Vol. 18 No. 14 July 7 - 20, 2014 Php 20.

ALONG the coastline, hun-
dreds of men and women,
young and old, earn enough—
from selling crablets that thrive
under the seagrass and man-
groves—to buy a few kilos of
WILL the impeachment of Presi-
dent Benigno Aquino III pro-
mote the common good?
If so, then it is up to those in
power to “make a moral deci-
sion,” Catholic Bishops’ Confer-
ence of the Philippines president
Archbishop Socrates Villegas
said Monday.
“My only appeal in deciding
whether an impeachment or no
impeachment, that it is decided
based on what would God do,
what’s good for the nation and
for the common good,” Villegas
Bishops reject Napoles
request for custody
THE Catholic hierar-
chy on Tuesday re-
jected the request of
alleged pork barrel
scam mastermind
Janet Lim Napoles
for the bishops to
take her under their
A r c h b i s h o p
Socrates Villegas,
Catholic Bishops’
Conference of the
Philippines (CBCP)
president, said they
will be violating
Church and state
laws if they will
grant Napoles’ re-
“Existing Church
laws do not allow an
episcopal conference
Custody / A7
•A3 •C1 •B1
The Cross
A Supplement Publication of KCFAPI and
the Order of the Knights of Columbus
A nation of
mercy and
Cardinal’s council
focused on Pontifcal
Councils for laity, family
Crablets / A6
Church urges ‘spiritual
preparation’ for papal visit
Pope Francis’ papacy ‘biggest
challenge’ to PH Church—Villegas
THE papacy of Pope
Francis is by far the
“bi ggest chal l enge”
faced by the Philippine
Church, the president
of the Catholic Bishops
Conference of the Phil-
ippines (CBCP) said.
Archishop Socrates Vil-
legas on Saturday said
that the pastoral ap-
proach of the Supreme
Pontiff in leading Catho-
lics all over the world
has transformed the
church from being a
“self-engrossed” institu-
tion into an “outreach-
ing” community.
“ ( Po p e F r a n c i s )
shakes up our old belief
systems about spiritual
shepherding. He jolts
us from our compla-
cency and status quo
attitude. He humbles us
with his simplicity. He
disturbs us to make us
better,” Villegas said in
his speech opening the
109th CBCP Plenary As-
sembly at the Pius XII
Catholic Center.
“ He h a s s l o wl y
moved t he Church
from being a dogmatic,
self engrossed and au-
thoritative sick institu-
tion to being a gentle,
outreaching, compas-
sionate and persuasive
Church through the
power of love and mer-
cy,” Villegas added.
He reminded the role
of pastors as shepherds
who will “go before his
people, pointing the
way and keeping their
hope vibrant,” “being
in their midst with his
unassuming and mer-
ci f ul presence” and
“walking after them,
helping those who lag
Vi l l egas remi nded
the clergy to always
be humble, noting that
the loss of humility in
Church ministry can
pose “costly” conse-
“When we lose hu-
mi l i ty, we l ose per-
spective. When we lose
perspective, we also
become too reactive.
When we become too
reactive, we become
less effective and less
credible as pastors, ”
he said.
With Pope Francis set
to visit the Philippines
early next year, Villegas
urged the members of
the clergy to serve with
humility and happi-
ness, speak with hon-
esty from the mind and
to listen patiently with
the heart, and see the
goodness in everyone
and live the mercy of
the Gospel.
“This is the example
of Pope Francis. Living
by this example will
make us good shep-
herds like the Good
Shepherd, ” he sai d.
(Jennifer M. Orillaza)
Pro-Life PH slams DOH birth
control advert
LAY group Pro-life Philippines
criticized the health department’s
birth control ads on TV, saying
such “pointless propaganda” must
be stopped.
The group lamented that the
DOH has resorted to costly adver-
tisements using public funds just
to “brainwash” the public.
Pro-life was referring to a cer-
tain commercial showing a child’s
struggle against poverty because
of her parent’s failure to plan their
CBCP: Side with common good in impeach bid
Crablets help indigent people survive
By Roy Lagarde
The Catholic Church
called for months
of spiritual prepa-
ration Monday to
face another crucial
moment in the coun-
try’s history — the
imminent visit of
Pope Francis.
The Catholic Bishops’
Conference of the Philip-
pines (CBCP) said Catholics
must prepare the nation to
receive the pope, “the mes-
senger of peace, love and
the apostle of the poor”.
Archbishop Socrates Vil-
legas, CBCP president, said
the “underlying spirit” of
the papal visit is the theme
of “mercy and compas-
sion,” which he described
as the “cherished ideals of
According to him, the
most distinctive way to
prepare spiritually for the
coming of Pope Francis is
for the country to become
“a people rich in mercy”.
“Let us make mercy our
national identity. Trust in
God’s mercy is part and
parcel of our traditional
Filipino Christian culture.
Let us make the practice of
mercy our gift to the pope
when he comes to visit us,”
he said in a pastoral let-
ter issued after the CBCP
109th Plenary Assembly in
The pope is expected to
arrive in the Philippines in
January 2015, but the Holy
See has yet to announce
the exact date and specifc
itinerary of the visit.
Manila Archbishop Luis
Antonio Cardinal Tagle
said the specific date of
the papal visit will be an-
nounced either this month
or August and the full itin-
erary by November.
Among his possible ac-
tivities is a visit to Leyte,
which was devastated by
the deadly super typhoon
‘Yolanda’ last November.
“He comes to confirm
us in or faith as we face the
challenges of witnessing
the Joy of the Gospel in the
midst of our trials. This is
an eloquent way of show-
ing mercy and compas-
sion,” Villegas said.
The bishops then encour-
age the Filipinos to resolve
to make an act of mercy
everyday such as giving
food to the hungry, help-
ing build homes for the
typhoon victims, visiting
the prisoners, or the char-
ity ward of hospitals, drug
Challenge / A6
Preparation / A7
Vatican City - May 31, 2014: Pope Francis embraces a young student on May 31, 2014
in Paul VI audience hall. CNA
A pork barrel protester joins thousands in
expressing disgust over the multi-billion
scam involving taxpayers’ money at the
Million People March in August 2013,
Luneta park, Manila. CBCP News Impeach / A6
Advert / A6
SPIRITUAL PREPARATION. Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle is flanked by Archbishop Socrates Villegas, CBCP President, and Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara of the CBCP Commission
on Social Communications during a press conference at the Pius XII Center in Manila, 7 July 2014. The church leaders urged Filipino Catholics to prepare spiritually for the coming of Pope
Francis next year. Roy Lagarde



