Monitor

CBCP

FEBRUARY 6 - 19, 2017 VOL 21, NO. 3 CBCPMONITOR@AREOPAGUSCOMMUNICATIONS.COM
PROTAGONIST OF TRUTH, PROMOTER OF PEACE

Bishops urge public
Bishops stand Gov’t told: Target
firm against syndicates,
death penalty not children

vigilance on Charter
VIOLENCE against THE Catholic hierarchy
violence? It won’t solve is opposing a proposed
anything, the country’s measure lowering the
Catholic bishops have minimum age of criminal
warned. responsibility, saying the

change, martial law
In a statement released government should crack
after their plenary down on syndicates and
assembly in Manila on not minors.
Jan. 30, the prelates said The bishops said
that the death penalty reducing the minimum
is no different from the age of criminal liability
crime it punishes. (See will not curb the use of
full text of Statement By Roy Lagarde The bishops did not categorically supposedly protect the nation. children 15 years or below
in B1) endorse or disapprove the moves to Only recently, Duterte said he is eyeing in criminal activities.
That’s why it is revise the 1987 Charter but urged the to change the martial law provisions in CBCP president
regrettable, CBCP CATHOLIC bishops wrapped people to particularly keep an eye on the the Constitution to allow its declaration Archbishop Socrates
President Archbishop up their plenary assembly on Constitutional safeguards against any even without the approval of Congress Villegas said the
Socrates Villegas said, Jan. 30 exhorting for pub- moves leading to martial law. and the Supreme Court. government should
that there are “strident lic vigilance over moves to “Let us continue to maintain the Duterte also said that he is keen instead go after the
efforts” to restore the amend the country’s Consti- safeguards against dictatorial martial on reviving the infamous Philippine syndicates who exploit
capital punishment in rule that our present Constitution Constabulary (PC) for his war on drugs. vulnerable children.
tution and the threat of contains,” said Archbishop Socrates The PC led the implementation of the
the country. “The fact that criminal
martial law. Villegas, CBCP president, in a pastoral martial law during the Marcos regime elements make use of
“When we condemn
violence, we cannot statement. but it had a reputation for the abuse of youngsters up to fifteen
ourselves be its President Rodrigo power.  years old to commit
perpetrators, and when Duterte has repeatedly The bishops’ collegial body stressed crimes is no argument
we decry murder, we said he won’t hesitate to that rewriting the “the single most against the present
cannot ourselves declare martial law if important document of our benevolent provisions
participate in murder, necessary to country” should of the law, but about the
no matter that it may concern all Filipinos. resoluteness of criminals
be accompanied by the in using even the young
trappings of judicial and Common good for their purposes,”
legal process,” he said. An overriding Villegas said.
“Throughout the concern for the “The sins and failings
world, the trend against Vigilance / A6 of the young and
the death penalty immature should not
is unmistakable, and mar the possibilities of
international covenants, one’s future or stand
one of which the forever in the name of
Philippines is party to, an honorable and noble
obligate us not to impose reputation that can, in
the death penalty,” said later years, be very well
Villegas. built,” he said.
The release of the President Rodrigo
statement also coincided Duterte is considering
a day before the House of reducing the age a person
Representatives begins could be prosecuted as
its plenary debates on an adult from 15 to nine
the death penalty bill on years old due to the
January 31. perceived escalation in
The measure allows youth crime.
Penalty / A7 Bishops exiting the Sta. Maria Goretti Parish Church during the 114th CBCP Plenary Assembly at the Pius XII Catholic Center in Paco, Manila, January 29, 2017. ROY LAGARDE Syndicates / A7

CBCP exec lauds closure
of 23 mining operations
Bishops warn against being ‘silent
THE social
action arm of
the Catholic
accomplice’ to summary killings
B i s h o p s ’ CATHOLIC bishops called
Conference of on the faithful to speak out
the Philippines against summary killings,
welcomed “to saying that silence makes
the highest them an ‘accomplice’ in the
level” the closure rising death toll of the war
of 23 mining on drugs.
