January 20 - February 2, 2014

Vol. 18 No. 2

Php 20.00

New technology is all the hype, and in the seminar-workshop “Media Management and Social Media,” Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, (left) CBCP president, and around 60 other bishops packed the Pius XII Catholic Center Plenary hall as they further enhance their appreciation of the new media and its value in evangelization, January 22, 2014. The media workshop was conducted by Sean-Patrick Lovett, director of Vatican Radio and facilitated by the members of the Pauline family.

Tagle urges Filipino faithful to establish ‘culture of integrity’
By Jennifer Orillaza
In his talk for the Katolikong Pinoy Series with the theme “The Light of Faith in the Heart of the Laity,” Tagle said the culture of corruption emanating in the Philippine society could only be remedied through championing the virtue of integrity in the words and deeds of every Filipino.

Cardinal Quevedo to focus on dialogue, peace in Mindanao

MANILA Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle called on the lay faithful to usher a cultural transformation that will strengthen the value of integrity from the country’s bureaucratic institutions up to every Filipino household.

“The Filipino culture at present is really needing transformation in the area of integrity. Even the business people are now looking for ways on how we can develop a culture of integrity to replace the culture of corruption that has entered our society,” Tagle said in Filipino during his talk held at the Layforce Chapel of the San Carlos Seminary. Tagle noted bribery as among the forms of corruption normally practiced in bureaucratic institutions that has to be remedied. “Bribery is no longer perceived as a wrong doing. The fact that it is being perceived as a ‘standard operating procedure’ is very saddening for when it becomes a widespread practice, it gradually becomes part of our culture,” he said. “What is even worse is that you will

Concrete actions Tagle proposed ways on how to achieve the culture of integrity within the Filipino lifestyle, urging families— especially parents—to become good examples by being true in their words and deeds. “Imbibe in our culture the value of doing what you say. Start it in your families, within the home, and within the school. People who are good example to others can change culture. Consistency of words and deeds is one area of integrity (that we should observe),” he said. Condemning dishonesty as the “beginning of the culture of corruption,”

Cardinal-elect Orlando Quevedo

Integrity / A6

THE country’s new cardinal said he will continue to give focus on promoting interreligious dialogue and peace in Southern Philippines. Cardinal-elect Orlando Quevedo, the archbishop of Cotabato, is distinguished by his involvement in peace building in Mindanao, a land plagued by decades-long insurgency that killed tens of thousands. “I prayed that I can contribute to the
Dialogue / A6

Court asked to stop Bishops discover social confab session on abortion media, post messages
A PRO-LIFE group has asked the court to block topics and discussion on “access to abortion” in an international conference on supposed reproductive health in Manila. In their complaint filed before the Pasay City Regional Trial Court on Jan. 20, the Pro-Life Philippines said that abortion is a crime
Abortion / A6

Meralco power hike ‘antiFilipino’, says bishop
MANILA Auxiliary Bishop Broderick S. Pabillo condemned as “unjust” and “anti-Filipino” the Manila Electric Company’s (Meralco) recent power hike in a country marred by poverty and unemployment. This is in spite of the temporary restraining order (TRO) released by the Supreme Court (SC) last December on the staggered P4.15 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) rate increase which the power giant tried to enforce. Pabillo, who also chairs the Catholic Bishops’ Conference (CBCP) Permanent Committee on Public Affairs, added that Filipinos, especially the underprivileged, will suffer from the said increase. “If even the middle class finds such an increase oppressive, how much more so our society’s less fortunate? It will only make the poor poorer,” Pabillo said in the vernacular during a phone interview with CBCPNews. An IBON Founda-

on Facebook
IN what seems to be the biggest thrill in their life, the Philippine bishops in a workshop navigated the realm of social media, with many posting their first messages on Facebook. For some there was a bit of apprehension of not knowing yet what to do at first, only ending up delighted in realizing that it wasn’t that difficult after all. “The biggest thrill of doing this is to see the transformation inside and not outside,” said Vatican Radio director Sean Lovett. He said he is excited to witness the transformation of the bishops in learning the new media, of seeing their eyes literally light up in excitement in discovering that opening a facebook account and posting photos and messages is much easier than they thought.

Lovett, together with Fr. Jerry Martinson, SJ is conducting a seminar-workshop on Media management and social media for the bishops leading to the CBCP plenary assembly on Jan. 25 to 27. Exercise of communion Lingayen Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, CBP president, noted that the seminar workshop was an exercise of communion. “The bishops humbly allowed themselves to be taught by younger people, by religious who might not be as well trained as they [bishops] are in theology but they are willing to learn from others. I think this should be celebrated as a step towards communion in the Church,” he said.

Atty. Jo Imbong (right) files a complaint before the Pasay City RTC against the 7th Asia Conference on Reproductive Sexual Health and Rights in Manila particularly on topics, which expressly advocate access to abortion.

Yolanda recovery may take 3 to 5 years – CRS
THE recovery of areas ravaged by typhoon Yolanda in Samar and Leyte may take three to five years, an international aid agency said. As affected communities are “returning to normal”, the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) said its relief effort has shifted from emergency assistance to “long-term International Relief organizations, including recovery and stability church-based Catholic Relief Services are committed to help the typhoon survivors programs”. The agency committed get back on their feet by building shelters and providing livelihood programs for them. to assist 100,000 families or 500,000 people with “We will focus on Leyte and shelter, living supplies, water, Samar islands, primarily in sanitation, and livelihood. Recovery / A7

Roy Lagarde

Social Media / A6

Meralco / A6

Give kids more affirming words, fewer gadgets – priest
APPARENTLY what kids really need – more than an iPad – are words of affirmation, a priest said. “Let’s learn from what God the Father did to Jesus. He affirmed His son and many of your children simply need affirmation. Let’s not resort to [giving] iPads or gadgets,” said Fr. Renato de Guzman, SDB during a homily on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord that
Kids / A6

Roy Lagarde

Illustration by Brothers Matias


even be criticized when you attempt to correct these misdeeds. This Year of the Laity, we are being asked to enter and transform culture,” he added.

he urged the faithful to be truthful and honest in their everyday living. “Be truthful, be honest…Whenever you commit a mistake, admit it…The culture of dishonesty must be replaced by honesty,” he said. Tagle also urged the laity to get rid of bias and prejudice, assessing oneself in accordance to competence and diligence instead of connections. “In doing our tasks, let us be competent and diligent…Our culture has never been really about qualification but connection…Instead of relying on connections, let us do things with competence,” he said. He added that the faithful must think critically, asking questions that test one’s conscience instead of passively accepting things as they are. “Ask good questions of conscience…

Roy Lagarde

WASHINGTON D.C., Jan. 17, 2014—The U.S. bishops have encouraged Congress to work to end the violence in Syria, and to help address the major humanitarian crisis facing the conflict’s more than 2 million refugees. “The Syrian refugee crisis deserves the full attention and mobilization of the international community,” Bishop Eusebio Elizondo Almaguer, Auxiliary Bishop of Seattle, told a Senate subcommittee on human rights Jan. 7. “With the brutal conflict and ever-growing forced migration, there is a serious lack of shelter, food, water, sanitation, education, health care and protection inside Syria and in neighboring countries that host Syrian refugees,” said Bishop Elizondo, who chairs the U.S. bishops’ committee on migration. The Syrian civil war, now in its 32nd month, has claimed the lives of more than 115,000. There are 6.5 million internally displaced Syrians, and another 2.3 million have become refugees, most of them in Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey. The humanitarian crisis is “among the worst refugee crises on record,” the bishop said. Many parents have died or have been separated from their children. Refugee girls face dangers such as sexual violence and forced marriage, while boys face recruitment back into the civil war. Facing this, the bishops are asking that Congress work for a ceasefire in the conflict; this comes as Secretary of State John Kerry is urging a rebel group, the Syrian National Coalition, to attend the Geneva II peace talks, aimed at setting up a transitional government.

World News
Bishop Elizondo also suggested that legislators assist countries neighboring Syria to accept and accommodate refugees; increase caps on resettlement in the U.S.; and remove “unjust impediments to U.S. resettlement” in immigration law. He cited Catholic social teaching in support for these positions, noting that “every person is created in God’s image” and Pope Francis’ statement that “where there is suffering, Christ is present. We cannot turn our back on situations of great suffering.” In August, the U.S. agreed to accept 2,000 refugees for resettlement; according to the International Rescue Committee, fewer than 100 have been resettled so far. Bishop Elizondo called on the senators to “meaningfully increase U.S. resettlement” to at least 15,000. “The U.S. Catholic bishops and our affiliated agencies stand ready to assist you in this effort,” Bishop Elizondo said. He also noted that immigration law includes anti-terrorism provisions that are “overly broad” and bar applicants who have in any way supported Syrian rebel groups, even those who are moderates rather than Islamists, urging that Congress allow for case-by-case exemptions to these provisions. The bishop also pointed out that Syrian minority groups, including Christians, are facing particular difficulties. “These are among the most ancient and venerable Christian communities in the world that have a history of peaceful coexistence with their Muslim neighbors. They long to remain in Syria.” The Syrian conflict began

CBCP Monitor
January 20 - February 2, 2014

Vol. 18 No. 2

Bishops ask Congress to support, resettle Syrian refugees

Syrian refugees.

when demonstrations sprang up nationwide on March 15, 2011 protesting the rule of Bashar al-Assad, Syria’s president and leader the country’s Ba’ath Party. In April of that year, the Syrian army began to deploy to put

down the uprisings, firing on protesters. The war is now being fought among the Syrian regime and a number of rebel groups, including moderates, Islamists, and Kurds. (CNA)

Rankings show pro-life ‘momentum’ in US state laws
WASHINGTON D.C., Jan. 19, 2014— Organizers of a recent report monitoring pro-life laws in states throughout the country said that the data shows a trend towards the legal protection of women and their unborn children. “Real pro-life momentum is reshaping the country as legislators craft protections for both mother and child, the victims of an avaricious abortion industry,” Charmaine Yoest, president and CEO of Americans United For Life, said Jan. 14. “Common-sense pro-life legislation saves lives and has broad public support in light of what we’re learning about the health risks of abortion for women.” Americans United for Life, which works to develop and promote model pro-life legislation for states, recently released its 2014 “Life List,” which ranks various states by the degree to which their laws protect women and unborn children from abortion. Yoest said the report tracks progress toward “achieving a nation in which everyone is welcomed in life and protected in law.” Louisiana ranked as the most pro-life state, continuing its five-year stretch of leading the annual list. Americans United for Life described the state as having a “decades-long history” of “common-sense limitations on abortion.” The state has comprehensive freedom of conscience protections in healthcare and is among the few states with “meaningful regulations” on destructive embryo research. The 2014 list also includes Oklahoma, Arkansas, Arizona and Pennsylvania in its top five. The least pro-life state is Washington state, followed by California, Vermont, New York and Connecticut. The most improved states include Texas, Illinois, North Carolina and Kansas. The report cited Texas’ special session in July 2013 that prohibited late-term abortions and “telemed” abortions while also mandating higher patient care standards at abortion clinics. Legal action in Illinois during the past year invalidated a Denver March for Life on the steps of the Colorado State 2005 executive order Capitol, Jan. 20, 2013. requiring pharmacists and pharmacies to done “the best in enacting protections dispense “emergency contraception,” for both mothers and unborn children, which can cause early abortions if the victims of abortion industry horconception has already occurred. The rors,” the organization said. state’s parental notice requirement for Among the legislative efforts impleabortion also took effect in the past year mented by these states are measures after decades of legal disputes. aimed at protecting women’s right to North Carolina has barred sex-selec- information and consent, increasing tive abortions and has applied higher patient health standards at abortion standards to abortion facilities. It has clinics and requiring all cases of suslimited abortion funding through health pected statutory rape or sexual abuse insurance exchanges and has enacted to be reported. rules about the provision of abortionPointing to documented abuses ocinducing drugs. curring within abortion clinics, Yoest Kansas has placed new limits on late- praised efforts to protect and promote term abortions while limiting state fund- women’s health. She explained that the ing for abortions. The state has barred “life-saving” legislation in these states sex-selection abortions and enhanced its protects women and children from “an informed consent requirements. abortion industry more committed to Americans United for Life also listed its financial bottom line than protecting the “all-stars” of its Women Protection women from a dangerous procedure Project. The states of Texas, Missouri, that is too often performed in substanAlabama, Arizona and Arkansas have dard facilities.” (CNA)

Vatican Briefing
Vatican commission completes Medjugorje investigation

Peter Zelasko/CNA

The Holy See has announced that the commission charged with investigating the alleged Marian apparitions in Medjugorje has completed its task, and will be submitting its findings to the Vatican's doctrine office. Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi confirmed Jan. 18 that the international commission investigating the supposed apparitions had held its final meeting the prior day, and will submit its final report to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Presided over by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, emeritus vicar general of the Diocese of Rome, the commission was created by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2010, and was composed of an international panel of bishops, cardinals, theologians, and various experts who have undertaken a detailed study of the reports of the reported Marian apparitions. (CNA)
Pope calls media workers to serve the common good

In meeting with the employees of Italy’s national broadcaster, Pope Francis stressed the importance of responsible communications rooted in truth, noting its role in forming persons. “The ethical quality of communications is the result, ultimately, of a careful conscience, not superficial, always respectful of people, both those who are the objects of information and those who are the recipients of the message,” he said at a Jan. 18 audience with the directors and staff of RAI. “Each one, in his own role and with his own responsibility, is called to be vigilant in maintaining a high level of ethics in communications, and to avoid those things which create so much damage: disinformation, defamation, and slander. Maintain the level of ethics.” Pope Francis met with the broadcasting organization on the occasion of its 90th anniversary for radio, and 60th for television. (CNA)
New members of the Vatican bank cardinals' commission named

Haiti encounters hope, challenges four years after devastation
PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, Jan. 16, 2014—Four years after a desolating earthquake affected millions in Haiti, Catholic Relief Services continues to help the nation move from recovery to addressing social concerns that pre-dated the catastrophe. “You can’t help but have great love for Haitians,” Darren Hercyk, Catholic Relief Services’ Country Representative for Haiti based in Portau-Prince, told CNA Jan. 15. In Haiti, he said, there are “stories of great courage and hope; at the same time you hear stories of great challenges.” On Jan. 12, 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti near its capital city of Portau-Prince, leaving 230,000 people dead and over 1.5 million people without shelter. Prior to the earthquake, Catholic Relief Services had already been present and working in Haiti “for a long time,” with a great number of resources and local connection and over 300 employees in the country. After the earthquake, Hercyk explained, “we mobilized all of those resources for lifesaving.” In the disaster’s aftermath, Catholic Relief Services was able to provide food and water to more than 1 million people and emergency shelter to more than 100,000 individuals. The organization also ensured that 71,000 patients received medical treatment, including over 1,000 surgeries. Since the initial stages of relief work, CRS has been active in assisting in the country’s recovery. The organization has helped find homes for the over 1 million persons displaced by the earthquake, including for all of the people located in four camps that the group ran and leading the project. Farmers too have received help from Catholic Relief Services, with the organization helping to link farmers to one another, the market, the government and private capital. Catholic Relief Services is also helping in Port-auPrince to transition “populations there from temporary housing to permanent housing.” The goal, Hercyk said, is not to give away housing but to be “working with existing institutions to create access to housing for the poor” by working not only with the government and construction workers but with banks and local institutions as well. “We want to create a model that can be replicated” in other areas in Haiti, he explained. All of these projects have been advanced by working with the Haitian dioceses and bishops’ conference, which is headed by Cardinal-elect Chibly Langlois. Still, even with the widespread network and institutional support CRS has in the country, enacting such broad social change has not been easy—or quick. “It takes time to set up,” Hercyk said, noting that while recovery and establishing organizations can be quick, creating change is a slow process. “Real change and progress happen when you work through the institutions” that already exist, he continued, saying that the key is placing “Haitians in those leadership positions.” And, leading the institutional transformation, Catholic Relief Services is helping Haiti to make changes not only “with institutions but through them.” (CNA)

The Commission of Cardinals overseeing the Institute for the Works of Religion, or “Vatican bank”, were named Jan. 15; of the five existing members, only one was confirmed in his post. The five current members are Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, Archbishop of Vienna; Cardinal Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto; Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue; Cardinal Santos Abril y Castello, Archpriest of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major; and Archbishop Pietro Parolin, secretary of state. Cardinal Tauran is the only member of the old commission to have been confirmed in his post. Pope Francis' decision to appoint the new commission marks a new era for the Vatican bank. (CNA)
Engaged couples to meet with Pope on Valentine's Day

USAF-Lt. Col. James Bishop

The Pontifical Council for the Family is promoting a special encounter between Pope Francis and couples who have been engaged, which will take place on the upcoming feast of Saint Valentine. Invited to the meeting with the Pope are those couples “who have already attended, or are currently going through their marriage preparation courses,” the council's webpage states. Couples who meet these qualifications will gather in the Vatican's Paul VI hall on Feb. 14 at 11 a.m. to receive the personal greetings and message of the Pope. Although this will be the first meeting of its kind with Pope Francis, it is not first time this type of encounter has been held. On Sept. 11, 2011, former pontiff Benedict XVI met with young couples in Ancona, Italy in honor of the Eucharistic Congress at the time, and Monsignor Vincenzo Paglia of the diocese of Terni has also promoted similar activities each year on the holiday. (CNA)
Pope encourages ecumenism in response to secularism

A young boy in the marketplace in Pestel, Haiti. Nearly three years after the lethal earthquake, Haiti shows signs of recovery.

closed. In addition, the relief organization helped establish and repair thousands of sanitation facilities, water catchment units, showers, water tanks, sewage drainage, and other sanitation projects. Traveling from the airport to a majority of places, “you would see very little signs of the earthquake,” Hercyk said. “There has been great progress.” “Now we’re really working on the systemic issues that predated the earthquake,” he added, speaking of the organization’s continuing work int the country. Previously, “people have steered away from working with institutions because it takes time” leaving a social infrastructure that cannot adequately address people’s needs, Hercyk explained. He added that many other organizations and people have found it easier to come in from other countries, creating their own programs outside of existing institutions. The most important institution that CRS works with to help foster this lasting change, he said, is the Catholic Church. “The Church in places like Haiti does everything,” he

explained, pointing to the help it gives people in medicine, education and housing, but noting that above all, “it provides hope.” “That’s why it’s so exciting for us,” he continued, “to be working not only with the Church but through the Church.” “The Catholic Church is the largest educator in the country,” he explained, noting that the Church has more students and educators than even the government. Thus, as part of the 180 projects going on throughout the country’s 10 dioceses, CRS is working with teachers to complete certification and training in order to improve teaching quality and access for Haitian students everywhere. The organization is also working with Haitians to expand and improve the nation’s health care system, rebuilding hospitals and training staff. At the center of this project is the reconstruction of the St. François de Sales Hospital to transform it into a modern teaching hospital. For this project, “the key is working with the Catholic Health Association” as well as with local doctors, nurses and medical staff who are

Pope Francis said the evangelization of secular society requires focusing on the essentials of Christianity in collaboration with other Christian churches. The pope made his remarks Jan. 17 at a meeting with representatives of the Lutheran Church in Finland, who were making their annual ecumenical pilgrimage to Rome on the feast of Finland's patron, St. Henry. The meeting occurred one day before the start of the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Pope Francis told the group that ecumenical relations lately have been undergoing "significant changes, owing above all to the fact that we find ourselves professing our faith in the context of societies and cultures every day more lacking in reference to God and all that recalls the transcendent dimension of life." (CNS)
Rabbi says his friend, the pope, will face challenges in Holy Land

A rabbi who has known Pope Francis for almost 20 years and counts him as a close personal friend said the pope's May trip to the Holy Land will be a challenging balancing act because of the high expectations of Israelis and Palestinians and of Christians, Jews and Muslims. "There are many themes, many conflicts that he will have to face and there are the expectations of many people," said Rabbi Abraham Skorka, rector of Buenos Aires' Latin American Rabbinical Seminary and co-author with the pope of the book, "On Heaven and Earth." The rabbi was in Rome in mid-January along with a group of Jewish leaders from Argentina. They had a kosher lunch, catered by a Rome restaurant, with Pope Francis Jan. 16 at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where the pope lives. Rabbi Skorka went back for a private lunch with the pope Jan. 17. (CNS)
Vatican panel says violence is 'greatest corruption of religion'

Violence is the "greatest corruption of religion," while belief in a single God is the "principle and source of love between human beings," says a new study by a Vatican advisory panel of theologians. "God, the Trinity, and the Unity of Humanity" was released Jan. 16 by the International Theological Commission, a group appointed by the pope to advise the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The document argued against the idea that monotheism inevitably gives rise to religiously inspired violence. The 55-page document was prepared by a 10-member subcommittee that included Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai, secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. It was approved by Cardinal-designate Gerhard Muller, head of the doctrinal congregation. (CNS)

Laura Sheahen/Caritas

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 18 No. 2
January 20 - February 2, 2014

News Features
in our hearts over the plentiful harvest which God alone can bestow.” Emphasizing how we are “possessed” by God through his “steadfast love,” the pontiff explained that everything we have “comes from him and is his gift: the world, life, death, the present, the future…” “Christ, therefore…continually summons us by his word to place our trust in him, loving him ‘with all the heart, with all the understanding, and with all the strength,’” he said, quoting the Gospel of Matthew. “Therefore every vocation, even within the variety of paths, always requires an exodus from oneself in order to center one’s life on Christ and on his Gospel.” “Both in married life and in the forms of religious consecration, as well as in priestly life, we must surmount the ways of thinking and acting that do not conform to the will of God,” explained the Pope, adding that “it is an exodus that leads us on a journey of adoration of the Lord and of service to him in our brothers and sisters.” “He never abandons us,” the pontiff noted, “He has the fulfilment of his plan for us at heart, and yet he wishes to achieve it with our consent and cooperation.” Pope Francis then highlighted how even today Jesus is among us, seeking to draw close to everyone, “beginning with the least,” and to heal our wounds. The pontiff then extended an invitation to all youth “to listen to and follow Jesus, and to allow yourselves to be transformed interiorly by his words, which ‘are spirit and life.’” Echoing the words of Mary to the servants of the wedding feast in Cana “Do whatever he tells you,” the Pope explained that this attitude “will help you to participate in a communal journey” that is able to bring out the best in those around us. “A vocation,” he explained, “is a fruit that ripens in a well cultivated field of mutual love that becomes mutual service, in the context of an authentic ecclesial life.” “No vocation is born of itself or lives for itself. A vocation flows from the heart of God and blossoms in the good soil of faithful people, in the experience of fraternal love.” This “high standard” of living as a Christian “means sometimes going against the tide and also encountering obstacles, outside ourselves and within ourselves,” noted the Pope, adding that Jesus warns us in the Gospel that “the good seed of God’s word is often snatched away by the Evil one, blocked by tribulation, and choked by worldly cares and temptation.” “All of these difficulties could discourage us, making us fall back on seemingly more comfortable paths,”

noted the pontiff, however “the true joy of those who are called consists in believing and experiencing that he, the Lord, is faithful.” Only with him can we “walk, be disciples and witnesses of God’s love, open our hearts to great ideals, to great things,” the Pope observed, highlighting that “we Christians were not chosen by the Lord for small things.” He then implored the “bishops, priests, religious, Christian communities and families” to “orient vocational pastoral planning in this direction,” and to accompany youths “on pathways of holiness.” Concluding his message, the pontiff asked that all “dispose ourselves” to having “good soil” in our hearts “by listening, receiving and living out the word, and thus bearing fruit.” “The more we unite ourselves to Jesus through prayer, Sacred Scripture, the Eucharist, the Sacraments celebrated and lived in the Church and in fraternity,” he observed, “the more there will grow in us the joy of cooperating with God in the service of the Kingdom of mercy and truth, of justice and peace.” “And the harvest will be plentiful, proportionate to the grace we have meekly welcomed into our lives. With this wish, and asking you to pray for me, I cordially impart to you all my Apostolic Blessing.” (CNA/EWTN News)

Pope: Christians have not been chosen for ‘small things’

Pope Francis greets pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square before the Wednesday general audience October 30, 2013

VATICAN City, Jan. 17, 2014—In his message for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, Pope Francis urged youth to listen to the call of God, stating that this is often faced with obstacles and requires “going against the tide.” “We Christians were not chosen by the Lord for small things; push onwards toward the highest principles. Stake your lives on noble ideals!” the pontiff remarked in his Jan. 17 message to youth. The 51st World Day of Prayer for Vocations is slated to occur on May 11,

2014, which is the fourth Sunday of Easter, and will be dedicated to the theme: “Vocations, Witness to the Truth.” Beginning his address with the image in Matthew’s Gospel where Jesus states that “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few,” the Pope highlighted that what Jesus is asking of the Church “concerns the need to increase the number of those who serve his Kingdom.” Reciting St. Paul’s words in his First Letter to the Corinthians, Pope Francis observed that we Christians “are God’s field,” which “is why wonder first arises

New cardinals highlight Pope says abortion, hunger, environmental Global South, pastoral damage threaten peace experience Middle East and North Africa,” VATICAN CITY, Jan. 13, 2014—
Pope Francis said world peace requires the defense of human dignity from violations such as world hunger, human trafficking and abortion. The pope made his remarks Jan. 13 in his first annual address to the Vatican diplomatic corps, offering a survey of world conflicts and crises he said were caused by “envy, selfishness, rivalry and the thirst for power and money.” Speaking in the Apostolic Palace’s Sala Regia, the vast “royal hall” where popes traditionally received Catholic monarchs, Pope Francis spoke of what he has frequently called a “throwaway culture” exemplified by widespread food waste that leaves children starving or malnourished. “Unfortunately, what is thrown away is not only food or disposable objects, but often human beings themselves, who are discarded as if they were unnecessary,” the pope said. “It is horrifying just to think that there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day; children being used as soldiers, abused and killed in armed conflicts; children turned into merchandise in that terrible form of modern slavery called human trafficking, which is a crime against humanity.”

Marta Jiménez/CNA

Consistory of cardinals in St. Peter’s Basilica, Nov. 4, 2012.

Pope Francis poses for a photo with ambassadors to the Holy See during a meeting at the Vatican Jan. 13.

