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Pope and Obama discuss respect for life, economy and immigration

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Caritas in Veritate

The Heart of Social Doctrine remains the Human Person

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The CROSS

A Supplement Publication of KCFAPI and the Order of the Knights of Columbus

CBCP rejects biodiesel project
THE Catholic bishops’ hierarchy called on the government to stop the 600,000-hectare biodiesel project of a foreign company in the Philippines. Aside from being exploitative, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said its negative effect is likely to strike a number of landless farmers and fisher folk. It said that the size of land to be used in biodiesel production is more than one half of the entire land reform target of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).
Biodiesel / A6

CBCP: RP human rights grim
THE failure of the government to tackle the ‘tragic’ human rights situation in the country could lead to more violence, the Catholic hierarchy warned. In a pastoral statement, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said that addressing impunity for human rights abuses was not a priority of the government. That is why, the bishops said, the authorities and the various sectors of the society must work together in solving the human rights problems.
Human Rights / A6

July 20 - August 2, 2009

Vol. 13 No. 15

Php 20.00

Church prods lay stake in politics
By Roy Lagarde

CATHOLICS NEED to wake up when it comes to politics, and stop leaving God in the pew, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said.
In a recent pastoral statement, the church leaders pressed the “urgent need” for the rigorous participation of the lay people in achieving good governance. CBCP President Archbishop Angel Lagdameo said the call of Pope Benedict XVI for politics to be a big part of the lay vocation must continually be repeated. “It is important to spur the laity to live this crucial dimension of social charity with utmost sincerity and responsibility in order to promote social justice,” he said. Urging lay participation in “social transformation” was apparently given strong emphasis under Lagdameo’s administration. He said the call is not just of his own capacity as CBCP head but a response of the collegial body of the bishops to the emerging situation of the country. “That is our reading of the times. That is the common reflection of the bishops,” he said. Lagdameo said such situation indicates an urgent need for lay people to get involved in “principled partisan politics.” ‘Good men’ Seeing no one yet to fit the mold, the church leaders are encouraging “principled persons” to run for public office in the next year’s presidential elections. Aside from the usual call on the faithful to vote wisely, the bishops said more qualified candidates who are competent, have integrity and a commitment for change need to join the race. The CBCP has been known to take an official stand on politics each time the country prepares for a change of leadership. “We call upon those who are competent, persons of integrity and [persons] committed to change to get involved directly in principled partisan politics and become candidates for political election, aware that the common good is above the good of vested interests,” it said.
Politics / A6

CBCP’s Commission on Social Action, Justice and Peace chairman and Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo (left) answers a question from a journalist during a press conference July 13. Pabillo and CBCP secretary general Msgr. Juanito Figura read to the media the two statements –a pastoral statement on lay participation in politics, and an appeal for agrarian reform – issued by the bishops at the conclusion of their two-day plenary assembly on July 12.

Violence erupts in Maguindanao anew
FOLLOWING the series of bomb explosions in Cotabato and Maguindanao on July 20, fighting again erupted in the municipalities of Guindulungan and Datu Saudi Ampatuan all in the province of Maguindanao. In a report sent to CBCPNews, it said that an indiscriminate shelling took place from an army detachment at Crossing Salbu, Datu Saudi Ampatuan around 11:30 p.m. and just ended at around 1 a.m. of July 21. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), in a statement condemned the acts of violence which they said “had been causing civilian deaths and injuries, traumas and destruction.” “The unabated indiscriminate firing of artilleries and mortars and other indiscriminate attack by the Armed Forces of the Philippines in densely populated areas of Maguindanao since August last year 1964. Odchimar pursued higher studies at the University of Santo Tomas where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in canon law, graduating magna cum laude in 1982. The next year, he completed a doctorate in canon law, also graduating magna cum laude. He also has a master’s degree in business administration from the De La Salle University in Manila. Permanent Council As president of the CBCP, the 68year-old prelate will also chair the organization’s Permanent Council The council acts for and in behalf of the entire conference whenever the plenary assembly, which meets only twice a year, is not in session. Meeting regularly once in every two months, the body may be convened by the CBCP president at any time.

had already claimed hundreds of deaths and injuries to innocent civilians and non-combatants,” the MILF said in a report posted at luwaran, the official information office of the Bangsamoro people. Reports also disclosed that AFP shelling and firing were apparently aimed at preventing MILF guerilla attacks and hitting suspected positions of MILF forces in Guindulungan and Datu Saudi
Maguindanao / A7

Mindanao bishop new CBCP head
TANDAG Bishop Nereo Odchimar was elected as the new president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). Winning by an overwhelming majority of bishops from 86 ecclesiastical jurisdictions in the country, Odchimar will succeed outgoing CBCP chief Archbishop Angel Lagdameo. Odchimar, a canon lawyer, is currently serving his first term as vice president of the bishops’ collegial body. He was elected during the 99th Plenary Assembly of the Bishops’ Conference at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Manila July 11. CBCP secretary general Msgr Juanito Figura said the vote was taken among the 88 active bishops at the meeting. ‘Smooth transition’ Outgoing CBCP president and Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo said his successor will do well in his new job because he is a lawyer in church law. He said he foresees a “smooth transition” in the CBCP under Odchimar’s administration. “(Odchimar), being (a CBCP) vicepresident, knows very well what to do,” he said. “He knows how to manage the general assembly.” Odchimar was born on Oct. 16, 1940, in Bacuag, Surigao del Norte. He completed his studies in philosophy at the Sacred Heart Seminary in Palo, Leyte, and in theology at the San Carlos Seminary in Makati City. He was ordained priest on Dec. 19,

Bishop Nereo Odchimar

The council is also mandated to work with the commissions and assign them functions of urgent character that were not taken up in the plenary. One of the council’s main functions is to prepare joint statements or pastoral letters of the Catholic hierarchy on matters decided upon by the plenary assembly, provided that copies are sent to other members for comment and approval before they are officially released. Meanwhile, the CBCP leadership also elected Palo Archbishop Jose Palma, 59, as the new vice-president. Msgr. Figura was reelected secretary general and Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco was reelected treasurer. Other council members serving as regional representatives were also elected. For Luzon, elected were Bayombong Bishop Ramon Villena, San Fernando
CBCP head / A6

Anti-gambling bishop moved to Antique Prelate urges DENR to ban toxic jewelry cleaners
THE Vatican has named a bishop known to be a vocal critic against gambling as head of the Diocese of San Jose de Antique. Kalibo Bishop Jose Romeo Lazo will soon assume the position vacated by Bishop Romulo Dela Cruz more than a year ago. Dela Cruz was transferred to the Diocese of Kidapawan in May last year. An announcement released by Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams, the Vatican’s envoy to the Philippines, said Pope Benedict XVI named Lazo to head the Diocese of San Jose de Antique. The appointment, he said, was publicly announced in the Vatican on Tuesday, July 21, at 12:00 noon (6 p.m. Manila time). After barely six years, the 61-year-old bishop has not put his opposiand Bluewaters Resort at the northern end of the 1, 000-hectare island resort. If fully developed, local officials said, the complex could boost the local tourism industry, generate more jobs and could help finance development projects on the island. But Lazo said he is worried a casino, with unlimited jackpots, would be a greater harm to his flocks. He said tourism industry has long been standing even without it. The local church was also among the most active and vocal in the successful blocking of a separate plan to operate the Small Town Lottery game in Aklan in 2007. Lazo was born in San Jose de Buenavista in Antique on January 23, 1949. He was ordained priest on April 1, 1979 and was appointed bishop of Kalibo on December 29, 2003. (CBCPNews) KALOOKAN Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez, Jr. has expressed solidarity with an environmental organization in urging the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to impose outright ban on cyanide-laced silver jewelry cleaning agents following the recent reported cases of cyanide poisoning. Saying the Catholic Church condemns any form of suicide, Iñiguez joined the EcoWaste Coalition in airing the plea after learning about the two new cases of suicidal ingestion of silver jewelry cleaners involving a 20-year old woman and a 25-year old man from Tondo, Manila. “The suicidal intake of cyanide-bearing silver jewelry cleaners is an act of violence against oneself. We are all made in God’s image and likeness, so we must strive to glorify Him in our bodies and protect, not harm, ourselves from health-damaging substances like cyanide,” said Iñiguez, who heads the Public Affairs Committee of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. “I therefore join the call of the EcoWaste Coalition to ban poisonous silver jewelry cleaners as I remind those facing hardships in life not to despair, but to find hope and love in our living faith,” he added. According to police reports, the Caloocan-MalabonNavotas-Valenzuela (CAMANAVA) area has the most number of suicide incidents in Metro Manila with 68 suicide cases in 2008 alone. Driven by depression and poverty, CAMANAVA suicide victims reportedly drank silver jewelry cleaning liquids, hanged or shot themselves. “Cyanide is a very toxic substance that can cause lethal harm if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through skin. To avoid injuries and deaths due to accidental or deliberate poisoning, we urge the government to immediately ban this deadly poison,” said Manny Calonzo, the president of the EcoWaste Coalition. Citing the Chemical Control Order (CCO) issued by the DENR in 1997, Calonzo declared that cyanide and cyanide compounds are highly toxic to humans and to aquatic life even at low concentrations. Even the US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry said that exposure to high levels of cyanide harms the brain and heart, and may cause coma and death. Exposure to lower levels
Illustration by Bladimer Usi © Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

Bishop Jose Romeo Lazo

tion to a proposed casino on Boracay Island on the back burner. Now that a similar plan is being revived, the bishop called on his flocks to remain vigilant and take action against the proposed government project. The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. first pushed the plan of a casino complex in 2003 but President Arroyo ordered it shelved following a churchled public protest. The casino was to be built inside the posh Fairways

© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

Cleaners / A6

© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

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World News

CBCP Monitor
July 20 - August 2, 2009

Vol. 13 No. 15

Wrist injury hasn’t stopped Benedict XVI
ROMANO CANAVESE, Italy, July 19, 2009—Benedict XVI is expressing gratitude for the well wishes received after he fractured his wrist in a fall at his vacation chalet in northern Italy. The Pope affirmed this while addressing the crowd gathered to pray the midday Angelus in the Ruggia Plaza of Romano Canavese, close to Les Combes in the Aosta Valley, where he has been

Archdiocese of Sydney to give thanks for WYD with Mass
© www.catholicnewsagency.com © www.flickr.com/photos/meetings

SYDNEY, Australia, July 17, 2009—Last year at this time, hundreds of thousands of Catholic youths journeyed to Australia to grow in their faith at World Youth Day. To remember and reflect on the blessings of the event, the Archdiocese of Syndey will be holding a Mass and broadcasting it live on its website. The “First Year Youth Day Anniversary Mass” will be held on Monday, July 20 at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney and be celebrated by Cardinal George Pell. Mass will begin at 6:30 p.m. local time and be streamed live on the Archdiocese of Sydney's websitewww.sydneycatholic.org. Mark Vincent, a 15 year-old soloist who won this year's Australia's Got Talent competition, will be singing at the Mass. (CNA)

‘Do not be discouraged!’ Pope tells faithful in economic crisis
TURIN, Italy, July 19, 2009—In the first public outing of his current vacation in Les Combes, Pope Benedict XVI told 9,000 faithful gathered in Italy’s Romano Canavese village, the birthplace of Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, not to be discouraged by the current economic crisis or to forget those people who are worse off. Before the recitation of the Angelus prayer, his first public appearance since a minor accident broke his wrist on Thursday night, the Pope thanked the doctors of Aosta. “Dear friends, do not be discouraged!” Pope Benedict continued, “Providence always helps those who do good and are committed to justice. It helps those who think not only of themselves, but also of those who are worse off.” “The fundamental values of family and respect for human life, attention to social justice, the ability to tackle hard work and sacrifice, strong bonds with the Christian faith through parish life, especially participation in the Holy Mass, have been down through the centuries your true strength,” he said. “These same values will allow the generation of today to build their own future with hope, giving rise to a truly united and fraternal society, where all the different aspects, the institutions and the economy, are imbued with the Gospel.” “In a special way, I speak to young people, of whom we must think in an educational perspective,” the Holy Father pointed out. “Here, as everywhere, we must ask ourselves what kind of culture are they being proposed, what kind of examples and models are proposed to them, and we must assess whether they are likely to encourage them to follow the ways of the Gospel and of real freedom. Young people are resourceful, but they must be helped to overcome the temptation of easy and deceptive paths so as to find the path of true and full life.”

© wyd2008.wordpress.com

spending some days of rest. He is visiting the city where his secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, was born, and the church where he was baptized. The Holy Father raised his hands to greet the crowds, showing his cast and telling them, "As you see, because of my accident, I am a bit limited in my movements, but my heart is fully present, and I am here with you with great joy!" The Pontiff wholeheartedly thanked everyone, affirming that "many have shown me, at this time, their closeness, their warmth, their affection and have prayed for me." In this way, he added, "they have reinforced the network of prayer that unites us in every part of the world." The Holy Father noted the diligence and competence of the Aosta doctors, who "treated me [...] with success." Earlier, the director of the Vatican press office, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, affirmed that Benedict XVI was recovering well after the fracture and subsequent surgery. The priest acknowledged that the Pope was having to learn to live with his right wrist in a cast, including "the inconveniences that go along with this." The spokesman affirmed that despite the injury, the Pontiff would not be changing his program for the upcoming days, and will still stay at Les Combes for the duration planned, until July 29. (Zenit)

Italy to sponsor U.N. resolution condemning abortion

“Dear brothers and sisters, in this land of yours, full of Christian traditions and human values, many male and female vocations have flourished, in particular for the Salesian Family, like that of Cardinal Bertone, who was born in your own parish, was baptized in this church and grew up in a family where he assimilated a genuine faith,” the Pontiff concluded. “Your diocese owes much to the sons and daughters of Don Bosco, for their fruitful and widespread presence throughout the area since the years when their Holy Founder was still alive. This is further encouragement for your diocesan community to increasingly engage in the context of education and vocation.” Pope Benedict’s day will continue with lunch at the birthplace of Cardinal Bertone. In the afternoon, he will return to Les Combes. On Friday, he will recite Vespers in the cathedral of Aosta and on Sunday, the Angelus in Les Combes. (CNA)

US bishops urge Clinton to aid Honduras
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 17, 2009—Ahead of what many see as the last chance for a peaceful solution to the political crisis in Honduras, the U.S. bishops are calling on the nation’s secretary of state to take the “appropriate” steps to avoid further conflict in the Central American country. Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany, chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace, sent a letter sent Thursday to Hilary Rodham Clinton about the ongoing situation in Honduras, where a June 28 coup ousted President Manuel Zelaya, accused by Hondurans of breaking constitutional law with an attempt to extend his term. “We urge continuing efforts to help the people of Honduras resolve peacefully the current political crisis,” he urged. A week after the coup, Zelaya tried to return and retake control of the nation, but his flight was blocked by the military and police who set up obstacles on the runway. Zelaya then met July 7 with Clinton, and agreed to mediation by the president of Costa Rica, Óscar Arias Sánchez. Arias is a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for previous mediation in Latin America. However, the first round of talks did not give signs of progress. Zelaya has agreed to a second round on Sunday, but threatened to abandon dialogue if the interim government led by Roberto Micheletti doesn’t immediately restore his power. The international community—and particularly leftist allies such as Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez – have shown support for Zelaya. Meanwhile Micheletti has the support of the Honduran military and legislature, who claim Zelaya automatically renounced his presidency when he moved to extend his term. Benedict XVI expressed his concern about the recent events and called for patient dialogue and mutual understanding and reconciliation to create conditions to “ensure peaceful coexistence and authentic democratic life” in that country. The bishops of Honduras also issued statements concerning the crisis on June 19 and July 4. “Our conference,” Bishop Hubbard wrote, “has joined with the bishops in their call for dialogue and reconciliation among the Honduran people and for external support ‘without unilateral pressures’ in order to achieve a just and peaceful resolution.” He continued: “We are encouraged by the United States’ endorsement of the mediation process initiated by President Arias of Costa Rica. We urge you to continue to support this effort and to take all other appropriate steps, as necessary, to help the people of Honduras resolve the present crisis in peace and justice.” (Zenit)
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ROME, Italy, July 17, 2009—The Italian parliament approved a motion Thursday obliging the country’s government to sponsor a resolution before the United Nations that would condemn the use of abortion as a method of population control. The resolution also reiterates the right of every woman not to be forced to undergo an abortion. The measure is being backed by lawmakers from various parties, including some members of Italy’s left-wing Democratic Party. The president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Cardinal Renato Martino, said he was “excited” about the news. “I hope now that this motion will move forward at the U.N. and once there can bring about a greater consensus,” he said. (CNA)

Archdiocese of Sydney announces fourth adult stem cell research grant
SYDNEY, Australia, July 9, 2009—The Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney has invited Australiabased researchers to apply for a $100,000 AUD grant to support and foster research on the therapeutic potential of adult stem cells. The research grant is the fourth announced by Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney. It is intended to advance science and to circumvent human embryonic stem cell research, which requires the creation and destruction of human embryos. Announcing the grant, Cardinal Pell said that the Church “promotes and encourages medical research, and we strongly support stem cell research and other forms of biotechnology that respect the dignity of every human life, including that of the unborn.” “Every human life should be accorded the full protection of the law without regard to race, ethnicity, sex, religion, age, condition of dependency or stage of development. And this includes the smallest members of the human family.” “Advances in adult stem cell research have been extremely impressive. Achievements in this area have surpassed anything that has been achieved in the field of embryonic cell research,” he added. The grant will be awarded based on the recommendation of an independent assessment panel, whose members include experts in science and ethics. The Archdiocese of Sydney’s grants have funded three previous efforts in stem cell research. A 2003 grant of $50,000 funded an investigation into the therapeutic potential of adult stem cells derived from the nose to be used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. A 2005 grant in the amount of $100,000 helped investigate therapies using skin-derived stem cells to regenerate skin for catastrophic burn victims. Another $100,000 grant, announced in 2007, helped research the capacity of stem cells derived from human dental pulp to transform into neuron cells, which may be useful in treating stroke victims. Adult stem cells may be harvested from a patient’s own body and have been used in the treatment of heart and liver disease, strokes and spinal cord conditions. Though such therapies are still in early stages of development, adult stem cells avoid many of the technical and ethical problems surrounding the use of human embryonic stem cells. (CNA)

Vietnam, Holy See working toward diplomatic ties
cent visit, as well as from local sources. He said that a Vietnamese government delegation is scheduled to visit the Vatican in November and to further discuss the issue. In December, Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet is scheduled to visit Italy, noted the prelate, adding that a meeting with Pope Benedict or Vatican officials then would be a hopeful sign. The prelate noted that the climate for the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two sides has been rather positive over the past few years. Two years ago, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung paid a landmark visit to Pope Benedict XVI and Vatican officials. Dung, 59, was the first Vietnamese leader to meet a Pope since the communists reunited the country in 1975. In June 2008 in Ha Noi, during a working visit by a Vatican delegation, both sides decided to set up their own groups of experts to discuss the issue of diplomatic relations. From Feb. 16-22 this year, a three-member Vatican delegation, led by Monsignor Pietro Parolin, the Vatican undersecretary for relations with states, paid a working visit to Vietnam. During this meeting, both sides convened the first session of the VietnamVatican Joint Working Group to foster diplomatic relations. Cardinal Man said government officials from the Bureau for Religious Affairs also “reminded” Archbishop Joseph Ngo Quang Kiet of Ha Noi to invite the Pope to visit Vietnam during the bishops’ recent trip. Archbishop Kiet is secretary general of the Vietnam Bishops’ Conference. During their meeting with the Pope on June 27, Bishop Pierre Nguyen Van Nhon of Da Lat, head of the bishops’ conference, invited the pontiff to visit their country. “The Pope gave no direct answer,” Cardinal Man said, adding that a papal visit would require a formal invitation from the government. He said local bishops hope the Pope will visit on Jan. 6, 2011, when the local Church concludes a special Jubilee Year celebration. The special year will mark the 350th anniversary of the establishment of the first two apostolic vicariates in Vietnam and the 50th anniversary of the Church hierarchy here. The celebrations will start in Ha Noi archdiocese on Nov. 24, the feast of the Vietnamese Martyrs. Cardinal Man, who heads the special jubilee commission, said his commission will organize a congress in November 2010 in Ho Chi Minh City as part of the celebrations. This congress will involve 200 clergy, Religious and laypeople, some from foreign countries. (UCAN)

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam, July 20, 2009—Cardinal Jean Baptiste Pham Minh Man of Ho Chi Minh City says the task of establishing diplomatic ties between the Holy See and Vietnam now lies with the Vietnamese government. “The Holy See has been ready to establish diplomatic relations with Vietnam for a long time,” said Cardinal Man. “The key question is now the Vietnamese government.” Cardinal Man was speaking to UCA News upon his return to Ho Chi Minh City after he and 28 other Vietnamese bishops paid their ad limina or five-yearly visit to the Vatican from June 22 to July 4. The 75-year-old cardinal said he learned about the present situation in the ongoing talks between the two sides during this re-

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CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 15
July 20 - August 2, 2009

News Features

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Pope and Obama discuss respect for life, economy and immigration
VATICAN CITY, July 10, 2009—The Vatican has announced the topics discussed during U.S. President Barack Obama’s Friday afternoon audience with Pope Benedict XVI. The two leaders reportedly discussed the promotion of life, the peace process in the Middle East, the global economic crisis, and immigration. In the course of what a Vatican statement called a “cordial exchange,” the two spoke about the defense and promotion of life and the right to abide by one’s conscience. They also discussed immigration issues such as reuniting separated families. Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi, S.J. told Vatican Radio that the U.S. president “reiterated his commitment to reducing the incidence of abortion.” On matters of international politics, the Pope and President Obama discussed some global issues highlighted by the G8 Summit. They also talked about the peace process in the Middle East, on which there was reportedly “general agreement,” as well as other regional situations. According to the Vatican's press office, other current issues under discussion included dialogue between cultures and religions, the global economic crisis and its ethical implications, food security, and development aid especially for Africa and Latin America. The problem of drug trafficking was a topic, as was the importance of educating young people in the value of tolerance. In a televised appearance after their conversation, President Obama gave Pope Benedict a stole that was draped upon the body of St. John Neumann. The Pope gave the president a mosaic portraying St. Peter’s Square and the Vatican Basilica and an autographed copy of his new encyclical “Caritas in Veritate.” Before the papal audience, the U.S. president met Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States. (CNA)

Foundation to aid indigenous poor
poor indigenous mixed races and AfroAmerican rural communities. The communiqué reported that these meetings "traditionally take place by rotation in the Latin American countries of origin of the members of the administrative council." Having completed a rotation, it continued, Germany was chosen for the meeting location this year as the country of origin of Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, president of the foundation and the Pontifical Council Cor Unum. As well, the statement affirmed, this move aims to give the foundation visibility in Europe. The organization has been financing projects focused on integral human development through donations given by benefactors across the globe. It reported that this year 231 projects from 20 countries have been presented for aid. These proposals include projects from different sectors: manufacturing –agricultural implements, production and marketing – health care, professional training, creation of community centers, education and the construction of rural homes. The countries that have presented the largest number of projects are: Colombia (52), Brazil (45), Peru (32) and Ecuador (17). Other nations giving proposals for assistance include: Bolivia (12), El Salvador (12), Haiti (11), Mexico (9), Guatemala (7), Argentina (6), Chile (6), Costa Rica (5), Nicaragua (3), Domini-

VATICAN CITY, July 17, 2009—Leaders of the Populorum Progressio Foundation are planning to meet at the end of the month to discuss funding projects to support poor communities in Latin America and the Caribbean. A Vatican communiqué reported today that the foundation's administrative council will hold their annual meeting at the Schwerte Catholic Academy in Germany from July 27 to 31. Council members will consider financing projects for communities of

Christian-Muslim unity urged amid bombings in Mindanao

can Republic (3), Venezuela (3), Cuba (2), Honduras (2), Paraguay (2), Panama (1) and Uruguay (1). The administrative council president is Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez, archbishop of Guadalajara, Mexico. Monsignor Giovanni Battista Gandolfo will also participate in the meeting as the president of the Italian bishops' conference committee for charitable initiatives in favour of the Third World, the main supporter of the foundation. (Zenit)

MANILA, July 17, 2009—A group of Muslims is calling for a halt to speculations about the spate of bombings in Mindanao that could affect the Christian-Muslim relations. The Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) said unverified reports must be stopped especially if it could exploit religious differences for political and violent agendas. “In the face of these bleak incidents,” the group said, more vigilance and strengthened cooperation among various faiths is more needed. “This is not a Muslim-Christian conflict. Let us clear our minds and fortify our greatest resolve not to allow these dastardly acts to successfully sow suspicion and animosity that could lead to conflict,” it said. The CBCS said people must not allow the bombings in Mindanao to put any scope for differences and soon create a separation between the two sides. The group also called on those behind the series of bomb attacks to spare the innocent civilians and

the places of worship. In the latest incidents last July 7, two blasts—once outside a Catholic Church in Jolo, Sulu, another near to a military vehicle in Iligan City, and two others at a transmission tower in Lanao Del Norte. The incident in Jolo was the deadliest of the four wherein two people were killed and around 46 others wounded in an explosion near the Mount Carmel Church. Last July 5, there were also attacks outside a cathedral in Cotabato City and in Barangay Buayan in Datu Piang town in Maguindanao province last July 4, also resulting deaths and injuries. “We denounce the bombings in the same manner that we condemn acts by men in uniform who occupied mosques, urinated in them and/or desecrated them,” the group said. The Muslim civil society group also called on the authorities to create “credible independent body” that would investigate the incidents and “bring the culprits to justice.” (Roy Lagarde)

Vietnamese Catholics pay high fines for violating government's two-child policy
HANOI, Vietnam, July 18, 2009—Catholic villagers in Vietnam say they are trying to follow Church teaching on contraception in the face of high fines levied against them under the country’s two-child policy. They pay the fines as a way of showing their fidelity to Catholic teaching. Since a 1994 nationwide “family planning” program, Vietnamese have been required to have no more than two children per family. Those with two children are told to use artificial contraceptives or undergo vasectomies free of charge. Families with more than two children must pay rice to the government as a fine, UCA News reports. While many Catholics say they have done their best to remain faithful to Catholic teaching, some have had to resort to contraceptives because they could not afford the significant fines. Villagers in Thua Thien-Hue province spoke to UCA News about the government's punishment. Catherine Pham Thi Thanh, 44, said that since 1996 she has been fined a total of 3,800 kilograms of rice for having six children, who now range from two to 15 years of age. Her family makes an annual profit of only 700 kilograms of rice by producing rice alcohol and raising pigs. She told UCA News she was fined 300 kilograms for her third child, 600 for her fourth, 900 for her fifth and 2,000 for the sixth. In 2007, she decided to use an intrauterine contraceptive device to save her family from a 3,800 kilogram fine in the event she had a seventh child. In 2005, village authorities had confiscated the possessions of a family who could not afford to pay such fines. Anna Pham Thi The, 50, has seven daughters ages two through 29. She also produces rice alcohol and raises pigs. She said she is willing to be fined for having more children because her husband wants a son. Father Joseph Nguyen Van Chanh, parish priest in Huong Toan village, said 90 percent of his 1,200 parishioners have paid their fines as a way to be faithful to Church teaching. He told UCA News that Catholics are taught family planning methods during marriage preparation courses. The two-family policy was in the news recently throughout the country when the Vietnamese prime minister chided an executive director of Vietnam Airlines for having a third child. Vietnam’s population is close to 86 million and increases by 1.12 million annually. (CNA)

