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July 8 - 21, 2013

Vol. 17 No. 14

Php 20.00

Critics of the “Reproductive Health” law gather outside the Supreme Court on July 9, as justices, for the first time, hear oral arguments for and against the controversial population control measure. Signed into law last December 2012, its full implementation was deferred last March upon issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) by the High Court pending oral arguments on the petitions filed against the measure.

CBCP seeks accountability for poll woes Bishops wish him the ‘fighting spirit’ of Cardinal Sin
By Roy Lagarde

Villegas, new CBCP head
Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

ARCHBISHOP Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan was elected as the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
Villegas, current CBCP vice president, will succeed Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma who did not seek for a second term. At 52, the protégé of the late Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin will lead the 96 active and 40 honorary members of the bishops’ collegial body. Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles, meanwhile, was elected vice president in elections held at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Paco, Manila on July 7.

Bishop Broderick Pabillo

FRESH from a three-day plenary meeting, the Catholic bishops’ leadership has demanded accountability over the May 13 midterm electoral mess. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said the Commission on Elections should be held accountable for the breaches in security, transparency and integrity in the voting technology. “After one experience of the automated elections, this year’s election should have been better. But it was not,” the CBCP, in a press statement, said. “We call for accountability from Comelec officials and demand that the law be followed,” it said. The church officials accused particularly the poll body for “stonewalling” amid concerns from different organizations and poll watchdog groups regarding the conduct of the automated elections. Among them, they noted, are the reports of voter disenfranchisement and problems faced during the transmission of results from the Precinct Count Optical Scan machines. “We bishops are very concerned that the safeguards of the Automated Elections Law were not sufficiently carried out,” said the CBCP. The church leaders also lamented the massive vote-buying and vote-selling nationwide during election.

Villegas was ordained priest by Cardinal Sin himself in 1985. He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Manila in 2001. In 2004, he was appointed bishop of Balanga diocese before he was named archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan in 2009. Valles, 61, was ordained a priest in 1976 before he was appointed as the fourth bishop of Kidapawan in 1997. In 2006, he was named archbishop of Zamboanga until 2012 when he was transferred to Davao archdiocese. The CBCP officials have two-year tenure in office, or a total of four to include the second term. If tradition is to be followed, incumbent officials are reelected for their second and last term. However, Palma yielded his CBCP post so he could give more attention to the Cebu archdiocese, which will be hosting the International Eucharistic Congress in 2016.

As the new head of the Catholic Bishops’ conference, Archbishop Villegas is seen by some observers to soon wield an influence that Cardinal Jaime Sin once did.

Bancud of Cabanatuan, Gilbert Garcera of Daet, Emilio Marquez of Lucena, Bernardino Cortez of Manila, Crispin Varquez of Borongan, Jose Cabantan of Malaybalay and Angelito Lampon of Jolo. The permanent council acts for and in behalf of the CBCP when the plenary assembly is not in session. The assembly also reelected Palo Archbishop John Du as Treasurer and named Fr. Marvin Mejia, then assistant secretary general, as secretary general succeeding Msgr. Joselito Asis who will now return to the Diocese of Daet. The elected officials will formally assume their posts on December 1, 2013. Fighting spirit of Sin For former CBCP president Archbishop Angel Lagdameo of Jaro, all his prayer goes to Villegas that “he will have the fighting spirit of his mentor,

Others members of the CBCP Permanent Council are Capiz Archbishop Jose Advincula, Bishops Rodolfo Beltran of San Fernando de La Union, Sofronio

Head / A7

Euthanasia for minors, RH Law’s future ‘fruit’—bishop

Bishop, priest see Garin appointment as political payback
TWO Catholic Church officials said the plan to appoint former lawmaker and staunch advocate of a contraception law as Health undersecretary looks like political payback. Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Emeritus Archbishop Oscar Cruz said that appointing former Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin as Health undersecretary only shows that the government is “propopulation control.” “It’s already very evident that the President (Benigno Aquino III) is anti-population,” said Cruz, who heads the Church’s National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal. “I think they are the same as far as population control is concerned. They are very much in agreement,” he added.
Appointment / A6
Nirva’ana Dela Cruz

Church groups oppose hospital privatization
TWO organizations of religious men and men have come out against the government’s plan to privatize public hospitals across the country. In a joint statement, the Religious Discernment Group and the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary said privatization will affect poor patients and government health workers. “We join with all people of good will to demand that the Privatization of National Health Services be stopped immediately,” part of the statement reads. According to them, the government is supposed to protect and promote health of the people. “Yet, we find the Aquino administration, through its program of privatization of health facilities and services, completely ignoring these legal and moral dictums,” they said. Privatization, they added, will further
Privatizaton / A6

Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes laments how other countries now recognize minors’ ‘right to die’ during a mass on July 9 to pray for the intention of the start of the oral arguments against the RH Law.

Poll / A7

A PANDORA’S box of social and spiritual disasters — this is how a bishop describes the RH Law, which, according to him, will pave the way for euthanasia, not

just for the old, but even for children, among other things. In a holy mass celebrated July 9 for the intention of

Euthanasia / A7

Manila priests renew call for transfer of oil depot
CATHOLIC priests in Manila renewed their appeal to relocate the Pandacan Oil Depot, saying that it poses danger to the residents and to the environment. In a statement, the clergy called for the repeal of the Manila City Ordinance No. 8187, which allowed the oil depot to continue operating in Pandacan district. “The Manila clergy are conOil Depot / A6

Cruz asks: Whatever happened to govt’s anti-jueteng drive?
THE thriving “jueteng” industry in the country has raised a question: Whatever happened to the government’s campaign against the multi-million underground lottery? Retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz, a known antigambling crusader, said that jueteng operations are getting worse under the Aquino government. Unlike in the past, the illegal numbers racket can now operate with politicians, mostly mayors and governors, serving as operator and protector at the same time. “Jueteng flourished under the Aquino administration. In the past, jueteng protector and jueteng lord are different people. But now, there’s jueteng protector and jueteng lord at the same time,” Cruz said. The founder of the
Anti-Jueteng / A6

Brothers Matias

Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

For Catholic Church, ‘no coup d’état took place in Egypt’
CAIRO, July 8, 2013—”What is happening in Egypt is not a coup d’état. The Army chose to protect a peaceful revolution led by young Egyptians and followed by millions of people all over the country. In a normal coup, the military would immediately appointed a man as their interim president, would change the government, as it took power, but this is not the case in Egypt,” said Fr. Rafic Greiche. Speaking to AsiaNews, the spokesman for the Egyptian Catholic Church explained the reasons why the Catholic and Coptic Orthodox Churches backed the change in the country’s leadership after three days of mass demonstrations against Islamist President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood establishment. The clergyman criticized Western newspapers for attributing events to an unspecified “opposition” and for describing as a coup the decision by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) led by General alSisi to suspend the Constitution and oust President Morsi. For Fr. Greiche, “the army is non-political. It is simply managing talks between the parties. The new interim president Adli Mansour, chief justice of Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court, is a technocrat. He promised that his temporary government would be a coalition open to all parties and components of Egyptian society.” Today, police arrested 300 Muslim Brotherhood leaders, including the group’s spiritual leader Mohamed Badie, its treasurer Khairat al-Shater, and five others, for inciting their followers to kill opponents of Mohamed Morsi. The call for jihad against anti-Islamist protesters has left several people dead in Giza (Cairo), where unknown gunmen fired on a crowd, seriously injuring a police officer. A Catholic church was also attacked in Minya Governorate (Upper Egypt). Fr. Greiche said that to avoid a “witch-hunt against the Islamists,” the new president, the imam of al-Azhar and the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II “called on the parties to welcome and accept the Muslim Brotherhood, especially young people who in recent years have been subjected to actual brainwashing by their leaders.” (AsiaNews)

World News

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 14
July 8 - 21, 2013

Pope clears the way for the canonizations of John Paul II, John XXIII
VATICAN City, July 5, 2013— Pope Francis signed a decree clearing the way for the canonization of Blessed John Paul II and has decided also to ask the world’s cardinals to vote on the canonization of Blessed John XXIII, even in the absence of a miracle. After Pope Francis met July 5 with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, the Vatican published a list of decrees the pope approved related to Blessed John Paul’s canonization and 11 other sainthood causes. Publishing the decrees, the Vatican also said, “The supreme pontiff approved the favorable votes of the ordinary session of the cardinal- and bishop-fathers regarding the canonization of Blessed John XXIII (Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli) and has decided to convoke a consistory that will also involve the canonization of Blessed John Paul II.” Normally, after a pope signs a decree recognizing the miracle needed for a canonization, the pope consults with cardinals around the world and calls a consistory—a gathering attended by any cardinal who wants and is able to attend—where those present voice their support for the pope’s decision to proclaim a new saint. A date for a canonization ceremony is announced formally only during or immediately after the consistory. The cardinals and archbishops who are members of the saints’ congregation met at the Vatican July 2 and voted in favor of the pope recognizing as a miracle the healing of Floribeth Mora Diaz, a Costa Rican who was suffering from a brain aneurysm and recovered after prayers through the intercession of Blessed John Paul. The congregation members, according to news reports, also looked at the cause of Blessed John and voted to ask Pope Francis to canonize him without requiring a miracle. According to church rules—established by the pope and subject to changes by him—a miracle is needed after beatification to make a candidate eligible for canonization. Jesuit Father Paolo Molinari, the longtime head of the College of Postulators—or promoters of sainthood causes—has explained that in the sainthood process, miracles are “the confirmation by God of a judgment made by human beings” that the candidate really is in heaven. But, Father Molinari also has said that for decades theologians have explored the possibility that such a confirmation could come by means other than someone experiencing a physical healing. For instance, Blessed John Paul beatified Victoire Rasoamanarivo in Madagascar in 1989 after accepting as a miracle the case of a wind-swept brush fire stopping at the edge of a village whose inhabitants invoked her intercession. Announcing the decision about Blessed John’s cause, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said the discussions about the need for miracles and what can be defined as an acceptable miracle continue. However, he said, the movement in the late pope’s cause does not indi- Blessed John Paul II cate a general be canonized together, possibly change in church policy. The members of the Congrega- “by the end of the year.” The other decrees approved by tion for Saints’ Causes “have expressed their hope, and the Holy Pope Francis July 5 recognized: — The miracle needed for Father has accepted it,” Father Lombardi said. If Pope Francis beatification of Spanish Bishop “had any doubts, we wouldn’t Alvaro del Portillo, who in 1975 be here” announcing the consis- succeeded St. Jose Maria Escriva tory to approve Blessed John’s as head of Opus Dei. Bishop del Portillo died in 1994. canonization. — The miracle needed for “As we all know very well, John XXIII is a person beloved the beatification of Maria Josefa in the church. We are in the 50th Alhama Valera, also known as anniversary year of the opening Mother Esperanza, the Spanish of the Second Vatican Coun- founder of the Handmaids of Mercil, which he convoked. And I ciful Love and the Sons of Merciful think none of us has any doubts Love. She died in Italy in 1983. — The martyrdom of four about John XXIII’s virtues,” the spokesman said. “So, the Holy groups of priests and nuns killed Father is looking toward his during the Spanish Civil War in 1936-1939. canonization.” — The heroic virtues of three Father Lombardi also noted that no date for a canonization founders of religious orders; an ceremony was announced, but it Italian priest; and an Italian layis likely that the two popes will man. (CNS)

Vatican Briefing
Vatican Bank donated $70 million to charity in 2012

The Vatican Bank donated some $70 million to charities in 2012, according to a Vatican statement released July 4. The Vatican Bank, officially called the Institute for the Works of Religion, distributed its charitable funds among the Amazon Fund; the Pro-Orantibus Fund, which supports cloistered monasteries; the San Sergio Fund, which supports the Church in the former Soviet Union; and the Commission for Latin America, as well as other Catholic charities. The cardinals' council had met July 2-3 to review the 2012 fiscal year. The meeting was presided over by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State, and was attended by 12 other cardinals. (CNA)
Pope Francis invites homeless to dine at Vatican

U.S. bishops, religious leaders call for religious liberty protections
WASHINGTON, July 2, 2013—A diverse group of religious leaders, including Catholics, Protestants, evangelicals and a representative from the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, issued an open letter July 2 urging the U.S. government to “expand conscience protections” in its Health and Human Services contraceptive mandate. The letter, which said the country’s “delicate liberty of conscience is under threat,” called on HHS to provide conscience protections to “any organization or individual that has religious or moral objections to covering, providing or enabling access to the mandated drugs and services.” The signers also asked Congress to “consider how it might prevent such offenses from occurring in the future,” noting that any policy “that falls short of affirming full religious freedom protection for all Americans is unacceptable.” The letter, “Standing Together for Religious Freedom,” was signed by 58 faith representatives and released during a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington. Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, was among the signatories and spoke about it at the afternoon news conference. He said a key aspect that the Catholic Church is looking at in its “intense study” of HHS’ final rules issued June 28 is the threetiered distinction the government made with religions: exempt houses of worship; the accommodated organizations; and private business owners with religious beliefs. He told reporters that Catholics do not see a distinction between what people do in church and how they serve their neighbors or run a business. “The faith by which we worship on Sunday is the very same faith by which we act in the world the other six days of the week.” Russell D. Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, also signed the letter and similarly stressed that people of faith “cannot accept” the government’s message that religion is just for our services “or what we hide in our hearts or sing in our hymns.” Archbishop Lori stressed that those who signed the letter didn’t necessarily agree with Catholics about contraception or other issues but they “understand the core religious freedom issue at stake here.” He told Catholic News Service he was grateful to be part of such a diverse group, noting that “it’s important for all of us to be vigilant for religious liberty.” He also noted that it is a challenge to convey threats to religious liberty since “on the surface things look placid.” But he also pointed out that threats continue to emerge and that Catholics involved in grass-roots efforts by attending rallies, picnics and Masses focused on religious liberty are beginning to understand more about what’s at stake. The HHS contraceptive mandate, part of the Affordable Care Act, will require most employers, including religious employers, to provide coverage of contraceptives, sterilization and some abortion-inducing drugs free of charge, even if the employer is morally opposed to such services. It includes an exemption for some religious employers that fit its criteria. “Whether or not we agree with the particular conscientious objection is beside the point. HHS continues to deny many Americans the freedom to manifest their beliefs through practice and observance in their daily lives,” the letter says. It adds that through the contraceptive mandate, HHS “continues to breach universal principles affirmed and protected by the U.S. Constitution and other federal laws.” The signers said the mandate is a specific offense because it “represents a greater fundamental breach of conscience by the federal government.” “Very simply, HHS is forcing Citizen A, against his or her moral convictions, to purchase a product for Citizen B. The HHS policy is coercive and puts the administration in the position of defining—or casting aside—religious doctrine. This should trouble every American,” it said. The letter’s 58 signatories also included: Leith Anderson, president, National Association of Evangelicals; Jo Anne Lyon, general superintendent, Wesleyan Church; the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Hispanic Evangelical Association; Anuttama Dasa, minister of communications and Governing Body Commission vice chair, International Society for Krishna Consciousness; the Rev. Susan Taylor, national public affairs director, Church of Scientology; Sister Jane Marie Klein, board chair, Franciscan Alliance Inc.; and three Little Sisters of the Poor provincial superiors, for the order’s Brooklyn, Chicago and Baltimore provinces. When representatives from the letter’s signers were asked about the group’s next steps, Moore said: “We’re not going to back down.” He said the government assumed that Catholics and others who had issues with the contraceptive mandate would “somehow go away,” but he said that hasn’t happened and the religious leaders plan to “continue to speak about this.” (CNS)

On July 1 Pope Francis invited a group of 200 homeless individuals to dinner at the Vatican, where they were served in his name by Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello. Cardinal Bertello, president of the Governatorate of the Vatican City State, spent the entire evening with the special guests, with whom he chatted at length and shared personal experiences, according to the July 3 edition of L'Osservatore Romano. “I welcome you in the name of the Pope. As you know, this is your home, and he is pleased that you are here,” he told the group of homeless persons before dinner was served. The dinner took place near the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in the Vatican. “Our Lady who stands before us looks upon us with serenity,” the cardinal said. (CNA)
Murdered Syrian priest's friend feels closeness of martyrdom

Franciscan Friar Ibrahim Alsabagh says that remembering the June 23 killing of his friend, a Syrian priest, at a Mass in Rome made him feel “bitter, happy, and a little bit of envy," as well as "how close martyrdom is." “My first reaction was of bitterness because I had met him personally and I know how much good he did,” said Father Alsabagh, a Syrian Franciscan of the Custody of the Holy Land. “Also because it made me realize how close martyrdom is.” “But on the other hand, I also felt joy and a little bit of envy,” he said July 4, following the memorial Mass for Father François Mourad, held in Rome. The evening Mass was celebrated by Bishop Matteo M. Zuppi, an auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Rome, at the Church of Saints Fabian and Venantius. (CNA)
Despite setbacks, Vatican Bank undergoing important evolution

Pope to set up 'study group' to look into Vatican audits, cardinal says

Pope Francis will be forming a new committee to investigate the findings and concerns expressed in an external audit of the internal budgets of Vatican offices. The pope told the Council of Cardinals for the Study of the Organizational and Economic Problems of the Holy See that he was thinking of forming "a study group" that would look at issues such as transparency and accountability, South African Cardinal Wilfred F. Napier of Durban said. Basically, the group would look into how the Vatican could better manage "what, why and how" monetary resources are being used by the different Vatican offices and entities, he told CNS July 4. (CNS)
Chilean archbishop says pope will go to Africa, Asia next year

Bishop Ma Daqin

Chilean Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati Andrello of Santiago told his people he hoped Pope Francis would visit Argentina on a South American tour in 2015, but he said the pope told him the 2014 trip schedule was already full. Pope Francis will travel to meet Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, will make "another trip to Africa and another to Asia" in 2014, Archbishop Ezzati said in an interview published July 2 on his archdiocesan website. The Vatican press office said it had no information to release on the pope's 2014 schedule. Ezzati said he spent 45 minutes talking with Pope Francis June 28 in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Vatican guesthouse where the pope lives. (CNS)

him, and then quit the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Catholics praised his decision and showed him their support; however, on 7 December 2012, the authorities removed him from his office as bishop coadjutor, accusing him of violating China’s religious regulations Although Ma’s case caused further riffs between Beijing and the Holy See, it has also encouraged reconciliation and unity within the Church in China. Many Catholics are proud of him, his courage and wisdom and hold him in high regard. Thanks to his writings, he has also come to be highly regarded for his knowledge of Chinese literature and for his talent as a writer of theatre and poetry, as well as for his work in photography. (AsiaNews)

News that Vatican Financial Intelligence Authority (AIF) has been admitted to a global network of financial oversight agencies proves that the Vatican is threading an international and multilateral path to adhere to international standards. It “represents a recognition of the Holy See/Vatican City State’s systematic efforts in tracking and fighting money laundering and financing of terrorism,” said René Bruelhart, director of the Authority of Financial Information, in a July 3 statement. The news of admission to the Egmont Group, an umbrella organization for 130 Financial Intelligence Units, became official just days after the unexpected resignations of the Vatican bank's general director Paolo Cipriani and his deputy Massimo Tulli, who stepped down on July 1. (CNA)

After one year of house arrest, Chinese Catholics pray for Msgr. Ma Daqin, bishop of Shanghai
SHANGHAI, July 6, 2013— Chinese Catholics are praying non-stop for Msgr. Thaddeus Ma Daqin, who has been under house arrest since the day of his ordination a year ago, 7 July 2012. In the past 12 months, his forced silence and absence have generated sympathy and support for the Church in China, even among non-Christians. His courage and loyalty to the pope has given strength and hope to Catholics inside and outside the country. Msgr. Ma’s case, the death of Shanghai Bishop Aloysius Jin Luxian, and before that, the resignation of Auxiliary Bishop Xing Wenzhi, have cast a shadow over the future of the diocese. In a vendetta against Msgr. Ma, the religious authorities also shut down the preparatory and theological seminaries of Sheshan. Sources in Shanghai told AsiaNews that after a period under house arrest at the Sheshan seminary, Msgr. Ma was removed from the sanctuary, in all likelihood to Shanghai. He was taken away before Msgr. Jin’s death and before the month of May when the pilgrims flock to Our Lady of Sheshan shrine. Some sources said he has been forced to study at an institute of socialism in Shanghai; others said that he was taken to Beijing. All, however, continue to hold him in their thoughts. “We miss him very much,” a Catholic from the diocese said. “We would like to see him, but we must be patient, as Pope Francis teaches us”. Since July 2012, the bishop has been allowed sometimes to use his microblogging and sina weibo accounts to post messages, which usually get a lot of answers and comments. So far Msgr. Ma has posted articles and poems on the death of an old priest and of Bishop Jin, as well as on devotion towards one’s parents. He has also sometimes encouraged his priests by sharing with them his faith meditations inspired by his life of isolation. He has also posted several parts of a play he wrote about Paul Xu Guangqi, a friend of Matteo Ricci and Shanghai’s first convert, whose cause for beatification is going along with that of the Jesuit missionary. On 29 June, feast day of Saints Peter and Paul, a posting on Msgr. Ma’s sina weiboaccount expressed best wishes to 14 priests and 4 seminarians with those names from the diocese of Shanghai. In it, he names each of them individually, signing off as Ma Daqin, without using his title since the government removed him from his office as ‘bishop of Shanghai’. On 11 June, Duanwu, the day of the Dragon Boat Festival, he posted a poem to express his grief and sorrow for Qu Yuan, a poet who is remembered during the celebration as a faithful servant of the emperor who was sentenced to death because of slander. Msgr. Ma probably can see the similarities between his fate and that of ancient poet. Since microblogging and sina weibo are interactive, many readers forward his messages and can post their comments and messages. Many have been addressed to him as “bishop”, greeted him, comforted him and given him the latest information. “Dear Bishop,” one posting read, “how are you? Where are you? We miss you a lot. You are our good shepherd. Wherever you are, God is with us.” “We are praying for the Church in China and unity with the universal Church,” another wrote. Benedict XVI appointed Msgr. Ma as coadjutor bishop of Shanghai, a choice recognized by the government. At his ordination, he stood clear of an illegitimate bishop concerned that the latter might try to place his hands on

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 14
July 8 - 21, 2013

News Features
us to embrace Christ in a personal and complete way. “Faith does not merely gaze at Jesus, but sees things as Jesus himself sees them, with his own eyes: it is a participation in his way of seeing.” In this way, faith will only lead us to salvation if we are “radically open to a love that precedes us, a love that transforms us from within, acting in us and through us,” he said, explaining that we must allow Jesus into our lives without reservation, realizing that his life, death and resurrection show him to be “the trustworthy witness, deserving of faith,” utterly reliable in his love. The connection between faith and truth was a key concept in the encyclical. “Faith without truth does not save, it does not provide a sure footing,” the Pope said. “It remains a beautiful story, the projection of our deep yearning for happiness, something capable of satisfying us to the extent that we are willing to deceive ourselves.” This reality is important to remember in a world that equates truth with science and technology, falling into a relativism that disregards the fullness of truth, which requires faith. At the same time, this truth must be connected to love, Pope Francis continued. “Without love, truth becomes cold, impersonal and oppressive for people’s day-to-day lives.” “Love and truth are inseparable,” he said, explaining that “(f)aith transforms the whole person precisely to the extent that he or she becomes open to love.” In the contemporary world, love is a truth disclosed in personal encounter with the Other and with others, then it can be set free from its enclosure in individuals and become part of the common good,” he said. “As a truth of love, it is not one that can be imposed by force; it is not a truth that stifles the individual.” Because it is grounded in truth, faith can also benefit science, the Pope said, because it “encourages the scientist to remain constantly open to reality in all its inexhaustible richness,” recognizing that “nature is always greater.” The importance of the Church was also a focus of the document. While the Holy Father stated that any person “who sets off on the path of doing good to others is already drawing near to God,” he also noted that it is “impossible to believe on our own.” “Faith is not simply an individual decision which takes place in the depths of the believer’s heart, nor a completely private relationship,” he said. Instead, faith by its very nature “is open to the ‘We’ of the Church; it always takes place within her communion.” “We can respond in the singular—‘I believe’—only because we are part of a greater fellowship, only because we also say ‘We believe.’” It is the gift of apostolic succession that protects and ensures the unity of the faith, transmitted from generation to generation, he continued, stressing the importance of prayer, the profession of faith, the Ten Commandments and especially the sacraments in the Church’s transmission of the faith. He also noted the key role of family as a critical setting for the growth of

faith, specifically referencing “the stable union of man and woman in marriage,” which creates the good of new life. Faith is also a common good for society, the Holy Father observed. “Its light does not simply brighten the interior of the Church, nor does it serve solely to build an eternal city in the hereafter; it helps us build our societies in such a way that they can journey towards a future of hope.” Because it is linked to trustworthy love, the light of faith can serve justice and peace, he explained. It unites men and women, allows them to respect nature, in which they see the hand of God, and gives light and hope to their suffering. “To those who suffer, God does not provide arguments which explain everything,” the Pontiff remarked, “rather, his response is that of an accompanying presence,” seen in Christ who chose to walk the path of suffering with us and illuminate it with his light. Pope Francis also emphasized that our faith must not remain interior, but should naturally and necessarily result in evangelization. “Faith is not a private matter, a completely individualistic notion or a personal opinion: it comes from hearing, and it is meant to find expression in words and to be proclaimed,” he stated. If we truly allow faith to touch our lives, he explained, we will be continually renewed and transformed in a way that will reach out to those around us. “Those who have opened their hearts to God’s love, heard his voice and received his light, cannot keep this gift to themselves.” (CNA/EWTN News)

In encyclical, Pope says ‘light of faith’ must transform lives
VATICAN City, July 5, 2013—In his first encyclical, “Lumen Fidei,” or “The Light of Faith,” Pope Francis highlighted the need to let Christ’s love transform and renew our lives, so that we may transmit our faith to the world. “Faith is born of an encounter with the living God who calls us and reveals his love, a love which precedes us and upon which we can lean for security and for building our lives,” the Pope said in the document, released July 5. “Transformed by this love, we gain fresh vision, new eyes to see; we realize that it contains a great promise of fulfillment, and that a vision of the future opens up before us.” Noting the modern tendency to see faith as an outdated illusion, contradicting the truth found through reason, Pope Francis stressed the urgency of returning to an understanding of faith as a light, “for once the flame of faith dies out, all other lights begin to dim.” Faith does not divorce us from reality, he explained, but rather, it “enables us to grasp reality’s deepest meaning and to see how much God loves this world and is constantly guiding it towards himself.” Pointing to the example of Abraham, who heard God calling his name, the Holy Father explained that faith is deeply personal and “is linked to hearing” the voice of God, who offers “both a call and a promise.” Modern culture “has lost its sense of God’s tangible presence and activity in our world,” instead thinking of God as a removed and distant being, he lamented. But in reality, faith requires

seen as an emotion unrelated to truth, he observed. But in reality, “love is an experience of truth,” which allows us “to see reality in a new way, in union with the beloved.” “Only to the extent that love is grounded in truth can it endure over time, can it transcend the passing moment and be sufficiently solid to sustain a shared journey. If love is not tied to truth, it falls prey to fickle emotions and cannot stand the test of time.” “The light of love proper to faith can illumine the questions of our own time about truth,” Pope Francis said, noting that truth is viewed subjectively by the modern world, and objective truth is seen as a threat. “But if truth is a truth of love, if it is

Church praying for new archbishops, Pope affirms Bridge gap between rich and poor
bishop Joseph W. Tobin of Indianapolis; Archbishop Alexander K. Sample of Portland; and Archbishop Michael O. Jackels of Dubuque, Iowa. In his remarks given from the Apostolic Palace, the Pope said that June 29 is not only a special feast for Rome that marks the martyrdom of the two apostles, but is also “a big feast for the universal Church because the whole people of God is indebted to them for the gift of faith.” “Peter was the first to confess that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,” and “Paul spread this proclamation in the GreekRoman world,” he explained. “And providence wanted that both come to Rome and pay their faith with blood.” The pontiff noted said that for this reason the Church of Rome has become “spontaneously, the reference point for all the churches around the world.” “Not for the power of the empire, but for the strength of martyrdom, the testimony of Christ!” he said. “Think of Peter, when he confessed his faith in Jesus, it was not through his human power.” The pontiff added that St. Peter’s human power had been “conquered” by the grace of Jesus, and through “the love he felt in his words and saw in his gestures.” The Pope noted that something similar happened to St. Paul, but in a different way and that it was an experience of the mercy and forgiveness of God in Jesus Christ. “Paul as a young man was an enemy of the Christians, and when the risen Christ called him on the Damascus road, his life was transformed.” “He realized that Jesus was not dead, but alive, and he also loved him, who was his enemy!” Pope Francis told pilgrims it is a joy to believe in a God who is all love and all grace. “We praise the Lord for these two glorious witnesses, and how they let us be conquered by Christ,” he added. The Pope also recalled St. Peter’s brother, St. Andrew, noting that he likes to remember him on this feast day. “Let us not forget that Peter had a brother, Andrew, who met Jesus first, spoke of him to Peter and took Peter to meet him.” He then greeted the delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, led by Metropolitan Ioannis Zizoulas from Greece, who is regarded as the successor of St. Andrew. “Happy feast to all!” Pope Francis concluded. (CNA/EWTN News) Facebook Page

Pinoys, priest urges gov’t leaders
MANILA, July 4, 2013—A Catholic priest has urged government leaders to bridge the widening gap between rich and poor Filipinos by improving the government’s economic policy and adopting a concrete development program to settle the perennial problem of poverty in the country. Fr. Edwin Gariguez, executive secretary of the National Secretariat for Social ActionJustice and Peace of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP-NASSA), said that setting the government’s priorities to the needs of the less fortunate would address this imbalance and drive poor Filipinos toward financial stability. “First, we have to scrutinize the program of the government. How are we empowering the poor ones? If actions do not match the promises delivered by the government, genuine change will never be attained,” he said. Gariguez downplayed the reported growth of the country’s economy and said that while statistical growth may really be a good indicator of an economically improving nation, real progress will only be manifested if the effects of the growing economy would trickle down to poor families. “Essential development is neither measured by the increase of monetary resources nor the improvement of certain economic indicators. It is measured by maintaining equity and bridging the gap between the rich and the poor,” he said. According to the National Statistical Coordinating Board (NSCB), the country posted a 7.8 percent Growth Domestic Product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2013, a notable increase from its 6.5 percent from the same period in 2012 and the highest since President Benigno Aquino III assumed his post in 2010. The country’s credit rating was also raised by international debt watchers from the “junk” bond status to the minimum investment grade of BBB-. The investment grade rating symbolizes a sound fiscal economy that assures the prompt payment of

VATICAN City, June 29, 2013— Pope Francis said the Church is praying for the dozens of new archbishops whom he greeted and gave wool vestments symbolizing fidelity during in a Mass at Saint Peter’s Basilica. “We pray for the metropolitan archbishops of different Churches of the world to which a little while ago I delivered the pallium, the symbol of communion,” Pope Francis said June 29. “I pray for all of their communities, I particularly encourage the people of central Africa, who have been tested harshly, to walk with faith and hope,” he told pilgrims gathered at St. Peter’s Square.

