November 19 - December 2, 2012

Vol. 16 No. 24

Php 20.00

Representatives of family and life groups flash thumbs-down sign, as they shout “No to RH bill” at a rally against “foreign meddling” in establishing a population control policy in the country during the Summit on Family Planning in the Business Sector at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), Pasay City on Nov. 15, 2012. The Summit that was organized by the British government with the Bill and Belinda Gates Foundation, United Nations Population Fund and foreign pharmaceutical firms—and attended by big business groups in the country not famous for helping the poor—proved fatal to the campaign that the RH bill is pro-Filipino, pro-poor and pro-women.

Determining when life begins crucial – bishop
WHILE senators are still arguing over when life begins, Catholic Church officials said there are more reasons to be apprehensive of the reproductive health (RH) bill. Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes said that “common sense” dictates that the government should be more careful in providing the public with birth control pills and other family planning devices. The chairman of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Family and Life (ECFL)
Life / A6

Foreign meddling in RH bill ‘confirmed’
By Diana Uichanco

THE cat is now out of the bag. The recent Summit on Family Planning in the Business Sector organized by foreign government and agencies may have been a last-ditch attempt to push the reproductive health bill forward, but it unwittingly revealed what its proponents and supporters have been denying: that the measure is of foreign origin.
Former Senator Francisco “Kit” Tatad said everything that RH bill

critics have been saying about the “alien origin and design” of the bill has now been confirmed. He said the summit was a strong proof to their claim that many people found to be “too outlandish” to be believed before. “The summit unmasked the Filipino authors, sponsors, and supporters of this bill, who have all been posturing as nationalists and progressives, champions of women’s rights, maternal health and poverty eradication, as nothing but puppets and petty agents of a foreign consortium,” Tatad said. “Now is the time to say, ‘now you have been found out,’” he said during the National “Philippines for Life” Congress at the Summit Circle Hotel in Cebu City on November 17. Real deal The summit, held at the Philippine

International Convention Center on Nov. 15 and hosted by the British government with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, United Nations Population Fund and with a number of large European and American pharmaceutical firms, was a sequel to the London Family Planning Summit held in July where the BMGF raised $4.6 billion for putting 120 million poor women in developing countries on birth control. Critics, however, recognize this bid to fund RH services in developing countries as part of the depopulation agenda on poor nations specifically in Africa and Asia. “If the PICC summit was meant to exert pressure on the congressmen or Malacañang to make a last-minute push for the RH bill, it could only have achieved the opposite result,” Tatad said.

“For the summit exposed the real imperialist authorship of the highly unconstitutional, immoral and antiCatholic population control bill, and not even Pnoy can afford to be publicly labelled as an imperial poodle, a lap dog. He decided not to attend the summit,” he said. According to Tatad, who has made the rounds of international conferences on development, family and life issues in the past several decades as a lawmaker and Cabinet official, and continues to participate in global efforts to deal with socio-political concerns, Family Planning Summits similar to those conducted in London and Manila had taken place in other parts of the world, with the Gates couple—long known for the eugenicist direction their foundation is taking—at the helm.
Foreign / A6

Consistory to expand variety in College of Cardinals
SHORTLY after announcing he was creating six new cardinals, Pope Benedict XVI said he was doing so to show that “the church is a church of all peoples, (and) speaks in all languages.” The six new “princes of the church” hail from six different countries in North America, Latin America, Africa and Asia, and represent both the Latin-rite of the Catholic Church as well as two of the Eastern Catholic Churches. Inducting them into the College of Cardinals Nov. 24, Pope Benedict will bring up to 120 the number of cardinal-electors— those under the age of 80 and eligible to vote in a conclave to elect a new pope. With the exception of the Catholic newspaper Avvenire, the headlines in Italian newspapers the morning after Pope Benedict announced the new cardinals all pointed out the absence of new Italian or new European cardinals. Painting the pope's move as drastic and trying to make sense of it, Il Foglio and several other papers jumped to the conclusion that the pope deliberately excluded Italians because of the “VatiLeaks” scandal. The scandal saw the publication of private Vatican and papal correspondence, much of it painting a picture of careerism and corruption in the Vatican, mostly involving Italian curial officials and bishops.

FOI bill’s fate lies in Aquino’s hands
A CATHOLIC bishop said that the passage of a crucial measure for transparency and accountability in the government lies on one man’s hands: President Benigno Aquino III. Manila Auxiliary v said if Aquino really wants reform in the government, he would exert all efforts possible to pass the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill. Otherwise, he said, the lack of political will on the part of the President to push the measure is mirrored in the lack credible commitment to root out irregularities in the

Obama’s pro-abortion stance, a concern for PH
WITH the re-election of proabortion president Barack Obama, freedom of choice is being thrown out the window for numerous Americans, who can expect more coercion when it comes to supporting a government mandate that violates their moral values, said a young Filipino. “While I am not an American voter, I am concerned about Obama’s being vehemently pro-choice. Not only does he support abortion rights, but he also wants to implement an all-encompassing healthcare policy that covers contraception, sterilization, and abortion-causing drugs,” said writer and life advocate Nicole Bautista. “I mean, sure, if you don’t want to avail of it, don’t take it, right? But this governmentfunded policy forces the hand of people regardless of their beliefs, to pay for something they don’t believe in with their hard-earned money— through their taxes.” Bautista, who appeared in a video produced by Human
Obama / A6

Consistory / A6

LAMENTING the government’s inaction to their appeal, a Catholic nun who has been helping the Ati tribe’s fight for their ancestral land in Boracay said they feel ‘helpless’.

Sr. Herminia Sutarez of the Daughters of Charity has been working with the Atis for four years and said efforts to get the government on their side
Ati / A7

Illustration by Bladimer Usi

Il Foglio's headline was: “A consistory to lead the church out of its Roman misgovernance.” The new cardinals will make up only 5 percent of the electors in the College of Cardinals, but they shift the continental balance, even if just slightly. The percentage of European electors will drop from almost 55 percent Nov. 16 to just over 51 percent Nov. 24; the figure contrasts sharply with the fact that, according to Vatican statistics, less than 24 percent of the world's Catholics live in Europe. The new consistory will bring the percentage of Asian electors from 7 percent to 9 percent. Catholics in Asia account for just over 10 percent of the worldwide Catholic population. Naming two prelates in their 50s to the college also will lower the average age of the cardinalelectors; as of Nov. 16 the electors’ average age was just over 72. The six new cardinals slated to receive their red hats and cardinal rings are: U.S. Archbishop James M. Harvey, 63, prefect of the papal household; Lebanon's Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rai, 72; Indian Archbishop Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal, 53, head of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church; Nigerian Archbishop John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja, 68; Colombian Archbishop Ruben Salazar Gomez of Bogota, 70; and Philippine

Bishop Broderick Pabillo

government. “One big help to fight graft and corruption is transparency
FOI / A6

Nun helping Ati tribes feels ‘helpless’ Congress to honor Archbishop Tagle
THE House of Representatives is set to extend a congressional commendation to Cardinaldesignate Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle. Manila 5th District Rep. Amado Bagatsing on Oct. 7 filed a House resolution congratulating Tagle following his elevation to cardinal of the Catholic Church. “The Catholic Church of the Philippines and the entire country accept as a great honor the Vatican’s recent announcement,” Bagatsing said. On Oct. 24, Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Tagle, along with six others, to the ranks of cardinals who will elect his successor. Other new cardinals, who would be elevated at a consistory in Rome on Nov. 24, were from Lebanon, Nigeria, Columbia, India and the United States. Bagatsing added that the Archdiocese of Manila, with a population of 2.8 million Catholics, is strengthened with the appointment of Tagle who is a highly respected theologian in the Church. “The entire City of Manila is proud to have as the head of the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Manila duly appointed young and charismatic Cardinaldesignate,” he said. (CBCPNews)

Sr. Herminia Sutarez with some members of the Boracay Ati Tribal Organization.

© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media


Robert Lim / CFC-FFL

JERUSALEM, Israel, Nov. 16, 2012—Amid renewed military action between Israel and the Gaza Strip, a bishop from the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem is lamenting the “vicious circle of violence.” Bishop William Shomali, Vicar of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, told Vatican Radio Nov. 15 that it is presently hard to know who started the violence “because everyone condemns the other.” “What is true is that many victims are falling down. Innocent people are dying,” he continued, adding that many people on both sides of the fighting are hungry and students cannot go to school. “Life becomes impossible in that region,” he said. In recent weeks, rocket attacks on Israel from Palestinian militants in Gaza caused retaliatory airstrikes from the Israeli military. On Nov. 14, Israel launched an offensive that killed the Hamas military chief Ahmed Jabari and destroyed several dozen rocket launchers. Palestinian militants retaliated by shooting more than 200 rock-

World News
ets at the Tel Aviv area, killing at least three. The attacks reached farther into the city than ever before, the Associated Press says. At least 15 Palestinians have been killed in two days and nearly 200 have been wounded. The conflict is the heaviest fighting in four years and could push Israel to conduct a ground invasion of Gaza. Bishop Shomali urged Christians to pray for those suffering and to advocate for humanitarian aid for the victims. “These people don’t only need our prayers. They need our help,” he said. The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem itself expressed “deep concern” about the escalation between the Palestinians and Israelis. “Violence will solve nothing in the crisis,” it said Nov. 15, advocating an “international solution.” The patriarchate expressed solidarity with all the victims, saying they are “at the center of its thoughts and prayers.” It also prayed that those with responsibility in the conflict “do not give in to hate.” (CNA)

CBCP Monitor
November 19 - December 2, 2012

Vol. 16 No. 24

Jerusalem bishop laments new Israeli-Palestinian violence

Expert finds religious freedom a matter of national security
WASHINGTON D.C., Nov. 16, 2012— The protection of religious freedom worldwide is so essential to democracy and prosperity that it should be considered an issue of “national security” to the U.S. government, says a former diplomat. “Religious freedom is buried in the bureaucracy and so people understand this is not a priority for us,” Dr. Tom Farr, senior fellow at Georgetown’s Berkley Center for Religion Peace and World Affairs, said Nov. 14. Farr, who spoke as part of the Family Research Council’s “Cry of the Martyrs” webcast and served as State Department’s first Director of the Office of International Religious Freedom, said that the U.S. needs to implement policies and provide resources to support religious freedom throughout the world. Created 14 years ago, the Office of International Religious Freedom works to promote religious freedom as a “core objective of U.S. foreign policy,” but Farr said the current administration, as well as its predecessors, has largely fallen short in promoting this issue as foreign policy. “That needs to change if we’re going to have an impact on persecuted Christians and others around the world,” he said. Protecting religious freedom abroad is “in our interest” since doing so can help emerging democracies to grow beyond just one generation. “The point is religious freedom can lead to economic development, religious freedom can lead to political development,” Farr said, “There’s plenty of history and plenty of data today that suggests this.” Even still, Farr said he’s concerned that “our government doesn’t pay much attention to this.” During his remarks, Sen. David Vitter called on Americans to sign a petition calling for the release of Asia Bibi, a Pakistani mother sentenced to death for insulting the Prophet Muhammad by defending her Christian faith at work in 2010. In Nigeria, Emmanuel Ogebe of The Jubilee Campaign, said that despite the “persecution on steroids” Christians in his country are experiencing at the hands of Boko Haram—a radical Islamist organization—the U.S. government will not label the group as a terrorists and has failed to list proper data regarding the attacks in State Department reports. “There’s a systematic desire not to label it as what it is,” Ogebe, who is also a Christian and lawyer, said. “They will not concede that Christians are being attacked.” He raised the point that although Boko Haram attacked three cities throughout Nigeria on Christmas Day in 2011, only one was recorded in the Annual Report on International Religious Freedom. Ogebe said he knows that data is incorrect because a family member attends one of the churches that was bombed and “anyone who Googles the Christmas Day attacks will see three cities were attacked.” Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, encouraged support for persecuted Christians through prayer and by petitioning the government to take more action in supporting religious freedom worldwide. “...we as individual believers in this country can take a stand in standing with our brothers and sisters that are being persecuted around the world, and then we can get our government to do the same,” he said. (CNA)

Asian Bishops gather in Holy Land
JERUSALEM, Israel, Nov. 16, 2012— From November 6 to 12, a group of 120 bishops from Asia undertook a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The event was organized by the Neocatechumenal Way and held in the “Domus Galileae” on the Mount of Beatitudes, according to a report by the Fides News Agency. Around 70 of the bishops were from India while several came from various other countries, including Burma, the Philippines, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and China. Priests, religious and lay people were also among the participants. It was “a profound experience of community, brotherhood, sharing of the Word of God and the living experience of each of us,” Archbishop John Barwa of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, told Fides. The pilgrimage “strengthens the links between the Pastors of the Asian Church,” he said, which is a very important factor in the Year of Faith. It also emphasized the urgency of the New Evangelization in Asia, he commented. The meeting came shortly before a meeting of the Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences, which will be held in Vietnam in December. The meeting will center on the theme of challenges to evangelization in Asia. During their time in the Holy Land, the bishops examined “how to convey to the peoples and cultures of Asia the gift of Truth and bring the joy of preaching Salvation and Resurrection of Jesus Christ”, asking the Holy Spirit “light to find new ways to proclaim the Gospel in our time,” Archbishop Barwa explained. (Zenit)

In Andhra Pradesh, Catholic nuns bring drinking water to 250 tribal families
HYDERABAD, India, Nov. 17, 2012— Thanks to the efforts of five Sisters of the Cross of Chavanod, a tribal community in Koderna (East Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh) now can meet basic needs like safe drinking water and education for their children. Until a year ago, the 250 families that call the village home had to rely on polluted water and typhoid and malaria were widespread. Local kids did not go schools. Now villagers have a well with clean water, a dispensary for basic health needs and a school. Last year, the Sisters of Chavanod visited the unspoilt mountains that are next to the village. During their trip, they discovered the village. “Beside the tranquil streams and sparkling atmosphere of the mountains stood the village where people drank highly polluted water,” said Sister Priyanthi Samala. Sadly, the government has shown little interest for the fate of this village, as did other communities in the area. A school does exist in Koderna but it lies empty because the teacher comes every two months. Outsiders do visit the village but only to buy local goods, like tamarind, wood, charcoal, ragi (finger millet), bamboo, brooms and spices at very low prices. In view of the situation, the nuns got in touch with an engineer who looked at the ground to see how drinking water

Dr. Tom Farr

(R-La.) said the persecution of Christians is “on the rise, not on the decline” with 160,000 Christians “seriously persecuted” for their beliefs last year. One of the biggest threats to religious freedom is “Islamic extremism” which he said has not been challenged enough to the extent that it should be by the Obama administration. In Iran, for example, Vitter said the current administration has “not been aggressive at all in pushing back against” the growing trend of Christian persecution. Vitter recommended that Americans raise awareness about persecution, such as in the case of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, an Iranian Christian who was sentenced to death for his faith, but released in September due to international outcry calling for his freedom. Todd Nettleson, director of media development for Voice of the Martyrs,

Kerala Church loses battle over sacked bishops
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, India, Nov. 15, 2012—The Catholic Church in Kerala received a major jolt yesterday when the state’s High Court refused to revoke the sacking of two prelates from the board of a television channel. The boardroom war in the Jeevan Telecasting Corporation that manages the Church-initiated Jeevan TV took a dramatic turn three days ago when its shareholders in an extraordinary general body meeting expelled their chairperson Archbishop Andrews Thazhath of Trichur with immediate effect. They also removed their vice-chairperson and board member, retired Archbishop Jacob Thoomkuzhy of Trichur. A section of shareholders supporting the prelates approached the High Court to stay the decision. However, a two-judge bench rejected the petition that helped the board to implement its decision from yesterday. Trichur Syro-Malabar archdiocese started the television channel 10 years ago with then Archbishop Thoomkuzhy as the founding member and chairman. Later the company went public with a paid-up capital of 250 million rupees (US$4.55 million). The tug of war between the clergy and lay directors started after the channel’s managing director, Baby Mathew, tried to take over the company. Mathew, a leading player in Kerala’s tourism sector, said the shareholders took the decision to remove the prelates to ensure professional quality. He also claimed that controls over 60 percent of shares of the company and that 98.74 percent of shareholders attended the AGM. An insider of the company, who asked not to be named, said the boardroom war began a year ago. “The managing director outsmarted the Church leaders by acquiring shares of the company,” he said. “Now he has a majority of shares in his control and the clergy has become a minority in the company.” However, the Laity Commission of the Syro-Malabar Church has decided to fight the prelates’ sacking from the board, with its secretary V.C. Sebastian calling it illegal and arbitrary. “We would approach the High Court against the order,” he said. “Jeevan TV was founded by the Church and we will use all legal platforms to fight the expulsion.” The lay leaders also said the commission would convene further meetings of shareholders to mobilize opinion against the decision. (UCAN)

could be brought to the village from another source. Eventually, he succeeded in his search. The nuns then approached the government for help and began to work on the villagers to have them join the project. “After a year of assiduous efforts to motivate this community and several frequent visits, we gained the confidence of the people and established our work in their location. We were certain of their cooperation,” Sister Samala said. “They did not hesitate to send their children to the school,” but “the few children who saw the school for the first time were terrified and perplexed.” Now about100 of them attend the school the nuns set up and run out of a rented house. Eventually, the sisters hope to get a building of their own. (AsiaNews)

Vatican Briefing
Holy See, Burundi sign framework agreement

A framework agreement was signed Nov. 7 between the Holy See and the Republic of Burundi on “matters of common interest”. The agreement acknowledges the amicable ties between the two states over the past 50 years, while defining and guaranteeing the legal status of the Catholic Church in Burundi. It also regulates several areas including canonical marriage, places of worship, Catholic institutions of instruction and education, the teaching of religion in schools, the Church’s charitable activities, pastoral care of the armed forces and in prisons and hospitals, and the property and tax regime. (Zenit)
Pope saddened by plight of quake victims in Guatemala

Basic communities and inter-religious dialogue: Synod’s new challenges for Thai Church
BANGKOK, Thailand, Nov. 16, 2012— Strengthening the work of the Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC), a model for sharing faith and the new evangelization, and promoting inter-religious dialogue and cultural diversity around the world to promote peace and harmony. These are the two proposals that Msgr. Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovithavanij, Archbishop of Bangkok, has advanced during the recent Synod of Bishops, which was held at the Vatican October 7 to 28. The prelate took part in the 13th Synod Assembly as representative of the Thai Episcopal Conference (CBCT) during which he met with Pope Benedict XVI, bishops, cardinals, Catholic personalities from around the world. In recent days, Msgr. Kovithavanij wanted to share this privileged experience with all the faithful of Thailand, with a reflection assigned to the columns of the Thai Catholic Udomsarn Weekly, starting with the opening ceremony, which he termed “elegant”. Taking inspiration from the 2010-2015 pastoral plan of the Thai Church, the Archbishop reminded those present at the Synod, of the value of the Basic Ecclesial Communities and interreligious dialogue, which applies to Thailand as for Catholics around the world. “There are elements of the Synod ― says the prelate ― that the Thai Church must know about”, the first of which is the “Message to the People of God” and the second is “the final list of proposals” that the Pope “has allowed to be Archbishop Francis Xavier Kovithhavanij of Bangkok speaks published”. The three of his participation at the 13th Assembly of the Synod last weeks of meetings and October. discussions, he said, have made it more portunity” that presented itself to “ex“vividly” enhanced the work of evange- change ideas with other bishops” of the lization and strengthened “love” for the world and understand “the problems proclamation of the Gospel. “I suggest faced by other churches.” “The univerthat Thai Catholics immediately begin sal church expands its vision ― said the to proclaim the Good News, and when bishop ― to promote mutual listening, the post-synodal document is pub- especially among representatives of lished, we will immediately understand other Christian denominations such the right track to follow.” as the Anglican Archbishop Rowan At the end of reflection, Msgr. Ko- Douglas Williams and representatives vithavanij emphasized the “great op- of the Orthodox Churches.” (AsiaNews)

Pope Benedict XVI sent a telegram Nov. 8 to Bishop Rodolfo Valenzuela of Vera Paz, President of the Episcopal Conference of Guatemala expressing his sadness for the deaths and injuries suffered by victims of the recent earthquake in the region. The pope conveyed his “spiritual closeness” to the people of Guatemala and offered his prayers to those affected by the natural disaster. According to Agenzia Fides, the massive 7.4 earthquake rocked the Central American nation causing 48 deaths, hundreds of injured victims, and over 17,000 people displaced from their homes. A red alert was still in affect due to the possibility of aftershocks. (Zenit)
Bono thanks Vatican for helping with debt forgiveness

The famous U2 vocalist Bono traveled to the Vatican Nov. 16 to thank the Church for its work to free the world’s least developed countries from their foreign debt, enabling them to invest in education. Bono spent nearly an hour speaking with Cardinal Peter K. Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, according to Vatican Radio. In 2000, the Church was an important backer of the “Drop the Debt” campaign, which coincided with the Church’s jubilee year. Bono was one of the leading figures in the campaign, and is known for his activism for world’s poorest people. Bono said the Church deserves “incredible credit” for their role in securing debt forgiveness, and that Catholics should be made aware of how their faith was central in the efforts. (CNA)
Vatican office unveils Faith Scroll for pilgrims

In honor of the Year of Faith, pilgrims to Rome can now share their thoughts about the gift of faith by writing them on a special scroll at the Vatican’s Pilgrim Office. “Since it’s the Year of Faith people are going to live intense experiences of faith,” said the office’s director, Father Cesare Atuire, after the scroll’s Nov. 15 debut. “So we’ve decided to create this initiative whereby people can actually leave something written down – their thoughts, their emotions, concerning what their faith really means for them.” Those entries that the Pilgrim Office deems the most inspiring will be posted on a blog associated with it, Fr. Atuire hopes this will “create a mini community whereby we really share our experience of faith.” Designed by New York architect Isabella Mancini, the Faith Scroll can be found in the pilgrim office, which is located just west of St. Peter’s Square. (CNA)

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 16 No. 24
November 19 - December 2, 2012

News Features
ushered in by the Enlightenment. This, in turn, has paved the way for moral and spiritual disaster in the Western world. People have become confused about ethics once commonly held, making room for relativism and fostering “an ambiguous conception of freedom, which instead of being liberating ends up binding man to idols,” the Pope said. In response to the ensuing moral and spiritual chaos, Pope Benedict called on all people to discover God by following three paths. The first path involves contemplating creation. “The world is not a shapeless magma, but the more we know, the more we discover the amazing mechanisms, the more we see a pattern, we see that there is a creative intelligence,” the pontiff remarked. The second way of finding God is through inner contemplation. The Holy Father quoted St. Augustine’s famous saying, “Do not go outside yourself, come back into yourself: truth dwells in the heart of man.” He also observed that the modern world is full of distractions that make it hard “to stop and take a deep look within ourselves and read that thirst for the infinite that we carry within, pushing us to go further and towards that Someone who can satisfy it.” The third path, faith, is a dimly lit path for many people who view it as a limited aspect of life, if not a form of “illusion, escapism…or sentimentality.” But in reality, the Pope stated, faith concerns the truth about mankind and our eternal destinies. “Faith … is an encounter with God who speaks and acts in history and which converts our daily life, transforming our mentality, system of values, choices and actions,” he said. Faith is “not illusion, escapism, a comfortable shelter, sentimentality, but involvement in every aspect of life and proclamation of the Gospel, the Good News which can liberate all of man.” Yet, many people consider Christianity as a mere system of beliefs and morals instead of God’s self-revelation in history so that he could have a loving relationship with his creatures. “Christianity, before being a moral or ethical value, is the experience of love, of welcoming the person of Jesus,” Pope Benedict stated, calling on all Christians to learn better the faith they profess and purify their lives in conformity with Christ. After the Pope summarized his message in different languages and prayed the Our Father in Latin, the visiting men and boys of England’s Choir of Westminster Abbey burst into a joyful hymn. Jim and Joyce Vieland, visiting Rome


'Practical atheism' more destructive than disbelief, Pope says
VATICAN City, Nov. 14, 2012―The practical atheism of those who say they are Christian but live as if God does not exist is a greater threat than actual atheism, Pope Benedict XVI said as he presented three ways for people to more fully discover God. While actual atheists often think deeply about God before rejecting belief, practical atheism “is even more destructive … because it leads to indifference towards faith and the question of God,” the Pope stated. His fourth installment in a series of lessons on faith was delivered Nov. 14 to an overflow crowd of nearly 7,000 in the Pope Paul VI Hall, near St. Peter’s Square. Benedict XVI focused his address on the challenge of witnessing to Christ in today’s world. Christian witness is always hard, he said, because people are prone to “being dazzled by the glitter of worldliness,” but in the Western world sharing the faith is even harder today. As he described it, the Christian faith was the everyday reality for most people in what used to be called Christendom. The burden was on non-believers to justify their disbelief. But today the tables have turned following a long slide into atheism, skepticism and a secular worldview that was

for the first time with other pilgrims from the Diocese of Cleveland, were enthralled by the experience. “It was tranquil, yet joyous,” said Mr. Vieland of Chardon, Ohio. “What I took away was the message that if you give joy to Jesus, then others, you yourself will be happy.”

Mrs. Vieland rejoiced in the unity of Catholicism on display in the hall, with so many people from around the world professing their common faith. “I believe that if more people came to Rome to see the unity of the Church, they’d become closer to our Lord,” she said. (CNA/EWTN News)

Pope: World's spiritual poverty heightens need Pope tells young to welcome Christ's embrace, share his love for Christian unity
VATICAN City, Nov. 15, 2012― Christians must not allow their divisions to keep them from working together to evangelize a world enduring a “crisis of faith,” Pope Benedict XVI told the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity. The failure to do so, he said, “goes against the will of Christ, and is a scandal in the world.” The council, which is meeting Nov. 15 –19, will address the theme of “The Importance of Ecumenism for New Evangelization.” The theme dovetails with the topic of overcoming Christian divisions, which was widely-discussed topic at last month’s synod of bishops on the New Evangelization. Speaking in the Clementine Room of the Apostolic Palace on Nov. 15, the Pope stressed the necessity of having theological dialogue with Christians who do not hold the Catholic faith, in order to give a credible witness to Christ in a world suffering a crisis of faith and spiritual poverty. “Even if we do not see the possibility of the restoration of full communion in the near future, (other faiths) enable us to understand the wealth of experience, spiritual life and theological reflections that become a stimulus for a deeper testimony,” the Pope said. The aim of ecumenism is a “visible unity between divided Christians,” he told the assembly, and the Lord must be invoked to make even an imperfect unity possible. And even if Christians’ unity is imperfect, it is still needed to evangelize a culture gone awry, especially in the Western world. “We cannot follow a truly ecumenical path while ignoring the crisis of faith affecting vast areas of the world, including those where the proclamation of the Gospel was first accepted and where Christian life has flourished for centuries,” he told council members. The situation has grown so bad that many people no longer regard the absence of God in their lives as a vacuum to be filled. This presents a situation all Christians must address, discovering common ground that overcomes their denominational divisions. The essential unity of Christians needs to be emphasized in order to bear witness to God before the world. This, he said, consists in faith in the Trinity – a faith received at baptism which all Christians can profess together “in hope and charity.” A truly ecumenical spirit, the Pope noted toward the end of his remarks, demands abandonment to the will of God in order to bring others to belief in him. “In the final analysis,” Pope Benedict concluded, “ecumenism and new evangelization both require the dynamism of conversion, understood as the sincere desire to follow Christ and to fully adhere to the will of the Father.” Starting on the afternoon of Nov. 17, council participants will deliberate on the work of last month’s synod and explore the progress of ecumenical work in different parts of the world.

