Pope says jealousy is devil’s work; Holy Spirit brings unity

Homily of Pope Francis at the •B1 Canonization of Blesseds John Paul XXIII and John Paul II


The News Supplement of Couples for Christ


Tondo lay group feeds Quiapo homeless
LIKE what every true Christian ought to do, a Catholic lay group from Tondo gives free “lugaw” (rice porridge) and bread every Friday to hundreds of Quiapo’s homeless and beggars as their way of paying forward the graces that Señor Nazareno has so “generously bestowed on them”. “We know that we can only do so much. With or without us, these people and their families will still go to sleep on an empty stomach. But it does not make any difference to us. We are just doing what the Lord has
Homeless / A7

Tagle to Napoles: Tell the whole truth
By Roy Lagarde
This was the challenge made by Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle to Napoles who earlier expressed a desire to reveal everything she knows about the P10 billion scam. “Tell the truth and return what is not theirs. It is that easy,” Tagle, the Archbishop of Manila, said. “Justice demands for that, isn’t it? Let’s not make it any more complicated than it already is,” he said. Last Tuesday, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said that Napoles is ready to talk about the irregularity. She, however, clarified that there was no commitment from the government for Napoles to be turned into a state witness, but they are not closing the door on such a possibility. Tagle said whether a state witness or not, Napoles should tell the truth. “Just tell the truth! Is it a necessity to be a state witness for one to tell the truth?” he said. Launch pad for impeachment Various groups are calling on De Lima to make public a list she obtained from Napoles purportedly containing the names of people— including lawmakers—linked to
Truth / A6

April 28 - May 11, 2014

Vol. 18 No. 9

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‘Seek new beginnings to pursue peace,’ laity told
MANILA Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle on Sunday exhorted the Filipino faithful to initiate a “fresh start” in pursuing peace, noting that Easter signals the beginning of a new life. “With true peace coming from the Risen Christ we can all start a new life. We call on Jesus to breathe the Holy Spirit on the Filipino people,” Tagle said. Earthquakes, conflicts, typhoons The cardinal urged the public to start anew “so that we may experience a fresh start in our quest for peace,” specifically mentioning the Bangsamoro autonomous region, and communities ravaged by earthquakes, typhoons, and armed conflicts. “Peace is a gift of the Risen Jesus to frail, weak and sinful disciples. Peace is an offer of mercy and reconciliation to those who have been unfaithful. It expresses the hope that the sinner may become whole again. It is a plea to start again,” Tagle said in his Easter message. The fight against “corruption, unscrupulousness, human trafficking, new forms of slavery, abuse of children and women, dehumanizing destitution, and the wastage of creation” must be continued to attain genuine peace in the country, he noted. “Missionary event” Calling Easter a “missionary event” which transforms “timid and fearful disciples into bold and determined missioners,” Tagle called on the Catholic faithful “to heed the Risen Lord who sends us to bring His word, peace and hope to all strata of human life and society.” In accomplishing this mission,
Peace / A6

ALLEDGED pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles should return the money that she supposedly stole and expose all those involved in the controversy.

Cebu marks 450th anniversary of Sto. Niño image

More than a million devotees pack St. Peter’s Square for the double canonization on April 27, Divine Mercy Sunday in what is said to be the largest gathering of the Catholic faithful in Rome since John Paul II’s funeral in 2005. In the Philippines, thousands of Filipinos converged at the Smart Araneta Coliseum to celebrate the historical event by watching the canonization rites via live streaming and by attending a holy mass presided over by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle.

New saints lauded for pioneering dialogue on women
VATICAN CITY, April 28, 2014—The newlycanonized John Paul II and John XXIII have drawn praise for sparking discussion within the Church on modern women and paving the way for what Pope Francis is addressing now. On St. John Paul II’s contribution to the dialogue, Rome-based consecrated laywoman Ana Christina Villa reflected that “his magisterium has been so rich, so deep.” “It is informing and will inform for years to come all the work for the dignity and vocation of women that is done in the Church but also in society,” she told CNA in an April 16 interview. Villa, a consecrated laywoman with the Marian Community of Reconciliation and head of the women’s section for the Pontifical Council for the Laity, helped to design a new webpage for the council containing a compilation of the work both pontiffs have done on women ahead of their canonization. The initiative promotes testimonies from

Catholic News Agency

Filipino Catholics have a deep and fond devotion to the Sto. Niño, which is expressed through celebrations like Cebu’s Sinulog festival.

Anniversary / A7

Happy celibates need happy friendships’ – Villegas to priests
LINGAYEN Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas on Holy Thursday reminded members of the clergy that a key to living a joyful celibate life is to have “happy friendships,” especially with fellow priests. “We have many very good priests in the Church. They serve with vigor…Healthy and
Celibates / A7

The Church’s two newest saints were “raised to the altar” on April 27, Divine Mercy Sunday, at St. Peter’s Square in a ceremony attended by throngs of devotees to Popes John Paul II and John XXIII.

Illustration by Brothers Matias

w o m e n a ro u n d t h e world describing how their lives have been positively affected by the new saints. Villa noted that it was researching the pontificate of John XXIII which initially inspired the women’s department of the council to begin a page completely dedicated to the saints’ efforts in developing the roles of women.

In his encyclical “Pacem in Terris,” John XXIII “wrote very beautifully” on “the growing presence of women in the society and life,” she observed, highlighting how because the historical document was released during the sexual revolution of the 1960s, “it was to be considered a sign of the times.” Du r ing a t ime of “many changes” both

culturally and in the Church, “He was al ready there as a father, as a brother in Christ, illuminating from the Catholic faith these new paths that were opening in the lives of women.” John XXIII viewed the growing presence of women in all areas of life as “a very beautiful and positive thing,” however he also warned that this development

Catholic News Agency

CEBUANOS will celebrate a Holy Mass today, April 28, to mark the start of a year-long celebration of the 450th anniversary of “Kaplag”

or the historic finding of the image of Sto. Niño de Cebu. “The rediscovery of the image

“couldn’t happen in contradiction to the identity, the dignity and the vocation of women.” “So he was very cautious in telling women it’s great, be present but be present always as women. Be present with the particular gifts that God has given you, with the particular vocation God has given you.” These ideas, Villa continued, were “devel oped and deepened” with “a lot of richness in the large magisterium of John Paul II on women.” It is “as if Pope John XXIII was starting to see these phenomenons develop and with a very prophetic eye looked into the good things that were there, but also warned about the possible problems that come from those developments.” Highlighting how it was John XXIII who first referred to this presence as “a sign of the times,” Villa then drew attention to the phrase coined by John Paul II, when he referred to “the feminine genius.” Quoting one of the women who sent in their testimony for the


Dialogue / A7

Vatican Briefing
Papal phone calls cannot change Church doctrine, canonist assures

World News

CBCP Monitor
April 28 - May 11, 2014

Vol. 18 No. 9

Vatican journalists remember John Paul II in new book

A newly published book gathers the memories of 13 journalists and communications specialists about John Paul II, including those of Fr. Giorgio Costantino, spokesman of the Synod of Bishops.

“Giovanni Paolo II, raccontato da chi lo ha ‘raccontato’”, or “John Paul II, as reported by those who ‘reported’ him”, edited by Angela Ambrogetti and Raffaele Iaria and published by Tau Editrice, discusses the 26-year pontificate of Bl. John Paul II, who will be canonized together with John XXIII April 27.

Among the contributors are Emanuele Roncalli, Gian Franco Svidercoschi, and Fr. Costantino, who has been the Synod of Bishops’ representative since 1990. (CNA)
Do not be ‘afraid of joy,’ Pope encourages

Archibishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia speaks at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City on Nov. 16, 2013.

Pope Francis rebuked Christians who are “afraid of joy” and “mournful,” encouraging them to remember that Jesus Christ accompanies them.

“We’re afraid of being close to Jesus because this gives us joy,” he said in his homily during Easter Thursday Mass at the Santa Marta Residence in the Vatican, Vatican Radio reports.

He said there are Christians whose lives “seem to be a perpetual funeral” and who “prefer sadness to joy.”
“They move about in the shadows, not in the light of joy,” he said, comparing them to nighttime animals like bats. The Pope joked that there are “Christian bats who prefer the shadows to the light of the presence of the Lord.”
Instead, the Pope advised, Christians should look to the joy of the Resurrection. (CNA)
Pope is bringing human trafficking into public eye, ambassador says

Papua New Guinea Catholics honor first missionaries
MOUNT HAGEN, April 23, 2014— Catholics in Papua New Guinea honored the evangelization, 80 years ago, of the remote interior of the nation’s main island by making a pilgrimage in the steps of its first missionaries. “After 80 years, the Catholic faithful in the Archdiocese of Mount Hagen felt it is time to say thank you and to acknowledge all the blessings from God through the missionaries,” said Paul Petrus, a social researcher and a layman of Papua New Guinea, in an April 21 interview with CNA. Some 500 Catholics, including three priests and nine seminarians, trekked through the mountainous highlands of New Guinea from March 28 until April 13, Palm Sunday. They began in the vicinity of Madang, on the coast, and arrived at the Mount Hagen chancery, where they were greeted by Archbishop Douglas Young, who told them, “the pilgrimage was sign of a family walking together and sharing the Gospel, as a Church alive in Christ.” The Wahgi Valley, in which Mount Hagen is located, was unknown to Westerners until aerial reconnaissance discovered it in 1933. The following year, Divine Word Missionaries traveled to the

of Pope Francis with his predecessors, seen in his upcoming canonizations of John Paul II and John XXIII, as well as his affection for Benedict XVI that “clearly comes from the heart.” He suggested that Pope Francis has avoided the problems of Europeborn Popes, who have been deeply affected by “the civil war for Europe’s soul” that began before the Enlightenment. This conflict continues today in Europe’s “denial of its Christian roots” and its “self-destroying battles over marriage, family, sexual identity and euthanasia.”

“Europe has exhausted itself,” the archbishop said. “Europe has exhausted the world.” “Maybe a genuinely new evangelization can never be achieved except by a new voice with a new spirit from a new world,” he proposed. “Pope Francis is no stranger to poverty or violence, the plague of corrupt politics or the cruelty of human trafficking. But neither is he a child of the Old World, with its cynicism and despair, its wars and its hatreds.” Instead, he said, Pope Francis “embodies a Christian spirit older than Europe’s civil war and young-

Pope Francis is contributing to the fight against human trafficking by making the matter a frequent point of public discourse, says a U.S. ambassador who specializes in the subject. Luis CdeBaca, U.S. Ambassador in the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, shared with CNA April 12 his impressions about the Pope Francis’ commitment against modern day slavery.
“I do see Pope Francis working to insert the issue of human trafficking in informal comments. The idea is to institutionalize the issue as part of the normal public discourse,” the ambassador said. He underscored that when Pope Francis “talks about freedom and mentions modern slavery, the latter becomes the normal part of the conversation– it is very exciting.” (CNA)
Pope apologizes for priests’ sex abuse, promises strong response

Pope Francis called April 11 for an “even stronger” Catholic Church response to combat sexual abuse, saying he felt compelled to “personally ask forgiveness” for priests who have sexually abused children. 

“The Church is aware of this damage, it is personal, moral damage carried out by men of the Church, and we will not take one step backward with regards to how we deal with this problem, and the sanctions that must be imposed,” the Pope told the International Child Bureau in an April 11 audience at the Vatican, according to Vatican Radio.

He said the response to sex abuse has to be “even stronger” because “you cannot interfere with children.”

The International Catholic Child Bureau is a Catholic NGO dedicated to global work on behalf of children. (CNA)
Human life sacred and inviolable, Pope Francis affirms

Highlands to evangelize its native inhabitants. They were commissioned by the vicar apostolic of Eastern New Guinea, who was himself a member of the Society of the Divine Word. Divine Word Missionaries from America and Germany—Fr. Wilhelm Ross, Fr. Wilhelm Tropper, Br. Eugene Frank, Fr. Alphonse Schafer, and Fr. Henry Aue fnanger—set out from Wilya together with 72 indigenous helpers to evangelize New Guinea’s Highlands, eventually branching out and founding different missions. “The first missionaries’ sole purpose was to evangelize the people, but services such as education and

health seemed necessary in order to evangelize meaningfully,” Petrus reflected. “Thus, schools and health services were established, and since then it has contributed much to the development of the region; and today about 40 per cent of the health and education services in the Highlands i s p ro v i d e d b y t h e C a t h o l i c Church.” Petrus recounting the walking pilgrimage, saying the first week was a “test of faith, and of physical strength.” He described the pilgrims’ suffering in walking through the tropical rainforest and steep terrain of the New Guinea Highlands, cross-

ing valleys to highways, some of them without proper footwear. Despite aching bodies and blistered feet, the pilgrims found “spiritual strength which motivated them to continue,” Petrus said. “Some of the pilgrims are descendents of the helpers who assisted the first missionaries.” They followed a stretch of the Chimbu river for a time, crossing the ridges of the Bismarck range—the highest peak of which, Mount Wilhelm, rises to more than 14,700 feet. The pilgrims visited the memorials of Br. Eugene Frank at Anganere and Fr. Carl Morschheuser at Womatne. Both were martyred by indigenous Papuans, in 1934 and 1935. The second week of the pilgrimage, from Mingende to Mount Hagen, a distance of more than 50 miles, continued on the old highway, a route that Fr. Ross and Br. Eugene had used. Petrus described the arrival at Mount Hagen as filled with “tears of joy” for many of the pilgrims. “It was a perfect spiritual exercise to strengthen their Catholic faith during the Lenten season,” he said of his fellow pilgrims, “and it was a good experience to feel a pain and suffering similar to that of the first missionaries who 80 years ago entered the Highlands region.” (UCAN)

At a meeting with Italy’s Pro-Life Movement, Pope Francis thanked members for their work to defend the right to life and promote the dignity of all human beings, from conception to natural death. 

“Human life is sacred and inviolable. Every civil law is based on the recognition of the first and fundamental right, that of life, which is not subordinate to any condition, neither qualitative nor economic, much less ideological,” the Roman Pontiff said March 11. 
“Thank you for your witness of promoting and defending human life from the moment of conception!” (CNA)
Pope to priests: Look for the exit, go out into world, serve with love

The Church in India calls for freedom of expression for all
MUMBAI, April 25, 2014—The Church in India has come out in favour of the principal of a Catholic school in Mumbai, saying that “everyone has the right to express their opinion.” This follows a controversy caused by Fr Frazer Mascarenhas SJ, principal at St Xavier’s College, who posted his reflections on India’s current election on the school’s website. Reacting to the post, the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) asked the Election Commission to have the post deleted. In his article, the Jesuit clergyman raises questions about “what con stitutes human development and how it is to be achieved.” In so doing, he focused on the Gujarat model, a state ostensibly on a path of development free from communal tensions. Narendra Modi, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate in this election, has been Gujarat’s chief minister for the past ten years, after winning three consecutive elections. However, Fr Mascarenhas debunks the myth spread by Modi’s propaganda machine. For the priest, India has some questions to ask itself. “Is the growth of big business, the making of huge profits the achievement of high production - what we seek? Or is it the quality of life for the majority in terms of affordable basic goods and services and the freedom to take forward the cultural aspirations of our plural social groups that make up India? In the first case, which corresponds to the Gujarat model, “The prospect of an alliance of corporate capital and communal forces coming to power constitutes a real threat to the future of our secular democracy,” words that elicited the BJP’s reaction. For Card Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai, “Fr Frazer gave an objective analysis. An educator educates his students to examine situations in an objective manner. It is a shame that the issue has been politicised.” “In a democracy everyone has a right to state his or her opinion,” said Fr Errol Fernandes SJ, principal of the Commerce Section at the same college. “This must always be done with dignity and without any attempt to malign the name of another.” “Fr Frazer has not imposed his view on anyone,” Fr Fernandes explained. “Those who have read him are welcome to have their own point of view and even to differ.” (AsiaNews)

A priest is called to be in the midst of his flock, protecting his people, searching for those who are lost and always serving those in need, Pope Francis told the world’s priests. If a priest wants to overcome those inevitable moments of sadness, exhaustion and boredom as well as discover his true identity, he must head for the exit sign, going outside himself to be with God and his people, he said April 17 during the chrism Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica. He must also be a dutiful servant who listens to people’s need and builds a church whose doors are wide open, offering refuge for sinners, a home for the homeless, comfort for the sick and God’s word and joy for the young, he said. (CNS)
Pope urges Christian communities to be ones of peace

Number of Catholics on the rise in South Korea
SEOUL, April 24, 2014--The Korean Catholic Church continues to grow. In 2013, the number of faithful and priests increased, even if there are fewer religious marriages and a drop in attendance at Sunday mass. This is shown by the 2013 Catholic Church statistics, published this week by the National Bishops Conference. According to the Statistics as of December 31, 2013, the number of Catholics in Korea was 5,442,996, an increase of 1.5% (81,627) over the last year. This accounts for 10.4% of the total population. The total number of Catholics in Korea has slightly and consistently increased since 2003. By gender, the number of the male faithful was 2,250,015 and the number of the female faithful was 3,192,981, 41.3% and 58.7% respectively of the total Catholics in Korea. Of the 15 dioceses and the Military Ordinariate in Korea, the Archdiocese of Seoul was the most population with 27.1% of the total Catholics in Korea, followed by the Diocese of Suwon (15.2%), the Archdiocese of Daegu (8.8%), and the Diocese of Incheon (8.7%). The combined number of the faithful in the metropolitan area (Seoul, Incheon, Uijeongbu and Suwon) accounted for 56.1% of all the Catholics in Korea. According to the Statistics, the number of newly baptized in 2013 was 118,830, a decrease of 10% from the previous year. By gender, newly baptized men represented 63,285 and women 55,545. The number of infants baptized amounted to 25,589. The Statistics also indicates that number of clergy in Korea in 2013 amounted to 4,901 with 36 bishops, including two Cardi- Nuns walk on a popular shopping street in Seoul nals. There were priests and 173 were missionary 4,695 Korean priests and 170 foreign priests. priests. 117 priests were newly orAmong the priests, 3,995 were di- dained in 2013, an increase of 2.6% ocesan priests, 697 were religious from the previous year. (UCAN)

Returning to his usual daily Mass schedule, Pope Francis reflected April 29 that our contemporary faith communities ought to reflect that of the first Christians, who were united in “heart and mind.” “They had one heart and mind,” the Pope said in his April 29 daily Mass, quoting the day’s first reading, emphasizing that they were a “community in peace.” Taking his launching point from the day’s passage from the Acts of the Apostles describing how the first Christians lived, the pontiff focused on the entire first week of Easter, during which the Church brings light to our “rebirth from on high.” (CNA)

Catholic News Agency/Father Giorgio Licini

Michelle Bauman/CNA

Marriage is indissoluble according to the doctrine of the Church and a Pope’s phone call could not change that, a canon lawyer has explained. Media speculation arose recently over an alleged phone call made by Pope Francis to a divorced and remarried Argentine woman. It is claimed he told her she could receive Communion. 
It is simply “impossible Pope Francis would have changed the doctrine on the indissolubility of the marriage” via a phone call, responded Fr. Hector Franceschi, a professor of canon law and matrimony at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. (CNA)

Archbishop Chaput: Pope Francis brings fresh exhilaration to the Church
NEW YORK CITY, N.Y., April 25, 2014—Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia reflected that Pope Francis in the first year of his papacy has shown “a deep sense of the continuity of the Church” while also being “something different” and “a surprise.” “He’s a surprise; disarming, improbable, the kind of man no one could have predicted—a surprise that keeps unfolding into more surprises,” Archbishop Chaput said April 25. “ T h e re ’ s s o m e t h i n g stunning about a Pope who—for the first time in history—takes the icon of Christian simplicity and poverty as his namesake, and then tries to live like he means it.” The archbishop said there is “something exhilarating” about a Pope who worries about Christians whose lives “seem like Lent without Easter” and who warns against those who evangelize with a funeral appearance. Archbishop Chaput spoke about Pope Francis, the Pope’s namesake St. Francis of Assisi, and the canonization of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII in his keynote address to a conference on St. Francis of Assisi and the Western Tradition, hosted by the Catholic Center at New York University. The archbishop suggested that Pope Francis is so popular “because he embodies what the world imagines St. Francis was like: a mendicant and troubadour, not a judge and not a scholar.” Though Pope Francis has “a sophisticated mind,” the world finds him appealing in his “seren ity and informality,” his “passionate embrace of the poor and the outcast,” and his “studied avoidance of condemning anyone.” “Who is Francis, this Pope?” Archbishop Chaput asked. “The short answer is, I don’t know.” The archbishop expressed his belief that few people outside Pope Francis’ friends and close coworkers really know the Pope. He reported that many Latin American bishops have said the Pope now seems “much more outgoing and ebullient” than he was as a bishop in Argentina. Archbishop Chaput also noted the continuity er than its fatigue and loss of hope.” Archbishop Chaput has personal experience with Pope Francis. He worked with the future Pope in late 1997 during the Special Assembly for America in Rome. He found him to be “an impressive man” of “keen intelligence” with a “strong emphasis on evangelization” and “a healthy realism about the problems facing the Church in our hemisphere.” The archbishop said the future will reveal whether Pope Francis’ popularity can endure in the face of pastoral challenges facing Catholicism. “How the Pope speaks and acts over the next 20 months on matters like marriage, family and sexuality—issues of burning interest to the media of the developed world—will have a big impact on the way he’s treated by the press,” the archbishop said. “In the end, Popes lead. And leaders inevitably displease somebody; some times a great many somebodies. But of course the real St. Francis never turned away from a task simply because it was hard.” (CNA)

AFP Photo/Ed Jones

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 18 No. 9
April 28 - May 11, 2014

News Features


Pope says jealousy is devil’s work; Holy Spirit brings unity
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Beware of the devil, who wants a jealous, power-hungry and divided church, Pope Francis said. Be open to the Holy Spirit, who brings unity and harmony, and who pushes people to focus fully on Christ, the pope said April 29 during his homily at Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where he lives. The pope’s morning homily reflected on the day’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles (4:32-37), which describes the early Christian community as being made up of believers who were “of one heart and mind,” who “bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus,” and who distributed their assets “to each according to need.” Pope Francis said the passage describes what every Christian community -- including parishes and dioceses -- should model and aspire to: “peace, witness, poverty and taking care of the poor.” A community of peace, forgiveness and harmony means “there’s no place for gossip, jealousy, backstabbing and slander,” he said, according to a report by Vatican Radio. To see how a community measures up to what Christ wants, look at how its members behave, he said. “Are they meek, humble? Are there battles among them over power? Jealous arguments? Is there gossip? They are not on the road of Jesus Christ,” he said. A peaceful, harmonious community is “very, very important,” he said, “because the devil is always trying to divide us. He is the father of division.” The second important characteristic of a Christian community is its dedication to giving witness to the risen Christ, he said. “Does this parish, this community, this diocese really believe that Jesus Christ is risen?” or do people only believe it with their head and not their heart? he asked. “To give witness that Jesus is living, he is among us -- this is the way you can verify how a community is doing.” The third aspect of a Christian community is its members’ “poverty of spirit” -- that they put their trust in God and not riches and power, he said. This is what Jesus meant when he told Nicodemus that “you must be born from above” and born of the Holy Spirit, the pope said. When it comes to peace, witness and a concern for the poor, “the only one who can do this is the Spirit. This is the work of the Spirit,” he said. The Holy Spirit creates unity, “the Spirit pushes us to give witness,” the pope said. “The Spirit makes you poor because he is the richness and he makes it so you care for the poor.” (Carol Glatz/Catholic News Service)

Top 10 most interesting popes who have been declared saints
VATICAN, April 26, 2014 (CNS) — From St. Peter to Pope Francis, there have been 266 popes; 78 of them are recognized as saints, and that number will jump to 80 after the April 27 canonizations of Blesseds John XXIII and John Paul II. The earliest popes were martyred for their faith, which the Catholic Church takes as a clear sign of holiness. Once the persecution of the church ended, the clusters of pope’s names with the title “saint” before them got thinner. Over the past 701 years, and as of April 27, only four popes will have been declared saints. Here’s a quick look at some of the top 10 most interesting of the earliest popes who are saints: 1. St. Peter, who was first named Simon, was the first to refer to Jesus as Christ, the Son of the living God. His special stature in the Gospels to “feed the sheep” of Christ helped form his mission to proclaim, protect and nourish the faith. He is also considered the first pope. Early tradition says he was crucified at the foot of Vatican Hill in the mid60s during the reign of Emperor Nero, martyred because of his Christian faith and preaching. His tomb is believed to have been found under St. Peter’s Basilica. 2. St. Soter was Bishop of Rome from around 167 A.D. to his death about seven years later. It’s believed St. Soter formally introduced the annual celebration of Easter in Rome. 3. St. Fabian was pope 236-250. He is

Pope Francis attended a Mass of thanksgiving for the canonization St. Jose de Anchieta at St. Ignatius of Loyola Church in Rome, April 24, 2014.

