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Choose bishops carefully, Pope advises diplomats

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The law of love

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The News Supplement of Couples for Christ

Ugnayan

Mining firm threatens human rights in Tampakan — report
A SUBSIDIARY of the Zug-based giant Xtrata group is threatening the basic human rights of indigenous peoples in a mining site in South Cotabato province in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao. Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI) of the Glencore-Xtrata group plans to exploit Asia’s biggest copper and gold mine in the municipality of Tampakan despite vehement opposition from various quarters for its impact on the indigenous peoples com-

June 24 - July 7, 2013

Vol. 17 No. 13

Php 20.00

Mining / A6

Pope to G8 president: Serve humanity, the poorest and most vulnerable
POPE Francis wrote the president of the G8 group of nations— Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron—asking to serve humanity, beginning with the poorest and most vulnerable. The summit which kicked off at Lough Erne in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland tackled key issues which include taxes, transparency and trade or 3Ts. Pope Francis in his letter (See page B5) reiterated the need to have ‘respect for the truth of man’, which according to him ‘is not simply an additional economic factor, or a disposable good, but is equipped with a nature and a dignity that cannot be reduced to simple economic calculus.’ The pope wasted no time in asserting the goal of economics and politics indicating the starting point of service to humanity. “The goal of economics and politics is to serve humanity, beginning with the poorest and most vulnerable wherever they may be, even in their mothers’ wombs,” Pope Francis said. He added that, “concern for the fundamental material and spiritual welfare of every human person is the startingpoint for every political and economic solution and the ultimate measure of its effectiveness and its ethical validity.” Ending his letter, the Pope expressed his thoughts to the G8 president indicating the primary importance of putting humanity, every single man and woman, at the centre of all political and
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All eyes on high court RH debate
Magistrates’ independence put to test
The court’s 15 justices will hear 12 petitions seeking to nullify the RH law and six others supporting the controversial measure. Retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz said the independence of the judiciary will be put to test when it convenes for oral arguments. But Cruz said there is a possibility that the SC might show its independence from the executive branch, particularly President Benigno Aquino III, a known supporter of the measure. “It is a possibility that the Su-

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, chairman of the CBCP’s National Secretariat for Social Action leads the turnover of permanent shelter to victims of Typhoon Pablo in Mati, Davao Oriental, June 21, 2013. An initial of 25 units were awarded to families who lost their homes due to devastation wrought by typhoon Pablo last December 4, 2012. More shelter units, under the Nassa’s “Oplan Tabang” housing project, were awarded to beneficiaries in the dioceses of Mati, Tagum and Tandag.

By Raymond Bandril

Court to address the matter on the judicial level.
Starting July 9, the high court will hear arguments on a pair of cases that could go far to determine the fate of the Republic Act 10354 or the “Reproductive Health” law.

SIX months after Congress secured the state’s contraception law, opponents and supporters are looking to the Supreme

preme Court would show its independence from Malacañang,” Cruz said. “But that is difficult to assume. What happens next, honestly I cannot say.” Staunch anti-RH Senator Vicente Sotto III said an indication of the judiciary’s independence would be “when they decide

[independently] on the merits of the case and not because it’s an international commitment of the executive department.” During the Senate debates last year on the RH bill Sotto bared foreign organizations as being behind the RH bill.
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Collaboration, communion between bishops and Catholic schools urged
BISHOPS should take a handson approach in the operation of Catholic schools and universities under their respective turfs to make sure they don’t go against the advocacies and teachings of the Church. Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said his stint as chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education (ECCCE) taught him the need for a relationship between the diocese and the school. “I think that there should be a greater collaboration and relationship of communion Archbishop Socrates Villegas between the bishop of the diocese and Catholic schools is the bishop that’s why all teaching and universities because that ministry in the diocese are just parwould put these institutions in the ticipating in the teaching office of mainstream of the diocesan life,” the bishop. So Catholic schools and he said. universities should reflect what the The prelate said such relationbishop teaches,” he said. ship of collaboration and com“If Catholic schools and universimunion will ensure the oneness of ties teach something that is contrary the diocese and Catholic academic to what the bishop teaches then it institutions. practically says they are autono“Catholic schools and universities mous,” Villegas added. advocating things that are not conThe prelate even described as sistent with the Catholic teaching “dangerous” a situation wherein the could be better attended to if there Catholic schools defy the teaching is a stronger relationship between authority of their bishops. bishops and these institutions,” “When a body has two heads, it Villegas added. is a monster. If you don’t see the He urged Catholic educators headship of Christ in the teacher to always consider the Church and you say that I have my own and their bishop in their teaching head and can teach what I want to practice. teach, then it becomes dangerous “From the point of view of Theolto the Faith,” Villegas warned. ogy, the first teacher in the diocese (YouthPinoy)

Marian devotion leads to new evangelization, priest says
THE Church’s call for new evangelization must be met by a deep spiritual renewal and reawakening of faith, a Catholic priest on June 22 said, as he urged lay leaders to keep themselves true to their mission of bringing families closer to Christ through the Blessed Virgin Mary. Family Rosary International Director Fr. James Phalan reminded members of the Catholic movement Family Rosary Crusade (FRC) of their mission to encourage families and individuals to pray the holy rosary as a means to personally know Christ. “Our ministry of the rosary and family prayer in a home is more important now than ever. The year of faith calls us to a deeper life in Christ with special effort to pray the rosary during the Year of Faith. I invite you to pray the rosary personally, in the family, and in the community to brace ourselves in the school of Mary who leads us to Christ as the living center of our faith,” Phalan said, quoting the words of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Phalan also noted that for evangelization efforts to be effective, they must always start with the self. “New evangelization starts with us and our own Christian communities. It is the time of reawakening the faith in our own heart and lives,” he added. “We should realize that the year of faith is about spiritual renewal, a time of
Marian / A7

FILE PHOTO

FRC international director Fr. James Phalan speaks before members of the rosary movement urging them to deepen their knowledge of Christ by faithfully praying the rosary.

Mary through prayer, calling us to become more fervent missionaries,” Phalan said. He stressed the important role played by Mary and the holy rosary in the mission of

new evangelization, as well as their timeliness with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s declaration of the Year of Faith. “I would like to propose that everyone will make a

Bishop condemns ‘sex-for-fly’ scandal
THE head of the Catholic Church’s migrant ministry has condemned the ‘sex-for-fly’ scandal allegedly involving Philippine Embassy officials. Bishop Precioso Cantillas of the Episcopal Commission for Pastoral Care for Migrants and Itinerant People (ECMI) said he had been particularly struck by reports that most victims are distressed female overseas Filipino workers. “We are sad and we condemn all forms of exploitation committed by anybody against our OFWs. They’ve
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Catholic educators urged: present the faith as a way of life
WITH the start of the new school year, the outgoing chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education (ECCCE) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has challenged educators and campus ministers to teach the Faith beyond the classroom. Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said that while the academe is a great venue for evangelization, the potential is not maximized because of a wrong approach in teaching religion.

Illustration by Brothers Matias

Jennifer Orillaza

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Yen Ocampo

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World News

CBCP Monitor
June 24 - July 7, 2013

Vol. 17 No. 13

Brazilian bishops support peaceful protests as World Youth Day nears
well as the general population during the event.” He added that the military police and municipal guard will closely monitor the situation. “I think that there will not be any safety issues, whether for the pope or for those in attendance as we are studying everything down to the smallest details, to all of the minutiae,” he said. The protests have expanded since the first were organized primarily by student groups in mid-June to protest a 10-cent increase in public transportation fares. Protesters have since expanded the list of grievances with the government to include high taxation rates, decreased government services and attention to massive public projects such as stadium construction while vital social needs go unmet. Government officials estimated that nearly 1.2 million people participated in protests across the country June 20. The mayors of Brazilian cities, such as Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, announced June 19 that they were revoking transportation tariff increases. “These demonstrations show us that it is not possible to live in a country with such inequalities,” said the bishops’ document. The document also emphasized that the church strongly opposes the violence that has erupted and the destruction of private property as the protests have grown. (CNS)

Vatican Briefing
Venezuelan official asks for Papal mediation in nation

www.theglobeandmail.com

The president of an opposition parliamentarian group in Venezuela, Acción Democrática leader Edgar Zambrano, asked Pope Francis for mediation to begin a national dialogue. Zambrano spoke with the Holy Father for a few minutes after the general audience last June 18. Two days before that, Venezuela’s new president, Nicolas Maduro, met with the Pope in the Vatican. Zambrano and his delegation were received by the Vatican Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, to whom they explained the situation of the country and pointed out the need for Parliament to approve amnesty legislation, as a condition to move towards dialogue and national reconciliation. The Venezuelan deputy added that the Church has the necessary moral authority to mediate. “The Episcopal Conference, Cardinal Urosa and other bishops could be mediators in this dialogue.” (Zenit)
Vatican theologians approve second miracle of John Paul II

Despite protests, archbishop assures safety at World Youth Day
RIO DE JANEIRO, June 21, 2013—The archbishop of Rio de Janeiro has reassured young people planning to attend World Youth Day that the protests occurring in various cities in Brazil will not affect the massive event. Archbishop Orani Joao Tempesta told Vatican Radio June 21 he has spoken with Brazilian intelligence officials who have guaranteed that World Youth Day will be a safe event. Millions have taken part in protests across Brazil in recent days, over an increase in the cost of public transportation, the high costs of the 2014 World Cup, and demanding an end to government corruption. Demonstrators have called for more investment in healthcare and education, rather than funding the soccer tournament. Archbishop Tempesta said the demonstrations “are expressions that are part of a democratic country.” The archbishop acknowledged the legitimacy of the protests, but he rejected the acts of violence that have resulted from confrontations between demonstrators and police. “This is not cause for concern with regards to personal safety because these demonstrations are taking place in very specific places in the city, with the protection of the police.” Archbishop Tempesta said World Youth Day 2013 is a great experience for young people not only from Brazil but from all over the world, to remind them that they can make a difference if they live according to Christian values. Young people who live according to these values can bring about change in the world “with a heart of justice and peace, and they can give a different meaning to the nature of these protests in Brazil by following the desire to seek a better future.” (CNA)

SAO PAULO, June 21, 2013— Leaders of the Brazilian bishops’ conference announced their support for the massive demonstrations sweeping across South America’s largest nation, but declined to say how they might affect World Youth Day activities and the visit of Pope Francis in July. The support was expressed in a document distributed to journalists in Brasilia by Archbishop Raymundo Damasceno Assis of Aparecida, bishops’ conference president. The document said the conference “declares its solidarity and support to these demonstrations, as long as they are peaceful, and which have taken to the streets persons of all ages, especially the youth.” Missing from the document was any mention of World Youth

Day, set for Rio de Janeiro July 23-28. But Archbishop Assis told reporters it was the government’s responsibility to guarantee the safety of the pilgrims. He conceded that the events of the recent few days may discourage foreign pilgrims from attending World Youth Day. Earlier, Archbishop Orani Joao Tempesta of Rio de Janeiro said in a separate statement that the protests would not affect World Youth Day, nor the planned visit of Pope Francis. The demonstrations are, he said, “in some ways similar to the spirit of WYD—the desire to work together for a new world, for a new life, a new society.” The archbishop said the local committee planning World Youth Day events continues “to focus on the safety of pilgrims as

Theologians at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints have approved a second miracle granted through the intercession of Blessed John Paul II, moving him closer to being declared a saint. “The proclamation of his sainthood needs only the approval of the commission of cardinals and bishops and the final signature of Pope Francis,” Italian news agency ANSA reported June 18. Before Blessed John Paul II can be canonized, the Congregation must formally approve the miracle and present it to Pope Francis. Pope Francis would then promulgate and celebrate the canonization. The miracle was reportedly approved by two doctors in April as having been a cure that cannot be explained in natural terms. (CNA)
Cardinals fill important ‘Vatican bank’ position
www.static.euronews.com

The commission of cardinals that oversees the so-called Vatican bank has filled a key position by naming Monsignor Battista Ricca the secretary for the board and the commission itself. Vatican press office director Fr. Federico Lombardi announced the appointment of Ricca in a June 15 statement. “The Supervisory Commission of Cardinals Institute for Works of Religion, with the approval of the Holy Father has appointed Msgr. Battista Mario Salvatore Ricca Prelate of the Institute,” Lombardi said. His role will involve serving as the secretary for the meetings of the cardinals’ commission and assisting in meetings of the Board of Superintendents. (CNA)
Pope urges union of faith and charity in Middle East

Flooding closes Lourdes shrine
PARIS, June 21, 2013—Flooding this week in southern France forced the shrine at Lourdes to close. The grotto and pools were inundated and Masses could only be held indoors, at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, which was not damaged. Two people died in this week’s flooding. Some pilgrims had to be evacuated from the shrine, and various pilgrims cancelled plans to visit the shrine and its pools, which are considered to have healing waters. French President François Hollande said Thursday that a state of natural disaster would be declared for Lourdes. (Zenit)

Muslims ‘people of good will,’ head of Catholic aid group says

Considering the plight of Christians in Syria and across the Middle East, Pope Francis advised aid agencies for Christians in the region to ground their work in prayer and the sacraments. “I ask you to accompany me in uniting faith with charity … collaborate ‘in the faith and in the charity of Jesus Christ our God,’” the Bishop of Rome said at a June 20 audience with the Reunion of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches at the Vatican’s Consistory Hall. “Remembering,” he added, “that our work will be effective only if it is rooted in faith, nourished by prayer, especially by the Holy Eucharist, the Sacrament of faith and charity.” The organization unites funding agencies from countries worldwide in order to provide services such as houses of worship and study, scholarships, and social and health care facilities to struggling areas. (CNA)
Pope says false ideas of freedom spawn threats to human life

Austrian Bishops express support for ‘One of Us’ campaign
ROME, June 21, 2013—One of the three main topics at the Austrian Bishops’ Conference meeting held this week in Mariazell was the European Citizens’ Initiative “One of Us”. The European Bishops’ Conference welcomed the European Citizens’ Initiative “One of Us” for the protection of the human embryo and is pleased to see how many parishes, Catholic organizations and initiatives are connected with this important citizens’ initiative. The concern of the citizens’ initiative conforms to the present political position of Austria, stating that no EU funds should be used for the destruction of embryos. This position is not of the majority within the EU but gained some traction because of the “One of Us” campaign, one of Europe’s first overlapping citizens’ initiative. It is a strong sign of political commitment because of Christian responsibility, when, for example, the Katholische Aktion Österreich (Catholic Action Austria), the Austrian Life conference, as well as Aktion Leben (Action Life) and numerous parishes, initiatives and societies call up to support this signature campaign. To give the embryo a “vote” is the most essential element for the protection of the weakest among us. The human embryo is not a raw material for economic and other interests, but it is ONE OF US. Hence the Austrian Bishops’ Conference wished the “One of Us” campaign success and welcomed the fact, that the deadline in Austria has been prolonged until November 1st (as well as in the other member countries of the EU). (Zenit)

Ideologies and practices that destroy human life arise from false ideas of freedom without God, Pope Francis told a crowd in St. Peter’s Square, including thousands of pro-life activists from around the world. “Whenever we want to assert ourselves, when we become wrapped up in our own selfishness and put ourselves in the place of God, we end up spawning death,” the pope said in his homily during the Mass June 16. The Mass was the culmination of a weekend dedicated to “Evangelium Vitae” (the “Gospel of Life”), a pilgrimage organized for the Year of Faith and named after the 1995 encyclical by Blessed John Paul II on the “value and inviolability of human life.” (CNS)
Lauren Cater / CNA

Jesuit magazine can help heal rift between Gospel, culture, pope says

Msgr. John Kozar

Jharkhand: ‘tribal’ Madonna for Singpur Catholics
MUMBAI, June 21, 2013—A statue of Our Lady with the features of a tribal woman in a sari with red borders, holding her son Jesus in a white cloth, has gone from being a masterpiece of inculturation to a source of discord in the State of Jharkhand. Unveiled by Cardinal Telesphore Toppo, archbishop of Ranchi (the state capital), near a Catholic church in the village of Singpur, the statue has sparked criticism from some members of the Sarna tribe, who want the work of art removed. The Sarna worship Mother Nature (or Maa Sarna). According Bandhan Tigga, a local Sarna guru, “dressing up Mary with a red bordered white sari seems to be a tactic to convert tribal Sarnas to Christianity. It is absolutely wrong. We do not want conflict between our communities, but we do want the statue removed, or changed

so that it no longer looks like a tribal woman. Otherwise, we shall step up our protests.” Cardinal Toppo, who is the first ethnic tribal Oraon cardinal in India, rejects the guru’s accusations. In his view, the dispute is political because “Next year, there will be elections,” he said, “and someone wants to take advantage from a conflict between Christians and non-Christians.” (AsiaNews)

ROME, Italy, June 21, 2013—The head of a papal agency that gives assistance to Christians in the Near East says local Muslims are largely positive towards their Christian neighbors and even appreciative of their presence. “The broad majority of Muslims are people of good-will,” Monsignor John E. Kozar, president of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association, told CNA June 21. “Not only are they tolerant of us Christians, they’re even supportive. They value the schools and clinics that we have.” “We hope that their influence will calm the radicals, or (even) convert the radicals to a more balanced and tolerant approach of peace among all men and women everywhere,” he added. The Catholic Near East Welfare Association, founded by Pius XI in 1926, works with Eastern Catholic Churches to help poor Christians in the Middle East, North Africa, India, and Eastern Europe. Monsignor Kozar, a native of Pittsburgh, voiced support for a Palestinian state, suggesting it could help “solve” the turmoil in Syria, Egypt and Iraq. “There has to be some kind of a resolution of the PalestinianIsraeli conflict, a Palestinian state,” he said. “Right now it is, but it isn’t (a state),” he said. Palestine is a non-member observer state at the United

Nations, as is the Holy See. It is recognized as a state by some 130 countries, yet its territory has been occupied by Israel since 1967. Monsignor Kozar noted that the major players—Russia, France, England, the United States—“all have to lend support to some kind of a resolution.” He stated that this would also help prevent Arabic Christians from fleeing or being persecuted in the region any further. Christians “have always been messengers of peace,” he said. The Catholic Near East Welfare Association is a member of the Reunion of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches, which met in Rome June 19 and 20. The Reunion is an association of funding agencies dedicated to helping Eastern Catholic Churches, particularly in the Middle East. Pope Francis met with the Reunion yesterday, encouraging its members to ground their work in prayer and the sacraments. “The Pope said specifically in our audience, ‘please pray for Syria,’” Monsignor Kozar remarked. “The Pope gave a short exhortation to us to not forget this area, and he singled out Syria.” Syria is in the midst of a 27-month long civil war which has claimed more than 93,000 lives, and has driven some 1.5 million people out of their home country. (CNA)

Pope Francis said his fellow Jesuits can help heal the rift between the Gospel and today’s cultures. “This ministry is typical of the mission of the Society of Jesus,” he said, urging the editors and staff of a Jesuit journal to continue offering the world “your reflections and your in-depth analyses” of cultural and social trends and transformations, including hot button topics. The pope met June 14 with the editors and staff of La Civilta Cattolica, a Jesuit-run magazine founded by Pope Pius IX in 1850. The Rome-based biweekly journal continues to be reviewed by the Vatican Secretariat of State before publication. Pope Pius entrusted the magazine to the Jesuits whose charism, Pope Francis said, includes looking for God in all things. (CNS)
Pope, Anglican leader meet, pledge to continue search for unity

Pope Francis and Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury, spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, pledged to support each other with their prayers and to continue the search for full unity between their communities. Meeting at the Vatican June 14, praying together in the Redemptoris Mater Chapel in the Apostolic Palace and eating lunch together in the papal residence, both remarked on the fact that Pope Francis’ inaugural Mass was celebrated March 19 and Archbishop Welby’s installation was March 21. “Since we began our respective ministries within days of each other, I think we will always have a particular reason to support one another in prayer,” Pope Francis said. (CNS)
Calling Syria conflict ‘great tribulation,’ pope asks for prayers, aid

www.asianews.it

Calling the Syrian conflict “a great tribulation,” Pope Francis said tensions throughout the Middle East must give way to dialogue and reconciliation. “Once again, from the depths of my heart, I appeal to leaders of nations and international organizations, to believers of every religion and to all men and women of good will to put an end to the suffering, all the violence and every form of religious, cultural and social discrimination,” the pope said. “Conflict that sows death must give way to encounter and reconciliation, which bring life,” the pope said June 20 during a meeting with two dozen Catholic charitable and funding agencies that assist the Eastern Catholic churches and Catholics throughout the Middle East. (CNS)

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 13
June 24 - July 7, 2013

News Features
VATICAN City, June 21, 2013—During a gathering organized for the Year of Faith, Pope Francis asked his ambassadors to be careful in helping to select candidates for the episcopacy, making sure they are men of pastoral hearts. “In the delicate task of carrying out inquiries for episcopal appointments, be careful that the candidates are pastors close to the people,” he told a gathering of apostolic nuncios from around the world at the Vatican’s Clementine Hall June 21. “That they are gentle, patient and merciful; animated by inner poverty, the freedom of the Lord, and also by outward simplicity and austerity of life,” he added. Hundreds of nuncios gathered at the Vatican for two days of prayer as part of an initiative for the Year of Faith. The meeting had been arranged by Benedict XVI and was announced in Oct. 2012 by Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone at the bishops’ synod on the new evangelization. The asked his nuncios to choose bishops that do not to have “the psychology of princes” or that are ambitious, ensuring that “they do not seek the episcopate.” The Bishop of Rome also suggested that it is not always best that bishops be moved often from diocese to diocese. “Be careful … that they are married to a (local) Church without being in constant search of another.” “That they are able to watch over the flock that will be entrusted to them, take care to keep it united, vigilant of the dangers that threaten it,” he advised. “But above all that they are able to watch over the flock, to keep watch, imbue hope, that they have sun and light in their hearts.” Saint Joseph, spouse of the Virgin Mary, may be taken as a model for bishops, he said, because of “his care for the family that God entrusted to him.” Like St. Joseph, a bishop should “lovingly and patiently support the plans which God brings about in his people.” “Pastors must know how to be ahead of the herd to point the way, in the midst of the flock to keep it united, behind the flock to prevent someone being left behind,” reflected the Pope. The Roman pontiff told his ambassadors that as his representatives, their job is for “one who is really conscious of the fact that he carries Christ with him,” quoting a former Vatican secretary of state. “I do not want to address purely formal or perfunctory words to you; what I now say comes from deep within my heart,” he assured them. The Pope underscored that “giving in to worldly spirit exposes us pastors to ridicule.” “There is always the danger … to surrender to what I call, taking an expression from De Lubac, ‘spiritual worldliness’: to surrender to the spirit of the world, which leads to action for self-fulfillment and not for the glory of God,” reflected the Bishop of Rome. This spiritual worldliness, he called a “sort of ‘bourgeoisie spirit and life’ which leads people to settle, and seek a peaceful and comfortable life. Pope Francis said that Blessed John XXIII, who himself served in the Vatican’s diplomatic corps for 28 years, found that “he had to continually prune the vineyard of his life from that which was merely useless foliage and go straight to the essentials, which is Christ and his Gospel; otherwise there was the risk of ridiculing a holy mission.” The Pope noted the “nomadic” quality of their life, stressing the challenges of never being able to put down roots, never having their own flock, always having to begin anew in different cultures, “always with a suitcase at hand.” Pope Francis said this is a sign of the pilgrim nature of the Christian life, always journeying towards our heavenly home. A primary element in this, he said, was the “mortification” of “stripping oneself of things, friends, bonds, and of always beginning anew.” The pontiff said their life is “of great

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Pope calls hunger, malnutrition ‘truly scandalous’
VATICAN City, June 20, 2013—It is “truly scandalous” that the global level of food production is enough to feed the planet’s people, yet millions of people are malnourished and millions more “must be satisfied with the crumbs falling from the table,” Pope Francis said. Addressing the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization conference June 20, Pope Francis said the glob- A recent survey conducted by the Social Weather al financial crisis obviously has Station (SWS) reveals that the incidence of hunger made the situation worse, but has risen in the country, with around 3.9 Filipino it cannot continue “to be used families claiming to have experienced hunger in the first quarter of the year. as an alibi.” Food is not simply a commodity but is a human necessity and need for relationships with others.” “Over and over again,” he said, “we right, he told 400 delegates from about see that family bonds are essential for 200 countries. “The human person and human digni- the stability of relationships in society, ty risk turning into vague abstractions in for the work of education and for intethe face of issues such as the use of force, gral human development, for they are war, malnutrition, marginalization, the inspired by love, responsible intergenviolation of basic liberties and financial erational solidarity and mutual trust.” Archbishop Luigi Travaglino, head of the speculation, which presently affects the price of food, treating it like any other Vatican delegation to the FAO conference, merchandise and overlooking its primary addressed the delegates June 19 and called for the adoption of “specific instruments” function,” the pope told the delegates. But the problems affecting agricul- aimed at improving food security for the ture, forestry and fisheries in both poor. He also urged delegates to favor “a developed and developing countries, change in lifestyles marked by excessive he said, are not simply technical and consumption, the waste of food and the any solutions must recognize that “the non-food use of agricultural products.” In particular, he said, rural commuhuman person and human dignity are not simply catchwords, but pillars for nities must be involved in developing strategies that increase food production creating shared rules and structures.” The current crisis was not just caused and distribution in a way that recogby financial factors, Pope Francis said, nizes the needs of individuals and comit also “is a consequence of a crisis of munities now and in the future. If production criteria focus only convictions and values, including those which are the basis of international life,” on profit, he said, “they risk creating greater price volatility with negative particularly the value of solidarity. Addressing the conference on what impacts on food security and nutrition.” International and national policies in was World Refugee Day, Pope Francis also spoke about how “grave food cri- agriculture, forestry and fisheries also ses” lead to the uprooting of individu- must recognize the need to preserve biodiversity, not only because it is an als, families and entire communities. FAO is dedicating its work in the environmental imperative, but also coming year to rural families, which the because the reduction of species has pope said is an important opportunity serious harmful impacts on available “to reaffirm the conviction that every food and on employment. Rural communities and indigenous family is the principal setting for the growth of each individual, since it is peoples, he said, “in many cases are through the family that human beings the only custodians of the resources of become open to live and the natural creation.” (CNS)