A2 Vol. 18 No. 14
July 7 - 20, 2014
CBCP Monitor
World News
Offcial logo, prayer for WYD
Krakow 2016 announced
KRAKOW, Poland, July 3, 2014—
In a press conference held earlier
today in Krakow, Poland, Cardi-
nal Stanislaw Dziwisz presented
the offcial logo and prayer for
the 31st World Youth Day slated
to take place there in 2016.
Announced by Pope Francis
during the closing Mass for
World Youth Day in Rio de Ja-
neiro last summer, the Krakow
event is expected to draw mil-
lions, and follows the canoniza-
tion of Polish Saint John Paul II
earlier this spring.
World Youth Day is a gath-
ering of young people from
all over the world to pray and
meet with the Pope in order to
build and strengthen the bonds
of faith, friendship and hope,
symbolizing the union between
people of different cultures and
In his July 3 presentation,
Cardinal Dziwisz—archbishop
of Krakow and former secretary
of Pope John Paul II—explained
that the event’s logo has three
specifc elements which repre-
sent the place, the main pro-
tagonists, and the theme of the
The logo, he noted, provides
an illustration of the gathering’s
theme, “Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy,” tak-
en from the Gospel of Matthew.
Cardinal Dziwisz went on to
explain that the image is com-
posed of a geographical outline
of Poland inside of which there
is a yellow cross, representing
Jesus Christ, who is the soul of
World Youth Day.
Also present inside the coun-
try’s outline is a yellow dot,
which the cardinal revealed both
marks the position of Krakow on
the map and serves as symbol for
Full text of the World Youth
Day 2016 offcial prayer:
“God, merciful Father, in your Son, Jesus Christ,
you have revealed your love and poured it out
upon us in the Holy Spirit, the Comforter,
We entrust to you today the destiny of the world
and of every man and woman”.
We entrust to you in a special way young people
of every language, people and nation:
guide and protect them as they walk the complex
paths of the world today and give them the grace
to reap abundant fruits from their experience of
the Krakow World Youth Day.
Heavenly Father, grant that we may bear witness
to your mercy. Teach us how to convey the faith to
those in doubt, hope to those who are
discouraged, love to those who feel indifferent,
forgiveness to those who have done wrong
and joy to those who are unhappy.
Allow the spark of merciful love
that you have enkindled within us
become a fre that can transform hearts
and renew the face of the earth.
Mary, Mother of Mercy, pray for us.
St. John Paul II, pray for us.”
Divine Mercy is focus of
offcial logo, prayer of
World Youth Day 2016
VATICAN CITY, July 3, 2014—
The offcial logo and prayer for
World Youth Day 2016 were un-
veiled in the event’s host city—
Krakow, Poland—by the city’s
archbishop, Cardinal Stanislaw
The Vatican released the in-
formation the same day, July 3.
The logo and prayer focus on the
theme chosen by Pope Francis
from the Gospel of Matthew:
“Blessed are the merciful, for
they will receive mercy.”
The logo, created by Monika
Rybczynska, 28, with help from
Emilia Pyza, 26, features a red
and blue fame of Divine Mercy
fowing from a gold cross that is
surrounded by a red outline of
the map of Poland. A gold dot
represents the city of Krakow
on the map and symbolizes the
youth. The red, blue and yel-
low colors represent the offcial
colors of Krakow and the city’s
coat of arms.
The prayer begins with a line
from St. John Paul II’s homily
at the dedication of the Shrine
of Divine Mercy in Krakow in
2002: “God merciful father, in
your son, Jesus Christ, you have
revealed your love and poured
it out upon us in the Holy Spirit,
the comforter, we entrust to you
today the destiny of the world
and of every man and woman.”
The Archdiocese of Krakow
is the former see of St. John Paul
and is home to the Divine Mercy
shrine. St. John Paul had a great
devotion to Divine Mercy, the
recognition of God’s mercy as
demonstrated in his sending his
son to die for the sins of human-
ity. The international gathering
is scheduled for July 26-31, 2016,
with Pope Francis and youth
from all over the world. (CNS)
Japan bishops issue statement opposing
military shift
TOKYO, July 4, 2014—In a strongly worded
statement addressed to Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe, Japanese bishops have called
on the government to “review and repeal the
cabinet’s decision at once” to allow Japan’s
Self-Defense Force to carry out military op-
erations with other nations.
On July 1, Japan’s cabinet announced a
reinterpretation of the nation’s constitution
that would enable the country to exercise
“collective self-defense” involving military
cooperation with other nations. The Standing
Committee of the Catholic Bishops’ Confer-
ence of Japan (CBCJ) issued the bishops’ state-
ment following their monthly meeting on July
3. Seven bishops, including the archbishops
of Tokyo and Nagasaki, signed the statement.
In their statement, the bishops pointed out
that previous governments had recognized
that participation in collective self-defense
was “constitutionally unacceptable.”
The bishops claimed that the Abe govern-
ment’s decision “trampled on the constitu-
tion” and was “a denial of constitutional-
ism”. The bishops said that for the nearly 70
years since the end of World War II Japan’s
citizens have respected and taken pride in
the Preamble and Article 9 of the constitution
that call for peace and renounce war.
“We, the Catholic Church, are convinced
that it is false to think that security can be
ensured by military buildup and the use of
force,” said the CBCJ statement. The bish-
ops went on to say, “Moreover, the latest
backtracking on the principles of the Peace
Constitution obstructs the easing of tensions
in East Asia so that dialogue and trust among
nations will be beyond our reach.”
The bishops emphasized that peace “can
be built by sincere refection upon history
and apology followed by forgiveness” and
“We must not abandon the hope to avoid
war and armed confict through dialogue
and negotiation.”
However, at a July 1 press conference,
Prime Minister Abe expressed the govern-
ment’s view that “this cabinet decision does
not in any way change the principles of the
constitution”. (UCAN)
Protesters hold placards during a rally in front of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s official residence in Tokyo on Tuesday to
oppose loosening of restrictions on the nation’s military.AFP photo/Yoshikazu Tsuno
the youth.
The red and blue fames, he
observed, are the fames of di-
vine mercy that emerge from the
cross, which represent with their
colors the phrase “Jesus, I trust
in you” that accompanies the
image of divine mercy revealed
to Saint Maria Faustina.
Another reason for choosing
the colors of yellow, red and blue
is that they are the offcial colors
of Krakow and its coat of arms,
the cardinal noted.
The logo was designed by
Monika Rybczynska, 28, from
Poland’s small mid-west town
of Ostrzeszow, following the
canonization of St. John Paul II.
Cardinal Dziwisz also an-
nounced the offcial prayer for
World Youth Day 2016, which is
an entrustment of humanity and
the youth to Jesus’ divine mercy,
asking for the grace to obtain a
merciful heart. It also invokes
the intercession of the Blessed
Virgin Mary and St. John Paul II,
who is the patron of World Youth
Days. (CNA)
Freedom demands vigilance, archbishop reminds Americans
2014—This Fourth of July, Amer-
icans should refect on the na-
tion’s foundational principles
and values, while realizing that
freedom comes at a high price,
said the U.S. Archbishop for the
Military Services.
“The Nation’s birthday beck-
ons our rededication to what
makes us a great country while
reminding us we are indeed
‘one nation under God’,” re-
fected Archbishop Timothy P.
“Independence Day is an oc-
casion for picnics and parades,
family fun and freworks, but we
must never forget that Freedom
comes at a high price,” he said
in a statement preceding July 4.
The archbishop reminded the
nation that the “price” of con-
tinued freedom is the blood and
sweat of the men and women
serving in the U.S. military.
He praised “the selfess dedi-
cation and sacrifce of the many
Americans serving our Nation
in uniform, past and present.”
The U.S. has military person-
nel serving abroad in nearly 130
countries. The U.S. Archdio-
cese for the Military Services –
headed by Archbishop Broglio
– serves more than 220 military
installations in 29 countries,
as well as 134 Veterans Affairs
medical centers and other fed-
eral employees serving abroad.
Refecting on the founding of
the United States more than 200
years ago, Archbishop Broglio
said that the decision to “cut ties
with Great Britain and set out on
a new course” was a bold choice
that “continues to bear fruit in
our times.”
“None of the founding Fa-
thers knew where their decision
would lead, but they did recog-
nize the importance of working
together to build a new kind of
nation – a nation founded on
principles and centered around
the essence of what it means to
be human, created in the image
of Almighty God with inalien-
able rights to Life, Liberty, and
the pursuit of Happiness.”
The archbishop implored
Americans to be “vigilant” in
protecting our “way of life”
against the “forces of evil.”
“Preserving our way of life
demands vigilance, valor, re-
spect for conscience and victory
over the forces of evil that would
otherwise vanquish the values
we hold dear,” he said. “We
must always recognize our debt
to these brave men and women
whose commitment and courage
keep us free.”
July 4 also marks the conclu-
sion of the third Fortnight for
Freedom, hosted by the U.S.
bishops to raise awareness and
encourage prayer about threats
to religious freedom both at
home and abroad.
A concluding Mass for the
fortnight will take place at noon
at the National Shrine of the Im-
maculate Conception in Wash-
ington, D.C. The Mass will be
celebrated by Cardinal Donald
W. Wuerl of Washington, with a
homily delivered by Archbishop
Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville,
president of the U.S. Conference
of Catholic Bishops. (CNA)
Archbishop of Singapore: Homosexuals are called to chastity, as are all faithful
SINGAPORE, July 4, 2014—Attraction be-
tween people of the same sex “is not in itself
a sin,” but since love “often seeks to express
itself at a physical level,” the challenge “to
chastity and fdelity to God’s plan is always
present”. Moreover, the Catholic Church
“does not disapprove of a loving relationship
between same-sex individuals that is chaste
and faithful but a sexual relationship.” This
is main point of a lengthy pastoral letter
written by the Archbishop of Singapore,
Msgr. William Goh Seng Chye, in response
to a debate that has been ongoing for several
weeks in the city-state, on the family, gender
discrimination and same-sex unions.
The prelate addresses the reactions of
some of the faithful who have expressed
“sorrow, anger and disappointment” and
roundly rejects that “ that the Church, like the
rest of society, seemed to ostracize” people
with same sex attraction or that it shows “in-
consistency in her preaching of compassion,
by not approving”.
The issue of homosexuality is dominat-
ing public discourse in the city-state and, in
recent days, there were two different events
in opposition to each other: one was the sixth
edition of “Pink Dot”, a sort of local Gay
Pride that drew thousands of people.
In response to the gay pride, the Muslim
leader Ustaz Noor Deros promoted the
“Dress in white” movement, inviting the
faithful of Muhammad to boycott the “pink”
event. This initiative was also supported by
members of the local Protestant Christian
community, including the Baptists and
churches belonging to the LoveSingapore
The Archbishop of Singapore instead
reflected on the issues, addressing his
response to those among the faithful
who have inclinations towards people
of the same sex. He has stressed that he
is not “indifferent to your pain and your
frustration.” “I see many Catholics with
same-sex orientation for spiritual support,
counselling and healing.” And many who
“strive to live their lives with love, fidelity
and chastity.” In this context, the prelate,
recalls the teachings of the Church, which
encourages “chastity” outside of marriage,
without distinction of “sexual orientation”
and a similar argument applies “for the
Msgr. Goh underscores that his words
refect “the Magisterium of the Church”
on issues such as contraception, sexual
relations, abortion, etc.; Catholic morality,
he adds, is based on “human reason, en-
lightened by faith”. He recalls the various
passages in the Holy Scriptures, explaining
that sexual relations between persons of the
same sex “are not permissible”, although
many are inclined to believe “so sincere and
genuine” this is permitted. There are also
implications for the family that would result
from homosexual unions, on the subject of
marriage and adoption. The Archbishop of
Singapore explains that “the lack of one of
the two parents of the opposite sex,” would
be a source of “risk” to the child and cause
an “identity crisis”, as well as a loss “for
society and the future”.
“Against the trends in the world, the
Church needs to affrm the truth as revealed
in scripture. This applies also to other diff-
cult moral teachings of the Church e.g. pre-
marital sexual union, divorce, contraception,
artifcial insemination, abortion, euthanasia,
surrogate motherhood, stem-cell research
involving embryos etc.”
Archbishop Goh also underlines that “the
Church does not condemn sinners but only
points out the sin as expressed in the Word
of God. Judgment is reserved for God alone”.
All baptized “are called to chastity,” said
the Archbishop - and since it is “diffcult”
to remain chaste today, all Catholics “need
God’s help and the support of the Christian
community.” (AsiaNews)
Vatican Briefng
Pope Francis begs forgiveness from clergy abuse victims
Pope Francis, in his frst Vatican meeting with sex abuse victims,
asked forgiveness for the Church’s sins of omissions in sex abuse
scandals and denounced sex abuse by clergy as “execrable acts.”
The meeting took place July 7 at the Pope’s Casa Santa Marta
residence. Six sex abuse victims attended: three men and three
women. Two were Irish, two were British and two were German.
In his homily, Pope Francis stressed that abuse is “something
more than despicable actions. It is like a sacrilegious cult, because
these boys and girls had been entrusted to the priestly charism
in order to be brought to God. And those people sacrifced them
to the idol of their own concupiscence.” (CNA)
Revenge only perpetuates violence, Jerusalem bishop observes
In wake of escalating tensions between Israel and Palestine
following the murder of three Israeli teens, Bishop William
Shomali has encouraged leaders to work for reconciliation
rather than retaliation. “We are against the killing of these
three young Israeli men. It’s a homicide, it’s a crime against
humanity,” the bishop said in comments made to CNA July
2. “But at the same time we should also look at the whole
situation between Palestinians and Israelis (in order) to reach
a reconciliation, so that such crimes are not repeated.” Bishop
Shomali, who serves as the auxiliary bishop of Jerusalem,
spoke in wake of the recent killing of three Israeli teenag-
ers—Gilad Shaer and Naftali Fraenkel, both 16—and Eyal
Yifrah, 19, who disappeared June 12 while hitchhiking near
the West Bank city of Hebron. (CNA)
US ambassador: Pope draws global attention to trafficking
U.S. ambassador to the Holy See Ken Hackett has praised the
attention Pope Francis is giving to the “scourge” of human traf-
fcking, and spoke of collaborative initiatives aimed at its eradi-
cation. “These days when the Pope speaks on any issue it raises
the attention level worldwide, and he has done that specifcally
with human traffcking calling it a ‘scourge,’” the ambassador told
CNA June 27. Hackett serves as the 10th U.S. Ambassador to the
Holy See after his nomination last fall, and spoke regarding the
U.S. State Department’s 2014 Traffcking in Persons Report, which
was released by the embassy June 20. The annual report provides
an assessment of 188 countries in terms of what they are doing to
combat human traffcking in preventative and educational terms,
as well as the assistance offered to recovered victims. (CNA)
Vatican reinforces financial cooperation with US
The Financial Intelligence Authority, the Vatican’s fnancial
watchdog, has agreed to exchange information with the
U.S. government, signifcantly strengthening international
cooperation on fnancial concerns. René Bruelhart, director of
the fnancial authority, said the agreement is “a further step
in Holy See efforts towards perfecting a system of fnancial
regulation and part of our commitment to transparency
and international cooperation.” “The Holy See is part of the
global family of well-regulated jurisdictions and the signing
of this agreement refects that very clearly,” Bruelhart said.
The agreement with the U.S. Offce of the Comptroller of the
Currency is the frst that the fnancial authority signs in its
capacity of fnancial supervisor and regulator within the Holy
See and the Vatican City State. (CNA)
A3 Vol. 18 No. 14
July 7 - 20, 2014
CBCP Monitor
News Features
Cardinals’ council
focused on Pontifcal
Councils for laity, family
VATICAN CITY, Jul 4, 2014—On
Friday, the fnal day of the meet-
ing of the Council of Cardinals,
the group set their sights on the
Pontifcal Councils for the laity and
the family, with a special mention
of the potential inclusion of laity in
those councils’ tasks.
According to Fr. Lombardi, di-
rector of the Holy See press offce,
the council of cardinals on July 4
“resumed its refections on the di-
casteries of the curia. The Pontifcal
Councils for laity and family were
studied in particular depth, espe-
cially in terms of the contributions
and role that should be assumed
by laypeople, married couples, and
A possible merger of those
two councils into a congregation
for the laity is expected, but Fr.
Lombardi stressed that “deci-
sions were not made, though
more detailed proposals were
offered that will subsequently be
inserted into the overall frame-
work of the new configuration
of the curia.”
He underscored that “there is
still not a draft of a new (apostolic)
constitution, since the cardinals are
at the moment just taking into con-
sideration the contributions gener-
ally given by individual cardinals
charged with the task of studying
specifc matters.”
Fr. Lombardi recounted that an
English-speaking cardinal had
described the meetings as “free,
frank, and friendly,” and that
Pope Francis “is very naturally
involved in the dialogue, and
he also favors dialogue,” even
while “we should consider that
the council will make its sugges-
tions, but Pope Francis will make
the final decision.”
During the meetings, the cardi-
nals also addressed the issues of
how nunciatures work, and the
procedures for the appointment
of bishops.
In the afternoon, the council fo-
cused on the dicasteries that have
so far been studied less thoroughly.
This round of meetings, held July
1-4, was the ffth meeting of the
council of cardinals. The next three
sessions will take place Sep. 15-17,
Dec. 9-11, and Feb. 9-11, and Fr.
Lombardi underscored that there
will be further meetings following
these. (CNA/EWTN News)
Pope Francis
lauds testimony
of working
2014–During his one-
day trip to Molise Pope
Francis met with per-
sonnel of the region’s
university, urging them
to find creative solutions
to unemployment, and
thanked working moth-
ers for their example.
“Another challenge
was voiced by this good
working mother, who
also spoke on behalf of
her family: her husband,
her young child and the
baby in her womb,” Pope
Francis observed in his
July 5 address to stu-
dents and staff of the
University of Molise in
“Hers is a plea for work
and at the same time for
the family. Thank you
for this testimony! In
fact, it is a case of trying
to reconcile work with
family life.”
Taking place in the
university’s lecture hall,
the talk given to the uni-
versity personnel was
the first event in Pope
Francis’ one-day visit
to the Archdiocese of
Campobasso-Boiano in
Italy’s southern Molise
Archbishop Giancarlo
Maria Bregantini over-
sees the diocese, and was
appointed by the Pope to
write the meditations for
this year’s Good Friday
Via Crucis at the Colos-
seum. He is also known
for his commitment in
fighting against orga-
nized crime.
Begi nni ng hi s ad-
dress, the Roman Pontiff
thanked the university’s
rector and authorities
for their welcome, and
greeted the professors,
students and faithful
“My visit in Molise be-
gins with this encounter
with the world of work,
but the place in which
we find ourselves is the
university. And this is
significant,” he said.
“It expresses the im-
port ance of research
and training in order
to respond to the new
and complex questions
that the economic crisis
poses, on a local, national
and international level.”
Referring to human-
ity’s call to serve God
in our daily work, the
Pope stated that “a good
training program does
not offer easy solutions,
but helps to have a more
open and creative look
in order to better value
local resources.”
The Bishop of Rome
then pointed out the im-
portance of caring for
creation, explaining that
learning to truly respect
it “is one of the greatest
challenges of our time.”
He also drew attention
to the growing phenome-
non of working mothers,
stating that theirs is a call
“to work and at the same
time to the family,” add-
ing that their challenging
balance of work and fam-
ily “is a ‘critical’ point
that allows us to discern,
to evaluate the quality
of the human economic
system in which we find
Involved in this evalu-
ation is also the question
of working on Sundays
the pontiff observed,
stating that it is a ques-
tion “which doesn’t only
concern believers, but
everyone, as an ethical
“The question is: what
do we want to give pri-
ority? The Sunday free
from work—except those
necessary services—is to
say that the priority is
not given to the budget,
but to the human being,
to freedom, to family
rather than non-commer-
cial relations, to friends
in order for believers to
have a relationship with
God and their commu-
“Maybe it’s time to
ask whether working
on Sundays is true free-
Pope Fr anci s al s o
directed words to the
“many workers and en-
trepreneurs of this re-
gion, ” and j oined his
voice to theirs in asking
“that a ‘pact for work’ be
implemented here.”
Explaining how he has
seen the inhabitants of
Molise “respond to the
tragedy of unemploy-
ment by putting efforts
together in a constructive
way,” the Pope affirmed
that “so many positions
of work could be recov-
ered through a concerted
strategy with national
“A ‘ pact f or work’
that knows how to take
advantage of the op-
portunities offered by
national and Europe-
an regulations” would
greatly help, he said, and
encouraged the region’s
citizens “to go down this
road, which can bring
good results here as well
as in other regions.”
Concl udi ng hi s ad-
dress, the Roman Pontiff
thanked the university
personnel for their gift
of a painting that repre-
sents motherhood, stat-
ing that “Motherhood
involves labor, but the
pain of childbirth is ori-
ented toward life, is full
of hope.”
“I not only thank you
for this gift, but more so
for the testimony it con-
tains: that of a labor full
of hope.” (CNA)
All of us need rehabilitation, Pope
Francis reminds prisoners
ISERNIA, Italy, July 5,
2014—At a visit Saturday
with the imprisoned in the
Italian city of Isernia, Pope
Francis stated the need of
every human person for
rehabilitation, and conver-
sion to God.
“To walk the way of reha-
bilitation, this is something
we all need to do. We all
make mistakes in life. And
all of us must ask forgive-
ness for these mistakes and
make a journey of reha-
bilitation, to not make any
more,” the Pope said July 5
at Isernia’s Casa Circondar-
iale prison.
“Some do this at home,
at their workplace; others,
like you, in a prison. But
all, all … anyone who says
he does not need this way
of rehabilitation is a liar! We
all make mistakes in life,
and also, all are sinners.”
He emphasi zed that
when we turn to the Lord
to be forgiven our sins
and mistakes, “he always
forgets us, never tires of
forgiving. He tell us: ‘Come
back this way, it will be
good for you to do this.’”
“And he helps us,” Pope
Francis stressed. “And his
way of rehabilitation, is a
way we all must walk.”
The visit to the Isernia
prison was part of Pope
Francis’ one-day pastoral
visit to Molise, a region of
southern Italy. “This is the
motto of this visit,” he told
them: “God never tires of
He encouraged them
to not become static, but
to take a step each day in
this seeking of God, who
remembers us always. With
God’s faithful love, “hope
does not delude us.”
The suffering consequent
to sin, Pope Francis said,
purifies us, because it is
“suffering with hope …
(God) forgives us, he takes
along with one’s brother
to help him overcome his
problems. Be courageous,
with hope and solidarity.”
Following his meeting
with prisoners, Pope Fran-
cis went to the piazza of
Isernia’s cathedral, to meet
with its citizens and espe-
cially its sick, announcing
the Celestine Jubilee Year.
He began noting that in
Christianity, there is no con-
fict between the sacred and
profane: that we are both
“citizens and brothers.”
He spoke of both St. Ce-
lestine V and St. Francis
of Assisi, both of whom
emphasized God’s mercy
and how that mercy renews
the world.
“These saints felt the
need to give the people the
greatest thing, the greatest
wealth: the Father’s mercy
and forgiveness.”
The Jubilee Year, he not-
ed, is a time for mercy, and
love as a “force of purifca-
tion” of consciences and
to renew social relations,
including the creation of
an economy centered on
the person and the fam-
ily rather than money and
“We believe that this way
is good for everyone, it is
the way that really brings
us closer to justice and
peace,” he said. “But we
also know that we are sin-
ners, that we ourselves
are always tempted not
to follow this path, and to
conform to the mentality of
the world, the mentality of
power and wealth.”
“So we rely on the mercy
of God, and we are commit-
ted to fulfll, by his grace,
fruits of conversion and
works of mercy. These two
things: to repent and do
works of mercy. This is the
leitmotif of this year, this
Celestine Jubilee Year.”
Everyone needs some form of rehabilitation because everyone is a sinner, Pope Francis reminds prisoners in the
Italian city of Isernia, July 5, 2014. File photo
us by the hand and helps
us to move forward in this
way of rehabilitation.”
Imprisonment, he said, is
not so important as “what
God does with us, taking
us by the hand and helping
us to move forward.” He
thanked the prisoners for
their hospitality, and shared
with them that when he
meets with those in prisons,
“sincerely I ask myself: why
him and not me? I feel this.
It is a mystery. But begin-
ning from this sentiment,
with this feeling I accom-
pany you.”
Prior to his meeting with
prisoners, Pope Francis also
met with youth, to whom
he similarly stressed God’s
forgiveness and mercy:
“often we forget that God
never tires of forgiving …
we are the ones who tire of
asking for forgiveness, but
he forgives always, each
time I ask him to.”
At the piazza of the Sanc-
tuary of Castelpetroso, he
told the region’s youth that
they should walk a path
that is stable and grounded
in love, rather than being
static or fitting about from
day to day, unfettered by
ties of love and responsi-
“Transience is not good,”
he warned. “Not good, be-
cause it darkens the mind
and chills the heart.”
The “culture of the tem-
porary,” Pope Francis said,
“does not provide a climate
conducive to the formation
of stable life choices with
solid ties, built on the rock of
love and responsibility, rather
than the sand of emotion.”
This quest for supposed
autonomy hinders mak-
ing life choices with com-
mitment and dedication,
feeding a superficiality
that renders life a pointless
maze rather than a journey
towards a goal, he said.
He dared them to aspire to
love and happiness, fnd-
ing the freedom that Christ
offers, and having courage
and hope in the face of dif-
ficulties that they should
remember are “temporary
and surmountable.”
He spoke about t he
plague of youth unem-
ployment, urging that in
solidarity, all fnd a solution
to this problem.
“Young peopl e have
the capacity for solidar-
ity,” he told them. “This
word solidarity, is one
the world does not like
to hear. Some think it’s
a dirty word. No, it is
not a dirty word, it is a
Chri st i an word: t o go
Nassa rolls out ‘typhoon-resilient’ churches, chapels
MANILA, July 6, 2014—
Soon to rise parish church-
es and chapels in typhoon
Yolanda-hit areas are more
“typhoon-resilient”, the
Catholic Church’s social
action arm said.
Fr. Edu Gariguez, ex-
ecutive secretary of the
National Secretariat for
Social Action–Justice and
Peace (Nassa), said the
structures coul d wi th-
stand strong quakes and
Another purpose this
project, he said, is for the
structures to also serve as
evacuation centers during
“We did an experimen-
tal project about this in
Mindanao before but be-
cause of Yolanda, we are
implementing this in areas
hit by the typhoon,” Gari-
guez said.
The project is part of
Nassa’s P60 million pas-
toral infrastructure repairs program funded
by Missio Aachen, a church-based funding
agency in Germany.
Nassa, also known as the Caritas Philip-
pines, has also appointed Fr. Emerson Luego,
currently the social action director of the
Diocese of Tagum, as the project manager.
Gariguez said the project covers 85 church-
es and chapels that were destroyed by
Yolanda last year in
four provinces in the
Vi s ayas wi t h cos t s
ranging from around
P100,000 to P1.6 mil-
“We are making sure
that the architectural
design is strong,” he
said. “We also followed
the CRS (Catholic Re-
lief Services) design
of typhoon resi l i ent
houses in rebuilding
these churches.”
This project covers
the restoration of at
least 37 churches and
chapel s i n Pal awan;
33 in Leyte, three in
Western Samar and 12
in Eastern Samar.
The Nassa offi ci al
also said that to make
part in the rehabilita-
tion and recovery ef-
forts, “we go beyond
the materials and that’s
the reason for our exis-
tence in the Church”.
“If you talk of resilience, it’s not only mate-
rial things but also spiritual well-being of the
people,” he said. (CBCPNews)
National Secretariat for Social Action– Justice and Peace (Nassa) will be building more typhoon-resilient churches and chapels
that will double as evacuation centers in the future. Sr. Fe Gerodias, RVM
Vatican City - May 19, 2013: Pope Francis greets pilgrims in St. Peter’s
Square after Pentecost Sunday Mass on May 19, 2013. CNA
Vatican City – Pope Francis praised working mothers for trying to “reconcile
work with family life” during a day trip to Molise on July 5, 2014. CNA
A4 Vol. 18 No. 14
July 7 - 20, 2014
CBCP Monitor
Pedro C. Quitorio
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THE newness of the Christian life is the foundation and title for
equality among all the baptized in Christ, for all the members of
the People of God: “As members, they share a common dignity
from their rebirth in Christ, they have the same flial grace and
the same vocation to perfection. They possess in common one
salvation, one hope and one undivided charity”. Because of
the one dignity fowing from Baptism, each member of the lay
faithful, together with ordained ministers and men and women
religious, shares a responsibility for the Church’s mission.
But among the lay faithful this one baptismal dignity takes on a
manner of life which sets a person apart, without, however, bringing
about a separation from the ministerial priesthood or from men and
women religious. The Second Vatican Council has described this
manner of life as the “secular character”: “The secular character
is properly and particularly that of the lay faithful”.
To understand properly the lay faithful’s position in the Church
in a complete, adequate and specifc manner it is necessary to
come to a deeper theological understanding of their secular
character in light of God’s plan of salvation and in the context
of the mystery of the Church.
Pope Paul VI said the Church “has an authentic secular dimension,
inherent to her inner nature and mission, which is deeply rooted
in the mystery of the Word Incarnate, and which is realized in
different forms through her members”.
The Church, in fact, lives in the world, even if she is not of the
world (cf. Jn 17:16). She is sent to continue the redemptive work
of Jesus Christ, which “by its very nature concerns the salvation of
humanity, and also involves the renewal of the whole temporal order”.
Certainly all the members of the Church are sharers in this secular
dimension but in different ways. In particular the sharing of the
lay faithful has its own manner of realization and function, which,
according to the Council, is “properly and particularly” theirs. Such
a manner is designated with the expression “secular character”.
In fact the Council, in describing the lay faithful’s situation in the
secular world, points to it above all, as the place in which they
receive their call from God: “There they are called by God”. This
“place” is treated and presented in dynamic terms: the lay faithful
“live in the world, that is, in every one of the secular professions
and occupations. They live in the ordinary circumstances of family
and social life, from which the very fabric of their existence
is woven”. They are persons who live an ordinary life in the
world: they study, they work, they form relationships as friends,
professionals, members of society, cultures, etc. However, the
Council considers their condition not simply an external and
environmental framework, but as a reality destined to fnd in
Jesus Christ the fullness of its meaning. Indeed it leads to the
affrmation that “the Word made fesh willed to share in human
fellowship ... He sanctifed those human ties, especially family
ones, from which social relationships arise, willingly submitting
himself to the laws of his country. He chose to lead the life of
an ordinary craftsman of his own time and place”.
-- Christifdeles Laici, #15
AMONG the thousands of posts that were weaved by social media
during past few days, two stood out. One was the apology issued
by a Catholic university for inviting a person who is reputed
to be a major protagonist in a political dictatorship. The other
was the video of a Redemptorist priest in Cebu who lectured
a 17-year old single mother at her child’s baptism. Both have
gone viral and inspired a good amount of bashing.
But come to think of it, both are “fertile grounds” for contemplating
the pastoral letter “A nation of mercy and compassion” issued
by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)
to prepare the country for the forthcoming Apostolic Visit of
Pope Francis.
CBCP president Archbishop Socrates Villegas said it best during
his speech during the opening session of the 109th Plenary
Assembly held last weekend. He said, “Perhaps we can reach
out to more people by stretching our minds and lowering our
fences and listening like Jesus without being judgmental or
punitive.” The good archbishop considers today’s paradigm
that Pope Francis is challenging, calling him someone who “has
slowly moved the Church from being a dogmatic, self-engrossed
and authoritative sick institution to being a gentle, outreaching,
compassionate and persuasive Church through the power of
love and mercy.”
Compassion is the whole sense of the Pope’s visit to the
Philippines in January next year. Overtly, it is compassion
for the survivors of the calamities that hit the Visayas to an
unimaginable proportion last year. “His visit carries a message
of pastoral love, mercy and compassion from a Pope with the
scent of a Good Shepherd,” says the aforesaid pastoral letter.
In another sense, perhaps the physical brokenness caused by these
natural calamities may not be as deep-seated as the “shadows”
that often take center-stage more than the “lights” in the whole
drama of almost 500 years of the Filipino brand of Catholicism.
This religious pathology has already been diagnosed by the
Second Plenary Council of the Philippines in 1991. But if such
should be the case, then there is a deeper sense of compassion
that this country needs that may be provoked by the pope’s visit.
Fr. Roy Cimagala
Candidly Speaking
Candidly Speaking / A5
The lay faithful
and their secular character
A nation (in need) of compassion
Witness of Life:
Its Power to Evangelize
Mercy above all
Fr. James H. Kroeger, MM
Living Mission
“Year of Laity” Reflections
Teresa R. Tunay, OCDS
…and that’s the truth
And That’s The Truth / A6
POPE Paul VI, who will be beatified on
Mission Sunday, October 19, 2014, asserted
that the frst form of mission is Christian
presence and witness of life; our daily “style-
of-life” is the “initial act of evangelization”
(EN 21). The ordinary activities of the laity,
their duties in the family and community,
living together in harmony, being people of
integrity—all these are elements of a basic
“faith-witness” that effectively proclaims
the Gospel.
Allow me to narrate a story from my
fellow-missionary who works in Africa. It
captures a conversation between the mis-
sioner and a woman to whom he gave a lift in
his pick-up truck. She said she was prepar-
ing for baptism. The missioner asked: “What
started you as a believer?” This is her story.
My brother was a teacher. He was baptized
a Catholic at Teacher’s Training School. There
are no other Christians in our family. My broth-
er became sick, he tried local medicines, then
spent all of his money in different hospitals.
I went to visit him. A nurse told me: “Take
your brother home. Take care of him. Wash
him. Don’t be afraid! You will not get his
disease. We cannot help him; nobody can.”
Then I realized that my brother’s sickness
was most probably AIDS.
I took him home. Nobody would see him
or come near him. Everyone was afraid.
Not even our parents would come. I loved
my brother. We came from the same womb.
I took care of him, cooked his food, ate with
him. I didn’t care if I got his sickness. I was
ready to die with him. I loved my brother.
One day my brother told me: “My sister!
You are a good person. You are the only
one who helps me. You must become a
believer and be baptized.” He told me:
“Please go to the next town. The Padres
have a mission outstation and clinic there.
Ask the Christians to pray for me.” And
so, I went there the next Sunday when
they pray together. I told them about my
That same week a group of Catholics came
to visit my brother. They brought food. They
visited with him. They prayed with him.
They came every week. They were with
him as he died.
When he died, not one of our family
came to bury my brother. No one in our
village came. They were all afraid. The
Christians washed his body and buried
Then, with deep emotion, the woman said:
“I want to be one of them, Padre! I am now
a believer!”
QUESTION: Would our life-style ever
lead someone to the faith and cause them
to say: I want to be one of them! I saw their
deeds! I am now a believer!
Indeed, as Pope Francis constantly empha-
sizes, people today will readily hear Jesus’
message through the “word-less” proclama-
tion of Christian witnesses whose life-style
effectively “speaks” the Gospel of mercy and
THIS should be very clear to all of us. We
have to be merciful ourselves, because
God who is our Father is merciful. Christ
himself said it openly: “Be merciful as your
Father is merciful.” (Lk 6, 36)
In the Bible, numerous references to
the mercy of God are made. His mercy is
forever, is eternal. He is rich in mercy. He
is slow to anger, quick to forgive. We have
to forgive others not only seven times,
but seventy times seven. This obviously
alludes to the Biblical passage that even a
just man falls seven times in a day.
When Christ was asked to teach his
disciples how to pray, he gave them the
now-famous “Our Father” that includes
“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive
those who trespass against us.”
More importantly, he asked for forgive-
ness for those who crucified him. “Forgive
them, Father, for they know not what they
do.” These are words that are meant not
only for those who participated directly in
his crucifixion, but also for all of us.
This desire and request of Christ, who
is God himself, the Son of God who be-
came man, must also be the desire and
the request of his Father, since the Father
and the Son are one, together with the
Holy Spirit. Of course, it must have been
a desire and request fully and happily
granted by God.
All these very reassuring truths should
solidify our belief that God is always
merciful and that we too, since we are
children of God -- image and likeness of
his -- should also be merciful.
Whatever differences and conflicts we
may have among ourselves, whatever
mistakes and failures we commit, we have
to be merciful in the end.
Mercy should be above all other consid-
erations. It certainly goes beyond what our
human justice can cover and resolve. Thus,
even as we try our best to resolve these
differences and conflicts through our legal
and judicial system, and our other informal
ways of justice, we should be ready and
quick to dispense mercy to everyone.
Let’s not get detained too long by the
mistakes that we all commit. Rather, as-
sured of God’s mercy and liberally dis-
pensing mercy ourselves to one another,
let’s look forward to what can be done to
help, to heal what is wounded, to restore
what was destroyed, to repair what was
damaged, to improve what still needs to
be improved.
Christ was clear about how it is not
in him to condemn people. “The Son of
man came not to destroy souls, but to
save.” (Lk 9, 56) We should also have this
attitude. And so, we need to expand our
mind and heart so as to be magnanimous
always with those with whom we have
some problems.
Very often, our pursuit for justice is
marred by many other not-so-welcome
ulterior motives. Justice often becomes a
playground to play out our preferences,
biases, whims, caprices. It can also become
an arena to fight out our vengeance, anger,
hatred and other forms of malice. It can
deteriorate into mob rule.
We have to be wary when we get too
concerned about justice without as much
being concerned about mercy. We would
be treading on dangerous ground that way.
Instead of attaining justice, we most likely
would be generating more injustice.
Third Mansion people
JUST a few days after the CBCP
president Abp. Soc Villegas
opened the CBCP plenary as-
sembly last July 5 with a speech
on Pope Francis’ challenge to
the bishops “to follow his ex-
ample of humble and happy
ministry”, an item on a priest in
Cebu scolding a single mother
wanting baptism for her baby
went viral on social media. A
day and hundreds of furious
Facebook and Twitter comments
later, the same item assumed the
status of legitimate news on TV
as it shared headlines with news
of national interest.
Whether social media “news”
and comments are fair or not,
it may not always be wise to
ignore them, particularly since
many of us are aware that pro-
RH misinformation networkers
are ever on the lookout for such
morsels of bad news to fuel
their anti-Church machinery. It
seems, though, that in the Philip-
pines, Catholic apologists are not
only outnumbered, but are also
overpowered by the Church’s
attackers as non-Catholics, caf-
eteria Catholics, and disgruntled
Catholics join their ranks in
throwing stones and mud at the
Body of Christ.
Happily, though, words are
neither the only nor the most
effective weapon to use to de-
fend the truths that the Catholic
Church teaches. Abp. Villegas
echoes St. Francis’ words, “Go
and preach the Gospel. Use words
if necessary.” That should be
a no-brainer; we’ve known all
along that “actions speak louder
than words”, and that we—“tao
lang”—tend to render lip service
in our efforts to spread the Good
News. We may cringe to hear it,
but the truth is many of us may
be “Third Mansion people”—if
we are to be categorized accord-
ing to “The Interior Castle”, a
treatise on prayer written in 1577
by St. Teresa of Avila, the frst
woman Doctor of the Church.
In The Interior Castle, St. Te-
resa likens the soul to a single
piece of diamond where many
mansions are found, thus we in
our journey to union with God
may start from “outside the
castle” and go through the seven
mansions. Deduced from this
magnifcent work is the follow-
ing loose description of people
found in the Third Mansion:
Having decided to leave all
past sinful ways behind, the
so-called Third Mansion people
are fervent, long to please God
and are cautious not to offend
Him. They do not desire to sin,
they are scrupulous and guard
against even venial sin.
Conscious that old friends
and activities could lead them
back to sin, they avoid these, and
may have joined organizations
that could contribute to their
newfound sanctity. Popularly
known as “laman ng simaba-
han”, they are fond of mortifca-
tion, penance, devotions; they
may even hear daily Mass, make
time for retreats or recollections
and others. Having received
A5 Vol. 18 No. 14
July 7 - 20, 2014
CBCP Monitor
Consequences of
DAP Declared
It’s the Relationship,
Is the one-child
policy spoiling
China’s children?
Duc In Altum / A7
Rev. Eutiquio ‘Euly’ B. Belizar, Jr., SThD
By the Roadside
THE screaming headlines have
it daily. The drama or circus
(depending on whose side the
onlooker takes) surrounding
the detention of celebrity or
non-celebrity PDAF scammers
continues to take the country by
storm. Some protest the special
treatment they receive; others
cry instead for the improvement
of conditions in jails to level up
to human dignity; still others
simply shrug their shoulders,
saying, “Serves them right for
stealing us blind.”
To me all this simply raises the
question of the consequences of
dishonest living. Even the Scrip-
tures speak of them.
1. For instance, the NT speaks
of the wounding (or severance?)
of communion. Tying honesty
with the life of communion in
the Body of Christ, Paul urges
truthfulness among Christians,
with communion as motivation:
“Therefore, having put away
falsehood, let each one of you
speak the truth with his neigh-
bor, for we are members one
of another” (Eph 4:25). While
we should refrain from read-
ing in the text what isn’t there,
this exhortation’s interesting
implication is unavoidable: that
a disciple’s dishonesty wounds
our life of communion in the
Body of Christ somewhat like a
lying child’s wounding of family
unity, hence that child’s earning
ostracism from other family
members. Let’s put it this way.
Being “members of one another”
or being in the communion of
the Body of Christ, according
to Paul, should motivate us to
be honest with one another; it
follows that a dishonest act, es-
pecially one involving millions
or even billions of pesos, seri-
ously violates this communion,
either wounding it or causing
the dishonest person to separate
himself from this fraternal fel-
2. There is also the scandal of
discovery. In direct language,
obviously intended to warn its
audience, the book of Proverbs
contrasts the consequences of
honest behavior and its oppo-
site: “Whoever walks in integ-
rity walks securely, but he who
makes his ways crooked will
be found out” (Prov 10:9). For
reasons relevant to the Philip-
pines, this ageless observation
appears to have anticipated the
present scandal that has been
generated by the Commission
On Audit’s unearthing of a can-
cer. That is, several lawmakers,
both from the Senate and from
the House of Representatives,
had for many years embroiled
themselves in the illegal transfer
of public money into fake Non-
Government Organizations or
aggrupations. With the power
of print and social media as well
as that of television exposing
whatever dishonest dealings
or transactions in and out of
government and disseminating
the information with the speed
unknown or unheard only a
few years ago, the impact of any
dishonesty-related scandal could
be devastating and lasting.
3. Rottenness comes from rot-
tenness as corruption is reaped
from corruption. Again we con-
sider Paul. He categorizes dis-
honesty among the expressions
of our unredeemed nature or of
our human nature outside the
infuence of, or in a state of rebel-
lion to, the Holy Spirit. This he
terms “fesh”. Says he: “Do not
be deceived: God is not mocked,
for whatever one sows, that he
will also reap. For the one who
sows for the beneft of his fesh
will reap corruption and death
from the fesh, but the one who
sows in the spirit will from the
Spirit reap eternal life” (Gal 6:7-
8). It is not too diffcult to link
dishonesty to the fesh as under-
stood in Pauline theology. For
a person who does not submit
to the infuence and guidance
of the Spirit or who ignores the
Spirit’s guiding light will more
readily give in to dishonesty
and wrongdoing. And neither
is it difficult to see two more
upshots. One, the accumulation
of wealth and power comes
with the intended benefciaries
being deprived of services and
essential benefts due them. Two,
dishonesty also comes with ha-
bitual fight from responsibility
and ultimately corrupts or even
damages the dishonest person’s
character and life. Of course, this
is just the icing of the bitter cake.
The real death Paul speaks of is
the essence of sin itself which is
separation from God, the very
anti-thesis of God’s program of
eternal life.
4. The dishonest do a dis-
service to God’s name. This
may be an understatement of
Paul’s denunciation of fellow
Jews. He takes them to task
because, though well-versed in
the Law of Moses, they conduct
themselves in various shades of
rebellion against it. His words
apply equally to Christians who
live dishonest lives: “While you
preach against stealing, do you
steal? You who say one must not
commit adultery, do you commit
adultery? You who abhor idols,
do you rob temples? You who
boast in the Law dishonor God
by breaking the Law. For as it
is written, “The name of God
is despised among the Gentiles
because of you’” (Rom 2:21-24).
We are all extra sensitive when
our family’s name is dragged
into some scandal. We forget
the truth of faith that we all bear
our heavenly Father’s name in
virtue or in vice: in virtue we
give it glory; in dishonesty we
disgrace it.
5. Finally, there is the believer’s
greatest agony: being barred
from true riches. Jesus himself
sees the link between dishon-
esty and being excluded from
true wealth of God’s Kingdom.
In the context of the parable of
the crafty steward he draws les-
sons relevant to the question of
honesty: “He who can be trusted
in little things can be trusted in
great ones; he who is dishonest
in slight matters will also be
dishonest in greater ones. So if
you have not been trustworthy
in handling questionable money,
who could entrust you with true
wealth? And if you have not
been trustworthy in that which
is another’s, who will give you
the wealth which is your own?”
(Lk 16:10-12). The unmistakable
message is simple: A disciple who
engages in dishonest dealings on
earthly or temporal wealth also
proves himself untrustworthy of
heavenly treasures. No tragedy
could be greater or worse.
Sometimes we recoil at Scrip-
tural language as too harsh or
too crude for our modern ears.
But there is another side of the
coin: why should we sugarcoat
the harsh reality of dishonesty?
Atty. Aurora A. Santiago
Duc in Altum
LOS ANGELES, California—In a unanimous
decision, the Supreme Court declared uncon-
stitutional the Disbursement Acceleration
Program (DAP). The decision is consistent
with the Highest Court’s earlier decision
that the Priority Development Assistance
Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel is also uncon-
The National Budget Circular 541 and
other related issuances related to DAP was
declared unconstitutional. The Circular
authorized the Department of Budget and
Management (DBM) to withdraw “unobli-
gated allotments of agencies with low levels
of obligations as of June 20, 2012, both for
continuing and current allotments.” It also
allows “withdrawn allotments” to be used
to “augment existing programs and projects
of any agency and to fund priority programs
and projects not considered in the 2012
budget but expected to be started or imple-
mented during the current year.
The Supreme Court’s decision held that
DAP violates Article VI, Section 25, para-
graph 5 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution,
which provides: “No law shall be passed
authorizing any transfer of appropriations;
however, the President, the President of the
Senate, the Speaker of the House of Repre-
sentatives, the Chief Justice of the Supreme
Court, and the heads of Constitutional Com-
missions may, by law, be authorized to aug-
ment any item in the general appropriations
law for their respective offces from savings
in other items of their respective appropria-
tion.” (Underscoring supplied).
The Court further declared the following
acts in violation of the above-quoted provi-
sion of the Constitution: “(1) The withdrawal
of unobligated allotments from the imple-
menting agencies, and the declaration of
the withdrawn unobligated allotments and
unreleased appropriations as savings prior
to the end of the fscal year and without
complying with the statutory defnition of
savings contained in the General Appropria-
tions Acts; (2) The cross-border transfers of
the savings of the Executive to augment
the appropriations of other offces outside
the Executive; (3) The funding of projects,
activities and programs that were not cov-
ered by any appropriation in the General
Appropriations Act (GAA); (4) The use of
unprogrammed funds despite the absence
of a certifcation by the National Treasurer
that the revenue collections exceeded the
revenue targets for non-compliance with the
conditions provided in the relevant GAA.”
Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago com-
mented that DAP is illegal because it was
not contained in the 2011 or 2012 budgets
and because the alleged savings are used to
augment new budget items which was not
previously authorized by Congress. She re-
newed her call for the Commission on Audit
(COA) to investigate the alleged bribery by
Malacañang of Congress members during
the impeachment trial of then Chief Justice
Renato Corona. She further said that “the
DAP funds appear to have been disbursed in
violation of the Constitutional clause which
is the keystone of all human rights.”
Senator Santiago clarifed that the frst is-
sue is that DAP was not taken from savings.
The second issue is that DAP was not used
to augment items in the budget that were
previously authorized by Congress. The
alleged savings were used to augment new
budget items not previously authorized by
Congress. The budget department should
have sought the approval of Congress.”
Hopefully, the decisions will put a stop to
the abuse and immoral use of the taxpayers’
money. We appreciate the action made by
the Supreme Court Justices who chose to
be brave in showing their independence in
coming up with the decision. His Eminence,
Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, is very opti-
mistic that good governance is still possible
in our country.
It may be recalled that it was Senator Jing-
goy Estrada who divulged about DAP dur-
ing his privilege speech in his response to ac-
cusations that he, along with other lawmak-
ers, had earned millions in kickbacks from
the PDAF. He disclosed that Malacañang
released amounts to a number of senators
through DAP after the impeachment trial
of Corona. Senators Estrada, Bong Revilla
Jr. and Juan Ponce Enrile, had been charged
with plunder before the Sandiganbayan and
Fr. Francis Ongkingco
EVER listen to a young teenage
boy’s experience of falling in
You have to be veeery patient!
Even though these young-
sters easily confuse love with
the slightest romantic inspiring
exhilarating heartbeat, no one
can still deny that theirs (as ours
was once) is indeed a unique and
unforgettable experience.
* * *
“Father, she hasn’t answered
my text yet!”
“How long ago did you send
her a text?”
“Yesterday evening....”
Sometime later...
“Father, she hasn’t been reply-
ing to any of my emails....”
“How many have you sent
her so far?”
“Maybe about seven yesterday
and three more this morning
when I got up....”
* * *
People in love become very
conscious of the minutest de-
tails in their relationship. They
consider how their thoughts,
words and actions will affect
the ‘special someone’ in their
life. In short, they simply forget
themselves because they’re ‘in
love’ with an ‘other’.
Whenever something pops out
that could affect their relationship,
they quickly examine, backtrack
and analyze what they may have
said or done. They try their very
best to immediately rectify, apolo-
gize, correct and improve whatev-
er it takes to keep the relationship
going, growing and lasting!
In the spiritual life, we often
forget that we are also in a real
relationship. Sometimes we
stress more our wrongs and er-
rors –including what we see in
others– but forget to see them
within the perspective of an
intense and on-going relation-
ship with our Lord. Perhaps,
this is because we are too ‘sin
conscious’ which is just another
form of being overly ‘self-con-
scious,’ instead of being ‘other
conscious’ or ‘love conscious.’
Like people in love, we have
to learn how to backtrack and
examine ourselves. It is impor-
tant not to only remain in the
WHAT. The WHAT means the
‘fact of knowing what our sins
and weaknesses’ are. To remain
here would be a static awareness
of our condition as sinners.
The WHAT can sometimes be a
mental trap. We go to confession
loaded with different WHATs of
sin. This load naturally carries
with it a guilty feeling. If one is
not careful, this ‘feeling bad’ can
simply revolve around his ego:
‘how could I even commit this?’
or ‘what will my director think
about me?’
Instead of remaining in this
endless tripping ego-analysis,
we must apply the proper mode
of spiritual backtracking or re-
winding known as prayer. Thus,
the following steps arise:
Step 1 is the WHAT (obvi-
ously): “Lord, I have fallen into
this sin or fault and I’m sorry.”
Step 2 is the WHY: “Lord, why
do I take your love and grace for
Step 3 is the WHO: “Lord,
what can I learn about myself
from this event?”
Step 4 is the HOW: “Jesus,
what would you have me do to
overcome this, to make up for
this, to amend this, etc.?”
When one decides to tackle
his sinful condition within the
context of a loving relation-
ship with Jesus, he advances
because he doesn’t get stuck in
only knowing what his sins and
infdelities are. On the contrary,
he goes even further because
his very weaknesses become his
very strength when he trustingly
brings them to the presence of
God in prayer.
* * *
“So what di d you wri te
your ‘special someone’ in your
“Father, I asked if she was get-
ting my text messages!”
“Good grief!”
Michael Cook
THIS sounds like the weary complaint of anyone over 60 about
anyone under 20. But in China, it has a particular target: the
little emperors, the cosseted offspring of couples who have
been told by their government that they can only have one
child. There are about 150 million families in China with only
one child, more than a third of all families.
The one-child policy was introduced in 1979 to stop China’s
population from growing unsustainably. In principle, couples
are limited to one child. Exceptions are made for couples
whose frst child is disabled, for ethnic minorities, and for
farming families and for some other family types. But family-
planning regulations are enforced with ruthless zeal in the
China’s birth rate fell rapidly after the one-child policy was
introduced, even though demographers increasingly insist that
it would have fallen anyway. Whatever the reason, the fertility
rate in the giant cities of Beijing and Shanghai is about 0.7—far
below the national fgure of about 1.5 and far, far below the
replacement level of 2.1 children per woman.
A fgure of 0.7 children per mother means that there are
almost no families with more than one child in Beijing and
But is the little emperor syndrome real—or is it just a mass
media cliché eagerly repeated by China’s critics?
This is the question which an Australian academic and three
Chinese colleagues examined in an article in the prestigious
journal Science earlier this year. To their surprise, their research
confrmed the cliché. “We document that China’s One-Child
Policy… has produced signifcantly less trusting, less trust-
worthy, more risk-averse, less competitive, more pessimistic,
and less conscientious individuals,” they wrote.
It’s one thing to complain about the younger generation in a
coffee break, but quite another to prove it. How did Lisa Cam-
eron, of the University of Melbourne, and her colleagues do it?
From an academic point of view, the challenge was isolating
those personality traits which are due to the one-child policy
and not just to increased wealth, smaller family sizes, Chinese
culture and so on. What they did was to recruit 421 people
who were born just before and just after the introduction of
the one-child policy. The difference in family size was stark.
Only 27 percent of the children born in 1975 were singletons,
but 91 percent of those born in 1983 were.
For the researchers it was a natural experiment. Psycholo-
gists are interested in how a child’s personality is shaped by
the experience of growing up as an only child, whether he or
she lives in Beijing or Boston. The theory is that sibling “de-
privation” alters the relationships with parents and changes
the way a child develops. Using standard economic games
which measure trust and cooperation, Dr Cameron found
that this was correct. The children born under the one-child
policy are “substantially more pessimistic, less conscientious,
and possibly more neurotic”.
However pessimistic that sounds, it could get worse. The
researchers stress that the people they studied are now in their
thirties. “Later cohorts will have grown up with very limited
extended family and in a society dominated by only children.
Under such circumstances, we would expect that the policy’s
effect would, if anything, be magnifed.”
Some observers are skeptical about these fndings. One
Western businessman who has worked in Beijing, where the
experiments took place, agreed that many of his employees
were risk-averse and poor team players. But he thought it
could also be due to cultural factors. Beijing-born children are
often the offspring of bureaucrats and grow up with an entitle-
ment mentality, he commented. “What about the generation
of the Cultural Revolution? If you work with them, you fnd
a whole different set of nightmares.”
But if the one-child policy really has changed the personal-
ity of the last couple of generations, what does this mean for
Chinese society?
Dr Cameron suggests that it could hurt the competitiveness
and creativity of Chinese business. She even claims that some
local employers include phrases like “no single children” in
job advertisements. In 2007, some delegates to the Chinese
People’s Political Consultative Conference asked that the
one-child policy be abolished because of “social problems
and personality disorders in young people”. People were
becoming “more selfsh and reclusive” because “children do
not have siblings or cousins to play with,” they complained.
“It is not healthy for children to play only with their parents
and be spoiled by them.”
The best-selling American book Battle Hymn of the Tiger
Mother was a reminder that Chinese culture can drive high
achievement. But Dr Cameron warns that other qualities are
also needed for success in business. “Pro-social behavior is
consistently seen to be an important determinant of social
capital.” Single children are more risk averse and less likely
to be entrepreneurs.
This research has lessons which extend far beyond China.
While the Chinese government forced couples to stop at one
to lower the country’s birth rate, Western societies managed
the same trick without coercion. Many couples in the United
States and Europe have only one child on whom they lavish
the best toys, the best holidays, the best piano lessons and the
best education. But are they also turning out a generation of
selfsh, uncompetitive, neurotics? Time will tell.
(Michael Cook is editor of MercatorNet.)
In fact, we should be more
concerned with mercy than
with justice, given the obvi-
ous limitations of our human
justice. It’s not that we should
ignore justice altogether. We
have need at least to air out our
differences and enter into some
discussion. But everything has
to be marked by delicacy and
To be avoided like the plague
is anything that can lead to
acrimony, bitter zeal, self-righ-
teousness, bigotry, impatience,
foul language, rash judgment,
etc. Even if in the eyes of the
public we may seem to have
been defeated in a debate be-
cause we follow the require-
ments of charity and mercy,
we can be sure that deep in our
heart and before God, we are
winners who do not consider
the other party as losers.
In the first place, venting out
our anger and falling into ha-
tred because of our very limited
if not distorted sense of justice
harms us more than create any
good in anybody. We would
just be polluting the air around.
As the world in general be-
comes more complex, with
more issues coming in and pos-
sibilities of conflicts increasing,
it would be good if we truly
value the importance of mercy
and its crucial role in our effort
to live justice.
Candidly Speaking / A4
A6 Vol. 18 No. 14
July 7 - 20, 2014
CBCP Monitor
Local News
“Sometimes, our decisions
can be too self-centered or too
myopic. So we leave the decision
to those in power, we only offer
guidelines for them to make their
decisions,” he said.
Villegas was responding to
questions whether the CBCP
would support calls to impeach
Aquino over the Disbursement
Acceleration Program, parts of
which the Supreme Court de-
clared unconstitutional.
The archbishop reiterated that as
bishops, they are only “conscience
troublemakers” and not “social
and political troublemakers”.
“So it is for us to form con-
sciences, so that political and
social decisions will be made
from the point of view of ethics
and morality,” he added.
Some lawmakers claim that
by implementing DAP, the chief
executive should be impeached
for supposedly violating the
Other critics of Aquino alleged
that he gave DAP funds to sena-
tors in exchange for convicting
then SC Chief Justice Renato
The bishops’ collegial body
earlier sought for “accountabil-
ity’ over the DAP controversy
and stressed that any investiga-
tion on the matter “cannot and
must not be selective.”
The CBCP also called on the
Commission on Audit and on the
Offce of the Ombudsman to be
transparent to the public about
where the DAP funds were used.
“…We must nevertheless
know how these monies were
used, for there was illegal and
immoral application of funds,
there must be restitution,” the
bishops said.
“A government that professes
to tread the straight path must
remain true to that profession
and must be willing to let go of
the corrupt in its own ranks! We
in the Church will do the same,”
they added. (CBCPNews)
Impeach / A1
In the coming days, as the wa-
ter a few meters off the shoreline
cools, crablet hunting season
will commence. Hundreds of
indigent fshermen and farmers
alike, including their children,
will resume hunting for crablets
the size of a rice grain.
Generosity of the sea
Indigent grade school age chil-
dren, carrying on their shoulders
‘agahid’, twice their height, can
be seen by now retracing the
coastlines through the sides of
the national highway, particu-
larly on Saturdays and Sundays,
when they have no classes.
Agahid is a local fshing tool
made of a long bamboo pole with
a nylon mesh knitted around a
rim much like a basket. The tool
is pushed against the seabed to
catch the crablets.
To Albert Habulan of baran-
gay Tagdon, who is completely
dependent on the generosity
of the sea to feed and meet the
needs of his family, the crablets
are heaven-sent on days he
would not dare sail miles off the
coast to catch fish because of
turbluent seas.
The thirtyish Habulan, who
lives with his wife and three
children on a landowner’s lot
along the coastline of barangay
Tagdon, and who is considered
the best crablet hunter in town,
can earn about P800 in a day if
the sea is generous. Others can
only make less.
Peak season for crablets
At P3.50 apiece during cold
months, the crablets are at their
highest local value, said Ernesto
Estrabella, a dealer in barangay
Tagdon. In the summer, price
dips to its lowest at 75 cents.
Pawik, the crablet at its late
stage of incubation, sells for a
lower price. It hatches into baby
crabs after two days.
In a day, Estrabella dispatches
about 15, 000 baby crabs to
another dealer in the town of
Gubat. He estimated Barcelona
ships about 50, 000 crablets a day.
In Barcelona alone, no less
than 100 crablet hunters sweep
the seabed. Most of the time
their backs are bent as they push
the agahid into the ocean foor,
picking out the tiny crablets from
seagrass, soil, twigs, small rocks,
snails and other particles. At
night, they use headlights.
Fishermen in the towns of
Gubat, Bulusan, and Magallanes
also sweep their shorelines for
crablets, Estrabella said. The
crablets are shipped in thou-
sands to crab growers in Pam-
panga and Roxas City.
From time to time, the issue of
child labor resurfaces. But there
is no coercion. Children volun-
tarily offer to help their parents
eke out a living.
Crablet hunting has long been
prohibited by barangay councils.
But they offer compassion, not
rules to these indigent people.
(Oliver Samson)
Crablets / A1
family through birth spacing.
“We would like to go on record: the ad
was pointless, and it reveals the true nature
of this government, and it is not helping the
needy,” it said.
The group stressed there is nothing wrong
per se with spacing and planning one’s fam-
ily, but equating it with poverty, and pushing
the contraceptive mentality is “wrong”.
Proof of this, they said, is a study show-
ing the economies of China and Singapore
improving with high population growths.
They also noted how even the Catholic
Church has been pushing for family planning,
but not through artifcial contraceptives.
“We do have issues when the DOH starts
giving out contraceptives that are cancerous
and are known abortifacients and spend bil-
lions upon billions on them,” said Pro-Life.
Instead of such propaganda materials, the
group strongly urged the government to
come up with real solutions to address the
worsening poverty in the country.
“We would like to urge our government:
give us concrete solutions that will have
lasting effects in our lives. There is so much
poverty in this country, and the solution
you put your funds on is the RH law?” said
the group.
“Give us better solutions or we will con-
tinue to live in utter poverty, no matter how
much we plan our family,” continued Pro-
Life. (CBCPNews)
Advert / A1
favors from God they are con-
vinced “mahal na mahal ako ni
Outwardly they live a com-
mendable life, but they have
weaknesses, too. They are too
weak to avoid sin; they have the
resolve to leave sin—stealing
gambling, fornication--but they
While they sincerely believe
they have a “prayer life” still
their prayer is only vocal prayer,
always asking for help on their
need—be it money, health, suc-
cess, business, visas, worldly
intentions, cure for broken rela-
tionships, or a way out of their
crisis. Their prayer is largely
self-centered and self-serving:
“save us and our loved ones, heal
us, protect us from harm and
diffculties, etc., and if they seem
to include people or matters out-
side of their immediate circle, it
is out of a messianic feeling of
wanting to save others. They
take delight in giving to charity.
Having no true charity, they
are ready to correct people al-
ways; they label people and they
are very demanding, seeking
perfection in others. Lacking in
genuine self-knowledge they feel
deserving of God’s consolations
and gifts. They believe the world
would be better if everyone were
like them. They tend to be judg-
mental, intolerant; they belittle
others who do not share their
views. They are secretly proud;
in their eyes they’re always
right and good, and because
they don’t see their sinfulness,
they cannot accept correction.
They are easily distressed by
minor trials, loss, or damage to
their reputation. Content with
consolations derived from their
prayers of petition, they do not
feel the need for silent prayer.
(To be continued)
And That’s The Truth / A4
Bishops praise SC ruling on DAP
CATHOLIC bishops are prais-
ing the recent Supreme Court
decision that declared several
parts of the Disbursement Ac-
celeration Program (DAP) un-
“I hail the SC decision,” said
Archbishop Socrates Villegas,
Catholic Bishops’ Conference
of the Philippines (CBCP) Presi-
dent as he also encouraged the
public to “zealously promote
integrity in public and private
According to him, the high tri-
bunal’s ruling “challenges of all
us to be vigilant against graft”.
“We must be a nation of laws
and citizenry of integrity,” Vil-
legas added.
Cubao Bishop Honesto Ong-
tioco, for his part, said heads
must roll now and “those who
promoted and used” the con-
troversial funds should be held
“I believe in the decision of the
SC. I’m sure it was thought [of]
and deliberated well,” Ongtioco
Marbel Bishop Dinualdo Guti-
errez echoed Ongtioco’s state-
ment, adding “all those involved
should answer”.
Senator Miriam Defensor-
Santiago said President Benigno
Aquino III may be impeached
over the DAP for culpable viola-
tion of the Constitution.
She said, however, those who
wants “to test the waters” are
bound to fail since allies of the
administration dominate both
houses of Congress.
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Brod-
erick Pabillo agreed with San-
tiago, saying that impeachment
is a political action.
“We are no longer hoping
(in the impeachment) because
it’s not after determining the
truth and seeking justice. It’s a
political move,” said Pabillo,
chair of the CBCP Public Affairs
“If he’s allied with the major-
ity in the Congress, how can he
be impeached? So we are not
hoping in that,” he lamented.
The Philippine bishops recognize the significance of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the unconstitutionality of several parts of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). File photo
Cebu priest apologizes
for scolding unwed mom
A CATHOLIC priest says he
“deeply regrets” having berated
a 17-year-old single mother at
her child’s baptismal ceremony
in Jagobiao, Mandaue City.
Redemptorist Father Romeo
Obach apologized on Tuesday
for his “rude attitude” that was
caught on video and went viral
on social media.
“I deeply regret I have done
this. I only later realized how
cruel my ways to educate and
impart lessons for the said event,”
Obach said in a statement.
“I am deeply sorry to the
mother of the child, her relatives,
the sponsors and the witnesses
of the incident,” he said.
The priest also apologized
to the public and the netizens
for his “unbecoming” behavior,
and the same time asking for
“I am deeply sorry and I hum-
bly ask your forgiveness,” Obach
The Redemptorist community
was also “deeply saddened”
by the incident, and said that it
may serve as a “reminder” to the
clergy “of our role as pastors”.
In a separate statement, Fr. Al-
fonso Suico, Jr., the Redemptorists’
media liaison offcer, said they “do
not condone” such an “unaccept-
able act” for it is contrary to their
charism and mission.
“We sincerely feel for the fam-
ily and to them we extend our
heartfelt apology,” Suico said.
He also assured that an “in-
ternal investigation” into the
incident is underway.
“Rest assured that appropri-
ate sanctions on the part of the
involved will be applied once
the investigation is complete
so that justice may prevail,” the
priest said.
Suico added that they will
reach out to the aggrieved fam-
ily to address the matter at the
right time.
“We appeal for calm and sobri-
ety from everyone even as we try
to assess both the outcome of the
investigation of our confrere and
at the same time reach out to the
family,” he said. (CBCPNews)
CBCP: We don’t advocate
recreational marijuana use
THE Catholic Bishops’ Confer-
ence of the Philippines came
out strong Monday against the
use of marijuana for recreational
However, CBCP president
Archbishop Socrates Villegas
said that they could not issue
a “blanket rejection of medical
marijuana for medical purposes.
He reiterated that Catholic
health ethics consider as morally
justifable the use of marijuana
for medical use.
“We do not advocate use of
marijuana,” Villegas said. “We
only refer to terminally ill patients
to minimize their pain especially
if they prepare for their death.”
The archbishop was respond-
ing to a question, during a press
conference in Manila, about the
church’s position on a proposal
in Congress to legalize mari-
juana cultivation in the country
for medical use.
According to him, the country
does not even need a law for
marijuana use to assist patients
on whom no medication is pos-
sible except prohibited drugs.
“We don’t even need a law
because the present law allows
it already,” Villegas said.
He cited provisions of Repub-
lic Act 9165, or the Comprehen-
sive Dangerous Act of 2002, that
defends such use of prohibited
drugs in exceptional cases.
“All we need to do is to iden-
tify which of them may be used,”
he said. (CBCPNews)
Shun fraternities, bishop tells youth
FOLLOWING another hazing-related death,
a Catholic bishop advised students not to join
fraternities and sororities, especially those
with dangerous initiations.
“We are appealing to students, who are
planning to join such groups, not to go
through with it as they might become the
next victim of hazing,” said Bishop Ro-
berto Mallari, former vice chairman of the
CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Youth.
Mallari, who also heads the diocese of San
Jose in Nueva Ecija, said cases highlighting
injuries or deaths from hazing only prove
how risky joining such groups are.
“This should serve as a lesson to all. That’s
why everyone, especially the youth, should
go against all forms of hazing in fraternities.
We should all be concerned about this as
the next victim could be someone that you
know,” he said.
Similarly, the bishop called on fraternities
and sororities to stop subjecting their broth-
ers to such initiations.
“Why do you need to subject them to
such tests? What is your purpose for doing
that? What do they really want? Maybe they
should review what their group’s mission
and vision is,” Mallari said.
On Saturday night, sophomore student
Guillo Cesar Servando of De La Salle-College
of Saint Benilde allegedly died of hazing after
undergoing the initiation rites of a fraternity
in Manila.
Aside from Servando, also injured from
alleged hazing were three other students of
the said university.
In 2012, a freshman law student of
San Beda College, Mark Andrei Marcos,
was also killed from fraternity hazing.

