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Pope prays for courage, comfort in the Church


Preach with your life, with your witness


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

Casiguran marchers return to Manila

AFTER four months of waiting, Casiguran locals who marched 357 kilometers to Manila last December are going to back to press Malacaang to fulfill its promise to look into their concerns against the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone (Apeco). The 120 farmers, fishermen, and indigenous peoples will stage their Lakad Katarungan, Lakad Matuwid na Daan starting April 16. They are expected to arrive in Manila on April 22. The protesters, including Casiguran parish priest Fr. Joefran Talaban, will be trav00
Marchers / A6

Junk anti-life candidates

By Roy Lagarde

April 15 - 28, 2013

Vol. 17 No. 08

Php 20.

WITH less than a month before the midterm elections, a Catholic archbishop called on voters to shun candidates who support birth control.
Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said that moral values instilled in pro-choice bets and those who favor divorce, abortion and gay marriage are questionable as it implies of being anti-life. The call was contained in a pastoral letter and seen as an attack to the governments allies who pushed a contested contraceptives law that was passed last December. We advise you not to vote for the candidate if the candidate cannot declare a categorical and clear no to divorce, abortion, euthanasia, total birth control and homosexual marriages or DEATH issues, Villegas said. Pro-choice is anti-life, he added in a pastoral letter read at Sunday Masses in the archdiocese. Known as the Reproductive Health law, the legislation opposed by the Church requires state funding for contraceptives and mandates that sex education be taught in schools. The Supreme Court, however, has suspended the implementation of the law as it resolves several legal challenges filed by different lay organizations.
Candidates / A6

A group of Catholic doctors and nurses hold red ribbons as they continue to protest the passage of the Reproductive Health (RH) law at the Arellano University in Manila, April 14, 2013. The red ribbon protest highlighted a pro-life seminar organized by the universitys Catholic Doctors and Nurses Guild.

White Vote Movement advocates involvement in social transformation

ANO ang susundin natin, ang batas ng tao o ang sinabi ng Diyos? (What shall we follow, the law of man or the word of God?) This was among the questions Bro. Mike Velarde, founder and Servant Leader of Catholic group El Shaddai, posed to tens of thousands gathered at the Amvel Business Park where the announcement of the senatorial candidates being endorsed by the White Vote Movement was made. The six candidates are Joseph Victor JV Ejercito Estrada, Antonio Trillanes IV, Gregorio Honasan, Cynthia Villar, Aquilino Koko Pimentel III, Ma. Milagros Mitos Magsaysay. The White Vote Movement, of

Church pushes Gospeloriented prison laws

WITH more than 95,000 inmates serving time in the countrys prison system, there is a great need for programs that bring hope to people behind bars. The prison ministry of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is meeting that need through seminars and the aggressive campaign for restorative justice. On April 26, the Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care (ECPPC) is bringing its SeminarWorkshop on Restorative Justice and Alternatives to Imprisonment to Tuguegarao City. Rodolfo Diamante, ECPPC executive secretary, said the event is in coordination with the Diocese of San Fernando and will be held at the Parish Pastoral Center of the citys St. Peter Cathedral. It will be attended by government agencies and nongovernment organizations and volunteers involved in working for the welfare of the prison community and their families in Region 2. The seminars will take up the salient features of Restorative Justice and UN Tokyo Rules or the Non-custodial Treatment of Persons Deprived of their Liberties, Diamante said. It will also underscore the need to lobby for the enactment of laws that will be in consonance with the Gospel values, he added. Aside from Diamante, other speakers are Msgr. Gerard Ariston Perez of St. Peter Cathedral and Gerard Ian Bernabe, National Coordinator of Volunteers in Prison Service. Diamante said they will tackle the issue on the Current Criminal Justice and Restorative Justice and Alternatives to Imprisonment. Tuguegarao Archbishop Sergio Utleg is also expected to grace the occasion to give a talk and hold Mass for the participants. Similar seminars have also been held in the Archdiocese of San Fernando, Pampanga, and the Dioceses of Bacolod, San Pablo, Baguio, Butuan and Lucena. (CBCPNews)

El Shaddai leader Bro. Mike Velarde leads various lay Catholic leaders during the launching of the White Vote movement which seeks to tap millions of their followers to vote for pro-life and pro-family candidates in the May 13 elections.

which Velarde is spokesperson, is a coalition of Catholic lay organizations initiated by the Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas (LAIKO) and which was formed in response to perceived mounting sentiment among different lay groups in the country regarding the lay faithfuls role in preserving core family values. No one forced them. Those which could not be gathered have now gathered together [on their own], Velarde said, adding that the country has not prospered partly because the people lack unity. The event started with a Eucharistic celebration in which Bishop Teodoro Bacani, El Shaddais spiritual adviser, emphaWhite Vote / A6

Local PPCRV remains operational

REGARDLESS of issues questioning the credibility of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) in the national level, the local levels have not been affected and still continue their operations in planning and voters education. In the diocese of Kidapawan, around 30 members of PPCRV together with some members of the National Citizens Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) conducted their organizational planning and meeting last April 9, to discuss preparations for the upcoming midterm polls. Fr. Rogelio Nim, director of the Parish Pastoral Council in the diocese said the meeting is just part of the initial steps in ensuring a clean, honest, accurate, meaningful and peaceful (CHAMP) elections in the diocese. Kidapawan diocese covers 11 towns of North Cotabato and 1 town in the province of Sultan Kudarat which comprises a total of 448,962 Catholics. True to its advocacy in achieving CHAMP elections, there will be two volunteers present in every clustered precinct in the diocese plus they will establish an assistance center which will be present in every voting center and will assist possible

Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

PPCRV has tapped the participation of students and young people for voters education and poll watching in the coming May elections.

Church attendance on the increase Bishops

AS far as bishops and priests are concerned, the number of Catholics is increasing, refuting a survey that one of 11 faithful sometimes considers leaving the Church. Pollster Social Weather Stations (SWS) also claimed that there is a decline of Catholics attending Masses from 64 percent to 36 percent. But Cubao Honesto Ongtioco said the survey is contrary to what is actually happening because they even have to allow Masses to be held in shopping malls to accommodate more churchgoers. I think a scientific study should be made to validate such observation, Ongtioco said. In the diocese, I do not see this observation and in fact the number of churchgoers increased because we have mall Masses, he said. In Quiapo Church, officials noted a significant increase of
Attendance / A6
Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media


Bishop to Aquino: Use pork barrel for Magna Carta for the Poor

NASSA chairman and Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo urges government to pass a law that would cover the basic needs of millions of poor Filipinos.

Despite claims of diminishing Church attendance, Sunday masses and other celebrations remain well attended by Catholic faithful.

THE government should use the pork barrel funds to finance the proposed Magna Carta for the

Poor instead of giving it to lawmakers, a church official said.

Pork Barrel / A7

Photo courtesy of CDNG


World News

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 08
April 15 - 28, 2013

Demographic shifts mean Europe no longer Catholic Churchs center

OXFORD, England, April 13, 2013The election of Pope Francis, an Argentine, to lead the worlds 1.2 billion Catholics confirms what observers have long known: Vast demographic shifts in the Catholic population are reconfiguring the face of the church and shifting the institutions center from its historic European heartland. What that means for the church remains unknown, but Europeans who have long viewed themselves as Catholicisms traditional guardians are likely to find they will have to share that role with others. Although the bishop of Rome is its head, the churchs center is no longer in Europe, and the presence of an Argentine pontiff expresses the new situation, said Jesuit Father Paul Zulehner, retired professor of pastoral theology at the University of Vienna and one of Austrias leading social scientists. With many Catholics already coming here from other parts of the world, it looks as if well be learning from the churchs peripheries in the future, as much as from its center, the priest told Catholic News Service. Europeans made up more than half of the 115 cardinals who elected Pope Francis, with 28 from Italy alone. European cardinals were prominent among those mentioned as top papal candidates. However, the churchs relative strength in Europe has declined sharply as the Catholic population worldwide quadrupled over the past century to nearly 1.2 billion, according to the Vaticans statistical yearbook for 2013. Catholics make up about 16 percent of the worlds population, about the same percentage as a century ago. A closer look at where Catholics live illustrates the changing body of the church. Whereas two-thirds of the worlds Catholics lived in Europe in 1910, fewer than a quarter do today, reported the U.S.-based Pew Research Centers Forum on Religion and Public Life. In Manila, Philippines, there are more baptized Catholics than in traditionally Catholic Netherlands. France and Germany each boasted twice as many baptized Catholics as Brazil in 1910. Today Brazil, with 126 million Catholics, has more than three times as many as France or Spain; Mexico, with 96 million Catholics, has 2.5 times as many as France. Overall, Catholics in Europe have declined from 38.5 percent to 23.7 percent of the population since 1970, according to the World Christian Database compiled by the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary of South Hamilton, Mass. John Wilkins, former editor of The Tablet, a British Catholic weekly, said the demographic shifts have deep implications for Europe at a time when confidence has been eroded by highprofile sex abuse scandals and many Catholics believe deliberate attempts are being made to marginalize Europes Christian traditions. Europes view of itself as the traditional center (of the church) has long been an anomaly, given the churchs steady decline here, so this is bound to change, Wilkins told CNS. The perspectives and priorities will be different in the future, and the questions which preoccupy many Europeans, from contraception to womens ordination, may well seem less pressing than the universal issues of poverty and social justice which preoccupy the new pope, Wilkins said. As priestly vocations and church attendance have plummeted across Europe, Catholic bastions such as Slovakia and Poland provide a third of all European ordinations and a clergy presence throughout the continent. Still, the church is growing in Scandinavia and attracting vibrant devotions in the former Soviet Union. Germany and Austria remain theological powerhouses. Multiethnic assimilation is boosting the Catholic presence in France and Belgium. At the same time, Pope Franciss native Argentina is home to 31 million Catholics, the same number as Germany and Congo, according to the Pew Research Center. Latin America as a whole was home to a quarter of the worlds Catholics a century ago, but now, combined with Caribbean nations, hosts 39 percent; sub-Saharan Africa claimed just 1 percent of worldwide Catholics in 1910 and now has 16 percent. In Asia and the Pacific, Catholics have multiplied nearly tenfold, from 14 million to 131 million over the century. Father Zulehner, the Austrian sociologist, said some of the statistics need interpreting. Just as the U.S. Catholic Church has been boosted by immigrants, the European church also has seen an influx of Catholics from the developing world who have brought elements of their own religious culture and spirituality with them, leading to a more diverse church, Father Zulehner said. Were witnessing pluralization rather than secularization, as members of all faiths and none live and work together, he said. This process of opening up could revive the Christian faith in Europe by dispelling old stereotypes about our thousand-year Christian history, the priest added. Wilkins thinks the new popes ideals of poverty and simplicity could also instill a new dynamism that could lead Catholics to rethink their priorities. The image of a pope of austerity for an age of austerity could well prove attractive, he said. This emphasis on putting the poor first could echo right through the church here, Wilkins said. When the churchs credibility has been badly damaged, he offers the kind of priestly authenticity we need. I think Europeans will see the gifts a pope from outside has to offer. Father Zulehner agreed. If the churchs tarnished image could be changed, the Austrian priest said, Europeans searching for God could be brought into a new encounter with the Catholic faith. The arrival of a pope from another world, unconnected with the medieval background of European Catholicism, could create a modernizing drive, he said. The demographic changes cant be reversed, and the Eurocentric era is clearly over. But if this helps European Catholics think as part of the universal church, itll be a good sign for the future. (CNS)

US bishops urge support for international arms treaty

WASHINGTON D.C., April 13, 2013In a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, a representative of the U.S. bishops conference asked that the Obama Administration hasten to review and sign a treaty to decrease arms trade. As a world leader and a major arms exporter, our nation should set a positive example for other nations to follow in efforts to reduce the flow of weapons into situations that violate human rights and cause terrible suffering, said Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa in an April 11 letter. In an April 2 vote at the United Nations, the U.S. joined a large majority of countries worldwide in agreeing to adopt a treaty that would regulate international trade in conventional weaponry. But, come June 3 when the treaty opens for signature, President Obama will still need sign it and it remains unclear if U.S. will ratify ita move which would need twothirds of the senates approval. Bishop Pates, who serves as chair of the Committee on International Justice and Peace for the U.S. bishops conference, urged Secretary Kerry to expedite a thorough review of the Treaty so that the President can sign it in early June. The bishop noted that the treaty is not perfect, but called the measure an important step. He said he agreed with the position of the Holy See, which noted that there are flaws in the treaty. This can be seen, the Vatican has said, particularly in the predominance of commercial or economic considerations, and an inadequate elaboration of the principles of sufficiency, of victims assistance and of the need to reduce demand for arms. However, accepting the treaty would still be a positive step in promoting human rights and dignity and in building a more peaceful world, Bishop Pates said. My hope is that our nation will give further impetus to this process by joining other leading countries as a signatory in early June. The bishop also echoed earlier statements by Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York, saying that the Vatican viewed its adoption as constituting a step towards establishing in the world a culture of responsibility and accountability. The bishop also appealed to the teachings of the Catholic Churchof which Secretary Kerry is a member. He emphasized that the Catholic Church has a longstanding commitment to protecting human life and dignity, pointing to church teachings to explain how reducing the presence of firearms within the population is a means to this end. Bishop Pates also referenced his own travels in Sub-Saharan Africa and meetings with local leaders who repeatedly expressed profound concerns for the untold human suffering that result from the unregulated flow of arms. (CNA)

Archbishop likens immigrants to Les Misrables hero

MIAMI, Florida, April 12, 2013 Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami made a plea for immigration reform at a rally on Saturday, noting that like the hero of Les Misrables, migrants wish to redeem themselves with honest work. Our immigration laws need to be changed, the archbishop urged at a march held April 6 in downtown Miami. Some 2,000 people participated in the rally and 20-block walk, which also drew interfaith leaders including a rabbi, an imam, and pastors of Christian denominations. During his remarks to the crowd, Archbishop Wenski discussed the Victor Hugos 19th century novel Les Misrables. The book tells the story of Jean Valjeana man who was imprisoned for having stolen a loaf of bread to feed his starving relativesand the bitterly zealous legalism of Inspector Javert who pursues him. Today, the archbishop said, modern day Javerts, on radio and T.V. talk shows, fan flames of resentment against supposed law breakers, equating them with terrorists intent on hurting us. However, these people only ask for the opportunity to become legal to come out of the shadows where they live in fear of a knock on their door in the dead of night or an immigration raid to their work place. Similar marches have taken place recently across the country, culminating in a large march on April 10 in Washington, D.C. The rallies come as a group of eight senatorsthe gang of eightprepares to introduce immigration reform legislation in the coming weeks. Archbishop Wenski reminded listeners in Miami that Christ taught that laws serve human persons, and not the other way around. Law, he said, is meant to benefit, not to enslave mankind. He pointed to the Boston tea party participants and Rosa Parks as examples of those who have broken human laws. When laws fail to advance the common good, they can and should be changed, he noted. The archbishop said that Americas immigration laws are antiquated and inadequate for the promotion and regulation of social and economic relations of 21st century America. One participant at the Miami rally held a sign proclaiming that Migration is a human right. Archbishop Wenski said that immigration reform take into account both human dignity and the national interest, lest the existing bad laws are replaced by worse ones. He voiced support for a future legal guest worker program, an earned path to legalization for the 10 million workers already

Archbishop Thomas Wenski speaks at a rally on immigration in Miami on April 6, 2013.

in the country, and reducing the backlogs in processing family reunification visas, which keep families separated for intolerable lengths of time. Illegal immigration should not be tolerated, emphasized Archbishop Wenski, but at the same time, fixing illegal immigration does not require the demonization of the so-called illegals. America, he said, should remain a place of opportunity for those willing to work hard. We can provide for our national security and secure borders without making America, a nation of immigrants, less a land of promise or opportunity for immigrants. The gang of eight need to move forwardwith a compre-

hensive reformthat includes a path to citizenship to those already in the country and preserves family unification as a bedrock principle of any immigration legislation. A nation, he noted that honors law breakers like the patriots of the Boston Tea Party, a nation that can allow the dignified defiance of Rosa Parks in her act of lawbreaking to touch its conscience, is a nation that also can make room for modern-day Jean Valjeans. Archbishop Wenski concluded, saying, we can be a nation of laws, without becoming a nation of Javerts. As Jesus reminded the embittered zealots of his day, laws are designed for the benefitnot the harmof humankind. (CNA)

Bishop: North Koreas threats might aim to increase aid, preserve pride
CHEJU, South Korea, April 12, 2013The head of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Korea said North Koreas recent threats of aggression may be an attempt to shore up foreign aid while preserving pride. It is our presumption that they wish to draw out some financial assistance from abroad without conceding their pride or self-esteem, Bishop Peter Kang U-Il of Cheju, South Korea, said in an April 9 email to Catholic News Service. He said Catholic bishops feel very sorry that the tension provoked by North Koreas threats is making the whole world very uncomfortable and anxious. Though South Koreans appear to be calm and tranquil, they may feel uneasy about the present escalating atmosphere between two Koreas, Bishop Kang said. South Koreans might have been very used to the threats, but one could not deny the possibility of unexpected military clash. The bishop personally appealed to people of Korea to pray for the peace in the peninsula. He offered a prayer he composed appealing for mercy for a silly flock whose actions are causing hunger, suffering and drawing people to violence and death. Under supreme leader Kim Jong Un, North Korea announced it launched a rocket in December and conducted its third underground nuclear test in February. In March, the U.N. Security Council condemned the nuclear test and imposed tougher sanctions on North Korea, including financial restrictions, cargo inspections and a ban on exports. North Korea announced March 30 that Kim had declared a do-or-die battle against invasion after a U.S. stealth bombers drill. In an April 9 television announcement, government advised foreign institutions and enterprises, including tourists, to take measures to prepare for evacuation and their safety in case of war. Bishop Kang said North Korea might be threatening war because it cannot revitalize its economy and rise up from its destitute situation without foreign investments, but needs to maintain its self-respect or selfreverence, which the bishop traces to the ideology declared by Kims dynasty. The ideology and philosophy of superiority of Korean history and culture advocated by the North Korean ruler and his predecessors have prevailed through the 60 years following the Korean War, he said. However, this philosophy of isolation and autonomous economy has only completely demolished their economy, leaving the North to suffer the same fate as other socialist countries whose economies collapsed, Bishop Kang said. I think we need much patience in dealing with the people of (North Korea) who have been isolated for (a) long time from modern world, he added. He also called for much compassion while the North showed very one-sided obstinacy in foreign relations. They have never experienced modern democratic order in their near history, the bishop explained. He said he sees the violent way of presenting their requests to the world as evidence of the desperate situation that they could not survive. (CNS) In his Easter homily, the patriarch explained that the new evangelization must start from Jerusalem, thus, showing that the Lord invited us here to bring the light of the faith in the centre of the Middle East, where Christianity was born, where every Christian was born. On that occasion, Msgr. Twal also invited the pope to visit the Holy Land, a wish already expressed on the day of Card Bergoglios election to the papacy. In the past hundred years, three of Pope Francis predecessors visited the Holy Land: Pope Paul VI in 1964, Pope John Paul II in March 2000 and Pope Benedict XVI in 2009. (AsiaNews)

Vatican Briefing
Pope, UN head discuss crises in Syria, Korea

Recognizing the important role each other plays on the global stage, Pope Francis and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met at the Vatican April 9, discussing common efforts to promote peace and protect human dignity. The United Nations and the Holy See share common goals and ideals, the UN secretary-general told the pope as the two sat across from each other at a desk in the papal library. Reporters were ushered out of the room at that point. The two spoke specifically about situations of conflict and serious humanitarian emergencies, especially in Syria, but also about the ongoing tensions on the Korean peninsula and in several African countries where peace and stability are threatened, said a statement from the Vatican press office. (CNS)
Safeguarding creation expected to be major theme at WYD in Rio

When hundreds of thousands of young Catholics gather with Pope Francis in Rio de Janeiro in the summer, reflections on safeguarding the environment will be part of the program. Like earlier editions of World Youth Day, the July celebration in Rio de Janeiro will include morning catechetical sessions and afternoon cultural events. From the beginning of planning under Pope Benedict XVI we thought that a major theme in Brazil, known as the lungs of the world, would have to be the environment, said Marcello Bedeschi, president of the John Paul II Foundation for Youth, a Rome-based organization that assists with World Youth Day planning. (CNS)
Vatican spokesman denies report that Benedict XVI is ill

The Church of the Holy Land in Rome to meet the Pope

JERUSALEM, Israel, April 13, 2013The meeting between the pope and a delegation from the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem will take place at 11.30 am on 15 April in the Vatican. Msgr. Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, will lead the group. The vicar for Hebrew-speaking Catholics explains the Churchs mission to the Holy Land, which is to bear witness to the unity of Christ even in a divided society. We are going to see the pope to bring him greetings from the Holy Land and present him the reality of our Church and community, said Fr. David Neuhaus, vicar for the Hebrewspeaking community of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. He spoke to AsiaNews ahead of the visit to Pope Francis in the Vatican by an official delegation from the Patriarchate on 15 April. According to Fr. Neuhaus, the Church in the Holy Land is a very privileged Church, because it is present in all sections of society. Living in a highly divided country is also our vocation. He stressed that a majority of the Patriarchates Catholics is made up of Arab Palestinians and Jordanians, but that there are also new Hebrew-speaking communities within Jewish society. Our challenge and mission, he added, is to live and bear witness to the unity of Christ even in a divided society. This is our duty and vocation, to show the world that unity, friendship and reconciliation are possible within the Church. The visit will be led by Msgr. Fouad Twal, patriarch of Jerusalem. The delegation will also include Msgr. Marcuzzo, auxiliary bishop of Israel; Msgr. Shomali, auxiliary bishop of Jerusalem; Msgr. Laham, auxiliary bishop of Jordan; and Fr. David Neuhaus, vicar for the Hebrew-speaking community. Msgr. Ilario Antoniazzi, the new archbishop of Tunis, will also be present.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi says that contrary to a report in the Spanish daily El Mundo, the Bishopemeritus of Rome, Benedict XVI, is not suffering from any illness. The report in El Mundo by Rocio Galvan quotes statements made by Spanish Vaticanista Paloma Gomez-Borrero in Madrid during the presentation of her most recent book. In comments to CNA on April 10, however, Fr. Lombardi underscored that Benedict XVI does not have any illness and that this has been certified by his doctors. (CNA)

Jonathan Martinez | Florida Catholic

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 08
April 15 - 28, 2013

News Features
ing in Jerusalem filled the cities with the news that Jesus truly had risen despite attempts by the authorities to silence them by imprisonment and scourging. In addition to that opposition, the Apostles, Pope Francis noted, were not well-educated, but rather simple men. Nonetheless, they were successful in their testimony of the Risen Lord because of the Holy Spirit. Only the presence of the Risen Lord with them, and the action of the Holy Spirit can explain this. It was the Lord, who was with them, and the Spirit, who moved them to preach, he said. He explained that their encounter with Christ was so powerful and personal that they did not fear persecution and even saw it as a badge of honor. The Holy Father said that this episode tells us something very important, which applies to the Church in every age, and so to us. The Apostles example teaches us that when a person truly knows Jesus Christ and believes in Him, one experiences His presence and the power of His Resurrection in ones life, and one cannot help but communicate this experience. Overall, if a Christian encounters misunderstanding or adversity, one behaves like Jesus in His Passion: one responds with love and with the power of truth. This teaching is especially relevant to the many Christians who suffer persecution in many, many countries throughout the world today. The Pope asked for the Blessed Mothers intercession that the Church would proclaim the Gospel with frankness and courage while bearing witness through signs of brotherly love. He asked the Church to pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters from our heart that they could feel the living and comforting presence of the Risen Lord. (CNA/EWTN News)


Pope prays for courage, comfort in the Church

VATICAN City, April 14, 2013 Pope Francis encouraged the Church to proclaim the Gospel with frankness and courage and prayed for persecuted Christians worldwide in his Sunday address at St. Peters Square. In his Regina Caeli address before more than 80 thousand people, the Holy Father summarized a passage from the Acts of the Apostles while explaining that its contents are relevant for everyone, especially for those persecuted for their belief in Christ. He drew attention to one of the readings for the Third Sunday of Easter, Acts 5:27-32; 40B-41, in which the Apostles first preach-

At Romes cathedral, Pope Francis Pope urges doctrinal office to act decisively against sex abuse celebrates Gods patience
ROME, April 8, 2013Celebrating his first Mass in the cathedral of Rome, Pope Francis called on Christians to trust in Gods endless patience and mercy. God always waits for us, even when we have left him behind! He is never far from us, and if we return to him, he is ready to embrace us, the pope said in his homily April 7 at the Basilica of St. John Lateran. The pope commented on the Gospel reading (Jn 20:19-31) for Divine Mercy Sunday, in which the risen Christ appears to St. Thomas and lets him touch his wounds, dispelling the apostles doubts about Jesus resurrection. Jesus does not abandon Thomas in his stubborn unbelief, Pope Francis said. He does not close the door, he waits. God is patient with us because he loves us, and those who love are able to understand, to hope, to inspire confidence, the pope said. They do not give up, they do not burn bridges, they are able to forgive. In response, Pope Francis said, the faithful must show the courage to trust in Jesus mercy, to trust in his patience, to seek refuge always in the wounds of his love. How many times in my pastoral ministry have I heard it said: Father I have many sins, the pope said. I have always pleaded: Dont be afraid, go to him, he is waiting for you, he will take care of everything. The Mass was the occasion for Pope Francis to take formal possession of the cathedra (chair) of the bishop of Rome. Shortly after the start of the liturgy, Cardinal Agostino Vallini, papal vicar for Rome, read a profession of obedience to the pope on behalf of the diocese. Then the pope sat on the raised m a r b l e chair in the Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Basilica of St. John Lateran for Divine b a s i l i c a s Mercy Sunday, April 7, 2013. apse, where he received representatives of his basilica in memory of Blessed John flock, including clergy and laypeople. Paul II. Also on Sunday, the pope led a crowd The pope exchanged a few words with each, taking a bit of extra time in St. Peters Square in praying the with a Franciscan friar and married Regina Coeli at noon. Speaking from couple accompanied by their four the window of his private office in the Apostolic Palace, the pope commented children. Following the late-afternoon Mass, on the days Gospel reading, observing the pope appeared at the balcony in how the apostles had taken courage the basilicas facade, where he briefly from the resurrection. May we too have more courage to addressed a crowd of several thousand people, wishing them a good testify to faith in the risen Christ! he evening and urging all to go forward said. We should not be afraid to be together ... in the joy of the resurrec- Christians and live as Christians. We should have this courage, to go and tion. Before the Mass, Pope Francis was announce the risen Christ, because he joined by Romes mayor, Gianni Ale- is our peace, he has made peace, with manno, in a brief ceremony rededicat- his love, with his forgiveness, with his ing the square on the west end of the blood, with his mercy. (CNS) VATICAN City, April 5, 2013Pope Francis reaffirmed the importance of responding decisively to the problem of the sexual abuse of minors by members of the clergy and called on the Vatican office dealing with suspected cases to continue carrying out its mandate. During an April 5 meeting with Archbishop Gerhard L. Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the pope discussed the offices various responsibilities. However, he made a particular point of highlighting its work to counter clerical sexual abuse, telling Archbishop Muller he wanted the congregation to continue with the policies of retired Pope Benedict XVI wanted and to act decisively concerning cases of sexual abuse, the Vatican said in a written statement released after the meeting. The pope, the statement said, asked the congregation to continue: promoting measures that protect minors, above all; help for those who have suffered such violence in the past; necessary procedures against those found guilty; (and) the commitment of bishops conferences in formulating and implementing the necessary directives in this is area that is so important for the churchs witness and credibility. The pope also assured victims that they had a special place in his heart and prayers. Pope Francis was holding private meetings in early April with the individual heads of various Vatican offices and congregations. According to the Vatican schedule, the pope had at least an hour slotted for the 11 a.m. meeting with Archbishop Muller. As archbishop of Buenos Aires, the future pope had said his archdiocese had been very attentive to the problem and rigorous in its screening and selection of candidates for the priesthood and religious life. Sex abusers suffer from a perversion of a psychological kind that is not caused by or directly linked to celibacy, he said in a book-length series of interviews. If a priest is a pedophile, he is so

Pope Francis leads the Regina Caeli on April 1, 2013.