Choose bishops carefully, Pope advises diplomats

Urban Poor Associates

Pope Francis

worth when lived with an intensity of love.” “We know that our stability does not lie in things, in our own projects or ambitions, but in being true pastors who keep our gaze fixed on Christ.” “Goods, the prospects of this world, end up disappointing. They push people to never be satisfied,” he told the diplomats. “The Lord is the good that does not disappoint.” He noted that this focus on the Lord “demands a self-detachment that can only be achieved through a constant relationship with the Lord and the unification of one’s life around Christ.” “Familiarity with Jesus Christ must be the daily food of the papal representative because it is the food that comes from the memory of our first encounter with him, and also because it is the daily expression of loyalty to his call.” “Always do everything with deep love!” he exclaimed. “Always seek the good, the good of all, the good of the Church and of every person.” (CNA/ EWTN News)

Fight against secularism unites Jews, Catholics, Pope says
VATICAN City, June 24, 2013—Christians and Jews can work together to challenge the contemporary problems of secularism and disrespect for the human person, Pope Francis told representatives of Judaism in a Vatican audience. “Humanity needs our joint witness in favor of respect for the dignity of man and woman created in the image and likeness of God, and in favor of peace which is above all God’s gift,” the Bishop of Rome told members of the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations June 24. “Friendly relations are in a way the basis for the development of a more official dialogue,” he added. The audience with the Jewish leaders was also attended by Cardinal Kurt Koch, who is president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, as well as head of the Vatican’s Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, and members of that office. The Committee has held 21 meetings with Catholics so far, and Pope Francis said this has “certainly helped to reinforce mutual understanding and the links of friendship” between them. He welcomed their next meeting, which will be held in October in Madrid, which will consider challenges to faith in contemporary society. In his first meeting as Bishop of Rome with official representatives of Judaism, he noted the Vatican II document Nostra Aetate, on the relation of the Church to non-Christian religions, as the Church’s “key point of reference for relations with the Jewish people.” “In that Council text, the Church recognizes that ‘the beginnings of its faith and election are to be found in the patriarchs, Moses and prophets,’” he stated. He emphasized that “due to our common roots, a Christian cannot be anti-Semitic,” and pointed to the writings of Saint Paul, who “firmly condemned hatred, persecution and all forms of antiSemitism” and called the gifts and call of God “irrevocable.” Nostra Aetate, he said, has been the basis for “greater awareness and mutual understanding” between Jews and Catholics in the past 40 years, and reflected on the good relations he had with the Jewish community when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires. “I had the joy of maintaining relations of sincere friendship with leaders of the Jewish world,” Pope Francis remarked. “We talked often of our respective religious identities, the image of man found in the Scriptures, and how to keep an awareness of God alive in a world now secularized in many ways.” While head of the Church in Buenos Aires, Pope Francis even authored a book of dialogues between him and Abraham Skorka, an Argentine rabbi. “On Heaven and Earth” was written in Spanish, and was recently translated and published in English. Pope Francis told the members of the International Jewish Committee that he met with Argentine Jews on various occasions to discuss the challenges which Jews and Christians both face. “But above all, as friends, we enjoyed each other’s company,” he said. “We were all enriched through encounter and dialogue, and we welcomed each other, and this helped all of us grow as people and as believers.” (CNA/EWTN News)

Eco groups laud DENR for not burning confiscated ivory
QUEZON City, June 17, 2013— Environmentalists lauded the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for its decision to forgo the ceremonial burning of confiscated elephant tusks. Heeding the appeal of several groups of environmental advocates, DENR Secretary Ramon Paje on June 16 instructed the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) to skip the ceremonial burning and instead use a road roller to squash the tusks. “We welcome this enlightened decision by the DENR leadership,” Von Hernandez, President of the Quezon City-based EcoWaste Coalition, said. “We hope this translates to a wide ranging directive against the usual practice of burning confiscated goods. The law is clear on the issue prohibiting open burning,” he added. Some 30 advocates led by EcoWaste Coalition has asked the government agency to forgo the burning of the tusks as doing so will send a wrong message to the public that open burning is acceptable. Burning the tusks, the environmentalists argued, will cause emissions and will be in violation of R.A. 9003, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act and R.A. 8749, the Clean Air Act. But the groups maintained that while they strongly oppose open burning, they are supportive of the efforts “to end elephant poaching and stop illegal wildlife trade under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES). The coalition had earlier recommended to DENR to crush the tusks and bury these for composting at an appropriate site within the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center to ensure that the ivory tusks are not returned to illegal trade. “The eco-burial site can serve as a lasting memorial to our country’s commitment to ending illegal wildlife trade and to poaching that is mercilessly killing the elephants,” they said. “It will be fitting to install a marker at the site made out of combined cement and crushed tusks in memory of the murdered elephants,” they added. (CBCPNews)

‘Give self in the name of service,’ prelate tells faithful
MANILA, June 17, 2013—Genuine and sincere servant leadership can only be achieved if people would be willing to sacrifice and offer themselves in service to others, a Catholic bishop said on Saturday. Novaliches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani said that openness and willingness to sacrifice completes the act of service and makes it an effective agent of change in a society. He noted the sacrifices of Christ, who, in his earthly journey, devoted Himself in giving service to mankind and saving them from sin even at the expense of giving up His own life. “You, too, must serve the people of the world even at the sacrifice of your own life. Every act of service must always be a gift of self. It cannot be a gift simply of an act, but a gift of self,” he said during his homily at the closing mass of the Servant Leadership in the Year of Faith convention held at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. Bacani said a gift has no meaning if does not come from the heart in the same way that service is meaningless if it’s not done out of love. He urged the people to do the same and imitate Christ’s work to attain the true meaning of service. The offering of the body and blood does not only symbolize the salvation of mankind. It also symbolizes the belongingness of mankind to His divinity and the extension of His servant leadership throughout the world, the bishop noted. Bacani said that Christian leadership is a unique kind of service as it roots from repentance of one’s humble and contrite heart. “Christian leadership is a repentant leadership. We are justified neither by any works nor accomplishments of ours. We are justified by accepting Jesus Christ in our hearts, by accepting Him repentantly in our lives,” he said. Urging people to live as servant leaders, Bacani gave this advice to the laity: “[Don’t take advantage of others. Render them loving service], then you will be able to exercise the kind of leadership that Christ exercised.” “Be like the Lord and support one another so that we may build a communion of servant leaders,” Bacani added. He also noted the need for most Filipino officials to be bold in standing for the principles they believe in, adding that hope must fill the Filipino community because of the unceasing presence of the Lord. “Why do we have to serve others? Because we are servants of the king and our king showed a kingship like this. (In return), we can show our leadership by the service we do for others,” he said. (Jennifer M. Orillaza)

Bishop reminds laity: Seek marks of a true church
MANILA, June 22, 2013—As different churches emerge from various faiths and religions budding in the country, a Catholic bishop reminded the faithful to scrutinize their spiritual belief and assess if it possesses the marks of a true church. Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said the laity must seek the qualities of oneness, holiness, catholicism (universal), and apostolicism in their church so they may be assured of receiving the needed spiritual guidance in their day-to-day living. “The task of establishing a church is not just for any random person. If our beliefs are wrong, it follows that our actions are misguided too. It is a must for us to scrutinize our beliefs so we may discern truth from lie,” he said in the vernacular during his talk at the Katolikong Pinoy recollection held last Saturday at the San Carlos Seminary. Noting the importance of unity in the church, Pabillo said it is through this quality that diversity among members is settled toward the fulfillment of a mission. “Even if members of a church come from diverse origins, all of them are rooted from one spirit. It is not only common beliefs that make us act. Rather, it is also because of the common God where we come from. We become united because of our common faith,” he noted. “The unity of His people on Earth is one of Christ’s ultimate desires. I hope that we would be able to manifest this in our respective communities, parishes,

Catholic faithful raise hands in supplication while praying the Lord’s Prayer at Mass.

and dioceses,” Pabillo said. He added that holiness must also be achieved for it guides people toward spiritual fulfillment, noting that the call for holiness is not only for a few people, but for all of mankind. “The call of holiness is for each and every one of us. This is achieved by being like Christ. Let us follow His ways in propagating what is true and showing love for each other,” Pabillo said. Pabillo further noted the need for a church to be universal so that spiritual teachings may transcend differences, and so that everyone—most especially those who are poor, deprived, oppressed, and exploited—be able to partake in the graces of the Divine. He stressed the importance of an apostolic church as this enables age-old teachings to transcend generations and reach present-day believers. It makes spiritual teachings timeless and enables first-hand account of apostles to be

handed down to others. “We get to know Christ because of his apostles who witnessed His earthly stay and who made His teachings available to all of mankind up to the present time,” he said. “The church continues to treasure and spread the teachings of the apostles. Lessons taught by the church are not based from what most people like to hear. Rather, it all roots from the teachings handed down by the Lord to His apostles,” he added. He also called on the faithful to stand by church teachings and be mindful of their mission to integrate spirituality and morality into their day-to-day living. “Let us all bring the teachings of Christ wherever we go and whatever we do. Let us live our lives in accordance to our faith. We should not be holy only when we are inside the church,” he said. (Jennifer Orillaza)

Noli Yamsuan / RCAM

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EDITORIAL

Opinion
Is the Church in crisis?

CBCP Monitor
June 24 - July 7, 2013

Vol. 17 No. 13

TO give a quick, blunt reply, the Church has always been in crisis. That’s its character, it goes with the territory, since it has to deal with all kinds of people, some brilliant and faithful, others not so, etc. That it appears in crisis today is no breaking news. Of late, the question has been raised because of that survey that reportedly showed dwindling numbers of churchgoers. That question, of course, is moot and academic, with hardly any practical use other than to provoke or embarrass some people. No doubt there is some supposedly serious reason why such decline is happening. But that’s precisely the reason why the Church continues to be in some trouble. Even with Christ, there already was severe crisis. He had Judas and some Jews pestering him. He was crucified for carrying out his mission. After him with the Church established, the crisis has not stopped but continues to fester under different forms and ways and in different circumstances. The problem the Church has to contend up to the end of time will be lack of faith and everything that follows it. Try imagining persuading people about a supernaturally mysterious God, about spiritual and supernatural realities like faith, hope and charity, God becomes man who is Christ, the role of the Holy Spirit, the nature and mission of the Church, etc. To top it all, try imagining making people understand about our weakened human condition, the reality of the devil, sin and temptations, and the need for abiding ascetical struggle, the development of virtues, the recourse to the sacraments, etc. Many times, Christ had to scold his apostles for their lack of faith even in the face of the obvious. Such will be our predicament. One just have to learn to live with it, and continue to do something about it, always with the help of grace. Critics of the Church will always exhume past scandals, slamming it with the current ones and even inventing some, to support their claim. Well, it’s an imperfect world. Nothing is new. We just have to try our best to be hopeful and do whatever we can to spread the truth in charity and goodness. As to the survey result that many are allegedly deserting the Church, many echo the same observation. The churches in the country are filled with people. More Masses are scheduled. The churches have to be expanded. And during big feasts, one has to be blind not to see the tremendous popular piety flooding even the streets. That there are many imperfections in this public display of piety should not be a surprise. One just have to look at individual selves and see how even with best efforts we are still short of what we ourselves consider to be the ideal Christian life. And try to extrapolate this situation to the whole of society, and, thus, we should not be surprised to see the many gaping imperfections around. But it would be wrong to stop there. What we have to do is to continue with the effort to improve in all aspects and in all levels of Christian life. At the moment, we have to figure out how to go about untangling those under the spell of atheism, agnosticism, relativism, etc. These are the ones deserting the Church.

Now it can be asked
SPECIALLY this past summer, it was a repeated event, a frequent sight, a regular news item: Burning of houses and destruction of belongings, not to mention pitiful cries of people heard and a number of lives lost even. Gas leaks, bad electric connections, candles left burning and the like—such were the usual causes of such family loses and neighborhood disasters. But nothing really extraordinary was done by big-time public officials on the occasion of such big and repeated devastating phenomena. They were looked upon as but common occurrences, standard events that came about fast and likewise fast forgotten. The usual response and customary reaction to such human miseries are the exactly the same and predictable. Some firemen come with their big trucks and a lot of fire hose—but little water. Women and children are seen crying and running around—without really knowing whom to call and where

Oscar. V. Cruz, DD

Views and Points
was destroyed. Yet, lo and behold, nobody less than the President of the Philippines went to the site in order to see for himself what took place. Why? And there came also the elite government investigative agencies—with their well trained canine brigade—to inspect the place diligently and intensely and from top to bottom. Why? And weeks even went by in order to ascertain what, when, and how the explosion took place. Why? There must be a pretty good and interesting reason for such a big and lasting preoccupation under the baton of the Commander-in-Chief himself—with all personnel resources and their costs at his command. What? He must have a big personal interest and preoccupation about the matter. What? There must be something in that specific condo unit blast that worried and disturbed him much. What? Question, questions, and more questions.

Movements of renewal
THE Cursillos de Cristianidad, the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, lay covenant communities, the Neo-catechumenal Way, the Christian Family Movement, Marriage Encounter, Focolare, the Movement for a Better World, the Parish Renewal Experience (PREX) and other similar movements have helped greatly in the renewal of the local Church. They are able to impart to their members Catholic teaching, a sense of fraternal belonging, a love of the Word of God, and a love of prayer. They are instruments of genuine conversion, venues of life-changing encounters with the Lord. They are schools of evangelistic zeal. Members of such renewal groups should realize that the Spirit has raised them up to renew the local Church. Movements of renewal are not only for their members but for the whole Church. Movements of renewal with similar charisms should network for stronger impact locally, nationally and globally. However, when they develop loyalty to their leader or group loyalty stronger than their loyalty to the wider Church, they become sects. Priests should welcome, encourage, and support these renewal movements, whenever they could be led into the mainstream of parish and diocesan pastoral priorities and programs. When properly guided they draw attention to the continuing presence, power, and activity of the Spirit in the Church and in the world. They foster an intense Christian and apostolic life, move passive Catholics by their witnessing, and prevent the lapse of many Catholics into other Christian groups. They are at present, in certain areas, most effective in countering the attraction exerted on Catholics by fundamentalist groups. Catholic action, traditional Church associations and movements of renewal have been drawn to cohesive collaboration with each other, and have been linked more closely to the members of the hierarchy in a spirit of partnership through the Council of the Laity of the Philippines. This Council, headed and run by lay persons with the guidance of the hierarchy, has inspired greater participation of a great number of Filipino lay faithful in the apostolate of the Church. It is itself a very good example of lay participation and of clergy-laity collaboration. (PCP-II Acts of the Council Nos. 610-613) — Acts and Decrees of the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines, 1991

to go. Some men are noticed carrying some of their little family belongings, without being certain where to run to and what to do next. When a devastating fire is over after a couple of hours, there are the usual groups of charitable people that come with their donations of some food, used clothing, and the like. During such occasions, though not always, there could this or that local public official who would make his appearance—such as the Barangay Captain— in order to show himself in public, to shake the hands of the fire victims, express his sympathy to them and that’s it. The explosions and destructions come to pass. The burning of houses and properties is forgotten. The loss of lives and limbs become “yesterday’s news.” But lo and behold! There was but one explosion in a place of the wealthy and the famous. There was but one condo unit that

Fr. James H. Kroeger, MM

“Year of Faith” Reflections
ALL human life has a paschal configuration; simply, this means that our life patterns continually move through death to renewed life. Human existence clearly reflects a “paschal paradigm.” In our daily lives, we struggle to move through darkness to light, through captivity to freedom, through suffering and brokenness to wholeness, from loneliness to communion, from sin to grace and new life. We, as faith-filled Christians, struggle to follow the path traced out for us by Christ in his paschal mystery. Each year during Holy Week we walk—in deep faith— with our suffering savior. We enter with Christ into his passion and death; then, through his resurrection we share joyously in his new life. Living the paschal mystery in daily life demands profound faith, an intimate relationship with our suffering-risen savior. We encounter Christ in his redemptive paschal mystery; we also strive to be in solidarity with all humanity on its path of suffering. Grasping the Paschal Mystery also means recognizing that at the core of Christian faith is the Resurrection. Saint Paul clearly states: “If Christ has not been raised then our preaching is useless and your believing is also useless” (I Cor 15:14). It is certain: Our Christian faith ultimately stands or falls on the Resurrection. To appreciate the beauty of resurrection faith, one could reflect on the “divine reversal” that happens at Easter. What appeared as death’s victory on Good Friday is reversed by Christ’s triumph over the grave.

Living Mission

Christian faith is paschal faith
In his paschal mystery Christ takes humanity’s pride and sinfulness and changes them into an opportunity for grace; God does not return evil for offense committed against him; he answers with love. Adam’s sin that brought death is reversed by Christ’s humble obedience— even unto death. Marvel at the unfathomable love of God! One might also ask: do faith and doubt mix? Were they present in the lives of the first Christians? The apostle Thomas is probably the most well-known “doubter.” He demands that he touch Christ’s wounds—before he accept that Jesus is risen (Jn 20:19-29). We, like Thomas, are often “show-me” Christians, demanding “proof” before coming to believe. In his 2013 Easter Vigil homily Pope Francis noted our hesitancy to believe: “We are afraid of God’s surprises; we are afraid of God’s surprises! He always surprises us…. Let us not be closed to the newness that God wishes to bring into our lives! Are we weary, disheartened and sad? Do we feel weighed down by our sins? Do we think that we won’t be able to cope? Let us not close our hearts, let us not lose confidence.” Pope Francis, clearly aware that we believers do not live immune to doubts and challenges to our faith, speaks to us even as we live the paradoxes of the Paschal Mystery. “Let the risen Jesus enter your life, welcome him as a friend, with trust: he is life! … May he open us to the newness that transforms… May he help us to feel his presence as the one who is alive and at work in our midst.” This is Paschal faith!

Freedom of and from religion
THAT was a piece of good news. Texas Governor Rick Perry signs into law the so-called Merry Christmas Bill allowing public schools and other public places to have Christmas greetings on display. This is actually a no-brainer kind of law, and Perry said as much. But with some people complaining about others greeting Merry Christmas to one another in public and wanting to ban such practice, the state had to clarify the issue, and even had to make a law about it. Freedom of religion, said the governor, is not freedom from religion. He said that freedom from religion was not included in the First Amendment of the US Constitution. Well, I thought this kind of distinction is primitive thinking, but it seems our times call for it. There are many people branding themselves as enlightened, modern, liberal and all that, who invoke religious freedom to claim that public places should be freed from any signs of religion in order to be fair to everyone. These are the people who, for example, would ban praying in schools and other

Fr. Roy Cimagala

Candidly Speaking
have no religion, like the atheists, do in fact believe in some kind of God, even if that God is they themselves. We cannot help but refer ourselves to a God. Those who say there is no God are already referring themselves to a God. We need to take care of the religious freedom of everyone who can have different creeds, including the freedom of those who believe there is no God. We just have to learn how to respect each other’s religious beliefs and practices, fostering dialogue and understanding, and resolving differences and conflicts calmly and civilly. Let’s hope that thing about banning prayer in school, display of religious symbols in public places, etc., will be a thing of the past. We need to move on, and that’s why we have to learn how to flow with the times also. The other day, a young friend of mine who visited France with the family recently told me that he figured in an argument with an elderly overly pious person inside the Church who told him to remove his earphone from his ears.
Candidly Speaking / A5

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public manifestations of people’s piety even if such come out spontaneously and are respectful of the peace and order of the locality. We hear this kind of thing mainly in places like the States, but we should not be naïve to think that this thing does not happen here. Last year, if I remember right, there even was a young party-list congressman who moved to strike down any sign of popular piety in public places. I suppose he was doing it in line with the policies of a worldwide network of atheists and agnostics who want to erase traces of religious piety of all kinds of faith and beliefs not only from public display but also altogether in the world. We have to be ready for this kind of eventuality. Religion and everything related to it—personal beliefs and practices that need also to be shown in public since we are not only individual persons but also social beings—are such a precious albeit mysterious part of our life that they even surpass complete understanding. To suppress them would be inhuman, to say the least. Even those who profess to

Illustration by Brothers Matias

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 13
June 24 - July 7, 2013

Opinion
Blessed John Paul II, soon to become a Saint!
that Pope Francis exhorted in his “Evangelium Vitae Day” or Gospel of Life: “Let us say “Yes” to life and not death. Let us say “Yes” to freedom and not enslavement to the many idols of our time. In a word, let us say “Yes” to the God who is love, life and freedom, and who never disappoints. The Gospel itself leads to life. The notion that rejecting God, will lead to freedom, is mistaken. On the contrary, following the Gospel leads one to a full life.” The Mass echoes John Paul II’s encyclical “Evangelium Vitae” which state the Church’s position on the support and protection of life in all its stages. *** Our family thanks with deep gratitude to all our relatives and friends who greeted our Mother, Gloria Angeles Vda. de Santiago, on her 96th birthday. Many thanks to Fr. Alex Amayun who presided over the Thanksgiving Mass during the Birthday Party of Inay. Many thanks also to Bp. Deogracias Iňiguez, Jr. and Bp. Francisco de Leon, Fr. Jun Embile, Fr. Rico Ayo and Fr. Robert Ramos for the blessings, prayers, and Masses offered for the Birthday of Inay. You all made Inay very happy and we truly appreciate that. Inay really enjoyed all the love, care and greetings you gave her. God bless you all. *** Happy Sacerdotal Anniversary to Most Rev. Francisco de Leon, Apostolic Administrator of Kalookan and Auxiliary Bishop of Antipolo. Happy Birthday to Fr. Nestor Estanislao, Merle Desiderio and Marie Perez of the Diocese of Kalookan.

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Fr. Russell A. Bantiles

Atty. Aurora A. Santiago

Duc in Altum
LOS ANGELES, California. Good news! According to Vatican theologians, a second miracle was attributed to Blessed John Paul II, putting him on the path to sainthood, although Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi would not confirm or deny the report. To be declared a saint, it requires two “confirmed” miracles. The first miracle attributed to Blessed John Paul II which was necessary for his beatification happened just six months after his death in 2005. It was the healing of a French nun, Sister Marie SimonPierre, whose recovery from Parkinson’s disease after praying for the late John Paul II’s “intercession” had no medical explanation. The second miracle reportedly took place on the day that John Paul II was beatified in St. Peter’s Square on May 01, 2011. The Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints is in charge of examining the records and documents of candidates for sainthoods. To be officially certified as miracles, healings “must be instantaneous, permanent and with no scientific explanation.” Reports said that “Blessed John Paul II could be formally canonized in October at the close of the year of faith launched by his successor Benedict XVI. It may be remembered that during his funeral in 2005, there was a public clamor from the crowd of mourners present at St. Peter’s Square “Santo Subito!” which means “Sainthood Now!” Pope Benedict XVI immediately authorized the examination of several reported miracles attributed to John Paul II. *** Pope Francis appointed Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, the 32nd Archbishop of Manila, as the “titular pastor” of

Cogito ‘Man of Steel’ and the New Evangelization
WATCHING the most recent rendition of this classic American film, I could not help but point out some resemblances that the movie has with the Catholic fundamental doctrines, and imagine how the film could be of help in the New Evangelization. If “New Evangelization”, as Blessed Pope John Paul II understood it, is “new in its ardor, methods and expressions”, then, I bet “Man of Steel” could be an efficient tool for reaching out to young people and teaching them our faith; of course, only as a starter to attract their attention! Let us try to look at these striking similitudes. It, indeed, is an eye-opener that the symbol “S” inscribed on the hero’s chest does not stand for “Superman” as most of us presumed since childhood. It is the Krypton symbol for “hope”. And hope is what “Kal-El” (Clark Kent’s Krypton name, which resembles the Hebrew words ‫לק‬-‫לא‬, and can be taken to mean "voice of God") brings to the human world. Kal-El was rocketed to Earth as an infant by his scientist father, Jor-El (a name which resembles the Hebrew Jorel, which literally means “God will uplift”), before the imminent self-destruction of their planet Krypton. Jor-El believed there could be peaceful co-existence between humans and Kryptonians. By revelation, we know that Jesus Christ, the Second Person in the Holy Trinity, was sent into the world so that He may be the Mediator between God and man. God’s Eternal Word—His Spokesman, His Voice (“Kal-El”)—became man’s hope for salvation. God, indeed, uplifts (“Jor-El”) man from his damnation. He wills that there will be an eternal co-existence between heaven and earth. For this reason, “the Son of God became the Son of Man so that the sons of men may become sons of God” (St. Irenaeus). The “codex” of Krypton’s survival is embedded in the person of the one sent. The man of steel will save the earth but he must bide his time. For 33 years he was the adopted son of human parents. His foster father died for the sake of keeping his secret, leaving him to work hard to sustain his widowed mother. How long could one keep his secrets and hold his power when someone needed it badly? Jesus carries in His person the “codex” of our salvation. Salvation is not something imposed on us from the outside, as Protestants would insist. Salvation is from within because it means transforming ourselves into the image of the Only Begotten Son. This is why the Son of God had to become a son of human parents. He had to work like any human being. Indeed, He is perfectly human except in sin. We know how He worked for 33 years (30 years as carpenter and 3 years as a Rabbi) to sustain His widowed mother. We know too how He could not keep His secret and saved the newly-weds at Cana from utter shame and disgrace – all because of His mother’s plea! In a scene that recalls The Chronicles of Narnia’s “Sacrifice of Aslan” (by C. S. Lewis), our superhero decided to give himself up for the sake of humans. The enemies learned that in order to revive Krypton, Kal-El had to die to release the codex. But the sacrifice of the man of steel only brought about the utter destruction of his enemies. Yet, when all seemed to have reached the climax and the denouement, we see the seemingly interminable fist-fights between Superman and General Zod, which ended up with a remarkable dialogue that brings us back to the Garden of Gethsemane. “Is this the people you are resolved to save, Kal-El? You can start mourning for them,” said Zod as he discharged deadly rays against human beings. The Book of Revelation pointed out that when the dragon could not get his way with the woman, he then persecuted her sons (cfr. Rev 12). In Gethsemane, it was said that Jesus’ last temptation by the devil consisted in dissuading Him from saving humanity because it was futile: humanity would still make its way against God. But Jesus took the risk with us! His sacrifice on the cross destroyed death, our greatest enemy, and brought us new life in God. What more can we cite to bring home our point? Well, what about the scene that depicts Clark’s mother gathering what remained of their devastated house? St. Luke has a recurring line about Mary that curiously coincides with this: “And Mary kept all these things in her heart” (Lk 2: 19). Indeed, the whole film was not just about saving the world from utter destruction although it seems that it is the only argument behind every move of the man of steel. The movie was also about freedom, moral conviction and—why not—natural law. The Kryptonians were conceived through machines and each of them was programmed to fulfill a specific purpose or mission in their lifetime. General Zod’s, for instance, is the perpetuation of the Kryptonian race at all cost. He vowed to fulfill his mission even if he had to destroy the whole planet earth. True freedom does not exist when one is governed only by his basic instincts, lower appetites and disordered tendencies, which are “programmed” into him through the original sin. Kryptonians evolved and with their evolution, their powers also augment. In a world where science, technology and the evolutionary theories are believed to be capable of explaining everything, moral convictions fall into ridicule. Hence, we understand the humor that this line had provoked the audience: “Your morality has hindered your evolution.” The only natural-born Kryptonian was Kal-El; hence, he was the only one who was truly free to stand for his moral conviction. The rest acted like machines. Their behavior and conviction are all determined by their programming. “Man of Steel” is indeed an apologetics in favor of the natural law, freedom and the truth of moral consciences. Are not these topics the best aperitif in the promotion of a “dialogue with culture” that Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI repeatedly emphasized? Under God’s Providence, there’s no such thing as mere coincidence. If any film is nothing but its director’s discourse, then, I guess, Zack Snyder has succeeded in telling us that in today’s world threatened by self-destruction and moral erosion and in which man willfully shoves God aside, our hope lies in the Perfect Man, Perfect God Who believes that heaven and man’s world—like Krypton and Planet Earth—can, and, indeed, must peacefully co-exist.