Bishop Roberto Mallari, former vice chairman of the
CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Youth discouraged young
people from joining fraternities and submitting to fraternity
initiation rites, which sometimes includes hazing. File photo
Online missionaries organize confab on ‘authentic encounters’
MANILA, July 9, 2014 -- Taking
on Pope Francis’ challenge to be
digital Good Samaritans, Youth-
Pinoy (YP), a group of young
Filipino “online missionaries”,
is organizing the Catholic Social
Media Summit (CSMS) version
3.0 on September 13 - 14 which
will focus on the need for au-
thentic encounters.
“As we encounter people on-
line, we also need to have real
encounters with them offine. It
means that what you do online
should be the same as who you
are offine,” YP president Sky
Ortigas said in an interview.
Ortigas, who headed the frst
two CSMSs in 2012 and 2013,
said nowadays, it is easy to
equate personal connections
with being online.
“Being connected is not sim-
ply being online,” she stressed,
saying even with the seeming
dominance of social networks
like Facebook and Twitter, there
is a need to go back to the offine
Ortigas pointed out, Catholics
should put the digital media at
the service of evangelization
with the purpose of reaching out
to souls—to the “unchurched”—
by cultivating “deep personal
For the frst time since it de-
buted in 2012, the Catholic So-
cial Media Summit (CSMS), not
yet quite out of the comforts of
Metro Manila, will be taking
Pangasinan by storm, where
“V3” (version three) of the event
will be held at the Pangasinan
Training and Development Cen-
ter, Lingayen in a serious bid to
reach the grassroots.
For more information, visit
mit.com or Contact Sher +63921-
4746638 or Esteve +63916-
2783807. Interested parties may
also email catholicsocialmedia-
YouthPinoy president Sky Ortigas gives a talk on social media evangelization to parish
youth in Manila. YouthPinoy
A7 Vol. 18 No. 14
July 7 - 20, 2014
CBCP Monitor
Diocesan News
voluntarily surrendered after
warrants of arrest were issued
against them.
One of the most celebrated
holidays in the United States is
the 4th of July, to commemorate
the declaration of their indepen-
dence from Britain, the birth of
their democracy. A Committee
of 5 was appointed to draft the
Declaration of Independence,
which assigned the work to
Thomas Jefferson of Virginia.
A few changes were made by
Benjamin Franklin of Penn-
sylvania and John Adams of
Massachusetts. The other two
members were Roger Sherman
of Connecticut and Robert Liv-
ingstone of New York.
It was on July 4, 1776 when
the Declaration of Independence
was signed and adopted in
Philadelphia by the represen-
tatives of the 13 colonies – the
8 others are New Hampshire,
Rhode Island, New Jersey, Dela-
ware, Maryland, North Carolina,
South Carolina, Georgia – and
when the Liberty Bell was also
frst rung. I was blessed to have
visited the very room where the
document was signed and where
the Liberty Bell is now kept.
I wish to greet Fr. Antonio
Nopasa, Fr. Rey Amante and
Fr. Christopher Tibong, OFM. A
Happy Sacerdotal Anniversary.
Happy Birthday to my niece
Mary Gretchen Rosales-Castro,
daughter of my eldest sister
Violeta Santiago-Rosales.
Duc In Altum / A5
Priest backs call for NDF-gov’t peace talks
sogon priest expressed sup-
port for a human rights
group’s call on government
and the National Democrat-
ic Front (NDF) to consider
the resumption of peace
talks following a spate of
insurgency-related violence
and deaths in Bicol.
Fr. Bong Imperial, an
advocacy priest, said the
statement by Karapatan-
Bikol on July 3 seeking the
reopening of peace nego-
tiations is timely to prevent
escalating hostilities and
killings linked to the armed
confict in the region and
other parts of the country.
National level, not local
In the statement, Karapa-
tan-Bikol spokesperson
Vince Casilihan said the
continuing suspension of
peace negotiations not only
gives rise to more violence
and deaths, but also “de-
rails progress and develop-
ment in the countryside.”
Both Casilihan and Impe-
rial favor the resumption of
peace talks at the national
level, not the local peace
initiative pushed by local
politicians and other gov-
ernment offcials.
Remote areas in Bicol and
other parts of the country
remain hosts to the long-
standing confict between
government troops and
NPA guerillas for the past
40 years, Casilihan said,
specifcally mentioning the
death of Elias Garduque, a
farmer, who was killed after
a Philippine Army’s (PA)
Scout Ranger fired at his
house where NPA guerillas
ducked for cover at baran-
gay Balocawe, Matnog, Sor-
sogon on May 23 this year.
Garduque’s wife and one
year old son were wound-
ed, Imperial said. Despite
the military’s insistence
that the widow is a com-
batant, Imperial stressed
the observance of the Com-
prehensive Agreement on
Respect for Human Rights
and International Humani-
tarian Law (CARHRIHL),
which states that non-com-
batants trapped in the en-
counters should be spared
at all times.
Human rights issues
“Non-observance of the
provisions of CARHRIHL
becomes a human rights is-
sue,” Casilihan pointed out.
According to Casilihan,
aside from the CARHRIHL,
“which is already in effect”,
the peace talks should cover
the Comprehensive Agree-
ment on Social and Eco-
nomic Reforms (CASER),
Constitutional Reforms and
the Cessation of Hostilities
and Disposition of Forces
“We opine that both par-
ties of the conflict must
adhere to The Hague Joint
Declaration that carries the
four substantive agenda of
the peace talks,” he said.
“This is not within the
scope of a local government
to undertake.”
The list of casualties on
both sides is growing. Intel-
ligence operative (PA) Sgt.
Rene Madrona, an intel-
ligence operative, was shot
dead by armed men near
his house on June 10; the
following day, PO3 Chris-
topher Escreza, a Philip-
pine National Police (PNP)
intelligence officer, was
also killed by gunmen at
the gate of St. Joseph Parish
Church in Barcelona.
On its website, the NPA
claimed responsibility for
both murders. The NDF
also lost its spokesperson
for Bicol Region Greg Ba-
ñares, and seven of his
comrades on July 4 last
year during an encounter
with government troops at
barangay Upper Calmayon,
Juban in Sorsogon. (Oliver
St. Joseph Parish Church in Barcelona, Sorsogon is where PO3 Christopher Escreza was allegedly shot dead by
members of the New People’s Army (NPA) on June 11. Oliver Samson
Bishop: ‘Daang Matuwid’ is radical corruption
QUEZON City—With the con-
troversies surrounding the Dis-
bursement Acceleration Fund
(DAP), a bishop believes the
Aquino administration’s vision
of “Daang Matuwid” (Straight
Path) is “radical corruption”.
“Even granting they had it
[DAP] ‘in good faith’, these
people’s refusal to acknowledge
their mistakes smacks of nothing
but radical corruption,” Novali-
ches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro
C. Bacani, Jr. said in an interview
over Church-run Radyo Veritas
Monday, July 7.
The prelate pointed out that
the Supreme Court’s recent
unanimous ruling on the uncon-
stitutionality of some parts of
what is popularly called “presi-
dential pork barrel” boils down
to the same thing.
He noted, “This administra-
tion’s insistence on not issuing
an apology saddens me, when it
is clear that even supposing they
have done nothing wrong on
purpose, they have deliberately
done nothing good either.”
Budget Secretary Florencio
Abad’s argument of “good
faith”, does not hold water, the
bishop declared, because DAP
has no mind of its own apart
from its creator.
“[And] since it is obvious that
they blundered—whether in
good faith or not is irrelevant—
they owe the public an apology,
but it looks like there’s none
forthcoming,” Bacani said.
According to him, theology
teaches that sometimes, it is
possible to do wrong with good
intentions, but admission of
wrongdoing is needed at the
The Lord Himself declared
that we cannot be upright
(“matuwid”) unless we learn
and practice humility, Bacani
stressed. (Raymond A. Sebas-
Protesters against the pork barrel scam sign a petition to completely scrap government’s
discretionary funds during the Million People March at the Quirino Grandstand in August
2013. File photo
CBCP head invites youth
to ‘chastity confab’
LINGAYEN, Pangasinan—Cath-
olic Bishops’ Conference of the
Philippines (CBCP) president
Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop
Socrates Villegas invites the
faithful, youth and young adults
especially, to take part in a chas-
tity conference scheduled on July
13, Sunday at the SMX Conven-
tion Center in Pasay City from
8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Dubbed the “Live Pure Con-
ference 2014”, the event, heed-
ing CBCP’s call for “renewed
and integral evangelization”,
has for its theme #LoveProject
for this Year of the Laity with its
challenge “Choose to be Brave”.
In a letter dated May 31, 2014
endorsing the activity, Villegas
stated, “Let us celebrate love and
chastity among our youth.”
The organizers of the con-
ference, young Catholic lead-
ers from the Live Pure Move-
ment, seek to gather teens and
young adults from different
walks of life to reflect on the
“God-given gifts of woman-
hood and manhood strength-
ened by the virtues of chastity
and love”.
“Love is powerful. Chastity is
beautiful. Holiness is attractive,”
Villegas added. (Raymond A.

CBCP President Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas. File photo
Singing parishioners repair church
JUBAN, Sorsogon—The faithful knocked on
doors and sang to repair their church, which
has stood the test of time in this coastal town.
The result? A refurbished look that calls to
mind iconic churches in Italy and Iberia.
Restored through fundraising efforts con-
ceptualized and conducted by parishioners,
St. Anthony Parish Church in Juban, located
in the southwestern part of Sorsogon, now
enjoys what is arguably an unparalleled
Singing, going from house to house
Funds were raised through Harana para sa
Parokya (serenade for the parish) in Juban,
Sorsogon City, Legazpi City, Metro Manila,
and Cavite, Futol said. The fundraising com-
mittee became a singing group, including
the church’s parish priest, Fr. Alberto Futol.
Another effort was Tuktok Balay(house-
knocking) in 2013 and early part 2014.
“We knocked on the doors of Roman Cath-
olics in all the barangays of Juban, including
its most outlying villages, who shared from
P5 to P20,” he said.
Concerts and raffe draws were also held
in Juban to raise funds, Futol added.
According to him, the P2 million raised
from the said activities went to the renova-
tion of roof, ceiling, doors, and other parts
of the structure.
The new retablo cost P1.5 million, which
was donated by a parishioner of St. Anthony
Parish, he said.
“The parishioners restored this church,
not me,” Futol, who formed the fundraising
committee, clarifed. “There was only one
thing I have done—enlightened and guided
them to what they were capable of doing.”
He stressed that “the faithful learn from
the priest, and the priest also learns a lot
from them.”
Over the years
When the parish was founded on June 20, 1817,
the church structure was built on bamboo and ana-
haw that unfortunately were destroyed in a fre.
The church rose again, this time, built on
stone, Futold revealed. The date of construc-
tion, however, was not documented.
Walls were originally swathed in concrete
overlays on both sides, Futol said.
About 25 years ago, one of the former
parish priests discovered stones concealed
behind the concrete coating and had the
plaster of the inside of the walls stripped off.
The stones, which are roughly the size of
apples, protrude evenly from the sides of the
front door extending to the sides of the altar,
and from the foor climbing up to the ceiling.
The church with its stone walls; elongated
black old-style chandeliers held by long,
thin cables from the ceiling; high ceiling that
reveals its original black trusses; and the
Gothic retablo (or retable, the ornamental
panel behind altar) is impressive.
The new retablo is made from both wood
and fber glass, taking the place of the old,
baroque one.
The restoration of the church began in
2012 in preparation for the bicentennial an-
niversary of its founding on June 20, 2017,
he said. (Oliver Samson)
Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes celebrates mass in Juban’s
St. Anthony Parish Church during town fiesta on June 20,
2014. Oliver Samson
Seminary life all about
transformation – priest
NAGA Ci t y—What do
priests do before becom-
ing priests? More than just
studying, these men of the
cloth undergo a period of
“transformation” in semi-
naries, says a priest.
“Seminary formation
is change,” said Caceres
Vicar General Msgr. Ro-
del Cajot, P.C. in a recent
homily to more than 200
seminarians gathered for
the formal opening of the
academic school year for
Caceres seminaries.
Cajot stressed the qual-
ity of priestly formation,
explaining that it entails the
transformation of “a young
man into a priest according
to the heart of Jesus, the
Good Shepherd, indeed into
an alter Chistus, another
This is also why those en-
trusted with such a position
to mentor and guide these
young men have a very cru-
cial yet noble task to accom-
plish, he explained, quoting
a Congregation for Catholic
Education document titled,
“Directives Concerning the
Preparation of Seminary
According to the docu-
ment there are seven essen-
tial qualities that a seminary
priest-formator ought to
possess: “a strong spirit of
faith, an active priestly and
pastoral consciousness, a
spirit of communion, human
maturity and psychological
equilibrium, a clear and
mature capacity to love,
the capacity for listening,
dialogue and communion,
and a positive and critical at-
tention to modern culture.”
(Natalie Hazel Quimlat)
rehabilitation centers, homes for
the elderly and orphanages.
“Being polite to the children
and infants, to the sick and the
elderly are great acts of mercy,”
they said.
“When the Pope comes, he
will bring with him the message
of the mercy and compassion of
God,” Villegas added.
“When he meets us, may he
see in us a people touched by
the mercy of God, living out the
compassion of God, a people
truly rich in mercy and compas-
sion and grateful to those who
have mercy to us especially
after various calamities hit our
country,” he said.

