XVI remembers •A3 Benedictcommunity on Taize bittersweet anniversary

•B1 Transformation through values



The News Supplement for Couples for Christ

PPCRV backs SK abolition
THE Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting supports the proponents of the abolition of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections, claiming it’s useless. PPCRV chairperson Henrietta de Villa said she agrees with the calls to scrap SK polls because it only becomes “an entry for political dynasties to extend their role in the area.” “It’s not good and at an early age young people are developing a mindset about politics on the basis of wrong values,” said De Villa. While they support for the scrapping of SK polls,

Voters’ education should continue even outside election time—LAIKO
ELECTION time maybe over but not voters’ education on politics and good governance. At least for the Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas, the lay implementing arm of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on the Laity, voters’ education should not only be limited during the election season but a continuing process. Edgardo Tria Tirona, Laiko National PresiLAIKO / A6

August 16 - 29, 2010

Vol. 14 No. 17

Php 20.00

A ROMAN Catholic prelate warned the Catholics they risked excommunication from the Church if they assisted in abortion. The Church described abortion as a “mortal sin” and as a matter of policy, Canon lawyer Archbishop Oscar Cruz said Catholics who contributed to abortions would be penalized. According to canon law, anyone who procures a completed abortion incurs an automatic excommunication, meaning there is no need for an official decree from church authorities. The archbishops said the pen-

Church warns of excommunication to active participants in abortion
alty of excommunication as far as abortion is concerned is imposed upon all those who have been “actively involved” in making the abortion happen. “That is called active participation… from the woman concerned, the husband who helped her, the abortionist, or the nurses of any,” said Cruz. “Excommunication means that the person concerned is separated from the spiritual benefits enjoyed by all members of the Church. Furthermore, the same person could not take communion,” he added. In the Catholic Church today, there are only two sins whereby the penalty of excommunication is involved. First, said Cruz, are for those who are guilty of abortion and those who physically hurt the Pope. Women’s rights groups earlier called for the partial legalization of abortion in the country amid their claims that an estimated half a million women resort to unsafe procedure every year. Melissa Upreti, legal adviser to the New York-based Centre for Reproductive Rights, said the government should amend the penal code to legalize abortion when pregnancy threatens the life of the mother. She said a woman must also be given the right to abortion when her pregnancy is a result of rape or incest. Upreti also blamed the criminalization of abortion for the high incidence of illegal and unsafe abortion in the Philippines Citing the report “Forsaken Lives: The Harmful Impact of the Philippine Criminal Abortion Ban,” the group said unsafe abortion in the country has caused about 560,000 induced abortion in 2008. The report also claimed 1,000 women died as many as 90,000 were hospitalized for complications due to unsafe abortions. But Marbel Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez said abortion is a “crime” in the eyes of the church and there is no way they will allow it. He said that one cannot respond to one tragedy with another tragedy. The bishop added that abortion is the wrong answer and should be avoided in every way. “Abortion is murder. It kills deliberately the fetus, a human person who has the inviolable right to live. Abortion is a moral sin,” he said. (CBCPNews)
© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

Bishop urges SC to void Luisita deal
Church, gov’t back sustainable agriculture


By Roy Lagarde

AN official of the Catholic bishops’ leadership asked the Supreme Court (SC) to nullify the compromise agreement between the owners and farmers of Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI).
Not only that it’s “unfair,” Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said the compromise deal totally violates the land reform law. Pabillo called on the high court to reject the controversial agreement and consider it invalid for carrying stock distribution option (SDO), a scheme whose legality is being questioned before the SC. “This is a matter of social justice and the rights of farmers to own a land must be respected,” said Pabillo, chairman of the National Secretariat for Social Action of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. The bishop said the Cojuangco-Aquino family should distribute the land to the beneficiaries instead of offering a compromise. Pabillo along with farmers opposed to the deal attended the HLI case’s oral arguments before the SC on Aug. 18, the first high-profile court drama of the Aquino administration. The hearing zeroed in on the validity of the SDO deal that farmer beneficiaries entered into with HLI and the Tarlac Development Co. in 1989. HLI lawyers argued that only the court can avoid the stock distribution option that HLI forged with farmers. The Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) headed by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ordered the revocation of SDO in 2005, which purportedly failed to fulfill the objectives of the agrarian reform law of promoting social justice. The PARC also ordered the distribution of some 4,915 hectares of land covered by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). In 2006, owners of Hacienda Luisita elevated the case to the SC asking for a temporary restraining order and revoke
Luisita / A6

Justices listen to the oral arguments on the Hacienda Luisita Inc. land dispute at the Supreme Court in Manila August 18 as CBCP-Nassa Chair and Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo (photo below) observes inside the SC chamber with a group of farmers opposed to the stock distribution option (SDO) compromise.

© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

CHURCH and government leaders joined hand s in promoting agricultural productivity through sustainable agriculture while encouraging responsible stewardship of natural resources during a gathering of farmers in Malaybalay, Bukidnon recently. Affirming the Church’s support to the cause of farmers, Fr. Edu Gariguez said the Church backs “initiatives that increase agricultural productivity through sustainable agriculture.” Gariguez is the executive of the National Secretariat of Social Action, Justice and Peace (NASSA) of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, one of the speakers during the assembly, provided the spiritual dimension of sustainable agriculture and climate change in a lecture titled “Stewards of God’s Gift for all Generations.” Talking to participants composed of farmers, priests involved in social action, religious men and women, NGO leaders and government executives, Ledesma said “all projects should be for integral human development, need to be marked by solidarity and intergenerational justice.” Ledesma anchored his speech on two important Church documents, first, the Compendium on the Social Doctrines of the Church released in 2004 and Pope Benedict XVI’s Caritas in Veritate.
Agriculture / A6

Pro-life groups denounce new Fisherfolks to join Church vs. gambling drug ella as abortifacient
AFTER the Federal Drug Administration recently approved the new drug ella, which is being marketed as emergency contraception, numerous pro-life groups reacted strongly to the move, claiming that the pill acts as an abortifacient. On Aug. 13, the FDA released a statement announcing the approval of ella for distribution in the United States, explaining that in June, an advisory committee “unanimously voted that the application for ella provided compelling data on efficacy and sufficient information on safety for the proposed indication of emergency contraception.” Ella has been approved for distribution in Europe since May of this year. Although the drug is being marketed internationally as a morning after pill, the FDA statement also noted that “women with known or suspected pregnancy and women who are breastfeeding should
Ella / A6
Illustration by Bladimer Usi

© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

MILITANT fisherfolks under Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya sa Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) is joining force with the Roman Catholic Church in the crusade against “Las Vegasnization” of the Philippines. In a statement, Pamalakaya national chair, Fernando Hicap, had appealed to the 117 archbishops and bishops of the CBCP to support the fisherfolks and other affected people in Manila Bay in opposing the proposed reclamation of a part of Manila bay to become a casino. “We ask our archbishops and bishops to join the Manila Bay coastal people in their legitimate and just struggle against evil forces who want to make this nation the

gambling capital of Asia to the detriment of coastal people and the bay environment,” stated Hicap. The Pamalakaya leader said his group is planning to seek a dialogue with CBCP anytime to discuss the devastating impact of the project to small fisherfolk and urban poor and its destructive effect to the already fragile Manila Bay environment. “We will move heaven and earth to put up a strong opposition against this largest gambling project clinched during the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and passed on to the new administration of President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III,” vowed Hicap.
Fisherfolks / A6





Pope speaks of Christian promise of eternal life in heaven
CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, August 15, 2010—The destination of Mary assumed is a reality founded on the love of God, taught the Pope on Sunday. The Christian promise of heaven, he said, brings great joy and encourages believers to work for the construction of the “world of God.” Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Mass in the intimate atmosphere of the pontifical parish of St. Thomas of Villanova for the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the town of Castel Gandolfo. During the celebration, attended by parishioners and a select few military, civil and religious leaders, the Holy Father spoke of the destination of Mary as she was taken from earth. He explained that in the Assumption, “we believe that Mary, as Christ her Son, defeated death and triumphs already in the celestial glory in the totality of her being, ‘in body and soul’.” Expanding on the idea of the “celestial glory” to which Mary arrived, Pope Benedict noted that people today are conscious that by “’heaven’ we are not referring to just any place in the universe, to a star or something similar” but “to something much bigger and more difficult to define with our limited human concepts. “With this term ‘heaven’,” he said, “we wish to assert that God, the God made close to us, does not abandon us even after death, but has a place for us and gives us eternity…” He explained that in order to understand this we can look to our own lives and the way loved ones live on in our hearts after they die but only as a “shadow” because also this memory is destined to expire with the death of those who conserve it. “God, on the other hand,” he taught, “does not ever pass and we all exist in accordance with His love. We exist because he loves us, because he has thought of us and he called us to life. We exist in the thoughts and in the love of God. We exist in all of our reality, not only in our ‘shadow’.” The serenity, hope and peace of man is founded on God’s thought and love, Benedict XVI explained, “he does not survive just in a ‘shadow’ of ourselves, but in Him, in His creative love, we are protected and introduced with all our life, with our being in eternity.” “It is His love that defeats death and gives us eternity, and it is this love that we call ‘heaven’ ...” This is a truth, concluded the Pope, “that should always fill us with profound joy:” the Christian promise of eternal life in heaven, “not just any salvation of the soul in an imprecise beyond.” This gives Christians “a strong hope in a bright future and opens the way towards the realization of this future,” he added. (CNA)

World News

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 17
August 16 - 29, 2010

Pope to Knights: respond to injustice with fidelity
VATICAN CITY, August 16, 2010— Benedict XVI is affirming his personal gratitude to the members of the Knights of Columbus, and assuring them that fidelity to God is the best response to “often unfair and unfounded” attacks on the Church and its leaders. The Pope made this affirmation through his secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, in a message sent to Carl Anderson, the leader of the men’s charitable organization. The Knights were gathered earlier this month in their 128th convention. The papal message offered particular congratulations to Anderson, who marked the 10th anniversary of his election as supreme knight. Referring to the Knights’ commitment to the “Gospel imperative of love of neighbor,” the letter affirmed the Holy Father’s “gratitude for this great outpouring of solidarity and love, which represents an outstanding witness to the charity of Christ and the saving truth of the Gospel.” “His Holiness is personally grateful for the generous support which the Knights have given him in recent months, especially through their constant prayers and particularly in the Novena conducted on the eve of the fifth anniversary of his election,” the message continued. “He remains deeply consoled by this testimony of fidelity to Christ’s vicar amid the turbulence of the times, and he asks that prayers continue to be offered up for the unity of the Church, the spread of the Gospel and the conversion of hearts.” Priest supporters The Pontiff also thanked the Knights for their “spiritual solidarity with the clergy” during the Year for Priests, which concluded in June. “Here too, your traditional spirit of faith and fraternity found ready expression in the desire to stand, as your ‘brother’s keeper,’ alongside your priests and to confirm them in their vocation to holiness and the generous service of God’s People,” the message noted. “In the face of often unfair and unfounded attacks on the Church and her leaders, His Holiness is convinced that the most effective response is a great fidelity to God’s word, a more resolute pursuit of holiness, and an increased commitment to charity in truth on the part of all the faithful. “He asks the Knights to persevere in their witness of faith and charity, in the serene trust that, as the Church embraces this period of purification, her light will come to shine all the more brightly before men and women of fair mind and good will.” The papal message further lauded the Knights for efforts to “uphold the reasonableness of the Church’s moral teaching and its importance for a sound, just and enduring social order.” As well, he praised their “witness to the sanctity of human life and the authentic nature of marriage,” and lauded the Knights’ efforts to “promote in the Catholic laity a greater consciousness of the need to overcome every separation between the faith we profess and the daily decisions which shape our lives as individuals and the life of society as a whole.” At the convention, the Knights made eight resolutions, including efforts to build a culture of life, to be in solidarity with Benedict XVI, to support the institution of marriage, and to honor Mother Teresa of Calcutta on the 100th anniversary of her birth. The 2011 convention will be held next August in Denver, Colorado. (Zenit)

Cardinal Zen hopeful situation in China will improve for Catholics
testimony of the faithful amidst widespread repression is fundamental for the future of the Catholic Church there. According to L’Osservatore Romano, Cardinal Zen recently accompanied a group of nine Chinese Salesian sisters at Pope Benedict XVI’s general audience at Castel Gandolfo. Regarding the situation for Catholics in China he said, “It is important to follow the guidelines laid out by the Pope in this 2007 letter to Catholics in China,” which still has not been widely read due to government repression. The future of the Church in China depends on the silent but efficacious testimony of Catholics in country, the cardinal continued. Referring to the Salesian sisters, Cardinal Zen said, “The fact that they live amidst the people and are committed to ordinary tasks gives particular weight to their testimony.” (UCAN)

MADRID, Spain, August 15, 2010—World Youth Day (WYD) Madrid has opened four more language-specific pages on Facebook, bringing its total Facebook pages to 18. The pages were created thanks to young volunteers who see the importance of having WYD information available in their own language. Japanese, Vietnamese, Maltese and Croatian are the latest languages to have WYD outposts on Facebook. World Youth Day Madrid organizers credited the pages to “the determination and the excitement of the youth.” Tran The Vinh, one of the administrators of the Vietnameselanguage Facebook page, first suggested the creation of a page in her language. She said she believes the page is important because it overcomes “the ob-

Eighteen language-specific Facebook pages help expand World Youth Day’s reach
stacle of speaking in a language other than your own.” Vinh, a 23-year-old architecture student, spends three to five hours daily administrating WYD’s profile, with the help of other administrators. She answers questions from page subscribers, translates information coming from Spain and promotes WYD. Viktorija, an education student at the University of Zagreb, is one of the four administrators of the Croatian WYD page. She said the WYD Facebook page serves as a place where youth can resolve their doubts or reunite and share their experiences. A participant in previous WYD gatherings at Cologne and Sydney, Viktorija said her attendance at WYD Madrid will be “special” because it will mark the first time she will participate as a volunteer. Ai Hongo, the 44-year-old administrator of the Japanese Facebook page, described herself as “young at heart.” In her view, videos are the best way to promote WYD because “they show in the best possible way what a day in WYD is like.” The administrator of the Maltese WYD Facebook page is Mariam de Giorgio. She said she felt that the Madrid event will be “one of the most unforgettable WYDs ever,” in part because she will have the opportunity to meet in person the various friends she has made through social networks. According to WYD Madrid, Spanish was the first language to have a WYD Facebook page, followed by English, French and Chinese. (CNA)

ROME, Italy, August 12, 2010— The Bishop Emeritus of Hong Kong, Cardinal Joseph Zen, said this week he hopes the situation for Catholics in China will improve despite the religious freedom difficulties that exist in the country. He added that the

Over 55,000 Vietnamese at feast of Our Lady of La Vang, waiting for the Pope
HUE, Vietnam, August 16, 2010—At least 55 thousand faithful arrived in the diocese of Hue over the last three days to attend the celebrations of Our Lady of La Vang, the national shrine. Many Catholics are hoping that at the close this year, which will take place January 6, 2011 at La Vang, the pope will come to Vietnam. Yesterday, along with 55,000 faithful attended the Mass for the Assumption together with some bishops and 120 priests from different dioceses. The shrine of La Vang dates back to the eighteenth century. During the great persecution of the King Vietnamese against the Catholic Church (1798-1801), thousands of Christians were killed for their faith. Several of them fled into the jungle to La Vang, then a small village in Quang Tri province. There Mary appeared to comfort them. Since then, what was once a small village became home to the sanctuary of Our Lady of La Vang, visited by millions of people, whether Catholic or not. On 24 November 2009 the bishops launched the Jubilee Year of the Church of Vietnam, marking the 350th anniversary of its birth and 50 years of the institution of the Catholic hierarchy. It will end its January 6, 2011 in La Vang. After many decades of destruction and decay, the government has finally given permission to restore the sanctuary, returning the land taken from the Church in the past. Work will begin immediately after Jan. 6, 2010. By that date millions of pilgrims are expected to have arrived from abroad. Many also hope for a visit by Benedict XVI. In 1999 John Paul II had hoped to visit La Vang, but the government in the end cancelled any possibility. (AsiaNews)



CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 17
August 16 - 29, 2010

News Features


Benedict XVI remembers Taize community on bittersweet anniversary
VATICAN City, August 11, 2010—Pope Benedict has joined himself in prayer with the Taize community as the anniversary of the death of their founder, Brother Roger, and the milestone of the community’s 70th year, approach. The Pope called the founder “a pioneer” in building the unity of Christians. Brother Roger founded the now famous community in Taize, France on Aug. 20, 1940 to assist refugees of World War II, counting on the aid of friends and his sister. They devoted themselves to tending to all people in need, a charism that members continue to carry out to this day, nearly 70 years later. The coming anniversary will be bittersweet for the community as this month also marks the fifth anniversary of the murder of their founder, which took place on Aug. 16, 2005 during evening prayer. The anniversary has led many Christian leaders, including Pope Benedict, to send letters to the community, communicating their greetings, congratulations and condolences. In a letter signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone, the Holy Father transmitted his sentiments to the community’s current prior Brother Alois. The Pope said that he wished to show his “spiritual closeness” and “union in prayer with the community and with everyone” who is remembering Brother Roger over these days. “A tireless witness to the gospel of peace and reconciliation, Brother Roger was a pioneer in the difficult paths toward unity among the disciples of Christ,” he recalled. Brother Roger’s community continues to welcome thousands of young people from across the globe who seek meaning in their lives, noted Cardinal Bertone, recalling how they are welcomed in prayer and allowed to experience a personal relationship with God. And, the letter continued, “although he has entered eternal joy, he still speaks to us,” “May his witness to an ecumenism of holiness inspire us in our march towards unity, and may your Community continue to live and to radiate his charism, especially towards the younger generations!” The community is unique in that it welcomes any Christian, from Catholic, Protestant or Orthodox backgrounds among its ranks. On its Taize.fr website the community describes itself as “a ‘parable of community’ that wants its life to be a sign of reconciliation between divided Christians and between separated peoples.” Concluding the letter to the community, Cardinal Bertone conferred the blessings of Benedict XVI on the Taize community and all who work with them in seeking the unity of Christ’s disciples. The community will be celebrating the double anniversary on Aug. 14. (CNA/EWTN News)

Brother Roger, Founder of Taize

Benedict XVI’s monastic characteristics may be helping ties with Orthodox Church
ROME, Italy, August 12, 2010—Speaking to the Italian magazine 30 Giorni (30 Days), Dominican Fr. Charles Morerod said that Pope Benedict’s way of carrying out his ministry leads to his being liked by the Orthodox Church. It is a question of his being similar in nature to the Orthodox bishops, he observed. Fr. Charles Morerod is the general secretary of the International Theological Commission and rector of the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, known as the Angelicum, as well as a member of the joint commission for theological dialogue with the Orthodox Church for the last five years. His commentary on the Pope’s relations with the Orthodox Church came at end of an interview with 30 Giorni in which he spoke extensively about the positions of the Orthodox and Catholic Churches as they approach the next round of talks about the primacy of Rome in meetings this September. Asked if he had noticed that there was a “particular sympathy and attention” towards Pope Benedict XVI from the Orthodox Church, Fr. Morerod said it is something he has seen as he visits with representatives from different Orthodox Churches. “They have a great esteem for him, maybe also because they see in him a monastic type of figure, and all the Orthodox bishops are monks.”