John Paul II’s “least known” visit to the Philippines
PARAÑAQUE City, April 25, 2014—The National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, better known as Baclaran Shrine, proudly displays on its façade a plaque commemorating the two visits there of the late pontiff and now soon-to-be saint Blessed John Paul II, the first of which being his “least known” visit to the country. “Be ready to intercede with every form of help for each human heart and all the peoples… especially for those who have heavy ordeals in life due to suffering, poverty and every form of afflictions… Mother of Perpetual Help, accept this humble offering and place it in the Heart of Your Son,” reads the plaque quoting John Paul’s prayer to the shrine patroness in 1981 during a visit there to address the “Women Religious of the Philippines”. Not twice, but thrice The Polish pope, the first nonItalian to have sat upon the See of St. Peter in over four centuries since Dutchman Adrian VI, visited the country thrice. The first visit, an unofficial one and the least familiar, was a brief stopover when he was still Kraków Archbishop Karol Józef Cardinal Wojtyla on February 1973, five years before he became the Bishop of Rome and 263rd successor to St. Peter, the first pope. Philippines-based Swedish foreign correspondent Christer Nyblom, who was with the then Cardinal Wojtyla, shared that the visit hardly made noise. The Swedish journalist, who had known Wojtyla when he was still assigned to the Roman beat, shared that the cardinal, knowing he would not be here for long, took the first cab he saw at the airport and asked the driver to the take him to the nearest church. The nearest church happened to be that of Baclaran, a Marian shrine, where he celebrated mass, thanks to the Redemptorist fathers. It was on February 1973, the plaque says. “He was unknown to Filipinos at that time which explains why local media did not think him worthy of their coverage and time. His name did not ring any bell… As far as the Philippines was concerned, Cardinal Wojtyla did not exist,” Nyblom said. Although already a highly-respected cardinal and theologian at the time because of his “impressive track” record in the Second Vatican Council, Nyblom explained, Wojtyla’s fame was limited only to those with an insider’s knowledge of Vatican affairs. Largest papal crowd “This was a blunder on the part of Catholic Filipinos. At any rate, who would have thought he would become Pope a few years later, in 1978? Had they realized they were already harboring right in their backyard a “Popein-the-making,” I am very sure they would have welcomed him differently,” he explained. Millions of Filipinos welcomed Pope John Paul II during his 1995 visit to Manila with such warmth and affection. And the Filipinos did! As if to make up for the “honest mistake” of 1973, millions of Filipinos—men, women and children, young and old—trooped to the old Manila International Airport twice and accorded Wojtyla, now renamed Pope John Paul II, the warmest and biggest welcome a God-loving nation could ever possibly give the Vicar of Christ. The first was in 1981 during a pastoral visit whose highlights included a tour of the country and the canonization of St. Lorenzo Ruiz (the first canonization rites held outside Vatican grounds), and more notably in 1995 during the “World Youth Day” celebration in Manila, which was attended by between four and five million people. According to record book Guiness, it is by far the “largest papal crowd” assembled in a single venue. But what the plaque fails to mention is John Paul’s humanity. “He was fond of Filipino beer,” Nyblom said of the pope. “During his 1973 stopover in Baclaran, he would always request a bottle of pale pilsen.” (Raymond A. Sebastián)

Anna Gulak’s drawings of Saint John Paul II and Saint John XXIII, two of the most recent popes to be canonized

famous for the miraculous nature of his election, in which a dove is said to have descended on his head to mark him as the Holy Spirit’s unexpected choice to become the next pope. 4. St. Damasus was born in Rome and served as pope 366-384. His papacy coincided with the establishment of Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire in 380, and he was a staunch advocate of the primacy of the bishop of Rome as being the direct successor of Peter. He is said to have established Latin as the standard liturgical language in Rome. 5. St. Leo the Great was born with the name Leo, which he kept as pope. Serving as pope 440-461, he was the first pope to be called “the great” and is a doctor of the church. He confirmed the church’s position on the incarnation of Christ — that Christ was both divine and human. He is best known for having met Attila the Hun in 452 and persuading him to

turn back from his invasion of Italy. 6. St. Gregory the Great was pope 590604 and was the second pope to be referred to as “the Great,” after Leo. He was related to two popes, and his mother and two aunts were also canonized, leading him to be considered “a saint among saints.” He had been a monk and did not want to serve as pope upon his election. He often lamented his new duties as pontiff as having to “bear with secular business” and no longer being part of the peaceful and contemplative life of the monastery. Nonetheless, he put great emphasis on simplicity and charity and donated food to Rome’s poor as well as invited poor people to eat with him each day. 7. St. Nicholas I the Great was pope 858867. He was the third and last pope to receive the title of “great.” He worked to strengthen papal authority and denied anyone had the right to depose a bishop without papal

authority. He staunchly upheld marriage laws and urged bishops of their duty to excommunicate a royal Catholic who left her spouse for another. He did sup port freedom to marry and did not endorse some bishops when they excommunicated another royal for marrying without her father’s consent. 8. St. Gregory VII was pope 1073-1085. He enacted many reforms such as reversing centuries of civil control over church affairs and giving the pope of Rome full sovereignty over all church affairs in the West. He promoted a more saintly episcopacy and priesthood and fought against simony, the buying and selling of church office. He introduced the legislation that locked in the observance of celibacy, despite frequent debates over the issue. He decreed the Roman rite for all of Europe and established Nov. 1 as All Saints’ Day. He lifted the excommunication of Emperor Henry IV in 1077 after the emperor

did public penance of walking barefoot in the snow. 9. St. Celestine V was a Benedictine monk and hermit who resigned from the papacy just a few months after his election in 1294 because he wanted to return to his humble monastic life. He issued a papal bull articulating the ability of a pope to resign and establishing rules for an abdication. Pope Benedict XVI, the next pope in history who would voluntarily resign in 2013, placed the pallium he received when he was elected in 2005 on the saint’s tomb in L’Aquila, Italy, in 2009 and left it there as a gift. 10. St. Pius X was elected pope in 1903 and served until his death in 1914. He promoted greater piety among the faithful, encouraged the frequent reception of the sacraments of penance and the Eucharist, and insisted on proper decorum during the celebration of the Mass. He highlighted the beauty and appropriateness of Gregorian chant, cautioned against using popular musical styles and encouraged efforts to ensure that the faithful could participate actively in the Mass by singing. He reorganized the Roman Curia and established a congregation of cardinals to codify Canon Law. He embraced scientific inquiry and designed sundials. However, when given the first papal car in 1909 by then-Archbishop John M. Farley of New York, the pope never used it, sticking with his horse and landau carriage. (Emily Antenucci)

Canonization live stream sparks WYD ’95 throwback
QUEZON City, April 28, 2014—In what became a “World Youth Day” (WYD) throw back, thousands of Filipinos thronged the SMART Araneta Coliseum Sunday, April 27, to witness history being made as two of the best-loved popes of modern times, John XXIII and John Paul II, were “raised to the honor of the altar”. “ I t ’ s l i k e Wo r l d Youth Day 1995 all over again,” Migs Ramirez, one of the event’s emcees, exclaimed in Tagalog on seeing how enthused the audience had become for the popes’ double canonization. “Biggest Christian gathering” He alluded to the international Catholic youth event held in Manila in 1995, which was presided over by Pope, now Saint, John Paul II and attended by between three to five million people from different parts of the world. The sheer number of WYD attendees prompted record book Guinness to call it the “largest Papal audi ence” and others as the “biggest Christian gathering” ever. In a speech before delegates of the International Youth Forum at the University of Santo Tomás (UST), St. John Paul himself referred to it as the “Filipino phenomenon”. “I see that it is my great privilege to be here, to be here and discover anew this phenomenon I knew before, and today I know better,” he said. As one who had taken part in the event as a child, Ramirez also shared how just being in the presence of the Pope could make one tear up, adding that this is an experience shared and confirmed by many. He also invited them to sing “Tell the World of His Love”, the WYD 1995 theme song, which they were only too happy to do. Architect of Vatican II Jesuit Communications (JesCom) executive director Fr. Emmanuel “Nono” Alfonof the word Church to include not only the ordained few but all the baptized faithful… He had also given them greater participation in Church affairs,” Alfonso explained in summary. Thanks to technology, the gathered faithful at Araneta, composed mainly of families, couples, friends, nuns, seminarians, and the clergy, were able to watch the canonization rites at St. Peter’s unfold via live streaming. The otherwise mostly silent crowd exploded in thunderous applause when Pope Francis pronounced the formula of canonization which effectively made the two popes’ status as saints official. In Latin, the present pontiff mentioned that after deliberating, consulting and praying for divine assistance “we declare and define Blessed John XXIII and John Paul II be saints and we enroll them among the saints, decreeing that they are to be venerated as such by the whole church.” A short clip on the life and legacy of St. John XXIII was shown to the audience ahead of the canonization. It highlighted his humble beginnings, his humor, his down-toearth attitude, and his indispensable role in the promotion of world peace. That of St. John Paul II paid tribute to his pastoral work and his efforts to reach out to all, including non-Catholics, and to a papacy that defended life and the dignity of labor. The event called “Shepherds, Servants & Saints” was organized by Church-run media group Jesuit Communications (JesCom) with the help of the J. Amado Araneta Foundation and satellite television provider Cignal. It concluded with a joint singing of “Tell the World of His Love”, the WYD 1995 theme song. (Raymond A. Sebastián)

Catholic News Agency

The canonization rites of popes John XXIII and John Paul II on April 27 were broadcast from St. Peter’s Square via live streaming to benefit millions of the faithful who were unable to come to Rome for the event.

so, SJ pointed out that while not as familiar to Filipinos as St. John Paul II had been, St. John XXIII’s brief but colorful pontificate revolutionized the Church in ways that continue to affect the lives of

billions of Catholics to this day. “St. John XXIII made the mass more accessible to the laity when he allowed use of the vernacular in place of the traditional Latin… He redefined the idea


Catholic News Agency


Architects of renewal

CBCP Monitor
April 28 - May 11, 2014

Vol. 18 No. 9

NO doubt the canonizations of John XXIII and John Paul II were historic and unprecedented. Of the 266 successors of Peter, only 78 so far have been raised to the honor of the altar. The closest is Pius X who was canonized in 1954; the next would be centuries down to the 1700s. But more than this, the formal declaration of their heroic virtues were affirmations of how they “have cooperated with the Holy Spirit in renewing and updating the church.” Says Catholic chronicler Rocco Palmo, “…the joint ratification that John XXIII and John Paul II now live in the Father’s House doesn’t merely validate the verdict of the sensus fidelium on the holiness of their lives: it represents the ultimate recognition of their respective roles as the twin architects of the modern papacy.” A diplomat but a cheerful Italian, Cardinal Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli was 76 when he succeeded the deceased Pope Pius XII on October 28, 1958. He assumed the name Pope John XXIII but was perceived to be an interim pontiff who would maintain the status quo and sustain an entrenched bureaucracy to preserved things as they were during the reign of his predecessor. He was elected on the 11th ballot and some even touted him as an “accidental pope”. But they were wrong. Three months into his assumption of the Petrine ministry he announced the convening of an ecumenical council—the 20th in Catholic Church’s history—and formed a Theological Commission to layout the ground work of the Second Vatican Council; the French Dominican Yves Congar who earlier wrote the “Lay People in the Church, was foremost among them. On October 11, 1962, he formally opened the “Concilium Oecumenicum Vaticanum Secundum” and begun his “aggiornamento” where he courageously opened the “windows of the Church to let the fresh air of the Spirit blow through.” In his homily during the canonization rites, Pope Francis said: “In convening the Council, Saint John XXIII showed an exquisite openness to the Holy Spirit. He let himself be led and he was for the Church a pastor, a servant-leader, guided by the Holy Spirit. This was his great service to the Church; for this reason I like to think of him as the the pope of openness to the Holy Spirit.” It was this ecumenical council that substantially changed the church and, in one perspective, the world. It would be difficult to imagine where the whole Christendom be today without St. John’s Vatican II. Pope John Paul II was a creation of the Second Vatican Council. He saw to it that the “aggiornamento” of John XXIII would be felt in all facets of Christian life. The renewal envisioned by the ecumenical council blossomed in John Paul II even unto the “new springtime of Christian life” across the threshold of the complexities of the next millennium. So much has been done by these great men for the renewal of the Church and of the world. “They were priests, and bishops and popes of the twentieth century. They lived through the tragic events of that century, but they were not overwhelmed by them. For them, God was more powerful; faith was more powerful—faith in Jesus Christ the Redeemer of man and the Lord of history; the mercy of God, shown by those five wounds, was more powerful; and more powerful too was the closeness of Mary our Mother,” said Pope Francis at their canonization.
Illustration by Brothers Matias

Arising to Fullness of Life
CHRIST has risen! The mes sage of Easter is not only about Christ’s victory over death. It is also a promise—and a task—for all of us to work towards fullness of life. The Easter vigil symbolisms of Light, Word, Water, and Communion touch the various facets of this fullness of life— embracing the light of our faith; listening to the narratives of the history of our salvation; cleansing ourselves with the waters of baptism; and entering into communion with the Resurrected Christ and with one another. Two recent developments in Philippine society challenge us to continue striving towards this fullness of life. The first was the recent ruling of the Supreme Court on April 8, 2014, on the “Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012.” In unambiguous terms, the Court concluded that “the life of a new human being commences at a scientifically welldefined moment of conception, that is, upon fertilization.” (Decision, p.48) It also reiterated its stand against abortifacients. This is defined by the RH Law itself as “any drug or device that induces abortion, that is, which kills or destroys the fertilized ovum or prevents the fertilized ovum to reach and be implanted in the mother’s womb….” (Decision, p.51) While declaring the RH Law as “not unconstitutional,” the Supreme Court struck down eight provisions as unconstitutional on the grounds that “the State should not use coercive measures (like the penal provision of the RH Law against conscientious objectors)….” (Decision, p.102)

Abp. Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ

Pastoral Companion
It is in this light that our ongoing ministry on Responsible Parenthood and All-Natural Family Planning should be affirmed and strengthened. Our All-NFP program follows four pastoral guidelines that are consonant with much of the Supreme Court’s decision and provides a positive alternative to the RH Law’s focus on contraceptives: (1) We are Pro-Life. We are at the service of life from the moment of conception (i.e., fertilization). We are against abortion as well as abortifacients. These are also proscribed by our Constitution. (2) We are for Responsible Parenthood as our goal. We help parents to be aware of their rights and their duties in the procreation and education of their children until they reach the age of independence. (3) We are for Natural Family Planning as the means, in consonance with the moral teaching of the Church. Our promotion of NFP includes all modern, scientifically-tested NFP methods as a pastoral imperative. (4) We are for enabling couples to make an Informed and Morally Responsible Choice. This requires values formation and adequate information on all NFP methods to help couples form a right conscience and make an informed choice. With regard to planning their family, “it is the married couples themselves who must in the last analysis arrive at these judgments before God.” (Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes, 50) The second recent development, with particular reference to Mindanao, was the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement

Contemplative bishops for the poor
INDEED it is only when we bishops become contemplatives like the Beloved Disciple resting on the chest of Jesus that we can truly serve and teach the flock in full freedom—freedom from seeking one’s “own interests, not those of Jesus Christ” (Phil 2:21), freedom from the fascination of political or social gain, freedom from the insane and unreal attraction of popularity in the world. To be contemplative bishops is to become truthfully honest, cheerfully loving and passionately zealous teachers of the flock, bishops serving the Lord in total freedom detached from vainglory. It is from this contemplative starting point that we can look at the recent happenings in our country. We cannot look at the devastation of typhoon Yolanda and the massive destruction wrought by the earthquake in Bohol from the eyes of CNN or ANC. We must look at these events with the eyes of the Lord, feel with the heart of the Lord and act with the hands and feet of the Lord. Our best contribution to the rehabilitation in Samar or Leyte, Bohol or Zamboanga is Christ. We send help because of Christ, in Christ and through Christ. Our task is not just to build new homes that can be washed away again by the next storm surges. Our mission is not just to send food for the hungry and give water to the thirsty. The Christ that is in me reaches out to the Christ that is suffering. It is Christ reaching out to Christ. We will miss this point if we are not contemplative bishops. We can even reduce NASSA and the CBCP into just another philanthropic institution and we are not. We are Christ’s. Christi sumus! As we launch the Year of the Laity in preparation for the five hundredth anniversary of the first Mass and baptism in the Philippines, let us heed the caution of Pope Francis that in planning Church programs and projects, we resist the temptation of talking of “what needs to be done” like spiritual masters and pastoral experts who give instructions from on high. We must go out of the Pius XII Catholic Centre, stay focused on the Lord and reach out sincerely to the distant poor and the wayward children of God. We cannot allow the Year of the Laity to create more circles of elite and closed-in lay groups sometimes called mandated organizations. We need to reach out to those who are angry at us bishops, those we have disillusioned and those we have misled or confused by our excessive misplaced prudence or unbecoming lifestyle. The Year of the Laity is not only for the supportive and loyal laity but for the critical and distant ones more importantly those who disagreed with us on the RH law, those who hurl accusations at us fairly or unfairly. They are children of God too, our brothers and sisters, members of our flock also. We can do this if we are soaked in prayer as contemplative shepherds of the people freed from fear and rejection, carrying the mark of Christ scourged, crucified yet risen. --Lifted from a speech delivered by Archbishop Socrates Villegas on the occasion of the 108th Plenary Assembly of the CBCP.

Pastoral Companion / A6

Teresa R. Tunay, OCDS

…and that’s the truth
THE miraculous healing of a French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, who like Pope John Paul II suffered from Parkinson’s disease, paved the way for John Paul II’s beatification, which took place in Rome on May 1, 2011. Then, on that very day of beatification, somewhere in Costa Rica, a terminally ill, partially paralyzed woman on pain medication lay in bed, clutching a magazine with a photo of John Paul II on the cover. She was Mrs. Floribeth Mora Diaz, a 50-year old mother of four, who had been told by the doctors that her death was “just a matter of time”. The hopeless Mrs. Mora said that at that moment John Paul appeared to her in a vision, with his hand reaching out to her from the magazine’s cover photo. He reportedly told her to get up and go to the kitchen to see her husband. Startled she responded to the vision, “Yes, I feel fine now, I’m going, I’m going,” and from that day on, Mrs. Mora

Secret miracles
Mrs. Mora was a guest of honor at the canonization of the two popes on Divine Mercy Sunday, 2014. We know that miracles are a requirement prior to a candidate’s being proclaimed “Blessed” and then “Saint.” But almost always, the miracles validated are medical in nature. While miracles involving instant cures or healing, having been subjected to scientific scrutiny, are more dramatic and therefore create a great impact on the public, we cannot deny that perhaps millions of other miracles take place in secret which offer healing and new life to their recipients. Take the case of Aileen, a searcher and an agnostic for the longest time. She has kept John Paul II’s miracle on her a secret lest people think she’s crazy. Inside the Manila Cathedral awaiting the arrival there of Pope John Paul II in February 1981, she was stunned to see a dazzling “about 2-feet
And That’s The Truth / A5

insisted she was completely cured. After the proper medical examination her neurosurgeon Alejandro Vargas Roman, said, “If I cannot explain it from a medical standpoint, something non-medical happened. I can believe it was a miracle.” The story of Mrs. Mora’s cure was recounted on a website linked to John Paul II’s beatification. Soon the Holy See’s experts led by the postulator in charge of advancing John Paul II’s sainthood scrutinized Mrs. Mora’s case. The Vatican flew Mrs. Mora to Rome to be examined in a Church-run hospital where she was registered under a false name. She said she was to observe “maximum secrecy” and was to be known simply “as a tourist from Costa Rica who had fallen ill while on holiday in Italy.” The “tourist from Costa Rica” was subjected to tests, all of which showed her to be completely healthy. That was the miracle that led to the elevation of Blessed John Paul II to sainthood.

www.cbcpmonitor.com cbcpmonitor@cbcpworld.net

Touched by John Paul the Great
YEAR 2014 is fast becoming a very special year for me. There actually are many reasons for this, and all of them leave me profoundly thankful and nervous. But among the reasons is the most gratifying fact that two men, very close to my heart, will be raised to the altar in this Year of the Laity. One is Bishop Alvaro del Portillo, successor of Opus Dei founder, St. Josemaria Escriva, who will be beatified in Madrid on September 27. He ordained me to the diaconate in Rome on January 28, 1991. It was his first time to ordain candidates to the priesthood, since he was just consecrated bishop a few weeks earlier that year. The other is Blessed Pope John Paul II, who will be canonized saint on April 27. By an extreme stroke of luck and, I believe, a pure bolt of grace, I was chosen as one of those to be ordained priest by him in Rome that year on May 26, Trinity Sunday. The moment I was told I would be ordained by Pope John Paul II, I literally froze in disbelief. A spontaneous and strong flow of prayers came a little later. I stammered in thanking God for the great gift, then I started to trace what brought me to that life-changing event. I don’t think I was a particularly religious person when I was a kid. All I had in mind was to play and be naughty, just like anybody else among my friends. But my mother saw to it that I prayed the rosary with her and some of my siblings who happened to be with her at the moment. It was she who instilled in me, among many other things, love

Fr. Roy Cimagala

Candidly Speaking
and veneration for the Pope. My lola and the teachers in grade school, mostly nuns, did the same. And I just developed that love to the point that whenever I saw a picture of Pope John XXIII, the Pope at that time, I felt good and holy and somehow urged to behave. The nuns in school encouraged me to enter the seminary, but when I brought the idea to my father, he said, no way. And so I forgot about priesthood and pursued what everybody else was pursuing. At that time, all I wanted was to become rich and all those thingamajigs. But I met Opus Dei while studying in college in Manila. And my life changed, made a sharp turn. Well, that’s now history. My love and fascination for the Pope grew even more. When Pope Paul VI visited Manila, I happened to stay just a few houses from where the Nunciature, where he stayed, was. I remember standing the whole day right in front of the Nunciature together with the crowd just to have a glimpse of him. And when I saw him, it was as if I was floating on air with joy. Prayer when infused with joy became effortless. Then entered Pope John Paul II in 1978. At that time, I was already a professional man, working in some office, but also into deep philosophical and theological studies. It was he who sort of challenged me to take my Christian formation more seriously. I found him irresistibly stimulating and engaging. I was sure his presence, his words, even his
Candidly Speaking / A7

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

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 18 No. 9
April 28 - May 11, 2014

Judas Set the Example
reasons. So little money spent for the common good while so much of the people’s money used for the private interest of public servant. Hence, so much giveaway of public funds to buy political allegiance. To pay proimpeachment votes. So much expenses incurred for non-existent supposedly beneficial project coursed through corrupt individuals and corrupting government agencies. Hence, so much expenses for public utilities for so little benefits to the public. So much effort made in pushing for the infamous PPP to favor much private profits at the expense of the general public. Just for the record, it was not the 30 pieces of silver that was really bad, it was Judas who was, in fact, evil. It is not money that is taboo but the insatiable individuals who want to have them no matter what and how, and keep them come what may. Money builds or destroys, depending in whose hands it is in and what the intention is. Money makes people live or die taking into account the mindset and design of those who have it. In other words, in the hands of honest and beneficent individuals, money is good. At the command of dishonest and malevolent person, of crooks and criminals, money is evil. Money is not the cause of evil—as frequently said and heard. Judases are the origin of evil. Sad but true, there is a good number of Judases in the Philippines to ruin of the future of the Filipino people.

Marcus Roberts

Oscar. V. Cruz, DD

Views and Points
YES, Judas Iscariot set the example—the bad example. Shamelessly, he did what is shameful to do. Historically, he immortalized, not only what evil is but how evil man can be. This is why after many centuries have passed, after different cultures and traditions have changed, after so many novelties came to fore, the name Judas still sounds despicable, still remains despicable. It is therefore hard—if at all possible—to know of someone who even thought of seriously adopting the name “Judas” as his own. The name alone stands for greed, avarice, covetousness, and disgrace as well. So it was that the keeper of the purse for the common needs of the apostles was someone named Judas. So it was that Judas eventually betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. And so it was that Judas hanged himself to death. So it is that the successors of Judas multiplying to these times, the world over. So it is more and more money for more and more national and local ghost projects is shamelessly stolen by Judases from the public coffers. And so it is that unless these Judases vanish from the Philippine scene, more and more Filipinos will wallow in poverty and misery, will live in vain as well. Courtesy of Filipino Judases, such big, extensive, and expensive government set-up for little and miserable public service rendered to the people. Hence, so many taxes imposed on so many items as demanded for so many

China on track to be world’s largest Christian nation
I CAME across a fascinating article the other day in the UK Daily Telegraph newspaper that I thought that I would share with you. In this article, the claim is made that soon China will be the largest Christian country in the world. That is, the country with the largest number of Christians: “China’s Protestant community, which had just one million members in 1949, has already overtaken those of countries more commonly associated with an evangelical boom. In 2010 there were more than 58 million Protestants in China compared to 40 million in Brazil and 36 million in South Africa, according to the Pew Research Centre’s Forum on Religion and Public Life. Prof Yang [professor of sociology at Purdue University and author of Religion in China: Survival and Revival under Communist Rule], a leading expert on religion in China, believes that number will swell to around 160 million by 2025…By 2030, China’s total Christian population, including Catholics, would exceed 247 million, placing it above Mexico, Brazil and the United States as the largest Christian congregation in the world, he predicted.” Apparently there are now more Chinese attending Sunday services than do Christians across the whole of Europe. For an avowedly atheist, communist country that is an incredible fact. But, as can be imagined, this does not mean that the Chinese government is quiescent. Many within the Chinese Communist Party worry that the religious changes in China will shape the political landscape and will have an impact on the Communist Party’s grip on power as people switch allegiance from it to a higher power. Consequentially, there is a close watch kept on churchgoers, and preachers are monitored to ensure that what they preach does not diverge from what is acceptable to the Party. For example, in a creepy Orwellian detail, the article mentions that in Luishi church (the largest mega-church in China) there is a closed circuit television camera that “hangs from the ceiling, directly in front of the lectern”. One can see where the nervousness of the Party comes from in incidents such as this from last month when: “…thousands flocked to defend a church in Wenzhou, a city known as the “Jerusalem of the East”, after government threats to demolish it. Faced with the congregation’s very public show of resistance, officials appear to have backed away from their plans, negotiating a compromise with church leaders.” Not surprisingly, many Christians choose to worship underground, trying to escape the prying eyes of the party. “Among China’s Protestants are also many millions who worship at illegal underground “house churches”, which hold unsupervised services—often in people’s homes… Such churches are mostly behind China’s embryonic missionary movement—a reversal of roles after the country was for centuries the target of foreign missionaries. Now it is starting to send its own missionaries abroad, notably into North Korea, in search of souls.” A similar split between the official and unofficial exists in the Catholic Church in China as well. There is the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association which is approved by the state but does not recognize the primacy of the Roman Pontiff. Clergy who resist the CPCA and remain faithful to the primacy of the See of Rome have been subject to imprisonment, torture and even martyrdom over the last few decades. Of course Christianity and Communism are incompatible— one either accepts the Party or God as the summum bonum. One cannot have both. In the clash between the Chinese Communist Party and Christianity, only one will survive (to have an educated guess at which one, have a look at the life of St John Paul II.) Unfortunately though, I do not think that the Party will go down without a fight. It seems likely that there will be many more martyrs for Christianity in the years ahead in China and more opportunities for Tertullian to be proved correct when he said that “the blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church”. I am thankful to live in a country that, despite all its defects, allows people to worship without spying on what is being said or torturing me for my beliefs. (We can argue about the side-lining of religious thought from the public sphere in many Western countries, but we are lucky compared to Chinese Christians!) Perhaps the next time I “can’t be bothered” to duck into the nearest Church or chapel for a minute or two I should remember those places in the world where believers do not share the luxury I take for granted. Including the country that is likely to become the largest Christian nation in the world! (This piece is sourced from MercatorNet with permission.)

