caring •A3 Pope to bishops: •B1Stewardship as A task Be realistic, not for one’s vote: too political of citizenship


The News Supplement of Couples for Christ


Revival of values for children’s programs needed, says priest
A YOUNG priest from the Archdiocese of Manila said that more television programs focusing on values and the rights of children should be produced for broadcast. Fr. Jojo Buenafe of the archdiocesan television station TV Maria lamented the shortage of television programs for children that are centered on values. “Gone are the days when Sesame Street and Batibot were the ones being watch by children,” he said. Buenafe was one of the 16 Filipino delegates
Values / A6

Bishop to gov’t: Build decent evacuation centers
THE government must build decent and permanent evacuation centers in areas often affected by natural calamities to ensure immediate availability of safe havens for disaster victims, a Catholic bishop said. With the current situation, Baguio Bishop Carlito Cenzon said he was unsure of the government’s ability to mitigate catastrophic events brought by typhoons and other calamities. “The government lacks long term planEvacuation centers / A6
© CBCP Media

October 26 - November 8, 2009

Vol. 13 No. 22

Php 20.00

trudge to cemeteries on these days to pray for their dead loved ones. CBCP president and Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo said Church history is filled with stories of AS the whole Christendom celebrates the feast of all saints, millions of Fili- people who have lived heroic lives as followers of Christ, men and women who have been proclaimed pinos, whether here or abroad, troop to cemeteries to light a candle and pray by the Church as saints in heaven. “Their lives of faithfulness to Christ and of holiness serve as models for the Christian community,” for their dead. he said. Catholic tradition celebrates the feast of All Saints on November 1, followed by a day dedicated to But he also said Filipinos now need not only look for models at the saints we know, even among the poor souls in purgatory on November 2. Individually and as groups, people across the country fellow Filipinos who have lived exemplary lives. Just like the saints, the heroes of our time possess qualities worthy of emulation, Lagdameo said. They can be models of morality, honesty, uprightness, diligence and trustworthiness, the prelate added. To date, the motive behind the kidnapping is still FATHER Michael Sinnott, an elderly Columban mis- to the world and in so doing face hardships and difAmong others, he cited the country’s unknown and no group has claimed responsibility sionary kidnapped in Southern Philippines, has won ficulties, and even persecution,” said Benedict XVI. national hero, Jose Rizal, as someone “I think of, among others, Fr. Ruggero Ruvoletto, for it. praise for his courage from Pope Benedict XVI. who can stand as a model for everybody The military authorities in Mindanao admitted In a tribute on World Mission Day last Oct. 18 in recently killed in Brazil, and Fr. Michael Sinnott, kidin search of change and renewal not only being in a quandary over the exact location of Fr. the Vatican, the pope hailed the frail 79-year old napped a few days ago in the Philippines,” he said. for oneself but also for the country. On that occasion, the pope also assured the friends Sinnott and his abductors. priest’s work even in the face of terrible danger. The values that characterize the life of The Pagadian City government has already ofAddressing a crowd of thousands, he recalled the and family of Fr. Sinnott for his immediate and safe these heroic people can serve as model fered a P200,000 reward for information on his work of Catholic missionaries around the world who release. for everyone to imitate, the outgoing The frail Irish priest has been kidnapped at gunpoint whereabouts. serve the weakest people, sometimes at the risk of CBCP president said. at his home in Pagadian City in Zamboanga del Sur their own lives. Negotiations for release ongoing Aside from Sinnott’s case, he also particularly province last Oct. 11. Memorial for unnamed saints At press time, negotiations for the release of kidFr. Sinnott has a heart condition and was not carryreflected on the recent murder of an Italian priest The celebration of All Saints’ Day honing his medication when he was taken. napped Irish missionary is ongoing, according to a killed in Brazil. ors those who have lived commendable The Philippine Catholic hierarchy is hopeful that church official in Pagadian City. “I wish to remember the missionaries—priests, Christian life on earth and are now in “Negotiations are on going, I cannot give further religious men and women, and lay volunteers—who the health condition of the priest would convince his heaven. Since not all the saints are given have consecrated their existence to bring the gospel abductors to release him. Hailed / A6 Model / A6

By Pinky Barrientos, FSP

Saints’ holy lives a model for all, says CBCP head

Kidnapped Irish priest hailed by Pope

FILIPINO prison conditions remain dismal and appears to be a growing problem, a Roman Catholic bishop said. Overcrowded prison cells, chronic underfunding and dismal sanitary conditions inside prison are not new, only that the situation is getting worse, said Palawan Bishop Pedro Arigo. “Looking at our jails, it’s a hell hall,” Arigo lamented. The current situation, he said, is alarming and is wiping out any chance to rehabilitate inmates. “If the situation is like that, it’s hard to expect that people inside prison be rehabilitated. The purpose of correction can never be served,” he said. According to him, effective measures must be taken to ensure prison conditions are consistent with the ideal standards at all stages of detention. Arigo chairs the prison ministry of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). Christian response Aside from the miserable prison condition, the bishop of the Diocese of Puerto Princesa said the justice system, in the aspect of rehabilitation, is a total failure. He called on the government to “rethink” its

RP jails like hell—bishop

position on justice system and respond to crimes based on church teachings. “We have to rethink our current criminal justice system and think
RP jail / A7

‘We visit cemeteries to pray for the dead, not to disturb them,’ says Catholic Editor
IN the month of November in which the universal Church tradition¬ally commemorates all of the faithful departed, visits to the graves of loved ones has been a popular custom in the Philippines. But what the Catholic Church celebrates as a solemn commemoration has turned into occasions of rather inappropriate pastimes such as gambling, drunkenness, noise-making, or simply the senseless crowding of people that has led to road rage and shooting incidents. Fr. Gerry S. Patio, editor of Theological Centrum Documentation Service (TCDS), said there is a need for a greater understanding of the Christian reverence for the bodies of the dead as well as of Christian death in general in the light of the promise of a future resurrection. Patio, a Theology graduate of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome and with more than 10 years of pastoral work experience behind him, has observed that in the Philippines, people are generally and openly pious and the state still respects, in some way, the religious heritage of the people. He said many people still observe commemorations such as All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day as shown in the vast crowds
Not to disturb / A6

Bishop appeals for waste-free ‘Undas’
GREEN Christmas, green Valentine’s, and green fiestas. Now, it’s green “Undas.” Kalookan Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez said it’s about time to mark the yearly All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day free of piles of garbage. The celebrations, he said, calls for show of concern among the people for the environment while expressing their love for their departed ones All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day are special holidays as millions of Filipinos visit the tombs of their departed family members and friends, bringing flowers and candles and offering prayers. But he said, the celebration is often marred by wasteful practices and unabashed littering desecrating the cemeteries that are supposed to be hallowed grounds. “The environmental lessons from the recent storms should not be ignored as we carry on with our timeless tradition of remembering all the saints and our dear departed ones,” said Iñiguez. On the contrary, the CBCP official said, people should strive to observe these holy days with the health, safety and welfare of our people and the environment in mind. “We owe it to all who perished from the calamities to reform the way we have been treating Mother Earth, ensuring that we hurt her no more with our wasteful habits and harmful practices,” he stressed. “Let us remember those who died in the storms and vow to honor their memories by preserving and protecting our fragile environment to the best of our ability,” said the prelate. Environment group Ecowaste Coalition echoed Iñiguez’s concern, adding that the public should make the celebrations a simpler one to avoid generating unnecessary waste and pollution. Manny Calonzo, Ecowaste Coalition president, said the bishop’s call for ecological stewardship was timely at this “crucial time of relief, remedy and healing following the harrowing floods and landslides.” “The widely observed Undas offers a concrete opportunity for everyone to


play a constructive role towards curbing crass consumerism that has sullied our beautiful tradition of honoring the dead,” Calonzo said. “Our shared efforts to green our choices and practices—from sprucing up the tombs to the actual visit to the teeming cemeteries—can make this year’s Undas kinder to the environment,” he added. Both the bishop and the environment watchdog believe that by keeping the observance of Undas austere, faith-centered,

and garbage-free will help in building citizens’ involvement and solidarity to combat climate change. (Roy Lagarde)

Illustration by Bladimer Usi


World News

CBCP Monitor
October 26 - November 8, 2009

Vol. 13 No. 22

‘Race toward WYD 2011 Madrid has begun,’ declares Cardinal Rouco
MADRID, Spain, Oct. 26, 2009—Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela of Madrid greeted a large group of young Catholics gathered at the headquarters of the World Youth Day 2011 organizing committee last Friday. Cardinal Rouco Varela addressed the youth saying, “Today begins the race towards WYD, an extraordinary event in which we will be able to experience the universality of the Church, in union with the Pope…with more than a thousand bishops from all over the world, thousands of priests, consecrated men and women, parents, boys and girls, and especially many young people from all over the world.” Cardinal Rivera reminded the youth of the two great objectives of WYD: The first, he explained, is to promote “a great encounter of young people with the Lord, that with their faith they might make visible the theme of WYD, ‘Rooted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith’.” The second objective is “to show the world the testimony of young people in the Church who demonstrate that they know Christ and that following Him is the best path to give life meaning and to be truly happy.” Cardinal Rouco encouraged those present, including leaders of the organizing committee, their collaborators and many volunteers, to carry out their tasks with the dedication of St. Paul and to bear difficulties and crosses with joy in order to achieve the goal. This is “a grace as well as a great challenge for Madrid, which we take up with enthusiasm and a spirit of service and humility,” the cardinal said. (CNA)

LONDON, England, Oct. 26, 2009—Members of the traditionalist Anglican group Forward in Faith recently concluded their annual gathering, which was dedicated to discussing Pope Benedict's overture to Anglicans. The general impression left by the conference was the “Anglican experiment is over,” a mood that was reinforced by Bishop John Hind officially announcing he is ready to become Catholic. The 2009 National Assembly of Forward in Faith was held in the Emmanuel Centre, Westminster, London, October 23-24. The Assembly was originally scheduled before the Vatican announced its unprecedented move, but the issue dominated most of the discussion.

Speaking to the press during the event, the Right Reverend John Hind, Anglican Bishop of Chichester, announced he is considering becoming a Roman Catholic. Hind, the most senior traditionalist in the Church of England, told “The Telegraph” that he is willing to sacrifice his salary and palace residence to join the Catholic Church. “This is a remarkable new step from the Vatican,” he said. “At long last there are some choices for Catholics in the Church of England. I'd be happy to be re-ordained into the Catholic Church.” The bishop said that he expects his previous ministry will be recognized in the Catholic Church, but stressed that the divisions in the Anglican Communion could make it impossible to stay. “How can the Church exist if bishops are not in full communion with each other?” he asked. During the conference, the Right Reverend John Broadhurst, who is the Anglican Bishop of Fulham and the Primate of Forward in Faith, affirmed that “the Anglican experiment is over.” Bishop Broadhurst said that Pope Benedict has made his offer in

response to the pleas of Anglicans who despair at the disintegration of their Church. “Anglicanism has become a joke because it has singularly failed to deal with any of its contentious issues,” said the bishop. “There is widespread dissent across the [Anglican] Communion. We are divided in major ways on major issues and the Communion has unraveled. I believed in the Church I joined, but it has been revealed to have no doctrine of its own. I personally think it has gone past the point of no return. The Anglican experiment is over.” In an emotional closing speech on Saturday, Bishop Broadhurst used the metaphor of the frog and the boiling pot to describe the current Anglican status. "The temperature at the pot has become intolerable, but the process of boiling started before the ordination of women… The truth is, the tragedy for us is the Church of England has presumed. It's presumed to know better than the tradition on many matters and it's presumed to know better than Jesus Christ about some matters,” he explained. (CNA)


Vatican begins dialogue with Society of St. Pius X
VATICAN CITY, Oct. 26, 2009—A meeting today between representatives of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) and officials from the Vatican identified the doctrinal differences that still separate the Society from the Roman Catholic Church. The gathering also served to identify the manner and structure of future discussions between the two groups. Though Pope Benedict lifted the excommunication of four Lefebvrist bishops earlier this year, he also told the bishops of the world that “until the doctrinal questions are clarified, the Society has no canonical status in the Church, and its ministers— even though they have been freed of the ecclesiastical penalty—do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the Church.” Today the representatives of the SSPX and the Vatican agreed that they would focus their dialogue on the concepts of Tradition, the Paul VI missal, religious freedom, the relationship between Christian and non-Christian religions, Catholic principles of ecumenism, themes regarding the unity of the Church, and the interpretation of the documents of Vatican II

Taize leader notes good relations with Russian orthodox
Thanks Pope for commitment to unity
MUNICH, Germany, Oct. 26, 2009—The leader of the ecumenical Taizé community has expressed his gratitude to Benedict XVI for the Pope’s efforts and courage in promoting Christian unity. Brother Alois Loser particularly noted the Holy Father’s work to bring unity with the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X. He made this observation as he received the 2009 prize for ecumenism in the Catholic Academy of Bavaria. He told ZENIT that the Pontiff’s efforts to reconcile with the society founded by Marcel Lefebvre is “an important initiative.” Brother Alois also expressed satisfaction with advances in Catholic-Orthodox dialogue. In that vein, he noted the relationship between the Taizé community and the past and present leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church. “We have good relations,” he said. “Patriarch Kirill has been with us twice.” Losing energy As the Taizé leader accepted the prize, he lamented the persistent division among Christians. “What unites us is much more important than what divides us,” he said. “Christians should not continue to lose energies in small wars, which at times occur even within the Churches themselves.” “While Christians live divided, the message of the Gospel cannot be understood,” he warned, adding that reconciliation is “the heart of the Gospel.” Brother Alois called for regular inter-confessional nights of prayer for young people, “in important places,” such as borders, prisons, and urban areas in crisis. The prize is a 10,000 euro ($16,328) award. The previous winner was Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Brother Alois said the prize money will help fund a Taizé project to print one million Bibles and distribute them in the People’s Republic of China. (Zenit)


in continuity with Catholic doctrine. The themes will be examined over the next few months, probably in bi-monthly discussions. (CNA)

‘The 13th Day’ tells story of Fatima
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 27, 2009─A new film on Mary’s apparitions in Fatima is being offered with an advance screening program for groups before the DVD is available to the public in North America. "The 13th Day" tells the true story of the May 13-Oct. 17, 1917, apparitions to Lucia Santos and her cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto. The film is based on the memoirs of Lucia after she became a nun. Ignatius Press, the North American distributor of the film, is offering dioceses, parishes, schools and other organizations an opportunity to show "The 13th Day" before it is available to the public. Anthony Ryan, director of marketing for Ignatius Press, said that "special viewings of the film are particularly impactful for catechesis and faith formation, as well as for basic, family-friendly entertainment." Organizations that participate in the advance screening program purchase a one-year license, allowing them to show "The 13th Day" as often as they want over a year. Promotional materials such as posters, event planning guides, customizable postcard invitations, Our Lady of Fatima prayer cards and Tshirts are included. Special features on the DVD include optional Spanish subtitles, a 24-page companion Collector's Booklet, as well as interviews with key Fatima experts. (Zenit)

Asian bishops meeting takes place in Vietnam for the first time
HO CHI MINH CITY, Oct. 26, 2009—For the first time ever a meeting of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Asia (FABC) has been held in Vietnam. The government allowed a seminar to take place in Ho Chi Minh City October 22 to 26 attended by 40 cardinals and bishops from Bangladesh, India, Japan, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Thailand , and Vietnam. The authority’s gesture of openness however, rendered more stark the contradiction with the theme of the seminar, which was "Catholic Schools and Catechetical Centres as venues of Eucharistic Faith Formation in Asia" since the Vietnamese Church is prohibited from taking part in the field of education. It should, however, be noted that since its first meeting held in Manila in 1970 in the presence of Pope Paul VI, despite active involvements of Vietnamese bishops in its activities, FABC has never been able to hold any meetings in Vietnam. The meeting was opened with a Mass celebrated by Japanese Archbishop Francis Xavier Osamu Mizobe, SDB, while the auxiliary bishop of Saigon gave a homily on the mission of Catholic evangelization. Of particular significance in the course of the work, the intervention of Cardinal Jean Baptiste Pham Minh Man of the host diocese, who explained "The education for Christians to live the mystery of the Holy Eucharist in the socio-economic context of Vietnam today”. The objective of the seminar was the sharing of information, ideas, innovations and technology tools in the administration, education strategies and social activities of Catholic schools. The Vietnamese participants did their best to contribute to the work, but their interventions could not be in line with those of others, since for decades Catholics have been barred from the field of education, which is monopolized by the state. (AsiaNews)

Condoms promote promiscuity and lead to more HIV infections, says African bishop
VATICAN CITY, Oct. 15, 2009—During his remarks at the Synod of Bishops for Africa taking place at the Vatican, Bishop Joseph Shpandeni Shikongo of Capra, Namibia said condoms spread a “secular and relativistic vision of sexuality” and “encourage promiscuity,” thus increasing the spread of AIDS. Speaking about the public health situation in Namibia, the bishop explained that while the Church in that country does everything possible to promote abstinence in the fight against this disease, she cannot compete with the government, “which is much better financed, has international advisors and access to the national media: television, radio and newspapers. So it has a greater influence than we do.” Thus, the bishop continued, “a secular and relativistic vision of sexuality is spread. For the government, the primary concern is the prevention of infection and the main practical means of avoiding it is the condom: thus an unrealistic trust in its efficacy is being promoted.” “The inefficacy of this means,” he explained, “is deliberately ignored and explained in a vague manner. Thus promiscuity is encouraged, which leads to a greater number of infections.” (CNA)



Church of England bishop says ‘Anglican experiment is over’

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 22
October 26 - November 8, 2009

News Features


Pope to bishops: Be realistic, not too political
Says African Synod successfully struck a balance
VATICAN CITY, Oct. 25, 2009─There is a double danger when speaking of social issues, says Benedict XVI. The first is to focus too much on politics; the second is to be unrealistic. The Pope said this Saturday at a luncheon held in the atrium of the Paul VI Hall with those who participated in the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops. The three-week assembly, which gathered 33 cardinals, 79 archbishops and 156 bishops, considered the theme "The Church in Africa at the Service of Reconciliation, Justice and Peace." In addressing the synod participants, the Holy Father noted the two-fold danger of choosing the synodal theme, which "implies a strong political dimension." The Pontiff noted "that reconciliation, justice and peace are not possible without a profound purification of the heart, without a renewal of thought, a 'metanoia' (conversion), without a newness that must come precisely from the encounter with God." "But even if this spiritual dimension is profound and fundamental, the political dimension is also very real, because without political realizations, these new things of the Spirit are not commonly realized," he continued. "Thus, the temptation could have been to politicize unrealistic world." "The discourse of a pastor must be realistic," the Pontiff affirmed. "It must deal with reality, but from the perspective of God and his Word." In the middle "So this mediation involves, on one hand, being truly connected with reality, attentive to speak of what is, and, on the other hand, to not fall into technically political solutions; that means indicating a concrete but spiritual word," he continued. "This was the great issue of the synod and I think, thanks be to God, we successfully resolved it." Benedict XVI noted in his address the nomination of Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, the archbishop of Ghana and relatorgeneral of the synod, as the new president of the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace. "Thank you, your eminence, for accepting," the Pope said. "We are glad that you will be with us soon." "The synod ends and does not end, not only because the work goes forward with post-synodal exhortation," the Pontiff added. "'Synodus' means common journey. “We continue on the same journey with the Lord, we go forward with the Lord to prepare the way for him, to help him, open the gates of the world so that he might create his kingdom among us." (Zenit)

the theme, to speak less of pastoral work and more about politics, with a competence that is not ours." Benedict XVI pointed out the second danger: "that of retreating into a purely spiritual world, into an abstract and beautiful but

‘Rise up!’ Pope Benedict tells Africa at close of Synod
VATICAN CITY, Oct. 25, 2009─ Pope Benedict XVI’s homily for the close of the Synod of Bishops for Africa concluded the Lord of history does not tire of renewing oppressed humanity since the time of Moses. “Rise up, African continent, the land which received the Savior when as a child he had to flee with Joseph and Mary to Egypt so as to save his life from the persecution of King Herod,” Pope Benedict proclaimed. Benedict XVI’s homily turned to Sunday’s first reading from Jeremiah. In the Book of Lamentations, there is an announcement of hope for the people of Israel, laid low by the invasion of the army of Nebuchadnezzar, the devastation of Jerusalem and the Temple and the deportation to Babylon. In the Gospel, Jesus encounters along the road to Jerusalem Bartimaeus, who has lost his sight. “God is light and creator of light,” the Pope explained. “Man is the son of light, made to see light, but has lost his sight and wanders.” “Brothers, we give thanks because this ‘mysterious meeting of our poverty and the greatness’ of God is realized also in the Synodal Assembly for Africa, which today concludes,” he added. “God has renewed his call: ‘Courage! Rise up…” “And also the Church in Africa, through the bishops, come from all the Countries of the Continent, from Madagascar and the other islands, has received the message of hope and light to walk the way leading to the Kingdom of God,” the Holy Father continued. “Bartimaeus becomes a witness to the light, giving a firsthand account of healing, renewal, regeneration.” “This is the Church in the world, a community of persons reconciled, workers of justice and peace, ‘salt and light’ amid a society of men and nations… Moving testimony has demonstrated to us that even in these most dark moments of human history, the Holy Spirit is at work transforming the hearts of victims and persecutors so that they recognize brothers.” The Pontiff directed the synod fathers to the example of the encyclical “Populorum progressio,” elaborated by the Servant of God Paul VI and which missionaries have realized and continue to realize promoting a respectful development of Benedict XVI said he shared the joys of the Christian communities, “which continue to grow in quantity and quality.” He added, “Naturally, the actual problems of Africa and the great need of reconciliation, justice and peace were immersed in the Assembly.” “Today I desire to address all the African populations, especially those that share the Christian faith, so as to ideally entrust to them the ‘Final Message’ of the Synodal Assembly,” the Holy Father continued. “Dear brothers and sisters who hear me in Africa, I entrust in a special way to your prayers the fruit of this work of the Synod Fathers and I encourage you with the words of the Lord Jesus: You are the salt and light of the beloved African land!” The Holy Father concluded by recalling next year’s Synod of Bishops for the Middle East, for which the “instrumentum laboris” will be presented during his visit to Cyprus. After the Angelus prayer, the Pontiff extended his greeting to thousands of faithful gathered outside of Milan, Italy’s cathedral for the beatification of Father Carlo Gnocchi: “Father Gnocchi worked ‘to restore the human person,’ gathering children orphaned and mutilated by the Second World War and offering them help and education. He gave his all until the very end and dying, donated his corneas to two blind children. His work has continued to develop and today the Father Gnocchi Foundation offers rehabilitation therapy to needy people of all ages. While I greet Cardinal Tettamanzi, Archbishop of Milan, and rejoice with the entire Ambrosian Church, I make my own the theme of this beatification: ‘Alongside life, forever.’” (CNA)

Bishops seek dialogue with Arroyo over aerial spray
MANILA, Oct. 23, 2009—Catholic bishops said they will seek a dialogue with President Arroyo to express their concerns to aerial spraying of pesticides in banana plantations. Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said all they want is to bring to Arroyo’s attention concrete cases related to aerial dust cropping. “We are hoping that the President will side our concern, especially the demand of the affected residents from Davao, to stop aerial spraying,” he said. Along with them in seeking a dialogue with Arroyo, said Pabillo, is a group of farmers and indigenous peoples composing the environment group Mamayang Ayaw sa Aerial Spray (Maas). The group came from Davao to Manila recently to air their grievances against aerial spraying and to press for a ban on the practice, citing threats to communities around banana plantations in Davao. Maas is primarily made up of residents around agricultural plantations who are protesting the chemical drifts in their environment. The protesters are currently taking refuge inside Caritas Manila compound in Pandacan district, Manila. Bananas are the second most abundant exported crop in the Philippines. Mindanao region produces 75 percent of the country’s yield. Philippine Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PGBEA) claims that the aerial spraying ban will cause substantial economic damage to the region. But Pabillo contend the health and welfare of farmers and residents around the banana plantation should be given supremacy over business interests. The Catholic hierarchy’s influence has been instrumental for the successful campaign of Sumilao farmers in 2008 to reclaim a vast agricultural land in Bukidnon province that they insist is rightfully theirs. Same influence of the church also led to the extension of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) last August. (Roy Lagarde) law at the national and international levels. "But this is not enough; we must promote a true human empowerment of the poor and provide, even in conditions of economic crisis, greater access to education. This needs to go beyond basic education or professional training, both important causes of development, and concern the total formation of the person." (Zenit)

local culture and locale. The Pope added, “After more than forty years, this appears to be the only logic capable of freeing the African people from the slavery of hunger and sickness.” Before the Angelus prayer, Pope Benedict spoke of the rich reality of the local Churches presented by the Synod Fathers. Animated by the Word of God and the Eucharist, he explained, the Church works so that “no one is without the necessities to live and so that all can have an existence worthy of a human being.”