CBCP official scores military presence inside Hacienda Luisita
MANILA, August 11, 2010— An official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) chided the continuing presence of government troopers inside Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac City. Father Edu Gariguez said the hacienda is currently under tight security as farmers demanding full land distribution continue to gain media mileage and public attention. “We went there (recently) and we saw the presence of the military and militiamen inside Luisita. Soldiers and militiamen have a main camp there,” said Gariguez. He said the soldiers are present in at least ten barangays inside the hacienda and built military camps. Gariguez believes that the presence of the military is not to protect the people but of the interest of the powerful Cojuangco family who owns the 6,419hectare property. The CBCP official said the hacienda has long been militarized even during the term of former President Gloria Arroyo but more soldiers were assigned there lately. Nowadays, he said, the “expanded” military presence there has generated fear to thousands of agricultural workers and their families. “Leaders of farmers’ organizations are afraid because we know that in


Fr. Edu Gariguez

Pope Benedict XVI

Fr. Charles Morerod

Contrary to the common erroneous vision other Christian faiths have of the Pope as “everything” to Catholics, Fr. Morerod said, actually, “if the Pope does not put himself forward, if he repeats only that which he has received, if he remains a little hidden behind his ministry, this on its own helps ecumenism. “A Pope who, in exercising his ministry, puts ‘as little as possible’ of his (personal considerations) into it and concentrates on the essential is destined

to be liked more by the Orthodox,” the Dominican priest commented. Relations with the Russian Orthodox Church are considered to have reached a high point this year with Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev’s visit to the Vatican last May. The metropolitan, Patriarch Kirill’s “minister of the exterior,” batted around the possibility at the time of a landmark visit between the the Patriarch and the Pope. (CNA/EWTN News)

Hacienda Luisita, it’s not easy to be a leader of an organization or farmers’ union,” said Gariguez. The priest was referring to the strike in 2004 that ended in violence and killed at least seven farmers near the gate of the sugar mill in what is known as Luisita massacre. Gariguez said they are planning a talk with the Armed Forces of the Philippines through the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines headed by Bishop Leopoldo Tumulak. “We would like to make an appeal to the military not to side with the land owners but to instead give protection to the people,” he said. (CBCPNews)

Implement policy on Zero Waste, DOT told
MANILA, August 10, 2010—A “litterfree” environment is not only good for the health but a boost to tourism as well, an environmental group said. EcoWaste Coalition, a waste and pollution watchdog, has called on the Department of Tourism to implement an existing environmental policy to clean the country of ubiquitous garbage. Aside from being health hazards, the garbage in the metropolis and elsewhere also drive tourists away, the group said. In a letter sent to the Department of Tourism (DOT) the group asked DOT Secretary Alberto Lim to implement a circular signed by former Secretary Joseph Ace Durano declaring “‘Zero Tourism Waste as a goal and direction for sustainable tourism and development.” “We trust that the implementation of Zero Waste in the tourism sector will be a cornerstone of your strategy to preserve our rich cultural and natural heritage that has been attracting domestic and foreign visitors,” wrote Roy Alvarez, EcoWaste Coalition president. Alvarez said the tourism industry will get a boost if a litter-free environment is adopted by the department. “Protecting our tourist attractions and destinations from waste and other forms of environmental abuse and neglect is key to any tourism development strategy that will bolster our competitive edge over our Asian neighbours,” he said. Alvarez urged Lim to pursue the concept of “litter-free Pilipinas” and make it a crusade of DOT during President Aquino’s administration. “Under your leadership, we expect the entire tourism industry to play a highprofile role in instilling environmental awareness and responsibility among all the tourism stakeholders,” he said. Alvarez said both the tourism sector and the environment will benefit if a crusade against littering will be implemented. The DOT circular states “tourism establishments and facilities [that] generate significant volume of waste can be considerably reduced to zero if a policy on waste prevention, reduction, separation at source, recycling and composting is put in place and genuinely carried out.” Likewise, the memorandum also seeks to promote the “education and training on ecological solid waste management (ESWM) in the tourism sector; inclusion of ESWM as a basic requirement for the accreditation of hotels and other tourism-related establishments; and the greening of tourists events and destinations.” (Pinky Barrientos/ CBCPNews)

Vatican spokesman praises decision to drop sex abuse lawsuit against Holy See
VATICAN City, August 10, 2010— Following the decision of a group of plaintiffs in Kentucky to drop a lawsuit against the Holy See, Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi praised the move, saying it was “good news” that the allegations were ultimately proven “unfounded.” On Tuesday, plaintiffs in the case of O’Bryan vs. the Holy See abandoned their lawsuit against the Vatican. Attorney William McMurry attempted to gain class-action status for the case involving three men who claim they were abused by priests decades ago. He also represented 243 sex abuse victims who settled with the Archdiocese of Louisville in 2003 for $25.3 million. Attorneys for the plaintiffs attempted to implicate Vatican officials – and potentially even the Pope – in allegedly ignoring or covering up the mishandling of clergy sexabuse cases by American bishops. Lauding the abandonment of the lawsuit on Aug. 10, Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi told reporters “it is good news that a case that has lasted six years on the alleged ish the Vatican’s condemnation of sexual abuse or compassion for the victims. “Justice for victims of sexual abuse and the protection of minors remain our primary objective,” he explained. Vatican Radio reported on Tuesday that lawyers for the plaintiffs said earlier court rulings recognizing the sovereign immunity of the Holy See influenced the outcome, as well as the fact that most victims have already sought compensation from their dioceses. Jeffrey Lena, the American lawyer for the Holy See, said the dropping of the Kentucky case shows there has never been a Vatican policy requiring concealment of child sexual abuse. Lena added that although the case against the Holy See always lacked merit, it does not mean that the plaintiffs themselves did not suffer as a result of sexual abuse. The attempted lawsuit, he said, only served to distract from the important goal of protecting children from harm. (CNA/EWTN News)

Fr. Federico Lombardi

involvement of the Holy See in concealing abuse and which has also had strong negative effects on public opinion, has ultimately been proven … unfounded.” Fr. Lombardi also said that the outcome does not in any way dimin-

‘Pro-life’ group slams call to legalize abortion
MANILA, August 9, 2010— A lay advocacy group has come down heavily on calls to legalize abortions in the country, calling it “unacceptable” because it is a complete abomination to safeguarding human life. “Induced abortion is the deliberate termination of the life of an innocent human being and therefore, it is a crime,” the ProLife Philippines Foundation, Inc. said in a statement. Along with the Catholic hierarchy, the organization has openly lobbied lawmakers to drop any proposed legislation to legalize contraception.

Pro-Life also vowed to oppose any move to legalize even elective abortion for rape cases or when the fetus is deformed. New-York-based Center for Reproductive Rights earlier pushed for legalized abortion in the Philippines to stop the thousands of women who undergo

“unsafe” and potentially fatal abortions each year. The so-called women’s rights advocates thought that there will be certain liberal standards on the delicate issues of abortions and naturally the Church and other organizations are upset about this. But the Pro-Life claimed that the legalization of abortion is not necessary to accomplish the government’s concern for poor

women in crisis pregnancies. “If the government is serious in its efforts to remedy this dilemma, help should come in providing counseling services especially with abortion-minded women, post-abortion mothers and fathers, education programs, maternal and child care services, economic and social development programs that would put a stop to rape, incest, sex outside


of marriage and other causes of unwanted pregnancies,” it said. “All men and women need to be educated on fetal development, the consequences of sex outside of marriage, on human sexuality, fertility and love, respect and relationships. Pregnant women need support and help, not abortion. We should be saving lives, not taking them,” the group added. (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews)



Graviora delicta

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 17
August 16 - 29, 2010

WHEN the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith published the Normae de gravioribus delictis (Norms concerning the most serious crimes) last July 15, 2010, the media, which Fr. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesperson, referred to as “non-specialist public,” was immediately on hand to lash out its own reading of the norms. The loudest among them was the New York Times which eclectically made a big brouhaha on why the issue of ordination of women as priests was categorized on the same parallel with the grave offense as pedophilia. Its July 15 issue wrote: “But what astonished many Catholics was the inclusion of the attempt to ordain women in a list of the “more grave delicts,” or offenses, which included pedophilia, as well as heresy, apostasy and schism.” The social media that has grown exponentially in months made trending of this issue with not a few making it appear that the Vatican was embattled and out of its wits. Even the blog of the Vatican Information Service was swamped with online comments such as: “The ordination of women as one of the most serious crimes against the Roman Catholic canon law, or “delicta graviora”—putting it in the same category as sexual abuse of children by priests, is reprehensible.” Or another “I most emphatically denounce the comparison of ordained women with pedophile priests.” And more of such stuff. Fr. Lombardi is right with his “non-specialist public” allusion. It’s either the mainstream media did not read the norms well or were heavily influenced by a secularist agenda or both. Because, really the norms did not make any parallelism between ordination of women and pedophilia. It is, in fact, an improvement to the application of Pope John Paul II’s Motu Proprio Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela of 2001 that gave the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith responsibility to address serious crimes within the ambit of Canon Law. Commendably, the Norms have codified serious crimes against the faith, and more serious crimes against the sacraments of the Holy Eucharist (Art 3), Sacrament of Penance (Art 4), Sacrament of the Holy Orders (Art 5), and against Catholic Morals (Art 6). The ordination of women is mentioned, obviously, in the crimes against the Sacrament of Holy Orders, while pedophilia is treated under the crimes against Catholic morals. But singling out just these two issues is a misreading of the Norms that deals with all serious crimes against faith and morals. Indeed, the Norms are a feat that should in fact be hailed in that it will serve every bishop to fulfill his responsibilities, including the handling in the best possible way allegations of sexual abuse by clerics. Perhaps, the “more serious crimes” (graviora delicta) are those that try to embezzle the truth.

Abp. Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ, DD

Pastoral Companion
BISHOP Francisco Claver, S.J., passed away on July 1st, 2010. My last visit to him in the infirmary of Loyola House of Studies was towards the end of May. I brought him the latest issue of our archdiocesan newspaper, Bag-ong Lamdag (New Light), which featured the installation of Bishop Jose Cabantan on May 15th as the fourth bishop of Malaybalay. He did not know Bishop Joe personally, but was interested to know more about him. He was glad to know that Bishop Joe came from the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro, which was the mother Diocese of Malaybalay. On my part, I mentioned to him that Bishop Joe was succeeding an illustrious line of bishops of Malaybalay, starting with himself followed by Bishops Gaudencio Rosales and Honesto Pacana, S.J. A Missionary Church In 1969 when the Jesuit Mission District in Bukidnon became the Prelature of Malaybalay, there were only 16 parishes manned for the most part by Jesuit missionary priests. (Now, after four decades, Bukidnon has 45 parishes with 87 diocesan priests.) Its first appointed bishop was Bishop Cisco. At the age of 40, he was one of the youngest bishops to be appointed. Indeed, Cisco was still finishing his graduate studies in cultural anthropology at the University of Colorado.

The empty tomb in Bontoc
One evening as he took his turn cooking and carrying the food to his small community of Jesuits in Colorado, he casually broke the news to them: “Your cook has been made a bishop.” It was this casual, yet forthright, manner that characterized Bishop Cisco’s “episcopating” style – a term that he uses in his latest book with a touch of humor and self-criticism. Since he came from Bontoc in the Mountain Province and was going to Bukidnon (meaning, a place of mountains), he aptly chose for his episcopal motto the Psalmist’s prayer: “Levavi oculos in montes.” (“I lifted my eyes upon the mountains.”) During the summers of 1969 and 1970, as a scholastic regent based in Xavier University, I organized and supervised a “Summer-of-Service” (S.O.S.) program in Bukidnon. We contacted several Jesuit-run parishes to host our student volunteers for four weeks of community immersion and development work. It was in this setting, traversing what were then the bumpy and dusty roads of Bukidnon, that I got to know more about the diversity of strong characters among the missionary parish priests. There were Italian Jesuits like Frs. Venere, Leoni and Caroselli expelled from China, and now learning another foreign lan-

Voices of the Rural Poor
THE researches, consultations and dialogues unearthed several causes of rural poverty. Foremost is the lack of serious implementation of laws and policies designed to address asset reforms to promote social justice. Inadequate resources and capacities to provide basic services were also mentioned. Other major concerns were the prevailing graft and corruption and a sense of helplessness – that there is nothing anyone can do to change the situation. The extensive presence of extractive industries, foremost of which is large scale mining, destroys the environment which directly impacts the poor. On the other hand, it was recognized that the rural poor need to discern more their rights and responsibilities as citizens and as children of God. Five basic sectors articulated the complex challenges they face today. Small Farmers and Landless Workers: They are the rural sector that today has the single most urgent claim on the conscience of the nation whose most pressing need is land reform. Academic studies and numerous documentations by civil society have attested to the significant contribution of agrarian reform in reducing poverty, creating opportunities for growth leading towards sustainable development. These gains must not only be protected and sustained, but expanded to cover all legitimate beneficiaries of agrarian reform. Despite efforts to raise these concerns we are saddened to find that elected representatives do not heed the voices of their poor constituents. The small farmers call for basic services in the development of the countryside, such as irrigation systems, farm to market roads, lending facilities, and access to the market. The farmers in many places are suffering from large scale mining and the continuous conversion of agricultural lands to non-agricultural use to avoid being covered by the land reform program. Fisherfolk: They call for the strict implementation of the Fisheries Code, including its review to address loopholes in its implementation. The fisherfolk also identify specific issues such as limited access to municipal waters, pollution of our waters, the practice of destructive and illegal fishing methods, and the encroachment by commercial trawlers into municipal waters. They further call for more programs that would enhance the capacities of their sector. They reiterate the need to promote the sustainable utilization of natural resources in our seas, rivers and lakes, including the establishment of sanctuaries where marine life can regenerate itself. Indigenous People: They demand the recognition of the customary laws and culture of the indigenous people (IP) communities, the intensified implementation and review of the Indigenous People’s Rights Act (IPRA), the recognition of the continuing threat to their communities posed by destructive mining and logging activities, by armed conflict between the rebels and the military and by the entrance of companies causing their displacement, the watered-down application of the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) process, and the strengthening of the National Commission of Indigenous People (NCIP) so that it truly represent the interests of the indigenous peoples and not the foreigners and big business enterprises. –God Hears the Cries of the Poor, Concluding Statement of the CBCP on the Second National Rural Congress, 2009

Pastoral Companion / A7

Defining ‘Responsible Parenthood’
THIS is the story of Meda (not her real name). She found my email address from the Pro-life Website (www.prolife.org.ph) and we have been communicating for a few weeks now. Meda’s main concern is her present pregnancy – her seventh child. I will quote here most of her letter to me so you can understand the dilemma of mothers with many children, in the face of so much anti-natal, pro-contraceptive mentality promoted by the heavily-funded population control groups. “Dear Sr. Pilar, many thanks for responding to my letter. I have been very busy with the kids and in my part-time work until I have had to stop because of this present pregnancy. The past few years have not been great, but not bad either. I don’t know how to say this, but my problem is still the same as when I first wrote you a couple of years ago – I am pregnant again and my husband does not want the baby. I am ashamed to admit to you – but I did use contraceptive pills and injectables but I had to stop them because of the side-effects. So now I am pregnant again.

Sr. Mary Pilar Verzosa, RGS

Love Life
from her husband and mother to be able to raise up the children properly. Her latest letter was full of joy and hope. She started with quoting me: “Having children is not a sign of irresponsibility. Sr. Pilar, this helped me a lot! Thank you! I really don’t know what to say…I have always been afraid of being pregnant but have always been pregnant! I was afraid of many things. I was afraid of what people will say…of what my family will say… I was embarrassed because of my thinking that having a lot of kids [makes me] an irresponsible person. That is what we learned in school and what people say. There were times when I could not give everything my children wanted or even needed. Even if we came from a middle class broken home, I was provided with what I needed. I was only 19 when I met my husband, went pregnant so I married him. There were lots of trials in our relationship but I never gave up because I did not want my kids to grow up in a broken home as well.

Maybe you will think that I am irresponsible, but my only concern now is how my husband and mother will accept the fact that I am again bearing a child. I often go into self-pity and loneliness. I am often tired having to take care of the children. I am happy that even If I had to quit my job, my husband now has a job. Please pray especially that my mother will accept my situation as she is my guide and moral support. And please pray that I will be able to deliver a healthy baby.” I responded to her letter with congratulating her for her persistence in accepting her own pregnancy in spite of the many odds against her. She did not think of abortion. Also, that having many children is not a sign of irresponsibility. She does not have to believe the propaganda that having a small family is equal to being a responsible parent. She has been a good mother to al her children, instilling in them good values and attend God with His plan to share heaven with more souls. I ended with saying that I will pray that she gets the necessary help

Fr. Roy Cimagala

Candidly Speaking
THE issue is not immediately relevant to us, but though it is Californian or American, it has treacherous global implications that can affect us sooner or later. And so we just have to make some comments on it as it is evolving at the moment. I am of the opinion that we need to react now to avoid this complicated development to reach our shores. We cannot deny that its dangerous seeds are already sown in our society. It is part of the culture of death that the late Pope John Paul warned us about. I’m referring to a recent decision of an American judge to overturn the so-called Proposition 8 that bans same-sex unions in California. This proposition was put to a plebiscite before, and it won. In fact, in all the 31 states where this issue was put to a vote, no state voted for “gay marriage.” Every single one of them reaffirmed the true nature of marriage. Now, a judge wants to strike down the state law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. In a brazen act of judicial activism, he is redefining marriage based on an ideological reasoning. In his argument, he said that the “ability to marry” is a fundamental right that cannot be denied to gays and lesbians. This is diametrically opposed to historical evidence where societies have always made some restrictions to this “ability to marry.” As in, one may not marry your own sibling, nor marry several spouses at the same time, etc. There are many valid reasons why marriage has to be regulated. Foremost among those should be the obvious natural truth that marriage is meant for couples to have children, and

Bigotry or insanity?
this can only happen between a man and a woman. The nature of marriage does not depend on the subjective feelings and preferences of the parties involved. It has an objective, absolute and universal basis. Of course, in real life, this objective basis may not be fully appreciated by different people in different cultures and circumstances. But there has always been a consensus that it has to be between a man and a woman. Same-sex unions have largely been seen as abnormal. Several pro-same-sex union commentators were quick to declare that with this judge’s ruling, bigotry has been smashed, obviously referring to the Christian understanding of marriage. One noted that the judge’s decision faulted Proposition 8 banning gay marriages for violating the rule on due process and equal protection under law. I consider these claims as alibis. For sure, everyone is entitled to his opinion. I prefer to see the whole development not as bigotry on the part of those who are not in favor of same-sex unions, but as a step toward legal insanity. Insanity is never a matter of a lack of reason. An insane person thinks and reasons a lot, except that his logic is detached from reality. And when a legal system confines itself solely within reason, of the social type more than the metaphysical, and fails to anchor itself on an ultimate source of truth, as in faith and beliefs, then it is likely to lapse into legal insanity. Its understanding of due process and equal protection under the law, while formally commendable, will suffer a basic
Candidly Speaking/ A7

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CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 17
August 16 - 29, 2010

Gambling in the Philippines—a work in progress
harassments especially from local police authorities and after certain “considerations” asked by and given to them by the gambling operators with the usual “gambling lords”, gambling happily, freely and profitably went on, goes on and intends to become even more and more, not less. Two: The distinction made between “legal” and “Illegal” gambling is but part of the diarrhea of sound and words in the realm to objective truth and reality. In other words, with no juridical difference between them, any and all forms and modalities of gambling publicly and freely operate in all conceivable places in the country and at all opted times. Meantime, the supposedly local, regional and national public authorities see nothing, say nothing, do nothing. Thus it is that “everybody is happy!” with the present national gambling situation to the standard ultimate loss of bettors and the standing “happiness!” of gambling capitalists and their protectors. Three: On account of the above throbbing realities, the fact is that recently, one or more now incumbent ingenious and honorable legislators came up with the brilliant idea of “creating” some kind of a “National Gambling Commission” intended to “supervise” any and all kinds of gambling in the country for their proper taxation! Brilliant and ingenious yet amoral and demoralizing for Filipino with still sound value system.