John Paul II, We Love You!
It was a glorious and wonderful morning in Vatican City on April 27, 2014, Divine Mercy Sunday, when Blessed John Paul II and Blessed John XXIII were canonized. Millions of pilgrims personally witnessed the historical and first time twin canonization of two popes while billions of people all over the world, including non-Catholics, watched the solemn ceremony on television. Cardinal Karol Wojtyla of Krakow, Poland—the real name of Pope John Paul II— was elected in 1978 as the first non-Italian pope in 450 years. He took over the papacy for almost 27 years, visiting the world. For nearly all of the countries he visited, it was their first papal visit. He is hailed for his role in helping bring about the fall of communism in Eastern Europe in 1989 because of his firm defense of the Solidarity trade union in Poland. John Paul II loved the youth in a special way. He established the tradition of youth gatherings every two years in various parts of the world in which the Pope participated. A biographer considered him “a peace-seeker as influential and powerful as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.” As a citizen of Poland, he suffered under Hitler’s Germany and Soviet attempts to crush the Polish nation. He battled for the poor and to right human wrongs...” When Gorbachev came to visit John Paul II, he told an audience, “We have changed our attitude toward religion. Now Church and State are separate, and no one should interfere in matters of the individual’s conscience.” During his papacy, Blessed John Paul II visited the Philippines twice. First was in 1981 during the beatification of San Lorenzo Ruiz and Companion Martyrs and the second was in 1995 during the World Youth Day celebration in Manila, where more than 5 million people participated during his mass on January 15, the largest papal gatherings in history. He also visited the Philippines when

Atty. Aurora A. Santiago

Duc in Altum
different cultures and traditions, and know that the moment has come to discern the signs of the times, to seize the opportunity to look far ahead.” Pope Francis bent the rules for the canonization of John XXIII, deciding that only one miracle, instead of the customary two, were needed to make him a saint. Below is the prayer for asking graces through the intercession of Blessed John Paul II—with Ecclesiastical approval by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the Holy Father’s Vicar General for the Diocese of Rome. O Blessed Trinity we thank You for having graced the Church with Pope John Paul II, and for allowing the tenderness of your Fatherly care, the glory of the cross of Christ, and the splendor of the Holy Spirit, to shine through him. Trusting fully in Your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession of Mary, he has given us a living image of Jesus the Good Shepherd, and has shown us that holiness is the necessary measure of ordinary Christian life and is the way of achieving eternal communion with You. Grant us, by his intercession, and according to Your will, the graces we implore, hoping that he will soon be numbered among Your saints, Amen.” *** I wish to greet my brother Dr. Andres “Roy” Santiago and my sister-in-law Jinky Reyes-Santiago a Happy First Wedding Anniversary on April 28. They have a 2 and a half months old son Romarico “Rome”. Happy Birthday also to my brother-in-law Roberto “Bobbie” Imperial. Bobbie is the better-half of my youngest sister Flordeliza SantiagoImperial and the father of Roberto Enrico, Ria Edeliza and Raiza Elmira. Same greetings too to Fr. Oscar Lucas,OMI. Also I send out Sacerdotal Anniversary greetings to Fr. Alfredo Fernandez, Jr.,OP, Fr. Rogelio Caalim,OMI, Fr. Hilario Siñgian,OP and Fr. Ricardo Torrefiel all of the Diocese of Kalookan.

he was still the Cardinal of Krakow, Poland. Why Divine Mercy Sunday? Divine Mercy Sunday was a special day for Blessed John Paul II. He proclaimed the feast day in 2001. It is celebrated on the second Sunday of Easter. It can be recalled that John Paul II died on the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday in 2005. I consider myself blessed because I had closed encounter with Pope JPII when he presided over the beatification ceremony of San Lorenzo Ruiz in Luneta and during the 1995 World Youth Day, also in Luneta, when I was the Parish Coordinator of San Ildefonso de Navotas. Blessed Pope John XXIII, born Angelo Roncalli in Bergamo, Italy, was elected Pope at the age of 77. He led the Church from 1958 to 1963. He was known as “the good pope,” for his “kindness, meekness, self-deprecation, and jovial character.” He convened the Second Vatican Council, which sat from 1962 to 1965, thinking that he could finish it but death came calling. The Second Vatican Council, the first such meeting of the world’s Catholic bishops in nearly a century, made several modern changes in the Universal Church. It changed the face of Catholicism by introducing the vernacular to substitute Latin at Masses, encouraged dialogue with other religions and repudiated the 2,000-year-old concept of collective Jewish guilt for the death of Jesus. His famous encyclical was “Pacem in Terris” – Peace in the World. In it he promoted peace, hope, and openness to all, including Catholics, non-Catholics, non-Christians, Jews, atheists, Buddhists, and others. On his death bed he exhorted, “Today more than ever we are called to serve mankind as such, and not merely Catholics; to defend above all and everywhere the rights of the human person and not merely those of the Catholic Church... It is not that the Gospel has changed; it is that we have begun to understand it better... We are enabled to compare

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

By the Roadside
THERE simply is no question about it. April 27, 2014, Divine Mercy Sunday, has no parallel in the history of the Church or of the world. A current pope, Francis I, proclaimed before an immense sea of humanity at St. Peter’s Square and billions around the world glued to their television sets and internetfacilitated gadgets two predecessor popes, John XXIII and John Paul II, “to be saints” and enrolled them “among the saints, decreeing that they be venerated as such by the whole Church”, while on the sideline his immediate predecessor, almost shy and remarkably self-effacing, Benedict XVI, stood witness to the occasion. A pilgrim in Rome could not help remarking about two papal “saints in heaven” and another two “at St. Peter’s Square”. Two recognized saints on the one hand; two potential saints on the other? Fast forward to today. Beyond the jubilation and the cacophony of praise and criticism from both Catholics and non-Catholics, need we not ask the all-important question: What does the event tell us professed Christians of this day and age? Without pretending to have the last word on the matter, I would like to share a few of my unsolicited thoughts. One, the Petrine ministry, the other name for the role of Roman Catholic Pontiffs among both Catholics and non-Catholic Christians, is healthy and strong. More than two thousand years after Jesus said to Peter, “You are Peter (Kephas) and upon this Rock I will build my Church and the gates of the netherworld will not prevail against it” (Mt 16:18), Peter still stands in the person of contemporary Roman Pontiffs, contrary winds or ever-loyal following notwithstanding. It is unfortunate that we still hear this name “Roman Pontiff” to call the successor of the Apostle Peter by. But, like the Incarnation has the Word of God inexplicably and irretrievably intertwined with our human nature, the Shoes of the Fisherman are till now inseparable from the cobblestone pathways of Rome. The Vicar of Christ, like his Master, is in the world though not of it. What’s in a name? Faith and Scriptures answer: “Mission”. The Apostle Peter and his successors have a firm foothold in the Eternal City so as to proclaim and usher in eternity to the world, with the Lord’s flock constantly coming in and going forth to drink in the message in order to later spread it from the house tops of today’s humanity. Two papal saints in heaven and two saintly popes on earth is a big statement of Jesus Christ’s unshakable faithfulness to his promise. Peter may have had lapses and falls from grace; but the love of the Master always sustains him with more than enough strength to lift up and guide the faith of the flock as well as the attention of the world on the ways of the Kingdom. Two, the practice of venerating saints adds to and not detracts from the following of Jesus Christ. Reviled and at times openly called “idolatry” by non-Catholics, the spiritual activity in which and by which Catholics call upon canonized saints to pray for their needs and intentions, mindful of their gifts

The Day of the Four Popes
and charisms while still on earth, is still alive and kicking, if we are to judge from the immense crowds in Rome before, during and after the canonization of the two popes. Even despite misconceptions perpetrated by secular media, such as Sts. John Paul II and John XXIII being “performer of miracles” (it is never the saint but God who does the miracles at the saints’ intercessions, Catholics constantly are compelled insist to their dismay), the faithful freely share their experiences of having recourse to saints’ intercessions and obtaining answers from heaven, miraculous or non-miraculous. Why does this not detract from the following of Jesus Christ? The answer appears so simple and yet so profound to me. The saints, papal or not, reflect to us the many aspects of Jesus Christ and it is to Jesus Christ that they lead their devotees despite appearances. Three, four popes in one day to me speak of the diversity in unity that is very real in the Body of Christ that the Church is. The Pauline vision is nowhere more pronounced than in the diverse personalities, emphases and orientations of these four past and present Supreme Shepherds of the Roman Catholic Church. The kindly, well-humored “Good Pope John XXIII”, initially dismissed as a short-term transition pope and yet proving himself a revolutionary by convoking Vatican II already amazes any student of history. Place him side by side with the intellectual contemplative yet hugely charismatic Pope John Paul II who both fervently followed up Vatican II reforms and strongly clarified parameters, who traveled more than any pope in history, wrote more encyclicals, canonized more saints, helped bring down communist regimes in Eastern Europe, chastised dictators as well as radical clergy, remained silent when vilified as an arch-conservative and yet loudly denounced injustices and violations of human rights around the globe. It is extremely difficult to not be in awe of these two saints. In addition, who would not be hard put to explain the obviously un-similar personalities of the mild-mannered intellectual, progressive conservative Pope Benedict XVI who courageously and humbly stepped down from the papal throne so as to make way to a down-to-earth pastor named Pope Francis whose vaunted humility and discomfort with the trappings of power is now attracting immense attention and the opportunity to personalize the New Evangelization in the age of Facebook and Twitter? And yet who would ever doubt the unity these Supreme Pastors exhibit in proclaiming Christ and his Kingdom in season and out of season within the orthodoxy and dynamism of the Catholic faith? The specter of four popes in one day is not about four spiritual leaders grabbing the spotlight in an ephemeral way. It is about the past and present of Christianity converging and continuing to shed light on humanity from the faith of the Apostle Peter. And the faith of the Apostle Peter is about Jesus Christ who is “the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Rev 22:13).

And That’s The Truth / A4

wide” light around the pope as the doors opened to let him in. She admitted she does not see auras as some people claim to do, so she blinked repeatedly and hard, thinking maybe there was something wrong with her eyes, that maybe the light was but the reflection of the pope’s white vestment, etc. But why, she also wondered, was he the only one surrounded by that indescribable light when all others around him—priests—also wore white? To her sight, the others registered as “normal”. The skeptic in Aileen prevailed: it couldn’t have meant that she now had the gift to see auras, she concluded, and eventually forgot about the incident. This was forgotten until one day, during a retreat with her co-workers, in the early 80s. Aileen was sitting quietly in the back of the chapel, when a priest emerged from the confessional box, his face looking as though lit up by a fluorescent bulb from within. Instantaneously, the image of John Paul II dazzling white at the door of the cathedral flashed in her memory. A question percolated in Aileen’s mind: “What happens to a priest when he hears confession?” Aileen, a nominal Catholic, was not an ardent believer of confession, nonetheless she subconsciously linked the priest’s

radiant face to it. Thoughts unrelated and disconnected— about the sacredness of the priest’s vocation, about confession, about a hundred other things coming from nowhere— cascaded through her consciousness, but Aileen wasn’t seeking explanations, nor desiring to make some sense of it. From that day on the dazzling image of John Paul II entering the cathedral door would flash back in her mind’s screen every so often, and by association lead to the thought of confession. Aileen had not gone to confession for about 20 years then, but a mysterious something must have touched her so that one day she caught herself mentally conversing with John Paul II and asking him: “Does God want me to go to confession?” As soon as she could, she docilely prepared herself, and days after that, she did go to confession. That was to be the start of a deeper relationship between Aileen and the Divine. And John Paul II, residing on the other side of the planet, became, in a way that defied reason, a convenient guide in her search for the Living God. Of course, nobody knew that she was “convers ing” with John Paul II, but that didn’t matter to her—for her it was sometimes wise to “go with
And That’s The Truth / A6


Local News

CBCP Monitor
April 28 - May 11, 2014

Vol. 18 No. 9

Bishop rings alarm on rising sex tourism in Palawan
A CATHOLIC bishop has called for an action over increasing sex tourism in one of the country’s alternative summer destination for both local and foreign tourists. Despite the positive impact of the thriving tourism industry, Palawan faces an increasingly serious child exploitation and sex tourism problem, Puerto Princesa Bishop Pedro Arigo said. He called on all organs of the government to be more vigilant and address the growing problem. According to him, this is not a problem in Palawan only, but in the whole country. “As much as possible, especially here in Palawan where ecotourism is very popular, let’s keep tourism wholesome, healthy and clean,” Arigo said. The bishop urged authorities to show their determination to crack down on sex tourism, which has emerged as an alarming trend in the area.

Parishes warned vs lead paint

“Let’s keep eco-tourism as what it is and not by adding immoral and malice practices,” Arigo said. Prostitution is illegal in the Philippines, but thrives in many parts of the country popular with foreign tourists and reportedly one of the most popular destinations for sex tourism in the world. The United Nations estimates 100,000 children in the Philippines work in the sex trade each year. (CBCPNews)

Borongan bishop warns against ‘aid dependency’
BORONGAN Bishop Crispin Varquez warned against aid dependency as more typhoon ‘Yolanda’ victims still struggle to pick up the pieces. Va r q u e z s a i d t h a t f i v e months after the typhoon devastated several towns in t h e p ro v i n c e , l o n g e r- t e r m recovery should take priority over food aid. Since dole-out would not be enough, the bishop said that sustainable ways will not only help survivors get back on their feet but will raise their dignity as well. “It’s my hope that all the interventions done for the survivors of the super typhoon Yolanda will not create a dole out and
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dependency mentality,” Varquez said. To empower the survivors of the calamity, he said that it would help a lot if their livelihood, especially the farmers and fishermen, will be restored. “Even the poor and those in need have a right to the dignity of being God’s co-creators,” Varquez added. “They are robbed of such dignity when they lose their sense of livelihood and become overly dependent on donations,” he also said. In Eastern Samar, nine out of its 22 towns were hardest-hit by the country’s deadliest-ever and the world’s strongest typhoon in recent history. (CBCPNews)

The environmental group EcoWaste Coalition alerted Church authorities about the dangers of lead content in religious images, which children and adults often touch and kiss.

Bishop Crispin Varquez called on groups to focus on restoring patterns and sources of livelihood for ‘Yolanda’ survivors instead of simple dole-outs.

the scam. De Lima, however, rejected the calls and appealed to the public to understand her decision not to disclose their names, saying that doing so would result in “mayhem.” Retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz of Lingayen-Dagupan did not buy the justification raised by the DOJ chief. For the archbishop, De Lima may have enough reason to hide Napoles’ affidavit because it may trigger an impeachment complaint against President Benigno Aquino III. “Once it is revealed that the names involved in the pork barrel scam reaches Malacañang, it might serve as the launching pad for [an] impeachment,” Cruz said. According to him, he had communications with some groups, which he refused to identify, that have already prepared an impeachment complaint against Aquino.
And That’s The Truth / A5

“I was shown a copy of it so I know the contents. It is just looking for an opportunity [to be filed]. I am referring to an impeachment complaint. It is ready and is just waiting for a wave [to push it forward],” said Cruz. DAP In refusing to disclose those tagged in the pork barrel scam, De Lima said Napoles’ affidavit still has to go through validation. But critics believe that the administration is refusing to bare its contents until it has completed its “sanitization” efforts by removing the names of Aquino allies involved in the scam. Cruz added that another ground that could “spark” an impeachment case against Aquino is when the Supreme Court declares the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) unconstitutional.

“I think another culminating point of this is if DAP will be declared unconstitutional by the SC…This might really keep the ball rolling so to speak,” he added. To note, DAP, which is described as the presidential version of the pork barrel, remains under question before the High Court. Cruz, though, admitted that seeing a successful impeachment complaint filed against Aquino will be a different matter altogether. He said this is because the administration controls both the Senate and the House of Representatives. “Whether this will be successful or not, that is something else…But the point is, this (impeachment case) would mean that the president has done something that is against the Constitution and could, therefore, be removed from office through impeachment,” said Cruz.

CATHOLIC parishes think ing about renovations are being cautioned by an antitoxic campaigner against lead paint poisoning. Environmental group EcoWaste Coalition said Church authorities should be vigilant because lead added in paint as a pigment and drying compound can cause death in extreme cases. “All religious statues, which many Catholic adults and kids customarily touch and kiss as an expression of faith and reverence, should be toxic-free,” the EcoWaste said. The group called on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to order the banning of lead-filled paint coatings being used by statue by local religious makers. In a letter to the Catholic hierarchy, it stressed the need for the Church to push for the elimination of lead contents in religious icons, which is poisonous to humans. The EcoWaste warned that lead exposure could cause neurological, reproductive, developPastoral Companion / A4

mental and behavioral problems. The group is also hoping that the CBCP would consider pushing for the use of lead-free paints in other Church-run institutions such as schools, hospitals, orphanages and other facilities. “We hope they will take their action further to ensure that paints used are compliant with the country’s regulatory policy for lead,” it added. The group earlier revealed some statues of newly declared Saint John Paul II with lead content of up to almost 1,000 parts per million (ppm), which is way above the regulatory limit of 90 ppm. These icons, it revealed, are being sold by religious craft stores and sidewalk vendors in Manila particularly in Oroquieta and Tayuman streets and also outside Quiapo Church. The CBCP, meanwhile, is willing to study the matter. “We hope to get a copy of it (findings) so we can discuss the matter. We will study so we would know what to do about it,” said Fr. Marvin Mejia, CBCP secretary general. (CBCPNews)


the flow,” and it was like child’s play anyway. Doors were opening for Aileen, happening too fast for her skepticism to arrest. Without any effort from her, she met Pope John Paul II again—but this time he held her head while she kissed her ring—at the Udienza Generale in Rome, the general audience where the pope greets pilgrims. She was also given a rosary blessed by the pope himself. In a subsequent “conversation” with John Paul II, Aileen quipped, “Now, Papa, you want me to pray the rosary? You know it bores me. But if that’s what God wants, ok.” She saw John Paul II in person on three more occasions, World Youth Day in Manila 1995, in Paris 1997, and in Toronto 2002. Those times there was quite a distance between them, but being there would make Aileen so happy and content, and she would cry for unknown reasons the moment she would catch sight of him, even just by watching him on the big screen. Age was overtaking her “spiritual fa-

ther,” she thought, but he would not let his failing health stand in the way of his ministry. “What a holy man!” Aileen would say, continuing with her lighthearted occasional “conversations” with the ailing pontiff, not caring whether she was heard or not. It was only after John Paul II’s death in 2005 did Aileen realize the gift God had given her in the person of John Paul II. Her “connection” with him was not imaginary, after all. At Mass, against her desire, she tearfully “told” the dead pope: “Papa, you know how I so want to attend your funeral but, I couldn’t do so without feeling guilty. Imagine $1,400 airfare when my niece in the province couldn’t even go up the stage for her graduation because they don’t have 350 pesos to rent a toga! I’d rather save the money for needy relatives. Anyway, you know you’re in my heart; I’ll be there with you in spirit!” The following day, from out of the blue, the opportunity to attend John Paul II’s funeral for free dropped in Aileen’s lap. She was beside herself in dis-

belief—she would only believe her good fortune once she was at the Vatican witnessing John Paul II’s burial. At St. Peter’s Square, during the funeral rites, Aileen wept from both sorrow and joy, a refrain playing like background music somewhere inside her: “I know you heard me and you did something, and that’s why I am here. It’s a miracle. God willed this moment…” And as John Paul II’s coffin turned around as though to give his final blessing to the people, Aileen “saw” John Paul II, a dazzling figure at the door of the Manila Cathedral; only this time his mortal remains were actually entering St. Peter’s basilica’s door, to be entombed forever. From one door to another, his secret message to Aileen was “Be not afraid; be faithful!” Two dozen years, from 1981 to 2005—it had been quite a journey of faith for the agnostic searcher that was Aileen. John Paul II died without ever knowing he had been her companion in her journey to God. What would he have said if he knew

that the agnostic had since that fateful day in 1981 returned to the fold and in fact become a passionate defender of the Church? The dictionary defines “miracle” as a “surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency.” From doubt to conviction is a miracle. From “God is dead” to “God lives forever” is a miracle. From “My way is best” to “Thy will be done” is a miracle. From “terminal cancer” to “perfect health” is a miracle. Miracles cure not just bodily sickness; they also cure the soul. But whatever healing they effect in a person, they always signify a new life—new eyes, new ears, new hands, new heart, new everything. Albert Einstein once said, “There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.” The faithful are fearless—they choose to believe in miracles, thus life for them is always new. And that’s the truth.

on the Bangsamoro (CAB) on March 27, 2014, in Malacañang. In a “Conversations on Peacebuilding in Mindanao” held in Davao City on April 9-10, Catholic bishops and educators viewed the signing with optimism, but also with a renewed commitment to be involved in this quest for peace as our shared responsibility. At no other time perhaps has Christ’s resurrection greeting of “Peace be with you” sounded with more immediacy than at this moment. The drafting of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), its passage through Congress, and eventual referendum are still works-inprogress. But for us the call for peace-building starts now— within ourselves and in our small communities. We can engage in inter- and intra-religious dialogue, peace education in our schools, peace communication through an accurate understanding of the CAB, and participation in the various stages of the drafting and finalization of the BBL.
Peace / A6

In the spirit of Easter, we can keep in mind Pope Francis’ words: “the message of peace is not about a negotiated settlement but rather the conviction that unity brought about by the spirit can harmonize every diversity.” (EvangeliiGaudium, 230) Acknowledging the tri-people composition of Mindanao, with its diversity of cultures and religious traditions, we are asked to build bridges of dialogue and friendship, with open minds and hearts, and resonate with Pope Francis’ vision: “Diversity is a beautiful thing when it can constantly enter into a process of reconciliation and seal a sort of cultural covenant in a reconciled diversity.” (EG, 230) Building peace and helping form the human family are thus the two challenges for us in promoting the fullness of life. Filled with joy and hope, may the Easter promise bring us closer to the prayer of St. Irenaeus: “Gloria Dei homo vivens” (The glory of God is man fully alive). on mission, the way Jesus was sent by the Father…If peace and new life are elusive in our time, it is partly because we do not fulfill our mission,” Tagle said. (Jennifer M. Orillaza)

the prelate said the lay faithful must fulfill their religious duty of proclaiming the Gospel to others. “Praying for Jesus’ peace, we should also be ready to be sent


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 18 No. 9
April 28 - May 11, 2014

Diocesan News
not only differentiate us but also unite us.” Family as the center “We are not discouraged, rather, the more we deepen our commitment to proclaim, explain, and defend the Gospel of Life from the pulpit to the grassroots of society.” Fr. Quijano concluded. Far from slowing down, the diocese has been moving fast to put the Filipino family front and center. Msgr. Victorino A. Rivas, Director at the John Paul II National Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, recently presented a working model for dioceses in putting Family Ministry as the center of all diocesan pastoral ministry. Rivas said, “The Family Ministry, being the heart of the New Evangelization, takes precedence in defin-


SC ruling empowers families – Bacolod priest
BACOLOD City— The unshakably pro-life diocese of Bacolod through its clergy observed how the recent Supreme Court ruling on the RH Law empowered pro-family groups in a new way. Ironically, instead of upholding the RH Law, as the pro-RH lobby desired, under a closer analysis the SC decision not only rendered it practically “toothless”, it even gave pro-life and pro-family advocates legal “teeth”, observed Director of the Diocesan Commission of Family and Life Fr. Ronaldo Quijano. A reason for vigilance “Now with the rejection of sections 7 and 23 of the RH Law,” he explained further, “We have all the reason to keep an eye on government’s implementation of this Law and raise our objections if such move will undermine human life, it’s dignity, freedom and rights.” According to Quijano, who is also the Academic Dean of the Pope John Paul II National Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family in Bacolod, said Catholic families and other institutions can now “free themselves from coercive and punitive aspects of the RH Law by invoking their human rights and their religious freedom in case they refuse to do referrals and access to RH services.” Furthermore, Fr. Quijano said, the inclusion of RH privileges in relation to PhilHealth services was also rejected. Even if the law was, nevertheless, declared “not unconstitutional”, Quijano reiterated the position of the CBCP, “We as a Church respect the SC’s decision. We look on things which do

Pro-life groups and private individuals pray in front of the Supreme Court compound in Baguio City before the historical Supreme Court ruling on the RH law on April 8, 2014.