VATICAN City, Jan. 13, 2014— The 19 men chosen to be named cardinals in February stress Pope Francis’ attention on the peripheries of the Church, and that appointment to a major diocese no longer automatically comes with a “red hat.” The 19 will be elevated to cardinal at a consistory held Feb. 22; three will be over the age of 80, and thus ineligible to vote in the election of the next Pope. Of the 16 voting cardinals, nine come from South America, Africa, and Asia, thus increasing the weight of the “Global South” in the college of cardinals. There are only three cardinals from the “north of the world” who administer dioceses, while four officials of the Roman Curia are being appointed by virtue. Archbishops Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State; Beniamino Stella, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy; and Gerhard Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, all receive the cardinalate by virtue of their office, according to “Pastor bonus,” the document governing the Curia. Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, will also be appointed a cardinal. Upon his election as Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis had given his own red biretta to Archbishop Baldisseri. Archbishop Baldisseri’s name was read second in the list of new cardinals, a seemingly important signal. The list customarily follows strict rules of precedence: curial cardinals are listed first, by order of importance. That Archbishop Baldisseri was named second, behind only the Secretary of State, may be a signal of Pope Francis’ increasing focus on synodality. In choosing his first round of cardinals, Pope Francis wanted to highlight the pastoral experience, it seems. Archbishop Gerald Lacroix of Quebec was for ten years a missionary in Colombia as part of the Pius X Secular Institute; Archbishop Orani Tempesta of Rio de Janeiro is known for his tireless presence in parishes; Archbishop Andrew Yeom Soo-jung of Seoul was a parish priest in his diocese for 28 years; and Archbishop Philippe

Ouedraogo of Ouagadougou, in Burkina Faso, served as a priest for 23 years before being consecrated a bishop. Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati Andrello of Santiago de Chile, a Salesian, worked in many of the pastoral and educational structures linked to his congregation. Pope Francis’ appointments also give strong signals against careerism in the Church, and clericalism. In the past, it was taken for granted that being bishop of certain dioceses brought with it a cardinal appointment. This practice led to “ecclesiastical lobbies,” advocating that certain men be given particular dioceses of curial appointments. Yet Pope Francis decided not to award some Vatican dicasteries, nor some important dioceses, with “red hats.” In Italy, neither the Archbishop of Turin nor the Patriarch of Venice were named. Also excluded were the archbishops of Malines-Brussels, Tokyo, and Bangkok. On the other hand, Pope Francis granted the Philippines a second cardinal of voting age, choosing Archbishop Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato, one of the poorest regions of the country. Three countries received their first cardinal: from Haiti, Bishop Chibly Langlois of Les Cayes, who is only 55; from Nicaragua, Archbishop Leopoldo Brenes Solorzano of Managua; and from Ivory Coast, Archbishop Jean-Pierre Kutwa of Abidjan. Among the non-voting cardinals, honored were Archbishop Loris Capovilla, Prelate Emeritus of Loreto, 98, who was secretary to Bl. John XXIII; Archbishop Emeritus Kelvin Felix of Castries, in the Antilles; and Archbishop Emeritus Fernando Sebastian Aguilar of Pamplona and Tudela. Of the cardinals-to-be, five are from Latin America; two are from Asia; two are from Africa; one is North American, and six are European. While the number of voting cardinals was set by Paul VI at 120, Pope Francis’ appointments will have surpassed the limit by two; but by the end of the year, 20 cardinals will have reached their 80th birthday. Since the election of Pope Francis, nine have already passed 80. (CNA/ EWTN News)

The pope also lamented what he called rising numbers of “broken and troubled families,” which he attributed to both moral and material factors: the “weakening sense of belonging so typical of today’s world” as well as the “adverse conditions in which many families are forced to live, even to the point where they lack basic means of subsistence.” Noting the devastation caused by typhoon Haiyan in November, Pope Francis warned against “greedy exploitation of environmental resources,” and quoted what he said was a popular adage: “God always forgives, we sometimes

forgive, but when nature—creation—is mistreated, she never forgives!” Most of the pope’s speech was devoted, as usual for the occasion, to geopolitical problems in different regions of the world. The pope called for an end to the almost three-year old civil war in Syria, voicing hope for upcoming peace talks and praising neighboring Lebanon and Jordan for accepting refugees from the conflict. He also noted what he called “significant progress” in ongoing negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. Pope Francis lamented the “exodus of Christians from the

as well as violence between Muslims and Christians in Nigeria and the Central African Republic. Without specifying countries, the pope noted sectarian tensions in Asia, “where growing attitudes of prejudice, for allegedly religious reasons, are tending to deprive Christians of their liberties and to jeopardize civil coexistence.” The pope recalled his July visit to the southern Mediterranean island of Lampedusa, an entry point for immigrants without legal permission to enter Europe, and voiced sympathy with those who, “in the hope of a better life, have undertaken perilous journeys which not infrequently end in tragedy.” “I think in particular of the many migrants from Latin America bound for the United States,” he said, “but above all those from Africa and the Middle East who seek refuge in Europe.” After his speech, the pope personally greeted the attending ambassadors and their spouses. The Holy See has full diplomatic relations with 180 nation-states, the European Union and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, as well as “relations of a special nature” with the Palestine Liberation Organization. (CNS)

Lewis Ashton Glancy/CNA

Tagle tells faithful: New Year is about shunning materialism, restoring peace
MANILA, Jan. 16, 2014—For the top churchman of the Manila Archdiocese, welcoming 2014 is not only about the worldly celebration of raucous festivities. Above all the noise, what matters is the holistic preparation of oneself in facing a new year ahead. Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, in his homily during the New Year’s Eve mass held at the San Fernando de Dilao Parish, called on the Filipino faithful to uncover the true essence of New Year by shunning materialism, imitating the Blessed Mother, and fostering peace and fraternity with others. “True blessing comes from our relationship with the Lord, for this relationship leads us to everlasting peace and happiness,” he said in the vernacular. Tagle emphasized that no amount of material wealth could sustain individuals during the darkest and most trying times, noting that true blessedness could only be attained through the Divine. “Do not seek for blessings detached from the Lord. If the happiness we seek is separate from Him, it might only give temporary happiness and blessedness,” he said. Suffering from devastation Tagle urged the faithful to look on individuals who felt the wrath of natural calamities that struck the nation late last year, noting that even if they nearly lost everything, they still manage to smile and feel hopeful because of their strong faith. “Look at our brothers and sisters who have lost almost everything—their livelihood, shelter, and even loved ones in Leyte, Samar, and Capiz. Even if they have suffered a lot, some of them are still filled with hope because of their relationship with the Lord. Everything may vanish but Lord to for us to become a source of blessing to others…The greatest blessing is Jesus who came to us through the Blessed Mother. We, her children, should be like her, we bring Jesus to other people,” he said. Tagle also urged the youth to bring Christ to their peers instead of introducing them to various kinds of vices. “Our dear youth, instead of cigarettes, liquor, and drugs, bring Christ to your peers. He is that one blessing who will never fade away and vanish. This is the greatest blessing we can give to our friends, to our family, to our nation,” he said. Restore peace, brotherhood In welcoming the new year, Tagle said that it is also important to restore peace through fraternal relationship, since all are brothers and sisters in Christ. Echoing the words of Pope Francis, Tagle said: “If we are to scrutinize all conflicts, violence, and the lack of peace, these are rooted to the absence of brotherhood among us. The way we treat each other nowadays lacks a sense of fraternity. Judgment is always tainted by distrust as we perceive others as a threat.” “Even among nations, we compete with one another. We even compete against each other. We bear the mentality that as long as it is favorable on our end, we do not care about what it will bring to others,” he added, noting the words of the Supreme Pontiff. “Restore peace through brotherhood and sisterhood. We all share one Father, Mother, and we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. If we live in peace with God, we will live as brothers and sisters to one another. Let us strive to achieve this as a way toward peace,” Tagle said. (Jennifer Orillaza)

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle urges the faithful to strengthen their relationship with God and not put their faith on fleeting things that can cloud their moral perspective.

if you are connected with Him, you will experience being happy,” he said. The senior prelate urged the faithful to shun materialism, noting that the celebration of New Year is not measured by material richness. He also called on the youth to “develop a relationship with God” and for the elders to set an example to others that true blessing is manifested through Christ being alive in one’s words and actions. “It is okay if you won’t receive new shoes, new bags, and all other new things this New Year…Young people nowadays are led to the misconception that blessing is manifested by signature and quality things. The elders should set the example that blessing is simply Christ living in us,” he said. Imitating Mary Tagle called on the faithful to express gratitude to Mary who heeded the call of the Lord, paving the way to the blessedness of all mankind. He also urged them to imitate her acts in bringing Christ closer to others. “Like Mary, let us heed the call of the

Angelo Bacani/RCAM

CNS/Paul Haring


The bishops and social media

CBCP Monitor
January 20 - February 2, 2014

Vol. 18 No. 2

A THREE-DAY bishops’ seminar on social media is certainly not a breather from hectic pastoral concerns, especially those from the Visayas and Mindanao who have been grappling with the effects of the recent calamities. At first blush, though, it may seem like delving into the lighter side of things. But by reason of social demographics and the current order of things, getting serious with social media may actually be a very serious agenda. Time was when some Church leaders shied away from the internet because it was initially perceived as addictive and littered with pornography, gambling and trash that may not be helpful in attaining eternal life. This perception, of course, did not prosper. Today, Asia dominates the world’s biggest social networking markets. And according to unofficial reckoning by netizens themselves, the Philippines still holds the title as the “Social Networking Capital of the World.” True or not, this, however, will not water down the fact that most Filipinos are into social media. The statistics coming from Facebook and Twitter, for instance, will bear this out. The Media Office of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has been locally trailblazing the path of the social media for some years now. One of its brainchild is Youth Pinoy, an organization of young Filipino Catholics who like to regard themselves as OMG or “online missionaries of God” by solely using social media in their work of evangelization and social advocacy. They are known, too, for organizing the annual Catholic Social Media Summit which, last November, was graced by the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Msgr. Paul Tighe. The bishops’ seminar-workshop on social media that will precede their plenary assembly on January 25-27 at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center is facilitated by Sean-Patrick Lovett, the vice president of the Centre for Research and Education in Communication (CREC) and the Director of Vatican Radio’s English Programme. He believes that pastors should be in social media, too. Paraphrasing the words of Pope Francis on the pastor smelling like sheep, Lovett said in an interview: “And if the bishops want to be a true pastor, they really need to smell like a sheep, and if the sheep smell like social media, the bishop should smell like social media too.” During the First Catholic Social Media Summit held in Marikina in 2012, Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle aptly said: “The social networking world is a means of bringing the good news of Jesus Christ to a vaster audience. It is truly an instrument of evangelization; but at the same time it is a field that needs to be evangelized.” Such being the case, talking about social media is not merely an high-tech expediency as it is really now a pastoral exigency.

Celebrating the ‘Year of the Laity’
AS the Church in the Philippines begins a new year, our focus turns to the designated theme for reflection: Laity in the Mission of the Church. In the nine-year schema of the Philippine Bishops (CBCP) leading to “the great jubilee of 2021,” the second year (2014) is devoted to the role of the laity in the Church. The year 2021 will be “the fifth centenary of the coming of Christianity to our beloved land” (1521-2021). To adequately prepare for this event, the Church decided to “embark on a nine-year spiritual journey…. It is a grace-filled event of blessings for the Church.” This comprehensive vision of renewal is founded on the pillars of “faith” and “evangelization.” We constantly need to ask: What is the role of faith-filled laity in evangelization? How do laity live, proclaim, witness, and transmit Christ’s Gospel to humanity? How can the laity facilitate the “opening up of people’s lives, society, culture and history to the person of Christ and his living community, the Church”?

Fr. James H. Kroeger, MM

“Year of Faith” Reflections
gelizing means bringing the Good News into all strata of humanity, and through its influence transforming humanity from within and making it new” (EN 18). Indeed, how are lay people to bring the Gospel into all strata of humanity [social, political, economic, cultural, spiritual, etc.] and thus transform the world? Our bishop-shepherds continue: “Yet, the gifts of the Holy Spirit through these sacraments [Baptism and Confirmation] often remain dormant. This year is to be devoted to the renewal of the laity, to their ‘empowerment’ or more accurately to activating their charisms from the Spirit, so that they may indeed take up their role as co-responsible agents of evangelization and lead in the task of social transformation.” A challenge is stated by our bishops: We need “to hear again the great commandment for mission, the mission mandate of Christ Jesus himself: ‘As the Father has sent me, even so I send you’ (John 20:21).” A probing, disturbing question arises: Are we truly convinced of the “mission-identity” of the laity?

Living Mission

Foundation of the lay apostolate
THE Council gave a new perspective on the laity when it described the theological sacramental and ecclesial foundation of the Apostolate of the Laity. “From the fact of their union with Christ the head, flows the laymen’s right and duty to be apostles. Inserted as they are in the Mystical Body of Christ by baptism and strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit in confirmation, it is by the Lord Himself that they are assigned to the apostolate. If they are consecrated a kingly priesthood and a holy nation, (cf. 1Pt 2:4-10) it is in order that they may in all their actions offer spiritual sacrifices and bear witness to Christ all the world over. Charity, which is, as it were, the soul of the whole apostolate, is given to them and nourished in them by the sacraments, the Eucharist above all.” (Apostolicam Actuositatem, 3) From this it is clear (a) that the apostolate of the laity is of divine right; (b) that it is Christ who calls the laity to full participation in the life of the Church and full commitment to the mission of the Church, and (c) that this call is by virtue of Baptism and Confirmation. “You too go into my vineyard.” (Mt 20:7) This call is addressed to the entire community to move with zeal and swiftness in bringing about the reign of God through Christian renewal. Therefore, all the baptized, not just the hierarchy, the clergy or the religious, share in the whole mission of Christ. All are responsible for the building up of the Church. This responsibility is too great and too important to be entrusted to only one group or to only a few. “The newness of the Christian life is the foundation and title of the equality of all the baptized in Christ, of all the members of the People of God,” writes Pope John Paul II (Christifideles Laici, 9). And precisely from this equality in dignity flowing from Baptism, the Pope concludes, “each member of the lay faithful, together with the ordained ministers and men and women religious, shares a responsibility for the Church’s mission.” The fundamental images of the Church in Scriptures and in Vatican II as People of God and Body of Christ demand that pastors and lay faithful collaborate in the diffusion and sanctification of the whole Church. Christ’s redemption is carried out not only by the pastoral activity of the individual priest, but by all the members of the Church. They laity together with the clergy-hierarchy and religious constitute the Lord’s Community of Disciples. They laity are never meant to have only a passive function. (PCP-II Acts of the Council Nos. 407-411) —Acts and Decrees of the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines, 1991

In their pastoral letter, Live Christ, Share Christ, the Philippine Bishops state their vision for the “Year of the Laity.” “This year especially celebrates both the sacrament of Baptism by which all the faithful become God’s sons and daughters and the sacrament of Confirmation by which they become witnesses of Christ to others.” The role and identity of the laity cannot be adequately grasped without recalling that “the pilgrim Church is missionary by her very nature” (AG 2). Without a commitment to missionary evangelization, the Church (laity, religious, ordained) is simply not true to her identity as the Church Christ established! “The Church exists out of her faith in Jesus the Word incarnate sent by the Father, a faith generated by the Holy Spirit. And the Church exists in order to bring the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ to all people….” Pope Paul VI insists that “evangelizing is the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity” (EN 14). He gave a superb definition of evangelization: “evan-

Teresa R. Tunay, OCDS

…and that’s the truth
FIFTEEN years ago, I taught a bird how to “pray”. Now with the era of the New Evangelization upon us, I wonder if teaching a bird how to “pray” is evangelizing of some kind. Assisting me in that endeavor were my nieces, Katarina and Florence, aged 5 and 6, who were then vacationing with us. That time we had a mynah—yes, a black “talking” bird which we’d had at home for a couple of months. I had no idea of its gender but I had named it “LILY”—acronym for “Lord I Love You”—a name I would have wanted my parents to give me. So, I wanted to test if it was time to teach Lily to “talk”. I asked the two little girls to “come have fun”, to stand with me near Lily’s cage and alternately say to it “Lord, I love you!” The girls complied with gusto, exchanging declarations. After the seventh time it was uttered, a third voice joined them—the mynah’s: Lord, I love you! Lord, I love you! Lord, I love you! Allelujah, we were overjoyed to hear the bird talk! And for the rest of the girls’ stay, the mynah’s ejaculations would be the chief source of the girls’ giggly entertainment. But, long after the girls had gone back home, the bird still wouldn’t be stopped! It would in its little girl voice “declare its love for the Lord” on its own, without any prompting from me. Do birds have “free will”— I’d muse—or was it because

The evangelizing bird
this mynah just couldn’t help talking? Consider this: There were times I’d be too lazy to get up for my daily 6 a.m. Mass; then I’d hear “Lord…” Just one gentle word from the bird, “Lord…” but it would prick my conscience and spur my lazy bones to action. “Ok, ok, you win!” I’d talk back, and the bird would burst into a triumphant “Lord, I love you!” over and over again when I’d get up. I’d heard a mynah (owned by a socialite) greet guests with “Wow, sexy!” or “Kumain ka na?” and another (in a seminary garden) say “Panget!” to all passerby, but I’d never heard one that said “Lord, I love you!” So you understand why I would be so proud of my accomplishment that I’d prompt my bird to speak whenever we’d have guests—yeah, like a proud mama urging her daughter to play the piano for the guests. The thing is—my mynah wouldn’t be coaxed against its will, it seemed. Without prompting it would repeat several times to the carpenters repairing our kitchen: “Lord, I love you!” Of course, it excited the workers—“A praying bird!”—and the whole time they’d be hammering away, the mynah would be tirelessly “adoring the Lord”. Same with our 60-year old laundry woman who exclaimed upon hearing the bird: “Nungka sa buong lintek na buhay ko ako nakarinig ng ibong ku-

And That’s The Truth / A7

The world of liturgy
LET’S take advantage of the fever generated by the celebration of the Feast of the Sto. Niño to talk a little about the world of liturgy. It’s a reality that is often taken for granted, or badly reduced, distorted and misunderstood, and yet it is actually the beginning and end of our deepest beliefs and the culmination of our Christianity here on earth. As the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church puts it, liturgy is the “celebration of the mystery of Christ” through which the sanctification of humankind takes place. It’s a public worship offered by the whole Church as one organic body, with Christ as head and us as its members. (218) It’s a joint effort between Christ and us. As the “sacred action par excellence”, it is therefore the “summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed and it is likewise the font from which all her power flows.” (219) Even with this brief and general description of the liturgy, we can readily sense that

Fr. Roy Cimagala

www.cbcpmonitor.com cbcpmonitor@cbcpworld.net

Candidly Speaking
polish and deepen our practice and participation of the liturgy. This is a most dynamic and complex area of concern that nevertheless should be reined in. Thus, we have to understand that our proper understanding of it, not to mention its proper exercise, requires nothing less than a continuing formation, both on the part of the Church leaders and the ordinary faithful. While laws and rules are necessary to regulate it, we have to realize that such laws and rules need to be constantly polished, updated, purified, revised, etc., because while there are essential things that should remain constant, there are also many other incidental things around it that need to adapt with the many changing circumstances. Especially these days when the changing circumstances are not only fast-paced but also are multiplying, we need to have a good grip on what is essential about it and what is incidental. Otherwise, there will be a lot of confusion and unfair situations, often
Candidly Speaking / A5

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a lot of catechizing is needed, since the very concept and reality of liturgy is so rich and complex, open to all kinds of insights and interpretations, both correct and incorrect, that we, especially the Church leaders, should not stop studying and preaching. We have to make everyone understand that our Christian life cannot be but liturgical in character, since it is in the liturgy that our sanctification is achieved not solely through our good intentions, best efforts and even heroic efforts, but rather mainly and indispensably through the passion, death and resurrection of Christ, our Redeemer. We are only co-redeemers. We cannot redeem ourselves without him. This is a truth that should not be left confined only in the world of the academe, the seminaries, churches, etc. It has to run far and wide, and should so enter deep into the mind and heart of everyone that it becomes a guiding principle in one’s Christianity. Of course, together with widely sowing this truth about the essentially liturgical character of our Christian life, we should

Illustration by Brothers Matias

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 18 No. 2
January 20 - February 2, 2014

Raising the tide of Philippine politics
achieving of full human development.” How do we raise the tide of Philippine politics so that we can swim, obtain much-needed food, and provide room for navigation—in short, how can we, citizens and leaders, rise together as one nation? How can we recover the original meaning of “politics”—which is “giving birth to the city” (“polis” + “tiktw”)—rather than “many ticks” (“poly” + “tick”) *** In 2008, my teammates and I were involved in convening and facilitating eight circles of discernment. At that time, we were convinced that we needed to go beyond the usual engagement we have had as a Church during and after elections. Wasn’t it Einstein who said: “Insanity: doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different result”? One of these circles was called the Pearl Network. It took its name from the question raised by Vicky who asked: “What is the pearl of great price that keeps you from leaving the country despite all the difficulties we face?” The question was inspired by Matthew 13:45-46. This particular circle was most challenging. Why? It was composed of individuals actively involved in politics, with different stripes and persuasions. Ideology, we found out, can be an immovable rock. They had difficulty listening to each other until the question on the pearl of great price was raised. Later, Gladys, another facilitator reflected: “Our differences are symbolized by our being an archipelago. We think that we need bridges to connect one island to another. But since such connections depend on who built the bridge, it could easily become a one-way street. Perhaps we need to realize that underneath our separate islands we are actually a single land mass if we only go deep enough.” These comments resulted in a breakthrough. We agreed that the single land mass—if we go deep enough—is love of God and love of country. But how do we reach this depth? *** Luke 5:1-11 is the call of Simon
Spaces of Hope / A7

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

Fr. Carmelo O. Diola

Spaces of Hope
HAVE you ever been to the seashore at low tide? Do you recall what you saw and felt? Did you catch the soft caress of the sea breeze? The coastline at low tide is an intriguing place. There is much to see, touch, smell, taste, and hear. You see the bottom of the shoreline that has small sea creatures, darting here and there. A small octopus may have even hidden inside a crevice in the skeleton-like corals that carpet the now-exposed waters. People wade through the waters to see what’s there. Low tide can be fun. It can provide some enjoyment and even food on the table. Yet there are downsides. Swimming may be limited. Boats and ships may be grounded. Larger catch of fish may not be possible. Another story unfolds when the tide is high. It is no longer a haven for non-swimmers and curiosity seekers. There is now room for serious swimming. Schools of fish are found in deeper waters. Boats, of whatever size and shape, now have room to move and to navigate. They all rise with the tide. I start with these images because they seem to capture our contemporary politics and our dream for a better art of governance. Contemporary Philippine politics is akin to low tide. Our elections, that once-every-threeyear political exercise, can be fun, they provide some food on the table, and they involve social interaction. We have become accustomed to this low tide. Yet our boats are all grounded. We cannot swim. Food is not abundant. This is the state of our politics. Our bishops often reflect on this reality. “Since 1945...more than half of its (CBCP) pastoral letters and statements have dealt with political questions.... In 1991, the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (PCP-II) devoted a good amount of time and space in its final document to the discussion of the role of the Church in politics (see PCP-II, par. 330-53)...” Our bishops concluded in 1997: “Philippine politics—the way it is practiced—has been most hurtful of us as a people. It is possibly the biggest bane in our life as a nation and the most pernicious obstacle to our

By the Roadside Defining the Laity: ‘Saintly heroes’?
PORK barrel scam. Bungled disaster response. Leadership fiasco. Bunkhouse controversy. Who are involved? Mostly Filipino Catholic laity. So when I first read the CBCP document basically challenging the Filipino Catholic laity to bear in mind that they are “called to be saints” and “sent forth as heroes”, I said to myself: “No statement could be truer, but no order could be taller! How does one make saintly heroes out of so many who may be inclined otherwise?” To Abraham Lincoln’s remark that “God must love the common man; he made lots of them”, I also say that God must likewise love the laity since he made them the most numerous in the Church. Still, I submit that for these most numerous members of the Church to find fulfillment as “saintly heroes” they must heed the advice of the ancient Greeks: “Know thyself; be thyself; be thy best self.” One very tragic thing that happened during Super Typhoon Yolanda’s disastrous visit was that many people abandoned responsible behavior because they did not know what a “storm surge” was or what a good parent should be. A mayor in a town called Hernani, south of Eastern Samar’s center, which is Borongan, told me that a father of a family refused to move his family to a safe location, continued a drinking spree, and dismissed the warnings of “storm surges”. He died and his whole family died with him. Might we not also say that the tragedy behind the Filipino Catholic laity counting corrupt politicians among them who are responsible for the endless scams in the country partly comes from them ignoring or being ignorant of who they are? So then we must heed the first ancient Greek advice. We ask: “Who are the Laity?” In answer the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church or Lumen Gentium (The Light of the Nations) teaches us: “The term ‘laity’ is…understood to mean all the faithful except those in Holy Orders and those who belong to a religious state approved by the Church. That is, the faithful who by Baptism are incorporated into Christ, are placed in the People of God, and in their own way share the priestly, prophetic and kingly office of Christ, and to the best of their ability carry on the mission of the whole Christian people in the Church and in the world.” It is important for the laity to know their identity because it makes clear to them the things that pertain to or not pertain to who they are. What pertains to who the laity are? First, it is having faith in God who revealed himself in Jesus Christ. That is why Lumen Gentium speaks of the laity as “all the faithful” who are neither ordained (they are not bishops, priests and deacons) nor consecrated (they are not religious priests, brothers and nuns). But their having “the faith” is distinguished from other members of the Church in that expressing this faith is not coursed through the Sacrament of Holy Orders and religious consecration. A lay person, a priest and a nun have the same faith. But the lay person is not required to express his faith by presiding over Mass and the Sacraments and preaching the Word, as an ordained priest is. Nor is he required to strictly follow the evangelical counsels of chastity, obedience and poverty, as nuns or religious priests and brothers are. Second, the laity’s faith is inseparable from their having received the Sacrament of Baptism. Faith in Jesus Christ leads to Baptism. Baptism seals one’s faith in Jesus Christ, incorporating him into his Body, that is, making him a vital part of Jesus the Christ. The document Filipino Catholic Laity: Called to be Saints…Sent Forth as Heroes declares: “When you were baptized, the Holy Spirit united you with our Lord Jesus the Son of God, and thus you became true sons and daughters of God, partakers of the divine nature” (FCL, 1). Third, because Baptism makes the laity (and all Christians) members of Christ’s Body, they also become sharers in Christ’s threefold mission: Priest, Prophet and King. We need to reflect separately on these three. Suffice it to say that somewhat akin to an aide of a politician eventually sharing that politician’s vision and mission, defining his way of thinking, seeing and acting, so the laity and all the baptized share in Jesus Christ’s threefold mission and, consequently, must think, see and act the way he thinks, sees and acts. Isaiah once told God’s People that they must be like their saving God by the way they live, that is to say, by the way they think, see and act. “Thus says the Lord: Observe what is right, do what is just; for my salvation is about to come, my justice about to be revealed. Happy is the man who does this, the son of man who holds to it, who keeps the Sabbath free from profanation, and his hand from any evildoing” (Is 56:1-2). This God who is just, holy and saving is revealed to us in his Son Jesus Christ. And how does Jesus the Son reveal himself? Jesus answers this question himself in the gospel of John in a way that brings each of us to the core challenge of the laity. He reveals himself by his works, by what he does. Jesus does not excuse himself from the burden of giving testimony. If humans ordinarily play the blame game and buck-passing where a responsibility is at issue, Jesus does not and neither must we Christians, especially the laity who are “incorporated” to (i.e., “in corpore” or “in the body of”) Jesus Christ. “Yet I have testimony greater than John’s, namely, the works the Father has given me to accomplish. These very works which I perform testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me” (Jn 5:36). We all know Jesus preached and preached forcefully, not to say powerfully too. But we know even better that Jesus practiced what he preached. He spoke of love of enemy; he forgave them from the cross. He spoke of himself as the Resurrection and the Life; he showed it when he raised dead people to life. He spoke of love; he practiced it when he died for us “while we were still sinners” (Rom 5:8). I know some very heroic priests who refused to leave their posts when Super Typhoon Yolanda came and unleashed massive devastation on our land. But I have been struck by so many lay people who, without fanfare and publicity, continue to volunteer to repack food and relief goods, guard them, transport them and make sure they reach their intended destinations, the victims. They show they are the true laity not so much in words as in their deeds. Like Jesus.
Candidly Speaking / A4

Let us count our blessings!
LOS Angeles, California. The Philippines is making waves in the international community, not only because of the catastrophe and devastations wrought by super Typhoon Haiyan or Yolanda but because of the intellectual prowess and talents the Filipinos have shown. Pope Francis appointed 16 new cardinals from 12 different countries, one of them is our very own His Grace Orlando Quevedo OMI, Archbishop of Cotabato. Pope Francis also appointed 3 cardinals who are over 80 years old. The CBCP stated that the appointment of Cardinal-elect Quevedo from Mindanao “is a papal tribute to the strength of the Catholic faith in that region… It is a proof that the Catholic faith in Mindanao is now bearing rich fruits; Cardinal Quevedo is its living testimony… Cardinal-elect Quevedo is an archbishop who is truly passionate for the formation of basic ecclesiastical communities. He has been a pastor up north in Ilocos Sur and down south in Cotabato. He is an intellectual giant with a very simple lifestyle and very warm fraternal manners.” The new cardinals are invited to a consistory after they are installed on February 22, the Feast of St. Peter, the apostle regarded as the first pope. *** More blessings! Filipina beauties won in several beauty pageants—Ms. Mutya Johanna Datul as Miss Supranational 2013, Ms. Megan Young as Miss World 2013, Ms. Ariella Arida as 3rd runner up in the Miss Universe 2013 (for 4 consecutive years had been in the top 5), Ms. Bea Rose Santiago as Miss International 2013 (5th for the Philippines), Ms. Angeli Dione Gomez as Miss Tourism Interational 2013 in a back to back win with Ms. Rizzini Alexis Gomez as Miss Tourism International 2012, a fellow Cebuana. Ms. Rose “Osang” Fostanes, a Filipina caregiver in Israel, is the grand prize winner

Atty. Aurora A. Santiago

Duc in Altum
poverty and unemployment.” *** We welcome the incoming Board of Officers and Directors of Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas or LAIKO headed by its President Dr. Amelita Dayrit-Go, with EVP Dr. Marita Wasan, VP for Ecclesiastical Province of Manila Dr. Romeo Cruz, VP-Luzon Loreto Guinhawa, VP-Visayas Dr. Rene Bullecer, VP-Mindanao Edgardo Malay, Treasurer Maribel Descallar, Secretary Gertrudes Bautista, Auditor Zenaida Capistrano, PRO Victorino Lahoz. Trustees are Rolando Baldonado, Rosalinda Basas, Apolinario Carandang, Gonzalo Catan and Jose Tale. Their term of office is from January 01, 2014 to December 31, 2015. *** On January 18, Most Rev. Francis de Leon, Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Kalookan presided over the ordination of 5 new priests—James Anthony del Rosario, Richard Omol, Carlos Ida, Kennedy Neral and Joey Enriquez. Congratulations to all of you and may you be the loyal servants of Christ and good shepherds to His flock. Pope Francis stated why priests must always renew their relationship with Jesus. “We are good priests if we go to Jesus Christ, if we seek the Lord in prayer: the prayer of intercession, the prayer of adoration. If instead we distance ourselves from Jesus Christ, we have to compensate for this with other worldly attitudes. But the priest adores Jesus Christ, the priest speaks with Jesus Christ, the priest seeks Jesus Christ and allows himself to be sought by Jesus Christ. This is the centre of our lives. If we do not have this, we lose everything! And then what shall we give to the people?” *** Happy Birthday to Fr. Leo Gilbero and Happy Sacerdotal Anniversary to Fr. Abet Caballero and Fr. Benedict Cervantes of the Diocese of Kalookan.