The Pope prayed the Angelus from the window of the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace after he celebrated Mass at Saint Peter’s Basilica marking the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. During the Mass, he gave 34 world archbishops their pallium—a white wool vestment, emblazoned with six black silk crosses. Dating back to at least the fifth century, the wearing of the pallium by metropolitan archbishops symbolizes authority as well as unity with the Holy See. Of the 34 recipients of the pallium, four were Americans: Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco; Arch-

The government in 2008 has launched a poverty-alleviation program also known as the conditional cash transfer (CCT), targeting poor households throughout the country with at least 3 children of school age.

debts to the creditor. “We can only say that we have attained notable growth once poor families already enjoy the supposed benefits of a robust economy,” Gariguez added. Money dole-outs Gariguez recognized the poverty alleviation efforts done by the government, but noted that the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program, which involves money dole-outs to poor families, only provides a short-term solution to poverty. He said that to come up with a more comprehensive solution to the problem, the government must adopt a stricter economic policy that takes the plight of poor families into careful consideration. “With the widening gap between rich and poor families, you could not help but ask: Does the economic policy of the government favor the poor? Or is it only designed to make rich investors grow richer?” Gariguez said. “The issue on poverty alleviation remains a complicated matter. The government must adopt a more comprehensive approach in order to let equity reign and help poor individuals attain progress,” he added. (Jennifer M. Orillaza)

Consumer groups oppose GMO foods in the country
MANILA, July 5, 2013—Consumer groups advocating for natural and safe foods called on the government to require labeling for Genetically Modified (GM) crops and processed foods with GM ingredients. Network Opposed to Genetically Modified Organisms (No2GMO), National Consumer Affairs Council (NCAC), Consumer Rights for Safe Food (CRSF) together with Jeffrey Smith, an international anti-GMO advocate urged the Philippine government to require the labeling of products containing Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). “As of February 2013, the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Plant Industry (DA-BPI) has so far approved the entry of about 70 GMO products for food, feeds and processing as well as propagation into the local market, without any information to consumers that these have GMO contents,” the groups said in a press release. “The Philippine Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) was being overly optimistic when they claimed that the GMOs on the market meet the FAO/WHO safety assessment criteria. In fact, the Bt (Bacillus thuriengensis) corn, Roundup Ready soy, and GM papaya all fail the criteria. Furthermore, companies refuse to use the FAO/WHO safety testing guideline, choosing instead research protocols that are far less capable of finding health problems,” they added. Last May 17, 2013, the Court of Appeals (CA) ordered the Department of Environment and Natural Resource (DENR) to permanently stop the field trials of Bt eggplants. CA Associate Justice Isaias Dicdican emphasized that the trials “could not be declared by this Court as safe to human health and to our ecology with full scientific certainty being an alteration of an otherwise natural state of affairs in our ecology.” Meanwhile, Fr. Benny Tuazon, Minister for Ecology of the Archdiocese of Manila stressed the need for extensive research with foods with GMOs and more public awareness of its existence here in the country. “We cannot be certain of the extent of GMO presence in the country. We can say that right now, GMO is not just found in rice, Bt eggplant, potatoes, but can also be present in meat and fish because they also eat plants. So it is better to have a thorough research with our foods in order for the public to know the effects of GMO presence in foods,” Tuazon said in a Church forum last Tuesday. He suggested that there must also be public awareness on the matter in order for people to debate and act on the issue of GMO effects on human being. Tuazon pointed out that even the Church says that any progress is positive, but should be used responsibly. “According to the Compendium of the Social Doctrine, in recent years pressing issues were raised in using biotechnology in the areas of agriculture, animal farming, medicine and environmental protection. The new possibilities offered by current biological and biogenetic technology techniques are a source of hope and enthusiasm, and on the one hand, of alarm and hostility on the other. So it’s a two-edge sword, we must have findings if this will be helpful to the environment, the people and for those that will be affected. A thorough study must be made,” Tuazon furthered. (Jandel Posion)

Church group slams forced eviction of urban poor communities
MANILA, July 6, 2013—A Church-based group condemned the violence inflicted on urban poor communities as government teams cracked down on informal settlers dwelling along ‘danger zones’ in Metro Manila. The Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR) called on the Aquino administration to avoid violence emphasizing that people in urban poor communities are human beings created with dignity and therefore deserve respect. Last Monday, clashes erupted between informal settlers and policemen along Agham Road in Quezon City when government demolition team tried to forcibly evict the families from their homes. “More and more people suffer the same fate as there are similar plans by the government to demolish urban poor communities this year. In the same breath, the Aquino government is also using the issue of flooding along the metropolis to justify their move to displace urban poor people living in the so-called ‘danger zone’,” PCPR said in a statement. “In the midst of on-going massive demolitions, the Aquior relocation areas that are far suitable for a decent living. Added to this misery are the absence of employment opportunities and lack of essential social services such as health and education. Worst, they also find themselves in vulnerable and dangerous conditions especially in times of calamity as designated relocation sites are found to be prone to flooding and other natural calamities,” they added. The group noted that the current administration’s policy and programs towards urban poor did not differ much from the previous administration. It stated, that instead of identifying the needs of the urban poor and show at the very least a compassionate act, the government considers them as criminals, hindrance to development, eye sores and social dregs. “On this reality, we demand from the Aquino administration to respect the dignity and life of our brothers and sisters from the urban poor and do its obligation to provide essential social services to the poor people. We call on the local officials not to yield with the national government in inflicting more pain against poor people, instead, protect their rights to have a decent living,” the group said. PCPR urged the faithful to join hands with the urban poor as they long for decent homes, determine the direction of their lives and craft their future as promised. “As the Pastoral Message of the Church, Gaudium et Spes, tells us, ‘the joys and the hopes, the grief and the anxieties of the men of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these are the joys and hopes, the grief and anxieties of the followers of Christ’,” the group furthered. (Jandel Posion)

Human rights groups criticize the government for its aggressive crackdown on illegal urban settlers without providing resettlement areas that would be sustainable in terms of social services and employment opportunities.

no administration offers a measly P18,000 per family and/

File photo

File photo


Gambling and corruption

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 14
July 8 - 21, 2013

A PLEDGE of support is certainly not without its institutional features plus ceremonial accompaniments through a duly signed MOA among the OMB (Office of the Ombudsman), the OP (Office of the President), and the UNCAC (United Nations Convention Against Corruption). It can be presumed that the elementary principle and pursuant dictate of “Good Manners and Right Conduct” is the honest concern and resolve of OMB and UNCAC—something however that in all honesty and candor has become rather hard to assume on the part of the OP, considering its factual record even but in the sphere of gambling, all sublime rhetoric and declamations to the contrary notwithstanding. It is both foolish and futile to make a congruent pair between anti-corruption and gambling whereas the latter is precisely a much corrupt and corrupting venture. Gambling—even under the funny disguise of “gaming”—is anything but for individuals noted for their integrity and industry, honor, and ethical principle. To be called or branded a “gambler” can be likewise anything but a compliment—something to be happy about, to be proud of. Which is why, it is simply unintelligible how a “matuwid na daan” could be so comfortable with gambling in tow. So it is that in the past three years the present administration has made a hands-off policy on jueteng which is illegal and which has already become an institution especially in the Northern, Central, and Southern Luzon. This numbers game deceives the poor in particular—while it enriches the jueteng lords and the jueteng protectors. In fact, jueteng payolas played a big role in the past mid-term elections for vote buying purposes. It also made the PCSO, which is under the Office of the President, the author itself and promoter even of not one but several honest to goodness gambling forms. Yes, through many different advertisements, it trumpets its supposedly good deeds in funding hospital needs of some people. But where the bulk of the gambling income goes is anybody’s guess whereas transparency is not its avowed concern. It likewise made the PAGCOR the crowning glory of gambling in the country. Nothing new, but it still continues to produce gambling addicts, promotes dishonesty, and destroys families—not to mention the many other social evils that go therewith. One thing is certain: It is a great vehicle for money laundering. It also shouts from the housetops what it builds here and there but remains blind, deaf, and dumb about where the rest of the gambling income goes—again as usual. But make no mistake about it, at the forthcoming State of the Nation Address things will be different.

Proactive and reactive government
IN its more simple understanding and in plain language, good governance means leading—not simply ruling much less fooling—the governed towards their public welfare through public service. Such a genuine governing leadership demands the required knowledge, due competence, and proper decisiveness especially on the part of the Leader-in-Chief. In other words, there is no alternative to learning, capability, and resolve on the part of those who dare hold the reign of government. Otherwise, the eventual results are predictable: No other than the governed themselves become the miserable victims instead of being the grateful beneficiaries of their government. Needless to say, it is bad to have a corrupt and corrupting government: People are deceived and robbed of the public funds they themselves provide from their many and different imposed taxations. But it is worst to have an incompetent and insensitive government: People are confused, not

Oscar. V. Cruz, DD

Views and Points
with accidentals, not with the substance, attentive to details, not in the integral whole. The present government is a good example of a basically reactive government—in line with the thought of giving people fish instead of teaching them to fish. So it was that it readily and easily considered the “Magna Carta for the Poor” as but garbage—opting instead for but dole out system to the poor and wretched Filipinos. This is why a reactive government is also simplistic in its response to socio-economic problems—considering that it has no well conceived national plan, no well drawn pursuant structural programs, no continuing on the ground projects. Thus: There is big population in the country. Hence, make people an export commodity. Power is expensive. Then make people pay more for it. Public hospitals cost much to operate. So privatize them. Income from industries is meager. Therefore, industrialize gambling.

The youth
THE greatest resource of the Church for evangelization are the young people of the Philippines. Those below 25 years of age constitute more than one half of the population. They are hungry for Christ and his Word. They need to be evangelized. Unfortunately we do not reach the majority of our young people by catechetical instruction or the Sunday liturgy. Christ must be proclaimed to them as the Lord, the savior, the teacher, the goal and fulfillment of their lives. He must be presented to them as the Son of God who emptied himself and came not to be served but to serve and to lay down his life that we might have life in abundance. He must be seen as their brother who shows the way to the Father and challenges us all to love as He has loved—by the power of the Holy Spirit. But the youth must also become evangelizers themselves. The youth follow their peers. Committed Catholic young people are the best evangelizers of other young people. We should prepare and engage them in the apostolate. Even when young, they should be involved in parish or trans parochial apostolates after due training. They should be given a place in parish pastoral councils. It is necessary to create parish, diocesan and national youth councils. To manifest our concern and care for the welfare of the youth, suitable and well-trained campus ministers should be appointed for school youth. Chaplains for out-of-school youth should also be chosen from among the best young priests in the diocese. This concern will certainly bear fruit in a more effective ministry among the youth. It can also result in more vocations to the priesthood and the religious life from among the young, and the emergence of lay leaders among them. (PCP-II Acts of the Council Nos. 650-652) —Acts and Decrees of the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines, 1991

really knowing what is going on, what is leading to where. As a thieving government is disgusting, an incapable government is disconcerting. In the same way, it is bad enough when a government knows that it is corrupt and corrupting. But it is worst if a de facto corrupt and corrupting government considers itself as virtuous and righteous. And this brings to mind the marked difference between a truly proactive and but a reactive government. A proactive government looks at the here and now in the realm of the there and beyond. While attending to details, it nevertheless focuses more its attention and concern to the whole in general. For example: The poor should be helped but poverty itself as such should be squarely addressed. The social disturbance and disorder in a place should be addressed but peace in the development of the country as a whole should be attended to, accordingly realized, and maintained. A reactive government is but preoccupied

Fr. Roy Cimagala

Candidly Speaking
“I DID not come to call the righteous but sinners.” (Mt 1,13) That’s quite clear. Christ came to save all men. That’s what’s always in his mind. While not neglecting anyone, he however gives some special attention to the sick, the weak, the sinners. It’s an attitude that we should also have. We cannot think that we can just get contented with loving a few people, or even a lot, but not all. We have to love everyone if we want to be consistent with our Christian identity. We even have to love our enemies, as Christ himself commanded us. Love has a universal scope. And it’s given without measure. We can never say enough of it. These are truths that we need to chew on slowly and deliberately, for many are the elements in us and around us that would tend to undermine them. We always have preferences and biases. We have pet peeves. We are always subject to certain conditionings, cultural, social, political, that somehow put limits in our concern for the others. These are natural things that are unavoidable. But it doesn’t mean that we just get stuck there. We have to go beyond them, or above them. And we can do that because our spiritual nature and the grace of God allow us to go beyond these conditionings. It would be good to acknowledge as clearly and as strongly as possible these conditionings, but we should also as clearly and as strongly do something

Sharpening our charity
so that we can go beyond them. Insofar as God’s grace is concerned, it will never be lacking. What is needed is our generous correspondence to this grace. Thus, we need to consciously sharpen our charity, using all the means—material, human, spiritual, supernatural—to make it reflect and act out God’s very own love. Remember that Christ himself gave us the new commandment, which serves as the summarizing and perfect commandments, to love our neighbour as he loves us. And how does he love us? Aside from creating us and endowing us with the best of things—we have been created in his image and likeness and, with his grace, adopted children of his—he has given us his mercy in return to our disobedience and sinfulness, a mercy he acted out by offering his life on the cross. That’s the supreme act of love, for Christ himself said that “No man has greater love than he who lays down his for his friends.” (Jn 15,13) And that love abides, because that lifeoffering kind of love is made a sacrament that he himself commanded us to renew till the end of time. How important therefore that we be theological in our attitude toward this duty. We cannot rely simply on our emotions and other external factors and conditionings. Neither can depend solely on our own will. We have to have the force of
Candidly Speaking / A5

‘Dictatorship of relativism’
THE words of German psychologist and philosopher Karl Jaspers were prophetic when he said, “If I suppress something that I consider absolute, automatically, another absolute takes its place” (JASPERS, K., Filosofía, I, p. 385, English translation mine). Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger warned us, in a homily that he delivered on the eve of the conclave that elected him Pope Benedict XVI in 2005, against the “dictatorship of relativism” that characterizes our age. I don’t want to sound like a prophet of doom but I simply wish to call our attention on this dangerous phenomenon because “to be forewarned is to be forearmed”. But when you hear news like these: “US Supreme Court rules Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional”; “Pro-family leaders: Expect ‘persecution from the government’ over gay ‘marriage’; and “Traditional marriage supporters in short supply at US Supreme Court”, you will surely begin to understand Jaspers and Card. Ratzinger. Once you suppress the absolute moral truths on marriage (as the sacramental union between man and woman), on life (as a gift from God that we should protect from womb

Fr. Russell A. Bantiles

becomes its rule. Those who would defend the absolute moral truth would face persecution from those who claim that “moral truth is relative”. Here’s the twist: Those who claim that “truth is relative” must admit that this claim is absolute. Otherwise, it would not be true. For if “moral truth is relative” is a subjective affirmation, then, the claim is not true to everybody. However, if the claim “moral truth is relative” is a true absolute assertion, then, truth is not relative but absolute. Thus, we see that relativism is self-contradictory and is impossible to defend. But a relativist person is like an alcoholic: she is not aware of it, nor admits it. Here lies the danger of relativism: she may not know it, a relativist person has already done havoc to the moral fiber of the society. Oftentimes, the cure to this ill comes with rigorous awareness of one’s relativist mentality. In order to help our young people avoid this danger, sound doctrinal formation is a must. Parent and educators may begin by explaining to young minds the absurdity and the danger of the “dictatorship of relativism”.

Pedro C. Quitorio

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

to tomb), and on human sexuality (as designed by the Creator as naturally to be male and female, hence, are not within the arbitrary choice of any human person), another treacherous “absolute” will take its place: the “absolute dictatorship of relativism”. Curiously, relativism, whether moral (that what is good or evil depends on one’s opinion or personal situation) or epistemological (that truth is relative), is self-destructive; hence, it is difficult to sustain. For instance, if you say that we have to respect everybody’s opinion on the morality of same-sex marriage for the sake of moral pluralism and peaceful coexistence, naturally we may have peace. But we don’t have truth because everybody’s subjective but different opinions—including the contradicting ones—will be all true. As the motto of DC Herald says, “In truth, peace”. Peace without truth is superficial and momentary. Within a pluralistic and relativistic society, anyone who would affirm the existence of absolute moral truth would be suppressed and would be considered a threat to this fickle peaceful situation. Intolerance would be the name of the game. Relativism

Illustration by Brothers Matias

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 14
July 8 - 21, 2013

Fr. Amado L. Picardal, CSsR, SThD

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

Lay participation in the Church’s mission
THE Philippines has the third largest Catholic population in the world following Brazil and Mexico. There are over 70 million Catholics. Yet there are around seven thousand priests and twelve thousand nuns! There are parishes with over 40 thousand Catholics ministered by one priest. It would appear that Christ’s words apply to the Philippines: “the harvest is abundant but the laborers are few.” How can the Church be vibrant and continue carrying her mission with a few priests and religious? One obvious solution is to vigorously campaign for vocation to the priesthood and religious life. This is not enough. We cannot expect a dramatic increase of vocation in the years ahead especially since the number of children per family has gone down. No matter how religious the family is, the obligation to support the parents and siblings is a paramount value. Besides, very few young men and women would be willing to commit themselves to a life of celibacy and chastity. Still we keep on trying. For the Church to continue in fulfilling her mission, she will have to rely on the laity. This has been the emphasis since Vatican II. The fourth chapter of Lumen Gentium, the Constitution on the Church, affirms that lay people have the right and obligation to actively participate in Christ’s and the Church’s prophetic, priestly and pastoral mission. The Vatican II document on the laity, Apostolicam Actuositatem, further develops this. Blessed John Paul II also devoted an encyclical on the laity, Christifideles Laici. PCP II also affirms that lay people are considered as workers of renewal together with the clergy and religious. Thus, when we talk about “laborers in the vineyard of the Lord”, we have to bear in mind that we are not only referring to the clergy and religious but also to the laity. Thus, we are witnessing the emergence of lay pastoral

Along The Way
workers and lay missionaries as well the proliferation of lay catechists. Lay organizations, movements and associations are also enabling the involvement of the laity in the Church’s life and mission. Lay people can carry out their mission wherever they are—at home, neighborhood, community, work-place and schools. There are three areas of lay participation: (a) liturgical ministry (readers, lectors, Eucharistic ministers, para-liturgical leaders, etc. (b) prophetic ministry – catechesis and evangelization, Christian formation, etc. and (c) the kingly/servant ministry (social action)—in promoting life, justice, peace and the integrity of creation. At the parish level the lay people can be involved as pastoral workers or members of parish formation teams. They can also be part of the various parish commissions (liturgy, formation, social action, family and life, etc.), finance council and the parish pastoral council. While full-time paid lay pastoral workers may be necessary, it is important to generate volunteerism among the laity. There is a need to promote a spirituality of stewardship and encourage lay people to share their time, talent and treasure in furthering the Church’s mission. Missionary dynamism among lay people must be promoted and they do not have to go to distant lands to do this. A very important locus for active lay participation is the Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs) which the Church in the Philippines and other countries is promoting. BECs are small communities within the parish, located in the neighborhood, barangay or purok, villages and lately in condominiums. They are composed of families where the members are close to one another, united in prayer and worship, they gather to reflect and share the Word of God, and
Along The Way / A7

By the Roadside Turning on the light of faith
A busy diocesan priest looks at Pope Francis’ first encyclical
IN high school seminary I remember us reciting in Latin the answer to the question: “What did God create first?” Our Latin teacher taught us the Latin answer from the book of Genesis: “Deus dixit, ‘Fiat lux. Et lux facta est (God said, ‘Let there be light. And light indeed came to be’” (Gen 1:3). Now we are faced with the questions: “Is is true Pope Francis has come up with his first encyclical letter? What is it called?” The answer seems uncannily similar: “Yes. It’s called Lumen Fidei (The Light of Faith)”. Those who think Pope Francis, now known the whole world over for his humility and pastoral savvy, is an intellectual lightweight better read the encyclical if only to prove their assumption and (I’m willing to wager my lightly used socks) they would happily discover that the current Bishop of Rome has profound insights to teach us on faith. In fact, the document is not light reading, as even Vatican sources admit (which is not to discourage anyone from going right into the text but to forewarn doubters). With its release the encyclical trilogy on the three theological virtues, the first two having been written by his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI on love (Deus Caritas Est, 2005) and on hope (Spe Salvi, 2007) comes to a completion with this encyclical on faith (Lumen Fidei, 2013). What’s more, the document comes to us well within the Year of Faith, as though it was made to order. Which it is. Pope Benedict XVI is said to have initially written some parts and Pope Francis, as it were, took up where he left. Even a first and cursory reading of the document already, to my mind, gives us some gems to live by. First, we speak of “the light of faith” precisely because of its direct association with the One who reveals God to us in his Person, Jesus Christ. Says Pope Francis in Lumen Fidei, no. 1: “The light of faith: this is how the Church’s tradition speaks of the great gift brought by Jesus. In John’s Gospel, Christ says of himself: ‘I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness’ (Jn 12:46).” Second, our world today is not faith-friendly to its own peril. Today’s society rather regards faith “as an illusory light, preventing mankind from boldly setting out in quest of knowledge” (LF 2). Sadly for the world, Pope Francis declares, because “in the absence of light everything becomes confused; it is impossible to tell good from evil, or the road to our destination from other roads which take us in endless circles, going nowhere” (LF 3). We only have to look around us right in our own Filipino backyard to realize how true these words are. Third, the journey of faith is an ongoing story in direct continuity from its past and origin (Abraham’s and Israel’s faith) to its present (Christian faith) (LF 8-18). During daytime it is the sun’s light that uncovers for us the direct continuity of any highway to another. It is the light of faith that also unwraps for us our kinship with people racially unrelated to us, such as Abraham and Israel, and creates in mankind’s “blacks and whites and races of all shades in between” a big family by the light of their faith in Jesus Christ. Fourth, faith and truth are inseparable or both are rendered inutile. “Faith without truth does not save, it does not provide a sure footing” (LF 24). On the other hand, the Holy Father pinpoints the tragedy of truth in our time: “In contemporary culture, we often tend to consider the only real truth to be that of technology: truth is what we succeed in building and measuring by our scientific know-how, truth is what works and what makes life easier and more comfortable…Yet at the other end of the scale we are willing to allow for subjective truths of the individual…In the end, we are left with relativism, in which the question of universal truth—the question of God—is no longer relevant” (LF 25). Fifth, faith is a gift we have received; it is also a gift we must hand over to others by our proclamation in word and in deed. “Those who have opened their hearts to God’s love, heard his voice and received his light (which I take here to mean the light of faith) cannot keep the gift to themselves. Since faith is hearing and seeing, it also handed on as word and light” (LF 37). Finally, faith is a foundation of a city we build on in the context of our family and society. “In the family, faith accompanies every age of life” (LF 53) and “absorbed and deepened in the family, faith becomes a light illuminating all our relationships in society. As an experience of the mercy of the Father, it sets us on the path of brotherhood…Faith teaches us to see that every man and woman represents a blessing for me, that the light of God’s face shines on me through the faces of my brothers and sisters” (LF 54). The truth from the Holy Father’s first encyclical is so simple but no less profound. Without light there is no seeing; without the light of faith there is no real recognition of God in my brother or sister. If indeed, light was what God created first, so says Genesis, the light of faith takes us to the First and the Last, so says Pope Francis, especially in the least of our brothers and sisters. Having said that, there is only one more thing left to do. Turn that light on.

Atty. Aurora A. Santiago

Duc in Altum
THE Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) started its mid-year Plenary Assembly last Saturday at the Pope Pius Center at U.N. Avenue, Manila. Several issues involving not only the Church but also those affecting the country will be discussed. We can only surmise that among the topics that will be taken up are the RH Law, D.E.A.T.H. bills (Divorce, Euthanasia or mercy killing, Abortion, Total population control, Homosexual or same sex marriage), poverty problem, climate change, respect and protection of the environment to solve flooding, relocation of informal settlers, plight of our modern heroes or OFW (Filipino Overseas Workers) and may be comments on the recently concluded May 13 elections. We await with interest the Pastoral Letter that our shepherds will issue at the end of the Plenary Assembly. *** The CBCP, during its January 2013 Plenary Assembly, adopted the Archdiocese of Manila’s plan to hold the Philippine National Conference on New Evangelization (PCNE) from October 16 to 18, 2013. The venue is at the Quadricentennial Hall of the University of Sto. Tomas, España, Manila. It is the culmination of the Year of the Faith which ends on November 24, 2013, the Feast of Christ the King. *** Due to the holding of PCNE, the Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas (Laiko) rescheduled its 18th Biennial Convention from October 25-27, 2013 to October 19, 2013; from the original venue in Puerto Princesa

Praying for the success of CBCP Plenary Assembly
The opening activities will be held on October 21 at Puerto Princesa in Palawan in coordination with Most Rev. Pedro Arigo, Bishop of the Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa, and the Council of the Laity led by its President, Bro. Roland Baldonado. The closing activity will be held on October 28, the Feast of San Lorenzo Ruiz, at Batangas City Convention Center in coordination with Most Rev. Ramon Arguelles, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Lipa, and the Archdiocesan Council of the Laity headed by its President, Bro. Loreto Guinhawa. Chairpersons of Laiko’s NLW 2013 Committee are Dr. Ma. Julieta Wasan, Laiko’s Vice President for the Ecclesiastical Province of Manila, and Bro. Loreto Guinhawa, Laiko trustee. All the Laiko members—Archdiocesan/ Diocesan Councils of the Laity and National Lay Organizations—including all Catholic lay faithful are encouraged to attend not only the NLW 2013 Opening and Closing activities but also to plan a celebration in their respective archdioceses/dioceses/ parishes to gather more interest and devotion to the new Filipino saint, San Pedro Calungsod. The youth, catechists and OFW made San Pedro Calungsod their patron saint. Some constructed chapels and named them after him. *** The Supreme Court rescheduled to July 9 the oral arguments on RH Law. Most Rev. Gabriel Reyes, Bishop of Antipolo and Chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, issued circular
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to Bayview Hotel, Roxas Boulevard, Manila. The activities during the Convention will be the President’s Report, the Treasurer’s Report, address of the keynote speaker on the 9 Pastoral Priorities and other emerging areas of evangelization, workshops among the delegates, proposed resolutions to be presented for approval at the Plenary Session and election by the voting delegates of the 2014-2015 Laiko Board of Trustees. Archdiocesan/Diocesan Councils of the Laity and National Lay Organizations members may submit the name of their nominee together with a one-page Resume, written endorsement by the Archbishop/ Bishop/Spiritual Director. They can send as many delegates, 3 of whom will be voting delegates. The theme of the Convention is “Responding to the call of Christ now”: (“To do what is just, to show constant love, and to live in humble fellowship with our God” (Micah 6:8). Dr. Amelita Dayrit-Go is the Convention Chairperson. *** Laiko also scheduled the celebration of the National Laity Week (NLW 2013) from October 21 to 28, 2013. The NLW is celebrated annually during the week of the Feast of San Lorenzo Ruiz, one of the patron saints of the Laiko, together with San Pedro Calungsod. Both saints are lay faithful who were martyred when they defended and stood firm on their Catholic Faith. The theme this year is “Taon ng Pananampalataya sa Diwa ni San Pedro Calungsod” (The Year of the Faith in the Spirit of San Pedro Calungsod).

