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Solid priestly identity essential as secularism grows, Pope tells priests

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‘There is a great need of priests that speak of God’

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The CROSS

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

Philippine health sector dying, says doctors’ alliance
A FEW days ago, news reports quoted former Health Secretary Jaime Galvez-Tan saying that there are 200 hospitals in the country had ceased its operations, while 800 more are now partially close due to the lack of health personnel. Most of these hospitals are in the Visayas and in Mindanao, and majority of them are either run by the local government units or the national government itself. Almagro Community Hospital in Western Samar, the Capul Municipal Hospital, Tangkil Municipal Hospital, Pangutaran District HosDying / A6

Namfrel bids goodbye to quick count
SAYING that the poll body is ‘not interested,’ the National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) finally gave up its application to become citizens’ arm of the Commission on Elections. Namfrel officials said it decided to withdraw their plan to be accredited for the May 10 local and national elections because their fight is going nowhere. “It’s obvious that the Comelec is not interested in Namfrel’s assistance,” said Jose Cuisia Jr., head of the poll watchdog which pioneered the parallel quick count in the country.
Quick count / A6

Protest mounts over condom promotion
By Roy Lagarde

March 15 - 28, 2010

Vol. 14 No. 6

Php 20.00

NOW it’s the lay people speaking. In an apparent show of disgust over the government’s aggressive campaign for condom use, more people are coming out in the open to protest the State’s pro-contraceptive policy.
In Manila and Cebu City, various groups and concerned parents took the streets to protest what they call government’s ‘immoral propaganda.’ The health department is currently under an aggressive campaign to promote the use of condoms and pills to avoid unwanted pregnancies and stop the spread of HIV/AIDS. The government estimates that in 2009 there were around 4,400 cases in the country with 126 new ones in January alone. The rallies in different parts of the country break the impression that contraception is only a fight between the government and the Catholic hierarchy. In Cebu City, a group of doctors, parents, students and professionals are still vehemently opposed to condom use, despite the health department’s ambitious HIV/AIDS prevention campaign. In a protest rally through Cebu streets on March 16, demonstrators called for a total ban on condom advertising to protect children from early exposure to sex. Dr. Josef Bullecer, national director of AIDS-Free Philippines, said that the promotion of condom use to combat the dreaded disease was an “immoral and misguided weapon”.
Condom / A6

A mother distributes anti-condom flyers during a protest rally by a group of parents in front of the Department of Health’s (DOH) main office in Manila, March 12. The demonstrators also slammed the agency’s promotion of condoms and pills to stop spread of AIDS and unwanted pregnancies.

IN the face of slowly rising politics in the “pulpit”, Tandag Bishop Nereo Odchimar w a r n e d his clergy a g a i n s t overtly partisan preaching. As Election Day approaches, w i t h l o c a l Bishop Nereo Odchimar and national positions up for grabs, Odchimar has sent a circular to all his priests and the religious not to express support for political candidates. The circular warns explicitly the church’s role of becoming instrument for unity could be at risk if the rule is violated. Odchimar, currently the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), said that under Canon Law, clerics are forbidden from playing “an active role in political parties.” He said the Church has clearly defined laws for priest in dealing with partisanship and politics. The soft-spoken prelate also cautioned his priests against candidates’ “political gimmicks involving church leaders and other people whom they think are effective and capable of doing such.” Odchimar, a Canon lawyer, advised fellow pastors to mind what they say or do, and make sure they will not be misunderstood. Exception The CBCP head said priests can only break the non-partisanship rule when a political figure or group opposes divine laws and principles. But as far the Diocese of Tandag is concerned, the situation does not require Church to engage in partisan politics. “In our prudent discernment, concrete situation in the diocese does not warrant a justifiable deviation from this general principle,” said Odchimar. Moral judgment While priests are discouraged to actively take part in partisan politics, the Church must not abandon its competence in passing moral judgment, Odchimar added. In other words, he also said, while the lay faithful are urged to engage in political activity, pastors can teach moral principles and issue moral guidelines regarding political activity but cannot engage in partisan politics. “It must be admitted, though, that sometimes even teaching moral principles is actually interpreted by some as partisan politics because of actual circumstances; nonetheless we have to contend ourselves with it,” Odchimar said. (CBCPNews)

CBCP head warns clergy off partisan politics

Anti-mining groups question mining consultation in Palawan
ENVIRONMENTAL advocates representing indigenous peoples, farmers, women, youth and elderly from affected communities have denounced the public scoping consultation recently conducted by two mining companies in Palawan. Amid accusation of bribery and collusion with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), anti-mining groups slammed the highly irregular joint public consultation by MacroAsia Corporation and Ipilan Nickel Corporation (INC) at Barangay Mambalot, Brooke’s Point, Palawan on March 13. “This process relentlessly favors mining companies, which share the expenses in the conduct of a joint public consultation, limits the time for public scrutiny or inquiry for each proponent, breeds questionable stakeholders representation and has an irregular and confusing social acceptability standard procedure,” said Jaybee Garganera, national coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina. Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) is an advocacy group on environmental and human rights issues and people’s movement, composed of more than 80 organizations from mining-affected communities and civil society organizations nationwide. “How DENR allowed this joint public consultation of MacroAsia and INC came no surprise to us knowing that this happened under the leadership of pro-mining longtime Mines and Geosciences Bureau director, now DENR chief Horacio Ramos, who is determined to fast-track all mining applications and process before the Arroyo Administration ends,” added Garganera. Artiso Mandawa, National Coordinator of Ancestral Land/Domain Watch (ALDAW), said the joint consultation was an obvious attempt to rush the issuance of the environmental compliance certificate (ECC) to mining companies to fully operationalize their operations. He said the joint consultation demonstrated irregularities that should not be taken lightly by authorities and stakeholders. “Originally, people were informed that a separate public consultation of MacroAsia and INC will be facilitated. The mine projects of MacroAsia and INC are both located in Brooke’s Point and to a certain extent the proponents have the same affected areas such as Barangay Ipilan but this should not be the basis for the joint consultation,” said Mandawa. Earlier, INC conducted a consultation with local government units but failed to get social acceptability from the barangays of Ipilan, Maasin, Mambalot and Calasaguen, Mandawa said. The law provides that a mining company should allow an interval of one year before it can conduct another consultation with concerned stakeholders. “We fear that INC is riding with MacroAsia’s consultation with the attempt
Anti-mining / A6

© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

AFTER the Davao Archdiocesan Committee on Evangelizing the Electorate (DACEE) launched its “Kay Kristo Ako, Sagrado Akong Boto” campaign, it is also planning to intensify this by producing a new campaign slogan “I VOTE for LIFE”. The “I VOTE for LIFE” campaign is similar to the Vote God campaign which was launched in the Archdiocese of Cebu through the initiative of the Circles for Discernment for Elections (CiDE). Gagmayng Kristohanong Katilingban (GKK) Coordinator Fr. Pete Lamata said that there is a sense of urgency to launch the “I VOTE for LIFE” in order to guide the electorates in making an enlightened choice this coming election. In Cebu, Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal said the Vote God campaign will further help out in sus-

Davao will have Vote for Life; Cebu, Vote God
taining political awareness among the electorate. “Vote God initiative complements what we have been undertaking on a sustained basis through our Cebu Citizens Involvement and Maturation in People Empowerment and Liberation (CCIMPEL),” he said. Vidal has also thanked and blessed the CiDE for their initiative to continually educate the people for the coming elections. The prelate has earlier reminded the public to exercise their voting responsibilities efficiently. In a report, Vidal said candidates unconsciously invoke God in their decisions whether to run or not to run. “If we are going to consider all the declarations we have heard so far from candidates about God’s will for them, we get the impression that God is as

confused as our electorate on whom to side with this coming elections,” he said. But Vidal cited “God is not God if He confuses us for He is the God who gave us our reason so that we may think with clarity. He is the God who gave us our conscience so that we may act righteously.” The campaign challenges every Filipino Christian to use their conscience in casting their votes while urging candidates not to practice vote buying. It also aims to raise awareness among those who need discernment in choosing the country’s next leaders for the 2010 May elections. This is also in response to the clarion call of Pope Benedict XVI to evangelize politics. (Mark S. Ventura w/ Kate Laceda)

Women’s groups dismayed on demeaning ad
IN celebration of Women’s Month, leaders of various organizations in the Philippines condemned what they described as “the utilization of women in demeaning advertisements” including the one which was published in a national broadsheet last March 3. Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines’ Office on Women’s Executive Secretary Zenaida V. Rotea, MD said the advertisement supposed to advertise a mobile phone but “uses a woman with her legs spread wide open.” She added that the mobile phone was “strategically placed between” the model’s legs. In an open letter addressed to government authorities and private institutions, the signatories led by Rotea protested the “deplorable use of a woman’s body in advertisements that in effect reduce it to a mere commodity.” She said the advertisement not only tries to sell the product but “subliminally promotes a mentality that actually insults the consumer’s intelligence.” In a separate interview with CBCPNews, Rotea cited Article IV of the Advertising Code of Ethics, particularly a provision in its Section 1 entitled Presentation which states “Advertisements should not cause serious or widespread offense against generally accepted moral, social or cultural standards or offend public sensitivities.” The provision further stated “Advertisements should not depict or exploit persons as sex objects.” The letter was also signed by representatives from the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines, National Council of Churches in the Philippines, Religious of the Good Shepherd, Batis-AWARE, Institute of Women Studies,

SPA-St. Scholastica, Citizens Disaster Response Center and Gabriela among others. (Melo M. Acuña)

Illustration by Bladimer Usi

© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

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World News

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 6
March 15 - 28, 2010

VATICAN CITY, March 13, 2010—Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See's Press Office, released a statement on Saturday morning in which he made three "observations" regarding sexual abuse by people and in institutions of the Catholic Church. He also addressed dismissed as unfounded attempts to link the Pope to a decision to transfer a priest found to have committed sexual abuse when Benedict XVI was Archbishop of Munich. The first of the three "observations" made by Fr. Lombardi was to point out that the "line taken" by the German Bishops' Conference has been confirmed as the correct path to confront the problem in its different aspects. Fr. Lombardi included some elements of the statement made by Archbishop Robert Zollitsch at a Friday press conference following his audience with the Pope. The Vatican spokesman highlighted the approach established by the German bishops to respond to the possible abuses: "recognizing the

Vatican: Pope was ‘completely extraneous’ to Munich sex abuse decision
truth and helping the victims, reinforcing the preventions and collaborating constructively with the authorities—including those of the state judiciaries—for the common good of society." Fr. Lombardi drew attention to Archbishop Zollitsch's affirmation, without any doubts, of the expert opinion that the vow of celibacy of the priest has no relationship to cases of pedophilia. He also reaffirmed that the Holy Father supports the German bishops in their plan and that this approach could be considered "useful and inspiring" to other episcopal conferences in similar situations. Secondly, Fr. Lombardi referred to the interview given to Avvenire by the "promoter of justice" from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Monsignor Charles Scicluna, who explained in detail the norms of the Church for investigating cases of sexual abuse of minors. The Vatican spokesman highlighted the most important element of the interview: that the Church has in no way promoted hiding the crimes, but has put an "intense activity" in motion to confront, judge and punish them in an appropriate manner "within the framework of ecclesiastical ordinance." He also wrote that it is important to note that special attention was given to these themes when Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict, was the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. "His line has always been that of rigor and coherence in confronting even the most difficult situations," added Fr. Lombardi. The final observation Fr. Lombardi made was that a recent communique from the Archdiocese of Munich answers questions about a priest who was found guilty of abuses after being transferred from Essen to Munich, where Cardinal Ratzinger was archbishop at the time. The communique, he stressed, shows that the archbishop was completely "extraneous" to the decisions made after the abuses were verified. "It's rather evident that in recent days there are those who have sought—with a certain tenacity, in Regensburg and in Munich—elements for personally involving the Holy Father in the questions of the abuses. For every objective observer, it's clear that these efforts have failed," he stated. The Vatican spokesman concluded by reaffirming that "despite the tempest," the Church sees the course to follow "under the sure and rigorous guide of the Holy Father." Fr. Lombardi concluded by expressing his hope that the process might help all of society to "take charge" of improving ways to protect and form children and youth. (CNA)

© blogs.reuters.com

Pontiff cleared of reassigning pedophile priest
VATICAN CITY, March 14, 2010—It was not the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Archbishop of Munich and Freising, Germany, who gave a new pastoral assignment to a pedophile priest at the beginning of the 1980s. A communiqué issued Friday evening by the Vatican press office clarified claims by a German newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung, which implicated Benedict XVI in the reassignment of a pedophile priest, while the former was archbishop of Munich. The article wrote "about a priest of the Diocese of Essen with a history of sexual abuse, who transferred into the Diocese of Munich in Bavaria and who, after a period of treatment, was given a pastoral assignment during the time when Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was archbishop." The Vatican note referred to a press release published by the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising that "explains the facts, for which the diocesan vicar general of the time, Father Gerhard Gruber, assumes 'full responsibility.'" The Archdiocese of Munich explained that the current vicar general, Monsignor Peter Beer, put together a team to study the procedures adopted in the past in confronting the accusations of sexual abuse attributed to clergy during the 1980s. This team made it known that a priest—whose identity was not revealed but who is simply referred to as "H"—at the request of the Diocese of Essen, was received into the Archdiocese of Munich to undergo therapy in January of 1980. Studying the dossier, the archdiocesan team determined that the priest received psychotherapeutic treatment as a result of his having had sexual relations with boys. In 1980, the note continues, the decision was made to permit the priest to stay in a rectory at the end of his treatment. "This decision was made by the archdiocese", which was headed by Cardinal Ratzinger at that time. But rather than follow through with this decision, the archdiocese explained, "the vicar general at the time assigned 'H' to pastoral ministry in a parish in Munich without any restrictions." This provision, therefore, was not the work of Cardinal Ratzinger, who a short time later, on November 25, 1981, was nominated prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith by Pope John Paul II.

Sentenced The priest was then removed from his ministry in 1985 when the diocese became aware of the accusations of sexual abuse against him and of the fact that he was at the center of a judicial inquest. In June of 1986, in fact, the district court of Ebersberg gave him an 18-month suspended prison sentence and fined him for the sexual

abuse of minors. He was also ordered to undergo psychotherapeutic treatment. From November 1986 to October 1987 the presbyter was chaplain in a nursing home. Afterward he was assigned to a parish in Garching on the basis of two elements: the relatively light sentence given him by the court and the help offered to him by the psychologist who was treating him. Since the 1986 sentence, no charges of sexual abuse have been made against the priest. On May 6, 2008 he was removed from his position as parish administrator in Garching. In October of that year he was reassigned to pastoral work in tourism and barred from having contact with children, young people and altar servers. A dossier prepared at the request of Archbishop Reinhard Marx, head of the Munich Archdiocese since 2008, confirmed that he was not to be given parish ministry. The former vicar general, Father Gruber, himself stated in the communiqué that "the reassignment of 'H' to pastoral work was a grave mistake." He continued: "I assume full responsibility for this action. I deeply regret that this decision allowed crimes to be committed that involved young people and I ask forgiveness from all those who have been harmed." (Zenit)

Liturgical vestments sent to Haiti to revive liturgical life
MADRID, Spain, March 12, 2010— In response to a request by the Apostolic Nuncio to Haiti for assistance in rebuilding and organizing liturgical life in the country, various bishops in Spain have donated and sent “almost 100 chalices, ciboria, patens and numerous liturgical vestments.” According to a press release, the request for assistance was made by Nuncio to Haiti, Archbishop Bernardito Auza through the NGO, “Messengers of the Peace.” Archbishop Auza met with founder and president of the NGO, Fr. Angel Garcia and communicated his request to the dioceses of Spain. stricken country. The priest noted that several religious goods stores responded immediately, sending their donations directly to the churches in Haiti. Fr. Garcia added that a box of rosaries from Rome was mailed to Archbishop Auza. They will be distributed to seminarians in Portau-Prince. The statement then noted that the donations from the Spanish bishops “will be personally delivered to Archbishop Auza by Fr. Julio Millan Medina, president of “Messengers of the Peace” in the Spanish region of Andalusia, during his trip to Haiti on March 13. (CNA)
© www.nysenate.gov

Pope presented with letters of imprisoned priest
VATICAN CITY, March 12, 2010—Benedict XVI was presented with a volume that compiles, for the first time in Italian, the correspondence of Blessed Aloysius Stepinac, a Croatian cardinal martyred in 1960. The Pope received this Italian-language volume, “Lettere dal martirio quotidiano” (Letters of Daily Martyrdom), Wednesday during the general audience. The Pontiff called the initiative “extraordinary” as he received the book containing 180 letters written during the period of the cardinal’s imprisonment by the Communist authorities in former Yugoslavia. The volume was presented to the Holy Father in Paul VI Hall by Monsignor Alberti Di Chio of the Archdiocese of Bologna and Luciana Mirri, an expert in Eastern theology and spirituality, who were in charge of the edition, together with Luciano Lincetto, director of the Catholic Promotion Publishing Association. “The Holy Father was very happy because of the extraordinary contribution that these letters make to the Year for Priests,” Lincetto explained to ZENIT. He also said that “the volume has been sent to all the bishops of Italy” and that they hope to “send it, with the help of Providence, to a great number of priests.” During the meeting, Lincetto informed Benedict XVI of the launching of a new Italian Catholic newspaper, “La Via” (The Way). Giving a blessing to the project, the Pontiff said with a big smile: “We need it.” (Zenit)

Fr. Garcia also urged listeners of his radio program on COPE Radio Network to donate liturgical items to the earthquake-

Catholics pray for peace after Prelate speaks of Lahore bombings abuse scandal at UN
LAHORE, Pakistan, March 15, 2010— Catholic churches in Lahore are praying for peace after Friday’s deadly bombings which saw 60 killed and 100 injured. Seven small explosions hit the Punjab provincial capital on March 12, hours after twin suicide attacks killed bystanders and eight soldiers at a major bus stand. The incident has been regarded as the biggest militant attack in the country this year. The buildings damaged in the attacks included five houses rented by nine Catholics families. The ceilings collapsed injuring 35 people and destroying furniture. The affected Catholics are presently living under tents near the blast site. During a Mass held for the victims on March 14, catechist Lazar Yousaf told about 50 people, including victims and their relatives: “The Lord has saved you and blessed you with a new life. You can take comfort in his blessing.” Father Abid Habib, regional coordinator of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic major Religious superiors condemned the blasts. “This is sickening, the innocent continue to be victims of terrorists and the government seems unwilling
Lahore / A7

GENEVA, Switzerland, March 12, 2010—The Holy See's permanent observer at the Geneva offices of the United Nations said the Church is trying to "definitively resolve" the problem of sexual abuse of minors by priests and other Church leaders. "There are no excuses" for this behavior, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi said Wednesday in an address to the 13th session of the Human Rights Council on the rights of children. Echoing Benedict XVI, the prelate said the sexual abuse of minors is an "odious crime." Vatican Radio reported that Archbishop Tomasi pointed to the Pope's "very clear condemnation of sexual violence against children and youth," to which the Holy Father has added "the religious dimension, reminding that abuse is also a grave sin, which offends God and human dignity." The Holy See representative noted how abuse violates the physical and psychological integrity of minors, "with destructive consequences." "Protection from sexual aggression is high on the list of priorities for all ecclesiastical institutions, which struggle to put an end to this grave problem," he affirmed. The archbishop said the "Catholic community continues its efforts to resolve this problem definitively." "Those guilty of these crimes are immediately suspended from the exercise of their functions and treated according to the civil normative and canon law," he explained. The prelate also proposed that the prevention of these crimes is the truest priority, and prevention requires "education and promotion of the culture of respect for the human rights and dignity of every child, especially through the use of effective methods in contracting school personnel." (Zenit)

© www.ucanews.com

Teachers in Lenten vow to ‘Save Mother Earth’
CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh, March 15, 2010—Spurred on by concerns over the effect of climate change on Bangladesh, school teachers in Chittagong diocese have vowed to help protect the local environment and save “Mother Earth.” “God has a plan for the planet, which are the laws of nature. We are breaking these natural laws Bishop Lawrence Subroto Howlader for our own comfort and are thus facing challenges,” said Holy Cross Auxiliary Bishop Lawrence Subroto Howlader of Chittagong. The prelate was the keynote speaker at a Lenten seminar attended by 90 Catholic school teachers from 10 Church-run and other schools in the port city. The daylong “Saving Mother Earth” program was organized by the Diocesan Education Commission in St. Joseph’s Oratory at St. Placid’s High School on March 13. “Lent is a time of prayer. We should focus our prayers for the
Earth / A7

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 6
March 15 - 28, 2010

News Features

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Solid priestly identity essential as secularism grows, Pope tells priests
VATICAN CITY, March 12, 2010—Pope Benedict met with priests and bishops participating in an international theological convention on Friday and spoke with them on the importance of understanding what it means to be a priest. This awareness of their identity is all the more important as secularism advances and some try to reduce the priesthood to being almost a ‘social worker.’ Speaking of priestly identity in the modern “policentric” context, which often fades our idea of identity, “it is important clearly to bear in mind the theological specificity of ordained ministry, in order not to surrender to the temptation of reducing it to predominant cultural models,” the Pope began. In the presence of “widespread secularization which progressively tends to exclude God from the public sphere and from the shared social conscience, the priest often appears ‘removed’ from common sense,” Pope Benedict said, adding that it’s often a result of “the most fundamental aspects of his ministry.” For this reason, he explained, “it is important to avoid a dangerous reductionism which, over recent decades... has presented the priest almost as a ‘social worker,’ with the risk of betraying the very Priesthood of Christ.” Reacting to this dangerous reduction of priestly identity, the Pope proposed understanding the priesthood by looking at it as the Church sees the texts of the Second Vatican Council, using a “hermeneutic of continuity.” In the same way, the Pope explained, “there appears to be a need for a hermeneutic that we could describe as ‘of priestly continuity,’ one which, starting from Jesus of Nazareth, Lord and Christ, and passing through the two thousand years of history, the greatness, sanctity, culture and piety which the Priesthood has given the world, reaches our own day.” In the times in which we live, he continued, “it is particularly important that the call to participate in the one Priesthood of Christ in ordained ministry should flower from the ‘charism of prophecy.’” “There is great need for priests who speak of God to the world and who present the world to God; men not subject to ephemeral cultural fashions, but capable of authentically living the freedom that only the certainty of belonging to God can give.” “Today,” said the Holy Father, “the most necessary prophecy is that of faithfulness” which “leads us to live our priesthood in complete adherence to Christ and the Church.” Priests, said the Pope, cannot forget about this fundamental association with God which “is the right framework in which to understand and reaffirm, also in our own time, the value of celibacy which in the Latin Church is a charism imposed by Holy Orders” and “an expression of the gift of the self to God and to others.” “The vocation of priests is an exalted one, and remains a great mystery even for those of us who have received it as a gift.” He continued saying that the “limitations and weaknesses” of priests “must cause us to live and safeguard this precious gift with great faith, a gift with which Christ configured us to Himself, making us participants in His mission of salvation.” “Dear priests,” the Holy Father concluded, “the men and women of our time ask us only to be priests to the full, nothing else. “The lay faithful will be able to meet their human needs in many other people, but only in the priest will they find that Word of God which must always be on his lips, the Mercy of the Father abundantly and gratuitously distributed in the Sacrament of Penance, and the bread of new life.” Five hundred priests and 50 bishops attended the two-day convention from March 11 - 12 at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome. (CNA/EWTN News)
© www.flickr.com/photos/jkurittu

Priests must promote confession, show people God’s mercy, pope says
VATICAN CITY, March 11, 2010—Priests today are challenged with the task of drawing the faithful back to confession and assuring them that their true repentance will be met with mercy and compassion, Pope Benedict XVI said. In an address to several hundred young priests, Pope Benedict said March 11 that "we must return to the confessional" not only as a place to confess sins and receive absolution, but also as a place where "the faithful can find mercy, counsel and comfort, feel loved and understood by God." The pope addressed some 700 priests at the conclusion of a March 8-12 course designed to develop their skills as confessors; the course was offered by the Apostolic Penitentiary, a Vatican court that handles issues related to the sacrament of penance. Priests are called on to educate their flocks in the "radical requirements of the Gospel" and help them resist "the mentality of this world" and make choices that take courage and are sometimes unpopular, the pope told the group. The times are difficult, he said, and marked by "a hedonistic and relativistic mentality that cancels God from peoples' lives." This mentality makes it difficult to "distinguish good from evil and develop a proper sense of sin." Priests must be particularly good examples in their lives so that Catholics will understand their own sins and find the courage and desire to seek God's forgiveness, he said. During the course, Archbishop Gianfranco Girotti, regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary, spoke to the priests about the challenges and the complex situations that confessors are required to handle. He reminded them that the church seeks to help "even in situations that are humanly so difficult that they seem to have no solution." Among these situations is the plight of divorced Catholics who, if they remarry, are no longer allowed to take Communion. Archbishop Girotti said that in those cases, if the person cannot separate from the new spouse for various reasons, the confessor could suggest that refraining from sex and transforming the relationship into one of friendship might open the way to the possibility of partaking once again in Communion. He also said confessors must be careful with the psychological states of penitents; if they find themselves with someone with serious problems they should not "try to be a psychologist," but rather seek expert help. Archbishop Girotti warned that in the case of repeat offenders, who don't show even a minimal intention to change, absolution must not be granted. However, the priest must be very patient because a conversion is always possible, he said. Showing that there is a better way to live is always the job of a priest, especially as an antidote to increasing hedonism and selfishness in contemporary society, said Archbishop Fortunato Baldelli, who heads the tribunal as major penitentiary. "It's the duty of the confessor to open the consciences of people and make them understand the needs of others, showing them that doing so won't take anything away from them, but will make them richer." (CNS)

© pope2008.typepad.com

Groups slam Tampakan copper-gold mining project
MANILA, March 4, 2010—Environ- forces created to protect the Xtrata–SMI mental groups on Thursday said the investment,” added Garganera. Tampakan mining venture in South "We are not surprised by the deciCotabato create environmental devas- sion of the RDC and RMDC to highly tation and will further induce conflict favor the TCGP. For many years they in the area. have closed their eyes to the bitter truth The national anti-mining alliance that Xtrata-SMI’s mining venture has Alyansa Tigil Mina said the Tampakan brought endless conflicts in the area. Copper-Gold project (TCGP) dubbed In fact, the people are now living in by the Regional Development Council fear knowing that they will soon be (RDC) and the Regional Mineral De- relocated,” said Jean Marie Feraris, velopment Council (RMDC) as their team leader Legal Rights and Natural flagship project is a “bad business that Resources Center (LRC) – Davao. will put lives of the people in South “We would really like to challenge Cotabato in danger due to the environ- the RDC and RMDC to go to the afmental threats.” fected communities and listen to the ATM national coordinator Jaybee sentiments of the indigenous peoples. Garganera said the TCGP lies within Their decision to back the TCGP as the watershed areas, wherein an esti- the region's flagship project would mated 20,000 hectares of sustainable not result to mutual benefits. It will farmlands would be threatened by the only lead to cultural ethnocide," she environmental impacts of mining that also said. will jeopardize South Cotobato’s local For his part, HARIBON executive economy and food security. director Blas Tabaranza said it is ironic The project also encroaches the an- that the government recognizes extraccestral homes of the B’laan indigenous tive activities such as mining as a flagcommunity, he claimed. ship project. “T he pr esen c e o f the Xstrata-Saguittarius Mines, Inc (SMI) in South Cotabato has its environmental and socio-political implications what put the lives of people in South Cotabato in grave danger,” said Garganera. “The people of South Cotabato will continuously live in fear, especially with the presence of the 27th Infantry Battalion who are strengthening the barangay defense system (BDS) in the area. The BDS is the local translation of the investment defense Balatoc Mines, Benguet

Ecumenical labor group releases info-video for automated polls

“Mining severely endangers lives, livelihoods and the environment, which is our national and natural security. It is unfortunate that the local development council lacks the clear vision for a perpetual means of livelihood that will ensure the balance between developmental needs and the environment," said Tabaranza. Meanwhile, a multi–sectoral coalition of various groups working for climate justice and is campaigning for the pull out of Xtrata–SMI in the region—SOCSKSARGENCAN (Climate Action Now) spokesperson Sr. Susan O. Bolanio, OND expressed her sentiments on the possible rationale of RDC and RMDC’s endorsement on the mine project. “Is this RDC recognition and endorsement of SMI as the flagship of the region’s development not self-serving considering that Governor Dominguez who is its chairperson is at the same time connected with the Dominguez family involved with the business interest of SMI? Did he not have the professional decency to abstain from the deliberation on this matter,” said Bolanio. Bolanio added, “that the real stakeholders are the broader community—indigenous peoples, other barangays, the neighboring towns, etc.—whose natural environment and well being of future generation are put to risk because of the mining presence of this company and not just the selected few community who directly benefited from Sagittarius in terms of jobs and other short-lived benefits”. (CBCPNews)
© CBCP / NASSA

ANTIPOLO CITY, March 5, 2010—The Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER), Inc., with the support from the European Union, has launched an info-video teaching the Filipino workers how to vote this coming May 10 elections using the automated electoral system (AES). Called the “Five Easy Steps sa Pagboto sa AES,” the four minute and 37second video provides the 34 million workers adequate information on how to cast their vote using the AES. In a statement, EILER Executive Director Joselito Natividad said that the info-video is a part of the program under the Workers’ Electoral Watch (WE-Watch) project with the funding from the EU. The said alliance is composed of more than 50 workers’ unions and federations representing key industries in the country such as telecommunications, banking, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, and electronics. “The primary goal of the alliance is to safeguard the 34 million workers’ vote,” Natividad said in a statement.