Holy See decries increasing poverty Calls for empowerment of the poor
NEW YORK, Oct. 23, 2009—The Holy See is calling for the eradication of poverty, pointing out that even after the global economy recovers, for many The archbishop noted, "Between the potential for recovery and continued setbacks lie some discouraging statistics on the deterioration of public health, Not over He reported that malnutrition rates have increased by 11% over the past year, "primarily in developing countries." "Even if an economic recovery is imminent," the prelate stated, "for those who remain jobless the crisis is not over and its social and human costs persist." Thus he underlined the necessity of working toward "a qualitative change in the management of international affairs" rather than simply establish-

ing "some new rules and controls to ensure a less uncertain and traumatic financial sector." The archbishop stated that his delegation "looks with attention and interest at the proposed topic 'Legal Empowerment of the Poor.'" He continued: "In fact, the implementation of a national and international economic system that actually serves the interests of the poor requires that they be able to defend and promote their own rights in the context of the rule of

© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

NGO: Mindanao tri-people live along well with each other
CHIANG MAI, Thailand, Oct. 21, 2009—Contrary to usual perceptions that conflict in Mindanao is fueled by religious conflict, Christians, Muslims and Lumads in reality live well with one another, according to a non-government organization. The issue of religious discord to justify the war in Mindanao is only created by some sectors to push their own agenda, said Radzini Oledan, an officer of the Initiatives for International Dialogue, a Regional Initiator of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC). GPPAC is a global civil society-led network which seeks to build an international consensus on peace-building and the prevention of armed conflict. Oledan was one of the GPPAC presenters on the issue of media’s role in peace-building and promotion of children’s rights, in one of the workshops held Oct. 20 during the Signis World Congress in Chiang Mai, Thailand. She said the tri-people have their own systems to address conflict, adding that problems only arise when outsiders with vested interests come in and use the resources of local people for their own benefit. “Sometimes these elite would use the religious dimension to somehow justify the conflict in Mindanao but what we are doing as a civil society group is to really sit down, make spaces available for each one to really dialogue with one another,” said Oledan. Oledan’s group links with the Church and other civil society groups in pushing for the protection of women and children in Mindanao. The civil society groups have drafted along with the Mindanao Peoples’ caucus the women and civilian protection. “I think it is a significant contribution to the peace process. It outlines the situ-

people the crisis will not be over. Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent observer of the Holy See at the United Nations, stated this Thursday in an address before the 64th session of the U.N. General Assembly. He underlined the renewed commitment to "eradicating the main structural causes of poverty." "Even the most optimistic outlook admits that recovery" from last year's financial crisis "will be very slow," the prelate acknowledged. He added that "there is no guarantee that there will not be any further shocks and setbacks, including those triggered by inappropriate use of measures adopted to curb the effects of the crisis."

social welfare systems and education as well as a widespread sense of social disintegration." Thus he pointed out that "the real crisis" is "not the disruption of the international economic structures based largely on weak or even fictitious bases, but the sharp worsening of poverty in a world already haunted by intolerable misery." "In addition," Archbishop Migliore noted, "those who bear the brunt of the crisis are only marginally mentioned in public discourse despite the fact that their numbers have skyrocketed and opportunities to reintegrate in the eventual economic growth are rather scarce or even non-existent."

ation of women displaced by war and also the protection issues that have to be responded both by the government and MILF. It actually calls for both panels to heed the responsibility to really protect the civilians,” she said. There are currently 700,000 internallydisplaced people in Southern Mindanao, according to Oledan. She said they are tapping the indigenous people, women, children and youth in their peace-building efforts, making sure that their voices are heard in the peace process. “There’s [a] need for the civilian population to really assert their right to live humanely considering that the war has taken the toll on human dignity and their right to live with dignity,” said Oledan. Aside from linking with civil society groups to advance their peace advocacy, the NGO also takes the initiative to go down and partner with organizations and communities to further their agenda. (Pinky Barrientos, FSP)



CBCP Monitor
October 26 - November 8, 2009

Vol. 13 No. 22

Ending the Anglican ‘experiment’
AT first blush it may look like it was Pope Benedict XVI who hammered the last nail to the Anglican crisis by issuing an Apostolic Constitution that will allow former Anglicans to enter full visible communion with the Roman Catholic Church while preserving elements of distinctive Anglican spiritual patrimony. On closer look, it was actually an opportune response of the Holy See to mounting requests of the groups of Anglicans who wished to enter communion with the Church. Or, better, it was a happy consequence of a lengthy forty years or so of dialogue between the Catholics and the Anglican Communion. The Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) and the International Anglican Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM) were at the forefront to make the ecumenical dialogue to fruition. The issue of reunification of Anglicans and Catholic is, of course, nothing new ever since 450 years ago or shortly after King Henry VIII bolted out of the Church and declared the Church in England independent of Papal Authority. That has always been in the offing. But in recent history it became more viable, or so it seemed, after Vatican II with the Decree on Ecumenism (Unitatis Redintegratio, n. 13) that sent comfortable signals: “Among those in which Catholic traditions and institutions in part continue to exist, the Anglican Communion occupies a special place.” Coming home to the Catholic Church had been common to many individuals and groups of Anglicans through the years. The Anglican diocese of Amritsar in India, for instance, and some individual parishes in the United States have come to terms with Catholicism some decades ago—although maintaining yet an Anglican identity under a “pastoral provision” adopted by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. But for the traditionalist Anglican group called Forward in Faith, this homecoming marks an end to “Anglican experiment”. And this is largely due to the failure of Anglicanism to deal with any contentious issues, according to Right Rev. John Broadhurst, the Anglican Bishop of Fulham and the Primate of Forward in Faith. “There is widespread dissent across the [Anglican] Communion. We are divided in major ways on major issues and the Communion has unraveled. I believed in the Church I joined, but it has been revealed to have no doctrine of its own. I personally think it has gone past the point of no return. The Anglican experiment is over,” confessed Broadhurst. Indeed, the “experimentation” made a turn for the worse when some Anglicans have abandoned the tradition of conferring Holy Orders only on men by calling women to the priesthood and the episcopacy. Recently, some segments of the Anglican Communion have departed from the common biblical teaching on human sexuality by the ordination of the openly homosexual clergy and the blessing of homosexual partnerships. Perhaps the real issue may even be deeper than the peripheral challenges. Broadhurst explains: “The temperature at the pot has become intolerable, but the process of boiling started before the ordination of women… The truth is, the tragedy for us is the Church of England has presumed. It’s presumed to know better than the tradition on many matters and it’s presumed to know better than Jesus Christ about some matters.” Without a doubt, this is a happy development. But his may even just be the tip of the iceberg of upcoming “adjustments” even with the Catholic Church that instituted a “canonical structure” to loosen up and accept the distinctive “Anglican spiritual and liturgical patrimony” which includes serious issues such as priestly celibacy.

Abp. Angel N. Lagdameo, DD

In and Out of Season
OCCURRING within the semestral break and recognized as holy days are the Feast of All Saints (Nov. 1) and the Feast of All Souls (Nov. 2). The former are the men and women proclaimed by the Church as saints in heaven, the latter are those who are undergoing purification in purgatory. All Saints’ Day used to be known as Feast of All Martyrs, in particular the nameless martyrs of the first three centuries during the persecution of the Church by the pagan emperors. This was celebrated at first on the first Sunday after Pentecost, sometime in the month of May. Pope St. Boniface IV in the 7th century rebuilt the Pantheon which used to be dedicated to “all pagan gods,” and buried there instead the bones of many martyrs. The Pantheon was a gift to the Church from Emperor Phocas. The feast of all the martyrs of the faith, all proclaimed as saints, was transferred to November 1, when Pope Gregory III in the 8th century dedicated a new chapel in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. This time it celebrated not only the martyrs but all saints. The celebration of All Saints in November 1 was extended to the Universal Church in the 9th century by Pope Gregory IV. Not all of the saints are given a day each in the year to celebrate his/her feast. And so the designation of one day for all of them was a practical and pastoral disposition. Our Church history is filled with stories of heroic faith of the disciples of Christ. Their lives of faithfulness to Christ and holiness serve as models for the Christian community. November 1 is a memorial day especially for the many

All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days
unnamed, unknown or unrecognized saints, inhabitants of heaven. The Feast of All Saints in November 1 compensates for the deficiency in our celebration of the saints’ feast during the year. On November 2, we celebrate the souls of all our beloved dead, friends and loved ones and also the forgotten ones. The catacombs in Rome attest to the early practice of praying for the dead; the persecuted Christians would gather in the catacombs to pray for their dead with the belief that their prayers could somehow help the soul of their departed and thus deliver them from the state of purgatory. St. Paul prayed for the deliverance of his friend Onesiphorus (cf. 1 Tim. 1/18). The Fathers of the Church developed the concept of “purgation of sin through fire after death.” The purification of the elect is called “purgatory.” The Church believes that there is purification of believers prior to entering heaven and that, prayers and Masses of the faithful benefit those in the state of purgation. The Church has no official teaching as to the place and duration and nature of this purification. All Souls Day is an opportunity to remember, to pray for and offer masses for our departed in the state of purification. In the Philippines it is an occasion to visit the cemeteries where our dead are “resting” until the final call. The bringing of food for the dead is of pagan origin. In the Philippines, the custom includes the putting of lights and ornamentals to decorate the graves of relatives. More important, of course, are the prayers and Masses offered for the deceased.

Renewal of Faith-Communities, Civil Society, Political Leaders
WE have to come together then as communities of faith, as we your Bishops said back in 1986 after the Snap Elections of that year, to “pray together, reason together, decide together, act together,” form groups of thinking and praying people—in our schools, seminaries, parishes, mandated organizations, lay movements, social action groups, most especially in basic ecclesial communities which the Rural Congress we will be holding this year looks to as a crucial instrument in the forbidding task of rural development. We zero in on what we say is the basic fault in our communities’ political and social life: the subordinating of the common good to private good. We see how this flaw in our national character evinces itself in our community life. We need to seek ways and mean of correcting it in whatever way we can—but always according to the principles of active-non violence—together, creatively and imaginatively, as we bishops exhorted in 1986. We have to form ourselves into real communities of faith-discernment and -action. We ask this of explicitly Church groups. But we will ask it too of all citizens who have a concern for the nation’s good, especially those who hold the reins of power, from Malacañang on to Congress, provincial and municipal governments, all the way down to barangay councils. People in government—and as well as all other civic and business groupings—can they too reflect together in all manner of associations and look into themselves to see if, in all their actuations, the demands of the common good are in fact captive to merely personal and selfish interests? And if they are, can they rise up to the challenge and decide themselves to contribute to the general effort? CBCP Statement: “Reform Yourselves and Believe in the Gospel!”, 2008

Novena for the dead
TAKE it from us, Filipinos. When it comes to remembering and honoring the dead, we do it in full force, even with great hoopla, especially come November when a day, extended into days, is dedicated for those who went ahead of us. This, to me, is a great blessing, a strong indicator that in spite of our flaws and cracks in character and culture, we have a vivid sense of unity and family, theologically described as communion, among ourselves, both living and dead. Distance and transitions from here to the hereafter are no hindrance to us. In our heart will always burn the belief that physical separation is no obstacle to our togetherness. We regard the whole of humanity as one big

Fr. Roy Cimagala

Candidly Speaking
describe our life as a mathematical equation, we see death as the equals sign that connects and relates the left side, our life here, with the right side, our life hereafter. It summarizes our life here and determines the state of our afterlife. We have to keep nourishing our heart in this faith, especially now when the world is bombarded with a dominantly materialistic and temporal outlook that holds death as a period, the end of the book of life. My opinion though is that underneath an attention-grabbing layer of a Godless view of life held by a noisy group of unbelievers is a great mass of silent simple people, who still believe in our Christian faith. Sinners
Candidly / A7

family and ultimately the people of God, despite our differences and mistakes. We believe in the spiritual character of our life that underlies our earthly existence. It’s this aspect of our life that enables us to be above our earthly life’s wear and tear, and to transcend time itself. We never lose this seed of our immortality despite our physical decay. Besides, if we go by the full extent of our Christian faith, we know that our life is always taken up by God himself, who wants us to participate in his very own life. Our life is never just our own. It’s always his and ours. Thus, death is not an end. It’s simply a kind of change of residence. If we are to

Sr. Mary Pilar Verzosa, RGS

Love Life
IT was sad news that I received from the staff of Pondo ng Pinoy when I visited the office at Pius Center, UN Ave last week. I was told that collections for the Pondo ng Pinoy is much lower this 2009, compared with the previous years. That means, we have less allocations to give to the dioceses for the projects for the poor in their areas. It is five years now since Cardinal Rosales with several Bishops launched Pondo ng Pinoy at Folk Arts Center. There was a lot of enthusiasm then, and although the policies and programs were not yet very clear to us in the Board of Trustees, we have faithfully sat and planned and promoted its Vision, Mission, Goals and Programs so that from ten Dioceses, nine more have joined. Each member diocese has launched the program with the parish priests, catechists, parish pastoral leaders, school heads and lay organization members attending. Diocesan Pondo ng Pinoy Desk Coordinators have been communicating with our office secretariat, getting the needed education materials and learning how to deposit the collections in the different banks that have signed contracts with us. So that month after month, the collection was actually growing, giving us much joy that we could also allocate more funds for projects. Catechists, school teachers and parishioners were repeatedly reminded about the spirit of the Pondo ng Pinoy—that the act of dropping the twenty-five centavo coin is simply the concrete symbol of the small good deed that one had done for the day. As Cardinal Rosales passionately explains—no one is so poor that he/she cannot do that small good deed and drop a small coin, and the rich should not drop large amounts if they have not done a small good deed for the day. Big donors of course could donate to other foundations, but not into the Pondo ng Pinoy fund. Regularity and intentionality that develops into good habits, then into good character is a basic concept of Pondo ng Pinoy. And how wonderful for the people, especially

Pondo ng Pinoy collections down
the children, to watch the coins in their container increase, knowing that they have also developed their spiritual life in their offering, for the sake of Jesus and the poor. As the head of the Project Proposals Screening Committee, it has given me much consolation to see that more and more parishes are giving attention to the poor in their area. Some of them have been very creative in organizing micro-financing (small loans for vendors, fisherfolk, farmers, factory workers, etc.) vocational education for young men and women so that they could assist more effectively in the family income, community health programs, and housing. More than P100 million have been released to these projects since we started in 2004. Our flag ship project, the Hapag-Asa, spearheaded by Ambassador Howard Dee of Assissi Foundation, who is also a member of the Pondo Board of Trustees), reports that we have fed over 500,000 severely malnourished children and the program is continuing in more dioceses all over the Philippines, even if they are not members of the Pondo ng Pinoy. It has to be made clear to our people that Pondo ng Pinoy is not a calamity fund. (That is the mission of Caritas.) I have been asked lately what we are doing to address the devastating effects of Ondoy and Pepeng. We put emphasis on development projects, therefore, it is a challenge to our church leaders to plan projects with long term assistance to our poor and not only for the duration of the calamity. Guidelines for submitting Project Proposal can be obtained form our secretariat at Pius Center, UN Ave, Manila tel 527- 8113. This is a call to all our readers—please be faithful in dropping your “crumbs” , the 25 centavo coin, and submit to your parish church every Pondo ng Pinoy Sunday (last Sunday of the Month). Remember, .25 a day will only amount to P7 a month. Is that too much to ask for the good of our needy brothers and sisters?

Pedro C. Quitorio

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

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CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 22
October 26 - November 8, 2009

Posthaste Eros
means a powerful urge or drive; it also means suffering. This classical understanding of Eros as inseparable from passion teaches us a deep insight about love—the creative force of love can only be sustained by passion. I am reminded of Mel Gibson’s movie: “The Passion”, a most literal depiction of the passionate love of an “erotic God” who willingly endures unspeakable suffering—for us, his beloved. Eros deteriorates into a whimsical, childish Cupid in the absence of his brother, Anteros. Without the willingness to sacrifice and to suffer for the sake of the beloved, love becomes an effete feeling or fatal attraction. When expressed in sex, it becomes just another activity for pleasure and convenience, without commitment, without regard for consequences. No wonder, consequence-less sex and sex-less procreation have become quite popular among the young. They were brought up to believe that love and sex are trivial playthings. The Pope declared in his encyclical: “God, the universal principle of creation is, at the same time, a lover with all the passion of a true love.” This means that God is not only the cold and rigid prime mover of the scholastics that pushes everything into motion; He is the passionate lover who pulls or attracts everything towards Himself. Deus Caritas Est reminds us that eros is a force that pulls a person to move beyond himself. It is eros that moves a man and woman to “go beyond” their selfish interests in order to commit themselves to each other’s welfare. It is eros that drives a person to give up his convenient lifestyle to serve others. It is eros that impels people to live and die for a cause, a belief, or an ideology. Eros, as the philosopher Plato describes it, is the yearning for self-transcendence. Benedict XVI’s encyclical beautifully summarizes all the foregoing in one sentence: “Eros is rooted in man’s very nature. It drives us to transcend ourselves.” St. Augustine wrote that ultimately, eros naturally drives men towards God because no earthly pleasure can ever satisfy our deepest longing. In his Confessions, he puts this more clearly: “Our hearts are restless until they rest in God.” We experience the transformation of eros into charity when we see our restlessness not as a mere natural or inherent drive towards satisfaction but, in the words of Francis Thompson, “shade of God’s hand, outstretched caressingly”, as he draws us to love Him who loved us first.

Bp. Guillermo V. Afable, DD

Fr. Rolando V. de la Rosa, OP

DADITAMA Laiko: apostol ng bagong milenyo
I HAD the privilege of taking part in the Sangguniang Laiko’s 16th National Biennial convention and the Laiko Regional gathering in Luzon on Oct 16-18, 2009 in San Fernando, Pampanga, with its theme: The Laity: changing self and society with Jesus and Mary. This marks my first ever participation in the national convention and also completing my third participation in the Laiko regional gathering in Visayas, Mindanao and Luzon. As a bishop from Mindanao and a member of the Episcopal Commission on the Laity, it has been truly a privilege for me to come together, pray together, reflect together with our Catholic Laity from all over the country, whose mission in the renewal of the temporal order is being accentuated in our country for the last few years culminating in this year’s celebration of the Two Hearts of Jesus and Mary for peace building and lay participation in social transformation. I would like to express my thanks to Bishop Roberto Mallari and Bro. Banjo Serrano, Co-Chairmen of the Local working committee in the Archdiocese of San Fernando for the program they prepared for the delegates. I was truly given an up close and personal glimpse of the collaborative work of Laity and Clergy in Pampanga, as they creatively allowed us to experience vicariously 18 years later, the Pinatubo experience in the Lord’s Ascension Parish, as we saw and heard and felt the laity’s determination, together with their priests to rebuild the Parish of San Guillermo in Bacolor from the devastation of the lahar, as we sat and marveled at the beauty and artistry of centuries-old Santiago Apostol Church in Betis, as Father Deo Galang passionately and illustratively shared with us the Pampanga 2007 Election: a Pastoral Experience. All of the above were ushered in on the very first day of the convention with a taste of the unique Kapampangan experience of the Crusade of Penance and Charity, its history and the actual procession with the Virgen delos Remedios and Sto. Cristo del Perdon. It was indeed an apt way to introduce us a special experience of the faithful of the local Church. Thank you very much to all those who made these possible for us specially under the leadership of the beloved Archbishop Aniceto, fondly called Apo Ceto, for the very warm and heartfelt welcome and hospitality in Pampanga despite the threats of inclement weather. For this particular national convention and Laiko gathering in Luzon, a hymn was composed titled Laiko: Apostol ng Bagong Milenyo, which was written by Jose Erwin Nucum who gladly offered it to the Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas to be its official hymn. In it, the mission of the catholic laity is clearly declared— Laikong dakila, pinagpala ka! Sa basbas ng Poong Maykapal, tinawag kang maging alagad ng pagbabago ng sambayanan. Yes, may our catholic laity truly become agents of change and clean up the way we do politics. As we know it is not enough to get one good Governor to do the work. Many, many more warm bodies from all walks of life are needed to do the job. May Erwin’s song truly inspire many more lay people to commit themselves for change. Thank you Erwin for your gift to Laiko. Indeed, as in Jaro, Iloilo and Malaybalay, Bukidnon, I again encountered in Pampanga the emerging Catholic Laity, informed, formed and brave of heart in responding to the challenges of Church renewal and the daunting task of renewing politics in this country. I am truly edified by the vitality and dedication our Laity to fulfill their mission in the Church and in the world. However, everywhere, the challenge for them remains to be the engagement of the temporal order to permeate it with the Gospel values. This is particularly evident in the sphere of politics where most of our catholic laity find themselves inadequate or have found a comfortable dichotomy between their faith and politics. But Bishop Pablo David, in his simple, clear and provocative talk on the Mission of the Laity in the Church, moved the delegates in mysterious ways, because indeed it was no longer Bishop Ambo moving us it was God himself through him. Thanks, Bishop Ambo. The national convention was highlighted by the election of the new board of trustees and the new set of officers for 2010-2011, headed by the next president Edgardo J.T. Tirona of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. I was very happy to learn that our very own Bro. Solomon Badoy of the Archdiocese of Cotabato was elected executive vice president for Mindanao, who also currently heads the interim lay core group of Mindanao. Rest assured that here in Mindanao and Daditama particularly, you have a friend and supporter. God speed! The 16th Laiko national convention was a fitting culmination of my very formative and enriching journey with Laiko headed by Ms. Linda Tacorda, President with the laiko Board of Trustees and the CBCP Episcopal Commission on the Laity, under the leadership of Bishop Gabby Reyes of Antipolo together with the other members: Abp. Lagdameo of Jaro, Bp. Odchimar of Tandag, Bp. Pacana of Malaybalay, and Bp. Villena of Bayombong. With them I have had a singular opportunity to touch base with the Catholic lay leaders all over the country. It has been a privilege journeying with you all. For comments:

YOU might be surprised to know that Pope Benedict XVI mentions the word eros more frequently in his first encyclical letter Deus Caritas Est than Sigmund Freud did in all his works before 1920. It is unfortunate that today Eros has been unmercifully equated with eroticism and sexual perversions, thanks to Alfred Kinsey and self-styled sex gurus who came after him. The Kinsey Report documented many forms of erotic activities and lumped these together as sex, minus the meaning and mystery inherent in the sexual act. Kinsey was a zoologist. He viewed the sexual act just like any other activity in the animal kingdom. Eros was thus equated with impersonal, unromantic, piston-like love which Tom Wolfe likens to a baseball game: “the boy reaches first base when he kisses the girl; second base, he touches her; third base they go all the way; and home base means learning her name.” T.S. Eliot offers a more succinct version of eros: “the love that we feel between the desire and the spasm”. Sigmund Freud actually attempted to rehabilitate the word eros in his 1920 book entitled Beyond the Pleasure Principle. Freud used eros as synonymous NOT with sexual pleasure, but with the life force that conquers the death instinct. For Freud, the pleasure principle is self-defeating. Seeking pleasure for its own sake leads to death. Pope Benedict carefully retrieves the original meaning of eros and restores it to respectability. As the title Deus Caritas Est suggests, the encyclical is about love. But he did not just talk about love in its most sublime form—charity (Latin: caritas / Greek: agape). With masterful pedagogy, he began with something more familiar to us: eros. Although love is one powerful force, it has two inseparable dimensions: eros and agape. In God, the two are identified; but in us, eros has to grow into charity. The Pope used the word eros not in the sense of Kinsey or Freud, but in the classical sense. Although he did not make reference to Greek mythology, it is obvious that his description of eros is influenced by it. In Greek mythology, Eros is the god of love, the creative force that breaks old forms to make new ones. Pictured in many modern paintings as a chubby, mischievous, winged child with bow and arrow (Cupid in Roman mythology), Eros matured and reached his full potential only when his brother Anteros (Passion) was born. The word passion, as its Latin etymology suggests,

Laiko’s rebirth
INSPIRED by PCP II’s Acts and Decrees, the incumbent President of LAIKO in 1992, Antonio delos Reyes, chose the themes for the National Laity Week celebrations for the 3 successive years focused on the Church of the Home, the Church of the Poor and the Church of the Future. The Church of the Home, i.e., the Christian family, is the concern of the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, the Church of the Poor is the outreach of the social action and services of the Commission on Social Action, Justice and Peace while the Church of the Future, the evangelization of the youth, is the apostolate of the Episcopal Commission on the Youth. It is no wonder then that some parishes just paid lip service to LAIKO’s recommended themes for the celebration of the LAIKO Week. In short, the activities for the LAIKO’s National Laity Week themes were duplication of the services of other CBCP Episcopal Commissions. Lay organizations, movements and associations, which consist of half of LAIKO’s organization also called LOMAS in Visayas and Mindanao were looked upon as doing its own thing and not supporting the programs of the diocese. (An example of this came out during the question and answer period). Hence the bishops of the concerned dioceses veered away from supporting programs of Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas, the umbrella organization of the LOMAD and the DCL’s. Some of the dioceses did not form Diocesan Councils of the Laity. They preferred to operate with their existing Diocesan Pastoral Councils which include the officers of Lay Organizations who invariably headed the Temporalities and Family Life Committees of the WESTY structure of the parishes. The CBCP’s pastoral statements after PCP II became more focused on the ills of Philippine society from the time of the People Power revolution to the ouster of Marcos, the dictator, up to the Hello Garci scandal of the incumbent President. The longest pastoral statement, a 60 page write-up on Philippine politics by then CBCP President Oscar Cruz seemed to have no effect at all on Philippine

Jose B. Lugay

Laiko Lampstand
reaching out, that is, holding the conventions in Visayas and Mindanao, had to be replicated in Luzon. With the energetic President of the Archdiocesan Council of the Laity, Banjo C. Serrano and the full time efforts of both LAIKO President Linda Tacorda and the Overall Convention Chairman, EVP Ed Tirona, the program pushed through successfully in spite of the recent calamities of Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng and the threat of the upcoming Typhoon Ramil. The delegates from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao who were invited to the Biennial Convention took time to discuss in groups, the current issues related to the theme “The Laity: Changing Self and Society with Jesus and Mary.” The inspiration for this theme is the CBCP’s pastoral statements on the “Year of the Two Hearts for Peace Building and Lay Participation in Social Change” issued on July 12, 2009. In spite of the typhoon, and the sudden illness of the main speaker, Fr. Catalino Arevalo, S.J., the show went on with success. Bishop Pablo Virgilio S. David, Auxiliary Bishop of San Fernando, a former student of Fr. Arevalo, creditably substituted for his mentor—with great success; well applauded by the LAIKO participants. He explained the “Role of the Laity in the World” very clearly and dovetailed this into the laity’s needed participation in principled politics. The participants’ exposure trip to the parishes of San Fernando gave the delegates from all over the Philippines the extent of the tragedy of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption and the Filipino’s bayanihan spirit, the same spirit recently shown by our kababayans in the Typhoon Ondoy and Pepeng disasters. The visit to San Guillermo Parish was capped with a tour of a collection of the old church’s images along the corridors of the lahar-inundated church, where only one third of the original building was above ground. Still the Pampangueños, rebuilt whatever was above ground, preserving the archaelogy—the atmosphere of the original
Laiko / A6

society considering the subsequent corruption at high places—the scandalous NBNZTE affair and the fertilizer scam during the 2004 elections. There was no let up by CBCP in reminding the faithful, to elect men of moral integrity. LAIKO’s National Director, sensitive to the needs of the time, supported the participation of LAIKO’s members as Observers in the government’s procurement process as decreed by Republic Act 9184. This led to the formation of the Advocacy for Good Governance group, supporting LAIKO’s involvement in social transformation. To drum up LAIKO’s move for social transformation the following theme was chosen for the National Laity Week celebration in Jaro: “The Laity: Primary Agents of Change Towards Honesty and Integrity for Good Governance.” With the full support of CBCP President Archbishop Angel V. Lagdameo, LAIKO for the first time went out of Manila to hold the forum—first Regional LAIKO Assembly in the Visayas held in the Archdiocese of Jaro. The affair was so successful that it gave LAIKO the drive to replicate the experience in the Luzon and Mindanao Regions and dwell on the people’s concerns about governance, the destruction of environment and what LAIKO as a group can do realizing the strength of being together when supporting advocacies for the common good. The success of the Laity forum in the Visayas in 2008 was duplicated when LAIKO celebrated its Regional meeting in Mindanao, Diocese of Malaybalay, with the theme, “The Laity: Servant Leaders of Renewal: True to the theme, the Mindanao laity, inspired by the clergy, did one better in the area of principled politics which was the new mandate of CBCP. The BECMindanao’s communities of disciples were given written guidelines on the desired selection process for candidates. They even published a pamphlet, Talitha Kuom, a voters’ guide specially written for those who were previously voting according to the command of their landlords or bosses. The successful experience in LAIKO’s

Fr. Carmelo O. Diola, SSL

Spaces of Hope
ONDO is a term of endearment in the Visayas. Modify the ending— and Ondoy becomes even cute. Typhoon Ondoy, however, was neither endearing nor cute. Leaving in its aftermath the worst flooding in Metro Manila and its environs in 40 years, Ondoy was a nightmare of death and destruction. A month’s volume of rain had fallen in a period of 9 hours and much of this water had nowhere to go. A well-researched article by Gemma Mendoza (“Flooding in Metro, Who is to Blame”) notes: “Climate change, population pressure, and the fact that proper urban planning is bogged down by politics and corruption in government exacerbate matters. And even without these factors…about a fifth (of) Metro Manila is naturally flood prone.” There is a confluence of factors. The article cites a study showing that floods in Metro Manila have become more numerous and destructive. Ground water extraction, population pressures, and erosion due to rampant logging and quarrying in the outskirts of the metropolis have contributed to the situation. Siltation has reduced the water-holding capacity of Laguna de Bay by as much as 64 percent. Garbage clogs the natural passageways (“esteros”) of water with 21 thousand squatter families living in these areas and urban dwellers daily dumping the equivalent of 600 truckloads of garbage in these waterways. Many private subdivisions, commercial buildings, and even schools clog or alter these waterways. Poverty, human irresponsibility, greed, and poor choices—as much as topography and climate change—have to do with the recent calamity.