It’s more F.U.N: ‘Heaven and Earth’
THE mother proudly asked her daughter to recite to me a childish poem she had just memorized. The poem thanked God for not giving wings to cows because if it had been so, walking outside would be such a precarious thing if the cows decided to relieve themselves while airborne (LOL)! God indeed, is so good! Not only because He decided not to create winged cows, but because in His wisdom He created everything just perfectly right for us. If there are some things that don’t work out properly in creation, it’s because of man’s sin that has mysteriously affected creation itself. But this is another topic for another series… God also created everything with hierarchy, that is, some creatures have a greater ‘value’ in God’s eyes. In Genesis God creates in the order of six days from the most inanimate object until man who is God’s most gifted creature. “Man is the summit of the Creator’s work, as the inspired account expresses by clearly distinguishing the creation of man from that of the other creatures. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 343)” But created material reality—the world and everything in it—isn’t all that there is. God has revealed to man that there are also beings that are not within the normal scope of man’s senses: spiritual creatures. In this order belong the angels and the devils (angels too, but bad ones). It is possible that God could have created other creatures we may not know, but He only revealed those that will be helpful for our salvation. The Catechism teaches that, “The existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls angels is a truth of faith. The witness of Scripture is as clear as the unanimity of Tradition. (Ibid., no. 328)” St. Augustine says, “Angel is the name of their office, not of their nature. If you seek the name of their nature, it is spirit; if you seek the name of their office, it is angel: from what they are, spirit, from what they do, angel.’ (Ibid., no. 329)” “As purely spiritual creatures angels have intelligence and will: they are personal and immortal creatures, surpassing in perfection all visible creatures, as the splendor of their glory bears witness. (Ibid., no. 330)” Despite these ‘super-features,’ they have been created by God as His messengers and mysteriously as our servants with the unique mission of guiding us to Heaven. The Catechism expresses this wonderfully saying, ‘From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession. ‘Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life.’ Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God. (Ibid., no. 336)” There are, however, also devils (demons) or angels went rogue. Being endowed with intelligence

Fr. Francis Ongkingco

and free will, they mysteriously chose to rebel against God’s goodness and will. As a consequence they became demons bent in tempting us to sin and rebel against God. This they do, if we consent to their suggestions, in order to bring us to hell with them. It is said that these ‘bad angels’ are driven by two distorted passions: their hatred for God and their envy for man. Every possible devilish temptation that is viciously and craftily deployed is only a replay of the devil’s failed attempt in paradise to snare man into the trap of offending God and losing paradise. The devil feels that the greatest way to ‘get back at God’ is by making man offend Him, and losing himself from what God in His love has designed for man. But this was foiled by Christ’s redemptive sacrifice on the Cross and won for us infinite graces to always begin again if we do not lose hope in God and the means He has given us (i.e. prayer, sacraments, sacrifice and virtues). More than fearing this enemy of our holiness and celestial home, we ought to foster a more positive attitude in the spiritual combat. We cannot take upon many wonderful pious practices and customs simply because we are driven by fear of the devil rather than a deep and profound piety out of love for God. This is not to say that we should not take the devil seriously, what is more important is to take our spiritual life and formation seriously so that we may cover all fronts in our mission as disciples of Christ. In other words, love for God and neighbor will be the driving force of our life. Thus, St. Josemaría vibrantly advices: “Don’t let your life be barren. Be useful. Make yourself felt. Shine forth with the torch of your faith and your love. With your apostolic life, wipe out the trail of filth and slime left by the corrupt sowers of hatred. And set aflame all the ways of the earth with the fire of Christ that you bear in your heart. (The Way, no. 1)” And the F.U.N. part? a) Generic Guardian. Give your guardian angel a name, short and easy to remember. Call on him often, not only in material needs, but also spiritual ones like doing your prayer or attending Mass better. b) Spiritual Cordiality. Don’t forget to greet your angel and the angels of the people you meet. This is especially helpful to facilitate more difficult encounters with persons we may have some differences with. c) Treasure Hunting. Ask your angel to give you tips on where to find the treasures of grace that God will grant you and others for the day. d) Joyful Secret. Remember, that the greatest joy of your guardian angel is that one day you will make it to Heaven. So every now and then, whisper to him this secret: “I want to go to Heaven, but I need your help to get there.”

Candidly Speaking / A4

grace that made available in the doctrine of our faith and in the sacraments. We need to be more serious with our duty to love. We have to make it more specific, more direct, more refined, more enduring. It has to be more and more universal. Yes, we do it in stages, going through the stages of eros, filia and agape, and starting with those close to us and radiating to ever widening circles of people, but we just have to be persevering in it, even if it suffers variation of pace and even if it strays from its proper path from time to time. What can help is to assume a pro-active attitude toward this duty to love. We should not wait for some inspiration, nor for the others to prove that they deserve our love. We have to love them a priori, and all the

way, putting more impulses to make that love always active. We need to reinforce it with an endless supply of theological motives. Imagine how the world would be if we just put our mind and heart toward this duty to love, which actually summarizes all our duties and responsibilities toward everybody. We need to overcome that primitive thinking that being serious with charity would make us soft and mushy and all that. The contrary is true. Love would make us strong as it demands us nothing less than willingness to be patient and tolerant, to suffer, to forgive, to reconcile, to step on our own ego, the logic of our flesh and the false values of the world. It’s not afraid of death. Let’s always sharpen our charity.

AS tension between government authorities and informal settlers continues to rise, a Catholic priest has lambasted political leaders for failing to address the need of urban poor Filipinos to decent housing. Fr. Edwin Gariguez, executive secretary of the National Secretariat for Social Action-Justice and Peace of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP-NASSA), said that the need for decent housing is a right of poor individuals that must be addressed by the government. “The issue here is if the government is able to provide low-cost housing for the urban poor. This issue dwells on rights—rights that the government must address for the benefit of its people,” he said. Gariguez added that the failure of the government to provide this need is the reason why the perennial problem on land squatting in the metro remains unsolved. With the absence of government assistance, urban poor families resort to building shanties in slum areas to temporarily fend for their housing needs. “The problem is that the government fails to implement real programs that would benefit the urban poor. They (government officials) are the ones responsible in improving the lives of the people but they fail to meet this basic

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goal, that is why most of poor Filipinos just resort to building shanties in slum areas,” he said. “Who would want to live in slum areas? Who would want to live under bridges or on creek sides where danger is always present? Nobody wants to live on those places but informal settlers are forced to do so because they do not have a choice,” he added. Need for quality jobs The priest also chided the “band-aid” solutions adopted by the government in solving the problem on housing, saying that instead of providing the proposed P18,000 housing dole-out to relocate each estero-dwelling family, government officials must focus on providing employment opportunities in the metro. The government has recently proposed to give P18,000 to each of the 20,000 estero-dwelling families for them to rent decent homes elsewhere for a year while the authorities are preparing permanent relocation sites for them. “Now that they are asking informal settlers to leave their homes, where would the government relocate them? Would they be forced to move away from their sources of income? When you give them P18,000 in cash, of course they will accept it. But in the long run, they will continue searching for jobs to get a stable source of income,” Gariguez said, further noting that the dole-out amount of P18,000 is insufficient to compensate for the housing needs of a family for a year. He added that government efforts to relocate estero-dwelling families would only be futile if there are no jobs to sustain the livelihood of the urban poor. “If they do not have jobs, they will always go back to the city where opportunity to earn money is definitely more abundant than in rural areas. Even if settling under bridges or on creek sides will be prohibited in the future, they will find other means to be able to live in the city, eventually adding up to the increasing population of the urban poor,” Gariguez said. “It is not only shelters that they need. They also have to be provided with decent jobs that could sustain their dayto-day living,” he added. Comprehensive, integrated solution Gariguez said that efforts to relocate informal settlers somehow contribute to the further worsening of the latter’s condition as some relocation sites do not have livable facilities and ample sources of water and electricity. “In the process, people are being demoralized for being thrown to deeper poverty,” he said.

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 14
July 8 - 21, 2013

Priest to gov’t leaders: Address urban poor’s housing problems

Government must arrive to a comprehensive solution to address squatting in urban areas, one that would integrate relocation with job opportunities and availability of social services for relocated families.

“There are instances wherein relocation sites do not have proper facilities, water, and electricity. Sometimes, they are located in remote areas that access to education and healthcare becomes hard to obtain. Instead of helping them solve the problem and improve the situation, poor Filipinos are just being led to deeper misery,” he added. Describing approaches done by the government as “myopic” solutions to the problem, he urged government officials to adapt a comprehensive and integrated solution to the issue that will bear long term effects for the benefit of

the people. “When will the government adapt a comprehensive perspective in addressing this dilemma? Public officials always make hasty decisions and resort to and short-term solutions that do not really pose progress in the long run,” he said. “The problem is not simple. It is complicated and could not be solved by mere ‘band-aid’ solutions. The government has its shortcomings. It should resort to a more comprehensive approach in solving the issue,” he added. (Jennifer M. Orillaza)

Rising HIV/AIDS cases may be used to justify RH Law – priest
AN official of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines’ Commission on Health Care expressed concern over the continuous reports of rising HIV-AIDS cases that may be used as an attempt to justify RH law. HIV/AIDS ministry program head Fr. Dan Cancino said data from the Department of Health National Epidemiology Center reported the rise of HIV to about 12,721 cases mostly from age 15 to 25 last May. He said the government might use the reported increase of HIV cases to push for the implementation of RH law, while its constitutionality is being challenged at the Supreme Court. Cancino advised the government to revise and study its current program to curb the rising cases of HIV/AIDS in the country. He reiterated that the government should work together with the Church in expanding ‘values education’ especially on the youth and members of the so-called third sex, instead of relying solely on ‘Risk Reduction’ and in particular the distribution of condoms. “We need to review and realign again our program, especially on the government program which does not consider values, we have this, what we call behavior change however the change stops only on risk reduction. Is it right to distribute condoms that encourages than teach values? This only means the Church is right that condom is not the solution to prevent HIV/AIDS, said Cancino, in an interview over Church- run Radio Veritas. He added that, “the message should be towards the straight path that would reach the youth regarding HIV/AIDS. If cases continue to rise we are giving the wrong message.” (Paul De Guzman)

One year after, still no justice for slain Dutch missionary
IT’S been a year since the killing of Dutch missionary Bro. Willem Geertman. Geertman, 67, was shot dead July 3, 2012 in San Fernando, Pampanga. Authorities said the missionary was killed in an apparent robbery attempt. Yet as the anniversary of Geertman’s death was marked recently, his family and supporters got some unsettling news. The case against the perpetrators, who were caught on CCTV camera, could be in peril. An interfaith organization said that despite the “prima facie” evidence and other witness statements, the authorities failed to make arrests and held the suspects accountable before the bar of justice. The Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR) lamented that the charges filed against the suspects were ‘downgraded” to simple robbery with homicide for a case, which for them, was clearly an extra-judicial murder. “Such legal moves of the police department bear similarities to how they address cases of extra-judicial killings during the time of former President Gloria Arroyo,” the PCPR said. “It is all the more disappointing that series of dialogue with
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Youth dominate anti-RH rally at SC
THE new face of pro-life activism in the Philippines is young and probably that of a student — as evidenced by the crowds of young people who gathered in front of the Supreme Court in time for the start of the oral arguments against the RH Law on July 9. Of the estimated 800 people who attended the prayer gathering against R.A. 10354, majority were young people from St. Paul University, Manila, Don Bosco College, Mandaluyong, Siena College, San Sebastian College-Cavite, and the Rogationist Seminary. 90% youth “Ninety percent of the participants yesterday morning were young people. This gives me so much hope… I’m very happy that many young people and students are here. They are the leaders of the future and they are showing it right now that they will really fight for life,” Filipinos for Life (F4L) president AJ Perez said in an interview. According to Perez, who was one of the main organizers of the gathering in support of the anti-RH Law petitioners, the support of young pro-lifers shows that “the younger generation are also the ones who are most charismatic and most convinced in this fight for life.” In a Facebook post, Perez expressed his commitment to the next set of pro-lifers. “It is our duty to guide them until they become the best pro-lifers this generation has produced,” he said. Good guy, bad guy For another pro-life supporter, who was also at the rally, young people’s attraction to the pro-life camp is but natural. “Youth hunger for information and to be informed. What they want is to be in the know. Especially, the detective story types where you don’t know who the bad guy is and who is the good guy. Often, the one portrayed as the bad guy is really the hero,” said Rogie Ylagan, a writer. It can be remembered that one of the last petitions against the RH Law was filed by a group of students, led by Education major student John Walter Juat.
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90% youth “Ninety percent of the participants yesterday morning were young people. This gives me so much hope… I’m very happy that many young people and students are here. They are the leaders of the future and they are showing it right now that they will really fight for life,” Filipinos for Life (F4L) president AJ Perez said in an interview. According to Perez, who was one of the main organizers of the gathering in support of the anti-RH Law petitioners, the support of young pro-lifers shows that “the younger generation are also the ones who are most charismatic and most convinced in this fight for life.” In a Facebook post, Perez expressed his commitment to the next set of pro-lifers. “It is our duty to guide them until they become the best pro-lifers this generation has produced,” he said. Good guy, bad guy For another pro-life supporter, who was also at the rally, young people’s attraction to the pro-life camp is but natural. “Youth hunger for information and to be

Students from St. Paul University, Manila come in white to express their support of the petitions filed against R.A. 10354 at the opening of oral arguments at the Supreme Court on July 9.

Juan Carlo Argo

“A society guided by love cannot be hostile to the birthing of posterity. Hence, it may not impede conception, the starting point of progeny. Since the Constitution values progeny, necessarily, it protects the human faculties necessary for progeny and human generation,” their 50-page petition, calling for the junking of the RH Law, read. Oral arguments are set to continue on July 23. (Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz) THE new face of pro-life activism in the Philippines is young and probably that of a student — as evidenced by the crowds of young people who gathered in front of the Supreme Court in time for the start of the oral arguments against the RH Law on July 9. Of the estimated 800 people who attended the prayer gathering against R.A. 10354, majority were young people from St. Paul University, Manila, Don Bosco College, Mandaluyong, Siena College, San Sebastian College-Cavite, and the Rogationist Seminary.

the Department of Justice initiated by families and supporters of Bro. Willem, until this day, end up with no final resolution of the case,” it said. Geertman was a known land reform advocate who had been helping the cause of Hacienda Luisita farmers. He was also a vocal critic against mining and a human rights defender of the indigenous peoples. He was killed in the premises of Alay Bayan, Inc., a relief and rehabilitation group, which he headed for several years. “It is very alarming that state departments water down cases of political in nature,” they said. “The method of killing is a reason of doubt that the motive of the assassins was to rob the life out of Bro. Willem and not simply after any amount of money.” The PCPR claimed that Geertman was the fourth victim among church people of the 142 victims of extra-judicial killings under the Aquino administration. “We reiterate our call to the Aquino government to stop the killings and put an end to the prevailing culture of impunity. Perpetrators must be made accountable at the immediate [time possible],” it said. (CBCPNews)

Krusadang Bayan Laban sa Jueteng (KBLJ) said there was no resurgence because it never really stopped under the three-year old Aquino administration. The archbishop also lamented that aside from jueteng, gamOil Depot / A1

bling is also gaining foothold in the country through the construction of big casinos. “Pathetic observation: The phenomenon of gambling addiction in the country is through courtesy of the administration,” Cruz said. (CBCPNews)

informed. What they want is to be in the know. Especially, the detective story types where you don’t know who the bad guy is and who is the good guy. Often, the one portrayed as the bad guy is really the hero,” said Rogie Ylagan, a writer. It can be remembered that one of the last petitions against the RH Law was filed by a group of students, led by Education major student John Walter Juat. “A society guided by love cannot be hostile to the birthing of posterity. Hence, it may not impede conception, the starting point of progeny. Since the Constitution values progeny, necessarily, it protects the human faculties necessary for progeny and human generation,” their 50-page petition, calling for the junking of the RH Law, read. Oral arguments are set to continue on July 23. (Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz)

cerned that the national government and the local government units only act when oil spills occur,” they said. The clergy issued the statement following a fuel leak, coming from a private oil depot, into the Pasig River causing panic among Pandacan residents recently. A number of people were also brought to hospital after having trouble in breathing due to the foul smell. “It is sad that action is only taken when damage has been done,” the statement read. “What good governance urges are: preventive action, sanction to the damaging company and more importantly, a pro-people, pro-poor development plan for
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the 33 hectares once the oil depot relocate,” they said. They also appealed for the application of the Clean Water Act and Hazardous Waste Act. On August 31, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle will lead the celebration of the “Season of Creation.” The archdiocese said that from Sept.1 to Oct. 6, for a period of six weeks, an emphasis on ecology and environment will be promoted in all seminaries, churches, and Christian communities. The Manila clergy are advocating an active collaboration with local government units for the welfare of the city residents. (CBCPNews)

inviting all Archdiocesan/ Diocesan Councils of the Laity and National Lay Organizations to mobilize their members and attend the Eucharistic Celebration at 9 a.m. at Nuestra Señora de Guia Shrine, M.H. del Pilar St., Ermita, Manila before proceeding to the perimeters of the Supreme Court for a prayer rally. He is the main celebrant, with other clergies as concelebrants.
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Those who will participate in the oral arguments will attend the Holy Mass. Let us all pray the Oratio Imperata so that our lawyers will be guided by the Holy Spirit during the oral arguments. Let us also pray for the Supreme Court Justices to listen and see the merits of the Universal Church position. Let us also pray for the respondents’ lawyers so that they will realize the harm that could be done by

the RH Law to the Filipino people and to our beloved country. *** In behalf of the Laiko Board of Officers and Trustees, I request the readers to pray for strength and good health of our very dear Engr. Nida Ruiz, Laiko Vice President for Visayas and former President of WAF (World Apostolate of Fatima), who had been recently diagnosed of stage 4 lung cancer.

*** Happy Birthday to my niece, Mary Gretchen Rosales-Castro, the only daughter of my sister Violeta Santiago-Rosales. Also Happy Birthday to Noel Patalinhog. Happy Sacerdotal Anniversary to the following from the Diocese of Kalookan: Monsignor Alex Amandy, Vicar General; Fr. Rey Amante and Fr. Christopher Tibong.

Mr. Aquino said the co-author of the controversial “Reproductive Health” bill will be an asset to the Health department because of her “extensive experience” as a doctor and a lawmaker. Fr. Melvin Castro of the CBCP’s Com-

mission on Family and Life said Garin’s looming appointment is Aquino’s way to pay his debt of gratitude for pushing the RH measure. “It is obviously payback time,” said Castro.

He said what they are more afraid of is the pushing of more anti-life measures under the current administration. “Well entrenched in the Aquino government are the anti-natalist, anti-life, antifamily forces,” he said. (CBCPNews)

weaken the public health care system because it will be run like business. Public hospitals lacked facilities, medicines and personnel so instead of privatizing it, they said, the government should allocate substantial budget to address the problems. As the government boasts economic “growth”, some of these gains can be channeled to modernize and improve public health facilities. “We cannot allow the rights of the poor people for adequate health care to be sacrificed on the altar of profit,” they added. The religious leaders particularly expressed concern over the planned privatization of the Philippine Orthopedic Center (POC), the country’s only

tertiary hospital specializing in bone and trauma cases. The facility currently serves 450 to 500 patients daily, of which majority are indigent and getting free services. Instead of increasing the budget so that the POC can maintain and improve its facilities and services, they lamented that the budget for the Center has been cut further. And now, they said that it will be bid out to a private company. They also said that the privatization of the hospital is like allowing the people’s right to health to become commodity for profit. They are also worried over the fate of the 1,000 health workers at the POC since the private owner will “have the freedom to select employees.” (CBCPNews)

Urban Poor Associates

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 14
July 8 - 21, 2013

Diocesan News
MATI City— More than a thousand farmers and laborers benefited from the Agri-Fair projects spearheaded by the Ad Jesum Development Foundation Inc. (AJDFI) for the victims of Typhoon Pablo in Kinablangan, Baganga, Davao Oriental. In partnership with the Catholic Relief Services (CRS), as well as the Dept of Agriculture (DA), and the Dept of Agrarian Reform (DAR), the four-time held agri event helped some 1,330 farmers and laborers. The four trade events consisted of three Seed-Fairs and one Tools-Fair that provided farmers subsidized sales of seedlings for vegetables and corn, fertilizers, and tools for farming and carpentry. The trade fair was held at the Kinablangan barangay hall, adjacent to the Sto. Niño Parish Church. Each event started with a Eucharistic Celebration led by Fr. Roberto A. Ombon, parish priest. Beneficiaries who registered for the first three Seed-Fairs were given each a CRS coupon or voucher worth Php2,000 to be used as payment for any selected product or tool. On the fourth and last ToolsFair, participated by farm laborers, each was given a coupon worth Php800. A DAR representative was tasked to identify the mostly

CARP beneficiaries, who had also participated in the debris clearing of the 500-hectare lot, wherein each one was allotted three hectares as his own. According to AJDFI Executive Director Sr. Bernadette “Badette” A. Dollete, CSJ some 150 farmers attended the first Agri-Fair on May 29 while the second fair held last June 10 had 265 attendees. The third fair, held on June 20 gathered 165 attendees from San Victor Island, Kinablangan, while the fourth fair—with the largest number of participants—was held June 28-29 and assembled 750 farmers. Farmers bought vegetable seedlings of short term crops, such as ampalaya, eggplant, beans and peas, as well as tools that are used for tilling the soil, gardening and carpentry, such as grass cutters, spade, rake, sprayer, bara de kabra, and others. The tools were obtained from the local merchant suppliers in Baganga and Cateel in order to support them as well in their own local businesses for the good of the community. After every Agri-Fair, the DA, CRS and AJDFI provided agricultural training by purok to the farmers to make sure that their land clearing and planting efforts would bear an abundant harvest. (Sr. Marietta Alo, OND)

Cebu relives advocacies of disappeared Redemptorist priest
CEBU City—The Redemptorist community in Cebu will commemorate the life of a confrere who disappeared during the dark days of dictatorship. Redemptorist priest Fr. Rudy Romano was abducted 28 years ago at the height of martial law and was never seen again. Cebu Archbishop Most Rev. Jose S. Palma in a statement has exhorted Cebu parishes, religious communities and schools to make the people aware of the life and advocacies of disappeared and abducted Fr. Rudy Romano, C.Ss.R. He urged the local church to follow Romano’s example in addressing social concerns and legitimate human needs. Archbishop Palma’s Statement on the Commemoration of the 28th Year of the Abduction/Disappearance of Fr. Rudy Romano was read at all Masses in the parishes on July 7. On July 11, the anniversary of Romano’s disappearance, the Redemptorist Province of Cebu will hold activities to relive his story and advocacy. A wreath-laying ceremony at 8:30 a.m. led by the Redemptorists will be held in Brgy Tisa, Labangon, Cebu City, the site of Fr. Romano’s abduction by the armed men of the Marcos Martial Law Regime. At 5:30 p.m. of the same day, a ‘Mass to Remember Fr. Rudy Romano’ will be celebrated in the Redemptorist Church, followed by a short program and awarding of prizes to the winners of the poster-making and essaywriting contests participated in by students of Catholic Schools. The contests’ theme is “How the youth can help build the Church of the Poor following the example of Fr. Rudy Romano, CSsR”. The day’s anniversary commemoration will culminate with a candle-lighting ceremony at the Redemptorist Church rotunda. A native of Samar, Romano was assigned and working in Cebu at the time of his disappearance in 1985. In 1987, the Cebu government passed a resolution adopting him a “Son of the province of Cebu” for his contribution to the promotion of human rights, “rendering concrete assistance and social service to less-privileged Cebuanos and in making Cebu a strong bastion of the people’s successful fight for freedom and justice during the dark years of the deposed dictatorship.” (CBCPNews)

Typhoon victims receive agri training, tools as aid

Interreligious group embraces environmental advocacy
ZAMBOANGA City— Aside from promoting respect of religious diversity, the Silsilah Dialogue Movement (SDM) is also advocating for the protection and preservation of watersheds in this city. As part of SDM’s the Dialogue with Creation (DWC) program, it has launched a group called “Friends of Zamboanga Watersheds” last May 26 to proactively protect the Zamboanga City watershed and six other watersheds in Mindanao. According to SDM, the “Friends of Zamboanga Watersheds” has pledged to offer their skills and services to “educate our people on the importance of water, asking their collaboration to be vigilant and oppose any move that may destroy our watersheds and environment.” The environmental protection advocates likewise said they will “encourage our people to appreciate their work as stewards of God’s Creation helping them to protect the watersheds of Zamboanga for the good of all.” Furthermore, the “Friends of Zamboanga Watersheds” has committed to foster their newfound friendship and mission in the local, national and international level by “engaging government leaders and people of all cultures and religions to dream and act together with our youth in building an eco-harmonious society with clean water for all.” The SDM was founded in 1984 and launched efforts to advocate for environmental concerns since 2008. It has even organized a march to raise awareness about the mining at the Ayala Watershed in 2010 where thousands of people participated. (KB/CBCPNews)

Jaro seminary installs new rector

Ateneo students hold vigil for Zamboanga violence
QUEZON City—Breaking the wall of silence surrounding 250 violent deaths in Zamboanga, Ateneo de Manila students held a prayer vigil last July 4 to call for an end to the senseless killings, which have involved at least one Atenean. Some 300 people, mostly students, heeded the call of Buklod Atenista, an alliance of the five Ateneo student governments, to gather in prayer from 4.30 to 5 p.m. at the Science Education Complex Field for the intention of peace and justice in Zamboanga. “The goal of the student government this year is to be able to bridge the gap between the outside world and the campus. The student government [is] deeply troubled by the events in Zamboanga and our fellow Ateneans are disturbed by the inaction of the
Euthanasia / A1

Some 300 people clad in black join the prayer vigil for the Zamboanga violence last July 4.

local authorities to put a stop to these senseless acts of violence,” Sanggunian ng mga Mag-Aaral ng Ateneo de Manila University

president Daniel Antonio Remo said in an interview. He said, the group hoped the vigil will draw the Aquino

administration’s and the local authorities’ attention to the worsening peace and order situation in Zamboanga. Remo cited the fatal shooting of Justin Raphael Wee, an Ateneo de Zamboanga University alumnus, and the kidnapping of Linda and Nadjoua Bansil, also of the same university, as reasons behind Ateneo’s intense involvement. In a message shortly after the short prayer gathering, Remo expressed his gratitude to those present for the vigil, “Thank you, Ateneo de Manila, for coming out today to express our solidarity with our fellow Filipinos in Zamboanga City. Ateneans will not stand idly by as violence continues to engulf our brothers and sisters in Zamboanga City. Restore peace and order in Zamboanga City now!” (Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz)

JARO, Iloilo—The Archdiocese of Jaro’s St. Joseph Regional Seminary installed its new Rector during the celebration of the Mass of the Holy Spirit for the opening of classes on June 28. Thanking the seminary community for their trust, Fr. Midyphil Billones encouraged everyone to look forward to the new formation year with vigor and enthusiasm. San Jose de Antique Bishop Jose Romeo Lazo also a member of the episcopal board of St. Joseph seminary presided the Mass. At the end of the Eucharistic celebration, the Dean of Studies, Msgr. Peter Correa, presented the seminary’s academic faculty and staff to the Episcopal Board which included Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, Bishop Lazo and Bishop Gerardo Alminaza. (Christopher Villa)
Iloilo devotees hold monthly Dawn Rosary Procession

the opening of oral arguments on R.A. 10354 on that day, Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes cited how Belgium is now considering allowing minors—individuals who are not even allowed by the state to drink, marry or vote—to decide to take their own lives. Children’s ‘right to die’ “Aren’t we like animals this way? When a leg gets broken, we just end its life. But we are not animals, we are human beings,” he said during homily at the Archdiocesan Shrine of Nuestra Señora de Guia in ErPoll / A1

mita, Malate. Explaining the link between the RH Law and euthanasia, Reyes said a distaste for life in utero, as exemplified by R.A.10354, can only open the doors for other anti-life and anti-family laws. Reyes, who also heads the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, explained how tenuous the definition of ‘deciding to die’ would be in the case of euthanasia for minors and how the decision to end their lives would probably be made by other older individuals for them.

