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New iPad application won’t replace liturgical books, creator says
‘Women ... Are B1Dynamic Agents of Development’
A Supplement Publication of KC Life and the Order of the Knights of Columbus
CBCP appeals to Aquino: Implement IP Rights Act properly
AN Episcopal commission of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has called on President-elect Benigno Aquino III for the proper implementation of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) or RA 8371. “More than 12 years since its passage in 1997, many IP communities are still facing discrimination and their rights are not being recognized,” the Episcopal Commission on
Appeals / A6
Groups laud signing of Mining ban
VARIOUS groups led by the Church hailed the signing of Environment code that bans open pit mining throughout the province of South Cotabato. Outgoing South Cotabato Governor Daisy Avance-Fuentes has signed the controversial code that outlaw open pit mining, a method of extracting rocks or minerals from the earth by creating a trench. “It is a victory of the people” said Sr. Susan Bolanio, OND, spokesperson
Groups / A6
July 5 – July 18, 2010
Vol. 14 No. 14
Gov’t officials, judiciary told to strive for integrity
By Roy Lagarde
GOVERNMENT officials and members of the judiciary have been urged to strive for professionalism and integrity of their services.
Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales made the call while officiating at the “Red Mass” attended by President Benigno Aquino III and ranking leaders of the judiciary at the Manila Cathedral. Rosales said judges, magistrates and all public officials are supposed to uphold laws that are just and ensure that justice prevail in society. They, the Manila archbishop said, must exhibit high sense of integrity, ethics, efficiency and selflessness in the discharge of their duties. In his homily, Rosales said that in a country where there are more people than affluent citizens, justice necessarily becomes the “equalizer” available to the poor, especially when the rights to a graft-free service and honest governance are violated. “An unjust law, if ever there was one, or granted that we have only just
Fr. Bernas on Arroyo’s Cha-cha move: ‘Humorous’
© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media
Illustration by Bladimer Usi
Gov’t / A6
Catholic bishops greet President Benigno Aquino and Vice President Jejomar Binay after the country’s first-ever “Red Mass” at the Manila Cathedral, July 7, 2010. The liturgical activity was also attended by ranking members of the judiciary led by Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Atty. Jo Imbong
A QUEZON City Court denied an appeal of a group of Catholic parents seeking to stop the teaching of sex education in public schools. The ruling was released Monday by Judge Rosanna Fe Romero-Maglaya of the Regional Trial Court Branch 88. Around 30 parents, last month, filed a petition before the court for a temporary restraining order on the implementation of sex education. Led by Atty. Jo Im-
Court junks appeal to halt sex education in schools
bong, lawyer of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, the petitioners said the program was unconstitutional, and violates their rights to be responsible for the development of children’s moral character. Along with representatives of Catholic political party Ang Kapatiran, Imbong went to court on June 21 seeking to stop the pilot testing of the program funded by the United Nations Population Fund. But the court said the petitioners failed to show proof that their rights were violated as the parents were unable to show that their children were studying in schools where the program would be pilot tested. Reacting to the ruling, Imbong said she is not unfazed, adding that the court decision “is not a setback” to their campaign against sex education. “That is only a denial
of restraining order. It does not go to the merit that is only above the urgency. In an order of the court it does not go to the merit,” she said. The CBCP lawyer said the case will still push through in court. In fact, she said, a hearing on the case is set to be held within this month. She added that more parents are planning to file more charges against the program of the Department of Education. (CBCPNews)
© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media
FORMER President Gloria Arroyo only showed her funny side when she filed a bill seeking for Constitutional amendments, a priest said. Constitutionalist Fr. Joaquin Bernas said it’s “humorous” that Arroyo herself is seeking Charter Change (Cha-cha) just a day after she began her first day as Pampanga’s 2nd District Representative. While he has nothing against amending the Charter, Bernas said Arroyo’s move is “too early” as process for it should not be initiated until next year. Arroyo and her son, Camarines Sur Rep. Diosdado Arroyo, co-authored House Resolution 8 which calls for Chacha through a constitutional convention (Con-con). “Not for now. Eventually, I think, we will have Charter Change. I hope it’s a Con-Con not earlier than 2011,” said Bernas. The Jesuit priest, who is also the Dean Emeritus of the Ateneo Law School, is one of the authors of the 1987 Constitution. According to him, amending the Charter should not be made yet especially since President Benigno Aquino III has just been sworn recently. Bernas noted that Filipinos are still euphoric over the entry of a new administration after Arroyo’s nine-year
Fr. Bernas / A6
Prelates Call for ‘Apostolic Audacity’ in Media
AFTER a three-day meeting on the pastoral opportunities in communications technology, bishops from Spain and Portugal are calling for “creativity and apostolic audacity” in bringing Christ to the media. The prelates’ meeting last week was attended by the president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Archbishop Claudio Celli. In the conclusions of their meeting, the bishops noted how Benedict XVI’s recent visit to Portugal brought encouragement for a “more profound evangelization of our society, which has one of its most important challenges in the realm of culture and communication.” They expressed hope that his upcoming two trips to Spain would bring the same message. The prelates affirmed an intention to join forces with media professionals and those who use this venue for social relationships. They declared “their desire to carry out the evangelizing mission of the Church in the theater of the digital world, which they consider an opportunity where priests, religious and laypeople, educators and catechists must be more involved, in particular, the youngest and ‘natives’ on the Net, putting the new technologies of communication at the service of the proclamation of Jesus Christ with creativity and apostolic audacity.” Not enough The prelates observed that “praiseworthy theoretical considerations” are not enough to evangelize through information technology, and called instead for “projects and deeds, allocating to it the necessary material, technical and human resources.” “The new technologies not only offer the Church great advantages for improved pastoral management, but are also privileged means to benefit from their goods and services, without neglecting to appreciate first of all personal, family and community meeting,” they contended. “Favored in this way is ecclesial communion and new ways of relations are promoted with all those who seek a transcendent meaning for their lives, yearning for truth and the realization of the good.” The bishops recommended that future priests be prepared to evangelize through the media, and they urged parents and educators to guide even the very young in the “correct use of the new technologies [...] so that they prove beneficial to the person and to society and foster the search for Truth, Goodness and Beauty.” (Zenit)
SOME Catholic bishops presented on June 30 a 13-point agenda that President Benigno Aquino III should address in his administration. The bishops said the Arroyo administration had failed to attend to many social issues so they hope that Aquino would give it utmost priority. The agenda composed of the positions of the church on certain issues long tackled in CBCP Pas-
Bishops present 13-point agenda for President Aquino
toral Statements was presented in a press conference after a Mass held at the Manila Cathedral few hours before Aquino took his oath of office. “The CBCP insists 13 point advocacies as guidance to President Benigno Simeon Aquino III when he assumes office for moral and social transformation of the country especially the poor,” said Bishop Teodoro Bacani.
Bp. Bacani answers questions from the media during a press conference at the Manila Cathedral, June 30.
On top of the church’s list is the implementation of land reform through Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program with extension and reform (CARPer). The church officials demanded the rejection of the controversial reproductive health bill, same sex union, abortion, divorce, euthanasia and contraceptives. They urged Aquino not to
Bishop / A6
Listen to the CBCP Online Radio at: www.cbcponlineradio.com
L’AQUILA, Italy, July 4, 2010— The Holy Father dedicated his Sunday homily to reflections on the life of St. Celestine as he visited the Italian city where the relics of the 13th century saint and Pope are kept. In a message filled with lessons on life, the Pope especially highlighted the importance of silence to finding God, the fact that faith is a gift and the lasting power of holiness. Pope Benedict XVI began his pastoral visit to Sulmona, Italy by flying over the grotto, now a hermitage, where Peter of Morrone spent years in contemplation and prayer as a monk. Peter later became Pope Celestine V and was canonized relatively shortly after his death. St. Celestine’s life is being celebrated this year, declared by the Pope a “Jubilee Year” for the 800th anniversary since the saint’s birth. In his words during the Eucharistic Celebration in the open air of the city square, Pope Benedict XVI remembered the St. Celestine as a “seeker of God,” a man who turned to interior and exterior silence in his life as a hermit to perceive His voice. This example is important also for us today, said the Pope, as “we live in a society in which every space, every moment seems like it must be filled by initiatives, by activities, by sounds; often there isn’t even time for listening and speaking. “Dear brothers and sisters,” he said, “if we wish to be able not only to perceive the voice of God, but also that of who is alongside of us, of others, let us not be afraid to create silence outside and inside of ourselves.” Benedict XVI added that the hermit’s “discovery of the Lord” was not a product of his own efforts, “but it was made possible by the very Grace of God, that precedes it (...) everything essential in our existence has been given without our contri-
bution.” And it is for this very reason, he explained, that “we must be aware, keeping our ‘interior eyes,’ those of our hearts, always open. And if we learn to know God in his infinite goodness, then we will be able also to see, with amazement, in our lives - as the saints (have) - signs of the God that is ever near to us, is always good to us, (and) who says to us: ‘Have faith in me!’” Remembering the lasting quality of St. Celestine’s holy life, Pope Benedict said that “holiness, in fact, never loses its attractive force, it does not fall into oblivion, it never goes out of style; actually, with the passing of time, it shines with ever greater brightness...” The Holy Father concluded his homily by making an exhortation that we remain firm in the faith we have received, “which gives sense to life and gives us the strength to love.” (CNA)
July 5 – July 18, 2010
Vol. 14 No. 14
Pope: Holiness never goes out of style
Benedict XVI: Youth Days not just big events Youth registered for WYD Madrid at 600,000 so far
MADRID, Spain, July 2, 2010—With 409 days remaining before the World Youth Day celebrations open in Madrid, the organizers of the event are reporting that over 600,000 pilgrims from countries outside Spain have pre-registered to take part in the week-long encounter with the Holy Father. The event, which will take place in Madrid from August 16-21, 2011, is a week long journey of faith and solidarity for young people around the world. The large international gathering occurs every three years, and culminates with vespers, an overnight vigil and an outdoor Mass celebrated by the Pope. So far, organizers report that 120,000 Italians, 70,000 French, 50,000 Poles and 25,000 North Americans have signed up for the event. The majority of the pilgrims have signed up in groups, whether it be from their diocese, youth group, parish, or other organization. Each pilgrim is required to pay a registration fee based on their country of origin, the length of their stay and the services they will require. Though part of the fee will help finance the event, a part of each pilgrim’s registration fee will be set aside in a “solidarity fund” which will help pay the cost of the trip and their stay for those who would not otherwise be able to afford it. World Youth Day “is not for the rich, but rather for everyone, for those who come from Madagascar and from the south of Latin America.” said Bishop Cesar Franco, an auxiliary bishop in Madrid. He underlined the necessity of the 10 Euro contribution to the “solidarity fund” which has been added to each pilgrim’s registration. In this sense he said, they have appealed to the youth to be “generous.” Registration this year is taking place online. The website www.madrid11. com was designed by ISBAN, with the financial support of various Spanish institutions. At the end of the event, the Archdiocese of Madrid will make a gift of the system to the Vatican, in the hopes that it can be used to help organize future pilgrimages. The system, which features a two-layer page, will collect personal information via a secure connection in order to help the archbishop and coordinators know more about the pilgrims and their needs in order to better serve them. Though registration is not required to participate in all the events, the organization behind WYD Madrid 2011 is hoping to register at least 40 percent of the people who will attend. They are also projecting that the event will draw a crowd that is 15 percent larger than those of previous World Youth Days. (CNA)
Calls them ‘privileged occasions’ to find Christ
people who have their eyes fixed on that beautiful city, with the joy of being able to meet there in a few months to hear together the Word of Christ, which is always young, and to be able to share the faith that unites us and the desire they have of building a better world, inspired in the values of the Gospel,” the Pontiff said in a short greeting. “I invite you all to continue to collaborate generously in this beautiful initiative,” he continued, “which is not a simple multitudinous meeting, but a privileged occasion for the young people of your country and of the whole world to let themselves be conquered by the love of Christ Jesus, Son of God and of Mary, the faithful friend, the conqueror of sin and death.” “Whoever trusts in him is never disappointed, but finds the necessary strength to choose the right path in life,” he added. The Foundation Madrid Vivo was created in November to support World Youth Day 2011. It is composed of Spanish business leaders, including the presidents of the largest banks in Spain. (Zenit)
VATICAN CITY, July 2, 2010—World Youth Day isn’t just another big event, says Benedict XVI, but rather a “privileged occasion” for youth to encounter the love of Christ The Pope said this today upon receiving in audience a delegation of the sponsors of the next international youth day, which is set to take place Aug. 16-21, 2011, in Madrid, Spain. The delegation was led by Cardinal Antonio María Rouco, the archbishop of Madrid, and included members of the Foundation Madrid Vivo. “There are many young
Pope looks forward to occasion provided for international youth in WYD 2011
ROME, Italy, July 2, 2010—The Holy Father met on Friday with the Cardinal Archbishop of Madrid Antonio Maria Rouco Varela and sponsors working for the success of World Youth Day 2011. The Pope explained the importance of next August’s encounter of youth during the audience after which WYD 2011’s executive director briefed journalists on the planning process. Many of the 55 people present for the audience with the Pope on Friday were from the “Madrid Vivo” Foundation, founded by the cardinal and local businessmen last year to “seek solutions to the moral roots of the economic crisis” and to make the city more aware of values. Yago de la Cierva, executive director and spokesman for WYD 2011 explained to journalists in the Holy See’s Press Office that the major aim of the foundation at the moment is collaboration with the organizers of the next World Youth Day, to be held in the Spanish capital. During Friday’s audience with them in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace, PopeBenedict XVI invited the members of “Madrid Vivo” to continue their generous collaboration for this “beautiful initiative,” saying that it’s not just a simple meeting of the masses, “but a privileged occasion so that the young people of your country and of the entire world may let themselves be ‘conquered’ by the love of Christ Jesus...” He noted that there are many young people looking forward to the encounter to be held from Aug. 16-21 of next year, where they will meet to “listen together to the Word of Christ, ever young, and be able to share the faith that unites them and the desire that they have to build a better world, inspired in the values of the Gospel.” Mr.de la Cierva said that after the audience the Pope signed a registration form as the first pilgrim for WYD2011. He also mentioned that plans are moving forward smoothly for the encounter for which Cardinal Rouco Varela expects more than two million participants, including more than 600,000 youth will come from outside of Spain. Among the broad cross-section of details he provided regarding the complexities of the considerations that go into planning for the”Day” and the variety of charitable contributions they have received, the executive director explained that planners are making extensive use of social networks to get feedback from youth and give them a greater say in decisions regarding the initiative. To reach out to youth, the organizing committee has 70 volunteers working online in 17 different languages. Mr. de la Cierva said proudly that their Facebook page just welcomed their 111,111th “friend,” a “significant” milestone for WYD 2011. (CNA)
True freedom is in acknowledging dependence on God, says Archbishop Dolan
NEW YORK CITY, N.Y., July 4, 2010—As Americans across the country celebrate the nation’s Independence Day this weekend, they should humbly remember their dependence on their Creator, said Archbishop Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York. In a column written this week, he reflected on the celebration of Independence Day and called on the faithful to proclaim a “spiritual Declaration of Dependence” on God that is “downright revolutionary” in American society today. The archbishop then spoke of the false contemporary understanding of freedom “as the right to do whatever we want, whenever we want, wherever we want, however we want, with whomever we want.” Our culture has lost the true understanding of freedom as “the liberty to do what we ought,” he said. He observed the modern trend of “freeing” oneself from “any sense of obedience to God, His revelation and the basic code of right and wrong He has engraved upon the human heart.” This false understanding of freedom has devastating consequences, he continued. “The Ten Commandments become a list of suggestions, the Eight Beatitudes a set of nice ideas, the Bible mere literature, the Church unnecessary, religion a crutch for the unenlightened, objective truth an outmoded oppression.” By adopting this distorted mindset, we elevate ourselves to the level of gods, the archbishop said. This is evident in today’s culture, which claims dominion over life in matters such as abortion, euthanasia and embryonic stem cell research, he explained. Focused on consumption and convenience, the culture presumes to re-define marriage and family as it sees fit, revels in violence in its movies and music and resorts to war and terrorism without regard to the demands of morality. This phenomenon is “curious,” Archbishop Dolan said, because the very culture declaring itself independent of God and morality has become “terribly dependent” on “money, insurance, gas, weapons, security systems or even upon alcohol, pornography, lust, gambling and drugs.” The archbishop contrasted this false sense of freedom with the true independence that the founders of America fought so adamantly to gain. “The patriots who won independence for us in 1776 had no trouble at all acknowledging their total dependence upon God,” he said. “In fact, the normative documents of our beloved country presume the existence of a providential God, objective truth, moral duty and the right to life itself.” This acknowledgment of total dependence on God is something we must preserve, he said. We must boldly admit to the world “that every breath we take, each day we have, every opportunity we are given, come from an omnipotent God.” Offering a courageous witness to a hostile culture, we should “bask in the fact that we are totally dependent upon Him,” the archbishop said. “He is sovereign, He is Lord, He has power and dominion.” Emphasizing Christ’s teaching that “the Truth shall make you free,” Archbishop Dolan invited the faithful to take seriously the words they pray at every Sunday Mass: “We believe in God, the Father Almighty...” Recalling a comment from Cardinal Francis George, he explained that this opening line of the creed is “perhaps the most revolutionary statement we can make these days.” (CNA)
Catholic faithful to celebrate witness of 120 Chinese Martyrs
VATICAN CITY, July 4, 2010—On Friday, July 9, the Church will celebrate the feast of the 120 Martyrs of China. Religious persecution has a long history in China, especially persecution of Christians, thousands of whom have died for their faith in the last millennium. On October 1, 2000, Pope John Paul II canonized 120 men, women, and children who gave their lives for the faith in China between the years 1648 and 1930. The martyrs include 87 native Chinese and 33 foreign missionaries. The majority were killed during the Boxer Rebellion of 1900. “Chinese men and women of every age and state, priests, religious and lay people, showed the same conviction and joy, sealing their unfailing fidelity to Christ and the Church with the gift of their lives,” said the Holy Father during the canonization. “Resplendent in this host of martyrs are also the 33 missionaries who left their land and sought to immerse themselves in the Chinese world, lovingly assimilating its features in the desire to proclaim Christ and to serve those people.” Of the 33 foreign-born missionaries, most were priests and religious, including members of the Order of Preachers, Friars Minor, Jesuits, Salesians and Franciscan Missionaries of Mary. One of the more well-known native martyrs was a 14-year-old Chinese girl named Ann Wang, who was killed during the Boxer Rebellion when she refused to apostasize. She bravely withstood the threats of her torturers, and just as she was about to be beheaded, she radiantly declared, “The door of heaven is open to all” and repeated the name of Jesus three times. Another of the martyrs was 18-year-old Chi Zhuzi, who had been preparing to receive the sacrament of Baptism when he was caught on the road one night and ordered to worship idols. He refused to do so, revealing his belief in Christ. His right arm was cut off and he was tortured, but he would not deny his faith. Rather, he fearlessly pronounced to his captors, before being flayed alive, “Every piece of my flesh, every drop of my blood will tell you that I am Christian.” Augustine Zhao Rong was the first native Chinese priest to become a martyr. Born in 1746, he was served as one of the soldiers who escorted Bishop John Gabriel Taurin Dufresse to his martyrdom in Beijing. The witness of the bishop led Augustine to seek baptism at age 30. He was ordained a priest five years later and was martyred in 1815. During the canonization Mass, Pope John Paul II thanked God for blessing the Church with the heroic witness of the 120 martyrs, whom he called “an example of courage and consistency to us all.” (CNA)
Vol. 14 No. 14
July 5 – July 18, 2010
Pope Benedict calls Mary a ‘perfect model’ of obedience to divine willdep’t RP labor
L’AQUILA, Ital y , Jul y 4 , 2 0 1 0 — Before leadin g the Angelus prayer from the Italian city of Sulmona he visited on Sunday, th e Holy F ath er p ro p o s e d M a r y as “the perfect model of obedience to the divine will.” He hoped als o fo r i n c rease d a ppr e ciat io n of th e si m p l e l if e , a s S t . Celestine lived it, and the subsequent freedom of heart and mind th at o pens us u p to sh a r i n g . Dur ing t h e v i si t fo r t h e o c c a sion of the 800th anniversary of the b ir th o f S t. C el es t i n e , t h e Holy Father led thousands of faithful in the recitation of the Marian pr ay er after M a s s i n t h e tow n square. He prayed that the people of God wo uld b e ab l e to “w a l k j o y ously and un i ted o n the pa t h o f faith, hope an d l o ve” a n d t h a t , “faithful to the inheritance of St. Celestine, w e m ay al w a y s k n o w how to put evangelical radicality and mercy together, so that all who seek G o d may fi n d h i m . ” St. Celestine was a13th century hermit that became Pope Celestine V. His remains are now housed in the crypt of Sulmona’s Cathedr al o f San P an fi l o , wh e r e Benedict XVI will pay a visit Sunday aft ern o o n to h os t a n e n count er wi th area y o ut h . Turning to Mary, “Virgin of silence and of listening,” Benedict XVI s aid th at, i n h er, S t . Ce l e s tin e “fo und th e p erfec t m o d e l o f obe dienc e to th e d i v i n e wi l l , ” a s he lived a simple and humble life, seeking the “truly essential” and thanking the Lord always as he recognized “in everything the gi ft o f His g o o d n ess.” Turning to the present, the Pope said “al so w e, w h o l i v e i n an age of greater comforts and possibilities, are called to appreciate a sober lifestyle, to keep our hearts and minds freer and to be ab le to sh are o u r p os s e s s i o n s wi th o ur bro th ers.” He prayed that “Holy Mary, who encouraged the first community of disciples of Jesus with her mat er n al p resen c e, h e l p a l s o the Church of today to give good wi tness t o th e G o sp el .” Followin g th e A n g el u s pr a y e r the Pope met with the bishops of the lo c al A b ru zzo re g i o n f o r l un ch at a n ewl y resto r e d h o u s e for elderly and sick priests inaugurated as the “Benedict XVI” ho us e. A fter l un c h h e w a s scheduled to meet with a delegation from the local prison. (CNA/ EWTN New s )
criticized for failure to stop contract substitution
ANTIPOLO CITY, June 26, 2010—A leader of a labor group based on Middle East had criticized the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for its alleged failure to prevent contract substitution, especially for workers working in the Mid-east. In his statement to media, John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator, said that almost 30 to 50 percent of the cases of abuse that their offices in different countries in the oil-rich region, involve contract substitution. Migrante-ME receives an average of seven to 10 cases of abuses daily. “Contract substitution is an act of replacing the existing contract, which was signed by the overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in the Philippines, mostly given by their respective recruitment agencies, by their foreign employers. In the new contract, the salaries and wages are usually much lower than the first contract, and the other benefits are either deleted or reduced, for example the health insurance provision had been removed, or the hours of work had been extended,” Monterona explained. He added that the employers are forcing the worker to sign the contract, or else they will be out of work. “Many have told us that they have been forced to sign a new set of contracts before their departure at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, while others said upon their arrival on the job site facilitated by the counterpart agency of the deploying agency in the Philippines,” Monterona said. Monterona also added that the original employment contract is intended to protect OFWs labor rights as set forth in the terms and conditions of employment, but the moment a new contract with different terms and conditions unfavorable to the OFWs has been forged without the knowledge of the OFWs or by force they have been told to sign it, then it is putting OFWs employment at risks even before their deployment. Meanwhile, Monterona accused some DOLE and Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) officials of conniving with recruitment agencies that allow contract substitution. (Noel Sales Barcelona)
New iPad application won’t replace liturgical books, creator says
VATICAN CITY, June 30, 2010—Are Catholics soon going to see their parish priest celebrating Mass with an iPad instead of traditional liturgical books? That’s the impression left by recent reports about Italian Father Paolo Padrini’s planned launch of an iPad application that features the Roman Missal on its 10-inch screen. But Fr. Padrini and church officials say no one should throw the printed books out yet. “Liturgical books on the altar will never be replaced by the iPad. This is an additional instrument, not an attempt to get rid of paper books,” Father Padrini said in late June. “If I went on vacation, I’d take along my iPad and celebrate Mass that way. Obviously in my parish, where I have the books, I’m not going to deliberately use an iPad,” he said. The application should be ready by the end of July and will feature the Roman Missal in various languages, including English, French, Italian, Latin and Spanish. It loads the missal and breviary, or book of prayers, for a particular day, with the option of preloading up to 10 days worth of texts. Father Padrini said that for the English version, he plans to use the missal text as currently approved for use in the United States. But he apparently has not yet nailed down the necessary permissions. Msgr. Andrew Wadsworth, executive director of the International Committee on English in the Liturgy, said June 25 that Father Padrini currently had not received authorization to publish English liturgical texts as digital “applications.” “We are trying to find a way forward in this situation and are currently in consultation with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops regarding the matter. I imagine that it will take some time to reach a solution which is equally satisfactory to all the parties concerned,” Msgr. Wadsworth said in a statement to Catholic News Service. Father Padrini did not run his idea past the Vatican’s liturgical experts, presuming that there should not be a problem. “As far as I can see, there is no liturgical rule saying a printed instrument must be used. The rules do say the liturgy should be dignified and fitting and should not be disturbed,” he said. In Father Padrini’s opinion, the small iPad would not detract from the liturgical decorum, and would be less noticeable than other objects placed on the altar these days. But Vatican officials were not so certain that an iPad belongs on the altar. Marist Father Anthony Ward, an undersecretary at the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, said liturgical rules generally refer to “the book,” and there’s been an effort in recent years “to promote the book, and the embellishment of the book.” The idea of having a substitute for the book at public Masses seems to go against that consensus, he said. Father Ward said the congregation wasn’t specifically considering the suitability of the iPad application, and that there didn’t appear to be explicit rules against such devices. But he added that in this case, one should not assume that if it is not forbidden, it is allowed. The final judgment on the iPad-asmissal may come with experience. Father Padrini said he thinks the shock effect will disappear as more people carry such devices around with them. “The liturgy should be beautiful. But personally, I’d rather celebrate Mass with an iPad, which is small and doesn’t disturb the faithful, than with an old, worn-out missal with yellow pages and small type,” he said. (CNS)
Papal spokesman describes week of Benedict XVI’s evangelical witness to the Gospel
VATICAN CITY, July 3, 2010—Pope Benedict XVI’s “exquisitely evangelical witness” this week show his “personal and direct commitment” to creating communion in the Church, Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi has said, citing the Holy Father’s launch of a new evangelization of the West and his action to reconcile disputes and to renew the Church. During his “Octava Dies” editorial aired on Vatican Television on Saturday morning, Fr. Lombardi remarked that in recent days the words and actions of the Pope have been “exceptionally intense and determinant for the life of the Church community.” The activity of the Pope, he continued, has been made more meaningful due to its proximity to the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul. This is a feast which brings our attention back to the mission “entrusted by Christ to Peter and his successors” to support and guide the faith of believers, he explained. For Fr. Lombardi, the announcement of the new Vatican department for renewed evangelization of areas subject to secularization stands out among the Pope’s activities this week. However, he particularly wanted to highlight the pontiff’s “personal and direct commitment to the union of the Church community.” “The Pope has repeated many times that the dangers and the gravest temptations for the Church come from within,” pointed out
Papal spokesman / A7
Aquino vows good governance
MANILA, July 1, 2010—In his inaugural speech, the 50-year old bachelor vowed to “serve and not to lord over” the people because the mandate given him was one of change, as he accepted the people’s marching orders to transform the government from one that he described as self-serving to “one that works for the welfare of the nation.” Aquino said good governance “would lessen the people’s problems” adding that the destiny of the Filipino will return to its rightful place, and over the next six years, the Filipinos’ problems will continue to lessen with the assurance of progress in their lives. As in previous inaugural speeches by former Philippine chief executives, most Filipinos remain hopeful the late President Corazon C. Aquino’s son would be able to deliver as most Filipinos doubted the victory of President Gloria MacapagalArroyo during the 2004 presidential elections. However, one of the challenges Aquino should face is the grinding poverty in many areas of the archipelago where one third of its 90 million or so population live on just one US dollar a day. Catholic bishops have said the country’s poverty is closely linked with graft and corrupt practices of people in government. Violence in Mindanao Aquino will have to address too what has been described as “high level of localized vio-
lence” especially in Mindanao, in Southern Philippines where government troops are fighting separatists and communist guerillas. He was earlier quoted he would pursue peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front with the appointment of a cabinet secretary for the peace process, but MILF Vice Chairman Chazali Jaafar said he would like to listen to specific announcements from the presidential palace. It has been said there are over a hundred private armies across the country, a great number of them being kept by powerful politicians who usually align themselves with whoever is in power. ‘Alleviate poverty’ Earlier in the day, Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales presided over a concelebrated Mass at the Basilica Minore of the Immaculate Conception, a kilometer and a half away from the Quirino Grandstand where the inaugural rites took place. In his homily, the 77-year old archbishop said “the greater number of our countrymen who are poor appeal to us now to use ‘sight”, and not ‘statistics’ because statistics can still hide the truth of mass poverty and much hunger through numbers.” He added that “the attempt to build buildings that reach up to the skies cannot hide the millions of slums, cardboard houses, cart homes and the misery of the great majority.” (Melo M. Acuña)
Religious group assails violent dispersal of farmers
ANTIPOLO CITY, July 4, 2010— Sociopastoral organization, Promotion of Church Peoples’ Response (PCRR) has assailed the violent dispersal of 42 farmers doing a camp-out along the Chino Roces (Mendiola) Bridge, in Manila. The farmers from Hacienda Yulo in Laguna and the controversial Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac, owned by the Cojuangco clan, have been for three days camping out along Chino Roces asking government to act on the issue of land reform. “We have learned that the farmers led by the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas staged a camp-out to press the newly-installed administration of President Noynoy Aquino lll to take immediate step on the long standing issue of genuine land reform. Tillers from nearby provinces including of the Hacienda Luisita have participated in the said camp-out,” the PCPR statement read. According to reports, the joint contingent of the Office of the Engineering Department of the City of Manila and the Manila Police had allegedly brutally harassed and dispersed the camp-out of the farmers July 3, at 3:30 pm (Manila Time) and arrested 38 farmers and four of their supporters, injuring some 13 people. As of this yesterday, those arrested were illegally detained at the police headquarters at UN Avenue, Manila. “The said incidence shows the constant policy of the state in bearing complaining citizens. The same atrocities and violence had been the method of the Arroyo administration to silent her critics,” the PCPR statement furthered. PCPR also said that this is a “too early a revelation of Aquino Administration who is on its 3rd day in power. “It has paraded its harshness and non concern of the peasants’ plight. While the “wang-wang” issue has been addressed, the issue of land reform must be considered as an urgent agendum because it is a matter of life and death for the Filipino people. The PCPR joins different sectors in denouncing another violence against toiling masses and calls the faithful to work for justice and peace for our nation,” the PCPR statement further said. (Noel Sales Barcelona)
Why not also ‘bang-bang’
July 5 – July 18, 2010
Vol. 14 No. 14
AS usual, militant groups always come up fast with acronyms, posters and grafittis. Immediately after the inaugural of President Benigno Aquino III, they slugged with: “Itigil ang bang-bang, hindi lang ang wang-wang!” They were referring, of course, to the extrajudicial killings that cross-boarded to the new administration without letup right on the very same platform of impunity that, according to some observers, have been reared pretty well by the previous dispensation. Like the poor, street cries are here to stay—despite the prevailing high hopes and fresh expectations lodged on the new administration. While there are a thousand and one travails to attend to, it should be quixotic to think that the new president will sway a large dent in, say, corruption. His campaign slogan “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap” was just that—a slogan. And like all slogans, they are meant to sell or inspire at the most, but hardly to execute. But there is symbolism, albeit dry, to the wang-wang phenomenon—if one can call it that after it generated a high trending in social networks and big rating in traditional media that may have prodded the police to confiscate rather unusually all sirens from every cranny of the country. For one, it verbalized a sentiment that every Filipino here and abroad had been nursing for some years now. It somehow became a rallying point of the disgust for arrogant display of power that has been characteristic of every politician all the way from the barangay tanod to the officials of national import. Call it a micro-booster, but it penetrated deep into the entrenched make-believe of politicians who projected their jurisdictions as their personal property by branding every waiting shed, lamp posts and what not with their names—not to mention big billboards and tarpaulins with their splattered faces that came anyway from people’s taxes. This gesture, though simplistic, may even trigger a paradigm shift from a leadership that is substantially feudal to one of servanthood. The new president’s simple declaration in his inaugural address that “Kayo ang boss ko” may actually shame the aristocrat and the wise in that it sincerely hits the recesses even of Christian leadership. If only for that, change has already become.
