Pope’s message for 2010 World Peace Day to focus on environment

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Archbishop to warring parties: ‘Enough is enough!’
COTABATO Archbishop Orlando B. Quevedo, OMI strongly condemned the methods being used by warring parties in his ecclesial province which covers the troubled Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat provinces and several towns of Northern Cotabato. In his statement titled “Open Appeal for Peace and For Our Evacuees” and released in time for the SOBA – State of the Bakwits Address (State of the Evacuees Address) at the Notre Dame University in Cotabato City, the prelate said he respects the warring parties’
Enough / A7


Bishop calls aerial spraying ‘inhuman’
AN official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has joined the growing chorus against aerial crop spraying in Davao del Sur. Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said aerial spraying is a moral issue because it degrades the dignity of the people. Bananas are the second most abundant exported crop in the Philippines. The island of Mindanao produces 75 percent of the country’s yield. Philippine Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PGBEA) claimed that the aerial spraying ban will cause substantial economic
Spraying / A6

Protagonist of Truth, Promoter of Peace August 3 - 16, 2009 Vol. 13 No. 16 Php 20.00

Nation mourns for loss of moral icon
By Kris Bayos

WITH the demise of former President Corazon Aquino, the country has lost one of its moral forces, the Catholic hierarchy said.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines hailed Mrs. Aquino and her husband, the late Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino for their courageous commitment to the freedom of the Filipino people. Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, CBCP president, said no couple in Philippine history has had a great positive impact than the late Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr. and his wife, former President Corazon “Cory” Aquino. The couple might not be the most astute political leaders, but Lagdameo said they are not liars like many of the traditional politicians. Their idealism, moral values, strong faith in God, plus Cory’s unique national and international stature as a freedom fighter make them a positive moral force, he said. The CBCP head lauded the Aquino

FAREWELL, PRESIDENT CORY. Catholic nuns gather around the casket of the late former President Corazon Aquino at the Manila Cathedral on August 3. Until her last breath, the former president talks about politics in moral and religious terms. Aquino’s death has left a void in the hearts of many Filipinos in search of a leader steeped in moral values and truly committed in serving others.

couple’s sacrifices like Mrs. Aquino’s 17-month ordeal with colon cancer, before succumbing to cardio-respiratory arrest on August 1. “At the most crucial stage of our country’s history, President Cory and Ninoy were there to become the symbol of reformation and transformation our country has long for,” Lagdameo said. “She was there not only to start the movement of renewal and reform (because her example remained with) her successors who tried to continue what she began.” “(Just recently) undergoing the painful ordeal with cancer, President Cory had found a new meaning to the phrase ‘the Filipino people is worth dying for’ through her sickness that pinned her to her hospital bed,” he added. A known critic of the incumbent administration, Lagdameo recounted the legacy Mrs. Aquino’s administration has left the country. “After six years, President Cory willingly and readily turned over the government to her successor. She rejected the temptation to extend her stay in
Moral icon / A6

© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

Asian bishops to tackle challenges of evangelization
SCORES of bishops from across Asia are to meet in Manila to review obstacles and problems they face in their ministry, and to deliberate how they could get over it. About 120 Asian archbishops and bishops, seven of them cardinals, are expected to address these concerns during a week-long plenary assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences. Archbishop Orlando B. Quevedo, OMI, FABC secretary general, said they will put evangelization as their centerpiece during the meeting at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Paco, Manila from Aug. 10 to 16. He said the delegates will certainly be discussing the challenges facing the evangelization of their regions and find ways to accomplish their mission. In a continent where Christianity is a “very small” minority religion, Quevedo said working together among them as church leaders is very important. “It is important that we together collaborate in a context that is very much interreligious, intercultural and, third, because of the massive poverty,” he said during a press briefing Friday. “From these three commonalities alone one can see the necessity of collaboration among our Episcopal conferences,” said the prelate who is presently Archbishop of Cotabato. Eucharist Quevedo also said the expected participants are currently considering the working document on “Living the Eucharist in Asia,” which is based in recent church teachings on the topic. It also mirrors on Asia’s particular living of the Eucharist, as “a unique experience of God’s dialogue with us and our response to God as a dialogue of life and love.” The document deals with the subtopics of living in community, in faith, hope and love, and living in mission. Other concerns Aside from the main topic about Eucharist, the FABC official said the floor is also open for other “urgent concerns” which may not necessarily be on the program. “Maybe some bishops would want to talk about the problems of the church in other countries. It’s listed in the agenda but we give them freedom not to say,” Quevedo added.
© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

FABC secretary-general and Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo gives a press briefing on the forthcoming Asian bishops’ plenary assembly on Aug. 11-16 at Pope Pius XII Center in Manila.

He said common issues in Asia like migration, social justice, and ecology including the religious side could also be discussed. “But these are not in the agenda. We just want to contextualize the living of the Eucharist in Asia and the living of the Eucharist would address some the particular issues,” he said.

The Manila assembly follows the last plenary on the role of family in Asia in Daejon, Korea in 2004. Plenary assemblies, the highest governing body of the Federation, are held once every four years. This year’s assembly was planned originally for January 2009 in Bangalore, India but later postponed and transferred to Manila. (CBCPNews)

HIS Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has extended his heartfelt condolences and assurances of his prayers to the family of former President Corazon C. Aquino and the Philippine government. In a communiqué sent to Manila Archbishop Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales by the Vatican Secretary of State His Eminence Tarcisio Bertone, the Holy Father recalled President Aquino’s “courageous commitment

Pope sends condolences to Aquino family Many priests being urged to run in
to the freedom of the Filipino people, her firm rejection of violence and intolerance, and her contribution to the rebuilding of a just and cohesive political order in her beloved homeland.” “His Holiness commends her noble soul to the eternal mercies of God our heavenly father,” Cardinal Bertone said. The Secretary of State further said the Holy Father “remembers her as a woman of deep and unwavering faith and thus he prays that the same faith and hope which guided her life will now come to abundant fulfilment.” “Invoking upon all the Filipino people an outpouring of divine graces, the Holy Father cordially imparts his apostolic blessing to all taking part in the Mass of Christian burial, as a pledge of consolation, strength and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ,” the Secretary of State concluded. (Melo M. Acuna)

2010—CBCP official

Prelate asks Filipino youth to help promote Asian Youth Day
ALTHOUGH the fifth Asian Youth Day (AYD5) this November will only be open to a small delegation, Masbate Bishop Joel Baylon said youth groups from the diocesan and parochial levels can still partake in the celebration by helping in the promotion of the event. The chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY), Baylon disclosed that this year’s gathering of Asia’s Catholic youth is only eyeing at least 2,000 delegates, half of which will come from 22 countries of the continent and the remaining half will be filled by local delegates. “We are hoping to have with us at least 2,000 delegates. This is quite a small number [because] we have decided that this event should not be a youth day [dominated by] the Filipinos. This must have an Asian character,” he said. Given the limited number of participants, Baylon urged the youth interested to attend the AYD to instead bring the spirit of AYD in their respective diocese and parishes by putting up exhibits. Earlier, the AYD5 Media and Promotions Team has distributed an AYD5 Diocesan Promotion and Information Kit, which contains the AYD5’s posters, banners, logo, and audio-visual presentation for posting and viewing at the different parishes. “These materials are being sent to the dioceses to help them set up exhibits that will truly help the youth to be more informed about AYD5. It will also make all Filipino youth be one in our efforts and prayers as we continue to prepare for the gathering,” the prelate added. Sponsored by the Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences, the CBCP-ECY and the Diocese of Imus, the AYD5 will be held at the Rogationist College of Silang, Cavite from November 20 to 27. The week-long gathering is themed “Yasia Fiesta: Come Together, Share the Word, Live the Eucharist!” The Asian Youth Days began in Thailand in 1999, and the most recent was held in Hong Kong in 2006. (Kris Bayos)

Illustration by Bladimer Usi

MANY priests are being pushed to run for public office in the forthcoming national elections, a Catholic Church official affirmed recently. Fr. Francis Lucas said some of them are almost enticed to enter politics because of intense pressure from the parishioners seeking for reform in governance. Lucas, who is a commission executive secretary in the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, said that for these priests, their decision provides the people a better choice. He said the current situation in the Philippines is the primary reason why people resort to church leaders to serve for them. And the complaint, he said, is valid. If one will look at the kinds of candidates who ran for public office, he said, many of them belong to political dynasties, scion of rich families and other popular figures. Another reason why many people want priests in public office is the belief, Lucas said, that they can provide a better leadership for the upliftment of the country. Needless to say, according to Lucas, the country is really in a sad state. Lucas also admitted that he himself is one of those priests who are being urged to run for a local post in the 2010 elections. He said a lot of people in Infanta, Quezon have been trying to convince him for many years to run for mayor there. “I saw their point. We priests, we keep on looking for alternatives, pushing for principles that are good for the people. So they said why don’t we just run? But I said, as priests, we are not allowed to run for public office based on Canon Law,” added Lucas. To help him decide whether to leave the priesthood or not, Lucas asked for a “sign from God” and this he got last June when he was appointed executive secretary of the CBCP’s Commission on Social Communications and Mass Media. “I told them since you are pushing
Run / A6


Pope instructs envoy for FABC meeting
VATICAN, August 3, 2009—Pope Benedict XVI has instructed his envoy to the upcoming Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences meeting to ask the prelates to encourage Catholics to attend Sunday Mass, go for Confession and draw spiritual nourishment from the Scriptures. He has also asked the envoy, Cardinal Francis Arinze, a senior African prelate, to encourage the bishops to support their priests, especially during this special Year for Priests. The Pope officially designated Cardinal Arinze as his special representative to the FABC’s 9th plenary assembly on June 13, the Vatican said, when it released the Pope’s letter to the cardinal on Aug. 1. In sending the letter dated June 24, Pope Benedict followed a long-standing tradition whereby the pontiff conveys his instructions in Latin to his personal envoys attending major events. In the two-page letter, the pontiff said he knows that “all the bishops of Asia” are keen that their faithful “should understand and love the Eucharist,” and for this reason they decided to discuss the theme, “Living the Eucharist in Asia” at their plenary assembly. The event is to be held Aug. 11-16 in Manila. The Pope noted that for their deliberations, the bishops are “also drawing inspiration” from “Sacramentum Caritatis” (“Sacrament of Charity”), the apostolic exhortation he issued after the October 2005 Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist. He revealed that the FABC had asked him to send “an eminent prelate as his personal envoy” to the meeting. The Pope said he concluded that Cardinal Arinze was the most “suitable” person because of his “great concern” for “the good of souls” and for “the full celebration of the divine worship in the rite the Church.” Outlining his message to the assembly, the Pope said he wanted “all the pastors (of Asia) to teach their Christian lay faithful” that they should “participate” in the celebration of the Sunday Eucharist, receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and draw nourishment for their lives from the Sacred Scriptures and

World News

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 16
August 3 - 16, 2009

Cardinal Francis Arinze

Pope to send clergy Congregation Prefect to Ars
The celebration this year marks the 150th anniversary of John Vianney’s death; the Year for Priests is marking that anniversary and a jubilee year in Ars has also celebrated the event. The sanctuary will have two days of celebration. On Aug. 3, Father JeanPhilippe Nault, rector of the sanctuary, will give a conference titled: “The Cure d’Ars: Holy Patron of the World’s Priests.” Later that day, Bishop Guy Bagnard of Belley-Ars will give a talk on the Year for Priests. A Mass will then be celebrated to pray for priestly vocations, and a prayer vigil with confessions will follow. Cardinal Hummes will celebrate Mass the next day. At the end of Mass, there will be adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and the closing event will be the unveiling of a new statue of St. John Vianney. In the June 16 letter by which Benedict XVI proclaimed the Year for Priests, the Pope reflected on the life of the saint of Ars. “Saint John Mary Vianney taught his parishioners primarily by the witness of his life,” he wrote. “It was from his example that they learned to pray,

from the Eucharist. He said he also wished to exhort the Asian bishops to support their priests, “who are chosen by God and constituted as ministers of the Eucharist.” The bishops are to do so “through prayer and sacrifices” so that priests “may remain faithful to the sublime mystery of their vocation.” The Pope wanted the bishops to do this particularly at this time when the whole Church is celebrating the Year for Priests. Cardinal Arinze, 76, is the most prominent African cardinal. When he was appointed bishop of Onitsha in Nigeria by Pope Paul VI in August 1965 at the age of 32, he was then the youngest bishop in the world. Some years later, he was elected president of the Nigerian bishops’ conference, and in that role welcomed Pope John Paul II to Africa in 1982. In 2002, the same Pope appointed him as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, a post he held until last December when Pope Benedict accepted his resignation, as he had passed the age for retirement. (UCAN)

ARS, France, July 31, 2009—Cardinal Claudio Hummes will represent Benedict XVI at celebrations in Ars on the feast of John Vianney, the saint the Holy Father has proposed as the model for this Year for Priests. The prefect of the Congregation for Clergy will be the papal legate for the Aug. 4 Mass in the town where John Vianney practiced his ministry.

Catholics to honor St. John Vianney 150 years after his death
ON Tuesday, August 4, the Church will celebrate the feast day of St. John Vianney, patron of priests. This day will mark the 150th anniversary of the saint’s death and comes during the newly-begun Year for Priests. John Vianney, also known as the Holy Curé de Ars, was born May 8, 1786 in Dardilly, near Lyon, France to a family of farmers. He was ordained a priest in 1815 and became curate in Ecully. He was then sent to the remote French community of Ars in 1818 to be a parish priest. Upon his arrival, the priest immediately began praying and working for the conversion of his parishioners. Although he saw himself as unworthy of his mission as pastor, he allowed himself to be consumed by the love of God as he served the people. Vianney slowly helped to revive the community’s faith through both his prayers and the witness of his lifestyle. He gave powerful homilies on the mercy and love of God, and it is said that even staunch sinners were converted upon hearing him. In addition, he restored his church, formed an orphanage, “La Providence,” and cared for the poor. His reputation as a confessor grew rapidly, and pilgrims traveled from all over France to come to him in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Firmly committed to the conversion of the people, he would spend up to 16 hours a day in the confessional. Plagued by many trials and besieged by the devil, St. John Vianney remained firm in his faith, and lived a life of devotion to God. Dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament, he spent much time in prayer and practiced much mortification. He lived on little food and sleep, while working without rest in unfailing humility, gentleness, patience and cheerfulness, until he was well into his 70s. John Vianney died on August 4, 1859. Over 1,000 people attended his funeral, including the bishop and priests of the diocese, who already viewed his life as a model of priestly holiness. The Holy Curé of Ars was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1925. He is the patron of priests. Over 450,000 pilgrims travel to Ars every year in remembrance of his holy life. Commemorating the 150th anniversary of St. John Vianney’s death, this year has been declared the Year for Priests by Pope Benedict XVI. The Pope inaugurated the Year for Priests on June 19, and wrote a Letter to Clergy, encouraging all priests to look to the Curé of Ars as an example of dedication to one’s priestly calling. (CNA)
© www.spiegel.de

Cardinal Claudio Hummes

Archbishop Gomez: Caritas In Veritate a ‘valuable Catholic priests receive contribution’ that requires a thorough read death threats
SAN ANTONIO, Texas, August 1, 2009—In his newest column, Archbishop of San Antonio José H. Gomez has discussed Pope Benedict XVI’s latest encyclical “Caritas In Veritate.” Highlighting some of its main points, he exhorted all Catholics to read this “valuable contribution” to Catholic social doctrine, since it cannot be captured by media sound-bites. Writing in his column for his archdiocesan newspaper Today’s Catholic, Archbishop Gomez said Caritas In Veritate is “not only a true source of guidance for all Catholics, but it is also a valuable contribution to the building of the fundamental structure of society that is the social doctrine of the Church.” Neither the secular media nor supporters of different economic theories have given a “proper interpretation” of the encyclical, he wrote. “Some have tried to find in the Pope’s third encyclical a reaffirmation of their own ideological and political tendencies, others, including some journalists who, in good faith, have only reported on selected principles in the encyclical in a way that makes it sound more like ‘news’, linking it to some fleeting events.” center, a progress that “cannot be limited to material success.” He linked Caritas In Veritate with Pope Paul VI’s 1967 encyclical Populorum Progressio, which said wise reflection and a “new humanism” are even more necessary than technical experts to help people enjoy love, friendship, prayer and contemplation. Archbishop Gomez then mentioned his third point, saying that Catholic social doctrine cannot be separated from the defense of the right to life and the “explicit proclamation” of the Gospel. The fourth insight the archbishop noted was that “all the aspects of the contemporary world, such as globalization or the accelerated development of technology, can and should be analyzed and judged from the foundation of Faith and reason, to promote what is good and to prevent what is harmful to human beings.” Finally, the San Antonio archbishop emphasized that Christians have the right and the duty to take the Gospel to the public sphere because “the building of a world without God necessarily leads to the building of systems that go against the human person.” (CNA)

halting frequently before the tabernacle for a visit to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.” And, he added, it was the saint’s “deep personal identification with the sacrifice of the cross [that] led him—by a sole inward movement—from the altar to the confessional.” (Zenit)

However, the encyclical is best understood “in the full context of the social doctrine of the Church,” Archbishop Gomez said. “I believe that each Catholic should read it, ponder it, and live it,” he wrote, highlighting five points. First, he remarked, it is important to know that the Church has a “social doctrine,” a set of proposals for the organization of public life that emanate from Christian charity under the governance of truth. The second point that the archbishop drew from the Pope’s encyclical was that Catholic social doctrine places the human person and his “true development” at its

Christian leaders seek peace following deadly rioting
GOJRA, Pakistan, August 3, 2009—Church people have formed a committee to bring peace to a troubled district in Punjab province after seven Catholics were burnt alive and 19 others injured in anti-Christian rioting on Aug. 1. The violence came in the wake of an attack on the nearby Christian village of Korian on July 30. Tension between the Christian and Muslim communities in the Korian area arose after pages containing Islamic inscriptions were found in front of a Christian home on July 26 following a wedding. Muslims then accused a family there of blasphemy against Islam. About 60 houses and two churches belonging to the Church of Pakistan and the New Apostolic Church were destroyed and livestock stolen. In the latest incident, families of the deceased, who included two children and three women, placed the coffins on railway tracks in protest, disrupting traffic for four hours on Aug. 2. Hundreds of Christians also staged protests led by Bishop Joseph Coutts of Faisalabad. He and a Protestant bishop later presided at the funerals. The Catholic Church has formed a committee comprising two bishops, three Catholic priests and several councilors, who are meeting politicians and Muslim clerics to stop any further violence. “Christians in many surrounding villages and towns (near Korian) began receiving threats as mullah (Muslim clerics) began preaching hatred and revenge,” wrote Bishop Coutts in an Aug. 3 email to Church people across the world. “There are indications that the attack on Korian as well as on Gojra was planned and the people instigated by a banned Islamic group which wants to ‘purify’ Pakistan by making it a strictly Islamic, theocratic state. Democracy is rejected as something Western and un-Islamic,” the bishop said. He also stated that the group wanted non-Muslims to

“either convert to Islam or leave the place.” He added, “They want a sort of religious cleansing.” Archbishop Lawrence John Saldanha, head of the Catholic Church in Pakistan and chairperson of the National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) has also called upon all Christian institutions in Punjab to close for three days to mourn the killings. A statement by the archbishop and Peter Jacob, NCJP’s executive secretary, demanded that the government address the root causes of religious intolerance in Pakistan. “This is not a solitary incident but a phenomenon that has been there for quite some time,” it said. (UCAN)

KATHMANDU, Nepal, August 3, 2009—Many Catholic priests have received grave threats from unknown callers claiming to be Hindu fundamentalists, urging them to leave the country “as soon as possible”. Fr. Pius Perumana, who runs the Vianney pastoral centre in Godavari, told AsiaNews that in recent days strangers called him on the phone and told him that he had “a month to leave Nepal if I did not want to face grave consequences.” The priest filed a complaint against person unknown but the authorities did not provide any protection to the pastoral centre. The unknown voice said that he belonged to the Nepal Defence Army, an extremist Hindu group headed by one R.K. Mainali, who is a suspect in the murder of Fr. John Prakash and the bombing of the Church of the Assumption in Kathmandu on 23 May. A woman member of the group was arrested in connection with the blast. Fr. Benjamin Pampackel, superior at the Don Bosco School in Lubhu, also received a threatening night time phone call on 20 July. The gatekeeper who was on duty that night picked up the phone and was told that anyone in the service of Christians could lose his life. Fr. Lawrence Manivar, who works at the St. Xavier School, told AsiaNews that a stranger claiming to be from the Nepal Defence Army “warned me either to leave Nepal or face death”. The clergyman added that the caller told him that they wanted “Nepal to be Hindu and all Christians to be chased away.” Chirendra Satyal with the Catholic Media Office said that “we don’t know who the callers are” but added that they should not be underestimated. Msgr. Anthony Sharma, vicar apostolic of Nepal and titular bishop of Gigthi, urges prudence. He said that he had not received any threats but that each incident was being reported to the authorities. (AsiaNews)

© www.donboscoindia.com

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 16
August 3 - 16, 2009

News Features


Pope’s message for 2010 World Peace Day to focus on environment

VATICAN, July 29, 2009—Pope Benedict XVI will focus on the connection between protecting the environment and working for peace in the message he will publish for World Peace Day in 2010, the Vatican said. The theme the pope has chosen for the Jan. 1 celebration is "If You Want to Cultivate Peace, Safeguard Creation," the Vatican announced July 29. The Vatican said the pope intends to discuss the fact that in a globalized world there is a strict connection between protecting the environment and promoting peace. "The use of resources, climate change, the application and use of biotechnologies (and) demographic growth" are all issues that can have repercussions across national borders for generations to come, the statement said. The papal message will underline the fact that protecting the natural environment is a challenge all people must face together,

RU-486 is abortifacient and the Church rejects it, Vatican official says
ROME, July 31, 2009—The president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, on Friday lamented the decision by Italy’s government to allow the distribution of RU-486, which is a drug that aborts a developing child. The Church will never accept it, he said. In an article published by L’Osservatore Romano, the archbishop pointed to the urgency of defending human life from conception to natural death, an issue addressed by Pope Benedict XVI in his new encyclical Caritas in Veritate. Archbishop Fisichella also warned that “whether the use of this pill is less traumatic than undergoing an operation [surgical abortion] has yet to be demonstrated. The initial trauma occurs when the pregnancy is not accepted and what must be done is to intervene and help the woman understand the value of unborn life.” The embryo, he went on, “is not a mass of cells or a ‘thing,’ as some have defined it. It is a true and complete human life. No one can be allowed to kill it without fully understanding the conse- Archbishop Rino Fisichella quences.” After noting that the drug is just another method for obtaining an abortion, the archbishop underscored that this anti-life practice “is an evil in and

recognizing they have an obligation to respect a gift God created for all, it said. Pope Benedict also wants to emphasize how the "current ecological crisis" is impacting the entire world and, therefore, requires international action to resolve, it said. "If one wants to cultivate the good of peace, in fact, one must promote a renewed awareness of the interdependence that links the earth's inhabitants to one another," the Vatican statement said. Together people must preserve and restore the natural environment, eliminating at least some of the causes of environmental disasters, it said. The Vatican statement said Pope Benedict intends his World Peace Day message to be a further development of the four paragraphs on the environment included in his encyclical "Caritas in Veritate" ("Charity in Truth"). In his encyclical, published in early July, Pope Benedict said, "The

© www.global-changes.com

environment is God's gift to everyone, and in our use of it we have a responsibility toward the poor, toward future generations and toward humanity as a whole." While the encyclical focused on development, and therefore discussed the need to share natural resources equitably and not exploit those found in poor countries, it also insisted there is a connection between environmental protection and peace. "The stockpiling of natural resources, which in many cases are found in the poor countries themselves, gives rise to exploitation and frequent conflicts between and within nations. These conflicts are often fought on the soil of those same countries, with a heavy toll of death, destruction and further decay," the encyclical said. Pope Benedict's message for the World Day of Peace in 2008, which focused on the family and on the world's population as forming one human family, also included a section on the obligation to protect the environment. (CNS)

of itself because it takes a human life. This life, which is only visible through the assistance of technology, possesses the same dignity inherent in every person.” For this reason, he added, “the respect due the embryo cannot be less than that that is given to every person walking down the street, and it demands to be accepted for what it is: a person.” The Church “can never be passive to what is happening in society,” Fisichella stated. “She is called to always make present the proclamation of life that has enabled her to be throughout the centuries a tangible sign of the respect for the dignity of the person.” The task of forming consciences for the defense of life and human dignity not only entails a commitment from every person but also demands that one speak out and be convincing, he explained. “The Church’s opposition to all methods of abortion is a 'yes' to life and everything that it entails,” he added. In concluding his message, the archbishop called for better formation of young people in the defense of life, and that they be encouraged to embrace a correct understanding of sexuality, affection, and love, “rather than succumbing to worry, anxiety and distress.” (CNA)

Cardinal Bertone offers encyclical as response to society’s challenges

Filipinos, Australians denounce ‘destructive’ mining in RP
MELBOURNE, Australia, July 24, 2009— Filipino and Australian environmental activists jointly condemned the "destructive" mining practices in the Philippines advocated by Australian companies in a protest that was simultaneously done in other parts of world. Activists unfurled banners of protests on a bridge along Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway, July 22, denouncing open-cut mining in the Philippines with words, “Open-cut mining scars the Earth, No to Roxby Expansion” and “Philippines: Yes to Food, No to Mining.” The protest was also staged in Mexico, Philippines and Canada by members of Friends of the Earth International. An anti-mining alliance of various groups and organizations called Mining Action PhilippinesAustralia (MAP-Oz), joined Friends of the Earth-Melbourne (FoE) in a Global Day of Action against open-pit mining. MAP-Oz convenor and Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) officer Rodne Galicha denounced the trampling of human rights and reckless ecological destruction caused by mining. “Despite wanton environmental degradation, human rights violations and indigenous peoples’ rights abuses, Philippine and Australian companies continue to connive with the government to exploit our natural resources,” Galicha, in a media release sent to CBCPNews, said. Citing Philippine government’s failure to protect the people’s right to a sustainable livelihood and safe environment, Galicha further accused the government of implementing laws that favor mining companies. “The Philippine government still denies these abuses and violations, and continues to harmonize environmental policies in favor of the mining law, thus mining licenses are being given immediately without genuine consultation and consent from communities,” Galicha said, adding: “Open-pit mining has been promoted and causes widespread deforestation and land use conversion that causes 20 to 25 percent of carbon emissions that cause climate change. We never learned our lesson,” he lamented. In the same media release posted on MAP-oz blog, Australian Mia Pepper, an FoE member, said Australians should be conscious of real issues behind anti-mining advocacies in the Philippines. “Australians should be aware of mining companies like BHP Billiton which put a protected area in danger, Indophil/Xstrata which is continuously being opposed, Central Gold Asia facing opposition everyday in Masbate, OceanaGold challenged by the local government of Nueva Vizcaya for tax issues and opposed by the indigenous communities, Pelican Resources with its Filipino partner that caused the murder of a local official, Royalco creating divisions among indigenous peoples, and the list still continues,” Pepper said. The environmentalist criticized Australian investors for exploiting people and resources in pursuit of their own convenience. “Through AusAID, we help the Filipinos, but our fellow Australians with mining investments take the opportunity of exploiting their resources and these poor people in the villages where some of our aid go are being displaced, abused and sometimes their lives at stake. Australians should avoid expediency,” she stressed. MAP-Oz is a newly-formed alliance of various Filipino and Australian groups and organizations. The group monitors, assesses, evaluates and exposes various environmental, human and indigenous peoples’ rights issues of Australian mining companies in the Philippines. (Pinky Barrientos, FSP)
Contributed photo

Oldest workers’ group seeks party-list accreditation
MANILA, July 30, 2009— The Federation of Free Workers (FFW), one of the oldest existing labor federations in the country, has decided to take part in politics after years of abstention by filing for accreditation in the 2010 party-list polls at the Commission on Elections yesterday. “As a primary economic driving force, there is a real need for lowly workers to be represented and their voices be heard in Congress,” said Allan Montaño, National President of the FFW. Affiliates and members of the FFW have registered with the COMELEC under the name “Free Workers”, which will be known by the same acronym, FFW. FFW, the labor federation, has been in existence since 1950. It was officially registered and issued a certificate of registration by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in November 19, 1956. FFW has been actively involved in many tripartite bodies in the country, particularly on issues involving labor-management relations. It has consistently represented workers for 50 years now, as part of the Philippine Tripartite Delegation to the International Labor Conference of the International Labor Organization (ILO) held each year in the month of June in Geneva, Switzerland. One of the main platforms of government by the FFW is the promotion of Decent Work. “While they are most in numbers, the labor sector has not been truly represented in Congress these days”, Montaño stressed. “We, therefore, need representatives that have the capacity and would genuinely represent the interest of workers in the legislature,” Montaño said. “This role can best be served by the FFW representatives in Congress once given the mandate,” he added. The FFW has historical ties with the Catholic Church having been established by a Jesuit priest and a group of idealistic youth almost 60 years ago. (Julius Cainglet)
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Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone

VATICAN, July 28, 2009—The Italian Senate took time on Tuesday to hear about a topic not usually on their agenda—a papal encyclical. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, addressed the senators about “Caritas in Veritate” and how it can help them respond to the “ethical, cultural and social challenges of today.” The speech by Cardinal Bertone was delivered at the invitation of the president of the Italian Senate on Thursday morning. Cardinal Bertone highlighted some of the anthropological and theological aspects of the Pope’s latest encyclical, which is devoted to encouraging countries to promote the true development of man, a development that encompasses the material, spiritual and moral arenas. The Secretary of State also recalled that in 2004 the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger had given a “lectio magistralis” in the Senate library on the theme: “Europe. Its spiritual roots, yesterday, today and tomorrow.” On that occasion, he reminded, the future Pontiff had focused on certain themes that are now contained in his third Encyclical, such as “the affirmation of the profound reasons behind the dignity of individuals and their rights,” and marriage and the family as elements that have forged European identity. The cardinal said that he believes the representatives of the Italian people will find the Pope’s words to be “an exalted and profound source of inspiration when carrying out their mission.” Hopefully, the encyclical will enable them to respond “adequately to the ethical, cultural and social challenges of today.” (CNA)

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CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 16
August 3 - 16, 2009

The makings of a heroic icon
AGAINST the backdrop of a sullied political dispensation of the present and an equally murky conjugal regime of a haunting past, there maybe no mistaking to the observation of CBCP President and Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo that no couple in Philippines history has had a greater positive impact than the late Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr. and his wife, former President Corazon Aquino. Both of them have lived and believed that “the Filipino is worth dying for”. And that comes so nostalgic and endearing for both the masses and the literati especially in the face of an exact antithesis where thousands of Filipinos are dying of adversity because their leaders have not valued their worth and where the value of the common good is totally eclipsed by selfish if greedy pursuits. Indeed, there is not any dearth of leaders around here today with greater negative impact on the Filipino than what we all have in mind. That was the reason why Filipinos spontaneously got to their feet in hundreds of thousands to accompany Cory’s funeral march in Manila, in their own provinces at requiem masses in churches and even in several Filipino communities abroad—comparable only in dignity and meaning to the one of her husband’s in August of 1983; and that of Mother Theresa in July of 1997 and Mahatma Gandhi in February of 1948.
Illustration by Bladimer Usi

That was the reason, too, why the Church of Manila opened the doors of the Metropolitan Cathedral for Cory’s wake—a fitting privilege reserved only for the Archbishops of the Archdiocese being shepherds willing to die for their flock. “More than an icon of democracy Cory was and is to me my personal symbol of Inang Bayan, our beloved Motherland,” said Archbishop Orlando Quevedo. “As a President, she demonstrated to all of us the clear example of how to live beyond oneself, how to hold sacrifice as the raison d’être of accepting to assume the presidency of a ruined country, inspite of her repeated confession that it was an office to which she was not born for,” according to Archbishop Leonardo Legaspi. “Selfless giving was her one great promise, and she fulfilled it not only when she took power at EDSA, not only when she governed us for six years, but most importantly, at the peaceful transfer of power from her to the next duly elected president in 1992…Today, selfless giving is a pipe dream. Today, shameless self-promotion is the order of the day,” so said Ricardo Cardinal Vidal in his homily. “Former President Corazon C. Aquino showed everyone that it is possible to be a Catholic, a Filipino and a politician and remain incorruptible,” said Bishop Francisco Claver. For Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, Cory Aquino was not just the president that gave back to the Filipinos their freedom and democracy, she “was both president and icon of what an authentic, truthful and honest leader was to a people whose long experience was to look for a guide who would lead them out of history’s cruel political disarray.” Without sounding too simplistic, the roadmap to a respectable and progressive Philippines is right at the characters of both Cory and Ninoy. All that a Filipino has to do is hold firm to his ballot in 2010 and in succeeding elections and pick out the candidates that fit the mold. But if only it could be as easy as saying so.