“It’s unimaginable…Where will it end?” he asked, noting how the trend of anti-life legislations is quickly advancing to conquer Philippine society and policy-making, beginning with the passage of the RH Law. Social teachings of the Church Reyes was clearly troubled by the state of some Western countries without mentioning that since 2005, Netherlands has been euthanizing newly-borns with birth defects like spina bifida, which causes a deformity in the spine, but which, most often, does not affect intelligence

or cognitive skills. In closing, he said, the only answer to such inhuman practices is to go back to the social teachings of the Catholic Church, which include the protection of all human life and the promotion of human dignity. “Ultimately, we have to act according to our conscience. We believe that a correct conscience is one that is in accordance with the moral teachings of the Catholic Church,” Reyes said to the hundreds of pro-life supporters who were present for the 9 a.m. mass. (Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz)

JARO, Iloilo—The Confraternity of Mary Mediatrix of All Grace, in coordination with the Marian Associations, Movements and Organizations (MAMO) of the Archdiocese of Jaro is holding a Dawn Rosary Procession every first Saturday of the month that started last July 6. Ramon Zamora, Jr., Coordinator of the Confraternity of Mary Mediatrix of All Grace in Iloilo, said “The dawn Rosary Procession is in obedience to the loving request of Our Lord Jesus Christ to Sister Lucia at Fatima that we make reparation to the Immaculate Heart of His Holy Mother which is gravely wounded by the sins of men.” The Dawn Rosary Procession, he added, also serves as a preparation for the renewal of the Consecration of the nation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary which is done after the 6:30 a.m. Holy Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Candles. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas)
Cebu youth raise funds for WYD delegates through film screening

Julian Occeña

CEBU City—An Indie film that promotes child protection and family values had a special screening in this city to raise funds for the delegates of the Archdiocese of Cebu to the World Youth Day. The film “Boses” has won several awards from prestigious film award giving bodies here in the country and abroad for its advocacy of child protection and family values. Endorsed by the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Youth, the screening will benefit the 38-member delegation of the archdiocese. (Jandel Posion)
Pro-life conference to instill virtues on youth

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said they are hoping that appropriate government institutions will join them in seeking accountability. The head of the CBCP’s National Secretariat for Social Action, said he is referring to the Supreme Court, and the Office of the Ombudsman, where cases against Comelec officials are currently pending. “We are calling for accountability. We hope that Comelec will answer our comHead / A1

plaints and address them accordingly,” said Pabillo. “We are also calling on the SC and the Ombudsman to intervene in this issue that is of national interest because laws were violated,” he said. The bishop also called on lawmakers to act against the problems that beset the last poll exercise to ensure that it will not happen again in 2016. “Congress should also seriously look into

the matter as to how the Comelec is implementing or not implementing the law,” said Pabillo. The Comelec had earlier declared the recent elections a success after they were able to proclaim majority of the winning candidates within the week. The subsequent random manual audit conducted by the Comelec also revealed that the voting machines had a 99.97 percent accuracy rate. (CBCPNews)

MANILA—A pro-life movement is organizing a conference for young people to encourage them to stand up and live out the cause of purity and chastity amid challenges to live otherwise. Live Pure Movement (LPM), a movement that promotes and defends the culture of life will hold a conference dubbed ‘Homecoming, Live Pure Conference 2013’ at the Philippines Sport Arena formerly ULTRA on August 18 from 8 am to 5 pm. Joseph Tesoro, the LPM coordinator said that the initiative is part of the movement’s pastoral formation program that deals with teaching the youth in ‘appreciating the gifts of chastity, love, sexuality, relationships, and their manhood and womanhood.’ Different sessions will be held to provide participants with the ‘truths’ that youth should be enlightened with. The event is expected to be clean fun with booths and entertainment segments ideal for the young generation. (Paul De Guzman)

Cardinal Sin, for the good of the Church and the country.” “I’m happy that we in the CBCP elected him. He is very capable,” Lagdameo said. “With his talent and experience, he will be able to continue the leadership of his predecessor,” said Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco. For his part, Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes said Villegas “is a good choice… very articulate and prudent in his statements.” Critical collaboration Observers expect that Villegas will soon wield the influence that Cardinal Sin once did.

The archbishop vowed that he will continue the Church’s “critical collaboration” with the government especially when the welfare of the people is at stake. “When the rights of men and women are endangered, when human dignity is being violated, when the family is being attacked, when the poor are suffering unjustly, when the children are being risked and being abused, you can expect the Church to speak up,” he said. Villegas, for instance, is very vocal in criticizing the government over the “Reproductive Health” law. “Contraception is corruption.

The use of government money, taxpayer’s money to give out contraceptive pills is corruption,” the archbishop had stated in a pastoral letter last December. It was also the first time in the recent history of the CBCP that a vice president is the signatory of the pastoral letter and its current president, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma. Villegas said the Church will continue its fight against the RH law no matter what happens because they have to. According to him, the Church has the duty to protect the sanctity of life and they will continue to fight the contraception law

because that is what they are supposed to do. But he stressed that they are only doing their role as pastors and not as a ‘lobby group’ or ‘social troublemakers.’ “The Church is not an NGO. The mission of the Church is truly spiritual so if we get involved in bills like the RH which is now a law, it’s because our spiritual mission mandates us to do that,” Villegas said. “We are not social troublemakers. We are conscience troublemakers. We want to trouble consciences and let every consciences listen to the voice of God,” he said.

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act to respond to their needs and those of the poor—both spiritual and material needs. They are often referred to as a new way of being Church—the Church at the grassroots and in the neighborhood. These communities are led by lay leaders but under pastoral care and authority of their pastors – the parish priests and parochial vicars. The parish is now being seen as a network of small Christian communities or BECs. In these neighborhood commu-

nities, ordinary Catholics can be involved in Church threefold mission: the liturgical, evangelizing and social mission. Blessed John Paul II recognized BECs as locus and agents of ecclesial communion—a cause of great hope for the Church (Redemptoris Missio 51). The vitality of the Church does not only depend on the quantity and quality of the clergy but above all in the active participation of the lay faithful, especially the BECs.

FILIPINO Catholic bishops hailed the Vatican decision to canonize the late Polish-born John Paul II. The bishops said they are pleased that the pontiff who visited the Philippines twice will officially become a saint. Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon said that the pope served as an inspiration to the youth and a role model to Church leaders and the world’s Catholics. “He was instrumental in awakening the spirit of generosity and enthusiasm among the young people to love the Church that’s why it’s really a blessing for the youth that he will become saint,” Baylon said. “He could draw thousands of young people and listen to him so I hope this time that he is becoming a saint, he could draw more young people closer to the Church,” he said. Pope Francis approved on July 5 a miracle needed to canonize Pope John Paul II and waiving Vatican rules to honor Pope John XIII. Both popes are closely identified with the historic Second Vatican Council meetings that brought the Church into modern times.

Bishops hail JPII, John XXIII sainthood

People, Facts & Places

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 17 No. 14

July 8 - 21, 2013

Blessed Pope John Paul II

Blessed Pope John XXIII

“Their canonization speaks well of the relevance of the Council albeit it’s being misinterpreted and misused by some sectors,” said Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles. “The Catholic Church more than ever

is stronghold of the truth and world’s hope. They were trailblazers,” he said. For his part, Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco said: “Many people have good memories about these two popes and many will be happy. God continues to

be with His people. We glorify God in recognizing people.” According to Bishop Martin Jumoad of Prelature of Isabela in Basilan, both pontiffs have made the Church relevant to the modern times and brought many

people closer to God. “John XXIII prepared the faithful for changes in the Church and John Paul II implemented many things to make the Church relevant to the present time,” said Jumoad. (CBCPNews)

Seminarians, religious educators gather to trace roots of Theology
ology whether seminarians, lay and religious sisters or brothers, and most especially by deans and professors of faculties of theology,” he said. According to Fr. Francis Gustilo, ITC member and professor at the Don Bosco Center of Studies, the document released by the ITC was studied by top theologians of the world for 8 years, noting that prior to its publication, the commission already surmised the possibility that the document might draw both positive and negative feedback from its readers. “Everything is part of the continuing dialogue regarding this continuing question on what is correct or accurate theology,” he said. “We are very open for feedback, though that does not mean that we could change what has already been published. But this is still a work in progress and it will always progress because of feedbacks,” Gustilo said. Among the esteemed clergy members who graced the event were Fr. Francis Moloney, professor of scripture and former Dean of Theology of the Catholic University of America, Fr. Jose Antonio Aureada, Dominican theologian from the University of Santo Tomas, and Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle. Moloney was tapped to expound on the first chapter of the ITC document titled “Listening to the Word of God”; the second chapter, “Abiding in Communion with the Church”, was discussed by Tagle; Aureada talked about the last chapter titled “Giving an Account of the Truth.” The event was organized in collaboration with the San Carlos Seminary Graduate School of Theology and Don Bosco Center of Studies. Goal of theology Fr. Kenneth Masong, secretary of the Episcopal Commission on Seminaries, said that conducting various theological symposia contributes in making Catholic theologizing in the country not simply a discourse about God, but an opportunity to have a renewed encounter with Him in the very contemplation of one’s faith. He recalled the remark once uttered by the late Jaime Cardinal Sin, who said that the problem with theologians is that “they spend more time talking about God than talking to Him.” “Although this may be a common pitfall especially when one gets lost in the complexity of theological issues, genuine theologizing needs to end in the contemplation of the mystery of God,” Masong said. Despite all the complexities behind the mystery of theologizing, the priest noted that its end goal would always remain the same—to clear the way toward God—for those who serve and for those who encounter Him in their unique experiences. “This is at bottom the goal of all theology—to clear the way to God himself. May this day of theologizing be a great venue not to get lost in the forest of theological debate, but a means of clearing the way to encounter the heart of our faith, who is God Himself,” he said. (Jennifer M. Orillaza)

CELEBRATED. The An tipolo diocese marked its 30th anniversary as a local Church with a thanksgiving Mass attended by an estimated 2,000 at the Antipolo Cathedral last June 25, 2013. In his message of thanks, Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes was particularly moved by the sacrifices of time and energy the people made to be there, particularly the basic ecclesial communities or the “Munting Sambayanang Kristiyano” (MSK) who were at the festivities in full force. Aside from Manila Archbishop Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, who presided over the Eucharistic celebration, several bishops from nearby and not-so-near dioceses were present like Parañaque Bishop Jesse Mercado, Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco, Pasig Bishop Hubert Mylo Vergara, Novaliches Bishop Antonio Tobias, Malolos Bishop Jose Oliveros, San Pablo Bishop Buenaventura Famadico, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Bernardino Cortez, Kalookan Bishop Emeritus Deogracias Iñiguez, and Infanta Bishop Emeritus Julio Labayen. A photo exhibit on the history of the diocese and a commemorative display of artifacts, images and other historical documents from various churches in the diocese are also on display at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage grounds. Formally opened last June 21, the exhibit will run until August 31, 2013. The Diocese of Antipolo was established on June 25, 1983 to better serve the growing Catholic population in the area, which is estimated to be more than 3 million at present. CELEBRATED. The Diocese of Cubao kicked off its 10th year anniversary celebration in August 2013 with a Mass on June 28, the vigil of the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Cubao. Bishop Honesto Ongtioco celebrated the mass together with the clergy of the diocese. Dubbed “10 years of the Diocese of Cubao—From Roots to Fruits,” the anniversary celebration will be observed with various activities in the coming six months. On July 27-28, a youth event titled “WYD Rio to Cubao”—a local celebration of the international gathering in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil will be held at the Blue Eagle Gym of Ateneo de Manila University. On morning of August 14, parishes, chapels, and oratories in the whole diocese will celebrate the Feast of the Dedication of the Cubao Cathedral. The Mass for the 10th Anniversary of the Diocese will be held on August 28, at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral at 6 p.m., followed by the Supra Montem Awards to be held at the Obispado de Cubao. On September 14, a dinner for a cause titled “From Roots to Fruits” will be held in Sienna College, Del Monte Avenue. Members of the clergy will have their renewal of vows, retreat and pilgrimage on October 7-15. On November 23, simultaneous processions of vicariates going to the Cathedral will be held at 3 p.m. to mark the Solemnity of Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe, and at 6 p.m. a diocesan Mass will be celebrated to close the observance of the Year of Faith. An anniversary concert titled “10 Years of the City Set on a Hill” will be held at 6 p.m. on November 25 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City. The diocesan anniversary celebration will culminate on December 9, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Titular Patroness of the Diocese. On the same day, Bishop Ongtioco, who is the 1st bishop of Cubao, will celebrate his priestly ordination. AWARDED. The Silsi lah Dialogue Movement won the 2013 Goi Peace Award for its contribution to promote peace and dialogue among Christians and Muslims in Mindanao. The Silsilah will receive the award at a ceremony during the Goi Peace Foundation Forum 2013 at the Nikkei Hall in Tokyo, Japan on November 27. Italian priest Fr. Sebastian D’Ambra of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME) founded the movement in 1986. For more than 20 years, Silsilah has been offering projects and initiatives, such as Bishops-Ulama Forum and training courses for young Christians and Muslims. In recent years, the movement has become a point of reference for the ongoing reconciliation between the Philippine government and Muslim rebels, which for more than four decades have fought a war that cost over thousands of lives. For members of the Silsilah, the award is a “recognition” for their concerted effort to end the conflict and bring peace in the troubled region. The Goi Peace Award honors individuals and organizations in various fields that have made outstanding contributions to promote global peace. CELEBRATED. Sr. Ann Marie Nemenzo, FSP and Sr. Carmel Galula, FSP made their final vows among the Daughters of St. Paul on June 29, 2013 in the presence of sisters, family, friends and benefactors. Jaro Auxiliary Bishop Gerardo Alminaza presided the Mass for perpetual profession at the Sanctuary of Queen of Apostles in Pasay City. On June 30, Sr. Nazarene Silvestre, FSP celebrated her 65th anniversary and Sr. Maria Rufina Quiroz, FSP; Sr. Maria Paola Liwag, FSP; and Sr. Maria Leticia Ganalon, FSP; their 60th anniversary of profession. Fr. Gil Alinsangan of the Society of St. Paul celebrated the Thanksgiving Mass. CELEBRATED. Fr. Leopoldo Botavara III, Fr. Dominador Guzman, Jr. and Fr. Teotimo Melliza celebrated on June 15, 2013 their 25th anniversary of priesthood in the Society of St. Paul. Bishop Teodoro Bacani presided the thanksgiving Mass at the Sanctuary of St. Paul the Apostle in Makati City. CELEBRATED. Fr. Ledio Peter Barisoro (Guinobatan, Albay) and Fr. Romeo Henry Hitosis (Casiguran, Sorsogon) marked their 50th anniversary of priesthood in the Society of St. Paul on July 7, 2013 with a thanksgiving Mass at the Sanctuary of St. Paul the Apostle in Makati City.

Speakers emphasize on participants the importance of applying practical approaches in theology that would help the faithful live with a deeper understanding their Catholic faith.

SEMINARIANS and members of the clergy gathered at the San Carlos Seminary auditorium to scrutinize the essential characteristics of Theology amid certain fragmentations it has gone through in the postmodern era. Nearly 800 theology students and professors attended the theological symposium organized by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Episcopal Commission on Seminaries on July 6 in an attempt to dissect the document issued by the International Theological Commission (ITC) shortly before Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s declaration of the Year of Faith. The document, titled “Theology Today: Perspective, Principles and Criteria”, seeks to closely expound the characteristics and clear sense of theology in its engagement with the present generation. Recognizing the plurality of

cultural and religious contexts emanating in the country, Episcopal Commission on Seminaries chairman Mylo Hubert Vergara, Bishop of Pasig, said it is needed to establish clarity on what makes a faithful endeavor genuinely Catholic. “The recent document of ITC is an excellent springboard for authentic Catholic theologizing,” he said, noting the opportune time to heed the call of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s call to achieve in the Year of faith a “renewed understanding, deeper appreciation, and wider expression of Christian faith.” “The incumbent Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and concurrent resident of the ITC, Archbishop Gerhart Mueller, greatly desires that this document be studied, reflected upon, and discussed in various theological fora, particularly among students of the-

‘God is at work even in our love stories’, bishop tells Asian youth
LIKE a master screenplay writer, God is at work – in our everyday struggles, our circumstances, even in our love stories, a bishop told a group of Asian youth this morning. In a private mass for Institute of Formation, Fondacio Asia (IFFAsia) students, coming from the Philippines, Vietnam, and Laos, Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon described how God, in the liturgy’s first reading, was able to forge the uncanny match of Isaac and Rebekah, a woman he had met only once. God’s perspective vs. human perspective “It was hardly a love story at all. There were no text messages sent; no sweet nothings said over the phone… [But] this is what is clear in the whole story of Isaac: There is a hand behind all this,” Baylon explained. From a human perspective, Baylon said, Isaac only got to marry Rebecca because his father Abraham insisted that he marry someone from his own people, but it also shows how God will engineer certain conditions to bring about His greater plan. “We feel there is a God who is making things new, who is bringing all things together to a conclusive, wonderful end and we all just have to trust Him,” Baylon, who also heads the Episcopal Commission on Youth, said. He explained this behind-the-scenes work of God is something that often defies human understanding or logic, comparing it to looking at the back side of a work of cross-stitch. ‘Loose ends’ “When [the cross-stitch work] is not done yet, there are a lot of loose ends. It’s so ugly, until it is finished and you can see the beautiful work,” he explained, describing how people often see God’s plan unfold in their lives. Baylon stressed the confidence of knowing that God is in charge should galvanize believers to keep on serving, working, doing their best in life—even with the inevitable feelings of meaninglessness or hopelessness. “In the end, we realize there was Someone doing the sewing, the cross-stitching—more

Sr. Rose Agtarap, FSP

Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon visits some of the Fondacio students who are currently doing their internship at the National Secretariat for Youth Apostolate office.

than we ever anticipate it. This is the story of God written in the Scriptures,” he explained. IFFAsia is a school, based in Quezon City, for formation in discipleship and mission, specifically for young people and lay workers. (Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz)

Vatican to conduct ocular inspection of IEC venue
AROUND 15 Vatican officials will visit the Philippines to conduct an ocular inspection of the venue for the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) in 2016. Archbishop Piero Marini, president of the Pontifical Committee on the IEC, will lead the team to Cebu City on Sept. 5, 2013. Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said Marini decided to carry out the inspection this early to check the preparations for the international gathering. “They will stay in Cebu until September 10. Aside from the ocular inspection, they will give suggestions and we would expect more meaningful and fruitful celebration as of now,” Palma said. “We appreciate the assistance given to us by the Committee in Rome and we feel that it’s a good privilege to host this event,” he said. The Cebu archdiocese is considering that some activities of the congress will be held at the Waterfront Hotel and Cebu International Convention Center. The archdiocese also hopes that Pope Francis will visit the Philippines for the occasion scheduled on January 25 to 31, 2016. The congress was originally scheduled for May 2016 but the Vatican requested to have it moved to an earlier date in January that year because the pope had prior engagements in May. Palma earlier said the definite decision will be known mostly likely a year before the event with the theme, “Christ in You: Our Hope of Glory.” He also said that among the preparations for the congress is choosing the logo and the theme song. From Cebu, Marini’s group will then travel to Manila for another meeting with Filipino theologians who are involved in the preparations of the IEC. (CBCPNews)


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 14
July 8 - 21, 2013

Pastoral Concerns


Encyclical Letter

Lumen Fidei
of the Supreme Pontiff Francis to the Bishops, Priests and Deacons, Consecrated Persons and the Lay Faithful on Faith
1. The light of Faith: this is how the Church’s tradition speaks of the great gift brought by Jesus. In John’s Gospel, Christ says of himself: “I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness” (Jn 12:46). Saint Paul uses the same image: “God who said ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts” (2 Cor 4:6). The pagan world, which hungered for light, had seen the growth of the cult of the sun god, Sol Invictus, invoked each day at sunrise. Yet though the sun was born anew each morning, it was clearly incapable of casting its light on all of human existence. The sun does not illumine all reality; its rays cannot penetrate to the shadow of death, the place where men’s eyes are closed to its light. “No one—Saint Justin Martyr writes—has ever been ready to die for his faith in the sun”.[1] Conscious of the immense horizon which their faith opened before them, Christians invoked Jesus as the true sun “whose rays bestow life”.[2] To Martha, weeping for the death of her brother Lazarus, Jesus said: “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” (Jn 11:40). Those who believe, see; they see with a light that illumines their entire journey, for it comes from the risen Christ, the morning star which never sets. An illusory light? 2. Yet in speaking of the light of faith, we can almost hear the objections of many of our contemporaries. In modernity, that light might have been considered sufficient for societies of old, but was felt to be of no use for new times, for a humanity come of age, proud of its rationality and anxious to explore the future in novel ways. Faith thus appeared to some as an illusory light, preventing mankind from boldly setting out in quest of knowledge. The young Nietzsche encouraged his sister Elisabeth to take risks, to tread “new paths… with all the uncertainty of one who must find his own way”, adding that “this is where humanity’s paths part: if you want peace of soul and happiness, then believe, but if you want to be a follower of truth, then seek”.[3] Belief would be incompatible with seeking. From this starting point Nietzsche was to develop his critique of Christianity for diminishing the full meaning of human existence and stripping life of novelty and adventure. Faith would thus be the illusion of light, an illusion which blocks the path of a liberated humanity to its future. 3. In the process, faith came to be associated with darkness. There were those who tried to save faith by making room for it alongside the light of reason. Such room would open up wherever the light of reason could not penetrate, wherever certainty was no longer possible. Faith was thus understood either as a leap in the dark, to be taken in the absence of light, driven by blind emotion, or as a subjective light, capable perhaps of warming the heart and bringing personal consolation, but not something which could be proposed to others as an objective and shared light which points the way. Slowly but surely, however, it would become evident that the light of autonomous reason is not enough to illumine the future; ultimately the future remains shadowy and fraught with fear of the unknown. As a result, humanity renounced the search for a great light, Truth itself, in order to be content with smaller lights which illumine the fleeting moment yet prove incapable of showing the way. Yet in the absence of light everything becomes confused; it is impossible to tell good from evil, or the road to our destination from other roads which take us in endless circles, going nowhere. A light to be recovered 4. There is an urgent need, then, to see once again that faith is a light, for once the flame of faith dies out, all other lights begin to dim. The light of faith is unique, since it is capable of illuminating every aspect  of human existence. A light this powerful cannot come from ourselves but from a more primordial source: in a word, it must come from God. Faith is born of an encounter with the living God who calls us and reveals his love, a love which precedes us and upon which we can lean for security and for building our lives. Transformed by this love, we gain fresh vision, new eyes to see; we realize that it contains a great promise of fulfilment, and that a vision of the future opens up before us. Faith, received from God as a supernatural gift, becomes a light for our way, guiding our journey through time. On the one hand, it is a light coming from the past, the light of the foundational memory of the life of Jesus which revealed his perfectly trustworthy love, a love capable of triumphing over death. Yet since Christ has risen and draws us beyond death, faith is also a light coming from the future and opening before us vast horizons which guide us beyond our isolated selves towards the breadth of communion. We come to see that faith does not dwell in shadow and gloom; it is a light for our darkness. Dante, in the Divine Comedy, after professing his faith to Saint Peter, describes that light as a “spark, which then becomes a burning flame and like a heavenly star within me glimmers”.[4] It is this light of faith that I would now like to consider, so that it can grow and enlighten the present, becoming a star to brighten the horizon of our journey at a time when mankind is particularly in need of light. 5. Christ, on the eve of his passion, assured Peter: “I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail” (Lk 22:32). He then told him to strengthen his brothers and sisters in that same faith. Conscious of the duty entrusted to the Successor of Peter, Benedict XVI proclaimed the present Year of Faith, a time of grace which is helping us to sense the great joy of believing and to renew our wonder at the vast horizons which faith opens up, so as then to profess that faith in its unity and integrity, faithful to the memory of the Lord and sustained by his presence and by the working of the Holy Spirit. The conviction born of a faith which brings grandeur and fulfillment to life, a faith centered on Christ and on the power of his grace, inspired the mission of the first Christians. In the acts of the martyrs, we read the following dialogue between the Roman prefect Rusticus and a Christian named Hierax: “‘Where are your parents?’, the judge asked the martyr. He replied: ‘Our true father is Christ, and our mother is faith in him’”. [5] For those early Christians, faith, as an encounter with the living God revealed in Christ, was indeed a “mother”, for it had brought them to the light and given birth within them to divine life, a new experience and a luminous vision of existence for which they were prepared to bear public witness to the end. 6. The Year of Faith was inaugurated on the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. This is itself a clear indication that Vatican II was a Council on faith,[6] inasmuch as it asked us to restore the primacy of God in Christ to the centre of our lives, both as a Church and as individuals. The Church never takes faith for granted, but knows that this gift of God needs to be nourished and reinforced so that it can continue to guide her pilgrim way. The Second Vatican Council enabled the light of faith to illumine our human experience from within, accompanying the men and women of our time on their journey. It clearly showed how faith enriches life in all its dimensions. 7. These considerations on faith—in continuity with all that the Church’s magisterium has pronounced on this theological virtue[7]—are meant to supplement what Benedict XVI had written in his encyclical letters on charity and hope. He himself had almost completed a first draft of an encyclical on faith. For this I am deeply grateful to him, and as his brother in Christ I have taken up his fine work and added a few contributions of my own. The Successor of Peter, yesterday, today and tomorrow, is always called to strengthen his brothers and sisters in the priceless treasure of that faith which God has given as a light for humanity’s path. In God’s gift of faith, a supernatural infused virtue, we realize that a great love has been offered us, a good word has been spoken to us, and that when we welcome that word, Jesus Christ the Word made flesh, the Holy Spirit transforms us, lights up our way to the future and enables us joyfully to advance along that way on wings of hope. Thus wonderfully interwoven, faith, hope and charity are the driving force of the Christian life as it advances towards full communion with God. But what is it like, this road which faith opens up before us? What is the origin of this powerful light which brightens the journey of a successful and fruitful life?    CHAPTER ONE WE HAVE BELIEVED IN LOVE (cf. 1 Jn 4:16) Abraham, our father in faith 8. Faith opens the way before us and accompanies our steps through time. Hence, if we want to understand what faith is, we need to follow the route it has taken, the path trodden by believers, as witnessed first in the Old Testament. Here a unique place belongs to Abraham, our father in faith. Something disturbing takes place in his life: God speaks to him; he reveals himself as a God who speaks and calls his name. Faith is linked to hearing. Abraham does not see God, but hears his voice. Faith thus takes on a personal aspect. God is not the god of a particular place, or a deity linked to specific sacred time, but the God of a person, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, capable of interacting with man and establishing a covenant with him. Faith is our response to a word which engages us personally, to a “Thou” who calls us by name. 9. The word spoken to Abraham contains both a call and a promise. First, it is a call to leave his own land, a summons to a new life, the beginning of an exodus which points him towards an unforeseen future. The sight which faith would give to Abraham would always be linked to the need to take this step forward: faith “sees” to the extent that it journeys, to the extent that it chooses to enter into the horizons opened up by God’s word. This word also contains a promise: Your descendants will be great in number, you will be the father of a great nation (cf. Gen  13:16; 15:5; 22:17). As a response to a word which preceded it, Abraham’s faith would always be an act of remembrance. Yet this remembrance is not fixed on past events but, as the memory of a promise, it becomes capable of opening up the future, shedding light on the path to be taken. We see how faith, as remembrance of the future, memoria futuri, is thus closely bound up with hope. 10. Abraham is asked to entrust himself to this word. Faith understands that something so apparently ephemeral and fleeting as a word, when spoken by the God who is fidelity, becomes absolutely certain and unshakable, guaranteeing the continuity of our journey through history. Faith accepts this word as a solid rock upon which we can build, a straight highway on which we can travel. In the Bible, faith is expressed by the Hebrew word ’emûnāh, derived from the verb ’amān whose root means “to uphold”. The term ’emûnāh  can signify both God’s fidelity and man’s faith. The man of faith gains strength
© Stephen Driscoll/CNA

by putting himself in the hands of the God who is faithful. Playing on this double meaning of the word—also found in the corresponding terms in Greek (pistós) and Latin (fidelis)—Saint Cyril of Jerusalem praised the dignity of the Christian who receives God’s own name: both are called “faithful”. [8] As Saint Augustine explains: “Man is faithful when he believes in God and his promises; God is faithful when he grants to man what he has promised”.[9] 11. A final element of the story of Abraham is important for understanding his faith. God’s word, while bringing newness and surprise, is not at all alien to Abraham’s experience. In the voice which speaks to him, the patriarch recognizes a profound call which was always present at the core of his being. God ties his promise to that aspect of human life which has always appeared most “full of promise”, namely, parenthood, the begetting of new life: “Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall name him Isaac” (Gen  17:19). The God who asks Abraham for complete trust reveals himself to be the source of all life. Faith is thus linked to God’s fatherhood, which gives rise to all creation; the God who calls Abraham is the Creator, the one who “calls into existence the things that do not exist” (Rom  4:17), the one who “chose us before the foundation of the world… and destined us for adoption as his children” (Eph 1:4-5). For Abraham, faith in God sheds light on the depths of his being, it enables him to acknowledge the wellspring of goodness at the origin of all things and to realize that his life is not the product of non-being or chance, but the fruit of a personal call and a personal love. The mysterious God who called him is no alien deity, but the God who is the origin and mainstay of all that is. The great test of Abraham’s faith, the sacrifice of his son Isaac, would show the extent to which this primordial love is capable of ensuring life even beyond death. The word which could raise up a son to one who was “as good as dead”, in “the barrenness” of Sarah’s womb (cf.  Rom  4:19), can also stand by his promise of a future beyond all threat or danger (cf. Heb 11:19; Rom 4:21). The faith of Israel 12. The history of the people of Israel in the Book of Exodus follows in the wake of Abraham’s faith. Faith once again is born of a primordial gift: Israel trusts in God, who promises to set his people free from their misery. Faith becomes a summons to a lengthy journey leading to worship of the Lord on Sinai and the inheritance of a promised land. God’s love is seen to be like that of a father who carries his child along the way (cf. Dt 1:31). Israel’s confession of faith takes shape as an account of God’s deeds in setting his people free and acting as their guide (cf. Dt  26:5-11), an account
Lumen Fidei/ B2

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


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 14
July 8 - 21, 2013

The canonical concept of Pastoral Care of Souls (Part I)

Apostles is attached in order for its effective execution. C. Ecclesiastical Organization The organization of ecclesiastical offices─therefore the organization of functions for the pastoral care of souls─is what gives rise to what is known as the ecclesiastical organization. It is the ecclesial equivalent of the government bureaucracy in the purest sense of the term [the word bureau = office]. Such an organization is necessary because of our temporal condition, where all the baptized─like all other members of society─are subject to the conditions of time and space. Spiritual realities─growth in grace and virtue─are inseparably linked with physical phenomena. A bureaucratic framework is needed for the effective delivery of the means of salvation. This is the origin of the juridic dimension of the Church and ultimately the bases of the Diocesan Curia and, mutatis mutandis, the Parish office. For the effective flow of pastoral care, organized into specific tasks by specific offices in the Church, the work of the Diocesan Curia and the Parish office is indispensable. Thus, the Parish office is not just a bureaucratic set-up of pencil-pushers; on the contrary, it is a necessary organization at the service of the pastoral care of the faithful: their motto could very well be to keep the sources of salvation—the preaching of the Word of God and the administration of the Sacraments—flowing smoothly. [To be concluded.]

