democracy – on their particular understanding of the human person and the common good.” In a democracy, any group citizens has the right to campaign and lobby so that what they consider to be good for the country are enacted into law and what they deem to be harmful for the country are no enacted into law. It is true that we should respect the beliefs and opinions of others. But there is a limit to this pluralism. We cannot accept an “ethical pluralism “which ignores the principles of natural ethics and yield to ephemeral cultural and moral trends, as if every outlook on life were of equal value.” (Doctrinal Note on the Participation of Catholics in Political Life) It is urgent that we fight against these false ideas and principles. They are used by people as a justification for their promotion of the anti-life bills. Because of these ideas, they exclude morality in the making of laws. They only consider what is utilitarian or convenient as their criterion in making laws. These ideas are already prevalent in Europe and in the United States. They are coming to the Philippines and are influencing even our fellow Catholics. Let us pray and work that these ideas will not be accepted by our people. Mary, Mother of Life At the end of John Paul II’s encyclical “Evangelium Vitae” (The Gospel of Life), he talks about the relation of Mary to

the Gospel of Life by quoting parts from the Book of Revelation 12:1-6: “A great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth… Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth, to devour her child when she gave birth… The woman herself fled into the desert where she had a place prepared by God…” John Paul II applies this quotation to Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and to the Church. When Mary conceived Jesus, the Son of God, God and man were united in the womb of Mary, salvation came to mankind, man shared in divine life, in eternal life. The mission of Jesus was to bestow this eternal life, this divine life, to humanity. Through Mary’s acceptance to be the mother of Jesus and her loving care of him, she helped in the accomplishment of this mission. The dragon, the devil, always resisted Jesus and His mission. After the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph took the child Jesus to Egypt to escape from being killed by the soldiers of Herod. Jesus always faced resistance during His life in his mission to bring eternal life and salvation to men. Finally on Calvary, He died on the Cross. But by offering His life on the cross, His death brought eternal life, salvation to mankind. His life did not end in death in defeat but in victory in the Resurrection. Mary was always one with Jesus in His mission to bring eternal life to mankind, from His birth until His death on the Cross. “In an utterly singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope, and burning charity in the Savior’s work of restoring supernatural life to souls. For this reason she is a mother to us in the order of grace.” (Lumen Gentium, 8, no. 61). By giving birth to Jesus, who brought eternal life, divine life to mankind. Mary also became the mother of those who will receive this Life. That’s why on the cross, Jesus declared Mary to be the mother of

every man and woman when he said to St. John the Evangelist: “behold your mother.” The “woman clothed with the sun, who was with child” also signifies the Church. The Church is fully aware that she bears within herself the Saviour of the world. Christ the Lord. She is aware that she is called to offer Christ to the world, giving men and women new birth into God’s own life” (Evangelium Vitae, 103). The Church’s spiritual motherhood is realized through the “pangs of childbirth” because evil will always resist her mission of giving Christ to the world. Despite the trials and resistance she meets in the world, the Church knows that, like Mary, who brought and is bringing Christ to the world, she will also triumph in the end because Christ, though His obedience and death on the Cross has conquered sin and death, and trough His resurrection brought eternal life, divine life to mankind. The victory of Christ, through His death and resurrection, assures us that good will triumphed over evil in the world. Life will be victorious against death. Mary, who is invoked by the Church under the titles of Advocate, Auxiliatrix, and Mediatrix (Lumen Gentium, 62), cooperated and is still cooperating with Christ in bringing salvation, the kingdom of God to mankind. Salvation, the Kingdom of God, in its fullness consists in the “communion among all human beings—with one another and with God.” “The liberation and salvation brought by the kingdom of God come to the human person both in his physical and spiritual dimensions… Jesus’ many healings clearly show his great compassion in the face of human distress, but they also signify that in the Kingdom there will no longer be sickness or suffering, and that his mission from the very beginning, is meant to free people from these evils” (Redemptoris Mission, 14). Full salvation consists of liberation not only from sin
Mary / B7


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 16 No. 16
July 30 - August 12, 2012


Vote No to RH Bill
By Bernardo M. Villegas, Ph.D.
IN the unlikely event that the RH Bill will finally be put to a vote in the House of Representatives before the current session is over, every member of Congress should vote a resounding NO TO THE RH BILL. A law based on the assumption of the desirability of birth or population control is pure economic nonsense when all the kudos and praises being heaped on the Philippine economy by international organizations—both governmental and private— are citing the advantages of a growing and young population. A recent report from Bloomberg (one of the leading business news agencies) was just headlined “Philippines Leads In Demographic Dividend Of Supply of Young Workers.” The very bullish article about the Philippines—just echoing many others that have come out since the beginning of the current year—pointed out that the so-called demographic dividend from a rising supply of young workers is one reason Japan’s second largest shipbuilder expanded in the Philippines, where workers are on average half the age of its Japanese employees. Chua Hak Bin, an economist in Singapore at Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch division agrees: “The Philippines is a ‘standout’ among countries set to benefit from a bigger labor labor pool, with its rate of economic expansion likely to rise as much as 1.5 percentage points higher during the next decade.” Passing the RH Bill would literally be killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. Already China and Thailand—still with relatively large populations—are suffering from labor shortages because of the rapid aging of their populations over the last decade or so. Such a negative demographic trend can be traced to very aggressive birth control programs that were based on artificial contraceptives and, in the case of China, on coercion and abortion. China and Thailand may be the first important countries in the history of humanity to grow old before becoming rich. They clearly illustrate the folly of a population management program that always leads to the unintended effect of cutting fertility rates to abnormally low levels which have very deleterious effects on the national economy. The Philippines does not need any population management program because its fertility rate is already rapidly falling. Within a generation, the fertility rate of the Philippines will be at below-replacement level of 2.1 babies per fertile woman. Today, thanks to a large population, the Philippines is one of the few countries whose GDP still growing at 6 per cent or more because its businesses can sell to a lucrative domestic market even as exports suffer a dramatic slowdown. In contrast, territories with small populations like Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong will suffer from very slow or no economic growth this year because of their heavy dependence on exports. If Congress passes the RH Bill, they will plant the seed of a contraceptive mentality among married couples, as has happened in all the Northeast Asian countries who are now suffering from a severe “demographic winter.” We must find some ways of eradicating poverty, building more classrooms, and reducing maternal and child mortalities without nurturing a very counterproductive contraceptive culture in Philippine society. Besides economic science, there are other sciences that can demonstrate that the RH Bill, if passed, will do more harm than good. Certain types of contraceptive pills (not all) can kill babies. Because medical science has demonstrated that human life begins at fertilization, certain “abortifacient” pills kill human life because they act on the human embryo after fertilization. The American Journal of Obstretics and Gynecology pronounced that the IUD (intrauterine device) brings about the destruction of the early embryo (187: 1699-1708). Furthermore, the International Agency for Research on Cancer reported in 2007 that the contraceptive pill causes cancer, giving it the highest level of carcinogenicity, the same as cigarettes and asbestos. According to a publication of the American Heart Association (33: 1202 – 1208), pills also cause stroke, and significantly increase the risk of heart attacks. In the social sciences, there are findings that the contraceptive lifestyle destroys the very foundation of society, the family. According to Nobel prize winner George Akerlof, who combines the study of economics and psychology, contraceptives tend to degrade marriage and lead to more extramarital sex, more fatherless children, more single mothers and more psychologically troubled adolescents. His findings are purely empirical in nature and have no moral undertones. Also, contrary to the claims of the proponents of the RH Bill, condoms promote the spread of AIDS. Harvard Director of AIDS Prevention, Edward C. Green, once wrote that according to the best evidence available, condoms give a false sense of security and prompt people to be more reckless in assuming sexual risks, thus worsening the spread of the sexually transmitted diseases. Thailand, that has the highest incidence of AIDS-HIV in East Asia, could be cited as a testimony to this. Obviously, the best thing that can happen on August 7 is for the majority of the members of the House of Representatives to vote against stopping the period of interpellation. As the ongoing global crisis unfolds, there are more and more arguments that can be mustered against the proponents of the RH Bill. These up-to-date findings deserve to be aired in the floor debates. There is an estimate that some 80 members of the House of Representatives have not made up their minds about the pros and cons of the RH Bill. They still need to be enlightened. If the majority of the House, however, should decide otherwise, i.e. that it is time to put to vote this contentious and very controversial bill that is unnecessarily dividing the country during a crucial moment of our national life, then let everyone who is really thinking of the common good of Philippine society vote NO TO THE RH BILL.

How far will the President go to test the Church?

By Francisco S. Tatad
IN the biggest international conference ever held, some 50,000 delegates representing 190 countries in Rio de Janeiro last month, and under the leadership of the Holy See, the G-77, and some G-20 countries, delivered the most stunning blow against the war on population being waged by the world’s neo-Malthusians, eugenicists and racial supremacists in the name of reproductive health. The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, otherwise known as the Earth Summit, deleted the term “reproductive rights” from the outcome document after it was shown that it was nothing but a code word for “abortion,” as openly admitted by the U.S. State Department. It was a global victory for plain common sense In most of the First World, beginning with Russia, Japan, and Western Europe, the real emergency today is the ageing and shrinking population, known as the “demographic winter” and caused by falling fertility and birth rates. Contraception, sterilization, abortion and the introduction of same-sex “marriage,” now championed by many governments, are directly responsible for this. UN forecasts predict that by 2050 there will be more seniors (65 years old and above) than younger people around the world, with the possible exception of some African countries and perhaps the Philippines, if they are able to escape the sustained attack of the global population controllers. Not even the Muslim countries have been spared. Recent demographic studies using data from the United Nations Population Division and appearing in the June 1 issue of Policy Review, show that 48 of the 49 Muslim-majority countries and territories have undergone steep fertility decline over the past three decades. Many governments now agree that “depopulation” is the next global crisis. This was pointed out during the Russian government-supported Demographic Summit in Moscow on June 29-30, 2011, and the sixth World Congress of Families in Madrid on May 25-27, 2012. The Moscow Declaration issued at the end of the summit noted that “42 percent of all humankind live in countries where even simple replacement of old generations is not taking place. The destructive process of swift drop of fertility and birth rates has swept all the continents on our planet. In the nearest historical period, the negative demographic trends can bring about extinction of whole peoples, destruction of States, and disappearance of unique cultures and civilizations.” The Declaration called on “the government of all nations and on international institutions to develop immediately a pro-family demographic policy and to adopt a special international pro-family strategy and action plan aimed at consolidating family and marriage, protecting human life from conception to natural death, increasing the birth rate, and averting the menace of depopulation.” The Declaration called for an end to “State interference in the private life of the family under the pretext of so-called ‘family planning,’ ‘protection of the rights of the child,’ and ‘gender equality.’ We consider it inadmissible to continue the policy of birth control, which is one of the greatest threats to the survival of humankind and a means of incursive discrimination against the family,” the document said. For its part, the Madrid Declaration of May 27, 2012 affirmed that “our societies need more people, not fewer,” and that “human aging and depopulation is the true demographic danger facing the earth in this century.” It further declared that “lasting solutions to human problems, including the current economic crisis, rise out of families and small communities,” and “cannot be imposed by bureaucratic or judicial fiat. Nor can they be coerced by outside force.” The Philippines has a robust population of not less than 95 million, growing at 1.9

percent per annum. At least eight million work overseas, contributing at least $18 billion to the national economy every year. The fertility rate stands at 2.3, which means the average Filipino woman is capable of bearing 2.3 children during her reproductive years. This is a valuable resource that is no longer available to so many other countries. In Japan, the Philippines’ No. 1 trading partner, investor and source of Official Development Assistance, Deputy Prime Minister Katsuya Okada told Vice President Jejomar C. Binay during their talks in Tokyo on July 17 that their two countries need to complement each other because the Philippines has something which Japan no longer has, namely its “young labor.” The median age in Japan is 45 years, while it is 22.7 years in the Philippines. Provided the Philippines invests properly in its population, and does not throw away its demographic dividend, it will become one of the strongest Asian economies in less than 40 years, predict the economic forecasters. However, the country’s politicians could still throw away this demographic advantage. After their defeat in Rio, the global population controllers have redoubled their efforts to reduce the population of developing counties. In London, US billionaire Melinda Gates, together with the UK Department for International Development, organized a family planning summit where she raised $4.6 billion to fund population control programs against poor women in developing countries. Part of that money could end up funding RH activities in the Philippines, not excluding the campaign to enact the population control cum reproductive health (RH) bill. There could be no shortage of NGOor political takers either. The House of Representatives has decided to cut short the floor debates on the RH bill and ram it through for immediate passage, after President Benigno S. Aquino III said in this July 23 State of the Nation Address: “We are ending the backlogs in the education sector, but the potential for shortages remains as our student population continues to increase. Perhaps Responsible Parenthood can help address this.” Responsible parenthood, properly understood, is not controversial at all. Article XV, Section 3 (1) of the Constitution provides, “The State shall defend the right of spouses to found a family in accordance with their religious convictions and the demands of responsible parenthood.” But it is not for the State to prescribe, regulate or supervise. Responsible parenthood normally refers to “an attitude toward parenthood—not separated from the practice of virtue―that encompasses God’s plan for marriage and family…” It may be exercised “either by the mature and generous decision to raise a large family, or by the decision, made for grave motives, and with respect for the moral law, to avoid a new birth for the time being and for an indeterminate period.” This is well explained in Humanae Vitae, a 1968 encyclical by Pope Paul VI, which condemns contraception and sterilization as “intrinsically evil.” The encyclical marked its 44th anniversary on July 25, the same day the House leadership decided to fast track the RH bill. Anti-RH advocates like to point out that Paul VI’s prophetic warnings about the ill effects of contraception have all come to pass. True to his warning, contraception has led to widespread conjugal infidelity and a general lowering of morality; men have ceased respecting

women in their totality and have begun treating them as mere instruments of selfish enjoyment rather than as cherished partners; the widespread acceptance of contraception by couples has encouraged unscrupulous governments to intrude into the sanctity and privacy of families. The Pope, however, had failed to predict that widespread abortion, which follows universal contraception, would kill more unborn children than all the fatalities in all the wars ever waged by man since war began. No government enacts a law to divide the nation. Thus far, the RH bill has already deeply divided the nation. But the administration appears hell-bent on enacting this highly divisive measure. What exactly is the rationale? The ultimate game plan? Even the highly prestigious Wall Street Journal worries it could derail the country’s economic takeoff. The RH bill has been promoted as a health measure, but it is in fact nothing but a population control measure. It prescribes birth control as an essential requirement and component of marriage, which is a natural human institution not designed nor instituted by the State. It also prescribes compulsory sex education of children by the State.