operations in The Church leaders found
the country. disturbing the lack of strong
Fr. Edwin rejection by many Filipinos
Gariguez, of the daily killings in the
executive country.
secretary of “To consent and to keep
the National silent in front of evil is to
Secretariat for be an accomplice to it,” the
Social Action bishops said in a pastoral
– Justice and letter read in all Masses on
Peace, said Sunday, Feb. 5. “Let us not
this shows the allow fear to reign and keep
g o v e r n m e n t Fr. Edwin Gariguez, NASSA Executive Secretary us silent.” (See full text in
commitment page B1)
t o f i g h t e n v i r o n m e n t a l one cannot run a business It’s the same thing, they Children of victims of extrajudicial killings join a procession held a before a Mass at the Our Lady of Victory Chapel in Malabon
Silent / A7 City, February 2, 2017. ROY LAGARDE
degradation by the industry. to the detriment of the
“ T r u l y , m i n i n g i n environment and the local
watershed and fragile island communities.
ecosystems should not Gariguez added that Lopez
have been permitted,” said deserves to be confirmed Pastoral letter on drug war grounded in truth— bishop
Gariguez, who is known for b y t h e C o m m i s s i o n o n
championing the cause of the Appointments (CA). IT’S s not a lie that innocent people release of a pastoral letter raising Weather Stations (SWS) survey
environment and indigenous “Gina Lopez should be were killed and many fear of becoming their concerns on President Rodrigo reported that majority of Filipinos are
peoples. confirmed by the CA for victims of extrajudicial killings, a Duterte’s deadly “war on drugs” for worried of getting killed in the drug
“The government is serious standing to what is right Catholic bishop said. creating a “reign of terror”. war that claimed more 7,000 lives in
in repairing its gross mistake and in defending people’s Disputing Malacañang’s claim that Presidential spokesman Ernesto six months.
in the past – where all that well being, over and above bishops have lost touch with reality, Abella claimed that the crackdown on The poll found that 78 percent
matters is the corporate corporate greed. Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga narcotics has instead turn the country of Filipinos were afraid that they
interests at the cost of the Earlier, former Lipa said their pastoral letter on drug war “into a safer place”. would also fall victim to summary
environment,” he said. Archbishop Ramon only relays the sentiments of many Instead of being defensive, the executions.
T h e D e p a r t m e n t o f Arguelles also wrote a letter people, especially those in poor bishop said it would help if the Santos added that this is even the
Environment and Natural asking President Rodrigo communities. government would address the reason why the Church had to always
Resources (DENR) on Feb. Duterte to keep Lopez sa “They are not only afraid, they unexplained killings and other come out and try to allay their fears.
2 ordered the closure of DENR chief. become restless and disturbed that concerns they raised by the Church. “We, priests and bishops, are with
23 mines, mainly nickel At a prayer march in there’s no peace. And that’s the “We all want to be safe and be the people. We feel them. We want to
producers and mostly located Quezon City on Thursday, he reason why it’s now ‘terror’ that they peaceful so let us get rid of these assure them. We want to pacify them
in functional watersheds. also called on the Filipinos experience,” he said. senseless killings. Let us get rid of the that we are with them and we want
Saying that “it’s time to support Lopez in her Malacañang said the bishops’ are extrajudicial killings,” Santos said. them to be peaceful,” he said. (R.