Marianne Medlin / CNA

Council president Cardinal Kurt Koch will give the opening address. In a Nov. 13 interview with Vatican Radio, Cardinal Koch said he hopes the council meeting will foster Christian unity and aid evangelization efforts. “The credibility of the message of the Gospel depends on unity,” he said. “The division of the Church in the world is the biggest obstacle to the missionary activity in the world.” The Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity was founded by Pope John XXIII during the Second Vatican Council and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2011. (CNA/EWTN News)

Environmentalists call for climate justice
MANILA, Nov. 18, 2012—Filipino climate activists joined an annual biking event calling for environmental justice and reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG) emission especially from industrialized countries. Dubbed “Tour of the Fireflies”, the event was participated by thousands of cyclists in a bid to raise the issue of sustainable transportation in the era of climate change. Gerry Arances, coordinator of Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), a broad movement of basic sectors of society, said the activity is one way of raising awareness among the public on the effects of climate change as well as “contributing in cutting GHG emission globally, by advancing a more sustainable transportation system—like promoting bicycle riding as one of the means of transportation.” But he said that first world countries, like the United States must be the first to drastically reduce its GHG emission. “While we agree that we do our share in mitigating climate change by promoting clean and sustainable transportation, and consequently low-carbon, clean and sustainable cities, we cannot deny the fact that our country’s contribution to the global GHG emission is less than 1%” said Arances. According to U.S. Environmental Protecdustrialized countries, like the U.S., to fulfill their obligations. Now is the time to begin and demand climate justice.” Arances said. The tour was led by one of PMCJ members, Tado Jimenez who claimed, he was a “victim of climate change” and many other disasters it bring. “Not only am I a cyclist, like many of us in Marikina and the rest of our kababayans, I am a victim of climate change and the disasters that it bring,” Tado stressed. Tado is one of the many residents in Marikina who survived Ondoy and Habagat, but is still anxious for the worse that climate change may bring to them. “That is why I am adding my voice to the many in the globe that are calling for climate justice now,” he said. “We are doing our part, the U.S. and other developed countries must fulfill their responsibilities too.” The “Tour of the Fireflies” was held in support of the “Global Week of Action to Demand Climate Justice” organized by the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice, from November 12-18. The global week of action is coordinated worldwide to raise the necessity for climate justice ahead of the climate summit by the Conference of Parties (COP 18) in Doha, Qatar from November 26 until December 7, 2012. (CBCPNews)

Thousands of cyclists participated in the “Tour of the Fireflies” biking event aimed at promoting sustainable transportation as the world experiences the negative impacts of climate change.

tion Agency, transportation contributed approximately 27 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2010. Under the United Nations Convention on Climate Change, the U.S. and other industrialized countries are legally obliged to cut their GHG emissions, in recognition of their historical responsibility that led to current dire climate situation. “We are already in a state of planetary emergency. Let us join hands to compel in-

VATICAN City, Nov. 16, 2012― When young Catholics from around the world gather in Rio de Janeiro in July, they will be under the gaze of the city's famous statue of Christ with outstretched arms, a reminder of his desire to embrace all people, Pope Benedict XVI said. In his message for World Youth Day 2013, the pope asked young people to welcome Christ's embrace and share with others the joy of being loved by him. In preparation for the international youth gathering July 2328, Pope Benedict asked young Catholics to “reread your personal history,” looking at how the faith was passed down to them from previous generations. The pope also asked them not to wait to begin the task of sharing their Christian faith with others. “We are links in a great chain of men and women who have transmitted the truth of the faith and who depend on us to pass it on to others,” he said in the message released Nov. 16 by the Vatican. The theme of World Youth Day 2013 is: “Go and make disciples of all nations.” “This mandate should resound powerfully in your hearts,” the pope told young people. In fact, he said, the heart has a major role to play in bringing them closer to Christ, motivating them to share his Gospel and determining the words and actions they should use in approaching others. “Many young people today seriously question whether life is something good and have a hard time finding their way,” the pope said. Faith helps people see that “every human life is priceless, because each of us is the fruit of God's love,” he said. “God loves everyone, even those who

have fallen away from him or disregard him.” Pope Benedict asked young Catholics to reach out with love to their questioning or doubting peers, helping them find the hope and meaning faith brings. As the Catholics most impacted by globalization and new technology, Pope Benedict said, young people need a special awareness and have special responsibilities in those areas. “We are passing through a very particular period of history,” he told them. “Technical advances have given us unprecedented possibilities for interaction between peoples and nations. But the globalization of these relationships will be positive and help the world to grow in humanity only if it is founded on love rather than on materialism.” “Love is the only thing that can fill hearts and bring people together,” he said. While asking the young to bring their Christian values to their social media networks and other online activities, he also cautioned them to use the media wisely. “Be aware of the hidden dangers they contain, especially the risk of addiction, of confusing the real world with the virtual, and of replacing direct and personal encounters and dialogue with Internet contacts,” he said. Pope Benedict also told the young people that the responsibility to share the faith flows from their baptism into the church, is sustained by prayer, nourished by receiving the Eucharist, purified through confession and strengthened by confirmation. “If you are to remain firm in professing the Christian faith wherever you are sent, you need the church," he said. "No one can bear witness to the Gospel alone.” (CNS)

Bravery, faith the way to uphold culture of life—bishop
CEBU City, Nov. 17, 2012— There will always be stumbling blocks in promoting and protecting life, and those who are determined to uphold the good in society need only be brave in carrying out the work for a genuine culture of life. “Such are the facts of life: there will always be fighting. If in the past, Jesus was fighting against the lack of faith of the Pharisees and the Scribes, today we are fighting against seemingly beautiful ideas like ‘right to one’s body’ or ‘informed choice,’” said Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Julito Cortes in his welcome address at the National “Philippines for Life” Congress organized by Human Life International-Pilipinas and the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Family and Life (ECFL). Nearly 400 participants came from various parishes and dioceses including Bacolod, Iloilo, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Baguio, Dipolog, Tagbilaran and Manila, to name a few. It was a dictatorship that “many forces in the Church” fought in the past, but now the struggle is against those who trample on the right of parents to raise their children grounded on sound values and to protect them “from intrusive sex education in our publicly funded schools,” the prelate continued. “We are not saying that we do not respect the ‘right to one’s body nor to ‘informed choice,’ nor are we saying that children should remain ignorant on matters related to their bodies. We are saying that, in the end, it is Faith which should guide us in the conduct of our lives— whether it is about our bodies, our choices, and our need to know about our sexual lives,” Cortes explained. The audience who gathered at the ballroom of Summit Circle Hotel for the two-day event dubbed “Do or die for 2013 and beyond” was apparently fired up by the prelate’s words of encouragement and his reference to recent developments in the advocacy against antilife legislation, particularly the reproductive health (RH) bill. “There is need to be courageous in the years to come. Vicious attacks like those on Senator Tito Sotto, a valiant anti-RH bill supporter, will surely intensify. These heavy criticisms and bullying against Sotto only shows, according to Fr. Melvin Castro, that they will do everything including character assassination just to pass the RH bill,’” Cortes said, quoting the Executive Secretary of the CBCP-ECFL. Formidable enemies will not be lacking and an uphill battle is to be expected, the prelate said, especially involving the “so-called educated and enlightened ones, who, surprisingly, equate the incidence of poverty with population, rather than looking into other issues like corruption and political will in government.” After reminding everyone that protecting and promoting Life “is everyone’s work, everyone’s call,” the bishop explained the role and nature of the Church in this aspect of evangelization. “The Church only has the good of the total person in mind. The Church does not wish to lead the people astray. The Church, through you, therefore, must speak. And should our message not be welcome to many of those in power, then so be it. As St. Thomas More beautifully articulated it, ‘I am the King’s good servant, but God’s first.’” (CBCP for Life)

Photo courtesy of PMCJ


Matthew Rarey / CNA


When does life begin?

CBCP Monitor
November 19 - December 2, 2012

Vol. 16 No. 24

Thanks to the Summit on Family Planning
ON November 15, 2012 the Summit on Family Planning in the Business Sector was held at the Philippine International Convention Center. It was organized by the British government together with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Nations Population Fund and a bevy of multinational pharmaceutical firms. According to reports, this was meant to exert pressure on Malacañang, which, by the way, does not need any more pressuring, and Congress to legislate now the most controversial and divisive Reproductive Health Bill. During this expensive gathering, local big business groups, the likes of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Employment Confederation of the Philippines (Ecop), Makati Business Club (MBC), Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) and Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), signed a “manifesto of support” for the RH Bill. The veil that comfortably, albeit deceptively, shrouded a pro-poor, pro-Filipino and pro-woman campaign which the RH Bill was packaged and projected to be, suddenly disappeared. This summit has definitely, though perhaps unconsciously, unmasked the true nature and purpose the RH Bill supporters, movers and bankrollers. Militant groups the likes of Akbayan, Gabriela, Diwa, Bayan Muna and TUCP who during street-marches days detested like a disease anything foreign or imperialist—and anything “burgis”—have sadly become co-accessories in the subtle deception that the RH Bill is, to repeat the cliché, pro-poor, pro-woman and pro-Filipino. The ideological inconsistency of these left-leaning groups who have now become lackeys of multinational capitalists and moneyed eugenicists has lent a negative credence to their RH Bill cause—and perhaps to their other political agenda. At the other end of the ideological spectrum, the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) believes otherwise. Elmer Labog, KMU chair, insists: “Big capitalists’ support for the RH Bill stems from their anti-poor sentiments and greed for profits. They have never shown genuine concern for the plight of the poor or for women’s reproductive rights…They want to project themselves as pro-poor but they have consistently rejected calls for a P125 across-the-board wage hike nationwide, for the junking of contractual employment, and for respect for workers’ rights. They have been demolishing urban poor communities so they can build their businesses… They want to project themselves as pro-women, but they have through the years refused to give maternity benefits to women contractual workers. In many special economic zones in the country, women contractuals who get pregnant are automatically booted out from work.” Foreign lobby and money have been falsely indoctrinating public opinion about the RH Bill. This Summit has helped clear the deception that this bill is after all not what it is projected to be. It has cleared, too, the suspicion why suddenly the wealthy is interested in “helping” the poor. And, by the way, RH lapdogs that have been attacking a Senator for plagiarism should reread the text of the Reproductive Health Bill and discover that various texts and contexts of this bill have been copied verbatim from these foreign documents: The 1981 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW); the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD); and the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing.

Freedom of Information Bill
“AN elephant trying to pass through a needle’s eye.” This can be readily considered as the picture of the plight of the FOI Bill before the Legislature presently under the command of the Executive Department. These and those proposed legislation with the preferential option of the present administration infallibly carry the title “Priority Bill”—but not the “FOI”. This is strange but true—considering that there are no less than at least three pertinent provisions of the 1986 Philippine Constitution in its favor! There is the first provision on the inherent significance of information: “The State recognizes the vital role of communication and information in nation building.” (Art. II, State Policy, Section 24) Translation: A State that wants people to be blind dumb, has no place in the civilized world. Precisely, communication is according to the communicative nature of man, in the same way that social information ultimately means social education. There is the second provision on the relevance of public interest: “Subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law, the State adopts and implements a politic of full public disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest.” (Art. II, State Policy, Section 28). Translation: A State that fears the disclosure of public transactions becomes untrustworthy. After all, restrictive conditions to the disclosure

Oscar. V. Cruz, DD

Views and Points
of public transactions are acceptable on condition that they are reasonable yet in accord with their constitutionally mandated “full” publication. There is the third provision on the people’s right to information: “The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. Access to official records, and to documents, and papers, pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development, shall be afforded the citizens, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law.” (Art. III, Bill of Rights, Section 7) Translation: The State has no right to foment ignorance among its own citizens. It is not hard to understand that matters of public concern should be known precisely by the public—in the same way that private or privileged communications should remain such. Notwithstanding all the above deliberately made and clearly expressed constitutional provisions, the following questions cannot but come to mind: Why is it that the FOI remains stagnant in the halls of Congress? Why is it that the Executive Department does not want to certify it as a priority bill? Why is it that the present administration does not want the public to know its acts and agenda? Why, considering that “reasonable conditions” are acceptable, especially so in conjunction with the intelligence work and security matters?

Foundation of the Lay Apostolate
FROM the fact of their union with Christ the head, flows the laymen’s right and duty to be apostles. Inserted as they are in the Mystical Body of Christ by baptism and strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit in confirmation, it is by the Lord Himself that they are assigned to the apostolate. If they are consecrated a kingly priesthood and a holy nation, it is in order that they may in all their actions offer spiritual sacrifices and bear witness to Christ all over. Charity, which is, as it were, the soul of the whole apostolate, is given to them and nourished in them by the sacraments, the Eucharist above all. From this it is clear (a) that the apostolate of the laity is of divine right; (b) that it is Christ who calls the laity to full participation in the life of the Church and full commitment to the mission of the Church, and (c) that this call is by virtue of Baptism and Confirmation. “You too go into my vineyard.” This call is addressed to the entire community to move with zeal and swiftness in bringing about the reign of God through Christian renewal. Therefore, all the baptized, not just the hierarchy, the clergy or the religious, share in the whole mission of Christ. All are responsible for the building up of the Church. This responsibility is too great and too important to be entrusted to only one group or to only a few. “The newness of the Christian life is the foundation and title of the equality of all the baptized in Christ, of all the members of the People of God,” writes Pope John Paul II. And precisely from this equality in dignity flowing from Baptism, the Pope concludes, “each member of the lay faithful, together with ordained minister and men and women religious, shares a responsibility for the Church’s mission.” The fundamental images of the Church in Scriptures and in Vatican II as People of God and Body of Christ demand that pastors and lay faithful collaborate in the diffusion and sanctification of the whole Church. Christ’s redemption is carried out not only by the pastoral activity of the individual priest, but by all the members of the Church. The laity together with the clergy-hierarchy and religious constitute the Lord’s Community of Disciples. The laity are never meant to have only a passive function. (Acts of the Council Nos. 407-4011. ―Acts and Decrees of the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines, 1991

Fr. James H. Kroeger, MM

Living Mission
Vatican II Perspectives
THE Church recently celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the beginning of the Second Vatican Council (October 11, 1962-2012). In this context, questions may arise about how best to appreciate the insights of the Council and to pastorally integrate them in Church life. Undoubtedly, the texts of the sixteen Council documents must be understood and put into practice as a whole; it is not sufficient to stress certain aspects, while neglecting others. For example, one cannot assert that the teachings on religious life and priesthood are fine, while disregarding the vision of ecumenism and interreligious dialogue. In addition, it would be wrong to distinguish between the pre-conciliar and the post-conciliar Church in a manner that suggests the post-conciliar Church is somehow a “new Church.” Vatican II belongs within the evolving tradition of the previous twenty universal councils. Pope Benedict XVI asserts that the “hermeneutics of reform and continuity” capture the proper attitude for

The Treasures of Vatican II are a Sure Compass for the Future
Blessed John Paul II asserted that the Council has been “a gift of the Spirit to his Church.” “The Conciliar documents … have not lost their value nor their brilliance…. In the Council we have received a sure compass to guide us on the path of the century that is beginning.” Pope Benedict XVI has forcefully noted: “Pope John Paul II rightly pointed out the Council as a ‘compass’ by which to take our bearings in the vast ocean of the third millennium.” Benedict XVI has affirmed his “determination to continue to put the Second Vatican Council into practice.” Recently, Benedict XVI noted: “We can say that the new evangelization started precisely with the Council, which Blessed John XXIII saw as a new Pentecost.” A renewed exploration of the treasures of Vatican II provides a golden opportunity for personal growth, prayerful meditation, and deeper insight into the action of the Holy Spirit in the Church—and in your own life. Veni, Sancte Spiritus. Come, Holy Spirit!

appreciating the great gift of the Spirit that was Vatican II. Several popes have enthusiastically endorsed the Council and asserted its relevance for the life of the Church. Blessed John XXIII used the word aggiornamento (profound renewal of the Church) to capture the purpose of the Council; he formulated his vision in a prayer to the Holy Spirit: “Renew your wonders in our time, as though for a new Pentecost.” Pope Paul VI offered an insightful definition of John XXIII’s pivotal watchword: “From now on aggiornamento will signify for us a widely undertaken quest for a deeper understanding of the spirit of the Council and the faithful application of the norms it has happily and prayerfully provided.” Paul VI has noted: “The Council is like a spring that becomes a river. The river’s current follows us even though its spring may be far away. One may say that the Council leaves itself as a legacy to the Church that held it.” Indeed, “the first challenge of the Church is to always live Pentecost.”

Graduation in November
BECAUSE of the changes brought about by the mandated K+12 program, our Grade 7 students now find themselves part of high school without graduating from grade school. And so, we have to have a graduation in November. The parents would not allow their children to be high schoolers without formally shedding off their grade schooler status. And they find March of next year, the usual graduation month, too far. So I find myself presiding over a Baccalaureate Mass in somber November. Graduation, of course, is a happy occasion. It marks a transition, the end of one phase and the beginning of another. It means some achievement, some attainment, and a looking forward to new challenges as the process of education and formation goes on. I like to think that the students are slowly but steadily building up their foundation for the future. They are into a process at once tedious and exciting, as they learn new things and new lessons, while revisiting and reappreciating old past lessons as they receive the tradition of the previous generations. Students have to study. Teachers have to prepare their classes well and also act as parent surrogates as they provide whatever help and support students who are also children need in school. Parents, of course, do everything, even trying to grab heaven here on earth, to assure the proper development of their children. I just hope that this triad of parents, teachers and students, and that of the home, the school and the individual manage to work in synergy, guided and

Fr. Roy Cimagala

Candidly Speaking
propelled by God’s grace to which everyone has to correspond as best as he could. Education and formation actually never ends for us. Even in our old age, we need it, and in fact, more so. That’s because we tend to resist new knowledge the more knowledge we accumulate. And we are actually poised, due to our spiritual faculties and supernatural destination, to know an infinity of things. Education and formation goes in stages and in cycles, reflecting the rhythm of life itself. It cannot help but set itself fully in the task of pursuing the ultimate purpose of our life. It cannot and it should not be arrested in some levels, saying enough to what may already be gained so far. So it cannot be detained at the academic or scholastic level alone where the sciences, the arts, some skills and technologies are learned. It has to engage us in all our needs as persons and children of God. And that means everything, all our needs that simply grow and grow. It’s a dynamic set of needs, not static. It has to carry out what St. Peter once said: “And you, employing all care, minister in your faith, virtue; and in virtue, knowledge; and in knowledge, abstinence; and in abstinence, patience; and in patience, godliness; and in godliness, love of brotherhood; and in love of brotherhood, charity.” (2 Pt 1,5-7) We simply have to go on. And we have to realize that education and formation goes far beyond the school or academic setting. It involves the home, the church, the social and cultural environment, and even the economy and
Candidly Speaking / A5

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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

Illustration by Bladimer Usi

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 16 No. 24
November 19 - December 2, 2012

Protect the Culture of Life, Reject the Culture of Death!
constitutional rights.” The Statement said: a) Although the Bill may purport to respect the right of a healthcare provider to refuse to extend such services based on his religious beliefs, it compels him, under threat of imprisonment, to refer the person to another healthcare provider who is willing to provide the services. “…The Bill effectively forces him to become a party to what his beliefs may consider to be sinful act, a violation of his religious rights.” b) The provision on sex education effectively forces parents to surrender (i) their Constitutional right to raise and develop the moral character of their children (Art. II, Sec. 12, Constitution), and (ii) their statutory right to care and rear their minor children for the development of their moral, mental and physical characteristics and well being (Art. 209, Family Code). c) Sec. 26(a)(1) of the Bill forces the health care provider to speak on contraception and punishes him if he expressed his opinion against it, violating his constitutional right to freedom of speech and religion. Sec. 28(a)(2) of the Bill allows the d) beneficiary of the healthcare services to go on with the procedure despite the objection and protest from the other spouse, thus promoting disunity in the family, a clear violation of the Constitution which directs the State to strengthen the solidarity and development of the family (Art. XV, Sec. 1, Constitution). “4. The revised Bill’s avowed adherence to freedom of choice is misleading. Since at least 70-80% of the Bill deals with the sale, distribution, teaching and use of contraceptives and artificial birth-control methods, the effect of its penal provisions is to coerce individuals to promote, dispense and teach
Duc In Altum / A7

Rev. Eutiquio ‘Euly’ B. Belizar, Jr., SThD

Atty. Aurora A. Santiago

Duc in Altum
DESPITE its amendments, we still must fight for the repudiation of the Reproductive Health or RH Bill. Let us pray hard and support our lawmakers who are against RH Bill. Let us work fearlessly and campaign this coming 2013 elections for the rejection of candidates who are pro-RH Bill. Let us show our lawmakers that we protect the culture of life and abhor the culture of death that RH Bill espouses. His Excellency Most Rev. Gabriel V. Reyes, Chairman of CBCP Episcopal Commission on Family and Life and Bishop of Antipolo, states “Despite some good amendments, this latest version remains harmful because of the bad provisions that are still there... the promotion of contraception or artificial methods of birth control is still very much a part of it. In fact, the promotion of contraception is a constitutive or an essential part of this latest version.” He continued “Even though it limits the giving of ‘free reproductive health care, services, and supplies to the poor and the marginalized’, this does not make the bill acceptable because it is wrong to promote contraception and give free contraceptives whether to the rich or the poor. History has proven that contraception also brings physical and moral harm in its train.” We agree. The World Health Organization itself and many doctors maintain that contraceptive pills are cancerous, so why spend billions of pesos to purchase contraceptives and instead of supplying barangay health centers all over the country with the much needed medicines for cough and colds of children, dengue, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart condition, and tuberculosis which are the common diseases among Filipinos. Several organizations like Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas, Knights of Columbus,

By the Roadside
To judge or not to judge: faith as loving, maturing and missionary
I MUST confess news accounts, both on television and on print media, aroused my curiosity into viewing the so-called “amalayer” video on youtube featuring a young Filipino lady’s unrelenting and loud verbal lashing of a seemingly more restrained lady security officer at a Manila LRT station. I have never been the same again. I went from amusement to disappointment to near trauma to pity to just profound sadness. And it wasn’t simply the video itself that proved riveting but also the comments and reactions by fellow Filipinos around the world that went viral: to the verbally lashing young lady, mostly condemnation, at times sympathy; to the lady security guard, compassion, even admiration. I admit I came away chastened and saddened not only by what the video reveals about the state of our country’s public transport system (to think that Manila’s train systems are supposed to be better than what we have in the provinces) and the kind of people we can be to one another (both the persons in confrontation and the viral kibitzers) but also by a sense that I could have been either the challenged commuter or the abused security officer. It was sobering to realize how, as a people, we easily fall into the game of judging one another, unraveling our real and deep lack of pride in our identity and appreciation for another as Filipinos. That, to me, is at the heart of the so-called ‘crab mentality’ we often bemoan. That we sometimes appear to enjoy tearing one another apart privately, publicly or virally can only indicate our own lack of love for who we are. The trouble with this attitude is that it makes us often prey to the near-autistic game of “we-Pinoys-are-awful-except-me-ormy-ilk”. And since an autistic person (from ‘autism’, Greek for ‘auto’ or ‘self’) literally is someone who is not able to break out of ‘himself’ or ‘herself’, Pinoys with the crab mentality must be the most un-liberated persons in the world since Adam and Eve. True, every person is born with some form of self-centeredness not unlike that of an autistic person. But psychologists as well as our common sense tell us that the maturity of a person is measured by his or her ability to go out of self and reach out to others. When Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel tells us, “Do not judge and you will not be judged” (in other versions, “Do not condemn and you will not be condemned” (Mt 7:1), he says a mostquoted statement whose implication we Pinoys easily miss: When we judge even fellow Pinoys, we only judge ourselves. People of faith that we are, it shouldn’t be too hard to see the disconnect between Pinoys who call themselves Catholic Christians and yet regularly engage in the national pastime of M.A.P. (Mutually Assured Putdowns). When our faith is genuine it will have to be mature and its maturity will be in evidence when we who believe are able to break out of our natural human self-centeredness and commit ourselves to a loving relationship with others, which, by the way, include fellow Filipinos, whoever they are, wherever they are. John the Evangelist tells us that loving is not only the measure of the mature person but also of the Christian person. “Love is of God and anyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God” (1 Jn 4:7). St. John defines, as it were, the Christian life as a life of loving because it comes from our having known God and being of God. That the Christian is someone who is of God and knows God is proven when he or she lives out authentic love which reaches out to God and neighbor. But the more fundamental truth is really not that anyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. It is this: God is love and we know it not because we love him but because he has first loved us and this he has shown by sending us his Son so that through him our sins could be forgiven. “This is love: not that we loved God but that he first loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 Jn 4:10). Jesus is our model of the loving person. The proof that he is of God and knows God is that he spent his life on earth loving others even to the point of giving his life for them on the Cross so that our sins might be forgiven. In the love of Jesus we see the nature of love as self-giving not self-keeping. The supreme fruit of this love is that he shares his life as Son of God with us whom he made as sons and daughters in the Son through his suffering, death and resurrection. This love of Jesus, according to St. John, is actually the very love of God himself. If sharing his life as Son of God is the apex of the love of God in Jesus Christ, it is small wonder that in the Gospel of St. Matthew he asks us his disciples to do the same by sharing our discipleship, our life of loving relationship with God and with one another, with all human beings. This is the missionary charge. The loving person who is a true disciple of Christ is essentially a missionary, someone who shares his discipleship, his life with Christ. “Go and make disciples of all nations (Mt 28:19).” The Filipino nation rose to life from its dark ages of rigor mortis because heroes like Rizal, Bonifacio or Ninoy Aquino gave up their lives out of love for the country. Would it be any less when it is God’s Son who gives us his life so that it may become ours too? “Beloved, if God has loved so, then we must have the same love for one another”, says John the Evangelist (1 Jn 4:11). It is the love of God in Christ that we share as a missionary Church and we should never look too far to begin doing it. Here in our own backyard we can be missionaries to one another. That verbally bashing young lady shouldn’t miss what that other young lady security officer was preaching by her self-restraint and humble apology. The bashing lady’s words: “Amalayer! Amalayer! (I’m a liar! I’m a liar!) Our response: “I’m a lov-er! I’m a lov-er!”

Couples for Christ Foundation for Family and Life, PAREF (Parents for Education Foundation, Inc), Alliance for the FAMILY Foundation Philippines, Inc. (ALFI), Confraternity of Mary Mediatrix of All Graces-Alabang, Ang Buhay Partylist, Ang Pro-Life Partylist, Ang Kapatiran, Catholic Women’s League, Kit and Fenny Tatad, published a Statement Against the RH Bill Amendments: “The re-packaged Bill seeks to mislead everyone into believing that everything unconstitutional, immoral, dangerous to the health, particularly of women, and therefore unacceptable in the Bill, has been deleted and expunged through the proffered amendments… It is inherently destructive, unconstitutional, wasteful, and redundant. Here’s why: “1. x x x the Bill is really a populationcontrol measure... Countries that went this route (e.g., Singapore and Russia) have since cursed this path and reversed their course, their aging population and vanishing work force serving as grim reminders of their blunder. We should learn from their painful mistake.” It stated that HSBC Banking Corporation counts the Philippines as one of the promising economies in the world due to its population. “2. In targeting the poor, the revised Bill impliedly blames this marginalized sector for the economic woes of our country. Majority of our people are poor not because of their number but due to years of neglect, indifference and apathy by other stakeholders. Population is not the cause of poverty; it is poor governance, corruption in government, lack of employment opportunities, poor education and lack of training to the underprivileged.” “3. The revised Bill impinges on people’s

‘Drawing out our Faith’
“…4…5… what’s next to five dear?” Maybelle asked her daughter. “Six!!!” Mara confidently answered. “Goood! Now, go on… The shape of the animal is slowly coming out.” Mara continued drawing lines to connect the numbers consecutively. Then she paused and asked, “Mama, what’s after ten?” “Now, think dear…we studied that before, remember? Try to recall.” Mara propped her chin on the eraser end of her pencil. Her eyebrows crumpled together as she tried to remember. “Well, what is the answer, dear?” Mara’s eyes widened with excitement as an answer suddenly materialized in her head. She exclaimed, “THIRTEEN!!!” “You just said that because you like the way ‘een’ sounds,” Maybelle controlled herself from frowning and drew her best smile. “Honey, look again at the numbers you’ve just connected.” Mara stared at the numbered dots but she got distracted in trying to figure out what shape she was drawing. “Concentrate dear…,” Maybelle said and pointed at the numbers. “If it’s thirteen then you’re skipping two numbers, right?” “Yeh, I know. It’s at the tip of my nose,” Mara said. “You mean your tongue, dear,” she pinched her daughter’s nose. “Then it must be one and one,” Mara was trying to mischievously get the answer from her mother. “Alright dear, it’s called ELEVEN!” “Mommy’s correct, yahoo!!!” Mara dove into the math exercise to continue drawing the hidden picture. *** We have all enjoyed, sometime in our lives –maybe even at the present as you tutor your kids–, such an entertaining exercise as connecting dots. I’ve never got around to liking math, but I had quite a number of these exercise books because I enjoyed drawing. Our faith is drawn out for us in a similar way but not through a mathematical method. As we grow up, we too have to learn how to connect the dots of the contents of our faith so that we can slowly learn to love and live it. We were taught how to pray the grace before meals, to offer sacrifices during the seasons of Advent and Lent, to visit Churches and walk with processions during town feasts, etc. All these were literally many ‘points’ that were gradually completing the picture of our faith. Without wanting to stretch the analogy too much, we can however see that our faith also works with numbers. For example, there are 10 Commandments and their order must be properly memorized because this points to how we observe the proper order of love: which begins with

Fr. Francis Ongkingco

God, then our neighbor and finally with ourselves. The liturgical calendar also is like a series of days, with dates, that are linked with one another to finally complete a beautiful and living reality, which the Church offers to God unceasingly. There are solemnities of our Lord and our Lady, feasts of apostles and martyrs, memorials of the saints and other celebrations depending on the pastoral needs of every place and faithful. One cannot deny that this rich spiritual kaleidoscope does not fail to enrich and nourish our own faith as well as attract others to truly experience the presence of God in the Church. Still there are many examples where we literally connect spiritual dots to express our faith and deepen it. There is the recitation of the Rosary, which is made up of small ‘rose beads’ offered to our Lady and to our Lord in varying intensity. We have novenas that span throughout the entire year, and depending on each person’s devotion somehow, add color to the collective piety of the faithful. The list of this ‘connectivity of our acts of faith’ is endless because love is creative. Striving to keep this attitude alive throughout the day is also called ‘presence of God.’ St. Josemaría expressed his faith in little things. In fact, he once said, “Do everything for Love. Thus there will be no little things: everything will be big. Perseverance in little things for Love is heroism. (The Way, no. 813)” He was always fond of talking about this ascetical reality and gave many wonderful and practical suggestions for people to apply to their different circumstances. For example, he writes: “Make use of those holy ‘human reminders that I suggested to help you keep presence of God: aspirations, acts of love and reparation, spiritual communions, ‘glances’ at a picture of our Lady. (Ibid., no. 272)” These human reminders, he would say can be a door gently opened or closed for of love God. The image of a donkey can be a reminder of serving God without complaining. And frequent glances at images of our Lady or the Crucifix accompanied with an affectionate phrase or greeting can express our immense love and devotion. *** Maybelle tucked Mara into bed and kissed her goodnight. “Mama…?” “Yes, dear. Need anything else.” “No, I just wanted to say that my favorite number is four.” “Really, why is that so?” “Want me to show you why?” “Sure,” Maybelle sat by her daughter’s bedside. Mara closed her eyes, then slowly made a sign of the cross as she whispered, “One…two… three…four!” “There are only Three of them, honey. What’s number four?” Mara smiled and whispered, “Number four is for Mama Mary!”