Papal washing of inmates feet inspires prisoners, volunteers alike

action reminds the Catholic faithful of the Churchs preferential option for the poor, which includes prisoners. Its very inspiring and reminds us that there is so much hope in the prison pastoral ministry, he added. Diamante said the Holy Father literally uplifted the dignity of the prisoners when he chose them over other lay faithful for the reenactment of Christs washing of the feet of the 12 apostles. What we saw was a great deal of humility on his part. A man of such rank kissed the feet of the lowly prisoners, showing that he is willing to go down to their level because they are equals, he said. Walk the talk Diamante urged Church leaders to follow Pope Francis example of walking the talk. Priests should try to reach out to the people who cannot reach them including prisoners who could not leave detention to go to Mass or attend worship gatherings. Prisoners are among those that the Church should try to reach out to, he said. Diamante likewise urged bishops to include the prison pastoral care in the diocesan pastoral plan and diocesan budget. The prison pastoral care should be part of the diocesan pastoral plan and included in the diocesan budget, he added. (KB/CBCPNews)

MANILA, April 10, 2013Pope Francis did not only break tradition when he washed the feet of young inmates last Holy Thursday, he also uplifted the dignity of law offenders and inspired prison volunteers to continue their ministry. Such was the feeling of Rudy Diamante, executive secretary of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care, when he saw the footage of Pope Francis extraordinary way of re-enacting Jesus washing of the feet of his apostles at the Mass of the Lords Supper on Holy Thursday. Its a big deal for us, both inmates and volunteers, Diamante said, adding that the Popes

because he brought that perversion with him from before his ordination, and not even priestly celibacy would be able to cure it, the future pope said in the book, Pope Francis: Conversations with Jorge Bergoglio by Sergio Rubin and Francesca Ambrogetti. Because such a perversion already would be present in a candidate, he said, its necessary to pay lots of attention to the choice of candidates to the priesthood. He said the archdiocese of Buenos Aires had been very rigorous for many years already, noting how only about 40 percent of candidates were actually admitted into the priesthood. He also described how candidates undergo in-depth psychiatric tests to look for different forms of deviant tendencies, including megalomaniacal, dishonest and criminal tendencies. In On Heaven and Earth, a 2010 book of conversations with a Buenos Aires rabbi, the then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio said, when it is discovered that a priest has engaged in such behavior, it is imperative that no one look the other way. One cannot be in a position of power and destroy the life of another person, he said. The proper action to take against an abuser, he said, would be to prohibit him from exercising his ministry and begin a canonical process in the diocese. I dont believe in those positions that propose supporting a kind of corporate spirit in order to avoid damaging the image of the institution, he told the rabbi, Abraham Skorka. The future Pope Francis said moving an abusive priest to another parish in an effort to protect the image of the church had appeared as a solution at times in the United States, but that it was foolishness because the abusive priest only takes his problem with him to a new parish. He said he admired the courage and honesty of Benedict XVI in confronting the problem, calling for zero tolerance and enacting stricter measures to protect children and to punish abusers. (CNS)

Stephen Driscoll | CNA

Youth need to be challenged into priesthood

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Pope Francis kisses the foot of a young inmate at Casal del Marmo detention center in Rome where he celebrated Mass on Holy Thursday.
Nirvaana Delacruz

Korean missionaries in PHL asking for prayers

NAVOTAS City, April 8, 2013Korean missionaries who are running a daycare center for indigent children and feeding malnourished kids in this city are appealing to Filipinos to pray for peace in North and South Korea. Sr. Kim Lucia of the Seoul-based Sisters of the Our Lady of Perpetual Help said they have not heard news about the brewing war straight from their congregation, adding that they rely only on news reported by Philippine media and those published in the internet. We are worried, she admitted. Please pray for our country. Sr. Kim is one of the three Korean missionaries who run the Tahanan ni Maria (House of Mary) school that educates and feeds five- to six-year-old children belonging to poor families under the parish of San Lorenzo Ruiz and Martyrs Church in Kaunlaran Village in this city. Tahanan ni Maria was built within the parish grounds in 2006 and is now second home to some 106 pre-school students. The Korean missionaries also hold feeding programs to three other barangays in Lichangco, Tumana and Kapitbahayan. The program benefits at least 300 children on a daily basis. They also help fund the education of indigent students through scholarships, and give free medical consultation and medicine to poor families who frequent their clinic than the government-run health centers. Our missionary work continues, she said, despite whats happening in Korea. Sr. Kim said they are doing missionary work in the Philippines as a way to pay back a historical debt of gratitude. During the Korean war, other countries helped us even though they also have poor people to attend to. They helped us back then so this time, we want to help other countries back, she added. Their congregation is present in Kazakstan, Peru and China for mission work. Although admittedly having a hard time conversing with Filipinos because of their poor command of the English language, Sr. Kim said Korean missionaries are inspired by the Filipinos way of life. Filipinos are very poor yet they have warm hearts and firm belief in God, which make them still happy despite their poverty. It makes me wonder how they can be poor but still happy, she said. Its a pity that Filipinos always have a problem. They always lack money to go to the hospital, to buy their food and to afford education but they still find reasons to be happy. This is why we are trying our best to help them as Jesus told us to help poor people, Sr. Kim said. (KB/ CBCPNews)
Fr. Francis Lucas talks to some young Filipinos from the Middle East after his workshop.

MARIKINA City, April 8, 2013Far from being a stodgy state of life, priesthood is not unlike the extreme reality shows on TV. This is how a priest suggests young people can be initially encouraged to look into and consider the vocation of priesthood. For me, young people need to be challenged. Reality shows are very popular, especially the extremesI see the vocation of the priesthood as one of the extreme challenges, said Catholic Media Network president Fr. Francis Lucas. In an interview, Fr. Lucas said the priesthood can be compared to an extreme reality show with challenges like obeying ones bishop, serving and being one with the poor, and dealing with affluent, well-placed people who are used to getting their way. While giving a workshop on communication theology and the New Evangelization last Saturday at the 20th

CFCYouth for Christ International Leaders Conference (YFCILC), he also recounted how despite unbelievable challenges, he sees the mistake of entering the priesthood as one he will never regret. The greatest vocation, the greatest profession rolled into one is the priesthood, to be a missionary at that, to serve others, Fr. Lucas, who is also the executive secretary of the CBCPEpiscopal Commission on Social Communication and Mass Media, added. Though of course, young people will eventually realize that there is more to the priesthood than Survivor-style challenges, Fr. Lucas said, it is a step by step heart and mind discovery that requires guidance from good role models, catechists, parents and lay groups. The YFCILC workshop was held at the Marikina Convention Center. (Nirvaana Ella Delacruz)



Pacem in Terris

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 08
April 15 - 28, 2013

APRIL 11, 2013 was the 50th anniversary of Pacem in Terris. But it looked like it just slipped by with nary a whimper, at least in this part of Christendomand, curiously, for one reason or the other. In the Philippines, as perhaps in other parts of Asia, the social teachings of the Church are not as religiously favorite as, say, traditional religious beliefs or the most recent social advocacies. This social encyclical that was issued on April 11, 1963in the thick of the cold war or barely two years after the erection of the Berlin Wall and few months after the Cuban Missile Crisismay be rivaled only by Pope Leo XIIIs Rerum Novarum. It was touted as a platform for Catholic social action. On its release, it has immediately gained wide attention even from non-Catholics. The United Nations, in fact, held a three-day special conference on this document. It was the first timeand, certainly, the last timethat the New York Times printed a papal encyclical in toto. One can only think of two reasons, among others, why this social encyclical gained so much attention at that time: one, because of Pope John XXIIIs conspicuous mediating role in averting the Cuban missile crisis, for which Premier Nikita Khruschev of the USSR reportedly said, In regard to what Pope John did for peace, his was humanistic assistance that will be recorded in history. And, two, because of the raging debates on-going at the halls of Vatican Council II that after a year or so issued a Decree on Religious Liberty which apparently was substantially influenced by the perspective of this monumental papal document. At a time in history characterized by an enormous build up of nuclear arsenal and a worsening cold war brought about by new frontiers in geo-politics and ideological differences, Pope John XXIII in Pacem in Terris offered a plausible option, not only to Catholics, but to all men of goodwill that peace on earth is possible through the divinely established order. He called for disarmament and supported the United Nations as a worldwide authority that could end conflicts between nations. He encouraged economic cooperation among nations and stressed that no country may pursue its own interests in isolation. He stressed that public authorities have a special obligation to serve the less fortunate and posited that no law contrary to the moral order is ever binding on citizens. He made prominent the growing rights of the working class, the advancement of women, the spread of democracy and the strong conviction that war was surely not a way to obtain peace and justice. Despite massive technological advancements and the end of the cold war with the collapse of the USSR and the Berlin Wall nothing much has really changed especially in terms of economic cooperation or otherwise and the constantly shifting geopolitics. With the presently gaping conflict in the Korean peninsula, the global war against terrorism, the religious fundamentalism in Muslim nations and the deeply entrench self-interest of the West, perhaps there is a pressing need for a re-statement of Pacem in Terrisbut in the language of the present and to the same targeted men of goodwill that may still be in the works.
Illustration by Bladimer Usi

Whats happening?
THERE is much truth to the claim: Its more fun in the Philippines! Yes, there are those beaches with their sand, gentle waters and clean surrounding. Yes, there are places in the country that are still luxuriously verdant and impressive to behold as they still remain untouchednot yet exploited, not yet desecratedby irresponsible mining, inordinate logging and other manifestations of human greed. There is even now the newly discovered yet already well-known Underground Rivera marvel of the world that is amazing to behold, awesome to remember. In addition theretoor it is precisely as a downright negation of the said fun there are the infamous casinos all over the country now envisioned to soon become the gambling capital in this part of the worldnot to mention the envisioned destination of crooks and gangsters from the four corners of the globe. There is also the

Oscar. V. Cruz, DD

Views and Points

their pro-poor, pro-people, pro-development stance? Is there anyone among both the incumbents and the candidates who does not proclaim his/her honesty and integrity, industry and dedication to public welfare? Is it not true that in the last analysis, all the sitting as well as aspiring politicos practically profess their respective sainthood? More than credible socio-economic plans, programs, and projects, the more important pre-occupation of the so-called political parties in the country is what color they wear, what motto they shout, what entertainment they provide the electoratenot to mention what things they give away to get their votes. Yes. There are still some intelligent and capable, honest and dedicated aspirants for public office on the occasion of the forthcoming elections. But even if all are elected, there are so few to make a difference in Philippine politics. Sad but true!

Laitys involvement and leadership in politics

IN the Philippines today given the general perception that politics has become an obstacle to integral development, the urgent necessity is for the lay faithful to participate more actively, with singular competence and integrity, in political affairs. It is through the laity that the Church is directly involved. Charges of careerism, idolatry of power, egoism and corruption that are oftentimes directed at persons in government, parliaments, the ruling classes, or political parties, as well as the common opinion that participating in politics is an absolute moral danger, does not in the least justify either skepticism or an absence on the part of Christians in public life. (cf. Christifideles Laici, #42) Our Plenary Council stands on record to urge lay faithful to participate actively and lead in the renewing of politics in accordance with values of the Good News of Jesus. But that politics may truly be renewed, let us all be reminded that Catholic who are given a charge of public life faithfully abide by the Gospel and by the moral and social teachings of the Church, given the parameters of religious liberty. In a special way, in the context of our political imbalances, the following truths must guide the participation of Catholics in political life: a) that the basic standard for participation be the pursuit of the common good; b) that participation be characterized by a defense and promotion of justice; c) that participation be inspired and guided by the spirit of service; d) that it be imbued with a love of preference for the poor; and e) that empowering people be carried out both as a process and as a goal of political activity. Catholics in politics have to work in favor of legislation that is imbued with these principles. Knowing that the wrong behavior and values are often rewarded or left unpunished, Catholic politicians have to put teeth to good legislation by making certain that the correct system of rewards and punishment be strictly enforced in public life. The over-all value that must be infused into the political order has to be that of solidarity, with expressing concretely the commandment of live, urges the active and responsible participation of all in public life, from individual citizens to various groups, from labor unions to political parties. All of us, each and everyone, are the goal of public life as well as its leading participants. (Acts of the Council, nos. 348-353) -- Acts and Decrees of the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines, 1991

proliferation of illegal drugs, the phenomenon of unbridled criminality even against women and children, not to say anything about the ready availability of high, middle, and low cost prostitution both in urban and rural areas. As some kind of a crowning glory of the same fun, there is the ever entertaining and amusing as well as disgusting Only in the Philippine Politics! Translation: Politics in the country has been long since the cause of laughter and tears, of applause and curseultimately leading to the poverty and misery of millions of Filipinos vis--vis the dynastic power and wealth of but a few clans. Philippine politics is definitely a big cause of Philippine catastrophe. Questions: How could politics be a liability to Philippine society? Are not all incumbent politicians dedicated to public service? Do not all candidates for public office pledge

Fr. Roy Cimagala

Democracy hacked
and autonomy. But these days, it would seem that any appeal to God in working out our politics and all other temporal affairs like our business, culture, education, etc., is taboo, is a no-no, is a contradiction to our very humanity, our rights and freedom, etc. And so, from this weak conception of democracy, graver errors start getting committed not only individually but also collectively. Now RH is ok with its open approval of contraception. Divorce is being mulled. In other countries, abortion is already legal, euthanasia is approved, and same-sex unions are promoted. All these coming as a result of a so-called democratic mentality where if there is a majority or a significant number of the people asking for anything regardless of its morality, then it should be given. In the United States today, the push to legalize same-sex marriages by presenting it as a way to have a kind of marriage equality is a clear example of how democracy is defaced and has gone amok. It is not anymore inspired by Gods law, but rather by human preferences. We need to overcome this prejudice that, I imagine, comes from a certain mentality that at least sidelines God if not deny his existence and his providence altogether. We need to realize that especially in this crucial aspect of our lifeour politics that affects all of usa clear and strong reference to God is made as one of democracys fundamental principles. Otherwise, we would be left on our own, and with that, we can never have some universal, absolute basis for what is good and bad, what is fair and not fair.
Candidly Speaking / A7

Candidly Speaking
WE need to be wary of a certain observable drift in world developments, especially in the area of politics, which show signs that things are taken out of their proper foundation. This refers to the general understanding, with its related way of living it, of the very concept of democracy. There are indications, each time getting clearer, that democracy is practically hacked and then defaced in the sense that it is detached from its proper life source. Democracy, as articulated by many of our political leaders today here and abroad, is openly being removed from God as its source and is slowly but steadily being propped up by mere human maneuverings with the more powerful and gifted in terms of talents, money, popularity if not in terms of guns and goons getting undue advantage of the others. Democracy has become a purely human game with hardly any relation to a law that ultimately comes from God. It has exaggerated and absolutized its principle, coined by the American President Lincoln of being a government of the people, by the people and for the people. It seems the general and common understanding of democracy now has practically forgotten that all authority comes from God and should be used in accordance to Gods laws that actually allow a certain autonomy given our human condition. This autonomy is supposed to accommodate the many different and legitimate options we can have in pursuing our temporal affairs, like our politics, but options that do not go against Gods laws. Otherwise, that autonomy is abused and would already be a distortion if not a negation of such freedom

Active, Seasonal and Nominal Catholics: How many?

ONLY 37 percent of Catholics regularly attend Sunday Mass and only 29 percent regard themselves as very religious. This is the findings of the SWS survey released last week. Some bishops and priests thought that this is not accurate since they noted that the number of Masses and Mass attendance has actually increased. How should we interpret this survey result and what challenges does this pose for the Church in the Philippines? For me, 37 percent of Catholics who attend mass regularly is relatively high. In 1990, a preparatory document for PCP II mentioned that only 15-20 percent of Catholics regularly attend mass. Thats even a high estimate according to some analysts who thought that its less than 10 percent. We need to take into consideration that most of the parishes in the countryside have a network of barrio chapels or Basic Ecclesial Communities that are far from the parish center. These communities do not have the luxury of celebrating the Eucharist once a

Fr. Amado L. Picardal, CSsR, SThD

Along The Way

not just attending Mass regularly, but also active involvement in the parish, BECs or Church organizations and movements. We wont know exactly how many Catholics have been truly evangelized and have gone through a process of personal conversion. We dont have any idea how many Catholics have imbibed the teachings and values of Christ as taught by the Church or how many Catholics come together to listen and reflect on the Word of God, and filled with missionary dynamism share it with others. We dont know how many Catholics, guided by the Churchs social teachings, are involved in works of charity, justice and peace, promotion of human rightsincluding the right to life, and environmental advocacy. All we know is that their percentage is low. It would be good news if they make up 37 percent or even 20 percentthat would be too good to be true. They are just a minority but they are making a difference. This is what the BECs and other
Along The Way / A7

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Marcelita Dominguez

The CBCP Monitor is published fortnightly by the CBCP Communications Development Foundation, Inc., with editorial and business offices at 470 Gen. Luna St., Intramuros, Manila. P.O. Box 3601, 1076 MCPO. Editorial: (063) 404-2182. Business: (063)404-1612.; ISSN 1908-2940

week. Usually, the parish priest can only come once a month or once every two months to celebrate Mass with these communities. Instead, they have a weekly bible service or Liturgy of the Word presided by lay liturgical leaders. For a parish with over 50 thousand parishioners, an average of five thousand regular church goers every Sunday would already be high. The number would increase during lent, advent (especially the Misa de Gallo) and the parish fiesta and the novena-masses before the fiesta. Even the weekly bible-service celebrated in the chapels would not get over 50 percent attendance, except during the special liturgical seasons. A BEC bible-service in a barangay with a membership of around 200 families would usually have 20-40 regular attendees. We may never get to know the exact percentage of Catholics who attend mass regularly. We wont have an accurate figure of Catholics who are living actively as genuine disciples of Christ. This means

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 08
April 15 - 28, 2013

Where a divided vote changes nothing,a united vote changes everything!
Catholic Church or CCC, no. 2270). The use of artificial means to prevent human life from being conceived is evil (CCC, no. 2370). Sexual acts are forbidden outside of marriage (CCC, nos. 2390-91). Thus, our bishops categorically stated : We support and encourage the participation of the laity in electing competent and morally upright candidates who are faithful to their correct and informed conscience. Why should we, the laity, be proactive in this electoral exercise? Let us be reminded of the role of the laity: As laity, we are called to share in the mission of Christs Church by living in the midst of the world and addressing all its problems and concerns with the divine message of salvation. (Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, Pope Paul VI, November 18, 1965, (3)). As laity, we are called to communion as the people of God, where there is a diversity of ministry but oneness of mission. Our mission is to affirm the unity in diversity of the various valid approaches taken by Catholics in political life: running for and holding public office, civil service, educating voters, promoting the integrity of the political process (e.g., poll watching by PPCRV), etc. The Church is a living and functioning body and we as members bring diverse, but complementary gifts, talents, ministries, and responsibilities. In living out our vocation as the lay faithful, we can never remain in isolation from the community, but must live in a continual interaction with others, with a lively sense of fellowship, rejoicing in an equal dignity and common commitment to bring to fruition the immense treasure that each has inherited. John Paul II, Homily at the Solemn Eucharistic Concelebration for the Close of the Seventh Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (October 30, 1987) Lay believers are in the front line of Church life; for them the Church is the animating principle of human society. Therefore, they in particular ought to have an ever-clearer consciousness not only of belonging to the Church, but of being the Church, the community of the faithful on earth under the leadership of the Pope, the common Head, and of the bishops in communion with him. They are the Church. CCC 899. Whoever is not against us is for us. (Mark 9:38-40). Jesus reminds us of the call for harmony. It is a call for tolerance and respecting the freedom of conscience of another. It is a call to appreciate that anyone regardless of group or affiliation can do the work of Christ because the Master does not discriminate. So must we as His servants gathered in His name. Lay Christians need to permeate social, political, and economic realities. The initiative of lay Christians is necessary especially when the matter involves discovering or inventing the means for permeating social, political, and economic realities with the demands of Christian doctrine and life. This initiative
Duc In Altum / A7

Fr. Carmelo O. Diola

Atty. Aurora A. Santiago

Duc in Altum
IS there really a Catholic Vote? This is the question that has been asked by many since the Pro RH politicians argued that there is no Catholic Vote. The passage of the RH law is a wakeup call to every Catholic and Filipino family. Our religious and constitutional rights were violated, and now is the appropriate time to unite as a people of God. We must always remember Where a divided vote changes nothing, a united vote changes everything. The Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas (or Laiko, formerly called Council of the Laity of the Philippines), which is the lay arm of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on the Laity, was approached by various groups seeking for guidance and endorsement on their initiatives to organize a synergistic campaign for legislators who will stand up for the authentic promotion, preservation and defense of the people of God. This was an offshoot of the passage of RH law. At that time, Laiko was told that around 7 groups, who called themselves almost a synonymous name, as Catholic Vote, have bonded distinctly from each other, but for the same cause and instituted moves to vote for legislators who will fight against the looming D.E.A.T.H. Bills (Divorce, Euthanasia or mercy killing, Abortion, Total Population Control, Homosexuality or same sex union) and any bills which are anti-family, antilife, anti-Church, anti-religion. Thus, the Laiko Board decided to call upon its members, 50 Archdiocesan/Diocesan Councils of the Laity and 51 affiliated National Organizations, to a discernment and consultation meeting where the crucial role of the lay faithful are called, by virtue of our baptism, to respond to the many critical challenges that confront the Filipino family. The call in particular, is to respond to the challenge of deliberately organizing for the same cause, as citizens of the Kingdom of God and our beloved country, in the forthcoming national elections. The discernment and consultation meeting has resulted in the creation of the Lay Solidarity Coalition for the Preservation of Life and the Filipino Family or in short Lay Solidarity for Family and Life which decided to endorse candidates for senators. The vision-mission is the protection and preservation of Filipino family and life. In search for a more apt and catchy name, it adopts the name White Vote Movement, Vote for Family, Vote for Life. Their website is which states the details and a video on the movement. *** It may be recalled that the CBCP issued a Pastoral Letter after its January 2013 Plenary Assembly, Proclaim the Message, in Season and Out of Season. The CBCP declared that Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life (Catechism of the

Spaces of Hope I Vote Good

MY team had been excitedly preparing for a house-to-house visit in two sitios of Barangay Luz in Cebu City for Dilaabs I Vote Good campaign. I braced myself for the sweltering heat that oozes out of tightly-packed houses during a summer day. I was not mistaken. So from 7 to 11 a.m. last Sunday 14 April, about 40 volunteers gathered at the capilla of Sitio Kalinaw (peace) for a prayerful send-off. The campaign would cover another adjacent sitio, Sto Nio. The volunteers had stickers and flyers with them that declared that I matter. My vote matters. Another one said: Kandidatong Mopalit, Korapsyon Kapalit. The team sought to convince people to vote good by not selling their votes and by choosing candidates discerningly. There was a festive air in the gathering as an original song by a Bisrock (Bisaya rock) band, Assembly Language, titled Tayo Na dominated the acoustic space. The catchy tune had a challenge: Tayo na, buksan ang mga mata, magtanong at makisuri habang tayoy bata pa. Local residents, led by their chapel leaders, including Jerome, a special child, soon joined the Dilaab volunteers. All became human billboards with a t-shirt giveaway, complementing streamers that were hung in the area. This could very well have been a group of political campaigners, only that we were not rooting for a person or a party but campaigning for voters values rooted in the biblical fact of being created in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:27); hence, endowed with intelligence and free will. Vote buying violates this fundamental truth. After I gave them and their articles a blessing (for the sending of missionaries, with some changes), they were off. The team split into two groups. Then, with local-resident volunteers leading the way, a spokesperson knocked at the door and explained our presence. I soon found myself sharing a brief thought: Tulo ka adlaw nga kalipay, tulo ka tuig nga pagmahay (three days of happiness; three years of remorse). For those who agreed, a sticker was posted outside their home and a flyer on the campaign with explanation on the LASER test was given. I ended with a blessing: For peace, good health, disasters averted, and for enough prosperity to show that God blesses those who do his will and sprinkling of holy water upon the household and on the Vote Good sticker. No single household turned us away and one could feel joy in the people we visited. Someone even observed that they were consoled at our message and presence. During a post-activity assessment one local resident was so effusive in her gratitude. After an initial apprehension thinking we were a party list group, she was so happy this happened in her barangay. The mainly-youth group of volunteers beamed with welldeserved pride. But we had only begun. A mass at the capilla was slated that evening with a pulong-pulong (townhouse meeting) afterwards. Sweating from the heat of the sun, we felt closer to what Pope Francis refers to as shepherds living with the smell of sheep. *** The manifesto of the I Vote Good campaign begins: Can a vote fix a pothole? Unclog the drainage in a street? Provide safe drinking water? Or reduce crime and corruption? Many think not. It is, after all, such a heavy load and a huge task for such a little vote. But think of it as a voice. Your voice. One that says No to all the problems that plague us today. And Yes to change. Yes, to what really is good The way we conduct our elections is the original sin of graft and corruption in our country. Many problems start here. Candidates are convinced they have to buy votes and so they look for investors. When such candidates make it, they have to repay these investors. On the other hand, voters look for the lesser evil only to fall into the quagmire of lesser evil becoming greater evil once in power. Or voters assume a gambling mentality by choosing candidates who are more likely to win, without any other consideration. Problem is, when such candidates win, most become losers due to poor governance and corruption. In the 2010 elections, Dilaab launched the I Vote God campaign to combat vote buying and encourage people to use the LASER test. LASER stands for lifestyle, action, supporters, election conduct, and reputation. This time around, to cast an even wider net, with I Vote Good campaign. The I Vote Good campaign is inspired by what a Cebuano priest had done in the 2004 and 2007 elections in his rural parish. Fr. Virgilio Pedrano had preached against vote buying and convinced the local politicians not to buy votes. Most complied. He then undertook a barangay-to-barangay campaign reminding people that God blesses those who do not sell their votes but he remembers those who do so. People still recall how, in his sutana and carrying a walking stick, he made the sorties even up to the late evening. The result? Five of the seven barangays greatly reduced the incidence of vote-buying. Voters and politicians continue to be thankful for this change that has made their town more peaceful even after Fr. Ver was moved to another parish. *** I Vote Good requires circles of discernment. Such circles can be as informal as the family meal, a gathering of barkadas at a sports event or in the mall, even a social network. Members of a discernment circletaking its cue from circle as a set of coplanar points equidistant to the centershare radical equality. The focus is on shared charisms and competencies. Circles of discernment do not call for a new organization but only the reconfiguration of existing Churchand othernetworks so they become attuned to political realities from the perspective of their Christian faith. Hence, a CFC household retains its nature and purpose as understood by the members of the CFC, only that it conducts its meeting as a circle of discernment. On the other hand, discernment means to separate. At a distance, things seem to merge and parts are often indistinguishable. Elections can be a very confusing affair with all its noise and images. Only the truly discerning can separate substance from images. Discernment is a prayerful process leading to communal action seeking to do Gods will. This is crucial since most Filipinos are God-fearing but many are not discerning enough with regards socio-political issues. Or we as Church may just have not paid enough attention to the discernment process. This lack of discernment is seen in the usual way the Church engages elections. We come out with broad guidelines (e.g. maka-Dios), conduct voters education, and do poll watching. Yet, after many years, many politicians still do not promote the common good and the truly God-fearing among them seem to be in the minority. In reality, more concrete and particular data and information are needed to form the so-called practical conscience. This implies a deliberate, organized,
Spaces on Hope / A7

Why the RH law can never be catholic

PARDON my insistence on this issue. But theres an erroneous thought that goes around today insisting on the compatibility of the RH law with Catholic doctrines. While I admit that the RH law issue is already irritating to tackle about, what is more irritating is the fact that RH law advocates, who could not make Catholics pro-RH, are now trying to make the RH law catholic. In clarifying this question, I am simply doing my ministry as a priest, that is, to proclaim the message, in season and out of season (Cfr. 2 Tim 4:2). It is because, today, as in the time of St. Paul, some people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths (2 Tim 4: 3-4). I dont think the RH law only provides for choice according to religious conviction, as one intellectual claims, for two reasons: first, I dont think laws only provide options or choices. The helmet law which took effect in Davao City recently does not only

Fr. Russell A. Bantiles

Catholic doctrines simply because the law provides for choice according to religious conviction is seriously flawed and is completely missing the point. The point at issue here is not whether Catholics have or dont have choices. The central point is that the RH law promotes contraception, something that Catholic teaching cannot tolerate. While it is important to emphasize that people should have choices, it is equally important to analyze what kind of choices people should have. Freedom does not consist merely in having choices. True freedom is choosing the good. Evil choice is not freedom; it is slavery. If married couples are given the choice to use contraception, this is an evil choice. Hence, it does not make them free: it enslaves them. Therefore, something in the RH law is intrinsically evil: the promotion of contraception. That alone makes it incompatible with the Catholic doctrine. Even non-Catholics with good will and who are lovers of life will surely reject the RH law. How much more a Catholic priest like me?

provide for a choice on whether or not a motorist would use standard helmets. The law prescribes it under penalty. Do you think the RH law only provides for a choice on whether an adult married Filipino couple would use condom or rhythm method? Tell it to the marines! If the law only provides for a choice, why the need to make it a law? Dont couples already have a choice before the RH law? Secondly, I dont think the RH law guarantees religious conviction when all it prescribes and promotes is the contraceptive mentality which is contrary to the religious conviction of the majority of Filipinos. By promoting the use of contraceptives, the law is insensitive to the religious conviction of the Catholic majority. Besides, it endangers the conscience of all Catholics who are striving to be good Catholics through obedience to the Magisterium. Is that the way the law guarantees the free exercise of religious freedom and conviction? Moreover, the argument of those who hold that the RH law is compatible with the

Fr. Francis Ongkingco

WHY are you crying? This is what we often ask a child wandering alone, lost and looking for his parents or guardians. The situation detaches us from whatever we may have been doing and delays us from getting to where we are going if only to help him. Young as they are, they are in no condition to give us any clue about how to recognize or locate their parents. We stoop down to comfort them and try to extract whatever information from their clothes, bags and even toys. When all else fails, the most we could at least obtain is their name. We calm the child and head for the paging system to locate the parents. I amuse myself when this happens by wondering who is really lost : is it the child or his parents? The child restlessly continues to cry, and can only finally be comforted when he finds his parents approaching the PA booth. Once again we hear the parents asking: Why are you crying? Adults naturally know the answer to why children cry. The question is not demanding an answer, because it is meant to bridge comfort and encouragement to a lost or hurt child. It really means: Dont cry because Im here! Children naturally weep when they are helpless and seek adults to give them security. But what happens when adults cry? When adultsthat is, you and mecry, there is always a reason. When someone cries for no reason, then it is most likely that he has lost his wits or due to some uncontrolled burst of psycho-emotional reactions from stress or tension. Only man can cry, and crying in man is not a mere biological-chemical reaction, but is revealing of the deep inner longing in his heart seeking comfort. *** This was precisely what Mary Magdalene heard as she wept by the empty tomb where she supposed our Lords body remained. Her intentions were simple: to return through hidden and simple gestures the great things that Jesus had done for her, especially by freeing her from the demons that enslaved her soul. All throughout our Lords Passion we could imagine how this woman must have wept bitterly and continuously. There was nothing in this world that would contain her grief, with the exception of rendering for Jesus corpse simple burial rituals. But her ordeal was further aggravated when she found the tomb empty. How this must

Quid Ploras?
have re-opened the wounds of her sorrows. So great was her sadness, early Christian authors would amazingly observe, that she was not even consoled by the vision of angels in the tomb. Nothing in this world could now satisfy the love that has grown in her heart for Jesus. That was when our Lord approached her from behind and asked: Woman, why are you crying? Again it is the same question but no longer asked by just any man but by one who is perfect God and perfect man. His question was not seeking a response, but was actually an answer to all of Magdalenes longings: the only thing that matters in life is finding God and possessing Him. When this is attained then one would no longer have reasons to cry. I find it strange that there are persons who deify science and technology. They seek to measure and quantify everything in life so as to reject Gods existence. Crying, they would very well explain, is due to glands, hormones, triggers and many other bio-chemical sources. But this why of science is nothing but a how of things. In reality science can only go so far as to elaborate on how things happen, but never why they are so. Can you imagine trying to comfort someone weeping by expounding on the bio-chemical processes of his or her tear glands? Even though how scientific our explanation may be, it will not help a person confront realities such as sadness, love, forgiveness, loyalty and even death. This is why I believe that mans tears, like prayers, actually contain eternal lessons. When Jesus asked Magdalene, why are you weeping? Our Lord was not saying that we should not feel sad, but He was reminding us through her that even in this lifealthough we may shed tearsthere is really no room for the only sadness: of being without God, because Christs presence in our life, unless willfully rejected through grace sin, can never be removed. Mans earthly life, in this valley of tears, can never guarantee true and lasting happiness. Besides external trials, there is the burden of our disordered tendencies (i.e. our sinful condition), which we will never overcome without divine help. These are not merely negative obstacles or weights, they too remind us that our deepest longings (e.g. happiness, peace, justice, forgiveness, etc.) can only be fulfilled one day in Heaven where God will wipe aware our every tear.