for social justice,” DENR campaign to protect the not grounded in reality after the In December last year, a Social Lagarde/CBCPNews)
Secretary Gina Lopez said environment. (CBCPNews)
A2 NEWS February 6 - 19, 2017 Vol 21, No. 3 CBCP Monitor

A Swiss bishop publishes 9
t

Vatican Briefing
points on ‘Amoris laetitia’ Holy See signs agreement with Democratic
Republic of Congo
The Holy See and the Democratic Republic of the
CHUR, Switzerland, Feb 3, holiness of marriage, present marriage contract (the existing marriage bond is Congo on Friday signed a framework agreement to
2017—Referring extensively in the natural order and “first marriage”) was valid,” crucial.” govern relations between the Catholic Church and the
to Pope Francis’ writing strengthened in sacramental Bishop Huonder said. “This If a divorced-and- state. Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Holy See’s Secretary
in Amoris laetitia, a Swiss one. “The formation of examination cannot be made remarried penitent requests of State, signed the agreement with the Congolese
bishop on Thursday conscience regarding this by the individual priest, absolution, the confessor Prime Minister Clement Mouamba. The framework
gave direction on how to truth is an urgent task in our and especially not in the must establish that if they agreement guarantees the Catholic Church’s right to
implement the exhortation, time,” he noted. confessional,” and he alluded cannot separate from their carry out her mission in the Democratic Republic of
emphasizing respect for “The marriage bond to the necessary role of the partner, they are willing the Congo. It recognizes the legal personality of the
the sanctity of the marriage itself is a gift of the love, tribunal in investigating to take on the duty to live Church and of Catholic institutions. It affirms that both
bond. wisdom, and mercy of God, validity. as brother and sister, as the Church and the State aim to work for the moral,
“The task of pastoral care which grants to the spouses “Whatever is found out directed by St. John spiritual and material wellbeing of individuals and to
is to convey to the people grace and help. Therefore, about the validity of the Paul II’s 1981 apostolic promote the common good. (CNA)
an awareness of the sanctity reference to the marriage marriage, a failed marriage exhortation Familiaris
of the marriage bond, or bond must be the first step in must in any case be dealt with consortio. Pope: Be more than a mannequin when it
to convey it again,” Bishop accompanying, discerning, humanely and faithfully,” he “This remains the case comes to helping refugees
Vitus Huonder of Chur wrote and integrating,” Bishop emphasized. “This means because the new apostolic In his newest prayer video Pope Francis focused
in his Feb. 2 letter “The Huonder wrote. that a longer pastoral path, exhortation Amoris Laetitia on the poor and refugees, saying we shouldn’t be like
Holiness of the Marriage The bishop directed that demanding patience, must expressly does not provide a immobile mannequin’s when faced with their needs,
Bond.” if, during a confession, be pursued.” ‘a new set of canonical rules’ but must instead reach out and help. “We live in cities
After an extensive a priest sees that there Bishop Huonder noted (cf. AL 300). The penitent that throw up skyscrapers and shopping centers and
introduction which quoted at are questions about the that “the reception of will first have to manifest strike big real estate deals, but they abandon part of
length from Amoris laetitia, penitent’s state of life that Holy Communion by the a firm intention to live in themselves to marginal settlements on the periphery,”
Bishop Huonder asked the need to be clarified, he divorced-and-civilly- respect of the marriage bond the Pope said in his prayer video, released Feb. 4.
priests of the Chur diocese to should ask the penitent to remarried may not be left of their ‘first’ marriage.” Francis speaks as the video opens to a scene of people
observe nine points, the first begin a longer process of up to a subjective decision,” Bishop Huonder doing a “Mannequin Challenge” -- a viral internet trend
of which is that “the starting penitence and integration. and it is thus “necessary to concluded by exhorting where people freeze in their positions as music plays in
point for accompaniment, “In the pastoral care and be able to rely on objective priests to always keep in the background -- on a crowded city street. “The result
discernment, and integration accompaniment of divorced- conditions.” mind the words of St. Paul of this situation is that great sections of the population
must be the sanctity of the and-civilly-remarried “In the case of divorced- that “this is a great mystery. are excluded and marginalized: without a job, without
marriage bond.” persons it is first necessary and-civilly-remarried I speak of Christ and the options, without a way out.” (Elise Harris/CNA)
He emphasized the to examine whether the persons, respect for the Church.” (CNA)
Pope names Archbishop Becciu personal

Pope Francis creates the new archdiocese delegate to Order of Malta
Pope Francis has named Archbishop Giovanni
Becciu, substitute of the Secretariat of State, as his

of Chittagong in Bangladesh
personal delegate to oversee the “spiritual and moral”
reform of the Order of Malta, with particular attention
to the professed members. In a letter to Becciu dated
Feb. 2, the Pope named him “as my special delegate to
DHAKA, Feb. 3, 2017—Bangladesh has the distinguished Order” of Malta, and emphasized that
a new ecclesiastical province. Yesterday he will work in “strict collaboration” with the Order’s
Pope Francis erected the Archdiocese interim leader, Fra’ Ludwig Hoffmann von Rumerstein.