Fr. Carmelo O. Diola

Spaces of Hope
I WAS with a group of priests processing out after the October 22 thanksgiving mass inside St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome when I noticed a familiar face nervously beckoning to me. Although the figure was lean, I instinctively connected him with the rotund priest from Cebu mentioned earlier in the sacristy as looking for me. The Monday 8 am mass had been presided by Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal, Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu. The entire length of the central portion of the basilica, i.e. the nave, nearly overflowed with joy-filled Filipino pilgrims who had stayed on even after the actual canonization of San Pedro Calungsod and six others a day before. About 30 bishops and 150 priests concelebrated. Where I was seated during mass gave me a good visual of the mosaic-portrait of St. Luke – clearly identified by the winged bull above his right shoulder – above in one of the pendentives (i.e. one of the four triangular concave surfaces of vaulting, located in the corners of the structure supporting the dome) of the basilica. Thirteen years earlier, Luke’s version of the call of the first disciples in his fifth chapter had been my final paper

Santa Helena
prayer with Dad. Mom enjoyed eating and seeing her eat was in itself a treat, though she never became obese. It was a sad moment for us when she could no longer swallow but had to be fed through a peg. Still until two months ago, she could still manage to dissolve a tiny fragment of consecrated host. Elena was a determined woman whose gentle stubbornness was channeled through her love of study and travel, her raising up of eight children, her being a faculty member of different schools, her being the regional director of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) region 7, and her active engagement in various organizations. She embodied the feminine genius for the nurturance of life. When she was given the Sugbu-ana Achievers Award in 1997 it was a well-deserved recognition. Mommy never ran away from a good fight. Once, when a certain policy was being proposed at the DOST which would have made certain technologies inaccessible to the larger public, Mommy wrote a clearlyworded letter to the national office asking for
Whatever / A7

for my studies in Rome. Its call to “Put out into the deep” coincided with the theme of John Paul II’s exhortation on the New Millennium. These thoughts triggered a sense of divine reassurance in the face of something inevitable. “Your mother died last night,” my friend told me. “I knew it,” was all I could say even as tears welled up in my eyes. It was most painful, but peace and consolation reigned in my heart. *** Mommy had been suffering from advanced Parkinson’s disease for quite some time. About three months ago, we suspected she had a cancerous growth in her stomach but decided against the very risky operation. In the last few weeks of her life, she had been receiving blood transfusion once every two weeks. In less than a year after my father died, Mom had become bed-ridden although I never heard her complain about her condition. She always obliged me with a gentle kiss on the cheeks when I asked for it. She continued praying the rosary, their favorite

Candidly Speaking / A4

our legal and political systems. In fact, every field of human endeavor should have a clear educational and formative animating spirit. Let’s hope that all of us realize this truth more deeply and act in accordance to it. Insofar as the academic setting is concerned, it has to be pointed out that all the subjects taught there have to be properly grounded and oriented toward the original source and the ultimate goal of knowledge, who is God. It would be a disaster if we just get entangled in the merely intellectual and technical aspects of the subjects. We would open ourselves to the possibility of misusing and even exploiting them. That’s because we would be pursuing and using them

according to our purposes, and not the will of God who created them. We need to realize that all these subjects—the sciences and arts, the skills and technologies—ultimately come from God and belong to God. Ours is simply to discover them and make use of them, including making some inventions, but always in accordance to God’s plan and providence. The very nature of these subjects can only reflect the wisdom, the goodness and the love of God for us. If their nature is properly respected and used, these subjects can only lead us to God, and can involve us in the dynamics of love, the essence of God of whom we are the image and likeness.

A CATHOLIC bishop has called for further steps toward the full participation of women in all stages of conflict resolution and peace building. Tabuk Bishop Prudencio Andaya Jr said that concrete steps must be put in place to empower women and increase the proportion of their involvement at all levels of peace building and decision-making. “Women play a big role in maintaining stability particularly on the area

Local News
of peace building,” Andaya said as he recall how a mother forgave her child’s alleged killer and prayed for his reformation two years ago. He said the rare act of the forgiving mother appeased the family and relatives to seek revenge, which Kalinga, a landlocked province in northern Luzon, is known for. This gave birth to the organization of the Peacemakers Movement of Kalinga composed mostly of victims of violence and its later alliance to the Women Engaged in Action on 1235 and other peacemaking organizations. “The murder of her boy, an engineering graduate and her offer for prayers for the spiritual reformation of the culprit inspired me to spread out the good news that women can make a difference when it comes to conflict resolution,” he said. The bishop made the call during a recent orientation workshop on the implementation and localization of the Philippine National Action Plan on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 held last month at the Tabuk Pastoral Center, in Kalinga. During the workshop, participants from the religious sector, academe, business and the media were asked to integrate the PNAP 1235 in their works.
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CBCP Monitor
November 19 - December 2, 2012

Vol. 16 No. 24

Bishop cites women’s role in peace building
UNSCR 1325 marked the first time the Security Council addressed the disproportionate and unique impact of armed conflict on women. It also recognized the under-valued and under-utilized contributions women make to conflict prevention, conflict resolution and peace building and stressed the importance of women’s equal and full participation as active agents in peace and security. (RL/CBCPNews)

Sen. Sotto’s anti-RH bill exposé hits nerve, says Church officials
CATHOLIC Church officials believe Senator Vicente Sotto III must have hit a nerve in his exposé against the “reproductive health” bill and its hardline supporters. Malolos Bishop Jose Oliveros said the current controversy hounding Sotto is purely a demolition job because his critics cannot answer questions raised on the controversial population control measure. “Those pushing for the RH bill have been looking for pretext to attack and discredit Senator Sotto,” Oliveros said. “I am praying for him. I hope that he would remain strong and not be discouraged because many people are behind him against the RH bill,” he said. The bishop was reacting to a complaint filed before the Senate ethics committee against Sotto for allegedly plagiarizing some parts of his speech against the RH bill. The 36 complainants were composed of university professors, bloggers, and members of “Filipino Freethinkers”, an organization of atheists in the Philippines.
FOI / A1

Sotto claimed that his critics are just being “manipulated” by pro-RH bill groups in a bid to make him accountable for his stand against the bill. Oliveros said the Church does not condone plagiarism but he believes that the senator can defend himself from the accusations against him. “It’s only a trial by publicity. They are just doing that to discredit those who are opposing the passage of the bill,” he said. “Nevertheless, I admire Sotto’s determination and his stand against the RH bill,” added Oliveros who heads the Office on Bioethics of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). Another church official also came to the aid of the embattled Senate Majority Floor Leader. For Fr. Melvin Castro, executive secretary of the CBCP’s Commission on Family and Life, the attacks against Sotto is already “harmful and a very uncharitable strategy.” He said it only showed that RH bill lobbyists and supporters would do all the things including “dirty tactics” for the measure.

“ T h e s e heavy criticisms and bullying against Sotto only shows that they will do everything including character assassination just to pass the RH bill,” Castro said. “How much more if the RH Senator Sotto has been vilified for his “Turno en contra” bill becomes a speech in the Senate last August, where he revealed law? Our hope foreign-funded organizations as those pushing for the passage of the RH Bill. and prayer is for our lawmakers to reject the provider in the world. RH bill,” he said. Sotto also revealed that proviIn his “Turno en Contra” sions of the RH bill are already speech last August, Sotto identi- covered by 23 laws and governfied a number of pro-RH bill and ment regulations and that the foreign-funded organizations 2012 national budget already has such as Likhaan that have been P8 billion for reproductive health pushing to legalize abortion in programs. According to him, an effective the Philippines. He said that some of these implementation of government organizations have also been health programs was needed getting millions of dollars in sub- instead of the proposed RH law. sidies from the United Nations Following his expose against Population Fund and the Inter- the RH bill, Sotto has been a national Planned Parenthood subject of online attacks and Federation, the largest abortion cyber-bullying. (CBCPNews) many contentious issues about the bill that needs to be addressed. Malacañang said the administration has done its part in promoting the bill and its passage already lies in the hands of the Congress. Pabillo called on lawmakers to give specific time frame in tackling the measure. “They’ve been dilly-dallying for so long… they should give time for this if they are really serious,” he said. (RL/CBCPNews)

and that’s if the chief executive is really serious about it,” said Pabillo, chairman of the CBCP’s National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace (Nassa). However, the bishop lamented that Aquino has been cold on the FOI bill’s passage, which could provide substantive, procedural and institutional guarantee to the public’s constitutional right to information. He reiterated that Aquino’s much-vaunted “straight path” campaign would remain
Foreign / A1

a slogan if the government would not pass the FOI bill. “It would mean that the slogan was only used for political expediency and not really to enforce reforms in the country,” said Pabillo. On November 13, the measure failed to pass the House committee on public information following a long debate on procedural matters. Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone, chair of the committee, also claimed there are still

said a rational evaluation of abortion must be built upon one single question: When exactly does human life begin? “If you are hunting and something that moved behind a tree but you aren’t sure if it’s a person or animal, are you going to shoot it?” Reyes said. “Of course you’ll have to make sure because human life is important.” “In the same manner, should we not all protect life from the beginning to its very end?” he said. The bishop raised the point even if the Catholic Church holds that life begins at the moment of conception or when a man’s sperm meets a woman’s egg. Some senators yesterday introduced amendments to the RH bill with Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, for instance, wanting to define when life begins in the womb. For him, life begins at fertilization, which may mean the banning of some oral contraceptives and other devices that block a fertilized ovum from implanting. This drew a reaction from RH bill principal sponsors Pia Cayetano and Miriam DefensorSantiago. “I do not believe that all our collective wisdom can take the place of scientific experts trying to define when life begins,” Cayetano said. “Even the experts do not pretend to have that kind of wisdom.” “There is a consensus in
Consistory / A1

scientific community that contraceptives work prior to fertilization so they can’t be considered abortifacients. I am deeply regretful that this proposed amendment is unacceptable to the sponsor,” said Santiago. Enrile’s amendment was outvoted by his colleagues, 9-11. Fr. Melvin Castro, ECFL executive secretary, said it is unfortunate that senators rejected the Enrile amendment despite admitting that they are not experts on when life starts. “The more that we have to be careful about this because even the principal authors themselves admitted that they do not know when life begins,” Castro said. “We have to be sure about this because we are talking about human life here,” he said. Senator Ralph Recto also objected a key provision of the RH bill mandating local government units and private hospitals to provide RH services. In a vote of 13-7, senators accepted the Recto amendment. According to Senate Majority Floor Leader Vicente Sotto III, most local government officials “are anti-RH bill”. “They are being mandated to provide these commodities disguised as essential medicines from their budget. Even if you conduct surveys, most of the mayors are against this,” said Sotto. (CBCPNews)

However, based on the response from other nations, it looks like other poor people have a better grasp of the situation. “African women’s groups told Melinda Gates they needed food, education, shelter, real health care, not contraceptives and condoms,” Tatad related. Profit A militant labor group has also criticized the country’s biggest business organizations for throwing their support for the population control measure. The Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) said the business groups are just after making profits and not really fight poverty or upholding women’s real reproductive rights. “Big capitalists’ support for the RH Bill stems from their anti-poor sentiments and greed for profits. They have never shown genuine concern for the plight of the poor or for women’s reproductive rights,” said KMU chairperson Elmer Labog. “Big capitalists have always blamed the poor for poverty, always asserted that it’s the poor who have to do something to reduce poverty. They refuse to admit that widespread poverty is built-in to the system which they rule,” he added.
Obama / A1

Labog lamented that these companies only “want to sell contraceptives to as many consumers as possible and boost their profits in doing so.” At the summit, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Employment Confederation of the Philippines (Ecop), Makati Business Club (MBC), Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) and Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) signed a “manifesto of support” for the RH bill. But Labog said history clearly shows that these companies are not pro-poor and prowomen. “They want to project themselves as pro-poor but they have consistently rejected calls for a P125 across-the-board wage hike nationwide, for the junking of contractual employment, and for respect for workers’ rights. They have been demolishing urban poor communities so they can build their businesses,” Labog said. “They want to project themselves as pro-women, but they have through the years refused to give maternity benefits to women contractual workers. In many special economic zones in the country, women contractuals

who get pregnant are automatically booted out from work,” he added. Corruption Tatad reminded the nearly 400 participants in the pro-life congress organized by Human Life International (HLI) “to think more deeply what we stand for” and of the duty to understand and share with others the truth about the issues, since “our people have certain built-in limitations.” He cited the need to help others go beyond a superficial tackling of vital issues, such as corruption. “We say we are all against it, and we don’t mind listening to the drivel—‘kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap,’ yet most of us have only the most superficial view of ‘corruption.’ Tatad then illustrated the higher forms of corruption that plague the country and slow down genuine progress: Stealing public office is corruption; so is “exploiting the death, sickness or misfortune of a friend or family member for one’s personal or political gain is corruption. Employing various devices to proclaim one’s non-existent virtues and rubbish the reputation of others is

corruption.” “Manipulating the ignorance of the ignorant and the gullibility of the gullible to advance one’s agenda or ambition is corruption,” he continued. “Turning an adversary into a hate object in order to cover up one’s own failings or inability to deliver on one’s duties is corruption.” Tatad pointed out that few are able—or willing—to see it but corruption in all its varied forms “remains the basic problem of our body politic. It has not been shoved away or even shoved under the rug by ‘daang matuwid’.” He once again alluded to the revelations that resulted from the foreign-sponsored Manila Family Planning Summit and appealed to the participants to be more pro-active, especially since mainstream media generally cannot be relied on to dish out all the facts on the issues. “We cannot expect the conscript media and the principal organs of government propaganda to explain this to our people. They will likely censor it, or give it an altogether fanciful meaning. But we in this assembly have a duty to understand it and share it with the rest of our countrymen,” he asserted. (With reports from Roy Lagarde)

CBCP for Life

Life International (HLI) about the harm that contraception causes on women, pointed out that though US affairs are that country’s own, the rest of the world is not immune to the effects of developments in American politics. The outcome of the recent presidential elections exerts tremendous influence on the direction which legislation takes in the Philippines, the writer noted. “He may be the president of the US—not my president—but as head of such a powerful nation, Obama can be a big influence on our own nation’s policies. Do you think it’s coincidental that after Pnoy came home from a meeting with Obama, the noise on RH bill started getting louder again?” she asked. “It’s not two separate events; it’s cause and effect.” President Benigno Aquino III is getting a lot of pressure from the US as it is, to sign the reproductive health (RH) bill into law, and with Obama still on top, the fight to overcome that and stay true to our culture just gets harder,” Bautista added.

Bautista, who blogs on life and chastity issues, took part in a video by HLI, the world’s largest pro-life organization, which was produced this year as part of a campaign to defend the rights of women, in response to yet another massive effort by the British government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) to carry out its depopulation agenda in developing nations. The video titled “No Controversy?” exposed the serious and documented dangers that contraceptives pose on the health of women. Featured in it are young women from Asia and Africa – the focus of the BMGF’s project to flood the developing world with birth control supplies, including what it has called “lifesaving contraceptives.” Bautista was one of two Filipino women who appeared in the HLI-produced project, which debuted in July. It’s not only in America that proposed laws’ trampling on the people’s Constitution-guaranteed freedoms is becoming

apparent. The much-debated RH bill was hailed for a time by its proponents as one step to advance freedom of choice. It is becoming increasingly obvious to more and more Filipinos, however, that the bill deprives a remarkable portion of the population of the right to exercise freedom in different forms which are enshrined in the Philippine Constitution. Life and family advocates have been continuously working to uphold women and children’s rights amid decades-long foreign pressure to carry out government-mandated programs for “reproductive health” care services — the latest of which is the P13.7-billion measure that proposes, among other heavily opposed provisions, taxpayer-funded procurement and distribution of birth control drugs and devices. A substitute RH bill was recently formulated, which pro-lifers reject just the same since it essentially contains the same objectionable principles but presented differently. (CBCP for Life)

Archbishop Luis Tagle of Manila, 55. When Pope Benedict created 22 cardinals in February, 16 of them were Europeans. Obviously, the pope does not make his choice based on geography first of all. Most of the cardinals hold positions that by Vatican norms or by ancient tradition are held by cardinals. Given the large number of Italians heading Vatican offices and the numerous Italian archdioceses traditionally led by cardinals, the Italians would have a numerically powerful bloc of votes in a conclave to elect a new pope. In fact, after the consistory is over and the six new cardinals are welcomed into the group, the Italians still will have 28 voters, 20 of whom were created cardinals by Pope Benedict. With the exception of Europe, no single continent has the number of electors Italy has; Latin America comes closest with 21 electors. But sometimes those who should be cardinals are kept in an archbishop's magenta for a while; the most obvious example of that is Archbishop Gerhard L. Muller, who was named prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in July. Vatican norms ― and the practical responsibilities of a job that involves doctrinal oversight of

Vatican offices headed by cardinals ― dictate that the prefect be a cardinal. He’ll just have to wait a bit. Of the 120 electors who will be part of the college Nov. 24, 40 of them work in or have retired from positions in the Roman Curia. The other 80 are archbishops who head dioceses or patriarchs and major archbishops who head Eastern churches. Cardinal-designate Rai, the Maronite patriarch, will bring to 21 the number of cardinal-electors who entered the priesthood and ministered as members of religious orders. The Salesians top the list with four cardinals—three of them, including Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state—work in the Roman Curia. The group of electors also includes three Franciscans and two Jesuits. A greater variety of nations, languages, spiritual and liturgical traditions in the College of Cardinals obviously means a more “catholic” group of participants in the cardinals’ most solemn responsibility: electing a new pope. But the variety also has a very real impact on the Roman Curia because each cardinal becomes a member of one or more Vatican congregations or councils, bringing his experience to bear on decisions that impact the universal church. (Cindy Wooden / CNS)

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 16 No. 24
November 19 - December 2, 2012

Diocesan News
CEBU City—The Cebu Solidarity with the Urban Poor (CSUP), a wide alliance of religious and lay people, called on the government to uphold the rights of the poor to shelter as series of demolitions displace families from their homes in Cebu City’s Brgy. Luz. In a statement, Sr. Ester Suico, SSHJM, one of the leading conveners of the CSUP, said they were concerned about the plight of the affected families of the 32 households in Brgy. Luz, who are left homeless since there were no proper relocation sites provided for them by the government. “Our brothers and sisters were given the lots in Barangay Luz as relocation site by President Ramon Magsaysay in the 1950’s. However, the Supreme Court ordered their demolition and they trusted the courts and the city government which promised adequate resettlement after the demolition which started on October 8, 2012,” Suico said. The nun said the affected families are only living in tents erected beside their rightful lots. “The tent is hot during the day. When it rains, the people get wet. At night, some sleep sitting down on makeshift chairs. They have no running water, electricity, sanitation. Their meager livelihood such as street vending is disrupted. Some of them who hauled their old timber to proposed relocation sites were dismayed to discover that these already belonged to other claimants,” she said. Since there were no assurance of proper relocation, said Suico, some of them are starting to re-build their homes on the same lots provided them; however, since there is a standing SC order, there is a possibility of another demolition and making them more vulnerable against the alleged harassments from Cebu City Councilor Nida Cabrera, the Homeowners’ Association, as well as from other government instrumentalities. Meanwhile, as lawyers of the affected families are trying to get

a motion for reconsideration, the CSUP called for further support and solidarity from the public to press the authorities to stop the demolition. “We call on the authorities to heed the Guidelines of the United Nations on Evictions and Development-based Displacement which say that forced eviction is a human rights violation and States must refrain from it. Instead, States must protect and promote the right of the people to adequate housing. May our new saint, Pedro Calungsod, intercede for us to our one and only Heavenly Father, in Jesus our Brother, through the Holy Spirit!” Suico said. (Noel Sales Barcelona)

Stop demolitions in Brgy. Luz, Cebu govt urged

Many families living in Barangay Luz in Cebu City have been displaced due to series of demolitions in the area.

Church, Pangasinan Bishop seeks justice for slain parish worker agree on 3 areas of cooperation
DAGUPAN City—Although Church and State are independent and autonomous, both are called to collaboration in order to serve the people, a Catholic archbishop said. Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said it would be unnatural for the church and state to ignore each, adding that cooperation is necessary for the sake of the integrity of the person. “The church and state must be properly positioned maintaining distance yet keeping close coordination and mutual cooperation to bring forth peace and progress for the good of the people,” Villegas said. The archbishop made the statement in his homily during a Mass at the Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Shrine in Manaoag on Nov. 8 that was attended by Pangasinan’s provincial government officials. The archdiocese and Pangasinan province have also agreed on three areas of cooperation called the three “Ps”. Villegas said these include peace, progress and people. He said that peace is a priority thrust of both the church and state. “The church promotes peace among its laity and so does the government,” he said. The archbishop, on the other hand, said that progress comes naturally from a peaceful environment whose leaders are rightfully focused in bringing genuine development to the community. “The last ‘P’ is People,” Villegas said, as he noted that the vision of the church and the state will not materialize if the community will not embrace the first two “Ps”. The Mass, which was also attended by local government unit heads and various provincial department heads and chiefs of hospital, was part of the activities in anticipation of the archdiocese’s upcoming jubilee celebration on February 6, 2013. (RL/CBCPNews) JOLO CITY, Sulu—A Catholic bishop has demanded justice for a female parish worker who was killed on Nov. 13 outside a church in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi. Jolo Bishop Angelito Lampon wants to see the killer of Conchita “Ching” Francisco, an elementary school principal of the Mindanao State University, brought to justice as soon as possible.
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According to him, Francisco’s husband, Jhun, was also murdered six years ago and the case remains unsolved until now. “It’s very pathetic. The victim also has a 4-year old child [who] has a mental problem,” Lampon said. Francisco has worked for many years as a member of the Our Lady of Most Holy

Rosary Parish Pastoral Council in Bongao. Initial investigation revealed that the victim was shot in the head after attending an evening Mass. The gunmen and motive for the killing remain unknown. “Earlier, she led the rosary and was the commentator at Mass. She died instantly,” said Fr. Jun Mercado, OMI, in his Facebook page. (RL/CBCPNews)

Bishop to youth: Entrust your vocation to God

PASIG City—A Catholic bishop reminded the youth when it comes to their vocation, they must entrust it to God. In his homily during the recently held 5th Vocation Festival, Pasig Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara emphasized that the challenge of the vocation festival to young people is to entrust everything to God. “God is generous to us, we lived borrowed lives and we are gifts. Everything we have is a gift from God and we do not own anything. Whatever we can do is because of God. He provides for what is lacking and gives more. So where is God calling you? Entrust [yourself] to Him,” Vergara said. (Jandel Posion)
Regional youth convention on New Evangelization

these supplies and devices, contrary to the Bill’s pronouncement of free choice.” “5. Much of what the revised Bill seeks to do is based on the implied premise that pregnancy is a disease.” How can pregnancy be a disease? “6. The Revised Bill distorts the Constitutional order of rights by equating reproductive rights with the traditional rights found in the Constitution. The so-called “reproductive rights” are not among the rights specifically protected by the Constitution, unlike the rights associated to life, family and religion.” “7. The revised Bill promotes a warped sense of priorities.” Billions of pesos will be spent on contraceptives and condoms while several thousands of people die of cancer, tuberculosis, diabetes, dengue and other dreaded diseases without the benefit of medical attention. Even PhilHealth is required to pay the full cost of family planning but never the sickness which is real. “This is a case of double standard prohibited by the equal protection clause of the Constitution.” “8. Some of the amendments are just lip-service.” Although the Bill states “being open to life”,
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it is negated by the promotion of contraceptives, threat of imprisonment for those who are against it, and subjecting parents to bring to the world “only those children that they can raise in a truly humane way… it opens the door to forced contraception and sterilization.” “9. Finally, the revised Bill is superfluous and unnecessary… pre-natal services and right to contraception are already enshrined in the Magna Carta for Women. The Bill serves no other purpose than to create another potential source of corruption. Mr. Renaud Meyer, the United Nations Development Program country director, reported that ‘the Philippines loses P1.92 Billion to corruption every year. In 2000, the cost of corruption was 10% of GNP. A more recent estimate puts it at close to 20% of the national budget.’” The Statement summarizes: “The RH Bill will force or condition the minds of people to use contraceptives at the expense of their Constitutional rights. Only the manufacturers and distributors of artificial family planning devices and services, and others with hidden agenda, stand to benefit from their proposed legislation. Instead of allowing foreign

population-control program to divide the nation and dissipate our resources, let us unite in pursuing a genuine development plan that will propel our country to greater economic heights and in preserving the liberties and unique Filipino values bequeathed to us by our forefathers and gained with the blood of martyrs.” *** Viva San Pedro Calungsod. Please pray for us! The “Duaw-Nasud” or Nation Visit of the image of St. Pedro Calungsod in the Diocese of Kalookan was a huge success. Thousands of parishioners waited at C-3 Road corner Mabini Street, joined the motorcade and/or walked with the image up to San Roque Cathedral, waving banners with the saint’s picture. Veneration and prayers were led by Most Rev. Deogracias Iñiguez, Bishop of Kalookan and Fr. Rey Amante. Welcome Mass was concelebrated by Bishop Iñiguez, Fr. Adrian Magnait, Fr. Jun Erlano and Fr. Joel Sabijon. The Cathedral was filled with devotees up to 12:00 midnight vigil. The following day, throngs of people went to the Cathedral until the departure of the image for the Diocese of

Imus. Farewell Mass was presided by Bishop Iñiguez and concelebrated by the Diocesan clergy. It was also attended by the Caloocan City officials led by Mayor Enrico Echiverri. *** Congratulations to His Excellency Most Rev. Rolando Tria Tirona, O.C.D., D.D. on his Installation and Canonical Possession of the Archdiocese of Caceres. This representation as National President of Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas (Laiko), together with Laiko Officers Dr. Amelita Go and Dr. Marita Wasan, were so blessed to have taken the so-called “Holy Flight” to Naga City because with us were Papal Nuncio His Excellency Giuseppe Pinto, Archbishop Jose Palma and Archbishop Soc Villegas and several bishops, clergy and laity from Manila and neighboring towns and cities. Archbishop Tirona took over Caceres’ Archbishop Emeritus Leonardo Legaspi, O.P. *** Happy Birthday to my sister Victoria Santiago. Birthday greetings also to Fr. Rey Amante, Fr. Octavio T. Bartiana, Fr. Luisio Alambra, Kathy de Leon and Jun Acebuche of Kalookan Diocese.