IBON to MWSS: Stop SMC venture in Laiban dam project
dam includes the displacement of about 10,000 residents, including Dumagat communities. The project will also affect around 27,800 hectares of ancestral and agricultural lands, IBON said. The Laiban dam project is opposed, mostly by the Dinagat and Remado tribes, since its inception in the 1960s up to the mid-1980s by the late dictator, Ferdinand E. Marcos. However, the project was shelved because of the strong opposition of the people in Southern Tagalog, only to be revived in 2003 by the current administration. The research agency questions the supposed water shortage as a reason behind the Laiban dam revival. “In the first place, the perceived water shortage in Metro Manila should have already been addressed if private concessionaires Manila Water Company Inc. and Maynilad Water Services Inc. only fulfilled their long-standing obligation to improve the infrastructure of the water system,” IBON statement furthered. IBON, a convener of the Water for the People Network, says that, above all, the joint-venture deal should be cancelled because it allows private corporations to manage the Laiban dam and further gain control over the country’s water resources. (Noel Sales Barcelona)

MALABON CITY, July 13, 2009—Due to issues of corruption and cronyism, independent thinktank IBON Foundation Inc. tells the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) to stop the joint-venture proposal of San Miguel Corp. (SMC) and the bidding process, aimed to revive Laiban dam project. IBON said the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) released a report revealing that San Miguel Bulk Water Co. has submitted an unsolicited joint-venture proposal to build and operate the P52-billion ($1,077,385,282.45) Laiban Dam in Tanay, Rizal and favors alleged Arroyo crony SMC chair Danding Cojuangco. The report also said the deadline for rival bidders of SMC is last July 8, but MWSS only made an announcement on July 2, making the project almost a done deal for SMC, added the independent think-tank. “In truth, the Arroyo administration has been trying to revive the Laiban dam as early as 2003 when it listed the project for Asian Development Bank (ADB) loans, and later for a $910-million-loan from China. As in many anomalous infrastructure projects under the Arroyo government that are marked by allegations of corruption such as the NBN-ZTE, IMPSA, Piatco, Northrail, World Bank road projects etc., the Laiban project could possibly contain concessions that may prove profitable for a few Arroyo allies,” read IBON statement to media. It added the SMC proposal is the latest attempt to revive the project after the MWSS abandoned it in 1989, but the deal is reportedly lacking in avail-

able public data. IBON stressed, that the MWSS should fully disclose details of the joint-venture deal especially since the impact of the project on water rates will be effectively shouldered by consumers. IBON fears, the deal might contain questionable details such as a guaranteed fee provision similar to the controversial CE-Casecnan Multipurpose Project which required government to pay for 20 years whether or not water is actually delivered. In addition, the cost of rehabilitating the Laiban

MANILA, July 15, 2009—Making the youth participate in the 2010 national election will be among the toughest challenges Masbate Bishop Joel Baylon has to face following his reelection as chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY). Saying youth apathy in the election process remains an utmost concern of the ECY in view of next year’s election, Baylon claimed that his office has “much to do” during the months leading to May 2010. “Although ECY’s utmost concern is the youth’s involvement in the activities of the Church, we are also facing the challenge to promote intensive youth participation in the election of our future leaders,” said Baylon, who will be serving his third term as ECY chairman starting this December. Convinced that the country’s youth voters, comprising mostly of first-time voters estimated

Voters’ education an utmost concern of CBCP youth arm
anywhere between two or three million, can mold the political landscape in 2010 and beyond, the 55-year-old prelate said ECY will do its part in educating the youth about how “their ‘wise’ votes can make a difference” in the electoral system. “The youth should be convinced to use their right to vote to help mold the future of our country. Dapat makialam sila,” Baylon said, adding that ECY has been actively advocating for responsible voting among the youth through the parishes and dioceses nationwide. Like Baylon, outgoing CBCP president and Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo earlier called on the youth to reflect on Dr. Jose Rizal’s leadership example in choosing the politicians worthy to be elected for public office, urging them to use their right to suffrage wisely for the sake of political renewal and moral reform. “If we want our country to experience political

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renewal and moral reform, both elected officials and civil society must accept the challenge for such a change. There must be some models for it: not only some saints canonized by the Church, but more importantly, some of our Filipino heroes. And Napoleon Almonte offers us one model of political and moral leader—Rizal,” Lagdameo said in endorsing Almonte’s book titled “Rizal is my President: 40 Leadership Tips from Jose Rizal. It was reported that the ECY has favorably endorsed the theatrical adaptation of Almonte’s book in a play titled “Rizal is my President: A Musical Satire.” Directed by Raffy Tejada of the Philippine Educational Theater Association, the play was staged at the Ateneo de Manila University, St. Scholastica's College (Manila), Far Eastern University, and the AFP Theater in Camp Aguinaldo last month. (Kris Bayos)

A4
EDITORIAL

Opinion
Thanks to the bishops

CBCP Monitor
July 20 - August 2, 2009

Vol. 13 No. 15

THE Pastoral Exhortation on Philippine Politics issued in September of 1997 maybe one of the best documents of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) so far since its incipience 64 years ago. Comprehensive as it is down-to-earth, the document seem to have gathered the perfection of the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines in that it called a spade a spade on matters of church’s vocation in politics. Here’s one: “Any serious believer in God cannot allow the state of our national politics…to persist. And in fact there is a duty for the Christian Catholic to transform politics by the Gospel. The Church, God’s people, must evangelize politics. God’s call to the Church is to preach the integral Gospel, the Gospel with social dimensions. The Gospel must influence every phase of life, every stratum of society…” Until today, most lay faithful, even those within church circles, find it hard to accept that to renew politics is part of the Church’s mission. They say that the Church should heed the Scriptures: “My kingdom is not of this earth.” (Jn 18:36) or “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.” (Mt 22:21)—and therefore conclude that the Church has nothing to do with politics and politicians. Even the doctrine of separation of Church and State, which is actually an injunction for the State and not for the Church, has been wrongly applied to mum the church from doing what is essential to its mission. The CBCP has been criticized for making socio-political issues dominant in its pastoral letters and statements—about 60% of pastoral letters and statements since 1945 is pro-active in addressing issues of political import. The simple answer of the bishops is this: “Philippine politics—the way it is practiced—has been most hurtful of us as a people. It is possibly the biggest bane in our life as a nation and the most pernicious obstacle to our achieving of full human development.” True enough, there is no area of Philippine geography, there is no space in the Filipino value system, and there is no structure in Philippine governance that has never been deeply stained by politics which people, understandably, call “salot ng bayan”. But thanks to the bishops for coming up with the latest pastoral letter on politics and peace.
Illustration by Bladimer Usi

Abp. Angel N. Lagdameo, DD

Working towards lay In and Out of Season participation in social change
form Program (CARP). [Pastoral Statement: The Dignity of the Rural Poor, January 28, 2007]. In 2007 the CBCP also commended the group of lay faithful who worked with great enthusiasm and dedication for the May 2007 elections. These lay groups were the PPC-RV, NAMFREL, NASSAVOTE CARE, Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan, the Catholic Media Network, Legal Network for a Truthful Election (Lente). These dedicated groups undoubtedly contributed to the emergence of a new political consciousness among the electorate. Vigilance, volunteerism and coordinated action characterized their work. We advocated for Electoral reforms through revamp of the COMELEC, the holding of those responsible for anomalies in past elections as accountable to the people, and the modernization of the electoral system in time for 2010 Election, continuing education of voters, the cleaning and publication of voters’ list long before election. [Pastoral Statement, July 8, 2007] In July of 2007 the CBCP recommended a one-year journey “Towards the Second National Rural Congress” (July 16, 2007). The timetable included (1) Diocesan Consultations on BECs in rural development; (2) Sub-regional consultations on rural poor sectors and rural issues and (3) the convening of the Second National Rural Congress in July 7-8, 2008, the following year. Overseeing the entire process of the NRC-II was the Central Committee, with Archbishop Antonio Ledesma and Bishop Broderick Pabillo as Executive Chairman and Vice Chairman respectively. In the process they adopted the SEE-JUDGE-ACT methodology. In 2008 the CBCP stated that the “Darkness in our situation” which consists in the subordination of the common good to private or personal good is due to the lack of a social conscience. In the Pastoral Letter “Reform Yourselves and bel ieve in the Gospel” (Jan. 27, 2008), the CBCP said: “To journey to the light, we need first to realize that we have contributed not a little to the common malaise—because of the decisions we have made, decisions that flowed from what we have become because of our unconcern, inaction, apathy, often thinking only of our interest. And so with little sense of the future of our country, we vote for people we should not vote for... We have to confess that corruption is in truth our greatest shame as a people.” There is need for personal and communal conversion towards a social conscience. “This conversion is for all of us: laity, religious, priests and bishops.” We reiterated the call for “circles of discernment” in all sectors or levels of the community, in order that through communal and prayerful discernment, the roots of corruption may be discovered and destroyed. [Pastoral Statement, Seeking the Truth, Restoring Integrity, February 26, 2008]. As part of the celebration of the NRC-II, we advocated for the extension of CARP with reform. “Abandoning the agricultural sector will not only threaten the farmers but also imperil food security itself. Conversely, distributing land to small farmers will provide equitable economic opportunities on the rural area and eventually reduce poverty and unrests.” (Agrarian Reform, May 18, 2008). Important highlight of 2008 were the launching of the Year of St. Paul and the holding of the Second National Rural Congress on July 7-8, 2008 in San Carlos Seminary, Makati. At the NRC-II the rural poor were given the opportunity to articulate their concerns. It was an opportunity for the church on various levels to listen and discern her specific role in accompanying the rural
In and Out / A7

Creating a Culture of Peace
LIKE concentric circles spreading out from the core value of Human Dignity, a Culture of Life gives rise to a Culture of Human Rights, which in turn brings forth a Culture of Peace. There can be no true peace without respect for life itself and the human rights of every person. Opus Justitiae Pax, (Is. 32:17) the motto of Pope Pius XII, highlights this intimate relationship: Peace is the fruit of Justice. Indeed, peace itself is seen as one of the rights a community can lay moral claims on. In his latest message for the World Day of Peace, the Holy Father calls our attention to “two indivisible and interdependent rights: the right to peace and the right to an integral development born of solidarity.” Thus, a Culture of Peace includes the development imperative as well as a sense of solidarity among communities, nations, and peoples of one world. In a pluralistic society with diverse cultures and religious traditions, this sense of solidarity can only come about through dialogue—the kind that leads to mutual understanding and respect. In Mindanao, over the past three years, Catholic and Protestant bishops have entered into dialogue with their religious counterparts, the Muslim ulama, to reinforce the peace process, based on the spiritual traditions of both religions. They are also starting to include leaders of the indigenous peoples’ communities in this dialogue of life, of common action, and of religious experience. Last November, the Bishops-Ulama Forum sponsored a Mindanao-wide Week of Peace to highlight the common aspirations of all cultural communities to put an end to the fighting. There are other initiatives for peace being worked at by other peace advocates—NGOs and POs—that over the years have been persistently hammering away at the deep-seated obstacles to peace among our people. The campaigners for a gunless society are one such group. So too are those dedicated men and women thanklessly working with our basic sectors to lessen government’s neglect of them. Ten years ago, the CBCP had already issued a pastoral letter to “Seek Peace; Pursue It.” Today we ask our government officials to resume or continue peace talks with armed groups to arrive at a comprehensive and honorable peace for all. We are ready to collaborate in this noble effort. Peace-making and rejecting all forms of violence are some of the building-blocks for a Culture of Peace. This work for peace starts with the individual, the family, and the local community and reaches out to include inter-cultural solidarity and care of the environment. It is with these sentiments that Pope John Paul II challenges the young of today: “peace within you and peace around you, peace always, peace with everyone, peace for everyone.”7 The Church’s “mission of dialogue,” according to the Synod Fathers of Asia, is “grounded in the logic of the Incarnation” and partakes of “the Father’s loving dialogue of salvation with humanity.”8 Through this ongoing dialogue, Christians help bring about “a culture where openness to the Transcendent, the promotion of the human person and respect for the world of nature are shared by all.”9 All this is what we mean by a Culture of Peace. Building a Culture of Peace by Respecting Life and Human Rights, A CBCP Pastoral Statement, 2000

(The full text of the opening talk delivered by Archbishop Angel N. Lagdameo, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), on the occasion of the 99th Bishops’ Plenary Assembly held on July 11-12, 2009 at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Manila.) I INVITE you to review with me what the CBCP, our conference, had articulated in our effort to shepherd and guide our country in the last four years through our Pastoral Statements and Exhortations. The CBCP declared the year 2006 as a “Year of Social Concerns” under the auspices of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. [cf. “Renewing our Public Life Through Moral Values” Pastoral Statement, January 29, 2006]. At that time we observed that economic benefits were not being sufficiently shared with the poor, that apathy and cynicism with regard to politics, and loss of trust in political leaders, have taken hold of the mind and hearts of many Filipinos. The root cause of this crisis, we said, is the erosion of moral values. Among the responses we proposed were the promotion of a spirituality of public service, integrity and stewardship as well as the formation of BECs towards a deeper spirituality of heroic Christian citizenship. But we believed that even our best efforts in addressing the problems will come to nothing without the help of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. (At that time it was the 150th Anniversary of the Feast of Sacred Heart instituted 1856.) Other social concerns we identified were the mining issues, the alleged “Peoples’ Initiatives” to change the Constitution (which did not push through because of the vigilance of the citizens), the controversial “Da Vinci Code,” the notorious Fertilizer Fund Scam and the spread of Small Town Lottery or STL. The commitment of the Church would consist in building in our land “a civilization of love” (Centessimus Annus, 10), by building character through honesty and integrity, by building capacity through empowerment of the poor, and by building community through formation in the spirituality of citizenship. [Pastoral Exhortation “Building a Civilization of Love” May 11, 2006]. The Year of Social Concerns gave emphasis on the importance of the Social Doctrine of the Church as integral part of our evangelizing ministry. This was further emphasized by the publication of Pope Benedict XVI’s first Encyclical “Deus Caritas Est.” Among the principles highlighted in addressing social concerns were: the centrality of the person as subject and object of development, the universal purpose of earthly goods; the principle of social justice, love, peace and active non-violence; and preferential love for the poor. The burning issues which were being discussed were: the family under siege by the reproductive health bills, the prospect of charter change, the controversial impeachment process, which did not occur, the clamor for the reform of COMELEC, advocacy contra extra-judicial killings, endemic corruption in public and private life. [Shepherding and Prophesying in Hope, July 9, 2006] In January 2007 the CBCP recalled the 40th anniversary of the Rural Congress of 1967 which came to the crucial conclusion that “The Church must go to the barrios.” The greater number of the poor is in the rural areas. Therefore, attending to the rural poverty would be to help lessen the urban poverty. The CBCP said that the one big means of alleviating rural poverty is through a determined and vigorous implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Re-

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The roots of violence against women and children
BASED on findings, the incidence of child abuse has increased dramatically for the last 20 years. This vicious phenomenon is attributed to the contraceptive mentality, the seed of which were sown in media and the school curricula around three decades ago. Most men and women who grew in that milieu imbibed the anti-life or anti-natal spirit. They are mothers who refuse to bear children, who use contraception, who abort and neglect their children. These are fathers who abuse their own children, who abandon their families, who regard women as commodities, who regard children as property. Dr. Philip Ney, A Canadian child-psychiatrist, claims that abortion and contraception remove the guilt for killing innocent lives. No less than Judge Noonan of the American Jury considers the rise in the incidence of child abuse as one of the adverse consequences of the Roe v. Wade Decision that legalized abortion in the USA. In that country, there is widespread child abuse and wife battering despite the strong feminist movement.

Sr. Mary Pilar Verzosa, RGS

Love Life
promoted by the population/birth control advocates targeting 8-12 years olds seriously disturb the latency period in the psycho-sexual development of our children. During this stage, sexual energy should be directed for the development of compassionate feelings are destroyed during the latency period are frequently devoid of this emotion. Without compassion, the youth plunge in surges of violent behavior. Thus pornography develops potential criminals. Society is like a parabola where values form a fixed locus extend like lines reaching every point. When from the central point emanates philosophies that shape people’s values and culture towards annihilation of life, there follows a separation of the human experience from the Divine. Let us not be surprised if our society is prone to exploitation and brutality. As Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta has said. “The greatest destroyer of peace in the world today is abortion. If we allow a mother to destroy her unborn child, what is there to stop you and me from killing each other.”

Pedro C. Quitorio
Editor-in-Chief

Pinky Barrientos, FSP
Associate Editor

Kris P. Bayos
Feature Editor

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Managing Editor News Editor

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Layout Artist and Online Editor

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

Incidentally, abusing their children is part of the Post Abortion Syndrome of women who had had abortion. George Gilder, a sociologist, provides a similar explanation. He says that violence against women and children flows from the collective consciousness of men who are retaliating from society’s rejection of their maleness – their capacity to sire off springs (as in contraception), and their giving up their role as a provider and protector of the weak and defenseless (as in abortion). They then retaliate by performing “male” acts to prove their superiority, for instance, sexual abuse and brutality to those whom they perceive as weak. Another factor contributing to violence is pornography. Two generations of Filipinos already have been exposed to such material through cinema, television, tabloids and magazines, comedy bars, internet, videos, and lately, the mobile phones. Finally, the values-free type of sex education (reproductive rights, “safe sex”)

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 15
July 20 - August 2, 2009

Opinion
60 years of Lay leadership in the Archdiocese of Davao
munity service especially through their outreach programs which was difficult due to the oppressive and limiting conditions of the Martial Law years. The more radical and militant laity on the other hand, opted, wittingly or unwittingly to join the underground and armed groups continuing the struggle for political and social emancipation. Because of these ad intra and ad extra developments in the life of the local churches in the Davao area and the rest of the country, the formation of future priests in the Major Seminary of Mindanao (at the time just REMASE) were really geared to forming them for GKK animation and formation, the animation and facilitation of lay leadership in the Church so that the laity can truly exercise their rightful role in the life and mission of the Church, equipped with content and adequate pedagogy in evangelization and catechesis and organizing and animation of communities, for social consciousness and concern and involvement. The EDSA People Power revolution in the mid 1980s ushered in a renewed sense of urgency and hope for a better future for the country after almost two decades of the Marcos administration. Hope, that the Filipino can; that the ordinary Filipino has the power to change things around him. Armed with only their faith, incessant prayers and the righteousness of their cause for freedom and justice for all, they toppled the conjugal dictatorship and their cohorts. Yes the poor, the lowly the downtrodden and the oppressed, achieved this. It was a new discovery of what faith was for the Filipino Catholic—a faith that does justice. And so, with the EDSA People Power revolution, catholic lay leadership had a real taste of living out one’s prophetic faith translated and expressed in social involvement and transformation. But such militancy and radicalism waned
DADITAMA / A6

A5
Nicolo F. Bernardo

Bp. Guillermo V. Afable, DD

DADITAMA
THE Archdiocese of Davao, which is the mother church of Daditama, is now celebrating its 60th Diamond Jubilee (1949-2009). I would like to highlight with you the growth of lay participation in the life and mission of the local church, as I see it. I was born, initiated and raised as a Catholic and now as a Clergyman in this local church. All of my 58 years was mostly spent in and with this evolving local Church, carved out from the huge Archdiocese of Zamboanga, comprising the whole province of Davao. Eventuallly, the division into four ecclesiastical jurisdictions following the civil division of the province into Davao City, Davao Del Norte, Davao del Sur, and Davao Oriental was effected. My first encounters with lay leaders in the church was through the Cursillistas of the Cursillo Movement and the Barangayans of the Barangay sang Birhen, most of whom formed the nucleus of the close collaborators of the priests in the parishes. There were also the Legionaries of the Legion of Mary who were very zealous in their accompaniment of the priests in their home visits especially of the sick, dying and elderly. The Catholic Women’s Leagues were also very much present practically in all the parishes. The Knights of Columbus and the Daughters of Isabela, Christian Family Movement, though fewer in number, were also quite prominent in the urban parishes. These lay men and women, leaders in their own right, were part of the Catholic Action of the 1950s and 1960s. Of course there were others, but these were the ones I got to know more as a young boy growing up as altar server in the church. From these groups usually came the volunteers for the different church ministries mostly in the Worship ministry. In the Catholic schools, in the high school and college in particular, there were also quite a number of religious organizations for students – Student Catholic Action, Catholic

Lifeguard

Youth Organization, Sodality of Mary, the Junior Cursillistas, the BIL Days with the Lord etc. All these were avenues for youth leadership and faith formation. Under the impetus of aggiornamento of Vatican II, and echoed in and by the Mindanao Sulu Pastoral Conferences (MSPC), the 1970s ushered in the formation of the GKKs (BECs) which really catapulted the lay leadership programs for the different ministries for worship, teaching and serving, required for building the small faith communities in the different parishes. So, we organized and formed the KPKs, the PSL, Kaabags, PSP, etc. The Lay leadership Formation activities, then, were greatly enhanced by the work done by the Sa-marians who conducted the three-day weekend Samaria Seminars mostly with the grassroots people and the basic sectors. These brought back to the church a lot of the unchurched then. Simultaneous with the formation of the GKKs, was the entrance of the Charismatic groups, first introduced and spearheaded by Evangelicals and Pentecostals, but later on were taken over by Catholics themselves. These groups, organized and led by very apostolic and zealous lay people, spread very fast in the communities and parishes that the Church had to engage and direct them more consciously and intentionally under the umbrella of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Movement. These strengthened and gave the communities new vigor by the awakening of the faithful to the workings of the Holy Spirit, and the organizations of Bible sharing groups in the “market place” touching peoples’ lives in more intimate and meaningful ways than the official church services. These groups brought forth lay people taking initiatives for their faith formation, with or without the direct guidance and control of the clergy. These developments afforded the lay faithful with avenues for church and com-

Dream, believe, receive
IT was an ingenious marketing strategy when Rhonda Byrne titled her inspirational book “The Secret,” which sold about 2 million copies in print and another 2 million in DVD. The work is a collection of statements from 24 philosophers, physicians, physicists, businessmen, Olympics and NASA trainers, among others. I was able to read and watch both versions of the Secret, which actually refers to the Law of Attraction. It was Ralph Waldo Emerson who coined the term “secret” for this universal law, said to be taught too by Plato, Buddha, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein and even Jesus Christ. The thesis grounds itself on quantum physics, which says that sub-atomic particles react to the observer’s consciousness of them. Meaning, one’s perception or thinking affects phenomena at the smallest level. In fact, a person’s brain waves under electroencephalogram (brain scan) show that one’s thought patterns emit a certain frequency and energy. Byrne says: “As you focus on what you want, you are changing the vibrations of the atoms of that thing, and you are causing it to vibrate to you. The reason you (human being) is the most powerful transmission… is because you have been given the power to focus your energy through your thoughts and alter the vibrations of what you focused on, which then magnetically draws it to you.” The implication is that, we are co-creators because we transform things even in an unseen level based on our presentiment or “felt” thoughts. Thoughts are most powerful, having more energy, when conceived with feelings (in the language of Scriptures, “with all of one’s heart, all of one’s mind”). Accordingly, emotive positive thoughts will attract positive-energy-level circumstances, negative thoughts negative ones. And the feeling of love is the highest frequency one can emit. As an aside, this “consciousness creates reality” quantum dynamics has become the stuff of business and self-help instructions today promoting the power of the mind. Nobel laureate physicists Eugene Wigner and Brian Josephson held that the mind is an active agent that collapses quantum possibilities into actualities (in psychology called psi phenomena). Both the “attention” and the “intention” (including the desires, wishes, prayers) of the observer influence the observed in a “non-local” entanglement, that is, irrespective of space and time. Einstein, himself baffled, called this “the spooky action at a distance.” Scientist Dean Radin writes thus in Entangled Minds that research “seems to support the idea that psi is a type of distant influence, in which case prayer could, in principle, affect the world directly.” Back to Byrne, she speaks of a three-step process to apply the law of attraction based on the New Testament: Ask, Believe, and Receive. One must expect for what one really wants and visualize as if it has been given already. This involves acting, speaking, and thinking as if the wish has come true. This way, possibilities are opened and entangled according to one’s mental state. Citing Jesus in Matthew 21:22: “Whatever you shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” And Mark 11:2-4: “What things so ever you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them.” When faced with contrary situations, just turn the other cheek—turn positive. Somehow, the book could be in sync with popular prosperity gospel and “feel good” mentality. Yet on one hand, Jesus himself said that he came to give us the “good news”: to give us life and have it to the full; that faith can move mountains; that joy and hope will be with men of good will. How about an image of this gracious, joyful Christ? Although some of the contributors and language of the book are into New Age (in particular, Esther Hicks who claims to “channel” the spirits of Abraham), the “secret” exposed by Byrne echoes some enduring messages of the Scriptures, which affirms what she says that her “discovery” is not really new, but has been transmitted down the ages. The messages of The Secret are really no secret. So while the Secret tells us that— 1. The Universe emerges from (God’s) thought “In the beginning was Logos, and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God.” (Jn 1:1) 2. You are a creator, you take part in the creative process. The Scriptures say: “Then God said: ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the cattle, and over all the wild animals and all creatures...’” (Gen 1:26). “I declare: ‘Gods though you be, offspring of the Most High all of you.” (Ps 82:6) 3. Visualize Your Dream (Visualization). The wise king Solomon counsels: “In his mind a man plans his course, but the Lord directs his step.” (Prv 16:9) 4. Positive Thoughts Attract Positive Situations (Law of Attraction). “As a man thinks, in his heart, so is he.” (Prv 23:7). Solomon prayed first for wise thoughts, then prosperity followed: “Therefore I prayed, and prudence was given me; I pleaded and the spirit of wisdom came to me…yet all good things together came to me in her company, and countless riches at her hands.” ( Wis 7:7,11) 5. Always Think Positive (Law of Affirmation). St Paul says: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Phil 4:8) 6. Gratitude and Blessing Clear Away Negativity (Mental Clearing). “Have no worry at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:6-7) 7. Love is the Most Powerful Thought and Emotion. “[Love] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…So faith, hope and love remain; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Cor 13: 7-13) “’What is written in the law?...You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Lk 10:26-27) 8. Whatever One Does/Thinks Persistently One Reaps (Law of Compensation/Law of the Seed”) “Make no mistake: God is not mocked, for a person will reap only what he sows…Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up.” (Gal 6:7-9) Our Lord speaks of firm faith: “’Do you believe that I can do this?’ Jesus said to the two blind men. ‘Yes, Lord’ they said…‘Let it be done to you according to your faith.’” (Mt 9:28-29). The success of The Secret only shows that the keys given to us by Sacred Revelation remain true and appealing. There is a hunger for the good news, the power of wishful prayers, good will, and positive belief. For everything to be possible, firm faith—its revelation in one’s life—is the secret.