Francisco F. Claver, SJ

HOW should the Church deal with a government that is failing in its obligations towards its citizens? Or, the contrary, that is doing right by them? (By “Church”, I don’t mean just the bishops and clergy but all of us who profess its faith.) The answer many of us gave during the dictatorial regime of President Marcos was critical collaboration/opposition. It was what carried us through the darkest moments of those dark times. The term was first used by the AMRSP (the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines) practically from the very beginning of martial law. (It was later adopted by Cardinal Sin to whom authorship is often attributed—but wrongly.) Its burden was the soul of simplicity. Of wisdom too. It meant that, however we detested the origin and intent of Marcos’ dictatorial rule, we would cooperate with it in the pursuit of whatever measures it took that we judged were for the genuine good of our people—development projects, for instance, which were truly for their advancement. But we opposed it when it acted against their good. Thus, to use the same example of development projects: when these were advertised for the people’s good but were in reality primarily for the advancement of the businesses of Marcos’ cronies or simply for show to boost

Church, government and politics
his image, we were unsupportive of them. The operative word was neither cooperation nor opposition but critical. The term didn’t mean just carping or complaining, blaming, fault-finding, but careful and honest evaluation of the good points or bad points of any act or scheme of governance, our criteria of judgment the values of Christ’s kingdom. It called for real discernment—the effort to arrive at a right judgment in one’s thoughts and acts. In the beginning, we applied the formula mainly to Marcos’ military government. But as it worsened and the NDF, the NPA and their supporters (many of them priests and religious) began pushing aggressively their own ideas of what Philippine society should be according to their Marxist ideology, we had to apply the same formula of judgment to them and their blue-prints for reforming us as a people. In the end we came to the conclusion that these two contending political forces, whatever were the differences in their mutually exclusive ideas and programs of social reform, were, strangely enough, of one mind in the way they would translate their visions into reality: they were not going to scruple about using force, even violence, in the pursuit of their program of reform—as they were actually doing even
Afterthoughts / A6

The pursuit of peace
THE task of waging peace is formidable. We see it as a moral struggle. We must not delude ourselves into thinking that periodic bursts of enthusiasm will conquer evil. The task of waging peace is slow, painful, demanding, and crucifying. It will require a holy endurance and relentless effort. It is not simply the work of one leader or of one government but it is the enterprise of a whole nation. Peace is the work and fruit of solidarity (Sollicitudo Rei Socialis , #39). Solidarity as “a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good; that is to say, to the good of all and of each individual because we are all really responsible for all,” (Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, #38) is, in essence, rooted in the Gospel imperative of loving God and neighbor. Solidarity calls us to be ready “to lose” ourselves for the sake of others, to share with them out of justice and love, and to see the face of Christ himself in the needy and the poor. Solidarity calls us to tear down walls that divide our communities. It calls us to communion with God and among ourselves. Together we can promote peace in a hundred and one different ways, stopping the mad glorification of violence on TV and cinema, organizing peace-promoting and monitoring councils all over our country, educating for justice and peace, in schools, on stage, and on the streets. Active and vigilant People Power through mobilization and prayer—and through generous sacrifice for the common good—will be the means to peace. Our pilgrimage to peace is one of friends and not of hostile factions. Though we may belong to different classes and tribes, we must band together for peace, listen to God’s call of peace together, and dialogue for peace together, resolutely and ceaselessly seeking peace, pursuing it, beating the swords of war into plowshares of integral development (cf. Is. 2:4). “Seek Peace, Pursue It”, A CBCP Pastoral Letter, 1990

Children need clear messages: Do not have sex before marriage
HAVE you ever heard of the “Law of Expected Behavior”? You know the one: if you expect Junjun to fail, he will; if you expect Nini to excel, she will. Psychologists and guidance counselors explain that to the parent whenever she/he is called to look into the misbehavior of the student concerned. But that is what has been happening in sex education, to use their own words “safe sex education” which is nothing more than contraception-promotion activities in the classroom. “They” are not only the pro-reproductive health bill lawmakers who want to oblige all schools, public and private to teach that kind of promotion starting Grade 5 and all the way to Senior High School. Now how much time does a person need in order to memorize all the different kinds of contraceptives so that they have to start learning them at age 10? Of course, they will also be taught their anatomy and fertility and sexually transmitted diseases and the travails of pregnancy and the burden of being a father if you are not ready—not ready meaning you do not have a house and a car and a steady job. contraception? Because “they” do not think that Junjun and Nini will be able to keep away from sex before marriage. Sure, abstinence is mentioned in that famous “ABC” slogan—“for the single, Abstain from sex; for the married, Be faithful; and if you are unable to follow the first two, use Condom”…that is why, be sure to keep a

Sr. Mary Pilar Verzosa, RGS

Love Life
Schools and organizations should therefore respect the natural developmental stages that the children go through, especially the latency period (pre-teens) wherein focus is on academic skills, arts, sports and virtues, rather than tickling them with sexual matters that leave their imagination stimulated and distracted. Given the fact that we are surrounded with such sex-stimulating ads, films and magazines, it is the role of the adults then to lessen the impact on the kids by helping them focus and providing them with other worthwhile activities. Why is self-control so hard to teach? Maybe the fault lies in us adults who have given in to the sexual revolution slogans, the any-thing goes relativistic morality of this consumerist society, to the me-first convenience-instant mentalities and behavior. Will retreats, self-help books, prayer communities, support groups and advocacy organizations assist us in getting back on the right track regarding the plan of God for human kind? That is our prayer—our urgent prayer—so that our children need not suffer unnecessarily just because we have not been true to them. For materials, speakers and seminars for parents to help them impart value-oriented sexuality education, call Pro-life office at 733-7027. Pro-life Phil. has transferred to San Lorenzo Ruiz Center, 2486 Legarda St., Sampaloc, Manila.

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condom in your pocket or handbag, just in case…and to be doubly sure, here is how you put it on, ok? We expect our children to have self-control in other areas of temptation. We don’t expect them to cheat on an exam if they don’t know the answer. Or steal when they want a cell phone or a CD, or punch someone because he is irritating. If we expect them to be in control of all these, do we also give them the clear message No to Sex Before marriage? So is the doubling and tripling of the rates of premarital sex, early pregnancies, abortion and sexually transmitted diseases a result of lack of information on contraception is it the double talk that our kids have been hearing from the adults. Parents can keep nagging their teens—“don’t get pregnant or don’t get a girl pregnant, mind you…” but if the kids see condoms and pills lying around the bedroom of their folks, that is an indication that sex can’t be controlled and so, they can go ahead and “express” themselves too in the most intimate way that they see and hear in the movies, videos, magazines, tabloids, internet, and even the cell phones. Not that the Catholic Church and the prolife groups object to teaching sex at all. The primary teachers, as we always say, are the parents—who are also the primary teachers of love, relationships, discipline, virtues, good manners and right conduct, etc. To teach sex outside the context of these values is like handing the children a time bomb.

Fr. Francis B. Ongkingco

Pedro C. Quitorio

‘Unplugging our kids’
rors! We ate cupcakes, bread and butter, and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we were never overweight because we were always outside playing. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one actually died from this.” “We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then rode down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem. We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day.” “NO CELL PHONES!!! Unthinkable! We did not have Play stations, Nintendo 64, X-Boxes, no video games at all, no 399 channels on cable, movies on videotape or DVD, surround sound, personal cell phones, personal computers, or Internet chat rooms. We knew how to chat without the Internet. We had friends! We went outside and found them.” “We played dodge ball, and sometimes, the ball would really hurt. We fell out of trees, got cut and broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. They were accidents. No one was
Whatever / A7

Pinky Barrientos, FSP
Associate Editor

Kris P. Bayos
Feature Editor

Melo M. Acuña
Managing Editor News Editor

Laarni Bergado

Marketing Supervisor

I STUMBLED over this wonderful commentary about how we’re raising our tech-savvy children today. Although it was in my e-mail archive dated 2005, I believe it is still very timely. I have yet to discover the author of such an intellectually challenging work. The commentary is entitled: PEOPLE OVER 35 SHOULD BE DEAD NOW. I think it would be appropriate to change 35 to 40 by now, but the message will be clearly much the same and here’s why… *** “According to today’s regulators and bureaucrats, those of us who were kids in the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, or even the early 70’s probably shouldn’t have survived. Our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paint. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets, and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets. (Not to mention the risks we took hitch-hiking.) As children, we would ride in cars with no seatbelts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was always a special treat. We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. Hor-

Roy Q. Lagarde

Ernani M. Ramos
Circulation Manager Comptroller

Laurence John R. Morales Marcelita Dominguez
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

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 16
August 3 - 16, 2009

Tidbits Canon Law and the Filipino migrants
tion, the cause and the end of every social institution” (Pacem in Terris, 31). Then he added: “Every man has the right to life, to bodily integrity, and to the means which are suitable for the proper development of life; these are primarily food, clothing, shelter, rest, medical care, and finally the necessary social services” (ibid, 32). For, every person is precious, people are more important than things, and the value of every institution is whether or not it threatens or enhances the life and dignity of the human person. Pope Benedict XVI in his recent Encyclical “Caritas in Veritate” reminds everyone of the precedence of dignity of man over other concerns of development. He said: “I would like to remind everyone, especially governments engaged in boosting the world’s economic and social assets, that the primary capital to be safeguard and valued is man, the human person in his or her integrity: ‘Man is the source, the focus and the aim of all economic and social life’” (n.25; cf. LG 63). Our migrant workers, nine million of them, have dignity to uphold, human pride to protect, better quality of lives to pine for, meaning of life to keep intact, spirituality to hang on to, so that they can live as human persons and as children of God in foreign places. Who would articulate and protect their deep human longing? The Canon Lawyers of the Philippines (CLSP) with courage faced up to this problem sometime on April 2009, in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, during their annual meeting in that place. They are aware that they as canon lawyers are called to give their share in the pastoral care of Filipino migrants. Theirs is to look closely into the provisions of law, the social doctrine of the Church, as expounded by Vatican II, the living Magisterium of the Church, the provisions of PCP II and the subsequent acts of the Bishops Conference of the Philippines. These will give them the necessary framework to provide our Church leaders with legal guides to better meet the needs of our migrant workers. This is the task that lies ahead of them.

Nicolo F. Bernardo

Bp. Leonardo Y. Medroso, JCD, DD

Lifeguard Better than Harry Potter
YOUNGSTERS amazed with the “magic” of the fictional Harry Potter should know that there once was a real man who worked miracles and marvels stranger than fiction. Reports of this “man who performed wonders” were even recorded by the official Roman historian around his time, Josephus Flavius, who was a Jew. The miracle man was Jesus. But the story does not end in his lifetime. The gift to perform wonders, it appears, continuously manifests to his followers, such as the saints and the mystics. As Jesus himself promised: “Whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these.” (Jn 14:12) The saints, before they were canonized, underwent decadeslong skeptical appraisal on testimonies of their reported miracles, before and after death. Journalists, scientists, medical researchers, and the Church’s Promotor Fidei or Devil’s Advocate (tasked to challenge reports) form part of the appraisal team. Critical data on these can be gleaned in Herbert Thurston’s revised Butler’s Lives of the Saints and The Physical Phenomena of Mysticism, the Jesuits’ Acta Sanctorum, Joan Carroll Cruz’ The Incorruptibles, the Summario of evidence to the Congregation of Rites for canonization procedures, the New Catholic Encyclopedia, and the secular The Future of the Body by Michael Murphy. Interestingly, a run-down of their “gifts” would make a definite put-down of Harry’s magic. These are: Apparitions and Visions. In Mark 9:2-7, Jesus was seen by his disciples transfiguring with the spirits of Elijah and Moses. The 20th century has its share of public apparitions too, especially of the Virgin Mary. The Lady of Fatima appeared to three children in 1917, accompanied by unusual solar and healing phenomena even reported in the anti-clerical newspaper O Seculo. Then in 1968, in the symborium of the Coptic Church in Zeitun, Cairo , Egypt , the Virgin reportedly appeared many times before a million Egyptians, including unbelievers, atheists, Protestants, Jews and Muslims. The apparitions had been photographed and the Egyptian president Abdul Nasser was himself a witness. Authorities searched a 15-mile radius for any electrical devices that could have been used to project the image, but soon they too were convinced that a strange event—ignored by the Western media—occurred. The General Information and Complaints Department reported: “The official investigations have been carried out with the result that it has been considered an undeniable fact that the Blessed Virgin Mary has been appearing on Zeitun church in a clear and bright luminous body seen by all present in front of the church, whether Christian or Muslim.” Bilocation/Teleportation, or a person’s simultaneous presence or instantaneous appearance from one place to another. St. Alphonsus Liguori, while jailed, reportedly made himself present at the bedside of the dying Pope Clement XIV. Meanwhile, a British pilot, whose plane was plummeting, testified that Padre Pio—who earned the moniker “flying friar”—flew like Superman from his nearby monastery to land the plane safely. Could these things be possible? Ask Einstein’s quantum physics. Particles revolving in an orbit at one time can disappear and simultaneously reappear in another! Elongation. Who says adults cannot grow? A recorded case for the beatification proceedings of Italian nun Sr. Veronica Laparelli, tells of witnesses seeing the sister while on trance stretching by more than 10 inches “until her throat was out of proportion.” The astonished congregation even took time to measure her body while she was in an ecstatic state. Incorruption of human cadavers. Without freezing or mummifying, the dead bodies of certain saints remain intact, supple, and fresh. Among which: St. Francis of Paula, despite his body was burnt by the Protestant Huguenots; St. Cajetan, whose corpse was thrown into a common pit; St. Lawrence Justinian, whose body was exposed for 67 days; St. Charles Borromeo, whose remains were placed in a damp and leaky coffin; St. Josaphat, martyred and thrown into the river, whose body was fished up incorrupt; St. Francis Xavier, incorrupt for almost 500 years; Sts. Bernadette Soubirous, John Vianney, Catherine of Laboure, Vincent de Paul, and recently, Pope John XXIII and the 24-year-old Blessed George Frassinetti. Inedia/Holy Anorexia or absence of nourishment for great lengths of time. Moses and Jesus fasted for 40 days and nights. Meanwhile, historians Caroline Bynum and Rudolph Bell documented claims that St. Catherine of Siena survived on communion wafers alone at age 23, and abstained from water for a month at age 33. The German mystic Therese Neuman, too, under the inspection of the bishop of Regensburg and a medical team that examined her day and night in 1927, confirmed reports that she survived only on daily communion for years. Levitation or suspension of the human body into the air without support. The Franciscan monk St. Joseph Cupertino was reported to levitate on more than a hundred occasions, as confirmed by his “Devil’s Advocate,” Prosper Lambertini, later Pope Benedict XIV. The Carmelite nun St. Teresa of Avila also had such raptures during Masses. St. Teresa describes the experience in her Autobiography: I confess that it threw me into great fear…and that with great sweetness if unresisted, the senses are not lost; at least I was so much myself as to be able to see that I was being lifted up…After the rapture was over, my body seemed frequently buoyant, as if all weight have departed from it, so much that now and then I scarcely knew that my feet touched the ground.” Charismatic Healing. Jesus made the blind see, the lame walk, the deaf hear, the mute speak, and the leper healed. So do annals of the saints report this gift of healing. Prophecy/Precognition. Like Jesus, who had foreknowledge of events including the destruction of Jerusalem , Butler’s records 52 cases of saints’ prophecies coming to fulfillment. Visible Transubstantiation, or transformation of one substance into another. Jesus turned water into wine at the Wedding of Cana (Jn 2:1-12). Meanwhile, Eucharistic miracles abound where hosts visibly turned into human flesh and the wine into human blood as happened in Lanciano , Italy (700), Kerala , India before some 500,000 Mass attendants (1999), and Rome (2000). Mystical Aureoles/Illuminations, or halos and radiances appearing from the body. Remember Moses going down from Mt. Sinai with his face blindingly radiant? (Ex. 34: 2-35). It’s a phenomenon taken by Benedict XIV, in his treatise De Servorum Dei Beatificatione et Beatorum Canonizatione, as a sign of sanctity. He says: “It seems that there are natural flames which at times (are visibly encircling) the head…in the form of sparks which are given off all around, that some people become resplendent with a blaze of light.” Thurston, in addition, lists Sts. Philip Neri, Charles Borromeo, Ignatius of Loyola, and Francis of Sales among the saints seen with an aura glowing. Therese Neuman’s left hand too exhibited an aura which had been photographed even before the advent of Kirlian photography that can capture subtle-energy radiances or “aura” of the body. Stigmata or the spontaneous appearance of wounds resembling Christ’s. Stigmatists include St. Francis of Assisi, Anna Catherine Emmerich (whose visions influenced Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion), Therese Neumann, Padre Pio, Georgio BonLifeguard / A6

IT is tragic to note that we are no longer shocked with the fast growing number of Filipinos exiting our country. It bespeaks of an attitude that has become accustomed, if not calloused, to the alarming reality that the phenomenon does not cause us anymore unease. In the midst of this seeming indifference, we are presented with some eight to nine million migrants. The last count up was just seven million some two or three years ago. Now it is nine million, Filipinos all. They are not mere faceless individuals, but warm bodies with human feelings and Filipino needs that constantly call our attention. They are living persons who need food and the basic necessities of life to keep themselves in one piece; rational beings who can foresee the need to provide for the uncertainties of the future, responsible family men and women who in search for a better future for their children, they set out of this country that they love, and settle in a foreign land which they surmise could give them a better tomorrow; human persons who are endowed with rights and obligations, particularly the right to a decent environment that guarantees the protection of their human dignity. In brief, they have to be cared for bodily, psychologically, and spiritually. The Church in the Philippines has not been remiss in its obligation to extend its Pastoral Care to Filipino Migrants. It is aware of its task to look into the temporal and spiritual needs of its faithful. It is after all wary to the rights of the migrants as well as to all the faithful which the Code enunciated, to wit: “Christ’s faithful have the right to be assisted by their Pastors from the spiritual riches of the Church, especially by the word of God and the Sacraments” (Canon 213). This right is based on the constitutional right of each individual faithful by virtue of baptism. Canon 208 expresses well this basic right in these words: “Flowing from their rebirth in Christ, there is a genuine equality of dignity and action among all of Christ’s faithful. Because of this equality they all contribute, each according to his or her own condition

and office, to the building up of the Body of Christ.” Hence, the obligation hangs on the Church in the Philippines to look after the spiritual and moral needs of these Filipino migrants. They may be far from its reach, but the obligation remains in its conscience. Foremost in its mind is what is demanded in the Salvation History—God provided laws and guidelines regarding refugees. When God commanded the Chosen People to be hospitable to foreigners and strangers, as stated in Leviticus 19: 34, God reminded them of the reason for the legal provision, that is, “because you yourselves were foreigners in strange land.” CBCP sees this text as a framework for its pastoral care for Filipino migrants, that is, our people are strangers in foreign lands. It has to look after their pastoral needs, their well-being, peace of mind, growth in spiritual life, and their appreciation of their dignity as human beings and as children of God. The Church in the Philippines has the task to constantly remind them and support them that no matter how menial their kind of work is, they remain children of God and bearers of human dignity. It is for this heavy responsibility that CBCP has to found the Commission for the Pastoral Care for Migrants, and to demand from it a regular report and evaluation of its mission. But nine million Filipino migrants is a number so staggering that the Commission is in a quandary on how to effectively and efficiently meet the demands and expectations of the Bishops Conference of the Philippines. One of the greatest pains of our migrant workers is the loss of the sense of self-pride. They pine to get it back, but no amount of money that they receive can buy it back. The Church understands the depth of man’s pain when he is deprived of such self-worth. Hence, in its work for Christian justice and charity, its priority is to assist the concerned individual migrants get back their dignity. Hence, the words of John XXIII echoed: “Individual human beings are the founda-

Jose B. Lugay

IN working with the government, one must immediately be familiar with the initials used for different government agencies as well as the abbreviations of the Republic Acts (.R.A.) and Executive Orders (E.O.) and Implementing Rules and Regulations (I.R.R.). So, it came to pass very recently the most famous initials, SONA, the State of the Nation Address, a constitutional mandate for the President of the Philippines to report to the people her accomplishments for the year. The SONA took months of preparation and her antagonists likewise planned counter-rallies, and egged all those against GMA, including the presidentiables who carry contrary political agenda against the incumbent to be as visible as possible with the help of Media. As far as the Opposition is concerned the SONA is the most publicized event of the Administration. Hence it is logical that all should be ready and prepared for the word war, the better for the headlines to capture the electorate’s minds, the voters of the 2010 elections. The President, wily in a diplomatic way, took the opportunity to show her mastery and grasp of the economic situation and her moves during the year to slow down the effects of the recession by her directives on the use of the internally-generated funds (the EVAT), the OFW remittances and the Central Bank’s monetary policies to prevent the abuse of banking and lending institutions. These moves prevented the collapse of the Philippine economy better than other developing nations. The subtle digs of the President on her accusers, which many columnists accede as justified, colored this specific SONA as a retaliation to those who have abused civility expected from mature leaders and representatives of the people. Oldtimers like us can only say in dismay, “Is there no more ‘Good Manners and Right Conduct’ subject taught in primary grades”? ATTENTION DepED: Restore the GMRC subject in the primary grade curriculum! While the President is expected to report only those accomplishments that can make her scorecard attractive, listeners should understand that each achievement is a product of other departments below her. Standard management procedures require that the subordinates reporting to her should also report the results of their governance – the heads of the following institutions: DILG, DOTC, DA, DSWD, DILG, DOE, DPWH, DOH, DOF, DENR, DOST, DBM, BI, BoC, BIR, BSP, the Government-Owned Controlled Corporations, (GOCCs), the Government Financial institutions (GFIs), etc. Graft and corruption reported in many of these institutions, were

Laiko Lampstand
not reported by the President for obvious reasons. The political noise is increasing in decibels by the day, and an increased roster of presidentiables: Governor Ed Panlilio, Jamby Madrigal (no wonder she was after the neck of real estate magnate Manny Villar), Loren Legarda, Robert Gordon, Gilbert Teodoro, Bayani Fernando and frontrunners in the SWS statistical survey: V.P. Noli de Castro and Past President Joseph Estrada, Manny Villar, Mar Roxas and yet to declare his candidacy, Chiz Escudero, Meantime the Church, through Bishop Broderick Pabillo, head of the Commission on Social Action Justice and Peace issued a directive to the laity to get involved in PPP, Principled Partisan Politics. They are not endorsing any of the candidates listed above. The Church realizes now that politics need evangelization. The root cause of graft and corruption and bad governance is the election of people to positions of power who do not possess the basic moral norms of honesty, integrity and transparency. There are now very active movements towards this direction—the process of identifying potential candidates within each parish. DILAAB Foundation of Cebu has been going around Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao to train lay leaders the process of selection of the “evangelized laity” through the Circles of Discernment, CiDE. The CiDE exercise is a selection process using the Nominal Group Technique, a management tool, to arrive at a consensus of the many suggested characteristics of a candidate that the laity should choose to be nominated for the 2010 election. For those interested, contact Fr. Carmelo Diola of Dilaab Foundation, Archdiocese of Cebu. Let us hope, that together with the evangelization of politics now being done in the diocese of Malaybalay, this will mark the beginning of involvement of parishioners in the selection process of candidates for the next and future elections. The Laity should start learning Principled Partisan Politics, PPP! *** At this writing, mass is being offered by our ECLA Bishop Gabriel V. Reyes at the wake of Past President Corazon Aquino at the La Salle Greenhills, San Juan. The whole country joins the family and the nation in prayer for the repose of her soul. We do hope that her death will unite all who are presently divided after the SONA of GMA to reflect on her heroic role in Philippine history—restoring back our democracy—democracy that is now being threatened by political wranglings.