San Felice de Cantalice a Centocelle (Church of Saint Felix of Cantalice at Centocelle), seven months after he became a cardinal. The CBCP News reported that “Cardinals are assigned a ‘titular church’ in the Vatican to formally make them members of the diocesan clergy of Rome and because they elect the Pope, who is officially called ‘the Bishop of Rome’. In the Catholic Church, all Cardinals are installed as pastors of titular churches in Rome. Although not directly involved in the administration of the parish, the cardinal is expected to give advice and support to his titular church.” The church is referred to as a Centocelle (at Centocelle), derived from the Roman cavalry and their barracks consisting of a hundred lodging rooms dating back to the Roman Empire. It is currently administered by the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin since 1928. *** The Supreme Court reset the oral argument on the RH Law from June 18 to July 09, 2013. Let us pray for the lawyers of the petitioners that they be guided by the Holy Spirit so that they can ably and expertly dispute the many unconstitutional provisions imbedded in the RH Law. Let us also pray that the Supreme Court justices will be directed by the Holy Spirit in their deliberation so that RH Law will be declared unconstitutional. Let us also seek the intercession of the Blessed Mother so that the sanctity of family, life and marriage shall be protected through the rejection by the Supreme Court of the RH Law. Let us continue with our prayers. *** In relation to this issue, it is very timely

Who wants to be a saint?
(Part 3)
A MISSIONARY priest frequenting Quiapo church would observe that Filipinos are “natural contemplatives.” He was impressed by the sight of ordinary people in Quiapo church “who would just sit there and stare at the crucifix for hours.” He would say: “It’s amazing that a middle aged man wearing a T-shirt, shorts and rubber slippers—like the sidewalk vendors around the church—would devote so much time doing nothing before the image of the suffering Christ.” St. Teresa of Avila (whose religious name is Teresa of Jesus) is not that well-known to Filipinos, thus it would be presumptuous to say that the Quiapo devotees observed by the missionary priest must be imitators of the Saint from Avila. Whether it is coincidence or grace at work here, it is heartening to know that such devotees are on the right track as far as this Doctor of the Church teaches to those at the earliest stages of their prayer life. Filipinos, often praised by foreign visitors and tourists for their friendliness, would naturally take to Teresa of Avila’s idea that “Mental prayer … is nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who we know loves us.” Aware that some minds could be so distracted when trying to pray, she writes, “I am not asking you now to think of Him, or to form numerous conceptions of Him, or to make subtle meditations with your understanding. I am asking you only to look at Him. For who can prevent you from turning the eyes of your soul … upon this Lord? “Believe me, you should stay with so good a Friend for as long as you can before you leave Him. If you become accustomed to having Him at your side, as if He sees that you love Him to be there, and are always trying to please Him, you will never be able, as we put it, to send Him away.” In our world today when people’s hunger for social approval and friendship makes them satisfied to be surrounded by (and proud of) hundreds of Facebook friends, Teresa of Avila assures us that in Jesus we have a Friend who will never “unfriend” us in spite of our unfaithfulness. And we don’t even have to try too hard to befriend Him and keep Him company, as she says, “If you are happy, look upon your risen Lord. If you are suffering trials, or are sad, look upon Him on His way to the Garden. Love to speak to Him, not using forms of prayer, but words issuing from the compassion of your heart.” For St. Teresa, keeping the

Teresa R. Tunay, OCDS

…and that’s the truth
Lord’s company is almost like having Jesus the man around in the flesh. The humanity of Christ, in fact, is a fundamental tenet in her teachings—a mystery which Teresa had grasped first-hand. In 1554 she was to have a spiritual experience she would call her “conversion” for the deep mark it would leave on her life—she was 39 then, and her “soul was now grown weary” due to the “miserable habits it had contracted.” She would write, “It came to pass one day, when I went into the oratory, that I saw a picture (the Ecce Homo) which they had put by there, and which had been procured for a certain feast observed in the house. It was a representation of Christ most grievously wounded, and so devotional, that the very sight of it, when I saw it, moved me—so well did it show forth that which He suffered for us. So keenly did I feel the evil return I had made for those wounds, that I thought my heart was breaking. I threw myself on the ground beside it, my tears flowing plenteously, and implored Him to strengthen me once for all, so that I might never offend Him any more… It seems to me that I said to Him then that I would not rise up till He granted my petition.” The experience made her “very distrustful of myself, placing all my confidence in God.” Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, in his presentation on the Doctors of the Church in February 2012 said, “St. Teresa of Jesus is a true teacher of Christian life for the faithful of every time. In our society, which all too often lacks spiritual values, St. Teresa teaches us to be unflagging witnesses of God, of his presence and of his action. She teaches us truly to feel this thirst for God that exists in the depths of our hearts, this desire to see God, to seek God, to be in conversation with him and to be his friends. This is the friendship we all need that we must seek anew, day after day.” Might this be the kind of “friendship” the devotees in Quiapo church hunger for when they rub and kiss the foot of the suffering Nazarene, or when they sit for hours on end staring at the statue of the Crucified Christ? Are the Filipinos truly “natural contemplatives”? Who knows? Suffice it to say that a “profoundly contemplative and effectively active” unschooled woman from Avila who would become a Doctor of the Church would now—almost 500 years after her birth—serve to encourage simple believers by her example. She merely asks us to “look at Him”—and that gaze of faith will lead to the grace of friendship with the One who we know loves us very much.

Fr. Francis Ongkingco

Whatever
“POEMS are made by fools like me, But only God can make a tree.” (Joyce Kilmer) This line ends a poem we once memorized back in high school. I was so touched by the imagery it contained, but even more when dad –who knew the poem by heart—explained why the last line was important: the power to create belongs to God alone. As children power was like a magic word! We adored superheroes who flaunted varying degrees of undreamt of ultra-human powers: iron muscles, flying, x-ray and heat vision, breathing underwater, running faster than a speeding train, etc. We couldn’t resist thinking about the wonderful (or harmful) things we could do if we had such ‘gifts’. I don’t think it was common back then the present-day adage: “With great power comes great responsibility!” Kilmer’s words reminds us that man can indeed compose, paint, sculpture, design, build, invent, and what else have you…but only God possesses the power to create. And it is one power that doesn’t come with great responsibility, rather it comes with great love. Today, the verb to create is often taken lightly. It is usually considered synonymous to ‘make’, ‘fabricate’, ‘design’, ‘invent’ and so on. The word has totally lost all awesomeness and tremendousness! It has become one more expression referring to how things are ‘produced.’ But this is not so. Peter Kreeft says, “To create a thing is to give it existence. To make a thing means to give new form to matter, to something that

It’s more F.U.N: ‘Creator…’
new number other than those from 0 to 9, a new shape and even a new taste. Imagine what it would be like to describe to someone without the sense of taste what chocolate is like? Well, this is how difficult it would be to grasp what nothing is, and how God –the source of all being– could bring something out of nothing. This is to create. Besides ‘showing off’ that God is all-powerful, creation also reveals He is all-knowing because His designs are so wonderfully perfect and beautiful! Moreover, He is allgood because He could have chosen not to create at all. But He created to give us a gift of existence which we now enjoy. Kreeft says, “…he must also be a great artist, with a great sense of beauty, to have invented, all by himself, the stars, the sea, the snow. (…) God is the Creator; therefore God must be infinite in power, wisdom, love, and beauty. (Ibid.)” Now where’s the F.U.N. (Faith Up Now!) in this wonderful truth about creation? We can live our daily lives interacting more with God and creation. Here are some ‘P’ points: a) Piety. We must pray creation, or express our gratitude to God for all that He has made for us (i.e. life, friends, good, etc.) and for His own glory. How often do we thank Him for everything, as St. Francis of Assisi sang praises to God for all Creation. b) People. They are God’s most wonderful creation, created in His image and likeness! Before and above all other created realities, let us resolve to go out of our way to help our
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already exists. What is created is not just changed but made to exist in the first place. (Catholic Christianity)” Maybe the reason why people today may not understand the beauty contained in the word creation is their own lack of appreciation of what existence is in the first place. Kreeft adds that probably the closest we could come to ‘creating’ would be ‘pro-creating’ or our cooperation with God to bring to life another human being. “When God creates a new human soul out of nothing, he does so only when a man and a woman make a new body out of their previously existing matter and genetic form by sexual intercourse. That is why sex is holy. (Ibid.)” To bring something out of nothing is not something we can humanly experience because we are and can only accustomed to being. It’s like a chicken trying to imagine how it was like to be an egg. Thus, we cannot conceive anything new beyond the knowable reality—except those supernaturally revealed to us by God– of our material world. The most ‘amazing creations’ by Hollywood or imaginative writers are mere compositions of already existing parts rolled into what seems like a new being. For example, the characters of Star Wars seem to be outof-this-world, but they are still familiar to us because we can still recognize their eyes, mouth, arms and they communicate through some language. To create from nothing can be described like coming out with a totally new color, a

Candidly Speaking / A4

My friend was making a visit to the Blessed Sacrament at that time, but since there was a massive Polish crowd inside the Church in some liturgical celebration in a language he did not understand, he decided to pray using his electronic device that read for him some things from a spiritual book. Obviously the elderly person must have thought my friend was listening to music inside the church, and so my friend explained what he was actually listening. That was when the elderly person apologized. This kind of situation is actually getting more common. It shows how our rapid pace of

developments is creating wider gaps among generations and different types and groups of people. The challenge we have now is how to close or at least narrow these gaps. In this kind of situation, we need to be more understanding with one another and to foster dialogue and more ways of interaction. We should try to be calm and courteous always even as we explain our opinions and argue our points. We need to have a good grip on our passions, and stick to reason and to our faith firmly and charitably, quick to understand, forgive and be at peace with one another.

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Annulment cases down—archbishop
THE number of annulment cases nationwide is declining, the head of the Catholic Church’s National Appellate for Matrimonial Tribunal said June 17. Retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz, NAMT Judicial Vicar, estimated the number of annulment cases over the years by at least 10 to 15 percent. “I think it’s less than 10 to 1 5 percent as far as our cases here are concerned because there are also cases that go directly to Rome that do not pass by us,” Cruz said. The former president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines revealed that majority of couples seeking to nullify their marriages are from Metro Manila. He also said unlike in the provinces where the number of church weddings is increasing, it’s totally not the case in urban areas. According to him, many couples have opted for cohabitation without marriage “precisely because of the trend that if they do that, they could also part whatever time they like.” “Marriage is more difficult here (Metro Manila) precisely because of the influence of the First World countries which allow divorce and same-sex marriage, among others,” he said. (CBCPNews)

Local News
THOSE who missed the national consecration last June 8 may still do the individual act of consecration every first Saturday, according to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). CBCP Secretary General Msgr. Joselito Asis said, in a sense, the June 8 national consecration was a kick off for people to start doing the individual consecration as part of the First Saturday devotion. First Saturday devotion “It does not end with June 8… Our call is for the first Saturday devotion and for the renewal of hearts,” he explained in an interview. The first Saturday devotion, which Our Lady specifically asked for in Fatima, Portugal, consists of attending holy mass, going to confession, praying the 15 decades of the rosary and 15-minute meditation every first Saturday. As it were, this devotion also properly predisposes a person for the individual act of consecration; accordingly, the CBCP prepares to circulate a shorter version of the consecration prayer for this purpose. The First Saturday devotion is meant to make reparations for the offenses committed by people who do not believe in Our Lady’s Immaculate Conception, her perpetual virginity, her being the Mother of God, the desecration of her images and by publicly and actively instilling in others indifference and hatred for her. Aside from encouraging the faithful to make the individual act of consecration every First Saturday, the CBCP ad hoc committee for the national consecration also recommends that the rest renew their consecration. 9-year preparation to 2021 The recent June 8 consecration to Mary further concretizes her special, maternal role to the Filipino faithful—something that the CBCP perceives to be

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Vol. 17 No. 13

Missed the June 8 consecration? You can still do it every 1st Saturday
a spiritual ‘powerhouse’, so to speak. Asis said the Immaculate Heart of Mary will continue to be invoked as a source of grace for the Philippine Church as the faithful start its 9-year preparation for the 500th anniversary of the Catholic faith in the country in 2021. To put this into practice, the country will renew its collective consecration to the Immaculate Heart every year. In tandem with the First Saturday devotion, Asis also called on Filipinos to The Filipino faithful may still do their individual acts of consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary continue reading the every first Saturday of the month. CBCP catechetical primer on the conseMary for help. cration to the Immaculate Heart Materials on the consecrato better understand what con- tion are available on http:// secration means and why the c b c p n e w s . n e t / n c i h m / . Philippines specifically looks to (Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz)

Church seeks end to child labor

Dioceses, orgs to celebrate World Youth Day locally
SEVERAL dioceses and organizations in the country will commemorate the 27th World Youth Day at the same time with Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with local celebrations and overnight vigil on July 27-28. The dioceses of Cubao in Quezon City and San Pablo in Laguna together with the Federation of National Youth Organization, Military Ordinariate of the Philippines and the some dioceses under the National Capital Region Youth Ministries (FNYO/MOP/ NCR) will hold simultaneous and separate local celebrations in different venues. 3 organizers, 1 celebration With three organizing groups, the FNYO/ MOP/NCR will have their own celebration at the Don Bosco Technical Institute in Makati City from 1p.m. of July 27 up to 1 p.m. of July 28. Activities for the overnight event will be an opening mass, catechesis, small group sharing, youth festivals, praise and worship night, a live streaming of the vigil with the Pope and closing mass. Attendees are young people from parishes in dioceses around NCR, member organizations of FNYO and MOP and schools under the regional jurisdiction. Participants will be asked to pay a registration fee of P150.00 to cover for materials and food for July 28. They will also have to bring water bottle, snacks and dinner for July 27, sleeping bag and utensils. Cubao diocese Due to different local celebrations being organized in other dioceses and organizations, the diocese of Cubao will forgo a big celebration similar to what was organized last WYD 2011. The diocesan celebration will be held at the Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles Gym on July 27-28, with young people from all over the diocese. A live feed from Rio de Janeiro with communications from the official Cubao delegation is being finalized for the live streaming of the overnight vigil with Pope Francis.

Young children often work as casual laborers in various industries especially in the countryside as this file photo shows.

A CATHOLIC bishop from Eastern Samar province has appealed to all stakeholders to put an end to child labor. Borongan Bishop Crispin Varquez said child labor is a terrible phenomenon, as he called for an intensified crusade against it. The 52-year old prelate particularly called on the government and the parents to be interested in the welfare of their children. He observed that poverty and irresponsibility of some parents are among the leading causes of child labor in the country. “First, some parents are really irresponsible that’s why children are forced to work. Second, parents do not have enough income… poverty,” Varquez said. According to him, the governRH / A1

ment still has a lot to prove in terms of offering better protection for the right of children. He added that proper implementation of the government’s anti-poverty alleviation programs remains a challenge. Father Conegundo Garganta of the CBCP’s Commission on Youth is hoping that concerned government agencies would find a concrete measure to end the problem. “We are hoping that the government would find programs and solution to the problem of child labor,” Garganta said. Data from the National Statistics Office (NSO) showed that the estimated number of working children aged five to 17 years old is about 5.5 million. (CBCPNews)

Southern Tagalog Meanwhile, in San Pablo diocese, the activity will start from 5:00 in the afternoon of July 27 with a walk of faith or the so-called ‘lakbay ng pananampalataya’ to the main venue. There will be three plenary talks, exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Taize prayer and reconciliation, a plenary concert, live streaming of the vigil in Rio, the message of the Pope, and the closing mass. Calamba City will host the event, which is open not only to the youth of the diocese, but also to young people from nearby dioceses and throughout Southern Tagalog Region. Organizers are expecting around 7,000 attendees from all walks of life, not only young people. San Pablo Bishop Buenaventura Famadico will celebrate the Mass culminating the simultaneous celebration of the local WYD organized by the diocesan commission on youth. (Jandel Posion)

File photo

SK polls ‘entry point’ for political dynasties —PPCRV
THE Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) said the Sangguniang Kabataan is now being used as an “entry point” for political dynasties. Mincing no words, PPCRV chair Henrietta de Villa said that the country’s supposed fuMining / A1

ture leaders are already being exposed to “anomalous way.” “This is what political dynasties do now. They introduce their children in the SK and use it as basis in going after higher positions when they are of age,” De Villa said. “That is not supposed to

be. SK should be a practicing ground for authentic political leaders to emerge,” she said. The Philippines is holding its SK elections on October 28, alongside the barangay polls. The Commission on Elections (Comelec), for its part, is calling for a review of the law that cre-

ated the youth training program. “Maybe it is now time to revisit the law creating the SK because of what is happening now… They should be given more responsible tasks referring to our future leaders, such as community building,” said de Villa. (CBCPNews)

Also late last year, the website Wikileaks leaked a US State Department cable implicating Washington as behind the population-control drive in the Philippines for the past 40 years. $11 million to push RH The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) recently released its 2012 annual report dubbed “Promises to Keep” citing millions of dollars were channeled to fund contraceptives in developing countries. UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin presented the annual report to UNFPA’s Executive Board highlighting its activities in 2012, among them the distribution of fund to different countries to push for reproductive health worldwide. “Contraceptives are urgently needed. So are other affordable, effective and simple health supplies and medicines,” said the Executive Director in the introduction of the report.” According to the report, UNFPA channeled US$11,176, 000 in fund to Philippine based “civil society groups” which pushed for the passage of the RH measure. Late last year, Sotto in his Senate Bill (SB) 2865 speech revealed massive funding from UNFPA given to several groups, which also revealed as to having either non-existent or revoked Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) registrations. Among them the Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines (DSWP), Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and (PLCPD), Likhaan and Reproductive Health Advocacy Network (RHAN). The report also describes

achievements in seven areas where UNFPA stands to have the greatest impact among them promotion of maternal health, increasing access to voluntary family planning, advocating for gender equality and reproductive rights and increasing young people’s access to sexual and reproductive health services. 4 main issues The SC has also decided to cut down the issues to be tackled during the oral arguments into four main issues: • Whether the law violates autonomy of local government/ equal protection clause; • Right to life/freedom of religion/natural law; and • Freedom of speech/aca demic freedom Natural Family Planning (NFP) teacher Willy Jose however thinks the TRO is somewhat indicative of the SC’s independence. “I remember reading the dissenting opinion of Justice Marvic Leonen and it looks like a mighty legal tussle and not a political one. I still believe the weight of arguments stand in our favor,” said Jose. The RH law’s implementation is put on hold after the magistrates voted 10-5 in favor of a 120-day status quo ante order in favor of petitioners last March 19. Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles also had expressed concern over the possibility that Malacañang might exert pressure on Supreme Court. “I won’t be surprised. They had long prepared for that. I think they enjoyed their congressional victory that they underestimated the wounded judiciary,” said Arguelles.

munity and the environment. A study commissioned by three Swiss and German non-government organizations (NGOs) MISEREOR, the Swiss Catholic Lenten Fund and Bread for All, and carried out by the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF), based at Duisburg-Essen University in Germany said that the Tampakan mining project threatens the lives of tens of thousands of people since SMI was showing “insufficient respect for the rights of the affected population.” The 88-page report Human Rights Impact Assessment of the Tampakan Copper-Gold Project, released last week, said that the SMI project would require the destruction of large pristine forests, pose a serious risk to the local water supply, and require the resettlement of approximately 5,000 indigenous people. “About 5,000 indigenous people would be relocated and their traditional land destroyed. The mine would also threaten the water supply of tens of thousands of people,” Fr. Joy Pelino, director of the Social Action Center of Marbel diocese said in a release. The Tampakan mine is the biggest open pit copper and gold mines in Asia, comprising some 28,000 hectares of land. SMI is reportedly pouring US$5.9 billion to the project, which is estimated to yield 360,000 ounces of gold and 375,000 tons of copper per year. The mine is planned to go into operation in 2019. “[The] human rights to self-determination of indigenous peoples, to food, water, health, life and physical integrity are at stake,” the report said, adding that SMI has contravened its obligation of due diligence. ” But due diligence is voluntary.
Whatever / A5

Bread for All General Secretary Beat Dietschy stressed in a release that the Tampakan example shows that voluntary standards alone are not enough. MISEREOR, Lenten Fund and Bread for All, through the report, called on SMI and the Aquino administration to “enter into an honest dialogue with the people concerned— that could even lead to dropping the project.” They also urged the Swiss federal government to take action and introduce binding standards for Swiss companies over human rights. “Swiss companies have to respect all human rights, all over the world,” Dietschy said. Dietschy also said that the Swiss federal government must take action and lead the campaign for rights without borders even as he urged for legislation so that due diligence becomes a binding standard for corporations. Lenten Fund human rights expert Daniel Hostettler said in a statement that “a mix of government failure, a poor and marginalized population, and armed conflicts are the worst possible preconditions for operating an open-cast mine of these dimensions.” Development policy expert of MISEREOR, Elisabeth Strohscheidt, stressed that “the rights of the indigenous population to freely decide on the operating of mining projects in their territory must be respected.” Glencore-Xstrata owns, through its Australian Xstrata subsidiary, XstrataCopper, 62.5 percent of SMI. The Tampakan project is still in the exploration stage “but already, it appears to be dividing communities and people. Conflict
G8 / A1

is escalating, even within families. Military and paramilitary groups are being sent to the region to protect foreign investment. The conflict is becoming more violent and has already cost lives—on both sides,” the report said. The report noted that investment and business activities are needed by countries to develop. But it stressed that business “must… guarantee [ ] that economic development primarily benefits the population, not just a few companies, a small elite within the country and consumers from industrialized countries.” The report also said that the Philippine government, private companies such as Xtrata and a number of NGOs in the Philippines have endorsed the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which confirm the duty of states to protect people from human rights abuses, including by private actors. They also underline, among others, the responsibility of private companies themselves to respect human rights in all activities along their supply chain. One of the tools the Principles recommended is the conduct of a comprehensive Human Rights Impact Assessment. “However, neither the Philippine government nor the companies involved have so far undertaken such an assessment,” the report lamented. The report also lamented that in the Philippines, “human rights defenders are easily criminalized, threatened or even extrajudicially executed, in particular when they are engaged in a struggle for land rights and against large-scale investments or powerful landlords.” (Bong D. Fabe)

neighbor, pray for them, forgive, understand and cheer them up. Let us also constantly love and defend the gift of life from conception to death. c) Places . We must take care of the places we belong to (i.e. home, office, school, etc.) and all the materials good entrusted to us. In this we must also take our respective duties –in the office, family, community– to

heart. d) Pets. Let us take care of some living creatures, or at least to know how to respect them. They aren’t as valuable as people, but God gave them to us to care for and also to provide us for our needs. e) Plants. This means caring for all other living things in our ecological sphere. Whether we till to eat or to decorate, let us learn to sow and reap God’s love through them.

economic activity. “Because man is the truest and deepest resource for politics and economics, as well as their ultimate end,” said Pope Francis. Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron in his eight-paragraph reply to the pope did not however explicitly indicate any sign of fundamental concern for the ‘poorest and most vulnerable’ which Pope Francis classified including those ‘even in their mothers’ wombs’, which are the unborn. According to WHO, every year in

the world an estimated 40-50 million women decides to have an abortion. This corresponds to approximately 125,000 abortions per day. This doesn’t include statistics of micro abortions committed due to the use of contraceptives. Known member countries of the G8 such as Germany, Japan, Italy and Russia suffer from low birth rate which has greatly affected its economy and is expected to continue to endure the consequence of demographic winter. (Paul De Guzman)

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Vol. 17 No. 13
June 24 - July 7, 2013

Diocesan News

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Year of Faith formation based on personal ‘God experiences’ launched
DAGUPAN, Pangasinan—A CBCP Commission has launched a formation track for catechetical ministries based on going back to personal ‘God experiences’, timed for the celebration of the Year of Faith. According to Sr. Lydia Collado, RSCJ, who helps facilitate the Episcopal Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education’s (ECCCE) R&R (Retreat and Recollection)–Giving Training Seminar 2013 for Christian formation ministers, the track is based on the Articles of Faith and includes reflections, team building activities and talks. Personal God experiences “[It is] a whole experience of a recollection, [because] we cannot give what we do not have,” Sr. Lydia explained, stressing that catechists need to first relive their own experience of Jesus to be able to communicate it to others. Some 55 head catechists, religious and clergy members from 13 different dioceses underwent the module called FAITH: Yes, Lord, I Believe last June 18–21, at the Lingayen-Dagupan Lay Formation Center in order to echo

Heralds of true freedom, Tirona calls newly-ordained priests

Photo courtesy of Nirva DelaCruz

Caceres Archbishop Rolando Tirona urges newly-ordained priests to remain grounded in their priestly vocation and proclaim the Gospel with fidelity.