of Chittagong, on the east coast of the The two of them, he said, must work for “greater good
country, raising the bishopric of the of the Order and for the reconciliation among all its
same name to Metropolitan See. components, religious and lay.” Additionally, they will
At the same time, Msgr. Moses be responsible for developing together “a study in view
Costa, now Bishop of the diocese, of the appropriate spiritual renovation” of the Order’s
was appointed first Metropolitan Constitution. (Elise Harris/CNA)
Archbishop of Chittagong. Upon
hearing the news, he said with emotion: Pope: Jesus was concerned with people, not
“I thank God for this blessing. His popularity
grace gladdens me. I will continue to Jesus wasn’t worried about his polling results, Pope
preach the Gospel with enthusiasm Francis said Jan. 31 – instead, he was concerned
and help our people to be witnesses with each and every person, seeing everything about
of God among the people.” them, even those things which were seemingly small
According to the Archbishop, there or inconsequential. “Statisticians might have been
are different challenges facing the new inclined to publish: ‘Rabbi Jesus’ popularity is falling.’
ecclesiastical province: “First of all But he sought something else: he sought people,” the
encouragement to religious vocations, Pope said Jan. 31 during Mass at Casa Santa Marta.
which here are not numerous. We need “And the people sought him. The people had their gaze
more priests, nuns and religious and we this blessing given to the Catholics of 1537, when Portuguese missionaries fixed on him, and he had his fixed on them.” People
hope that more and more young people Bangladesh.” created settlements in the area. The might be tempted to say, yes, Jesus looks on the people,
will choose consecrated life. “ Hundreds of faithful, nuns and priests first church was built in 1600 in Diang, “on the multitude,” Francis said, but no, he looks on
Another field of action, “is the fight were present in the cathedral. The where the present town later arose. each individual person. “This is the peculiarity of Jesus’
against poverty. Most of the Catholics news of the papal appointment was Today the population is more than 19 gaze,” he explained. “He does not standardize people;
are of tribal origin and live in conditions announced by Msgr. George Kocherry, million, mostly Muslims. Catholics He looks at each person.” (Hannah Brockhaus/
of extreme need “. In addition, “our Apostolic Nuncio to Bangladesh, who 48,917, are spread across 11 parishes. CNA)
territory extends in hilly and inaccessible also read a letter sent by the Pope. The The Archdiocese has 8 diocesan priests,
areas, difficult to reach and where it is newly elected province will have as the 10 religious priests and 71 nuns. Pope Francis condemns shooting at Quebec
not easy to create places of prayer. But diocese of Khulna and Barisal suffragan As for the Archbishop Costa, he was mosque
preaching the Gospel among the tribal Churches. born on November 17 November 1950, Pope Francis met Jan. 30 with Cardinal Gérald
is really a great opportunity.” The elevation of the bishopric in the village of Tumilia near Gazipur. Lacroix of Quebec, conveying his sorrow for the victims
Card. Patrick D’Rozario, present at has spread joy among the Catholic He was ordained a priest on February 5, of a shooting the night before in a mosque in Quebec
Mass during which he announced the community. One of the faithful, Liton 1981. He served the diocese of Dinajpur City. He condemned the attack, saying Christians
creation of the archdiocese, addressed Tripura, says: “We are grateful to God as bishop from 1996 to 2001. Addressing and Muslims should unite in prayer over the tragedy.