Rev. Euly B. Belizar, SThD

By the Roadside
ERIC Hoffer once wrote: “How frighteningly few are the persons whose death would spoil our appetite and make the world seem empty.” I submit that the statement is mostly true. On the other hand, President Cory Aquino was, doubtless, one such person. News of her parting certainly spoiled many Filipinos’ breakfast last August 1, 2009 and has left such a void not only in her family but also in her country, one that even fewer will ever consider attempting to fill. It could even be asked if there would be, among our present crop of leaders, those who would measure up to her standards of public service. Now that she has left this side of life people have, virtually in a wink of an eye, realized what precious human jewel the country, nay the world, has lost. She has been variously called “an icon of democracy”, “the Joan of Arc of the Philippines”, “Mother of Philippine Freedom”, “a leader who combined power and virtue” and many others. I know that much has already been said and written, and will still be said and written, of her and her significance to the Philippines and to democracy the world over. Death somehow

Cry not for the Icon
there was one President Corazon Aquino. In a word, for contemporary believers she could be an embodiment or, at least, a reminder of the Vatican II vision of the Catholic lay faithful, not one who separates faith and (secular) life, but rather brings that faith right into her/his acts of social engagement. That she was a woman and a wife with an elite family background had been made much of by friend and foe alike as among her minuses. But she transformed them into pluses because, precisely as a woman president and a former wife of a senator, she courageously stood up to serious coup attempts and the difficulties of rebuilding democratic institutions to meet the nation’s so many serious problems and needs. Even as she was being faulted for her inability to turn her back on her own elite background as the reason behind the lack of true land reform during her watch and beyond, yet she disarmed critics by her simplicity and numerous quiet efforts to help countless poor people through micro-financing and other poverty-alleviation efforts through
Roadside / A6

makes appreciators of the dead those they leave behind. Not that it is a sign of ingratitude, rather only of the natural oversight we often make of fellow humans who still breathe the same stale air of earthly reality as we do. Among the many voices that we now hear or read on how we are to see President Cory Aquino’s meaning and significance to us Christian Filipinos who deeply care about their country, let me add mine. I agree that she was an icon of democracy. But she was also more. To me she was a living sign of the challenge of Christian discipleship in the contemporary effort to positively transform society according to gospel values. Even when her adherence to Catholic teaching on certain policies of her government could be doubted, one would be hard put to question her sincere desire to serve the poor and make the government institutions strong and independent enough to be truly democratic. Praying presidents we have had many. But praying presidents who validated their prayerfulness with morally unquestioned acts of governance we are not sure to count with our fingers. Still, how blessed we are that


Local News

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 16
August 3 - 16, 2009

Dominicans of Asia-Pacific urged to be more ‘involved’ in spreading the Word
THE Dominicans’ Philippine prior provincial has urged Dominican religious attending a month-long retreat/immersion study to be more “involved” in their communities as they share the Word to non-Christians across Asia. This exhortation came after the participants stayed in Mindanao for two weeks to interact with Muslim families and also to learn more about religious involvement in caring for distressed migrant workers. Reports from the Philippine Dominican province showed 15 Dominican brothers, deacons and priests attended the AsiaPacific Dominican Common Study from June 28-July 25 2009 held in the Philippines. Four Filipino Dominicans attended the Common Study which was themed “Different Cultures Complement and Enrich Each Other.” Delegates from Vietnam, China, Japan and Australia also joined the immersion project. In a July 21 lecture recorded by a provincial report, Prior Provincial Father Quirico Pedregosa, O.P. told the participants that it is important that Dominicans should fully orient themselves toward being involved in “history” and be integrated in the communities that they serve. It would help if they have awareness of the purpose of their preaching so that in turn they can direct “prayer, study, and community life” toward
Moral icon / A1

this participation, he explained. But the religious must keep in mind that they are only “participators” in God’s plan, the provincial reiterated to participants at the Caleruega Retreat House in Batangas province. Pedregosa also discussed in a separate

Father Quirico Pedregosa, O.P.

session that dialogue between religious and non-Christians in Asia must be rooted in the Gospel for inculturation to firmly take root among the latter. This is because it requires changes within the culture of the peoples that the religious are serving. “Though God is above any other culture, man can only understand him through the

lenses of his own culture,” Pedregosa said last July 23 in Caleruega. Earlier, the Dominican priests and brothers stayed at Zamboanga City from July 5-12, to listen to lectures on interreligious dialogue organized by the Silsilah ecumenical movement, interacted with Muslim families for two nights and one day, and also witnessed the Friday prayers at the Sta. Catalina Mosque. Then the religious went to Davao city from July 13 to 19 to listen in sessions on migrant trafficking organized by the Visayan Forum migrants’ advocacy group. Sociology professor Maruja Asis and Fr. Edwin Corros, executive secretary of the Episcopal Commission of Pastoral Care for Migrant Workers and Itinerant Peoples, spoke about the importance of religious involvement in helping distressed overseas workers. During the course of the “Common Study,” the participants related to each other their experiences with evangelization and opinions on the Faith. The Order of Preachers’ Asia Pacific Common Study is a project aimed at encouraging lay and ordained Dominicans to “live together, strengthen commitment to the Dominican intellectual and spiritual tradition” and “deepen their formation” in spreading the Word in the Asia-Pacific region. (Ruben Jeffrey Asuncion)

IPs offhand to PGMA’s SONA
DISCONTENTED, indigenous peoples who participated in the State of the Indigenous Peoples Address (SIPA) said that after eight years of Ms. Arroyo administration there is still discrimination, land grabbing, human rights violations, environmental destruction, corruption and lies. In a statement sent to CBCPNews, Lumad leaders said that Ms. Arroyo’s legacy to the indigenous communities is death and displacement. “There is an integral link between ancestral domain and our life, culture and livelihoods, but to the government our resource and biodiversity rich lands are only seen as sources for profit.” Katawhanung Lumad sa Mindanao secretary general Dulphing Ogan said that they will remember the Arroyo administration for rapacious greed that has brought deprivation, dislocation, and death to lumad communities. “Eight years is enough. Eight years of her corrupt, self-serving anti-poor administration has brought nothing but suffering to the country, especially the indigenous peoples who have borne the brunt of her misguided development priorities. History’s verdict is loud and clear. It is known to all Filipinos except for her most rabid sycophants and most zealous apologists,” he said. Quintol Labuayan of La Bugal Tribal Association based in Columbio, Sultan Kudarat also said that historical injustices against the lumad have not been corrected and even worsened as the government championed corporate interests. The indigenous people also criticized Ms. Arroyo against giving further economic rights to foreign individuals and corporations such as 100 percent ownership of lands. Human rights abuses IP leaders and communities have not been spared from the escalating cases of human rights violations. Military operations continue to displace the B’laan communities in Columbio, Sultan Kudarat and the Manobo communities in Lianga, San Agustin and Tago in Surigao del Sur. The Indigenous Peoples Rights Monitor has documented 137 cases of killings of IP community members from 2001 to 2009, 13 of which are women (4 pregnant) and 19 youth. 16 cases of extra-judicial killings of IP leaders were also documented. Another IP women leader, Bae Rose Undag of Kahiusaan sa mga Higanonon Incorporated (HKI) from Claveria, Misamis Oriental said that eight years of GMA presidency has given lumad women nothing but utmost neglect. In her 2001 SONA, GMA promised to distribute 100 Certificate of Ancestral Domain Titles (CADTs) per year but instead of securing lumads in their ancestral domains, the SIPA participants felt more vulnerable now during her last SONA than they ever had been. “ “Because of Arroyo’s projects, we lumad mothers are always full of fear and anxiety for future of the tribe and our territory”, said Patricia Bulay of the Subanon Getaw Tasan from Midsalip, Zamboanga del Sur, in the dialect. The SIPA is organized by the Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center (LRC-KsK/FoEI). Two conferences are being held simultaneously in Cagayan de Oro and at the University of the Philippines in Quezon City yesterday. (Mark S. Ventura) for the choice of the basilica as a temporary stop for her remains. Cardinal Sin helped Mrs. Aquino catapult to power in 1986 after a church-led and peaceful people power revolution. Lagdameo’s prayer After the Mass ended, full police honors greeted the coffin of the former president before it was loaded into a flat-bed truck fully adorned with white and yellow flowers. And while the coffin was slowly departing Intramuros, a helicopter was seen hovering around the area with yellow confetti already raining. Mrs. Aquino was buried at the Manila Memorial Park in Paranaque City, beside her husband, Ninoy, after around a 6-hour funeral procession. Archbishop Lagdameo said he hopes that Filipinos shall see the rise of more courageous, decent and incorruptible citizens of conscience who shall defy moral evil and ambivalence in defense of truth, social justice, godliness and genuine democracy. (With reports from Melo Acuna and Roy Lagarde) tion well brings out, we do not condemn partisan politics as evil. But it becomes such when, in our practice of it, we ignore the fundamental demands of justice, truth, charity, honesty, just so our candidates prevail in the polls. Thus the usual practice of mudslinging, character assassination, unquestioning loyalty to candidates no matter how corrupt or incompetent they may be, etc. – we all know that these are the unyielding flaws of our political culture. Yet, somehow, every time elections come around, we go on blithely indulging in them, throwing aside whatever good sense we otherwise possess and make use of in ordinary times! Critical collaboration, critical opposition: if we could only bring this principle to bear strongly and thoroughly on our politics, especially during elections, perhaps, just perhaps, we will finally be firmly on the road towards the reform of our unregenerate political culture. I propose we start right now applying the discerning force of the principle to all would-be candidates in the coming elections – to the wildly burgeoning number of presidential aspirants especially. Or we will be forever doomed to getting what we richly deserve: second-rate, and much too often corrupt, public servants. a simple wife, she, like Mary, was a visible testimony to the Magnificat truth, to wit: “[The Lord] has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly” (Lk 1:51-52). Above all, her prayerfulness, compassion especially in regard to the poor, sincerity of intention to be of service to what is best for the country even if it meant standing against former allies and friends to uphold moral governance evince a noble Christian heart. President Cory Aquino now completely has what Michelangelo once called the “two wings that bear the good person to heaven”, namely “love and death”. Of her it is worth listening to St. Cyprian: “Our brethren who have been freed from the world by the summons of the Lord should not be mourned, since they are not lost but sent before.” No, don’t cry for the icon. She is not asleep. Rather, she has finally awakened to never-ending day. Cry for her nation instead—to the God in whom she lives, that the light she left behind may not cease shining in this country’s darkest places.

power in any other way. Her leadership and everything that are being said about her are the legacy that we will long remember,” he said. ‘Thank you’ Thousands of Filipinos from all walks of life joined the Catholic Church to bid farewell to a woman described by Pope Benedict XVI as a “woman of deep and unwavering faith.” Mourners lined the streets around the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception as political and business leaders, students and thousands of others heard the funeral rites for former president Corazon Aquino. Funeral rites for the country’s “icon of democracy” started 9 a.m. on August 5, with Balanga Bishop Socrates Villegas welcoming the congregation. Villegas led the nation in expressing thanks to Mrs. Aquino for all the sacrifices she made both as a devout Catholic and a public servant. “Thank you Tita Cory, thank you very much. Thank you for fighting for us. Thank you for teaching us how to live and die for others,” said Villegas. “We promise to love this country as you loved us. There is darkness in our land because you are gone. But we know, we have enough light within us because you have shared with us your fire,” he said. Villegas, a former aide of the late Jaime Cardinal Sin, lauded Mrs. Aquino for inspiring people being a good example of being a true Filipino Christian. “Tita Cory, thank you for being our light during our darkest hours. Thank you for being our strength when we were afraid,” he said. “You gallantly showed us that to be a Filipino is great blessing from God. Thank you for showing us your greatness. You were born to wealth and plenty but you lived in simplicity and humbly carried our painful misery,” the bishop added. ‘Cory magic’ In his homily, Jesuit priest Catalino Arevalo trumpeted how the “Cory magic” captured the Filipinos in 1983 when her husband, Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. was assassinated, and in 1986 when she ran and won against strongman Ferdinand Marcos and again in her death last Saturday. Arevalo, who was said to be the personal choice of Mrs. Aquino to give the homily in her funeral mass, hailed the former president as a ‘true queen’ in the hearts of Filipinos. “Perhaps, she was the only true queen our people have ever had and she was queen because we knew she truly held our hearts and
Run / A1 Lifeguard / A5

the gentleness and the greatness of our own,” he said. Arevalo also explained how the Cory magic worked throughout the years, adding he found three reasons why. “One is because of her selflessness and on how she loved the country above all else, even above the family. Number two is in her faith and dedication to the Lord. And number three is because of her courage for her abiding loyalty to the country that never wavered and never broken,” he said. Arevalo, one of the country’s most respected Theologian, added that Mrs. Aquino was a person that had no desire for power but only an unwavering want to help the people. Jam-packed The funeral mass was also attended by an array of church, government and showbiz personalities and was jam-packed to the capacity of the Manila Metropolitan Cathedral. Catholic prelates who concelebrated the Mass were Papal Nuncio Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams, Manila Archbishops Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales of Manila, Ramon Arguelles of Lipa and Paciano Aniceto of San Fernando, Bishops Deogracias Iñiguez of Kalookan, Antonio Tobias of Novaliches, Reynaldo Evangelista of Boac, Gabriel Reyes of Antipolo, John Du of Dumaguete and Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao. Other prelates who attended the Mass include Bishops Pablo David of San Fernando, Francisco De Leon of Antipolo, Bernardino Cortez of Manila, Prudencio Andaya of Tabuk, Leo Drona of San Pablo, Rolando Tirona of Infanta, Leopoldo Tumulak of the Military Ordinariate and Novaliches Bishop-Emeritus Teodoro Bacani. Singular tribute Like the multitudes that have paid tribute to Mrs. Aquino, the Catholic Church also gave a singular honor to her by allowing her wake in the basilica. The remains of Mrs. Aquino was moved to the Manila Cathedral on August 3 after two days from La Salle Greenhills in Mandaluyong City. Fr. Genaro Diwa, head of Manila Archdiocese’s Ministry on Liturgical Affairs, has admitted they broke rules when they let Mrs. Aquino’s wake take place at the Cathedral. “Wakes should really be held in parish churches only. So we broke all the rules here,” Diwa said. Villegas said that the holding of wakes in the cathedral is reserved only for the demise of an archbishop of Manila. “(To date), only the archbishops of Manila and Cory were given that honor,” he said. Mrs. Aquino’s ties with Cardinal Sin is largely seen as the reason
Afterthoughts / A4

for that, I leave it to God. There must be a sign. So when I was appointed as CBCP executive secretary, I had to abide because I love my priesthood and serving the church, much more than serving a local community which I could also do even without me running as mayor,” he said. But Lucas said he could very well understand why some priests are sometimes forced to run for public office just like priest-turnedPampanga Gov. Eddie Panlilio, who recently declared his intention of joining the presidential race in 2010. “I could relate with Panlilio. It has become a strong desire for him (to run) because he could help the people. But I’m looking at my priesthood. For me, that is the highest form of service. Being a politician is just secondary,” said Lucas. A priest of the Prelature of Infanta in Quezon, Lucas devoted most of his 35 years in the priesthood evangelizing and advocating for environmental, economic and agricultural development thru media. He is also one of the pioneers advancing the community broadcasting approach in Asia. (CBCPNews)
Spraying / A6

damage to the region. But the bishop contends that behind the economic benefits is severe damage to the environment and health of the people. He said that health and welfare of the people around the banana plantation should be given supremacy over business interests. “We are against it and these companies because what they are doing is inhuman. They are more concerned on their business than the public welfare,” Pabillo said. He called on the authorities to ban the use of aerial spraying for the sake of the common good. No doubt, he said that it endangers the lives of people and destroys the environment. (CBCPNews)

giavani of South Dakota (1968), and Syrian Myrna Nazzour (2004). Telekinesis/Agility, or the instantaneous movement of a material body from one place to another. Remember Elisha who made an axe’s iron flat that slipped into the river Jordan float? (2 Kgs 6:5-7). A communion wafer from St. John Vianney reportedly moved from his hands to the mouth of a communicant. A similar incident happened to Therese Neumann and the Dominican general St. Raymund of Capua. As Thurston cites St. Capua: “(Capua) mentally saying ‘Come O Lord, To Thy Spouse.’ ‘The thought,’ he goes on, ‘had hardly framed itself in my mind when, before I touched it, the Sacred host, as I clearly perceived, moved forward of Itself, the distance of three inches or more, coming close to the paten which I was holding in my hand.’” Telepathic Intuition, or knowledge of another’s state of mind and being, without the use of the physical senses. As Jesus knew the thoughts of the Pharisees (Lk 11: 17), and the life story of the woman at the well (Jn 4:16-19, 28-30), Butler’s records 24 cases of such intuition among the saints, including Sts. John Vianney and John Bosco who could know a person’s past and thoughts. Do these phenomena point to a different reality? Of the supernatural or preternatural? The extrasensory and paranormal? The extreme dynamics of quantum phenomena? As to what causes these, St. Paul says: “To one the Spirit gives wisdom in discourse, to another the power to express knowledge. Through the Spirit one receives faith; by the same Spirit another is given the gift of healing and still another miraculous powers. Prophecy is given to one; to another, power to distinguish one spirit from another. One receives the gift of tongues, another that of interpreting the tongues. But one and the same Spirit provides all of these, distributing them individually to each person as He wishes.” (1 Cor 12: 8-11)

then in their struggling against each other for power. Under those conditions of warring ideologies, we learned to add to our formula of critical collaboration/ opposition something else: ANV—active non-violence, the peaceful approach to dealing with violence itself. It worked, as we all know, eventuating in the EDSA Revolution of 1986. And working, it discredited both rightist and leftist modes of social change as they were then, militaristic, intolerant of any opposition whatsoever, redhandedly violent. ANV as our ordinary mode of working for justice and social change was later put forward by the PCP II in 1991 as our accepted and proven way of going about translating its twofold message of salvation and liberation into reality. In all the agitation today about the failures of government, the principle of critical, active but non-violent, collaboration/opposition vis-à-vis its failures and successes, still makes good sense and should at all times mark our approach as Church to government and its acts. The CBCP’s recent exhortation for the laity to fully take part in politics – the partisan kind – should be received and acted on according to that principle. As the exhortanon-government organizations. She remained true to her declaration that her stepping down from the presidency would not mean ceasing to be involved in safeguarding the welfare of her country. She left government but she did not stop being a leader in espousing causes that, in her view, uphold that welfare. In a political culture that feeds on greed and ambition for power she dared to say “Maraming salamat at paalam (Thank you so much and goodbye)” to the highest office of the archipelago with no visible hesitation. That she did so even when her own critics admitted that she could argue against being covered by the constitution’s term limit of six years for the presidency precisely because her government pre-dated the very constitution it helped establish spoke volumes of her strength of character and her admirable detachment from the intoxication of power. In President Cory Aquino we realize that a person does not have to be materially poor to be considered, to use biblical language, among the “anawim” or the ‘humble poor of Yahweh’. Often looked down upon, perhaps even despised, by her harshest critics for being a woman and
Roadside / A5

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 16
August 3 - 16, 2009

Diocesan News


News Briefs
Davao launches ‘tie a yellow ribbon campaign’

DAVAO CITY—The sadness of losing an icon of democracy is also felt by the people here. When Cory Aquino died on Aug.1, church groups particularly Marian movements initiated the “tie a yellow ribbon campaign” in the streets as a way of paying tribute to the former president. (Mark Ventura)
Laguna priests to celebrate Priests Day

SAN PABLO CITY—Over a hundred priests, religious, deacons led by Bishop Leo Drona marked Priests Day here recently. The Diocesan Catholic School System hosted the event that took place at the Liceo de San Pablo gym on Aug. 4, also the 150th Death Anniversary of St. John Mary Vianney, the Patron Saint of Parish Priests. (Fr. Romulo Ponte)
Tau Mu marks 42nd anniversary

Archbishop launches flood aid appeal
COTABATO CITY— Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo appealed to the government to help residents in the city and those in Maguindanao and North Cotabato who have been displaced by floods. This city and more than 100 low-lying villages of Maguindanao and North Cotabato have been underwater for about a week now due to moderate to heavy downpour in Central Mindanao region. Five persons have already been killed due to landslides, swelling of rivers and rampaging floodwaters. The National Disaster Coordinating Council reported that more than 200,000 persons have been affected by the flooding which hit the region since July 27. Quevedo said the floods in Central Mindanao have exceeded the overflow brought about by Typhoon “Frank” last year. “Today’s flooding exceeded last year’s disaster and the water is still rising,” he said. “I am appealing to government disaster coordinating councils to move and act fast,” he added. At press time, thirty out of Cotabato City’s 37 villages have been underwater which prompted Mayor Muslimin Sema to place the city under state of calamity. He released P1.5 million as emergency relief funds for the displaced families now housed in various public schools and barangay centers around the city. Two persons died in Cotabato City due to drowning while another two farmers died in Alamada following a landslides and one died in South Upi, Maguindanao while crossing the rampaging waters of Rifao River. Alarming Archbishop Quevedo expressed deep concern over the serious destruction of farms brought about by unabated floods in Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat. Taking a helicopter for an aerial inspection of the affected areas on August 2, the archbishop said “it was an awful sight of flooded homes, streets and rice fields the city and nearby towns.” He added low-lying areas from Simuay to Bulalo and Salimbao in Sultan Kudarat town have remained under water. He said mud and silt are common. “I saw farms destroyed in the upstream areas in Montawal, Pagalungan, Datu Piang and in Pigcawayan town,” the prelate said. Pangalungan river has overflowed and has reached the national highway to Kidapawan. The prelate said small portions of the Mindanao River basin planted to rice have gone underwater. “The river projects in Allah and Simuay rivers have been swept away by rampaging floodwaters,” he added. He described the situation as a “terrible tragedy” where people “will continue to suffer for years with the bald mountains in Alamada have manifested signs of man’s sins against God and his creation.” (Edwin Fernandez and Fr. Jonathan Domingo, OMI)

DAVAO CITY—Ateneo de Davao’s College of Law Fraternal Order of St. Thomas More or Tau Mu marked its 42nd founding anniversary on July 29. Tau Mu, a fraternal order for students taking up law in ADDU is today composed of prominent law practitioners, political and civic leaders. (Mark Ventura)
IDPs to go on streets to call for peace

COTABATO CITY—Internally displaced persons trooped to the streets in Maguindanao on July 23 to call for a ceasefire in Mindanao. Dubbed as “Bakwit Power 2”, the rally dramatized their experiences in the 2003 Bakwit Power in Pikit which successfully convinced the government and the MILF to re-declare a ceasefire. (Mark Ventura)
Bishop opposes Laiban Dam project

MANILA—The CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Indigenous Peoples (CBCP-ECIP) has declared its support to the indigenous peoples and environmental groups opposing the Laiban Dam project in Quezon province. Bishop Sergio Utleg, ECIP chairman, said they support the crusade of the Dumagat tribes to resist the restoration of the project. (Kate Laceda)
ECMI launches OFW club

KALOOKAN CITY—Hundreds of OFWs’ families attended the launching of the Pamilyang OFW (Overseas Filipino Workers) Savers and Wellness Club of the Kalookan Diocesan Desk for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and their Families. Organized by the diocesan desk, Pioneer Life and the CBCP’s Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, the launching was held July 18 at the St. Mary’s Academy. (Kate Laceda)
Surigao diocese launches aid to evacuees

SURIGAO DEL SUR—Last July 22, Bishop Nereo Odchimar has launched relief operations to about 300 families from 15 villages of Lianga town in Surigao Del Sur that have been displaced due to military operations. Sr. Lydia Lascano, ICM, Diocesan Social Action Center director said this was the decision of the bishop and his clergy after listening to the displaced lumads who sought their help yesterday. She said food and medicines and clothing for the children would be distributed at the soonest possible time. (Melo Acuna)
Claretian foundations launch “Living Your Strengths”

MANILA—The Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc and the Claretian Hope Center Foundation, Inc has recently launched a book entitled “Living Your Strengths.” The launching was held last July 18, 2009 at the Hope Center in Loyola Heights, Quezon City. (Kate Laceda)
Whatever / A4

DAVAO CITY—An official of Davao’s Roman Catholic Church has criticized the military for allegedly recruiting indigenous peoples as members of a paramilitary unit. Fr. Florencio Acedo, Jr., Indigenous Peoples Apostolate director, claimed the military was enticing lumad residents in the region to arm themselves and become members of the civilian armed forces geographical unit (Cafgu). According to the priest, the situation of the IP communities, based on reports reaching his office, is already “very alarming.” Acedo said “the military should understand that the indigenous peoples like any other civilians should be spared from being involved in military works, field operations and campaigns.” “We are actually exposing the lives of the IP communities in dan-

AFP recruitment of IPs as militiamen hit

ger because of this practice. Our IP communities live peacefully in the hinterlands. The act of recruiting them to join the paramilitary group is undermining their order,” he said. He said that the trouble with this recruitment is the fact that lumads are usually becoming frontliners during military operations. “We can say now that the motive is clearly to put the lumad at the frontline in its fight against the NPA (New People’s Army rebels),” said Acedo. The church official also said that it is clearly unfair to use the lumads as bait just to advance political interests. “Safeguards must be set in place in order to protect the human rights of our lumads,” he added. (Mark S. Ventura)

to blame but us. Remember accidents? We had fights and punched each other and got black and blue and learned to get over it.” “We made up games with sticks and tennis balls, and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes. We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s home and knocked on the door, or rang the bell or just walked in and talked to them.” “Sports teams had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment. Some students weren’t as smart as others, so they failed a grade and were held back to repeat the same grade. Horrors! Tests were not adjusted for any reason. Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected. The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law. Imagine that!” “This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers and problem solvers and inventors, ever. The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had Freedom, Failure, Success and Responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.” “Now we’re raising kids in a society with more distractions. The word ‘parent’ has become a verb. We’ve been given more tools, more techniques to mold these children into the best they can possibly be, and to protect them from a host of new threats. We must shield them from viruses, bullies, junkies and terrorists, while exposing them to Mozart in the womb, Kumon in kindergarten, trigonometry in the third grade.” “Renowned educator K.C. Smith recently came up with this list of ‘All a child really needs: Radio. A bicycle. The public library. Swimming lessons. Typing lessons. Tickets to the theater and to baseball games. A grandparent. A brother or sister.’” “No mention of a computer.” *** This interesting reflection comes with a brief introduction from another anonymous recipient who says: “In case you haven’t seen a version of this floating around, here’s a contribution to the debate on kids and high tech. I’ve read it several times and still can’t figure out if it’s tongue-in-cheek or dead serious.” Whether or not it’s only an ironic presentation on how different today’s children are growing up from those of yesterday, it still holds a lot of ‘ordinary tap’ water. This may be a good wakeup call for both parents and educators to ask themselves if they’re gingerly raising children only for a palliative present that actually deprives them of living on their own in an unknown and future. Maybe it’s about time to unplug—and hopefully we’ve gotten around to unplugging ourselves—our children!
Enough / A1

PAGALUNGAN, North Cotabato—In a desperate move of the government’s armed forces to bring into justice the so-called members of the “lawless Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) group” (LMG), they cared less about human rights protection and even inflict torture and violence. This was the view shared by some of those internally displaced persons (IDP) or commonly called “bakwit” mothers in Pagalungan, North Cotabato, adding that as time passes their road to attaining a secured living becomes narrower. IDP Asnairah Nawal recounted to CBCPNews how she and her family feared the darkness of the night especially hearing the voices and footsteps of the military roaming around the camp sites. For Nawal, every step of a soldier would also spell another hint of violence to take place in the area, unmindful that children are also getting scared of their presence. She said government troops usually roam around the evacuation camp sites and it usually takes place before the sun sets till evening. Some of the soldiers, she continued, also visit the abandoned places of the bakwits. “If they [army] see anyone around, they usually held him for custody. They will slap him in the face urging him to reveal the house of Umbra Kato. Though we don’t know where he is, they still refuse to believe it, said Nawal. The military has been branding the group of Abdulrahman Macapaar alias Commander Bravo and Ameril Umbra Kato as members of the LMG. Even 6th Infantry Battalion Lieutenant Col. Jonathan Ponce said that the presence of improvised explo-

Torture, violence prevail in evacuation camp sites
sive devices (IEDs) during explosions is the handiwork of LMG. The hot pursuit operations of the government troops against Bravo, Kato and their followers started after a series of bloody attacks in July and August last year that resulted to the death of hundreds and thousands of civilians and caused others to leave their homes and seek shelter in evacuation sites. IDPs appeal for peace Kagi Mariam, one of the IDPs also appealed to the government particularly to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to order the military to stop the practice of torture and

violence in an attempt to arrest the rogue MILF commanders. Mariam said the civilians are dreaming of a peaceful Mindanao and all they wanted now is to go back to their homes and fields so they can start their lives anew. Saying that life now in the evacuation sites is completely miserable, Mariam asked Mrs. Arroyo that if she is a true mother, she would have the heart of a mother who worried so much over the suffering of her children. Monitoring groups reported that about 639,158 civilians have already been displaced by the fighting in Central Mindanao since last year. (Mark Ventura)

Forum tackles dev’t issues in E. Samar

causes but does not agree with their methods. Sr. Rose-Susan Pacheco Montejo, Superior General of the Oblates of Notre Dame read Quevedo’s statement. The 70-year old prelate said “collateral damage simply means murder and deliberate unjustifiable destruction of property.” He explained armed conflict brings “more destruction on civilians than on combatants” because for every combatant killed “scores of civilians suffer or die.” He noted for the past 12 months, he has seen thousands of civilians languishing in evacuation camps “first in Pikit and PALMA areas and now in Datu Piang and other places in Maguindanao.” He said “such human tragedy, spawned brutal retaliatory terrorism elsewhere in our region” in Southern Philippines. “From the depths of my soul I can only cry out to all warring parties, ‘Enough is enough!’” as he appealed to the warring factions to end their respective “search and

punish operations, end to terrorist bombings, bombardments, raids because ‘Enough is enough.’” The prelate said due punishment for raids “has long been meted out in an attrition of casualties and damaged properties.” He added what remains is the “senseless logic of war, of action and reaction” and the “suffering of thousands of civilian evacuees.” “For the sake of our evacuees and in the name of our one God of Peace, end your war! Go back to the negotiating table,” he added. He appealed to both sides to let the thousands of evacuees to safely return to their homes as he called on to “collaborate with one another and rehabilitate the evacuees’ destroyed properties.” “Give them another chance for a truly human life,” the prelate added. He concluded by saying “there is no human conflict that cannot be solved through a genuine honest dialogue of the heart.” (Melo M. Acuna)

BORONGAN, Eastern Samar— A recent forum focusing on infrastructure development and environmental concerns may yet offer a ray of hope to the people of Eastern Samar to see the much-deserved development happen in their province. The Diocese of Borongan hosted on July 24 the 4th Eastern Samar Peace and Development Forum (ESPDF) which discussed the current situation of the province’s infrastructures and environmental issues. A report presented during the forum by the Eastern Samar Development Project Monitoring Team (ESDMT) highlighted the controversies involving the unfinished construction of road projects by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DWPH). The dreadful condition of roads in Eastern Samar has always been a perennial problem in the province which the people have learned to live with. Environmental issues as regards the implementation of Ecological Solid Waste Management Act (RA 9003) and mining concerns were also tackled during the meeting.