Participants from 13 dioceses all over the country receive certificates signifying they had successfully completed the course.

it to their respective catechetical ministries. Year of Faith formation program Through the seminar, called R&R for short, head catechists learn how to give retreats and recollections using ECCCE’s Year of Faith formation program. The training also includes workshops on how to cascade the

formation program to the parishes. Sr. Lydia, who headed the team of facilitators, which included Msgr. Jose Antonio Galvez, Rica Lavilla and Syd Baradi IV, said the formation is “for all time” and not just for the duration of the Year of Faith, since it is based on the timeless 12 Articles of Faith. Article 11, for example, focuses on the forgiveness of

sin. Participants are personally reminded that they are “loved and forgiven.” With his Apostolic Letter Porta fidei, Pope Benedict XVI declared a Year of Faith from October 11, 2012 to November 24, 2013, the Solemnity of Christ the King, in order to call the faithful to an experience of conversion and a rediscovery of faith. (Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz)

Calungsod mission church established in Catanduanes
VIGA, Catanduanes— The Diocese of Virac has established a mission Church with St. Pedro Calungsod as patron to propagate the devotion to the Filipino teen Saint and to make him known to the Filipino people. Although the church is yet to be inaugurated and blessed because the establishment was just issued last May 23, the faithful are already using the church for daily masses. According to Fr. Eric John Rojas, assistant to the diocesan chancellor, the establishment of the mission church which is far from the nearest parish is also a response to the call of the celebration of the Year of Faith, which is to rediscover the journey of faith and have renewed enthusiasm of the encounter with Christ. Rojas also added the mission church is a response on the pastoral necessity of the faithful in that area, “in other words, it is one way of bringing down the Church, being Christ as its head, to the people.” “The mission church is also a way to honor the teen saint who is the saint of lay Filipinos, to serve as an inspiration to many baptized Christians not just on the areas under the jurisdiction of the mission Church but to the whole diocese as part of our thrust, that is, the New Evangelization Pastorale,” Rojas stressed. The Mission Church is established in Gigmoto, Catanduanes with Brgy. Sicmil as its principal seat. It covers three other nearby barangays: Villa Aurora, Tinago and Botenaga, all under the Municipality of Viga with Fr. Jesus Lopez as its resident priest. Catanduanes Bishop Manolo de los Santos will possibly lead the inauguration and blessing of the Church which is still on the process. (Jandel Posion)

NAGA City—Calling his newlyordained priests heralds of true freedom, Caceres Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona stressed on the new pastors to preach about freedom and salvation that can only be found in Jesus Christ. Being heralds of true freedom is the mission and identity of a priest, Tirona emphasized on June 12 during the ordination of six deacons to the priesthood at the Basilica Minore de Peñafrancia in Naga City. Tirona ordained to the priesthood a total of nine deacons, six at the Basilica Minore de Peñafrancia on June 12, and three, in their own respective parishes on different dates. The newly ordained were Rev. Fermin Valiente, Jr., Rev. Ace Baracena, Rev. James Raymond Cortez, Rev. Emmanuel Quiros, Rev. Ronaldo Tud, Rev. Ramel Pajenago, Rev. Sharnsky Cama, Rev. Armand Christian Ortinero, and Rev. Edward Pletado. Explaining about priesthood as a gift and a grace, the archbishop said it is characterized by a deep relationship with God, a choice that comes from within, from a deep

and passionate love for Christ. Tirona exhorted the new priests “to accept the ministry with joy and humility”, to show Christ to others and to commit oneself to a life of sacrifice, a life detached from power. Being invested with the stole and chasuble not only marks the acceptance into the Sacred Order, but it also expresses one’s dedication to a life of service to other people, Tirona said. The archbishop also called on the lay faithful to look after their priests, since the priestly ministry is characterized by and exercised in a community. He said the faithful have the duty to welcome the priest not only in their homes, but also in their hearts. “There is a saying that when a visitor comes, Christ comes,” Tirona said, adding “[When] a priest comes, Christ comes.” He urged the faithful to support the priests in all their endeavors, especially the young, who may get easily discouraged. “Pray for, and pray with them,” he said. (Natalie Hazel Quimlat)

St. Pedro goes to WYD Rio
CEBU City—In spirit, San Pedro Calungsod will be at the World Youth Day in Brazil this July— thanks to Cebu youth who will be actively promoting him there. According to Marlito Cabigas of the Cebu Commission on Youth (COY), Cebu delegates to the WYD will “promote our new saint, Pedro Calungsod to the young people of the world” by inviting pilgrims from other countries to like the ‘Barkada ni Pedro’ (BNP) Facebook fan page, which also spreads the catechesis about the young martyr through daily updates and posts. ‘Like’ Barkada ni Pedro “Instead of merely introducing San Pedro to them, we want them to ‘like’ Barkada ni Pedro so that
Scandal / A1

sary, have Gospel reading and reflections. Cebu preparations Time is also given to learn basic Portuguese phrases and greetings, as well as to discuss WYD updates and to coordinate the group’s logistical needs for the three-week stay in Latin America. On July 2, the COY delegation will have a more intensive spiritual preparation, which will be capped with an audience with Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines president and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma. This year’s WYD will be held from July 23-28 with the main venue at the Copacabana Beach for the vigil with the Holy Father. (Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz)

Briefing
Holy Name Society holds national convention

they will always be reminded of him since we are posting on a daily basis, thus, it would appear on their wall,” Cabigas explained in an interview. Cabigas, who is the BNP administrator, said Calungsod shirts, stampitas and button pins will also be given away to WYD pilgrims.

The Archdiocese of Cebu will be officially sending some 38 pilgrims, with ages ranging from 22 to 50 years old, to the 28th WYD in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Cebu delegation has been meeting every Tuesday night at the San Pedro Calungsod Youth Center where they pray the ro-

MATI City—The Holy Name Society of the Philippines held its 40th National Convention last May 3-5, at the Betania Retreat House in Tagaytay City. The annual assembly had the theme “Strengthening the Christian Faith through Evangelization” which was adopted from the theme of the Assembly of the Synod of Bishops “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith.” The series of talks given during the convention centered on the theme and the spirit of the society. Eleven members of the Holy Name Society (HNS) of the San Nicolas de Tolentino Cathedral Parish, in the Diocese of Mati, Davao Oriental, attended the annual convention. (Sr. Marietta Alo, OND)
Church-sponsored trade show to feature 1st Bicol Aqua fair

suffered enough that they don’t deserve to be treated like that,” Cantillas said over Church-run Radyo Veritas. A lawmaker recently revealed that at least three Philippine Embassy officials in the Middle East are sexually abusing and prostituting distressed OFWs by offering them repatriation in exchange of sex. AKBAYAN party-list Rep. Walden Bello said the foreign affairs and labor departments must prosecute these officials from
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Philippine overseas offices and stripped of their positions. Foreign Secretary Albert Del Rosario immediately assured of a probe as he ordered the accused to come home immediately and face investigation. Bishop Cantillas has welcomed the move for an immediate investigation, adding that every effort should be made to resolve the issue. “What the DOLE and DFA are doing is

good to solve the problem involving government officials,” he said. Scalabrinian Missionary Fr. Edwin Corros, ECMI executive secretary, said that sex-for-fly scheme had been existing “long time ago.” “This issue is quite complicated. But there are victims seeking justice. Concerned government agencies must really investigate and the culprits should face the consequence of their deed,” Corros said. (CBCPNews)

NAGA City—The social arm of the Archdiocese of Caceres is slated to feature a wide array of marine products in its first Bicol Aqua Fair this coming September during the feast of the Our Lady of Peñafrancia. The Caceres Social Action Foundation, Inc. (CASAFI) on September will put up the 1st Bicol Aqua Fair during the Bishop Francisco Gainza Trade Fair (BFGTF) in partnership with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). BFGTF maintains its venue in downtown Naga, just a few meters away from the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral. The location’s proximity will allow thousands of Ina’s devotees to get the chance to shop marine products coming from different parts of Bicol along with handicrafts, souvenirs, furniture, food products and agricultural produce. (CBCPNews)
Mission directors to gather for national assembly

personal encounter with Christ and living them deeper.” Star of new evangelization Calling Mary as the “star of the new evangelization,” he urged the faithful to imitate the works and deeds of the Holy Mother in keeping families together and closer to Christ through praying the rosary. “By highlighting and promoting Marian devotion, we come to highlight what the FRC knows to be so relevant— family rosary is important for Mary in leading her children through Christ,” he said. “The FRC is given with marching orders. We have been called to go and promote
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the praying of the rosary with renewed fervor and vision for the people of today, reaching out to their hands and hearts to be children of Christ,” he added. Phalan said that an effective tool to fulfill the mission of new evangelization, which is to bring souls back to Christ, is through praying the rosary well and with ever renewed enthusiasm. However, he noted that when praying the rosary, people must not only be focused on asking the Blessed Mother for intercession. Rather, it must also be a means to know Christ personally. “By praying the rosary, our faith can become vital. By meditating the mysteries of the ro-

sary, we come to know Christ personally,” he said. ‘Pueblo Amante de Maria’ The priest also lauded the strengthening devotion of the Filipino people to the Madonna, noting that it is the kind of faith that the world must adapt to successfully battle influences of secularism and relativism in the modern times. “As a foreigner who sees the church in many places, influences of secularism and materialism are banging hard on the door. Communities must be prepared. The universal church needs the church in the Philippines to stay strong. We need Christian families in the Philip-

pines to remain strong,” he said. With the Filipino people’s devotion and love for Mary being strong and beautiful, Phalan urged Filipino lay leaders to help the faithful know the Blessed Mother deeper so they may share in her mission of bringing more people closer to her Son. “Like the Pueblo Amante de Maria, the church in the world truly needs the faith of the Filipino people to remain strong,” he said. “If we can tell people to know Mary better, we will love her even more and we will be able to help her in leading her children to the Divine Son,” Phalan added. (Jennifer M. Orillaza)

DUMAGUETE City—Around 90 mission directors from all over the country will gather for their general assembly on July 1 to 4, this city. Themed “The Synod on New Evangelization for the transmission of the Christian Faith: Challenges and Implications for the Mission of the Church,” the 60th general assembly will focus on deepening the understanding of the call for the New Evangelization and its challenges and implication for their work as mission directors and collaborators. Organized by the Pontifical Mission Society (PMS), activities for the assembly include workshops, plenary, open forum, group sharing and talks from guest speakers. (Jandel Posion)
AMRSP convention slated in Davao City

DAVAO City—The Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP) will hold its joint convention in Davao City next month to tackle Church matters and pressing national concerns. Hundreds of religious from different religious orders and congregations are expected at the gathering, where they will reflect on the theme “Faith and Inculturation: Celebration of the Year of Faith.” Organizers said the biennial meeting is communion with the Universal Church in celebrating the Year of Faith. Another rationale of the upcoming convention on July 1 to 5 is also in preparation for the celebration of the 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines. (CBCPNews)
We will advocate all issues affecting life, family— prolife solon

“Teaching of the Catholic Faith should not be limited in the classroom because students perceive it as just part of the curriculum which they will leave behind as soon as they graduate, whereas if the Catholic Faith is presented as a way of living, then students would continue to live the faith beyond their academic studies,” he said. Villegas urged Catholic educators and campus ministers to be more organized and structured in reaching out to the youth in the academe because unfortunately students, even those educated in

Catholic schools and universities, tend to outgrow the Catholic Faith after leaving school. Happy Christians The Church official also dared campus ministers and religion teachers to create “happy Christians” out of their students. “The presentation of the Catholic Faith should be with a happy mode. We in the Church are guilty in presenting the Faith as a series of obligations. But evangelization is not telling people what to do, it is telling people what God has done for

us, making us important, beautiful and good,” he said. Villegas said reviving the element of celebrating the Catholic Faith is what is lacking in the academe, and is something that Catholic educators and campus ministers should look into. “The Gospel is not about obligations, obligations, and obligations. It is about proclaiming your beauty, the good in you because God has done something beautiful in you. This for me is [what is] lacking in the way we approach [the faith],” he added. (YouthPinoy)

MANILA—Aside from pushing their advocacy of protecting life and fighting against ‘death bills”, a prolife party-list solon also vowed to focus on other issues affecting life and family such as economic, unemployment and poverty. Buhay Representative Lito Atienza stressed the need to view other social concerns as relevant also to what they are advocating for and will do their best to help one way or another in solving the issues. “We will not choose [only one issue]. We will focus on economics, poverty, unemployment and anti-life issues at the same time,” he said. “But still, our main advocacy is against any death bills that will be introduced in Congress… Economy, values, family, institution of our faith, all of those are connected with our life,” Atienza said. (CBCPforLife)

Natalie Hazel Quimlat

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People, Facts & Places

CBCP Monitor

June 24 - July 7, 2013

Vol. 17 No. 13

Servant leadership convention gathers church, lay officials
RESPONDING to the need to promote the virtue of stewardship among country officials and lay people alike, a Catholic charismatic organization recently conducted a convention that tackled the ideal virtues to be imbibed by a servant leader. Dubbed as “Servant Leadership in the Year of Faith,” the Serviam Catholic Charismatic Community, a lay organization promoting charismatic services and activities among Filipino Catholics, held a convention June 14 to 15 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City to promote servant leadership while heeding Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s declaration of the Year of Faith. “This conference is to bring out the principle and challenge of servant leadership as a way of life through following Jesus Christ as our role model,” said Fr. Anton C.T. Pascual, Serviam Community spiritual adviser. Almost a thousand delegates from various dioceses, archdioceses, religious groups, and lay organizations graced the event as clergy officials and personalities from both public service and lay movements gave talks on servant leadership in various contexts. “We have to be leaders who serve, not leaders who enrich ourselves and abuse people. Power corrupts and we have to be very careful with the power that we have. It is given to us by God not to be a dictator or to take advantage of weak people but to be of service to humanity,” Pascual said. Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma urged the faithful to keep the image of Christ in giving service to others. “I hope that this unique way of service can draw more people to imitate out the Lord’s radical way of discipleship. May this also be a reminder to all leaders of our Church and our nation as they strive to keep alive their commitment and dedication to a life of service,” Palma said in his message for the two-day convention. Pasig Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara echoed Palma’s call and noted the importance of emulating Christ’s example through self-emptying and keeping the virtue of humility alive. “Through His ministry, Christ followed the will of His Father which is to serve and save His people. All His life is focused on loving service to people leaving His apostles and followers and exJennifer Orillaza

Stressing a kind of leadership founded on service, speakers urge participants to promote servant leadership as a way of life.

Family Rosary Crusade holds 8th general assembly

ample to emulate,” Vergara said. “We can do as Christ did only if we become as humble as Christ Himself. Like Him, we too must forget ourselves so we can reach out to people, especially the least, the last, and the lost,” he added. Noting the original sin as the source of evil affecting the Phil-

ippine society, Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco called on leaders to fight its effects and go back to the ideals of servant leadership. “Man has been affected by original sin and as a consequence, human conduct and institutions became corrupted. Secularism and materialism

have crept in society and so leadership is of primary independence,” Ongtioco said. “The election of Pope Francis has brought a new spirit and a new kind of leadership in the Church. It is servant leadership. We are invited to go back to our roots and live in simplicity,” he added. (Jennifer M. Orillaza)

Representatives from various units of FRC all over the country gather for their 8th general convention. The gathering hopes to encourage the faithful to renew their enthusiasm in praying the rosary.

MEMBERS of the Roman Catholic movement Family Rosary Crusade (FRC) gathered on June 22 for their 8th general assembly in an attempt to empower and enrich themselves for the fulfillment of their mission to bring Christ closer to Filipino families. Nearly 500 individuals from different FRC units all over the country flocked the Pope Piux XII Catholic Center Auditorium for this gathering with the theme “Believe, Live, and Lead the Faith like Mary.” Fr. Roque D’Costa, FRC Executive

Director, said that the seminar aimed to emphasize the importance of faith and transform lay leaders to become prophetic witnesses of Christ’s mission of salvation. “This year of faith calls for a renewed conversion to the Lord Jesus and for rediscovering our faith so that members of the church may join in the joyful witnessing of the risen Lord,” he said. D’Costa added that the convention also emphasizes the Blessed Virgin Mary as the model of the church “who shines forth to the community as the

model of virtues.” “Like Mary, all of us have to be models of faith and virtue…All of us should experience faith and charity, and share them to those who do not believe,” he noted. Fr. James Phalan, Family Rosary International Director, reminded FRC members of their task to encourage the habit of praying the holy Rosary in every family. “We have to continue encouraging everyone to have the renewed enthusiasm in praying the rosary personally, in the local church, or even at home,” he said. “By meditating the mysteries of the holy rosary, we come to know Christ personally,” Phalan added. Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle delivered the keynote address, while Phalan gave a talk on the Year of Faith, New Evangelization and Family. Broadcast journalist Angelique Lazo talked about the important role played by the media in propagating faith among Catholics. FRC members gave inspirational talks in the afternoon session. The celebration was capped with a Eucharistic celebration presided by Parañaque Bishop Jesse Mercado, chairman of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines’ (CBCP) Episcopal Commission on the Laity. (Jennifer M. Orillaza)

Cardinal Tagle takes possession of Roman see
the church hosted by the local parish priest. Hundreds of parishioners welcomed the cardinal to the San Felice da Cantalice a Centocelle at Piazza San Felice da Cantalice (Church of Saint Felix of Cantalice at Centocelle). Fr. Reginald Malicdem, the cardinal’s private secretary, said the ceremony followed that of a canonical possession. Tagle was received by the parish priest to the church for the traditional kissing of the cross and was followed by the celebration of the Eucharist. A number of Filipino priests, nuns and lay people staying in Rome also attended the liturgical celebration. The church is referred to as a Centocelle (at Centocelle), derived from the Roman cavalry and their barracks consisting of a hundred lodging rooms dating back to the Roman Empire. It is currently administered by the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin since 1928. In Catholic tradition, each cardinal is given a “titular see” in Rome that serves as a highly symbolic link to the Pope. (CBCPNews)

Jennifer Orillaza

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle takes possession of the San Felice da Cantalice, his “titular church” in Rome.

FAR from his archdiocese in Manila, Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle on June 16 took possession of his “titular church” in Rome that will look to him as its cardinal patron. The actual ceremony took place on Saturday at 6:30pm (12:30am Sunday in Manila) at a concelebrated Mass in

Abp. Villegas ‘reaches out’ through social media
ARCHBISHOP Socrates Villegas is both on Facebook and Twitter posting daily updates in an attempt to reach out to the Catholic faithful. “I want to reach out. I cannot keep the message of Christ to myself or to those I meet in the Church. This is ‘plunging into the deep’ for our times,” he said in an interview. Willing to dare and learn Despite being one of only a few highprofile personalities in the Church who has actively embraced social media platforms, Villegas points to Christ as his sole motivation for doing so. “I am not venturing to make myself visible. It is not me. I want Christ to be more visible online. Not me. It is Christ. I beg Christ to use me,” the Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan explained further. Admitting he is not much of a “techie”, Fr. Soc, as he prefers to be called, said joining two of the biggest social networks is “really venturing into an uncertain sphere”, but that he is “willing to dare and to learn.” There seems to be a sustained and widespread clamor for him to be more visible online even during the time of Friendster, another networking site popular in its heyday. Villegas recounted how several well-meaning and not so well-meaning admirers would set up online accounts of “Bishop Socrates Villegas” through the years. ‘Follow Jesus, not me’ Even as his FB followers have shot up to 1,094 in just two days, Villegas, who is also the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) vice president, begs people to keep their eyes on Jesus – even online. “Do not follow me on Twitter, follow Christ. Do not just make me a Facebook friend, make Christ your best friend,” he said. He even goes on to beg online followers not to give him too much attention as it only succeeds in “embarrassing” him. In a most recent FB post, Villegas said, “Don’t follow me. I am only another follower like you. Let’s follow Jesus together.” Follow Abp. Villegas, who is also the CBCP Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education chairman, on Twitter @frsocvillegas and like his official Facebook page on https:// www.facebook.com/frsocratesvillegas. (Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz)

Exorcist talks about Satan’s ‘special hatred’ for women
THERE really is something about Mary—and all other women—and the devil does not like it. “I am quite familiar with Satan’s hatred toward Mary and therefore, toward women in general on account of Mary,” said Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi, a Rome-based theologian and exorcist who has assisted the legendary Fr. Gabriel Amorth, former chief exorcist of Rome. More possessed women than men Iannuzzi explained how Satan is humiliated by the Blessed Virgin because she— someone so humble and pure—is the one assigned by God to defeat him. Quoting Fr. Amorth, he said, women are more “easily exposed to the danger of the devil” and that statistics show, more women are possessed by evil spirits than men. Iannuzzi testified to personally encountering numerous cases where women were forced to prostitute themselves because of demonic possession. He said, the devil particushe’s confirmed in grace, she defeated him. So he looks for other women,” said the priest, who spoke to more than a thousand at the Marian auditorium in Miriam College on June 8. Iannuzzi described demonic possessions of women as Satan is “avenging himself” because of Mary’s role as described in the Protoevangelium or the first announcement of the Gospel. He cited Genesis 3:15, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; They will strike at your head, while you strike at their heel” (Genesis 3:15) and how it foretells the manner of evil’s defeat. Apparently, Satan cannot help but be envious of Mary’s “efficacious power that exceeds that of all other creatures.” At odds with the devil’s attributes, the Blessed Virgin Mary is powerful because she is “totally abandoned to the will of God,” according to Iannuzzi. (Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz)

Exorcist Fr. Joseph Iannuzi talks about how real the devil is and how he especially preys on women.

larly likes preying on women who are “young and pleasing in appearance.” Women’s rights, abortion Other seemingly progressive developments like supposed women’s rights seem to trace their roots to something hardly human. Since it is the devil’s plan to “ape God, to mock God,” according to Iannuzzi, he also “employs the woman in the destruction, the breakdown of the family nucleus.” According to Filipinos for Life president AJ Perez, abortion, for example, is the antithesis of the Eucharist.