of X-Factor Israel 2013 with her rendition of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way”. *** The Commission on Audit (COA) just released its audit of Government Owned and Controlled Corporation or GOCC’s which declared P2.2 Billion pesos bonus to its Board of Directors and employees. What is so appalling is that despite the sufferings and loss of lives and properties in billions of pesos caused by typhoons Santi and Yolanda, these GOCC’s still have the guts to declare such big and fat bonuses. That is greediness to the highest level. COA ordered those GOCC’s to return the bonuses. As we always argue, the Social Security System (SSS) should not have given big bonus to its Board of Directors, each Director gets millions of pesos in bonus when the finances of SSS is already negative; SSS is now recouping the losses by increasing the monthly contributions of the employees. Philhealth also declared millions of pesos in bonuses of its Board of Directors and employees; ironically, it also increased the monthly contributions of the employees. Private companies declare bonus when there is excess income; but when the company is in financial distress, bonus is out of the question. We pray that President Noynoy will have this investigated and order the GOCC’s to comply with the order of COA to return those fat bonuses. *** Many thanks to the Supreme Court for issuing the temporary restraining order (TRO) on the Meralco power hike of P4.15 per kilowatt-hour (kwh). It is very unconscionable and untimely for Meralco to impose the power rate increase considering that the country is still reeling from many natural and man-made calamities. We agree with Bishop Broderick Pabillo’s condemnation “as unjust and anti-Filipino the Meralco recent power hike in a country marred by

The Laity and BECs: Called to mission in communitarian context
THE CBCP has declared this year as the “Year of the Laity.” In doing so, the CBCP wishes to highlight the role of the lay faithful in the life and mission of the Church. This theme was enshrined 50 years ago in Lumen Gentium— the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church. A whole chapter (chapter 4) is devoted to the laity which affirms that by virtue of their baptism and membership in the Church, the lay faithful share in Christ’s priestly, prophetic and kingly mission. They therefore are called to be heralds and witnesses of the Gospel, to actively participate in liturgical celebration and to serve Christ in others by their acts of charity and work for justice and peace—thus enabling the growth kingdom of God in the world. The transformation of the economic, political and social structures is proper to the laity who are competent to do so. The call to holiness is directed not just to those in religious life but also to the laity. The participation of the laity in the Church’s mission is not a privilege given to them by the clergy but a right and obligation by virtue of their baptismal consecration which unites them to Christ and his body—the Church. This is therefore grounded on the Vatican II ecclesiology—the Church as communion and People of God that share in Christ three-fold mission. A later Vatican II document— Apostolicam Actuositatem—further developed this theme. Synod of Bishops in 1987 chose the theme: “The Vocation and Mission of the Lay faithful in the Church and in the World.” A year later, Pope John Paul II came out with the post-synodal exhortation Christifideles Laici which reaffirmed the active role of the lay-faithful in the Church’s mission. “The participation of the lay faithful in the threefold mission of Christ as Priest, Prophet and King finds its source in the anointing of Baptism, its further development in Confirmation and its realization and dynamic sustenance in the Holy Eucharist…Precisely because it derives from Church communion , the sharing of the lay faithful in the threefold mission of Christ

Fr. Amado L. Picardal, CSsR, SThD

Along The Way
requires that it be lived and realized in communion and for the increase of communion itself.” CFL 14 John Paul II emphasizes that lay participation in the three-fold mission is lived and realized in communion—within the context of the Christian community. Ecclesial communion is realized at the level of the universal and local church—in the diocese and within the parish. The parish is envisioned as communion of communities—a network of small Christian communities (BECs). This highlights the importance of forming Basic Ecclesial Communities where the lay faithful can actively participate in Christ’s three-fold mission. The Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (PCP II) in 1991 regards the BECs as the realization of the vision of a renewed Church— as community of disciples that participate in Christ’s mission as priestly, prophetic and kingly people and as Church of the Poor. In the BECs, the lay faithful can truly live out their vocation and three-fold mission. In the BECs, the lay-faithful come together regularly to share the Word of God. The are evangelized and they become agents of evangelization as they reach out to their neighbors. They announce the good news and denounce sin and evil in society. In the BECs, the lay-faithful actively participate in the liturgical celebration—in the weekly bibleservice or prayer meeting and in the regularly Mass (monthly or bi-monthly). In the BECs, the lay faithful serve the poor and needy in their midst as they come up with programs that alleviate poverty, and as they work for peace and justice and the protection of the environment. When BECs truly realize the Vatican II and PCP II vision of a renewed Church, then the lay-faithful can fulfill their mission. In order for lay faithful to carry out their mission, they need adequate formation. According to Pope John Paul II: “The formation of the lay faithful must be placed among the priorities of a diocese. It ought to be so placed within the plan of pastoral action that the efforts of the whole community (clergy,
Along the Way / A7

giving way to superstitions and wrong practices. Vatican II, for example, has stipulated that there should be massive liturgical instruction and active participation in the liturgy among the lay faithful. I suppose a lot of things have been done to reach this objective, but still a lot more need to be done. On the one hand, there are any

cases where liturgy seems to be held captive by groups labeled as conservatives and traditionalists, and on the other, by groups branded as liberals and progressives, etc. I imagine that each one has something valid to say, and so it’s imperative that an ongoing discussion and process of sorting out things has to be done
Candidly Speaking / A7

Catholic lay groups slam pro-abortion confab
ROSARIES in hand, members of several Catholic lay organizations and church groups marched to the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) morning of Jan. 21 to condemn what turns out to be a pro-abortion conference on-going there. These lay groups Pro-lifers protest outside the premises of the a r e S o l d i e r s o f PICC denouncing the International Conference on Reproductive Health as nothing but a pro-abortion Christ, Couples for conference aimed to mislead the Filipino people. Christ and Singles for Christ (CFCand day 3 zooms in on “women SFC), Quiapo Family Life, CFC seeking safe abortion services”. Las Piñas, Ang Kapatiran, KiluThe conference also includes a sang Kabataan ni Kristo, Center trip to “sexual and health rights” for Life, Alliance for Family, and centers which allegedly perform Commission on Family and Life. safe abortion practices or are Lorna Melegrito, executive known pro-choice advocates. director of Pro-Life Philippines, Melegrito confirmed the atsaid that they were alarmed tendance of the following prowhen an email from the orga- abortion groups: International nizers of the 7th Asia Pacific Planned Parenthood, which Conference on Reproductive and Pro-Life Philippines identiSexual Health and Rights (AP- fies as “the number one aborCRSHR) ”accidentally” reached tion provider in the world”; them. Women’s Global Network for The email contains, among Reproductive Rights; United other things, the program of Nations Population Fund (UNthe conference which Melegrito FPA), tagged as “the architect of explained is “euphemistically China’s one-child policy”; Cathworded to make it seem what olics for Choice, a pro-abortion, it is not when it is really about pro-same sex marriage group abortion.” based in the United States; Ma“But we saw through their rie Stopes International, also a deception. They [conference pro-abortion group which has organizers] are misleading the offices in the Philippines; Asia Filipino public. Their meeting Safe Abortion Partnership, is nothing but a pro-abortion among other pro-reproductive conference masquerading as a health (RH) and pro-sexual scientific symposium,” she said. rights groups which Pro-Life Melegrito added, “It’s appall- Philippines believes also favor ing that these people have the abortion. nerves to be talking about such The lay groups also denounced a sensitive issue as abortion so the “arrogance with which the lightly… They’ll even be finding conference organizers violated newer and safer methods to kill existing Philippine laws on the the unborn… Just imagine the sanctity of life”. hundreds of thousands of lives Melegrito also questioned lost every year because of this the legality of the event citing evil… It amounts to genocide.” the temporary restraining order For three days from Janu- (TRO) issued in 2013 by the Suary 21 to January 24, delegates preme Court (SC) which is still from the Philippines and other in effect. Asia-Pacific countries will be One-time senatorial candidiscussing “ostensibly” sexual date Lito David of Paco-based and reproductive health issues Soldiers of Christ said they will such as “youth endangerment”. never stop fighting for the rights But day 2 of the APCRSHR of the unborn. (Raymond A. focuses on “post-abortion care”, Sebastián)
Integrity / A1

Local News
THE victims of last year’s powerful earthquake in Bohol province feel they have been forgotten as attention and aid shifted to typhoon-ravaged Central Visayas. Bishop Leonardo Medroso of Tagbilaran said several victims displaced by the magnitude-7.2 temblor last October 15 are still in need of help especially from the government. “We feel forgotten here in Bohol,” Medroso said over Manila archdiocese-run Radio Veritas. However, the church leader said they need to stand up again by helping each other and through their strong faith. “We are in the stage of rebuilding. Of course this is the spirit of the people here who were discouraged because of the earthquake,” Medroso said. “The people are recovering very fast and their faith becomes stronger. That means that the earthquake is a means of evangelization for us, very strong,” he said. The bishop also renewed his appeal for aid to rebuild several parish churches damaged by a strong earthquake that struck Bohol province last year.

CBCP Monitor
January 20 - February 2, 2014

Vol. 18 No. 2

Quake-ravaged Bohol feels forgotten
have started rebuilding damagedchurches especially those that are considered as cultural heritage. “Because it would take time to rebuild, we will build new alternate churches, smaller one but decent, as a place for us to celebrate the Eucharist,” he added. All of the diocese’s 50 parish churches suffered major damages during the earthquake including eight heritage churches with three of them in total wreck and impossible to restore. Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle recently called on Filipinos ‘not to forget’ and pray for the victims of recent disaster that hit the country. In his homily during the Mass for the Feast of the Black Nazarene in Manila, he said that in praying, the faithful show they do not forget. He particularly reminded the devotees of people affected by Typhoon Pablo in 2012, Tropical Storm Santi, the Zamboanga siege and the earthquake in Bohol. “Those who remember God remember their neighbor,” Tagle said. (CBCPNews)

Raymond Sebastian

A boy sits outside his home that was destroyed by the powerful earthquake that hit Bohol last year.

Bishop Leonardo Medroso of Tagbilaran said more help is needed to repair the churches that were heavily damaged by the magnitude-7.2 temblor last October 15. “To those who have faith and have seen the importance of the churches for our celebration of the Eucharist, we are appealing to you to help us rebuild Bohol

again,” Medroso said. According to him, with the restoration of the churches, it can give more hope to victims and could spur the province to rise up again. “… So that we too, having recovered ourselves, we can also help other people by spreading the Good News,” he said. Medroso said they already

Priest says illegal logging worsens flooding in Davao region
A CATHOLIC priest has blamed illegal logging for the worsening floods in Davao region. The province is getting absolute drench caused by incessant rain that hit Southern Mindanao since Jan. 10, and deluge continues. The downpour has caused flash floods across the area and other provinces, killing at least
Dialogue / A1

26 people, reports said. Fr. Emerson Luego, Diocese of Tagum’s social action director, said high rainfall was not the only cause of the flooding. He said many trees have already been lost to typhoon Pablo last year and non-stop illegal logging exacerbates the situation. “Our forests have been stripped by illegal logging aside

from the destruction caused by typhoon Pablo,” Luego said. Meanwhile, Caritas Manila has immediately sent an initial P200, 000 to help the Diocese of Tagum’s relief operation. Fr. Anton Pascual, executive director of Caritas Manila, said they also sent another P200, 000 for the diocese’s rehabilitation effort. Around 63,000 families or


3,000 individuals were displaced by the incessant rain brought on by a low-pressure area in 14 provinces from regions X, XI and Caraga. In Davao del Norte, Tagum City and the towns of Kapalong, Carmen, Asuncion, and New Corella were already placed under the state of calamity. (CBCPNews)

In changing our culture, we have to ask questions, questions that transform our conscience,” Tagle said. ‘Needs of our time’ “These are just small things, but they are the hidden ways by which we can transform our culture. They are the needs of our time,” he said. Tagle noted that it is important to penetrate the different straits of society—particularly politics, business, arts, science and technology, among
Meralco / A1

many others—in attempting to transform the Filipino culture. “Christianity has long been present in our country, but why haven’t we achieved this culture of integrity?… Let us try to transform our culture into a culture that is honorable, a culture that respects one’s conscience, and a culture that prioritizes public welfare than self-interest,” he said. “With the great presence of the laity in our church, there is still hope for us,” he added. never enough just to pay the bills. I always have no money left for savings.) Minimum-wage earner Dexter Arisga, 32, complains, “Kalbaryo sa amin iyang lalong pagtaas ng singil sa kuryente.” (The exorbitant price of electricity is weighing us more down.) IBON stressed that the figures only show the immorality of Meralco’s huge rate increase, and denounces its threat of rotational brownouts should the SC ruling temporarily suspending the rate hike prevails. Pabillo, however, explained that the distribution company should not take all the blame, given that it is a monopoly. “We cannot just point the finger at Meralco, when in fact it is the entire system itself that badly needs fixing,” the bishop said. The bishop underscored the need for the government to promote the common good “Our government must do everything in its capacity to ensure that the welfare of every Filipino is always upheld… Ironically, we are using the most expensive electricity in Asia,” he said. (Raymond A. Sebastián)

good of the people here in Mindanao and to the peace and dialogue being undertaken by the people of various faith in Mindanao specially with the Bangsamoro,” Quevedo said over Catholic Church-run Radio Veritas. Among the bishops, the cardinal-designate is one of the most exposed to the Bangsamoro peace process. Isabela de Basilan Bishop Martin Jumoad strongly believes that Quevedo can help strengthen the ongoing peace talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. “His voice can really guide the framers of the agreement, which would be acceptable to Muslims, Lumads and Christians,” Jumoad said. Quevedo was the president of the Catholic bishops’ leadership when at least two major armed conflicts between the military and MILF occurred – in 2000 and 2003. The Cotabato archbishop is the eighth
Abortion / A1

cardinal from the Philippines, Asia’s largest predominantly Catholic nation. However, the problem of corruption has remained so pervasive in a country where Catholicism is a dominant force— another challenge that Quevedo wished to address. “I prayed that I can also contribute in promoting the formation of righteous political leaders in our country,” he said. Complete surprise Quevedo said that the announcement that he had been named as cardinal came a ‘complete surprise’ to him. According to him, he could not believe the news until Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, the archbishop of Manila, sent him message that he was elevated to the College of Cardinals. “And I still did not believe it because I was not thinking all about it. God’s gift has always a surprise and makes one humble

before God,” he said. Pope Francis had made the formal announcement of the appointment of 19 new cardinals from different continents last January 12 at the Vatican. Church of the poor Quevedo is also praying that he will be able to help the pontiff’s vision for a “humble Church of the poor.” “I pray that I can contribute a little to that vision of Church of the poor in the Philippines,” he said. “I thank the Holy Father for recognizing the people in Mindanao specially the places where there are great problems of peace and to recognize also the poor people of the Philippines,” he added. The consistory to create new cardinals will be held at the Vatican on February 22, the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter. (CBCPNews)

tion study shows that the utility giant’s profits have been on the rise. It says that in the last six years, Meralco has had a 56.3 percent annual increase amid rapid power rate hikes, and that its profits in 2008 escalated by more than six times. From a reported net income of P2.6 billion that year, the power distributor was at a record-high in 2012 with a profit totaling P16.3 billion, IBON says. The research group adds that in 2013 Meralco netted more than P17.5 billion, or seven times its 2008 profits. Also in 2008, households with a monthly consumption of 200 kWh or less paid the power giant a P0.5729 distribution charge. This amount skyrocketed to P1.2225 in 2012, or a 113.4 percent increase. Shella Medilo, 30, a Taguigbased office worker from San Pablo City, laments that she finds it harder now to make ends meet even with her aboveaverage monthly salary. “Sa mga bayarin pa lang, hindi ko napagkakasya ang suweldo ko. Wala nang natitira,” Medilo said. (My earnings are
Kids / A1

and advocacy of access to it is against the law. The group asked the court to issue a temporary restraining order against the particular sessions during 7th Asia Conference on Reproductive Sexual Health and Rights at the Philippine International Convention Center. The conference will open on Tuesday, Jan. 21, and ends on Friday, Jan. 24. “The advocacy of access to abortion is contrary to good customs and public morals,” the Pro-Life Philippines said in their 10-page complaint. “The TRO is necessary because the conference itself is an affront to this nation that respects
Social Media / A1

and upholds life and condemns abortion,” said Eric Manalang, Pro-Life Philippines president. Abortion is crime Atty. Jo Imbong, senior counsel of the St. Thomas More Law Society on the complaint, said that advocacy on abortion “insults and mocks” the law of the Philippines, being the host country. “Under the law, publicly spousing crime like abortion is also a crime. So those who are promoting that discussion are violating the law,” Imbong said. The lawyer also lamented the involvement of the Department of Health and the Population Commission in the event’s steer-

ing committee. As government agencies, she said that its officials have the duty to obey and uphold the Constitution on the rights of the unborn. “But what happened? Are they therefore abetting the decriminalization of abortion?” added Imbong. The lawyer and her son, Atty. James Imbong, are set to argue for the issuance of a TRO. RH is population control, abortion Fr. Melvin Castro, executive secretary of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, also chided that the event is being held in the country.

We are deeply saddened that after a series of natural calamities that brought death and destruction to our people, such a conference will be hosted by our country,” Castro said. He also said that as the church pointed out, the terms reproductive health and sexual rights include access to surgical and medical abortion. “This conference proves the real agenda of RH is population control and abortion,” he added. Among the pro-abortion groups behind the conference include the Ford Foundation, Pathfinder International, and International Planned Parenthood Federation. (CBCPNews)

Members of the Pauline family from the Society of St. Paul, Daughters of St. Paul and the Pious Disciples of the Divine Master helped Lovett and Martinson in facilitating the workshop. Villegas said having the Religious and seminarians facilitate in the workshop is also a blessing as it also presented “an opportunity for them to let go of their biases, their apprehensions that the bishops are stiff and rigid, so it became an opportunity for warming up of relationships.” “There is really no substitute to a personal encounter, that it is not just about learning techniques, but the important thing is a personal encounter with each other and encountering Christ in each other, and that is evangelization,” he said. “Evangelization is Jesus in my heart reaching out to your heart. I think that is a celebration of mutual evangelization,” the prelate furthered. Villegas, who also has a facebook account that has already garnered 14 thousand likes, said the workshop helped further enhance the appreciation of those who are already using facebook, and for those who are not yet into

it have discovered the value of social media. Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon also said he is very happy about the workshop because it was not only “something that is seen as a youthful activity or something that only young people can get into but each and everyone of us, mainly because of the evangelization value of getting into the world of social media.” For his part, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, who already has an existing facebook account that has reached its 5000 maximum of friends, discovered another way of expanding his reach in cyberspace by opening a fan page. “I made the first fan page during this workshop, so it is wonderful that in 10 minutes you can have already 27 friends,” he said. Having learned also how to upload photos, Pabillo vowed to always accompany his posts with images from now on. “The picture is so powerful and I know how to upload a picture now. So this is something that can be something of help and I resolve to update my facebook account more frequently,” he said.

Passion to use the new media Lovett observed that although most bishops have the gadgets, the tablets, the Macbook and all the instruments, many of them also do not have the skills or the desire to use these instruments to their best capability. But apparently the workshop did not only give them the skills but also fired them up to engage in social networking. “It’s funny but the reality is that most of the bishops who are not media savvy, who do not have much experience about media came away from the session this morning not only with a greater awareness of the medium and not only with the realization that they can do it but the desire, the passion to use this new media, the social networking to stay connected with their young people, especially interact with them, and to inspire them in a new way,” he said. “I have given many seminars to so many bishops, not only in one place in one time, and with such a diversity of age groups and experiences. We have one bishop [this morning] who does not have a cellphone, and by the end of the morning he had a facebook account,” Lovett raved. (PB/CBCPNews)

marked the end of the Christmas season last week. An example for parents According to Fr. De Guzman, the new parish priest of St. John Bosco Parish, Makati City, the Gospel reading about John’s baptism of Jesus and God the

Father’s affirmation of His Son provides modern parents a timeless example to follow. “It must have been a very affirming situation for Jesus to hear His Father say, ‘This is my beloved Son,’” Explicitly acknowledging and verbally approving of one’s own

children has its unique power, Fr. de Guzman said. “Kids really wait for affirming words from their parents as the Father did to Jesus,” he added. ‘Prequel to death’ According to Fr. de Guzman, God the Father’s delight over Jesus’

acceptance of His mission to suffer and die on the Cross for the salvation of the world was so great that He “bellowed for all to hear down the centuries, ‘This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.’” The baptism of Jesus in the muddy waters of the Jordan River, he also explained, is a kind

of “a prequel, an anticipation of His death on the Cross.” “Jesus was immersed in the Jordan River…that points to a kind of death. He emerged from the water refreshed and He hears a voice saying, ‘This is my beloved Son,’” Fr. de Guzman said. Stressing the importance of the

passage on the baptism of Jesus, he said, all four Gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, all mention the event, hence its historicity. “You’ll be able to see if [an event] is authentic and historical if all four Gospel writers will report it,” he added. (Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz)

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 18 No. 2
January 20 - February 2, 2014

Diocesan News


Caritas Nova sends livestock, fishing Archbishop urges lay people to be leaven in society implements to Yolanda survivors
NOVALICHES, Quezon City—More than two months after the devastation wrought by supertyphoon Yolanda (international codename Haiyan), Caritas Novaliches continues its rehabilitation effort in Leyte to help survivors in the province start anew. Social worker Mayen Abceron said that it is the third time Caritas Nova sent aid in the area, the most recent being last January 6. Five parishes in particular under the Vicariate of Our Lady of Fatima in Calubian town have already received assistance in the form of livestock and poultry like hogs, chicken, and animal feeds; and agricultural and fishing implements like seedlings, fertilizers, boats, and fishing nets. These parishes are the Our Lady of Fatima, Immaculate Conception, St. Isidore the Worker, Holy Child, and St. Anthony of Padua. With a population of mostly farmworkers and fisherfolk, Caritas Nova is positive that the assistance is reaching the most deserving individuals. To make sure that they will have a sustainable income source, the benefi-

Survivors of typhoon Yolanda in Eastern Samar carry bags of relief goods distributed by Church-based organizations.

Archbishop Angel Lagdameo urges the laity to be active agents of change in society during the launching of the Year of the Laity in the archdiocese.

ciaries are trained in proper hog and chicken raising, planting, and boat maintenance. Caritas Nova plans to set up a cooperative which will be lending capital to survivors who want to start their own sari-sari store business. The organization is also lending

chainsaws which the residents can use to recycle trees felled by Yolanda into construction material for the rebuilding and repair of houses. Abceron assured that Caritas Novaliches will be standing by the Yolanda survivors until their full recovery. (Raymond A. Sebastian)

Teachers’ congress in Naga City highlights Joy of the Gospel
NAGA City— More than 500 teachers from 20 different schools gathered at the Universidad de Sta. Isabel (USI) Auditorium last January 10 for the 4th Annual CEACAL Teachers’ Congress, highlighting evangelization. Themed “The Joy of the Gospel: Source of Lay Spirituality Today”, the congress had Daet Bishop Gilbert Garcera as guest speaker. Garcera gave a brief discourse about the Holy Father’s latest apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, (Joy of the Gospel). According to CEACAL (Catholic Educational Association of Caceres and Libmanan) President and Naga Parochial School Director Fr. Rex Andrew Alarcon, Garcera shed light on Pope Francis’ “method of evangelization, [which is] anywhere and anytime; and that evangelization must make explicit mention of Jesus”. As a fitting tribute to the Year of the Laity, the congress was highlighted by a talk show, participated by four lay people, who are active in the local Church of Caceres. Representing sectors of Politics, Business, Education, and ordinary work, the four guests spoke of their day-to-day experiences, of simple joys and the challenges they face with regards to giving life to the Good News, not only in their own personal lives but also in the lives of others. The guests were Ms. Amy Clemente (Marketing Officer, Sta. Rafaela Producers Cooperative), Mr. Mellard Japson (President, Mathematics Department, Camarines Sur National High School), Mr. Agileo Michael Pauig (Regional Senior Manager, Mead Johnson Nutrition), and Hon. Councilor Gabriel Bordado, Jr. (three-term City Vice-Mayor). The talk show was hosted by Ms. Ana-Liza Macatangay, Provincial Head of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (Phil-

Four lay people share to congress’ participants their everyday experience of giving life to the Good News, at home or in the workplace.

ippine Information Agency) and Fr. Rex Andrew Alarcon. Alarcon said the show “made the audience attentive and [at the same time], [it] was also entertaining.” By utilizing a different approach and an innovative way of hosting an academic seminar, the Congress fostered fellowship and participation through the “showcase of talents from different

schools”. A eucharistic celebration presided by Fr. Alarcon capped the gathering at three-thirty in the afternoon. Organized by the Catholic Educational Association of Caceres and Libmanan (CEACAL), the first Teachers’ Congress was launched in 2010 to “provide spiritual and personal well-being for teachers”. (Natalie Hazel Quimlat)

Conference on Family Ministry to train diocesan teams
BACOLOD City—The Pope John Paul II National Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family (PJPII) will hold a weeklong training of diocesan teams for the ongoing formation of priests and religious in family ministry. Called “National Conference on Family Ministry” the weeklong seminar heeds the call of the Holy Father Pope Francis for a formation program for priests and religious on family Ministry. The Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, chaired by the Most Rev. Gabriel Reyes, has assigned the PJPII to facilitate the formation program in the Philippines. The conference will be held on Feb. 10–14, 2014 at the Planta Centro Hotel, Araneta Street, in Bacolod City. With its theme “The Good Pastor Gives Life to the Family”, the Conference aims to make available in the Philippines the course given by the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Rome. Mr. Stephan Kampowski, SThD, a
Recovery / A1

JARO, Iloilo— Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo urged the laity to be leaven in today’s society, reminding them of their being “salt of the earth and light of the world” when they render service in the Church. “Through your service in the Church, you are living out the call to be salt of the earth and light of the world because you are called to be saints and sent forth as heroes,” Lagdameo said during his homily at the launching of the Year of the Laity at the Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral last January 11. Lagdameo challenged the lay people to “Stand up for Christ in your public and private life, to read the bible to nourish your life, and to have recourse to the sacraments especially the sacrament of Reconciliation and the Holy Eucharist.” He reiterated the call of Pope Francis to all Catholics saying that “you must go into the world of the family, of business, of economics, of politics, of education, of the mass media and the social media, to every human endeavor where the future of humanity and the world are at stake and to make a difference.” He further advised the laity “to unite in groups which through prayer, discernment and concerted action to renew the social and political fabric of our country.” Inspired by the theme “Called to Be Saints, Sent forth as Heroes”, the Archdiocesan event was participated by lay people from parishes, Lay Organizations Movements and Associations (LOMAS), Marian Associations Movements and Organizations (MAMO), schools, seminaries, religious and secular institutes, and other sectors of society. In his message Fr. Joenick Territorio, Director of the Jaro Commission on Laity, emphasized to the laity the 4 C’s:
Candidly Speaking / A5

Communion with God, Collaboration of the laity to the ministry of the Priests, Cooperation and Coordination in the different lay charisms. Tributes were given to past Laity Commission Directors and Animators— Msgr. Joemari Delgado, Fr. Robert Amalay, Fr. Joel Rudi and Fr. Midyphil Billones—in recognition of the roles they played in the journey of the laity in the archdiocese. Dr. Linda Tacorda, former National Laiko President and a pillar of the establishment of the Commission on Laity in the Archdiocese, in a talk, has challenged the laity to ‘bring out your gifts and activate it.’ “If the laity are formed,” she said, “they become co-discerners and partners to bring together and build the Church.” “The laity must bring their faith and gospel through their profession, bringing love to their vocations as being counted by the Lord to build the same Church that Jesus has built for us,” she added. The talk was followed by a presentation from the Jaro Archdiocesan Youth Commission depicting the realities of the youth today and their tasks as young people to be saints and heroes in their everyday life. A video presentation of the activities of the Commission on Laity was also shown to enhance the understanding of the laity’s role in the Church. The launching was capped with the formal introduction of the new Archdiocesan website, www.jaroarchdiocese. org. Msgr. Joemarie Delgado, Director of the Commission on Social Communications, said that the website is aimed to address the cyber dimension of the New Evangelization in the world. (Krzysztal Joy Badayos)

professor of the John Paul II Institute in Rome, will be in Bacolod to give the first three talks of the conference, namely: “The Anthropology of Marriage and Family: Personhood and Family Relationship”; “Marriage and Family in Scriptures, The Nuptial Mystery and Theology of the Body”; and “The Vocation to Love and Christian Morality”. The succeeding lectures will be given by the professors of the Pope John Paul II National Institute who will give talks in the context of Filipino marriages and families: Fr. Nitodel Soriano on “Sociology of the Filipino Family: The Ambivalence of Filipino Values”; Carmen Tan on “State of Filipino Marriages in the Philippines: Sacramental and Civil Marriages vis-a-vis De Facto Unions”; Fr. Ronaldo Quijano on “The Familiaris Consortio and Family Rights”; Fr. Noli Blancaflor on “Public Policies Affecting Marriage and Family”; Msgr. Victorino Rivas on “Family Ministry: a Diocesan Pastoral Ministry”; and Ma. Teresa Golez on “The Diocesan Institute for

Training of Family Minister: The Empowerment of the Lay”. The fourth day of the Conference will feature testimonies from selected priests and lay people concerning involvement in Family Ministry. This will be followed by workshops. According to Fr. Ronaldo Quijano, the Academic Dean of the Pope John Paul II National Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, a parish known for its strong family program will host a dinner on the last day for participants to give them a chance to interact with the faithful of the parish and share stories and insights with “people on the ground”. All dioceses have been invited to send delegates who can in turn facilitate the ongoing formation of priests and religious on family ministry in their respective dioceses. “The response, even a month before the start of the Conference, has been encouraging. We expect more dioceses to respond in the coming weeks,” Quijano said. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas)

Hon. Councilor Gabriel Bordado, Jr

in the different levels of the Church structure that should observe its proper hierarchy. We should stop, or at least minimize the air of tension and acrimony among the different groups. Everyone should be given a chance to air his views, presuming that everyone should also make due study before articulating his positions. We have to avoid the impression that the liturgy is too static, too legalistic, too Roman or too African, or too dynamic, too
Along the Way / A5

vague, etc. We have to observe the essential of the liturgy in as perfect a unity as possible, while respecting the legitimate diversity that can arise from the incidental aspects of liturgy, for example, in the area of the varied cultures in the world. Unity is never to be understood as uniformity. Thus, the crucial part is to know which is essential and which is incidental in the liturgy.

the areas of Palo, Tacloban, Ormoc and Eastern Samar. CRS has committed to raising $50 million (around P2.2 billion),” it said. The CRS is the international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. Food aid declining Though many survivors start rebuilding homes, the agency said that the need for durable building materials is “high” as some of them are only using what they have
And That’s The Truth / A4

gathered from the rubble. It said that removing thousands of fallen coconut trees is a major challenge given the heavy equipment required. According to the agency, the distribution of food assistance is decreasing two months after the typhoon, pressuring the people to start earning an income. Coconut farmers and fishermen have taken the biggest hit to their livelihoods. New coconut trees will take 5 to 7 years to mature and boats are costly to rebuild, the CRS said.