Zamboanga Archbishop-elect to ordain Tagum diocese priest in Kidapawan diocese welcomes new
DAVAO City—The newly-appointed Archbishop of Zamboanga, Bishop Romulo Dela Cruz, will ordain a priest for the last time as Bishop of Kidapawan before departing for his new assignment. Rev. Edward Bacus from the Mary Mediatrix of All Grace Cathedral in Kidapawan City will receive the sacrament of ordination through the laying on of hands of Bishop Dela Cruz during a ceremony at the Cathedral set on May 5. “We are happy that he is already appointed as Archbishop. It shows that our diocese has become a good training ground for future bishops in other dioceses,” Rev. Bacus said during an interview. He added [the faithful] feel
Anniversary / A1

ing the pastoral thrust of the diocese.” The diocese of Bacolod

through the John Paul II National Institute for Studies on Marriage and

the Family has been at the forefront of pro-active evangelization efforts in

the promotion of a “cul ture of life.” (Fr. Mickey Cardenas)

Before moving on to his new assignment in Zamboanga, Bishop Romulo Dela Cruz, will ordain a priest for the last time as Bishop of Kidapawan. He will ordain Rev. Edward Bacus on May 5 at the Mary Mediatrix of All Grace Cathedral.

lonely because the Diocese of Kidapawan has lost bishops several times like when their former Bishop, now Archbishop of Davao, Archbishop Romulo G. Valles was transferred to the Archdiocese of Zamboanga. “It is a difficult experience. It will be another adjustment on our part and I hope it will not take long that we will have another bishop. God will provide,” Rev. Bacus added. Bishop Dela Cruz was installed Bishop of Kidapawan on June 18, 2008. During his term as bishop of Kidapawan, he has ordained three priests, Rev. Bacus being the fourth one. Bishop Dela Cruz will be installed as new archbishop of Zamboanga on May 14. (John Frances C. Fuentes)

clergy members
TAGUM City—The Diocese of Tagum, headed by Bishop Wilfredo Manlapaz welcomed newly ordained clergy members on April 7. Through the laying on of hands of Manlapaz, the new priests: Fr. Jerum Quitoriano Sto. Niño Parish, Panabo City; Fr. Jonathan Autida from San Antonio de Padua Chaplaincy in TADECO; Fr. Victor Lechido, Jr. from San Miguel Parish, Sto. Tomas; Fr. Tito Urbiztondo from Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Maco; and Fr. Jemeuel Tadanon from San Jose Parish, Pantukan received the sacrament of ordination. With the ordination, he and his co-priests can finally say that they are now “priests of Christ.” Also ordained to the diaconate is Rev. Roselo Melloria from Holy Family Parish, Laak. During the thanksgiving mesHomeless / A1

coincides with the beginning of the systematic evangelization of the Philippines,” said Fr. Harold Rentoria, OSA, National Commission for Culture for the Arts commissioner and executive director for the Kaplag celebrations. “Next year is truly a year of grace to us as a nation.” Oldest religious image No less than Catholic Bishops’ Conference (CBCP) president Archbishop Socrates Villegas will declare the opening of the grand celebration with a 5:30 p.m. mass at the Basilica Minore
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del Sto. Niño de Cebu, the actual site where the oldest religious image in the country was found, exactly 449 years ago. According to Rentoria, the finding of the Sto. Niño image is a vital piece of the history of the country and of the Church in the Philippines. Upon their arrival in 1521 in the Philippines, Ferdinand Magellan and Fr. Valderrama gave the Sto. Niño image as a gift to the wife of King Humabon of Cebu. History has it that the image of the Child Jesus was later on found in 1565 in a scorched

hut. The discoverers were from the Order of St. Augustine, the first religious congregation in the country. The missionary friars originated from Spain and Mexico under the leadership of Fr. Andres Urdaneta, the great Augustinian circumnavigator. Devotion to the Sto. Niño On that actual site of “Kaplag” was where the first Augustianian church and convent in the archipelago was built. It is now known as the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño de Cebu. Since the establishment of the

first church, the Augustinians have unceasingly fostered devotion to the Child Jesus, resulting in the strong devotion of Filipinos to Sto. Niño, especially in the Visayan region. “The 450th anniversary of the finding of the image of the Child Jesus is a historical milestone that should not only be celebrated by the Augustinians or the Cebuanos, but by all Filipinos,” Rentoria said. Due to the Sto. Niño’s significance in the history of the local Church, “Kaplag” is considered a national celebration, Rentoria added. (CBCPNews)

sage, Fr. Quitoriano recounted how he got to know about the calling to the priesthood when he became a convent boy in the parish of Fr. Juanito Lozano, whom he specifically thanked. He said it was his experience in the parish that sparked an attraction to the priesthood. Fr. Quitoriano also sang a few lines from the song “Paring Pilipino” before he delivered his thanksgiving message in behalf of his co-priests and Rev. Melloria. Fr. Quitoriano, Fr. Urbiztondo, Fr. Tadanon, and Rev. Melloria are graduates of St. Francis Xavier Regional Major Seminary. Their rector, Msgr. Abel Apigo, and other priest formators also concelebrated in the mass. Fr. Autida and Fr. Lechido are graduates of University of Sto. Tomas Central Seminary in Manila. (John Frances C. Fuentes)

Brenda Milan

commanded us to do: feed the hungry,” said Emil Mendoza, the man in charge of handing out small buns. “Lugaw ni San José” Named “Lugaw ni San José” (LSJ) in honor of Christ’s foster father, the group has had as its mission for over ten years now the feeding of Quiapo’s starving poor. “The Nazareno has always been kind to us, so it is only proper that we return the favor. And being blessed that we are, it only befits us as Catholic Christians to extend charity to our less fortunate brothers and sisters,” Mendoza shared. The volunteers of LSJ provide for breakfast at 6:00 a.m., lunch at 12 noon, and early supper at 6 p.m. all for free. “I have only been receiving lugaw from LSJ for the past two months. It is nice of them to be doing what they do,” said a young man who requested anonymity. He related that he has called the pavements of Quezon Boulevard home ever since he fled poverty in Mindanao in order to try his luck in Manila. In the course of the day, LSJ will have given away as many as four large cauldrons of lugaw and ten boxes of “pan de leche” to more than a hundred persons who patiently wait in line to have their bowls filled.
Candidly Speaking / A4

happy celibacy demands holy and happy friendships,” said Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). Sharing of joys, dreams Archbishop Villegas encourages members of the clergy to maintain “happy friendships” with their fellow priests. (Photo: CBCP News file photo) He said that keep ing friendly ties enables priests to “share deep joys and dreams, vulnerabilities and frustrations with the assurance of
Dialogue / A1

compassionate acceptance, at the same nurturing and supporting one another.” “Celibacy does not forbid friendships. Celibacy needs friendship with God and friendship with brother priests,” explained Villegas added. He said these strong friendships with fellow priests will also help counter feelings of of loneliness, isolation, and frustration in their ministry. “Happy celibacy stands (on your) friendship with your brother priests. An isolated priest is headed for a fall. We only be -

come lonely if we allow ministry to take over us and neglect our need for friendship,” Villegas said in his “Joy in loneliness” meditation for priests, addressing the clergy of his archdiocese. Life of integrity To counter the loneliness they feel in their ministry, priests are also asked to live a “life of personal integrity” for “only honest and truthful celibates can be happy celibates.” “Hypocrisy among priests dooms the priests to bitterness. What you

do when no one sees you is who you really are. How you are in your conscience is who you are. Hypocrisy is stressful,” Villegas said. Leading a celibate lifestyle is “a living proclamation in our sex-starved society that there is something more important than sex,” Villegas noted, adding that “more important is love and mercy, compassion and kindness, friendship and service.” The prelate further noted that priests who are honest enough to lead a celibate lifestyle are

the only ones who will enjoy a happy and joyful ministry. “A happy celibate cannot frown too long. The joy of his heart will always take over a momentary irritation…Celibacy is for the brave and the compassionate, for the humble who serve the Lord with joy,” Villegas said. “If we dare to be mystics, if we deepen our priestly friendships, if we fight on to be truthful and faithful, we have hope. Our hope is in the Lord. Our joy is to serve Him,” Villegas added. (Jennifer M. Orillaza)

website, the consecrated laywoman expressed that now “I think we are passing from being a sign of the times to feminine genius.” “John XXIII called it a sign of the times, John Paul II said the feminine genius. He gave that name to that something that John XXIII was saying it was important for women not to forget or not to miss when engaging in public life or any environment in society.” On John Paul II, Villa observed that he “gave us more deep thinking, theological, philosophical thinking on how to understand how to carry on these developments in a way that is more according to human dignity. So I think it is a natural development.” What we see now from Pope Francis is “a lot of interest” in this area, she went on to say, noting that “He’s very concerned about

this development and he’s calling very much for it to happen.” “He has said very clearly that we have to build on what we already have, and we already have a lot of developments in the magisterium so far, but he sees that new challenges are coming, and certain things probably need to be better explained theologically.” Calling to mind the pontiff’s frequent request for a new “theology of women,” Villa said that this “is one of these important signs, and it means developing these intuitions that John Paul II had into further clarity of the role and the participation of women in the Church.” “For example, he has said (in) many ways this role of women in the Church is essential, the Church wouldn’t be the Church without women,” she continued, recalling the biblical figures of Mary Magdalene and Mary the

mother of Jesus. In being a “feminine presence together with the apostles,” but “without being apostles themselves,” these women were “very important in the first stages of the life of the Church,” she said. “Another important point of this theology of women is the ecclesiological reflection” from the perspective of what the nature of the Church is, Villa explained, highlighting that “there are many developments” in this area which “started with the Second Vatican Council.” Emphasizing that “we cannot forget or leave behind” these important foundations given to us by John XXIII and John Paul II, Villa explained that their work allows us go forward with a further development of women, which will require “a lot of theological thinking.” “It’s an ongoing process and

I think it needs a lot of interiorizing,” she said, pointing out that “we’ve come a long way” already. In her remarks to CNA, Villa also recalled her experience in meeting St. John Paul II in 2004. “I remember very much kneeling before him and he was very sick and he was half bent by his illness,” she said. “I knelt before him and so it wasn’t difficult for him to look at me, and you could see a lot of sweetness in those eyes, even though they were tried by suffering and even though we were an audience and there had been one before and there was one after.” “I just couldn’t understand how he was doing that, but he was there, and with his glance he said everything. He was there saying ‘yes,’ and that was, it was something I take very much with me in my heart.” (CNA/EWTN News)

Repeat performance “There seems to be no end to the queue. But that is to be expected because many, if not most, of these people will have a repeat performance,” Mendoza kidded. “But that is all right. It is never a big deal. This may be the only time of the week when they can eat as much as they want,” he added. According to other LSJ volunteers, they are thankful that they very rarely run out of lugaw to give. Because at the end of each morning and noon feeding session, they quickly pack up and shuttle back to their base in Tondo’s Gagalangin community where they will cook another potful of lugaw before heading again to Quiapo for the next feeding session. “Feeding the hungry” is one of the “seven corporal works of mercy” which the Church enjoins all faithful to observe. The other six are: giving drink to the thirsty; clothing the naked; sheltering the homeless; visiting the sick; visiting the imprisoned; and burying the dead. These are drawn from the Gospel of Matthew (25:35-36) which reads, “I was hungry and you fed me, thirsty and you gave me a drink; I was a stranger and you received me in your homes, naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me, in prison and you visited me.’ (Raymond A. Sebastián)

4mannerisms were all so soaked with a certain charism that I just found myself insatiably devouring his writings and any piece of news about him. I knew I was learning a lot and growing interiorly. When he visited Manila in 1981, I volunteered to be part of a press team. That enabled me to see him at close range. It was in Baclaran church, his first stop after arriving at the Manila airport, when I had the first chance almost to touch him if not for the security who stopped me at the last split second. Then I was asked to go to

Rome for ecclesiastical studies. I actually did not seek the priesthood. I simply was called to it, and I just said, yes, after a little reflection. I still vividly remember every moment of that day of my ordination. What struck me most was that he started it very tired. He just came in from a trip and he already had serious health conditions. But as the event went on, I noticed he became very alive. At the end, he talked to me as if he knew me all along. I have no doubt he is truly a saint!



People, Facts & Places

CBCP Monitor

April 28 - May 11, 2014

Vol. 18 No. 9

Relics of St. John XXIII Exhibit exposes mining effects visiting PH
Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News

The exhibit’s powerful images convey to the public the long-term impact of mining on culture, communities and the environment.

A reliquary containing part of a funeral cassock stained with Saint John XXIII’s bodily fluid stands in front of his portrait at the Radio Veritas Chapel along West Avenue corner EDSA.

Medals given by St. John XXIII as souvenirs during the Second Vatican Council are part of an exhibit of “The Good Pope’s” sacred relics.

Even before John XXIII was finally “raised to the altar” as a saint, a nationwide tour of his sacred relics has been ongoing, having kicked off on April 25 in a bid to promote devotion to him whom Catholics of his time loved to call “the Good Pope”. “While it is common knowledge that we Filipinos have a bias towards Pope John Paul II who will also be canonized with him, as Catholics it is just as well that we learn as much as we can about the life and legacy of John XXIII,” said event coordinator Br. Dave Dela Cruz who was at the Radio Veritas Chapel on West Avenue for the first leg of the tour. Relics from Vatican II The tour features a piece of the funeral cassock, which the Pope was wearing when he was bur-

ied in 1963. But it is doubly special because the cloth is drenched in the pontiff’s bodily fluids, making it a first-class relic. The faithful can also see one of the commemorative medals, which John XXIII gave as souvenir to the participants of the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II). Dela Cruz, who also organized the “Totus Tuus Tour” of which this exhibit also forms part, mentioned that John XXIII’s relics arrived in the country from Rome Wednesday night, just in time for the double canonization on April 27, Divine Mercy Sunday, which most Filipinos will be joining “in spirit” from the privacy of their homes or with fellow Catholics in events prepared by their dioceses. “One aim of this relic viewing is to enable Filipino Catholics to

feel the holy presence of John XXIII. Let’s face it: we can’t afford to personally go to the Vatican for the canonization, that’s why through the Totus Tuus Tour we more or less brought the pope to be canonized to our countrymen,” he said. “The Good Pope” The Good Pope is credited, among other things, with “opening up the Church to the modern world”, a legacy which today’s Catholics can thank him for. John XXIII also allowed for greater participation of the laity in the affairs of Church. Dela Cruz pointed out that had it not been for John XXIII and the reforms brought about by Vatican II, the Church would not have become what it is now. “He is a giant in his own right,” he added.

In order to acquaint Filipino Catholics better with John XXIII, a feature film based on his life is shown in the tour venue. The Totus Tuus Tour schedule is as follows: May 9 to May 12 – St. Joseph Parish in Upper Bicutan, Taguig City May 13 to May 16 – Holy Cross Parish in Matingain, Lemery, Batangas May 17 to May 18 - Holy Family Parish in Kamias, Quezon City May 23 to May 25 - Santuario de San José in Greenhills, Mandaluyong City May 26 to May 30 – Santa María de la Cabeza Mission Station in Barangay Mangoso, Sigma, Capiz May 31 to June 1 – St. Paul of the Cross Parish in Concepcion Dos, Marikina City. (Raymond A. Sebastián)

1995 WYD delegates reunite to celebrate JP II’s canonization
DELEGATES of the World Youth Day (WYD) held in Manila in 1995 are having a reunion to celebrate the canonization of Pope John Paul II this April 26. Organized by YUPPEACE (Young Upbeat Professionals for Peace), the reunion will be in the form of a Eucharistic celebration at the St. John Bosco Parish in Makati City on April 26, 7.30 p.m. “In gratitude to the Lord for the canonization of John Paul II, the ‘Pope of the Young,’ YUPPEACE invites young people, and especially those who have attended the World Youth Day 1995 to celebrate, reminisce and reunite…” the invitation reads. On Sunday, Pope Francis will raise to the altar Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII. John Paul II visited the Philippines twice during his papacy, including coming over to Manila for the WYD in 1995. YUPPEACE is originally a group of volunteer facilitators that was tasked to organize the youth vigil during the WYD 1995 in Manila. After the historic gathering with then Pope John Paul II, YUPPEACE eventually turned into a faith community of young professionals imbibing the Salesian youth spirituality. (YouthPinoy)

Parish to give free baptism to babies with Joseph-inspired names
PARENTS with newborn babies should consider naming them Joseph or other variants of the name, if only to avail of a free baptism offered by a parish in Tondo on St. Joseph the Worker ’s feast day, May 1. “All children to be christened Joseph or other names derived from it like Jose, Josefa, Josefina, and Josephine are entitled to a free baptism on May 1,” Fr. Bobby R. Titco, parish priest of San Jose Manggagawa Parish Church in Manuguit, Tondo, shared. On the actual feast day, May 1, which coincides with “Labor Day”, the parish will be hosting a “Kasalang Bayan” at 9:30 a.m. and the “Binyagang Bayan” at 11 a.m. as two of the highlights of the occasion. Titco also said the “town fiesta” on will include two masses, (English: Worker), and Antipolo. These are Tondo communities with large laborer population which explains the choice of name for the parish. The New Testament Gospels of Matthew and Mark identify St. Joseph, the husband of the Blessed Virgin and foster father of Jesus, as a tekton, a Greek word meaning “manual laborer” or “handyman”, but traditionally translated into English as “carpenter”. Jesus, following the Jewish custom of the day, became a carpenter like Joseph. Early church father Justin Martyr, who had lived in the second century of the Christian era, w ro t e t hat Jesus made yokes and ploughs for farming. (Raymond A. Sebastián)

THE National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help (Baclaran Church) launched on April 23 a weeklong photo exhibit which seeks to educate the faithful on the often devastating effects of mining on people and the environment. “Images are more powerful because the message they are sending is harder to miss. I learn more about the consequences of mining by looking at these pictures than I can ever hope to learn by reading newspapers,” Jing Versoza, a Baclaran regular who passed by the mini exhibit on her way inside the shrine, shared in Filipino. Photos for posterity The exhibit can be found on the Redemptorist Road-side of the Baclaran Church grounds, and runs until April 30. It features dozens of professionally-taken photographs of the places in the country endangered by mining like the towns of Didipio and Kasibu in Nueva Vizcaya, and more controversially, Tampakan in Mindanao’s South Cotabato province, where a multibilliondollar mining project has been drawing flak from the country’s high-ranking church officials and eco-warriors. The exhibit also features photos that capture for posterity the plight of many people living in communities threatened by mining. In a letter dated March 11, 2014, the local clergy led by Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Cardinal Quevedo, appealed to President Benigno S. Aquino III (PNoy) to stop the $5.9-billion Tampakan mining project, and prayed that he may have a “God-enlightened” decision on the issue. Although the 23 prelates who signed the missive admitted that the project by global miner Xstrata Plc’s Philippine unit will significantly contribute to the local economy, they pointed out that it will “harm the local community and destroy the environment”. Economic gain vs. environmental destruction “The cost, Mr. President, will far outweigh the benefits to govern-

ment and the Filipino people,” part of the letter read. Run by Sagittarius Mines Inc., the project seeks to explore 13.5 million metric tons of copper and 15.8 million ounces of gold which, supporters insist, will fatten the national coffers with a yearly revenue of P134 billion. Despite the project’s un popularity, the government issued in February 2013 an environmental compliance certificate to Sagittarius, a unit of Xstrata. Marbel Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez, who has episcopal jurisdiction over South Cota bato, expressed dismay that PNoy continues to ignore the petition of more than 100,000 people calling for the junking of the project. In an interview with Church-run Radio Veritas, Gutierrez said that with PNoy giving them the cold shoulder, the Mindanao bishops will just focus on an informa tion drive in order to educate their flock on the evils of mining. Also in the same letter, the prelates stressed that their opposition against the SMI G l e c o re - X s t r a t a p ro j e c t i s hinged on “moral grounds” citing the following reasons: The destruction of almost 4,000 hectares of forested and agricultural land and biodiversity is against the integrity of God’s creation, conferred Genesis 2:15. The dislocation of almost 6000 surface dwellers mostly B’laans from there ancestral land is against human right. The threat to food security and human life to the used of cyanide and heavy metals for processing ore’s is very real. The past killings and future violence as the B’laans will defend there ancestral land, the source of food building material, aerial grounds of there Ancesters and places of living will adversely affect peace and harmony. Up to now SMI, GlecoreXstrata has not given any proof that open pit mining preserves the integrity of God’s Creation. (Raymond A. Sebastián)

Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News

Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News

The Totus Tuus Tour schedule
May 9 to May 12 – St. Joseph Parish in Upper Bicutan, Taguig City May 13 to May 16 – Holy Cross Parish in Matingain, Lemery, Batangas May 17 to May 18 - Holy Family Parish in Kamias, Quezon City May 23 to May 25 - Santuario de San José in Greenhills, Mandaluyong City May 26 to May 30 – Santa María de la Cabeza Mission Station in Barangay Mangoso, Sigma, Capiz May 31 to June 1 – St. Paul of the Cross Parish in Concepcion Dos, Marikina City

The Catholic Church celebrates the feast of St. Joseph the Worker every May 1.

at 6:30 a.m. and at 8:00 a.m. during which all laborers and the tools they use in their trade will be blessed. He added that later that day, Manila Auxiliary Bishop B e r n a rd i n o C o rtez will celebrate a “Missa Solemne” at 5:00 p.m. The rest of the day, there will be an ongoing “Palarong

Pinoy 2014” to be organized by the San Jose Manggagawa Parish Ministry for Youth Affairs. “All parishioners—children, teens, adults, even s e n i o r s — a re e n couraged to join the games. Prizes are at stake for the winning participants,” the priest explained. Those interested may have their

names registered at the youth desk in front of our church. Manila Archbishop Luís Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle will also be celebrating mass on April 30, the eve of the town fiesta, at 6:30 p.m. The San Jose Manggawa Parish will also be one with the rest of the Catholic world in celebrating the “Feast of the

Divine Mercy” on April 27, Sunday, which will also witness the canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II. The parish was founded in July 1966 and falls under the canonical jurisdic tion of the Archdiocese of Manila (RCAM). It has since catered to the spiritual needs of Manuguit, Obrero


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 18 No. 9
April 28 - May 11, 2014

Pastoral Concerns


The images of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II hang from the façade of St. Peter’s Basilica days before the double canonization on Divine Mercy Sunday on April 27, 2014 at the Vatican

Homily of Pope Francis at the Canonization of Blesseds John Paul XXIII and John Paul II
St. Peter’s Square, Second Sunday of Easter (Divine Mercy Sunday), 27 April 2014
They were priests, and bishops and popes of the twentieth century. They lived through the tragic events of that century, but they were not overwhelmed by them. For them, God was more powerful; faith was more powerful—faith in Jesus Christ the Redeemer of man and the Lord of history; the mercy of God, shown by those five wounds, indescribable and glorious joy  (1 Pet  1:3,8). The hope and the joy which the risen Christ bestows on his disciples, the hope and the joy which nothing and no one can take from them. The  hope and joy of Easter, forged in the crucible of self-denial, self-emptying, utter identification with sinners, even to the point of disgust at the bitterness of that chalice. Such were the hope palpable in the earliest community of believers, in Jerusalem, as we have heard in the Acts of the Apostles (cf. 2:42-47). It was a community which  lived the heart of the Gospel, love and mercy, in simplicity and fraternity. This is also the image of the Church which the Second Vatican Council set before us. John XXIII and John Paul II cooperated to the Church. In convening the Council, Saint John XXIII showed an exquisite  openness to the Holy Spirit. He let himself be led and he was for the Church a pastor, a servant-leader, guided by the Holy Spirit. This was his great service to the Church; for this reason I like to think of him as the the pope of openness to the Holy Spirit. In his own service to the People AT the heart of this Sunday, which concludes the Octave of Easter and which Saint John Paul II wished to dedicate to Divine Mercy, are the glorious wounds of the risen Jesus. He had already shown those wounds when he first appeared to the Apostles on the very evening of that day following the Sabbath, the day of the resurrection. But, as we have heard, Thomas was not there that evening, and when the others told him that they had seen the Lord, he replied that unless he himself saw and touched those wounds, he would not believe. A week later, Jesus appeared once more to the disciples gathered in the Upper Room. Thomas was also present; Jesus turned to him and told him to touch his wounds. Whereupon that man, so straightforward and accustomed to testing everything personally, knelt before Jesus with the words: “My Lord and my God!” (Jn 20:28). The wounds of Jesus are a scandal, a stumbling block for faith, yet they are also the test of faith. That is why on the body of the risen Christ the wounds never pass away: they remain, for those wounds are the enduring sign of God’s love for us. They are essential for believing in God. Not for believing that God exists, but for believing that God is love, mercy and faithfulness. Saint Peter, quoting Isaiah, writes to Christians: “by his wounds you have been healed” (1 Pet 2:24, cf. Is 53:5). Saint John XXIII and Saint John Paul II  were not afraid to look upon the wounds of Jesus, to touch his torn hands and his pierced side. They were not ashamed of the flesh of Christ, they were not scandalized by him, by his cross; they did not despise the flesh of their brother (cf. Is 58:7), because they saw Jesus in every person who suffers and struggles. These were two men of courage, filled with the parrhesia of the Holy Spirit, and they bore witness before the Church and the world to God’s goodness and mercy. towards the Synod on the family. It is surely a journey which, from his place in heaven, he guides and sustains. May these two new saints and shepherds of God’s people intercede for the Church, so that during this two-year journey toward the Synod she may be open to the Holy Spirit in pastoral service to the family.

The recent double canonization drew crowds of more than a million people, including several heads of state, who wished to take part in the canonization rites of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII.

was more powerful; and more powerful too was the closeness of Mary our Mother. In these two men, who looked upon the wounds of Christ and bore witness to his mercy, there dwelt  a living hope  and an

and the joy which these two holy popes had received as a gift from the risen Lord and which they in turn bestowed in abundance upon the People of God, meriting our eternal gratitude. This hope and this joy were

with the Holy Spirit in renewing and updating the Church in keeping with her pristine features, those features which the saints have given her throughout the centuries. Let us not forget that it is the saints who give direction and growth

of God, Saint John Paul II was the pope of the family. He himself once said that he wanted to be remembered as the pope of the family. I am particularly happy to point this out as we are in the process of journeying with families

May both of them teach us not to be scandalized by the wounds of Christ and to enter ever more deeply into the mystery of divine mercy, which always hopes and always forgives, because it always loves.