Local News
POLITICIANS should carefully study the stance they will take on issues concerning Death Penalty and Juvenile Delinquency as detainees and prisoners can help make or break the race of national and local lawmakers. Rudy Diamante of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care (ECPPC) said the 72,000 prisoners participating in the upcoming May polls may dictate the results of the national senatorial race and the local election of councilors. The right to suffrage is a basic human right that should not be taken away if you are detained. This is why prisoners, despite being deprived of their liberty, are instrumental in naming the 12th and 13th senate seat occupants, he said. Diamante urged politicians to also visit jails and other detention facilities to make their stance regarding Death Penalty and the full implementation of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act 2006 known to prisoners. On a different note, Diamante hailed the 15th Congress for enacting

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 08
April 15 - 28, 2013

Bishop calls for tighter security around Tubbataha Reef

THE government should enforce tighter security measures to protect the Tubbataha Reef after a Chinese fishing vessel ran aground the marine park, a Catholic bishop said. Palawan Bishop Pedro Arigo said the incident is unfortunate considering that it happened just days after a US warship that hit and damaged the protected area was finally removed. I dont know if the authority has the capability but what is really needed is a stricter, closer and tighter security in the area to avoid this kind of incident again, Arigo said in a radio interview. But the bishop said the problem is that the government lacks resources to enforce maritime law around the Unesco World Heritage site. We dont have these modern equipments so this is really our problem so I hope government will give enough support and funding to our coast guard for them to have modern equipments, he said. And if theres a need for more manpower that will secure the area, the government should do something about it, Arigo added. The Chinese fishing vessel manned by 12 persons ran aground the famous marine sanctuary last Tuesday, where a US minesweeper got stuck in January and was only removed few days ago. The Philippines asked the United States to pay a fine of $1.5 million for the 2,345 square meters of coral reef damaged caused by the grounding. The Aquino government, meanwhile, has charged the Chinese fishermen with poaching, facing up to 12 years and fines that could reach more than P4 million depending on the violations. (Roy Lagarde)

Detained voters critical in senate, council races

Republic Act 10389, which releases an indigent detainee under the custody of a qualified member of the barangay, city or the Church where he resides through the concept of recognizance. Inmates who cannot post bail because they cannot afford to can still be released to the custody of qualified members of his community because of this legislation, he said. Diamante said the act institutionalizing recognizance as a mode of granting the release of an indigent person in custody as an accused in a criminal case is set to take effect this April. The law aims to promote restorative justice, especially among indigent detainees, whose offenses are not punishable by life imprisonment or death. This legislation will also help decongest crowded jails and prison facilities by up to 70 percent because this number represents the detainees that are qualified to apply for recognizance, he added. (KB/CBCPNews)

Botika ng Simbahan should have pharmacists

TO protect people from unnecessary risks while taking medicines that are sold over the counter, the Philippine Pharmacists Association (PPA) urged Church pharmacies to hire even one pharmacist. Some dioceses have opened a Botika ng Simbahanan outreach that gives the poor greater access to medicines at an affordable price. Dr. Yolanda Robles, the executive vice-president of PPA said Republic Act 5921 states that every pharmacy, either big or small, should have a pharmacist. The botika ng simbahan of the Church is also classified as a
Marchers / A1

Bishop Pedro Arigo

Cardinal Tagle to hold Mass on Labor Day

MANILA Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle will be holding a Mass at the Quiapo Church for the countrys workers on Labor Day, May 1. Several priests and bishops are expected to concelebrate with Tagle to pay tribute to the workers invaluable contribution to our society. Various labor groups are also expected to grace the occasion organized by the Church People Workers Solidarity (CWS), National Clergy Discernment Group and Promotion of Church Peoples Response. After the Mass, an ecumenical gathering and solidarity lunch with the workers will be held at the Plaza Miranda, outside the church. On April 19, the CWS will also hold a forum on labor issues at the Sto. Domingo Parish Churchs Multipurpose Hall in Quezon City. With the theme The Hopes and Dreams of the Workers, the forum hopes to rekindle the fire, unity and shared aims among church people and workers of a better society where there is fullness of life and equal dignity of all people. (CBCPNews)

botika ng baranggay which is a program of the Department of Health that sell over the counter and cheaper medicines. So in order to protect all of us citizens who need to intake a certain medicine, it is best that every pharmacy in the country should have a pharmacist working, Robles said in a Church forum. Robles however stressed that they are willing to partner with the Catholic Church in teaching hired workers for the botika ng simbahan on how to handle medicine and sell it rightly. We are aware that over the counter medicines like antibiotics can be bought without drug prescription. So there is a

tendency that the person who bought certain over the counter medicine can take it and be overdosed. We are always here to help the Church train personnel who sell over the counter medicines to also give advice on how many dosage to take, etc., Robles added. She pointed out that they have no intention of stopping the botika ng simbahan that sells medicine without a pharmacist in their staff. All we want is to help them train pharmacy personnel to know how to sell over the counter medicines, Robles furthered. (Jandel Posion with reports from Regine Villalon)


Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle

Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

Attendance / A1

elling by caravan and foot throughout central Luzon and Manila. They are going back with their stories of growing unrest at the governments non-fulfillment of most of its pledges, Talaban said. Since their meeting with President Benigno Aquino III last December, he alleged that Apeco continued to commit violations such as illegal land conversions and illegal logging. In that six-day journey, the Casiguran marchers will be visiting Baler, Baguio, San Jose City, Pampanga, and Bulacan. They will also be making key stops at the Supreme Court office in Baguio City, where a
Candidates / A1

legal case against Apeco is ongoing, and regional government offices in San Fernando. The marchers are expected to arrive in Metro Manila by April 22, where they will remain until their demands for land titles, a credible economic review of Apeco, and a moratorium on Apecos budget are met by the government. Where is your promise? Talaban has asked President Benigno Aquino III to keep his promise to look into their concerns against the countrys first economic hub in Aurora province. We are really disappointed because the gov-

ernment backed out from the promise it made, he said. He said that they are particularly asking the result of the National Economic and Development Authoritys review of the contested Aurora Pacific Economic Zone (Apeco) project. During their dialogue with Aquino and some cabinet members last December, he said the government assured them that the review would be completed within two months. But until now, we are still waiting for the result. The NEDA should release it as what theyve promised, said Talaban. Some 120 farmers, fishermen and indigenous

peoples met with Aquino last year after a 350-kilometer, 18-day march to dramatize their opposition to the project. The priest said they are also asking the government to stick to its promise to grant 11,900-hectare certificate of ancestral domain title for San Ildenfonso Peninsula. According to him, the Aquino administration pledged to renew the Integrated Social Forestry contracts covering 288-hectares for another 25 years. He added the government also ensured respect for small fisherfolks fishing rights within the Casiguran bay, and the establish-

ment of livelihood projects for them. For lowland farmers, the government, he also said, likewise assured that the 105-hectare Esteves Agricultural Reservation cannot be converted to any other land uses. Four months after the dialogue, theres no clear result on these promises, he lamented. Talaban along with the 120 marchers and other Casiguran residents are returning to Manila to demand the accomplishment of Aquinos promises. The fight continues. We are going back to demand fulfillment of their promises, Talaban said. (CBCPNews)

Boundary The pastoral letter also warned church leaders and lay Catholic groups against endorsing specific candidates, saying that it is a bad idea for the church and ministers. The archbishop stressed that when the church endorses candidates, its spiritual mission will be compromised and religion will be reduced to a political party. We will be lonesome widows after the elections for marrying partisan politics during the campaign, Villegas said. According to him, the endorsed candidate may win but the Church always ends up loser because its mission will be tarnished with the stain of the mundane. The Church should not be perceived as winning or losing an election. The Church must
White Vote / A1

be beyond such, Villegas said. Religions that waltz with politics will die by politics. The Church must guide and not dictate. The Church must unite and not contribute to the division. The Church must pray and not add to the confusion. The Church must heal and not inflict hurts. The Church must be in the world but not belong to it, he added. Voting guide Instead of naming names and creating further division, he also said that church leaders should just provide guidelines for voters for an informed choice. Villegas said Church interest is best served if its leaders and laity will help voters examine the candidates diligently in the light of the Catholic faith. Without naming names, he said those candidates who sup-

ported the RH law, a controversial measure that provides state funding for contraceptives should not be elected. Aside from not voting prochoice candidates, church leaders should also encourage voters not to support candidates who: has been linked to drug trade, drug possession and drug use or who receives money from illegal gambling or has done nothing to stop illegal gambling like jueteng has been convicted for a criminal offense supports black sand mining and tolerates irresponsible quarrying or illegal fish pens has not done anything until now to uplift the plight of the poor buys votes or distributes goods during the campaign period has been involved or linked

to terrorism or the use of goons for self protection within or outside the campaign period only shows religiosity during the campaign period or antagonistic to church teachings and practices is unfaithful to his or her marriage vows has other members of the immediate family in government positions already We submit these guidelines to you and plead with you to bring them to prayer. If Jesus would vote, for whom would he vote? Vote like Jesus. If you cannot find Jesus from among the candidates just make sure you do not make Judas or Barabbas win, he also said. If you sell your vote, you sell something sacred; you make yourself a cousin of Judas too, said Villegas.

churchgoers and devotees of the revered Black Nazarene. That is why Msgr. Clemente Ignacio, Quiapo Church rector, could not believe with the result of the survey, supposedly conducted last February or two weeks before Pope Benedict XVI resigned from his post. The survey, however, was only released on April 8, same day that the Churchs biggest lay groups have combined forces to muster of millions of votes for senatorial candidates who opposed a contraceptives law. Bro. Mike Velardes El Shaddai group and other lay organizations have launched the White Vote Movement to campaign against those who supported the passage of the Reproductive Health law. I dont have that kind of observation (decreasing Church attendance) because churchgoers in Quiapo are increasing, Ignacio said. In Visayas, church attendance in Iloilo provinces 93 parishes is

also doing well, Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo said. Its a matter of minus and plus. There are these who no longer go to Sunday Mass but there are also new Catholics who started to go to Sunday Mass, Lagdameo said. The nine Masses in Jaro cathedral are still filled to capacity. Priests maintain their Masses in towns and barrios. This is the observation in our 93 parishes, he added. In Mindanao, the Diocese of Marbel in South Cotabato had just erected a new parish last December 30 to accommodate the spiritual needs of people in the area. In fact, according to Marbel Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez, they will inaugurate another new parish this coming June 24. In our 26 parishes, church attendance is going up. I have visited 17 parishes (recently) and the findings showed vibrancy, he said. All have integrated parish pastoral action plans based on the diocesan strategic plan. (Roy Lagarde)

election problems that include disenfranchisement of voters and other related scenario, Nim added. He also calls for additional volunteers with the requirements of being a registered voter, a legitimate resident of his/her parish and should be non-partisan. Support Unlike other archdioceses and dioceses which earlier this month cut ties with PPCRV, Kidapawan remains solid in its support to PPCRV and sees no conflict with the stand of the Catholic hierarchy in coming up with a Catholic Vote for the upcoming polls. It is very clear that PPCRV will not endorse any candidate but will help in the education campaign of voters to discern the right candidate to be voted. We also have Catholic solidarity movements here in the diocese that are active with the Catholic Vote, so we asked them to stick with their movement and not anymore join PPCRV to avoid issues, Nim furthered. Imus diocese Meanwhile, in the diocese of Imus, around 160 people gathered for the Pinoy Big Voters Seminar at the De La Salle University-Dasmarias (DLSUDasma) Alumni Building last April 6. The seminar aimed to educate parish coordinators to be facilitators of voters education in their respective parishes. PPCRVs executive director

sized the responsibil ity of the lay faithful to participate in putting morally upright political candidates in positions of power and distinguished this from the role of the clergy. Impart correct teachings and strengthen moralethis is the role of the bishops, said Pope [Emeritus] Benedict XVI in an encyclical that he wrote. And Pope Francis said but direct participation in the transformation of society, that is the work of the laity, Bacani said in his homily. The prelate urged the people to embrace the responsibility to transform society and not to leave

the task to just anyone. Nasa inyong kamay ang magandang kinabukasan, Bacani told the congregation. The bishop also explained that the teachings of the Church encourage ordinary lay citizens to take seriously the duty to electincluding the option of endorsement of individuals running for public officegood leaders, pointing to the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines in 1991 as one of the bases on which this duty is anchored. It was said in the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines, to lay people in positions

of responsibility they are the ones to endorse people who will be good for the nation. That is a right, it does not violate the guidelines of the Church, he said. While the laity may choose to endorse or not to endorse specific candidates, nobody can say that endorsement is forbidden for them, and in fact it is the lay peoples duty as responsible citizens and Christians, the prelate added. Pray together, discuss, act, so truth will prevail. Some base their decision on bribe, popularity, dancing talent we are not looking for celebrities but public

servants. They should be for God, life and family, Bacani pointed out toward the end of his homily. Member organizations of the coalition are Adoracion Nocturna Filipina, Archdiocesan Council of the Laity of Lipa, Archdiocesan Council of the Laity of San Fernando, Pampanga, Bukas Loob sa Diyos Covenant Community, Catholic Teachers Guild, Children of God our Father of All Mankind, Christian Family Movement, Children of Mary/Prayer Partners Ex Seminarians for Life/ Kilos Laiko, Familia Community, Family Renewal Movement,

Family Rosary Crusade, Family Rosary Crusade Youth Ministry, Holy Name Society of the Philippines, Kababaihan ng Maynila, Knights of Columbus Luzon Jurisdiction, Legion of Mary, Live Christ Share Christ Movement, Live Pure Movement, Light of Jesus, Lords Flock, Marriage Enhancement & Team Services, Mother Butler Mission Guild, National Sandigan Foundation, St. Peter Community, St. John Apostle & Evangelist Assn., Teodora, Teresian Association, Women of Asia for Development, and Young Christian Workers of the Phils. (CBCP for Life)

Ginny de Villa talked about Engaged Citizenship for national and local situations while Ramil Remulla, a faculty of Social Sciences Department of DLSUDasma talked about Empowerment and the right of suffrage of every Filipino together with Catholic Social Teachings and Filipino Social Values. Romulo Guillermo, PPCRV voters education deputy coordinator discussed about the automated elections, how to be a volunteer and poll watching. Meanwhile, (Ret.) Commodore Amado Sanglay, the PPCRV Cavite lay coordinator gave the participants an idea about the dioceses PPCRV task force for the midterm polls. In a related development, the diocesan youth ministry gathered some 150 young people in the diocese for voters education at the St John Nepomucene Parish in Alfonso, Cavite on the same day. Aside from the activity last April 6, the diocese also conducted a recollection for PPCRV and local candidates in Cavite province at the Holy Rosary Chapel of DLSU-Dasma last April 9. Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, the former bishop of Imus was the recollection master and guest of the event. On April 20, the diocese will also organize a Walk for Peace from 6 a.m. to 12 noon at the Cathedral of the Our Lady of the Pillar. (Jandel Posion with reports from Christopher Maitem and Esteve Mata)

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 08
April 15 - 28, 2013

Diocesan News
land is endowed with natural resources that are inherent to it: water freely flows down mountainsides, the presence of waterfalls and pristine beaches which are the major tourist attractions of the province, the blessing of the forests, sauna and fauna, among others. The island thrives on the produce of the lands (rice and coconut primarily) and the bounty of the sea, they said. If the geothermal operation pushes through, they argued, the island being beautiful yet made vulnerable already by its fragile ecosystem and volatile geographical condition, could be more exposed to the dangers of geothermal operation. We are concerned of the imbalance the geothermal operation would bring to the ecosystem and also the consequences later of natural and man-made The magnitude of the operation also means the emission of toxic gases like carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide that could harm the health of people and animal alike and affect global warming, will be as great. Water in Biliran, reputed to be the sweetest water in the world, is one of our important assets. If contaminated and polluted by the geothermal operation through reckless release of water wastes into rivers, could damage aquatic life and make water unsafe for drinking and irrigation. What is once an island with water abundance could be an island of waste and contamination, they emphasized. The group pointed out that they are not against any development project that preserves the integrity of the environment and ecosystem and assures the health

and well-being of the people. However, a geothermal project in Biliran province would be a misplaced project because the island carries in itself a fragile ecosystem and volatile geographical condition that are easy prey to the hazards and dangers we have mentioned, said the group. With this, they elevated the matter to the government agency concerned and asked for their kind and prompt action to stop the implementation of the operation. We appeal to your good office to take into consideration the welfare and interest first of our people and environment over the welfare and interest of the proponents. For Daang Matuwid does not only mean good governance; among others, it also means integrity of creation and the people, they furthered. (Jandel Posion)

Naval diocese opposes Biliran Geothermal operation

NAVAL, BiliranResidents and clergy of the Diocese of Naval in Biliran province vocally expressed their opposition on the drilling and operation of the 1st geothermal exploration in the island paradise. In a letter sent to the Department of Energy (DOE), Biliran residents and the clergy stressed that the geothermal exploration undertaken by the Biliran Geothermal Incorporated (BGI) poses danger to the environment and the people. Biliran Province is a small island province proudly called paradise by us and visitors alike. The island sits on a volcanic plate and is almost on the path of storms and typhoons. It is also vulnerable to landslides and erosions being mountainous, parts of the letter read. On the other hand, the is-

The geothermal project in Biliran island is heavily opposed by residents and clergy alike for the harm it might cause on the environment.

disasters and calamities, especially that if fully operational, the area of geothermal block would comprise approximately 260 square kilometers more than a third of the whole islandprovince!, they added. So, where would the people

of Biliran province go, Mr. Secretary? What would happen to our upland rice and forests? What would happen to our natural resources and the beauty of the paradise we are proud of? the group asked DOE secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla.

Church group urges candidates to champion urban poors plight

CEBU CityA church group called on political candidates to champion the plight of the urban poor amidst ongoing demolition of their homes in Cebu Citys barangay Luz. Fr. Vicente Dayao, convenor of Cebu Citys Archdiocesan Discernment Group (ADG) on Urban Poor said electoral candidates should demonstrate that their reason for running is not for personal gain but to serve the people especially the poor. Now is the time to do something to stop demolitions and all forms of human rights violations against the marginalized sectors! he declared. The discernment groupcomposed of priests, religious, and laitylamented the ongoing demolition of urban poors houses which began April 10 in Sitio Lubi, Barangay Luz. Why are our poor brothers and sisters in Sitio Lubi, Barangay Luz, treated not as human beings who have the right to adequate shelter? When will our hearts of stone turn into hearts of flesh which beat of love and compassion for our neighbors, especially the homeless and powerless? the group asked in a press statement. At the Election Summit held in Cebu City last February 23 this year, the urban poor presented the following agenda to summit participants, which include political candidates. No to forced eviction and demolition. Yes to urban land reform. One of the several households destroyed in last years demolition Implement on-site in Barangay Luz, Cebu City. development of the urban poor but the government proceeded with the communities in public and private lots. destruction of 32 households. The city government began demoliDayao lamented the governments tion of houses in Barangay Luz middle lack of concern on the plight of the urof last year despite appeal of poor ban poor despite the groups appeal to households to appropriate the lots to expropriate the lots to them. them so they could pay for these lots The group held a prayer service for directly to the city government. the victims of demolition on April 15 Expropriation of lots would have at the gate of St. Josephs Cemetery, averted the knocking down of houses, Barangay Luz. (CBCPNews)

Catholics in Davao to hold 1st traditional pilgrimage

DAVAO CityAs part of the celebration of the Year of Faith, Catholics in Mindanao will hold the 1st Catholic Traditional Pilgrimage on April 27, 2013. Organized by the Latin Mass Society (LMS) of Davao, the event is part of the activities recommended by the Pontifical Commission for the New Evangelization. Bro. Ryan Mejillano, founder of LMS, said the pilgrimage will be traditional in the sense that pilgrims will not ride a bus while going in pilgrimage but instead, will walk for 12 kilometers. (Jandel Posion)

Electoral group urges P-Noy, Binay to focus on issues not campaigns

ANTIPOLO CityEcumenical electoral watch group Pagbabago! Cebu chapter called on President Benigno Aquino III and Vice President Jejomar Binay Sr. to focus on good governance, instead of joining the respective political rallies of their respective parties. Rev. Jessie Primacio, co-chair of Pagbabago! Cebu said the two top executives should minimize their presence in grand rallies for it sends an impression to the public that they are much focused on campaigning for their senatorial and local bets, rather than solving the burgeoning problem in the health, education and housing sectors. They could show their support for their bets anyway in many other ways without abetting a culture of patronage and blind loyalty from an uncritical crowd, Primacio said. (Noel Sales Barcelona)
Rural missionaries-Mindanao co-founder dies at 63

Bacolod launches Family and Life Center

BACOLOD CityThe San Sebastian Cathedral of Bacolod diocese has launched on March 31 the San Sebastian Family and Life Center in an effort to provide natural family planning services to married couples. The NFP services are the Centers response to the growing need among Catholic couples who would like to follow the Catholic teachings on Family Planning. The Diocese of Bacolod has, for years, been in the forefront against the RH
Spaces of Hope / A5

QUEZON CitySr. Virginia Virgie Arocha, MSM, one of the founders of Rural Missionaries of the PhilippinesNorthern Mindanao Region (RMP NMR) and the organizer of the Promotion of Church Peoples Response (PCPR)-Lanao chapter, died of cardiac arrest, believed to be due to her lingering illness and diabetes. She was 63. Aside from PCPR and RMP, Sr. Arocha is also one of the members of the Sisters Association in Mindanao (Samin), an alliance of religious nuns in the area. (Noel Sales Barcelona)
Remains of Filipina who died in Bahrain brought home

Law. The Diocese believed that artificial methods of contraception, particularly the use of pills and other contraceptives, are harmful to the health of mothers since there are cases that showed adverse side effects such as cancer among those who are using these. On moral grounds, artificial contraception is against Gods will since it does not follow the natural law and does not respect the integrity of personhood. The rampant availability and use of artifi-

cial methods of contraception can eventually lead to the unraveling of the moral fabrics of Filipino society, the degradation of women as sex objects and the destruction of the family. As alternative to these artificial methods of contraception, the San Sebastian Family and Life Center would provide Marriage and Family Counseling so as to have an integrated approach to Family Planning according to the teachings of the Catholic Church.

The Center will conduct individual coaching, group teaching and teachers training for scientifically proven and effective Natural Planning Methods. Married couples are invited to visit the San Sebastian Family and Life Center from Tuesday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 9 to 11 a.m. or they may contact for appointment and inquiries the following numbers: 09173011625, 09173275955, 09238476167, 09212749230, 09071085765. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas)

MANILAThe body of Kathleen Ann Viray Ilagan, the 31-year old pastry chef who allegedly committed suicide inside the Philippine Embassys shelter, arrived on April 16 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Paraaque City. Monterona said that doubts remain about Virays gruesome death, since the police report stated that Kathleen had hung herself to death, on a doorknob, which is only waist-high. He also said that while there were repatriation documents and police reports, no autopsy report was included in the papers inserted in Kathleens casket. (Noel Sales Barcelona)
Summit on social communications and mass media slated

MANILAThe Episcopal Commission on Social Communications and Mass Media (ECSCMM) together with the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) is organizing the 1st National Social Communications and Media Summit on April 23, aimed at understanding deeper the challenges that confront media practitioners as Catholic Communicators. Media practitioners active participation is very vital as the commission gives due importance to Social Communications and Media in the context of Faith and Politics, especially now that the country is gearing towards the 2013 general elections when all these are put in a crucial situation. (Jandel Posion)
Along The Way / A4

and concerted effort which does not leave politics and elections to media, endorsements, campaign materials, and other usual sources of information and even enticements. These circles, then, represent a way of proceeding with a communal-discernment process to prayerfully identify candidates who are worthy (or unworthy) of our vote. Or else why form such circles? Their judgmentresulting from a prayerful process of discernment need to be shared with others as a form of Christian service. Is this block-voting? One writer notes, block-voting was commonly used by political parties and groups
Candidly Speaking / A4

in European countries to require their members to vote as a block, which in essence, was to require their members to follow or tow party-lines, regardless of their personal beliefs and conscience dictates. Block-voting was generally invoked as party directive, a duty to the party, and non-compliance therewith resulted in suspension of privileges or dismissal from the party. This is not the vision of lay-led circles of discernment since the list of those deemed worthy of voting is the fruit of collective discernment, not a product of one man or one group. The list will not be imposed on voters, but will merely suggest. There are no sanctions of any

form and kind. This is no cohabitation either between the Church with any political ideology or grouping since the effort focuses on individuals, not groups. And discernment continues. *** We returned to the chapel after the visits. I sat close to Jerome who gave me a beautiful smile. Although his speech is incomprehensible, he knew what was happening. And he felt good. (For more info/queries please email us at ph or visit us at or like us at facebook

We should not be afraid that this attitude of putting God in our politics and democratic exercises might compromise the freedom of the non-believers, since if we truly believe in God then we would know how to treat those who dont believe in God in charity.
Pork Barrel / A1

Christ himself said that we should love our enemies and he even died on the cross for the love of all, including those who did not and continue not to love him. Thus, in electing our public officials, we need to see how each one of them is regarding his understanding of democracy. Is God in it

or not? Does he know how to put God in his political agenda? Does he realize that democracy is one important venue where our duty to give glory to God is expressed? This, of course, is not going to be an easy task. Its a very sensitive and volatile issue that can easily pro-

voke unnecessary conflicts and troubles, but it has to be done. We just have to pray and hope for the best, humble enough to learn from whatever mistake we may commit along the way. But, yes, we need to restore the true nature and character of democracy. Lets keep it from being hacked.

renewal movements are trying to accomplishsmall groups and communities of Catholics, acting as salt, leaven and light in the midst of a majority who are living as nominal and seasonal Catholics. When we look at the Church as a whole, we have to look at it as composed of three concentric circles. There is a small inner core of Catholicslay, religious and ordained who are living actively as disciples of Jesus and involved in the life and mission of the Church. Then there is a bigger middle core of seasonal Catholics who are involved occasionally and seasonally. Finally, at the outer core, which is the largest, are
Duc In Altum / A5

the marginal and nominal Catholics. They are all members of the Church with varying degrees of participation and involvement. Since the majority of Catholics are either seasonal or nominal, and even many of those who are active are still devotional or liturgical, there is a need for new evangelization. The creative minority in the Church are to be the agents of new evangelization. Hopefully, those seasonal Catholics will become more active and the nominal will become seasonal or even active. What matters is not just the quantity but the quality of Church membership. There is much to be done. launched through a press conference on April 8, the Feast of the Annunciation. It endorsed the first batch of candidates on April 13 at Amvel Complex in Paraaque City: Mitos Magsaysay, J.V. Ejercito, Gregorio Honasan, Aquilino Pimentel III, Antonio Trillanes, Cynthia Villar. *** From the Archdiocese of Cebu, after a discernment process, The Lay Initiative For Election (LIFE) announced its endorsement of 12 senatorial and local candidates at the Archbishops Residence covered court. LIFE is composed of the Council of the Laity of the Archdiocese of Cebu and several big lay organizations. It is headed by Mrs. Fe Barino. *** Belated Happy Birthday to my brother-in-law Celestino Rosales, husband of my sister Violy Santiago. Happy 23rd Wedding Anniversary to my brother Roberto and sister-in-law Ma. Loreto Santiago.