In theory, the bill leaves to the individual the choice of method or means to use, but it prescribes birth control as something all must practice, under pain of certain penalties. Opponents of the bill liken it to the reproductive laws imposed by communist regimes on their populations or by totalitarian regimes like the Nazis on their helpless captives. So patent and non-debatable is the constitutional offense. Sec. 12 of Article II of the Constitution provides: “The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the Government.” Under this provision, the State is the constitutional protector of conception, just as parents are the primary educators of their children. As such, the State cannot be a party to any program of contraception. The RH bill, on the other hand, makes the State the first provider of contraception and sterilization-the first and ultimate preventer of conception. It also makes the State the primary educator of children. To the country’s Roman Catholics, the bill is an undisguised anti-Catholic measure. It savages an important doctrine of their faith, and then requires them to provide the tax money to fund the program that would attack their faith. The bill is arrogantly telling Catholics not to learn their faith from their Church but to learn it from Congress instead.
Test / B4


By Nene Pimentel
[Note: The views discussed here are based on the writer’s interpretation of what the Constitution and the laws of the country provide. This is not a theological treatise. Spiritual or religious arguments are left to our betters, meaning, our theologians and pastors]. THE phrase ‘Responsible Parenthood’ is not bad by itself. If it is bad, then, we should not have allowed its inclusion in the Constitution. In fact, the phrase is found in the Constitution, Article XV, Section 3 paragraph (1) on The Family. The Section and the paragraph state: “Section 3. The State shall defend: ‘(1) The right of spouses to found a family in accordance with their religious convictions and the demands of RESPONSIBLE PARENTHOOD. Parsing the sentence, the following ideas emerge: (1) The subject of the sentence is “the right … to found a family” which means starting one, not merely belonging to one; (2) The “owners” of that


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 16 No. 16
July 30 - August 12, 2012

responsible Parenthood and the rh Bill
cruelty, (d) exploitation, and (e) other conditions prejudicial to their development.” In a word, responsible parenthood precludes spouses from begetting children like rabbits. It also means that their religious convictions have primacy in determining the number of their children they can raise and the methods of spacing them. Responsible Parenthood cannot encompass the agenda of the RH bill, such as the promotion of: 1) condoms because their use will promote promiscuity. I am not sure that there is way of regulating condoms to deter their promiscuous utilization as for instance limiting their use to spouses--who, either or both, may be suffering from an ailment—and 2) contraceptives or contraception devices, means or methods that harm the health of the mother and even kill the baby inside the mother ’s womb. To promote the use of condoms or harmful contraceptives described in #1 and #2, above, would contravene Article II, Section 12: “The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. The use of condoms or harmful contraceptives will promote promiscuity. And promiscuity undermines the sanctity of marriage and will certainly weaken the family as a basic autonomous social institution. Moreover the State is mandated by the Constitution in Article II, Section 12, second sentence to “equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. The use of harmful contraceptives—as determined and confirmed by reputable doctors and scientists—injures the life of the mother or of the child in her womb or both. The RH bill is inspired by a foreign ideology originating from countries which do not have a constitutional provision like or similar to the provision of our Constitution cited above. That is the reason, among other things, why laws that promote the use of condoms and even harmful contraceptives and devices have not been struck down and are allowed in other jurisdictions. Rearing the youth Another Constitutional principle, Article XII, Section 12, third sentence asserts that “The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the government.” This provision is significant in that it underscores the proposition that the rearing of the youth is primarily the duty of parents--of responsible parents--who will ensure that their children will grow up to be responsible citizens. That constitutional right cannot be supplanted by the State, any agency of the government or other organizations in the guise of law or executive policy. Approving the RH bill with its devious intentions as crafted will negate the government’s duty to support the natural right and duty of the parents in the rearing of the youth (a) for civic efficiency and (b) the development of moral character. Also, the RH bill will hamper the State’s duty to promote and protect not only the youth’s physical, intellectual, and social well being but their moral and spiritual welfare as provided by Article II, Section 13. The discussion now shifts to an issue that can no longer be avoided in relation to the basic premises of responsible parenthood. Thus, in addition to the arguments stated in the opening sentences of this paper that uphold the sanctity of marriage as “an inviolable social institution” and “as the foundation of the family”, the following thoughts are suggested for the consideration of our colleagues in the pro-life advocacy. May responsible parenthood result from same-sex marriage? It is said that the RH bill will make it possible for persons of the same sex to get married. If it does, there is a law, the Family Code, that squarely denies the right of same-sex couples to get married.

The Family Code in its Article 1 states: “Marriage is a special contract of permanent union between a man and a woman entered into in accordance with law for the establishment of conjugal and family life.” Moreover, the provisions of the Constitution previously cited are premised on the family being founded by the marriage of a man and woman. Because how else could Article XV on The Family or Article II on the Declaration of State Policies, particularly, Section 12, Sentence #2 find justification? To repeat, Article XV on the Family “recognizes the Filipino family as the foundation of the nation.” And that “marriage as an inviolable social institution is, in turn, the “foundation of the family.” And Article II, Section 12, Sentence #2 ordains that the State “shall equally protect the mother and the life of the unborn from conception.” Man marrying another man or a woman marrying another woman cannot result in the conception of a child in the womb of the mother whose life must be protected from conception or


right are the “spouses”. The word, spouses, in its common connotation at the time the Framers crafted the Constitution meant “man and woman who became husband and wife”; (3) They become spouses by getting married according to their RELIGIOUS CONVICTIONS, and (4) Pursuant to the demands of RESPONSIBLE PARENTHOOD, the spouses may now raise a family; (5) Raising a family means their begetting children which makes them the father and the mother, the tatay and the nanay of their respective families. Based on Article XV (The Family), Section 3, paragraph 1, responsible parenthood imposes the added duty on the parents to use their power of procreation guided by their religious beliefs to beget children who they shall raise to adulthood assured of their (the children’s) right to: (1) “assistance including (a) proper care, (b) nutrition; and (2) “special protection from all forms of (a) neglect, (b) abuse, (c)

start a family that is envisioned by the Constitution. Man marrying another man or a woman marrying another woman cannot possibly bring about life by their union. Nature abhors such a possibility. Even Genesis tells the world that the first human family started with a man, Adam, getting hitched to a woman, Eve. And they begot Cain and Abel and their other offspring. Unless marriage is entered into between a man and woman, the protection extended by the Constitution to their child whose life in its words must be protected “from conception” would be an empty play on words. And so would the other basic tenets concerning marriage and the family be rendered nonsensical or meaningless. Which was never the intention of the basic law of the land. Conclusion In itself, the phrase RESPONSIBLE PARENTHOOD IS NOT BAD. Twisting it would make it bad. That is what we have to guard against.

May They Be One
Partners and Proclaimers

Letter to the editor

Help Put a Bible in Every Filipino Home

Bible Campaign

Maximum Tolerance vs. Maximum Detention
MORE than a week before the State of the Nation Address, the Aquino Administration announced plans to deploy 3,000 police in light of expected people’s protests. Radio and television stations as well as print media continued to highlight Aquino’s supposed instruction for maximum tolerance in dealing with SONA protests. On Sunday evening, July 22, 2012, 6,000 police (a 100% increase) were reported to be deployed, but still the news repeated time and again that the conduct of the police would be MAXIMUM TOLERANCE. At 9 a.m. on July 23, 2012, Church people gathered along Commonwealth Avenue for the Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR) Ecumenical Prayer. Police were posted nearby posturing as friendly monitors and wearing their usual uniforms. After the swelling masses of workers, urban poor, farmers, migrant workers, teachers, government workers, human rights defenders and many others passed, the Church people began their march with the People’s SONA. This was their expression of solidarity with the people and their aspirations for an abundant life (John 10:10) — a life free from the grips of poverty and oppression. While the people marched on the eastbound lane of Commonwealth Avenue towards Congress where they sought to make their protest known, police stationed behind the metal-mesh road-dividers in the westbound lane increased in number. Each U-turn slot was double and triple deep with police. All of them were in full riot gear—with helmets, shields and truncheons. Just beyond the Ever-Gotesco Shopping Mall while still more than 1.5 kilometers away from Congress, the march met a heavily-fortified blockade. Walls of metal barricades followed by concrete road dividers fronted a riot-geared police force. Immediately behind them were large trucks, facing the marching people. To the right, a wall of shops and businesses and to the left, metal, mesh-fencing and riotgeared police created Aquino’s so-called MAXIMUM TOLERANCE. The People’s SONA called to expose the dismal, deceptive and deadly path of the Aquino Administration. And in true form Aquino’s duplicity became clear. Maximum tolerance was really MAXIMUM DETENTION and full intention to marginalize the people’s legitimate voice of dissent. Aquino created a virtual JAIL for the protesting masses who took to the street to assert their collective voice of protest against the oppressive conditions of poverty and marginalization in our so-called democracy. I am compelled to respond to how some media covered the decision of the mobilized masses to assert their right to have their protest heard at Congress. Shaking or moving metal barricades was an assertion that the people deserve to proceed to Congress, while exposing the massive block in their way as Aquino’s anti-people/anti-poor policy. And when they removed fence and proceeded on the westbound side of Commonwealth, they did so because they could not allow such deception to prevail against the genuine outcry of the struggling poor. Even Church people followed to the westbound lane, as they wanted to show that Aquino neither intends maximum tolerance nor respect for democratic rights. The protesters were still 1.5 kilometers away from the Batasan Compound! And their point was quickly made. The police beat unarmed marchers who merely dared to walk onward to express their voice of dissent to the largely wealthy and elite Filipinos gathered for the State of the Nations Address. Media coverage has made it appear as if the protesters were unruly. By and large, the marching masses surged forward to be met with the push of shields and brutal smacks of truncheons by the police. Many were injured, not by marchers but by the police! Large rocks were thrown at the marchers from the area of the police! Power and freedom enjoyed by the rich has for too long been fortressed in the name of so-called security and expressed as fascist repression of the poor majority. The marginalized should not be contained... they should be freed from oppression. And freedom within repressive and deceptive state confines is not freedom at all. REV. HOMAR RuBERT R. DISTAJO, United Church of Christ in the Philippines

Igmedio Buena and his wife Enie are both actively involved in the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines (MOP), the Catholic Chaplaincy for military men and women in the Philippines. But Igmedio admits that though he held key positions in the Bible Apostolate of the military, his knowledge of the Bible was not adequate. Thus he found the weekly Bible formation program introduced by the FCBH, which used the audio Bible called the Proclaimer and the May They Be One Bible simultaneously, a major help in his Bible knowledge and apostolate. Igme and Enie alongside a number of other colleagues underwent the formation program that equipped them to handle formation themselves. Currently, the Buena couple, along with 5 other members of the formation group are now using the MTBO Bible and the Proclaimer in the moral value formation inside the military camp. They have the joy of seeing young military men get drills not only in armed forces matters but also in the Word of God.
Members of the MTBO Advisory Committee: Bishop Broderick S. Pabillo DD, Fr. Oscar A. Alunday, Mr. Rod G. Cornejo, Mr. Rene E. Cristobal Sr., Dr. Philip C. Flores, Mr. Dante M. Lanorio, Fr. Antonio B. Navarrete, Fr. Art B. Orense and Mr. Albert S. Tanlimco. Praise God for hundreds of people from different schools, parishes, offices and sectors who have already registered for the May They Be One Bible Run scheduled for March 3, 5 a.m. at the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta Park. Pray for more organizations, parishes and schools to participate in the historic, first-of-its-kind unity Bible Run. To learn more about how you can be part of the Campaign and make significant change, call us at PBS 526-7777, ECBA 527-9386 or visit www.bible.org.ph and www.ecba-cbcp.com. Donations can be made by making a deposit at any BPI branch to the following bank accounts: PBS-MTBO Account #393-0649-34 (BPI Sta. Mesa Branch). Fax deposit slip to 521-5803 or ECBA-CBCP Account #0251-021376 (BPI-Tayuman Branch) Fax deposit slip to 527-9386. For credit card payments – go to PBS website (www. bible.org.ph)
Test / B3

• No. of Dioceses participating in the Bible Campaign – 85 out of 86 Dioceses • Bibles Distributed (Jan 1, 2012 - Jul 26, 2012) - 131,931copies • Bibles Distributed by Languages - Bicol (3,300 cps.) Cebuano (31,782cps.) English (16,222 cps.), Hiligaynon (5,900 cps.), Ilocano (5,247 cps.), Pampango (725 cps.), Pangasinan (2,187 cps.), Samarenyo (3,114 cps.), Tagalog (63,454 cps.) • Parishes/Communities served in 2011: 1,301 • Total Bible Distribution: (Jan 2009- Dec 13, 2011) 665,789 cps. • Target No. of Bibles for Distribution for 2011: 400,000 cps. • Total Funds Needed for Printing and Transport of Bibles in 2011: P60M

It is religious persecution pure and simple, a perversion of Church-State relationship, and the victim is not a small religious minority but rather the overwhelming majority of 95 million Filipinos. P-Noy has been told not to fear the Catholics. The bishops issue no fatwas, and there are no suicide bombers among the laity, they are not even armed like some Muslim Filipinos. Neither are they as politically organized as some powerful politico-religious sect, which votes as a bloc during elections. “There is no such

thing as a Catholic vote,” P-Noy has been told. Indeed, in a predominantly Catholic country where almost everyone running for office is a baptized (even if lapsed) Catholic, people do not vote as “Catholics.” But should the Aquino government ever enact a law that attacks a doctrine of the Catholic faith, as surely as the sun rises in the East, there will be a Catholic response. It could be a Catholic vote, a Catholic protest, or maybe even a Catholic revolt. No one can say, but there will be a Catholic response.

In February 1986, a post-election statement by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), questioning Marcos’s continued stay in office after the flawed snap presidential elections, provided the “moral basis” for the EDSA revolt that ultimately installed P-Noy’s mother, Cory Aquino, as revolutionary president. It seems only fair to hope that P-Noy has not forgotten his own history, and that not all the encouragement of his foreign patrons will prompt him to tempt Providence. (fstatad@gmail.com)

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 16 No. 16
July 30 - August 12, 2012

EVERY birth is a gift from God; every new life, a blessing, every birth a cause for rejoicing and praising God who create new life only out of love. Our country’s positive birth rate and a population composed of mostly young people are the main players that fuel the economy. A fact that even the government itself acknowledges as it is determined to feed, educate and keep the young people healthy. And rightly so, for even our Constitution acknowledges that human resource is a primary source of social and economic force. Earlier this year, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported that the hard-earned salaries of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) that were sent to their families for the first 11 months last year amounted to $18.3 billion , which is 7.3 percent increase in the same period in 2010. Filipino men and women who endure the travails of working in foreign soil play a significant role in propping up our economy. The country’s robust population is a big push to our economy, according to former US president Bill Clinton, local and international financial institutions and the public sector. It is therefore quite disturbing when the country is told that having too many school children is a burden to the national budget.