THE expression pastoral care of souls has been quite abused, leading to some confusion as regards the proper roles of the clergy and the laity respectively. In the name of pastoral care, the most varied activities have been carried out by sacred ministers─activities which the non-ordained could have carried out better─, while strictly priestly tasks have been usurped by laymen. On the other hand, very mundane tasks─e.g., fund-raising, cultural activities and the like─have been carried out by laymen, calling them pastoral work. In this multipart article, let us look into the concept of pastoral care of souls as understood in canon law and its specific content. A. What is the Pastoral Care of Souls? In a strict and proper sense, the attribute pastoral refers in general both to the potestas docendi et sanctificandi, and to the potestas regendi. More concretely, it refers to the specific activity and means of the Church and which in themselves build it up. This activity consists essentially in the exercise of the tria munera Christi—which in practice is translated principally in the delivery of the means of salvation, especially the Word of God and the Sacraments. It, therefore, typically belongs to the pastors—i.e., the hierarchy: principally to the Bishops in communion with the Pope, but secondarily also to the priests as collaborators of the Bishops and to the deacons as helpers of the priests. It would be a serious impoverishment of the figure of the priest and of the Church itself were their mission to be reduced to assuring the physical well-being of the faithful. This in no way denies either the

convenience or usefulness of some laudable works for the material well-being of the faithful, carried out by ecclesiastical organizations with the support of the Hierarchy. In some cases, these may even be necessary in order to make up for the failure of the civil authorities. However, there is a danger that the urgency of the material needs of the people might lead towards a tendency—already observed, unfortunately—of substituting on the one hand the genuine pastoral care with social works of beneficence, and on the other hand confusing the priestly mission of the clergy with what is incumbent upon the laity as such—e.g., works of charity and

mercy towards their fellowmen. Properly speaking, therefore, the pastoral care of souls refers to the 3-fold task of teaching, sanctifying and governing, which Christ entrusted to all the Apostles (and the bishops their successors), but primarily to Peter to whom alone Christ gave the command: Feed my lambs; feed my sheep! B. Ecclesiastical Power as a Function of the Pastoral Care of Souls At a given moment, Jesus Christ told the Apostles: “You know that those who are regarded as rulers among the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them.

But it is not so among you. On the contrary, whoever wishes to become great shall be your servant; and whoever wishes to be the first among you shall be the slave of all; for the Son of Man also has not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mk 10, 42-45). This passage, in a nutshell, gives us the nature of the ecclesiastical power of jurisdiction: it is the power given by Christ to Peter and the Apostles (to the Pope and the Bishops united to him) to bind the baptized in order to be served by them towards the end of sanctification. Understood this way, the function of governing— in the context of pastoral care—is

really at the service of the other two functions of teaching and sanctifying. In other words, the sacred ministers are empowered by Christ to the extent necessary for them to deliver the sources of salvation—i.e., the Word and the Sacraments. The institutionalization of those tasks, which are necessary for the pastoral care of souls, is what gives rise to ecclesiastical offices, each one of which is a set of tasks for which a necessary empowerment is given for its effective execution. Put another way, an ecclesiastical office is a task or a set of tasks, for the pastoral care of souls, for which the adequate share in the sacred power given by Christ to the



Cf. John Paul II, Address to the participants of the International Symposium on “The Priest Today”, in L’Osservatore Romano, 29.V.1993; Address to the participants of the International symposium “Ius in vita et in missione Ecclesiae” (23.IV.1993), in L’Osservatore Romano, 25.IV.1993. Cf. also S.C.for the Clergy, Directory on the Ministry and Life of Priests, 31.I.1994, n.19.

Continued from B1

passed down from one generation to the next. God’s light shines for Israel through the remembrance of the Lord’s mighty deeds, recalled and celebrated in worship, and passed down from parents to children. Here we see how the light of faith is linked to concrete life-stories, to the grateful remembrance of God’s mighty deeds and the progressive fulfillment of his promises. Gothic architecture gave clear expression to this: in the great cathedrals light comes down from heaven by passing through windows depicting the history of salvation. God’s light comes to us through the account of his self-revelation, and thus becomes capable of illuminating our passage through time by recalling his gifts and demonstrating how he fulfils his promises. 13. The history of Israel also shows us the temptation of unbelief to which the people yielded more than once. Here the opposite of faith is shown to be idolatry. While Moses is speaking to God on Sinai, the people cannot bear the mystery of God’s hiddenness, they cannot endure the time of waiting to see his face. Faith by its very nature demands renouncing the immediate possession which sight would appear to offer; it is an invitation to turn to the source of the light, while respecting the mystery of a countenance which will unveil itself personally in its own good time. Martin Buber once cited a definition of idolatry proposed by the rabbi of Kock: idolatry is “when a face addresses a face which is not a face”.[10] In place of faith in God, it seems better to worship an idol, into whose face we can look directly and whose origin we know, because it is the work of our own hands. Before an idol, there is no risk that we will be called to abandon our security, for idols “have mouths, but they cannot speak” (Ps 115:5). Idols exist, we begin to see, as a pretext for setting ourselves at the centre of reality and worshiping the work of our own hands. Once man has lost the fundamental orientation which unifies his existence, he breaks down into the multiplicity of his desires; in refusing to await the time of promise, his life-story disintegrates into a myriad of unconnected instants. Idolatry, then, is always polytheism, an aimless passing from one lord to another. Idolatry does not offer a journey but rather a plethora of paths leading nowhere and forming a vast labyrinth. Those who choose

Lumen Fidei
not to put their trust in God must hear the din of countless idols crying out: “Put your trust in me!” Faith, tied as it is to conversion, is the opposite of idolatry; it breaks with idols to turn to the living God in a personal encounter. Believing means entrusting oneself to a merciful love which always accepts and pardons, which sustains and directs our lives, and which shows its power by its ability to make straight the crooked lines of our history. Faith consists in the willingness to let ourselves be constantly transformed and renewed by God’s call. Herein lies the paradox: by constantly turning towards the Lord, we discover a sure path which liberates us from the dissolution imposed upon us by idols. 14. In the faith of Israel we also encounter the figure of Moses, the mediator. The people may not see the face of God; it is Moses who speaks to YHWH on the mountain and then tells the others of the Lord’s will. With this presence of a mediator in its midst, Israel learns to journey together in unity. The individual’s act of faith finds its place within a community, within the common “we” of the people who, in faith, are like a single person— “my first-born son”, as God would describe all of Israel (cf.  Ex  4:22). Here mediation is not an obstacle, but an opening: through our encounter with others, our gaze rises to a truth greater than ourselves. Rousseau once lamented that he could not see God for himself: “How many people stand between God and me!”[11] … “Is it really so simple and natural that God would have sought out Moses in order to speak to Jean Jacques Rousseau?”[12] On the basis of an individualistic and narrow conception of conscience one cannot appreciate the significance of mediation, this capacity to participate in the vision of another, this shared knowledge which is the knowledge proper to love. Faith is God’s free gift, which calls for humility and the courage to trust and to entrust; it enables us to see the luminous path leading to the encounter of God and humanity: the history of salvation. The fullness of Christian faith 15. “Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day; he saw it and was glad” (Jn  8:56). According to these words of Jesus, Abraham’s faith pointed to him; in some sense it foresaw his mystery. So Saint Augustine understood it when he stated that the patriarchs were saved by faith, not faith in Christ who had come but in Christ who was yet to come, a faith pressing towards the future of

Jesus.[13] Christian faith is centred on Christ; it is the confession that Jesus is Lord and that God has raised him from the dead (cf. Rom 10:9). All the threads of the Old Testament converge on Christ; he becomes the definitive “Yes” to all the promises, the ultimate basis of our “Amen” to God (cf. 2 Cor 1:20). The history of Jesus is the complete manifestation of God’s reliability. If Israel continued to recall God’s great acts of love, which formed the core of its confession of faith and broadened its gaze in faith, the life of Jesus now appears as the locus of God’s definitive intervention, the supreme manifestation of his love for us. The word which God speaks to us in Jesus is not simply one word among many, but his eternal Word (cf. Heb 1:1-2). God can give no greater guarantee of his love, as Saint Paul reminds us (cf.Rom  8:31-39). Christian faith is thus faith in a perfect love, in its decisive power, in its ability to transform the world and to unfold its history. “We know and believe the love that God has for us” (1 Jn 4:16). In the love of God revealed in Jesus, faith perceives the foundation on which all reality and its final destiny rest. 16. The clearest proof of the reliability of Christ’s love is to be found in his dying for our sake. If laying down one’s life for one’s friends is the greatest proof of love (cf. Jn  15:13), Jesus offered his own life for all, even for his enemies, to transform their hearts. This explains why the evangelists could see the hour of Christ’s crucifixion as the culmination of the gaze of faith; in that hour the depth and breadth of God’s love shone forth. It was then that Saint John offered his solemn testimony, as together with the Mother of Jesus he gazed upon the pierced one (cf. Jn 19:37): “He who saw this has borne witness, so that you also may believe. His testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth” (Jn  19:35). In Dostoevsky’s The Idiot, Prince Myskin sees a painting by Hans Holbein the Younger depicting Christ dead in the tomb and says: “Looking at that painting might cause one to lose his faith”.[14] The painting is a gruesome portrayal of the destructive effects of death on Christ’s body. Yet it is precisely in contemplating Jesus’ death that faith grows stronger and receives a dazzling light; then it is revealed as faith in Christ’s steadfast love for us, a love capable of embracing death to bring us salvation. This love, which did not recoil before death in order to show its depth, is something I can believe in; Christ’s

total self-gift overcomes every suspicion and enables me to entrust myself to him completely. 17. Christ’s death discloses the utter reliability of God’s love above all in the light of his resurrection. As the risen one, Christ is the trustworthy witness, deserving of faith (cf. Rev 1:5; Heb 2:17), and a solid support for our faith. “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile”, says Saint Paul (1 Cor 15:17). Had the Father’s love not caused Jesus to rise from the dead, had it not been able to restore his body to life, then it would not be a completely reliable love, capable of illuminating also the gloom of death. When Saint Paul describes his new life in Christ, he speaks of “faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal 2:20). Clearly, this “faith in the Son of God” means Paul’s faith in Jesus, but it also presumes that Jesus himself is worthy of faith, based not only on his having loved us even unto death but also on his divine sonship. Precisely because Jesus is the Son, because he is absolutely grounded in the Father, he was able to conquer death and make the fullness of life shine forth. Our culture has lost its sense of God’s tangible presence and activity in our world. We think that God is to be found in the beyond, on another level of reality, far removed from our everyday relationships. But if this were the case, if God could not act in the world, his love would not be truly powerful, truly real, and thus not even true, a love capable of delivering the bliss that it promises. It would make no difference at all whether we believed in him or not. Christians, on the contrary, profess their faith in God’s tangible and powerful love which really does act in history and determines its final destiny: a love that can be encountered, a love fully revealed in Christ’s passion, death and resurrection. 18. This fullness which Jesus brings to faith has another decisive aspect. In faith, Christ is not simply the one in whom we believe, the supreme manifestation of God’s love; he is also the one with whom we are united precisely in order to believe. Faith does not merely gaze at Jesus, but sees things as Jesus himself sees them, with his own eyes: it is a participation in his way of seeing. In many areas in our lives we trust others who know more than we do. We trust the architect who builds our home, the pharmacist who gives us medicine for healing, the lawyer who defends us in court. We also need someone trustworthy and knowledgeable where God is concerned. Jesus, the Son of God, is the one who makes God known to us (cf. Jn  1:18). Christ’s life, his way of knowing the Father and living in complete and constant relationship with him, opens up new and inviting vistas for human experience. Saint

John brings out the importance of a personal relationship with Jesus for our faith by using various forms of the verb “to believe”. In addition to “believing that” what Jesus tells us is true, John also speaks of “believing” Jesus and “believing in” Jesus. We “believe” Jesus when we accept his word, his testimony, because he is truthful. We “believe in” Jesus when we personally welcome him into our lives and journey towards him, clinging to him in love and following in his footsteps along the way. To enable us to know, accept and follow him, the Son of God took on our flesh. In this way he also saw the Father humanly, within the setting of a journey unfolding in time. Christian faith is faith in the incarnation of the Word and his bodily resurrection; it is faith in a God who is so close to us that he entered our human history. Far from divorcing us from reality, our faith in the Son of God made man in Jesus of Nazareth enables us to grasp reality’s deepest meaning and to see how much God loves this world and is constantly guiding it towards himself. This leads us, as Christians, to live our lives in this world with ever greater commitment and intensity. (To be continued next issue)
[1]  Dialogus cum Tryphone Iudaeo, 121, 2: PG 6, 758. [2] Clement of Alexandria, Protrepticus, IX: PG 8, 195. [3]  Brief an Elisabeth Nietzsche  (11 June 1865), in: Werke in drei Bänden, München, 1954, 953ff. [4] Paradiso XXIV, 145-147. [5] Acta Sanctorum, Junii, I, 21. [6] “Though the Council does not expressly deal with faith, it speaks of it on every page, it recognizes its living, supernatural character, it presumes it to be full and strong, and it bases its teachings on it. It is sufficient to recall the Council’s statements… to see the essential importance which the Council, in line with the doctrinal tradition of the Church, attributes to faith, the true faith, which has its source in Christ, and the magisterium of the Church for its channel” (Paul VI, General Audience [8 March 1967]: Insegnamenti V [1967], 705). [7] Cf., for example, First Vatican Ecumenical  Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith Dei Filius, Ch. 3: DS 30083020;  Second Vatican  Ecumenical  Council, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation  Dei Verbum, 5: Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nos. 153-165. [8] Cf. Catechesis V, 1: PG 33, 505A. [9] In Psal. 32, II, s. I, 9: PL 36, 284.  [10] M. Buber, Die Erzählungen der Chassidim, Zürich, 1949, 793. [11] Émile, Paris, 1966, 387. [12] Lettre à Christophe de Beaumont, Lausanne, 1993, 110. [13] Cf. In Ioh. Evang., 45, 9: PL 35, 1722-1723. [14] Part II, IV.

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 14
July 8 - 21, 2013

World Youth Day
Conegundo Garganta, they also learned that Malolos Bishop Jose Oliveros will attend the WYD. However, it is not clear if Oliveros will accompany the delegates from his diocese who are already part of the ECY-Philippines delegation.

on the WYD and about the flow of movements of the delegation. The ECYPhilippines delegation is expected to depart for Rio de Janeiro from July 13 to July 15, in time for the Missionary Week which will be held from July 17 to 21. The diocese of Petropolis will host the ECY-Philippines delegation during the Missionary Week. Host parishes Garganta said the 176 pilgrims under the ECY-Philippines delegation were grouped into four clusters, which will be hosted by four different parishes under the Diocese of Petropolis. Each cluster has a minimum of 40 members. The Parish of Our Lady of the Apparition will host Cluster 1 while the Parish of San Sebastian will host Cluster 2. Meanwhile, Cluster 3 will stay at the Parish of Our Lady of the Way and Cluster 4 with the Parish of San Nicolas. The detailed schedule for the Missionary Week and the WYD week, which will take place from July 23 to 28 in Rio de Janeiro, was made public among the pilgrims during the ECY-Philippines Delegation preparatory session last July 6 and 7 in Don Bosco Makati. For more stories about the Filipino delegation to the WYD, log on to (Kris Bayos)

CBCP head, 4 bishops to join Filipino WYD delegates
NO less than Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma will be joining Filipino pilgrims to the upcoming World Youth Day (WYD), which is scheduled to take place in Brazil from July 23 to 28. AccordingtotheEpiscopalCommission on Youth (ECY), the incumbent CBCP president will accompany some 38 young people from the Archdiocese of Cebu. The Commission on Youth (COY) Cebu delegation is reportedly bringing to WYD the advocacy to educate young people about the martyrdom of St. Pedro Calungsod. Aside from Palma, Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon and Kabankalan Bishop Patricio Buzon will also attend the WYD and accompany some 176 pilgrims under the ECY-Philippines Delegation. Although the ECY-Philippines is considered as the official country delegation to the WYD, there are other dioceses that chose to deploy delegations separately including Novaliches with 30 pilgrims, Cubao with 25 delegates and Manila with 35 delegates. Delegates from the diocese of Novaliches will be escorted by Bishop Antonio Tobias while the pilgrims from the Archdiocese of Manila and Cubao won’t have prelates joining their pilgrimage. According to the ECY-Philippines delegation secretariat, headed by Fr. Confirmed There is no way to come up with a definite number of WYD pilgrims coming from the Philippines since there may be schools, parishes, communities, congregations and organizations that chose to send delegates on their own. But as far as the ECY-Philippines delegation is concerned, Garganta disclosed that the 176 pilgrims who confirmed their attendance to the WYD are already representing 26 origins nationwide. Garganta disclosed the statistics during a meeting with delegation secretariat members, which include YouthPinoy volunteers, last June 27. The ECY-Philippines delegation secretariat, however, clarified that there might be other Filipinos attending the WYD outside of the official country delegation and aside from those coming from Manila, Cubao, Novaliches and Cebu. The ECY-Philippines delegation secretariat meeting was supposed to brief its volunteers about vital information

Pilgrims under the ECY-Philippines delegation, the official country delegation for World Youth Day (WYD) 2013 event gather at the Joy Center of Don Bosco Technical Institute in Makati City for the two-day (WYD) Preparatory Session, July 6-7. Participating delegates came from different dioceses and organizations around the country.

Pilgrims prepare for momentous youth gathering
HOW does it feel to meet the highest leader of the Roman Catholic Church in person? This thought excites pilgrims of the Diocese of Pasig to the 28th World Youth Day (WYD) slated in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on July 23 to 28. With only less than two weeks left prior to its commencement, Filipino delegates are venturing into full-scale preparations just in time for this momentous event in the history of the universal Catholic Church. Fr. Joeffrey Brian Catuiran, Pasig Diocesan Youth Director, said the delegates strive to prepare themselves holistically, encompassing not only physical but as well as moral, spiritual, emotional and even financial preparedness to maximize the unique experience they will acquire from the gathering. “We prepare for the event by venturing into retreats, recollections, and other avenues for bonding among the pilgrims. We strive to wholly prepare ourselves as this event is not simply a gathering but a journey in faith,” he said. According to him, the Diocese of Pasig will be fielding seven official delegates, and will be accompanied by a few more individuals who expressed desire to join the spiritual gathering. Transformation to young missionaries Catuiran noted that the WYD, which is the brainchild of Blessed John Paul II, serves as an important avenue that makes Catholic individuals realize the true essence of living by one’s faith. “The Blessed John Paul II had a deeper meaning for starting this noble gathering. It is not simply meant to gather millions of youth from all over the world,” he said. “Rather, it is meant to teach Catholics the true value of their faith by means of living by the spiritual ideals they devote themselves into through helping their less fortunate brothers and sisters,” Catuiran added. Catuiran recognized the great impact that the youth can yield in preserving Catholic ideals and virtues, considering the rapid pace of relativism and modernization hounding the church. “The challenge of the modern times is how to create an impact. We are hoping that through

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Doubter ‘searches’ in 3 religions, now joining WYD
IN more unexpected twists and turns than your regular spy thriller, a girl, who once ‘searched in’ three major world religions and doubted her Catholic faith, is now joining the World Youth Day (WYD) in Rio de Janeiro. “There really is something about the Catholic Church, the Eucharist, the devotion to Mama Mary that you really can’t leave. [It’s] as if it would really be your fault if you don’t find out first and study your faith,” said Masol Santiago of the Diocese of Antipolo WYD sub-group, describing her personal faith journey which led her to seriously study and consider joining Islam, Hinduism, Christianity.
Santiago listens to last-minute instructions regarding the trip to Brazil with her sub-group, the Diocese of Antipolo.

the 28th WYD, we would be able to share and re-echo the lessons we will learn from the gathering,” he said. “We are hoping that this event will yield a positive change in the life of many pilgrims, eventually transforming them into young missionaries who would take on the role of propagating the good news of the universal church worldwide,” Catuiran added, noting that participation in this event is meant for a bigger purpose and must not settle on frivolous expressions of faith. With millions of young people expected to gather for this celebration, Catuiran calls on the youth to actively participate in fulfilling the church’s mission of being active evangelizers in the modern times. “I am hoping that this event would bring new hope to each and every one of us, making us active missionaries of the word to heed the call for renewed evangelization,” he said. Experience ‘living faith’
Prepare / B7

Be ready to be missionaries during WYD celebration, pilgrims told
A CATHOLIC priest reminded pilgrims for the upcoming World Youth Day (WYD) celebration to be ready to be missionaries and disciples of Christ during the international gathering in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this July 2013. CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY) executive secretary Fr. Conegundo Garganta stressed the need to be prepared in the journey of faith for the WYD celebration. “The preparatory session is inviting us to be ready for the international event, so that during our participation, we will all be responsible. Because we are all missionaries and disciples, there cannot be pretensions. If here you failed to manifest your being a missionary and disciple, it will be a challenge when we reach Brazil,” Garganta said in his homily for the 1st day of the preparatory session. He asked for the understanding of the pilgrims on the things that the ECY-Philippines is doing for the official delegation. “Thank you for your patience, I just don’t want you to experience discomfort there. The reason for us to gather for this preparatory session is to feel and practice the journey. Here, we embrace each other as disciples and missionaries and we help one

Search for ‘true faith’ After initially getting converted to Born Again Christianity from Catholicism by her boyfriend, Santiago embarked on a discovery of faith that would lead, not just her, but her boyfriend as well, to the Roman Catholic faith. Spiritual preparations for the WYD led Santiago to reflect on how certain people and events in her life eventually forged her stronger faith, leading her to respond to God’s personal invitation to join the international meeting of young people in Brazil. In an interview during the Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY) – Philippines delegation preparatory session for WYD pilgrims, Santiago described how her boyfriend challenged her to join him openly consider other major religions to find the “true faith.” Studying other religions They joined a Hindu organization, Yoga Haribol, to enroll in what she could only describe as Hindu ‘catechism’ to learn more about Hindu beliefs like reincarnation. On her own, she interviewed Hindus and read articles about their practices and their articles of faith. According to Santiago, it was easy to be swayed by the fact that Hinduism pre-dated Christianity by four centuries. They decided to continue on with Islam, interviewing a Muslim leader about their laws and the content of their faith. Both of them were not so convinced by certain Muslim practices and laws, which led them to look at Christianity again with fresh eyes. Revisiting central Christian beliefs of salvation, revolving around Jesus’ sacrifice, Santiago said, they both saw a truth that resonated within them. “Man would not easily be able to think of the sacrifice of Christ in order to ‘invent’ it themselves. So this is why we thought, among the three, it must be Christianity,” Santiago, who now serves as the parish youth coordinator of the Immaculate Conception parish in Marikina City, explained. A divided Body Further scrutiny would eventually lead to an uncomfortable truth, as they discovered, through research that there were some 33,000 Christian denominations, all claiming to be the “true Church of Christ”. “Jesus did not want His Body to be divided, [that’s why we decided] to be with the Church that He established,” Santiago explained, saying they chose to believe that St. Peter’s line of succession is unbroken only in the Roman Catholic Church. Santiago admitted, this turn of events was not an easy pill to swallow for her boyfriend, who was then being groomed to become a pastor in his own church. Home, the Catholic Church Both of them would eventually formalize their return to their real, spiritual home, the Roman Catholic Church, deciding to serve the Church actively. Santiago can only voice amazement at the transformation her boyfriend has undergone; he has gone from a zealous Protestant, who condoned the destruction of the Blessed Virgin’s statues to a member of the Legion of Mary and a full-time staff of an organization which promotes the devotion to Our Lady of Fatima. Counting down less than a week to WYD, Santiago shared, she believes the WYD will help her discern God’s will for her, as well give her a chance to meet Catholics from other countries. There are 176 pilgrims from 26 origins joining the official Philippine delegation, ECY-Philippines, to the WYD. (Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz)

another to be ready for the gathering. We will be Disciples of Christ and missionaries of the Gospel. From here, let us take whatever good that we can receive or absorb, so it can be part of our readiness for the celebration in Brazil,” Garganta said. “The message of Pope Emeritus

Benedict XVI for the 28th WYD challenged us to be instruments of the message of the Gospel or to be missionaries on the Word of God to one another. Let us put on the skin that Christ is offering us, the skin of faith, trust and total surrender to Him, to His word, and most especially to His offering of Himself and love for

us,” he furthered. The preparatory session was held at the Don Bosco Technical Institute in Makati City attended by around 176 pilgrims under the ECY-Philippines delegation, the official country delegation for the World Youth Day (WYD) celebration in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Jandel Posion)

Novaliches bishop’s presence in WYD delegation inspires delegates
THE presence of the bishop in the official delegation of Novaliches diocese to the World Youth Day has delighted the delegates saying they feel blessed and inspired to be accompanied by their own bishop to the international gathering this coming July 23-28. According to Joel Arzaga, the delegation head, Novaliches Bishop Antonio Tobias’ presence is a manifestation of his tremendous love and support for the delegates and the young people of the diocese. “It is a concrete proof of his desire to be united with us, not only in this pilgrimage but also beyond, including our struggles, fears, triumphs and joys, and above all, in our journey of discovering the meaning of our lives and the fulfillment of our Christian vocation,” Arzaga added. He stressed that the bishop will be there for them not just as a guide and a father, but also as a companion and friend. Tobias is joining the delegation to show his support for the youth, to ensure that all the pilgrims are able to make the most of the pilgrimage and to officially represent the diocese to His Holiness Pope Francis. Registered officially as Diocese of Novaliches-Commission on Youth-World Youth Day Rio de Janeiro Official Delegation, the group is composed of 23 youth leaders from different parishes in the diocese, one married couple, 4 priests and one bishop. As part of their last minute preparations before leaving for Brazil, the group will have a briefing with their travel agents with matters pertaining to their trip including the group’s itinerary, travel safety reminders and other group guidelines. An overnight silent retreat will also prepare the pilgrims to spend time in silence with the Lord, to reflect on their WYD journey, to thank Him for all the graces He has bestowed on them and to ask Him for guidance and light as they embark on the World Youth Day pilgrimage of faith and love. Meanwhile, Bishop Tobias celebrated the send-off mass for the pilgrims on June 30, which was held at the Good Shepherd Cathedral. In his homily, the bishop reminded the delegates that the goal of the Christian life is the conversion from self-centeredness to Christ-centeredness. Tobias blessed the delegates during the mass and prayed over the entire congregation. A short program was held right after the Mass giving an opportunity for the organizing team, youth leaders, pilgrims and their families to spend time together with the clergy and the bishop. (Jandel Posion)

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The newly elected officers and commission chairmen of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines
President: Abp. Socrates B. Villegas Vice President: Abp. Romulo G. Valles Treasurer: Abp. John F. Du Secretary General: Rev. Fr. Marvin S. Mejia Regional Representatives Luzon: Bp. Rodolfo F. Beltran, Bp. Sofronio A. Bancud, SSS, Bp. Gilbert A. Garcera, Bp. Emilio Z. Marquez, Bp. Bernardino C. Cortez Visayas: Bp. Crispin B. Varquez, Abp. Jose F. Advincula Mindanao: Bp. Jose A. Cabantan, Bp. Angelito R. Lampon, OMI Chairmen of the Episcopal Commissions, Committees and Offices: Episcopal Committee on Basic Ecclesial Communities - Bp. George B. Rimando Episcopal Commission on Biblical Apostolate - Bp. Pablo Virgilio S. David Episcopal Office on Bioethics - Bp. Ricardo L. Baccay Episcopal Committee on Bishops’ Concern - Abp. Angel N. Lagdameo Episcopal Commission on Canon Law - Bp. Antonieto D. Cabajog Episcopal Com. on Catechesis and Catholic Education - Bp. Francisco M. de Leon Episcopal Commission on Clergy - Bp. Florentino G. Lavarias


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 14
July 8 - 21, 2013

For the term December 1, 2013 to December 1, 2015

Human Rights Should Take Precedence and Cannot be Sacrificed in the Name of ‘Responsible’ Mining