Abp. Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ, DD
DURING the first quarter of this year on March 16-18, senior officials from the 118 member countries of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) met in Manila. In this special ministerial meeting at the Philippine International Convention Center, the heads of delegations declared their understanding and support for the extraordinary theme chosen for their conference: “Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation for Peace and Development.” The theme was extraordinary because the Non-Aligned Movement was originally a political grouping of nations organized more than half a century ago that did not want to align themselves with either the Communist Bloc or the Free World, political aggregations that divided the world at that time during the era of the Cold War. But now, the NAM countries were all aligning themselves behind the call for interfaith dialogue – an implicit admission that the fault lines threatening the world’s unity today may no longer run across ideological lines, but rather more profoundly across religious lines. Manila Declaration Thus, the Manila Declaration adopted by the NAM delegates stressed the need for “dialogue among cultures, civilizations and religions” in direct opposition to the “clash of civilizations” theory propounded by some political observers at the coming of the third millennium. Along with this call for dialogue was the reaffirmation of common fundamental values contained in the United Nations’ Millennium Declaration: “freedom, equality, solidarity, tolerance, respect for nature and shared responsibility.” Coming mostly from the Asian, African, and Latin American continents, the NAM delegates affirmed religious freedom and the protection of all human rights that are “universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated.” They expressed their commitment to promote “a culture of peace and dialogue,” seen not as an option but as an imperative in today’s world. In particular, initiatives already taken along these lines were recognized coming from several NAM member countries such as Bahrain, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, the Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, and the Sudan. Speaking for the Philippines in her keynote address, President Gloria M. Arroyo cited the example of the Bishops-Ulama Conference which over the past 14 years has brought together Christian bishops and Muslim ulama in dialogue and a common search for peace in Mindanao. Together with Pakistan, the Philippines has also pursued
Aligning for Interfaith Dialogue
the promotion of interfaith and intercultural dialogue at the United Nations General Assembly since 2004. Voices of NAM member states Described by President Tito of the former Yugoslavia as the “conscience of mankind” at its inception, NAM has indeed evolved into a continuing forum for world peace. It is instructive then to listen to some of the representative voices at the NAM conference: • “We should champion tolerance rather than discrimination, communication rather than rejection, and co-existence rather than confrontation.” (China) • “All religions are rooted in common ground and share a diversified world. They all call for freedom, human dignity, equality, tolerance, harmony and acceptance of others.” (Qatar) • “All the great religions of the world essentially represent what the Vedas postulate: The Truth is One, the wise call it by many names… Mahatma Gandhi once said, ‘Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.’” (India) • “Dialogue among civilizations and cultures, but most importantly religions, is an effective remedy to prevent conflicts… Even in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, faith communities should be seen as vital partners.” (Suriname) • “Mainstreaming of interfaith principles into education systems—religious and secular, formal and informal—is central to sustained generational change.” (Tanzania) • “Promotion of understanding among cultures and faiths is a political and moral imperative in our globalized world…. We must be ready to move beyond dialogue and translate this goodwill into concrete actions to create peaceful, tolerant and harmonious societies.” (Pakistan) • “All great religions advocate love; all great religions hold life to be sacred; all great religions profess peace and promote understanding.” (Philippines) Civil Society and Faith-Based Organizations A day before the opening of the Special NAM Conference, religious leaders and representatives of Faith-Based Organizations converged to underscore a complementary theme: “Strengthening partnerships with governments on interfaith dialogue and cooperation.” Their joint statement noted the continuing situation in some countries of religious sectarianism and discrimination, persecution of minority groups and acts of terrorism in the name of religion. “There is no peace without development, and no
Pastoral Companion / A5
FOR the past 15 years the Bishops of the Philippines have been denouncing gambling in its various forms, especially jueteng. Whether it is jueteng or masiao or any other form, gambling as systematic, widespread and illegal is truly a moral and social cancer. It has become an insidious subculture of immense corruption that involves a shadowy network of powerful financiers, protectors, and lords. It destroys moral values such as industry and hard work, accountability and honesty, integrity and justice. Such gambling is never a moral virtue. It is a moral vice that, because of its systematic rampancy, has become entrenched within the psyche of many and within our social system, corrupting these from within. With the huge sums that they control without any accountability to anyone but themselves, gambling lords can make or unmake political and professional careers by corrupting law enforcement and political processes and the people that run them. The public testimonies of various people involved in gambling have told us of the incredible territorial and personal coverage of jueteng alone and the vast unimaginable amounts of profits gained, astoundingly far higher than the yearly budgets of many municipalities and cities in the country. Gambling exploits the poor in a particular way. Fleecing the poor of the little they have, some 85% of gambling profits return to the pockets of gambling operators. With their hardearned money the poor are daily lured by the easy money that gambling vainly promises. Whatever little recreational value it might have cannot justify the immense suffering inflicted on entire families because of the loss of money needed for the basic necessities. We, therefore, once again strongly denounce systematic, widespread and illegal gambling in whatever form. We strongly denounce any attempt to legalize it. We once again appeal to our political leaders, lawmakers and law enforcers to put teeth to our anti-gambling laws, ferret out the gambling lords and their protectors, and punish them with the full force of the law. We encourage and support citizens’ movement, such as Krusadang Bayan Laban sa Jueteng (Jueteng, Free Philippines), to root out gambling from our culture. Eradicate Gambling: It is Moral and Social Cancer, CBCP Pastoral Statement, 2003
Filipino Gynecologist in US stops giving out birth control
A FEW days ago, I received this email from Bishop Jose Sorra, a very interesting article published in a US Catholic newsletter. He said he immediately thought of sending it to me as it is about his niece working in the US as gynecologist. She used to dispense contraceptive pills but has stopped doing so. Read on to find out about her conversion! “Dispensing birth control had been a regular part of Dr. Mary Ann Sorra’s gynecological practice for eight years. Not anymore. After a lot of prayer and discernment, the Catholic doctor embraced a fully pro-life practice about a year ago. She stopped giving out contraceptives and has been working to promote the pro-life message among her patients. It was one of the most difficult decisions Sorra ever made, but one she believes is in keeping with what God wants of her and her medical outreach. “I do believe that God was certainly calling me to do this,” she said. “I don’t believe you can be happy unless you do what God is telling you to do. He’s the author of our happiness.” Early in her practice, Sorra viewed the distribution of birth control strictly as a healthcare issue. Besides, she argued, if she didn’t supply it, someone else would. “It was what I thought was the standard of care,” remembered the 38-year-old parishioner of Church of the Immaculate Conception in Towson. “We’re trained to think that birth control was important and good for women—that it prevents unwanted pregnancies, decreases abortions and provides fertility control.” In the back of her mind, however, Sorra struggled with reconciling her church’s
Sr. Mary Pilar Verzosa, RGS
After studying the issue more closely and delving into Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, which examines the theological underpinnings of human sexuality, Sorra came to recognize the soundness of the Church’s position. “I learned how beautiful the teachings of Christ and the Church are regarding our sexuality and reclaiming what God intended for our sexuality and sexual lives,” she said. Sorra, who encourages natural family planning, noted that sex is meant to unify a married couple and bring new life into the world. It’s part of God’s plan, she said. “When you contracept, you separate the act from its intention,” she said. “(Artificial contraception allows you to have sex without love and bonding. It also allows you to have sex without life.” Sorra said she has the peace of knowing she’s doing the right thing. She encouraged other Catholic gynecologists to “take a leap of faith.” “Seek God and what his will is for us,” she said. “It’s important to open our hearts and listen to his will.” What a wonderful example of a true Catholic, following her informed and well-guided conscience in her profession and life. But how wonderful too that there are priests and bishops who are vocal on the church Teachings on Contraception and who go out of their way to explain in simple and practical ways what our lay people should know and follow. They are the true pastors after the Shepherd’s heart.” (From Catholic Reporter by George Matysek, Jr.) For more information on contraception— medical, social and moral effects, contact Pro-life Phil at 733-7027 email at email@example.com)
Pedro C. Quitorio
Kris P. Bayos
Pinky Barrientos, FSP
Melo M. Acuña
LAYOUT BY KRIS BAYOS
Ernani M. Ramos
Roy Q. Lagarde
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
teachings and her actions in her medical practice. Late last year, while attending a spiritual retreat in Emmitsburg, she asked a priest about the morality of distributing birth control. In no uncertain terms, he told her it was “absolutely morally wrong.” Yet, other priests had suggested it might be considered the lesser of two evils—that birth control would be a better option than abortion. Sorra prayed on it and then made an appointment to meet with Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien. In the meeting, the archbishop helped clarify the church’s teaching against artificial contraception. “I’ve worked with the Catholic Medical Association as chaplain and episcopal adviser over the years on this matter,” Archbishop O’Brien said. “Once they get into it and study it and are open with God’s grace to the Church’s teachings, it’s a new day for them.” The archbishop noted that if Catholic doctors believe artificial contraception to be an immoral practice, it would be “nonsensical” and “immoral” for them to encourage women and couples to use it. Sorra stopped giving out birth control, transforming her Pikesville practice into what she believes is one of only a handful of gynecological practices in the region that don’t distribute artificial contraception. Some patients left in anger, but she picked up 100 new ones. “It was extremely difficult and somewhat painful because I was doing it out of obedience to the church’s teachings and obedience to the bishop,” Sorra said. “I wasn’t doing it out of full understanding of why I should do it.”
Illustration by Bladimer Usi
Vol. 14 No. 14
July 5 – July 18, 2010
Caring for our spiritual powers
many people do not even know what these spiritual powers of ours are. In my chats with them, many admit they don´t know what these are. This to me is a real disaster, since many people are well-versed with the material and technical world—think of the skills people have in gadgets and the World Cup—while confessing to be ignoramuses and pygmies with respect to spiritual and supernatural realities. Our spiritual powers are mainly our intelligence and will, our thinking, judging, reasoning and loving. These need to be managed and supervised well, seeing to it that they are engaged with their proper objects and not simply allowed to drift and flow wherever they are blown. St. Paul talks about the distinction between the carnal man and the spiritual man, and we should make the right choice and develop it to its maturity. St. Augustine warns us not to allow our soul, our spiritual powers, to become carnal by consenting to the affections of the flesh. Unfortunately, this is what we are seeing aplenty these days—people are not only consenting but also are glorying in the affections of the flesh. We need to reverse this trend. It may be a painful process requiring nothing less than heroic effort and martyric dedication, but it would all be worth it. Caring for our spiritual powers means exerting realistic effort to always find reasons, motivations and ways to relate all our thinking and loving to God and all souls.
Nicolo F. Bernardo
Fr. Roy Cimagala
IF we can only give to our spiritual powers just a fraction of the attention we usually give to our physical faculties, I think we would be much better off. Our problem is that most of the time we ignore the needs of our soul while we pamper and spoil our body. Just look at the time, effort and money spent on things material and bodily—wellness craze, looks, sports and fashion, body cult, etc.—and compare these with the ones spent for our spiritual needs—prayer, sacraments, interior struggle, etc. You´ll notice there can hardly be any worse inequality. That´s why, in the long history of ascetical literature written and given living witness by saints through the centuries, there has been that consistent insistence to curb the tendencies of the flesh to give way to the more important aspirations of the spirit. These two constituent elements of our human nature have become fierce competitors, not so much on the part of the spirit as it is on the part of the body. The trouble is that our body wants to dominate the spirit, reversing the order proper to our nature. This tension was vividly expressed by Christ himself in his agony in the garden just before his death. There he warned his sleepy disciples—Peter, James and John—to watch and pray, because ¨the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.¨ To remedy this predicament, Christ taught that we enter by the narrow gate—putting ourselves to some inconveniences and dis-
Lifeguard Bill of Duties
IN case the new Congress would again attempt to amend the Philippine Constitution, declaring a Bill of Duties should be on deck. Progressive nations like Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Russia, Israel, Germany, and the Scandinavian countries have a list of civic duties in their constitutions. It is high time we have ours too. Since the advent of libertarian revolutions, we must have gone through excesses of rights, where wants, desires, and deviations are emerging into legal needs. The problem with overstating rights is that one cannot be too demanding, say, for executive privileges or even reproductive rights, while ignoring duties. A moral duty is correlative to a moral right. Rights-mongers argue that once rights are secured, duties will follow. But perhaps the other way around is better: let’s talk of duties and rights will follow. For a long time, we have been whining for rights, or making up rights, when we could be better had we mind our duties. Need we wonder why nationalism, patriotism, loyalty, obedience, strong family and religious values no longer matter nowadays? Blame it on too much libertarianism. The call of duty for society, family, or institutions has become passe. What has become popular is to demand more from others as a matter of right and none from oneself as a matter of duty. Take the case of the award-winning film Mar Adrento, which shows the legal debates in Spain for assisted suicide. The main character—a paraphlegic—argues that “life is a right, not a duty.” Meaning, we have a right to live, but it is everyone’s prerogative. No one is obliged to live if one no longer wants to. Accordingly, with the “right to selfdetermination” comes the right to decide when, where, why, and how one should die. It would be illegal for the State, the Church, or any person to prevent one from terminating one’s life. Only the person is in the best position to decide whether continued living is still reasonable and bearable. The irony here is, rights and duties are borne from social expectations, so that one cannot simply insist on rights without a sense of shared expectancy and human aspiration. Rights arise because there are common needs and values of man. There are universal needs so we declare universal rights. The measure of demandability and validity of a right arise from the value of what is being demanded, its priority over other demands. In the instant case, because life is itself a fundamental value, it is an intrinsic right. If one, however, would treat life, even one’s own life, as dispensable—a matter of choice— then one has reduced the necessity of the thing being demanded. If life’s indispensable value no longer holds true in all cases, then the right ceases to be essential. The right may not be worth it after all, not always “right. As such, the right would cease to be among the few absolutes that all persons should hail, contrary to the very concept of what a right should be. Now the libertarian fallacy must have invaded our homes long before it did the courts of law. A generation ago, you can hear from the language of the “oldies” the discipline shaped by the responsibilities of each member of the group. Being a man has a consequent duty, and so being a woman. Being a husband and being a wife. Even texts from schools before, especially on Good Morals and Rightful Conduct, taught children of their roles, “tungkulin” at “gawain.” Well now, that is unheard. Kids tell their elders their rights. Some people also resort to “sex change” than do their sexbased duties. Of course, rights-mongers will reply that these bygone roles are bad social constructs. But what about their emerging “rights,” aren’t these constructs too? The danger here is not just the clatter of rights, but rights being blurred with wants so that the basic and self-evident rights to life, food, and shelter cease to be priority. Perhaps one key to know whether a right is intrinsic to human condition or just a construct is whether a corollary duty can be demanded. For example, we speak of property rights much as owners of property have duties. But if we cannot speak of, say, “gay duties,” are there really “gay rights?” Or simply human rights of people who hapenned to be “gay”? If we are not willing to enforce “reproductive duties,” can we claim “reproductive rights?” Or marital rights but not marital duties? Yet could we even continue to exist as a society without a strong foundation on duties? Every want is now being named a right in a time when personal sacrifices should be high. One hundred years ago, if you will peer into the Cartilla ng Katipunan, or even into the Malolos Constitution, demands are stated in a language of sworn duties, let alone commands. The mythical Kodigo ni Kalantiaw speaks of stringent duties, such as the care for the spouse and the elderly. Further back, ethics, codes, and norms are formulated into obligations. Thus we have the Ten Commandments and the Confucian philosophy of the “Four-Fold Duties.” God must we wise to formulate the Ten Commandments as such—commands, duties—not just rights; to “do unto others” not “ask unto others.” For this reason, we should support the efforts of Jose Abueva, chairman of the Consultative Commission for the Proposed Revision of the 1987 Constitution. He has prepared a whole chapter on a Bill of Duties, with provisions for human life and dignity, duty to work, civic and political participation, youth responsibility, loyalty, patriotism, and duty to care for the environment. The country might as well declare these obligations, as we do to liberties, as “inherent and self-evident.” From that point, we would have moved forward as a nation with a strong sense of duty.
comfort, etc.—because ¨wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leads to perdition.¨ In fact, in the end, he indicated that to follow him, we have to deny ourselves and carry the cross. And so the cross or the sense of penance, sacrifice and mortification has been made an integral part of Christian life and even of human life in general. We would go crazy without it. Why is this so? Simply because the body needs to be properly animated by the spirit for it to be truly human and fit according to its dignity as part of the human person and God´s child that we all are. The body on its own is nothing or is dead without the soul. But the quality of its life does not depend solely on its material requirements, but relies more on the nourishment it receives from the spirit. On its own, the body has appetites that are purely material. Its world is the sensible universe. Alone, it cannot enter the intellectual and spiritual world, not to mention the supernatural goal that our faith tells us is our original and ultimate end. Our body has to submit to the order proper to us, that is, it has to be directed by our spiritual faculties. Thus, St. Augustine said in this regard: ¨Where the flesh commands and the spirit serves, the house is turned the wrong way...Man is rightly ordered where the spirit commands and the flesh serves.¨ We need to be more wary of our duty to take care of our spiritual powers. Sad to say,
Preparing for the coming Barangay Elections
LET us see the aftermath of the automated elections held last May 10. While the foreign media hailed it as a success, losing candidates cried foul while protesting the possible causes of “failure”—like Smartmatic’s lack of proper accounting of defective contact flash cards (CFC) which were replaced with new ones; the large number of null votes which added together could skew the results in favor of defeated candidates and the failure of election in some precincts within the conflict zones of Lanao, Maguindanao, etc. In spite of these assignable causes of failure, almost everybody agreed, even President GMA herself, that the past election was an unmitigated success! She even claimed that the automated election, in her BEAT THE ODDS book, is one of the successes of her administration. Nobody questioned that President-elect Benigno Simeon Aquino III (P Noy) won in a fair fight for the Presidency. In fact, three days after the election Manny Villar and Gibo Teodoro already conceded defeat. The Transition Team, Malacanang’s Presidential Executive Staff headed by Ma. Elena Bautista Horn has ably transferred all records and information to the Aquino Team headed by soon-to-be Executive Secretary Atty. Francisco Ochoa, Maria Montelibano and defeated V. P. candidate, Mar Roxas. P Noy (his choice as his initials in news media) has not announced the names to complete his cabinet. He promised to divulge the whole team to the public, two days before his inauguration on June 30. Meantime, advocacy groups who campaigned hard to have a credible election assessed what their next move would be. Church groups like Dilaab of Fr. Carmelo Diola who instituted the process of selecting candidates using the circles of discernment, the LASER and the Nominal Group Technique had to hold a weekend session in Old Santa Mesa to assess the results of Dilaab’s efforts and what to do next. The present electoral system even using automated election is controlled in the rural areas by political dynasties that have more cash to buy votes. These
Jose B. Lugay
are the mayors and governors of local governments who are notorious for graft and corruption as indicated by the use of their pork barrel, the source of their funds for the next election. The group looked at the results of the May 10 election in the context of the moral guidelines for clean and honest elections as well as choosing the candidates who will work for the common good. The D and E votes became the swing votes paid for by corrupt politicians who eventually won the election. The results of the voting of those who undertook the CiDE, the LASER and NGT exercises made a significant difference in the way they voted; that is, the voters have been empowered to discern who are morally upright and who can undertake good governance regardless of party affiliation. However since the time to do all these valueschanging effort was too close to the May 10 election, the good effect could not be statistically evaluated. Assessment of its intended effect if run for a longer period would have been more meaningful. The group decided that the CiDE and associated technologies for discernment as well as the pastoral accompaniment of candidates must continue to be given to all voters for the coming elections: the barangay and SK election which is scheduled in October 25 of this year, the 2013 election and the 2016 presidential election. Since the delegates represented in the assessment forum who came all the way from Northern Samar, Cebu, Leyte, Novaliches, Cotabato, etc. were all one in continuing the education to change the political culture of Philippine elections, the evangelized laity who are now serving in the dioceses should spearhead the movement in conjunction with all lay organizations reporting to the different Episcopal Commissions. The campaign should target all the basic ecclesial communities in the countryside, care of the Social Action arm of the Dioceses and communities of families care of Lay Organizations. We anticipate the support of all the Philippine bishops for this effort to reach a critical mass of politically evangelized Christians.