“In the Eucharist, God said, ‘This is my body, which will be given up for the salvation of all.’ In abortion, it’s opposite. The woman says, ‘This is my body, I alone have the right to it, I will not make that sacrifice, therefore someone has to die,” Perez explained. While explaining that he is not putting the blame fair and square on women because of some intrinsic flaw, Iannuzzi said, these findings point to a diabolical loathing by substitution. Cause of Satan’s fury “[Satan] is like a mad man. He can’t get to Mary;

Nirva Dela Cruz

Archbishop Tirona to receive pallium from Pope
CACERES Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona will receive from the Pope one of the most special symbols of the Catholic Church. Tirona arrived is in Rome for the papal Mass and imposition of the “pallium” on new metropolitan archbishops from all over the world in St Peter’s Basilica on June 29 at 9:30 am (3:30 pm in Manila). Many of those receiving the pallium were appointed since June 29 of last year or during the term of Francis’ predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. The pallium is a vestment made of white wool only worn by the pontiff and by archbishops. The pope uses the pallium to symbolize the plenitude of pontifical office. For archbishops, it signifies the authority given to them by the pope over their respective archdioceses, particularly their bond and shared responsibility with the pontiff to pastors in their regions. Each year on the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, the pope gives a pallium to newly-installed archbishops around the world. Tirona, a Carmelite missionary, will be the only Filipino archbishop to receive the pallium this year. Last year, four Filipinos were given the pallium. They were Archbishops Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle of Ma-

‘Festive gathering’ instead of rally against RH law
INSTEAD of an angry-slogan-kickingand-screaming type of rally, a pro-life group is inviting everyone who opposes R.A. 10354 to a festive gathering on July 9 along Padre Faura Street, in front of the Supreme Court. Aside from being a show of support for the lawyers and petitioners against the RH law, as oral arguments start on the said day, the event is meant to communicate a decidedly pro-life message to the public. Singing and dancing for life “We’re pegging this as a festive gathering because we need to send out the message to our nation that we should always celebrate life. The best thing that can happen to a person is to be born, to begin with. Our nation needs to celebrate and respect life,” explained AJ Perez, president of Filipinos for Life, the event’s main organizer. True to its upbeat tone, the event’s program, which will start at 9 a.m., will feature the praying of the rosary, short pep talks from representatives of the petitioners and of course, some singing and dancing. Participants are encouraged to come in red and bring along with them placards with “positive pro-life messages.” The natural law argument Despite a protracted battle with the RH law, Perez has high hopes that the oral arguments starting on July 9 could be a turning point. “We recognize the fact that this may be a historic moment in our country’s history. We’ve been fending off RH for so many years now, and this might be our chance to finally slay the dragon, so to speak, and put an end to RH once and for all,” he added. From the 12 petitions filed against the controversial law, Perez noted, the most compelling argument seems to be the case for natural law and how RH, in essence, aims to subvert it. The natural law is defined as “a body of unchanging moral principles regarded as a basis for all human conduct.” Arguments will be made on how R.A. 10354 is designed to coerce citizens into going against their moral judgment and natural inclination of being open to life—something clearly against natural law. Though Perez could not provide a projected number of attendees, several groups like Pro Life Philippines, Rosaries for Life, St. Paul College, Don Bosco Mandaluyong, and Youth United for the Philippines under Anthony Lumicao of University of Asia and the Pacific have confirmed their attendance. For more information, contact the Pro-life office at (02) 733-70-27, (02) 734-94-25, 0918-2337783 or emaillife@ prolife.org. (Nirva’ana Delacruz)

www.rcam.org

Archbishop Rolando Tirona

nila, John Du of Palo, Jose Advincula of Capiz and Romulo Valles of Davao. Incidentally, Tirona will also be the first Filipino archbishop to receive pallium from Pope Francis. The 66-year old prelate was the last archbishop to be appointed by Benedict XVI on September 8, 2012 before the pope resigned from his post five months after. Tirona was formally installed as Caceres archbishop on November 14, 2012, succeeding Archbishop Emeritus Leonardo Legaspi. (CBCPNews)

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CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 13
June 24 - July 7, 2013

Pastoral Concerns

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The law of love
DEAR Brothers and Sisters, Good morning! Today I would like to reflect on another term by which the Second Vatican Council defined the Church: “People of God” (cf. Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, n. 9; The Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 782). And I do so with several questions for each one of you to reflect on. 1. What does “People of God” mean? First of all it means that God does not belong in a special way to any one people; for it is He who calls us, convokes us, invites us to be part of his people, and this invitation is addressed to all, without distinction, for the mercy of God “desires all men to be saved” (1 Tim 2:4). Jesus does not tell the Apostles or us to form an exclusive group, a group of the elite. Jesus says: go out and make disciples of all people (cf. Mt 28:19). St Paul says that in the People of God, in the Church, “there is neither Jew nor Greek... for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28). I would also like to say to anyone who feels far away from God and the Church, to anyone who is timid or indifferent, to those who think they can no longer change: the Lord calls you too to become part in his people and he does this with great respect and love! He invites us to be part of this people, the People of God! 2. How does one become a member of this people? It is not through physical birth, but through a new birth. In the Gospel, Jesus tells Nicodemus that he needs to be born from on high, from water and from the Spirit in order to enter the Kingdom of God (cf. Jn 3:3-5). It is through Baptism that we are introduced into this people, through faith in Christ, a gift from God that must be nourished and cultivated throughout our life. Let us ask ourselves: how do I make this faith that I received in my Baptism grow? How do I make this faith that I received and that belongs to the People of God grow? 3. Another question: what is the law of the People of God? It is the law of love, love for God and love for neighbor according to the new commandment that the Lord left to us (cf. Jn 13:34). It is a love, however, that is not sterile sentimentality or something vague, but the acknowledgment of God as the one Lord of life and, at the same time, the acceptance of the other as my true brother, overcoming division, rivalry, misunderstanding, selfishness; these two things go together. Oh how much more of the journey do we have to make in order to actually live the new law— the law of the Holy Spirit who acts in us, the law of charity, of love! Looking in newspapers or on television we see so many wars between Christians: how does this happen? Within the People of God, there are so many wars! How many wars of envy, of jealousy, are waged in neighborhoods, in the workplace! Even within the family itself, there are so many internal wars! We must ask the Lord to make us correctly understand this law of love. How beautiful it is to love one another as true brothers and sisters. How beautiful! Let’s do something today. We may all have likes and dislikes; many of us are perhaps a little angry with someone; then let us say to the Lord: Lord, I am angry with this or that person; I am praying to you for him or her. To pray for those with whom we are angry is a beautiful step towards that law of love. Shall we take it? Let’s take it today! 4. What is this people’s mission? It is to bring the hope and salvation of God to the world: to be a sign of the love of God who calls everyone to friendship with Him; to be the leaven that makes the dough rise, the salt that gives flavor and preserves from corruption, to be a light that enlightens. Look around us—it is enough to open a newspaper, as I said— we see the presence of evil, the Devil is acting. However, I would like to say out loud: God is stronger! Do you believe this, that God is stronger? Let us say it together, let us say it all together: God is stronger! And do you know why he is stronger? Because He is Lord, the only Lord. And I would like to add that reality, at times dark and marked by evil, can change, if we first bring the light of the Gospel especially through our lives. If in a stadium—say the Olympic stadium in Rome or the San Lorenzo in Buenos Aires—on a dark night, if someone turns on a light, you can barely see it but if the other 70,000 spectators turn on their own light, the whole stadium shines. Let our lives together be the one light of Christ; together we will carry the light of the Gospel to the whole of reality. 5. What is the destination of this People? Our destination is the Kingdom of God, which God himself inaugurated on this earth and which must be extended until its fulfillment, when Christ, our life, shall appear (cf. Lumen Gentium, n. 9). The end then is full communion with the Lord, familiarity with the Lord, entry into his own divine life, where we will live in the joy of his love beyond measure, a full joy. Dear brothers and sisters, being the Church, to be the People of God, in accordance with the Father’s great design of love, means to be the leaven of God in this humanity of ours. It means to proclaim and to bring the God’s salvation to this world of ours, so often led astray, in need of answers that give courage, hope and new vigour for the journey. May the Church be a place of God’s mercy and hope, where all feel welcomed, loved, forgiven and encouraged to live according to the good life of the Gospel. And to make others feel welcomed, loved, forgiven and encouraged, the Church must be with doors wide open so that all may enter. And we must go out through these doors and proclaim the Gospel.
Photo: news.va facebook page

(Reflection of Pope Francis on the United Nation’s World Day against Child Labor, during the General Audience at St. Peter’s Square on 12 June, 2013; he called for more effective measure by the international community in the fight against this “deplorable phenomenon”.)

‘Jesus is more necessary than ever for the man of today’
(Address of Pope Francis on the 50th Anniversary of the Election of Pope Paul VI, June 25, 2013)
in Montini’s whole life, also in the choice of his name as Pope, motivated by him with these words: He is the Apostle “who loved Christ supremely, who in the highest degree desired and made the effort to take the Gospel of Christ to all peoples, who offered his life for love of Christ” (Homily [June 30, 1963]: AAS 55 [1963], 619). And he pointed out this same totality to the Council in the opening address of the Second Session at Saint Paul’s Outside the Walls, pointing to the great mosaic of the Basilica in which Pope Honorius III appears in miniscule proportions at the feet of the great figure of Christ. So was the Council’s Assembly itself: at the feet of Christ, to be His servants and the servants of His Gospel (cf. Address [September 29, 1963]: AAS 55 [1963], 846-847). He had a profound love for Christ, not to possess Him but to proclaim Him. We recall his passionate words at Manila: “Christ! Yes, I feel the necessity of proclaiming Him, I cannot be silent about Him! … He is the revealer of the invisible God, He is the first born of all creatures, He is the foundation of everything. He is the Teacher of humanity, He is the Redeemer. He is the center of history and of the world. He is the One who knows and loves us. He is the companion and friend of our life. He is the Man of sorrows and of hope. He is the one who must come one day to be our Judge and, we hope, the eternal fullness of our existence, our happiness” (Homily [November 27, 1970]: AAS 63 [1971], 32). These passionate words are great words. But I confide something to you. This address at Manila, and also that of Nazareth, were spiritual strength for me. They have done me so much good in life. And I go back to this address, I go back and back to it, because it does me good to hear this word of Paul VI today. And we, do we have the same love of Christ? Is He the center of our life? Do we witness Him in our actions every day? The second point: love of the Church, a passionate love, love of a whole life, joyful and deeplyfelt, expressed already in his very first encyclical, Ecclesiam suam. Paul VI lived fully the suffering of the Church after Vatican II, the lights, the hopes, the tensions. He loved the Church and spent himself for her without reservations. In Thought of Death he wrote: I would like to embrace her, greet her, love her in every being that is part of her, in every bishop and priest that assists and guides her, in every soul that lives and illustrates her.” And in the Testament he addressed her with these words: “Receive with my blessed greeting my supreme act of love!” (Teachings [Insegnamenti] XVI [1978], 592). This is the heart of a true Pastor, of a genuine Christian, of a man capable of loving! Paul VI had a very clear vision that the Church is a Mother that bears Christ and takes Christ. In the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi—for me the greatest pastoral document that has been written up to today— he posed this question: “After the Council and thanks to the Council, which was for her an hour of God in this brief period of history, does the Church feel or not feel herself more able to proclaim the Gospel and to insert it in man’s heart with conviction, freedom of spirit and efficacy?” (December 8, 1975, n. 4: AAS 69 [1976], 7). And he continued: is the Church “truly rooted in the heart of the world and yet sufficiently free and independent to interpellate the world? Does she give witness of her solidarity with men and, at the same time, with the Absolute of God? Is she more ardent in contemplation and in adoration, and at the same time more zealous in her missionary, charitable and liberating action? Is she ever more committed in the effort to seek the re-establishment of the full unity of Christians, which renders common witness more effective “so that the world will believe”? (Ibid., n. 76: AAS 68 [1976], 67). These are questions addressed also to our Church of today, to all of us, we are all responsible for the answers and we must ask ourselves: are we really a Church united with Christ to go out and proclaim Him to all, also and above all to those that I call the “existential peripheries,” or are we shut in on ourselves, in our groups, in our small coteries? Do we love the great Church, the Mother Church, the Church that sends us on mission and makes us come out of ourselves? And the third element: love of man. This is also linked to Christ, it is God’s passion itself that spurs us to encounter man, respect him, recognize him and serve him. In the last Session of Vatican II, Paul VI gave an address that on rereading it, strikes one every time. In particular where he speaks of the Council’s attention to contemporary man. And he says: “Profane, secular humanism has appeared in the end in its terrible stature and, in a certain sense, it has challenged the Council. The religion of the God who became man encountered the religion of man who makes himself God. What has happened? A clash, a fight, an anathema? It could have been, but it didn’t happen. The old story of the Samaritan was the paradigm of the Council’s spirituality. An immense sympathy pervaded everything. The discovery of human needs. Give it credit for this at least, you modern humanists, who renounce the transcendence of supreme things, and you will recognize our new humanism: we also, we more than all, are the lovers of man”

DEAR Brothers and Sisters of the Diocese of Brescia, I thank you because you give me the possibility of sharing with you the memory of the Venerable Servant of God Paul VI. I greet you all affectionately, beginning with your bishop, Monsignor Luciano Monari, to whom I am grateful for his kind words. I greet the priests, the men and women religious and lay faithful. This is your pilgrimage in the Year of Faith, and it is good that you wished to make it, on the 50th anniversary of the election of your great fellow-countryman Paul VI. There are so many things that I would like to say and recall about this great Pontiff. Thinking of him, I will limit myself to three fundamental aspects that he witnessed and taught us, letting his impassioned words illustrate him: the love of Christ, the love of the Church and the love of man. These three words are fundamental but also passionate attitudes. In difficult years, Paul VI was able to witness faith in Jesus Christ. Still resonating, more intensely than ever, is his invocation: “You are necessary, O Christ!” Yes, Jesus is more necessary than ever for the man of today, for the world of today, because in the “deserts” of the secular city He speaks to us of God, He reveals His face to us. The total love of Christ emerges

(Homily [December 7, 1965]: AAS 58 [1966]. 55-56). And with a global glance at the work of the Council, he observed: “All this doctrinal richness is geared in one direction: to serve man. Man, we say, in his every condition, in his every infirmity, in his every necessity. The Church has virtually declared herself the handmaid of humanity” (Ibid., 57). And this gives us light also today, in this world where man is denied, where there is preference to go by the way of Gnosticism, by the way of Pelagianism, or of “no flesh”, a God who did not become flesh—or the “no God”—Promethean man who can go forward. At this time, we can say the same things Paul VI said: the Church is the handmaid of man; the Church believes in Christ who came in the flesh and because of this serves man, loves man, believes in man. This is the inspiration of the great Paul VI. Dear friends, it does us good to meet in the name of the Venerable Servant of God Paul VI! His witness enkindles in us the flame of love of Christ, of love of the Church, of the rush to proclaim the Gospel to the man of today, with mercy, patience, courage and joy. I thank you once again for this. I entrust you all to the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, and I bless you all from my heart, along with your loved ones, especially the children and the sick.

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

Updates

CBCP Monitor
June 24 - July 7, 2013

Vol. 17 No. 13

The Duty of Residence of the Parish Priest (Part II)

The Availability of the Parish Priest to his Parishioners The question of the physical and moral availability of the parish priest in the parish is inescapable. It simply is not possible for him to fulfill all his obligations to his flock were he not to be available in the parish 24 hours of the day all throughout the year, except for the periods of absence provided by Canon Law for his own rest and formation. Thus, from olden times, the duty of residence in the parish has always been considered as a direct consequence of the function of the pastoral care of souls entrusted to the parish priest. As an eminent 16th Century Italian canonist affirmed: “the pastoral ministry implies many things which necessarily require personal presence”.1 Thus, the Code of Canon Law binds with the duty of residence those who hold offices that imply a particular responsibility as regards the pastoral care of souls, like the diocesan Bishop (cf. c.395), the Bishop-coadjutor and the auxiliary Bishop (cf. c.410), the diocesan Administrator (cf. c.429), the parish priest (cf. c.533) and the parochial vicar (cf. c.550). In effect, the habitual presence of the parish priest in the parish aims to guarantee his constant and effective availability for the needs of the faithful, who--in turn--should be able to approach their parish priest for whatever legitimate request. On the other hand, it is clear that such pastoral needs of the faithful can present themselves and should be adequately attended to at whatever time of day or night. Hence, the parish priest is--in principle--always on duty and on call.

The Duty of Residence of the Parish Priest Canon Law specifies this duty in c.533 of the Code of Canon Law as follows: Can. 533 -- §1. The pastor (parish priest) is obliged to reside in a parish house close to the church;2 in particular cases, however, the local Ordinary can permit him to live elsewhere, especially in a house shared by several presbyters (priests), provided there is a just cause and suitable and due provision is made for the performance of parochial functions. - §2. Unless there is a serious reason to the contrary, the pastor may be absent each year from the parish on vacation, for at most one continuous or interrupted month; the days which the pastor spends once a year in spiritual retreat are not counted in his vacation days; if the pastor is to be absent from the parish beyond a week, he is bound to inform the local Ordinary of this. - §3. The diocesan Bishop is to issue norms which provide for the care of a parish by a priest possessing the needed faculties during the absence of the pastor. In effect, Canon Law obliges the parish priest to reside in his parish, specifically in a parish house close to the church or (with due permission of the bishop) in another place within the parish territory, provided he is able to fulfill his parochial functions. Obviously, if the parish territory includes far-flung towns and villages, the absence of the parish priest from the parish house while attending to his flock in those remote places of the

parish cannot be considered as absence from the parish, but rather as a case of temporary residence in another house within the territorial limits of his parish, as provided for by c.533, §1. Also, for reasons of order such prolonged absences from the usual place of residence--i.e., the parish house or rectory--should be done with the permission of the bishop. Absences of the Parish Priest Canon Law expressly provides several legitimate motives for the parish priest to be absent from the parish (i.e., outside the territorial limits of his parish): 1st a yearly vacation totaling 30 days maximum --either continuous or interrupted--as provided for by c.283, §2: Clerics are entitled to a due and sufficient period of vacation each year, to be determined by universal or particular law. 2nd a yearly closed retreat--which normally lasts 1 week--as provided for by c.276, §2, 4°: [In order for them to pursue this perfection] priests are also bound to make a retreat according to the prescriptions of particular law. 3 rd other sporadic absences for priestly formation, as provided for by c.279, §2: In accord with the prescriptions of particular law, priests are to attend pastoral lectures which are to be held after priestly ordination; at times determined by the same particular law they are also to attend lectures and theological meetings or

conferences which afford them opportunities to acquire a fuller knowledge of the sacred sciences and of pastoral methods. With these dispositions, Canon Law aims to guarantee for the parish priest some periods of rest, which are necessary for him to recover his physical as well as spiritual energies. Thus, these periods of physical and spiritual rest should not be considered simply as legitimate rights, but also as natural necessities that--except for a serious reason--should not be omitted. Obviously, order demands that for an absence of greater than a week, the parish priest ought to inform the diocesan bishop so that--as the Commission drafting the Code itself pointed out--the latter may give the due authorization and, even more importantly, adequately provide for the pastoral care of the parish community during the parish priest’s absence, by designating a priest to substitute him.
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On the other hand, the serious violation of the law of residence is considered as a crime in Canon Law with its corresponding penalty, as typified by c.1396: One who seriously violates the obligation of residence to which he is bound by reason of an ecclesiastical office is to be punished with a just penalty, including even deprivation of office after a warning. Resolution of the Case 1) Before rushing into any judgment

against him, the interested parishioners-especially those more involved in the organization of the parish--would do well to try a respectful dialogue. For all we know, there might be legitimate reasons for his absences. 2) In any case--and more especially if his absences far exceed the 37 plus days provided for by Canon Law for his vacation, closed retreat and other means of priestly formation--the concerned parishioners can always bring the matter to the attention of the diocesan bishop. 3) Should the parish priest concerned really be guilty of undue absence from the parish, the diocesan bishop can admonish him (Canon Law provides for at least 2 canonical warnings) after which--should the parish priest not change his ways--he may proceed with the imposition of a just canonical sanction (penalty)--which may include the removal from office of the parish priest.

(Endnotes) 1 Bartholomew Carranza, Controversia de Necessaria Residentia personali Episcoporum et aliorum inferiorum pastorum, Venice (1547), Chapt.2, pp.15-16. 2 The parish house or rectory is locally referred to in the Philippines as the convento, which at times is translated to English as convent, an unfortunate choice of term since the word convent has a precise meaning which refers to the house of religious nuns (not even monks or friars). 3 Cf. Communicationes, 14 (1982), p.225.

Water and Multiple Chalices
(Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy and dean of theology at the Regina Apostolorum university, answers the following query:) Q: When the Blood of Christ has to be given to a number of communicants, the priest prepares three or four chalices with wine. Before consecration, some priests pour water only in one chalice, whereas some priests pour water in all chalices. What is the normal rule? Absence of uniformity in this might not be good, as it could create confusion in the minds of the faithful. -- T.K., Mumbai, India A: Liturgists have debated the proper practice in this case, but no definitive solution has been found as to the best practice. Nor has there been, as far as I know, an official position regarding this point. The use of multiple chalices is found above all in concelebrations but also whenever Communion under both species is given to all those present. The rubrics speak only in the singular, saying that the deacon or priest “pours wine and a little water into the chalice ….” This specification regarding the principal chalice means that it would not be liturgically correct to mix water with wine in a large cruet or flagon at the offertory and then pour the tempered wine into several chalices. Speaking of concelebrations, the General Instruction of the Roman Missal does not specify any particular rite: “214.  The Preparation of the Gifts (cf. above, nos. 139-146) is carried out by the principal celebrant, while the other concelebrants remain at their places.” Nor do the norms published by the U.S. bishops regarding distribution of Communion under both kinds clarify this point, as they only mention chalices with wine: “36. The altar is prepared with corporal, purificator, Missal, and chalice (unless the chalice is prepared at a side table) by the Deacon and the servers. The gifts of bread and wine are brought forward by the faithful and received by the Priest or Deacon or at a convenient place. If one chalice is not sufficient for Holy Communion to be distributed under both kinds to the Priest concelebrants or Christ’s faithful, several chalices are placed on a corporal on the altar in an appropriate place, filled with wine. It is praiseworthy that the main chalice be larger than the other chalices prepared for distribution.” On the other hand, the Code of Canon Law, No. 924, says, “The most holy eucharistic sacrifice must be offered with bread and with wine in which a little water must be mixed.” It is not clear, however, if this means that water must be added to each chalice or if it is sufficient to do so to the principal chalice. Some experts interpret this canon as requiring water in each chalice for the purpose of liceity (it would not affect the validity of the celebration). Others hold that it is sufficient to place water in the principal chalice as representative of the one cup and forms a moral unity for the purpose of consecration. In this case it is analogous to the fact that the priest would offer only one paten, even if there were several ciboria on the altar. Likewise, one chalice is representative of all the others. This argument is fairly solid from the theological standpoint and would mean that placing water only in the principal chalice is both valid and licit. As we mentioned when dealing briefly with this topic on Oct. 9, 2007, this theological position “also solves the problem of the rather ungainly sight of a deacon or priest pouring a drop of water into several chalices already arrayed upon the altar.” For those who interpret Canon 924 stringently, there are two simple possibilities: “If there are only a couple of extra chalices, then wine and water, or just water (if the extra chalices are already prepared) may be placed in all of them during the preparation of the gifts. “If there are many chalices, then water and wine may be placed in all except the principal chalice when the chalices are prepared before Mass begins. “This latter solution is generally practiced by the Vatican sacristans for large concelebrations at St. Peter’s.” Lacking an official declaration on this issue, I would say that both practices, placing water only in the principal chalice, or in all chalices, may be legitimately carried out.

© Noli Yamsuan / RCAM

WE have had our parish priest with us for two years now. He is something of an eccentric, very inconsistent. He is very nice to people he likes, but suplado to those who in one way or another he dislikes. It’s okay with us, if that’s the way he is, but what bothers those of us who work closely with him in the parish is that at times he disappears for days without telling us where to reach him in case he is needed. He has a couple of friends, guest priests, who take over when he is away, but they are there only for the sacraments. They cannot decide or guide us in making decisions that have to be made when our parish priest happens to be absent. In those times, even the clerk at the parish office or the helper in the rectory does not know the parish priest’s whereabouts. He has a cellphone but nobody seems to know the number. Meanwhile, decisions and therefore actions are delayed. It can be very frustrating. What does Canon Law say about the availability of the parish priest? Do we as parish workers have the right to demand it, if not transparency of our priest? We do not want a blow-by-blow account of his whereabouts, but at least the basic information of where to reach him in case of dire need.