Episcopal Commission on Culture – Bp. Elenito D. Galido Episcopal Commission on Doctrine of the Faith - Abp. Orlando B. Quevedo, OMI Episcopal Commission on Ecumenical Affairs - Bp. Rodolfo F. Beltran Episcopal Commission on Family and Life - Bp. Gabriel V. Reyes Episcopal Commission on Health Care - Bp. Patricio A. Buzon, SDB Episcopal Commission on Indigenous Peoples - Bp. Prudencio P. Andaya, CICM Permanent Committee on International Eucharistic Congresses - Abp. Romulo G. Valles Episcopal Com. on Inter-religious Dialogue Bp. Angelito R. Lampon, OMI
WE at the Tampakan Forum welcome with affirmation the thorough work done by Dr. Brigitte Hamm, Ms. Anne Schax and Mr. Christian Scheper of the Institute for Peace and Development (INEF) as presented in the Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA) of the Tampakan Copper-Gold Project, an independent study commissioned and published by MISEREOR, the German Catholic Bishops’ Organization for Development Cooperation and the Swiss Catholic Lenten Fund (Fastenopfer) in collaboration with the Swiss protestant development organization Bread for All. The conduct of a Human Rights Impact Assessment by an independent and third party institution is a welcome initiative. It provides a better understanding of a pressing business and human rights issue in the country today. Such is the Tampakan CopperGold Project, being heralded by both the government and the industry as the biggest single investment in the Philippines which will purportedly bring in humongous economic benefits to the country and raise the community’s “standard of living”. The furor it has created stupefied observers, revolted the directly affected as well as different stakeholders. The exchange of views, opinions and positions for or against the project spanned many years already. It has divided families, communities, and ostracized constituents from their governments while on ground zero, the unfolding of once feared scenarios into actual events and incidents is now happening. Noticeably, concrete responses and appropriate immediate interventions from supposed authorities is a gaping gap to date. If any, drastic and insensitive measures that have only aggravated the situation from bad to worse. We see the impact study on human rights as an essential element to pave the way for a more in-depth, properly informed and objective discussion of the issues at hand. It would do well for government to read it carefully and critically. It may well be an indictment of its conduct vis-a-vis human rights, indigenous peoples, environment and the stewardship of Creation. The HRIA under the frame of the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights is a valuable human rights tool to guide businesses in upholding respect for human rights in every step of their work process, and to establish effective remedies. Likewise, to provide guidance for the state to protect human rights by effectively enforcing regulation and to draw attention from all stakeholders to uphold the primacy of human rights. It is so as the HRIA report on Tampakan Project clearly pointed out its actual and potential impacts in a given complex context of the human rights of the most vulnerable groups, especially indigenous groups, farmers and irrigators. Sagittarius Mines Inc. (SMI), a subsidiary of the Philippines Glencore-Xstrata, has certainly made a study on the environmental and social impact of the effects on health according to the Philippine laws. However, none of the companies involved in the project has so far done an impact study on human rights in accordance with the Guidelines. The Philippine government has neither made nor requested the study, no more than the Swiss state has required the parent company to undertake one. This does not and cannot downplay the fact of the dire need for an independent HRIA. The HRIA had delved into a context which is characterized by a combination of government failures, prevailing poverty, a high level of marginalization and discrimination against indigenous groups, especially in terms of basic services, and a generally volatile conflict situation. It pointed out already existing and potential high risks to the human rights of vulnerable population should the project proceed,astherightstoanadequate and meaningful information and participation, livelihoods, health, education, culture, and the fundamental right to life, security, and liberty. Against the backdrop of the key predicaments outlined by the HRIA as precarious to such a project, the conclusion that under such situation and existing conditions, “a responsible openpit mine of this magnitude does not seem feasible” has only corroborated the earlier critique of the Tampakan Forum which was presented in a public forum organized by the Provincial local government of South Cotabato last September 23, 2011. The blatant disregard for fundamental

Episcopal Commission on the Laity - Bp. Jesse E. Mercado Episcopal Commission on Liturgy - Bp. Julius S. Tonel Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People - Bp. Ruperto C. Santos Episcopal Commission on Mission - Bp. Arturo M. Bastes, SVD Episcopal Commission on Mutual Relations - Bp. Joseph A. Nacua, OFMCap Episcopal Committee on Pension Plan - Abp. John F. Du Episcopal Commission on Pontificio Collegio Filippino - Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care - Bp. Leopoldo S. Tumulak Permanent Committee on Public Affairs - Bp. Broderick S. Pabillo Episcopal Commission on Seminaries - Bp. Gerardo A. Alminaza Episcopal Com. on Social Action, Justice and Peace - Abp. Rolando J. Tria Tirona, OCD Episcopal Commission on Social Com. and Mass Media - Bp. Mylo Hubert C. Vergara Episcopal Commission on Vocations - Bp. Reynaldo G. Evangelista Episcopal Office on Women - Abp. Jose F. Advincula, Jr. Episcopal Commission on Youth - Bp. Leopoldo C. Jaucian, SVD

human rights was also one of the key findings by the Tampakan Forum-led fact-finding solidarity mission last April 2012. These prior documents were made available to all the stakeholders for consideration and appropriate action but sadly it seemed it has been relegated to the background by the concerned government authorities, and has not been taken seriously if not altogether vehemently denied by SMI. We have always reiterated that the Philippine state is the primary bearer of the responsibility for the fragile situation in the Tampakan area, while SMI and its mother company, Xstrata carry great responsibility. This project will result in the expulsion of more than 5,000 indigenous people from their ancestral domain. It is located on a site of importance with regard to the supply of drinking water in the region. A site also threatened by earthquakes and by an active volcano. The mining company’s promise and assurance comes in the form of techno-fix mitigating measures to master all existing environmental risks. From the outset, Tampakan Forum totally agreed with the SMI’s consultant engineers who determined that: “The Tampakan Mine has a high potential for loss of life and high environmental damage if the facilities fail” [page 42 Waste Management Report. Appendix A. SMI Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) 2011]. We totally disagree that Xstrata/Indophil/SMI can design the facilities to survive
Mining / B7

I CAME to the seminar on leadership organized by Serviam community having no full knowledge of what it was all about. I was merely drawn by a poster with Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle’s picture on it which was posted in the Santuario de San Antonio Church where I frequently visited our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament after work. One word struck me on that poster... SERVIAM! It reminded me of what the holy angels exclaimed with much conviction when asked to serve the God-Man, our Lord Jesus Christ. One word, which drew the line of what was good and evil. One word, which drew the line between blessing and curse. I imbibed this conviction in my heart and even made it my screen saver on my cellphone weeks before the seminar. One word changed my mission in life. One word brought deeper meaning and encouragement to my work place where I serve patients for dental surgery day in and day out in two hospitals. On the day of the seminar, I was widely impressed seeing the multitude of believers sharing the same conviction. Not all were the same, lay and religious, I observed some were more the reserved-contemplative type, others very charismatic with their worship. But regardless of taste or style on how they show their affection towards God, they were all there to bless and serve Our Triune Lord and eager to empty themselves and fill their hearts and

Dentist discovers new calling in Serviam Retreat
minds with wisdom from the “bigatin” (remarkable) line up of speakers, faithful servants, which our Lord I believe handpicked for us to listen and learn from on those two days. Cutting through the chase, after listening to the first few lecturers of the morning session of the first day, ending with Bishop “Ambo” [San Fernando, Pampanga Auxiliary Bishop Pablo Virgilio David], my cup already overflowed. Listening to the speakers was too good an experience; like feeding on your favorite chocolate. It felt like sitting on Christ’s lap and you couldn’t wait what more stories/lessons He has to tell. Attending the seminar only proved to me that faithful obedience to the promptings of the Spirit even without fully understanding where I was going had its reward. And boy what gifts and rewards did I receive indeed! Hearing some gospel passages quoted were not new to me, however, when they were dissected and delivered with such humility, openness and faith by the speakers, they filled me with such different color and truth. I suddenly got a little uneasy and disturbed in a good way. It shook my soul and encouraged me to do as Christ did. To wash the feet of my disciples. Those whom I used to think count for nothing in my life were exactly the very people I should be serving. I picked up such great lessons such as

The author with Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle.

“True leadership must bring within the touch of God, which is the love for the poor” from Manila Archbishop-emeritus Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales. While Bishop David made clear comparisons of how the worldly leader differs from the servant leader. That “the worldly leader lords it over his subordinates while the leader that of Christ is a Servant.” That demanding entitlements and privileges is not a trait of servant leader but that of the other. He even emphasized Christ’s question to his disciples after washing their feet, “Do you understand what I have done for you?” Such compassion and guidance which our Lord wanted

to make sure we understood the WHY behind his actions and basically the service of His giving up of His whole life for all of us. Mentioning the example of Zaccheus also helped me realize my pride and inadequacy in trying to hold on to achievements and titles like climbing the tall sycamore tree thinking that that was the only way for our Lord to see me and love me amidst the crowd. I personally felt Him say to me as He has exclaimed to Zaccheus while looking up to the tree from which he was hanging from, “Come down, Sherwin!” Conclusively speaking, I’ve realized

that a Servant Leader is a leader in love with All that is Christ; possessed with His humility, seeking only the fulfillment of the One who sent Him and not self promotion or self referential (as Cardinal Tagle has mentioned). Leading with a vision and mission not of his own but that which He has received from God and carrying it out faithfully day by day with fervent prayer and contemplation (from Msgr. Gerry Santos). Just as Pope John Paul II had encouraged all of the youth not to fear to be contemplative. For only in soaking ourselves in prayer, silence and solitude that we hear the voice of God and in the end recognize our strength is only in prayer. At this point, I only pray for the grace to carry out and live the truths I have learned on those two days. May we continue to pray for each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. Let us pray for the pope, bishops, priests, nuns, all religious and all the faithful that they may continue to be the torch bearers of our path in seeking, finding, serving and loving our heavenly prize, our Lord Jesus Christ. Our Blessed Mother, holy angels and saints, please pray for us! (The author is a dentist by profession with clinics at St. Luke’s Medical Center and Asian Hospital & Medical Center. He is a Diplomate & Fellow, International Congress of Oral Implantologists. Post Graduate in Oral Implantology, New York University, College of Dentistry, New York, USA.)



Permanent Committee on Cultural Heritage of the Church - Bp. Leonardo Y. Medroso

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 14
July 8 - 21, 2013

will be Archbishop Romulo Valles, the Archbishop of Davao. New chairmen of various commissions were also elected. The CBCP commissions made their reports to the body during the assembly. Some reports touched on the organization and management of the CBCP as an organization, others on the apostolates of the Church such as the mass media, vocations, the coming World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, the liturgy and others. The following pastoral concerns particularly challenged our collective attention on the pressing need for integral faith formation: 1. T h e p r e p a r a t i o n s f o r t h e International Eucharistic Congress which will be held in Cebu in 2016. This is an international event that is celebrated by the entire Catholic Church every 4 years, so it has to be well prepared. The last one was done in Dublin, Ireland in 2012. 2. The on-going national consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary which is being done every first Saturday of the month in all dioceses in the country. It started last month and will end in November, which also closes the Year of Faith. We are entrusting ourselves as a “Pueblo Amante de Maria” to the maternal care of the Blessed Mother in these troubled times of ours. 3. The forthcoming hearing of the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the RH Law. The bishops were updated about the issues involved and prayers and a show of support were solicited from all. We are resolved to do our best to preserve life and the family in our country. 4. An evaluation of the May elections


A press statement of the 107th Bishops’ Plenary Assembly held at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Manila, July 6-8, 2013
WE, the Catholic Bishops of the Philippines, look forward to the semiannual plenary meetings of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) as valued occasions to come together, to renew ourselves for our pastoral ministry and to share with each other about concerns for the people of God in the Philippines. This year, the midyear plenary assembly took place in the first week of July. It started with a spiritual retreat preached by Fr. Francis Moloney, SDB, a Bible scholar from Australia. He impressed on us bishops by his scholarly yet pastoral presentation the importance of the critical reading of the Bible in order that the Word of God may truly animate our task of growing in our spirituality and in the work of New Evangelization. The retreat took place in Betania Retreat House in Tagaytay from July 2-4. The following day, the various episcopal commissions and regional groupings of the bishops met. The plenary assembly took place on July 6-8 at the plenary hall in Pius XII Catholic Center. The Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, who is the official representative of the Holy Father in the Philippines, opened the assembly by presiding at the opening Mass and by giving us his opening address on July 6. His presence is a reminder that we belong to one world-wide community, the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. This year’s midyear assembly elected the officials of the CBCP for the next two years. The new president of the CBCP from December 2013 to November 2015 will be Archbishop Socrates Villegas, the Archbishop of LingayenDagupan, and the new vice-president

was done. We, bishops are very concerned that the safeguards of the Automated Election Law were not sufficiently carried out, that there are many problems on the transmissions of the ERs, that the Comelec is stonewalling on the complaints from many quarters on the conduct of the election, and that many voters were disenfranchised due

to confusing voters’ lists. After one experience of the automated election this year’s election should have been better, but it was not. We call for accountability from Comelec officials and demand that the law be followed. 5. We bishops are dismayed at the massive vote buying and vote selling that is experienced everywhere. The

deepening hold of political dynasties is lamentable, although some political families have lost their hold in a number of provinces and cities. We should see how the principles of common good and stewardship are to be better imparted to our people in the political education given to them.
Plenary / B7

My dear Brothers and Sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ, The Fourth Diocesan Synod of Cebu in 1986 declared, “Option for the poor is a Christian option. Defending the human dignity of the poor and their hope for a human future is not a luxury of the Church. It is its duty.” (Cebu Synod 4, The Servant Church, #6) Similarly, our Holy Father Pope Francis said that the Year of Faith should be “less preoccupied by non-essential rituals but more focused on our being agents of God’s mercy to the poor, the suffering and those alienated from the Church because the mercy of God is always victorious!” He also expressed his wish, “Ah, how I would like a Church that is poor and that is for the poor.” Our Holy Father would be happy to know that in the 1980’s, this was realized in the life and advocacy of Fr. Rudy Romano and other church people. Fr. Rudy and other church people defended the rights of the poor and the oppressed, “even when doing so meant alienation or persecution from the rich and powerful.” (PCP II, 131) The Archdiocese of Cebu notes that in 1986, the City Government of Cebu installed a marker at Tisa, Labangon,

On the Commemoration of the 28th Anniversary of the Disappearance of Fr. Rudy Romano, CSsR

Cebu City to mark the place “where Fr. Rudy Romano, a Redemptorist Father and human rights fighter was abducted by armed men of the deposed Marcos Regime on July 11, 1985.” Likewise, the Cebu Provincial Government in 1987, passed a resolution

“Adopting Fr. Rudy Romano as a Son of the Province of Cebu” since even if he was from Samar, “prior to his disappearance, Fr. Romano contributed much in terms of promoting human rights, rendering concrete assistance and social service to lessprivileged Cebuanos and in making Cebu a strong bastion of the people’s successful fight for freedom and justice during the dark years of the deposed dictatorship.” The abduction and disappearance of Fr. Rudy and a student leader, Levi Ybañez, 28 years ago have not been resolved. Meanwhile, until today, the poor peasants, fisherfolks, workers, urban poor and other marginalized sectors continue to strive for their human dignity to be upheld. We are called to follow Jesus, the Good Shepherd, who “lay down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). Fr. Rudy showed us how to be advocates for social renewal. He showed us how to be like Jesus, who loved the poor, lived and died for the salvation of all. Non nobis Domine, +JOSE S. PALMA, DD Archbishop of Cebu July 11, 2013

The poor as the sacrificial lamb on the altar of privatization of Philippine Orthopedic Hospital and other government owned hospitals
Statement against the Privatization of Philippine Orthopedic Center (POC) and other government-owned hospitals
WE, the Religious Discernment Group (RDG) and Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (JPIC-ICM) join with all people of good will in opposing the Privatization of the Philippine Orthopedic Center (POC) and other government owned hospitals. The Philippine Constitution clearly states that “The State shall protect and promote the health of the people and instil health consciousness among them” (Art. 11, Sc.15). This is but an expression of the moral responsibility of the state to care for, particularly, the poorest in society. In Psalm 72:4 we read the prayer for the ruler: “May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor”. Yet we find the Aquino administration, through its program of privatization of health facilities and services, completely ignoring these legal and moral dictums. The Philippine Orthopedic Center (POC) is the only national tertiary hospital specializing in bone and trauma cases. It currently serves 450-500 patients a day, of which 80% - 90% are indigents and getting fee services. They depend on free medicines, supplies and procedures only available at the POC. No one is denied service because of lack of the ability to pay. It is both a first class hospital and truly serving the poor. Instead of increasing the budget so that the POC can maintain and improve its facilities and services, the budget for the Center has been cut even further. The Department of health admitted that no “major renovations or improvement have taken place in the hospital’s main building since 1963!” And now, it will be bid out to a private company. The lone bidder to “modernize” POC is Megawide Construction Corp. which is partly owned by SM tycoon Henry Sy. It will be entitled to a contract to operate and maintain the hospital for 25 years under the build-operate-transfer scheme. As now existing at the Orthopedic hospital, this will consist of 700 beds. However unlike the present situation the beds are allotted to mainly PhilHealth sponsored patients or private patients. Only 70 beds are allotted for indigent patients and if these are filled up, the private operator will stabilize incoming indigent patients and transfer them to other DOH facilities. This plan is designed to make the new Center “for profit” and not “for service” and will clearly result in the denial of the right of the poor to decent health care. The fate of the 1,000 health workers at the current hospital is also uncertain. They have no guarantee of retaining their position in the new Center, with the private owner given the right to “have the freedom to select employees”, as well as not being under obligation to recognize the existing union”. It is these staff and this union which has so faithfully serve the poor who come to them daily and are now struggling to preserve this basic right of their poor patients. We are concerned that another 26 government hospitals are also slated to be privatized by the Aquino Government. These “modernization” of the government-owned hospitals are meant to generate profits for private companies. It is abandonment by the government of its social responsibility to the people. We believe that the provision of public health is an essential government responsibility. It should not be seen as a burden. Surely as President Aquino boasts of the growth in GNP, some of this “growth” can be channelled to modernize and improve public health facilities. Health services should not be treated as a commodity for profit. We cannot allow the rights of the poor people for adequate health care to be sacrificed on the altar of profit. We join with all people of good will to demand that the Privatization of National Health Services be stopped immediately. Sr. Lydia Lascano, ICM Sr. Patricia Fox, NDS Coordinator Convenor Religious Discernment Group JPIC-ICM

Statement on the First Death Anniversary of Bro. Willem Geertman
TODAY, we join the family, relatives, friends, supporters and the entire people of the country especially of Central Luzon in rememberingthelifeofBro.Willem Geertman. He is a missionary brother from Netherlands who opted to selflessly serve the Filipino people for more than half of his life. He is a faithful missionary who courageously pursue the Christian prophetic task of bringing the good news of salvation and condemning the evil works. Last July 3, 2012, Bro. Willem was mercilessly killed inside the premises of Alay Bayan Inc. by elements who wanted to silence him and cut short his Christian mission. The method of killing is a reason of doubt that the motive of the assassins was to rob the life out of Bro. Willem and not simply after any amount of money. Video footage taken from the camera of the security outpost of the subdivision helped in identifying the criminals. Despite this prima facie evidence and other witness statements, the police authorities failed to make those perpetrators accountable before the bar of justice. Worst, the legal charges filed against them were downgraded to simple robbery with homicide. Such legal moves of the police department bear similarities to how they address cases of extrajudicial killings during the time of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. It is very alarming that state departments water down cases of political in nature. It is all the more disappointing that series of dialogue with the Department of Justice initiated by the families and supporters of Bro. Willem, until this day, end up with no final resolution of the case. This signifies the prevailing culture of impunity in our nation. A case that after three years of injustice, will most likely fall in the same trash bin of the government that have long neglected the cry of the victims and their families for justice. Bro. Willem Geertman was the 4th victim among church people and among the 142 victims of extra judicial killings under the watch of President Aquino. He was assassinated by those few powerful that fear to loosen their hold to the people whom Bro. Willem has served. Ensuring that justice is served to Bro. Willem’s death is a resounding demand of those who want significant change. We reiterate our call to the Aquino government to stop the killings and put an end to the prevailing culture of impunity. Perpetrators must be made accountable at the


immediate. We appeal to all faithful to put forward the issue of human rights as it reflects the dignity of God’s creation. Let us firm up our resolve to never cower in the face of threat while giving flesh to our commitment to serve the least and marginalized. We encourage all church leaders to firmly stand

for the restoration of life towards its fullness. Justice for Bro. Willem Geertman! Justice to All Victims of Human Rights Violations! Promotion of Church People’s Response July 3, 2013

© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media


Ref lections
and society. Understandably enough, Josephus, the well-known Jewish historian, said that the whole life of every Jew was dominated by law. The Torah defined his Jewishness, gave him a system of values, and a sense of integrity. It is not surprising, therefore, that in the Gospel, Jesus referred the lawyer to some injunctions in the law: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself” (Lev 19:18 ; Deut 6:5). But is the observance of the Torah sufficient for one to be part of the new age of the Messiah? From the point of view of Luke’s community, such a claim cannot be sustained. Following the Law is not enough for the new age. To stress this point, Luke tells us the vignette on the Good Samaritan. The Jews would have found the story stunning because the hero is their hated enemy. The Samaritans, who had bitter tension with the Jews, were descendants of a mixed population occupying the land after its conquest by the Assyrians in 722 BC. They opposed the rebuilding of the Temple and Jerusalem, and set up their own temple on Mount Gerizim. The Jews considered them as ceremonially unclean, social outcasts and religious heretics. They were the exact opposite of the lawyers who were known for being knowledgeable about the Torah. But Jesus told the story about a certain man who, on his way from Jerusalem to Jericho, was stripped, beaten and left half dead by bandits

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 14
July 8 - 21, 2013

Responding to God’s Word by transcending legalism
An Exegetical Reflection on the Gospel of the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, Luke 10:25-37, July 14, 2013
By Msgr. Lope C. Robredillo, SThD
HOW can one achieve the good life? In a secular society where people value wealth more than any other, it might be said that it is important that one has to be included in the small circle of friends who have access to the corridors of Malacañang, owns a mansion in a beach resort, is in possession of a good number of dollar accounts in several banks both here and in Switzerland, has investments abroad, and has a beautiful wife and kids studying in Boston or in London. That would probably be heaven on earth. But first-century Jews did not have that outlook. In the Jewish social world at the time of Jesus, what was most important was to be included in the new age, when the Messiah would come to establish a reign of justice and love; in other words, to be part of God’s people. That is the sense of the lawyer’s question in today’s Gospel (Luke 10:25 -27): “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” (v 25). In answer, Jesus pointed to him what was contained in the Law. (The law was the Five Books of Moses.) Of course, Jesus and the lawyer were familiar with the Torah, and there was nothing in their conversation about it that was unknown to them. For the Jews, the Torah was the fundamental law of existence. It was the foundation of the entire Jewish social and legal system, and of the way of life of the individual

(Luke 10:30) precisely to bring to the fore the insufficiency of merely knowing and obeying what the Law commanded. He likely wanted to stress that the priest and the Levite, who were religious and knew the Law, did nothing for the man not because they were heartless or insensitive to human misery, but because they were following the injunction that says: “Everyone who touches a dead person, whether he was slain by the sword or died naturally or who touches a human bone or a grave, shall be unclean for

several days” (Num 19:16). They probably thought that the poor man was dead, and the law, which required ritual purity of priests, forbade them to touch a corpse, if they were to take part in the temple service. In other words, these privileged members of the Jewish society were observing the law by having nothing to do with the man lying on the road. With this parable Jesus says to us in effect that the Law is not enough for one to be part of the new age. Only God’s word is. Though the Torah is a

concretization of the word of God in which the Law finds its roots, yet the word is not exhausted by or confined to the law. To obey the word of God, there are times when one has to transcend the law. God’s word—hearing and doing which constitutes one’s real happiness (cf Luke 11:28 )—is present in the events of our life, in women and men in the world. It is also present in the man in need. Hence, one’s acceptance or rejection of the needy is also his acceptance or rejection of the word
Responding / B7

A challenge to be good Samaritans
5th Sunday in Ordinary Time, March 17, 2013
By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
THE Christian concept of neighbor is easy to define in words – neighbor is every human being, especially one who is in need of help. But it may be quite hard to accept it in practice, for it is very demanding to be the neighbor of certain individuals or groups . . . One always has the impression of being on the “giving side,” and this hurts our instinctive self-centeredness and the tendency to expect good things, rather than give them. Most of us (all, perhaps?) prefer a neighbor that is strong, generous, pretty, reliable . . . one who is at hand and on whom we can rely when we are in need. Hence, “neighbor” is the relative, the friend, the benefactor, the one we like! This is all too easy. Such was the concept of “neighbor” which the Israelites had. But Jesus shattered all these convenient human patterns with a parable that portrayed his own attitude and life—a life of service unto death for the good of all, including one’s enemies. Starting with Jesus, “neighbor” has become a universal category. It has come to encompass all human beings. It includes even the “enemy”! The insidious road from Jerusalem to Jericho stretches far beyond its 37 kilometers. It crisscrosses the whole world and intersects our lives every day. We see it strewn with numberless victims, robbed of their moral and spiritual assets by the enemy of all good. A real follower of the Divine Samaritan has to be prepared to change his plans, make an unscheduled stop, and even a detour, in order to “become neighbor” of the unpredictable victims whom Divine Providence places on our journey, which stretches from birth to burial. “Neighbor” may have a million different faces and more. It can be the helpless squatter looking for a permanent dwelling; the drug addict, now reduced to a wreck; the deserted wife or the unwed mother; the retarded child or the lonely old folk; the school drop-out or the unemployed . . . . Many people (even “religious” people!) will cast on them a look of commiseration, and stride on, without stopping for a minute, afraid to get involved with people that may tarnish their image in the “good society”. . . . The indifferent, the over-cautious, the “Christians-in-name” can be a very large crowd indeed, and their example of noncaring attitude is often a hard test for the generous souls who would like to put into practice the message of the parable of the Good Samaritan. It really takes a stout heart to opt to be
Samaritan / B7

An Exegetical Reflection on the Gospel of the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time; Year C, Luke 10:38-42, July 21, 2013
By Msgr. Lope C. Robredillo, SThD
OURS is a society that values doers. We award the fastest runner, give plaques and pin medals to the contingent that overruns an Abu-Sayyaf camp, take picture of the local politician who inaugurates infrastructural projects, and idealize the parish priest who builds a new church, rectory and multi-purpose hall. We applaud the achiever—The Outstanding Entrepreneur, The Outstanding Farmer, The Outstanding Congressman, etc. In today’s Gospel (Luke 10:38 -42), Luke presents us two women of different temperaments: one is a doer named Martha, and the other a listener called Mary. When Jesus came to their village (Bethany?), Martha welcomed him at her home, and being a doer, she became busy with the details of hospitality. Just as, in the 1st Reading (Gen 18:1-10), Abraham entertained his guests with all the virtues expected of Bedouin hospitality, so Martha displayed her best in meeting the rules that hospitality required. It is most likely that she, for example, provided water for the physical comfort of Jesus, aside from preparing the meal. Luke does not say it, but if some disciples accompanied him, she would have to prepare not just a simple meal; and one who values people who really work can sympathize with her for voicing out her feelings, “Lord, are you not concerned that my sister has left me to do the household tasks all alone? Tell her to help me” (Luke 10:40b). To Martha’s complaint that Mary merely seated herself as his feet, while she was distracted with so much serving, Jesus said, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and upset about many things; one thing only is required. Mary has chosen the better portion and she shall not be deprived of it” (Luke 10:41b-42). At first blush, it would the Good Samaritan who was concerned with the details of taking care of the victim (10:33 -35)? Did not he speak of being of service to others ( 22:27)? What exactly was Jesus trying to convey? The pericope should be understood in the light of Luke’s theology of discipleship. For him, to hear and act on the word of God in Jesus constitutes the foundation of discipleship: “Any man who desires to come to me will hear my words and put them into practice” (6:47). And as we noted in the story of the Good Samaritan (10:25 -37), God’s word is not confined to the Law; among others, it is present in the person in need, and to respond to his need is to act upon the word. But more fundamental than doing the word is listening to it. In the story about Martha and Mary, it seems that Luke does not portray Martha as hostess, despite the impression given and Luke’s description that she was busy with the demands of hospitality. Rather, as in the story of Zaccheus (19:1-10) and the two men from Emmaus (24:13-32),

The priority of listening to the Word of God

seem that Jesus’ comment is baffling. After all, Mary never lent a hand in doing the household chores. That one sympathizes with Martha is understandable. Since he was their guest, it was natural for Martha to fret about the demands of hospitality. “If Martha had imitated Mary, Christ would have gone without dinner,” says St. Theresa. Moreover, did not Jesus tell us to imitate

Listening / B7

Welcoming the Lord in action and contemplation
16th Sunday in Ordinary Time ( C ) July 21, 2013
that a spurious religious feeling has occasionally been an easy excuse for inaction and degrading fatalism. Unfortunately, such a wrong concept of religiosity is not quite dead yet . . . . A proper and healthy balance between these two extremes has to be found. Genuine Christian faith, rooted in the teaching and example of Jesus Christ, and the apostles, especially St. Paul, can provide the necessary overall perspective and motivation. This “solution” entails much more than just finding room for prayer in our lives and harmonizing it with our activity. It is a matter of not letting ourselves be suffocated by earthly, temporal concerns, but of being open to the beyond, to transcendent values— to God and a life of communion with Him and our fellowmen. This communion begins in this life and continues beyond death. Such a faith-perspective of “openness to God and neighbor,” when it is genuine, does not lead to alienating forms of escapism and renunciation, but becomes the strongest possible motivation for temporal commitment/action in this life and society. And—above all—it gives meaning and value to what we plan and do. It does give meaning even to suffering, setbacks, and death. No other ideology or philosophy of life can offer such motivation, value, and hope. Hope is the reality that underscores the transcendental orientation of every individual person and of human history as a whole. It helps us understand that the two dimensions of commitment to history and openness to God (and all that is related to Him), though both indispensable, do not have the same objective value. There is,

Bishop Pat Alo

By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
NOWADAYS, technology and competition force people to be more active and creative. In many cases, it is a question of survival. All this entails the danger that man may live a superficial life, even a noisy and agitated life . . . with the consequent loss of the sense of “direction” in one’s own existence and of history as a whole. It is action for the sake of action, or profit, or pleasure. Soulless activism, without a superior meaning. But present-day “superactivism” is, in many respects, a reaction to centuries of “superinactivism” which has delayed the progress of society in many ways. Problems were left unsolved and simply referred to “higher authorities,” namely, God and the Saints. It cannot be denied

indeed, a “better part” as Jesus pointed out to Martha (see Lk 10:62) . This “better part” is intimacy and communion with God. Such an intimacy/communion is “better,” both because of the sublimating relationship in which it establishes us, and because it will last forever. It is this “fullness” that we hope for, and which gives meaning and direction to our otherwise barren existence on earth. It also gives us the strength that we need to take very seriously the “lesser part”—temporal commitment to justice, peace, and progress. Indeed, we who believe and hope in the “better part” can and should take this life even more seriously than those who do not have such transcendent hope, since these are the two complementary “dimensions” of life for which God has created us.