Lessons from the flood
It is no mere coincidence that the first 11 chapters of Genesis talks about God’s original plan and the beginnings and spread of sin; and that chapter 7-9 deal with Noah and the great flood. Man’s brokenness spills over into nature. St. Paul notes this when he writes that “the world itself will be freed from its slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God. Yes, we know that all creation groans and is in agony even until now” (Romans 8: 21-22). Human enslavement and freedom find expression in and with the environment. Man’s intrinsic connection with the earth is the context of last Sunday’s reading from Genesis 2. Man (“adam”), derived and formed from humus (“adamah”), is painstakingly and loving fashioned by God. Man has godlike powers when is asked to give names to other creatures. Out of his ribs comes a suitable partner. From the soil, to other living beings, and to other human beings—we are all part of a web of relationships that need to be respected and nurtured. The flood offers many lessons. A nation of compassionate people may be emerging, one sharing a common experience of pain and suffering but one that is also beginning to understand, reason, and act together in the face of crises. Only a truly loving, concerted, and decisive response—already seen in the stories of heroism and inspiring action in the spirit of volunteerism—from all of us, can mitigate such disasters. Yet such crisis-driven volunteerism is only the first step. Daily acts of good citizenship and good leadership are needed—with our Christian faith to fuel and sustain our efforts. Only then will other Ondoys be tamed. Only then will we build a nation.

Quote in the Act
“I wish to remember the missionaries—priests, religious men and women, and lay volunteers—who have consecrated their existence to bring the gospel to the world and in so doing face hardships and difficulties, and even persecution.”
Pope Benedict XVI, paying tribute to Catholic missionaries scattered around the world during the celebration of World Mission Sunday on October 18 in the Vatican; where he hailed kidnapped priest Fr. Michael Sinnott’s work even in the face of terrible danger.

“The souls in purgatory need our prayers more than the distracting music and party atmosphere that characterize our current way of remembering the dead.”
Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines; on the practice of playing loud music and doing other inappropriate activities in cemeteries on All Souls’ Day.

“I’m much better off than many others and God has been kinder to me than I deserve.”
93-year old Fr. James Reuter, SJ, former Executive secretary of CBCP Commission on Social Communications and Mass Media, while confined at the Our Lady of Peace Hospital following days of battling from pneumonia.


Local News
spanning the two Lanao provinces in Central Mindanao. It said it has also imposed a naval blockade in the coastal areas to prevent the abductors from slipping away. Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesman Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner said the military has already identified four of the six suspects, allegedly members of a criminal syndicate that had been involved in kidnapping in the region, who snatched Sinnott from his home in Pagadian City. Foreign and local missionaries have a history of being targeted by Islamic militants in Mindanao region. In 1998, priest Luciano Benedetti was seized by gunmen but was freed 10 weeks after. Another Italian missionary, Giuseppe Pierantoni, was abducted by armed men in 2000. He escaped six months later. Others were not as lucky. Filipino priest Rhoel Gallardo was kidnapped by Al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf militants along with 50 school children on Basilan Island in 2000. The children were later rescued, but Gallardo was tortured to death. In 2007, gunmen abducted Italian missionary Fr Giancarlo Bossi from the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions. He was freed more than a month later. (Roy Lagarde)

CBCP Monitor
October 26 - November 8, 2009

Vol. 13 No. 22

US help sought in kidnap case
COLUMBAN missionaries have asked the US government’s help for the safe release of an Irish Catholic priest kidnapped in Southern Philippines last Sunday. Columban missionaries working in the US said the help of the Obama administration might actually work to safely recover Fr. Michael Sinnott. In a letter sent to US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, the missionaries said they fear for the safety of the 79-year old priest as Philippine government forces started its rescue operation. “We ask that all peaceful measures be taken to locate Fr. Sinnott and negotiate his release,” the letter to Mrs. Clinton read. Same letter was also sent to Philippine Ambassador to the US, Willy Gaa. “We ask that you respond in all due haste, as Fr. Sinnott has a heart condition and is, as far as we know, without his medication,” it added. They noted that the Irish priest has lived for 40 years in the Philippines, and one of his most recent ministries has been in school for children and young adults with special needs in Pagadian City. The Philippine military have started to close in on the kidnappers of Sinnott following reports that they were spotted in the jungles
Model / A1

Simulation of polling precinct highlights PPCRV anniversary
IN celebration of the 18th founding anniversary of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), a simulation of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) voting process was conducted at the Manila Cathedral School in Tondo, Manila on October 24. Dubbed as the “Pagbabago Ako Mismo. Boto Ko ang Sagot,” the activity was facilitated by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) of the 2nd district of Tondo and the SmartmaticTim. Organizers said about 40 voters participated in the mock activity on the usage of the PCOS machine. Vulnerable sectors from the 2nd district of Tondo such as the overlooked youth, persons with disabilities and the underserved poor are the expected attendees of the gathering. Dignitaries who graced the anniversary were Msgr. Claro Matt Garcia, Director of the Manila Cathedral School, Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Chairman of the CBCP’s National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace (NASSA) and COMELEC Chairman Jose Melo. PPCRV was founded in October 1991 as a response of the laity to the call of the Church for transformation of society. Among those that strongly supported the foundation of PPCRV were the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP); then Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin; Ambassador Henrietta de Villa; then Atty. Artemio Panganiban; Atty Reynaldo Pacheco and Dr. Zenaida Rotea. (Kate Laceda)
Evacuation centers / A1

With few more days left before the celebration of All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day, some have started visiting the graves of loved ones buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

ning. There should be at least decent evacuation centers so that it would be easy to convince disaster victims to vacate their homes,” Cenzon said. He said telling the public to go to evacuation centers whenever necessary will never be easy as long as the people “dreaded” the idea. The church official said evacuation centers, especially in Northern Luzon region, have insufficient facilities such as toilets. The government, through the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC), currently uses school buildings, multipurpose facilities, and even churches as temporary evacuation centers. Cenzon also said that a properly planned relocation sites should be put in place so that evacuation will not be necessary anymore every time there is an impending calamity. The NDCC has asked residents in landslide-prone areas in Benguet and Mt. Province to go on pre-emptive evacuation and head to safer grounds as typhoon “Ramil” inched closer to Northern Luzon last week. The region is still in the process of recovering from the devastation brought by typhoon “Pepeng” recently with a number of landslides that claimed hundreds of lives. He noted that some of the residents have just returned from their homes after being forced to evacuate during the onslaught of typhoon “Pepeng”. (CBCPNews)
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a specific feast day, the Church for practical and pastoral reasons has designated a particular day to celebrate all the saints in heaven. “November 1 is a memorial day especially for the many unnamed, unknown or unrecognized saints, inhabitants of heaven,” Lagdameo explained. He said putting aside a day during the year to celebrate all the saints make up for the “deficiency in our celebration of the saint’s feast during the year.” Feast of all martyrs Historically known as the feast of all martyrs, in particular the martyrs during the persecution in the early centuries, All Saints’ Day used to be celebrated on the first Sunday after Pentecost. It was later transferred to November 1 during the time of Pope Gregory III who, in the 8th century dedicated a new chapel in St. Peter’s Basilica and for the first time celebrated the feast for all the saints. The celebration was later extended to the universal Church by Pope Gregory IV in the 9th century. All Souls’ Day Lagdameo explained that it is part of
Not to disturb / A1

Church’s teachings that the soul of anyone who had died needs to be “purified” before it can enter heaven. But he added the Church “has no official teaching as to the place and duration and nature of this purification.” “The Church believes that there is purification of believers prior to entering heaven and that, prayers and masses of the faithful benefit those in the state of purgation,” he said. Lagdameo noted that it was the Church Fathers who expounded the idea of “purgation of sin through fire after death.” “All Souls’ Day is an opportunity to remember, to pray for and offer Masses to our departed in the state of purification,” he added. The practice of praying for the dead dates back to the time of early persecutions of Christians. Then Christians would gather in catacombs to pray for their dead believing that their prayers would deliver the soul of the dead from purgatory. The significance of praying for the dead is also mentioned in Scriptures. Bringing food and other practices Current practices being observed during the feasts are bringing of food for the dead

and decorating graves of loved ones with lights and other ornaments, aside from the usual candles and flowers. Lagdameo said it is very important to have prayers and masses offered for the deceased. “The souls in purgatory need our prayers more than the distracting music and party atmosphere that characterize our current way of remembering the dead,” he said. In some cemeteries and memorial parks, families stay for three days to keep vigil. Prayers and chants recited for the dead oftentimes compete with the noise of endless chatter of people and loud music coming from karaokes. Although the fiesta-like celebration is a manifestation of the thought that the deceased are already in heaven, Lagdameo said still “it is good to observe a subdued atmosphere in the cemetery so that those who want to pray can pray well.” “It is good to observe a religious atmosphere especially in catholic cemeteries,” he stressed. “My advice to the faithful is to offer special prayers to the dead on these days. It is the most important thing we can do for them more than anything else,” the prelate added. know what to say or do. So this booklet will help take away that awkwardness." Second, "it will help deepen our faith and enhance our piety for the dead, providing us with appropriate thoughts, words and gestures. It can give more meaning to our commemoration of the dead, freeing us also from traces of superstition that unfortunately have also found their way into our practices through the years. It is a good material to have when visiting wakes or cemeteries, celebrating death anniversaries or All Souls’ Day." (Fr. Mickey Cardenas)

© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

who attended the Signis World Congress in Chiang Mai, Thailand held from Oct. 17-21. Interviewed at the sidelines during the congress, the priest said “there should be a revival of values and virtues” with regards to media productions intended for children. He said the theme of the convention was very relevant to the Philippine situation today “because we really have to focus on our children in preserving their rights since they will be the future of our church and the future of the whole world.” The world congress had reflected on the theme: “Media for a Culture of peace: Children’s rights, tomorrow’s promise.” “In terms of productions, based on the workshops that I attended there is, I believe, this empowerment of our children,” Buenafe said. He noted that back home, most of the productions even if they are made for children, “are mostly leaning towards sex and violence.” When asked if it means TV Maria will soon come out with quality TV productions, he quipped, “That’s what we are hoping for.” “With regards to our productions, a lot of time we tried to see them what they would do and what should be the outcome, and to see and hear what they can contribute based on their experience and based on what they want to share with the children—children teaching children and even children teaching adults,” he said. Buenafe said the world convention “really set the fire in our hearts so that we can inflame in our hearts the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ through the mass media of communication.” (Pinky Barrientos, FSP)
Laiko / A5

flocking to the cemeteries in those days. He added that the government, no matter under whose administration, facilitate the commemoration of these Christian traditions by declaring these days as public non-working holidays and by providing assistance of police and other agencies to help maintain public order. Patio also observed that, on the other hand, many people must have forgotten the true meaning of these commemorations as seen in the lack of atmosphere of prayer in the visits to cemeteries and other similar occasions such as wakes or funerals. The very purpose why the Church calls the people to gather together is for them to pray and to console one another and to meditate together about the meaning of God being with us whether in life and or in death. But the way things are, Patio said, it seems that these gatherings have turned into reunions at best, or gambling or drinking sprees at worst. "We visit cemeteries to pray for the dead, not to disturb them," Patio stressed. To support the Church's effort to re-evangelize popular occasions such as All Saints' Day and

All Souls' Day, TCDS dedicates some of its monthly issues on Purgatory and the importance of offering prayers for the dead and other related topics like Cremation. Patio said that every issue of the Documentation Service is monographic, that is, dedicated to a concrete topic, oftentimes of current interest in the Church or society. The publication is meant to be an excellent resource for personal enrichment and to prepare conferences, talks and homilies. In the same vein of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day, Patio also presented another catechetical tool and devotional, a booklet titled, Novena for the Dead, compiled by Fr. Fernand Cruz, S.T.D., and published by Theological Centrum. The booklet puts together not only prayers and readings but also relevant Christian doctrine about death. Fr. Roy Cimagala, TDCS former editor, has observed that “the Novena for the Dead is a booklet meant to help strengthen our faith in Christian death, giving us a clear picture of the why and wherefore of our life and death here on earth.” Cimagala added that “a very interesting part of the Novena for the Dead is the prayer called,

Acceptance of Death, which concludes the novena.” "To me, it captures the ideal over-all attitude we should have toward death, putting it in a good light, like a friend or sister and not a hunter eager to hunt us down," he said. The TCDS former editor cited that even in these high-tech times, devotionals like Novena for the Dead are still relevant. First, "because often our goodwill for the dead is not adequately supported by solid devotional acts. Precisely because of this, many of us find ourselves clumsy. We do not
Hailed / A1

church. It is the reliquary of the famous Santino’s Bro (the crucified Christ in the TV series “May Bukas Pa”). LAIKO delegates were also welcomed to the St. James the Apostle Parish Church in Betis, Guagua, Pampanga by Archdiocesan Council President Banjo and the parish priest followed by a sharing on “Evangelizing Politics: Pampanga 2007 Election a Pastoral Experience” by Rev. Fr. Deogracias Kerr S. Galang. The term of LAIKO’s president is limited to two years. We give credit to President Linda Tacorda, who practically spent all these two years away from her Teresiana responsibilities. She devoted all her time to convince the dioceses that LAIKO is here to serve them and to work harmoniously as a team with the other commissions of CBCP for the betterment of the Philippine Church. We hope that what she left behind is LAIKO’s rebirth which will be continued by the new board for 2010–2011. We congratulate the following new LAIKO officers who will be reporting to a new National Director of LAIKO, Bishop Jesus Mercado, recently appointed by CBCP to take over the ten-year termer, LAIKO National Director, Bishop Gabriel Reyes. Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas Board Members (2010-2011) President : Mr. Edgardo J. Tria Tirona Executive Vice –President : Atty. Aurora A. Santiago V.P. Ecclesiastical Province of Manila: Mrs. Estelita A. Macalaguim V.P. Luzon: Dr. Amelita Dayrit-Go V.P. Visayas: Mr. Antonio C. Galaraga V.P. Mindanao: Mr. Solomon T. Badoy Treasurer: Mr. Manuel D. Recto Secretary: Ms. Ma. Julieta F. Wasan Auditor: Mr. Danilo H. Arroyo P.R.O.: Atty. Jose T. Tale Trustees: Ms. Nida M. Ruiz Judge Candido P. Villanueva Engr. Victorino V. Lahoz Mrs. Gertrudes E. Bautista Mrs. Zenaida F. Capistrano

details at this time,” Fr. Gilbert Hingone, spokesperson of the Diocese of Pagadian City, said in a statement. He said the ransom was never discussed during the first negotiations between the emissaries of the kidnappers and representatives from the diocesan clergy. Reportedly, the local Church and the captors made their first contact October 26. Hingone refused to talk about the identities of the abductors and insisted the Church’s paramount concern now is the delivery of medicine for the ailing missionary and his eventual release. “Medicine for Fr. Michael is on its way through an emissary,” he said without giving other details. He instead asked the people to pray and continue praying “for the immediate and unconditional release of Fr. Michael.” Meanwhile, Fr. Patrick O’Donoghue, MSSC, Fr. Sinnott’s Superior refused to comment on the report. He said he has not received any word about the reported negotiations as of Tuesday afternoon. (Roy Lagarde/Edwin Fernandez/ Melo M. Acuña)

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 22
October 26 - November 8, 2009

Diocesan News


Shun politics, bishop prods new deacons

OZAMIZ CITY—Archbishop Jesus Dosado called on newlyordained deacons to live in obedience to their ordinary and not get involved in partisan politics as they entered in the rank of ordained ministers. Three Theology graduate from the Saint Mary Theologate Seminary, Gango district were ordained deacons in a ceremony led by Dosado at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Oct. 6. (Wendell Talibong)
People need catechesis on RH bill—Calapan prelate

Legazpi residents up in arms vs casino
LEGAZPI CITY—The Alyansa Kontra Casino will not rest until all forms of gambling in the city and the province of Albay are totally eradicated. This was the statement of Fr. Ramoncito Segubiense in an interview over Radio Veritas Legazpi recently. Segubiense, who heads the diocesan Social Action Center (SAC), said there will be no let-up in their group’s campaign now after they discovered plans to establish a casino in the province are being revived. It will be recalled it was this alliance that virtually stopped the launching of a high-class gambling establishment at the newly-built business hub near the port of the city in the later part of July this year. After a series of aggressive media campaign, forums and direct confrontations, that proposal was finally withdrawn by its proponents. Segubiense said information reached his office about the plan to set up the casino has again been revived and that the promoters are planning

CALAPAN CITY— For others it may be “no big deal” due to lack of catechesis, but for the church it is something that needs discussion and serious concern. Calapan Bishop Warlito Cajandig said the lack of concern from ordinary Catholics shows they are not aware of the doctrines of the church on the sanctity of life. (Fely Sevilla)
Columbans renew trust on crisis committee over rescue efforts

PAGADIAN CITY—The Columban Society in the Philippines has reiterated its trust and support on the Crisis Management Committee chaired by Gov. Aurora Cerilles over rescue efforts of kidnapped Fr. Sinnott. It said the letter of American Columbans asking help from the US government did not mean to doubt the capability of the Committee but was done out of fraternal concern for the immediate release of their confrere. (Wendell Talibong)
Palawan Vicariate hosts IP Sunday Celebration

to build it in a luxury resort in the adjacent municipality of Bacacay. He added that he has already requested the help of the Vicarial SAC and that of SAC Bacacay to help their coalition in monitoring the developments of the issue from their end and at the same time conduct similar activities to block the plan. Meanwhile, Segubiense pledged to call for a meeting on the issue. In addition, Segubiense vowed to look into reports that more than 10 gambling stalls (colored games, ping-pong, etc.) are operating behind the fiesta flea market in the heart of downtown Legazpi making the feast of St. Raphael Archangel an excuse. Anti-gambling advocates believed these stalls will likely continue to operate well into the Christmas season if left unchecked. The Alyansa Kontra Casino is a group of anti-gambling advocates led by the Diocese of Legazpi and representatives from other faithbased organizations, NGOs, academe, militant groups and concerned citizens. (Joey B. Garalde)

TAYTAY, Palawan—The Diocesan Social Action CenterApostolic Vicariate of Taytay that seeks to uplift the quality of life of the poor and marginalized sectors in Northern Palawan hosted the Vicarial Indigenous Peoples’ Sunday Celebration last Oct. 25, at the diocese’s mission center. The vicariate said the event was aimed to create responsiveness among the nonindigenous population in the area about the history, ethnicity and customs of the indigenous peoples in Northern Palawan. (Kate Laceda)
Police denies alleged location of kidnapped priest

P200k reward up for info on Sinnott’s location
PAGADIAN CITY— The local government here has approved a reward of P200, 000 for any information that would lead to the immediate release or rescue of abducted Columban priest Fr. Michael Sinnott. The reward was approved by Mayor Samuel Co and will be released to rightful recipients through the local crisis management committee activated for the crisis. The giving of reward is contained in a resolution by the city government and was recommended to the Crisis Management Committee chaired by Zamboanga del Sur Gov. Aurora Enerio-Cerilles. The resolution stressed that the information on the location of Fr. Sinnott must include a “proof of life” and that it may lead to his safe release. Co said they are also appealing the help of any civic organizations that may wish to

TUBOD, Lanao Del Norte—PNP Provincial Director S/Supt. Minoy Darimbang of Lanao del Norte has denied reports that Fr. Sinnott is being held captive by his abductors in Brgy. Payong, Sultan Naga Dimaporo. Darimbang said the report has never been confirmed by any reliable resource even by Lanao Governor Khalid Dimaporo. (Wendell Talibong)
CBCP conducts migrants’ awareness seminar in Bacolod

BACOLOD CITY—The CBCP’s Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People has conducted a Diocesan Awareness Seminar on Migrants’ Apostolate. Organized by the Commission on Migrants of the Diocese of Bacolod, the seminar was held last September 26-27, 2009 at the Redemptorist Hall in Bacolod City. The Social Costs of Migration and Strengthening Migrant Family Affairs through Reintegration were among the topics tackled. (Kate Laceda)
Priest says being prophetic means to animate community

Fr. Michael Sinnott

add to the cash reward. Informants may contact the Task Force Zebra hotlines: (062) 2154-4360 and (062) 2154-4361. Cerilles has appealed to anybody who has information on the whereabouts of Fr. Sinnott to contact the Task Force Zebra hotlines. Armed men kidnapped Fr. Sinnott in Pagadian City last Oct. 11, but no group has so far came forward to claim the responsibility for the incident. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front denied involvement in the abduction and had offered to help secure Sinnott’s release. Crisis management spokesman and Zamboanga del Sur public information office chief Allan June Molde earlier said they are “very, very worried" over the priest’s health condition. (Wendell Talibong)

Bishop calls for disaster preparedness, environmental protection
CALAPAN, Oriental Mindoro— “How prepared is Mindoro Oriental for disasters?” This was one of the questions raised by Calapan Bishop Warlito Cajandig during a meeting with provincial officials last Oct. 12 at Provincial Capitol, this city. The prelate said there are areas in Calapan which used to be waterways but now host buildings and even public markets. He called on government officials not only to focus on disaster preparedness but introduce remedial and corrective measures for the malpractices done to the environment. Provincial Social Welfare Officer Teresita Umbao said there is a need to attend to the informal settlers who were rendered homeless by the previous typhoons. She was quoted saying some families who were relocated to safer grounds returned to what has been described as “danger zones.” Fr. Edu Gariguez, a representative of the church and Alyansa laban sa Mina (ALAMIN), said there are local government units without disaster preparedness programs. He suggested that local government officials meet with church leaders to review their municipal disaster mitigating plans and study their respective geo hazard maps to pinpoint critical areas during heavy rains and floods. Gariguez said it will do no harm for everyone to study their respective land use plans to prevent construction of homes in the identified critical areas. “This is the appropriate time to study the land use plans and involve their respective communities in their future activities,” he said. Provincial Administrator Adel Abas said the church and the people need to work together making it easy for government to coordinate in the distribution of relief goods during emergencies. Vice Governor Maria Estrella Aceron suggested that after every celebration of the Holy

DAVAO CITY—“Biking priest” Fr. Amado Picardal said it is not enough that a priest becomes prophetic; most importantly, he must animate the community at the parish and the BECs level to be truly prophetic. He said that a priest must eventually influence or convince others to make a prophetic stance since the prophetic mission is not the monopoly of the clergy. (Mark S. Ventura)
Parish priests take lead in rehab programs

URDANETA CITY—As local residents begin to recover from the floods that brought untold miseries last week, Urdaneta Bishop Jacinto Jose said rehabilitation programs will have to be designed by various parishes through their respective Committees on Service with their parish priests. “We have decided to raise funds for our rehabilitation program but we will not hand out cash to the flood victims,” the 58-year old prelate said. (Melo Acuña)
Isabela Prelature holds pastoral assembly

ISABELA, Basilan— The Prelature of Isabela, preparing for its Golden Jubilee as a local church in 2013, held its Third Pastoral Assembly with over 100 participants from its various parishes, Oct. 9. With special emphasis on the “signs of the times,” the assembly reflected on the community’s and society’s concerns. Isabela Bishop Martin Jumoad emphasized that “if there is renewal within, then, there can be renewal in the church.” (Melo M. Acuña)

Mass, a power point presentation be made on the basics of natural calamities and disaster preparedness. Ordinances may be passed to prevent the construction of homes in flood-prone and other critical areas, he added. The towns of Naujan, Victoria, Baco and this city have their respective critical areas or hazard zones. A bigger forum has been scheduled for the end of October where the four local government units will be represented along with church officials of Apostolic Vicariate of Calapan to discuss specific strategies to prevent loss of human lives and properties. (Fely Sevilla)

Candidly / A4

also, no doubt, but struggling to love God just the same. Thus, I was happy to take hold of a booklet titled, Novena for the Dead, compiled by Fr. Fernand Cruz and published by Theological Centrum of Manila that puts together not only prayers and readings but also the relevant Christian doctrine about death. It can strengthen our faith in Christian death, giving us a clear picture of the why and wherefore of our life and death here on earth. This, to me, is becoming a real necessity, given the ignorance and confusion engulfing us. The reflections are gathered from a wide variety of writings from saints and Church teachings that surely will guide us in our tribute to the dead. There are several citations from St. Augustine and St. Josemaria Escriva. A very interesting part is the prayer called, Acceptance of Death that concludes the novena. To me, it captures the ideal over-all attitude we should have toward death, put-

ting it in a good light, like a friend or sister the dead, providing us with appropriate thoughts, words and gestures. It can give and not a hunter eager to hunt us down. It helps us to understand that with Christ’s more meaning to our commemoration of the work of redemption that culminated with his dead, freeing us also from traces of superstideath on the cross, the sting of death itself has tion that unfortunately have also found their been eliminated. In its place is the balm of our way into our practices through the years. It certainly can help in creating a proper atsalvation, a very Christian outlook on death. Truth is, often our goodwill for the dead is mosphere on these occasions that often have not adequately supported by solid devotion- seen the proliferation of rather inappropriate ary acts. Precisely because of this, many of pastimes like card games and mahjongs. In short, with this booklet and all the other us find ourselves clumsy. We do not know similar ones, we can expect to improve and what to say or do. This booklet will help take away that awk- mature in our understanding of death. wardness. I consider RP jail / A1 it a good material to have when visiting of other alternatives the Christian way,” said Bishop Arigo. The church has been advocating “restorative justice” which gives wakes or celebrating death anniversa- emphasis on restitution rather than retribution. The CBCP official said restorative justice is concerned neither with ries or the All Souls’ blame and punishment nor with forgiving and forgetting but telling, Day. I t w i l l d e e p e n repenting, forgiving and healing. “The goal of restorative justice is to change wrongdoers and, our faith and enhance our piety for insofar as possible, to make wrongs right,” he said. Need to overhaul justice system The country’s criminal justice system need to be overhauled to give prisoners and convicts the chance to lead new lives. Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines’ Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care Executive Secretary Rodolfo Diamante said the current economic crisis drives people to commit crimes, especially crimes against property. “Poverty leads people to commit crimes and if you have a corrupt system, then the poor would always land in jail,” Diamante said. Diamante said there is a need to create a separate executive entity which may be called the Department of Corrections to address the concerns of minors in conflict with the law, detention prisoners and convicted prisoners. He said the proposed department will take responsibility over facilities under the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, the provincial jails under the provincial governors and the national penitentiary and its penal farms, including the women’s correctional which fall under the Department of Justice. Diamante said most executives lack the political will to address the concerns of the justice system. He lamented the fact that most politicians would rather pursue their personal interests over good governance. He added that there are 86 units of diocesan prison pastoral care volunteers across the country. He also acknowledged their sincere dedication to help prisoners in their respective areas. He said each unit has a membership of 20 to 100 volunteers. (CBCPNews)