“More than one-third of the Philippines’ labor force depends on agriculture for income. With land and crops devastated, we plan to help people recover their agricultural and fishing assets,” it said. Model homes To date, the CRS has provided 40,000 families or 200,000 people with emergency shelter, potable water and sanitation, and debris clearing. The agency is also training carpenters to work with community members to build

shelters and supplying them with essential carpentry tools including saws and hammers. It also provided cash-forwork opportunities to people who work in clearing up the debris left by the typhoon in the roads and other public places. “We will soon begin to support permanent housing solutions that use local materials, as well as corrugated iron sheets to construct similar Aframe homes of more durable, disaster-resistant materials,” the CRS said. (CBCPNews)

lay faithful and religious) converge on this goal”(CFL 57) In his apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis affirms the role of the laity in the Church’s mission and the need for lay formation: “Lay people are, put simply, the vast majority of the People of God. The minority—ordained ministers— are at their service. There has been a growing awareness of the identity and mission of the laity in the Church. We can count on many lay persons, although still not nearly enough, who have a deeply-rooted sense of community and great fidelity to the tasks of charity, catechesis and the celebration of the faith. At the same time, a clear awareness of this responsibility of the laity, grounded in their baptism and confirmation, does not appear in the same way in all places. In some cases, it is because lay persons have not been given the formation needed to take on important responsibilities. In others, it is because in their particular Churches room has not been made for them to
Spaces of Hope / A5

speak and to act, due to an excessive clericalism which keeps them away from decision-making. Even if many are now involved in the lay ministries, this involvement is not reflected in a greater penetration of Christian values in the social, political and economic sectors. It often remains tied to tasks within the Church, without a real commitment to applying the Gospel to the transformation of society. The formation of the laity and the evangelization of professional and intellectual life represent a significant pastoral challenge.” (EG 102) During this year of the laity, there is a need to make the laity become more aware of their role in the mission of the Church and to make sure that they are adequately formed to fulfill their mission. This can be carried out at the parish level and in the BECs, as well as in various lay organizations, movement and associations. This is very important because the fulfillment of the Church’s mission depends on the laity who constitute 99.9% of the Church.

makausap sa Diyos! Milagro yan!” (Never in my blasted life have I ever heard a bird talking to God! That’s a miracle!) And so family and friends and strangers would be amused. But why would the bird make one exception? No matter how hard I tried to prompt it, it remained tight lipped. That was the day a born-again cousin visited us. I was eager to have her hear my “praying bird”, because she likes talking (and arguing) about religion but, nada. The bird wouldn’t make a sound the whole time despite my prodding, not even a respectful “Tao po!” (which it had

learned on its own), or a fierce “Woof, woof!” or a shy “Meeeow!” which it had picked up from my dog and my cat. When my cousin left, I confronted the bird: “You embarrassed me. Why were you so quiet when your chatter was most needed?” Then it broke its silence, repeating “Lord, I love you!” several times. I reprimanded it, “You should have said that and calmed down my cousin when she was trying to nitpick about Catholic confession and celibacy!” But as I suspected, this mynah must have had a will of its own. Well, my speculations notwith-

standing, that incident has remained a mystery to me. One morning I missed its “holy noise”. I found it wounded and stiff, dead in its cage. I was sad but thankful that in its short life Lily reminded people about the love God has for us, or the love we do not have for Him—I’ll never know. Most of the time, the Holy Spirit is depicted in art and literature as a white dove; but who can stop the Holy Spirit for choosing to come in the form of a black mynah? Mysteries are best embraced, not scrutinized. And that’s the truth.

and the first disciples. They had been fishing all night and had caught nothing. Jesus commands them to lower their nets for a catch. They bring in a miraculous catch! Before the command to lower their nets, Jesus has a prior command: “Put out into deep water” or “Duc in altum.” John Paul II used this passage to inaugurate the New Millennium in the 2001 Apostolic Letter “Novo Millennio Ineuntes”. Perhaps the section in the said letter that can teach us something very fundamental and profound about raising the tide of Philippine politics is sec.

43. It is about making the Church “the home and the school of communion”. This is the “spirituality of communion” that starts with a contemplation of “the mystery of the Trinity dwelling in us” leading to the mindset that our fellow Christians as “those who are a part of me”. This leads us to see others as a “gift for me”. Because of this we “make room” for each other. “Unless we follow this spiritual path, external structures of communion will serve very little purpose,” the Pope wrote. The deep water is going beyond the usual in our relationship with God and with others! (To be continued)

Kristal Joy Badayos

Roy Lagarde


People, Facts & Places

CBCP Monitor

January 20 - February 2, 2014

Vol. 18 No. 2

Villegas launches new office to focus on social media
CATHOLIC Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Archbishop Socrates Villegas’ recent launching of a social media group under the CBCP Media Office signals the Church’s growing desire to reach a wider audience through new media platforms. No more incense and candles “You know, the CBCP building smells like incense and candles, but the media cannot smell like incense and candles. It should smell like society, it must smell like the city…It should be where the action is,” said Archbishop Villegas during a holy mass to celebrate the official inauguration of Areopagus Social Media for Asia at its new office in Intramuros, Manila last January 15. In a simple ribbon-cutting and blessing ceremony, which was attended by a few guests like former Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jr., Archbishop Villegas explained how the CBCP Media Office, which will supervise the new social media group, has been a “baby” that the CBCP has “nurtured, made grow and formed” and how it is now ready to take on more challenges. Far from being just a shift to a more “techie” mode, the move, according to Villegas, is grounded on the Gospel. “The role of the media is not just the beautification of the Church. The role of the media is not just to make a good PR image about the Church. The goal of media is the transformation of society,” he added. More than PR Archbishop Soc, as he is popularly called, also explained how media work should be tied to the mission of lay people in general. “It is not the mission of lay people to beautify churches. It is the mission rather of lay people to beautify the world. Make sure that Christ is in the world,” he said. Villegas, who assumed office as head of the CBCP last December, was also quick to note Areopagus’ advantage over more mainstream media outfits. “Although our group is quite small…This small group is a
Roy Lagarde

Pinoy artists perform anew for typhoon survivors
FIVE Filipino musicians staged anew a solidarity concert for typhoon survivors in Guiuan town, Eastern Samar. Artists Gary Granada, Bayang Barrios, Lolita Carbon, Cookie Chua and Chickoy Pura on January 14 boosted the spirits of typhoon survivors with their inspiring songs as they staged a concert in typhoonravaged Guiuan, Eastern Samar. “The concert series seeks to put forward the social recovery of the communities which were hard-hit by Supertyphoon Yolanda,” said Yoly Esguerra, national coordinator of the civil society network Philippine Misereor Partnership Inc. (PMPI), one of the organizers of the concert. Comedian Tado Jimenez hosted the concert, which was the second in a series of performances held in typhoon-devastated communities, at Guiuan town plaza from 2:00 to 5:00 in the afternoon. “It is offered free to the residents of affected areas and to all the humanitarian workers and volunteers who exerted extra effort to bring assistance to the ravaged communities,” Esguerra added. Granada and Barrios opened the concert program, with Barrios singing “Biyaya” and “Kapayapaan sa Mundo”; while Granada captivated the crowd with his songs “Kahit Konti”, “Si Ka Bayani”, and “Sayang”. Chua, the former lead singer of the band “Color it Red”, serenaded the crowd with the songs “What a Wonderful World”, “Pagibig sa Tinubuang Lupa”, and “Paglisan”. As a member of folk group “Asin”, Carbon sang their signature hits “Masdan Mo ang mga Bata,” “Usok” and “Gising na Kaibigan Ko”. Pura, vocalist of the rock band “The Jerks”, performed “Imagine” and “Tambol”. The five artists, who are all members of music guild Forty Eight Voices (FEV), sang as their finale number, “Sana”, “Himig ng Pagibig”, “Kapaligiran”, “Kanlungan”, and “Sandugo”. Sandugo, which was composed by Granada and sang by Barrios, Chua, Carbon and Pura, is the official anthem of PMPI in their current relief and rehabilitation undertakings. The concert was launched last January 4 in severely devastated Tacloban City. The third and last performance of the concert series will be on January 29 in Roxas City, Capiz, which was also hit by the typhoon. The concert series was organized by PMPI, Peace and Conflict Journalism Network (PECOJON), Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines National Secretariat for Social Action (CBCP-NASSA), FEV and the local media partner, One Media One Tacloban. (CBCPNews)

Archbishop Socrates Villegas sprinkles holy water on the CBCP Media staff and guests during the blessing of the Areopagus office last January 15.

powerhouse not because we have gifted individuals manning the office, this is a powerhouse because Jesus is here,” he said. Neither professional expertise, intelligence nor being media savvy, according to Villegas, is the group’s “power”, rather it is the divine presence of Jesus that will enable Areopagus to thrive in an industry that sometimes requires compromise of values

or even complicity. “We have Jesus here and we have been assured of His presence. And if Jesus is here what is there to fear?” he said. Projects under Areopagus Social Media for Asia include the CBCP Online Radio, Impact magazine, Tapat News, Tapatan forum, as well as other online platforms. (Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz)

Augustinians celebrate 30th year as Philippine province
THE Order of St. Augustine of Sto. Niño de Cebu in Central Philippines celebrated its 30th foundation anniversary as a province on Jan. 15. Themed “Filipino Augustinians @ 30: Living in Community, Serving God in Freedom under Grace,” the event formally opened with a Holy Mass presided by Fr. Eusebio Berdon, OSA, prior provincial. The Augustinian prior general in Rome, Fr. Alejandro Moral Antón, OSA, in a message congratulated his Filipino brethren, at the same time, challenged them to extend their ministries outside of the country. “[The] circumscription is now one of the most numerous in the Order, and certainly it is the one that has the most friars in formation,” the prior general acknowledged. “In response to this blessing, we must respond with serious and well-organized work, both on the level of vocations and of formation. It is necessary to have formators suitable for the work.” He also noted that the “greatest and most current challenge for the Order is the development of the Order in the Asia-Pacific region.” “Keeping in mind the socio-economic and demographic circumstances, it appears to be that this gigantic part of the world is becoming, is already, the part of the planet most suitable for our evangelization,” Antón said. “We cannot forget this; we cannot leave it for later; the time is now, in our midst,” he concluded. Year-long activities are set to commemorate the third decade of the Philippine Province. Among the first activities is an ongoing exhibit on the history of the province, which runs until Jan. 26 at SM City Cebu. The exhibit, aside from the province’s history, showcases paintings and a number of significant artifacts under the custody of the Augustinian province. On display is the 1965 pilgrim image of the Sto. Niño de Cebu, which was commissioned as a replica of the original icon during the latter’s canonical coronation in 1965. The first group of Augustinians in the country originated from Spain and Mexico under the leadership of the Fr. Andres Urdaneta, the great Augustinian circumnavigator. They arrived in 1565, and found in a scorched hut the image of Santo Niño, which was given by Ferdinand Magellan and the chaplain, Father Valderrama, to Queen Juana, wife of the Cebu chief King Humabon, in 1521. On that actual site, where the image was found, came to s tand the church and convent of the Augustinians in the islands. From there, they fostered devotion to the Child Jesus, which has grown deeper and deeper into the Filipino identity, especially in the Visayan region. With enough Filipino friars, the indigenous province was solemnly inaugurated on Jan. 15, 1984, the feast of Sto. Niño de Cebu, with a celebration presided by Fr. Martin Nolan, OSA, prior general, in the Basilica del Sto. Niño de Cebu. The new province has then been tasked to administer several known institutions, such as the Basilica del Sto. Niño (Cebu), University of San Agustin (lloilo), Colegio San Agustin-Bacolod (Negros Occidental), Guadalupe Monastery (Makati), and San Agustin Center of Studies (Quezon City), among others. As forerunners of cultural patrimony in the Philippines, having been the first infrastructure builders in their mission towns, the Augustinians are also set to organize seminars and workshops on cultural preservation. For the whole year, they are also set to organize festivities towards three grand events in 2015: the 450thanniversary of the rediscovery of the Santo Niño icon, the marking of the 450 years of Augustinian presence in the islands, and the 50th year of the elevation of the Santo Niño Church into a basilica minore. (Levine Lao)

Students in typhoonravaged villages get needed school supplies

Adoration event aims to bridge Church-youth gap
WITH a first successful event that saw thousands of youth praying in silence in a soccer field last year, the Grand Eucharistic Adoration (GEA) was held again on January 11, to help bridge the gap between the traditional Church and young people. ‘Spiritually hungry’ “Young people are hungry for some spiritual experience. They are searching for God but they seem not to find him in the traditional places or encounter him in the traditional activities,” said Bro. Juvelan Samia, Salesian animator of the Don Bosco Days With the Lord, explaining the rationale behind the GEA that gathered thousands of young people for silent adoration at Magone and Savio Domes of Don Bosco Technical Institute in Makati. According to Samia, the Don Bosco Days With the Lord Movement, the main GEA organizer, “discovered” the event “which is both spiritually enriching and appealing to young people.” From 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., people attending the GEA encountered Jesus personally in silence, and at the same time, experienced Him as a Church. Finding answers in silence According to Samia, this prayerful silence is key to answering the most pressing issues and questions of the young generation. “We are all longing to answer our deepest existential questions, ‘Who am I? What is my purpose in life?’ We know that these questions are answered only in silence as we plunge into the very depths of ourselves,” he explained. Often, Samia added, people

Thousands of young people participated in the second Grand Eucharistic Adoration organized by the Don Bosco Days with the Lord Movement at the Don Bosco Technical Institute in Makati, January 11.

GEA Facebook Page

Heart Anonymous, the outreach arm of the Recoletos in the Philippines and Taiwan help the victims of typhoon Yolanda by building houses, chapels, schools and providing them some basic necessities in life.

are surprised to discover Jesus present in “that most sacred spot”. According to Samia, the significance of GEA, which moved several young people, not just to tears, but to conversion and

renewal last year, lies in the fact that it revolves around the Eucharistic worship of Jesus. “[Jesus] is the answer to our deepest longings and most important question,” he added. (Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz)

CHILDREN in the remote areas affected by typhoon Yolanda have received needed school supplies from a religious group two weeks before the opening of classes this January. Heart Anonymous, the outreach arm of the Recoletos in the Philippines and Taiwan in partnership with Rural Missionaries of the Philippines – Visayas, organized a campaign and distribution of school supplies for affected children who lost everything at the onslaught of Typhoon Yolanda, in the island barangays of Bantayan, Old Sagay and Old Escalante in Negros and Carles and Estancia in Panay, according to Recoletos website. It can be recalled that RMP has been conducting relief operations on the far-flung villages in Bantayan and neighboring islands hit by Yolanda. According to Fr. Gilbert S. Billena, O.Carm, RMP National Vice-Coordinator, the students from grade schools and high schools in these places direly needed school supplies, because they have lost all their possession to the typhoon. Billena said providing students with school supplies needed in their studies will help in their recovery as many

of them are still struggling and needing help. He said they are still traumatized by what happened although some understood that they need to move on by starting their classes. Last December 14, the University of Negros OccidentalRecoletos (UNO-R) students, faculty and administrators responded to the appeal and distributed school supplies and food packs in the islets of Mambakayaw, Daku Island and Bantayan. The group likewise helped the Montfort Brothers’ school in New Washington, Aklan whose school and neighboring communities was badly hit by the typhoon. Billena said those interested to donate may drop their donation in one of the dropping centers at San Alberto Carmelite Formation Center, Nasipit Talamban Cebu or look for Fr. Salvic Pajarillo, O.Carm (Landline 346-27-22, 346-5573), Nuestra Señora de Regla Parish, Lapu-Lapu City Cebu and look for Sr. Felipa “Fheng” Galleon, MSM (09218174967). The RMP is a mission partner of the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines. (CBCPNews)


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 18 No. 2
January 20 - February 2, 2014

Pastoral Concerns


Faith and Charity: ‘We Ought to Lay Down Our Lives for One Another’ (1 Jn 3:16)
Message of Pope Francis for the 22nd World Day of the Sick February 11, 2014
DEAR Brothers and Sisters, 1. On the occasion of the Twentysecond World Day of the Sick, whose theme this year is Faith and Charity: “We Ought to Lay Down Our Lives for One Another” (1 Jn 3:16), I turn in a special way to the sick and all those who provide them with assistance and care. The Church recognizes in you, the sick, a special presence of the suffering Christ. It is true. At the side of—and indeed within—our suffering, is the suffering of Christ; he bears its burden with us and he reveals its meaning. When the Son of God mounted the cross, he destroyed the solitude of suffering and illuminated its darkness. We thus find ourselves before the mystery of God’s love for us, which gives us hope and courage: hope, because in the plan of God’s love even the night of pain yields to the light of Easter, and courage, which enables us to confront every hardship in his company, in union with him. 2. The incarnate Son of God did not remove illness and suffering from human experience but by taking them upon himself he transformed them and gave them new meaning. New meaning because they no longer have the last word which, instead, is new and abundant life; transformed them, because in union with Christ they need no longer be negative but positive. Jesus is the way, and with his Spirit we can follow him. Just as the Father gave us the Son out of love, and the Son gave himself to us out of the same love, so we too can love others as God has loved us, giving our lives for one another. Faith in God becomes goodness, faith in the crucified Christ becomes the strength to love to the end, even our enemies. The proof of authentic faith in Christ is self-giving and the spreading of love for our neighbours, especially for those who do not merit it, for the suffering and for the marginalized. 3. By virtue of Baptism and Confirmation we are called to conform ourselves to Christ, who is the Good Samaritan for all who suffer. “We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us – and we ought to lay down our lives for one another” (1 Jn 3:16). When we draw near with tender love to those in need of care, we bring hope and God’s smile to the contradictions of the world. When generous devotion to others becomes the hallmark of our actions, we give way to the Heart of Christ and bask in its warmth, and thus contribute to the coming of God’s Kingdom. 4. To grow in tender love, and a respectful and sensitive charity, we have a sure Christian model to contemplate: Mary, the Mother of Jesus and our Mother, who is always attentive to the voice of God and the needs and troubles of her children. Mary, impelled by God’s mercy which took flesh within her, selflessly hastened from Galilee to Judea to find and help her kinswoman Elizabeth. She interceded with her Son at the wedding feast of Cana when she saw that there was a shortage of wine. She bore in her heart, throughout the pilgrimage of her life, the words of the elderly Simeon who foretold that a sword would pierce her soul, and with persevering strength she stood at the foot of the cross of Jesus. She knows the way, and for this reason she is the Mother of all of the sick and suffering. To her we can turn with confidence and filial devotion, certain that she will help us, support us and not abandon us. She is the Mother of the crucified and risen Christ: she stands beside our crosses and she accompanies us on the journey towards the resurrection and the fullness of life. 5. Saint John, the disciple who stood with Mary beneath the cross, brings us to the sources of faith and charity, to the heart of the God who “is love” (1 Jn 4:8,16). He reminds us that we cannot love God if we do not love our brothers and sisters. Those who stand with Mary beneath the cross learn to love as Jesus does. The cross is “the certainty of the faithful love which God has for us. A love so great that it enters into our sin and forgives it, enters into our suffering and gives us the strength to bear it. It is a love which enters into death to conquer it and to save us… the cross of Christ invites us also to allow ourselves to be smitten by his love, teaching us always to look upon others with mercy and tenderness, especially those who suffer, who are in need of help” (Way of the Cross with Young People, Rio de Janeiro, 26 July 2013). I entrust this Twenty-second World Day of the Sick to the intercession of Mary. I ask her to help the sick to bear their sufferings in fellowship with Jesus Christ and to support all those who care for them. To all the ill, and to all the health-care workers and volunteers who assist them, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing. From the Vatican, 6 December 2013 FRANCIS

Migrants and Refugees: Towards a Better World
Message of His Holiness Pope Francis, for the 100th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, January 19, 2014
hearts they long for a better future, not only for themselves but for their families and those closest to them. What is involved in the creation of “a better world”? The expression does not allude naively to abstract notions or unattainable ideals; rather, it aims at an authentic and integral development, at efforts to provide dignified living conditions for everyone, at finding just responses to the needs of individuals and families, and the vulnerable. A better world will come about only if attention is first paid to individuals; if human promotion is integral, taking account of every dimension of the person, including the spiritual; if no one is neglected, including the poor, the sick, prisoners, the needy and the stranger (cf. Mt 25:31-46); if we can prove capable of leaving behind a throwaway culture and embracing one of encounter and acceptance. Migrants and refugees are seeks to understand the causes of migration, but she also works to overcome its negative effects, and to maximize its positive influence on the communities of origin, transit and destination. While encouraging the development of a better world, we cannot remain silent about the scandal of poverty in its various forms. Violence, exploitation, discrimination, marginalization, re s t r i ct i v e a p p roa c hes t o fundamental freedoms, whether of individuals or of groups: age of globalization, needs to be approached and managed in a new, equitable and effective manner; more than anything, this calls for international cooperation and a spirit of profound solidarity and compassion. Cooperation at different levels is critical, including the broad adoption of policies and rules aimed at protecting and promoting the human person. Pope Benedict XVI sketched the parameters of such policies, stating that they “should set out from close DEAR Brothers and Sisters, Our societies are experiencing, in an unprecedented way, processes of mutual interdependence and interaction on the global level. While not lacking problematic or negative elements, these processes are aimed at improving the living conditions of the human family, not only economically, but politically and culturally as well. Each individual is a part of humanity and, with the entire family of peoples, shares the hope of a better future. This consideration inspired the theme I have chosen for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees this year: Migrants and Refugees: Towards a Better World. In our changing world, the growing phenomenon of human mobility emerges, to use the words of Pope Benedict XVI, as a “sign of the times” (cf. Message for the 2006 World Day of Migrants and Refugees). While it is true that migrations often reveal failures and shortcomings on the part of States and the international community, they also point to the aspiration of humanity to enjoy a unity marked by respect for differences, by attitudes of acceptance and hospitality which enable an equitable sharing of the world’s goods, and by the protection and the advancement of the dignity and centrality of each human being. From the Christian standpoint, the reality of migration, like other human realities, points to the tension between the beauty of creation, marked by Grace and the Redemption, and the mystery of sin. Solidarity, acceptance, and signs of fraternity and understanding exist side by side with rejection, discrimination, trafficking and exploitation, suffering and death. Particularly disturbing are those situations where migration is not only involuntary, but actually set in motion by various forms of human trafficking and enslavement. Nowadays, “slave labour” is common coin! Yet despite the problems, risks and difficulties to be faced, great numbers of migrants and refugees continue to be inspired by confidence and hope; in their lea der s a s t hey c onfront socioeconomic imbalances and an unregulated globalization, which are among some of the causes of migration movements in which individuals are more victims than protagonists. No country can singlehandedly face the difficulties associated with this phenomenon, which is now so widespread that it affects every continent in the twofold movement of immigration and emigration. It must also be emphasized that such cooperation begins with the efforts of each country to create better economic and social conditions at home, so that emigration will not be the only option left for those who seek peace, justice, security and full respect of their human dignity. The creation of opportunities for employment in the local economies will also avoid the separation of families and ensure that individuals and groups enjoy conditions of stability and serenity. Finally, in considering the situation of migrants and refugees, I would point to yet another element in building a better world, namely, the elimination of prejudices and presuppositions in the approach to migration. Not infrequently, the arrival of migrants, displaced persons, asylum-seekers and refugees gives rise to suspicion and hostility. There is a fear that society will become less secure, that identity and culture will be lost, that competition for jobs will become stiffer and even that criminal activity will increase. The communications media have a role of great responsibility in this regard: it is up to them, in fact, to break down stereotypes and to offer correct information in reporting the errors of a few as well as the honesty, rectitude and goodness of the majority. A change of attitude towards migrants and refugees is needed on the part of everyone, moving away from attitudes of defensiveness and fear, indifference and marginalization – all typical of a throwaway culture – towards attitudes based on a culture of encounter, the
Migrants / B7

© Noli Yamsuan / RCAM

and at ensuring that God’s gift of creation is respected, safeguarded and cultivated. The Venerable Paul VI described the aspirations of people today in this way: “to secure a sure food supply, cures for diseases and steady employment… to exercise greater personal responsibility; to do more, to learn more, and have more, in order to be more” (Populorum Progressio, 6). Our hearts do desire something “more”. Beyond greater knowledge or possessions, they want to “be” more. Development cannot be reduced to economic growth alone, often attained without a thought for the poor

not pawns on the chessboard of humanity. They are children, women and men who leave or who are forced to leave their homes for various reasons, who share a legitimate desire for knowing and having, but above all for being more. The sheer number of people migrating from one continent to another, or shifting places within their own countries and geographical areas, is striking. Contemporary movements of migration represent the largest movement of individuals, if not of peoples, in history. As the Church accompanies migrants and refugees on their journey, she

these are some of the chief elements of poverty which need to be overcome. Often these are precisely the elements which mark migratory movements, thus linking migration to poverty. Fleeing from situations of extreme poverty or persecution in the hope of a better future, or simply to save their own lives, millions of persons choose to migrate. Despite their hopes and expectations, they often encounter mistrust, rejection and exclusion, to say nothing of tragedies and disasters which offend their human dignity. The reality of migration, given its new dimensions in our

collaboration between the migrants’ countries of origin and their countries of destination; they should be accompanied by adequate international norms able to coordinate different legislative systems with a view to safeguarding the needs and rights of individual migrants and their families, and at the same time, those of the host countries” (Caritas in Veritate, 62). Working together for a better world requires that countries help one another, in a spirit of willingness and trust, without raising insurmountable barriers. A good synergy can be a source of encouragement to government