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said the millions of poor Filipinos need a measure that would provide them shelter, livelihood, education and health services. He said the government money should be handled by concerned agencies of the government to provide the important needs of the people, and not by lawmakers. If they are going to utilize it properly, it will really help the poor and not coursed it through the hands of legislators because that is not their job, said Pabillo, head of the churchs National Secretariat for Social Action. President Benigno Aquino earlier

vetoed the proposed Magna Carta for the poor, saying that the government does not have the money to implement it. Under the measure, the government is mandated to ensure five basic rights for every Filipino: food, education, shelter, employment, and health services. Aquino said the budget required in the bill is way beyond the capability of the government to address the basic needs of the people. The President, for instance, cited the provision on shelter, which is around five million social housing units and would cost roughly P2.32 trillion.

The government said it has no money but they are giving out hefty pork barrel funds to lawmakers, Pabillo said. Pork barrel, formally known in the Philippines as the Priority Development Assistance Fund, is money taken from the national budget that funds projects of senators or congressmen. A lawmaker is entitled to P70 million in PDAF every year and a member of the Senate, P200 million. Many bishops have been calling on the government to abolish the pork barrel fund, which according to them, have been one of the sources of corruption. (Roy Lagarde)

is a normal element of the life of the Church. CCC 899. Catholics have a moral obligation to promote the common good through the exercise of their voting privileges (cf. CCC 2240). It is not just civil authorities who have responsibility for a country. Service of the common good require[s] citizens to fulfill their roles in the life of the political community (CCC 2239). This means citizens should participate in the political process exercised in the ballot boxes. A Catholics vote must be circumspect. A well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program or an individual law that contradicts the fundamental contents of faith and morals (CPL 4). CPL Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith,Doctrinal Notes on Some Questions regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life. *** Thus, the White Vote Movement was

POPE Francis has appointed a Batangueo as the new bishop of the Diocese of Imus in Cavite. The appointment of current Boac Bishop Reynaldo Evangelista is Francis first appointment to the Catholic hierarchy in the Philippines. The Imus diocese has been without a bishop for more than a year after Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle was installed Archbishop of Manila in December 2011. With the transfer of Evangelista to Imus, the Diocese of Boac is known as a vacant see and remains so until the appointment of a new bishop. Evangelista was born on May 8, 1960 in San Jose, Mabini, Batangas. At 26, he was ordained a priest in June

People, Facts & Places

1986 and was appointed third bishop of Boac in December 2004 by Blessed John Paul II. The 52-year old bishop is currently a member of the Permanent Council of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). Evangelista also chairs the CBCPs Commission on Vocations and a member of the Commission on Seminaries. Ready to learn caracol dance The newly appointed Imus Bishop may have to learn how to cut a rug the Caviteo way. He said there would be many things that he will have to familiarize in his new diocese including the popular Caracol, a traditional Caviteo danceprocession with the statue of the Our Lady of the Pillar. Ill do my best to learn the dance, Evangelista said as he burst into laughter. The bishop said the call to serve in the Diocese of Imus, which has 10 times as many Catholics as Boac, was a big challenge. The Imus diocese, which comprises the entire province of Cavite, is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Manila and serves around 2 million Catholics. I really think that this is not a simple responsibility but my disposition is that I did not plan this, Im just following Gods will, said Evangelista. I dont know the concerns that I will have to face but its all up to God. As I said to myself, Im just His instrument, he added. This is Gods work. I will follow the direction that He wants. Evangelista said it is also sad that he will leave the people of Boac, which he served for more than eight years. Id like to thank them for all their support and prayer. I will always pray for them as Im doing it now, said Evangelista who will be installed as Imus bishop on June 5. Its the same thing that I will do for the people of Imus Ill pray for them and Ill do everything to bring you closer to God with the help of the priests and other servants of the Church, he said. (Roy Lagarde)

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 17 No. 08

April 15 - 28, 2013

Pope Francis names new Imus bishop

Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

Bishop Reynaldo Evangelista

Bishops to consecrate PHL to Mary

THE Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines has decided to hold a simultaneous national consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on June 8. Eager for Marys guidance, especially during the nine-year preparation for the com ing 500th an n i v ers a r y of Christianitys arrival in the country, all bishops and priests will consecrate the Philippines to the Blessed Virgin Mary on June 8, at 10 a.m. in all dioceses, prelatures and vicariates. In preparation for the consecration itself, catechesis on Marian consecration will be done in the dioceses, down to the parish levels starting May. It will feature the 33-day preparation for consecration, as taught by St. Louis de Montfort, who also talked about how an individuals personal consecration to Mary could be nothing else but a perfect consecration to Jesus. Digos Bishop Guillermo Afable, heads the ad hoc committee spearheading the national consecration, as designated by the CBCP Permanent Council. The Episcopal Commissions on Liturgy and Social Communications and Mass Media, Amb. Howard Q. Dee of Bahay MariaAssisi Development Foundation, Fr. Yulito Ignacio, and the CBCP General Secretariat, will assist Bishop Afable in promoting and planning for the consecration and related pre-events. The decision to have a national consecration was agreed upon by the CBCP during its 106th Plenary Assembly last January 28. (Nirvaana Ella Delacruz)

AYD preparations unmoved by military tension in Korea

ESCALATING tension between North and South Korea has not affected the ongoing preparations for the 6th Asian Youth Day (AYD), which will be held next year in Daejeon. Organizers of the AYD in the Diocese of Daejeon has not communicated any plans of postponing or cancelling the youth gathering scheduled on August 10 to 20, 2014, according to the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY). There is none so far, ECY executive secretary Fr. Conegundo Garganta told YouthPinoy when asked if AYD organizers issued any announcement relative to the political turmoil in the host country. The ECY organizes the Filipino delegates who will participate in the AYD and communicates directly to the AYD organizers under the host diocese. Garganta said the ECY is scheduled to open the application process for interested pilgrims towards the end of 2013. During the third AYD preparatory meeting last March 11 to 15, the Diocese of Daejeon and the Youth Desk of the Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences (FABC) met with representatives of youth commissions throughout the continent, including ECY. The latest meeting was about finalizing the schedule and flow of program for the Days in the Diocese, actual AYD, and the Asian Youth Ministers meeting thereafter, he said. Garganta reminded Filipinos who may be interested to join the AYD to expect that the event will be different from the World Youth Day (WYD). Though it looks like the WYD, the AYD is different. Even the mechanics for AYD set limitations in the number of delegates that each country can send to join the AYD, unlike the WYD which is open to all, he said. The number of people joining the AYD will be dependent on the countrys Catholic population, he added. The priest also said the AYD should not be an alternative to the WYD since the former is open to Asians only, and encouraged young Filipinos to still consider participating in the upcoming WYD, which is set on July 17 to 28 in Brazil. The ECY has extended the deadline for application to be part of the ECY-Philippines Delegation to the WYD up to April 15. (YouthPinoy)

9,000 youth rock with God at Liveloud concert

INSTEAD of an ordinary Friday night out, 9,000 young people from all over the country and the world gathered in the sweltering summer heat to praise God at the Liveloud concert last April 5. CFCYouth for Christ members, some coming from as far as Canada, Australia, U.S. and the Middle east, came and stayed for a marathon worship that started at around 8 p.m. and ended at close to midnight. Reminders of His love Goi Villegas, who led the participants into worship during the Liveloud concert, reminded thousands of YFCs, If you feel unworthy, you are not alone. God anointed people to remind you of Gods love for us. He also encouraged the participants to see that primarily, these people are their parents. We have our parents. God anointed our parents to be our first guides to know Jesus. Can you hug them if they are with you now? Villegas asked the crowd. He also encouraged the YFCs to seek Gods comfort in the sacrament of reconciliation. Not my story, but Gods In between several songs, YFCs like Anabel Britanico shared about personal struggles and how Jesus saw them through. Britanico shared onstage about the tragic deaths of her aunt, uncle and finally, her own brother and how the experience revealed her true calling to trust in God. This is no longer my story, but it is the story of Gods outpouring strength in me. I believe that I am called to trust in my God completely, to recognize that God is God all the time, she said.

File Photo

Young faithful light candles during the Liveloud Praise Concert at the Marikina Sports Complex, April 5.

Benefit run raises funds for WYD volunteers

FROM Manila to Pampanga and down to Davao, people are signing up to join Run for Rio, a benefit run for the Filipino international World Youth Day volunteers Close to a thousand people joined the Run for Rio last April 7 at the U.P. Academic Oval, in Diliman, Quezon City with more who joined another run that happened the same day, but miles away along Roxas Avenue in Davao City On April 21, people in Pampanga will run too in support of the international volunteers at 4a.m. in the Clark Parade Grounds. According to Run for Rio project head John Benedict Mortel, the idea to raise funds by setting up a series of runs for the benefit of WYD volunteers came up during an interesting Skype conversation among the first batch of international WYD

The Liveloud concert kicked off the YFC international leaders conference proper at the Marikina Sports Complex. (Nirvaana Ella Delacruz)

Nirvaana Ella Delacruz

Taize permanents in PHL to gather for retreat

IN line with the activities launched during the visit of the French Taiz Brothers to the Philippines this year, the Taiz community permanents in the country will gather for a retreat as part of their commitment to support the continuing pilgrimage of trust on Earth. The Taize permanents are those who have been sent to participate in the 3-month immersion in the life of the Taiz community in France. Slated on April 26-28, the weekend retreat aims to provide support to permanents as they continue with their daily life and tasks in their respective communities and missions, and bring more people to discover the beauty of living in a filial relationship with God. Organized by the CBCPs Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY), the weekend retreat is also open to other persons who have visited the Taiz community in France for short period of time. Registered participants are expected to be at the Betania Retreat House in N. Domingo Ave., Quezon City at 1 p.m. on April 26. The retreat will culminate about lunchtime on April 28, Sunday. To register and get further details, email ECY at ecynsya@ or call at (02) 5279567. (Jandel Posion)

Fourteen of the more than a hundred officially recognized WYD international volunteers from the Philippines are organizing the Run for Rio event to raise funds.

volunteers formally accepted by the delegation secretariat of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth that heads the official Philippine delegation to WYD. There were several suggestions, but this fun run was decided to be the first one to be held. From

there, several preparations have been made including publicity and logistics, Mortel added. Armed with the WYD encounter Fourteen WYD international volunteers who are organiz ing Run for Rio, most of

whom are from Metro Manila, while the rest are from Batangas, Bataan, Pampanga and Bulacan, share the hope that WYD will not just be an opportunity to serve other young Catholics and meet Pope Francis in Brazil, but also a life-changing experience. It is our hope and prayer that all volunteers and pilgrims for WYD 2013 would encounter Our Blessed Lord Armed with that encounter, we can go and make disciples of all nations, Mortel explained. Online registration on www. runforrio2013manila will be open until April 6; 11:59pm. Registration fee for the 2.2 km run is Php250; Php350 for the 4.4 km; Php500 for the 8.8km and Php700 for the 11km run. The 28th World Youth Day will be held from July 23-28, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Nirvaana Ella Delacruz)

Nirvaana Ella Delacruz

ORDAINED. Rev. Pablo Fuertes Ramirez, O.Carm was ordained to the priesthood on April 2, 2013 in St. Julian Parish, Janiuay, Iloilo by the Most Rev. Rochus J. Tatamai, MSC, DD, Bishop of the diocese of Bereina, Papua New Guinea. Fr. Ramirez has been working in Papua New Guinea for two years before his ordination to the priesthood. The Carmelite order has established a presence in Papua New Guinea upon the request of the bishop of Bereina to help evangelize a population of seven million people where about 800 different languages are spoken. Bishop Tatamai explained in his homily that in his diocese alone, which has 16 parishes, 10 different languages are spoken. Fr. Christian Buenafe, O.Carm., Commissary General, announced at the end of the ceremony that the newly ordained Carmelite will be officially assigned to Papua New Guinea. A native of Janiuay, Iloilo, Fr. Ramirez thanked the absence of an RH Law in their time, as he found his vocation nurtured in a family of 10 siblings that produced one priest, one religious sister, and mothers and fathers of families. ORDAINED. Rev. Jose Paulo Lanuza and Rev. Michael Andres Pajares were ordained to the priesthood on March 14, 2013 at the San Sebastian Cathedral by Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra. Both hailed from the Diocese of Bacolod, whose vocation were nurtured by the parishes of St. Jude Thaddeus Parish and Shrine in Alijis, and St. Joseph the Worker Chaplaincy in Paglaum Village. CELEBRATED. Rt. Rev. Msgr. Ramon A. Pet, HP, priest of the Archdiocese of Jaro, celebrated his 50th sacerdotal anniversary on April 1, 2013 at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Candles, Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral, Jaro, Iloilo City. CELEBRATED. Silver jubilee of Sr. Maria Miraflor Aclan Bahan, RVM from Maanas, Medina, Misamis Oriental; Sr. Maria Charita Pagupat Cabunoc, RVM from Lagonglong, Misamis Oriental; Sr. Maria Elizabeth Funan, RVM from Webha, Atambua, Timor, Indonesia; Sr. Mary Ann Saguenza Moraga, RVM from Jimalalud, Negros Oriental; and Sr. Maria Delia Perseveranda Servio, RVM from Ligao, Albay on February 2, 2013. Together with the silver jubilarians, 5 other sisters also celebrated their golden jubilee on the same day. Sr. Maria Athanasia Corales Daga, RVM from Palo, Leyte; Sr. Maria Domitilla Pascual Enriquez, RVM from Norzagaray, Bulacan; Sr. Maria Generosa Lego Grana, RVM from Jaro, Leyte; Sr. Maria Amparo Calo Sanchez, RVM from Butuan City; and Sr. Maria Celestina Tapaoan Viernes, RVM from Claveria, Cagayan.

SSVP national convention marks founders birth anniv

A THREE-DAY convention in Western Visayas will highlight Blessed Frederic Ozanams bicentennial birth anniversary on April 23. Organized by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SSVP) in the Philippines, the 2013 National Convention is themed Witnessing the Faith with the Poor and will mark Blessed Frederic Ozanams Bicentennial Birth Anniversary on the 2nd day of the summit. Some highlights of the convention are the Eucharistic Mass to be celebrated by Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo at the Jaro Cathedral for Ozanams birth anniversary celebration, the amazing race dubbed as Amazing Grace which is an apostolate to 10 areas (orphanage, Asilo de Molo, abused women, street children, hospital charity ward, persons with disabilities, feeding program, pediatric ward, Iloilo City jail), the Vincentian Idol, and the election of the SSVP national president. Other activities during the three-day convention include workshops, Taize prayer, inputs, plenary, reporting, synthesis, presentation of the current national president and the installation of the new national president. Fr. Joel Eslabra will give the keynote address while Msgr. Meliton Oso will discuss the topic Year of Faith and the Poor. Organizers believe that by showcasing the life and works of their founder, Bl. Frederic Ozanam, societys members will gain a deeper understanding of his spirituality and make him a model in serving others, especially the poor. The three-day convention is slated on April 22-24 at the Punta Villa Resort in Iloilo City. (Jandel Posion)

Forum for workers to be held in QC

A FORUM for workers and Church people will be held in commemoration of the anniversary of the International Labor Day this coming May 1, 2013. Organized by the Church People Workers Solidarity (CWS), the forum, themed The Hopes and Dreams of the Workers will be held at the Sto. Domingo Churchs Multipurpose Hall, Institute of Preaching, Quezon City on April 19. The event aims to rekindle the fire of solidarity and unity among Church people and workers to work for a better society where there is fullness of life and equal dignity for all people. Organizers are expecting around 100 lay leaders, members of different Church and workers community and individuals for the half-day event. Mr. Elmer Labog, co-chairperson of CWS will discuss the topic Historical Struggle of the Workers and the Challenges today while Sr. Emelina Villegas, ICM, CWS convenor, will talk about the Church Response in the Historical Struggle. There is no registration fee but CWS said donations from participants are most welcome. Additional information about the event is available by reaching CWS on their landline (02) 584-3190, mobile number 0921-4141089 and e-mail address at churchfortheworkers@ (Jandel Posion)

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 8
April 15 - 28, 2013

Pastoral Concerns


(Homily of Pope Francis on the 3rd Sunday of Easter at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls, April 14, 2013)

Preach with your life, with your witness

DEAR Brothers and Sisters! It is a joy for me to celebrate Mass with you in this Basilica. I greet the Archpriest, Cardinal James Harvey, and I thank him for the words that he has addressed to me. Along with him, I greet and thank the various institutions that form part of this Basilica, and all of you. We are at the tomb of Saint Paul, a great yet humble Apostle of the Lord, who proclaimed him by word, bore witness to him by martyrdom and worshipped him with all his heart. These are the three key ideas on which I would like to reflect in the light of the word of God that we have heard: proclamation, witness, worship. 1. In the First Reading, what strikes us is the strength of Peter and the other Apostles. In response to the order to be silent, no longer to teach in the name of Jesus, no longer to proclaim his message, they respond clearly: We must obey God, rather than men. And they remain undeterred even when flogged, ill-treated and imprisoned. Peter and the Apostles proclaim courageously, fearlessly, what they have received: the Gospel of Jesus. And we? Are we capable of bringing the word of God into the environment in which we live? Do we know how to speak of Christ,

of what he represents for us, in our families, among the people who form part of our daily lives? Faith is born from listening, and is strengthened by proclamation. 2. But let us take a further step: the proclamation made by Peter and the Apostles does not merely consist of words: fidelity to Christ affects their whole lives, which are changed, given a new direction, and it is through their lives that they bear witness to the faith and to the proclamation of Christ. In todays Gospel, Jesus asks Peter three times to feed his flock, to feed it with his love, and he prophesies to him: When you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go (Jn 21:18). These words are addressed first and foremost to those of us who are pastors: we cannot feed Gods flock unless we let ourselves be carried by Gods will even where we would rather not go, unless we are prepared to bear witness to Christ with the gift of ourselves, unreservedly, not in a calculating way, sometimes even at the cost of our lives. But this also applies to everyone: we all have to proclaim and bear witness to the Gospel. We should all ask ourselves: How do I bear witness to Christ through my

faith? Do I have the courage of Peter and the other Apostles, to think, to choose and to live as a Christian, obedient to God? To be sure, the testimony of faith comes in very many forms, just as in a great fresco, there is a variety of colours and shades; yet they are all important, even those which do not stand out. In Gods great plan, every detail is important, even yours, even my humble little witness, even the hidden witness of those who live their faith with simplicity in everyday family relationships, work relationships, friendships. There are the saints of every day, the hidden saints, a sort of middle class of holiness, as a French author said, that middle class of holiness to which we can all belong. But in different parts of the world, there are also those who suffer, like Peter and the Apostles, on account of the Gospel; there are those who give their lives in order to remain faithful to Christ by means of a witness marked by the shedding of their blood. Let us all remember this: one cannot proclaim the Gospel of Jesus without the tangible witness of ones life. Those who listen to us and observe us must be able to see in our actions what they hear from our lips,

and so give glory to God! I am thinking now of some advice that Saint Francis of Assisi gave his brothers: preach the Gospel and, if necessary, use words. Preaching with your life, with your witness. Inconsistency on the part of pastors and the faithful between what they say and what they do, between word and manner of life, is undermining the Churchs credibility. 3. But all this is possible only if we recognize Jesus Christ, because it is he who has called us, he who has invited us to travel his path, he who has chosen us. Proclamation and witness are only possible if we are close to him, just as Peter, John and the other disciples in todays Gospel passage were gathered around the Risen Jesus; there is a daily closeness to him: they know very well who he is, they know him. The Evangelist stresses the fact that no one dared ask him: Who are you?they knew it was the Lord (Jn 21:12). And this is important for us: living an intense relationship with Jesus, an intimacy of dialogue and of life, in such a way as to recognize him as the Lord. Worshipping him! The passage that we heard from the Book of Revelation speaks to us of worship: the myriads of angels, all creatures, the living

beings, the elders, prostrate themselves before the Throne of God and of the Lamb that was slain, namely Christ, to whom be praise, honour and glory (cf. Rev 5:11-14). I would like all of us to ask ourselves this question: You, I, do we worship the Lord? Do we turn to God only to ask him for things, to thank him, or do we also turn to him to worship him? What does it mean, then, to worship God? It means learning to be with him, it means that we stop trying to dialogue with him, and it means sensing that his presence is the most true, the most good, the most important thing of all. All of us, in our own lives, consciously and perhaps sometimes unconsciously, have a very clear order of priority concerning the things we consider important. Worshipping the Lord means giving him the place that he must have; worshipping the Lord means stating, believing not only by our wordsthat he alone truly guides our lives; worshipping the Lord means that we are convinced before him that he is the only God, the God of our lives, the God of our history. This has a consequence in our lives: we have to empty ourselves of the many small or great idols that we have and in which we take refuge, on which we often

seek to base our security. They are idols that we sometimes keep well hidden; they can be ambition, careerism, a taste for success, placing ourselves at the centre, the tendency to dominate others, the claim to be the sole masters of our lives, some sins to which we are bound, and many others. This evening I would like a question to resound in the heart of each one of you, and I would like you to answer it honestly: Have I considered which idol lies hidden in my life that prevents me from worshipping the Lord? Worshipping is stripping ourselves of our idols, even the most hidden ones, and choosing the Lord as the centre, as the highway of our lives. Dear brothers and sisters, each day the Lord calls us to follow him with courage and fidelity; he has made us the great gift of choosing us as his disciples; he invites us to proclaim him with joy as the Risen one, but he asks us to do so by word and by the witness of our lives, in daily life. The Lord is the only God of our lives, and he invites us to strip ourselves of our many idols and to worship him alone. To proclaim, to witness, to adore. May the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Paul help us on this journey and intercede for us. Amen.

(Homily of Pope Francis on the 2nd Sunday of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday, at the Basilica of St. John Lateran, April 7, 2013)
IT is with joy that I am celebrating the Eucharist for the first time in this Lateran Basilica, the Cathedral of the Bishop of Rome. I greet all of you with great affection: my very dear Cardinal Vicar, the auxiliary bishops, the diocesan presbyterate, the deacons, the men and women religious, and all the lay faithful. I also greet the Mayor, his wife and all the authorities present. Together let us walk in the light of the risen Lord. 1. Today we are celebrating the Second Sunday of Easter, also known as Divine Mercy Sunday. What a beautiful truth of faith this is for our lives: the mercy of God! Gods love for us is so great, so deep; it is an unfailing love, one which always takes us by the hand and supports us, lifts us up and leads us on. 2. In todays Gospel, the Apostle Thomas personally experiences this mercy of God, which has a concrete face, the face of Jesus, the risen Jesus. Thomas does not believe it when the other Apostles tell him: We have seen the Lord. It isnt enough for him that Jesus had foretold it, promised it: On the third day I will rise. He wants to see, he wants to put his hand in the place of the nails and in Jesus side. And how does Jesus react? With patience: Jesus does not abandon Thomas in his stubborn unbelief; he gives him a weeks time, he does not close the door, he waits. And Thomas acknowledges his own poverty, his little faith. My Lord and my God!: with this simple yet faith-filled invocation, he responds to Jesus patience. He lets himself be enveloped by divine mercy; he sees it before his eyes, in the wounds of Christs hands and feet and in his open side, and he discovers trust: he is a new man, no longer an unbeliever, but a believer. Let us also remember Peter: three times he denied Jesus, precisely when he should have been closest to him; and when he hits bottom he meets the gaze of Jesus who patiently, wordlessly, says to him: Peter, dont be afraid of your weakness, trust in me. Peter understands, he feels the loving gaze of Jesus, and he weeps. How beautiful is this gaze of Jesushow much tenderness is there! Brothers and sisters, let us never lose trust in the patience and mercy of God! Let us think too of the two disciples on the way to Emmaus: their sad faces, their barren journey, their despair. But Jesus does not abandon them: he walks beside them, and not only that! Patiently he explains the Scriptures which spoke of him, and he stays to share a meal with them. This is Gods way of doing things: he is not impatient like us, who often want everything all at once, even in our dealings with other people. God is patient with us because he loves us, and those who love are able to understand, to hope, to inspire confidence; they do not give up, they do not burn bridges, they are able to forgive. Let us remember this in our lives as Christians: God always waits for us, even when we have left him behind! He is never far from us, and if we return to him, he is ready to embrace us. I am always struck when I reread the parable of the merciful Father; it impresses me because it always gives me great hope. Think of that younger son who was in the Fathers house, who was loved; and yet he wants his part of the inheritance; he goes off, spends everything, hits rock bottom, where he could not be more distant from the Father, yet when he is at his lowest, he misses the warmth of the Fathers house and he goes back. And the Father? Had he forgotten the son? No, never. He is there, he sees the son from afar, he was waiting for him every hour of every day, the son was always in his fathers heart, even though he had left him, even though he had squandered his whole inheritance, his freedom. The Father, with patience, love, hope and mercy, had never for a second stopped thinking about him, and as soon as he sees him still far off, he runs out to meet him and embraces him with tenderness, the tenderness of God, without a word of reproach: he has returned! And that is the joy of the Father. In that embrace for his son is all this joy: he has returned! God is always waiting for us, he never grows tired. Jesus shows us this merciful patience of God so that we can regain confidence, hopealways! A great German theologian, Romano Guardini, said that God responds to our weakness by his patience, and this is the reason for our confidence, our hope (cf. Glaubenserkenntnis, Wrzburg, 1949, p. 28). It is like a dialogue between our weakness and the patience of God, it is a dialogue that, if we do it, will grant us hope. 3. I would like to emphasize one other thing: Gods patience has to call forth in us the courage to return to him, however many mistakes and sins there may be in our life. Jesus tells Thomas to put his hand in the wounds of his hands and his feet, and in his side. We too can enter into the wounds of Jesus, we can actually touch him. This happens every time that we receive the sacraments with faith. Saint Bernard, in a fine homily, says: Through the wounds of Jesus I can suck honey from the rock and oil from the flinty rock (cf. Deut 32:13), I can taste and see the goodness of the Lord (On the Song of Songs, 61:4). It is there, in the wounds of Jesus, that we are truly secure; there we encounter the boundless love of his heart. Thomas understood this. Saint Bernard goes on to ask: But what can I count on? My own merits? No, My merit is Gods mercy. I am by no means lacking merits as long as he is rich in mercy. If the mercies of the Lord are manifold, I too will abound in merits (ibid., 5). This is important: the courage to trust in Jesus mercy, to trust in his patience, to seek refuge always in the wounds of his love. Saint Bernard even states: So what if my conscience gnaws at me for my many sins? Where sin has abounded, there grace has abounded all the more (Rom 5:20) (ibid.). Maybe someone among us here is thinking: my sin is so great, I am as far from God as the younger son in the parable, my unbelief is like that of Thomas; I dont have the courage to go back, to believe that God can welcome me and that he is
Courage / B5