Also included in the roster of conveners of WE-Watch were church-based labor institutions and other organizations that advance the workers’ rights and welfare. The video is available on the WE-Watch website, http://www.we-watch.net. Meanwhile, WE-Watch and EILER have also set-up a 24-hour text hotline that voters can report incidence of fraudulence and other irregularities in the conduct of the polls: for SMART subscribers - 0929-3361581; for GLOBE – 0915-6701434; and for Sun Cellular – 0923-5320142. AES does not guarantee fraud-free elections On the other hand, Natividad expresses doubt about the credibility of elections even though it is already automated. “We in the Philippine labor sector are not against the automation of this important tool of governance, nor are we traditionalists rejecting technological advancement in the
Automated / A6

© sourpolitics.wordpress.com

A4
EDITORIAL

Opinion
The condom alibi

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 6
March 15 - 28, 2010

SOME people at the health department maybe aptly portrayed, wrongly or rightly, to be on a rampage in condom promotions— which include public distribution of the rubber in bus terminals on Valentine’s Day, spinning media hype, gathering support from celebrities and operating public relations, among others. And this, not to mention the costly mobilizations of women militant groups. And there’s the alarming statistics to boot. The Department is now brandishing a pandemic of 4,400 cases of HIV/AIDS infections in 2009 and 126 more in January this year. But why only now after years of silence? And where’s the pandemic? In the early 1990s it was more realistic, or say believable, when Sarah Jane gave a face to warm bodies. In 2007, Dr. James Chin, former head of a World Health Organization Global program on Aids unit from 1987-1992, noted in an interview that “the AIDS ‘pandemic’ is not as widespread as it is often portrayed, and not even in large parts of Africa, where rates of infection with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) vary widely.” Be that as it may, but worth noting is the comparative study between the Philippines and Thailand. In 1987 the Philippines had more HIV/AIDS cases (135) than Thailand (112). In a span of ten years during which Thailand promoted a national policy of 100% condom use, the later shoot up to 1,106,000 cases while the Philippines had a cumulative incidence of 2,965. Indeed, the condomization of Thailand was a trap. Dr. C. Michel Roland, Editor of Rubber Chemistry and Technology of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington D.C. reported a couple of years back the inherent defects of rubber latex condoms that range between 5 and 70 microns. The HIV virus is about 0.1 microns in size—which is 60 times smaller than a syphilis bacterium and 450 times smaller than a single human sperm. But of course, scientists and the technocrats of the health department know this. In fact the health secretary has admitted of late that condom use is not at all foolproof. But why the insistence? One can only surmise that the condom program has a covert political and economic agenda in the face of an accusation against the UN for blowing up the AIDS pandemic in order to create a market for the AIDS prevention program that benefits the pharmaceutical companies in billions of dollars. The Philippines having one of the lowest rates of AIDS infection in the world is a very fertile ground for provoking a market stimulus. There is no denying that billions of dollars for HIV/AIDS prevention as a result of the hype has created a new industry— an industry that is now bent on enlarging its market through spreading the HIV/AIDS panic. The same maybe said of the UN’s hype of the bird and swine flu to pandemic proportion which according to scientific circles where viruses that were man-made which therefore were not as lethal as the UN made it to be. At the end of the story, millions of dollars set aside by First World countries wastefully spent for vaccines resulted in huge gains for pharmaceutical companies and their lackeys in governments. If one needs really to be serious about stemming the spread of the virus, the experience of other countries is worth emulating. The Director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, Edward C. Green writes in his book entitled Rethinking AIDS Prevention: Learning from Successes in Developing Countries, “The large medical solutions funded by major donors have had little impact in Africa, the hardest hit by AIDS. Instead, relatively simple, low-cost behavioral change program—stressing increased monogamy and delayed sexual activity for young people—have made the greatest headway in fighting or preventing the disease’s spread.” All told, the condom really is an alibi.

Oscar V. Cruz, DD

Views and Points
FOR a start, let it be herein clearly stated that this expression of sincere concern and manifestation of reservation on the forthcoming 10 May 2010 National Elections are first and foremost meant for the attention and consideration of the common people in general, the ordinary young people of the land in particular—with special interest and big urgency in conjunction with the simple Christian Faithful in the Church who sincerely love God and their neighbors, and who honestly want the good of their country and the welfare of the people, irrespective of their color and creed. Thus goes this distinct warning with all sincerity and good will. Would that it were superfluous if not downright ridiculous. The warning in order for all those really concerned so that these are thus accordingly forewarned, can be thus gently yet truthfully that the National Elections can be anything but peaceful and orderly. Such being the case, it is not altogether improbable that the said political exercise could in effect bring about social unrest—specially from the Class B to Class D of the socio-economic spectrum of the Philippine society. For some time now and for one reason or another, there are disturbing bad news of one kind or another about the loudly acclaimed and proudly proclaimed first fully automatic elections in the country. From the procurement of the delicate machines to the printing of

‘Being warned is being forewarned’
specialized ballots, from the detailed instruction of the voters to the technical training of those serving as election deputies—all these by themselves do not promise easy and smooth election process. Yet, this is not even making mention of practically a hundred and one rationally foreseen errant factors such as in terms of ghost voters, the ready and capable surreptitious professional cheaters, the intervention of private armies of politicos, the active presence of rebellious groups plus the proliferation of hoodlums who are in fact but paid goons with guns for political motives. All of these could eventually bring about a markedly serious social disorder in the country which if unchecked, might lead to much worst scenario. Hence, together with all Filipinos of good will, let the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Social Action, Justice and Peace (ECSA-JP) in close solidarity and collaboration with its affiliates all over the ecclesiastical jurisdiction in the country, be prepared to act in decidedly quenching the possible social conflagration that the forthcoming electoral exercise could bring about—with much prayers and good wishes that such would not happen at all. The task would certainly not be easy to undertake. But those thus concerned in the Church, with the task of social action and the work for justice and peace, would not act accordingly, then who would do it—and why?

Sr. Mary Pilar Verzosa, RGS

Affirm the truth
KEEPING a column keeps me on my toes, especially when Sr. Pinky, FSP, our Associate Editor, reminds me that it is deadline again for my next article. Here is a simple one that I wrote for teens and that you, reader, can use for the value formation of the youth you handle: Human beings are born to tell the truth. If babies are hungry, wet or uncomfortable – they cry and squirm around their crib. If they are satisfied, comfortable and happy, they are quiet or they smile and coo or fall asleep. They express what they feel and experience. But as months and years go by, we see that these same babies begin to hesitate and pretend in order to conform to what others feel and think in order to be accepted. I am not saying that we should be blurting out our feelings and our thoughts whatever and whenever we want to. Balancing awareness between what we perceive others think and feel with what we do feel and think is important as we live in a community. We do not live alone. And since we live and are influenced by such a manipulative, controlling and power-hungry society, we need to keep unmasking and digging into what is real and what is pretence. Otherwise, it will destroy us, just as catering to the instant promises of convenience, popularity, comfort and fun has inflicted so much harm and depression among our youth. Let us go through a few of these empty promises or half-truths. Will using this shampoo or hair conditioner or hot oil sachet make your boyfriend touch your hair? And even if he touches your hair, is that a sign that your relationship is getting deeper? Because that is what you actually want, right? It is not just his touching your hair! OK, so deeper into what? Physical intimacy leading to sexual intimacy? Is that what you really want at this time of your teen life? Do you know each other more now by such behavior? Enough for you to sustain a wholesome, Godly, open relationship? I say Godly—because your friendship should bring both of you closer to God. If it draws both of you away from the One who gave you your life and the people around you, including your “friend”, then forget that relationship as it will surely bring you harm. And I say “open”, because your going out together, chatting on the phone, spending so much load on texting each other, of chatting on the internet—should be known by the people who are responsible for you at this time of your life—namely your parents or guardian. Again, I say, if you keep it secret— you are in for much disappointment. And what about the guys? What are you into? Will that porno cell phone display or pass-around naked images make you a more

Love Life
intelligent, more caring, more successful, more acceptable student? It will make you popular for a few hours maybe. Then what? You have transferred the evil to how many more guys – degrading womanhood and making yourselves silly useless bums. Technology is there to bring you to your Creator- Number- OneInventor. Not to destroy minds and lives. As Fr. Henri Nouwen says in his book Life of the Beloved, “The world tells you many lies about who you are, and you simply have to be realistic enough to remind yourself of this. Every time you feel hurt, offended or rejected, you have to dare to say to yourself – these feelings, strong as they may be, are not telling me the truth about myself. The truth, even though I cannot feel it right now, is that I am the chosen child of God, precious in God’s eyes, called the Beloved from eternity, and held safe in an everlasting embrace.” Watch out that you are not escaping into material things, fun and pleasure because of your hurts and feelings of rejection. This might mean an examination and a change of our MAPS—Mindsets, Attitudes, Practices, in order to get to cross the GAP to our God: arrive at our Goals, Aspirations and Passion. Aren’t these what truly matter? Are you going to begin now? Go tell the truth and keep affirming it!

Partiality for the poor
THE Church has an Option for the Poor in the Field of Politics. We have seen how political forces in our society are heavily tilted against the poor. As economic power is in the hands of the elite, so is economic power. To help correct this imbalance “those who have less in life should have more in law.” But sadly many laws and policies in our country favor the rich and the powerful to the detriment of the poor. When the moment of truth comes, those who hold the reins of political and economic power look exclusively to their own interests. Examples abound but we cite just these few: the watering down of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, the growing number of exemptions from the Program, the primacy given to big business over the small farmer, the maintenance of family political dynasties that lord it over the poor. Pro-poor many politicians are definitely not despite their protestations. Thus the Church’s mission to renew and transform our political institutions and activities: Unless the Church pursues this mission, politics will continue to militate against the poor. The clear teaching and example of Christ is for every Christian believer to be pro-poor and for the Church to have an option for the poor (PCP-II, 312-14; see CFC, 1187-89). To realize this Gospel imperative of option for the poor, the Church must labor to try evangelizing and transforming our country’s politics, its institutions, relationships, values and behavior so that politics will work preferentially for the poor. – Pastoral Exhortation on Philippine Politics, 1997

www.cbcpmonitor.com cbcpmonitor@cbcpworld.net

Fr. Roy Cimagala

Candidly Speaking
Pedro C. Quitorio
Editor-in-Chief

Perverting our subjectivity to subjectivism
councils today are enacting reproductive health decrees, obviously riding on a bandwagon, following a global pied pier that dangles a lot of money and support. But how else can we explain the irrationality of their position when it can open the floodgates to everyone claiming absolute rights not only for their body, but also for anything they like? If the women now can do anything with their body, who can stop the men also to do the same, the adolescents, the children, the different groups also to do the same? It´s true that we all are free, and because of that we are subjects of our own actions, conscious of them and responsible for them too. That´s the reason we have subjectivity. That´s because we think, we choose, decide, love or reject, orient our actions to some goal, etc. In short, we are responsible for our actions. But that subjectivity, by the very nature of our being persons who think and are free and responsible, necessarily leads us to be connected with others, let alone, with God who is supposed to be our Creator, the Author of everything, of what is right and wrong, what is good and evil. Our subjectivity can´t help but enter into the dynamics of intersubjectivity. Our life is always a life of sharing, of inter-personal relation.
Speaking / A5

Pinky Barrientos, FSP
Associate Editor

Kris P. Bayos
Feature Editor

Melo M. Acuña
Managing Editor News Editor

Laarni Bergado

Marketing Supervisor

Roy Q. Lagarde

Ernani M. Ramos
Circulation Manager Comptroller

Laurence John R. Morales Marcelita Dominguez
Layout Artist and Online Editor

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

A RECENT news item reports that the UN, with heavy support from the current US government headed by Barack Obama, is adopting the resolutions of the 1995 UN women´s conference in Beijing that gives women absolute right over their body. It said that in that UN meeting, abortion was not anymore an issue. It was a foregone conclusion, a shoo-in, accepted by the majority of the members and not deserving any further discussion, thanks to the rousing speech of its main global proponent Hillary Clinton. Women can now do anything with their body, a doctrine meant to be the basis for women´s right to abortion, among many other things. The same thinking is behind the global promotion for reproductive health, safe sex, same-sex union, etc. This is a great cause for concern, and even for alarm. That this perverted reasoning has gone up to the level of the UN indicates that not only human, but also some super-human or sub-human forces are at work. I don´t think this is just a usual social or cultural phenomenon, a purely human affair. There are spirits behind this development. We cannot remain passive in the face of this disturbing phenomenon. Here in our country, some prominent voices echo the same sentiments. They are public officials and even university presidents. A senator now running for president openly batted for safe sex. In fact, many of our candidates mouth similar mantras. Many city

Illustration by Bladimer Usi

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 6
March 15 - 28, 2010

Opinion
Tribute to a Coop pioneer
In his autobiographical “My Cooperative Journey,” Mordino recalls the years of turbulence under martial law in the 70’s when the government blocked the registration of any privately-initiated venture using the name cooperative. Thus was born the Mindanao Alliance of Self-Help societies (MASS), using the phrase “self-help societies” in lieu of the word “cooperative.” As part of the Marcos regime’s harassment, Mordino himself, with the treasurer and cashiers of SPECC, were arrested in November 1975 and flown to Camp Crame. Looking back on those years, Mordino notes the dismal failure of the government-imposed straitjacketing of all coops under the Samahang Nayon program. On the other hand, NATCCO with its more than 1,700 primary coops has grown tremendously with assets now measured in several billions of pesos. In the aftermath of the EDSA I People Power revolution, Atty. Cua co-authored with Senator Aquilino Pimentel, Jr., the book, “The Cooperative Code of the Philippines (R.A. 6938) and the Cooperative Development Authority Law (R.A. 6939).” This established the guidelines for the government’s support for privately-initiated cooperatives. And yet, going beyond the numbers, Atty. Cua notes how the coop movement may be losing its original spirit with the omission of its intensive educational and training program. “Before we can even hope to effect a meaningful change in the lives of the poor,” he stresses, “there must be a change in their outlook, in their way of thinking.” He further notes that other countries like Korea have set up masteral programs in cooperatives and their coop movement has grown about 30 times more than ours. Should we not also dream “of giving our school system a cooperative face”? he asks, challenging the next generation of coop leaders. Mordino’s coop journey has ended. But he has left behind a multifaceted trail which in the words of a close associate reveals “a wonderful person, a loving father, a remarkable dynamic leader, in some aspects a controversial figure (who is a leader who is not?), a loyal and caring friend, an educator, and a deeply spiritual person.”

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Jose B. Lugay

Abp. Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ, DD

Pastoral Companion
“WE share because we care!” This was one of the favorite proverbs of Atty. Mordino Cua, who passed away on Feb. 22, 2010, at the age of 81 in Cagayan de Oro City. In many ways, the saying also epitomizes the life of Atty. “Mords” Cua, a volunteer coop leader for more than half a century and acknowledged as one of the founding fathers of the cooperative movement in Mindanao and the rest of the country. I first met Mordino Cua in 1968-70 when he would occasionally invite me together with foreign and Filipino students of the South East Asia Rural Social Leadership Institute (SEARSOLIN) to visit his training center in his home along Burgos street. This center came to be called the Southern Philippines Educational Cooperative Center. In many ways, SPECC was the continuation of a dream that started with Mordino’s student days at the Ateneo de Cagayan in the late 40’s to 50’s and his association with Fr. William Masterson, S.J. Recalling his college education, he would write: “I imbibed from the Jesuits the following: (a) a good philosophy of life, which is ‘to be a person for others’…; (b) a rich education that emphasized the quest for excellence despite the drawbacks; and (c) a prayerful life and a spirituality rooted in work for justice.” This driving force was harnessed in Mordino’s life-time involvement in building up cooperative structures. He became a founding director of The Ateneo Cooperative Credit Union in 1954, the first credit coop in Cagayan de Oro. This coop eventually expanded its membership beyond the Ateneo campus and was renamed the First Community Credit Cooperative (FICCO), now one of the largest “millionaire” coops in Mindanao. Other coop institutions that Atty. Cua co-founded included the Oro Cooperative Credit Union in 1956, SPECC in 1966, Credit Life Mutual Benefit Services (or CLIMBS) in 1967, the country’s first coop insurance company, and NATCCO (known now as the National Confederation of Cooperatives) in 1977. In the same year, he also acted as the planning chairman for the 4th Asian Credit Union Training Conference in Seoul, South Korea, which gave birth to the Asian Confederation of Credit Unions (ACCU).

Laiko Lampstand The first agenda— ‘Fight corruption!’
THE presidential campaign has reached fever pitch. The different election surveys are fuelling the newspaper headlines, that presidential candidates 1 and 2 are rated as tie, explaining that a variation of 2 points in a survey is within the statistical margin of error. One of the promises of candidates to attract more voters is to vow that when elected, he/she will fight corruption, the evil of Philippine society today that makes the rich richer and the poor poorer—all because of power and greed. These different issues are bannered in the May 8–13, 2010 front pages: - Abad: The Liberal Party remains confident that their “message of change and freedom from corruption will hold sway in the end and that the voters will make the right decision come this May election.” - Gordon: “We have to be wary of these paid surveys ...We must not let these surveys take away our right to choose who among the candidates is the most capable to be the next president... We have to put in mind that it is the record of service, the track record and not the surveys that matter in choosing the next leaders of our country.” - Senator Pangilinan: “Despite being the first candidate to run in the presidential derby, and an unprecedented ad buy of over one billion pesos since November of last year, Sen. Villar continues to fall short of his ultimate objective—that of overtaking Sen. Noynoy “ - Salceda: Rich also became richer. “My biggest frustration as a presidential adviser is that 34 quarters on uninterrupted expansion in the past nine years did little to reduce poverty and the number of poor people.” This is a subtle way of saying that the money spent for investment projects benefited the rich investors and not the great number of poor people. These businessmen are the mall owners, the favored construction companies, the foreign investors in mining and manufacturing enterprises for export. - Campaign managers see to it that the party’s candidates attend all presidential fora especially if the invitation comes from a “captive” vote-rich organization. It is hoped that accepting the organizer’s invitation would mean assurance of getting the votes as dictated by the organization’s leader. For their absence in the presidential forum set by Pastor Apollo Quiboloy in Davao City last March 9, the self-styled ‘Son of God’, measured Aquino and found him wanting. He decried Villar’s absence as ‘unfair’. Just recently one of the candidates said he will no longer attend any forum since it takes time away from direct contact with more voters in the provinces, specially the vote-rich D and E voters. Whatever campaign strategy these candidates use, it is a fact that they will need funds to proceed with the campaign. On the same week, Vice-Presidential candidate of Lakas-Kampi-CMD, Ed Manzano was observed to have been absent in the campaign sorties of his presidential candidate, Gibo Teodoro, for lack of funds from the party to support his campaign. The presidential candidates have now spent the following amounts: P64 million for G. Teodoro, P67.3 million for R. Gordon, P87 million for Noynoy Aquino, P88 million for J. Estrada and P1.31 billion for M. Villar from Nov. 1, 2009 to Mar. 2, 2010, – an amount almost equal to the TV ad expenditures of his 4 rivals as mentioned. While Villar claims that he spent his own money for the ads, the rest of the candidates got funds from party contribution, that is, from vested interests which must be paid back by the candidate once elected to office. These are the debts that must be repaid. How? From commissions of government contracts! A World Bank study of the “Anatomy of Graft and Corruption in the Philippines” revealed the following examples of corruption scandals committed by high government officials: - The case of the P7 million in Euro dollars laundered by top PNP Generals, held for questioning by the Russian immigration authorities after attending the Interpol General Assembly in Moscow in 2008. - Extradition of Joc-joc Bolante, former Department of Agriculture Undersecretary for his P728 million fertilizer scam. - Senator M. Villar axed by his colleagues in the Senate on the allegation of double insertion in the C-5 extension road project budget. - The controversial ZTE-NBN (National Broadband Network) deal by retired Comelec chair, Benjamin Abalos. It further states that graft and corruption in the Philippines are not a monopoly of the high and mighty; it has become endemic in all walks of life – from city hall officials giving the public a run-around before issuing the necessary permits, to multi-million commissions for big national projects. What is corruption? Corruption is defined by World Bank as “the abuse of public office for private gain.” Transparency International (TI), the leading NGO in the global corruption effort explains that “Corruption involves behavior on the part of the officials in the public sector, whether politicians or civil servants, in which they improperly and unlawfully enrich themselves or those close to them, by the misuse of the public power entrusted to them.” The Asian Development Bank (ADB) defines corruption as the “abuse of public or private office for personal gain. It is useful to differentiate types of corruption in terms of its scale: Grand corruption—typically involves senior officials, major decisions or contracts for the exchange of large sums of money. Petty corruption—which involves low level officials in the provision of routine services or goods and small sums of money; Systemic corruption—which permeates an entire government or ministry; Individual corruption—more isolated and sporadic; Syndicated corruption—elaborate systems are devised for receiving and disseminating bribes; Non-syndicated corruption—in which individual officials may seek or compete for bribe in an ad hoc and uncoordinated fashion. The simplest explanation for the existence of corruption is human greed. The examples of the types of corruption committed daily in the Philippines, if subjected to the criteria set by the World Bank, is too numerous to count. One specific example that appears in this week’s headline is the accusation of Senator candidate, Teofisto Guingona, Jr.: “The so-called crocodiles or corrupt government officials are raking in millions of dollars on commissions on rice importation.” Total imports this year will reach a total of 2.45 million metric tons (49 million 50kg bags). A rice importer interviewed by ABS-CBN’s Anthony Taberna claimed that there used to be a commission of $25 -$30 per metric ton. It has now increased to $80-$100 per metric ton. Isn’t this a grand and systemic corruption? Will the winning presidential candidate of the May 10 election fight corruption within the government system as his first agenda? He needs all our prayers and help to succeed in this fight.

Fr. Carmelo O. Diola, SSL

Random thoughts
SOMEONE recently reminded me to share stories of how God is changing our country, one person and one group at a time. I recall an incident when I was in my final year in college. Out of the blue, a thought comes to me to purchase a notebook and call it “random thoughts on cluttered wisdom.” Nothing came out of that notebook. Now more than 30 years later, I will once more share my random thoughts, this time with individuals who, in one way or another, are making the Dilaab journey with me. ***** I still recall his stare: they were from incredulous, even suspicious, eyes. I could not blame him; after all, what was this priest who was speaking before candidates to the May 2010 elections really trying to achieve? My friend was one of 24 candidates from the town of Barobo, Surigao del Sur who attended the discernment integrity recollection for candidates last 16 and 20 February. This was the longest recollection so far, all of one and a half days. The parish priest and his assistant really did a good job in convincing them to “waste” time. After all, the gathering did not bring in voters or the media. It was a sacred space for listening to God. On the Sunday after the recollection, the candidates signed a meaningful covenant at the 6 am mass. My friend was now smiling. ***** Our Roman Catholic bishops have called on the faithful to be involved in “principled partisan politics.” What do they mean? I got part of the answer during a recent recollection for candidates in Tagbilaran. While being members of the same Charismatic community, the candidates came in different political colors. They adopted the term being promoted by CiDE: candidates have “co-candidates,” not political opponents. While still a long way from eradicating political violence, this language moves away from the Maguindanao syndrome. Some of the participants in the recollection were no strangers to violence. One was happy to note that his name had to do with “life” (“vita”). “One day several years ago,” he said, “I was a political candidate in our town and I was part of this group that was ambushed.” He then showed us his tell-tale scars. “While I was down,” he continued, “I still managed to call upon God to save me.” He now runs as an independent and, with very little resources, is unafraid since he feels it is God who is calling him to serve.

Spaces of Hope
We pray for the safety of all our candidates. ***** When I was a little boy, I had the typical tendency to choose my food. My father had a very effective way of dealing with this defect. He would fire up my imagination by telling me that each food group actually played a critical role in the defense of my body. Rice granules, for instance, were foot soldiers ready to engage minute enemies. Eggs were aircraft carriers. Tomatoes were grenades. Bananas were submarines. So on and so forth. His approach was indeed convincing. This was my first exposure to a communication plan that changed behavior because it entered the world of its target audience. Dilaab is blessed with very committed volunteers from the world of communications. They advise us on how to focus on a single message and that less is more. They have been with us in our defining moments as a movement. Jesus was a great communicator. He used images that people understood and he embodied their deepest aspirations. Elections 2010 offer an opportunity to evangelize politics.