CBCP Monitor
January 20 - February 2, 2014

Vol. 18 No. 2

Marriage for catholics (III): intellectual and volitional defects can invalidate marriage
By Fr. Jaime B. Achacoso, J.C.D.
Can a marriage be annulled based on concubinage? The couple married young, and on the decision of the elders really, because the girl was pregnant and reluctant to marry but the boy’s mother wanted her son to be responsible. They have one child, male, 36 years old and also married. The man has a second family with three young children. He has another child (but no family) abroad. All this is known and accepted by the legal wife. WITH this article, we shall almost complete our initial overview of the Canon Law regarding marriage. We will only need to discuss in the next issue the matter of the canonical form. For now, we can focus on the second of the three constitutive elements of a valid marriage. Matrimonial Consent Can. 1057 — §1. Marriage is brought about through the consent of the parties, legitimately manifested between persons who are capable according to law of giving consent; no human power can replace this consent. beginning. What can vitiate consent to the point of making it invalid, such that the marriage contracted is null and void from the start? Simply stated, valid matrimonial consent is a human act that needs the intervention of both intellect and will—the intellect to know the true nature of the marriage institution and its sacramentality, with the discretion to know what this person and marriage to this person means; and the free will to want to contract marriage with this person here and now. Canon Law has further broken down this constitutive element into different aspects, reflecting the reality that the human act of consenting implies several things. The Intellectual Component of Matrimonial Consent While the act of consenting is one— i.e., it is the whole person who consents— one can analyze that act and identify predominantly intellectual components in the one hand, and a predominantly volitive (pertaining to the will or voluntas in Latin) component in the other. Such a division is even pedagogically helpful. Canon Law has established the following factors that can vitiate the intellectual of a psychic nature, invalidates the consent (c.1095, 3°). This has been erroneously labeled—especially in the civil courts—as psychological incapacity, causing a misunderstanding of the real ground of nullity and the object of proof. Simply put, one cannot validly assume an obligation which he is incapable of fulfilling. Since marriage is a natural institution (in fact all normal human beings even have a right to contract marriage), what c.1095, 3° simply states is that such incapacity to assume the essential obligations of marriage can only be due to reasons of a psychic nature. But not all psychic disorders cause such incapacity. What constitutes the ground for consensual invalidity—and what needs to be proven in court—is not so much the existence of a psychic abnormality but rather the incapacity to assume the essential obligations of marriage. Ignorance of the procreative and sexual aspects of marriage—i.e., that marriage is a permanent consortium between a man and a woman, which is ordered toward the procreation of offspring by means of some sexual cooperation—invalidates consent (c.1096, §1). Such ignorance is not presumed after puberty (c.1096, §2). it was determinant of the will—i.e., one would not have consented to marriage had he/she known of such quality of the person or of marriage. Fraud concerning some quality of the other party which of its nature can seriously disturb the partnership of conjugal life, perpetrated to obtain consent, invalidates such consent (c.1098). Examples of such qualities, which of their nature can seriously disturb conjugal life, are drug addiction, homosexuality or a peculiar professional lifestyle (e.g., a spy or covert operative). A condition concerning the future—e.g., “I marry you provided you pass your medical board exams by the time I give birth to our first child”—invalidates consent (c.1102, §1). The reason is that the condition on which the reality of the marriage rests is not yet there, so the marriage cannot come about either. On the other hand, a marriage based on condition concerning the past or the present is valid or invalid insofar as the subject matter of the condition exists or not (c.1102, §2)—i.e., “I marry you provided you really are a virgin as you claim”. However, the Law also states that it is not licit to put such condition of the past or present without the written bodily harm (e.g., shotgun marriage), threat of shame (e.g., pregnancy due to a premarital sexual relation), or even the threat of displeasing a person or persons that one holds in high esteem (the so-called reverential fear), as when parents have arranged a marriage. If it is proven in court that such threats caused such trepidation of mind so as to consent to a marriage that otherwise wouldn’t have been consented to, the court can declare the marriage invalid for lack of consent. Conclusion As regards the marriage in question, we have to affirm in the first place that it cannot be declared null on the ground of concubinage per se, since this has no direct bearing on the capacity of the party or on his act of consent at the time of contracting marriage. Nevertheless, there may be grounds for nullity as follows: 1) Grave lack of due discretion on the part of the man, concerning the essential matrimonial rights and duties—specifically regarding the duty of marital fidelity. It might be proven in court that the man may not have understood what monogamy really

§2. Matrimonial consent is an act of the will by which a man and a woman, through an irrevocable covenant, mutually give and accept each other in order to establish marriage. Provided the first constitutive element of marriage is present—i.e., the capacity of both parties to contract marriage—the second and most important constitutive element of marriage is the consent of both parties to contract marriage. As the classic formula states: Consent brings about marriage. No human power can replace this consent—continues the canon. Thus, if subsequent to the wedding—even many years afterwards—it can be proven in court that the consent (expressed at the time of the wedding) was defective to the point of invalidity, then the competent Church tribunal can declare that the marriage was null and void from the

components of consent to the point of invalidating them: Lack of sufficient use of reason—either habitual (e.g., intellectual retardation) or temporary (e.g., influence of drugs or alcohol at the moment of giving consent)—invalidates consent (c.1095, 1°). Grave lack of discretion of judgment concerning the essential matrimonial rights and duties, which are to be mutually given and accepted in marriage, invalidates consent (c.1095, 2°). Lack of due discretion (LDD) is one of the most common grounds of marriage nullity, and together with the so-called psychological incapacity is the most abused as well. We shall have to deal with this subject separately in a future issue of this paper. Incapacity to assume the essential obligations of marriage, due to causes

Error concerning the person—i.e., his or her identity—invalidates consent (c.1097, §1). One can’t get married to the wrong person. However, error concerning a quality of the person, even if such an error is the cause of consenting to marriage, does not invalidate the marriage, unless such quality was directly and principally intended (c.1097, §2). A woman who married a man, because she erroneously thought he was very rich, cannot sue for nullity afterwards; unless she married him precisely and principally for that reason. Error concerning the essential properties of marriage—i.e., unity, indissolubility and sacramental dignity—does not vitiate matrimonial consent, provided it does not determine the will (c.1098). Such error is similar to the error regarding a quality of the person: it does not really invalidate the consent unless

permission of the local Ordinary (c.1102, §3). Volitive Component of Consent Can. 1103 — A marriage is invalid if it is entered into due to force or grave fear inflicted from outside the person, even when inflicted unintentionally, which is of such type that the person is compelled to choose marriage in order to be freed from it. T h e re m u s t b e f re e w i l l i n consenting to marriage. There is no free will when there is external force (violence), or grave fear inflicted (even unintentionally) from outside the person—i.e., the trepidation of the mind in the presence of an impending evil (physical or moral) that compels the person to consent to a marriage in order to escape such evil. Examples of such perceived impending evils that can cause fear are a threat of

means, since he has not only sired three children with a second partner, but even another child with a third partner. Even his own mother had recognized his irresponsibility before the original marriage in question. 2) Grave fear on the part of the woman, who was pregnant out of wedlock. Note that even if she was reluctant to marry (presumably because of the obvious signs of irresponsibility on the part of the man), it might still be proven that she in fact was afraid of the displeasure of her parents and the shame and difficulties she would have to face should she become a single parent. This is why it is normally contra-indicated for the parish priest to allow a marriage to take place just because the woman is pregnant; such pregnancy could be the cause of grave fear which can be a ground for marriage nullity.

Including St. Joseph in Eucharistic Prayers
(Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy and dean of theology at the Regina Apostolorum university, answers the following query: ) Q: Now that St. Joseph has been added to Eucharistic Prayers II, III and IV, is it right to extend it to the other Eucharistic Prayers in the missal, such as those for Reconciliation and for Special Needs? I was with some priests and we could not agree on this. — R.H., Mararba, Nigeria A: It is especially fitting during Christmastide to be able to recall the May 1 decree adding the name of St. Joseph to the principal Eucharistic Prayers. The decree offers as a reason for this change St. Joseph’s particular role in the history of salvation and in relationship with the Church. To wit: “Exercising his paternal care over Jesus, Saint Joseph of Nazareth, set over the Lord’s family, marvelously fulfilled the office he received by grace. Adhering firmly to the mystery of God’s design of salvation in its very beginnings, he stands as an exemplary model of the kindness and humility that the Christian faith raises to a great destiny, and demonstrates the ordinary and simple virtues necessary for men to be good and genuine followers of Christ. Through these virtues, this Just man, caring most lovingly for the Mother of God and happily dedicating himself to the upbringing of Jesus Christ, was placed as guardian over God the Father’s most precious treasures. Therefore he has been the subject of assiduous devotion on the part of the People of God throughout the centuries, as the support of that mystical body, which is the Church. “The faithful in the Catholic Church have shown continuous devotion to Saint Joseph and have solemnly and constantly honored his memory as the most chaste spouse of the Mother of God and as the heavenly Patron of the universal Church ….” This was what motivated Pope John XXIII to add his name to the Roman Canon, practically the first change in the canon in more than 1,000 years. Pope Benedict XVI had already permitted the name to be added to the other principal Eucharistic Prayers in special cases, and now Pope Francis had followed through in making the practice universal for Eucharistic Prayers II, III, and IV. This leaves the question posed by our reader regarding the other Eucharistic Prayers. First of all, we must consider that the title and the content of the decree is very precise: “Regarding the Mention of the Divine Name of St. Joseph in the Eucharistic Prayers II, III, and IV.” Secondly, the decree affirms that “mature consideration” was given to “all the matters” before reaching a decision. It then goes on to mention only Eucharistic Prayers I through IV. Therefore, if no mention was made of the prayers for Reconciliation or those for Various Needs, then it must necessarily be deducted that the decree does not extend to them. We can hardly presume that the question did not arise in preparing the decree, so it must therefore be a deliberate choice. I am not privy to the reasons why the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments left out the other Eucharistic Prayers. It would not appear to be for stylistic reasons, as the texts of these prayers would not exclude the insertion of St. Joseph in similar terms as that of the principal prayers. I could guess -- but it is precisely that, a guess -- that the congregation did not desire to include the other Eucharistic Prayers so as not to create the idea that these anaphora are on the same level and enjoy equal status with the four principal texts. The use of the Prayers for Reconciliation and for Various Needs are fairly restricted to concrete situations and Mass formulas. To mention them alongside the other prayers in the same general decree might have induced some priests to believe that they could be used indiscriminatelyonalloccasions. Therefore, for the moment at least the name of St Joseph is not included in these prayers. However, since there does not seem to be any particular theological or stylistic reason to exclude St. Joseph from these prayers, it might be that the Congregation for Divine Worship will eventually allow for the insertion by means of a document with less weight than a general decree or simply a separate decree that recalls the restricted use of the prayers.


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 18 No. 2
January 20 - February 2, 2014

Amid the prayers and cheers of the congregation, the Mother “looks on” as Her Son leaves the Recollect premises to proceed with the procession. The Minor Basilica of San Sebastián Cultural Affairs Office explained that the tradition attempts to recreate a touching scene from the Fourth Station of the Cross in which the Virgin meets Our Lord on His way to Calvary where, to fulfill the prophecy of the Bible, He, the Messiah, is fated to be crucified to atone for the sins of mankind. In a sense, the Dungaw also pays tributes to the Augustinian Recollect friars who have been the faithful custodians of these two much venerated images. According to historical documents, the icon of the Black Nazarene and that of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel were introduced to Catholic Filipinos by these same Recollect friar-missionaries in the early decades of the 1600s from the Viceroyalty of New Spain (present-day Mexico). It will be remembered that the archipelago was then politically and ecclesiastically administered as a province of Mexico. Braving the perils of the high seas, the Black Nazarene statue safely arrived in the Philippines from Acapulco in May 31, 1606 via the galleon trade route. Sculpted by an unidentified Mexican craftsman, the image’s characteristic


Nazarene devotees revive ‘extinct’ Catholic tradition
By Raymond A. Sebastián
UNKNOWN to many who are familiar only with the usual day-long procession of millions of barefooted pilgrims, pious devotees of the Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno (Our Father the Black Nazarene) relived towards the end of the January 9 feast an almost forgotten, uniquely Filipino Catholic tradition. It is a custom so old it took church archivists and historians to attest to the existence of this once colorful and moving religious ritual. Historical records prove that said tradition had been an integral part of the original  traslación  (customary transfer of holy objects from one location to another) for centuries before the practice was discontinued in the 1900s for a yet unclear reason. Called “Dungaw” ( La Mirata  in Spanish) which roughly translates to “viewing or looking at something or somebody intently from a window”, the custom involves the Ándas (custombuilt wheeled carriage pulled by devotees)  bearing the Black Nazarene halting briefly at Plaza del Carmen. There it will be “seen” and “greeted” by the image of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel from the balcony of the San Sebastian Church.

dark complexion—as folk tradition would have it—came about after a fire in the galleon transporting it discolored its formerly fair skin. Hence devotees refer to it as the “Itim na Nazareno” (Black Nazarene). From the same country of origin and at around the same time, the Recollects brought to Manila the image of Our Lady

of Mt. Carmel which had earlier been entrusted to their care by the Mexican Carmelites. Quiapo Church rector and parish priest Msgr. José Clemente Ignacio said that the Dungaw shows in its most humble way a grieving mother being reunited at last with her suffering child— only to be separated again.

Although it lasted for only three minutes, the hundreds of thousands who participated in this year’s Dungaw held their breath as they witnessed a “long dead” tradition coming back to life. Satcheil Amamangpang, a church organist and Marian devotee, exclaimed, “There’s nothing like seeing the Dungaw. It’s truly out of this world.”

Journal of a Volunteer: Remembering Sendong, Caring for Yolanda
By Sweet Kristine Ace G. Adorio
THE Multi-sectoral Disaster Response Team of Cagayan de Oro formed the KAGAYANONG PAKIGBULIG Volunteers to respond to the call of Tabang Yolanda for the Archdiocese of Palo. Several planning consultations were made to would be deployed. We made a courtesy call to Archbishop John Du. He shared with us his experiences during Yolanda. For instance, the Blessed Sacrament in the bishop’s house was found after five days without any trace of Yolanda’s destruction.  When we entered the area, I sensed that all the families had encountered the worst scenario in their lives — to be homeless and Sta. Cruz) and Dagami, Leyte. The heat of the sun bore down on us as we began our first joint effort of Tabang operations. We saw in the people their smiles of joy with hopeful expression as we assessed their needs. Children were playful, happy, and excited to accept our games and sweet consolations of toys and chocolates or candies. Adults shared their emotional a new pair of sandals and lots of sweet goodies. She told me that at the night of the typhoon only one sandal was left from the pair that was her mother’s birthday gift to her. And she wanted chocolates because she hoped that their sarisari store would be restored after it was washed away by Yolanda.  Being with the kids in that area, I felt close to the hearts of their mothers. How could they start again when everything was gone? How could they survive when the relief operation would stop? I heard lots of doubts from the mothers of the children and their insecurity with regard to the continuing education of their children. It was not easy to hear a story that a child refused to go to school because a storm might suddenly come again. There were hidden traumas I could sense among the kids from the sounds of their little voices and their shyness despite the bright smile on their faces. There was a little young man with his drawing. I asked him “Sino ba itong tao nasa drawing?” The little boy answered, “Akoa Papa”. His papa died from the Yolanda flood just to save them. I saw the guilt in his eyes manifesting the saddest part of being a child now longing for a father this Christmas. I wanted to hug him even as his smile and innocent jolliness as he shared his story melted my heart. Still the joy brought about by the children has encouraged me to hope that their everyday smiles would be unlimited.  Third day: Kagayanong Pakigbulig’s presence as a Christmas present (December 19)  Almost four thousand families

Four Resolutions for the Environment the Philippines Should Make
By Fr. Benny Tuazon
WHAT is the future on the world’s fight against climate change? As far as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is concerned, year 2014 will be crucial in view of its projected 2015 showdown in Paris. It is hoped that in that meeting, the UN designated body will finally come up with a deal that will propel and guide all member nations in fighting climate change. In 2014, various meetings will be held from almost all levels and places all over the world in order to hammer out all the possibilities, questions, positions, concerns, etc., to arrive at a package which will concretely and effectively respond to the challenges being posed and the devastations being made by climate change. But the bigger obstacle is how to make it agreeable to all. Meanwhile, the world is being subjected to so much fracky wacky weather and destructive conditions with the latest being the super typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), the recorded hottest temperature in November after 134 years, half the US is in snow just mid-December and on May 11, levels of carbon dioxide broke the 400 parts per million barrier. The last time it was that high was three to five million years ago. The list is actually long. But the message is very clear: Time is not on our side. Something must be done now and fast. But 2014 is also crucial to every nation specially the Philippines. We have our own perils and concerns. The last year, 2013, had been marked by so much environmental destructions. The list ranges from the double gate-crash in Tubbataha Reef by the USS Guardian and a Chinese fishing boat, to mining, earthquakes and super typhoons, starring Yolanda. Weather patterns reveal that it will be worse. While the UNFCCC has its eyes focused in 2015, the Philippines should seek to start things in 2014. Since it is the season for resolutions, let me give my unsolicited ones for the country for the coming year. Renewed support for renewable energy First on my resolution-list is the full-blown no nonsense patronage of R.A. 9513, The Renewable Act of 2008, by our government together with private investors. The act was seriously and aggressively supported by environmentalists and interested investors. It was finally passed in 2008 and was expected to propel our country towards a heavily renewable oriented energy industry. Many had hoped that it will be a turning point in our country’s energy industry. But the expectations did not materialize. Except for some few moves and projects, the renewable energy programs of our country are still very much wanting. With the present escalation of power rates, the need for these “energy silent super heroes” had become apparent. My unsolicited advice to our government is to allot some funds to develop our solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, and hydro energy. Implement Green Architecture, i.e. incorporate the use of solar energy system and energy-saving methods in the construction of buildings. Multiply the building of wind turbines like that in Bangui. Harness and realize our geothermal potential. Token projects are an injustice to the renewable energy potential of our country. If we are serious in the idea and principle behind the law, we must provide the interest and money to realize them. Agriculture is our country’s key to progress Next on my resolution-list is for our government to review our agricultural policies and launch an all out ambition to maximize our agricultural produce and become one of the most reliable and sought after producer and exporter of agricultural products, at least in Asia, if not all over the world. Our country is a sleeping agriculture giant. Our potentials for agriculture products are vast, immeasurable and multifarious. Our country possesses all the necessary elements to become a food czar of the world. Almost anything can grow on anything, anytime and anywhere in our country. We have lands that are so ideal and available for agriculture. We have fresh water for irrigation to sustain plant growth. While stronger typhoons keep on visiting our place, we can still take the risk because we have summers to depend on. Philippine climate is perfect because of its ample supply of solar heat and rainwater. We have skilled, industrious and committed farmers. The Filipino farmer, in fact, can make do with basic farm implements. How much more if we train and equip them with the latest farm machines? Unfortunately, some of them had abandoned farming and sold their farmlands. The lack of support from government in terms of irrigation, seeds, fertilizers, farm machines, loans, and crop insurance left them no choice but abandon farming and seek other sources of livelihood. In the
Resolutions / B7

create the first systematic relief operations for Leyte on December 16-22, 2013. There were groups from Xavier University led by Engr. Ermin Stan Pimentel with the DRRM, KKP-SIO, and XUPsychology Department. Fr. Raul Dael and Ms. Venus Guibone led the Psychosocial Cluster of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro with the other apostolates from AYA, BEC, Ecology, Pastoral Care for Children, House of Hope, AWRACO, and Social Action Center headed by Carlbyrd Cabaraban. Other participating groups were Gawad Kalinga; Singles for Christ; and medical volunteers with nurses and three doctors—Dr. Arturo Surdilla, Dr. Loreto Talabucon Jr., and Dr. Troy John Tabanas.  Each group had different initiatives to collect donations from their benefactors or institutions and gathered these as one preparation for psychosocial training, buying medical supplies, completing the needs for WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene), volunteers’ expenses, and repacking of Noche Buena packs with other construction necessities. Before the team left Cagayan de Oro, we joined the Commemoration of Sendong in an outdoor send-off Mass officiated by Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, SJ, at Rodelsa Circle.  First Day: Arrival at the Archdiocese of Palo (December 17)  We travelled almost 18 hours via Surigao and arrived in Palo around 4pm. We were welcomed by the archdiocese’s Relief Command Director, Fr. Oscar Florencio, who gave concrete data about the affected areas where we

with nothing left.  Mass graves of dead victims were dug in front of their houses or even in the church ground.  As I looked at the place, it was like a ghost town from day until night. I couldn’t imagine so much infrastructures being destroyed by the strong winds. According to Archbishop Du, the storm surge lasted almost three hours and the storm strength was gauged at more than 315 km/h. More than five thousand were killed by the super typhoon. Let’s pray that hopes will always keep the Leytenos’ faith alive to accept this reality. God will heal them and “Bangon Palo” will take a bigger leap for everyone.  Second day: First Mission Area for Operation Yolanda (December 18)  At the start of operations in the Archdiocese of Palo, we could sense the draining of hope found in the faces of the survivors. Their silence resembled the aftermath of the disaster. The traces of destruction brought by the typhoon were still fresh. As a volunteer, I steeled my heart to be strong while listening to their different stories of struggle during and after the passage of Yolanda. The multi-sectoral group of KAGAYANONG PAKIGBULIG rendered four services: psychosocial, medical, sanitation, and relief operations. Each team had a coordinated system to carry out its operation even under certain circumstances that needed controlling the crowd. There were united efforts among the teams to gain the ultimate goal of Tabang Yolanda.  The first mission area took place at Tanauan (Barangays Magay

experiences about their family during the typhoon and their fears for their future. But still, for them life must go on and they were thankful for the different relief operations.  My first assignment was to conduct a debriefing activity with the children of Barangay Mayag.

Photo courtesy of Kristine Ace Adorio

Almost 75 kids were very happy to see us and participated in the therapy. During the sessions I could see in their eyes their fears of the rain, destroyed homes, and the physical emptiness of no toys, no sandals, no school materials — indeed, nothing left at all. A cute little girl, when I asked her what her greatest Christmas wish was, answered that she wanted

received our interventions. In every operation area we had more than a thousand fold of  pasalamat that we did not expect as their signs of goodbye to us. Inexplicably, the gratitude we received constituted a unique and beautiful Christmas experience. Despite the inconveniences where we stayed (not enough
Volunteer / B7

Photo courtesy of Kristine Ace Adorio

© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 18 No. 2
January 20 - February 2, 2014



Letter of Pope Francis to those who will be created Cardinals at the upcoming Consistory of 22 February
DEAR Brother, On this the day on which your designation to take part in the College of Cardinals is made public, I would like to send you my warm greeting as well as the assurance of my closeness and of my prayer. I hope that, as a member of the Church of Rome, “clothed in the virtue and sentiments of the Lord Jesus (cf. Rom 13:14), you may help me with fraternal efficacy in my service to the Universal Church. The Cardinalate does not signify a promotion, an honour nor a decoration: it is simply a service that demands a broader vision and a bigger heart. And, although it seems a paradox, this ability to look further and love more universally with greater intensity can be acquired only by following the way of the Lord: the way of lowliness and of humility, taking the form of a servant (cf. Phil 2:5-8). Therefore, I ask you, please, to receive this appointment with a simple and humble heart. And, while you ought to do this with gladness and joy, do so in a way that this sentiment is far from any kind of expression of worldliness, from any celebration alien to the evangelical spirit of austerity, moderation and poverty. We will see each other, then, on 20 February, when we will begin two days of reflection on the family. I am at your service and, please I ask you to pray, and ask for your prayers for me. May Jesus bless you and may the Holy Virgin protect you. Fraternally, From the Vatican, 12 January 2014. FRANCIS

CBCP Statement on the country’s new Cardinal



THE CBCP is elated to receive the news that Pope Francis has named the Archbishop of Cotabato, Archbishop Orlando Quevedo, OMI as a member of the College of Cardinals. Cardinal-elect Quevedo is a senior member of the Catholic hierarchy in the Philippines. He is known in the CBCP for his mental clarity and intellectual brilliance. He is an archbishop who is truly passionate for the formation of basic ecclesial communities. He has been a pastor up north in Ilocos Sur and down south in Cotabato. He is an intellectual giant with a very simple lifestyle and very warm fraternal manners. He is a blessing for the Church. As a member of the College of Cardinals he will be able to assist the Pope in reaching out to the marginalized in Mindanao. A Cardinal from Mindanao is a papal tribute to the strength of the Catholic faith in that region of our country. It is a proof that the Catholic faith in Mindanao is now bearing rich fruits; Cardinal Quevedo is its living testimony.

Statement of Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle on the elevation to the College of Cardinals of Cotabato Archbishop Orlando B. Quevado
IN the name of the Archdiocese of Manila I congratulate Cardinal-elect Archbishop Orlando B. Quevedo, OMI, and the Archdiocese of Cotabato. The Church in the Philippines and Asia has been greatly blessed these past decades by the service and leadership of Archbishop Quevedo. Now this blessing extends to the whole Church. I thank Pope Francis for associating Archbishop Quevedo and the church in Mindanao to his Petrine ministry and solicitude for all the churches. We promise to pray for Archbishop Quevedo. I am extremely happy to have him as a confrere in the College of Cardinals where our collaboration and friendship nurtured these past 30 years will continue on another level. Mabuhay ka, dear Cardinal Orly! +LUIS ANTONIO G. CARDINAL TAGLE Archbishop of Manila

Declaration 9th General Assembly of Chaplains and Volunteers in Prison Service
THE 9 th General Assembly of Chaplains and Volunteers in Prison Service held at Carmelite Missionaries Center for Spirituality in Tagaytay City on December 10-14, 2013, attended by 189 participants from 46 Volunteers in Prison Service (VIPS) Units representing all ecclesiastical regions of the country and 6 NonGovernment Organizations, B e a r i n g i n m i n d t h e s p i r i t o f Evangelization as part of our spirituality that is composed of three (3) elements: Relationship, Identity and Mission. We enter into a relationship with God. Accepting that our identity is rooted in God as Christians. We are the followers of Christ called “to proclaim the Gospel with joy. Considering as laity we carry two identities: as a Filipino and as a catholic. The laity needs to profess faith with patriotism. Not only that we should love our family but we should love our country as well. We are challenged to help end the extreme poverty of our country; restore the dignity of our people. It is the responsibility of the laity to choose leaders who are not corrupt and do something preventive to stop corruption. The role of the laity is to be a living witness; to draw strength from each other by teaching the faith. It must be faith in action based on our trust in God and our basic honesty and sincerity. R e c a l l i n g t h e v a r i o u s l o c a l d e v e l o p m e n t s o n t h e t re a t m e n t o f persons deprived of their liberties such as the passage of the following laws and mechanism: Republic Act (RA) No. 10389 or the Recognizance Act of 2012 that institutionalizes recognizance as the mode of granting the release of an indigent detainee to the custody of a qualified member of the barangay, city, or municipality where the person resides. Republic Act (RA) No. 10575, also known as The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Act of 2013 that seeks to upgrade prison facilities, professionalize and restructure the BuCor, and increase the salary and benefits of its personnel. Republic Act 10592, or “An Act Amending Articles 29, 94, 97, 98, and 99 of Act 3815, as Amended, Otherwise Known as the Revised Penal Code ,” was enacted into law by the President last May 29, 2013. Under this law the local jail shall entitle a prisoner to the deductions from the period of his sentence for good behavior. Detainees exercising their right to vote . Coming together as one community committed in the pursuit a kind of justice that is in consonance of with Gospel values, having deepened our solidarity, challenged and awakened to a more creative way of fulfilling our ministry; Being deeply concerned with the need to revitalize our programs to respond to the following issues and concerns: The Punitive System of our Criminal Justice The Sad Plight of the Prisoners, Victims and their Families The Impact on the Quality of Life of the Members of the Community Observing the common issues and concerns presented during the assembly, we specially take note of the following: Congestion, Poor Facilities, Lack of Budget for Food, Medicines and Other Basic Needs Proliferation of Drugs and Other Substance Abuse Corruption in the Criminal Justice System Absence of After Care Program Lack of Programs for Victims Inadequate Crime Prevention Programs Fragmented and Reactive Response to Issues Concerning the Members of Prison Community Slow Judicial Process Poor Hygiene and Sanitation Long Sentences to Prisoners Inadequate Rehabilitation Program Low Salary and Inadequate Training of Some Correctional Employees especially at the Provincial Jail Lack of Value Formation Program for Correctional Employees Believing that these issues can be addressed by the persons concerned and that there are doable actions Feeling the responsibility to bring to the consciousness of the stakeholders in the justice system. C A L L S U P O N t h e o ff i c e o f t h e President and the members of congress to give high priority in improving the justice system towards the restorative justice paradigm and ensure the availability of funds. CALLS UPON all government agencies, specially the BJMP, DSWD, and DOJ to take effective steps and sincere commitment to implement the new laws on jails and prisons and intensify their efforts to attend to the needs of the member of the prison community. Specifically, we recommend that the government agencies concerned set up a structure and a mechanism for partnership and cooperation between the church groups, non-government agencies. A memorandum of agreement can be formulated to ensure cooperation between these groups. URGES the NGOs/Gos, schools, business sectors and all entities to work together to improve the justice system and to continue the sharing of expertise, technology and networking like the GAWAD KALINGA. RE-ITERATES our plea to our Bishops to include the prison ministry as one of their pastoral priorities. Specifically, we request the assigning a responsible persons to take care of pulling the resources of the community in the service of the ministry. R E A L I Z E S A N D C H A L L E N G E S us to continue re-assessing and reformulating our plans in accordance with the social teachings of the church and the new church documents and pronouncements REAFFIRMS our commitment to work for Justice that will satisfy the demands for healing, reconciliation and wholeness for the stakeholders in the criminal justice system. As we come to the conclusion of this assembly we will bring with us new sources of energies born out of our own experiences of being affirmed in our mission and guided by the Spirit who continuously makes us feel that we are not alone in the ministry. Equipped with this strength and a better paradigm in evangelizing God’s Anawim, the members of the prison community—the prisoners, the victims and their families—we are now more confident to be joyful witnesses to the Gospel.