Can we have enough of schooled, skilled, diligent and highly driven young people who are a driving force of economic progress? The draconian population control policy of the reproductive health bill would only curtail our economic growth. The problem of countries with former robust economies is the lack of young workers for their industries and inadequate support for their aging population. The issue in maternal death as it has been mentioned is a serious concern. But the solution does not lie in suppressing births as provided in the RH Bill. Providing proper and adequate maternal care could be done without passing the RH bill, but by strengthening and improving access to existing medical services. There is an ill portent for the nation when the government does not look at its own population as a source of grace and blessing. There is a grave reason to worry when the government would rather suppress the population through RH bill instead of confronting the real causes of poverty. +JOSE S. PALMA, DD Archbishop of Cebu President, CBCP 30 July 2012

CBCP Statement on the RH Bill

“It is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right, rather for doing what is wrong.”(1Peter3:17)
AT the present moment in the history of our country, we are being confronted with many issues that matter most to our people. Not the least of these issues is that of MINING. President Benigno Simeon Aquino III has always bannered that we Filipinos must decide between “daang matuwid o daang baluktot.” It is indeed essential to situate our framework of mind and stir our hearts open to the grace of life and redemption. Mining recently took the center stage in the national arena of public opinion and policy making. The foreign and local mining corporations trumpeted on the “supposed gains and benefits” in mining, while the staunch critics emphatically and boldly called for a total ban and/or moratorium on large scale mining in the Philippines, specifically on the issues of environmental degradation, human rights violation and economic displacement of the host communities. These same concerns also affect strongly the welfare of the people of the Bikol Region. Our people must be informed that under the present PublicPrivate Partnership Program of the present administration, Bikol is part of the “Top Priority Mining Projects” under its Mining Revitalization Program and National Mining Policy (NMP). Of the 24 priority mining projects, five [5] are found in the Bicol Region (Rapu-Rapu Polymetallic Project at Rapu-Rapu, Albay, owned by LG Collins and KORES; Masbate Gold Project at Aroroy, Masbate, owned by Filminera Resources Corp; Nalesbitan Gold Project at Labo, Camarines Norte, owned by El Dore Mining Corp.; Del Gallego Gold Project at Camarines Norte, owned by Kumakata Mining Co. Inc./Phelps Dodge Explo. Corp; and Hixbar Copper-Gold Project at Rapu-Rapu, Albay, owned by Korean/Malaysian.) The top two – Rapu-Rapu, Albay and Aroroy, Masbate have been declared Patented Mining Claims [PMC], meaning a right and privilege given to foreign Transnational Mining Corporations (TNCs) to use public lands and to extract and own the mineral ores therein. Other large scale mining operations are also done in the entire region: six in the Camarines Norte, four in Camarines Sur, seven in Masbate, four in Albay, one in Catanduanes, and one in Sorsogon. We must highlight the fact that the mining industry has contributed a meager slice in the entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the whole country. Based on the intensive study conducted by the Bantay Kita on the economic contribution of mining industry, both metallic and non-metallic, the average contribution of mining in GPD is 0.91 percent (2000-2009), wherein its labor generation impact is no more that 0.376 percent. Even the more recent data issued by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, the contribution has always been less that 2 percent; while the job creation is less than 1 percent. On the regional level, it is very hard to ascertain the exact figures due to the discrepancy of the available data. Even in the national level, alarmingly a huge gap is too obvious between the value metallic exports and the value of metallic mineral productions. Such discrepancy can be attributed to under-declaration of real income and production. All mining—metallic and nonmetallic—is subject to a two percent excise tax based on the actual market value of gross output along with the other taxes. Still its monetary translation for the host community, LGU and the National government is ridiculously small. In 1995, the fees for the processing of applications for Exploration Permit and Mineral Agreement were set at Php 50,000 with and additional Php 5,000 for registration; the specific area for exploration is 32,400 hectares. If factored in the given area, the application fee is only mere Php 1.70 per hectare. Surprisingly, it was adjusted in 2005 to Php60 per hectare. Even in the environmental protection clause, the contractors are minimally charged per metric ton of mine waste at only Php 0.05 and per metric ton per metric ton of tailings at only Php 0.10. We can then ask: Where are the of the national patrimony; the working condition are healthy and safety measures are in place, and all kinds of necessary insurance for the physical well-being of the workers are provided; just wages and benefits required by the labor code are given by the mining company to their employees, including bargaining agreements and recognition of their right to strike. 4. When extreme care is taken to prevent or at least minimize the risk of serious accidents, given that the damage to the environment or human health could be irreversible; 5. When cultural values are not sacrificed under the guise of progress, i.e. the industry does not conflict with the traditional cultures, which for ages have lived in harmony with nature; when ancestral lands are not expropriated without just compensation, or in utter disregard for religiouscultural sensibilities. It is necessary to impress upon the minds of the faithful that the position of the Bishops of the Bikol Region on mining is the preservation, conservation and defense of the environment and the development and abundance but destruction of the base of income and security of life specially in the mining areas. With the island eco-system of the Bikol Region, massive formation of iron sulfide rocks that generate acid mine drainage (AMD) and the weather condition of heavy rainfall and frequent typhoons, responsible large-scale mining in our region is highly improbable and questionable. Our common understanding and universal prayer as Bikolanos will give us wisdom and strength to respond to these challenges, as we also reminded by these words of Sacred Scriptures: “The land is mine and you are but aliens and my tenants. Throughout the country that you hold as procession, you must provide for the redemption of the Land.” (Lev. 25:23-24) Hence, together we, the Church in Bikol, clamor: 1. Stop the environmental plunder made by the foreign Transnational Mining Corporation (TNC’s) and its local conduits in the Bikol Region; 2. Repeal the Mining Act of 1995 (RA 7942); 3. Support the Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB) being proposed by Congress already signed by 41 Representatives and 4 Senators as of now, and endorsed by 72 Bishops of the CBCP; 4. Oppose the Executive Order on Mining (EO 79 s. 2012) of the Aquino Administration We seek the intercession of our Ina, Our Lady of Penafrancia, that She may pray for us to Her Son Jesus Christ to grant us fire within our hearts so that we Bikolanos take a common stand for what is right and defend our land for the future generations. Sincerely yours in Christ and in Ina, Your humble servants in the Lord, MOST REV. LEONARDO Z. LEGASPI, OP, DD Archbishop of Caceres

Statement of Bikol Bishops on Mining


Seeking the Sacred
“Inculturation by listening to the Indigenous Peoples”
JOURNEYING from different parts of the country, we, the Association of Major Religious Superiors of Men in the Philippines (AMRSMP) with our mission partners, came to Bontoc to encounter the culture of the indigenous Igorot. Immersing ourselves in the rich traditions of the Cordilleras has provided a unique context to revisit the very important question of inculturation, in this year of the fiftieth anniversary of Vatican II and with the call to renewed evangelization. We listened to input on the historical and current concerns of indigenous peoples, and wrestled with the theological and pastoral challenges and difficulties of inculturation, and considered its relevance to religious life and formation. But the greatest impact of these days came with the actual experience with the people. We witnessed some Bontoc rituals, symbols, and sacred spaces. We were amazed by the diversity of color, language, and songs. We were inspired by their strongly-held values and their spirituality as a people. We basked in the warmth of their welcome and friendship. We recognized in all these the Spirit of God moving in the culture. Particularly striking were their respect for and sense of oneness with all of creation and the web of life, their recognition of and love for their ancestors whose spirits continue to accompany them, their solid sense of community with and collective responsibility for each other, their deep reverence for relationships. This very positive and enriching experience of otherness drew deep respect from us. It likewise awakened in us a recognition that deep in our hearts, we share these same values, and the reflection that it is because along with our Bontoc sisters and brothers, we are truly one Filipino nation. It is tragic that these powerful life-giving values have been undermined by colonial and political powers that have sought to subjugate and extract the wealth from indigenous lands. They have been subverted by laws enacted and projects devised in far-away Manila that failed to factor in the Cordillera ways of life, “minoritizing” them, and limiting ancestral domain to shallow considerations of land and territory only. Today, the indigenous peoples and their cultures are endangered even more, this time from the negative effects of globalization that can slowly suck the life out of their unique identities, and assimilate them into the indistinguishable universal masses, unless they continue to be cautious, watching and protecting themselves from destructive incursions. As AMRSMP, we join the bishops of Northern Luzon and apologize for having been part of efforts to subtly dismantle local indigenous ways, in the name of evangelization. Yet, we also realize that the good news of the Lord can also offer them an affirmation of their long-held indigenous values, and a depth of communion and consolation. We are also gladdened that there have been times when the indigenous peoples have found among many in the Church, authentic allies and friends. Nevertheless, we, as representatives of AMRSPMP, are challenged to pursue the mission to all, including the indigenous peoples, and be evangelized by them. We are called to listen to what the indigenous people feel as sacred in their hearts. We need to learn their languages, and at times, speak against transgressors on their behalf. We must reflect with them and offer healing when needed. We must mediate the continuing conversation of faith and culture, that leads to conversion. We must be able to recognize the sacred in the customs of the indigenous peoples, the local church, and allow indigenous communities to seek ways of creatively integrating themselves in the Church’s rites, catechism, spiritualities, theological reflection, and pastoral methods. We must do this, precisely because we are bearers of a Gospel that preaches inclusiveness and not imposition, respect and reverence and not ridicule, humility and not superiority. This is inculturation at the core. Awakened by the call to mirror the heart of Christ among indigenous peoples, we commit ourselves: To bring the learnings of these few days back to our religious communities and institutions, and deepen reflection on inculturation that can result in concrete action. We will review our own religious life and lifestyle, and move towards discerning new ways of doing mission. We will pay special attention to formation, to do our best to produce missionaries who will always be sensitive to local cultures. We will encourage the development of local expressions of indigenous theology and spirituality, through academic papers, art, music, and other media. We will strive to humbly listen once more to our indigenous sisters and brothers, and learn from them the depth of self-determination as children of God. To address the difficulties and challenges of internationality
Seeking / B7

MOST REV. MANOLO A. DE LOS SANTOS, DD Bishop of Virac MOST REV. ARTuRO M. BASTES, SVD, DD Bishop of Sorsogon MOSTREV.JOELZ.BAyLON,DD Bishop of Legazpi MOST REV. JOSE C. SORRA, DD Bishop Emeritus of Legazpi MOST REV. LuCILO B QuIAMBAO, DD Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Legazpi MOST REV. JOSE R. ROJAS, DD Bishop of Libmanan MOST REV. GILBERT A. GARCERA, DD Bishop of Daet MOST REV. JOSE S. BANTOLO, DD Bishop of Masbate July 17, 2012

supposed gains and benefits for the people? When can we consider mining as an exercise in responsible stewardship? Only when these five conditions are fulfilled and strictly enforced, namely: 1. When the site on which mining is conducted is suitable as to permeability foundation, right groundwater and a stable geomorphic environment. 2. When, in the process of mining, the ecological balance is not destroyed; there is no harm to essential biodiversity; the air and water are not contaminated by toxic waste; there is no harm and injury to human health. 3. When social justice is served: the main benefits of mining redound to our country and not just to foreign mining interests; taxes due to government are paid honestly by the mining company; the state itself gets a fair pre-tax share representing its ownership

people against the wanton abuse of foreign and local large scale mining corporations that are motivated by greed for profit. Let our people know that the value of mineral production in Bicol according to 2009 estimates is staggering! The metallic minerals (copper, gold, silver and Zinc) amount to P4,654,818,424.31(or 98.80%); non-metallic minerals (shale/clay, sand and gravel, limestones, decorative stones, etc.) amount to P57,483,032.45 (or 1.20%), a total of Php 4,712,301,456.76. In view of this great wealth extracted from our land, we in the Church of the Bikol Region are challenged to make a stand for our people and their wellbeing. It has been documented over and over again both in the local and international scene that the “claimed” mining gains can never offset its ill effects. Definitely, with the dysfunctional system of mining in the Philippines, the Bikolano people can never expect


Ref lections

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 16 No. 16
July 30 - August 12, 2012

Yes, of course, God continues to care for his people
An exegetical reflection on the Gospel of the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B (John 6:24-35) August 5, 2012
is none other than the participation of his life, the life in the Kingdom of God, a life of final reconciliation, freedom, peace, love and forgiveness, not only here on earth, but also in the life to come. How is one to receive that life? Accordingly to the Gospel, it is by eating the bread, and the bread that came down from heaven in the New Testament is none other than Jesus himself. If for the Jews to achieve a blessed life on earth, one has to do the works of the law (John 6:30), for Christians, one has to believe in him whom God sent (John 6:29). That is to say, to eat the bread that God sent is to have faith in Jesus. In other words, if in the Old Testament God cared for the Jews in their journey to the promised land by sending manna from heaven, so they would not die in the desert, so in the New Testament God continues to care for his people by sending Jesus, the bread of life, from heaven, so his people may have eternal life and live forever. But how does one profess his faith in Jesus? If this question is addressed to someone with fundamentalist orientation, the answer will surely be: “Accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior.” A Catholic, of course, will not accept that formula for a number of reasons, but this is correct on two points: one, a Christian must accept Jesus in faith, believe in him, and be committed to him. Without faith, to be a Christian is a contradiction in terms. And nothing could be more central to faith than Jesus himself, not religious practices or observances, however grand and lofty. Two, Jesus should obviously be the Lord and Savior of one’s life. One cannot make money the dominant factor of his life, nor should he think that wealth can save him, or bring him new life. Being a Christian is not simply a transcendental relationship between

By Msgr. Lope C. Robredillo, SThD
WITH millions of people starving, powerful countries vying for world domination, and the few who are rich wallow in scandalous wealth, while human rights are being violated and the environment being cannibalized for the sake of more wealth, what is there to say that God cares? Present-atheists generally reject the existence of God because, for them, if he really exists, he will not allow the dehumanizing plight of millions of people. At the time of Jesus, although the Jews always believed in God, yet many of them doubted his care for them, in face of the reality of exile and their shameful defeat at the hands of their conquerors. But almost all of them, on the other hand, remembered that God acted on their behalf when their forefathers complained to him about their oppressive situation under the Pharaoh of Egypt. When they were starving in the desert, God showed his care by sending them manna from heaven (Exod 16:11-12). They knew that he cared for them in the past. In today’s Gospel, Jesus assures the Jews that despite their experience to the contrary, God still cares for them. Just as in the Old Testament, God, not Moses, gave them bread from heaven in their journey through the desert, so in the New Testament, God shows his loving care for them by sending them bread from heaven. He does so ever more exceedingly, for here, he is not only after the basic things in life, like what ordinary bread does to satisfy their hunger (John 6:27). Rather, through this bread from heaven, God wants to give his people eternal life (John 10:10). This eternal life

one and Christ. Jesus must necessarily enter into every dimension of one’s life. If only all Christians were committed to Jesus, taking their life of faith seriously, and if only all of them would make him the Lord of their lives, not money, or power to satisfy their greed, they would certainly become “the new man” (Eph 4:22). As the new man, the entire body of Christians, on account of their belief and life of faith, can create, even on this earth, a new society with a new social arrangement, in which greed, struggle for power, oppression and aggrandizement would be largely lessened, if not eliminated, and in which truth, forgiveness, freedom, liberation,

and love would prevail. By embracing the life of Jesus, they would obviously create new forms of relationship among people, eliminating poverty, starvation, violation of human rights and other forms of evil, Thus, while still living on earth, Christians should already be participating in the everlasting life that God promised to those who believe in his Son, and once the end has come, they would enjoy these features of the new community in an even perfect degree. In that way, God’s care for people is seen in the life of Christians who eat the bread from heaven that he sent—Jesus himself. People may not see bread falling down from heaven as proof that God

continues to remember his people, but his care is tangible, because committed Christians share with others, especially the lesser members of the community. Every time, then, that Christians receive communion, the Eucharistic Bread should be a reminder of God’s care for them and of the mission that he gave them through Christ. Precisely because they received the Body of Christ—they are to make the present history a reflection of the life to come, transforming it from one that is taken as an evidence of the absence of God to one that proclaims that he is alive, through people who have become witnesses to his presence.