Laiko congratulates the CBCP President-Elect
LAIKO congratulates the Most Rev. Nereo P. Odchimar, Bishop of Tandag, for being the first bishop President-elect of CBCP, our very own mentor of LAIKO as member of the Episcopal Commission on the Lay Apostolate (ECLA). The other bishops who served as ECLA members under the present term of Chairman, Bishop Gabriel V. Reyes are Most Rev. Guillermo V. Afable, bishop of Digos; Most Rev. Honesto Pacana, Bishop of Malaybalay; and most Rev. Ramon B. Villena, Bishop of Bayombong. We also thank them for guiding LAIKO officers through their term in accomplishing LAIKO’s goals and mission. Bishop Odchimar’s election came at a time when media has gone overboard by inserting political insinuations in a newsworthy event like the election of the next CBCP President. It not only gave fodder for the opposition to castigate the current administration but it also had cast aspersion on our Catholic Hierarchy for being politicized. One writer expressed, “He (Bishop Odchimar) is considered as the Palace’s bet for the CBCP Presidency.” It is not only unfair to Bishop Odchimar, it is an insult to the intelligence of Catholic Laity. Nevertheless the accusation had to be answered to correct its lies. Over Radio Veritas, Bishop Odchimar expressed. “That’s not true. Before they would make such insinuations, reporters must clarify it first with the person concerned whether it’s true or not… some can just make stories and destroying the person.” Unfortunately, the laity, composing the mass of the electorate, are still affected by media’s propaganda whether true or false. Political campaigners capitalize on these media reports to gain votes. Bishop Odchimar is a recognized authority on Canon Law. LAIKO invited him as one of the main speakers during its 14th Biennial National Convention. The theme chosen for all speakers to dwell upon at that time was: “Lay Empowerment According to Vatican II and the Code or Canon Law”. The resulting presentations followed by open forum discussions were a compendium of authoritative interpreta-

Jose B. Lugay

Laiko Lampstand
tions of Canon Law, which LAIKO had permanently captured for its reference in future discussions. These were the speeches delivered by Bishop Nereo P. Odchimar, Bishop Leonardo Y. Medroso, D.D, Rev. Jaime B. Achacoso, JCD, Rev. Fr. Agustin Opalalic, JCD, all canon lawyers. Relevant to the needs of today’s political happenings towards the 2010 election, the Catholic Laity is expressing their need to have a Catholic vote. Our Canon Lawyers led by our newly elected CBCP President, we are sure, can find ways to resolve the dilemma faced by the organized laity which Canon Law dictates to be non-partisan in our campaign for candidates considering that there is a party whose platform follows the Catholic faith, principally guided by the acts and decrees of PCP II. We want change, radical change from the present political system that abets graft and corruption and disregards good governance practice to favor those who are close to the people in power. We want to openly campaign and vote for persons of integrity and moral rectitude and for issues that are good and right for Catholic voters. Quoting from the speech of Bishop Odchimar during the 14th Biennial Convention of Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas, October 28 –30, 2005, we hope we will see new guidelines for the laity in this coming 2010 elections: “The lay members of Christ’s faithful do not become less of a citizen by being a member of the Church; within the Church, they enjoy the same freedom in secular affairs as that which belong to other citizens. This right is to be acknowledged by the competent civil authority.” Most Reverend, Bishop Nereo P. Odchimar, with your new position as CBCP President, your word is heard all over the country and the world! LAIKO will lose a mentor, but the whole Philippines will gain one. Congratulations!

Fr. Francis B. Ongkingco

Whatever
NOTHING more new meets the eye in “Transformers: The Revenge of the Fallen”. The movie made a rather good dent in its first two weeks of showing, but it had fallen short of receiving praise from movie critics and reviews. What do you expect? There isn’t much you can do with the plot of this type of film except to power it up with newer and leaner robots than before. Fans, however, will not be disappointed with the showcase of new Autobots and their Decepticon rivals. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough celluloid on this planet to film all that kicking-ass action as one robot pounds the other into scrap metal. It’s odd how the earth seems to be their playground to vent their short-circuited frustrations and convert our world into an alternative junkyard. There are many reasons for choosing our planet. One would be to help us see its beauty and rich resources being squandered by these machines. Another would be our role—yup, yours and mine—to take care of this lovely green globe and if we have to, to be ready to protect it. Third, that it takes machines to teach humans how to act—oh, the robots acted a whole lot better than the cued in automatic rendering of Megan Fox and female companions with their obviously useless silicon accessories—like decent human beings. In reality, the robots were doing what they were “programmed” to do. The good ones were out to save the day and obviously the bad ones were out to ruin it. Parallel to these two opposing forces, however, were the persons who gave a very bad picture of human life and relationships. But isn’t this going off the track?

‘The Deformers’
These deforming examples attack the innate dignity in every person created by God in His image and likeness. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, “Being in the image of God the human individual possesses the dignity of a person, who is not just something, but someone. He is capable of self-knowledge, of self-possession and of freely giving himself and entering into communion with other persons. (no. 357)” The Catechism further on says: “Man gains such dignity when, ridding himself of all slavery to the passions, he presses forward to his goal by freely choosing what is good and, by his diligence and skill, effectively secures for himself the means suited to this end. (no. 2339)” But the movie, instead of contributing to the transformation of man into a more perfect image intended by God tries to reprogram man’s true integrity through the trivialization of sex and the stimulation of his base passions. If it weren’t for these “deforming acts”, the film would have been a good and decent sequel. Unfortunately, directors and producers had another image of man in mind: It’s a man’s movie so let’s boost his “macho robot image” plus some fuel of “hyper-testosterone plug-ins” that will make one come out of it really powered up as an unstoppable sex machine…” [WARNING: SPOILER] The movie ends with the Decepticons “retreating” for now to oil their wounds. The Autobots have saved the day again and will continue to guard— without pay—the earth. But who’s watching over our kids? And to think that this film’s rated PG-13! This will be a continuing battle for parents and guardians.

Okay, helping the good bots save our world is something great, but using the movie as a pretext to litter the story with sexual innuendos isn’t. Perhaps, fans wouldn’t care less about these insinuations since they’re only out for pure Computer Graphic Image visual satisfaction. But from a moral point of view the one bad act about this film would be that the humans come out as moral deformers. Deformer Act 1: The dignity of the family and marriage. The parents of Sam (the hero of the movie) are shown to take their marital relationship in a rather perverted way. Sam’s mom calls her husband a “dirty old man” and that “she hasn’t seen any yet” (referring to her husband’s sexual capacity). And to emphasize this point, the camera focuses on the family’s dogs mating the other. Deformer Act 2: On the essence of education and learning. Sam has just started college. University life becomes an arena overflowing with sexual allusions: a greenminded professor who makes use of sexually blatant expressions in class; student interactions that convey that college is where males and female hormones arbitrarily explode. Deformer Act 3: On human relations. In numerous occasions the film projects that guys only have sex in their minds (i.e. through their conversations, dreams and desires). Thus, there are number of totally unnecessary scenes—this is where the robot of Megan Fox and other extra ladies come in—that stimulate one’s imagination and desires regarding sex and portraying women as mere sexual objects.

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Local News

CBCP Monitor
July 20 - August 2, 2009

Vol. 13 No. 15

Military operations displace fearful Environmental Group families in Surigao opposes Laiban Dam Project
MASSIVE military operations have forced the evacuation of about 1,659 individuals from 281 families in 14 communities in the municipalities of Lianga and San Agustin, Surigao del Sur. Students and staff from the Alternative Learning System for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV) and Tribal Filipino Program of Surigao del Sur have also been forced to evacuate. Classes have been suspended. Two battalions from the 36th and 58th brigades of the Philippine Army arrived and engulfed the small community of Lianga and San Agustin on July 13 and have camped inside the communities of Kilometer 16 and Han-ayan. In Kilometer 9, the soldiers were reported staying in abandoned houses. Sr. Lydia Lascano, ICM, Tandag Social Action Director said ALCADEV teacher Jerume Loquite was prevented from
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bringing four sacks of rice to the ALCADEV students. The commanding officer at the Sammilia checkpoint a certain Colonel Pedralves, said he does not believe there were students at the school. The lumads have sought an audience with Bishop Nereo P. Odchimar and the presbyterium of the Diocese of Tandag. “The lumads delivered today a letter to Bishop Odchimar, in time for the monthly meeting of the local college of priests in the diocese at Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Barobo town,” Sr. Lydia said in a phone interview with CBCPNews Tuesday morning. In a statement sent to CBCPNews, the Social Action Center staff said people of the community called for a dialogue with the military in order to appeal for peace and to ask the military to leave the area. But the military refuses to leave. They said that they are part of a research team for peace

and development that had come to evaluate communities for possible projects. As a result, the community decided to leave their villages if the military insisted on staying. They do not want to get caught in military operations. Together with ALCADEV and TRIFPSS students and staff, they walked for seven hours from Han-ayan to the municipal gym in Lianga. They joined 48 families from the community of Logdeck, that have been displaced for a month as a result of military operations in their area. “This is the third time in five years that an evacuation has occurred,” Sr. Lydia said referring to the previous evacuations in 2005 and 2007. Militarization is a perennial problem in the area. When soldiers enter a community and visit people’s houses, the people become too scared to farm. “The evacuees say that they

need food, and eventually, medicine, if the evacuation continues,” she added. Water supplies are low and there is lack of latrines. There are no beds and some people do not even have mats to lie on. “The military should respect our culture and recognize our efforts at building a sustainable and secure economy,” said a resident named Jose, a member of the organization Malahutayong Pagkibisog Alang sa Sumusunod (MAPASU). After every temporary settlement at evacuation centers, residents will have to start their livelihood efforts again which normally results in very little development and community uplift, the Social Action Center staff noted. Jean, an active member of MAPASU said that if the military insists on working in the mountain communities, they should not operate in the communities but in the mountains. (Melo M. Acuna)

The CBCP issued the pastoral statement at the conclusion of its two-day plenary assembly on July 12. Lagdameo said the significance of their statement is more of preparing the laity in coming up with better leaders in the future. “The people deserve governance where there is honesty, integrity and transparency,” he said. No suitable “presidentiables” yet Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, who read the pastoral statement in a press conference, said they saw a lack of sincerity in most of the present contenders for the 2010 presidency. He said such situation indicates an urgent need for lay people to get involved in “principled partisan politics.” For his part, CBCP Secretary-General Msgr Juanito Figura said it is about time that the country moves away from the present reality that the voters are just choosing the best among the worst. “During elections, we often choose the lesser evil… sad to say. So, we are looking for candidates who transcend that (principled) kind of level,” Figura said.

However, the CBCP stopped short of endorsing any candidate—traditional or alternative—saying the church is nonpartisan. The bishops also: • Renewed their strong objection to fresh attempts by administration lawmakers to convert the House of Representatives into a constituent assembly in order to amend the Constitution before the 2010 elections. • Denounced the “lingering problem” of human rights abuses and appealed to the government to exercise its responsibility of preventing abuses while bringing the perpe-

trators to justice. • Called on the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Communist Party of the PhilippinesNew People’s Army to return to the negotiating table “to find solutions that would lead to lasting peace thus preventing further violence, death and displacement of innocent people.” • Welcomed the news that President Macapagal-Arroyo was expected to sign a law extending the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program on August 8, but warned against continued efforts to further derail the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program with Extension and Reforms (CARPer).

THE Sagip Sierra Madre Environmental Society Inc. (SSMEI) has expressed opposition to the implementation of the Laiban Dam Project of the Metropolitan Waterworks Sewerage System (MWSS). Bro. Martin Francisco, BSMP, Chairman of SSMEI, said that the establishment of the project is not the solution to attain a sufficient water supply, instead a proper care and protection to the environment is. “Hindi karagdagang dam ang solusyon kundi makatotohanang forest protection o pangangalaga sa ating kagubatan,” (Putting up additional dams is not the solution, rather an authentic forest protection, or care of the forest) he said. He also added that developing Sierra Madre is the best alternative to attain water supply in the Metro. “Itigil ang mga illegal at legal logging, itigil din ang malawakang charcoal making o pag-uuling gayon din ang pagkakaingin sa mga kabundukan na dapat pagtaniman ng kakahuyan. Itigil din ang nakawan sa pagre-reforestation sa ahensya ng DENR,” (Stop illegal and legal logging, stop the widespread charcoal making as well as the slush and burn of the forests that should be a good source of livelihood. Also stop corruption in the reforestation projects of DENR) Francisco said. “Pondohan ng MWSS ang pangangalaga ng kagubatan sa Ipo watershed. At ipatupad ng tunay reporma ng lupa sa mga mahihirap sa kapatagan upang hindi gawin tirahan ang kabundukan ng Angat at Ipo Watersheds,” (MWSS should rather fund the protection of Ipo watershed. And implement a genuine agrarian reform for the poor in the lowlands so that they will not reside in the forests of Angat and Ipo watersheds) he added. Francisco also appealed to the MWSS to prioritize the interest and safety of the residents that will be affected in the said project. “Hinihiling namin sa pamunuan ng MWSS na bilang ahensya ng pamahalaan na isulong ang interes ng mga maliliit na mamamayan. Huwag sana sila magpagamit sa interes ng mga mayayaman at makasariling konsesyonaryo,” (We appeal to the leadership of MWSS as a government agency to pursue the interest of the poor. They should not allow themselves to be subservient to the interest of the wealthy and the selfish concessionaires) he declared. SSMESI is an environmental non-government organization that is tasked to protect and preserve the environment particularly the Sierra Madre Corridors that supplies 97 percent of water to Metro Manila, Bulacan and Pampanga through its four critical watersheds. The said Laiban dam project has been contradicted since its inception in the 1960s commonly by the Dumagat and Remado tribes. Its re-establishment involves the dislocation of 10,000 residents including the Dumagat communities. According to a statement made by the IBON Foundation Inc, an organizer of the Water for the People Network, around 27,800 hectares of the ancestral and agricultural lands will also be affected upon the execution of the said dam. Meanwhile, Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) released a report stating that San Miguel Bulk Water Co. has presented an unsolicited joint-venture proposal to build and operate the P52-billion ($1,077,385,282.45) Laiban Dam in Tanay, Rizal. (Kate Laceda)
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eventually in the rest of the 1980s and 1990s, due perhaps to the ease and comfort brought about by post EDSA I, or the struggle fatigue, or simply the natural tendency to relax and put one’s guard down after a moment of victory. The majority of the citizenry, mostly composed of the laity, left things to the leaders, abandoning vigilance and the demand for integrity, responsibility and accountability from them. The traditional politicians re-invented, re-structured themselves into a more palatable and acceptable image. The old cronies of the dictator negotiated their way back to their old fame, wealth and power. So, after that shining moment in history, the laity resurrected his traditional catholicity of popular piety and the so-called “split level Christianity,” and then, back to business as usual. The moral and social revolution that began with EDSA I was, therefore, eventually aborted. The Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (PCP II), precisely, recognizing the sad state of the nation and the superficial and split quality of the faith of the Filipino, launched the Church in the Philippines into an urgent state of mission of renewal, with the Clergy, Religious, and the Laity, as agents and partners of renewal. This urgent state of mission was renewed a decade later, in the National Pastoral Consultation Church Renewal in 2001. One of the nine pastoral priorities in this renewal was the formation of the laity towards social transformation. It was about this same period, that providentially, a new wave of lay communities and movements were appearing in the societal and ecclesial landscape. It was at this period when groups like the Couples for Christ, (CFC), the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals, (BCBP), the Bukas Loob sa Dios community (BLD), the Focolare, the Neo-Catechumenal Way, began to implant themselves in the heart and minds of the lay faithful mobilizing the laity’s power for evangelization of cultures and structures and systems. This was the same period, that I saw the mushrooming of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and Peoples’ Organizations (POs) mostly made up of Filipino Lay Catholics engage in total human development and transformational leadership, in governance, culture, media, arts, entertainment, politics, military and police. As the new millennium approached, the late John Paul II declared the Great Jubilee of Redemption of 2000. The whole Church was mobilized for prayer, reflection and celebration of her life and mission in the world. It was a beautiful experience for the faithful—renewed faith and renewed vigor for the mission that lies before us. At the end of the Jubilee, John Paul II, in his exhortation Novo Millennio Ineunte reminded all, of the basics of the pastoral program of the Church. And “Our situation of unpeace is not only distressing. It is also disturbing and tragic. A culture of violence and death seems to have taken over our society,” the statement read. The pastoral statement signed by outgoing CBCP president Archbishop Angel Lagdameo was released Monday after their two-day plenary assembly at the Pope Pius XII Center in Manila. CBCP National Secretariat for Social Action- Justice and Peace (Nassa) chairman and Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo read the three-page statement during a press conference at the CBCP Media Office in Intramuros, Manila. Deeply saddened by the “deplorable” situation, the bishops said the church cannot remain silent on the issue. The sanctity of life in all circumstances, they said, “must be defended.” The CBCP then called on the governHuman Rights / A1

the Laity is in the forefront of this program. In most recent times, in the light of the tragic reputation of the Philippines as a nation that cannot be trusted due to the culture of corruption and the equally damaging culture of patronage politics, other lay initiated, organized and sustained groups have sprouted in constructive response to the threats and challenges of our political, economic and cultural-religious state of affairs. All these cannot but have been inspired by the Holy Spirit to emerge precisely at these times of crisis. For the Catholic Laity of Davao and the entire Daditama, the call and challenge of the times cannot but be obvious to you now. Allow me, then to quote to you an excerpt from the April 2009 CBCP Pastoral Exhortation on the Year of the Two Hearts,: We challenge our Catholic laity, in particular, to take the lead in the task of moral renewal towards a deeper and more lasting change in the Philippine society. We challenge all lay people involved in politics to renounce corruption and bond together in the task of evangelizing politics for effective governance and the pursuit of the common good. We challenge the laity involved in legislation to unite themselves and consciously allow their actions to be guided by the truth of the Gospel and the Christian faith. We urge the Catholic lay people involved in legitimate business to organize themselves and consciously practice their trade with a strong sense of corporate social responsibility informed by the social teachings of the Church. We enjoin all Catholic law enforcers to form associations among themselves that consciously renounce violence, respect basic human rights, and truly work for the preservation of peace and social order. We call upon the Catholic laity involved in social communications and the modern mass media to form networks among themselves that can articulate a genuinely Christian ethics in their practice of their profession. We urge every Catholic lay person to give a concrete expression to Christian discipleship through responsible citizenship. As I write this, its only 311 more days to the scheduled election of 2010 and 676 days more to the 2013 elections. I have no doubt that the laity of Davao and the rest of Daditama, in the near or remote future, will be able to form the much needed “reform constituency” that will eventually be able to identify and encourage non-traditional politicians and even non-politicians to run for public office. This has already happened in other areas of the country. It is now taking shape in the rest. The Catholic traditional politicians are provided now with the great opportunity to be converted and become truly another agent of genuine change or choose to more vigorously undertake the shameless brand of Philippine politics of the past and the present. For comments: daditama_now@yahoo.com.ph heels of the spate of deadly bombings that hit Mindanao specifically in Cotabato City, Iligan City, Datu Piang in Maguindanao and Jolo, Sulu. The church officials also lamented the increasing number of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances involving journalists and labor, peasant and political leaders. “We ask all citizens not to take violence, killings, and abuses in our society as something normal and no longer manifest indignation over abuses of the basic rights to fellow human beings,” they said. The bishops’ leadership is also pushing for the creation of groups to be composed of representatives from various sectors that will train its sights against human rights violations. “We strongly recommend the establishment of multi-sectoral groups at various levels to monitor the implemen-

In a statement, the CBCP urged the government to “counter the secession” of the said public lands to Pacific Bio-Fields Holdings, Inc. for bio-fuel to be exported to Japan. The collegial body of the bishops made the call after their twoday plenary assembly at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Paco, Manila. The biodiesel project is contained in a formal agreement between the Philippine government and the United Kingdom-based Japanese firm. Pacific wants to put up coconut plantations in the Philippines for the production of biodiesel. According to the deal, the Japanese company and its local partner in Manila will ship the biodiesel products to Japan for the consumption of the Japanese public. The CBCP also called on the government to formulate an effective implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for CARP. On June 1 and 4, the Senate and the House of Representatives respectively passed their versions of CARP with extension and reform (CARPer). The bicameral committee then finally passed a consolidated version on June 9, which President Arroyo will sign into law on August 8 with retroactive enforcement from July 1. “Legislation cannot bring about tangible and lasting benefits to the small farmers without an effective IRR with specific targets, demonstrating the government’s clear political will to see the law brought to fruition,” the bishop said. They also appealed for the serious implementation of land acquisition and distribution (LAD) over large and contentious agricultural estates immediately after CARPer is signed into law. (Kate Laceda)
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(Pampanga) Auxiliary Bishop Pablo David, Taytay Bishop Edgardo Juanich and Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes. Elected for the Visayas were Tagbilaran Bishop Leonardo Medroso and Jaro Auxiliary Bishop Gerardo Alminaza. Zamboanga Archbishop Romulo Valles and Pagadian Bishop Emmanuel Cabajar were elected for Mindanao. Odchimar and other members of the permanent council will start serving their terms in December 1, 2009. The president and the vice-president are elected for two-year terms and can serve for a maximum of two terms. (Roy Lagarde) the negotiating table and find solutions that would lead to lasting peace. In doing so, the CBCP said it would prevent further cases of violence, death and displacement of the innocent people. (CBCPNews)

ment to take drastic measures to resolve the problems facing the country. It noted that even the state itself, has been accused of being responsible in some, if not most, of the extrajudicial and enforced disappearances of activists. “The government has the primary responsibility to bring to justice the perpetrators of human rights abuses from whichever sector of society they may come from,” it said. “We strongly call on the government to seriously heed the recommendations of investigative bodies and not dismiss them as mere propaganda or being simply misinformed,” it added. The bishops also said that resolving the sad state of the country’s human rights situation calls for direct participation of the lay faithful particularly “in the area of pro-active peacemaking.” The CBCP’s statement came on the

tation of laws as well as the prevention of criminality, graft and human rights abuses,” said the statement. The CBCP likewise urged the government, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the New People’s Army to return to
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may result in breathing difficulties, heart pains, vomiting, blood changes, headaches, and enlargement of the thyroid gland. Data provided by the University of the Philippines-National Poison Management and Control Center (UP-NPMCC) also showed that silver jewelry cleaner landing fourth in 2008 in the top 10 most commonly ingested poisons. It ranks third in the list of most commonly ingested toxic substance by children. From January to April 2009, the UPNPMCC assisted 99 victims of silver jewelry cleaner poisoning, including 52 children. The center also recorded six deaths, all below 19 years of age, due to accidental and intentional ingestion of toxic cleaning solutions. “We likewise call on the authorities to popularize eco-friendly and non-toxic ways of cleaning silver jewelry to prevent and reduce health and environmental risks,” he said, adding that toothpaste, baking soda, liquid dish soap and mild detergents can be used as safer substitutes that can remove stains and cleanse silver jewelry. (Kris Bayos)

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 15
July 20 - August 2, 2009

Diocesan News

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News Briefs
Church appeals for flood aid

OZAMIZ City—The Ozamis archdiocese has launched an appeal for international aid to help hundreds of people displaced by floods due to continuous heavy rains recently in Sitio Liki, Barangay Tiaman, Binifacio, Misamis Occidental. The archdiocese particularly appealed for food and medicine for the victims. (Wendell Talibong)
DOH confirms bad effects of aerial spraying

DAVAO CITY—The DOH has again issued a stern warning to stop the aerial spraying practice even as they confirmed that its damaging effects goes beyond plantation boundaries and contaminates the people, soil and air. Health officials found out that there is pesticide presence in the environment and blood samples of residents living near a banana plantation in Hagonoy town, Davao del Sur. (Mark S. Ventura)
Power developer accused of dirty tactics

Priest sees more need for transparency in peace process
DAVAO CITY—Redemptorist Priest Fr. Amado Picardal is very optimistic that the war in Mindanao will come to pass; however, he also sees the need to have transparency in the peace process. Picardal added that transparency is equivalent to informing the Filipino people of the real situation in the peace process and those who are involved. “It should not be done secretly, outside the country. The government peace panel should not be dominated by people from Manila or Luzon, or by former military men. Mindanaoans should be adequately represented,” said Picardal. Picardal, a true blooded Mindanaoan and peace advocate also shared his belief on the need to recognize that Mindanao has become the homeland of Muslims and Lumads as well as Christians. “Any discussions on ancestral domain and boundaries have to take this into consideration and to search for new paradigm/framework other than the “ancestral domain claim” that can lead to genuine and lasting peace,” he said, adding: “Muslims, Christians and Lumads living together as neighbors, friends and brothers/sisters rather than enemies.” Meanwhile, MILF spokesperson Eid Kabalu said that they are still open for peace talks with the government. “We don’t want to discount on the strong possibility that peace is still the solution to the centuries-old problem of the Bangsamoro in Mindanao,” he said. Former Maguindanao Representative Atty. Datu Michael Mastura also shared view that if the government is indeed serious with the Mindanao problem then it will give much concern on the political aspect which is the main root of the problem. Mastura said that it is only political settlement that will put an end to the entire problem. “Give the Bangsamoro the thing that we are asking, it is our right. It is our land,” he said. He also criticized the acts of the military doubting the evacuees as reserved forces of the MILF units. “See? If they have this mentality it only shows that the AFP is no longer true to its vision that they are the protector of the people if they themselves are the ones who are becoming adverse to the people,” said Mastura. He also believes that the on-going armed conflict in Mindanao is never a solution and it will only continue to manifest a very unpleasant impression nationally and internationally.