DAVAO City—The DADITAMA region in Mindanao, comprising Davao, Digos, Tagum and Mati held a youth assembly focusing on New Evangelization at the John Paul II College in Davao City last October 26 to 28. More than 300 young people participated in the 3rd Youth Convention that carried the theme “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith.” Aside from catechesis on Porta Fidei (Door of Faith) given to delegates, the convention also launched the Lakbay Youth Newsletter and had discussions on Social Communication and Leadership and on issues concerning Love, Sex and Life. (MJ Olea/Jandel Posion)
Thousands flock Calungsod’s Malolos visit

MALOLOS City—Thousands of young people, catechists, and pilgrims gathered at the Basilica Minore of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral last Nov. 6 to welcome the image of the 2nd Filipino Saint Pedro Calungsod. Malolos Bishop Jose Oliveros in his homily during the Mass, extolled the characteristics of the Filipino saint, his being a young catechist and a martyr and challenged the young people to imitate the examples of the teen Saint. He said a person’s holiness is not determined by age or status but by his service and offering of life for God and his people. (Ryan Rayos)
Commitment matters most in vocation

PASIG City—When it comes to religious and priestly vocation, quality is more important than quantity, so said a religious nun. The commitment of the person being called is what counts in a vocation, according to Sr. Mary Paul, OSB, a vocation promoter of the Missionary Benedictine Sisters of Tutzing. When asked about the decreasing numbers of those responding to priesthood or religious life vocation, the nun thinks it is a very important thing to consider not the number but the quality of commitment from those who want to enter the priesthood or religious life. The Benedictine nun was one of the many religious sisters and clergy who participated in the recent 5th Vocation Festival held last November 11 at St. Paul College in Pasig. (Jandel Posion)
Bishop has no problem if Leonen goes to SC

its reversal. She got what she wanted. In another instance, she stood her ground against a corrupt official who was harassing her and did not give in to his demands. She did not dichotomize between her faith and her work as a public servant; in fact, she saw her work as a necessary expression of her being part of the church, a faith personally revived by the Catholic Charismatic movement. Early this year, during a lull in an eightmonth project that took me outside Cebu, I visited my Nanay and expressed some feelings of guilt about the rarity of my visits. She turned to me and said: “You finish what you have started!” That was the last time I heard that firm, familiar voice. I returned to the project with renewed gusto. *** After receiving the sad news, I hurriedly searched for my brother Neil among the pilgrims inside the basilica. Upon finding him, I pointed to a relatively empty spot to break the news. After doing so, I raised my eyes to discover that we were directly beneath the statue of St. Helena. She was on one of the four piers, i.e. huge pillars supporting the dome of the basilica containing the most precious relics of the sacred space. Hollowed-out niches in these piers contain a balcony to display a larger-than-life statue. The saint is depicted as supporting a cross on her right hand and holding three nails on her left. St. Helena is the Christian mother of Emperor Constantine. The latter is a death-bed convert to Christianity although he had decreed the toleration of Christianity in his
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empire. Helena is credited with the discovery of the relic of the true cross and for building several churches. Her presence in the life of Constantine helped spread Christianity through the empire. Eusebius, an early Church historian, notes that the poor were special objects of the empress’s charity. Accounts of her life tell of her access to the royal treasury and how she had used this to advance the interests of Christianity and for charitable works. This would not pass muster in today’s doctrine of the separation of Church and State but St. Helena knew instinctively that the things of God took precedence over and transform the things of Cesar. One can say that St. Helena provided pastoral accompaniment to her son. Her life as wife and mother was not an easy one. Her husband Emperor Constantius had divorced her in order to marry the daughter of the emperor. When Constantine became emperor he restored his mother to prominence and she displayed a strong political and religious will. Saint Helena is more than just a sweet figure of a woman during Flores de Mayo. *** Clearly distraught, Neil and his wife, Lorna, were at a loss as to what to do next. I pointed out that Mommy, who enjoyed learning new things and exploring her surroundings, would have wanted them to continue with their discovery of the Eternal City instead of groveling at their pension room to grieve. I convinced them to go to the Sistine Chapel and pray there. We did this to our consolation.

The following day, Neil and Lorna continued with their tour, deriving spiritual solace from sacred places like San Giovanni Rotondo and Lanciano where a Eucharistic miracle had occurred. I, for my part, returned to St. Peter’s basilica where I found the statue of St. Helena, the tomb of Blessed John Paul II, and the Pieta off-limits to tourists but not to those who wanted to pray. It was a very spiritual experience for the three of us. *** “The last time I visited Mommy was when she was brought to the hospital for another transfusion,” recalled my running partner, Ret. Gen. Samson R. Tucay. “Although she could no longer speak,” he continues, “Mommy’s eyes were active and followed me as if to say, ‘Welcome. I know you are here and I offer you hospitality.’” My siblings and I chose Matthew 25:31-46 as the gospel for Mommy’s funeral mass Tuesday 30 October. This is considered “the key-stone to the edifice of Matthew’s morality” and this “much-loved text presents a practical religion of deeds of loving-kindness, love of neighbor.” The strong, active verbs – for instance, we are called not just to “comfort” but “look after” or “nurse” (vv. 35-36). The gospel calls for a good dose of the feminine genius we all need to cultivate. Mom exemplified these traits. In this Year of Faith, our family gave the best gift we could offer. We will miss you Mommy. Thank you. Thank you Saint Helena. Thank you Lord.

ISABELA, Basilan—A Catholic bishop in Mindanao has no problem if chief government peace negotiator Marvic Leonen will be appointed as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Basilan Bishop Martin Jumoad said that appointing Leonen to the SC is President Benigno Aquino III’s prerogative anyway and must be respected. What is important, he added, is that whoever will be appointed to the SC should judge with fairness and integrity and true to the spirit of the law. Leonen was said to be leading the shortlist of candidates prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council who have the chance to fill the lone vacancy in the SC. (CBCPNews)

were futile. “If not for my faith in God, we feel really helpless. Strong political will is necessary to settle this case once and for all,” Sutarez said. She said the Atis are worried about their fate in Boracay, which was originally their home, but were displaced starting in the 1970s when tourists and investors started to descend on the island. The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) said it was doing all it could to help the Atis but the missionary said the case must be settled because the indigenous people have long been struggling. “We are appealing to the gov-

ernment to really make a stand about this,” said Sutarez. The nun also lamented the incident when a group of 20 armed men who are allegedly employees of Crown Regency Boracay destroyed parts of a perimeter fence of the Ati community last Nov. 4. Armed with shotguns and handguns, the security guards of the Cebu-based J. King and Sons Co. Inc., which claims ownership of the land, forcibly entered the area and reportedly threatened the IPs. Dexter Condez, spokesman of Boracay Ati Tribal Organization, condemned the “attack”, adding that there were children in their community who were terrified.

“We ask them to fight fairly and not through intimidation and firearms,” said the 25-year old Condez. “We will continue this fight and we will not surrender.” After 12 years since they filed petition to have legal possession of their ancestral land, the NCIP awarded the Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title in January 2011 to the 200 members of the tribe. Even if the NCIP has not yet issued a writ of possession to them, the Atis have been occupying parts of the 2.1-hectare property in Manoc-Manoc covered by the CADT since last April. Sutarez also called on Presi-

dent Benigno Aquino III to intervene on the issue and help the IPs claim their ancestral land. “We think that the President is the only one that can finally resolve this issue,” she said. The CBCP’s National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace earlier called on the government not to forget that “before the onset of these enterprises were the tribespeople”. “Boracay should be beautiful not only for its beaches but most of all because of its people that respect and promote the rights of the marginalized and the minorities,” said Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Nassa chairman. (CBCPNews)


People, Facts & Places

CBCP Monitor

November 9 - December 2, 2012

Vol. 16 No. 24

Hundreds pray the Pedrito dolls’ ‘success’ depends on parents rosary against RH
HUNDREDS of Catholic faithful flocked to Nuestra Señora de Guia Archdiocesan Parish in Ermita, Manila November 12 for “Rosary for Life” aimed at stopping abortion. The praying of the rosary was followed by a Eucharistic celebration led by Antipolo Bishop Gabriel V. Reyes, chair of the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life (ECFL). Reyes in his homily pointed out that prayers are effective in the fight against the culture of death. He specifically noted the controversial measure now pending in both chambers of Congress. “We are praying that the Reproductive Health bill may not pass,” he said. The prelate further explained that life advocates who are focused on spreading the truth that contraceptives are not the solutions to poverty must always remember the plight of poor people. DESPITE clamor for the Pedrito doll, a wide-eyed, modern version of St. Pedro Calungsod, some wonder if it can really plant the desire for holiness in kids. Apparently, its success really depends on the parents. When asked whether or not a doll could possibly inspire aspirations for sainthood in the young, Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal said, “It really depends on the parents.” Cardinal Vidal explained, parents’ guidance and “catechesis” about sainthood to their children is the secret ingredient to Pedrito’s effectiveness. “It depends on the transmission of faith. [It will work] If they explain, he was a saint and you can be a saint also,” Cardinal Vidal added, explaining that the way parents present Pedrito is crucial to making sainthood accessible and attractive to young minds. Eilleen Esteban, head of the New Media team under the National Commission for the canonization of Calungsod,
Raymond Bandril / CBCPMedia Nirva’ana Dela Cruz / CBCPMedia

Cebu Archbishop-emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal inspects Pedrito. An initiative by the New Media team under the National Commission for the canonization of Pedro Calungsod, the doll is being used as a tool to make Saint Pedro Calungsod more known, especially to children.

Religious and lay faithful pray the rosary for the protection of the unborn during the anniversary of “Rosary for Life” at the Ermita parish, November 12.

“The culture of life is also involved in helping the poor,” said Reyes. Rosary for Life is a prayer association which promotes reverence and respect for the Godgiven gift of life, especially that

of the unborn. It was founded by Wyn Powers in 1989 after being inspired to help the unborn through a pro-life seminar and Rosary Congress where she learned of the benefits of praying the rosary. (CBCP for Life)

explained the Pedrito doll was “a marketing tool” and was never meant to be a religious article. Pedrito was initially designed to be an instantly recognizable icon for the online geo-tagging of the official image of St. Pedro before his canonization in Rome. There were several pre-canonization liturgical services in

Rome like the Triduum masses and vespers organized during the last few days leading to October 21. Orders for the Pedrito doll can be placed on the official St. Pedro Facebook page, https://www. or through email, (Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz)

Libis parish youth get some ‘night fever’ talking about vocation
THE Christ the King parish youth assembly on November 17 called ‘Night Fever: All He’s Asking is One Night”, gathered about a hundred people to talk about vocation and pursuing a life of committed passion. The youth assembly also aimed to prepare the parish youth for the parish fiesta, the Solemnity of Christ the King, on November 25 by talking about faith and true commitment to Christ. In an interview, parish youth leader Joel Nava said the talk on living a life for Christ given by Fr. Peter Coching was “great”, adding, “I am very happy for what I am right now serving to Jesus Christ (sic) and I can bring the example to others.” Nava, who often volunteers for the outreach program of the parish to Libis kids and youth, said he observed how the young people seemed to enjoy the experience, which included a Eucharistic hour. Fr. Coching reminded the young people gathered, “Your presence here with Jesus makes it special.” The youth were also encouraged to write down prayer intentions during the entire event, even while the Blessed Sacrament was exposed. According to Nava, the nearing fiesta is a big parish celebration and will include activities like a medical mission, a procession, a Eucharistic hour and a special mass to be headed by Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco, D.D. for the Solemnity of Christ the King this coming week. The event was organized by the parish youth ministry, headed by Ponzi Alampay. (Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz/ CBCPNews)
Nirva’ana Dela Cruz / CBCPMedia

Young people spend time deep in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.

Clergy, PBA icons play basketball to support Bible campaign
CATHOLIC clergy and pastors from evangelical churches pit off with professional players in a game of basketball to support the ongoing campaign of distributing millions of Bibles to Filipino homes. Dubbed as “Warriors of the Word” (WOW) between Philippine Basketball Association icon players and priests and pastors from Catholic and Evangelical churches, the event is set on November 22 at 1:00pm at the Cuneta Astrodome, in Pasay City. The Philippine Bible Society organized the basketball match in celebration of its 113th founding anniversary, which also aims to help the May They Be One (MTBO) Bible campaign in distributing 5 million copies of Bibles to 5 million poor Filipino families in a span of 7 years. A total of 13 PBA icon players namely Alvin Patrimonio, Johnny Abarrientos, Jerry Codinera, Kenneth Duremdes, Marlou Aquino, Rodney Santos, Joey Sta. Maria, Ronald Magtulis, Olsen Racela, Eric Gascon, Bobby Jose, Elmer Reyes, and Ato Agustin will be playing against a team of priests and pastors includingTV host Alex Tinsay, DJ Jordan Escusa, and Fr. Antonio Navarrete of the Archdiocese of Manila, among others. Aside from the PBA icon players, the following celebrities will also join the celebration to support the campaign: Kata Inocencio, Dianne Castillejo, Angelu De Leon-Rivera, Carla Martinez, Gabriel Valenciano, Lucho Ayala, Quest, Julianne, Astroboy (Talentadong Pinoy Grand Champion), Pippen Tan, and the Kaloob Dance Group. (CBCPNews)

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 16 No. 24
November 19 - December 2, 2012

Pastoral Concerns


‘Accept Christ’s Love and you will be the Witnesses so needed by our World’
(Pope Benedict XVI’s message to young people in preparation for World Youth Day 2013 which will be held in Rio de Janeiro in July next year)
Dear young friends, I greet all of you with great joy and affection. I am sure that many of you returned from World Youth Day in Madrid all the more “planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith” (cf. Col2:7). This year in our Dioceses we celebrated the joy of being Christians, taking as our theme: “Rejoice in the Lord always” (Phil 4:4). and now we are preparing for the next World Youth Day, which will take place in rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in July 2013. Before all else, I invite you once more to take part in this important event. The celebrated statue of Christ the redeemer overlooking that beautiful Brazilian city will be an eloquent symbol for us. Christ’s open arms are a sign of his willingness to embrace all those who come to him, and his heart represents his immense love for everyone and for each of you. Let yourselves be drawn to Christ! experience this encounter along with all the other young people who will converge on rio for the next World Youth Day! accept Christ’s love and you will be the witnesses so needed by our world. I invite you to prepare for World Youth Day in rio de Janeiro by meditating even now on the theme of the meeting: “Go and make disciples of all nations!” (cf. Mt 28:19). This is the great missionary mandate that Christ gave the whole Church, and today, two thousand years later, it remains as urgent as ever. This mandate should resound powerfully in your hearts. The year of preparation for the gathering in rio coincides with the Year of Faith, which began with the Synod of Bishops devoted to “The New evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith”. I am happy that you too, dear young people, are involved in this missionary outreach on the part of the whole Church. To make Christ known is the most precious gift that you can give to others. 1. A pressing call Historyshowshowmanyyoung people, by their generous gift of self, made a great contribution to the Kingdom of God and the development of this world by proclaiming the Gospel. Filled with enthusiasm, they brought the Good News of God’s Love made manifest in Christ; they used the means and possibilities then available, which were far inferior to those we have today. One example which comes to mind is Blessed José de anchieta. He was a young Spanish Jesuit of the sixteenth century who went as a missionary to Brazil before he was twenty years old and became a great apostle of the New World. But I also think of those among yourselves who are generously devoted to the Church’s mission. I saw a wonderful testimony of this at World Youth Day in Madrid, particularly at the meeting with volunteers. Many young people today seriously question whether life is something good, and have a hard time finding their way. More generally, however, young people look at the difficulties of our world and ask themselves: is there anything I can do? The light of faith illumines this darkness. It helps us to understand that every human life is priceless because each of us is the fruit of God’s love. God loves everyone, even those who have fallen away from him or disregard him. God waits patiently. Indeed, God gave his Son to die and rise again in order to free us radically from evil. Christ sent his disciples forth to bring this joyful message of salvation and new life to all people everywhere. The Church, in continuing this mission of evangelization, is also counting on you. Dear young people, you are the first missionaries among your contemporaries! at the end of the Second Vatican Council— whose fiftieth anniversary we are celebrating this year—the Servant of God Paul VI consigned a message to the youth of the world. It began: “It is to you, young men and women of the world that the Council wishes to address its final message. For it is you who are to receive the torch from the hands of your elders and to live in the world at the period of the most massive transformations ever realized in its history. It is you who, taking up the best of the example and the teaching of your parents and your teachers, will shape the society of tomorrow. You will either be saved or perish with it”. It concluded with the words: “Build with enthusiasm a better world than what we have today!” (Message to Young People, 8 December 1965). Dear friends, this invitation remains timely. We are passing through a very particular period of history. Technical advances not evangelize. The proclamation of the Gospel can only be the result of the joy that comes from meeting Christ and finding in him the rock on which our lives can be built. When you work to help others and proclaim the Gospel to them, then your own lives, so often fragmented because of your many activities, will find their unity in the Lord. You will also build up your own selves, and you will grow and mature in humanity. What does it mean to be a missionary? above all, it means being a disciple of Christ. It means listening ever anew to the invitation to follow him and look to him: “Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart” (Mt 11:29). a disciple is a person attentive to Jesus’ word (cf. Lk10:39), someone who acknowledges that Jesus is the Teacher who has loved us so much that he gave his life for us. each one of you, therefore, should let yourself be shaped by God’s word every day. This will make you friends of the Lord Jesus and of this time with strength and determination” (Foreward). 3. Go forth! Jesus sent his disciples forth on mission with this command: “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation. The one who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mk16:15-16). To evangelize means to bring the Good News of salvation to others and to let them know that this Good News is a person: Jesus Christ. When I meet him, when I discover how much I am loved by God and saved by God, I begin to feel not only the desire, but also the need to make God known to others. at the beginning of John’s Gospel we see how andrew, immediately after he met Jesus, ran off to fetch his brother Simon (cf. 1:40-42). evangelization always begins with an encounter with the Lord Jesus. Those who come to Jesus and have experienced his love, immediately want to share the beauty of the meeting and the joy born of his friendship. The disciples forth to bear witness to his saving presence before all the nations, because God in his superabundant love wants everyone to be saved and no one to be lost. By his loving sacrifice on the cross, Jesus opened up the way for every man and woman to come to know God and enter into a communion of love with him. He formed a community of disciples to bring the saving message of the Gospel to the ends of the earth and to reach men and women in every time and place. Let us make God’s desire our own! Dear friends, open your eyes and look around you. So many young people no longer see any meaning in their lives. Go forth! Christ needs you too. Let yourselves be caught up and drawn along by his love. Be at the service of this immense love, so it can reach out to everyone, especially to those “far away”. Some people are far away geographically, but others are far away because their way of life has no place for God. Some people have not yet personally 43rd World Communications Day, 24 May 2009). Learn how to use these media wisely. Be aware of the hidden dangers they contain, especially the risk of addiction, of confusing the real world with the virtual, and of replacing direct and personal encounters and dialogue with internet contacts. The second area is that of travel and migration. Nowadays more and more young people travel, sometimes for their studies or work, and at other times for pleasure. I am also thinking of the movements of migration which involve millions of people, very often young, who go to other regions or countries for financial or social reasons. Here too we can find providential opportunities for sharing the Gospel. Dear young people, do not be afraid to witness to your faith in these settings. It is a precious gift for those you meet when you communicate the joy of an encounter with Christ. 5. Make disciples! I imagine that you have at times found it difficult to invite your contemporaries to an experience of faith. You have seen how many young people, especially at certain points in their life journey, desire to know Christ and to live the values of the Gospel, but also feel inadequate and incapable. What can we do? First, your closeness and your witness will themselves be a way in which God can touch their hearts. Proclaiming Christ is not only a matter of words, but something which involves one’s whole life and translates into signs of love. It is the love that Christ has poured into our hearts which makes us evangelizers. Consequently, our love must become more and more like Christ’s own love. We should always be prepared, like the Good Samaritan, to be attentive to those we meet, to listen, to be understanding and to help. In this way we can lead those who are searching for the truth and for meaning in life to God’s house, the Church, where hope and salvation abide (cf. Lk 10:29-37). Dear friends, never forget that the first act of love that you can do for others is to share the source of our hope. If we do not give them God, we give them too little! Jesus commanded his apostles: “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Mt 28:1920). The main way that we have to “make disciples” is through Baptism and catechesis. This means leading the people we are evangelizing to encounter the living Christ above all in his word and in the sacraments. In this way they can believe in him, they can come to know God and to live in his grace. I would like each of you to ask yourself: Have I ever had the courage to propose Baptism to young people who have not received it? Have I ever invited anyone to embark on a journey of discovery of the Christian faith? Dear friends, do not be afraid to suggest an encounter with Christ to people of your own age. ask the Holy Spirit for help. The Spirit will show you the way to know and love Christ even more fully, and to be creative in spreading the Gospel. 6. Firm in the faith When faced with difficulties in the mission of evangelizing, perhaps you will be tempted to say, like the prophet Jeremiah: “ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth”. But God will say to you too: “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you you shall go” (Jer 1:6-7). Whenever you feel inadequate,
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have given us unprecedented possibilities for interaction between people and nations. But the globalization of these relationships will be positive and help the world to grow in humanity only if it is founded on love rather than on materialism. Love is the only thing that can fill hearts and bring people together. God is love. When we forget God, we lose hope and become unable to love others. That is why it is so necessary to testify to God’s presence so that others can experience it. The salvation of humanity depends on this, as well as the salvation of each of us. anyone who understands this can only exclaim with Saint Paul: “Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” (1 Cor 9:16). 2. Become Christ’s disciples This missionary vocation comes to you for another reason as well, and that is because it is necessary for our personal journey in faith. Blessed John Paul II wrote that “faith is strengthened when it is given to others!” (Redemptoris Missio, 2). When you proclaim the Gospel, you yourselves grow as you become more deeply rooted in Christ and mature as Christians. Missionary commitment is an essential dimension of faith. We cannot be true believers if we do

enable you to lead other young people to friendship with him. I encourage you to think of the gifts you have received from God so that you can pass them on to others in turn. Learn to reread your personal history. Be conscious of the wonderful legacy passed down to you from previous generations. So many faith-filled people have been courageous in handing down the faith in the face of trials and incomprehension. Let us never forget that we are links in a great chain of men and women who have transmitted the truth of the faith and who depend on us to pass it on to others. Being a missionary presupposes knowledge of this legacy, which is the faith of the Church. It is necessary to know what you believe in, so that you can proclaim it. as I wrote in the introduction to the YouCat, the catechism for young people that I gave you at World Youth Day in Madrid, “you need to know your faith with that same precision with which an IT specialist knows the inner workings of a computer. You need to understand it like a good musician knows the piece he is playing. Yes, you need to be more deeply rooted in the faith than the generation of your parents so that you can engage the challenges and temptations

more we know Christ, the more we want to talk about him. The more we speak with Christ, the more we want to speak about him. The more we are won over by Christ, the more we want to draw others to him. Through Baptism, which brings us to new life, the Holy Spirit abides in us and inflames our minds and hearts. The Spirit shows us how to know God and to enter into ever deeper friendship with Christ. It is the Spirit who encourages us to do good, to serve others and to give of ourselves. Through Confirmation we are strengthened by the gifts of the Spirit so that we can bear witness to the Gospel in an increasingly mature way. It is the Spirit of love, therefore, who is the driving force behind our mission. The Spirit impels us to go out from ourselves and to “go forth” to evangelize. Dear young people, allow yourselves to be led on by the power of God’s love. Let that love overcome the tendency to remain enclosed in your own world with your own problems and your own habits. Have the courage to “go out” from yourselves in order to “go forth” towards others and to show them the way to an encounter with God. 4. Gather all nations The risen Christ sent his

received the Gospel, while others have been given it, but live as if God did not exist. Let us open our hearts to everyone. Let us enter into conversation in simplicity and respect. If this conversation is held in true friendship, it will bear fruit. The “nations” that we are invited to reach out to are not only other countries in the world. They are also the different areas of our lives, such as our families, communities, places of study and work, groups of friends and places where we spend our free time. The joyful proclamation of the Gospel is meant for all the areas of our lives, without exception. I would like to emphasize two areas where your missionary commitment is all the more necessary. Dear young people, the first is the field of social communications, particularly the world of the internet. as I mentioned to you on another occasion: “I ask you to introduce into the culture of this new environment of communications and information technology the values on which you have built your lives. [...] It falls, in particular, to young people, who have an almost spontaneous affinity for the new means of communication, to take on the responsibility for the evangelization of this ‘digital continent’” (Message for the

Photo: Alan Holdren/CNA

Interrupting the Mass
(Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university, answers the following query:) Q: My parish is conducting a parish mission which includes nightly home visits and culminates in a group Mass where the missioners (all the priests) break off with the participants after the homily for discussions and return 45 minutes later to continue with the Mass. as not all who attended the Mass—that is, the choir, the wardens, the altar boys, the lectors, etc.—are participants, during the 45-minute break, the choir started practicing, the wardens wandered around socializing, the altar boys played, the lectors sent text messages. I have checked with various priests and was told that, though the break is not liturgically correct, the pastor has the final say. Is this correct? -- W.T., Singapore a: There are two questions involved. First: Is this practice correct? Second: Can the pastor have the final say on such matters? To the first question I think that the 2004 instruction, Redemptionis Sacramentum, gives a very clear answer: “60. In the celebration of Mass, the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the eucharist are intimately connected to one another, and form one single act of worship. For this reason it is not licit to separate one of these parts from the other and celebrate them at different times or places. Nor is it licit to carry out the individual parts of Holy Mass at different times of the same day.” In the case presented by our reader the unity of the Mass as a single act of worship is interrupted by leaving for discussions and therefore goes against the norms. This is not the same as the legitimate possibility of separating young children from the assembly at the moment of the homily so as to preach to them in a way tailored to their special needs. The children return to the assembly for the offertory. regarding the question as to whether a pastor may make such changes: Once again, Redemptoris Sacramentum can help us on this point when speaking of the regulation of the sacred liturgy: “14. ‘The regulation of the Sacred Liturgy depends solely on the authority of the Church, which rests specifically with the apostolic See and, according to the norms of law, with the Bishop.’ “21. It pertains to the diocesan Bishop, then, ‘within the limits of his competence, to set forth liturgical norms in his Diocese, by which all are bound.’ Still, the Bishop must take care not to allow the removal of that liberty foreseen by the norms of the liturgical books so that the celebration may be adapted in an intelligent manner to the Church building, or to the group of the faithful who are present, or to particular pastoral circumstances in such a way that the universal sacred rite is truly accommodated to human understanding. “22. The Bishop governs the particular Church entrusted to him, and it is his task to regulate, to direct, to encourage, and sometimes also to reprove; this is a sacred task that he has received through episcopal Ordination, which he fulfills in order to build up his flock in truth and holiness. He should elucidate the inherent meaning of the rites and the liturgical texts, and nourish the spirit of the Liturgy in the Priests, Deacons and lay faithful so that they are all led to the active and fruitful celebration of the eucharist, and in like manner he should take care to ensure that the whole body of the Church is able to grow in the same understanding, in the unity of charity, in the diocese, in the nation and in the world. “24. It is the right of the Christian people themselves that their diocesan Bishop should take care to prevent the occurrence of abuses in ecclesiastical discipline, especially as regards the ministry of the word, the celebration of the sacraments and sacramentals, the worship of God and devotion to the Saints. “32. ‘Let the Parish Priest strive so that the Most Holy eucharist will be the center of the parish congregation of the faithful; let him work to ensure that Christ’s faithful are nourished through the devout celebration of the Sacraments, and in particular, that they frequently approach the Most Holy eucharist and the Sacrament of Penance; let him strive, furthermore, to ensure that the faithful are encouraged to offer prayers in their families as well, and to participate consciously and actively in the Sacred Liturgy, which the Parish Priest, under the authority of the diocesan Bishop, is bound to regulate and supervise in his parish lest abuses occur.’ although it is appropriate that he should be assisted in the effective preparation of the liturgical celebrations by various members of Christ’s faithful, he nevertheless must not cede to them in any way those things that are proper to his own office.” To this we may add the injunction from the conciliar document Sacrosanctum Concilium, No. 22: “Therefore, absolutely no other person, not even a priest, may add, remove or change anything in the liturgy on his own authority.” Therefore I think it is fairly clear that the Church does not grant such sweeping powers to pastors—certainly not to have the “final say” on a practice that has been specifically and definitively reprobated by the Holy See.
Accept / B1