Bishop Pat Alo


Not on material food alone do we live
18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, August 5, 2012
expectation. People have material needs which are part of their nature. God made us so, and He himself caters generously for such needs as Jesus reminds us in his Sermon on the Mount. (See Mt 6:26-30.) The very multiplication of bread and fish performed by him is a clear sign of God’s care for our physical needs. (See Gospel passage of last Sunday.) But that miracle was also a “sign” of something else. It was the prophetic sign” of a spiritual type of nourishment through which God caters for our “higher needs.” Jesus wants to lead his audience to an appreciation of such needs and to a desire for the food which can satisfy them. “Not on material bread alone does man live” (Lk 4:4, quoting Dt 8:3). Jesus invites them and us to raise our priorities and to focus on higher values: the lasting spiritual values that the Father offers us in Jesus His Son. (See Jn 6:27b.) The fundamental condition for us to enjoy such superior gift is FAITH – faith in Christ as the “Bread of Life which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world” (v. 33). All this is not easy. Born into a materialistic world which values and pursues especially what can be seen, measured, and enjoyed physically or emotionally, we

By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
THE people that tracked down Jesus didn’t easily accept to “lose” him. In their enthusiasm they crossed the lake and looked for him everywhere, till they found him at Capernaum. Frankly, their motivation was not very high: as Jesus himself pointed out bluntly, they were looking for him because “they had eaten their fill of loaves” (see Jn 6:25b); and obviously they were looking forward to a “repeat performance” . . . In itself, there was nothing wrong in such an interest and

Gospel proofs
THE gospels attest to Christ’s resurrection from the dead. The gospels narrate about the many trustworthy witnesses. Even St. Paul in his 1st letter to the Corinthians chapter 15 verses 3 to 8 talks about more than 500 witnesses who had seen Christ risen from the dead. What is important to us is the reality and assurance from Jesus Christ that He will provide clear signs and proofs of power to accompany the true believers. This is a fact and is well documented in the annals or records of the Catholic Church history. In the last part of the gospel according to St. Mark chapter 16:16-20, you can read these assuring words: “Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News to all creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; he who does not believe will be condemned. These are the signs that will be associated with believers: in my name they will cast out devils; they will have the gift of tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands, and be unharmed should they drink deadly poison; they will lay their hands on the sick, who will recover.” It is also a fact in the roster of Catholic Saints which go by the thousands, and you can check this for yourself—before the authorities in the Vatican declared the Saints of the whole Church and the world the people concerned (friends, companions or relatives) had to ask from God first class miracles (two or three) and well documented by impartial witnesses before the final Church approval of the Saint in question. This is how the Church has operated ever since in connection with the beatification or canonization of Saints. Contra factum non valet (no better arguments than facts). Clear facts and reality (miracle) are the proof of God’s approval, not just words or rumors from people.

often find it much easier to settle for the lower, more immediate values. The wound of original sin that weakens us all makes the attraction of the material world still more appealing. Hence, the invitation of Jesus to “work for the food that remains unto eternal life” (v. 27) is very much a challenge: the challenge to undergo a real conversion. We have, once and for all, to straighten up our priorities; to raise our minds and hearts to the superior realities which alone can satisfy us fully and which are perceived and received only through Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life.

Jesus, the living bread from heaven
19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, August 12, 2012
By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
THE Jews felt bewildered at the claim of Jesus that he was “the bread that came down from heaven” (Jn 6:41). They just couldn’t take it. They felt that they were very well informed about the origin of that young preacher: “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph? Do we not know his father and mother?” (Jn 6:42). As had already happened to the townsfolk of Nazareth (see Mk 6:3), their excessive self-assurance about what they knew of Jesus – their pride! – blinded them to the higher reality which was facing them. They were ready to grant that the young Nazorean was able to perform unusual “tricks” which allowed him to feed big crowds with a little food . . . But that was as far as they could go. For the rest, Jesus was to them just an ordinary human being, weak and mortal like anybody else. They stopped at what their eyes could see, their hands could touch, and their minds could comprehend. They preferred to stick to what they “knew” about Jesus, rather than accept his word and thereby soar to a higher level of knowledge. They refused to believe. And that became their tragedy. The key word here is FAITH. God offers this gift to all, because He wants all to reach salvation. (See 1 Tim 2:4.) He offers it in ways and circumstances that mostly elude us. The gift is real, nonetheless, and offered out of sheer love. Yet some reject it. The offer will be perceived and accepted only by humble hearts – people who trust God’s Word more than their external senses. And in their faith, these humble people come to know and experience truths that lie beyond what human eye can see or human mind can fathom. This is true of all the great mysteries of the Christian faith, such as the Blessed Trinity, the Incarnation, the work of our redemption. It is perhaps particularly true of the Eucharist, the “mystery of faith” par excellence. In fact, while in the Incarnation only the divinity of Christ was “hiding,” in the Eucharist neither the divinity nor the humanity of Jesus are perceived by our external senses. All that we see and touch and eat/drink is “something” that looks and tastes like ordinary bread and wine. It is only because Christ said: “This is my body . . . this is
Jesus / B7

Bo Sanchez


How much are you worth?
I HAVE a friend who gave me a pen for my birthday. It has my name inscribed on it. It feels solid, heavy, and durable. The pen manufacturer even offers a Lifetime Guarantee. If it malfunctions, I can mail it back to them and they’ll repair it for me, good as brand new. How much does the pen cost? P2000. Most of my pens are P20 each—so that’s expensive for me. But I had the shock of my life when two months ago, I gave a talk in a company, and in gratitude, they gave me a pen worth P20,000. The price was ridiculous to me. I couldn’t believe it. I showed it to my wife and asked her, “What makes this pen worth P20,000? Will it solve my personal problems?” “No, it won’t,” she said. “Will it solve world hunger? Climate change? The plight of penguins in the Antartica?” “I don’t think so.” “Will the pen make me earn passive income?” “I doubt it.” “Will it make me more handsome, as if that’s possible?” “You can’t improve perfection, Dear…” (After 14 years, I’ve successfully brainwashed my wife.) “So, what can this P20,000 pen do?” I asked her. “I have a strong suspicion that it can write…” “Wow. That’s…uh, amazing.” After our conversation, I did some research on the Internet. Here’s what I found out: The technology that made the P2000 pen is exactly the same technology that made the P20,000 pen. There’s only one difference… The Manufacturer sets the price The difference is the Manufacturer. Manufacturer of Pen A decided, “This is worth P2000.” And Manufacturer of Pen B decided, “This is worth P20,000.” The Manufacturer sets the price. The Manufacturer determines the value. The Manufacturer defines the worth. Manufacturer B says, “I only make P20,000 pens. So this is a P20,000 pen.” I’ve got news for you. God is your Manufacturer. And He tells you now, “You’re not worth P20,000. You’re not worth P20 million or P20 billion or P20 trillion or P20 gazillion. You are worth all of Heaven, because I disrobed my Divinity and became a baby in manger. You are worth all the mountains and hills and valleys and oceans, because you’re the Masterpiece of my Creation. You are worth all the stars and galaxies combined together, because you’re more beautiful than this entire universe. You are worth every drop of my blood, because I gave my life on the Cross.” Because you’re valuable… Protect what is valuable Imagine if a stranger comes along and says, “Bo, may I borrow a pen?” I don’t know the guy from Adam. Tell me, will I give him my P2000 pen or my P20,000 pen? Of course, I’ll give him my P20 pen! But when he gets my pen, he manhandles it. He pounds it on the table, complains it doesn’t write, and starts hitting it like it was a drumstick. He returns it to me, broken, and asks, “Do you have another pen?

Soulfood / B7


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 16 No. 16
July 30 - August 12, 2012

Social Concerns


By Fr. Joey Gánio Evangelista, MJ

San Miguel Corporation and the Tagakaulo of Malita
was appalled to hear them speak like shareholders of Legenda Mines during the consultation. And to think that they themselves were Tagakaulo! Most, if not all, of what they presented to the people were the advantages and benefits that could be gained if mining were to be allowed in their barangay. Even when queried by some school teachers about the destruction mining could bring to the environment, members of the NCIP were adamant and insisted that the people had a lot to benefit from mining. They also added that the seven other barangays of Malita and of the adjacent town, Sta. Maria, had responded positively to the application of the mining firm. But when voting came, the NO won over the YES vote, 250 to 125; the people had spoken and were clear that they did not want Legenda Mines in their barangay! Regrettably, that was not the end of the story. On July8, 2012, the barangay chairperson of Pinalpalan called for an emergency meeting of the whole barangay, which took place at two in the afternoon. The agendum was once more the application for mining exploration of Legenda Mines. The chairperson and his council were hell bent on convincing those who voted NO to revise their answer to a YES. The barangay officials pointed out that rejecting the application of Legenda Mines would bring nothing but difficulty to their barangay. They claimed that Pinalpalan would be left behind in terms of development because

THE town of Malita in the province of Davao del Sur is often perceived to be a “quiet town” by many outsiders. This is often interpreted as Malita being a peaceful and tranquil place. However, quiet cannot always be equated to peace and tranquility. The town of Malita is a case in point. Legenda Mines, a subsidiary of San Miguel Corporation, has recently made its presence felt among the Tagakaulo community in this town, which has made many concerned and fearful. I have been working with the Tagakaulo community in Malita as a missionary for more than a year now. The Tagakaulo is a Lumad tribe in the provinces of Davao del Sur and Sarangani. Their name means “those who dwell at the head of the river.” Members of the Tagakaulo community residing in Barangay Pinalpalan, Malita were visited last July 4, 2012 by a group from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) of Region XI. Accompanying them were a number of provincial and municipal government officials. They were to carry out a consultation with regard to the application of Legenda Mines to conduct mining explorations in Malita; the area to be explored included Pinalpalan. Despite the mandate of the NCIP to promote and protect the rights and well being of indigenous peoples, I
Mary / B2

it would not be a recipient of the benefits that the surrounding barangays would receive if mining were to commence in their area. They were clear that the barangay would eventually be affected by the destruction that mining would bring but they asserted that it would be a better alternative if they at least benefitted from it. They were emphatic that if the people insisted on their rejection of

Legenda Mines, their barangay would no longer benefit from future projects from the municipal government; the officials further added that the people would no longer be able to count on their help in their time of need. After having made their point crystal clear, they instructed those who previously voted NO to sign a document changing their vote to a YES. Many signed out of fear; only a few stood their ground.

I was there during the public consultation and I had nothing but admiration for the people of Pinalpalan for having had the courage to stand their ground against Legenda Mines. I was not there for the emergency meeting and was only informed of what had taken place a few days later. The documentation of the meeting was brought to me by a member of the basic Christian community there who had hiked

for hours just to see me. He had risked a lot in coming to the mission station to inform me of the events in Pinalpalan but he knew it was the right thing to do. So many questions have been bothering me lately due to those events. Was Legenda Mines Inc. directly behind the action taken by the barangay officials? Did NCIP, provincial and municipal government officials have a hand in all this? And, will the NCIP accept the results of the action taken by the barangay officials as the free, prior and informed consent of the Tagakaulo community of Pinalpalan? Were the members of the other barangays consulted by the NCIP also coerced? Dangerous questions that are in dire need of clear answers. To make things worse, San Miguel Corporation Global Power Holdings on July 27, 2012, has officially announced its plans to build a coal-fired power plant in this quiet town of Malita supposedly for the benefit of the people. One does not have to be a genius to see the obvious that the purpose of the coal-fired power plant will primarily be to provide the energy needed by the mining firm when it becomes operational. It is worthwhile noting that the proposed project is to rise in a plantation also owned by San Miguel Corporation. If this town is perceived to be quiet, it is not because it is peaceful. It is more like the quiet before the storm; something is brewing in this quiet town of Malita.

Seeking / B5

but also from all evils, including physical ones. Mary in cooperating in Christ in bringing salvation, the Kingdom of God, to mankind is concerned not only in helping to free people from sin but also free people to physical evils, from suffering, sickness, injustices, etc. She is also involved in the promotion of the culture of life against the culture of death. In the beginning of this talk, we said that John Paul II in his letter, the Gospel of Life, tells us that the Gospel of Life. The culture of Life opposes any attacks against human life. Aside from the ancient scourges of poverty, hunger, endemic diseases, violence and war, there are new threats to life. “Whatever is opposed to life itself, such as any type of murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia, or a willful self-destruction, whatever violates the integrity of the human person, such as mutilation, torments inflicted on body or mind, attempts to coerce the will itself; whatever insults human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery, prostitution, the selling of women and children; as well as disgraceful working conditions, where people are treated as mere instruments of gain rather than as free and responsible persons; all these things and others like them are infamies indeed. They poison human society, and they do more harm to those who practice them than those who suffer from injury. Moreover, they are a supreme dishonor to the Creator.” (Gospel of Life, 3). The culture of life works not only against contraception, abortion and euthanasia but also against any offense or diminishing of human life. Mary, the Mother of Life, is also involved in this culture of life, in this Gospel of Life, and helps in the protection of people against any attack against life. “By her maternal charity, Mary cares for the brethren of her Son who still journey on earth surrounded by dangers and difficulties, until they are led to their happy fatherland.” (Lumen Gentium, 62) I will first mention ways by which Mary promotes the culture of life by helping men and women in their other spiritual and physical needs of life, aside from helping protect mankind from the practice of contraception, abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, etc. In the famous hymn of Mary, the
Soulfood / B6

“Magnificat”, she praises the Lord for “feeding the hungry with good things and lifting up the lowly.” The lowly are often the victims of injustice and exploitation. In the history of the Church, like in the Philippines, Mary was and is always the refuge of the poor, the jobless, the sick, and the afflicted. In her shrines, like those of in Fatima, Lourdes, Antipolo, Baclaran, Manaoag, Caysasay, etc., many people are healed from their sickness, find solution or strength in their difficulties and suffering. Mary also helps in a big scale regarding problems of injustice and oppression. I believe that it was Our Lady of Fatima and the prayers and fasting of people all over the world that caused the downfall of Communism in Russia. Communism had wrought so much destruction and suffering in the world, causing wars and killings of millions of people. In 1989, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, writing about the third secret of Fatima, said “… faith and prayer are forces which can influence history and that in the end prayer is more powerful that bullets and faith more powerful than armies” (Message of Fatima – Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith). I also believe that in the EDSA I Revolution of 1986, the Filipino people were peacefully freed from martial law, with its oppression and injustices, through the help of Mary, our Blessed Mother. In EDSA, there was a million people, resisting martial law. But there was no violence, no fighting or killing. The images of Mary were everywhere. Let us now turn to the connection of Mary to the promotion of the culture life against contraception, abortion, and euthanasia. Contraception and abortion are offenses linked to childbirth. Mary gave birth to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who became man. Let us talk about two events during the conception and birth of Jesus. Regarding the miraculous conception of Jesus, women who were unfaithful to their husbands or to those they were engaged were stoned to death. Mary, in accepting to be the mother of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit, risked being stoned to death. Nevertheless, because of her obedience to God and her trust in his protection, she accepted the risk of death. And God protected her. God sent an angel to explain to Joseph the situation of Mary. May women who, out of fear or shame, are tempted to abort their babies,

conceived through pre-marital relations or unfaithfulness, be able to overcome the temptation through the example and help of Mary. The Gospel tells us that, when Mary has just begun conceiving Jesus she went to visit her cousin Elizabeth who was in her sixth month. Elizabeth said that when she heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb. Blessed Teresa of Calcutta commenting on this passage in relation to the killing of unborn child said that among human beings it was an unborn child, St. John the Baptist, who first greeted and honored the Son of God when he became man in the womb of Mary. The unborn child is not a thing, is not a part of his or her mother’s body. He or She is a human person who has to be respected and loved. In the book of the prophet Isaiah, Yahweh tells Israel that even if a mother would reject her own child, the fruit of her womb, he would not reject Israel. Blessed Teresa again commented that the babies who are rejected by their mothers through abortion are not hopeless or left alone. God who loves them will always receive them and take care of them. Mary, whose heart beats in unison with the heart of God and who has been appointed by her Son on the Cross to be the mother of every man and woman, and who expresses to mankind the motherly love of God, surely embraces these aborted children and surrounds them with a mother’s love. In our great endeavor to promote the culture of life against the culture of death, we are at present concentrating our efforts on our fight against the passage of the Reproductive Health Bill. We are moving heaven and earth to prevent the passage of this bill because once this bill is passed, flood gates will be opened to other anti-life laws, such as abortion and euthanasia. What is more, laws allowing same sex marriage, divorce, etc. will also follow. This is what happened in other countries. At present, the Philippines is among the few countries not allowing abortion and euthanasia. Ours is the only country that does not allow divorce. This tsunami of anti-life laws, anti-family and anti-marriage laws is sweeping the whole world. Let us work hard to stop these destructive laws and ideas from getting a foothold in our country. Let us work as individuals and in groups to prevent these anti-life bills from being enacted

into law. Let us approach our senators and congressmen to convince them not to vote for these bills. Let us join pro-life rallies. Above all let us pray and make sacrifices so that anti–life laws are not enacted. Let us ask Mary, the mother of life, to intercede for us. Our struggle is a very hard one. But let us be hopeful. “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.” In the past, when it seemed that the RH Bill was about to be passed, something happened in the country, such as floods, impeachment, typhoons, and political events that caused the bill to be placed in the back burner. Let us go on fighting. God is with us. One of the messages in the third secret of Fatima is that the Pope will be killed. Here I will quote Benedict XVI, who wrote the following words when he was still a cardinal and prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “When, after the attempted assassination on 13 May 1981, the Holy Father had the text of the third part of the “secret” brought to him, was it not inevitable that he should see in it his own fate? He had been very close to death, and he himself explained his survival in the following words:”…it was a mother’s hand that guided the bullet’s path and in his throes the Pope halted at the threshold of death” (13 May 1994). That here “a mother’s hand” had deflected the fateful bullet only shows once more that there is no immutable destiny, that faith and prayer are forces which can influence history…” With faith and hope, let us pray and fast that the RH Bill will not be passed. But whatever will happen, whether the RH Bill is passed or not, we know for sure that the good will triumph in the end. “The Evil One has power in this world, as we see and experience continually; he has power because our freedom continually lets itself be led away from God. But since God himself took a human heart and has thus steered human freedom towards what is good, the freedom to choose evil no longer has the last word. From that time forth, the word that prevails is this: “In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart; I have overcome the world” (Jn. 16:33). (Cardinal Ratzinger: the Message of Fatima) In the end the woman clothed with the sun and her child will overcome the dragon, the woman and her offspring will crush the head of the serpent, the Immaculate Heart of Mary will triumph.