2014: Year of the Laity – ‘Called to Holiness, Called to Mission’
Dearly beloved faithful: Today, the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord, January 5, 2014, I, Dinualdo D. Gutierres, Bishop of the Diocese of Marbel, together with all the faithful, launch formally the Year of the Laity. The date is a propitious one. Wise men from the East saw an extraordinary star and followed it to Bethlehem to do homage to the newborn Kind of the Jews, inspite of numerous difficulties (cf. Mt. 2:1-12). All of us, laity, religious and clergy should seek Jesus and do him homage. Lay people, according to Vatican II’s “The Church”, Lumen Gentium”, are those baptized in the Catholic Church but are not priests, deacons, religious brothers, religious sisters (n. 31). They are united to Christ, share in his priestly, prophetic and kingly functions and are deputized for mission. (n. 31). They mission proper, then, of the laity is to imbue with Christ’s values economics, politics and culture (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 989).

An urgent issue today is the Department of Environment and Natural Resources/Minds and Geosciences Bureau’s letter to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, South Cotabato, dated December 12, 2013 recommending the removal of the ban on open pit mining in the Environment Code and change it to “regulate”. Brothers and Sisters: Let us follow God’s command: “to cultivate and care” for our planet earth (cf. Gen 2:16). Let us heed Pope Francis’ message: “we must consider nature a gracious gift which we must care for and set it at the service of our brothers and sisters, including future generations” (Jan. 1, 2014 World Day of Peace, no. 9). Our calls: 1. Study the Bible, Catechism of the Catholic Church,
Laity / B7

© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media



Ref lections

CBCP Monitor
January 20 - February 2, 2014

Vol. 18 No. 2

Recruiting workers for the Kingdom
3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Mt 4:12-23 (A); National Bible Sunday; January 26, 2014
By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
THERE are moments in life when something unexpected happens which makes all the difference. It happens to us. It happens in us. These are events which change the course of our life, often in a radical manner. Such was the case of the four fishermen: Simon and Andrew, James and John, the borders of whose world coincided with the area of the Lake of Galilee, until the day they met Jesus. “Come after me!” said he. And immediately they abandoned their boats, their nets, their crew, their relatives . . . and became his followers— the first recruits of a peaceful army tasked to conquer the world. An unexpected invitation, a prompt response, an immediate departure for an unknown destination. Four hearts were set aflame. Four lives would never be the same again. Something similar had happened to Abram and Elisha many centuries earlier. (See Gn 12:1-4 and 1 Kgs 19:1921.) What impelled Simon, Andrew, James, and John to leave everything behind and follow Jesus? There was his promise, of course, that he would make them “fishers of men” (Mk 1:17). An intriguing prospect, whatever those words could mean. But what moved those four fishermen to be so radical in their response was the fascinating personality of the Caller: JESUS. They saw him, they heard him, they made up their minds. Their hearts had been conquered by him. It was like falling in love, when everybody else in the world seems to vanish from sight or become unattractive, and all that remains and counts is just “the beloved one.” Ever since the days of Jesus, the world has become like a vast Sea of Galilee, teeming with numberless people busy with so many things. You and I are part of the crowd. Jesus passes by, a man among men, but with a heart trained to love the way God does. He may chance upon you and me and pronounce our names the way no mere man can do. He may even make promises that sound like riddles. When that happens, we should remember the four fishermen from Galilee and how they answered Jesus’ invitation. This “call” may not necessarily imply an invitation to forsake one’s profession and become a member of a religious congregation or of the diocesan clergy. The essential meaning of Jesus’ invitation is to become his “disciples”—people who ponder on his teaching and become “followers” of his by sharing the Master’s fundamental choices,
Recruiting / B7

Commemoration, offertory and prophecy
Presentation of the Lord, Lk 2:22-40 (A) February 2, 2014
By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
THE presentation of a firstborn to the Lord was, for the Jews, both an acknowledgment that the Lord God is the source of all life, and a reminder of the sparing of the Israelite firstborns during the Tenth Plague which ravaged the Egyptian families. But, in the case of the Baby Jesus, his presentation in the Temple was not just a compliance with a prescription of the Law in remembrance of a past event, but also an action full of meaning for the present. In fact, it marked the full consecration to the Father of his Incarnate Son—the Firstborn of all Creatures, the beginning of the new mankind. It marked, likewise, the beginning of the new and universal Exodus of all mankind from the slavery to Satan, under the leadership of Jesus. As God’s eternal Son, Jesus had always belonged to the Father. But now he was also “The Son of Man” – a human being through and through—and it was as such that he was presented and offered to the Father as the best first-fruits of humanity, a man with a mission who would spend all his earthly life in total dedication to the fulfillment of the Father’s plan of salvation. As such, his presentation in the Temple was a clear foreshadowing of the perfect self-offering which he would accomplish throughout his life, but especially in his sacrifice on the cross. Nothing in the ritual performed in the Temple by the priest or the Levite could bring out such an important meaning. It was old Simeon, who, guided and enlightened by the Holy Spirit, with inspired words, revealed the identity and mission of the little baby brought by Mary and Joseph. A righteous man who had spent all his life in the prayerful expectation of the coming of the Messiah, Simeon could finally sing his “Nunc Dimittis” as he held the Baby in his arms. His eyes, dimmed with age, were able to “see” clearly what all others could not see, despite their clear physical eyesight: the Baby was, indeed, the long-expected “consolation and glory of Israel” and “a light for the Gentiles.” He was the Savior of Israel, the Savior of the world! “Light” is a key word in Simeon’s canticle. We try to recapture the richness of its meaning in the procession with lighted candles that precedes the Eucharistic celebration of this feast. It is a timely anticipation of a similar procession that we hold at the start of the Easter Vigil as we proclaim Jesus Christ, as “our LIGHT.” There is a beautiful and inspiring parallelism between the two processions of lights, centered around Jesus, the light of our lives, the light of the world. But that light will radiate its splendor all around only at the cost of consuming itself in the unquenchable fire of love. It is the mystery of light that conquers the darkness of death through the death of the candle. Such is the mystery of the life and death of Jesus Christ— the mystery of the world’s salvation through the Redeemer’s death and resurrection. The Holy Spirit revealed to Simeon that the mission of the Messiah was going to be one of struggle and suffering. In fact, the Child presented in the Temple was destined to be “a sign that would be contradicted”—someone whose life was going to be not a glorious ascent carried out amid the exultation and acclamations of all, but a painful inching forward along the winding uphill road leading to Calvary and his death on the cross. In that pain-riddled journey the Messiah would be accompanied by his Mother, in a unique display of solidarity. “Suffering, like a sword, will pierce your heart” revealed old Simeon, as he looked with compassionate eyes to the bewildered face of the teenage Mother. Those memorable, prophetic words uttered under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, linked together Son and Mother in the heroic, shared commitment to accomplish the Father’s will. Those memorable words, would find their verification in all the “sorrowful mysteries” in the life of Jesus and Mary, and especially on Calvary. The Feast of the Presentation is also an invitation addressed to all of us to join in that procession of light and solidarity not just with material candles, but also and especially with the lighted candles of our commitments to live to the full a life of union with Jesus, in imitation of Mary Most Holy, as we promise every year when we renew our Baptismal vows.

Bo Sanchez



Do you have a bad habit you really want to quit?
I closed my eyes, said a quick prayer for provision, and told him to do it. One month later, when I picked up the car, it was like brand new. And I drove it for a few more years and thousands of miles. Friend, is there an area of your life you want to OVERHAUL? Is there an area of your life you want fixed?  Repaired? Today, I encourage you to do a massive overhaul in your life. I’m praying that God will make you brand new! Specifically, I want to help you get rid of BAD HABITS from your life. Perhaps you want to get rid of smoking. Or you want to quit eating unhealthy food. Or you want to remove the habit of complaining. Or you want to wake up earlier each day to exercise. Or you want to get rid of porn. Or you want to remove various silly “compulsions” that are destroying your peace of mind. It’s all about patterns Haven’t you noticed? Some people are always making money, while some people are always broke. Some people are always on time, while some people are always late. Some people always create happiness wherever they go, while some people create conflict wherever they go. Some people always achieve their dreams, while some people never achieve their dreams. Why? It’s HABITS.  Success and failure aren’t actions.  They’re habits. Here are 6 preliminary Steps to change a habit… Step 1: Select one habit to change Don’t try to change 19 things in your life. Just choose one habit. Choose something simple. Because it’s the simple things that will cause a massive difference in your life. Perhaps you want to eat more vegetables. Or you want to spend more time with your kids. Or you want to remove pornography from your life. I repeat: Pick one habit to change! 2. Aim for 21 days You’ve got to do this new habit for 21 days. Because that’s what it takes to learn a new habit. According to psychologists, it takes 21 days to create a new pattern in your life. It takes 21 days to create a mental pathway in your brain, so that it becomes easier for you to do it. 3. Do it daily Developing a new habit requires that you do it daily. Not 3 or 4 times a week. This is crucial. If it’s an activity that can’t be done daily, then try to choose an “alternate” activity that you can do at the same time. For example, if you hit the gym every 5pm to 6pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays—why not take a walk at that same time on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday?  That way, it’s still a daily experience. 4. Schedule it Don’t just say, “I’m going to walk daily.” Say instead, “I’m going to walk at 6AM daily.” That’ll be more powerful. Don’t just say, “I’m going to make 20 sales calls a day.” Say instead, “I’m going to make 20 sales calls a day from 10am to 12noon.” Doing this little tweak will quadruple your chances of sticking to the habit. 5. Replace it Empty space doesn’t remain empty for long. If you remove a bad habit, there’ll be an empty space in your life.  If you don’t fill that empty space, the bad habit will come back. So don’t just try quitting a bad habit. Be sure to replace it with a good habit. For example, if you want to quit watching too much telenovelas, what will you do during those three hours in the evening?  Read a book?  Learn a musical instrument? Start a business? 6. Study it Study about the new habit you want to acquire. Let’s say you want to be more grateful in the next 21 days. Then Google about gratitude. Read articles about it. Look for books on the


Bishop Pat Alo

TWENTY years ago, I drove Dad’s car. It was an old Mitsubishi Galant.  Because of its age, it was conking out on me. (I noticed that it would conk out on me whenever I thought of replacing it. When I told this to my friend, he said, “When you’re inside your car, never think about replacing it.  Because your car can read your thoughts.  Magtatampo yan.  It will feel hurt—and malfunction more.”  What can I say?  God has blessed me with very strange friends.) Each time I’d bring the car to the repair shop, the mechanic would fiddle under its hood, and after a day or two, I’d drive it off again. But after a week or so, something else will break down. (Yes, even if I tried shooing away thoughts of replacing the car.) One day, I brought it back to the shop. This time, the mechanic opened the hood, shook his head, and said, “Bo, your car needs an overhaul.” When I heard the word “Overhaul”, I wanted to faint. My entire life flashed in front of me.  Because I knew that meant a gigantic amount of money.  (I was not yet an entrepreneur at that time—just a poor missionary living on other people’s generosity.) He took out a piece of paper and wrote down a list of parts that needed to be replaced. He said, “Your engine is leaking. We need to replace the core of your engine.”

Freedom of religion

THE title we have here is mainly aligned to basic freedom we enjoy in democratic societies or most modern societies. Most nations today show respect for man’s freedom of choice, inclusive of religious tenets. Yes, in a free society we are free to choose what is right, good and just. It is because with the ample space of freedom, people become more developed in various aspects of their potentialities whereas in repressive situations when freedom is unreasonably controlled, development of peoples is tending to stagnation. Hence the respect we have for other people’s religious convictions should constitute a basic element of the concept of freedom, yes, likewise meaning the freedom we ought to have in our quest for the truth. We help one another in our quest for the truth without violating the basic freedom of choice each one is to enjoy in a free society. Freedom to do good, yes, but not the license to do evil. “Finally, brothers and sisters, fill your minds with whatever is truthful, holy, just, pure, lovely, and noble. Be mindful of whatever deserves praise and admiration. Put into practice what you have learned from me, what I passed on to you, what you heard from me or saw me doing, and the God of peace will be with you” (Phil. 4:8-9).

topic. Talk to friends about the power of gratitude. And finally… 7. Find support Surround yourself with people who already are doing your new habit. If you want to exercise daily, get your friend or spouse who will do it with you. If you can afford it, get a Physical Trainer. My friend used to smoke 3 packs a day. Her addiction was so bad, she’d wake up at 3AM just to smoke two sticks—and then she’ll fall back to sleep. Talk

about an addiction! But one day, she really felt it was time cut the habit. She told me. She told her best friends. She told her Caring Group. (That’s what we call our small groups at the Feast, our spiritual gathering.) And we prayed for her.  I’m happy to tell you that after five long years, my friend is still “smokeless”! Friend, go ahead.  It’s your turn to make revolutionary changes in your life. Quit your bad habits and acquire good habits NOW.


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 18 No. 2
January 20 - February 2, 2014

Social Concerns The greatest hunger is for justice
do their share. Changing attitudes in a community by changing our way of life is teaching by example. There is more than enough food in the world for everybody to eat well but the distribution is uneven due to corrupt governance, unfair laws and because the rich and well-fed have manipulated many a nation’s laws to benefit themselves and their luxuriant lifestyles. The poor have little chance for education, good job and food security. They don’t have a chance to provide for themselves. Roger, a poor boy, asked me to help him get a job as a janitor in a fast food restaurant. He would be paid a minimum wage and allowed to have one meal a day. He just had to mop the floor and clean the toilets for eight hours. But to get the job, the company demanded a bunch of documents. He had to have a high school diploma, a health certificate, an x-ray, a birth certificate, 2 police clearance certificates, a letter of recommendation, a mayor’s work permit and money for a uniform. For every document there is a fee to be paid, so the very poor, they are excluded and can’t even get a job that needs little training as a janitor, a good and noble profession, where would we be without them. However, hundreds of thousands of youth are unemployed because of these ridiculous and expensive requirements. When he got the job, he was fired after six months so as not to have him qualify as a regular employee and get additional health benefits. That’s why hundreds of thousands go jobless and hungry. If there is greater equality then absolute poverty will be eliminated and if there was less waste of food there would be a lowering of food prices and
Resolutions / B3

more people could be better fed. In the United States alone there is 40 million tons of food thrown away daily. In the UK, 15 million tons are wasted every day. There are statistics showing that up to 30% of vegetables and fruit delivered to the UK supermarkets are rejected because they don’t reach the pristine shape and looks demanded by the managers. In the Philippines, the left-over food from the plates of the restaurant customers are collected by the very poor and boiled and eaten. It keeps them alive. For another estimated 20 million Filipinos, a cup of cooked rice and a piece of dried fish and a scrap of vegetable is all they can afford. Even the ability of the people to feed themselves by growing their own food is being hampered by the control of the vegetable soya and corn seeds worldwide by companies making genetically modified organisms (GMO). Others have terminator seeds. These are sold with the help of corrupt Department of Agriculture personnel to farmers instead of traditional natural seeds. The seeds are dependent on fertilizers made by the same company (Shell for example). They don’t produce seeds that will grow again and the farmers have to go back and buy more seeds every year. Self reliance is taken away. That’s why many rural communities are in debt and poverty and some send their children to work in the cities. Many of them are trafficked into the sex trade. What’s needed from most is a people’s power, peaceful, non-violent movement to protest and challenge the ruling elites and educate the people to elect honest representatives renowned for integrity with the best interests of the people at heart. Now that’s a real challenge.

By Fr. Shay Cullen
FOOD, glorious food, our lives are dominated by the desire and need to eat and the agricultural industry provides food for the billions of people on the planet. However, some people eat too much food, over 1.5 billion and others have too little food, about 925 million people are malnourished and go hungry. The people with too much food, most of it bad for the health, are dying from the surplus as they get heart failure, diabetes, cancers and many other conditions. Those with too little are dying too from the lack of nourishing food. It’s truly a matter of social justice on a local and then global scale and needs the just and fair distribution of the world’s resources and food above all. Jesus of Nazareth, a prodigy of wisdom, advised his disciples to share whatever food they had (a few loaves and fishes) with the hungry people who had come out into the desert to hear him preach. The miracle was that the unselfish sharing of their little food inspired all the people who had food to share it with those who had none and there was enough for all. Unselfish sharing is the way to bring greater balance into the world and the rich with compassion for the poor will have the spiritual insight and knowledge as to what is a good and right way to live and will have the spiritual will power and strength to control themselves and their appetite, greed and selfish urges. People are transformed when they forget themselves and get involved in helping change the world and help others. The real change in the world comes one person at a time, and it can then grow when others are inspired to
Volunteer / B3

© Pinky Barrientos, FSP / CBCP Media

water, limited electricity, much sweat to do our tasks, delayed sweet dreams to rest, early rising to do our work, and unexpected delays), still we did not mind sharing the pure love in service. In our exposure in Barangays Cabatuan and Calbasag, we handled the routine of our activities smoothly and successfully. Being a volunteer was a great opportunity for me to become a gift for others. Wherever we arrived, we received tangible evidence of gratefulness from the people we met. In our conversations with the survivors, it became clearer to us what our mission was all about. On our third day, we could say that our presence was a way of sustaining the hopes of those survivors to become stronger than their fears.  Fourth day: The Final Mission (December 20)  From the first day of arrival, we didn’t feel that the last day of our mission would come. Due to the eagerness of helping the survivors, we exerted our best efforts that the relief operations would be convenient and manageable. Until the last day of our Pakigbulig, we had many learning experiences to share every day as a team. We ended our everyday operations with a Simbang Gabi. Fr. Dael kept high our motivations with his inspiring homilies that we were sharing Christ to others. Even though some of the volunteers had colds, body pains, muscle cramps, or some signs of health disturbances, these were not a
Migrants / B1

hindrance to stop us to serve. He said that serving is a sign of blessing.  In Barangay Rizal, we served almost five hundred households. We wanted to cater to more than the expected number of survivors in that place but the demands of limitation needed to be followed — limited in relief and limited with the time. Despite these limitations, we were able to gain their understanding and cooperation. We saw signboards saying “Thank You” posted on their front yards. We finished before 4pm, rushing up to attend the send-off thanksgiving Mass of Archbishop John Du at Sto. Niño Parish Church. The church was affected by the typhoon. The roof was already covered with plastic materials but amazingly the magnificent altar of Sto. Niño still stood out in its solid golden structure.  During the homily, the Archbishop extended his heartfelt gratitude to us. He said, “We want to hurry up to end our sufferings soon but still we need to come and ease our heart from acceptance because life is just passing by!” For him trust and faith in God were the only things that need to be permanent. Also, he called us “wounded healers” from our Sendong experience. Our hearts had the capacity to love; then that love was converted to care; and finally that care tried its best to reach the Yolanda disaster area by the mission accomplished! A fellowship night ended the day to give us our best memory of Tacloban: a city full of gratitude and hopes for a better future. 
Laity / B5

process, agriculture suffered. The worst sign is the importation of rice, our staple food.  Add to that the inferiority of local farm products compared to foreign produce. The scandal on the millions of pesos for the fertilizer fund demoralized them more. The thought of having been allotted funds but had not been given to the right beneficiaries was the last straw to many. My unsolicited advice for government is to appoint a secretary who would consult our farmers, invite agriculture experts, make economists pencil push, alert congress for some more laws, convince the president on the prospects of agriculture and exorcise the department of corrupt officials and practices. Let us dwell on our strength. In time, we can deliver our country to progress through agriculture. Clean, green and mean F or my third resolution-list, I propose a clean and green with one added element: MEAN. The clean and green projects of cities and institutions were commendable but lacked the spirit of seeing to it that they were sustainable and would effect change. I believe that planners and implementers should be more aware of the meaning and goal of the project and the resolution to accomplish them. Clean and green should not just be a one-time activity and accomplishment. Furthermore, it should not be merely external in nature, but should also include the

internal conversion of people. It involves a commitment to keep all places clean because everyone believes that cleanliness is a necessity. It should also attend to sustaining the existence of plants and trees in the city together with their maintenance. Greening should not only be aesthetic-oriented. It is, a matter of fact, health-oriented. The money wasted in the innumerable clean and green failed initiatives should have been more than enough had they been used in a sustainable, impassioned, well planned and honest to goodness quest to attain a clean and green environment. My unsolicited advice to government is to invite stakeholders to this project, create a complete and doable plan, involve cities, tri-media, social institutions, etc., and invest on educating the whole populace. Let it be a continuous and permanent project. It would also be a good idea to let the people participate in the funding of the projects. Hopefully, our cities will not only look beautiful, but also healthy and safe. Environment-loving leaders My last item in the resolution-list is for us to have leaders who possess a very important and big place in their hearts for the environment. No, I am not talking about those who merely advocate care for the environment. No, I am not talking about those who merely plant trees. And no, I am not talking about those who push laws on environment. We want leaders who are pained
Recruiting / B6

by the increase in air, water, and land pollution. We want leaders who prevent further devastation of our land due to irresponsible mining, illegal logging and other similar nature-threatening activities. We want leaders who will implement environmentally related laws wherever and whenever applicable, and whoever will be affected. Good laws have no bearing if not implemented. Good legislators should be complimented with good executives. We must encourage environmentalists to seek seats of power. During elections, we can vigorously campaign for environmentloving leaders to be elected. In the end, we, the people, should be educated and be concerned about our environment. We should remind our leaders of this important responsibility. With an ailing environment, comes an ailing citizenry. This advocacy does not rely only on government. We are all part of this. This advocacy loathes fence-sitters. This advocacy needs assertive people. The situation calls for alacrity. All of us must make it a habit to contribute NOW in every way we can no matter how small, no matter how fleeting. We must start somewhere. A mile begins with one small step. “Maybe you and I can’t do great things We may not change the world in one day But we still can change some things today… In our small way.” “In Our Small Way” – Michael Jackson

only culture capable of building a better, more just and fraternal world. The communications media are themselves called to embrace this “conversion of attitudes” and to promote this change in the way migrants and refugees are treated. I think of how even the Holy Family of Nazareth experienced initial rejection: Mary “gave birth to her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn” (Lk 2:7). Jesus, Mary and Joseph knew what it meant to leave their own country and become migrants: threatened by Herod’s lust for power, they were forced to take flight and seek refuge in Egypt (cf. Mt 2:13-14). But the maternal heart of Mary and the compassionate heart of Joseph, the Protector of the Holy Family, never doubted that God would always be with them. Through their intercession, may that same firm certainty dwell in the heart of every migrant and refugee. The Church, responding to Christ’s command to “go and make disciples of all nations”, is called to be the People of God which embraces all peoples and brings to them the proclamation of the Gospel, for the face of each person bears the mark of the face of Christ! Here we find the deepest foundation of the dignity of the human person, which must always be respected and safeguarded. It is less the criteria of efficiency, productivity, social class, or ethnic or religious

belonging which ground that personal dignity, so much as the fact of being created in God’s own image and likeness (cf. Gen 1:26-27) and, even more so, being children of God. Every human being is a child of God! He or she bears the image of Christ! We ourselves need to see, and then to enable others to see, that migrants and refugees do not only represent a problem to be solved, but are brothers and sisters to be welcomed, respected and loved. They are an occasion that Providence gives us to help build a more just society, a more perfect democracy, a more united country, a more fraternal world and a more open and evangelical Christian community. Migration can offer possibilities for a new evangelization, open vistas for the growth of a new humanity foreshadowed in the paschal mystery: a humanity for which every foreign country is a homeland and every homeland is a foreign country. Dear migrants and refugees! Never lose the hope that you too are facing a more secure future, that on your journey you will encounter an outstretched hand, and that you can experience fraternal solidarity and the warmth of friendship! To all of you, and to those who have devoted their lives and their efforts to helping you, I give the assurance of my prayers and I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing. From the Vatican, 5 August 2013 FRANCIS

Teachings of the Church’s Magisterium, signs of the times and human sciences to know Christ and the world better. 2. Pray, receive the sacraments to grow in holiness as we encounter Jesus Christ through these means. Pray for our government officials that they may be enlightened by the Holy Spirit to promote the common good. 3. “Act justly, love tenderly, walk humbly with your God.”

(Micah 6:8). 4. Prepare for a peaceful, faithmotivated communal action, when it becomes necessary. May Mary, Mother of Hope and star of the New Evangelization guide us in this Year of the Laity. +DINUALDO D. GUTIERRES, D.D. Bishop of Marbel City of Koronadal 5 January 2014

his values and priorities. This clarification is especially relevant this year as we observe the “Year of the Laity,” the year when all Catholic Lay faithful are invited to discover (or deepen t h e i r a w a re n e s s o f ) t h e i r role in the life and mission of the Church. The call to active membership and sharing in the mission of the Church is addressed to all, because all the baptized are members of the

mystical body of Christ. As such they share in the Head’s role as Priest, Prophet and Servant/ King. The laity are neither “honorary members” of the Church nor a docile mass of followers. They are “shareholders”—people who have and should show a practical interest in the life of the great family of believers to which they belong. They too, together with the clergy and the religious, ARE the Church.