Teresa R. Tunay, OCDS

…and that’s the truth!
THE Transfiguration story never fails to fascinate me. It leads me to a multi-faceted reflection that can run the gamut from the mystical to the mundane. Right now, when local mass media show our country becoming increasingly “politicized”, the image of Jesus’ clothing turning “dazzling white” reminds me of my answer to people who ask me whom I’m voting for president. I was incredulous when even comfortably settled Pinoys in Switzerland curiously sought my opinion recently on the presidentiables. You would think that—being productively employed, having an active social life, and enjoying well-appointed homes—they’d be the least concerned about politics back home, but yes, they wanted to know, because the negative press about the Philippines abroad implies that the country is fast going to the dogs and we need a messiah to save us. So they actually asked me pointblank if I was for yellow, orange, green, etc.) I grinned and said I’m for white, case closed. As far as I know, no presidentiable wears white, so that takes care of the secrecy of my vote, hah! In the time of brilliant Roman writer, statesman and orator Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC), candidates for election wore white togas. In fact, the word “candidate” comes from the Latin candidatus which means “clothed in white.” Candidates for election in ancient Rome wore white to signify their purity—or at least the cleanliness of their intentions to serve the public. Today, in the Philippines, presidentiables and their followers wear green, red, orange, yellow, like identifying flags. Colors are loaded, they’re not just pretty symbols of political ideals or loyalty to a candidate. Are the presidentiables’ colors then meant to represent something? Wonder how they choose the colors they choose. Yellow may mean courage and optimism (sunny yellow), but it could also mean a warning (yellow traffic light), cowardice (“yellowbellied”) or sensationalism (“yellow journalism”). Red may stand for so many things, like love (the ubiquitous Valentine hearts), martyrdom (color of blood), danger (red flag, traffic light), communism (Red Guards) or blood in one’s hands (that’s
Speaking / A4

Messianic colors
self-explanatory). Orange, the color of citrus juices (take note, diet fanatics), sunsets and eastern monks’ robes (some Buddhists and Krishna followers), is supposed to be the color of wellness and healing—but it could also be a crazy mix-up of bad yellows and reds, get it? Green could represent many positive things, like growth (new leaves and green thumbs), a clean diet (“Finish your veggies!”), a healthy environment (as in golf lawns?), safety (green traffic light); but it could also mean envy and jealousy (green-eyed monster), or inexperience, naivete and gullibility (greenhorn). Pardon me if I miss other colors—is any presidentiable wearing Lenten purple, sky blue, lavender, fuchsia brown or pink? (They say candidates would never wear brown because it’s boring, or pink because it’s the color of indecision, reserved for males undergoing sexual identity crisis. Joke, joke!) If there are other presidentiable colors, maybe they should advertise more to get noticed. (Ouch!) Whatever the color, why do candidates choose them? Are they basing their platforms on the meaning of their standard colors? Don’t you think they owe us an explanation somehow—otherwise voters would rely on their own perceptions, like some people who actually say they will vote for the green candidate because green is the color of prosperity (greenback, green card, Sto. Niño in green robe holding a green pouch). Seriously, do colors really mean so much to the voters that they will choose the country’s savior according to color preferences? I for one wouldn’t vote according to color, nor for a “candidatus” simply because he/she wears white. (Some politicians look good in white, so they wear it, but remember whitened sepulchers?) In the Transfiguration, Jesus’ “face changed in appearance and His clothing became dazzling white” while He was praying. Repeat: while He was praying. Praying for Jesus is oneness with the Father. Total surrender to the Father’s will. To my mind, no public servant can ever be one with the Father in the way Jesus was and is. And that is why—for me—no presidentiable can ever, ever, ever be a messiah. And that’s the truth. support of the global warming issue, now largely discredited by scientists worldwide. It´s declaring women to be a law to themselves, detached from an absolute standard. We cannot remain passive here. This development is a call to action. We have to understand that our life will always be some kind of warfare, not only in the personal level involving internal and spiritual situations, but also in the global level. For Christian believers, this battle will always be a war of peace and love, of truth, justice and charity. But just the same, the unavoidable aspects of warfare will always be there—the cut and thrust, the discussion and arguments, the effort to clarify and win followers through their heart and mind, dialogue, patience, understanding, mercy, etc. We have to be ready for all these.

No one, no group can claim to live by himself or by themselves. No one, no group can be absolute authors of the laws to govern us. No one, no group can be a law to himself or themselves. You do that and you immediately get into trouble. You will lapse into the world of subjectivism, a parody of our subjectivity. You will simply be tossed to and fro in an ocean of relativism where without absolute guide your survival will just be a matter of brute force and violence and other forms of inhuman and unfair justice. Our individuality is not meant to freeze into individualism and isolationism. A recluse, unless he is one due to ascetical reasons, and an asocial or anti-social person are always an anomaly. And this is what the UN seems to be promoting now. It seems it has not learned its lesson after it has burned its fingers with its rash

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Local News

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 6
March 15 - 28, 2010

CBCP official urges authorities to Arroyo told to leave a legacy act vs narco-politics of transparency
AN official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) called on the authorities to ensure that drug money will not influence the result of the May 2010 elections in the country. CBCP Media Office Director Msgr. Pedro Quitorio expressed fear Tuesday that drug money might end up in the campaign kitty of politicians. It’s not enough, he said, that the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) would only identify those candidates receiving money from drug traffickers for their campaign. “Authorities must also make arrests and file cases against them,” Quitorio said at “The Forum,” a media discussion organized by the Catholic Media Network (CMN) and CBCPNews. Earlier, the US State Department reported that the Philippines’ drug problem continues
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Msgr. Pedro Quitorio

to pose a significant national threat. In its 2010 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, it said that with the upcoming May 10 elections, there is fear that drug money supporting candidates may affect election results. PDEA is leading the fight against illegal drugs, but its head Gen. Dionisio Santiago complained of the “inconsistent laws” applying to the arrest of suspects and prosecution of drug cases. At the same forum, Santiago, in particular, lamented the failure of arrests and prosecution of because of legal technicalities. He said the agency also cannot fully implement its mandate to combat the illegal drug trade because of lack of finances and other deficiencies. “We know what is going on but there are things which we can’t accomplish on our own,” said Santiago. (CBCPNews)

Multi-million dollar industry Bullecer, one of the protesters, said that they would continue resisting condom use because it promotes underage sex and immorality. “We are here to bring our sentiments. Condoms, in the first place, are never proven to prevent HIV,” he said. “In fact, [in] countries whose government openly promotes condoms, one can see skyrocketing cases of HIV/AIDS instead,” he said. According to Bullecer, most of the protesters against condom distribution present themselves as concerned parents and taxpayers who are against the DOH’s “anti-Catholic, and immoral propaganda.” “Condom is a multi-million dollar industry. This is a battle now between the concerned citizens and taxpayers versus DOH,” said Bullecer. More rallies The rally in Cebu City came four days after another group of parents brought the debate on condom use to the doorstep of the Department of Health main office in Manila. As of press time, another major rally is being prepared by the country’s biggest fraternal organization of Catholic men. Organizers said hundreds of members of the Knights of Columbus are expected to attend the “Walk for Life” from Intramuros to Rajah Sulayman Park in Malate, in Manila. Last March 12, around 60 members of the Alliance of Concerned Parents against Condoms slammed the DOH’s pro-contraceptive policy, saying that there’s no such thing as safe sex.” They also called on the government to implement measures that do not offend “morality” to stop the spread of HIV and avoid unwanted pregnancy. “The use of condom is another way to promote free sex,” said Jose Rufo Fernandez, one of the protesters. During the rally, protesters distributed flyers, reading “There’s no such thing as safe sex” to pedestrians and motorists. The group vowed to initiate more rallies in other parts of Metro Manila in the coming days, saying the public needs to know the real score about the contraceptive policy. Ban prostitution Another protester Alice Mendiola called on the government to close down short-time motels and ban prostitution in the country. She said it’s ironic that the government flaunts its anti-HIV campaign and yet tolerate major venues which cause the disease to spread. “Why do they have to promote condoms that have been proven to be ineffective in the battle against AIDS in other countries,” Mendiola said. The protesters also called on President Arroyo to clarify the stand
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of her administration on artificial family planning. Arroyo had been claiming that she is still for natural family planning but the health department, so far, is doing otherwise. Mendiola said the fate of the promotion of contraceptives— considered one of the most contested issues among Church leaders and State officials—still lies in the hands of the chief executive. HIV network The Catholic Church is willing to help the government combat rising HIV infections in the country but denounce role of condoms in its fight. Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said AIDS is a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone and neither through the distribution of condoms. “What is important is the behavior change of the people that they become responsible in their sexual life,” he said in an interview over Church-run Radyo Veritas. At the First National Catholic Forum on HIV/AIDS held recently, Pabillo also led the creation of a network, composed of religious congregations and organizations, to fight the disease. The Church had a big role to play in stopping the spread of the disease, said Pabillo who chairs the National Secretariat for Social Action (Nassa) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). He said the network is composed of health experts from various Catholic hospitals, community workers and religious leaders. The bishop said the network is also willing to collaborate with government agencies in their fight to stop the spread of the disease. “We need to help each other because the government cannot do this alone. The church also has its obligation like teaching moral values,” said Pabillo. Assisting AIDS victims while undergoing treatment and giving livelihoods are among the goals of the advocacy group, he said. The forum was attended by the Department of Health’s Epidemiology Chief Dr. Eric Tayag and UN-AIDS country coordinator Ma. Teresa Maries Bagasao. Tayag, in his presentation, reported the DOH’s data of the rising HIV cases in the country and the government’s response to it. Bagasao said the creation of the Catholic network on AIDS “comes at the right time”, saying that such cases in the country have reached at an “alarming” level. She said the UN-AIDS understands that religious leaders can play an important role. “We can do something about it. We will support this network so that we will be able to comprehensively address the problem,” said Bagasao. Fr. Joseph Cacacha, parish priest of Our Lady of Lourdes, also criticized the joint consultation by mining companies saying their strategy only showed they wanted to rush the process to their advantage. “The term of known pro-mining Mayor Cesareo R. Benito Jr. is about to end and these mining companies fear that they will have a more difficult time to get the social license they need and/or LGU support in the next administration,” Cacacha said. At least 2,000 anti-mining advocates from concerned barangays in Brooke’s Point have attended the public meeting spearheaded by ALDAW Network to discuss the issue. ALDAW, an advocacy-campaign network of Indigenous Peoples jointly constituted by NATRIPAL (United Tribes of Palawan) and BANGSA PALAWAN PHILIPPINES (Indigenous Alliance for Equity and Wellbeing), held the discussion in cooperation with the Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, PNNI, ELAC and other environmental groups. (Pinky Barrientos, FSP)

A CATHOLIC bishop called on President Arroyo to leave a legacy of transparency in government before her term ends in June. Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo urged Arroyo to ask his allies in the administration-dominated Congress to pass a bill that would give the people right to information of all government transactions. Citing the country’s growing poverty, Pabillo said he is not sure of what could be Arroyo’s legacy to the country. But it’s not yet too late, he said. “One thing that she can do is to pass the freedom to information bill that could help foster transparency and good governance. That could be her good legacy,” Pabillo said. The bill seeks to promote the state policy of full public disclosure of all its transactions. Information may be obtained through a request submitted to the concerned agency either personally, though mail or other electronic means. The measure, Pabillo said could help minimize, if not eradicate, the massive corruption in the government which continue to plague the country. Last month, various civic groups and media practitioners have asked the House of Representatives to ratify the bill as soon as session resumes on May 31. The Senate ratified the reconciled version of the bill on Feb. 1, but the Lower House failed to do so for lack of quorum on the last day of the session on Feb. 3. A similar action by the lawmakers in Congress is needed before the measure is transmitted to Arroyo for final approval. Lawmakers are currently on a recess for the electoral campaign period. (CBCPNews)
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© Pinky Barrientos, FSP / CBCP Media

pital, Siasi District Hospital and Panamao District Hospital in Sulu, and the Sergio Osmeña District Hospital in Zamboanga Del Norte are among the 200 hospitals that have ceased its operations because of lack of health personnel; while the Calbayog District Hospital, Gandara District Hospital, Basey District Hospital and Tarangnan District Hospital in Western Samar, the Malipayon District Hospital, San Jose District Hospital and San Andres District Hospital in Romblon, and the Jolo Provincial Hospital are only operating “partially” due to same reason. The State itself, aggravates the problem “It’s the government to blame for the Philippine health sector’s woes,” says the militant alliance of physicians, Health Alliance for Democracy (Head). “The implementation of “backward” health policies by the Macapagal-Arroyo administration triggers the massive closure of health facilities and pushes health workers to go abroad, instead of serving the Filipino patients,” said Dr. Geneve E. Rivera, Head’s secretary-general, in a statement. More nurses are going abroad In 2008 data of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), the State’s institution that is taking care of the labor export, reveals that professional nurses and caregivers constitute the 6.8 percent of the deployed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) that year. The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Country Cooperation Strategy (CCS) brief states that 70 percent of nursing graduate opt to work overseas, making the Philippines the biggest supplier of nurses. The CCS also revealed that certain big hospitals have been losing an average of 10-12 nurses a month since 2001, and health staff retention remains an enormous challenge for the Philippines in order to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Curriculum tailored for labor export The 2006 World Health Report (WHR) published by the WHO reveals that the Philippine nursing curriculum is really designed for labor export. “The Philippines, as part of a larger policy to encourage worker migration, has been training health workers, especially nurses, for export for many years—they constitute 76% of foreign nurse graduates in the United States, for example,” observes the WHO. Setbacks While the WHO sees health workers’ migration is a positive development in terms of skills training and development, as the nurses and doctors bring home new skills and methods they have acquired abroad, it has also its setback. The WHO said, when large numbers of doctors and nurses leave, the countries that financed their education lose a return on their investment and end up unwillingly providing the wealthy countries to which their health personnel have migrated with a kind of “perverse subsidy.” However financial loss is not the most damaging outcome of the Diaspora of health workers but the impact of it in the sector itself. “When a country has a fragile health system, the loss of its workforce can bring the whole system close to collapse and the consequences can be measured in lives lost. In these circumstances, the calculus of international migration shifts from brain drain or gain to “fatal flows”,” the WHO report said. (Noel Barcelona)
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to bypass this restriction with the help of DENR,” Mandawa said. Meanwhile, those who attended the consultation were given P200 each as an incentive. Mambalot barangay captain Aderna Erlinda Edep, a pro-mining advocate admitted the mining companies did so to encourage attendance. “It is really shameful how these mining companies manipulate our people with bribery. With the impacts of El Niño causing prices of food to rise, poor people easily succumbed to the Php 200.00 offer,” added Mandawa. Palawan NGO Network Incorporated advocacy officer Beth Maclang said more than 3,000 people attended the joint public consultation. “We fear that they will use this number to declare a successful consultation without taking into account the real stand of majority of people’s strong opposition to mining,” Maclang said. But affected communities showed their strong opposition to the mining projects. EnAutomated / A3

vironmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC) legal officer Atty. Edward Lorenzo said mining companies have already consulted the people of Brooke’s Point three times and thrice they failed to get the people’s nod on the project. The mining companies’ proposed area of operation falls in “core zone” area, inside the newly-declared Mt. Mantalingahan Protected Landscape (MMPL) where mining is not allowed. Lorenzo said the law prohibits mining at Brooke’s Point because it will encroach on areas under maximum protection defined under the Strategic Environmental Plan for Palawan (Republic Act 7611). “Ninety per cent of the mining operations are situated in ‘core zones’—areas above 1,000 meters in elevation, virgin forests or primary growth forests, areas with steep gradient (above 50% slope), and critically threatened/endangered habitats of rare endangered species or habitats of Palawan local endemic species of flora and fauna,” added Lorenzo.

country’s political institutions. What we are against is the precipitate manner with which the automated election system (AES) is being deployed, and the propagation of the falsehood that automation in itself reduces or even eliminates electoral fraud,” Natividad said. This is notwithstanding Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) assurance that the technology to be used in the national polls is “hack-free.” Contrary to Comelec’s claims, computer expert Romeo C. Factolerin said, there is no such “hack-free” technology. In an interview with CBCP News, he said that the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) can be cracked or “hacked.” “Hacking is simply re-programming or re-configuring a computer’s system to bend it the way the hacker wants it to be. In simple terms it is a way to make the computer program obey a certain command away from the facilitator’s original intention,” Factolerin said. Hacking: an omen of fraudulent elections? Last January, retired Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz has warned the public about the possible failure of elections as five government websites were already hacked. This, according to Cruz, can be considered as “big bad omen of things to come about the forthcoming national automated elections.” Factolerin seemed to agree with the 75-year old prelate’s “premonition.” “It may look like a coincidence, but it establishes a horrifying re-

minder that it can happen in the coming election. It is an undeniable disaster for the automated election if it truly materializes. However, the possibility of hacking rears two faces--from the side of those who just want to prove that they can re-program an otherwise impervious system and those who want to win the elections in any which way they want,” said Factolerin. Factolerin explained that the simplest hacking method is the DDoS or the distributed denial of service that can be done by any ordinary computer programming student back in the 80s and still pose a significant threat in today’s web 2.0 system. “If the automated election procedure relies on a web based ballot counting and data collection, the hacker using DDoS can simply paralyzed the server, thus denying any access. Votes cannot pass through the main system, thereby cannot be counted. This “freezing” of server could take longer, hours, days, weeks depending on the hacker and the ability of the server to “unhack” itself,” Factolerin furthered. “Manipulation of the election program and the re-configuration of the system could spell fraud, unless the hacker only wants to prove that he hacks just for the sake of his self-esteem. Otherwise, if the program or the system is compromised, the image that it suggests is clear—fraudulence. It is very hard on the part of the Comelec to prove that there is no cheating that transpired if in the first place their system had experienced hacking, but of course we can expect they will not tell this to the public,” he added. Factolerin urged the Comelec to further educate the public and ensure them that they can trust the AES. (Noel Sales Barcelona)

Namfrel’s co-petitioner is the National Secretariat for Social Action–Justice and Peace (Nassa) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. Both organizations earlier vowed to bring the case up to the Supreme Court for the Comelec to allow them to conduct or be involved in the manual audit and external parallel count. Cuisia said all they want was to help the Comelec in ensuring accuracy and fairness in the country’s first automated elections. The poll body has already assigned the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) as its official citizens’ arm in the national and automated polls. Namfrel also revealed it would no longer do its quick counts because the automated polls promise results in 2-3 days. Cuisia said Namfrel and Nassa, through its Bantay ng Bayan (BnB) program, would instead focus on monitoring the Comelec’s performance and the credibility of the election results and other “critical aspects of the election process.” Namfrel said the BnB reports will be given before and after the elections. On May 10, it will release two reports in the morning and in the evening based on data from election sources and documents as well as information from its volunteers. In a press briefing on Friday, BnB released its first report on Comelec’s preparations, expressing alarming concerns about the country’s preparedness for its first ever automated elections. They also noted that the Comelec appeared behind its schedule of deadlines and deliverables and that the poll body was lenient to the delays incurred by Smartmatic TIM Corp., the automated elections supplier. “Deadlines are not being enforced and the required levels of accuracy have not been attained in the pilot tests,” the group said. (CBCPNews)

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 6
March 15 - 28, 2010

Diocesan News

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Briefing
Cebu archdiocese supports Vote God campaign

CEBU CITY—The Archdiocese of Cebu has expressed support for the Vote God campaign that was launched through the initiative of the Circles for Discernment for Elections (CiDE) March 9, at the Betania Retreat House in Cebu City. Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal said the campaign will further help in sustaining political awareness among the electorate. (Kate Laceda)
Thousands protest vs Ayala watershed mining

Whistleblower’s kin still at a loss
LEGAZPI CITY— Now that the body of whistleblower Wilfredo “Boy” Cimanes Mayor was finally laid to rest, his family are still facing a blank wall as to the identities of the perpetrators and the motives of his killing. Cherry Mayor, Boy’s widow who took over as Barangay Captain of Tagas, one of Daraga’s residential villages, said she still has to find out who were responsible and discover the motives behind the killing of his husband even if the police assured to conduct thorough investigation . “Several angles pointing to the motives of killing have surfaced but these are still to be investigated,” she said. Mayor said she last saw her Wilfredo “Boy” Cimanes Mayor husband on February 19 and talked to him last by phone on Feb. 26. The widow said she was supposed to visit her whistleblower-husband in Manila last Feb. 27 but failed to travel for some reasons. “I learned he (Boy) visited Archbishop Oscar Cruz at the CBCP before he was shot dead,” she said, adding that she learned her husband was preparing some documents about ghost public works projects. However, the widow said she doesn’t know the details because her husband was “secretive” until after his exposé. Asked if she’s satisfied with the way the Philippine National Police is handling the investigation, Mayor said she hopes there will be no whitewash. “I have not been given the spot report on the fatal incident or the autopsy report and all I know have been reported in the papers and television,” she said. “I can only hope authorities would pursue an honest-to-goodness investigation and pursue all angles to solve the crime,” she added. Ghost projects Albay’s Second District Engineer Manuel Azurin said they have enough safeguards or measures to prevent ghost projects. Azurin, an officer of the DPWH for 42 years, said legislators’ projects funded by their development or pork barrel funds which they implement, are being watched by barangay captains. He said school buildings up for construction are being closely monitored by teachers, school principals and Department of Education officials.
© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

ZAMBOANGA CITY—Some 10,000 farmers, teachers and church workers marched in peaceful protest along seaside streets of this city recently to raise their opposition against a proposed mining project in Zamboanga’s Ayala Watershed. Residents and anti-mining advocates had been opposing the government’s issuance of permit to Rigid Aggregates Mining Corporation (RAMC) to undertake mining activities within the watershed area. (CBCPNews)
Only 16% of labor force to benefit from wage hike

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—Only 16 percent of the total labor force in the country will benefit from any legislated wage increases, the chairman of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) said. Sergio R. Ortiz-Luis Jr. said that of the total work force of the country, only 16% are in the “formal” sector while the 84% are in the “informal” sector. (Bong D. Fabe)
Mindoro Oriental gears for clean, honest polls

He also said mediumsized projects are being uploaded in their websites. “In some instances when projects cost over P10 million they are published in national broadsheets,” he added. Azurin said the late “Boy” Mayor renewed his license to pursue his construction business but has not bagged any contract with Albay’s Second Engineering District.

CALAPAN CITY—Concerned citizens here are set to join the fun-run and Alay Lakad Para sa Mindoro and the peacecovenant signing on March 20. “This is a step in the right direction for various sectors working together to assure everyone of clean, honest and pro-environment election,” thus said Fr. Andy Peter Lubi, lead convenor of the Mindoreño Movement for Good Governance. (Fely Sevilla)
Prelate says prayer still important to attain clean polls

KORONADAL CITY—Marbel Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez emphasized the importance of prayer especially in attaining honest, orderly, credible and clean 2010 national and local elections. The prelate said the people should not cease from praying especially during this time when election is getting nearer. “Everyone should pray because without God, we cannot do anything and if we want to be successful in our endeavors we must pray together,” he said. (CBCPNews)
Eco group pushes for sustainable lifestyle

QUEZON CITY—The EcoWaste Coalition is now pushing for the promotion of sustainable lifestyle marked by active ecological concern and responsibility. The group said that sustainable lifestyle also means no to open burning of garbage. He said open burning can cause damage to the human and ecological health as well as to the properties and can also worsen the flaming heat of summer. (Kate Laceda)
Prelate sees importance of dialogue in Basilan

ISABELA CITY— Prelature of Isabela Bishop Martin Jumoad stressed the significance of furthering dialogue in the province of Basilan, a predominantly Muslim area. He said that there is a need to continue dialogue between Muslim and Catholic leaders to maintain the peace in the province. (Melo M. Acuna)
Liturgy confab held to deepen Lenten celebration

Recollections Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal said he has known “Boy” Mayor since his schooldays. Interviewed by CBCPNews, the three-term city executive said the late whistleblower was a close friend of his father, a former DPWH official. “They used to play poker together at our home making me a close friend until I became city mayor,” Rosal said. Although they seldom met, he said they continued to be friends and talked about his activities including cockfighting and his contracts with DPWH. He said he never had dealings with Mayor until he got killed. He added the late contractor opted to do business with the Department of Public Works and Highways. In a related development, Legazpi Bishop Emeritus Lucilo Quiambao said concerned citizens should identify the “ghost projects” which was supposed to be exposed by Mayor had he not been fatally ambushed last Feb. 28. Quiambao believes Rizaldy Co’s Sunwest Construction and Development Corporation has nothing to do with the killing. “I know the family very well, Church-oriented,” the prelate said. He referred to “Zaldy” as a good ex-seminarian. He added he also knows Zaldy’s brother Christopher who maintains a low profile in business. “They are very peaceful people and they have no inclination to harm anyone,” he said. Though Bishop Quiambao was not Zaldy Co’s formator, the prelate said he knows no “black record” whatsoever. He added Zaldy could have been a priest assigned to minister to Catholics of Chinese origin in the diocese had it not been for the seminarian’s decision to leave the seminary to be with his sick father and attend to their family business. (Melo M. Acuña)

MAKATI CITY— Manila’s Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission held a liturgy conference which aimed to deepen the commemoration of Lent. The event was held on March 8 at the San Carlos Pastoral Formation Complex in Makati City which was also intended to help the clergy in their preparation for the Holy Week and the Easter Triduum. (Kate Laceda)
KAIROS-Canada demands release of Morong 43

Prelate dares gov’t to fast track justice to Maguindanao massacre victims
KORONADAL CITY—The Bishop of Marbel called on the government to fast track the investigation and prosecution of the accused in the Nov. 23, 2009 massacre in Maguindanao province. Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez expressed disgust over the snail-paced efforts of the government to bring justice to the victims, their immediate families and the accused. The 71-year old prelate said it is easy to accuse but may be hard to prove them in court. “Do not accuse unless you have proofs,” as he called on everyone not to resort to collective accusations and judgment on all the accused in Maguindanao massacre. He said every objective individual should look for premises and “hold one’s judgment” until the formal inquiry is over. Gutierrez said one should look for a major premise for the issue and the premise is “Thou shalt not kill.” A minor premise gets into the picture which is Andal Ampatuan, Jr. was reported to have led his men in the massacre. “Sino ‘yon, may prueba ba? Kung mayroon, parusahan mo,” he said. He added if there’s no proof, there is a presumption of innocence. “How will you prove ARMM Governor Zaldy Ampatuan’s involvement?” he asked. He added it is the government’s duty to prove the ARMM governor and his other relatives’ participation. He called on government authorities to engage in “very serious, straight, specific and detailed” investigation. He added had the government listened to his opinion, the cases should have been for murder rather than rebellion which may not stand in court. Gutierrez said the Diocese of Marbel has also extended moral and financial assistance to the victims who were from his ecclesiastical province which includes two towns in Sultan Kudarat province. (CBCPNews)

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sufferers of climate change so they can adapt to the changing situation. Lent is a time of fasting, which leads us to the spirit of sacrifice and not to use things harmful to the environment,” Bishop Howlader added. By the end of the event, which also included panel discussions, teachers vowed to show a stronger commitment to saving natural resources and protecting the environment in their localities from pollution. Holy Cross Brother Prodip Placid Gomes, principal of St. Placid’s High School said developed countries were not the only ones to be blamed for climate change. Countries like Bangladesh also have to accept some responsibility. “We also contribute to climate change by wasting natural resources and power, such as water, electricity and gas,” Brother Gomes said. The Lenten season inspires us to confess our guilt and to change our ways which then makes it possible to enlighten the students, he said. Maria Alo Palma, a nun from Our Lady of the Missions (RNDM) congregation and headmistress of St. Scholastica’s Girls’ High School said that she will instruct her students not to waste water in washrooms and toilets. Greeta Grizel Gonsalves, a teacher from St. Placid’s School vowed to reduce the use of electricity, gas and water at home for her Lenten sacrifice. Joseph Dias of St. Scholastica School said he will stop using nonbiodegradable materials. (UCAN)

Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez

NGCP official on the power shortage: ‘Please pray for rain’
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY— “Please pray for rain.” This was the call issued not by a Catholic priest or Muslim imam but by an executive of the country’s biggest company tasked with delivering safe and reliable electricity throughout the Philippine archipelago. Prayer That is the prescription of Edgardo Calabio, regional corporate executive of the National Grip Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), to the worsening power shortage in Mindanao. “You have to pray that God will send more rain to the right places,” he said. Calabio’s call for prayer followed the Catholic Church’s Oratio Imperata (mandatory prayer) for rains during every mass. “For everything to be normal, the water inflow must be at 120 cubic meters per second. What we have now is only 30 cubic meters per second,” he said. “We have to pray for rain,” he stressed. Aside from praying for rain, the Davao City-based Calabio also urged the government to make investments in the power sector in Mindanao attractive to investors by adjusting the island’s power rates. “Adjust the rates, if you would like to entice investors to come in; reflect the true cost of power,” he said. Average power rate in Mindanao is
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© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

ANTIPOLO CITY— Support from different ecumenical groups has been pouring for the detained 43 health workers in Morong, Rizal. KAIROS, a Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiative, demands from the Philippine government to immediately release the Morong 43, which has been reportedly tortured—physically, emotionally and psychologically. (Noel Sales Barcelona)

May They Be One Bible Campaign
The Valentine’s Day Fun Run for a Bible in Batangas continues to run its course through Bible distributions. The event, dubbed “Run for One”, which took place last February 14, was sponsored by the Youth for Christ, Batangas chapter, working under the pastoral leadership of Rev. Fr. Ferdinand Jauod, Most Holy Rosary Parish, Archdiocese of Lipa. Proceeds of the event went to buying 500 May They Be One Tagalog Bibles which will be distributed on the 3rd week of March to select recipients. MTBO Bible distributions will be as follows: 50 Bibles for the Archdiocese’s Youth Commission c/o Rev. Fr. Dakila Ramos, 100 for Gawad Kalinga families, 100 for the Most Holy Rosary Parish, Padre Garcia, 100 for Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish, Rosario, 50 for the Immaculate Concepcion Parish, Batangas City and 100 Bibles for inmates of the Batangas Provincial Jail attending the Christian Life Program of CFC. “Anything other than the moral force of the Bible will fail” (Chief Justice Reynato Puno)

Target No. of Bibles for Distribution for 2010: 200,000 cps. No. of Bibles Distributed in February 2010: 14,472 cps. No. of Bibles Distributed (Jan & Feb 2010): 24,841 cps. Bible Distribution by Languages for Jan-Feb 2010 - Tagalog (11,540 cps.), English (3,689 cps.), Bicol (526 cps.), Cebuano (520 cps.), Hiligaynon (2,087 cps.), Ilocano (4,463 cps.), Pangasinense (2,016 cps.) No. of Bibles Distributed (from Jan 2009- Feb 2010): 103,953 + 24,841 cps. = 128,794 Parishes/Communities served in 2010: 102 Coverage of Bible Distribution for April-June 2010 based on order forms received: Naval, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Digos, Pagadian, Pampanga, Ozamis, Butuan, Dipolog, Southern Leyte, Borongan Total Funds Needed for Printing and Transport of Bibles in 2010: P30M

only P6.58 per kilowatt hour against Cebu’s P7.22/kWh and Metro Manila’s P9.32/kWh. “What we [users] pay does not reflect the true cost of power; we should be paying more,” he said. Mindanao has lower power rates compared to other regions in the country because of 51 percent of its power supply is dependent on water. NGCP transmits electricity to various power utilities in the country from the National Power Corporation (NPC), which operates the hydro-power plants in Lanao del Sur (Agus Power Plant Complex) and Bukidnon (Pulangi Power Plants Complex). The NPC’s hydro-power plants generate 70 percent of Mindanao’s power supply. And that alone is “a blessing and a curse,” he said, explaining that because of lower rates, no one is investing in the power sector in Mindanao. “Mindanao is a peculiar grid. There is so much hydro-power so we have lower rates. But it is a blessing and a curse. We have lower rates, but no one is putting up power plants because they cannot recover their investments,” he said, adding: “We have to decide: low rates without power, or higher rates with power.” (Bong D. Fabe)

MTBO Prayer in Cebuano M – amahimo kaming mahigugma sa imong pulong O Diyos T – udloi kami sa paminaw ug pag-puyo sa imong pulong B – endisyoni kadtong magpakaydap sa imong pulong O – Ginoo, abliha ang aming kasingkasing na mahimo kaming magihatagon aron ang uban maka-angkon og Biblia.