and interculturality in our communities. As we consolidate our learnings from experiences in inculturation, we will join efforts to prepare Filipino missionaries to work with people of other cultures, and non-Filipino brethren to integrate more fully in the Philippines. To intensify our works for the environment and the integrity of creation, justice and peace, in solidarity with the indigenous peoples who remind us of the sanctity and connectedness of all life on earth. It is important that along with the work should come the reclamation of a new lifestyle, mindset and spirituality. To participate in the activities of the IP desk of the AMRSP, and help to provide resources. More specifically, we encourage the IP desk to systematize initiatives and existing practices that indigenize rituals celebrating faithlife celebrations. New activity guides might also be developed, that can inculturate the faith through new expressions in the local languages and cultures, along with modules for anthropological sensitivity training and cultural literacy. To cooperate in all efforts to bring about sustainable development to indigenous peoples, while continuing to respect their rich cultures. Examples of these are laws that benefit the IPs, units of government that promote IP welfare, civil society organizations that advocate IP causes, and even other religious groups that speak for the IPs’ good and work for social justice. To study the IPRA Law closely, and critically engage its implementors to work for its improvement. In all that we seek to do, we implore the grace of God. We are strengthened by our ancestors and the communion of saints. We draw inspiration through our various congregational charisms. We are moved forward by the Spirit, as expressed in the ugug-fu, a manifestation of collective oneness with and concern for the other and the community. Statement of participants to the AMRSMP National Convention Teng-ab Retreat House, Bontoc, Lagawe, Mountain Province July 2-6, 2012
Jesus / B6

Question: Do you think I’ll give him my P2000 pen or P20,000 pen? Over my dead body! Because I know how much the pen is worth, I’ll guard it. I won’t let anyone abuse it. In fact, I’ll put it in a nice case. I’ll keep it in my bag. I’ll shine it and protect it. In the same way, you now know how much you are worth. So care for yourself. Guard yourself. Protect yourself. Preserve yourself. Build your Boundaries! Give yourself the gift of limits. Don’t abuse yourself and don’t allow anyone to abuse you. Love yourself!

you come with a lifetime guarantee Only things of great value come with Lifetime Guarantees. My P20 pen doesn’t have a Lifetime Guarantee. But you, because you’re valuable, come with a Lifetime Guarantee. When you malfunction, you can go back to the Manufacturer anytime, and He’ll repair you. He’ll fix you up. He’ll make you brand new. Which reminds me of a story my friend Pio told me. One day, Pio’s American

brother-in-law Doug stayed in his house. Being hospitable, Pio and his wife Bebot gave Doug the master’s bedroom. One morning, Pio was in the master’s bedroom, tidying up. That was when he was shocked to see, thrown in the trashcan, Doug’s watch. He picked it up and brought it to Doug. “Doug,” Pio said, “your watch accidentally fell on the trash can…” Doug said, “Pio, it’s not working anymore. I threw it away.” Pio was taken aback. He said,

“Doug, you’re in the Philippines. We can repair this watch.” Doug shook his head and said, “I don’t want to repair it. I threw it away. Look, if you want it, it’s yours!” Pio said, “Thanks!” He then turned around, placed his hand over the watch, and prayed over it. “Shalalala…..” He shook it and placed it near his ear—and voila—it started to work again! When Pio told me this story, I realized how blessed I am that God is like Pio, not like Doug. If God were like Doug, I would be in

the trash bin by now. How many times have I malfunctioned? How many times have I failed? How many times have I sinned? But God refuses to throw me away. He insists on repairing me. Because when He created me, He gave me a Lifetime Guarantee. Friend, you’re valuable to God. And He won’t throw you away. He will keep you forever. I have loved you with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3) Keep Him forever in your heart as well. May your dreams come true.


my blood” that we believe that is really so, and we respond “Amen!” There is nothing “natural” in all this. It is all well above “nature,” as we perceive it in our ordinary life. And yet, by God’s grace, we hold it to be as real as the ground on which we stand or the ordinary food we eat. Such is the power which our faith gives us to firmly believe that, in spite of what our eyes see and our hands touch, the consecrated bread and wine are the Lord Jesus in the totality of his life-giving person, the source of our eternal life. (See Jn 6:51.)

NAPAGALING ng faith healer na si Manang Elsa (Daria Ramirez) ang stroke victim na si Odong (Robert Arevalo), ama ni Seth (Vilma Santos). Dahil kumalat ang balita na ang baldadong si Odong ay nakabangon at nangangapit-bahay na kinabukasan, ang ilang mga kaibigan ni Seth ay magsisilapit sa kanya para magpasama din kay Elsa nang malunasan ang kani-kaniyang mga sakit. Kabilang dito sila Chona (Ces Quesada), Alma (Pokwang), Kakay (Abby Bautista), Greta (Ynez Veneracion), at iba pa. Bantulot na sasamahan ni Seth ang grupong may iba’t ibang sakit sa tirahan ni Elsa, at dito matatagpuan nila ang ilang may sakit na naghihintay sa labas pagkat hiniharang sila ng kapatid nito (Joel Torre). Pagod na raw si Elsa at hindi na kayang manggamutan. Ngunit dudungaw si Elsa mula sa kuwarto sa itaas, pakikinggan ang nagsusumamong si Seth, at patutuluyin ang pulutong. Babalik sila sa kanilang kapitbahayan ng umaasang magsisigaling lahat. Sa simula, tila lalala pa ang mga sakit ng mga kasama ni Elsa, ngunit kinabukasan, isa isa silang magsisigaling, at magsasaya. Papasok ang hiwaga sa buhay ng magkakaibigan nang matatagpuang bangkay si Chona, kinitil ang sariling buhay at nakabulagta sa kalye. Susundan ito ng di maipaliwanag na mga karahasang sangkot ang mga pasyenteng gumaling. Mapupuna nila na iisa ang takbo ng mga pangyayari: ang unang napagaling ay unang mamamatay, at isa-isang susunod ang iba—ngunit mababaliw muna ito at maghahasik ng kadiliman sa kanilang paligid bago tuluyang magpakamatay. Ngunit… bakit buhay pa si Odong na ama ni Seth, at sa katunayan ay nagmumurangkamatis pa? Di ba’t siya ang unang sinamahan ni Seth at napagaling ni Elsa? Napakakinis ng pagkakadirihe ni Chito Rono sa The Healing. Totoong hindi hinabi ang pelikula para lamang manggulat at manakot sa mga manonood, pagkat maliwanag na may kuwento itong

isinasalaysay. Maihahambing na rin sa mga pelikulang imported at nakahihigit ang kalidad ang pagkakagamit ng CGI (computer generated images) sa The Healing, bagama’t wala itong bagong naidagdag sa genre. Sa katunayan, ang mga ipinakita dito ay “lumang tugtugin” na, halimbawa, ang paggamit ng uwak upang magpahiwatig ng nakaambang kapahamakan. Nakakasawa din ang paulit-ulit na gimmick na ginamit kapag nababaliw na ang mga pasyente— kikilos nang kakaiba; magdidilim ang mukha; manglalaki, tila luluwa, at magpapaikot-ikot ang mata. Kapag nasa punto nang iyon, tiyak, papatay na siya, at papatayin din ang sarili. Nawawala tuloy ang “gulat”, nagiging predictable. Subalit ang kakulangang ito ay mapupunuan na napakahusay na pagganap ng mga artista. “Nahatak” nito ang grading teknikal ng The Healing sa aming mga mata. Maaalala na ang The Healing ay itinuturing na ring pagdiriwang ng 50 taon sa pelikula ni Vilma Santos, na ngayon ay iginagalang na sa larangan ng politika. May palagay kaming naging inspirasyon si Santos ng mga kasamahan niyang gumanap, kayat kahit na ang mga bagitong matatawag ay nagpakitang gilas sa kani-kaniyang mga papel. Ipinakita rin ni Janice de Belen (Cita, ina ni Kakay) na hindi pa rin kumukupas ang galing niyang gumanap, at kahit na ang komikerang si Pokwang ay nagpamalas na rin ng husay sa pagda-drama. Ang paksa ng pelikula, na napapaloob din sa pamagat nito, ay ang pagpapagaling ng karamdaman sa labas ng kinikilalang siyensiya ng medisina, ngunit ang ubod ng salaysay ay: hanggang saan nakakatulong at nakakabuti ang ganitong uri ng panggagamot? Kailan dapat gamitin ang kapangyarihang ito, at kailan dapat ihinto? Inaalam ba ng tao kung saan nagmumula ang kapangyarihang ito? Kung susukatin ang ibinubunga nito— ang paggaling ngunit pagkabaliw ng mga pasyente—masasabi ba nating nagmumula sa Diyos ang kapangyarihan ni Elsa?
TITLE: The Healing: mula ba sa Diyos ang kapangyarihang ito? LEAD CAST: Vilma Santos, Kim Chu, Pokwang, Mark Gil, Martin del Rosario, Allan Paulle, Cris Villanueva, Daria Ramirez, Ces Quesada, Ynez Veneracion, Simon Ibarra, Abi Bautista, Joel Torre, Chinggoy Alonso, Mon Confiado, Carmi Martin DIRECTOR: Chito S. Rono PRODUCER: Charo Santos GENRE: Horror, Drama DISTRIBUTOR: Star Cinema LOCATION: Philippines TECHNICAL ASSESSMENT:  ½ MORAL ASSESSMENT:  CINEMA RATING: V 14 (For viewers aged 14 and above)
Moral Assessment

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 16 No. 16

July 30 - August 12, 2012

Technical Assessment

 Abhorrent  disturbing  Acceptable  Wholesome  Exemplary

 Poor  Below average  Average  Above average  Excellent

Isang puna lamang: napakaingay ng mga nanonood na kasabay namin sa Megamall, tila walang pakundangan ang ilan sa damdamin ng ibang manonood. Puno ang sinehan, at dahil sa ingay nila ay mahirap nang ihiwalay ang kanilang sigaw, daldal at tili sa tunay na sounds ng pelikula. Unfair ito sa pelikula, pagkat iginagalang nito ang manonood sa pamamagitan ng pagdibdib nito sa kanyang sining, ngunit ginugulo naman ng mga taong walang humpay sa kadadada. (Marahil, ganoon nila pinapawi ang kanilang takot). Nabalitang dalawa ang bersiyon ng The Healing na ipinasa ng MTRCB: ang isa ay PG13 ang rating, at ang isa naman ay R18. Ang napanood ng CINEMA ay yaong PG 13 kaya’t marami sa mga nanood ay may kasamang mga bata. Lubhang madugo ang napanood naming bersiyon, bagay na ipinagtaka naming kung ano pa kayang mga karumal-dumal na bahagi ng pelikula ang napapaloob sa R18 version nito. Dito pa lamang, sa close-up shots ng mga kinikitlan ng buhay at bumubula pang dugo na dumanak mula sa bangkay sa kalye ay napapabiling na kami sa aming mga upuan, ano pa kaya ang magiging epekto sa manonood ng pangmatandang bersiyon? Sa panukat ng CINEMA, labis na marahas, madugo, at maaaring makalito sa murang isipan ng mga bata ang The Healing. (Teresa R. Tunay)


Ni Bladimer Usi

Buhay Parokya

Look for the image of Jaime Cardinal Sin, Holy Bible, and Saint John the Baptist. (Illustration by Bladimer Usi)

GOTHAM City eight years ago was convinced that their favorite bat was a murderer who had killed among others the city’s idealistic district attorney, Harvey Dent. The truth is that Dent went crazy from grief and rage; thus, mad and sad, he tore through Gotham’s streets on a killing spree, putting down crime lords without sparing cops in the process, and actually almost murdered Commissioner Gordon’s little boy. To shield the reputation of Dent (who had spent his life as a crime-buster) so that Gotham could go on believing, Gordon and Batman agreed: Batman would take the fall for the murders, while Dent would be given a hero’s burial. All those years Bru c e Wa y ne TITLE: The Dark Knight Rises (Christian Bale), LEAD CAST: Bob Kane, Christine Caine, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathathe city’s wealthway, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, iest billionaire Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Morgan and of course Freeman the real person DIRECTOR: Christopher Nolan behind the Bat- SCREENWRITER: Christopher Nolan man character, & Jonathan Nolan went into reclu- PRODUCER: Charles Roven, Emma sive retirement. Thomas Those dark years EDITOR: Lee Smith spawned a new MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Hans Zimmer breed of villains GENRE: Action & Adventure, Drama in the city’s sew- CINEMATOGRAPHER: Wally Pfister ers under the evil RUNNING TIME: 165 minutes DISTRIBUTOR: Warner Bros. Pictures hold of the sinLOCATION: USA, Europe ister Bane (Tom Hardy), who is TECHNICAL ASSESSMENT:  planning to lead MORAL ASSESSMENT:  ½ an insurrection CINEMA RATING: V 14 (For viewers aged 14 and above) of underground warriors to annihilate Gotham destroy the Dark Knight. Aware of the threat posed by the terrorist Bane, Wayne’s loyal butler Alfred Pennyworth (Michael Caine) tries to persuade his billionaire master to don the cape once more. Hospitalized, Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) also pleads with Batman to return to action, placing his trust in an idealistic, young protégé, Officer John Blake (Joseph GordonLevitt). When Wayne Enterprises helmed by CEO/inventor Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) becomes the target of a hostile takeover, wealthy philanthropist Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard) becomes an influential ally. Bruce Wayne would rather just be a recluse, until his curiosity is piqued when he discovers a cat burglar disguised as a waitress, Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway), rifling through his safe, and is in fact already wearing his late mother’s prized pearl necklace. As the plot unravels, you’d never guess what surprises it holds in the end.