Other significant issues discussed were the practice of child labor in small mining sites and the operation of small and largescale mining without proper consultation and permit. Jeff Rafa of Alyansa Laban sa Mina sa Mindoro (ALAMIN) presented the National Situationer on Mining while Roslyn Arayata of Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) National Secretariat discussed the Alternative Mining Bill. At least more than 100 people attended the forum, representing parishes, ESDMT, non-government organizations, academe and media. Representatives also came from government agencies, including the local government, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Mining and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), Philippine Army and Philippine National Police. Resolutions concerning mining and environmental issues have been drafted and agreed on by the participants at the end of the meeting. (Pinky Barrientos, FSP)

© rfestin.wordpress.com


People, Facts & Places

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 13 No. 16

August 3 - 16, 2009

Nuncio leads jubilee celebration of San Jose diocese
THE diocese of San Jose, Nueva Ecija marked its 25th year of canonical erection with a solemn mass on July 14, led by the Apostolic Nuncio in the Philippines, Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams. Themed Ika-25 taong anibersaryo: hamon sa patuloy na pagpapalaganap ng Damayang Kristiyano, the opening of the year-long jubilee festivities was held at the Cathedral of St. Joseph the Worker, San Jose City. Twenty-nine other prelates including San Jose, Nueva Ecija Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara, Bishop Florentino Cinense, first bishop of San Jose and current bishop of Tarlac, Bishop Leo M. Drona, SDB, the 2nd Bishop of San Jose and current Bishop of San Pablo, and Bishop Oscar Solis, a native of San Jose and currently Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, USA concelebrated the Eucharist. The clergy from the Dioceses of San Jose, Cabanatuan, Tarlac and Cubao also joined the celebration. A jubilee message from the Pope was read by Bishop Sofronio Bancud of Cabanatuan during the Mass. Bishop Vergara read the declaration officially opening the Jubilee Year of the Diocese of San Jose, Nueva Ecija from July 14, 2009 to July 14, 2010. Three churches were designated as official pilgrimage churches during the year-long jubilee celebration. They are the Cathedral of St. Joseph the Worker in San Jose City, St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church in Carranglan, St. Jerome Church in Sto. Domingo, and St. Roch Church in Cuyapo. A plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful who visit any of the jubilee Churches provided they observe the necessary requirements needed to receive the indulgence. The diocese also distributed plaques of appreciation towards the end of
San Jose, Nueva Ecija Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara with papal nuncio Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams during the processional entrance.

the mass. Among those cited were the papal nuncio, the former bishops and two lay persons, Mr. Jayson Alejo who won the logo making contest and Mr. Francisco Beni, who topped the song writing contest. Among the faithful who graced the occasion were representatives of different sectors and parishes of the diocese. Government officials headed by the Governor of Nueva Ecija, Aurelio Umali, Representatives Cherry Umali and Joseph Gilbert Violago also attended the celebration. Jubilee preparations Preparations for the jubilee have been going on since 2007. Vergara formed an AdHoc committee headed by the Vicar General Msgr. Rolando Mabutol to oversee the groundwork for the jubilee celebrations. The committee heads and members are composed of priests, religious nuns and lay leaders. The AdHoc Commit-

tee meets once a month to plan for the occasion. Upcoming celebrations The year-long jubilee festivities also provided a means for the diocese to thank the different sectors which journeyed with the bishopric through the years. A monthly celebration will highlight the different sectors and their contribution to the growth of the diocese: August, Religious; September, Catechists; October, Indigenous People/Community Based Health Program Workers; November, Schools; December, Damayang Kristiyano; January 2009, Parish Workers and Lay leaders; February, Clergy and Seminarians; March, Mandated Organizations; April, Youth; May, Farmers; June, Parish wide celebrations. A synthesis of the year-long celebrations will be the culminating activity of the jubilee on July 2010. (Pinky Barrientos, FSP)

Twenty-nine Prelates concelebrated the jubilee mass.

Contributed photo

7 cardinals to attend Asian bishops’ confab in Manila
HONG KONG’S controversial Joseph Cardinal Zen is among the seven cardinals attending the meeting of Asian Catholic bishops in Manila this August. Cardinal Zen, who just retired last April as the head of Hong Kong’s Catholic Church after 12 years for reasons of age, is an outspoken advocate of democracy and religious freedom in China. During his tenure, the 77-year-old cardinal criticized both the governments in Hong Kong and Beijing. As a result, his concern on social justice and human rights has won him both friends and foes, even within the Church. And despite his retirement, the cardinal continued his advocacy for the Church in China and other key issues. Catholics in China are split between a state-sanctioned church and an underground church that opposes government ties and follows only the Pope. An estimated 120 prelates will be visiting the Philippines for the 9th plenary assembly of the Federation of Asian Catholic Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) on August 10-16. Archbishops Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales of Manila and Ricardo Cardinal Vidal of Cebu are among the Filipino prelates attending the event at the Pope Pius XII Catholic


Cardinal Joseph Zen

Center in Paco, Manila. Other cardinals attending the plenary meeting are Telesphore Toppo and Oswald Gracias, both from India, and John Baptist Cardinal Phan Min Manh from Vietnam. The FABC secretariat said the Vatican will also be sending Francis Cardinal Arinze to represent Pope Benedict XVI. He is currently Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the

Discipline of the Sacraments, having served as prefect from 2002 to 2008. Cardinal Arinze was one of the principal advisors to Pope John Paul II, and was considered “papabile” before the 2005 papal conclave, which elected Benedict XVI. The 120 expected participants are currently considering the working document on “Living the Eucharist in Asia,” which is based in recent Church teachings on the topic. The plenary assembly is the highest legal body within the FABC, which conclude usually with final statements reflecting their main considerations on the selected theme. FABC has 15 Episcopal Conferences coming from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Laos-Cambodia, Malaysia-Singapore-Brunei, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. It also has ten associate members from Hong Kong, Macau, Mongolia, Nepal, Kyrgyzstan, Siberia (Russia), Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and East Timor, which are Church territories with less than three dioceses or ecclesiastical territories. This will be the second time that such a plenary takes place in Manila, after the foundation of the Federation in Manila in1970, and the 6th Plenary Assembly in 1995. (Roy Lagarde)

© www.catholic.org.hk

APPOINTED. Fr. Francis Gustilo, SDB, by Pope Benedict XVI, to the 30member International Theological Commission under the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Gustilo, an expert in spiritual and dogmatic theology, is a professor of theology and spirituality at the Don Bosco Center of Studies in Paranaque City. The Salesian was one of the three nominees endorsed by the CBCP to William Cardinal Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Gustilo, a former provincial superior of the Salesians of Don Bosco, became the third Filipino to sit in the Commission, after Jesuit theologian Catalino Arevalo and Imus Bishop Luis Antonio Tagle who served from 1997-2003. The International Theological Commission was erected in April 11, 1969 and had then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger as its first President from November 25, 1981 to April 19, 2005 when he was elected Supreme Pontiff. (Melo M. Acuna) ELECTED. Fr. Manny Guazon, a priest from the Archdiocese of Lipa has been recently elected as Chairman of the Association of Foundations, Inc. Guazon currently serves as Executive Director of Pondong Batangan Community Foundation. He is also the chairperson of the Association of Foundations’ Community Foundations Committee and was former president of SAIDI. An acknowledged expert in organization development, Guazon is a board member of the Lipa Metropolitan Chapter of the Bishops-Businessmen’s Conference for Human Development, serving as its Chairman of the Committee on Programs. With his election, the Board has regional representation. Guazon joins Ms. Marichu Lopez in representing Luzon. Mesdames Domi Chua, Edith Villanueva and Gina Martin along with Sonny Carpio all hail from the Visayas while Dodoy Magdolot and Bro. Bob McGovern are from Mindanao. (Fr.Noni Dolor) ELECTED. Fr. Randolf Flores, SVD as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Catholic Biblical Association of the Philippines (CBAP) for 2009-2010. Other members of the Board are: Sr. Bernardita Dianzon, FSP, secretary; Sr. Miriam Alejandrino, OSB, member; Fr. Gil Alinsangan, SSP, member; Fr. Cielito Almazan, OFM, member; Fr. Leander Barrot, OAR, member; Fr. Victor Nicdao, member; Fr. Felipe Fruto Ramirez, SJ, member; and Fr. Herbert Schneider, SJ, member. Flores is at the same time President/Executive Director and Dianzon is Secretary. The vice-president and treasurer have yet to be elected in the next Board meeting on August 2009. The election took place July 17-19, 2009 during the 10th annual convention of the organization held at Phinma, Tagaytay City. CBAP is an association of biblical scholars and exegetes committed to studying and spreading the Word of God. The group also promotes partnership on common projects with the other members of the recognized Biblical organizations worldwide. The biblical organization works hand in hand with the Episcopal Commission on Biblical Apostolate (ECBA) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). (Kate Laceda) LAUNCHED. Two-year preparation for the golden jubilee celebration of the Diocese of Laoag, July 26, St. William Cathedral, Laoag City. Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams, Apostolic Nuncio in the Philippines led the Eucharistic Mass together with Laoag Bishop Sergio Utleg and clergy. Present during the launching were delegates from the different vicariates of the diocese and religious congregation of sisters. Each parish was represented by members of their pastoral councils (PPC) and finance councils (PFC). The diocese will mark its golden jubilee in 2011. (Mark Vertido)

UST Theological Society holds Week of Prayer for Priests
THE University of Sto. Tomas Theological Society started this year’s “Week of Prayer and Gratitude for Priests” with a Mass led by Batanes Bishop Camilo Gregorio at the UST chapel last July 27. The Week of Prayer and Gratitude for Priests, in line with the Church’s celebration of the sesquicentennial anniversary of St. John Mary Vianney and dedication for the “Year for Priests”, will be holding a nine-day celebration that will culminate on the Feast of St. John Mary Vianney on Aug. 4. The prayer for priests of St. Therese of the Child Jesus will be recited at the start of the class in their respective classrooms during the entire celebration of the religious event. The image of St. John Vianney will be venerated by faculty, heads, and students of designated departments or colleges. It will stay in a particular department throughout the day and through prayer, incensing the image, and solemn procession, the image will be transferred to another department on the succeeding day. The procession of the image accompanied by the students of the Faculties of Sacred Theology and Philosophy was initiated from the Central Seminary to the Ecclesiastical Faculties on July 27. It was venerated during the second day by the High School Department and by the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery on July 29. In the afternoon, the procession of the image of St. John Vianney was led by the deans, professors, staff and students of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery to the administrative building. The image was brought back to the Central Seminary, July 31. The Triduum Prayer in commemoration of the Cure of Ars, the patron of the secular priests, by the Central Seminary community began August 1. On Aug. 3, the campus ministry facilitated a Taize prayer for priests to students of the university, followed by a solemn vespers held in the Central Seminary gymnasium. A Prayer Vigil was held at the Central Seminary chapel by the representative students, deans and professors from different faculties, colleges, and institutes of the university at the culmination of the nine-day liturgical event. A concelebrated mass capped the Week of Prayer and Gratitude for Priests. (Vanessa Puno)

Teresian Association marks St. Poveda’s 73rd death anniv
THE Teresian Association Luzon chapter, an international catholic lay association with pontifical approval founded by St. Pedro Poveda has celebrated the commemoration of the founder’s 73rd anniversary of martyrdom with their families and friends held in Pedro Poveda College in Quezon City on July 26. It also marked the launching of the preparation of the Teresian Association’s Luzon chapter for the centennial celebration of foundation of the international Teresian Association established in Oviedo this coming 2011. Last July 27 was also the opening of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Poveda College in 2010, according to Dra. Emma Melgarejo, the president of Poveda College. Dra. Azucena Camagan, zone director of Teresian Association of Luzon started the affair by reading a short bi-

St. Pedro Poveda

ography of St. Poveda and history of Teresian Association. Alumni of UP Madrigal graced the affair by rendering songs of different genre that aptly relates to a brief description of chronicle of St. Poveda’s life as their tribute to the commemoration of the saint’s vocation as priest of God,

founder, educator and martyr. A blessing was conferred on a group of young new members of Institucion Teresiana Youth of Poveda before the end of the eucharistic celebration. (Vanessa Puno)

Contributed photo

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 16
August 3 - 16, 2009

Pastoral Concerns


Values Involved in a Financial Crisis
(Talk of Manila Archbishop Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales during the First Saturday MAGPAS on July 4, 2009 at the Cardinal Sin Auditorium, Paco Catholic School, Paco, Manila delivered by Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Auxiliary Bishop of Manila)
WE continue the reflection on the different verses of our Apostolic Vision in the Archdiocese of Manila. This time we attune ourselves with the current crisis that affects the financial and economic globe. What happens to the money in one part of the world influences money-making and the use of money in other places of the same world, including the Philippines. It is for this reason that we make this reflection. It is hard to make money; it is harder to make proper and responsible use of hard-earned money. And this brings us to the question of values. In moments of crisis the question will ultimately be asked: what went wrong with values? What is it that I value most or what do I really desire most in my work, among friends and ultimately in my whole life? Change in Values means a Change in one’s Lifestyle A change in value scale of any individual will mean a change in one’s style of life. I vividly remember a dialogue I had once with a group of housewives from the farmlands in Bukidnon. These women complained in that open discussion against their husbands. When life was hard and tough and they had difficulties making both ends meet, they had only “one fighting cock” in the yard. “Isa lamang ang kanilang tinaling sasabungin”. But after a bumper crop harvest the previous year, they had eight fighting cocks to take care of. This only proves that the moment one’s resources have improved, the style of life begins to change. Values have a great influence in the life of anyone. Money has a way of changing the behavior and the ideals of the person. The more of it (money or things material) you have, the more will man desire it... And the more repeatedly you have “the more”; the less will it satisfy. Now that we are talking of values allow me to bring in the ideas of Abraham H. Maslow, a humanist

psychologist, who said that human desires tend to form a hierarchy of importance. Hindi lahat ng gusto ay pare-pareho. Ang gusto ngayon, bukas ay hindi na. Mas malaki na ang hangad sa makalawa! In life the changes in values is evident in what people seek. In the beginning one thought the tricycle will answer all the needs to go around the town; then the craving for a jeep took over. Now it is SUV. “As a want of a lower order is being satisfied, it becomes less and less important, with a want of the next highest-order becoming more and more important… What matters is the insight that wants are not absolute: the more a want is being satisfied, the less its satisfaction matters”. (PETER DRUCKER, People and Performance, p. 216). The truth about values and behavior is evident in the way we have things; our houses, offices, garages and bodegas are cluttered with objects we thought we urgently needed. Value scaling easily transits to greed. The worst part is that we may not be aware of our own hierarchy of avarice. Avarice and Greed Silently Lurk behind the Desire for More It now appears that in making money (earning) and in the management of money (banking and saving) the value system of the person has been badly devastated. At the root of the present financial and economic crisis is a moral or ethical problem. People who handle huge amount of money or resources have lost their values; with management they co-opt both the present and the future. The idea of honesty and transparency is lost. Management as the supreme form of stewardship is only imaginary. What I have is not completely and ultimately mine. We will be responsible not only for what we hold in possession, but even for what we have desired. “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors’ good,” so says the Tenth Commandment. Very recently it was revealed through investigations that at the root of the world’s financial crisis was the selfish managerial conduct of many a CEO (Chief Executive Officer) and GMs (General Managers) who took it to themselves to cut the pie of investments in such ways that the larger slice of compensation is always on their side. Some are completely without morals that given by their Government some aid in the form of “buy off”, they first proceeded to their blow out parties and self-compensatory acts. It is evident that in the management of resources two important things are required by an ethical behavior. What Everyone Needs to be Moral in the Use of Money or its Equivalent The first requisite for a moral conduct is discipline. No person can be moral without full control of self. To do what is good and to avoid what is evil is not left to chance or the whim and fancy of the individual. It requires personal and consistent effort to be good. Even the management of the home demands an enormous degree of discipline or “dying to self”. For how can anyone explain the mutual fidelity of the spouses to

one another, the unfailing guidance and accompanying of parents for their children, without self-sacrifice. Parents can share with any of us the number of times they had to forgo the immediate purchase of a pair of pants or new shoes to give way to the tuition or “baon” of the children. Any posturing of leadership whether parental, social, economic or national, without discipline of self cannot ultimately be moral. It needs personal spiritual effort to become a moral person. Morality cannot be proclaimed nor can it be gained by advertising one’s self. The second requisite for the person’s moral conduct is not to cause anyone harm. (Never to do evil). The Greek physician Hippocrates prescribed for all those who would be involved in the healing profession never to do anybody any harm. “PRIMUM NON NOCERE”. Above all, not knowingly to do harm to anyone. This is positive manner of saying avoid what is evil. Avoid hurting anyone. So many times this advisory is heard in the home, the school, churches and streets. It is still stated in the negative. “Don’t” Huwag! Sinasaway! This is the root of the Tagalog word “pasaway”. The whole mentality behind the second requisite is preventive. The third requisite for moral conduct is very positive. It sources from a mentality that reaches out to another. It does what is good whenever and wherever good is perceived. Moral individuals are proactive persons; they make initiatives for good, they do not wait that they may retaliate. Obviously, high in the value of moral persons is the practice of sharing. Obviously the CEO’s and GM’s mentioned earlier in our reflection would not fit rightly into the category of moral management and stewards we are today considering, just as not all will be worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven. Sharing the Littlest Good Unlocks the Gates to the Kingdom of the Father The kingdom of the Father is a matter of sharing, of giving up something for the sake of another. Those who are incapable of and are unwilling to share even the smallest thing with another will find it impossible (for them) to dwell in the Father’s Kingdom. The doors of the Father’s house will be locked to those incapable of sharing with the weakest. We remember that in the Story of Lazarus the Rich Man was asking for a second chance, but he was denied by God another try. In everyone’s life on earth every episode, every encounter with a man in need is a prelude to eternity and the unveiling of Jesus Christ’s identity in the face of the poor. The mystery of eternity is that it is hidden in the disguise of a few seconds that long for charity and compassion for the needy. It is so easy to miss eternity by being too careless with little things, simple good acts and the unkempt face of the poor. We started the reflection by saying that the root of the present financial crisis that has enveloped the world economy and societies is ethical. That

is true, but it would be very wrong to insist that only because we have the present crisis and financial problems that today we busy ourselves with ethical issues. The problem of desire, and the craving for more is not just an economic and moral problem. The insatiable lusting for more—supported by desire and strengthened by greed—is both a psychological and a spiritual problem. If that lust and desire for resources, money and its equivalent is so strong that it becomes compulsive, then a more professional help must be urged. Detachment from anything or Person not Rooted in God However, most of us mortals are in the same boat and what we need is Christ until the storm of our desires has passed, and we have all reached the shore. Jesus is whom we need and we may address him like the apostles did, “Lord, save us”. Jesus saved the Apostles in the boat with His Presence and His power. When a heavily loaded boat is threatened and about to capsize, the command of the Captain is to jettison the load. In the human scale of values anything can be thrown away in order to save lives. For heaven and eternal life everything can be cast away. Money, power, prestige, wealth, Presidency, Senatorship, Barangay Captain’s office? This is the reason why Jesus counseled the rich young man, “Go, sell your possessions, give to the poor and come follow me”. In all our scales of values God must outbalance everything and everyone. He tips the balance always to His side. No one sits on the opposite side of the balance to even try to displace God. From the idea of detachment the value of the Kingdom enters from the periphery to take the center, because the idea of King brings us in human language/ expression the supremacy of a God who has neither equal or rival. And because God is the Greatest, then we are able to let go of everything, we consent to be detached from everything and everyone, even from our spirituality, if only we can be with God. The moral persons, who truly learn to love and serve God and accept Him as the greatest (Kingdom), can be trusted with resources, honor and the economy of any institution, Church and country. What they call stewardship is nothing but the proper management of resources, monies and / or its equivalent done by men who are moral, transparent and compassionate. Stewardship does not mean ownership, for when God said “Let us make humans to our image and likeness, and let them be masters of the sea, the fish” and the rest on earth He did not mean exclusive ownership but providential care for the created resources for everyone to enjoy. To live on earth as God’s image is to share God’s gifts with others, while using from it only what s/he needs and allowing others to share what is their share from the bounty that is God’s. To claim from the earth more than what he needs is to destroy the balance of God’s wisdom and mercy.

© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media



CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 16
August 3 - 16, 2009

The Canonical Process (Part I)
By Fr. Jaime B. Achacoso, J.C.D.
AT times, I have been approached by Catholic faithful citing some grievances against fellow Catholics—fellow laypersons, or religious, or at times even clerics. What brings them to consult a priest is oftentimes their desire to resolve the matter amicably—intra Ecclesia—rather than suing in a civil court. What they don’t know is that even within the Church, the canonical mechanism exists for legitimate redress. After exhausting the extrajudicial means to resolve a conflict, the faithful—or canonical juridic person—who esteems that a legit¬imate interest has not been satisfied, can exercise his right to action by presenting his cause before a judicial tribunal. What follows is a series of acts aimed at obtaining a resolutory decision from the tribunal. This is the judicial process. 1. The Canonical Judicial Process (Processus) In Canon Law—similar to civil law—a process is a series or succes¬sion of formal juridic acts, carried out before a tribunal of justice, by virtue of a pretension— understoodasaclaim,formu¬lated according to form and with fumus boni iuris—by a subject confronted by another, aimed at obtaining in a binding way the declaration or acknowledgment, juridical constitution, or the im¬position of a conduct, in relation to persons and matters subject to the jurisdictional power of the Church. This exhaustive definition attempts to capture the following essential elements of the process. a) Procedural: The process entails a established way of proceeding (modus procedendi), wherein the series of juridic acts follow each other in an ordered way—i.e., some are necessary antecedents, while others are obligatory consequences. b) Processal: These acts are processal inasmuch as they are celebrated before a tribunal of justice and proceed in a con¬tentious manner. c) Fumus boni iuris (an apparent legal sense): This series of acts starts with one inchoative act of formal claim—commonly called the libellus or charge—among the and cross-examination) of witnesses. (ii) Presentation of proofs. b. Principles Relative to the Processal Initiative. We can distinguish three levels: 1) Opening of the Process. The instance of the part inchoates the process; the opening of the process ex officio does not happen in Canon Law (c.1501). 2) Impulse of the Process. The impulse or propelling of the process through its different stages belongs, in principle, to the parts, who should be the ones to propel the process (c.1452, §1). However, in cases that affect the public good, the judge ex officio should propel the process so that it does not lapse. 3) Presentation of Proofs. In principle, the parts should present the proofs. However, the judge should make up for any negligence of the parts, both in the presentation of proofs and in the interposition of exceptions. c. Principles of Preclusion and Concentration 1) Principle of Preclusion. This refers to the extinction of a facultative right (faculty) to carry out a processal act once the time limit or period for it has lapsed, and the process has moved on to the next phase. A part who does not make use of a faculty within its time limit looses the right to exercise it. 2) Principle of Concentration. This refers to the tendency to concentrate all the processal acts in one audience (so as to coun¬teract the principle of preclusion). d. Principle of Publicity and Secrecy 1) Principle of Secrecy. The subjects and the acts in the trial are bound by secrecy with respect to third parties who have no legitimate interest in the cause (c.1455). 2) Principle of Publicity. An ecclesiastical trial is much more private regarding third parties than are most civil trials—to which private citizens and the press, and sometimes even television cameras, have access (c.1470). For the most part, ecclesiastical trials are held in closed chambers, with just the judge (or tribunal) and a notary present, while the parts and witnesses make their deposition one by one. (To be concluded.)

requisites for which is that it have founda¬tion in law (cc.1504, 1° and 1505, §2, 4°). d) Confrontational: The process is always confrontational—i.e., it is between parts (also called parties) who do not have to be actually against each other, but are formally positioned confrontationally with respect to each other. This contradictorium is at the core of the process and its presence in each stage of the process is the theoretical basis for its claim to the truth—i.e., such contradictorium is what enables the court, fallible as it may be, to arrive at the moral certainly of having reached the truth of the matter by the time of sentencing, since both parts would have exerted everything possible to demonstrate the two sides of the contention. e) Aimed at getting a judgment: The series of acts which constitute a process pretend to obtain from the judicial tribunal a decision which binds the opposed parties, and—in some cases and in an indirect and conditional manner— even third parties. f) The content of the decision can be of different sorts, con¬gruent with the content of the original claim of the actor or plaintiff in his charge or libellum. Thus the

decision can be: (i) Declarative—merely declaring juridic facts or rights pre-existent to the process (c.1400, §1, 1°). (ii) Constitutive—constituting new rights or juridic situations, by creating, modifying or extinguishing pre-existing juridical phenomena. (iii) Condemnatory—imposing certain conducts or duties (c.1400, §1, 2°), e.g., penalties. g) Limited Scope: On the one hand the canonical process is limited to persons and things subject to the jurisdictional power of the Church (cc.1400-1401). On the other hand, it is also limited in scope to that aspect of juridical reality which is defined in the dubium or litiscontestatio. In other words, the process will focus only on what the Tribunal has established, early on in the proceedings, to be the bone of contention, avoiding other issues—or even the introduction of certain evidences—as irrelevant to the particular case. 2. The Basic Elements of the Process In a schematic way, we can consider five basic ele¬ments of the process, which comprise the

subject matter of Part I of Book VII (on Procedural Law) of the Code of Canon Law: 1) Material Object: The matters that can, in general, be addressed by a tribunal (c.1400). 2) Active Subject: The judge or tribunal before whom the case is presented. Can.1401 states the general principle that the Catholic Church does indeed have the right to hear certain cases; and cc.14041475 (Titles I-III) treat this matter more in detail. 3) Form: The procedure or solemnities that are followed in the adjudication of certain matters. Can.1402 states the general rule. 4) Passive Subject: The petitioner or respondent whose case is being heard. This matter, along with the procurators and advocates for the parties, is treated in cc.1476-1490 (Title IV). 5) Formal Object: The precise claim or counter-claim made by the parties in a particular process. This matter is treated in cc.14911500 (Title V). 3. Processal Principles in General As a specific instrument for the establishment of justice in any juridic order, we can speak of the process being informed by the

following principles. a. Oral vs. Written System 1) Written Process. This arose in Europe from the common law (ius commune)—based on Roman Law—moved by the desire to foster impartiality on the part of the judge: to minimize direct contact between the judge and the parts. 2) Oral Process. This was the opposite tendency, moved by reasons of expeditiousness, which became the ordinary way. 3) Conjugation of both principles in the modern process. The modern process gives preference to one and the other princi¬ple depending on its aptness for the specific phase of the pro¬cess: a) There is a preference for the written mode in the more complicated phases requiring accuracy of documentation: (i) Petition—since it is usually complicated. (ii) Testimonies—are taken down in writing, since the sentence (and possible appeal) has to be based on them. b) On the other hand, there is a preference for the oral mode where immediacy between the judge and the parts or witnesses is desirable—i.e., for agility and judicial accuracy: (i) Interrogation (examination

Masters of Ceremonies
(Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university, answers the following query:) Q: At a conference organized by one of the ecclesial movements and attended by nine priests and two bishops, a Christian Brother was delegated by one of the lay-leaders to bring the Blessed Sacrament to the hall for adoration each day. At both the beginning and end of the 45-minute adoration, the Christian Brother proceeded to bless the people with the monstrance—not just a single blessing, but rather the triple blessing used by a bishop. I relate the details of this incident to inform you of how uninformed the lay-leaders were. Also, on each occasion at Mass the bishops were seated together near the altar with a lay master of ceremonies, and the priests were seated on a much lower level, at the front of the congregation, and at a distance of about 15 to 20 meters from the bishops—even though there was room for all or most of us to be seated with the bishops. When I complained before the last Mass about the unnecessary distance between priests and bishops, I was just ignored and left to believe that I should have more respect for the authority of the lay-leaders. Are priests obliged in these circumstances just to fall in with the wishes of lay-leaders? Have lay-leaders the authority to direct how and where priests should sit in matters like this? Lastly, does a celebrant or principal celebrant have a right to say that he has no need, or does not want a master of ceremonies (particularly a lay MC) at a Mass? At the conference mentioned above, a lay MC before one of the Masses commented to the principal celebrant that “I am the one in charge today.”—T.M., Australia A: There are basically three questions involved. I will address the first two briefly and expand a little on the third. First, it was an abuse to have an extraordinary minister (the Christian Brother) exposing the Blessed Sacrament when ordained ordinary ministers were present. Furthermore it was a grave abuse for the religious brother to attempt to give a blessing with the Blessed Sacrament. This rite is strictly reserved to the ordained ministers, and the brother might even be subject to canonical penalties for illegitimately carrying out these rites. Second, the General Instruction of the Roman Missal foresees that, insofar as possible, concelebrating priests should be seated within the sanctuary. If this is not possible due to elevated numbers, they should be as close to the presbytery as possible,withnootherfaithfulseatedbetween the ministers and the concelebrants. Finally, the role of the master of ceremonies is outlined in the Ceremonial of Bishops, Nos. 34-36. The norms make it clear that he is at the service of the liturgy in order that a solemn celebration be carried out with grace, simplicity and order. He is needed to “prepare and direct the celebration in close cooperation with the bishop and others responsible for planning its several parts.” It continues: “He should seek to ensure an observance of liturgical laws that is in accord with the true spirit of such laws and those legitimate traditions of the particular Church that have pastoral value.” Before the celebration he should “arrange with the cantors, assistants, ministers and celebrants the actions to be carried out and the texts to be used, but during the celebration he should exercise the greatest discretion: he is not to speak more than is necessary, nor replace the deacon or assistants at the side of the celebrant. The master of ceremonies should carry out his responsibilities with reverence, patience and careful attention.” Regarding the qualities required of him, the document says: “He should be wellversed in the history and nature of the liturgy and its laws and precepts. But equally he should be well-versed in pastoral science, so that he knows how to plan liturgical celebrationsinawaythatencouragesfruitful participation by the people and enhances the beauty of the rites.” The qualities mentioned in these norms in no way exclude the possibility of a lay master of ceremonies and, indeed, there are many excellent lay masters in churches and cathedrals around the globe. In this sense the question of “obedience” toward a master of ceremonies or of his being “in charge” should be largely beside the point. Preparing a proper liturgical celebration is a collaborative effort in which the master of ceremonies coordinates beforehand with the various persons involved. A master of ceremonies who arrives saying he is “in charge” has probably failed in his duties to adequately prepare the ceremonies in advance. If anybody is properly speaking “in charge” of the celebration, it is the principal celebrant. For example, it is he, not the master of ceremonies, who determines the texts to be used, which optional ritual elements are included or omitted, and what is to be sung or recited. In preparing the celebration the master of ceremonies may make suggestions to the celebrant as to what is most appropriate. But the final decision rests with the celebrant. The celebration can even make changes during the course of the celebration if unforeseen circumstances recommend it. The master of ceremonies is “in charge” of coordinating all those who assist at the Mass and these should diligently follow his instructions. Although we have said that, strictly speaking, concelebrants do not owe obedience to the master of ceremonies, this statement must be qualified in some cases. There are situations in which a large number of concelebrants arrive shortly before the beginning of Mass, and it is materially impossible to prepare the celebration beforehand. In such cases the priests should punctually follow the MC’s indications, not so much out of obedience to his person as to obedience toward the reverent and dignified celebration of Mass.