Support the May They Be One Bible Campaign and help bring God’s Word to more Filipino homes. Your contribution of at least P150/month will enable poor families to have their own Bibles they can read, study and pray. For more Campaign info-visit, email or call ECBA – Fr. Oscar Alunday, 470 Gen. Luna St., Intramuros, Mla. Telefax no. 5279386; ecba_cbcp@yahoo.com; www.ecba-cbcp.com; PBS-Mrs. Perry Cartera/Mrs. Juliet Rivera at 890 UN Ave., Ermita Mla.; perry@bible.org.ph;juliet@bible.org.ph; www.bible.org..ph Tel. nos. 5215785/5267777 loc. 600, Fax No. 5215803; 09178590019 /09156727492 /09182802775

to fight them. They are trying to evade their responsibility and are blaming foreign involvement,” he told UCA News. The Capuchin priest said the Church is “praying that terrorists change their ways and find peaceful solutions to their problems.” Father Habib was speaking on the sidelines of a service marking the second anniversary of the death of Chiara Lubich, founder of the Focolare movement. About 300 Christians attended the March 13 service at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Lahore. The recent spate of bombings in Lahore occurred less than a week after the March 8 suicide bombing in front of the Special Intelligence Agency’s office, which killed 14 and injured 89. (Zenit)

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People, Facts & Places

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 14 No. 6

March 15 - 28, 2010

THE Canon Law Society of the Philippines (CLSP) is set to discuss personal ecclesiastical jurisdiction in its upcoming 18th national convention on April 12-15 at the Elijah Spirituality Center in the Diocese of Tagbilaran. Departing from its original theme focusing on Tria Munera Christi, in celebration of the Year for Priests, convention organizers will instead discuss a topic of study on personal ecclesiastical circumscriptions. The CLSP executive committee’s change of convention topic came at the heels of the publication of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus by Pope Benedict XVI, providing for the eventual erection of Personal Ordinariates for communities coming from Anglicanism, who wished to come into full communion with the Catholic Church, while retaining some elements of their tradition which are compatible with Catholic doctrine.

Church lawyers to tackle personal ordinariates in national convention
Together with a set of Complementary Norms, this Papal legislation in effect provided for the constitution of yet another form of non-territorial ecclesiastical jurisdiction. It can be recalled that John Paul II had erected the first Personal Prelature (Opus Dei) in 1982, through the Bull Ut sit, and provided for the erection of Military Ordinariates in 1986, through the Apostolic Constitution Spirituali militum curae—both of which are phenomena of non-territorial ecclesiastical jurisdiction. Of late there have been other groups of Catholic faithful that have increasingly made it clear that the traditional territorial circumscriptions have become inadequate, as in the case of refugees, migrant workers, sailors, and Catholics of non-Latin rites. Closer to the Philippines, there are the millions of OFWs who need to be pastorally attended to by the Philippine hierarchy, given the

inadequacy of the territorial hierarchy where they are deployed. Resource speaker for the convention will be Professor Eduardo Baura, who will deliver three conferences on the subject. He has published extensively regarding the topic of the present CLSP National Convention. Baura holds Doctorates both in Canon Law and Civil Law from the University of Navarre. He is a full professor at the School of Canon Law of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, where he was the Dean for two terms, from 1999-2007. He has also collaborated with several Roman Congregations and is a Consultor of the Congregation for Bishops. The four-day convention will be held in a spanking new facility within the Toloto Seminary grounds, built by the diocese through the initiative of Bishop Leonardo Medroso. (Fr. Jaime Achacoso/CBCPNews)

Contributed photo

Elijah Spirituality Center

Professor Eduardo Baura

Pro-Life observes ‘Day of the Unborn’ on March 25
IN an effort to promote a culture of the evils of abortion and put a stop on the of life, love and peace as well practice. as give voice to the voiceless In a press release, Pro-Life said aborted babies whose chance the activity is also a way expressto life has been snuffed out ing grief for the innocent aborted prematurely because of aborbabies who never had the chance tion, Pro-Life Philippines to see “the splendor of God’s Foundation, Inc. is commemocreation,” and “never felt the rating a “Day of the Unborn” on warmth of their mother’s embrace March 25. and father’s protection.” © The annual event has been con- www.p It also hopes the occasion would rol ife. ceived by Pro-Life Philippines to cre“serve as an awakening to those who org .ph ate deeper awareness among the public view abortion as a way out of pregnancy instead of a blessing of a new life.” On March 24, the eve of commemoration, a “Light a Candle for Life Ceremony” will be held at the Monument for the Unborn, in Plaza Miranda fronting Quiapo Church. The activity will begin after the 6 p.m. Mass at the Basilica of the Black Nazarene. Earlier, Archbishop Paciano Aniceto, Chair of the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, has issued a letter to dioceses all over the country to encourage their parishes to celebrate the Day of the Unborn on March 25. Pro-Life Philippines urged the public to join the event and offer their prayers in memory of the babies who never had the choice to be born. “The increasing rate of abortion today has become a path towards moral decadence and devastating psycho-spiritual effects on the lives of the aborted women, the men involved, and the abortion providers,” it further said. Pro-life office provides access numbers for anyone who wishes further information in all its activities and services. It can be reached at 7337027, telefax 734-9425; 0919-2337783; email life@ prolife.org.ph, or visit www.prolife.org.ph. (Pinky Barrientos, FSP)

Paris prelate notes CBCP’s efforts for Filipino migrants
THE auxiliary bishop of Paris has learned one beautiful thing from the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Migrant and Itinerant People (CBCP-ECMI) especially in their efforts of protecting the welfare of Filipino Migrants. According to Fr. Edwin Corros, Executive Secretary of ECMI, Paris Auxiliary Bishop Eric de Moulin-Beaufort knew more about the works of ECMI as a coordinating body of the ministry to the Filipino communities overseas. “He also learned about the CBCP’s response and concerns affecting the OFWs and their families left behind,” the priest added. Corros also said that they have laid down the different programs and services of the commission for the local churches. “I explained that the work of the commission concentrates more on the families left behind, considering that children of migrants are growing up with absentee parents,” he said. The Auxiliary Bishop visited the CBCP-ECMI to strengthen the collaboration of the “sending and receiving churches” of Filipino migrants. ECMI is a social arm of CBCP which aids Filipino migrants and their families left behind through their various projects. Moulin-Beaufort is joined by Fr. Gil Apuli, chaplain of the Filipino community in Paris and Elpidio Caimoy, coordinator of the Filipino Pastoral Council. Apuli said at least 40,000 documented Filipinos are currently working in France and Filipino chaplains are based on cities like Paris, Marseilles and Nice. “The Filipino chaplaincy in Paris has been in existence for more than two decades now,” Corros said. (CBCPNews)

CBCP holds seminar on pastoral counseling for women in crisis
THE Office on Women of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP-OW) has convened its first seminar on pastoral counseling for women and girls in crisis on March 10 at the St. James the Apostle Parish in Plaridel, Bulacan. The seminar was meant to educate the guidance counselors on how they could help in the advocacy of the OW in pastoral counseling of women and girls in crisis. Resource speakers of the seminar were Sr. Pilar Versoza, CBCP Project Director of Pastoral Counseling for women and girls; Dra. Zenaida Rotea, Executive Secretary of the CBCP Office on Women and Nellie O. Santos. Versoza has presented concrete cases

Dr. Zenaida Rotea, executive secretary of the Office on Women of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines speaks to participants on how to counsel women in crisis during a pastoral counseling seminar held recently.

of abortion and the appropriate care and pastoral counseling that should be given to those who have undergone abortion. About 185 school guidance counselors representing the 24 towns of Plaridel have participated in the seminar. At the end of the seminar, the participants have committed themselves to join the program of the CBCP Office on Women in counseling their respective students, Rotea said. Giving seminars is just one of the programs of the CBCP-OW in furtherance of its apostolate on caring for the women and girls in crisis. The CBCP-OW has also established ten model centers for Women in crisis with the end in view of helping women and girls who are experiencing different kinds of abuses. (Kate Laceda)

CBCP continues to help Haiti victims
THE Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has recently wired $48,809.00 to the Apostolic Nuncio to Haiti Archbishop Bernardito Auza for the earthquake victims of Haiti. Msgr. Joselito C. Asis, CBCP Assistant Secretary General and Assistant Treasurer said the donations came from the Catholic faithful in response to CBCP President’s appeal to the country’s 86 ecclesial provinces. A second collection was held in all Sunday Masses last January 24, 2010. “We have already sent the funds to Archbishop Ausa with the request to hand-over the cash to the Conferencia Episcopal de Haiti (Episcopal Conference of Haiti) which is composed of the Archdioceses of Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haitien and the Dioceses of Anse-a-Veau et Miragoane, Fort Liberte, Hinche, Jacmel, Jeremie, Les Caves, Les Gonaives and Port-de-Paix. It will be recalled that Auza, who hails from Talibon, Bohol, called on generous individuals and institutions worldwide to assist Caribbean’s poorest country in the aftermath of the earthquake that killed hundreds last January 12, 2010. Asis said the amount came from the Archdioceses of Caceres and Jaro and the Dioceses of Cubao, Daet, Legazpi, Tagum, Boac, Bangued, Novaliches and Alaminos. He said he expects more dioceses will remit their contributions in due time. It will be recalled that the 2nd National Congress of the Clergy held January 25-29, 2010 in Pasay City also donated one million pesos for Haiti victims.

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THE Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Episcopal Commission on Health Care (CBCP-ECHC) has recently conducted a Catholic Congress that gives emphasis on the dignity of mentally retarded individuals last February 27 at the Paco Catholic School Manila. Among the matters that were discussed were the effects of having a special child in the family; ways to cope up with their problems and ways to educate special children especially that of the mentally challenged persons. The congress also encouraged the parents and other members of the family to understand their children’s situation and to keep believing in God. “We are encouraging the families to accept the situation of their children and they should have faith in God and never lose hope,” the organizers said. This year’s theme of the congress was “Look Carefully, Act Mercifully.”

Catholic congress focuses on mental retardation

Markings

Some of the participants of the congress were the individuals/organizations that are advocates for the special children such as the Sped Center in various areas; Hospicio de San Jose; NOH-School for Crippled Children; Divine Mercy Mobile Center; Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines (DSAPI); Special Children Educational Institution (SCEI); Ang Anghel ng Pag-asa; St. Luke Medical Center; Ortho-Pedagogical Institute; Free Believers in Christ Inc.; Antipolo Persons with Disabilities Federation and other schools that have special education courses. ECHC is a social arm of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) that is committed to serving and helping the physically and mentally challenged persons through various programs and activities such as the recent catholic congress. (CBCPNews)

© www.flickr.com/photos/47375982@N03

CELEBRATING. Sr. Ma Speranza Alejandro, Sr. Ma. Fides Reboldal and Sr. Ma. Charitas Reforeal, golden jubilee of religious profession among the Pious Disciples of the Divine Master; March 25, 2010. His Eminence Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales led the thanksgiving Eucharistic Celebration on the Solemnity of the Annunciation at the Divine Master Convent, Antipolo City. The congregation of the Pious Disciples of the Divine Master is one of the five religious congregations and five secular institutes, also known as the Pauline Family, founded by Blessed James Alberione. INAUGURATED. A new chapel for the Sancta Maria Mater et Regina Seminarium community, February 14, during the first visit of Papal nuncio Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams to the Archdiocese of Capiz. The simple yet meaningful inauguration was attended by bishops, clergy, religious, guests, benefactors, local government officials, parents, faculty and staff, seminarians and lay faithful from 35 parishes and chaplaincies. Bishops who concelebrated include Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra, San Carlos Bishop Jose Advincula (first rector of SMMRS), Romblon Bishop Jose Corazon Tala-oc and Capiz Archbishop Onesimo Gordoncillo. Kalibo Administrator Father Ulysses Dalida was also present. In a two-and-a-half-hour mass highlighted by the rite of blessing, the Nuncio noted in his homily that the chapel and every chapel is “a place of refuge, a meeting place with God of our life.” On February 10, 2004, the cornerstone of the chapel was laid inside the five-hectare lot of the seminary donated by Mr. Catalino Mabasa, Jr. in Sitio Bangbang, Brgy. Cagay, Roxas City, while the construction of the seminary building was on-going. The chapel, then estimated to cost 6 million, according to Mother Thomas del Rosario, OP, project engineer, was funded by benefactors, local and abroad, donors, and the faithful of the archdiocese and was completed and blessed this year on the occasion of the tenth founding anniversary of the seminary. SMMRS which formally opened on July 14, 1999, was a brainchild of Archbishop Gordoncillo who turns 75 this year.. At present, the seminary community is home to seven priests and 69 seminarians (60 philosophy and 9 theology students). (Sem. Dedert Duarte)

Caritas Manila under Fr. Anton Pascual has already sent $50,000.00 last February 11 through the papal nuncio. The amount came from Caritas Manila’s funds and donations from various parishes and benefactors. For its part, the CBCP-NASSA under its Chairman Bishop Broderick Pabillo will also send $10,000 generated from Alay Kapwa funds and a number of dioceses. Pabillo earlier released a circular addressed to Social Action directors nationwide to campaign for donations for Haiti earthquake victims. (Melo M. Acuña)

Contributed photo

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 6
March 15 – March 28, 2010

Pastoral Concerns

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© Roy Lagarde/CBCP Media

THe journey of Lent ends with the easter Triduum, initiated by the celebration of the Coena Domini Mass. During the Triduum, Good Friday which is dedicated to the celebration of the Lord’s Passion is eminently suited for the “adoration of the Holy Cross”. Popular piety tends to anticipate the cultic veneration of the Cross. Throughout Lent, every Friday is observed, since very ancient times, as a commemoration of the Lord’s Passion and the faithful easily direct their devotions towards the mystery of the Cross. They contemplate the crucified Savior, they sense more easily the great suffering which Jesus, the Holy and Innocent One, suffered for the salvation of mankind. They understand his love and the effectiveness of his redemptive sacrifice. The various and numerous devotions to the crucified Christ acquire a special significance in those churches dedicated to the mystery of the Cross or where authentic relics of the true cross are venerated. The “invention of the Cross” in the early fourth century, and the subsequent diffusion throughout the Church of particles of the true Cross, gave notable impulse to devotion to the Cross. Devotions to the crucified Christ contain many elements usually found in popular piety: hymns and prayers, acts such as the unveiling and kissing of the Cross, processions and blessing with the Cross. These can lead to the development of pious exercises often containing many valuable formal and material elements. Devotion to the Cross, however, sometimes requires certain enlightenment. The faithful should be taught to place the Cross in its essential reference to the resurrection of Christ: the Cross, the empty tomb, the Death and resurrection of Christ are indispensable in the Gospel narrative of God’s salvific plan. In the Christian faith, the Cross is an expression of the triumph of Christ over the powers of darkness. Hence, it is adorned with precious stones and is a sign of blessing when made upon one’s self, or on others or on objects. The Gospel texts of the Passion are especially detailed. Coupled with a tendency in popular piety to isolate specific moments of the narrative, this has induced the faithful to turn their attention to specific aspects of the Passion of Christ, making of them specific devotions: devotion to the “Ecce Homo”, Christ despised, “crowned with thorns and clothed in a purple cloak” (John 19, 5), and shown to the multitude by Pilate; devotion to the five sacred wounds of Christ, especially to the side of Christ from which flowed blood and water for the salvation of mankind (John 19, 34); devotion to the instruments of the Passion, the pillar at which Christ was scourged, the steps of the Praetorium, the crown of thorns, the nails, the lance that pierced Him; devotion to the Holy Shroud. Such expressions of piety, often promoted by persons of great sanctity, are legitimate. However, in order to avoid excessive fragmentation in contemplation of the mystery of the Cross, it is always useful to emphasize the whole event of the Passion, as is the case in biblical and patristic tradition. Reading of the Lord’s Passion The Church exhorts the faithful to frequent personal and community reading of the Word of God. Undoubtedly, the account of the Lord’s Passion is among the most important pastoral passages in the New Testament. Hence, for the Christian in his last agony, the Ordo untionis informorum eorumque pastoralis curae suggests the reading of the Lord’s Passion either in its entirety, or at least some pericopes from it(136). During Lent, especially on Wednesdays and Fridays, love for our Crucified Saviour should move the Christian community to read the account of the Lord’s Passion. Such reading, which is doctrinally significant, attracts the attention of the faithful because of its content and because of its narrative form, and inspires true devotion: repentance for sins, since the faithful see that Christ died for the sins of the entire human race, including their own; compassion and solidarity for the Innocent who was unjustly condemned; gratitude for the infinite love of Jesus for all the brethren, which was shown by Jesus, the first born Son, in his Passion; commitment to imitating his example of meekness, patience, mercy, forgiveness of offenses, abandonment to the Father, which Jesus did willingly and efficaciously in his Passion. Outside of the liturgical celebration of the Passion, the Gospel narrative can be “dramatized”, giving the various parts of the narrative to different persons; or by interspersing it with hymns or moments of silent reflection. Via Crucis Of all the pious exercises connected with the veneration of the Cross, none is more popular among the faithful than the Via Crucis. Through this pious exercise, the faithful movingly follow the final earthly journey of Christ: from the Mount of Olives, where the Lord, “in a small estate called Gethsemane” (Mk 14, 32), was taken by anguish (cf. Lk 22, 44), to Calvary where he was crucified between two thieves (cf. Lk 23, 33), to the garden where he was placed in freshly hewn tomb (John 19, 40-42). The love of the Christian faithful for this devotion is amply attested by the numerous Via Crucis erected in so many churches, shrines, cloisters, in the countryside, and on mountain pathways where the various stations are very evocative. The Via Crucis is a synthesis of various devotions that have arisen since the high middle ages: the pilgrimage to the Holy Land during which the faithful devoutly visit the places associated with the Lord’s Passion; devotion to the three falls of Christ under the weight of the Cross; devotion to “the dolorous journey of Christ” which consisted in processing from one church to another in memory of Christ’s Passion; devotion to the stations of Christ, those places where Christ stopped on his journey to Calvary because obliged to do so by his executioners or exhausted by fatigue, or because moved by compassion to dialogue with those who were present at his Passion. In its present form, the Via Crucis, widely promoted by St. Leonardo da Porto Maurizio (1751), was approved by the apostolic See and indulgenced (137), consists of fourteen stations since the middle of seventeenth century. The Via Crucis is a journey made in the Holy Spirit, that divine fire which burned in the heart of Jesus (cf. Lk 12, 49-50) and brought him to Calvary. This is a journey well esteemed by the Church since it has retained a living memory of the words and gestures of the final earthly days of her Spouse and Lord. In the Via Crucis, various strands of Christian piety coalesce: the idea of life being a journey or pilgrimage; as a passage from earthly exile to our true home in Heaven; the deep desire to be conformed to the Passion of Christ; the demands of following Christ, which imply that his disciples must follow behind the Master, daily carrying their own crosses (cf Lk 9, 23). The Via Crucis an apt pious exercise for Lent The following may prove useful suggestions for a fruitful celebration of the Via Crucis: the traditional form of the Via Crucis, with its fourteen stations, is to be retained as the typical form of this pious exercise; from time to time, however, as the occasion warrants, one or other of the traditional stations might possibly be substituted with a reflection on some other aspects of the Gospel account of the journey to Calvary which are traditionally included in the Stations of the Cross; alternative forms of the Via Crucis have been approved by apostolic See(138) or publicly used by the roman Pontiff(139): these can be regarded as genuine forms of the devotion and may be used as occasion might warrant; the Via Crucis is a pious devotion connected with the Passion of Christ; it should conclude, however, in such fashion as to leave the faithful with a sense of expectation of the resurrection in faith and hope; following the example of the Via Crucis in Jerusalem which ends with a station at the anastasis, the celebration could end with a commemoration of the Lord’s resurrection. Innumerable texts exist for the celebration of the Via Crucis. Many of them were compiled by pastors who were sincerely interested in this pious exercise and convinced of its spiritual effectiveness. Texts have also been provided by lay authors who were known for their exemplary piety, holiness of life, doctrine and literary qualities. Bearing in mind whatever instructions might have been established by the bishops in the matter, the choice of texts for the Via Crucis should take a count of the condition of those participating in its celebration and the wise pastoral principle of integrating renewal and continuity. It is always preferable to choose texts resonant with the biblical narrative and written in a clear simple style.

Veneration of the Crucified Christ

‘There is a great need of priests that speak of God’
Address of Pope Benedict XVI to the participants of the International Theological Conference on “Fidelity of Christ, Fidelity of the Priest” organized by the Congregation of the Clergy, March 12, 2010
Dear Cardinals, Dear Brothers in the episcopate and the Priesthood, Distinguished audience, I aM happy to meet with you on this particular occasion and I greet you all affectionately. I address a particular thought to Cardinal Cláudio Hummes, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, and I thank him for the words he addressed to me. My gratitude to the whole dicastery, for the commitment with which it coordinates the many initiatives of the Year for Priests, among them this Theological Congress, on the subject: “Fidelity of Christ, Fidelity of the Priest.” I am delighted with this initiative that witnesses the presence of more than 50 bishops and over 500 priests, many of them national or diocesan leaders of the clergy and of permanent formation. Your attention to topics referring to the ministerial priesthood is one of the fruits of the special Year, which I wished to convoke precisely to “promote the commitment to interior renewal of all priests, so that their evangelical witness in the world of today is more intense and incisive” (Letter for the celebration of the Year for Priests). The subject of priestly identity, object of your first day of study, is determinant for the exercise of the ministerial priesthood in the present and in the future. In an age such as ours, so “polycentric” and inclined to blur any type of conception of identity, considered by many contrary to liberty and democracy, it is important to have very clear the theological peculiarity of the ordained ministry and not yield to the temptation to reduce it to the prevailing cultural categories. In the context of widespread secularization, which progressively excludes God from the public sphere and, by tendency, also from the shared social conscience, the priest often seems “strange” to common opinion, precisely because of the more fundamental aspects of his ministry, such as being a man of the sacred, removed from the world to intercede in favor of the world, constituted in that mission by God and not by men (cf. Hebrews 5:1). For this reason, it is important to overcome dangerous reductionism that, in past decades, using categories that were more functional than ontological, has presented the priest almost as a “social agent,” running the risk of betraying the priesthood of Christ itself. Just as the hermeneutic of continuity is increasingly revealed as urgent to understand in an appropriate way the texts of the Second Vatican Council, similarly an hermeneutic seems necessary that we could describe “of priestly continuity,” which, starting from Jesus of Nazareth, Lord and Christ, and going through the 2,000 years of the history of grandeur and holiness, of culture and piety, which the priesthood has written in the world, arrives at our days. Dear brother priests, at this time in which we live it is especially important that the call to participate in the one priesthood of Christ in the ordained ministry flower in the “charism of prophecy”: There is a great need of priests that speak of God to the world and that present God to the world; men not subject to ephemeral cultural ways, but capable of living in an authentic way that liberty that only the certainty of belonging to God is in conditions to give. as your Congress has pointed out well, today the most necessary prophecy is that of fidelity, which, starting from the fidelity of Christ to humanity, will lead through the Church and the ministerial priesthood to live one’s priesthood in total adherence to Christ and to the Church. In fact, the priest no longer belongs to himself but, because of the sacramental seal received (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nos. 1563;1582), is “property” of God. This “being of another” must be made recognizable by all, through a clear witness. In the way of thinking, of speaking, of judging the events of the world, of serving and loving, in relating to persons, also in the habit, the priest must draw prophetic strength from his sacramental belonging, from his profound being. Consequently, he must have every care to subtract himself from the prevailing mentality, which tends to associate the value of the minister not to his being, but only to his function, thus not appreciating the work of God, who influences the profound identity of the person of the priest, configuring him to himself in a definitive way (cf. Ibid., No. 1583). The horizon of the ontological belonging to God constitutes, moreover, the appropriate framework to understand and reaffirm, also in our days, the value of sacred celibacy, which in the Latin Church is a charism required for Holy Orders (cf. “Presbyterorum Ordinis,” 16) and is held in very great consideration in the eastern Churches (cf. CCeO, can. 373). That is authentic prophecy of the Kingdom, sign of consecration to the Lord and to the “things of the Lord” with an undivided heart (1 Corinthians 7:32), expression of the gift of self to God and to others (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1579). Hence, the vocation of the priest, which continues being a great mystery also for those of us who have received it as a gift, is sublime. Our limitations and weaknesses must lead us to live and protect with profound faith that precious gift, with which Christ has configured us to Himself, making us participants in his salvific mission. In fact, comprehension of the ministerial priesthood is linked to the faith and calls, ever more strongly, for a radical continuity between the formation of the seminary and permanent formation. The prophetic life, without compromises, with which we will serve God and the world, proclaiming the Gospel and celebrating the Sacraments, will foster the coming of the Kingdom of God, already present, and the growth of the People of God in the faith. Beloved priests, the men and women of our time do not only ask that we be thorough priests and no more. The lay faithful will find in many other persons what they humanly need, but only in the priest will they be able to find that Word of God that must always be on their lips (cf. “Presbyterorum Ordinis,” 4); the mercy of the Father, which is lavished abundantly and free in the sacrament of reconciliation; the Bread of New Life, “true nourishment given to men” (cf. Hymn of the Office on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi of the roman rite). Let us pray to God, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of Saint John Mary Vianney, to be able to thank him every day for the great gift of the vocation and to live our priesthood with full and joyful fidelity. Thank you all for this meeting! It gives me great pleasure to impart to each one the apostolic blessing.