Oscar V. Cruz, DD
Views and Points
HERE is an interesting thesis that those in the Executive Department of the present administration might want to seriously consider and thereafter decidedly act upon. This proposed agendum can neither be irrelevant nor vain—considering that this country is at the bottom of developmental possibilities in Asia, and that millions of its people have to leave behind their dear families, only to earn a living abroad. In other words, mention any political errancy or any social malady in the Philippines, say any public misery or economic malediction of the Filipinos as a people, and at the bottom thereof is readily found a dysfunctional justice system as its fundamental causal origin. So too, think of really big time crooks freely roaming around and enjoying their decadent lives, remember infamous professional thieves proudly displaying
Pastoral Companion / A4
The Justice System in the Philippines
rate justice as a constituent factor thereof. Thus: Just worth or merit. Just profitability or liberality. Just advantage or win. Conclusion: In the event that the new administration—swamped by so many propositions, suggestions, inclusive of innumerable unsolicited pieces of advice—is unconditionally committed to its battle cry of principled policies and upright governance, it stands to reason that its over-all national plan of action cannot but have as its cornerstone and priority mission, none other than a consistent, serious and operative Justice System all over the country. And the rest of what is basically good, right and fair for the Philippines and the Filipinos, simply follow as a matter of course. Thus: Away with untouchables! Away with those above the law! Away with justice only for the poor, the ignorant, the little people. Justice for all or none at all!
their stinking stolen wealth and throwing their sordid weight around, bring to mind high ranking politicians infamous for their heinous graft and corrupt practices yet still manage to command the adulation of certain people—and you find systemic injustice in the country as their common premise. This is in no way over-stating the inherent deadly significance and consequent fatal implications of injustice in society vis-à-vis the good fortune and the precious blessings brought about by social justice. Come to think of it, it is morally impossible to find anything really good or truly right when injustice is an element thereof. Thus: Unjust honesty or truthfulness. Unjust generosity or benevolence. Unjust integrity or probity. None of these make sense. On the other hand, everything that is objectively good and realistically right, cannot but incorpo-
development can come without peace,” noted the representatives of Civil Society, “but neither can be achieved without interfaith dialogue.” In particular, the participants pointed out that: • Religious minorities can become active partners in peace building with government assistance; • Intra-faith dialogue according to one’s religious traditions should be a prerequisite step to inter-faith dialogue; and • What is needed is a deeper appreciation for the spiritual bases for peace in all our religious traditions. I was privileged to be a co-convenor of the first day’s discussions among faithbased organizations. At the NAM conference itself, I attended as representative of the Holy See which has an observer
status in this international body. It is in this light that I fully agree with Dr. William Vendley, Secretary General of the World Conference of Religions for Peace, who summarized three courses of action for NAM member countries in the coming years: 1. Religious communities themselves can come together through interfaith dialogue and multi-religious cooperation for peace; 2. Governments should enter into principled partnership with religious bodies in the service of the common good; and 3. Personal morality and common values found in all religions need to be translated into a new political paradigm. Such is the concept of “shared security” where the security of one country depends on the security of other countries.
In his last column here at the CBCP Monitor last April 2010, Bishop Francisco Claver wrote:
“For when the people start acting in their own way and at their level against the many corrupt practices of Philippine politics, that is when the real social change takes place with the corresponding change of the values of the people.”
The CBCP Monitor Staff joins the Christian community in mourning for the demise of a good bishop and friend. Bishop Cisco, pray for us!
THE Social Action Secretariat of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines is holding a forum on the alternative mining bill in an effort to initiate a consensus and create a better understanding of the proposed law. Dubbed as, “Bishops-Legislators Forum on the Mineral Management Policy,” the forum will gather bishops, affected communities, academe and the government to discuss the basic consensus on the mining bill. The seminar, slated on July 8 at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in UN Avenue, Manila will open with a welcome speech from CBCP president and Tandag Bishop Nereo Odchimar. A presentation of the context of the Alternative Mining Bill will be prepared by Atty. Rhia Muhi from the Legal Rights Center, followed by a deliberate discussion among people concerned. Expected to come are Tony Abuso from the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Indigenous People (ECIP); Dr. Angelina Galang, Executive Director of the Environmental Institute of Miriam College; Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Ramon Paje and NASSA National Director and Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo. Rep. Erin Tañada from the House Committee on Natural Resources and Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano from the Senate Committee on Natural Resources are also anticipated. Cagayan de Oro Archbishop
July 5 – July 18, 2010
Vol. 14 No. 14
NASSA to hold forum on Alternative Mining Bill
Antonio Ledesma has also committed to attend the forum. Pabillo emphasized that the forum is a discussion on the basic consensus about AMB as well as a venue to secure a commitment from the legislators for the passage of AMB. “This forum also intends to explore initial strategies and partnership between the Church, legislators, affected communities and CSOs campaigning against mining to advance the agenda of the AMB in the 15th Congress,” he added. The AMB was first filed under the Arroyo administration by Akbayan Representative Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel. On July 1, 2010, Tañada has again filed the AMB for the 15th Congress’ evaluation and examination. (Kate Laceda)
Photo courtesy of PhilRights
Catholic evangelist to visit Manila
A BAPTIST turned Catholic and host of a religious television program is coming to Manila July 9 for a series of talks. Steve Ray, program host of EWTN’s “Defenders of the Catholic Faith” is scheduled to arrive here on Friday from Australia where he will deliver a series of talks before varied audience. Henry Siy, a prime mover of Defensores Fidei said Ray will speak before the priests and seminarians of San Carlos Seminary in Makati City at 9:00 a.m. and the Apologists Forum from 1:00-5:00 p.m., Saturday, July 10 at the Chapel of the Holy Family at Virra Mall. His topic before the apologists is The Church and Authority. Ray will also be featured over CBCP Online Radio on Sunday and at 8:30
Appeals / A1
Mindanao-Sulu Pastoral Council to hold youth congress
HUNDREDS of young people from all over Mindanao are expected to flock the Diocese of Pagadian for a fourday youth congress, organized by the Mindanao-Sulu Pastoral Council-Youth Council (MSPC-YC). Held every three years, the youth congress serves as a venue for young people to share their experiences, discern the signs of the times, identify issues and concerns affecting the youth ministry, and to organize concrete plans of action. Dubbed as “9th Mindanao-Sulu Pastoral Conference Youth Congress,” the event will be held on July 19-23, 2010 in Agro Heritage Complex in Dao. This year’s assembly is themed “We remember, We celebrate, We believe.” Youth ministers including youth directors, youth directress, youth coordinators and youth leaders from the different dioceses of Mindanao are expected to participate in the event. The conference will commence with a Eucharistic celebration at the Sto. Niño Cathedral. On the following day, a pastoral planning and testimonial dinner will be conducted at the Agro Heritage Complex. Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon, Chairman of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY) will preside the Eucharistic celebration on July 21 following the formal opening of the conference. The first conference will tackle the topic, “Youth: Come Together, Share the Word!” while the second congress will discuss on the matter, “Youth: Come Together, Live the Eucharist!”
p.m. over DzMM in a live radio program hosted by SVD missionary and Columnist Fr. Bel San Luis. On Monday, July 12, he will talk before the Catholic faithful at the Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord at SM Megamall from 7:00 -9:00 p.m. on the topic Mary, Mother of God. Ray will then proceed to Davao for a series of talks from July 15-17. On July 18, he will speak before the Lord’s Flock, Light of Jesus and Rivers of Living Water communities at the Philippine International Convention Center from 1:00-6:00 p.m. He will also give lectures on the topic “Footprints of God from Abraham to the Apostolic Fathers” at St. James the Great Parish Church in Ayala-Alabang Village,
Muntinlupa City from 7:00-10:00 p.m. on July 19-21. Participants will be awarded with Certificates of attendance. A Fundamentalist Protestant for 39 years and active members of various Fundamentalist and Evangelical Protestant churches, Ray and wife Janet were converted to the Catholic Church on Pentecost Sunday in 1994. The Ray couple now attends Mass at Christ the King Parish in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Reportedly to have taught a very successful Catholic Bible Study before the video series demanded much of his time, Ray now enjoys time writing, producing documentary videos, traveling, teaching and serving the Catholic Church. (Melo Acuña)
Groups / A1
Indigenous Peoples (ECIP) said in a statement. The commission stressed that various government projects such as mining, dams, power generation projects, logging and large scale plantations have invaded the territories of many IP communities. “These have led to massive displacement of IP communities through the decades. Killings of IPs in relation to these have also been documented,” ECIP said. The group said the “certificates of ancestral domains titles” have not done any good for the IPs. “Even though certificates of ancestral domains titles (CADT) have already been given to some IP communities, intrusions and land grabbing continue unabated,” it added.
Gov’t / A1
Also, the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), primary government agency mandated to implement IPRA, has not been effective in carrying out its mandate and purpose which is to protect the IPs, according to the ECIP statement. ECIP also asked Aquino to overhaul the NCIP and appoints leaders with integrity, competency, and familiarity with Indigenous Knowledge, Systems, Practices and Spirituality (IKSPS). Meanwhile, the commission has also proposed to Aquino for the support and recognition of the IP education which is believed to be the key for the security and real development of the IP lands and com-
munities. “We hope that your call ‘kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap’ during the election campaign will truly guide your administration. You must look into the root cause of our poverty—the unequal distribution of wealth in our country,” the ECIP statement concluded. Among the signatories of the ECIP statement are Laoag Bishop Sergio Utleg, ECIP Chairman and Fr. Erwald Dinter, ECIP Executive Secretary and Calapan Mangyan Mission Director ECIP has been working for more than 30 years now with the various IP groups, conducting dialogues with various government agencies in pursuit of the recognition of indigenous peoples’ rights. (Kate Laceda)
of SOCSKSARGEN CAN (Climate Action Now), a broad coalition of church, indigenous peoples, and civil society organizations working for climate justice in the region. The people have earlier called on the governor to sign the code while rallying against SMI-Xstrata Tampakan Copper Gold Project (TGCP) in the area. Social Action director of Marbel diocese Fr. Romeo Catedral said the legislation is a triumph for the people and the environment. “… it is a victory for all who campaigned against destructive mining in South Cotabato, in our country and abroad. It is all our victory,”
he said. Fr. Gillarme Joy Pelino, co convenor of SAVE SOCSARGEN MOVEMENT, said “the signing is a triumph for the people of Tampakan and the whole province which depends much on the watersheds threatened by largescale open pit mining.” “The watersheds are our lifeline being the water source of our rice fields in the lowlands that ensure our food security,” he added. The communities affected by mining also commended the governor’s move saying the prohibition will keep the mining companies off their lands. “The open pit ban will help
save our ancestral domains. Thanks to the governor for signing the code” said T’boli leader Datu Victor Danyan of the T’Boli-Manobo S’daf Claimants Organization (TAMASCO). “It’s good that the governor looked at the welfare of the majority,” said Yellen Zata, chairperson of Hublag Kontra Mina (HUKOM), an alliance of various group in Barangay Ned, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato that campaign actively against mining. “We thank her for signing the code and we hope that mining companies will no longer operate in our communities,” she added. (CBCPNews)
laws, but which are badly interpreted, or worse still, if they are implemented, to benefit only the favored few, will make the poor and the weak suffer,’ said Rosales. “In life any bias against the weak in the administration of justice is not only an affront against the weak, but it creates a mindset that in an unguarded moment (it) can hide a repeated injury to the poor.” The cardinal added that those who are poor and have less in life “should have more consideration in law.” “Today, we pray, with you and for you that the Holy Spirit will, as He did for the apostles in the early days of the Church, continue to guide those who serve our people, taking advantage of no one,” he told the church-goers where
majority are lawyers. “(May) God led you to this task through the help of the people, may He continue to accompany and enlighten you with the Holy Spirit as you serve the very same people—the Filipino People.” Brother’s keeper Before the mass ended, Aquino delivered a prayer where he sought for divine intervention that they be guided and protected “in the fulfillment of our promise to be our brother’s keeper as we lead our country with integrity and honor.” “We pray that leaders representing co-equal branches of government— judges, justices, mayors, governors, congressmen and senators—will strive
for unity at the risk of sacrificing their personal ambition so that the people’s ambition to achieve a decent quality of life for every citizen becomes more real,” he said. Concelebrants of the mass were 22 bishops including Bishop Nereo Odchimar, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines and various priests from Manila archdiocese. In attendance were Vice President Jejomar Binay and Supreme Court chief justice Renato Corona. Also seen at the Mass were officials of the Commission on Elections led by its chairman Jose Melo. The Red Mass In the Catholic tradition, the Red Mass requests guidance from the Holy
Bishops / A1
Spirit for all who seek justice, and offers the opportunity to reflect on what Catholics believe is the God-given power and responsibility of all in the legal profession. It originated in Europe and derives its name from the red vestments traditionally worn in symbolism of the tongues of fire that descended on the Apostles at Pentecost. The tradition was first documented in France, in the 1200s, where a special Mass for lawyers and judges was held in the Chapel of the Order of Advocates, built by King Louis IX. The ritual soon spread to England where, during the reign of King Edward I, the entire bench and bar would mark the opening of each term of court by attending a mass together.
In the Philippines, the Red Mass is scheduled yearly but this was the first time that national and local leaders attended the gathering at the Manila Cathedral. “This is really for those who are active in the judiciary. It will be good if some from the legislative branches will come,” Rosales said in a press conference earlier. He said the Mass is specially intended for the new leaders of the land “to enlighten those who will continue (to serve in the government).” Constitutionalist and Jesuit priest Joaquin Bernas said the gathering is also intended to serve as a unifying factor of all government officials and for those in the judiciary “to make wise decisions.”
Fr. Bernas / A1
term and thus making it impractical to hold another election. “Getting a Con-con would mean another national election and we just had an election recently. It can be a very expensive process plus people are still distracted,” Bernas said. “It is still a little early… I doubt very much it will prosper this year. If at all, it might get going again next year. I doubt it will get going this year,” he added. Asked what he thinks of Arroyo’s intention in filing such a controversial resolution, Bernas said he finds it funny. “Well, she loves the country and she wants to improve the constitution,” Bernas said laughing. Arroyo has been accused by critics of wanting to amend the Constitution to pursue her bid to become the country’s Prime Minister. (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews)
allow the demolition without relocation of urban poor families. They also demanded that the new chief executive put a stop to human trafficking of children and women. Taking note of the “many problems” left by the Arroyo administration, Bacani called on Aquino to rise beyond giving an average performance during his six-year stay in Malacañang. He said the “sorry state of the country” left by Arroyo has brought such high expectations and hopes for the incoming president and that they will expect no less than a “heroic” performance. The prelate added that Aquino should use the legacies of his parents, former President Corazon Aquino and former Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr., as an inspiration to always strive to do better. The other nine Church advocacies lined-up were: Protect the environment by stopping large scale mining and illegal logging; stop corruption and prosecute the people involved in graft and corruption; no to Nepotism and
political dynasty in Philippine politics; uphold human rights of all the accused; educate the poor by improving educational system and give the poor access to quality education; peace and security: negotiate with the rebels with public consultations to all stakeholders; stop illegal gambling by arresting and prosecuting gambling lords; alleviate poverty by improving the living condition of the marginalized, under-represented and oppressed people; food security by eliminating structures that hinder the growth and development of those in the agricultural sector. A Mass for the New Governance was held at the Manila Cathedral in the morning shortly before the inauguration of the new president of the Republic of the Philippines on June 30. The Mass was led by Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales. Concelebrants include Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez, San Fernando Auxiliary Bishops Pablo David, Roberto Mallari and Novaliches bishop-emeritus Teodoro Bacani. In his homily,
Rosales described as “gift” from God the presidency of Aquino, “who, in his simple and humble ways will exemplify what love for God and country means. The cardinal, however, stressed that the job not only lies with Aquino but also in each and every Filipino. “This beautiful national dream is not the job for one man, no matter how gifted or great. Neither is it a collective work for a group of good men. The dream of a better Philippines is within the response and the ability of every Filipino,” said Rosales. Aquino, along with Vice President Jejomar Binay, took their respective oaths as the new leaders of the country at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila on Wednesday noon. He also called on the faithful to pray for Aquino together with those who will serve the country with him “that they will be guided by the wisdom from the Holy Spirit in serving the Filipino of whatever tribe, belief, age or class.” (Roy Lagarde/ CBCPNews)
Vol. 14 No. 14
July 5 – July 18, 2010
LIPA CITY—An anti-gambling church prelate is opposing the establishment of gambling facilities in an exclusive resort in the province. Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles told Architect Antonio Turralba, president of Malarayat Golf and Country Club, of his opposition to gambling amenities inside the exclusive complex, located near the newly-erected Parish of St. Therese. In a letter, the anti-gambling crusader-prelate minced no words in stating his opposition on behalf of the Archdiocese of Lipa. The Turralbas have been active and instrumental in putting up the new parish of St. Therese. While acknowledging the great help Malarayat and the Turralbas have extended to the archdiocese, the prelate made it clear that friendship does not obscure his and the Church’s strong stance against all forms of vices. He sent copies of his letter to re-elected provincial Governor Vilma SantosRecto and the newly-elected Mayor of Lipa City, which has jurisdiction over Malarayat. It will be recalled that he has sent a similar strongly-worded letter to Governor Vilma Santos Recto calling on her to help him “stop and all forms of vices” that seem to proliferate in the province. Archbishop Arguelles said he still has to receive Governor Santos-Recto’s reply. However, the prelate maintained that his fight against gambling, legal or illegal, will remain relentless. The prelate earlier called on SantosRecto to do everything possible to stop illegal activities in the province at the soonest possible time. In a letter to Santos dated June 7, the 65-year old prelate told the governor that he heard “founded rumors” about many groups including people identified with the re-elected governor who are now “fighting to take over this unfortunate business (jueteng).” “May I respectfully beg Your Honor not to allow these immoralities taint your good record,” Archbishop Arguelles further said. Although the governor “promised a hopeful future” in the past elections, Arguelles said he noticed that jueteng which was identified with the former
governor for a number of years continued during the lady governor’s first term. “I accepted the reality that gambling could not be stopped due to midnight approvals of the former governor,” he explained. He described the Small Town Lottery as a camouflaged jueteng which prevailed. The prelate recalled PCSO chairman Valencia’s statement that something could be done to stop it (STL) upon the expiration of the probationary period “which is now.” Arguelles said he pledged to collaborate with the Santos-Recto administration and “bring behind me the full force of the religious sector to achieve what is for the best interest of the Batanguenos.” (Fr. Nonie Dolor/Melo M. Acuña)
Archbishop Arguelles nixes gambling facilities in Malarayat
Archbishop Ramon Arguelles
Ozamiz archbishop sued for libel
OZAMIZ CITY— A businesswoman here has filed a P10-million lawsuit against Ozamiz Archbishop Jesus Dosado over a news item published by the diocesan newspaper. Archbishop Dosado is the chairman of the board of Malindang Herald News, a weekly publication of the local church of Misamis Occidental. Also charged together with the prelate, were Msgr. Maximino Naron, Vice-Chairman of the board; Fr. Sandy M. Cometa, the newspaper’s Editor-in-Chief and Neptalie Batolenio, News Editor. Agnes Grace Y. Chiong, a local businesswoman, has filed the lawsuit claiming the news story published by the paper was “libelous” and maliciously “malign[ed] her virtue as a person”. Malindang Herald, in its May 30-June 5, 2010 issue has published a story on Danila Damason who sustained injuries because of the beatings she received from Agnes Chiong. Damason worked as a house helper of Chiong. The news story was based on a complaint Damason filed in the city’s police station. In her affidavit-complaint, Chiong stressed that MHNews caused “to publish an article without regard for truth, propriety and fairness; indeed one of a scurrilous, injurious, defamatory and libelous which intention was nothing but to attack, ridicule, malign her virtue as a person, as a mother, and as businesswoman.” Chiong asked for compensation to the tune of seven million pesos for moral damages and three million for exemplary damages. Meanwhile, the diocesan paper’s editors also filed their counter affidavits stating the fallacy of Chiong’s allegations. “As an individual and priest, I always perform my office in this newspaper because I know that this is a means to an end the humanitarian goal to promote life. It is of my personal knowledge and information that the Malindang Herald has never been, ever since its existence, aiming at cutting remarks of any person. Its main objective is to publish the news happening within the jurisdiction, that is, the entire Ozamiz Archdionse.” Cometa said. The priest said the news item, having the police record as source only showed the accuracy of the story. “When I read the news item upon its submission, I was confident that it has a basis since it was premised as to its source, the complaint was registered/made known after a helper was allegedly mauled by her employer.” Cometa stressed. Neptalie Batolenio, the paper’s news editor said other reporters who were with him at the police station also got the same news. “With this circumstance, I can therefore state that these radio reporters, who covered
CBCP vice-president optimistic on Aquino administration
TACLOBAN CITY— Palo Archbishop Jose Palma expressed optimism on what Aquino administration would do in his first six-year term in office. Fr. Amadeo Alvero, archdiocesan spokesperson, said Palma has given his full for support for country’s new chief executive. “We have heard the speech of the new president and Msgr. Palma is calling everyone to support Aquino as he expects that there would be a sudden change in the landscape of politics,” he said. (Alvin Cardines)
Rectory attacked in Aurora; priest unharmed
Archbishop Jesus Dosado
the said blotter, would broadcast it in their radio program and published it also in their newspaper.” Batolenio said. He said he did not know the parties involved in the incident but “since it involves the infliction of injuries by a woman employer [on] her employee,” he found it worth reporting. “I tried to get the side of Agnes Grace Yap Chiong on the reported incident, it being my procedure as newscaster. I checked with the phone directory and called for an interview of Chiong but the other end, could be an employee/personnel replied that Mrs. Chiong was not around.” Batolenio said. (Wendell Talibong)
CASIGURAN, Aurora—Unidentified men strafed a Catholic rectory in Casiguran town in Aurora province on June 26, but the Catholic priest believed to be the attack’s target escaped unhurt and remained defiant. Fr. Jose Francisco Talaban, parish priest of Nuestra Señora de la Salvacion in Bianoan village, said he had received threats because he tried to protect local farmers and fishers from some local development projects. (Jason de Asis)
Priest leads rally for passage of environment code
KORONADAL Cit—Fr. Romeo Catedral, Marbel diocese’s social action director, led thousands of parishioners in calling on the provincial government to sign the environment code that would ban open pit mining during a rally outside the provincial capitol June 24. “This rally is not just for the environment, for the environment code and for us who are here but for our children and our children’s children who shall benefit from the ordinance that will protect their future,” he said. (CBCPNews)
Hear distressed call of OFWs, Pres. Aquino told
Shun policies harmful to indigenous people, Aquino told
TARLAC CITY—The Aeta communities of Tarlac have asked the new president to take up their cause and avoid implementing policies that are damaging to the indigenous people. The indigenous Aetas of Tarlac made the call to Aquino, their fellow Tarlaqueño, to address their plight, as well as all indigenous peoples in the country who are facing almost the same issues and threats. The Luzon regional office of the Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center (LRC-KsK) in a press release said “the past administration of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has passed and implemented policies that had detrimental effects on the indigenous peoples.” Daniel Siegfried Corpuz, Law Paralegal of LRC-KsK – Luzon Regional Office, a cause-oriented group assisting the Ayta Mag-Antsi in their cause has expressed hope that Aquino would be more receptive than the previous administration. “We hope that the new president will be more receptive to the voices of the indigenous peoples and veer away from policies that in effect have dislodged our brothers and sisters from their ancestral lands which in effect undermine their right to self-determination,” he said. Manong Bayani Sumaoang, chairperson of the Ayta MagAntsi LABAYKU Federation also expressed the same sentiment, hoping that that new president will “not just use us Aetas, and our indigenous brothers and sisters, as display during his annual State of the Nation Address (SONA).” More than the loss of lives, homes and livelihood because of the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, the Ayta of Central Luzon have also lost their ancestral lands due to encroachment of lowlanders. Aside from finding their lands fenced off by lowlanders raising herds of cattle upon their return after the Pinatubo eruption, a military reservation has also encroached into their ancestral domain. “A total of 45 rancheros have invaded our ancestral domain. This encroachment covers almost more than one-third (1/3) of the whole of our ancestral land, while the military reservation overlaps almost half (1/2) of our domain,” Sumaoang stated in their local dialect. They also suffer militarization and harassment, entry of plantations and illegal mining explorations, discrimination and lack of basic social services. “We have been subjected to militarization and numerous cases of human rights violations. The current situation has made us constant prey to illegal arrests, interrogations, and discrimination. Adequate basic social services have also been illusive to us Aetas,” he added. The military reservation was created by RA 7227 and Presidential Proclamation 163 series of 1993. Sr. Maria Lourdes Santos, a Holy Spirit nun working with the Holy Spirit Aeta Mission (HSAM) said the NCIP’s inaction to demarcate the Aetas’ ancestral domain has made the situation worse. “The situation of our Aeta brothers and sisters are aggravated by the stalled delineation process of their ancestral domain claim due to National Commission of Indigenous People’s (NCIP) claim of lack of funds,” Santos further clarified. (CBCPNews)
ANTIPOLO CITY—The largest alliance of migrants’ organizations, Migrante International is asking the President to heed the call of distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). In a press briefing on July 3, Migrante chairperson and former Korea contract worker Garry Martinez said that hundreds of Filipinos are now buzzing their “sirens” for help as their heads will roll off their necks, literally, anytime soon. (Noel Sales Barcelona)
Bishop resigns as RDC chair in Cagayan Valley
TUGUEGARAO CITY—Bayombong Bishop Ramon Villena has resigned as head of the Regional Development Council in Cagayan Valley. In a ceremony held June 24, Villena was given due recognition for his “invaluable” leadership by the RDC members. Villena served in the RDC for four years after former President Arroyo appointed him to the post in 2006, the region’s Philippine Information Agency (PIA) said. (CBCPNews)
Bishop to promote vocations, care for elderly priests
BALANGA, Bataan—New Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos vowed to continue his dedication to foster priestly vocations and provide measures for the care and housing of elderly and sick priests in his diocese. “My first intention is to be faithful to my Episcopal motto, that is to sow and to take care of the sower—the priest especially from their formation to their retirement to hospitalization and the formation of the seminarians to have a definite home or house for them,” he said. (CBCPNews)
May They Be One Bible Campaign
Help Put a Bible in Every Filipino Home
Praise Item Praise God for the support of United Bible Societies & partner Bible Societies for the MTBO. Please Pray For wisdom, guidance and protection for the 12 Regional Bible Directors as they seek to make God’s Word known in their spheres of influence. 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; PBSMrs. Perry Cartera/Mrs. Juliet Rivera at 890 UN Ave., Ermita Mla.; perry@bible. org.ph;firstname.lastname@example.org; www.bible. org..ph Tel. nos. 5215785/5267777 loc. 600, Fax No. 5215803; 09178590019 /09156727492 /09182802775 No. of Dioceses participating in the Bible Campaign – 69 out of 86 Dioceses Bible Distribution (Jan 2010 – Jun 15, 2010) Total Bibles distributed up to Jun 15, 2010: 68,128 cps. (Jan – 10,369; Feb. –14,472, Mar. – 13,343, April – 13,540, May – 9,606; June – 6,798) Parishes/Communities served: 253
t was August 29, 2009 when the Blessed Sacrament Parish in Biñan, Laguna started a holistic program billed Hatid Saya (Bringing Joy) Masses. Bible Ministry Head, Bro. Ding Garcia said that the program’s objective was to help the poor by bringing them both food for the stomach and food for the soul – God’s Word. However, not everyone could afford to buy their own Bibles. Thus when Bro. Ding heard about the May They Be One (MTBO) Bible campaign from the Diocesan Biblical Apostolate, he seized the opportunity to acquire 200 MTBO Bibles for their dual feeding program. The recipient families in the seven sitios of Biñan then started attending weekly Bible studies. Bro. Ding reports that the Bible distribution and formation have brought positive changes to the community – parents have become more patient with their children, and children more obedient to their parents. One attendee shares that she no longer worries about her financial needs because Jesus has become her confidence and assurance. Crime in the community has gone down and people feel safer and more at peace in their homes.