It takes courage to trust in Jesus mercy, to trust in his patience

Stephen Driscoll / CNA



CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 8
April 15 - 28, 2013

The Theologico-Canonical Foundations of the Parish Office

By Fr. Jaime B. Achacoso, JCD
THERE is an oft-repeated misconception that Law and Spirit, or Law and Pastoral Care are two divergent forces and that in a reality like the Church, the latter should prevail. This is what in canonical circles is referred to as the anti-juridicist tendency, which became prevalent in the decade preceding and then in the decade following Vatican Council II. The root of the error is a wrong notion of the Church itself, considering it as a product of the protagonism of meneach inspired by the Holy Spirit, of coursewhich cannot be ossified in a legal system. With this attitude, the principle of salus animarum suprema lex is then subjectified and relativized to become each ones personal interpretation of what constitutes the good of souls. In short, without a clear idea of what the Church is as established by Jesus Christ, and therefore of what objectively constitutes the good of souls in the Church, then these so-called pastoralist would reduce the right conduct of Church affairs to what they subjectively think is the good of souls. The result of all these was the doctrinal, disciplinary and eventually vocational chaos that the Church found itself in towards the end of the papacy of Paul VI in which, to cite a few examples: the Sacrament of Confession was trivialized, with general absolution and direct confession to God becoming the norm; the identity of the ministerial priest was reduced to a simple functional minister, who therefore can be replaced by equally deputized and trained laypersons who might also discharge such functions; all of which resulted naturally in the drastic drop in vocations to the priesthood and to the religious life. Thank God the Church is not just our project, but is rather one of the Blessed Trinity. Hence, the powers of hell can never prevail against her, and in the opportune time, God raised for her an apt and able Shepherdin the person of John Paul II, who was beatified in 2011to restore order to the chaos. In effect, during the long papacy of John Paul II, he: established the means for bringing back doctrinal orthodoxy in the Catholic Universities, Colleges and Schools, starting with the seminaries; and published the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, and a veritable library of the Magisterium in various papal documents; re-established discipline in the Sacraments in particular and in Divine Worship in general; promulgated the new Code of Canon Law, by which the juridic nature of the Church was reaffirmed. It is this juridic structure of the Catholic Churchmore precisely, certain fundamental aspects of itthat I want to tackle in this article, to serve as the bases of a deeper understanding of curial praxis in general, and the parish office in particular. I. The Hierarchical Structure of the Church as the Fundamental Principle of Ecclesiastical Organization. A. The fundamental error in the post-Conciliar crisis of discipline in the Church is the same error that Martin Luther made in starting the Protestant Reformation: considering the Church as a human construct, paying lip service to the action of the Holy Spirit at the individual (personal) and therefore subjective level. These peopleepitomized by the movement Wir sind Kirche in Europe, the Theology of Liberation in South America, and the pro-choice pseudo-theologians everywherewould claim that the Holy Spirit acts in each individual Christian, such that their views on dogmatic matterse.g., contraception, women ordination, priestly celibacyshould be placed on equal footing as the Magisterium of the Church. Vatican Council II, in its landmark Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, reminded everyone that the Church was not constituted and therefore cannot develop as a result of a democratic process, in the way human political communities are established and developed. The Church was constituted formally through a Trinitarian action: Jesus Christ, following the Will of the Father, gives the mandate to the Apostles to teach all nations (what he had previously taught them) and to make disciples of them, baptizing them (sanctifying them through the visible signs he established which are the seven Sacraments), and leading them authoritatively in a new way of life (the way), promising them that he would be with them (i.e., their successors the Bishops) up to the end of the world. B. The essential elements of the Church then, as we see it on Pentecost Sunday, are as follows: 1) People of God: a community of believers, who have been convoked (thats what the word ekklesia means = an assembly that has been convoked) and reborn through the sacraments of Christian initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist). 2) Proper Pastor: the Bishop, successor of the Apostles, who receive from Christ, through the laying on of hands, the ontological capacity for the sacred power, which is subsequently conferred on him by the Ecclesiastical Supreme Authority (the Pope, the Vicar of Christ) through the missio canonica, such that they can teach and govern in persona Christi capitis. 3) Presbyteriuim: a group of sacred

ministers (priests), gathered around and united to the Bishop, who act as his immediate collaborators in the 3-fold mandate received from Christ: to authoritatively teach the Word of God contained in Revelation (Scripture and Tradition); to administer the Sacraments, which are the visible signs instituted by Christ, to give grace; to effectively bind the faithful to a way of life, which is Christian. The Church is intrinsically hierarchical and charismatic. It is charismatic, since it began to exist and develops in time as a result of the action of the Holy Spirit, following a Trinitarian design. It is also hierarchical, since that development goes through the agency of a duly constituted hierarchy based on the Apostles (who were taught and commissioned directly by Jesus Christ) and their successors the bishops, helped directly by their presbyterium (sacred ministers). The Church develops as a result of the interplay between the ministerial priesthood (those constituted as sacred ministers by the sacrament of Holy Orders) and the royal priesthood (those constituted as people of God by Baptism). The establishment of hierarchical jurisdictions is a function of the hierarchys mission to effectively deliver the means of salvation (the Word and the Sacraments) to all souls, beginning with the baptized.

II. The Pastoral Dimension of the Parish Office A. What is the Pastoral Care of Souls? This expression has been quite abused, leading to some confusion as regards the proper roles of the clergy and the laity respectively. In the name of pastoral care, the most varied activities have been carried out by sacred ministersactivities which the non-ordained could have carried out better, while strictly priestly tasks have been usurped by laymen. On the other hand, very mundane taskse.g., fund-raising, cultural activities and the likehave been carried out by laymen, calling them pastoral work or ministries. Properly speaking, the pastoral care of souls refers to the three-fold task of teaching, sanctifying and governing, which Christ entrusted to all the Apostles (and the bishops their successors), but primarily to Peter to whom alone Christ gave the command: Feed my lambs; feed my sheep! The institutionalization of those tasks which are necessary for the pastoral care of souls is what gives rise to ecclesiastical offices, each one of which is a set of tasks for which a necessary empowerment is given for its effective execution. Put another way, an ecclesiastical office is a task or a set of tasks, for the pastoral care of souls, for which the adequate share in the sacred power given by Christ to the Apostles is attached in order for its effective execution.

B. Ecclesiastical Organization . The organization of ecclesiastical officestherefore the organization of functions for the pastoral care of soulsis what gives rise to what is known as ecclesiastical organization. It is the ecclesial equivalent of the government bureaucracy in the purest sense of the term [the word bureau = office]. Such an organization is necessary because of our temporal condition, where all the baptizedlike all other members of societyare subject to the conditions of time and space. Spiritual realitiesgrowth in grace and virtueare inseparably linked with physical phenomena. A bureaucratic framework is needed for the effective delivery of the means of salvation. This is the origin of the juridic dimension of the Church and ultimately the bases of the Diocesan Curia and, mutatis mutandis, the Parish office. For the effective flow of pastoral care, organized into specific tasks by specific offices in the Church, the work of the Diocesan Curia and the Parish office is indispensable. Thus, the Parish office is not just a bureaucratic set-up of pencilpushers; on the contrary, it is a necessary organization at the service of the pastoral care of the faithful: their motto could very well be to keep the sources of salvationthe preaching of the Word of God and the administration of the Sacramentsflowing smoothly.

Using the purificator on the lips

Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy and dean of theology at the Regina Apostolorum university, answers the following queries:

Women as Masters of Ceremonies

Q: There seems to be a trend in some U.S. dioceses to appoint female laity as masters of ceremonies. Is this liturgically correct? The Ceremonial of Bishops, under the section entitled Offices and Ministries in the Liturgy of Bishops, speaks in paragraphs 34, 35 and 36 as pertaining only to the masculine gender, stating that he (the master of ceremonies) shall be responsible for or should do this or that. In contrast, the next section, on the sacristan, speaks as he or she should do this or thatclearly allowing for the use of either gender. Please comment on the legitimate use of female laity in the role of masters of ceremonies. -- G.F., New Orleans, Louisiana A: I will address this question from the point of view of interpretation of liturgical law as I believe it now stands. It must be admitted, though, that the law as such is not perfectly clear. As our reader points out, the Ceremonial of Bishops refers to a male in referring to the master of ceremonies and clearly makes a distinction when it comes to the sacristan. The question is: Does this reflect a legislative intent or does it simply presume the reality at the time of publication? My personal opinion is that the Ceremonial of Bishops did not have a specific intention of excluding women but simply reflected the law in force at its publication in 1984. This law precluded services at the altar being carried out by women. Likewise, the Ceremonial also likely presumed that this task would be carried out by the bishops secretary or another cleric designated to accompany the bishop on his visits in the diocese. In fact, in the previous legislation the bishops master of ceremonies was necessarily a priest at least 25 years old. The law said that all those involved in the celebration should be attentive and obey him without discussion. During the celebration he was director and not a server. Assistant masters of ceremonies could be subdeacons or even younger. If an ordai ned master of ceremonies was lacking, then he could be substituted by another minister. But the law indicated that in this case he should not give orders to ordained ministers. The present Ceremonial of Bishops makes no mention of obedience to the master of ceremonies nor specifically requires him to be a priest. In fact, No. 35 says that during the celebration he should exercise the greatest discretion: he is not to speak more than is necessary, nor replace the deacons or assistants at the side of the celebrant. The master of ceremonies should carry out his responsibilities with reverence, patience, and careful attention. The use of he or she when referring to the sacristan also reflects the reality on the ground, as women have often served as sacristans in churches and convents. Ther efor e, I wou ld sa y
Women / B3

Q: I wonder if the priest can use the purifier to clean the wine on his mouth after drinking from the chalice, knowing that the purifier is used to clean the vessels. J.T.P., Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. A: In principle the answer would be no, at this moment. In his handbook Ceremonies of the Modern Roman Rite, now-Bishop Peter Elliott describes this moment of the priests communion: Taking the purifier in his right hand, he transfers it to his left hand, saying quietly, May the Blood of Christ life then reverently and without haste he drinks the Blood of the Lord, holding the purifier beneath his chin. If he consumes the contents of the chalice, he should not tip the vessel high. He places the chalice on the corporal, transfers the purifier to his right hand and carefully wipes the lip of the cup, while keeping his left hand on the node or base. If a pall is used, this is removed before he takes the purifier and replaced if the chalice is empty. Alternatively, the celebrant may take the chalice in both hands, saying quietly, May the Blood of Christ life. Then reverently and without haste he drinks the Blood of the Lord. He places the chalice on the corporal, takes the purifier in his right hand and carefully wipes the lip of the cup, while he keeps his left hand on the node or base. This procedure is more convenient if the chalice is full. However, in the context of the purifications Elliott makes a different observation: After drinking the ablutions, the celebrant wipes his lips with the purifier, if this is necessary. He leaves the purifier on the altar or credence table, where the servers cover the chalice. Manuals for the extraordinary form are even more detailed but generally concur in not foreseeing a purifier (also called a purificator) used in the manner of a napkin or a handkerchief, not even in the case of the ablutions. I believe that the reason for this difference is not as much a question of hygiene, as one of appropriate use of the liturgical object. The principal function of the purifier at the moment of communion from the chalice is to prevent any drop of Precious Blood from falling or sticking to the rim of the chalice. This is not usually a danger when a priest carefully consumes from the chalice and there is no need to wipe the lips. The purifier would, however, be used in this manner if some Precious Blood accidentally spilled on the chin. During the ablutions it might be necessary to wipe the lips after drinking. This case might arise if there were many small fragments in the water, some of which might stick to the lips.

Singing the Gospel

Q: I know that the Gospel is to be sung during Christmas and Easter Holy Mass. Because each are a season, does that entitle or require the deacon or priest to sing the Gospel every Sunday of the season or just during the octave of said season? For the past four to five years I have been singing the Gospel during the Christmas and Easter season. Are we to proclaim, emphasize via song, the good news of the season? I do not see a clear-cut word in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal or in the missal itself. -- C.D., Pendleton, California A: Actually there is no rule which would oblige the Gospel to be sung in any particular season nor any norm that would restrict its being sung outside of these seasons. In other words, the Gospel could theoretically be either sung or read on any day of the year. The choice as to do one or the other is based on such circumstances as the solemnity of the liturgical day or season, the ability of the minister to do so adequately, and the overall pastoral efficacy of the practice. That said, it is highly recommendable to sing the Gospel on all major solemnities and feasts so as to underline its importance within the celebration. The liturgical norms also highly recommend the singing of the responsorial psalm. This does not mean that the singing of the other readings is to be excluded if the readers can be sufficiently well trained. The Gregorian tradition has several chants that are commonly used in solemn Masses. One chant is for the Old Testament, another for the Epistle, and a third for the Gospel. The importance of the latter is underlined, not just by the fact of its being sung, but by the solemnity of the introduction, the procession of the Book of Gospels, the use of incense, and its proclamation being reserved to an ordained minister. In recent years, several composers have proposed relatively simple chants adapted to the particular musical traditions of each local language. Regarding the importance of singing at Mass, the Introduction to the Roman Missal says the following: 39. The Christian faithful who gather together as one to await the Lords coming are instructed by the Apostle Paul to sing together psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (cf. Col 3:16). Singing is the sign of the hearts joy (cf. Acts 2:46). Thus Saint Augustine says rightly, Singing is for one who loves. There is also the ancient proverb: One who sings well prays twice. 40. Great importance should therefore be attached to the use of singing in the celebration of the Mass, with due consideration for the culture of the people and abilities of each liturgical assembly. Although it is not always necessary (e.g., in weekday Masses) to sing all the texts that are of themselves meant to be sung, every care should be taken that singing
Sing / B5

CBCP Media

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 8
April 15 - 28, 2013

recommend them, thereby strengthening their image and popularity. No wonder, TV personalities are often seen at rallies and in tarpaulins! Absattarov calls this recommendation principle. In carryover principle, qualities and properties of the candidate are identified with the qualities and properties of a known and authoritative person or idea in order to associate the former with the latter. Thus, for instance, a candidate might claim that he would like to continue the struggle of Ninoy Aquino! Propagandists also use simple-people principle whereby the interest of the candidate is identified with the interests and expectations of the silent majority, or of the simple people. This is seen is such slogans Erap para sa mahirap, Mataas na ang presyo ng galunggong, Free college education! etc. Suddenly, a candidate becomes a frequent churchgoer, and even receives communion in order to turn to his advantage the religious sentiments of voters! Appeal to Emotions When plea is made to reason, people may react by determining whether the information they receive are true or not, and may decide to choose candidates impurity, the disgust response will be imprinted for a long time. Interest Groups in Election Process But packaging the candidate is just one aspect of political manipulation. Since in this country, the main thrust of election is simply to capture political powernot really to choose those who could best govern the country the election process itself is being manipulated in order to achieve the desired outcome. Several examples can be cited, but a few may suffice. In the choice of candidates themselves, political parties manipulate the procedure in such a way that those who are accepted to run are not necessarily those who would lead the country into its greatness or the best, but those whose war chest is assured, whose territorial jurisdiction can deliver votes, and whose popularity can attract millions. Understandably enough, those who run for national office may not have even discharged the office of a barangay captain, nor have sufficient experience in government bureaucracy. A candidate may not have a single known qualification except that he is a son or daughter of a former senator or Especially in areas where the locals are perceived to be hostile to the candidate, supporters could be trusted to gather crowds by hakot from neighboring barangays and towns to show that even in the territory of an adversary, he still commands a huge crowd of supporters. Yet, even in friendly territories, hakot is often the standard system, because it creates a fiesta atmosphere, giving an impressive image to candidates. In the rally itself, politicians and their supporters try to manipulate the crowd by engaging in character assassination in the hope of eroding the moral authority of their rivals. Oftentimes, half-truths are presented as the whole truth, political adversaries are ridiculed or sweeping or unfounded charges are made. Before the advent of computerized elections and the use of precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines, manipulation during elections ranged from the subtle to the scandalous. Among the most common, as listed by the CBCP in its Catechism on the Church and Politics, were: using flying voters; intimidating voters with the use of violence and even by murdering political opponents and their supporters;

vote (negative voting). Being poor, voters find it hard to resist these offers that are euphemistically called blessings being shared by candidates to the electorate. Of course, this perpetuates dirty politics and encourages graft and corruption, but although politicians know that it could empty their pockets, and even make them pawns of their higher-ups if they are not to run into debts, yet they cannot steer clear of it, because it is one of the most effective forms of manipulation to assure votes. There are, of course, other forms of manipulation where money is directly involved. Here, politicians act like funding agencies to answer the needs of their constituents in the hope that, come pay-back time on Election Day, these will vote for them. No wonder that even projects funded from government coffers are credited to themPriority Project of Mayor/Governor/Congressman So-and-So. In the provinces, where fiesta tradition is strong, politicians are expected to shower cash when they are requested to dance at fiesta ball. But manipulation often becomes personal; to make sure that voters remain on their side on the political fence, they

Elections as manipulationin one easy lesson

By Lope C. Robredillo VARIOUS may be the ways of describing it, but the process involved in putting candidates into office, whether national or local, entails a great deal of manipulation. In theory, election is supposed to be a free one, or it is not an election at all. But, as normally happens, peoples freedom to elect someone is unjustly diminished by various factors that are in the hands of candidates themselves, their managers, or the powers behind them. Politicians use various strategies and tactics in order to misinform, disinform, confuse, mislead, disorient and even coerce people into voting for them. Efforts at manipulation are matched by the passivity of the hoi polloi that predisposes them to accept whatever candidates or their handlers present to them either as true, good, desirable, or valuable. As a consequence, it is not surprising, since these forms of manipulation lower the bar on the quality of candidates and doing politics, that rarely does our country get political leaders who rise above personal ambition or family interest.

To be sure, since manipulation is, more often than not, introduced quite imperceptibly in their consciousness, people hardly suspect that they are being manipulated in their choice of candidates. In most cases, they do not perceive any external compulsion; which is why, they feel that if they vote for a particular aspirant, they do so freely. They are not aware of any influence from spin doctors who induce them to act on something they never intended to do previously. They scarcely suspect that some factors have forced them to choose one over another. They do not see that their judgment is formed on the basis of what manipulators provide them, or only within the limits that these handlers allow them. They seem not to realize that their perception has been shaped in accord with the outcome that manipulators intend them to achieve. Appeal to Reason It is impossible to discuss all the forms of manipulation; but we can focus on three elements commonly associated with election in Philippine politics, and give examples of eachimage-making, election process and money. When it comes to packaging a political contender, election is probably like advertising it can also be described as an art of deception. Understandably enough, many principles of advertising come into play. In fact, people in advertising are often enlisted to handle image-making. In this area, appeal is made to reason. Facts are manipulated to serve the madeover image of the candidate. As R. B. Absattarov, in his Political Manipulation: Concept and Definition, notes, the volume of information accessible to ordinary citizens is reduced, partly true but tendentious information is given, information that could undermine the candidate is concealed, and excessive information to deprive them of the possibility of acquiring true estimate is consciously granted, among others. To make their candidates attractive to voters, manipulators likewise use names or picture them with known movie stars, sportsmen and other celebrities as if to suggest that these people
Women / B2

on the basis of truthfulness of their image. But far more subtle forms of manipulation appeal to emotions in order to influence voters choice. Here, manipulators address the emotional systems of viewers brain to achieve the outcome of the electoral process. The key emotions that are engaged are fear, anger and disgust. In The Psychology of Manipulation in Political Ads, Joe Brewer points out that fear is a natural response to threats. We have a fight or flight system that increases our alertness so that, when a new threat appears, we can make rapid decisions. Because of this alertness, we tend to break the world into absolutes (black or white, right or wrong, good or bad) and become less attuned to nuanced information about a persons moral character or the details of a policy proposal. Rather, we tend to fall back on our herd mentality and easily align ourselves with people we consider to be like us. During the cold war era, when the word communism instilled fear among the populace, candidates, like the revered Claro M. Recto, who were labeled communists did not make it to the office they aspired for, though they were among the best men this country ever produced. Today, some candidates may in hush-hush be branded as murderers, terrorists or butchers, either literally or figuratively, to create fear. According to Brewer, anger arises when we feel pain. When associated with injustice, it is directed toward the instigator of the harm to the effect that we tend to have a lower sensitivity toward his feelings, and hardly show compassion for him. In the 1960s, the murdered body of Moises Padilla was displayed, no doubt to elicit anger among voters. Disgust, on the other hand, is our bodys way of saying that we have been poisoned. When we are disgusted, our body releases memoryenhancing hormones that encourage us to remember the source of contamination so it can be avoided in the future. The physical experience of disgust can be associated with the moral concept of purity. If a political label, e.g., proGloria, or pro-Marcos, is associated with

president. It happens, though, that manipulators are themselves pawns of a bigger power that likewise manipulates them. People run not because they have the rare conviction to be of service to the nation, but because they represent vested interests that have to be politically protected. In this respect, candidates are no more than masks of interest groups, individuals, or corporations whose stakes are high in the choice of leaders. Once catapulted into office, they have no other choice but to defend, care for and enhance the interests of those that supported themeven against the well-being of the poor. A councilor who promised barrio folks that, if elected as mayor, he would defend their land from environmental destruction may, upon assumption of office, suddenly turn around and extol to high heavens the benefits of miningall because his candidacy, unknown to his constituents, was paid for by a mining corporation. Manipulations Before and During Elections During campaign period, there are several manipulations engaged in, but the most common politicians resort to is political rallies. This is not to say, of course, that all rallies are manipulative. But because they are designed to show the spontaneity of support by voters for an aspirant, it often happens that they are staged deliberately to draw big crowd. Since rallies that tackle real issues do not attract wide audience, still less sustain their attendance, they are carefully planned for entertainment circuses and black propaganda. If a proclamation rally cannot afford known movie and TV personalities, one can be sure that there will be gay entertainers, comedians, magicians, singers andabove allsexy dancers in skimpy clothes, shaking to the tune of Harlem Shake. To boost the number of attendees, volunteers and campaign workers, as Kyle Becker points out in Handbook of Political Manipulation, are even made part of the crowd, sometimes well dressed to indicate that those in attendance are not merely coming from the bakya crowd.

scaring voters away through threats of violence; deliberately making voting paraphernalia unavailable and precincts inaccessible; bribing election officials, including teachers who count the votes; tampering with ballots; deliberately miscounting votes; changing election results; delaying the tabulation of final results in order to create opportunities for changing the results. With the introduction of automated elections, todays technology, however, eliminated a number of these forms of manipulation; but there are quarters that claim that even PCOS machines are not immune to it; if computers can be hacked, it stands to reason that it is possible to manipulate computerized election results. In his The Hacking of the PCOS Machine in Biliran in the 2010 Elections, Jerry Ocampo claims that it occurred in a Visayas province in the contest between Glenn Chong and Rogelio Espina for a congressional seat. The Power of Money Finally, a component that is almost always inseparable from manipulation is money. In order to manipulate people or the result of elections, funding is a sine qua non. Indeed, almost all forms of manipulation that we have seen so far cannot succeed without it. Which is why, in order to win, a politician needs truckloads of money. Logically enough, it is most likely that pork barrel will never be abolished; politicians need it to remain in power. Those who do not have monetary arsenal must seek funding elsewhereillegal gambling, drugs, graft, pay-offs, smuggling, Big Brother, multinationals, order to manipulate people and events and ultimately capture power. The use of money in manipulation is nowhere clearer than in the buying of votes, usually on the eve of or during Election Day. Exploiting the poverty of the majority, volunteers and supporters of candidates pay off voters amount ranging from as low as P20 to as high as P20,000 to ensure victory. Money is offered not only to vote for a certain candidate (positive vote buying), but also not to cast ones

dole out cash for various needsburial, hospital, wedding, and many more. Thus, people become willing tools of political manipulation; they hardly think of rising from that notch of being victims of the political process. Need for People of Critical Mind and Sense of Social Responsibility It is time to conclude this brief lesson. Looked at from the point of view of manipulation, the electoral process appears to be a battle for the control of peoples mind. It is about management of their political consciousness and behavior to pressure them into acting against their own interest, and even against their conscience. Because freedom is diminished, the search for truth and the common good are sacrificed, and human dignity is trampled upon. There is thus some truth to the saying that elections begin as a farce and end as a tragedy. But, in the face of all those forms of manipulation, how indeed can the bar on the quality of candidates and politics be raised? How can we ever produce politicians who can go beyond their personal ambition and family interest? Part of the solution should really come from the electorate. One cannot overemphasize the importance of forming discerning and responsible citizens and communities, people who have critical mind, high critical standards and strong sense of social and political responsibility. They are the ones who can really face well-honed forms of manipulation without compromising moral integrity and ethical principles. But alone, they might not be able to do so. In todays complex society, they will need external structures that systematically support and encourage them. This underlines the necessity of groups, communities, churches and organizations that have a role to play especially in their formation and in their advocacy. Only then can we have an electorate that truly writes its own political history, not passive individuals easily swayed by the whims of their manipulators, always playing the role of historical victims in our unchanging politics.

that the use of distinctive pronouns in the Ceremonial simply reflects the fact that the possibility of a female master of ceremonies was probably never even imagined. Since this is insufficient to answer the question regarding the present legality of female masters of ceremonies, we must look elsewhere for the reply.

In 1994 the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts published an interpretation of Canon 230.2 of the Code of Canon Law. This canon states that Lay persons can fulfill the function of lector in liturgical actions by temporary designation. All lay persons can also perform the functions of commentator or cantor, or other functions, according to the norm

of law. The same pontifical council was asked if the liturgical functions which, according to the above canon, can be entrusted to the lay faithful, may be carried out equally by men and women, and if serving at the altar may be included among those functions, on a par with the others indicated by the canon.

The council replied affirmatively, according to the instructions given by the Holy See. This interpretation specifically addressed the question of female altar servers, but the criteria used would logically appear to cover the case of a female master of ceremonies among the other functions mentioned by the

canon. Therefore, I would say that, lacking any specific instructions to the contrary from the Holy See, a female master of ceremonies is possible from the point of view of liturgical law. It should be remembered that Canon 230.2 has a permissive, and not a preceptive, character. There is no right on the part of the

faithful to aspire to this function. Also, permissions given in this regard by some bishops can in no way be considered as binding on other bishops. In fact, it is the competence of each bishop to make a prudential judgment on what to do, with a view to the ordered development of liturgical life in his own diocese.

Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media



CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 8
April 15 - 28, 2013

The road to same-sex marriage was paved by Rousseau

By Robert R. Reilly
INELUCTABLY, the issue of gay rights is about far more than sexual practices. It is, as lesbian advocate Paula Ettelbrick proclaimed, about transforming the very fabric of society [and] radically reordering societys views of reality. Since how we perceive reality is at stake in this struggle, the question inevitably rises: what is the nature of this reality? Is it good for us as human beings? Is it according to our Nature? Each side in the debate claims that what they are defending or advancing is according to Nature. Opponents of same-sex marriage say that it is against Nature; proponents say that it is natural and that, therefore, they have a right to it. Yet the realities to which each side points are not just different but opposed: each negates the other. What does the word Nature really mean in this context? The words may be the same, but their meanings are directly contradictory, depending on the context. Therefore, it is vitally important to understand the broader contexts in which they are used and the larger views of reality of which they are a part since the status and meaning of Nature will be decisive in the outcome. Let us then review briefly what the natural law understanding of Nature is and the kinds of distinctions an objective view of reality enables us to make in regard to our existence in general and to sexuality in particular. The point of departure must be that Nature is what is, regardless of what anyone desires or abhors. We are part of it and subject to it. It is not subject to us. Thus, we shall see how, once the objective status of Nature is lost or denied, we are incapacitated from possessing any true knowledge about ourselves and about how we are to relate to the world. This discussion may seem at times somewhat unrelated to the issues directly at hand, but it is not. It is at its heart and soul. Without it, the rest of our discussion is a mere battle of opinions. Order in the Universe Aristotles Laws of Nature There are two basic, profoundly different anthropologies behind the competing visions of man at the heart of the dispute over same-sex marriage. For an understanding of the original notion of Nature, we will turn to those who began the use of the term in classical Greece, most especially Plato and Aristotle. To present the antithesis of this understanding, we will then turn to Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who eviscerated the word of its traditional meaning in the 18th century and gave it its modern connotation. The older anthropology is Aristotelian, which claims that man is by Nature a political animal for whom the basic societal unit is the family. The newer is Rousseauian, which claims that man is not a political animal and that society in any form is fundamentally alien to him. These two disparate anthropologies presuppose, in turn, two radically different metaphysics: one is teleological; the other is non-teleological, or anti-teleological. Again, the first one has its roots in Aristotle, the second in Rousseau. These two schools of thought provide convenient and necessary philosophical perspectives within which to understand the uses of the words natural and unnatural as they are variously employed by the proponents and opponents of homosexual acts and same-sex marriage today. The discovery of Nature was momentous, as it was the first product of philosophy. Man first deduced the existence of Nature by observing order in the universe. The regularity with which things happen could not be explained by random repetition. All activity seems governed by a purpose, by ends to which things are designed to move.Before this discovery, in the ancient, pre-philosophical world, man was immersed in mythological portrayals of the world, the gods, and himself. These mythopoeic accounts made no distinction between man and Nature, or between convention and Nature. A dog wagged its tail because that was the way of a dog. Egyptians painted their funeral caskets in bright colors because that was the way of the Egyptians. There was no way to differentiate between the two because the word Nature was not available in the vocabulary of the pre-philosophical world. According to Henri Frankfort inBefore Philosophy, it was Heraclitus who first whole. It is logos which makes the world intelligible to the endeavor of philosophy, ie, reason. In the Timaeus, Plato writes, ... now the sight of day and night, and the months and the revolutions of the years, have created number, and have given us a conception of time; and the power of inquiring about the nature of the universe; and from this source, we have derived philosophy, than which no greater good ever was or will be given by the gods to mortal man. Through reason, said Socrates, man can come to know what is, ie, the nature of things. Aristotle taught that the essence or nature of a thing is what makes it what it is, and why it is not something else. This is not a tautology. As an acorn develops into an oak tree, there is no point along its trajectory of growth that it will turn into a giraffe or something other than an oak. That is because it has the nature of an oak tree. By natural law, in terms of living things, we mean the principle of development which makes it what it is and, given the proper conditions, what The term teleological, when applied to the universe, implies that everything has a purpose, and the purpose inheres in the structure of things themselves. There is what Aristotle called entelechy, having ones end within. The goal of the thing is intrinsic to it. These laws of Nature, then, are not an imposition of order from without by a commander-in-chief, but an expression of it from within the very essence of things, which have their own integrity.This also means that the world is comprehensible because it operates on a rational basis. It is by their natures that we are able to know what things are. Otherwise, we would only know specificities, and be unable to recognize things in their genus and species. In other words, we would only experience this piece of wood (a tree), as opposed to that piece of wood (another tree), but we would not know the word tree or even the word wood, because we would not know the essence of either. In fact, we would know nothing. Nature is also what enables one at all times, everywhere, for everyone. For the first time, reason becomes the arbiter. Reason becomes normative. It is through reasonnot from the gods of the citythat man can discern what is just from what is unjust, what is good from what is evil, what is myth from what is reality. Behaving reasonably or doing what accords with reason becomes the standard of moral behavior. We see one of the highest expressions of this understanding in AristotlesNicomachean Ethics. As classics scholar Bruce S. Thornton expressed it: If one believes, as did many Greek philosophers from Heraclitus on, that that the cosmos reflects some sort of rational order, then natural would denote behavior consistent with that order. One could then act unnaturally by indulging in behavior that subverted that order and its purpose. Behaving according to Nature, therefore means acting rationally. Concomitantly, behaving unnaturally means acting irrationally. This notion of reality necessitates the rule of reason. Reason and morality This is relevant to man alone because only he possesses free will. He can choose the means to his end or choose to frustrate his end altogether. This, of course, is why moral laws are applicable only to man. These moral laws are what natural law means in regard to man. That man can defy moral law in no way lessens the certainty of its operation. In fact, man not so much breaks the moral law as the moral law breaks man, if he transgresses it. In short, when we speak of mans Nature, we mean the ordering of mans being toward certain ends. It is the fulfillment of those ends which makes man fully human. What is mans end? In theApology, Socrates said that, A man who is good for anythingought only to consider whether in doing anything he is doing right or wrong acting the part of a good man or badThe Republicstates that the idea of the Good is seen only with an effort; and when seen, is also inferred to be the universal author of all things beautiful and right, parent of light and the lord of the light of this visible world, and the source of truth and reason in the intellectual. Since Socrates, we have called mans end the good. This end carries within it an intimation of immortality for, as Diotima said in theSymposium(207a): love loves good to be ones own forever. And hence it necessarily follows that love is of immortality. The good for man, Aristotle tells us, is happiness. However, happiness is not whatever we say it is, but only that thing which will by our nature truly make us happy. Since mans nature is fundamentally rational, happiness will consist in the knowledge and contemplation of the ultimate good. (That good, the theologians tell us, is God). Aristotle explains that happiness is achieved only through virtuous actions the repetition of good deeds. Deeds are considered good and bad, natural and unnatural, in relation to the effect they have on mans progress toward his end. So, it is through Nature that we come to understand the proper use of things. The enormous importance of this for our topic is that, since the purposes of things are intrinsic to them, man does not get to make them up, but only to discover them through the use of his reason. He can then choose to conform his behavior to these purposes in a life of virtue, or to frustrate them in a life of vice. He can
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At the heart of the debate over same-sex marriage are fundamental questions about who men are and how we decide what makes us flourish.
grasped that the universe is an intelligible whole and that therefore man is able to comprehend its order. If this is trueand only if it is truemans inquiry into the nature of reality becomes possible. The very idea of Nature becomes possible. How could this be?Heraclitus said that the universe is intelligible because it is ruled by and is the product of thought or wisdom. If it is the product of thought, then it can be apprehended by thinking. We can know what is because it was made by logos. We can have thoughts about things that are themselves the product of thought. As far as we know, Heraclitus and Parmenides were the first to use the word logos to name this thought or wisdom.Logos, of course, means reason or word in Greek. Logosis the intelligence behind the intelligible it will become when it fulfills itself or reaches its end. For Aristotle, Nature ever seeks an end.This end state is its telos, its purpose or the reason for which it is. In non-human creation this design is manifested through either instinct or physical law. Every living thing has a telos toward which it purposefully moves. In plants or animals, this involves no selfconscious volition. In man, it does. Anything that operates contrary to this principle in a thing is unnatural to it. By unnatural, we mean something that works against what a thing would become were it to operate according to its principle of development. For instance, an acorn will grow into an oak unless its roots are poisoned by highly acidic water. One would say that the acidic water is unnatural to the oak or against its goodness. person to recognize another person as a human being. What does human nature mean? It means that human beings are fundamentally the same in their very essence, which is immutable and, most profoundly, that every persons soul is ordered to the same transcendent good or end. (This act of recognition is the basis of Western civilization. We have forever since called barbarian those who are either incapable of seeing another person as a human being or who refuse to do so.) Both Socrates and Aristotle said that mens souls are ordered to the same good and that, therefore, there is a single standard of justice which transcends the political standards of the city. There should not be one standard of justice for Athenians and another for Spartans. There is only one justice and this justice is above the political order. It is the same

May They Be One

Help Put a Bible in Every Filipino Home

No. of Dioceses participating in the Bible Campaign 85 out of 86 Dioceses Bibles Distributed (Jan 1, 2013 - Apr 5, 2013): 72,936 copies Bibles Distributed by Languages - Bicol (1,865 cps.) Cebuano (14,164 cps.) English TEV (8,628 cps.), English NABRE (1,130 cps.) Hiligaynon (8,490 cps.), Ilocano (2,122 cps.), Pampango (601 cps.) Parishes/Communities served in 2011: 1,369 Total Bible Distribution: (Jan 2009- Apr 5, 2013): 881,555 cps. Target No. of Bibles for Distribution for 2013: 600,000 cps.

Bible Campaign

The Wind, the Waves and the Word

IN 2004 when typhoons Undang, Winnie and Yoyong were wreaking havoc in many parts of the country, the parish of St. Joseph Spouse of Mary in Looc, Romblon turned to God for help and protection. Parishioners read, meditated on and applied in their lives John 15:1-17, portions of which says ...You did not choose me but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear much fruit, the kind of fruit that endures. And so the Father will give you whatever you ask of Him in my name (15:16). Morning and evening, the parishioners read and mediated on the passage. The result was nothing short of a miracle. God spared Looc from being ravaged by the super typhoons. The parishioners, hearts filled with thanksgiving, held a feast in honor of Christ the King, bringing offerings of palay, bananas and farm products to the church. In 2006, the Looc parishioners again experienced the power of prevailing prayer and Gods Word against typhoons and volcanic eruption and similarly, against typhoons Pedring and Ramon along with earthquakes and tornadoes in 2011. Each rescue encounter from the Lord brought much rejoicing and thanksgiving to the parishioners and elicited from them a response of praise and thanksgiving offering of their harvest. While the series of typhoons and natural mishaps devastated nearby towns and provinces, the town of Looc was peaceful and safe. Loocs shield of protection was reminiscent of the Israelite experience in Exodus 9:25-26 All over Egypt, the hail struck down everything in the open, including all the people and all the animals. It beat down all the plants in the fields and broke all the trees. The region of Goshen where the Israelites live was the only place where there was no hail (Exo.9:25-26). Jesus, the Living Word took over the reins of nature. Even the wind and the waves obey Him Luke 4:41b. May They Be One Bible campaign seeks to bring the Bible to every poor Filipino home so that household members may experience the power and love of the Living Word. Members of the MTBO Advisory Committee: Bishop Broderick S. Pabillo DD, Fr. Oscar A. Alunday, Mr. Rod G. Cornejo, Mr. Rene E. Cristobal Sr., Dr. Philip C. Flores, Mr. Dante M. Lanorio, Fr. Antonio B. Navarrete, Dr. Natividad B. Pagadut, Mr. Albert S. Tanlimco and Atty. Jose Tale. Pray that plans to hold the Handwritten Unity Bible activity will push through with many participants nationwide, particularly among churches/parishes and megachurches, schools, businessmens groups. To learn more about how you can be part of the Campaign and make significant change, call us at PBS 526-7777, ECBA 527-9386 or visit and Donations can be made by making a deposit to the following bank accounts: PBSMTBO Account #3903-0649-34 (BPI Sta. Mesa Branch) Fax deposit slip to 521-5803 or ECBA-CBCP Account #0251-021376 (BPI-Tayuman Branch) Fax deposit slip to 527-9386. For credit card payments go to PBS website (

Pinky Barrientos, FSP / CBCP Media

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 8
April 15 - 28, 2013



YOUR Eminences/Excellencies/ Reverend Administrators: In 1975, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, in its Pastoral Letter titled Ang Mahal na Birhen, detailed the place of Mary in the history of the Philippines and demonstrated how deeply the Blessed Virgin Mary is part of the Filipino heritage and identity. Indeed, Filipinos would always hold on to the devotion to Mary as a source of inspiration and an aid to salvation . Having appraised such deep devotion, the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines aptly puts it: the outstanding characteristic of the Church in the Philippines is to be pueblo amante de Mariaa people in love with Mary (cf. PCP-II, n. 153). Thus, it is always our dream and hope that we, as a Filipino nation, may not only grow in our devotion to Mary, but above all, may acquire a deeper understanding of Marys role in the Church in the Philippines. Time and time again, we have experienced tremendous

Celebration of the National Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on June 8, 2013
flow of divine grace through the intercession of Mary, our Mother. Such maternal care we continue to implore especially in important events of our nation. In fact, in 2009, the CBCP invited the Filipino faithful to start preparing spiritually for another crucial transition in the life of our nationnamely, the National Elections of May 2010 by declaring the Year of the Two Hearts for Peace-building and Lay Participation in Social Change from June 2009 June 2010. In that year, the bishops call on the faithful to consecrate the country to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the very days of their feasts. Realizing once more the need to invoke the loving guidance of our Mother, especially as the Philippine Church has embarked on a nine-year spiritual journey towards the great jubilee of the Fifth Centenary of the Christian Faith in our beloved land come the year 2021 ushered by the observance of the Year of Faith which offers for every faithful an opportunity to rediscover the Christian faith and intensify our efforts for a renewed integral evangelization (New Evangelization), this Episcopal Conference deems it providential to declare in one accord, during its 106th Plenary Assembly last January 28, 2013, the holding of a simultaneous National Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on June 8, 2013, Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, at 10:00 in the morning in all the Cathedrals, Parish Churches, Shrines and Chapels in the respective Arch/Dioceses, Prelatures and Apostolic Vicariates. For a well-coordinated and fruitful celebration of such momentous event, the CBCP Permanent Council has designated an ad hoc Committee to plan, promote and spearhead the national consecration. His Excellency, Most Rev. Guillermo V. Afable, Bishop of Digos, acts as Chairperson, with the assistance of the Episcopal Commissions on Liturgy and Social Communications and Mass Media, Amb. Howard

Q. Dee of Bahay Maria- Assisi Development Foundation, Fr. Yulito Ignacio and the CBCP General Secretariat. Attached herewith is the suggested plan of activities prepared by the Committee. Instructional and campaign materials will be sent once ready. An in depth explanation of the rationale of the national consecration will be contained in a CBCP Pastoral Exhortation and a Primer now being prepared. Meanwhile, I am earnestly appealingtoalltheMostReverend Ordinaries to organize arch/ diocesan executive committees for the said celebration. May Mary, Mother of God and Mother of the Church, look upon her pueblo amante, the Philippines, with a mothers eye and guide it along the paths of justice, truth and love. Amen. Given at the CBCP Headquarters, Intramuros, Manila this 3rd day April 2013.


+ JOSE S. PALMA, D.D. Archbishop of Cebu CBCP President

The Church and our Elections

Pastoral Letter for the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan
When elections are PEACEFUL and HONEST, the Church WINS in the elections. When elections are morally credible and losers and winners stay civil and courteous, the Church wins in the elections. When every vote is cast from CONSCIENCE and not from convenience, the Church has truly become the formator of conscience and has shown herself as a mother and teacher, faithful and obedient to her Master and Lord. Candidates and voters are children of the Church. Candidates against one another are brothers and sisters in God. The Church must guide and not dictate. The Church must unite and not contribute to the division. The Church must pray and not add to the confusion. The Church must heal and not inflict hurts. The Church must be in the world but not belong to it. Our Guidance How can we your shepherds help you to exercise your civic duty as Catholics? What guidance can the pastors give to the flock entrusted to their care? We your archbishop and priests in Lingayen Dagupan admonish you to examine your candidates diligently in the light of our Catholic faith. We advise you not to vote for the candidates if: 1. The candidate cannot declare a categorical and clear NO to divorce, abortion, euthanasia, total birth control and homosexual marriages or D.E.A.T.H issues. Pro choice is anti life. 2. The candidate has been linked to drug trade, drug possession or drug use or receives money from illegal gambling or has done nothing to stop illegal gambling especially jueteng. Silence is consent. 3. The candidate has been convicted for a criminal offense. Government officials must be honorable. 4. The candidate supports black sand mining or tolerates irresponsible quarrying or illegal fish pens. Nature
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MY dear people of God: As responsible citizens of heaven and citizens of our nation, we must face the forthcoming elections always from the viewpoint of faith and with the mind of the Church enlightened by the values of the Gospel. Our Gift What can the Churchbishops, priests and laity gathered by the Spirit of Godcontribute to the forthcoming elections? Our best contribution is to PRAY that the Lord of history guide every voter and guide every candidate in the forthcoming exercise of civil responsibility. It is only the Lord who can give us peace during elections. It is only God who can enlighten us in our decision making so that the voice of the people can truly reflect the voice of God. If we cease to be a praying people and lose our link to God, our humanly inspired decisions can only lead to the loss of our soul as a nation. Prayer is the most important untapped resource in nation building often ignored and even ridiculed. The Church must restore the confidence of our citizenry in prayer. Remember EDSA. The Church can also contribute a reverential SILENCE in the forum of public discussion. Silence is the language of God. We must regain our vision to be a contemplative Church and refuse the temptation to be popular and attractive. The silence of contemplation is the only antidote to the insane and ridiculous campaign strategies that we watch. The silence of contemplation is the cure to the disgusting, unreal and chaotic flavour of the election period. The Church can be a prophetic sign of the mystical silence of God in the midst of the cacophony of mud throwing and name calling in campaign platforms. The Church is the CONSCIENCE of society and it must remain so. The beatitudes need to be re-proposed. The Ten Commandments need to be re-injected into the lifeblood of our national conscience. The Catholic

Our Boundary What must the Churchbishops, priests and laitynot do during this campaign and election period? When the Church ENDORSES CANDIDATES in political elections she always ends up a LOSER. The endorsed candidate may win in the votes but the Church never wins with him. In endorsing candidates, the Bride of Christ the Church tarnishes her spiritual mission with the stain of the mundane. The endorsed candidate might win but religion has been reduced to a political party; religion has been used for political gain and our spiritual mission has been compromised. We will be lonesome widows after the elections for marrying partisan politics during the campaign. The Church must refuse to play with the fire of political power or it risks burning herself. The Church does not win when her endorsed candidate wins. The Church should not be perceived as winning or losing an election. The Church must be beyond such. Paraphrasing the Lord in the Garden of Agony, those who live by the sword will die by the sword. RELIGIONS THAT WALTZ WITH POLITICS WILL DIE BY POLITICS.

is our mother; if you can rape your own mother, what else will you not do? 5. The candidate has not done anything until now to uplift the plight of the poor. Performance is better than promises. 6. The candidate is giving money or distributing goods to voters during the campaign period. Vote buying is prostitution. 7. The candidate has been involved or linked to terrorism or the use of goons for self protection within or outside the campaign period. Peace is the only way to peace. 8. The candidate shows off religiosity only during the campaign period or is antagonistic to church teachings and practices. Corruption and hypocrisy are twins. 9. The candidate is unfaithful to his or her spouse and children. Corruption begins at home. 10. The candidate has other members of the immediate family in government

positions already. Promoting family welfare and promoting the common good cannot mix. We submit these guidelines to you and plead with you to bring them to prayer. If Jesus would vote, for whom would he vote? Vote like Jesus. If you cannot find Jesus from among the candidates just make sure you do not make Judas or Barabbas win. If you sell your vote, you sell something sacred; you make yourself a cousin of Judas too. Our Prayer May Mary, Mirror of Justice, whom we tenderly venerate in Manaoag as Our Lady of the Rosary, help you to be good disciples of the Lord and patriotic citizens of our country. From the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist, Dagupan City, April 14, 2013 +SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan
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Press Statement

Archdiocesan Discernment Group Urges Electoral Candidates to Help Stop Demolition in Barangay Luz
in Barangay Luz. This was their response to the appeal of the poor households for expropriation of their lots so that they could pay for these lots directly to the city government. Expropriation would have averted the demolition. In the Archdiocese of Cebu Election Summit last February 23, 2013, one of the urban poor sectors agenda was the following: No to forced eviction and demolition. Yes to urban land reform. Implement on-site development of the urban poor communities in public and private lots. We call on local and national candidates to listen to the agenda of the urban poor. We ask them to show us that indeed, they are running for office, not for selfish reasons, but to serve the people especially the poor. Now is the time to do something to stop demolitions and all forms of human rights violations against the marginalized sectors! We also call on concerned citizens to join us in a Prayer Service with the victims of demolition on April 15, 2013, 4:15 pm at the gate of St. Josephs Cemetery, Barangay Luz (Assembly at 4:00 pm at the CCTN Gate). For reference: FR. VICENTE DAYAO Convenor Archdiocesan Discernment Group on the Urban Poor April 13, 2013

IN view of the ongoing demolition (which started last April 10, 2013) in Sitio Lubi, Barangay Luz, Cebu City, we, priests, religious, and laity of the Archdiocesan Discernment Group (ADG) on Urban Poor ask: Why are our poor brothers and sisters in Sitio Lubi, Barangay Luz, treated not as human beings who have the right to adequate shelter? When will our hearts of stone turn into hearts of flesh which beat of love and compassion for our neighbors, especially the homeless and powerless? In the middle of last year, the ADG on Urban Poor was informed that the Cebu City Councils Committee on Housing recommended for the demolition of 32 households

waiting for me, of all people. But God is indeed waiting for you; he asks of you only the courage to go to him. How many times in my pastoral ministry have I heard it said: Father, I have many sins; and I have always pleaded: Dont be afraid, go to him, he is waiting for you, he will take care of everything. We hear many offers from the world around us; but let us take up Gods offer instead: his is a caress of love. For God, we are not numbers, we are important, indeed we are the most important thing to him; even if we are sinners, we are what is closest to his heart. Adam, after his sin, experiences shame, he feels naked, he senses the weight of what he has done; and yet God does not abandon him: if that moment of sin marks the beginning of his exile from God, there is already a promise of return, a possibility of return. God immediately asks: Adam, where are you? He seeks him out. Jesus took on our nakedness, he took upon himself the shame of Adam, the nakedness of his sin, in order to wash away our sin: by his wounds we have been

healed. Remember what Saint Paul says: What shall I boast of, if not my weakness, my poverty? Precisely in feeling my sinfulness, in looking at my sins, I can see and encounter Gods mercy, his love, and go to him to receive forgiveness. In my own life, I have so often seen Gods merciful countenance, his patience; I have also seen so many people find the courage to enter the wounds of Jesus by saying to him: Lord, I am here, accept my poverty, hide my sin in your wounds, wash it away with your blood. And I have always seen that God did just this he accepted them, consoled them, cleansed them, loved them. Dear brothers and sisters, let us be enveloped by the mercy of God; let us trust in his patience, which always gives us more time. Let us find the courage to return to his house, to dwell in his loving wounds, allowing ourselves be loved by him and to encounter his mercy in the sacraments. We will feel his wonderful tenderness, we will feel his embrace, and we too will become more capable of mercy, patience, forgiveness and love.

by the ministers and the people is not absent in celebrations that occur on Sundays and on holy days of obligation. In the choosing of the parts actually to be sung, however, preference should be given to those that are of greater importance and especially to those to be sung by the priest or the deacon or the lector, with the people responding, or by the priest and people together. 41. All other things being equal, Gregorian chant holds pride of place because it is proper to the Roman Liturgy. Other types of sacred music, in particular polyphony, are in no way excluded, provided that they correspond to the spirit of the liturgical action and that they foster the participation of all the faithful. Since faithful from different countries come together ever more frequently, it is fitting that they know how to sing together at least some parts of the Ordinary of the Mass in Latin, especially the Creed and the Lords Prayer, set to the simpler melodies.

Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

social teachings about the promotion of the common good, the challenge of solidarity, the spirituality of stewardship and similar teachings must be taught more vigorously and passionately. The best time to teach these gospel lessons is now as we choose our civil leaders. The Church must be a MOTHER and TEACHER of voters and candidates together. The Church must be a mother and teacher also for all the candidates from opposing political parties. As mother she loves all and refuses no one. As a teacher, she rebukes with love; she corrects with mercy; she guides firmly always celebrating what is right and beautiful among her opposing children. She must be an example of humility in the midst of arrogance. She must be a reminder of the presence of the divine among us.


Ref lections

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 8
April 15 - 28, 2013

Shepherds, strong in faith and full of love

Good Shepherd Sunday; April 21, 2013
own flock personally. (See Ez 34:11-16.) Such a promise was fulfilled eminently in Jesus Christ, the Son of God made man. In his short earthly existence, through his teaching, his miracles, and his loving kindness, Jesus showed himself in innumerable instances that he was, indeed, the good shepherd who really cared for his flock. Eventually, he went to the extent of laying down his life for his sheep, thus living up to the definition of good shepherd which he himself had given. (See Jn 10:11.) After his resurrection Jesus did not forget his little flock of frightened disciples. First of all, he reawakened in them their faith in him, which had been badly shaken by the events of his Passion and Death on the Cross. Knowing that he would not be visibly present among them any longer, he entrusted them all to the care of Peter, the chief vice shepherd (see Jn 21:15-17), and of all the other apostles (see Mt

By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB

BEING mostly a shepherding people, the Israelites/Jews enjoyed thinking of the Lord as their divine Shepherd. They expressed their faith and trust in Gods provident care and protection by singing: The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want . . . I fear no evil! (Ps 23:1.4) And the Lord did take care of his flock in all circumstances. In most cases, however, He entrusted the ordinary care of Israel to human shepherds: the political and religious leaders of His people. These were expected to be the symbols and instruments of the fatherly concern which the Divine Shepherd showed for his people at all times. Often, however, the leaders turned into bad shepherds who pastured themselves, while treating the sheep harshly. (See Ez 34:3-6.) The Lord threatened to dismiss those bad shepherds, and promised to take care of his

28:19-20), and their successors. They were to watch over the whole flock which the Holy Spirit had entrusted to their care. That meant they were to shepherd the Church of God which Christ has acquired at the price of his own blood (Acts 20:28). These human shepherds are the ones who, all through the centuries, and in all communities, have been given the task of strengthening the faith of the other believers and of making visible the caring presence of the eternal Shepherd, through their dedication, their patience, their concern, their selflessness. These are the people called to be sacraments of Christs shepherding love. We need many of these lamb-shepherds, for our needs are plenty. But especially we need to see that their faith is strong and that they are holy that they resemble him, the Holy Lamb and Shepherd, as far as their human frailty allows. For this intention, we are invited to pray today in a special manner.

What fashions a new, wonderful world

5th Sunday of Easter; April 28, 2013
cooperation. He actually solicits it, gently and constantly. He wants us to be the ones who supply the labor, while He supplies the planning, the bricks, the mortar and the stones needed to build the world in which alone we will feel at home. In this way, the world without tears, death, mourning. . . will be not only a gift from God, but also the fruit of our cooperation. In practice, then, the new world will be the result of two loves: Gods love for us, and our love for Him and our neighbor. This is quite an uneven partnership, for there is no

By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB

WE Christians have something wonderful to look forward to: a totally new world. This will consist in a condition of perfect happiness, characterized by the absence of any form of suffering and by the deepest experience of Gods saving presence. (See todays Second Reading, especially vv. 3-4.) Such a world, so different from the present one, will not be the product of mans ingenuity, planning, or efforts. By ourselves, we are incapable

of creating our own heaven. We are even unable to conceive it in our imagination, for we do not know what is really fulfilling for us. The new world we eagerly await is the creation of Gods love for us. He alone knows what can make us really happy forever. He alone can make this plan a reality. Y e t , s u c h a n e w w o r l d a n d new Jerusalem will not be simply a priceless gift distributed indiscriminately to all men, including those who persistently reject it. God treats us as adults. He respects our freedom and values our

comparison between Gods role and ours. Yet, it is God Himself who has chosen us as His partners. Such has been His will and pleasure. It is His love which transforms our suffering and feeble efforts into a humble contribution to the building of the house of love that we call heaven. That final result will be like a splendid flower blossoming out of a dark, small, unattractive seed the seed of our life on earth . . . . The vital force that makes our poor efforts produce such a disproportioned result is our Christ-like love, the self-

sacrificing love of God and neighbor which Jesus taught his disciples with his example, even more than with his words. A love patterned after that of Jesus for his disciples is the only valid passport that will enable us to enter the heavenly Jerusalem, our true homeland. Without a Christ-like love, we would feel total strangers and out of place in Gods Kingdom. With it, we shall feel perfectly at home, and enjoy the fruit of even the tiniest acts of brotherly love done in imitation of Jesus, the Teacher of love.

Bishop Pat Alo


Irenical approach
IN the present question of dialogue among Christians the above-mentioned approach which is tantamount to the friendly approach is the one mostly applied. Its name originates from the Greek word eirene which means peace. This Irenical approach does not mean that the Catholic waters down the truth, but he learns how to present it so that it will be better understood and more easily received. The facts speak for themselves. The fact that the Catholic Church has grown in number in spite of opposition and various trials and happenings argues in its favor. After all, in this free world, no one is forced to this or that faith denomination or religious group. Each one must freely choose where he or she believes the truth is. On our part however, we should help out that persons may be freely aided to seek and encounter the truth. After all, thats what Jesus really wants us to do so we may together find the truth that sets us free (Jn. 8:32). The complete paragraph was quoting the words of Jesus in Jn. 8:31-32: Jesus then went on to say to those Jews who believed in him: If you live according to my teaching, you are really my disciples; then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. Jesus talks about the freedom to do good, not the license to do evil. That is what freedom really is. In this multi-faceted world, a world of so many opinions we must do our part to exert effort to search for the truth amid the many diversities of words and thoughts. Yes, amid the confusion of so much unhappiness. Lets seek for that touch of divine truth that will finally bring us the needed consolation. We must not forget the words of our divine Mastereveryone who searches, always finds (Mt. 7:7). Christ convinced people not just by mere words but mainly by His life and works that show Gods accompanying power. Towards the end of St. Marks gospel you read how God shows the powerful signs or miracles of His approval. These are the signs that will be associated with believers: ion my name they will cast out devils; they will have the gift of tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands, and be unharmed should they drink deadly poison; they will lay their hands on the sick, who will recover (Mk. 16:17).