Simple visit
On July 4, at least three Vati-
can protocol officials came to
the Philippines and inspected
possible sites for a papal Mass.
Dr. Alberto Gasbarri, chief
organizer of the Pastoral Visit;
Dr. Paolo Cornvini, offce of the
protocol and Dr. Stephanie Izo,
secretariat of the Vatican, con-
ducted inspections of the areas
in Tacloban and Manila to be
visited by the pope.
“They would report to the
Holy Father and the office in
charge of the papal visit. We
don’t know what will happen
next, we would wait,” Tagle said
at a press conference at the end
of the three-day bishops’ meet-
ing on July 7.
Pope Francis, according to
Cardinal Tagle, requested that
his visit be pastoral and simple.
“The request communicated,
he wants the visit to be pastoral
and simple. He wants to en-
counter people who suffered,”
he added.
In Leyte, an area that was
devastated by super typhoon
‘Yolanda’ last November, among
the proposed sites for the papal
Mass are the new airport apron in
San Jose, the government center in
Palo, and the Tacloban port area.
The Vatican team also in-
spected the Palo Metropolitan
Cathedral, the archbishop’s resi-
dence, and the Sto. Niño Church
in Tacloban.

Preparations ongoing
The Vatican officials also
established communications
with various government agen-
cies for the papal visit like the
Armed Forces of the Philippines,
Department of Transportation
and Communications and the
Philippine Information Agency.
The church is expecting a huge
crowd during the papal visit
similar to the one in January 1995
when Saint John Paul II visited
Manila for the World Youth Day.
“The last time we had a papal
visit, we had fve million people
in Luneta. So we are preparing
for that,” Villegas said.
Tagle also said that because
of the 77-year old pope’s and
health condition, they would
have to limit areas that the pope
will visit.
“Because of his age, and he
only has one lung, he has to limit
his movements,” he said.
This will be the fourth papal
visit to the Philippines, with
Pope Francis being the third
pontiff to visit the country.
Preparation / A1
to stand as guarantor before civil courts that
the accused will not abscond and will be
available at every trial date,” he said.
“Furthermore, we are not sure that under
civil law we are qualifed for such a role as
Ms. Napoles would wish us to assume,”
Villegas said.
The archbishop also noted that heeding
Napoles’ request for the CBCP to “take her
under protective custody” would establish
a precedent.
“Once we allow CBCP’s offces to take
recognizance of Ms. Napoles, we must, to
be fair, accept similar requests from all other
accused,” Villegas added.
“Not only would this strain CBCP’s
resources. It would render impossible the
discharge of its principal functions,” he said.
Villegas, however, assured that they will
continue to be vigilant that the rights of Na-
poles and the other accused are respected.
He also reiterated the CBCP’s call for the
government to be “resolute and non-selec-
tive” in the indictment of offenders and in
holding them accountable for all their actions.
Napoles is currently detained at Fort Sto.
Domingo in Sta. Rosa, Laguna for serious
illegal detention charges.
Last May 12, Villegas visited Napoles at a
hospital in Makati where she underwent a
hysterectomy operation and urged her to tell
the truth about the controversy.
According to him, the family of Napoles
requested prayers and blessings for her fast
“As a priest, I went. But I told her the
blessing will only give healing if she tells
the whole truth without being selective,”
Villegas said. (CBCPNews)
Custody / A1
Vol. 18 No. 14
July 7 - 20, 2014
CBCP Monitor
A8 People, Facts & Places
PHLPost presents
‘Pope Francis Stamps’
to Papal Nuncio
Postmaster General Josefina Dela Cruz presents framed papal stamps of Pope Francis to the Papal Nuncio
Archbishop Guiseppe Pinto at the Vatican Apostolic Nunciature in Manila on June 30, 2014. In May, the Philippine
Postal Corporation (PHLPost) also presented the Holy Father with special stamps commemorating the pontiff’s
second year as shepherd of a billion-strong Catholics.PHLPost
Thousands ‘food’
Baclaran feast
HEAT and occasi onal
drizzle aside, Baclaran’s
National Shrine of Our
Mother of Perpetual Help
welcomed thousands of
eager devotees from dif-
ferent parts of the country
and abroad who packed
the church beyond capac-
ity Friday, June 27, for the
beloved patroness’ much-
awaited feast.
Roses, tulips, and jas-
mines offered non-stop by
the adoring crowd, many
of whom never spend a cent
on sampaguita garlands—
perhaps not even for their
better halves, except for this
occasion, almost literally
turned the shrine foor into
a sea of fowers.
DSLRs and camera-
phones in hand, from the
most ordinary version to
the most fancy, each ex-
cited devotee took turns
taki ng a “sel fi e” wi th
the “Mahal na Ina” icon
hanging behind, like that
happy day was the last
they would have.
Redemptorist Bishop
Ireneo Amantillo, who
presided over the concel-
ebrated mass, expound-
ed on the virtues of the
Blessed Virgin and how
she intercedes on behalf
of believers by shower-
ing Christians with her
“prompt succor”.
A processi on of Our
Mot her ’ s mi r acul ous
picture, from Baclaran
church’s Roxas Boulevard
gate, down Redemptorist
Road, Quirino Avenue,
Airport Road, and back,
followed, with devotees
young and old, male and
femal e, ri ch and poor
reciting the Rosary and
singing hymns to Mary
along the way.
It was the kind of treat-
ment Hollywood A-listers
and European monarchs
woul d have been j eal -
ous of.
No human, past or pres-
ent, living or dead, save
Jesus Christ Himself, has
been accorded with such
reverence and honor.
It was a treatment fit
for heaven’s Queen. (Ray-
mond A. Sebastián)
Rose garden? Not quite: Baclaran Church turned into a rose garden Friday, June 27, on the feast of Our Mother of Perpetual Help as devotees offered
flowers big and small to “Mahal na Ina”. Baclaran’s phenomenal Perpetual devotion rivals only Quiapo’s Black Nazarene. Raymond A. Sebastián
Nuns giving away 75,000 Bibles
A CONGREGATION of religious
women aims to distribute 75, 000
copies Bibles in poor communities
by October this year as part of its
75th diamond jubilee celebration.
Bibles for families
Called “Biblia sa Bawat Pamilya”,
this project of the Daughters of St.
Paul,will circulate copies of the
Bible in different dialects across the
country to promote a deeper under-
standing of Scripture, Daughters
of St. Paul provincial superior Sr.
Noemi Vinoya said. The distribu-
tion will also be accompanied by
The Bible is badly needed by the
people trapped in a “collapsing mo-
rality”, Canag, explained, especially
the poor whose faith is being put to
test by poverty engendered by social
inequities and natural calamities.
“Re-evangelizing the people is
gravely required in today’s society
where wrongdoings have become
normal and acceptable,” she said.
‘Moral collapse’
It’s saddening that the act of seek-
ing redress has become “offensive”,
sometimes prompting violence,
Canag said.
According to her, the Bible can
lead the society from moral col-
lapse and from worsening social
The congregation will push the
project beyond the closing of the
one-year observance of its 75th
diamond jubilee on October 13, if
they did not meet the target by that
date, she said.
They may even distribute the
Bible more than the targeted num-
ber of copies if needed, Canag said.
(Oliver Samson)
Daughters of St. Paul (FSP) former provincial superior Sr. Evangelina Canag (left) and current provincial
superior Sr. Noemi Vinoya (right) at the congregation’s publishing house at their central house in Pasay
City. Oliver Samson
Free Marian retreat for priests
PRIESTS need a break too. With
this knowledge, a Marian group is
offering an all expense paid retreat
for the clergy from August 11 to 15
in Lipa, Batangas.
To be held at the Lipa Capuchin
Retreat House, the retreat is the
second Marian gathering for the
Clergy organized by the Confrater-
nity of Mary Mediatrix of All-Grace,
and features power house speakers
such as Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, Jaro
Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, No-
valiches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro
Bacani, Digos Bishop Guillermo
Af abl e and Cot abat o Auxi l i ary
Bishop Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo,
to name a few.
“What is special with this Marian
Retreat is that it focuses on the total
consecration and true devotion to
Mary as a deep source of priestly
spirituality,” explained Fr. Melvin
Castro, founder of the Confraternity
of Mary Mediatrix of All-Grace.
According to him, it is precisely
the cl ergy who are i nvi ted i n a
special way by Our Lady to “enter
into the spirituality of total conse-
“The Confraternity hopes and prays
this retreat will help our clergy further
deepen their devotion to Our Lady
and from that devotion a much deeper
zeal and dedication to the ministerial
priesthood,” Castro added.
Other speakers i ncl ude Msgr.
Gerry Santos, Msgr. Sabino Vengco,
Fr. Odon de Castro, and Fr. Melvin
The retreat will also include a
pilgrimage within the Archdiocese
of Lipa on August 14.
For further details and confirma-
tion of attendance, please contact
Brenda Padilla at 0917.577.6846 or
through email, brendabpadilla@
gmail.com (Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz)
Gospel singers to perform for
disaster survivors
ST. Paul College Pasig,
Tangi ng Yaman Foun-
dation, and Jesuit Com-
munications Foundation
(JesCom) join forces to
bring to the public the mu-
sic of Bukas Palad Music
Ministry in a beneft concert
on Saturday, July 5, 5:30
p.m., at St. Paul College
Pasig‘s Bishop Frederick Z.
Rooker Auditorium.
Billed “Huwag Kang
Mangamba”, the concert
seeks to raise much needed
funds for the music group’s
ongoing outreach efforts
in disaster-hit towns and
provinces with the help of
Tanging Yaman Foundation
and St. Paul Pasig.
Concerts and assistance,
both material and spiritual,
are already underway for
calamity survivors in Taclo-
ban, Ormoc, Bantayan Is-
land, Sorsogon, and Bohol.
Bukas Palad Music Min-
istry, the Catholic Mass
Media awardee behind
many of today’s popular
liturgical hymns, is a com-
munity of young musicians
with a passion fot writing,
recording, and performing
original Filipino religious
“Hindi Kita Malilimu-
tan”, “Tanging Yaman”,
“Sa ‘Yo Lamang”, “Ani-
ma Christi”, “I Will Sing
Forever”, and “Humayo’t
Ihayag” are but some of the
best-loved praise songs the
group have performed and
The concert is also set to
feature Bukas Palad founder
Fr. Manoling Francisco, SJ; Sr.
Bubbles Bandojo, RC; and
the Musician Friends of the
Jesuits Chamber Orchestra.
The St. Paul College Pa-
sig High School Chorale is
also slated to perform in a
special number.
Before the concert, a mass
will be celebrated also in
the same venue at 4:00 p.m.
Tickets are priced at P
500.00 each and are avail-
able through St. Paul Col-
lege Pasig Community Re-
lations Offce.
Contact Marivi Zamora
at (02) 631-1835 local 210;
Tanging Yaman Founda-
tion Offce at (02) 426-5924;
Tanging Yaman Stores, 5/F
SM Megamall and Ateneo
de Manila Campus, (02)
426-5971 to 72, and Bukas
Palad c/o Justin at +63-917-
For other inquiries, call
or text Justin Ng at +63-
917-597-5878. (Raymond A.
Vol. 18 No. 14
July 7 - 20, 2014
CBCP Monitor
Pastoral Concerns


MY dear people of God:
The Cat hol i c Bi shops’
Conference of Philippines
offcially announces the visit of
the Holy Father, Pope Francis
to the Philippines, God willing
at the beginning of next year,
2015. His visit carries a message
of pastoral love, mercy and
compassion from a Pope with
the scent of a Good Shepherd
(cf. John 10). Even though, this
will be the fourth papal visit to
our nation, for Pope Francis he
will be the third Pope to visit our
country. As the Successor to the
Chair of Peter, the Holy Father is
coming to strengthen his brothers
and sisters (cf. Luke 22:32).
The underlying spirit of this
Papal visit is the theme of
“mercy and compassion” the
cherished ideals of Jesus. In this
regard, Matthew 9:36 tells us
that Jesus “seeing the people,
He felt compassion for them,
because they were distressed and
dispirited like sheep without a
shepherd.” In this context, Pope
Francis comes to revive our
“drooping spirit” and to lead us
to greener pastures (cf. Psalm 23).
Hence, he is bringing to us “the
joy of the gospel” enshrined in his
Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii
Usually, our first reaction
to the news of a papal visit
is understandably one of
euphoria and thanksgiving.
The excitement of seeing Pope
Francis in the Philippines is
rising as the year 2015 gets nearer.
However, we must prepare the
nation to receive the Holy Father
by setting our minds and hearts
in communion with our dear
Pope Francis, the messenger of
peace, love, and the apostle of
the poor. Our compassionate
shepherd comes to show his
deep concern for our people who
have gone through devastating
calamities, especially in the
Visayas. He comes to confrm
us in our faith as we face the
challenges of witnessing to the
Joy of the Gospel in the midst
of our trials.
This is an eloquent way of
showing mercy and compassion.
Accordingly, in his Apostolic
Exhortation, he has already
voiced this concern in these
words: “some people continue
to defend trickle-down theories
which assume that economic
growth, encouraged by a free
market, will inevitably succeed
in bringing about greater justice
and inclusiveness in the world.
This opinion, which has never
been confirmed by the facts,
expresses a crude and naïve
trust in the goodness of those
wielding economic power and
in the sacralized workings of
the prevailing economic system.
Meanwhile, the excluded are still
waiting” (Evangelii Gaudium
54). And the Pope comes to
bring hope to our excluded
Philippines. He brings a message
to the poor among us.
A people eager to welcome
Let us allow Pope Francis
himself to prepare us for his visit.
How? The guiding motto of our
dear Pope Francis is Miserando
atque eligendo (meaning ‘lowly but
chosen’). The literal translation
from Latin is ‘by having mercy,
by choosing him’. We can equally
adapt this to be the motto of our
nation as well. Though we are
lowly among the nations, yet we
have been chosen to receive the
blessings of the Vicar of Christ.
In this regard, Pope Francis
reminds us that “the Church
must be a place of mercy freely
given, where everyone can feel
welcomed, loved, forgiven and
encouraged to live the good life of
the Gospel” (Evangelii Gaudium
114). Consistent with this, the
Holy Father has clearly laid out
his wish that the main objective
of his visit is to bring Christ’s
compassion for our suffering
people still struggling to rise
from the devastations wrought
by the earthquake and typhoon
that hit the Visayas.
This demand of Pope Francis is
also consistent with Daniel 4:24
(NAB) which says: “Renounce
your sins by doing what is right,
and your wickedness by being
kind to the oppressed. It may
be that then your prosperity
will continue.” Accordingly, it
is not the logistics, security and
infrastructure that best prepare
us for the papal visit. Let us be
like Pope Francis in his humility
and his compassion. Let us make
his apostolic journey of mercy to
be ours even before he arrives.
A Pope rich in mercy
In connection with the recent
canonization of Saint John Paul
II, and the remarkable emphasis
Pope Francis has been giving
to this particular element in
Christian life, may we choose
MERCY, incarnated, embodied,
symbolized in the poor amongst
us, to be placed at the center of
this spiritual preparation for the
papal visit.
It was Saint John Paul II who
wrote deeply and movingly of
God Our Father as “Dives in
Misericordia”. In that profound
encyclical, “mercy” was his name
for God. Pope Francis, from the
frst days of his pontifcate, has
been preaching insistently and
passionately on God’s constant
and untiring mercy, and on the
primacy of the Church’s mission
of mercy and compassion in the
world of our time.
It is noteworthy that perhaps
the frst major doctrinal-spiritual
book of Pope Francis, which
has been published in English
bears the title, “The Church of
Mercy”. The book “presents the
heart of his teaching on the most
fundamental themes of his vision
of a new way of being Church.”
In it, the Holy Father asks:
“Are we a Church that really calls
and welcomes sinners with open
arms, that gives courage and
hope, or are we a Church closed
in on herself? … Are we a Church
which is a house for everyone,
where all can be renewed,
transformed, sanctifed by God’s
love, the strongest and the
weakest, sinners, the indifferent,
those who feel discouraged or
lost? … Are we a Church where
the face of God dwells, where
one cares for the other, where
one prays for the other?”
Embracing the mercy of God
From Pope Francis’ teaching,
two aspects of mercy may be
singled out.
First, the mercy and the
patience of God toward sinners
are made manifest in Jesus. Jesus
is “the visible face of the mercy of
God.” As the Father in the parable
of the Prodigal Son, “God is there
always, always waiting for us; he
never grows tired. Jesus shows
us the merciful patience of God.”
And “this patience of God calls
forth in us the courage to return
to him, however many the sins
and mistakes there may be in
our lives.” Like Thomas in the
gospel, “we too can enter into the
wounds of Jesus; we can actually
touch him. This happens every
time we receive the sacraments
with faith.” “It is there, in the
wounds of Jesus, that we are
truly secure; there we encounter
the boundless love of his Heart.”
Secondly, we encounter Jesus
in living out his own compassion
and mercy towards our brothers
and sisters in need and poverty,
in suffering, loneliness, in
hopelessness. “To meet the
living God we must tenderly
kiss the wounds of Jesus in our
hungry people, in the sick and
in imprisoned brothers and
sisters. Study, meditation and
mortification are not enough
to have us encounter the living
Christ. Like the apostle Thomas,
our life will only be changed
when we touch Christ’s wounds
present in the poor, the sick
and the needy. The path to our
encounter with Jesus is his
wounds. There is no other.” (Pope
Francis, 3 July 2013)
A question then arises. In
our Christian lives, where may
we in fact draw the profound
spirituality of mercy that can
truly help us prepare spiritually
for the papal visit?
“They will look upon him
whom they have pierced” (John
19: 37, NAB). The Fourth Gospel,
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
wrote, sums up the whole
Christian spirituality. In this great
image we see the whole story of
our salvation in Jesus. We see
God’s faithful love and mercy
shining forth from the Cross.
And we see the human response
to that merciful love also in the
pierced Heart of Christ.
A people rich in mercy
The most distinctive way
to prepare spiritually for the
coming of Pope Francis is for the
Philippines to become a people
rich in mercy. Let us make mercy
our national identity. Trust in
God’s mercy is part and parcel of
our traditional Filipino Christian
culture. Let us make the practice
of mercy our gift to the Pope
when he comes to visit us.
Concretely, in this period
of preparation for the visit of
Pope Francis, we are bidden
to turn to the fountain of all
mercy, Jesus, and encounter the
Divine Mercy in the Sacrament
of Reconciliation. And having
received such mercy we in turn
practice acts of mercy.
In the Catechism of the Catholic
Church we read: “The works of
mercy are charitable actions by
which we come to the aid of our
neighbour in his spiritual and
bodily necessities. Instructing,
advising, consoling, comforting,
are spiritual works of mercy, as
are forgiving and bearing wrongs
patiently. The corporal works
of mercy consist especially in
feeding the hungry, sheltering
the homeless, clothing the naked,
visiting the sick and imprisoned,
and burying the dead. Among
all of these, giving alms to the
poor is one of the chief witnesses
to fraternal charity: it is also a
work of justice pleasing to God.”
(CCC 2447)
At the societal level, let us
also not forget to address justice
and mercy issues in the root
causes of poverty and inequality
in our country—such as the
protection of the environment,
the completion of agrarian
reform, and the continuing
challenges of good governance,
peace-building, and inclusive
growth for all.
A preparation rich in mercy
We encourage you our dear
people to resolve to make an act
of mercy every day.
You can reach out to a lonely
stranger. You can tell the story
of Jesus to a child eager to
understand and feel the love of
God. You can advise a confused
co-worker. You can forgive
someone who has wronged you.
You can give food to a hungry
beggar. You can contribute to
building homes for the typhoon
victims. You can visit those in
jail or prison. You can visit the
charity ward of hospitals, drug
rehabilitation centers, homes for
the elderly and orphanages. You
can condole with the grieving
families whose loved ones just
died. You can give alms to the
You can show mercy by
making it a habit to say “please”,
“thank you” or a kind word of
appreciation. Refraining from
cursing and using hurting words
is an act of mercy. Being polite to
the children and infants, to the
sick and the elderly are great
acts of mercy.
As we prepare for the coming
of the Pope we are asked to have
more access to the Sacrament of
Reconciliation and encourage
our priests to increase their
availability and visibility at the
confessional, and turn earnestly
to fervent participation in the
Eucharistic sacrifce and even
spend more time in Eucharistic
adoration and to zealously be
involved in making our Basic
Ecclesial Communities and other
faith-communities as venues
for mercy and reconciliation.
Let us prepare to see the Pope
by reviving personal and
family prayer. Pope Francis has
challenged us to restore family
prayer and devotion in our
All of this opens to, nourishes,
and sustains in our lives the gift
of Mercy from the Heart of Jesus!
May our Shrines of Divine Mercy
be the source of inspiration and
strength for our families.
When the Pope comes, he will
bring with him the message of the
mercy and compassion of God.
When he meets us, may he see in
us a people touched by the mercy
of God, living out the compassion
of God, a people truly rich in
mercy and compassion and
grateful to those who have
shown mercy to us especially
after various calamities hit our
May Mary, Our Mother of
Mercy prepare us to meet Jesus
in Pope Francis!
For the Catholic Bishops’
Conference of the Philippines,
July 7, 2014.
Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan
CBCP President
7 July 2014
Pastoral Letter to Prepare the People of God for the Apostolic Visit of Pope Francis
nation of
and compassion
Miserando atque Eligendo (Lowly but Chosen)
The excitement of seeing Pope Francis in
the Philippines is rising as the year 2015
gets nearer. However, we must prepare
the nation to receive the Holy Father
by setting our minds and hearts in
communion with our dear Pope Francis,
the messenger of peace, love, and the
apostle of the poor.
You can give food to a hungry beggar.
You can contribute to building homes for
the typhoon victims. You can visit those
in jail or prison. You can visit the charity
ward of hospitals, drug rehabilitation
centers, homes for the elderly and
orphanages. You can condole with the
grieving families whose loved ones just
died. You can give alms to the poor.
B2 Vol. 18 No. 14
July 7 - 20, 2014
CBCP Monitor
Magisterium / B5
The Magisterium of the CBCP
By Jaime B. Achacoso, J.C.D.
With regularity, reports appear in the mass
media of certain declarations attributed to
the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the
Philippines (CBCP), quite often making
these appear as offcial positions of the
Catholic Church. Only on closer reading does
it become clear that in fact the position is only
that of a particular bishop, or of an offcial of
one of the several standing commissions (like
departments or offces) working within the
CBCP. Can you please clarify the authority
of the CBCP to issue doctrinal statements,
and the binding (or non-binding) nature of
such doctrinal statements on the Catholic
IN order to understand this issue, we
need to understand the nature of the
teaching offce of the Church—what is
technically known as the magisterium.
Notion of Magisterium
The term Magisterium comes from
the Latin magister, meaning “master”,
“director” or “teacher”. In Church
parlance, Magisterium came to refer to
the teaching authority, fnally narrowing
specifcally to the pastoral teaching offce
of bishops—i.e., the teaching function of
the hierarchy. In other words, it refers
to the exercise of the munus docendi
(teaching offce) taken in its strict sense.
Christ, sent by the Father to be
a witness of the truth (cf. Jn 18,37),
entrusted to his Church his word and
gave the hierarchy the power to teach
with authority. The imperativity of the
word of God in itself acts in the internal
forum. However, man needs—and
the word likewise demands it—an
authoritative voice that can bind him in a
palpable manner to the truth of the word.
Thus, Christ established this authority
in his Apostles and in their successors
the Bishops (cf. Mt 16,19; 18,18).
Types of Magisterium and their
1) According to the grade of
authoritativeness that the teaching
offce assumes in its teaching, there can
be two types:
a) Authentic Magisterium: The
Church Magisterium is called authentic
because it proceeds from the authentic
Teacher, Christ, and is exercised by
those who have been given his authority
(cf. Lumen Gentium, 25). The Code of
Canon Law stipulates: A religious respect
of intellect and will, even if not the assent
of faith, is to be paid to the teaching which
the Supreme Pontiff or the college of bishops
enunciate on faith or morals when they
exercise the authentic magisterium even
if they do not intend to proclaim it with a
defnitive act; therefore the Christian faithful
are to take care to avoid whatever is not in
harmony with that teaching (c.752).
b) Infallible Authentic Magisterium:
The authentic Magisterium enjoys the
note of infallibility in its entirety, and
also when in specifc formulations the
teaching offce puts its authority in the
highest degree and declares a doctrine
with the intention of defning it as
belonging to the faith. However, the
Code is quick to point out: No doctrine
is understood to be infallibly defned unless
it is clearly established as such (c.749, §3).
2) According to the form or manner
of exercising it, there can be two types:
a) Extraordinary—when it is
carried out through a solemn form or
manner. Example are the so-called ex
cathedra teachings of the Roman Pontiff
and that of the Council.
b) Ordinary—when the habitual
form or means are used. This in turn can
be (1) universal—when it is addressed to
the whole Church; or (2) particular—
when it is addressed to a specifc segment
of the Church (e.g., a diocese or an
episcopal conference).
3) According to the content, the
magisterium can refer to (1) dogmas of
the faith, which defne the truths of the
faith; (2) customs that must be followed;
(3) exhortations regarding Christian life;
or (4) moral judgments on temporal
Active Subjects of the Magisterium
1) The active subjects of infallible
authentic magisterium are:
1° The Roman Pontiff—when, as
supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful,
whose task is to confrm his fellow believers
in the faith, he proclaims with a defnitive
act that a doctrine of faith or morals is to be
held as such (c.749, §1).
2° The College of Bishops—also
possess infallible teaching authority when
the bishops exercise their teaching offce
gathered together in an ecumenical council
when, as teachers and judges of faith and
morals, they declare that for the universal
Church a doctrine of faith or morals must
be definitively held (c.749, §2). They
also exercise it scattered throughout
the world but united in a bond of
communion among themselves and with
the successor of Peter, when together
with that same Roman Pontiff in their
capacity as authentic teachers of faith
and morals, they agree on an opinion
to be held as defnitive.
2) The active subjects of authentic
magisterium are firstly the Roman
Pontiff and the College of Bishops, for
the Universal Church (c.752); and
secondly the individual bishops, Episcopal
Conferences and Particular Councils, for
the faithful entrusted to them. In the
latter case, the Code of Canon Law
provides: Although they do not enjoy
infallible teaching authority, the bishops
in communion with the head and members
of the college, whether as individuals or
gathered in conferences of bishops or in
particular councils, are authentic teachers
and instructors of the faith for the faithful
entrusted to their care; the faithful must
adhere to the authentic teaching of their
own bishops with a sense of religious respect
Although c.753 lumps them together,
we have to clarify that the three are not
on equal footing as far as the exercise of
authentic magisterium is concerned. The
diocesan bishops (and their equivalents)
exercise a primary and direct authentic
magisterium over their respective proper
focks, while the Episcopal Conferences
and Particular Councils only exercise a
secondary and indirect role—i.e., only
to the extent that the individual bishops
or the Pope empowers them.