Rev. Euly B. Belizar, SThD

Oscar V. Cruz, DD

Views and Points
IT is certainly not an exaggeration to declare, once and for all, that this otherwise beautiful and admirable country by reason of its majority of simple and guileless citizens, is a gambling nation in the making. This is definitely not some kind of an expression of frustration, much less a cry of desperation. It is an existing national reality that is precisely becoming more and more deeply rooted and extensive in coverage. Of course Luzon is way ahead in the vibrant incarnation of gambling, with the Visayas closely following, and Mindanao slowly but surely gaining grounds—all in the context of “Gambling Philippines”. There are major and marked indications to reasonably arrive at such a nauseating observation and conclusion—even if but considering the following three standing realities in the Philippine scene. These public and living facts may no longer rightfully demand for “evidence”—considering the naked truth long since well known and accepted by the general public. Hereunder are the factual and real observations that only downright fools or ignoramuses would dare to ask for proofs: One: Once upon a time, there were Jueteng, Bingo, Lucky Nine and similar petty neighborhood gambling forms. Then lo and behold, there was Pagcor, Lotto, STL and other more ardent and heavy gambling, internet gambling, not to mention public bookies here and there. After some

By the Roadside Beauty, anyone?
IT is said that there are only two kinds of men: men who admire those who are beautiful and men who think they are beautiful. I’m astounded at how more and more obsessed our world has become with beauty. Add to that how we take for granted that obsession. I’m equally amazed at how more and more sophisticated people have become in making themselves look good or better. Again, add to that how that preoccupation could be regarded a thing so natural it’s taken in the same league as breathing, eating or drinking, or a goal so fundamental it’s regarded by so many as a sine-qua-non of the pursuit of happiness. Isn’t it amazing how some people think not being beautiful means not being happy? In fact, I’m amazed that I’m amazed. But let me drop these rambling thoughts and get down to the business of reflecting. First, it’s at least clear to me that the ancient thinkers have different perspectives on beauty. Socrates once said that beauty is “a short-lived tyranny”, possibly because beauty, say in a woman, can make her the cause of a variety of afflictions in people, particularly in those under her spell, from having to carry its possessor’s luggage to committing graft or even murder on that person’s order or wish, if actual events were to be our gauge. But, perhaps fortunately, physical beauty is characteristically ephemeral and yet, let’s face it, the fact that beauty fades in time, even if somewhat slowly in a few, is the agony of people whose number is beyond counting. As Mėrė once declared: “Beauty is the first present nature gives…and the first it takes away”, evidently an extension of Plato’s earlier opinion that “beauty is a privilege of nature”. In a word, though it does not come to a person by way of merit, its possessor gains an incomparable edge in the society of all-too-flawed humans such as ours. Of course, we say in no way is beauty on the same footing as achievement. A man or woman who has a successful career—for instance, as a lawyer, doctor, accountant, artist or writer—by logic has more reason to feel proud than a man or woman who simply possesses beauty or a handsome appearance. Still, in real life, we all know how physical beauty can so enthrall or even possess people that it becomes a veritable source of power and influence for its owner. The ‘artistas’ and people in showbiz are a perfect example. People with beautiful faces, handsome appearances and crisp well-chiseled bodies could, to repeat Socrates, become tyrants, if often unintentionally, simply because they command people’s attention and adulation, despite sometimes not having the talent or competence in any given endeavor they get themselves into. All the more reason we are not surprised when Aristotle, even in ancient Greece, already said that “beauty is better than all the letters of recommendation in the world”. On the other hand, we realize, sooner than later, that physical beauty alone, though admittedly a form of power over others, is only “skin-deep”. Genuine beauty, our finer instincts tell us, has deeper roots. In fact, lesser known thinkers already lead us to these deeper roots. For example, Quarles said that “the fountain of beauty is the heart”. Bacon, as if in response, asserted: “The best part of beauty is that which no picture can express”. But I am most taken by the words of Bovee to the effect that “when a graceful figure is the habitation of a virtuous soul—when the beauty of a face speaks out the modesty and humility of the mind, it raises our thoughts to the great Creator…” All these confirm the insight that genuine beauty is within and involves the heart and one’s inner attitudes and conduct, though admittedly external physical beauty helps. But the really profound observation is that beauty takes us to God himself. Ironically Pinoys find it funny when, to the question of “Is she beautiful (Maganda ba sya?)”, they hear the answer, “She’s kind (Mabait sya)” in an apparently polite way of saying, “No, she’s not beautiful” and a deft way of not having to say the ‘U’ word (if you, dear reader, want to know what that is, please don’t ask me). In the process we miss the deeper insight that ‘kindness’ is at the heart of true ‘beauty’, bearing in mind Pope John Paul II’s teaching that the “heart of God is compassion.” This is where Mama Mary comes in. When St. Juan Diego saw the Blessed Virgin Mary whom we call now Our Lady of Guadalupe he saw, in his words, “a lovely lady dressed in Aztec dress”. We wonder how Mama Mary’s beauty could be so unfading, what with two thousand years having passed. But from the angel’s words we clearly hear of God’s action in her and, no wonder, it is a touch of beauty. Bovee’s words quoted above are a reminder of a universal sense among human beings that when physical beauty is coupled with virtue, such as modesty and humility, it becomes a powerful sacrament of God. In his words, “it raises our thoughts to the great Creator”. When the archangel Gabriel declares to Mama Mary God’s plan of making her the Mother of his Son, he calls her kecharitomene. Earlier translated as “full of grace”, later scholars render it (the) “favored one”. ‘Grace’ indicates not only Mary’s beauty in its fullness, both physical and spiritual, but especially its character as a gift from God, which is also clear in the concept of ‘favor’ being showered on Mary, a name which in Hebrew means “excellence”. Although the physical beauty of Mama Mary is often not stressed in her apparitions, it’s also just as factual, and this we gather from visionaries of her in Lourdes, Fatima, La Salette, etc. But it’s also true that in the gospels, attention to the physical beauty of Mama Mary is beside the point. Rather what we read and hear about is the beauty of her heart, her total innocence when she asks the archangel Gabriel how she is going to be a mother in the absence of a man’s intervention (a remark that some early Fathers of the Church interpreted to mean Mary’s intention not to get married), her indomitable hope and courage at the foot of the cross, her deep humility in regarding herself as merely the “handmaid of the Lord” but, most of all, her faith and obedience apparent in her surrender to God’s will, i.e., “Let it be done to me according to your word”. This is what makes Mama Mary truly beautiful. By her humility and obedience Mama Mary easily makes herself the perfect dwelling place of God. And indeed she is the ‘new ark of the covenant’ because in her God the Son dwelt even as the angel declared, “The Lord is with you”. Now, when someone is filled with God, she must be the most beautiful creature in the whole world for, as St. Augustine once said, God is “Beauty ever ancient, ever new”. Now here’s the best part: This is a beauty everybody, male or female, can possess. That is, if, with God’s grace, we could also imitate the virtues that make Mama Mary the quintessence of true beauty. Then the matter of distinguishing those who admire the beautiful and those who are beautiful wouldn’t matter anymore.

I RECENTLY tried my hand at baking bread. A friend of mine, however, took the lead in assembling the ingredients and tools, taking the measurements, mixing the ingredients, etc., while I just did some kneading and shaping. We tried out wholewheat flour with a sprinkling of sliced bananas and assorted nuts embedded into the dough. Those who regularly bake tell me that bread tastes only as good as the love that one puts into it. Conversely, they say that if one is in a bad mood, the bread tastes bitter or is tasteless. I still cannot tell; I am not yet an old hand, if I ever become one. But it is an intriguing thought. Perhaps apart from the practical consequences of being focused only on oneself and thus not really paying attention to the tasks at hand, one is indeed communicating something of oneself in the act of creating something palatable. It seems no mere coincidence that our Lord chose bread to communicate his lingering presence to us. *** I felt joy and excitement as I viewed the baking materials and tools. 700 grams of all-purpose flour was mixed with 300 grams of whole grain flour, followed by ten grams of leaven and other ingredients. This was made to sit for an hour. Then something

Fr. Carmelo O. Diola, SSL

Spaces of Hope
marvelous happened before my eyes. The dough was growing! A mere one percent of yeast did the magic. Patient waiting was part of the magic. Yeast, I read somewhere, is a single-celled plant which multiplies and grows through contact with sugars and water, releasing carbon dioxide and ethyl alcohol. Yeast multiplies as long as there is air. Then my baking companion punched down the dough to break up clusters of yeast cells for contact with more air and food. We waited again for the dough to rise, after which we formed it into desired shapes ready for the oven. Soon we had fresh, steaming hot bread ready to eat! *** Jesus compares the Kingdom of God to “yeast which a woman took to knead into three measures of flour until the whole mass of dough began to rise” (Luke 13:20-21). The Lord chose his image well. History has validated his comparison. Cardinal Ratzinger (now Benedict XVI) in his Introduction to Christianity points out that even during the Middle Ages “there was the great mass of nominal believers and a relatively small number of people who had really entered into the inner movement of belief.” The picture has not really changed. In the Philippines it is estimated that fewer than 20% of Catholics are catechized. The sacrament of matrimony is often perceived as a middle class phenomenon. Politicians who happen to be Christians buy votes while voters who happen to be Christians sell their votes. Faith and life are often disconnected. Yet, in this midst of this “disconnect” there are individuals and groups who are responding to the call to go beyond themselves and be committed disciples. They are a minority. *** Christians and other citizens are called to be a leaven for social transformation. This requires a change of mentality leading to a change in behavior. This cultural change requires bite-size efforts creating ripples of change. Patience is key, as in the period of waiting that is so much a part of the magic of baking. The barangay elections scheduled for October 2010 represents a key bite-size moment in the critical task of providing leaven for a politics that serve the common good. There are opportunities here for meaningful engagement by the Church at the parish level, in terms of helping emerge credible candidates and discerning voters. This is an area where committed members of the Church can act as leaven to raise the dough of Philippine politics.

Fr. James H. Kroeger, MM

Always in season
THIS year we celebrate the twentieth anniversary (19902010) of the famous mission encyclical of Pope John Paul II; it bears the title Redemptoris Missio (The Mission of the Redeemer). This pivotal document carries a significant sub-title: “The Permanent Validity of the Church’s Missionary Mandate.” The pope is affirming that the Church, following Jesus our Savior, is to be in mission continuously and permanently. John Paul II is actually expressing the vision promulgated by the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). In its missionary decree, Vatican II asserted: “The pilgrim Church is missionary by her very nature” (Ad Gentes 2). This means that if the Church is not engaged in mission, she is lacking a key dimension of her very identity. The Church does not “do” mission; she “is” mission! This “core identity” of the Church is to be realized on all levels of Church life, from bishops, priests and religious, down to every baptized person. In a word, the Church is missionary “from top to bottom.” Her missionary mandate possesses a “permanent validity”; mission is “always in season”; it is never only an “optional” task or commitment. Mission is what the Church does to promote the Kingdom of God here on earth. More specifically, mission involves announcing the Gospel to those who have not heard it (or have only heard it superficially). This task can be done in one’s own country (home mission); it may be accomplished abroad (foreign mission). Today mission is often described by using the word evangelization, popularized by Pope Paul VI in his Evangelii Nuntiandi (Evangelization in the Modern World). This means the Church’s mission is to bring the light and power of the Gospel into all aspects of life. Missionary activity goes back to the person of Jesus himself. He sent out his disciples to proclaim his message of the coming reign of God (Mark 6:7-13; Matthew 10:1-16; Luke 9:1-6). Jesus commissioned his apostles to go to the ends of the earth and to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). The Acts of the Apostles can be read as an account of the earliest missionary endeavors of the Church, beginning in Jerusalem and ending in Rome, the center of the then-known world. The New Testament presents Saint Paul as the greatest missionary of the early Church. The Church has understood and carried out her mission of evangelization in a variety of ways throughout history. Before Vatican II mission was perceived as saving people’s souls and establishing local Churches, often on a Western model. In more recent times, a key emphasis in mission has been the building up of truly inculturated local Churches. In Asia, a key emphasis in the Church’s mission of evangelization includes interreligious dialogue with Asia’s venerable religious traditions, such as Islam, Confucianism, and Hinduism. Equally important is the Church’s involvement in social questions, human rights, and integral development. The Church’s permanently valid mission can take on many forms and expressions. Recently, in an effort to more deeply explore new challenges facing the Church’s mission, a world-wide group, the Interna-

Living Mission
tional Association of Catholic Missiologists (IACM), met in Tagaytay, Philippines. Seventy-four mission specialists from twenty-seven countries explored the theme: “New Life in Jesus in the Areopagus of a Globalized World.” They met from July 27 to August 2, 2010 at the Saint Scholastica’s Center for Spirituality. The convocation opened with a Eucharistic celebration by the Papal Nuncio, Edward Joseph Adams; it also included a visit to Cardinal Gaudencio B. Rosales. This week-long IACM assembly explored the contemporary “areopagus” of the world wherein the Church is to accomplish her mission. In the Acts of the Apostles (17:22-34) we read that Saint Paul addressed the leading citizens of Athens in the Areopagus and made a valiant effort to proclaim Christ. Paul was facing a new, unfamiliar, and changing world when he attempted to communicate the Christian faith to Greeks assembled in the Areopagus, a meeting place of the supreme council of Athens. Today the Church faces many new forms of the “areopagus” in its effort to proclaim the Gospel. So many rapid changes have taken place in our globalized world that the Church and her evangelizers find themselves facing very unfamiliar realities and challenges. Yet, her mission of proclamation retains its “permanent validity”! Already in his 1990 encyclical, Redemptoris Missio, Pope John Paul II spoke of “the modern equivalents of the Areopagus” (RM 37). Some new challenges the pope identified are: the world of communications and mass media (especially its impact on youth), the liberation of peoples (especially minorities, women, children), safeguarding the created world, international relations, culture and scientific research. The International Association of Catholic Missiologists (IACM) envisions that it can offer the wider Church helpful assistance as it explores through scholarly study these new questions that relate to the missionary nature and activity of the Church. As a body of scholars with a mission specialization, the IACM truly seeks to serve the diverse local Churches in their mission of evangelizing all peoples and all human situations. Indeed, to fulfill its mission of evangelization, the entire Church—and each Christian— must face many contemporary forms of the “areopagus.” They must act with boldness and courage, profound faith and charity. The contribution of all Christians is needed—if the Church hopes to make her message attractive to our globalized world. When Jesus sent his disciples to the ends of the earth, he intended they would enter new and radically different situations. They were to use their creativity and witness of life to announce the Gospel. Church organizations, such as the IACM, can make a contribution to rethinking the Church’s mission of evangelization. Yet, everyone must recall that a full answer will only emerge when all concerned Catholics become engaged in these burning questions of our times. Never forget that you and I, all of us, are pivotal actors, according to Pope John Paul II, in fulfilling “the Permanent Validity of the Church’s Missionary Mandate.”


Local News

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 17
August 16 - 29, 2010

Aquino lauded for revoking ‘midnight’ appointments
Casino protest rolls out in Nueva Ecija
OPPONENTS of casino gambling rallied outside the Nueva Ecija provincial capitol in Palayan City, saying the planned gaming facility will destroy the province. The rally comes as provincial government officials showed no sign of holding back its decision to allow casinos in San Leonardo town. Bishops Sofronio Bancud of Cabanatuan and Mylo Hubert Vergara of San Jose and their priests joined the mass action in support of around 6,000 anti-casino protesters. Bancud said the time to talk is not when the shovel is in the ground. “We want to air opposition to the impending opening of the casino and other forms of gambling,” he said over Church-run Radyo Veritas. The demonstration, he said, was just the first of the series of rallies that they want to do unless the government will not stop the implementation of the project. What is important for now, according to the bishop, is that they were able to send a message to the local officials that many people are against gambling. “They should always listen and consider the sentiments of the people,” said Bancud. The protesters, accompanied by students of private and state colleges and universities and representatives of the Nueva Ecija Chamber of Commerce and Industry, shouted antigambling phrases and also prayed in front of the capitol. The operation of casino in Palayan City had been approved by the previous provincial board and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) to boost local tourism and economy. But Vergara said there are many ways to improve the province’s economic situation by still upholding the public morals. By institutionalizing gambling, he said, it would seriously affect the moral fiber of the community. “There are so many ways. All we need is creativity,” said Vergara. (Roy Lagarde)



De Leon

SOME Catholic bishops lauded President Benigno Aquino’s decision to revoke the “midnight appointments” of former President Gloria MacapagalArroyo. Novaliches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani said Malacañang made the right decision if only to restore the trust in the government. “It is part of the necessary cleaning (in the government),” said Bacani. Auxiliary Bishops Broderick Pabillo of Manila and Francis de Leon of Antipolo also supported President Aquino’s move since such appointments are against the law.