a prayer to God: “Oh Lord, take care of and to Pope Francis. The creation of the the faithful present at the time in the According to a Vatican communique, Pope Francis met
your shepherd and guide him according archdiocese will urge us to practice our diocesan Cathedral, Msgr. Costa said: with Cardinal Lacroix Jan. 30 following his morning
to your desire.” “God will help us— faith in more appropriate way.” “Now your responsibilities will increase. Mass in the chapel of Casa Santa Marta. Six people were
he added - we are very happy for The Catholic religion arrived here in Please pray for me.” (AsiaNews) killed and 17 injured after gunmen opened fire inside
the Islamic Cultural Center of Quebec during evening
Nigerian bishop: Evangelize through family, social media prayers Jan. 29. (Hannah Brockhaus/CNA)

For Pope Francis, martyrs are the strength of
ABUJA, Nigeria, Feb 1, The bishop warned of highest sources of witnessing has moved to anywhere
the Church
2017—For one Catholic sometimes inappropriate Christ. human beings gather, or
Pope Francis said Monday the strength of the Church
bishop in Nigeria, social use and malicious intent “The family will remain can listen to anything.”
does not reside primarily in grand gestures, but in
media and family life are behind main stream the first environment In earlier times, the Church
the quiet faith of Christians in minority areas, who
two keys for evangelization media. Social media can where the child learns to was the leading voice in
continue to practice even in the face of persecution
and sharing the values of the divide communities, appreciate humanity. The answers regarding morality,
and martyrdom. “We are pleased when we see a great
Catholic Church. exploit, and promote family is the first humanizing Bishop Badejo said, but now
ecclesial act, which has been a great success, the
“We need to invent new evil, he continued to say, organization. The Church people seek answers in music
Christians revealing themselves,” he said in his homily
means of forming people’s explaining the role of the has the privilege of being the and videos instead, ignoring
during Mass at the chapel of the Vatican’s Casa Santa
consciences. We need to form individual to create and interpreter of revelation but the Church’s wisdom and
Marta Jan. 30. “And this is beautiful! Is this strength?
new means of confronting distribute news. the family is the cradle where contribution.
Yes, it is strength.” “But the greatest strength of the
the agents of non-values “It depends on the man all that has to be prepared.” “People tend to completely
Church today is in the small Churches, tiny, with few
that are among us. We who is behind the camera, Because the family is the ignore the effort the Church
people, persecuted, with their bishops in prison,” he
need to form new means of nor can the pen decide first source of education, has consistently made to
continued. “This is our glory now, this is our glory and
colonizing the media so that what to write, it depends it is dangerous to leave affect the Nigerian society
our strength today.” (Hannah Brockhaus/CNA)
people can hear the voice on the one who is holding learning solely in the hands in her mission of education,”
of the Church,” said Bishop the pen.” of media and education he said. “The setting up
Knights of Malta appoint interim leader,
Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo This does not mean that system. Appreciation of of schools, educational
reinstate Grand Chancellor
of Oyo. the Church is anti-media, humanity comes with the institutes, formation
After Pope Francis asked Knights of Malta Grand
The interview, conducted he clarified. For decades, family, he said, but secular centers, even seminaries
Master Matthew Festing to resign earlier this week, the
by Catholic News Agency the Church has been media strongly opposes and and formation houses are
Order has accepted the resignation, named an interim
for Africa, was released after stressing the importance weakens the family. activities of the Church
leader and reinstated their former Grand Chancellor,
the bishops’ conference in of communication, he said, And while the family is that have transformed the
Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager. According to a
Nigeria last week. adding that social media is a natural ally to the Church, society.”