Laypeople’s Use of Oil
(Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university, answers the following query:)
Q: There are chaplains who minister at a local Catholic hospital and one of them likes to use “oil” when she prays with the patients (Catholics and non-Catholics). I feel that this causes confusion. One of the chaplains attended a recent convention of chaplains and was told by a presenter that this practice is allowed as long as they tell the patients that they are not receiving the sacrament of the sick. I seem to recall that years ago the Vatican came out with a document on the use of oil by laypersons. Could you please comment?—A.S., Bridgeport, New York

A: The document you refer to is probably the 1997 instruction “On Certain Questions Regarding the Collaboration of the Non-Ordained Faithful in the Sacred Ministry of Priest.” This is an unusual document insofar as it was formally issued by the Congregation for Clergy but was co-signed by no fewer than eight Vatican congregations and councils, including that of the Doctrine of the Faith. This gives the document a certain weight with respect to its authority. The document first presents the theological principles behind its decisions before giving a series of practical considerations on aspects of lay ministry in the Church. Then, having laid the groundwork, it enunciates in 13 articles practical provisions and norms that outline the possibilities and limits of the collaboration of the lay faithful in priestly ministry. The first article, on the “Need for an Appropriate Terminology,” attempts to clarify the multiple uses of the expression “ministry.” This responds to an intuition of Pope John Paul II who, “In his address to participants at the Symposium on ‘Collaboration of the Lay Faithful with the Priestly Ministry’ …, emphasized the need to clarify and distinguish the various meanings which have accrued to the term ‘ministry’ in theological and canonical language.” The document accepts that the term “ministry” is applicable to the laity in some cases: “§3. The non-ordained faithful may be generically designated ‘extraordinary ministers’ when deputed by competent authority to discharge, solely by way of supply, those offices mentioned in Canon 230, §3 and in Canons 943 and 1112. Naturally, the concrete term may be applied to those to whom functions are canonically entrusted e.g. catechists, acolytes, lectors etc. “Temporary deputation for liturgical purposes—mentioned in Canon 230, §2—does not confer any special or permanent title on the non-ordained faithful.” However: “It is unlawful for the non-ordained faithful to assume titles such as ‘pastor,’ ‘chaplain,’ ‘coordinator,’ ‘moderator’ or other such similar titles which can confuse their role and that of the Pastor, who is always a Bishop or Priest.” Another article, No. 9, is on “The Apostolate to the Sick.” Regarding our reader’s question on the use of oil in a non-sacramental way, the article is very clear: “§1. […] The non-ordained faithful particularly assist the sick by being with them in difficult moments, encouraging them to receive the Sacraments of Penance and the Anointing of the Sick, by helping them to have the disposition to make a good individual confession as well as to prepare them to receive the Anointing of the Sick. In using sacramentals, the non-ordained faithful should ensure that these are in no way regarded as sacraments whose administration is proper and exclusive to the Bishop and to the priest. Since they are not priests, in no instance may the non-ordained perform anointings either with the Oil of the Sick or any other oil. “§2. With regard to the administration of this sacrament, ecclesiastical legislation reiterates the theologically certain doctrine and the age old usage of the Church which regards the priest as its only valid minister. This norm is completely coherent with the theological mystery signified and realized by means of priestly service. “It must also be affirmed that the reservation of the ministry of Anointing to the priest is related to the connection of this sacrament to the forgiveness of sin and the worthy reception of the Holy Eucharist. No other person may act as ordinary or extraordinary minister of the sacrament since such constitutes simulation of the sacrament.” To many it might appear that this document is excessively restrictive in its dispositions. Yet by providing clear guidelines and demarcations of proper competences based on solid theological reasons, it actually facilitates fruitful collaboration between priests and laity in a true spirit of charity and service to Christ, the Church and to souls.

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 16
August 3 - 16, 2009

regard to issues affecting them. The BCC’s became the venue through which the people found the strength and the courage to organize and to have a collective voice to express their sentiments and positions. Felt needs surfaced and later led to the creation of various pastoral programs such as PHC (Primary Health Care, later became CBHP – Community-Based Health Program), Christian Formation (CF), Family and Life (FLA), Social Action (SAC), Justice and Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC), Christian Youth Formation (CYF), Tribal Filipino (TF), and Vocations. A big part of the funding for these programs came from foreign funding agencies. The heightened awareness of the people, the flurry of ministerial activities in the BCC’s and the parishes caught the attention and the ire of some local government officials and the military. And so persecution started which led the Church to take action and in turn provoked more persecution. heightened Missionary Zeal Brought Forth Intensified Persecution (19801986) The local Church of Kidapawan turned a new chapter in history when in 1980 Bishop Escaler was transferred to the Prelature of Ipil in Zamboanga del Sur and a new local Ordinary was appointed to take his place – then Bishop Orlando B. Quevedo, OMI, D.D. The orientation to justice remained as the thrust. The BCC’s experienced intense growth but the opposing f o r c e s of church life. New Shepherd, New Challenges, New Pastoral Responses (1986-1995) A new turning point in our journey happened when the Pope John Paul II transferred Bishop Orlando B. Quevedo to the Archdiocese of Vigan, Ilocus Sur. Fr. Beato Tariman, OMI, took over as Diocesan Administrator until the new shepherd, Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos, D.D. came in April 9, 1987. The euphoria of the EDSA Revolution was still very much in the national consciousness and there was hope that the local situation would change for the better. But we were mistaken! Bolo-wielding fanatical groups sporting headbands of different colors and commonly labeled as “TADTADS” surfaced and freely the baby Jesus. The redefinition of the diocesan thrust signaled a shift towards a more wholistic pastoral approach to mission that included care and advocacy for ecology and the establishment of zones of peace. In June 12, 1991 the Diocese issued A Pastoral Letter on Ecology to coincide with the Diocesan Ecology Day celebration. The main issue was the geothermal project of the PNOC at Mt. Apo National Reservation Park against which the Diocese held several moves. There were also efforts to stop the logging operations done at the Mt. Sinaka mountain range in Arakan Valley. The Zones of Peace were finally set up in Bituan, Tulunan and later expanded to other neighboring barangays. The effort towards peacebuilding was finally given recognition when the Diocese received the Aurora Aragon Peace Award from no less than the National Government itself. To mark these fruits of mission and the action of God in its history, the Diocese celebrated its 15th Anniversary on December 8-10, 1991. When in January–February of 1991 the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (PCP II) was conducted in Manila, the Diocese was ready to welcome it as a great milestone in the life of the Church in the Philippines and as another turning point for its own growth. We participated in the necessary preparations for this Council and sent delegates to its celebration. When these delegates came back, they were filled with the inspiration

Opening Up to New Possibilities (1997-2006) The fourth bishop of the Diocese was the then Bishop Romulo G. Valles, D.D., a diocesan priest of the Diocese of Tagum and Rector of the Saint Francis Regional Major Seminary in Davao before he was appointed and consecrated bishop for our diocese. He took over the post vacated by Bishop Pueblos who was assigned to the Diocese of Butuan in January, 1996. Bishop Valles arrived in Kidapawan at the time when we were beginning the three-year journey of our JUBILEE CROSS in preparation for the JUBILEE YEAR in 2000. The Jubilee Cross we made for this occasion travelled from one BEC to another in every parish throughout the diocese, staying one day and overnight in each and continued on to another at dawn the next day. This was a time of grace and of conversion for many people including some nonCatholics. In January of 2000, the JUBILEE CROSS completed its pilgrimage. To punctuate its arrival at the Cathedral and to launch the JUBILEE YEAR 2000, about 20,000 pilgrims from all over the diocese gathered at the plaza in Kidapawan City for an overnight celebration of God’s outpouring of goodness on His people. A series of Jubilees, e.g. for families, the youth, the sick, the tri-peoples (IP’s, Moro and Christian Settlers) followed. There was so much jubilation and celebration. But it was marred by the EL NIÑO phenomenon that caused starvation to many of the farmers and the tribal communities in the mountains. Relief services were organized spearheaded by TABANG MINDANAO. Another

By Fr. Rolando T. Tabosares, DCK
ThE Birth of the local Church The beginnings of the local Church in Kidapawan can be traced back to the initial evangelization work of the Jesuit missionaries in Mindanao and the succeeding missionary work of the Oblate Fathers (OMI’s) who came in the 1930’s. The original inhabitants then were the Moro and the Indigenous Peoples. Then came the Christian settlers from Luzon and the Visayas who brought along with them the Christian faith. There was so much goodwill among the inhabitants. The population in what came to be known as the Great Cotabato Basin grew and so was the need for evangelization. The Christians organized themselves into communities centered round rudimentary chapels and would request the services of a priest for patronal fiesta celebrations. The Oblates founded parishes and later set up Notre Dame Schools. The Parish of Kidapawan was the first to be established (1947). In 1971, the First Mindanao-Sulu Pastoral Conference was convened. The delegates led by the bishops and priests captured the spirit of renewal called for by Vatican II and decided to build Basic Christian Communities (BCC’s) as a new way of being Church. Spearheading this movement of Church renewal in the Archdiocese of Cotabato, particularly in Kidapawan area was Fr. Beato Tariman and a team of lay persons. To spur the organization and formation of BCC’s or “GKK’s” (Gagmayng Kristohanong Katilingban), the Lay

ON BACKGROUND: Our Lady Mediatrix of All Grace Cathedral. BELOW: Most Rev. Romulo T. De La Cruz, D.D.

Bishop ……………………………….. 1 Priests: Diocesan …………………………… 27 Religious: Filipino …………………….………… 6 Foreign ……………………………… 4 Brothers ……………………………… 9 Sisters ………………………………... 45 Seminarians: In Theology ……….………….. 13 In College …………………...…….. 21 In Pre-college ……………..………. 25 On guided regency …………….. 8 Parishes ……………...……………… 16 Quasi-Parish .…………………... 1 Population ……..……………… 783,179 Catholics ……………..………. 418,803 Area …………….…… 24,189.19 sq. km

Diocese of Kidapawan
“History is not only a record of the past. It is the unfolding of possibilities. Embedded in it are seeds of change and creative acts for a better future.”
matched it with intensified persecution in the name of anti-insurgency campaign. The BCC’s were tagged as mass bases of the NPA’s and the lay leaders were often the targets of harassments and killings. But the BCC’s would continue to gather on Sundays in their chapels to celebrate their faith and derive inspiration from it and from the solidarity with one another. Two more Prelature General Assemblies were convoked to strengthen the resolve to continue building BCC’s and respond to the signs of the times based on the imperative of the Gospel. The situation became so intolerable that on Easter Sunday in 1981, Bishop Quevedo issued a Pastoral Letter bearing the title and the call: The Lord is Risen: Be Not Afraid – Ayaw Kahadlok. The people stood their ground knowing that the Risen Lord was with them. The BCC’s continued to grow as the priests assisted by committed lay leaders went about nurturing their faith through various ministries. Such growth led to the elevation of the Prelature into a diocese in November 15, 1982. In a period of more than two years, two Diocesan General Assemblies (1983 and 1985) were convoked. Diocesan-wide events like these would always serve to provide greater solidarity with one another and to strengthen the commitment to mission as enshrined in the diocesan thrust. As the local Church was elevated to the diocese so did it also rise to international media prominence but above all to a higher level of witnessing to the gospel as a lot of people were killed on suspicion of supporting the NPA’s or of being one with them or simply because they were members of the GKK’s or happened to respond to those who called for help. Crowning the long line of these victims of violence and conflict was Fr. Tullio Favali, PIME who was murdered in La Esperanza, Tulunan in April 25, 1985. Despite the persecution, the local Church moved on with its work of educating the people to justice. The situation of persecution and injustice became a challenge and an impetus for growth in the faith and in other aspects roamed the barangays to sow fear and perpetuate terror among the residents. It was common knowledge that these fanatics were being used by the military as part of the so-called “low intensity conflict” tactics and the primary targets were those identified as members and leaders of the BCC’s and those actively involved in human rights work. Thus, a new wave of persecution happened. As a response, Bishop Pueblos issued a Statement of Concern in June 24, 1987 followed by an appeal to prayer and fasting in July 29 of the same year. In September 4, 1987, the Regional Trial Court in the Province of Cotabato sentenced to life imprisonment the killers of Fr. Favali. Then a year later, the Diocese was again shaken when the LLP (Lay Leadership Program) Coordinator of San Isidro Parish, Tulunan – Rading Fajurano – was murdered. But the diocese never considered quitting or even to slow down its praxis and tone down its voice. The blood that Fr. Favali and the deeply committed leaders and members of the BEC’s shed became added source of strength and inspiration and the fuel that spurred us all to continue. In 1989, there was a respite from persecution and relative calm pervaded the entire local Church. But on the pastoral front, the Diocese moved on and conducted the Third Diocesan General Assembly (DGA III). The delegates of this assembly spelled out the Vision, Mission, and Goals of the Diocese and reformulated the Thrust from “Education to Justice” to “EMPOWERING THE BEC’S FOR JUSTICE AND INTEGRAL DEVELOPMENT”. They envisioned BEC’s as having five components corresponding to the five rays of a star: Ray 1 – Sharing based on the Bible; Ray 2 – Service to the Community; Ray 3 – Educating to Justice and Peace; Ray 5 – Self-reliant communities practicing solidarity in love. This metaphor of BEC’s became known as GKK STAR MODEL that served to guide pastoral action just like the Star of Bethlehem that guided the Magi in their search for and the resolve to implement the Council’s Acts and Decrees. A massive education campaign was launched and preparations for another diocesan assembly were commenced. The following year, in 1992, the Fourth Diocesan General Assembly DGA IV) was held. We were that fast to respond, for we thrived on challenges. The Fifth Diocesan General Assembly affirmed the Vision and Mission Statement of the previous Assembly but this time integrated the challenges of PCP II in the goals and recommendations. The three-pronged renewal call of PCP II – Renewed Catechesis, Renewed Social Apostolate, and Renewed Worship – became FSW (Formation, Services, and Worship). This FSW schema became the umbrella under which the different pastoral programs were run and implemented from the diocesan level down to the smallest units of the BEC’s – the Family Groupings (FG’s). Ministries under the Formation category were Lay Leadership, Christian Formation, Youth, Family and Life, and the Vocation Program. Under the Service Ministry were Justice and Peace and Integrity of Creation – Women Empowerment (JPICWEP), the Tribal Filipino Program (TFP), the CBHP, the Social Action (SAC), and the IRD (Inter-religious Dialogue). The Worship Ministry included the formation and training of the different ministers involved in the celebration of the liturgy. The unifying principle of operation among these pastoral ministries was “INTEGRATION” – the workers of all ministries to work hand in hand where and when appropriate in line with the diocesan Vision, Mission and Thrust. Steering these changes at the diocesan level were the Diocesan Pastoral Coordinator and the Diocesan Pastoral Team (DPT). At this time, the need for initiatives towards greater self-reliance was again emphasized as funds from abroad for the sustenance of the pastoral programs dwindled. It was time to really stand on our own. Building on the Gains of the Past, Liturgical Leadership (LLL) Program was launched. The aim was to form and train lay leaders to lead the Sunday Celebration of the Word of God in the absence of the priest. The growth of the Church in the Archdiocese of Cotabato came to the point when it was time for it to give birth to another local Church. So, in June 12, 1976, the Prelature of Kidapawan was created and a Jesuit, Bishop Federico O. Escaler, SJ, D.D. became the first local Ordinary. At that time, there were only 11 priests, mostly Oblates, one Jesuit, and three diocesan. The historical event became an added impetus to build and strengthen the BCC’s. More and more parishes went into BCC organizing. Consequently, a lot of lay leaders emerged so that the need to form them in the faith and to equip them with leadership skills became evident. Thus, the LLL became LLP (Lay Leadership Program) to highlight the shift in focus from forming and training lay leaders for liturgical functions to enabling them to lead the BCC’s in all aspects of church life. Barely a year after the Prelature was created, in March 1-3, 1977, Bishop Escaler convoked the First Prelature General Assembly (PGA I) in which the overall thrust – EDUCATION TO JUSTICE – was formulated. The young local Church took on the challenge to educate the people in the faith and in the demands it entails with regard to living it out in situations of conflict and injustice. At that time, the political conflict between the Muslims and the Christians which started in late 1960’s was continuing. There were cases of land grabbing and land-related conflicts. Abuses by the military and para-military units were also rampant. Communist insurgency was spreading and intensifying. As a response to these realities, the parishes conducted consultations and education sessions in the BCC’s. Prominent among these was the Farmers’ Consultations and Couples Formation. These activities raised the level of the consciousness of the people with event that caused untold suffering to the people during this time was the ALLOUT WAR of the government against the MILF. TABANG MINDANAO again was involved but this time not only in the relief work but in peace-building efforts. While these calamities caused suffering to those who were directly affected, they also brought greater solidarity of people in communities. One expression of such solidarity was the formation of the UPPIF (Ustadzes, Priests, Pastors, Imams Forum), a brainchild of the BUF (Bishops-Ulamas Conference). Fr. Eddie Pedregosa, the IRD Coordinator of the Diocese, was very instrumental in organizing this forum the primary purpose of which was to contribute to the peace-building process at the grassroot level. In January, 2001, the Diocese culminated the JUBILEE YEAR with another diocesan-level activity. Thousands of pilgrims from the BEC’s came to celebrate for one day and one night. The Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Antonio Franco graced the occasion. The following day, the diocesan Jubilee Cross was enshrined on the Cathedral grounds where to this day people would come to pray or just to see it. A few months after the close of the Jubilee Year, in June 12, 2001, the Diocese turned 25 as a local Church. The celebration, however, took place on the morning of August 20, 2001 as an opening salvo of the Fifth Diocesan General Assembly (DGA V) which was held from August 20 to 24, 2001. The Diocesan Pastoral Team headed by Fr. Rolando T. Tabosares, DCK, the Diocesan Pastoral Coordinator, did a lot of preparations to make the 25th Anniversary Celebration and the DGA V a resounding success. The DGA V formulated a new Vision and Mission Statement and updated the Goals and Recommendations of DGA IV. In 2003, Fr. Rolando Tabosares, DCK, the Diocesan Pastoral Coordinator
Kidapawan / B7

By Dom Martin Gomez, OSB

Monks celebrate jubilee of monastery


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 16
August 3 - 16, 2009

THE Benedictine monks up on the hills of Malaybalay count their blessings on this year of jubilee celebration of their foundation. As the celebration of the Jubilee Year of the Monastery of the Transfiguration comes to an end (August 6, 2008-August 6, 2009), it was blessed with the election of its first Conventual Prior after nine years of being under an appointed superior. On June 13, 2009, the chapter elected Fr. Savio Ma. Siccuan, OSB as Prior of the monastery, signaling the start of a new phase in the life of this Benedictine monastery on the hills of Bukidnon. Founded from the Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat in Manila by Abbot Eduardo P. Africa, OSB, the monastery was inaugurated on August 6, 1983 in solemn rites presided over by the Papal Nuncio, Msgr. Bruno Torpigliani, during the canonical visitation of Rt. Rev. Dennis Huerre, OSB, Abbot President of the Subiaco Congregation and Rev. Mark Butlin, OSB, of Ampleforth Abbey, England. The monastery became autonomous in 1986, barely three years after it inauguration. As the present Abbot President of the Subiaco Congregation puts it, “The foundation of the Transfiguration in fact represents a certain polarity in relation to the Mother House. In the latter, there is a monastic life together with a pastoral thrust (San Beda College), while in Malaybalay, the way of life has a more contemplative style. This polarity is creating a positive field of spiritual energy both for the Mother House and the Daughter House.” Transfiguration in Malaybalay today is a small monastic community with eight solemn-professed monks and five formands. The monks vowed to follow the Rule of St. Benedict by living a contemplative life in their quest for God. The community observes the traditional monastic horarium of seven times of prayer, the Liturgy of the Hours, all of which are chanted. They start with Matins at 3:40 a.m. and end the day with Compline or night prayer at 7 p.m. Lectio Divina or spiritual reading is an important part of the day in the life of the monks and much time is provided for it. True to the Benedictine motto of ORA ET LABORA, the monks are also involved in agricultural endeavors, planting rice and corn in their farm. In May 1991, the monks started to produce their high-quality coffee under the trade-name “MONKS’ BLEND PREMIUM COFFEE” and thus was born MONASTERY FARMS, the name of the company that now also produces piniato (peanut brittle) and peanut butter. As a spiritual center, the monastery providesfacilitiesforretreatsandrecollections both for the lay and the religious. The place

TOPMOST: The Transfiguration monastery in Malaybalay, Bukidnon. UPPER LEFT: Prior Savio Ma. Siccuan, OSB. UPPER RIGHT: The OSB community.

is a favorite venue for the religious who are preparing for their profession; and faculty retreats, some coming from as far as Surigao and Zamboanga. The monastery guesthouse is also open to guests who just want to spend some time away from the noise of the city and enjoy much time for silent reflection. Many people come to the monastery to find comfort and strength in life, “heavily laden” with all sorts of pain and suffering. People from all walks of life come to the monastery and they are all received. For as St. Benedict says in his Rule for Monks, “Welcome each one as if he were Christ Himself.” “There are perhaps only a handful of places in this country, and in the world, that can give rest, relief and serenity to a person’s soul as does the Monastery of

the Transfiguration,” a former president once said. The guesthouse has also opened its doors to non-religious activities such as training seminars for NGOs and government organizations, believing that its very atmosphere of silence and the beauty of nature, could not but touch the hearts and souls of those who go there. Following the centuries-old tradition of Benedictine monasteries as centers for learning, culture and the arts, Abbot Africa in 1997 gathered superiors and formators of monastic communities in the country to listen to the renowned Esther De Waal’s talks on THE RULE OF BENEDICT. This was the beginning of what later came to be and still is known today as the Philippine Monastic Institute (PMI). Columba Stewart, OSB, Mary Forman, OSB, David Lavich,

OCSO, and Mo. Irene Dabalus, OSB, have all been special guest lecturers of the PMI. Through the years, the monastery has also brought to Malaybalay through the Transfiguration Lecture Series and Music Festival such well-respected speakers as President Corazon Aquino, Haydee Yorac and American Ambassador William Hubbard, and artists like Coke Bolipata (violinist), Antonio Maigue (flutist), Josephine Roces (mezzo-soprano), Irma Potenciano (soprano), Rachel Herodias (soprano) and Della Besa (pianist).The Monastery Boys Choir also gave a number of memorable performances during its ten years of existence. Over the years, the monastery has maintained a strong apostolate of reaching out to the poor. Theirs is the

beautiful story of how monks have made a difference in the lives of the poor folks of barangay San Jose where the monastery is situated. As early as 1990, the “Friends of the Monastery” was launched, an organization of friends and benefactors who promise to support the apostolates of the monks. All of these outreach programs like the medical aid program, the scholarships, feeding program, etc. are handled by the TRANSFIGURATION FOUNDATION, INC. (TFI). Situated within the monastery grounds is the Paul VI Institutes of Liturgy (PIL), which continues to hold seminars on liturgy for both the clergy and the lay. The Formators’ Institute at Transfiguration (FIAT) on the other hand, offers special training seminars for religious formators every summer. Started in 2005, FIAT makes it possible for participants of the one week seminar to joyfully engage in a varietyofexperiencesinPrayer-EncounterWorkshop-Study, all facilitated within the structure of a formative community of faith. FIAT is actually a double experience, it is not only a formation seminar, it is also a monastic experience since participants get to join the monks in their chanted prayers and experience the silence and beauty of the surroundings. As a monastery of the Third Millennium, this monastic community has made “Hospitality” an even more important and palpable element of their monastic life. Aside from welcoming retreatants and guests to the guesthouse, the monks started “BRUNCH WITH THE MONKS” three years ago. Held every second Sunday of the month, the monks serve brunch “al fresco” in the monastery garden right after the 8am mass. This has become a very good way for the monks and the mass-goers to get to know one another. Last August 6, 2008, on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee of the monastery, the MUSEUM OF TRANSFIGURATION MONASTERY (MTM) was inaugurated. MTM is envisioned to be a center of culture and arts that will help shape the cultural landscape of Mindanao. Former President Corazon Aquino gladly donated one of her precious paintings in time for the inauguration. This coming August 6, the FILIPINO VESTMENTS EXHIBIT will open at the museum, eleven years after its successful debut at the Ayala Museum in 1998 for the celebration of the Centennial of Philippine Independence. After a series of successful exhibits in the United States and at the Textile Museum of Canada, the vestment collection finally comes to its permanent home at MTM. Looking at the past twenty-five years, there is indeed much reason for joy and thanksgiving. The monastery has certainly contributed immensely to the growth of the faith. May the good Lord continue to bless the monks of Transfiguration as they persevere in their work and in their prayer that, in all things God may be glorified!