Veneration / B2

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Commemorating Saints in Lent
(Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university, answers the following query:) Q: Several questions have arisen at a seminary regarding the proper way to commemorate the saints during privileged seasons, such as Lent. I was wondering if you could lay out the proper or at least suggested ways in which this can be done for the Liturgy of the Hours, the Mass itself, and if the office (for example, morning prayer) is combined with the Mass.—r.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. a: During Lent all memorials of saints, whether obligatory or optional, are deemed “commemorations” and their celebration is more limited than in other times. In all cases, their celebration is optional even for memorials that would be obligatory outside of Lent. The applicable norms for Mass are found in the General Instruction of the roman Missal (GIrM) No. 355: “a. On the weekdays of advent from 17 December to 24 December, on days within the Octave of Christmas, and on the weekdays of Lent, except ash Wednesday and during Holy Week, the Mass for the current liturgical day is to be used; but the Collect may be taken from a memorial which happens to be listed in the General Calendar for that day, except on ash Wednesday and during Holy Week. On weekdays of the easter Season, memorials of Saints may rightly be celebrated fully. “b. On the weekdays of advent before 17 December, the weekdays of the Christmas Season from 2 January, and the weekdays of the easter Season, it is possible to choose either the weekday Mass, or the Mass of the Saint, or the Mass of one of the Saints whose memorial is observed, or the Mass of any Saint listed in the Martyrology for that day.” Therefore, to commemorate, for example, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, whose March 18 feast almost always falls during Lent, only the proper collect or opening prayer is used. all the rest is taken from the current weekday: the readings, prayer over the gifts, preface, prayer after communion, and proper antiphons. Violet vestments are used and not white or red as is usual with the saints. If a saint has the category of solemnity or feast, for example, St. Joseph or St. Patrick in some countries, then it is celebrated as normal with vestments of the corresponding color, the recitation of the Glory and, on solemnities, the Creed. The readings and the Liturgy of the Hours are those proper to the feast. On ash Wednesday and during Holy Week and the easter Octave, all celebrations of saints are excluded. regarding the Liturgy of the Hours, the General Introduction to the Divine Office says: “Memorials During Privileged Seasons “237. On Sundays, solemnities, and feasts, on ash Wednesday, during Holy Week, and during the octave of easter, memorials that happen to fall on these days are disregarded. “238. On the weekdays from 17 to 24 December, during the octave of Christmas, and on the weekdays of Lent, no obligatory memorials are celebrated, even in particular calendars. When any happen to fall during Lent in a given year, they are treated as optional memorials. “239. During privileged seasons, if it is desired to celebrate the office of a saint on a day assigned to his or her memorial: “a. in the office of readings, after the patristic reading (with its responsory) from the Proper of Seasons, a proper reading about the saint (with its responsory) may follow, with the concluding prayer of the saint; “b. at morning prayer and evening prayer, the ending of the concluding prayer may be omitted and the saint’s antiphon (from the proper or common) and prayer may be added.” Later are some specific norms for special seasons: “247. In the office for Sundays, solemnities, feasts of the Lord listed in the General Calendar, the weekdays of Lent and Holy Week, the days within the octaves of easter and Christmas, and the weekdays from 17 to 24 December inclusive, it is never permissible to change the formularies that are proper or adapted to the celebration, such as antiphons, hymns, readings, responsories, prayers, and very often also the psalms. “252. everyone should be concerned to respect the complete cycle of the four-week psalter. Still, for spiritual or pastoral advantage, the psalms appointed for a particular day may be replaced with others from the same hour of a different day. There are also circumstances occasionally arising when it is permissible to choose suitable psalms and other texts in the way done for a votive office.” Thus, if morning prayer is united to Mass, then there is no change in the office at all on a commemoration. Everything would be taken from the day except the saint’s collect at Mass. as seen above, it is possible to change the psalms of the day while maintaining the proper Lenten antiphons. Making use of this option requires careful discernment and a liturgically literate community able to both understand the reason for the change and easily navigate the Book of Hours.

By Fr. Jaime B. Achacoso, J.C.D.

Catholic associations and partisan politics
by ecclesiastical authority. §3. No private association of the Christian faithful in the Church is recognized unless its statutes are reviewed by competent authority. b) Public associations. Can.301: §1. Competent ecclesiastical authority alone has the right to erect associations of the Christian faithful which set out to teach Christian doctrine in the name of the Church or to promote public worship or which aim at other ends whose pursuit by their nature is reserved to the same ecclesiastical authority. §2. Competent ecclesiastical authority, if it judges it expedient, can also erect associations of the Christian faithful in order to attain directly or indirectly other spiritual ends whose accomplishment has not been sufficiently provided for by the efforts of private persons. and direct private associations according to the prescriptions of their statutes. Such autonomy, therefore, is not absolute, as provided by c.232: §1. although private associations of the Christian faithful enjoy autonomy in accord with the norm of c.321, they are subject to the vigilance of ecclesiastical authority in accord with the norm of c.305, and are subject to the governance of the same authority. §2. It is also the responsibility of ecclesiastical authority, while observing the autonomy proper to private associations, to be watchful and take care that their energies are not dissipated and that their exercise of their apostolate is ordered toward the common good. The aims of associations of faithful have to be not only consistent with but also relevant to the fundamental pretension of the ecclesiastical Juridic

Updates

CBCP Monitor
March 15 – March 28, 2010

Vol. 14 No. 6

It is election year once more, and an old question has again come to the fore: the involvement of the Church in politics. Granting that the Hierarchy itself should not be involved in partisan politics, the following questions have been asked: 1) Can Associations of Christian Faithful—either Public or Private— engage in partisan politics? 2) If Public Associations of Christian Faithful cannot engage in partisan politics, can Private Associations of Christian Faithful do? THIS is indeed a thorny issue that has been discussed in ecclesiastical circles repeatedly. What is novel is the way it is being asked now. The concrete application is of course quite obvious: Can the Couples for Christ or the Knights of Columbus—for

exercise such freedom, however, they are to take care that their actions are imbued with the spirit of the gospel and take into account the doctrine set forth by the magisterium of the Church; but they are to avoid proposing their own opinion as the teaching of the Church in questions which are open to various opinions. In effect, every Christian faithful—but most especially a Catholic layman—has the right to engage in partisan politics, without such right being limited by the ecclesiastical juridic ordering, except in accord with c.227. If an association of Christian Faithful were as a body to engage in partisan politics, then the corporate position would unduly infringe on the individual right of the members of the said association to maintain their own partisan political orientation. In other words, if an association of Christian Faithful were to have

example—issue a mandate for its members to push for the candidacy of a specific person or party? The pertinent provisions of Canon Law on this issue can be summarized as follows. 1. existence and Nature of associations of Christian Faithful In the Church there are associations distinct from institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life, in which the Christian faithful, either clergy or laity, or clergy and laity together, strive by common effort to promote a more perfect life, or to foster public worship or Christian doctrine, or to exercise other apostolic works, namely to engage in efforts of evangelization, to exercise works of piety or charity and to animate the temporal order with the Christian spirit (c.298, §1). 2. There are Two Kinds of associations of Christian Faithful: a) Private associations. Can.299: §1. The Christian faithful are free, by means of a private agreement made among themselves, to establish associations to attain the aims mentioned in c.298, §1, with due regard for the prescriptions of c.301, §1. §2. Such associations are called private associations even though they are praised or recommended
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§3. associations of the Christian faithful which are erected by competent ecclesiastical authority are called public associations. The distinction between public and private associations of faithful, therefore, stems neither from the nature of their ends, nor even from the degree of supervision or control of the competent ecclesiastical authority over their actuations, but rather in the way do they come about: — Public associations of faithful are erected by the competent ecclesiastical authority. — Private associations of faithful are established by mutual agreement of private individuals, and then praised, recommended or recognized by the competent ecclesiastical authority after reviewing their statutes. 3. autonomy of associations of Christian Faithful The Code of Canon Law is quite clear in stating the sphere of autonomy of such associations of Christian faithful: a) Public associations: Can. 315. Public associations on their own initiative can begin undertakings in keeping with their character, and they can direct them in accord with their statutes, but under the further direction of the ecclesiastical authority mentioned in c.312, §1. b) Private associations: Can. 321. The Christian faithful guide

Ordering: the salvation of souls. Can.298, §1 specifies this when it establishes that the faithful in such associations strive by common effort: (i.e., individually they can freely do other things on their own) * to promote a more perfect life; * to foster public worship or Christian doctrine; * to engage in efforts of evangelization; * to exercise works of piety or charity and * to animate the temporal order with the Christian spirit. 4. Can associations of Christian faithful engage in partisan politics? The point may be raised that engaging in partisan politics might fall under the heading of the canonically recognized aim of associations of Christian faithful to animate the temporal order with the Christian spirit (c.298, §1). after all, such evangelizing action is indeed what is proper of the Church as a whole, and more specifically of its lay faithful. However, such an interpretation would unduly compromise a fundamental right of every Catholic faithful— autonomy in temporal affairs— laid down in c.227: Lay Christian faithful have the right to have recognized that freedom in the affairs of the earthly city which belongs to all citizens; when they

an official position as regards partisan politics, then its members would have to toe that line; hence, the individual members would not have the freedom to follow their own party leanings, if they are to remain in good graces within the association. This would be tantamount to the association, proposing their own opinion as the teaching of the Church in questions which are open to various opinions (c.227). Conclusion The right of the individual Christian layman to autonomy in temporal matters (including partisan politics) is recognized in the Canonical Order. Such a right is as fundamental as the right to religious Freedom of the citizen under the Law of the State. In other words, just as it would be unjust for a State institution to actively promote a purely religious position, it also would be equally unjust for an ecclesiastical institution (e.g., association of Faithful, whether public or private) to corporately foster a specific political partisan position. This is the reason why after all these years the Catholic Church has always resisted resorting to what others have touted as the Catholic vote. (This article originally appeared on CBCP Monitor, Vol.11, No.5, March 5-18, 2007.)

The Via Crucis in which hymns, silence, procession and reflective pauses are wisely integrated in a balanced manner, contribute significantly to obtaining the spiritual fruits of the pious exercise. The Via Matris as Christ and Our Lady of Dolors were associated in God’s saving plan (Lk 2, 34-35), so too they are associated in the Liturgy and popular piety. as Christ was the “man of sorrows” (Is 53, 3) through whom it pleased God to have “reconciled all things through him and for him, everything in heaven and everything on earth, when he made peace by his death on the cross” (Col 1, 20), so too, Mary is “the woman of sorrows” whom God associated with his Son as mother and participant in his Passion (socia passionis). Since the childhood of Christ, the Blessed

Virgin Mary’s life was entirely lived out under the sign of the sword (cf, Lk 2, 35). Christian piety has signaled out seven particular incidents of sorrow in her life, known as the “seven sorrows” of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Modeled on the Via Crucis, the pious exercise of the Via Matris dolorosae, or simply the Via Matris, developed and was subsequently approved by the apostolic See(140). This pious exercise already existed in embryonic form since the sixteenth century, while its present form dates from the nineteenth century. Its fundamental intuition is a reflection on the life of Our Lady from the prophecy of Simeon (cf. Lk 2, 34-35), to the death and burial of her Son, in terms of a journey in faith and sorrow: this journey is articulated in seven “stations” corresponding to the “seven dolors” of the Mother of Our Savior. This pious exercise harmonizes well with

certain themes that are proper to the lenten season. Since the sorrows of Our Lady are caused by the rejection of her Son (cf. John 1,11; Lk 2, 1-7; 2, 34-35; 4, 28-29; Mt 26, 47-56; acts 12, 1-5), the Via Matris constantly and necessarily refers to the mystery of Christ as the suffering servant (cf. Is 52, 13-53, 12). It also refers to the mystery of the Church: the stations of the Via Matris are stages on the journey of faith and sorrow on which the Virgin Mary has preceded the Church, and in which the Church journeys until the end of time. The highest expression of the Via Matris is the Pietà which has been an inexhaustible source of inspiration for Christian art since the middles ages. (This is lifted from the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy, Principles and Guidelines, issued in 2002 by the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments)

© Roy Lagarde/CBCP Media

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 6
March 15 – March 28, 2010

Statements
its deserved decency, consistent true friends of the poor, ever protective of the integrity of creation (friend of world ecology), simple and humble, and who are good examples for responsible Filipino citizenship. These groups of conscientious citizens will not only scrutinize candidates and weigh their personal choice and options; they should also become groups of praying citizens who ask the Lord’s guidance for their choice. Needless to say, like the entire country, we should all pray for a peaceful election and a unified people before, during, and after the election. May the Lord and His Mother bless and protect our country, because they know that as a God-fearing nation, we also love our people. God love and bless us all! The archbishop and Bishops of the Manila Metropolitan ecclesiastical Province: + GAUDENCIO B. CARDINAL ROSALES archbishop of Manila + GABRIEL V. REYES Bishop of antipolo + HONESTO F. ONGTIOCO Bishop of Cubao +LUIS ANTONIO G. TAGLE Bishop of Imus + DEOGRACIAS S. IÑIGUEZ Bishop of Kalookan +JOSE F. OLIVEROS Bishop of Malolos +ANTONIO R. TOBIAS Bishop of Novaliches +JESSE E. MERCADO Bishop of Parañaque +FRANCISCO C. SAN DIEGO Bishop of Pasig +LEO M. DRONA, SDB Bishop of San Pablo + PEDRO D. ARIGO Vicar apostolic of Puerto Princesa +EDGARDO S. JUANICH Vicar apostolic of Taytay + LEOPOLDO S. TUMULAK Military Ordinary +FRANCISCO M. DE LEON auxiliary Bishop of antipolo +BERNARDINO C. CORTEZ auxiliary Bishop of Manila + BRODERICK S. PABILLO, D.D. auxiliary Bishop of Manila March 14, 2010, Fourth Sunday of Lent

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An International Call for Dialogue and Peace

Pastoral Letter of the Archbishop and Bishops of the Manila Metropolitan Ecclesiastical Province
ON May 10, 2010, the Filipino people will freely choose their leaders whom they expect to serve them, and whom they will hold accountable for their service to people in the republic of the Philippines. Freedom in an election means no physical coercion, nor is threat or money used to influence or to buy votes. excessive campaign expenses in the past did not augur good and responsive governance. In choosing leaders, the electorate should carefully study and match the traits of candidate with the needs and issues disabling the country today. Two major and perennial issues haunting the country are poverty and government’s graft and corruption, with such destructive mutuality, that as corruption increases, poverty worsens. responsible voting, like stewarding one’s vote, begins with conscientious citizens meeting in serious groups, studying the traits needed for responsible leadership and weighing the candidates’ claim for personal integrity. among those candidates scrutinized by these groups of discerners will be God-fearing persons, who are moral, not given to vices, reverent of life and

Election 2010

On the Occasion of the International Gathering of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Ministerial Meeting of Interfaith Cooperation for Peace and Development in Manila; March 16-18, 2010
WE of the Inter-Faith Dialogue Forum (IFDF) Metro Manila, members of different religions, especially Muslims and Christians, who are involved in different initiatives, movements and programs of dialogue and peace in Metro Manila and other parts of the Philippines, welcome the Special Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Ministerial meeting on Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation for Peace and Development in Manila on March 16-18, 2010. This gathering is a sign of hope for the world and for us in the Philippines. It is an acknowledgement of the importance of interfaith dialogue for the future peace and development in the world. It is a great occasion to find in the faith experience of different faith groups the right direction to work together for the common good. We believe that the NAM meeting in Manila has to be vigilant to overcome the temptation by some sectors of society in many countries which use religions and faiths as a new form of “colonization” in the world, where the “alignment” and association with a specific religion in these areas of the world may cause the spread of fear and perpetuate forms of violence. Inter-Faith Dialogue is dedicated to exploring possibilities of peace and development based on the concept of love of God and love of neighbor. This element of love is well expressed in the recent open letter to the Christian leaders of the world from 138 respected Muslim scholars of 42 countries and reaffirms that dialogue is a form of love that needs to be rediscovered not only by Muslims and Christians but also by all religions. We believe that the NAM meeting is a great occasion to develop this concept and foundation for peace and development. We believe that inter-faith dialogue is basically a spiritual experience based on the faith of all of us who claim to belong to a specific religion and it is a concept valid also for those who claim not to belong to any religion, but move with sincere desire to work for the common good. Thus, there is no “secular” concept of INTERFAITH DIALOGUE. A real inter-faith dialogue starts from a genuine understanding of faith expressed in life in a form of spirituality or style of life consistent with the faith that one believes in. Guided by this understanding of Inter-Faith Dialogue, we the members of IFDF have agreed to share with you some of the basic concerns that we hope the NAM meeting will take into consideration and find the proper channel to implement: 1. The NAM countries are urged to secure freedom of religion, convinced that each culture can benefit from any expression of religion that offers a sincere contribution for the common good in society. In this connection the NAM countries have to be vigilant against any form of violence and “imposition” of religious practices and culture elements that are against the common principles of Human Rights. 2. The NAM countries are invited to give special attention to education on InterFaith Dialogue as an important element for peace and development, encouraging different sectors of society to harmonize theory and praxis of inter-faith dialogue based on sincerity, sensitivity and solidarity. 3. The NAM countries know the importance of media and we hope that the media will project positive messages that encourage inter-faith dialogue in a way that will give proper space to all, especially those who work for better relations between majority and minority faith groups present in the different NAM countries. 4. The NAM countries are invited to deeply evaluate the many types of violence arising from different conflicts and study new approaches on non-violence in order to preserve just peace in their countries, so that a government does not pursue peace only with “liberation fronts” or other groups who claim their rights with violence but also give attention to civil society, encouraging them to express their claims with peaceful means. 5. The NAM countries are invited to develop other peaceful and creative proactive approaches, giving proper attention to the voice of the poor and the indigenous people who claim their ancestral lands; respect for minority; and vigilance over some politicians and other sectors whose vision of life is very far from the real meaning of the inter-faith dialogue for peace and development. We know that the world situation is tested with many issues often bigger than the power of any one country to solve, issues like global warming and other world issues difficult to find solutions for . But we believe that we can find a way to the solution and the NAM meeting is part of this positive effort that we hope will help many to overcome fear and division. This is possible if we deepen the importance of inter-faith dialogue, free from vested interest, but guided by a proper understanding of the centrality of God in the world and our mission to help each other in our common desire to work together for peace and development. On behalf of the Interfaith Dialogue Forum-Manila (IFDF-Manila), FR. SEBASTIANO D’AMBRA, PIME Convenor

A Circular Letter for the Priests, Religious and Lay Faithful in the Diocese of Tandag for 2010 Elections
Dear Priests, religious and Lay Faithful: elections are on the air. One could feel the election mania as candidates, both local and national, make their moves to gain grounds on the post they are running. Candidates may possibly resort to “political gimmicks and strategies” involving people whom they think are effective and capable of doing such. This of course is within the ambit of “partisan politics” (Partisan politics may be described as a formal endorsement and/ or actively campaigning for a particular candidate or party). In this context of “partisan politics” I, being the bishop of this diocese, feel the responsibility of guiding the flock entrusted to me by our Lord Jesus Christ, more particularly my priests, and the religious. What the universal church teaches In our journey as a Church towards holiness, let this be our guide: “The Church, by reason of Her role and competence, is not identified with any political community nor bound by ties to any political system…If anyone wishes to devote himself to the ministry of God’s word, let him use the ways and means proper to the Gospel, which differ in many respects from those obtaining from earthly city (Gaudium et Spes, #76). In an apparent explicit reference to this article the Post-Conciliar Document, Ultimis Temporibus of 30 November 1967, stated: “In circumstances in which there legitimately exist different political, social and economic options, priests like all citizens have a right to select their personal options. But since political options are by nature contingent and never in an entirely adequate and perennial way interpret the Gospel, the priest… must keep a certain distance away from political office or involvement. In order that he may remain a valid sign of unity and be able to preach the Gospel in its entirety, the priest can sometimes be obliged to abstain from the exercise of his own right in this matter… Leadership or active militancy on behalf of any political party is to be excluded by every priest unless, in concrete and exceptional circumstances, this is truly required by the good of the community, and receives the consent of the bishop after consultation with the priest’s council and, if circumstances call for it, with the episcopal conference.” (Sec. 7, no.2: Secular and Political activity in the Ministerial Priesthood). What the Holy Father says Pope Benedict XVI clearly stated in his first encyclical: “The Church cannot and must not take upon Herself the political battle to bring about the most just society possible… a just society must be the achievement of politics, not of the Church” (Deus Caritas est, #28). What the Canon Law says In Canon 287 #2, ecclesiastical law stipulates that Clerics are not to play an active role in political parties… unless, in the judgment of the competent ecclesiastical authority, this is required for the defense of the rights of the Church or to promote the common good. What the PCP II says While admitting that nowhere in the Constitution can be found a provision that prohibits Clergy and religious from partisan politics, as a general rule the opposite is true in Church’s laws and traditional wisdom. They are considered the symbols of unity in the Church community. “Pastors are also the foci of unity in the Church communities of all levels and for them to take active part in partisan politics, with its wheeling and dealing that it entails would tend to weaken their teaching authority and destroy the unity they represent and protect.” (PCP-II 343-344). In our prudent discernment, concrete situation in the diocese does not warrant a justifiable deviation from this general principle. Must the Church distance herself from politics? The pertinent words of St. Bernard of Clairvaux to the pope of his time come to mind. He said: “Don’t think of yourself to be the successor of (emperor) Constantine; you are not the successor of Constantine, but of Peter. Your fundamental book is not the Code of Justinian but Holy Scripture”. Does not Jesus Himself in the Gospel said: “Give to the emperor what is the emperor’s and God what is God’s?” It is worthy to note that an association linked to the Church (even if it does not have the canonical status of private association and is created in virtue of the right of the faithful to associate in Church) cannot participate in the partisan politics, according to a consultant to the Pontifical Council for the Laity, Fr. Luis Navarro, JCD. In case, a member or leader of such association decides otherwise, and be a candidate or openly campaigning for a candidate or party, he or she has to resign temporarily. Pastors are urged to strictly observe this matter in their respective parishes. Politics in the widest sense is the dynamic organization of society for the common good. as such it calls for the responsible active participation of all citizens (cf. Congregation for religious and Secular Institutes, religious Life and Human Promotion, 1980, #12). It is in this sense that the Church must be involved in politics. That while PCP-II clearly prohibits the clergy and religious to actively take part in partisan politics, the Church must not abandon its competence in passing moral judgment, the very core in carrying out Christ’s mission. Politics has moral dimension. It may hurt or benefit people. It can lead to grace or to sin. Concretely, priests, religious and lay people, i.e., the Church “must be involved in area of politics when Gospel values are at stake (PCP II 344). The Second Plenary Council of the Philippines drew up a clear delineation of roles in the Church’s participation in politics: 1. Bishops, priests and religious, commonly identified as the “Church” must refrain from partisan politics, avoiding especially the use of the pulpit for particular purposes, to avoid division among the flock they shepherd (PCP II, art. 28, #2). 2. Lay men and women must participate more actively, with singular competence and integrity, in political affairs, (PCP-II 348); must help civic conscience of the voting population and work to explicitly promote the election to public offices of leaders of true integrity (PCP II, art. 28 #1). In other words, while the lay faithful—as individuals not members of association—are urged to engage in political activity, and can, with full freedom, participate in partisan politics; pastors can teach moral principles and issue moral guidelines regarding political activity but cannot engage in public politics. It must be admitted, though, that sometimes even teaching moral principles is actually interpreted by some as partisan politics because of actual circumstances; nonetheless we have to contend ourselves with it. With much love and care for the Church, I remain, Sincerely yours in Christ, +NEREO P. ODCHIMAR, DD, JCD Bishop of Tandag 10 March 2010

Shepherding the Flock in View of the 2010 Elections

© Roy Lagarde/CBCP Media

Let Democracy reign in Our Land
A Call to the PMPI Partners and the Filipino People
WE, members of the National Coordinating Committee of the Philippine Misereor Partnership, Inc. (PMPI), representing more than 300 NGOs, POs and ChurchBased Organizations, together with our Bishop-Convenors, collectively call on our partners to fulfill our responsibility in renewing the political order by embarking on the process of discernment as we actively engage ourselves in the Philippine elections in May 2010. The coming elections are important breakthrough because for the very first time we will conduct a nationwide automated election system (AES) for local and national positions. We welcome the poll automation with expectation that the electoral process will not only be faster but hopefully, more credible and transparent. We strongly believe that to ensure political stability in our country, we need to have fair, honest and peaceful election. We also consider the election as a good opportunity to bring about the needed political transformation toward a comprehensive social, economic, and political change. Today more than ever, we need to strengthen our democratic institutions in order to pursue reforms that will contribute to effective governance and address the issue of poverty and unmitigated graft and corruption. While we acknowledge that the coming electoral exercise offers opportunities for positive change, we are also alarmed by the uncertainty and threats to the meaningful exercise of our electoral process. We are particularly concerned with the vulnerability of the automated election system for manipulation, fraud and wholesale cheating. The haste and lack of transparency in testing the readiness and trustworthiness of the AES, combined with the low level of trust in the Commission on Elections, create further doubts and apprehensions, resulting to a grim forecast of post election scenario. Moreover, the prevailing culture of traditional politics continually characterized our electoral landscape, like the proliferation of private armed groups, blatant over-spending in campaigns, maintenance of political dynasties, election-related violence, patronage politics, among others. Echoing the challenge of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, we join the call to renew our political order. Concretely, our call for principled and transformative politics entails creating a governance structure that pursues the common good, promotes justice, practices preferential love and service for the poor, and works for the empowerment of the people (2nd Plenary Council of the Philippines, no. 351). For this coming election, we commit ourselves to participate, be vigilant and be involved in transforming our society: * We call on our partners (NGOs, POs and Church groups) to be involved in principled partisan politics to pursue the agenda or platform for sustainable and integral development, poverty alleviation, ecology protection, promotion and protection of human rights, among others. * We also call on our networks to initiate or assist in the conduct of voters’ political education emphasizing the universal values of common good, servantleadership, truth and solidarity. * We call on the government, particularly the Commission on Elections, to ensure maximum transparency in the conduct of automated election process. * We call on our citizenry to protect the sanctity of the ballot by actively volunteering in poll-watching and other activities to ensure clean and honest election Adopted unanimously, this 3rd day of March 2010, Legazpi City, by National Coordinating Committee of the Philippine Misereor Partnership, Inc. (PMPI), representing more than 300 NGOs, POs and Church-Based Organizations. NATIONAL COORDINATING COMMITTEE Philippine Misereor Partnership, Inc. (PMPI)