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 13
June 24 - July 7, 2013

Features Media Bias: Real or imagined?
Homosexuality under focus
on Twitter, that postings were almost even between support and opposition for same-sex marriage, something that reflects public opinion polls on the issue. Twitter posts were 31% in favor of samesex marriage, 28% opposed, with 42% being mixed. The study also confirmed that the media lacks a more in-depth examination of issues, as it found that only 8% of the stories were focused on the morality or ethics of same-sex marriage. Vatican lobby For anyone doubting the accuracy of the Pew Center study a confirmation of its findings came with the media frenzy following what Pope Francis said recently on homosexuality. On June 6 Pope Francis met with representatives of the Latin American and Caribbean federation of leaders from religious orders and he allegedly referred to a “gay lobby,” in the Vatican. The federation published a statement on the matter, pointing out that the reports were simply a personal summary of what someone had remembered as having being said and only gave a general sense of the content, without being a precise account. Nevertheless, this was sufficient for New York Times’ opinion writer, Frank Bruni, to author a Sunday opinion article on June 16 titled “The Pope’s Gay Panic.” According to Bruni the Catholic Church’s position on homosexuality is characterized by “mystery and madness.” From his comments it would seem he is the one in panic, not the Pope. The first source Bruni cited in support of his views was Sister Jeannine Gramick, who, as he did bother explaining, along with Father Robert Nugent, was the subject of a notification by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1999 as having “ambiguous positions” on homosexuality and of being in public opposition to the teaching of the Catholic Church on this subject. It is certainly not the first time the

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By Father John Flynn, LC
ACCUSATIONS of media bias are common, and according to a recent study there is good reason to doubt the impartiality of the mainstream media. A report published this week by the Pew Research Center found that news coverage was strongly in favor of same-sex marriage, outweighing articles opposing it by a margin of roughly 5-to-1. The study covered America’s media in the period when the issue was being raised in the U.S. Supreme Court. In the period from March 18 through May 12 hundreds of stories were examined, along with more than 2.4 million Tweets. No less than 47% of the news stories were oriented in favour of changing the law. Only 9% were mainly opposed to a change, while 44% were largely balanced. The Pew Center explained that for a story to be classified as supporting or opposing same-sex marriage, statements expressing that position had to outnumber the opposite view by at least 2-to-1. Contrary to the belief that news stories are more balanced, while opinion material is more partisan, the study found that bias in favor of same-sex marriage was consistent regardless of content being news or opinion. For news articles, 47% featured mainly support, while 8% were opposition and 45% were mixed or neutral. In opinion pieces 48% were in support of same-sex marriage, compared to 10% opposed and 43% that were neutral. The pro-same-sex marriage bias was uniform in about all the media sectors, the Pew Center observed. According to the study the Wall Street Journal and USA Today were the most balanced, while the Huffington Post stood out for its support of same-sex marriage. Interestingly, the study found that when it came to user-generated material,

Pope Francis’ meeting with journalists at the Vatican shortly after his election to the papacy.

media has revealed its bias when it comes to matters regarding homosexuality and the Church, as I pointed out in an article (http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/ putting-words-in-the-pope-s-mouth) early last year regarding the selective reporting on what Pope Benedict XVI said in his address to the Vatican’s diplomatic corps. Progressive media It’s not just Catholics who detect problems with media coverage of controversial issues. Last year, Arthur S. Brisbane, in his August 26 farewell column as public editor for the New York Times, said that many departments of

the paper “share a kind of political and cultural progressivism.” “As a result, developments like the Occupy movement and gay marriage seem almost to erupt in The Times, overloved and undermanaged, more like causes than news subjects,” he commented. On March 16, shortly after his election, Pope Francis met with thousands of representatives from the media. He recognized the important role they have and his gratitude for their work. He also pointed out that events in the Church have a very different dynamic from other issues as: “they follow a pattern which does not readily

correspond to the ‘worldly’ categories which we are accustomed to use, and so it is not easy to interpret and communicate them to a wider and more varied public.” “Your work calls for careful preparation, sensitivity and experience, like so many other professions, but it also demands a particular concern for what is true, good and beautiful,” he said. “It should be apparent that all of us are called not to communicate ourselves, but this existential triad made up of truth, beauty and goodness,” he added. Probably not considerations at the forefront of many media reports. (Zenit)

When authority is perverse, abuse is rife
By Fr. Shay Cullen
IT’S all about power and fear. Several impoverished, abused, cheated and beaten Filipino female workers taking shelter in Middle Eastern Philippine embassies have been allegedly sexually assaulted and prostituted by some corrupt and depraved embassy officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs, according to Walden Bello, the sociologist turned Congressman in a press conference in Manila recently. He named two of the officials and gave the nick-name of a third. Yet many more have been involved in this despicable and criminal activity and dozens of young women have been violated. They are vulnerable, lonely, isolated in a foreign country and victims of physical and sexual abuse by their foreign employers. They escaped and ran for help and shelter to the Philippine embassies in Jordan, Syria and Kuwait. These young women, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), are totally dependent on the Embassy officials when they take them into the embassy shelter with promises that the Philippine Government would protect and repatriate them. Instead of being helped, many of them were subjected to humiliating and shameful sexual exploitation by corrupt and depraved officials themselves. Not only were they forced to perform sexual acts with some officials, but they were sold into sexual slavery in the city from which the embassy officials earned a lot of money. Representative Walden Bello told a news conference that his source is a high official of the Department of Foreign affairs and he named names. The young victims were too scared and helpless to resist the power of the government officials. Just imagine what most likely went on in the embassy shelters to coerce and threaten them into submission and docility. They likely received threats of dire punishment if they told anyone about it. Imagine it might have happened like this to a fictional young woman named Rosa. Embassy Official in a closed embassy room: “Rosa, I will help you get home to the Philippines, you can earn some money, just let’s have a little fun first.” Rosa tries to resist: “No, no, please don’t touch me, leave me alone, that’s what the evil employer did to me; he raped me, don’t, don’t.” Official, pulling an angry stern face: “You are here under my power, if you don’t do as I say, I will send you back to your employer and the authorities, you will be on the street without documents or passport, do you understand? You will be arrested and jailed.” Rosa: “Please sir, don’t do that, I want to go home I have not seen my family for years, I have nothing, no money, no job, no food. I have been cheated, robbed and raped, please don’t cancel my air ticket.” She was by now crying and howling, tears streaming down her face but the official seemed to be aroused by her distress and moved to sexually exploit her. Most of the Embassy employees had to know about it, but remained silent or worse, may have been involved too. Why did they not blow the whistle and come to the rescue of the women? Their silence can only be understood as approval, or they were silenced by threats and fear. A culture of fear of higher authority can overpower the moral values of even a strongest and most spiritual person. Courage and belief in human dignity and rights and know how to get help is what is needed. The young women are silent also, fear has a paralyzing power to subjugate and render people unable to resist or speak against the exploiter or abuser. Some government authority figures have an arrogant sense of superiority; they tend to trivialize sexual crimes. The worst part of all this is that the suffering victims are treated as if they are an enemy, a hostile ungrateful beneficiary out to hurt the man. We can imagine an arrogant rapist official scolding his abused victim. “You are an ungrateful brat, no better than a prostitute, you should feel honored that I, an important official and your superior, would lower myself to have sex with the likes of you, an impoverished non-person. You should be grateful for the help we have for you here instead of protesting and complaining.” Such depravity and criminality leaves the normal person breathless, angry and bewildered. But for those in positions of power and ascendency whether it be government, church or in the family, the abuse of power by threats of dire punishment against the weak and helpless creates deeply held fear. The poor know the rich and powerful can murder and rape with impunity. For the powerful, it seems an entitlement, a privilege of power. The senior Philippine embassy officials in Jordan, Syria and Kuwait have been recalled to answer the complaints. Not before their time.

Economic Error of Birth Control
By Dr. Bernardo M. Villegas
TOTAL Fertility Rate (TFR) in the Philippines was 6 babies per fertile woman in 1975. Without any aggressive program for birth control over the last 30 years, that rate has fallen to 3.1 babies today through such natural trends as later marriages, education of women, urbanization and industrialization. In another thirty years, that rate will fall below replacement of 2.1 babies per fertile woman. The birth controllers say that there is nothing to worry about because even at below replacement, population will continue to grow because of a “growth momentum” that can last for decades. What these RH Bill proponents do not tell us is that any growth in population that occurs after the TFR drops below fertility rate will be in the number of those over 65, i.e. people will be living longer and longer. Labor force, however, will start to shrink with the consequent financial burden on a economy that has to support more and more retired people with less and less productive workers. The cases of Thailand and China are very instructive. Both still have growing populations but are already suffering from serious labor shortages because of aging. Both are far from being developed countries but are already undergoing the demographic pains of such highly developed countries as Japan and Singapore. A recent report from Digital Media (May 25, 2013) estimates that Thailand is already lacking 1.6 million workers despite having a population of 65 million. The following was datelined Bangkok: “Thailand’s current labour shortage will become more severe with two government mega projects needing workers. Or take the example of a major manufacturer of butane lighters who recently remarked to us that in spite of automating part of the factory floor and cutting his employee numbers in half, the average of his staff has gone from 20 years to 30 years, and now 50 years, as he struggles to find enough labor.” Needless to say these labor shortages in Thailand and China have pushed their wages upwards. Average monthly wages in China, according to the International Labor Organization (March 2012) are now at $656 while that in Thailand are at $489 as compared to $279 in the Philippines and $295 in India. No wonder there is an upsurge of Japanese and Korean manufacturing enterprises moving to the Philippines, as reported by Director General Lilia de Lima of the Philippine Export Processing Zone (PEZA). China is no longer the preferred site of labor-intensive manufacturing operations. These trends should be a warning to our Government to either repeal the RH Law or at least slow down in its aggressive implementation. The Philippine Constitution refers again and again to sustainable development. Obviously, the RH Bill will not promote sustainable development. In that sense, it is unconstitutional. There is no need to push the TFR below replacement level at too rapid a pace. We cannot solve the problems of today by harming the economic welfare of future generations who will surely suffer labor shortages if we follow the examples of China and Thailand. There are numerous positive ways of addressing the problem of mass poverty without endangering future generations as the Chinese and the Thais have already done. (For comments, my email address is bernardo.villegas@uap. asia)

at least 530,000 more workers, a senior Thai official said today. Pravit Khingpol, Department of Employment director general, said the country will be short by 1.6 million persons in the labour force and foreign workers will have to be hired. The planned Bt 2 trillion in infrastructure development projects will need at least 450,00 workers and the Bt 350 billion water management project another 80,000 labourers, he said. The two major projects will require workers in five fields–management at 2 per cent, engineering 5 per cent, supervisors and skilled labour 20 per cent, semi-skilled labour 36 per cent and non-skilled labour 37 per cent…the Labour Department will import workers form Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia to accommodate the private sector while additional workers

will be hired from other countries such as Bangladesh and Vietnam. The migrant workers will mostly work in the construction and fisheries industries.” In over just one generation of aggressive birth control programs, Thailand is already suffering from labor shortages. It is clear that the so-called growth momentum does not exist and it would be against sustainable development for the Philippines to aggressively promote birth control, especially among the low-income households who are the only ones still not affected by a contraceptive mentality. The same thing can be affirmed of China that implemented, sometimes brutally, a one-child policy. In no time at all (again no growth momentum), China’s youth labor supply has already started

to decline. A report published by Silk Road Associates entitled “The End of Made-in China,” describes the labor shortage in China: “It was once popular to talk of China’s endless supply of cheap labour. Not anymore. Labor supply has shrunk dramatically over the past decade. China’s youth demographic is expected to decline by 44 million over the next 10 years, according to the United Nation’s population projection division. Indeed, the average Chinese national is 35-year-old, compared to the average Cambodian (23 years) and average Bangladeshi (24 years). (The equivalent figure in the Philippines is 23 years). The result is massive labor shortages. Officials in the southern Pearl River Delta, for instance, estimate the region suffers a shortfall of 600,000

Contributed by Roy Sanggalang

Photo: Vatican Radio facebook page

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A book on the ‘Saga’ of Saint Joseph School
By Jose Fernando Obias
ST. Joseph School is now one among the few schools in the City of Naga which have their own coffee table book or their history written in book form. Launched June 7, 2013, at the school’s auditorium, the coffee table book with the title “Saga of a Jubilee School” marks the ten-year administration of St. Joseph School and the 20-year pastoral work in the Philippines of the Congregation of the Roman Catholic Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The book was launched after the First Friday Mass and the blessing of the school’s newly constructed covered walk by Rev. Fr. Eugene A. Lubigan. The coffee table book is taken from the initials of Saint Joseph School —SJS —for which the writers has given the new appellation of “Saga of a Jubilee School”. The book goes down memory lane from 1960 to the present — the 50 years of the school under its founding Fathers, all exiles from China when taken over by communist elements, who found themselves in the more hospitable land at the foot of Mount Isarog. These Chinese seminarians who finished their ecclesiastical studies in Metro Manila and were given pastoral work in the Archdiocese of Caceres and elsewhere in the country were Rev. Msgr. Joseph Chen, Rev. Frs. Joseph Ly, Joseph Limingchin, Stanislaus Chin, Didacus Ma and Joseph Kung. Very notable is the name “Joseph” among these priests, a name after which they agreed to name their newly-established school. Written jointly by Jose Fernando P. Obias and Melinda Susana Dy, an alumna of Saint Joseph School and its former principal, the story of the school spans through the past 60 years —from 1960 when it rose out of the vast cogon fields along the Philippine National Railway tracks up to the present when its administration was passed on to the Sisters of the Sacred Heart. The journey and the choice the Founding Fathers took as to whom to pass on the administration of the school is an interesting read. Story of faith The story of Saint Joseph School is a story of Faith in a country so unfriendly to Faith. This Faith took flight in search of a place where it could grow. And grow it did in the company of people living in a land known as “Maogmang Lugar”. That story is captured in a coffee-table book “Saga of a Jubilee School”. This book, however, does not tell about the trials and threnody of the great escape of these six Chinese seminarians from their homeland in China, overtaken as it was by the Communist elements in that government. It rather tells how the Faith of these seminarians was so purified that it urged them to establish a school. For it is only Faith that can establish schools. The coffee-table book does not tell about each and every detail of the first 50 years of St. Joseph School in the Maogmang Lugar, the City of Naga and what the school will be in the next 50 years. It rather tells, without counting the years, what that gift of Faith has done for the school and its Founding Fathers: they were gifted with the gift of tongues which enabled them to speak for and about their mission in a land where they were total strangers; they were gifted with the gifts of the Holy Spirit which enabled them to live and lead others to desire for the things of God, and to direct their whole life and all their actions to His honor and glory. Without even their knowing it, the past 50 years have been Pentecost season for the school and these six Chinese priests. The book is a story of the wonders and of the handiwork of Faith even in most unpropitious times, stirring the hearts and minds of men — be they priests, nuns or laymen, be they Chinese or Filipino. The “Saga of a Jubilee School” does not end in its launching. It is open ended, like the saga of Harry Potter. The book is a compulsive page-turner, paced with the Faith of its Founding Fathers, racing at work, going beyond the borders of Naga and Bikol, beyond the throbs of every Bikol heart, beyond the “dulo na walang hanggan” of the Third Millennium. For Faith defies space and time. As a book on Faith, it is a fitting and fascinating reading material—perhaps even better than Dan Brown’s “Inferno”—on this Year of Faith. The book’s cover depicts a branch of the plum blossom in flaming red against a white background. The plum blossom, the national flower of China, symbolizes courage, perseverance and endurance—virtues that evidently have made St. Joseph School for the past 50 years and will make the school for the next 50 years and the next. Tyrone Joven and Karylle Maree Salamat provided the design and layout of the book. Photographers are Maury Joward Guadalupe and the St. Joseph School Photography Club. Contributing their recollection of Saint Joseph School are Mark Escalada, Rhodora Cantos, Rosalinda Segarra, Desamparado Rejante, Emily Santiago, Fe CoSay-Chua and the Saint Joseph School Faculty. Editor is Kim Angelo Honrado and Project Director is Sr. Stephanie Chang, SSH.

Features

CBCP Monitor
June 24 - July 7, 2013

Vol. 17 No. 13

Parochial school allies with Seminary 40 seminarians in co-ed plan

By Natalie Hazel P. Quimlat/Jose Fernando Obias
THE decision to close the Holy Rosary Seminary High School in Naga in 1986 has changed not only the course of priesthood formation but also the educational sphere in Caceres. As one of the top and most reputable schools in the region, the High School Department of the Holy Rosary Seminary was then perceived to weather whatever difficulty its closure would entail. Unknown to its proponents, the need for preparing would-be seminarians while still in the high school rears up every now and then. Thus, in June of 2013, 40 young men started a life far different from the teenagers of today. Closing the Seminary High School During its existence, the Seminary High School produced students who topped and excelled in government-administered exams. They were, so to say, the cream of the crop. However, the High School Department produced a small number of priests. While vocation was present, few became men of the cloth. According to a research conducted by the Caceres Office of Research and Development (CORD), vocations were nurtured and pursued by students from the Preparatory Institute. Because of this,

the Archdiocese saw the High School as a liability more than it is an asset, not only to the Archdiocese but to society as a whole. After several meetings, it was decided, in November of 1986, that the High School Department would gradually cease operations, starting with closing its first year on June of 1987. By March 1990, all remaining students have graduated and the High School Department became a prestigious part of the Church history of Nueva Caceres. NPS: Breaking New Grounds In July of 2012, the Naga Parochial School (NPS) celebrated its 65th year with the theme, Breaking New Grounds. Indeed, NPS broke new grounds last March when Director, Fr. Rex Andrew Alarcon, announced that the highly esteemed elementary school for boys will not only accept female applicants come June of this year, but also begin its High School Department. Part of this sudden change is rooted in the program being implemented by the current Government Administration, the K-12 Educational Reform. Opening a High School Department will provide a choice for the School’s elementary students to continue their education at the Naga Parochial School. And as globalization continues to influence, and at times, dictate, the morality of young men and women, the demand for quality

Catholic education increases. By expanding, NPS continues to meet this demand. On the other hand, the decision to provide a co-educational setting was in part a response to a survey conducted to parents, most of whom opted for the said paradigm shift. At an early age, young boys would be taught how to behave properly around girls and young girls would experience how it is to carry themselves in the company of males. Providing this would allow children to grow up more maturely, not only socially but also emotionally. As of date, 50 students are enrolled at the High School Department, 40 of which are part of the Seminary High School Program. Of the remaining 10, four are females. Currently, there are 120 females enrolled at NPS. Re-opening the Seminary High School If there is one thing that the Seminary High School is known for, it is the kind of discipline developed in its graduates, most of whom are highly regarded leaders in their respective fields. More than twenty years since its cessation, however, it is still the kind of discipline needed by many young men and women, more so by men called to pursue the priestly ministry. Education and formation are very important. With the re-opening of the Seminary High School, Classical education would go handin-hand with the K-12 Educational Reform at NPS. Still focusing on Math and Science, Latin will be taught as one of the subjects. However, as part of adapting to a post-modern world, students of the Seminary High School will now take classes at NPS, where the setting is now co-educational, and live at the Holy Rosary Minor Seminary. They will be entitled to two home visitations every month. Although many elementary students from NPS have continued their education at the Seminary High School before, having produced 65 priests and 3 bishops, it is not the main goal of the current High School Department to set a quota on how many would pursue priesthood. After all, according to the Minor Seminary Rector, Fr. William Parde, this [education and formation] is their greatest contribution to the community. Nation building has always been at the core of every educational institution. The reforms established today prove just that, and it is in this way that the Naga Parochial School and the Seminary High School contribute to the leaders of tomorrow.

May They Be One
Help Put a Bible in Every Filipino Home

www.panoramio.com/eugenedy

Bible Campaign

Blessing the generations to come
SPREADING the Word of God has long been the passion of Teresa “Terese” Magsalin. Asked why she took part in the Handwritten Unity Bible (HUB) held at her church in Kamuning, Quezon City, Terese said “It has always been in my heart to make the Word of God known. Through the HUB, I can help make more people know about the power of God unto salvation”. Terese is in fact getting ready to serve as a missionary to one of the least evangelized nations in the world (country not specified for security reasons). However, there were giant hurdles to overcome. She has to brace herself for that country’s extreme cold climate, unfamiliar culture and highly conservative non-Christian tradition. Terese’s family is concerned also because of the volatile peace and order situation in the former Soviet territory. These were sober matters Terese was mulling over when she joined the HUB. But her spirit lighted up when given the verse, found in Acts 4:28, to write by hand—“They gathered to do everything that you by your power and will had already decided would happen.” For Terese, the verse was a confirmation of God’s missionary call for her. She said that the passage erased whatever qualms she had in going to her mission field. God indeed manifests His presence in the HUB as people honor Him, writing down His Word with their own personal handwriting, for posterity, to bless others today as well as the generations to come. (The Handwritten Unity Bible is a project of the May They Be One Bible campaign.)

• No. of Dioceses participating in the Bible Campaign – 85 out of 86 Dioceses • Bibles Distributed (Jan 1, 2013 Jun 11, 2013): 100,211 copies • Bibles Distributed by Languages - Bicol (2,121 cps.) Cebuano (22,160 cps.) English TEV (14,367 cps.), English NABRE (1,320) Hiligaynon (9,878 cps.), Ilocano (3,024 cps.), Pampango (703 cps.), Pangasinan (1,504 cps.), Samarenyo (283 cps.) • Parishes/Communities served in 2011: 1,372 • Total Bible Distribution: (Jan 2009- Feb 4, 2013): 908,830 cps. • Target No. of Bibles for Distribution for 2013: 600,000 cps.

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 for many more lives, to be blessed as churches, offices and schools nationwide host the Handwritten Unity Bible Project. To learn more about how you can be part of the Campaign and make significant change, call Helen at PBS 524-5337, ECBA 527-9386 or visit www.bible.org.ph and www.ecbacbcp.com. Donations can be made by making a deposit to the following bank accounts: PBS-MTBO Account #3903-0649-34 (BPI Sta. Mesa Branch) Fax deposit slip to 521-5803 or ECBA-CBCP Account #0251021376 (BPI-Tayuman Branch) Fax deposit slip to 527-9386. For credit card payments – go to PBS website (www.bible.org.ph)

Photo credit: Holy Minor Seminary

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 13
June 24 - July 7, 2013

Statements

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Letter of Holy Father Francis to H.E. Mr. David Cameron, British Prime Minister on the occasion of the G8 Meeting (17-18 June 2013)
TO The Right Honourable David Cameron, MP Prime Minister I am pleased to reply to your kind letter of 5 June 2013, with which you were good enough to inform me of your Government’s agenda for the British G8 Presidency during the year 2013 and of the forthcoming Summit, due to take place at Lough Erne on 17 and 18 June 2013, entitled A G8 meeting that goes back to first principles. If this topic is to attain its broadest and deepest resonance, it is necessary to ensure that all political and economic activity, whether national or international, makes reference to man. Indeed, such activity must, on the one hand, enable the maximum expression of freedom and creativity, both individual and collective, while on the other hand it must promote and guarantee their responsible exercise in solidarity, with particular attention to the poorest. The priorities that the British Presidency has set out for the Lough Erne Summit are concerned above all with the free international market, taxation, and transparency on the part of governments and economic actors. Yet the fundamental reference to man is by no means lacking, specifically in the proposal for concerted action by the Group to eliminate definitively the scourge of hunger and to ensure food security. Similarly, a further sign of attention to the human person is the inclusion as one of the central themes on the agenda of the protection of women and children from sexual violence in transparency and responsibility on the part of governments—are measures that indicate the deep ethical roots of these problems, since, as my predecessor Benedict XVI made clear, the present global crisis shows that ethics is not something external to the economy, but is an integral and unavoidable element of economic thought and action. The long-term measures that are designed to ensure an adequate legal framework for all economic actions, as well as the associated urgent measures to resolve the global economic crisis, must be guided by the ethics of truth. This includes, first and foremost, respect for the truth of man, who is not simply an additional economic factor, or a disposable good, but is equipped with a nature and a dignity that cannot be reduced to simple economic calculus. Therefore concern for the fundamental material and spiritual welfare of every human person is the starting-point for every political and economic solution and the ultimate measure of its effectiveness and its ethical validity. Moreover, the goal of economics and politics is to serve humanity, beginning with the poorest and most vulnerable wherever they may be, even in their mothers’ wombs. Every economic and political theory or action must set about providing each inhabitant of the planet with the minimum wherewithal to live in dignity and freedom, with the possibility of supporting a family, educating children, praising God and developing one’s own human potential. This is the main thing; in the absence of such a vision, all economic activity is meaningless. In this sense, the various grave economic and political challenges facing today’s world require a courageous change of attitude that will restore to the end (the human person) and to the means (economics and politics) their proper place. Money and other political and economic means must serve, not rule, bearing in mind that, in a seemingly paradoxical way, free and disinterested solidarity is the key to the smooth functioning of the global economy. I wished to share these thoughts with you, Prime Minister, with a view to highlighting what is implicit in all political choices, but can sometimes be forgotten: the primary importance of putting humanity, every single man and woman, at the centre of all political and economic activity, both nationally and internationally, because man is the truest and deepest resource for politics and economics, as well as their ultimate end. Dear Prime Minister, trusting that these thoughts have made a helpful spiritual contribution to your deliberations, I express my sincere hope for a fruitful outcome to your work and I invoke abundant blessings upon the Lough Erne Summit and upon all the participants, as well as upon the activities of the British G8 Presidency during the year 2013, and I take this opportunity to reiterate my good wishes and to express my sentiments of esteem. From the Vatican, 15 June 2013 FRANCISCUS

conflict situations, even though it must be remembered that the indispensable context for the development of all the afore-mentioned political actions is that of international peace. Sadly, concern over serious international crises is a recurring theme in the deliberations of the G8, and this year it cannot fail to address the situation in the Middle East, especially in Syria. In this regard, I earnestly hope that the Summit will help to obtain an immediate and lasting cease-fire and to bring all parties in the conflict to the negotiating table. Peace

demands a far-sighted renunciation of certain claims, in order to build together a more equitable and just peace. Moreover, peace is an essential pre-requisite for the protection of women, children and other innocent victims, and for making a start towards conquering hunger, especially among the victims of war. The actions included on the agenda of the British G8 Presidency, which point towards law as the golden thread of development—as well as the consequent commitments to deal with tax avoidance and to ensure

Diocesan Pastoral Statement on the May 13, 2013 National and Local Elections
IN a few days’ time, winners of the May 13, 2013 National and Local Elections shall take their oath of office and start serving the people who elected them into their respective posts. Looking back at this event, I wish to reiterate the teaching of the Church on our role as Catholic Voters. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church #2240, the Church teaches that “Catholics have a moral obligation to promote the common good through the exercise of their voting privileges.” This means that citizens should participate in the political process at the ballot box. The Church also teaches us that we need to vote according to the dictates of “conscience…to follow what he knows to be just and right” (CCC no. 1778). There are several observations that I wish to underline since they involve some aspect of the Catholic Teaching on faith and morals mentioned above: 1. There was the prevalence of vote buying and vote selling during the elections. We have seen long queues of people waiting for dole outs from candidates. There are even instances when those who are buying votes would knock at the gates and doors of houses in order to buy the votes of the residents therein. It seems that people’s votes are for sale. It seems that the sole determinant of whom to vote is the amount of money that they are willing to shell out. the desired results. Surely, some people need to admit culpability in this regard. 3. The spirit of Volunteerism and Cooperation was also made manifest during this event by our numerous PPCRV Volunteers, BEI’s, law enforcement officers and Comelec Officials who tried their very best to have a peaceful and orderly elections. 4. There is a need for us to be vigilant so that a repeat of the negative realities in the political process will not happen especially that we prepare for the Barangay Elections in the later part of this year and the National and Local Elections in 2016. We need to keep watch so that those who seek to manipulate the results of the elections by using gold, guns and goons will not succeed in their schemes. 5. Let us also pray so that those elected to public offices by the people will truly serve the common good and learn to give up their own ambitions and selfish interests. Rest assured of my prayers for all of you as we strive together and work for the betterment of our beloved country in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. MOST REV. GILBERT A. GARCERA, D.D. Bishop of Daet June 21, 2013