God sees his own and cares for them

Reflections on the 4th Sunday of Easter
By Fr. Joseph Pellegrino
CHRISTIANS have a very interesting laundry service. Or at least it seems that way if you listen to the second reading from theBook of Revelation.People are presented from every nation carrying palm branches andwearing long white robes, robes that they washed and made white with the blood of the lamb.Im sure you can all recognize that this is just a little sampling of the elaborate symbolism of the book of Revelation.The long white robes represent the baptismal commitment of people from every nation.Their palm branches refer to their being martyrs or witnesses to Christ.The white color means their purity, single purpose in life, to serve God.This purity, this whiteness, is attained through sacrifice.They wash their robes white then by following Jesus in sacrifice, in the blood of the lamb. God is very much aware of their sacrifice, their efforts to serve his kingdom. He knows us.He sees our efforts.He protects us.So often we have this terrible image of God as watching for us to slip up so that he can say, Gotcha.But God sees the entirety of our lives, not just our mistakes.He sees our intentions, our desires, and all that we do.I often will tell people that God sees sacrifices we make that have become such a part of our lifestyles that we just take them for granted.God sees them.Like the numerous times you stop whatever you are doing to make time for someone else, your spouse, your children, a person that needs your attention.God sees those times even if you dont give them a second thought.He sees.He knows.He loves.He protects. The reading from Revelation particularly applies to martrdom.Directed as all the readings during the Easter season are to neophytes, the newly baptized, as well as to all Christians to help us focus on the fundamentals of the faith, this reading reminds us that Christianity demands martyrdom.All Christians are called to be martyrs.The wordmartyrmeanswitness. We may or may not be confronted with the choice of torture and death to preserve and give witness to our Christianity, but we always have to give witness to our being Christians.This means putting others before ourselves.It means standing up for what is ethically, morally right even when, as so often, we are in the minority and an object for scorn.It means keeping the source of our strength, our faith life, flourishing through prayer and meditation, through the sacraments and community worship.These are just some of the myriad of ways that we are called to give witness, be martyrs for Christ. John saw a huge crowd there in heaven.A number no one could count.Today we ask ourselves, Are we in that crowd?Are we wearing long white robes as a symbol of our commitment to Christ?Do we carry palm branches as a sign that we are witnesses to Christ, martyrs?Do we continually join Jesus in sacrifice, thus washing our robes in the Blood of the Lamb? Today we pray for the courage to live out our baptismal commitment.

Bo Sanchez


Remind yourself that youre a saint within

ONE day, a teac h er aske d her students in class to write the names of the oth er s tud en ts o n a p i e c e of paper. A n d l eave sp a c e be tween e ac h n am e, s h e in st ructed . When they finished, the teacher said, Underneath each name, I want you to write the good things you see in that person. Immediately, the kids busied themselves with the task and took the whole class to finish it. The teacher took the papers home and collated the material. On one piece of paper per child, she wrote all the positive qualities written by their classmates. On the next class, she handed out the papers to the kids. They were very happy to read the letters. Wow, am I really this person? some of them gushed. Many, many years later, the teacher received a phone call. One of her former students, who had become a soldier, was killed in battle. Would she want to attend the funeral? She went and saw many of her former students condoling with the bereaved family. As she stood beside the coffin, looking at the lifeless body of a young man in uniform inside, a middleaged woman approached her. Are you my sons grade school teacher? Yes, she said, you must be his mother. My deepest condolences. Id like to show something to you, the mother said. My son had this inside his wallet when he died. She pulled out a worn-out piece of paper. It was obvious that it had been folded and unfolded many times. Even before it was opened, the teacher already knew what it was. It was the piece of paper that contained the list of positive qualities his classmates saw in him. Kept and read all through the years. By that time, her other students had gathered around both of them. A young man beside the teacher said, Uh, I carry mine wherever I go too. A woman from behind said, I still keep mine. Its in my diary. Another man said, I display my list on my desk at home. Another woman said, It seems like all of us kept that paper all these years! The teacher was moved beyond words. Why would a simple piece of paper mean so much? Because heres the truth: Life can be rough. At various time, it can even be cruel. Every time we fail, every time we receive criticism, every time we get rejected, we doubt our worth. We doubt our goodness. We are very desperate for love. We need to love the saint within us. Friend, love yourself. Each day, celebrate your positive qualities. Celebrate your goodness. Celebrate your beauty. Thank God for how wonderful He made you. Love the sinner and the saint within.

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 8
April 15 - 28, 2013

Social Concerns


NASSA surveys stand of 2013 senatorial candidates

THE National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines exposed the stand of the 2013 Senatorial Candidates on various National Social Justice Issues such as mining, freedom of information, national land use policy, political dynasty, pork barrel, agrarian reform, same sex marriage, RH bill, divorce, and contractualization. As part of our Voters Education with our Diocesan Social Action network under the Good Governance Program, we sent out a survey to all Senatorial Candidates last month, aiming to gather and provide information on the candidates position on a wide range of national issues that affect the people and how candidates respond to them, in hope of raising some political consciousness of voters, the CBCP-NASSA cited in a statement released on April 8. The statement added that the issues are selected in the context of NASSAs advocacies and the current trend of development in economic, political or social aspects. The social advocacy arm of the CBCP clearly explained to the candidates that Election survey is an opportunity for the people to discern whether they want future lawmakers to be truly for the people, or for profits or the influential in society.
Road / B4

As we make public the findings in the survey, we hope that both candidates and voters can re-align their action and plans (hopefully towards a more equitable and just society) according to the information we will disseminate and apply critical analysis which can form a basis of their final vote, CBCP-NASSA stated. We chose to send our survey to the candidates via their declared political parties, as well as all published and available contact means. However, we found difficulties in identifying the contact details like phone, fax and emails of the declared Political Parties the candidates belong to; and when we did find, some of them have changed and the offices either refused to receive other candidates of the same party, or gave us the contact details at the senate or congress offices so we can approach ourselves, NASSA furthered. However, the CBCP-NASSA still have to contact the candidates one by one, like independent candidates. There were also some candidates who do not have contact details in the web site and other personal and intrusive ways have to be employed to reach them. For offices or representatives who have received the surveys and have promised to submit, many of them still have

not done so past the deadline. In the survey process, NASSA has taken note of the following: 1) the political party headquarters did not seem to be coordinating with their own candidates as they had to still contact them one by one eventually and still not responded at all; 2) some candidates are not reachable through their personal or published contact means; 3) some are also passing around on who and how to talk to them directly on the survey questions; and 4) some candidates did not put a clear position. Therefore many candidates positions and responses were missing. During National Social Action General Assembly (NASAGA) last August 2012 and subsequent meetings and orientation seminars, it was clear that voters education for the upcoming election will be one of the main focus of the network, both at the diocesan and national levels. While at diocesan and local levels, the issues of concern would be different, NASSA at the national level has identified 10 national issues mostly related to current or upcoming Bills/Laws and targeted the Senatorial Candidates. The survey will be used for the on-going voters education in all dioceses and other religious groups. (SocialActionNews)

Caritas Manila helps restore dignity of NBP inmates through art

Inmates sell their products to prison guests in this file photo.

choose to become fully human, or to dehumanize himself. However, if his choice is the latter, he will not present it to himself in those terms. As Aristotle said, he must see what he selects as a good in order for him to be able to select it. If he chooses to rebel against the order of things, he will present this choice to himself not as one in favor of disorder, but as one for order but of another sort. He will, as we have said, rationalize: vice becomes virtue. It is to the construction of this other sort of order, to this alternate reality, that we now turn. One of its modern architects was Rousseau. Rousseaus Inversion of Aristotle Jean-Jacques Rousseau (17121778) turned Aristotles notion of Nature on its head. Aristotle said Nature defined not only what man is but what he should be. Rousseau countered that Nature is not an enda telos but a beginning: Mans end is his beginning. He has no immutable nature. We do not know what our nature permits us to be, wrote Rousseau in hisEmile. A 20th century version of this view was offered by John Dewey, who said: human nature is not to have a nature. There is nothing man ought to become, no moral imperative. There is no purpose in man or nature; existence is therefore bereft of any rational principle. This means there is no entelechy, no such thing as having ones end within, as Aristotle put it. In fact, reason itself is not natural to man, according to Rousseau whereas Aristotle said it is mans very essence. For Rousseau, the roots of reason are in the irrational. Reason is the servant of the passions, not of the truth. Contra Aristotle, Rousseau asserted that man by nature was not a social, political animal endowed with reason. Unlike Aristotle, Rousseau does not begin with the family, but with an isolated individual in the state of nature, where the pure sentiment of his own existence was such that one suffices to oneself, like God. Nature becomes a secular substitute for the Garden of Eden. Yet this self-satisfied god was asocial, amoral and pre-rational. His couplings with women were random and formed no lasting attachment. The family was not natural to him. As Rousseau wrote in hisDiscourse on the Origin of Inequality, there was one appetite which urged him to perpetuate his own species; and this blind impulse, devoid of any sentiment of the heart, produced only a purely animal act. The need satisfied, the two sexes recognized each other no longer, and even the child meant nothing to the mother, as soon as he could do without her. (Rousseau, in fact, abandoned his five children.) The Marquis de Sade expressed a thoroughly Rousseauian sentiment in his novelJuliette, when he wrote that all creatures are born isolated and with no need of one another. It was only when through some unexplainable accident one man was forced into association with another that his godlike autonomy ended. Man is by nature good, said Rousseau, but we have somehow fallen from

Nature. What man has become is the result not of Nature but of this accident, which also in some way ignited his use of reason. Rousseau stresses the accidental character of mans association in society in order to emphasize its unnaturalness and artificiality. It was not necessary. In fact, it shouldnt have happened. Aristotle taught that you cannot reach perfection by yourself; man needs society and the political order to reach his full potential. The polis is necessary to him. Rousseau asserted the opposite: man begins in perfection, which the formation of society then takes from him. Here is how Rousseau stated his thesis in hisDiscourse on the Origin of Inequality: this state [of nature] was the least subject to upheavals and the best for man, and that he must have left it only by virtue of some fatal chance happening that, for the common good, ought never to have happened. The example of savages, almost all of whom have been found in this state, seems to confirm that the human race had been made to remain in it always; that this state is the veritable youth of the world; and that all the subsequent progress has been in appearance so many steps toward the perfection of the individual, and in fact toward the decay of the species. In hisDiscourse on the Sciences and Arts, Rousseau purported to show the destructive influences of civilization and progress on men, whose minds have been corrupted in proportion as the arts and sciences have improved. In his workRousseau, Judge of Jean-Jacques, he describes himself as having advanced the great principle that nature made man happy and good, but that society depraves him and makes him miserable....vice and error, foreign to his constitution, enter it from outside and insensibly change him. Speaking of himself in the third person, Rousseau wrote that he makes us see the human race as better, wiser, and happier in its primitive constitution; blind, miserable, and wicked to the degree that it moves away from it. The society resulting from that fatal chance happening has corrupted man. This is Rousseaus substitution for original sin. Through his association with others, man lost his self-sufficient sentiment of his own existence. He began to live in the esteem of others (amour propre), instead of in his own self-esteem (amour de soi). In this way man was alienated from himself and enslaved to others. This is what Rousseau meant when he said, Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains. Here we see in Rousseau the origin of Marxs idea of exploitation, carried through, in more recent times, to Jean-Paul Sartres existential assertion that: Hell is other people. If hell is other people, then heaven must be oneself. Nonetheless, Rousseau knew that the pre-rational, asocial state of blissful isolation in the state of nature was lost forever, much as was the Garden of Eden. But he thought that an all-powerful state could ameliorate the situation of alienated man. The closest man can come to secular salvation is to abolish those dependent

forms of association which have enslaved him to other men and kept him always outside of himself. He must sever, as much as possible, his relations with his fellow members of society so he can return the sentiment of his own existence to himself. How can this be done? The state demands complete dependence Rousseau described the accomplishment of this condition: Each person would then be completely independent of all his fellowmen, and absolutely dependent upon the state. The state could restore a simulacrum of that original well-being by removing all of mans subsidiary social relationships. By destroying mans familial, social, and political ties, the state could make each individual totally dependent on the state and independent of each other. The state is the vehicle for bringing people together so they can be apart: a sort of radical individualism under state sponsorship. Rousseaus program was to politicize society totally and his first target was societys foundationthe primary means by which men are curbed of that total self-absorption to which Rousseau wished them to returnthe family. To destroy the family Rousseau proposed that its primary function of educating its children be taken from it and given to the state. The public authority, in assuming the place of father and charging itself with this important function (should) acquire his (the fathers) rights in the discharge of his duties. The father is supposed to console himself with the thought that he still has some authority over his children as a citizen of the state. His relationship with his children has metamorphosed into a purely political one. Rousseaus attack upon the family and his exclusive reliance upon the state as the vehicle of mans redemption is the prototype for all future revolutionaries. The program is always the same: society, responsible for all evils, must be destroyed. To promote universal brotherhood, the only source from which the word brother can draw meaning the familymust be eliminated.

Once society is atomized, once the family ceases to interpose itself between the individual and the state, the state is free to transform by force the isolated individual into whatever version of new man the revolutionary visionaries espouse. The artificial family Here is the point of huge significance for our subject. If the family is artificial in its origins, as Rousseau claimed, then it can be changed and rearranged in any way the state or others may desire. It is simply a shift in convention, a change in a cultural artifact. We can revise human relations in any way we choose. Whoever has sufficient power may make these alternations to suit themselves. There is no standard in Nature to which they must adhere or by which they can be judged. If we do not have a Nature, then there could not possibly be a problem with homosexual acts or same-sex marriage or with many other things, as well. Pointing out that there has never been such a thing as homosexual marriage in history is superfluous to this point of view since mans nature is malleable. It is the product of history. History moves on and man changes with it. Or rather man can change himself according to his desires, as long as he has the means to do so. Since things do not have ends in themselves, they can be given ends by whoever is powerful enough to do so. This is the philosophy of the Sophist Callicles in theGorgias, when he says to Socrates: the fact is this: luxury and licentiousness and liberty, if they have the support of force, are virtue and happiness, and the rest of these embellishmentsthe unnatural covenants of mankindare all mere stuff and nonsense (492c). With the support of force, virtue becomes whatever you choose. It is not conforming your behavior to the rational ends of Nature, but conforming things to your desires. Reason becomes your instrument for doing this. For Rousseau, man is a creature of desire and appetites, to which his reason is subordinated. Rousseaus host in England, David Hume, wrote in A Treatise on Human Nature:

IN cooperation with Shangri-la EDSA Plaza, Caritas Manila held a three-day Art Exhibit at the Level 3 of the Shangri-la Plaza Mall on April 12 to 14, 2013. Dubbed as Restoring Dignity Through Art, Caritas Manila showcases art pieces and products made by inmates from the National Bilibid Prison and urban poor communities being assisted through its Livelihood and Restorative Justice (RJ) Programs. Featuring pyrography on wood as the art medium, proceeds of the sale of the art pieces will financially support the inmates families. Such empowerment helps restore their dignity despite serving time for their offenses. The products, as part of Caritas Social Entrepreneurial Program, are being sold and marketed by Caritas Margins, getting its name from the marginalized sector: the prisoners and the urban poor. As Pope Francis has divinely been inspired by St. Francis of Assisi, the Church defends the poorest, the weakest, and the least important in society. Caritas Manila is the lead social services and development ministry in the Archdiocese of Manila, chaired by Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle. Caritas Manila has been exemplifying its Church of the Poor mission since 1953. It celebrates its Diamond Jubilee in October this year. To know more about our programs and how you can help, visit or call (632) 562-0020 to 25. (Caritas Manila/SocialActionNews) Reason is, and ought only to be, the slave of the passions and may never pretend to any office other than to serve and obey them. Reason is not, then, the means by which man reaches his end in the knowledge and contemplation of the good. It is a tool for satisfying the passions. The inversion of Aristotle is complete. Natural laws or natural rights? A modern day version of Callicles would not speak as frankly as he did to Socrates. He would cloak his inversion of natural law in the language of natural right, so that it might seem to be the same, while actually being its opposite just as did Rousseau. If you are an active homosexual, you claim a right to sodomitical acts and same-sex marriage. Though natural right sounds like natural law, it is not, as Fr. James Schall has explained, at all similar. Modern natural right theory, he writes, is a theory of will, a will presupposed to nothing but itself. In its politicized formulation, it has been the most enduring and dangerous alternative to a natural law that is based in the ontological reality of what man is. Once natural right becomes the understood foundation of political life, the state is free to place any content into it that it wants, including the rewriting or elimination of natural law. The older constitutional tradition thought that the state was itself both a natural result of mans nature and, in that capacity, a check on the state. But if man has no nature, he is freed from this restriction. Modern natural right means that nothing limits man or the state except what he wills. He can will whatever he can bring about whether or not it was held to be contrary to natural law. Nothing less than this is what is playing itself out in the same-sex marriage struggle. Though not directly speaking of Callicles or Rousseau inSalt of the Earth, the then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger said something that characterizes this school of thought: the idea that nature has something to say is no longer admissible; man is to have the liberty to remodel himself at will. He is to be free from all of the prior givens of his essence. He makes of himself what he wants, and only in this way is he really free and liberated. Behind this approach is a rebellion on mans part against the limits that he has as a biological being. In the end, it is a revolt against our creatureliness. Man is to be his own creatora modern, new edition of the immemorial attempts to be God, to be like God. This is the anthropological and metaphysical perspective within which the same-sex marriage movement makes its case. To accept same-sex marriage means to accept the entire perspective from which it comes, including the assertion that human nature is not to have a nature. But natural law is nothing other than what it is to be a human being. Its rejection is a denial of humanity, ofwhat is. (Robert R. Reilly is the author of The Closing of the Muslim Mind.He is currently completing a book on the natural law argument against homosexual marriage for Ignatius Press. This article is lifted from MercatorNet that has republishing agreement with CBCP Media Office.)


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CBCP Monitor

Vol. 17 No. 8

April 15 - 28, 2013

Rediscovering the heart of faithservice

By Fr. Shay Cullen
WHEN he bent down on his knees in the youth detention jail in Rome last Holy Thursday, washed and kissed the feet of the juvenile prisoners and also a mother and child and a Muslim, Pope Francis sent a message to Catholic Church leaders and to the world. It seems to say, change is here, we have to leave behind the pomposity, clerical child abuse and domination wherever it may be, and be humble servants of the poor and the wretched and give them dignity, justice and hope. To wash your feet, this is a symbol, a sign that I am at your service. But it also means that we have to help each other. He then showed understanding of youthful impetuosity and their quickness to anger. It was normal to get mad at others, but let it be, let it be. If that person asks you a favor, do it. Lets help each other. I do it with my heart because it is my duty as priest and as Bishop; I have to be at your service. Its a duty that comes from my heart because I love doing this, because this is what the Lord taught me. He was of course imitating Jesus of Nazareth who washed the feet of his disciples as would a humble servant. Jesus was a charismatic leader with a passion for justice, equality and sought a spiritual and social revolution. How could the future leaders of the church be credible and teach, guide and expect others to follow moral principles and behavior,
TITLE: It takes a Man and a Woman LEAD CAST: John Lloyd Cruz, Sarah Geronimo, Isabelle Daza, Matet de Leon, Joross Gamboa, Guji Lorenzana, Rowell Santiago, Gio Alvarez DIRECTOR: Cathy GarciaMolina SCREENWRITER: Carmi Raymundo GENRE: Drama, Romance, Comedy RUNNING TIME: 120 minutes DISTRIBUTOR: Star Cinema & Viva Films LOCATION: Philippines Technical Assessment: Moral Assessment: CINEMA rating: V 14 MTRCB rating: G

if they themselves did not teach by example. That is what Jesus was saying by his actions. Pope Francis seems to be repeating that message. Blessed are the poor, Jesus said, theirs is the kingdom of God. This is what Pope Francis was saying also in a symbolic way. He sees a Church where humility has been replaced with arrogance and pomp, and privilege has replaced compassion and justice. He knows that abusive priests were allowed by some irresponsible Bishops to continue to abuse children with impunity. He knows that despite past apologies to victims by the previous Popes, church structures have not changed sufficiently to restore the trust and confidence of Catholics in the Church as a reliable, open, transparent, credible institution. Mitered heads may soon roll. Since his installation several years ago, my Bishop has never visited the homes for the juveniles in conflict with the law or the homes for the sexually abuse victims. Its time to change Jesus challenged the religious authorities and infuriated them. Then they plotted his downfall and had him convicted as a political rebel and given the death penalty. They accused him of trying to be a King when in fact that was what he totally repudiated. That is the cruel drama that we re-enacted last Holy week. Pope Francis will be walking on a few precious toes before long.

Jesus gave us the example of that special challenging love that drives a person to care for the stranger, and to help the poorest and most exploited and abused of society. We can clearly see the message of Pope Francis when he was on his knees before the prisoners. He established by his words and action the rights, dignity and the fact that they should have a place in the world. He seems to be signaling to all Catholics to be a servant, a helper and to realize that being a follower of Jesus of Nazareth has duties and obligations that go far beyond attending mass and church ceremonies. This is what Pope Francis said of his mission today. I would like it to go out to every house and every family, especially where the suffering is greatest, in hospitals, in prisons. Most of all, I would like it to enter every heart, for it is there that God wants to sow this Good News: Jesus is risen, there is hope for you, you are no longer in the power of sin, of evil! Love has triumphed, mercy has been victorious! Well, its going to be a troubling future for many a traditional conservative cleric if the Pope expects the clergy to do as he does and skip the scarlet robes, gold braided vestments and privileges and live outside the gilded palaces in small apartments like the Pope himself. Next, he might expect them to take public transport like he did as Bishop and Cardinal in Buenos Aires or even more challenging, to imitate Jesus of Nazareth.

Pope Francis washes the foot of a young inmate in Romes Casal del Marmo during the Mass of the Lord Supper on Holy Thursday.

Moral Assessment

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TITLE: The Host Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Jake Abel, Max Irons, Chandler Canterbury, Frances Fisher, Diane Kruger, William Hurt DirectOr: Andrew Noccol GENRE: Sci-Fi Drama Location: Future time Distributor: Open Road Films Entertainment Films Distributors / Viva Films Running Time:125 minutes. Technical Assessment: Moral Assessment: CINEMA Rating: V14 MTRCB rating: PG 13

Film is indeed a powerful medium for teaching history. Had we not watched Lincoln and been awed by the riveting performance of Daniel DayLewis, the United States 16th president would have remained in our mind as nothing more than a shiny marble statue. Lincoln chronicles the last month, January 1865, in the life of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, as he zeroes in on the last and greatest win of his political careerthe abolition of slavery in America. Director Spielberg does right in depicting a Lincoln that is at once iconic and human. Far from being a traditional bio-pic that tends to paint a glossier-than-reality picture of a revered character, Lincoln shows how a principled man may still be admired despite his political savvy that enabled him to resort to the maneuverings prevalent in his time. President # 16 has been played by so many estimable actors since 1930, but in Lincoln, the role is not played, it is livedto the point that it becomes difficult to tell whether it is the actor Day-Lewis inhabiting the Lincoln character, or the spirit of Lincoln inhabiting the actors body. A well-chosen cast combined with matchless supporting performances notably by Tommy Lee Jones (as Thaddeus Stevens) and Sally field (as Mary Todd Lincoln) add to an authentic reliving of Lincolns struggle towards his goal. To the last detail, the rich production sets are adjudged faithful to Abes life and times, bringing the past vividly back to life to afford the viewer a peek into history. The sessions in Congress where the battle over the 13th Amendment is raging is particularly eye-opening to contemporary political observers.

They reveal that some things in the field of public service have not changedand perhaps never willsuch as under the table deals, patronage positions as bribes, presidential strategizing and pressure on the House of Representatives to ensure the passage of an amendment, etc. The latter may evoke a feeling of dj vu in people quite familiar with the debates that not too long ago raged over an RH bill in the Philippine Congress, and the nonchalance with which some lawmakers dismissed the Executive railroading of the contentious bill. In his rush to pass the 13th amendment, Lincoln utilized all the tricks in his arsenal. Sounds familiar? But of course, presidential maneuvering

of the Legislative branch takes on a different coloration depending on the issue at hand: a law abolishing slavery is not the same as a law establishing a contraceptive mentality. It might also come as some form of warped consolation to Filipinos that their presentday solons (mis)behavior is civil compared to that of the insult-hurling American counterparts in 1865. If in 1865 their congressional session room resembled a saloon filled with trigger happy cowboys, ours in 2012 was simply reminiscent of classroom of overgrown kindergarteners who couldnt differentiate between study and play. One noticeable thing, though: the 1865 lawmakers

hurled verbal darts at one another, but God was acknowledged in the process of lawmaking. In the 2012 RH arena well, make your own conclusions. KudostotheSpielberg-Kushner tandem that brought out the Oscar-winning performance of Day-Lewis, the Abraham Lincoln that came alive onscreen proves worthy of the reverence accorded him by his countrymena doting father, a sympathetic husband, a statesman made of fire and ice, wisdom and wile, a soul blessed with courage and grace, a human being who passionately went after his dream and paid the price for it. Certainly a very, very far cry from being a mere marble monument. (Teresa R. Tunay, OCDS)

In the future, humanity is taken over by extra-terrestials called the Souls. Although they are peaceful and caring, the Souls need to enter into a human body and take over its mind and life. Melanie Stryder (Ronan), one of the remaining uninhabited humans, is captured by the Seeker (Kruger) and infused with the soul named Wanderer in the effort to discover the whereabouts of the last groups of insurgent humans. However, Melanie fights back and struggles to control her mind and body. Wanderer, in the meantime, discovers Melanies past, grows sympathetic towards her plight and slowly forms an alliance with her. Together, they escape the attepmt of the Seeker to transfer Wanderer into another body and enter Melanie herself so she can get the information she needs. Melanie and Wanderer flee into the desert and is soon found by her Uncle Jeb (Hurt). They are taken into the insurgents hideaway where Melanie is reunited with her boyfriend Jared (Irons) and little brother Jamie (Canterbury). However, the group, save for Uncle Jed, do not realize Melanie is still alive and almost has her killed believing she is an evil parasite. Slowly, the humans and Wanderer begin to understand and appreciate each other and stand side by side for the survival of their own race. The hosts storyline shows potential with its unique take on alien invasion and Meyers subtle spirituality. As an author, she is consistent in her respect for life and dignity of humanity. But the film translation suffers irrevocably either from poor script or from the source material itself. The film falls flat with an unimaginative screenplay, painfully dragging direction and overall monotonous performances from the cast. The love triangle is just dreary. The romantic build, just like the plot development, takes up so much time and patience. But the worse part is how the writer/director chose to show Melanie and Wanderer living together in the same body. The production design is laughable in its simplistic assumption that aliens and advance technology should only be pristine white or mirror-plated. These scenes hurt the eyes as much as they hurt ones sanity. The host is easily one of the worst movies adapated into screen. Thefilmmakesonenotablepremisepeacefulco-existence.Beitouter space creatures and human beings, the normal and the supernatural, or primitive and advance technology, co-existence, according to the film, is possibleprovidedthereisrespectandlove.Meyerpresentsalieninvaders as the SOULpeaceful, kind, trusting, and overall good natured except thattheyneedabodytolivein,whilehumansareviolent,aggressiveand selfish. Her premise may lack theological or literary depth but it leads us to ask what it means to be human. Does possessing free will and a body suffice or is humanity something at the core of life where love, respect and sacrifice exist. There is a sense of spirituality in the film as it echoes how we understand lour body and soul. It parallels the struggle most people encounter as they resolve the conflict between human and divine will. More than trying to save humanity from invaders, the film is a story about the nature of lovefor family, friends and life.

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CBCP Monitor

Vol. 17 No. 08

April 15 - 28, 2013

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

CATHOLIC Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Media Director Msgr. Pedro Quitorio III was awarded with the exclusive edition of KCFAPI watch led by KCFAPI Chairman Hilario G. Davide, Jr., KCFAPI President Guillermo N. Hernandez and KCFAPI Executive Vice President Ma. Theresa G. Curia. Also in photo are State Deputies Arsenio Isidro Yap (Luzon), Rodrigo Sorongon (Visayas), Balbino Fauni (Mindanao), and KCFAPI Independent Trustees Juan Abraham Abando, and Emiliano Deliverio.