Catholic News Agency

Catholic News Agency



CBCP Monitor
April 28 - May 11, 2014

Vol. 18 No. 9

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

‘Blessed’ Instead of ‘Saint’
Q: I have noticed that for virtually all the prayers for the common of the saints, the word “blessed” is used instead of the word “saint.” This strikes me as a bit confusing. Is it proper to substitute the word  saint for blessed when celebrating the memorial of saint that does not have any (or all of the) propers? -- L.P., Tampa, Florida A: I believe that the translators opted here for a literal translation of the Latin text which also distinguishes blessed and saint. The distinction between a blessed and a saint is very important in the process of canonization, and each state has precise liturgical consequences insofar as the liturgical veneration of a blessed is highly limited. However, in the context of the missal the terms are often used as synonyms for those who have reached the glory of the heavenly state. While the distinction between blesseds and saints might not have been uppermost in the minds of the translators, one imagines that a concern with making the common Masses suitable for celebrating both saints and blesseds played some role in this choice of terms. That the translators made an objective choice can be seen, for example, in the common of Doctors of the Church. Since canonization is essential for the qualification of Church Doctor, then there is no doubt that no blesseds are contemplated. The collect of this Mass says: “Almighty and Eternal God, who gave your holy Church blessed (Beatum) N as Doctor, grant that ….” Sometimes both terms are used within the same prayer. For example, in the common of one saint we have the following collect: “O God, who in your Saints (Sanctis tuis) have given an example and brought us protection in our weakness to help us tread the path of salvation, mercifully grant that we who honor the heavenly birthday of blessed (beati) N, may, through his (her) example, make our way to you .…” Considering these and many other possible examples, we must conclude that the use of the term blessed is quite deliberate. It is possible that the translators are deliberately making use of synonyms so as to cover all situations. This might occasion a slight confusion every now and then, but it could also represent an opportunity for offering an explanation of the terms. It must also be remembered that it is the approved text, and therefore it would not be correct to substitute  saint for blessed while praying it. It is noteworthy, however, that in the proper or calendar of saints the missal itself consistently takes the other option. For example, on April 21 we would celebrate St. Anselm if it were not the Easter octave. The opening prayer of this Mass begins: «O God, who led the Bishop Saint Anselm to seek out and teach the depths of your wisdom.» The Latin text says, however, «Deus, qui beato Anselmo episcopo.» This is substantially true of all the saints in the universal calendar.  Blessed  is practically always translated as saint. Certainly all those included in the universal calendar are saints, and the term blessed is uncommon when referring to them in English. For this reason the choice obeys a certain logic. Another recent use of the term blessed is the introduction of the expression “with Blessed (beato) Joseph, her spouse,» within Eucharistic Prayers II-IV. In this case the translation was provided by the Holy See itself. The choice of Blessed Joseph rather than Saint Joseph in English is certainly in conformity with the earlier choice to refer to the apostles as «blessed» in the Eucharistic Prayers. The same expression was translated as «Saint Joseph» in the official translations in Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese and Polish. German, like English, uses the same expression (seligen) for Mary and St. Joseph. It is also perfectly possible that in spite of all my speculations, the difference boils down to no more than that the two sections were done by different translators, and our reader is the first one to notice the difference in word choice.

Bishops’ Interpretations of Liturgical Laws
Q: The new missal has prompted the publication of an “instruction” by a diocesan professor of liturgy, accompanied by a letter from the diocesan bishop stating that he has made the instruction “normative.” Priests are questioning various points from this “instruction” as being personal interpretations, for example: “ 3. The stole is worn by the Priest around his neck and hanging down in front of his chest, not crossed. (GIRM 340)” It is debated as to whether the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, No. 340, in fact has this intention. It is also debated as to whether these and other “questionable points” can be legislated (i.e., blessing children in the Communion line; no words of introduction or secular greeting such as “Good morning” before the Sign of the Cross, etc.). Could you please address these debated points? -- G.S., New York state A: This question involves a larger one regarding the liturgical prerogatives of the local bishop with respect to universal liturgical laws. The bishop has in fact fairly wide authority to make binding norms for his diocese in several areas of liturgy. In some cases he may also interpret liturgical laws if no higher interpretation is available. Such norms are binding on all, including, in most cases, members of religious orders. The rule of thumb with regard to a bishop’s authority is that he should not forbid what the universal law permits, nor permit what the universal law forbids. To this we could add a corollary that he may not legally introduce liturgical novelties. Like all general norms, there may be legitimate exceptions which would justify going against these notions in specific cases. That said, according to a response from the liturgy office of the U.S. bishops’ conference the GIRM grants bishops specific authority to regulate liturgy of the Mass in the following areas: “The publication of norms on concelebration (GIRM, no. 202), service at the altar (GIRM, no. 107), Holy Communion under both kinds (GIRM, nos. 282-283), the construction and renovation of church Buildings (GIRM, no. 291 and 315), posture (GIRM, no. 43.3), liturgical music (GIRM, nos. 48, 87), and the establishment of days of prayer (GIRM, no. 373).” Other documents mention the bishop’s right to make norms regarding “The regulation of Masses on radio, television and via the internet, and his responsibility to establish a diocesan calendar.” Thus the principle that the bishop should not “forbid what is permitted” would mean that he should not “allow the removal of that liberty foreseen by the norms of the liturgical books so that the wide powers of dispensation and may permit some exceptions to universal liturgical law for a just cause. For example, if a few churches in the diocese have no kneelers, and their eventual installation is technically very difficult or economically not feasible in the short term, a bishop could allow that parish to omit kneeling so as to favor a unified posture at Mass, at least until a solution is found. Not introducing novelties means just that—no bishop has the authority to introduce any new liturgical practice. The above-mentioned response greetings at the beginning of Mass should be omitted, this is well within his authority in regulating the liturgy and is a reasonable interpretation of the law. Whether or not GIRM, No. 340, positively intended excluding the crossed stole (probably not) makes no difference to the possibility that the bishop could consider it a logical inference and make a norm so as to ensure a common practice at concelebrations. The question of blessing children in the Communion line is more difficult because here we are dealing with a novelty. Several sources indicate that the

celebration may be adapted” (see the instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum, No. 21). A bishop could not normally forbid, for example, the use of Eucharistic Prayer III nor mandate that it be always used for funerals. Not permitting what is forbidden means that in general terms a bishop cannot contravene a clear norm of the liturgical books. For example, a bishop would not normally have the authority to allow no kneeling whatsoever in his diocese, since kneeling is expressly foreseen in the books. That said, however, it must be recognized that bishops have

of the U.S. bishops comments: “With the exception of these and other modifications of the law explicitly assigned to the Diocesan Bishop, no additional changes to liturgical law may be introduced to Diocesan liturgical practice without the specific prior approval of the Holy See.” With respect to some of the “debatable points” mentioned by our reader, it must be remembered that the bishop does have the authority to interpret the law and give norms coherent with that interpretation. Thus if a bishop accepts the interpretation that GIRM, No. 340, excludes crossing the stole in the ordinary form, or that secular

Holy See is less than favorable (see previous articles on  March 24, 2009 ; and  May 10,  May 24 and June 7, 2005). Bishops› conferences and individual bishops, however, give mixed signals. From the legislative point of view, I would say that, being a novelty, a bishop would be within his authority to forbid the practice. If so convinced, he would be able to recommend it as a pastorally useful custom, unless the Holy See eventually decrees otherwise. He could not, however, legally impose the practice on his priests as this would be to attempt to introduce a novelty.

Deviations in Holy Week
Q1: The past two years at our parish the liturgy for Good Friday has been changed in the following manner: The pastor and other readers begin the liturgy by reading a part of the account of the Passion. Then, they stop about a fifth of the way through, and the readers respectively proceed with the first and second reading. Then, the pastor and readers resume, reading another fifth of the Passion, after which the general intercessions take place. Another fifth of the Passion is read, after which the veneration of the Cross takes place. Again, another fifth of the Passion is read, and then Holy Communion is distributed. After Holy Communion is distributed, the final fifth of the Passion account is read and the liturgy ends. Obviously, this ordering of the liturgy does not follow the rubrics. Since the Good Friday liturgy is not a Mass, does the following statement fromSacrosanctum Concilium still apply, since the Good Friday liturgy is, indeed, a sacred liturgy: “Regulation of the sacred liturgy depends solely on the authority of the Church, that is, on the Apostolic See and, as laws may determine, on the bishop …. Therefore no other person, even if he be a priest, may add, remove, or change anything in the liturgy on his own authority” (22.1, 2)? Q2: [Last] Lent, during the Sundays leading up to Palm Sunday, our pastor and his assistants employed the following changes when reading the Gospel: The priest and another layperson(s) read the Gospels very much in the same manner as the Passion is read, by multiple readers, on Palm Sunday or Good Friday, that is, the priest reads the part of Jesus, and the other readers read the parts of the blind man, Martha, Mary, the Samaritan woman, etc. In addition, the music minister invited the congregation to sing a response throughout the Gospel. So, at different points during the Gospel, either the priest or the layperson would cease reading, and the entire congregation would sing a response, very much in the same manner as the psalm is recited. I am concerned that this is taking place because, according to  Redemptionis Sacramentum: “[I]t is not permitted for a layperson, even a religious, to proclaim the Gospel reading in the celebration of Holy Mass, nor in other cases in which the norms do not explicitly permit it” (63). While the lector did not read the entire Gospel, is it still right to be concerned that a layperson read parts of the Gospel? It seems to me that the liberty taken by making this change is a liturgical abuse. -- E.R., San Clemente, California Q3: I am not so sure that my country is unique in trying to “re-create” the liturgy of the Easter triduum, but I’ve seen and heard enough to imagine that perhaps our clergy are not so familiar with either the rubrics or the meaning of the paschal triduum. My question is, basically, how far can a priest go before what is celebrated is no longer, legally speaking, the Easter triduum? Some examples from televised liturgies: [One] Good Friday, a Liturgy of the Passion was shown from County Kerry. The only Scripture reading was from Matthew’s Gospel (it seemed to be an edition of the Good News Bible) and dramatized by mime. I think the remainder of the liturgy was more or less per the liturgy. Then the Easter Vigil from the same parish was structured as follows: Fire blessed (outside), clergy came inside and began the Old Testament readings. After the last Old Testament reading, the Easter candle was prepared in the usual way, people’s candles were lit, Exsultet sung and then the Gloria. The remainder of the liturgy was as per usual. -- F.R., Dublin, Ireland A: These are just a selection of many inquiries about blatant reordering of the liturgy in general and the Easter celebrations in particular. Why these things happen and why some priests are deluded into thinking that this is a more “pastoral” approach than following the prescribed rubrics, remains a mystery. I remain convinced that the best and most effective pastoral policy is to offer Christ’s faithful the rites that his Church proposes. This is what has stood the test of time and of widespread use. Our themselves occasionally allow for greater leeway in choosing texts and modes of celebration, provided that certain core criteria are always met. As our first correspondent observed, they also explicitly violate many other liturgical norms. This is the case in Q2 where, effectively, the only occasions when laypeople are allowed to read the Gospel along with the priest is Palm Sunday and Good Friday. The other exception, foreseen in No. 47 of the Directory for Masses with Children, does the Lord’s passion (the liturgy of the word, the adoration of the cross, and Holy Communion) that stems from an ancient tradition of the Church should be observed faithfully and religiously and may not be changed by anyone on his own initiative. “66. The readings are to be read in their entirety. The responsorial psalm and the chant before the gospel are to be sung in the usual manner. The narrative of the Lord’s passion according to John is sung or read in the way prescribed for the previous Sunday (cf. n. 33). After the reading of the passion, a homily should be given, at the end of which the faithful may be invited to spend a short time in meditation.” Regarding the Easter Vigil the indications are similar: “2. The Structure of the Easter Vigil and the Significance of Its Different Elements and Parts “81. The order for the Easter Vigil is arranged so that after the service of light and the Easter proclamation (which is the first part of the Vigil), Holy Church meditates on the wonderful works that the Lord God wrought for his people from the earliest times (the second part or liturgy of the word) to the moment when, together with those new members reborn in baptism (third part), she is called to the table prepared by the Lord for his Church, the commemoration of his death and resurrection, until he comes (fourth part). “This liturgical order must not be changed by anyone on his own initiative.” Thus these rites have an inner spiritual logic that is broken when the rite is not respected. Some of the manipulations described by our reader are so egregious that one could say that the rite is no longer that of the Catholic Church.

The faithful hold candles during an Easter vigil Mass at the San Fernando de Dilao Parish Church in Paco, Manila, March 30, 2013.

personal tinkering can only impoverish and weaken their effectiveness. From the legal standpoint, all of these initiatives violate Sacrosanctum Concilium 22’s basic principle of liturgical law quoted by our first questioner. This norm is not restricted to the Mass but to the entire liturgy, including all celebrations of the sacraments and also the sacramentals. In the case of the sacramentals and the Liturgy of the Hours the official books

not apply to Masses celebrated for the whole parish community. With respect to Good Friday I would say that even though it is not a Mass it is one of the most ancient and important celebrations of the year and merits the maximum degree of adherence. The Congregation for Divine Worship’s circular letter on the celebration of these feasts is very explicit: “64. The order for the celebration of

Roy Lagarde / CBCP News

Kyle Burkhart/ CNA

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 18 No. 9
April 28 - May 11, 2014



Narratives of Land: The Current State of Agrarian Reform in the Philippines
By Mary Ann Manahan
ALMOST twenty-six years of implementation, still counting and with completion nowhere near in sight. This amount of time that the Philippine government has taken to implement and complete the key provisions of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) law translates to a whole generation of Filipinos, including children of farmers, who have been born at the time of the law’s passage, have grown up through the years of tentative and unfinished implementation, and reaching adulthood amid current intensified clamor for the government to complete its task. CARP is now the longest running program being implemented under a democratic political system, post-EDSA 1986. It has been widely seen as the litmus test of past and present administrations’ commitment to social justice, as mandated by the 1987 Philippine Constitution. CARPER or Republic Act 9700, signed 7 August 2009, gave the original Republic Act 6657 or CARP five more years to be completed. In 1998, CARP’s land acquisition and distribution component had been given its first 10-year extension and additional funding of PhP 50 billion through Republic Act 8532. One of the main goals during the extension period should be the completion of land distribution by June 30, 2014. The program should get PhP 150 billion for five years or PhP 30 billion per year for land acquisition and distribution and agrarian justice delivery (a total of 60 percent share for the two components), and for support services (40 percent). CARPER introduced other meaningful reforms articulated by farmers and rural women’s organizations, agrarian reform advocates, and the Catholic Church. These measures aim to address loopholes in CARP and problems that have arisen from its implementation and which have beset the program since its inception more than two decades ago. Why Agrarian Reform? Agrarian reform remains an unfinished business under the 1987 Philippine Constitution. As a key social justice mechanism, CARP and CARPER have yet to fulfill their promise. Article XII, Section 4 of the Constitution provides that “the State shall, by law, undertake an agrarian reform program founded on the right of farmers and regular farm workers, who are landless, to own directly or collectively the lands they till or, in the case of other farm workers, to receive a just share of the fruits thereof.” In 2002, however, the National Statistics Office surveys showed that 348,297 household members that were engaged in agricultural activity were working in landholdings not their own. This indicated that a considerable number of landless farmers have yet to own directly or collectively the lands they tilled. Part of the reason for this had been the inability of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), the main agency tasked to implement the program, to distribute land already identified for CARP, as well as the failure to have a database that could aid in accurately identifying the landless farmers for land distribution targeting. Agrarian reform is also a major reform measure addressing rural poverty, as rural poverty and landlessness are closely linked. Based on government data (Table 1), poverty is highest in the top provinces where there have been large backlogs in land distribution. In 2011, these provinces accounted for more than one-third the total land distribution balance. This information is significant because these provinces also figured prominently in the list of provinces where the poorest families have been found— far above the national average of 25.2 percent in 2012. Negros Occidental, Camarines Sur, Leyte, Iloilo and Lanao del Sur are also among the top 10 provinces with women in poor households, according to the 2009 National Household Targeting Survey for Poverty Reduction of the Department of Social Welfare and Development. What these government figures highlight is that poverty in these areas can be linked to the continuing failure to effect agrarian reform. Assessment studies conducted by Balisacan (2007), Gordoncillo (2008) and Reyes (1998) have stressed this link; the technical working paper of the World Bank (2009) further posited that the modest impact of CARP on poverty alleviation and growth had been mainly due to DAR’s inability to prioritize the acquisition of private agricultural lands through compulsory acquisition. But to many farmers who have of lands or 60 percent of the total land distribution balance. Further, coconut, rice and sugar cane lands comprise more than two-thirds of lands that still need to be distributed under CARPER. Based on DAR’s figures, as of January 2013, there are 262,524 hectares of coconut lands, 178,690 hectares of rice lands and 145,802 hectares planted to sugarcane that landless farmers. CARP is on the verge of death at the hands of the present DAR, under Secretary Virgilio delos Reyes. Delos Reyes promised to distribute more than 1.2 million hectares of lands, targeting 200,000 for 2011; 180,000 hectares for 2012; 260,000 hectares for 2013; and 200,000 hectares for 2014. This leaves around as much as 360,000 hectares of undistribservices to its beneficiaries, and failed to protect farmers’ rights from illegal conversions and land-grabbing. Previous figures would attest to this trend under Delos Reyes. In 2011, DAR was able to distribute 18,414 landholdings or 111,889 hectares of lands to 63,755 ARBs. This was only 60 percent of the targets for that year, and 56 percent of which or 69,903 hectares were non-private agricultural lands, or settlements, landed estates and government-owned lands. In its own “Report on the State of Agrarian Reform (2012),” DAR admits that “the first one and half years of the Aquino government were less than outstanding and that DAR failed to meet its target for the year.”1 Further, according to DAR’s own figures, of the total 710,000 hectares of lands originally targeted for distribution between July 2010 to June 2013, only 360,464 hectares or 51 percent of the annual targets were distributed to agrarian reform beneficiaries. As in the past, DAR had re-adjusted their annual targets to make their performance look good on paper. As an example, in its 2013 accomplishment report, DAR reported that it fully redistributed the 4,099 hectares of Hacienda Luisita— even as it continues to neglect the physical installation for about the same period of two years before former President Estrada was ousted. Furthermore, the quality of implementation is also a big question: whether the lands reported as distributed have been actually given to agrarian reform beneficiaries and that these beneficiaries have the land titles in their hands, and that they are being provided with appropriate support services such as access to socialized credit, irrigation, etc. remain to be validated. Only when these components are realized can government claim fulfillment of its obligations under the law. Beyond Land Distribution The provision of support services is an inseparable component in the success of CARP’s development objective. Under CARPER, an integrated package of support services must be provided to existing and new agrarian reform beneficiaries. This package includes access to socialized credit and initial capitalization in the form of cash or farm implements which are needed by new ARBs. Women-friendly provisions are also part of the reforms won by the agrarian reform movement under CARPER. Land redistribution will come to naught if the economic viability of redistributed farms is not promoted. “Agrarian reform is not just a matter of distribution of lands. An indispensable component of its success is the support services that are to be given to farmers, such as farms implements, capital to finance their operations, training and community organizing among farmers,” NASSA National Director Bishop Broderick Pabillo said. What CARP still fails to fulfill is its constitutional mandate to promote social justice and development, and this has been mainly due to contradictory economic policies. Economically vulnerable and lacking in support services, ARBs are unable to compete in an environment allowing liberalized entry of agricultural products. Also, the Department of Agriculture has prioritized the agribusiness sector leaving DAR, with its limited funds and technically-challenged personnel, with the task of transforming ARBs into a competitive sector. Stories from the ground The dismal performance may be disputed by government; they can claim gaps and differentials, but the farmers from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao who participated in the nationwide consultations the Save Agrarian Reform Alliance conducted from March to May 2012 do not prevaricate about the ordeals they have been enduring. Over 200 cases covering 31 provinces and 11 regions from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao were presented by 116 participants. On March 27 and 28, about 80 farmers, farm workers, rural women, agrarian reform beneficiaries and NGOs participated in the first salvo of the series of consultations, the Luzon-Wide Consultation and Assessment of Agrarian Reform/ CARPER. For many of the participants from Luzon, agrarian reform implementation has already taken an average of 21 years, and the future still doesn’t bode well. They brought forward a total of 56 cases in 13 provinces from Central Luzon (Bataan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizacaya, Aurora, Zambales), Southern Tagalog (Quezon, Laguna, Rizal, Batangas) and northern Isabela. The cases comprise “multiple cases,” which involve various interrelated problems arising from the implementation of agrarian reform. These 56 cases cover 59,512.91 hectares of land or 40 percent of DAR’s land distribution backlog for Luzon (minus Bicol’s), which is 149,133 hectares. This is a significant figure not only in terms of scope but also in terms of the number of provinces where SARA members are present. On the other hand, 13,567 agrarian reform beneficiaries/ farmers (ARBs) are affected; they represent close to 16 percent of the total ARB targets of DAR for Luzon. On April 12-13, 24 participants from three major organizations in the Visayas presented 87 agrarian reform cases during the SARA consultations in the region. For a number of those who participated in the Visayan
Narratives / B7

The issue of snail-paced agrarian reform is a long-standing issue in the Philippines.

been struggling for the realization of agrarian reform, land is freedom from poverty: owning a piece of land, earning from it, sending their children to school and putting a roof over their heads through the fruits of the land will finally allow them to live a life with dignity and pride. Slow Death: Reality of Agrarian Reform under P-Noy “Tatapusin ang pamamahagi ng lupa sa ilalim ng CARPER sa aking panunungkulan.” (Land distribution under CARPER shall be completed under my term) That was the promise of President Aquino during his third state of the nation address in July 2012: Farmers shall own the lands they till. With four months left before the June 30, 2014 ‘deadline’ for the land distribution component of CARPER, President Benigno Aquino III must muster all the political and social capital to finally see the program through. Under his helm, government must effectively complete land distribution, implement the reforms under CARPER such as rural women-friendly provisions


and delivery of support services to Luisita’s farmers. The official figures from DAR all point to one conclusion. Land distribution, which is the heart of CARPER, is languishing under the administration of Pres. Aquino and DAR secretary, Gil delos Reyes. The current administration’s CARP performance is the “worst since 1988,” the year CARP took effect. Despite recent pronounce ments, the major hurdle for CARPER’s implementation is the non-priority accorded to agrarian reform by the Aquino administration. Its CARP performance showed only five percent achievement rate in land distribution output vs. targets, compared

in terms of giving access to land and support services; socialized credit and initial capitalization for new and old agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs); expand the support services scope beyond the agrarian reform communities (ARCs); provide agrarian justice delivery; and ensure adequate budget for the implementation of agrarian reform. The underlying goal is to usher in a lasting era of social justice in the countryside and ensure the economic viability and political empowerment of agrarian reform beneficiaries. According to DAR, as of end2013, the official land acquisition and distribution balance is a total of 790,671 hectares from 80,867 landholdings. This means that the department needs to distribute 197,667.8 hectares per month from March to June 30, 2014 to stick to the ‘deadline’. There are still 206,536 hectares of lands with no Notices of Coverage (NOCs). The Notices of Coverage kicks off the land distribution process for private agricultural lands under compulsory acquisition, which is now the main mode of acquisition under CARPER. These landholdings comprise the bulk of remaining lands to be distributed—470,274 hectares

Despite urbanization, the country remains a largely agricultural one.

are up for distribution. Unfortunately, the national land reform program is now at a dire state, ultimately, as a result of DAR’s halfhearted commitment to act decisively for the interests of its primary constituency—small,

uted land or 30 percent of the total balance by June 2014. Contrary to its padded accomplishment reports, the present administration’s DAR has consistently failed to meet its yearly targets, failed to provide support

with the Ramos administration’s 46 percent, Arroyo’s 23 percent and Cory Aquino’s 21 percent. The current administration’s performance is even worse than the Estrada administration’s 5.4 percent, which distributed lands



Easter 2014, Central Loggia of the Vatican Basilica, Sunday, 20 April 2014

CBCP Monitor
April 28 - May 11, 2014

Vol. 18 No. 9

Urbi et Orbi Message of Pope Francis
DEAR Brothers and Sisters, a Happy and Holy Easter! The Church throughout the world echoes the angel’s message to the women: “Do not be afraid! I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised… Come, see the place where he lay” (Mt 28:5-6). This is the culmination of the Gospel, it is the Good News par excellence: Jesus, who was crucified, is risen! This event is the basis of our faith and our hope. If Christ were not raised, Christianity would lose its very meaning; the whole mission of the Church would lose its impulse, for this is the point from which it first set out and continues to set out ever anew. The message which Christians bring to the world is this: Jesus, Love incarnate, died on the cross for our sins, but God the Father raised him and made him the Lord of life and death. In Jesus, love has triumphed over hatred, mercy over sinfulness, goodness over evil, truth over falsehood, life over death. That is why we tell everyone: “Come and see!” In every human situation, marked by frailty, sin and death, the Good News is no mere matter of words, but a testimony to unconditional and faithful love: it is about leaving ourselves behind and encountering others, being close to those crushed by life’s troubles, sharing with the needy, standing at the side of the sick, elderly and the outcast… “Come and see!”: Love is more powerful, love gives life, love makes hope blossom in the wilderness. With this joyful certainty in our hearts, We pray in a particular way for Syria, beloved Syria, that all those suffering the effects of the conflict can receive needed humanitarian aid and that neither side will again use deadly force, especially against the defenseless civil population, but instead boldly negotiate the peace long awaited and long overdue! Jesus, Lord of glory, we ask you to comfort the victims of fratricidal acts of violence in Iraq and to sustain the hopes raised by the resumption of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. We beg for an end to the conflicts in the Central African Republic and a halt to the brutal terrorist attacks in parts of Nigeria and the acts of violence in South Sudan. We ask that hearts be turned to reconciliation and fraternal concord in Venezuela. By your resurrection, which this year we celebrate together with the Churches that follow the Julian calendar, we ask you to enlighten and inspire the initiatives that promote peace in Ukraine so that all those involved, with the support of the international community, will make every effort to prevent violence and, in a spirit of unity and dialogue, chart a path for the country’s future. On this day, may they be able to proclaim, as brothers and sisters, that Christ is risen, Khrystos voskres! Lord, we pray to you for all the peoples of the earth: you who have conquered death, grant us your life, grant us your peace! Dear brothers and sisters, Happy Easter!

today we turn to you, risen Lord! Help us to seek you and to find you, to realize that we have a Father and are not orphans; that we can love and adore you. Help us to overcome the scourge of hunger, aggravated by conflicts and by the immense wastefulness for which we are often responsible. Enable us to protect the vulnerable, especially children, women and the elderly, who are at times exploited and

abandoned. Enable us to care for our brothers and sisters struck by the Ebola epidemic in Guinea Conakry, Sierra Leone and Liberia, and to care for those suffering from so many other diseases which are also spread through neglect and dire poverty. Comfort all those who cannot celebrate this Easter with their loved ones because they have been unjustly torn from their

affections, like the many persons, priests and laity, who in various parts of the world have been kidnapped. Comfort those who have left their own lands to migrate to places offering hope for a better future and the possibility of living their lives in dignity and, not infrequently, of freely professing their faith. We ask you, Lord Jesus, to put an end to all war and every conflict, whether great or small, ancient or recent.