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Features

Catechism on the C
Preface This is a catechism on the Church and Politics. as a catechism, it does not aim to give a comprehensive explanation of Church doctrine on politics. It simply aims to provide in an easy question-and-answer format some of the more important church teachings relevant to our political situation today. It may be used by catechists, diocesan/parish political educators, or other pastoral workers in forming the Christian political consciousness of people, especially at the grassroots level. If necessary, elaboration of Church teachings on Politics may be obtained from the usual Catholic resources, such as Church documents, especially the Vatican II document, The Church in the Modern World, the social encyclicals of Pope John Paul II, especially Sollicitudo rei Socialis and Centesimus annus, moral theology textbooks, the apostolic exhortation on the Role of the Laity (Christifideles laici), the recent Catechism of the Catholic Church, and a companion volume, the Catechism for Filipino Catholics. The other main documentary sources for this Catechism are the acts and Decrees of the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines and the 1997 CBCP Pastoral exhortation on Philippine Politics. May the Holy Spirit guide the users of this brief catechism so that they may truly be of service in renewing our political culture. _____________ aBBreVIaTIONS GS Gaudium et Spes (The Church in the Modern World), 1965. CCC Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994. CA Centesimus annus, 1991. SRS Sollicitudo rei Socialis, 1987. PCP-II acts and Decrees of the Second Plenary Council, 1991. PEPP CBCP Pastoral exhortation on Philippine Politics, 1997. CL Christifideles Laici, 1988. RLHP religious Life and Human Promotion _____________ PART I: GENERAL CONCEPTS 1. What is politics? a. Politics in the widest sense is the dynamic organization of society for the common good. as such it calls for the responsible active participation of all citizens (cf. Congregation for religious and Secular Institutes, religious Life and Human Promotion, 1980, no. 12). b. Politics may be described as the art of government and public service. Vatican II describes politics as a “difficult and noble art” (GS, 75). Its aim is to realize the purpose of the State. c. Politics is also used for partisan politics, the competition to win or retain positions of governmental power. In this last sense clerics and religious are forbidden by church law to be involved in (partisan) politics. 2. What is the purpose of the State? The purpose of the State is the protection and promotion of the common good. In general this purpose is accomplished through three tasks: (1) legislation and administration of justice, (2) promotion of the socio-economic welfare and health, and (3) care for cultural and moral concerns or the fostering of good morals (see Karl H. Peschke, S.V.D., Christian ethics: Moral Theology in the light of Vatican II, vol. II, Special Moral Theology, 1987, pp. 267-71). 3. What is the common good? The common good is “the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfillment more fully and easily” (GS, 26). It consists of three essential elements: (a) it presupposes respect for the fundamental rights of the human person and the natural freedoms necessary for the development of the human vocation; (b) it requires the social well being and development of the group itself, i.e., whatever is needed to lead a truly human life such as food, clothing, health, work, education, and culture should be accessible to each one; (c) it requires peace, i.e., the stability and security of a just order (cf. CCC, 1907-09). These social conditions are obtained through social justice. 4. What is social justice? Social justice is sometimes called the justice of the common good. It demands proportionate share in the fruits of economic cooperation and equitable distribution of the wealth of a nation among different social classes. It also imposes obligations of mutual relation on different social groups, e.g., the better to assist the poor so that they can live in a manner worthy of human beings. Social justice condemns such situations as “excessive economic and social disparity between individuals and peoples” (GS, 29), the concentration of wealth in the hands of the few, and excessive profits. 5. What principles are the bases for the development of the social order? The social order and its development “must be founded in truth, built on justice, and enlivened by love: it should grow in freedom towards a more humane equilibrium” (GS, loc. cit.). This means that individuals and groups should practice not just private morality but also social morality which governs the relationships between individuals and society. Some examples of the exercise of social morality would be the just payment of taxes, integrity and accountability in public office, rejection of graft and corruption, the care of the environment. 6. What is the political community? The political community consists of persons, social groups and organizations, their institutions and structures that are necessary for directing or ordering society towards the common good. The common good is the full justification, meaning, and source of the political community’s specific and basic right to exist (GS, 74). Within the political community is public or political authority which “must be exercised within the limits of the moral order and directed toward the common good.” 7. What moral and religious principles guide politics? The Bishops of the Philippines enumerated the following truths to guide politics (see PePP, pp. 34-38): (a) human dignity and solidarity as the first principle of politics; (b) the common good as the goal of political activity; (c) authority and power as a divine trust for service; (d) autonomy and mutual collaboration between the Church and the political community. _____________ ParT II: THe reLaTIONSHIP BeTWeeN CHUrCH, STaTe aND POLITICS 8. What is the basis for the Church’s mission in politics? The main reasons why the Church has a mission in politics are the following: First, because politics has a moral dimension. Politics is a human activity. It may hurt or benefit people. It can lead to grace or to sin. Second, because the Gospel and the Kingdom of God call the Church to political involvement. To proclaim the gospel to all creation necessarily includes evangelizing the political world. Moreover, at the center of Jesus’ mission is the proclaiming of the Kingdom of God. But the Kingdom of God calls us to repentance and renewal (Mk. 1:15). This call to renewal is addressed likewise to the political field. Third, because the mission of the Church of integral salvation involves the political sphere. Integral salvation is the salvation of the total person, soul and body, spiritual and temporal. This is why Jesus not only forgave sins but also healed people from sickness. The Church must likewise bring the healing grace of salvation to the temporal, including political, sphere. 9. Are there other reasons why the Church must be involved in politics? Yes, there are. another reason is because salvation of the human person is from personal and social sin. We know that in the political field, social sins unfortunately abound, such as graft and corruption, “dirty politics” of “guns, goons, and gold”, deceit

Social C
CBCP Monitor
March 15 – March 28, 2010

Vol. 14 No. 6

Catholic Bishops’ Confe

EDITOR’S NOTE:
Starting this issue until May this year, we are devoting these pages, B4 and B5, for political education. By next issue, we will be serializing a matrix of platforms of Presidentiables. Send feedback, articles and ads by email to: cbcpmonitor@cbcpworld.net

Concerns
CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 6
March 15 – March 28, 2010

Statements

B5

Church and Politics
Prayer for the National Elections
O Holy Spirit, You are in our midst, You dwell in us. We praise and thank you. As we face national elections once again, Fill us with the strength and courage To liberate, to heal and renew our country. Enlighten our minds. Fill us with wisdom To select dedicated and competent political servant-leaders, Filled with integrity, and committed to the good of each and of all, Especially the poor. Direct and lead us That we might bear the light of Jesus our Hope And remove the darkness of our political life. Breathe new life into our body politic. Eliminate all corruption and dishonesty. Transform us. Enliven us with the fire of your love, So that with the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Mother and Model of Hope, we may renew The face of our political world. This we ask through Christ our Lord. Amen.
her mission to evangelize, or if the Church were to violate the Constitutional mandate of “separation of Church and State.” 11. What does “separation of Church and State” mean? Separation of Church and State is strictly defined in the 1987 Philippine Constitution to refer to two points: (1) that no religion may be established as the official religion of the State; and (2) that the State may not favor one religion over others. at the same time, the State shall forever allow the free exercise and enjoyment of religion and shall not require any religious test for the exercise of civil or political rights (see 1987 Philippine Constitution). The first point above is called the “non-establishment” clause. To be noted is the fact that nowhere does the Constitution prohibit Clergy and religious from partisan politics. What prohibits them from active involvement in partisan politics is the Church’s own laws and traditional wisdom. 12. But should not Church and State collaborate with each other? Yes, because Church and State both work for the common good and for the good of every person. They have to respect each other’s legitimate independence or autonomy and each other’s way of achieving the common good and the total development of every human person. Precisely because of this unity of mission, Church and State have to collaborate with each other. 13. What is the mission of the Church regarding the political order? The Church has the duty of proclaiming the Gospel “to all creation” (Mk. 16:15) and “to restore all things under Christ” (eph. 1:10). This means that the Gospel must “influence every phase of life, every stratum of society” (PePP, p. 26), including the political sphere. In fact it is the duty of every Christian—to transform politics by the Gospel. The relationship of the Church to the State has been described by the Philippine Bishops as one of “critical collaboration” or “critical solidarity”. 14. What is the meaning of “critical collaboration” or “critical solidarity”? Critical collaboration or critical solidarity means that the Church is one with the State in promoting the common good. Cooperation, solidarity— positive support – has to be given by the Church to whatever the State may be doing for the common good in accordance with the Gospel. But the church must have a critical sense in providing such collaboration. It should denounce whatever is not in accord with the Gospel. 15. What vision of human dignity and solidarity does the Church contribute? The Church contributes to the political order her vision “of the dignity of the person revealed in all its fullness in the mystery of the Incarnate Word” (Ca, 47). This vision includes the truth: that the human person has been created unto the image of God and has an eternal destiny of unending happiness with God; that, having fallen into sin, the human person has been redeemed by God and absolutely needs God’s grace for salvation; that Jesus Christ is God-made-man who shows by his human life how the human person must live and serve; that the equal dignity of all human beings brings them into solidarity in mutual love, justice, and service. 16. What does “solidarity” mean? Solidarity is a moral and social virtue. It is not a mere spirit of camaraderie or team spirit or some vague feeling of compassion or good will. rather, it is “firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good, i.e., to the good of all and of each individual because we are really responsible for all” (SrS, 38). It includes a love of preference for the poor, hence, solidarity with the poor. It is a commitment to achieve social justice, development and peace - and to achieve these by peaceful means and by respecting fundamental human rights. Solidarity extends to the level of relations between nations. 17. Must citizens obey political authority? every human community needs authority to govern it. It is necessary for the common good and the unity of the State. It is required by the moral order and comes from God. When legitimately constituted authority is exercised within the limits of its competence and in accord with the moral law, it must be respected and obeyed (PePP, p. 37). This is why the Scriptures enjoin obedience to political authority. “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment” (rom. 13:1-2; cf. Pt. 2: 13-17). 18. Can citizens disobey political authority? While citizens are bound in conscience to obey political authority, they are not obliged to obey commands that are morally wrong. Political authority must not be used contrary to the moral law. This is why Vatican II says: “It is legitimate for them (citizens) to defend their own rights and those of their fellow citizens against abuses of this authority within the limits of the natural law and the law of the Gospel.” This is especially true “when citizens are under the oppression of a public authority which oversteps its competence” (GS, 74). St. Peter himself disobeyed the order of authorities and said “We must obey God rather than men” (acts 4:19). This is the principle that impelled the Filipino people to resist the Marcos dictatorship and achieve liberation through the peaceful 1986 eDSa revolution. 19. Is it true that the Church can work with any form of political regime? The measure of the Church’s collaboration with a political regime is the higher law of the Gospel and the Kingdom of God. The citizens of the State have the power of choosing the kind of political regime (e.g., democratic or authoritarian, presidential or parliamentary) they wish for themselves to attain the common good (GS, 74). In the light of the Gospel and the Kingdom of God, the Church can work with any political regime as long as her basic freedom to accomplish her divine mission and to avail of resources for this purpose are not suppressed. But the Church “cannot encourage the formation of narrow ruling groups which usurp the power of the State for individual interests or for ideological ends” (Ca, 46). 20. What does the church expect of politics in view of integral development? For the integral development of the human person and of all persons, the Church expects politics to create structures of “participation and shared responsibility” (Ca, 46), where the basic freedoms and aspirations of individuals are given full scope to develop and grow. For example, the Church would expect the political community to remove or at least reduce excessive socioeconomic inequalities among its citizens. The Church would also expect that electoral processes be truly democratic and fair. Politics must, therefore, not be a tool for the advancement of only a privileged few. To be continued next issue

erence of the Philippines

and unprincipled compromises, “politics of greed”. In the mind of the Church, systems where such social sins have been imbedded through constant practice are “structures of sin or structures of injustice.” Still another reason is because the Church has an Option for the Poor. In the Philippines, politics is heavily tilted against the poor. The poor often become in a real sense voiceless and powerless. Laws are often passed that merely support vested interests rather than promote the common good of all. Finally, because John Paul II said that the concrete human being living in history is “the way for the Church” (rH, 14; Ca, 53-54). The temporal and spiritual development of the total human person is the way by which the Church accomplishes the mission to proclaim the Gospel. We know very well that politics can dehumanize the human person and entrap the person in sinful behavior or structures. In short, politics cannot claim to be above or outside the natural law and the moral law. Politics has moral and religious dimensions. Therefore, the Church has to be involved in the political world. 10. Is not the Church’s involvement in politics “political interference”? “Political interference” takes place when the Church involves itself in politics in a way that is not justified by her mission or when such involvement is against the Constitution. But the mission of the Church requires her, for instance, to denounce political attitudes, behavior and structures that run counter to the Gospel and to the reign of God or that militate against the common good and the integral salvation of the human person, especially of the poor. also in accord with her mission is for the Church to issue moral guidelines regarding the qualifications of political candidates. It would be “political interference” if the Church were to be involved in way that is not in keeping with

© Roy Lagarde/CBCP Media

B6

Ref lections
Passion Sunday – Year C (Luke 22:14-23:56); March 28, 2010
understand that these accusations were false. In an episode which is found only in Luke, Herod declared Jesus innocent (23:6). Jesus’ innocence runs like a refrain in the utterance of Pilate: “I have examined him in your presence and have no charge against him arising from your allegations. Neither has Herod who therefore has sent him back to us; obviously, this man has done nothing that calls for death” (23:14b-15; see also 23:4,22). One of the criminals crucified with him likewise recognized Jesus’ innocence: “We are only paying the price for what we’ve done, but this man has done nothing wrong” (23:41). When Jesus expired, the centurion, having seen what had happened, exclaimed: “Surely, this was an innocent man” (23:47). Of course, in Luke’s Gospel, more than innocence is implied here—Jesus is the righteous one (cf 23:50; 20:21). Innocent though he was, Jesus was made to suffer and die. Luke portrays Jesus as a rejected prophet, which he already indicated in the pericope on Jesus’ visit to Nazareth (4:16-30). In the passion narrative, soldiers taunted him to prophesy (22:64). Herod and his guard treated him with contempt and insult (23:11). At the crucifixion, Jewish leaders kept jeering at him, soldiers made fun of him, one of the criminals blasphemed him (23:35, 36, 39) and the crowd called for his death (23:21). Now fulfilled was what the prophets foretold: “He was counted among the wicked” (Isa 53:12). Here, Jesus is depicted as the suffering servant of Yahweh, the innocent servant who suffers on behalf of many, and the reference to the drinking of the sour wine implies that he was the suffering innocent, righteous one (Ps 69:21). Of course, Jesus accepted his suffering and death as the will of his Father: “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46). This was part of the plan of God (24:43, 46). He was faithful to the end, dying as God’s righteous Son. Despite the fraudulence involved in the trial and the travesty of justice, Jesus never harbored any ill feeling toward those who brought him suffering and death. When during his arrest at the Mount of Olives, his companions asked whether they would use sword, he said “enough!” He even healed the high priest’s servant whose ear was cut off (22”49-51). On the contrary, he continued to offer the mercy of God: “Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing” (23:34). Such an attitude on the part of Jesus is consistent with his teaching on loving one’s enemies, on prayer for those who maltreat him (6:27-28) and on forgiveness (17:4). even the criminal who was crucified with him received compassion: “Today, you will be with me in Paradise” (23:43). Clearly, Luke portrays Jesus as the embodiment of God’s mercy, the One who took the initiative in the work of reconciliation between God and man, and between man and his fellow man. Far from being meant as an objective account of what actually transpired, Luke’s passion story is intended to present a Christology that invites the Christian reader to participate in the salvific event. Unlike Simon of Cyrene had to be forced to carry the cross (23:26), the disciple follows the way of faithfulness and forgiveness voluntarily and from the heart. Of

CBCP Monitor
March 15 – March 28, 2010

Vol. 14 No. 6

The suffering of the innocent righteous One
By Msgr. Lope C. Robredillo, SThD
THe passion stories are so central to all the synoptic gospels (Mark, Matthew and Luke) that these, not without reason, have been described as passion narratives with an introduction. (By passion narrative we mean the sections of the canonical gospels which recount the last days of Jesus, beginning with his entrance to Jerusalem and ending with his crucifixion, death and burial.) But although they basically agree in the general outline of the story of the passion, yet they differ in many details and in their theological emphases. This year, we read the passion narrative according to Luke (22:14-23:56), whose unique features are the lack of any formal night hearing (22:54) and a separate hearing before Herod (23:6-11). But its theological interest lies, among others, in presenting Jesus as the innocent righteous one who suffers and extends God’s mercy until death. That the innocent suffers is one of the enigmas of human life. That the guilty should go to jail, suffer and even die for his crime is logical as it is moral. But for the innocent to suffer for a crime he did not commit—that is beyond human understanding. reason does not provide any basis for it. That is why it is beyond comprehension why Jesus should undergo his passion. The Jewish leaders, according to Luke, lodged three accusations against Jesus: subversion, opposition to the payment of taxes to Caesar, and claim to kingship (23:2). The plot, of course, makes us

course, the invitation exacts a high price for discipleship. For in this way of following Jesus, one has to go beyond an ethic solely based on the Ten Commandments. To forgive and pray for those who hate us, freely to suffer for them even though one is not conscious of any guilt, to repay injustice with absolute pardon, to seek their salvation when one is being condemned—and still be consistent in all these—that

is what is distinctively Christian. a costly demand, it is true, but not impossible. This, however, requires a deep spirituality whereby one follows no longer his own will, but that of the Father, and really serves people. It assumes that one has been touched by the Spirit, which enables him to empty himself of his own desires, wants and needs, if only for the sake of others, especially the scum of the earth.

Bishop Pat Alo

ENCOUNTERS

Our New Life in the Risen Christ
An Easter Vigil Reflection
By Bishop Jose C. Sorra, D.D
IT is said that man lives by symbols. Without them man will die. Just like the life-giving symbols of love; without them man/woman will psychologically or emotionally starve for affection and literally die. Similarly, Christian symbols are the life of our Christian faith; without them faith may weaken and die, too. The truth of the Paschal Mystery is indeed rich with images or symbolisms, and becomes more intelligible to listener by the use of symbolic language. as we celebrate the dark night of easter Vigil, we see several images or symbols of our Christian faith. Let’s then take them up one by one to understand their meaning and appreciate better the Christian truth they symbolize. Darkness. The dark night of the easter Vigil celebration begins in total darkness (all lights out even inside the church), while building a bonfire to be blest outside the church. and here Darkness symbolizes Sin, committed by our First Parents, who had plunged the entire humankind and the whole universe of creation into total darkness and chaos. But Darkness also symbolizes Death which, by His compassionate love and mercy, God has confronted with Light—thus, enabling man’s passage from Death to Life—as symbolized on this night by the newly blest fire piercing through the darkness of night. The big Candle blest by the fire, so-called Easter or Paschal Candle, represents our risen Lord that shines on the light and splendor of His resurrection. He is the “New Pillar of Fire” which now leads God’s New People, Christ’s Church, out of the Darkness of Sin into the Promised New Life in Grace (Sambuhay, april 7, 2007). Fire and Light. From that “New Pillar of Fire,” Christ shares with us the Light of Truth to guide us the way through the dark unto the New Life – giving us the assurances of His words: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” and symbolically, too, we get a share of that Light with our little candles lighted from the easter Candle, as we process through the darkness into the church. as His Holiness, Benedict XVI, explained in his apostolic exhortation, Sacramentum Caritatis: “What does our soul desire more passionately than truth? each of us has an innate and irrepressible desire for ultimate and definitive truth. And the Lord Jesus, “the way, the truth, and the life” (Jn 14:6), speaks to our thirsting, pilgrim hearts, our hearts yearning for the source of life, our hearts longing for truth. and Jesus is the Truth in person, drawing the world to Himself” (p. 3, no. 2). The Liturgy of the Word. Once everybody is settled inside the church, the long readings of the Word of God from the Books of the Old and the New Testaments follow. Ordinarily, there are nine readings taken from the Books of Genesis, exodus, the Prophets, the Letter of St. Paul and the Gospel. Only by the Light of the Paschal Candle. all these are read only by the Light of the Paschal Candle to symbolize that all these readings – in fact, the whole of the Holy Scriptures – would not have any meaning at all unless read, interpreted and understood only in the Light of the Paschal Candle representing the risen Christ. Symbolically, too, just before the readings, all have to put out the light of their little candles to listen in faith to the Word, reflect and understand it – but only in the light of our Divine Master’s teachings as handed down to us through His Church. abraham. Take, for example, the second reading from Genesis about abraham. God promises the old man abraham (75) to become a father of countless children. He believes, why? Because he needs God for the promise. He is then making use of God or his relationship with God (religion) for his own purposes and vested interest. His religion may still be called “natural religiosity.” and it is still “Selfcentered” – not yet God-centered or supernatural. Finally, abraham gets the promised son, Isaac. He is the flesh of his flesh – the key to the fulfillment of his dreams. But God isn’t yet finished with Abraham. God tells him to give up or sacrifice his Isaac. Abraham is in a dilemma, in great crisis of faith. But then abraham obeys and gives up his only son, Isaac. So then now abraham has nothing to lean on, except on God’s Word. at this point, abraham arrives at the stage of authentic FaITH whose heart is its centeredness on the WILL of God. His relationship with God (religion) is now rooted in doing the will of God’s plan, not his. Let’s ask ourselves: What level is our own faith at this point in time? Is it still anchored on “natural religiosity”, or still on “self-centeredness”? When we try to do God’s plan, do we really give up our own ISaaC? What do you think is your own Isaac or Isaac’s that the Lord is asking you to let go and let God? Mere trust and confidence in God is not the heart of faith; rather, it is the total surrender of one’s self to the Will of God—with no If’s and But’s. abraham obeys God literally to sacrifice his one and only son, Isaac. Here both abraham and Isaac represent or prefigure God the Father and His Son: abraham in absolute faith and trust in God’s word, never hesitates to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, in utter obedience to God—thus, prefiguring God the Father Himself who did not spare His only Son from offering His life to the death for the redemption of humankind from the evil of sin. exodus. exodus is about the Chosen People of God, Israel, who escape from a life of slavery in egypt and are pursued by the egyptians. God allows His people to go through the red Sea but drowns the enemy. This salvation by waters of the sea recalls our own baptism in Christ, by which we pass from our egypt’s Slavery of Sin on to the New Life in Christ and in Freedom as Children of God. against the image of the People of God passing from the egypt of Slavery to the Promised Land of Freedom must be our radical determination in faith to move away, too, from our Old Life centered on Self to the New Life rooted and centered on Christ. St. Paul’s Letter to the romans puts this truth even more clearly when he wrote: that our baptism into Christ Jesus was our burying with Him through baptism into death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead… we, too, might live in newness of Life in Christ. The Gospel reading puts the whole narration of our salvation history even from a much clearer and more concrete perspective— ushering us listeners to arrive at the peak point of fulfillment of God’s Saving Word in the actual resurrection of Christ from the dead to us life. according to St. Luke (Cycle C), at daybreak the women went to the tomb … and when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus… and two men said to them: “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has been raised …” and the women remembered His words. and immediately thereafter, the amazed women went to announce all these things to the eleven and to all the other disciples; however, the Gospel tells us, that to the apostles their story sounded like nonsense and they did not believe. Not even Peter himself, who also ran to the tomb, bent down and saw the burial cloths alone, went home incredibly dumbfounded … For Peter and the other disciples, except for John, and all the other disciples could not simply believe in the Signs of the empty Tomb. The Bribe Money. On the other hand, Matthew tells us: That the guards of the tomb went to report all that had happened to the chief priests who took counsel with the elders to bribe the soldiers with a large sum of money with the instruction to tell the people that: ‘His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep’ … The soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. and this story has circulated among the Jews to the present day. Christ’s enemies Believed. Ironically, Christ’s enemies were then the very ones undergoing a kind of conversion into believing in the self-evident testimony of the empty Tomb. So far, theirs was one most credible testimony to Christ’s rising from the dead, coming, as it did, not from His own friends but from His very own enemies. Christ’s resurrection Is the Unshakeable Foundation of Faith. a lot of people around the world, including the Jews themselves, have a sincere admiration for the Person of Jesus and for His teachings. and yet they would beg off becoming Christians. even a good person like Mahatma Gandhi, who had drawn a great part of his inspiration from Christ’s Sermon on the Mount, never became a Christian. Why? all because they could not simply believe that Christ rose from the dead after three days, even as He had foretold it. To them, Christ’s rising from the dead was just too good to be true. But unfortunately for them, because this is the core, the foundation, of our Christian Faith upon which Christianity stands or falls. as the apostle Paul teaches with stark clarity: “If Christ has not been raised … empty is your faith” (I Cor 15:14). The appearance of Jesus to His Disciples. John, the evangelist, tells us that on the evening of the first day of the week, when the doors were locked where the disciples were, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them: “Peace be with you!” after had said this, He showed His hands and his side. and the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Then and only then did the apostles, including the doubting Thomas, believe, and the historical realityoftheResurrectionconfirms the constancy of the apostles’ testimony and witnessing through severe threats and trials. and at the end of the day, they themselves paid the supreme price of their lives. all of them, except for John, died a martyr’s death witnessing to the historical Truth of the risen Christ. The New Birth in Christ was
Our New / B7

Noynoy’s predicament
THe article in the Philippine Daily Inquirer (March 5, 2010) on a2, second front page titled Noynoy eases Up on rH Bill seems to show he misunderstands the Church’s position. He says: “If they have unwanted children that they cannot take care of, I think I will err in favor of the child that will not be attended to rather than the criticism I will get from the more conservative elements of my Church.” a direct question to Noynoy is: “Is that real love or concern for a child when you eliminate his chance to live just because you think his parents will not be able to take good care of him or her?” It only goes to show the superficial perception he has of the point in question. The fact that you will find it hard to attend to or rear the life that you give birth to as the normal fruit of sexual love does not mean you have the right to terminate life or block the normal course of a life that will be conceived through sexual union. Whether actual or potential life, it is not moral to terminate life. If this mindset is allowed to escalate, life will tend towards extinction. You heard already the expression “the graying of europe ”—i.e. where parts of europe or other places for that matter, people disseminate the use of contraceptives and permit abortion, the growing number are the old people, the young generation disappearing. This contradicts the design God made at creation when he ordered: “God created man in the image of himself, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them. God blessed them, saying to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and conquer it’” (Gen. 1:27-28). We are pro life. If people become permissive because of the money offers by the anti-life agencies that manufacture condoms and contraceptives and similar abortifacient devices that promote sex immoralities or marital infidelities, then God’s word is true indeed: “The love of money is the root of all evils” (1 Tim. 6:10). The final evil will be the destruction of the nation—because life is man’s first right. God alone is the Alpha and the Omega, the owner of life and death. Noynoy doesn’t seem to capture the nature of the Catholic Church when he refers to conservative elements in the Catholic Church. It’s not a matter of being conservative or progressive but what the official teaching of the Church is. The Church has held this unchanged position throughout centuries, in spite of dissenting views from within and without. If it’s wrong, why has it grown as the biggest religious denomination?