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 16 No. 24
November 19 - December 2, 2012

The Proper Place to Reserve the Holy Eucharist
By Fr. Jaime B. Achacoso, J.C.D.
I aM a member of a special Committee to help the Parish Priest in the remodeling of our parish church. More than a remodeling, however, the parishioners have joined forces to tear down 95% of the old edifice in order to construct a much bigger and nobler edifice. To guarantee the continuity of the sacramental life of the parish, a well-coordinated plan of construction was made, such that the rectory for the parish priest and assistant parish priest (relatively new and well-built) was not touched, the parish hall was first built to temporarily accommodate the liturgical celebrations, and a perpetual adoration chapel was also constructed to allow parishioners to nourish their eucharistic piety outside of the eucharistic celebrations. With these provisions, we proceeded to tear down the old temple, except for the rear part behind the altar, which was—and would continue to be—the sacristy. During the construction, however, this latter section, open to the rest of the construction area (the nave of the church), has become a storage area for construction materials, bags of the workers and even their cooking utensils. I was therefore surprised when the tabernacle was temporarily transferred to this area and the Blessed Sacrament reserved there. even with the presence of a votive lamp, we have a lamentable arrangement where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved in a veritable bodega full of construction dust, just two feet away from workers’ bags, construction supplies and cooking pots. Does Church Law have any provisions regarding this matter? The Underlying Principle: Extreme Refinement with the Holy Eucharist annexed to an authentic interpretation of canon 1367 of the Code of Canon Law— regarding the crime of sacrilege against the Blessed Sacrament— by the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts in 1999, the President of the Council, archbishop.Julian Herranz, made the following introductory considerations: In an expression as lapidary as it is rich and pregnant, the Second Vatican Council said: “In the most blessed eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church” (Decree Presbyterorum ordinis, n.5). and the Code of Canon Law summarizes the Council’s abundant teaching on the subject and the Church’s perennial doctrine, asserting: “The most august sacrament is the blessed eucharist, in which Christ the Lord himself is contained, offered and received, and by which the Church continually lives and grows “ (c.897); therefore “ Christ’s faithful are to hold the blessed eucharist in the highest honour...; they should receive the sacrament with great devotion and frequently, and should reverence it with the greatest adoration “ (c.898). Therefore we can understand the care and efforts of the Church’s Pastors to see that this priceless Gift is deeply and devoutly loved, safeguarded and surrounded with that worship which expresses in the best way humanly possible our faith in Christ’s real presence—body, blood, soul and divinity— under the eucharistic Species, even after the Holy Sacrifice has been celebrated. Just as believers are asked to express this faith with actions, prayers and objects of noble dignity, so it is also advisable that any kind of carelessness or negligence, the sign of a diminished sense of the eucharistic divine presence, be carefully avoided in the behavior of sacred ministers and the faithful. Indeed, in our age marked by haste even in one’s personal relationship with God, catechesis should reacquaint the Christian people with the whole of eucharistic worship, which cannot be reduced to participation in Holy Mass and to receiving Communion with the proper dispositions, but also includes frequent adoration—personal and communal of the Blessed Sacrament, and the loving concern that the tabernacle—in which the eucharist is kept—be placed on an altar or in a part of the church that is clearly visible, truly noble and duly adorned, so that it is a centre of attraction for every heart in love with Christ. The Reservation of the Blessed Eucharist In fact, this matter had been thoroughly regulated by the Code of Canon Law in the following provisions: Can. 934 — §1 The blessed eucharist: 1° must be reserved in the cathedral church or its equivalent, in every parish church, and in the church or oratory attached to the house of a religious institute or society of apostolic life; blessed eucharist is habitually reserved is to be immovable, made of solid and nontransparent material, and so locked as to give the greatest security against any danger of profanation. — §4 For a grave reason, especially at night, it is permitted to reserve the blessed eucharist in some other safer place, provided it is fitting. — §5 The person in charge of a church or oratory is to see to it that the key of the tabernacle in which the blessed eucharist is reserved, is in maximum safe keeping. Can. 939 — Consecrated hosts, in a quantity sufficient for the needs of the faithful, are to be kept in a pyx or ciborium, and are to be renewed frequently, the older hosts having been duly consumed. Can. 940 — a special lamp is to burn continuously before the tabernacle in which the blessed eucharist is reserved, to indicate and to honour the presence of Christ. Conclusion From the foregoing it is clear that the arrangement described by our concerned parishioner is altogether irreverent and illicit, in fact bordering on the sacrilegious—if not formally (since we cannot assume a deliberate will to disrespect the Blessed Sacrament), at

2° may be reserved in a Bishop’s chapel and, by permission of the local Ordinary, in other churches, oratories and chapels. — §2 In sacred places where the blessed eucharist is reserved there must always be someone who is responsible for it, and as far as it possible a priest is to celebrate Mass there at least twice a month. Can. 935 — It is not lawful for anyone to keep the blessed eucharist in personal custody or to carry it around, unless there is an urgent pastoral need and the prescriptions of the diocesan Bishop are observed. Can. 936 — In a house of a religious institute or other house of piety, the blessed eucharist is to be reserved only in the church or principal oratory attached to the house. For a just reason, however, the Ordinary can permit it to be reserved also in another oratory of the same house. Can. 938 — §1 The blessed eucharist is to be reserved habitually in only one tabernacle of a church or oratory. — §2 The tabernacle in which the blessed eucharist is reserved should be sited in a distinguished place in the church or oratory, a place which is conspicuous, suitably adorned and conducive to prayer. — §3 The tabernacle in which the

least materially. He would be well-advised to call the attention of the Parish priest with a sense of urgency, such that the lamentable situation is not prolonged even one more day. To the objection that there might not be any other convenient place to transfer the tabernacle, we can offer the following solutions: 1st, the most convenient place to reserve the Blessed Sacrament is the Perpetual adoration Chapel, provided it is made secure for the night with adequate grills and similar devices. 2nd, if this were not possible, and in the absence of any other dignified place, then the Blessed Sacrament should not be reserved—i.e., in every Mass celebrated, all the consecrated hosts must be consumed or properly transferred to another place of permanent reservation (e.g., another church or chapel). In the end, if there is no dignified and proper place to accommodate the Divine Guest who comes down from Heaven in the Sacred Species, then we should not keep Him, in much the same way that we do not invite an important person and receive him (or accommodate him) in the storage room.

incapable and weak in proclaiming and witnessing to the faith, do not be afraid. evangelization is not our initiative, and it does not depend on our talents. It is a faithful and obedient response to God’s call and so it is not based on our power but on God’s. Saint Paul knew this from experience: “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us” (2 Cor 4:7). For this reason, I encourage you to make prayer and the sacraments your foundation. authentic evangelization is born of prayer and sustained by prayer. We must first speak with God in order to be able to speak about God. In prayer, we entrust to the Lord the people to whom we have been sent, asking him to touch their hearts. We ask the Holy Spirit to make us his instruments for their salvation. We ask Christ to put his words on our lips and to make us signs of his love. In a more general way, we pray for the mission of the whole Church, as Jesus explicitly asked us: “Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest” (Mt 9:38). Find in the eucharist the wellspring of your life of faith and Christian witness, regularly attending Mass each Sunday and whenever you can during the week. approach the sacrament of reconciliation frequently. It is a very special encounter with God’s mercy in which he welcomes us, forgives us and renews our hearts in charity. Make an effort to receive the Sacrament

of Confirmation if you have not already done so, and prepare yourselves for it with care and commitment. Confirmation is, like the eucharist, a sacrament of mission, for it gives us the strength and love of the Holy Spirit to profess fearlessly our faith. I also encourage you to practise eucharistic adoration. Time spent in listening and talking with Jesus present in the Blessed Sacrament becomes a source of new missionary enthusiasm. If you follow this path, Christ himself will give you the ability to be completely faithful to his word and to bear faithful and courageous witness to him. at times you will be called to give proof of your perseverance, particularly when the word of God is met with rejection or opposition. In certain areas of the world, some of you suffer from the fact that you cannot bear public witness to your faith in Christ due to the lack of religious freedom. Some have already paid with their lives the price of belonging to the Church. I ask you to remain firm in the faith, confident that Christ is at your side in every trial. To you too he says: “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you on my account. rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven” (Mt 5:11-12). 7. With the whole Church Dear young people, if you are to remain firm in professing the Christian faith wherever you are sent, you need

the Church. No one can bear witness to the Gospel alone. Jesus sent forth his disciples on mission together. He spoke to them in the plural when he said: “Make disciples”. Our witness is always given as members of the Christian community, and our mission is made fruitful by the communion lived in the Church. It is by our unity and love for one another that others will recognize us as Christ’s disciples (cf. Jn 13:35). I thank God for the wonderful work of evangelization being carried out by our Christian communities, our parishes and our ecclesial movements. The fruits of this evangelization belong to the whole Church. as Jesus said: “One sows and another reaps” (Jn 4:37). Here I cannot fail to express my gratitude for the great gift of missionaries, who devote themselves completely to proclaiming the Gospel to the ends of the earth. I also thank the Lord for priests and consecrated persons, who give themselves totally so that Jesus Christ will be proclaimed and loved. Here I would like to encourage young people who are called by God to commit themselves with enthusiasm to these vocations: “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). To those who leave everything to follow him, Jesus promised a hundredfold as much and eternal life besides (cf. Mt 19:29). I also give thanks for all those lay men and women who do their best to live their daily lives as mission wherever

they find themselves, at home or at work, so that Christ will be loved and served and that the Kingdom of God will grow. I think especially of all those who work in the fields of education, health care, business, politics and finance, and in the many other areas of the lay apostolate. Christ needs your commitment and your witness. Let nothing—whether difficulties or lack of understanding— discourage you from bringing the Gospel of Christ wherever you find yourselves. each of you is a precious piece in the great mosaic of evangelization! 8. “Here I am, Lord!” Finally, dear young people, I would ask all of you to hear, in the depths of your heart, Jesus’ call to proclaim his Gospel. as the great statue of Christ the redeemer in rio de Janeiro shows, his heart is open with love for each and every person, and his arms are open wide to reach out to everyone. Be yourselves the heart and arms of Jesus! Go forth and bear witness to his love! Be a new generation of missionaries, impelled by love and openness to all! Follow the example of the Church’s great missionaries like Saint Francis Xavier and so many others. at the conclusion of World Youth Day in Madrid, I blessed a number of young people from the different continents who were going forth on mission. They represented all those young people who, echoing the words of the prophet Isaiah, have said to the Lord: “Here I am. Send

me!” (Is6:8). The Church has confidence in you and she thanks you for the joy and energy that you contribute. Generously put your talents to use in the service of the proclamation of the Gospel! We know that the Holy Spirit is granted to those who open their hearts to this proclamation. and do not be afraid: Jesus, the Savior of the world, is with us every day until the end of time (cf.Mt 28:20). This call, which I make to the youth of the whole world, has a particular resonance for you, dear young people of Latin america! During the Fifth General Conference of the Latin american Bishops, in aparecida in 2007, the Bishops launched a “continental mission”. Young people form a majority of the population in South america and they are an important and precious resource for the Church and society. Be in the first line of missionaries! Now that World Youth Day is coming back to Latin america, I ask you, the young people on the continent, to transmit the enthusiasm of your faith to your contemporaries from all over the world! May Our Lady, Star of the New evangelization, whom we also invoke under the titles of Our Lady of aparecida and Our Lady of Guadalupe, accompany each of you in your mission as a witness to God’s love. To all of you, with particular affection, I impart my apostolic Blessing. From the Vatican, 18 October 2012 BeNeDICTUS PP. XVI

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 16 No. 24
November 19 - December 2, 2012



Synod Reports

Final List of Propositions of the Synod of Bishops
(Second of a series)
Proposition 16: RELIGIOUS LIBERTY The Synod Fathers reaffirm that religious freedom is a basic human right. This includes the freedom of conscience and also the liberty to freely choose one’s religion. We are in solidarity with our brothers and sisters, in different parts of the world, who are suffering from lack of religious freedom and even persecution. In light of the recognition of the Second Vatican Council as an instrument for the New evangelization and the growing need to protect the religious liberty of Christians throughout the world, the Synod Fathers propose a renewed commitment to and wider diffusion of the teachings of Dignitatis Humanae. This renewal seeks to affirm and promote freedom in religious matters for individuals, families and institutions to protect the common good of all. Such a freedom includes the right to teach the Christian faith without compromise of its tenets to children in the family and/or school. The Synod Fathers propose that the Holy Father consider the opportuneness of establishing a commission of Church leaders representing various parts of the Church throughout the world or entrusting this task to the Pontifical Council for Justice THE MEANS OF SOCIAL COMMUNICATION The use of means of social communication has an important role to play in order to reach every person with the message of salvation. In this field, especially in the world of electronic communications, it is necessary that convinced Christians be formed, prepared and made capable to transmit faithfully the content of the faith and of Christian morality. They should have the ability to use well the languages and the instruments of today that are available for communication in the global village. The most effective form of this communication of the faith remains the sharing of the testimony of life, without which none of the “media” efforts will result in an effective transmission of the Gospel. education in the wise and constructive use of social media is an important means to be utilized in the New evangelization. Proposition 19: NEW EVANGELIZATION AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT The Papal Magisterium in its social teaching demonstrated the theological, anthropological and educational bonds between evangelization and the development and freedom of both the person and society. guarding both its beauty and the truthfulness of its expression. It is important for the New evangelization that the Church be present in all fields of art, so as to support with her spiritual and pastoral presence the artists in their search for creativity and to foster a living and true spiritual experience of salvation that becomes present in their work. Proposition 21: MIGRANTS Just as many countries have greatly benefitted from the presence of people coming from other countries, so too the Church is nourished in a significant way with the witness and the evangelizing work of many of those engaged with the missionary mandate: “Go out into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to all creation” (Mk 16: 15). Given the risks and threats to the faith of the migrating peoples, it is important that the Church gives her support through a pastoral plan that includes them and their families, and reminds them of their important place as the living cell of society and the domestic Church. Parishes should help the migrants integrate themselves into society and the Christian community. The Church’s pastoral plan for migrants should not only conversion which moves us to attitudes and initiatives which leads to evaluations and changes in the dynamics of pastoral structures which no longer respond to the evangelical demands of the current time. Proposition23:HOLINESSAND THE NEW EVANGELIZERS The universal call to holiness is constitutive of the New evangelization that sees the Saints as effective models of the variety and forms in which this vocation can be realized. What is common in the varied stories of holiness is the following of Christ expressed in a life of faith active in charity which is a privileged proclamation of the Gospel. We recognize Mary as the model of holiness that is manifest in acts of love including the supreme gift of self. Holiness is a significant part of every evangelizing commitment for the one who evangelizes and for the good of those evangelized. Proposition 24: THE SOCIAL TEACHING OF THE CHURCH In order to advance a New evangelization in society, greater attention should be given to the Church’s social doctrine, understanding that it is a proclamation and witness of faith, an irreplaceable means of education in the faith (cf. Caritas (Jn 10: 10). 3) Pastoral Responses to the Circumstances of Our Day Proposition 26: PARISHES AND OTHER ECCLESIAL REALITIES The bishops gathered in Synod affirm that the parish continues to be the primary presence of the Church in neighborhoods, the place and instrument of Christian life, which is able to offer opportunities for dialogue among men, for listening to and announcing the Word of God, for organic catechesis, for training in charity, for prayer, adoration and joyous eucharistic celebrations. In addition the Synod Fathers would like to encourage parishes to find ways to orient themselves to a greater emphasis on evangelization which could include parish missions, p a r ish renewa l programs and parish retreats. The presence and evangelizing action of associations, movements and of other ecclesial realities are useful stimuli for the realization of this pastoral conversion. Parishes as well as traditional and new ecclesial realities are called to make visible together the communion of the particular Church united around the Bishop. In order to bring to all receive ongoing formation in carrying out their responsibilities. Schools must be free to teach. This freedom is an inalienable right. For this reason in order to ensure that our institutions are agents of evangelization and not just products of evangelization, the Synod: - encourages Catholic educational institutions to do all that is possible to preserve their identity as ecclesial institutions; - Invites all teachers to embrace the leadership which is theirs as baptized disciples of Jesus, giving witness through their vocation as educators; and - Urges particular Churches, religious families, and all those who have responsibility in the educational institutions, to facilitate the co-responsibility of lay people, offering adequate formation and accompaniment for this. Proposition 28: ADULT CATECHESIS One cannot speak of the New evangelization if the catechesis of adults is nonexistent, fragmented, weak or neglected. When these defects are present, pastoral ministry faces a very serious challenge. The phases and levels of the catechumenate of the Church show how biblically,

and Peace, to address attacks on religious liberty, and to obtain accurate information for public witness to the fundamental right to religious freedom and freedom of conscience. Proposition 17: PREAMBLES OF FAITH AND THEOLOGY OF CREDIBILITY In the contemporary context of a global Culture, many doubts and obstacles cause an extended skepticism and introduce new paradigms of thought and life. It is of paramount importance, for a New evangelization, to underline the role of the Preambles of Faith. It is necessary not only to show that faith does not oppose reason, but also to highlight a number of truths and realities which pertain to a correct anthropology, that is enlightened by natural reason. among them, is the value of the Natural Law, and the consequences it has for the whole human society. The notions of “Natural Law” and “human nature” are capable of rational demonstrations, both at the academic and popular levels. Such an intellectual development and enterprise will help the dialogue between Christian faithful and people of good will, opening a way to recognize the existence of a God the Creator and the message of Jesus Christ the redeemer. The Synodal Fathers ask theologians to develop a new apologetics of Christian thought, that is a theology of credibility adequate for a New evangelization. The Synod calls on theologians to accept and respond to the intellectual challenges of the New evangelization by participating in the mission of the Church to proclaim to all the Gospel of Christ. Proposition 18: NEW EVANGELIZATION AND

Today it is not possible to think of the New evangelization without the proclamation of full freedom from everything that oppresses the human person, i.e. sin and its consequences. Without a serious commitment for life and justice and the change of the situations that generate poverty and exclusion (cf. Sollicitudo rei socialis, 36) there can be no progress. This is particularly true in the face of challenges of globalization. Proposition 20: THE NEW EVANGELIZATION AND THE WAY OF BEAUTY In the New evangelization, there should be a particular attention paid to the way of beauty: Christ, the “Good Shepherd” (cf. Jn 10:11) is the Truth in person, the beautiful revelation in sign, pouring himself out without measure. It is important to give testimony to the young who follow Jesus, not only of his goodness and truth, but also of the fullness of his beauty. As Augustine affirmed, “it is not possible to love what is not beautiful” (Confessions, Bk IV, 13.20). Beauty attracts us to love, through which God reveals to us his face in which we believe. In this light artists feel themselves both spoken to and privileged communicators of the New evangelization. In the formation of seminarians, education in beauty should not be neglected nor education in the sacred arts as we are reminded in the teaching of the Second Vatican Council (cf. Sacrosanctum concilium, 129). Beauty should always be a special dimension of the new evangelization. It is necessary that the Church be vigilant in caring for and promoting the quality of the art that is permitted in the sacred spaces reserved for liturgical celebrations,

welcome migrants and promote their human dignity, but should above all help them be integrated into the life of the Church, respecting their own ritual tradition; this plan should also help them avoid becoming lost to the Catholic Church. Immigrants are not only recipients, but also protagonists of the proclamation of the Gospel in the modern world. In the face of the great migratory movements, it is important to insist on the centrality and dignity of the person, in particular in light of the grave phenomena of a new slavery connected to the shameful trafficking of human beings, especially children, and the selling of organs. This awareness must increase when dealing with refugees, the displaced, those on the sea, nomads and people without a fixed home. Proposition 22: CONVERSION The drama and intensity of the age old clash between good and evil, between faith and fear should be presented as the essential background, a constituent element of the call to conversion in Christ. This struggle continues at a natural and supernatural level. “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Mt 7: 14). Many bishops spoke of the need for renewal in holiness in their own lives, if they are to be true and effective agents of the New evangelization. The New evangelization requires personal and communal conversion, new methods of evangelization and renewal of the pastoral structures, to be able to move from a pastoral strategy of maintenance to a pastoral position that is truly missionary. The New evangelization guides us to an authentic pastoral

in veritate, 15). This embrace of the Church’s social doctrine should permeatethecontentofcatechesis, Christian education, formation of seminarians and religious, the continuing formation of bishops and priests and most especially the formation of the laity. The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church is a precious resource in accomplishing this continuing formation. Proposition 25: URBAN SCENARIOS OF THE NEW EVANGELIZATION The Church acknowledges that human cities and the culture they express, as well as the transformations that take place in them, are a privileged place of the New evangelization. Understanding herself at the service of the salvific plan of God, the Church recognizes that the “Holy City, the New Jerusalem” (cf. Rev 21, 2-4) is in a certain way already present in human realities. Putting in practice an urban pastoral plan, the Church wants to identify and understand those experiences, languages and styles of life, that are typical of urban societies. She intends to render her liturgical celebrations, her experiences of communitarian life, and her exercise of charity, relevant to the urban context, in order to incarnate the Gospel in the life of all citizens. The Church also knows that in many cities one sees the absence of God, in the many attacks on human dignity. among them: violence related to drug trafficking, corruption of various kinds, and many other crimes. We are convinced that the proclamation of the Gospel can be the basis to restore the dignity of human life in these urban contexts. It is the Gospel of Jesus, who “came that they may have life and have it abundantly”

people the Good News of Jesus, as required by a New evangelization, all the parishes and their small communities should be living cells, places to promote the personal and communitarian encounter with Christ, experience the richness of liturgy, to give initial and permanent Christian formation, and to educate all the faithful in fraternity and charity especially towards the poor. Proposition 27: EDUCATION “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Mt28:19-20). education is a constitutive dimension of evangelization. To proclaim the risen Jesus Christ is to accompany all human beings in their personal story, in their development and in their spiritual vocation. education needs, at the same time, to promote everything that is true, good and beautiful that is a part of the human person, that is to say, to educate the mind and the emotions to appreciate reality. Children, teenagers and young people have a right to be evangelized and educated. The schools and Catholic universities respond in this way to this need. Public institutions should recognize and support this right. Schools should assist families in introducing children into the beauty of the faith. Schools offer a great opportunity to transmit the faith or at least to make it known. The Synod Fathers are grateful for the work of education carried out by thousands of teachers, male and female, in Catholic educational institutions in the five continents. Because of the singular role of teachers, it is important that they

catechetically, spiritually and liturgically a person’s history and faith-journeycanbeunderstoodas a vocation through a relationship with God (cf. Evangelii nuntiandi, 18; Instrumentum laboris, 92). In all these things, the public character of the decision of faith which the catechumen makes, which gradually grows in the community and the diocese, has a positive impact on all the faithful. Proposition 29: CATECHESIS, CATECHISTS AND THE CATECHISM Good Catechesis is essential for the New evangelization. The Synod calls attention to the indispensable service that catechists provide the ecclesial communities and expresses profound gratitude for their dedication. all catechists, who are at the same time evangelizers, need to be well prepared. every effort should be made within the possibilities of the local situation to provide catechists with strong ecclesial formation that is spiritual, biblical, doctrinal and pedagogical. Personal witness to the faith is itself a powerful form of catechesis. The “Catechism of the Catholic Church” and its Compendium are, above all, a resource for teaching the faith and supporting adults in the Church in their evangelizing and catechizing mission. according to the apostolic Letter Ministeria quaedam of Pope Paul VI, episcopal Conferences have the possibility to request from the Holy See the institution of the Ministry of Catechist. Proposition 30: THEOLOGY Theology as the science of faith has an importance for the New evangelization. Priests, teachers and catechists must be formed in institutions of higher education. The Church appreciates and
Synod / B5



CBCP Monitor
Vol. 16 No. 24
November 19 - December 2, 2012

San Pedro Calungsod at the Pontificio Collegio Filippino
By Fr. Gregory Ramon D. Gaston, SThD
SaN Pedro Calungsod’s Canonization by Pope Benedict XVI last October 21, 2012, brought abundant graces to the Pontificio Collegio Filippino. The “Collegio” as we fondly call it, is the Home in rome of Filipino Secular Diocesan Priests carefully chosen and sent by their respective bishops to pursue further studies. This house of formation was founded by the Catholic Bishops of the Philippines way back in 1961, and hence celebrated its Golden anniversary last year. Bishops stay with us for weeks or days whenever they come to the eternal City for their Ad Limina Visits, to attend or speak in international conferences, or to go on a pilgrimage. as a Pontifical Institution, the Collegio exists under the auspices of the Holy Father, and the resident priests, undergoing formation “sub umbra Petri”, or “under the shadow of Peter”, are given all the opportunities to grow in their love for the Church. Keenly observant visitors to the Collegio will notice how the Chapel’s and even the corridors’ walls were not built parallel, but rather slightly opening towards the center and slightly closing again. Such design actually resembles a ship, which is broader towards the middle and narrower at the front and end tips. This means that the Collegio residents have embarked on a continuous journey in life, always close to our Patroness, Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, the Virgin of antipolo. around twenty Cardinals and Bishops graced us with their presence during the Canonization. In fact, four archbishops already came at the start of October to join the three-week Synod on New evangelization: archbishop Luis antonio Tagle of Manila, who was named Cardinal during the Synod, archbishop Jose S. Palma of Cebu and President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, archbishop romulo Valles of Davao, and archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan. even archbishop anthony apuron of Guam, where our new Saint was martyred, stayed with us. Our Priests joyfully welcomed the guests, actively participated in the preparations, helped hear Confessions and Concelebrated in Masses during the Triduum, entertained guests during the Thanksgiving Luncheon, coordinated with the many other volunteers, and even stayed in the dorm or with other priests to cede their rooms to the Bishops, as we only had a limited number of vacant rooms. In the Canonization itself, some Collegio Priests gave communion, attended at the Clergy Sector near the Holy Father, or helped cover the event for the different Philippine media outfits. another special blessing received by the Collegio is the bas-relief altarpiece for its Crypt chapel, depicting the martyrdom of our two Filipino saints: San Lorenzo ruiz on the left, about to be brought down into the well, and San Pedro Calungsod on the right, with a Cross on his hand and the Catechism on the ground, defending Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores, all under the loving gaze of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage. The sun sets in both these scenes, symbolizing the end of the Saints’ earthy life. But at the altarpiece’s center, one sees coming out of the red curtains the giant rays of the sun rising to a new life. The rays serve as a backdrop to the Crypt’s original Tabernacle, which in turn is flanked by two angels in Filipiniana attire and enclosed in a four-piece bamboo baldaquino topped by a splendid Crucifix. Below the Tabernacle is the Collegio’s coat of arms, while below the two Saints’ panels are the coat of arms of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, who canonized San Lorenzo ruiz and San Pedro Calungsod, r e s p e c t i v e l y. Underneath the matching altar is a white lamb with a standard featuring the cross, and resting on a red book. a lectern completes the set for now. Though the columns, frames, altar, and lectern post look exactly like bamboo, and bamboo leaves adorn the different pieces, the whole collection is actually made of quality pine wood imported from Canada. No less than the renowned sculptor himself, Mr. Wilfredo Layug of Betis, Pampanga, donated the set. The Collegio can indeed boast of this showcase of Philippine religious art and culture, the only one of its kind in europe. It is a work of intensity and precision as well, considering that Mr. Layug measured the Crypt’s walls and floor when he proposed the project last april, and completed the structure in only six months while simultaneously working on two other major projects, shipping it in nine big and carefully packed crates from the Philippines to rome middle of October that reached the Collegio two days before the Canonization. To give us an idea of how precise his measurements were, only three hours were needed to unpack and mount the altarpiece; plus, the two pineapples sitting on top of the altarpiece’s extremes cleared the Crypt’s ceiling by barely a few millimeters! The personages’ eyes Collegio’s Crypt, in the presence of around 15 Bishops, and the Collegio Priests, Sisters and lay guests, His eminence ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal, archbishop emeritus of Cebu and the man behind the Canonization, blessed the central panel containing the Tabernacle, the altar and the lectern. His eminence Gaudencio B. Cardinal rosales, archbishop emeritus of Manila, in turn blessed San Lorenzo ruiz’s panel and archbishop apuron eternal City not only his artwork, but himself as well. among other things, he recounted how his son asked, “Why did you kill him?” He replied, “No, I did not. The angel told me not to kill him, and I was converted.” But a Bishop exclaimed, “If you did not kill him, then we do not have a martyr saint!” Mr. Layug defended his innocence, saying, “It was the man behind me who killed him.” (So now we are looking for the mystery killer, who does not appear in the image—perhaps because he was the one taking the picture?) a week before the Canonization, while waiting for days for the altarpiece shipment to arrive, Mr. Layug offered to make another bas relief of San Pedro Calungsod, this time small enough to be placed on a table. We drove to the outskirts of rome looking for a lumberyard that might be selling an appropriate piece of wood for this. after an hour of driving and not finding any, a text message arrived from the Collegio saying, “There is a pine tree at the back felled by the snow last January. Couldn’t that be used?” Indeed, from that pine tree almost meaninglessly lying behind our building came forth another masterpiece. The rest of the pine tree awaits Mr. Layug’s return each year… another blessing for us was that the Collegio’s Media Office was further boosted up, as it attained accreditation from the Holy See Press Office to cover Pedro Calungsod’s Canonization and produced videos on the Collegio for our Artist Willy Layug depict himself in the bas relief as the long-haired Guamanian native guests. It already had about to kill the young Pedro Calungsod. a year and a half-long experience, beginning of Guam, San Pedro Calungsod’s. with a soft launch when it Towards the end of the rite, a covered Pope John Paul II’s Papal Blessing certificate was Beatification on May 1, 2011, for presented to Mr. Layug, his wife the Catholic Bishops’ Conference Florentina, and daughter Gina, of the Philippines and various all teary-eyed and representing Philippine media outfits. Just the six other siblings back home. before the Canonization, the after the final blessing, Mr. computer room was converted Layug was asked to explain the into a mini-studio, recycling development and the different spotlights used for some concerts elements of his masterpiece. years ago and old television sets; a true artist, he decided to part of the wall was covered depict himself as the long-haired with green and blue linen to Guamanian native about to kill serve as Chroma Key, which the young Pedro Calungsod, allows putting any background thereby immortalizing in the of your choice behind the person
Courtesy of Willy Layug