The Palace has announced the issuance of Executive Order No. 02 recalling at least 977 midnight appointments made by Arroyo on or after March 10. Aquino believed that Arroyo violated Constitutional ban on midnight appointments two months before the May 10 elections. Malacañang said the midnight appointments range from positions of undersecretaries, assistant secretaries, directors, to prosecutors. EO 2, however, does not include those appointments made by Arroyo in the judiciary, including that of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona

which Aquino previously refused to recognize. Bishop Pabillo said Arroyo appointees should have resigned voluntarily and urged the others who are covered by EO 2 to quit from their positions. But De Leon believes there maybe some Arroyo appointees that are capable for their posts “so they should be given a chance to apply again.” Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez also favored the President’s decision, adding that any violation of the Constitution should not be tolerated. (Roy Lagarde)
Agriculture / A6


the PPCRV head clarified they still see the need of a youth representative in the barangay council. “We want a youth member to be elected during the barangay elections and be registered as member of the barangay council,” she said. Vice President Jejomar Binay earlier called for the abolition of the SK, saying mayors should instead be given the authority to appoint barangay captains and representatives from the youth sector. On the other hand, De Villa nixed the idea of postponing the barangay elections which is scheduled on October 25. Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said the Senate will be prioritizing the passage of a bill moving the barangay and SK elections to October 2012. Enrile was referring to the Senate Bill No. 60, filed by Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri. A similar bill was filed in the House of Representatives by House Minority leader and Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman. (Roy Lagarde)
Ella / A1

dent said although Filipinos may be happy with the turn out of the previous national and local elections, [still] people should reflect whether majority of those elected were really the best and the brightest as far as lawmaking is concerned. “We thought there should be other parameters in choosing candidates because we know there are good people out there who are extremely good and deserving of the people’s support,” Tirona added. The Commission on the Laity, according to Tirona, has prepared modules for political education based from Church teachings. “We made a study and compiled all these [Church] exhortations and opted to give flesh into the teachings and make modules that are easily understood,” he explained. Tirona added that even school children should be taught of politics because they also get to elect class officers and school organization heads and are made

to decide who among the candidates deserve their support. “They should be taught values on how to choose their candidates,” he further said. Tirona expressed hope that the Department of Education and Commission on Higher Education, including the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines will support their program. Laiko is launching a “Catechism on Politics” in its bid to further instill values on the voting public. Tirona is also optimistic the laity will support their initiatives as they launch their “Catechism on Politics” which may take place on the National Laity Week from September 26 – October 2, 2010. The Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas is an association of 49 diocesan lay organizations spread across the 86 ecclesiastical provinces nationwide. It actively supports the Catholic Church in its programs and commitments to bring human development to reality. (Melo M. Acuna)

“What is needed is responsible stewardship which simply means use, not abuse our natural resources as calamities have happened in the past in Ormoc and Infanta over the past years,” the prelate said. He added that people and government should be able to protect the watersheds and rivers and basin areas. Ledesma noted the gradual, cumulative adverse effects from environmental degradation and the loss of biodiversity and the extinction of wild-life species manifested by social erosion and irreversible damages that will affect future generations. Organic Agriculture An advocate of sustainable agriculture, Department of Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala lauded the existing partnership between the government and the Catholic Church in developmental projects across the country, notably in pursuit of organic farming. Alcala, who was in Congress before becoming DA secretary, has authored Philippine Organic Act (RA 10068) that seeks to promote and develop organic farming in the country. The adoption of organic farming practices will increase farm productivity, reduce pollution and arrest the destruction of the
Luisita / A1

not use ella.” Numerous pro-life critics denounced the FDA’s approval of the pill, with many arguing that the drug is mislabeled and misleading because it acts as an abortifacient. Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) wrote on Friday that rather “than doing its due diligence on the impact this harmful drug will have on women and developing unborn children, the FDA has turned a blind eye to the serious dangers posed by ella.” “By misclassifying ella as emergency contraception, this administration has paved the way to covertly allow federal funding for abortion through Medicaid, Title X, and international family planning programs,” he noted. Explaining how the drug works, the American Association of Pro Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) said that ella “is the first selective progesterone receptor modulator (SPRM) available in the United States for the indication of ‘emergency contraception
Fisherfolks / A1

(EC).’” “This class of drug (SPRM) blocks progesterone which is necessary to maintain a pregnancy. It disables the uterine lining, compromising it’s (sic) ability to form ‘secretory’ endometrium— the lining which nourishes the fertilized, implanting new human baby.” “This effectively deprives the brand new human child of oxygen and nutrients, and the child dies,” AAPLOG underscored. “This is abortifacient action.” Dr. Charmain Yoest of Americans United for Life cited concerns on the potentially harmful effects that the drug will have on women. “The chemical make-up and mechanism of action of ella are very similar to RU-486, which is known to cause serious adverse health risks such as severe bleeding, ruptured tubal pregnancies, serious infections, and even death,” Yoest wrote on Aug. 13. The Americans United for Life leader also said that several members on the FDA advisory

panel in June raised concerns about the effect that the drug would have on pregnancy, noting that there was “insufficient data.” “However, at the end of the meeting,” Yoest said, “the panel inexplicably voted unanimously in favor of approving the drug as a contraceptive, and specifically recommended that the FDA not require a pregnancy test before dispensing ella.” Family Research Council Jeanne Monahan, director of the organization’s Center for Human Dignity, echoed Yoest’s criticisms, saying that the “FDA advisory panel largely ignored important questions, including impacts on women’s health and the abortifacient capacity of Ella.” “By approving this drug quietly on a Friday afternoon when most of Washington was on vacation,” Monahan added, “the Obama Administration and the FDA once again placed politics above science, women’s health and informed consent.” (CNA)

environment, and prevent the depletion of natural resources and protect and promote farmers’ health, consumers and the general public. The law intends to save on imported farm inputs and adopt a comprehensive program that promotes organic systems in the community as a viable alternative farming scheme. “I hope to reduce the barriers or levels from the farm to the market by the creation of bagsakan facilities as what has been constructed in Sariaya, Quezon,” Alcala said. He assured of appropriate assistance through product-market matching to avoid losses and wastage. Alcala said there is no reason for organically-produced products to remain costly because farmers will definitely save on fertilizers and other farm inputs. “When we met with sugar industry leaders yesterday to discuss the current sugar shortage, we also discussed ways and means to remain selfsufficient in sugar and prepare for the entry of tariff-free sugar by 2015, I said the only way to get a big part of the market is to produce organic sugar,” he said. Alcala said the DA will provide farmers with necessary inputs and appropriate tech-

nology such as soil analysis to find out which plants are suitable for certain areas and what nutrients and inputs would be required. “We will never leave you empty-handed because we will provide assistance to assure you of marketable products,” the 55-year old agriculture secretary added. Self-sufficiency in rice production Alcala said the country may soon wean itself from importing rice within three years when the DA’s medium-term plan of self sufficiency in rice production succeeds. “We have concrete plans to address food security issues, especially on rice, by way of improving the maintenance or upkeep of the country’s irrigation system,” he said. He said rice production is directly proportional with the improvement of irrigation facilities. Alcala said they are moving the rice stocks away from their warehouses to make way for the country’s second cropping season harvests by October. He declined to give the DA’s rice harvest projection for October but added they will soon find out concrete figures in two weeks. (Melo M. Acuna)

the PARC order. Since then, the high tribunal only began to hear the case on the HLI case on August 18. SDO During the hearing, HLI legal counsel Gener Asuncion argued that only a judicial body can revoke the SDO agreement and not the PARC. But most members of the magistrates present during hearing believe that since PARC approved the deal, it also has the power to void it. Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales believed the SDO controversy is a legislative issue and must be solved there and not in the court. For her part, Associate Justice Jose Perez said the deal might have violated the 1988 Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law. Section 31 of the law dictates that stock distribution should be implemented within two years or else the agricultural land of the corporate owners “shall be subject to the compulsory coverage of this Act.” In the 1989 SDO agreement, however, stocks would be transferred to the farm workers within 30 years, or until 2019. As of press time, the hearing at the SC is still ongoing, while demonstrators asking for revocation of the agreement gathered outside the court. Twelve of the 15 magistrates of the SC were present during the hearing. Only Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, Eduardo Nachura, and Arturo Brion were absent. Also expected to be discussed in the hearing of oral arguments

is the compromise deal forged between HLI and farmer-beneficiaries on August 6, but not all farmers are agreed to it. Intervention Pabillo earlier appealed to President Benigno Aquino III to intervene on the issue to resolve the two-decade old land dispute involving his family. “We want to talk to the President. The farmers want the lands given to them. This dialogue is not for me but for the farmers who are victims of the unjust deal,” he said. Under the August 6 agreement, the HLI farmers are again offered the option to retain their stocks in the sugar plantation, or to get their share of land from some 1,400 hectares out of the 6, 453- hectare sugar estate in Tarlac City. The deal indicated that almost three-fourths of the 10,502 farmer-beneficiaries just want to retain their stocks in the Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI) instead of getting land. This also means that 7,302 out of 7,441 farm workers preferred the stock distribution option (SDO) in the corporation and only 139 farmers voted for land distribution. The agreement also came almost two weeks before the hearing of oral arguments at the SC regarding HIL’s 2006 petition to revoke the said PARC order. Pabillo, however, criticized the deal and urged the HLI not to “skirt around” the land reform law through an “unfair agreement.” However, Tarlac Bishop Florentino Cinense insists the de-

cision of the farmers to retain shares in the estate “should be respected.” Cinense said the concerned parties have more to say on whether to discontinue the land reform mechanism or continue with the compromised deal. Cinense opined he cannot blame the farm workers in choosing the stock distribution where they become stockholders and have work than having land but incapable of making such land productive to provide their needs. “That is the law. Give the land to farmers. But there is also another moral principle, ‘To the willing, you cannot do injustice,’” Cinense said. Follow the law Even Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales said that no less than the Constitution is calling for land distribution as part of land reform and no one can violate that. “Land distribution is stated in the Constitution and in what we called the CARP (Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program). Therefore, we cannot violate that,” Rosales said. Rosales stressed that the Aquino administration should implement CARP to break the land monopoly currently enjoyed by big landlords and corporate interests. “The law is very clear that farmers have the right to own the land they till. That’s all I have to say because I don’t know anything about its implementation,” Rosales said.

Pamalakaya said the plans of reclaiming a part of Manila bay is illegal, pursuant to a 2008 ruling by the Philippine Supreme Court. “This is ridiculous, very, very ridiculous. Please allow us to inform the bishops that the Supreme Court ruling is clear: Malacañang should rehabilitate Manila Bay and it is barred from transforming the bay into gambling capital of Asia,” said Hicap. On that decision the SC told the national government and the other concerned government agencies to restore Manila Bay back to its historic and proud past. “Besides, it is detrimental to the health of the bay, not to mention to the fishermen’s income,” Hicap said. Hicap explains, the construction of Manila Bay casino similar

to first-rate casinos in Las Vegas and Macau will trigger the displacement of three million coastal people in Metro Manila and Cavite who are dependent on fishing as their principal source of livelihood. “Any move to transform or convert Manila Bay for other purposes like the $15-billion casino project will have a killing impact on the livelihood of small fishermen, aside from the fact that they would be demolished from their communities, once construction of support structures and establishments begins,” Hicap furthered. Last week, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) president and COO Rafael Butch Francisco had announced that the construction of the Bay Shore Entertainment

City is expected to start in the latter part of the year. The Pagcor chief said the construction is expected to start in the third quarter at an estimated cost of $400 million for the first phase. According to the state-run gambling corporation, the complex will include two five-star luxury hotel towers of over 1,000 rooms within a world-class entertainment and convention facility. Pamalakaya said 3,500 small fisherfolk and their families in Pasay Reclamation Area, and another 3,000 coastal and urban poor families along the coastal shores of Parañaque were evicted by the government of former President Ramos to pave way for the construction of the proposed casino that would make the Philippines the Las Vegas of Asia. (Noel Sales Barcelona)

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 17
August 16 - 29, 2010

Diocesan News
divorce will help in putting an end of domestic violence still prevalent among married Filipino couples because it will give these couples “another legal remedy that they can resort to in addition to the country’s existing laws on legal separation and annulment.” “Legalizing something that is immoral will not make it right but will make it worse,” he said. The Jesuit prelate said that marriage is a holy sacrament as well as a social contract entered into by two persons who vow to love each other “for better or for worst, for richer or for poorer, ‘til death do us part.” As such, individual freedom is set aside for the good of the spouse as well as the children and society as a whole when two persons take the sacrament of matrimony. “The sacrament of marriage is something that is meant for a lifelong commitment, for the good of the children and the community. It is no longer just an individual kind of freedom because marriage itself is a social contract,” he explained. The Philippines is one of only two countries in the world that has not legalized divorce, excluding the Vatican. The other country is Malta. Catholicism continues to be the official and dominant religion in Malta, like in the Philippines. Instead of divorcing his/ her spouse, Ledesma urged couples who plan to marry to first search his/her own heart if he/she is ready for a lifelong commitment. “They should be ready for a lifelong commitment,” he said. (Bong D. Fabe)


Divorce will destroy society—CDO Archbishop
CAGAYAN DE ORO City— Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, S.J said that legalizing divorce will destroy the moral fiber of society because “marriage itself is a social contract.” Interviewed during a break in the “Peace and Reconciliation Workshop—Enhancing the Study and Practice of Catholic Peace building in Mindanao”, Ledesma explained that divorce is immoral because it goes against the teaching of Christ that marriage is a lifelong commitment between two persons of the opposite sex. According to Ledesma, legalizing divorce “is another way of saying that the lifelong commitment in marriage is no longer viable.” “Divorce Bill” proponents Gabriela Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan and Rep. Emerenciana de Jesus claimed that legalizing

Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma poses with friends during a break in the “Peace and Reconciliation Workshop—Enhancing the Study and Practice of Catholic Peacebuilding in Mindanao” in a hotel in Cagayan de Oro City. (Photo: Bong Fabe)

Workshops boost Catholics’ practice of peace building in Mindanao
CAGAYAN DE ORO City— A series of workshops on reconciliation aimed at helping Catholics become better prompter of peace in Mindanao was held at the Country Village Hotel, this city, from August 11-14. Led by Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, SJ, the “Peace and Reconciliation Workshops— Enhancing the Study and Practices of Catholic Peace building in Mindanao”, brought together members of the clergy, laymen and laywomen, and peace advocates from the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro and the Dioceses of Iligan, Malaybalay and Pagadian and Marawi. “These workshops are the continuation of our work in promoting the culture of peace here in Mindanao,” Ledesma said. Ledesma, who is also a convenor of the Bishops-Ulama Forum as well as co-chairperson of the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform, explained that the workshops were designed to “help diocesan and parish workers to reflect more deeply on reconciliation, which is a distinctive aspect of Christian spirituality.” It also tried to answer the question of many on “how we can work towards concrete efforts at peace building,” he added. Christians hinder peace efforts The prelate said that they came up with the workshops to help in renewing the mindset of Catholics in Mindanao, especially those who still harbor biases and prejudices against the practitioners of Islam, to exert effort in bringing about lasting peace in Mindanao. He said there is truth to allegations that some “Christians hinder peace efforts because of biases and prejudices” against the Muslims and indigenous peoples. “That is true,” he said, which is why “it is
Pastoral Companion / A4

RH bill is a serious form of corruption—bishop

very important that we change how we look at people of other cultural groups such as the Muslims and the indigenous peoples,” he said. Aside from a change of mindset and a change of heart, Ledesma said Christians should also exert efforts to be reconciled with the practitioners of other religions particularly Islam. “Reconciliation should be part and parcel of peace building,” he stressed. Resource persons for the workshop were Fr. Robert Schreiter, C.PP.S and Professor Scott Appleby, both acknowledged experts on reconciliation. No reconciliation, no peace Schreiter said that reconciliation plays a significant part in peace building because “it brings together in unity people in conflict despite their diversity of religion and culture. It brings together people to live in harmony.” “Without reconciliation, peace in Mindanao will be very hard to achieve,” he said. Schreiter is a professor of Theology at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. He has published 17 books including The Ministry of Reconciliation: Spirituality and Strategies and Mission in the Third Millennium. According to him, peace builders should always “be ready to fail.” “You can’t control the other person’s reaction to your efforts at reconciliation,” said Professor Scott Appleby, author of The Ambivalence of the Sacred: Religion, Violence and Reconciliation. Appleby, a professor of history and John M. Regan director of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame who examines the roots of religious violence and potential of religious

peace building, said that “Christians should move first towards reconciliation” because “if we wait for someone to apologize, we may have to wait forever.” “If we wait, we are held hostage by a past event for the rest of our lives,” added Fr. Schreiter. Reconciliation, not coercion Schreiter explained that the work of reconciliation is an extension of a person’s spirituality because it is anchored with God. “God is the author of reconciliation,” he said, adding: “We are made in the image of God.” Therefore, “the quality of our work (for reconciliation) depends on the quality of our relationship with God.” Appleby said that Christians should also learn not to coerce the other person to accept his/her offer of reconciliation or feel spurned or dejected and disappointed when their effort to be reconciled with the person he/she is in conflict is rejected. “God doesn’t coerce us (sinners) to be reconciled to Him,” he stressed, adding that what is important in the work of reconciliation “is our own transformation.” The Cagayan de Oro City leg of the workshops was the second of the 3-leg workshop series that the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) helped in organizing along with the Catholic Peace building Network (CPN). The first workshop was held August 9-11 in Zamboanga City, which was participated by delegates from the Archdiocese of Zamboanga, Diocese of Ipil, Prelature of Isabela and Apostolic Vicariate of Jolo. The third and final leg of the workshops will be held in Tacurong City on August 1618, to be participated in by the Archdiocese of Cotabato and the dioceses of Kidapawan and Marbel. (Bong D. Fabe)

MALAYBALAY, Bukidnon—Dipolog Bishop Jose Manguiran said the country and its people should brace for a more serious form of corruption should President Aquino support the sex education in public schools and reproductive health bill. He said Aquino’s battle cry to rid the country of corruption would come to naught if he continues to support the controversial programs. (Melo M. Acuna)
Church plays big role in advancing organic agriculture

GINGOOG City—The Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro is propagating organic agriculture to advance its advocacy of protecting the environment and ensure food security. The archdiocese’s Enterprise Ministry has set up a one-hectare organic demonstration farm in Barangay Agay-ayan where some organic farming technology is being implemented such as vermiculture to produce the organic fertilizer vermicast used for rows like ginger, among others. They also raise pigs using an organic technology developed in Korea that eliminates foul odor from the pigs’ dung. (Bong D. Fabe)
Bishop, peace expert urge schools to add peace ed in curriculum

CAGAYAN DE ORO City—Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, SJ, has urged educational institutions in Mindanao to integrate peace education in their curriculum to help educate the new generation to pursue peace in light of the decades-old “Mindanao conflict.” “We need a change of mindset especially in our understanding of the dignity of the human person, whatever his/her culture or religion and the best way to inculcate this on the younger generation is through the educational system,” he said. (CBCPNews)
OFWs laud suspension of mandatory Pag-IBIG membership

ANTIPOLO City—International migrants’ watchdog, Migrante International commended Vice President and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council chair Jejomar Binay on his decision to suspend the implementation of the mandatory Home Mutual Development (Pag-IBIG) Fund for overseas Filipino workers. In a statement, Migrante’s regional chapter in the Middle East said that OFWs all over the region are elated with Binay’s decision but reiterating that Pag-IBIG membership should be optional, not mandatory. (Noel Sales Barcelona)
Bishop backs safe recycling program for waste pickers

guage, Bisaya, to shepherd their adopted parish flocks. There were American Jesuits, outspoken, erudite, former professors or novice masters – like Frs. Horgan, Shea, Groenendael, Cunningham, Poulin, Fitzpatrick, Risacher, Kirchgessner, Cullen, Bittner, Stoffel. And there were Filipino Jesuit priests as well – like Frs. Flores, Balansag, Jimenez, Alingal – who likewise manned several of the newlyformed parishes. At that time, there were only two Filipino diocesan priests; one of them was Fr. Jose Manguiran who is now Bishop of Dipolog. A Church under Martial Law It was in this context of a pioneering, missionary, localizing church still spreading its roots that Bishop Cisco had his hands full. But it was probably the declaration of Martial Law in September 1972 that transformed the casual manner of Bishop Cisco in dealing with his brother priests into his forthright manner of condemning the excesses of military rule and the violations of human rights. The prelature’s radio station was closed. Its newsletter, Bandilyo, was banned. And Fr. Cullen who was supporting the Federation of Free Farmers was detained at the Constabulary headquarters. Bishop Cisco had no other recourse but to write his weekly pastoral letters that were distributed and read from pulpits throughout the prelature. During Holy Week in April 1981, Fr. Godofredo Alingal, S.J., a known critic of Martial Law, was gunned down inside his convento in Kibawe by hired killers suspected to be close to a local politician. Fr. Alingal’s remains were to be buried in Kibawe, but upon the pleas of

a sorrowing mother, the Jesuit Provincial allowed the remains to be brought to Dapitan to be buried in his hometown. Bishop Claver nonetheless celebrated the funeral Mass in Kibawe and delivered a homily, titled, “The Empty Tomb in Kibawe.” It was as much a stirring indictment of continued violations of human rights under Martial Law as it was also a renewed pledge to continue the struggle for justice and peace in the light of the Easter promise of the Resurrection. Among his fellow bishops, Bishop Cisco came to be counted with the “Magnificent Seven” who were critical of Martial Law from the start. Gradually, as the years of Martial Law deepened, more and more bishops distanced themselves from the martial law regime. By February 1986 at the culmination of the snap elections pitting the widow Cory Aquino against the incumbent martial law President Ferdinand Marcos, the bishops finally came together in a special meeting to condemn the conduct of the polls: “In our considered judgment, the polls were unparalleled in the fraudulence of their conduct… According to moral principles, a government that assumes or retains power through fraudulent means has no moral basis.” The chief drafter of the bishop’s statement was Bishop Claver. But what was distinctly characteristic of his outlook was reflected in the bishops’ “response in faith”: “We therefore ask every loyal member of the Church, every community of the faithful, to form their judgment about the February 7 polls. And if in faith they see things as we the bishops do, we must come together and

discuss what appropriate actions to take that will be according to the mind of Christ.” In effect, the bishops were saying that they would not take the lead for the people but they would “stand in solidarity with them in the common discernment for the good of the nation.” It was this same principle of people’s participation and communal discernment that Bishop Claver would stress in drafting the bishops’ “1997 Pastoral Exhortation on Philippine Politics”: “As at EDSA in 1986, so today: We must reason together for the common good, we must pray together and act together to transform politics into a means of national renewal, a means of just and integral development for every Filipino and for all Filipinos.” This practice of praying, discerning, and acting together would also be for Bishop Cisco the distinguishing marks of Basic Ecclesial Communities. In his recently-published book, “The Making of a Local Church,” that synthesizes his four decades of pastoral experience, Bishop Cisco describes BECs as “worshipping communities of faith-discernment and - action at the lowest levels of the church that try, in a participatory way and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to put life and faith together into an integrated whole.” Journey to Bontoc In January 1982, while I was on tertianship formation in Baguio, Bishop Cisco invited me and another tertian to ride with him to his hometown in Bontoc. We didn’t mind skipping one day from our tertianship sessions in exchange for the chance

to see his native place. It was for me an eventful ride, passing at one point the highest section of the Philippine highway system. When we reached Bontoc, Bishop Cisco introduced us to an elderly Belgian ICM Sister who was maintaining a local museum of native Igorot culture. Then he brought us around some of the Igorot homes built in traditional style – some with a designated spot beside the house for the future burial site of the head of the household. In going up and down the narrow lanes, we noticed the solid stone walls that are part and parcel of Igorot culture − and a trademark skill of Bishop Cisco wherever he was assigned for some length of time. In visiting his hometown, little could I foresee that Bishop Cisco would be appointed in 1995 as Vicar Apostolic of Bontoc-Lagawe. He had come full circle and returned to his roots in the Cordillera – where, as he himself had once expressed in a meeting of local superiors, only native priests can truly bring about the inculturation of the Christian Faith for their own people. A few months before he died, Bishop Cisco sent a letter to the Jesuit Provincial asking that his remains be buried in the Jesuit cemetery in Novaliches. In one sense, he was going against the cultural practice of his people. But in another sense, the empty tomb in Bontoc signifies that Bishop Cisco belongs to us all now – together with his message of hope in the midst of adversity and his faith in the communal strength of little people. May his spirit of casual yet forthright service continue to encourage us in our own pastoral concerns and actions for the People of God today.