Jan. 28 press release from the Order of Malta, their
Bishop Badejo is the chair positive gift with the ability he warned, it has been The good work of the
Sovereign Council - in an extraordinary meeting held
of the Pan-African Episcopal to advance a mutual benefit weakened. Church needs to be shown to
Saturday to vote on Festing’s request to step down
Committee of Social for all humanity. He spoke out against the world, as does the reality
from office - “accepted his resignation” and informed
Communications and is Bishop Badejo also said efforts to lead parishioners of those in poverty, the
Pope Francis of the decision. They also announced
director of communications that “teaching and making away from the truth, and bishop said. He highlighted
the appointment of Grand Commander Fra’ Ludwig
for the Catholic Secretariat the voice of the Church said that hypocrisy and anti- the need to show the plight of
Hoffmann von Rumerstein as the new “Lieutenant ad
of Nigeria. This year he is heard…is one of the highest values are sometimes even those without a voice and to
interim” until a new Grand Master is elected. (Elise
celebrating his 30th year responsibilities that the preached to the people from take a strong stance in favor
Harris/CNA)
as a priest and 9th year as conference can undertake” homilies. To fix this, he said, of truth and human dignity.
a bishop. because it is one of the we must realize “the pulpit (CNA)
CBCP Monitor February 6 - 19, 2017 Vol 21, No. 3 NEWS A3

When Church, academe, and drug users become friends
DAVAO City— Theirs was accompanied the drug users,
an offer of friendship, an as well as other partners who
invitation to get to know each also believe that drug users
other better, and to help one deserve a chance to reform
another in their shared desire themselves through different
to curb the drug menace. activities.
Instead of condemning
them for being drug users, Change starts within
the local church of Davao and Perry (not his real name),
a state university here have one of the participants during
offered hands of friendship the SKP 2 Fun Day, said
to those many consider to be though society wants them
problems of society. to change for the better, it is
Through the Sagop only they who can decide for
Kinabuhi Program 2 Fun Day, their future and whether or not
drug users have experienced they will get killed in one of the
new hope, that they too can police’s anti-drug operations.
become productive citizens of “I did not promise to others
the country. The Archdiocese that I will change. I promised
of Davao, the University of to myself, only to myself, that
the Philippines Mindanao, I will have to change for my
and different partners joined own good,” Perry said.
in the fun to foster friendship. ASAC coordinator Sr. Ma.
Different sports activities, Marissa Arado, TDM said
parlor games, team-building the activities lined up for the
activities, moments of drug users have just begun as
reflection were organized they are expecting to run SKP
to strengthen the bond of 2 in the parishes and in their
camaraderie among the respective barangays.
partner agencies and the Mervin Gascon, SKP 2
drug users who voluntarily Drug users in Davao City now have another chance to reform their lives thanks to the intervention of the Archdiocese of Davao and University of Southeastern Philippines project director said the
submitted themselves for in Davao City through the Sagop Kinabuhi (Save Lives) Program 2, a program for the reformation of drug users who want to become productive citizens of the country. JOHN program can only push
FRANCES FUENTES
reformation and participated through with the cooperation
in the two-day event from Dublan, Jr. said every life is “No one is bound for waste. abuse has become a major Helping them are heads of the reformists and the help
Jan. 27 to 28 at Eden Nature “a gift of God” and is sacred. Walang pa-tapon,” Dublan problem in the country. Sagop and representatives from of the different partners.
Resort in Toril, Davao City, According to the priest, like said in his homily during the Kinabuhi is a Cebuano term the Davao City Police He said he also looks
headed by the University of the mustard seed that falls opening Mass, adding that which means “save lives”. Office, Philippine National forward to the fruits of SKP
the Southeastern Philippines to the ground, every life is every endeavor can succeed, Dr. Danilo Pacoy, vice Police Talomo, City Social 2, which will run for three
(USeP) and the Archdiocesan bound to undergo a process but it becomes more fruitful president of the Research Services Development Office, years, and how it could
Social Action Center of Davao. before it can bear fruit, and with the help of God. Division Extension of USeP, Department of Labor and help former drug users
the same is true for everyone, This same reason also said the academe wants to Employment, Department recover and become more
Every life is sacred regardless if one is a drug prompted USeP to finance volunteer its expertise to help of Education, barangays productive. (John Frances
ASAC director Fr. Leonardo user, a priest or a religious. the SKP 2, knowing that drug address the drug crisis. and their officials who C. Fuentes/CBCP News)

Faithful told: Better not to believe in ‘dancing sun’ How young migrants fall
BAGAC, Bataan— the most recent into the hands of traffickers
Following reports of phenomena associated
a supposed “dancing with the Divine
Jimmy Lopez, 24, was trafficked after he
sun” during the closing Mercy celebrations left his family in Honduras to go to the
Mass of the 4th World are considered ‘stand United States. His story reminds us of the
Apostolic Congress alone’ phenomena, i.e.,
vulnerability of child migrants to human
on Mercy, on Jan. 20, they are just observed
priests caution the independent from trafficking, and the need to protect them
faithful about believing any claim of private and their rights.