The Magisterium of the CBCP
The competence of Episcopal
Conferences as regards the authentic
magisterium was neatly delimited by the
Motu Proprio Apostolos suos (21.V.1998),
and more practically regulated in a Letter
(13.V.1999) prepared by the Congregation
for Bishops in collaboration with the
Secretariat of State, the Congregation
for the Doctrine of the Faith, the
Congregation for the Oriental Churches
and the Pontifical Council for the
Interpretation of Legislative Texts and
sent to the Presidents of the Episcopal
Conferences. After stating a general
principle that “the joint exercise of the
episcopal ministry [by the Episcopal
Conference] also involves the teaching
offce” (n.21), the Motu Proprio lays
down the following norms limiting this
1) A stricter norm for episcopal
collegiality. The document lays down
the following: In order that the doctrinal
declarations of the Conference of Bishops
referred to in No. 22 of the present Letter
may constitute authentic magisterium and
be published in the name of the Conference
itself, they must be unanimously approved
by the Bishops who are members, or receive
the recognitio of the Apostolic See if approved
in plenary assembly by at least two thirds
of the Bishops belonging to the Conference
and having a deliberative vote (Art.1).
In effect, this norm guarantees that a
certain doctrine is really an expression
of the communio of the episcopal college
in a given territory. Otherwise, such lack
of unanimity needs to be offset by an
explicit recognitio by the Holy See.
2) Exclusion of Inferior Bodies from
usurping the teaching offce of Bishops.
The document lays down the following
two norms: The document continues:
Art. 2. – No body of the Episcopal
Conference, outside of the plenary
assembly, has the power to carry out acts
of authentic magisterium. The Episcopal
Conference cannot grant such power to
its Commissions or other bodies set up
by it.
Art. 3. – For statements of a different
kind, different from those mentioned in
article 2, the Doctrinal Commission of the
Conference of Bishops must be authorized
explicitly by the Permanent Council of the
These norms effectively limit
the tendency—unfortunately not
uncommon especially in more developed
countries—for standing commissions
and other such bodies to usurp the
teaching offce of the bishops.
We can summari ze al l t he
aforementioned, relating them to the
original issues raised, as follows:
Doctrinal declarations can only be
issued in the name of the CBCP when
such have been approved unanimously
by the bishop members of the CBCP.
Such statements would then constitute
authentic magisterium of the bishops, to
which the Catholic faithful are obliged to
adhere with a sense of religious respect.
However, if such unanimity is lacking,
a majority alone of the bishops of the
CBCP—much less a few only— cannot
issue a declaration as authentic teaching
of the Conference, unless such statement
Q: For many years in the
seminary, and now about to
finish seminary formation
and preparing for apostolate,
I have noticed that some
priests, even bishops, be it
in seminaries or in parish,
write homilies, and during
Mass they read them while
preaching. Others, on the
contrary, don’t but preach
from the heart. My question
is this: What is the offcial
position of the Church as
regards preaching a homily?
Is a homily to be written or
not? Is there any canonical
provision about it? -- A.M.,
Enugu, Nigeria
A: There is very little offcial
legislation regarding the
homily. Certainly, Pope Francis
in his apostolic exhortation
“Evangelii Gaudium” amply
treated this topic and has
touched upon it frequently,
above all in meetings with
clergy. Several bishops have
commented to me that he
also brings up the topic in
their private meetings during
their offcial, fve-yearly “ad
limina” visits to the Holy See.
It is obviously something dear
to his heart.
Among the counsels offered
for preparing the homily,
the Holy Father states in his
apostolic exhortation:
“156. Some people think
they can be good preachers
because they know what
ought to be said, but they pay
no attention to how it should
be said, that is, the concrete
way of constructing a sermon.
They complain when people
Homilies, Written or Not
do not listen to or appreciate
them, but perhaps they have
never taken the trouble to fnd the
proper way of presenting their
message. Let us remember that
‘the obvious importance of the
content of evangelization must
not overshadow the importance
of its ways and means.’ Concern
for the way we preach is likewise
a profoundly spiritual concern.
It entails responding to the love
of God by putting all our talents
and creativity at the service of
the mission which he has given
us; at the same time, it shows a
fne, active love of neighbor by
refusing to offer others a product
of poor quality. In the Bible, for
example, we can fnd advice on
how to prepare a homily so as
to best to reach people: ‘Speak
concisely, say much in few words’
(Sirach 32:8).
“157. Simply using a few
examples, let us recall some
practical resources which can
enrich our preaching and make it
more attractive. One of the most
important things is to learn how
to use images in preaching, how
to appeal to imagery. Sometimes
examples are used to clarify a
certain point, but these examples
usually appeal only to the mind;
images, on the other hand, help
people better to appreciate and
accept the message we wish
to communicate. An attractive
image makes the message seem
familiar, close to home, practical
and related to everyday life.
A successful image can make
people savor the message,
awaken a desire and move the
will towards the Gospel. A good
homily, an old teacher once told
me, should have ‘an idea, a
sentiment, an image.’
“158. Paul VI said that ‘the
faithful … expect much from
preaching, and will greatly
beneft from it, provided that
it is simple, clear, direct, well-
adapted.’ Simplicity has to do
with the language we use. It must
be one that people understand,
lest we risk speaking to a void.
Preachers often use words
learned during their studies and
in specialized settings which are
not part of the ordinary language
of their hearers. These are words
that are suitable in theology or
catechesis, but whose meaning is
incomprehensible to the majority
of Christians. The greatest risk for
a preacher is that he becomes so
accustomed to his own language
that he thinks that everyone else
naturally understands and uses
it. If we wish to adapt to people’s
language and to reach them with
God’s word, we need to share
in their lives and pay loving
attention to them. Simplicity
and clarity are two different
things. Our language may be
simple but our preaching not
very clear. It can end up being
incomprehensible because it
is disorganized, lacks logical
progression or tries to deal with
too many things at one time. We
need to ensure, then, that the
homily has thematic unity, clear
order and correlation between
sentences, so that people can
follow the preacher easily and
grasp his line of argument.
“159. Another feature of a good
homily is that it is positive. It is not
so much concerned with pointing
out what shouldn’t be done, but
with suggesting what we can
do better. In any case, if it does
draw attention to something
negative, it will also attempt
to point to a positive and
attractive value, lest it remain
mired in complaints, laments,
criticisms and reproaches.
Positive preaching always
offers hope, points to the
future, does not leave us
trapped in negativity. How
good it is when priests,
deacons and the laity gather
periodically to discover
resources which can make
preaching more attractive!”
The Hol y Fa t he r ’ s
opportune recommendations
should be taken to heart by
all preachers. But he does
not address our reader ’s
particular question.
My own view is that
homilies should always be
well prepared, including as
regards means of delivery.
Homilies should always
be preached f rom t he
heart, but not necessarily
preached by heart. A read
homily may also be from the
Therefore, presuming that
the homily is well prepared,
the decision on whether
to write it in full, write an
outline, or construct it entirely
in the head before preaching
depends entirely upon the
ability and inclinations of
the preacher, the needs of the
faithful, and the particular
context of the celebration.
A bishop or priest may opt
to write down and read his
homily because he considers
that precision of language is
important in certain contexts,
Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy and dean of theology at the Regina Apostolorum university, answers the
following query:
What is lamentable is the way the mass
media quite often takes their statements—
many times from impromptu or ambush
interviews—out of context, confusing the
Catholic faithful in the process.
The greatest risk
for a preacher is
that he becomes
so accustomed to
his own language
that he thinks
that everyone
else naturally
understands and
uses it.


Homilies / B5
B3 Vol. 18 No. 14
July 7 - 20, 2014
CBCP Monitor
Pastoral Guidance on the
Implementation of the
Reproductive Health Law
“Truly children are a gift from the
Lord; the fruit of the womb is a
reward” (Ps 127:3).

OUR dear brother priests, Catholic physicians and health care
workers, government offcials and employees, educators and
fellow Church
While we would have wanted the Supreme Court to nullify
the RH Law (Republic Act No. 10354), we must now contend
with the fact that it has ruled rather to strike down important
provisions of the law in deciding Imbong v. Ochoa, G.R. 204819
(April 8, 2014) and companion cases.
It is our pastoral duty to pass the necessary information
and instruction to our Catholics who, as health care workers
(physicians, nurses, midwives, medical aides, medical
technologists, etc.), are employed in health facilities, whether
public or private, so that they may know what their rights
are under the law as passed upon by the High Court. The
same duty is owed to our Catholic government offcials and
employees who, in the discharge of their public duties, may
be asked to enforce the RH Law. The Supreme Court majority
opinion alone is 104 pages long and many may not have the
patience nor the skill to make their way through the legal
argumentation involved.
As teachers of the faith and morality, assisted by our legal
experts, we are presenting an outline of the salient points in
the Supreme Court decision which we think may be helpful
for our pastoral ministry and discernment:
1. The Supreme Court points out that the whole idea of
contraception (as the means to control population growth)
runs through the RH Law. It is in fact the governing and
overarching principle of the RH Law. Other provisions such
as skilled birth attendance, maternal care including pre- and
post-natal services, prevention and management of sexually-
related diseases and sicknesses are already provided for in the
Magna Carta for Women. In rendering its decision in the Imbong
case, the Court affrms the principles of “no-abortion” and
“no-coercion” in the adoption of any family planning method.
2. The right to life is grounded on natural law and is inherent
in a person, and therefore not a creation of, or dependent upon
a particular law, custom or belief. The right to life precedes
and transcends any authority or the laws of men.
3. Abortifacients are prohibited by the RH Law. An
abortifacient is any drug or device that: a) induces abortion;
or b) induces the destruction of a fetus inside the mother’s
womb; or c) prevents the fertilized ovum to reach and to be
implanted in the mother’s womb.
In this regard, it is important to point out that the
Supreme Court has invalidated two related provisions in the
Implementing Rules and Regulations of the RH Law for inserting
the modifer ‘primarily’ in the defnitions of “abortifacient” and
“contraceptive”. The Court notes that the word “primarily”
(which is not found in the RH Law itself) would HAVE
AND IN EFFECT. The Court clarifes that, consistent with
the no-abortion spirit of the RH Law, even contraceptives that
have no such primary intention, but have the secondary effect
of destroying the fetus or preventing nidation (attaching of
the fertilized egg to the uterine wall), should be considered
as abortifacients and are, therefore, banned.
4. No contraceptive that harms or destroys the life of the
unborn from conception or fertilization, either as a primary
or secondary effect, can be allowed under the law, even if it
be advertised, categorized, distributed and announced as a
contraceptive. The determining factor therefore is whether or
not the supposed contraceptive also prevents nidation, or the
attaching of the fertilized egg to the uterine wall, or destroys
the zygote, embryo, blastocyst or fetus. If it does, then it cannot
be allowed under the law.
5. In the distribution by the Department of Health
of contraceptive drugs and devices, the provisions of an
existing law, R.A. 4729, must be complied with. Said law
makes it unlawful for any person, partnership or corporation
The Joy of Integrity

“Blessed the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commands” (Ps. 112:1)
A Pastoral Exhortation on Integrity
OUR beloved People of God:
of persons, of community, and of
all creation manifests the glory
and wisdom of God! It is an
integrity that requires honesty
and consistency, surely, as the
word ordinarily means. But
even honesty and consistency
are not valuable in themselves;
they point beyond to a truthful
reality as reference and center;
they are as attractive only as the
beauty of the truth they refer
to. When integrity attracts, it
radiates not merely consistency
but also cohesion, fttingness,
a wholeness that shines forth
identity and ultimately its source
and creator, God.
We, your pastors humbly
recognize our struggle to be
integrable in our service to the
Church as teachers of the faith,
shepherds of the flock and
stewards of the temporal goods
entrusted to our care.
We are not blind and deaf to the
corruption of Philippine society.
We see corruption in public life,
in personal lives, corruption of
the environment and corruption
of souls. As we continue to take
a prophetic denunciation of this
social cancer called corruption,
we wish to invite you to give a
long refective gaze at the beauty
of integrity believing that we can
overcome evil by the power of
good (Rom. 12:21).
As Vatican II concluded,
Venerable Pope Paul VI asserted,
“This world in which we live
needs beauty in order not to sink
into despair. Beauty, like truth,
brings joy to the human heart, and
is that precious fruit which resists
the erosion of time, which unites
generations and enables them
to be one in admiration.”
than ever, our world needs the
beauty of integrity to “encourage
the human spirit to rediscover
its path, to raise its eyes to the
horizon, to dream of a life worthy
of its vocation.”

Therefore, dear brothers and
sisters, allow us, your bishops,
to envision and to outline briefy
the theology and spirituality of
integrity and its multidimensional
pastoral applications, in the hope
of inspiring us all in this Year
of the Laity to be radiant in the
integrity of our holiness, of being
God’s own.
Theology and spirituality of
Integrity is possible only
when there is a centralizing or
grounding reality, a principle
that serves as the foundation
and measure of integrity. For
us Christians, this grounding
principle is the fact that we are
created by God in God’s image,
and that we are social beings
related to other humans in
common humanity and dignity
and we are stewards of creation.
We are also meant to “be perfect,
just as our heavenly Father is
perfect” (cfr. Mt 5:48). It is to
be naturally drawn to the One
who is eternal Life and Love,
who is infnite Truth and Beauty.
“The desire for God is written in
the human heart, because we are
created by God and for God; and
God never ceases to draw us to
himself. Only in God will we fnd
the truth and happiness we never
stop searching for.”
the entrance of sin caused “dis-
integration” of our relationship
with God, neighbor, creation, and
self. Alienation was the initial
sign of wounded integrity.
Hence, the truth of our
creaturehood is most fully
revealed by the Son of the Father,
sent by the Creator to be our
Redeemer. Thus, the principle
of our integration is a person,
Jesus Christ. Because Jesus is
a person who is much more
than a concept, doctrine, or law,
nurturing a friendship with Jesus
becomes essential for Christian
integrity. “Being Christian,”
Pope Benedict writes, “is not
the result of an ethical choice or
a lofty idea, but the encounter
with an event, a person, which
gives life a new horizon and a
decisive direction.”
Pope Francis
repeatedly echoes this point, “If
there is no Encounter with Jesus,
life becomes inconsistent, loses its
This encounter, this friendship,
this faith is a gift we receive from
a benevolent and merciful God.
It is a gift that is also a task. With
St. Augustine we affrm, “The
deeper our faith, the stronger
our hope, the greater our desire,
the larger will be our capacity
to receive the gift, which is very
great indeed..... When the Apostle
tells us: Pray without ceasing (1
Thess 5:16), he means this: Desire
unceasingly that life of happiness
which is nothing if not eternal,
and ask it of him alone who is
able to give it.”
Christ founded the Church to
nurture and to share this faith
for our integrity. The Church
offers God’s grace through
the sacraments of Baptism,
Eucharist, and Confirmation
precisely to initiate the believer
in the ways of integrity. Through
Baptism, we acquire our identity,
“become members of Christ… are
incorporated into the Church and
made sharers in her mission.”

Through Confrmation, we “are
more perfectly bound to the
Church and are enriched with
a special strength of the Holy
Through the Eucharist,
“the source and summit of the
Christian life,”
we receive “the
efficacious sign and sublime
cause of that communion in the
divine life and that unity of the
People of God.”
Integrity and conscience
As we strive to live out our
integrity, the radiant coherence
of our faith and our life, we are
guided in our moral choices by
our conscience, that sacred space
within us where we encounter
God who urges us to do good and
avoid evil.
Obeying the double-
duty of forming and following
our conscience, we use our
freedom wisely and responsibly,
listening to and learning from
God in prayer, through scripture,
guided by Church teaching, and
supported by community. In
exercising authentic freedom, we
consider not only what is good
for ourselves but also what is for
the greater good of others. God
created us not as solitary beings
but as social beings. We realize
the fullness of our vocations as
Christians only in relation with
By our daily choices,
by our lives of integrity or lack
of it, we can add to networks of
mutual help and generosity or
we can sustain sinful structures
in society.
Models of integrity
In desiring happiness, we are
called to imitate our two Filipino
saints, both laymen who lived out
the integrity of their Christian
faith all the way to death: St.
Lorenzo Ruiz who died a martyr
in Japan (29 September 1637) and
St. Pedro Calungsod who died a
martyr in the Marianas Islands
(2 April 1672). As martyrs, they
are models for us of “the supreme
witness given to the truth of
the faith…for the martyr bears
witness to Christ who died and
rose, to whom he is united by
Saints Lorenzo Ruiz
and Pedro Calungsod trace for
us a path to an integral life of
holiness. “By canonizing some
of the faithful, i.e., by solemnly
proclaiming that they practiced
heroic virtue and lived in fdelity
to God’s grace, the Church
recognizes the power of the
Spirit of holiness within her and
sustains the hope of believers
by proposing the saints to them
as models and intercessors. The
saints have always been the
source and origin of renewal in
the most diffcult moments in
the Church’s history. Indeed,
holiness is the hidden source and
infallible measure of her apostolic
activity and missionary zeal.”
Living the joy of integrity
As both gift and task, individual
and collective integrity is a product
of prayer and discernment. In
2010, in the midst of the political
turmoil being experienced by the
country, we your bishops called
not for direct and immediate
political action, but for “circles
of discernment.”
These circles
of discernment were meant not
only to assess the larger realities in
our country but also to encourage
all Filipinos of goodwill to refect
on how they too have been
responsible for the situation.
As we move from “circles of
discernment” to “circles of
integrity,” we also realize that
integrity has both personal and
communal components.
key to social transformation and
the building of a more just society
is the fostering of integrity in
every individual. “Authentic
social changes are effective
and lasting only to the extent
that they are based on resolute
changes in personal conduct.”

A life of personal integrity, a
moral upright life attests to the
beauty of our vocation as children
of God. We are fortunate to
have ordinary Filipino citizens
manifesting this kind of personal
integrity, even in the most
diffcult of circumstances. Last
year’s Typhoon Yolanda saw
countless Filipinos give their time
and resources, no matter how
meager, for the relief efforts. This
kind of generosity and heroism,
often unrecognized, clearly
demonstrates inner integrity.
A privileged arena in which
Christian integrity is manifested
is in family life. Integrity is
frst learned within the family.
One cannot underestimate the
influence of family attitudes,
practices, and values on the
formation of one’s character.
When children see their parents
keeping promises and being
faithful to one another, they
learn to become trustworthy and
responsible in their relationships.
Let Paul’s words guide us: “Show
yourself as a model of good deeds
in every respect, with integrity
in your teaching” (cfr. Titus 2:7).
The Church in the Philippines
has been buoyed by the efforts of
family-oriented groups that strive
to promote integrity in marriage
and family, while promoting
a wider societal commitment.
Our numerous charismatic
organi zat i ons , mar r i age
encounter groups, parish renewal
experience chapters, and similar
movements have been at the
forefront of the Church’s various
efforts to promote the Kingdom.
We recall the many family life
groups that rallied to the defense
of life in the recent Reproductive
Health Bill debates. If the family
is truly the basic institution in
the country, our Church, most
especially through its committed
lay groups, should continue
championing family integrity.
POLITICS. “Better to be poor
and walk in integrity than rich
and crooked in one’s ways”
(Proverbs 28:6). From the private
circles of self and family, our
“circles of integrity” must widen
to encompass the crucial areas
of societal life, especially in
the economy, politics, social
communications, arts & sciences
and technology. Pope Emeritus
Benedict XVI has reminded
us that the economy needs a
“people-centered” ethics in order
to function correctly.
integrity in the workplace is
important and necessary, not
When integrity attracts, it radiates not
merely consistency but also cohesion,
fttingness, a wholeness that shines forth
identity and ultimately its source and
creator, God.
Joy / B7
Guidance / B4

B4 Vol. 18 No. 14
July 7 - 20, 2014
CBCP Monitor

CBCP Statement on Catholic Schools and K to 12 Program
IN 2016, higher education institutions
(HEIs), our colleges and universities,
will have no freshmen. In that year,
the students who complete four years
of high school move on to senior high
school, following any of the tracks
presently open to them, only one of
which leads to university or college-
level education. The debate on whether
we should adopt the K to 12 scheme is
behind us. We have accepted it, but we
must now cope with the challenges that
it has engendered.
Obviously, the most pressing problem
has to do with our Catholic educators—
both academic and non-academic
partners—who will have no students
to attend to in the frst year of higher
education, for the first year of the
implementation of K to 12, and then for
the frst two years, in the second year of
the scheme’s implementation.
Labor Law, of course, makes available
the options of the redundancy and
retrenchment provisions, provided legal
conditions are complied with.
But charity is a law for Catholic schools
that takes precedence over all human
law, for its origin is the very reason
that our Catholic schools exist—the
Lord Jesus. Turning away many of the
faithful co-workers we have had who
have been loyal to our schools and to the
local Church for all these years is a most
unwelcome prospect, and we dissuade
our Catholic school administrators from
fnding recourse in these provisions of
law all too easily.
We urge the trustees of our Catholic
school corporations and school offcials
to be creative. We strongly exhort
our school administrators to provide
opportunities for the re-tooling and re-
training of our instructors and professors
in tertiary education to be able to
handle subjects in the academic track of
senior high school. Our Catholic school
teachers and instructors should not be
left to their own devices. Our priests who
serve on positions of school directorship,
must, in all charity and solicitude, aid
them so that they may continue as our
partners in the apostolate of Catholic
Consequently, we also urge that our
existing Catholic colleges apply, where
deemed feasible and appropriate, to
operate senior high school. Since most
of our diocesan colleges also offer
secondary school education, this should
not be a problem. And in the design
of the curriculum for the additional
years of high school, we direct that
Catholic schools keep ever in mind the
raison d’etre of our Catholic schools:
evangelization and formation.
In this respect, whatever the purposes
of the government might be—many
of which are laudable—our Catholic
schools cannot excuse themselves from
the responsibility of tailoring curricula
to fulfll their mandate of evangelization
and formation by slavish adherence to
model curricula.
I also appeal to our Catholic school
teachers, instructors and professors.
It is a problem commonly confronted
by our school administrators that
many teachers seek employment in
our Catholic schools while waiting for
more lucrative offers from higher-paying
institutions. We exhort graduates of
teacher education courses who qualify
themselves to teach by passing the
requisite licensure examinations not
only to be committed to service, but to
take to heart—and as the prime motive
for applying with Catholic schools—the
command of the Last Supper: to love with
such an unconditional love that we can
wash each other’s feet.
By accepting appointment and
engagement with our Catholic schools, a
Catholic teacher is given the opportunity
to truly serve God’s people, especially
the young. This should not, however,
lull our school administrators into
complacency about the legitimate needs
of our Catholic school employees. The
Catholic school must be person oriented
and mission driven.
We must also remind the government
that since our Catholic schools provide
the education that the State is mandated
by the Constitution to provide, the
Church in fact provides service to the
State. It is not unreasonable to declare
that the assistance to private schools from
the State must not be given grudgingly,
but should be generous as our Catholic
schools have been generous in helping
build the nation.
The Church’s roster of saints gives
us innumerable examples of men and
women, gifted by God with incisive
minds, capacious intellects and also
generous hearts who, responding to the
Spirit, made of their lives an oblation
through a life-long dedication to Catholic
The Catholic educator who chooses
to continue serving even when material
rewards may not be hefty are assured by
God’s Word of the abundant harvests of
the Spirit.
From the Catholic Bishops’ Conference
of the Philippines, Manila, June 26, 2014.
Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan
President, CBCP
The challenge of Pope Francis
Speech delivered by Archbishop Socrates B Villegas at the opening of the CBCP
Plenary Assembly last July 5, 2014 at the Pius XII Catholic Center
Letter to our Catholic Colleges
and Universities on the
Practice of Hazing in School-
based Fraternities
“Your brother’s blood cries out to me
from the ground.” (Gen 4:10)
MY brothers and sisters in Christ in our Catholic schools:
Once more we must, as a nation, mourn the demise of a
student of a Catholic school who lost his life at the hands
of his supposed ‘brothers’ in a fraternity. After Cain had
lifted his hand against his brother, Abel, God called out to
the murderer: The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to
Me from the ground. It is one of the most detestable ironies
of our time that we must so often reel from the devastation
of brother killing brother in clandestine organizations like
many fraternities are!
If, as the Church has always insisted, our Catholic schools
are to be heralds of the saving news, there is nothing more
contradictory to the message our schools exist to teach than
the senseless loss of young lives because of ‘initiation rites‘. We
therefore condemn in the strongest possible terms all offcers,
members and abettors of fraternities and sororities—and other
organizations by whatever name they may call themselves—
that, with disordered reason, believe that violent initiation rites
assure loyalty and solidarity! To incur this moral culpability,
it is not necessary to have actually hurt, maimed or killed
anyone. The preparedness and willingness to participate in
violent rites of initiation is in itself already a moral wrong!
Aside from the vigilance that is incumbent on all schools,
however, it is important to understand somehow why
youngsters seek membership in clandestine organizations.
Often students who fnd themselves adrift in our campuses,
or lost in their new environments will seek the assurance of
‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ who will be there for them—to protect
and to aid them in time of need. They become easy prey for
recruiters of fraternities and sororities.
What this should tell our Catholic school administrators
is that the licit organizations and recognized affliations
that we presently offer them are not interesting enough and
do not give them that sense of security and solidarity that
fraternities and like organizations seem to offer. The Catholic
school itself ought to be the community where each member
fnds the welcome, acceptance, affrmation and empowerment
that we all need. And the school must nurture those forms
of association that strengthen bonds of friendship and love,
mutual support and care, among members, so that none in
the academic community may be lured to seek acceptance
in shady societies.
The challenge therefore to our Catholic school administrators
is to foster those organizations where there is genuine care,
where the charity of Christ truly prevails, and where each
is concerned that none is in want of anything that can be
supplied! The success of our World Youth Day celebrations
amply demonstrates that such youth organizations inspired
and founded on the Gospel and its values are possible.
But the hazing phenomenon has yet another ugly facet:
the delight in the exercise of raw power. Even the title by
which some of the overlords of clandestine organizations—
Master—are called already suggests that it is the unprincipled
arrogation of power that leads to such condemnable displays
of ascendancy over others as the violence that comes with
many initiation rites. All teachers and professors who recruit
students for secret societies that include violence of any
form in their initiation rites should be dismissed from our
Catholic schools, after observing the demands of due process.
A Catholic school ought to be a basic ecclesial community.
But whoever has murder, injury or indignity in his heart for
his brothers or sisters has thereby severed himself from such
a community! It is not acceptable for school administrators
and faculty members to be members, much less offcers,
of societies that practice violence—especially when this is
known to their students. Not only does such membership
lend a semblance of legitimacy to clandestine organizations;
it is also a counter-sign of the evangelical values that ought
to manifest themselves in the conduct and deportment of
our Catholic school teachers who are called to be “salt of the
ONE of our college students asked me during
a students’ forum “What is the biggest
challenge for the Church in the Philippines?”
My spontaneous answer in a split second was
“Pope Francis”. He is not a problem. He is a
challenge. He shakes up our old belief systems
about spiritual shepherding. He jolts us from
our complacency and status quo attitude. He
humbles us with his simplicity. He disturbs us
to make us better.
He has slowly moved the Church from being
a dogmatic, self engrossed and authoritative
sick institution to being a gentle, outreaching,
compassionate and persuasive Church through
the power of love and mercy. He even told
our Catholic laity at Regina Caeli on May 11
“Bother your pastors, disturb your pastors, all
of us pastors, so that we will give you the milk
of grace, of doctrine, and of guidance.”
Every pastor “will sometimes go before his
people, pointing the way and keeping their
hope vibrant; the pastor should go ahead at
times. At other times, he will simply be in
their midst with his unassuming and merciful
presence. At yet other times, he will have to
walk after them, helping those who lag behind.”
In front or amongst or behind the people, the
pastor must be always humble.
When we lose humility, we lose perspective.
When we lose perspective, we also become
too reactive. When we become too reactive,
we become less effective and less credible as
pastors. The loss of humility in Church ministry
can be very costly.
If we are ready to walk in cadence with
Pope Francis—Perhaps, we can reconsider our
approach at solving the cancer of Philippine
society which is graft and corruption by talking
more about the beauty of integrity and honesty
rather constantly denouncing the evil that we
Perhaps we can widen circles of integrity
rather than creating fercer watchdogs against
corruption. Perhaps we need to remind
ourselves that for every prophetic denunciation
we utter we must stretch our hands to offer an
opportunity for conversion and healing.
Perhaps we can reconsider our approach
to solving the problems of family and life by
listening more to the wounded and the grieving
broken homes rather than condemning divorce
and abortion and contraception at every
opportunity. To keep healthy, one needs to
stretch everyday. The body needs it, so does
the heart and mind. Perhaps we can reach out
to more people by stretching our minds and
lowering our fences and listening like Jesus
without being judgmental or punitive.
Perhaps we can be more convincing if we
used the power of goodness and beauty rather
than the brilliance of polemics and debates. The
cynics and skeptics will ask for baptism not by
intelligent proselytism but by the sweetness of
Christian exemplary living. After all, did not
our grandmothers tell us that we can catch
more fies with a teaspoon of honey than with
a gallon of vinegar? St Francis said “Go and
preach the Gospel. Use words if necessary.”
As Vatican II concluded, Venerable Pope
Paul VI asserted, “This world in which we live
needs beauty in order not to sink into despair.
Beauty, like truth, brings joy to the human heart.
Beauty is that precious fruit which resists the
erosion of time, which unites generations and
enables them to be one in admiration.”
Perhaps instead of denouncing poverty
and unjust social structures, we can talk more
about the power of generosity and the promised
abundance that God has promised to those
who leave everything behind to follow Him.
Perhaps we can fght poverty by embracing
simplicity of life. If our stomachs know hunger
by experience, the hungry and suffering poor
will believe us.
Most frontal attacks on evil just produce
another evil in oneself which is an infated
self image. The best criticism of the bad is the
practice of the better, said Richard Rohr. When
evil is exposed to the light, it just dies slowly
melting away.
Since we opened the Year of the Laity, we
have tried to prick the culture of cowardice
against evil by inviting our Catholic faithful to
Choose to be Brave. The Holy Heroes formation
program is going around the dioceses and
corporations to make heroism and holiness
more attractive and simpler to embrace.
A New Evangelization Conference
was initiated by a small group of young
professionals. Last June 7, they gathered 5,000
youth and motivated them to talk about Jesus
to their fellow youth. They even came up with
a New Evangelization Resource Book to help
the youth retell the story of Jesus. They told me
they were responding to the bishops’ challenge
to reach out to the hurting and disgruntled
former Catholics.
Pope Francis challenges us to follow his
example of humble and happy ministry. We are
not required to make an opinion on everything.
We are surely not experts in everything. We must
be comfortable with admitting in public what
we do not know and honestly say it without
sounding evasive. Our duty is not to be in the
limelight. Our duty is to be spotlights so that
all eyes may see Jesus more clearly and let us
help others to see the Lord.
As we prepare for the visit of Pope Francis
next year, let us resolve as a fraternity of bishops
to serve with humility and happiness; to speak
with honesty from the mind and to listen
patiently with the heart; to see the goodness
in everyone and live the mercy of the Gospel.
This is the example of Pope Francis. Living by
this example will make us good shepherds like
the Good Shepherd.
to sell, dispense or otherwise
distribute, whether for or without
consideration, any contraceptive
drug or device, unless such sale,
dispensation or distribution is
by a duly licensed drug store
or pharmaceutical company
and with the prescription of a
qualifed medical practitioner.
6. The Court expresses itself
very strongly on the following
point: “At this point, the Court is
of the strong view that Congress
cannot legislate that hormonal
contraceptives and intra-uterine
devices are safe and non-
abortifacient. The frst sentence
of Section 9 that ordains their
inclusion by the National Drug
Formulary in the Essential Drug
List (EDI), by using the mandatory
‘shall’ is to be construed as
operative only after they have
been tested, evaluated and
approved by the Food and Drugs
Administration (FDA). The FDA,
not Congress, has the expertise to
determine whether a particular
hormonal contraceptive or
intrauterine device is safe and
non-abortifacient.” We urge our
Catholic doctors, for example,
the Association of Doctors for
Life, to demand from the FDA
the testing and evaluation of all
contraceptive drugs and devices,
including those that are already
being presently sold and made
available to the public, as to
whether they are safe, legal, and
7. When a health care worker
who objects, on religious or moral
grounds, to contraceptives is
compelled by the law to refer
the patient seeking information
on modern reproductive health
products and services to another
who may be willing to supply
such information or services,
this obligation to refer already
burdens the objector to do
something that his conscience
forbids him to do. The premise
of this holding is the inviolability
of the human conscience.
Put more directly, when a
health-care worker, whether
practicing on his own or as
part of a public or private
healthcare facility, objects, on the
basis of conscience, to artifcial
contraception, such a health-
MAY REFUSE to refer a patient
to anyone else (health-care
worker or facility) from where the
contraceptives may be obtained.
The Supreme Court observes
that “though it has been said
that the act of referral is an
opt-out clause, it is, however,
a false compromise because it
makes pro-life health providers
complicit in the performance
of an act that they fnd morally
repugnant or offensive.”
8. The same rule therefore
appl i es t o non- mat erni t y
specialty hospitals and hospitals
owned and operated by a
religious groups and health
care service providers. While,
originally, Section 24 compelled
such institutions, under pain
of penalty, to refer patients to
facilities or institutions that can
render contraceptive services,
the Court struck down this
9. Section 5.24 of the RH - IRR
reads: “Provided, that skilled
health professionals such as
provincial city or municipal
health offcers, chiefs of hospitals,
head nurses, supervi si ng
midwives, among others who
by virtue of their office are
specifically charged with the
duty to implement the provisions
of the RPRH Act and these
rules cannot be considered as
conscientious objectors.”
Constitution. What this means
therefore is that the right to
conscientious objection can be
claimed and exercised even by
health-care workers in the employ
of the government. Obviously,
Catholics should not, on moral
grounds, seek employment in the
very government agencies that
promote artifcial contraception.
But if circumstances compelled
them to be employed in such
agencies, or if they were already
employees at the time the
agencies adopted a pro-RH
policy, said Catholics should
be aware that they cannot be
forced to promote, distribute or
dispense artifcial contraceptives
against their religious or moral
10. The accommodation
granted the conscientious
objector, however, does not extend
to emergency cases, as when the
Guidance / B3
Guidance / B7
Hazing / B7
B5 Vol. 18 No. 14
July 7 - 20, 2014
CBCP Monitor