CALOOCAN City—Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez, Jr. said the government should create a safe recycling program that would reduce exposure of waste pickers to harmful chemicals in dump sites. “We owe it to the informal waste sector to create and support conditions for recycling that will not put their health and that of their families and communities in danger,” he said. He added that “the waste pickers belong to the poorest of the poor who work in the most difficult and toxic condition to make ends meet.” (CBCPNews)
Candidly Speaking / A4

infirmity that can easily be manipulated by ideologues pursuing some private agenda. This has happened many times in many places and in different episodes of history. We have to be wary of these tendencies that come as a result when the moral and spiritual foundations of a society weaken. We need to be discerning of the dangerous trends our current world, especially involving the more developed but decadent countries. We have to be quick to read the signs of the times, and ready to wage a battle of love and truth to correct emerging anomalies. An abominable danger we should all be careful about is when our legal system makes it-

self an absolute source of its own power, authority and wisdom. We become the most pitiable creatures in the universe when we allow this disorder to reign over us. When law and justice have no deeper foundations than our own understanding of things, our own preferences, our own historical, cultural and social conditionings, with no recognition of a higher source of wisdom, then we truly would be in profound trouble. This is legal positivism, pure and simple, a very funny if most painful predicament, where we can have very sophisticated laws, thoroughly developed and elaborated, but resting ultimately on a vacuum.


‘Segunda Mana’ opens first branch in mall
CARITAS Manila’s “Segunda Mana” Charity Store has opened another branch, this time inside a mall in Makati City. Caritas Manila said the store at the Makati Cinema Square along Chino Roces Avenue will also be its first branch that will operate in Metro Manila’s Central Business District. The Manila archdiocese’s social action arm said it was the management of the Makati Cinema Square and Top Shoppe who offered them space for free. Segunda Mana is the revitalized donations-in-kind program of Caritas Manila, where donated hand-me-down items will later be sold to raise funds for its poverty-alleviation initiatives, including medical and scholarship programs. Through the project, people, organizations, and corporations help by donating items they no longer need or have too much of. The first Segunda Mana Charity Store is at the headquarters of Caritas Manila, in Pandacan. The second is in Paombong, Bulacan. The branch in Makati City was formally opened to the public on August 8, following an 11:00 a.m. Mass presided by Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, chairman of Caritas Philippines. Caritas Manila said there are two main sections in the Segunda Mana Charity Store, the brand new section and the used or second hand section. Segunda Mana offers various items from clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, office equipment, to books for sale. (CBCPNews)

People, Facts & Places

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 14 No. 17

August 16 - 29, 2010

CBCP office to join prison chaplains’ global confab
THE prison ministry office of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines is participating in the 6th Worldwide conference of the International Prison Chaplains Association (IPCA) in Stockholm, Sweden on August 20-25, 2010. Rodolfo Diamante, Asia’s Representative to the IPCA Steering Committee and Executive Secretary of the Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care (ECPPC) heads the delegation of ECPPC prison volunteers and chaplain. Among the delegates are Gerard Bernabe, ECPPC National Coordinator of Volunteers in Prison Service; Fr. Antonio Saniel, Convenor of North Mindanao Chaplains and VIPs; Tita Sierras, Coordinator of the Prison Ministry in the Archdiocese of Palo and Manuel Galang, ECPPC Resource Person. Several lectures during the conference will discuss the various needs and programs of the prison commission of different countries. Regional meetings and workshops to further extend and share one’s idea on the situation and plans of one’s country for this advocacy will also be held. The Election for IPCA President and endorsement of regional elected representatives are also expected to happen during the conference. IPCA is an international association of prison chaplains which seeks to uphold an ecumenical approach to prison ministry and interdependence as well as to work together among various religious organizations. (CBCPNews)

Radyo Veritas launches ‘Campus Hour’
A CATHOLIC radio station has recently launched a program to technically assist around 3,000 selected Mass Communication students in the National Capital Region by providing them with a weekly one-hour radio program. Dubbed as “Campus Hour,” Radyo Veritas 846 will provide the students with the necessary facilities and technical expertise with “values formation” to augment the “holistic learning” in each of their respective learning institutions. “Moreover, this project seek to harness the creative potentials of these gifted students by allowing them to plan, develop, create and execute their own radio program within the station’s protocols and the Kapisanan ng mga Broadcaster ng Pilipinas,” it said. Bro. Clifford Sorita, Campus Hour program director, said the program will be solely conceptualized and managed by students to harness their creative potential to bridge the classroom learning experience with real working environment. “As a teaching radio station, Campus Hour program aims of making the axiom ‘youth serving youth,’” Sorita said. Veritas Campus Hour will be aired every Saturdays starting August 14 until January 29, 2011 from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sorita added that each partner, Unibersidad de Manila, Polythecnic University of the Philippines, Far Eastern University, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, Philippine Women’s University and AMA College will manage the production for the radio program. (CBCPNews)

ELEVATED. Prelature of Ipil into a diocese on August 7, 2010, in a concelebrated Mass at the Cathedral of St. Joseph the Worker. Eighteen archbishops and bishops led by Papal nuncio Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams concelebrated the Eucharist. The Papal Bull, containing the Holy Father’s decision to elevate the Prelature of Ipil into a diocese, was read in the traditional Latin and translated to Cebuano. Zamboanga Archbishop Romulo Valles installed Bishop Julius S. Tonel as the first Bishop of the Diocese of Ipil during the Mass. Present also during the celebration was Ipil Prelature’s first Bishop Federico Escaler. Now 88 years old, the Jesuit bishop served the prelature from February 20, 1979 to June 28, 1977. Ipil second prelate, Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ also graced the occasion. He led the ecclesial province from June 28, 1997 to November 4, 2009. Archbishop Ledesma now serves the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro. Catholic priests from the different dioceses in Mindanao and the Visayas also joined the celebration. Religious women from various congregations and thousands of faithful flocked the cathedral, with delegates coming in droves from 19 parishes of the four vicariates of Ipil diocese. Erected as Prelature on December 24, 1979, Pope Benedict XVI elevated Ipil into a Diocese last May 1, 2010. ORDAINED. Rev. Janjan Alota, Rev. John Lino and Rev. Henry Rabe to the Sacred Order of Deacons by Manila Auxiliary Bishop Bernardino Cortez, August 10, 2010 at the St. Peter’s College Seminary, San Pablo City on the occasion of the Feast of St. Lawrence, deacon and martyr. Present during the ordination was San Pablo Bishop Most Rev. Leo M. Drona, SDB who requested Bishop Cortez to officiate the ordination on his behalf as he was recuperating from an eye operation he had recently. The ceremony was attended by members of San Pablo Clergy and Religious, parents, relatives and benefactors of the candidates. CELEBRATED. Patronal fiesta and 385th anniversary of the enthronement of the revered image of Nuestra Señora del Buen Suceso in Parañaque, August 10, 2010. Highlights of the day’s celebration included the procession of the image during which a young lady serenaded the Virgin from a balcony by singing the Gozos de la Virgen del Buen Suceso, a poem written by the eminent Augustinian writer and historian, Fr Joaquin Martinez de Zuniga, OSA, and set to music by the late Prof. Lucio San Pedro, National Artist for Music. This was followed by the Solemn High Mass with Most Rev. Jesse E. Mercado, DD, Bishop of Parañaque as main celebrant together with Msgr. Manny Gabriel and the clergy of the diocese. The multi-awarded UST Symphony Orchestra and Coro Tomasino, under the baton of Prof. Herminigildo Ranera rendered the liturgical music for the occasion. Before the mass ended, the image of Nuestra Señora del Buen Suceso was enthroned on her newly-built altar amidst waving of white handkerchiefs and the singing of “Mabunying Ina ng Palanyag” written by Dr. Erwin Carabeo for this celebration and set to music by Professor Ranera. Veneration of Nuestra Señora del Buen Suceso or Our Lady of the Good Event started in St. Andrew’s Church (now St. Andrew’s Cathedral) in 1625 when Rev. Fr. Alonzo de Mentrida, OSA then Provincial of the Augustinians ordered that the image be enthroned in the church. Parañaque became one of the earliest centers for pilgrimage or “romeria” outside Intramuros. People came to pray to the Virgin of Buen Suceso for various needs. Aside from the countless sick people, the sailors and fisherman were the benefactors of the favors she dispensed which earned her the title of “Abogada delos Navigantes.” Galleons that sailed out of the port in Cavite fired their canons to salute the Virgin of Buen Suceso when the vessels pass in front of the church. She is also credited for saving the town of Parañaque from the ravages of the revolution, war, epidemics and natural calamities. His Holiness, Pope John Paul II authorized the Canonical Coronation of the image which was held on September 8, 2000. The late Archbishop of Manila, Jaime L. Cardinal Sin proclaimed Nuestra Señora del Buen Suceso as Patroness of the City of Parañaque on the same year. DIED. Fr. Lorenzo de Leon, 66, resident-priest at the Albay Cathedral, of massive heart attack, August 13, 2010. Born on March 10, 1944 in Tiwi, Albay, Fr. de Leon was ordained priest on November 28, 1970 by Pope Paul VI at the Rizal Park, Manila on the occasion of the pope’s visit to the Philippines. He served the Diocese of Legazpi as a priest for almost 40 years. Among his pastoral assignments were: Rector of St. Gregory the Great Seminary in Tabaco City, Vice-Rector of the Holy Rosary Major Seminary in Naga City, parish priest of Manito, Tiwi and Camalig, Vicar Forane of the Second Vicariate and Member of the Diocesan Presbyteral Council. He also served as Chaplain to Filipino migrants in the Archdiocese of Paris from 1997-2003. Gifted with love for music, Fr. de Leon has shared the same passion for liturgical music to generations of seminarians, priests and choir members.

OFW families encouraged to save, invest in livelihood projects
WITH newly-acquired business acumen, families of migrant workers could now look forward to a secure future by investing wisely the hard-earned money of their loved ones abroad. Aiming to encourage the families left behind by Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) to save and invest in livelihood projects, a business and livelihood fair was held at the St. Mary’s Academy in Caloocan City on August 7. The diocesan business fair was organized by the Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People (ECMI) of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) together with the Pioneer Life Foundation. Participants were families of migrant workers coming from various parishes, according to the organizers. The event was a comprehensive re-integration program of ECMI which intends to provide additional income and productive businesses to families of migrants left behind. Organizers said the program has helped the families not to depend too much on their loved ones’ remittances from abroad. The business fair also included lectures on saving, financial literacy and tips on handling remittances. Present in the event were representatives from various government agencies that deal with OFWs such as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). Last July 31, a similar livelihood fair was organized for families of OFWs at the Agoo Municipal Event Center in La Union. The livelihood fair in Agoo was the second held by organizers. The first activity was held last July 24, 2010 at the Robinson Heroes Covered Court in Antipolo City. (Kate Laceda)

Parañaque cathedral sets concert series

AT least three musical events will be held at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew in Parañaque City in honor of the 385th feast of Our Lady of Good Events. Monsignor Manuel Gabriel, cathedral’s rector, said the first concert features the University of Santo Tomas Symphony Orchestra on August 10 at 6:00 p.m. after a Mass to be presided by Bishop Jesse Mercado. The date, Gabriel said, marks the actual feast day of the patroness of the city and the Diocese of Parañaque. The second concert is scheduled on August 21 at 7:30 p.m. with the Saint Andrew’s Parish Choir performing in commemoration of the group’s 40th anniversary. Gabriel said the event will also be held as a tribute to choir founder, the late Francis Dandan, who composed the hymn of the Buen Suceso and the now famous Christmas song “Pasko na Sinta ko” popularized by Gary Valenciano. The last concert will be held on September 8 to celebrate the 10th year anniversary of the Canonical Coronation of the Image of Nuestra Señora del Buen Suceso. Gabriel said the three concerts are open to the general public for free. (CBCPNews)

Blind people learn Scriptures through audio Bible
BLINDNESS is not an impediment for anyone who wants to learn the Bible. An audio Bible called “The Proclaimer” has made it possible for blind people to listen and share on the word of God. The audio Bible is a special supplement of the May They Be One (MTBO) project; a joint undertaking of the Episcopal Commission on Biblical Apostolate (ECBA) of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and Philippine Bible Society (PBS). It contains 27 New Testament books from Matthew to Revelation where a group of listeners gather to hear the Word of God. Fr. Oscar Alunday, Executive Secretary of ECBA, said this program aimed to help people listen to the Word of God through the radio and CD formats and to bring God’s church together and make disciples. “The Faith-Comes-By-Hearing program audio player contains the New Testament in the heart language on an embedded microchip. It can play by solar panel, rechargeable batteries, hand crank or AC adapter,” he added. The system allows about more than 300 groups of listeners called Bible Listening Group to listen to God’s Word. The listening session is being held once-a-week by the group together with their Church Leader. The priest also explained that the session, which begins with the Book of Matthew, is limited only from 1 to1 ½ hours. “The ‘Chapter – Play, Pause & Share’ method is very effective. This program is a ‘Leader-Facilitator/Member discussion,” he said. Alunday said that the” Audio Bible is translated in the heart language of the people, dramatized by over 27 talents, w/ music background and sound effects, and cues the listeners on what book or chapter they will hear.” ECBA and PBS presented the Audio Bible to the Northern Luzon Association for the Blind Campus Ministry last August 8, 2010 in Bokawan Road, Baguio City. The Northern Luzon Association for the Blind is a ministry of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Montessori headed by Donna Rosario. (Kate Laceda)

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 17
August 16 - 29, 2010

Pastoral Concerns


Transformation through values
(Talk of Manila Archbishop Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales delivered by Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo during the 10th MAGPAS First Saturday Catechesis held on August 7, 2010, at the Paco Catholic School auditorium, Paco, Manila.)

© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

The Means Will Serve the End It has been said from the wisdom of elders that once the desire for an end has been identified, the choice of the means will follow. This is true of life. The moment a person decides on what he really wants to achieve, the steps he takes is mandated by what he wants. If a man desires good health, he would take steps to monitor his food intake and will faithfully attend to regular exercise. He would fill this desire with the means that lead to good health. That is why the next advice of our wise elders is this: be very careful with what you desire, because whatever one desires, he will buy at the cost of his soul (Heraclitus). Be choosy with what is wanted. Correct desires can build character and save life; but wrong and selfish desires can also make selfish individuals and can even dictate criminal acts. Ultimately a person is what he desires. Today we go back to our apostolic vision because it has somehow articulated for us the beginning of what we want to be and where we want to go. We want God and we want to go back to Him. We are a people of God, called by him as Father, and He wants us to be persons with fullness of life—with the dignity and humanity that is ours as children of a loving Father—within a community that everyone wants to build. And in this community we witness to the God’s Reign in constant pursuit of our vision, through sometimes bitter change of fortunes, but always arriving at the truth that we are beloved of God and guided towards what is good. Leadership and accompaniment are not enough to lead us to that change we have always wanted to achieve. We believe and we hope that tomorrow will always be better than today. But what are we to embrace today in order that tomorrow will bring us to that transformation of our society. Understandably tomorrow will be ours, only if we possess the potentials and the reasons to change ourselves today. We have the potentials and we possess the means that enable us to change ourselves and through ourselves to transform our community (society). The Role of Values in Any Change or Transformation Values are the primary key to change or any transformation. In one of our regular Saturday MAGPAS catecheses, we said that principles (PRINSIPYO) are not the authentic beginning of change, although the root of the word