Papal Spokesman / A3
Bibles Distributed by Languages – Tagalog (20,281 cps.), Cebuano (18,242 cps.) English (8,973 cps.), Ilocano (8,000 cps.), Hiligaynon (6,125 cps.), Pangasinense (3,451 cps.), Bicol (3,056 cps) MTBO Bibles in Pampango and Samarenyo will be available starting July, 2010 Target Coverage of Bible Distribution for April-June 2010 (based on orders received): Naval, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Digos,
Pagadian, Ozamis, Butuan, Dipolog, Borongan, Bayombong, San Fernando (Pampanga) Total Bible Distribution: (Jan 2009 – May 31, 2010): 173,906 cps Target No. of Bibles for Distribution for 2010: 200,000 cps. Total Funds Needed for Printing and Transport of Bibles in 2010: P30M
Fr. Lombardi. “In difficult times, such as those that we are living, the tensions induced from the outside make it easier also for tensions to emerge inside and these combine and increase confusion and uncertainty.” Papal audiences this week included two meant to bring about healing within the Church. Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Christoph Schonborn who has spoken out against the actions of Cardinal Angelo Sodano in the past was brought together with him and Pope Benedict on Monday. Also, on Thursday, ex-Bishop of Augsburg, Walter Mixa, who resigned this year reportedly for embezzling and physically abusing children in an orphanage, met with the Pope in the Vatican. These events, Fr. Lombardi indicated,
“demonstrate that (the Pope) is working himself ... to heal the tensions and incomprehensions that afflict the community.” The Vatican spokesman quoted the Holy Father’s words from the communiqué reporting the content of Benedict XVI’s audience with Bishop Mixa: “In a time of contrasts and uncertainties, the world expects from Christians the harmonious witness that they, based on their encounter with the risen Lord, are able to offer and in which they help each other as also in all of society to find the right way towards the future.” Fr. Lombardi concluded by saying that “These are the sentiments of the Pope; his exquisitely evangelical witness is clear. We should follow it.” (CNA/EWTN News)
LINGAYEN-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas was among the 38 new archbishops who received their pallium in a concelebrated Mass at the Vatican on June 29, Solemnity of the Apostles Sts. Peter and Paul. Pope Benedict XVI presided the celebration during which he imposed the pallium on each of the Catholic Church’s latest archbishops. The country’s youngest archbishop at 49, Villegas was born in Manila on September 1960 and was ordained priest at age 25 on October 5, 1985. He was later appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Manila on July 25, 2001 at age 40. He was later on appointed Bishop of Balanga in Bataan province on May 3, 2004 and was installed July 3, 2004. He was named Archbishop of LingayenDagupan on September 8, 2009 succeeding Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz. He was installed on November 4, 2009. The oldest archbishop to receive a pallium from Pope Benedict XVI is 72-year old Vietnamese Archbishop Pierre Nguyen Van Nhon of the Archdiocese of Ha Noi. The modern pallium is a circular band about two inches wide, worn about the neck, breast, and shoulders, made of white wool, and having two pendants, one hanging down in front and one behind. (Melo Acuna)
People, Facts & Places
July 5 – July 18, 2010
Vol. 14 No. 14
Villegas receives pallium from Pope
Religious brother appointed to state cabinet
THE Aquino administration has appointed a religious brother to head a crucial government post. De La Salle University president and Chancellor Brother Armin Luistro will be serving as the government’s secretary of the Department of Education (DepEd). In a statement, De La Salle said Luistro accepted the task with the permission of the university’s stakeholders. “After due consultation with various stakeholders in the Lasallian community, President and Chancellor Br. Armin Luistro FSC has accepted the invitation of President Benigno C. Aquino III to be the Department of Education Secretary,” part of the statement read. Luistro is a known critic of President Arroyo, who called for her resignation due to accusations of corruption. The Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines has immediately welcomed Luistro’s appointment to the DepEd. “The agency has so many problems and anomalies going on. We believe that Bro. Armin is worthy of the position because he is a man of integrity and incorruptible,” said AMRSP co-chairperson Sr. Mary John Mananzan. This is not the first time that a member of a religious community was appointed to hold top government positions. From 1998 to 2001, Brother Andrew Benjamin Gonzalez, also of La Salle, served Bro. Armin Luistro as secretary of the Department of Education, Culture and Education (CHED). He, however, vacated the Sports (DECS), now known as post just after six months in ofDepEd. In 2006, President Arroyo fice in obedience to the will of appointed Dominican priest his superiors in the Dominican Rolando de la Rosa as chairman Order. (Roy Lagarde/CBCPof the Commission on Higher News)
Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas
CELEBRATED. Bishop Gabriel Villaluz Reyes, 25th anniversary of Episcopal ordination, April 3, 2006. His Eminence Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, bishops, and priests concelebrated with Bishop Reyes at 9:00 a.m. Thanksgiving Mass at Antipolo Cathedral. Cardinal Rosales delivered the homily. Bishop Reyes received the “purple hat” at the Manila Cathedral on April 3, 1981. Prior to his appointment as bishop, he was the first secretary of His Eminence Jaime L. Cardinal Sin when the late Cardinal assumed office as the 3rd Filipino Archbishop of Manila in 1974. He became the Auxiliary Bishop of Manila first and afterwards the Bishop of Kalibo from 1993-2002. He was assigned as Bishop of Antipolo in 2003. He has been providing spiritual leadership to the faithful of the Diocese of Antipolo, the 2nd biggest diocese in the country in terms of population, for seven years now. His CBCP responsibilities included the formation of the laity and charismatic renewal movement, BEC, and Committee on Women. CELEBRATED. Sr. M. Chiara Cabaluna, Sr. M. Claudia Parco, Sr. M. Fatima Gornis, Sr. M. Giacinta Gornis, Sr. M. Paolina Salem, Sr. M. Redenta Pabillon, Sr. M. Rosaria del Rosario, Sr. M. Stefanina Roble, Sr. M. Lucia Osorio (RIP) and Sr. M. Constantina Telada (RIP), golden jubilee of religious profession among the Daughters of St. Paul. On the same day, Sr. Yolanda Dionisio, present provincial superior of the Daughters of St. Paul also celebrated her silver jubilee of profession. The church event was held at the Queen of Apostles sanctuary of the Daughters of St. Paul in Pasay City. Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo led the Thanksgiving Mass on June 26, 2010 at 9 a.m. CELEBRATED. Laura Anggie, of Sabah, Malaysia and Josephine Tablante of Catanduanes made their first profession of vows among the Daughters of St. Paul on June 29, 2010. Fr. Mario Sobrejuanite, SSP led the Eucharistic celebration at the Divine Master Chapel of the Daughters of St. Paul’s Novitiate House in Lipa City. The church event was witnessed by families of the newly-professed, sisters of the community, benefactors and friends. CELEBRATED. Ground breaking ceremony of Our Lady of the Annunciation Parish, Casuray, Magarao, Camarines Sur; June 20, 2010. Presided by the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Caceres, Rev. Msgr. Rodel M. Cajot, P.C, the ceremony was also attended by the Parish Priest of St. Anne Parish, Magarao, Camarines Sur, Rev. Msgr. Juan N. Buentiempo, P.C. and some visitors. The Parish Priest of the Our Lady of the Annunciation Parish is Rev. Fr. Ryan Oliva Fenis. On June 26, a Holy Mass was celebrated in this church in honor of the Secondary Patron of the Parish, St. Josemaría Escrivá, Founder of Opus Dei. CELEBRATED. The diocese of Kidapawan closed its celebration of the Year For Priests on June 18, 2010 with a caravan of parishioners coming from 15 out of 17 parishes. Close to two thousand parishioners participated in the caravan that ended at the cultural hall of St. Mary’s Academy of Kidapawan where a program participated by the four vicariates, students and priests followed. At two o’clock in the afternoon, the caravan participants gathered at the Our Lady Mediatrix of All Graces Cathedral. Kidapawan Bishop Romulo T. Dela Cruz, DD ordained Rev. Krizaldy G. Tadiaque of San Isidro Labrador Parish, Tulunan and Rev. Nicanor E. Valiente of Sto. Niño de Praga Parish, Matalam to the sacred order of priesthood. Ordained deacons in December 2009, both graduated from Saint Francis Xavier Regional Major Seminary of Davao City in March 2010. CELEBRATED. Serviam Catholic Charismatic Community marked its 8th year with the theme “Reaching new heights @ 8!” setting its sights on greater endeavors for the gospel. Serviam’s 7th Foundation Day gathered community members, their families and friends in a big fellowship at the Megatent, Meralco Ave., Ortigas Center, Pasig City, on June 20, 2010. Serviam Catholic Charismatic Community was founded by Jaime Cardinal Sin, and well-known church leader Antonio “Sonny” Bayan de los Reyes, who also served as its first head servant leader. Cardinal Sin did two very gracious things: first, he offered his personal motto “Serviam” meaning “I will serve,” as the name of the community, and second, he assigned a good pastor for Serviam, the well-loved Rev. Fr. Anton C.T. Pascual. Gaudencio Cardinal B. Rosales graced the occasion as guest of honor and principal mass celebrator with Fr. Jun Inocencio, SDB, Fr. Efren Avenido, and Fr. Fidel Palisoc that formally opened the festivity. DIED. Bishop Francisco Claver, 81, of pulmonary embolism at the Cardinal Santos Memorial Medical Center, July 31, 2010. One of the strongest defenders of civil rights among the bishops during the Martial Law regime, Bishop Claver was born in Bontoc on January 20, 1929 and became a Jesuit priest at 32 on June 18, 1961. At age 40, he was appointed Prelate of Malaybalay in Bukidnon province. Bishop Claver chaired the Episcopal Commission on Social Action, Justice and Peace of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) from 1995-1999. Bishop “Cisco” as called by fellow bishops was ordained Titular Bishop of Nationa on August 22, 1969 and became Bishop of Malaybalay in November 15, 1982. He resigned from his post in Bukidnon on September 14, 1984. At 66, he was appointed Vicar Apostolic of Bontoc-Lagawe, his hometown, on November 2, 1995 and retired after reaching the mandatory age of 75 in April 15, 2004. While in retirement, Claver was a columnist of the CBCP Monitor, the official newspaper of the CBCP.
7 RP-based Columbans join European pilgrimage
AIMING to strengthen bonds of support, zeal and commitment in their ministry, seven Columban priests from the Philippines have joined other confreres on pilgrimage in Europe. Filipino Columbans Frs. Rolly Aniscal, Darwin Bayaca, Jude Genovia, Andrei Paz and Hector Suano and two Irish Columbans ministering here in the Philippines, Frs. Paul Glynn and Brendan Kelly joined with almost 30 other Columban priests from all over the world on a pilgrimage to the places associated with their Patron, St. Columban. Fr. Patrick O’Donoghue, regional director of Missionary Society of St. Columban in the Philippines, said their founder St. Columban was an Irish monk who left his monastery with several other monks in the late sixth century to re-evangelize Europe. St. Columban founded many monasteries including those in Luxeuil, Annegrey (both in France), Bregenz (Austria), and Bobbio (Italy). It is estimated that there are around 1,500 places all around Europe that bear his name. The pilgrimage “In the footsteps of St. Columban” has been a yearly event for many years now. “But this year the Superior General, Fr. Tommy Murphy, invited all Columban priests ordained since 1993 to join him in visiting the more important places associated with St. Columban culminating at the Basilica of St. Columban in Bobbio where he is buried,” O’Donoghue said. The pilgrims will then go to Rome to pray at the Chapel of St. Columban in the crypt of St. Peter’s Basilica. Fr. Tommy, as called by his confreres, did his dissertation on the life and writings of St. Columban. In his letter of invitation for the pilgrimage, he said [St. Columban] was “a great evangelizer … (who) had an exceptional ability to move into new cultures and attract young people from different languages and ethnic backgrounds to join him in his mission…… His example can be a good encouragement to us all as we try to live out the demands of being a truly multicultural missionary Society”. O’Donoghue hopes that through the experience of being “pilgrims together”, the young missionary priests will not only build bonds of friendship and mutual support but be strengthened in their missionary zeal and commitment. “May they all be filled with the zeal and commitment of St. Columban,” he further said. The pilgrimage began last Saturday, June 12 and will end on Sunday, July 4, 2010. (Melo M. Acuna)
Vol. 14 No. 14
July 5 – July 18, 2010
‘The Right to Health Is Universally Recognized as a Fundamental Right’
(Address of Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See’s permanent observer at the U.N. offices in Geneva, delivered June 8 at the 14th regular session of the Human Rights Council.)
© Roy Lagarde / CBCPMedia
...Are Dynamic Agents of Development’
(Address of Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent observer of the Holy See at the United Nations, delivered July 1, before the high-level segment of the Economic and Social Council Substantive Session for 2010.)
LAYOUT BY KRIS BAYOS
MR. President, This year’s substantive session is particularly pertinent leading up to the long expected World Summit on the MDGs. All women and girls who are affected by the MDGs look forward towards an increased recognition of their value
and equality as well as their dignified role in development. Any deliberation on the matter will be incomplete without ensuring the advancement of women, who are dynamic agents of development in the family, society and the world.
Ever since world leaders committed their governments to the ambitious objective of attaining the MDGs, some remarkable progress has been achieved in mainstreaming women’s perspectives in development both in multilateral and national policies. Even those countries lagging behind in many aspects of development are giving more prominence to the role of
Women / B2
r. President, With regard to the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, my delegation wishes to raise additional concerns regarding the need for effective action in order to guarantee Universal Access to medicines and diagnostic tools for all persons. The Special Rapporteur focused on this issue during his Report to the Eleventh Session of this distinguished Council. However, continued vigilance must be maintained in this regard. As the members of this Council already are well aware, the right to health is universally recognized as a fundamental right. Article 25 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR) includes the right to health and medical care within the more general rubric of the right “to enjoy an adequate standard of living”. Article 12.1 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), however, directly recognizes the right to enjoy the best physical and mental condition. The Committee on Economic and Cultural Rights, in its General Comment No. 14, moreover, identified the following minimum requirements for States to ensure: (1) the right of access to health care in a non-discriminatory way, (2) access to basic nutritional level, (3) access to housing, basic sanitation and a sufficient supply of drinking water, (4) the supply of essential drugs, (5) an equitable distribution of benefits and health services, and (6) adoption of national strategies to prevent and combat epidemics. Mr. President, the Catholic Church provides a major contribution to health care in all parts of the world—through local churches, religious institutions and private initiatives, which act on their own responsibility and in the respect of the law of each country—including the promotion of 5,378 hospitals, 18,088 dispensaries and clinics, 521 leprosaria, and 15,448 homes for the aged, the chronically ill, or disabled people. With information coming from these on-the-ground realities in some of the most poor, isolated, and marginalized communities, my delegation is obliged to report that the rights detailed in the international instruments already mentioned are far from being realized. One major impediment to the realization of these rights is the lack of access to affordable medicines and diagnostic tools that can be administered and utilized in low-income, low-technology settings. Among the disturbing trends and findings reported by the Special Rapporteur are the following: “Diseases of poverty” still account for 50 per cent of the burden of disease in developing countries, nearly ten times higher than in developed countries; more than 100 million people fall into poverty annually because they have to pay for health care; in developing countries, patients themselves pay for 50 to 90 per cent of essential medicines; nearly 2 billion people lack access to essential medicines . One group particularly deprived of access to medicines is that of children. Many essential medicines have not been developed in appropriate formulations or dosages specific to pediatric use. Thus families and health care workers often are forced to engage in a “guessing game” on how best to divide adult-size pills for use with children. This situation can result in the tragic loss of life or continued chronic illness among such needy children. For example, of the 2.1 million children estimated to be living with HIV infection, only 38% were received life-saving anti-retroviral medications at the end of 2008. This treatment gap is partially due to the lack of “child friendly” medications to treat the HIV infection. Thus the Committee on the Rights of the Child has declared: “The obligations of States parties under the Convention extend to ensuring that children have sustained and equal access to comprehensive treatment and care, including necessary HIV-related drugs … on a basis of nondiscrimination.” My delegation is well aware of the complexities inherent in the intellectual property aspects related to the issue of access to medicines. These considerations, including the flexibilities available to applying the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, are well documented in the 2009 Report of the Special Rapporteur. We further recognize that serious efforts already have been undertaken to implement the Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property, established in 2008 by the 61stWorld Health Assembly. However, the intense debates recently pursued at the 63rd World Health Assembly demonstrate that the international community has not yet succeeded in its aim to provide equitable access to medicines and indicate the need for further creative reflection and action in this regard. Mr. President, my delegation urges this Council to renew its commitment as a key stakeholder in efforts to assert and safeguard the right to health by guaranteeing equitable access to essential medicines. We do so with a firm conviction that “treatment should be extended to every human being” and as an essential element of “the search for the greatest possible human development,” and with a strong belief that “[t]his ethical perspective
Right / B7
© Dennis Dayao / CBCPMedia
When a Concelebrant Takes Photos during Mass
(Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university answers the following query:) Q: At an ordination I saw a priest, vested and concelebrating, step away from the altar. He took out a camera and took photos (not once, but several times). The bishop seemed oblivious to this, but it puzzled me. Is this a matter of liturgical law or regulation; a breach of etiquette; or something else? To me it seemed quite out of place and inappropriate. But if it’s OK, I could overlook it.—J.P., Illinois A: Among the few documents that address the theme of photographs at Mass is the 1967 instruction “Eucharisticum Mysterium,” issued by the Congregation of Rites. No. 23 briefly touches on this subject: “Great care should be taken to ensure that liturgical celebrations, especially the Mass, are not disturbed or interrupted by the taking of photographs. Where there is a good reason for taking them, the greatest discretion should be used, and the norms laid down by the local Ordinary should be observed.” Since the task of formulating precise norms and guidelines falls upon the local ordinary, many dioceses have issued directives, above all, related to weddings, baptisms and similar situations where photographers and camera technicians can easily get out of hand. Not surprisingly, nobody mentions concelebrating priests taking photos for the simple reason that the possibility never crossed anybody’s mind. A concelebrating priest taking pictures obviously violates the norm of disrupting and interrupting the Mass—in this case the Mass he himself is celebrating. The fact that he is a concelebrant takes nothing away from the fact that the Mass requires his complete and undivided attention. The same could be said of other situations in which priests engage in activities which distract them during Mass. I once saw a priest choir director slip on a stole for the Eucharistic Prayer and attempt to concelebrate from the choir loft, a practice of very dubious validity. Large concelebrations do sometimes have a detrimental effect on many of us priests, leading to a certain forgetfulness of who we are and what we are doing. Added to that, the ubiquitous digital camera has made multiple image-taking almost a reflex reaction. A good rule of thumb for a priest is to not do anything that he would not do while celebrating alone with a congregation. No priest (I hope) would whip out his camera or cell phone in the middle of his parish’s Sunday Mass and start snapping pictures. If that appears absurd, then it is no less so while concelebrating. With the current ease for distributing digital photos, it should be easy to designate photographers for special occasions such as ordinations and make the pictures freely available to all.
Women / B1
July 5 – July 18, 2010
Vol. 14 No. 14
Crime and Punishment in the Catholic Church (Part II)
By Fr. Jaime Achacoso,J.C.D.
women in public life, especially in the political arena. The empowerment of women presupposes universal human dignity and, thus, the dignity of each and every individual. The notion denotes complementarity between man and woman, which means equality in diversity: where equality and diversity are based on biological data, expressed traditionally by male and female sexuality, and on the primacy of the person. It concerns also roles to be held and functions to be performed in society. In that regard, equality is not sameness, and difference is not inequality. Empowerment of women for development means also recognition of the gifts and talents of every woman and is affirmed through the provision of better health care, education and equal opportunities. Empowering women and respecting their dignity mean also honoring their capacity to serve and devote themselves to society and to the family through motherhood which entails a self-giving love and caregiving. Altruism, dedication and service to others are healthy and contribute to personal dignity. If domesticity can be considered a particular gift of mothers in cultivating a genuine intrapersonal relationship in the family and society, then familyfriendly working arrangements, shared family-care leave and redistribution of the burden of unpaid work will be given the attention they rightly deserve. The Holy See notes with concern that inequalities between individuals and between countries thrive and various forms of discrimination, exploitation and oppression of women and girls persist, which must be addressed by the provision of adequate social protection measures for them, as appropriate to national contexts. In the health sector there is a need to eliminate inequalities between men and women and increase the capacity of women to care for themselves principally by being afforded adequate health care. Scientific studies have shown remarkable improvement in the reduction of maternal and infant mortality, revealing the importance of
complementary investing in other areas relevant to women and girls including nutrition, general health and education. The real advancement of women is not achieved by concentrating on a particular health issue to the neglect of others but by promoting their overall health which necessarily includes giving more attention to addressing women-specific diseases. Women’s economic empowerment is essential for the economic development of the family and of society. Access to land and property, credit facilities and equal opportunities for financial services for women will help ensure their economic stability. In this process, the whole household and community must support their entrepreneurship. The ethical dimension of their development and economic empowerment as well as their service to the family must not be overlooked. Tragically, violence against women, especially in the home and work place, and discrimination in the professional field, even on the pay and pension scale, are growing concerns. Through adequate legal frame-works and national policies, perpetrators of violence must be brought to justice and women must be afforded rehabilitation. Women and girls must be guaranteed their full enjoyment of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights including equal access to education and health. My delegation supports the initiatives in favour of the rights in particular of women migrants and refugees and women with disabilities. Human rights learning campaigns especially for girls and women must be promoted, even from early school days and also through non-formal education. Civil society and NGOs, women’s associations and faith-based organizations can contribute a great deal in human rights learning and in quality education. In concluding, Mr. President, the more the dignity of women is protected and promoted, the more the family, the community and society will truly be fostered.