Religion of hope

IF Christianity has spread to the farthest corners of the world it is because of its promise and assurance of hope in life eternal. The promise, of course, is not just based on empty words but backed by instances and reality. Even the Founder Himself, the Lord Jesus, had His life and miracles to follow up His words. So even if Jesus had said “Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Mt. 4:4), His words and deeds proved the truth of all He said, yes, His own life, death and resurrection are strong proof of His life and mission to save the world. “The Word was made flesh, he lived among us, and we saw his glory, the glory that is his as the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth” (Jn. 1:14). Even at the end of the gospel written by St. Mark there is reference to the many facts and happenings that accompanied the faith of Christians through the ages. “These are the signs that will be associated with believers: in my name they will cast out devils; they will have the gift of tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands, and be unharmed should they drink deadly poison; they will lay their hands on the sick, who will recover” (Mk. 16:17). You can read all that in the history of the Catholic Church and the marvels or miracles portrayed in
Religion / B7

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 14
July 8 - 21, 2013

Social Concerns
Plenary / B5

6. The issues of APECO in Casiguran and the COCONUT LEVY were also presented to the bishops for our better understanding. We bishops are concerned about these issues because they are matters of justice which deeply touch the lives of the poor. 7. In the commission reports, other concerns were mentioned – such as the continuation of the peace process in Mindanao, the speedy implementation of the agrarian reform program, and the constant protection of the environment. We are thankful for the participation and the interest of the bishops during the plenary assembly. We go back to our individual dioceses strengthened by the experience of brotherhood but at the same time challenged all the more in our ministry to be effective bearers and proclaimers of truth, justice, peace and love under the leadership of Pope Francis. We hope and pray, under the patronage of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to work for the growth of our own faith and that of God’s people whom we shepherd in this second half of the Year of Faith under the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Zero tolerance for sexual exploitation
By Fr. Shay Cullen
THE young women, allegedly victims of sexual abuse by government officials stationed at Philippine embassies in the Middle East, were being interviewed by Philippine media. They had their heads and faces completely covered with black cloth and wore dark glasses to hide from the public gaze and to avoid the stigma of being branded a person of ill repute. It is a grave injustice that the victims of sex crimes and not their abusers are branded with a stigma of wrongdoing. Other victimized abused women have come forward to make statements about how they too were sexually abused and forced into prostitution to get a ticket from the embassy officials to come home to the Philippines. Not only were they abused physically, verbally, and sexually by their employers, but also by those assigned, paid and sworn to assist and help them, according to the credible testimonies of the women. While the accused officials canclaimtobeinnocentuntilproven guilty, it cannot be said either the victims are fabricating, inventing and lying. The suspects have a right to be made aware of the allegations
Prepare / B3

made against them and to make a reply before any judgment. When done, the investigators can decide if there is sufficient evidence against them to bring charges. However, the evidence so far is compelling to establish that such events did happen but to prove it in a Philippine court of law or before the Ombudsman is very difficult. Witnesses are already being intimidated as seen by the wearing of black face coverings by the witnesses. It’s a very difficult decision for a sexually abused woman or child to go public. Some years ago, a high government official commenting on similar reports of sexual abuse of

Philippine women abroad advised the women to “lie back and enjoy it”. However, if he’s to be gang raped himself, I doubt he would tell himself the same thing. It is the casual cavalier attitude that is most disturbing. What a shame this is for the Filipino people. But should we be surprised? You would expect perhaps there would be public outcry about such exploitation and corruption but there is none, at least not yet. Nor are there marches and demonstrations on the streets like they had in India and Sri Lanka to protest the widespread nonstop rape of women and children. Hundredsofthousandsofprotesters
Mining / B4

marchedincities across Brazil because of higher bus fares andgovernment inaction. In the Philippines, tolerance and silence about the rape of women and children, and human trafficking is the norm, except for a few very dedicated rights groups. Perhaps the brutal crackdown by the previous Arroyo government against protesters and the assassination of hundreds of social activists, outspoken journalists, priests and pastors has had a chilling effect. Today, protest is silenced by the sweet promises of the present government. But evil and injustice are widespread and without an active response by civil society and church leaders, victims must endure silently. This opens the way for a machismo culture that promotes male domination and the sexual conquest of women and even underage girls. Even clergy are living in unlawful and immoral sexual relationships generally

ignored by the hierarchy. Should we be surprised then that even government officials consider it their privilege and entitlement to sexually exploit women and see little harm in it? More evidence is seen in the widespread tolerance and even encouragement of sex tourism by local government giving licenses and permits to sex bars and clubs. Human trafficking of women and children to these fronts for forced prostitution goes on in the Catholic Philippines. The country is still on Tier 2 of the US ratings as of June 19 this year for non-compliance with minimum international standards to curb Human Trafficking due to the lack of arrests, convictions and a weak judicial system according to the US State Department. Kids as young as 14 are offered openly on the streets of Angeles City in Pampanga. (see ABC News NY Nightline video of this on www. and Youtube). The sex industry has its abortion clinics killing off the babies of the local and foreign sex tourists, and aborting the unwanted pregnancies of some Filipino women. This too is tolerated as part of the permissive attitude that allows it all to happen with impunity. We need zero tolerance for sexual exploitation. This is the challenge that civil and church leaders cannot ignore.

Among the Pasig Diocese pilgrims to the WYD are Marie Anne Alipinin, 36, Patty Mae Perpeña, 22, and Jayson Ojeda, 31. According to Perpeña, it is the desire to experience a living faith together with millions of youth from all over the world that encouraged her to join. “I would really like to experience this gathering with youths of different nationality to experience a living faith. Through this event, I would be able to experience that despite our racial and cultural diversity, we become united in praising one God,” she said. Ojeda noted that this opportunity gives a chance for youth leaders to be refreshed in their ministry of bringing Christ closer to young individuals. They also noted that aside from nourishing their spiritual lives, the opportunity to personally meet the new Supreme Pontiff fueled their desire to participate in the WYD. Alipinin added that through this unique gathering, cultural
Listening / B6

diversity among the Catholic youth is effectively channeled toward the fulfillment of their common mission to become young missionaries in modern times. “The WYD is relevant in propagating Christian faith as it promotes unity amid diversity and transforms differences among individuals into something that enriches cultural ties among people,” she said. “Of course, we fear the differences that we possess, but through God we can overcome.” Echoing the relevance of the youth in participating in the mission of evangelization, Ojeda said that young individuals are tasked to continue the legacy left by others for future generations to witness and cherish. “The youth is the hope of the Churchandnation.Iftheyouthofthe present times would not enrich their faith,whowouldpassontheCatholic ideals and virtues that we currently have to future generations?” he said. (Jennifer M. Orillaza)

seismic activity and climate change including tropical cyclones forever. The way mining has been done in the country for the past 50 years, render the fact that the state at the moment, does not have the institutional capability to evaluate and regulate mining. This presents a quandary on what constitutes “responsible” mining and how will it be measured and applied to specific situations. Incoherent information and lack of meaningful participation, dependency of basic services on the future of the project, imbalanced power relationship between SMI and affected communities, insufficiency of established grievance mechanisms, accumulating grievances and triggers of violent conflict are predicaments that any good and responsible government will be hard put not to simply ignore. Its actual occurrence and manifestations right under the nose of a mining company that claims to be responsible speaks for itself the truth behind this venture that cannot be simply swept under the rug. While we may agree with the principle that the business of mining and human rights can be possible in any other context, notwithstanding the key recommendations of the HRIA, it defies sane reasoning on why should the Philippines permit such a mine
Responding / B6

and carry the known and unknown risks and costs forever. The trade-offs far outweigh the temporary economic benefits being dangled by the mining company and its promoters and brokers in the government. The HRIA on Tampakan only strengthens the resolve of the Tampakan Forum in pushing for the 10 point Human Rights Agenda in Mining which includes among others the calls to respect, protect and fulfill IP Rights, to self determination (FPIC), protect women human rights defenders and IP women in mining areas, protect our environment and right to safe sound and balance ecology, stop the killings of human rights defenders, stop displacement of rural folks, protect the rights to food, water, housing and access to means of subsistence, stop militarization and deployment of investment defense forces, justice for all victims of mining related HRVs and stop development aggression. Human Rights are fundamental to us as human beings. It is enshrined in international conventions and covenants. It is enshrined in our own constitution. It is embedded in our faith—Imago Dei—in the image and likeness of God. Human rights cannot be sacrificed in the name of ‘responsible mining’. Even as we call on and address the HRIA recommendations to the present administration

of President Benigno Aquino Jr., the UK and Swiss governments and the mining companies SMI, Glencore-Xstrata and Indophil, the Tampakan Forum renew our demand for the cancellation of the FTAA. The proposed Tampakan mine should not be allowed to proceed. Presented for Tampakan Forum by: Fr. Oliver Castor PMPI Advocacy Officer June 27, 2013 (Tampakan Forum is a technical working group on the Tampakan mining issue convened by the Philippine-Misereor Partnership Inc. (PMPI) in collaboration with Social Action Center (SAC) Marbel, AlyansaTigil Mina (ATM), Philippine Association for Intercultural Development (PAFID), Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center-Friends of Earth Philippines (LRC-KSK), Philippine Indigenous Peoples Links (PIPLINKS) and the London Working Group on Mining in the Philippines (WGMP-UK) and IUCN CESPSEAPRISE. CBCP-National Secretariat for Social Action Centers, LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights) and Task Force Detainees Philippines (TFDP), PhilRights.)
Samaritan / B6

Jesus himself is the host. (After all, Jesus did not come to be served [22:27]). And central to the story is not Martha offering a table of material food but Jesus offering a table of the word. While Martha offers food for daily sustenance, Jesus offers food for eternal life: the word of God. Small wonder, then, that Jesus said, “Mary has chosen the better portion and she shall not be deprived of it” (10:42). More basic than acting on the word is, as we noted, hearing it. Mary chose to listen to the word of God in Jesus. That Jesus praised her—this is meant to underline that action, like Martha’s or the Good Samaritan’s, should ultimately spring from listening to God’s word. This is the proper response to God’s offer in Jesus—one’s personal adherence to his person and words. If doing were enough—well, even Communists can take care of people in need; one need not be a Christian to do it. In fact, that is the rallying slogan of activists, revolutionaries and rebels: action for the poor! But that is the heresy of action. The story, then, is not intended to praise Mary at the expense of Martha, but to point out that in discipleship, our action should issue from God’s word and an embodiment of it. Here true discipleship begins. Lending support to this interpretation is the depiction of Mary as seating herself at the Lord’s feet. “To seat at a person’s feet” is actually a New Testament expression for being a disciple of that person. Luke, for example, describes Paul’s education as being seated at the feet of Gamaliel (Acts 22:3). For centuries, the story has been used to argue that contemplative life, which Mary supposedly represents, is better than active life, which Martha is said to symbolize, or that religious life is better than the life of the lay person who is involved in the world. That interpretation, however, is very much wide off the mark. The pericope is really

about discipleship, which brings true beatitude: “Blest are they who hear the word of God and keep it” (11:28). Hearing and doing the word of God cannot be separated, however. Martha is no less important than Mary, since one cannot exist without the other. Discipleship needs both of them. Which is why Luke gives us portraits of two temperaments; they may be different, but they need one another. Action, however, must result from listening. It is not enough to be like the Samaritan; of more primary is that one first listens to, and is guided by the word of God in Jesus. This point is even accented in the liturgy. Before we partake of the Eucharistic Food (Liturgy of the Eucharist), and before we are sent on mission (“go, the mass is ended,”), we are first served with the word of God (Liturgy of the Word). For how can our life proclaim the gospel if it has not been nourished first by the word? This recalls what John Paul II says in his apostolic letter, Novo millennio ineunte concerning the priority of listening to the word of God for the Church’s work in the new millennium: “It is above all the work of evangelization and catechesis which is drawing new life from attentiveness to the word of God. Dear brothers and sisters, this development [in devout listening to Sacred Scripture and attentive study of it] needs to be consolidated and deepened, also by making sure that every family has a Bible. It is especially necessary that listening to the word of God should become a life-giving encounter, in the ancient and ever valid tradition of lectio divina, which drawns from the biblical text the living word which questions, directs and shapes our lives. To nourish ourselves with the word in order to be ‘servants of the word’ in the work of evangelization: this is surely a priority for the Church at the dawn of the new millennium.”

of God. The parable of the Good Samaritan gives us an example of what it means to go beyond what the law says. Though he was regarded as a person who does not properly observe the law, and for that very reason was despised and ridiculed, yet his action on behalf of the man in need—dressing his wounds, hoisting him on a beast, bringing him to an inn and caring for him (Luke 10:34)—was a loving response to God’s word. He proved to be the neighbor of the man in need. Unlike the lawyer who wanted to know who, from the point of view of the Torah, was his neighbor, the Samaritan was not interested in the fine points—the minutiae—of the law; he was more interested in responding to God’s word in the man in need, which is the spirit of the law. He went beyond the narrow legal definition of neighbor. Luke is thus giving us the impression that the lawyer’s question “Who is my neighbor?” is entirely wrong. For a man who listens to the word of God, the

correct question should be, “To whom can I be a neighbor?”, for every man in need is a neighbor, and God’s word to him. As D. Bonhoeffer puts it, “neighborliness is not a quality in other people; it is simply their claim on ourselves. We have literally no time to sit down and ask ourselves whether so-and-so is our neighbor nor not. We must get into action and obey; we must behave like a neighbor to him.” Thus, this despised Samaritan is presented as a moral paradigm of one who lives the word of God and, hence, who is truly part of God’s people. In effect, contrary to the thinking of many Christians that following rules will ensure one’s place in God’s kingdom, achieving eternal life—which Christian religion is concerned with—is far from being all about laws. God’s word cannot be wholly identified with them. God’s word is rather about life, about people in need who are our neighbors because God’s word is uncomfortably

present in them. People in need—those who are wounded psychologically, who have no power to lean on, who are forgotten by the dominant society, or who are even our enemies—they are God’s word to us, inviting our response that does not issue from the pressure of law’s demand. We must therefore go beyond legalism. We must transcend the thinking of our laworiented institutions. If not, then we will feel comfortable even in face of uncomfortable situation, because we rest on the mantle of law. If not, we can always assure ourselves that we remain respectable and good people without doing anything concretely commendable simply because we do not transgress any law at all. That is why the word of God challenges us to look beyond the system we are confined to by seeing the word of God in other people, places and things. Like the person in need we encounter in the ordinary event of our lives.

non-conformist – in imitation of Jesus, the most non-conformist of all men – to choose to do what is right, even when the majority are bent on doing what is pleasant or convenient, or fashionable. But a wonderful reward awaits those who have such courage: Jesus Christ, the one present in all the victims and needy people, will say to them the warmest “Thank you!” one can ever receive. And he will explain: “Whenever you did this for one of my least brothers, you did it for me!” (Mt 25:40). Since Christ’s days, in fact, “neighbor” is the newest name of God.
Religion / B6

the lives of her Saints ever since her very beginnings. As Jesus had said, “the one who asks always receives; the one who searches always finds; the one who knocks will always have the door opened to him” (Mt. 7:8). If you are humble and sincere to yourself and persevere in your search, you will most certainly encounter the truth ‘that will set you free’ (Jn. 8:32).


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Moral Assessment

Technical Assessment

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 17 No. 14

July 8 - 21, 2013

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

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

Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) is a former United Nations employee who sacrifices to leave his family (wife and two daughters) to seek cure for the zombie pandemic. He joins the mission and travels to South Korea and Israel to stop the world’s destruction and save humanity. The search leads the mission team to the World Health Organization (WHO) research center where vaccines to serve as camouflage of humanity against zombie attacks can be found. The problem is, the zombies have also infested the center’s laboratories, compelling the WHO officials to lock up the entire premises for security reasons. But time is of the essence, and so, with the future of humanity in mind, Gerry takes a great risk no other person would. World War Z is an adaptation of a novel entitled World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brook. For a film medium it presents a good plot and excellent computere generated special effects. It is a spectacle movie that stirs the interest of young people who are very much into online zombie games. The direction

successfully combines drama in emotions and excitement in actions. The chase scenes may be a bit long but keep up to the thrills of this fiction film; there are also no usual gory zombie attacks that viewers with a queasy stomach may find offensive. Acting-wise, Pitt is at his best in this film. His presence is powerful and viewers can readily relate to him as the epitome of a responsible man who is oozing with love and concern for the family, the world, and humanity. Overall, the film is above average in all aspects of its technical work. One distinct trait in the character of Gerry Lane is his calmness in facing crisis situations when everybody else is scared to death. It is important to remain calm before we become victims of our own fear. World War Z showcases a heroic effort by a man to save humanity from a pandemic attack. Amidst the massive crisis when he is compelled to embark on a delicate mission in the hope of saving humanity and his family, God blesses him with the courage and strength to focus on the task

Title: World War Z LEAD CAST: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, James Badge Dale, Matthew Fox, DIRECTOR: Marc Forster SCREENWRITER:Matthew Michael Carnahan, Drew Goddard, DamonLindelof GENRE: Drama, Action & Adventure, Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy RUNNING TIME: 116 minutes DISTRIBUTOR: Paramount Pictures LOCATION: US, Malta, Budapest, Glasgow Technical Assessment: Moral Assessment:  MTRCB Rating: PG 13 CINEMA Rating: V14


at hand. There is grace in putting the benefit of the greater good before our personal concerns. Overall, the movie is rich in positive values manifested by the central character for viewers to reflect. However, in view of stressful scenes and the carnage resulting from the zombie attacks and military counter attacks, CINEMA believes the movie is not suitable for children.

Buhay San Miguel

Brothers Matias

May kani-kaniyang sikreto at problema ang magkakapatid na Salazar. Si Teddy (Toni Gonzaga) ay di kagalingan na guro sa Espanya na ngayo’y isa na lamang katulong at waitress. Hindi niya maamin sa kanyang pamilya ang totoo niyang trabaho dahil ayaw niyang mapahiya. Si Bobby (Bea Alonzo) ay nasa New York bilang matagumpay na Communications Manager na laging umiiwas na magpakasal sa kanyang nobyo. Galit pa rin siya sa kapatid na si Alex (Angel Locsin) dahil sa pagpatol nito sa kanyang dating kasintahang si

TITLE: Four sisters and a wedding Lead cast: Angel Locsin, Toni Gonzaga, Bea Alonzo, Shaina Magdayao, Coney Reyes, Enchong Dee Direction: Cathy Garcia Molina Screenplay: Jose Javier Reyes Location: Metro Manila Genre: Comedy Running time: 120 minutes Distributor: Star Cinema Technical Assessment:  Moral Assessment:  MTRCB rating: PG13 CINEMA rating: V14

Chad. Si Gabby (Shaina Magdayao), ang tanging kapatid na babaeng naiwan sa kanilang bahay kasama ng kanilang inang si Grace (Coney Reyes), tumatayong nanay-nanayan ng pamilya, at tila papunta sa pagiging matandang dalaga. Kakailanganin magsiuwi nina Teddy, Bobby at Alex nang magsumbong si Gabby na magpapakasal ang kanilang bunso at kaisa-isang kapatid na lalaking si CJ sa isang babaeng sa palagay nila ay hindi nababagay rito. Sabay sa pagharap sa pamilya ng kasintahan ni CJ sa pamamanhikan ay kakailangan din nilang harapin ang kani-kanilang isyu sa isa’t isa. At habang pinaplano nila kung papaanong paghihiwalayin ang magsing-irog ay kailangan nilang isipin kung papaano nilang mabubuo ang kanilang relasyon bilang magkakapatid. Maganda sana ang konsepto sa likod ng kwento ng 4 Sisters and A Wedding. Bago pero hindi imposible, kakaiba pero hindi malayong mangyari. Mahusay sina Reyes at Alonzo sa pagganap. Simple at makatotohanan ang kanilang interpretasyon sa karakter. Bagamat magaling ang pagbitiw ng linya nina Gonzaga, Locsin at Magdayao, ang kanilang pagganap ay medyo pilit at hindi nalalayo sa pagganap nila sa iba nilang mga naunang pelikula. Bagamat maganda ang ideya sa likod ng kwento hindi naman pinagbuhusan ng pansin ang pagbuo sa pagkatao ng bawat tauhan. Tama na yata ang magkaroon ng kaunting hugis ang personalidad at kaunting kulay kwento kahit mababaw at hilaw. Ang pinakamaipipintas sa Four Sisters and a Wedding (na lagi namang pintas sa pelikulang Pinoy) ay ang kalabisan ng mga eksena. Kapag iyakan, kailangang lahat ay magbuhos ng sama ng loob at ilitanya ang lahat ng isyu kahit paulit-ulit nang nabanggit sa simula pa lamang ng sine. (Alam na ng lahat ang kahihiyan ni Teddy sa trabaho at ang samaan ng loob nina Bobby at Alex, gayunpaman ay paulit-ulit itong binabanggit na para bang sinisigurong hindi malilimutan ito

ng manunuod.) Masyadong madrama ang atake sa komprontasyon at hindi na ito makatotohanan. Nasasayang tuloy ang pagkakataong makapag-iwan ng aral sa manunuod. Gayundin naman ang istilo sa pagpapatawa—bukod sa masyadong OA at malapit nang maging corny, namuhunan pa sa pambihirang apelyidong “Bayag”. Baka kung ginawang Santos o Cruz iyon sa halip na Bayag ay mawawala ang kalahati ng pagpapatawa. Kung tutuusin ay di hamak na mas epektibo ang pagsingit ng mga bloopers sa huli dahil simple lamang ito at natural. Ipinahiniwatig ng pelikula na ang bawat tao ay may sariling kakanyahan na dapat unawain at igalang. At sa loob ng isang ugnayan, tulad ng pamilya, ang mga pagkakaibang ito ay maaaring maging sanhi ng mga emosyonal na tunggalian at di pagkakasundo. Malakas ang mensahe ng pagtanggap at pagpapatawad sa kabila ng sakit at pagkukulang. Madalas mangyari sa magkakapatid ang inggitan, iringan at sumbatan pero sa huli, kailangang mangibabaw ang pagkakasundo, hindi lamang dahil magkadugo sila kundi dahil bilang mga tao sa loob ng isang mahigpit na ugnayan, ang paghihilom ay mangyayari lamang sa sandaling mangibabaw ang pagmamahal at pagpapatawaran. Sa kabila ng melodrama nagawang ipakita ng pelikula ang komprontasyon ng pamilya hindi bilang tunggalian ng pagkatao kundi pakikipagtunggali sa sarili. Kahanga-hanga rin ang pagsusumikap ng magkakapatid naitaguyod ang pamilya sa kabila ng mga hinihinging sakripisyo. Muli, binibigyang diin ang halaga ng pamilya para sa mga Pinoy. Binigyang diin din ang kakayahang umahon sa pagkakamali at magsimula muli—na siyang nagagawa kapag natutong magpatawad sa mga pagkukulang. Sa kabilang banda, may mga biro at sitwasyon na medyo maselan at di angkop sa mga bata kaya’t mas nararapat ito sa mga manunuod na nasa hustong gulang.


CBCP Monitor

Vol. 17 No. 14

July 8 - 21, 2013

A Supplement Publication of KCFAPI and the Order of the Knights of Columbus
His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, DD with Former Chief Justice and KCFAPI Chairman, Hilario G. Davide, Jr. during the blessing and inauguration of the Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ Memorial Building held last July 5, 2013 at the KCFAPI compound in Intramuros, Manila. (Photo by Roi Lagarde)

The Cross

Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ Memorial Building Inaugurated
Cardinal Tagle, Archbishop Palma lead the Eucharistic celebration
Executive Committee for the Cause of Fr. George J. Wilmann, SJ on the other hand, was likewise mandated by the KCFAPI Board of Trustees with the primary function of overseeing all the initiatives relative to or in connection with the Cause of Fr. Willmann. Hence, we have many sub committees working separately. We want the Brother Knights and the youth to fully understand the life and works of Fr. WiIlmann, to follow his principles, and to touch the lives of all especially the Knights of Columbus members”. Meanwhile, KCFAPI President Guillermo N. Hernandez shared some considerations in making the designs of the building. “First, we felt that it should be simple yet complete and significant just like Fr. WiIlmann as a person. Second, the building should be compliant with the Intramuros Administration; we also considered the utilization of space; the exterior design of the building, it has to be the same replicating the existing design of the main building as well as the canteen; and lastly the cost,” said Hernandez. primarily for the gallery of K of C and KCFAPI, and there will be space allotted for the conduct of various activities as well; and the fourth floor will be a multi-purpose area that can be used for special events including socials. Bro. Hernandez added that the Chapel is open to the public and the Memorial Building was constructed to be able to promote the beatification of the founder of the K of C in the Philippines, Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ by creating awareness and allowing the people to see for themselves the life and works of Fr. Willmann. According to KCFAPI Chairman Davide, “There were many inspiring reasons why we have to construct this building. First, Fr. Willmann was the founder of KCFAPI and he was the father of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines. Therefore, having dedicated himself for the ministry of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines, we have to put up a home for him –a home that could really be a testament of our love for, thanksgiving and gratitude to Fr. Willmann, a home which could be a house of memorials of this great man, a very holy priest who had demonstrated the highest degree of values so connected and related to the works of the Order”. He added that the construction of the building will serve the very purpose of uniting the three jurisdictions of the K of C in the Philippines. And that it will become the center of many affairs and activities.

The inauguration and blessing of the newly established Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ Memorial Building held last July 5 at the KCFAPI compound in Intramuros, Manila was attended by some well known personalities including the former Chief Columbian Squire, His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, DD and Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) President, His Excellency Most Rev. Jose S. Palma, DD.

Church, many who know for their sinfulness became saints because they trusted in the great mercy of the Lord. Cardinal Tagle, meanwhile, expressed his gratitude to the Brother Knights and urged them to produce more young ones like him, through the Columbian Squires. Tagle became the Chief Columbian Squire and scholar of the Father George J. Willmann Charities, Inc. Other Bishops and Priests in attendance who concelebrated the Mass were

The construction of the memorial building was an idea conceived by the Board of Trustees of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) upon the strong recommendation of Msgr. Pedro Quitorio III, CBCP Media Office Director and KCFAPI Spiritual Director”, according to KCFAPI Chairman Hilario G. Davide, Jr.

As an invitation, KCFAPI President Hernandez stated “I am encouraging all of you especially our fellow Brother Knights to personally visit the Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ Memorial Building. We owe it all to Fr. Willmann what we are as the Knights today and we owe it to him as we unite as one to promote his eventual beatification”.

Most Rev. Nereo P. Odchimar, DD, Most Rev. Fernando R. Capalla, DD, Most Rev. Honesto F. Ongtioco, DD, Most Rev. Romulo T. Dela Cruz, DD, Most Rev. Gilbert A. Garcera, DD, Msgr. Pedro C.. Quitorio III, Msgr. Joselito C. Asis, Fr. Jerome J. Cruz, Fr. Alex Bautista, Fr. Carlo Magno Marcelo, Fr. William Araña, Bishop Rodolfo F. Beltran, DD, Archbishop Angel N. Lagdameo, DD, Bishop Crispin Varquez, DD, Bishop Antonio Ranola, DD, Msgr. Gaspar Balerite, Msgr. Alberto Suatengco, Msgr. Gumaniel Tulabing, Fr. Benjamin

It was last June 11, 2011 when the KCFAPI Board of Trustees approved the construction of the Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ Memorial Building and Museum and the formation of the Building Committee. After the Board approved the construction of the building, management was commissioned to conceptualize the process of looking into how the building will look afterwards, whether it could really symbolically reflect as a home of Fr. Willmann.