Homily of Pope Francis at Easter Vigil
Vatican Basilica, Holy Saturday, 19 April 2014
new beginning, from this supreme act of love. For each of us, too, there is a “Galilee”  at the origin of our journey with Jesus.  “To go to Galilee” means something beautiful, it means rediscovering our baptism as a living fountainhead, drawing new energy from the sources of our faith and our Christian experience.  To return to Galilee means above all to return to that blazing light with which God’s grace touched me at the start of the journey.  From that flame I can to Galilee means treasuring in my heart the living memory of that call, when Jesus passed my way, gazed at me with mercy and asked me to follow him. To return there means reviving the memory of that moment when his eyes met mine, the moment when he made me realize that he loved me. Today, tonight, each of us can ask:  What is my Galilee?  I need to remind myself, to go back and remember.   Where is my THE Gospel of the resurrection of Jesus Christ begins with the journey of the women to the tomb at dawn on the day after the Sabbath.  They go to the tomb to honour the body of the Lord, but they find it open and empty.  A mighty angel says to them: “Do not be afraid!” (Mt 28:5) and orders them to go and tell the disciples: “He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee” (v. 7).  The women quickly depart and on the way Jesus himself meets them and says: “Do not them like a ray of light in the darkness.   The news spread: Jesus is risen as he said.  And then there was his command to go toGalilee; the women had heard it twice, first from the angel and then from Jesus himself: “Let them go to Galilee; there they will see me”. “Do not fear” and “go to Galilee”. Galilee is the place where they were first called, where everything began!  To return there, to return to the place where they were originally called.   Jesus had walked along the shores of the Galilee?  Do I remember it?  Have I forgotten it?  Seek and you will find it! There the Lord is waiting for you.  Have I gone off on roads and paths which made me forget it?  Lord, help me: tell me what my Galilee is; for you know that I want to return there to encounter you and to let myself be embraced by your mercy. Do not be afraid, do not fear, return to Galilee! The Gospel is very clear: we need to go back there, to see Jesus risen, and to become witnesses of his resurrection.  This is not to go back in time; it is not a kind of nostalgia.  It is returning to our first love, in order to receive the fire which Jesus has kindled in the world and to bring that fire to all people, to the very ends of the earth.  Go back to Galilee, without fear! “Galilee of the Gentiles” ( Mt   4:15;  Is  8:23)!  Horizon of the Risen Lord, horizon of the Church; intense desire of encounter…  Let us be on our way!

Galilee is the place where they were first called, where everything began! To return there, to return to the place where they were originally called.
fear; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me” (v. 10). “Do not be afraid”, “do not fear”:  these are words that encourage us to open our hearts to receive the message. After the death of the Master, the disciples had scattered; their faith had been utterly shaken, everything seemed over, all their certainties had crumbled and their hopes had died.  But now that message of the women, incredible as it was, came to lake as the fishermen were casting their nets.  He had called them, and they left everything and followed him (cf. Mt 4:18-22). To return to Galilee means to re-read  everything on the basis of the cross and its victory, fearlessly: “do not be afraid”.  To re-read everything—Jesus’ preaching, his miracles, the new community, the excitement and the defections, even the betrayal—to re-read everything starting from the end, which is a light a fire for today and every day, and bring heat and light to my brothers and sisters.   That flame ignites a humble joy, a joy which sorrow and distress cannot dismay, a good, gentle joy. In the life of every Christian, after baptism there is also another “Galilee”,  a more existential “Galilee”: the experience of a  personal encounter with Jesus Christ who called me to follow him and to share in his mission.  In this sense, returning

Catholic News Agency

Message of Pope Francis at the General Audience, St. Peter’s Square, 23 April 2014
DEAR Brothers and Sisters, Good morning! This week is the week of joy: we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus. It is a true and deep joy founded on the certainty that the Risen Christ shall never die again; rather, he is alive and at work in the Church and in the world. This certainty has abided in the hearts of believers since that first Easter morning, when the women went to Jesus’ tomb and the angels asked them: “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” (Lk 24:5). “Why do you seek the living among the dead?”. These words are like a milestone in history; but are also like a “stumbling block” if we do not open ourselves to the Good News, if we think that a dead Jesus is less bothersome that a Jesus who is alive! Yet how many times along our daily journey do we need to hear it said: “Why do you seek the living among the dead?”. How often do we search for life among inert things, among things that cannot give life, among things that are here today and gone tomorrow, among the things that pass away ... “Why do you seek the living among the dead?”. We need this when we shut ourselves in any form of selfishness or self-complacency; when we allow ourselves to be seduced by worldly powers and by the things of this world, forgetting God and neighbor; when we place our hope in worldly vanities, in money, in success. Then the Word of God says to us: “Why do you seek the living among the dead?”. Why are you searching there? That thing cannot give you life! Yes, perhaps it will cheer you up for a moment, for a day, for a week, for a month ... and then? “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” This phrase must enter into our hearts and we need to repeat it. Shall we repeat it three times together? Shall we make the effort? Everyone: “Why do you seek the living among the dead?”. [He repeats it with the crowd]. Today when we return home let us say it from the heart in silence and let us ask ourselves this question: why in life do I seek the living among the dead? It will do us good. It is not easy to be open to Jesus. Nor is it a given that we shall accept the life of the Risen One and his presence among us. The Gospel shows us different reactions: that of the Apostle Thomas, that of Mary Magdalen and that of the two disciples of Emmaus: it does us good to compare ourselves with them. Thomas places a condition on belief, he asks to touch the evidence, the wounds; Mary Magdalene weeps, she sees him but she does not recognize him, she only realizes that it is Jesus when he calls her by name; the disciples of Emmaus, who are depressed and feeling defeated, attain an encounter with Jesus by allowing that mysterious wayfarer to accompany them. Each one on a different path! They were seeking the living among the dead and it was the Lord himself who redirected their course. And what do I do? What route do I take to encounter the living Christ? He will always be close to us to correct our course if we have strayed. “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” (Lk 24:5). This question enables us to overcome the temptation to look back, to what was yesterday, and it spurs us on to the future. Jesus is not in the sepulchre, he is Risen! He is the Living One, the One who always renews his body, which is the Church, and enables it to walk by drawing it towards Him. “Yesterday” is the tomb of Jesus and the tomb of the Church, the tomb of truth and justice; “today” is the perennial Resurrection to which the Holy Spirit impels us, bestowing on us full freedom. Today this question is also addressed to us. You, why do seek the living among the dead, you who withdraw into yourself after a failure, and you who no longer have the strength to pray? Why do you seek the living among the dead, you who feel alone, abandoned by friends and perhaps also by God? Why do you seek the living among the dead, you who have lost hope and you who feel imprisoned by your sins? Why do you seek the living among the dead, you who aspire to beauty, to spiritual perfection, to justice and to peace? We need to hear ourselves repeat and to remind one other of the angels’ admonition! This admonition: “Why do you seek the living among the dead” helps us leave behind our empty sadness and opens us to the horizons of joy and hope. That hope which rolls back the stones from tombs and encourages one to proclaim the Good News, capable of generating new life for others. Let us repeat the Angels’ phrase in order to keep it in our hearts and in our memory, and then let everyone respond in silence: “Why do you seek the living among the dead”. Let’s repeat it! [He repeats it with the crowd]. Behold, brothers and sisters, He is alive, He is with us! Do not go to the many tombs that today promise you something, beauty, and then give you nothing! He is alive! Let us not seek the living among the dead! Thank you.

‘Why do you seek the living among the dead?’

Paolo Veronese

Salt and Light

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 18 No. 9
April 28 - May 11, 2014

Statements Easter is a missionary event
Message for Easter 2014
to name a few. We pray, “Risen Jesus, enter our locked hearts, homes, offices and institutions and bring us your peace!” Praying for Jesus’ peace, we should also be ready to be sent on mission, the way Jesus was sent by the Father. Easter is indeed a missionary event, transforming timid and fearful disciples into bold and determined missioners. I call on all Christians, especially the lay faithful on this Year of the Laity to heed the Risen Lord who sends us to bring His word, peace and hope to all strata of human life and society. If peace and new life are illusive in our time, it is partly because we do not fulfill our mission. So at Easter we also pray, “Risen Jesus, send me as your co-worker!” I pray that the Risen Lord may fill you with Peace and Missionary zeal! +LUIS ANTONIO G. CARDINAL TAGLE Archbishop of Manila April 19, 2014


A BLESSED Easter to all! As we welcome God’s triumph over sin and death, let us listen to the encouraging greeting the Risen Jesus addressed to His disciples when he appeared to them, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” (John 20: 21). By these words He comforts and sends us today. Peace is a gift of the Risen Jesus to frail, weak and sinful disciples. Peace is an offer of mercy and reconciliation to those who have been unfaithful. It expresses the hope that the sinner may become whole again. It is a plea to start again. With true peace coming from the Risen Christ we can all start a new life. We call on Jesus to breathe the Holy Spirit on the Filipino people so that we may experience a fresh start in our quest for peace especially in the Bangsamoro autonomous region, in communities ravaged by earthquakes, typhoons and armed conflicts, in our fight against corruption, unscrupulousness, human trafficking, new forms of slavery, abuse of children and women, dehumanizing destitution and the wastage of creation,

‘We are Easter people’
“There are Christians whose lives seem like Lent without Easter” (Evangelii Gaudium, no. 6)
WITH Pope Francis, I write to convince you that we are not Good Friday people; we are Easter people. It means that we are people who must die with Jesus so that we can rise with him[1]. More importantly, it means that God, through the power Christ’s resurrection, is pressing in upon us so that He can fill us with his power.[2] Thus, we are no longer nailed on our sinfulness nor dwell forever in the dark, but we become people who are transformed by this power so that we can share it with others and dispel the darkness and sin that had covered the world. What does it means to become Easter people? It means becoming people full of joy, believing that Jesus is truly alive in our midst. It means that we must be ready to face the challenges of the present times, bearing in mind that “Jesus will not leave us alone”[3]. Being Easter people also means changing our behavior and the way we deal with our brothers and sisters especially the poor. We can also become Easter people in the way we share and live the life of the Risen Lord. For our Parish Priests and our priests, continue the program of house to house visitation, wherein you bless our people, especially the poor with the joy of Jesus. To our Parish Pastoral Council and Head of Ministries, explore more the gift of Jesus’ resurrection by rediscovering your particular vocation as lay people. To our young people, I join Pope Francis in urging you “not to bury your talents and gifts of being dynamic…not to be afraid to share them…for those who bury their talents are Good Friday people…” I end this letter with deep gratitude to all for making use of the Lenten season as opportunities to encounter Jesus Christ. spiritual retreat of our Provincial and Municipal Government officials; the many groups, associations and organizations that had faith conversion sessions, with special mention to our brothers who humbled themselves to receive Jesus (I am referring to our brothers who have same sex attraction); and to our lay social action workers and the People’s Organizations who attempted to see the value of God’s call to holiness. I pray that this Easter season be a blessed occasion for you to share the joy of the Risen Lord. I bless you with the hope that the new life in Jesus will always radiate in your smiles and in your way of life. Happy Easter to all! +GILBERT A. GARCERA, D.D. Bishop of Daet 20 April 2014
Footnotes: 1 See 2Timothy 2:11 2 Iain Matthew, The Impact of God: Soundings from St. John of the Cross (London: Hooder and Stoughton, 1995), 153. 3 John 14:18

What does it means to become Easter people? It means becoming people full of joy, believing that Jesus is truly alive in our midst.
I commend especially the following activities: “Kumpisalang Bayan” through which the Lord is alive again in our hearts; the monthly session of our Lay Pastoral Leaders through which they appreciate the Word of God as their weapon to continue their quest for holiness; the Stations of the Cross which we started last Ash Wednesday and held every Friday and Sunday in the parishes; the Lenten Recollection conducted by our priests and lay leaders and which also includes

Working Towards a Reconciled Diversity
Statement of Catholic Bishops and Educators on Peacebuilding in Mindanao Davao City, April 10, 2014
SUSTAINABLE peace and the righting of historical injustices have been elusively pursued for decades in Mindanao. We, Catholic bishops and educators of Mindanao, have always joined the call for lasting peace among the diverse cultures of Mindanao and Sulu. It is in this light that, together with the representatives of Catholic schools, seminaries, radio stations and peace centers in Mindanao, many of us have engaged in the “Conversations on Peacebuilding in Mindanao.” This was held on April 9-10, 2014, at the Ateneo de Davao University. It was jointly s p o n s o re d b y t h e E p i s c o p a l Commission on Interreligious Dialogue of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (ECID-CBCP) and the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) in Mindanao. The signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) on March 27, 2014, is certainly warrant for optimism. But it also signals a greater challenge to all in our nation to be involved in this quest for peace, which is our shared responsibility. We c a l l o n a l l t o i n f o r m themselves of the issues involved in this struggle. We call on negotiating parties to strengthen their dialogues by ensuring profound inclusivity, hearing all the voices who have a stake in peace—indigenous peoples, religious leaders, nongovernment organizations (NGOs), academe, the poor, even the dissidents— to ensure that the road we are taking is not motivated merely by political ambitions, but by genuine and sustainable peace for all peoples. Pope Francis reminds us that “the message of peace is not about a negotiated settlement but rather the conviction that unity brought about by the spirit can harmonize every diversity. It overcomes every conflict by creating a new and promising synthesis.” (Evangelii Gaudium , 230) Some recommendations that have come up in our conversations are the following: * Strengthen the role of the Catholic Church in the promotion of lasting peace in Mindanao through its various institutions by using its positive influence in creating more avenues for peacebuilding initiatives, especially at the grassroots level. promote greater appreciation for M o ro d i v e r s i t y a n d i n t e r- f a i t h dialogues. * Cultivate a spirit of dialogue in churches, schools, and in other relevant institutions by reminding everyone to help in the creation of this new government. * Strengthen intra-faith dialogue in order to narrow the gap among the “prejudiced” Christians themselves, as well as among “prejudiced” Muslims. * E n c o u r a g e t h e c re a t i o n o f various discourses on the culture of peacebuilding and peacemaking at various levels and sectors of society, underscoring a shared identity and a common future among the peoples expansive approaches in seeking solutions to issues on peace by tapping the active engagement of artists, poets, and singers, among others. * Initiate a Mindanao-wide sports activity for peace. Peace Communication on the CAB: * Disseminate correct/ factual information and combat misinformation on the new CAB. Utilize social media in promoting peacebuilding initiatives, especially in raising public consciousness concerning the CAB. * Post results of round table discussions, such as this Conversations on Peacebuilding in Mindanao, on social Governance and Participation: * Increase and facilitate community participation in local governance in the effort of peacebuilding by conducting peace-mapping exercises and developing conflict-sensitive barangay development plans. * Lobby in the shaping of a Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that is truly an instrument of peace, justice and the common good, and not just another hegemonic structure replacing another hegemonic structure. * Include environmental conservation in the wider effort at peacebuilding to highlight collective community responses that address calamities, both natural and man-made. * Increase the visibility of international organizations that advocate for peace in the region i n orde r t o p romot e g re a t e r collaboration and networking. * Through the ADDU/CEAP, replicate this Conversations on Peacebuilding in Mindanao in various institutions, places, and sectors at the different levels. We, bishops and educators, have stressed dialogue, tolerance and sensitivity in diverging issues deeply rooted in historical wrongs. We have called on all peoples to build bridges of friendship and compassion. With Pope Francis, we say: “Diversity is a beautiful thing when it can constantly enter into a process of reconciliation and seal a sort of cultural covenant resulting in a reconciled diversity.” Let us move from diversity to reconciliation, from ignorance to insight, from conflict to peace!

The signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) on March 27, 2014, is certainly warrant for optimism. But it also signals a greater challenge to all in our nation to be involved in this quest for peace, which is our shared responsibility.
* Develop more historical narratives in contextualizing the history of the Bangsamoro, of the Lumads, and of Mindanao in general, by creating metaphors/symbolisms that represent the common desire of the Mindanawons in the collective effort of peacebuilding. Inter- and Intra- Religious Dialogue: * Provide wider spaces for interfaith dialogues among universities and peace centers with the active participation of civil society organizations. * Provide more avenues, especially in parishes and universities, that of Mindanao. Peace Education: * Integrate peace education in the academic curricula along with the values of social justice and the common good. * Create a course which discusses the history and relationships among Christians, Muslim, and Lumads. * Encourage the creation of an environment that promotes greater interaction for peacebuilding such as the creation of peace tables, peace parks, peace gardens, peace rally, peace camps, etc. * Encourage more creative and media in order to reach various stakeholders and link up with a wider network of peace advocates. * Through the CAB, examine how issues pertaining to the culture of rido , proliferation of firearms, arms trade, lawlessness, violations of basic human rights, indiscriminate killings of peace advocates, warlordism and widespread poverty could be appropriately addressed. * Disseminate the CAB and all the primer annexes in the local dialect for greater access. * Bring the discussions on the CAB to the parishes, the basic ecclesial communities (BECs), and seminaries.


Catholic News Agency


Ref lections

CBCP Monitor
April 28 - May 11, 2014

Vol. 18 No. 9

The Risen Christ, our fellow traveler
3rd Sunday of Easter, Lk 24:13-35 (A) May 4, 2014
way of soothing our pain?” The answer to their doubt came in the late evening, in the shady quiet of the house where the three had stopped to “break bread.” That was a usual action which the stranger did exactly as Jesus had done three nights before... That breaking of bread “opened the eyes” of the two men. It opened their hearts to believe that their mysterious fellow traveler was Jesus: the one whom Mary of Magdala had declared that he was alive! He was indeed alive, and had set their hearts afire through his presence and his word as they had been journeying with him on the road to Emmaus. That discovery made them forget their tiredness. It wiped out their discouragement, and set them on the road of an enthusiastic proclamation of the Resurrection. (See vv. 33-34.)

By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
TWO lonely wayfarers were sharing their disappointments as they trod the dusty road leading from Jerusalem to Emmaus—wounded soldiers of a routed army... Almost stealthily, a foreigner caught up with them. He seemed unaware of what everybody in the region was talking about. But soon he showed that he knew many things. He mastered the Scriptures brilliantly. He knew them in depth. And from them he was able to draw the answers to the many “whys” the two men had been tossing at each other that late Sunday afternoon. All the while, however, a doubt kept tormenting their minds: “What if what he says is just a pious invention? A kind

Jesus, the Shepherd and Gate of the sheepfold
4th Sunday of Easter, Jn 10:1-10 (A) May 11, 2014
conclude that his role as “The Gate of the Sheepfold” is indeed a vital one. Our difficulty in appreciating this may come from the fact that both flocks of sheep and sheepfolds are not part of the environment in which we live and, therefore, of our experience and our culture. Things were very different from those who were listening to Jesus. Sheep and sheepfolds could be seen everywhere in the countryside. Every sheepfold had only one gate, and everyone knew that it was only through that gate that the sheep could enter the sheepfold inside which they could find protection from ravenous beasts and thieves during the night. Likewise, it was only by exiting from that gate that the sheep could be led by their shepherd to green pastures and the refreshing streams of water. The closed gate, then, was an indispensable means for the sheep to feel safe while the open gate was the way to reach the sources of their nourishment. All this is Jesus for us and all the other members of his flock, the Church. It is through him that we enter the sheepfold of the Church within which we have so many means to protect ourselves from the constant attacks of the devil. Likewise, it is through Jesus that we have access to the sources of spiritual nourishment such as the Holy Scriptures, the Sacraments and the enlightened leadership of the pastors of the Church who guide us in his name and in the power of the Holy Spirit. In other words, it is only through Jesus that we are saved from sin, and it is through him that we can attain the holiness required to enjoy everlasting happiness, the very purpose for which we were created. Speaking defiantly to the religious leaders of Israel, Peter

We, too, sometimes tread the dusty roads of life with a heavy heart. We find ourselves unable to make sense of many sad events... unable to find satisfactory answers to the hard “whys” of life. Our eyes are veiled, our minds are confused, and our imagination distorted... The Risen Christ is the only one who can help us read events and persons in depth, and make sense even of the most senseless occurrences and people. Our patient Fellow Traveler leads us to understand them all, bit by bit, and to “situate” them within the wider context of God’s plan. The Eucharistic celebration is the culminating moment in the process of enlightenment whereby we become ever more aware of the presence of the Risen One who alone can give meaning to all that we do, suffer, hope, and pray for.

By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
WE are familiar with many beautiful titles of Jesus, such as “The Good Shepherd,” “The Light of the World,” “The Resurrection and the Life,” “The Way, the Truth, and the Life,” and others that sound so rich in meaning and inspiring. We are much less impressed, it seems, when we hear him say that he is “The Gate of the Sheepfold,” or simply “The Gate.” Somehow this title sounds rather “static” and not as rich in meaning as the other ones. And yet Jesus himself introduced it with the statement: “My solemn word is this . . .” or (in other translations) “Amen, amen I say to you . . .” which he uses only when he is about to say something very important. This fact alone should bring us to

restated the same truth when he proclaimed, “There is no salvation in anyone else, for there is no other name in the world . . . by which we are to be saved” (Acts 4:12). What will our response be to the awareness of the role of Jesus in our life? There is only one intelligent response: to FOLLOW HIM, as today’s Gospel passage suggests. (See Jn 10:4.) We are under no compulsion to do so, of course, for God does not impose His gifts, but only offers them. On the other hand, we should also remember that Jesus is not just one of several possible saviors/ options. He is the only one. He is THE ONLY GATE to eternal life; the ONLY SHEPHERD that knows and gives what the sheep need for their safety and happiness. Away from him or without him, we would be at the mercy of thieves, murderers and ravenous beasts.

Fr. Raul de los Santos

WHAT do all these 3 saints have in common aside from their meeting together on April 27, 2014, the 2nd Sunday of Easter? It is not all about them. Otherwise they will lose their meaning and relevance. Rather, they are all about us, since at one point in history, they were very much like you and me. What lessons in life can we pick from them? Let me offer simple points, maybe not so simple thoughts on the lives of saints or the lives of us all. We do not live to believe; rather we believe to live. Life is not about believing this or holding that or having to cling to this doctrine or blindly adhering to some deposits of faith. We do not live life in order to have a religion. Rather we have religion that we may know how to live! Jesus told Thomas, “Doubt no longer but believe!” Only after believing can we truly live. Life and our lives I believe are about what we basically believe in. We grew up as little kids with strong belief in our teachers that when they taught us 1 + 1 is equals 2 and not 11. We lovingly

On doubting Thomas, Sts. John Paul II and John XXIII
believed our parents who told us we are the most beautiful child in the world. We believed our friends in grade school. We believed in our homework then that we did and not just downloaded or copied in Google. We believed in the first prayers our religion teachers taught us. And that they will be answered. We sat in awe and believed in the brave stories of faith the nuns told us. We believed on what we ate that our mothers cooked for us and promised us they will make us taller and healthier. We did not believe in food that was not served on the table and we did not run to junk food chains to soothe our tears. We believed even when our fathers whipped us with their belt, that it was good for us. We did not see to believe. We believed and so we saw! And we go on through life because we believe that there is a dream in our hearts, there is goodness in people and there is forgiveness and grace from God. We were not taught that the other religions are wrong. We were not asked to believe that evil pays. My father always told me if there is none, there is none and we should not expect him to steal just to produce what we desire. We believed that what we desire is not necessarily what we need. We knew that we cannot have everything but that we can believe in everything. We grew believing that life is hard but that we can work and dream. We believe and so we are! Thomas believed then he started being a real disciple. Blessed are those indeed who have not seen yet believed. I did not see many things I have now in my life. But I simply believed. These 3 simple guys have one thing in common. They are funny and are real! Thomas must be a very funny guy to dare his friends and the Lord himself to show proof first before he believes. I do not see that as a serious breach of friendship or a doubting pessimist. I think it was funny to say, “You left me out that first meeting ugh, so now come to me and let me hold you.” John XXIII was a compromise choice but he did not take that seriously against himself. He took his job seriously by being a “good Pope.” He was even a good and obedient child at table, eating and finishing everything served him by the nun in charge at table, feeling sorry for food gone to waste, thus the growth of his waist line. He could laugh at the world, laugh at the church and laugh at himself. Ah, St. John Paul II is the funniest of them all. He loved the youth. He played with them. He inspired them. He brought them together. What could be happier and funnier than that? An old spiritual director told me once that the sign of holiness is when young people comfortably come to you and not run away from you in fear. The youth and the children flock to John Paul II, the way perhaps the children run to Jesus and fell on his lap to be blessed by him. This I believed is what made these guys saints. Not their quiet, secluded holy lives in the enclosed upper room or at the Vatican. Rather their open, light and fondness of the world. They did not shun the world. They did not hide from the world. They embraced the world with joy and eagerness, with fun and with joy! These 3 guys are not saints because they are now dead and living in heaven with all the angels and God’s chosen. We have not seen that and aside from answered prayers through their intercessions, we have no proof of that. They are saints because I believe they lived in this earth once like you and me. They were human beings—they ate, they cried, they dreamt vision and had missions. They challenged the powers that be. They fought for their principles and the principles of the Lord and Master. They lived life and lived happy. They embraced their vocations. They admitted their faults and shortcomings and strived to rise above them. They met people. They loved people. They loved their Lord. They loved life. They lived. Thus they are saints and up to now continue to live. They are saints not because they are now dead. They are saints because they once lived and continue to live by touching and teaching us even now! Now even if I could just touch the tussle of their clothes, I myself would perhaps learn to live beyond my hurts and frustrations and simply live, believe and laugh through!