MAASIM, Sarangani—The Conal Holdings Corporation is being accused group of taking “dirty tactics” to defraud the people to support the proposed Southern Mindanao Coal Power Plant here. The Maasim People’s Coalition on Climate Change (MP3C) said the firm took advantage on the innocence of the people in its attempt to mollify opposition to the proposed power plant project. (Mark Ventura)
Army’s action in Mindanao ineffective, says priest

DAVAO CITY—Instead of solving the problem, OMI Fr. Eduardo Vasquez, Jr. said that the military action in Mindanao is not helping the already awful situation of the people brought about by sufferings and displacements. “Our conclusion is that the military action had not been effective. Solving this problem (peace), therefore, should be done in the context of the peace process,” Vasquez said. (Mark S. Ventura)
Cotabato holds “Day of Mourning”

COTABATO CITY—A “Day of Mourning” here was held by Christians and Muslims four days after the bomb explosion here on July 5. The activity was held on July 9 as the city’s residents try to get over the violent incident which brought so much fear and anguish among victims, their relatives and close acquaintances. (Rolando Embarga)
Iligan bishop seeks justice for bomb victims

Fr. Amado Picardal, CSsR

ILIGAN CITY— Iligan Bishop Elenito Galido said justice should be rendered to at least 23 persons wounded in the city’s firstever car bomb explosion on July 7. He also called for tighter security in the area. The bishop said he has expressed his deepest sympathies and prayers for the victims and their families as he strongly condemned what he described as “barbaric act.” (Wendell Talibong)
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“We are just making Mindanao a war zone instead of peaceful co-existence,” he said. For MILF Peace Negotiating Panel chair Mohagqer Iqbal if the government will remain obdurate and will not comply with their commitment then the MILF will go back to their people. “If we still see insincerity in the government, it’s useless. We might as well go back to our people and carry our arms. We will defend our rights at all costs,” said Iqbal. (Mark S. Ventura)

barangays. Similar incident was also reported last Sunday when military indiscriminately fired heavy artilleries from 9 to 11p.m. towards upper villages in Guindulungan without provocation, it was learned. Meanwhile, MILF Peace Negotiating Panel Chair Mohagqer Iqbal said that they’re consistent with their thrust to end the problem of rebellion in Mindanao. Iqbal added that despite reported hostilities on the ground the MILF is still open to the possible resumption of peace talks. Iqbal, however, warned that if violations and abuses by the military will continue they are left with no choice but to go back to their people, carry their arms and protect their abused rights. Oblates Priest Fr. Romeo “Pon-Pon”Vasquez of I-Watch, who continues to monitor the plight of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the evacuation sites of Maguindanao, appealed earlier for the cessation of hostilities in the ground. Vasquez said that so long as violence will continue there could be no end to war and more people will be affected daily. He also appealed to both parties to give high priority to the rights of the civilians and to respect their peaceful existence. (Mark S. Ventura)
In and Out / A4

7 hurt in new Cotabato blast
MANILA—At least seven persons were reported hurt when a grenade exploded at downtown Cotabato City at about 11:35 a.m. on July 20. Reports reaching CBCPNews said the blast took place at the vicinity of Sinsuat Avenue and Jose Lim St., near Saver’s Haven department store. Cotabato Auxiliary Bishop Jose Colin M. Bagaforo told Catholic-run Veritas 846 that a police officer who happened to be at the vicinity was among those suffered shrapnel wounds and was brought to Cotabato Regional Medical Center for treatment. The prelate said he received reports some ten victims have been rushed to the nearest government hospital. However, DxMS-NDBC Station Manager Edwin Fernandez said seven persons were reported hurt. A source at the Cotabato Regional Medical Center said four of the wounded required emergency surgery. The prelate said there has to be “intensified but coordinated efforts” of all government agencies to discover the roots of all violent incidents. “A certain degree of alertness is required of both the police and military personnel in the area because incidents like this one creates panic among local residents,” the prelate said. He added they have never been remiss in informing the people to remain calm but “we cannot prevent them from getting worried because of the latest explosions in

the area.” The bishop said the Church has always condemned violence no matter what its perpetrators believe because violence is never the way to achieve one’s goals. “We appeal to the residents to remain calm and not resort to finger-pointing [that] would give rise to unfounded speculations which may, in the long run, create panic among the people,” he said. He also appealed to the government, the military and the police to investigate and bring the perpetrators to justice. “We also appeal to local government authorities to do whatever is needed to pursue common good and the people’s well-being,” Bishop Bagaforo concluded. (Melo M. Acuna)

folk in their journey; the small farmers, landless workers, fisherfolks, indigenous people, rural women and rural youth. (Pastoral Exhortation: God Hears the Cry of the Poor, January 25, 2009). Among the commitments we made at the Rural Congress we declared that in the fight against graft and corruption, we should encourage our lay faithful to accompany and support upright public officials in their efforts to serve the people in transparency and truth. We further declared that “we shall direct church institutions and organizations to be more engaged in works of solidarity, justice and charity for the poor in rural areas.” Scripture warns us: “He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor will himself also call and not be heard.” (Prov. 21/13) In June of this year 2009, we declared the post-Pauline year as the Year of the Two Hearts of Jesus and Mary for our advocacy: Peace-building and Lay Participation in Social Change, inspired by St. Paul’s reflection on “Christ as ambassador of Peace and Reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5/18-20; Eph. 2/12-18). In this year of the Two

Hearts “We challenge our Catholic Laity to take the lead in the task of moral renewal towards a deeper and more lasting change in the Philippine society … urging (them) to give a concrete expression to Christian discipleship through responsible citizenship.” What a providential coincidence, the Year of Two Hearts which the CBCP announced for the Philippines has also been declared by Pope Benedict XVI for the Universal Church as “Year for Priests” with the theme “Faithfulness of Christ, Faithfulness of the Priest,” in commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of St. John Mary Vianney. Pope Benedict XVI has articulated the purpose of this Year for Priests: “The Church needs holy priests,” holy priests who will guide the lay faithful in their participation in the renewal of church and society. We have not planned it to be that way, but we see how the hand of God is guiding the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines in this last four years: we placed 2006 the Year of Social Concerns under the auspices of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate

Heart of Mary. And this year in June we declared the Year of Two Hearts for Peace and Lay participation in Social Change.” As shepherds and guardians of the flock, our reading of the “Signs of the Times” goes on as we have been doing. Our advocacies for the good of the church and our country continue. In our conference, no one can ever be an isolated performer. The 10 member Permanent Council and the 30 Chairmen of the various Commissions, Committees and Offices together with the Secretaries to all of whom I am profoundly grateful, have all been working together each with no little sacrifice, like a chorus singing the Magnificat or the Gloria in Excelsis. I had the distinct privilege of presiding at our General Assembly. I am sorry for whatever mistakes or failures I may have committed during my watch. But I was as confident as you were that it is the Lord that watches over our Conference. My gratitude to you, Your Eminences and Your Excellencies can never be as great and as profound as the trust that you have gifted me with.

May They Be One Bible Campaign Update as of July 15, 2009
The goal of the May They Be One Bible Campaign is to make 5 million Bibles available to poor families throughout the Philippines from 2009- 2013. • MTBO presentation and implementation were highlights of the Northern Luzon Biblical Apostolate Commission meeting led by Bishop Renato Mayugba. The meeting, held in Baguio City on June 23-24 was attended by 17 representatives from Regions 1, 2 and the Cordillera. • MTBO Advisory Committee Chair Bishop Broderick Pabillo, DD shared about the May They Be One Bible Campaign during the July 6-9, 2009 CBCP Annual Holy Retreat in Tagaytay City, where 71 Bishops attended. Many of the participants expressed desire to join MTBO. • Bishop Pabillo also gave an MTBO Orientation to ECBA ExCom members and Regional Directors on July 13. • Bible Distribution in key areas in July: • Makati City – 5000 cps. • San Pablo, Laguna – 200 cps. • San Pedro, Laguna – 129 cps. Target No. of Bibles for Distribution for 2009 – 100,000 cps. No. of Bibles Distributed (Jan 2009 – July 15, 2009) Hiligaynon Cebuano – 2,512 English Tagalog – 25,353 Ilocano – 465 TOTAL = 32,851 cps. No. of Communities/Parishes Covered – 93 Support the May They Be One Bible Campaign and help bring God’s Word to more Filipino homes. Your contribution of at least P150/month will enable a poor family to own a Bible. For more Campaign info – visit, email or call ECBA – Fr. Oscar Alunday, 470 Gen. Luna St., Intramuros, Manila. Telefax No. 5279386; Email:ecba_ cbcp@yahoo.com; PBS –Mrs. Perry Z. Cartera/Mrs. Juliet J. Rivera, Resource, 890 UN Ave., Ermita, Manila 1000; Tel. Nos.:5215785/ 5246523 loc. 150, 154-157, Fax No.:5215803 Email: perry @bible.org.ph; juliet@bible.org.ph; Mobile Nos. 09178590019/ 09156727492/09182802775

CBCP Communications Development Foundation, Inc. (CBCP Media Office)

Schedules of Training Seminars for 2009

Web Graphics Manipulation (Learn how to conceptualize, design and maintain websites. This module is tailored for catechists, pastoral workers and youth groups interested in harnessing websites as a new avenue for catechesis and evangelization.)
July 27-31 (Monday – Friday) - 1:00-5:00 p.m. Minimum of 10 and maximum of 15 participants Registration fee: P800 (inclusive of snacks) Venue: CBCPWorld Training Room, 3rd Flr., 470 Gen. Luna St. Intramuros, Manila
Watch for the schedule dates of the following: Information Technology Awareness Multimedia for Catechists (This seminar is an introduction to information technology. Partici- (An introductory course to the amazing world of multimedia which pants are taught the basic knowledge and skills in computer, internet includes videography, video editing and online sharing. This is best and multimedia. This is best for school administrators, nuns, priests for catechists and pastoral workers.) and bishops.) PC Assembly/Hardware/Software Troubleshooting System Administration (SysAd) (for CBCPWorld clients only) (Intended for computer technicians, this training module teaches (A highly technical training course for Systems and Network Adminis- basic skills in network management which includes hardware contrators, this program is offered especially to those administering local figurations, IP addressing and network structuring.) area networks of Catholic schools. The training features bandwidth and server management on a Linux platform.) Newswriting (This seminar-workshop features writing news stories from a disEducational Technology (Ed Tech) tinctively catholic perspective which CBCPNews calls “Catholic (This training module is intended for teachers of Catholic schools. Journalism.” This is especially intended for those involved in print It teaches how to integrate computer/internet applications into the media or those contemplating on putting up one.) academic subject/curriculum.) Most of these training programs are conducted for free, especially to institutions that are members of the CBCPWorld Network. Trainings are held either at the CBCPWorld Training Center in Intramuros, Manila or at local dioceses. Interested party may contact CBCP Media Office at tel/fax 5274139 / CBCPWorld at tels. 404-2182; 404-1612.

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People, Facts & Places

CBCP Monitor

July 20 - August 2, 2009

Vol. 13 No. 15

OFWs in Spain hold Markings Marian pilgrimage
FILIPINO workers based in Spain, especially parishioners from the Immaculate Conception and San Lorenzo Ruiz Parishes in Barcelona, held a pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Torrecuidad, in Aragon, to honor Our Lady of Antipolo last July 11, 2009. The Filipino pilgrims, who numbered about a hundred, arrived in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Torreciudad at about 11:00 a.m. They were led by Fr. Bernie Alejo from the Diocese of Imus and presently assigned to minister to Filipino immigrants in Barcelona and the Consul General Eduardo Jose A. de Vega of the Philippine Consulate in Barcelona. The image of Our Lady of Good Voyage from Antipolo was brought by pilgrims through a procession from the esplanade to the sanctuary. The Rector of Torrecuidad, Fr. Javier Mora Figueroa, warmly addressed Filipino pilgrims and congratulated them for being a people with profound faith. A Holy Mass was held at the chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The liturgy was in Tagalog. A good number of Filipino pilgrims availed of the sacrament of reconciliation. A guided tour followed towards the old shrine of Torreciudad, where the image of the Virgin of Torreciudad was venerated since the 11th century until it was transferred to its new sanctuary in 1975. The annual pilgrimage, usually held every month of May since
Contributed Photo

ELECTED. The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has elected the new chairpersons of its Episcopal Commissions during their 99th Plenary Assembly, July 12. San Fernando Auxiliary Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, succeeded Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes as chair of the Episcopal Commission on Biblical Apostolate; and Surigao Bishop Antonieto Cabajog succeeded Tagbilaran Bishop Leonardo Medroso as chair of the Commission on Canon Law. The new chairman of the Commission on Clergy is Iba Bishop Florentino Lavarias while Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales is the new Chair of the Commission on the Pontificio Collegio Filippino. Boac Bishop Reynaldo Evangelista is the new head of the Commission on Vocations. Kabankalan Bishop Patricio Buzon is the incoming chairman of the Commission on Health Care while Parañaque Bishop Jesse Mercado is the new chair of the Commission on Laity. Davao Auxiliary Bishop George Rimando is the new head of the Office on Basic Ecclesial Communities. Out of the thirty-one Episcopal Commissions’ heads, eight were replaced while the others were re-elected. RE-ELECTED. Bishop Jose Oliveros, Office of Bioethics; Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, Commission on Bishops’ Concern; Bishop Socrates Villegas, Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education; Bishop Julito Cortes, Commission on the Cultural Heritage of the Church; Bishop Emmanuel Cabajar, Commission on Culture; Bishop Luis Antonio Tagle, Commission on Doctrine of the Faith. Bishop Antonio Tobias, Commission on Ecumenical Affairs; Archbishop Paciano Aniceto, Commission on Family and Life; Bishop Sergio Utleg, Commission on Indigenous Peoples; Bishop Sofronio Bancud, Permanent Committee on International Eucharistic Congresses; Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, Commission Inter-religious Dialogue. Bishop Precioso Cantillas, Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People; Bishop Edwin dela Peña, Commission on Mission; Bishop Leopoldo Jaucian, Commission on Mutual Relations Between Bishops and Religious; Bishop Honesto Ongtioco, Pension Plan Committee; Bishop Pedro Arigo, Commission on Prison Pastoral Care; Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez, Permanent Committees on Public Affairs; Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara on the Commission on Seminaries. Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Commission on Social Action, Justice and Peace; Bishop Bernardino Cortez, Commission on Social Communications and Mass Media; Bishop Emilio Marquez, Office on Women; and Bishop Joel Baylon, Commission on Youth. The heads of CBCP Commissions, Committees or Offices maybe re-elected for a maximum of five terms or a cumulative of ten years, with each term being two years. CELEBRATED. Brothers of Mercy of St. John of God, 20th anniversary of foundation, July 1, 2009, Bocaue, Bulacan. Bro. Raymund Marquez, Provincial of the Philippines Province, said the celebration was a thanksgiving for the blessing received by the religious community and its beneficiaries. Fr. Roman Caleon, parish priest of the Muling Pagkabuhay Parish Lawa in Meycauayan, Bulacan presided the Eucharistic celebration. The commemoration centered on the theme, “Under the Mantle of Mercy: Bringing the Spirit of Saint John of God to our times.” The principal charism of the Brothers of Mercy of St. John of God is to follow the life and works of St. John of God by attending to the needs of the sick and the poor. Presently, this group shelters and cares for about 100 male patients who are mentally ill in Bustos and 35 female in Bocaue, Bulacan. ORDAINED. Rev. Irvin T. Morastil, OMI and Rev. Randy F. Purcia, OMI, to the Sacred Order of Deacons by Bishop Angelito R. Lampon, OMI, DD, Vicar Apostolic of Jolo. The ordination was held at the Our Lady of Assumption Scholasticate Chapel in Quezon City on June 27, 2009. Rev. Morastil is a native of Lebak, Sultan Kudarat in the Archdiocese of Cotabato, while Rev. Purcia hails from Naga City in the Archdiocese of Nueva Caceres. Both earned their respective Bachelor in Sacred Theology (STB) degree with cum laude honors from the Loyola School of Theology (LST) in Quezon City last March. The two also earned their Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry course from the Ateneo de Manila University, also in Quezon City. Rev. Morastil is now assigned to Our Lady of Grace Parish in Caloocan City for his diaconal ministry while Rev. Purcia, is in Sto. Niño Parish in Midsayap Cotabato for his ministerial assignment. E L E C T E D . F r. Savio Ma. Siccuan, OSB as Prior of the Benedictine monastery of Transfiguration, Malaybalay, June 13, 2009. The election of Siccuan signaled the start of a new phase in the life of this Benedictine monastery in the hills of Malaybalay, Bukidnon. Transfiguration today is a small monastic community with eight solemn-professed monks and five formands. The monks vow to follow the Rule of St. Benedict by living a contemplative life in their quest for God. True to the Benedictine motto of ORA ET LABORA, the monks are also involved in agricultural endeavors, planting rice and corn in their farm. DIED. Msgr. Nicanor Bautista, 76, on July 12, 2009. A priest of the Archdiocese of Manila, Msgr. Bautista served as Rector and Parish Priest of the National Shrine of the Sacred Heart, San Antonio Village, Makati City; Parish Priest of St. Mary Goretti Parish, U.N. Ave., Paco, Manila; Saint James the Great Parish, Ayala Alabang Village, Muntinlupa City; San Jose de Trozo Parish, Sta. Cruz, Manila; Saint Alphonsus Mary de Liguori Parish, Magallanes Village, Makati City and Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Parish, Santolan, Pasig. He also served as Assistant Parish Priest of St. Joseph Parish, Quirino District, Quezon City and San Roque Parish, Blumentritt, Sta. Cruz, Manila; and General Manager of Radio Veritas for Asia. He was active in the media and worked as a Gospel Commentator of DZST; columnist of MOD Magazine, Malaya Newspaper and the Philippine Star; and board member of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB). DIED. Fr. Walter J. Maxcy, MM, 89, on July 6, 2009; in his native New Rochelle in New York. Ordained a Maryknoll priest in 1947, he devoted most of his priestly ministry in the Philippines. From 1975 to 1981, he served as assistant to Maryknoll’s regional superior of the Philippines. In 1984, he worked in Burgos Parish in the Diocese of Tandag and later in Obrero Parish in the Archdiocese of Davao. In 2002, he received a Bukas Palad Award at the Ateneo de Manila and was cited as “the joyful missioner whose life demonstrates his personal mission to make all Filipinos feel at home in the Church.” In 2005, he retired and returned to Maryknoll headquarters in Ossining, New York.

2004, was dedicated to Filipino workers in Spain. However, this year’s pilgrimage was held last July 11. Two other images were brought by the Filipino pilgrims, Our Lady Mediatrix of All Grace of Lipa (Batangas) and Our Lady of Piat of Cagayan. (Seminarian Adam Cajipo/Fr. Mickey Cardenas)

Religious groups hold noise barrage, candle lighting vs Con-Ass
IN response to the contentious Constituent Assembly (ConAss), the Interfaith Justice and Peace Network held a noise barrage and candle lighting last July 15 at the Maryhill School of Theology in Quezon City. According to Bro. Gilbert Billena, O.Carm, spokesperson of Interfaith Justice and Peace Network, the event was a call for vigilance in the face of impending Charter Change under the Arroyo administration. “We call on our sisters and brothers to be vigilant and join the people’s protests against

Con-Ass and cast out the devils that keep on sowing greediness, deceits and oppressions in our society!” he stated. Billena added that the event is an opportunity for Christians to exercise their prophetic mission. Interfaith Justice and Peace Network is composed of different religious groups such as the Inter-Seminary Forum, the InterCongregational Theological Center-Student Council, and the seminarians from the Redemptorists, the Augustinians and the Carmelites. (Kate Laceda)

Journalists get award for leadership, heroism
TWO leading Filipino journalists will be the recipient of Titus Brandsma Award Philippines for Leadership in Journalism for their commitment to the truth, justice, peace and press freedom despite the dangers and reprisals they have to contend with in their line of work. Howie Severino of GMA-7 and Patricia Evangelista of ANC were unanimously chosen by the Award’s jury for effectively using media to dig into issues and concerns affecting people’s lives. Severino writes, produces and hosts television documentaries on environment and other issues that affect the lives of people. A columnist in a national paper, Evangelista also produces documentaries with social themes. The two will be awarded with Titus Brandsma Award Philippines for Leadership in Journalism and Titus Brandsma Award Philippines for Emergent Leadership in Journalism, respectively. Two other journalists were cited posthumously for their journalistic heroism. Slain journalists Edgar Damalerio and Marlene Esperat will be awarded posthumously with Titus Brandsma Award Philippines for Press Freedom, for having “lived the spirit of Blessed Titus Brandsma and stood for the truth in times of threats, compromises, despite odds and reprisals from the powers that-be.” Winners were selected for their integrity, commitment and consistency in the practice of their profession; for promoting press freedom; and for their principled vigilance and fearless courage in confronting the burning issues of the day.

Contributed Photo

The Titus Brandsma Award Philippines is the Philippines’ version of the international Titus Brandsma Award given by the Union Catholique Inaternationale de la’ Presse (UCIP), the world association of professionals in secular and religious media. The Award is named in honor of Carmelite priest Blessed Titus Brandsma. A professional journalist, educator and mystic, Brandsma was imprisoned and killed by the Nazi for defending press freedom and the right of people to catholic education. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II on November 3, 1985 and was hailed as “Martyr of Press Freedom.” The awarding ceremony is slated at 5 p.m. on July 29 at the Titus Brandsma Center at New Manila, Quezon City. (Pinky Barrientos, FSP)

CBCP holds meeting for Bible group holds 10th annual convention catechetical ministers
THE Episcopal Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education (ECCCE) of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) gathered diocesan catechetical directors and coordinators in an annual meeting that aimed to develop and advance the formation programs for catechists. ECCCE disclosed that this year’s meeting centered on catechesis for justice and peace to be able to deal with the pastoral demands of the controversial national elections in 2010. There were also courses on the matters of graft and corruption and its catechetical challenges. Akin to last year’s meeting, an open discussion was conducted to be able to give the participants the chance to share their catechetical experiences. The three-day meeting also aimed to create rapport among the catechetical directors and coordinators as well as with the organizers of the assembly. The gathering was held on July 14-17 at the Punta Villa Resort, Santo Niño Del Sur, Arevalo in Iloilo City. (CBCPNews)

THE Catholic Biblical Association of the Philippines (CBAP) held its 10th annual convention last July 17-19 at the Phinma Training Center in Tagaytay City. The convention featured the current development of the biblical organization and the election for the new set of the Board of Trustees. Keynote speakers of the convention were Professor James Charlesworth of Princeton Theological Seminary and Bible exegete Sr. Miriam Alejandrino, OSB. The conference opened with the message from the head of the organizing committee, Fr. Leander Barrot, OAR. Manila Auxiliary bishop Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, DD facilitated the panel discussion on the Synod on the Word of God together with Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, DD, Auxiliary Bishop of San Fernando. The congress culminated with a Eucharistic Celebration which was presided by Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams, DD, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines. Housed at the Loyola School of Theology in Manila, CBAP is a specialized group of biblical scholars and exegetes dedicated to studying and spreading the Word of God. (CBCPNews)

Bible Society holds conference on Dead Sea scrolls
THE Philippine Bible Society (PBS) has organized a symposium on the Dead Sea Scrolls last July 14 at its main office in UN Avenue, Manila. The scrolls were discovered in 1946 at the Qumran region of Palestine. It is recognized as one of the most important archaeological discovery of the 20th century. Professor James Charlesworth of the Princeton Theological Seminary was the keynote speaker on the said convention. Charlesworth discussed on the archaeology of the said scrolls, the Passion of Jesus Christ as well as the Dead Sea Scrolls’ significance to Christianity. A video presentation on the subject was also presented during the conference. PBS General Secretary Nora Lucero later delivered a warm closing message stating the commitment of the group to enhance the Filipino biblical scholarship for the transformation of the country. Participants to the symposium include representative of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission for Bible Apostolate, Theology professors and students from the Loyola School of Theology, University of Sto. Tomas, St. Scholastica’s College, Manila, De La Salle University and other major Protestant seminaries and Biblical schools. (Kate Laceda)

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 15
July 20 - August 2, 2009

Pastoral Concerns
exploitation and frequent conflicts between and within nations,” he said. “The international community has an urgent duty to find institutional means of regulating the exploitation of nonrenewable resources, involving poor countries in the process, in order to plan together for the future,” he said. Energy resources must be redistributed justly around the world, not left to “whoever is first to claim the spoils, or whoever is able to prevail over the rest,” he said. By achieving greater energy efficiency, using alternate forms of energy, and cutting fossil fuel use, industrialized countries should be able to free up enough energy resources for poorer nations to use toward development, he said. There is enough room on this earth for everyone, the pope said, including for future generations to live with dignity, but that cannot come about with reckless exploitation. The earth’s natural resources must be managed and used wisely and equitably for authentic human development for today and future generations, he said. Individuals living in cultures that are “prone to hedonism and consumerism” must change their mentality and adopt new lifestyles, the pope said, so that “the quest for truth, beauty, goodness and communion with others for the sake of common growth are the factors which determine consumer choices, savings and investments.” Most importantly, he said, the decisive factor in protecting the environment “is the overall moral tenor of society.” If society does not respect human life from its conception to its natural end, “if human conception, gestation and birth are made artificial, if human embryos are sacrificed to research, the conscience of society ends up losing the concept of

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human ecology and, along with it, that of environmental ecology,” he said. A society will have great difficulty in promoting the environment when its very own laws, policies and educational systems do not even respect and protect its own members, he said. The environment, life, sexuality, marriage and social relations are inextricably united, he said, noting “the book of nature is one and indivisible.” People have the duty to safeguard all of creation—human life and the natural world—and “it would be wrong to uphold one set of duties while trampling the others,” he said.