Photo: Vatican Radio Facebook page

An Open Statement of the Holy Cross of Davao College, Inc. in Reply to the Public Statements made by the Holy Cross of Davao College Faculty Union
IT is most unfortunate that the Holy Cross of Davao College Faculty Union (HCDC-FU) through its Union President, Socrates Ruel Luayon, publicly declared that the HCDC-FU is poised to mount a strike against the Holy Cross of Davao College (HCDC). This public disclosure made by the Union President of what has been discussed by the parties in a confidential manner conciliated and mediated by the National Conciliation Mediation Board (NCMB), aggravated by the false and misleading statements by the HCDC-FU through its President, compels the Management of HCDCthe Holy Cross of Davao College, Inc. to respond, upholding its school motto, “Ex Fide Ad Veritatem,” (From Faith to Truth). By coming out in public regarding the details of the ongoing conciliation and mediation proceedings before the NCMB, the HCDC-FU has engaged in Unfair Labor Practice (ULP), for not having bargained collectively in good faith. Article 250 (d) of the Labor Code states that “During the conciliation proceedings in the Board, the parties are prohibited from doing any which may disrupt or impede the early settlement of the disputes.” The reason why the HCDC Management did not issue a reply when asked to do so by the media early on, was to preserve the sanctity of the conciliation proceedings. Now, there is an urgent need to address the false and misleading statements made by the HCDC-FU, through its Union President, in the spirit of basic fairness and in pursuit of the truth. FALSE and MISLEADING – “In an interview with the Mirror, HCDC-Faculty Union President Socrates Ruel Luayon said they have given up negotiating with the school management and have already put the decision to go on strike to vote.” TRUTH – Contrary to its press release, the HCDC-FU is still negotiating with the HCDC Management to find a settlement for a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA). In fact, after a series of conciliation proceedings, the parties, that is, the HCDC Management and the HCDC-FU, have reached agreement on 53 provisions for the new CBA. Before the adjournment of the last scheduled conciliation proceedings on June 20, 2013, the parties mutually decided to continue the negotiations on June 26, 2013, hopefully to conclude a new CBA. FALSE and MISLEADING – “He said under the law, the incremental proceeds would be distributed 70-20-10 to the employees, management and to the business institution. Since the HCDC is a non-profit institution the distribution is 80-20 with the employees getting the bulk of the shares.” (Emphasis provided.) TRUTH – Under Republic Act 6728, amending BP Bilang 232, otherwise known as the Education Act of 1982, it mandated that 70% of the incremental proceeds from tuition fee increases, should be allotted to academic and non-academic personnel, another 20% shall be allotted for improvement of school facilities and the remaining 10% shall be allotted to the school owner as return of investment. Stating that “HCDC is a non-profit institution” and hence the distribution of the incremental proceeds is 80-20 in favor of the school personnel is misleading. The 10% allocation of the incremental proceeds which by law belongs to the school management had been given up in favor of its school personnel, a generous act of HCDC Management early on until the present. HCDC is one of the few colleges in Davao which has given up on its 10% share on the incremental proceeds of the school tuition fee income in order to improve its school personnel’s salary and benefits which apparently is not understood and not well-appreciated by some sectors within the school community. FALSE AND MISLEADING – “Luayon said in the past, the 80 percent of the incremental proceeds were divided with 26% of its total allocated for the teachers’ salary increase. Recently, however, management underwent a Job Evaluation Salary Scheme (JESS) which reduced the share for the teachers’ salary increase from the incremental proceeds from 26 percent to only 21 percent. They reduced the share, which is a violation of Article 100 of the Philippine Labor Code,” Luayon said.” (Emphasis provided.) TRUTH – While it is true that there was a previous agreement in the CBA that 26% of the 80% of the total incremental proceeds from tuition fee increase would go to the basic salaries
Holy Cross / B7

Bishop Gilbert Garcera

2. The hype about obtaining the results of the elections in a matter of hours due to the automation of our national and local elections proved to be just plain words due to the fact that the PCOS machines failed in some instances. These delayed further the transmission of the election results. The Filipino people paid for these expensive machines and the people did not receive

FILE PHOTO

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Ref lections

CBCP Monitor
June 24 - July 7, 2013

Vol. 17 No. 13

An Exegetical Reflection on the Gospel of the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time; Year C, Luke 9:51-62, June 30, 2013
By Msgr. Lope C. Robredillo, SThD
“ACCEPT Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, and you will be saved.” How often one hears street preachers and tele-evangelists say this, with the implication that this is all one has to do in response to God’s offer of salvation in Jesus. And of course, such texts as Acts 16:31 and Rom 10:9 are often tacked to it in order to buttress the claim. How easy salvation would be if this were true! There would be no need for the Church, the Eucharist and the sacraments, prayers and holiness of life—which is exactly what many born-again Christians claim! Unfortunately, however, what is almost always overlooked is that such statement about man’s response to God’s offer of salvation is, as found in the texts, already a formula which must be explored, bearing as it does a long history—therefore, with many presuppositions and implications. Hence, unless the statement is taken in its proper context, chances are that the interpretation will be off-tangent. For this reason, it has to be seen in the light of other ways in which it is described. Today’s Gospel on the cost of discipleship (Luke 9:51-62) is an example of how the response to God’s offer in Jesus is depicted differently, because of a different theological purpose. For Luke, as for all the synoptic writers, the central message of Jesus is the Kingdom of God, and man’s response to that offer is discipleship. But who is a disciple? In all the synoptic Gospels (Mark, Mathew and Luke), hearing and acting upon the Word of God is the essential note of discipleship: “Any man who desires to come to me will hear my words and put them into practice” (Luke 6:47; Matt 7:224-27; cf Mark 3:35). In the theology of Luke, however, there seems to be two distinctive features that are not found in the other synoptic Gospels. First, quite apart

One who follows the road to Jerusalem —Luke’s portrait of a disciple

Demands and fruits of discipleship
13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C; June 30, 2013
By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
JESUS was aware of the dramatic end that awaited him in Jerusalem and had already informed his disciples about it in no ambiguous terms. (Lk 9:44.) Had he followed his survival instinct, he would have delayed his going to Jerusalem as much as possible, and actually, avoided it altogether. And all his disciples would surely have approved of it . . . . But Jesus had other priorities. He had come to earth not to follow man’s natural instincts, but to do the will of the Father. (See Jn 4:34.) He knew that the Father wants the salvation of all men. Christ’s sacrifice was the high price he had to pay in order that all humans might be freed from the slavery of sin and enjoy the happiness of eternal life. Jesus knew all this and, in his love for the Father and us, embraced this plan with enthusiasm and “firmly resolved to proceed toward Jerusalem.” (See Lk 9:51.) Such a heroic determination bewildered the weaklings and the cowards, but also attracted souls open to the charm of virtue and selflessness. Jesus’ wonderful doctrine and personality attracted generous people like a powerful magnet. “I will be your follower wherever you go,” volunteered some. (See Lk 9:57.61.) He himself invited others to follow him. (See Lk 9:59.) But, lest they felt “cheated” in the process, Jesus was quick to tell each of them the high price to be paid by all those who volunteered or accepted to follow him. No less than a total detachment from what ordinary people hold dear—material comforts, possessions, and family ties (see Lk 9:58.60), together with a brave perseverance in spite of all difficulties and temptations to backslide (see Lk 9:62), are demanded of those who wish “to follow Jesus.” Such radical generosity is absolutely unthinkable in a person who does not love Christ and does not believe in him. Faith and love are the indispensable prerequisites to be a disciple and to be able to endure all the trials that discipleship entails. Such generosity, of course, will receive its full reward in heaven, but it will not be without an immediate reward even in this life: the enjoyment of real freedom – freedom from any yoke of slavery (see Gal 5:1) and, most especially, freedom to serve the Lord with ever greater dedication. The disciples of Christ, in their poverty and detachment, will enjoy the same freedom of their Master, as well as the satisfaction of seeing that they have not suffered in vain, as they will come to share also in the glory of their Master, Model and Leader, who endured the cross for the sake of the joy that lay before him. (See Heb 12:2.) They will be able to share fully also in his destiny and mission of service to others (see Gal 5:13-14)—a service that can reach the point of offering one’s life for them, out of love, and with love, as Jesus did.

from hearing and doing the teaching of Jesus, one identifies himself with the life and destiny of the Master (Luke 9:23); he must walk in his footsteps. Second, discipleship culminates in one’s membership in the community of brothers and sisters: “My mother and brothers are those who hear the word of God and act upon it” (Luke 8:71). That community is realized in Jerusalem, to which Jesus firmly resolved to proceed (Luke 9:51), and which is the city of his rejection, betrayal and death. It is there where a community of one heart and one mind is established (Acts 2:24). These two are inseparable: so one may become a member of the family of God, he has, following Jesus, to take his own journey to Jerusalem, where he will be rejected and killed. Today’s Gospel focuses on the first element—journey to Jerusalem: “As the time approach when he was to be taken up from this world, he firmly resolved to proceed toward Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51). In this verse which begins Luke’s Travel Document (Luke 9:51-19:27), the word “taken up” does not simply

mean Jesus’ ascension, but the entire complex of passion-death-resurrectionascension. Luke would like to tell us that at this point, Jesus began this complex by heading to Jerusalem—his determined objective. And to embark on such a journey—the journey every disciple must undergo--is not easy. On the contrary, it is costly. The requirements are set in three sayings. First: To one who said “I will be your follower wherever you go,” Jesus replied, “Foxes have lairs, the birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head” (Luke 9:58). Discipleship entails complete renunciation of what one usually strives after: honor, money, power and comfort. While it is an invitation to wholeness, integrity and meaning, yet all this becomes possible if one is ready to renounce himself—if his personal ambition and comfort recede to nothingness, and if one strives after the values of the Kingdom. Jesus, after all, had no security and comfort. He depended on others’ generosity and
Road / B7

Bishop Pat Alo

ENCOUNTERS

The truthful life
IT is important that you be true to yourself from the very depths of your nature. It’s no use to pretend to be what you are not. Sooner or later your true nature will show itself. So it’s no use pretending to be what you are not. Just be yourself. Otherwise your trend is only hypocrisy. Jesus strongly criticized the hypocrisy of the Jewish scribes and Pharisees which you can read in the whole chapter 23 of the gospel of St. Matthew (herewith partly quoted). “Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You who clean the outside of cup and dish and leave the inside full of extortion and intemperance. Blind Pharisee! Clean the inside of cup and dish first so that the outside may become clean as well” (Mt. 23:25-26). There’s also a beautiful quotation from William Shakespeare taken from his play “Hamlet” Act 1, sc.3 where he says as follows: “Neither a borrower nor a lender be; For loan oft loses both itself and friend, and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry. This above all—to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man. Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!”

Peacemaking—not an optional commitment but a requirement of discipleship
An Exegetical Reflection on the Gospel of the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C, Luke 10:1-12.17-20, July 7, 2013
of war. One does not create a desert and call it peace. Using the image of the New Jerusalem as a mother who consoles the returning exiles at her breast and dandles them at her lap, the prophet describes peace in terms of the mournful experiencing comfort, prosperity spreading over the land, and all inhabitants being joyful in mind and heart. Isaiah’s imagery expresses in another way the Old Testament idea of peace as an experience of wholeness and integrity in the life of the people and community—the right relationship among the members of the community and nation and the right relationship between the people and God. But will we ever experience it? In the theology of the New Testament, such peace— it is experienced—is often elusive. This is because, viewed according to the Jewish symbolic universe, evil forces are at work. An example of this explanation is given in a scroll found at Qumran caves: “All dominion over the sons of perversity is in the hand of the Angel of darkness; they walk in the ways of darkness. And because of the Angel of darkness all the sons of righteousness go astray; and all their sin and iniquities and faults, and all the rebellion of their deeds, are because of his dominion… And all the blows that smite them, all the times of their
Peacemaking / B7

By Msgr. Lope C. Robredillo, SThD
EVEN if one just limits his reading to newspaper headlines this month, it will not take him more than a minute to conclude that this is not a peaceful world. The provocative acts of China against small Asian countries, the firefight between the Abu Sayyaf and the military in Mindanao, the tribal bloody conflict in Darfur, the tension between North Korea and South Korea, the war against terrorism in Afghanistan, the drug crimes in Mexico and the unrest in Thailand—these stories may not prove Marx correct in his theory that ours is a history of struggle between the rich and the poor, but they do indicate that our history continues to be characterized by confrontation, conflict and hostilities. But despite these endless happenings of violence and war, people—especially those who experience war and those who are victims of human rights violations, of disinformation and blackmail—know the need and long for peace. In today’s 1st Reading (Isa 66:10-14c), Isaiah speaks of peace that God will bestow on his people who suffered strife, defeat and humiliation. But what is peace? For the prophet, peace is not merely the absence

Bo Sanchez

Live on less and delight in them more
G.K. Chesterton said, There are two ways to get enough: one is to continue to accumulate more and more; The other is to desire less. Let me clarify. I’ll be the last person to tell you to stop trying to earn more. Earn as much as you can and unleash your fullest potential, so that you can bless OTHERS. But to protect yourself from greed, I urge you: Relish, taste, and immerse in the divine of the ordinary! Because if you develop the capacity to suck all the joy that life has to offer, you don’t need expensive entertainment. I’m not ashamed to say that looking through an open window and seeing clouds drift by is Class A entertainment for me. Doing that for just five minutes sets the tenor of my day. Some take their pleasure dining in classy restaurants, trips to Europe, and owning the latest home-theatre equipment. Nothing wrong with those things, by the way. Recently, I’ve been able to travel a lot with my family because God has blessed my businesses with abundance. But I don’t depend on them for my core enjoyment. For decades, I couldn’t do any of that, yet I was still very happy. Why? Because inwardly, I’ve chosen the simpler path: If I can simply be with my wife, or take a quiet stroll under a
Soulfood / B7

Heralds and builders of the Kingdom
14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C; July 7, 2013
challenge through her elite troops: the clergy and the religious. Now she has come to realize ever more clearly that she needs many, many more apostles if she is to fulfill her mission of preaching the Gospel to all men. What was never denied in the past is now proclaimed loud and clear: The Church needs the Laity. They are an immense potential of 99% that has been kept dormant for too many centuries. The 1987 Synod acknowledged it frankly. “Christifideles laici” (the post-synodal exhortation written by Pope John Paul II after that Synod) proclaims it bravely and as a matter of urgency. The time for a renewed evangelization has come, and the lay faithful are to play their rightful role in it. The magnitude of the task to be accomplished should not discourage anyone. It has never been easy to be a worker in the field of God. Jesus told the seventy-two that he was sending them as “lambs in the midst of wolves.” (See Lk 10:3.) Proportionally, the wolves are as numerous today as in the times of Herod and Nero. We need to be as brave as the Apostles, none of whom died of old age, except John. The harvest is plentiful. Indeed, there is so much to be done. There is peace to be sown and nurtured in the hearts of men, if we want to see it flourish among the nations. There is so much healing to be done among

© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

Soulfood

s9.postimg.org

By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
SO few workers for such an abundant harvest! This remark, justified in the time of Jesus, is more than appropriate today. There is the whole world to be brought to Jesus. Or better, Jesus has to be made present to the whole world. More than five billion human beings have not yet received the Good News. They are not yet aware of how much God loves them and of what a wonderful future He has in store for them! The workers are few. This is a fact and more. It is a lament, an invitation, and a challenge. For centuries the Church has endeavored to respond to the

the numberless victims of the terrible cancer called “sin.” There is a Kingdom yet to be proclaimed and established, in the endless alternation of victories and setbacks. If billions of humans do not know and love Christ, no Christian should try to excuse himself/herself. Woe to us if we do not preach the Gospel! (See 1 Cor 9:16.) This is a duty and a privilege that none of us may delegate to others. The roles and styles may be different and change with the times and circumstances. The essence remains: every Christian is called to be a worker in the harvest of God, today. Every Christian is called to be a herald and builder of the Kingdom.

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 13
June 24 - July 7, 2013

Social Concerns

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Building Christian Communities through Caritas Shelter Project
By Yen Ocampo
THE CBCP-NASSA/Caritas Philippines, in collaboration with different diocese throughout the country, is building communities through Caritas Shelter Project. The project believes that a necessary component in building Christian communities starts with building homes for the homeless and thereby provoking new hope and new beginnings. NASSA chairman Bishop Broderick Pabillo and Josephine Ignacio of Caritas Philippines visited the Caritas Shelter Project in three dioceses, namely, Tagum, Tandag and Mati on June 19 to 21 for the awarding of shelters to the homeless. Ten families were the first beneficiaries of Oplan Tabang: Balik Bahay Program in Purok 6, Babag, Monkayo, Compostela Valley province during a turn-over ceremony on June 19. Prior to the handover ceremony, Bishop Pabillo and Tagum Bishop Wilfredo Manlapaz led the blessing of new houses and a concelebrated Mass with Fr. Jetson Estose, Fr. Allan Alindajaw and Oplan Tabang point person, Fr. Emerson Luego. Oplan Tabang is a relief and rehabilitation initiative to answer the needs of the victims of Typhoon Pablo that ravaged eastern Mindanao last December 4, 2012. “We conducted monitoring and assessment of the affected areas on December 6 to 7 in coordination with the different parishes. When NASSA
Holy Cross / B5

heard about what happened in our diocese, they reached out to our diocesan social action center to lend a hand and actually, the donations given by NASSA was the first to be utilized in our relief operations,” Luego said. He added that the Diocese of Tagum alone has 100 shelter projects that received assistance from NASSA, which source out funding from Catholic agencies such as the Conferenza Episcopale Italiana (CEI) and Caritas Singapore, among others. “The local government here has no

permanent housing projects; they only have transitional or temporary. So far, throughout the Compostela Valley, the diocese and NASSA aim to build only one community. Not only a community but a Christian community,” Luego said. He furthered that Bishop Manlapaz was so pleased not only by the construction of concrete houses but by the involvement of the people. It gives him strength to see typhoon victims helping each other. “The people are easy to involve in the

Bayaninan system—the children, the wife, the husband, the whole family. As the Basic Ecclesial Community we are teaching them to treasure what we have and to strengthen their moral and spiritual values. In fact, Catholicism here is amazingly increasing. Our housing project knows no boundaries, whether you are a Catholic or not,” Luego cited. Meanwhile, in Sitio Tagbobo, Tagpupuran Lingid, Surigao Del Sur, 60 units were built funded by the Caritas Humanitarian Aid and Relief

Initiatives, Singapore (CHARIS). “The Social Action of Cateel helped us in this project and the shelter units will be awarded on June 28. We are hoping this will have an extension,” said Diocese of Tandag Project Officer and also a victim of Typhoon Pablo, Albert Diez. In Sitio Bag-idanan, Barangay Poblacion, Cateel, Davao Oriental some 25 families were also given new homes last June 21. “This is the first awarded area in response of the Diocese of Mati to the victims of typhoon Pablo through the CBCP-NASSA funded by the Government of New Zealand, Caritas New Zealand and Caritas Internationalis. The Caritas Shelter Project in Davao Oriental has a total of 800 units,” said Diocese of Mati Social Action Coordinator, Cesaria B. Hugue. Mindanao, the second largest island in the Philippines, was devastated by two consecutive typhoons—Sendong (Tropical Storm Washi) in December 2011 and the stronger Pablo (Typhoon Bopha) in December 2012 causing widespread destruction, unnumbered fatalities and leaving some 800,000 people homeless. “We are very thankful to our funding agencies, partners and to the individuals and institutions who helped us to make these things possible. Our next in line is the potential livelihood projects for our Caritas Shelter beneficiaries. So, accept your shelter given by God through our donors with a full responsibility. Don’t lose hope and keep your faith burning,” NASSA chairman Bishop Pabillo said in his talk.

of the HCDC-FU, the same agreement was superseded and abandoned by the parties when they renegotiated the economic provisions of the CBA which became effective on June 1, 2010 until May 31, 2012. For the HCDC-FU, through its President, to say that the HCDC Management has reduced the share due the HCDC-FU members’ basic salaries, thus, violating the Labor Code is to deny and abrogate its obligation to the latest agreement reached by the
Peacemaking / B6

parties. The HCDC Management asks the HCDC-FU, through its officers, to also claim and own the agreement it entered into with the HCDC Management which has abandoned the 26% sharing scheme in the previous CBA in favor of the new CBA approving the Job Evaluation and Salary Structure (JESS). (Emphasis provided.) Be that as it may, the absolute amounts that the HCDCFU has been getting by way of salary increase upon the implementation of JESS are

more than the previous HCDCFU’s share in the incremental proceeds. It is fundamental that in an academic institution like HCDC, the source of any salary increase of its school personnel comes from the tuition fee increase, which obviously results to additional burden on its students. HCDC, in particular, has to achieve, in the spirit of its vision-mission, a delicate balance of greater access to quality yet affordable education to our youth and, on

one hand, the demand of its personnel for higher pay. This balance is difficult to act upon with the relatively low tuition fees HCDC is offering to poor and deserving students to gain access to quality education, yet its school personnel have enjoyed salaries and benefits at par, if not, higher than what other schools are giving their school personnel. The HCDC-FU, through its president, claimed that it would assert its rights, including its right to strike, even at

the expense of disrupting the education of its students. The HCDC Faculty Union has realized that if and when it would proceed to strike, it would not only be striking against the HCDC Management but mainly against the very students it has sworn to teach and serve. At this critical stage of negotiation for a new CBA, it is imperative that the parties do not lose sight of the fundamental reason why HCDC, being a Catholic educational institution,

© Yen Ocampo / CBCP Media

exists and continues to find reason to exist – “to promote quality Catholic education to all, especially the less fortunate.” (HCDC Vision-Mission Statement) No reasonable person can make a sound and objective decision without ascertaining the whole truth of the matter. Rev. Msgr. Julius C. Rodulfa President, Holy Cross of Davao College, Inc. 25 June 2013

distress, are because of the dominion of his malevolence. And all the spirits of his lot cause the sons of light to stumble; but the God of Israel and His Angel of truth succour all the sons of light” (1QS 3:20-25a). The influence of Satan’s power is vast and difficult to eradicate. This is evidenced in, among others, personal rifts and social and political conflicts where, it is assumed, he dominates. According to this symbolic universe, illness and physical handicaps are results of the activity of Satan’s power. Also, if there is no harmony and prosperity in the land, it is because his demonic power controls not only the life of the individual but also the relationship within the nation and among nations. In the light of this view of reality, one can claim that the power of Satan lies behind the proliferation of prohibited drugs, the uncontrolled jueteng, the kidnappings for ransom, and other evils that plague
Road / B6

our present society. With Jesus, however, came new and full power (cf Matt 28:18). Through his cross and resurrection, he vanquished the powers of this world: “thus did God disarm the principalities and powers. He made a public show of them and, leading them off captive, triumphed in the person of Christ” (Col 2:15). Because he defeated the forces of evil, peace is now possible. Of course, during his public ministry, he already anticipated this victory over evil and triumph for peace through his healings and exorcisms. “For with what authority and power he commands the unclean spirits and they come out” (Luke 4:36). By undoing Satan’s work, Jesus challenged the demonic power and its influence. That is why, in today’s Gospel (Luke 10:1-12.17-20), the seventy-two disciples, who were given power by Jesus, could exclaim in triumph: “Master, even the

demons are subject to us in your name” (Luke 10:17). They penetrated into the territory of Satan who, unseen by men, exercises influence over people and events in the world. Thus, even in his public ministry, the power of Satan to sow evil was already being broken. As Jesus himself said, “I watched Satan fall from the sky like lighting” (Luke 10:18). Though the eschatological battle between the forces of good and evil has begun, now the ultimate victory over Satan is being won, with the rising of Jesus to new life. In the words of the Johannine Jesus, “Now has judgment come upon this world, now will this world’s prince be driven out, and I—once am lifted up from earth—will draw all men to myself” (John 12:31-32). And as Paul puts it, “then the God of peace will quickly crush Satan under your feet” (Rom 16:20). But what does the Gospel wish to teach us about peace? We all long for

peace, for wholeness, integrity and wellbeing—which is meant by the Hebrew word shalom, but in order to establish this peace not only in our individual lives, but also in our community, in the nation and in the world, Jesus needs men to spread it. It cannot be privatized as if it were an individual possession, with the bearer unmoved by the events, vicissitudes and concerns in this life. Peace always involves relationships within communities and between peoples; it is always about their unity and harmony. If Jesus gave his peace to his disciples (cf John 14:27), his disciples must bring it to men. This is why in today’s Gospel, Jesus sent his disciples for the mission to spread peace: “On entering any house, first say, ‘Peace to this house’. If there is a peaceable man there, your peace will rest on him” (Luke 10:5-6). What Jesus meant here is not a simple greeting that one gives to people he meets on the way, but an

announcement of the peace that the salvation of Jesus brings. We, Christians, must be peacebearers. We are to be vehicles of peace— for it is only through the communities of disciples will real peace come upon earth. We have to be involved in the peace-process. In our time, that process would include not only maintaining the balance of power, but even more important, safeguarding of the goods of persons, free communication among men, respect for the dignity of persons and peoples, and assiduous practice of charity (CCC 2304). And it may be stressed that to spread peace is not a work of mercy—it is rather demanded by our status as disciples of Jesus. “Peacemaking is not an optional commitment. It is a requirement of our faith. We are called to be peacemakers, not by some movement of the moment, but by our Lord Jesus” (NCCB, The Challenge of Peace, 333).

Soulfood / B6

hospitality (8:1-3). Second: When someone told him he would follow him provided he would first bury his father, Jesus replied, “Let the dead bury their dead” (9:60). This demand is not to be taken negatively, that is to say, it does not mean that Jesus was antifamilial. What he meant to say was that burying the physically dead should be left to those who are spiritually dead. But to be a disciple, one has to transcend one’s physical family and be eager to accept all as brothers and sisters in order to establish family of God where there is no Greek or Jew, male or female, black and white, but all are one as brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus (Gal 3:27-28). In question of loyalties, the realization of this community of the Kingdom must prevail. And third: After one told him he would follow him, but he would first take leave of his people at home, Jesus answered, “Whoever puts his hand to plow but keeps looking back is unfit for the Kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62). (This saying recalls the 1st Reading [1 Kgs 19:16b, 19-21] where Elisha asked permission from Elijah to kiss his parents goodbye.) Just as one, while looking back, cannot plow

straight furrows, so one cannot be a disciple if his commitment is half-hearted. Commitment cannot be made on weekly basis, for it is a lifetime commitment. It is easy to be dedicated at the start of any endeavor, but to sustain the commitment requires more than a youthful enthusiasm. This, according to Luke, is all it takes to undergo a journey to Jerusalem in response to God’s offer of salvation in Jesus. This is the Lukan portrait of discipleship; one follows the road to Jerusalem that Jesus treaded. This is why Luke—and only Luke—placed this episode at the start of his travel account so we can understand that discipleship implies walking in the very footsteps of Jesus to Jerusalem, which is obviously more than accepting in one’s heart Jesus as personal Lord and Savior, however psychologically fulfilling such acceptance might be. Indeed, discipleship is not taken under fair weather. Jesus or the Kingdom of God takes precedence over comfort and security, family loyalties and personal interests. He offered no bargains. But then, one is assured of one’s place in the community of disciples in Jerusalem, where one experiences integrity and wholeness.

canopy of stars, or play with a child, or read a good book in my home, or laugh with friends over pizza, I consider myself richly blessed. Focus on what you have, not

on what you don’t have Because satisfaction doesn’t come from getting what you want, but wanting what you already have. I have learned the secret of being content in any and

every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:12-13) T hink about it. What do

you have right now that you have been taking for granted? List down in your journal fifty blessings you enjoy today. Don’t stop until you reach fifty! Live on less and delight in them more.