FAQ on Asian Integral Pastoral Approach (AsIPA)
(First of a series)
1. What does AsIPA stand for? Asian, Integral, Pastoral, Approach. Asian because we would like to be very much a part of the local culture and the gospel should take on the expression of the local people and be a part of their own way of living. Sometimes we are thought of as a foreign church. This will be proved untrue if we are rooted in the daily lives of very ordinary people. Integral because it is about bringing together all the various aspects of our parish life into community and mission in and with Christ. It is about weaving together our faith with our daily choices and actions. It is about trying to bring together the different generations and various families into our small Christian communities. Pastoral because it is about caring for all who live with and around us, regardless of their race or religion. The approach is about making it possible for everyone to participate according to their gifts in the work of bringing about the reign of God. Pastoral because the work of all God’s people is the same as that of their shepherd. Approach. The tools used to build up the community must be such that they enable participation, build up confidence, skills in the various ministries as well as always addressing the question: “Why are we doing this?” The theological background to all we do is made available through simple texts and scripture. * Scripture is the presence of the Risen Christ in our midst and that is the main way scripture is used in the programmes of AsIPA. * There are no ‘experts’ and receivers in this approach. All have something to offer and all have access to the same information and search together. * Discovering our common mission that arises out of our common vision is the work of the people in our small communities. Just telling and expecting results is the opposite of this approach. 2. What are some of the programmes offered by the AsIPA desk? The AsIPA programmes are supplemented by the Pastoral training programmes coming from South Africa and the Philippines. There are many types of programmes for different contexts and needs. Some examples are: General awareness programmes which wake up the Sunday congregation to the demands of the Church after Vatican II. About leadership; sharing responsibility for mission; our social responsibilities for the poor, creation etc.; about what SCCs are and why we need them; about the rites of Christian initiation and why the church asks us to change our way of catechizing adults, youth and children. * Programmes for small communities to: learn how to do Gospel sharing using different methods for different occasions. Learn how to start and maintain small Christian communities; learn how to choose the right leaders for the various ministries and services. * Programmes for parish teams to learn how to develop a mission statement and make their own awareness programmes. * Programmes for parish pastoral councils to learn what it means to be a councilor and how to work with parishioners and the parish priest. * Programmes for SCC members to train for ministry to the sick, for home visiting; for infant baptism preparation; for liturgical ministries like lectors, etc. * Programmes for social awareness and analysis of problems in society and church. * Leadership training programmes * Programmes for the spiritual growth of leaders and to assist in the resolution of difficulties. * Adult catechetical sessions for use in the journey of Faith of catechumens. 3. Who is behind the AsIPA programme? Who is promoting it? * Basically it is the Office of Laity and Family (OLF) of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC). There is an ‘AsIPA desk’ that is part of the OLF which is now based in Singapore. * This was set up in 1993 to coordinate the needs of many dioceses for training. The executive secretary of the AsIPA desk receives requests for training in different dioceses and asks members of the Asian team to oblige if they are available. * The AsIPA Resource Team (ART) is made up of various individuals who have been or are workingontheAsIPAprogramme at national or diocesan level in their own countries. At the request of dioceses or bishops’ conferences the team is formed for a training programme or consultation. Different dioceses give the programme very different receptions. It is only possible to implement the programme where the invitation is forthcoming.(To be continued/ Compiled by Wendy Louis)

Taize to launch final stage of preparation for int’l meeting in Manila
THE final stage of preparation for the upcoming international youth meeting “Pilgrimage of Trust on Earth” slated in Manila early next year will soon be launched in an atmosphere of prayer and songs on August 29 at the San Carlos Seminary, Makati City. Spearheaded by the Taize brothers in coordination with the Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY), the event which will open at 2 p.m. and ends at 6 p.m. will be marked with common prayers, familiarizing participants to the typical Taize chants, the meditative way of prayer, and the value of silence. Young adults from 16 to 35 years old who can be facilitators and ready to commit themselves in the preparation and organization of the meeting on a parish and vicarial level are encouraged to attend. The Taize brothers have invited parishes to send five young adults who are active in the parish and have good contacts with other parish groups. These young people will report about the different concerns tackled during the meeting to the parish and the parish council. Participating in the preparation of such a meeting means taking a step forward in our lives, by deepening our faith together and living out this faith through simple commitments. A reflection and sharing on how trust (in God, in others, in oneself, in the future) helps us go forward and not be discouraged will also be taken up. The Brothers will explain the different practical aspects and ways of participation in the meeting. Materials for the practical and spiritual preparation in the parishes will be given. There are two different kinds of involvement the parishes can take part of. Parishes in several dioceses with easy public transport to Makati City will be asked to host guests for the duration of the meeting and to organize a morning program (during the three mornings of the meeting, 4, 5 and 6 February) in order to share the life of the parish, with all its joys and hopes, with the international guests. In these parishes, the brothers will encourage young people to form a preparation group, meeting regularly during the coming months in order to reflect about the spiritual and logistical aspects of the welcome. This preparation groups will be in close contact with the brothers and volunteers present in Manila. Forparishesoutsidethewelcome area in places farther from Makati City the youth could however also participate in the meeting. There is the possibility to find foster places closer to Makati City for those who wish and/or are not able to travel to Makati City everyday and to join the morning activities in a parish inside the welcome area. All participants will be asked to share in the costs of the five-day meeting (printed papers, meals, etc.): P950.00 (Participants from Luzon) and P750.00 (Participants from the Visayas and Mindanao). There is no limit to participants aged 16 to 35 years (no slot allotments or limitation). However, there is a mode of registration, details of which will be given later. Laying the groundwork During the last months, Brothers of Taizé have been visiting the dioceses of the National Capital Region (NCR) and other parts of the country. After an initial contact with the bishops of the NCR, they have been able to establish relationships with priests, religious congregations, youth ministers and many young adults who look forward to take part in the preparation and meeting of the “pilgrimage of trust” in February 2010. The brothers will have a group of volunteers who will accompany the on-going preparation in the parishes and dioceses. A coordination center will be set up at the St. John Bosco Parish, Makati City. It is also there in the compound of the Don Bosco Technical Institute, Makati City where the central venue of the several thousand participants coming from all over the Philippines, other Asian countries, and different continents will be located. The Brothers of the Taizé Community will animate the worldwide meeting in collaboration with ECY and the NCR Regional Youth Coordinating Council. In a letter sent to Brother Alois, prior of the Taize community, ECY Chairman Bishop Joel Z. Baylon, said “that young people are called to bring the Good News of God’s love by living simple yet upright lives, by reaching out to be of service to others, by communal action on behalf of justice and truth…” Young adults who would like to participate on August 29 launching should contact their diocesan or parish youth director for more details and registration. (Bro. Andreas/ CBCPNews)

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 16
August 3 - 16, 2009



Message of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on President Cory C. Aquino’s Passing Away
hIS EMINENCE CARDINAL GAUDENCIO ROSALES Archbishop of Manila The Holy Father was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Mrs. Corazon Aquino and he asks you to convey to her family and the government authorities his heartfelt condolences and the assurance of his prayers for her eternal rest. Recalling President Aquino’s courageous commitment to the freedom of the Filipino people, her firm rejection of violence and intolerance, and her contribution to the rebuilding of a just and cohesive political order in her beloved homeland, His Holiness commends her noble soul to the eternal mercies of God our Heavenly Father . He likewise remembers her as a woman of deep and unwavering faith and thus he prays that the same faith and hope which guided her life will now come to abundant fulfillment. Invoking upon all the Filipino people an outpouring of divine graces, the Holy Father cordially imparts his apostolic blessing to all taking part in the Mass of Christian burial, as a pledge of consolation, strength and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ. CARDINAL TARCISIO BERTONE Vatican Secretary of State

© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

Message of the CBCP on the demise of Mrs. Corazon Aquino
THE CBCP joins the Aquino family and the entire nation in mourning the passing away of a great woman who was for six years the President of our country. It was a holy death in the midst of physical pain and suffering. Death occurred at three o’clock, the Hour of Divine Mercy. It was First Saturday, the day of our Blessed Mother. Tita Cory was holding the Fatima Rosary which Sr. Lucia gave her many years ago. Our country is very much indebted to this humble and sincere woman, who though not a politician herself and unprepared, she accepted the challenge of the Filipino people to lead them as President. It was not she who pushed herself into the position; but it was the people who called upon her. Eternal gratitude is due to Cory and her husband, Ninoy, for living it out that “The Filipino people is worth dying for.” Many eulogies and speeches will be delivered to extol her goodness; we know she deserves them. But now at the threshold of eternity, the only eulogy she would hear is the invitation of the Lord of Divine Mercy: “Come, blessed of my Father, enter the kingdom which has been prepared for you.” In her unassuming way she knew when to say “enough is enough” and gently handed over the government to her successor. It remained to succeeding generations of leaders to be worthy of the trust of leadership and to continue what she had begun, to dream again the dream of what is best for the country. +ANGEL N. LAGDAMEO, DD Archbishop of Jaro CBCP President August 1, 2009

Pastoral Statement on the passing over to new life of former President Maria Corazon C. Aquino
IT is with deep sadness accompanied with Christian hope that we, Catholics of the Local Church of Davao City, mourn the passing over to new life of our former president, Maria Corazon C. Aquino. It was President Cory’s belief and hope, as it is ours, that our traditional devotion to the Sagrado Corazon de Jesus and Immaculada Corazon de Maria, after whom she was named, will merit us the special grace of entering into grace. She passed away and returned to her Creator on 01 August 2009, first Saturday of the month. In gratitude to her and to Almighty God for restoring democratic institutions after the 1986 People Power Revolution, we have decided through a Circular Letter of August 01 to observe the traditional nine-day period of mourning with a daily Mass and a special intention in the Prayers of the Faithful. While extending our condolences to the children and family of the late president, we include them in our prayers. On the 9th day, Monday, August 10, we will celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for President Cory at 12 noon at the San Pedro Cathedral. All Catholics—priests, religious, and laity—and other people of good will are invited to join us in praying for the eternal repose of her soul. As a fitting reminder of her presidential regal figure, the color blue may be used or displayed in the liturgical rites and by the worshippers.

© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

+FERNANDO R. CAPALLA, DD Archbishop of Davao August 3, 2009 Davao City

Thank you, Mrs. Cory C. Aquino
LET the entire nation pause in prayer to thank God for President Corazon C. Aquino. She was not just the President who gave back to the Filipinos the freedom and democracy they had lost. She was both President and Icon of what an authentic, truthful and honest leader was to a people whose long experience was to look for a guide who would lead them out of history’s cruel political disarray. Above all she was a simple and humble person and leader. Cory Aquino was said to have wrestled with herself and conscience before deciding to offer herself as an alternative to a harsh dictatorship. And when finally, crowned with the people’s trust, she even suffered more when in the process of guiding the country, countless attempts were put to destabilize the people’s fledgling newly regained democracy. Let the country thank Cory Aquino for she indeed completed Ninoy Aquino’s dream of saving, serving and sacrificing his life for the Filipino People. I cannot think of Cory, in her genuine simplicity and honesty, without remembering Ninoy Aquino and his passion to serve, to give and to love. Ninoy’s sacrifice for a dream for the Filipino made Corazon C. Aquino. Cory Aquino’s simplicity and fidelity to a dream to guide the people completes the story of the Filipino People. But the story needs subsequent volumes that now the Filipino People will to fill up, live and write. THANK YOU, MRS. CORY C. AQUINO!

Cory – My Personal Symbol of Inang Bayan
MILLIONS of Filipinos shouted the battle cry, “Cory! Cory! Cory!,” throughout the campaign period for the Snap Elections of 1986. Finally Filipinos had real hope in ousting President Ferdinand Marcos from an office he had held since 1964. More than an icon of democracy Cory was and is to me my personal symbol of Inang Bayan, our beloved Motherland. I first met President Cory Aquino during her campaign sortie to Kidapawan. While many of her fellow campaigners delighted the huge crowd in the town plaza, she came for a quiet visit to the Bishop’s Residence. She wore her signature yellow dress. Obviously she was the darling of our lay staff and she had picture taking with them. After exchanging pleasantries I asked her to go with me and visit the grave of Fr. Tullio Favali, P.I.M.E., The brutal murder of this gentle Italian missionary priest in 1985 by paramilitary forces had demonstrated for me the darkest side of the Marcos regime. We walked the few meters from the Bishop’s residence to the grave and we prayed for Fr. Tullio. Her brief visit and presence was a lifting of the spirit for a Church that had known so much suffering from human rights abuses from 1980 to 1985. From that time on Cory was for me the woman who best symbolized motherland, Inang Bayan. And her gracious, gentle, laid back and kind manner just reinforced that first intuition. From afar I followed her progress during the campaign and prayed for her to win. We organized NAMFREL in Kidapawan. Thank God, most of our Clergy, Religious, and Lay Leaders were willing. A handful did not think that the elections would help and opted with the Left for boycott. Cory campaigned with a simple down to earth, womanly and motherly style of talking, like telling a story, devoid
Cory / B7

Requiem Mass for Former President Corazon Aquino Homily of Ricardo Cardinal Vidal at the Manila Metropolitan Cathedral; August 4, 2009
MY dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ: This is often the lot of leaders not to enter the land they have promised to their followers. Corazon Aquino did not promise a land for us to enter and own, but in each of our minds, we imagined utopias that suited our tastes, and so began the unraveling of the promise of EDSA. Corazon Aquino did not paint for us a promised land. She fell into the role of leader in an accidental way; she did not aspire to become the first female president of our country, but the circumstances conspired to put her at the forefront of our struggles. Cory was drawn to our struggles in a most personal way through the pain of the loss of a beloved. But what pain and anger she felt, she transformed into courage and grace in the face of arrogance and insensitivity. It was not our struggle from the beginning. At least not to the majority of us. We were complacent at the loss of our freedoms, too afraid to raise a voice or too contented to complain. And yet, her pain awakened our indignation. In one woman’s pain, we felt the loss of our dignity at last. She did not paint for us a promised land, but we promised her justice for the wrong done to her, and in the process, we also promised justice to ourselves, for the indignities we have allowed to be done to ourselves. And yet, when justice was accomplished in the most poetic way at EDSA, we forgot that justice can only be sustained by subsequent acts of justice, not by commencing to do injustice to each other. We asked her for the promises she did not make, but we forgot about the promises

May the ever Merciful God keep you Cory, closest to Him. And May you now enjoy the Rest you deserve! May she rest in Peace!

+GAUDENCIO B. CARDINAL ROSALES, DD Archbishop of Manila August 1, 2009

She lived with a clear conscience
AS the nation grieves over the darkening of humanity with the going home of President Cory, we may speak of her as a person and as a president. As a person, she was one of deep and authentic Christian faith. This faith was in her like the light which gave her life the consistent bond of integrity; she lived, as the Apostle writes, “with a clear conscience.” In one moment of levity, I told my brother bishops that Cory was far more Christian than all of us...and no one contradicted me. As a President, she demonstrated to all of us the clear example of how to live beyond oneself, how to hold sacrifice as the raison d’etre of accepting to assume the presidency of a ruined country, in spite of her repeated confession that it was an office to which she was not born for. Her presidency, particularly the last two years, was difficult for all. It was not her fault; it was largely ours – we demanded this from her. Both in her person and in her presidency, I like to remember her for the sterling quality of her Christian faith, the like of which we shall not easily find again in our time.

we did make. Politicians began to apportion power for themselves, businessmen cornered contracts, militant groups commenced their divisive propaganda, military adventurists resumed their

adventure. Even the press, freed from the shackles of tyranny, became quite irresponsible in sowing intrigues and innuendos. We were given back the

© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

+LEONARDO Z. LEGASPI, OP, DD Archbishop of Caceres August 1, 2009

Requiem / B7

By Fr. Joseph Pellegrino
THIS week we come to the climax of John 6. It is not the last Sunday that we have readings from this chapter. Next week we’ll consider the disciples’ suggestion that Jesus “tone down” His teaching. That’s the conclusion. Today, though, we have the climax. John 6 is about sustenance. It is about eating. It is about nourishment. It is about the Eucharist. It is not about eating like we normally eat. Normally, when we eat, we assimilate the food. Forgive my simplification, but basically, our body breaks down the food, takes the nutrients it needs, and feeds our cell system. In a sense, the food becomes part of us, although not as much of us as the guy in the commercial who eats so much chicken that he starts growing feathers. I guess I should qualify that, because I have met a large number of people who share my Italian heritage who look like they have been turned into meatballs. Still, eating is about what we do with the food. We assimilate the food. But that is not what happens when we receive the Eucharist. When we receive the Eucharist, we don’t assimilate the food, the Food assimilates us. When we receive the Eucharist, Jesus transforms us. Instead of the food taking on our life, we take on the life of the Lord. We just heard: “Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.” During the last three or four years, more and more people in our parish have recognized the importance of adoring the Presence of the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. A few years ago we added four hours to the time set aside for First Friday adoration. A little while after that we began the custom of initiating Lent with Forty Hours. One of the joys of the Life Teen program is that it leads our young people to have a real hunger to receive communion and to adore the Lord in the Eucharist. The attraction of the Eucharist is dynamic. Jesus is dynamic. When we

Ref lections

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 16
August 3 - 16, 2009

The Dynamic Presence 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Jn 6:51-58); August 16, 2009

receive communion or when we come to pray before the Blessed Sacrament, we don’t just kneel before a static object. It is not a crucifix or a statue that reminds us of something. This is Jesus. The One Who Is. When we receive communion or come to adoration, we come before the dynamic, powerful Presence who speaks to us through the life He has given us. How great is our God. He has found a way for each of us to have continual, intimate encounters with Him. Pope Benedict XVI writes that the Eucharist is the Dynamic Presence that grasps us and makes us His Own. The fundamental action of Jesus’s life,

the reason why He became one of us, was the gift of Himself in His passion, death and resurrection: the Paschal Event. The gift of His sacrificial love re-established our union with God and our capacity to share in his immortality. Or to put it simply: because He died for us we can live forever with him. When Jesus gave us his Body and Blood the night before He died and when He gives us his Body and Blood every time we receive communion, the Lord gives us the total sacrifice of Himself to his Father. “This is my Body which shall be given up for you. This is the cup of my Blood, the new and everlasting covenant

that shall be shed for you and for all until the end of time.” When we receive the Eucharist, Jesus is present as the Servant of God who in his sacrificial death is saving us all. Right here, right now. Today’s Gospel states: ‘The one who feds on my flesh and drinks my blood has life eternal.” In the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist we receive Jesus saving his people. When we receive communion, we receive Jesus saving us now. We receive Christ strengthening us and transforming our joys and sorrows into prayers to his Father. Our union with Christ in the Eucharist is union

with Christ in passion, death and resurrection. Sometimes we are full of the joy of the Resurrection, sometimes the sorrow of the Passion, but always we are strengthened by the one who gives us his body and blood. The Lord is always in action. His Presence is dynamic. The first reading speaks about the Wisdom of God. God has built a house and invited us to a dinner. “Come and eat and drink and live forever,” He says. He gives us the dream of living in peace and happiness totally united to Him for all eternity. In the beginning of the second reading we heard about our human failures. And all of us can be overwhelmed by our humanity. We desire union with God. This union is given by Jesus in his Paschal triumph, His passion, death and resurrection. We give thanks to God for all that He has done for us. And it is God who has done great things for us, not us for God. Sometimes we treat Union with God as just another item on our “to do” list. It is as though we come to Church to keep God happy. He does not need us. We need Him. We may come to Church with the attitude that we are winning our salvation, as though we were capable of usurping the power of God. We decide what God can and cannot do to effect our salvation. That’s the beginning of today’s gospel. It is a Pelagian attitude. That was a heresy we all share a bit in that says “I can cause my own salvation.” No, it is not about me. It is about Jesus. Everything that matters is about Jesus. He saves me, and He does it for only one reason: He loves me. The marvelous paradox of our Eucharistic relationship with Jesus is that the more we have Him, the hungrier we are for Him. Only, God in His Infinite Wisdom could find a way to satisfy our hungry hearts while leaving us hungry for Him. We can’t get enough of Him. We never will until we are fully united to Him in heaven. Today we pray for the Gift of the Holy Spirit called Reverence. May we revere the Dynamic Presence that assimilates us into Himself every time we receive His Body and Blood.

Bo Sanchez

Live your life with presentation
HAVE you recently dined in a five-star restaurant? Let me refresh your memory. First, the waiters wear tuxedoes and toupees. The tablecloth is immaculate and the orchids in front of you are fresh. The ambiance is gorgeous. Second, the dishes aren’t called on a first name basis. You have to use their complete names, such as Aroz a la Cobanna, and Paella de Barcelona. Or Drunkard Ducks Who Failed the Twelve Steps Program and French Frogs’ Legs with Manicured Toenails. (Okay, okay, so I made those two up.) And the menu describes each dish so verbosely; you’d think poets wrote them. The lowly “burger” becomes Salisbury steak swathed in thick gravy sauce, sprinkled with roasted garlic, mixed with delectable button mushrooms on a hot plate. Served with crisp, buttered vegetables, hi-land rice, and sweet Japanese corn. Wow. Makes you want to eat the menu. I imagine my Drunkard Ducks Who Failed the Twelve Steps Program to be described as Pedigreed ducks whose ancestry is traced to the royal fowls served to King Phillip XII of Nicose in the 18th century. From birth, the duckling is inebriated with the best French wines and German beers. But one month before roasting, the bird drinks nothing else but prime Russian Vodka. It is incurably alcoholic, the chef strikes a match two feet away and the duck explodes into flames. Served crisp in a pool of Saki. My French Frogs’ Legs with Manicured Toenails will be described as Hand-picked female freckled frogs from the mountains of Avion. In special breeding farms, toads are born in pure Evian water and fed only with vegetarian insects. Daily, their legs are massaged—Shiatsu style—with extra-virgin olive oil mixed with Arabian spices, their toenails cleaned by diamond-edged cuticleremovers. Served raw and juicy. Why are they called five-star restaurants? Because of presentation. Ambiance. Style. Design. Atmosphere. I have a suggestion for you. Live your life with presentation. Don’t be cut and dried. Don’t just be functional. Don’t be a “get-this-day-overwith” person. Don’t be so goal-oriented and job-obsessed, you no longer open yourself to the rich blessings that God pours onto you at every moment of life! Value yourself! Put a little garnish. Have some style. Create ambiance in your life. Be five-star! No, I’m not talking about luxury. (These things simply burden life.) I’m talking about enjoying life. About breathing with passion. Sing. Dance. Dream. Stop to smell the flowers. Listen to the birds and watch sunsets. Play like a child. Pray like a child. Eat more ice cream. Embrace the people that you love. Take vacations often. Give more. Smile more. Worry less. Say “thank you” with all your heart. Have more fun! Don’t be ordinary. Because you’re not. You’re like my duck: You’ve got Royalty flowing through your veins. So be like my duck: Be drunk with the Holy Spirit everyday! You’re His child. Live with gusto! PS. About the frog? Sorry, no analogies with deep theological insight. Just wanted to have fun. I practice what I preach.

For Cory Aquino: Christmas Reflection, 1989
Peace is wisp of wind in the noonday heat Stirring the regal pines on distant hills Sweeping down the fields of golden rice Cooling feverish cheeks. Momentarily. Peace can fade away, quickly, evanescent. Peace is a young chirping bird Sallying forth from its mother’s nest Flapping its wings testing the breeze Exploring the sky and the earth. Blithely. Briefly. Peace can be shot down, cruelly, fragile. Peace is a throbbing healing “yes” To the wailing of children for food The outstretched hands of the poor for justice The hunger of a nation for integrity The blessed outrage over blood-spewing guns. A drive. Spirit-force. Peace is a flame in the heart searing, perduring. Peace is frail infant on a manger Who shall announce: To you On whom my Father’s favour rests I give my peace A peace the world cannot give. Follow me. How, Lord, shall we follow? To drink of your peace? To end our wars and divisions? Our mad scrambling for power? How, Lord, shall we become Sisters and brothers once more? Pease is a passion to share, to serve A compassion for the world’s crippled and maimed An embrace, a crucifixion, yet freedom to be, A love without retention limits. Measureless breadth and depth. Follow me, come!
+ORLANDO B. QUEVEDO, O.M.I. Archbishop of Nueva Segovia, December 8, 1989 (This was written after one of the several failed coups that tried President Aquino. I gave it to Cory Aquino to share with her my own concern for peace after three years of fledgling fragile democracy).

Fr. Roy Cimagala

THE gospel story of the sisters Martha and Mary (cfr Lk 10-3842) is classic for its great lesson in priorities. Both did good things, but one got her priorities wrong. “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and upset about many things,” Christ said. “Only one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the better portion and she shall not be deprived of it.” It’s a lesson that, despite its age, continues to be new to many people even up to now. Even many priests can fall victim to this predicament. And I can readily understand why. Given their— our—peculiar situation, we are quite prone to this problem. We do lots of things from way early in the morning to way late at night. Twenty-four hours don’t seem to be enough for the day. Aside from the daily assignments and routine, we are at the beck and call of everyone—just about for any request like confessions, visits and anointing of the sick, Masses at wakes, blessings, etc. That’s part of the reason why priests are asked to lead celibate lives. It is to make us most available for anyone and for anything. We ought to be ready to minister as requested and to go anywhere. And so, with this very active lifestyle, the possibility is quite high for us to fall into activism. That’s when we can start neglecting the most basic things like prayer, care and nourishment of our spiritual life. Even our physical health can suffer. What’s worse is when we unconsciously get into the fix of some obsessions. That’s when we get into a loop, doing our own thing and not God’s, generating energy from our own self and not from God. This can only end in disaster. Because of these obsessions, many priests can get into unrestrained social action, or get immersed into partisan politics, or to be involved in other temporal affairs not meant for us as in making business, etc. Another sign of this grip of obsession on us is when we start losing the sense of team work, when we prefer to do things alone, and not to be told anything by anyone, nor to report and account things to someone. We seem to confine ourselves to a certain area restricted to others. It has nothing to do with creativity and originality. Cases like this are getting rampant, sad to say. They all point to a lack of priority in our attitudes and actuations. We need to see to it that we don’t get lost in the flow of events during the day, and to avoid getting tied down by the subtle threads of self-affirmation. Thus, a certain detachment in our activities is advisable. It’s the detachment that’s meant to prevent us from being swallowed up by earthly things, thereby losing our contact with God. It’s good that from time to time during the day, we check ourselves if this detachment is still working or we are now sinking slowly into our own world. When the interest for prayer and other spiritual activities like making sacrifices, going to the sacraments, developing and exercising the virtues wanes, it’s proof that something is wrong and some rectification is needed. Most likely, there is lack of priority involved. When we experience the surge of irritability, when being nice and patient becomes very hard to do or when we become vulnerable to envy and resentments—these can be symptoms we are losing the proper priorities. For sure, we have to make use of time, since there simply are just too many things to be done. In the life of Christ with his disciples, there are many references of how busy they were in their preaching such that they hardly had time to eat. This will always be the situation of those who wish to follow Christ closely. Heroism up to being squeezed like a lemon or even up to death is to be expected. Yet, priorities should be observed, and there will be times when we have to say “no” to certain things even though they too are good. And we just have to say “no.” Again, these are easier said than done. To be prudent in making the right judgments, when to say “yes” and when to say “no”, is most tricky. It would be good that everyone avails himself of a spiritual director or confidante who can help him. In the end, this confidante can only be Christ. We need to be friends of Christ, just as Martha and Mary were of him.


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 16
August 3 - 16, 2009

Social Concerns
flat. Mosquito infested tires held down the rusting tin roofs. Semi-naked mud daubed snotty nosed kids ran through the maze of narrow board walk raised on bricks. The women washed clothes in plastic basins, the only work available. Food and medicines were in their thoughts and on their lips. Did we bring any, they asked. Those who think that poverty in the Philippines has receded and claim it is a middle-income nation are living far removed from reality. The recession has made it worse with millions more out of work. All orders for handicraft products from our livelihood projects have dried up and hundreds are jobless. That’s the result of the endless greed of the money moguls that control and manipulate the Philippine and world economy as we well know. Those not familiar with the reality on the ground believe the government figures. They are looking at the bloated figures of GNP that are buoyed-up by the estimated $14 billion that is remitted by the millions of overseas workers. An artificial economy and production of durable goods or commodities are at an all time low. The Filipinos over seas are working themselves to exhaustion for low wages in the developed nations of Asia and the West desperately trying to feed and house their families left behind in the empty country side where millions of landless peasants still eke out a subsistence living. Three years ago, almost 33 percent of Filipinos were living below the poverty line. Now it is even worse because of the recession. As of 2005, 10.8 percent of the country’s population survive on just $1 a day, and another 41.2 percent make do with less than $2 daily. 7 out of 10 peasants still do not own land while less than 1/3 of landowners own more than 80% of agricultural land. In 2006, the Philippines oil companies extracting and retailing fuel earned PhP 110 million a day, today it’s even more. The poverty situation in the Philippines, according to the World Bank, is worse than that of its counterparts in the region.