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CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 6
March 15 – March 28, 2010

Features

B7
© Roy Lagarde/CBCP Media

By Fr. Theodore Mascarenhas, SFX

Reflections on Pope John Paul II’s Memory and Reconciliation
On the other hand, this historical, theological evaluation should not also be an eyewash. It would be unfortunate if the Catholic Church looked at the past again and simply said, “we did nothing wrong”. It is true that the responsibility of the present-day Catholic Church may be practically minimal and in fact in many aspects may have even been made up for and yet, a purification of the memory is a must for reconciliation. For, as the Filipino proverb says, “the pain of the little finger is felt by the whole body”. On the other hand, the indigenous peoples, on their part too, need a purification of the memory, of the hurts and wounds of the past for a complete healing or else, they may end up sulking like the brother in the parable of the prodigal son who refused to be part of the reconciliation of the prodigal son and may have thus risked sinning himself. So a historical reevaluation requires courage and humility without being humiliating for anybody. Similarly the inflicting of new wounds will not wipe out existing wounds. We do not dig up past wounds to relive them, but the operation should be rather like a healing surgery, where the wounds are treated as per the need. If a wound can be bandaged with medicine in it, so be it. But if a wound is to be opened up to be cleaned, and cured, it may be painful and we may have to do it. of yesterday can foster renewal and reconciliation in the present. Reconciliation between whom The document makes it clear that the Church whose social structure is at the service of Christ which vivifies it for the building up of the body, and which “embraces her sons and daughters of the past and the present, in a real and profound communion,, is the sole mother of grace, who takes upon herself also the weight of the past faults in order to purify memory and to live in the renewal of the heart and life according to the will of the Lord”. This happens on the model of Christ who has taken upon himself the sins of the world. The final goal if that everyone may advance on the path of truth, fraternal dialogue and reconciliation. The first jubilee of the Council was given the theme “renewal and reconciliation” by Paul VI who in his apostolic exhortation Paterna cum benevolentia made it clear that reconciliation should take place first of all among the faithful of the Catholic Church. The Mr is clear that in social sins “the imputability of a fault cannot properly be extended beyond the group of persons who had consented to do it voluntarily, by means of acts or omissions, or through negligence”. However the wounds inflicted by past faults often persist and need to be healed. Since the Church is a living society spanning the centuries, her memory is not constituted only by the apostolic tradition but it is also rich in the variety of historical experiences both negative and positive which she has lived. In large part, the church’s past structures her present. The Church, holy as it maybe is touched by sin in its corporate as well as individual parts and needs to purify herself. An actual evaluation and the way to the future among the past faults explicitly mentioned by John Paul II in Tertio millennio adveniente, is also the one concerning “the methods of violence and intolerance” used in the past to evangelize. The Mr reminds that in a Historical investigation and theological evaluation, “maximum attention be given to the elements of differentiation and extraneousness between past and present. In particular, when one intends to judge the possible wrongs of the past, it must be kept in mind that the historical periods are different, that the sociological and cultural times within which the Church acts are different, and so, the paradigms and judgments proper to one society and to one era might be applied erroneously in the evaluation of other periods of history, producing many misunderstandings. Persons, institutions, and their respective competencies are different; ways of thinking and conditioning are different. Therefore, responsibility for what was said and done has to be precisely identified, taking into account the fact that the Church’s request for forgiveness commits the single theological subject of the Church in the variety of ways and levels in which she is represented by individual persons and in the enormous diversity of historical and geographical situations. Generalization must be avoided. any possible statement today must be situated in the contemporary context and undertaken by the appropriate subject (universal Church, Bishops of a country, particular Churches, etc.).” also important is that the Historical investigation and theological evaluation is not taken keeping only the present interests in mind. The Mr then confesses that “another sad chapter of history to which the sons and daughters of the Church must return with a spirit of repentance is that of the acquiescence given, especially in certain centuries, to intolerance and even the use of force in the service of truth. This refers to forms of evangelization that employed improper means to announce the revealed truth or did not include an evangelical discernment suited to the cultural values of peoples or did not respect the consciences of the persons to whom the faith was presented, as well as all forms of force used in the repression and correction of errors.” The Church as an example The Mr points out that the steps taken by John Paul II to ask for pardon for the faults of the past have been understood in many circles as signs of the Church’s vitality and authenticity, such that they strengthen her credibility. The asking for pardon has also helped the Church in correcting false and unacceptable images of herself, especially in those areas in which, whether through ignorance or bad faith, some sectors of opinion like to identify her with obscurantism and intolerance. The Mr goes on to add that “The requests for pardon formulated by the Pope have also given rise to positive emulation both inside and outside the Church. Heads of state or government, private and public associations, religious communities are today asking forgiveness for episodes or historical periods marked by injustices.” Love is the key according to Mr, Love is the Key in dealing with the issue of memory and reconciliation. It reminds that in the new testament, “the disciple is invited to forgive the one who offends him “seventy times seven,” even if the person may not ask for forgiveness (cf. Mt 18:2122). With regard to someone who has been injured by another, Jesus insists that the injured person should take the first step, canceling the offense through forgiveness offered “from the heart” (cf. Mt 18:35; Mk 11:25), aware that he too is a sinner before God, who never refuses forgiveness sincerely entreated.” The Document explains that even the jubilee year in Lev. 25 aimed at healing between tribal groups, the preservation of the social fabric of the People of God and the restoring of independence even to the smallest families of the country. The task before us “It wasn’t until we got over the self pity that we were able to accept suffering as a part of our life with Christ. a man or woman reaches this plane only when he or she ceases to be the hero.” (Corazon
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“Mercy resides in God; deeds are in men.” (Filipino Proverb) I HAVE been asked to devote this final part to Memory and reconciliation in reference to the Indigenous Peoples as this is the tenth anniversary of the DocumentonMemoryandreconciliation issued as per the wishes of Pope John Paul II. Let me begin with a quote from the Document itself in which augustine observes against the Pelagians: “The Church as a whole says: Forgive us our trespasses! Therefore she has blemishes and wrinkles. But by means of confession the wrinkles are smoothed away and the blemishes washed clean. The Church stands in prayer in order to be purified by confession and, as long as men live on earth it will be so.” I have already explained that there is often a complaint from indigenous peoples the world over and perhaps maybe also from the indigenous peoples in the Philippines, that the Catholic Church also did not give the indigenous peoples their due especially in instances when it identified itself with colonizers. In some instances the cultures of the indigenous peoples were looked on with disregard and not respected or on the other hand maybe they were not given their due importance. The crucial question that needs to be asked is whether the present day Catholic Church is responsible for the “historical mistakes” of the past and to what extent and if so, how can she wash away the blemishes. Let me try and analyze some of the highpoints of the document in order to set up a road map for us today. Purification of the memory The document calls for a purification of the memory and by its very title offers some hints regarding this purification. The title is “Memory and reconciliation”. Therefore, the memory of the one who suffered the hurt, as well as the one who inflicted the hurt needs to be purified. The purification has to lead to reconciliation. reconciliation means we become one: as it wipes of divisions, clears up misunderstandings and reinforces unity. “This purification aims at liberating personal and communal conscience from all forms of resentment and violence that are legacy of past faults through a renewed historical and theological evaluation of such events”. What the Church is calling for is to look again at History not simply to evaluate single events or a series of events but rather to reevaluate the values, ideologies and attitudes that fostered these faults. Obviously, we look at the past neither to accuse (on the part of the one who suffered the hurt) nor to defend or wash off our hands from responsibility (on the part of one accused of the faults). The real point is not digging up skeletons from the past because the re-evaluation is not intended to add up to the resentment on the part of peoples who suffered, nor to give them a cocky superiority, nor to inflame passions, nor to become victims of self pity, nor to arouse a spirit of revenge. For this would not be Christian.

A purification for future growth There is a story of a native american grandfather who was talking to his grandson about how he felt… He said, “I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is the vengeful, angry, violent one. The other wolf is the loving, compassionate one.” The grandson asked him, “Which wolf will win the fight in your heart?” The grandfather answered, “The one I feed.” The document reminds us that the purification of the memory “is based on the conviction that because of the bond that unites us to one another in the mystical body, all of us though not personally responsible and without encroaching on the judgment of God, who alone knows every heart, bear the burden of the errors and faults of those who have gone before us”. St. Paul’s example to the Corinthians in discord, of the parts of the body and their honour and role and the way it works comes very much to mind. If one part of the body feels the pain, the whole body feels the pain. In a real reconciliation the whole body will be led to a genuine growth. The Catholic Church is the home of diverse cultures and sensitivities and it is only through mutual respect and sincerity of purpose that the Church can fulfill its mission of proclaiming the gospel to the ends of the “earth”. as the Mr points out, “the purpose of the very act of ‘purification of memory’ undertaken by believers” is the “glorification of god, because living in obedience to the divine truth and its demands leads to confessing, together with our faults, the eternal mercy and justice of the Lord”. The Mr warns that the remembrance of the scandals can become an obstacle to the church’s witness today, and the recognition of the past faults of the Church’s sons and daughters

aquino) as already mentioned earlier, we need a purification of memory on both sides. The Indigenous peoples cannot be engulfed in self-pity. Nor can the rest of the Church remain passive to the hurt that the indigenous peoples’ communities may suffer. an honest evaluation with the intention of healing is a must. It is true that in the past there has often been a lack of respect for traditions, considering them backward and not worthy of consideration even to the extent of being considered worthy of elimination and eradication. But then it could also have been the question of ill informed prejudices or an inordinate zeal to spread Christianity. Many actions were undertaken without malice but as per the theology of the past. This does not mean we do not take responsibility for what happened. We are still responsible for what went wrong. The church in the Philippines has taken some steps. The setting up of the eCIP is one right step taken already 35 years ago. What may be necessary is that this commission tries and identifies whether violence was done to indigenous peoples or hurt was caused to them, as also to individuate as to which indigenous community this was done. Since generalizations are mostly ambiguous and may not be helpful, it would be better to identify the source and the method of the hurt and more importantly whether the memory or effects of the hurt are actually present in the community. The Church could also set up concrete steps for the evangelization of cultures and the inculturation of the faith, which keep in mind the preservation of the identity and uniqueness of the Indigenous peoples’ groups. Mutual respect is a must in any effort for intercultural dialogue. In the field of education, how can we work an educational pattern where our youth from the Indigenous populations can participate in modern progress and benefit from academic excellence while reinforcing their belongingness to the community and reinforcing their traditional positive values. Can we stand by the indigenous peoples as they face the effects of the globalization winds in regard to their ancestral domains, their cultural identity etc. especially through self-help groups? again how can they be made part of the progress without being destroyed? Your excellencies, I have tried to offer some concrete suggestions towards the end. However what needs to be kept in mind is that the Church does not function as a political organ. Its main task is evangelization and in this task cultures and cultural identities become prominent areas of work. The Pontifical Council for culture is with you in all your efforts for the Indigenous peoples and we would like to stay in contact with you, so that we can continue spreading the Gospel and its message of Faith Hope and Charity.

(Fr. Theodore Mascarenhas, SFX of the Pontifical Council for Culture delivered this piece during the seminar that preceded the CBCP Plenary Assembly last January 2010 at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Manila.)

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made possible for us through and in Jesus’ saving death and resurrection, and takes place in and through our being united to Him in His Paschal Mystery. a theologian once said that to be saved from our radical selfcenteredness, we need an equally radical self-transformation—at the core of our being, because the wound that was inflicted by Sin has affected us in the depths of our being, meaning: ONTOLOGICaL (Being); hence, the healing must be equally in the depths of our being. What is needed then is nothing less than a change of our being—an ontological change, which only a power from above can do. Thus, the Lord’s word: “Unless a man is born from above … Unless a man is born through water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven” (Jn 3:3ff) Becoming a Christian then

is not a matter of a change in mentality, attitude, psychology, values or morality. The New Life involved is really NeW—not just the OLD LIFe renewed, renovated, or improved—but with a new Principle of Life—the SPIrIT. “a new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put in within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezech 36:26). Faith in the New Life of the risen Christ. Unbelieving people would usually rationalize or justify their unbelief in the risen Christ – waving it aside as “It’s just too good to be true.” But, true believers, with authentic faith and strong conviction, rejoice to proclaim, over and over again: CHrIST HaS DIeD! CHrIST IS rISeN! aND CHrIST WILL COMe aGaIN! aLLeLUIa! and, indeed, it’s just too good to be false!

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Entertainment
Moral Assessment Technical Assessment

CBCP Monitor

March 15 – March 28, 2010

Vol. 14 No. 6

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

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

THe movie is based on the reports of Wall Street journalist, Geeta anand in 2004. It follows the struggles of John Crowley (Brendan Fraser), a pharmaceutical executive on the rise, whose 8-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter have been diagnosed with Pompe disease. His greatest dilemma is that this rare genetic disorder with no known cure will eventually spread to his children’s vital organs and kill them at a young age. But John will not give up and lose his children so easily. He meets Dr. robert Stonehill, (Harrison Ford), a rustic University researcher who has discovered an enzyme that could possibly cure Pompe disease. The bulk of the plot focuses on John’s struggle to build a foundation, then run a bio-tech company and try to work with Dr. robert in spite of personality clashes. The plot is easy to follow and develops quite predictably. The script has a tendency to be too syrupy and weepy at times and has a prolonged focus

on the melodrama. But still Jacobs and Vaughan manage to create a captivating movie. The performances of Fraser, Ford and russell are solid and genuine. The camerawork is clean and the editing is tight. Technically, the movie is more than good but not necessarily great. Overall, the movie succeeds in evoking sympathy for a father battling the odds to save his children. The movie is strong in its message about family. John’s efforts are commendable and aileen’s (his wife) support for him despite the uncertainty of the situation is inspiring. another strong point of the movie is its message of hope and acceptance of God’s will. accepting one’s fate, no matter how painful, is a sign of humility and complete trust in His providence. The movie would have been perfect if the element of prayer or faith were also highlighted as source of courage and strength in overcoming his ordeal. It would be best for parents to remind their children that in real life, faith and spirituality play a major role in

Title: Extraordinary Measures Cast: Brendan Fraser, Harrison Ford, Keri Russell Director: Tom Vaughn; Producers: Carla Santos Shamberg, Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher Screenwriters: Robert Nelson Jacobs, Geeta Anand Music: Andrea Guerra Editor: Anne V. Coates Genre: Drama Cinematography: Andrew Dunn Distributor: CBS Films Location: USA; Running Time: 105mins. Technical Assessment: ½ Moral Assessment: ½ CINEMA Rating: For viewers 14 and above

sustaining a person through his pain and struggles. The emotional stress of the movie might not be suitable for very young audiences. although it does have a strong positive message, parents might feel uncomfortable to have their children sit through all the yelling and crying in the movie.

MAC en COLET

Ni Bladimer Usi

Buhay Parokya

Look for the images of Pope Pius XII, Archangel Michael and Holy Water Font . (Illustration by Bladimer Usi)

NaNG mapatalsik sa puwesto Title: The Red Shoes ang mga Marcos noong 1986, Cast: Marvin Agustin, Nikki Gil, Lisa Lorena, Techie pinasok ng mga taong-bayan Agbayani, Tirso Cruz ang Malacanang. Kabilang dito III, Iwa Moto ang batang si Lucas (Marvin Director: Raul Jorolan agustin) na nagnakaw ng isang pares ng sapatos na pula Writer: James Ladioray Producer/ Distributor: Tony ni Imelda Marcos. Ibinigay Gloria/Unitel niya ang kanang pares sa Running Time: 110 minutes kanyang ina (Lisa Lorena) na Location: Manila nagluluksa sa pagkamatay ng Genre: Drama, Romance kanilang padre de pamilya Technical Assessment: (Tirso Crus III) at ang kaliwang  kapares naman ay ibinigay niya Moral Assessment: ½ sa kanyang unang babaeng Rating: For viewers 14 and minahal na si Betina (Nikki above Gil). Sa kanilang paglaki ay magiging magkasintahan sina Lucas at Betina ngunit sila’y magkakahiwalay bunga ng matinding di-pagkakaunawaan na mag-uugat sa pagtataksil ni Lucas. Samantalang ang ina naman ni Lucas ay panay ang pagkonsulta sa mga ispiritista upang makausap ang kaluluwa ng kanyang amang natabunan sa ginagawang Film Center ni Imelda. Kakaiba ang kuwentong nais ihatid ng The red Shoes. Nagawa nitong kilitiin ang imahinasyon ng manonood sa pagkokonekta nito sa mga tunay na pangyayari sa ating kasaysayan. Maayos naman ang pagkakalahad ng kuwento bagama’t magulo sa kabuuan ang mensahe nito. Maganda ang mga kuha ng kamera at ang mga lokasyong ginamit. Kitangkita na nag-uumapaw sa talinong artistiko ang mga nasa likod ng pelikula. Maganda rin ang intensiyon nilang magbigay ng panibagong putahe sa mga manonood ng pelikulang Pilipino. Mahuhusay naman ang mga nagsiganap, yun nga lang, bihira silang maramdaman bilang mga tunay na tao--dala ng masyadong pag-ayos sa istruktura ng pelikula, lumabas na pawang artipisyal at mukhang mga karikatura ang kanilang mga karakter. Sayang, sapagkat kita naman ang sinseridad ng lahat sa maayos na pagganap. Sa simula pa lang ay problemado na ang pelikula sa maraming usaping moral. Nariyan agad ang “romanticizing” sa pagnanakaw ng isang bata. Bagama’t walang malisya sa parte ng bata ang pagnanakaw, hindi nililinaw ng pelikula kung ang pagnanakaw ay tama o mali. Maaari ding sinasabi ng pelikula na hindi ito mabuti sa pamamagitan ng pagpapakitang hindi naging maayos ang buhay ng pangunahing tauhan sa kabuuan, subalit ang ganoong mga mensahe ay dapat na dumating ng lubos na malinaw upang hindi nakakalabo sa isipan ng nanonood. Umikot ang kuwento sa iba’t-ibang uri ng pagnanakaw: pang-aagaw ng asawa, pagnanakaw ng sandali ng pagtataksil. Nariyan din ang paniniwala ng ina ni Lucas sa mga ispiritista at ilang mga pamahiin. Ipinakita namang ang gawaing pagtawag ng kaluluwa at paniniwala sa ispirtista ay hindi tama at madalas, ang mga ito’y pawang mga huwad. Hindi rin mabuti na ipinipresenta ng pelikula na katanggaptanggap ang pagtatalik ng dalawang taong hindi naman kasal. Mabuti na nga lang at wala namang hubaran at malabis na halikan na ipinakita. Nakakabahala nga lang na baka isipin ng mga b a t a n g manonood na sapat na dahilan ang pagmam a h a l u p a n g humantong s a pagtatalik a n g relasyon. Sa kabuuan naman ng pelikula ay malinaw ang pinakamensahe nito ukol sa pagmam a h a l , pagpapatawad at pagpaparaya.

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 6
March 15 - 28, 2010

The Cross

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

Awardees from Central Luzon Conquerors composed of Fraternal Counselors from Nueva Ecija and Pangasinan during the 33rd Annual Family Service Awards held from March 5-7, 2010 in Legend of Palawan Hotel, Puerto Princesa. The group, which won the most number of delegation is led by Area Manager, Manuel L. Naldoza.

KCFAPI holds 33rd Fr. George J. Willmann Family Service Awards
By Gari M. San Sebastian

THE Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Phils., Inc. (KCFAPI) celebrated its 33rd Fr. George J. Willmann, S.J. Family Service Awards last March 5, 6 and 7, 2010 at the Legend Hotel Palawan in Puerto Princesa City.
The year 2009 so far had the most number of awardees from all over the archipelago. Celebration started from the Puerto Princesa airport where the Knights of Columbus members with District Warden Melencio Gener welcomed the group at the arrival area. An orientation and briefing with house rules and tour advisory were provided by the Legend hotel representatives to the delegates during lunch. A free and relax mode with a side trip to a nearby market and shopping center followed shortly and the awardees had time to buy native delicacies and souvenirs. Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio, KCFAPI’s Spiritual Director and Director of CBCP Media Office celebrated the Thanksgiving Mass on the day of the Awardees’ arrival in Palawan, which was also the first Friday of the month in the season of Lent. While having dinner, the Palawan State University’s Sining Palawan Dance Troupe entertained the group with their interpretation of cultural dances from all regions of the country. Antonio B. Borromeo, President of KCFAPI gave an opening message which signaled the start of the program. “The annual awards is the most awaited event in the lives of our salesforce as the Association recognizes their accomplishments and honor in extending remarkable fraternal service to our brother Knights and families ” Borromeo said in his speech. The Awarding ceremony was emceed by the writer and co-emceed by the Area Managers from various areas nationwide. The presenters of the award were Patrocinio R. Bacay, Chairman of the Board; Antonio B. Borromeo, President; Ma. Theresa G. Curia, Executive Vice President and the deputies of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao namely Alonso L. Tan, Dionisio R. Esteban Jr., and Sofronio R. Cruz. Central Luzon Conquerors had twelve awardees and recognized as the area with the most number of awardees. Metro Manila Chancellors was the first to attain their First Year Contribution Income (FYCI) target for 2009 and Central Luzon Believers garnered the

highest First Year Contribution Income of more than P18M. The list of all the awardees and their area managers are as follows: FRATERNAL COUNSELOR OF THE YEAR Lauro Evangelista (Central Luzon Believers) AREA MANAGER OF THE YEAR Conrado S. Dator, Jr. (Southern Luzon Lakers) AREA MANAGER OF THE YEAR (RUNNER-UP) Efren M. Casupanan (Central Luzon Believers) FRATERNAL COUNSELOR OF THE YEAR (RUNNERS-UP) Venancio F. Capiral – Southern Luzon Lakers Eduardo V. Cruz – Central Luzon Believers Maria Teresa G. De La Mota – Western Visayas Bulls Amado S. Miranda – Central Luzon Diamonds Bonifacio M. Morales – Central Luzon Believers Teofilo A. Samson – Southern Luzon Lakers Reynaldo Q. Segismundo – Northwestern Luzon Thunders WKRT Veronica C. Casupanan – Central Luzon Believers Hugo M. Goce, Jr. – Southern Luzon Lakers Joselito C. Guzman – Central Luzon Diamonds Rosa D. Hernandez – Metro Manila Chancellors Virgilio F. Matias – Metro Manila Chancellors Crisencia R. Sanchez – Metro Manila Chancellors Danilo M. Tullao – Northeastern Luzon Cavaliers CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE Central Luzon Believers

Eleno R. Sta. Ana Metro Manila Achievers Rolando P. De Villa Armando E. Muyot Jose Rolando G. Sanoria Vicente G. Medeseo, Jr. Metro Manila Chancellors Rodolfo C. Salcedo Eduardo T. Buenaflor Metro Manila Dragons Juan G. Castillo, Jr. Metro Manila Excellence Danilo T. Carungay Northeastern Luzon Cavaliers Gabriel T. Chocyagan Mauricio P. Pangda Rogelio D. Oriel Northwestern Luzon Thunders Angel F. Rivada Lorenzo D. Dufale, Sr. Southern Luzon Lakers Teodoro E. Rada Angelito T. Lat Southwestern Luzon Stars Roberto V. Magtoto Ronnie L. Ayon Rufo S. Ilog Central Visayas Aces Romualdo B. Montemayor Eastern Visayas Fighters Ednar C. Padro Western Visayas Champions Wildy D. Devela
Awards / C2

Leonardo A. Hernandez

Jaime P. Lazaro

Efren V. Mendoza Virginia F. Del Pilar Pedro T. Domingo, Jr. Marcelino T. Tabaldo Lerio A. Cagampang Mauricio V. Tolentino Aniceto B. Lozano

Diego DJ. Marquez Ronando M. Rodriguez Joselito T. Enriquez Luis F. Ferrer Ariston V. Francisco Rodolfo N. Alongalay Central Luzon Conquerors Augusto Cesar C. Ventenilla Jeffrey Rey S. Guillermo Purificacion N. Naldoza Jaime J. Dario Nazario A. Timbresa Rene P. Cruz Jose R. De Leon Rex E. Blanco Francisco L. Baluyot Rolando Y. Frany Francisco C. Ballesteros

Lauro E. Villamayor, Jr.

Rodrigo B. Gorospe Armando C. Ravina

2009 KCFAPI Area Manager of the Year
SOUTHERN Luzon Lakers Area Manager, Conrado S. Dator, Jr. is the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc.’s (KCFAPI) AM of the Year. He is the head coach of all Fraternal Counselors of Southern Luzon which covers the provinces of Laguna, Batangas and Quezon. Jun, as he is fondly called was able to face and hurdle the challenges of the past year 2009. He is one of the youngest KCFAPI Area Managers and has been with the Order of the Knights of Columbus for almost two decades. During which, he has held several positions such as the Grand Knight and District Deputy and is presently the State Youth Director of Luzon Jurisdiction. He was born in Sta. Cruz, Laguna and is an active member of Council 4104. He started his career as a salesman and was later invited to be a Fraternal Counselor and in less than a year, he became the Area Manager for Southern Luzon. For ten years as an Area Manager, he has proven himself to lead not just in his area but in all areas nationwide being a three-time Area Manager of the Year (2002, 2007 and 2009) and has been a consistent runner-up in the past.. Dator brought with his success several awardees in the FC of the Year Runners-up, Ted Samson and Ven Capiral; Willmann Knights of the Round Table (WKRT), Jun Goce and Chairman Circle, Lito Lat, Teddy Rada and Lauro Villamayor. “Being focused on my plans and programs and being consistently in search for new strategies towards better performance are some of the traits I continuously nurture in order to attain my goal” he said. Jun is married to Yan with their children John Kurt and Camille. (Gari San Sebastian)

Jocelyn D. Nabong

LAURO Evangelista of the Central Luzon Believers is the 2009 Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Phils., Inc. (KCFAPI) Fraternal Counselor of the Year. It’s a back to back title for Larry, as he is commonly called, who hailed from a small town of Plaridel in the province of Bulacan; a teacher by profession, who later became the Fraternal Counselor of his Council. “I was quite hesitant to accept the role entrusted to me by the members and officers of Plaridel Council because I know that I do not have the courage

2009 KCFAPI Fraternal Counselor of the Year
to speak in front of a crowd,” Larry told in an interview. Even though he is a soft-spoken and humble person as what his colleagues would describe him, Larry already landed in several titles such as Chairman’s Circle, Willmann Knights of the Round Table (WKRT) and twice as FC of the Year, the highest title. Evangelista had been a consistent awardee for seven years in a row since he started in 2002. One of the secrets of his success is his exposure in the activities of the Order of the Knights of Columbus. He also established a good rapport with all its members

who later were turned as his Benefit Certificate holders. “Hard work, determination, and strong belief, are some of my key success factors” he added. Larry also shared his attitude towards success with an acronym, T.I.P.S. Treat all BC holders with humility, Industriousness and integrity, Patience, Sense of responsibility leads to great accomplishments. He also owes his success to his father, Emmanuel Evangelista, to his supportive wife Cecille, their children Ces Lauraine and Marc Emman, and to the Lord Almighty. (Gari San Sebastian)

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The Cross

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 6
March 15 - 28, 2010

Chairman’s Message
FOR a number of years, we have known through the brilliance and wonder of the world of Science that our genes are the constant elements in every cell of the human body responsible for the inherited traits handed down from generation to generation. This may be the determining factor how our lives are coursed. This knowledge has formed a mindset that maybe an advantage at times, unfortunately, disadvantageous often times. But deep in our Christian heart and mind, we have always believed and witnessed how we want our life to turn out will ultimately be determined by the choices we make, with Divine Providence. A few issues ago, Time Magazine had for its cover story—Why Your DNA Is Not Your Destiny. I quote, “The New Science of epigenetics reveals how the choices you make can change your genes—and those of your Kids,” unquote. My dear brothers and sisters, regardless of genes, our honorees tonight have made their choice—to be

President’s Message
IT is with great pride to honor our 86 Annual Awardees on the 33rd Fr. George J. Willmann, S.J. Annual Family Service Awards held recently in Palawan knowing fully well the hard work and dedication each and every one of them has poured out in 2009. The 86 awardees is the most number of sales force in the history of KCFAPI with P125M in First Year Contribution Income (FYCI). Congratulations to the two-time winner of the FC Awardee of the year, Bro. Lauro L. Evangelista of the Central Luzon Believers, and 3 time-winner of the AM Awardee of the year, Bro. Conrado S. Dator of the Southern Luzon Lakers. Special citation should also be given to the top grosser in FYCI of P18.3M from the area of Bro. Efren M. Casupanan of the Central Luzon Believers and the AM with the most number of FC awardees, Bro. Manuel L. Naldoza of the Central Luzon Conquerors. We thank everyone who has made the awarding ceremonies a successful event especially the respective families of the awardees who not only attended the ceremonies but were part of it by way of their showmanship during the group presentations. We expect more talent and higher production in the next annual awards. This year 2010 comes as a new challenge for all of the Fraternal Counselors and Area Managers. Our theme in 2008 of Unveiling Breakthroughs in Celebrating 50 Years of Fraternal Service produced P103M in FYCI. For 2009, the theme was Sustaining Growth Through Fortified Fraternal Service with total FYCI of P125M from a target of P105M. For 2010, the theme is Get Everyone Achieve Records. We know that we have a bigger challenge to hurdle but with everyone pitching in their best, this could be achieved. Finally, we thank the Lord for his guidance all these years through the Holy Spirit without which none of these will bear abundant fruit.