In new encyclical, pope calls for sharing earth’s resources equitably
By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service
POPE Benedict XVI dedicated a portion of his new social encyclical, “Caritas in Veritate” (“Charity in Truth”), to the urgent duty to share the earth’s resources equitably and safeguard the environment for future generations. He criticized states, organizations and companies that hoard nonrenewable fossil fuels. Not only does the stockpiling of natural resources hinder the development of poorer nations, but it “gives rise to

Caritas in Veritate

The Heart of Social Doctrine remains the Human Person

Photo courtesy of www.catholic-thoughts.info

By Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes

I HAVE been asked to situate the Encyclical “Caritas in Veritate” within the context of the thought and magisterium of Benedict XVI. His first Encyclical, “Deus Caritas Est,” on the theology of charity, contained indications on social doctrine (nn. 26-29). Now we have a text dedicated entirely to this subject.
What strikes me from the outset is that the central concept remains caritas understood as divine love manifested in Christ. This is the source that inspires the thinking and behavior of the Christian in the world. In its light, truth becomes “gift …, not produced by us, but rather always found or, better, received” (n. 34). It cannot be reduced merely to human goodwill or philanthropy. In my intervention, I wish to comment first on social doctrine within the mission of the Church, and then treat one of its principles: the centrality of the human person. Social Doctrine in the Mission of the Church The Church’s task is not to create a just society The Church was constituted by Christ to be a sacrament of salvation for all men and women (LG 1). This specific mission subjects her to a constant misunderstanding: secularization to the point of making her a political agent. The Church inspires, but does not do politics. Drawing on “Populorum Progressio,” the new Encyclical states clearly: “The Church does not have technical solutions to offer and does not claim to meddle in the politics of the State” (n. 9). The Church is neither a political party, nor a politicizing actor. Woe to those who reduce the Church’s mission to a worldly pressure movement to obtain political results. Cardinal Ratzinger himself opposed this possible misunderstanding in the 80’s as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the face of certain theologies of liberation. (Instructio of 6.8.1984). This implies in turn that the social doctrine of the Church is not a “third way,” that is a political program to be implemented in order to attain a perfect society. Whoever thinks in this way risks—paradoxically—creating a theocracy, in which the valid principles concerning faith become tout court principles to be applied for social life, both for believers and unbelievers, embracing even violence. In the face of such errors, the Church safeguards, together with religious freedom, the rightful autonomy of the created order, as assured by the Second Vatican Council. Social Doctrine as an element of evangelization Of course, the Encyclical “Caritas in Veritate” expresses the import of the Church social doctrine in various places, for example number 15, which treats the relationship between evangelization and human promotion, from the starting point of “Populorum Progressio.” Whereas, up until now, social doctrine emphasized action to promote justice, now the pastoral side is broached: social doctrine is affirmed as an element of evangelization. That is to say: the Church’s perennial announcement of Christ dead and risen has a consequence also for social living. This affirmation contains two aspects. We cannot read social doctrine outside the context of the Gospel and its proclamation. Social doctrine, as this Encyclical demonstrates, is born from and is interpreted in the light of Revelation. On the other hand, social doctrine cannot be identified with evangelization, but is one element. The Gospel deals with human acting also in social relations and institutions born from them, but cannot limit man to his social life. John
The Heart / B7

Apostolic Letter ‘Motu Proprio’ Ecclesiae Unitatem of the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI Concerning the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei
1. THE duty to safeguard the unity of the Church with concern to offer help to all in order to respond appropriately to this vocation and divine grace is incumbent in particular on the Successor of the Apostle Peter, who is the perpetual and visible principle and foundation of the unity both of the Bishops and of the faithful (cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, n. 23; First Ecumenical Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ Pastor Aeternus, chap. 3: DS 3060). The supreme and fundamental priority of the Church in every epoch to lead humankind to the encounter with God must be encouraged by the commitment to achieve a witness of faith common to all Christians. 2. In fidelity to this mandate, subsequent to the act of 30 June 1988 with which Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre illicitly conferred episcopal ordination upon four priests, on 2 July 1988 Pope John Paul II of venerable memory established the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei: “whose task it will be to collaborate with the Bishops, with the Departments of the Roman Curia and with the circles concerned, for the purpose of facilitating the full ecclesial communion of priests, seminarians, religious communities or individual religious until now linked in various ways to the Society founded by Archbishop Lefebvre, who may wish to remain united to the Successor of Peter in the Catholic Church, while preserving their spiritual and liturgical traditions, in the light of the Protocol signed on 5
Apostolic / B7

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Updates

CBCP Monitor
July 20 - August 2, 2009

Vol. 13 No. 15

Healing Masses
(Father edward Mcnamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university, answers the following query:) Q: Would you please address the Church’s norms for “healing Masses”? Briefly, I wonder whether the distinction between emotional wounds and spiritual wounds can be blurred or lost during such liturgies.—P.C., Norwalk, Connecticut A: The closest thing to norms regarding “healing Masses” would be the 2000 instruction on “Prayers for Healing,” issued by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. In this brief yet dense instruction the congregation first explains the reasons for the document: “Prayer for the restoration of health is therefore part of the Church’s experience in every age, including our own. What in some ways is new is the proliferation of prayer meetings, at times combined with liturgical celebrations, for the purpose of obtaining healing from God. In many cases, the occurrence of healings has been proclaimed, giving rise to the expectation of the same phenomenon in other such gatherings. In the same context, appeal is sometimes made to a claimed charism of healing. “These prayer meetings for obtaining healing present the question of their proper discernment from a liturgical perspective; this is the particular responsibility of the Church’s authorities, who are to watch over and give appropriate norms for the proper functioning of liturgical celebrations. “It has seemed opportune, therefore, to publish an Instruction, in accordance with canon 34 of the Code of Canon Law, above all as a help to local Ordinaries so that the faithful may be better guided in this area, though promoting what is good and correcting what is to be avoided.” In order that the norms should be theologically wellgrounded, the document first presents an overview of the doctrine on prayer for healing according to Catholic tradition. It does so in five sections, to wit: 1) Sickness and healing: their meaning and value in the economy of salvation; 2) The desire for healing and prayer to obtain it; 3) The ‘charism of healing’ in the New Testament; 4) Prayers to obtain healing from God in the Church’s tradition, 5) The ‘charism of healing’ in the present-day context. Only once the foundation has been laid does the instruction endeavor to give precise norms. These norms embrace all forms of prayer for healing. The norms are: “Art. – It is licit for every member of the faithful to pray to God for healing. When this is organized in a church or other sacred place, it is appropriate that such prayers be led by an ordained minister. “Art. 2 – Prayers for healing are considered to be liturgical if they are part of the liturgical books approved by the Church’s competent authority; otherwise, they are non-liturgical. “Art. 3 – § 1. Liturgical prayers for healing are celebrated according to the rite prescribed in the Ordo benedictionis infirmorum of the Rituale Romanum and with the proper sacred vestments indicated therein. “§ 2. In conformity with what is stated in the Praenotanda, V., De aptationibus quae Conferentiae Episcoporum competunt of the same Rituale Romanum, Conferences of Bishops may introduce those adaptations to the Rite of Blessings of the Sick which are held to be pastorally useful or possibly necessary, after prior review by the Apostolic See. “Art. 4 – § 1. The Diocesan Bishop has the right to issue norms for his particular Church regarding liturgical services of healing, following can. 838 § 4. “§ 2. Those who prepare liturgical services of healing must follow these norms in the celebration of such services. “§ 3. Permission to hold such services must be explicitly given, even if they are organized by Bishops or Cardinals, or include such as participants. Given a just and proportionate reason, the Diocesan Bishop has the right to forbid even the participation of an individual Bishop. “Art. 5 – § 1. Non-liturgical prayers for healing are distinct from liturgical celebrations, as gatherings for prayer or for reading of the word of God; these also fall under the vigilance of the local Ordinary in accordance with can. 839 § 2. “§ 2. Confusion between such free non-liturgical prayer meetings and liturgical celebrations properly so-called is to be carefully avoided. “§ 3. Anything resembling hysteria, artificiality, theatricality or sensationalism, above all on the part of those who are in charge of such gatherings, must not take place. “Art. 6 – The use of means of communication (in particular, television) in connection with prayers for healing, falls under the vigilance of the Diocesan Bishop in conformity with can. 823 and the norms established by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the Instruction of March 30, 1992. “Art. 7 – § 1. Without prejudice to what is established above in art. 3 or to the celebrations for the sick provided in the Church’s liturgical books, prayers for healing –whether liturgical or nonliturgical -- must not be introduced into the celebration of the Holy Mass, the sacraments, or the Liturgy of the Hours. “§ 2. In the celebrations referred to § 1, one may include special prayer intentions for the healing of the sick in the general intercessions or prayers of the faithful, when this is permitted. “Art. 8 – § 1. The ministry of exorcism must be exercised in strict dependence on the Diocesan Bishop, and in keeping with the norm of can. 1172, the Letter of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of September 29, 1985, and the Rituale Romanum. “§ 2. The prayers of exorcism contained in the Rituale Romanum must remain separate from healing services, whether liturgical or non-liturgical. “§ 3. It is absolutely forbidden to insert such prayers of exorcism into the celebration of the Holy Mass, the sacraments, or the Liturgy of the Hours. “Art. 9 – Those who direct healing services, whether liturgical or non-liturgical, are to strive to maintain a climate of peaceful devotion in the assembly and to exercise the necessary prudence if healings should take place among those present; when the celebration is over, any testimony can be collected with honesty and accuracy, and submitted to the proper ecclesiastical authority. “Art. 10 – Authoritative intervention by the Diocesan Bishop is proper and necessary when abuses are verified in liturgical or non-liturgical healing services, or when there is obvious scandal among the community of the faithful, or when there is a serious lack of observance of liturgical or disciplinary norms.” Article 7’s prohibition of inserting prayers for healing within Mass obviously does not exclude the celebration of the Mass for the Sick found in the Roman Missal, or other similar votive Masses. It means that Mass must not be used as a vehicle for other purposes, even praiseworthy ones. The document refers, above all, for prayer to heal physical ills. Mental or psychological illnesses, many of which also have a biological component, could also be included. Emotional wounds would not be the direct object of these Masses. But there is no reason to believe that so-called healing services are of no benefit to these sufferers. It has long been said that the vast majority of miracles at the sanctuary of Lourdes are the healing of emotional afflictions. The miracles of conversion, of forgiveness, of inner peace, and of acceptance of adversity in union with Christ’s cross, are far more numerous than the relatively few approved physical miracles.

The Church of the Poor and Temporal Goods (Part II)
By Fr. Jaime B. Achacoso, J.C.D.
Recently, the secular press reported a proposal by somebody— obviously not a great lover of the church—for the Holy See to sell all its properties and goods in order to help the poor people in the world. It’s a recurring question, which we started to discuss in the previous issue of the cBcP Monitor. now we shall conclude that discussion. Sacred Objects and Precious Objects Ecclesiastical goods can be of all kinds that exist according to the Law: movable objects and immovable properties, corporeal or incorporeal, fungible or otherwise, etc. The Church does not have a proper classification of goods. Nevertheless, some types of goods have special relevance in Canon Law. a. Sacred Objects (res sacrae) Sacred objects are those that have been destined to divine worship, either: a) through liturgical dedication or blessing (c.1171)—e.g., chalices, monstrances, ciboria; or b) even without prior blessing, when the Law itself considers such places and objects as permanently destined to worship (cc.1223, 1224, 1226, 1229)—e.g., oratories, chapels. They can be either places (c.1205) or objects. Objects and places do not become ecclesiastical goods by the mere fact of their being sacred; rather, they become ecclesiastical goods by virtue of their ownership. In any case, their relation to divine worship gives them a peculiar dignity in the Church, which Canon Law protects also before Civil Law. This consists principally in: a) Prohibiting their profane use (cc.1171, 1210, 1269). b) Subjecting them to ecclesiastical regulation, insofar as their dignified installation, conservation and utilization for worship are concerned (cc.1171, 1205 sq). In this sense, the condition of sacred object constitutes an encumbrance of Public Law. c) Limiting their Acquisition by Private Persons. Can.1269 stipulates that sacred objects owned by a public ecclesiastical juridic person can be acquired only by another public ecclesiastical juridic person— e.g., the sacred vessels owned by the parish cannot be sold to a private collector; the same holds for an old church or chapel. This avoids their going out of the ecclesiastical patrimony, providing a greater guarantee of their effective and adequate use for worship. b. Precious Objects 1) Notion. Precious objects are those ecclesiastical goods that have noteworthy value for reason of art, history, material, or simply their destination to worship or veneration (cc.1189, 1190, 1292,§2). The quality of being precious cannot the civil laws (cc.197 and 1270): 100 years for those belong¬ing to the Holy See, and 30 years for those belonging to other public juridic persons. This means that even if they were to be lost (and found), mere possession of them by any third party will only redound to ownership after the passage of the aforementioned lengths of time. b) Different Inventory—is required for such objects, at the takeover by a new administrator (c.1283, 2°). comes to really working for the poorest of the poor, no other institution in the world has a better network of institutions and personnel than the Catholic Church. Even governments recognize this, so that a good amount of aid for the Third World is channeled through the Catholic Church and its charitable institutions. It can be said that the Catholic Church has institutionalized works of charity. On the other hand, in what refers to the Holy See directly, a little-known institution presents just one example of how the Church in fact works for the poorest of the poor: the Peter’s Pence Collection. The collection traditionally takes place on the Sunday nearest the solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, or on another day as designated by the local ordinary, and includes contributions from institutes of consecrated life, societies of apostolic life and foundations, as well as donations from individual lay people. The amount is remitted to the Holy See, which assigns it exclusively to aid the poorest local Churches. In 2007, for example (according to a report by Zenit) this collection gathered almost $80 million, and in the previous year, over $100 million. The United States was the biggest donor, giving some 28% of the total. It was followed by Italy (13%), Germany (6%), Spain (4%), France (3.7%), Ireland (3%), Brazil (2%) and Korea (1.6%). One donor, who wished to remain anonymous, gave a donation of $14,309,400. This assistance was given to regions affected by natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods, or people afflicted by violence. For example, Benedict XVI gave a donation through the Pontifical Council Cor Unum to the people of Gaza after the post-Christmas violence and bombing. The Peter’s Pence collection has also aided the Nazareth Boys Town in Mbare, Rwanda, which give a home to orphans who are frequently victims of the genocide and civil war. Some of the funds were allocated to aid farmers and indigenous people in Latin America through the Populorum Progressio Foundation, and another portion went to support development projects in subSaharan Africa through the John Paul II Foundation for the Sahel.

The suggestion to sell the Vatican’s possessions in order to help the poor is not only impossible but even irrational. The Church needs material resources to carry out its work, especially in benefit of the poor. In fact, it is well known that when it comes to really working for the poorest of the poor, no other institution in the world has a better network of institutions and personnel than the Catholic Church.
be estimated solely on the basis of material or economic factors; one must also take into consideration the other factors by which a certain object may be valued in the Church: their allusion to worship or popu¬lar veneration (e.g., relics), their c) License from Holy S e e — i s r e qu i r e d f or t h e i r valid alienation (c.1292, § 2 ) . N ot e v e n t h e b i s h op ca n a u t h or i z e s uch a s a l e or lease, but permission f r om t h e H ol y S e e m us t b e s e cur e d .

A little-known institution presents just one example of how the Church in fact works for the poorest of the poor: the Peter’s Pence Collection. The collection traditionally takes place on the Sunday nearest the solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, or on another day as designated by the local ordinary, and includes contributions from institutes of consecrated life, societies of apostolic life and foundations, as well as donations from individual lay people. The amount is remitted to the Holy See, which assigns it exclusively to aid the poorest local Churches.
cultural value (c.1283,§2). 2) Regulation. Since precious objects constitute a category of ecclesiastical goods, the general administrative patrimonial law applies to them. Furthermore, other specific norms guarantee their ecclesias¬tical ownership and value: a) Special limits for their prescription—independent of Peter’s Pence Collection From the foregoing discussion, it is clear that the suggestion to sell the Vatican’s possessions in order to help the poor is not only impossible but even irrational. The Church needs material resources to carry out its work, especially in benefit of the poor. In fact, it is well known that when it

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CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 15
July 20 - August 2, 2009

Diocese

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Cathedral of St. Joseph

IMPORTANT FACTS
Bishop …………………………....… 1 Diocesan Priests …….....……..... 38 Religious Priests ……………… 2 Seminarians: Pre – College ………………... 8 College ……………….……. 12 Theology …………….…….. 10 Diocesan Divisions: Vicariates ………………………… 7 Parishes: Entrusted to Diocesan Clergy .... 24 Entrusted to Religious Clergy .... 2 Seminary Pre-Collage …………………. 1 Collage ……………………………. 1 Educational Centers: Kindergartens …………………….. 7 Primary/Elementary Schools ….. 4 Secondary Schools …………….. 3 Population ………………. 279,851 Catholics ………….……… 190,884

By Fr. Mel Rey M. Uy

The scattered islands The Diocese of Romblon was created during the Pontificate of Pope Paul VI through the Apostolic Letter Christi Ecclesia under the titular of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, on December 19, 1974. It was officially erected on April 17, 1975, with the installation of Bishop Nicholas Mondejar as its first Bishop.
The Diocese is archipelagic in structure composed of 21 islands and islets, seven of which are municipalities. Romblon Island is the capital, a single municipality island. Fine beaches are well spread throughout the coast of every island with the green mountains serving as background. These are the two scenic features of the island, either to go down to the beach and enjoy the bounty of the sea or to climb the mountains and marvel at the beauty of the horizon. The picturesque view of the islands has also its own drawback, as each island is basically separated by the wide seas, which makes communication and transportation too expensive and time consuming. The Diocese is subdivided into 26 parishes, clustered into seven vicariates, served by 38 diocesan priests of Romblon and two religious priests. Eighty-three percent of the total population of 279,851 are Catholics which means an average of 7,000 faithful per priest, a little bit lower than the national average yet still difficult for a priest who is serving by himself in an island. The support system The first bishop of the diocese His Excellency, Most Rev. Nicholas Mondejar, D.D. (1975-1987) after studying the financial capabilities of the diocese for a few years decided to introduce the Pledge System. Each family makes a monthly pledge to the parish. By 1984 the system was piloted in the Parish of Saint Augustine and was later practiced in the other parishes that have witnessed the positive effects of the system. It was practically helping the parish to survive and support its priest and programs. Mass collections alone were not enough to sustain the basic needs of the parish. But with the Pledge System there was now a definite source of support from the people. But they can only give the little that they have since the Province of Romblon is one of the poorest provinces in the country. An average parish would usually have a monthly income of P20,000.00. Only 20 percent of which will go to the Priest, the other 20 percent will go to the Diocese, another 20 percent to the Rectory and 5 percent to the Seminary. The remaining

35 percent goes to the Parish Operation Fund. A priest in an average parish will only receive a monthly allowance of P4,000.00 which is certainly too little compared to the priests ministering in the city. Situations like these are sources of strength to overcome the challenges of the priestly life. The strong brotherhood of the clergy of Romblon has led them to care for one another. And here came about the idea of Equal Sharing which was started by the 5 priests in Sibuyan Island, the second largest island of the diocese, and was later adopted by the whole presbyterium. Up to now the system is operational among the members of the clergy of Romblon serving in the diocese. The monthly

the parish level, the Parish Treasurers and Temporal Coordinators are all lay faithful and they are all serving in a voluntary basis. Transparency is practiced when people are involved in the management of the parish and the diocese at large. Regular monthly reporting makes the people aware of what is happening in the parish not only in its activities but in the financial status of the parish. Evangelization programs Lay empowerment is the strength of the diocese. What is lacking in the diocese is supplemented by the strong human resources. Volunteerism is very strong among the faithful. Catechists in the parishes are all volunteers. Some

Diocese of Romblon

its introductory phase, Bishop Mondejar with his clergy and with the help of the Missionary Sisters of the Lord’s Table (MSLT) of Antique, gathered some young men from the parishes in the house of the Bishop for training and formation. When they returned home they were already commissioned as Lay Ministers of the Eucharist. They were not mere communion distributors but they had the faculty to preside at a Sunday Service without a Priest and to give their personal reflections on the readings, the first batch started to serve the diocese in 1976. Up to the present they number over 500, all volunteer Lay Ministers of the Eucharist or locally known as Panimbahon Ministers. The need for evangelization was a felt

Seminary called San Lorenzo Ruiz Seminary in 1994 within the compound of Villa del Mar, the residence of the bishop. Later the seminary grew into a full college seminary and was recognized by the government in the year 2000 in its present location in Monte de Maria, Poctoy, Odiongan, Romblon. After fourteen years of existence, last year (2008) the diocese witnessed the ordination of the product of SLRS PreCollege Seminary. This year, 2009 we joyfully celebrated the ordination to the priesthood of the first graduate of San Lorenzo Ruiz Seminary. Sambulig: The way of being a Church today Year 2000 was a special year of jubilation in the diocese as she turned 25. One of the highlights of the yearlong celebration was the convocation of the First Diocesan Synod of Romblon on October 22–28, 2000 by the third Bishop, His Excellency Most Rev. Arturo M. Bastes, SVD. D.D. (1998-2002). It was the time to look back at what the diocese had achieved and had missed along the way and at the same time to look farther to what else can she do. With the new light of the synod, the diocese had a renewed strength and direction for the establishment of Basic Ecclesial Communities or locally called Sambulig. Aside from strengthening the programs of the diocese started by his predecessors like the Pledge System, Equal Sharing and the different efforts for Evangelization the new reality of Basic Ecclesial Community (BEC) became an evident call of the time. The Synod’s main direction then was for the establishment of the BEC’s in the diocese. Although in practice some of the communities in the parishes are already doing BEC, but with the result of the Synod the institutionalization of the program was laid down, necessary implementing tools like the Diocesan Pastoral Plan was put into action. BEC became the new way of being a church in the Diocese of Romblon. And for this new direction to sink deeper into the psyche of the people, a new name was adapted for BEC. While going around the diocese for the orientation program of the Synod the term SAMBULIG was conceived to refer to the local Basic Ecclesial Community. SAMBULIG is derived from the word “BULIG” which is a local term for a bunch of bananas and “SAM” to refer to a local “ISANG” or ONE. Literally it means “one bunch of bananas” which is very common in the province. It represents how each banana is connected to one another by the strong tie of its trunk. Each banana is joined to form one bunch and each bunch is clustered to make one whole bunch of banana fruit. But when the term “BULIG” is used as an action word it takes a whole new meaning which is “TO HELP”. So the term SAMBULIG is both a description of a state of unity and of a course of action which is a unity of hands in action. As of last count in 2008 there were
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Bishop Jose Corazon Tala-oc, DD

Lay empowerment is the strength of the diocese. What is lacking in the diocese is supplemented by the strong human resources. Volunteerism is very strong among the faithful. Catechists in the parishes are all volunteers.
Minister Share of all the priests of the diocese are pooled together and divided equally. In this way all the priests of the diocese receive the same allowance regardless of one’s position and assignment. The priests from smaller parishes are in a way subsidized by his brother priests from the bigger parishes. The poverty of the diocese has indeed helped the priests to be generous and more understanding of the needs of one another. The faithful see this as a real witnessing on the part of their pastors hence, they never get tired of supporting the Pledge System of the diocese, some are even doing the literal Old Testament tithing system. The faithful trusted also the system because they are part of it; they are the ones handling the financial matters of the parish. From the zone level up to parishes who are lucky to get funding from outside, provide transportation allowance, free uniform and teaching materials to their Catechists although this does not happen in every parish. In most cases, catechists shoulder all the expenses for their ministry, many of whom are non-working women in the parishes. Men cannot be outdone in their share in the evangelization programs of the parishes. When the diocese started there were only a handful of local clergy ministering to the people of Romblon. There is only one priest in a parish and sometimes a priest would take care of more than one parish. How to quench the faithful’s thirst for the Word of God was the reality that Bishop Mondejar had to respond to with limited number of priests. At that time, Vatican II was just in need especially in the remote areas of the diocese. From among the catechists who worked in the diocese some were recruited to form themselves into an association of pious women of the diocese under the direct supervision of Bishop Mondejar. And finally in 1978 the Ancillae Domus Dei (Handmaid of the House of the God) came into existence with eleven aspirants. Their primary task was to evangelize the remote areas that cannot be ministered by the few priests of the diocese. Forming the Future The scarcity of vocation had to be addressed by the second bishop of the diocese who had long years of experience as a seminary formator. His Excellency Most Rev. Vicente Salgado, D.D. (19881996) started with a modest Pre-College

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By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service

Pope says moral value must be part of economic recovery, development

Features

CBCP Monitor
July 20 - August 2, 2009

Vol. 13 No. 15

ETHICAL values are needed to overcome the current global economic crisis as well as to eradicate hunger and promote the real development of all the world’s peoples, Pope Benedict XVI said in his new encyclical. The document, “Caritas in Veritate” (“Charity in Truth”) was dated June 29 and released at the Vatican July 7. The truth that God is the creator of human life, that every life is sacred, that the earth was given to humanity to use and protect and that God has a plan for each person must be respected in development programs and in economic recovery efforts if they are to have real and lasting benefits, the pope said. Charity, or love, is not an option for Christians, he said, and “practicing charity in truth helps people understand that adhering to the values of Christianity is not merely useful, but essential for building a good society and for true integral development,” he wrote. In addressing the global economic crisis and the enduring poverty of the world’s poorest countries, he said, “the primary capital to be safeguarded and valued is man, the human person in his or her integrity.” The global dimension of the financial crisis is an expression of the moral failure of greedy financiers and investors, of the lack of oversight by national governments and of a lack of understanding that the global economy required internationally recognized global control, Pope Benedict said. “In the face of the unrelenting growth of global interdependence, there is a strongly felt need, even in the midst of a global recession, for a reform of the United Nations organization, and likewise of economic institutions and international finance, so that the concept of the family of nations can acquire real teeth,” the pope wrote. “To manage the global economy; to revive economies hit by the crisis; to avoid any deterioration of the present crisis and the greater imbalances that would result; to bring about integral and timely disarmament, food security and peace; to guarantee the protection of the environment and to regulate migration:

The global dimension of the financial crisis is an expression of the moral failure of greedy financiers and investors, of the lack of oversight by national governments and of a lack of understanding that the global economy required internationally recognized global control, Pope Benedict said.
for all this, there is urgent need of a true world political authority,” he said. Pope Benedict insisted that the idea of the world’s richest nations scaling back development aid while focusing on their own economic recovery overlooked the long-term economic benefits of solidarity and not simply the human and Christian moral obligation to help the poor. “In the search for solutions to the current economic crisis, development aid for poor countries must be considered a valid means of creating wealth for all,” the pope said. The economic growth of poorer countries and their citizens’ demands for consumer goods actually benefit producers in the world’s wealthier nations, he said. The pope said that “more economically developed nations should do all they can to allocate larger portions of their gross domestic product to development aid,” respecting the obligations they made to the U.N. Millennium Development Goals aimed at significantly reducing poverty by 2015. Pope Benedict said food and water are the “universal rights of all human beings without distinction or discrimination” and are part of the basic right to life. He also said that being pro-life means being pro-development, especially given the connection between poverty and infant mortality, and that the only way to promote the true development of people is to promote a culture in which every human life is welcomed and valued. “The acceptance of life strengthens moral fiber and makes people capable of mutual help,” he said. Development programs and offers of aid that encourage coercive populationcontrol methods and the promotion of abortion do not have the good of people at heart and limit the recipients’ motivation to become actors in their
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own development and progress, the pope said. In addition, he said, an anti-life mentality in the world’s richest countries is related to the lack of concern for the poor. “How can we be surprised by the indifference shown toward situations of human degradation when such indifference extends even to our attitude toward what is and is not human?” the pope asked. “While the poor of the world continue knocking on the doors of the rich, the world of affluence runs the risk of no longer hearing those knocks on account of a conscience that can no longer distinguish what is human,” he said. Pope Benedict also emphasized church teaching that making money and being wealthy are not sins, but that the way the money is made and the way it is used can be. The encyclical condemned corruption, the exploitation of workers, the destruction of the environment, the continuing practice of wealthy nations imposing such high tariffs on imports that they shut poor countries out of the international marketplace and, especially, an “excessive zeal” for enforcing patents, especially on medications that could save the lives of thousands of poor people if they were available at a reasonable cost. Pope Benedict called for “a profoundly new way of understanding business,” which recognizes that investors are not a company’s only stakeholders, no matter how the business is structured and financed. Employees, those who produce the raw materials, people who live in the communities where the company is based, where its products originate and where its products are sold all have a stake in the business, the pope said. He also said that investing always has a moral as well as an economic significance. “What should be avoided is a speculative use of financial resources that yields to the temptation of seeking only short-term profit without regard for the long-term sustainability of the enterprise, its benefit to the real economy and attention to the advancement—in suitable and appropriate ways—of further economic initiatives in countries in need of development,” he said.

Taize’s life-changing experience
during a one-week retreat in silence. The first day of this week was very hard for me. Before that I have not experienced being in silence for more than half an hour. But it became very fruitful for me. There were so many insights in my life. At the beginning of the retreat I was asking many things from the Lord but when the silence week was over, the will of the Lord ruled over my life. I lived a kind of reconciliation in myself. There are times where I experience doubts in my faith. I found out that you don’t have to bother. It is all will of God. Another important experience in Taizé was “welcoming”. It was difficult for me. In my profession sometimes I scowl. With that experience of welcome [I learned not to scowl at] my students. I always smile [at them from now on.] It is one of the things I am happy about. I think it helps me a lot to know what my profession [requires of me—which is,] to handle and meet other people. The time in Taizé increased my eagerness to help the young people and to be an effective minister to the youth through my apostolate.