such paranormal revelations received
occurrences, saying it is by seers, we have all
still better to put greater the more reasons to
faith in the Sacraments. be careful in labelling
“Due to the possibility these as ‘miracles.’
of mass deception as well Discernment is essential
as diabolical influence for those who claim they
in these paranormal have just witnessed a
happenings, the Church ‘miracle,’” cautioned
had never paid attention Legaspi.
to these phenomena in According to him,
The faithful look at what some believed was a “dancing sun” during the closing Mass of the 4th World Apostolic
considering the veracity moral conversion Congress on Mercy, Jan. 20, 2017. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
and genuineness of should actually be the
any alleged private basis of judging the of the participants. Can director of the Divine accompanying one’s
revelations,” said authenticity of a religious witnessing a whirling Mercy Apostolate in prayer life, because
Diocese of Novaliches phenomenon. He urged sun accomplish these the Novaliches Diocese, they are “not essential In Mexico, at the House of Charity in San Luis Potosi, Caritas provides a
resting place for thousands of migrants, some of them arrived on foot.
exorcist Fr. Ambrosio witnesses to instead conversions?” added was concelebrating the to our call to holiness.” WORMS/CARITAS
Nonato Legaspi told focus on the content Legaspi. closing Holy Mass of A close examination
CBCP News on Jan. 31, of the conferences and WACOM4 when the of the extraordinary MY parents used to food and water and we
noting however that the Eucharistic celebrations Distracted from the alleged phenomenon experiences of some work hard to put me in ended up drinking cow
said “miracle” did not of the recently concluded Mass? was observed by many. pseudo-mystics (false school back in Honduras. urine. One of my friends
happen in connection to international event. For another priest, the To stress the fact that mystics) who were I figured out my parents died on the journey but
any seer or visionary. These conveyed the timing of the so-called the phenomenon could misled by diabolical didn’t have enough to me and my other friend
The priest cited as “entirety of the message miracle of the “dancing not have come from influences will prove send me to school or had no choice but to
an example of such of mercy,” he stressed. sun” made it already God, De Leon further the validity of these college and offer me the continue on our journey.
deception the case This message is suspect. observed that, “People’s warnings, he added. opportunities I wanted We rode on the roof
of Judiel Nieva of supposedly the true “Why would attention have been WACOM4’s closing to have. of trains to get through
Agoo, La Union fame. reason, he said, for Jesus make the sun diverted to the ‘dancing Mass ceremonies, Also, there were gangs Mexico. Once we got to
Despite extraordinary experiencing a “grace- dance during Holy sun’ instead of [focusing officiated by Nueva in Honduras who would the border I stayed there
phenomena surrounding filled” event that could Communion–like the on] Jesus, Whom they Segovia Archbishop kill you if you didn’t want for two and a half years
the alleged apparitions, actually bring about the one I experienced in [just] received during Marlo Peralta, D.D., with to join them. I saw two of living in a migrant house
the local Church spiritual conversion of Judiel’s case back when Holy Communion; that Balanga Bishop Ruperto my friends killed. I hid and having to ask for
authorities declared the faithful. I was still a seminarian?” was His Real Presence Santos was an occasion because the gangs were food as I had no money.