Bo Sanchez

Jean-Baptiste de Champaigne


Bishop Pat Alo

Failures Are Necessary To Teach Us Lessons
HAPPY Easter! If there’s one message from Easter, its this: If you’re going through your Good Friday now, believe that your Sunday is coming. Many people tell me that I’ve succeeded so much in my life. And everything I’ve set my mind on happens. They enumerate the many dreams I’ve had which has become reality: Kerygma, the #1 inspirational magazine. The Feast and Light of Jesus Family. Anawim, our home for the aged. And TrulyRichClub. Etcetera. One person asked me, “How do you it, Bo? From mere thoughts in your brain, BOOM, we see it come true.” But you see, people only see one chapter of my story. First of all, all of the things mentioned above were created with a bunch of selfless people who didn’t like their names in the limelight. They let me have the glory so that my rewards in Heaven will be miniscule compared to theirs. (Drats.) B ut here’s another thing people don’t know: About my other dreams that have nosedived and crashed to the bottom of the sea. In 1983, I lived in a depressed area, dreaming of starting a community among the poor, plus a Cooperative to assist in their financial needs. Nothing happened. Well, not exactly. Through that experience, I learned the art of sharing one filthy toilet with five families, two of which had eight children each. (I’m not exaggerating.) Needless to say, my mornings there were very interesting. I acquired the skill of putting on hold my biological functions for two hours, my legs twisted together like a pretzel, while lining up and waiting for my turn. In 1985, I wanted to start a Christian restaurant—complete with Christian music and food with biblical names. I also wanted to provide jobs for our unemployed members. That idea didn’t even reach the oven. I wanted to serve dishes like Martha’s full course meal and Moses’ manna and Daniel’s veggie meal and Esau’s stew and Jonah’s big fish and Tobit’s liver and Jacob’s broken hip and… Heck, maybe I should thank God this whole idea didn’t materialize. S hould I go on? It’s now 2014. You can just imagine how many failures I’ve made in my life. I can write a thirty-volume encyclopedia entitled, “THE FAILURES OF BO SANCHEZ”. And that’ll just be the index! I f you want the blow-byblow account of how I failed, you need 1 terrabyte hard drive. I’ve failed, and I’ve failed really bad. And at the time of the failure, people didn’t mince words. I was criticized, ridiculed, lambasted, fried, roasted, grilled, baked, sautéed, stewed, and eaten alive. (See how my restaurant dream still haunts me today?) But God knows how to use failures. He masters in the art of recycling flops like me. We are all wounded. But wounds are necessary for His healing light to enter into our beings. Without wounds and failures and frustrations and defeats, there will be no opening for His brilliance to trickle in and invade our lives. Failures in life are courses with very high tuition fees. So I don’t cut classes and miss my lessons: About humility. About patience. About hope. About asking others for help. About listening to God. About trying again. About trying again and again and again.


Easter Message

OUR reasons for celebrating Christ’s Resurrection are indeed numerous since they are connected with our own salvation, as Jesus died to save us from our sins. He died in atonement for our sins, it is true. But He asks us to reform our lives as stated in the gospel of Mark: “Reform your lives and believe in the gospel” (Mk. 1:15). So the work of salvation is like a constant battle so as not to be overcome by our own weaknesses and imperfections but rather achieve the perfection of the new man reformed by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s truly a lifetime labor and effort since the Devil is there to tempt us constantly as that is his firm desire—to bring more souls to perdition in Hell. Let’s bear that in mind that the work of saving our souls is a lifetime job as the devil never rests in his work of bringing souls to damnation in Hell. St. Peter gives us an important advice of always being watchful and vigilant. “Be calm but vigilant, because your enemy the devil is prowling round like a roaring lion, looking for someone to eat. Stand up to him, strong in faith and in the knowledge that your brothers all over the world are suffering the same things. You will have to suffer only for a little while: the God of all grace who called you to eternal glory in Christ will see that all is well again: he will confirm, strengthen and support you. His power lasts forever and ever. Amen” (1 Pt. 5:8). The Devil uses different ways to tempt human beings such as through bad pictures, bad companions or false literature. We need God’s help and grace for this continual battle of good versus evil.

Heinrich Hoffman

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 18 No. 9
April 28 - May 11, 2014

Social Concerns

Now months later, much has been done to get electricity back and people fed, but hundreds of thousands of houses have yet to be repaired and jobs created. Horrible as the prospect of such exploitation is, it has been a cruel reality in times of natural disasters. ‘Haiyan’ was the most devastating typhoon known to humankind: as many as 6,500 or more were killed, countless injured and made homeless. And the orphaned children remain the most vulnerable. Their towns and villages and homes are gone and their parents are dead. They face the threat of hunger, malnutrition, abduction, slave labor and forced degradation in the sex trade. To rescue them from child traffickers and pedophiles, these children need our attention and direct intervention. This is why Preda social workers have been giving training to workers to help find and assist them. Under the pretext of saving the children, traffickers abduct them and may sell them as “brides” to pedophiles, or earn hundreds of thousands of dollars by providing these children for illegal adoption, organ transplants, forced labor, sexual abuse and exploitation in brothels. Poverty often makes exploitation easy. Reggie is a clear example. The 17-yearold jobless youth and his family lived on the edge of severe poverty even before typhoon ‘Haiyan’ pushed them into absolute poverty and left them with nothing. In the midst of the chaos and destruction, human traffickers forced him and six other youth from Cebu into unpaid labor on a fishing boat, only to abandon them hungry and unpaid. Then, Reggie’s freedom and human rights were taken from him when local authorities jailed him for being a vagrant. He was recently rescued from illegal imprisonment and is recovering and rebuilding his life back in his home village. We can all continue to do more and to help the people in greatest need.

Trafficking in Innocence after the storm
By Shay Cullen, SSC
SOCIAL worker Marlyn received a message that a 14-year-old girl named “Princess” had been trafficked and sold to a sex bar here in the Philippines. Marlyn alerted me and we began planning to rescue the child, just one of thousands of children trafficked for sexual abuse each year in the Philippines and many more around the world. It is a problem of global reach and the recent agreement signed by the heads and representatives of the major religions to fight it is a huge encouragement. Six months after the devastation of typhoon ‘Haiyan’ (Yolanda), many more children are falling victim to sexual predators as poverty grows and young people and parents become desperate to get jobs and money. Marlyn, who herself was rescued from sex-trade traffickers, works with me in the Preda Foundation organization I founded 40 years ago that actively responds to and rescues victims, and then helps them get education and start new lives of dignity. This time, we organized a police raid on the sex bar called the Crowbar, and rescued Princess and five other underage girls who had been entrapped there through debts and fear of retaliation against their families. The operator of the sex bar, a U.S. national, was arrested, and during his arraignment, Princess whispered to her social worker: “I never thought this could happen; he’s rich and connected. I can’t believe we got out.” Princess was rescued and was helped at the Preda Home for Children. Over the years, we have rescued thousands of children and youths from the scourge of “sex tourism,” even as the sex industry continues to spread and grow with impunity. This has all been exacerbated by
Narrative / B3

Children without guardians or parents are the most vulnerable to hunger, malnutrition, abduction, slave labor and forced degradation in the sex trade.

The operator of the sex bar, a U.S. national, was arrested, and during his arraignment, Princess whispered to her social worker: “I never thought this could happen; he’s rich and connected. I can’t believe we got out.”
the recent natural disasters in the Philippines. Another typhoon is lashing Southern Mindanao as I write. But ‘Yolanda’ last November 2013 was the worst ever. I have been through ferocious typhoons during my 44 years in this Southeast Asian nation, but I have never seen anything like the sheer savagery of typhoon ‘Haiyan’, known locally as typhoon ‘Yolanda’. After this super storm hit the Philippines, bringing winds of up to 150 miles an hour, torrential rain, flooding and landslides, I flew to visit the northern towns on Cebu Island to assess the damage with two Preda staff members. Our goals were to deliver aid directly to the people who most needed it and, equally important, to protect orphaned children from would-be abductors and traffickers posing as relatives.


consultation-assessment, agrarian reform implementation has been averaging16 years before implementation is completed or becomes successful. These 87 cases involved 13,350.326 hectares of lands, comprising some of the most contentious landholdings in Negros Occidental, Iloilo and Negros Oriental, three of the top provinces with the highest land distribution backlog in the country. In Mindanao, there were 67 cases presented, May 21 and 22, by 22 representatives from 11 organizations of non-government organizations, coalitions and peoples’ organizations working on agrarian reform cases. In Mindanao, the issue of poverty and landlessness in the region is multifaceted, and has been further complicated by armed conflicts, competing land claims among three different sets of actors (the indigenous peoples, Moros and Christian settlers) with varying layers of demands for political participation and space to express their cultural and ethnic identities. Mindanao also has the most number of commercial farms, representing some of the most contentious landholdings. A 10-year deferment period was previously approved in Congress, favoring the powerful lobby of agribusiness and landlords, which consequently delayed redistribution of these landholdings from 1988 to 1998, especially of banana, pineapple and other cash crop plantations. This deferment period was designed to give landowners and/or corporations opportunities to either evade land distribution through the transfer or selling of their shares to other corporations and/or apply for land use conversion and reclassification or devise schemes to recover their investments. The figures pertaining to actual installations of farmer-beneficiaries, title-in-hand, in the redistributed lands also indicate another concern. For instance, how many hectares were subjected to alternative venture agreements (AVAs) such as leaseback arrangements? Mindanao is well known as the land of AVAs, with farmers owning the land but having no control over the production, i.e. ownership without control. Moreover, land distribution in public lands remain questionable and problematic, to say the least. With overlapping tenurial instruments—using land reform, ancestral domains and forest lands—the task of identifying and delineating lands and who they belong to have become litigious. The result on-ground is a situation characterized by competing claims over the same piece of land. Standing on Tenuous Grounds A huge number of landholdings has not been covered and distributed, and are in different

stages of land acquisition process, owing to stumbling blocks such as non-coverage due to the refusal of Municipal Agrarian Reform Officers (MARO) and other Department of Agrarian Reform officials. Other challenges have been the existence of retention cases; non-installation of farmers; pending titles at the Registry of Deeds; pending cases at the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Central Office; and problems of exclusion and inclusion in targeting of beneficiaries and land identification, among others. For landholdings which have been covered and distributed, farmer-beneficiaries continue to endure “second generation problems” such as cancellation of land titles, either as Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) or Emancipation Patent. This problem has given rise to what is now commonly known as “bigaybawi ng titulo”; there are also foreclosures, legal cases filed by former landowners, lack of support service provision, etc. In most cases, the lack of adequate and appropriate support services remains a problem. Access to credit, farm implements, seeds, etc. are too few and far in between. Where support services were given, it was usually provided through the support of NGOs. Farmers’ inability to pay their amortization as well as foreclosure and selling of their lands have been attributed to the lack of support services that could have helped beneficiaries transition from mere dependent farm workers to new, productive farmer owners. Worse, rampant land exemptions and illegal and legal land use conversions are unabated. Landholdings which have been up for distribution under the agrarian reform program have been exempted or excluded due to land use conversion orders and applications for real estate development, mining and other agricultural uses. Irrigated lands have been converted for other uses such as bio-fuel production and non-agricultural use by both foreign and domestic investors and political elites. Protest actions of farmers and farm workers who continue to fight for what have been promised by the law are being criminalized. The protesters continue to experience harassment, and in many cases physical harm have been brought upon them. Landowners have filed cases of qualified theft and trespassing, not only to harass farmers but to de-legitimize their stakes and claims to the lands. Strong resistance from landed clans is common in the areas, especially in contentious and large landholdings (more than 100 hectares of land) such as Haciendas Matias, Reyes and Uy owned by the Matias, Reyes and Uy families, respectively, in Bondoc Peninsula; the Maranons,

Cuencas and Hernandezes in Iloilo and Negros Occidental; and the Alcantaras in Saranggani, Pablo Rabat and the Floreindos in the Davao region, and Ernesto/ Marcita Roldan in North Cotabato, just to name a few. Farmers also speak of the lackluster performance of DAR officials on the ground. In a lot of cases, they claim that corruption and ineffectiveness hound the bureaucracy, with many anecdotes about collusion of DAR officials with landowners and real estate developers in order to evade the program. The ‘transition or exit plan’ of the DAR also has a ‘chilling effect’ on field officials, with many MARO refusing to move the land cases because of the uncertainty of their future jobs. All of these problems with the bureaucracy, according to the farmers, links to the (in)ability of the current secretary to command leadership and inspiration. These are the stark realities that show in very clear and concrete terms the state of agrarian reform implementation in the Philippines. Farmers question government’s seriousness on its promise to complete CARPER. For the participants of the consultations, they could not feel the Aquino government’s sincerity, with DAR treating itself as above all other sectors. This means that the current DAR leadership does not value past experience of positive and successful statesociety (farmers, civil society, social movements) interactions, which contributed to making CARP work. Further, farmers share a common sentiment that CARPER’s “deadline” is not a legal but political problem. That is, political will and commitment are necessary and urgent to fulfill the Constitutional mandate. Farmers lament

that President PNoy can either let CARP die in his administration, ending the hopes of millions of farmers who still dream of owning the lands that they till. Or he can breathe new life into Philippine agriculture and rural development by making CARP among his highest priorities. There is still a narrow window of opportunity to make CARPER work. People’s Calls and Demands On completion of land redistribution: * Issue all Notices of Coverage before the June 30, 2014 deadline of land distribution. For President Aquino to order his secretary to issue the NOCs swiftly and decisively. * DAR and DENR should account for the more than one million hectares of LAD targets, and show the list of landholdings per area as soon as possible. We cannot overemphasize the importance of publicly disclosing data to speed up the  distribution of private agricultural lands, especially in the top 20 provinces with the biggest backlog.  * Repeal/amend conservative AOs such as 7 and 9 that opened up CARPER to anti-agrarian reform tactics by landowners * State alarm over the report that land reform in public land is almost complete, invoke issue of transparency: where are these distributed public lands? This is contrary to experience where public land distribution is as difficult if not more difficult to distribute that private lands. * Resolve the issuance of double and multiple titling. Have a clear process on resolving competing claims over the same land, especially in Mindanao. * Promotion of women’s equal rights to land ownership and push for the implementation of

AO 1 on Gender Equality. * Specific in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao: Review the current contract growing arrangements in Mindanao; repeal/review the SDOs in Visayas; and stop land use conversions in irrigated and irrigable lands in Luzon * Prohibit the entry of mining investments and operations in CARP areas.

On support services: * Full provision of integrated Bishop Pabillo reiterated support services to new and existing agrarian reform beneficiaries.  “CARPER is good and will succeed if there is political will among the implementors to reOn agrarian justice: * Call for the immediate and ally help poor. All these years, decisive action and resolution of our government officials have flash point cases that are espe- not really given their best to make cially still pending, highly irregu- agrarian reform succeed. It is not lar and anomalous. Immediate fair to blame CARPER. Blame the installation of farmers in lands, implementors! “If government officials do not which have been awarded to them. And immediate resolution do what the law requires them to of all cases pending in PARAD, do, what is their accountability? CARPER demands that all the RARAD and DARAB, BALA.  * Protection of ARBs against CARPable lands will have to harassment, intimidations, and be distributed in 5 years—with economic sabotage (e/g. destruc- proper support services. If DAR, tion of crops) perpetrated by the and by command responsibility, military, New Peoples’ Army and the President, are not able to do landlords/private goons. Deci- this—should they not be held sive investigation of harassment accountable? What will their punand human rights violation of ishment be for breaking the law?” farmers, rural women, and land rights defenders. Mary Ann Manahan is a program officer at Focus on the Global South. On the budget: * Allocate the maximum budget * This piece consists of excerpts of P 150 B mandated by RA 9700. from the main report “State of Agrarian Report under President On transparency and good gover- Benigno Aquino III: Beyond the nance: Numbers: Farmers continue to * Ensure the ARB’s and agrarian struggle for social justice and reform advocates’ right to infor- inclusive rural development, A mation in the implementation Report Researched and Prepared of the agrarian reform program. by Focus on the Global South Farmers demand the full disclo- with the Save Agrarian Reform sure of specific landholdings and Alliance, December 2012. The not mere simple statistics. DAR published report was released/ and DENR must provide the list disseminated in 2013.

of targets and accomplishments by landholdings. * Full disclosure of DAR’s exit program * Ensure transparency and genuine participation of farmer beneficiaries, pro-reform forces, and CSOs in the implementation of agrarian reform. * Overhaul, and re-energize the bureaucracy as part of good governance. Remove all corrupt DAR officials


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Moral Assessment

Technical Assessment

CBCP Monitor

April 28 - May 11, 2014

Vol. 18 No. 9

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

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

HeAVeN Is FOr reAL

DIRECTOR: Randall Wallace LEAD CAST: Greg Kinnear, Kelly Reilly, Connor Corum, Lane Styles, Margo Martindale, Thomas Haden Church SCREENWRITER: Chris Parker (adaptation from the book Heaven is for Real) GENRE: Drama DISTRIBUTOR: Sony Pictures Entertainment LOCATION: United States RUNNING TIME: 100 minutes Technical assessment:  Moral assessment:  CINEMA rating: VA MTRCB rating: G

In Imperial Nebraska, bills never seem to end for Todd and Sonja Burpo (Greg Kinnear and Kely Reilly), parents of 10-year-old Cassie (Lane Styles) and fouryear-old Colton (Connor Corum). Todd is a well-liked pastor at the Crossroads Wesleyan Church but his main source of income is his work as an electrical repairman; Sonja is a full-time housewife and choirmaster. They’re deep in debts and when Todd gets hospitalized for a broken leg and kidney stones, the situation seems to swallow them like quicksand. As if it weren’t bad enough, their son suffers a ruptured appendix, calling for surgery and causing more hospital bills. Life seems to turn for the worst when Colton, recovering against the odds, starts telling his parents stories of going to heaven, seeing Jesus and angels singing to him while he was under surgery, meeting long-dead relatives he never met. The stories attract the press, disturbing some parishioners who feel that their church is turning into a circus. The financial and emotional burden adversely affects Todd’s preaching, further upsetting the

community’s skeptics who move to have him replaced as its pastor. In this fact-based drama adapted from New York Times bestseller “Heaven is for Real”, heaven unfolds through the eyes of a child, which the CGI aptly supports: heaven is a place of light and beauty among the clouds but is located somewhere beyond the sacristy; angels are ethereal winged beings of light with such delightful laughter; Jesus sports a beard, bushy eyebrows, and “greenish blue eyes”. Also, Colton says nobody wears eyeglasses in heaven, and “everybody’s young there”. Semler’s cinematography happily brings out the charm of the Midwestern farm country, and blended with the sensible CGI makes for a realistic setting for the theme. Minus some melodramatic moments that could be taken as the natural outcome of the characters’ incredulity, the movie is wellacted, effectively bringing out the crisscrossing viewpoints surrounding the question of near death experience. A big factor contributing to the accessibility of Heaven is for real is its

casting—had it used big name stars it would have been a flop. It’s the ordinary-people quality of the actors that works for the credibility of the story. Colton’s actor, the adorable 6-year-old Corum, is born for the role. The mature handling of a sensitive issue—the existence of an afterlife—makes Heaven is for real an effective tool of faith-examination without offputting preachiness. It considers heaven but also focuses on relationships on earth: fatherson bonding, strong sibling ties, a tenacious marriage that won’t be shattered by crisis. The little boy asks his father “They don’t believe me, do they?” but goes on guilelessly telling his stories. He is right, almost everybody tends to dismiss his experience as little boy’s tales, including his mother who, at breaking point over Todd’s obsession with their son’s experience, yells at her husband that everything the boy says is nothing but “an echo” of the environment he grew up in. But again heaven asserts itself when Colton softly tells his mom that (in heaven) “I saw my sister who died in your tummy without a name”. “How could he have known that?”, a bewildered Sonja asks Todd. Heaven is for real is a movie that crosses denominational boundaries because the desire for an afterlife is almost universal, touching people of all cultures or civilizations. It is a hopegiving statement that echoes the bible’s Psalm 8 “Out of the mouth of babes and infants You have drawn a defense against Your foes, to silence enemy and avenger.”

Buhay San Miguel

Brothers Matias

DIRECTOR: Christopher Spencer PRODUCERS: Roma Downey and Mark Burnett SCREENPLAY: Richard Bedser, Christopher Spencer, Colin Swash, Nic Young based on New Testament NARRATION: Keith David CAST: Diego Morgado, Roma Downey, Darwin Shaw MUSIC: Lorne Balfe CINEMATOGRAPHY: Rob Goldie EDITING: Robert Hall Studio Lightworkers Media DISTRIBUTOR: 20th Century Fox LOCATION: United States RUNNING TIME: 138 minutes TECHNICAL ASSESSMENT:  MORAL ASSESSMENT:  CINEMA rating: PG 13

A condensation of the 10-hour mini series “The Bible” in 2013, Son of God opens with a narrative, with the exiled, saltand-pepper haired St. John the Evangelist (Sebastian Knapp) telling the story from the

island of Patmos (Greece). Son of God hops from Adam and Eve to Noah to Abraham apparently in preparation for the birth of Jesus, but the story finally begins as Jesus (Diogo Morgado) launches his ministry, asking Peter (Darwin Shaw) to be a fisher of men after giving the fisherman a miraculously bountiful catch of fish. The rest is history familiar to believers. Coming into a territory where superior films of the same genre have trod, Son of God may find it difficult to impress sophisticated viewers with its episodic treatment of the life of Christ. Technically it will suffer by comparison to the likes of Franco Zeffirelli’s television miniseries “Jesus of Nazareth” (1977), and Mel Gibson’s all-time blockbuster The Passion of the Christ (2004). While the miracles of Jesus almost take center stage here, somehow their portrayal lacks the jaw-dropping magnificence of the divine and the supernatural combined. The rising of Lazarus from the dead doesn’t grip the heart—instead it just looks like… well, like over-aged students acting at a high school drama. Jesus walking on the water? So cheesy it mocks the real thing. The multiplication

of the bread and fish—aw, enough! There’s something amiss in these and in many other scenes so that most of the movie feels like a movie, period. Does the cinematography lack imagination? Are mere trainees in charge of CGI? Is the dialogue, the delivery of the lines, the director, or the music at fault? Is the culprit the viewer-friendly Jesus, the Portuguese model-turned-actor Morgado? Maybe he smiles too much or reminds the viewer of Marlon Brando and Brad Pitt so that he fails as a worthy communicator of divine action—but to young viewers he will most likely come across as a cool Jesus. So cool one couldn’t warm up to his agony on the cross. There are also little things that tend to unsettle a discriminating viewer, like that first appearance of Jesus to the apostles after the resurrection. We are told that the disciples, out of fear, locked themselves inside a room with doors shut, and that Jesus appeared in their midst. In Son of God, this episode shows Jesus walking through an open door, smiling, and showing them the CGI hole in his hand. Another one: Jesus was buried in a new tomb in a garden, right? Here his grave is something like a cave in the middle of a desert. Et cetera, et cetera. This is not to say that Son of God has absolutely nothing worth seeing about it. Despite its disappointing (technical) flaws, it is still a good introduction to the life of Jesus Christ. It is an earnest production, for one. The lead cast—Greg Hicks as Pontius Pilate, Adrian Schiller as Caiphas, Joe Wredden as Judas, Roma Downey as Mary, Amber Rose Revah as Mary Magdalene—carry out their roles with sincerity and passion. Even the extras appear dead serious about their bit parts. The apparent conviction behind the performance of the cast is Son of God’s saving grace—the actors all seem to believe they are engaged in a laudable project, and that is enough to make believing viewers feel it’s a worthy reminder to have in an increasingly irreligious world. An added surprise is the prominence given to Mary from beginning to end in this supposedly non-Catholic production. That it highlighted the mystery of the incarnation, focused all throughout on the closeness between Mary and her son Jesus, and featured CeeLo Green’s moving song “Mary Did You Know” as the credits rolled in the end speaks volumes about the quiet work the Mother of God does in the hearts of her children. While CINEMA gives Son of God a PG 13, parents are advised to shield younger children from the possibly frightening effects of the violence in this movie.

DIRECTION: Carlos Saldanha CAST: Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Leslie Mann, Bruno Mars, Jamaine Clement, Jamie Fox GENRE: Animation DISTRIBUTOR: 20th Century Fox LOCATION: Brazil Running Time: 101 minutes Technical Assessment: ½ Moral Assessment:  CINEMA Rating: VA MTRCB Rating: G

Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (Anne Hathaway) travel to the Amazon with their three kids and their friends Rafael, Nico and Pedro to help Linda Gunderson (Leslie Mann) and her husband locate the near extinct Spix macaws apparently residing in there. Big Boss (Ferrer), head of illegal loggers and Nigel (Jamaine Clement), Blu’s former nemesis, attempts to trap the macaws and the Gundersons for revenge and personal interest. In the Amazon, Blu meets Jewel’s family and tries hard to win their respect and acceptance despite being domesticated. All these adventures take place as the animals of the Amazon, led by the Macaws against the loggers. Rio 2 is definitely above par most animated sequels with all the colors, music and production sequences that make animation endearing to viewers. But after getting over the cinematic efforts of the producers, Rio 2 lacks the narrative and creative charm of its predecessor. The story flows but not without effort and mostly because of the music and hilarity instead of the plot. The movie is well-animated, well performed, well produced but just has too many sub-plots and conflicts and characters to the point of being a little senseless. Despite narrative shortcomings, Rio 2 is still an entertaining and worthwhile film for the family. Sadly, man, whom God entrusted His creation, is at the forefront of the destruction of nature. Rio 2 reminds to become faithful stewards and caretakers of the beauty of life around us. We appreciate how Scarlet and Spix Macaws, enemies by nature, easily put their differences aside to defend their habitat—if only people can learn to set aside personal interests and serve the common good as well. On the other hand, Rio 2 attempts to bring forth in-law issues of acceptance and fitting in. These are perhaps the greatest struggles spouses go through, especially if the other family has opposing ideals and principles. How much will a person be willing to let go of himself/herself for the sake of peace and unity between families. Again, if only people can learn to set aside personal interests for the common good then family life (and in-law life) will be a breeze.