“principle” is taken from the Latin word “principium,” a beginning. The truth is every principle, every beginning must be based and founded on a value or else, there can be no beginning. Values are the key to any change, whether the question is to begin or to continue. The great scientist Albert Einstein once counseled his friends, “try not to be persons of success, but rather be men of values.” Principles are based on values. Value is the worth that is given to a thing, subject or object. It is something we do not ordinarily define, but everyone understands in daily life that when someone is ready to give up his belonging in order not only to possess a thing, that already reveals the value of the object. The Lord Jesus gave us the best lesson on values when he said that a farmer once sold everything he had – plow, cow, house, furniture, and other belongings – in order to buy a piece of land that harbors a tremendous treasure. Giving up everything for the best shows everyone the true value of an object. The Kingdom of the love of God is one such value. (Matthew 13:44). Some values have already been prepared for by God, Creator, and strengthened (in varying degrees) in every human being. In this portion of the catechesis on our vision, we will revisit some of these key values that already the Filipino has kept from long ago; and these will need a revisit, an intensification of those moral treasures. In the Pastoral Constitution of the Church, Gaudium Et Spes, the safeguarding of key values and how these will be shared with the young has already been outlined for us. The Document reminds all that “Still, it remains each man’s duty to safeguard the notion of the human person as a totality in which predominate values of intellect, will conscience, and brotherhood, since these values were established by the creator and wondrously restored and elevated by Christ.” “Education of this kind has its source and its cradle, as it were, in the family: there, children in an atmosphere of love learn more quickly the true scale of values, and approved forms of culture are almost naturally assimilated by the developing minds of adolescents.” (GS, 61) For this kind of values formation and value transmission, the family has been singled out as the most ideal site of moral transformation, utilizing the values that already are available to everyone, but

would still be needing support in its role for change. The First Six Values That Can Empower Change and Transformation Of the six values for change we take the first two values of (1) reason and (2) conscience. What is the role of reason in Christian and civil life? Reason is a special gift of God to humans, making them different from the rest of material creation. Humans can understand, they can learn, they can ask questions and reason out answers to questions. But reason has to be helped to grow, to mature and needs to be guided. The gift of reason is capable of finding an answer to the question of origin. With the help of reason the human person can know with certainty through the works of creation, the existence of a Creator. Reason is both a gift from God and a value we must treasure and protect. Faith is always ready to confirm and enlighten reason in the correct understanding of this truth on creation. (CCC, 286) Conscience is the next big treasure and value that the human person possesses. Every person has a human conscience. If we may recall, there was another catechesis in this First Saturday MAGPAS talks where we even mentioned the degrees of sharpness of the human conscience (aside from the kind of conscience that a person can have: certain, doubtful, enlightened, etc.). But let us just go back to the basic meaning of this great treasure we have—conscience. A rightly formed conscience helps the person to recognize the goodness or badness (evil) of his or her action, or act that s/he is about to perform. “Conscience is the law of the mind … It is the messenger of him, who, both in nature and in grace, speaks to us behind a veil, and teaches and rules us by his representatives. Conscience is the aboriginal Vicar of Christ.” “A man who acts according to his conscience assumes the responsibility for the acts performed. If a man commits evil, the just judgment of conscience can remain within him as the witness to the universal truth of good, at the time as the evil of his particular choice” (CCC, 1778; CCC, 1781). “Time and again stories were told where a person has done bad and harmed another grievously – through big thievery or harm to life or killed someone—that that person had spent many a sleepless night causing the person’s loss of health and even

disturbance of mental balance. Thus it was said in the past that the greatest tormentor of the human soul was a guilty conscience. Some had gone mad because of crimes that had ignored conscience. Be the friend of your conscience, it is the voice of God in you. Treasure it, love it and value it. Another value we treasure in our culture is the Maka-Diyos value of the Filipino. Hardly is there a Pinoy who does not profess a faith in, fear of and love for God. This is a treasure we all have, and many people from other countries and cultures openly remark about the Pinoy’s faith and reverence for God. S/he may be poor in other aspects, but his or her faith makes them appear “fulfilled” even in the midst of many more needs. Their faith shows in their face. Even before other countries learned how to smile, the Filipinos have already worn joy in their lives and shared it in their celebrations. Their belief in God and love for Him has enormous consequences for their lives (CCC, 222). Many a tragedy and disaster, natural and man-made, have taken turns to visit and revisit the country, but the Filipino has managed to bounce back. And they came back with much hope coupled even with an element of joy. Have you not noticed that it is the Filipino who can manage to smile even in the midst of a flood that made him homeless? To realize the greatness of this value of faith and love of God, reverse the situation. Try to imagine the opposite: that there is not the element of faith in the Filipino culture; remove faith and the touch of joy linked with the Pinoy’s celebration of God’s gifts memorialized in their “fiestas.” Surely there will be much sadness or near hopelessness. But let that value of faith reach out beyond prayer and celebration, let faith in God embrace one’s neighbors for they, too, are images and likeness of Him who made all, and you will find Pinoys helping their neighbors. Bayanihan is not just a neighbor helping a neighbor. It is love that has given expression in compassion, destined to arrive at some measure of fullness of life. The Filipino has a soft heart for the weak. In short, the Filipino is a person of love with compassion. It is said of him that when disasters come to destroy the countryside and have made people victims and refugees, the best of Filipino benevolence shines best. Even before public requests for aid is aired, the Filipino takes it as their initiative to

extend help to those who are affected by the tragic event. Where does this value begin or how does the public exercise such affection for the weak? It all begins in the home where the family exposes the young to the balance of love and compassion. Here is where the values are born. Again and again we have witnessed the discussion and sometimes moments of complaints at home where the young or the weaker members of the family appear to receive added attention from parents. And the complaining ones will always hear, “This is not favoritism. It is only because this young one or this weaker one is in a moment of great need that we must give more attention to him/her.” Ilang ulit nating naririnig sa magulang: “Palamangin muna natin si Nene sapagka’t meron siyang karamdaman.” This is how values are learned and imbibed in the home. “We listen, we observe and we share in those practices of love, then without our making much effort, we are already passing on that value as life’s practice to others.” There is no formal school for habitual values as virtues. Life itself is the school. And the teachers for values are the children, the young and the old. They observe each other, the old leading the young, while the young are open to the adults. Grateful and reverent of one another, the elders and young ones mutually encourage one another, thus values are established mutually among the one who gives and the others who receive. Humans are primarily influenced by what is good. It has been said by child psychologists that the first lesson is not preventive. “Do not do this or do not do that.” The first lesson is “Love.” Once the child learns love, because he is loved and shown love, s/he will be ready to obey. Then, even the preventive and protective measures become easy to take. And while we are speaking of love as a value in life, let us read from the Catechism of the Catholic Church because it has stated this lesson so accurately. “To love is to will the good of another. All other affections have their source in this first movement of the human heart toward the good. Only the good can be loved.” (CCC, 1766) Thus, when speaking of values our first orientation is towards what is good. Discipline is another value society appreciates and needs. What are laws for if they are not obeyed? A foreigner visiting the country for the first time
Transformation / B4

© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media



CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 17
August 16 - 29, 2010

Norms Addressing ‘Gravioribus Delictis’
(A Vatican translation of the norms addressing cases of “gravioribus delictis” (grave crimes) published by the Vatican Press Office on July 15, 2010)

PART OnE Substantive norms Art. 1 § 1. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, according to art. 52 of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus[1], judges delicts against the faith, as well as the more grave delicts committed against morals and in the celebration of the sacraments and, whenever necessary, proceeds to declare or impose canonical sanctions according to the norm of both common and proper law, with due regard for the competence of the Apostolic Penitentiary[2] and in keeping with Agendi ratio in doctrinarum examine. [3] § 2. With regard to the delicts mentioned above in § 1, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, by mandate of the Roman Pontiff, may judge Cardinals, Patriarchs, Legates of the Apostolic See, Bishops as well as other physical persons mentioned in can. 1405 § 3 of the Code of Canon Law[4], and in can. 1061 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches. [5] § 3. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith judges the reserved delicts mentioned in § 1 according to the following norms. Art. 2 § 1. The delicts against the faith referred to in art. 1 are heresy, apostasy and schism according to the norm of can. 751[6] and 1364[7] of the Code of Canon Law, and can. 1436[8] and 1437[9] of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches. § 2. In the abovementioned cases referred to in § 1, it pertains to the Ordinary or Hierarch to remit, by norm of law, if it be the case, the latae sententiae excommunication and likewise to undertake a judicial trial in the first instance or issue an extrajudicial decree, with due regard for the right of appeal or of recourse to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Art. 3 § 1. The more grave delicts against the sanctity of the most Holy Sacrifice and Sacrament of the Eucharist reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for judgment are: 1° the taking or retaining for a sacrilegious purpose or the throwing away of the consecrated species[10], as mentioned in can. 1367 of the Code of Canon Law[11], and in can. 1442 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches[12]; 2° attempting the liturgical action of the Eucharistic Sacrifice spoken of in can. 1378 § 2, n. 1, of the Code of Canon Law[13]; 3° the simulation of the same, spoken of in can. 1379 of the Code of Canon Law[14] and in can. 1443 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches [15]; 4° the concelebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice prohibited in can. 908 of the Code of Canon Law[16], and in can. 702 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches[17], spoken of in can. 1365 of the Code of Canon with ministers of ecclesial communities which do not have apostolic succession and do not acknowledge the sacramental dignity of priestly ordination. § 2. Also reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is the delict which consists in the consecration for

a sacrilegious purpose of one matter without the other or even of both, either within or outside of the eucharistic celebration[20]. One who has perpetrated this delict is to be punished according to the gravity of the crime, not excluding dismissal or deposition. Art. 4 § 1. The more grave delicts against the sanctity of the Sacrament of Penance reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith are: 1° the absolution of an accomplice in a sin against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue, mentioned in can. 1378 § 1 of the Code of Canon Law[21], and in can. 1457 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches[22]; 2° attempted sacramental absolution or the prohibited hearing of confession, mentioned in can. 1378 § 2, 2° of the Code of Canon Law[23]; 3° simulated sacramental absolution, mentioned in can. 1379 of the Code of Canon Law[24], and in can. 1443 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches[25]; 4° the solicitation to a sin against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue in the act, on the occasion, or under the pretext of confession, as mentioned in can. 1387 of the Code of Canon Law[26], and in can. 1458 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches[27], if it is directed to sinning with the confessor himself; 5° the direct and indirect violation of the sacramental seal, mentioned in can. 1388 § 1 of the Code of Canon Law[28], and in can. 1456 §1 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches[29]; § 2. With due regard for § 1, n. 5, also reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is the more grave delict which consists in the recording, by whatever technical means, or in the malicious diffusion through communications media, of what is said in sacramental confession, whether true or false, by the confessor or the penitent. Anyone who commits such a delict is to be punished according to the gravity of the crime, not excluding, if he be a cleric, dismissal or deposition [30]. Art. 5 The more grave delict of the attempted sacred ordination of a woman is also reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: 1° With due regard for can. 1378 of the Code of Canon Law, both the one who attempts to confer sacred ordination on a woman, and she who attempts to receive sacred ordination, incurs a latae sententiae excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See. 2° If the one attempting to confer sacred ordination, or the woman who attempts to receive sacred ordination, is a member of the Christian faithful subject to the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, with due regard for can. 1443 of that Code, he or she is to be punished by major excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See. 3° If the guilty party is a cleric he may be punished by dismissal or deposition[31]. Art. 6 § 1. The more grave delicts

against morals which are reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith are: 1° the delict against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue committed by a cleric with a minor below the age of eighteen years; in this case, a person who habitually lacks the use of reason is to be considered equivalent to a minor. 2° the acquisition, possession, or distribution by a cleric of pornographic images of minors under the age of fourteen, for purposes of sexual gratification, by whatever means or using whatever technology; § 2. A cleric who commits the delicts mentioned above in § 1 is to be punished according to the gravity of his crime, not excluding dismissal or deposition. Art. 7 § 1. A criminal action for delicts reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is extinguished by prescription after twenty years, with due regard to the right of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to derogate from prescription in individual cases. § 2. Prescription runs according to the norm of can. 1362 § 2 of the Code of Canon Law[32], and can. 1152 § 3 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches[33]. However, in the delict mentioned in art. 6 §1 n. 1, prescription begins to run from the day on which a minor completes his eighteenth year of age. PART TWO Procedural norms Title I The Constitution and Competence of the Tribunal Art. 8 § 1. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is the Supreme Apostolic Tribunal for the Latin Church as well as the Eastern Catholic Churches, for the judgment of the delicts defined in the preceding articles. § 2. This Supreme Tribunal also judges other delicts of which a defendant is accused by the Promotor of Justice, by reason of connection of person and complicity. § 3. The sentences of this Supreme Tribunal, rendered within the limits of its proper competence, do not need to be submitted for the approval of the Supreme Pontiff. Art. 9 § 1. The Members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith are ipso iure the judges of this Supreme Tribunal. § 2. The Prefect of the Congregation presides as first among equals over the college of the Members, and if the office of Prefect is vacant or if the Prefect himself is impeded, the Secretary of the Congregation carries out his duties. § 3. It is the responsibility of the Prefect of the Congregation to nominate additional stable or deputed judges. Art. 10 It is necessary that such appointed judges be priests, of matureage,possessingadoctorate in canon law, outstanding in good morals, prudence and expertise in the law. Such priests may at the same time exercise a judicial or consultative function before another Dicastery of the Roman Curia.

Art. 11 To present and sustain an accusation a Promotor of Justice is to be appointed, who is to be a priest, possessing a doctorate in canon law, outstanding in good morals, prudence, and expertise in the law. He is to carry out his office in all grades of judgment. Art. 12 For the functions of Notary and Chancellor, priests are appointed, whether or not they are officials of this Congregation. Art. 13 The role of Advocate or Procurator is carried out by a priest possessing a doctorate in canon law. He is to be approved by the presiding judge of the college. Art. 14 Indeed, in the other tribunals dealing with cases under these norms, only priests can validly carry out the functions of Judge, Promotor of Justice, Notary, and Patron [Procurator and Advocate]. Art 15 With regard to the provisions of can. 1421 of the Code of Canon Law[34], and can. 1087 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches[35], the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith may dispense from the requirements of the priesthood and of a doctorate in Canon Law. Art. 16 Whenever the Ordinary or Hierarch receives a report of a more grave delict, which has at least the semblance of truth, once the preliminary investigation has been completed, he is to communicate the matter to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which, unless it calls the case to itself due to particular circumstances, will direct the Ordinary or Hierarch how to proceed further, with due regard, however, for the right to appeal, if the case warrants, against a sentence of the first instance only to the Supreme Tribunal of this same Congregation. Art. 17 If a case is referred directly to the Congregation without a preliminary investigation having been undertaken, the steps preliminary to the process, which fall by common law to the Ordinary or Hierarch, may be carried out by the Congregation itself. Art. 18 With full respect for the right of defense, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith may sanate acts in cases lawfully presented to it if merely procedural laws have been violated by lower Tribunals acting by mandate of the same Congregation or according to art. 16. Art. 19 With due regard for the right of the Ordinary to impose from the outset of the preliminary investigation those measures which are established in can. 1722 of the Code of Canon Law[36], or in can. 1473 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches[37], the respective presiding judge may, at the request of the Promotor of Justice, exercise the same power under the same conditions determined in the canons themselves.

Art. 20 The Supreme Tribunal of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith judges in second instance: 1° cases adjudicated in first instance by lower tribunals; 2° cases decided by this same Supreme Apostolic Tribunal in first instance. Title II The Procedure to be followed in the Judicial Trial Art. 21 § 1. The more grave delicts reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith are to be tried in a judicial process. § 2. However, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith may: 1° decide, in individual cases, ex officio or when requested by the Ordinary or Hierarch, to proceed by extrajudicial decree, as provided in can. 1720 of the Code of Canon Law[38] and can. 1486 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches[39]. However, perpetual expiatory penalties may only be imposed by mandate of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. 2° present the most grave cases to the decision of the Roman Pontiff with regard to dismissal from the clerical state or deposition, together with dispensation from the law of celibacy, when it is manifestly evident that the delict was committed and after having given the guilty party the possibility of defending himself. Art. 22 The Prefect is to constitute a turnus of three or five judges to try the case. Art. 23 If in the appellate stage the Promotor of Justice brings forward a specifically different accusation, this Supreme Tribunal can admit it and judge it as if at first instance. Art. 24 § 1. In cases concerning the delicts mentioned of in art. 4 §1, the Tribunal cannot indicate the name of the accuser to either the accused or his patron unless the accuser has expressly consented. § 2. This same Tribunal must consider the particular importance of the question concerning the credibility of the accuser. § 3. Nevertheless, it must always be observed that any danger of violating the sacramental seal be altogether avoided. Art 25 If an incidental question arises, the college is to decide the matter by decree most expeditiously [expeditissime, cf. cann. 1629, n.5< CIC; 1310, n. 5< CCEO]. Art. 26 § 1. With due regard for the right to appeal to this Supreme Tribunal, once an instance has been finished in any manner before another tribunal, all of the acts of the case are to be transmitted ex officio to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as soon as possible. § 2 The right of the Promotor of Justice of the Congregation to challenge a sentence runs from the day on which the sentence of first instance is made known to this same Promotor.

Art. 27 Recourse may be had against singular administrative acts which have been decreed or approved by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in cases of reserved delicts. Such recourse must be presented within the preemptory period of sixty canonical days to the Ordinary Session of the Congregation (the Feria IV) which will judge on the merits of the case and the lawfulness of the Decree. Any further recourse as mentioned in art. 123 of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor bonus is excluded [40]. Art. 28 A res iudicata occurs: 1° if a sentence has been rendered in second instance; 2° if an appeal against a sentence has not been proposed within a month; 3° if, in the appellate grade, the instance is abated or is renounced; 4° if the sentence has been rendered in accord with the norm of art.20. Art. 29 § 1. Judicial expenses are to be paid as the sentence has determined. § 2. If the defendant is not able to pay the expenses, they are to be paid by the Ordinary or Hierarch of the case. Art. 30 § 1. Cases of this nature are subject to the pontifical secret. [41] § 2. Whoever has violated the secret, whether deliberately (ex dolo) or through grave negligence, and has caused some harm to the accused or to the witnesses, is to be punished with an appropriate penalty by the higher turnus at the insistence of the injured party or even ex officio. Art. 31 In these cases, together with the prescripts of these norms, by which all Tribunals of the Latin Church and Eastern Catholic Churches are bound, the canons concerning delicts and penalties as well as the canons concerning the penal process of each Code also must be applied.

Notes [1] Ioannes Paulus PP. II, Constitutio apostolica Pastor bonus, De Romana Curia, 28 iunii 1988, art. 52, in AAS 80 (1988) 874: «Delicta contra fidem necnon graviora delicta, tum contra mores tum in sacramentorum celebratione commissa, quae ipsi delata fuerint, cognoscit atque, ubi opus fuerit, ad canonicas sanctiones declarandas aut irrogandas ad normam iuris, sive communis sive proprii, procedit». [2] Ioannes Paulus PP. II, Constitutio apostolica Pastor bonus, De Romana Curia, 28 iunii 1988, art. 118, in AAS 80 (1988) 890: «Pro foro interno, tum sacramentali tum non sacramentali, absolutiones, dispensationes, commutationes, sanationes, condonationes aliasque gratias eadem largitur». [3] Congregatio pro Doctrina Fidei, Agendi ratio in doctrinarum examine, 29 iunii 1997, in AAS 89 (1997) 830-835. [4] Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 1405 - § 3. Rotae Romanae reservatur iudicare: 1° Episcopos in contentiosis, firmo praescripto can. 1419 § 2; 2° Abbatem primatem, vel Abbatem superiorem congregationis monasticae, et supremum Moderatorem institutorum religiosorum iuris pontificii; 3° dioeceses aliasve personas ecclesiasticas, sive physicas sive iuridicas, quae Superiorem infra Romanum Pontificem non habent. [5] Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium, can. 1061 – Coram tribunalibus

Norms / B7



CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 17
August 16 - 29, 2010

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops


Social Media Guidelines
media as a paradigm shift in how humans communicate, a development as important as that of the printing press and the discovery of electronic communication. Definitions Definitions provide clarity and a common language. They are even more important in guidelines for social media, since the usage of terms is rapidly evolving.