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 16 No. 16
July 30 - August 12, 2012

A Supplement Publication of KCFAPI and the Order of the Knights of Columbus

The Cross


KCFAPI Officers led by EVP Ma. Theresa G. Curia (5th from left) with lead auditor Mr. Renato Navarrete (6th from right) during the recently held Certification International Surveillance Audit.

Certification International lauds KCFAPI’s enviable performance
THE Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines (KCFAPI) has recently moved a step forward by passing the recently held surveillance audit for ISO Certification 9001: 2008 edition conducted by the lead auditor Mr. Renato Navarrete, Managing Director of Certification International.
The KCFAPI through the valuable efforts of its quality auditors for ISO certification, passed the surveillance audit with zero non-conformance to the set standards held last July 19, 2012 at the KCFAPI main office in Intramuros, Manila. “The continued registration of KCFAPI is recommended by the Certification International as a result of zero non-conformance raised during the said surveillance audit. Observations for every area audited were presented by the Certification International lead auditor,” said Pedro Lubenia, KCFAPI Lead Auditor. On the other hand, Navarrete said the KCFAPI system is enviable. “Success is apparent in the figures and developments as presented and evaluated,” he added. The audit summary revealed that over all, KCFAPI has complied with the Quality Management System (QMS) standard requirements for continued certification. Meanwhile, Executive Vice-President Ma. Theresa G. Curia acknowledged the ISO Certification as one of her biggest accomplishments during her term. “We are the first and only MBA to be ISO certified. We cater what the other companies are offering. KCFAPI is the only Catholic life insurance in the country or even in the ASEAN region. The ISO certification and continued surveillance audit is KCFAPI’s way of assuring its Benefit Certificate Holders

TV Mass for the 35th Anniversary of Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ
THe Knights of Columbus Fr. George J. Willmann Charities, Inc. together with the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) cordially invite all Brother Knights, their families and friends as well as the general public to join us in commemorating the 35th death anniversary of the recognized father of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines, FR. GEORGE J. WILLMANN, SJ on September 14,2012, Friday with the celebration of the Holy eucharist at 9:00 a.m. at the San Agustin Church. Presiding at the mass will be Most Rev. David William V.
TV / C3

of the quality of service rendered to them”, said Ms. Curia. “In the Philippines, the KCFAPI is the first and only fraternal insurance organization that has earned the ISO certification”, she added. The scope of QMS process that was audited for KCFAPI was its design, development and provision of mutual benefits. The ISO certification and surveillance audit assures the KCFAPI’s benefit certificate holders, fraternal counselors, and general public that it continuously strives to improve its systems for customer satisfaction to be achieved. (KCFAPI News)

KC plants seedlings in Metro Cebu holds provincial conference Ilocos Sur to combat climate change
THe Knights of Columbus Visayas Jurisdiction conducted a provincial organizational meeting led by Bro. Ramon e. Aguilar, Provincial Deputy for Metro Cebu, at the San Nicolas Council Chamber, July 8. Fraternal Benefits Associate, Sis. Allen Bohol, District Deputies, and K of C Council officers in Metro Cebu composed of 12 Districts and 50 councils attended the event. “Though we were not listed in the program, but with our presence in the gathering, KCFAPI was given a slot to promote insurance. With the limited time, we focused in the recruitment of Fraternal Counselors in every council. We appealed to the Grand Knights to recommend one candidate from their council who shall cater to the insurance needs of their fellow brother knights. Area Manager for Central Visayas 1 (CVA1), Bro. Joel Flordelis was introduced to the body since Metro Cebu is under his area,” said Bohol. The event started with a prayer for the Canonization of Fr. Michael J. McGivney led by Bro. Lino Aguilar followed by the singing of the Philippine National Anthem conducted by District Deputy of V-05, Bro. James N. Sumalinog Sr. Bro. George V. Castellano, District Deputy of V-03 delivered

Brother Knights in Cebu City during the Provincial conference.

the welcome address, while Bro. Lino Aguilar gave the Spiritual Orientation to the newly elected

officers. The Provincial Deputy deProvincial / C3

Kick Off Fund Raising Drive Brought Families Together Forward
THe Knights of Columbus Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ Charities, inc. headed by its Chairman Jose C. Reyes, Jr., President Alonso L. Tan, its Treasurer Ruperto P. Somera and Board of Trustee Arsenio Isidro G. Yap, held a successful fund raising project called “Bingo Socials For a Cause”. It was fun, well-organized and brought families of KCFAPI and other families together. The event was held last July 28, 2012 at the 3rd floor KCFAPI Social Hall in Intramuros, Manila. The project aimed to support the scholarship program, and hospitalization of Filipino Diocesan priests and also for the beatification campaign of the fr. George J. Willmann, SJ. The organizers would like to thank its sponsors, Mavima Group, Inc., Keys Realty and Development Corp., BPI Division Corp., Marco Polo – Plaza Cebu and all the other sponsors and councils who made the activity successful.

The participants and guests during the tree planting project of Sto. Santiago Major Council 8580.

THe Sto. Santiago Major Council 8580 of the Luzon Jurisdiction has initiated a tree planting project in Santiago, Ilocos Sur last July 7 with guests from the National Capital Region’s Knights of Columbus participating in the event. Faithful Navigator Danilo F. del Rosario of Maharlika Assembly ACN 1881, who was also the project chairman, solicited some 2,000 mahogany saplings from the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR) “Tanim Kalikasan” and donated t-shirts to the participants. Luzon Jurisdiction State Community Director Romulo V. Estrella and State Ecology Chairman Carlos Gubat, retired DENR official, who came in as guests representing the Luzon Deputy participated in the tree planting, talked about the importance and relevance of the project.

Gubat said the planted seedlings will have to be nurtured for the next five years to ensure their survival. He said this will help reverse the climate change. “Perhaps you are not aware that what you are about to do today will save humanity. Today, we are confronted by the greatest challenge of the century, and that is “climate change.” Climate change means arise in sea level, destructive typhoons, drought, famine, new diseases, and many more calamities that will affect the survival of mankind. Unless we address this problem confronting us, then the generations to come will greatly suffer,” said Gubat. He added once the seedlings have reached their maturity period, they will do their job of reducing carbon emission in the atmosphere, one of the many chemical elements responsible in
Combat / C2

The 2012 Bingo Social winners together with some of the KCFAPI employees and officers headed by EVP Ma. Theresa G. Curia (front row, 4th from right) with KC Foundations Treasurer and Ways & Means Chairman Bro. Ruperto P. Somera (3rd from right) and KC Foundations Executive Director Roberto T. Cruz (2nd from right).

FBG holds Area Managers’ Mid-Year Strategic Conference
THe Fraternal Benefits Group of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) conducted its Luzon Area Managers’ MidYear Strategic Conference last July 18 and 19 at the Heritage Hotel Manila, Pasay City, Philippines. The two-day event was attended by 13 area managers of Luzon, namely: efren V. Mendoza-BIC, efren M. CasupananCLB1, Manuel L. Naldoza-CLC, Victor E. Pulangco-CLD, Vimar L. Trinidad-MMA, Virgilio F. Matias-MMC, Reynaldo D. Valencia-MMD, Aurelio C. Caparas-MME, Armando C. Gonzales-NEL, Salvador R. Aspuria, Sr.-CAR-B, Josefino F. Valencia-NWL, Conrado S. Dator, Jr.-SL and Nonilon D. Ayon-SWL. Each area manager made a presentation regarding their first semester performance and evaluation covering January to June of 2012. The reports include comparison of their target against the actual figures which also includes their individual measurement, analysis and improvement based on the 2012 first and second semester’s plans and programs. VP-Fraternal Benefits Group Gari M. San Sebastian facilitated the entire event. He also reiterConference / C2

Photo shows (back row) Luzon Area Managers, (front row) VP-Fraternal Benefits Group Gari M. San Sebastian, FBG Group Secretary Annalyn D. Malong, Underwriting Manager Carmelita S. Ruiz, Financial Management and Accounting Services Manager Rowena M. Diapolit, KCFAPI EVP Ma. Theresa G. Curia and VP-Information & B.C. Holders’ Services Ronulfo Antero G. Infante.

Hilario G. Davide, Jr.

The Cross
Guillermo N. Hernandez

CBCP Monitor
July 30 - August 12, 2012

Vol. 16 No. 16

Chairman’s Message
OUR The CROSS Supplement to the CBCP Monitor issue (30 July-12 August) focuses on Fr. Michael J. McGivney, the founder of the Knights of Columbus, whose 160th birthday anniversary and 122nd death anniversary we shall celebrate on 12 and 14 August, respectively. He is now a Venerable Servant of God whose reward to the honors of the Altar through his beatification and eventual canonization we members of the K of C in the Philippines, in solidarity with our one million and eight hundred thousand brother knights in the rest of the world and the whole K of C family, unceasingly pray for. Without Fr. McGivney, there would have been no K of C, which now celebrates the 130th anniversary of its founding and which reached the Philippines 107 years ago with the establishment of Council 1000 (Manila Cathedral Council). Without Fr. McGivney, our KCFAPI founder, Fr. George J. Willmann,, SJ, would have not been divinely inspired to found the KCFAPI. In our Prayer for the Canonization of Fr. McGivney, we offer him to Almighty God as “apostle of Christian family life” who “leads the young to the generous service of their neighbor”, and we pray that through his intercession and inspiration, we be prompted to greater confidence in God’s love “so that we may continue his work of caring for the needy and the outcast”. This offering and this prayer for inspiration would be meaningless if the milestones in the life of Fr. McGivney and of the K of C mentioned above would not be validated and authenticated by our thoughts, actions and deeds. We must never be the barren soil on which our prayer for the canonization of Fr. McGivney is planted. VIVAT JESUS!

President’s Message
PReSIDeNT’S MeSSAGe – Part II ON GUARANTEEING OUR COMMITMENT TO OUR BC HOLDERS • Total resources of P3.6 Billion reflected an 8.16% growth from the P3.3 Billion in 2010. • Majority of the P3.4 Billion investment portfolio is in Government Securities and other fixed income securities meeting the prescriptions under the Insurance Code. • Investment yield of 7.87% translated to a net investment revenue of P215.0 Million, exceeding the year-end expectation. • Total insurance contribution in 2011 breached the P500Million level, reaching P501.7 Million, 10.14% higher than previous year’s P455.5 Million. • Net revenue before Participation of BC Holders amounted to P71.9 Million, surpassing year-end target by a significant 30.08%. • Recorded 5.86% growth in the total Net worth to P702.5 Million in 2011 from the P663.7 Million in 2010. • P33.0 Million will be distributed as participation of BC Holders to the Net Revenue. • Provided a total of P8.7 Million as support to foundations and other religious organizations in carrying out their respective mission including scholarship program for deserving college students and seminarians. • Posted Risk Based Capital (RBC) ratio of 212.90%, higher than the 150% required from Mutual Benefit Associations under the Insurance Commission’s prescription. ON GOOD CORPORATE GOVERNANCE AND RISK MANAGEMENT • Implemented relevant manual on Good Governance in line with KCFAPI’S Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws to establish a system and rules of sound corporate governance. • Approved and adopted the revised KCFAPI Code of Ethics which embodies the standards of integrity, conduct and morality in business dealings of the Association with the public. • Implemented relevant KCFAPI Wide Risk Management to ensure continuous operations in the event of a calamity or natural disaster. ON TALENT MANAGEMENT • engaged with Life Office Management Association or LOMA, an international organization known for its reputation as a trusted source for quality employee training and development in the insurance and financial services industry for over 80 years. • Held various employee activities to strengthen the employees’ spiritual and physical well-being and promote a balanced quality of work-life. ON CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY • KCFAPI supports pro-life publications in the broadsheets and CBCP for Life website. • Held outreach projects for the benefit of the students of the Philippine School for the blind and deaf. • Undertaken relief operations in Candaba, Pampanga for the victims of typhoons Pedring and Quiel. • Donated P567,520 for the review of implementation of the acts and decrees stated under the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (PCP-II) in Dioceses. • Turned over P763,000 income from the CBCP Seed of Hope Fund to its then President, Most Reverend Nereo P. Odchimar,DD during the Annual Plenary Assembly in July 2011. • The Gift Giving Committee, a group of volunteer employees, raised funds and provided school supplies to Brgy 658 Day Care Center in Intramuros, Manila; selected student beneficiaries in Cebu; Bito-on I Day Care Center in Jaro, Iloilo; Solidarity Against Oppression (SPOSO) in Davao; Bahay Bulilit Day Care Center in Cagayan de Oro City; and Luzville Day Care Center in Zamboanga. • SIKAP – Micro-finance Program released a total of P825,000 loan amount to 14 Brother Knights engaged in backyard piggery, food vending, furniture making and other livelihood projecs. • Beneficiaries for the respective courses/programs through the Foundations: Current Scholars(2011 - 2012) Theology - 32 Collegiate - 83 Licentiate-Local - 9 Licentiate-Rome - 3 Graduate Scholars (2011 2012) Ordained Priests (Theology) - 117 Ordained Deacons - 3 Licentiate-Local - 16 Licentiate-Rome - 22 College Scholarships - 276 Vocational Scholarships 114 High School - 1 CAUSE FOR THE BEATIFICATION OF FR. GEORGE J. WILLMANN, SJ • Approved the formation of the National Executive Committee (NEC) for the Cause of Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ. • Ongoing major plans for the Cause of Fr. Willmann include: 1) the construction of a Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ museum in KC National Headquarters, and 2) the conception and airing in 2012 of a local radio drama that depicts the life, works, acts, thoughts and actual experiences of Fr. Willmann, particularly in his long-standing mission with the Knights of Columbus. LOOKING FORWARD Through the guidance and support of the Board of Trustees and the unwavering spirit of management, staff and field representatives in meeting the demands of the ever changing economic and social environment, your Association stood up to the challenges and emerged stronger and more stable than ever in 2011. Looking forward, KCFAPI has programs anchored on supporting pro-life activities and the cause for the canonization of Venerable Fr. Michael J. McGivney, founder of the Order of Knights of Columbus. Your Association seeks to further excel in carrying out its mission of service not only to the KC family but also to the rest of the Catholic faithful throughout the country. With more fervor, your Association remains steadfast in spreading the blessings of life in 2012. Vivat Jesus!

The Cause for the Beatification of Father George J. Willmann, SJ
EMULATING the virtues that bespeak of sanctity of a person, like Father George J. Willmann, is what we need today to draw us into a deeper living out of the fullest meaning of our Catholic Faith in the context of increasing secularism. Thus, we believe, is one of the most important objectives in initiating the Cause of the good Father George. As prescribed by the Congregation for Causes of Saints in Rome, a person may be elevated to the honors of the altar if he has lived up to a “heroic” degree of the supernatural virtues of faith, hope and charity, as well as the cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance. We believe that Father Willmann practiced them all to an exceptional degree. In order to establish and widen the fame of Sanctity of Father Willmann, may we call on all Brother Knights, their families and friends to respond to the following appeal: • Submission of testimonies on Fr. Willmann’s heroic virtues; • Recitation of Prayer for his Beatification in private and during K of C meetings and affairs; • Invocation of his intercession in our prayers; • Submission of Reports on answered prayers through the intercession of Father Willmann; • Visitation of his tomb in the Sacred Heart Novitiate Cemetery, Novaliches, Quezon City. • Membership to Fr. George J. Willmann Fellows. This is a challenge for all of us Knights of Columbus members, who dearly love Father George J. Willmann, SJ.