THE Catholic community in Quezon City was shocked recently by the much-publicized excommunication, inflicted by the diocesan Bishop on an impostor-priest. The person had been serving in the diocese of Cubao─especially in Christ the King Parish at Green Meadows Subdivision─for a good part of a year, but was recently discovered to have never been ordained as he claimed he was in Europe. The scandal was exacerbated by the fact that this “fake priest” displayed a lot of positive external qualities (always properly dressed, well-spun homilies and pious liturgical celebrations), and of course administered the sacraments (including celebrating the Mass daily and hearing Confession). Several questions have been asked by disturbed faithful: Is it that easy for somebody to simulate being a sacred minister and victimize the faithful? Can the bishop punish so severely? What is excommunication ferendae sententiae? To answer these questions thoroughly, we started our discussion with a backgrounder on the Penal Law of the Church in the previous issue of CBCP Monitor. We now pick up the thread of that discussion to conclude this article. Types of Each Kind of Canonical Penalties As we saw in Part I of this article, there are two kinds of canonical penalties: censures and expiatory penalties. a. Types of Censures The Code of Canon Law speaks of the excommunication, the interdict, and the suspension (cc.1331-1333). 1) Excommunication was defined in the CIC 17 defined as a censure by which a person is excluded from the communion of the faithful, with the inseparable effects enumerated in the canons. These inseparable effects were summarized in the old c.1331. 2) Interdict is a censure by which the faithful, without losing communion with the Church, are prohibited some goods (i.e., those expressly enumerated in c.1332). The new Code only recognizes the figure of the personal interdict, which is configured analogously to the old minor excommunication, so called because it did not directly affect the communio but only some of its effects (i.e., those explicitly enumerated). 3) Suspension is a censure exclusive to the clerical state,
by which the exercise of the power of Orders, the power of gover¬nance, or of an office—as well as the right to receive specific goods—is prohibited partially or totally. b. Types of Expiatory Penalties The prolific enumeration of such penalties in the CIC 17 is now reduced to what is established by c.1336 and the specifica¬tions of cc.1337-1338 as follows: 1) Specific expiatory penalties: restriction of freedom of residence (cc.1336, §1, 1° and 1337), penal transfer to another office (c.1336, §1, 4°) and dismissal from the clerical state (c.1336, §1, 5°; cf. cc.290-291). 2) Generic expiatory penalties: Privation of or specific prohibitions against the exercise of the power of governance, office, tasks, rights, privileges, faculties, graces, titles or decorations (c.1336, §1, 2°-3°). 3) Others to be established by Law. Excommunication Excommunication is the archetype of ecclesiastical penalty, for its direct relation to a concept which is fundamental to the whole ecclesial penal system: the communio. Communio is the vital habitat of the faithful as such. His participation in that communio has an ontological root (baptism), which obviously cannot be lost; but it has a twofold projection: a) A mystical dimension, which supposes sanctifying grace and charity: the faithful communicates with and in the Church as Mystical Body. b) A juridic dimension, by which the faithful is united to the Church as a visible society, and which is expressed in a series of juridic relations (rights and duties of the faith¬ful as such). The Juridic Dimension of the communio is what can be affected by the privation which constitutes the canonical penalty: a privation which presupposes a constitutive act by the legitimate authority and which affects the enjoyment of certain rights. Though the infliction of excommunication does not judge regarding the mystical dimension of communio (i.e., on the sinfulness of the act), it is only inflicted in the most serious offenses, which ad extra presupposes the existence of a certain rupture of the mystical communio (mortal sin). The direct effect of excommunication is the loss of communio in its juridic
dimension. As a consequence, the effects in the sanctioned faithful are the following: 1) For non-declared latae sententiae penalties, this pecu¬liar manner of sanction has implications in the good name of the excommunicated person. Since the fact that gave rise to the excommunication may not be publicly known—in which case the danger of scandal is substantially reduced—, the Law only urges its observance to the extent that such does not imply self-incrimination or autodenunciation by the offender. Hence, the peculiar regimen of this type of sanction as regards its effects: a) The excommunicated cannot actively participate in the celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, or in any other ceremony of worship. b) Neither can he celebrate the sacraments or sacra¬mentals, nor receive the sacraments. c) Neither can he exercise any ecclesiastical office, ministry or function; nor legitimately carry out acts of govern¬ment. 2) For ferendae sententiae or declared latae sententiae penalties, the above effects are aggravated in the following terms: a) The offender who tries to actively participate in the celebration of the Holy Mass or in any other ceremony of worship should be rejected, or the liturgical ceremony interrupt¬ed, unless a serious reason warrants otherwise. b) Any act of governance (cf. c.135) by the offender is invalid. In the case of a parish priest, his assistance in a canonical wedding, though not strictly an act of governance, is also invalid (cf. c.1109). c) The enjoyment of privileges previously acquired is prohibited. d) The offender cannot validly obtain any honors, office or other function in the Church; nor posses the fruits of such honors, office, function or pension. Zeroing in on the Green Meadows Affair 1) Is it that easy for somebody to simulate being a sacred minister and victimize the faithful? Can.903 stipulates: A priest is to be permitted to celebrate [the Holy Mass] even if he is unknown to the rector of the church, provided he presents a letter of recommendation issued by his ordinary or superior within the year, or provided it can be prudently judged that the priest
is not prevented from celebrating. In practice, every priest has a little document (like the old LTC Driver’s Lincence) which is called a celebret, which attests that he is of good standing and can therefore be allowed to celebrte the Eucharist. In the case of the Sacrament of Penance, it is further required that a priest has the faculties to hear confession in a given circumscription. The local ordinary alone is competent to confer upon any presbyters whatsoever the faculty to hear confessions of any of the faithful (c.969, §1), and such faculty to hear confessions is not to be granted to presbyters unless they are found to be qualified by means of an examination or their qualifications are evident from another source (c.970). Furthermore, the Code stipulates that the local ordinary is not to grant the faculty to hear confessions habitually to a presbyter, even one who has a domicile or quasi-domicile in his jurisdiction, without first consulting with his [the presbyter’s] ordinary, if possible (c.971). In principle, therefore, it should not be easy for anyone to pose as a priest and administer the sacraments─especially to celebrate Mass and to hear confession─if all the cautions stipulated by Canon Law were followed. 2) Can the bishop punish so severely─as happened in the Green Meadows Affair? Can.1378, §2 is very clear: The following incur an automatic (latae sententiae) penalty of interdict: 1º one who has not been promoted to the priestly order and who attempts to enact the liturgical action of the Eucharistic Sacrifice; 2º a person who attempts to impart sacramental absolution or a person who hears sacramental confession when one cannot validly give sacramental absolution [e.g., because of lack of valid ordination]. Can.1378, §2 therefore clearly establishes an automatic interdict, but not an excommunication, for the offender in the Green Meadow’s affair. However, the same c.1378, in its §3 also establishes: In the case mentioned in §2, other penalties including excommunication can be added in accord with the seriousness of the offense. Clearly, the local ordinary in this case─in the exercise of his solemn office as pastor of the flock─had judged the offense of special seriousness to warrant the infliction of the heaviest canonical penalty of excommunication, ferendae sententiae (by decree).
Vol. 14 No. 14
July 5 – July 18, 2010
(Second of a series)
Questions and Answers on Freemasonry
II. Historical background 23. What does the word “Freemason” mean? “Freemason” originally meant a medieval stone mason whose special skill was to work on “free” stones, not stone walls. Later on, when honorary members of the masons’ trade guilds were allowed to join they were called “Accepted Masons”. Thus, the complete name of Masonry in the Philippines is “The Grand Lodge of the Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippines”. (A lodge is the basic unit of a group of Masons; the Grand Lodge is like a federation of lodges, headed by a Grand Master. Lodge is also the meeting place of Masons) 24. When was Freemasonry established? Freemasonry as it is now, with its philosophical underpinnings, is also known as “Speculative Masonry”. The year 1717 is taken to be the beginning of Speculative Masonry, when the Grand Lodge of England was established. Many legends in Freemasonry literature try to link it with the ancient builders of King Solomon’s Temple under King Hiram of Tyre, if not with the Knights Templars, a military-religious Order established in the 12th century, and abolished in 1312. But these claims have no real historical basis. (Cf Appendix 8) 25. Why the name “Masonry”? Freemasonry adopted the tools and hierarchy of the stone masons of the Middle Ages (called “operative masons”) and gave them symbolic meanings. Masonic tools include the mason’s apron, compass and the square. Freemasonry is called “the Craft” or “the Brotherhood”. “Speculative Masonry, now known as Freemasonry, is, therefore, the scientific application and the religious consecration of the rules and principles, the technical language and the implements and materials, of operative Masonry to the worship of God as the Grand Architect of the Universe, and to the purification of the heart and the inculcation of the dogmas of a religious philosophy” (A. Mackey, Masonic Ritualist. New York: Clark & Maynard, 1869). 26. What are the philosophical principles underlying “Speculative Freemasonry”? Freemasonry is founded on “Deism”, “Naturalism” and “Relativism”. 27. What is Deism? Deism teaches that after God created man and the material world, he left man on his own such that man is no longer accountable to God in all that he does in this world. In Deism man becomes the master of the world in an absolute sense, so one cannot speak of God’s Providence or Revelation to man. God is aptly called in Freemasonry as the “Great Architect of the Universe” — a non-personal God, very different from the God revealed in the Old and New Testaments. In the last analysis, the God of Deism is an unknown and distant God, open to each man’s subjective interpretation. Deism prepared the ground for the so-called “Enlightenment”, the cultural trend in 18th century-Europe which, in the religious sphere, promoted agnosticism and atheism. In the Enlightenment, “Reason” was deified; faith was condemned as superstition. Deism was born in 17th century-England; its chief thinkers were Herbert of Cherbury, John Toland and the Earl of Shaftesbury. 28. What is Naturalism? Naturalism teaches that man has no supernatural destiny. Man’s purpose is simply to cultivate his natural powers, especially his reason. Man is selfsufficient in his pursuit of happiness; his perfection is not to be found in his union with God in this life and in the next. Supernatural realities like sanctifying grace, Redemption and divine mercy, God’s gifts like faith, hope and charity have no place in Naturalism. Naturalism is at the heart of Deism. 29. What is Relativism? Relativism teaches that no one can claim to possess the truth in an absolute way. Applied to man’s religious life, this means that no one can say that he has the true religion. Applied to morality, this means that objective and universal moral standards do not exist. Man becomes the last arbiter of what is right and wrong (in the absence of objective moral standards, the only alternative is to fall into “subjectivism”). Consequently, Relativism would not admit that the teaching authority of the Church could present an article of faith or morals as something to be firmly held by members of the Church. 30. What are the early writings about Freemasonry? Two Protestant ministers, John Theophilus Desaguliers and James Anderson, wrote the “Book of Constitutions”, later on known as “Anderson’s Constitutions” (1723). In the US, Albert Pike (d. 1891) wrote “Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry” in 1871, a source book of Freemasonry’s governing principles used by Freemasons in the U.S. and Canada in the 19th century. Pike is considered one of the authorities on Masonic philosophy. Albert Mackey, who is considered the historian of Freemasonry, wrote the “Encyclopedia of Freemasonry” in 1873. Since then, literature on Freemasonry has become quite extensive. 31. What are the so-called “Degrees” and “Rites” in Freemasonry? The basic degrees of Freemasonry are three: 1st, Entered Apprentice; 2nd, Fellow Craft; 3rd, Master Mason. These three degrees constitute the “Blue Lodge” (Blue is the color of Freemasonry.) A Master Mason may choose to go up the Masonic hierarchy by entering the higher degrees within the “Rites” —either the Scottish rite or York rite. In the Scottish rite a Mason will reach up to the 32nd degree; the 33rd degree is honorary. In the York rite there are ten degrees, the highest of which is the “Order of the Knights Templar”. Freemasonry has branched into two main traditions: first, the Anglo-Saxon Masonry (Englishspeaking Masons); the other is the Grand Orient Masonry (France, Italy, Spain and Latin America). The Grand Orient lodges were openly anti-Church, especially in the 19th century. In 1877 the Grand Orient of France rejected the requirement of belief in God and removed the Bible from the lodges. 32. When was Freemasonry established in the Philippines? In 1856, by two Spanish navy officials, under the charter of the Grand Orient Lodge of Portugal. Membership was limited to non-natives. In 1892 Filipinos who had joined Freemasonry in Spain set up the first Filipino Masonic lodge called Nilad, connected with the Grand Orient of Spain. Later on, with the coming of the Americans, the Grand Lodge of Scottish Rite was established in 1912, composed of three American lodges with charters from the Grand Lodge of California. 33. Have there been initiatives of dialogue between the Catholic Church and Filipino Freemasons? Yes. As early as 1959 William Quasha, Grand Master of Masons in the Philippines at that time, held some discussions with the Office of the Secretary of State of the Vatican. In February 1968 Teodoro Kalaw, Jr. requested Cardinal Santos to reconsider the Church’s stand on Freemasonry. Later on the CBCP appointed a committee to meet with the Masonic panel. The Church was given the assurance that Freemasonry is not anti-Catholic, that it is willing to cooperate with the Catholic Church. As a result, the CBCP filed a petition to the Holy See so that the excommunication that was in force then (canon 2335 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law) be not imposed on Filipino Catholics who joined Masonry in good faith (but applied only to the first three degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason). But with the promulgation of the new Code of Canon Law and the corresponding Declaration on Masonic Associations (Cf Part I above) it has become clear that the Church’s disapproval of Freemasonry is based more on questions of religious principles than on whether a particular Masonic lodge is antiCatholic or not. (To be continued next issue)
Declaration on Masonic Associations1
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith 26 November 1983
IT has been asked whether there has been any change in the Church’s decision in regard to Masonic associations since the new Code of Canon Law does not mention them expressly, unlike the previous Code. This Sacred Congregation is in a position to reply that this circumstance is due to an editorial criterion which was followed also in the case of other associations likewise unmentioned inasmuch as they are contained in wider categories. Therefore the Church’s negative judgment in regard to Masonic associations remains unchanged since their principles have always been considered irreconcilable with the doctrine of the Church and therefore membership in them remains forbidden. The faithful who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion. It is not within the competence of local ecclesiastical authorities to give a judgment on the nature of Masonic associations which would imply a derogation from what has been decided above, and this in line with the Declaration of this Sacred Congregation issued on 17 February 1981 (cf. AAS 73  pp. 240-241). In an audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect, the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II approved and ordered the publication of this Declaration which had been decided in an ordinary meeting of this Sacred Congregation. Rome, from the Office of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 26 November 1983. +JOSEPH Card. RATZINGER Prefect +JEROME HAMER, O.P. Titular Archbishop of Lorium Secretary
First published in L’Osservatore Romano, English weekly edition, 5 December 1983, p. 12.
Irreconcilability between Christian Faith and Freemasonry2
Reflections a year after the Declaration of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
declared that they were not hostile, but were even favourable, to the Church. Now more thorough study has led the S.C.D.F. to confirm its conviction of the basic irreconcilability between the principles of Freemasonry and those of the Christian faith. Prescinding therefore from consideration of the practical attitude of the various lodges, whether of hostility towards the Church or not, with its declaration of 26 November 1983 the S.C.D.F. intended to take a position on the most profound and, for that matter, the most essential part of the problem: that is, on the level of the irreconcilability of the principles, which means on the level of the faith and its moral requirements. Beginning from this doctrinal point of view, and in continuity, moreover, with the traditional position of the Church as the aforementioned documents of Leo XIII attest, there arise then the necessary consequences, which are valid for all those faithful who may possibly be members of Freemasonry. Nevertheless, with regard to the affirmation of the irreconcilability between the principles of Freemasonry and the Catholic faith, from some parts are now heard the objection that essential to Freemasonry would be precisely the fact that it does not impose any “principles”, in the sense of a philosophical or religious position which is binding for all of its members, but rather that it gathers together, beyond the limits of the various religions and world views, men of good will on the basis of humanistic values comprehensible and acceptable to everyone. Freemasonry would constitute a cohesive element for all those who believe in the Architect of the Universe and who feel committed with regard to those fundamental moral orientations which are defined, for example, in the Decalogue; it would not separate anyone from his religion, but on the contrary would constitute an incentive to embrace that religion more strongly. The multiple historical and philosophical problems which are hidden in these affirmations cannot be discussed here. It is certainly not necessary to emphasize that following the Second Vatican Council the Catholic Church too is pressing in the direction of collaboration between all men of good will. Nevertheless, becoming a member of Freemasonry decidedly exceeds this legitimate collaboration and has a much more important and final significance than this. Above all, it must be remembered that the community of “Freemasons” and its moral obligations are presented as a progressive system of symbols of an extremely binding nature. The rigid rule of secrecy which prevails there further strengthens the weight of the interaction of signs and ideas. For the members, this climate of secrecy entails above all the risk of becoming an instrument of strategies unknown to them. Even if it is stated that relativism is not assumed as dogma, nevertheless there is really proposed a relativistic symbolic concept and therefore the relativizing value of such a moralritual community, far from being eliminated, proves on the contrary to be decisive. In this context the various religious communities to which the individual members of the lodges belong can be considered only as simple institutionalizations of a broader and elusive truth. The value of these institutionalizations therefore appears to be inevitably relative with respect to this broader truth, which instead is shown in the community of good will, that is, in the Masonic fraternity. In any case, for a Catholic Christian, it is not possible to live his relation with God in a twofold mode that is, dividing it into a supraconfessional humanitarian form and an interior Christian form. He cannot cultivate relations of two types with God, nor express his relation with the Creator through symbolic forms of two types. That would be something completely different from that collaboration, which to him is obvious, with all those who are committed to doing good, even if beginning from different principles. On the one hand, a Catholic Christian cannot at the same time share in the full communion of Christian brotherhood and, on the other, look upon his Christian brother, from the Masonic perspective, as an “outsider”. Even when, as stated earlier, there were no explicit obligation to profess relativism as doctrine, nevertheless the relativizing force of such a brotherhood, by its very intrinsic logic, ON 26 November 1983 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published a declaration on Masonic associations (cf. AAS LXXVI , 300). A little more than a year after its publication, it may be useful to outline briefly the significance of this document. Since the Church began to declare her mind concerning Freemasonry, her negative judgment has been inspired by many reasons, both practical and doctrinal. She judged Freemasonry not merely responsible for subversive activity in her regard, but from the earliest pontifical documents on the subject and in particular in the Encyclical Humanum Genus by Leo XIII (20 April 1884), the Magisterium of the Church has denounced in Freemasonry philosophical ideas and moral conceptions opposed to Catholic doctrine. For Leo XIII, they essentially led back to a rationalistic naturalism, the inspiration of its plans and activities against the Church. In his Letter to the Italian People Custodi (8 December 1892), he wrote: “Let us remember that Christianity and Freemasonry are essentially irreconcilable, so that enrolment in one means separation from the other”. One could not therefore omit to take into consideration the positions of Freemasonry from the doctrinal point of view when, during the years from 1970-1980, the Sacred Congregation was in correspondence with some Episcopal Conferences especially interested in this problem because of the dialogue undertaken by some Catholic personages with representatives of some lodges which has the capacity to transform the structure of the act of faith in such a radical way as to become unacceptable to a Christian, “to whom his faith is dear” (Leo XIII). Moreover, this distortion of the fundamental structure of the act of faith is carried out for the most part in a gentle way and without being noticed: firm adherence to the truth of God, revealed in the Church, becomes simple membership in an institution, considered as a particular expressive form alongside other expressive forms, more or less just as possible and valid, of man’s turning toward the eternal. The temptation to go in this direction is much stronger today, in as much as it corresponds fully to certain convictions prevalent in contemporary mentality. The opinion that truth cannot be known is a typical characteristic of our era and, at the same time, an essential element in its general crisis. Precisely by considering all these elements, the Declaration of the Sacred Congregation affirms that membership in Masonic associations “remains forbidden by the Church”, and the faithful who enrol in them “are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion”. With this last statement, the Sacred Congregation points out to the faithful that this membership objectively constitutes a grave sin and, by specifying that the members of a Masonic association may not receive Holy Communion, it intends to enlighten the conscience of the faithful about a grave consequence which must
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Charice, what do you ask of the Church?
By Conrado Ma. Ricafort
July 5 – July 18, 2010
Vol. 14 No. 14
Politics Makes Saints
By Fr. Luis P. Supan
ROME, 3rd October 2004. It was a special day, yet ignored by the world: Pope John Paul II declared “Blessed” the last Emperor/King of Austria-Hungary, Charles I. The beatified monarch died in exile in 1922, 35 years old, poor and despised by the victors of the First World War. He died in the island of Madeira, a Portuguese territory in the Atlantic. His widow, Empress Zita of Parma, was left alone to look after their six sons and two daughters. John Paul II wanted that the feast day of Blessed Charles be the couple’s wedding day, October 21. Charles I was proclaimed king in 1916, the year when the world was witnessing the destruction of Europe: blind and proud nationalism armed with military power caused the brutal and senseless loss of lives (young soldiers of both sides of the conflict dying by the thousands every day). The young king was the only European leader to heed the appeals of Pope Benedict XV for peace and justice. Charles’ peace overtures failed, simply because the prevailing policy at that time was “total military victory over the enemy”. Le Mans, France, 10th December 2009: the Bishop of Le Mans opened the “Cause for the Beatification of Empress Zita”. She died in 1989. Someday the whole world will hear of a royal couple (Charles I and Zita), whose lives proved that “Royalty” and “Holiness” need not negate each other. Metz, France, 29th May 2009: The Archbishop closed the process of beatification of Robert Schumann, the Father of what is now the European Union. As France’s Foreign Minister after World War II, he took the initiative to build bridges of cooperation with Germany. A man brought up in both cultures, French and German, it caused him deep sorrow to see these two nations in conflict in two world wars. Schumann’s love for his country did not make him fall into “nationalism” (the “worship” of one’s nation, and disdain for others). These future saints were great leaders because they knew the wide gulf separating their calling to be engaged in world affairs (“secularity”) from the “secularism” that had gripped Europe since the 18th century, with its battle cry “Away with God, this world is ours”. To which, Schumann would reply: “From it (i.e., God’s Word), I learn to see things from God’s viewpoint, instead of repeating the slogans of the world”. Madrid, 9th January 1959. The future saint, Josemaría Escrivá, wrote in his letter to his spiritual children in Opus Dei: “Those of you who find yourselves with a vocation to politics should work without fear and realize that if you didn’t do so, you would sin by omission. Work with professional seriousness, paying attention to the technical demands of that work of yours, setting your sights on Christian service to all the people of your country; and fostering harmony among all nations”. “Politics, in the noble sense of the word”, St. Josemaría wrote in 1932, “is nothing else than a service aimed at attaining the common good of the earthly City”. It is worth underlining the element of service, to be practised not only by those invested with political authority but by every citizen as well. How many social headaches we will spare ourselves from if the primary motive for running for public office were service, not privilege. Good governance and corporate social responsibility (CSR) deserves praise and support from all sectors. Still, we dream that CSR would spark “personal social responsibility” among ordinary citizens. What impact this will this have in society! We will have bus drivers concerned about other motorists and the safety of their passengers; industries concerned about protecting the environment; manufacturers concerned about the working conditions and compensation of their employees; traders concerned about the income of the producers and valuefor-money for the consumers; contractors concerned about delivering quality civil works; and entertainers concerned about uplifting culture, among other things. In St. Josemaría’s mind, the everyday, hidden work of mothers, teachers, businessmen, government employees, journalists, etc., are the key factors for social progress. He encouraged people to transform their environments through their silent, obscure work because this kind of work is like that old stone block hidden at the foundations of a house (not an attention-grabbing gilded weather vane); and yet, because of it, the house will not fall (The Way, 590). Thirty five years after his death (June 26, 1975), Josemaria Escriva’s admonition is as relevant as ever: that “God wants a handful of men ‘of his own’ in every human activity. And then... pax Christi in regno Christi—the peace of Christ in the kingdom of Christ,” he wrote. “These world crises, are sanctity crises”.
“CHARMAINE Clarice, what do you ask of God’s Church?” “Faith,” international singing sensation Charice Pempengco standing at the entrance to Baptistry of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral of the Diocese of Pasig, responds to Bishop Francisco C. San Diego. “What does faith offer you?” the Bishop asks. “Eternal life,” she responds. Then she and younger brother, Carl Ceiven, who was asked the same questions, enter the Baptistry and take their respective places to begin the rites for their Baptism and Confirmation. It was 9:45 am, Saturday, May 22, 2010. As early as 8:00 am that morning, media vans, cameras, photographers, and reporters from over 50 local and foreign media companies were seen coming into the churchyard of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral. Pasig folk became aware of the special event that was about to take place and flocked to catch a glimpse of
and subsequent YouTube posts became the passport for this poor girl from Cabuyao, Laguna to get invited to perform abroad. Between 2007 and 2008 she performed in Sweden, Korea, England, the Netherlands, Italy and the United States. Ellen de Generes was the first one to invite Charice to the US, but it was Oprah Winfrey who launched Charice’s career in 2008. Oprah was charmed by her personality and promised to help her fulfill her dreams. She introduced Charice to David Foster and other big names in the music industry. Since then, she has performed with Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion, and shared the stage with stars like Alicia Keys, Josh Groban and Michael Buble. In such a short time, Charice has achieved the status of an international singing star. She launched her self-titled international Album last May 11. In its first week, it landed No. 8 in the US Billboard charts with sales of 43,000. Her single “Pyramid” was several weeks No. 1 in the US Dance Club
Satisfied with the candidate’s background, the Bishop agreed to administer not only the Sacrament of Baptism, but also the Sacrament of Confirmation. That was not the first time that mother and daughter had met Bishop San Diego. On Easter Sunday, March 23, 2008, Mom Raquel, Charice and brother Carl were at the Pasig Cathedral as early as 4:00 am for the “Salubong” and Easter Dawn Mass celebration. Mom Raquel had accepted Jei-Jei Gertes’ invitation for Charice to render two “harana” songs for the Blessed Mother and the Risen Christ on that occasion. In the Dawn Mass that followed, the Pempengco family brought the Hosts and Chalice during the Offertory procession. As special guests of the diocese that morning, they had breakfast with Bishop San Diego together with the Ministry on Cultural Affairs officers. That was their first meeting, and as designed by Providence, a familiar connection was immediately established. The bishop was happy to learn that they were from Cabuyao,
It was 10:20am when Bishop San Diego baptized Charice and brother, Carl, “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” The Sacrament of Confirmation followed and the liturgy ended at 10:30am. The bishop greeted Charice for her 18th birthday, which was on May 10, and congratulated her because today, he said, was her birthday as a daughter of God. “Right at this moment, talagang sobrang sobrang saya ng feeling,” Charice shared after the ceremony. She considered her baptism and confirmation the greatest birthday gifts she received. “Very happy ako na Catholic ako ngayon. Sobrang blessings lang po talaga ang dumating nang araw na ito.” “I hope that God continues to shower her with his light and his grace, so Charice would continue to be a role model, hindi lang para sa mga kabataan dito sa Pilipinas, kundi para sa lahat ng kabataan sa buong mundo.” This was Ms. Charo Santos’ wish for Charice. Role model for children
L E F T: P a s i g Bishop Francisco San Diego officiates over the adult baptism of international singer Charmaine Clarice “Charice” Pempengco at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral as her godparents and the media look on. BELOW: Charice with her younger brother Carl Ceiven and mother Raquel during the ceremonies.