Our Moral Response to the Unconstitutionality of DAP
THE Supreme Court has
ruled that many government
acts under the Development
Acceleration Program (DAP) are
without constitutional authority.
Earlier, it ruled the Priority
Assistant Development Fund
(PDAF), more popularly known
as the ‘pork-barrel fund’ also
Why this Statement
The just distribution of the
resources of the nation in
accordance with the prescriptions
of law and the tenets of morality
is an issue of social justice. It
is therefore a concern of the
CBCP—and of the entire Church
in the Philippines—as well.
Both DAP and PDAF involve
enormous sums and while it
is claimed by the government
offcials involved that these went
into projects that benefted the
people, there are serious allegations
that we cannot summarily dismiss
and ignore. Three senators have
been charged, together with
others, for the illegal use of pork-
barrel funds. It is claimed that a
considerable part went into ghost
NGOs set up precisely to facilitate
the conversion of public funds
for personal and other illegal and
immoral uses.
Communal Guilt
But there is no reason to direct
our ire only at the three senators,
nor at those presently accused,
for we must humbly recognize
that the propensity to make use
of what is not ours to better the
lives of our families or to gain
access to luxuries that would
otherwise be beyond us will be
found in all of us.
We are all guilty by attitude
and by our disposition.
We renew our call for national
conversion—the conversion
not only of individuals but of
institutions as well! It will be
well for us to remember that
conversion is our response to the
ceaseless call of Love Incarnate,
Jesus, to ‘turn away from sin and
believe in the Gospel’.
We must pray together for the
grace of conversion, because the
prosecution and punishment of a
few will not rid the nation of the
propensity to corruption that is
found in us all!
Appeal to Government
We call on the Commission on
Audit and on the Offce of the
Ombudsman to tell the nation
where DAP funds went. While,
indeed, in many cases, it would
be impractical, unhelpful even,
to undo every project funded by
what the High Court has ruled
to be unconstitutional means,
we must nevertheless know
how these monies were used,
for where there was illegal and
immoral application of funds,
there must be restitution.
There must be accountability
We reiterate our position that
investigation and inquest cannot
and must not be selective, for
public perception that some
are shielded while others are
persecuted detracts from the
confdence people must repose
in their institutions.
A government that professes
to tread the straight path must
remain true to that profession
and must be willing to let go
of the corrupt in its own ranks!
We in the Church will do the
Many of our bishops have
already established systems
for the accountability of our
pastors and parish leaders. We
have issued guidelines so that
we may be more vigilant about
the provenance of donations
and grants. This way, we in
the Church strive to respond
to the demands of honesty and
Let us restore integrity in our
From the Pius XII Catholic
Center, Manila, July 4, 2014
Archbi shop of Li ngayen
Silsilah Ramadan Message 2014
THE month of Ramadan this year, 2014,
coincides with the year of the Hijrah Calendar
This message of the Silsilah Dialogue
Movement is part of a long tradition to
share solidarity with the Muslim Ummah
during the month of Ramadan and with the
Christians during the advent and Christmas
time. Ramadan is a blessed time for humanity
when the Muslim Ummah reminds the world
the importance of fasting and praying to be
closer to God and to serve those who are
most in need.
We write this message from Zamboanga
City after the siege of last September 9. The
sufferings of the people are still visible here
and there in the city. This reality also reminds
us the pains of many in the world due to wars,
injustices and natural calamities.
Meanwhile we encourage Muslim friends
to observe, on the best way, their obligations
during this special month, all are challenged
together to remember that the message of
Ramadan is a good occasion to internalize
the importance of “fasting” in all aspects of
life, to purify our intentions, hearts, minds
and memories and to understand more the
spiritual dimension of life that has to be
nurtured by prayer and service.
We are called to open our hearts to those
who are most in need, overcoming the
temptation to think that to help and to serve
is only the duty of specifc agencies and
institutions of government. With sadness
we also observe that the suffering of the
victims of the Zamboanga siege, the Yolanda
calamity and other forms of suffering in
the Philippines and in the world are often
aggravated by those who take advantage of
the sufferings of people.
This annual event of Ramadan is also a
great opportunity to revisit our spiritual
values in the midst of so many contradictions
that have different names such as: secularism,
materialism, radicalism, terrorism, etc. and
see also the many positive signs which
nurture the importance of our spiritual life
as a foundation of a sincere and sustainable
commitment and vocation in life.
Guided by the general principle, “to
think/dream globally and act locally”, we
encourage all to revisit the Ramadan message
and be able to read the signs of the times in
our own territories and answer the needs
of the people. We are challenged to leave
our “comfort zones” as a form of “fasting”
and identify the urgent needs of our society.
Among the long list of needs in Zamboanga
City there is the urgent need to rebuild trust,
solidarity and harmony among Muslims and
Christians. Today, after the siege, we need
to overcome fear among different cultures
and sectors of society. There are also many
illegal activities in our area, especially related
to illegal businesses that are destroying the
watersheds of Zamboanga and aggravate
the alarming effects of the climate changes.
Thus, in a special way we:
1. Welcome the new effort of the
government which formed the “Zamboanga
City Interfaith Council” inviting religious
groups, movements, institutions and
agencies, encouraging all of them to help
“Build Back Better Zamboanga” not only
the building, but also the trust.
2. Welcome also the “Friends of the
Zamboanga Watersheds Movement”
which has the mission to protect the
watersheds of Zamboanga.
This message is not only for the people of
Zamboanga, but for all. Each one, in solidarity
with the month of Ramadan, is invited to
identify what is the “fasting” that brings us
out of our “narrow” understanding of life
and to share more our time, our talents and
what we have with others. This is possible
if we give more attention to the spiritual
foundation of life anchored in the Love of
God, the love of neighbors and the love for
the common good.
July 02, 2014
The CBCP and the Proposed
Restoration of the Death Penalty
THE Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has
been informed of attempts by advocacy groups to lobby the
Legislature for the restoration of the death penalty.
The CBCP must, with full voice, express its position FOR
LIFE and AGAINST DEATH. “I came that they may have life,
and have it to the full.” Our posture cannot be otherwise. The
Gospel we preach is a Gospel of Life, but the position we take
is defensible even on non-religious grounds.
Aim of justice
Justice DOES NOT DEMAND the death penalty. A mature
sense of justice steers as far as possible from retribution in
the realization that visiting on an offender the same injury he
inficted on his victim makes matters no better at all for anyone!
The aim of justice is the restoration of broken relations and the
ruptured social coherence that follow from crime. Executing
a human person does not contribute to any of these goals of
justice. Neither can it be argued that the supreme penalty is
necessary to vindicate a legal order. In fact, it is a weak and
retrogressive legal order that calls for the execution of offenders
for its vindication!
There is something terribly self-contradictory about the
death penalty, for it is inficted precisely in social retaliation to
the violence unlawfully wielded by offenders. But in carrying
out the death penalty, the State assumes the very posture of
violence that it condemns!
Cruel and inhumane
Death penalty is cruel and inhumane in two senses.
First, the terrible anxiety and psychological distress that
come on one who awaits the moment of execution constitute
the cruel and inhuman punishment that most legal systems
today proscribe, including the Constitution of our country. It
has been rightly said that the anticipation of impending death
is more terrible a torture than suffering death itself!
Second, the members of the family of the condemned
persons, many times including children, are, for their life-times,
stigmatized as members of the family of an executed person,
bearing with them the price of a crime they never committed.
Imperfect justice system
A most important consideration is the imperfection of our
judicial system. While the CBCP has every respect for respectable
judges, the fact is that the judicial system—including the process
of evaluating and weighing evidence—is, like all human systems,
liable to error. But the death penalty, once executed, is irreversible
and no repentance or regret can ever make up for the horrible
injustice of a person wrongfully executed. There is furthermore
the sadder fact that some judges, betraying the dignity and
nobility of their calling, allow extra-legal considerations to taint
their judgments, rendering judicial disposition of cases less
reliable still. Once more, we must make clear that the CBCP
does not by any means intend to cast aspersions on the judiciary
of our country and in fact calls on all our people to turn to the
courts for the redress of grievances.
International commitment
Finally, the Philippines is a State-Party of the Second Optional
Protocol of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and
the principal obligation we assumed under this international
agreement is to abolish the death penalty. We cannot and should
not renege on our international obligations, especially when
these are not only lawful but moral. Pacta sunt servanda is
not only a legal principle. It is key ethical imperative as well!
We are rightly appalled by the heinous nature of some crimes
committed today, but the moral, Christian and mature response
to this common social challenge is for parents to take the rearing
of their children as a sacred responsibility, for the members of
the community to take active part in the prevention of crime
and in testifying against wrong-doers, for law-enforcers to
be more vigilant and dedicated to their bounden duties, for
prosecutors and courts to be resolute in the prosecution of
offenders, and in the trial of those accused. Rightly has it been
said that deterrence lies not in the severity of the penalty but in
the certainty that offenders are held to answer for their crimes
and the guilty are punished. Detestable as crime may be, there
is no justifcation at all for the State, as the prime educator of
civil society, to send the erroneous message that human life
is sometimes dispensable and disposable!
From Betania Retreat House, Tagaytay City, July 2, 2014
Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan
President, CBCP
In behalf of the bishops and
priests of the Visayas Clergy
Discernment Group (VCDG),
I join the Filipino nation in
the celebration of the 116th
anniversary of the victory of
Filipino heroism against foreign
tyranny and oppression.
The Roman Catholic Church
in the Philippines also declared
this year as the Year of the Laity,
in which the laity are called to:
“Choose to be Brave: Called to
be Saints, Sent Forth as Heroes!”
A fitting way to celebrate
our freedom from Spanish
Colonization is the commitment
to genuine human liberation
or integral salvation, where all
peoples have “life in its fullness”
(John 10:10).
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference
of the Philippines (CBCP) Pastoral
Exhortation for the 2014 Year of the
Laity called on everyone, especially
the laity, to address these situations
which are not pleasing to God:
dehumanizing poverty, graft and
corruption, greed for power and
money, and ignoring the common
The CBCP reminds us, “The
renewal of our country thus
demands of us all, and especially
of our lay faithful, a return to
truthfulness and the fostering of
the sense of the common good.”
Furthermore, the Second
Pl enar y Counci l of t he
Philippines (PCP II) said that in
our country “where the poor and
marginalized have little genuine
participation… we realize that
integral development of people
will be possible only with their
corresponding empowerment”
(PCP II, 326).
We, bishops and priests of the
VCDG, believe that an organized
and empowered people will
be able to get rid of an elite
politics, thus achieving genuine
Today, we join our people in
the call to end corruption and to
abolish the pork barrel system.
We are one in the call that the
welfare of our people, especially
the poor, must be held supreme.
All of us must continually work
for genuine freedom, so that all
peoples will have the fullness
of life.
For a society without justice
is not really free. According to
St. Augustine, “A state which is
not governed according to justice
would be just a bunch of thieves.”
On behalf of the Visayas Clergy
Discernment Group,
Bishop of San Carlos
June 12, 2014
A Statement on the 116th Philippine
Independence Day Celebration
Magisterium / B2
Homilies / B2
obtains the recognition of the Apostolic See,
which on the other hand will not give it if
the majority of bishops requesting it is not
substantial. In this case, all the Catholic
faithful in the Philippines (the territory of
the Conference) are obliged to adhere to such
teaching with a sense of religious respect.
With more reason, a statement by a bishop
alone—even as Chairman of an Episcopal
Commission—should never be presented
especially if the homily is later to
be published.
Some priests and deacons read
the text simply because they have
bad memories. Other preachers
write down homilies or outlines
and then deliver it with nary
a glance at the text. The mere
presence of the text frees them
from the worry of suffering a
mental blockage.
Others, such as the great Fulton
Sheen, prefer not to use a written
text. It should be remembered,
however, that this form often
requires more preparation to get
things right. It is also often the
most effcacious from a rhetorical
point of view, facilitating such
elements as personal contact with
the listeners.
There are also those who
preach from a prepared text who
achieve this contact, and this
form should not be considered
in any way as second best.
Popes Benedict and Francis, with
different styles, both show how
this form can be a most effcacious
preaching method.
What is not usually effective is
reading a text simply downloaded
by the mass media as authentic magisterium
of the CBCP.
With even more reason, a statement of an
offcial of an Episcopal Commission should
never be taken as authentic magisterium of
the CBCP.
All these are very clear to the bishops and
offcials of the Catholic Bishops Conference
of the Philippines. What is lamentable is the
way the mass media quite often takes their
statements—many times from impromptu
or ambush interviews—out of context,
confusing the Catholic faithful in the process.
To sum up, even if the primary task of
the Bishops is to teach, this is a task that
pertains to the individual Bishop and toward
his proper fock. The CBCP really has very
little leeway to come up with doctrinal
declarations of its own—other than reiterate
already existing Church doctrine.
from the Internet or some other
resource. Even if well read, it
often lacks the quality of being
the fruit of prayerful meditation,
assimilation of the message and
personal conviction in its truth—
which must necessarily come
across if a homily is to be a true
communication of faith.
Pope Francis also illustrates
this point:
«144. To speak from the heart
means that our hearts must
not just be on fire, but also
enlightened by the fullness
of revelation and by the path
traveled by God›s word in the
heart of the Church and our
faithful people throughout
history. This Christian identity,
as the baptismal embrace which
the Father gave us when we were
little ones, makes us desire, as
prodigal children—and favorite
children in Mary—yet another
embrace, that of the merciful
Father who awaits us in glory.
Helping our people to feel that
they live in the midst of these
two embraces is the difficult
but beautiful task of one who
preaches the Gospel.»
B6 Vol. 18 No. 14
July 7 - 20, 2014
CBCP Monitor
even dare to utter or write, simply
because we know that they will
have no effect. Our words are
incapable of instantly restoring a
broken bone, or to heal a cripple,
or to call back to life a person very
dear to us who has passed away
. . . Human words can be very
powerful but also quite impotent.
God’s Word is omnipotent
because it is an expression of His
creative and healing power. “By
the word of the Lord the heavens
were made” (Ps 33:6) and when it
promises freedom and salvation
it will surely produce such effects.
(See today’s First Reading.)
When the Eternal Word
became a frail human being, the
words he uttered possessed a
power which no simple human
word could have. They stilled
storms (see Mt 8:23); restored sick
people to health (see, for instance,
Lk 17:11-14); called dead persons
back to life (see Lk 7:11-17; Mt
5:41 and Jn 11:43f); subjugated
the devil (see Mk 1:25-27). By
the power of his word, a piece
of bread and a cup of wine were
and are transformed into his
body and blood! Jesus’ words
were “performative”—they
always produced the intended
effect because they were (and are)
charged with divine strength.
The word of Christ had the
power to transform people:
a si mpl e f i sherman was
transformed into the leader of
the Church (Peter); a persecutor,
into a tireless apostle (Paul);
a hardened sinner, into an
announcer of the Resurrection
(Mary Magdalene) . . . .
Sown like a seed in the hearts
of men, Christ’s word can work
incredible wonders even today.
But, for all its omnipotent
power, his word will bear fruit
only if and to the extent that we
allow it to do so. Its fruitfulness
depends on our response—our
openness, sincerity, generosity,
The wonderful transformation
undergone by Peter, Paul, Mary
Magdalene, and innumerable
others, can also become our own
personal experience, if we want.
Thanks to the power of the Word,
in spite of our weakness, we can
soar to greatness and thus make
the Kingdom a magnificent
reality in us and around us. But,
if we are proud, backsliding,
inconsistent, stone-like . . . then
the Word’s divine power will be
reduced to nothing because of
our weakness and wickedness.
Today, as at the creation of the
world and as two thousand years
ago, God sends His Word to us.
It is up to me and you to let it
bear fruit in plenty as it has the
power to do.
Ref lections
Bishop Pat Alo
Bo Sanchez


“HOW are you, Phillip?” I asked
a friend one day.
Phillip retorted, “I’m fine.
My son died in an accident,
my house burned down, my
wife ran away with another
man, I lost my job last week,
and my doctor told me I have
lung cancer. Aside from that,
I’m okay.”
Phillip is the model stoic. I’ve
exaggerated his calamities to
give you a picture of a wrong
way of handl i ng negati ve
emotions: to deny them and
cover up our pain.
I’m not surprised that Phillip
has cancer. Why? Because
any inner pain that we don’t
allow ourselves to feel will
manifest itself through tumors,
hypertension, heart disease,
muscle pains, ulcers. Because
The wonder of God’s Word
15th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Mt 13:1-23 (A) July 13, 2014
The word of Christ had the power to
transform people: a simple fsherman
was transformed into the leader of the
Church (Peter); a persecutor, into a
tireless apostle (Paul); a hardened sinner,
into an announcer of the Resurrection
(Mary Magdalene)...
He knows when to declare “Time’s up!” That will be “Judgment Time,” when
God and evil will be clearly and defnitively separated, and everyone will be
rewarded according to his/her own deeds. (See Mt 13:42-43 and 16.27.)
Whenever you feel sad or lonely or
depressed or angry or fearful—don’t run
away from it, cover it up with busyness
or entertainment, or worse, silence the
negative feeling with an addiction.
16th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Mt 13:24-43 (A) July 20, 2014
By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
OVER the centuries, the term
“WORD” has had a lot of “bad
press” as it has often been equated
by some to an empty sound.
When compared to a written
word, a spoken word is viewed
as something of much weaker
value, since it can be revoked at
any time, unless it is uttered in
the presence of witnesses. The
Romans expressed this negative
view of the spoken word in the
famous adage, “Verba volant,
scripta manent.” (Words fy away,
what is written endures.)
When compared wi t h
ACTIONS, words (whether
spoken or written) are defnitely
on the losing side. People give
greater importance to action
than to words. They do so with
good reason, for many individual
can be very good at talking (and
promising) but very poor in
matching their bold words with
corresponding actions.
Yet, the capability to utter
WORDS – the gift of speech,
i.e., the ability to communicate
verbally, and express ideas,
and whatever we have in our
hearts – is one of features that
distinguishes us human beings
from other beings. Words reveal
the deep, spiritual reality that
every person is endowed with.
Despite the frailty of their sounds
and the awkwardness of the
written lines, words can be very
powerful indeed. They can offer
consolation and encouragement.
They can move hearts. They can
impel to action. They can change
lives. They can change the world!
Each of us and the entire history
of mankind can testify to this.
But, in spite of so great power,
our words often fail to attain
the intended effect, simply
because they share in the many
limitations of human nature.
There are words that we don’t
The presence of good and evil within God’s Kingdom
By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
THE presence and aggressiveness of
moral evil in a world ruled by God’s
Providence is bewildering. This feeling
of confusion increases when we see evil
right within the Church itself, which is
supposed to be the beginning and the
“sign” of the Kingdom.
What bewilders us most is the
impression that God does not seem
alarmed by this situation. Why does
He tolerate the devastating presence of
evil in the world and in the Church? The
basic answer to this question is that God
wants the conversion of the sinner, not
his/her death. (See today’s First Reading
and Ez 18:23 and 33:11.) But conversion
is a long process... God knows that and
this is one of the reasons why He is so
In the meantime He derives good
even from evil. God’s “permission” that
evil continue may be a means for Him
to test the faithfulness of His children,
to challenge them to “grow,” to bring
them to be vigilant and humble. God
allows evil in order to stimulate the
creativity of “good people” and elicit
from them manifestations of a love that
is absolutely sincere and faithful.
Evil is not just around us. It is also
right within each one of us, in different
degrees, and often well-concealed. But
it is there, nonetheless, always ready to
grow and strike...
God’s patience with the many
forms of moral evil in the world, in
the Church, and in us does not imply
either weakness or surrender. It simply
means that He loves all. (See Mt 5:45.)
He knows that man is weak. He “sees”
beyond the present moral failure. He
keeps sending appeals and reminders.
God is patient but not impotent. He
is loving and merciful, but also just.
Our faith assures us that in the end,
goodness and justice will prevail. God
will be the one to have the fnal word. In
spite of the great noise evil can do, the
threats it can pose and the insults it can
hurl, God remains in full control of the
situation. He knows when to declare
“Time’s up!” That will be “Judgment
Time,” when God and evil will be
clearly and defnitively separated, and
everyone will be rewarded according to
his/her own deeds. (See Mt 13:42-43 and
Such is the teaching of the parable
of the wheat and the weeds. The whole
Bible, especially the book of Revelation,
bears witness to its fulfllment.
Meanwhile, however, we should be
careful not to draw from the parable the
wrong conclusion that we should allow
Wonders of God’s
AS you contemplate the world we live in, you are astounded
by its many wonders. Surely it must have been an intelligent
God to create all these. Then this wonder we experience turns
to praise and thanksgiving. How grateful we should be to a
loving God, creating all this beauty and harmony in nature,
even giving man space for legitimate freedom for movement
and activity, within the bounds of the law of justice, discipline
and love for one another.
Sure indeed if our lives would recognize the many wonderful
things God has created in nature around and the people He
has brought close to us in love and friendship, we can only
dream of making our lives a song of gratitude to God Almighty
who has surrounded us with so much love and beauty in
the people and events around us. It’s a matter of a positive,
humble and grateful attitude that sees the happenings and
events of life as things that can be of beneft to us.
“For those who love God all things work together unto
good” (Rom. 8:23).
Feel Your Feelings And Let Go
of this, I have a fascinating
hunch: I bet that if I can only
help people acknowledge and
feel their hidden emotions of
anger, fear, worry, and grief,
I’d probably be able to remove
50% of their physical diseases.
Because our bodi es are
blueprints of our emotional life.
Sandra on the other hand is
Phillip’s opposite.
“How are you, Sandra?” I
asked her one day.
“Oh Bo, ” she crumpl ed
down on my shoulder, “I don’t
know what to do with my life.
Everyone hates me. No one
loves me!”
Do I cry with her? The first
time, yes. But the eighty-sixth
I’ve gotten used to her
drama. Because every time I see
Sandra, she alwaysbreaks down
into a river of tears. Only to find
out that her world was about
to end because a favorite shirt
got damaged in the washing
machine or her dog didn’t wag
his tail at her!
The good news i s t hat
between Phillip and Sandra,
there’s a middle path: When we
respect our negative emotions
as friends, not monsters, as
teachers, not masters. Negative
emotions are the windows of
our soul—and they will teach
us about who we are and what
exactly we need from God.
In a word, emotions need to
be felt. And then, unlike Sandra,
Soulfood / B7
Presence / B7
B7 Vol. 18 No. 14
July 7 - 20, 2014
CBCP Monitor
Social Concerns
Soulfood / B6 Hazing / B4
Presence / B6 Guidance / B4
Joy / B3
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you can let go. Because you
cannot let go what you have not
held! There are no short cuts!
You can’t go around them, over
them, or skip them. The only
way is through the negative
My suggestion is simple.
Whenever you feel sad or
lonely or depressed or angry or
fearful—don’t run away from
it, cover it up with busyness
or entertainment, or worse,
silence the negative feeling with
an addiction. (All addictions,
whether to drink, food, bulimia,
shopping, or sex, are an escape
from feelings we don’t want
TO start the 2-day Basi c
Or i ent at i on Semi nar on
Sus t ai nabl e Agr i c ul t ur e
( BOS S A) , t we nt y - t hr e e
participants from the Self-Help
Group (SHeG) communities
of the Social Action Center of
Diocese the Gumaca (Caritas
SAC Gumaca) participated
in the 10th Farmers Congress
on 12 May 2014, held in the
Gymnasium of the Diocese.
The SHeG communities are
local/diocesan partners of the
project “Empowering Women
in Agriculture through Social
Enterprise and Self-Help Group
(SHeG) Approach” under the
Sustainable Agriculture Program
of CBCP-NASSA, which started
SHeG communities join Farmers Congress
Orientation Seminar in Gumaca
in May 2013. The project aims to
empower women in 9 Dioceses
to be able to have their own
source of livelihood. Activities
include capacity building;
organizational development
and values formation; livelihood
support; and advocacy and
The annual Congress i s
organized for the members
of MASINOP (Magsasakang
Sinusunod ang Organikong
Pagsasaka) sector of MSK
( Munt i ng Sambayanang
Kristyano or the local BEC)
from 21 Barangays and guests
from Calauag and other towns
in the Diocese of Lucena, under
programs related to Sustainable
Agriculture and organic farming
in the Diocese. This year, the
topic focused on the “new
Coconut Industry”.
Co-sponsored by the Assisi
Foundat i on HAPAG- ASA
Integrated Nutrition Program,
the Philippine Coconut Society
(PCS) and the Diocese of Gumaca,
the Coconut Farmers Orientation
started with an opening prayer
for coconut farmers (Panalingin
ng mga Magniniyog) led by
PCS; followed by introduction
and welcome remarks by Fr.
Antonio Aguilar, Director of
SAC Gumaca. Mr. Victor Roca
of Caritas SAC Gumaca then
introduced the participants
before Mr. Greg Mendez of Social
Action Center of the Diocese of
Lucena introduced the speaker,
Mr. Jun Castillo, President of the
PCS, after relating the support
that Assisi Foundation and the
PCS also offered to his Diocese.
The main objective of the
Program is to introduce an
alternative and sustainable
way of earning from coconuts,
a product with is abundant
and very common in Quezon
Province. It can be seen as
alternative way for women in
the community to earn from
the coconuts from their family’s
farms while the men in the
family continues with the usual
way of selling copra which is
labor intensive.
and common tools like big
cooking pan and coconut husks
as fuels.
The program ended with
a synthesis by Mr. Ernesto V.
Porfura of Caritas SAC Gumaca;
closing remarks was rendered by
Fr. Tony. Caritas SAC Gumaca
will discuss further with the
PCS on possible collaboration
to make the Seminar realized by
starting where the Diocese can
support the farmer communities.
The seminar also had inputs
on the spirituality of creation and
sustainable agriculture, with
practical ways to practice it such
as the sustainable production
of organic fertilizers. (NASSA
evil to go unchecked wherever
we see it, whether in society
at large, or within the Church,
and in ourselves. Evil has to be
opposed wherever it manifests
This duty to oppose evil
and get rid of it is especially
imperative concerning the evil
that is in us, both in the form of
“tendency” and of actuations.
Evil is the “Anti-Christ.” It is
the “Anti-Kingdom.” It would
be futile to pray that God’s
Kingdom may come, while
doing nothing to eliminate or at
least reduce the presence of evil
in our very hearts and lives.
The same applies to the
presence of evil within the
Church. As workers of the
Kingdom, we must overcome
the temptation to deny or “cover
up” the existence of evil in the
Church. We must not allow
ourselves to be blinded by a
misguided and short-sighted
“love for the Church.” We should
remember that the Church is
infallible in teaching the truth,
but she is not infallible in putting
it into practice, especially in the
simply for reasons of effciency or morale
but because it transforms work itself from
being mere physical labor to becoming
an activity that contributes to full human
development. The burgeoning movement
for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
is commendable for the promotion
of a truly just business and economic
environment in the Philippines.
Integrity is especially needed in
political leadership and participation.
Corruption in politics distorts the
role of political leaders and their
relationship with constituents. The
Second Plenary Council challenges the
laity to participate in politics for “the
pursuit of the common good” and “the
promotion of justice,” paying particular
attention to the service of the poor.
cannot be excluded that there are and
there should be outstanding Catholic
politicians who prove that it is possible
to be unassailable public servants. In
their own quiet ways, cooperatives,
social entrepreneurs, individual and
communal “whistleblowers,” election
watchdog groups, and countless other
individuals and organizations all strive
to enhance integrity in political and
economic life.
formation has been geared towards
producing ordained servant-leaders
confgured to Jesus Christ, the Eternal
High Priest. Though the Church, then
and now, has been tainted by the
scandals of a few clergy, we are inspired
by bishops, priests, and religious who
have authentically witnessed a life of
integrity in preaching the gospel as lived
truth in their lives breaking bread in the
Eucharist as they share in the sacrifce
of those who suffer, and stewarding the
resources of the Church as they reach
out to the poor in their communities. We
realize that formation to integrity is an
ongoing process. And it is our hope that
we learn from lay people who have been
shining examples of integrity.
in the widest circle of our natural
environment, we are called to be
stewards of integrity caring for God’s
creation. God created the natural world in
an integral way. Every being is connected
and dependent on other beings in an
ordered system established by God.
When this integrity of creation is violated,
all life is threatened. Pollution affects
our supply of clean air and drinking
water. Over-fshing and improper land
use diminish our capacity to catch and
grow our food. Indiscriminate logging
and mining lead to deadly fash foods
and landslides. We need to recover our
place in the integral system of creation
as responsible users and stewards. Only
in this way can all enjoy the beauty and
bounty of God’s creation today and
The work of preserving creation’s
integrity should be shared by all, and
is perhaps the most all-encompassing
called to participate in.
Building a culture of integrity
To build a Culture of Integrity and
to radiate its beauty, we need to foster
values, build structures, and present
role models that can teach, support,
and exemplify integrity lived out in the
real world.
1) We need to honor persons who have
shown honesty, selfessness, courage,
and fairness for the sake of others, even
when seriously tempted to act selfshly:
the taxi driver who returns money left
behind, strangers who risk their lives
to help others during natural disasters,
government workers who refuse to
be bribed, the election volunteer who
vigilantly guards the ballot box. Their
stories can inspire and teach others that a
life of integrity is neither impossible nor
foolish but is our true calling as citizens
and as members of one human family.
2) We need to foster a spirit of solidarity
among our people to replace the clannish,
exclusive mentality, and “kanya-kanya”
attitudes that prevent the formation of
true communities of mutual help. We
need to be responsible for one another,
particularly for the welfare of the least of
our brothers and sisters, not only during
natural disasters but also each day of our
journey as a pilgrim people.
3) We need to ground all our efforts
at building a culture of integrity on
Love. “No legislation, no system of
rules or negotiation will ever succeed
in persuading peoples to live in unity
and peace; no line of reasoning will ever
be able to surpass the appeal of love.”
Love is “a force capable of inspiring new
ways of approaching the problems of
today’s world, of profoundly renewing
structures, social organizations, legal
systems from within.”
As we previously emphasized for
this Year of the Laity, “The renewal of
our country thus demands of us all,
and especially of you, our lay faithful, a
return to truthfulness and the fostering
of the sense of the common good…. We
must seek the truth, speak the truth, do
the truth… and to do so ‘in love,’ that is,
in solidarity with and service of others.”