FBG awards BC Holders with timeless watch

THE Fraternal Benefits Group (FBG) of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) awarded qualified Benefit Certificate (BC) holders with the exclusive edition of KCFAPI watch last April 5 at the Social Hall, Fr. George J. Willmann SJ Center in Intramuros, Manila. With KCFAPIs aim to increase the coverage of our KC members and their families, we have launched this program inspired by no less than the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, honorable former Chief Justice Davide, said Vice President for Fraternal Benefits Group Gari M. San Sebastian. He added that the watch is the symbol and reminder for the BC holder of their continuing support and dedication for the coverage that they availed of from KCFAPI. This is not actually for the KCFAPI only but for their [Brother Knights] families and beneficiaries as well. This is just a first step so that all our BC Holders may later find value on their insurance coverage at KCFAPI. And as a member, this is the primary objective of the K of C: to render financial assistance to our members and families and through the insurance program that we are able to manifest or concretize the primary duty of a Knight which is to be a provider whether he sticks around or provide his families benefit who will be left behind, San Sebastian added. He also cited that the KCFAPI Watch is a privilege and a reminder that they will enjoy the 24/7 coverage or what they called the insurance benefits from KCFAPI just like what the 26 brother knights and families did they were able to avail the KCFAPI watch. We would like to thank first and foremost the guidance of the Holy Spirit through the inspiration and initiative of our Board of Trustees led by Chairman Davide, KCFAPI President Hernandez, State Deputies and the management who are very supportive of the FBG programs and acknowledge the group effort of our sales force from Area Managers and Fraternal Counselors. With this, we are requesting all our members to avail this privilege as a Knight and at the same time to increase their coverage up to the maximum level, San Sebastian furthered. FBG Manager Michael Cabra also acknowledged the awardees through his message. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the KCFAPI watch recipients a big number of them from Luzon Jurisdiction, for the KCFAPI employees who availed of the 2 million benefit program, thank you for setting the example. You really Walk your Talk! For the FCs who were able to convince their BC Holders (KCFAPI Watch awardees), may you have more JUMBO FYCs to come, Cabra said. The timeless watch has the signature of KCFAPI Chairman and former Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr. inscribed on it. It was launched late last year during the weeklong celebration of KCFAPIs 54th anniversary. To avail of the watch, the Benefit Certificate (BC) holder must get a P2,000,000.00 coverage on a single Benefit Certificate. Chairman Hilario G. Davide, Jr. delivered an inspiring message and remarked that his signature on the watch is the same signature he affixed on

KC Phl welcomes St. Camillus relic

THE Fourth Degree Honor Guards of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines provided security for the relic of the Heart of St. Camillus de Lellis, patron of the sick and hospitals, which arrived in the country last February for a series of pilgrimages until March 10. Brother Knights all over the country were requested to accompany the relic in its series of pilgrimages across the nation in preparation for the 400 years Anniversary Celebration of St. Camillus death in July 2014. The relic was brought to Davao City last March 4 to 5. Meanwhile, Fr. Renante Sentillas, rector of St. Camillus College Seminary, advised sick people not to lose hope as the help coming from God is ever present through the various health care ministries being implemented and other people willing and ready to serve them. The sufferings we experience in our daily life can be redemptive and salvific if we accept them, bear them, and carry them in our daily life. It is not that easy, but it is not impossible, Sentillas added. Many sick people have lived saintly and heroically braved Christian life by carrying their sufferings wholeheartedly. (KC News/Jennifer M. Orillaza)

documents when he was at the Supreme Court and a Philippine Representative to the United Nations. Among the prominent awardees were the KCFAPI President Guillermo N. Hernandez, KCFAPI Executive Vice President Ma. Theresa G. Curia, and Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines Media Director Msgr. Pedro Quitorio III. Other awardees were Danilo Sanchez, Milagros Sanchez, Maria Ofelia Somera, Gari San Sebastian, Angelito Bala, Edwin Dawal, Christine Joy Infante, Michael Cabra, Neil Jerome Rapatan, Adrian Boston, Jude Bigornia, Anthony Boaging, Emilia Boaging, Ana Kristel Yap, Virgilio Matias, Elena Bernabe, Gerardo Alday, Marcial Abucay, Arlene Flores, Manueline Garcia, Reupert Manuel Garcia, Arnel Uy, and Rema Pazvia Cabatu. (Yen Ocampo)

Relic of St. Camillus in Mindanao

Inset is a photo of St. Camillus relic escorted by Brother Knights and authorities in Calbayog City. (Photo from The Camillians official Facebook page)

Council 5739 helps build seminary

THE Knights of Columbus San Fabian Council 5739 helped in the ongoing construction of Mary Help of Christians Theology Seminary of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan in Barangay Palapad, Pangasinan. The Council Chaplain and Parish Priest Msgr. Oliver E. Mendoza tapped the services of the local Brother Knights to contribute voluntary workforce in the ongoing construction of the seminary, according to Brother Pompeyo Tercero. Some materials, like the bricks came from Laguna and Mindoro. Hopefully, this seminary will be blessed by Archbishop Soc on May 28 or in June before the start of school year 2013-2014, he added. The San Fabian Knights of Columbus Council 5739 also planted trees around the vicinity of the construction site. Meanwhile, the San Fabian Council is continuing its visitation of the Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help every week. Voluntary donations given every 9th day of the novena Relic of St. Camillus. This recent picture was taken at the Chapel of Southern Philippine Medical Foundation where the 4th Degree Honor guards of various Davao 4th degree Assemblies provided the security and honor from the airport to the different hospitals in Mindanao. These Honor guards were from Mabutas Assembly, Davao Gulf Assembly and Clovis Thibault Assembly headed by their different Faithful Navigators: Alberto Malcampo, Boy Pancha and Hernando Jordan, respectively. District Master Rey Trinidad coordinated with these assemblies for a smooth, orderly and peaceful guarding of the relic of St. Camillus de Lellis, the patron Saint of the sick, hospital and healthcare workers. (MindanaoNews)

Members of the Knights of Columbus Council 5739 render voluntary work to build the Archdioceses Mary Help of Christians Theology Seminary.

Mass Wedding

will go to the Olupan ng mga Pari para sa Bokasyon or the K of C Priestly Vocation Program. To date we have already received an amount of ten thousand pesos remitted to

the parish office for credit to the vocation account of the Archdiocese. This council activity is continuous and passes each member's family whole year round, said Tercero. (KC News)

Luzon Jurisdiction gets triple number one

FOR the third time for this Columbian Year 2012-2013, the Luzon Jurisdiction of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines received Triple Number One in the three major categories of recruitment in gross intake, membership growth net of suspensions, and net of suspensions, deaths and withdrawals. We got this Triple Number One as of March 29. Category One is the most difficult. Last Columbian Year 2011-2012, Mindanao was 12th, Luzon was 14th and Visayas was 18th. All three jurisdictions were never a factor in the top five of category One - Gross Intake, said Luzon Deputy Arsenio Isidro Yap. He added that since middle of December, they were already a serious contender in all three major categories until the historic Valentine's Day and the day after they got the Triple Number One for two consecutive years. Three months to go and I'm hoping, I'm praying and I'm dreaming that our Jurisdiction would make history by being Triple Number One for the Columbian Year 2012-2013. A feat that is difficult to achieve if ever it was achieved at all by any jurisdiction in the past and with the concerted effort of the State Officers and District Deputies. Let us encourage our Grand Knights to do their part and make this dream a reality, said Yap. (Luzon News)

Feeding Program

Mass Wedding. K of C Council 4639 in General Santos City sponsored a "Kasalang Bayan" wherein 12 couples recently said "I Dos" at the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage Church. Council members and the Daughters of Mary Immaculate (DMI) acted as wedding sponsors.

Feeding Program. More than 100 children in Nueva Ecija became beneficiaries of the Knights of Columbus Council 4073s feeding program held recently in coordination with the Vialogo Company.

Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

The Cross

Chairmans Message
EASTER Sunday is the greatest solemnity of the Liturgical yearmore than Christmas or any other major celebrations. It is the feast of feasts. It is the day that gives meaning to all our days. If Christ has not risen, our preaching is useless and so is your faith, says St. Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians (15:14). This may be the reason why the Easter Vigil celebration is so elaborate. It has so many readings that details about how God prepared the world for the resurrection of His Son by dying on the cross and ultimately becoming victorious over death. In this celebration, there is also the blessing of the fire, the lighting of the paschal candle and the renewal of baptismal promises. The Easter liturgy is not only nostalgic about those Easter celebrations when I was young in my home parish in Argao, Cebu, but it also brings a sense of newness as a Catholic realizing how Christ provokes new life by his resurrection. Pope Francis talks about this newness in his homily at his first Easter Vigil as Pope. This newness, he says, sometimes comes as surprisesbut we should not be afraid of Gods surprises. In utter simplicity that characterizes his person, Pope Francis exhorts us in his Easter homily: Let us not be closed to the newness that God wants to bring into our lives! Are we often weary, disheartened and sad? Do we feel weighed down by our sins? Do we think that we wont be able to cope? Let us not close our hearts, let us not lose confidence, let us never give up: there are no situations which God cannot change, there is no sin which he cannot forgive if only we open ourselves to him. With this thought, I wish to greet my fellow Knights, likewise the Officers and Staff of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc., a most meaningful Easter. May the Risen Lord bring joy and fulfillment to our endeavors throughout the year. Vivat Iesus!

The Cross

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 08
April 15 - 28, 2013

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. Willmanns 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 Cem etery, 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.

Michael Cabra

Guillermo N. Hernandez

Presidents Message
In such a short span of time since he became the leader of some 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide, Pope Francis has become so amazingly popular. I dont think this is on account of what he has said to us as by far as it just largely resonated what his predecessors had voiced out before. His actions are the ones that make the difference, they are something else. Unprecedented and so endearing, they radiate the very traits of a Pope that the modern world so desperately needs at this time. Simple, humble, compassionate and loving, he easily becomes the Holy Father for everyone even to non-Catholics and especially for the poor, the youth, the sick and troubled. From the simple robe and the simple cross that he used when he first appeared in the balcony of Vatican as the new Pope, he has already broken some centuries-old tradition and protocol in the way he conducts himself especially in public. It was just so natural and irresistible for the Holy Father to personally make himself available to the faithful. Kissing the sick, embracing the children and even walking the streets of Vatican unannounced, he prefers to be himselfas he was as Cardinal Mario Jorge Bergoglio of Argentinato the dismay and chagrin of his security detail. No doubt, Pope Francis at this early has shown us what a Catholic should and must be, the one at the top bending down to touch those below. In Buenos Aires where he was once a Jesuit Provincial and later as Archbishop, he is simply called Fr. Jorge who is popularly known for taking the bus, cooking his own meals, paying his own bills and taking time with people in the streets that, like him, live in simplicity. His taking of the name Francis, which is unprecedented, signals of what kind of pope he wishes to be: a reformer that works through evangelical spirituality and radical povertylike St. Francis of Assisi. With his example that is worth emulating not only by bishops and priests but also by lay persons, I must say that like what Blessed John Paul II foresaw in his Tertio Millennio Adveniente during the Great Jubilee Year 2000, the Church is now at the springtime of new Christian life.

My Brother's Keeper
EGGS, in general, are a tra ditional symbol of rebirth. In Christianity, they symbolize the empty tomb of Jesus. Though an egg appears to be like the stone of a tomb, a bird hatches from it with life. Similarly, the Easter Egg, for us Catholics, is a reminder that Jesus rose from the grave, and that those who believe in Him will also experience eternal life. We at KCFAPI feel the same way for every benefit certificate delivered to our fellow Brother Knights and family members. We believe that in each Benefit Certificate we deliver, a new life will soon benefit from it. The period of insurance con tribution may appear like a 40 day season of Lent for some, but maturities and Family Benefit is indeed like a Golden

Golden Eggs with KCFAPI

Egg found during the hunt on Easter Sundays. KC Assurance plan is one example of a Golden Egg. A forty year old Brother Knight who gets a P1Million insurance coverage will only save about P80,350 every year. It is only P220.00 per day for the next 6 years. He would have contributed only a total of P482,100 for a P1Million insurance coverage which increases every year until it doubles to P2Million on the ninth year and up. No other financial company can offer this much of a guaranteed protection. Indeed a Golden Egg available only for K of C Brother Knights and immediate Family members. For a comprehensive presentation of KC Assurance plan, please feel free to contact a fraternal counselor in your area.

FBG to hold Service Training in 3 Jurisdictions

TRAINING is the key to competitiveness and staying competitive is the key to sustainability. With this as inspiration, the Fraternal Benefits Group (FBG) of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) conducted a simultaneous Fraternal Service Training nationwide which started second week of April and runs until the fourth week of the month. The training will provide an opportunity and broad struc ture for the organization and will also help the participants in attaining their personal growth, according to Fraternal Benefits Group Manager Mi chael Cabra. Specific topics to be discussed are the sales processes and plans and programs of the group. The training also aims to help the fraternal counselors become familiarized with the Order of the Knights of Columbus and history of the insurance arm of the Order. An Area Managers meeting was also held on April 16 at the KCFAPI Social Hall in Intramuros, Manila. (Yen Ocampo)

FBG visits Northern and Northwestern Luzon

THE Fraternal Benefits Group of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc (KCFAPI) headed by the Vice President for FBG Gari San Sebastian held a series of meetings in Northern and Northwestern Luzon from March 26 to 28. More than 20 Fraternal Counselors attended from Northern Luzon Cordillera Braves including the Area Manager of the Year Salvador R. Aspuria, Sr. and three other awardees including the FC of the Year Runner Up, Anthony N. Boaging. We discussed about the first quarter performance and activity strategy to hit early attainment and target in 2013 and to surpass their performance in 2012. I also gave them some updates on KCFAPI products, sales analysis, product re-orientation, FC incentives programs, and FBG plans and program for the year, said San Sebastian. Meanwhile, the KCFAPI-FBG went to Vigan with the Northwestern Luzon Thunders last March 27. One of the District Deputies Mario Valmaceda handed over to me a new council, a newly formed council for possible chartering within this year, San Sebastian added. He likewise mentioned that the Northwestern Luzon Thunders group was able to hit their first quarter target and according to Area Manager Josefino Valencia, they are very optimistic that they will hit their assigned targets for the year. He added that they also held a membership campaign for growth & development and FC recruitment. (FBG News)

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 08
April 15 - 28, 2013

The Cross


A Pope of Charity, Unity and Fraternity

The faithful, charitable witness of Pope Francis highlights the timeless importance of the Knights founding principles
Givney speak of our Orders call to charity, unity and fraternity. The popes address was a clear call to these virtues, which are the fundamental principles of our Order. How inspiring for us to have those principles highlighted and reinvigorated by Pope Francis call for charity, love, trust, fraternity and brotherhoodand how clearly his words highlight the timeless relevance of our Order 131 years after its establishment by Venerable Father McGivney! The popes election was a joyful moment for the Knights of Columbus and the Church. We have in Pope Francis a holy man, a dedicated man and a man who will lead the Church forward in its mission of the new evangelization. As his greeting to the world made so clear, there is much in common with the core principles of our Order and those of our Holy Father. And in many ways, we share a very similar history with him. His roots, like the Knights, are in the Americas. And as more than one person has remarked to me, Pope Francis is the son of European immigrants in the New World, just as Father McGivney was. Whats more, Pope Francislike Father McGivney and generations of Knights after himis well known for his personal work with the poor and those most in need. Even his choice of name Francisevokes not just St. Francis of Assisis charity, but also the words the Lord spoke to that humble saint: Rebuild my Church. It is a stirring reminder of the need to continue our work of the new evangelization, of rebuilding the Church through prayer and living out faith through charity. St. Francis life, like that of our new Holy Father, was a daily witness to love of God and neighborand ours must be too. Our principles are just words if we do not live them out. In his first homily as our Holy Father, Pope Francis said, If we do not profess Jesus Christ, things go wrong. We may become a charitable NGO, but not the Church, the Bride of the Lord. When we are not walking, we stop moving. When we are not building on the stones, what happens? The same thing that happens to children on the beach when they build sandcastles: everything is swept away, there is no solidity. So as we celebrate Pope Francis election and the recent 131st anniversary of our Orders founding, let us all as Knights redouble our efforts as men of faithand men of action based on that faith.

By Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson

JUST days ago, I stood in St. Peters Square in Rome as the new Holy Father, Pope Francis, was introduced. As the pope came out onto the balcony to address Rome and the world for the first time, he said: And now let us begin this journey, [together] as bishop and people. This journey of the Church of Rome, which is to preside over all the Churches in charity, is a journey of fraternity, of love, of trust between us. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the world, so that a great brotherhood may be created. When I heard those words, I felt the way our first supreme knight, James T. Mullen, must have felt 131 years ago when he heard Father Michael J. Mc-

Let us also pray for our Holy Father as he requested the evening of his election, and let us work even harder for those who need the most help in our society. Let us invite the men of our councils to become even more active in service to their neigh-

bors. In short, let us take the call of both Father McGivney and Pope Francis to heart and live out charity to our neighbor, in unity with our Church and our Holy Father, and in the spirit of fraternity. Vivat Jesus!

FBG to hold service training program

THE Fraternal Benefits Group (FBG) of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) will hold a two-day fraternal service training program on April 25-26 at the KCFAPI Social Hall in Intramuros, Manila. The training will provide orientation to participants regarding the Order of the Knights of Columbus and its insurance arm, the KCFAPI whose primary objective is to provide optimum mutual benefits to all its Brother Knights and their immediate families. The participants will also learn the featured plans of KCFAPI like KC CARES and other insurance benefit plans. Regular speakers are Benefit Certificate Holders Relations Office Manager, Edwin B. Dawal and Underwriting Department Manager, Carmelita S. Ruiz. FBG Vice President Gari San Sebastian and FBG Manager Migz Cabra will discuss the fraternal service program and incentives, sales technique, and updates regarding the various KCFAPI products. (KCFAPI News)

Pope Francis could renew Catholicism in Americas, says Knights chief

JUST as Pope John Paul II influenced many in Poland, the rise of an Argentinian to the papacy is set to dramatically change the lives of many Christians, according to the head of the Knights of Columbus. "I think it offers the same kind of a potential for a great renewal of Catholicism and Christianity all throughout the Western Hemisphere," Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said. Last March 13, the 76-year-old head of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was elected Pope. A humble man by all accounts, the Jesuit priest took the name Francis after the famous 13th-century saint of Assisi. Anderson compared the recent election to Bl. John Paul II's election in 1978 that brought hope to Eastern Europeans in the midst of the Cold War. "35 years later now," he said, "we have a Pope coming from Latin America, from the Americas, and I'm sure in the United States so many millions of Hispanic Catholics are looking now to Pope Francis as someone who will really change their lives for the better, too." Since 1881, Anderson's Knights have made it their mission to offer assistance to people throughout the Americas and abroad according to their founding principles of charity, unity and fraternity. Their presence is felt throughout the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean and even overseas through their 1.8 million members. They have also been prominent in promoting Bl. John Paul II's idea of uniting North and South as "a single entity with a Christian heritage and a Christian future," as Anderson put it. The Knights are enthused that this concept is well engrained in the experience of the Buenos Aires-born Pope. "Pope Francis speaks directly to that, is a product of that," said Anderson. "His entire ministry has been that and so we're going to be strongly united with him in moving this forward." Their work of better uniting members of the Catholic Church in the Americas has been given a major boost with the election of a Latin American pope. "I think the next step will be to bring this reflection more closely into North America and into the entire Western Hemisphere, that we can begin to do the work, not just speak about the potential but begin the actualization of the potential." For the Knights, said the Supreme Knight, "it's going to be a very important pontificate." As for their specific work at this point, he concluded, "we need to take our part and cooperate with so many others in the Church's reality, build the Church like the Lord said to Francis and I think we're going to see Him say the same thing to Pope Francis." (CNA/ EWTN News)

First Degree Exemplification

The K of C Council 15139 conducted a first degree exemplification rites last March 31 at their chamber in Maywood Village 2, KM 18, Paraaque City

Visayas Jurisdiction holds simultaneous Walk for Life rallies

Brother Knights from different councils participated in the Walk for Life rally held on March 23.

THE Knights of Columbus Visayas Jurisdiction led by State Deputy Rodrigo N. Sorongon held a simultaneous Walk for Life Rally last March 23 in three regions -Western Visayas, Central Visayas and Eastern Visayas. The rally demonstrated their op position to any form of abortion. Right to life participants from Iloilo Province - South, Central and North marched through the streets around

Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral and proceeded to the Auditorium for a short program. Rev. Father Esperidion Celiz and Rev. Father Nathaniel Genpeson in their separate messages, commended the outstanding public witness of the brother knights to the fundamental human right to life and to the moral imperative of upholding the dignity of each member of human family. (VizNews)

News Briefs
CONGRATULATIONS to newly Chartered San Mateo Municipal College Council 15660 and to District A-12 District Deputy Charlie Maghanoy and Council Grand Knight John Noland Santiago. Council 15660 is the 1st College Council in the Province of Rizal and in the Diocese of Antipolo. *** The K of C Council 8254 will be holding a family day on April 21. This activity aims to strengthen the relationship of the families, according to Diego A. Arias, Council Director. *** The Fr. Alfredo Paguia SJ Council 3362 which considers the Metropolitan Cathedral of Immaculate Conception as its home is the host for the visiting Relic of St Therese in Zamboanga City which started last March 12. Great task awaits members of the Council during the arrival, veneration and sending off of the Relic. *** The Visayas Jurisdiction will conduct their 9th Visayas State Convention on May 18-19 at the Bohol Tropics Resort Hotel. *** A Blood Letting Program was recently held through the K of C Visayas Jurisdiction and spearheaded by Brothers Nelson Lopez and Vic Buendia (Iloilo South and Central). More than a hundred people voluntarily donated blood at the Alta Tierra Integrated School at Alta Tierra Village, Jaro, Iloilo City to save other peoples lives.

Alan Holdren / CNA


FBG creates fanpage for AMs, FCs

The Cross

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 17 No. 08

April 15 - 28, 2013

Visayas Jurisdiction holds bloodletting activity

THE Knights of Columbus Visayas Jurisdiction in South and Central Iloilo organized a bloodletting program in cooperation with the Philippine National Red Cross. The event was held at the Alta Tierra Village in Jaro, Iloilo and was organized by two pro active Provincial Deputies, Nelson Lopez and Vicente Buendia, Jr., and supported by various district deputies and councils. Other activities were also held on the same day, like eye consultation, food nutrition, therapy, insurance promotion and membership campaign. This multi-faceted activity was the first of its kind. In totality, the project was a great success, said Visayas Deputy Rodrigo Sorongon. Exemplification A day earlier, Bro. Sorongon together with State Program Director Noeni Nepomuceno and State Essay Chairman Edgardo Gerada went to Eastern Visayas to hold Third Degree Exemplification rites. Exemplification Teams for the Third Degree in the Eastern Visayas Region were also

THE Fraternal Benefits Group (FBG) has revived its Facebook fan page for more interaction between the Area Managers and their Fraternal Counselors. Many appreciated the activities and events of FBG using the social media, according to FBG Manager Michael Cabra. We also developed a facebook fan page for our Area Managers and their Fraternal Counselors and every time we have meetings, Fraternal Service Trainings events, we keep it posted and updated as well, Mr. Cabra added. Bro. Migz mentioned that Top AM for the Month will be announced using facebook and other social media. Mr. Cabra also urged his fellow Brother Knights to like and share their three FB fan page -KCFAPI-FBG, KCFAPI-AM, and KCFAPI-FC. (FBG News)

Forum on family, culture of death slated

Sunstar Editor Nini Cabaero receives a plaque of appreciation from K of C Provincial Deputy Ramon E. Aguilar. Cabaero delved on the importance of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill and its implications during the Forum: Culture of Life. Looking on is Communications Director Emm R. Espina.

Brother Knights of South and Central Iloilo.

Nueva Ecija and Aurora hold 2nd Grand Family Day

present to observe the ceremony based on the new exemplification handbook. The following day, the same team went to Central Visayas Region to hold the Third Degree exemplification. The local team is hoping to precisely and with uniformity execute the ceremonial procedures as mandated by the new Third Degree Exemplification handbook.

Bro. Sorongon met the Provincial Deputies and District Deputies of Eastern and Central Visayas, and discussed the membership campaign, council reactivation, payment of Supreme Dues and Council management. He also invited them to campaign for more participants to attend the upcoming Visayas Convention on May 18-19 at Bohol Tropics Resort in Bohol. (Anthony Nazario)

A FORUM about the continuous assault of the culture of death on the family and society was held by the Knights of Columbus Visayas Jurisdic tion last March 16 at the Sacred Heart Center, D. Jakosalem St. Cebu City. The forum, entitled the Forum: Culture of Life, aimed to create more awareness es pecially in the wake of the passage of the RH Bill, Divorce Law, and Freedom of Information. Resource speakers were lawyer and author Makilito Ma hinay, who discussed the RH Law. Bro. Mahinay is a fourth degree knight. Also invited was Sun Star

Editor Nini Cabaero, who delved on the Freedom of Information Bill and its im plications on the basic rights of the public to have access to public records. The forum which was or ganized by the Knights of Columbus Metro Cebu, the Knights Journal and Skygo was participated in by personalities from the academe, professionals, and media. Provincial Deputy Ramon Aguilar announced that the forum was only the start of an advocacy initiated by the Metro Cebu Knights and will be held on a bi-monthly basis in the succeeding months. (Ramon E. Aguilar/VizNews)

2013 FC of the First Quarter

BROTHER Lauro L. Evangelista, also known as Bro. Larry, has been with KCFAPI since 2001 under the effective leadership of Central Luzon Believ ers Area Manager Bro. Efren M. Ca supanan. Bro. Larry is a consistent awardee since he started as a fraternal coun selor, a three time Fr. Willmann, SJ Knights of the Round Table or WKRT and 2 times FC of the Year in 2008 to 2009. He is blessed with a loving wife, Cecilia, a science teacher at Marcelo H. Del Pilar National High School and two kids, Ces Lauraine, age 15, a 3rd year High School student of MHPHS, and Marc Emman, age 11, a Grade 6 student of Plaridel Bible Church Sunbeam School, Malolos Bulacan. He was so happy and ex -

Children playing with the clowns during the second Knights of Columbus Grand Family Day in Nueva Ecija and Aurora last April 6.

THE provinces of Nueva Ecija and Aurora held their second Knights of Columbus Grand Family Day last April 6 at the Crystal Wave Resort Hotel and Restaurant in Talavera, Nueva Ecija. Hundreds of Brother Knights together with their families attended the event including some Luzon state officials such as Boni

Martinez, Pasky Carbero, Monchit Ocampo, Romy Estrella. Also in attendance were KCFAPI Vice President for Fraternal Benefits Group Gari San Sebastian and Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) for Life Network Administrator Raymond Bandril. Central Luzon Area Manager Manuel Naldoza noted that the

guests enjoyed the raffle prizes, free ice cream, pop corn, cotton candy for the children, fun games, welcome drinks, pick a prize discounted entrance fee for K of C members and families, photo booth, among others. There were a lot of games and prizes prepared for the kids and sister wives. There were 1000 servings of ice cream, 1000 wel-

come drinks 600 cotton candies for the children and participants, entrance, zipline, rooms all at 50% off and a lot of surprises, said Naldoza. The second K of C Grand Family Day was a joint project of the Roundtable of District Deputies of Nueva Ecija and Aurora and the KCFAPI- Central Luzon Conquerors. (KCFAPI News)

cited when he was informed of the good news. He said, I really worked hard for it, and hope to continue until I attain my dream of P5Million FYC for 2013. Kudos to you Bro. Larry! May you have more benefit certificates to close and continuously inspire other fraternal counselors. (Migz Cabra / FBG News)

Chamber Blessing

Kcfapi makes its mark in the Year of Faith

KCFAPI had its maiden two-hour session of a series of monthly catechism last March 21, 2013 with the theme revolving around The Season of Lent in the context of the Year of Faith. The catechist was none other than Bro. Chito Jongco who is currently the Head Servant of the Beloved of the Lord Community and a member of the Catholic Lay Preachers of the Philippines and the Federation of Transparochial Charismatic Community. He likewise gives talks to different spiritual communities and even in government agencies like the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Senate. He has a radio program in DZRV, Veritas Station, aired every Sunday from 9:3010:00pm. In response to the call of the Catholic Church to develop and demonstrate ones faith, the KCFAPI, will invite various speakers to help employees appreciate, practice and profess their faith. The line-up of monthly themes has been selected by KCFAPIs spiritual director, Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio III. Bro. Chito cited several examples from the bible why humans reject Gods call by making three excuses: cannot attend to Gods invitation because he is busy taking care of his land, busy attending to his oxen and lastly, attending to his newly-wed wife. Bro. Chito explained that these excuses are symbolisms. The land stands for the tangible properties we own such as houses and cars, the oxen symbolizes business or occupation and the wife represents our family or loved ones. He asked the participants to make no excuses and always heed Gods call or invitation. He then discussed the difference between praying and merely reciting a prayer. As compared to just saying a prayer, talking to God requires some sense of action. One cannot be inconsistent, praying faithfully and doing wrong things at the same time. He made mention of several wrong beliefs that some Catholics still practice, including knock on wood. The speaker concluded the catechism by inviting the participants to attend more spiritual gatherings, read the bible and attend prayer meetings to deepen or enrich ones faith in the Lord. He reminded everyone never to use being busy as an excuse for not doing the work of God. (Lei Ann B. Palacay)

Chamber Blessing. The blessing of the newly constructed K of C Chamber of Sto.Rosario Council 14273 of Bgry. Igang, Pototan, Iloilo was held last March 31 led by KC Chaplain Fr. Bernard Taypen. Visayas State Treasurer Jun Jo led the ribbon cutting ceremony, assisted by Grand Knight Julius Decepulo and Brgy. Captain of Brgy. Igang Jssie Almeria, who is also a senior Knight.