Irreconcilability / B3
derive from their belonging to a Masonic lodge. Finally, the Sacred Congregation declares that “it is not within the competence of local ecclesiastical authorities to give a judgment on the nature of Masonic associations which would imply a derogation from what has been decided above”. In this regard, the text also refers to the Declaration of 17 February 1981, which already reserved to the Apostolic See all pronouncements on the nature of these associations which may have implied derogations from the Canon Law then in force (Can. 2335). In the same way, the new document issued by the S.C.D.F. in November 1983 expresses identical intentions of reserve concerning pronouncements which would differ from the judgment expressed here on the irreconcilability of Masonic principles with the Catholic faith, on the gravity of the act of joining a lodge and on the consequences which arise from it for receiving Holy Communion. This disposition points out that, despite the diversity which may exist among Masonic obediences, in particular in their declared attitude towards the Church, the Apostolic See discerns some common principles in them which require the same evaluation by all ecclesiastical authorities. In making this Declaration, the S.C.D.F. has not intended to disown the efforts made by those who, with the due authorization of this Congregation, have sought to establish a dialogue with representatives of Freemasonry. But since there was the possibility of spreading among the faithful the erroneous opinion that membership in a Masonic lodge was lawful, it felt that it was its duty to make known to them the authentic thought of the Church in this regard and to warn them about a membership incompatible with the Catholic faith. Only Jesus Christ is, in fact, the Teacher of Truth, and only in him can Christians find the light and the strength to live according to God’s plan, working for the true good of their brethren.
the stars and celebrities present. Security was tight. Inside, only the godparents, close family members and friends would be accommodated to witness the ceremonies. But media people eager to cover the event, found their way into the Baptistry, which was filled to standing capacity when the ceremonies began. “Today we are here to accept Charmaine Clarice and Carl Ceiven into the Church,” Bishop San Diego began his homily. “In this case we have, not the infant baptism, but the adult baptism. Not because of the fault of the two, but because it so happened that the parents were of different belief.” Raquel Relucio Pempengco, mother of Charice and Carl, was seated in a special place behind her two children. In 1995, a victim of domestic violence, she fled her husband’s home in Laguna, taking her two children. “And now the mother would like them to be baptized and have the same faith as she has, so she requested that the daughter and the son be baptized in the Catholic Church,” Bishop San Diego said in his homily. Conversion to Catholicism As early as 1995, Raquel already considered having her two children baptized as Catholics, but thought it was complicated or probably not possible, given her marital situation. Then the demands of being a single mother having to raise her children through challenging times took over life. At a very young age, Charice developed a passion to help her mother. She started joining singing contests at age 7 and contributed her prize money to the family income. She made it to television in 2005, reaching the finals of ABS-CBN’s Little Big Star competition. An avid fan posted videos of her live performances on YouTube. And this was the medium through which Charice started to be viewed by people from all over the world. These
charts. She is the first Asian to reach these heights. Charice has always considered these “dream-come-true” turn of events as God’s blessings to her after so many difficult years, and she does not cease to thank Him. It keeps her humble and wellgrounded. As she shared in a television interview, “Kaya niya po ako binigyan ng talent, para po i-share ko po sa mga tao, and para po mapasaya po sila, and maging parang inspirasyon.” Meeting the bishop In February 2010, Raquel Pempengco met with family friends Jei-Jei Victorino Gertes and Michelle Lim-Gankee, at the latter’s Sterling Paper Products head office to discuss plans for Charice’s 18th birthday on May 2010. “You want it to be ‘bonggacious’ or simple?” asked Jei-Jei. Mom Raquel said they wanted a simple celebration. JeiJei Gertes, a financial executive, who is one of the officers of the Ministry on Cultural Affairs of the Pasig Cathedral, then suggested a feeding program and gift-giving for street children of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral Soup Kitchen. Raquel happily agreed. Later on at dinner, Mom Raquel had a special request. “Gusto ko sanang pabinyagan si Charice.” Jei-Jei was taken aback, not knowing what to make of the request. Was Charice not a baptized Catholic? Clarifying matters, he immediately promised all-out support and arranged for Mom Raquel and Charice to personally meet with Bishop San Diego of the diocese of Pasig to formalize matters. Present in the meeting with the bishop on February 25 were Mom Raquel, Charice, Jei-Jei and wife Geanne. Interviewed by Bishop San Diego, Charice confirmed that it was her desire to become Catholic, and be of the same religion as her mother. The mother had raised her children in Catholic practices. Charice had also received Catholic training in her grade school and high school.
Laguna, and therefore faithful of his former diocese. Bishop San Diego was in San Pablo City prior to his transfer to Pasig. Adult Initiation “You will notice that there is a big difference between the infant baptism and the adult baptism,” the Bishop explained in his homily, “if there is a Mass, they can already receive Holy Communion, without going to Confession. You may be surprised!” he exclaimed, “it’s because all the sins they have committed in the past will be forgiven, whether venial or serious sin.” This is the great privilege of those who undergo adult baptism, he said. Addressing the godparents, Bishop San Diego explained that only one male and one female godparent for each baptized person will be entered in the registry book of the parish, “but you are all considered sponsors and witnesses during the Baptism of these two, who will become son and daughter of God after Baptism.” He encouraged them to guide the newly baptized with their personal example of Christian living. Mom Raquel and Charice wanted, as a sign of gratitude, to invite as Godparents, key persons who had helped her become the person and the personality that she is today. Heading that list were Oprah Winfrey and David Foster, who could not make it to the event. Celebrities present from among Charice’s list of 24 pairs of godparents included Mrs. Charo Santos-Concio, President of ABS-CBN; television hosts Boy Abunda and Kris AquinoYap; broadcasters Karen Davila, Jobert Sucaldito, and Julius and Tintin Babao.
Source: L’Osservatore Romano, English weekly edition , 11 March 1985.
There was no reception with the godparents and guests following the ceremonies. Instead, Charice proceeded to the Immaculate Conception Cathedral’s Formation Center for a get-together with street children. After the rousing “Happy Birthday” and the blowing of the birthday cake candles, 18 young girls went up to Charice, each giving her a rose and she giving a kiss to each one. She was moved at that point, saying that it reminded her of how difficult those years were when she was their age. She sat down and mingled with them. She sang for them two songs—an impromptu rendition of her latest hit “Pyramid” and “We are the World” as requested by the children. “Sa mga bata, once in a lifetime na mangyari yon. Bihira naman sila makakita ng ganyan,” said Millette Marcelo of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral soup kitchen. “Feeling nila na, Wow! nakiupo pa si Charice sa kanila, like one of them. Hindi siya nag-suplada. And she’s so sweet.” It was Charice’s wish that, instead of personal gifts to her on her birthday, her supporters and well-wishers would send food and gift items for less privileged children. And so it was. Charice’s 18th birthday was a special blessing for 500 children and their families in 10 barangays in Pasig. Assisting Bishop San Diego administer the Holy Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation were Rev. Father Orlando B. Cantillon, Parish Priest, Rector and Vicar General of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral; and Rev. Father Mark Eman H. Sese, Parochial Vicar.
Vol. 14 No. 14
July 5 – July 18, 2010
An Open Letter to President Noynoy Aquino
Creating New Pathways for Justice in the Asia Pacific Region
Asia Pacific Justice and Peace Workshop, Madonna Heights, Kuala Lumpur, 12 -15 June 2010
OUR warmest greetings of solidarity, President Noynoy! We are members of the Church apostolate working with indigenous peoples in the Philippines. After more than 30 years of dialoguing and working with different IP groups and IP apostolates and sharing our experiences with various administrations and government agencies as part of our advocacy efforts, we still have to see an administration that truly recognizes the rights of our indigenous brothers and sisters and would make a difference in their lives. Our network, the Episcopal Commission on Indigenous Peoples (ECIP) – Indigenous Peoples Apostolates (IPAs), has collated through the years the different concerns of our partners and we share these now hoping that your administration, Mr. President, will have the political will to act on these especially within the first one hundred days in your office. The following are our key concerns: 1. Proper implementation of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) or RA 8371. More than 12 years since its passage in 1997, many IP communities are still facing discrimination and their rights are not being recognized. Even though certificates of ancestral domains titles (CADT) have already been given to some IP communities, intrusions and landgrabbing continue unabated. Aggressive campaigns by different government agencies for mega-projects within ancestral domains turn a deaf ear to the opposition of many IP communities. Proponents of mining, dams, power generation projects, logging and large scale plantations keep on invading IP territories and these have led to massive displacement of IP communities through
the decades. Killings of IPs in relation to these have also been documented. These “development aggressions” that disregard their rights to their land need to be halted, examined and acted upon. 2. The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) which is the main government agency mandated to implement IPRA, has not been effective in carrying out its mandate and purpose which is to protect IPs. Many of its personnel are allegedly in connivance with proponents of “development aggression”. Revamp the NCIP. New appointees should not only indigenous peoples themselves, but those who have integrity, competency, familiarity with Indigenous Knowledge, Systems, Practices and Spirituality (IKSPS) and the conviction to stand by the spirit and letter of the IPRA law. 3. We know that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is mandated to be the primary agency responsible for the conservation, management, development, and proper use of the country’s environment and natural resources. It is also the implementer of the Mining Act of 1995 or RA 7942. The insistence of DENR-Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) to pursue the GMA regime’s policy on mining in many ancestral domains has disregarded the Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of IP communities which is a violation of their rights. While we are calling for the repeal of the Mining Act of 1995, civil society organizations are requesting for a moratorium on all mining activities. Please start by overhauling the DENR-MGB. 4. Though we are supporting the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program - Extension with Reform (CARPER),
indigenous peoples’ communities oppose the inclusion of their ancestral domains in the delineation of lands for distribution to nonIPs by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR). IP communities should always be consulted and be part of the implementation of CARP/CARPER program when their ancestral domains are involved. There should be a clear mechanism to iron out this issue, so as not to aggravate the situation between IPs and non-IP farmers. 5. Side by side with the longstanding concern of IPs for their land has been their advocacy for the protection of their cultural integrity. One recent development in this arena is the call for the recognition and support of indigenous peoples’ system of education, a concern which the Department of Education has recently looked into and which has been advocated for by a number of stakeholders like our Commission for over a decade. Elders of IP communities have stressed that the protection and genuine development of their lands and communities in the future will only be possible if IP youth today have an education that affirms their indigenous identity, heritage and responsibility to the future generations. 6. As we experience the effects of Climate Change, indigenous peoples are calling on authorities to effectively consult IP communities to ensure that their views and experiences are included in the current discourse, planning and implementation of Climate Change projects and mitigating measures. Rights of IP communities should be respected when measures that would impact on their ancestral domains and territories are being considered. Protection
Open Letter / B7
June 24, 2010
An Appeal to Pursue Authentic Reforms in the DENR
to complement your reform agenda. As your inauguration nears, we await your announcement of your new Cabinet. We believe that for your reform agenda to be truly meaningful and substantial, your selection of your alter-ego as Secretaries in the various Departments must be aligned with your campaign promise that reform must happen and that you will not tolerate graft and corruption. This then assume that you will assign people who will journey with you in trying to reach these reform agenda. It is in this connection that we are appealing to you regarding your decision in appointing your DENR Secretary. We believe that the next DENR Secretary should be: 1. Genuinely concerned in seriously protecting and addressing concerns of our fragile ecology and particularly the remaining forest cover, delicate coastal areas, and unstable climate we are facing; 2. D i s p l a y u n w a v e r i n g support to sustainable development; 3. L e a d the DENR bureaucracy to effectively engage both the private sector and civil society; 4. D e m o n s t r a t e h i g h level capacity and technical competence in all aspects of environmental management; 5. Enjoying the confidence, trust and support of all stakeholders who are engaged with environmental issues and concerns. With these parameters, we believe that a change in the leadership of the DENR is not only critical, but imperative. We have reasons to believe that retaining Mr. Horacio Ramos, and extending his term as DENR Secretary, will run counter to the reform agenda in the environment sector, and will introduce instability and challenging relationships between your administration and the communities and civil society. Retaining Mr. Ramos as DENR Secretary will only give a signal that it is “business as usual” in the DENR, and will possibly prolong the plunder and destruction of our natural resources, and protract the lingering environmental issues we are confronting. Mr. Ramos has been at the forefront of revitalizing the destructive large-scale mining in the Philippines for the last five years. This policy has introduced serious social, cultural and environmental issues that many of our organizations have documented. To summarize, these problems include i) human rights violations (forced demolition and physical and legal harassments); ii) land conflicts (ancestral domains vs. mining, productive farm lands vs. mining); iii) encroachment on protected areas and critical biodiversity areas; iv) escalation of violence and social conflicts in mining areas; v) degradation of cultural values of indigenous communities; vi) resistance from LGUs on aggressive entry of mining in their localities; and vi) violation of rights of indigenous peoples. These issues are real to many people and
To President Benigno S. Aquino: Dear President Aquino, Congratulations! Having been elected by Filipinos to lead us into a new era of reform and development, we know that you now carry a huge responsibility in leading and guiding our country. This task will not be easy, but we are sure that with the commitment and support of the people, you will bear this cross with dignity and competence. Collectively, we are representatives from various communities and civil society organizations, including the Church and academe. We are concerned with environmental issues, human rights and the pursuit of sustainable development. We are fortunate and looking forward to your commitment that change will happen in your administration. We eagerly await your ushering of good governance. More than anything else, we anticipate your assurance that genuine reforms will be implemented when you assume office. Allow us then to take this opportunity to offer our services to you, including our dedication and declaration, that we believe in your ability and are willing to productively engage your administration, towards the realization of these reforms. We believe that as civil society, we will be able to offer our time, expertise and meager resources
communities that we are working with, Mr. President. They have suffered more than enough. The leadership of DENR is a very important concern for them, and so we pray that you will not let them down. President Noynoy, we fervently appeal to your honorable office not to retain Mr. Ramos as your DENR secretary. With his continued appointment, the problems brought about by destructive large-scale mining will not be resolved, and possibly even worsen. This serious matter has been raised with your environmental adviser, Mr. Neric Acosta. However, we sadly note that Mr. Acosta has decided, and still insists, that a “least disruptive approach” in the DENR is the best option for your administration We beg to disagree. Genuine reforms, especially at the DENR, will require deep changes, structurally and policy-wise. It may be an illusion that this will be possible in retaining Mr. Ramos as DENR Secretary. Our commitment to work and engage your administration in a productive, substantial and meaningful manner is an offer based on our mutual appreciation of reform and change, towards sustainable development. This commitment however, will be seriously constrained if Mr. Ramos is the DENR secretary. The issues the people and communities are facing against destructive large-scale mining are real, Mr. President. We trust that your administration will sincerely
An Appeal / B7
BETWEEN 12th and 15th June 2010, 25 Good Shepherd Justice and Peace contact persons and others met at Madonna Heights, Kuala Lumpur for a four day workshop. Present also were Srs. Maria Rose, the Justice and Peace link person with the Asia Pacific Circle, Sr. Joan, Province leader of Singapore/Malaysia, the host country, and Sr. Winifred, the Congregation’s NGO representative at the UN. Sr. Stella from Saipan was also invited to be a participant. The theme of the workshop was: Creating New Pathways for Justice in the Asia Pacific Region. There were three objectives: 1. To establish a clear and strong sense of identity as the Good Shepherd Asia Pacific Justice and Peace Network. 2. To develop an overview of the issues of current concern in the different countries in the region and to share something of the rich diversity of the cultures in Asia Pacific. 3. To provide a venue for discussion of current issues around the four justice priorities of the region: Migration, Anti-trafficking, Economic Justice and Care for the Earth; and articulate a clear statement of principles and common actions as the Good Shepherd Asia Pacific Justice and Peace Network. The meeting opened with an inspiring liturgy prepared by the Malaysian participants, during which candles were lit for each of the countries represented as well as for the Good Shepherd Justice and Peace Office and we were called to hear “the voices that challenge”. Sr. Joan then welcomed all the participants and Sr. Maria Rose gave the Opening Address. The first day focused on the reports from the countries represented. The initiatives taken in each to address the needs of people suffering poverty and oppression were inspiring. Participants became aware of the particular challenges being faced by Good Shepherd in various parts of our region. The 12th of June was Independence Day for the Philippines and this was celebrated in the evening Mass. The second day provided participants with a very comprehensive and clear overview of the impact of globalization on the Asia Pacific Region, presented by a guest speaker, Rosario Bella Guzman of the IBON Foundation. Rosario focused particularly on the four priority areas of the Asia Pacific Region: Human Trafficking, Migration, Poverty/ Economic Justice and Ecological Justice. This presentation was valuable background material for the four workshop groups that then met to work on the causes and effects of each of these issues and to devise plans of action for Good Shepherd in the region. In the last session of the day, Judith Koh gave a talk on “Power, Voice and Rights: A Turning Point for Gender Equality in Asia and the Pacific”. This very full day ended with the Solidarity Night—an opportunity for much fun, laughter and cultural sharing and a delicious meal prepared by Good Shepherd lay partners in Kuala Lumpur. On the third day, Sr. Winifred presented a very clear overview of the Good Shepherd Justice and Peace Office in New York and of her role with ECOSOC in the UN. There was plenty of opportunity for participants to ask questions and Winifred demonstrated the relevance of Good Shepherd representation on ECOSOC to Good Shepherd ministries in the region. The role of the NGO designate in Bangkok was also clearly explained. Participants all expressed great satisfaction with this day which will hopefully lead to greater engagement by the region with Winifred’s work in the UN. The fourth day was the time to firm up the plans generated by the workshop groups on day two. Each workshop group was asked to narrow down their plans to one concrete plan that they believed they could work on in the next year. In brief, the plans were as follows: * Human Trafficking: A comprehensive program of awareness raising actions targeted at the community as a whole. * Migrants: A program of awareness raising and advocacy targeted at employers and employer groups. * Poverty/Economic Justice: A strategy aimed at ensuring fair and just employment practices in all Good Shepherd communities, organizations and projects in our region, as part of a process of ensuring good practice in our own facilities before tackling unjust practices in the wider community. * Ecological Justice: Awareness raising activities targeted at Good Shepherd communities, agencies and projects and also at the wider community. A member of the Core Team will work with each issue group to assist in keeping up the momentum to action. There was also discussion of the need to integrate work for change in oppressive social structures with our direct service ministries and participants felt the need for training in this area. The workshop concluded with a biblical theological reflection and a liturgy during which participants committed themselves to the mission of justice and peace. Participants expressed general satisfaction with the workshop and gratitude to the Kuala Lumpur community and to Gloria Bon and the lay partners for their hospitality, care and assistance and for the enjoyable outings that were arranged on two of the evenings. All said they felt newly energized to continue their mission as justice and peace contact persons. From the APJP Core Team 2010 – Anne Manning, Madonna Wimaladasa, Maureen Catabian, Sutisa Utalun and Ms. Gloria Bon
Life in the presence of Christ
16th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Lk 10:38-42); July 18, 2010
By Fr. Joseph Pellegrino
IN this Sunday’s second reading from Paul’s Letter to the Colossians, Paul speaks about a mystery, “a mystery that has been hidden for ages is now manifested to God’s Holy Ones. The mystery is this: Christ is in you.” Usually when we use the word mystery, we think of a story that has an ending we try to solve before we get to the last page of the book or last five minutes of the movie. When the Church uses the term mystery, it goes much deeper. For the Church a mystery is a truth that is incomprehensible to the reason and knowable only through divine revelation. The Early Church referred to the sacraments as the mysteries. When adults are about to come into the faith they are anointed with the Oil of Catechumens so they may have the strength and the grace to be open to Mystery. The main events of the action of Jesus Christ in our world are called the Mystery of Faith. At the most solemn time in the Mass, after the Bread and Wine become the Body and Blood of Christ, we are called upon to proclaim the Mystery of Faith, and we respond something similar to: “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.” Paul, therefore reminds the Colossians and us that we have received Mystery, the Mystery that Christ is in us. Sadly when it comes to this Mystery many people, and many times we ourselves, are clueless. We go about our day, so busily engaged in doing this and that we overlook the purpose for our actions, we overlook the reason for our being, we forget about the presence of Christ. Like Martha in the Gospel we are concerned with doing instead of being. Martha was busy doing this and that in her valiant efforts to prepare for Jesus. Mary, her sister, was concerned with being, with being with Jesus. A number of years ago, someone came up with a great idea as a guide for making decisions. The idea was WWJD, What Would Jesus Do? People still wear wrist bands with WWJD to remind them to choose the course of action that Jesus would choose. I think that is wonderful. But I want to propose an even better guide. Instead of focusing on Jesus out there somewhere, focus in on the presence of the Lord right here, right now, in your lives, in that of your family and others, in the Church, in the world. This is the mystery that St. Paul is speaking about. Jesus Christ is here. When we are attuned to the presence of the Lord, we will force ourselves to consider if a particular action or inaction will strengthen or weaken the Divine Presence. For example, sometimes people will say, “Well, the Church says this or that, regarding some situation or other, but I disagree.” Well, it is not a matter of what the Church says, it is a matter of the presence of Christ. It is not merely a matter that the Church says it is wrong to get drunk, it is a matter of considering what this action is doing to the presence of Jesus in our lives. A wise young priest once said to me, “A good way to judge whether an action is moral or not is to ask yourself whether or not you can pray better after the action.” Interesting. And true. If after a course of action, we find prayer difficult, then we have probably have driven the Lord out of our lives, or at least we have diminished His presence. We need to pray. We harbor, we treasure the presence of Christ within each of us, within our homes and in our community. We need to make time every day to recognize this presence within us. We need to pray. We need to stop and hear the Lord in the silence. We cannot allow the many concerns of our lives to hide the only thing that matters, the presence of Jesus—His presence within us, His presence in those we love, His presence in those who reach out to us. We cannot allow anything to dull this presence, His Presence. When we make the time to be in His presence, when we join Mary of Bethany in just enjoying the Lord in our lives, we will find ourselves walking a road less traveled, a road of serenity in the middle of hectic activity. When we choose to nurture the presence of the Lord within us, we, like Mary, will be choosing the better part.
July 5 – July 18, 2010
Vol. 14 No. 14
Fr. Francis Ongkingco Bishop Pat Alo
‘Dear Dad …’ (Part 2 of 3)
DEAR Dad, Sorry for the paper. The stewardess couldn’t offer me anything except these ones dotted with watermark logos of the airline. Now about Jude…. I decided there was no point in having girlfriends after mom’s rage mode. Instead, I bumped into Jude. It’s a long story how we became friends. He’s from another section and we met during one of our batch fieldtrips. He isn’t gay, but he came in just the right time to fill in the identity vacuum in my life. Our friendship was, at least in the beginning, like any other. Jude was simply someone who was there for me: he listened, he understood, he laughed, and from time to time gave advice. I sensed for the first time, somebody was interested in the things I felt important about myself. But I don’t know how it all started, but I felt one day that I was too emotionally attached to him. I couldn’t be without him. I needed him close, I wanted to hear his confident voice, and I wanted to see his reassuring smile. Of course it was nothing like ‘Brokeback Mountain’ (I’d be crazy to be anything like that crazy movie!) This possessive attitude was too confusing for me to handle. I only wanted him as a friend, but my emotions seemed to disagree. I was afraid about what others and especially what you might say. It was a mistake, I realize now, not to have confided this to Jude earlier. I felt we just got acquainted and I was afraid he wouldn’t understand. I decided to just hide things and hoped everything would disappear. In the meantime, I consulted books and surfed for answers over the Net. These readings, readily confirmed my suspicions: I am gay! But I was more confused than convinced, but there didn’t seem any answer that satisfied my dilemma. What was worse was that I had no one to turn to at that stage. I felt that even Jude might reject me. I was wrong to have thought that way. I plucked the courage to tell him everything. That day became the turning point of our friendship. I knew I had found a treasure in him. Jude said I had to be sincere with myself in the right way and not simply give in to my emotions. He agreed that I had clear emotional needs, but added that saying or admitting one is gay doesn’t’ banish or resolve his emotional insecurity. A problem, he said, isn’t resolved by a more confusing state or “identity escape label”. Finally, he promised to pray for me. It was because of Jude that I felt that somewhere and someday I would manage to put the pieces of my life together again. Now I believe that this ‘break’ from everything in the past would afford me the space to think things over and sort out my emotions. Dad, if you think that I’m expecting a response from you please don’t feel offended if I say that I don’t. Perhaps, the most that you and mom can do is to pray for me. I believe it heals all our wounds. I will never forget what struck me most as a kid when you guys first brought me inside a church. You both carried me to dip my finger in the Holy Water font, helped me to make the Sign of the Cross and taught me to genuflect. Best of all, when I asked you what you were doing kneeling, you whispered that you were praying for me and mom so we’d all go to Heaven one day. Somehow those words have always filled me with hope. I know that prayers never fail, and I’m sure you’re still praying the same prayer for me. I believe with time, things will turn out for the better in a way God wants best. Sincerely, Lawrence.