“A Beacon of Love” turnover ceremony held
The formal turnover ceremony of the song offered to the founder of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines entitled ‘A Beacon of Love’ was held last July 5 during the inauguration and blessing of the newly establish Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ Memorial Building. The National Executive Committee for the Cause of Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ received the song (in a cd) from its composer - Rev. Fr. Carlo Magno Marcelo Santos, one of the country’s most renowned Catholic Church musicians. Fr. Magno cited that the listeners of ‘The Beacon of Love’ will experience the life and works of Fr. Willmann, a man with great charity, humility and prayer. Meanwhile, the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) Unit 26 sang ‘A Beacon of Rev. Fr. Carlo Magno Marcelo Santos receives a certificate of recognition from the National Love’ during the Eucha- Executive Committee for the Cause of Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ (Photo by Roi Lagarde)

“Every time they will go there and see everything in the memorial building, they will always remember Fr. Willmann or they will know who he was. In this way, the awareness of the faithful will increase and perhaps, this might comply with all the requirements of the “Fama Sanctitatis” in relation to our process for the Cause of Fr. Willmann,” Davide cited. Davide furthered that, “The National

The first floor of the building houses the Chapel complete with a Priest room, Sacristy and Confessional; the second floor is where the unique and modern designed museum for Fr. Willmann is located; the third floor will be used

On the other hand, CBCP President and Cebu Archbishop Jose S. Palma urged the faithful to pray and ask for the intercession of Fr. Willmann during his homily. “We know that all of us are sinners and yet the mercy of God is so great. He elects us, He calls us to be a member of His family. He called us the chosen people as members of His family,” said Archbishop Palma. He added that in the history of the

Deogracias M. Fajota, Fr. Ronel D. Ilano, Fr. Ryan Serafin P. Sasis, Fr. Ramelle J. Rigunay, Fr. Emmanuel Hipolito and Fr. Jaime S. Ucab, Jr.Meanwhile, dedicated individuals who facilitated the construction of the memorial building were honored by the KCFAPI and Certificates of Appreciation were given to the outgoing members of the Board of Trustees. (Yen Ocampo)

ristic Celebration organized by KC Philippines Foundation Inc. Executive Director, Roberto “Bobby” Cruz. The latter stated that they will be having a chorale competition intended to promulgate the virtues of Fr. WiIlmann. Fr. Magno was also the composer of the corporate theme song of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI)

entitled ‘Hands of Love’. Among the popular songs composed by Fr. Magno were "Awit Para Sa Ina Ng Santo Rosario" -- the official theme song of the 2003 Year of the Holy Rosary performed by inspirational diva Jamie Rivera; and "Only Selfless Love" which received a prestigious Platinum Award (2003) and Quintuple Platinum (1999) also performed by Jamie Rivera. (KC News)

New set of KCFAPI Board of Trustees and Corporate Officers CY 2013 - 2014
Chairman - Hilario G. Davide, Jr. Vice Chairman - Alonso L. Tan President - Arsenio Isidro G. Yap Secretary - Jose C. Reyes, Jr. Treasurer - Raoul A. Villanueva Trustees Rodrigo N. Sorongon Balbino C. Fauni Juan Abraham O. Abando (Independent Trustee/ Compliance Officer) Rogelio V. Garcia (Independent Trustee)

The Cross

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 14
July 8 - 21, 2013

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

Chairman’s Message
THE solemn blessing and inauguration of the Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ, Memorial Building last July 5, 2013 was historic. In good attendance were 11 archbishops and bishops that included Manila Archbishop, Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle and the President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Cebu Archbishop Jose S. Palma; and 15 members of the clergy that counted one diocesan administrator, the CBCP Secretary General and 3 more monsignori. Of the bishops who were present, 3 of them were the immediate past president of the CBCP, namely: Archbishop Fernando Capalla, Archbishop Angel Lagdameo and Bishop Nereo Odchimar. That must have been the first event of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines, in recent memory that was most attended by a good number of church dignitaries, not to mention the worthy officers of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines and honored guests. While this rather exceptional attendance is blessing enough, we rejoice more meaningfully in the significance of this momentous event. This marks a new chapter of our 16-year pursuit of the cause to elevate Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ, to the honors of the altar. Anytime soon, or better, in God’s providential time, we may be given the grace to initiate formally and canonically the said cause. I wish to take this opportunity to thank very sincerely the State Deputies, namely, SK Arsenio G. Yap of Luzon, SK Rodrigo N. Sorongon of Visayas and SK Balbino Fauni of Mindanao for their exemplary collaboration in this initiative. To the Board of Trustees and Officers of KCFAPI and its subsidiaries, likewise, go my most profound gratitude and appreciation. Vivat Iesus!

Hilario G. Davide, Jr.

Prayer for the Beatification of Father George J. Willmann, SJ
Blessed are You, Almighty Father, source of all goodness and wisdom. Look kindly upon us Your children, who are trying to serve You with all our heart. Deign to raise Fr. George J. Willmann to the honors of the altar. He was the prayerful, strong, dauntless model that all of our Filipino men need in this new era; a man leading other men in the care and formation of the youth; the relief of victims of war and violence; the alleviation of the suffering of the poor; the preservation of the sanctity of life, marriage and the family. Make him the lamp on the lampstand giving light to all in the house. Make him the city set on the mountain, which cannot be hidden, so that all of us may learn from his courage, his integrity, and his indomitable spirit in the struggle to lead men to God, and to bring God to men. Through his intercession, bestow on us the favour we ask You in faith and according to Your will (pause here and silently entrust to the Lord your petitions). Through Christ our Lord. Amen. Our Father... Hail Mary... Glory be...

Michael Cabra

My Brother's Keeper
Another Columbian Year (CY) has ended (CY 2012-2013) and a new one has just started (CY 2013-2014). Last years’ theme was ‘A New Pope: A New Hope’. Now it is ‘Shoot for the Stars’. This year’s theme stands for the Star Council Awards. These are the most prestigious awards that a council can achieve, namely; Father McGivney Award for membership growth, Founders’ Award for insurance membership growth and the Columbian Award for service programs. During these past few days, new Grand Knights (GKs) and District Deputies (DDs) were appointed and elected while others were extended for another year of service. All of them have a common goal that is to aim for at least one, if not all three, of the Star Council Awards. All three awards are important but I believe that the most significant is the Founders’ Award. Insurance membership growth is like the fulcrum for the other two awards.

CY 2013-2014 Stars
saving a peso a day for peace of mind. It lessens the worry and stress brought about by the loss of a loved one. Plan P40,000 and Plan P50,000 are also being offered. Regular permanent plans are available as well for higher insurance coverage. The higher the KC member protection coverage, the greater the peace of mind, and the stronger they show their love and concern for their family members. As we inch into CY 2013-14, toiling for the theme ‘Shoot for the Stars’, may we always be reminded of the primary objective of the Knights of Columbus, that is, ‘To render pecuniary aid to its members, their families and beneficiaries of members and their families’. Before we further increase the number of our members and continue conducting charitable works for our organization, let us all be mindful of the safety and protection of our existing members. Charity should always begin at home.

Guillermo N. Hernandez

President’s Message
2012 PRESIDENT’S REPORT 1st of 2 Parts The year 2012 was when the country reaped the benefits of a sound economic program and fostered a promising economic outlook for 2013. For Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI), it was another excellent year as it continued to surpass its goal with its cutting edge benefits and services to Knights of Columbus members and families. It is with great pride that I present to you the 2012 highlights of KCFAPI’s performance. PROVIDING FRATERNAL SERVICE • Extended coverage to a total of 63,990 Brother Knights and family members with regular plans and Council Mortuary Benefit Plan (CMBP) in 2012 which is 4.4% higher than 2011. • Total Protection Benefits amounted to P11.7 Billion, a 9.2% increase from P10.7 Billion in 2011. • First Year Contribution (FYC) of P138.3 Million, 8.9% higher than P127.0 Million recorded in 2011 and the highest ever attained by your Association in its 54 years of existence. • CMBP, KCFAPI’s missionary term plan, contributed P20.9 Million to total underwriting revenue as it surpassed the target of P18.7 Million by 12.0%. Eight hundred fourteen (814) councils or 44,180 members and family members were enrolled under this plan. • Total Living and Death Benefits released to Benefit Certificate Holders in 2012 amounted to P310.1 Million, 5.8% higher than P293.0 Million in 2011. This includes P79.76 Million and P123.5 Million worth of Death Benefits and Maturity claims, respectively. • Takes pride in being the only life insurance organization with unprecedented record in fast claim settlement service. • Registered P394.9 Million Renewal Year Contribution, a 9.8% increase from the previous year’s P359.8 Million. CONTINUED COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE • Continued to be ISO certified for the sixth (6th) straight year under the strict standards of Certification International (CI). • Installed the Digital-Analog-Digital (DAD) System phone device, which promises a better and cost-effective service through enhanced communications among KCFAPI offices. FINANCE AND INVESTMENT • A modest 7.7% growth in its total resources from P3.6 Billion in 2011 to P3.9 Billion in 2012 with investment yield of 7.19%. Maintaining its conservative stance, majority of the investments are in government securities and other fixed income securities. • Posted an excess of revenue over expenses amount ing to P70.4 Million, with unprecedented record of increasing annual participation in earnings of each member and family. A total of P35.0 Million will be released to eligible Benefit Certificate Holders in 2013 as their participation. • A measure of stability, KCFAPI recorded a Risk Based Capital (RBC) ratio of 203.2%, which is higher than the 150.0% required from the mutual benefit associations as prescribed by the Insurance Commission (IC). • Extended P8.2 Million as contribution to benevolent causes. The amount includes support to its Foundations, the Order of the Knights of Columbus and other religious organizations to carry out their missions. Second part of the 2012 President’s Report, to be continued on the next issue of The Cross Supplement.

Service programs on the other hand are dependent on the quality of members who are brought in by KC officers and other members. Statistics show that 6 out of 10 KC members who are enrolled in our Council Mortuary Benefit Program (CMBP) are the members who usually attend the council monthly meetings. More often than not, they are also the same members who are very active in the council service programs. If we can only inform more members about the great benefits of CMBP, and other KCFAPI products, we might increase the members’ attendance in our monthly council meetings as well as in the council service programs. CMBP is only a peso a day insurance protection program. For a minimum of P1/day or P365/year, a KC member or family member is already assured of P30,000.00 cash which can serve as a cleanup fund for their early demise. It is like

Luzon District Deputies' Mid-Year Meeting

District Deputies attend Luzon Jurisdiction's mid-year meeting.

Hundreds of participants together with the State Officers led by Luzon Deputy Arsenio Isidro G. Yap attended the 2013 Organizational Meeting of District Deputies of the Knights of Columbus Luzon Jurisdiction. The theme of the meeting which was held at the Manila Grand Opera Hotel, Manila was “Shoot for the Stars”. The meeting started with a prayer for the beatification of Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ led by State Treasurer Joseph P. Teodoro and was followed by State Secretary Joven B. Joaquin’s welcome remarks and introduction of the State Officers. Luzon Deputy Arsenio Isidro G. Yap gave his Jurisdiction’s report, while the KC Organizational Set-Up and Protocol was discussed by State Warden Pascual C. Carbero. Bro. Carbero also led the opening ode followed by the discussion of the Supreme Council Assessment/ State Deputy Assessment Procedure of Remittance by State Treasurer Joseph P. Teodoro. The auditor’s report and district deputies training seminar was rendered by State Auditor Raoul A. Villanueva, while the membership report was discussed by State Membership Director Ramoncito A. Ocampo. KCFAPI Vice President for Fraternal Benefits Group, Gari San Sebastian gave the KCFAPI

Report, while State Membership Recruitment Chairman Conrado S. Dator, Jr. showed the Grand Knight Training Video Presentation. State New Council Development Chairman Efren V. Mendoza led the forms and financial secretary seminar followed by State Program Director Bonifacio B. Martinez who explained the service programs. Bro. Deogenes V. Francia, Ceremonial Director, discussed the relevant matters concerning ceremonials such as the admission of candidate on the first degree, and responsibilities of the District Deputies on the second and third degree rites. The State Spiritual Formation Course Outline on the other hand was discussed by its Chairman Edwin B. Dawal. Jose F. Cuaresma, State Columbian Squires Chairman, presented a status report on the Columbian Squires and shared certain ways on what that the district deputies can do to support and strengthen the Knights’ youth organization. Legal matters on how to handle complaints, mediate and settle issues was discussed by Justice Jose C. Reyes, Jr., State Advocate. Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio III, Assistant State Chaplain celebrated a mass and led the oath taking of State Officers, District Deputies and Conferment of

Jewels. He also tackled issues about the freemasonry. Meanwhile, during the awarding ceremonies, Luzon Deputy Yap conferred the Squires of the Body of Christ, the highest award of the Knights of Columbus’ youth organization, to Columbian Squires Bruce Travis N. Miguel and Danilo C. Esguerra Jr. because of their exemplary leadership. He likewise announced the Most Outstanding District Deputies (MODD). Recognition were likewise given to the following councils: Council 5234, Ballesteros, Cagayan for being the only council awardee for the Century Club with 104 members, Our Lady of Pillar Council 14569, Morong, Bataan, recipient of the International Service Program for community activities for their “First and Second Responders of the KC Disaster Response, Relief and Rehabilitation Groups” and the Holy Family Parish Council 15221, Bakakeng for being the winner of the “Contest of Champions”. Supreme Director Alonso L. Tan encouraged the attendees to focus on their local K of C Councils and recruit young Catholic men. Meanwhile, Luzon Deputy Arsenio Isidro Yap expressed his gratitude to all District Deputies (DDs) in the jurisdiction for accepting their positions. “District Deputies titles are

very prestigious but very difficult positions. These positions will look for us with the guidance of the Holy Spirit; we do not need to seek for it. I’m pretty sure you are doing your very best together with our Lord,” said Yap. He acknowledged the presence of the Masters of the Fourth Degree who attended the event and announced that the Luzon Jurisdiction was among the Circle of Honor Awardees as of 10 June 2013. “I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of you, the rest of the team, the District Deputies who played a crucial role in making all of our achievements possible and, of course, to Msgr. Pepe Quitorio who's been with us for over 6 years now. His prayers and spiritual guidance over our undertakings had really put God's grace in whatever we do putting a deeper meaning to all of it,” Yap added. Yap also encouraged the District Deputies to witness a third degree exemplification rite to strengthen their faith and recruit more Columbian Squires for the future of the country like His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, DD who was a former Chief Squire. The meeting concluded with a closing prayer led by State Treasurer Joseph Teodoro and closing ode led by State Warden Pascual Carbero. (Yen Ocampo)

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 14
July 8 - 21, 2013

The Cross


The Knights’ founder recognized that evangelization and charitable witness begin in the parish and depend on the laity
By Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson
MICHAEL Joseph McGivney was born to Irish immigrants in 1852 in Waterbury, Conn. He was the eldest of 13 children, six of whom died in childhood. His father, Patrick, worked in one of the city’s brass mills, and at age 13, Michael left school to work in one of those mills like his father. After five years of study in Canada, Michael returned home to help his mother care for the family when his father died in 1873. Before long, he returned to his seminary studies, this time in Baltimore, and was ordained four years later. In 1882, within five years of his ordination, Father McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus. Eight years later, he died at age 38 while serving as pastor of St. Thomas Church in Thomaston, Conn., and Immaculate Conception Church in Terryville. We most likely think of Father McGivney as Pope Benedict XVI did in his 2008 homily in New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral—as that “exemplary American priest” whose legacy is so much a part of the “impressive growth” of the Catholic Church in America during the 19th century. But we also do well to recall that many of the struggles Father McGivney faced were similar to those we face today. The Catholic Church in Father McGivney’s time faced a serious priest shortage as a result of illness and premature death. During the 12 years of Father McGivney’s priestly ministry, 70 of the 83 priests of the Diocese of Hartford died, including both of the young pastors under whom he served. Although for different reasons, many parishes today have to consolidate due to the priest shortage in the United States and elsewhere. As a young pastor, Father McGivney had to oversee two parishes. He celebrated three Masses on Sunday mornings between those two parishes. He was, like most priests today, tremendously overworked. Nine months into his assignment at St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, he wrote, “I have been alone all Summer with the whole work of a parish on my shoulders. I have not had time for even one day’s vacation since I left [seminary].” And he would not have a vacation for the next four years. Like many parishes today, financial debt was a major burden. When Father McGivney arrived as a newly ordained priest at St. Mary’s, the parish faced a debt equivalent to about $3.5 million. The New York Timesderided St. Mary’s as not only an “eye-sore,” but also as a “complete failure as a business enterprise.” Much of Father McGivney’s efforts would be spent confronting this debt, and he would even “re-gift” to the parish the personal donations given to him at Christmas. And like today, immigrants were a strong presence in the United States. At St. Mary’s, those immigrants were mostly Irish. However, Father McGivney had entered seminary in Quebec in part because it would help him better serve the many French-Canadian Catholics living in Connecticut at the time. In fact, Father McGivney responded in a very personal way to the problems confronting his immigrant parish community, including homelessness, substance abuse, violence and family break-ups. This is demonstrated, for instance, by his prison ministry to Chip Smith and his probate court appearance on behalf of Alfred Downes. In his first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est, Pope Benedict wrote about the need to cultivate a “heart that sees” where love is needed. Such a charitable heart was at the center of Father McGivney’s ministry as

Father McGivney’s Vision

a parish priest and was the basis for his founding the Knights of Columbus. In a 1992 address, Pope John Paul II said, “Parishes must be centers of charity, open to the spiritual and material needs of the wider community. The time has come to commit the Church’s energies to a new

evangelization beginning in the parish, a mission whose fruitfulness depends in no small measure upon the laity.” More than a century earlier, Father McGivney appeared to have already understood this great truth. Then, as now, his vision is our mission. Vivat Jesus!

Atty. Neil Jerome A. Rapatan

Law in Layman’s Term

Who Cannot be designated as beneficiaries in a Life Insurance
guilty of adultery or concubinage at the time of donation; 2) persons found guilty of the same criminal offense, in consideration thereof; 3) public officer or his wife, descendants or ascendants by reason of his office. The reason behind the rule is the fact that a life insurance is no different from a civil donation. To illustrate, H, a married man, acquired an insurance policy on his life and designated X, a woman with whom H is having an illicit relationship. If H dies, is X entitled to the proceeds of the insurance of H? The answer is no. X is not entitled to receive the insurance proceeds because her designation as beneficiary is void since H and X are guilty of concubinage at the time it was made. A previous conviction for adultery or concubinage it is not required for Article 739 to apply. The guilt of the donor and donee may be proved by preponderance of evidence. (The Insular Life Assurance, Co., Ltd. Vs. Ebrado, 80 SCRA 181) In this case, the legal heirs of H will be entitled to the insurance proceeds. What happens if the insured did not designate any person as beneficiary or the designated beneficiary dies ahead of the insured? In the absence of any beneficiary named in the life insurance policy or where the designated beneficiary is disqualified, the proceeds of the insurance will go to the estate of the deceased insured. (Vda. De Consuegra vs. GSIS, 37 SCRA 315). The same time happens if the beneficiary dies ahead of the insured. In layman’s term, if no beneficiary was designated in a life insurance policy, or if said designation is improper or invalid under the law, or if the beneficiary dies before the insured, the insurance proceeds will be part of the estate of the insured, to be inherited by his legal heirs.

There are three persons involved in a life insurance contract: the insurer, the insured (also known as assured) and the beneficiary. The insurer is the person obliged to pay the proceeds upon the death of the assured, or in endowment policies, at the maturity of the said insurance policy. The beneficiary, on the other hand, is the person designated by the policy owner to receive the proceeds of the insurance in the event of the death of the assured. Under the law, when a person insures his own life, he may designate any person as the beneficiary, except those persons specifically prohibited by law. In this connection, the Civil Code provides, “Any person who is forbidden from receiving any donation under Article 739 cannot be named beneficiary of a life insurance policy by the person who cannot make any donation to him, according to said article.” (Article 2012, Civil Code). The persons referred to in Article 739 of the Civil Code are: 1) persons who were

The K of C Council 8226 headed by Grand Knight Honorato Panahon together with the local Parish Pastoral Council conducted recently a Dental Mission for the faithful of the Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parish. The Philippine Dental Association Nueva Ecija Chapter headed by Pres. Alfred Justo and Philippine Army 7ID Dental Team rendered their meaningful services. Also present was the Chairman of the Round Table of District Deputies of Nueva Ecija and Aurora, Gil Dindo Berino. (Luzon News)

FBG Holds Fraternal Service Training Program
The Fraternal Benefits Group (FBG) of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) recently held a two-day Fraternal Service Training (FST) program at the 3rd Floor Social Hall, Fr. George J. Willmann Memorial Building inside the KCFAPI compound in Intramuros, Manila. There were a total of 16 participants from Bicol, Bulacan, Manila, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija and Ilocos. The program aims to give knowledge about the Order of the Knights of Columbus and products being offered by KCFAPI and its advantages to the members and their immediate families. Aside from the product specifications, the FST gives the participants basic ideas on insurance processes and conceptualization of new marketing strategies in order to help them achieve their goals and improve their sales performance. Speakers were KCFAPI Vice President for Fraternal Benefits Group Gari M. San Sebastian, Fraternal Benefits Service Department Manager Michael P. Cabra, Underwriting Department Manager Carmelita S. Ruiz, Benefit Certificate Holders’ Relations Office Manager Edwin B. Dawal, and KCFAPI Medical Consultant Dr. Jaime Talag. For more information regarding KCFAPI products, please contact the KCFAPIFBG department at telephone number (02) 527-2243. (FBG News)

K of C News Briefs
The Visayas State Jurisdiction is preparing for their District Deputies' Organizational Meeting. State Deputy Rodrigo N. Sorongon wanted a more aggressive group of leaders who share the same vision with the State Jurisdiction. He made a drastic move of replacing all non-performing District Deputies to give room to new leaders that will help them achieve the goals set by the Supreme Council. The Organizational Meeting will be held in three venues. DDs from Western Visayas conducted their meeting last July 6-7 at Punta Villa Resort, Arevalo, Iloilo. This will be followed by Eastern Visayas on July 13-14 and lastly by Central Visayas on July 20-21. Luzon Deputy Arsenio Isidro Yap announced that as of June 10, the Jurisdiction is included among the Circle of Honor Awardees of Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson for the Columbian Year 2012-2013. The Knights of Columbus Sta. Teresita Council 12308 won the KC Luzon Service Program contest for C.Y. 2012-2013. The said council won the top 3 positions in four categories as follows: 1st Place Culture of Life, 2nd Place Youth, 2nd Place Council and 3rd Community Service. The K of C La Immaculada Concepcion Council 8451 of Dasmariñas City, Cavite conducted a Joint Officers and Directors meeting for C.Y. 2013-2014 last June.

A Fraternal Service Training Program was conducted recently by the KCFAPI Fraternal Benefits Group in La Trinidad, Benguet. FBSD Manager Michael ‘Migz’ Cabra (seated, leftmost) facilitated the training assisted by his Staff Jerome De Guzman. (FBG News)

Luzon Launches ‘Back to Basic’ Booklet 5th Edition
The Knights of Columbus Luzon Jurisdiction has launched its 5th edition of “Back to Basic: A Short and Easy Way to Christ” booklet last June 26. According to Luzon Spiritual Formation Chairman Luis A. Adriano, Jr., the booklet was deemed necessary to serve as a guide in conducting the six topics mandated by Supreme Knight Virgil C. Dechant to be conducted in all the K of C councils since 1990. “The Spiritual Formation Program was started by the Luzon Jurisdiction in the year 1992, while the first publication of this book was released since 1990s,” Adriano said. In 1992, the Luzon Jurisdiction was able to nurture a State formation team with current Luzon State Officer Joven B. Joaquin as the team leader back then. “This booklet served as the main guide and reference of all spiritual formators. This is also an advance reference material for all Brother Knights,” Adriano added. He remarked that the reprint of the 5th edition of “Back to Basic: A Short and Easy Way to Christ” is necessary because certain facts were updated, corrected some typographical errors and a few rearrangements were made in the book. Printing of the said books was paid for by the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI). “As the author, I am hoping that this booklet will be given to all new members during their admission to the Fraternal Order thus, a voluminous quantity is necessary to fulfill this task,” Adriano said.

CBCP Media Office Director and KCFAPI Spiritual Director Msgr. Pedro Quitorio III together with Luzon Spiritual Formation Chairman, Luis A. Adriano, Jr.

Succeeding Bro. Adriano as Luzon Spiritual Formation Chairman for the new

Columbian Year is Bro. Edwin Dawal of KCFAPI. (KC News)

Alan Holdren / CNA


The Cross

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 17 No. 14

July 8 - 21, 2013

Members of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines join hand in hand in celebrating the 115th Independence Day last June 12.

Officials and members of the Order and its insurance arm, the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) joined the country’s 115th Independence Day celebration with the theme “Kalayaan 2013: Ambagan Tungo sa Malawakang Kaunlaran” held last June 12 at the Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite. Bro. Hernandez was the guest of honor and led the wreath laying ceremonies at the Aguinaldo Shrine. Senator Franklin M. Drilon and Mayor Reynaldo B. Aguinaldo of Kawit, Cavite led the public officials in celebrating Philippine Independence Day. BELOW IS THE PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE ABOUT THE INDEPENDENCE DAY (reprinted as corrected) Independence or Freedom Day reminds us how tough and united we Filipinos are in the face of adversities caused by foreign agression. Thanks to our mighty forebears: Lapulapu, Andres Bonifacio, Apolinario Mabini, Emilio Aguinaldo and our national hero, Jose Rizal, to name a few. They have certainly personified for us the value of resiliency against all odds and that no matter how outnumbered or overpowered we are, Filipinos just do not give up and would eventually prevail and be free. Times have changed though and today it is no longer enough for a country to be a free and sovereign state to ensure the freedom of its citizens. Just as important as well is its economic state or well being where ideally citizens could be free from hunger and poverty, free from corrupt practices in government and business, free from the clutches of criminal elements, free from

KCFAPI, K of C join 115th Independence Day Celebration in Kawit, Cavite

Delegates of the Order of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines during the parade held in the morning of June 12, 2013 at Kawit, Cavite.

the wrath of nature brought about by rampant abuses against the environment, free from forcing themselves to work as OFWs to feed their families, free from drugs, white slavery and child labor, among others. Sadly for us Filipinos, we are far from being free from this modern day menaces as they are very much present in our daily lives..incessantly lynching us day after day until we all lose our integrity, dignity and identity as a people. While there have been significant moves from our government to address some of these issues, the high poverty level which is the very root cause of it all has remained practically unchanged at 27%.

Realistically, the government cannot do this alone and the citizenry will have to do its share. A big challenge indeed to the Filipinos’ unity and patriotism but certainly doable as had been exhibited by other nationalities in times of exigency or depression. The

Japanese for instance showed the world how patriotic they are in rebuilding their country after its devastation by the atomic bomb in World War II. The same thing is true with the Thais when they donated their own personal gold/jewelries to the government coffers during

the 1997 asian crisis. It is my fervent hope and prayer therefore that we Brother Knights take the lead for the citizenry starting this June 12 in the fight for freedom from poverty and the social ills it brings. Firstly, we should accept the fact that if others can be united and patriotic, why can’t we, given the kind of resiliency our forebears have shown us. Secondly, as the family is the basic unit of society and serves as the foundation of core values for a child, we should start with our own respective families. Thirdly, we do not have to look far, as what we need to teach our respective families is something we all know very well…the four Cardinal Principles of the Order, namely Charity, Unity, Frater-

nity and Patriotism. Lastly, we should give special focus on Charity. Not only do the other principles revolve around it but Charity signifies what Filipinos badly need today, and that is ‘consideration for others’. We should simplify matters by imparting Charity thru proven practical ways for the families to carry out in their daily lives. Some of it I am sure you have already experienced but could have lost track of it now. A trip back to memory lane would help us recall some of it. These are basic lessons at home that our parents and grandparents painstakingly taught us, like sharing with our siblings the food on the table, taking good care of our clothes, and also our books by not writing on them, putting our trash on the garbage can, and making sure to urinate or spit out only in properly designated places. These of course are intended not just for our good but more importantly for the good of others. Sa tagalog po, ‘may konsiderasyon sa iba’…unfortunately a trait quite rare among our young Pinoys now. Yes Brother Knights, we can do it and we have what it takes to foster Charity as the unifying factor for Filipinos, given the Christian values that each and every Knight would foster to his family as Our Contribution. And as we “ K eep C hristian Family Above Personal Interest” (KCFAPI), we also “Keep Charity For All Philippine Islands” (KCFAPI). This should sit well with our Lord Jesus Christ for in the end when we face up with Him, we can say: Lord, we did “Keep Christian Faith Above Personal Interest” (KCFAPI). God Bless you all! VIVAT JESUS!

Green Team won the 2013 Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) Bowling Championship held last June 11 at the Paeng's Midtown Bowl, Robinsons Place, Manila. The Violet Team ranked second place, Orange team copped 3rd place, Red Team placed 4th place followed byYellow Team and Blue Team. The friendly bowling competition was organized by the KCFAPI 2012 Sports Activity Committee composed of Edwin Dawal as Chairman and its members: Jocelyn Panadero, Ma. Zyandel Asuncion, Joan Apad, Rick Jayson Mariano, Clarice Vera Villanueva, Ethel Bernardino, Ricky Mangona, Jonnalyn Fil Yanos, and Maria Loreto Gregorio. (KCFAPI News)

Photo taken during the 48th Founding Anniversary of K of C Our Lady of Remedies Council 5681 in Malate, Manila. The council was led by Grand Knight Ricardo G. Peña (seated, 3rd from right) with guests, Past Grand Knight Donald E. Wantz (seated center), Murrieta Mission Co. 11393, California, USA and KCFAPI Area Manager Reynaldo D. Valencia (seated, 2nd from right). (KC News)