Photo Courtesy of www.crossroadsinitiative.com

(In preparation for the forthcoming International youth Meeting “Pilgrimage of trust” in Manila on February 2010 organized by the taize community, the taize brothers are going around the dioceses to spiritually prepare the youth. the following is an interview of Urlie chavez, a youth minister from cebu, who shares his experience of taize.) URlIe chavez comes from cebu. He is 28 years old and a secondary school teacher of a public school. last spring, from April to July 2008 he went to taizé in France, representing the commission on youth of the Archdiocese of cebu, who recommended him for this program. young Filipinos committed in youth ministry are invited by the brothers of the taizé community for a three months stay and participation in the young adults meetings in taizé, praying with the community and helping as a volunteer for some practical aspects of the meeting. Urlie will coordinate the preparation of the young people from the Archdiocese of cebu who will join the Pilgrimage of trust 2010 in Manila. On July 8 the commission on youth organized a prayer with songs from taizé in the cathedral of cebu. During a meeting in the office of the Commission on Youth Urlie shared about his stay in taizé and the preparation of the Pilgrimage of trust. 3 months in Taizé: sharing life and faith—silence— welcome MystayinTaizéwasawonderful and very life-enriching time. I have not experienced something similar before. In Taizé you feel somehow like in a paradise, you are in heaven. You don’t have to think about your problems. You only have to live what is there, to live in simplicity and meeting with other people who will soon become your friends. Every week you can meet other people. It is a good experience and opportunity to meet with other people, to share with them the experiences of our faith and life. In Taizé silence was something new for me, the period of silence in common prayer and especially

560 Sambuligs living the Word of God in every parish. Each Sambulig is composed of 10 – 25 families. The Word of God is alive among its members by extending help to whoever is in need, from the simplest sharing of food to rebuilding houses and giving free hands in the farm. Thanks to Missio Aachen who funded the initial phase of organizing and sustaining the Sambuligs. A massive landmark everyone can see, as one approaches the island capital of Romblon, symbolizing the celebration of the Synod is the multi-purpose gym built within the compound of the Villa del Mar. Bishop Bastes envisioned the building to be the center of evangelization of the diocese. So the name Magnificat Center was given to the building that now caters to the different diocesan events and some civic and private gatherings. The cares of the diocese Three years after the Synod the fourth Bishop of Romblon, His Excellency Most Reverend Jose Corazon T. Tala-oc, D.D. (Sept. 3, 2003-present) was installed. The Implementation Phase of the Synod was on going and at this point, a new and fresh direction was set, enhancing the movements in the diocese. The challenge of making the Synodal decrees operational was very strong among the faithful and the clergy. For their part, the clergy put into effect the decrees of the synod and considered the general reshuffling as a welcome gesture to the new bishop. After another five years in their respective parish assignments the clergy were generous in their response to the Bishop’s decision. The bishop found it easy to implement the second round of reshuffling. He single-handedly took upon himself the task of juggling the names and assignments of the priests. There were tense moments while personal consultations were going on, but when the final result came, joy and satisfaction was etched in the faces of both the clergy and the faithful. The Bishop’s strong advocacy

What can we do for young people? Now, I am thinking of how I could help the young people of my city, here in Cebu. What the young people need are good relationships. We are about to create a module so we can touch aspects of their life, their relationship to themselves, to others and to God. Maybe with these three aspects we can help them in their life. The “Pilgrimage of Trust” helps our youth to create hope and trust. They are looking for hope. Young people need answers and solutions. They are encountering a lot of problems in society, in school, university or even in their families and their self identity. With the “Pilgrimage of Trust” they can gain hope of going through, not going back, but going forward, moving on towards a new life. The “Pilgrimage of Trust”—3

phases in Cebu We are preparing them for our “Pilgrimage of Trust”. We hope that we can get much pilgrims going to Manila. We would like to orient them about Taizé. In the archdiocese of Cebu we have three phases: The first one is the information phase. We send some letters, we invite young people verbally and through the website. After we got some initial pilgrims we will give them some input seminars so that they can be prepared and orientated about the activity and they will be prepared spiritually, mentally, emotionally and maybe financially (smiles). We hope that hundreds or even thousands in our archdiocese can come. The second phase is the pilgrimage proper. We will support these young people and help them. The third phase is the follow up after the “Pilgrimage of Trust”. How did they come through the pilgrimage? What did they experience during these five days with their fellow youth from [various] countries [while] praying and sharing together? How could these pilgrims become sharers and ministers to the young people who have not joined the Pilgrimage? Those are just initial plans.

We all know that the young people are the hope of the dioceses. I wish that after the meeting these young people could impart something to [tackle] the problems of the society and help develop the country. New hope: life in simplicity— life with others— life within yourself—life with God Participating to the “Pilgrimage of trust” we can reconcile and gain new hope about what the country is experiencing now. Taizé can be part of our life. This experience would help us become simple. To describe Taizé is hard, I don’t know how to define Taizé, but I want to share the experience with many. To those who don’t know what it is all about I would like to say: experience the “Pilgrimage of trust”! You can experience what is life in simplicity, what is life with others, what is life within yourself and what is life with God. These are four experiences you can have in the “Pilgrimage of Trust”. You can bring this and share it with fellow youth, with others in church and in society, but also with the “unchurched”, with the youth who are not so active in the church. (Bro. Andreas, Taize)

for ecology brought him to the remotest villages of the diocese exploring and protecting the beautiful flora and fauna of the area especially in the island of Sibuyan. When the controversial matter on mining had put the bishop, the clergy and the faithful into a difficult situation, the power of prayer and the people’s strong faith in God, slowly shed light on the issue. The Villa del Mar beach line is now covered with newly planted mangroves by the bishop himself. Herbal gardens have also flourished in some parishes due to his personal motivation and support. The welfare of the clergy of Romblon was put into the priority list of the Bishop as the clergy are increasing not only in age but more so in medical needs. The guidelines for the Romblon Catholic Clergy Care Program or simply called “Clergy Care” was put into effect to bring awareness to the faithful of their obligation to care for their priests who have left their families just to be included in the family of everyone, because the care for the elderly and sick priests is a reality which is often neglected. Last January the first ever fund raising campaign of the Clergy Care was held with a diocesan wide campaign, and the wholehearted support of the lay in every parish was overwhelming. With the establishment of this program, priests of the Diocese of Romblon shall be secured of their future in the diocese and be more caring to the Diocese who is also taking care of them. The Vision And so 34 years after its erection as diocese, the faithful of the Diocese of Romblon journeys on with a common vision: “Immersed in poverty and injustice yet emboldened by a long history of religiosity and a deep sense of faith in God, We, the Church in Romblon, envision ourselves as Communion of communities by being Church of the poor, formed by the Word, nourished by the Sacraments and led by the Spirit, following Jesus-in-mission as His faithful disciples like Mary.”

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 15
July 20 - August 2, 2009

Statements

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Statement of Appeal to the Government of the Philippines
“You deceived the workers who harvested your fields but now their wages cry out to the heavens. the reapers’ complaints have reached the ears of the lord of Hosts.” (James, 5.4) WE rejoice with thousands of small farmers, civil society groups and bishops who lobbied for the passage of the extended and reformed Agrarian Law. On June 1 and 4, the Senate and House respectively passed their versions of the CARP with Extension and Reforms (CARPer) Bill. The Bicameral Committee finally passed a consolidated version on June 9, which President Arroyo will sign into law on August 8 (with retroactive enforcement from July 1). But the CARP with Extension and Reforms (CARPer) legislation cannot bring about tangible and lasting benefits to the small farmers without an effective Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) with specific targets, demonstrating the Government’s clear political will to see the law brought to fruition. We, the Catholic Bishops of the Philippines, assembled in our Biannual Plenary Conference, appeal to the Government on behalf of our small farmers. We most respectfully submit the following appeal: 1. Counter attempts to derail CARPer, such as the proposal through Con-Ass to allow foreigners and foreign corporations to own and control agricultural lands and other natural resources of the country. 2. Counter the secession of 600,000 hectares of public lands in Northern Luzon (more than one half of the entire land reform target of CARPer) to Pacific Bio-Fields Holdings Inc. for bio-fuel to be exported to Japan. 3. Favor the serious implementation of Land Acquisition and Distribution (LAD) over large and contentious agricultural estates immediately after CARPer is signed into law (with retrospective enforcement from July 1). “The problem of food insecurity needs to be addressed within a long-term perspective, eliminating the structural causes that give rise to it and promoting the agricultural development of poorer countries… All this needs to be accomplished with the involvement of local communities in choices and decisions that affect the use of agricultural land… At the same time, the question of equitable agrarian reform in developing countries should not be ignored. The right to food, like the right to water, has an important place within the pursuit of other rights, beginning with the fundamental right to life. It is therefore necessary to cultivate a public conscience that considers food and access to water as universal rights of all human beings, without distinction or discrimination...” (Encyclical Letter, Caritas In Veritate, Of The Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI, On Integral Human Development In Charity And Truth, N◦ 27, Solemnity of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, 29 June 2009) For the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines +ANGEL N. LAGDAMEO, D.D Archbishop of Jaro CBCP President July 12, 2009

A CBCP Pastoral Statement on Lay Participation in Politics and Peace
“love and truth will meet; justice and peace will kiss” (Ps 85, 11)
BELOVED People of God: Our mission as Church is to proclaim the Lord Jesus as our Savior. In proclaiming him we necessarily proclaim the Kingdom of God that he himself proclaimed. God’s Kingdom, St. Paul reminds us, is not a matter of drinking and eating, but a matter of justice, peace and joy (Cfr. Rom 14, 17). It is in the Kingdom of God where “Love and truth will meet; justice and peace will kiss” (Ps. 85: 11). Therefore, in the light of our mission to proclaim the Reign of God in Jesus Christ we your pastors write you this urgent pastoral letter. Recently we dedicated this year 2009-2010 in our country as the year of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It is a “Year for Prayer and Work for Peace Building and Lay Participation in Social Change.” The loving oblation represented by the Hearts of Our Lord and His Mother invites us to dedicate ourselves fully to the two tasks of peace building and social change. Evidently these tasks will require the efforts of the whole Church but especially the active participation of the laity. Indeed our present situation poses a great and urgent challenge for active lay participation in principled partisan politics. In spite of our efforts on political education and poll watching, we continue to suffer the stranglehold of patronage politics, even of family dynasties in many cases. Our electoral processes have always faithful of their “direct duty to work for a just ordering of society” and “to take part in public life in a personal capacity” (Deus Caritas Est 29). Therefore, today in the light of current political situations we have decided on the following pastoral actions: 1. We call upon those who are competent, persons of integrity, and committed to change to get involved directly in principled partisan politics, and become candidates for political election, aware that the common good is above the good of vested interests; 2. We remind the laity that it is within their right as well as their duty to campaign for candidates they believe to be competent, honest, and publicservice minded in order to reform our country; 3. We enjoin all our parishes and educational institutions to cooperate closely and even volunteer to work with credible citizens’ electoral monitors urgent in the area of pro-active peacemaking. Our situation of unpeace is not only distressing. It is also disturbing and even tragic. A culture of violence and death seems to have taken over our society! In the past year more than 50 bombings in Central and Southern Mindanao have caused senseless deaths and created insecurity, if not terror. Ambushes, kidnappings, extortions, and “revolutionary taxes” are taking place without any end in sight. Unexplained killings and disappearances of journalists, labor, peasant and political leaders, and even of petty criminals take place apparently with impunity as only few perpetrators are brought to justice. Torture and fear tactics are being perpetrated. No armed group, left, right and center, is absolved from crimes of violence. Even the law is being manipulated to harass people by filing baseless court cases esp. against the poor, and on the other hand, to let the guilty go free. or being simply misinformed. 2. We exhort the Philippine Government, the MILF and the CPP/NPA to return to the negotiating table to find solutions that would lead to lasting peace, thus preventing further violence, death and displacement of innocent people. 3. With prayer in our hearts, we appeal to the God-given humanity of death dealers from any side to listen to the voice of God in their hearts and end the taking and abuse of human life because no one is so wrong as to be judged unworthy to live. 4. As we commit ourselves to peacemaking we likewise urge all religious leaders not to cease bringing out any abuse and to untiringly teach our people about the commandments on killings, lying and stealing. 5. We strongly recommend the establishment of multi-sectoral groups at various levels to monitor the implementation of laws as well as the prevention of criminality, graft and human rights abuses. 6. Finally, we ask everyone to follow the path of peace. This means the path of dialogue and openness. This means the path of repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation. This means the path of development and equitable distribution of goods. Together let us intensify the signs of hope regarding politics and peace that we observe such as: young people, members of civil society, mothers even children organizing themselves for peace;

Pagsuporta at Paninindigan ng Kaparian ng Prelatura ng Infanta
Itaguyod ang mas makataong mundo para sa lahat na kung saan ang lahat ay nagbibigayan. Walang grupo na uunlad dahil sa pagsasamantala sa iba. (Populorum Progressio # 94) NAGPAPAHAYAG kami bilang Kaparian ng Prelatura ng Infanta (KPI) ng aming pagsuporta at paninindigan para sa mga dukha at para sa kalikasan na ipinagwawalang bahala sa planong pagtatayo ng Laiban Dam. Kaisa kami ng mamamayan ng General Nakar, Real, Infanta at mga apektado sa probinsya ng Rizal na una nang nagpahayag ng pagtutol at paglaban sa proyektong Laiban Dam. Sa aming pag-aanalisa at pagninilay, nakita at nadama namin ang pangamba at agam-agam ng mamamayan na lalo itong magdudulot ng malaking panganib sa buhay ng tao at lalo pang kahirapan sa kawalan ng kabuhayan. Nananawagan at nagpapahayag kami ng mga sumusunod: 1. Batay sa pag-aaral ng mga dalubhasa, nasa tinatawag na fault line ang pagtatayuan ng Laiban Dam kaya mapanganib ito sa Sambayanan ng General Nakar, Real at Infanta. Kaya kung lilindol katulad noong 1880 maaaring makapinsala ng maraming buhay at kabuhayan. Kawalan ng kapanatagan ng loob araw-araw ang idudulot ng Dam na ito na nanganganib maulit ang trahedya noong 2004. 2. Taliwas sa programa ng gobyerno na paramihin ang ani sa palayan, dahil sa proyekto mawawalan ng hustong patubig ang mahigit isang libong (1,000) ektaryang palayan dahil mababawasan ang Ilog Kaliwa. 3. Nanganganib ang malawak na pakatan (mangrove) sa Infanta na tinaguriang sinapupunan ng kalikasan bilang kanlungan ng mga isda dahil sa pagliit ng tubig. 4. Dahil sa pagbabago ng panahon (climate change) gayundin ang matinding pagkasira ng kabundukan sa paligid ng Ilog Kaliwa hindi na angkop sa lugar ang paglalagay ng Laiban Dam na naka-base pa sa datos na kinalap noong 1980. 5. Walang malawak at makatotohanang konsultasyon sa lahat ng apektado ng Dam lalo na sa mga katutubong Dumagat at Remontado. 6. Ang proyekto ay walang pagpapahalaga sa Lupaing Ninuno (ancestral domain) at lumalabag sa Batas IPRA. 7. Humanap ng ibang solusyon sa problema ng tubig. Ayon sa Green Convergence 50% ng tubig sa Kalakhang Maynila ang nasasayang dahil sa mga sirang tubo. Lubhang nababahala kami sa paulit ulit na gawi ng pamahalaan na hindi binibigyan ng pagpapahalaga ang mga tinig at kalagayan ng Sambayanan. Nagtataka din kami kung bakit ngayong malapit na ang Eleksyon 2010 minamadali ang pagkakaloob ng proyekto sa mga mamumuhunan. Maraming sinasabing kaunlaran ang isinasagawa ngunit kaunlaran para kanino? Kung mayayaman at malalaking kumpanya ang pangunahing makikinabang sa proyektong Laiban Dam tunay kaya itong para sa maliliit na mamamayan? Ang aming dalangin: itaguyod ang isang kaunlaran para sa mga nakararami lalo na sa mga dukha. Nawa si Maria ang maging inspirasyon natin. Ang kanyang panalangin ang magbukas sa ating puso na damhin at paglingkuran si Hesus sa mga dukha upang makamit ang ganap na Paghahari ng Diyos. Mga Lagda: Nilagdaan ito ni BP. ROLANDO TRiA TiRONA – obispo ng prelatura ng Infanta at BP. JuLiO XAViER LABAyEN kasama ang 28 kaparian ng Prelatura

been tainted with dishonesty since we became an independent nation. Vast amounts of money are spent by candidates in order to be elected with expectations that their “investment” would have unaccountable financial returns. Politics has always been a mirror of the imbalances in our society between rich and poor. Many even believe that politics as practiced in our country is a structure of evil. It is alarming that crippling apathy and cynicism has crept in even among our young. Let us renew our efforts to commit ourselves to work for change and bring hope. Church teachings that guide us are very clear. To cite a few: 1. “Those with the talent for the difficult and noble art of politics … should prepare themselves for it, and forgetting their own convenience and material interests, they should engage in political activity” (Gaudium Spes 75). 2. “Direct participation in the political order is the special responsibility of the laity in the Church…. it is their specific task to renew the temporal order according to Gospel principles and values” (CBCP, “Pastoral Exhortation on Philippine Politics,” 1997). 3. Recently our beloved Pope Benedict XVI reminded the lay

such as NAMFREL and PPCRV especially in safeguarding the integrity and sacredness of the ballot; 4. We commit our church personnel to the indispensable task of raising social awareness and forming social consciences through political education. We cannot say that we have done enough to educate our people in the social teachings of the Church. 5. We call upon citizens to be vigilant and to safeguard the entire system of automated election, before, during, and after the electoral process; we strongly urge that any new electoral system ensure secret voting and open public counting; 6. We unequivocally condemn as a betrayal of public trust any attempt to abort the elections of 2010; 7. We categorically say no to any attempt by congress to convert itself into a constituent assembly (Con-Ass), and if charter change be needed, let it be after 2010 and by a mode that is credible, widely participative, transparent and not self-serving. While we train our sight towards the 2010 elections we cannot close our eyes to the lingering problem of human rights abuses. The participation of the laity is particularly

Deeply saddened and bothered by this deplorable situation we cannot remain silent. The sanctity of Life in all circumstances must be defended. “God proclaims that he is the absolute Lord of the life of man who is formed in his image and likeness. Human life is thus given a sacred and inviolable character… God will severely judge every violation of the commandment ‘You shall not kill.’ (Ex. 20,13)” (Evangelium Vitae 53). The government has the primary responsibility to bring to justice the perpetrators of human rights abuses from whichever sector of society they may come from. “The authority of every human institution…. is sent by God to punish those who do wrong and to praise those who do right.” (1 Peter 2, 13-14) Hence we implore government to fulfill its obligations to its citizens. We ask all citizens not to take violence, killings, and abuses in our society as something normal and no longer manifest indignation over abuses of the basic rights of fellow human beings. In the light of this tragic situation of unpeace, 1. We strongly call on government to seriously heed the recommendations of investigative bodies and not dismiss them as mere propaganda

military groups participating in formation towards a culture of peace; lay organizations, faith communities, BEC’s, and NGO’s spreading the good news of principled politics and organizing themselves to reform our political culture; politicians who pursue reform. Let such signs of hope flow as streams of cleansing and renewal. In this Year of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, let our love for Our Lord Jesus and His Blessed Mother intensify and sustain our efforts at building a just and peaceful society. Peace is both our commitment and a gift of God. Let the hope and the prayer of the Scriptures then be ours: I will listen for the word of God; surely the LORD will proclaim peace To his people, to the faithful, to those who trust in him. Near indeed is salvation for the loyal; prosperity will fill our land. Love and truth will meet; justice and peace will kiss. Truth will spring from the earth; justice will look down from heaven. (Ps 85: 9-12) For the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines + ANGEL N. LAGDAMEO, D.D. Archbishop of Jaro CBCP President July 12, 2009

© Roy Lagarde/CBCP Media

B6

Ref lections
18th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Jn 6:24:35); August 2, 2009

CBCP Monitor
July 20 - August 2, 2009

Vol. 13 No. 15

The only food that matters
By Fr. Joseph Pellegrino

TODAY’S Gospel takes place the next day as the people came looking for Jesus. Jesus and his disciples were on the other side of the lake. The disciples crossed over by themselves, but Jesus met up with them walking on the water. That’s why the Gospel for this Sunday begins with the crowds saying, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
Jesus responds that they are only looking for him because they ate loaves and fish yesterday and want more today. They were not concerned with the sign that He performed. They were just concerned with free food. That reminds me of the man I met at a social function a number of years ago. He told me that he goes to St. Ignatius, but he doesn’t go to Mass. I said to myself, “Well, this is going to be good.” So I asked, “What do you mean that you go to St. Ignatius but don’t go to Mass.” He said, “Well, I don’t go to Church. But I go to the picnic every year.” Too good to be made up. What makes a person a member of a parish? Deeper than this, what makes a person a Christian? What makes a person a Catholic? Does baptism do it? Perhaps theologically, but if the person

does not reaffirm his or her faith with his or her life, then baptism is an act lost in the forgotten past, theologically something that took place, but a life that no longer exists due to the person’s refusal to live this life. Does filling out paperwork make a person a member of a parish? We and every parish certainly have plenty of people who register into the parish, people who fill out paperwork to get their children in religious education, or Catholic school, or to have a child baptized. Sadly many of these people have no intention on coming to Church in any sort of a regular basis. So, then does attendance in Church do it? No, there are plenty of people who wish they could come to Church but who can’t due to sickness or age or both. The fragments left over that I spoke about last week refers to the preservation of the Eucharist so we can bring the Eucharistic meal to those unable to attend. Although not in Church, these people are certainly active members of the parish. On the opposite side of the spectrum, there are some people who attend Church but who do not live a Christian life outside of the building. We are all sinners, no doubt, but most of us want to be better, want to fight sin. But those few who are mean, cruel, who cheat others continually and who firmly intend to keep living this way, are they Christians simply because they attend Mass? What makes a person in reality, not in name, a Christian, a Catholic, an active member of a parish? The answer is simple: Jesus Christ. Everything that matters is

about Jesus. All else is bogus. Can I write that? Oh well, I just did. Those who seek Jesus and who worship Him in their daily lives as well as with the community of believers are members of the parish, members of the Church.

They, we, are Christians. In the second part of today’s Gospel, the people who seek Jesus looking for free food, take a step away from their greed and begin considering their religion. They speak about the manna that the

ancient Hebrews ate in the desert. The first reading tells the story about the Jews crying out to God for food. Manna had been called the bread of angels. It appeared in the morning on the ground, coming down from the sky. Jesus says that the heavenly Father is providing bread greater than the manna. Manna was seen as the food of the law of Sinai, the Torah. Jesus tells the people that God is providing a food greater than manna, a gift infinitely greater than the Law. The people had to be thinking, “How could anything be greater than the Law? How could the people eat any food greater than the Manna?” Jesus responds that He is the gift that is greater than the Law. He is the new manna, the food that gives eternal life. He is the Bread of Life. That’s where the Gospel for this week ends. That’s far enough. Who is this Jesus? He is the Eternal Word of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, became flesh on Christmas Day. He came so He could set the world on fire with the Love of God. In the Gospel of Luke Jesus says, “I came to throw fire upon the earth, and how I wish it were set ablaze.” “Were not our hearts on fire as he explained scripture to us,” the disciples on the road to Emmaus said after their encounter with the Risen Lord. Encounters with Jesus are experiences of His life burning within our lives. These encounters might result from great spiritual experiences like a parish mission or a retreat, or the encounter may come simply from recognizing the touch of the Lord in an everyday experience. I love the

story of the three businessmen who ran through a train station knowing that they only had two or three minutes before their train would depart. In the process they accidently tipped over an apple stand. They kept running, but then one of the men felt a twinge of conscience and turned around and ran back to the stand. The apples were all over the place and a child was crying. The man started picking up the apples. He then realized that the crying child was a little boy who had been selling the apples. The little boy was blind. The man put the apples he could save back on the table. He then said to the little boy, “I’m so sorry. I’m placing a ten dollar bill in your hand to make up for the apples that had been lost. The little boy held the money and asked, “Are you Jesus?” The man was for the little boy. And the little boy was for the man. What is the food that we need? The food is Jesus Christ. The Eucharist is the sacramental expression of this food. The Eucharist is our union with the Lord loving us to death on the cross. But the Eucharist is the most significant of the many ways that we receive and eat the Bread of Life. I began this homily by asking, “What makes a person a member of a parish, a member of the Church, a Catholic?” The question was phrased incorrectly. It is not the what, it is the Who that unites a person to God’s intimate love. Jesus Christ, the One who gives life by dying, has set us on fire with the Love of God and filled us with the only food we will ever need, Himself.

The everlasting question
By Bishop Patricio H. Alo
THAT very question which Pontius Pilate asked Jesus: “What is truth?” (Jn. 18:37) is the everlasting question deep within the heart of every human person. How important that is, is exemplified by the common Chinese saying: “It is shameful to ask a question but it is more shameful not to ask a question.” Asking is like a search for an answer. The world today is messed up or confused for not seeking true answers. Students who don’t ask or look for answers tend to remain ignorant. How right was Jesus in saying: “Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened for you. Everyone who asks always receives, everyone who seeks always finds, and to everyone who knocks, the door shall be opened” (Mt. 7:7)… God’s word can’t be mistaken nor tell a lie because God is a God of truth and love. Many questions need answers but we must ask or look for them so as to solve the unpeace and confusion in our world. Questions such as: Must we be afraid? Is violence an answer to problems? Is revenge the answer? (see Rom: 12:18-21). Can you pay for the value of one human life? Is that the basis of the Law—“Do unto others what you want others do unto you” (Mt. 7:12)? Is the pornography, hedonism or sexual freedom truly an answer to man’s quest for happiness? Are the very last destinies of man either heaven or hell, depending on whether they keep God’s commandments of justice, truth and love? Are all men called to become saints? Are all religions the same? If not, which one provides the true way? Should we respect all religions as we respect every person created by God? Did Jesus die on the cross and rise from the dead 3 days after? What are the clear facts and signs, the proofs that are beyond question? If you truly ask, seek and knock at the door of truth in all sincerity, you will certainly find the answer. Jesus, the Son of God or God’s Second Person, can’t lie nor be mistaken when He says: Everyone who seeks always finds: (Mt. 7:7). Of course, being sincere means being true to ourselves and our efforts in achieving the goal. Think deep within yourself why the Lord Jesus had said: “At this time the disciples came to Jesus and said, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ So he called a little child to him and set the child in front of them. Then he said, ‘I tell you solemnly, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. And so, the one who makes himself as little as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven’” (Mt. 18:1-4; see also Mk. 10:15, Lk. 18:17). It is the humble whom Jesus took to himself. It is the humble that enter God’s kingdom. The proud had so many reasons for sticking to their pride. Where have all the proud people gone? When will they ever learn? That is a question we may ask ourselves. The proud think they know all the answers, the humble realize there is still so much to learn, so be open to listen.