False prophets, false teachers
WHEN Jesus talked about false prophets as being ravenous wolves, surely being God Himself, as Second Person of the Holy Trinity, He must have had in mind the whole of human history, past, present and future. He sternly warns us against the deception of false prophets (teachers) who come in the guise of sheep but in reality are ravenous wolves. And Jesus adds: “You will be able to tell them by their fruits… A sound true cannot bear bad fruit, nor a rotten tree bear good fruit” (Mt. 7:15). The characteristic deception by the devil is this, he even makes unauthorized use of personalities identified with the Church in order to pretend credibility and be able to recruit members. That has been our experience of past history in various parts of the Philippines and the world, and because of the anger and hatred being infused in opposing groups, we know it has caused loss of countless lives here in the Philippines, or even in other parts of the world, just because it follows the line of class struggle, whereas Jesus teaches us to love and reconcile with our neighbor. “If you are bringing your offering to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, be reconciled with your brother first, and then come back and present your offering” (Mt. 5:23-25). Not only that, the infiltration of Marxist thought connected to class struggle has occasioned even the loss of many religious vocations, because the ideas happened to be on the wrong track. They keep on angrily parading justice but have forgotten the very source of justice – God’s word: “Man’s anger does not fulfill God’s justice” (Jas. 1:20). Is that the reaction of our one and only Savior, the true lamb who takes away our sins by offering His life on the cross? False prophets constantly utter justice, but the results will tell whether they only meant, not true justice, but a parody of justice. You don’t have to go too far in studying or analyzing the fruits of such wrong teachings or ideas, to Russia and Germany where millions died, even to Spain where the victims of the civil war (around 1936) reached countless thousands and are buried in that famed site called “Valle de los Caidos” (the Valley of the Fallen Ones) in Madrid, Spain. Think of our own history in the Philippines in the 1980+ encounters and troubles. Remember history, or you will keep on repeating the past errors, mistakes and false ideas. Check for yourself then. How right Jesus was. “What the Spirit brings is very different: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Gal. 5:22). The ravenous wolves, check for yourself, under a guise of harmless lambs, are disrespectful, angry, impatient, hateful, unhappy, and temperamental, as part of what you may observe. But then what if violence ensues, as it did in the past. You cannot, even with so much compensation, pay for the inestimable value of one life. So was it said by B. Franklin: “There never was a good war or a bad peace.”
BOY and girl. Sweet young things. Around their late teens. Both walking in front of me, lost in their world of cute cupids, beating hearts, and chocolate cream cakes with caramel toppings. They walk as if walking on air, hand in hand. Hip to hip. Shoulder to shoulder. Eye to eye. Nose to nose. Bad breath to bad breath. But do they mind? Of course not. They’re in luv. I watch this scene with amusement one night, while going home from one prayer meeting. At my side was another couple walking home. Friends of mine. Not so young. With three kids. (The eldest is twenty-three years old.) Grandparents in the making, really. In fact, the guy’s balding. There’s nothing on top except a few overstaying weeds. Airplanes can land in and out without a problem. He can sing, “Shine Jesus shine” with superb visual effects. He compensates by his bushy eyebrows, combing them upwards as far as possible. The woman on the other ha nd is g ift ed, endowed, and abundant. Through her, the vastness of the Kingdom is displayed. She has cellulite deposits with interest compounded daily. Indeed, she receives all that life has to offer her. But to her embarrassment, people always ask her, “When are you giving birth?” Bu t t his fift y ish cou p le does something that blows my mind. They walk hand in hand as well. And their handholding is so different from the way the young lovebirds in front of me hold hands. This time, I know it isn’t just a cutey-sweety symbol. It’s proven. Full. Real. Unquestionable. Pregnant! (With meaning!) Backed up by twenty-five years of cooking meals, washing dishes, doing the laundry, and raising bratty kids. Stop reading. And hold the hand of your spouse. Your mom. Your dad. Your friend. And prove it for the next twenty-five years. And beyond.
Vol. 14 No. 14
July 5 – July 18, 2010
Creating New Pathways for Justice in the Asia-Pacific Region
By Sr. Maureen Catabian, RGS
DIVERSITY of cultures. Varying contexts and realities. Unique Colonial histories. 3.8 Billion people. This is the face of Asia and the Pacific. Economic Globalization. Worsening Poverty. Ecological degradation. People on the Move. Trafficked refugees and undocumented migrants for labor and sex. This is the common plight of the poor, marginalized and vulnerable peoples especially women and children of the Asia and Pacific. The current Global economic crises are the context of the GS Mission in this part of the world. This is the same context where the Justice work and journey of the 9 Units of the Asia-Pacific takes its shape. Each Unit/Country actively made Justice a reality in their respective missions. Each one has a unique process of integrating the “justice” perspective in various structures and systems within their own Units. Some have been long in the struggle— having integrated Justice in every level of structure and system as in formation, community living, spirituality and ministries. Some have recently begun and did it well. While some are still establishing justice efforts until
Open Letter / B5
now. Some have combined direct services with advocacy programs to work for systemic change. They have done this on the local, national and international level maximizing use of the UN structure through the GSIJP office for policy and legislative advocacy. A few countries have experienced exclusion and repression from their governments and work for systemic change is a constant and difficult struggle within. The importance of a common understanding of the Asia and Pacific context and realities as well as identifying challenges and emerging trends and issues cannot be overemphasized. It is crucial to establish this understanding amidst the diversity and complexities of cultures, colonial histories and realities in each country. From here, we found a common ground on how we must see the challenging issues that are affecting and emerging in the region. The identification of four priority issues as Migration, Trafficking, Economic justice and Ecological justice have challenged the network to its common analysis as well as its link with the current Global crisis brought by Neoliberal Globalization. Such Economic system has been peddled in the world as the system of
wealth-creation by the mega-rich corporations and governments. Migration or movement of peoples whether internal or external was seen a means of coping with intensifying poverty, militarization and repression. For sponsors of neoliberal globalization, it was a tool for development—by extracting more profits from impoverished and exploited migrant labor. The phenomenal rise of “undocumented migrants and refugees” have also become a lucrative business for the global trafficking syndicate and corrupt officials of governments. In the same thread— governments are committing to implement or enforce laws on anti-human trafficking and signing conventions to protect migrants and families- while corporations and governments also see migration as a tool for development where remittances coming from overseas workers become a source of revenue that keep some economies in Asia afloat as it copes with the global economic crises. Intensifying poverty and plunder of the environment and destruction of the Earth resulting to climate change have indeed made people and communities in Asia as hotspots of vulnerabilities and calamities. The Good Shepherd congregation in the Asia-Pacific
region manages specific programs and ministries as direct services to victims of forced migration, human trafficking as well as support economic and ecological justice programs to uplift the poor and protect the environment. As a GS APJP network – we are equally – challenged as well to work for systemic change by launching and supporting advocacies that will transform structures and systems especially those that oppresses and exploits further the vulnerable and marginalized women, children and families as well as the Earth community. The presence of GS Programs and ministries in 19 countries in the AP region is seen as an organized and systemic way of providing intervention to victims of injustices. The skills of networking, communication and organization are seen as necessary to facilitate our responses in a more organized and direct manner. Common Principles to guide our Common Actions as GS Asia-Pacific Justice and Peace Network 1. Unity in Diversity 2. To work for systemic change through challenging and transforming systems and structures 3. Direct services and interventions to victims of injustices must go hand in hand
with advocacies and work for systemic change and vice versa 4. We work for the poor, marginalized and vulnerable groups and sectors in society. These are economically -poor women , children and their families, migrants and trafficking victims, and protecting the Earth community from further plunder and destruction 5. The current Global Economic Crises resulting from Neoliberal Globalization is seen as a common context where we do charity and justice in GS Mission in the Asia-Pacific 6.Tomaximizeglobalstructures as the UN through the GSIJP office in New York to challenge global structures and work for systemic change. It cannot be one or the other. It must be a mutual process – from the ground to the global level and from the global level to the ground 7. We believe in the inherent dignity of all humans and all beings. We believe in the goodness of every creature or being. But we also recognize the inherent human weakness and sinfulness of each being. Hence, as we do “good, charity works” , we also transform the “evils of sinfulness” as seen in greed for power and profit that have become global, systemic and structural evils 8. In transforming structures and systems , we need to cross
boundaries, leaving our own comfort zones 9. We need constant capacitybuilding by upgrading our skills in organization, communication, networking, advocacy and action as we confront systemic evils through more organized GS responses—whether through “nourishing and caring for the lost sheep” as well as “leading the sheepfold to green pastures and snatching them from wolves!” Our Good Shepherd Mission is about reconciling individuals, peoples, families and communities. Our mission of reconciliation believes in human dignity and the inherent goodness of all beings. We are also aware of our own sinfulness and weakness and our constant need for God’s mercy. Thus, we also commit to work for systemic change by challenging and transforming structures that abuses power and exploits others. We struggle and become aware of our sinfulness. We surrender to God’s Mercy and become Reconciled through healing and wholeness. We become ONE. (Sr. Maureen Catabian, RGS, is a sister of the Religious of the Good Shepherd who was part of the core team of GS Asia-Pacific Justice and Peace workshop held last June 12-15, 2010 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This is her personal reflection on the workshop.)
An Appeal / B5
and benefits derived from such projects should be directly given to indigenous communities. IP communities also have a wealth of knowledge that can be a source of insights when it comes to responding to climate change. 7. We hope that your call “kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap” during the election campaign will truly guide your administration. In addition, you must look into the root cause of our poverty – the unequal distribution of wealth in our country. What we have been experiencing for the past decades is the neo-colonial policy of globalization, where our economy is anchored on foreign investments, while our natural and human resources are aggressively being exported. We expect that your new administration will find ways to review these policies and come up with a mechanism that will involve all marginalized sectors of our country for real national development— “nararamdamang pag-unlad.” Hoping for your positive response, Mabuhay po kayo, Pangulong Noynoy, Mabuhay ang Pilipino! For the ECIP-IPA, MOST REV. SERGIO L. UTLEG, D.D. Bishop of Laoag and ECIP Chairperson REV. FR. ERWALD DINTER, SVD ECIP Executive Secretary & Calapan
Mangyan Mission Director Msgr. Vic Tugadi IPA Bayombong Director Rev. Fr. Rodel Molina IPA Bangued Coordinator Rev. Fr. Tony Calautit, SVD IPA Laoag Coordinator Rev. Fr. Nomy Gabut IPA Urdaneta Coordinator Rev. Fr. Marc Sandoval, Jr. IPA Iba Coordinator Rev. Fr. Pete Montallana, OFM IPA Infanta Coordinator Rev. Fr. Arman Limsa IPA Puerto Princesa Coordinator Sr. Malou Santos, SSpS Tarlac Aeta Mission Coordinator Sr. Aning Jaurigue, FDCC IPA San Jose, NE Coordinator Sr. Vangie Madayag, OSB Holy Family Aeta Mission Sr. Minie Camped, FAS IPA Worker, Archdiocese of Tuguegarao Sr. Mafran Borje, SFIC IPA Worker- Diocese of Iba Sr. Hedy Padrigala, FMM
IPA Worker- Diocese of Iba Sr. Aileenette Mirasol, FMM IPA Worker- Diocese of Iba Josie Dizon IPA Worker – Diocese of Balanga Ceso Alcachupaz IPA Worker – Vicariate of San Jose, Occ. Min. Marisa Juliet Wasit IPA Worker – Diocese of Bayombong Shirley Alda Mangyan Mission Staff, Calapan Belmer Yano Chairman, Benguet Federation of AD & IPO Grace Tobias LIFORSA-IPA Worker - Baguio Linda Tindo LIFORSA-IPA Worker – Baguio Lourie Victor ECIP-NS Staff Carol San Pedro ECIP- NS Staff Tony Abuso ECIP NS Staff 30 June 2010
consider this appeal and seriously study the matter. We are more than ready to meet with you or your designated representative to discuss this in more detail. Thank you very much for your consideration, and we sincerely hope that you find merit in this appeal. Yours truly: Signatories Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Auxiliary Bishop, Archdiocese of Manila Most Rev. Jose Manguiran, Bishop, Diocese of Dipolog Fr. Edu Gariguez, Executive Secretary, CBCP-NASSA Sr. Cres Lucero, SFIC/TFDP Anabel Plantilla, Director, HARIBON Foundation Judy Pasimio, Executive Director, LRCKsK/FOE Jaybee Garganera, National Coordinator, ATM Lodel Magbanua, Coordinator, PIPLinks Fr. Archie Casey, Vice-Chairperson, JPICC-AMRSP Anthony Marzan, Executive Director, KAISAHAN Aison Garcia, Program Officer, SALIGAN Tony Abuso, Coordinator, CBCPECIP Dr. Nina Galang, Convenor, Green Convergence
Right / B1
Yolly Esguerra, Coordinator, PMPI Nymia Pimentel-Simbulan, Executive Director, PhilRights Maria Roda Cisnero (NCR) Marietta Paragas, Coordinator, CORDNET (Baguio City/Cordillera) Alice Macay (Baguio) Sr. Eden Orlino, Director, DSACBayombong (Nueva Vizcaya) Salvador Dimain (Zambales) Carlito Domulot (Zambales) Roger Hermogino (Zambales) Delia Sevilleno (Aurora) Carmelita Cruz (Oriental Mindoro) Ahop Agate (Oriental Mindoro) Rodne Galicha, Officer, SAM/ISLE (Sibuyan Island, Romblon) Artiso Mandawa, Spokesperson, ALDAW (Palawan) Elizabeth Maclang, Officer, PNNI (Palawan) Fr. Ramon Segubiense (Legaspi City) Imee Bertillo (Legaspi City) Bernadette Gador (San Carlos City) Cesar Villanueva (Bacolod) Jose Mabulay Jr. (Samar) Mario Ian Mosquisa (Borongan, Samar) Annie Sandalo (Davao City) Fr. Albert Mendez (Iligan City) Leo Dignadice (Zamboanga City) Alvin Valerio (Zamboanga City) Paul Paraguya (Cagayan de Oro) Sr. Lydia Lascano, SAC-Tandag (Surigao Sur) Fr. Romeo Catedral, SAC-Marbel (South Cotabato)
(Family Name) (Given Name)
[is] based on the dignity of the human person and on the fundamental rights and duties connected with it.”
Notes  Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health to the Eleventh Session of the Human Rights Council, Eleventh Session,A/HRC/11/12, 31 March 2009  http://www.ohchr.org/EN/UDHR/ Documents/UDHR_Translations/eng. pdf  http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/ cescr.htm  Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Twenty-second session, Geneva , 25 April-12 May 2000, E/C.12/2000/4, 11 August 2000, http:// www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/(symbol)/ E.C.12.2000.4.En  World Health Organization, Public Health Innovation and Intellectual Property Rights, A Report of the Commission on Intellectual Property Rights, Innovation and Public Health ( Geneva , 2006) p. 3.
 World Health Organization, World Health Report, Primary Health Care Now More than Ever ( Geneva , 2008).  A/61/338, para. 75.
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 World Health Organization, “WHO Medicines Strategy: Countries at the Core, 2004- 2007” , (2004).  UNAIDS, 2009 AIDS Epidemic Update, Geneva , November 2009.  Children and AIDS: Fourth Stocktaking Report, UNICEF, 2009, p. 10.  Committee on the Rights of the Child, Thirty-Second Session, General Comment No. 3 (2003), HIV/ AIDS and the rights of the child, CRC/ GC/2003/3, http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/8985 86b1dc7b4043c1256a450044f331/309e8 c3807aa8cb7c1256d2d0038caaa/$FILE/ G0340816.pdf  Pope Benedict XVI, Address To The Plenary Assembly Of The Pontifical Council For Health Pastoral Care, 22 March 2007, http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/ benedict_xvi/speeches/2007/march/ documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20070322_ pc-salute_en.html
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July 5 – July 18, 2010
Vol. 14 No. 14
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ANDY, the owner of the toys is now grown-up and is leaving for college. His mother asked him to sort his things and decide which goes to the boxes labeled ‘college’, ‘attic’, ‘donation’ or the garbage bag. This is such a heart-wrenching moment for his toys that have not been played for a long time and have been kept in the toy chest for years. Andy decides to put Woody in the box “going to college” while his other toy friends are put in a trash bag but Andy intends to put them at the attic. His choice of container leads to a near rendezvous of the toys to the garbage truck. Afraid that they may end up in the landfill, the toys managed to climb back and decide to go to the ‘donation’ box headed to a day care center. Woody knows the garbage truck incident was a mistake and he tries to convince them to come back home. The group did not believe Woody and they find themselves in the day care center and welcomed by a strawberry scented bear named Lotso. They are convinced that they have found their new home in the day care center and are assured by Lotso that they will be played there. Woody is still not convinced so they decided to part ways. Woody later on learns that Lotso is not the friendly teddy bear he appears to be and his toy friends are now in danger. Toy Story 3 could be the most anticipated family
mo v i e o f t h e y e a r . B e i n g the third installment of a successful franchise, it has to at least be at par with its earlier versions or better. And it never failed in this respect. The creators of the movie managed to thicken the plot with its new premise and additional villain characters which are far more evil-like and frightening than the previous villains in earlier movies, making Toy Story 3the darkest film of the franchise. This time, the fun and laughs are lesser, but the sentiments are more or less the same. The movie is still as imaginative and the “great escape” adventure of the toy characters is very engaging. The voice actors are great as they have always been. All in all, Toy Story 3 remains to be both fun and heart-warming experience that brings out the child in all of its audience no matter what age. The Toy Story has been working on its original premise, what if toys are like humans with feelings and emotions. This makes the children, and even the child-at-heart, appreciate all things around, both living and non-living, especially those that make them happy however temporary. The film successfully conveys this idea and achieves such effect to a great extent. For most times, audiences forget that they are actually watching toys. In the movie, toys are actually more human than other humans. How does it really feel to be
Title: Toy Story 3 Cast: (Voice only) Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Don Rickles, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Estelle Harris, Michael Keaton Director: Lee Unkrich Screenwriters: Michael Arndt, John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich Genre: Animation/ Comedy/ Adventure Distributor: Pixar/ Walt Disney Running Time: 102 mins. Technical Assessment: Moral Assessment: CINEMA Rating: For viewrs age 13 and below with parental guidance
abandoned? Or left alone? Or betrayed? It is almost always easier to escape and evade but the toys in the story has taught its audience loyalty, courage, perseverance and far more importantly, hope. Against all odds, they stick together and their friendship and camaraderie make them survive any ordeal, making things work for them in the process including a peaceful turnover, a meaningful goodbye and a sentimental letting go. The evil ones get their punishment and the good ones are rewarded. However, the ‘prison break’ and ‘great escape’ plots and some degree of violence in the movie may be a bit dark for the very young so CINEMA recommends that parents supervise their children below 13 years old while watching. Look for the images of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Family, and the Church. (Illustration by Bladimer Usi)
MAC en COLET Ni Bladimer Usi
Former Chief Justice and United Nations (UN) Ambassador Sir Knight Hilario G. Davide, Jr. with KC Life officers.
Vol. 14 No. 14
July 5 - July 18, 2010
By Annie Nicolas
A Supplement Publication of KC Life and the Order of the Knights of Columbus
RetiRed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and former Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Sir Knight Hilario G. davide, Jr., was elected Chairman of the Board of trustees of Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, inc. (KCFAPi, also known as KC Life) during their 52nd Annual Founder Members meeting held last July 2, 2010.
Chairman davide is a member of Fr.Matias Lucero Council 6054 in Argao, Cebu. He was exemplified into the First degree in 1975 and was conferred the honors of the Fourth degree in 1982. He is one of the only four Filipinos featured in the book “By their Works” published by the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council to honor the contributions by extraordinary knights. He also served as member of the Board of trustees of KC Life in 1989-1990 and a member of the Board of Advisors since 2007. His professional life has been, for the most part, devoted to public service. He was a member of the Constitutional Convention in 1971, elected Assemblyman in 1978, member of the Constitutional Commission of 1986. President Corazon C. Aquino appointed him Chairman of the Commission on elections (COMeLeC) in 1988 and Chairman of the Presidential Fact-Finding Commission in 1990. He was appointed as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court in 1991. His crowning achievement came in december 1998 when he was appointed the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. it was in January 2007 when President Gloria M. Arroyo appointed him Permanent Representative to the United Nations. Recently, he was appointed by President Benigno C. Aquino as Chairman of the truth Commission. in 2002, he received the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service, in recognition of his commitment to democracy and rule of law in the Philippines.
Davide elected as KC Life Chairman
Executive Sales Visitations continue
nal counselors unselfishly shared his secrets to success for the appreciation of other participants. KC Life President Antonio B. Borromeo provided inspiring anecdotes which centered on comparative advantages of KC Life over other life insurance companies and even narrated personal experiences. eVP Ma. theresa G. Curia emphasized the financial stability of KC Life while FBG Vice President Joseph P. teodoro lectured on the selling process. Central Luzon Conquerors Area
(From L-R) KC Life President Antonio B. Borromeo, Executive Vice President Ma. Theresa G. Curia, Chairman Hilario G. Davide, Jr. and Treasurer Antonio T. Yulo during the orientation of Hon. Davide as the new KC Life Chairman of the Board of Trustees held at the home office in Intramuros, Manila last June 5, 2010.
tHe executive Sales Visitation being conducted by the Fraternal Benefits Group went to three (3) more separate venues after it was launched in Vigan City. the next leg was held on June 14, 2010 in Malolos City which was attended by some 50 fraternal counselors coming from the 3 Central Luzon areas. it was followed in Manila on June 18, 2010 and on June 24, 2010, also in Manila, which were attended by 4 Metro Manila areas and 3 Southern Luzon areas, respectively. A member of productive frater-
Manager Manuel Naldoza volunteered to share the lesson on YSK (Yaman Sapat sa Kalikasan,) which he learned from the Agency Management Course he took last February 2010 together with other Area Managers. the sessions were facilitated by FBSd Manager, Bro. Gari M. San Sebastian. the executive sales visitation was envisioned by FBG to improve sales performance and make the sales people aware of the current developments in KC Life. (Joseph P. Teodoro)
Another KC Life incentive program launched
KC Life Chaplain joins KC Priests Pilgrimage
MONSiGNOR Pedro C. Quitorio iii, chaplain of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines (KC Life) was one of the 80 bishops and priests who attended the pilgrimage “to the tomb of Peter the apostle” on the occasion of the closing of the Year for Priests. Msgr. Quitorio who is also the assistant state chaplain for Luzon joined the State chaplains from the United States, Canada, Mexico and Poland on the “Knights of Columbus Pilgrimage to Rome” organized by the Supreme Council. the pilgrimage was led by the Supreme Chaplain Bishop William Lori together with Supreme Knight Carl Anderson and other State Officers and Staff. during the stretch of the pilgrimage the KC Chaplains attended the international Congress for the Clergy held June 9-10, 2010 at the St. Paul Outsidethe-Walls Basilica in Rome. they also attended the rites of the closing of the Year for Priests, which was presided by Pope Benedict XVi at the St. Peter’s Square the following day. An estimate of 12,000 priests from around the world attended the closing rites. Masses concelebrated at the Altar of the Chair of St. Peter’s Basilica and at the Altar of Confession in the Vatican Grottoes where the tomb of Pope John Paul ii is enshrined highlighted the KC priests’ pilgrimage. the KC priests visited and prayed at the Basilica of St. John Lateran and at St. Mary Major Basilica where they were personally received by Cardinal Bernard Law, the archpriest of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. the Mayor of Rome received the KC priests at the City Hall during the K of C 90th Anniversary in Rome and Opening of exhibits at the Capitoline Museums on June 9. the KC priests’ pilgrimage ended with a eucharistic celebration held at the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi and a visit to the Papal Apartments and Audience Hall on June 12. (CBCPNews)
tHe Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, inc. (KC Life) has launched another incentive program for the fraternal counselors, team leaders and area managers. Area Managers who have attained the required first year contribution income during the preceding year and Fraternal Counselors who were able to achieve the standard new paid lives during the last 12 months, are entitled to a laptop loan. the loan, the organizers announced, shall be payable in 12 months. the incentive program being organized by KC Life is one of the benefits given to top fraternal counselors in order to maintain one’s peak performance and optimum productivity. (KC Life News)
Fraternal counselor gets 1st KC Life’s car loan program
LAURO evangelista of the Central Luzon Believers is the first fraternal counselor who has availed of a car loan program, which is one of the recent incentives for productive fraternal counselors. evangelista is the FC of the Year in 2008 and in 2009 and is aiming for a grand slam this year. He is also currently the district Chairman for the Fraternal Protection Program in district M-22, Bulacan. According to Joseph P. teodoro, Vice-President of the Fraternal Benefits Group, the car loan program is one of the means for top fraternal counselors to attain peak performance and optimum productivity. those who may join the program must be the Fraternal Counselors who have been with the KC Life for the last three (3) years from the application of the car loan and must show proof of excellent performance. the said car loan program is limited to 4-door sedan cars manufactured by toyota, Mitsubishi, Honda and Nissan. (KC Life News)
“KC Life Chaplain, Msgr. Pedro Quitorio, poses with Supreme Chaplain Bishop William Lori during the pilgrimage of KC Chaplains “to the tomb of Peter the Apostle” on the occasion of the closing of the Year for Priests in Rome, June 7-12, 2010.”
Prospective Fraternal Counselors attend training
eiGHt new fraternal counselors attended the fraternal service training (FSt) conducted by KC Life’s training department held from June 17-18, 2010 at the Social hall of the Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ Center, intramuros, Manila. the following fraternal counselors received their certificates of completion of the two-day training seminar facilitated by Bro. Gari M. San Sebastian, FBSd Manager: Paul dexter A. Capiral, Alicia A. Capiral, Jose W. Hortelano, Mely Rose t. Fronda, Juanito M. Cayapan, emmanuel t. Villegas, Benedicto A. Burgonio, Ramon F. Briones The FST is the first training seminar prepared by KC Life for brother knights and family members who have the desire to serve as fraternal counselors. the program includes the following topics which prepared the would-be-fraternal counselors to become successful in their work: History of KC Life; Relevance of insurance in the Knights of Columbus; Services of Life insurance; Life insurance Plans; How to Compute insurance Contribution; Accomplishing the Application form; Non-Medical Privilege; Policies and Procedures of KC Life; Servicing Brother Knights; Comparative Advantage of KC Life. (Joseph P. Teodoro)
By Joseph P. Teodoro
Vol. 14 No. 14
July 5 - July 18, 2010
Congratulatory Message For Brother Knights by Brother Knights
the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines and KC Life congratulates His excellency BeNiGNO SiMeON C. AQUiNO iii as the 15th President of the Republic of the Philippines.