look realistically moist with tears, the muscles and veins replete with energy, and the images fully alive, almost moving. The “estufado” technique made clothing and curtains look like real cloth. No wonder, trained in Fine arts in Manila, Mr. Layug goes to Seville and Cordoba every year, learning as an apprentice the techniques shared to him by competing Spanish masters who zealously hide their secrets from each other. November 22, Monday, the day after the Canonization, at the

being interviewed, using special computer software. Pedrito also came to the Collegio. Pedrito who? The younger and smaller version of the Saint, created by the YouthPinoy! Group—wide-eyed, with the Martyr’s trademark palm and a traveler’s side bag, and (at least the Pedrito donated to the Collegio) holding a tablet computer. The Pedrito doll serves as a most effective “marketing tool”, rather than a religious article, to spread San Pedro Calungsod’s message especially to and through the youth. He was very visible, sparking a renewed devotion night and day among the widely and wildly smiling young and old alike, who touched him as he went through the immense crowds. The Collegio also hosted San Pedro Calungsod’s official statue during the Canonization days. This was another blessing for us, considering that other people had to brave their way through the crowds just to get near him, touch him, and if they are lucky, to take a close-up picture with him. We on the other hand were with him from the moment he reached rome as an airline passenger, until he was accompanied back to the airport for his return flight. He is now back in the Philippines, with the mission to go around the country by land, air and sea, to strengthen the Gospel Message on many of its 7,000 islands. Yet, he remains with us, not only in spirit… In fact, the Collegio conserves a similar image of Pedro Calungsod, which dates back to his Beatification on March 5 of the Jubilee Year 2000, when he was declared Blessed. This statue has accompanied us ever since, always close to the statue of San Lorenzo ruiz at our Main Chapel. Indeed, we cannot but reminisce his Beatification as well. The Collegio hosted the Bishops and other guests from the Philippines, Collegio Priests were invited to form part of the choirs in the ceremonies, and the Blessed Pedro Calungsod dormitory was constructed. also dating back to the Beatification days are the commemorative stamps issued by the Philippine Government, kept as another precious souvenir for the years to come. Pope John Paul II’s words are as relevant then as for today: “From his childhood, Pedro Calungsod declared himself unwaveringly for Christ and responded generously to his call. Young people today can draw encouragement and strength from the example of Pedro… Young friends, do not hesitate to follow the example of Pedro, who ‘pleased God and was loved by him’ (Wis 4: 10) and who, having come to perfection in so short a time, lived a full life (cf. ibid., v. 13)”. San Pedro Calungsod, pray for us!

Renewed Apologetics in the Year of Faith
By Bro. Ramon Gitamondoc
THe great apologist and writer Cardinal Sheehan in the introductory part of his book titled “apologetics and Christian Doctrine” in a vibrant exhortation to awaken in his readers the zeal for defending the Catholic Faith said, “The age in which we live is hostile to God, to Christ, and to His Church; it is our duty, therefore, to master the proofs set forth in apologetics, so that we may have a fuller vision of the reasonableness of our faith, of the enormous strength of its defenses, and of the weakness of the objections alleged against it; it is our duty to remove temptation from our path, and to fortify ourselves against the spirit of infidelity that infects the very air we breathe; it is our duty to acquire sufficient enlightenment to enable us, at need, to answer the questions that may be addressed to us by the honest inquirer. The exhortation of St Peter to the early Christians to be ‘ready always to satisfy everyone that asketh you a reason of that hope which is in you’ (1 Pet 3:15), is as applicable to us as it was to them. Besides bringing the reward of duty fulfilled, the study of apologetics is in itself a valuable mental discipline: it stimulates and develops our reasoning powers by setting them to work at problems of profound importance and of unfailing interest.” Indeed today there is a more pressing need to study apologetics. The hostility against God, against Christ and His Church has not wavered but in fact has become even greater. In the past we were accustomed to live in an environment where Catholic doctrines and moral principles permeate every aspect of our culture. But today this is no longer so as Pope Benedict XVI accurately observes when he wrote: “Whereas in the past it was possible to recognize a unitary cultural matrix, broadly accepted in its appeal to the content of the faith and the values inspired by it, today this no longer seems to be the case in large swathes of society, because of a profound crisis of faith that has affected many people” (Porta Fidei, 2). The Church has to contend with a multitude of protestant denominations which oftentimes have followed the less formidable path of proselytizing Catholics to join their fold rather than the more difficult task of evangelizing nonChristians. The Church in the modern world has also to confront the problem of atheism, agnosticism, and secularism which are very much prevalent in developed societies. The anti-Catholic culture is spreading rapidly and is deeply entrenched in most western societies. We also see the growth of the Islamic religion not only in the already Muslim countries in the Middle east but also in european countries which are traditionally Christian. There is also the problem within the Church instigated by Ultra-Traditionalists who with a false notion of Tradition opposed the changes promulgated by the Second Vatican Council. Many Catholics today openly question and even oppose the moral teachings of the Church and there is a strong tendency to cave in to secular pressure. It is true that in the past, the Church has encountered similar problems in one form or the other but what is unique today is the facility by which her enemies are able to propagate their erroneous teachings through the various means of social communications such as radio television, newspaper, magazines, and of course the internet. On the other hand there is an astonishing silence and seeming lack of holy indignation on the part of many Catholics. Thus, this times call for a revival of Catholic action. Catholics once more need to experience the fire and missionary zeal with which the apostles spread the faith everywhere they went. Pope Benedict XVI made this his intention in declaring a year of faith by saying: “Today too, there is a need for stronger ecclesial commitment to new evangelization in order to rediscover the joy of believing and the enthusiasm for communicating the faith” (Porta Fidei, 7). But the laymen cannot effectively engage in Catholic action unless he is well versed in the teachings of the Church and able at all times to explain and defend it. This is why the Pope sets very specific guidelines on how to carry out our task of proclaiming the Gospel effectively and that is to study the documents of the Second Vatican Council and to study the fundamental contents of the faith as embodied in the Catechism of the Catholic Church promulgated by Blessed John Paul II. If the Pope exhorts all Catholics to study the faith more intensely and more profoundly then evidently this also includes the study of apologetics which is the theological science which has for its purpose the explanation and defense of the Christian religion. Cardinal Newman once said and his words are still very timely today: “I want laymen, not arrogant, not rash in speech, not disputations, but men who know their religion, who enter into it, who know just where they stand, who know what they hold and what they do not; who know their Creed so well that they can give an account of it; who know so much of history that they can defend it. I want an intelligent, well instructed laity. I wish you to enlarge your knowledge, to cultivate your reason, to get an insight into the relation of truth to truth; to learn to view things as they are; to understand how faith and reason stand to each other; what are the bases and principles of Catholicism. Ignorance is the root of bitterness.” There has been a widespread m i s c o n c e p t i o n t h a t Va t i c a n II, particularly in its “Decree on

ecumenism”, has discouraged if not altogether abolished the study of apologetics. However, the truth is quite the opposite. If there was a Church Council which has encouraged the study of apologetics it is in fact the Second Vatican Council. In its “Decree on ecumenism” paragraph 9 we read: “Catholics, who already have a proper grounding, need to acquire a more adequate understanding of the respective doctrines of our separated brethren, their history, their spiritual and liturgical life, their religious psychology and general background. Most valuable for this purpose are meetings of the two sides-especially for discussion of theological problem…” There was also a lessening of interest in the study of apologetics due to a truncated approach to evangelization in which many Catholics no longer
Apologetics / B7

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 16 No. 24
November 19 - December 2, 2012



Fidelity to Christ, Our Lord and King
40th Priests and Religious Assembly A Pastoral Statement on Faith and Politics
Introduction We, the 144 priests and religious of the Diocese of Malaybalay, firmly express the fruits of our collective discernment during our 4 0 th a n n u a l a s s e m b l y o n November 12-13, 2012 at the Diocesan Formation Center I, Impalambong, City of Malaybalay. as our response to Pope Benedict XVI’s declaration of 2012 as the Year of Faith (Porta Fidei, no. 4), we have chosen to reflect on a theme that awakens our vocation as “Priests and religious Journeying together towards Deepening of Faith through a Life of Witnessing.” The process and content of our prayerful gathering has allowed us to critically reflect on our country’s negative political realities in light of our Christian faith that compels us to discern appropriate pastoral actions. as we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King, we are reminded of our vocation as loyal witnesses of the Universal King, who is our perfect model of the kind of leaders we should choose. The Interconnecting Issues of Poverty, Governance, and Politics We are aware of the worsening economic poverty situation of our country where about 53 % of its inhabitants claim they are poor. The recent survey sadly reveals that around 19.2% of our poor in the Philippines say they eat only once a day. The shocking ratio shows that one out of four Filipinos is “officially poor.”(SWS Survey 2011). This situation may be worse in many indigenous communities. In any case, we are worried to see that the poor are getting poorer while the rich are getting richer in the face of global recession. A reliable analysis affirms that poverty, corrupt governance and unprincipled politics are deeply interconnected problems. as we approach the 2013 national elections, we cannot ignore the ongoing bad political practices of vote buying and selling. Moreover, as some analysts have rightly observed, there are “no real Political Parties” in the country through which people can “articulate their preferences, priorities and grievances.” (r. of the Philippines (CBCP) has repeatedly reminded us to elect leaders who are pro-God, pro-poor, pro-life, and proenvironment. Nevertheless, it is not the competence of the church to provide any political blueprint for the just ordering of society. (PCPII 330-353). In this light, the Philippine Church will never endorse a candidate or a political party. We adhere to the Church decrees that “bishops, priests, and religious must refrain from partisan politics.” (PCP-II, art. 28, no. 2). To effectively evangelize the politics, we highly encourage the competent lay persons “to get involved directly in principled politics, and become candidates for political election.” In fact, it is within the lay persons’ right “as well as their duty to campaign for candidates they believe to be competent, honest, and public service-minded.” (CBCP 2009). We have also agreed that the church workers who run for public office would be allowed to continue serving in the Church (i.e., they will not be advised to resign) provided that they will not use the pulpit or church activities as venue for their political campaign. We reaffirm our existing policy: “Dawat wala’g tuo, apan botari ang mayo ug angayan mangulo.” We request the members of the Basic ecclesial Communities (BeCs), the Devotions, Movements and Organizations (DMOs), and the various apostolates to write down the fruits of their discernment (e.g., concrete actions). These will serve as raw materials for the coming 43rd Diocesan Pastoral assembly in February 2013. We offer these pastoral reflections back to the Holy Trinity with the hope that God will continue to guide us and deepen our faith in Him and through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Model of Faith. For the 40th Priests and religious assembly: + JOSE ARANETA CABANTAN, D.D. Bishop of the Diocese of Malaybalay November 25, 2012

Severino 2007). In fact, none of the big political parties in the Philippines have serious platforms. at best, they have platforms that “are prepared mainly for the submission to the Commission on elections.” (r. David 2001).It is alarming to see that the majority of the existing political parties in the Philippines have no “strong binding force or program to which they are committed.” (J. Carroll 2006). The above-mentioned weaknesses are aggravated by rampant political dynasties despite the fact that the 1987 Philippine Constitution clearly prohibits them in view of guaranteeing “equal access to opportunities for public services.” (art. II, Sec. 26). apparently, the conflict of interests on the part of the majority lawmakers largely explains why this antidynasty, until now, lacks the implementing guidelines. These unjust and oppressive political practices remain as obstacles to authentic development and are challenges to evangelization. The Social and Political Implications of Our Christian

Faith In this Year of Faith, the Holy Father challenges us to meaningfully reflect on the impact of the Gospel on social life and political conditions. In a renewed faith, we have to continually proclaim the gospel to all aspects of human life. (Evangelii Nuntiandi #8). In the words of Saint Paul: “woe to me if I do not proclaim the gospel.” (I Cor 9:16). The Catholic social teaching consistently reminds us that “action on behalf of justice and participation in the transformation of the world fully appear to us as a constitutive dimension of the preaching of the Gospel.” (Justice in the World # 6). In other words, our “preaching of the gospel” cannot be separated from our “action on behalf of justice.” Indeed, our work for justice is essential for evangelization and serves as “a very condition for the truth of the faith.”(C. Murphy 1986). We can discern this perfect integration of faith and justice in the teaching and praxis of Jesus Christ. (cf. Lk 4:18-19). The Holy Father emphasizes the public implication of Christian faith. “a Christian

may never think of belief as a private act.” Our Christian faith has to be proclaimed “fearlessly to every person.” (Porta Fidei, no. 10). The pope makes it clear that it is the fundamental vocation of the church “to form consciences, to be the advocate of justice and truth, to educate in individual and political virtues.” (Benedict XVI, 2007). as priests and religious, therefore, we are called to actively participate in and to evangelize the political world. The Venue for Political Participation as priests and religious of the Diocese of Malaybalay, we are called to be vigilant and militant prophets of our time. We set ourselves as models of prayerful life and discerning community in order to serve as effective political educators of our brothers and sisters. We encourage the existing various sectors in the Church to form circles of discernment in their Basic ecclesial Communities (BeCs) prayer sessions, in the emerging Devotions, Movements and Organizations (DMOs), and respective apostolates. We are even encouraged to
Synod / B3

respectfully extend these circles of discernment to people of various faiths. This faith has to be translated into liberative activities that appropriately respond to the complex problems of poverty, bad governance, and unhealthy politics. Together with the civil society groups, we strongly reaffirm the following activities as integral to our Christian participation in political life: to educate the citizens for responsible voting; to educate the candidates for principled political leadership; to monitor the performance of elective officials before, during, and after elections; to provide the track records of candidates for the guidance of the voters; to engage in trans-partisan politics as organized voters; to opt for an explicitly nonpartisan (trans-partisan) politics by volunteering in PPCrV or NaMFreL; to encourage the people to observe fasting and abstinence as means of attaining the desired political conversion—among others. We should cast our votes for candidates with competence, good conscience, good moral character and compassion. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference

Position Paper on the New rH Bill Version Filed at the House of representatives
Pro Life Philippines Foundation, Inc.
We have received a copy of the new rH bill version which was filed at the House of representative last October 23, 2012. For the education and information of our friends and all those who support us, we are releasing this statement in order to shed light on this new proposed rH Bill and it’s implications. There is simply no need for an rH Law. as Senator Tito Sotto has mentioned in his Turno en Contra speech, there are 23 existing laws that mimic the rH bill, and close to 8 billion pesos given to the DOH by the government to fund rH-like programs and projects. Then there is the Magna Carta of Women. The rH bill is simply redundant and unnecessary. The rH bill is a population control measure that masquerades as a bill that will empower women. True women empowerment happens when there are enough jobs for women to support their families as well as education for their children. The funds to be used in purchasing contraceptives can be utilized in projects that directly alleviate poverty and empower women, like building classrooms and schools, roads, bridges, ports, and other infrastructure. The provisions that will allow adolescents to have access to contraceptives are still present. Not that taking them off will convince us to accept this bill, but the presence of these provisions only reinforce our convictions that the rH bill is for population control. aside from this fact, adolescents should not be given contraceptives as this would only reinforce teen-age sexual activities and lead to teen-age pregnancies. The provision for sex education of adolescents is still present. The important points in sex education are already included in our present curriculum via our biology classes; what the youth need is education and formation geared towards the discovery and enrichment of their talents and skills, and personality development and self-mastery, which

promotes research and the teaching of theology. Scientific theology has its own proper place in the university where it must carry out dialogue between faith and the other disciplines and the secular world. Theologians are called to carry out this service as a part of the salvific mission of the Church. It is necessary that they think and feel with the Church (sentire cum Ecclesia). The Synod proposes that the New evangelization be considered as an integral dimension of the mission of every theological faculty and that a department of New evangelization studies be established in Catholic Universities. Proposition 31: NEW EVANGELIZATION AND THE OPTION FOR THE POOR Pope Benedict XVI teaches: “Jesus identifies himself with those in need, with the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and those in prison. ‘as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me’ (Mt 25: 40). Love of God and love of neighbour have become one: in the least of the brethren we find Jesus himself, and in Jesus we find God” (Deus caritas est, 15). Today there are new poor and new faces of poverty: the hungry, the homeless, the sick and abandoned, drug addicts, migrants and the marginalized, political and environmental refugees, the indigenous peoples. The current economic crisis seriously affects the poor. among the poorest in contemporary society are the victims of grievous loss of respect for the inviolable dignity of innocent human life. The preferential option for the poor leads us to seek out the poor and to work on their behalf so that they may feel at home in the Church. They are both recipients and actors in the New evangelization. Proposition 32: THE SICK The New evangelization must be ever aware of the Paschal Mystery of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This mystery sheds light on the suffering of people who can find in the Cross of Christ understanding and acceptance of the mystery of suffering that gives

are all necessary in preparing them to be efficient members of the workforce. A student who is prepared both physically and emotionally for work will be an asset in any workplace, and if he is poor, he has more chances to bring himself and his family out of poverty. The bill propagates the misconception of poor women needing contraception because they want to limit the number of children born to them, but are too poor to afford contraceptives. Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government professor Lant Pritchett says parents who have large families want large families, meaning parents want the children that they beget. It is also a misconception that poor women cannot afford contraceptives, hence the need for the rH Bill. according to the 2008 National Demographic Health Survey, only less than 1% of women cannot afford contraception. The rH Bill has been a highly divisive issue, with both sides hardly yielding

any ground. However, there are certain bills that are not as divisive as the rH bill but will also help this country move forward by curbing graft and corruption. We are referring to the Freedom of Information bill, and the anti-Dynasty bill. Both the congress and senate would have taken the country a step forward in the right direction had they passed these two bills. Instead they chose to dwell on the rH bill, and because of this our politicians look like they are only after their own selfish interests. The framers of the rH Bill presented this revised version of the rH bill hoping that they could pass it with the amendments in place. They are sadly mistaken. We still oppose the rH bill, and there shall be no compromise. We value life and the true dignity of women. No to the rH Bill! MR. ERIC MANALANG President, Pro Life Philippines

them hope in the life to come. In the sick, the suffering, persons with disabilities and those with special needs, Christ’s suffering is present and has a missionary force. For Christians, there must always be place for the suffering and the sick. They need our care, but we receive even more from their faith. Through the sick, Christ enlightens His Church, so that everyone who enters into contact with them will find reflected the light of Christ. This is why the sick are very important participants in the New evangelization. all those in contact with the sick need to be aware of their mission. We cannot forget when we build new hospitals to pay attention so that we do not lack a consoling and supportive environment and a place for prayer. Proposition 33: THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE AND THE NEW EVANGELIZATION The Sacrament of Penance and reconciliation is the privileged place to receive God’s mercy and forgiveness. It is a place for both personal and communal healing. In this sacrament, all the baptized have a new and personal encounter with Jesus Christ, as well as a new encounter with the Church, facilitating a full reconciliation through the forgiveness of sins. Here the penitent encounters Jesus, and at the same time he or she experiences a deeper appreciation of himself and herself. The Synod Fathers ask that this sacrament be put again at the center of the pastoral activity of the Church. In every diocese, at least one place should be especially dedicated in a permanent way for the celebration of this sacrament, where priests are always present, allowing God’s mercy to be experienced by all the faithful. The sacrament should be especially available, even on a daily basis, at places of pilgrimage and specially designated churches. Fidelity to the specific norms which rule the administration of this sacrament is necessary. every priest should consider the Sacrament of Penance an essential part of his ministry and of the New evangelization, and in every parish community a suitable time should be set apart for hearing confessions. (To be continued)

Prolife Philippines

Diocese of Malaybalay


Ref lections

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 16 No. 24
November 19 - December 2, 2012

The nature of Christ’s kingship: obviously not of this world
An exegetical reflection on the Gospel of the Feast of Christ the King, 34th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B (John 18:33-37) November 25, 2012
By Msgr. Lope C. Robredillo, SThD
POWer and privilege are what kingship and ruling are all about. In times past, among the basic duties of the king concern war and law: they have to wage war to protect the interest of the people, or protect them from war. They see to it that there is order in the kingdom. Today, among the basic expectations of the people from their rulers have to do with order, basic necessities and justice to everyone. They have power and privilege, but they have to see to it that people are not deprived of food, shelter, clothing and good health, and provide an ordered society in which everyone is given his due. It happens, however, that power, by which they can answer the people’s expectations, ironically causes deprivation of their basic necessities, disorder in society and injustice. For as Lord acton observes, power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Indeed, it is scarcely untruthful to say that there is something demonic in political power. and one who holds it normally finds it difficult to relinquish it. The privileges that are attendant upon it are hard to give up. No wonder, once one is in power, he makes an effort to hold on to it, by hook or by crook. It is not easy to say no to political power and its trappings. Political dynasties may be brutally logical—but logical, just the same. Because power corrupts, deception, graft, corruption, abuse, oppression, and repression are often connected with it. Thus, though we change those who hold political power time and again, yet society scarcely exhibits itself as evolving into a more just and more humane one. One often gets the impression that it is a case of the same dog, with different collar. That is how it goes in the kingdoms of this world. In today’s Gospel on the account of Jesus’ trial before Pilate, Jesus said that his kingdom is not of this world: “My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here”
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Is it important to know when the world is coming to an end?
An exegetical reflection on the Gospel of the 1st Sunday of Advent, Year C, (Luke 21:25-28, 34-36) December 2, 2012

By Msgr. Lope C. Robredillo, SThD
IF one were to believe present-day doomsday preppers, the world will end on Friday, December 21, 2012. They explain this in terms of the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, or Mayan calendar, earth’s collision with planet “Nibu”, galactic alignment, Nostradamus’ prophecies, and other apocalyptic theories. To be sure, of course, speculations about the end of the world are not wanting. It is told that in 1831, William Miller, a farmer, began preaching the end of the world in 1843. He draw his dating from the 2,300 days in the book of Daniel (Dan 8:13-14) which, for him, means 2,300 years, and using 457 BC as he calculated the date commanded to restore Jerusalem. Thousands heeded his call to repentance, but the year 1843 went without the world ending with a bang or with a whimper. He deferred the date to October 22, 1844, but most Millerites abandoned his religion, others returned to their former denominations. Of course, the Millerites concluded that they were correct on the dating, though this has reference to Jesus’ entrance to the holy place in the heavenly Jerusalem. The remnants of the Millerites accepted the prophetic role of ellen G. White, whose writings the Seventh-Day adventists revere as second to the Sacred Scriptures. after meeting with the SeventhDay adventists in 1872, haberdasher Charles Taze russell founded the Jehovah’s Witnesses. He predicted the end of the world in 1914. He died in 1916, but his successor, Joseph rutherford, head of the Watchtower Society, advanced the date to 1925. He himself, however, died in 1942. More recently, the Jehovah’s Witnesses were sure 1975 would be the year when Jesus would return. Of course, they were mistaken again. although many religionists are gaga over the precise date of Christ’s return, the Gospel today does exhort us not to concern ourselves with such speculation. It cannot be calculated,
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King and citizens of the most perfect kingdom
Last Sunday of the Liturgical Year November 25, 2012
By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB aLreaDY Herod the Great had made a big blunder. On hearing that there was a newborn king of the Jews, he felt threatened, challenged in his lust for power. and he ordered that heinous slaughter of the innocents for which he will always be remembered with horror. (See Mt 2:16.) In this respect, Pilate was wiser. He did not see in Jesus any threat to the roman occupation. as far as he was concerned, there was no case against the harmless preacher/philosopher from Nazareth who appeared to be interested in the truth, rather than in political power. (See Jn 18:38.) Pilate had not understood much of Jesus’ clarification that his kingdom was “not of this world.” For him it was enough to hear that Jesus did not entertain any political ambitions.... But for those who love Jesus and are interested in the Kingdom he has been “advertising” for three years, his answer to the roman procurator should be absolutely intriguing. Jesus’ answer is an invitation to reflect on the nature and demands of his Kingdom. What’s this Kingdom, then, which is so different from any other earthly kingdom, empire or republic; is not identified by any visible borders; has no taxes, no parliament, no army? . . . What sort of “Kingdom” is it? God’s Kingdom is a “kingdom within.” It encompasses the whole person: body, mind, heart. Nothing that is human escapes it. and all men are invited to be part of it – all races, cultures, traditions, languages can find in it not just a place but their “home.” all are welcome! God’s Kingdom will last for ever. The splendor of its achievements and the fulfillment of its program span beyond the dark boundaries of time and
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Bishop Pat Alo

Preparing to ENCOUNTERS welcome the Lord Holy Land experience with faith-filled expectation
1st Sunday of Advent C, Year of Faith December 2, 2012
By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
GOD does not wait till the end of the world to judge us. We shall have to face Him as our Judge at the end of our life, even if the sun keeps shedding its light as usual, and the rest of mankind may be enjoying perfect tranquility. On that day (or night) we shall see the end of our world – of the relationships we have established with things, places, and people. The question, then, is not “if” this world of ours will end. It shall surely end, for us, when we die. It is not even “when” and “how” it will end, for that is not for us to know. rather, what matters is HOW we will reach the end i.e., what will be the disposition of our heart when we meet the Lord at our death. That will be the most dramatic moment in our existence, since our eternal destiny will depend on that encounter. Hence, the exhortation to “be vigilant at all times and pray.” To be vigilant, in this case, does not mean to be like a sentry on the lookout for possible attacks from external enemies, though we live in an unfriendly world, and “the great day will close in on us like a trap” (Lk 21:34). rather, it means that we have to guard ourselves against our sinful inclinations fanned by the devil, and the moral disorder which both original sin and our personal sins have introduced into our lives. We all have a continuous “insurgency problem.” But the situation of permanent “red alert” in which we have to live should not paralyze us. We are expected to take the initiative and “conduct ourselves in a way pleasing to God,” ever bent on making “still greater progress” (1 Thes 4:1). all this is far from easy. A very strong enemy has infiltrated our lives, and we are weak and wounded. We need desperately a powerful ally on whose help we can rely. His presence in us will be not only the most effective deterrent against the “enemy,” but also a factor of “internal
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HaVING had the chance to visit the Holy Land last Oct. 6-12, 2012 was certainly an unforgettable experience to thank God for. For one thing, the Neo-Catechumenal group with whom we joined were most considerate and friendly, not just exteriorly but from sincere desire and devotion of the heart. That made the experience doubly memorable since we don’t usually expect such warmth and care from a mixture of elderly asian bishops of different nationalities of asia. Surely warmth and sincerity are always visible if they truly come from the heart. The occasion that took place in Galilee was the convivence (a get together) of more than 165 Catholic bishops from asia, even including some other rites which also

belonged to the Catholic faith (like the Syro-Malabar rite, for example), most of whom had links with the Neo-Catechumenal groups organized worldwide by Kiko arguello. What is important in gatherings like these is the help we get from other well-meaning friends who guide us in our quest for the truth. In this world where we know the devil has been given the freedom to spread his errors, how important it is that we help one another find the truth in every situation, especially in matters vital to our eternal salvation. If we want to make sure of success in material pursuits, how much more should be our interest in securing success in matters connected to the eternal felicity of our spirit. Surely this is just a confirmation of Jesus’

parting words to His disciples: “I give you a new commandment: love one another; just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this love you have for one another, everyone will know that you are my disciples” (Jn. 13:34-35). How heavenly is the companionship of people who witness in truth, sincerity and action to the veracity of such love and care. They are a testimony indeed that God knows and reads the deepest secrets of the human heart. The Bible psalms extol such unity, harmony and patience that could only be fruit of prayer and God’s grace: “how good, how delightful it is for all to live together like brothers:…copious as Hermon dew falling on the heights of Zion, where Yahweh confers his blessing, everlasting life” (Ps.133:1-3).