Guillermo N. Hernandez

Search for Outstanding Luzon Chief Squire begins
THe Luzon Jurisdiction has officially launched the search for the “Outstanding Luzon Chief Squire” who dynamically serves as a role model to the youth. The search was conceptualized and designed to give due recognition to Luzon Squires particularly the Chief Squire who lives by the organization’s purpose, and have shown good moral character, exemplary leadership and involvement within his circle, Church and community, according to Luzon Columbian Squires Chairman Jose Cuaresma.. The search is open to all Chief Squires, past or incumbent. It aims to nurture the Squire’s commitment in promoting the principles of the Columbian Squires, encourage stewardship in his respective circles, strengthen his faith in God by promoting spirituality within his fellow Squires, and serve as a role model in Church and to his community. Target date for the screening of nominees is on April 5, 2013 while the awarding ceremony is yet to be announced. For the nomination form and other inquiries, please call (02) 527-2223. (Luzon News)

Prayer for the Beatification of Father George J. Willmann, SJ

Metro-wide celebration for Catholic Youth Organization’s founding anniversary
THe Catholic Youth Organization in the Philippines has improved the lives of literally millions of the young Filipinos since Fr. George Willmann established it in 1938. In celebration of its founding anniversary, the CYO’s National executive Board held a metro-wide festivity on July 28 from 3 to 6 p.m. at Sta. Clara de Montefalco Parish, Pasay City. The main objective of the activity was to continue and enrich the bonds and camaraderie among the members of each unit. It was also a special moment where they can re-discover their founding structures and reminisce their preserved precious and joyful moments which the members experienced from their different respective units.
Combat / C1

LORD God, look down upon us, your children, who are trying to serve You with all our hearts, in our beloved land, the Philippines. Deign to raise Fr. George J. Willmann, of the Society of Jesus, to the honors of the altar. He is the wise, strong, cheerful, dauntless model that all of our Filipino men need in this new era, in this new millennium. He was your Knight, Your gentle warrior, especially in his ministry with the Knights of Columbus.

A man leading other men, in the war of good against evil, in the war of the Gospel of Life against the Culture of Death. Make him the lamp on the lamp stand giving light to all in the house. Make him the city set on the mountain, which cannot be hid, so that all of us may learn from his courage, his integrity, his indomitable spirit in the struggle to lead men to God, and to bring God to man. We ask you this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

CYO Interim National President Aries Brecino had reminded participants to bring candles for the inducting officers, food and drinks, unit presentation showing a youth of CYO of the new generation, Unit’s past activities to be reported briefly by unit’s incumbent president. “Together with this celebration, we will also be conducting a “Renewal Of Charter”. All units are requested to submit a complete list of recently elected Officers, unit roster of members indicating information of each member such as name, address, gender, birth date, date they joined CYO and date of admission in CYO, Charter Fee of P200 (annually), Membership Fee of P25 per member (annually), Unit roster of applicants, and

Unit Banner on or before the event. Most of the CYO chapters serve as choirs in their parishes. They also organize various activities like sports, spiritual, social, cultural, and for spiritual formation of the youths at their respective communities. All of these projects have helped in nurturing the faith of the Filipino Christian youth to their holistic growth, leadership capabilities, cultural and artistic talents, and most importantly, love for the family and for the community. Participation in the CYO’s Youth Development Programs enhances self-esteem and motivates the young to make positive life choices, giving a great impact on their families and communities. (KC News)

Luzon Jurisdiction to assign ‘‘District Squires Coordinators’’
THe office of the Luzon Deputy of the Knights of the Columbus in the Philippines has directed all District Deputies to appoint a ‘District Squires Coordinator’ to facilitate the systematic implementation, coordination, information dissemination and reports monitoring of the Columbian Squires in the Luzon Jurisdiction. According to Luzon Columbian Squires Chairman Jose Cuaresma the District Deputies are mandated to appoint the District Squires Coordinator, distinct from the District Youth Director. Among the District Squires Coordinators, the office of the Luzon Deputy will appoint the Diocesan Squires Chairman, he added. Moreover, the District Squires Coordinators are tasked to represent their District in the Diocesan Squires Assembly (chaired by the Diocesan Squires Chairman), attend meetings pertaining to Luzon Columbian Squire, supervise, guide, advise, and monitor the Columbian Squires Circles, organize the District Youth Counselors Team, monitor and follow up all Circle’s reports, monitor the developments of Squires to Knights Program in their Districts, and do related works assigned by the State Squires Chairman, District Deputy, and the Diocesan Squires Chairman. (Luzon News)

destroying the ozone layer, thus causing climate change. Gubat also acknowledged the participants for joining them. “Proudly, you can say, that in your own little way, you have done your share for the survival of mankind. Lastly, may I remind you also that God created man as the steward of his creation,” he said. The Power of One The parish priest of St. James the Greater Fr. Reginald Paul Pira blessed the plant site and seedlings while Fr. Rally S. Gonzaga OFM Cap, former parish Priest of Sta. Teresita del Niño Jesus Parish of Quezon City led the invocation and participated in the tree planting.
Conference / C1

Officers of Sta. Teresita Council 12308 Sta. Mesa Heights Quezon City sponsored and facilitated the project. Themed “The Power of ONe”, the project “Plant for the Future” showed unity between two distant councils, assembly, parish and various organizations, graced and witnessed by Luzon Jurisdiction State Officials. Grand Knight (GK) Severino Corpuz, a retired public school teacher and Bro. Mario Singson, former barangay captain of Santiago and officers of Council 8580 coordinated with their parish, various government agencies, non-government agencies and schools in the tree planting. The coordinators thanked the active participation of the

following organizations: Parish Pastoral Council of St. James the Greater, the Local Government of Santiago, Philippine National Police (PNP), Municipal Association of Non-Government Organization (MANGO), Federation of Senior Citizens, Santiago Catholic School, Barangay Mambug Council and DENR “Tanim Kalikasan.” 350 participants as ONE Grand Knight Francis Layag and the officers of Council 12308 organized and facilitated the event. They travelled 360 km from Manila together with Luzon Jurisdiction State Officials. Faithful Navigator del Rosario provided transportation, food and accommodations for the

state officers. Bro. estrella whose birthday coincided with the tree planting day said that he enjoyed doing community service better than celebrating his birthday with friends. In this regard Bro. del Rosario presented a big lechon as his birthday gift at the fellowship after the tree planting. Sidelight of the trip to Ilocos was the Visita Iglesia of old churches and World Heritage Sites in Ilocos Sur, swimming at the tourist destination Santiago Cove, enjoying a snack of “empanada” at Vigan empanadaan (project of Vigan Heritage Conservation Program). Empanada is a vintage “merienda” of the Biguenos similar to the Mexican tacos. (KC News)

ated the association’s aims in hitting this year’s targets. On the other hand, VP-Information and BC Holders’ Services Ronulfo Antero G. Infante answered all the area managers’ inquiries and concerns regarding Benefit Certificate matters and updates under his group. Underwriting Manager Carmelita

S. Ruiz and FMAS Manager Rowena M. Diapolit served as panelists during the area managers’ presentation. Meanwhile, KCFAPI EVP Ma.Theresa G. Curia delivered an inspirational message based on the story “The Law of the Seed”. In a nutshell, the story showed how successful people fail more often but despite their fail-

ures they still continue on their endeavours. She also mentioned it was important for everyone to help each other for the success of the Association. The conference concluded with the area managers’ summary and submission of reports on the second day. (MFMedina/ FBG News)

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 16 No. 16
July 30 - August 12, 2012

The Cross


Defending Our Catholic Identity
The witness of Knights during the persecution of the Church in Mexico provides lessons as we defend religious freedom today
By Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson
NeARLY 20 years ago, Blessed John Paul II visited the United States and urged us to protect our First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion. Speaking in 1995 in Baltimore, he said these words, quoted by our supreme chaplain, Archbishop William Lori, at his installation as archbishop of Baltimore in May: “The challenge facing you, dear friends, is to increase people’s awareness of the importance of religious freedom for society; to defend that freedom against those who would take religion out of the public domain and establish secularism as America’s official faith. And it is vitally necessary, for the very survival of the American experience, to transmit to the next generation the precious legacy of religious freedom and the convictions which sustain it.” What foresight those words show. Blessed John Paul II’s words ring true today with renewed importance. What is at stake in our current defense of religious freedom is not simply the right of Catholics to practice our faith freely and without having to become entangled and complicit in actions that violate our conscience. That would be bad enough. But what is also at stake is the question of who defines the mission and purpose of the Catholic Church itself. As I noted in my speech at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in April, the federal government has sought to interfere with the identity of religion twice in the past year. First, there was a case that dealt with whether the government or a church should decide who should be considered a minister. In that case—Hosanna Tabor v. EEOC—the administration argued that the definition of a minister should be restricted. It would have eliminated the “ministerial exception” that protects religions from employment laws when it comes to those in ministry. According to the government, if any “ministerial exception” in employment exists, it should be strictly “limited to those employees who perform exclusively religious functions.” Such reasoning caused Chief Justice John Roberts to ask during oral argument whether even the pope could meet the administration’s definition of a religious minister. And it caused the Supreme Court to unanimously disagree with the administration saying, “We are unsure whether any such employees exist,” because even the highest ranking churchmen have “a mix of duties.” Similarly, the HHS mandate allows only the narrowest exemption for religious institutions—covering only institutions that primarily hire and serve members of their own faith. As Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston put it: “Jesus himself, or the Good Samaritan … would not qualify as ‘religious enough’ for the exemption, since they insisted on helping people who did not share their view of God.” Christ called all Christians to reach beyond their own denominations in teaching “all nations,” considering everyone their “neighbor,” and doing “good to those who hate” them. He defined our “neighbor” as anyone in need — and in his parable of the Good Samaritan, Christ specifically included those of other religions in his definition of neighbor. In the Hosanna Tabor case, the Supreme Court unanimously characterized the government’s position as allowing “government interference with an internal church decision that affects the faith and mission of the church itself.” Precisely the same can be said of the HHS mandate. The definition of religion in the exemption redefines the basic tenets and mission of Christianity. And a government willing to affect the tenets and mission of the Church is a government willing to change the identity of the Church. Secularism sees religion as something that should be limited to “freedom of worship,” as something that should happen in church buildings only, and not be brought into the public square. But our First Amendment guarantees us free exercise of religion, and fundamental to this is our ability to follow the principles of our religion as defined by Christ, not by the government. We have seen these two serious threats to religious freedom in the past year. The first lost in court, the second is unpopular

in the court of public opinion. Indeed, the HHS mandate may well be reversed legislatively or legally, but there could be future threats as well. As we celebrate Independence

Day, and the rights “endowed by our Creator,” we would do well to pause and recall these often quoted words: “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” Vivat Jesus!

Angelito A. Bala

Frequently Asked Questions Q. What is a child life insurance?
A. A child life insurance will be handy in preparing for the child's future. A parent may purchase various forms of life insurance to help prepare for the needs related to the various stages of a child's life. A child life insurance can only be bought by a payor who is directly related to him/her, that is, the payor is either the child's parent or guardian. Child life insurance is a plan that is seldom or rarely bought, perhaps, because it is hard for a parent or a loved one to even think about the possible loss of his/her child. However, unexpected things happen, sometimes unusual events happen and the parent would want to prepare for these by looking into child life insurance. Be reminded that as parents, make sure that you are adequately insured yourselves before you even think about buying child life insurance. You will want to make sure that your child is adequately protected financially in the event of your loss. KCFAPI presently offers a child life insurance with built-in college savings, funds that will help finance a parent’s dream of providing his/her child a lasting legacy: college education. The plan is payable for only six years and the first semestral college benefit will be paid on the child’s attainment of insurance age 16. There will be a total of 10 semestral benefits plus a graduation cash gift upon reaching insurance age 21. Not only is the child insured up to age 21, the payor is also protected. The child is likewise shielded from unforeseen events like death or total and permanent disability of the payor. The child is assured of going to college: contributions are waived and generous elementary and high school education assistance from insurance age 5 to 15. Want to know more? Ask your Fraternal Counselor and inquire about KC Enhanced College Savings Plan.

Weeklong celebration for KCFAPI’s 54th anniversary underway
THe Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) will hold a weeklong celebration for its 54th founding anniversary. The celebration will begin on the birth date of the Blessed Virgin Mary on September 8. Proposed activities include Marian exhibit, mass wedding, binyagan-bayan, medical mission and feeding program. On the second day, September 9 will be the KCFAPI’s founding anniversary celebration. The KCFAPI’s dedicated employees will hold a photo exhibit and a basketball tournament. September 10 will be a BC Holders Day. There will also be distribution of rosaries and Novena Mass in honor of the Blessed Mother Mary. A Wealth Management and Estate Planning seminar and pick a prize for walk-in BC Holders will be held on September 11 during the Fraternal Benefits Group (FBG) and Foundations’ Day. On September 12, a day for the Cause of Fr. Michael J. McGivney and Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ will be held. Activities will include recognition and giving of service/loyalty awards to employees, rewarding FCs with high net worth prospects and valued BC holders, and a wealth management and estate planning seminar. On September 13, a mini concert and dinner dance will be held at the Manila Grand Opera Hotel. On the last day of the weeklong celebration will be the commemoration of the death anniversary of the K of C local founder Fr. Willmann. A TV Mass will be held at the San Agustin Church and a wreath laying ceremony will be conducted. The airing of the much-awaited Fr. Willmann radio drama will be played during the weeklong celebration from September 10 to 13 at 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. “On its 54th year… reckoned from its registration with the SEC as a non-stock and notfor-profit mutual benefit association, KCFAP is vigorously implementing and pursuing its efforts and programs to provide protection benefits to the Members of the K of C in the Philippines. Its fidelity to its commitment to provide such benefits is unparalleled as evidenced by the continuing increase of its total protection portfolio to brother Knights and their families,” said KCFAPI Chairman Hilario G. Davide. (KCFAPI News)

Our Lady of the Pillar Council wins international award
THe Our Lady of the Pillar Council No. 14569 of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines has won the International Service Award for Community Activity in their project, "First and Second Responders" of the KC Disaster Response. “Congratulations to GK Jimmy J. Laranang and to all the officers and members of Co. 14569. Grand Knight Jimmy and wife will be invited to attend the 130th Supreme Council Convention in Anaheim, California,” said Luzon Deputy Arsenio Isidro Yap. The Supreme Council will shoulder the airfare, hotel and some incidental expenses. And the recipient of the award is also invited to attend the State Dinner. “I hope this will encourage other councils to submit their worthwhile projects to the Luzon Service Program contest by April 30, 2013. The top winners in the six service program category will be Luzon's Official Entry for the International Service Program Contest,” Yap added. Meanwhile, the Luzon Deputy clarified that normally for every recruit, the recruiter gets 500 reward points, but for a limited period. If the following officers – Grand Knight, Deputy Grand Knight, Chancellors, Warden, Financial Secretary, Treasurer, Recorder, Advocate, three Trustees and Inside and Outside Guards - total of 13 will be able to recruit ONE each by September 15, the council will receive a total of 26,000 reward points, said Yap. “This can be exchange for merchandise from our Supreme Council. Form 185 must be submitted and will be the basis to identify the 13 officers. Form 100 must reach the Supreme Office not later than Sept 30. Good luck, God Bless, and thanks for your support,” Yap ended. (KC News)