When we cultivate the integrity of our
holiness, relying on the abundant grace
of God, we give a powerful testimony
to the Author of Integrity, whose joy
is to lead all humanity and creation
to the fullness and wholeness of God.
We join Pope Francis in observing that,
“the Church…does not grow through
proselytism; it grows through attraction,
through witness.”
May the humble and radiant witness
of our Mother Mary, along with the
prayerful support of Saints Lorenzo Ruiz
and Pedro Calungsod, keep us united to
each other and committed to our life of
integrity in love!
For the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of
the Philippines, July 8, 2014
Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan
CBCP President
Paul VI, 8 Dec 1965, quoted by Benedict XVI,
Meeting with Artists at Sistine Chapel, 21 Nov
Benedict XVI, Meeting with Artists at Sistine
Chapel, 21 Nov 2009.
Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994) 27.
Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est (2005) 1.
Francis, Homily on the Solemnity of Corpus
Christi, 17 June 2006; see also Francis, Evangelii
Gaudium (2013) 264-267, 121, 88, 153.
St. Augustine, Letter 130.
CCC 1213.
Vatican II, Lumen Gentium (1964) 11.
Lumen Gentium 11.
CCC 1325.
Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes (1965) 43.
CDF, Libertatis Conscientia (1986) 32.
CCC 2473.
CCC 828.
CBCP, “A Call for Vigilance and Involvement,”
24 January 2010.
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
(2004) 134.
Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate (2009) 45.
PCP II (1991) 351; see also Compendium 565.
Compendium 207.
CBCP, “Filipino Catholic Laity: Called to be
Saints…Sent Forth as Heroes!” 1 Dec 2013.
Francis, Homily at St. Martha’s House, 1 Oct
2013; Evangelii Gaudium 15.
mother’s life is in danger. When
a patient, for example, is rushed
to the emergency room who has,
with the help of a backstreet
abortionist, commenced the
abortion procedure that is
botched, although the fetus
has already been destroyed,
with the result that she is
bleeding profusely, the health-
care providers cannot refuse
intervention or treatment on
the ground of conscientious
objection but must take all steps
necessary to save the life of the
mother. This exception is based
on natural law, which calls for
the preservation of human life.
THE FAMILY, the Court has
ruled that when a married
person seeks an irreversible form
of contraception (vasectomy
and tubal ligation provide
the most ready examples),
BOTH SPOUSES must give their
consent, and when the spouses
disagree, the procedure may
not be performed. This is in
marked contrast to the original
provision of the law that would
have allowed the choice of the
person who was to undergo
the procedure to make the fnal
call. But this, the Supreme Court
rightly rules, would have directly
eroded family cohesion that the
Constitution obligates the State
to protect and to promote.
12. The Court also emphatically
holds that EVEN IF THE MINOR
she will still need the consent of
her parents in order to receive
surgical or non-surgical family
planning services. The Court
reasons that parental authority
over the minor is not lost by the
incidence of a miscarriage or
premature parenthood.
“It is precisely in such
situations when a minor parent
needs the comfort, care, advice
and guidance of her own parents.
The State cannot replace her
natural mother and father when it
comes to providing her needs and
comfort. To say that their consent
is no longer relevant is clearly
anti-family. It does not promote
unity in the family. It is an affront
to the constitutional mandate
to protect and to strengthen the
family as an inviolable social
By way of an exception, the
Court upholds the right of the
minor to receive information
about family planning services,
and to undergo emergency
surgical procedures in life-
threatening situations.
13. The Court recognizes
the right of private educational
institutions to be excluded from
the mandatory reproductive
health program under Section
14, on the ground of the
recognition of the academic
freedom of private educational
institutions especially with
respect to religious instruction.
Our Catholic schools then are
not obliged to propagate the
reproductive health curriculum
of the government, although,
consistent with church teaching,
they must prepare our youngsters
to be responsible parents.
14. Our Catholic brethren
employed in the different local
government units and performing
non-medical functions should
also be informed that they
have the right not to support or
participate in the implementation
of reproductive health program,
based on religious or ethical
ground. The Supreme Court
has voided the provision in the
RH Law that compels them to
implement the Law regardless of
their religious or ethical beliefs.
15. Signifcantly, the Court
says: “Be that as it may, it
bears reiterating that the RH
Law is a mere compilation and
enhancement of the prior existing
contraceptive and reproductive
health laws, but with coercive
measures xxx All the same, the
principle of ‘no abortion’ and
‘non-coercion’ in the adoption
of any family planning method
should be maintained.”
The salutary measures taken
by the Supreme Court to strike
down what it found to be
the constitutionally infirm
provisions of this dangerous law
will be for naught unless we pass
on this necessary information to
our Catholic brethren who are
impacted by the law.
It i s therefore strongl y
suggested that each diocese
organize seminars and symposia
at which our Catholics employed
or exercising their professions
in hospitals, clinics and similar
facilities, public or private, and
those working in local government
units whose functions may
involve the implementation and
promotion of the RH Law, are in
attendance and where they may
receive proper instruction on
this important decision of the
Supreme Court and their rights
following from the said ruling.
It is good to keep in mind
that the RH Law also mandates
the government to promote
and support Natural Family
Planning, particularly if this is
demanded by local communities.
The Episcopal Commission
on Family and Life as well at
the CBCP Legal Offce will be
available to give formation
semi nars i n t he vari ous
ecclesiastical circumscriptions
upon the invitation of the bishops.
May Mary Mother of Life guide
our every step in protecting
the dignity of human life and
protecting every human life from
harm! “Truly children are a gift
from the Lord; the fruit of the
womb is a reward” (Ps 127:3).