(Due to immediacy and relevance, we decided to reprint the following guidelines of American Bishops on social media—Eds)
Introduction These guidelines are offered as a synthesis of best practices. They include material compiled from church entities, for-profit corporations, and nonprofit organizations. Suggestions and comments are welcome at CommDept@ usccb.org. In this document, “church personnel” is defined as anyone—priest, deacon, religious, bishop, lay employee, or volunteer—who provides ministry or service or is employed by an entity associated with the Catholic Church. Department of Communications United States Conference of Catholic Bishops June 2010 Guiding Principles The world of digital communication, with its almost limitless expressive capacity, makes us appreciate all the more Saint Paul’s exclamation: “Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel” (1 Cor 9:16).—Pope Benedict XVI, 44th World Communications Day message (2010) Social media are the fastest growing form of communication in the United States, especially among youth and young adults. Our Church cannot ignore it, but at the same time we must engage social media in a manner that is safe, responsible, and civil. As Pope Benedict XVI noted in his message for the 44th World Communications Day (2010), this new form of media “can offer priests and all pastoral workers a wealth of information and content that was difficult to access before, and facilitate forms of collaboration and greater communion in ways that were unthinkable in the past.” The Church can use social media to encourage respect, dialogue, and honest relationships—in other words, “true friendship” (43rd World Communications Day message [2009]). To do so requires us to approach social media as powerful means of evangelization and to consider the Church’s role in providing a Christian perspective on digital literacy. Before beginning work on social media guidelines, you may want to read both the 43rd and 44th World Communications Day messages. These are available at 43rd World Communications Day Message and 44th World Communications Day Message. The Church and Social Media: An Overview The online encyclopedia Wikipedia defines social media as “media designed to be disseminated through social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. Social media use web-based technologies to transform and broadcast media monologues into social media dialogues.” A longer and perhaps more philosophical definition is offered by Jon Lebkowsky, a longtime social media specialist, on his site, weblogsky.com: Social Media is a fundamental transformation in the way(s) people find and use information and content, from hard news to light entertainment. It’s an evolution from broadcast delivery of content—content created by a few and distributed to many—to network delivery, where content can be created by anyone and published to everyone, in a context that is “many to many.” Said another way, publication and delivery by professionals to mass audiences has changed—now publication and delivery can be by anyone, professional or not, to niche audiences through networks of many channels. This is because the means of production are broadly accessible and inexpensive. As a result of all this, attention and mindshare are fragmented, there’s emphasis on relationship, new forms of media are conversational, and transaction costs for communication approach zero. Social media offer both opportunities and challenges to Catholic organizations. These can be grouped into three primary categories: Visibility; Community; Accountability Visibility Online social media communities are vast and are growing at a rapid pace. For example, there are more than 400 million active users on Facebook, which is greater than the population of the United States. Given the size and scope of these communities, they offer excellent forums for the Church’s visibility and evangelization. The key question that faces each church organization that decides to engage social media is, How will we engage? Careful consideration should be made to determine the particular strengths of each form of social media (blogs, social networks, text messaging, etc.) and the needs of a ministry, parish, or organization. The strengths should match the needs. For instance, a blog post may not be the most effective way to remind students of an event. However, a mass text message to all students and their parents telling them that the retreat begins at 9 a.m. may be very effective. Because of the high volume of content and sites, and the dynamics of search engines and computer networking, social media require constant input and monitoring to make the Church’s p r e s e n c e effective. To keep members, a social networking site, such as a blog, needs to have new content on a regular basis. In the case of social media, the axiom “build it and they will come” is not applicable. It is important to set internal expectations regarding how often posts will be made, so that your followers can become accustomed to your schedule. Community Social media can be powerful tools for strengthening community, although social media interaction should not be viewed as a substitute for face-to-face gatherings. Social media can support communities in a myriad of ways: connecting people with similar interests, sharing information about in-person events, providing ways for people to engage in dialogue, etc. A well-considered use of social media which can be chosen by the user. These messages can be submitted by a variety of means, including text messaging, instant messaging, e-mail, digital audio, or through a Web interface. The content of a micro-blog differs from a traditional blog in that it is typically smaller in actual size and aggregate file size. A single entry could consist of a single sentence or fragment, an image, or a ten-second video. * Example: Twitter is a form of microto some popular positions (gay rights, abortion, immigration reform, health care reform). In other words, the Church’s social justice teachings, including the pro-life aspects of those teachings, often elicit unfavorable comments. Some people determine that those topics will not be engaged with on official sites. Others provide guidance on how to engage in dialogue around these topics. (See “Rules of the Road” below for examples.) • Include examples of Codes of Conduct that should be posted on social networking sites. Codes of Conduct are for visitors to the site. These codes should always be brief and immediately apparent to visitors. Visitors should also be made aware of the consequences of violations of the Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct on the USCCB’s Facebook site is as follows: “All posts and comments should be marked by Christian charity and respect for the truth. They should be on topic and presume the good will of other posters. Discussion should take place primarily from a faith perspective. No ads please.” Always block anyone who does not abide by the Code of Conduct. • Define instructions. Include instructions on how to report, block, etc., on the more popular social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. This provides guidance for those church personnel who may be entering into social media for the first time. • Provide recommendations on how to deal with difficult “fans.” Give church personnel permission to trust their instincts on blocking repeat offenders of a site’s Code of Conduct. Argumentative participants can easily change the tone of every post. A good way to determine if they should be blocked is to go to their profiles and browse through the pages that they have “fanned.” Do not allow those unwilling to dialogue to hold your site and its other members hostage. In particular situations, the moderator might determine it is best to ask a member to take a conversation “offline.” These offline conversations can be conducted in person, over the telephone, or through private e-mail. The site moderators should be able to refer to the appropriate resources, such as the pastor, program director, diocesan communication office, etc. • Provide trusted sites for reference, and recommend that site administrators have a thorough knowledge of these sites. Often a link to the parish, diocesan, USCCB, or Vatican site can provide necessary information, thereby helping redirect the tone and substance of an online conversation. • Remind site administrators they are posting for a broad audience. Social media are global platforms. Online content is visible to anyone in the world who comes to their sites. Establishing a Site Websites or social networking profile pages are the centerpiece of any social media activity. The following are recommended guidelines for the establishment of a site. These can apply to a profile or fan page on a social networking site such as Facebook, a blog, a Twitter account, etc. • Site administrators should be adults. • There should be at least two site administrators (preferably more) for each site, to allow rapid response and continuous monitoring of the site. • Do not use personal sites for diocesan or parish programs. Create separate sites for these. • Passwords and names of sites should be registered in a central location, and more than one adult should have access to this information. • Be sure those establishing a site know these key “Rules of the Road”: 1. Abide by diocesan/parish guidelines. 2. Know that even personal communication by church personnel reflects the Church. Practice what you preach. 3. Write in first person. Do not claim to represent the official position of the organization or the teachings of the Church, unless authorized to do so. 4. Identify yourself. Do not use pseudonyms or the name of the parish, program, etc., as your identity, unless authorized to do so. 5. Abide by copyright, fair use, and IRS financial disclosure regulations. 6. Do not divulge confidential information about others. Nothing posted on the Internet is private. 7. Don’t cite others, post photos or videos of them, link to their material, etc., without their approval. 8. Practice Christian charity. Social networking with Minors Be sure to have permission from a minor’s parent or guardian before contacting the minor via social media or before posting pictures, video, and other

• Web 2.0: The term “Web 2.0” is commonly associated with Web applications that facilitate interactive information sharing. A Web 2.0 site allows its users to interact with other users, to change website content, to provide reaction to content, to share the site’s content with others, or to filter content being provided by the site creator. This is in contrast with non-interactive websites, where users are limited to the passive viewing of information that is provided to them. * Example: Amazon.com’s inclusion

has the ultimate goal of encouraging “true friendship” (43rd World Communications Day message [2009]) and of addressing the human longing for meaningful community. Accountability Social media provide tools for building community. Membership in communities also requires accountability and responsibility. Users of social media expect site administrators to allow dialogue, to provide information, a n d t o acknowledge mistakes. The explosion of information available to social media consumers has meant that they often only use information from trusted sites or sites recommended by those whom they trust. While not every demand or inquiry can be met, it is important that creators and site administrators of social media understand how much social media are different from mass media and the expectations of their consumers. Creators and consumers of mass media generally accept their one-way conversations (letters to the editor being the exception). Social media’s emphasis is on the word “social,” with a general blurring of the distinction between creators of content and consumers of content. Many communication experts are describing the adaption of social

of users’ reviews and offering of recommendations based on the consumer’s past use of the site make it a Web 2.0 site. • Blog: A blog (a contraction of the term “web log”) is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual, with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reversechronological order. “Blog” can also be

blogging in which entries are limited to 140 characters. • Social network: A social network is a Web 2.0 site that is entirely driven by content of its members. Individuals are allowed flexibility in privacy settings; in posting text, photos, video, links, and other information; and in level of interaction with other members. * Examples: Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr are often included in lists of social networking sites, although sometimes YouTube and Flickr are designated as multimedia sharing sites, while Twitter is currently more often designated as a micro-blogging application. • Ministry website:3 An Internet website/tool created by employees, clerics, and volunteers for the sole purpose of conducting diocesan/ a f f i l i a t e business. • Personal website: A social network page, blog, or any Internet website/tool created by employees, clerics, and volunteers primarily to share personal commu-nication with friends and associates. Guidelines When developing guidelines for church personnel to use social media, consider including the following elements: • Define appropriate boundaries for

used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog. * Examples: There are many types of blogs on sites throughout the Internet. They are common for celebrities, writers, journalists, etc. WordPress is one of the more popular tools used to create blogs. • Micro-blog: This form of multimedia blogging allows users to send brief text updates or to publish micromedia such as photos or audio clips, to be viewed either by anyone or by a restricted group,

communications. These should be in sync with diocesan codes of conduct for other areas, such as the diocese’s standards for protection of children and young people, Internet acceptable use policies, etc. Define what is considered confidential information, verifiable consent, personal identifiable information, contact with a minor, etc. Topics that are in current debate will generate more comments/responses. These include issues in which the Church’s teachings are often in contrast

Social Media / B7


What we need is cheap and abundant information
Through the internet gushes a torrent of information. How can students possibly absorb it?
By Robert Moniot
WE have asked several of our contributors to respond to a question in our occasional series of forums. This time the question is: What is the world’s most dangerous idea? We expect that the answers will be quite controversial. Please add your comments. In case you missed it, US President Barack Obama declared October 2009 to be “National Information Literacy Awareness Month.” The cynical may see this action as a sign that our leaders fear we are losing the battle against cheap information, and I agree. By cheap I mean that the internet has made huge amounts of information easily available: for example the free, collaboratively written Wikipedia measures up quite well against traditional expensive print encyclopedias. But much of the information that is available is cheap in terms of quality as well. The very abundance and ready availability of information undermine efforts by educators, librarians and others to develop good information literacy skills and habits. The concept of information literacy is itself only a generation old, a child of the Information Age. The need to be able to find information and evaluate it is not new, but in former times there were fewer sources of information. Researching a topic mainlymeantspendingsometime in the library. More importantly, what sources of information there were came with some assurance of authenticity, backed by the anecdotal reports from other college professors, seems somewhat at odds with this survey’s results. We find that students often are content to do their research with a Google search that turns up a few sources of dubious reliability, such as blogs or forum postings, or more reliable but still lightweight sources such as newspaper articles. Seldom without specific prodding by instructors will students utilize the library’s databases to find serious scholarly articles. Worse yet, some students show a failure to understand the difference between such materials and materials found on the web. Perhaps the surveyed students were saying what they felt they were expected to say, rather than what they really believe. Or perhaps they don’t always act in accordance with what they know. Students often procrastinate, and under time pressure they may resort to simply grabbing a few articles quickly off the web. Perhaps one day robotic agents like those envisioned by Gelernter will be capable of not only locating information needed by users, but sifting the wheat from the chaff as well. Meanwhile it will take more than an Information Literacy Awareness Month to win the battle against cheap information. (Associate Professor Robert Moniot teaches computer science at Fordham University in New York. This article is reprinted here by virtue of a special publishing arrangement on MercatorNet)


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 17
August 16 - 29, 2010

publisher’s reputation. As new ways of storing, organizing, and distributing information arose, new skills were clearly needed not simply to use these new technologies, but to avoid being overwhelmed by them. DavidGelernter,Yalecomputer scientist and Unabomber survivor, almost two decades ago foresaw the coming flood of information as the internet opened to individuals, businesses,

government agencies, and the like. Tapping into this flood has been likened to ‘drinking from a fire hose,’ and he envisioned a scheme for dealing with it. His proposal assumed that artificial intelligence would develop to the point where an army of robotic agents could filter, sort, and summarize information to create a manageable and usable flow for each user. The flood of information that he

foresaw has indeed occurred, but unfortunately the artificial agents to filter it have not yet appeared, except in very rudimentary forms. Individuals are on their own when trying to drink from the fire hose. To switch metaphors, the information superhighway has been built, but many users are driving on it with a horse and buggy. Is information literacy a lost cause? Some studies suggest that

today’s young people are savvier about online information than we may think. For instance, a recent survey by Project Information Literacy (projectinfolit.org) found that college undergraduates generally do recognize that Wikipedia is a good place to start their research on an unfamiliar topic, but not a good place to end it. However, my own experience in the classroom, similar to

Marikina parish receives MTBO Bibles for parishioners
By Helen A. Saldana
THE May They Be One (MTBO) Bible project is a joint undertaking of the Episcopal Commission for the Biblical Apostolate (ECBA) and the Philippine Bible Society (PBS) that seeks to distribute 5 million Bibles to 5 million poor Filipino families within 5 years. Since MTBO’s launch in September 2008, 207,704 Bibles have been distributed in 369 parishes and communities. Seventyfour out of 86 dioceses are involved in the Bible campaign. The story below gives a glimpse of MTBO at work in a parish in Marikina. Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish The parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe was faced with a dilemma after floods brought by Ondoy in September last year swept through parts of the Metropolis: How can the ministers share the Word of God to some 100,000 parishioners without owning a single Bible? The dilemma was resolved when parish priest Fr. Emmanuelle Borelli learned about the May They Be One Bible campaign that provides Bibles at an affordable price. “We purchased one thousand Bibles… using local pastoral fund available to our religious missionary community for the newly established parish, Our Lady of Guadalupe,” Fr. Borelli said. The Bibles were distributed to members of the Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs) or the Maliit na Sambayanang Kristyano (MSK) of the parish. Fr. Borelli said that the parish chose to undertake the MTBO program because most of the people lost their Bibles during the flood caused by Typhoon Ondoy. He added that while the Catholic Community was the priority in the list of beneficiaries, everyone who asked to have a Bible regardless of religious affiliation was given a copy. But the blessing did not stop there. Recipients of the MTBO Bibles are being given Modular Seminars on how to interpret Bible passages correctly and to apply the lessons in their day to day living. Every Monday, MSK leaders hold Bible meetings. Lay leaders undergo weekly trainings so that they can hold their own. Bible Listening Group and Bible Proclaimer Among the youth, Bible Listening Groups (BLG) have been launched in partnership with the Philippine Bible Society and Faith Comes By Hearing. The BLG in Marikina is among the 40 that have already taken place in parishes in several provinces. Every Saturday, about 10 to 15 young people meet to listen to dramatized New Testament in a radio format called Bible Proclaimer. The BLG meets for at least 30 minutes every week and listen to selected passages. Then, Fr. Borelli would give Bible formation talks on the audio Scripture portion of the day. “The atmosphere was one of recollection and prayer and the style was interactive. Considering its success, we would like to extend this pilot project to the other young people of the Parish”, Fr. Borelli revealed. When asked in what ways the MTBO campaign has helped the parish, Fr. Borelli said, “Definitely, the initial acquisition of the Bibles at an affordable price by the parish on November 20, 2009 has been a great help to the Christian Community.” The Bible, considered the most valuable possession of the Filipino family, is usually enthroned in the homes alongside the other symbols of the faith of the people. Feedbacks on the MTBO campaign from Bible recipients were largely positive. Fr. Borelli recalled that “people were happy to learn that we were helping them to recover the Bibles they lost in the flood. In the Chapel of Our Lady of Grace in Bulelak, though we could not fully promote the official Bible distribution that happened, we were able to distribute hundreds of Bibles in less than two hours. There, we saw how people appreciated what we were doing. With a big smile, recipients uttered ‘Salamat po, Father’ as they held their children in one arm and received a brand new copy of an MTBO Bible in the other.” Fr. Borelli further elucidated on the concerns of the parish and the value of the Bible to the people’s faith. “The Bible is essential to the growth of the faith of the people. Now the mere possession of the Book is not enough. We need to help the people to ask questions about the Bible and not to be content with easy answers. The Word of God does not give instant solutions to our many problems but instructs and empowers us how to become disciple of Christ Jesus.” Concerning the future, Fr. Borelli shares the plans of the parish. “We wish to make the Bible available to the youth. So far, majority of the recipients of the MTBO Bibles had been adult and elderly women. To work with the youth is definitely more challenging. Thus, we had been thinking of acquiring 500 MTBO Bibles for the young people. But before we buy the Bibles, we would like to see how many would be interested in joining Bible Studies. About the funding, the Lord will provide. People are very generous when it comes to the Word of God.” The Scripture verse “Your Word is a lamp to guide me and a light for my path” (Psalm 119:105) is progressively becomingarealityamongtheparishioners of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish. (Helen A. Saldana is the Resource Development Officer of Philippine Bible Society.)

Transformation / B1

was appalled by the clogged and disorganized and disordered traffic in the local streets. Chaotic was the right word he said. “Your laws are only suggestions and not for execution.” People complain of the disorder in the streets, markets, public parks and offices, etc. Again, we must begin at home and in the schools. Whatever lack of discipline there is in the home is reflected in public life. Everybody needs discipline for his or her own good. There is no such thing as limitless expression, just as there is no such thing as continuous eating. There is a limit or an end to anything for one’s own good. And the only value that can intervene in such setting in life is the act of disciplining one’s self.

Again it is in the home where discipline could first be learned and practiced. Complete lack of discipline augurs great tragedies in later life as an adult. The word discipline comes from the word “disciple,” one who is a pupil, a student, one who is ready to learn. He is one who is willing to learn by instruction and the exercise of self-control. A disciplined person understands that there are moments that “NO” must be accepted for the good of self and others. Order may eventually come to the streets, market place, park and offices, when for the good of the community there are citizens who are willing to say “no” to themselves. There again, love of others may entice the majority of

people to seek “no” in order that others may at least live in some fort or safety. Another word for discipline is self-sacrifice, which must be linked with self and others, thus, a well-disciplined citizen learns to sacrifice for the love of his fellowmen. And when one loves another, s/he enters the realm of love of country. He is a patriot, above all, s/he is a Christian, a believer, a good citizen. St. Thomas of Aquinas taught that Patriotism or love of country is part of love for one’s brethren. And should anyone desire peace and order in one’s neighborhood, the first task is to work on the value of order and discipline in one’s self and in one’s home, which is the closest community

one could ever have. Order in the larger scale of the nation follows only what order and discipline there are in the home. Part of that love for country is for the citizen to be formed through discipline and to fulfill its obligation to the state. The teaching of the Church on helping the country is this: “It is the duty of citizens to contribute along with civil authorities to the good of society in a spirit of truth, justice, solidarity and freedom.”(CCC, 2238, 2239). “It is morally obligatory for the citizen to pay taxes, to exercise the right to vote and to defend one’s country: to pay to all of them their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom

respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.” (CCC, 2240). Six Sails Empower One Boat Headed Towards It’s Vision Obviously there are more values in our culture aside from the six we have discussed in this paper. We have singled out these six treasures in our culture because they are the most needed today in the building up of our country. The six values are: Reason; Conscience; Faith: fear and love of God; Love and Compassion; Discipline and Sacrifice; Patriotism: love for Country. Values are like a sail to a boat. Even if the boat is equipped with a rudder, the boat will remain motionless in the middle of

the sea. The rudder gives the direction but is the sail that catches the wind and puts the boat in motion. Values, therefore, are important because they move us to where the vision (rudder) directs us. Only values can empower a person, a church or a nation towards change, transformation, and development. With the help and blessings of the Father, who calls us, let us now move towards the fullness of life (that includes family, church and country) with purified values leading to our apostolic vision. Thank You. God bless! +GAUDENCIO B. CARDINAL ROSALES 07 August 2010