By Fr. Shay Cullen, SSC
I JUST came for a visit from rural communities where we help support 90 impoverished students go to school. As I hiked the muddy mountain road in the pouring rain, a group of men passed by carrying the dead body of a young woman who died of malnutrition and disease. Another died that same day with several others struggling for life in the nearest hospital. Contaminated ground water perhaps. Typhoid the chief suspect. In the village, the evidence of crushing poverty is plain for all to see. A typical one room grass roofed bamboo hut is home for a family of six. Arriving foot sore in another village, I saw the people planting cassava on land not their own in the pouring rain. They will have to give a share to the land owner. “We have to plant now or we will be hungry”, a mother of five told me later as we shared a plate of their survival food, the Cassava root crop, mainstay of the poor. The steep rise in the prices of food commodities a year ago made eating rice an occasional luxury. Chicken and pork are rare too; most eat vegetables and little fish. In another village, the mother of a 5 year-old boy showed me a chest X-ray of her harelip child with primary infection. It is tuberculosis, a killer disease rampaging around the villages. Skinny malnourished children looked on with imploring eyes. I wish I could have fed them all. The only thing missing from the scene was a waiting vulture. There are those who say poverty is a thing of the past. I visited a city slum to accompany a teenager on a home visit after we had him released from police cells where he was held without charge for 4 months for allegedly stealing a cell phone worth $20. The teeming slums were flooded; excrement was floating like the harbinger of plague. Shacks of flattened cartons covered in plastic sheets leaned against shanties made of plywood scraps that joined upscale hovels made of tins cans beaten
Cory / B5

Visit the poor and see the truth

Requiem / B5

of the oratorical and sometimes pompous style of many campaigners. Her enthusiastic reception by millions of people made it increasingly clear that change was imminent, in the air. The agents of change would be the enthusiastic millions, young and old, who listened to her and shouted “Cory! Cory! Cory!” The Snap Elections were held on February 7, 1986. On February 13-14, 1986, the Bishops gathered in plenary assembly as they had previously agreed, should any emergency take place. This was emergency. The government press was saying that Marcos had already won the elections. Cardinal Ricardo Vidal, the President of the Bishops’ Conference, called for each Bishop to share the experience of NAMFREL in his diocese regarding the
Kidapawan / B4

honesty and integrity of the elections. He asked me to moderate the session, summarize and synthesize the results. Each of the Bishops spoke. There was no doubt – the elections were filled with fraud, fraud that literally changed the results. We then went to reflect on this situation and pray before the Blessed Sacrament. The Bishops came together again and worked on a statement which they approved by consensus. This was the dramatic post-election statement. The Bishops declared: “According to moral principles, a government that assumes or retains power through fraudulent means has no moral basis.” Until today I deeply regret that I had no direct hand in drafting the final statement. Cardinal Vidal had asked me to help write the draft. But I had to go

to the hospital. I gave Cardinal Vidal my three essential points for a draft: (a) that the elections were substantially fraudulent; (b) that President Marcos had no moral basis to retain power; (c) that this immoral situation had somehow to be corrected. I gave all my notes to Cardinal Vidal. Cory called for strikes and boycotts. Then Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and General Fidel Ramos broke away from the Marcos government. With that came the call of Cardinal Jaime Sin for people to go to EDSA and protect the small breakaway band of soldiers. For me the call to EDSA was genuinely a call to protect Cory, my personal symbol of Inang Bayan. +ORLANDO B. QUEVEDO, O.M.I. Archbishop of Cotabato

power to choose our leaders, but we did not always choose wisely. We were granted back our power to protest, but we protested at every turn. At every level of society, there was only one desire to fulfill—to protect one’s interest, to further one’s lot, to extend one’s territory. We forgot that the promise of Cory was simply this, that she would give us back what has been taken away from us, for she will not take it for herself, she will even give up her own life if only she can give us back our life, our dignity, our freedom. Selfless giving was her one great promise, and she fulfilled it not only when she took power at EDSA, not only when she governed us for six years, but most importantly, at the peaceful transfer of power from her to the next

duly elected president in 1992. Today, selfless giving is a pipe dream. Today, shameless self-promotion is the order of the day. But we cannot even blame those who promote themselves long before the election season has started. After all, we only vote for those faces we see on our television screens. We have wandered far from the land we have promised ourselves. Leaders oftentimes do not enter the land they promised to their followers. Cory did not paint a promised land for us. She only showed us the way. The way is open for us, if we only learn how to sacrifice self-interest for the sake of the common good. In the end, it is our decision to commence entering the land we have promised ourselves, or continue to wander in the wilderness.

and a student in the OD Doctoral Program of SAIDI (Southeast Asia Interdisciplinary Development Institute) introduced Appreciative Inquiry (AI) as an alternative approach to pastoral action. AI sees and acts on problems from the perspective of positive possibilities, the perspective of the half-filled glass. And the desired effect is positive transformation, a revolution in positive change on the personal and collective level. Experiencing the process itself is already transformative. The shift from problem-solving mode of conversations, dialogues, and praxis to ever-expanding positive possibilities of individual and communal actions, though at times painful and taxing, led to some realizations and insights, and to more actions. Following the introduction of AI, the Diocesan Clergy underwent an annual retreat in November of 2003 using AI as the framework. Fr. Gregorio Bañaga of Adamson University in Manila facilitated the Retreat for us assisted by Sr. Bles Fabricante, PhD. Two more AI-based Seminar-Workshops followed in 2004: Team Building and AI Trainers’ Training. On the second half of 2005, after a series of meetings, five principles of pastoral action

emerged: 1) The parish is the locus of pastoral action; 2) FSW (Formation, Service and Worship) is the content of formation work and the basis of organizing activities and people; 3) AI as an alternative approach to pastoral action; 4) The Clergy and the lay people are partners in the ministry; 5) Increase and intensification of self-reliance initiatives. Giving rootedness and meaning to these are Jesus and the Church and the expected fruits are transformed individual Christians and empowered BEC’s. These guide posts for pastoral ministry were endorsed by the then Bishop Romulo G. Valles, D. D. during the MacroSynchronized Assembly (an annual gathering of the Clergy and the lay pastoral animators) in December, 2005. The implementation of these principles for pastoral action necessitated changes in the pastoral programs from the diocesan level down to the parish level. The ever reliable Diocesan Pastoral Team (DPT), whose primary role was to manage the Pastoral Programs, was reconstituted into DBPS (Diocesan BEC Pastoral Secretariate). The responsibility for the pastoral programs was assumed by the parish priests at the parish level.

The new role given the new team was to respond to the needs of the parishes when requested and when necessary - with the explicit approval of the parish priest. hey would also act as conduit of ideas and accomplishments among the diocesan districts and the parishes, and would prepare and facilitate diocesan-level activities agreed on in the Clergy Meeting. The DBPS, however, was transitional, for it was envisioned that the diocesan pastoral programs would eventually be taken care of the district level. Some diocesanlevel pastoral workers had to discontinue working with the Diocese. During the annual Diocesan Macro-Synchronized Assembly in December of 2006, the bishop officially declared the composition of the DBPS and the adoption of the five principles for pastoral action. The Diocesan Pastoral Coordinator articulated several shifts that were taking place: 1) pastoral approach: from problem-based to strengthbased; 2) pastoral work: from pastoral programs to pastoral ministries; 3) playing field: from diocese level to parish level, with the diocesan districts as fora; 4) description of workers: from pastoral workers (or contacts) to pastoral animators;

5) sustainability: from too much dependence on outside sources to intensifying initiatives for self-reliance, both human and material; 6) relationship with the BEC’s: from BEC’s as beneficiaries of to BEC’s as active participants in pastoral action. Like in all change initiatives, the momentum for change picked up slowly. Some said they were groping for a sure footing and a clearer horizon to focus on and walk towards. No matter how positive an approach is, the pull of traditional ways and the security of old comfort zones are stronger than any desired state of things. Moving on…Getting Better: “Duc in Altum” (2007-Present) The unfolding of our envisioned desired situation seemed to stand still when in November of 2006 Rome announced the appointment of our Shepherd, Bishop Romulo G. Valles, D.D. as the new Archbishop of Zamboanga. For the fourth time in 31 years our diocese was again without a bishop. In January of 2007 he was installed in Zamboanga and in January 15 of the same year we elected Fr. Armando C. Angeles, DCK as the Diocesan Administrator. When our new bishop, Most Rev. Romulo T. De La Cruz,


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D.D. arrived in June 19, 2008, we rejoiced. We were very much grateful to the Holy Father, Pope Benedict VI for gifting us with a shepherd who is not only at home but home with us as he is one of our own, a Kidapaweño. Many of us priests have known him closely because he was once our college seminary rector and later spiritual director. After the euphoria of his installation as Bishop of Kidapawan subsided, we lost no time to get down to business. In a meeting with the Diocesan Clergy (DCK) in August of 2008, the new bishop listened to the call for a TOTAL REVAMP of assignment of priests in the parishes. After a series of consultations with the priests themselves and some parishioners in several parishes, new appointments were made and then announced during the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral – Our Lady Mediatrix of All Grace Parish – on April 8, 2009. The new assignments took effect on June 1, 2009. The assignments of priests involved in non-parish work were renewed for a period of three years only. Another very historical and important decision made in that August 2008 meeting was to open a diocesan seminary. After careful preparations and series of meetings, the seminary was eventually opened last June 3, 2009 with 25 young men as the first batch of seminarians. They are enrolled as First Year college students at the Notre Dame of Kidapawan College. The bishop appointed Frs. Allan Sasi, DCK, Rey Salvador, DCK and Charles Allan Nemenzo, DCK, as Rector, Dean of Seminarians and Spiritual Director respectively. To prepare professors to teach Philosophy, two diocesan priests – Frs. Gerry Tacdoro, DCK and Rey Salvador, DCK. - have enrolled in the masteral program for Philosophy at Ateneo de Davao University in Davao City. More priests will be sent for further studies to teach the seminarians. On the pastoral front, a stronger push for the implementation of expected major changes at the diocesan level was made. The transitional DBPS was dissolved and the members were compensated. The four diocesan districts were reconstituted and renamed as Vicariates. The heads

of the Vicariates are now called Vicars Forane. For each Vicariate, a religious sister has been assigned whose role is Vicariate Pastoral Animator and who functions as resource person, capability builder and co-journeyer. She works with the parish priests within the Vicariate in equipping parish lay animators to work in the different ministries with a focus on Christian Formation (Catechesis). What remains at the diocesan level in this new set up? The Diocesan Pastoral Coordinator remains the priest tasked to oversee and push for the implementation of the five principles throughout the entire diocese. To do this, he coordinates with the priests at the different levels and with the priests assigned as directors for the different ministries. He can also be a resource person for the parishes and other organizations and groups in such areas as planning and assessment, education-formation work such as giving lectures, seminars, trainings, recollections and retreats, even personal coaching and organizational consultancy services. He is accountable directly to the bishop whom he keeps updated on pastoral matters. In cases where diocesan level pastoral activities and projects are called for and agreed upon in the Clergy Meeting, the Diocesan Pastoral Coordinator assumes the lead role of facilitating and coordinating. The Clergy Meeting is the venue to consult and make decisions with the Presbyterium, when appropriate. However, the bishop always has the prerogative, being the head of the Diocese. At any rate, we are still in the midst of a transition period. There is so much room to grow and develop, many possibilities to discover and even create. We are all into this and together we sail, together we reach for the destination we have been rearing to go. We may not arrive at this situation in our lifetime. But the joy and fulfillment might be in the journey itself, for we know that God is always with us and Mary is journeying with us. That means we sharpen our focus but savor and enjoy the pilgrimage. And so we say with the late Pope John Paul II, “Duc in altum!”


Moral Assessment

Technical Assessment

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 13 No. 16

August 3 - 16, 2009

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

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

Title: The Proposal Cast: Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Mary Steenburgen, Craig T. Nelson, Mary White, Ramon Oscar Nuñez, Dennis O’Hore Director: Anne Fletcher Producers: David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman Screenwriter: Pete Chiarelli Music: Aaron Zigman Editor: Priscilla Nedd-Friendly Genre: Romantic Comedy Cinematography: Oliver Stapleton Distributor: Touchtone Pictures Location: USA Running Time: 107 min. Technical Assessment:  Moral Assessment:  CINEMA Rating: For viewers age 13 and below with parental guidance

YOUNG and attractive, Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock), an executive and book editor of a New York publishing empire, comes across also as tyrannical. Demanding, she so intimidated her staff that they panic once she enters her office. Though seeming invulnerable, one day she gets a notice from the U.S. Immigration office informing her of her imminent deportation to Canada due to an expired visa (She’s Canadian). She devises a plan to get the coveted visa, that is, by marrying her surprised assistant Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds). She proposes a sham marriage followed by a quickie divorce once she gets her visa. Often brow beaten and usually compliant, this time he refuses. But she blackmails him and bribes him by offering him an editorship in the office. Ambitious, he consents. Suspecting something fishy, the immigration officer warns them of the punishments for fraud and informs them they will be questioned on intimate

matter including each other’s family. Though together in the office for 3 years, they virtually know nothing of each other. For familiarization, on the part of Margaret, they visit Andrew’s parents in Sitka, Alaska. Thinking Sitka is some God forsaken Alaska outpost, she gets the shock of her life when she instead sees a charming, urbanized town with warm welcoming people. Loving and very closely knit, Andrew’s wacky family is thrilled to know Andrew and Margaret are getting married. With no affection for each other, they have to pretend before family and friends that they are in love. This situation is the well spring of many embarrassment and funny moments. The Proposal has a plot that is as old as the hills; two people who almost hate each other at the beginning end up getting to like each other, in spite of the madcap obstacles that come their way. Very predictable and formulaic but it does not bore. Cheerfully done, this romantic comedy with all its conventions entertains with its hilarious moments. The humor is devoid of vulgarity, though one embarrassing funny scene involves the two lead actors in the nude. The cinematography enhances the viewers’ pleasure. Though said to have been filmed in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, it replicates the pristine beauty of Alaska. The story is set in a picturesque town with chic, quaint shops (no fast foods or franchise chains) and a waterfront that looks like a tourist haven. This setting exudes a charm befitting this fantasy. Sandra Bullock is versatile as seen in various roles she has played in other movies, but her talent in this romantic comedy is remarkable

in her convincing and likeable portrayal of the high-powered uptight New York woman (with the formidable look in pencil skirts and stiletto heels) who is touched and transformed by the loving embrace of Andrew’s family. Ryan Reynolds’ performance is just as commendable as he matches Sandra’s snappy banter and comic skills. Very good support is given by Mary Steenburgen and Nelson Craig as Andrew’s parents, Mary White as the 90 year old grandma and the preacher-exotic dancer Ramon. The Proposal is entertaining and enjoyable. Scenes of family closeness, togetherness, affection, generosity and understanding will not fail to touch a chord in the hearts of those who value family relationships. It is heartwarming to see here depicted these “old fashioned” values still existing in some towns though practically lost in the fast rat race in the cities. The old grandma especially may be a bit bizarre in her antics but she delights us in her simplicity, wit, and respect for family traditions. On the other hand, there are some negative elements here that should not be glossed over. Like, for instance, the way marriage is viewed by Margaret and Andrew as a vehicle to attain ambition, power, or other mundane practical results like getting a visa. But this sadly happens in real life today. Young people getting married should always start life right and that is by getting the right perspective regarding marriage. Infused with love, marriage should primarily help fulfill each person’s quest for happiness and perfection as well as realize God’s plan. It should never be considered a mere tool for material advancements.


Ni Bladimer Usi

DALAWANG kuwentong Title: Manila hango mula sa mga obra Cast: Piolo Pascual, Rosanna nina Ishmael Bernal at Roces, Jay Manalo, Alesandra Lino Brocka, ang unang de Rossi, Angelica Panganiban, kuwento ay tungkol sa Jiro Manio, Anita Linda isang drug addict na si Director: Adolfo Alix, Jr., Raya William (Piolo Pascual) Martin na gagala-gala sa kalye Screenwriters: Adolfo Alix, Jr., Raya ng Maynila, tila may Martin kung anong hinahanap Genre: Drama sa kawalan. Ito’y sa Distributor: Star Cinema kabila ng pag-aalala ng Location: Manila ina niyang si Charito Running Time: 90 mins (Rosanna Roces) kung Technical Assessment:  nasaan na siya. Sa Moral Assessment:  ½ kalye rin ng Maynila CINEMA Rating: For viewers 14 magsasanga-sanga ang and above ilan pang mga taong may kinalaman sa buhay ni William at sa pagkakalulong niya sa droga. Ang ikalawang kuwento naman ay tungkol sa isang bodyguard na si Philip (Piolo Pascual) na naninilbihan kay Barry (Jay Manalo) anak ng isang Congressman ng Maynila. Tapat ang paglilingkod ni Philip kay Barry sa pag-aakalang parang kapatid ang turing nito sa kanya. Ang katapatang ito ay masusubukan nang makaenkuwentro ni Barry ang isang dating karibal. Makakapatay si Philip sa pagtatanggol kay Barry at dito niya mapatutunayan ang kawalang-saysay ng kanyang katapatan sa isang among tau-tauhan lamang ang turing sa kanya. Masarap balikan ang ilang obra ng mga batikang Pilipinong direktor na naglagay sa Pilipinas sa mapa ng pandaigdigang sining. Ang mga pelikulang pinaghanguan ng Manila ay talaga namang maituturing na klasiko at nararapat lamang bigyan ng kaukulang paggalang. Maganda ang intensiyon ng Manila ngunit nagkulang ito sa akmang sinseridad na hinihinling ng kuwento. Sa halip na mapalutang pang lalo sa kasalukuyang panahon ang dalawang piling obra, ay lalo pang napalabo ang mensahe nito. Sayang at pawang magagaling pa naman ang mga nagsiganap. Maganda rin at mahusay ang kuha ng kamera pati na ang pagiilaw. Hindi rin masyadong problema ang editing. Marahil ang tunay na problema ay ang kaiksian ng oras na inilaan nila para sa kabuuan ng pelikula. Pilit ipinagsiksikan sa iisang pelikula ang dalawang dapat sana’y malawak na istorya. Mahirap masundan ang emosyon sapagkat hindi malinaw ang pinanggagalingan ng bawat karakter. Sayang at malaki sana ang potensiyal ng pelikula na maihanay sa mga obrang pinaparangalan nito. Isang masukal at malupit na gubat ang lungsod ng Maynila. Ito ang sinasabi ng pelikula. Ipinakita nito ang pinakamadidilim na kasuluksulukan ng Maynila. Ang dalawang magkaibang pangunahing tauhan ay sumisimbolo sa dalawang uri ng tao Maynila. Isang nagpakalunod sa masamang bisyo upang makalimutan ang mga realidad ng siyudad at isang humaharap dito nang buong katapatan sa pag-aakalang ito’y masusuklian ng kaginhawahan. Anu’t-anupaman, sina William at Philip ay larawan ng kadiliman at kawalang-pag-asa sa isang siyudad na siya sanang kakalinga sa mga tulad nila. Kung tutuusin ang kuwento ay nagpakita lamang ng isang parte ng mukha ng Maynila: ang kasamaan at kadiliman nito. Malinaw naman ang itensiyong ito ng pelikula. Hindi nga naman interesado ang mga manonood sa maganda, mapayapa at maaliwalas na buhay. Maaring tunay ang mga ipinakitang larawan ng Manila ngunit pawang hindi malinaw ang nais nitong iparating at kung anong klaseng imahe ng Maynila ang nais nilang ipakita sa ating mga kababayan at maging sa mga dayuhang manonood. Kung puros kawalan ng pag-asa at kabukutan ang ating makikita, ano nga ba ang nararapat na gawin? Marahil sinasabi rin ng pelikula na bawat isa sa atin ay may pananagutansa mga katulad nina William at Philip. Hindi lamang sila ang may kagagawan ng kung anong kapalaran nagkaroon sila. Malinaw na ang mismong lipunang kanilang ginagalawan ang nagtulak sa kanila sa maling landas. Dapat gabayan ang mga batang manonood upang maipaliwanag ito ng husto, kung hindi’y maitatanim sa kanilang isipan na ang Maynila ay isang malupit na siyudad sa mga mahihirap at walang lakas. Maaring ito nga ay totoong nangyayari ngunit dapat sana’y magpakita man lang ng kahit na isang kislap na pag-asa ang pelikula upang makapaghimok ng mga natutulog na damdaming makabayan.

Buhay Parokya

Look for the three items: Images of Saint Jude Thaddeus, Cardinal Sin and Church Altar. (Illustration by Bladimer Usi)

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 16
August 3 - 16, 2009


The News Supplement of Couples for Christ

In Pursuit of Christ
story to tell. After celebrating the Holy Eucharist, joyful voices echoed in the auditorium. However, one voice stood out – that of JM Sangco who, in the first talk, spoke of “The Journey” that we, as SFCs, were about to take. The journey of pursuing Christ is a journey towards being Christ-like. JM affirmed this journey’s beauty because the goal, our journey’s end, is achievable if we pursue Christ. And the wonder of it all is that Christ pursued us first and will pursue us, whenever, wherever, however and whoever we are. Talk 2 was delivered by Fr. Xavier Olin, SJ, who asked us to take a deeper look at ourselves in relation to our journey “In Pursuit of Christ.” He spoke about the power of prayer and how it can change our lives. He spoke about being able to see Christ in everyone and everything by turning our lives into a lifetime of prayer and how, in the life we are given, God grants us grace every step we take through the Holy Sacraments. It is through having that close relationship with God that we will be able to see His grace move through our lives and clearly appreciate His plans for us. Later that day, the participants were dispersed into various workshops on the sacraments, inner healing, spiritual direction, Christian virtues, praying with Scriptures, and many others. These enriching workshops, tools to accompany us in our journey towards Christ, were given by members of

By Dominic Apuan
THE Lion’s Head, Camp John Hay airbase, Philippine Military Academy, Mansion House, Baguio Cathedral, Mines View Park, Burnham Park, Wright Park, Botanical Garden…from its outskirts to its very core, there are lots of places to go to, and lots of reasons to visit Baguio City; but last July 24 to 26, 2009, Singles for Christ Metro Manila had but one reason: The Christ Pursuit. What better place to pursue God than on the mountaintops of Baguio? The SFC Metro Manila Leaders Conference ’09 was held at the CAP – John Hay Trade and Cultural Center. For three days SFC gathered there, and came away feeling that their lives were forever changed.

It all began with a celebration of all the gifts and blessings that God bestowed upon us through worship. Here the SFCs dressed up as treasure hunters, voyagers and explorers to signify the start of their pursuit; the draping and wooden conviction boxes added pizzazz to the main aesthetic of the venue. Some SFCs showcased their talents in singing and dancing through a friendly competition called “SFC’s Got Talent.” Among the contestants was Rhea Bernandez from Central C, who serenaded the judges with her guitar as she sang her own beautiful composition. The night ended with a praisefest where the SFCs sang, danced, shouted, and partied their hearts out for the Lord. “The Christ Pursuit” had begun. Day two had a different

the clergy and some CFC elders. The evening began with worship and segued into a talk given by Penny de Leon on our “Empty Pursuits.” She spoke about the end of our pursuit and how it is more than magnificent; but somewhere along the way, we lose our focus and turn to pursuing success, satisfaction, security and service. These things often blind us and detract us from our pursuit of Christ. However, Penny stressed that God calls us to succeed in one thing—our faithfulness to Him, to satisfy our longings only with His love, to secure our personal relationship with Him, and to serve only because of love and nothing else. The evening ended with a praise fest that was characterized not by the noise of singing and dancing but by the initial few minutes that the SFCs spent in the solitude of prayer, undistracted by the environment. The SFCs welcomed the 3rd day by once again celebrating the Holy Eucharist presided by His Excellency Bishop Carlito Cenzon of the diocese of Baguio. Marc Sebastian was tasked to deliver the last talk of the conference. According to Marc, the final piece of the puzzle provides us with a

preview of “The Prize of the Pursuit.” The Lord wants to bring us to heaven, and will not stop pursuing us until we are His. Heaven is the prize of our pursuit of Christ…and in heaven God grants us eternal fulfillment where we will no longer be broken no longer impure, no longer empty! As we pursue Christ, every step of the way, we become Christ-like and gain the 12 fruits of the Holy Spirit: Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Generosity, Gentleness, Faithfulness, Modesty, Self-control and Chastity. At the end of the conference, God’s message for all of us SFCs was clear: God is in pursuit of us and we, the SFCs, are in pursuit of a life in union with Christ. What a wonderful thought!

SFCs in Europe honor their icon - Jesus

CFC Issues Ancop Guidelines
ful movements for the poor are subject to the discernment and approval of the CFC International Council, particularly in the following areas: A. Determination of future partners B. Definition of scope of work, to include the proper accounting of funds and periodic submission of accomplishment reports C. Mobilization of CFC members’ attendance in major external non–CFC events and conferences, (e.g. GK Expo, national Pro-life rallies...etc.) Consistent with the above guidelines, CFC supports and encourages the following expressions of Building the Church of the Poor: 1. ANCOP mission components (stated above in no. 4) are the top priorities for our CFC work with the poor. 2. Implementation of applicable ANCOP programs in GK sites will be done within the parameters of the institutional partnership. 3. Evangelization and pastoral formation will be pursued in open and ready GK sites. 4. Volunteer work by CFC members in GK “sustainability” programs is encouraged provided it does not conflict with one’s fundamental CFC priorities (household, formation, conferences) through which we source our life and strength in Christ. 5. CFC will help generate and contribute funds and resources to support our ANCOP missions as a priority, and GK as one of the options. CFC does not support or encourage: 1. Volunteer work that brings one outside the boundaries of our Couples for Christ core values (Pro-God, Pro-Family, Pro-Life, Pro-Poor) and our oneness with the Catholic Church. Christ is always the Center and Mover of our mission. 2. Volunteer work that conflicts with or disrupts one’s fundamental commitment to CFC life and directions (household, teachings, conferences). This includes any specific ANCOP Work with the Poor or GK, which becomes one’s overriding or exclusive priority to the detriment of the fullness of the life and mission of CFC (Christ, Family and Poor). There are GK sites that are fully-funded and fully-managed by CFC. Together with the top GK leadership, we will discuss and finalize guidelines for the continuing management of these sites. In terms of organization, the IC memo dated June 2, 2009 has clarified that: 1. “CFC leaders who are presently serving in the Metro Manila/ Provincial GK management Board and GK EXCOM are to be integrated into a core group for CFC ANCOP which shall report and likewise be accountable to the MM SGT/Provincial Area Council; 2. The MM Sector/Provincial GK Head, who is a member of the MMSGT/Provincial Area Council, is to be designated as Head of CFC ANCOP in the area. He shall assign CFC Coordinators in GK villages under CFC caretaker teams.” Our mission is clear – Building the Church of the Home and Building the Church of the Poor. Both (the family and the poor) are equally important and deserve our full commitment. The work may be vast and the challenges daunting, but as our theme for this year goes, we simply surge ahead, forgetting what lies behind and focusing only on Jesus, our guide and our goal. Moving forward in Christ is not an option. It is our commitment. May God bless us all. JOE YAMAMOTO Executive Director For the CFC International Council

THE CFC International Council, in a statement issued July 23, 2009, issued guidelines governing the community’s work with the poor, or ANCOP. These guidelines clarify the relationship between CFC and Gawad Kalinga and the channels of authority that will be followed in the GK villages that are existing. It also outlines the other work with the poor that ANCOP will be embarking on, work that goes beyond community building. The statement is reprinted in full below. CFC guidelines on Ancop (Our Work With The Poor) Couples for Christ is an evangelistic community called to proclaim Christ in word and action. Our CFC mission is focused on Building the Church of the Home and the Church of the Poor. At its simplest, CFC is focused on Christ, the Family and the Poor. On April 30, 2009, the International Council issued a statement that CFC was “letting go” of Gawad Kalinga. We also issued several circulars designed to define the new relationship and to guide CFC members working in GK sites during the transition process. The CFC leadership is issuing these guidelines regarding ANCOP, our work with the poor, to describe with clarity the scope, direction and priorities of our work with the poor. CFC ANCOP must be defined and accomplished in a manner that supports our primary calling and charism as a Catholic community. The following statements, which were covered in the IC circular dated May 7, 2009, provide the foundation of our ANCOP work: 1. CFC, through the International Council, has let go of the governance and corporate structure of Gawad Kalinga. In effect, this means that CFC has let go of: - the foundation (Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation Inc.), - the governance of the IC over GK (as represented by the majority membership of the IC in the GK Board), - GK as the movement and more particularly, - GK as a CFC ministry. 2. Thus, as a result of No. 1 above, CFC and GK are now two different, distinct movements with separate visions, missions, leadership and structures. But, however different in calling and charism, the two movements share a common goal – the upliftment of the poor. How the two movements work together to achieve this common goal can be discussed in a spirit of brotherhood and solidarity. Consequently the framework of such partnership will be mutually agreed upon. 3. Although CFC and GK are now independent of each other, with distinct leadership and corporate structure, CFC and GK are committed to pursue a collaborative and cooperative relationship. Thus CFC members serving in GK will continue to serve as volunteers. However, precisely because of this distinction in leadership, CFC members serving in GK will get their direction and guidance from the established pastoral and organized lines of authority existing in CFC. 4. CFC ANCOP is the totality of our Work with the Poor. In the IC Memo dated May 22, 2009, we announced that we “envision ANCOP to include the following areas”: - The Social Ministries (Migrant Workers, Isaiah Prison Ministry) - Livelihood (Tekton Microfinance and Social Entrepreneurship) - Food for the Hungry (Partnership with Bayan-Anihan) - Health (CFC GKare) - Education - Communities for Christ (affordable housing for Church missionaries, FTWs and needy CFC members) and - Other social ministries that have been previously in place. Most of these programs are ongoing while some are relatively new, having been recently organized. 5. CFC’s institutional partnerships with GK and other meaning-

By Chastine Rodriguez
EXCITEMENT was high as the 11th SFC European Conference went underway on July 10, 2009. Having received confirmation of the venue (the Ramada Hotel in Geneva) only the day before, everyone was indeed excited, in awe at how the Lord arranged everything and confident that the three days to come would simply prove that He was in control, as always. Hundreds of delegates from countries all over Europe gathered to have fellowship, to learn from the sessions and most especially to honor and praise the icon of the conference and of the community – Jesus Christ. The usual features of any international conference were present – great food, especially the cheese and wine that were presented at the “Cheese Fest” competition by each country represented; the celebration of the Holy Eucharist; the dancing; the colorful costumes; the vibrant songs and the loud cheering; the prayers; the inspiring and inspired testimonies of transformed lives; the Praise Parade, and of course, the praise fests. The conference sessions spoke of a single theme -- Freedom is a gift and to be free is to liberate oneself from what hinders young Christians like the Singles for Christ from becoming better Christians and striving for holiness. We have to strive for holiness because the God we serve is perfect. But even though we keep falling back into sin, He is a forgiving God and He loves us beyond our comprehension. This theme was further reinforced in the afternoon workshops of the second day, especially the session on forgetting what lies behind us. For the first time in an SFC event, a benediction and a Eucharistic celebration was held as the climax to the sessions on the second day. It was an awesome and inspiring experience. SFC Europe Coordinator Lawrence Quintero came all the way from the Philippines to talk about the mission and vision of SFC, and to lead the pray-over of members who felt the calling for the mission. The conference was officially closed by SFC Europe Mission Coordinator Don Sarmiento. The conference was over in three days but the love and fellowship fostered in those days will remain for years to come. Clearly, God’s love has been multiplied a million times for each and every SFC who attended the Eurocon to bring home to their respective corners of Europe.