May They Be One Bible Campaign
The May They Be One Bible campaign turned one year old on September 30 in a celebration of prayers. The MTBO prayer, both in English and Tagalog, was disseminated nationwide via text brigade. On October 14, four MTBO Advisory Committee members led by Bishop Broderick Pabillo paid a courtesy call to Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales at the Arzobispado. The group expressed appreciation for the Cardinal’s encouragement and warm support for the nationwide Bible Campaign which was launched in September 2008. Target No. of Bibles for Distribution for 2009: 100,000 cps. No. of Bibles Distributed (from January-September): 69.118 1. RTPV (Tagalog) 2. TEV (English) 3. BPV (Bicol) 4. RCPV (Cebuano) 5. HPV (Hiligaynon) 6. RIPV (Ilocano) 7. PnPV (Pangasinense) TOTAL — — — — — — — 35,063 cps 10,000 cps 1,001 cps 15,239 cps 4,999 cps 2,457 cps 351 cps 69,118 cps

Parishes/Communities covered: 223 Key distribution areas in September: Bukidnon, Manila, Cubao, Iba, Zambales, Nueva Viscaya Total Funds Needed for Printing and Transport of Bibles in 2009: P 5M Amount raised from September 2008 - September 2009: P 1,300,470 Total amount to be raised: P 3.5M


People, Facts & Places

CBCP Monitor

October 26 - November 8, 2009

Vol. 13 No. 22

Catholic Media practitioners gather for world congress
munication, relayed the Holy Father’s message to the participants. The pope underscored the significance of the congress’ theme, saying that “it is important to hear their [children] voices and learn from them… [and] see them as protagonists of the present.” Reflecting on the theme in his opening address, Signis World president Augustine Loorthusamy noted that the congress’ theme made the assembly different from previous gatherings. He said that as professional communicators “we are morally bound to open up opportunities for our young to express themselves and to help us see the world we have created through their eyes, their frame of reference.” True to its theme, the congress had involved young students from the city’s Catholic schools in the preparations and Congress’ proceedings. “You will see many young people creatively and actively involved here,” Loorthusamy said. “You will see them in action and we encourage you to interact with them,” he added. A group of Filipino delegates joined hundreds of Catholic media practitioners in the 2009 Signis World Congress held in Chiang Mai, Thailand, October 17-21. The convention of Around 100 children from three Catholic schools in Signis World or World Catholic Association for Communication has brought together 568 media professionals from 69 countries around the world. the city have participated in the workshops facilitated HUNDREDS of Catholic media professionals gathered at Chiang Mai, Thailand on October 18-21 by three educators from Philippine Association of Media Education (PAME) headed by Signis Philipfor the worldwide convention of Signis, also known as the World Catholic Association for Com- pines’ president Delia Hernandez. munication. Aside from the 100 Chiang Mai students who joined the children’s workshops, some 2,000 children Reflecting on the theme “Media for a Culture of Peace-Children’s rights, tomorrow’s promise”, the from 40 countries around the world also participated in the convention by sending handkerchiefs with Signis World Congress, held in Asia for the first time, had participants of 568 media professionals their hands imprinted on them. coming from 69 countries. The handkerchiefs, which Loorthusamy said, tell a story on the children and their rights, were sewn The world congress opened on October 18 with a solemn Eucharistic celebration presided by the together as streamers and hung at the convention halls during the congress. Apostolic Nuncio to Thailand, Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio at the Hotel Empress Convention “This priority concern for children is also aimed at enabling media professionals from across the Centre in the historic city of Chiang Mai. world to examine, explore and plan activities taking into account the perspectives of children, children’s The opening of Signis Congress incidentally coincided with the universal church’s celebration of rights and the media,” said Loorthusamy. World Mission Sunday. “In the end, we need them more than they need us. We need their imagination and involvement to Highlighting the importance of the event, the nuncio in his homily told participants that opening the help us seek peace in the world,” he added. congress on the day of World mission Sunday “is a fitting way of living your commitment of proclaimAmong the participants were 70 priests and 150 religious sisters involved in the ministry of coming the good news.” munication coming from the continents of Europe, Africa, America, Asia and Oceania. In a video message, Cardinal Claudio Celli, President of the Pontifical Commission on Social ComSixteen of the Congress’ participants came from the Philippines. (CBCPNews)
© Pinky Barrientos, FSP / CBCP Media © Pinky Barrientos, FSP / CBCP Media

Ateneo student joins video journalists at world convention


and experiences related to the A YOUNG student from a Cathoevent. lic university in the Philippines They videotaped all the activijoined a group of video journalties during the day, did editing ists that did coverage of the daily in the evenings and showed the activities of the international conproduction before the start of the gress of Signis World in Chiang day’s plenary. Mai, Thailand. The group presented a video Maria Carmina Jingco, a legal production showcasing the conmanagement student from Ategress’ commitment to promote neo de Manila University was one a culture of peace and the rights in the group of neophyte video of children through the media to journalists invited and trained by the assembly at the conclusion of Signis World to cover the five-day the congress on Oct. 21. world event. While honoring the young Jingco said the experience of journalists for their commitment working with people of various and dedication to their work durcultures had been an enriching ing the congress, the organizing event for her. committee took note of the excelAs the director of the team she lent program of the association said she tried not to impose her of Signis World thoughts and ideas as her team Organizersof the congress Congress gave citations to young veejays at the closing to involve young people in the ceremony on Oct. 21. world event. members “have great ideas too.” Jingco said producing videos is just a hobby for her. But her expeAt least 10 young people 18 to 22 years old from six Asian countries representing Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines rience in the congress showed that pursuing her hobby could make and India comprised the group of neophyte video journalists trained a difference in the life of other people. “It’s an opportunity for me to make a change in the world,” she by Signis to cover the congress “It’s a good avenue to get the word out to other people,” said said. “In our school in Ateneo, with all the lots of things happening, we are often asked to do something…” she added. Jingco of the world gathering. Reflecting on the congress’ theme, she admitted a feeling of sad“At least everyone will be informed through this. It’s a world congress, so people are representing their respective countries. At ness with the situation of poor children in the Philippines, saying least when they go back to their countries and they are involved in that “there should be something out there for them.” “In the Philippines, there are a lot of children in the streets. We the media, they can find ways to express the theme,” she added. The global assembly of World Catholic Association for Commu- need to protect them. We should have programs that would answer nication, known as Signis World, had tackled the theme “Media for the needs of these children. It’s really sad that they can’t enjoy their childhood, that they can’t have a good education. When they grow a Culture of peace: Children’s rights, tomorrow’s promise.” As video journalists, the group covered the daily activities of the up, it’s like they don’t have a purpose in this world. We have to give congress and did interviews of participants regarding their insights them some sort of hope,” she said. (CBCPNews)
© Fr. Noel Osial, SDB

AWARDED. Sr. Bernardita D. Dianzon, FSP, and Sr. Clothilde de las Llagas, FSP with Cardinal Sin Book Award during the 31st Catholic Mass Media Awards held October 14, 2009 at the San Carlos Seminary Auditorium, Makati City. Dianzon was cited as Emerging Author and her book Glimpses of Paul and His Message as Best Book in Spirituality. De las Llagas’ book on media literacy titled A-Z to Looking at the Media was named Best Book for Youth and Children. The Cardinal Sin Catholic Book Awards is conferred by the Asian Catholic Communicators, Inc. an organization of Catholic book publishers established by the late Jaime L. Cardinal Sin to deserving book authors and publishers whose work promotes total human development, Gospel values, and Filipino Culture through the effective use of the latest communications technology in book publishing. His Excellency Most Reverend Edward Joseph Adams, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines was the guest of honor and speaker. He spoke on this year’s CMMA theme “Promoting a Culture of Respect, Dialogue and Friendship in the Digital Generation,” based on the message of Pope Benedict XVI for World Communications Day on May 24. INSTALLED. Fr. Joel Victorino as parish priest of Transfiguration of Christ Parish at Barangay San Roque, Antipolo City; October 18, 2009. Most Rev. Francisco de Leon, Auxiliary Bishop of Antipolo presided the installation rites which were concelebrated by diocesan and religious priests of Antipolo diocese. ELECTED. Delia Hernandez, president of Philippine Association of Media Education (PAME) and Signis Philippines, as secretary of Signis Asia in an election held during regional meeting of delegates to Signis World convention at Chiang Mai, Thailand, Oct. 22, 2009. At least 16 members of Signis Asia representing countries of Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Macau, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Myanmar, Japan and Korea were present during the election. First time to be elected as an officer of Signis Asia, Hernandez will serve a term of 4 years until 2013. Hernandez has been serving as a transition president of Signis Philippines. She took over the post from Fr. James Reuter, SJ who resigned because of advanced age and ailing health. There are about 15 institutional members of Signis Philippines. PAME which conducts leadership training and media literacy is one of them. CELEBRATED. Sr. Nora Otacan, 25th anniversary of religious profession, October 26, 2009. His Excellency, Most Rev. Leopoldo Jaucian, SVD, led the concelebrated thanksgiving Mass at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Lantana St., Quezon City. A member of the Sisters of St. Ann, Otacan serves as the Executive Secretary of the Episcopal Commission on Mutual Relations Between Bishops and Religious of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. CELEBRATED. Signis World, the World Catholic Association for Communication; culmination of the year-long commemoration of its 80th anniversary of existence, at the closing ceremony of Signis World Congress in Chiang Mai, Thailand, October 21, 2009. Signis World was born from a merger of Unda (International Catholic Association for Radio and Television) and OCIC (International Catholic Organization for Cinema and Audiovisual) which both began in 1928. The global convention was attended by close to 600 Catholic communicators all over the world. Sixteen participants came from the Philippines. The world congress reflected on the theme “Media for a Culture of Peace: Children’s rights, tomorrow’s promise.” It involved 100 children from Chiang Mai Catholic schools who participated in various workshops held especially for them. Some 2,000 children from 40 countries around the world also participated in the convention by sending handkerchiefs with their hands imprinted on them. The handkerchiefs were sewn together as streamers and hung at the convention halls during the congress. DIED. Fr. Carlos Van Ooteghem, CICM, 84, at Quezon City, Philippines; October 19, 2009. Born in Belgium, Fr. Ooteghem has worked as a missionary in the Philippines since the 1950’s. He served as Assistant Parish Priest and eventually Parish Priest in Pasig, Rizal from 1950-1972. He was a member of the CICM Provincial Council, later became Vice-Provincial and eventually Provincial Superior of CICMPhilippines from 1967-1979. Fr. Ooteghem also served as Parish Priest and Assistant Parish Priest in Paco, Metro Manila from 1980-1994. He also served as chaplain of the Young Christian Workers of the Archdiocese of Manila. Upon his retirement in 1994 until the time of his death, he stayed at the CICM Home Sweet Home Residence in Quezon City. DIED. Sr. Ma. Josefina J. Rafanan, RVM, October 24, 2009. Brother John Punto, SSP, October 25, 2009.

Prelate endorses Pro-life’s youth congress
hearts of the young people towards imbibing and promoting a pro-life lifestyle through a series of talks and testimonies, workshopsharing, and a concert of live performances,” the incoming Legazpi bishop said. The prelate added that through this noble undertaking, “we hope that more people, especially among the young, become deeply aware and convinced that life is truly beauti-

THE chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, Bishop Joel Baylon said the Pro-Life’s youth congress held at the Parks and Wildlife Amphitheatre in Quezon City last Oct. 24 will help the Church to promote a “pro-life way of life” among the young laity. “This congress would open the eyes and

ful and sacred. All of us are thus called to cherish and stand up for life.” “Let this be a day where we accompany our youth towards re-discovering the value of life, and thus choose to be persons of life. Let me then strongly encourage you to come to this gathering along with your fellow young people,” he added. (Kris Bayos)

Jaro archdiocese warns public Asian Church leaders in Davao for assembly of fake priests, seminarians
THE Commission on Social Communications of the Archdiocese of Jaro has issued a statement warning the public of fake priests and seminarians requesting funds for religious purposes. “The Commission on Social Communications of the Archdiocese of Jaro (warns the public) of fake priests and seminarians performing Roman Catholic rituals and obtaining fund,” the statement said. According to the statement, the commission of the archdiocese advised the public to take caution of a man carrying “an image of the Our Lady of Perpetual Help” that he alleges to have come from Barcelona, Spain. The archdiocese suggests that when one is not sure about the identity of a man posing as a priest, a “celebret” must be demanded of him A “celebret” is a letter or an instrument (in some diocese it looks like an ID with the bishop’s signed letter at the back) which a bishop gives to a priest that he may obtain permission in another diocese to say mass. It also serves as a proof that the priest is free from canonical censures. The commission also declared that the clergy in the Jaro archdiocese “do not go around offices to solicit funds.” (Kate Laceda)

ASIAN Church leaders numbering almost 300 from 17 countries including a few from Europe have gathered for the 5th Assembly of Asian Church leaders with the Archdiocese of Davao as the host. Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams presided the opening mass on Oct. 20 at the San Pedro Cathedral. The assembly was considered a big event in Asia since it gathered leaders who are engaged in promoting a special methodology of building basic communities, it was learned. The method is known as ASiPA or Asian Integral Pastoral Approach, a program of the Office of Laity (OL) of the Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences (FABC). Held at St. Francis Xavier Regional Major Seminary and College Seminary in Catalunan Grande, Davao City, the assembly’s main focus was for the participants to share community building projects and experiences in the context of the Eucharist and the Word of God. The participants, thirty of them bishops, had the opportunity to visit basic communities or Gagmayng Kristohanong Katilingban (GKK) in Davao and in Tagum City. The growth of GKK started in Tagum Diocese some 40 years ago through the efforts of the Maryknoll missionaries. (Mark S. Ventura)

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 22
October 26 - November 8, 2009

Vatican note on establishing personal ordinariates for Anglicans
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, October 20, 2009
WITH the preparation of an Apostolic Constitution, the Catholic Church is responding to the many requests that have been submitted to the Holy See from groups of Anglican clergy and faithful in different parts of the world who wish to enter into full visible communion. In this Apostolic Constitution the Holy Father has introduced a canonical structure that provides for such corporate reunion by establishing Personal Ordinariates, which will allow former Anglicans to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of the distinctive Anglican spiritual and liturgical patrimony. Under the terms of the Apostolic Constitution, pastoral oversight and guidance will be provided for groups of former Anglicans through a Personal Ordinariate, whose Ordinary will usually be appointed from among former Anglican clergy. The forthcoming Apostolic Constitution provides a reasonable and even necessary response to a worldwide phenomenon, by offering a single canonical model for the universal Church which is adaptable to various local situations and equitable to former Anglicans in its universal application. It provides for the ordination as Catholic priests of married former Anglican clergy. Historical and ecumenical reasons preclude the ordination of married men as bishops in both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. The Constitution therefore stipulates that the Ordinary can be either a priest or an unmarried bishop. The seminarians in the Ordinariate are to be prepared alongside other Catholic seminarians, though the Ordinariate may establish a house of formation to address the particular needs of formation in the Anglican patrimony. In this way, the Apostolic Constitution seeks to balance on the one hand the concern to preserve the worthy Anglican liturgical and spiritual patrimony and, on the other hand, the concern that these groups and their clergy will be integrated into the Catholic Church. Cardinal William Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which has prepared this provision, said: “We have been trying to meet the requests for full communion that have come to us from Anglicans in different parts of the world in recent years in a uniform and equitable way. With this proposal the Church wants to respond to the legitimate aspirations of these Anglican groups for full and visible unity with the Bishop of Rome, successor of St. Peter.” These Personal Ordinariates will be formed, as needed, in consultation with local Conferences of Bishops, and their structure will be similar in some ways to that of the Military Ordinariates which have been established in most countries to provide pastoral care for the members of the armed forces and their dependents throughout the world. “Those Anglicans
Vatican / B7

Pastoral Concerns


Stewardship as caring for one’s vote: A task of citizenship

IN our previous reflection on stewardship we mentioned stewardship as the prudent management rather than the absolute use of objects and things. The prudent use and reverent care of both God-provided and human-earned resources are the responsibilities of stewardship. To abuse or to overuse these resources can only harvest tragic consequences for the irresponsible and improvident user.
The backlash of the twin typhoons (Ondoy and Pepeng) with the unmanaged flow of water called flashfloods three weeks ago, more than prove to all, both massive planning urban and development and stewardship as the prudent use and management of all resources, including the disposal of waste and garbage that accompany residential and industrial operations. The prudent management or use of whatever we deal with is evidenced by the tragic consequences even in human abuse of the available resources in nature. The misuse of one’s right in the management of a thing, or even in the choice of people who will manage the resources of a country is subject also to individual exercise of stewardship. Stewardship as Caring for One’s Vote: A Task of Citizenship Each and every citizen should steward his/her vote because it is its participation as citizens in making political choices, guaranteeing the possibility of electing and holding accountable those who govern them. (CA, 46. CSDC, 406). We now see that stewarding one’s individual vote that could be misused, sold and compromised is just as important and necessary as stewarding the resources of nature and the integrity of creation. The imprudent use of the natural resources brought death to many residential areas of cities and barangays (as seen recently), just as the vote that is misused or sold in order to elect an immoral and corrupt leader and officials have been responsible for the destruction of Philippine economy and much of our cultural values. It is right, therefore, to consider stewardship for one’s vote as a serious obligation of every Pilipino, just as it is a serious obligation of them to care for nature’s resources. To care for the country’s n a t u r a l resources t h r o u g h stewardship is not much different from the sacred duty to provide the country with leaders who are morally upright and honest individuals. It must be said that every person as citizen of his country accepts a task to care for the good of the nation and the rest of his countrymen. Thus every Filipino citizen accepts the duty to care for the good of country. Love for country is diametrically against love for God. In fact, if one truly loves God, s/he must also love their fellow humans because love for God is the first and greatest commandment; but

love for fellow humans as one loves oneself comes in only as the second commandment. In the words of Jesus, “whatever you do to the least of the brethren you do to me.” Patriotism as a Virtue of Love of Country and Respect for Every Filipino Love for country is ultimately love for fellow humans. Every human person is born in a community where s/he grows and develops some of the values, imbibes the traditions, the friendship and loyalty that influence him/her. We are part of that goodness that is in our

good in his community? It is true that there are many anomalies and more wrong things around the society one lives in. But let no one underestimate the influence and the hopes of the great number that loves his or her country. And they show this when they unite with the vision in their flag, sing their anthems or chant their hymns or kundiman. Filipinos love the Philippines. St. Thomas of Aquinas said that love for one’s fatherland is a special form of charity called piety. Through piety every person has the obligation to love God in the highest level and to love one’s parents and one’s fatherland in

country. Love for country is not necessarily devotion to its leaders. Love for country or Patriotism is love of one’s community where we discover that we have imbued much of the values in our culture as Pilipino, like Fear and Love of God, religiosity, hospitality, industry, helpfulness (bayanihan/pahina), compassion, celebration (fiestas), respect, reverence for elders, cheerfulness, songs, loyalty, etc. Why should a person be pessimistic when there is much

the second level together with its citizens and friends of the nation. (S. Thomas, Summa Theol. 2a2ae, Q 100.A1). It is easier to develop love for one’s country and become patriotic when each and everyone accept their accountability to its community or country. What then is the person’s devotion to the country? Stewardship over one’s vote, one’s singular choice in any election is part of that devotion. The important thing is not only to make sure that automation

registers one’s true choice; more important than the tally and registration of the collected votes is one’s stewarding or guardedly registering a well thought of and much prayed for vote. Election is a treasured privilege for the citizen to become part of good and honest governance. It is the citizen’s task to give the country an honest, moral and humble leadership. In the Parable of the Steward and the Master who went away for a long journey, the Lord asked, “Who, then, is the wise and trustworthy steward whom the Master will place over his household to allot food at the p r o p e r t i m e ? ” (Luke 12:42). Obviously, it must be the faithful steward and the servants, for the Lord Jesus concluded the teaching story by saying, “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more” (Luke 12:48).
© Dennis Dayao/CBCP Media

inspire people by their example of a simple and humble life. It is remembered that a society that wishes to remain at the service of every citizen at every social, economic and cultural level of society must have the common good as its primary goal. (CSDC 165). With very good reasons do people in a nation seek leaders who will serve them and work for the common good of every one, and not just for the exclusive good of some privileged few. People assemble and agree to live and work in close collaboration with others in order to achieve together as a group what they could not attain single or separately. Election is putting together the minds and desires of people to express with a single vote what they envision as good and humble leaders to guide, serve and inspire them. The wonder of an election is its ability to express one desire, one vision that millions can join in and support. In an honest election, people believe that the exemplary lives of leaders can answer to the noble desire of many and can make even more millions enjoy what rightly belongs to them under the dream of a common good for all. Like it or not, the voters own their future, no matter how their elected leaders perform or fail, once their votes are cast. As we face the coming May elections, let us learn from the mistakes, the selfish calculations and our limited vision of easy satisfaction of the past. The Steward and Two Perennial Issues The moment the Filipino people can approach Election Day with a steward’s mind and heart, weighing not the popularity but the moral qualities of the candidates and deciding ultimately for their well thought of, better prayed for choice of candidates, the voters can claim with hope, “Atin ang kinabukasan.”
Stewardship / B7

Stewarding One’s Vote Can stewardship (mabuting pamamahala) be exercised regarding a single vote of the Filipino citizen? Election is the only chance for the Filipino to have a direct hand in the selection of persons, who as servantleaders will be entrusted with the country’s governance and the management of the national resources (both God-given and man-earned) who can lead and

© Noli Yamsuan /RCAM



CBCP Monitor
October 26 - November 8, 2009

Vol. 13 No. 22

Towards personal ordinariates for former Anglicans: The question of a married clergy (Part I)
Venerating relics at Mass
(Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university, answers the following query:) Q: In our community when we celebrate a saint’s feast day, and we have a relic of the saint present at the Mass, we offer the faithful an opportunity to venerate the relic at the end of the Mass. There seems to be a disagreement regarding the rubrics for how this should be done. I was always told that the proper veneration for the relic of a saint is a genuflection on one knee if it is the actual feast day of the saint; otherwise it is a profound bow. Someone told me that the genuflection on one knee is only for the relic of the True Cross. Could you please clarify this matter as I am unable to find the answer anywhere? Also, is it true that the faithful may receive a plenary indulgence if they receive the blessing of a newly ordained priest and that this may be obtained anytime during that priest’s first year of ordination?—E.M., Bloomington, Indiana A: According to the rules for genuflection contained in the Ceremonial of Bishops, No. 69, and the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, No. 274, the genuflection, as the most solemn sign of liturgical reverence, is “made by bending the right knee to the ground, signifies adoration, and therefore it is reserved for the Most Blessed Sacrament, as well as for the Holy Cross from the solemn adoration during the liturgical celebration on Good Friday until the beginning of the Easter Vigil. “During Mass, three genuflections are made by the priest celebrant: namely, after the showing of the host, after the showing of the chalice, and before Communion. “Certain specific features to be observed in a concelebrated Mass are noted in their proper place (cf. above, nos. 210251). “If, however, the tabernacle with the Most Blessed Sacrament is present in the sanctuary, the priest, the deacon, and the other ministers genuflect when they approach the altar and when they depart from it, but not during the celebration of Mass itself. “Otherwise all who pass before the Most Blessed Sacrament genuflect, unless they are moving in procession. “Ministers carrying the processional cross or candles bow their heads instead of genuflecting.” Although no longer mentioned in current legislation, the custom of making a genuflection before a publicly exposed relic of the True Cross or another relic of the Passion remains in force. Indeed, the abovementioned practice of genuflecting to the cross on Good Friday and Holy Saturday most likely began in Jerusalem with the veneration of the True Cross. In the extraordinary form of the Roman rite there is a wider use of the genuflection. For example, during liturgical functions the altar cross receives the same genuflections as those accorded to the reserved Blessed Sacrament. The pope and others such as cardinals, bishops and some other ecclesiastical dignitaries were also reverenced with a simple genuflection albeit only within the confines of their jurisdictions. There are also some genuflections made on pronouncing certain words, such as when remembering the Incarnation during the Nicene Creed on Christmas Day and on the feast of the Annunciation. The extraordinary form has many more such incidences than these two days. Outside of the liturgy, popular piety has several occasions for making genuflections. For example, many Catholics have the custom of making a genuflection during the Way of the Cross at the words “We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you, for through your Holy Cross you have saved the world.” Regarding the mode of venerating relics, there are few recent norms except the prohibition of placing them upon the table of the altar for public veneration (Ceremonial of Bishops 866, 921). The classical 1962 ceremonies manual in Italian by Ludovico Trimeloni, recently reissued, states that it is good, but not obligatory, to make a bow of the head toward relics of saints that are solemnly exposed for veneration. He also states that all relics, including those of the Cross, should not receive the kind of veneration usually reserved only to exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, such as removing any head covering and incensing from a kneeling position. According to present practice, if a relic is present in the presbytery during Mass, it may only be incensed at the beginning of Mass after incensing the altar. In general, however, the veneration of saintly relics should be kept separate from the Mass. For example, it is possible to have a relic present in the presbytery during Mass, but it would not be correct to conclude the Mass by blessing the people with the relic. After Mass, however, the celebrant could return from the sacristy after removing his chasuble and direct some devotional prayers toward the saint, bless the faithful with the relic, and offer the possibility of them coming forward to kiss it. Trimeloni states that nothing is said when blessing with a relic of the Passion. When blessing with a relic of a saint the celebrant may use an appropriate formula such as: “Through the intercession of St. N. may Almighty God bless ….” Likewise, when offering the relic to be kissed, the celebrant may also use a suitable formula although it is by no means obligatory. For example: “Through his Passion and Cross (or through the intercession of St. N.) may God free you from all evil. Amen.” Trimeloni notes that all should kneel during the blessing with a relic, even for that of a saint. Perhaps this custom is what led our reader to believe that a genuflection was in order in venerating the saint’s relic on his feast day. Finally, regarding the incorrect belief that a plenary indulgence is attached to a new priest’s blessing, we addressed this issue in our column of May 8, 2007.