Photo Courtesy of www.mikemilton.files.wordpress.com

Bo Sanchez

Live life knowing you are gazed upon
OOOH-la-lah… That was all the man could say when he saw this pretty girl in a mini-skirt. But as he inspected the sight, he heard a booming voice from the heavens say, “Close your eyes, my son.” Shocked, he covered his eyes and walked on. After a few minutes, he saw another young woman in a tempting mini-skirt. As he checked out the view, he heard again the reverberating command from above, “Close your eyes, my son.” Taken aback, he shut his eyes and moved on. As he continued to stroll, he saw again another damsel wearing either the shortest mini-skirt in the world—or was it a fat belt and nothing else? But before he could hear any thundering voices from above, the man looked heavenward and implored, “Lord, this time, can you be the one to close your eyes?” The story is as old as I am. But what if God indeed closed His eyes? We’ll be in big trouble. Why? I believe that if God won’t look at us for one moment, we cease to exist. One morning, I woke up early. It was still dark outside. The gentle breeze made the white curtains sway. And then I saw my son, Benedict. In his crib, surrounded by fluffy pillows and a smiling Winnie the Pooh. Warmth enveloped my heart. Sorry, I didn’t look. I gazed. At my baby. He was beautiful. And I loved him. My eyes got wet. After baby-gazing for a few minutes, I said a short prayer and went back to bed. That was when it hit me. A spiritual thought that gripped me like a wrestler’s arm lock. I asked, “God, are you also gazing at me now?” The thought caused a tiny shudder through my body. “No, you can’t. I’m no longer a baby. I’m a grown-up man with a receding hairline and the nose of a T-Rex. I’m ugly in my pajamas.” But no matter how I argued against it, I couldn’t stop picturing my God gazing at me with the same warmth of love that I had for Benedict just a few seconds ago. “Are you there Lord? Watching at me with eyes of devotion?” The more I thought of it, the more I realized it was true. He was gazing at me with love. Pure, unabashed, unadulterated, eternal, perfect love. But there was a difference. “Lord, you never lift Your gaze off me, do you? You just keep on gazing at me, twenty-four hours a day.” Yes, my Daddy was awake, gazing on me. I smiled and fell asleep. Like a baby in a crib.

Fr. Roy Cimagala

Charity in the truth
ITS original Latin rendition is “Caritas in veritate.” It’s the title of the third long-awaited encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI that just came out first week of July. When two years ago its idea was first brought up in public, the common attitude was that it was to be the papal social encyclical to tackle our festering current global economic crisis. Expectations and suspense ran high. What made it more so was that there were announcements that the document would come out last year. But it didn’t, thus, all sorts of speculations came thick and fast. So it was quite a major letdown that when it finally came out, only the “usual people” (ecclesiastics, Church commentators, seminary professors, etc.) were the ones making noise. Hardly anything came out from the secular press. It seemed that interest in the encyclical was restricted to a certain circle of people. Even in our country that’s supposed to be very Catholic, there’s almost total silence to its reception. The bishops preferred, it seems, to talk about politics or something else, though it must be said that what they said one way or another have some relation to what the encyclical is saying. This phenomenon has been hovering and bothering me at the back of my mind. Why is it like that? His second encyclical, “Spes salvi” (Saved by hope), despite its tremendous content, suffered more or less the same fate. It was only the first one, “Deus caritas est” (God is love), that caused some stir. Several reasons can be put forward. But I prefer to think that most people are not prepared for it. Many are those who do not know how to think theologically. They can think emotionally, r a t i o n a l l y, so c i o l o g i ca l l y , economically, politically, not but yet theologically. I’m afraid some have gone to the extent of considering documents like this as a foreign body to their system. They have already developed a certain allergy to any Church document. Underpinning this could be an attachment to the superficial aspects of the current situation, plus a certain soft or subtle narcissism that keeps one thinking of oneself only, or worse, a hostile attitude backed up by some ideologies like secularism, a wild liberalism, etc. Which is all a pity because the encyclical puts the whole issue of our current socio-economicpolitical predicament in its proper perspective. The Church has the duty and the charism to read the signs of the times, and this is what the Holy Father is doing in this encyclical. It does not offer technical solutions, but it points out the fundamental causes of our problems these days and the way to correct them. The Pope knows the vast scope as well as the limits of his authority. He toes the line. In this document, the Pope says that while truth always has to be pursued and given in charity, as St. Paul says, charity, which is the driving force of human development, should always be developed in the truth. Everyone, I suppose, wants to love. But we have to make sure that our love is in the truth, otherwise we would just be going in circles, pursuing a false and dangerous love. He defines what true integral human development is, grounding it on its ultimate source as a vocation coming from God and highlighting the spiritual component more than its material aspect. The Pope tries to highlight the connection between our earthly affairs on the one hand, and our origin and destination in God, on the other. Our usual problem is to understand our autonomy in our earthly affairs as total independence from God. They are just a human thing, we tend to think. God has no place in them. Wrong! We need to make drastic changes in this mentality. The Pope goes on to touch on a number of crucial elements regarding our earthly affairs that all need clarification. Among these are the social principles of common good, solidarity and subsidiarity as lived in the context of our present crisis. There are references to how international cooperation should be developed, and other issues like migration, aid to poor countries, care for the environment, delicate responsibilities in finance, etc. There’s one point that I find most interesting. It’s about how openness to life is at the center of true development. “If personal and social sensitivity toward the acceptance of a new life is lost, then other forms of acceptance valuable for society also wither away.” We cannot say that we have not been warned.

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 15
July 20 - August 2, 2009

Silsilah Forum launched in Marawi City
Photos Courtesy of www. amadopicardal.blogspot.com

Social Concerns

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THE Silsilah Dialogue Movement, after many years of conducting formation and training programs, has already thousands of alumni, mostly Muslims and Christians from Mindanao and from other parts of the Philippines and other countries. At present, the alumni bring with them the spirit of the Culture of Dialogue path to peace to their varied work places, in government, in private organizations, schools, religious communities and churches. Many of them recognize and appreciate the experience of Silsilah which they share with others whenever there are opportunities. Reading the signs of the times, the Movement started giving formation to the alumni in their own areas to sustain their commitment. But it was only in 2004, during the 20th anniversary of Silsilah that the SILSILAH FORUM
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was formally launched. The focus is the formation of the heart and person of the woman or man of dialogue. It is the desire of the Movement that Silsilah would not just be identified as a non-government organization doing advocacy work for dialogue and peace, but presenting dialogue not just as a strategy, but a style of life, a spirituality of life-in-dialogue springing from God and bringing people back to God. Many of these groups have been formed during the recent years. They are now present in Tawi-Tawi, Siasi, Jolo, Basilan, Sibugay, Pagadian City, Iligan City, Cagayan de Oro, Bukidnon, Cotabato City, Davao City, Kidapawan, Midsayap, Pikit, Siocon, Cebu and Antipolo City. Last June 30, 2009, Ms. Aminda E. Saño, President of Silsilah Dialogue Movement

and Ms. Jovie S. Emmanuel, Over-all Coordinator of Silsilah Forum together with Ustadz Garson Hamja, Madaris Gurus and Catechists Coordinator, Prof. Alzad Sattar of the Basilan State College and Mrs. Sol Rocamora, link person of Harmony Chain Initiative – Zamboanga Sibugay witnessed the launching of Silsilah Forum Marawi which was held at the Institute for Peace and Development in Mindanao Hall, Mindanao State University-Main Campus, Marawi City. The event was successful, attended by more than two hundred guests, friends and alumni of Silsilah coming from the different sectors of society—deans of the different colleges and faculty members of the Mindanao State University, student leaders of the different societies and school organizations, officers and men from the military, religious

leaders from the Muslim, Christian and Protestant churches. The programme started with an interfaith prayer led by Imam Ahmad Solaiman and Rev. Fr. Teresito Suganob and we sang together the Harmony Prayer Song. We were warmly welcomed by the Silsilah Forum Muslim coordinator, Prof. Jamila-Aisha Sanguila. Prof. Moctar Matuan, Director of Institute for Peace and Development for Mindanao (IPDM) shared with us the historical significance of IPDM and its vision-mission in the promotion of peace in Mindanao. The President of the Silsilah Dialogue Movement, Ms. Aminda Saño gave the rationale of Silsilah and formally declared the opening of Silsilah Forum Marawi with the recognition of its Muslim coordinator: Prof. Jamila-Aisha Sanguila and Christian

coordinator, Prof. Elmer Palahang and core group members, Ms. Jihan Bacug, Mr. Abubacar Ali and Ms. Melodia Udtohan. Both coordinators and the core group are faculty members of Mindanao State University. Words of Challenges were shared to us with the message of Hope by Pastor Alvin Flores, message of Solidarity by Dr. Guimba Poingan, message of Harmony by Bishop Edwin dela Peña and message of Peace by 1Lt. Rommel delos Santos. Prof. Elmer Palahang, the Christian coordinator gave the closing remarks. The success of the occasion was made possible through the effort and cooperation of the working committees led by the Historical Society students. Mr. Abubacar Ali and Ms. Melodia Udtohan were the Masters of Ceremony. (Silsilah Media Center for Dialogue and Peace)

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May last by Cardinal Ratzinger and Archbishop Lefebvre” (John Paul II, Litterae Apostolicae Motu Proprio datae Ecclesia Dei [2 July 1988], n. 6: AAS 80 [1988], 1498). 3. Along these lines, adhering faithfully to the same duty to serve the universal communion of the Church also in its visible manifestation and making every effort to ensure that all who truly desire unity have the possibility of remaining in it or of rediscovering it, with the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum I desired to extend and to update, by means of more precise and detailed norms, the general instructions already contained in the Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei concerning the possibility of using the 1962 Missale Romanum (Benedict XVI, Litt. Ap. Moto Proprio datae Summorum Pontificum [7 July 2007]: AAS 99 [2007], 777-781). 4. In the same spirit and with the same commitment to encouraging the resolution of all fractures and divisions in the Church and to healing a wound in the ecclesial fabric that was more and more painfully felt, I wished to remit the excommunication of the four Bishops illicitly ordained by Archbishop Lefebvre. With this decision I intended to remove an impediment that might have jeopardized the opening of a door to dialogue and thereby to invite the Bishops and the “Society of St Pius X” to rediscover the path to full communion with the Church. As I explained in my Letter to the Catholic Bishops of last 10 March, the remission of the excommunication was a measure taken in the context of ecclesiastical discipline to free the individuals from the burden of conscience constituted by the most serious of ecclesiastical penalties. However, the doctrinal

questions obviously remain and until they are clarified the Society has no canonical status in the Church and its ministers cannot legitimately exercise any ministry. 5. Precisely because the problems that must now be addressed with the Society are essentially doctrinal in nature, I have decided 21 years after the Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei and in conformity with what I had proposed (cf. ibid., art. 11 781) to rethink the structure of the Commission Ecclesia Dei, linking it closely to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. 6. The Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei will therefore have the following configuration: a) The President of the Commission is the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. b) The Commission, with its own allocation of staff, is composed of the Secretary and officials. c) The task of the Cardinal President, assisted by the Secretary, is to refer the principal cases and doctrinal questions to the judgment of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith through its ordinary procedures, and to submit the results thereof to the superior dispositions of the Supreme Pontiff. 7. With this decision I have wished in particular to show fatherly solicitude to the “Society of St Pius X” in order that it rediscover full communion with the Church. I address to all a pressing invitation to pray the Lord tirelessly, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, “ut unum sint”. Given in Rome, at St Peter’s, on 2 July 2009, the fifth year of Our Pontificate. BENEDICTUS PP. XVI

Paul II vigorously defended this concept in “Redemptoris Missio” (n.11). Hence, the Church’s social doctrine cannot take over the announcement of the Gospel in the person-toperson encounter. Social Doctrine: not without revelation A brief historical overview: as a result of the industrial revolution (19th century) and its negative consequences, the Church’s leaders urgently pressed the State for a response in order to reestablish social justice and the dignity of the human person in philosophical terms. Later, with “Pacem in Terris,” John XXIII focused largely on the horizon of faith and spoke of sin and victory over it through the divine work of salvation. John Paul II then introduced the concept of “structures of sin” and applied salvation also to the fight against human misery. His “Sollicitudo Rei Socialis” integrated social doctrine within moral theology: “This belongs, therefore, not to the field of ideology, but theology, and especially moral theology” (n. 41). With this step, social doctrine enters clearly into the theological domain. The principles of social doctrine have not remained merely philosophical, therefore, but have their origin in Christ and His word. In “Deus Caritas Est,” Benedict XVI writes that faith purifies reason and thus helps it to create a just order in society; this is where social doctrine is inserted (cfr. 28a). This proceeds, then, upon the foundation of a discussion accessible to all reason, and hence on the basis of natural law. But it recognizes its dependence on faith. The new Encyclical treats more

explicitly and more decisively all of this, with charity as the foundation. It teaches, “charity is the supreme path of the Church’s social doctrine” (n. 2). Charity understood here as “received and given” by God (n. 5). The love of God the Creator Father and His Redeemer Son, poured out in us through the Holy Spirit, empowers the social life of man on the basis of certain principles. It affirms for development the “centrality … of charity” (n. 19). Wisdom—it also says—capable of orienting man “must be ‘mixed’ with the ‘salt’ of charity” (n. 30). These simple—apparently obvious—affirmations conceal some important implications. When it is loosed from Christian experience, social doctrine becomes that ideology which John Paul taught it should not be. A political manifesto without a soul. Social doctrine rather, in the first place, commits the Christian to “incarnating” his faith. As the Encyclical claims: “Charity manifests always, even in human relations, the love of God, it gives theologal and salvific value to every worldly task” (n. 6). To the oftformulated question: “What contribution does the Christian make to the edification of the world?” social doctrine provides the answer. An anthropocentric approach The heart of social doctrine remains the human person. I already said that, in a first phase, the attention of this discipline was oriented, rather, to problematic situations within society: regulation of work, right to a just wage, worker representation. Later, these problems were dealt with at an international level: the disparity between rich and poor,

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development, international relations. With the theological emphasis, John XXIII treats more decisively the question of all this in terms of the human person – we are in a second phase in the evolution of this discipline. John Paul II then reinforced this understanding centering social reflection on the anthropological. This aspect is present in a striking way in the document: “The first capital to be defended and valued is man, the human person, in his entirety” (n. 25); “The social question has become radically the anthropological question” (n. 75). Progress, to be truly so, must, therefore, enable man to grow in his entirety: in the text, we find references to the environment, market, globalization, the ethical question, culture, that is, the various places where man carries out his activity. This end remains a precious heritage in social doctrine from its beginnings. But, more deeply, the anthropological question implies answering a central question: which man do we wish to promote? Can we consider true development a development that imprisons man in an earthly horizon, formed only by material wellbeing, ignoring the question of values, meaning, the infinite to which he is called? Can a society survive without foundational reference points, without looking at eternity, denying man and woman an answer to their deepest questions? Can there be true development without God? In the logic of this Encyclical, we find then a further stage, perhaps a third phase in the reflection on social doctrine. It is not by chance that charity is placed as a key link: divine charity responds, as a human act, through a theological virtue, as I said at the beginning. Man is not considered only as the object of a process, but as the subject of this process. The man, who has known Christ, makes himself the agent of change in order that social doctrine does not remain a dead letter. Pope Benedict writes: “Development is impossible without upright men and women, without economical actors and politicians who do not live strongly in their consciences the call to the common good” (n. 71). Here, we are in perfect continuity with the Encyclical “Deus Caritas Est,” which, in its second part, treats the characteristics of those who work in charitable organizations. And the horizon widens to the public world, where often, in the north and south, we experience phenomena that are all too well-known, preventing the growth of people: corruption and illegality (cfr. n. 22), the

lust for power (cfr. DCE 28). The “original sin,” as the text recalls in n. 34, prevents the construction of society in many places. Also in those who guide society. We cannot confront the social question without the ethical. The Encyclical refers to the “new man” in the biblical sense (n. 12). There can be no new society without new men and women. Social doctrine will not remain a treatise or an ideology only if there are Christians prepared to live it in charity, with the help of God. Authenticity on the part of all the actors is needed. Formulated without any twist of words: “Far from God, man is troubled and sick” (n. 76). It is very significant that the last paragraph of the Encyclical (n. 79) is dedicated to prayer and the call to conversion: God renews the heart of man so that he may dedicate himself to living in charity and justice. Christians, therefore, do not simply stand at the window to watch or protest, infected by the modern culture of denouncing others, but they allow themselves to be converted to build, in God, a new culture. This is true also for the Church’s members, both as individuals and groups. Progress I wish to end with a reflection on the concept of progress. Paul VI – this Encyclical also recalls – spoke about it in a succinct way (“Populorum Progressio,” n. 21). Unfortunately, human growth has often been conceived as independent from the question of faith, as if human promotion is one thing, and the proclamation of the faith another. In addition to unifying the two dimensions, this document introduces a further element in the concept of progress: hope (n. 34). As Pope Benedict XVI stressed in “Spe Salvi,” hope cannot be that of progress constructed for well-being in this world (n. 30), since this does not coincide with human freedom (nn. 23-24); the foundation of Christian hope is the gift of God (n. 31). Hence, hope helps us not to enclose progress in the edification of an earthly kingdom, but it opens us to the gift: in God, we find the crowning of the desire for man’s good. It is always within this optic that the Church formulates social doctrine and Christians find in it inspiration for their engagement in the world. There is great interest in this Encyclical. When read well, Benedict XVI’s text is a light for society and, last but not least, for us Christians. (cardinal Paul Josef cordes, president of the Pontifical Council cor Unum, gave this talk at a press conference held in the Vatican on the day of the release of Benedict XVI’s encyclical “caritas in Veritate”, July 7, 2009.)

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Entertainment
Moral Assessment

CBCP Monitor

July 20 - August 2, 2009

Vol. 13 No. 15

Technical Assessment

 Abhorrent  Disturbing  Acceptable  Wholesome  Exemplary Title: Harry Potter and the Halfblood Prince Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman; Director: David Yates Producers: David Barron, David Heyman Screenwriters: Steve Kloves, J.K. Rowling Music: Nicholas Hooper Editor: Mark Day Genre: Fantasy Adventure Cinematography: Bruno Delbonnnel Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures Location: Bjorli, Norway Running Time: 153 min. Technical Assessment: ½ Moral Assessment:  CINEMA Rating: For viewers 14 and above

 Poor  Below average  Average  Above average  Excellent

THE movie opens with the Death Eaters attacking London while Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) takes Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) to befriend and unlock the memory of former Hogworts potions professor, Horace Slughorn (Jim Broadbent) who once taught Tom Riddle—the young Lord Voldemort. Meanwhile, Harry’s nemesis Draco Malfoy and

Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher Severus Snape (Alan Rickman) have joined the Death Eaters. All the while, Harry is picking up magical tips from a mysterious character known as the Half-Blood Prince—a previous owner of the used Potions textbook Harry is now using. However, Harry and friends face a bigger challenge than the return of Lord Voldemort—raging adolescent hormones and teenage romance. Harry falls in love with Ginny Weasley (Bonni Wright) who unfortunately is already dating someone else and Hermoine (Emma Watson) is seething with jealousy when Lavander Brown decided Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) is the one for her. HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE looks like a conduit to the climax to the whole Harry Potter series so in reality the movie does not really reach a climax. The battle scenes and love stories at times struggle for dominance and the movie could have benefited if the director made a clear choice are fantastic and breathtaking. This combined with great performances from the actors who have matured

before the world makes the movie memorable and worthwhile. While the violence, witchcraft and darkness are more subtle, parents are strongly advised to accompany their very young children when watching. Although the movie has several efforts to moralize—for instance, the code of honors of good witches, as well as values taught to Hogwart students—these values are only applied to up to a certain problem faced by the characters. Case in point, honesty is emphasized but in certain occasions stealing is tolerated. The most powerful theme in the story is “fitting in”. Most characters crave for a sense of being part of a group and being accepted as himself. Take the Professor Snape and Draco Malfoy who joined Voldermort because of their innate desire to be accepted. Even Harry, who lost his parents and was raised by an unloving family, found confidence and strength in his friends at Gryffindor. The real magic of Harry Pottter lies not in the supernatural power or spells or potions but in finding a home for the heart where friendships and love are able to grow.

MAC en COLET

Ni Bladimer Usi

Buhay Parokya

Look for the three items: Images of the Moises, Holy water bottle, and Grotto. (Illustration by Bladimer Usi)

PETER Chelsom directs teen Title: Hanna Montana The Movie superstar Miley Cyrus in this feature that brings the Cast: Cyrus, Billy Ray Cyrus, Jason Earles, Emily popular Disney Channel Osment character Hannah Montana Director: Peter Chelsom to the big screen. With a crazy Producers: Alfred Gough, double life in California as an Miles Millar everyday teen with the secret Screenwriter: Daniel Berpop-star persona Hannah endsen Montana, Miley Stewart Music: John Debney (Cyrus) has forgotten who Genre: Musical Performing Arts she really is. To get her back on track, Miley’s dad, Robby Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures Ray Stewart (Miley’s realLocation: USA life father, Billy Ray Cyrus), Running Time: 102 min. decides that she needs time Technical Assessment: back on the family farm  ½ in Tennessee to celebrate Moral Assessment:  Grandma Ruby’s (Margo CINEMA Rating: For viewers Martindale) birthday. At first, of all ages Miley is belligerent, but with the help of Travis (Lucas Till), a former childhood crush who now works for Grandma Ruby as a farmhand, she begins to realize what is really important to her. Cyrus is famous for her girl-next-door personality, easy smile, and mugging for the camera, which abounds in this film. The coming-of-age tale also delves into the trials and tribulations of growing up and dealing with your first love, which made all the more complicated by her secret superstar life. Till’s Travis is sure to make every teenage girl want her own well-mannered cowboy. Vanessa Williams appears as Miley/Hannah’s pushy publicist and Peter Gunn is a sneaky English journalist intent on getting some dirt on Hannah. Jason Earles and Emily Osment reprise their television roles as Miley’s brother, Jackson, and her best friend, Lilly. Country music fans will enjoy performances from Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts, and Billy Ray Cyrus himself. The film also includes 12 new songs from Miley/Hannah. (www.rottentomatoes.com) OUTSTANDING FEATURES OF THE FILM: Realistic presentation of stardom complex that can destroy a person’s life unless there is intervention, in this case, from the father of the teenage star. ADDITIONAL REMARKS: Commendable material for discussion among teenagers who can be easily carried as “fans” of popular actors/singers.

CBCP Monitor Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 5 15
July 20 15, 2009 March 2- -August 2, 2009

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The Cross
A Supplement Publication of KCFAPI and the Order of the Knights of Columbus
KC Luzon State Deputy Alonso Tan, KC Visayas State Deputy Dionisio Esteban, Jr., KC Mindanao State Deputy Sofronio Cruz, KCFAPI Chairman Patrocinio Bacay, President Antonio Borromeo, Executive Vice President Ma. Theresa Curia, officers and employees during the Grand Launching of TOKCA last July 2.

KCFAPI formally launches TOKCA
By April Basilio
THE Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) marked the grand launching of the Search for The Outstanding Knights of Columbus Awards (TOKCA) last July 2. The event was held at the main office in Intramuros, Manila. Dubbed as TOKCA 2009, its aim is to give due recognition to brother knights who have excelled in their fields of endeavor. Present in the event were the Board of Trustees of KCFAPI, Board of Directors of KCFAPI Subsidiaries, Board of Directors of KC Foundation, KCFAPI Officers, Area Managers, employees of KCFAPI and Subsidiaries, CBCP Media team and various guests. The program started at 6 o’clock in the evening with an invocation led by former KC scholar Fr. Jerome Cruz of San Ildefonso Parish, Navotas. Vice President of KCFAPI Fraternal Benefits Group Mr. Joseph Teodoro acknowledged the dignitaries present during the affair. KCFAPI Executive Vice-President Ma. Theresa Curia said the opening remarks. In line with the launching of TOKCA, the event also highlighted the introduction of KC website. Msgr. Pedro Quitorio III, Media Director of CBCP Communications Development Foundation (CCDF), presented the contents of the said website. CCDF is the media and public relations consultant of KCFAPI. The website, which may be viewed at www.kofc.org.ph brings to light news and updates on the KC Order, KC Foundation, KCFAPI and subsidiaries. After the presentation, KCFAPI Chairman Patrocinio Bacay initiated the formal launching of the KC website. The TOKCA was introduced to the guests by KCFAPI employees through a modelling production showcasing each field of endeavor. The fields consist of profession on government service, accountancy and business, engineering, science and technology, academe,

medical and healthcare services, law and judiciary, sports and entertainment, journalism and media, agriculture, youth and community development, arts and literature, and entrepreneurship. The awards will recognize the outstanding achievements of members in these respective professions. It is said that the search intends to project awareness for KC members of the Mission of the Order of KC and to promote KCFAPI’s mission for its significance to the Order of KC and the country. KCFAPI President, Antonio Borromeo delivered his speech after the presentation which was then followed by the unveiling of the TOCKA poster headed by the KCFAPI Chairman, Patrocinio Bacay, KCFAPI President Antonio Borromeo, KC Luzon State Deputy Alonso Tan, KC Visayas State Deputy Dionisio Esteban, Jr. and KC Mindanao State Deputy Sofronio Cruz. The unveiling was later followed by a group picture taking. The event culminated with the singing of KCFAPI’s theme song, the Hands of Love.

KCFAPI to issue stamps and other philatelic products
A MEMORANDUM of Agreement has been signed between the Philippine Postal Corporation (PPC) and the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc (KCFAPI) regarding the issuance of its commemorative stamps and other philatelic products. The said activity happened last June 19 at the Knights of Columbus Philippines main office in Intramuros, Manila. KCFAPI President Antonio Borromeo and Postmaster General and CEO Hector Villanueva signed the agreement before other officials of both organizations. Present in the said event were KCFAPI Executive Vice President Ma. Theresa Curia, KCFAPI Treasurer Antonio Yulo, Elenita San Diego, Manager of the Philatelic Department, and Yolanda Martinez, Marketing Specialists of the Sales Department. KCFAPI Legal Manager Atty. Rizal Katalbas, Jr., also witnessed the activity. Provided in the agreement, among others, is the circulation and distribution of the stamps and other products on July 31, 2009. These products will be issued and circulated to commemorate the fifty (50) years in service of so L. Tan honored the event with their presence. SK Fermin Garcia, District Deputy of District M29 led the Bulacan Knights from Council 14227 of Sapang Palay, San Jose Del Monte, Council 14419 of Pleasant Hills, Council 12204 of Francisco Homes, Council 13344 of Muzon and Council 6745 of Poblacion, San Jose del Monte. KCFAPI employees and members of Couples for Christ led by Bro. Beng Garcia were also present during the ceremony. The chapel and seven additional houses will be constructed through a Bayanihan System. KCFAPI employees conducted their first Baya-

Insurance Commissioner Eduardo T. Malinis issues KC Fraternal the license to transact business as a Mutual Benefit Association. Present at the occasion were Deputy Commissioner Vida Chiong, KCFAPI President Antonio Borromeo, Executive Vice President Ma. Theresa Curia and Treasurer Antonio Yulo.