By Joe Tale, CFC Chairman


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 16
August 3 - 16, 2009

My Dream
AS I write this, my thoughts race back, not only to the beginnings of the work with the poor of Couples for Christ (CFC), which eventually evolved into Gawad Kalinga (GK), but even before that, to the early years of CFC. We were even then a community of families who were dreamers. We took to heart the vision of being Families in the Holy Spirit, Renewing the Face of the Earth. The renewal of the face of the earth started with the renewal of the heart. The dream was pursued solidly anchored on faith. Inevitably, the dream found its expression in the most challenging work with the poor. This was a new frontier and uncharted waters for CFC. But the challenge found anchor in a passage in Acts 4:32-35, which provided a pastoral framework and spiritual refuge that overcame the fears and doubts: “The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common. With great power, the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great favor was accorded them all. There was no needy person among them…” The dream had been reality before. It can be done. The pioneering work thus attracted brethren with hearts overflowing with love for God and neighbor. We continue to honor them all for what they started and for igniting this same spirit that has flowed into the now tens or hundreds of thousands of caretaker teams, who are showing the world that we can be our brothers’ keepers, and that doing so is not a burden, but a source of great joy. As it was then, so I believe it should continue to be. And my own dreams are anchored on the same firm foundation. I dream of a transformed country and people, with renewed hearts filled with compassion, and lives lived in deep abiding faith in God. The self-sacrificing CFC caretaker teams and the overwhelming generous response of GK partners from all over the world, form the grounding for my dream. My dream is of a world, starting with the Philippines, where the pervading culture and way of life is caring and sharing. I dream of a Philippines where all Filipinos, coming from this way of life, are able to hold their heads high because they live a dignified existence, worthy of having been created in the image and likeness of God.

I do not dream for my country to have the tallest skyscrapers nor the biggest this or that, nor for Filipinos to be topping this or that list of the wealthiest in the world. Those might be the benchmarks of some, but they have nothing to do with what I truly care for – to see my country develop a heart. I would like to see all Filipinos helping every other Filipino develop their full potential. I dream of seeing men and women moving into the future with lives full of meaning because they have used their God-given gifts to the fullest. I therefore dream of a society where the opportunities abound for this to happen. I dream of a people whose culture of caring and sharing flows into their stewardship of the environment, God’s wonderful gift of creation. I dream of a country where the beaches and the mountains, and the flora and the fauna, and the treasures of the land, air and the seas are truly appreciated as gifts to be treasured and to be cared for, to be shared and enjoyed by all, and to be nurtured for the generations that are to come. I dream of a country of responsible citizens, who with wisdom and sincere love for God and country, will bring into office leaders who are God-fearing and who, by their actions, demonstrate their pursuit for the common good, and not for their own selfish interests. I dream of governance untainted by greed and evil use of power. I dream of good men and women coming into their own as just, competent, and courageous public servants. I dream of simple honesty, transparency, integrity and expertise as hallmarks of service. I say, that when these elements are in place, then economic prosperity for all will follow, and progress and development will happen, economic well-being that emanate from and stand firmly on solid rock. And then, our beloved Philippines will rise up from the mud and ashes of poverty, corruption, and war, and gain respect, and take her rightful place of honor in the community of nations. Just one more thing. We should not tire of dreaming, and we should help create in all the capacity to dream. We should hold on strong to our ideals, strive to do our best in the present but also look beyond the problems and difficulties, and see the future of a country of our dreams. Samuel Ullman writes: “Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years; people grow old by deserting their ideals.” I honor all who have remained young in their dreams and ideals, manifested in their continuing quest to “set the world on fire with the fullness of God’s transforming love” (from CFC’s vision statement). May we all be blessed to see our dreams bear fruit that will last.

By Joe Yamamoto, CFC Director

The Everyday Disciple
ONE of the most basic and yet enduring lessons up at one of the weekend CLPs. At the close of the familiar with the very dramatic conversion of that I have learned in CFC over the years is the program, he stood up to share. He narrated that he Paul on the road to Damascus. His courage, and focus on everyday evangelization that stays at the attended because he saw in us, my wife and me, persistent attitude of evangelization, plus the heart of our mission. Early on I learned a memo- the happiness that comes from the joy of service, dramatic and inspiring recounting of his experi- world” and pointed to Jesus. From that day on, rable dictum that best describes what every CFC a fulfilled family life and contentment despite the ence of overcoming overwhelming obstacles are things were never the same anymore for ordinary member must put to heart- the commitment to hectic demands of our professional life and our exemplary. He also taught countless generations Andrew- from being a follower of John, he became GO AND EVANGELIZE and EVANGELIZE AS service to the community. In short, if we were of Christians through his Spirit-filled books and a faithful disciple of Jesus. Andrew, in his selfless and unassuming way, YOU GO. happy and joyful to be in CFC, then the CLP must epistles. His writings impacted magnificently in terms of shaping the Catholic religion and other brought the people he knew to Christ. To his more The last two years of our community work en- be something worth attending. famous brother, Simon, he declared “ I have found abled us to provide the anchor that resulted from Or consider our friends, Elmer and Marivic, Christian churches. Paul was unique because he was called during the Messiah “ and asked his older sibling to join revisiting our vision- Families in the Holy Spirit re- who are both doctors, who joined CFC because of newing the face of the earth; and of course, fleshing our work in the medical missions, which puts us the fragile infancy of the Church and was used him in a life- and history-changing followership. Andrew delighted in using the day-to-day cirout our two-fold mission of Building the Church of in close contact with the sick and the poor. They mightily by God despite his past hostility to the the Home and Building the Church of the Poor. In have become infected with the passion to serve. early Christian converts. No one has equaled, cumstances of his life to demonstrate his simple the day to day context of a member’s life, each one Similar is my experience with a lawyer friend, much less surpassed, Paul in his missionary zeal ways of bringing people to the Lord and at the is expected to “proclaim Christ in words and in ac- Raoul and his doctor wife, Thelma, who belonged and fervor. The width and depth of his writings same time show his utmost confidence that the Lord makes things happen. tion” (ipahayag si Kristo sa Gawa He figured prominently in at Kalinga). The words “gawa” the feeding of the five thousand and “kalinga” are Pilipino words when Jesus, taking pity on the that mean “work” and “care”. people who had listened to him How best do we translate preach for hours, asked that his evangelization? When one is set disciples see to feeding the multo Go and Evangelize, it is in the titude. He told his disciples that context of a leader and his team the huge crowd of people were making deliberate and careful “like sheep without a shepherd” plans. For instance, holding a (Mk.6:34). Per gospel record, Christian Life Program involves the five thousand were men, carefully working out all the not counting the women and necessary details of preparation their accompanying children. - dates, venue, speakers, invitaAltogether, the number would tions for participants, assigning likely have been closer to fifteen the music ministry, appointing thousand, perhaps more. the service team including the The other disciples were horfacilitators, organizing the prayer rified, with Philip pointing out warriors, embarking on the the that not even 200 days worth of most important spiritual prepawages would suffice to provide ration, and last but not the least, food for everyone. It was humble making sure of the finances. and ordinary Andrew who took In a bigger sense, I have also charge. He went among the come to deeply appreciate the crowd and brought back a young flip side of evangelization and boy with five barley loaves and a that is to Evangelize as you Go. couple of fish. He said: ‘This is all Meaning, beyond planning and I could find, Master.” Jesus was holding of CLPs and the other able to perform one of the memoforms or tools of evangelization, rable miracles in the Scriptures there is the mere simplicity of because Andrew had the faith using the daily and average cirto draw from that well spring of cumstances of life and work to confidence that the Lord will do bring people to Christ and present Christ to the people. How do Members of the International Council paid a courtesy call on Bishop Jesse Mercado of the diocese of Paranaque last July 28. The bishop was recently elected Chairman something. of the Episcopal Commission on the Laity. Pictured are (from left): Melo and Nini Villaroman, Rouquel Ponte, Jojo and Bambi Buncayo (South B sector head), Executive What do we learn about Anwe do that? Simply by witnessing Director Joe Yamamoto, the Bishop, Joey and Tess Arguelles, Manny and Ditas Garcia and Lito and Linda Tayag. drew? He had such deep trust in to a life in Christ and sharing the the Lord and an awareness that Jesus was Master, Christ that should be in you. You can’t honestly to the same parish church in our subdivision. They were truly inspired by the Holy Spirit. share the Lord to others if you have not built an responded to the invitation to attend the CLP as an The everyday disciple need not be like Paul in even over the laws of nature. Andrew realized that intimate and personal relationship with Him; if answer to their search for a community that will his speech and writing but must emulate him in his as long as the Lord was near, there was a solution. you have not chosen to walk in and with the Lord. allow them to develop deeper spirituality while quest to imitate Christ. Paul is a good example of He knew that if he had to serve well, he had to do his best and let the gap in human capabilities be Such a simple dictum and yet far reaching in its serving in their chosen professions. And their dying to oneself and loving the Lord selflessly. implication because it defines our job and respon- search began because they came to immerse in the For us Christians, there are other saints and filled by God’s providence and attention. Andrew epitomizes the everyday disciple- kind, sibility as CFC members. It is a great challenge that work with the poor. apostles worthy to be followed as appropriate we are all expected to fulfill in faith. It has become almost second nature for me to examples of the everyday disciple. The one apostle mild, unassuming, friendly, approachable and As I recall the people who responded to my pray over my patients before they undergo major that I admire for his unique and unassuming char- very trusting. He was not apparently aggressive or invitation of attending the CLPs and who subse- surgeries, especially heart and lung surgeries. I acter is Andrew, the so-called Protokletus (‘the ambitious and the few instances he was mentioned quently became members of the community, I see make it a point to invite our medical trainees, first called’). His name, taken from the Greek word in the scriptures, we see him unaffected by playing that they were actually people I encounter daily surgical residents and nurses to join me during the “andros’ (man) indicated his future role as one ‘second fiddle’ to his more prominent brother Peter in my work in the hospital and the university. praying over session. It is amazing how showing facilitating the meeting of Jesus and the would-be or to the beloved disciple, John. He delighted in telling others about Jesus. My mentor in surgery of many years, Dr. Ency, people a simple and yet meaningful act of sharing disciples. Truly Andrew is a worthy model for the CFC evwas always solicitous of my welfare and that of Christ to them during periods of illness and treatAndrew must have been earnestly in search of my family. So one day, I mustered the confidence ment made them receptive to the promptings for things spiritual which he and his fisherman col- eryday disciple. Like Andrew, we are called not just to offer him a weekend CLP (as opposed to the a life-changing experience. league John found from listening to and following to “go and evangelize” but to be witness to God’s regular 13-week course). Considering that he was Learning from the examples modeled by the John the Baptist. He was in this stage of his journey presence in our lives day after day. We are tasked to always busy, I would not have faulted him if he apostle Paul is one good way of proclaiming when one day John the Baptist called out “Behold “evangelize as we go” and to indeed be instruments had said no. Instead, he surprised me by showing Christ in words and action. Nearly everyone is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the by which others may come to know Christ.


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 16
August 3 - 16, 2009



Year of the Priesthood, Year of the Hearts
By Arnel Santos
ARCHBISHOP Ramon C. Arguelles of the archdiocese of Lipa addressed the Mission Core Group (MCG) of Couples for Christ at Xavier Gymnasium on July 21, 2009, on the significance of Pope Benedict XVI’s proclamation of June 2009 through June 2010, as the “Year of the Priesthood,” and the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines’ (CBCP) dedication of the year 2009-2010 in our country as the “Year of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” The archbishop underlined that with the Pope’s proclamation last March, 2009 of the “Year of the Priesthood,” “lalong gumanda ang Philippine bishops’ decision to dedicate 2009-2010 as the “Year of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” He noted that priests make available the Eucharist to God’s people, and in the process, make a community which is “what God has in mind.” In every Mass, because of the Eucharist, we enter into the heart of God. He related the life of St. John Vianney, the parish priest for 40 years of Ars in France, who transformed the community into a Godcentered community. “He was not a great theologian, but he was a good preacher because what he preached, he lived.” St. John Vian-

ney is now the patron saint of parish priests and the model for all priests. The archbishop emphasized that, “the priests must be the first ones to have the heart of Jesus and Mary.” But the archbishop explained that there must be stress on the “heart,” which means the “kaibuturan ng pagkatao,” the essence of existence. This “heart” must be “consecrated with the Sacred Heart” of Jesus – “the Priest who offers and is offered,” “the Perfect Priest.” Our model is the “Immaculate Heart of Mary,” who shows how to be totally possessed by God, and “our way to the heart of God.” The archbishop enjoined all to pray for priests. In praying, “all of us must approach God with all our heart.” In the words of St. Theresa of Avila, we all must have a “heart to heart talk with God.” “Bring Christ to all people and transform all in Christ” was the archbishop’s final message. In this year of the priesthood, the year of the hearts, Archbishop Arguelles asked everyone to consecrate themselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The archbishop likewise commended CFC, stating at the beginning of his talk, that “Couples for Christ is a grace for the Church…” especially “now with the realization that CFC is a movement within the Church and in the heart of the Church.”

CFC Zanorte Celebrates 17th Anniversary
“RUNNING the Race to Win.” This was the theme during the 17th anniversary celebration of Couples for Christ Zamboanga del Norte, held at Mt. Sinai Convention Hall, Dipolog City on July 11, 2009. CFC members from all over the province attended the said celebration with Ricky Cuenca, country head of CFC Canada, as the guest speaker. The celebration started with a powerful praise and worship led by CFC Zanorte’s Music Ministry and followed by a welcome message from Tata Guirgio, the Provincial Area Director. Ricky Cuenca’s anniversary address focused on our mission and vision as Couples for Christ, punctuated by his account of his missionary work in other countries. The afternoon festivities featured the different talents of the community, with CFC members and the family ministries presenting dances and songs.

Know your Board of Elders
THE hierarchy of leadership of Couples for Christ includes the Board of Elders, 15 men and women elected at the same time as the International Council, and who serve as an advisory body to the IC. Their term of office coincides with the IC. At the last elections on June 25, the following were elected to the BOE. DING AGUINALDO A CPA, married for 32 years to Tess. Joined CFC in 1990. Present service is Regional Head (RH) of Northeastern Luzon. Owns a catering business and was formerly connected with a big accounting firm. With 3 children: 2 in SFC and 1 in KFC. ROBERT ARDIENTE Joined CFC in 1987; married for 26 years to Mayin with 3 children. Was a seminarian, graduating with a degree in Philosophy. Was Liaison Officer and Assistant to the President of an engineering corporation prior to working fulltime for CFC in 1992. Present service is as Country Coordinator of Israel; member of the SOLD Council and assists the Metro Manila Mission Director. RAFFY BLASCO Joined CFC in 1988; married to Cely for 29 years. A known advocate of health and wellness, left a lucrative job with a multinational company to have more time to serve in the community. Holds a marketing degree and an MBA from the Ateneo. With 2 children, both in SFC. Now Provincial Area Head (PAH) of Capiz. RICKY CUENCA Based in Canada as a fulltime CFC worker; joined CFC in 1986 and married to Irma for 30 years, with 2 daughters, both in SFC. Graduated with a commerce degree from La Salle. Presently holds the following positions: President & Chairman, ANCOP Canada; Chairman, ANCOP USA; Regional coordinator for Western Africa and Country Coordinator of the United States. BERNIE CUEVAS Attended two Christian Life Programs – the first one in 1985 in Manila and the second in 1990 in Labo, Camarines Sur. Married for 13 years to Pinggoy Cuevas; now widowed for 17 years. With 3 chilcareer in the human resource field, as well as in training and development and strategic management. Married for 35 years to Penny; with 4 children and 1 grandchild; 3 unmarried children in SFC, YFC and KFC. Joined CFC in 1990; is now PAH of Laguna and RH of Central Visayas. DIDI GALSIM The International Coordinator for HOLD; married to Dwight (an internaProgram Director and member of the Servants of the Lord international council. ERNIE MAIPID Holds an AB in Broadcast Communications, Masters in Communications Research from UP, formerly with the United Nations Development Programme prior to becoming a fulltime worker at CFC in 1996. Joined CFC in 1987. Married for 26 years, to Gigi with 3 children. Formerly an IC member. Married to Prosy for 40 years, with 4 children, all of them active in community. Joined CFC in 1989 and presently is the RH for Western Visayas, PAH for Pampanga and Country Coordinator for Bahrain. REGGIE RAGOJOS Joined CFC in 1992; married to Janet, a registered nurse, for 29 years, with 4 children and 1 grandchild; all of the children are in community, one in CFC and the rest in YFC. An architect, now owns and manages, with his wife, a successful design and construction copmpany. Present service: RH of the Calabarzon are (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Quezon); Country Coordinator for Morocco. NIDES RESPICIO A lawyer (LLB from UP in 1978), with private practice. Joined CFC in 1986; married to Myra for 29 years; with 3 children. Now the STMA Coordinator and the Country Head of Guam. OCA TAGULINAO A plastic surgeon, also an associate professor at UST and private practitioner at the UST Hospital and Cardinal Santos Medical Center. Joined CFC in 1984. Married for 37 years to Tess, with 1 daughter. dren, two of whom are married. A nursing graduate from St. Paul’s College of Manila, with postgraduate courses in cooperatives and management. Now a fulltime pastoral worker serving in the Tekton Guild Ministry as President of Tekton Foundation and Managing Director of the CFC Cooperatives Federation. Active in Handmaids of the Lord as Bicol Regional Coordinator and Japan Country Coordinator. MON DE LEON An industrial engineer, has a long tional pilot) for 37 years, with 3 children, 2 of whom are in CFC and one in SFC. Joined CFC in 1988. Holds a BS Science and a Master of Science degree in Math from UP. Was a Math professor. CHARLY LAIZ Joined CFC in 1990. Married to Mel for 22 years with 3 children, one SFC and 2 YFC. A practicing architect working in tandem with wife Mel who is an interior designer, prior to becoming a fulltime pastoral worker in 1999. Present service is as RH for the Bicol region, CFC Prolife MANNIX OCAMPO A graduate of Chemistry and Entrepreneurial Marketing, now VP for Sales and Marketing of a major tire company. Joined CFC in 1998. Married to Aileen for 14 years with 5 children, 3 in KFC and 1 in YFC. Now holds the following service: Sector Head, of South A, Metro Manila and PAH of Negros Occidental. RENE PUNSALAN A CPA-lawyer with his own consultancy firm, now CFC Legal Counsel. JUN URIARTE Holds a BS Chemical Engineering and Masters in Engineering degrees from UP and a PhD Chem Engg degree from Carnegie-Mellon University. Has held top leadership positions in the United Nations (ESCAP), ASEAN and the Philippine government (Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology). Joined CFC in 1992. Married for 40 years to Jean with 5 children and 7 grandchildren. Presently serves as Regional Coordinator for Southeast Asia.

Great Things at the 28th CFC Anniversary
By James & Monica Ssemwangu, Fr.Mathias Ssenyange (Uganda) & Fr.Siegfried Mwatighina (Kenya)
Great things happen when God meets with Man We were greeted by heat and humidity at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, after an 18-hour flight from our respective places of Kenya and Uganda on the 18th of June. We had been in Manila for just a few days when we started attending the anniversary week events. We participated in the empowering International Leaders’ Forum, which sent out the message from the prophet Joshua to the CFC leaders present -- a call to determination, courage and strong will to push on with the global missions. The following day, we had the Bishop, Clergy and Lay Congress which focused on the youth and their importance in building the Church and society. The Congress’ collective conclusion is that the clergy and laity need to work together to give special attention to the youth. Finally, we had the Migrants’ Congress, which brought to light the painful experience of exploitation and abuse that many migrant workers face. CFC responds to the call to be by the migrant workers’ and their families’ side to give them spiritual and material support. D-day was the 27th of June 2009. And it was a truly jovial mood of marching and band-playing in Luneta. All the provinces from the Philippines were present together with the foreign delegates from Kenya, China, Kuwait, Ghana, South Africa, Uganda, USA, Canada, Bangladesh and Malaysia. A mammoth crowd of about fifty thousand people gathered for a mass celebrated by Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales which was concelebrated by the foreign delegate priests from China, Bangladesh, Uganda, Ghana and Kenya. No sooner had the mass ended when the praise fest started. And yes, it started in style. It kicked off with clapping, dancing, singing, jumping, swinging. Name it, we did it. Different groups and CFC ministries took turns presenting on stage. Did you know that we even had not only singing but also dancing priests? The performing priests of Malaybalay, Bukidnon really proved their talent that night. The celebration went on till late in the night. And since we were pagod (tired) after the singing and dancing, we were treated to a very masarap (delicious) dinner by our host. Our hosts were indeed wonderful brothers and sisters, who brought us to every imaginable place and activity from GK sites to hot spring swimming, to having pedicures to sunset-watching, CFC assemblies and block rosary meetings. We hopped all over Metro Manila and beyond – we got to stay in Quezon City, Parañaque, San Juan, Laguna and Rizal. Great Lessons The number one lesson we learned was teamwork. Indeed, it is deeply rooted in CFC as a community. I easily noticed brothers and sisters joyfully serving. We truly experienced a real community of brothers and sisters. When things were not going as planned, other brethren would reach out to give a hand or sort out matters without second thoughts. You could not single out one person as being in charge. Lesson number two was hospitality. It is true that brothers and sisters in CFC may be ranked among the most hospitable of people. One needs to experience this hospitality and go away with lessons on how to treat others. God’s Message One memorable experience happened right after Holy mass which was celebrated by Bishop Jesse Mercado of Parañaque. Two ladies invited us for breakfast. We were wrong to think that they were

CFC members. It turns out that they were actually members of Opus Dei and the Legion of Mary. They simply said, “We are happy to see you so we request to have breakfast with you…” We never imagined such an encounter but it was possible because of Christ who brings us together whatever the differences. It is undoubtedly true therefore to say, “Great things happen when God meets with Man.” God’s message to us throughout our month-long stay is clear: God is always with us and He reveals Himself through the virtues of love and unity, joyful service to our brothers and sisters and above all, unconditional hospitality. It is by so doing that many other gifts of the Holy Spirit bless our community and God becomes truly present in our midst.



CBCP Monitor

Vol. 13 No. 16

August 3 - 16, 2009

By Kolai Alegado

Paint By Faith

THE Metro Manila North A1-C Singles for Christ (composed of three units and four ministries -PFO, creative heads, social ministry, music ministry), or a total of 16 individuals, launched last July 5, 2009 a fund raising activity to help improve the GK site assigned to their chapter. The activity was held during the Mission Core Gathering of the CFC North Sector at the Department of Agrarian Reform covered gym. The young people wanted the activity to be something extraordinary, something totally new. In the end, the chapter decided to do something artistic. For four months, the sixteen members of the core group took up a crash course on painting provided by a new Christian Life Program graduate, a fine arts student of the University of Sto. Tomas. During that time, the group learned all there is to know about oil painting. Oil??? Yes, you guessed it, this is not just your regular water based painting thing.

The group aimed to accomplish seven themes (commercial, worship songs, Bible verse, gatherings, faith, Gawad Kalinga and portraiture). In the beginning, while tackling the first theme, everybody got cold feet since no one could finish a painting within a day, the allotted time. On the last day of the painting production, July 4, the group managed to come up with 80 paintings, two themes and 25 paintings short. At the MCG, the group set up their gallery a few yards away from the MCG session area. Mila Yamamoto, wife of CFC Executive Director Joe Yamamoto, made the first purchase, followed by sector head Ben Babilonia. Maan Dolino, SFC chapter head, shared about the group’s struggles and dreams, pushing sales further. At the end of the gathering, the group had sold 38 pieces! The group is not resting on its laurels. They are gearing up to finally finish their project, to complete the 115 pieces originally aimed for and to achieve 100% sales. In the end, ‘Paint By Faith’ showed the 16 that it doesn’t really matter if you are a fine arts graduate, an artist at heart or a complete novice. What matters most is that talent was put to good use, for a noble purpose. The group is now going online to further promote their paintings. Pls visit: paintbyfaith.multiply. com. For inquiries please contact Leah Afos (Sun#0922 5267 352) (Globe#0906 4122 795)/ Kolai Alegado (Smart#0928 281 1820).

Intensely Inspiring: The 16th CFC – Youth for Christ Oceania Leaders’ Conference
By Lianne Bernardo
FROM July 3-5, 450 young people all over Oceania came together for the 16th CFC-Youth for Christ Oceania Leaders’ Conference. The much-awaited event was held at the Exhibition Park at the Canberra Conference Centre to celebrate, praise and worship Christ. There were four sessions during the weekend: “Journey to Christ,” “Breaking Barriers,” “The Great Prize” and finally, “Stepping Up” – all of the talks revolving around the overall theme of Couples for Christ for the year 2009 – “Forward in Christ” taken from Philippians 3:13-14. The sessions were inspired by St. Paul’s journey to Damascus, and each of the sharers and speakers helped relay God’s message to the youth in a personal and touching way. On the second day of the OLC, several workshops were given. The different workshops dealt with a variety of topics that the youth aren’t necessarily familiar with; from how to use the internet as a tool for reaching out to others (Virtual Evangelization); to dealing with the different distractions during the celebration of the Holy Eucharist (Weapons of Mass Distraction) and learning to appreciate the Holy Mass; and even to getting to know Mother Mary more (Something about Mary). There was a little bit of

Making a Loving Difference
By Beng Prado
STEEL bars separated the volunteers of CFC Isaiah 61:1 Prison Ministry from the inmates of Rodriguez (formerly Montalban) Municipal Jail. But given the sincerity and candor that apparently marked the discussions, it could well have been done in an open field. For almost three hours last July 11, over 200 prisoners took turns clarifying legal issues and asking questions on their respective cases, ranging from robbery to drugs to homicide and murder. It did not matter that it was hot and humid, with all 200 cramped in only four cells. Or that they had to crowd behind bars to get a better view of the speaker, or seat themselves on the cold floor waiting out their turn to get enlightened on legal technicalities they’ve struggled long to understand. All that mattered for the moment was that there were people who were there to listen, to try and help them, to give a flicker of hope. The session was part of CFC Isaiah’s mission of providing detainees and prisoners with a range of services aimed at bringing them to experience “total liberation in Christ.” The Rodriguez City jail has been “adopted” by CFC volunteers from the East Sector, who visit regularly to provide assistance and spiritual nourishment. During their recent visit, they conducted a legal clinic, with paralegal volunteers doing case profiles and lawyers rendering consultations. Medical service was also provided for the prisoners, most of whom were suffering from various skin and respiratory ailments. Apart from sharing their time, the group also turned over four electric fans – one for each cell. “There is still so much more we can do,” said Tom Prado, executive director of CFC Isaiah 61:1, “but this is only possible if more volunteers heed the call to serve.” Prado explained that doctors and dentists were especially needed by the prisoners who are subject to extreme living conditions and are vulnerable to all forms of illnesses. “The services we provide our brothers in prison are such little acts of kindness,” concluded Prado, “but seen from behind cold steel bars, these make a world of a difference.”

something for everyone. In true Youth for Christ tradition, the praise and worship sessions were intensely inspiring. There’s always something amazing about worshipping with a great number of brothers and sisters in Christ. God’s presence was truly felt in every single worship and in every prayer that was uttered during that weekend. The OLC was definitely one weekend that the young people of Oceania will never forget.

CFC International Leaders’ Forum
By Nirva Dela Cruz
WHAT would it be like to gather the whole world under one roof? Last June 23, 2009, 150 people from all across the five continents gathered to find out. The 1st CFC International Leaders’ Forum brought together representatives from the different countries -- country directors, country heads and other stakeholders of the CFC international missions. It was a conflagration of convictions and commitment, both rousing and moving. The forum, held at the Acropolis Clubhouse in Libis, Quezon City, Philippines, revolved around Acts 1:8, “…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” These were the last words Jesus told His disciples moments before ascending to heaven after the Resurrection. What once inflamed the hearts of the first missionaries millennia ago continues to be the raison d’etre for the CFC global missions today. For the first time also, CFC took a seriously objective look at the global status of CFC, in terms of membership and growth. While a lot of areas were obviously growing in strength and number, other countries, particularly in Europe, seem to call for some urgent ac-

Revisiting the Call after 28 years

tion and response. “CFC…to the Ends of the Earth (Facing the Challenges of our Life and Mission)” was given by Rouquel Ponte, the CFC International Missions Director, and was all about what the past 28 years had brought and what the next 28 years could bring to the global missions. After the brief session, each of the continental representatives shared how their respective countries have been responding to challenges culturally unique to their area through the pro-God, pro-family, pro-poor and pro-life core values of CFC. Among them were Nick and Norma Borja of CFC – Canada, representing the CFC Americas, who shared about the increasing teenage pregnancies in Canada with adolescents as young as 15 years old getting pregnant. The Borja couple talked about how CFC – Canada is stepping up to somehow respond to this disturbing reality. Israel Silud, the country head of China and representing CFC Asia, talked about what has kept China going, and shared about simply loving China and loving the people he served, despite difficulties. Other CFC International

leaders represented by James Ssemwangu for Africa, Rene Santayana for Europe and Marcy Mission for Oceania gave us a glimpse of our CFC missions in the various continents localizing the CFC experiences into the life and culture of the areas.. To wrap up the half-day forum, a mass was celebrated by Archbishop Ramon Arguelles of the Archdiocese of Lipa, Batangas, together with Bishop Matthew Gyamfi of Ghana and other guest priests from China, Kenya, Vanuatu and Uganda. True to a long-time anniversary tradition, the foreign delegates had a fellowship with provincial delegates to the 28th CFC anniversary after the Forum. It was truly a sight to behold with couples – the young, the middle-aged and the not-so-young filling the dance floor that night. They grooved to some baby boomer classics by the 29 A.D. band. The night just sizzled with some spontaneous dancing and fun games. Going back to the question ‘what happens when we bring the whole world together?’ The answer? Pure passion.

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