By Fr. Jaime B. Achacoso, J.C.D.
LAST 20 October 2009, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith—the former dicastery of Pope Benedict XVI—surprised the world with an announcement of a forthcoming Apostolic Constitution that would pave the way for the establishment of personal ordinariates for groups of Anglican clergy and faithful in different parts of the world, who have expressed their wish to enter into full visible communion with the Catholic Church. The announcement went on to say that “the forthcoming Apostolic Constitution provides a reasonable and even necessary response to a world-wide phenomenon, by offering a single canonical model for the universal Church which is adaptable to various local situations and equitable to former Anglicans in its universal application. It provides for the ordination as Catholic priests of married former Anglican clergy.” Suffice it to say that at the mention of the ordination as Catholic priests of married former Anglican clergy, the old question of priestly celibacy has again come into public scrutiny. In fact, some commentators have immediately interpreted this move as the beginning of what could be a relaxation of the Catholic Church’s unflinching tradition requiring celibacy for its clergy. Hence, reserving for the succeeding issues of CBCP Monitor the other important aspects of this new ecclesiastical circumscription (i.e., personal ordinariates), let us first take care of the red herring that has been once more foisted in front of the unwary reader: the possibility of Catholic priests getting married. The Rule on Priestly Celibacy dates to Apostolic Times The reason for the repeated reexamination of the ecclesiastical rule on priestly celibacy stems in great part from a wrong notion that it is a human law of relatively recent origin. I distinctly remember having to firmly correct a wellknown cleric who affirmed—during a TV discussion some years ago—that the canon law on priestly celibacy did not come into existence until the 11th Century. In fact, the Church’s solemn Magisterium has been constant in enforcing ecclesiastical celibacy from the start. The Synod of Elvira (ca.300-303) prescribed in canon 27: A bishop, like any other cleric, should have with him either only one sister or consecrated virgin; it is established that in no way should he have an extraneous woman; in canon 33 the Synod declared: The following overall prohibition for bishops, presbyters and deacons and for all clerics who exercise a ministry has been decided: they must abstain from relations with their wives and must not beget children; those who do are to be removed from the clerical state. The First Lateran Ecumenical Council of 1123, states in its canon 3: We absolutely forbid priests, deacons or subdeacons to cohabit with concubines or wives and to cohabit with women other than those whom the Council of Nicea (325) permitted to live in

the household. The Council of Trent reasserted the absolute impossibility of contracting marriage for clerics bound by sacred orders or for male religious who had solemnly professed chastity and declared the nullity of marriage so contracted. Priestly Celibacy was confirmed by Vatican II, the Code of Canon Law and the Recent Popes In our era, Vatican Council II—in the Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests, Presbyterorum Ordinis, n.16—reaffirmed the close connection between celibacy and the Kingdom of God, seeing in the former a sign that radiantly proclaims the latter, the beginning of a new life to whose service the minister of the Church is consecrated.

reasserted the age-old tradition in its canon 277, §1: Clerics are obliged to observe perfect and perpetual continence for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven and therefore are obliged to observe celibacy, which is a special gift of God, by which sacred ministers can adhere more easily to Christ with an undivided heart and can more freely dedicate themselves to the service of God and humankind. For his part, John Paul II— in the Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis (25.III. 1992), n.44—presented celibacy as a radical Gospel requirement that especially favors the style of spousal life and springs from the priest’s configuration to Jesus Christ through the sacrament of orders. The Catechism of the Catholic Church of 1992 reaffirms the

Pope Paul VI, in his encyclical Sacerdotalis Caelibatus of 24.VI.1967, debunked the objections raised against the discipline of celibacy. By placing emphasis on its Christological foundation and appealing to history and to what we learn from the first-century documents about the origins of celibacy and continence, he fully confirmed its value. The 1971 Synod of Bishops, both in the pre-synodal program Ministerium Presbyterorum (15.II.1971) and in the final document Ultimis Temporibus (30.XI.1971), affirmed the need to preserve celibacy in the Latin Church, shedding light on its foundations, the convergence of motives and the conditions that encouraged it. The new Code of Canon Law of the Latin Church of 1983

same doctrine: All the ordained ministers of the Latin Church, with the exception of permanent deacons, are normally chosen from among men of faith who live a celibate life and who intend to remain celibate ‘for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven (n.1579). Finally, Pope Benedict XVI, in his Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis (22. II.2007) categorically states: “I reaffirm the beauty and the importance of a priestly life lived in celibacy as a sign expressing total and exclusive devotion to Christ, to the Church and to the Kingdom of God, and therefore confirm that it remains obligatory in the Latin tradition. Priestly celibacy lived with maturity, joy and dedication is an immense blessing for the Church and for society itself (n.24).

The Possible Ordination of Married Former Anglican Clergy The Vatican announcement states that the forthcoming Apostolic Constitution provides for the ordination as Catholic priests of married former Anglican clergy. What is the reach of such a provision, as far as the age-old Catholic discipline regarding priestly celibacy is concerned? Even before the publication of the Constitution, we can already forestall useless speculations in the wrong direction with the following observations: a. This is a concession to allow the ordination of married men. In fact, this is not the first time that such is allowed, even in the Catholic Church of Latin tradition. We have to remember that the Code of Canon Law allows the ordination of married men as permanent deacons—wherever the permanent diaconate has been established by the Holy See with prior petition of the Episcopal Conference— provided he has completed at least 35 years of age and has the consent of his wife (c.1031, §2). That this is a concession is clear from the very tenor of the canons, and by the fact that historical and ecumenical reasons preclude the ordination of married men as bishops— the fullness of the priesthood—in both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. b. However, this does not imply the permission for ordained clerics to marry. The canonical impediment for marriage arises from the reception of Holy Orders. This is clearly stated in c.1087: Persons who are in holy orders invalidly attempt marriage. Thus, a person who is ordained—whether he is unmarried or married—is thereby canonically impeded from contracting any future marriage. In the case of a married former Anglican cleric, his possible ordination as a Catholic priest would not nullify his existing marriage or bind him to renounce his wife. It would, nevertheless, impede him from getting married again in the future, should his present wife pass away. Likewise, an unmarried former Anglican cleric, should he be ordained as a Catholic priest, would be impeded from getting married in the future. This is further stipulated by c.1037 which states—An unmarried candidate for the permanent diaconate and a candidate for the presbyterate is not to be allowed to the order of diaconate unless in a prescribed rite he has assumed publicly before God and the Church the obligation of celibacy. In summary, we are dealing with a dispensation from the requirement of celibacy towards ordination as Catholic priests of those already-married Anglican clerics who wish to continue their ministry in the personal ordinariates which may be established to accommodate former Anglicans who wish to come into full communion with the Catholic Church. We are not dealing with a dispensation from those who are ordained as Catholic priests—whether unmarried or married—to subsequently marry after ordination.
© Pinky Barrientos, FSP/CBCP Media

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 22
October 26 - November 8, 2009


San Roque Cathedral

By Fr. Adrian M. Magnait
A Historical Perspective At the beginning of the Third Christian Millennium, Pope John Paul II challenged the Church with the words of the Lord Jesus in the Gospel of St. Luke saying: Duc in altum! These words ring out for us today, and they invite us to remember the past with gratitude, to live the present with enthusiasm and to look forward to the

Diocese of Kalookan
IMPORTANT FACTS: Bishop ……………………………………………. 1 Priests: Diocesan ………………………………………… 22 Religious ………………………………………… 14 Guest Priests …………………………………… 18 Male Religious Institutes ……………………..…. 5 Female Religious Institutes ………………….…. 13 Educational Institutions: Colleges and Universities ……………....…….. 16 Secondary Schools …………………....………. 53 Elementary Schools ………………....………… 110 Pre-Schools ……………………….....…………. 110 Social and Charitable Institutions …………………………..…………. 39

spiritual, catechetical and physical, for the celebration of the Rite of Liturgical Reception and Canonical Possession of the Diocese of Kalookan; g) Schema for the proposed Diocesan ministries and organizational structure; h) Schema for the proposed diocesan pastoral program, vision and mission, appointments of clergy, administrative and financial plans; and i) Composition of the diocesan heraldry. Thus, the clergy envisioned the new diocese as empowered by the love of Jesus

the presence of the Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, Archbishop Antonio Franco, and of other Bishops, both in the Roman Catholic Church and Protestant Churches, Clergy, Religious, and Christ’s Lay Faithful. Territorial Area of the Diocese The Diocese of Kalookan is composed of Caloocan City—South, Malabon City and Navotas City. It is bounded in the North by Valenzuela City; in the East by Quezon City; in the South by

principal focus of the new diocese is to establish pastoral programs, institutes, organizations and activities, which will cater to the needs and spiritual yearnings of her people. To accomplish this will require a more active participation from the ranks of the lay people. The creation of a new diocese calls for the participation and support of the Christi fidelis laici. The Laity of Kalookan diocese responds to this call for service through their devotion and love for the Church as they actively participate in her ministry of

the Diocesan Clergy should work hand in hand with the Religious and Lay leaders. Church of the Poor The problem of poverty is prevalent as evinced by the proliferation of urban poor communities in the diocese. Hence, this requires that the Church should work harder to respond to the needs of the poor and sincerely address the challenge of becoming truly a Church of the Poor, especially by implementing the

future with confidence: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever” (Heb 13:8). John Paul II, Novo Millennio Ineunte #1 The late Jaime Cardinal L. Sin, DD, then Archbishop of Manila, responded to this challenge of the Holy Father by embarking on a monumental reorganization of the archdiocese—the creation of five new dioceses! The District Preparations On January 14, 2003, with the appointment of Most Rev. Teodoro C. Bacani, Jr., then District Bishop of KalMaNa, as the First Bishop of the newly created Diocese of Novaliches, Cardinal Sin appointed Rev. Msgr. Boanerges A. Lechuga as District Head and instructed him to “kindly work as a team and prepare the faithful for the creation of the new diocese.” Thus, entrusted with such important mission, Msgr. Lechuga embarked on the enormous task of preparing the establishment of the Diocese of Kalookan. Msgr. Lechuga rallied the clergy of the district, the diocesan, religious and guest priests, to unite together towards a common vision and goal—becoming a local church. On February 27, 2003, Archbishop Antonio Franco, the Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, met the clergy of the district at the San Jose Academy, Navotas, Metro Manila, to discuss pertinent issues connected with the establishment of the diocese. The clergy were able to express to the Papal Nuncio their sentiments on the planned diocese and Archbishop Franco, in turn, encouraged the clergy to continue with their preparatory work so as to effectively prepare the district in becoming a local church. Thus, inspired by the encouragement from the Nuncio, the clergy joyfully and harmoniously worked as a united presbyterium to prepare for the coming of the First Bishop of Kalookan. Everyone was entrusted with an appropriate responsibility and by July 2003, through their joint effort and pooled contributions, they have accomplished the following: a) Renovation of the Bishop’s residence; b) Renovation of the San Roque Cathedral; c) Construction of the temporary Chancery; d) Construction of the temporary pastoral center to house the offices of the diocesan ministries and apostolates; e) Construction of the Galilee clergy house; f) Preparations,

formation of Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs). Moreover, the continuation and intensification of the delivery of social services and human developmental programs to the poor by the Social Services and Development Ministry (SSDM) should be a priority concern in budget allocation. New Structures The spiritual good and welfare of the People of God requires the installation of the necessary structures, formation programs and systems to facilitate implementation of the diocesan pastoral plan, taking into serious consideration the admonitions of the Holy Father in Novo Millennio Ineunte to work seriously for the pastoral revitalization of the Church. These new structures would require among others the implementation of the appropriate provisions of PCP II and PCM II. Thus, it is highly recommended that parishes in the Diocese consider the establishment of the various ministries mentioned by the Councils. As regards the methodology, the Diocese may also consider applying the more contemporary approaches of Collaborative Parish Ministry and Stewardship Ministry with the following key characteristics of: Dialogue, Participation and Co-responsibility. A Challenge and a Gift The admonitions from the Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte of John Paul II: Duc in altum! reverberates in our hearts and minds as a CHALLENGE and as a GIFT. A challenge because of the enormous task before us; but more so, a gift because this task of being a new diocese will certainly usher in a new springtime for the Church, spurs new growth in Her mission and ministry and re-invigorates the People of God towards a more mature life of faith. Finally, we looked into the history of the Diocese, not just a mere rundown of events that has transpired in the past five years. More importantly, the historical perspective should allow us to see that the Catholic Faith is not just an abstract idea, an ideology or concepts we believe in and profess, but a faith that is lived. A living faith for which our predecessors has sacrificed their lives for and struggled against various challenges and trials to bring to us now this gift of a Community of Christ’s Disciples – the Church we love!

Manila; and in the West by Manila Bay. The diocese has 26 parishes, divided into five Vicariates. Why a new Diocese? Salus animarum – The salvation of souls is the first and foremost reason for the reorganization of the Archdiocese of Manila and the Most Rev. Deogracias Iñiguez, DD creation of the new Diocese of and the grace of the Holy Spirit, to sail Kalookan. Cardinal Sin himself requested forth with faith and courage accompanied Rome that new dioceses should be by Mary to cast its net so that a bountiful created out of the archdiocese in order harvest maybe reaped for the Glory of to cater more effectively to the pastoral welfare and spiritual good of the People God and the salvation of souls. of God. Obviously, the rapid growth of Announcement and Canonical population, with more than 11 million Catholics under the pastoral care of one Establishment On June 28, 2003, during Mass of the archbishop is simply enormous. Creating Pope’s Day celebration presided by His new dioceses will enable the bishop to Excellency Archbishop Antonio Franco, take care of his flock more efficiently and His Eminence Jaime L. Cardinal Sin, effectively—for the greater glory of God D.D., formally announced the creation and the salvation of souls! Furthermore, the creation of the new of the new Diocese of Kalookan with Most Rev. Deogracias S. Iñiguez, Jr., DD diocese will usher a new springtime for the Church as it will allow more as first Bishop of the diocese. The Rite of Liturgical Reception and participation in the Church ministry Canonical Possession of the Diocese from various sectors: Clergy, Religious of Kalookan were held at the San and Laity. Their leadership potentials Roque Cathedral, Caloocan City on will be given opportunities to develop August 22, 2003. Bishop Iñiguez was and be exercised for the service of solemnly installed by Cardinal Sin in God’s people. Consequently, the

salus animarum. They become, in a very special way, partners with the Bishop, his Clergy and the Religious, in the work of evangelization and proclamation of the Good News of salvation. A Young Church The Diocese of Kalookan has several poor parishes, a number of which are relatively young. Out of the total 26 parishes, 12 were created just within the past two decades at the time of its establishment as a diocese. This means that half of the parishes in the diocese are young and are still struggling to become truly stable. Obviously, the challenge here is to continue building up the Church, to install necessary programs and structures and to fortify the various faith communities in the diocesan, vicariate and parish levels. Appropriate assistance must be provided to the struggling young parishes. Big and stable parishes should support the small and poor parishes. Priority of Evangelization Work There is a need to intensify the evangelization work, especially in the urban poor areas. Likewise, there is a need to establish more institutions dedicated to the formation of the laity, and with the Clergy and Religious to form an authentic Community of Disciples as envisioned by the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (PCP II, 1991). Similarly, to undertake a massive campaign for catechetical instruction is of paramount importance. In this primordial work of the Church,

By Bishop Jose C. Sorra, DD
SCRIPTURE scholars tell us that using poetic and symbolic imagery, the two distinct accounts of creation in Genesis (1:26-28; 2:4-25) described how in the beginning, God created man in His divine image; male and female He created them. Then God blest them in marriage, enjoining them to be fertile, procreate and responsibly fill the earth, to cultivate it and take charge over all the living irrational creatures with care and respect, as being the handiwork of the Creator. It’s indeed interesting to note that every after a day’s creation (of inanimate and animate irrational creatures) from the 1st Day through the 5th, God the Creator always looked back and saw that it was good. But after creating Man on the sixth day and entrusting to him the

responsibility over all the other creatures, God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good. The stress indicates that this natural goodness of the earlier created creatures receive their added dignity from their relationship with the created human person for whose use (not abuse) they have been created (Vatican II, Apostolicam Actuositatem, 7 ). Then and there, man and wife enjoyed an intensely intimate and values-reformed political leaders, whom an equally mature electorate can assuredly then choose from. Otherwise, let’s just then carry on with this reflection and see for ourselves what had actually and really happened to our hapless forebears – to learn from. Death. The other consequent punishment due to Original Sin is Death, even as in the beginning God had forewarned the first couple: From the tree of Greed, and Sloth. To quote once again St. Paul: I cannot even understand my own actions. I do not do what I want to do, but do what I hate; this indicates that it is not I who do it but sin which resides in me…and the desire to do right is there but not the power to do it (Rom 7:15, 17, 18). Incidentally, the Pinoy Kundiman song, Sapagkat ako’y tao lamang is the favorite lyric of the tipsy and the pervert.

CBCP Monitor
October 26 - November 8, 2009

Vol. 13 No. 22

God wept over modern man’s broken dreams
Prelature of Isabela holds Pastoral Assembly
By Sr. Ruth R. Diaz, SFIC
THE Prelature of Isabela de Basilan held its 3rd Prelature of Isabela Pastoral Assembly (PIPA III) last October 9-11, 2009 at the Querexeta Formation Center, Isabela City, Basilan Province. “BELIEVE…GREATER THINGS CAN BE DONE”. (John 14:12) was the theme of the said assembly. It pursued the following objectives: 1) Review and assess PIPA III recommendations, structure and roles/functions in relation to the Prelature Pastoral Plan (PIPA I) and its relevance to the present of the Church; 2) Discern and deepen its understanding of our identify as a Church and its mission in Basilan realities (from PIPA II objective); 3) Articulate and implement revisions and resolutions identified as necessary to make it responsive to the present needs and challenges of the Prelature. Our assembly was blessed with the affirming presence of Archbishop Romulo Valles, DD from the Archdiocese of Zamboanga. He boldly emphasized the collective efforts of every bishop to support one another especially in the case of our prelature which is one of the Suffragans of the Metropolitan Church of Zamboanga. We were likewise delighted with the presence of Fr. Willy Samson, SJ, as our resource person. He further brought us into reflection of the realities and paradoxes of life in the light of the Spirituality of the Modern World. In his sharing, we were challenged to go out of our comfort zones to be able to share in the mission of Christ and the Church… to be active participants of this said assembly for the betterment of the Church of Basilan, Mindanao, the Philippines and the world. During the assembly, delegates had the chance to listen and share their hopes, talents as well as the challenges with greater hope and dynamism. One of the meaningful experiences of the delegates was the encounter with God and one another through the liturgical celebrations and rituals. We have been blessed indeed with God’s sustaining presence. Moreover, we have been inspired and challenged by our beloved bishop, Most Rev. Martin S. Jumoad, DD, when he gave emphasis on the aspect of renewal. He said if there is renewal within, then, there can be renewal in the church. This is what we continue to hope and struggle for as a church. But we never lose hope in the name of faith and love despite persecutions, violence even up to the point of giving up our life. May this assembly be a venue to renew, to empower, to develop and to sanctify, he said. The assembly provided us the atmosphere of re-visiting our Vision-Mission and re-reading of the Prelature Pastoral Plan and certain decrees. Resolutions and recommendations were articulated for more relevant responses as we move onward with much love and dedication. Following are the resolutions and recommendations: That Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC) are to be appreciated not just a “mere” program but as a way of life that would bring out one’s potentialities as a person and as Christians, empowering the lay as the proactive partner of religious men and women, deacons, priests, and bishops in realizing an integral human development and a more mature faith in God permeated by His love; That liturgical celebrations and sacraments must be properly taught to every parishioner especially the children and the youth who are more prone to the lure of the secular mass media and modernized, materialistic world; That Social Action, Justice and Peace Program in the prelature be enlivened with more passion and compassion by becoming more responsive to the signs of the times; That Formation of every Christian especially the lay leaders be given due attention, the same with the formation of the religious and the clergy; That tithing will have to be promoted in every parish as part of our collaborative social responsibility and stewardship towards the church temporal sustainability; proper education and common understanding be undertaken for an effective and appropriate response of the Christian community; That after identifying these above-named pastoral concerns and to be guided properly by the declaration and decrees of PIPA I, a Monitoring Team is hereby necessitated immediately to effectively promulgate, implement and /or revisit those declarations and decrees; That the roles and functions of the Monitoring Team be properly imparted to this assembly to be able to recommend to our local ordinary qualified persons to compose this team before its closure; That the Monitoring Team will have to study the pastoral plan of the prelature as well as the Declaration and Decrees of PIPA I to be guided properly in their activities and be able to disseminate and promote them to every catholic in the prelature. Finally, it was resolved that the Monitoring Team will meet immediately to help run the pastoral work of the prelature more attuned to the demands of the present realities. On the last phase of the assembly, the 150 participants of the 3rd Prelature of Isabela Pastoral Assembly (PIPA III) were sent back to the parishes/schools by Bishop Jumoad, bringing with them the significant events of PIPA III. As a prelature, we are looking forward to another important historical event which will lead us to face new challenges but with greater courage and enthusiasm. We are journeying towards our 50 years of being Church on October 12, 2013.

said, “It is good.” 3rd DAY: Man gazed at the forests and mountains on the earth. They were tall and green. And man said, “Let us cut trees to build things for us and export them for business profit.” And men did and became very rich. And the forests grew thin and the mountains became denuded and turned bald. And man said, “It is good.” 4th DAY: Man saw the animals leaping in the fields

love and friendship with God, who is love, and an exceedingly happy and peaceful love-life, for God was then the center of their lives. God, however, exposed the couple to the test—if only to test their love and loyalty to Him. You certainly will not die. No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is bad, argued the Snake (Gen 3:4-5). Disgracefully, Man gave in to the temptation, willfully abusing his God-given gift of Freedom by naively opting to deny and not acknowledge his being but a creature of God. In effect, Man proudly declared independence from God, brushing God aside, and making himself now—“like gods”—the Center of his life—thus, Man became SELFCENTERED, the euphemism of ORIGINAL SIN. Our Church teaches that we were all born with said Original Sin—Mary, the Mother of the Son of God, was the only one spared. However, through the redemptive merits of Jesus Christ, this Sin is washed away and forgiven through baptism; but not its consequent punitive effect—the SELFCENTERED ORIENTATION of man, which is the root cause of his inordinate Self-Pride, Greed (for power /money), Lust (for mundane pleasures, particularly of the flesh for its own sake) Dishonesty (graft and corruption), Anger, Vengeance, Violence, Murder (guns and goons) and you name it. But, thanks and praises to our Divine Lord and Savior, who came down to redeem and pick us up from our Fall and, by His Power, Word and Life, has showed us how to help ourselves save ourselves. Accordingly, talk of “political reform” might be a waste of saliva, time and money and will amount to naught—unless and until Man (Everyone) goes back to his tainted and weakened human roots; so, in light of his damaged past, he could again start to reflect, discern, repent, make amends, as he gets down to a firm resolve: that, in faith and by God’s grace, he will honestly strive to turn himself and his family around—180 degrees (to begin with), then reach out to neighbors. Only then perhaps will in due time emerge exceptionally responsible, qualified presidential wannabes

Knowledge of Good and Evil, you shall not eat; the moment you eat from it, you are surely doomed to die (Gen 2:17). And as St. Paul also wrote: Just as through one man, sin entered the world and with sin death, death thus came to all men inasmuch as all sinned (Rom 5:12). Death, however, is to be understood here more than just physical dying, corruption or decay, which ultimately turns into dust, for man is dust and to dust he shall man return. Death also means that Man has been completely divorced or separated from his intimate relationship with God, which then triggered the separation and alienation of himself from oneself, from each other, and from Nature. (Cf. Fr. J. M. Dimaculangan, Who is Love?). Separation from God: I heard your voice in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid (Gen 3:10). Servile fear of God is the result of sin. And sin blurs the mind from seeing God, who is Truth and weakens the will from loving God and fellowman with authentic love. Separation from Self: Who told you that you were naked? “In the beginning”, that is, before their fall, they were naked and were not ashamed (Gen 2:24). They were at peace with their own body. They did not experience rebellion from their orderly instincts, nor did they feel awkward before God or ashamed of themselves naked in the presence of each other. Rather, they mutually saw in their original innocence and nakedness their communion of persons in which, through their masculinity and femininity, they become a gift for each other (John Paul II’s No. 13 Address at the General Audience of 2 January, 1980). After the Fall, however, they had to cover their bodies—an admission of their lost sense of human dignity and of original innocence. They were no longer at ease and at home with themselves—an alienation of the human spirit from its body. Why…? Because, as earlier said, Original Sin obfuscated man’s intellect from knowing God, the truth about himself and others, and also weakened his will to control the urge of the flesh; otherwise known as the Concupiscence of the flesh, which is man’s inordinate inclination to temptations to the Seven Deadly Sins of: Pride, Lust, Anger, Gluttony, Envy,

Separation from each other: The woman whom you put here with me gave me fruit from the tree, and so I ate it (Gen 3:12). In fear and shame before God, he angrily blamed and accused “the woman”! Sadly, gone now was the endearing sweet nickname of Honey or Darling. And short-lived, too, was their mutual gift-giving of one’s total self and their initial blissful experience of a happy honeymoon then that could have lasted ever-thereafter. Unfortunately, for Cain and Abel, who rather became more of a hapless victim of their parents’ Godless parental rolemodeling. God said to Cain, Where is your brother, Abel? He answered, I don’t know; am I my brother’s keeper? (Gen 4:9). Cain’s bloody story was but the first irreparably damaged chain-link to the main that was Adam who broke faith with God—thus, soon the son tragically broke faith, too, with his brother whom he murdered (Gen 4:10). Thereafter, followed the tidal wave of even more hatred and violence that flooded the world. The chain of biblical sin stories, as narrated by the inspired biblical writers, simply showed that mankind had not learned the lesson that the cycle of sin leads eventually to the bad guys’ tragic death. Separation from Nature: Because you have listened to your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I forbade you to eat, cursed be the soil because of you! … With sweat on your face you will eat your bread… (Gen 3:17-19). Sin, indeed, leads us down a broad way street but that ends up in the inevitable destruction of ourselves and of our man-made world. Have you ever heard of God weeping? Read this story: In the beginning was the earth. And it was beautiful. Man lived upon the earth. But PRIDE prodded him to create his own new and modern world: On the 1st DAY: Man said, “Let us build skyscrapers and expressway.” (A classic sample was New York’s rammed-down Twin Trade Center buildings of 9/11). And so man covered the earth with steel and concrete. And man became very proud and said, “It is good.” 2nd DAY: Man looked up on the clear blue waters of the earth. And man said, “Let us dump our sewage and all waste-matter into the waters.” And so man did. The ocean and rivers became murky and the fishes started to die. And man

and big and small fishes playfully swimming in the sea, And man said, “Let us trap the animals for food so we can eat and drink and get merry, or shoot them for sport, and catch the fishes, big and small, with nets and with dynamite for big money.” And the greedy, glutton man did. Then he said, “It is good.” 5th DAY: Man felt and breathed the cool clean breeze in his nost r ils. And ma n said, “Let us burn our wastes or refuse, and make more vehicles, sports-cars, jeepneys and buses.” And man did. And the air became polluted and dense with smoke and carbon. Then super-typhoons and floods swamped towns, cities and villages, inundating houses and vehicles in the streets and devastating crops in the fields. And man felt quite sad. Anyway, he said, “It is good.” 6th DAY: Man saw many kinds of people on the earth— different race, color and creed. And man said, “Let us create GOD in our own image and likeness. As we think, so He thinks; as we hate, so He hates; as we kill, so He kills. Similarly, let’s make bombs and missiles and wage jihad and war when misunderstandings arise.” “Moreover, let’s solve global poverty through contraception and legalized abortion and euthanasia, and let’s promote gender-equality through same sex marriage. And man did. Then abortion clinics and missile sites checkered the landscape of the earth. And man said, “It is very good.” 7th DAY: Man rested. And there was a horrible noise, rumbling and confusion on the face of the earth. Fire consumed the beautiful earth, suicidebombers blasted countless innocent people to death, and bloody jihads and wars were waged between ethnic groups and nations. Then there was a deafening SILENCE. The blackened, devastated Mother Earth was now flattened and wounded, and in agony she worshipped and pleaded for mercy with her ONE TRUE GOD. And God saw all that Man had done. And in the silence of the smoldering ruins— GOD WEPT…. Meanwhile, we can just perhaps wait and brace ourselves up! For Mother Nature when hurt—boomerangs! (The above narrative is the author’s paraphrase of the original literary piece: “God Wept” by M. Link, S.J. and G. Maloney, S.J.).