Vol. 18 No. 9

CBCP Monitor

April 28 - May 11, 2014


The News Supplement of Couples for Christ

The HOLD International Conference
By Alma Alvarez
MORe than 4,000 delegates from all over the world flew in to Puerto Princesa City, in Palawan for the 21st HOLD International Conference. The HOLD ICon, which happened last April 25 – 27, 2014, was held at the City Coliseum. The conference opened with the recitation of the Holy Rosary, followed by the Mass concelebrated by Bishop Pedro Arigo, D.D., Apostolic Vicar of Palawan, and the CFC Spiritual Director, Msgr. Allen Aganon. In the evening, HOLD International Coordinator Didi Galsim declared the conference officially open. After which, the delegates were treated to a walk down memory lane via “Throwback Friday”, a medley of games, songs and dances popular during the Handmaids’ younger years. After the Mass on Day 2, Norma Acebo, HOLD Coordinator for Northern California and a member of the National Core in the USA, delivered the first talk titled Quiet My Soul, O Lord. During the session, Acebo led the participants to an understanding of beholding and pondering, and brought the Handmaids to exercises on quieting the soul, emphasizing the need to discipline the self for meditation, thus drawing one’s self to greater intimacy with God. In Session 2, titled Lord, that I May See, Pie Cadena, HOLD Coordinator for Southeastern Mindanao, exhorted that as the Handmaids fix their eyes on Jesus and follow His commands, there should be a conscious effort to have this reflect in each person’s life through the way she lives. Prayer should bring about transformation in order for Handmaids of the Lord to become effective evangelizers and missionaries. For the 3rd session, Norma Borja, HOLD National Coordinator for Canada, emphasized on pondering, and how it brings individuals into God’s presence. Like Mary, who in scripture had been constantly pondering, and being in God’s presence since the Annunciation up to the passion and death of Christ, so must each individual strive to be in God’s presence. She also put emphasis on disciplining the self to be aware of distractions to pondering and how to deal with these distractions. The last session of the day took everyone to the foot of the Cross to journey with Mary as she goes through her seven sorrows during her Son’s passion and death. Each of her sorrows were depicted in modern-day struggles of women—as overseas workers, as mothers, as spouses—and embracing and offering every struggle together with Christ as He suffered. The session also brought emphasis on the seven capital sins, and how each Handmaid must offer these to the Lord, burying them in the tomb with Jesus, confident that all will share as well in His resurrection. After the Mass of the Feast of the Divine Mercy, Didi Galsim gave the 5th session, titled God’s Beloved. Galsim gave emphasis to the character of Mary Magdalene, the woman chosen to be first to witness the resurrected Christ. She was a woman who had been greatly forgiven, transformed, called and sent—a woman who is God’s beloved. As Msgr. Allen previewed in his homily, and later emphasized by Galsim, a Handmaid’s true identity is being God’s beloved. And as such, one can live out this identity by donning the attire of God’s beloved, as stated in Colossians 3:12-17: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience and forbearance, forgiveness and love. “Putting these on means we put on Christ. Putting on Christ means we become another Christ, alter Christus. And becoming alter Christus means our eyes will be Christ’s eyes, our hands will be His hands, and our feet His feet. A handmaid’s transformation may be likened to the metamorphosis of a butterfly, which goes from one stage to next until it fully becomes a beautiful creature. As people allow God to form them, each person grows more and more into that true identity of being God’s beloved. That is why, Galsim said that no matter what stage each individual is in growth and transformation, the Lord will meet us there to love each one.

God’s Beloved

Norma Acebo, HOLD Coordinator for Northern California, USA and a member of the HOLD National Core of the United States, giving the first session, "Quiet My Soul, O Lord"

When we say, "I am God's beloved... You are God's beloved... We are God's beloved!" this means we are embracing our true identity. -Msgr. Allen Aganon;

Session 2, titled "Lord, That I May See", being delivered by Pie Cadena, HOLD Coordinator for Southeastern Mindanao;

Bishop Pedro D. Arigo, D.D., Apostolic Vicar of Palawan, celebrating the Mass on the first day of the CFC HOLD International Conference in Puerto Princesa.

HOLD Foreign Delegates Challenged to “Shine Bright”
& the USA attended the Foreign Mission Summit held at Puerto Princesa, Palawan before the HOLD International Conference. They were welcomed by CFC IC Arnel Santos and prayed over by CFC Executive Director George Ocampo at the end of the summit. The sharing of two sisters from Oceania and the Middle East were true examples of Handmaids faithfully carrying out the mission of evangelization despite personal problems, illnesses and pain. Delma Dumas, after having retired from a well-paying job in Papa New Guinea, decided to accept the offer to be the national coordinator again of Handmaids in Papa New Guinea and to help revive the HOLD Ministrty in Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, instead of going home to reitre in her hometown, Davao. In 2013, Handmaids in Solomon Island grew from a handful to a s t ro n g 8 0 a c t i v e m e m b e r s . S h e travelled to Vanuatu and with the support of CFC from Australia, HOLD members were invited back to the fold and Household meetings were again organized. In her last mission trip she suffered from blood poisoning from a sea coral and this rendered her very sick for almost a month, and had to travel back to Davao to recuperate. Marilu Moreto, on the other hand, suffered the pains of major surgeries of both her knees, but this did not stop her from serving the HOLD Ministry in the Middle East. She lost her husband , who was one of the victims of the deadly Yolanda typhoon that struck so much devastation in the province of Leyte in November 2013, and when she saw the opportunity to serve the Handmaids in Canada, she decided to join her children in migrating there, These stories and that of the many Handmaids who, during t h e g ro u p d i s c u s s i o n s h a re d similar stories of women “shining bright” (the theme of the Summit) despite the trials in their lives were a source of inspiration for the foreign delegates. Ocampo then challenged them to remember the sufferings and crucifixion of Christ as they face these challenges, and reminded of how His mother has suffered, t o o , a n d s h a re d i n h e r S o n ’ s Crucifixion. He dared and inspired the the foreign leaders to embrace the cross, transcend the pains and continue the mission of bringing Christ to women all over the world.

By Thelma Hizon
Handmaids from 29 countries were challenged by CFC Family Ministries Director Mannix Ocampo to continue to “shine bright” in their mission to bring countries all over the world to

Christ. The 169 foreign delegates from Australia, Austria, Brunei, Canada, China, Germany, Greece, Guam, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Nepal, Oman, Palau, PNG, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sey chelles, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, UAE

George Campos

Pondering on the sacrifice, Beholding the Savior

CBCP Monitor
April 28 - May 11, 2014

Vol. 18 No. 9

Cornerstone—A Shimmer of Hope
By Daisy Padayao

The joy of Easter lies in knowing that Christ is risen. He has conquered death, removed the sting of sin and gave us back the privilege of being sons and daughters of the Father. Heaven’s gate has been opened anew to us. Indeed, this is a time of rejoicing, of celebrating the eternal love and goodness of God. Lent allowed us to pause a while, to turn our eyes solely on Christ, and to ponder on the sacrificial offering of His life to redeem us. Now we behold our Saviour, in all His glory, alive and so full of love, inviting us to “come and see”. Let our hearts be filled with love, like Mary, constantly seeking Him. Let us be sensitive to His voice, that when He calls us by name, we too will recognize our “rabboni”. Let us proclaim “I have seen the Lord” with haste and in

all obedience to the Lord. We, Couples for Christ, respond to the call of Jesus through the Church and mindfully heed the words of our supreme pontiff, Pope Francis. We are a praying Church, constantly seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit. At the same time, we are a Church in the world, actively engaged in promoting peace, justice, life, love for the poor and disadvantaged. We have “seen the Lord” and we must put the words of Sts. Peter and John into our mouths, “It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.” In all obedience, proclaim Christ, living and palpable through the very witness of our lives, ‘another Christ’ in the world today.

CFC Migrants Program Goes to the Mall

The glow in the eyes and the smiles on the faces of the Cornerstone children are enough for me to realize that my Saturday morning sacrifices are worth doing. For me, the glow and smiles seem to radiate a shimmer of hope for these children’s future. I said Saturday sacrifice because after a stressful 5-day workweek, I could have spent those Saturday mornings to sleep in. God, however uses us in many ways to spread His love to people around us…and who am I to refuse? Three years ago, I was introduced to Cornerstone, one of the programs of CFC-ANCOP Education. Since then, my Saturdays are being spent meaningfully. When I found out first hand how some kids in Grades 2 and 3 couldn’t read, let alone recognize the alphabet, I was deeply disheartened. I am also a product of public schools (elementary to graduate school) but didn’t think, and didn’t experience the severity of these issues in public schools today. The expressions on the faces of these kids reflect their eagerness to learn but are hindered by the over-crowded classroom or having to go to school without breakfast. What will happen to these kids’ future when they don’t even have the basic reading skills? Those Saturday reading tutorial sessions may not be much, but certainly much better than spending my Saturdays in bed. Teaching them how to master the alphabet, read, and pray truly motivates me to continue spending my Saturdays with them.

My cornerstone experience in Balanti Elementary School

By Karen Anne Vergara

Being a non-SFC member, I am very fortunate to have learned about the Cornerstone Program (through Ms. July and Mr. Don Vivas), and even more blessed to have been part of its 2013-2014 run. Because I am a teacher, I thought joining Cornerstone would be a perfect opportunity for me to share my time

and talents in helping struggling students in the public schools to learn how to read. And yes I was right! It was very rewarding to witness my effect on my tutee whenever I see him motivated to try really hard to remember the sound of a letter or the word I have taught him the previous sessions, to see him eager to participate in a game I prepared to reinforce the lesson, or to see him smile and feel proud of himself

for getting the correct answer to my question. But more than that, being part of Cornerstone was a perfect opportunity for me to grow. Cornerstone enriched me with the values of commitment, patience, cooperation, humility, sacrifice, and love. What did I get out of my Cornerstone experience? Definitely so much more than what I have given!

By Babes Arupo & Tony Obien

A family is composed of the parents and their children. It is where children learn their first lessons in morality, spirituality and self worth. The family is where sons and daughters are molded into righteousness, and is also the place where a person is made strong to face the reality of every day living. These are just a few answers to the key question asked at the start of the first session on the Moral Values Reorientation Seminar which was held on 2 April at the activity grounds of SM Sta. Rosa City. This was organized jointly by the CFC Migrants Program, headed by Jess Ferrer, and SM Global Pinoy Center (GPC) represented by Marketing Manager, Paula Belleza and Maricon Frilles, GPC

Supervisor. There was about 50 registered participants from all walks of life and different religious beliefs, but with one thing in common—each has a family member working or living abroad. As the title of Session 1 indicates, everyone should value the family. One cannot just brush it aside for other things of the world. The facilitator, Tet Aldueza, CFC-Migrant Program Core Member, explained some of the reasons why the family, as the basic unit of society, should be the strong foundation of every individual from infancy to maturity. “It is in the family the importance of being faithful, frugal, forgiving and understanding and most of all, to be persons with selfless love is being instilled. If these values are

achieved, individuals become strong, families are united that makes also a strong and united community and ultimately a strong and united country,” Aldueza emphasized. Part of the session was a group activity and the participants were divided into five groups. The purpose is to determine obstacles and problems families encounter when one member is away working in another place or country, and how this can impact the life of those left behind. Each group came up with similar lists and solutions and designated spoke persons also shared practical and inspiring messages which were appreciated by everyone. After this opening salvo, the next 3 sessions of the MVRP at SM Sta. Rosa were held on the succeeding weeks.

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 18 No. 9
April 28 - May 11, 2014



2nd Kerala CLP Brings Great Harvest

By Francis Almeida
The second CLP in Kochi, Kerala was truly blessed and victorious. It was conducted over three weekends i.e. March 22nd & 23rd, March 29th & 30th and April 5th & 6th, with a harvest of 18 vibrant, mature and dedicated Christian couples. The CLP was conducted at St Antony's Church, Kannamally, Kochi. The parish priest, Fr. Josy Kandanattuthara, personally invited CFC to conduct the CLP in his parish last February. The couples that participated in the CLP were personally identified and selected by Fr. Josy. His goal was to select mature couples that would form the core of CFC within his parish and serve on an ongoing basis to renew and revitalize his parish

The CFC International Council, represented by George Campos, Executive Director, and Jimmy Santiago, Philippine Missions Director, attended the installation of Archbishop Peralta of the Diocese of Nueva Segovia in Vigan, Ilocos Sur.

CFC Gift of Life Brings TOB Weekend to CFC Laguna

of approximately 1,250 families. It had been his hope and vision for couples from his parish to go forth and serve to evangelize other parishes within the diocese and beyond. CFC Kochi brothers and sisters led the service team, with Judeson Peter being team leader. Joseph and Smitha, Greaten and Sincy, and Benson and Suma Mendes provided strong support and encouragement. Also, CFC Kuwait leaders, led by Bro. Thomas and Sis Jayanthi (CFC Kuwait country leaders) and Bro Winny & Sis Deepa, flew in to assist, encourage and enable the local service team. In addition to support this important effort, Hector Poppen, CFC India Country Coordinator, and wife Garnett, as well as Francis Almeida, missionary to India from CFC

Canada, travelled from Bangalore and Odhisa respectively, to assist in this important CLP. The dedication of the service team to do their best in love was equally reciprocated by the enthusiastic participation of the participants. The day of dedication was blessed by the attendance of Fr. Peter Chadayangad, Diocesan Pastoral Center Director, and Fr. Josy Kandanattuthara who actively participated in the dedication ceremony and the Lords Day celebration. With God’s help and guidance, this new harvest will yield much fruit in Kochi and thereon throughout the beautiful land of Kerala—where Thomas the apostle came and bought Christianity to the shores of India.

ANCOP Global Walk 2014: Make dreams come true

Main Speaker: Fr. Joel O. Jason. Dean of the Graduate School of Theology, San Carlos Seminary

By Bella Cas

“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the church” (Ephesians 5:31-32). The weekend of March 16-17, 2014 enabled some 133 participants to rediscover the biblical meaning of life and sexuality through the Theology of the Body (TOB) Weekend. This activity, hosted by Couples for Christ Laguna through its CFC Gift of Life ministry, was held at the Carmelite Missionaries Center for Spirituality in Tagaytay City. Fr. Joel O. Jason, Head of the Commission on Family and Life of the Archdiocese of Manila and Dean of the Graduate School of Theology, San Carlos Seminary was main speaker, assisted by Aldy and Joy Katigbak, CFC Gift of Life national coordinators. The service team was composed of Cesar and Bella Cas and Erwin and Lou Pambuan of the CFC Laguna Pastoral Formation Group. Participants consisted of 8 couples from Manila and AGT of Pangasinan, and from Laguna, 95 heads from CFC, 21 from SFC, 2 from YFC and 3 from HOLD. Fr. Joel defined Theology of the Body as a study about God revealed through and in the human body. TOB came from a series of 129 talks given by Pope John Paul II during his Wednesday audiences in the early part of his pontificate,

from 1979 to 1984. It consisted of biblical reflections on God’s design for creating us male and female, love, marriage, and sexuality. In the TOB weekend, these were condensed and were very inspiringly and powerfully presented by Fr. Joel into 5 sessions, namely: • Introduction- What is the Theology of the Body? • Man and Woman He Created Them (Our Origin) • Man and Woman He Redeemed Them (Our History) • The Resurrection of the Body (Our Destiny) • Living Out the Theology of the Body, Questions on Sexual Morality The TOB talks were complemented with personal testimonies and reflections, couple sharing and a film showing, ending with the celebration of the Holy Mass. 
The basic knowledge on TOB gave the participants a new perspective on the “why's behind the what's” of basic Catholic teachings on marriage and sexuality, and how these can be applied to their lives as married or single persons. For all the participants, the weekend brought not only the refreshing experience of the cool wind and serene beauty of God’s creation in scenic Tagaytay. Much more so, it left a powerful message of hope and renewal through the “gospel of the body”.

Walk Date: Gun Start: Walk Donation: Walk Point:
(last name, first name, middle initial)

registration form
May 25, 2014 ________________ Php 300.00 ________________

Name: _________________________________________

Age: ______________

Mailing Address__________________________________________________________ Date of Birth _________________________ Email Address _____________________ Sector/ Province _______________________ Contact Number ___________________
(for Couples for Christ members)

School/ Organization/ Clubs _______________________


(for non Couples for Christ members)
In consideration of being accepted and granted the right to participate, I, the undersigned, hereby release, waive and foreve r discharge any and all claims for losses and damages I may have against the Couples for Christ, its Event Committee, ANCOP, ANCOP Walk Event Volunte ers, Event Sponsors, city government hosting the event, government agencies, their representatives, and/or all persons involved in mana ging and supervising the event, for any and all claims for losses and damages I may have against such parties for any and all injuries, illnesses including death, that may result from my participation in this event. I represent and affirm that I have been cleared by a physician to participatethis in event and that I am in nd/or a pictures taken good physical condition and have sufficiently trained for this purpose. I also understand that any sponsor may use my name during the event for publicity of the CFC, Global Walk and/or ANCOP without liability or obligation to me. By submitting thi s entry, I acknowledge that I have read and understood the foregoing waiver and I hereby freely and voluntarily accept the same after ving haobtained the advice of a professional of my choice.

SIGNATURE over Printed Name

SIGNATURE of Legal Guardian
(if participant is under 18 years old)

t cu

re he

FOR WALK IN: Fill out this form, Submit to ANCOP Global Walk Representative Pay Walk Donation. Get Provisional Receipt Redeem Walk Bib (If bib if not available, secure your claim stub and redeem on given date) For questions/ inquiries, contact (02) 7094852 Email us at: ancopglobalwalk2014@gmail.com FOR BANK PAYMENT: Get your Reference Number Go to any BDO Branch Fill out Bills Payment Slip Keep Bank Validated Slip

Claim stub
Bib Number: __________ Claim on: _____________

Walk Date: May 25, 2014 Gun Start: ________________ News Supplement Walk Donation: The Php 300.00 of ________________ Couples for Christ Walk Point: Name: _________________________________________
(last name, first name, middle initial)

registration form

Age: ______________

Mailing Address__________________________________________________________ The News Supplement is published by Email the Couples for Christ Global Mission Foundation, Inc., Date ofUgnayan Birth _________________________ Address _____________________ with editorial offices at 156 20th Avenue, 1109 Cubao, Quezon City. Sector/ Province _______________________ Contact Number ___________________
(for Couples for Christ members)

Direct line : (+63 2) 709-4856 School/ Organization/ Clubs _______________________

Editorial trunk line: (+63 2) 709-4868 local 23 www.couplesforchristglobal.org cfcglobalcommunications@gmail.com waiver


(for non Couples for Christ members)

In consideration of being accepted and granted the right to participate, I, the undersigned, hereby release, waive and foreve r discharge any and all claims for losses and damages I may have against the Couples for Christ, its Event Committee, ANCOP, ANCOP Walk Event Volunte ers, Event ging and supervising Sponsors, city government hosting the event, government agencies, their representatives, and/or all persons involved in mana the event, for any and all claims for losses and damages I may have against such parties for any and all injuries, illnesses including death, that may @CFChrist result from facebook.com/CFC.Global.Mission my participation in this event. I represent and affirm that I have been cleared by a physician to participatethis in event and that I am in nd/or a pictures taken good physical condition and have sufficiently trained for this purpose. I also understand that any sponsor may use my name during the event for publicity of the CFC, Global Walk and/or ANCOP without liability or obligation to me. By submitting thi s entry, I acknowledge that I have read and understood the foregoing waiver and I hereby freely and voluntarily accept the same after ving haobtained the


BEHOLD, YFC Revival: Love Rekindled

CBCP Monitor

April 28 - May 11, 2014

Vol. 18 No. 9

YFC ICon 8 Bishop Juanich & Lawrence Quintero

Anabel J. Britanico and John Christian Lacao

“BehOld, YFC Revival” This was the theme of the victorious 21st International Conference of CFC-YFC that happened in the City Coliseum, Puerto Princesa, Palawan last April 4-6. The theme was anchored to the words of Jesus at the cross from John 19:2627 consigning Mary, His mother, and John, His beloved disciple, to each other “…Woman, behold your son… son behold your mother.” Five thousand young people were thrilled with the vibrant YFC song ID inaugurating the opening program. Bodit Enon, Full Time Pastoral Worker of Metro Manila (MM) led the opening worship. Lawrence Quintero, International Coordinator of CFC-YFC immediately followed in declaring the event open with an affirming sense of love and joy, "Before we behold, Christ first beheld us. When we say ‘behold’, it's like embracing one another. The Lord wants us to love one another as He has loved us." On the morning of Day 2, youth leaders and couple coordinators joined members of the clergy in the Church Integration Congress at the A&A Plaza. Outdoors, the Oath of Sportsmanship was initiated by CB Robles, FTPW for Batangas, signaling the start of the simultaneous competitions in sports, creatives, special and fun games categories. City-wide Advocacy Parade Members of YFC paraded from Robinsons Puerto Princesa to the main venue in order to promote the YFC advocacies—RevUp, A+, Greeneration and 100% Free. These advocacies are CFC-YFC’s steps of making their love for Christ more real in society. Once in the coliseum, the young people recited the Holy Rosary and heard Mass celebrated by no less than the Most Rev. Leopoldo C. Jaucian, DD, Chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth. “Youth, you are the hope, and the Church of the now. Reach out to our troubled friends, our troubled youth, to the poor and the marginalized, to the delinquent and imprisoned youth,” Bishop Juanich exhorted YFC. Bishop Jaucian added, “Let us always look up to the cross where Jesus en-

trusted us to His mother and told us to behold her.” Afterwards, the ICon started with the cultural performances, followed by the welcome remarks by Jun Zabala, Provincial Area Director of CFC Palawan, and the Couple Coordinators Got Talent to the delight of the the crowd. Ghamay Pepito, FTPW of MM, led a worship of thanksgiving and gracious surrender, inspiring the participants, “Have your love shine upon us. Allow us to be focused on your love.” CFC Church Integration Office Coordinator and former YFC leader Michael Ariola delivered the first session entitled “Behold, The Mission to Love”. He shared how God has transformed him as a person, that despite one’s weaknesses, he is assured that God would have His way to change a person. Joven Inosanto led the closing worship afterwards. On the second day, YFC gathered for the Mass celebrated by Most Rev. Pedro P. Arigo, DD, Bishop of Palawan. “It is only in beholding and pondering that we can fully experience the essence of our service,” stated Bishop Arigo. Boyboy Manaoag, FTPW of Sultan Kudarat led the opening worship after the Mass. JESUS LIVE!, patterned after a popular noontime show, was the format for session 2, emphasizing that YFC members are not only called to obey or comply, but to commit to the service. Ado Caspe of Eastern Samar shared through a video clip their victorious attempts as a chapter in going through mission. CK Castro of Metro Manila, who was identified among the madlang YFC, shared the same level of personal battles in living a life of 100% free. MJ Martinez of Middle East, live on chat, shared also her ability to recognize Christ amidst the conflicts that rose in their family. Looking back at the lives of these three persons and countless others, truly, God manifests His love in the very situations one is in. There is an assurance of God’s love never running out. The participants broke out into nine workshops afterwards. Keken Cabaraban, FTPW, tackled the third session entitled “Behold, the Beloved” and presented four strong YFC leaders whose stories inspired the crowd—Alex Gopez of Misamis Oriental, Kelvin Sy of Metro Manila,

Bryza Sinados of Lanao del Norte, and Hazel Tuazon of Iloilo. A holy hour followed the session. The fourth and final talk was delivered by YFC International Coordinator Lawrence Quintero. In his talk titled, “Behold, the YFC Revival”, he discussed the four major priorities of YFC – relationship with God, family, studies and service. He emphasized that not having a love life at this stage of life means being on the right track in waiting for the gradual unfolding of God’s plans. For now, YFC has three main thrusts: Strong Ministry Foundation, Dynamic Catholicism and Pro-Active Relevant Evangelization.

Mark Junsay, FTPW of Zamboanga Sibugay, shared how he grew up with parents of opposing faith. He was baptized a Catholic after consistent and persistent pondering on the doctrines of his present religion. The Vivares family of Laguna, on the other hand, spoke about recognizing the fullness of their service to God thru CFC with the death of their eldest child. After months of struggling to overcome the pain of their loss, the Vivares family continues to trust that they are one as a family and one in the Lord for the mission. On the other hand, Lester Guillermo, FTPW of Zamboanga, persuaded the audience to take part

in renewing the world by sharing the little that they have. Lawrence further explained, “YFC is not being called to be extraordinary beings, but to live extraordinary lives. There is more than meeting the deliverables we have in the community. YFC is tapped to be and to bring Christ to others. YFC is called to be and to bring love to others.” As a final note, Quintero chal l e n g e d t h e c r o w d : , " To l o v e i s beautiful, but in reality, it is not an easy task. But let us not be a f r a i d . " J e re l S u p e r a b l e , I s l a n d Coordinator of Luzon, concluded the second night with a powerful praise fest.

CFC Canada National Council Holds Annual Retreat

Great Adventure Weekend in Northern California

By Mauril Mariano
On MaRch 22-23, 2014, CFC Board of Elders member Joe Yamamoto, together with his wife, Mila, conducted the Great Adventure Weekend at the Clarion Hotel in Concord, California for the NorCal Sector. Over 160 registered CFC participants and 20 guests journeyed through the Quick Bible Timeline. The session started with a Praise and Worship led by Don Fernandez, followed shortly by an Introduction by Bro Joe Yamamoto. Dinner was served while having the last discussion group in the afternoon. Thereafter, the evening sessions started with praise and worship led by Mauril Mariano. In spite of a power failure prior to the start and during the worship, the worship leader, music ministry and God's

The CFC Canada National Council, composed of Greg Parillas, Jimmy and Noli Arzadon, Francis Yap, Jun Clarito, Arnel Simbulan and George Fournier, recently went on a weekend retreat at the Queen of Apostles Renewal Centre in Mississauga. The retreat focused on strengthening and deepening the faith formation of our council members as they

carry on the task of shepherding the CFC flock all over Canada. Eric de los Reyes, Country Coordinator for Canada, with his wife Carina, facilitated the retreat. The national council members pondered and reflected, particularly on the following areas: • Discovering their individual spiritual gifts; • Unity in service and various ways of serving one another;

• Purging moments, perfecting grace; • Discerning and being on fire; and • Leading and developing leaders. The retreat coincided with another Lenten retreat by a group of elderly women who were delighted to hear ‘men power’ singing in the joint celebration of the Sunday Mass.

people continued to praise and worship God. The evening sessions having been concluded with a closing prayer, everyone rested for the night, looking forward to another session day. After a good breakfast, the Sunday morning session started with praise and worship led by Pao Banzon. The remainder of the session was concluded by Joe with a Q&A and evaluation of the various sharings. The weekend retreat culminated with a celebration of the Holy Mass officiated by Fr. Johnson Abraham, who inspired all the participants with a beautiful homily and a heart-warming endorsement of the good works the CFC community is doing. CFC NorCal is confident that this Program will be extended to many, if not all, of the Sector’s membership!

First METRO RYC Outside GTA Held
The Annunciation of Our Lord Elementary School in Hamilton, Ontario was host to the 2014 METRO Region Youth Conference, held for the first time outside the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The conference drew a record number of delegates from all over GTA, Hamilton and Windsor—with more than 450 in attendance. The theme for this year’s RYC is ‘Word’ taken from Matthew 7:7, with the talk topics taken from the same verse: ‘Ask,’ ‘Seek’ and ‘Knock.’ Another first in this year’s RYC is the integration of the sacraments, Mass, Confession and Adoration in the day-long program.

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