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TITLE: Boy Golden: Shoot-toKill DIRECTOR: Chito S. Rono LEAD CAST: KC Conception, George Estregan, John Estrada, Eddie Garcis, Baron Geisler, Tonton Gutierrez, Jhong Hilario, Gloria Sevilla SCREENWRITER: Catherine O. Camarillo, Guelan VarelaLuarca PRODUCER: Joven Tan EDITOR: Jason Cahapay, Ryan Orduha, Carlo Manatad MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Carmina Cuya CINEMATOGRAPHER: Carlo Mendoza GENRE: Action/Thriller DISTRIBUTOR: Viva Films LOCATION: Philippines RUNNING TIME: 120 minutes Technical Assessment: ½ Moral Assessment:  MTRCB rating: R 16 CINEMA Rating: V 18

Moral Assessment

CBCP Monitor

January 20 - February 2, 2014

Vol. 18 No. 2

Technical Assessment

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

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

Ang pelikula ay hango sa tunay na buhay ni Arturo Porcura (George Estregan), na kilala noon bilang Boy Anino na dating leader ng Bahala Na Gang noong dekada 60. Sinalakay noon ng grupo ni Tony Razon (John Estrada) ang bahay ni Boy Anino kung saan pinaslang ang buong maganak niya, pinagsamantalahan ang kapatid at iniwang walang buhay ang buong gang niya. Himalang nabuhay si Porcura at ngayon siya’y nagbabalik bilang si Boy Golden at ang hangad niya’y paghihiganti kay Razon. Sa kanyang paghahanap ay makikilala niya si Marla D. (KC Concepcion), isang mananayaw sa isang bar, na mayroong mabigat na galit din kay Razon at nagbabalak ding maghiganti. Matupad kaya nila ang kanilang hangarin gayong matinik at makapangyarihan ang grupo ni Razon? Makasining ang pagkakagawa ng Boy Golden. Mula sa madetalyeng disenyo ng produksiyon, hanggang sa mga kuha ng camera, kitang pinagbuhusan ng husay at talino ang pelikula. Hindi biro ang buhayin ang itsura ng Maynila ilang dekada na ang nakakaraan, pero nagawa itong kapani-paniwala ng Boy Golden. Maganda rin ang daloy

ng kuwento na naka-sentro sa buhay-gangster noong araw. Nakakaaliw ang mga eksena ng kantahan, sayawan at labolabo sa bandang huli. Pati ang mga beteranong artista na sila Eddie Garcia at Gloria Sevilla ay mga agaw-eksena sa pelikula. Madaling sundan ang kuwento at habang nakikita ang bigat ng damdamin ng paghihiganti, nariyan naman ang puso ng pelikula na sasabayan pa ng mga aliw na bentahe tulad ng kakatwang opera, at eksenang animo’y walang katuturan ngunit sadyang isinama upang magpaaliw. Mahuhusay din ang mga pangunahing tauhan na sina Estregan at Concepcion. Hindi rin matatawaran ang husay nina Baron Geisler, Dick Israel, at Estrada. Sa kabuuan ay mahusay ang pelikula. Binuhay nito ang pelikulang aksyon na matagaltagal na ring hindi nararanasan sa pelikulang Pilipino. Ang hindi nito karaniwang pag-trato sa kwento ng gang ay tila bagong aliw sa mga manonood. Sapagkat tungkol sa gangster ang pelikula, hindi maiiwasan na ito ay magpapakita ng mga eksena ng karahasan. Nariyan ang barilan, saksakan, bugbugan, sakalan, patayan, bantaan. Sa simula’y akakalain ng manonood na pawang pinapaboran ang

mga bida sa kanilang pagnanais na maghaganti kahit pa ito ay nangangahulugan ng pagpatay. Ngunit sa takbo ng kuwento, makikitang walang pinapaborang kung sino ang pelikula. Ang mga nagkakasala sa batas ay nakukulong at napaparusahan. Maging ang bida ay hindi makakaiwas sa parusa ng tadhana dahil sa mali nitong mga gawa. Hindi kailanman makabubuti ang paghihiganti. Ang dapat ay inilalaan ang buhay ng tao sa paggawa lang ng mabuti. Anumang gawaing masama ay magtatapos sa kaparusahan. Ito ang mensahe ng Boy Golden. Nariyan din ang mensahe ng wagas na pagmamahalan sa pelikula. Sa gitna ng kaguluhan at kabuktutan, hindi pa rin maiaalis na pagmamahal pa rin ang higit na makapangyarihan sa lahat. Ngunit hindi pa rin maitatanggi na malabis na marahas ang maraming eksena sa pelikula at ang tema pa lamang nito ay hindi na angkop sa mga batang manonood. Nariyan pa ang ilang eksena na may patungkol sa panghahalay na nararapat lamang sa mga manonod na nasa hustong gulang na. Kung kaya’t minamarapat ng CINEMA na ang pelikulang ito ay para lamang sa mga manonood na may gulang 18 pataas.
TITLE: Pagpag: Siyam na Buhay DIRECTOR: Frasco Mortiz LEAD CAST: Kathryn Bernardo, Daniel Padilla, Paulo Avelino, Shaina Magdayao SCREENWRITER: Joel Mercado PRODUCER: Star Cinema GENRE: Horror, Suspense, Romance DISTRIBUTOR: Star Cinema & Regal Films LOCATION: Philippines RUNNING TIME: 105 minutes Technical Assessment:  Moral Assessment:  MTRCB rating: PG 13 CINEMA rating: V 14

Mapapadpad ang mga magkakaibigan na sina Cedric (Daniel Padilla), Hanna (Michelle Vito), Ashley (Miles Ocampo), Justin (CJ Navato) and Rico (Dominic Roque) sa burol ni Roman (Paulo Avelino) matapos ang magdamag na pagliliwaliw. Nauna rito ay magkakaroon ng mainitang pagtatalo sina Cedric at Hanna at magiging dahilan ng pagkasugat ni Cedric. Madidiskubre ng grupo na ang nangangasiwa sa patay ay si Leni (Kathryn Bernardo). Samantala, nagsasa-alang-alang ng mga pamahiin ang pamilya ng namatay, para diumano walang malasin na sumunod sa namayapa. Mga pamahiin tulad ng bawal ang pagwawalis, bawal matuluan ng luha ang kabaong, bawal mag uwi ng pagkain, bawal kupitan ang abuloy, bawal tumingin sa salamin, bawal makiramay ang may sugat, bawal dumiretso sa bahay at kailangan mag “pagpag” ng sarili kapag galing sa burol o libing. Mangyayaring lalabagin lahat ito ng magkakaibigan pati na ilang miyembro ng pamilya ng namatay. Samantala, mapapag-alaman na napatay ng taong bayan si Roman dahil diumano sa pakikipagkasunduan nito sa dimonyo na pumatay siya ng siyam na tao kapalit ng pagbabalik ng buhay ng namatay na anak. Dahil sa paniniwala na di nagpagpag ng mga sarili pagdating sa kani kanilang bahay ang mga nagtungo sa burol ni Roman ay sinundan sila ng kaluluwa nito at isa isang nagbuwis ng buhay sa ibat ibang paraan kasabay ng lagim ng takot na idudulot nya. Sa pagkakataong ito ay siya naman ang magbabalik buhay kapalit ng siyam na mamamatay. Sa pagkasawi ng ikapitong tao ay mapapagtanto nina Cedric, Leni at Mac Mac (Clarence Delgado) na may kaugnayan pa rin sa kasunduan na ginawa ni Roman sa dimonyo ang mga malalagim na kaganapan at kailangan maisalba sa panganib ang dalawang buhay na maaring sila din. Maganda ang disenyo ng produksyon ng Pagpag: Siyam na Buhay at ang mga ginamit na special effects. Kapuri-puri ang effort ng produksyon na maghatid ng pinaghusay na visual effects kung saan di masasabi ng manonood na sayang ang kanilang pera. Mahusay din ang mga pagganap at naging epektibo ang pinagsamang mga aspetong ito sa paghahatid ng mga eksena ng kilig, takot at suspense na syang genre ng pelikula. Subalit mahina ang pagkakabuo ng kwento, kulang sa focus at maraming sub-plots. Marahil dahil sa dami ng artista, nagsikap ang produksyon na bigyan sila lahat ng mahaba-habang exposure sa kung anumang

kadahilanan. Malaking bentahe ng pelikula ang sikat na tambalan nina Bernardo at Padilla at halata na di pinakawalan ng direktor ang pagkakataong ito upang siguraduhing masisiyahan ang mga tagasubaybay ng dalawang ito kapag napanood ang pelikula. Yun nga lang, parang natuon ang direksyon sa paghahatid ng sikat na tambalan kaysa padaluyin ng maayos ang kwento pati mga kuha ng camera. Tama lamang ang inilapat na tunog lalo na sa eksena ng suspense at mga ilaw bagamat mas maraming madilim na kuha kahit na umaga ang eksena. Halos di naman napansin ang inilapat na musika at kung nakatulong ito. Sa kabuuan ay maganda ang teknikal na aspeto ng pelikula. Tinalakay sa pelikula ang iba’t ibang pamahiin kapag may namatay, katulad ng mga bawal gawin habang nakaburol ang patay at ang tinatawag na “pagpag” na siyang pamagat ng pelikula na ang ibig sabihin ay “magpagpag” ng sarili pagkagaling sa burol at huwag dumiretso sa sariling bahay para di umano sundan at gambalain ng kaluluwa ng dinalaw na patay. Bagamat tradisyon ito at bahagi ng kultura at paniniwala ng maraming Pilipino, ang Simbahan ay hindi naniniwala dito. Hindi nakasalalay sa mga kaganapan sa burol ng isang sumakabilang buhay sa pamilya ang mga susunod na insidente ng pagkamatay. Unang una, lahat naman ng tao ay hahantong dito at walang makakaligtas kapag takdang oras na ng isang tao. Taliwas ito sa pinakita ng pelikula na kapag di sumunod sa pamahiin ay talagang mumultuhin at mamamatay. Isa pang nakababahala sa pelikulang Pagpag: Siyam na Buhay ay pakikipagkasundo sa dimonyo upang maibalik ang buhay. Batid ng lahat na sa Diyos galing ang buhay at tanging Siya lamang ang nagkakaloob at bumabawi nito kaya ang tuluyang pag-uugnay ng mga pagbali sa pamahiin at sa pakikipagkasundo sa dimonyo sa mga sunod-sunod na malagim na kamatayan ng mga inosenteng tao hanggang sa pagwawakas nito ay hayagang pagtaliwas sa itinuturo ng Simbahan at sa malawakang aspeto ng praktikalidad sa buhay. Dahil na din sa natamong edukasyon at makabagong panahon ay marami na ang naliliwanagan tungkol sa tamang pagtingin sa mga pamahiin kaya huwag sana masilaw sa hatid na kilig ng sikat na tambalan at thrills ng mga eksenang suspense upang bumalik sa kamalian ng sinaunang panahon. Binigyan ng MTRCB ng PG Rating ang pelikula, pero naniniwala ang CINEMA na nangangailangan ng hinog na pagiisip ang manonood nito.

Pedro Calungsod: Batang Martir is a biographical picture of the second Filipino saint, who is put to death for his faith. Pedro Calungsod (Rocco Nacino), a young catechist, leaves his Visayan native soil to join Spanish Jesuit priest Fr. Diego de San Vitores (Christian Vasquez) for a mission to the Marianas Islands (Guam) in 1668. Trained as a catechist, Pedro assists Fr. Diego de San Vitores in baptizing the Chamorros, preaching the Good News of salvation amid doubts, paganism and disbelief. Together with other catechists and priests, the missionaries face the challenges and dangers of life in the missions, particularly the antagonism of the natives. Undaunted by setbacks and the death of their companions, Pedro and Fr. Diego continue their missionary work throughout the islands. In the end, both of them give up their lives for the sake of the Gospel. Pedro Calungsod: Batang Martir is a very courageous attempt in bringing the life of Saint Pedro Calungsod to the wide screen. It boasts of picturesque shots of pristine beaches, azure waters and lush vegetation, magnificent sunsets, peaceful, bucolic scenes – a visual feast of the Philippines (and Guam) as both locations were shot in Batangas. But while the nature scenes are impressive, others fall flat and monotonous. Establishing shots proved insufficient for the viewer to enter the scene or story. There is inadequate exposition of the Chamorros, their culture, beliefs, practices, etc., what makes them a people. This is exacerbated by a weak screenplay which assumes too much of its viewers. In an attempt to be faithful to scant resources, the storytelling suffers so that the viewers have to put the story together from disjointed scenes that are dull and stagey. Flashback is used to show tender moments of the young Pedro with his father but there is hardly any development of character. Nacino shows a certain depth in some scenes but his character is not defined and ends up like a caricature of a saint from beginning to end. It would have been good if we see the development of this young man’s faith so that he can, in the end, offer his life. And enough has been said about the wig. Vasquez looks too soft as if to convey holiness—and isn’t his character supposedf to be a sick and aging priest? Why, he looks just five years older than Calungod! Alarcon is more convincing as the Spanish captain, while Correa as

Hirao is believable but some of his lines are too long. Eigenmann as Choco is supposed to have a significant role in the conflict but it does not come out clearly in the film. Dialogue, even in the most profound scenes, is too long, convoluted or stilted. At some point it feels like reading a book or listening to the radio because it repeats the same point over and over. The material is great! What can be more inspiring than the life of our very own saint who, in spite of his youth and inexperience, left Philippine shores to share the Good News abroad, and in doing so witness to the faith, not just by his words and deeds but by the offering of his life? Pedro’s faith in God did not waver even in the face of danger. He prays and devotedly clings to the crucifix entrusted to him. He also tries to creatively make the Gospel understandable to the children, and becomes a pillar of strength
TITLE: Pedro Calungsod: Batang Martir RUNNING TIME: 147 minutes LEAD CAST: Rocco Nacino, Christian Vasquez, Robert Correa, Ryan Eigenmann, Jestoni Alarcon, Jao Mapa, Isadora Vilasquez, Marc Justine Alvarez, Johnron Tañada, Mercedes Cabral DIRECTOR: Francis Villacorta SCREENWRITER: Francis Villacorta GENRE: Drama/Documentary LOCATION: Batangas, Philippines Technical Assessment: ½ Moral Assessment: ½ MTRCB RATING: PG 13 CINEMA RATING: V 14

for his fellow catechists. The film also highlights Pedro’s deep bond with his father from whom he learned the faith and shaped his character. It shows that parents have a strong influence in the formation of their children. As Padre Diego’s personal assistant, Pedro eventually becomes his eyes when the priest could no longer see clearly. Pedro proved his love and loyalty towards Padre Diego when he put himself in the line to shield him from stoning, and from the spear that would take his own life. “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 10:39). The film emphasizes the missionaries’ dedication to the mission despite the dangers, and the conviction that nothing is won through the sword but through peace and love. Mission work will always have its risks, and missionaries need to learn to

respect the culture of the people they are trying to evangelize. Violence, even in the name of evangelization, will always beget violence. The hostility of the natives is shown without a sufficient reason for it, so much so that the lengthy and multiple scenes of bloodshed come out gruesome and unnecessary. CINEMA commends the producer and director for the effort in transporting the life of Pedro Calungsod to the movie screen. It is a shame that a compelling story of faith and courage is not told in a more potent and inspiring way. An average film instead of a powerful witness, Pedro Calungsod: Batang Martir feels like an uninspired sermon which lulls the churchgoer to sleep until the Sanctus, where the lead character is nothing but a sidekick to the main actor, Padre Diego. But maybe that is the point of the movie. A simple catechist who does his job with love and dedication need not do anything great. Being at the right place at the right time and doing the right job with the right intention is enough. That in itself is daily, bloodless martyrdom. The grace to offer one’s life is a gift--one that is bestowed to a few privileged persons when the above conditions are present. “Ganon lang ba kadaling maging santo? Maging caregiver lang ng pare, santo na?” a Catholic moviegoer asks after seeing the movie. We can’t blame him or the others who feel like him but are silent about it. The impression is created by the lack of tension and intensity in the portrayal of the would-be martyrs, aggravated by a script that fails to delve deeply into the psyche of the characters. Mission seemed like a mere question of baptizing as many people as possible, and sanctity appeared to be demanding nothing more than piety in a person. Portraying something as abstract as holiness and martyrdom is a challenge few directors and performers can convincingly hurdle. Sanctity and the road to it is so hidden, and a person’s lifelong struggle to attain it would be extremely difficult to condense into two hours. But for all its technical shortcomings, Pedro Calungsod: Batang Martir deserves commendation, if only for its enthusiasm, devotion and noble intentions. At least here’s one festival movie that trains the viewer’s sights on things other than bad news, politics, and the commercialism of the season. Not bad at all.

Buhay San Miguel

Brothers Matias


CBCP Monitor

January 20 - February 2 , 2014

Vol. 18 No. 2

A Supplement Publication of KCFAPI and the Order of the Knights of Columbus
The officers of the Order of the Knights of Columbus headed by Supreme Director, Bro. Alonso L. Tan (seated, leftmost) together with the officers of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) headed by KCFAPI President and Luzon Deputy Bro. Arsenio Isidro G. Yap (seated, 2nd from right) and Executive Vice President, Sis. Ma. Theresa G. Curia (seated, rightmost) during a courtesy call to His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, Archbishop of Manila last December 27, 2013 at the Arzobispado de Manila.

The Cross

FBG presents list of qualified applicants for Academic Excellence Award
THE Fraternal Benefits Group of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) presents the second batch of the qualified applicants for the Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ Award for Academic Excellence. The award is conferred to inspire the members of the Knights of Columbus family to excel academically and serve as an asset or model in forming a ‘strong Christian society.’ The program was divided into 4 divisions, namely: Elementary Level (Valedictorians of the Graduating class of 2011-2013), High School Level (Valedictorians of the Graduating class of 2011-2013), College Level (Cum Laudes and higher of the Graduating class of 2011-2013 and must be at least a four-year course) and passers of BOARD/BAR examination from July 1, 2011 to December 31, 2013. The Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ Award for Academic Excellence is being sponsored by KCFAPI to recognize the members of Knights of Columbus and their immediate families who have excelled in their studies. There are 13 qualified individuals –one highschool and 12 college graduates/board passer for the second batch namely Stephanie Castillo

Qualified applicants for the Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ award for Academic Excellence - Batch 2.

Fraternal Benefits Group steps up in 2014

(Valedictorian), Norina Charisma Nicdao (Electrical Engineer), Jyriel Bevy Aranas (BS Nursing), Bernice Marsha Reyes (BS Education, Major

in English), Mark Louis Mecate (Architecture), Fernando Juan Cabrera (Bachelor of Law), Jessa Maryann Cedeño (BA Psychology), Jomel De-

sales (BS Nursing), Mary Joy Tabbog (BS International Relations, Major in International Trade), Rommel Romano (BS MedTech), Ronald Ro-

mano (BS MedTech), John Leonard Ladia (BS Nursing), and John Patrick Cuntapay (Electrical Engineering). (KCFAPI News)

Home Sweet Home for Manila Council 1000

FBG holds Fraternal Service Training Program
THE Fraternal Benefits Group of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) held a two-day Fraternal Service Training program last December 10 to 11, 2013 at the KCFAPI training room in Intramuros, Manila. The five newly appointed Fraternal Counselors came from Manila, Taguig and Baguio. The monthly Fraternal Service Training aims to impart knowledge about the products being offered by KCFAPI and their advantages to the members and their immediate families. Aside from the product specifications, the training also provides ideas regarding basic insurance processes and concepts of new marketing strategies in

THE 2014 plans and programs of the Fraternal Benefits Group (FBG) of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) were announced by Vice President for FBG, Gari San Sebastian, during a thanksgiving day celebrated last December 19, 2013. “Solidify the recruitment, training, supervi- Recipients of productivity bonus together with (seated L-R) KCFAPI President Arsenio Isidro Yap, sion and monitoring sys- Executive Vice President Ma. Theresa Curia and VP for FBG Gari San Sebastian. tem of FBG as well as intensify our information bonus which is at par with what the family members under his name,” San campaign on KC members and their other insurance companies are offer- Sebastian cited. families to have a better understanding ing; and they will also maximize the The FBG also gave productivity of their financial concerns are among FBG personnel talent to assume more bonus to 40 Fraternal Counselors in our strategies this year,” said San Se- challenging role and handle complex Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. They bastian. responsibilities to unleash100% of likewise gave a token of appreciation He added that they are planning their potential. to two retiring area managers namely to reinforce the area leaders’ and “We will also promote our KCFAPI Bro. Vimar L. Tinidad (Metro Manila) fraternal counselors’ production as Founder, Fr. George J. WIllmann, SJ by and Bro. Josefino F. Valencia (North well as retention by adding a regular providing incentives to KC leaders and Western Luzon). (FBG News)

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, DD together with Supreme Director Alonso Tan and Council Officers and member-Knights of the Manila Council 1000.

KCFAPI-FBS Manager Michael P. Cabra together with the participants of the December FST.

order to help the Fraternal Counselors achieve their goals and improve their sales performance. Resource speakers were KCFAPI Vice President for Fraternal Benefits Group Gari M. San Sebastian, Fraternal Benefits Service Department Manager Michael P. Cabra, and Benefit Certificate Holders’ Relations Office Manager Edwin B. Dawal. (FBG News)

On December 10, 2013, around 8:15 in the morning a significant event took place at the official residence of the Archdiocese of Manila when His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, DD announced the good news of granting the Council’s letterrequest of using its historic chamber anytime soon. The prayers of the general membership materialized through the initiative of the Worthy Grand Knight Patrio A. Guasa when a letter-request was sent to the Cardinal prior to its scheduled courtesy call. Witnessing this momentous event and jubilation were Supreme Director Alonso Tan, District Deputy M-47 Noel S. Lacanilao, Worthy Grand Knight Teddy Guasa, Past Grand Knights, Council Officers and member-Knights of the Manila Council 1000. Meanwhile, December 15, 2013 marked another historical event for the oldest K of C Council because the general membership was able to set foot

once again on its original home after so many years. Now that the chamber is filled with happy thoughts, peaceful heart and joyful smiles among the member-Knights it is then worthy to note that we are indeed home. Moreover, in celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe and to commemorate the 1st Year Anniversary of the installation of the “Monument of the Unborn”, the Knights of Columbus Manila Council 1000 held an Ecumenical mass celebrated by Rev. Jumbin Torres, OSA. Spearheading the improvement of the “Monument of the Unborn” based on the approved design from the Intramuros Administration, GK Ted Guasa thanked the member-Knights, Past Grand Knights, Padre Burgos Assembly Honor Guards, Cofradia de Sto. Nino de Cebu, Rover Circle 14, Senior Scouts from Jose Abad Santos High School and the Missionaries del Santisimo Maria Immaculada for their presence and utmost support to the Council’s program and activities. (KC News)

Hilario G. Davide, Jr.

The Cross
Atty. Neil Jerome A. Rapatan

CBCP Monitor
January 20 - February 2, 2014

Vol. 18 No. 2

Chairman’s Message
THE courtesy visit of some Board of Trustees, Officers and Staff of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc., (KCFAPI) to the new president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, Archbishop Socrates Villegas, on January 20, was an expression of solidarity—especially with the CBCP’s programs on the Year of the Laity. The good archbishop has challenged KCFAPI and the Order of the Knights of Columbus to find creative ways of witnessing to the three “movements” of the Year of the Laity, namely, formation, celebration and legacy. Formation is a continuing task that needs to be deepened; celebration is an expression of joy, praise and thanksgiving; but legacy is the fruition of faith that needs to be sustainably visible as one who is “the light of the world” and the “salt of the earth”—which, indeed, is so close to the principles of the Order of the Knights of Columbus. In his pastoral exhortation declaring 2014 as the Year of the Laity, he beautifully outlines the task of the laity, thus: “You, our dear lay faithful, have as your particular mission the sanctification and transformation of the world from within…to find your own sanctification in the world, and to sanctify the world and transform it so that this world becomes more and more God’s world, God’s kingdom, where his will is done as it is in heaven…you must go into the world of the family, of business, of economics, of politics, of education, of the mass media and the social media, to every human endeavor where the future of humanity and the world are at stake and to make a difference, the difference that the Gospel and the grace of Christ bring to human affairs.” While KCFAPI has committed to the CBCP President its unwavering support to the programs of the Year of the Laity as it has been consistently so in Church’s other programs, the call towards personal and societal transformation is the greater challenge that each of us should take to heart rather more seriously. VivatIesus!

Law in Layman’s Term
The importance of Life Insurance in Estate Planning
IT has been said that the only thing that is certain in this world are death and taxes. While death is cessation of human life, taxes on the other hand, as the government’s lifeblood, survives even after death. This is best illustrated in Estate Taxes. While the decedent has passed away, estate taxes for the properties he left must be paid before his heirs can benefit from them. Estate is defined as the totality of all property of whatever kind owned by the decedent prior to the distribution in accordance with the terms of a will, or, when there is no will, by the laws of inheritance in the state of domicile of the decedent. (Black’s Law Dictionary) On the other hand, Estate Tax refers to the tax levied on the transmission of properties from a decent to his heirs. (Mamalateo, Victorino C., Reviewer on Taxation, 2008 ed., p. 274) Considered an excise tax, estate tax is tax on the privilege to transmit property at death. Under the law, estate taxes are levied and collected based on the net estate of the decedent, with a rate ranging from P15,000 for an estate of P500,000 to P1,250,000; for an estate of P10,000,000, plus 5% to 20% of the excess amount. In layman’s term, estate taxes can substantially diminish the property that can be inherited by the decedent’s heirs. To add to this, the estate taxes must be settled within a period of six months from the death of the decedent. (Sec. 90 (B), National Internal Revenue Code). Worse, if decedent left creditors, the estate will suffer in a long-winded case for estate settlement. On the other hand, proceeds of life Insurance is exempt from taxes being one of the exclusions from Gross Income. Section 32 (B) of the National Internal Revenue Code in part provides: (B) Exclusions from Gross Income. — The following items shall not be included in gross income and shall be exempt from taxation under this title: Life Insurance. — The proceeds of life insurance policies paid to the heirs or beneficiaries upon the death of the insured, whether in a single sum or otherwise, but if such amounts are held by the insurer under an agreement to pay interest thereon, the interest payments shall be included in gross income. Thus, proceeds from life insurance, being free from taxes, is considered an important tool in estate planning. The following are few ways how life insurance provides solutions for estate-related problems: First, proceeds from life insurance can build up the wealth left by a person. This happens when a person left no substantial properties. Since his estate is relatively small, the estate taxes are also low or even exempt if it does not exceed P200,000. Thus, the proceeds of his life insurance, in whatever amount, will considerably add up to the properties he left for his heirs. In this scenario, life insurance serves a wealth-creation mechanism. Secondly, proceeds from life insurance can be used by the heirs to settle the estate taxes. This would free the properties of the decedent from its obligation to the government (estate taxes) and that will in turn immediately benefit the decedent’s heirs. The threat of liquidating or selling the properties just to raise funds to settle the estate taxes will also be avoided. This would also provide leverage or a buffer in case there are claims against the estate by the creditors of the decedent. In this sense, life insurance is considered a wealthpreservation device. Ultimately, life insurance will enable the heirs to benefit from the estate of the decedent without them shelling out their hardearned money from their own pockets.

Michael P. Cabra

My Brother’s Keeper

Arsenio Isidro G. Yap

KC Health Guard Plus
KC Health Guard Plus is a health coverage benefit plan designed for Knights of Columbus members and their immediate family members. It shields them from the high cost of medical expenses. In addition to personal life insurance protection, it provides Hospital Daily Cash Benefit, ICU Cash Benefits, Surgical Cash Benefits, Accidental Benefits and Money Back Guarantee. There are 5 plans to choose from: Plan 1,000, Plan 2,000, Plan 3,000, Plan 4,000 and Plan 5,000. Hospital Daily Cash Benefit (HDCB) provides reimbursements for hospital confinements with a minimum of PhP1,000.00 a day to a maximum of PhP5,000.00 a day. Medicines, doctors’ fee and other confinement related expenses may be included to the amount of the daily cash reimbursements to partly cover or lessen the hospital bills. A maximum of 30 days confinement can be availed of every year within ten (10) years. This benefit only terminates once HDCB claim exceeds the amount of insurance protection. Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Cash Benefit (ICUCB) on the other hand provides ICU confinements with a minimum and maximum amount equivalent to HDCB. Amount of reimbursements for ICUCB is on top of the HDCB. Meaning, if you have KC Health Guard Plus Plan 1,000, you can reimburse an additional Php1,000.00 on top of your HDCB if confined in ICU. This benefit can be availed of for fourteen days every year within ten (10) years or as long as HDCB is inforced. Surgical Cash Benefit (SCB) offers additional support once surgery is required by the attending physician. An amount equivalent up to ten times the HDCB can be availed of every year per surgery. Accidental Cash Benefit (ACB) which is equivalent to 100% of the insurance protection is given to the insured or the family of the insured if the insured dies due to accident or becomes totally disabled either by loss of both limbs, both eyesight or total body paralysis due to accident. Money Back Benefit (MBB) equivalent to 90% of the insurance protection will be returned to the insured with or without hospitalization claim. Accumulated dividends are also given to the insured together with the MBB. Medical expenses are one of the major worries of our brother knights. Health is a gift from God. KC Health Guard Plus is a solution to this need. Get a coverage now to shield you from future medical costs.

President’s Message
WHat do we do whenever a New Year unfolds? Most of us, just right after Christmas start listing down things to do and not to do for the coming New Year. It’s a week to take stock of what we had done during the year that is about to end. It’s even magnified in all forms of media, print, broadcast and air. We even post it on Facebook, Twitter and the like. It’s the never outdated, never out of style and always ever popular New Year’s Resolutions. We’re so proud of having a list, the longer the better. But do we really mean what we wrote on the list? Looking back at the Litany of Resolutions we write year after year, leaves one to wonder whether such a “tradition” makes one a better person. Does it change our outlook in life and does it have an impact on other peoples’ lives? I believe it does, even if we break most of it before the end of the first week. The mere fact that we tried to make a list is a positive outlook for the coming New Year. It’s an attempt to change oneself into a better person. Whether we are serious or not in our resolutions, there’s an effort to change. Our weaknesses though prevent us from keeping it longer than one week. But it doesn’t prevent us from trying to mend our ways throughout the course of the year. The constant effort to change our ways is a virtue that God has given to each and every one of us. We must always keep and care for it otherwise we lose the chance to recognize our faults and miss the chance to mend our ways. May the New Year allow us to recognize the needs of others as we try to mend our ways. May it also give us the chance to change other peoples’ lives and may our Lord help us keep our resolutions. Vivat Jesus!