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 22
October 26 - November 8, 2009



‘Achieving food security in times of crisis’
‘This Apostolic Constitution is one consequence of ecumenical dialogue’
Joint statement of Anglican and Catholic archbishops on the establishment of personal ordinates for Anglicans wishing to enter into full visible communion with the Catholic Church TODAY’S announcement of the Apostolic Constitution is a response by Pope Benedict XVI to a number of requests over the past few years to the Holy See from groups of Anglicans who wish to enter into full visible communion with the Roman Catholic Church, and are willing to declare that they share a common Catholic faith and accept the Petrine ministry as willed by Christ for his Church. Pope Benedict XVI has approved, within the Apostolic Constitution, a canonical structure that provides for Personal Ordinariates, which will allow former Anglicans to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of distinctive Anglican spiritual patrimony. The announcement of this Apostolic Constitution brings to an end a period of uncertainty for such groups who have nurtured hopes of new ways of embracing unity with the Catholic Church. It will now be up to those who have made requests to the Holy See to respond to the Apostolic Constitution. The Apostolic Constitution is further recognition of the substantial overlap in faith, doctrine and spirituality between the Catholic Church and the Anglican tradition. Without the dialogues of the past forty years, this recognition would not have been possible, nor would hopes for full visible unity have been nurtured. In this sense, this Apostolic Constitution is one consequence of ecumenical dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. The on-going official dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion provides the basis for our continuing cooperation. The Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) and International Anglican Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM) agreements make clear the path we will follow together. With God’s grace and prayer we are determined that our ongoing mutual commitment and consultation on these and other matters should continue to be strengthened. Locally, in the spirit of IARCCUM, we look forward to building on the pattern of shared meetings between the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales and the Church of England’s House of Bishops with a focus on our common mission. Joint days of reflection and prayer were begun in Leeds in 2006 and continued in Lambeth in 2008, and further meetings are in preparation. This close cooperation will continue as we grow together in unity and mission, in witness to the Gospel in our country, and in the Church at large. + VINCENT GERARD NICHOLS (Catholic Archbishop of Westminster) + ROWAN WILLIAMS (Anglican Archbishop) London, 20 October 2009
© Mark Christian Ribaya

Message of His Holiness Benedict XVI to Mr. Jacques Diouf, Director General of FAO, on the occasion of World Food Day 2009
Mr. Jacques Diouf, If the celebration of World Food Day recalls the foundation of the FAO and its action in the fight against hunger and malnutrition in the world, it stresses above all the urgent need for interventions on behalf of all who are without daily bread, in so many countries, because of inadequate food security. The actual crisis that is hitting all sectors of the economy without distinction is particularly harshly affecting the world of farming, whose situation is becoming dramatic. This crisis demands that Governments and the different elements of the International Community make decisive and effective decisions. To guarantee people and peoples the possibility of overcoming the scourge of hunger is to assure them concrete access to adequate, healthy food. Indeed, this is a practical expression of the right to life which, although it is solemnly proclaimed, all too often remains far from being implemented fully. The theme chosen by the FAO for World Food Day is: “Achieving food security in times of crisis”. It is an invitation to consider agricultural work as a fundamental element of food security and consequently as fully part of economic activity. For this reason, farming must have access to adequate investments and resources. This topic calls into question and makes clear that by their nature the goods of creation are limited: they therefore require responsible attitudes capable of encouraging the sought-after security, thinking likewise of that of future generations. Thus profound solidarity and farsighted brotherhood are essential. The realization of these objectives entails a necessary change in lifestyle and mindsets. It obliges the international community and its institutions to intervene in a more appropriate and forceful way. I hope that such an intervention may encourage cooperation with a view to protecting the methods of cultivating the land proper to each region and to avoiding a heedless use of natural resources. I also hope that this cooperation will preserve the values proper to the rural world and the fundamental rights of those who work the land. By setting aside privileges, profit and convenience, it will then be possible to achieve these objectives for the benefit of the men, women, children, families and communities that live in the poorest regions of the planet and are the most vulnerable. Experience shows that even advanced technical solutions lack efficiency if they do not put the person first and foremost, who comes first and who, in his or her spiritual and physical dimensions, is the alpha and the omega of all activity. Rather than an elementary need, access to food is a fundamental right of people and

peoples. It will therefore become a reality, hence a security, if adequate development is guaranteed in all the different regions. The drama of hunger in particular can only be overcome by “eliminating the structural causes that give rise to it and promoting the agricultural development of the poorer countries. This can be done by investing in rural infrastructures, irrigation systems, transport, organization of markets, and in the development and dissemination of appropriate agricultural technology that can make the best use of the human, natural and socio-economic resources that are more readily available at the local level” (Caritas in Veritate, n. 27). Faithful to her vocation to be close to the most deprived, the Catholic Church promotes, sustains and participates in the efforts made to enable each people and each community to have access to the necessary means to guarantee an appropriate level of food security. In expressing these wishes, I renew to you, Mr Director-General, the expression of my high esteem and I invoke an abundance of divine Blessings upon the FAO, upon the Member States and upon all the personnel. From the Vatican, 16 October 2009 BENEDICTUS PP. XVI

Press Statement on Fr. Sinnott
SOME press and other media reports today are saying that the kidnappers of Fr. Michael Sinnott have made contact with his Columban Superiors. One report went so far as to say that this contact was by way of a “phone call, made yesterday by an emissary of the kidnappers”. I find these reports disturbing and distressing. They are inaccurate and I cannot understand why they would be published without verification. May I clarify that I personally have had no contact with anyone claiming to be one of the kidnappers or representing them. Nor am I aware of any member of the Missionary Society of St. Columban having contact with the kidnappers or their representatives. Together with the Bishop, clergy and people of Pagadian, all who love Fr. Mick and all those who are concerned for his welfare, we are anxiously waiting for some news of Fr. Mick’s health and situation. At 79, Fr Mick needs urgent medical attention. The Bishop of Pagadian, Msgr. Cabajar is the liaison person between the Church and the Provincial Task Force set up to ensure the safety and to obtain the safe release of Fr. Mick. His role is not that of “negotiator”. I realize that these reports may be published in good faith and in the hope that Fr. Mick’s release is imminent. But inaccurate statements, from whatever source, can cause confusion among the public and further anxiety and pain to those close to him. They can also be unhelpful to the efforts to obtain his speedy and safe release. We would, therefore, like to appeal for understanding from everyone to be very cautious and discreet about issuing public pronouncements. May the God of Peace bless all our efforts to bring Fr. Mick safely home. REV. PATRICk O’DONOGHuE Regional Director Philippine Region Missionary Society of St. Columban October 16, 2009
© Dennis Dayao/CBCP Media

Statement of Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent observer of the Holy See at the United Nations, on the promotions and protection of the rights of children; delivered before the 64th session o the U.N. General Assembly
Mr. Chairman, As we consider the promotion and protection of the rights of children, we also commemorate the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, an important instrument aimed at protecting the rights and interests of children. In the course of the past twenty years the Convention has been ratified or acceded to by almost two hundred States; the Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict has been ratified by almost 130 countries; and the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography has been ratified by over 130 countries. International consensus has grown as governments have become more aware of the need to protect all children. In this regard, my delegation encourages all States that have not yet done so to join in furthering the legal protection of children by ratifying or acceding to the Convention and the Protocols and calls for a correct application of these legal instruments which entails respect for the inherent right to life of all children. A recent UNICEF report comes with good news: the global under-five mortality has decreased steadily over the past two decades. However, statistics also tell us that in the last decade more than two million children have been killed in the course of armed conflict; six million have been left disabled, tens of thousands mutilated by antipersonnel mines, and over 300,000 recruited as child soldiers. In our discussions on ending violence against children we cannot but call to mind that for too many children the right to life is denied; that prenatal selection eliminates babies suspected to have disabilities and female children simply because of their sex; that oftentimes children become the first victims of famines and wars; that they are maimed by unexploded

‘For too many children, the right to life is denied’
munitions; that they lack sufficient food and housing; that they are deprived of schooling; that they become sick with AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis without access to medicines; that they are sold to traffickers, sexually exploited, recruited into irregular armies, uprooted by forced displacements, or compelled into debilitating work. Eliminating violence against children demands that the state and society support and enable the family to carry out its proper responsibility. Governments must assume their rightful role to protect and promote family life because the family has obvious vital and
For too / B7


The widow’s gift: An example of Christian response
32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year B (Mark 12:38-44) November 8, 2009
By Msgr. Lope C. Robredillo, SThD

Ref lections

CBCP Monitor
October 26 - November 8, 2009

Vol. 13 No. 22

IN the Gospel of the previous Sunday, we noted that in the Old Testament, the people’s response to God’s initiative is expressed in their keeping of his commandments which, according to Jesus’ summary, are summed up in the one commandment of loving God with all of one’s heart, mind and strength, and of loving his neighbor as himself.

In today’s Gospel, Mark tells us the story of Jesus’ denunciation of the scribes and his observation on the crowd who put their money into the treasury of the temple. What is of much relevance to us is the second, where a poor widow put in two small coins, for this story is connected with the point stressed in the Gospel last Sunday. This pericope considered as an independent story—probably of

Fr. Russel Bantiles


A life well lived
READING a very thought-provoking book of our professor, a Spanish philosopher Alejandro Llano, titled “La vida lograda” (A life well-lived), I could not help but dedicate a few moments digesting his ideas. I thought I might as well provoke you, my dear readers, to think, so I decided to share these thoughts with you. *** “Examinar qué es lo que me hace crecer en cuanto persona y qué es aquello con lo que yo mismo me puedo dañar y malograr mi vida” (Examine what makes me grow as a person and what is that which harms me and turns my life into a waste.) It’s another way of expressing what Socrates declared long time ago: “An unexamined life is not worth living”. It is part of our human nature to keep ourselves away from harm and to cling to what keeps us whole and fulfilled. Yet, the difficulty nowadays is that most harmful things present themselves under the guise of what is pleasurable and comfortable. *** “Es joven toda aquella, todo aquél, para quien el futuro presenta mayor interés que el pasado” (Young is he or she to whom the future is more interesting than the past.) The old ones say: “The problem with the youth is that they always talk about their future—their dreams, plans, ambitions, fantasies, etc”. Then, the youth replied: “The problem with old people is that they keep on remembering their past—adventures, achievements, etc. If you think the past (especially your past) is better than the future (especially your future) and if you keep on saying that the days past are better-off than today and that tomorrow will be worse (especially when you say it with the certainty of the sun shining every morning), then, I’m sure you are already old. *** “Para saber lo que debemos hacer, hemos de hacer lo que queremos saber” (In order to know what we should do, we should do what we want to know.) It may appear like a word game. But its message is very simple: let’s put into practice what we know (or want to know). “By nature, man desires to know”, says Aristotle. And man wants to know only the good (at least, what is good for him) for, as the same philosopher says, “no man willingly does wrong.” However, it’s useless to know anything if our knowledge does not lead us to action, if our knowledge does not tell us what to do. “In order to know what we should do, we should do what we want to know”. *** “Lo decisivo no es sentir; lo decisivo es pensar” (What is decisive is not to feel but to think.) If only the majority would base their life’s decisions on what they have thought of rather than what they felt, a lot of problems (especially emotional and relational ones) would be avoided or solved. But most people today make decisions based on feelings, not so much on rational deliberations. Worst, the movements of one’s emotions (which are fluctuating) are interpreted as a sign of the right thing to do, the guide of one’s decision-making. “What’s important is I feel good,” said one friend of mine over the net. And I responded: “To feel good is the least; what’s important is to be good.” *** “Hay que discutir las ideas y no criticar a las personas” (We should discuss and criticize ideas not persons). People will not be motivated to correct their errors if criticisms are directed against their person (we call it “argumentum ad hominem”) rather than towards their errors or mistakes. A student is better motivated to study more if you tell him: “Your answer to this mathematical problem is wrong because the formula you used lacks one element”, rather than “Bobo ka kasi!” (You’re stupid!). In our politics, in our movie industry, even in our neighborhood, in our workplace, we can observe a lot of “argumentum ad hominem” in our comments on one another. What is worst, we get used to it to the point that we could not distinguish anymore an argument (or a criticism) against an idea from that which is against a person. When our friend tells us that we are wrong in saying that Noynoy Aquino is running for president, at times we immediately react saying: “Ibig mong sabihin sinungaling ako?” (So you think I’m a liar?)

almsgiving—that Mark used in writing his Gospel, the widow represents what is best in the piety of the Old Testament. She placed all her two copper coins in one of the thirteen trumpetshaped receptacles for offerings in the Court of Women in the Jerusalem Temple. In doing so, she demonstrated, poor though she was, her love for God out of her whole heart, soul, mind and strength. She gave all she had to live on (Mark 12:44). In addressing his followers, however, Jesus appropriated this story as a lesson of discipleship. To begin with, in the Old Testament, a woman was a dependent creature, either on her husband or her father. But she could not inherit from her husband, and in the early period of Israel’s history, she was part of the inheritance of the eldest son. We mention this to indicate how poor the widow was at the time of Jesus. In using this story, Mark was able to present two contrasting pictures: the poor widow and the rich man (Mark 10:17-32), and the poor widow and the scribes (Mark 12:38-40). Whereas the man who wanted to follow Jesus and who was rich could not, after having been challenged by the Lord to get rid

of them, part with his riches, the poor widow gave all she had. Having much wealth, the man depended on it; and his wealth stood in the way to discipleship. On the other hand, the widow had nothing to lean on except God himself; and it was easier for her to give everything she had. For Mark, this illustrates the truth that only a truly poor person can walk in the footsteps of Jesus. Wealth is a hindrance to it. A poor one, on the other hand, entrusts himself totally to God to care for him. In the second contrast, the story of the poor widow immediately follows Jesus’ denunciation of the scribes: “Beware of the scribes who like to go around in long robes and accept greetings in the marketplaces, seats of honor in the synagogues, and places of honor at banquets. They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext, recite lengthy prayers” (Mark 12:3840a). For Mark, the scribes were people who were knowledgeable about the commandment of love of God and neighbor, and it is for this knowledge that they were accorded honors at banquets, marketplaces, and presidential tables. And yet, they did not put into action their knowledge of the law. Indeed, instead of showing God’s love by giving to the poor, they exploited them, like the widows whose houses they devoured. On the other hand, the widow might not have been as knowledgeable about the law as the scribes, yet, she took it to heart. Instead of exploiting others, which she could not do, she gave everything to God. She trusted in him, not wealth. Indeed, she could have kept the other coin, and gave only one to the temple treasury, but she did not. Both contrasts make it clear that all men are capable to responding to God’s generosity by being generous in love. A person, no matter how poor, like the widow, has always something to give. But an even more important point is that the greatness of one’s response is not seen in the amount that is given, for a wealthy man can always give from his surplus. Rather, what is decisive in the generosity of one’s response is the amount that is left. Hence, Jesus’ comment on the poor widow: “Amen, I say to you, the poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood” (Mark 12:44). This is what discipleship really entails. Like the poor widow, we have to give up everything to follow Jesus in his footsteps.

Bishop Pat Alo



Bo Sanchez

Define your greatest achievements
MY favorite pastime is spending a day in a bookstore. Intellectually, it invigorates me. Emotionally, it refreshes me. Spiritually, it inspires me. And financially, it saves me money! Because I don’t have to buy the books I read. I just read it in the store! (Shhhhhh. Can we keep this our little secret?) Somewhere in the bookstore is the Bestsellers List. I like looking at that too because it gives me an idea of the popular trends in society, the thoughts that fuel people’s minds and actions. But recently, I get embarrassed looking at this list. Because my name regularly appears on it! (People might catch me looking at that list and say, “Gosh, Bo is really vain. He likes reading his name up there.”) Now don’t get me wrong. I consider it an achievement that I wrote best-selling books. I’m not ashamed of that. In the same way that I consider having my article published in Reader’s Digest a nice feather in my cap. Or being able to preach God’s Word all over this planet. Or writing for the number one Catholic Inspirational Magazine in Asia for the past eleven years. Or helping start dynamic organizations such as Anawim, and Shepherd’s Voice, and Light of Jesus Community and its Counseling Center. Or composing worship music through the past twenty-two years. They’re nice achievements, yes. But I’m sorry, they’re not my greatest achievements. Do you want to know what I’m really proud of? Here they are: When I visit my 82-year old father, and just sit beside him, and hold his hand tenderly. And because he has lost most of his language skills, we don’t talk much. Instead, we smile, touch, laugh, embrace, and enjoy each other presence. That, my friends, is one of my greatest achievements. And when I’m b eat ing deadlines, very busy writing articles on my computer, and then see my little son playing on the floor. And I decide to leave my chair and sit on the floor with him. And I get a ball and roll it towards him. He giggles and rolls it back towards Daddy. And I roll it back to him. And he rolls it back to me. You get the idea. I waste thirty-five minutes of my precious “executive” time for something that others would consider completely unproductive… But this too is one of my greatest achievements. And after a long day, I catch my wife slumped by the couch, tired from a day of house chores, and I quietly stand behind her, kiss her, say “thank you” to her, and give her a loving shoulder massage… That would be high up in “My Greatest Achievements” list. And when I visit friends, or even just call them by phone, or write them letters. I consider those times my greatest moments. They define who I am. Not my books. Not my organizations. Not my songs. Not my preaching. But my love.

The deepening process
IF our spirituality is that superficial, it means we have overlooked certain aspects; because a thing is said to be good when it possesses the normal characteristics, bad when an element is lacking. In this respect, it’s no use pointing accusing fingers at others, which will not solve the problems. What has been lacking in the conscience education of our people, or what wrong ideas have been disseminated therein? Maybe we just need to remind about certain principles that are found in God’s unerring word. For example, the following.....”Do unto others what you want others do unto you” (Mt. 7:12). God’s word asks us to do our good deeds, not for show or to gain human admiration if we are to gain the reward of our Father in heaven who sees everything and knows all things (cf. Mt. 6:1-34). In this same chapter, God assures us He will provide for our needs, so long as we trust in Him firmly and seek to do His will. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and live His righteousness and all other things shall be provided for. Does He not provide for the birds, the plants, the much more for you, o people of little faith?” (cf. Mt. 6:25-34). Yes, people have to deepen their faith and trust in God who takes care of those who trust in Him. To deepen means to make an effort of faith and trust even amidst the various trials of this transitory life. Have they ever been disappointed, who trust in God and His beloved Son Jesus Christ, Our Savior who came down to earth to be near us, His people? He had said: “I myself will shepherd My people....” (Ezk. 34:11-16).


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 22
October 26 - November 8, 2009

Social Concerns
By Fr. Shay Cullen
WORLD poverty, hunger, violence, disease and great social injustice are traced to the unequal distribution of the greatest source of national survival and sustainability ─ land. Land produces food, water, forests, minerals, living space and manufacturing sites. It is what sustains all life and all creatures and all living things. Land is life and without it humans cannot survive and lead a life of dignity, decency and have a love of the planet. Land, owned and controlled by the ruling elite is power over the poor who are mostly tenant farmers, crop-sharers, farmhands and all totally dependent on the landlords. The landlords can astutely exploit the insecurity, hunger and sickness of the poor through patronage and turn it into votes for the family dynasty to retain political power indefinitely. No wonder the rich and wealthy hang on their vast estates and haciendas and resist every kind of land reform. No wonder too that giant multinationals corporations and even other sovereign nations covet land in the developing world. Their greed is becoming insatiable and they are devouring more and more land across the globe in the great international land grab of the century. According to the UN and global analysts, at least 30 million hectares are being acquired by rich nations to grow food, not to produce and sell back to the poor of the developing nation who own the land but for their own people. They will feast securely while the poor will continue to starve. The corrupt politicians of the developing nations, many of them land owners, are giving away public lands by long term lease to foreign buyers. These are lands that ought to be distributed to the rural poor to farm and grow food and prosper. You can be sure that some of these officials are getting handsome kickbacks under the table as pay-offs for the foreigners to make the deals go through. When they can allow foreign investors and sex tourists to exploit, traffic and buy and sell the bodies of children and women here with impunity, then leasing the sovereign lands to foreign nations that rightfully belong to the Filipino people is just a push over. They will get away with it also. Already 20 million hectares, half the size of the arable land of all Europe has been already sold. Africa is a prime target. South Korea got 700,000 hectares in the Sudan, one of the poorest nations on the planet and is getting 94,000 ha in Mindoro, here in the Philippines for 25 years. When they got 1.3 million hectares in Madagascar on a 99 year lease, there was a quick coup and the sitting president as overthrown. The new government rescinded the deal. Politicians beware.
Vatican / B1

Any Filipino growing food on that land, public or otherwise will be forced off if they refuse to move out that could cause widespread social unrest and play into the hands of the Communists. China is trying to get 1.24 million hectare here also. Qatar is negotiating a deal with President Macapagal-Arroyo to get 100,000 ha. Saudi Arabia bought 500,000 ha in Tanzania. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is closing an 8 million hectares land sale to South African businessmen. Land leasing to foreigners might be one dirty trick to circumvent land reform in the Philippines which has only distributed 6 million hectares during the past 15 years. There is much more to be shared out to the millions of landless poor. Only a handful of rich families, politicians, and tycoons own or control most of the private arable land in the Philippines while the majority go landless and hungry. For example, 7 out of 10 peasants still do not own land while less than 1/3 of landowners own more than 80% of agricultural land. Not only has the land reform project (CARP) failed .Only a fraction (17%) of the 1.5 million hectares of private lands has been fairly redistributed to the tenants who worked the land. To lease out land to feed rich foreigners while Filipinos go landless and hungry is a policy of utter disaster and immoral at that. There will be a terrible price to pay.

Land to feed the foreigners is famine for Filipinos

Stewardship / B1

© Roy Lagarde/CBCP Media

But what precisely is the future they want to claim? Where do they start? The good and prudent steward looks around and considers what is currently available, before s/he even weighs the future. When selecting new leaders, the first to be considered are the main issues in the land. Issues? Poverty and corruption are not only big issues, they are perennial issues in the Philippines no matter what governance or whoever makes the governance that the people have. The truth is that poverty has escalated and spread so fast recently that latest surveys show that nearly half of the Filipino families consider themselves poor today, while 42% of Manila families remain poor. The breathing picture of poverty is seen everywhere—in the squatter areas, esteros and canals, stilt and carton houses, beggars and peddlers weaving through moving traffic, sidewalks littered with sleeping bodies at night. Alas, how have we become so calloused to these sights of suffering as a Christian community and nation? The late Pope John Paul II of happy memory made this statement in his Apostolic Letter (Novo Millennio Ineunte) for the closing of the Millennium Jubilee nine years ago, and although he was addressing the whole world, we can consider this as addressed to the Philippines, particularly after seeing local poverty in our land today after two recent typhoons, Ondoy and Pepeng to boot. “Our world is entering the new millennium burdened by the contradictions of an economic, cultural and technological progress which offers immense possibilities
For too / B5

to a fortunate few, while leaving millions of others not only on the margins of progress but in living conditions far below the minimum demanded by human dignity … And how can we remain indifferent to the prospect of an ecological crisis which is making vast areas of our planet uninhabitable and hostile to humanity?” (NMI 50, 51). Then there is now more corrupt practice that is not just prevalent in Philippine society but is frighteningly almost imbedded in people’s culture. You see this everywhere, poverty in the midst of corrupt leadership and governance. Graft and corruption is freely discussed and debated on television talk-shows, radio-commented on air, talked about and made fun of by drivers and their passengers; nearly everybody has an idea of what corruption is in the country. The quotation from George E. Taylor as cited by Samuel Huntington best described what politics and corruption are in the Philippines. “Politics is a major industry for the Filipinos; it is a way of life. Politics ia the main route to power… More money can be made in shorter time with the aid of political influence than by any other means … In all societies the scale of corruption increases as one goes up the bureaucratic hierarchy or political ladder.” (Samuel Huntington, Political Order in Changing Societies, p. 67) The mutual reaction between the two is such that as corruption increases, poverty worsens. In every election blame and counter accusation are exchanged endlessly without the real issues being confronted to the

satisfaction of whatever is righteous. The time has come, we pray, that elections should be approached by the citizens with a steward’s mind and heart who values prevail over self-seeking motivations. This time when the individual Filipino, acting as the steward, registers that one wellthought of vote, s/he makes that decision that already binds the country’s future. Kapag ginamit ang pag-boto bilang mabuting pamamahala, magiging atin and kinabukasan, sapagka’t natuto nang magpahalaga hindi sa pera kung hindi sa dangal ng Pilipinong Mamamayan at Kristiyano! God-fearing persons who are moral and those not given to vice/s and who are reverent of life and are consistently the friends of the poor are readily the ones the stewards should easily trust. Other considerations like money, popularity, force, propaganda, and deceit played much destruction in elections of the past and has prolonged the misery of the country until the present. To repeat their use in an election does not only put off the peace and development of people, they prolong and compound the suffering of the Filipino People. Be a good steward of your only one vote! God love and bless you all! (Homily delivered by His Eminence Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales, Archbishop of Manila at the Eucharistic Celebration during MAGPAS 3 on October 17, 2009, St. Paul University, Manila.)