TV / C1

KCFAPI-Iloilo holds FST, mid-year meeting
THe Iloilo Service Office of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) has conducted a two-day Fraternal Service Training (FST) and Area Managers meeting on June 22 and 23 at the KCFAPI local office in Iloilo City. Eight newly accredited Fraternal Counselors―2 from Negros and 6 from Iloilo― together with three Western Visayas Area Managers ― Renerio G. Ganzon, Western Visayas Armors, Rufino G. Leanoras, Western Visayas Bulls, and Raymond S. Depol, Western Visayas Crusaders attended the event. Visayas Fraternal Benefits Manager Rudolph Gerald Elizaga discussed on the first day the essentials of being an FC, KCFAPI FST modules 1 and 2 including the Gold Series Plans: KC Capital Accumulator Plan, KC Assurance Plan, KC Retire Plus Plans, KC Enhanced College Savings Plan and KC Super Saver Plan. He also tackled the Special Plan for Elderly Knights (SPEK), Fraternal Accidental and Death Benefit (FADB), Revised Plans (OLE- Ordinary Life, Limited Pay Life and Endowment Plans) and underwriting module with the 2012 FCs incentive. Fraternal Benefits Group Vice President Gari M. San Sebastian was also present and discussed various selling techniques and important know how’s. He also answered queries of the new FCs and led the Area Managers Meeting on the second day. Also on the second day, Visayas State Deputy Rodrigo N. Sorongon delivered a short message during luncheon. He stated various ways on how the new FCs can help the KCFAPI achieve its goals and for the Order of the Knights of Columbus to attain its membership

Antonio, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia and currently the youngest bishop in the country. In line with tradition, the solemnity of the mass will be recorded to be aired over Channel 13 on September 16, 2012, Sunday from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. Don’t miss this annual opportunity for all of us to acknowledge the service, kindness and dedication that Fr. George unselfishly showered not only on the Knights of Columbus in th Philippines and the members of their families but also on the different communities then that

called for assistance, attention and understanding. Come one, come all. Together, let us demonstrate thru this simple offering how we recognize and appreciate everything that Fr. George J. Willmann accomplished over forty-four years of his life for the Order of the Knights of Columbus – us, his brother knights, his adopted kababayans, his extended family. Once again, see you on September 14, 2012, Friday, 9:00 a.m. at the San Agustin Church. (Roberto T. Cruz)
Provincial / C1

The Area Managers and Fraternal Counselors of the Western Visayas together with Visayas State Deputy Rodrigo N. Sorongon, FBG Vice President Gari M. San Sebastian and the Bishop’s Secretary Fr. Nathaniel Gentizon.

targets as well. He also expressed gratitude to all Brother Knights in the Visayan Region for their unrelenting support to the Order. The participants had a photo opportunity

at the Jaro Cathedral together with the Bishop’s Secretary Fr. Nathaniel Gentizon and other FCs of the Western Visayas Bulls ending the two-day event. (MFMedina/ FBG News)

livered comprehensively the 10 Thrusts of the Visayas Jurisdiction and echoed what had transpired in the District Deputies’ Organizational Meeting held last June 30, 2012 at Ecotech Center, Cebu City. Even as he expressed that nothing is new in the duties and responsibilities of council officers, he reminded and urged the officers to be aware of their individual functions. Bro. Kenneth Rivera, District Deputy of V-02, talked about the necessary forms and the corresponding dates of submission to the Supreme Office. Furthermore, he discussed the various awards that a council or district may achieve. (KCFAPI News)


The Cross

CBCP Monitor

July 30 - August 12, 2012

Vol. 16 No. 16

“Fraternal Whispers from the Heart”
An entertainment-filled evening showcasing the world renowned THE COLLEGE OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION CHORALE and ballroom enthusiasts dancing to the music of the ultimate latin band in town - SABOR LATINO BAND. Get your tickets now for an opportunity to SUPPORT PRIESTS AND PRIESTLY VOCATIONS. This will be on September 13, 2012 at 6:00 P.M. at the Manila Grand Opera Hotel, Manila. This activity is headed by Bros. Ruperto P. Somera and Arsenio Isidro G. Yap, Chairman and Vice-Chairman, respectively of the Knights of Columbus Fr. George J. Willmann Charities, Inc.’s Ways and Means Committee, together with Justice Jose C. Reyes and Alonso L. Tan, the foundation’s Chairman and President, respectively. This undertaking is in coordination with the KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS FRATERNAL ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILS., INC. headed by Hilario G. Davide, Jr. , Chairman, Guillermo N. Hernandez, President and Ma. Theresa G. Curia, Executive Vice President.

KC Squires hold essay writing contest
THe Divine Mercy Council 15139 and the Divine Mercy Circle 5503 of St. Pio of Pietrelcina Parish held an essay writing contest in collaboration with Ville St. John Academy located at Marcelo Green Village, Maharlika Avenue, Phase V, Marcelo Green Village, Parañaque City. The contest launched last July 16, 2012 with the theme “My Digital Life as a Catholic Youth” was open to all high school students of Ville St. John Academy, run by the congregation of the Sisters of St. John the Baptist. The contest is the K of C’s response to the call of Pope Benedict the XVI during the 45th World Communications Day in 2011 (Truth, Proclamation and Authenticity of Life in the Digital Age), when His Holiness invited the whole world to join the network of relationships which the digital era has made possible, provided that they confidently bring along an informed and responsible creativity. Based on the Divine Mercy Council’s facebook account (http:// www.facebook.com/TheDivineMercyKnightsofColumbus), the social networking trend and other popular internet activities are continuously sinking its way down into the culture of today’s youth. If unguided, these things may become distractions to a student’s academic and spiritual growth.

200 Brother Knights join Nueva Ecija, Aurora officers’ 2012 orientation

It was also cited that the Church, parents and educators are coping up well by constantly finding and acting out ways of balancing these aspects that affect these young people of “Generation Z.” Meanwhile, the promotional tarpaulin banner of the essay writing contest illustrates that the Facebook and Twitter dialog boxes are symbolic manifestations of important facts of the Catholic faith and do not exist in the real websites. “1.165… billion” (mutual friends/followers) represents the number of Catholics worldwide from year 2000 to 2008, the same period when social networking sites gained popularity.

“7,956” (tweets) represents the number of verses in the New Testament. “1” (following) represents Jesus’ obedience to God, the Father Almighty. And, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life.” (bio) is from John 14:6. The Knights of Columbus Essay Writing Contest is a project under the Youth Service Program of K of C Council 15139 and the Service Activity Committee of the Columbian Squires Circle 5503. Two winners will receive certificates and cash prizes. Deadline of entries is on December 3, 2012 and the awarding of winners will be on March 2013. (KC News)

MORe than 200 Brother Knights joined the 2012 Officers’ Orientation in the local provinces mobilized by the Round Table of District Deputies (RTDD) of Nueva Ecija and Aurora on July 14, 2012 held at the Crystal Waves, Talavera, Nueva Ecija. Regional Membership Director and KCFAPI Area Manager Manuel Naldoza revealed their success on the membership recruitment and insurance system and explained why they needed to recruit more members and who to recruit. “We need more people who will participate in the Mission of the Order to conduct programs

for the Church, family, council, communities, youth and culture of life”, said Naldoza. He also encouraged every council to bring 4 candidates on the First Degree exemplification on July 28, 2012. “We also encourage the presence of the better half [of the Brother Knights] in the orientation and the spiritual formation since we are a family organization,” Naldoza added. Meanwhile, RTDD Chairman Dindo Berino explained that the undeniable duty of the Brother Knights is to take care of the widows and orphan. Berino also showed the demo-

graphics of the K of C members and Councils in their areas. Cabanatuan Diocese has 30 councils and 4,970 members; San Jose Diocese has 21 councils and 4,341 members; and Infanta prelature with 9 councils and 1,513 members. Berino urged everyone to show genuine appreciation to all Brother Knights who have done their best and offered some help or assistance. “A good time to encourage our Brother Knights is after he has successfully completed a task. A positive attitude can motivate us even to a higher standard of excellence,” he added. (Yen Ocampo)

Council 1000 holds installation, induction of officers

KC News Briefs
• K of C Council 9630 of the San Luis na Hari Parish in Aurora established a Knights of Columbus chamber or assembly hall headed by I-41 District Deputy Panfilo Diesta. Mrs. Lilia Calderon Tangson, mother of Mayor Annabel Tangson of San Luis, Aurora donated the lot. The assembly hall is set to finish before the year 2012 ends and will be inaugurated by Parish Priest Fr. Israel Gabriel. • HOLY Rosary Council 10187 of Calaba, San Isidro, Nueva ecija conducted a tree planting project, Bless Life Monument, and a façade of Ten Commandments. Past Grand Knight and Financial Secretary Cecilio Domingo said they should have a standby fund for the immediate needs of their community most especially during calamities. • THe K of C Council 9054 of the Our Lady of Fatima Parish in General Natividad, Nueva Ecija will establish an “Unborn Monument” this year, according to Grand Knight emiliano Quejada. He also encouraged his fellow Brother Knights to organize more fund raising activities to help their communities. • SIX-term Financial Secretary Nolasco Angelo of Council 4277 in San Isidro Nueva Ecija encouraged his colleagues to look for more source of funding. “Pag pumasok ka sa KC hindi ka kikita magbibigay ka pa, kaya habang nabubuhay tayo, gumagawa tayo ng mabuti sa kapwa natin,” he said. “I don't know what it’s like for most Brother Knights, but it is clear to me that helping has always been the fulfillment of my personal being. It’s about being a person I've always wanted to be,” he added. • NeWLY elected Grand Knight Silvino Baradi of Co. 9449 in Sta. Cecilia Parish has planned to conduct a mass feeding for the street children and to reactivate the Black Rosary Movement. “even from afar I want to establish a coordinator committee to reactivate the black rosary movement, this is what we need today,” Baradi said. • BeNJAMIN Pecson of the Divine Shepherdess Co. 7400 in San Nicolas De Tolentino in Gapan City said they are establishing an assembly hall about 500 meters away from their church. The construction of the assembly hall started last year and is about to finish next year. “Senator Bong Revilla helped us to conduct a ‘caroling’ last Christmas in the Senate. The expenses for the assembly hall came from it,” Pecson said. • PADRe Crisostomo Co. 6000 in Cabanatuan City offered vocational courses such as building wiring installation for refrigerators and airconditioners, computer literacy, computer technician, radio mechanic, dress making, among others. “The program is open to all children or grand children of Co. 6000 members. We made this program in commemoration of our Past Grand Knight Danilo Chua,” said Deputy Grand Knight Larry Santos. • FORMeR District Deputy Rolando Frany of Zaragosa Co. 6838 in Nueva ecija said he aimed to strengthen the membership of the Order by spreading what the fraternal organization could offer them. “As a retired AFP official and fraternal counselor for 12 years, I recommend the insurance or benefits offered by KCFAPI. The Order didn’t hesitate to help our family unlike other insurance companies. At KCFAPI, I guarantee 100% that you will get your check within 24 hours” said Frany. • FReDDIe Nieves of Zaragosa Co. 6838 said they are constructing an assembly hall and they will conduct a bloodletting project by next month in coordination with Philippine National Red Cross. • A BROTHeR Knight of Co. 9489 Baler, Aurora and GMA News correspondent Ronald Madrid said being a K of C member helped him in promulgating the truth through media. He added there is no difference between large and small problems, in matters of truth and justice most specifically on the issues concerning the society. “Tinuruan ako ng Order na huwag matakot sa propesyon ko bilang isang media practitioner, ang mahalaga nagsasabi tayo ng totoo,” Madrid cited. • SAN Jose Council 4073 Grand Knight Rogelio Santos advised other Brother Knights in Cabanatuan to avoid suspension and send the payment of Brother Knights to the Office of the Luzon Deputy within 60 days from billing date, even without the statement coming from the Supreme Council. “Just compute the amount due by multiplying P6.75 per member per semester with the number of your council members less Honorary Life and Disabled members,” he added. • THe Columbian Squires Francisco Marto Circle 3340 of San Marcelino Zambales will hold a free investiture on July 28. For more information, please contact Brother Patrick at mobile number 09151118798. • “THe Quest for Knighthood Begins by Becoming a Squire,” so says the title printed on the tarpaulins and other materials used by the Divine Mercy Circle 5503 of St. Pio of Pietrelcina Parish. The parish also used some online video characters to encourage young people to be a squire. For interested parties, please look for Mark Vallono at mobile number 0933-9861563.

The members of the council 1000 together with CBCP Media Office Director and K of C Spiritual Director, Msgr. Pedro Quitorio III (Center).

THe first council of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines (Manila Council 1000) held an installation of officers and Induction of Service Directors & Committee Chairmen last July 15 at the Casa Marinero, Intramuros, Manila. The program was divided into 4 parts: Fraternal Mass presided by Rev. Fr. Peter A. Casino, OSA followed by the installation, fraternal dinner and entertainment, and the program proper. Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio III, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Media Director, K of C Assistant State Chaplain for Luzon and KCFAPI Spiritual Director delivered his inspirational message as the guest of honor. The new Council 1000 officers for the year 2012-2013 are: Chaplain Rev. Fr. Peter A. Casino, OSA, Grand Knight Antonio T. Hernandez, Deputy Grand Knight and Program Director Enrique V. Mangona, Chancellor Jun S. Florendo, Past Grand Knight and Recorder Florentino B. Rosario, Financial Secretary Julius Caesar DL Espejo, Treasurer Arnold M. Marcaida, Advocate Michael e. Obligacion, Warden Bernard R. Nabing, Inside Guard Danilo S. Padua, Outside Guard Vernie Ramos, Outside Guard Manuel T. Garcia, 3-year Trustee Roderick J. Baduria, 2-year Trustee edwin R. Quinones, 1-year Trustee Romeo Miranda, Jr., and Past Grand Knight and Lecturer Cornelio B. Cagurangan,. Service Directors are: Fernando R. Sumang, Membership; Antonio B. Tena, Council; Mark Anthony P. Janer, Church; Jay P. Ballon, Community;

Edwin A. Delos Santos, Family; Jermie Jose J. Trasga, Youth; and Patrio A. Guaza, Pro-Life. The following are the committee chairmen: June S. Florendo, Recruitment & Admission; Fermin M. Payuan, Retention, Dante Ticzon, PGK, Insurance Promotion; Pedro Leorna, Jr., Historical Orientation; edwin B. Dawal, PGK, Vocation; Fulgencio M. Nofies, Parochial Services; Jomari D. Baay, Living Rosary and Light Up for Christ; and Reymark F. Hipolito, KCMC 1000 Choir. Jeric P. Ballon, Operation Alis Dengue 3; Danilo S. Padua, Blood Letting Program; John P. Ballon, Volunteerism & Public Safety; June Prado, Athletics; Mario H. Baldo 2012 Christmas Get-Together; Lester Aquino, 2012 Bingo Bonanza; Cesar S. Galang, PGK, Civic Involvement and Public Relations; Elmer Z. Eroles, PGK, Fraternal Assistance; Jermie Jose J. Trasga, Youth Welfare and Columbian Squires; and Patrio A. Guaza, Human Needs. And the Special Committees are: Santiago L. Morante, PGK, Awards; Mario T. Piamonte, PGK, Building Fund and Project; Albert T. Limqueco, PGK, Ways and Means; and Diosdado A. Sapo, PGK, Special Events. For the Budget Committee the members are Ricarte S. Sabio (PGK), Edwin B. Dawal (PGK), Noel S. Lacanilao (PGK), Jose A. Lakas, Jr. (PGK) and Enrique V. Mangona (DGK). Council 1000 located within the Walled City of Intramuros, Manila was the first Council established by the Knights of Columbus in the country on April 23, 1905. (KC News)