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B8
Man of Steel opens with a childbirth. The mother is Lara (Ayelet Zurer) and the father, assisting at birthing, is Jor-el (Russell Crowe); their newborn is Kal-el,tobeknownas“Superman” (Henry Cavill), the first child in many years that comes to Krypton by natural birth. The destruction of Krypton, the home planet of Superman, is imminent. Causing its disintegration is the scheme of artificial population control which breeds children en masse and nurtures them not in their mother’s womb but in an artificial environment which assures that these children will in time fulfill their respective predetermined roles in Krypton’s society. This kind of genetic engineering is championed by General Zod (Michael Shannon), a megalomaniac who wants to build a new race of Kryptonites but fails to win the support of the scientist Jor-el who is totally opposed to Zod’s eugenics. To escape the impending death of Krypton, Jor-el and Lara decide to send the infant Kal-el off to a benign planet, Earth. The space capsule bearing Kal-el lands in a farm in the American heartland, Smallville, Kansas, owned by the Kents (Kevin Costner and Diane Lane), who raise him as their own, teach them their values, and keep his identity a secret. Less than a week after opening on June 12, Man of Steel has already hit major milestones in the global box office—it is promising in that in the face of stiff competition coming from CGIheavy doomsday, apocalypse, and other superhero flicks, Superman seems able to hold its charm among the movie going public. The introductory Krypton sequence is visually compelling, with a clearly spelled-out premise defining the origin and destiny of the newborn babe. Keeping the audience engaged is the nonlinear storytelling, studded with relevant and timely flashbacks mirroring Kal-el’s struggle from

Entertainment
boyhood to manhood, burdened as he is with extraordinary powers he never asked for. The sets and effects are great, the score envelops you in a world all its own. Man of Steel largely owes its power to the carefully chosen cast. Crowe’s performance as Superman’s biological father is heartfelt and charismatic, matched only by the quiet intensity of Costner as the foster father. Shannon exudes menace without having to utter a word, while Fishburne plays the editor’s role with finesse. Lane is the ideal foster mother—devoted yet detached. No one could have played journalist Lois Lane better than Amy Adams, with her perky personality and intelligent eyes; she might have come on stronger, though, with a no-nonsense hairdo instead of the girly-girly soft curls. Our mind wanders, though, as we get impatient for the explosions and repetitive combat scenes to end: why are the US armed forces in movies of this kind so stupid as to fight obviously superior alien powers with their puny little guns and tanks when even their toughest fighter planes are but paper planes to the invaders? Such a waste of ammunition! But thank God, this time, Superman doesn’t wear red briefs outside the skintight suit. Viewers of faith can glean the message of this film in spite of its protracted pyrotechnics, though. Director Zack Snyder sprinkles his opus with elements that a church-going audience may pick up and interpret as parallels to the messianic story. The cinematic savior of the world descends to live among Earthlings, and he has a mission, much like the Son of God who came down to Earth as an ordinary man. We learn that the “S” on the strongman’s chest means “hope” in Krypton; on Earth the “S” stands for “Superman”, but it could also
TITLE: Man of Steel LEAD CAST: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Diane Lane, Kevin Costner, Russell Crowe, Ayelet Zurer, Laurence Fishbourne, Antie Traue DIRECTOR: Zack Snyder SCREENWRITER: David S. Goyer PRODUCER: Christopher Nolan, Charles Roven, Emma Thomas, Deborah Synder EDITOR: David Brenner MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Hans Zimmer GENRE: Action/Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction/ Fantasy CINEMATOGRAPHER: Amir Mokri RUNNING TIME: 143 minutes DISTRIBUTOR: Warner Bros. Pictures LOCATION: US, Canada Technical Assessment: ½ Moral Assessment:  ½ MTRCB rating: PG 13 CINEMA rating: V 14
Moral Assessment

CBCP Monitor

June 24 - July 7, 2013

Vol. 17 No. 13

Technical Assessment

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

 Poor  Below average  Average  Above average  E xcellent

mean for all intents and purposes “Savior”, since he is told that he is to save the world by bringing hope to Earth. He is adopted by simple folk—farmer father, housewife mother—just like the carpenter-housewife couple from Nazareth. Agonizing over whether to turn himself in as the rebel Zod demands, he seeks the counsel of a priest in a church—the shot shows Cavill close-up, framed against the stained glass background of Jesus praying in Gethsemane. Some film critics have even averred that the battle between Kal-el and Zod is one between good and evil, with Kal-el as Jesus and Zod as the devil. Hhmmm. Be that as it may, the pro-life cause stands to benefit from the statement of Jor-el against “artificial population control”, a concept whose evil consequences the anti-RH advocates the world over have been trying to open the public’s eyes to. It’s nice to know Superman is on our side.

Buhay San Miguel

Brothers Matias

After the earth had been so polluted for human habitation, humans fled it and went to build cities on a distant planet called Nova Prime, where, unfortunately, another species had settled and developed predators (called “ursas”) to drive away new settlers. On Nova Prime, Kitai (Jaden Smith) fails his cadet promotion test—he is reportedly good with theories but on the field fear immobilizes him. His father, Cypher Raige (Will Smith), a respected warrior known for his ability to “ghost”, mastering himself so he can fight without fear. Cypher takes Kitai with him on a space mission, but an asteroid storm damages their ship, sending it off track and reeling into Earth’s orbit. The ship breaks in two, and father and son are the only survivors. The distress beacon is in the ship’s half that landed 100 kilometers from the other half where Cypher and Kitai are. Cypher’s legs are broken, leaving Kitai to go solo to retrieve the beacon which could lead to their rescue. After a series of box office misfires that earned for him a shower of rotten tomatoes from critics, (Lady in the Water, The Happening, The Last Airbender) director M. Night Shyamalan finally redeems himself with After Earth, a film that unmistakably bears his signature, albeit a subdued one. Because the movie is unabashedly CGI-enhanced, people may tend to compare it with others of the same genre, but Shyamalan wisely remembers that central to the story is the relationship between father and son. Thus, the importance of close-ups of Cypher and Kitai, particularly while Cypher is directing his son through dangerous territory aided only by a fragile cyber connection. The viewer will not, therefore, find slimy creatures or gargantuan monsters at every turn, or cute little elf flowers (as in Epic), talking birds (Rio), and breakdancing penguins (Happy Feet),

as these would distract from the story’s main point. After Earth is a coming-ofage story where both father and son learn from each other. Its poster slogan “Danger is real; fear is a choice” is repeated like a mantra throughout the movie, not so much verbally as visually, and it hits the mark. The son is ever fearful and insecure from a lingering guilt over his sister’s death, aggravated by the lack of emotional warmth from an absentee father whom he nonetheless admires. In the process of overcoming his fears he blurts out his resentment and

TITLE: After Earth CAST: Will Smith & Jaden Smith DIRECTOR: M. Night Shyamalan GENRE: Drama/Action/Sci-fi/ Adventure CINEMATOGRAPHER: Peter Suschitzky RUNNING TIME: 100 minutes DISTRIBUTOR: Columbia Pictures LOCATION: Costa Rica Technical Assessment: ½ Moral Assessment:  ½ MTRCB rating: PG 13 CINEMA rating: PG 13

defies his father’s order, risking his very life. After Earth’s saving grace is its confidence in knowing what it wants to say and how to say it—to bleep with what critics will say! In real life, we reach a critical point where fear and faith may collide. Sometimes what

others may think is a cowardly, defiant, or suicidal move is actually a leap of faith. Kitai’s jumping off the cliff is a leap of faith that finally banishes fear from his consciousness. He lives, and lives up to his name, which is Japanese for “hope”.

TITLE: Fast and furious 6 CAST: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriquez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Chris Bridges, Sung Kan, Luke Evans, Gina Carano, John Ortiz Director: Justin Lin Running Time: 130 minutes Genre: Action Location: USA Technical Assessment: ½ Moral Assessment:  MTRCB rating: PG 13 CINEMA rating: V 18

Fugitives and ex-convicts Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) are still in the hiding somewhere in Mexico after their last gig in Rio when Agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) suddenly appears and offers them a deal. He wants Toretto to assemble his crew and help him take down Eman Shaw (Luke Evans), an elite mercenary involved in dangerous weapons, in exchange for their amnesty. Toretto is at first hesitant, but immediately changes his mind when Hobbs spills one interesting information—Toretto’s girlfriend, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), who is presumed dead, is alive and working with Shaw. So Torreto’s quest for the truth begins—why is Letty working with Shaw? Torreto suspects his girlfriend needs his rescue before it’s too late. Fast and Furious 6 is a spectacle at its best. It defies gravity and reality without spoiling the audience’s suspension of disbelief. This latest film of the series from an unexpected blockbuster franchise remains to be faithful to the core of its genre. It does not let its fans down with its action and chase sequences where cars crash and seemingly race to eternity. Although absurd, there

lies its charm—absurdity in its funniest. In fact, the story just remains in the background. On the foreground of the film are really the action set pieces, the jaw-dropping stunts and the neverending chases on the highway and this time, on the airport runway. The original cast of characters, along with their original charm, is still intact and the audience sees them grow and evolve series after series without alienating those who have not religiously followed the previous installments. Towards the end, the audience gets the hint that the Fast and Furious franchise is not done yet, and there goes the excitement once again. There is no denying that Fast and Furious 6 is a film that celebrates violence and embraces danger as a way of life. With that, the film in its entirety is undoubtedly disturbing. It disturbs the senses as it challenges the limits and endurance of the human physique. The story fights evil with evil, only that the protagonists are portrayed as lesser evils. It pampers and glorifies criminals like modern-day heroes without much regard to the damages they do with public spaces. With all these, the center of the story still revolves around love and family relationships. Love that transcends memory, guilt, and even death. Torreto risks his life to save Letty from danger and death—and that’s what love is, Fast and Furious style. O’Conner will give up anything for his family—and that’s all that really matters in this tormented fast and furious world. At the end of the film, they all thank God for their lives, for delivering them from danger, and for fast cars. But then again, all these are just incidental to the action set pieces, car crashes, fight sequences, and dangerous stunts. It’s still a dark world where only the toughest survive and where strongmen kill for love. The moral aspect of this movie is too much to chew on for young audiences—why expose them to such confusion?

Vol. 17 No. 13

CBCP Monitor

June 24 - July 7, 2013

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The News Supplement of Couples for Christ

Top Leaders Gather for 1 Global Leaders Empowerment Convention
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Day 1 of the Global Leaders Empowerment Convention welcomed CFC leaders from Metro Manila, Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, and from more than 30 countries at the One Esplanade, Pasay City. After the recitation of the Holy Rosary led by Irma Cuenca, wife of CFC Chairman Rikcy Cuenca, the convention officially began with a Holy Mass with Rev. Fr. Benedict Lagarde Jr. from the Missionaries of Jesus as main celebrant. Concelebrating the Mass were His Excellency Archbishop Boniface Lele of Mombasa, Kenya; Fr. Anthony Hou, Fr. Simon Jia, Fr. Joseph Duan, and Fr. Joseph Shen from China; and Fr. Pierre Faiquin from Mauritius. In the afternoon, GLEC participants were greeted by the unique shadow show of El Gamma Penumbra, which took the audience on a tour of the various famous landmarks of the Philippines. As the participants settled down, Mon Santiago, Regional Head for SouthAsia, facilitated the workshops. In the evening after Day 1 of the Global Leaders’ Empowerment Convention, CFC leaders donned the costumes of the countries they represent and spent time getting to know new friends and reconnecting with old ones through the CFC 32nd Anniversary Fellowship. The second day of the Global Leaders Empowerment Convention once again started with the recitation of the Rosary, led by Pat Villanueva of CFC USA. Hector Poppen, Country Head of CFC India, opened the convention with a powerful worship.  International Council member and CFC Corporate Secretary Arnel Santos
GLEC / C3

By the CFC Com Docu Team
The potential for greater evangelization is more apparent and there is excitement across the world because of this. The 1st CFC Global Leaders Empowerment Convention (GLEC) was a highlight of the week-long activities of the 32nd Anniversary celebration of Couples for Christ. The 3-day event which was held from June 18 to 20, 2013 at the One Esplanade, Pasay City, gathered over 300 leaders coming from different parts of the world. The GLEC sought to unite thrusts and approaches of all CFC leaders of all countries of the world. While the community believed in the preservation of its core thrusts there is still a need to be united in our approaches in addressing major concerns of evangelization. The event also aimed to build the core of the CFC leadership, stressing the importance of working as one body, and to synergize the team in bringing down the programs and thrusts of the community. Furthermore, the convention also hoped to promote empowered leadership by inspiration. The GLEC was indeed a venue to share personal challenges in leading and shepherding God’s people, to fully embrace their calling as missionaries in their own countries and areas. Here are highlights of the 1st CFC Global Leaders Empowerment Convention:

CFC goes to GLEC, counterclockwise from top left: ANCOP scholars welcome delegates; GLEC opens with a Mass; ABLAZE President Rommel Ancheta leading the worship; CFC Mongolia; participants breaking out into groups during workshop; CFC Timor Leste posing for the camera; GLEC participants playing the “Obey & Witness Bingo” during the morning team building activity. (GLEC photos courtesy of Caloy Rubio, Jerry Tanigue, Alma Alvarez & Romy Medina)

WITNESS TO THE WORLD: Theme for the CFC 32nd Anniversary

New IC, Board of Elders Elected

Couples for Christ has expanded rapidly and massively over the past 32 years. We marvel at the vast and vibrant work of evangelization that the Lord has entrusted to our community, and essentially to the anointed and appointed leaders. Our leaders in over 120 countries serve as modern day witnesses of Christ’s love and active managers of our programs and thrusts. The call of the Church for “New Evangelization” affirms our vision to go and renew the face of the Earth through the power of the Holy Spirit, to grow in holiness and persevere in reevangelizing the faithful. The message is also clear that we are in this journey with the Blessed Virgin Mary, the “Star of the New Evangelization”. Since last year, the annual themes of the community reflect the role of our Blessed Mother in CFC, especially in our efforts in evangelization. Recognizing this blessing, the Lord continues to bring the community towards active renewal, as spoken volumes by lives transformed

through an inertial understanding of the life and mission of CFC across the world. Our communities spread throughout the world are thriving, but we must constantly be renewed in our zeal and knowledge to further sustain the formation of our harvest, to encourage stewardship, and to have continuous vibrancy in community life. To witness is also about empowered leadership by inspiration. It is to fully embrace our calling as missionaries in our own countries and areas. Finally, witnessing is to regard one another as co-servants in the vineyard of the Lord—as brothers and sisters in Christ—where we get to know one another better, along with our roles in the global mission of CFC. We believe that the Lord is pleased, and the work becomes even more meaningful, when His work is accomplished in synergy. The essence of synergy is to value differences—to appreciate and respect God’s personal imprint in each person, to build on one another ’s strengths, and to carry one another despite our weaknesses.

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Ugnayan

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 13
June 24 - July 7, 2013

CFC Int’l Mission Core Gathering Opens Week-long Celebration

Get to know CFC’s 3 New International Council Members
Following is a quick profile of our community’s 3 newlyelected members of the International Council:

GEORGE CAMPOS
50 years old George and wife Cynthia joined the community in 1990. They have been married for 26 years and are blessed with 4 children (a son and 3 daughters). PROFESSION/ DEGREE: BS Electrical Engineering the St. Louis University Baguio City; Exec Masters Business Administration AIM at in in in

June 16, 2013, marked the beginning of the week-long celebration of Couples for Christ’s 32nd Anniversary. The CFC International Mission Core Gathering was indeed a great way to kick off the 32nd Anniversary celebrations as top CFC leaders from different parts of the world joined the assembly at the Tanghalang Pasigueno, Pasig City. His Excellency Bishop

Honesto F. Ongtioco, Diocese of Cubao, celebrated the Holy Mass. This was followed by the Mission Core Assembly. CFC Chairman Ricky Cuenca fired up the whole assembly via the opening worship. After the exhortation, several members of the Interntional Core shared about the Lord’s goodness in their personal lives, and how the Lord has continued to set their hearts ablaze.

International MC Assembly ushering in week-long celebration, counterclockwise from top left: Bishop Honesto Ongtioko of the Diocese of Cubao celebrating the Mass; Bishop Ongtioko blessing the offerors; Lozare couple from CFC Thailand; IC greeting one another a happy anniversary; the International MC; the IC, with Ricky Cuenca leading the worship. (photos by Caloy Rubio)

PRESENT WORK: Consultant: Power Development; retired Meralco Executive CFC SERVICE: He was a member of the Board of Elders, CFC Sector Head for Metro Manila East A, and is the Country Coordinator for CFC USA.

Rest and Recreation at the 20 CFC Golf Classic
th
Tee-off at 6:30 AM
Seniors Division
Serious putting

JAIME ILAGAN
51 years old Joined CFC in 1989, married for 29 years to Lorna and blessed with 3 sons DEGREE/ PROFESSION: BSBA Accounting in PUP; MBA units ADMU, Sr. Management Development Program, Sime Darby Business School, Malaysia PRESENT WORK: Consultant/CPA CFC SERVICE: Was a Member of the Board of Elders, Sector Head, Metro Manila Central A, and is Regional Coordinator for the Middle East
Some of the old-timers

Lady golfers Attracting the younger breed of golfers

By the CFC Com Docu Team
CFC leaders, together with guest golfers, took time out for the 20th CFC Golf Classic last June 17, 2013 at the North Course of Valley Golf and Country Club in Antipolo City, Rizal. Eighty-nine golf enthusiasts coming from the US, Qatar, Metro Manila, Cavite, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Kalinga, and Misamis Occidental, among others, were at the shotgun tee off at 6:30 AM. At the end of 18 holes, the following were declared winners: Ladies’ Division: 1st Runner up: Linda Goble; Champion: Myrna Sutherland Elders’ Division (66 years old & up): 1st Runner up: Joe Cabacan; Champion: Suzuki Hajime Division 1: 1st Runner up: Mayor Jun Boy Lumawin (Tabuk, Kalinga); Champion: Jay Cruz Overall Champion: Abe Avena The tournament, which aims to promote friendly competition and community fellowship, is organized every year as part of the CFC Anniversary week activities to help raise funds to support the various Social Development Programs. (photos by Joel Valdez) Division 2: 1st Runner up: Willie Madarang Champion: Chito Santiago   Division 3: 1 st R u n n e r u p : D o m i n g Elemento; Champion: Cesar Layug Championship Division: 1st Runner up: Lyndon Pamintuan; Champion: Ed Bolaños

JAMES SOLANO
48 years old, Joined CFC in 1995, married for 25 years to Ella with 3 children (1 daugther and 2 sons) DEGREE/ PROFESSION: Electrical Engineer PRESENT WORK: Electrical Engineering Contractor CFC SERVICE: Regional Coordinator of Southwest Europe Region Head of Southcentral Mindanao

There are serious Prizes and awards up for grabs golfers... While some just want to have fun

CFC Golf Classic past chairmen

Some are blessed to win prizes, too

Perpetual trophy bearing names of past winners

‘Fit to Witness’—The CFC Women’s Forum
• Ms. Mylene de la Cruz, Chief Dietician, UST Participants were given time to air their questions to the panellists during the open forum. Finally, Irma Cuenca, wife of CFC Chairman Ricky Cuenca, exhorted all the women on their role as mission partners to their husbands, thus emphasizing why it is important to be concerned

with their health and physical well-being. She then led everyone to a Personal Commitment to Health, wherein each participant wrote down their own health plan as a reminder to always strive to be “fit to witness” for the Lord. The event was closed with a prayer led by Aileen Ocampo.

300 CFC Women gathered last June 20, 2013 at the One Esplanade for the CFC Women’s Forum. This year ’s theme was “Fit to Witness”. The forum aimed to impress upon the women in the community the importance of fullness in health and well-being to their crucial role as effective pastoral teammates to their husbands and encourage them to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Prior to the activity, representatives from the Philippine Heart Association, Biofemme Unilab and Therapharma LRI conducted free health screenings for the first 100 women who registered for the event. The activity was opened with a worship by CFC Council wife, Babylou Tale. This was then followed by a 30-minute Zumba session by certified Zumba instructor, Roxanne Araneta. The women indeed had great time participating in the ice-breaker exercise. The health forum followed, led by Dra. Mila Yamamoto, who gave a 20-minute overview on why it is important to really take care of one’s physical well-being. After the introduction by Dra. Yamamoto, Jean Uriarte introduced and welcomed the guest panellists. Each panel guest was given 15 minutes to talk about specific health issues of women. The panellists were: • Dr. Marivic Garcia, Cardiologist

• •

Dr. Cynthia Fernandez, Obstretician Gynecologist Dr. Malou San Juan, Master of Public Health

To be spritually and physically fit—this is what these women are aiming for at the “Fit to Witness” Women’s Forum. Aside from the free medical consultation, there was also a Zumba workout, as well as talks on how women in CFC can be fit for the fight.

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 13
June 24 - July 7, 2013

Ugnayan

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CFC 32nd Anniversary Highlights

VARIETY SHOW

LUZON

BCOP PROGRAMS

VISAYAS

MINDANAO

METRO MANILA

Anniversary photos courtesy of Crispin Bañares, Caloy Rubio, Arnel Santos, Roger Santos, Jerry Tanigue, Ruel Tenerife & Joe Yamamoto.

GLEC, C1

gave the first session, leaving the participants with the message that CFC is primarily a relationship: relationship with God (communion), with each other (community), and with others (mission). In the afternoon, CFC Chairman Ricky Cuenca excited the GLEC participants once more with his contagious energy in serving the Lord.  Day 2 of the GLEC culminated with the celebration of the Holy Mass, with Msgr. Allen Aganon as main celebrant.

Day 3 of GLEC was the Lay-Clergy Congress, with Fr. Christian Limbaring of Vietnam opening with an inspiring worship. CFC Spiritual Director Msgr. Allen Aganon gave a talk on the role of a Spiritual Director, emphasizing on shepherding like Jesus does. After the session, Bishop Pablo David of Pampanga celebrated the Holy Mass together with international clergy, including Archbishop Boniface Lele of Mombasa, Kenya.

GLEC Day 3 - Lay-Clergy Congress

Fellowship Night

During the Mass on Day 3, Bishop David, assisted by the International Council, conferred the missionary cross to the global CFC leaders as a reminder that they, too, are missionaries being sent by Jesus.

CFC GLEC delegates donned their national costumes for the fellowship night

GLEC Day 2

Evangelization & Missions Meeting

Arnel Santos gives the session on “The CFC GLOBAL OPERATIONS: Our blessed journey as a worldwide family”; session 3, titled “CFC As A Missionary Community” delivered by Ricky Cuenca; Jordan Ablong, ANCOP scholar from Pampanga shares during Session 3.

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Ugnayan

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 17 No. 13

June 24 - July 7, 2013

Couples for Christ at 32: Celebrating God’s Fidelity
Pre-parade

By the CFC Com Docu Team
Couples for Christ celebrated 32 years of Christ’s fidelity to the community with a week-long roster of events, beginning with the International Mission Core Assembly last Sunday, June 16. This was followed by the 20th CFC Golf Classic last June 17 at the Valley Golf & Country Club in Antipolo. Last June 18 to 20, leaders from the all over the Philippines and the world convened for the 1st CFC Global Leaders Empowerment Convention (GLEC). Friday, June 21, the CFC Elders Assembly gathered for their recollection, as well as the elections of 3 new members of the International Council and the 15-man Board of Elders. And finally, on Saturday, June 22, CFC from all over gathered at the Quirino Grandstand to give thanks to the Lord for 32 years of Couples for Christ, with no less than His Eminence Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle as main celebrant for the Mass. Forty-two members of the international clergy, including Archbishop Boniface Lele of Mombasa, Kenya, concelebrated the Mass with the good Cardinal. And even as the rains poured during Communion, CFC remained until the praise fest and fireworks display. Indeed, the week had been very Spirit-filled, with each day being a manifestation of God’s faithfulness and love for Couples for Christ.
Pre-parade activities, clockwise from top left: Handmaids of the Lord enjoying lunch inside a jeep; family picnic under the trees; people excited over what’s inside the gigantic ABLAZE gift box; sister from China hamming it up for the camera; CFC Chair Ricky Cuenca and wife Irma with new IC member James Solano with wife Ella; CFC Vietnam; CFC Japan; ANCOP scholars waiting for parade to start; ANCOP Health/ Gkare making sure everyone is healthy; CFC Batangas; IC member Mannix Ocampo posing with CFC Nueva Ecija.

The Parade

The Celebration of the Mass
The most awaited Celebration, counterclockwise from far left: Main celebrant, His Eminence Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle of the Archdiocese of Manila; members of the international clergy concelebrating the Mass; Chris Mautsi, National Director of CFC UK for the Responsorial Psalm; Cardinal Tagle delivering the homily to thousands to CFC; Metro Manila Sector Heads during the offertory; the Prayers of the Faithful being said in different languages; the Liturgy of the Word.

The Praisefest

Despite the ominous dark clouds which brought torrential rains, CFC stood their ground and stayed on for the praisefest and the fireworks display. Indeed, CFC welcomes the abundance of rain each year as a sign of God’s infinite goodness!

Postscript

Two surprises after the Mass: at left, Cardinal Tagle is given a birthday cake, as it was his birthday the previous day; above, Cardinal Tagle prays over the outgoing IC members Joe Tale, Joe Yamamoto and Melo Villaroman Jr.

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