organic links with society. Civil society also has an important role to play in supporting the family and counteracting all forms of violence against children. For its part, the Catholic Church’s over 300,000 social, caring and educational institutions work daily to ensure both education for children and provide the reintegration of abused and neglected children into their families if possible, and into society. At times, in deliberations on the promotion and protection of the rights of the child, there can unfortunately be a tendency to speak in terms of the relationship between the child and the state while inadvertently minimizing the role of parents. In this regard my delegation cannot emphasize

enough the importance of the family in the life of each and every child and that all legislation regarding children must take into account the indispensable role of parents, for children are born of a mother and father, and into the fundamental community which is the family. Not surprisingly, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has rightly affirmed that “the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State” (Article 16,3), and that, relatedly, “motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance” and “all children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection” (Article 25,2). These affirmations are not concepts imposed from the outside

but instead are complementary principles derived from the nature of the human person. This year the General Assembly continues its consideration of the right of children to express their views freely in all matters affecting them and so rightly focuses on the importance of truly hearing them. All children need to be respected fully in their inherent dignity for they are fully human beings. The Convention on the Rights of the Child does not explicitly include an article on a specific right to participate. Nonetheless, the Convention does contain articles that take into account the participation of children, for example, in expressing their views and having these views heard (Article 12). In considering the concrete

application of child participation it must always be remembered, as is affirmed in the Convention, that States Parties are called to “respect the responsibilities, rights and duties of parents … to provide, in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child, appropriate direction and guidance in the exercise by the child of the rights recognized in the Convention” (Article 5). On this occasion the Holy See once again reaffirms its constant concern for the well-being and protection of all children and their families and continues to call all States to do the same with renewed urgency since all children deserve to grow up in a stable and healthy environment in keeping with their dignity. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

who have approached the Holy See have made clear their desire for full, visible unity in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. At the same time, they have told us of the importance of their Anglican traditions of spirituality and worship for their faith journey,” Cardinal Levada said. The provision of this new structure is consistent with the commitment to ecumenical dialogue, which continues to be a priority for the Catholic Church, particularly through the efforts of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity. “The initiative has come from a number of different groups of Anglicans,” Cardinal Levada went on to say: “They have declared that they share the common Catholic faith as it is expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and accept the Petrine ministry as something Christ willed for the Church. For them, the time has come to express this implicit unity in the visible form of full communion.” According to Levada: “It is the hope of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, that the Anglican clergy and faithful who desire union with the Catholic Church will find in this canonical structure the opportunity to preserve those Anglican traditions precious to them and consistent with the Catholic faith. Insofar as these traditions express in a distinctive way the faith that is held in common, they are a gift to be shared in the wider Church. The unity of the Church does not require a uniformity that ignores cultural diversity, as the history of Christianity shows. Moreover, the many diverse traditions present in the Catholic Church today are all rooted in the principle articulated by St. Paul in his letter to the Ephesians: ‘There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism’ (4:5). Our communion is therefore strengthened by such legitimate diversity, and so we are happy that these men and women bring with them their particular contributions to our common life of faith.” Background information Since the sixteenth century, when King Henry VIII declared the Church in England independent of Papal Authority, the Church of England has created its own doctrinal confessions, liturgical books, and pastoral practices, often incorporating ideas from the Reformation on the European continent. The expansion of the British Empire, together with Anglican missionary work, eventually gave rise to a worldwide Anglican Communion. Throughout the more than 450 years of its history the question of the reunification of Anglicans and Catholics has never been far from mind. In the midnineteenth century the Oxford Movement (in England) saw a rekindling of interest in the Catholic aspects of Anglicanism. In the early twentieth century Cardinal Mercier of Belgium entered into well publicized conversations with Anglicans to


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explore the possibility of union with the Catholic Church under the banner of an Anglicanism “reunited but not absorbed”. At the Second Vatican Council hope for union was further nourished when the Decree on Ecumenism (n. 13), referring to communions separated from the Catholic Church at the time of the Reformation, stated that: “Among those in which Catholic traditions and institutions in part continue to exist, the Anglican Communion occupies a special place.” Since the Council, AnglicanRoman Catholic relations have created a much improved climate of mutual understanding and cooperation. The AnglicanRoman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) produced a series of doctrinal statements over the years in the hope of creating the basis for full and visible unity. For many in both communions, the ARCIC statements provided a vehicle in which a common expression of faith could be recognized. It is in this framework that this new provision should be seen. In the years since the Council, some Anglicans have abandoned the tradition of conferring Holy Orders only on men by calling women to the priesthood and the episcopacy. More recently, some segments of the Anglican Communion have departed from the common biblical teaching on human sexuality—already clearly stated in the ARCIC document “LifeinChrist”—bytheordination of openly homosexual clergy and the blessing of homosexual partnerships. At the same time, as the Anglican Communion faces these new and difficult challenges, the Catholic Church remains fully committed to continuing ecumenical engagement with the Anglican Communion, particularly through the efforts of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity. In the meantime, many individual Anglicans have entered into full communion with the Catholic Church. Sometimes there have been groups of Anglicans who have entered while preserving some “corporate” structure. Examples of this include, the Anglican diocese of Amritsar in India, and some individual parishes in the United States which maintained an Anglican identity when entering the Catholic Church under a “pastoral provision” adopted by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and approved by Pope John Paul II in 1982. In these cases, the Catholic Church has frequently dispensed from the requirement of celibacy to allow those married Anglican clergy who desire to continue ministerial service as Catholic priests to be ordained in the Catholic Church. In the light of these developments, the Personal Ordinariates established by the Apostolic Constitution can be seen as another step toward the realization the aspiration for full, visible union in the Church of Christ, one of the principal goals of the ecumenical movement.


Moral Assessment Technical Assessment

CBCP Monitor

October 26 - November 8, 2009

Vol. 13 No. 22

 Abhorrent  Disturbing  Acceptable  Wholesome  Exemplary In 500 Days of Summer, Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is an architect too timid to pursue his career, so he’d rather be a writer of greeting cards. Summer (Zooey Deschanel) begins work as the new assistant to Tom’s boss. He is smitten the moment he spots the pert Summer walking down the office on her first day of work, unaware she’s being noticed. Tom’s chemistry doesn’t remain one-way for long, as Summer notices and likes his looks, so one day she makes her move over the copying machine. In no time at all he falls in love with her, but while she has let him deep into her world, sees no one else but him, and says she is perfectly happy with their relationship, she wants nothing permanent—only to enjoy her life and her youth. Summer’s apparently casual attitude towards love baffles and then frustrates Tom. Sometime around the middle of 500 days serious trouble begins which later on leads to a break up. But Tom wouldn’t fall out of love and is in fact determined to get her back. 500 Days of Summer opens on Day 488 and then jumps back and forth, with each episode annotated and marked as “Day…” It is an ingenuous approach to telling a story that allows an incisive look into how love relationships “go wrong”. Billed as a “romantic comedy” this one is anything but light and laughable. In fact, through the recollection of events in a non-linear fashion, the viewer is enabled to seriously analyze how a past event affects and effects a present malady—something which involves the viewer in the characters’ lives. By Day 500 it becomes clear why things turn out the way they do, and we can only hope the characters in the story see it as clearly as we do. Screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber certainly show a good grip on a love affair’s twists and turns, which good actors Deschanel and Gordon-Levitt give justice to. The combination of those factors must have delighted director Marc Webb. 500 Days of Summer is a movie that begins by telling us how the love story will end and is about how clueless the lover is till the end. MTRCB rates it PG 13—CINEMA would be inclined to label it an adult film, due to its attempt to treat the theme deeply. The presence of a pre-adolescent girl as a “love adviser” to an older man doesn’t make it innocent or acceptable. Sex is a given here (and in fact is the main factor in the attraction between the lovers)—and, like an airborne virus, is not a good thing for young people to “catch”. There is a big lesson here about the need to be attentive to signs and signals, especially where it concerns emotions. People like to see what they want to see when it comes to love, and that

 Poor  Below average  Average  Above average  Excellent Title: 500 Days of Summer Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel, Geoffrey Arend, Chloe Moretz, Matthew Gray Gubler Director: Marc Webb Producers: Mason Novick, Jessica Tuchinsky, Mark Waters, Steven J. Wolfe Screenwriters: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber Music: Mychael Danna, Ron Simonsen Editor: Alan Edward Bell Genre: Comedy/ Drama/ Romance Cinematography: Eric Steelberg Distributor: Fox Searchlight Location: Los Angeles, USA Running Time: 95 mins. Technical Assessment:  Moral Assessment: ½ CINEMA Rating: For mature viewers 18 and above is what 500 Days of Summer tries to say. Things and people are not always what they seem: while some people may be easy to read, others may be the opposite of the image they project. People hide behind masks without even being aware of it. Experience tries to teach us, but does experience season us? Perhaps the hero here will know after 100 days of .. uh… autumn?


Ni Bladimer Usi

Buhay Parokya

Look for the images of Pope Leo XIII, All Saints, and a Candle.(Illustration by Bladimer Usi)

Title: Ang Laro ng Buhay ni Juan Cast: Ray An Dulay, Angeli Bayani, Nico Antonio, Richard Quan, Ace Ricafort, Perry Ecano Director: Joselito Altarejos Producer: Beyond the Box Screenwriters: Joselito Altarejos, Peping Salonga, Lex Bonife Genre: Drama Location: Manila Running Time: 100 mins. Technical Assessment:  ½ Moral Assessment: ½ CINEMA Rating: For mature viewers 18 and above NAkAPAGDESISYON na si Juan (Ray An Dulay), na kilala rin ng karamihan bilang Erwin, na bumalik na sa kanyang probinsiya sa Masbate upang alagaan ang kanyang inang maysakit at tuluyan nang talikuran ang buhay sa Maynila. Magpapaalam siya sa kanyang mga kapitbahay at sa kanyang kinakasamang si Noel (Nico Antonio). Bagama’t lantaran ang pakikipag-relasyon ni Juan sa kapwa lalaki, ay hindi naman lantaran ang kanyang trabaho bilang live sex performer sa isang tagong gay bar sa Maynila. Ang araw ng kanyang pag-alis papuntang Masbate ay ang huling araw na rin ng kanyang trabaho. Matapos ang gabi ng kanyang huling live performance at makuha ang kaukulang bayad dito, ay nakapagdesisyon na siyang talikuran ng permanente ang ganitong uri ng trabaho. Matapos niyang magbakasakali sa Maynila ng tatlong taon ay kung anu-anong trabaho na rin ang pinasok niya ngunit hindi niya nakuha ang suwerteng inaasam. Ngayong buo na ang loob niyang talikuran ang mapaglarong siyudad, manalo na kaya siya sa kanyang pagtaya sa bagong kapalaran? Payak kung maituturing ang kuwento ng pelikula na sinundan lamang ang isang araw sa buhay ng isang taong nais magbagongbuhay. Ngunit ang kapayakang ito ang nagpahatid at naglahad ng epektibong kuwento ng mga taong ang buhay ay nakatago sa dilim. kitang-kita ang pagkakaiba ng buhay ni Juan sa araw at gabi. Isang tipikal na kuwento ng mga taong nasadlak sa kahirapan at may hanapbuhay na hindi nila kayang ipagmalaki. Maganda at totoong-totoo ang eksenang ipinakita sa pelikula. Malinaw ang pagkakalahad ng kuwento na hitik sa simbolismo. Mahuhusay din ang mga nagsiganap na bagama’t mga hindi kilala at hindi malalaking pangalan sa industriya ay nagawang magampanan ang kanilang papel nang makatotohanan. Maganda ang direksiyon ng pelikula sa kabuuan dahil na rin sa naging matapat ito sa mga katotohanan ng lipunan na bihira na lang mapansin ng karamihan. Marami ang katulad ni Juan – mga nagbakasakali sa Maynila ngunit hindi nagtagumpay. Dalisay kung titingnan sa kabuuan ang pagkatao ni Juan. Bagama’t nakipagrelasyon sa kapwa lalaki, ipinakita naman na tapat siya kung magmahal at mapagmalasakit sa kapwa. Sa kabila ng kanyang hanapbuhay bilang live sex performer ay mabuti pa rin siyang anak sa kanyang ina at mabait din siya sa kanyang mga kapitbahay. Yun nga lang, sadyang mapaglaro ang tadhana sa mga tulad ni Juan kung kaya’t nasasadlak sila sa mga hanapbuhay na hindi nila buong-pusong ginusto. Dapat silang unawain sa halip na husgahan. Ngunit nakababahala pa rin na nagiging katanggap-tanggap na sa lipunan ang pagsasama ng dalawang lalaki na parang mag-asawa. Hindi kailanman magiging panghabang-buhay ang ganitong relasyon at makasisira ito sa pagbuo ng pamilya. Hindi rin dapat gawing dahilan ang kahirapan upang masadlak sa prostitusyon at gawaing nakasentro sa tawag ng laman. Pero kung tutuusin ay biktima lamang ang mga katulad ni Juan ng sitwasyon. katulad ng ipinakita sa pelikula, hindi ang mga gaya niya ang tunay na masasama kundi iyong mga taong pinagsasamantalahan ang kasawian ng iba. Labis na nakakababaha rin ang ilang ipinakitang eksena ng hubaran sa pelikula lalo na ang pagtatalik ng lalaki sa kapwa lalaki. Bagama’t malinaw sa konteksto ng pelikula na ito’y isang naiiba at madilim na mundo, maari pa rin itong magpadumi sa utak ng manonood at makaimpluwensiya ng pag-iisip ng mga kabataan. kaya’t nararapat lamang ang pelikula sa mga manonood na may gulang na 18 pataas.

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 22
October 26 - November 8, 2009


The News Supplement of Couples for Christ

By Zeny Gimenez

Relief Operations Continue at CFC Center

ALMOST a month after the onslaught of twin typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng, relief operations continue unabated at the CFC Center. Donations also continue to pour in, already reaching more than P5 million as of press time, not counting donations in kind.
The operations may be considered small, compared with efforts launched by big organizations but CFC’s work is more focused – on CFC members (and there are many of them in Metro Manila and in the northern provinces) and on GK residents. But the devastation was so vast and the demand for assistance so great that CFC has had to accommodate requests from many other sectors and groups. Many brethren from abroad have dug deep into their pockets, immediately remitting funds they have collected from their members and families. These were most welcome during the early days when the need to send the much needed basic items was greatest. The government of Malta also contacted CFC, and has committed to send relief goods. The focus of relief operations, now that the floods have abated, is now on rehabilitation, on helping those who have lost their homes and belongings rebuild their lives. The International Council has asked leaders in Metro Manila and in the provinces to make an in-depth assessment of the needs of affected people in their respective areas, so that the work can be shifted to this more pressing work that has more long-lasting effects.

Top and bottom photos to the right show the extent of devastation wrought by the recent destructive typhoons. Left photo: CFC workers at the Home Office pack goods for distribution. Middle photo: Percy Andrada, area director of Baguio-Benguet (in orange t-shirt) supervises the unloading of relief goods from the Center. Right photo: CFC fulltime worker Dict Jadulco and Jun Dujunco, area head for Baguio-Benguet, survey the damage.

THE Couples for Christ International Council (IC) issued a statement last October 12, 2009, defining and clarifying the guidelines and directions that would govern CFC’s work with the poor and the relationship between CFC and GK. This was in response to unsettled issues and concerns in the GK sites, “particularly in the areas of cooperation with GK Community Development Foundation, Inc. (GK) and the dual and parallel leadership that has developed (in the sites).” The IC explained that these form the broad framework for the work that lies ahead for CFC as part of the community’s commitment to help uplift the lives of the brethren. According to the IC this will pave the way for “CFC to expand its work with the poor to respond more fully to Christ’s call.” CFC’s work with the poor, under the umbrella of CFC ANCOP, includes such programs as Food, Livelihood, Health, Education and Community Building (which essentially is the work of GK). The IC emphasized that all these are founded upon Gospel values, pastoral formation and capability building. The IC also pointed out that this work will benefit not just residents in GK villages but will be introduced to migrant workers and their families, prisoners and their families, persons with disabilities, and other poor beneficiaries identified by CFC’s local area leadership. However, the IC reiterated that CFC’s embarking on these direc-

CFC Defines Guidelines for CFC GK Work

Joe Tale is Elected to Laiko Board

tions does not mean that it is abandoning the GK villages. As the statement emphasized, “Those residents in GK villages who have been served by CFC will continue to benefit from this continued commitment of CFC.” The guidelines and directions, honed over more than a year of discussions with GK leadership under the facilitation of the Ateneo de Manila University led by its President, Fr. Bienvenido Nebres, SJ, were presented to both GK and Ateneo on the first week of October. But, the IC lamented, “the leadership of GKCDFI has rejected our position. We believe though that the work cannot be further delayed, the confusion on the ground cannot be made to linger some more, and the affected poor cannot be made to suffer. Hence, we believe CFC should move on in the way we think best under the circumstances.” The following are the guidelines and directions: 1. CFC shall continue to manage GK sites/villages currently manned and operated by CFC, as determined and identified to be such by the CFC local area leaders, i.e., the local area council or governance team, with final approval of the CFC International

CFC Chairman Joe Tale was elected to the 15-member Laiko Board of Trustees during the Laiko biennial national conference held last October 16-18 in San Fernando, Pampanga. The term of the new Board is for two years, commencing on January 2010. This is the first time that CFC is represented in the Board of Laiko (Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas), the umbrella organization for Catholic lay organizations in the Philippines. Laiko, formerly known as Council of the Laity of the Philippines, is under the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines’ (CBCP) Episcopal Commission on the Lay Apostolate (ECLA). Bishop Gabriel Reyes of the diocese of Antipolo is the incumbent and outgoing chairman of ECLA. The incoming chairman, effective December 2009, is Bishop Jesse Mercado of the diocese of Paranaque. Joe was also designated as the PRO during the board meeting and election that followed. The new president of Laiko, and current Executive VicePresident, is Edgardo Tria Tirona of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. The outgoing President is Linda Tacorda of the Teresian Association. The CFC delegation to the biennial conference consisted of IC members Joe Tale, Joey and Tess Arguelles and Lito and Linda Tayag as well as Willie and Winnie Madarang, CFC leaders from the Metro Manila South B sector.

Council. In making such identification, the CFC local area leadership should consider such factors as funding source, preference of donors and partners and how best the interest of the poor may be served in the specific site. 2. GK sites so identified as CFC-managed shall be run and operated by CFC in all aspects. Thus, CFC-managed sites will follow the CFC line of authority in both operational and pastoral matters. A CFC-managed site shall be identified by naming it “CFC GK Village,,” which may also include the name of the donor(s). 3. CFC members may volunteer to serve in GK sites not managed by CFC and still maintain their membership in CFC. They shall continue to be under the pastoral care of CFC. 4. For CFC-managed sites, CFC will be accountable only for funds actually received by CFC serving in the said site. In this regard, all CFC-managed sites shall be subject to audit to establish accountability. 5. The CFC IC shall issue guidelines regarding funds for CFCmanaged sites. 6. The CFC local area leadership may welcome visits of GK National workers in CFC-managed sites with prior coordination and clearance. 7. Participation of CFC members in any GK event shall be subject to guidelines of the local CFC area leadership. In reiterating that CFC is not abandoning the work with the poor and the work of GK, the IC also stressed that “we are not asking CFC members to choose between CFC and GK, because CFC, as stated, will continue to be involved in the work of GK, as an element of its expanded work with the poor. If it is a choice to be made, it is whether one serves in a CFC-managed GK site or in other sites managed by GKCDFI or its other partners. These are all GK sites, no matter who manages them; and all CFC who serve in any site can remain as CFC members.”

By Joe Tale, CFC Chairman


CBCP Monitor
October 26 - November 8, 2009

Vol. 13 No. 22

The Signs of the Times
community has responded by standing firm, by keeping still, by a deepening of our prayer life, by continuous soul-searching through planning sessions and workshops, by a deeper sense of our oneness with each other and with our God. We have been led to repentance, and continue to be cognizant of our sinfulness and imperfections. But we too can have a prophetic role to play. So, as a community, how else should we respond to the signs of the times? By our witnessing of the love and grace of God! Matthew 5:13-15 speaks of our needing to be “salt” and “light.” To be salt implies several things: One is that salt is useless if it remains on the kitchen shelf. For it to be useful, it must be mixed in with something. For us to be salt, we need be immersed in the work that needs to be done. We cannot be salt, we cannot have any influence, if we just sit back, apart from the work, unaffected by it. Two, is that it takes only a little salt to give flavor to a great volume, much like it takes only a little leaven to make the dough rise. We might take pride in our big membership, which we indeed praise God for, but we are really just miniscule in relation to the total. Nonetheless, we can be salt wherever the Lord has placed us and we can bloom wherever we are planted. Third, as Bro. Mannix Ocampo reflected, is that to be salt of the earth is to die to self. Salt does not retain its qualities when it is added to food. Rather it disappears, and allows itself to be used to draw out the qualities of the food. When we are salt, we allow our selfish motives to disappear and

allow the face of Jesus to more clearly emerge. As individuals, we are all probably facing our own personal storms, our own struggles and even with our best efforts, with the best of intentions, we encounter obstacles and oppressions. What are these saying to us? We need to be reminded that we are indeed engaged in a spiritual battle. Ephesians 6:12 tells us: “For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic This verse is particularly apt for our present time, as we still powers of this dark age.” Thus we are enjoined to “put on the armor reel from the magnitude of the devastation brought by the recent that God gives you so that you will be able to stand up against the typhoons, as we shudder at the doomsday scenarios of a parched, Devil’s evil tricks.” And to “stand ready, with truth as a belt…with denuded planet and a disease-infested people. But beyond the signs righteousness as your breastplate… carry faith as a shield… and of bad weather and predictions of doom, what is the Lord trying to accept salvation as a helmet.” tell us? How are we to respond to everything that is happening to The three verses above formed the spiritual mooring for the planus, as a nation, as a community, as individuals? ning that Metro Manila Mission leaders had. While coming from The flooding and landslides that hit our country, particularly different parts of the Bible, there is really a valuable thread that Metro Manila and the northern provinces, have been unprecedented connects all three verses. How wonderfully these passages are truly in scope and in the severity of damage. We all need to do our part in connected! As Bro. Jimmy Santiago shared in his beautiful reflection, helping in the relief and rehabilitation of those affected. However, these three verses really form a congruent message from and of the beyond this, we also need to ask, is there something more that we need to do? I am reminded of Chronicles 7:14 which says: “If they Trinity, with God the Father speaking in Chronicles, Jesus speaking pray to me and repent and turn away from the evil they have been in Matthew and the Holy Spirit speaking in Ephesians. doing, then I will hear them in heaven, forgive their sins and make God’s hand has been continually preparing and equipping us, their land prosperous again.” We heard this verse in the aftermath of as we go through the different phases of our community’s hisEdsa 1, of Edsa 2 and the verse is even inscribed in perpetuity at the tory. When we look at the historical perspective, we can see that Edsa Shrine. However could it be that our growth in the first 25 years, our we have not done enough repentance great strides in family and social and prayer? It is important that we renewal, was to show us that God’s read on through verse 19 which says grace working in us is able to move “But if you and your people ever disus as one great army for Him in the obey the laws and commands I have fullness of our vision and mission. given you and worship other gods, But then, we needed to be corrected/ then I will remove you from the land disciplined so that we can be prepared that I gave you, and I will abandon this to do something greater that the Lord temple that I have consecrated as the has in store for us. We believe we are place where I am to be worshipped. now led to yet another phase, and that People everywhere will ridicule it and is to share God’s gifts to us, to the treat it with contempt.” How dire the world. Let us respond and rekindle consequences of not being repentant our prophetic role as a community. enough! What would it take for our Jesus asks us to interpret the country to reflect on these words and present time. Let us do so in deep to be moved to collective repentance, prayer, rooted in God’s Word. Let us so that we can indeed take possession steadily move forward, being faithof the healing and prosperity that the ful to our vision, mission and goals. Lord promises? Let us share with the world the gifts We too have our own share of that the Lord gave us in Evangelistorms in our community. It has been zation, Pastoral Formation, Family three years since we were thrust into Renewal and Total Christian Liberaa maelstrom of difficulties, much of tion. Then, wherever we are, united it rooted in relationships and in the in the community where we belong, basic interpretation of how we are to we can indeed be salt and light to live out our vision and mission. Our Bishop Amando Samo, bishop of Micronesia visited the CFC Center and said Mass for the staff. He is shown with the IC members after the Mass. today’s society and the world.

“JESUS said to the crowds, “When you see (a) cloud rising in the west, you say immediately that it is going to rain – and so it does; and when you notice that the wind is blowing from the south you say that it is going to be hot – and so it is. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and sky; why do you not know how to interpret the present time?” Luke 12:54-56

By Joe Yamamoto, CFC Director

Heart of a Soldier (for Christ)
of us. They are Joshua, Caleb, Gideon and David. Joshua, the son of Nun, belonged to one of the twelve tribes of Israel and became the heir to the prophet Moses. We all know that Moses did the seemingly impossible task of leading the Israelites out of Egypt into the Sinai Desert and, in the process, broke the four hundred years of slavery and captivity under the yoke of the oppressive pharaohs. It was however, the fate and destiny of Joshua to finally lead God’s people in crossing the river Jordan to Canaan, the Promised Land. The unique and special role of Joshua is highlighted in the way Moses changed his name from the original Hoshea ( Salvation) to Joshua ( Jehovah is Salvation). The sum of the leadership examples of Joshua is spelled JOSHUA- good Judgment, Obedience, Sincerity, Humility, Understanding and Audacity. As a leader, he displayed the quality of exercising JUDGMENT, good judgment, in fact. When confronted with the presence of the ‘giants’ in Canaan, the Promised Land, he looked beyond the threat and saw that they could be defeated in battle under the right conditions. He refused to be intimidated by the external appearance of power and might of the enemy but was confident and dependent instead on the faithfulness of the Lord. His gift of acting on good judgment helped him lead the Israelites and win victories with them. OBEDIENCE – To learn to lead effectively, one must have discipline and obedience. Leaders become good leaders only after they have learned to practice the principles and rudiments of followership. In short, a good leader starts off as a good follower. One who leads must be positively sure that the rank and file of soldiers will follow the commands, do exactly as told and execute their mission orders faithfully and thereby achieve the prescribed objectives. The purpose of the monotonous parade drills and the demanding marches are to teach every soldier the value of listening and following commands and learn to act as a team. Joshua’s effectiveness was qualified by his obedience to Moses and the leaders of the tribes of Israel. When he led the Israelite troops, he did so in obedience to the leadership of those placed above him and to the commands of the prophets. One who wants to learn from the example of Joshua should very well take note that his mentorship under Moses was not short but spanned four decades, about the length of the Sinai Desert wanderings. SINCERITY - Joshua was SINCERE in his commitment to the people of God. He gave a candid and truthful assessment of the land beyond the mighty Jordan, the dangers as well as the bounty and the great potential waiting to be claimed. As leaders in the contemporary setting,sincerity and honesty are a must even for modern day Christians HUMILITY is a necessary attribute of all leaders, particularly in Christian communities. God cannot use anyone according to His Divine Purpose if the one called is not humble enough to be malleable in His hands. After all, our role model is our Lord., the paragon of humility. Joshua, for all his prowess in battle, remained humble and waited on the Lord by waiting faithfully on Moses. After forty years of accompanying Moses and the people of God in their desert wanderings, only Joshua and Caleb remained out of the twelve scouts. Side by side, the two of them finally helped execute the long-awaited Jordan crossover. UNDERSTANDING is an endearing quality of leaders that is acquired after learning well from life experiences and distilling these into the pool of wisdom. Unlike the wisdom that was solely given to Solomon, ordinary human wisdom and understanding come from relating to people over time and circumstances. As leaders, we must patiently lead our constituents by being accessible warm bodies that the members can relate to and learn to trust. Joshua correctly addressed and understood what it would take for the soldiers to stand up for battle and have the conviction to win. He was a military leader, a brother and a caring comrade in arms. AUDACITY is about courage, particularly when ‘under fire’ and other adverse circumstances. The dictionary defines audacity as boldness and fearlessness. It is derived from the Latin root word ‘audax,’ to be BOLD. The reference to the audacity of Joshua will not be complete without mentioning how he led the soldiers of Israel in the unorthodox way of breaching the walls of Jericho and subsequently destroying the city and its army. At that instance, a decisive and stunning victory was achieved by the Lord’s army under the courageous leadership of Joshua. Any reference to the life and times of Joshua and his contributions will not be complete unless the role of Caleb is likewise mentioned. Little is known of Caleb other than that he was the only other scout who agreed with Joshua in his assessment of the threats and potentials of the Promised Land Twelve scouts were sent to spy the Promised Land across the Jordan but only two were courageous enough to disagree with the other 10! Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, was a Kennizite, a tribe of people descended not from Israel ( Jacob) but from Esau, the older brother. He was by the side of Joshua in all of the decisive battles waged by the army of Israel. An ultimate accolade to the role of Caleb was the privilege of joining Joshua in the final push for the crossover to the Promised Land. The letters of his name can help characterize Caleb. He was Committed, Authentic, Loyal, Encouraging and Brave. To achieve anything, one must have COMMITMENT to the cause, to the vision, to the mission, to the peoples, to the leader. To accomplish God’s plan, he must be committed to the Lord and to people placed over him. Caleb was not insecure in his role because he believed and followed the chain of God’s care- respecting and following the leaders chosen to guide and direct them. As the Israelites ventured into the desert during their wanderings, they had to fend off hostile tribes and face them in battle after battle. Whether the enemies were Amalekites or others, Caleb was always AUTHENTIC in his stand and in his discharge of duties and responsibilities. There was no insinuation or mention of Caleb’s insecurity or hesitation in serving Moses and later, Joshua. He was secure in his posture as a faithful co-servant. Joshua could always rely on Caleb, for the latter was not only available but was likewise very LOYAL. Loyalty emanates from faithfulness. Loyalty defines the ‘esprit de corps’, i.e. the spirit of the group, without which there is no cohesion nor unity of purpose. ENCOURAGING refers to the posture and attitude of a leader that seeks to draw the best out of his people. It goes beyond the image of a coach or a trainer who stands by the side of an athlete and goads him or her to exert some more in search of a win. It is really about understanding and caring for what is best for his people. It is good to know that encourage comes from the root words “en” or in and ‘cor,’ i.e. the heart. To encourage is to be able to touch the heart of the person being cared for. It would not be farfetched to think that Caleb must have given hearty encouragement to Joshua especially in the heat and the thick of battles that they jointly waged. BRAVERY – Caleb had this quality in abundance. In ordinary Christian life, courage and bravery are called for especially when confronted with difficult decisions. A brave Christian is expected to take the right course of action despite the difficulty, and even a possible unpopularity of the decision. A Christian leader is expected to act correctly and righteously regardless of the circumstance. (Part 2 to follow in next issue.)