For the Catholic Bishops’
Conference of the Philippines,

Archbi shop of Li ngayen-
President, CBCP
July 7, 2014
moral area. History bears witness
to this and the recent scandals of
sexual abuses committed by
members of the clergy confrm
We have the duty to muster
the courage to expose and fght
evil wherever it is. We must be
consistent in denouncing evil.
This is the only way to bring
about a real improvement in
ourselves, the Church, and
soci ety. The teachi ng and
example of St. Paul in this regard,
as refected in most of his letters,
should be our guide.
to face.) My prescription:
Whenever you feel a negative
emotion, be alone in a room
and just sit down with it and
feel it. Don’t judge it, criticize
it, intellectualize it, explain it
away. Allow yourself to feel
the pain. It’s okay. (Feelings
are not sin. Check out the
Psalms if you don’t believe me!)
Accompany it—breathe into
it—and after awhile, you’ll feel
the anger or fear or sadness lose
its urgency and power. Allow
God to tenderly embrace you
in your pain.
And then, at the right time,
you can let go.
earth, light of the world”.
“I no longer call your servants
but friends…” and if we are
friends of the Lord Jesus, we
cannot but be friends towards
each other, and one never kills
or hurts or maims a friend!
“What have you done? The
voice of your brother’s blood is
crying to Me from the ground.
From the CBCP, Intramuros,
Manila, July 6, 2014
Archbi shop of Li ngayen
CBCP President
Mr. Castillo and his team
led the participants to see
the potential of not only ripe
coconuts, but also young
coconuts, in addition to copra
which is described as the “Old
Coconut Industry”. The “Young
Coconut Industry” focuses on
using all the parts of coconuts
to make by products, as well as
the economies of scale, linked
to cooperation and community
spirit, in order to make the most
economic proft that will beneft
the farmers’ families.
During the seminar, there
was a demonstration on how
to make 1 liter of coconut sauce
from 20 liters of coconut water
(around 70 matured coconuts)
Vol. 18 No. 14
July 7 - 20, 2014
CBCP Monitor
MAGKAKATAGPO ang landas nina
Steph (Sarah Geronimo) at Tonio (Coco
Martin) isang tag-araw ng mag-volunteer
si Steph sa isang outreach project sa baryo
nila Tonio. Bagama’t hindi kaaya-aya sa
simula ang kanilang pagtatagpo, unti-
unti pa rin silang magkakapalagayan
ng loob hanggang
sa tuluyan silang
ma- i n l ove sa
isa’t-isa. Ngunit
sa di-inaasahang
pagkakataon ay
bigla na lamang
maglalaho si Tonio
n a n g wa l a n g
paalam kay Steph.
Mangi ngi i bang-
bayan pal a i t o
para magtrabaho.
Maiiwang wasak
a n g pus o n i
S t e p h n g u n i t
i pa g pa pa t ul o y
pa rin niya ang
buhay at magiging
m a t a g u m p a y
siyang executive
s a Ma y n i l a .
Makal i pas ang
halos pitong taon,
hindi niya akalain
na magtatagpong
muli ang kanilang
landas. Maaatasan si
Steph na ihanda si
Tonio para bumagay
sa mundo ni Monica
(Ruffa Gutierrez),
ang boss ni Steph
na siya na ngayong
kasintahan ni Tonio.
Isang pelikulang naka-kahon sa
formula ng Star Cinema romantic
comedy ang Maybe This Time. Kitang-
kita ang kamay ng produksyon sa
pagpapatakbo ng kuwento at tila hindi
na kelangan pang tapusin ang pelikula at
alam na ng manonood ang kakahinatnan
ng kuwento. Walang gaanong bigat
sa mga karakter. Hindi ang karakter
ang naging sentro ng pelikula kundi
ang mga artista mismo. Halatang
ibinagay lahat sa kanila ang kuwento
pero ang naging resulta pa rin ay isang
kuwentong pinilit gawing bagay ang
mga artista at karakter na hindi bagay
sa isa’t-isa. Bagama’t pasado naman
ang pag-arte ng mga pangunahing
tauhan, hindi maitatangging maraming
DIRECTOR: Jerry Lopez-Sineneng
LEAD CAST: Sarah Geronimo, Coco
Martin, Ruffa Gutierrez
SCREENWRITER: Melai Mongue and
Anton Santamaria PRODUCER:
Star Cinema
GENRE: Romantic Comedy
LOCATION: Antipolo/ Manila
RUNNING TIME: 1 hour: 55 mins.
CINEMA rating: V 13 (For viewers
13 years old and below with
parental guidance)
DIRECTOR: Phil Lord, Christopher
LEAD CAST: Johan Hill, Channing
Tatum, Peter Stormare, Ice
SCREENWRITER: Michael Bacall,
Oren Uziel, Rodney Rothman
PRODUCER: Neal H. Moritz, Johan
Hill, Channing
EDITOR: David Rennie
GENRE: Action & Adventure,
DISTRIBUTOR: Columbia Pictures,
LOCATION: United States
RUNNING TIME: 112 minutes
CINEMA rating: V 14
Technical Assessment
 Poor
 Below average
 Average
 Above average
 Excellent
Moral Assessment
 Abhorrent
 Disturbing
 Acceptable
 Wholesome
 Exemplary
FOUR years after the epic battle
between the Autobots and the
Decepticons, an elite CIA unit
called Cemetery Wind is set up
to hunt all Transformers on earth.
The unit is headed by Harold
Attinger (Kelsey Grammer) and
his bounty hunter transformer,
Lockdown. Meanwhile, in
Texas, Cade (Mark Wahlberg),
a struggling inventor, buys an
old truck with the intention of
stripping it down to parts. When
he discovers the truck is actually
an injured Optimus Prime, he
decides to help him despite
objections from his partner
and his daughter Tessa. It does
not take long before Cemetery
Wind storms Cade’s home so
they can capture Optimus. But
Optimus attacks the operatives
and manages to escape with
Cade, Tessa and her boyfriend
Shane. Later, Optimus rallies the
remaining Autobots while Cade
discovers that Cemetery Wind
is working for KSI—a techno-
corporation who was able to gain
access to the Transformers’ main
composition, transformium,
and is now building its own
version. Joshua Joyce (Stanley
Tucci), head of KSI, envisions
a progressive society where
humans control their own
Transformers. His prized creation
is Galvatron which unfortunately
is Megatron reincarnated. As the
Autobots team up with Cade to
fght Galvatron and his human
made army of Decepticons and
stop Joyce and Attinger from
releasing the seed to create more
transformers, Optimus must
fght Lockdown and avoid being
reclaimed by the Creators.
There is one word to perfectly
describe Transformers: Age
of Extinction—LOUD. Loud
because holding together the
very fimsy and obscure storyline
is one explosion after another.
Loud because punctuating
every nonsensical dialogue is a
building toppling down or metal
slicing through something. Loud
because Michael Bay decided to
extend as long as possible every
chase sequence with a blast every
10 seconds or so. There is a valiant
attempt to humanize the story
with multilayers of revelations
and twists but they are presented
in such a fragmented manner
that it is so hard to keep up.
Performances are pitiful because
the robots show more emotions
than the humans. The only
articulated scenes are those
with Tucci in them. Of course,
the animation is impressive but
this is not a video game where a
sensible narrative is necessary.
The magic of the Transformers
franchise is the ability of the
bots to magically morph from a
cool vehicle into a colossal robot
and back. But this magic cannot
sustain a near three-hour running
time, especially again, without a
succinct plot to justify it.
Greater good resounds loudly
in the movie as Optimus, Cade
Direction: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Stan-
ley Tucci, Peter Cullen,
Kelsey Grammer
Screenplay: Ehren Kruger
Producer: Don Murphy, Tom
Music: Steve Jablonsky
Genre: Sci-Fi Action
Distributor: Paramount Pic-
Running Time: 185 minutes
MTRCB Rating : G
CINEMA rating : V14
Buhay San Miguel
Brothers Matias
and Joyce realize that in their
innermost beings lives the desire
to protect the innocent. While
each of them had self-serving
motives, disappointments and
unscrupulous intentions at frst,
the movie shows that change of
heart is always possible for those
who recognize that the greater
good matter more than personal
gain. However, Transformers,
aside from its action being a
little too intense for kids also has
several disturbing attitude from
Tessa and her boyfriend. Why
Transformers: Age of Extinction
merited a G rating from the
regulatory board could baffe
discerning viewers. The plot is
too confusing and the violence
too upsetting for children. The
producers must have pushed for
an Admit All Ages rating to allow
them to sell their merchandising.
A SEQUEL to “21 Jump Street” (2012)
this movie, like its predecessor,
spoofs a t el evi si on seri es fi rst
broadcast i n 1987. Thi s t i me
undercover agents Schmidt (Jonah
Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum)
try to be creati ve and pose as
brothers enrolled in Metropolitan
City State College in pursuit of the
drug dealer Ghost (Peter Stormare)
who has introduced to the campus
a substance that resembles cocaine.
Called “Why Phy”, the substance
gives young people an energy boost
and lends them heightened focus
that lead to paranoia and death.
They realize the drug ring is not
that easy to penetrate—despite their
bravado a bust goes awfully wrong,
and they get a tongue-lashing from
their boss Deputy Chief Hardy (Nick
Offerman) who rebukes them for not
just relying on past successes.
The spoofy character of 22 Jump
Street is early on disclosed by co-
directors Phil Lord and Christopher
Miller in the advice Chief Hardy
gives the two undercover agents:
“infiltrate the dealers, find the
suppliers, just like the last time.”
Read between the lines, it means:
“Do the same thing as last time.
Everyone’s happy.” The chemistry
between Hill and Tatum fuels the
entire movie, and while the setting,
many of the gags, and references
to a particularly American culture
may whizz above the heads of the
average Filipino moviegoers, the
plot which focuses on the dynamics
of the duo’s relationships more than
compensates for the lack.
Market ed as a comedy ( and
therefore to most viewers light
ent ert ai nment not t o be t aken
seriously), 22 Jump Street elicits
conflicting reactions from audiences.
On one hand it may be praised as
a substantial and god-intentioned
story clad in a goofy cloak and
dagger costume; on the other its
approach to spoofing is cheapened
by vulgar language, crotch-level
gags, subtle racism, and flippant
jabs at religion. For this reason the
movie offers much for discussion
between young ones and elders,
either in school or at home.
eksensang pawang alangan ang mga
karakter sa isa’t-isa. Sa kabuuan, walang
gaanong mararamdaman sa pelikula
dahil hindi nito nahalukay ang mga
tunay na damdamin ng mga tauhan.
Ang lahat ay nasa alaala at dayalogo na
lang. Hindi gaanong ramdam ang kilig
dahil pawang pilit ang pagtatambal sa
mga tauhan, pati ang mga sitwasyong
kanilang ginagawalan ay pawang
mga hindi naka-angkla sa matibay
na realidad. Salamat na lang sa ilang
masasaya at nakakatuwang eksena.
Kahit paano, may kaunting aliw pa rin
itong naidulot sa manonood.
Ang Maybe This Time ay sumasalamin
sa maraming komplikasyon ng pag-
ibig. Pinaka-sentro ng pelikula ay
ang mga nakapaligid sa dalawang
taong nagmamahalan. Laging sinasabi
ng pelikula na hindi sapat ang
pagmamahal sa isa’ t-isa ngunit
dapat di ng i saal ang-al ang ang
lipunang madalas ay pumupuna at
nanghuhusga. Maaring ito ay totoong
nangyayari at tunay nga namang hindi
nararapat sa lahat ng pagkakataon.
Maliwanag ang mensahe ng pelikula
kung ang usapin ng mapagmatang
lipunan ang titingnan. Hindi rin naman
maaaring husgasan ang kahinaan
ng mga karakter sa pagdedesisyon
lalo pa’t ito ay idikta ng lipunan at
mga taong itinuturing na nakatataas
tulad ng magulang at amo. Ngunit
kahanga-hanga pa rin ang pagsunod
ng mga tauhan sa ngalan ng wagas
na pagmamahal. Kita namang malinis
ang mga hangarin nila sa pag-ibig…
at madalas din ay isinasa-isang-tabi
nila ang kanilang sarili alang-alang
sa pamilya. Marahil ang nais lang
sabihin ng pelikula ay isang simpleng
mensahe na ang tunay na pag-ibig ay
nakapaghihintay ng tamang panahon
at pagkakataon.
The Cross
A Supplement Publication of KCFAPI and the Order of the Knights of Columbus
Vol. 18 No. 14
July 7 - 20, 2014
CBCP Monitor
KCFAPI intensifies Campaign
for the Cause of Fr. Willmann
Yen Ocampo
THE Knights of Columbus Fraternal
Association of the Philippines, Inc.
(KCFAPI) is making a drive towards
the beatifcation and eventually the
canonization of Fr. George J. Will-
mann, SJ through the establishment
of the National Executive Committee
for his Cause.
The construction of the Fr. George J. Willmann,
SJ Memorial Building was an idea conceived by
the Board of Trustees of KCFAPI upon the strong
recommendation of CBCP Media Director and
KCFAPI Spiritual Director Msgr. Pedro Quitorio
III. It was on June 11, 2011 when the KCFAPI
Board of Trustees approved the construction of
Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ Memorial Building
and Museum.
YouthPinoy Visits Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ Museum
“YouthPinoy” is a network of young people ages
14-39 years old, single, practicing Catholics, and
frequent internet users who take New Media as a
challenge and as a channel to reintroduce Christ
to the people as their contribution to the New
As a Community of Online Missionaries of God,
their main vocation is to use New Media/Social
Media as the conduit to reintroduce Christ’s Love
as well as forge intellectual and spiritual exchange
“YouthPinoy” pledged their support to the
awareness campaign, activities, programs, and
projects for Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ.
Manila Times College's young journalists visit Fr. George J.
Willmann SJ Museum
The awareness campaign for the beatifcation
of Father George J. Willmann, SJ was discussed
during the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) Na-
tional Executive Meeting along with its Founder's
Day Celebration which was held at the Immacu-
late Conception Cathedral School last June 8 and
presided by Bro. Aries Brecino, Interim National
Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) in the Philip-
pines was founded by Fr. George J. Willmann in the
year 1938 with Loreto Parish in Sampaloc, Manila
as the pilot unit. Its National Chaplain Emeritus
is Msgr. Francisco Tantoco, Jr. and Fr. Jerome Cruz
as incumbent National Chaplain.
CYO's Founder's Day is celebrated every 29th
of June, which is also Fr. George J. Willmann's
A frst sectoral meeting for the massive campaign
on the cause of Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ was
recently held at the KCFAPI Offce in Intramuros
Manila. This was led by Catholic Bishops' Confer-
ence of the Philippines (CBCP) Media Director
and KCFAPI Spiritual Director, Msgr. Pedro C.
Quitorio III.
Apart from being KCFAPI's Spiritual Director,
Msgr. Quitorio is also the Vice - Chairman of the
National Executive Committee for the Cause of
Fr. Willmann, which is headed by Former Chief
Justice and KCFAPI Vice Chairman, Hon. Hilario
G. Davide, Jr.
Friends from the Media Industry
KC Foundation Executive Director Roberto
Cruz served as their tour guide, but prior to this,
a courtesy call was made to the Knights of Co-
lumbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines,
Inc (KCFAPI) Executive Vice President Ms. Ma.
Theresa G. Curia.
The group assured their support for the promo-
tions and massive campaign on the cause of Fr.
Participants of the Squires Leadership Formation Program
The Columbian Squires, the youth organization
of the Knights of Columbus, is one of the most dy-
namic leadership development organizations for
young Catholic men in the world today. The said
organization was established in the Philippines by
none other than Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ in 1950.
Students from the Emilio Aguinaldo College visit the museum
Doctor on Call
DR. VICTOR C. Salvador is a member of
Council 3363 in Baguio City and is also one
of the accredited doctors of KCFAPI. In his
brief stay in the offce, he shared some of
his thoughts about KCFAPI, the insurance
program, and how he beneftted from his
insurance coverages with KCFAPI. He said:
“ KCFAPI is an organization affliated with
the Catholic Church helping Brother Knights
and their families in time of need or death.
I availed of insurance to make sure that on
my untimely death, my family will not be
placed in dire fnancial straits. Insurance
is an instrument by which it serves as an
umbrella to protect fellow Knights and their
families. Finally, in many ways it has helped
me fnancially and psychologically as I keep
on thinking that whatever God has in store
for me, my family will not suffer fnancially.”
At present, he continues to be active in his
council. He supports KCFAPI’s mission as
the main provider of insurance protection
for Brother Knights and their families as he
presently maintains two KCFAPI insurance
coverages. (KCFAPI News/RJ Mariano)
Executive Vice President Sis. Ma. Theresa G. Curia hands
over a check to Bro. Victor C. Salvador representing
maturity benefit from his insurance coverage from
KCFAPI. Looking on are VP - Fraternal Benefits Group,
Gari M. San Sebastian and VP - Information & BC Holders'
Services, Ronulfo Antero G. Infante.
On its sixth (6) year, KCFAPI turns over One Million Pesos to CBCP. Of
this amount, P709,000 represents the interest earned in 2013 on the
P10 Million CBCP Seed of Hope Fund established by KCFAPI in 2008
and additional allocation of P291,000 for 2014 from KCFAPI. To date,
a total of P5.1 Million has been given to CBCP for its priority projects.
Receiving the check during the turnover is CBCP Head, Lingayen-
Dagupan Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas (center), flanked by KCFAPI
Vice Chairman Hon. Hilario G. Davide, Jr., President Arsenio Isidro G.
Yap and Chairman Alonso L. Tan together with EVP Ma. Theresa G. Curia
(2nd from right), VP - Fraternal Benefits Group Gari M. San Sebastian
(extreme right), VP - Actuarial & Business Development Angelito A.
Bala (extreme left), VP - Finance & HRCC Mary Magdalene G. Flores
and VP - Information & BC Holders' Services Ronulfo Antero G. Infante.
Young journalists from the Manila Times College
(a private tertiary institution owned by the oldest
daily newspaper in the Philippines) recently vis-
ited the Fr. George J. Willmann SJ Museum.
According to them, their visit to the museum
is both educational and inspiring as it introduced
them to the heroic virtues of Father George J.
Willmann, SJ.
Participants of the First Sectoral Meeting
The Cross
C2 Vol. 18 No. 14
July 7 - 20, 2014
CBCP Monitor
Alonso L. Tan
Chairman’s Message
President’s Message
Michael P. Cabra
My Brother’s Keeper
CY 2014-2015 Stars
Roberto T. Cruz
Ma. Theresa G. Curia
Arsenio Isidro G. Yap
EVP's Corner
New Columbian Year
Touching Base with the Foundations
An Expanded Look At The New Columbian Year
FOR us in the Knights of Columbus, the
month of July signals the start of a new
Columbian year. For many units in the
Order - Councils, Districts, Assemblies
and when due, even State Jurisdictions, it
is time for a “Changing of the Guards” – a
new Management Team.
Practically in all matters everywhere
around the world, change is inevitable so
the important thing here is how each one
accepts and deals with Change. For our K
of C units, the changes brought about by
the entry of a new Columbian year allows
our respective units to experience a new
set of officers whom we expect to bring
with them a vibrant approach to running
our own unit.
As an immediate Past Grand Knight,
I know that no one is indispensable for
any unit of organization. For the good of
our Council, the change makes possible
the infusion of new blood that, as best as
the members have elected and chosen,
will hopefully bring in a fresh initiative
and vitality to the Council. And to help
ensure that the new set of Council officers
will be able to deliver what is expected
of them, outgoing leader/s must provide
and share with them an orderly transi-
tion and turnover. Of course, the KC
Supreme Office through its website and
mailed materials as well as the State Ju-
risdictions impart their respective share
of instructional materials to guide the
incoming officers.
In addition, however, to ensure success,
incoming officers are required to attend
their respective orientation seminars (i.e.
for Grand Knights and Financial Sec-
retaries, for District Deputies, Faithful
Navigators, Council officers, etc.). Aside
from Indoctrination Seminars, Formation
Seminars/ Talks and the units’ respec-
tive Planning Sessions, it is the personal
responsibility of the new officers to know
and review the KC Constitution and By-
Laws and all the different reading materi-
als available to them.
Of course, a l eader ’ s success pre-
sumes that he will utilize whatever core
knowledge he possesses as a result of his
educational attainment and professional/
business acumen he personally developed
and absorbed throughout his life.
Here we turn to the role of our two
Foundations, the KC Philippines Foun-
dation, Inc. (KCPFI) and the Knights of
Columbus Fr. George J. Willmann Chari-
ties, Inc. (KCFGJWCI). At this time when
many are unable to afford the training
and benefits of decent education, our two
Foundations open the gates of opportuni-
ty to their chosen qualified scholars – the
KCPFI for children of poor K of C brother
knights as well as Columbian Squires and
the KCFGJWCI for poor Diocesan priests
and seminarians.
Yes, our parents are our first teachers in
life, while our teachers in school continue
our basic training for life by serving as our
surrogate parents while in school. But for
the Foundation scholars, both Founda-
tions allow them to realize their dream
to complete their studies bringing them a
step closer to the fulfillment of their cho-
sen vocation in life. With the Foundations
founded by Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ and
the KC, we take advantage of every chance
we have to remind the scholars from time
to time about their ties with the Knights
of Columbus and its basic principles of
Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism.
Likewise, we encourage them, whenever
possible, to look at their commitment and
personal role as responsible Catholics thru
the Knights of Columbus.
For our scholars, we remind them that
without Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ, the
Foundations would not be what these
presently are. More importantly, the schol-
ars would not have been able to avail of
the scholarship grants which they now
Fr. Willmann devoted the last thirty-
nine years of his life to serving, guiding
and giving direction to Filipinos, in gen-
eral and more particularly, to the poor
and underprivileged. He closely linked
them to the Knights of Columbus and
many other organizations he established
to make sure they did not abandon the val-
ues and teachings of the Catholic Church.
Similarly, our two Foundations serve as
constant links between our scholars and
the principles of the Catholic Church thru
the Knights of Columbus – thus offering
the scholars a more well-rounded educa-
tion in its own humble way.
As they complete their studies and with
their exposure and links to the K of C, we
believe many of our Foundation scholars
will be potential qualified candidates to
assume new roles every time we witness
the arrival of a new Columbian Year.
JULY 1 marks the new Columbian
Year for the Knights of Columbus.
This Columbian Year is probably
the most diffcult in my career as
a knight for it is on this year that
I had taken a new assignment, the
presidency of KCFAPI. It put me on
top of two institutions with different
views on how they could serve the
members of the Knights of Colum-
bus the best way they can.
The three jurisdictions of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao
would like their members to become a better catholic, a
better husband and father, a better citizen and a better
neighbor and friend. They want their members to be
transformed from an ordinary citizen into a church base
community leaders who are able to address the needs of
their parish and community.
On the other hand, KCFAPI would like to take care the
future fnancial needs of every member and their fami-
lies. They want the members to be capable of leading the
lifestyle they had been accustomed to, even after their
retirement. They want the members to be able to avail of
the many benefts of being a Beneft Certifcate (BC) holder.
As Luzon Deputy, I would have to lead the jurisdiction
to the direction set forth by the Supreme. Being the larg-
est jurisdiction in terms of membership, it is expected of
us to achieve our goals or the Supremes’ goals would be
in peril. The total net production of Luzon in member-
ship is about 35% of the total net production of the entire
Order. Combine Luzon’s production with that of Visayas
and Mindanao would result in 79% of total production,
making the Philippines a very important player in grow-
ing the Order.
As KCFAPI president, I would have to lead the Fraternal
Counsellors headed by their respective Area Managers to
be able to impart on our members the many benefts of
being a BC holder. The current national availment of only
20% against total membership makes it a must to set goals
that would one day reverse the situation.
The Columbian Year brings new hope both for the three
jurisdictions and KCFAPI. KCFAPI in cooperation with the
three jurisdictions is embarking on new marketing schemes
that would encourage more members to avail of our prod-
uct lines in protecting the future of their families. The three
jurisdictions despite suffering from Habagat fooding in Lu-
zon, the siege in Zamboanga, the earthquake in Bohol and
the killer typhoon Yolanda in Eastern Visayas are likely to
be included in the Circle of Honor Awards. The incumbent
Visayas and Mindanao Deputies would be achieving their
second COH award in three years. While the incumbent
Luzon Deputy on the other hand had already clinched his
third consecutive year as a COH recipient and a chance to
win its frst Pinnacle Award together with Visayas.
This coming August, the three jurisdictions of Luzon,
Visayas and Mindanao would once again dominate the
awarding ceremonies in Orlando Florida. Luzon was
already declared top in man hours of community service
contributing a total of 5.8 million man hours. It is also
expected to top the Star Council Awardees, Star District
Awardees and would receive at least 2 awards for the
Columbian Squires.
As Luzon Deputy and KCFAPI president, I’m calling
on all to be one in helping our Order grow, to be one and
frm in our resolve to care for the welfare of our families
and to be a strong pillar of the church. Vivat Jesus!
THE beginning of a new year is sym-
bolic for different groups and cultures.
Symbolic, because it sets forth renewed
energy, new hopes, and gathers together
the talents, commitments and creativity
of many people. The Chinese follow the
lunar calendar; Islamic cultures follow
their own, the fiscal and liturgical years
coincide; schools have a different start.
And so do we at the Knights of Colum-
I find the start of the new year an
interesting point of reflection. We also
make our new resolutions and usually
the Grand Knight announces the new
activities and goals that the council will
Why new activities, new goals, new en-
deavours? For prestige, honor, people’s
recognition? Do we want the society to
see that the Knights of Columbus coun-
cils are dynamic, active, involved in our
society? Yes, in the sense that we were
told: You don’t light a candle and hide it
under a bushel. But No, what we do as
KCs and why we do them have deeper
meanings and roots, greater horizons
and purposes.
When we engage in new activities,
we want to say that we shall remain
involved and creative year after year.
We will not let our predecessors down.
We shall pass on the torch to the new
generations. Our Founder has received
this idea as a gift from the Lord and we
shall make sure that the call for service,
nation building, unity and fraternity
goes on through us.
Why is it worthwhile to start the new
year with renewed commitments to our
activities? This is our way of accepting
the call to build the kingdom of heaven
on earth. Whatever we do to the least of
our brothers and sisters, we do for the
Body of Christ. When we help alleviate
the suffering of others, we give them a
taste of salvation. Through our presence
and material help, we assure them that
they are not alone. They belong to us as
brothers and sisters. They will be freed
from their sickness, poverty, ignorance,
hopelessness and we hope they can start
anew. What a humbling realization that
what we do, no matter how small is a
way to make the Kingdom of God hap-
pen in our midst. Small beginnings, but
real ones.
What is even more mysterious and
even miraculous at times is that in the
process of helping others, of making
small sacrifices, in working together as
a team, we do not only help others, but
we are also recipients of blessings.
1. We feel we belong to a group with
a vision. And this sense of belonging is
crucial for our psychological health.
2. We feel useful and able to serve and
to share. This is good for our sense of
being humans.
3. Our hearts expand as we reach out
to others. We realize that we do not ex-
ist for ourselves alone; not even for our
families alone. We are part of a humanity,
of a Church.
4. The more complete our outlook
on ourselves and our world, the more
complete we become. The better persons
we hope we can be. And we cannot be
this generous with our time, talents and
resources and be grouchy at home. Of
course as we involve our families, we
gain greater family bondings too.
Indeed, goodness, if it is authentic,
begets goodness. The people we help
will one day find a reason to help others
too. Goodness lives on because it can
only come from God. That Goodness,
channelled through us, is the Energy of
the great love of God that he continues
to make alive in the world.
So every year, at the start of the new
Columbian year, we resolve to do new
things. Such activities bind us in broth-
erhood and unity from the day we plan
together until the day of the execution of
the projects. This is again a way to join
in the Creative Energy of God’s continu-
ing creation.
Every year, we have a chance to grow
together as brothers and as individuals
in our faith and in our personal lives.
For even if we give half of our riches,
spend all our energies and time 24/ 7,
all these will be nothing and we will
just be clanging cymbals, if nothing good
happens within us. As we help build the
kingdom, we also have a chance to live
as disciples of the Lord, follow the call
to holiness and to be part of making the
world a better place to live.
Happy New Year everyone.
(The author, MA. THERESA G. CURIA is
the Executive Vice President and Chief Op-
erating Officer of the Knights of Columbus
Fraternal Association of the Philippines,
Inc. (KCFAPI) and the incumbent Vicarial
Regent of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate
International (DMII), Vicariate of the Im-
maculate Conception, Diocese of Malolos.)
ANOTHER Columbian Year
(CY) has ended (CY 2013-
2014) and a new one has just
started (CY 2014-2015) last
July 1. Last year’s theme was
‘Shoot for the Stars’. Now it
is ‘Grow the Order: Shoot for
the Stars’. This year’s theme
once again stands for the Star
Council Awards. These are the
most prestigious awards that a
council can achieve, namely;
Father McGivney Award for
membership growth, Found-
er’ s Award f or i nsurance
membership growth and the
Columbian Award for service
Just recently, new Grand
Knights (GKs) were elected
and District Deputies (DDs)
were appointed while others
were extended for another year
of service. All of them have a
common goal that is to aim for
at least one, if not all three, of
the Star Council Awards.
All three awards are impor-
tant but I believe that the most
significant is the Founder’s
Award. Insurance membership
growth is like the fulcrum for
the other two awards. Mem-
bership growth is important
until it steps up to insurance
membership which makes it
more important. Service pro-
grams on the other hand are
dependent on the members
who are brought in by KC of-
ficers and members.
Statistics show that 6 out
of 10 KC members who are
enrolled in our Council Mor-
tuary Benefit Plan (CMBP) are
members who usually attend
the council monthly meeting.
More often than not, they are
also the same members who are
very active in the council ser-
vice programs. If we can only
inform more members about
the great benefits of CMBP,
and other KCFAPI products,
we will see an increase in the
member ’s attendance in our
monthly council meetings as
well as in the council service
CMBP is only a peso a day
insurance protection program.
For a minimum of P1/day
or P365/year, a KC member
or family member is already
assured of P30, 000. 00 ben-
efit which can serve as a final
expense fund for their early
demise. It is like saving a peso
a day for peace of mind. It
l essens the burden, worry
and stress brought about by
the loss of a loved one. Plan
P40,000 and Plan P50,000 are
al so offered. Regul ar per-
manent plans are available
as well for higher insurance
coverage. The higher the KC
member protection coverage,
the longer the peace of mind,
and the greater they show their
strong love and concern for
their family.
As we inch into CY 2014-15,
toiling for the theme ‘Grow the
Order : Shoot for the Stars’,
may we always be reminded
of the primary obj ective of
the Knights of Columbus, that
is, ‘To render pecuniary aid
to its members, their families
and beneficiaries of members
and their families’. Before we
further increase the number
of our members and continue
conducting charitable works
for our organization, let us
all be mindful of the safety
and protection of our exist-
ing members. Charity should
always begin at home.
AT this new Columbian Year, I
assume a new responsibility of
being Chairman of the Knights of
Columbus Fraternal Association
of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI).
I wish to express my thanks and
gratitude to the Founder Mem-
bers Committee (FMC) for giv-
ing me its trust, confdence and
opportunity to head this very
prestigious institution whose
founder is well on its way to the
“honors of the altar”.
This, of course, is a daunting task not only because my
revered predecessors have performed so well but principally
because KCFAPI, after 56 years, has now become a signif-
cant component of the Order of the Knights of Columbus in
the Philippines—and, in fact, of the Catholic Church in this
country through its two foundations and through the Seed of
Hope Fund which is an annual fnancial assistance rendered
to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. And
this, not to mention the witness to Christian ideals shown by
the members of the Order in every diocese.
My frst item in the agenda is obviously the increase in
membership especially in the jurisdictions of Visayas and
Mindanao. I can only recall the sense of mission of the late
Bro. Roman Mabanta, then KCFAPI President, during the
5th anniversary of KCFAPI on September 9, 1963 that was
celebrated in honor of Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ, upon his
return from the US, who said “With 63% of the present
membership in the Philippines uncovered by KC insurance
protection, the Association faces a big task ahead. But at the
same time, the future of the association holds a promisingly
bigger growth and greater stability and prosperity.”
But the most immediate concern that looms in the horizon
is the forthcoming visit of the Holy Father in January 2015. I
regard with primary import the words of the bishops in their
recently issued Pastoral Letter titled “A Nation of Mercy and
Compassion”. They said: “We must prepare the nation to
receive the Holy Father by setting our minds and hearts in
communion with our dear Pope Francis, the messenger of
peace, love and the apostle of the poor. Our compassionate
shepherd comes to show his deep concern for our people
who have gone through devastating calamities, especially
in the Visayas. He comes to confrm us in our faith as we
face the challenges of witnessing to the Joy of the Gospel in
the midst of our trials.”
I wish to exhort the Executive Offcers of KCFAPI to come
up with bright ideas on how we can respond to the challenge
of our dear bishops.
Vivat Jesus!
The Cross
CBCP Monitor
Vol. 18 No. 14
July 7 - 20, 2014
GEORGE never forgot that the purpose
of athletics is to develop men. . . . to de-
velop character. . . . to train a boy to be a
man. . . . Athletics is a part of every boy’s
education. . . . the purpose is not to win
but to develop people!
Years later, halfway around the world,
in Manila in the Philippines, he himself
put that into practice. He took tough
youngsters off the street, and started
their trainings as real men on the basket-
ball courts of Santa Rita, of Intramuros,
of Sampaloc. He did this in Boys’ Town,
in the C.Y.O., in the Columbian Squires,
in every athletic league that he set up, all
over the country.
His sister Dorothy, who was four years
younger than George, wrote to him when
she was 71 years old: “We really grew
up in security, didn’t we?” She was re-
flecting on all of the pressures which are
now playing on the youngsters of today,
especially on the young ones of the Will-
mann family.
What she wrote was true. George really
grew up in security. A peaceful home,
where father and mother loved each
other. Brothers and sisters who were
disciplined and prayerful, and who sup-
ported each other, all the way. Catholic
schools, where the teachers were nuns,
priests, and young religious studying for
the priesthood.
George grew up in Brooklyn, which is
a tough town. But he really grew up in
2. Wall Street
“Worked on Wall Street for two years”
These seven words, all of one syllable,
cover the period in the life of George
Willmann from the time he graduated
from Brooklyn Prep, in June of 1913, to
the day he entered the Jesuit Novitiate
at Saint Andrew’s on the Hudson, on
August 14, 1915.
They are laconic. A very brief descrip-
tion. Obviously, George did not want to
call attention to these years, or feature
them as important. He
was only a messenger
boy, fifteen years old
when he started, turn-
ing sixteen on June 29,
and just eighteen years
old when he left the
job to become a Jesuit
But, in the summa-
ries of his life, which
George was required
to make, several times,
during his long career
as a Jesuit, he never
leaves these words out!
They were formative
years. He learned ac-
counting. He learned
how to deal with men.
But, above all, he expe-
rienced at close range
the thoughts, the feel-
i ngs, the deep emo-
tions, the high exalta-
tions and dark depres-
sions, of intelligent,
hard working, Catholic
He was working in
downt own Manhat -
tan. The tall build-
ings rising like cliffs
on both sides of the
narrow streets. The
teeming crowds. The
clanging trolley cars.
The newsboy shouting the disastrous
events of the war breaking over Europe.
Eating lunch in a lunch wagon. Watch-
ing the great ocean liners sailing down
the Hudson River. The majestic Statue
of Liberty. Soaked with perspiration in
the summer. Shivering in the snow and
sleet of winter. The long journey from
Brooklyn to Wall Street every morning.
The struggle in the traffic, going home
at night.
The theaters. The beautiful music of
Sigmund Romberg. He was a Hungar-
ian by birth, but a real American com-
poser. As George Willmann was German
and Irish descent, but a real American
messenger boy. The bright lights in
the streets at night. People hurrying.
People flooding across the streets at ev-
ery intersection. The beggars. The quiet
churches, where George could drop in,
and kneel in the back, and pray for a few
minutes, between jobs.
(To be continued on the next issue.)
ONLY a little later, in 2002, a
year rocked by scandals revolv-
ing around child molestations
perpetrated by Roman Catholic
priests, we began to recognize
that we felt personally confict-
ed. Like many others, we each
counted at least a few priests
among the most impressive
people we had ever known.
The idea of taking a new look
at the priesthood in America
through one of its most exem-
plary representatives was, the
more we spoke about it, not
merely intriguing but impera-
tive. We decided to write a book
about Father McGivney—on
one hand, the man who had
founded the largest Catholic
men’s fraternal organization
in the world, and on the other,
just as important, the most
unassuming of Catholic clerics.
In other words, we decided
to write a McGivney biography
largely because he was “just a
parish priest.” Too often Ameri-
can Catholic history focuses on
the Church hierarchy, much as
general history focuses too often
on royalty and presidents. Over
the years, grand biographies
have been written about famous
bishops and cardinals. That’s
fne, but the heart of Catholi-
cism in the United States lies
with the parish priests, who
become so much a part of their
parishioners’ regular lives. They
celebrate Mass, baptize infants,
visit the sick and dying, and pre-
side at weddings and funerals.
It’s the parish priest to whom
many of America’s 65 million
Catholics turn in times of per-
sonal crisis or if poverty strikes
a family. They serve on the level
of one human helping another.
By writing about Father Mc-
Givney, we’re embracing that
very obscurity and so honoring
all parish priests—or, more than
that, seeking to understand.
(To be continued on the next
Parish Priest
Father McGivney’s style was
more than simply energetic. He
was innovative and in some
ways ingenious, so much so
that Benedict XVI mentioned
him as a key figure in the
historic growth of the Church
in 19th-century America. In a
homily in New York’s St. Patrick’s
Cathedral in 2008, Pope Benedict
noted “the remarkable accom-
plishment of that exemplary
American priest, the Venerable
Michael McGivney, whose vision
and zeal led to the establishment
of the Knights of Columbus.”
Father McGivney’s virtue
was not of the cloister or the
mountaintop. It was in the per-
petual problems and struggles
of his parishioners that Father
McGivney lived out the virtues
of faith, hope and charity in a
truly heroic manner, as part
of his deeply spiritual yet
supremely practical vision. In
late 19th-century Connecticut,
Catholics were not welcome
into the mainstream of soci-
ety and often took the most
diffcult and dangerous jobs
in factories, construction and
railroads. The result was that a
family’s breadwinner too often
died young of overwork or ac-
cident, leavin behind a widow
and children who had few
means of fnancial support.
Father McGivney knew this
world well; his own father had
died when he was in seminary.
So after priestly ordination in
1877, when he was assigned
to St. Mary’s Church in New
Haven, Conn., he was able to
give himself to his people with
understanding, compassion
and commitment.
As a parish priest, Father Mc-
Givney was immersed fully in
the daily lives, diffcult as they
were, of his immigrant parish-
ioners. Early in his priesthood,
while the pastor was ill and the
parish debt was crushing, he
was unable to take a single day
of vacation. (To be continued on
the next issue.)
Building the Domestic Church
Every Christian family is called to be a privileged place of evangelization, where love is revealed and communicated
By Supreme Knight Carl
A. Anderson
The Gentle Warrior
By James B. Reuter, SJ
Part IX of Chapter One of “The Gentle Warrior” series…
Parish Priest
(Tis is the second part of excerpts that will
appear in Te Cross Supplement from the
book “Parish Priest” by Douglas Brinkley
and Julie M. Fenster)
Preface: The Same Manner to All Human Souls
A Model for Our Times
(Tis is the second of occasional excerpts that will
appear in Te Cross Supplement from the new
booklet “A Model for Our Times: Te Heroic Virtue
of Father Michael J. McGivney.”)
New Columbian Year
TURNING a new leaf, a new
As summer bids its last rays
of heat, the rainy season begins
its cheery shower. It’s true that
with every goodbye comes a
new hello. New beginnings can
take place in any form like by
welcoming the new year with
a resolution, renewing vows
on Valentine’s day, planning a
new life ahead after graduation,
having a renewed faith after a
reflective lent, reuniting with
a mother or father not seen for
years, facing head on a married
life, and then…what is it with
July that would provoke some-
one to start anew?
The month of July is said to be
dedicated to The Precious Blood
of Jesus Christ as it was estab-
lished by Pope Pius IX in 1849. It
falls within the liturgical season
of Ordinary Time represented by
the liturgical color green. This
color signifes hope and repre-
sents a budding seed, signifying
the awakening in the faithful the
hope of reaping the perpetual
harvest of heaven and the hope
of a glorious resurrection. Jesus
shed His most precious blood to
redeem us from our sins. And
with that a new beginning was
provoked, like people renewing
and strengthening their faith
while others realizing faith for
the frst time. After His crucifx-
ion, we started a new life praying
and atoning for the reparation
of our own sins and of others.
He was resurrected and did not
show any remorse on what He
has done to save us. Instead,
He led us to embark on living
our faith, inaugurating the be-
ginning of eternal life with His
blood. As Lao Tzu puts it, “New
beginnings are often disguised
as painful endings.”
Do we need an occasion or
a particular event to push us
in turning over a new leaf? We
ourselves should know that ev-
ery morning is a new beginning
that God offers us yet we often
let it pass unnoticed. We wake up
doing the same thing over and
over the entire day, regretting
what has happened and what
has not, feeling the same feel-
ing with no progress, or fearing
any change that may befall. We
could have lost a competition,
offended someone, failed to do
what we planned to, woke up on
the wrong side of the bed, and
whatnot. Nothing is constant
in this world but change. It is
with this turn of life that a new
path is opened to be taken. What
we don’t know is that every
single day we are given loads of
chances to pick up the pieces and
fix the picture, straighten our
lives and keep moving forward.
Whether it is something new in
our life or a change of somewhat,
both signify a new beginning.
We are unconsciously afraid of
how our beginning will end. But
an end is not the end but rather
a transition to another opening.
We are anxious to let go of things
that we are suppose to, for we
don’t realize that with letting
go we move forward and must
welcome what has life brought
us. We are wiser the moment
we accept that a change has
taken place in our lives. Never
be afraid to take on a new ad-
venture, it might be painful to
let go and fearful of what might
be. It was July 1969, when Neil
Armstrong made “one small
step for a man…” as he charged
head on a ”…one giant leap for
mankind” to a new beginning.
And as we welcome our New
Columbian Year, let us end the
former with gratitude, start
anew, and prepare for our future
as we create it.
“The best part of our lives is
not its endings but its begin-
nings.” (Concha Luz F. Angeles)
IN my column last month, I
discussed Pope Paul VI’s great
encyclical on evangelization,
Evangelii Nuntiandi, in which he
cites the Second Vatican Coun-
cil’s description of the Christian
family as the domestic church.
For Paul VI, the title “domes-
tic church” means that “there
should be found in every Chris-
tian family the various aspects of
the entire Church.”
A central teaching of the Sec-
ond Vatican Council is that every
Christian is called to holiness.
And since the family is the
primary community in which a
person matures, it is clear that
the Christian family should be a
place in which we are helped to
grow in holiness.
As the saints have shown
throughout history, holiness
leads inevitably to witness in our
daily lives. In our time especially,
the work of evangelization is not
reserved only for an elite few,
but is the responsibility of all
baptized Christians.
In a very real sense, we are
all called to be missionaries.
We are all called to “proclaim”
the Gospel to those around us
through our lives each day, and
the privileged place for most of
us to do this is within our own
Because of this reality, the
Christian family is essentially
missionary in character. In the
words of St. John Paul II, “The
family has the mission to guard,
reveal and communicate love”
(Familiaris Consortio, 17). In
living out this mission, the Chris-
tian family is itself called to be an
image of the loving communion
that exists among the three per-
sons of the Trinity.
Indeed, the Christian family is
able to reveal and communicate
this love in a special way because
it is founded upon sacramental
marriage. Christian spouses
frst receive this love as a divine
gift—but they also receive this
love as a task. The task of Chris-
tian spouses to live and com-
municate this love, frst to each
other and to their children and
then to others around them, is at
the center of the family’s mission
in the world.
For this reason, when the
Christian family takes up the
task “to become what it is”—
a living icon in our world of
God’s own communion—the
family stands at the heart of the
Church’s mission of evangeliza-
tion (cf. FC, 17). And when the
family responds in this way to
the design of the Creator, it truly
becomes a “domestic church.”
Recently, Pope Francis re-
minded us that Christian fami-
lies “are the domestic church
where Jesus grows in the love of
a married couple, in the lives of
their children.”
In the months ahead, the
Knights of Columbus will launch
a new initiative in which I invite
every Knights of Columbus fam-
ily and council to participate.
Titled “Building the Domes-
tic Church: The Family Fully
Alive,” this initiative will help
our families better become what
they are called to be.
Through this program, our
families can embrace more fully
their mission to be authentic
domestic churches through daily
prayer, catechesis and Scripture
reading, as well as through
monthly charitable and volun-
teer projects that they can do as
a family. More information will
soon be forthcoming in Colum-
bia, on kofc.org and in materials
sent directly to local councils.
In this way, the Order will
undertake a yearlong prepara-
tion for the 8th World Meeting
of Families to be held Sept. 22-27,
2015, in Philadelphia.
Wi t h t hi s i ni t i at i ve, t he
Knights of Columbus turns in a
special way to the Holy Family.
We make our own the prayer
of St. John Paul II that “every
family may generously make its
own contribution to the coming
of his kingdom in the world”
and “through the intercession
of the Holy Family of Nazareth,
the Church may fruitfully carry
out her worldwide mission in the
family and through the family.”
Vivat Jesus!
The Cross
Vol. 18 No. 14
July 7 - 20, 2014
CBCP Monitor
Holy Heroes
for the Year of the Laity was
conducted by the Episco-
pal Commission of the La-
ity (ECLA) of the Catholic
Bishops’ Conference of the
Philippines (CBCP) in coor-
dination with the Knights of
Columbus Luzon Jurisdiction
with the theme 'Holy Heroes:
Called To Be Saints, Sent
Forth As Heroes'. This was
held at the KCFAPI Center in
Intramuros, Manila last June
9 to 11, 2014.
There were 37 participants
in this 3-day seminar, which
was participated in by the
Luzon State Spiritual For-
mators led by Luzon State
Spiritual Formation Program
Chairman Edwin Dawal.
Formation team consists of
Msgr. Jose Antonio Galvez and
Sr. Lydia M. Collado, RSCJ as
Program Directors; Rebecca
Lavilla and Czarina Espiritu as
members; and Isidoro Baradi
as Visual Operations Techni-
cian. (KC News)
LUZON District Deputies Meeting. Hundreds of Brother Knights from all over Luzon attended the 2014
Organizational Meeting of District Deputies last June 28 to 29 held at the Manila Grand Opera Hotel with
the theme “Grow the Order: Shoot for the Stars”. Luzon Deputy, Arsenio Isidro G. Yap urged members to
multiply their numbers. Luzon Jurisdiction holds the number one spot in terms of membership growth
Orderwide. LuzonNews

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