Bo Sanchez


You need tension to be happy
YOU need tension in your life. Because there’s such a thing as good tension and bad tension. Warning: Don’t dream of having zero tension in your life. The reason why you can stand up is because there’s tension in your feet, in your ankles, in your knees, in your hips, and in your spine. If there was no tension in your body, you’d be a mound of jello on the floor. Some people dream of sitting on the beach, lying on a recliner, their feet propped up, sipping a tall glass of orange juice, and playing on their iPads. Do that for one day and you’ll be happy. Do that for one week and there’s an off chance that you’ll still be happy. Do that for one month and I’m sure you’re bored to death. Do that for one year and I bet you’re going crazy. If you want to be happy, you need tension in your life. and do you know where good tension comes from? Tension comes from Vision… This Tension Will Keep You Alive During World War II, in a Nazi concentration camp, cruel doctors experimented on the most effective way of crushing the human spirit. They thought that what would do that was to remove every remaining shred of physical comfort. So they removed chairs, beds, and extra clothes in the prison cells. Prisoners suffered… But somehow, they survived. Next, the prison guards cut the food ration to half. again, the prisoners suffered, became exceedingly thin… But they survived. Next, they increased their work hours from 12 hours to 16 hours a day. again, the prisoners s u f f e r e d t r e m e n d o u s l y, became sickly and fainted at different times… But they survived. It seemed as though nothing could break the human spirit. Finally, the Nazis tried one last experiment. One morning, the prison guards asked the prisoners to dig a hole in the ground. So the entire day, with shovels and pickax and wheelbarrow, they made a gigantic hole. The next day, when they woke up, the prison guards asked the prisoners to cover the hole again. The
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CBCP Monitor
Vol. 16 No. 24
November 19 - December 2, 2012

Social Concerns


Caritas Filipinas teams up with Caritas Singapore to help flood victims

By Bernadette Reyes
CarITaS Filipinas Foundation, Inc. (CFFI) of the National Secretariat for Social action-Justice and Peace teamed up with Caritas Humanitarian aid and relief Initiatives Singapore (CHarIS) in bringing relief aid to victims of monsoon flooding spawned by typhoon Gener in the parishes of San Isidro Labrador, San Pedro apostol and Nuestra Señora dela Paz, all in Biñan, Laguna last October 5 and 11. around 421 sets of relief packs have been provisioned for 421 families in San Isidro Labrador Parish. a standard relief pack contained 8 kilos of rice, 2 blankets, 1 sleeping mat, 500 ml cooking oil, 5 cans of 150 grams corned beef, 5 cans of 155 grams tuna in oil and 30 packets of 3-in-1 coffee. In the same way, 469 sets of
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standard relief packs have been distributed to 359 and 110 families in the parishes of San Pedro apostol and Nuestra Señora dela Paz. T h e d o n a t i o n f ro m C H a r I S amounting to Php973,636.50 or approximately USD 23,635.00, aimed to help the families affected by the monsoon floods and Typhoon Gener to recover and start rebuilding their lives again. Some excess donations intended for 11 families who did not arrive during relief distribution were kept for next relief activities. Assessment It is always a continuous challenge for the Catholic Church to respond in times of need, the local Church is both challenged by emergency situations and strengthened by the commitment and perseverance of our parish priests, parishioners and parish

volunteers. Fr. Luis Tolentino of the Parish of San Isidro Labrador has been persistent in finding solutions and resolutions for the difficulties and problems that exist in communities of the Parish. responses to emergencies caused by natural calamities brought about collaborative spirit among nine parishes of Biñan, Laguna. These nine parishes and their respective Parish Priests are: 1) San Isidro Labrador Parish with Fr. Luis Tolentino; 2) Nuestra Señora Dela Paz with Fr. Zaldy Urgena; 3) San Pedro apostol Parish with Fr. Zaldy Punto; 4) San antonio de Padua with Fr. Tootsie Ubarco; 5) San Vicente Ferrer with Fr. emil Urriquia; 6) Blessed Sacrament Parish with Fr. Noel Magtaas, OSJ; 7) risen Lord Parish with Fr. Marciano Dijan; 8) Sto. Niño de Cebu Parish with Fr. Danilo Dagsan, OSa; and 9)

Miraculous Medal Parish with Fr. Ted real. Ninety-five per cent (95%) of barangays were submerged in water after the typhoon struck. areas that were most affected are Sitio Pagkakaisa, Brgy. Canlalay, San Jose, Brgy. Dela Paz, and Brgy. Malaban. Schools in Biñan served as evacuation centers. as government housing is expected to rise in Brgy. Langkiwa along with similar projects, the local government is likewise expected to deliver more effective and permanent remedy against natural disasters. relief assistance assists communities to get back to their feet, but also a reminder that long term solutions to problems need to be put in place. efficiency of the aid delivery has also been assessed. Interviews with individual beneficiaries with particular reference to the elderly, differently-abled, lactating mothers

and pregnant women have been conducted. In the Parish of San Isidro Labrador, 15 respondents took part on the evaluation process that provided a better understanding and generated feedback on the general condition of the activity. Some were even surprised to have received items from the Church. The Philippines is often hit by typhoons due to its geographical location, and aggravated by recent developments on climate change. We Filipinos manage to cope and address our most immediate concerns and remain to be very thankful, manage to smile and continue to appreciate even the simplest of blessings. We hope and pray that Filipinos will continue to team up and translate these simple blessings to simple actions that will help further the common good that we can all be pleased, and even be proud of.

try to convert other people by persuasive arguments for the faith since for them what is more important is setting a good example through their lives. Vatican II document on the “Decree on the apostolate of the Laity” paragraph 6 actually corrects this incomplete notion for it says: “However, an apostolate of this kind does not consist only in the witness of one’s way of life; a true apostle looks for opportunities to announce Christ by words addressed either to non-believers with a view to leading them to faith, or to the faithful with a view to instructing, strengthening, and encouraging them to a more fervent life “for the charity of Christ impels us” (2 Cor. 5:14). The words of the apostle should echo in all hearts, “woe to me if I do not preach the gospel” (1 Cor. 9:16). In the same paragraph, the Council exhorts all lay people: “Since, in our own times, new problems are arising and
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very serious errors are circulating which tend to undermine the foundations of religion, the moral order, and human society itself, this sacred synod earnestly exhorts laymen--each according to his own gifts of intelligence and learning--to be more diligent in doing what they can to explain, defend, and properly apply Christian principles to the problems of our era in accordance with the mind of the Church.” I also would like to call to mind what has been mandated by the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines in its acts and Decrees under the section on ecumenism: “Faced with these realities, there is a need of widespread catechesis and apologetics. We need not apologize for apologetic catechesis. Since its birth, Christianity has been subject to attacks from which it has had to defend itself. Jesus had to answer objections to His teachings, as the Gospels testify. St. Paul
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had to answer early Christian errors, and charged his disciples to protect the faithful from them while keeping pure the deposit of faith (acts. 20:28-32; eph 4:14; Col 2:8; 1 Tim 4:1-11; 6:3-5. See also 2 Pt. 3:16-18). apologetics has always been part of the pastoral and theological tradition of the Church. We must today be willing and able to defend our teachings in public fora, and we need to equip the faithful so that they can defend their faith. Parish priests must encourage and support the training of lay catholic faith defenders” (para. 222 pp. 80-81). It is already twenty years since this decree was promulgated but it has scarcely been implemented in many parishes. In this year of faith, it is my fervent hope that in every parish programs of action will be made in order to provide our lay people instruction regarding the content of the faith based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church and that Priests

and Pastors should themselves be well acquainted with the teachings of the Second Vatican Council and be faithful to it so that they may be able to fulfill their task of providing spiritual nourishment to their flock from the Word of God as taught and interpreted by the teaching office of the Church. Finally I would like to address my fellow Catholic lay apologists many of whom I know labor day and night in the study and defense of our Catholic religion. Oftentimes the cause of wasting the fruits of apologetics comes from the apologists themselves. a renewed apologetics certainly includes renewing the apologist himself. Let us neither be too defensive nor overly aggressive, neither timid nor overly confident in the force of our arguments as to leave no room for the interior enlightenment of grace. Let us conduct ourselves well before our fellow
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Catholics and among non-Catholics and let us always proceed with respect and courtesy even to those who are not agreeable to us. Let these words of Pope Leo XIII serve as an inspiration for us: “as in the past, so at the present time, the Church is never without the graceful support of her accomplished children; may their services to the Faith grow and increase! For there is nothing which We believe to be more needful than THaT TrUTH SHOULD FIND DeFeNDerS more powerful and more numerous than the enemies it has to face; nor is there anything which is better calculated to impress the masses with respect for truth than to see it boldly proclaimed by learned and distinguished men” (Providentissimus Deus, paragraph 22). (The author is the National President of the Catholic Faith Defenders, Inc.)
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(John 18:36). This does not mean, of course, that Jesus’ kingdom has nothing to do with this world. It does not even mean that his kingdom cannot be found in this world. In the theology of John, the word “world” as used in this pericope means the world of sin. If anything, what Jesus said means that his rule does not belong to this world of sin, a world that values political power and social privileges, where greed among powers-that-be cannot be moderated, where rulers lord it over people, and make their importance felt. His kingship does not belong to this kind of world. Hence, he cannot be a king in the sense Pilate understood it:”You say I am a king” (John 18:37). How then do we look at the kingship of Jesus? We can understand his kingship if we consider how Jesus understood his kingdom. according to him, it is a kingdom of truth (John 18:37). Truth, in John, echoes the meaning of Wisdom 6:22 which associates it with God’s hidden plan of salvation, and in Daniel 10:21 which connects it with the designs of God for the time of salvation. Thus, unlike Caesar, Jesus did not have soldiers who were armed to protect him, nor people who were at his beck and call (John 18:36b), but certainly he had followers—those who hear his voice, which is the truth (John 18:37c). These are the disciples, the believers, his sheep (John 10:16; 8:47). Having considered this, we now understand Jesus’ kingship. He is a King in the sense that he is the embodiment of truth (John 14:6), and all his words and his

deeds testify to it (John18:37b). Moreover, he testified to that truth with his death; so, in his crucifixion he is the King (John 19:19). Viewed in this light, we can easily understand why Jesus’ kingship is not of this world. However, still, it has to do with this world. For the truth is opposed to this world of sin and division, of power and privilege; not surprisingly enough, it hates the testimony of Jesus (John 7:2). This world cannot accept the values of his kingdom—truth, justice, peace, liberation, equality and participation. But Christians cannot despair. For, few they may be, yet those who hear the truth and believe in him will eventually conquer the world: “Who indeed is the victor over the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”(1 John 5:4). In this feast of the Kingship of Jesus, John then has this to say to us: Jesus is a King and has a Kingdom. But if we are to share in his kingship, we must listen to his voice. By listening to his voice, we turn earthly values upside down: better to be poor than to be rich, to suffer than to persecute, to be weak than to be powerful, to be utilized than to exploit. We no longer imitate the current language of power and privilege. On the contrary, we follow him in discipleship, offering our very self on the cross, in which we can find our victory and vindication. In our crucifixion, we reign with him. In this reign, we experience wholeness, love, truth, justice and peace. By this kingdom which is not of this world, we will conquer the kingdom of this world.

because it can come at any moment: “that day catch you by surprise like a trap” (Luke 21:34b-35a). The basic Christian attitude toward Christ’s return is not one of curiosity, but one of great expectation that is seen in our daily behavior. Having followed Jesus in discipleship, for all the trials and sufferings attendant upon it, we can stand erect and hold our head high because our deliverance has come (Luke 21:28). However the world will end, with a bang or with a whimper, we really have nothing to fear, because Jesus comes back as a savior, a victor over the forces of evil and death. Of course, we know that in following Jesus in discipleship, we do not always obtain justice or peace. On the contrary, we are even persecuted for our belief, and for our action on account of that belief. But this is not the last word of our discipleship. The last word is that, Jesus is coming to put an end to it--to the miscarriage of justice, to the injustices and every form of evil. When he comes, Jesus will be manifested to us as the just shoot of David who does what is right and just, and we, his disciples, will experience peace and justice (Jer 33:14-16, 1st reading). That is why we do not fear death or the end of this world. as we await his coming, we have to conduct ourselves in a way pleasing to God, and learn to make progress in it. We make our hearts blameless before God, overflowing with love for one another (1 Thess 3:12). This should be our concern as we

await his return: a blameless life, overflowing with love, not speculation of date. We are to act as if we were a woman whose husband is an OFW (overseas Filipino worker) in Italy or Hongkong. While her husband is away, she does not falter in her love for him and for their children. Her life of care and love is her daily preparation for the coming back of her husband. Because of her life of love, she is eager to meet him at the airport upon his return, and to receive his gifts for her. She knows that his return is the salvation of her family from their deprivation of basic needs; her husband’s coming is the redemption of their family from grinding poverty, and signifies the unity of the whole family. We cannot imitate the wife who, when her husband is in a foreign land, spends away all the money he sent her, and consorts with other men, for that would be like the man in the Gospel whose spirit has become bloated with indulgence, drunkenness and worldly cares (Luke 21:34). assuredly, she cannot hold her head high. In effect, by leading such a life in the in-between time, we demonstrate that, even though we do not know the exact date, we are confident of the Lord’s return. The waiting may be long, but it is not without purpose nor devoid of meaning. On the contrary, it is meaningful because it derives its significance from the Lord himself who will make it perfect, when he establishes peace and justice for those who followed him.

stability.” God Himself is such an Ally, and prayer is the “supply line” through which we come to share in His strength. By opening our hearts in prayer to Him, we begin to enjoy already now that lifegiving communion which is the essence of the afterlife for all those who say “Yes” to Him. If we place ourselves in such a disposition, nothing, not even death, will frighten us. and actually, we shall be able to raise our heads with trust-filled hope . . . “to stand secure before the Son of Man” (Lk 21:28.36). Let this be our disposition this advent as we take our first steps in the “Year of Faith,” the year of “new beginnings” and new fervor, in the “era of the New evangelization.”
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prisoners were perplexed and didn’t understand, but they obeyed. The next morning, the prison guards asked them to dig the hole again. everyday, they asked them to do the very opposite of what they did the previous day. On and on it went. result? Two weeks later, the prisoners began to die one by one. Why? More than our need for food, or comfort, or sleep—we need purpose. We need the tension of purpose. When what I do has no more purpose, something in me dies. When there is no purpose, there is no pull. Where there is no target, there is no tension.

earthly decay. God’s reign is everlasting. It shares in the eternity of its Ruler, and draws its vitality from the very Source of Life. Founded on the ashes of a rotten mankind, now made new by God’s merciful love, this “unconventional” Kingdom was established at the cost of the life of the King’s Son. It advances irresistibly toward a final triumph, in spite of occasional setbacks. Its program and overriding concern is the total and lasting happiness of all human beings. Its flag/symbol is a resplendent cross; its

fundamental law is love of God and neighbor. radical in its demands, this law has a transforming power: it can fashion frail human creatures into children of the Most High, patterned after Jesus, the Firstborn of the Father ’s family. Such is the X-ray chart of the Kingdom rejected by the Jews as “dangerous” and dismissed by Pilate as irrelevant. For us, privileged to be part of it, this is the most precious treasure man can ever dream of – something to possess which we should be prepared to lose everything, including our physical life.

Photos courtesy of CBCP-NASSA

Moral Assessment

Technical Assessment

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 16 No. 24

November 19 - December 2, 2012

 Abhorrent  Disturbing  Acceptable  Wholesome  Exemplary

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

BreaKING Dawn 2 picks up from the last sequel and sees a fully transformed mother and vampire in Bella (Kristen Stewart), who embraces this new life with great happiness. renesmee (Mackenzie Foy), Bella and edward’s daughter, is special. Not only is she half vampire— gifted with superhuman speed and strength and the ability to penetrate mental shields and project her thoughts to another; she is also half human—warm blooded and with the ability to grow and mature. But Bella’s fairytale is doused with stinging cold waters when Irina, a vampire from the Denali clan tells the Volturi that the couple violated one of the most important laws and created an immortal child. Now, Bella realizes she has to protect her child from the Volturi. So the Cullens gather witnesses from foreign covens and Jacob’s new pack in the hope of standing up against the Volturi. The technical aspect of the film is remarkably clean and enjoyable. There is that seemless overlapping of real action and

CGIs that audience can easily get lost inside the fantasy world. Storywise, it did stay faithful to the book but interpreted it a tad too slow and trite with too much sentimentality and MTVmoments. However, it was a good directorial call to include the battle scene between the two groups as it added the much needed action and recaptured the audiences’ sympathy towards the characters. although the actors displayed understanding and chemistry of both their roles and with and one another ’s characters, Bella still has that irritating insecure awkwardness as a vampire—a far comparison to the mysterious iciness of the rest. (But, of course, of all of them Bella is the only one who wanted to become a vampire). There had been critics of Bella’s immaturity in the previous films as well as disdain towards a story that centers on a girl chasing a boy the last installments; here a more mature and selfless Bella emerges and shifts her attention from herself and her heartaches her family and loved ones.

TITLE: Breaking Dawn 2 CAST: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattison, Taylor Lautner, Mackenzie Foy DIRECTION: Bill Condon LOCATION: Seattle GENRE: Drama Fantasy DISTRIBUTOR: Summit Entertainment RUNNING TIME: 116 minutes TEChNICAL ASSESSMENT:


MORAL ASSESSMENT: ½ Rating : V14

If there is one thing Breaking Dawn 2 emphasizes it is the importance of family and how one’s love for them would compel us to sacrifice, fight and risk everything for their sake. The film also shows that a family not only means one blood relative. Breaking Dawn 2—and perhaps the entire Twilight series—is not a vampire story where the creatures kill or are hunted but a story about love, acceptance, family and sacrifice set in a time where vampires and werewolves existed.


Ni Bladimer Usi

Buhay Parokya

Look for the image of the Holy Rosary, Saint John the Baptist and Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle. (Illustration by Bladimer Usi)

TITLE: Suddendly it’s magic CAST: Erich Gonzales, Mario Maurer, Joross Gamboa, Jestoni Alarcon DIRECTOR: Rory Quintos PRODUCER/ DISTRIBUTOR: Star Cinema RUNNING TIME:120 minutes LOCATION: Ilocos GENRE: Romance-Drama TEChNICAL ASSESSMENT:  MORAL ASSESSMENT:  CINEMA Rating: For viewers ages 14 and above

SI Joey (erich Gonzales) at Marcus (Mario Maurer), bagamat nasa magkaibang panig ng daigdig, ay nasa parehong industriya ng romansa at pantasya. Si Joey ay isang baker chef sa Ilocos na gumagawa ng cupcakes at kamanghamanghang romantic wedding cakes. Habang si Marcus naman ay isang sikat na artista sa Thailand na kilala sa paggawa ng mga romantic movies. Parehas din sila ng pinagdadaanan- si Joey ay iniwan ng kanyang groom sa araw ng kanilang kasal, habang ang ka-love-team/ girlfriend naman ni Marcus ay ipinagpalit siya sa ibang lalaki. Sa labis na sama ng loob, tila natabangan na si Marcus sa paggawa ng pelikula kasama ang ka-love-team na ex-girlfriend kung kaya’t maiisipan niyang magpakalayo muna panandalian at pumunta sa isang lugar na walang nakakakilala sa kanya. ang kanyang yaya na Filipina ang magbibigay sa kanya ng ideya na magpunta ng Pilipinas at siya nga ay tumuloy dito. Sa Laoag ay makikilala niya si Joey at sa kabila ng di magandang umpisa ay magkakapalagayang loob din sila. Ngunit magtagal kaya ang kanilang relasyon kung may naghihintay na showbiz career si Marcus sa Thailand habang si Joey ay naghihilom pa lang ang sugat ng nakaraan? Isang formula romance ang Suddenly It’s Magic. Lahat ng inaasan sa isang pelikulang romansa ay ipinagsiksikan nang pilit sa pelikulang ito. Gayunpaman, nagawa naman nitong magbigay ng kahit papaano’y kilig sa mga manonood. Malinaw naman ang daloy ng kuwento, pati na ang daloy ng damdamin, ngunit hindi maitatangging pawang naging predictable pa rin ang pelikula sa katapusan nito. Mahusay ang mga pangunahing tauhan at may kani-kaniya silang galing at ningning, yun nga lang, tila kulang sa “magic” ang kanilang tambalan. Dala na rin ito marahil ng pagiging magkaiba ng kanilang kultura at salita. Sadyang mahirap silang gawan ng koneksyon at kitang-kita ang kamay ng mga manunulat upang ipilit ito. Sa kabila nito’y hindi naman maitatanggi ang malinis ang sinematograpiya at talaga namang nakabibighani ang mga pinili nilang lokasyon at tanawin. Kaya’t masasabing kaaya-aya na ring panoorin ang pelikula. Mababaw lamang ang mga inihaing tema ng pelikula bagama’t pawang mabibigat na itong dalahin sa mga tauhan. ang pinaka-sentro dito ay patungkol sa pagpili sa pagitan ng damdamin at kinabukasan, puso o trabaho. Sino nga ba ang nararapat na magbigay sa mga pagkakataong kinakailangan ang isang matinding desisyon kung nakasalang-alang ay ang kasiyahan at mga pangarap? Ipinakita sa pelikula na ang pagpaparaya, pagbibigay at pagpapatawad ay susi sa malayang pagmamahal. ang mga ito rin ang magpapatibay sa relasyon ng dalawang nagmamahalan. Kita rin sa pelikula ang pagbibigay-halaga ng dalawa sa Diyos, magkaiba man sila ng relihiyon, sa kanilang mga desisyon. Yun nga lang may ilang tema ang pelikula na nakababahala pa rin, tulad na lamang ng pagsasama ng dalawang bida sa iisang bahay kahit hindi pa sila kasal. Wala namang pinakitang sensualidad ang pelikula ngunit pawang ipinakita na rin sa kuwento na sila ay nagsama. Hindi rin malinaw ang naging tayo ng pelikula patungkol sa pagkakaroon ng anak sa labas at relasyon sa labas ng kasal. ang malinaw lamang na sinasabi ng Suddenly It’s Magic ay, lahat ay magiging maayos basta’t susundin ang idinidikta ng damdamin. Ito’y hindi pa labis mauunawan ng mga batang manonood kung kaya’t minamarapat ng CINeMa na ang pelikulang ito ay para lamang sa mga manonood na 14 taong gulang pataas.

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 16 No. 24
November 19 - December 2, 2012


The Cross

A Supplement Publication of KCFAPI and the Order of the Knights of Columbus
Catholics venerate the image of San Pedro Calungsod, the second Filipino saint, outside Manila Cathedral, after a Mass attended by around 2,000 faithful together with KCFAPI officials and employees led by their chairman and former Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jr. (inset), Nov. 7, 2012.

KCFAPI welcomes image of St. Pedro Calungsod
By Roy Lagarde THE Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. Officials and employees headed by Chairman Hilario G. Davide, Jr. and EVP Ma. Theresa G. Curia flocked to the Manila Cathedral to welcome the pilgrim image of San Pedro Calungsod last November 7, 2012.
The KCFAPI has joined an estimated 2,000 devotees who trooped to the cathedral to pray and venerate the image. San Pedro Calungsod’s image arrived in the Philippines from Rome last Oct. 25 and immediately made rounds in Metro Manila and Northern Luzon as part of a thanksgiving pilgrimage around the country. The statue made its second to the last stop at the Manila Cathedral before proceeding to Southern Luzon dioceses down to Visayas and Mindanao, which started on November 8. The event was highlighted with a mass presided by Cardinal-designate Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle. In his homily, Tagle said that to better appreciate the blessing of having a second Filipino saint, the people should study the life of the 17-year-old Visayan martyr. “After this very big blessing, let us ponder on what it means to be martyr. Read about the life of Saint Pedro Calungsod and listen to the many catecheses about him,” he said. “These are available in online publications, instead of uploading or downloading about other topics, do a search on Saint Pedro Calungsod,” said Tagle. Tagle said that to better appreciate the blessing of having a second Filipino saint, the people should study the life of the 17-year-old Visayan martyr. After the liturgical celebration, swarms of worshippers pressed forward to touch, kiss or wipe their handkerchiefs on the image in the hopes its powers will touch their lives. The Association sponsored the construction of Php 195,000.00 worth “Urna” that carries the image of San Pedro Calungsod and at the same time donated Php50,000.00 worth of cash to the National Commission on the Canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod to help in its programs and activities. Commission on Elections Commissioners Rene Sarmiento and Lucenito Tagle, both officers of the Mace Insurance Agency Inc., a wholly-owned company

of KCFAPI, also graced the occasion. Also in attendance were Mayor Alfredo Lim, Presidential Sister Victoria Elisa “Viel” Aquino-Dee; COMELEC Chairman Sixto Brillantes and former Philippine Ambassador to the Vatican Henrietta de Villa. On Nov. 27, the image will be brought back to Cebu City from Bohol, the last stop of the “Duaw Nasud” or Nation Visit, in preparation for the national thanksgiving celebration on Nov. 30.

KCFAPI celebrates early Christmas with young cancer patients
THE Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc (KCFAPI) brought early Christmas presents to the children suffering from cancer at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) last October 25. The KCFAPI gift giving committee distributed 50 gift bags of fruits and toys to the patients presently admitted to the PGH-cancer ward for children. “Our objective is to highlight the appreciation of life’s blessings despite the difficulties faced by all people especially those children suffering from terminal illnesses,” said Gift Giving Committee Chairman Carmelita Ruiz. She added that the early Christmas gifts from KCFAPI not only offered simple joys to the young cancer patients, but will also help the KCFAPI employees appreciate the meaning of life. “The Head Nurse Jane Bautista welcomed us. The patients below 5 years old were given stuffed toys since they cannot enjoy the fruits yet, and we used the proceeds from the garage sale during the KCFAPI anniversary week for this project,” Ruiz furthered. Members’ insights The gift giving in PGH made a deep impression in the life of the KCFAPI employees. One of the committee members, Ira Tee gathered the personal observation of other members. One of them stated that the activity was an eye opener and made them more aware of their personal difficulties. They also observed that more than the gifts, what the patients needed more are prayers for their speedy recovery. The act of volunteerism, according to the employees, was a truly concrete manifestation of the Order’s theme “The Power of One” because KCFAPI employees were one in heart, mind and soul and wished the children to recover from the cancer ailment and fervently prayed that their loved ones be continually blessed. The committee members also wished that this Year of Faith be an inspiration to all the catholic lay faithful to believe in the power of God over death and sickness. They pray in Jesus name that the children afflicted with cancer be filled with the Holy Spirit and may have the courage and faith to understand that the Almighty God has a Divine purpose for them on this life and the life hereafter. The KCFAPI Gift Giving Committee headed by Carmelita Ruiz include Resty Yanzon, Joan Apad, Marianne Malabanan, Annalyn Malong, Ira Tee, Gerard Joseph Francisco, Gloria Alegre and Rick Jayson Mariano. We are here to share -GNH Being a Catholic organization inspired by their founders Venerable Michael J. McGivney and Fr. George J. Willmann, KCFAPI is also committed to respond to the call of social responsibility, according to

The KCFAPI Gift Giving Committee and the nurses and staff of Philipine General Hospital together with head nurse Jane Bautista, Committee Chair Carmelita Ruiz, and KCFAPI Medical Consultant Dr. Jaime Talag.