IN past articles, I wrote about the various facets of the life and work of CFC leaders as supposed to be lived particularly in community. In whatever capacity and role, their behavior and attitude as well as their actions come from the very core of who they are- i.e. from the HEART. The role of a CFC member as a soldier for his Christian faith is the subject of this article – not the professional trained for battle but rather the citizen soldier who is expected to rise in defence of the very life of the community and its constituents. In short, a soldier for Christ. Why and how do we even cite a soldier as a role model for a CFC leader? As an evangelizing community, we can relate to our usual role models of fishermen and shepherds but certainly not fighting soldiers. Nevertheless, there is a facet of CFC leadership that requires the attitude of being a soldier. In 1985, at the beginning evangelistic thrust of CFC , the prophetic call to ”win the world for Christ through Couples for Christ” was issued. Since then, that call has become a mission order to be faithfully and dutifully implemented by everyone. Winning requires so many things and part of that is holding on to ‘territories’ won over in the task of evangelization. It is pretty much like an occupying army tasked with providing care except that CFC takes care of the spiritual rather than the temporal concerns. In the Bible, particularly in the Old Testament, there were many Godly heroes who were used by God to wage war and win His battles. Not one of them came from a family lineage of professional soldiers, nor even of prominent pedigrees, except perhaps Joshua who became a military leader out of necessity. But all of them were mightily used by the Lord to serve His purpose and change the course of history consequentially. Across the broad expanse of the history of the survival struggles of the people of God, the lives and examples of four men provide inspiration for all

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 22
October 26 - November 8, 2009

By Arnel Santos

THE Mission Core Group (MCG) of Couples for Christ gathered on October 20, 2009 at Xavier Gymnasium, San Juan, Metro Manila, to hear the lecture of Most Rev. Dinualdo Gutierrez, D.D., Bishop of Marbel, on “Earth Spirituality.” This was a timely subject, in the aftermath of typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng. Bishop Gutierrez emphasized the spiritual grounding for our relationship with planet earth. He issued the clarion call, “People of God, there is time, there is time…” to act and “respond to earth so that there will be harmony and development.” Bishop Gutierrez pointed out the seven (7) principles in relating with our planet and nature. 1. A “communion of subjects” -- The dream is for a united “uni-verse”. 2. “Interconnectedness” -- for nature is “so integrated into the dynamics of society and culture.” 3. “Differentiation,” -- where every person is “irreplaceable but nobody is indispensable.” 4. “Innerness,” -- as nature has its own inner energy to sustain all forms of life, and this is still evolving and developing. 5. The principle that God created the universe, especially earth, for man’s benefit. Bishop Gutierrez stressed that, “nature is the expression of a design of love and truth. Nature speaks to us of the Creator and His love. Hence, do not destroy it.” 6. The “precautionary principle” -- Our actions might cause irreversible harm to our environment. 7. “Intergenerational justice and solidarity,” -- which stresses that “the environment is God’s gift to everyone. In using it, we have to be responsible towards the future generations and humanity as a whole.” Bishop Gutierrez concluded his talk by challenging everyone that “those responsible [for harming the environment] must do penance.”

Earth Spirituality

Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez poses for a souvenir photo with the members of the International Council after the teaching night.

Stories of Triumph Amid the Floods
Carried In His Arms
By Arnel Santos
water coming out of the faucets. Fortunately, we had a cistern. And so we started the backbreaking task of dredging the mud and trying (often in vain) to make appliances submerged for days, work again. Fortunately, many people came – my sister Arlen and Bing’s brothers, Cart and Nonoy, among others. As my cars were indisposed, my office partner lent me his Starex van and driver for the day; then his Altis car for the next few days; and our friend, Josie’s Honda CRV car, for the next two weeks. My own car is a 2000 Nissan Sentra and our other car is a 1996 Nissan LEC. After Ondoy, Bing and I were on the road, riding a chauffeurdriven Starex, then a brand new Altis and then, a pristine white CRV. Surviving Ondoy in style? Not so. This was extravagance. An experience of God’s extravagant love. Monday was my first time to see the devastation. The village was ruined. Flashy cars covered in mud, trucks hanging on fences, shattered glass windows, wrecked metal gates, expensive housewares and appliances abandoned, and people, my neighbors -- on an exodus away from the village. I wept deep inside when I heard about the number of people dead, those missing, and those in evacuation centers, aside from the kinds of properties destroyed. All those tribulations in a day of rains, while my family and I were just being inconvenienced by second floor living. Tuesday afternoon, fellow CFC leaders Demy and Jean Aquino came over for a visit. They brought pastries and cleaning aids and materials. Demy, an engineer, checked our electrical system; just in time, because MERALCO was doing their rounds to replace the electric meters submerged by flood. By Tuesday evening, we had our electricity back. Demy told me about Nanding Conejo, one of our sector leaders, who went to our village from his house in Tondo, carrying tire interiors turned into rubber boats. He was bringing food and water. The military, however, did not allow him to enter the village; it, instead, confiscated his improvised rubber boat, and sent him home. I asked Demy if Nanding has relatives in our village. He said: “None. The food was for you and your family. The improvised rubber boat was meant to rescue you. He could not contact you. So, he just decided to come.” I felt a lump in my throat, was choked by it, and I fell silent. That Saturday was the height of the flood in the village, the most dangerous time. I would understand if Nanding was rescuing his family. But it was just us, fellow leaders in CFC. Why risk his life for us? We could also have lost everything in the ground floor, had Bing and I not been in the house that Saturday. What made us stay was our son, Emil who, weeks before, had asked us to block off that day for Ateneo Grade School’s Salu-Salo, an annual school fair to commemorate the Feast of the Guardian Angel. But since the village was already flooded early that morning, we could not leave the house. It was Bing who sensed that the flood would enter our house. She began bringing house items and documents to the second floor. I was initially not too concerned because our home is a two storey structure elevated about one and a half meter from the road. It was where the neighbors sought refuge during the typhoon in 1990s during which the Cherry Hill tragedy occurred. It is one of the most massive and highest structures along Corona St. When floodwater entered, Bing was proven right. And how she wished she was wrong. I immediately dismantled the computer, the stereo components, and the keyboards. Most importantly, I turned the main electrical switch off. More important than the things were of course, the kids. I could only imagine what could have happened if we were not there. The Feast of the Guardian Angel has been an annual Ateneo tradition since the time, as the story goes, when Ateneo students survived an earthquake and came out of the rubble unscathed and safe, protected as they were, by their guardian angels. On September 26, 2009, the guardian angels were again busy at work, not only at the Ateneo, but right inside our home. It’s truly a wonderful thing being in a caring community. During that week, I received many calls, all of them offering help in one way or another – to fix my cars, to replace my damaged appliances and kitchen utensils, to give cash outright. By Saturday, I was back to normal, meaning already giving CFC talks. In those talks, I could not contain what was all along in my heart. I blurted out how God intervened in everyone’s personal biographies and deliberately made everything fall into place, just for us to have the privilege of gathering in an activity where we could testify to God’s goodness in our lives. God moved his loving hands for us to have that encounter with Him. The least we could do was seize the chance and bask in God’s presence. We had to get out. And I have to swim, I thought horribly. Fortunately, Dindi saw one of our sofas floating by, grabbed hold of it and passed it on to me for support. We were good to go. Once outside, the strong currents took us and brought us to the middle of the street. We worried that the current would take us straight to the river. Dindi was stirring, trying to go against the current, but she was getting tired. Then an inexplicable thing happened -- the current shifted and brought us back towards the house, near the garage. I hooked my foot at the top of the gate and pulled the others towards me. But the roof was still too high! Another miracle—the van parked in the garage moved towards us and floated. We climbed up on the van’s roof and from there we were able to clamber up to the house roof. We were saved but not really. It was 2:30 in the afternoon and there was no rescue in sight. I desperately hoped our parents were somewhere safe—our last update came from our neighbor who managed to call my parents. They were already at the village gate but could not enter because of the high water. They have a different story to tell and it was an even greater struggle for them, especially since my dad, Rey, has cancer and is no longer strong enough to do the impossible – to physically come for us. When we were rescued (not until more than twelve hours later, at 4 AM the following day), it would be only then that we would know the extent of their suffering.

Arnel’s son Emil tries in vain to clean up even as the flood still submerges their lower floor

ON Saturday, September 26, 2009, typhoon Ondoy came and wreaked havoc over Metro Manila. Our village, (Village East Executive Homes in Cainta) was completely submerged, destroying our ground floor and our cars, and forcing the seven of us – my father, my wife, my two children-- Emil, 12 years old and Psalma, 3,-- househelps Mayang and Jonalyn -- to be stranded at the second floor for three days. We had not thought to stock up on food. What we had was rice, a few canned goods and behold, two dozen duck eggs and crabs brought by my cousin Editha the day before. Who would ever believe that we were Ondoy victims? My family survived the “ordeal” with what -- delectable duck eggs and delicious crabs? By Sunday afternoon, September 27, 2009, we ran out of drinking water and the food would no longer suffice. The flood outside was still chestdeep. We saw the villagers wading through the murky water to look for food…in vain. The nearest open stores, I was told, were in the vicinity of Cubao. Hence, it was back to our kneeling position to seek help from above. At 5 PM, an answered prayer. We had an unexpected visitor. It was my brother, Jong, and my cousin Renan. They were drenched with rain and flood water, walking more than five kilometers from LRT Station in Santolan to our house. They looked more like the Ondoy victims than us. Except that they were the ones bringing the pork steak, fried fish, rice, and drinking water. Perfect timing or God’s hand? While the arrival of the food saved us, the bringers were soon retracing their steps in flood water and dangerous roads, walking five kilometers again, just to make it safely back home. This was plain and simple, compassion, the uniquely family norm of self-sacrifice, risk-taking and love-driven action. There were no more floods by Monday morning. But there was mud all over. There was also no

Rey’s Story
By Rey Peralta
SUZETTE and I parked the car along Katipunan road and walked three kilometers through hipdeep floodwaters, braving strong currents until we got to the main gate of Provident Village. There, we were stopped -the water inside the village was already about 10 feet high. Seeing that the water was still rising, we decided to cross the street to the laundry shop where we begged the owner to let us go up to their second floor. Once we were safely there, the flood rose even higher, carrying away all the vehicles below. It was 6 PM, more than 6 hours since our last communication with our daughters. Soaking wet, there was nothing we could do but pray the rosary. We stayed up all night long, praying together with the other people who had sought refuge with us. The following day at around 2 AM, the military rescuers with rubber boats started arriving. Suzette and I begged them to please go to our house, but they prioritized the children, the sick and the old. We waited. The water by the main gate was now below our knees, but inside the village it was still about 10 feet high. At around 4 AM, we saw the rescue teams bringing out a lot of children and old people – but then they started to bring out the bodies of the dead. It was horrible. All I could think about was my daughters. Where were they? Were they somewhere safe? Then, wonder of wonders, praise God, there they were on another rubber boat! It was truly an emotional moment. We could only thank God profusely for this miracle of seeing our daughters and our two helpers safe. But their story was not over. According to them, during the entire time they were on the roof, a white bird stayed right with them. While other birds were flying from place to place, this particular bird stayed where it was, seemingly to keep them company. Another miracle? Another sign of God’s wondrous love and providence? We definitely think so.

Our Long Ordeal
Pia’s Story
By Pia Peralta
“PLEASE clear the skies, please clear the skies...” That was the prayer I repeatedly uttered as the night deepened and every drop of rain began to feel like small pebbles on our backs. We were all silent -- my sister, our two helpers and I--trying to fight the cold as we huddled together on top of the roof of our house. The only shield we had was prayer. The only consolation the fact that we were lucky to be alive after the events of the day. It was a cloudy morning on the 26th of September, 2009 when my parents and little brother, Miko, left for Ateneo Grade School’s Family Day activity. It started raining around 9 AM. It was 11:30 AM when my sister Dindi noticed the flooded streets in front of the house. We’ve had worst storms before, I thought. The water will subside. But the rain would not stop. Twelve o’clock. The water finally reached the first floor. We started transferring appliances, books and other things from the first floor to the next elevated floor. Dindi was constantly on the phone talking to my parents about our current situation, and she was relaying their instructions to me. “Uuwi daw sila,” Dindi said. One o’clock. The water was slowly climbing up the steps towards the elevated floor. We immediately rushed to transfer appliances up to the second floor. We went back down for the TV but it was too heavy. In a span of minutes, we were submerged up to our waist. Everyone was panicstricken. “Pia!” I heard Dindi cry out. She was shaking horribly. “Nakuryente ako…” It turned out she was trying to turn off the circuit breaker as instructed by my parents and got a surge of electricity. Her phone was suddenly dead. All communication was lost. I knew we couldn’t stay in the house. We needed to climb up to the roof. But there was no way to reach that through the second floor. I realized the only way to get outside was to swim through the main door, but we only had minutes until the flood shuts the opening.


Joe Yamamoto, together with the area leaders of Leyte, recently paid a courtesy call on Archbishop Jose Palma of the archdiocese of Palo, Leyte.

Suzette and Rey Peralta



CBCP Monitor

October 26 - November 8, 2009

Vol. 13 No. 22

Curacao Holds MER 1

CFC Pagadian City–Zamboanga del Sur celebrated its 17th anniversary last October 17-18, 2009 with the theme: “Running the Race to Win.” One of the highlights during the anniversary was the groundbreaking and blessing of the proposed CFC–Provincial Mission Center situated at B. Aquino St., San Jose District, Pagadian City. The lot was donated by spouses Ben and Sally Amoroso. Ben is a former member of the CFC Provincial Council and currently the Health Provincial Coordinator. Fr. Carding Pintac, parish priest of San Jose Parish, blessed the lot in the presence of the Area Council: Jun de los Santos, Provincial Area Director, Charles Zambo, Gerry Nebria and Undo Torres. Also present were Caloy and Meriam Subang, Regional Head of Western Mindanao and acting Regional Head of North Central Mindanao and Pempe Deguilmo, the Provincial Area Head of Zamboanga del Sur. This is the third Provincial Mission Center established in Mindanao. Bong Bautista, the Provincial Area Director of Agusan del Norte and the concurrent Provincial Area Head of Surigao del Norte, emphasized full commitment and obedience to God’s call of evangelization.

CFC Zamboanga Del Sur Turns 17

By Beth Santayana
CFC members from Curacao and St. Maarten were treated to a weekend of talks, prayers and fun during the Marriage Enrichment Retreat (MER 1) held last October 2 to 4 at the Carmen’s Guest House at Seru di Orashon in Curacao. Curacao also hosted the 11th CFC Caribbean Conference last August. Glen and Beth Santayana, country coordinators for the Caraibbean, traveled to Curacao to give some of the talks. Sister Therese, CFC fulltime worker and missionary based in Trinidad, initiated and coordinated the weekend retreat with the assistance of Fr.

Simon, Fr. Morrison and the generous help of CFC USA. Sharier and Miriam Dorand, area leaders of Curacao, were all praises for the retreat, saying, “The talks were fantastic, everything was marvelous. Now we can truly continue to build up CFC in Curacao.” Wilfred and Barbara Evertsz, area leaders of St. Maarten, echoed this sentiment. “The MER I was truly a blessing for all who attended. It really made us look at our marriage in a different way and made us realize the things that we used to take for granted. This is something that every married couple should experience.”

CFC Bataan Celebrates 20th Anniversary
would have been no leaves to harvest by the time the typhoon had passed. The highlight of the celebration was AT the height of Typhoon Ondoy, last the concelebrated Thanksgiving Mass, September 27, CFC Bataan celebrated which was officiated by Archbishopits 20th anniversary at the Tomas Del elect Soc Villegas at 1:30 pm. Before the Rosario College (TRC) campus, located final blessing, the CFC Bataan brethren in the heart of the City of Balanga. The broke into singing of the “Happy event had for its theme “Championing Birthday” song for Fr. Soc as an Christ Twenty Years and Beyond”, advanced greeting for his birthday in line with this year’s global theme the following day. As Fr. Soc will of CFC – “Moving Forward in be officially transferring to the Christ.” Archdiocese of Dagupan-Lingayen It was a flurry of exciting festiviin November 2009, an audio-visual ties that included different sportspresentation was shown as a fitting themed activities, friendly competifarewell tribute to him for all the love tions and a wide assortment of fun and support he gave to CFC Bataan. for the members of the CFC and its Jimmy presented to Fr. Soc a Plaque Family Ministries who attended of Recognition given by CFC Bataan the whole-day affair. All 11 towns as a testament of the community’s and the lone city of the province gratitude and love for the Most were represented by the attendees Reverend Monsignor. covering all age brackets. Each A Praise Parade followed right CFC chapter’s delegation arrived Archbishop-elect Soc Villegas shares a light moment after the Mass, participated in by in a motorcade of cars, jeepneys and with CFC Bataan leaders. mini-buses which were gaily decorated nana leaves. The boodle feast required all the CFC chapters and the Family with balloons or flaglets in the respec- almost 300 pieces of fresh banana leaves Ministries. Rouquel Ponte gave a very inspiring tive CFC Cluster’s assigned colors. lined on top of the long tables, and these Brethren from Saysain, Bagac shared were originally scheduled for harvest anniversary message and led the entire joyfully and victoriously how they were on the day before the celebration – a assembly in praying over the five brothable to make it, despite being stopped Saturday since the celebration falls on a ers who form the Area Council. Everyone agreed that the celebrations by a landslide along the way. Sunday. Brothers from the SOLD MinThe fun-filled morning was capped istry joyfully shared that they decided were a resounding success, in spite of by a boodle feast during lunch. Every- to harvest the banana leaves on Friday the typhoons, the rains, floods and landone shared their rice, chicken and pork instead, a wise move indeed since there slides wrought by Typhoon Ondoy.

By Emmy Pineda

adobo and pinakbet. The food tasted much better than ever as everyone, including CFC International Council member Rouquel Ponte, CFC Bataan Area Head Jimmy Ilagan and his wife Lorna, gamely used their bare hands and ate in standing position along both sides of 70 long tables lined up with ba-

CFC Zamboanga leaders are shown during the groundbreaking: Left to right: Jun delos Santos, PAD; Ben Amoroso; Pepe Vitor; Fr. Carding Pintac; Caloy Subang, RAH; Charles Zambo; Pempe Deguilmo, PAH; Dodong Cabarillas; Dens Omay and Gerry Nebria.

By Arnel Sacris

Cebu Archdiocese Holds Clergy-laity Conference

CFC Nigeria Celebrates 10 years
their homes private, so it was also momentous for CFC Onitsha when they opened their homes and hearts to 23 delegates from CFC Lagos. This is a uniquely Filipino and CFC culture that has now been transplanted to Africa. More than 250 members came from Lagos, Nnewi and host Onitsha where CFC Nigeria was established 10 years ago. Ricky Cuenca, Regional Coordinator of West Africa, who started the first CLP in Onitsha, came for the celebration, joined by Jerry Tanigue, Nigeria Country Coordinator. Ricky, in his anniversary address, ceremonially passed on the CFC torch to the local leaders. In his message, Jerry exhorted everyone to persevere in the whole work of evangelization that has to be fuelled by their unconditional commitment and self sacrifice. Fr. Barth Ogumelu who has been the spiritual director and chaplain of CFC Onitsha from its birth till now was present to reaffirm his untiring support, announcing that he will continue to be a part of CFC in strengthening its apostolate work around the archdiocese of Onitsha. The concelebrated thanksgiving Mass at the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity was a joyous occasion, with the beat of drums and African dances highlighting the community’s firm resolve to live up to their covenant with Our Lord. After the Mass. Fr. Barth prayed over the new Nigeria governance team headed by James Umeh. The event was concluded with the pray-over and blessing of the CFC Nigeria leaders by Fr. Barth Ogumelu. Boy Guinto leads the Nigerian brethren during the Mass Offertory procession. CFC Nigeria held its first ever anniversary celebration on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the community in the country. The celebration was initiated by Boy and Radel Guinto, on their first year as a missionary couple, and James Umeh, CFC Nigeria National Council director. They were ably supported by the generous and dedicated leaders of Onitsha, Lagos, and Nnewi. Because it was the first time, there were many struggles, and even the threat of cancellation, but in the end, the anniversary became a momentous event of joy in celebrating God’s gift of CFC to the Nigerians. The Nigerians have a cultural reservation about keeping

COUPLES for Christ was given the honor of spearheading the first ever Archdiocesan Clergy-Laity Conference held last August 18 at the Cebu Grand Convention Center. About 1,200 participants from religious organizations, covenanted communities, movements; businessmen and professionals; sectoral and civic groups; government officials and heads of agencies, programs and projects were invited to this gathering. The theme of the conference was ‘Bonding for Growth in Grace as a Body of Christ” and was held as part of the multi-celebrations that the

Archdiocese has planned for 20092010 commemorating the following occasions: • 75 years of Cebu being an Archdiocese (April 28, 2009-April 28, 2010) • Year of the Priest (June 19, 2009 – June 19, 2010) • Year of Two Hearts (of Jesus and Mary) for Peace Building and Lay Participation in Social Change (June 19, 2009 – June 19, 2010) In his keynote speech, His Eminence, Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal, expressed his great joy at the vast gathering and his hope that this is the start of bigger gatherings in the years to come. The cardinal led the concelebration of the Holy Eucharist at the end of the conference.

Cardinal Vidal delivers the homily at the conference.

UNKNOWN to many CFC leaders and members, Couples for Christ through the various Coops for Christ Primaries and the CFC Cooperatives Federation has been providing death benefits for CFC members of the Mutual Aid Benefit Program. Started by CoFC MM in February of 2002, the MAB has provided close to 5 Million Pesos in benefits to 141 deceased members as of Dec 2008. The most recent beneficiary of the MAB was Felimon Toquib, Jr., cluster head of CFC Bukidnon North who was killed in a motorcycle accident just a few weeks ago. His son, who was with him, is still in a critical condition. Under the Mutual Aid System, Jun’s family will receive P50,000.00 death benefit and an additional P50,000 due to the accidental cause. The Mutual Aid System and MAB is CFC’s way of bringing to reality

The CFC Cooperatives Federation Mutual Aid System
the meaning of sharing and caring in the community. For only P30.00 contribution whenever a member dies, the family of a CFC member left behind gets a benefit of P50,000.00. This amount is enough to provide a decent burial for our brother or sister in Christ and to give a quick financial relief to the family. This is true community in action. In 2009, the CFC Coop Federation brought the Mutual Aid Benefit Program closer to the provinces by federating the program itself. Now called the CFC Mutual Aid System, there are 18 Coops for Christ Primaries who are members of the system. (Quezon, Iligan City, Cebu, Agusan del Norte, Iloilo, St. Vincent Ferrer, Davao City, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Cavite, Palawan, Antique, Southern Leyte, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga City, Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon, Rizal, and soon

CFC Gets New Spiritual Directors
COUPLES for Christ has a new core of spiritual directors, one for each of the major island groups. They are: Bishop Ramon B. Villena, DD, of the diocese of Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya (for Luzon), Bishop Leonardo Y. Medroso, DD, of the diocese of Tagbilaran, Bohol (for Visayas) and Bishop Honesto Ch. Pacana, SJ, DD, of the diocese of Malaybalay, Bukidnon (for Mindanao). Bishop Gabriel Reyes approved their designations in his capacity as Chairman of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on the Lay Apostolate (ECLA) Bishops Villena and Pacana are currently members of the ECLA while Bishop Medroso was also formerly a member of this commission. The bishops, in fulfilling their role as spiritual advisers, will provide CFC spiritual direction as a private association of the lay faithful on a national basis. The local area leadership will still continue to seek spiritual direction from the bishops and priests in their areas.

to become a member, Bataan) The biggest membership is from CoFC Quezon, followed by CoFC Iligan and CoFC Cebu. The goal is to double membership and to encourage all CFC Provincial Areas with CoFC primaries to become members of the system and open the benefits to all CFC members. Since the establishment of the Federated MAS in April of 2009, the families of nine members who have died, coming from CoFC Iligan, CoFC Quezon, CoFC Camarines Norte, and now CoFC Bukidnon, received P50,000.00 each. We encourage all CFC members to join the Mutual Aid System now through the Co-ops for Christ Primary in your province. The CFC Coops Federation is now under the umbrella of CFC ANCOP.

Bishop Medroso

Bishop Pacana

Bishop Villena

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