A personal message from the Knights of Columbus Luzon Jurisdiction Deputy, ALONSO L. TAN. iN behalf of the officers and members of the Knights of Columbus Luzon Jurisdiction, we express our sincerest congratulations to the new President of the Republic of the Philippines, His excellency Benigno Simeon C. Aquino iii. We assure you of the full support and cooperation of the 132,000 members of the Knights of Columbus in 1,082 Councils Luzon-wide, through our various church-based service programs for the community. in our esteem for you and your parents who have done a great service to our Nation and our people, we would be establishing within the year a new council in honor of your father the late Senator Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. Also, as a sign of our admiration and deep respect to you as our new President, we offer 1,000 new members who will be exemplified into our Order in your honor. A special limited edition certificate of membership will be designed and issued for the purpose. We offer our fervent prayers for your good health and for the success of your administration in leading our country to a brighter future. MAY GOd BLeSS YOU ANd GUide YOU iN ALL YOUR deCiSiONS!
A New Columbian Year, A New Beginning
JULY 1st of each year is the start of a new Columbian Year, which also signals a new beginning, a fresh start with renewed expectations for a better year to come. For one, there will be new council officers headed by the grand knight and his cabinet members so to speak. there are also new activities lined up for the coming year and old projects which were conducted in the past year but with exciting nuances that promise better results. With this new morning rising in the horizon of our Order the people involved in the promotion of the insurance program should lose no time in getting more KC members and family members enrolled as benefit certificate holders of KC Life. From FBG’s end, we have lined up a series of executive visitations for our sales people to make them aware of the developments in the Association, seminars to hone their selling skills and new incentive programs for district deputies and councils. On the part of our field sales representatives, we expect them to visit all brother knights and family members in their councils and tell them the wonderful and exclusive privilege of being a member of the Knights of Columbus family. Finally, we pray for the success of all councils in executing their service programs including the insurance program of the Order.
KC Council conducts bloodletting Frequently Asked
tHe Knights of Columbus Christ the King Council 12342 conducted a community bloodletting drive in cooperation with the Philippine National Red Cross Laguna Chapter on June 27, 2010, Sunday at the Christ the King Parish Church, GSiS Holiday Hills Village, San Pedro, Laguna from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. A total of 18 blood donors participated in this activity, mostly young individuals and healthy parishioners. Four members of Christ the King Council 12342 likewise donated blood. Coinciding with this activity, some parishioners availed of the free ‘fasting blood sugar’ check-up. this event was planned and implemented by the officers and members of Council 12342 led by its Grand Knight Basil B. Occeno. A total of 10 council members participated in this project and assisted the Red Cross Volunteers. Moreover, there were seven Red Cross Volunteers who came all the way from Sta. Cruz, Laguna and took charge in this drive headed by Ms. Agustina doncillo of San Pedro, Laguna Chapter. this bloodletting drive has, in one way or another, helped in supporting the Philippine National Red Cross’ advocacy in extending services to various communities in the country. (Basil Occeño)
By Angelito A. Bala
BC Holders’ Relations Office Q. I received your billing notice only to find out that I have incurred a certificate loan. However, I don’t remember taking out any loan. Can you help me on this? A. Please check your contract provisions, more specifically, the non-forfeiture option in case of contribution default found in your BC application. Most likely you selected the contribution loan option. this option instructs the Association to automatically deduct the contribution in default from any available cash value of your plan to keep your benefit certificate in-force. That is, instead of allowing your BC to lapse, the contribution loan keeps you protected with insurance (and your loved ones) as you continue to enjoy all other living and death benefits plus other privileges. the amount of loan is usually the modal contribution plus one year’s worth of interest. in case of death, the contribution loan plus any accrued interest will be deducted from the death proceeds. Q. How much loan can I borrow from my benefit certificate? A. the amount of loan depends on the cash value of the chosen insurance plan. endowment plans usually have higher cash values compared to whole life plan series. the cash value depends on the insurance plan, the age of the insured, the amount of insurance (face value) and the number of years the BC has been in-force. When you purchase a regular plan of KC Life, the Benefit Certificate will contain a cash value printout specific to the applicant’s age and plan chosen. From the table, look under the cash value column, locate the row to identify the BC number of years in-force and the intersection will be your cash value per 1,000 of insurance available to you for the period. to get your gross loan amount, multiply this tabular cash value by the amount of insurance then divide the result by 1,000. the net loan amount is the gross loan amount less one year’s interest deducted in advance as stipulated in the general contract provisions.
State Deputies participate in the 2010 Supreme organizational meeting
William Lori at the St. Mary’s Church. Supreme Knight Carl Anderson delivered a keynote address to start the meeting. executive Vice-President for Agencies and Marketing thomas P. Smith tackled the fraternal-agency partnership growth while George W. Hanna, Senior Vice-President for Fraternal Services, discussed on Nuts and Bolts of membership recruitment and announced the 20102011 Circle of Honor incentive Program. A workshop about “Volunteerism-the Key to Growth and Retention” was facilitated by deputy Supreme Knight dennis Savoie and Robert ennis, director of Fraternal Operations and Programs. A discussion on state strategic growth plans and how state deputies’ accountability will drive success was also held. this was attended by Supreme Officers and membership program consultants. As a closing activity, a fraternal mass, presided by Bishop Lori was held followed by a message from Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. (KC News)
tHe Knights of Columbus (KC) Philippines State deputies attended an organizational meeting organized by the KC Supreme Council last June 3-6, 2010 at the Omni Hotel in New Haven, Connecticut. Participating State deputies in the Philippines during the meeting were Luzon State deputy Alonso tan; Visayas State deputy dionisio esteban, Jr.; and Mindanao State deputy Sofronio Cruz. the meeting opened with a eucharistic Celebration presided by Supreme Chaplain Bishop
Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines Inc.,
an established mutual benefits association is currently looking for:
Auditor Accounting Staff BC Holders’ Relations Office Staff Customer Relations Assistant
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 Life firmly believes that the continued progress and success of the association depends to a great extent on its human capital. KC Life 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 or Ms. April of HRCC.
Vol. 14 No. 14
July 5 - July 18, 2010
each aspect of our lives must be oriented toward our expectation of full unity with Christ in heaven. in the 1980s, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger—now Pope Benedict XVi—wrote, “Faith means entering into solidarity with salvation history, taking up its ‘already’ and on that basis working toward its ‘not yet.’” He continued: “Faith is the appropriation of the past history, which finds itself transposed through love into the present and so becomes once more hope for the future. Salvation history is, therefore, not merely the past. it is also the present and the future as we continue on our pilgrimage till the Lord’s return.” in other words, each day of our own spiritual journey and that of the Church should witness to the significance of Christ’s life and death for both our present lives and our future hope. in my remarks to those gathered for the pilgrimage in Poland, i recalled that the Second Vatican Council called the lay faithful to seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and directing them according to God’s will. Lay people “are called by God so that they, led by the spirit of the Gospel, might contribute to the sanctification of the world, as from within like leaven, by fulfilling their own particular duties. thus, especially by the witness of their life, resplendent in faith, hope and charity they must manifest Christ to others” (Christifideles Laici, 15; cf. Lumen Gentium, 31). For Knights of Columbus, this means two things: First, we must witness to the love of Jesus Christ whether in private or in public, at home, at work or in the public square. this means witnessing to charity for all, to unity with all people (especially with our fellow Christians), and to a sense of fraternity with our brother Knights with whom we work together to better our communities and the world. Second, as we enter “into solidarity” with salvation history, in the words of Pope Benedict, we should also take up Pope John Paul ii’s challenge of solidarity—a communion among Catholics that is based upon a common tradition and a common heritage, and unity based in the sacraments of baptism and the eucharist. this solidarity ought to transcend political boundaries, cultural differences and economic interests. And in keeping with the Order’s first principle of charity, it should be based on the ancient and enduring wisdom of our faith – that we are our brother’s keeper. if we can witness to our faith daily, especially by living out Christ’s commandment to love one another, then we will be living witnesses to Christ’s love for us along the way and will find ourselves at the end of life’s journey ready for our eternal destination. Vivat Jesus!
Our Pilgrimage of Faith
By Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson
At the end of May, i spoke to approximately 100,000 pilgrims at the basilica in Piekary Śląskie, a city in southern Poland. Speaking before men from every part of the country and from beyond its borders, i recognized that pilgrimage is an excellent metaphor for our own lives. i was proud to have joined a large delegation of brother Knights from Poland and the United States as together we walked several miles from a local parish to the basilica. Pilgrimage—in the traditional sense— occurs when a person travels to a place that holds special spiritual promise. during a pilgrimage, the pilgrim encounters days of journey and prayer completely oriented to increasing one’s faith. in fact, a person is a pilgrim both during the journey and at the actual pilgrimage site, since the journey – often a difficult one – is part of the preparation for arriving at a holy place. the pilgrim gives witness along the way, as well as at his destination. As on a pilgrimage, our lives should be a journey toward a spiritual destination. if an eternity with Christ is our goal, then our journey should be oriented to that objective. in addition, our witness during the pilgrimage of life must be complete. each moment in
KC Fr. George J. Willmann scholar, ordained priest
ReV. Fr. Ronald espiritu, a scholar of Fr. George J. Willmann Charities, was ordained priest on June 10, 2010 at the Cathedral of St. John the evangelist in Naga City. His excellency Most Rev. Fr. Leonardo Z. Legaspi, the Bishop of Nueva Caceres was the main celebrant of the eucharistic Celebration. Angeles took his Philosophy studies at the Holy Rosary Minor Seminary and graduated at the Holy Rosary Major Seminary in Naga City on March 13, 2009. He was ordained as deacon on July 4, 2009. The Foundation has two levels of scholarship: first, are seminarians in their theology studies and, second, priests who wish to pursue further studies in ecclesiastical discipline in local colleges or universities. the Fr. George J. Willmann Charities also manages the Fr. Michael McGivney Scholarship Fund that gives assistance to Filipino priests who wish to take up further studies in Rome. (KC Life News)
A letter from a KC Foundation scholar
GReetiNGS in the name of Jesus Mary and Joseph! For the past four years that you have nurtured, supported and tendered me – once a student and now with God’s help, a Nursing graduate. A simple word of gratitude will never be enough but even so, allow me to say it with a heartfelt desire, tHANK YOU. i could just remember myself four years ago. i was just one of the many who took the qualifying exam, oozing with the hope to be given the chance to study in college for free. My answer on the last question of the questionnaire is still vivid to me until now. “i have to be a K of C scholar because my parents have done so much for me and in my own way, i have to somehow repay them and make them happy”—or so it goes. then i received the notice that you picked me to be a scholar—a full scholar to be exact, right there and then, i said to myself that God has granted my wish and He made Knights of Columbus Scholarship Foundation the instrument to my dreams, my success. Such is the reason why more than just the financial support that helped materialize my dream to graduate a Nursing course, by accepting me as a scholar, you have given me my greatest achievement amongst all – i have made my parents happy and more so proud. Yes, it is true that the road may be far off ahead, many struggles are yet to test me and my faith, but i am not afraid because being a Knights of Columbus scholar has taught me that, if there is faith and if you believe in God, everything is possible. As part of my gratitude to the Foundation that made me reach this far, if you need me to speak and spread the good word of your generosity to the Foundation’s Conferences or anything of the sort, i will be more than willing to do so because who can better define the Foundation’s bigheartedness than the one who is the recipient of one such blessing – me. Last April 11, 2010 was my Graduation and Pinning Ceremony. And in fact, i am pleased to inform you that i ranked 6th in the overall first batch of Nursing board exam takers in the University (criteria for which includes grades from first to fourth year.) in connection, i will be taking the Nursing Licensure Exam come July 3 and 4, 2010. With God’s providence, i would humbly implore you to pray for me so that i will pass the exam and in doing so, i will be able to put to proper use and practice what you have supported for the past four years. thank you. Mind Shoiba P. Tecson, KC Foundation scholar
KC chaplains granted scholarship for licentiate, masteral studies
tHRee Knights of Columbus Chaplains were awarded 2-year scholarship grant by the Knights of Columbus Fr. George J. Willmann Charities, inc. for their Licentiate/Masteral Studies locally. Foundation President, Bro. Alonso L. tan, named them as Fr. Angelito de torres of the diocese of daet, Fr. Marlon Belmonte from the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia and Fr. enrique Lacostales of the diocese of Pagadian. Fr. de torres is now pursuing Master of Arts Major in Pastoral Ministry (Family Ministry and Counseling) at the Center for Family Ministries (CFM), Loyola School of theology in Quezon City. A member of Council 3748 Daet, Camarines Sur, Fr. de torres was assigned as Parochial Vicar of the Parish of St. John the Baptist prior to his schooling. On the other hand, Fr. Belmonte enrolled at the University of Sto. tomas for some units of MA Guidance and Counseling as pre-requisite to Phd in Guidance Counseling. He is the Assistant Chaplain of KC Council 10954 Sto. domingo, ilocos Sur and was previously assigned as Spiritual director at the immaculate Conception School of theology in Vigan, ilocos Sur. Fr. Lacostales from Mindanao is currently taking up Licentiate in Canon Law at the University of Sto. tomas. He is a member of KC Council 8794 where he also served as Chaplain. Fr. Lacostales has been assigned as Parish Administrator of the San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish, tambo, iligan City before he went to Manila to pursue further studies. (Denise C. Solina)
Mace, PhilBritish conducts Non-Life Seminar
tHe Mace insurance Agency, inc. (A Subsidiary of Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, inc.) together with Philippine British Assurance Company, inc. conducted a Non-Life Seminar for its Soliciting Associates held at the KC Life office last June 29, 2010. About 25 Soliciting Associates actively participated in the said seminar. this was also attended by Mace President Mr. Antonio t. Yulo and Philippine British Assurance President, Ms. Charry Cuyegkeng. the seminar is intended to enhance the knowledge of the participants in other non-life insurance products such as Bonds, Livestock insurance, Accident and Health insurance. (Basil Occeño)
New KC Priest-scholar in Rome named
SK ALONSO L. tan, President of KC Fr. George J. Willmann Charities, inc. recently named Rev. Fr. Edsel V. Delfin of the Archdiocese of Capiz as the 27th priest-scholar of the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council under the Father Michael J. McGivney Fund for Advanced Studies in Rome. He is a second degree member of the Knights of Columbus of Mt. Carmel Council 9279 Roxas City where he served as Assistant Chaplain. Fr. Delfin finished AB Philosophy at St. Pius X Minor Seminary in Roxas City and his Bachelor in Sacred theology at the St. Joseph Regional Seminary in iloilo City with Cum Laude honors. He was ordained to the Sacred Order of Priesthood in 2000. Fr. Delfin is the Rector of St. Pius X Minor Seminary where he also teaches Spanish Language. Recently, Most. Rev. Onesimo C. Gordoncillo, DD, Archbishop of Capiz, requested Fr. Delfin to study Sacred Liturgy to further address the needs of the seminary. Since Fr. Delfin is personally interested and involved with Liturgy in the Archdiocese and at present the master of Ceremonies, he acceded to the Archbishop’s request. Fr. Delfin will take up Licentiate in Sacred Liturgy at San Anselmo University in Rome and will stay at Pontificio Collegio Filippino for the duration of his schooling. (Denise C. Solina)
New KC Seminarian-scholars announced
KNiGHtS of Columbus Fr. George J. Willmann Charities, inc. President, SK Alonso L. tan, recently announced the new beneficiaries of its Scholarship Program for diocesan-seminarians in theology level for schoolyear 2010-2011. Named scholars for Luzon were Raisun John R. Placino (diocese of Lucena), Philip Jerold F. tan (Apostolic Vicariate of taytay), Gerald B. Culla (Apostolic Vicariate of Calapan), Vic e. tabernilla (diocese of Lucena), and Kent Andrew e. Apeña (diocese of Malolos). Chosen scholars from Visayas were Jun Bernard N. Moleño and d’aaron Q. Fallacorina of the Archdiocese of Jaro and in Mindanao were Jonathan L. Autida (diocese of tagum), edgar R. Rebusta, Jr. and Jonald C. Apaon, both from the diocese of iligan. this brings to 40 the current number of diocesan seminarianscholars supported by the Foundation in various seminaries throughout the country. the Foundation is named after Fr. George J. Willmann, S.J. (1897-1977) who is considered the Father of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines which has at present 262,765 members. inquiries about the Scholarship Program may be coursed through Bro. Roberto t. Cruz, executive director at tel. nos. 527-2223 local 210 with office address at General Luna corner Sta. Potenciana Streets, intramuros, Manila. (Denise C. Solina)
SeMiNARiAN Anthony O. Aguason, 27, Grand Knight of College Council No. l3997 based at Sancta Maria Mater et Regina Seminarium (SMMRS) in Brgy. Cagay, Roxas City, was ordained deacon in a solemn and simple rites held at the SMMRS Chapel, June 29. He was ordained by Most Rev. Onesimo C. Gordoncillo, d.d., archbishop of Capiz, who is also a Fourth degree Knight. the newly- ordained deacon is the son of Felipe Aguason and Adelaida Onayan-Aguason of Brgy. dumolog, Roxas City. Soon after graduating from dumolog high school in 2000 Aguason entered the St. Pius X Seminary in Brgy. Lawa-an, Roxas City. in 200l he transferred to SMMRS where he finished Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, cum laude and Moral excellence Awardee in 2005. the grand knight, heeding to God’s will and call, proceeded further to take up theology at the same semi-
Vol. 14 No. 14
July 5 - July 18, 2010
Grand Knight ordained deacon
nary where he graduated last March 20l0. He undertook a spiritual pastoral formation break from academic routine in 20082009, as requisite for graduation and ordination. Now, he is addressed not only as Worthy Grand Knight but as Rev. Anthony O Aguason. the College Council No. l3997 was organized on November 7, 2002 with 32 members. it was suspended and became inactive because most of its members who were all seminarians have graduated from the seminary. the KC district deputy in coordination with the seminary authorities are helping reactivate the said council. With more than l.8 million members, the Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest Catholic lay organization of men. it provides members and their families with volunteer opportunities in service to the Catholic Church, the community, families and young people. (Bienvenido P. Cortes)
Together with KC Life President Antonio B. Borromeo, the 2010 Presidential ring awardees composed of the following show their force of strength: Area Managers/Team Leaders - Efren M. Casupanan, Armando S. Gonzales, Josefino F. Valencia, Conrado S. Dator, Joel S. Flordelis; Fraternal Counselors - Eduardo V. Cruz, Lauro L. Evangelista, Luis F. Ferrer, Bonifacio M. Morales, Ronando M. Rodriguez, Amado S. Miranda, Danilo M. Tullao, Angel F. Rivada, Reynaldo Q. Segismundo, Hugo M. Goce, Angelito T. Lat, Teofilo A. Samson and Maria Teresa G. De la Mota.
tHe Knights of Columbus Luzon Jurisdiction has organized the 2010 Organizational Meeting of district deputies last June 19-20, 2010 at the Makati Palace Hotel in Makati City. the meeting was attended by 191 district deputies from Luzon, according to the Luzon deputy, Alonso L. tan. According to State Secretary Arsenio isidro G. Yap, the seminar covered all aspects a district deputy needs to know in conducting his office as well as his duties and obligations to the Supreme Office and the Luzon Jurisdiction. the welcome remarks and major policies and objectives of the Luzon Jurisdiction were delivered by Luzon deputy Alonso L. tan while the 2010-2011 objectives and strategies on membership and the insurance were presented by State Membership director Joseph P. teodoro who is also FBG Vice President. Jose F. Cuaresma, State Columbian Squires Chairman, then discussed on the organization of Columbian Squires. State Spiritual Formation Chairman Luis A. Adriano, Jr. on the other hand, tackled the Spiritual Formation Course Outline. On June 20, Assistant State Chaplain Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio iii, presided the Holy Mass and administered the oath-taking of the State Officers. CBCP’s Assistant Secretary- General, Joselito C. Asis together with Msgr. Quitorio likewise delivered a talk on freemasonry. the Awarding of the Most Outstanding district deputy and the Outstanding district deputies of the Luzon Jurisdiction for the Columbian Year 2009-2010, highlighted the event. district deputy GLeNN t. SeRRANO of district t47 (Archdiocese of tuguegarao) was awarded as the Most Outstanding district deputy. No less than, Luzon deputy Alonso L. tan handed over the trophy to him. As an incentive, dd Serrano will get to attend the 128th Supreme Council Convention in Washington, d.C., USA on August 3-5, 2010 with subsidized transportation expenses courtesy of KCFAPi. On the other hand, the following recipients of the Outstanding district deputies for the Columbian Year 2009-2010 were also congratulated by Luzon deputy tan: dd Calixto C. Betito of district C18 (Archdiocese of Caceres); dd Fernando C. Labita of district L56 (diocese of Lucena); dd Rodolfo Y. Manumbas of district M22 (diocese of Malolos); dd enrique B. Pilapil of district M82 (diocese of Masbate); dd Fernando S. Laxamana of district S16 & dd Narciso M. Maniacup of district S17 (Archdiocese of San Fernando, Pampanga); dd Pepito G. Paradero of district S54 & dd Francis Jehu C. Sebastian of district S56 (diocese of San Pablo); and dd elson L. tabor of district t50 (Archdiocese of tuguegarao).
KC Luzon conducts 2010 Organizational KC Luzon Meeting of District Deputies joins 112th Independence Day Celebration
KNiGHtS of Columbus Luzon Jurisdiction and the knights from the diocese of imus participated in the 112th Philippine independence day Celebration held in Kawit, Cavite last June 12, 2010. thousands of Knights with their district Deputies were present during the flag raising and wreath laying ceremonies commemorating the Philippine independence declaration, which was held in Kawit 112 years ago. the celebration was hosted by SK Amado A. Sanglay, District Deputy of District I-31 and district Roundtable Chairman and the General emilio Aguinaldo Assembly, ACN 1438 led by Faithful Navigator SK Marlito Sotto together with SK Abelardo Patinio, Master of the 4th degree of Ferdinand Magellan Province district V. the presence of Luzon deputy Alonso L. Tan together with some state officers and officials enhanced the participation of the Knights of Columbus in the occasion. Among the participating groups were the districts from the diocese of imus; 4th degree Assemblies of the diocese of imus; Columbian Squires of the diocese of imus and the Stella Maris Council No. 4265 Ladies Auxiliary (Support Group). Some members of the 4th degree Quezon and the Padre Pedro dandan Assembly, ACN 0991 in Parañaque. the participation of the knights has marked not only their recognition of this signal historical event, but also demonstrated their deep sense of patriotism which is one of the cardinal principles of the Order. “it is symbolic of our national pride, honor and dignity as members of the Knights of Columbus and its demonstration of Patriotism and nationalism being Filipinos,” the organizers said. they also encouraged other districts and assemblies to imitate this annual activity to sustain the balance of the fraternal organizations in their respective localities. “it is also a time for us to showcase and demonstrate our strength, unity, and strong sense of brotherhood and camaraderie relations as a Church-based organization,” they added. (Kate Laceda)
In photo are Luzon State Officers with Most Outstanding District Deputy and Outstanding DDs for the CY 2009-2010. (First row, from L-R) State Secretary Arsenio Isidro G. Yap, Assistant State Chaplain Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio III, Luzon Deputy Alonso L. Tan, CBCP Assistant Secretary General Joselito C. Asis, State Advocate Justice Jose C. Reyes, Jr., State Warden Pascual C. Carbero. (Second row, from L-R) Most Outstanding District Deputies and Outstanding District Deputies for CY 2009-2010 Awardees.
dURiNG the 2010 Organizational Meeting of district deputies held at Makati Palace Hotel, Makati City, last June 19-20, 2010, Luzon deputy Alonso L. tan congratulates district deputy GLeNN t. SeRRANO, district t47 of the Archdiocese of tuguegarao as the Most Outstanding district deputy of the Knights of Columbus Lu-
Most Outstanding District Deputy and Outstanding District Deputies of the Luzon Jurisdiction for the CY 2009-2010
zon Jurisdiction for the Columbian Year July 01, 2009 - June 30, 2010. In addition to the trophy plaque awarded to him, KCFAPi will subsidize his transportation expenses in attending the 128th Supreme Council Convention in Washington, d.C., U.S.A on August 3-5, 2010. in addition, Ld tan congratulated likewise the recipients of Outstanding district deputies for the CY 2009-2010 they are: dd Calixto C. Betito, district C18 (Archdiocese of Caceres); dd Fernando C. Labita, district L56 (diocese of Lucena); dd Rodolfo Y. Manumbas, district M22 (diocese of Malolos; dd enrique B. Pilapil, district M82 (diocese of Masbate); dd
Fernando S. Laxamana, district S16 and dd Narciso M. Maniacup, district S17 (Archdiocese of San Fernando, Pampanga); dd Pepito G. Paradero, district S54 and dd Francis Jehu C. Sebastian, district S56 (diocese of San Pablo; and dd elson L. tabor, district t50 (Archdiocese of tuguegarao). (KC Luzon)
CBCP President and Bishop of Tandag Most Rev. Nereo P. Odchimar, D.D. visits the KC Life office. With him from L – R are: KC Life VP-FBG Joseph P. Teodoro, Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio III, SK Sofronio Cruz, SK Pedro M. Rodriguez, SK Alonso L. Tan, Most Rev. Odchimar, KC Life EVP Ma. Theresa G. Curia, Atty. Allan Nicolas C. Ouano. At the back from L-R are: Msgr. Joselito C. Asis, SK Dionisio R. Esteban, SK Antonio T. Yulo, KCFAPI officers Rowena M. Diapolit, Carmelita S. Ruiz and VP Angelito A. Bala.
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