the case as having no “The talks, the Fr. Aristeo De Leon, there!” to commission the looking for me too. I managed to cross
supernatural source Sacraments, and the director of Catechetical According to Legaspi, more than 5,000-strong We walked through the border by myself.
whatsoever after Real Presence of Jesus, Ministry of the Diocese the mystic saints have delegation to “go to the mountains to pass Someone in a car came
thorough investigation. Lord of Divine Mercy, of Novaliches, wondered always warned the the ends of the world the border. Then we up to me after I passed
really present in the aloud during a phone faithful about paying as ‘missionaries and hitched rides to the and said “I’m here to
‘Stand alone’ Most Holy Eucharist, interview on Jan. 24. undue attention messengers of mercy’. border of Mexico. We help you”. He took me
phenomena are the genuine sources The priest, who also to extraordinary (Minnie Agdeppa/ walked for a week, day to his house and there
“But given that of moral conversions serves as spiritual p h e n o m e n a CBCPNews) and night. We had no Migrants / A6

An Indian woman became a nun… because of elephants?
ORISSA, India— Nine years ago, the victims of Kandhamal anti- is now a member in the Provincial The violence against Christians Christians who were shot to death
Christians in the Kandhamal Christian violence.” House, Delhi. in the Kandhamal district has been by local police in the district while
district of Odisha, India suffered A tenth-grader at the time of On January 26, more than 3,000 religiously motivated. It started they were on a hilltop, seeking out
the worst attacks against Christians the attacks, Sr. Nayak said she people from Sr. Nayak’s village of after the August 2008 killing of a better mobile phone signal to call
in modern times in the country. remembers escaping to the nearby Mandubadi, honored her with a a highly revered Hindu monk their children, just one example of
Around 100 people lost their lives forest so she wouldn’t be killed. special Mass and festivities. and World Hindu Council leader, the ongoing hatred of Christians in
and more than 56,000 lost their A year after the attacks, a herd of Her mother told Matters India Laxshmanananda Saraswati, and the district.
homes and places of worship in a series elephants came back to the village that she was “extremely fortunate” four of his aides. Fr. Ajaya Kumar Singh, a Catholic
of violent riots by Hindu militants that and destroyed the farms and houses that God has called her daughter for Despite evidence that Maoists, priest who heads the Odisha Forum
lasted for several months. of those who had persecuted the “His purpose.” not Christians, were responsible for Social Action, told Crux that
But since the devastation, the local Christians. Sister Janet, who accompanied for Saraswati’s murder, Hindu such violence is common in a place
area has seen an “unprecedented” “I was convinced it was the Sister Alanza at the thanksgiving militants seeking revenge used where the social elites are upper-
increase in religious vocations, powerful hand of God toward Mass, said that while materially swords, firearms, kerosene, and caste Hindus and the Christians are
including Sr. Alanza Nayak, who helpless Christians,” Sister Nayak poor, the people of the area are “rich even acid against the Christians largely lower-class “untouchables”
became the first woman from her told Matters India. The animals in faith, brotherhood and unity.” in the area in a series of riots that and members of indigenous tribes.
area to join the order of the Sisters were later referred to as “Christian The congregation of Sisters of continued for several months. “There’s a double hatred,”
of the Destitute. elephants,” she added. Destitute was founded on March 19, While the intensity of the violence Singh said. “Because Christians
Sr. Nayak told Matters India After completing her candidacy, 1927, by Fr. Varghese Payyapilly, a has subsided since the 2008 attacks, are from the lowest caste, they’re
that she decided to dedicate her postulancy and novitiate with the priest of Ernakulum archdiocese. violence against Christians in untouchable, and because they’re
life to God through the poor and order, Sr. Nayak took her first It has 1,700 members who live in Kandhamal has continued. Christians they’re seen as anti-
needy after she heard “how a herd profession on October 5, 2016, at 200 communities spread over six In July 2015, Crux reported on national … they’re treated worse
of elephants meted out justice to Jagadhri, a village in Haryana. She provinces. two unconfirmed reports of two than dogs.” (CNA/EWTN News)
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