Roberto T. Cruz

A Challenge for the New Year 2014
WitH this third edition of Knowing our KC Foundations, we first welcome the start of the New Year 2014 which the CBCP has declared as the Year of the Laity which aims to emphasize the role played by the Catholic faithful in the “sanctification and transformation of the world”. Citing some readings about the Year of the Laity, no less than Pope Francis himself, then still a cardinal, identified what he believes as the Church’s fundamental illness: “ecclesiastical narcissism”- an inward-looking Church which does not look sufficiently to Christ, His light and His love for those walking in darkness. Instead the Church falls into a “spiritual worldliness that lives in itself, of itself and for itself”. In a 2010 interview, the then Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio stated that the key is that we Catholics, both clergy and laity, go out to meet the people. He said that a Church which limits itself to administering parish work will experience both “physical and mental atrophy”. In 2007, with then Cardinal Bergoglio as its principal author and presenter, the “Aparecida Document” stated that the reform on the part of the laity must involve their becoming “missionary disciples in communion” – a community of believers trained and inspired to go out to transform politics, society, education, neighborhoods, family and marriages. The Knights of Columbus Fr. George J. Willmann Charities, Inc. (KCFGJWCI) is in a prime position to pursue the reform envisioned by Pope Francis to become “missionary disciples in communion”. As the Foundation helps in the realization of the vocation and formation of its scholar-seminarians and priests by means of its religious scholarship grants, the Board of Trustees and Management of the Foundation perform an integral role by ensuring that the objectives of the Order of the Knights of Columbus are duly considered and relayed to the seminarians and priests. All our scholar-priests and seminarians are strongly encouraged to be themselves members of the Order of the K of C, preferably serving as Chaplains of different Councils guided by the Order’s basic principles of Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism. Though there is a distinction between the clergy (the priests and the religious) and the laity (the ordinary lay person like us), there is now a continuing call for both clergy and the laity to create and sow hope and to proclaim the faith. Our seminarians and priestscholars have their religious education as well as their Bishops in their respective dioceses to guide them about the reforms and directions of the Church. The Foundation, for its part, in addition to the religious scholarships it gives to our KC priest-scholars, also programs the periodic conduct of the Gathering of KC Priests which allows our KC priests an opportunity to get together to re-assess and update each other about the latest reforms and directions of the Catholic Church which they can then cascade these new or updated ideas and concepts to their respective dioceses to reach out to the laity. We, the laity, on the other hand, must not simply wait to be guided by the preachings of and directions from our clergy. We must also do our part and proclaim the faith to our fellowmen through our daily life and actions. As Knights of Columbus, we can be a brotherhood not only of Catholic men but also of Good Samaritans who
A Challenge... / C3

Ma. Theresa G. Curia

In the Silence of Our Hearts, Listen!
It is now 2014! Almost all companies have completed their physical inventory counts. Quite late, but let us now perform an inventory of our “finished goods”, our “ work-in-process” and our “raw materials” to check whether counts will reconcile with our records, and then, report on the resulting variances, if any, in order to determine where any deviation comes from. Are we still to manufacture the same kind of goods? Are we to use the same processes and equipments in producing those goods? What improvements can we introduce to increase volume of sales? Are we using the same strategies in production, operations, marketing and sales? Yes, I am using accounting terms for a manufacturing company in an attempt to imagine how all these will apply to life situations: our accomplishments (finished goods), our pending jobs (work –in –process) and jobs which we have not started doing (raw materials). I speak the language of an accountant to simply suggest: keep a tab of what we have achieved, what we have to finish, what we have missed and the improvements over where we are now. EXPLORE, DREAM AND DELIVER! Pope Francis’ advocacies show values that challenge the traditional set ways in the Roman Curia and this act ignites the hearts of the faithful. His being accorded the “Man of the Year” by Time Magazine arouses world’s interests in the Catholic faith. Being the only Catholic nation this side of the world, we are proud to say that despite the adversities we have encountered during the past year, Philippines is still blessed with the recent appointment of His Eminence Orlando Beltran Quevedo, to the College of Cardinals. As one of the staunch supporters of the Catholic Church, KCFAPI sees to it that it will always be in concordance with its teachings. For 2014, KCFAPI’s theme is: “One in Transcending Challenges as Protectors of God’s Gift”. In our own respective sanctifying roles as officers, professional managers, fraternal counselors, area managers and employees, we aspire to go beyond and achieve our targets, objectives and mission. With all our might, we at KCFAPI will push for increased coverage of a greater number of KC families. It has been so satisfying to have offered these benefits to our brothers and sisters as members, widows, orphans and beneficiaries express their unending gratitude to the Association. The workings of the Association as an active partner of the Church in helping the needy and the community have made it so progressive and blessed.
In the Silence of Our Hearts, Listen! / C3

Angelito A. Bala

Part III of a series of discussions regarding KCFAPI’s newest product, the KC Health Guard Plus Plan
NON-FORFEITURE OPTION At any time a cash value is available under this Benefit Certificate, the Assured may, by written request, elect any of the following options: Paid Up Insurance - The Assured may continue this Benefit Certificate without further contributions as a non-participating (no longer entitled to dividends) Paid Up Insurance limited to a reduced amount of Death Benefit, which is payable to the Assured upon his survival at the Termination Date, or to the designated beneficiary or beneficiaries upon the death of the Assured, provided that this Benefit Certificate is kept in full force and effect. The amount of the Paid Up Insurance is the same value specified in the Schedule of Non-forfeiture Values if there is no indebtedness under this Benefit Certificate. If there is an indebtedness, the amount of Paid Up Insurance is such as the Net Cash Value obtainable under Option (1) will purchase at the attained age of the Assured when applied as a net single contribution. If the Net Cash Value under this Benefit Certificate is more than enough to purchase Paid Up Insurance until the Termination Date of this Benefit Certificate, the excess is used to provide a single Paid Up Endowment payable to the Assured on the Termination Date, provided the Assured is then alive. Any remaining dividend accumulation under this Benefit Certificate will be paid to the Assured upon the conversion of this Benefit Certificate to a Paid Up Insurance. Once the Paid Up Insurance option becomes operative, the Assured will continue to be covered with death benefit but on a reduced amount and will no longer be eligible to accident-related benefits, hospitalization-related benefits and return of contributions benefit. Notes: If the BCholder fails to pay the contribution on its due date, and Reduced Paid Up Insurance option is selected and activated, then either of the following cases will apply: Case I . There is no outstanding loan, contribution or BC loan, against the benefit certificate The status of the benefit certificate is converted to RPU and the amount of insurance is diminished to the pre-computed reduced paid-up insurance value as stated in the non forfeiture section of the certificate based on the number of years in-force. The BC under RPU status is devoid of other benefits or loses all other benefits except the death benefit. If the Insured or Assured

KC Healthguard Plus / C3

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 18 No. 2
January 20 - February 2, 2014

The Cross


Mission to the Frontiers
Pope Francis challenges all Knights to embrace a missionary spirit of charity that reaches the peripheries
By Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson
IN his new apostolic exhortation, EvangeliiGaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), Pope Francis has written of the need to foster within the Church a greater “missionary spirit” and for Catholics to take more seriously their calling to “missionary discipleship.” In the brief time that he has been pope, we have seen that this missionary spirit is central to Francis’ pastoral focus. In his 1990 encyclical letter on the Church’s mission, RedemptorisMissio, Blessed John Paul II wrote about what is at the heart of this missionary spirit. He said that a true “missionary is a person of charity…. He is a sign of God’s love in the world” (89). In this way, too, we see an extraordinary witness by Pope Francis — of his love for the sick, the suffering and the poor. It is a witness that has captured the imagination of the world. As an organization, t he Knights of Columbus stands shoulder to shoulder with our Holy Father in making this witness. In thousands of different ways, our councils offer the opportunity for nearly 2 million Catholic men to be persons of charity and missionaries after the example of Pope Francis. And in doing this, we answer the call of Blessed John Paul II for a “charity that evangelizes.” Many of our brother Knights would hardly think of themselves as missionaries or evangelists. Instead, most would say with humility, “We just see where a need exists in our parish or community and we act to meet that need.” But when we “act to meet that need,” we are personifying a “charity that evangelizes.” In this way, we are realizing a form of “missionary discipleship”—a discipleship that is central to the vocation of the laity to transform society according to the Gospel. At this moment in the history of our Church, the Knights of Columbus has an extraordinary opportunity to serve on the frontline with Pope Francis in his witness of charity. St. Ignatius of Loyola once told a group of Jesuits that “no commonplace achievement will satisfy the great obligations you have of excelling.” The same can be said of today’s Knights of Columbus. For this to become a reality, we must not be content with the status quo. We must embrace a missionary spirit—one that extends the limits of what we do in service to our neighbors. We must be willing to go to the frontiers and reach out to those on the margins. In an address to pilgrims last June, Pope Francis asked, “Are we really a Church united to Christ in order to go out and proclaim him to everyone, also and above all in what I call the ‘existential peripheries’? Or are we closed in on ourselves, in our own groups, in our own little churches? Or do we love the great Church, Mother Church, the Church that sends us out on mission and brings us out of ourselves?” Pope Francis has also said that an aspect of Jesuit life that attracted him as a young man was St. Ignatius’ “fourth vow” of obedience: Jesuits should always be ready to be sent on a mission by the pope. But why should this be a challenge only for Jesuits? Should not every Catholic listen attentively to the words of our Holy Father? And if we listen carefully to Pope Francis, will we not hear that we are all being sent on a mission? This is especially true of the Knights of Columbus. In a private audience with the supreme officers and directors Oct. 20, the Holy Father praised the “quiet strength, integrity and fidelity”

of our Order. He thanked us for our commitment to charity, and he challenged us to continue this great work. As a new year begins, let us adopt a new missionary spirit and reaffirm—with quiet strength, integrity and fidelity—

our commitment to a charity that evangelizes. Let us proceed in this great work in the tradition of the Knights of Columbus: as a Catholic brotherhood building greater communities of charity, unity and fraternity. Vivat Jesus!

The Gentle Warrior
By: James B. Reuter, SJ
Part III of Chapter One of the “Gentle Warrior” series…

CHAPTER ONE ----------•---------Training
But, on July 1, 1902, on the day before they were to leave Brooklyn for the country, for the Atlantic Highlands, a terrible thing happened. George was sitting on the curbstone, on Putnam Avenue, watching the automobiles and
KC Healthguard Plus / C3

the carriages in the busy street, thinking about the trip to the mountains the next day, and wondering about the mystery of school. What would it be like? A huge wide-wheeled garbage truck, pulled by two mammoth Percheron workhorses, began to back-up, along the curb, beside him. George did not notice the garbage truck, and the driver, maneuvering the horses from the high front seat, could not see the little boy sitting on the curb behind him. The iron rim of the great wooden wagon wheel rolled over the feet of the little boy, crushing the bones. There was panic in the street, women screaming, a store keeper bellowing at the truck driver, a policeman running across the street from the far corner to the scene of the accident, and the little boy writhing in pain on the sidewalk. They took him to the hospital in a carriage, the ponies galloping through the crowded streets of Brooklyn. A big man carried him into the Emer-

gency Room, and put him down carefully on the examination table. The doctors and nurses gathered around. By the time the family assembled in the hospital, George was still in pain, but the bleeding has stopped, and everything was under control. The resident physician drew Julia Corcoran Willmann aside, and spoke to her privately. He was kind and considerate, but desperately trying to be honest. He said “There is no danger. He will not die. But it seems that some amputation might be necessary.” That night the whole Willmann clan, and the whole Corcoran clan, prayed on their knees for little George. Miriam wept, blaming herself for not taking care of her little brother. Agnes was very quiet. Her only question was: “What is am..pu..ta..tion?” George’s father and mother prayed together, and consulted together. In the morning they said to the doctor: “Please…. if it is humanly possible….no amputation.” (To be continued on the next issue).

Mr. Joseph P. Teodoro

The Emblem of the Order
MACE Insurance Agency, Inc.

MacE has launched the KC and Spouse Accident Insurance Plan. The program provides for benefits due to accidental death, dismemberment and injuries suffered by the KC enrollee. The KC spouse will also be covered 50% of the schedule of benefits of the K of C member. Ownership of the KC and Spouse Plan is very affordable. A P500,000 principal amount of coverage will have an annual premium of a little over P1,200 or P4.00 per day (something like the price of 1 STICK OF CIGARETTE). Bro. Arturo B. Andres, past grand knight of Council 5579, Manila and a former district deputy (one of our Most Outstanding District Deputies) is the first non-fraternal counselor who subscribed to this unique accident plan. Bro. Salvador Aspuria, area manager of the Cordillera Braves, is the “Buena Mano” from the field sales representatives. (We can be contacted at 527-2256 or Joseph P. Teodoro at CP 0920-9120978 and/or Basil B. Occeño at CP 09178286007).

survives the ten year coverage period, he collects a lump sum payment equal to the reduced paid up insurance. Case II. There is an outstanding loan against the benefit certificate If there is an outstanding loan against the benefit certificate, either contribution loan or BC loan, the cash value is reduced by the amount of loan. This net cash value is then used to purchase a reduced paid up insurance. The computed RPU value provides death benefit until termination date. If the Assured is still alive on the termination date, KCFAPI will pay a single sum equal to the reduced up insurance. REINSTATEMENT If this Benefit Certificate lapses due to nonpayment of contribution, reinstatement of this Benefit Certificate will be allowed within three (3) years from the lapse date, subject to the approval of KCFAPI and provided: 1. The Benefit Certificate has not been surrendered for cash; 2. A written application for reinstatement is submitted to KCFAPI together with evidence of insurability of the Assured satisfactory to KCFAPI; 3. All amounts necessary to put the Benefit Certificate in force are paid to KCFAPI. Notes: To realize the maximum benefits of an insurance plan, the contributions must be paid on time. However, there may be instances where the Assured may not be able to religiously make regular payments, thus,

causing the benefit certificate to lapse. The laws allows the Insured or Assured to reinstate or reactivate his lapsed benefit certificate for a period not exceeding three (3) years from lapsation date. However, the Insured or the BC will once again be subjected to the contestability period and pre-existing conditions limitation provisions. Plan Benefits (Hospital Cash Benefit) KCFAPI will pay the Hospital Cash Benefit to the Assured for each covered hospital confinement for the charge made to the Assured by a physician or medical doctor or hospital including medications and the benefit shall be equal to the amount of the actual charge made by a physician or medical doctor or hospital but not to exceed the maximum amount of benefit as specified on the front page of this Benefit Certificate for each day of the Assured’s hospital confinement due to sickness or injury • Commencing on the first day of such confinement up to a maximum period of hospital confinements of thirty (30) days per Benefit Certificate year; • Provided, that the hospital confinement must be medically necessary and not be less than eighteen (18) hours as a resident patient for the treatment of sickness or injury and is prescribed by a physician or medical doctor; • Provided, finally, that the total daily hospital cash benefit from all other in-force Benefit Certificates with Hospital Cash Benefit covering the Assured

during his lifetime shall not exceed Five Thousand (P5,000) pesos and that such hospital confinement due to sickness or injury occurred while this Benefit Certificate is in full force and effect and is not among the exclusions specified below. In case the Assured has multiple Benefit Certificates with Hospital Cash Benefit and in the event that the sum of the outstanding Hospital Cash Benefit per day exceeds the P5,000 per day maximum, then the most recent Benefit Certificate with Hospital Cash Benefit that led to the excess shall be cancelled and replaced by a new Benefit Certificate having Hospital Cash Benefit per day up to the maximum. Thereafter, any Benefit Certificate procured with a Hospital Cash Benefit per day in excess of the maximum benefit per day shall be cancelled and all contributions paid shall be refunded without interest. Notes: Among other benefits, the KC Health Guard Plus plan offers hospitalization benefits. This provision identifies and enumerates the condition that would qualify for benefit payments. The Hospital Cash Benefit provision limits hospitalization claims to hospital confinements that are medically necessary, at least eighteen (18) hours of continuous confinement from time of hospital admission, actual daily charges reimbursable up to daily limit as specified in the contract and limited to thirty (30) days per benefit certificate

year. An Insured or Assured can make several purchases of KC Health Guard Plus plan as follows: Case I. Buy P2,000 HCB per day then another P3,000 HCB per day Under this case, the Assured is protected up to the maximum of P5,000 hospital cash benefit per day. Case II. Buy P2,000 HCB per day then another P5,000 HCB per day Under this case, the Assured shall be protected up to P5,000 hospital cash benefit per day only as per maximum specified in the provision. The BC with the P5,000 HCB shall be recalled, cancelled and replaced by a new benefit certificate whose HCB shall be limited to P3,000 benefit per day. There will be no consolidation of BCs if the BCs were taken or purchased on separate dates with differing issue ages. The excess contributions may be applied as contribution deposit. Case III. Buy P5,000 HCB per day then another P3,000 HCB per day Under this case, the new BC with P3,000 hospital cash benefit per day shall be recalled and cancelled. Maximum HCB shall be confined and strictly monitored to P5,000 benefit per day. The excess contributions from the BC with P3,000 HCB per day may be applied as contribution deposit. Hospitalization benefits not availed of in a given BC year are not carried over to the next BC year and are therefore forfeited.

In the Silence of Our Hearts, Listen!/ C3

I am so thankful for the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) because it affords vast opportunities for growth, both professionally and spiritually. It used to be difficult when time gets to its toughest; but the learning experiences, the involvement and the love that move around all corners make one a stronger person. At the end of each day, we
A Challenge... / C3

have to rethink of our actions, if these are in accordance with the main reason for our existence, our real goal after the journey. Our work, our friends, our family, our neighbors and everything around us become an opportunity for us to put into action our mission in life. We must not forget what is more important in life. How do we want to be remembered? In the silence of our hearts...LISTEN!

approach and deal with their neighbors with love and mercy. As the cliché goes, actions speak louder than words. With all the prevailing imperfections of our world – poverty, corruption, greed, ignorance, deceit and so many other problems – it is truly an overwhelming task to go out and be “missionary disciples in communion”. However, we cannot simply lay back and do nothing. The KC Fr. George J. Willmann Charities has been doing its share by supporting the education and vocation of our KC priests for them to be catalysts for the desired reforms in the Church. The challenge now facing us, the laity, the ordinary lay person, is how we can contribute to help support the Church’s directions. Since individual goodness may not be sufficient anymore, the CBCP is inviting the faithful to “unite in groups which through prayer, discernment and concerted action will renew the social and political

fabric of our country.” Unfortunately, only a few will have the available resources to come up with grandiose plans of action for reforms. The majority possess very limited means. However, we can still do our share by first being honest and true to ourselves that we are indeed following God’s way. Big things start from small things and every little step we take will bring us closer to our goal. After our personal assessment, we can share our commitment with our family, our business, our economic, political or educational dealings – to all our endeavors to create a “ripple effect” of our own way to “sanctify and transform the world more and more in line with God’s plan. May I end by encouraging each of us to ask ourselves the questions: Am I doing my share towards the needed reforms? If not, when will I act? A challenge we face this New Year 2014.

Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) is currently looking for the following professionals:
• Audit Supervisor - Certified Public Accountant - Highly analytical and Results oriented • Treasury Services and Corporate Planning Supervisor - With relevant experience in the field of investment or a CPA - Preferably with supervisory experience and an MBA graduate • Marketing Assistant - Must be a graduate of any 4-5 year business course - Analytical and discrete in handling confidential matters • Actuarial Assistant - Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics or Statistics with concentration in Actuarial Science - At least six (6) months work experience in the different facets of actuarial functions for a life insurance company. • Administrative Staff under KCFC - Graduate of any four (4) year course - Preferably with at least one (1) year experience • Marketing Staff under KCFC - Graduate of any four (4) year course - Preferably with at least one (1) year experience Basic Qualifications Include: Proficient in MS Office, good oral communication skills, and good interpersonal skills. Interested? Kindly send your comprehensive resume thru email at thecross. hrcc@gmail.com or hand-carry resume with a 2x2 photo and Transcript of Records to KCFAPI bldg., Gen. Luna cor. Sta. Potenciana sts., Intramuros, Manila. You may also call us and look for Ms. Kristianne Pascual or Gladys Lovette Luis at 527-2223 loc. 201


The Cross

CBCP Monitor

January 20 - February 2, 2014

Vol. 18 No. 2

Audience with His Excellency Most Rev. Socrates B. Villegas, D.D.
KCFAPI turned over to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) President, His Excellency Most Rev. Socrates B. Villegas, D.D., the amount of Three Hundred Thousand Pesos (P300,000.00) in support of CBCP’s programs in celebration of the year 2014 as THE YEAR OF THE LAITY. The Year of the Laity will have three movements: Formation, Celebration and Legacy which shall be implemented to pursue its successful end with the theme: The Filipino Catholic Laity: Called to be Saints, Sent Forth as Heroes. a. The formation component will deepen our lay faithful’s appreciation of the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation through a form of intensive and extensive catechesis directed to all faithful. b. The celebration component consists of new initiatives directed at various sectors: non-practicing Catholics, broken families, the homeless, the jobless, prisoners, laborers, among others. c. The legacy component is geared towards formation of movements, ministries and structures that would perpetuate the initiatives of the Year of the Laity. KCFAPI commits itself to support the CBCP in carrying out its various programs and activities in connection with and in relation to the aforesaid movements. (Annie Nicolas)

His Excellency Most Rev. Socrates B. Villegas, D.D. (seated, center) flanked by KCFAPI Chairman, Hilario G. Davide, Jr. (seated, 3rd from left) and Luzon Deputy and KCFAPI President, Arsenio Isidro G. Yap (seated, 2nd from right) during a courtesy call to Archbishop Villegas on January 20, 2014. Also in photo are KCFAPI Treasurer, Raoul A. Villanueva (seated leftmost), followed by KCFAPI Secretary, Jose C. Reyes, Jr., Supreme Director, Alonso L. Tan (seated rightmost). Standing from left to right: KCFAPI VP – Information & BC Holders Services Ronulfo G. Infante, Executive Secretary Annie M. Nicolas, VP – Actuarial & Business Development Angelito A. Bala, KCFC Consultant Saturnino Galang, Jr., Executive Vice President, Ma. Theresa G. Curia, CBCP Sec. Gen. Fr. Marvin Mejia, KCFAPI Spiritual Director Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio, III, KC Luzon Asst. to the Luzon Deputy Joven Joaquin, VP – Finance & HRCC Mary Magdalene G. Flores and VP – Fraternal Benefits Group Gari M. San Sebastian.

Council 8256 holds on the spot art contest, a showcase of artistic talents
Eligio Santos, SDB for his valuable assistance and untiring support to make this event possible. Likewise, our heartfelt thanks goes to all our Sponsors and Patrons led by Unilab-Biogesic, SM City Bicutan, Del Monte Philippines, Therapharma, UNAHCO, Tensile Builders, Metformin HCI, and all the participants, participating schools and members and guests,” said Grand Knight Miguel Sanchez. Meanwhile, over 400 parishioners of the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians got a taste of special “kape and tinapay with mantikilya”. It was a picture perfect day to end the nine days novena mass. This project was first introduced by Past Grand Knight Edgar Navarro a few years back as one way of greeting each one a very Merry and Blessed Christmas. Through their simple proj-

THE First On the Spot Art Contest, “Arte Ko, Sali Ko”, organized by the Knights of Columbus Council 8256, National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians (MHC) was a huge success. The occasion was graced by actor John Lloyd Cruz and Parañaque City Mayor Honorable Edwin De Leon Olivarez. The event was held at the Activity Center of SM City Bicutan late last year. Ninety-nine school children from the elementary, high school and collegiate levels comprising 20 schools from the cities of Parañaque, Taguig, Las Piñas and Muntinlupa participated in the activity. The project’s objectives were to showcase the artistic talents of the young and to generate revenue in support of the 80 MHC Scholars of the parish. “We thank our Chaplain and Parish Priest Rev. Fr.

Visayas Jurisdiction holds Mid-Year Evaluation Conference

Actor John Loyd Cruz together with the members of the Knights of Columbus Council 8256, National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians.

ect “A Star from a Big Heart”, the members sold “parol” to their parishioners where each donor placed their names and hung it on the Christmas Tree. The proceeds collected will be donated through the council Rector Rev. Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB. “The Knights of Colum-

bus Council 8256, National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians joined the entire country in raising funds to assist the survivors of typhoon Yolanda. We are one in helping our brothers and sisters who were devastated by the havoc of the typhoon,” said Sanchez. (KC News)

Visayas State Officers together with Luzon State Advocate, Justice Jose Reyes, Jr.

District l39 held a sportsfest led by District Deputy Danilo Guinto last January 11, 2014 at the Bayambang National High School. The event was attended by the K of C Councils from Bayambang, Urbiztondo, Tandoc, Malaisiqui and San Carlos City. (LuzonNews)

THE Knights of Columbus Pasay Council 4267 visited the sick and lonely patients of Pasay City General Hospital last Christmas Day. Through this activity, brother knights helped patients realize that throughout their sufferings and sadness, the Lord Jesus Christ is in their midst. During the activity, the council’s Auxiliary Ladies Choir sang Christmas carols, gave gift-packs of Green Cross products, courtesy of its CEO, Bro Anthony Co.

Meanwhile, the Knights of Columbus Pasay Council 4267 held "Kalusugan para sa Kapaskuhan," an annual medical outreach project, which caters to the elders of Sta. Clara De Montefalco Parish, Pasay City. The said event was held last December 8, 2013 at the satellite clinic of Sta. Clara De Montefalco Parish headed by Rev. Fr. Nick Blanquisco, Parish Priest and Chaplain of this Council. These projects were initiated by Brother Alberto Gabriel, MD. (Photo by Silverio Pascual, Jr.)

THE Knights of Columbus Visayas Jurisdiction held its Mid Year Evaluation Conference last November 29 to December 1, 2013 at Punta Villa Resort, Arevalo, Iloilo City with the theme “Be Protectors of God's Gifts". On November 29, 2013, State Deputy Rodrigo N. Sorongon met with the Provincial and District Deputies of the Regions who were heavily affected by Typhoon Yolanda. They discussed the process on how the Jurisdiction can conduct relief operations in their area. The leaders of each region were requested to submit data from their respective places so that appropriate budgets may be allocated to them. The second day commenced with a mass celebrated by Rev. Fr. Esperidion Celis, parish priest of St. Anne Parish, Molo, Iloilo City and Chaplain of Molo Council. The mass was followed by the Report of Bro. Sorongon regarding the Visayas Jurisdiction. The invited guest speaker was Bro.

Jose Reyes, Jr., State Advocate of Luzon. The afternoon session was reserved for updates on membership, New Council Development, Columbian Squires, Programs, Round Table and submission of forms. KCFAPI was represented by former Fraternal Benefits Manager – Visayas, Bro. Rudolph Gerard M. Elizaga, who presented the updates on KCFAPI. The day was capped by a fellowship activity and awarding in the evening. The third day began with a mass, celebrated by Fr. Rex Fedelicio, Asst. Parish Priest of St. Anne Parish. After the mass, the State Marian Hour Chairman officially launched the Pilgrimage of the Icon of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception where each region will be given two (2) Icons which will visit all the councils in their area. State Deputy Rodrigo N. Sorongon also announced the schedule of the 10th K of C Visayas State Convention, which will be held on May 17-18, 2014 in Roxas City. (KC News)

Kumintang Assembly ACN 2029 headed by Faithful Navigator Augustine Pegenia has initiated the unveiling of the first Jose Rizal monument in Calatagan, Batangas last December 22, 2013. The event was participated in by Council 12762 Calatagan, Council 4668 Balayan, Council 5937 Nasugbu, Council 9104 Tuy, Council 11594 Lian, Council 10736 Calaca, Council 6220 San Luis, and Taal Lemery Council. (LuzonNews)

KCFAPI President, Arsenio Isidro G. Yap (2nd from left) and Executive Vice President, Ma. Theresa G. Curia (center) during the Philippine Chamber of MBA’s induction of officers held January 21, 2014 at the Insurance Commission during its 65th Anniversary Celebration

A seminar on revisiting the basics of the order and renewal of obligations of the members of Msgr. Pacifico Araullo Assembly headed by Faithful Navigator Benny DeLa Cruz was held last January 12, 2014 at the Holy Family Church in Quezon, Nueva Ecija. The seminar was attended by almost 100 fourth degree members

and joined by 11 sister wives. Rev Fr. Jun Flores discussed the role of the Catholic laity in the church, while KCFAPI Area Manager Manuel Naldoza explained the importance of being a Brother Knight, while Nestor Berber talked about revisiting the basics of the order and the renewal of obligations, and Hon Panahon on values formation. (KC News)