The KCFAPI Gift Giving Committee

President Guillermo N. Hernandez. During his birthday celebration last November 5, he said there are many ways to help the less fortunate this holiday season. “If you help the less fortunate you will achieve purity and the bounty of the holiday

season.” said Bro. Hernandez. “We can help them by giving time, food, money or clothing to various local agencies—not just during the holidays, but throughout the year.” “As what the Holy Bible said, do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God,” Hernandez furthered. (Yen Ocampo)

Knights on ‘no-vote’ campaign Saint Pedro Calungsod visits Cubao vs pro-RH politicians


IN a massive display of brotherhood, hundreds of members of the Knights of Columbus from the provinces of Nueva Ecija, Aurora and the prelature of Infanta gathered on a weekend for a motorcade to protest the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill. State Program Director Boni-

facio B. Martinez, during the round-table dinner, urged hundreds of fellow knights not to vote for pro-RH politicians. “Elections are coming up and there are pro-RH politicians. So it is up to you to determine who they are, I won’t tell you anymore. And I hope you don’t
Politicians / C2

Devotees flock at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral to see and touch the statue of the newly canonized second Filipino Saint Pedro Calungsod during the latter’s pilgrimage visit at the Diocese of Cubao.

DESPITE short notice, 37 Honor Guards heeded the call of Luzon Deputy Arsenio Isidro G. Yap to give honor to the 2nd Filipino Saint, St. Pedro Calungsod, during a Mass celebrated to welcome the image at the Im-

maculate Conception Cathedral in Cubao last October 28. Most Rev. Honesto F. Ongtioco DD, State Chaplain and Bishop of Cubao led the concelebrated mass which was also
Calungsod / C2

The Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. employees headed by Executive Vice President Ma. Theresa G. Curia attended a 3-day seminar entitled “ UNLEASH the Highest Potential of Your Life” last October 20, 27 and November 17, 2012 at UNLEASH International Training Center, Ortigas Center, Pasig City.

Chairman’s Message
CHRISTMAS is the celebration of the greatest event in Christian history and of our Faith – the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ who was born as a covenant of the people and a light for all nations (Isaiah 42: 6), the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9: 5), the Bread of Life, the Light of the World, The Good Shepherd, the Resurrection and the Life, the Way, the Truth and the Life, and the True Vine (John 6: 14, 8: 12, 10: 11, 11: 25, 14: 6, 15: 1). Without Him whom we honor in Christmas and who suffered death on the cross to save us, life would be meaningless, empty. We would all be like the grass which withers and whose flower wilts (1 Peter 1: 24). Creation is for nothing; the world would be without beauty; we would have no past nor future and the present is all foolishness. Thus, we celebrate Christmas to welcome Jesus into our hearts and homes with all we have for without Him we are nothing. Since He loves all of us and He is in each one of us, the gifts that we give during Christmas to our relatives and friends, to the poor and the underprivileged would be our offerings of welcome to Him and of thanksgiving to God the Father who on Jesus' baptism proclaimed: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3: 17). Although we cannot match the material gifts of the three kings, we can offer more by giving what we truly treasure and what Jesus Himself wants: LOVE. Christmas 2012 would be among the best for the Philippines and for all Filipinos because by the Love of Jesus, the Grace of the Father, and the Guidance of the Holy Spirit, we were gifted with the canonization of the second Filipino saint—San Pedro Calungsod—and the appointment as Cardinal by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI of our Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle. His elevation to the College of Cardinals leads him a heartbeat near the Papacy. By God's grace he will be the next Pope – the first Asian Pope. The year of Faith and the New Evangelization which we must authentically observe and celebrate will prepare him for that. A most Christ-centered, grace-filled, joyous Christmas 2012 to all! VIVAT JESUS!

The Cross

CBCP Monitor
November 19 - December 2, 2012

Vol. 16 No. 24

Hilario G. Davide, Jr.

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.

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

Guillermo N. Hernandez

President’s Message
ONe thing I like so much with the Catholic Church is its liturgical calendar, among many others. Because if one were only to consider the movements of the liturgical seasons, it feels like everything is moving forward—not backwards or in circles—in a pilgrimage. Somehow, that feeling gives one an encouragement not to be slow or inert but to keep marching on until he reaches the final destination. The liturgical calendar begins with the season of advent. Since I was a kid, I have always cherished the feeling of entering into this season even without really understanding it fully. It was because, when the season of advent comes there were beautiful changes that I saw at home and in churches. Christmas decorations begun to gradually appear—not like today when Christmas songs and decors start popping up in early September, especially in the malls where it smacks of commercialism instead of religious fervor or meaning. In churches, the first Sunday of Advent, which usually comes around the last Sunday of November or the first Sunday of December, is marked with the lighting of the first candle of the advent wreath. As kids we would anticipate this event, because it was something different. It was something to look forward to. When the lighting gets nearer to the fourth candle, our feeling was Christmas was next and therefore the sense of expectation for this great annual celebration was getting stronger. I seem to love recalling those times. And it feels nostalgic. But advent is not only a kiddie stuff. It is a very meaningful season for every Christian adult, especially for the members of the Knights of Columbus whose progression and maturity in the Order maybe likened to a pilgrimage from the first to the fourth degree. Advent which is derived from the Latin word “adventus” is a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of the baby Jesus at Christmas. Beautifully, the church has divided this season into two modes. The first one which is from the first Sunday of Advent until the eve of Simbang Gabi carries a sentiment that is penitential; the second one, which is the whole 9 days Misa de Gallo are days of joyful expectation. But then the expectation for the coming of the baby Jesus during Christmas does not end there. There is also that greater expectation for the coming of the Lord Jesus in our lives—especially now that we are celebrating the Year of Faith. I wish to think that this advent will help each one of us in allowing Jesus to reign in our faith—in our lives.
Calungsod / C1

Luzon Deputy Arsenio Isidro G. Yap presented the Charter of San Lorenzo Ruiz Council 15508 in Guevarra Subdivision, San Pedro, Laguna to Charter Grand Knight Rodolfo V. Barredo last October 13. This council was developed by Former District Deputy Pepito Paradero District S-54 Diocese of San Pablo Laguna. The Luzon Deputy was assisted by State Membership Recruitment Chairman Conrado S. Dator Jr. (KC Laguna)

The Knights of Columbus-Honor Guards led by Judge F. Tiradot, Sr. of Assembly ACN3127 in Pototan, Iloilo joined the celebration of the 144th birth anniversary of Teresa Magbanua (Joan of Arc in Visayas). A wreath lying was spearheaded by Mayor Pablo L. Perez, Vice Mayor Tompen Penaflorida, ten Sangguniang Bayan, School Supervisors, and Principals. (VizNews)

In observance of the Prison Awareness Week, the Knights of ColumbusVisayas Jurisdiction conducted a Recollection, Confession, Mass and Gift-giving to 70 Inmates of Pototan District Jail last October 22 with the support of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate-Pototan Chapter. Seventy pairs of brand new Slippers were given to the inmates courtesy of the State Treasurer-Visayas while other Brother Knights donated some bath soap, laundry soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, shampoo, face towel, among others, for their personal needs. (VizNews)

KC News Briefs
THE Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc (KCFAPI) will hold a Planning Conference on November 23-25 at the Azalea Residences in Baguio together with its President Guillermo N. Hernandez and other two Service Office Managers from Visayas and Mindanao. KCFAPI will join the St. Pedro Calungsod Pilgrimage in Cebu on November 30. *** The KCFAPI will adopt the Medieval Ages theme, the period of European history encompassing the 5th to the 15th centuries on its 2012 Christmas Party to be held at the Manila Grand Opera Hotel on December 14 while the Family Day Christmas Party will be held on December 21. *** The KCFAPI will undergo a surveillance audit for ISO certification on December 18, 2012. *** The October 17 birthday of State Chaplain, Most Rev. Honesto F. Ongtioco DD was celebrated last October 20 with a Thanksgiving Mass at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Lantana St., Diocese of Cubao. Supreme Director Alonso L. Tan attended the affair, also representing the Luzon Deputy who was in Masbate that time. *** Luzon Deputy Arsenio Isidro G. Yap hosted the “Round Table of District Deputies” Fellowship at his residence in Araneta Ave., Quezon City last October 26. The fellowship has been a regular affair for several years. In attendance were 60 Knights ― the District Deputies/Former District Deputies, Grand Knights and Faithful Navigators/Past Faith Navigators of the Diocese of Cubao. Food and drinks were potluck and FN del Rosario donated one whole “lechon”. *** The SK Loberiza Assembly of Lambunao (ACN No.3320) in Iloilo conducted a tree planting last month in remote barangays of Lambunao, spearheaded by Faithful Navigator Francis Castete. *** The Knights of Columbus Judge F. Tirador, Sr. Assembly 3127, San Antonio de Padua Assembly, and newly organized Lambunao Assembly joined the Procession-Feast of Our Lady of the Pillar in Mina, Iloilo last October 12 together with Faithful Navigator Francis Castete of Lambunao and Past Faithful Navigator Jun Jo. Concelebrated mass was held after the procession in the town proper of Mina, Iloilo. Honor Guards from 3 Assemblies in Central Iloilo joined the affair. *** The Knights of Columbus Visayas Jurisdiction joined the Iloilo Provincial Government in Mangrove Planting in Dumangas, Iloilo last September 22 as part of their Action on Regreening and Transformation project. *** Sixty five honor guards from four Assemblies of Metro Manila participated in a fourhour Grand Procession of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of La Naval at the Sto. Domingo Parish last October 14. This was hosted by Faithful Navigator Danilo F. del Rosario, Former District Deputy of Maharlika Assembly from the Diocese of Cubao. Also present was Columbian Squires Chairman Jose F. Cuaresma who led the four Circles from the Diocese of Cubao. *** The Knights of Columbus in the Visayas Jurisdiction joined a Tree Planting Activity in Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo last October 27 together with the Lions Club in the province. *** According to Visayas Program Director Noeni S. Nepomuceno, Brother Knights from Aklan province led by PD Roy Cichon ended their prayerful pilgrim for Venerable Father Michael J. Mcgivney in a Departure Rite held last November 8. District Deputy Eldrid Bacongallo of Patnongon Council Antique led brother knights in Antique in a Reception Rite which started in Pandan Antique. The pilgrim will move around Antique parishes, Culasi, Patnogon, San Jose, and other parishes facilitated by local councils. *** In the Grand Knights and Financial Secretaries Seminar at Lyceum Aparri, Cagayan, last Nov. 10, the Luzon Deputy Arsenio Isidro Yap was given an "aliwa" as a token of appreciation by K of C officers from the Apostolic Vicariate of Tabuk headed by District Deputy Jose Hortillano from Apayao. *** The Grand Knights and Financial Secretaries Seminar at the Diocese of Boac, Marinduque was conducted by State New Council Development Chairman Efren V. Mendoza last October 27 at the Marinduque National High School, Boac, Marinduque. A total of 40 participants attended the seminar.

attended by Supreme Director Alonso L. Tan, State Secretary Joven B. Joaquin, State Church Director Vicente Ortega, State Community Director Romulo Estrella, Columbian Squires Chairman Jose F. Cuaresma, District Deputies from the Diocese of Cubao, Gilbert Manauis and Valentine Unarse. Faithful Navigator Danilo F. del Rosario led the 29 honor guards from Maharlika Assembly while, the other 8 honor guards were from Padre Gomez Assembly.
Politicians / C1

Bishop Ongtioco again led a concelebrated mass the following day as send off for the pilgrim image which was brought to the Diocese of Parañaque. The mass was attended by Luzon Deputy Arsenio Isidro G. Yap, Church Director Vicente Ortega, State Community Director Romulo Estrella, Columbian Squires Chairman Jose F. Cuaresma, State Senior Citizens Committee Chairman Jorge Banal and Former District Deputy June Villafranca. (Mon Sanchez/ LuzonNews)

vote for these pro-RH politicians,” Bonifacio said. Dubbed a “Celebration of Life,” the event kicked off with a Eucharistic celebration, followed by the motorcade that started from St. Nicholas of Tolentine, Crypta, Cabanatuan City to the Nueva Ecija High School, where a round-table discussion of District Deputies took place. It was attended by prominent personalities from the province, including Suzuki Philippines President Satoshi Uchida. Members of the Knights of Columbus vowed to continue promoting a negative vote campaign on the RH Bill, which they said would be carried out nationwide. (CBCP for Life)

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 16 No. 24
November 19 - December 2, 2012

The Cross


Faithful Citizens, Faithful Knights
The words of Pope Benedict provide us with guidance and confirmation as we work for the common good
By Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson
JUST weeks ago, Pope Benedict XVI gave an extraordinarily important address on the political responsibility of Catholics. He began by reminding us of the teaching of the Second Vatican Council that in society and politics “the order of things must be subordinate to the order of persons, and not the other way around” (Gaudium et Spes, 26; cf. CCC 1912). The question, of course, is how to apply this test. What are the criteria by which we can determine how best to defend the person and build a society that reflects fundamental Gospel values? This is a question that every conscientious Catholic must answer if he or she is to be both a faithful citizen and a faithful Catholic—especially in this election season. Thankfully, Pope Benedict provided guidance in this matter. “The areas in which this decisive discernment is to be exercised are those touching the most vital and delicate interests of the person,” he said. “These areas are not separate from one another but (are) profoundly interconnected … and are the ultimate goal of any authentically human social justice.” The Holy Father then made clear what these Catholic criteria are: “The commitment to respecting life in all its phases from conception to natural death— and the consequent rejection of procured abortion, euthanasia and any form of eugenics—is, in fact, interwoven with respecting marriage as an indissoluble union between a man and a woman.” Faithful Catholics considering the many issues confronting us today in the United States—especially state ballot initiatives involving assisted suicide or marriage, and the positions of candidates for public office— should be grateful for this clear guidance. Taking seriously the social teaching of our Church can help Catholics truly transform our politics today (see article on page 8). The Knights of Columbus bears a special responsibility in this effort since we strive to be the faithful, strong right arm of our Church. Pope Benedict XVI highlighted this responsibility in the message he sent to our 130th Supreme Convention. It is important for each of us to carefully consider his words, which were conveyed by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone: “At a time when concerted efforts are being made to redefine and restrict the exercise of the right to religious freedom, the Knights of Columbus have worked tirelessly to help the Catholic community recognize and respond to the unprecedented gravity of these new threats to the Church’s liberty and public moral witness. By defending the right of all religious believers, as individual citizens and in their institutions, to work responsibly in shaping a democratic society inspired by their deepest beliefs, values and aspirations, your Order has proudly lived up to the high religious and patriotic principles which inspired its founding. “The challenges of the present moment are in fact yet another reminder of the decisive importance of the Catholic laity for the advancement of the Church’s mission in today’s rapidly changing social context. The Knights of Columbus, founded as a fraternal society committed to mutual assistance and fidelity to the Church, was a pioneer in the development of the modern lay apostolate.” The greetings continued with assurance that the Holy Father is “confident” that the Knights of Columbus “will carry on this distinguished legacy by providing sound inspiration, guidance and direction to a new generation of faithful and dedicated Catholic

laymen.” The message concluded by expressing the Holy Father’s “profound personal gratitude” for our prayers and our “fidelity, loyalty and support during these difficult times.” My brother Knights, our mandate is sure and our responsi-

bility clear: Let us not hesitate; let us be of firm resolve; let the Knights of Columbus continue to be “a pioneer in the development of the modern lay apostolate” when it comes to the demands of faithful citizenship; and let us defend both life and liberty! Vivat Jesus!

Mr. Angelito A. Bala

Frequently Asked Questions
Q. I have been religiously paying my contributions for the last twenty years. Five years from now, the total contributions I have made will exceed the face value of my insurance plan. Is this correct? Or is there an error in the contribution rates?
A. No, there is no mistake in the calculation of the contribution rates. The answer will depend on a lot of factors: the age the applicant was accepted for insurance, the stated occupation, the substandard medical ratings or a combination of extra ratings. Perhaps, the applicant applied for insurance at an advanced age, beyond age sixty (60). Mortality tables are tabulated statistical tables used as guide to predict the probability or incidence of deaths. It is a universal truth that mortality rates beyond senior citizen age are steeper compared to those before it. In other words, the likelihood of a death claim is higher and to maintain equity across age groupings, applicants should be assessed higher contributions. It is also possible that the applicant is in his early forties but the risk was classified as substandard risk or was assessed occupation extras. The occupation extra can be withdrawn anytime if the applicant changes occupation, that is, it is temporary. But if the applicant has for instance, diabetes, the extra contribution will remain (permanent) throughout the lifetime of the benefit certificate (BC). If the above factors are present, the insured or the BC holder has at least three options. The BC holder need not complain but must praise and thank the Lord Almighty that he is still alive to share and celebrate the gift of life with his loved ones. The BC holder can continue paying his contributions as the insurance protection he purchased is not for himself but for his beloved family. Second, the BC holder can convert his BC into a reduced paid up insurance (RPU) and use the insurance contributions to augment his medical allowance. This way, the BC holder is protected based on the original plan features but at a reduced amount. There is also an extended term insurance (ETI) option that will keep the BC holder protected for the same insurance amount but for a limited period or year of protection. Please ask your Fraternal Counselor for sound financial advice.

Luzon Jurisdiction boosts anti-abortion campaign
IN a bid to strengthen its antiabortion campaign, the Luzon Jurisdiction of the Knights of Columbus has purchased a brand new Chison 600M Portable Ultrasound System (2009 version) with printer worth P750,000.00 last October 24. The unit was purchased to test pregnant women, and discourage them, if ever they have any plans to abort their babies. According to Luzon Deputy Arsenio Isidro Yap, they contracted the services under the Ferdielaine Enterprises, distributor of medical equipment laboratory, dental supplies and other allied items for the purchase of the ultrasound system with printer. “We plan to lend the machine for free to our brother knights in the provinces in the diocesan level. This machine would be the first to be purchased by Luzon and hopefully we could still purchase several more units so we could provide more services in different areas in the Jurisdiction,” said Yap. Some technical specification of the Chison 600M Portable Ultrasound System (2009 version) are built-in memory, storage via USB disk, full screen documentation, and pre-saved phrases that can be recalled. The machine can also be used for the ultrasound of the abdomen, small parts for urology, cardiology, and pediatrics. (KC News)

FBG holds service training program

THE Fraternal Benefits Group (FBG) of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) held a two-day Fraternal Service Training program last October 16 and 17 at the KCFAPI Social Hall in Intramuros, Manila.

Training participants were from Bicol, Central Luzon, Metro Manila, Southern Luzon, and South-western Luzon. The participants learned the KCFAPI’s featured plans like KC CARES. Benefit Certificate Holders’ Relations Office Manager

Edwin B. Dawal and Jun Dator, Area Manager of Southern Luzon Lakers discussed the various functions of their offices while Fraternal Benefits Group Vice President Gari M. San Sebastian and Marketing Staff, Jemwel Santillan tackled the fraternal service

program, sales technique, and product compensation. The FBG also reinforced the participants’ knowledge of KCFAPI in its role to provide optimum mutual benefits to all KC members and their immediate families. (KCFAPI News)

More than 600 Brother Knights joined the 61st birthday celebration of Brother Rene Odulio last October 26 with the theme “Celebrate Life” organized by KCFAPI and RTDD of Cabanatuan and Nueva Ecija. Special guests included the key officials of motorcycle industry Suzuku and Kawasaki. (LuzonNews)

The Squires and the Knights of Council 11283 of the Mindanao Jurisdiction held their Family Day last November 4. According to Grand Knight Tony Naval, their attendance on this day was significantly more when compared to regular and other Council meetings. The San Isidro Council Columbian Squires Circle also received t-shirts as incentive to a near perfect attendance during their meetings and for recruiting new Squires. (MindaNews)

Alan Holdren/CNA


The Cross

CBCP Monitor

November 19 - December 2, 2012

Vol. 16 No. 24

KCFAPI congratulates His Eminence Cardinal Luis Antonio G. Tagle
The Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI), its Trustees, officers, personnel and members, warmly congratulate hIS eMINeNCe LUIS ANTONIO G. CARDINAL TAGLe, DD on his recent appointment by his holiness Pope Benedict XVI as member of the College of Cardinals. his elevation to the highest rank below the Pope is God-given and is the Almighty’s special gift to him, his parents, our country, the Filipinos here in the Philippines and in foreign lands, and to the world. Coming as it was immediately after the canonization of San Pedro Calungsod, the second Filipino Saint, the gift of elevation becomes God’s second special gift this year to the Philippines and the Filipino people. Timed by the inspiration of the holy Spirit, with the start of the celebration of the Year of Faith and the proclamation of the New evangelization, the Divine plan for him and the Filipinos is clear and the task imposed is overwhelming. The third most special gift from Above will be forthcoming: his election as the next Pope – the first from Asia! We, in KCFAPI, which he is serving as a member of the FounderMembers Committee and as one of the Advisors, together with all Filipinos, will remain unceasing in our prayers for that great event to happen. We are proud of this singular honor conferred on his eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle and are privileged to have been associated with him in the programs and activities of the Church. Again, congratulations, Your eminence! VIVAT JeSUS!

Luzon conducts flood relief operations in Laguna
trict Deputy Sensinando Ang of District S-61. Officers present were State Secretary Joseph P. Teodoro, State Program Director Bonifacio B. Martinez, State Disaster Relief Chairman SaturniPhoto shows the Luzon Deputy Arsenio Isidro Yap and n o G a l a n g other State Officials during their flood relief operations J r . , S t a t e in Laguna. Membership Recruitment SEVEN State Officers headed by Chairman Conrado Dator Jr., Luzon Deputy Arsenio Isidro G. Technical Assistant Ramon C. Yap went to San Isidro Labrador Sanchez and Bro. Rodolfo de Parish Church in Biñan, Laguna Guzman. Faithful Navigator to conduct a Flood Relief Opera- Fred delos Santos of Judge Francisco Manabat Assembly protion Program last October 24. The Luzon Jurisdiction donat- vided the transport services of ed P40,000.00 for the purchase the relief goods while Bro. Ted and packaging of relief goods Samson coordinated the activby District Deputy Leonardo ity with the Luzon Jurisdiction. Manalo of District S-60 and Dis- (KC News)

Cardinal Tagle was KC’s priest scholar
THE Knights of Columbus in the Philippines lauded the elevation of Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle to Cardinal. Archbishop Tagle was named Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI on October 24 at St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City along with five others. Tagle, a K of C Supreme Council Scholar and former Chief Squire, will be the second youngest living Cardinal in the world at 55. A known theologian, Tagle was awarded a scholarship by the Supreme Council Headquarters in 1973. The latter granted him P2,000-a-year scholarship for four years in recognition of his outstanding performance as a Columbian Squire. The young Tagle was the first K of C Supreme Council Scholar at San Jose Seminary in Quezon City. He became a youth model as the Chief Squire of the Rajah Soliman Circle No. 2180 in Imus, Cavite. On October 13, 2011, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Tagle, also known as Fr. Chito of Tagaytay’s Tahanan ng Mabuting Pastol, as the 32nd Archbishop of Manila. Tagle was installed on December 12, 2011 as the successor to Manila Archbishop Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales who retired after eight years of service in the country’s primal see. Born in Manila on June 21, 1957, Tagle finished his undergraduate degree in Philosophy Summa Cum Laude at San Jose Seminary and Ateneo de Manila in 1977 and his Masters degree in Theology also Summa Cum Laude in the same seminary and Loyola School of Theology in 1982. He was ordained to the priesthood on February 27, 1982, at the age of 25. From 1985 to 1992, he did further studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C., where he earned his Doctorate in Sacred Theology. Since 1997, Tagle was a member of the International Theological Commission of the Vatican. In 1998, he was an expert at the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for Asia that took place in Rome. On December 12, 2001, he was ordained Bishop of Imus. Since then, his activities have been as numerous as in the past. He travels throughout the country in answer to many invitations as a speaker. Tagle was also appointed by the Pope to serve as Vice-President of the Synod’s Commission on the Message during the

KC District C-40 holds family day, sports fest

Synod on Evangelization held in Vatican from October 7-28. Being Cardinal is the highest distinction the Pope can grant to a member of the clergy. A consistory will be held on November 24 to formally elevate the six new Cardinals to the College of Cardinals. (KC News)

Luzon Jurisdiction exemplifies 33 priests
THE Luzon Jurisdiction of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines led by Luzon Deputy Arsenio Isidro G. Yap conducted a first and second degree exemplifications to 33 priests from the Diocese of Daet on October 8 at the Bahay Pari of San Carlos Seminary in Guadalupe, Makati City. The exemplification of the priests was carried out upon the request of Most Rev. Gilbert Garcera, bishop of Daet, Camarines Norte. Twenty two priests and Bishop Garcera were initiated into the 1st Degree, simultaneously with another eleven priests who were advanced to the 2nd Degree. The simultaneous exemplification was a first in the history of the Order. The Luzon Deputy personally selected the exemplification teams which became the official Luzon Jurisdiction exemplification teams. The 1st Degree Exemplification team from the Sta. Teresita of Sta. Mesa Heights Council 12308 is composed of Gilbert U. Manauis, District Deputy C52 Diocese of Cubao; Atty. Cepriano Ruel T. Cadelina, Past Grand Knight; Vicente S. Castillo, Past Grand Knight; Francis K. Layag, Incumbent Grand

Luzon Deputy Arsenio Isidro Yap together with the winners.

THE Knights of ColumbusDistrict C40 under the Diocese of Calapan held a Family Day with a sports’ fest participated in by seven councils last October 6 and 7. The event was attended by Luzon Deputy Arsenio Isidro G. Yap together with Service Program Director Bonifacio B. Martinez, State Ceremonial Director Deogenes V. Francia, State Membership Recruitment Chairman Conrado S. Dator Jr., New Council Development Chairman Efren V. Mendoza, Technical Assistant Ramon C. Sanchez and Columbian Squires Diocesan Area Chairman George Tuyay. The Luzon Jurisdiction Officials were in Mindoro Oriental to attend various activities organized by District Deputy Francisco D. Atienza Jr. (most outstanding DD for CY 2011-

2012). A Eucharistic Celebration presided by Parish Priest Fr. Wilfredo B. Villas was held at the Immaculate Conception Parish in Puerto Galera, followed by a parade around the province’s main streets. The Luzon Deputy delivered his message at the Hon. Ariston Y. Atienza Memorial Gymnasium beside the Municipal Hall. After his ceremonial toss together with the Luzon trainors team they went to conduct the Grand Knight and Financial Secretaries Seminar at the resort owned by DD Atienza. The Luzon Jurisdiction donated a cash prize of P3,000 for the over-all champion, which went to the Calapan Council 7189, and P1,000.00 for the second placer, the Puerto Galera Council 9233. (LuzonNews)

Bishop Gilbert A. Garcera, DD, Msgr. Joselito C. Asis and Luzon Deputy Arsenio Isidro Yap together with the 33 newly exemplified priests and other Luzon State officers.

Knight; Gregorio S. Tumbagahon, Past Grand Knight; Rogelio B. Manahan, Incumbent Warden; Jan Patrick C. Villanueva, Squires Diocesan Area Chairman; and Ramon C. Sanchez, Former District Deputy of C52. The 2nd Degree Exemplification team from Our Lady of Fatima Council 5579 is composed of Glicerio “Serge” M. Tinawin, Former District Deputy M44; Othello “Boy” Hernando, Grand Knight; George “George” Alagao, Chancellor; Lemuel “Boy” Ng, Past Grand Knight;

Ricardo “Ric” dela Rosa, Warden; Aniceto “Balong” Pol Jr, Warden’s Aide; Kristoherson “Kris” Sola, Inside Guard; Herminio “Meng” Alabado, Outside Guard; Herminio “Meng” Alabado, Cross bearer; Diosdado “Doods” Banayo, Past Grand Knight; Erick “Erick” Cabanela, Past Grand Knight. The exemplification teams were under the guidance of District Deputy Ramon G. Jimenez of District M44 of the Archdiocese of Manila. State officers who attended the ceremonials were: State

Ceremonial Director Deogenes V. Francia, State Treasurer Joseph P. Teodoro, New Council Development Chairman Efren V. Mendoza-Regional Membership Chairman for Bicol, State Program Director Bonifacio B. Martinez and State Membership Recruitment Chairman Conrado S. Dator Jr. Also present to witness the exemplification rites was the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Secretary General Msgr. Joselito C. Asis. (LuzonNews)

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