Patrocinio R. Bacay

Antonio B. Borromeo

counted among the best Fraternal Counselors and Area Managers. Truly, that choice was made with the best intention to do their best not solely for their personal recognition, but also to bring honor for their families, garnering benefits too for other brother knights and their families, ultimately helping KCFAPI in its journey to spread out countless benefits where they are most needed. In our midst are brothers and sisters who have determinedly made their choice, willing to labor through sweat and blood if need be, to arrive at this time in their life to witness the fruit of a right choice and hard work. To our special and honored people tonight our heartfelt congratulations. Thank you for giving our Order the chance once more, to enjoy this shining moment.

By Arsenio Isidro G. Yap

My only son, Archie—a gift from God
that I would name my son, Arsenio III. I went to the nursery and saw my son in a very horrible state. He was in an incubator; his breathing was aided by an oxygen tank with dextrose tubes attached on his head and another on one of his legs. It looked like he’s in terrible pain, so fragile that at any moment, he would die. Five days later, my wife was ready to be discharged from the hospital. I asked the pediatrician, what about our son? He told us to leave our son up to 30 days, to which we readily agreed. I was again hopeful as the doctor was practically saying that my son could get better in 30 days. We visited our son everyday and there seemed to be no improvement on his condition. On the 30th day, we asked the doctor the real score about my son’s condition. He could hardly express himself. We’re receiving bits and pieces of information from the gibberish he was muttering about until I got the picture and put words into his mouth. He reluctantly agreed to what I think he was saying. We told him we’re taking him home with or without a discharge order from him. He had no other choice but to order the discharge of our baby. We went around looking for a doctor who could somehow do something for my son. Different tests were done on him including a CT-Scan which showed that a part of his brain was not functioning at all. Later on I found out that the brain damage was caused by the lack of oxygen during delivery and was not an inborn defect. My son’s development was slow, he was unable to walk nor stand at age three. He was moving about on his butt, dragging himself to where he wants to go. We consulted a physical therapist and had him on a program to strengthen his limbs and help him stand and walk with the aid of braces on his legs. It was somehow successful. He learned to stand, walk around with the aid of a walker or a grab bar, but he could not walk without holding on to anything that would steady him. He had the mind of a 6 month old baby. The situation remained the same until he was about seven when some sort of a miracle happened. We were on a holy week vacation when all of a sudden on a Good Friday he suddenly

(Chairman’s speech delivered during the 33rd Fr. George J. Willmann, S.J. Annual Family Awards)

I WAS roused from my sleep by my wife Annie in the early morning of April 26, 1980. She told me that her water bag has ruptured and she’s about to give birth to our first child although she was not yet due for about two weeks. We hurriedly packed some things for her needs and proceeded to the hospital where she was seeing her doctor for her pre-natal check-ups. She was rushed to the delivery room immediately upon arrival at the hospital. Hours passed and I have not received any news on my wife’s condition. It was already lunch time when I was advised that my wife’s birth canal was only three (3) cm and that she was not yet about to give birth since the birth canal should be ten (10) cm. for a normal delivery. I was getting worried because I brought my wife in at around 4:30 a.m. Eight hours have passed since her water bag broke and I do not know the effects of a prolonged dry labor. At two, I was told that they needed to induce my wife to give birth. At 4:30 p.m., I was informed that my wife has finally given birth to a baby boy, five pounds and fifteen ounces, an ounce short of six pounds. A few minutes later our baby was taken out of the delivery room and brought to the nursery ward. The baby seemed fine except that the head is a little bit elongated. Fifteen minutes later the anesthesiologist visited us and related to me the events in the delivery room and how my wife had a difficult time giving birth. She told me that when the drug to induce birth failed, they literally squeezed my wife’s tummy to force the baby out. At around 6:30, two nurses from the nursery ward came over and asked me what name would I like to give to my son and I asked why? Finally, one of them got enough courage and told me that I need to give a name for my son so an emergency baptism could be administered to him. I asked why the need for an emergency baptism. With a sad look on her face and showing a lot of sympathy, the nurse told me in the most difficult way that my son might not last the night. Then and only then, did I realize that my son was dying. I told them
Awards / C1

stood up, steadied himself by holding on a wall Mary College in Aurora Blvd, Quezon City. He and dashed across the room unaided. We were had only one penance for all their confessions that overjoyed when we saw him do it. He acknowl- they pray for the safe and successful operation edged our glee with a burst of laughter on his part of Archie. About a year later, one of the students as if telling us that, “I told you so, I could do it.” chanced upon Bishop Pedernal and asked him It was the most memorable Holy Week vacation how Archie was. The good bishop then told her that their prayers were answered and thanked her we ever had. We went to see one of his old doctors to show for the good deed. We had him attend a special school for children her the improvements on our son Archie. She was impressed by Archie’s development and confided like him until when he was about 20 years old, but to us that she never expected our son to survive his mental condition hardly improved through the years. He’ll be thirty by April 26, in good health the first year of his life. At age 14, we consulted an orthopedist on the and in good spirit. He is our first born and the only curvature of Archie’s spine. He suggested an boy among our five children. If you had experience what my wife and I did operation to attach a metal brace on his spine in order to prevent it from further deterioration. during the first year of his life and heard the doctors’ We asked if there’s another option other than an pronouncement on his fate and condition, you will operation. He told us we could opt not to have never believe that Archie would still be alive today. him undergo operation since the condition is not I pleaded for my son’s life and God gave him to us life-threatening. We asked him to explain to us the as an inspiration and a source of strength in times of scenario if we choose not to let him undergo the adversity. Archie is a gift from God to my family. operation. He told us the spine would continue to deteriorate which would somehow affect his lungs and cause him to have difficulty in breathing. We agreed on the operation so he would not deteriorate and suffer a slow death by asphyxiation. When we first saw him after the EACH of the Knights of Columbus Philippines State Deputies operation, I was brought to tears. has donated to the victims of the recent earthquake in Haiti. He was restrained in the middle Luzon Deputy Alonso L. Tan, Visayas Deputy Dionisio R. of circular metal framed bed Esteban, Jr., and Mindanao Deputy Sofronio R. Cruz each without any cushion, like being handed an amount of U$ 1,000 to the KC Supreme Council suspended in mid-air. as their contribution to the relief assistance of the Supreme He did not complain nor Council to Haiti. showed any sign of discomfort, The cash donation was personally handed by the three State despite his very difficult situaDeputies during their Mexico Trip for the Circle of Honors tion. I attributed this to the help Awarding Ceremony last February 15. and prayers of Most Rev. GodIn their recent report, the KC Supreme Council has immediofredo Pedernal, Bishop Emeriately donated $50,000 to the Catholic Relief Services for the Haiti tus of Borongan Samar. While relief operations. Archie was being operated on, The Supreme Council then asked the Brother Knights and Bishop Pedernal was hearing their families to offer prayers for the victims of the catastrophe. confessions from the high school (KC News) students of Immaculate Heart of

KC Philippines State Deputies donate to Haiti victims

Central Mindanao Cowboys Lorenzo E. Almelia Davao Eagles Butch B. Ragoro Northern Mindanao Goldies Marteliano A. Alcontin Emma M. Saclote

Mary I. Labrador

Romeo L. Loquero

Southwestern Mindanao Fuerza con Amor Jose Q. Tan, Jr. The awards night ended with the Chairman’s message and toast by Sir Knight Patrocinio R. Bacay. The awardees were also treated to a whole day tour in the Underground River, considered as one of the top nominees of the new seven wonders of the world. Others opted an island hopping in Honda Bay. Right after their trip, the “Kawangis ng Tribu,” a local ethnic group performer glittered the theme night with their fire dance and music from indigenous instruments. All of the participants wore an inspiration from Indiana Jones movie, Jungle Safari costume. The areas performed several numbers such as group singing, dancing, or combination of both and even a short play. Central Luzon Conquerors won the best group performance followed by Central Luzon Believers and Southern Luzon Lakers. Rex Blanco of Central Luzon Conquerors also won his third title as winner of Best Costume for male and Angeli Salcedo of Metro Manila Chancellors emerged as the winner of Best Costume for female. The judges were the family members of the Board of Trustees with Msgr. Quitorio III as their Chairperson. Also present during the affair were KCFAPI Board of Trustees headed by Chairman Patrocinio R. Bacay and his wife, Dra. Gloria; Vice Chairman Sofronio R. Cruz, President Antonio B. Borromeo, Corporate Treasurer Antontio T. Yulo and wife, Concepcion; Corporate Secretary Alonso L. Tan and wife Teresita; Board members Dionisio R. Esteban, Jr. and wife Fe; Jose D. Bacalanmo, Jr. and wife Rolanda; Atty. Ramon E. Rodrigo and wife Gigi; Hospicio T. Suralta, Jr. and wife Florencia; with Treasurer of Fr. Willmann Charities and KC Philippines Foundation Dr. Ruperto Somera and wife Dra. Ofelia. KCFAPI officers who assisted and supported the occasion were Executive Vice President Ma. Theresa G. Curia, Executive Vice President; VP - Finance Mary Magdalene G. Flores; VP - Fraternal Benefits Joseph P. Teodoro, VP - Information & BC Holders’ Services Ronulfo Antero G. Infante, Manager - Legal & Administrative Services Atty. Rizal V. Katalbas, Jr., Manager - Underwriting Carmelita S. Ruiz, Medical Consultant Jaime M. Talag, Executive Secretary Annie M. Nicolas, Fraternal Benefits Associate for Central Visayas Floralin C. Bohol, Jan Michael Dayrit and Jemwel Santillan of FBG and Roy Lagarde and Dennis Dayao of the CBCP Media Office provided program and technical support.

LAYOUT BY LAURENCE JOHN R. MORALES

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 6
March 15 - 28, 2010

The Cross

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The Cross of Christ inspires consolation and charity amid tragedy
By Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson
ALL of us have been horrified in recent weeks by the scenes of death and destruction in Haiti, and millions have sought for a way to alleviate the suffering there. No doubt many homilies have been given to help us understand how a loving God could allow such a tragedy. One “explanation” in the United States came from a Protestant evangelist who stated that Haiti had been “cursed” ever since its founders had “sworn a pact with the devil” to achieve the nation’s independence from France. His comments, as one might expect, caused a storm of controversy. Certainly, there is ample evidence in the Old Testament of nations being punished by God for idolatry, and some Christians continue to look to this Old Testament history for explanations of world events. However, Catholics today are more likely to look in a different direction to understand how God deals with human sinfulness. And they need look no further than the crucifix above the altar in their church. God has freely and lovingly united himself with human suffering in the sacrifice of his Son upon the cross. Those evangelists who so often quote John 3:16 might also remember what is said in the next verse: “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.” The tragedy in Haiti is likely to have long-lasting effects, not only for the people who have lost loved ones there, but for an entire generation that has witnessed its destruction. As such, it is important that we get the right understanding of what has occurred. Many news reports compare Haiti to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in the U.S. Gulf Coast region or the recent floods in the Philippines. There is one similarity that I think is worth pointing out: In Haiti, as in the Philippines or on the Gulf Coast, there has been an outpouring of giving by the members of the Knights of Columbus. Haiti is today a test of our faith in God and our commitment to our fellow man. So far, Knights have kept their commitment and have shown the true meaning of the first principle of our Order: charity. In thinking about Haiti, I could not help but consider the work of St. Damien of Molokai, “the Leper Priest,” who was canonized last fall by Pope Benedict XVI. Several years ago, I had the opportunity to visit Molokai, Hawaii, and while visiting a church there I saw a photograph of an elderly woman taken in the 1930s. She had lost her ears, nose, and all of her fingers and toes to leprosy. She was also blind. Yet, I was told, she prayed the rosary every day by holding the beads between her teeth. Not long after that, I spoke to a missionary priest who mentioned that he had opened a home for people suffering from leprosy. Each day as he celebrates Mass there, an elderly man, also blind from the disease, says during the prayers of the faithful, “Father, God, thank you for all the good things you have given me.” Philosophers and theologians will continue to search for explanations concerning the problem of suffering in the world. Perhaps the best answer, though, comes from those whose suffering goes beyond what we are able to imagine. These believers experience the reality that God has united himself to them in their suffering. In his homily during the canonization Mass of Father Damien, Benedict XVI said: “Jesus invites his disciples to the total giving of their lives, without calculation or personal gain, with unfailing trust in God. The saints welcome this demanding invitation and set about following the crucified and risen Christ with humble docility. Their perfection, in the logic of a faith that is humanly incomprehensible at times, consists in no longer placing themselves at the center, but choosing to go against the flow and live according to the Gospel.” Ultimately, this is the key to understand the events of Molokai and Haiti. And it will be the measure of our response as Christians. In Haiti, much of what we have seen is the response of neighbors helping neighbors—of brotherly solidarity. There is no better way to rebuild a city, for, as Proverbs tells us, “A brother that is helped by his brother is like a strong city” (Prov 18:19). Vivat Jesus!

The Population Agenda
IT is kind of ironic that in this holy season of Lent the country is talking about things too far off from the holy. Exactly three days before the start of the 40day observance that opened with Ash Wednesday, the Department of Health commenced doling out condoms in bus terminals and elsewhere. It is also inclusive of this holy season that political candidates in their sorties are bashing each other and campaigning at all cost just to get a firm hold of political power that, as history will tell, is actually bereft of commitment to the common good. While we are supposedly a catholic country, the values that the government and most of us are pursuing are far from Christian. The condom distribution, for instance, is a scapegoat. What the health department is telling people is that, we have to use condom in order to stem the spread of HIV-AIDS. This, of course, is a deception, because the condom does not prevent the spread of the virus, as the experience of other countries will bear. When Thailand started distributing condom, the incidence of AIDS increased exponentially. The greatest virus that condoms bring is the “virus” of promiscuity and permissiveness. A promiscuous person who is living in a society that is permissive is a perfect multiplier of HIV-AIDS. He or she will be indiscriminate in the use of sexual faculties that may thrive in fertile grounds such as: extra-marital sex, pre-marital sex and same sex, among others. At the end of the day, one finds out that the health department is actually encouraging the spread of the virus and not preventing it. Truth to tell, the real issue is not the virus. It is population. The condom gambit, just like the RH Bill, is merely a part of an overarching agenda: the reduction of population at all cost. This scheme is heavily funded by foreign organizations that have been zealously working to reduce the population of third world countries in order to grip a global economic and political balance. But of course, the condoms and birth control pills is also a multibillion business of pharmaceutical companies that can make or unmake politicians—just like drugs and gambling. At this holy Season of Lent we kneel down in prayer and penance. We ask our Brother Knights to seek the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe to come to our aid and spare our country. Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio KCFAPI Chaplain

KC Luzon to conduct 2010 Walk for Life
THE Luzon Jurisdiction of the Knights of Columbus will conduct its “Walk for Life” on March 20, 2010. The walk is aimed to bring to public attention that the Knights of Columbus values life and supports it in all stages of development, from conception to its final moments and will never waver nor grow tired in their stand to Defend Life. As a matter of resolve, KofC is taking this so seriously and have even passed a resolution to conduct this type of activity on a yearly basis. This will be the second year in a row that this type of activity will be held simultaneously in different parts of Luzon as well as in the Visayas and Mindanao making it a nationwide advocacy of the Knights of Columbus in the three Jurisdictions. The program will start with a concelebrated mass at 6 a.m. at the San Agustin Church to be officiated by Most. Rev. Honesto F. Ongtioco, DD, Bishop of the Diocese of Cubao and State Chaplain of the Luzon Jurisdiction. This will be followed by a walk towards Rajah Sulayman Park in Roxas Blvd. traversing Gen. Luna, then right on P. Burgos and left to Roxas Blvd. There will be a short program at the park wherein KofC will reiterate their stand on Pro-Life and how much they Value Life. The Honorable Mayor of Manila, Alfredo S. Lim will not only grace the occasion but will also be one of the speakers for the said event. Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio III, CBCP Media Director and Columbian Squires State Father Prior; Dr. Ligaya A. Acosta, Executive Director of Human Life International-Asia and Bishop Ongtioco will also give their views on their stand. An audio message of Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson will also be played during the event reiterating the Order’s firm stand to Defend Life and to thwart any move to destroy the sanctity of Family as an institution, as the most basic unit of society and as the smallest church as defined by our Faith. Bro. Alonso L. Tan, Luzon Deputy is calling all brother knights not only in Metro Manila but all over Luzon to organize and join a “Walk for Life” in their respective area of responsibility. All seven Dioceses of Metro Manila namely, Antipolo, Cubao, Kalookan, Manila, Novaliches, Parañaque and Pasig will be participating in this laudable project. They will be beefed-up by delegation of brother knights from nearby Dioceses of Imus, Malolos, San Fernando, Pampanga and San Pablo. Columbian Squires from all dioceses who will join in the walk will also participate together with other family members and friends. Other areas expected to conduct their own “Walk for Life” are Baguio City, Tuguegarao City, San Pablo City and provinces of Tarlac, Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur. (Arsenio Isidro G. Yap)
You may contact KCFAPI through our TEXT CONNECT INFORMATION SYSTEM (TEXT BILIS) Send to: 0917-825-KOFC or 0917-8255632 To register KCREG<space>FCCODE<space>PINCODE <space>CONFIRM CODE Example: KCREG 00000 123456 123456 To inquire allowance ALLW<space>FCCODE <space>PINCODE Example: ALLW 00000 123456 To inquire for Submitted, Released & Paid BCs SRP<space>FCCODE <space>MMYYYY Example: SRP 00000 012008 To inquire for the status of Benefit Certificate BCINQ<space>ACCOUNT#<space>BIRTHDATE Example: BCINQ 1002840 01061971 To text a particular Department DEPTCODE<space>Your Name<space>Your Message Example: To text Underwriting Department for follow-up UND Juan Dela Cruz Follow-up application of Bro. Joel Garcia DEPTCODE: UND - for Underwriting FBG - for FBG FMAS - for FC’s Account SERVICE - for BC Services CORPSRV - for FADB FGJWF - for Foundations

KCFAPI employees volunteer at GK bayanihan build
EMPLOYEES of KCFAPI recently volunteered at the Gawad Kalinga Bayanihan Build for the construction of five additional houses at the KC GK Village in honor of Supreme Knight Carl Anderson The GK site is situated at Tungkong Mangga, San Jose del Monte, Bulacan. Everybody was so excited to visit the area again to see the seventeen houses and the Fr. Willmann chapel previously built through Bayanihan Challenges. Volunteers donned in yellow and blue GK Build shirts and buri hat helped the community in clearing the area, filling the plant area with soil and leveled the frontage of each house. They also distributed meriendas for all the workers. A 3-foot Crucifix and Sacred Heart Image donated by Bro. Ruperto Somera and Atty.
KCFAPI Board of Trustees: Patrocinio R. Bacay, Chairman Sofronio R. Cruz, Vice Chairman Antonio B.Borromeo, President Alonso L. Tan, Corporate Secretary Antonio T. Yulo, Treasurer Jose D. Bacalanmo, Jr., Member Dionisio R. Esteban, Jr., Member Ramon E. Rodrigo, Member Hospicio T. Suralta, Jr., Member

Francisco Tankiang were also brought to the site. Both Brother Knights are members of the Board of Trustees of the KC Philippines Foundation. After the hard work, the employees recited the rosary at the Fr. Willmann Chapel where the Mother of Perpetual Help Icon is placed. Schedule of turnover of these houses to the intended beneficiaries is on April 10, 2010. A video presentation of the Foundation’s

Gawad Kalinga Project will be shown during the National Convention in Cebu City. (Denise Solina)

Founder Members Committee HIS EMINENCE Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales, D.D. (Archbishop of Manila) HIS EXCELLENCY Nereo P. Odchimar, D.D. (President, CBCP) Fr. Jose Cecilio J. Magadia, S.J. (Father Provincial, Society of Jesus) Bro. Alonso L. Tan - Luzon Deputy Bro. Dionisio R. Esteban - Visayas Deputy Bro. Sofronio R. Cruz - Mindanao Deputy Bro. Pedro M. Rodriguez, Jr. (Vice Supreme Master) Bro. Allan Nicolas C. Ouano (Secretary - Visayas Jurisdiction) Board of Advisors His Eminence Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales, D.D. Amb. Hilario G. Davide, Jr. Teodoro O. Arcenas, Jr. Edijer A. Martinez Panfilo O. Pacubas, Sr. Ma. Theresa G. Curia, Executive Vice President Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio III, Spiritual Director

State Deputies tour Mexico, met Supreme Council for achieving membership quota
THE Knights of Columbus Philippines’ Deputies were awarded a visit to Mexico for achieving the Supreme Council membership quota for two consecutive years. Luzon Deputy Alonso Tan, Visayas Deputy Dionisio R. Esteban, Jr., and Mindanao Deputy Sofronio R. Cruz, with their ladies as well as their State Membership Directors and their wives went to Puerto Vallarta in Mexico last February 14-20, 2010. The three deputies were awarded the Circle of Honors for having reached the 100% increase in membership. According to Tan, attaining the 100% increase is computed for every jurisdiction. On their first day, KC deputies from different countries including past state deputies, state membership directors and former state membership directors met for a membership meeting to inform and update each official of their current standing on the program of the Supreme Council. As a culminating activity, an awarding ceremony was held at the Marriott Casa Magna Puerto Vallarta last February 18, 2010. The three Philippine Deputies and other State Deputies who reached the quota were given a Circle of Honor ring. As of February 24, 2010, Luzon Jurisdiction is on the 7th place with 5,928 new members; Visayas Jurisdiction on the 14th rank with 2,743 new members and the Mindanao Jurisdiction on the 12th position with 3,289 new members for the Circle of Honor 2009-2010. (KC News)

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The Cross

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 14 No. 6

March 15 - 28, 2010

KCFAPI unveils TOKCA winners
THE Board of Jurors has announced the eight winners of the 2009 Search for The Outstanding Knights of Columbus Awards (TOKCA) during the regular meeting of the Board of Trustees held Friday, March 5, 2010 at Puerto Princesa City. The Board of Jurors is composed of Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio III—CBCP Media Director as Chairman; Amb. Henrietta T. de Villa—PPCRV Chairman; Prof. Felipe B. Alfonso—Executive Director of Ramon V. del Rosario, Sr. Center for Corporate Responsibility of Asian Institute of Management; Patrocinio R. Bacay—KCFAPI Chairman; Antonio B. Borromeo—KCFAPI President; Alonso L. Tan—Luzon Deputy; Dionisio R. Esteban, Jr.—Visayas Deputy; and Sofronio R. Cruz—Mindanao Deputy as members. The eight winners were chosen from 218 brother knights who by all measure excelled in their respective fields of endeavor. (The complete list of nominees appeared in the Cross Supplement January 2010 issue) The awardees of 2009 Search for The Outstanding Knights of Columbus Awards (TOKCA) can be seen on the table below. The eight awardees will receive their plaques of recognition on April 16, 2010 during the Dinner on the 8th Knights of Columbus National Convention at the Waterfront Lahug Hotel. To all the Awardees and Nominees, we take our hats off after your exemplary accomplishments. (Joseph P. Teodoro)

Relief operations keep going for Luzon
DESPITE intertwining concerns and the lapse of time that has passed since typhoon Ondoy hit the country in September last year, the Luzon Jurisdiction has never stopped helping brother knights that have been victims of the worst tropical depression in memory. Last February 20, 2010, the Task Force Typhoon Operation of the Jurisdiction went to Our Lady of Light Parish in Cainta, Rizal to distribute relief goods equipped with grocery bags, mineral waters and boxes of used clothes. Headed by Luzon State Advocate Justice Jose C. Reyes, Jr., State Program Director Bonifacio B. Martinez, State Disaster Relief Chairman Romulo B. Estrella and State Squires Chairman Jose F. Cuaresma, the State Officers conducted relief operation for the 68 affected Brother Knights of Council 7844. The operations team consolidated all their actions which included the solicitation and distribution of relief goods to respond to the needs of the victims of Ondoy and Pepeng particularly the members of the Order. Grand Knight Nicanor C. Felix assisted the State Officers during the distribution. Msgr. Arnel F. Lagarejos, parish priest of Our Lady of Light Parish, conveyed his appreciation and gratitude to the Knights of Columbus. (Kate Laceda)

Luzon State Advocate Justice Jose C. Reyes, Jr, together with State Program Director Bonifacio B. Martinez, State Disaster Relief Chairman Romulo B. Estrella, State Squires Chairman Jose F. Cuaresma and KC Luzon Office Manager Nenita A. Casiño conducted relief operation for the 68 affected Brother Knights of Council 7844 last February 20 at the Our Lady of Light Parish, Cainta, Rizal. Grand Knight Nicanor C. Felix assisted the State Officers during the distribution. Although not included in the picture, Msgr. Arnel F. Lagarejos commended the good deeds of the Knights of Columbus when he saw the relief goods distributed. (Nhets Casiño)

KCFAPI Executive Vice President Ma. Theresa G. Curia, President Antonio B. Borromeo, Chairman Patrocinio R. Bacay (2nd from right) and Treasurer Antonio T. Yulo during KCFAPI’s courtesy call to the new Insurance Commissioner, former Justice Santiago Javier Ranada held at the Insurance Commission office in U.N. Manila last March 4, 2010.

CHARTER PRESENTATION. Luzon Deputy Alonso L. Tan is shown presenting the Charter Certificate of the new Sto. Niño de Calumpit Council 14876 in Calumpit, Bulacan last February 28, 2010. The Charter Certificate was awarded to Charter Grand Knight Florentino S. Tenorio in the presence of Council Chaplain Rev. Fr. Jose Jay C. Santos and DD Rodolfo Y. Manumbas of District M22 of the Diocese of Malolos, who later installed the Charter Officers. (Nhets Casiño)

Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines Inc., Auditor Underwriting Supervisor Accounting Staff BRO Staff – Loans, Maturities & Excess Payments
an established mutual benefits association is currently looking for:

The Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines Inc., is an established and progressive mutual benefits association operating for 51 years, has been highly committed to provide mutual aid and assistance to its members and their immediate families. KC Fraternal firmly believes that the continued progress and success of the association depends to a great extent on its human capital. KC Fraternal also believes that through training and a host of other benefits if coupled with hard work, will help employees and the association, attain their goals and objectives. In our continuous drive to provide excellent service to our members, we are currently on the look-out for individuals with promising potentials. He must be dedicated, service oriented, and willing to undergo training. Our compensation and employee benefits are comparable, if not better than most companies of our same size and nature of business.

If you are dedicated, service-oriented, and have the promising potential to join us in our continuous drive to provide mutual aid, assistance and excellent service to our members. Kindly send your comprehensive resume’ thru fax number 527-2244 or hand-carry resume’ with a 2x2 photo and transcript of records to:

KC Family... Our Concern KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS FRATERNAL ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC. Gen. Luna cor. Sta. Potenciana Sts., Intramuros, Manila You may also call 527 – 2223 local 202 for queries and look for Ms. Kristianne.

Any amount paid in excess of the contribution due will be applied as payment to loan or advance to next contribution due

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