KC builds chapel and houses at Gawad Kalinga
THE groundbreaking of Fr. George J. Willmann chapel at the Bagong Pangarap Gawad Kalinga (GK) Site, Tungkong Mangga, San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan was held last June 29 in the presence of KC Philippines Foundation officials. Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio III, KCFAPI Spiritual Director blessed the site where the provisional chapel will be erected. The chapel named after Fr. Willmann, the father of the the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines, was dedicated to Our Lady of Perpetual Help whose feast day falls on the same day. Officials of the Knights of Columbus Philippines FoundaChairman Justice Jose C. Reyes, Jr., President Alonso L. Tan, Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio III and tion led by Chairman KCFAPI officers and employees at Bagong Pangarap Gawad Kalinga (GK) Tungkong Mangga, Justice Jose C. Reyes, San Jose del Monte, Bulacan last June 27. Jr. and President Alon-

KCFAPI, which was observed last year. Established in 1958, the Association was founded by the father of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines, Fr. George Willmann, SJ. The institution was initiated to provide mutual assistance to KC members and their beneficiaries for losses and damages from the injuries and/or losses of lives and properties. Through its foundations, namely, The KC Philippines Foundation and Fr. George J. Willmann Charities, Inc., KCFAPI accomplishes efficiently its social responsibility by extending help to the community and to the Church, especially in the formation of priests. (Kate Laceda) nihan Build last July 11 together with the Bagong Pangarap Community. Donned with their blue volunteer uniforms, gloves and buri hat, the employees participated in the gravel and sand relay for concrete mixing to be used for the chapel flooring. The housing project is a partnership between the KC Philippines Foundation, Inc., a subsidiary of KC Fraternal Association of the Philippines (KCFAPI), and Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation, Inc. For those who want to volunteer, schedules of Bayanihan Build are: July 25, August 8 and 22, and September 5, 2009. (Denise Solina)

Foundation scholars get merit for excellence, reap award
A SCHOLAR of the Knights of Columbus (KC) Philippines Foundation, Inc. was recently given a distinction for academic excellence. Adrian Jay Barcelona was one of the awardees for an academic honor given to those who attain high general average grade for two consecutive school years. He is a third year BS Food Technology student of the Philippine Women’s College of Davao. Mr. Barcelona is the son of Bro. Danilo Barcelona, an active member of the Knights of Columbus Council 12506 in Polomolok, South Cotabato and Sis. Sirena Barcelona. He was a scholar since schoolyear 2007-2008 under the Supreme Council Scholarship Program which was administered locally by the KC Philippines Foundation. Meanwhile, Mr. Jose Gabriel Mallari, one of the scholars of the Knights of Columbus (KC) Philippines Foundation, Inc. garnered the Best Debater award in the recently concluded FACE OFF: “Class of Wits” Debate Tournament. He is a 3rd year Broadcast Communication student at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines and son of Bro. Edgardo Mallari, a member of Msgr. Miguel P. Nuguid Council 6332 of Bago Bantay, Quezon City, and Sis. Chona Mallari. Mr. Mallari’s team also emerged as the over-all champion in the said competition which was sponsored by the Polytechnic University of the Philippines. (Denise Solina)

THE Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) handed over the first year earnings of the CBCP Seed of Hope Fund to CBCP President Archbishop Angel N. Lagdameo. This year’s earnings amounting to P777,000.00 was presented by KCFAPI President Antonio B. Borromeo, Treasurer Antonio T. Yulo, Atty. Ramon Rodrigo, Independent Trustee, Executive Vice President Ma. Theresa G. Curia and Vice President for Finance Mary Magdalene G. Flores. The Fund amounting to P10 Million was established last year by KCFAPI with earnings of the fund to be donated annually to CBCP to finance its priority projects.

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The Cross

CBCP Monitor
July 20 - August 2, 2009

Vol. 13 No. 15

Chairman’s Message
Patrocinio R. Bacay
WE have formally launched this season’s search for the outstanding Knights of Columbus which we call TOKCA (The Outstanding Knights of Columbus Awards) to give due recognition to our brother knights who have excelled in their respective fields of endeavor. The KC order has grown so big with a membership of 248,976 all over the Philippines. With this number, we know for a fact that there are a lot of good men who come from the KC family and a few have stood up to the challenge of helping the Filipino in an outstanding way. The TOKCA is the avenue to fete these distinguished men who have unselfishly given themselves for the good of the Order and of the nation. So, brother Knights, we enjoin you to help us find these outstanding gentlemen and let us award them on April 2010 in Cebu City. Vivat Jesus!

President’s Message

Antonio B. Borromeo
THE Outstanding Knights of Columbus Awards (TOKCA) was formally launched last July 2, 2009. This is open to all brother Knights nationwide. We enjoin each and every KC member to participate in this endeavor. This is to give due recognition and honor to our brother knights who have given so much to society, community and family. We need role models for our countrymen to emulate. This is also to realize the KC principles of CHARITY, UNITY, FRATERNITY and PATRIOTISM. The awardees will be feted in Cebu City during the NATIONAL CONVENTION in April 2010.
© www.wikipedia.org, w/ special thanks to Ms. Leah Guerrero, Mr. Joseph P. Teodoro, Mr. Manuel L. Naldoza, and Bro Francisco Hilario

The KCFAPI Cabanatuan Service Office
THE City of Cabanatuan is a first class, urban city in the province of Nueva Ecija. It is considered the commerce, industrial and educational hub of the province. It is a bustling city home to many jeepneys and tricycles and bears the title as the “Tricycle Capital of the Philippines”, because it has about over 30,000 registered tricycles. As of this date, there are Six Knights of Columbus Councils based on different Parishes in Cabanatuan City (Council 3692, Council 6000, Council 8226, Council 10860, Council 14379, and Council 8652). Among them, Cabanatuan City Council 3692 was one of the founding members that contributed P500.00 to the initial Capital of KCFAPI way back on September 1958. Almost 30 years later, on May 1988, the first Cabanatuan Service Office was opened in the same building as Cabanatuan Cooperative Bank near the NFA warehouse, located at Maharlika Highway, Cabanatuan City with its first Service Office Administrator Ms. Leah Marilyn Urmatan Guerrero. To better serve our KC Brothers, the Service Office was relocated to the Borja Building at Burgos St. and transferred to Santarina Bldg. at Sancianco St. and finally at the Knights of Columbus Bldg. along

Columbus in the Philippines, last June 29. The celebration started with a mass held at the home office dedicated to his legacy. This was followed by a wreath-laying ceremony led by KCFAPI and KC Luzon officers. Being the father of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines, Fr. George J. Willmann also founded the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI). Fr. Willmann is an American Jesuit Priest but has the heart of a Filipino. He first came to the Philippines in 1922 and by 1947 he became the First District Deputy of Knights in Columbus for the Philippines. He passed away on September 14, 1977 at age 80, but his legacy still continues to inspire and guide KC KC Luzon State Deputy Alonso Tan and Justice Jose Reyes leads the wreath-laying ceremonies Fraternal and the Order of the Knights of Columbus. (April Basilio) during the commemoration of Fr. Willmann’s birth anniversary. KC Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) commemorates the 112th Birth Anniversary of KC Fr. George J. Willmann S.J., the father of the Knights of

KCFAPI marks Fr. Willmann’s 112th Birth Anniversary

Burgos St. after Keys Realty acquired the said property. Presently running the Cabanatuan Service Office are the Central Luzon Area Manager Manuel L. Naldoza, Service Office Assistant Erwin John B. Mallari and Service Office Staff Cherryl B. Baluyot. The Cabanatuan Service Office is the base of operations for the Central Luzon Conquerors (CLC) whose mission is to be of service to the KC members and their families in the provinces of Nueva Ecija, Aurora, and Pangasinan. CLC is the area with the highest target and is home to the most number of awardees. The Area manager, Fraternal Counselors, and Service Office personnel are all working hard to carry on the mission and vision of KCFAPI and keep the rich tradition of this area. (Erwin John B. Mallari)

Service Office Assistant Erwin John B. Mallari and Service Office Staff Cherryl B. Baluyot of KC Fraternal Cabanatuan Service Office.

KCFAPI Cares for its Valued Resource... The Salesforce!
KCFAPI’s Fraternal Benefits Group recently enrolled 53 qualified Area Managers and Fraternal Counselors to PhilamCare, Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) Provider for the Salesforce’s Hospitalization and Medical Benefit. The entitlement to this benefit is free of charge and the premium is 100% shouldered by KCFAPI. The prize is part of rewards and recognition program for the FCs producers. The qualifying period started January to December 2008 and the start of coverage runs from June 1, 2009 up to May 30, 2010. There are three plans of hospitalization and medical benefits coverage, Plan A with up to P150,000.00 maximum benefit per year, Plan B with up to P100,000.00 maximum benefit per year and Plan C with up to P60,000 maximum benefit per year. Twelve FCs made it on Plan A with 48 new paid lives with 85 percent retention rate while five FCs brought 36 new paid lives with 85 percent retention rate landed on Plan B. Nineteen FCs qualified on Plan C with minimum of 24 paid lives and 85 percent retention rate. Seventeen Area Managers nationwide are now enrolled under HMO enjoying a wide range of free medical services and hospitalization benefits that include Annual Physical Examinations, consultations or confinements. KCFAPI also awarded a cash equivalent for FCs who are no longer eligible to enroll due to age. There are a total of 11 FCs who benefited. With this concrete manifestation of caring for our salesforce, KCFAPI lives to its mission that “We truly regard our dynamic and dedicated field representatives as our Valued Resource!” (Gari San Sebastian)

THE Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of Philippines Inc. (KCFAPI), the second-to-none insurance provider of KC members, is embarking to reach a new milestone as it sponsors the prestigious The Outstanding Knights of Columbus Award (TOKCA) for members. The TOKCA Awards aims to recognize the outstanding achievements of members in their respective professions worthy of emulation, to project a strong public knowledge of the Mission of the Order of the Knights of Columbus as a tool to attract new members, to

The Outstanding Knights of Columbus Awards (TOKCA)
spur KCFAPI’s quest for its relevance not only to the Order of the Knights of Columbus but to the nation as well and to provide inspiration, to all members to live up to the cardinal principles of CHARITY, UNITY, FRATERNITY & PATRIOTISM. Who May Qualify K of C members who are current in his council dues and nominated by his council may qualify and earn a chance to win the coveted title. The nomination must be endorsed by the parish priest of his council. He may qualify to any of following professions or fields of endeavor: Government Service Accountancy and Business Engineering, Science and Technology Academe Medical and health care services Law and judiciary Sports and entertainment Journalism and media Agriculture Youth and Community development Arts and literature Entrepreneurship KCFAPI reserves the right to consider a limited number of categories even if there are nominees in all and the above categories. The following are not eligible to be nominated in the SEARCH for TOKCA: Incumbent members of KCFAPI Board of Trustees/Directors of subsidiaries. Employees of KCFAPI and Subsidiaries, KCFAPI Area Managers and their immediate families (fathers, husbands and sons). Five State Officers, the State Program and Membership Directors and their immediate families. Members of the Board of Jurors. Awards Criteria The nominee must accept his nomination in the prescribed form not later than December 15, 2009. The nominee must have engaged in his field of endeavor with documented proof within the past five years subject to validation by the Board of Jurors and the Search Committee. Points System a) Professional Excellence - Max 50pts b) Participation in Council, Parish and Community - Max 30pts c) Membership in KCFAPI - Max 20pts Total of 100 pts Search and Nomination Procedures Nomination and endorsements must be in the hands of KCFAPI Search Committee by September 15, 2009 for initial screening. This should include all original attachments in support of the nomination. Validation. The search committee together with the sub-committee on validation will conduct verification of statements made on the nominations including endorsements and supporting documents submitted. The validation period will end until November 15, 2009. The qualified nominees will be informed in writing for their acceptance. The list of qualifiers will be announced

officially through KCFAPI’s chosen publications and circulars. Acceptance of nominations must be received by the search committee on or before December 15, 2009. All nomination forms, endorsements and attachments shall become the property of KCFAPI or may be returned to the nominee if it deems necessary. Evaluation. The Search Committee will assign points and prepare a short list of nominees which will be forwarded to the Board of Jurors for selection of winners not later than January 15, 2010. The points earned shall merely serve as guide for the Board of Jurors in selecting the winners. Search Committee. This Search Committee will be composed of KCFAPI officers headed by its President as Chairman. The Board of Jurors. The Board of Jurors shall be composed of the Spiritual Director, The Chairman of KCFAPI, the President, the three State Deputies and another member to be selected by the Board. The Board of Jurors will choose the winners not later than March 1, 2010 and notify them of their selection. The winners will be entitled to the following: Trophy or plaque to be awarded during the 2010 Tri-state convention to be held in Cebu City. Round-trip airplane fare (as appropriate) and hotel accommodation for two (himself and wife). This item is non-cash convertible and not transferrable. Cash allowance of P20,000.00 which will include other transportation expenses other than plane fare and meals outside of the hotel package. The travel booking and hotel accommodation shall be arranged by KCFAPI. Attend as official delegate to the Tristate convention. KCFAPI will donate in the name of awardee P10,000.00 to his parish and P10,000.00 to his council. For the complete awards information, you may contact KCFAPI Home Office at (02) 527 – 2223. (Joseph P. Teodoro)

LAYOUT BY LAURENCE JOHN R. MORALES

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 15
July 20 - August 2, 2009

The Cross

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The Catholic Response
As modern secularism leads to self-destruction, Catholics must work to build a new culture of life
By Carl A. Anderson, Supreme Knight
CHRISTOPHER Dawson, who served as the first Chauncey Stillman Chair of Roman Catholic Studies at Harvard University more than 50 years ago, observed, “Human nature always retains its spiritual character…. If it were to lose this, it must lose itself and become the servant of lower powers, so that a secular civilization…inevitably leads to nihilism and to self-destruction.” He continued, “If we look at the world today in isolation from the past and the future, the forces of secularism may seem triumphant. This, however, is but a moment in the life of humanity, and it does not possess the promise of stability and permanence” (Dawson, The Formation of Christendom, 37). These words were written at the height of the Cold War, when the forces of militant atheism appeared in many ways to be gaining the upper hand. They are worth recalling today, as we seem to be entering a new period of secularism. In an April 13 cover story titled “The End of Christian America,” Newsweek magazine made much of a recent survey that found the percentage of self-identified Christians has fallen 10 points in the past two decades. Also notable, according to Newsweek, is that “fewer people now think of the United States as a ‘Christian nation’ than did so when George W. Bush was president (62 percent in 2009 versus 69 percent in 2008).” The Newsweek article focused mainly on the concerns of evangelical Christians, which it said “have long believed that the United States should be a nation whose political life is based upon and governed by their interpretation of biblical and theological principles.” The magazine also quoted several evangelical leaders who now refer to a post-Christian America. To say that Catholics historically have never felt entirely comfortable with the evangelical idea of a Christian America would be an understatement. But if Dawson is correct that secularism cannot provide a stable foundation for society, and American society appears to be rejecting Protestantism as a foundation, what now is to be done? Is secularism or evangelical Christianity the only alternatives for the future? Can Catholics make a unique contribution to the common good? For me, the words of Pope John Paul II from his great encyclical on life, Evangelium Vitae, remain as relevant today as when they were written in 1995: “To all the members of the Church, the people of life and for life, I make this most urgent appeal, that together we may offer this world of ours new signs of hope, and work to ensure that justice and solidarity will increase and that a new culture of human life will be affirmed, for the building of an authentic civilization of truth and love” (6, emphasis in original). Catholics are called to work continually to build up society, to provide new hope and to establish a new culture of life. The key to this, John Paul knew, was for Catholics to form a strong identity and to accept “the inescapable responsibility of choosing to be unconditionally pro-life” (28, emphasis in original). The present situation provides Catholics with an unprecedented opportunity to help shape the future of our country. John Adams once said that the U.S. constitution “was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” If this remains true, then we must ask ourselves how Catholics can contribute to the building up of “a moral and religious people.” That answer, John Paul II reminded us, begins with a question that still echoes to us from the very beginning of human society: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Gen 4:9). The future of society depends on how we answer this primordial

KC-USA re-appoints Philippine KC bares new SeminarianTerritorial Deputies
dedication given by the territorial deputies during their first term and hoped for more meritorious achievements in their second term, saying: “It is therefore my hope… (that you will) continue your emphasis on increasing membership; new council development; council reactivation; spiritual growth and volunteer and charitable outreach.” Luzon State Deputy Tan entered the KC Order in 1977. In 2001, he was elected president of the two KC foundations which are the KC Fr. George Willmann Charities, Inc and KC Philippines Foundation, Inc. He is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the Keys Realty and Development Corporation and board of trustees and corporate secretary of the KC Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc (KCFAPI). Visayas State Deputy Esteban was awarded a Star District Award as District Deputy of District V-12 for two consecutive years during his term as a district deputy. Mindanao State Deputy Cruz, on the other hand, has been serving the KC Order for 48 years now. He is the 6th State Deputy of the 18 year old Mindanao Jurisdiction C95. He became a member of the order in 1959 when he was then a devotee of the Adoration Nocturna Filipina. The three territorial deputies are members of the Founder Members Committee of the KC Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI), and hold various positions in its subsidiaries. (CBCPNews)

question. I believe there are no men better prepared to do this than those who live the principles of charity, unity and fraternity; who by their works witness to this truth expressed in Evangelium Vitae: “Yes, every man is his ‘brother’s keeper,’ because God entrusts us to one another” (19). Vivat Jesus!

scholars

The three Philippine Territorial Deputies, Luzon Deputy Alonso L. Tan, Visayas Deputy Dionisio R. Esteban, Jr., and Mindanao Deputy Sofronio R. Cruz were re-appointed for a second term (July 1, 2009-June 30, 2011) by Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson to head the more than 250,000 members of KC nationwide.

New Squires of the Body of Christ
FIVE Luzon Columbian Squires from Calumpit, Bulacan who achieved the highest level of “Squire of the Body of Christ” in the Squire Advancement Program received their awards from Luzon State Deputy Alonso L. Tan last June 6 at the St. John the Baptist Parish covered court in Poblacion, Calumpit, Bulacan. Assistant State Chaplain Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio III, and State Columbian Squires Chairman Jose F. Cuaresma were also present during the ceremony. As of May 2009, there were six out of the eight named Squires of the Body of Christ who all come from the Luzon Jurisdiction including the first Filipino and second order-wide Squire of the Body of Christ, SK Fernan O. Dealca, who received the honors from Luzon Deputy Tan last January 24 at the same venue. The Squire Advancement Program which started in 2006 was developed to recognize and reward each Squire for acquiring the skills and attitudes of Catholic leadership. Through the Squire Advancement Program, a Squire advances through four lower levels of achievement – Page, Shield Bearer,

THE Knights of Columbus Supreme Council has recently re-appointed the three Philippines Territorial Deputies. Supreme Knight Carl Anderson has re-appointed Luzon State Deputy Alonso L. Tan, Visayas State

Deputy Dionisio R. Esteban, Jr., and Mindanao State Deputy Sofronio R. Cruz for a second term of two years from July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2011. In the letter of appointment, Anderson expressed his appreciation for the kind of leadership and

KNIGHTS of Columbus Fr. George J. Willmann Charities, Inc. President, SK Alonso L. Tan, recently announced the beneficiaries of its Scholarship Program for diocesan-seminarians in Theology level beginning school year 2009-2010. Named scholars for Luzon are: Magdaleno G. Villarica III (Apostolic Vicariate of Calapan), Rundell B. Medenilla (Diocese of Boac), Policarpio J. Lagco (Diocese of Sorsogon), Bonifacio C. Manaligod (Diocese of Ilagan), and Michael Niño Jesus C. Savellano (Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia). The chosen scholar from Visayas is John T. Abellon (Diocese of San Jose de Buenavista Antique) and from Mindanao are Felix O. Eduave (Diocese of Surigao) and Victor C. Lechido, Jr. (Diocese of Tagum). This brings to 40 the current number of less fortunate but deserving diocesan seminarianscholars supported by the Foundation in various seminaries throughout the country. The Foundation is named after Fr. George J. Willmann, S.J. (1897-1977) who is considered the Father of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines which at present has 248,976 members. Inquiries about the scholarship program may be coursed through the foundation office at Gen. Luna St., Intramuros, Manila with tel. nos. 527-2223 local 230. (Denise Solina)

Swordsman, and Lancer. Before achieving the highest level of Squire of the Body of Christ, the Squire must have completed at least for two years a minimum of 96 activities including a major project in support of the parish or other church organization. The other two Squires of the Body of Christ order-wide are Sqr. Deriek D. Iglesias of Circle 3022 in Harker Heights, Texas, U.S.A. and Sqr. Kevin A. Davis of St. Francis X. Cabrini Circle 15120 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, U.S.A. (FDD Benjamin Lino Sampedro)

Luzon State Deputy Alonso L. Tan (second from right), Assistant State Chaplain Msgr. Pedro Quitorio III (extreme left) and State Columbian Squires Chairman Jose F. Cuaresma (extreme right) pose with the awardees of the Squire of the Body of Christ (from left to right) Sqr. Gamaliel Marion M. Sampedro, Sqr Robert Jay N. Ramos, Sqr. Marvin B. Ronquillo, Sqr. Jimwell S. Sales and Sqr. Alden Kenneth C. De Belen.

KC Luzon holds oath-taking for re-appointed State Officers
THE Knights of Columbus Luzon Jurisdiction held an oath-taking ceremony for the reappointed State Officers for the Columbian Year 2009-2010 last June 21, 2009 at the Imperial Palace Suites in Quezon City during the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, witnessed by District Deputies from all over Luzon. Sir Knight Alonso L. Tan renewed his oath as the State Deputy of the Knights of Columbus Luzon Jurisdiction before Assistant State Chaplain Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio III. The other State Officers, State Secretary Arsenio Isidro Yap, State Treasurer Joven Joaquin, State Advocate Justice Jose Reyes, Jr., and State Warden Pascual Carbero, together with Msgr. Pedro C. Quitiorio III as Asst. State Chaplain took their Oath of Office from Luzon Deputy Alonso L. Tan. After the mass, the re-appointed State Directors and Chairmen took their Oath of Office from the Luzon Deputy. These officials are State Program Director Bonifacio Martinez, State Membership Director Joseph Teodoro, State Auditor Raoul Villanueva, State Seminar Director Euberto Lorenzo, Columbian Squires Chairman Jose Cuaresma, State Ceremonial Director Deogenes Francia, State Ways and Means Chairman Miguel Yu, State Fourth Degree Affairs Chairman Victor Pulangco and State Spiritual Formation Chairman Luis Adriano, Jr. Just before lunchtime, the re-appointed District Deputies also took their Oath of Office from Luzon Deputy Alonso Tan. The oath taking ceremonies were conducted during the 2009-2010 Organizational Meeting of District Deputies of Luzon State Jurisdiction. (Kate Laceda)

SK Alonso Tan renews his oath as Luzon State Deputy before Msgr. Pedro Quitorio III

State Officers and Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio III take oath with Luzon Deputy Alonso Tan

© www.kofc5971.org

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IN cooperation with the Fraternal Benefits Group, the Northern Luzon (NL) Gold Miners conducted their first area meeting under their new Area Manager, Bro. Salvador R. Aspuria, Sr. on July 4 at Jack’s Restaurant in La Trinidad, Benguet. Present in the meeting were Bro. Joseph P. Teodoro, Fraternal Benefits Group Vice President; Bro. Conrado S. Dator, Jr. Southern Luzon (SL) Lakers Area Manager; Former NL Area Managers Bro. Mario W. Organo and Bro. Pepito E. Ganase, together with the NL fraternal counselors (FCs). An inspirational Fraternal Talk from Bro. Dator early on boosted the morale of the NL fraternal counselors. Afterward, Bro. Teodoro discussed the NL fraternal benefits target, 2009 Annual Family Service Awards criteria, FCs medical and incentive package, Most Outstanding District Deputy Award (MODD), Council of Honors and The Out-

The Cross
standing Knights of Columbus Awards (TOKCA) rules and regulations. He also discussed the KC C.A.R.E.S products including the Dollar Supreme Plan, expanded SPEK (Special Plan for Elderly Knights) Plan, Investment plans, and facilitated a refresher course on contribution rates computation using sales proposals. The meeting also served as an opportunity to convey the Association’s appreciation to Bro. Mario W. Organo for his services as AM of NL for the past three years. With the continuous support of KCFAPI’s Fraternal Benefits Group, the area promises to improve their production and sales performance through the commitment and solidarity of the former area managers and the NL fraternal counselors’ dedication to attain the area’s fraternal benefits quota. (Jan Michael G. Dayrit)

CBCP Monitor

July 20 - August 2, 2009

Vol. 13 No. 15

Northern Luzon conducts solidarity meeting

Photo shows Fraternal Benefits Group Vice President – Bro. Joseph Teodoro, Southern Luzon Lakers Area Manager – Bro. Conrado S. Dator, Jr., Former Northern Luzon Area Managers – Bro. Mario W. Organo and Bro. Pepito E. Ganase with the new Area Manager, Bro. Salvador R. Aspuria.

KCFAPI Executive Vice-President Ma. Theresa Curia (center), was recently appointed as the Regent of the Rosarian Circle of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate (DMI). Joining her in this photo are some of the officers of the Rosarian Circle of DMI. DMI Officers: Arlene Flores, Elena Ramos, Armilyn Robles, Luzviminda Ortencio, Josie Ramos, Norma Santos, Aurelia Gregorio, Teofila Fajardo, Tessie Mananghaya, Florentina Barlan, Agueda Miranda, Mila Rodriguez, Emelita Cruz, Olivia Legaspi, Cora Cabanas, Gaudelia Caldea, Zonsaida Garcia, Susie Ignacio, Ester Garcia, Analyn Salvador, Mercedita Toribio, Leonisa Pineda, Ellen Bautista, Nerissa Del Rosario, Angelina Maniego.

KC Luzon honors 4 brother-knights Comelec commissioners
KNIGHTS of Columbus Luzon State Officers headed by Luzon Deputy Alonso L. Tan honored four brother knights who are currently holding the prestigious position as Commissioners of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) namely: Commissioner Rene V. Sarmiento, Commissioner Lucenito N. Tagle, Commissioner Armando C. Velasco and Commissioner Nicodemo T. Ferrer, in a Testimonial Dinner during the 2009 Organizational Meeting of District Deputies held at Imperial Palace Suites, Quezon City last June 20, 2009. The event was attended by 184 District Deputies from all over Luzon, two Past State Deputies, four District Masters, KCFAPI President and Executive Vice President, 28 State Directors/Chairmen. Ladies of the honorees and State Officers also graced the occasion.

The Knights of Columbus Rosarian Council 10104 newly-elected Grand Knight Harry R. Curia led the new set of council officers during the installation rites given by District Deputy Rolando Robles last July 4, 2009 at the Santo Rosario Parish in Makinabang, Baliwag, Bulacan. The occasion was graced by no less than the Luzon Deputy Alonso L. Tan, Luzon Asst. Chaplain Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio III, Past Luzon Deputy Antonio T. Yulo and his lady Sis. Conching Yulo, KCFAPI President Antonio B. Borromeo, and Squires Chairman Joe Cuaresma. Other installed officials of the Rosarian Council are Leoncio F. Dela Cruz (Deputy Grand Knight); Adriano G. Santos, Jr. (Chancellor); John F. Gregorio (Recorder); Juanito M. Estrada (Treasurer); Jose Nilo C. Fernando (Financial Secretary); Isaias N. Guinto (Advocate); Alejandro S. Maniego (Warden); Emigdio A. Manuel (Lecturer); Arturo J. Concepcion (Inside Guard); and the three trustees namely, Jaime H. Maniego, Sr. (1st year); Alvin Pineda (2nd year) and Luis Rodel T. Del Rosario (3rd year).

KC Luzon State Deputy Alonso L. Tan, KCFAPI President Antonio B. Borromeo, and Executive Vice President Ma. Theresa G. Curia with Bishop Florentino Lavarias during the 1st Diocesan Convention of the Knights of Columbus in the Diocese of Iba, held in San Antonio, Zambales.

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