Contributed Photo

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 17
August 16 - 29, 2010


The significance of the publication of the new ‘Norms concerning the most serious crimes’
IN 2001 the Holy Father John Paul II promulgated a very important document, the Motu Proprio “Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela”, which gave the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith responsibility to deal with and judge a series of particularly serious crimes within the ambit of canon law. This responsibility had previously been attributed also to other dicasteries, or was not completely clear. The Motu Proprio (the “law” in the strict sense) was accompanied by a series of practical and procedural Norms, known as “Normae de gravioribus delictis”. Over the nine years since then, experience has naturally suggested that these Norms be integrated and updated, so as to streamline and simplify the procedures and make them more effective, and to take account of new problems. This has been achieved principally by the Pope attributing new “faculties” to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; faculties which, however, were not organically integrated into the initial Norms. This has now come about, within the context of a systematic revision of those Norms. The serious crimes to which the regulations referred concerned vital aspects of Church life: the Sacraments of the Eucharist and of Penance, but also sexual abuse committed by a priest against a minor under the age of eighteen. The vast public echo this latter kind of crime has had over recent years has attracted great attention and generated intense debate on the norms and procedures applied by the Church to judge and punish such acts. It is right, then, that there should be complete clarity concerning the regulations currently in force in this field, and that these regulations be presented organically so as to facilitate the work of the people who deal with these matters. An initial clarification - especially for use by the media - was provided recently with the publication on the Holy See website of a brief “Guide to Understanding Basic CDF Procedures concerning Sexual Abuse Allegations”. The publication of the new Norms is, however, quite a different thing, providing us with an official and updated legal text which is valid for the whole Church. In order to facilitate the reading of the Norms by a non-specialist public, particularly interested in the problems of sexual abuse, we will seek to highlight a number of important aspects: Among the novelties introduced with respect to the earlier Norms, mention must be made, above all, of measures intended to accelerate procedures, such as the possibility of not following the “judicial process” but proceeding by “extrajudicial decree”, or that of presenting (in particular circumstances) the most serious cases to the Holy Father with a view to dismissing the offender from the clerical state. Another Norm intended to simplify earlier problems and to take account of the evolution of the situation in the Church concerns the possibility of having not only priests but also lay persons as members of the tribunal staff, or as lawyers or prosecutors. Likewise, in order to undertake these functions it is no longer strictly necessary to have a doctorate in canon law, but the required competency can also be proved in another way; for example, with a licentiate. Another aspect worthy of note is the increase of the statue of limitations from ten years to twenty years, with the possibility of extension even beyond that period. Another significant aspect is establishing parity between the abuse of mentally disabled people and that of minors, and the introduction of a new category: paedophile pornography. This is defined as: “the acquisition, possession or disclosure” by a member of the clergy, “in any way and by any means, of pornographic images of minors under the age of fourteen”. Regulations concerning the secrecy of trials are maintained, in order to safeguard the dignity of all the people involved. One point that remains untouched, though it has often been the subject of discussion in recent times, concerns collaboration with the civil authorities. It must be borne in mind that the Norms being published today are part of the penal code of canon law, which is complete in itself and entirely distinct from the law of States. On this subject, however, it is important to take note of the “Guide to Understanding Basic CDF Procedures concerning Sexual Abuse Allegations”, as published on the Holy See website. In that Guide, the phrase “Civil law concerning reporting of crimes to the appropriate authorities should always be followed” is contained in the section dedicated to “Preliminary Procedures”. This means that in the practice suggested by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith it is necessary to comply with the requirements of law in the various countries, and to do so in good time, not during or subsequent to the canonical trial. Today’s publication of the Norms makes a great contribution to the clarity and certainty of law in this field; a field in which the Church is today strongly committed to proceeding with rigour and transparency so as to respond fully to the just expectations of moral coherence and evangelical sanctity nourished by the faithful and by public opinion, and which the Holy Father has constantly reiterated. Of course, many other measures and initiatives are required from the various ecclesiastical bodies. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is currently examining how to help the bishops of the world formulate and develop, coherently and effectively, the indications and guidelines necessary to face the problems of the sexual abuse of minors, either by members of the clergy or within the environment of activities and institutions connected with the Church, bearing in mind the situation and the problems of the societies in which they operate. This will be another crucial step on the Church’s journey as she translates into permanent practice and continuous awareness the fruits of the teachings and ideas that have matured over the course of the painful events of the “crisis” engendered by sexual abuse by members of the clergy. In order to complete this brief overview of the principal novelties contained in the “Norms”, mention must also be made of those that refer to crimes of a different nature. In this case too it is not so much a case of introducing new substance as of integrating rules that are already in force so as to obtain a better ordered and more organic set of regulations on the “most serious crimes” reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. These include crimes against the faith (heresy, apostasy and schism) for which competency normally falls to ordinaries, although the Congregation becomes competent in the case of an appeal; the malicious recording and disclosure of sacramental Confession about which a decree of condemnation was published in 1988; and the attempted ordination of women, about which a decree was published in 2007. FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI, SJ Vatican Spokesperson

Statement on Hacienda Luisita Compromise Agreement

THE Church in the Philippines acknowledges that “agrarian reform is still the one big issue that touches our rural poor most directly.”The agenda for social justice and the realization of our preferential love for the poor are seriously tested in our resolve to address the problem of inequity and rural poverty through our commitment to implement genuine land reform (Acts and Decrees of the Second Plenary Council, No. 391). The case of the reported compromise deal in the 21-year dispute in Hacienda Luisita was taunted as a breakthrough in the effort to end the longstanding agrarian issue over the 6,500-hectare land owned by the Cojuangcos, the family of President Benigno Aquino III. The deal could have been a cause for celebration if not for a number of questionable processes and highly inequitable terms contained in the said agreement whose reported approval of the farmers was brokered by the company itself, the Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI). We will laud and support any initiative to immediately resolve the two-decade land dispute, but it should be in a manner that is fair and would uphold the farmers’ rightful claim to the land. The unusual haste that characterizes the whole process of arriving at a compromise makes the deal all the more questionable and suspicious. Hence, we raise the following issues below to question the supposed terms of agreements and the process by which the compromise was crafted. In 2005, the directive from the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council and the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) explicitly called for the redistribution of 4,415 hectares

of the 6,500 hectarage under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program. Implementation of this order was stalled by the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) granted by the Supreme Court. But the present compromised agreement totally disregarded the DAR order and made the farmers accept the lopsided sharing scheme— with the farmer-beneficiaries being offered only 33% of the land or only 1,400 hectares out of the 6,500-hectare property. Clearly, this arrangement is disproportionately in favor of the HLI and totally contradicting the social justice intent of the law. In effect, the farmers will end up owning very small parcel of the land for the sprawling land estate would be divided among 10,502 CARP beneficiaries, based on the list submitted by Hacienda Luisita management. And the list itself actually needs meticulous scrutiny and verification. The compromised agreement also made provision for the implementation of the Stock Distribution Option (SDO), which is in fact, already revoked by DAR in the same order in 2005. The SDO scheme is unacceptable for it is an outright circumvention of the agrarian provision for land distribution. And it is worth mentioning that in the twenty one years of implementing the SDO, it had not lifted the farmers out of their impoverished and vulnerable state. The SDO scheme facilitated the virtual surrender of the farmers of their rightful claims to the agricultural lands of the hacienda in exchange for a pittance or meager shares of capital stock and production shares. The much-ballyhooed compromised agreement on Hacienda Luisita’s estate was also tainted with anomalous processes in the way the company chose

representatives for the farmer sector. The present leadership both of ULWU (United Luisita Workers’ Union) and AMBALA (Alyansa ng Manggagawang Bukid ng Asyenda Luisita), question the authority of the company-designated leaders, namely Noel Mallari and Eldifonso Pingol, to represent the organizations that had already disowned and expelled them a long time ago. Moreover, the manner of obtaining farmers and workers signatures was also dubious in view of the allegation of bribeoffers disguised as “financial package” or “monetary benefits.” We acknowledge the fact that destitution in Hacienda Luisita would drive the farmers to seek immediate and temporary relief from their economic woes, hence making the compensation package of the SDO an enticing option. But the strategy of capitalizing on peoples’ poverty to trick them into accepting the disadvantageous compromise is another form of grave injustice committed against the farmers. In the light of the foregoing, we denounce the compromise deal in Hacienda Luisita as a grand scheme to thwart the implementation of the agrarian reform law and a pre-emptive strategy to influence the Supreme Court decision on the TRO case pending for resolution soon. To serve the interest of justice, we appeal to President Benigno Aquino III to fulfill his propoor platform of governance by implementing the agrarian law and by not honoring the compromise deal that ran counter to the constitutional mandate that the entire 4,415 hectares of land should be distributed to the plantation farmers. The President cannot feign neutrality in this issue, for his silence and

inaction will mean an implicit endorsement of the unjust compromise deal orchestrated by Cojuangco-owned HLI. If land reform cannot be implemented in Hacienda Luisita, we see no possibility of implementing it in any place at all. Hindi na kami pwedeng mangarap... sa pagpapatupad ng tunay na katarungan para sa mga mahihirap! Concretely, we appeal that the compromise deal be set aside and allow a genuine and transparent process of consultation with the farmers to be conducted, allowing them to understand the full range of options available and the advantageous counter-proposal that will truly benefit their sector. This initiative should be carried out by DAR, in partnership with the legitimate farmers’ and workers’ organizations. We believe that the social justice agenda of the Aquino administration will be loudly spelled by the decisive intervention of the President to push for the rights of the farmers over and above the sinister attempt of the Cojuangcos to retain ownership of the CARPable hacienda. We affirm the social teaching of the Church that explicitly underlines that “the right to private property is subordinated to the right to common use, to the fact that the goods are meant for everyone” (Laborem Exercens, No. 14). We will continue to pray and work for the resolution of agrarian conflicts so that justice and the Lord’s peace may be truly realized. +BRODERICK PABILLO, DD Auxiliary Bishop of Manila Chair, Episcopal Commission on Social Action, Justice and Peace August 12, 2010

Legal abortion saves no one
Abortion does not protect women’s rights; rather, it violates the right to life of all.
had elective abortion even end up barren for the rest of their lives. Studies have also linked induced abortions to breast and ovarian cancer. Operation Outcry and Canada Silent No More are collecting testimonial declarations from women suffering after legal abortions in developed countries and there are over 4,000 affidavits so far. As for rape victims, we dare say that the right to life is in equal footing with the right to a freedom of choice – a choice that is very limited due to fear, anger, pressure and poor advice from people around the victim. It is crucial for us to see the link between life and freedom. Pope John Paul II puts it succinctly: “It is of the greatest importance to reestablish the essential connection between life and freedom. These are inseparable goods: where one is violated, the other also ends up being violated. There is no true freedom where life is not welcomed and loved; and there is no fullness of life except in freedom.” In this light, we determine that aborting the child of a rape victim does not solve the problem but instead aggravates it. It is not the fault of the child that he/she came to be because of a crime. Further, killing the child does not redeem the rape victim from her status. It all the more drowns her in deeper depression and confusion. There are records of raped women who have found more peace in bringing to birth the child than those who had the child aborted. And there are even more records showing that the child of rape was truly grateful for having been given the chance to live. Their last argument is too formulaic for a population control scheme. For the nth time, poverty is the problem not the baby. WE are disgusted by the recent pleas of some so-called women’s rights advocates pushing for legalized abortion in the country (Center for Reproductive Rights recent publication). It is utterly a complete abomination to safeguarding human life. This call is UNACCEPTABLE. Induced abortion is the deliberate termination of the life of an innocent human being and therefore, it is a CRIME! They are oblivious of the fact that abortion is the culprit of all the statistics they are boasting of, ergo, abortion should be eradicated not propagated. How unfathomable it is that these lobbyists brainwash our minds with the unethical idea of compromising the life of the unborn! And the claim that legalizing it will render the abortion safe for the mother is unfounded as well. Numerous researches now reveal the many physical, psychological and spiritual side effects on thousands of women who submitted themselves to the so-called “safe abortion” Central to this petition are three scenarios: that unsafe abortions cause maternal death and illnesses; that rape victims should be given the choice to terminate an unwanted pregnancy; and that poverty causes poor women to turn to unsafe abortions. On their first argument, we remain ardent in saying that abortion as a medical procedure is never safe. Abortion is an invasive procedure and advocates themselves have stated that “risks associated with induced abortion increase as the pregnancy progresses.” They also failed to mention the numerous adverse effects of committing abortion physically and psychologically. Some of these women who The government should banish graft and corruption, foster good governance and therefore become a good provider. Legalizing abortion will never alleviate poverty. In hindsight, it could even add fuel to the fire as we are manually deleting potential manpower who could lend warm bodies to participate in ending our economic crises. Therefore, we firmly believe that the legalization of abortion is not necessary to accomplish the government’s concern for poor women in crisis pregnancies. If the government is serious in its efforts to remedy this dilemma, help should come in providing counseling services especially with abortion-minded women, post-abortion mothers and fathers, education programs, maternal and child care services, economic and social development programs that would put a stop to rape, incest, sex outside of marriage and other causes of unwanted pregnancies. All men and women need to be educated on fetal development, the consequences of sex outside of marriage, on human sexuality, fertility and love, respect and relationships. Pregnant women need support and help, not abortion. We should be saving lives, not taking them. We therefore call on our legislators, medical professionals, educators and the general public to lend deaf ears to this malevolent urge to kill the members of our future generation. Help us defend our pro-life country and our families whose quality of life is threatened. SAY NO TO LEGALIZED ABORTION! (Official Statement of Pro-Life Philippines Foundation, Inc. on the issue of legalizing abortion)



Ref lections

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 17
August 16 - 29, 2010

Salvation as primarily the work of God, not ours
22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Luke 14:1.7-14; August 29, 2010)
By Msgr. Lope C. Robredillo, SThD
ALTHOUGH we eat and drink to nourish our bodily systems, yet, when taken in a party, banquet or dinner, there is more to food and drink than mere nourishment. In such a context, eating and drinking is a form of communication. It says something about the host, the guest and even the atmosphere in which the dinner is held. As Bruce Malina points out, “just as the material used for communication in speech is language, so the material used for communication in a festive meal is food and drink and their setting. Thus the type of food and drink chosen, their mode of preparation, method of service, and setting or reclining arrangements all say something about the inviter’s assessment of those invited (cf Luke 14:7-11).” For one to be invited to a party, for example, reflects the importance a host gives to him, for he is clearly set apart from those who were not invited, even if the inviter knows them by name. But even among the invited, it often happens that they are not treated equally. We do mind the dignity society accords to people of note and prominence. Some are seated at the presidential table, others are not. There is always a protocol to be observed. At the time of Jesus, it was customary to seat guests according to their dignity and rank, not according to age. And the most prestigious places in a banquet are those to the right and to the left of the host. The farther one is from the host, the lesser he is in the latter’s eyes. In today’s Gospel, we are told that when Jesus was invited to dine at a Pharisee’s house, he noticed how the Pharisees chose the first places for themselves. According to Luke, these people were rigorous when it comes to the law (Luke 6:2), and sometimes did more than what it required (Luke 18:12). Precisely because of their effort to strictly keep the law, they had reasons to think that they had a great dignity before God and of course before men. If the Gospels portray them as lovers of the first seats in the synagogues, craving for the special greetings in public places, this should be thought of as a natural consequence of the dignity they claimed for themselves. It is thus natural on the whole that they like the Pharisees in Jerusalem who expected the best seats as reward for their meticulous observance of the law, will find themselves humbled to take the lowest places. After all, they have received their reward in the honor that banquets brought them. Rather, membership in the Kingdom, which can be identified with one’s salvation, is given as an unmerited gift to those whom God in Jesus calls. He invites those who acknowledge their unworthiness before him. It is these who will ultimately find themselves raised up to high places. This reversal of fortune is best expressed in Mary’s canticle: “He has deposed the mighty from their thrones and raise the lowly to high places” (Luke 1:52). Second, in the Kingdom of God, fellowship is of great value. After all, salvation is about living in fellowship with the Triune God and the saints. But this will not be realized without having to cultivate fellowship with those who are in the lower brackets of society. It may be recalled that the Pharisees refused social contact with those who could not fulfill the requirements of the Pharisaic piety. This gave the impression that, if the Pharisaic practice was an indication of the Kingdom of God, those who formed part of the lowest rung of the Jewish society, were to be excluded from the communion in the eschatological banquet. But it is precisely against this tradition that Jesus’ words about hosts at banquet are directed: “When you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind” (Luke 14:13). Indeed, merely to associate with those who belong to one’s social circle or standing, or with those whom one wishes to be with reinforces the inequality of society. For Jesus, to be generous toward those who are excluded by standard piety constitutes a required behavior in a community that reflects the Kingdom of God. This recalls Jesus’ sermon: “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?” (Luke 6:32). He illustrates this by saying that those who belong to the Kingdom of God cannot but show solidarity with the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind by sharing with them the festive table. When they do this, the Pharisees would show that they have been converted to the values of the Kingdom.

sought the best places in the banquet to which a Pharisee invited them together with Jesus. In our society of unequal wealth and status, one could always find sympathy with the Pharisees. At our formal dinners, we more often than not have a list of guests to be seated at the presidential table. We know that the seating arrangement provides much indication of the social standing not only of the guests but also of the host himself. Tell me who are your visitors, and I will tell you who you are. Of course, social climbers have been known from Adam. Indeed, how often we emphasize the importance of knowing the right people, especially because what is of consequence nowadays in not so much what you know as who you know. Unlike the Pharisees, though, we do consider dignity not in terms of following the law, but in terms of power and wealth. In the Gospel, Luke portrays Jesus

as setting rules for guests and host at a banquet. At first blush, it would seem that Jesus was giving the invited Pharisees and their host a worldly wisdom with regard to seeking out position of prestige, meant at the same time as a warning against embarrassment in social functions. As it appears, Jesus’ teaching about seeking the lowest place at a banquet echoes an Old Testament wisdom: “Claim no honor in the king’s presence, nor occupy the place of great men; for it is better that you be told, ‘Come up closer,’ than that you be humbled before the prince” (Prov 25:6-7). We do not know if historically Jesus was concerned with proper decorum in this episode; but there is much reason to think that the intention of Luke is not limited to social etiquette. For one thing, Luke clearly states that this is a parable (Luke 14:7), and in Luke a parable is usually about the Kingdom of God. For another, one finds it strange that in the

entire gospel, it is only in these sayings that Jesus concerns himself with social etiquette. One may not be mistaken in regarding the gospel text not as rules of etiquette or social graces but, most likely, as matters on social behavior used to teach us two important points about the Kingdom of God. The first lesson concerns the composition of the Kingdom of God. From his observation on guests competing for the best places at table to show their status before other guests and the host, Jesus draws the lesson that membership in the community of the Kingdom does not depend on one’s merits, social standing or economic status. Unlike in many marriage banquets, these count nothing in the Kingdom of God. We do not save ourselves by these means. Salvation is the work of God in the first place. Hence, those who consider themselves worthy of high places in the Kingdom,


Bo Sanchez

Bishop Pat Alo

Do what love demands
I NOW own a cell phone. People who have been reading my stuff for a few years know how I love the simple lifestyle, ala St. Francis of Assisi. I’ve always wanted an uncluttered and free life. I didn’t want ringing, beeping, and vibrating things disturbing my prayer time. And for the sake of humility (or so I thought), I didn’t want the status symbol of a cell phone hanging from my belt. So except for my computer where I write my books, for many years I’ve avoided all sorts of personal gadgetry, equipment, and other luxuries: no car, no cellular, no beeper, no wristwatch, no walkman, no girlfriend, etc. But slowly, I had to face harsh reality. My once friendly, gentle, and otherwise mentally balanced staff of seventy-five people—either working for SHEPHERD’S VOICE, or my Catholic community, or ANAWIM (our work for the poor)—have become more and more violent these past few months. I hear screams like, “Where were you? Planet Mars?! We’ve been looking all over the world for you these past three days!” Suicide attempts have been reported to me. A few have been acting weird every time the moon is full. And I have received a few death threats from otherwise very loving people, if I don’t get a cell phone. I’ve realized that there is one law above every other law. Yup, even above my desire for simplicity. Or prayer. Or humility. It’s called the demand of love. If I love these people, I’m going to get a cell phone. Whether it will interfere with my simple lifestyle, my prayer life, and my great humility. (You see, I’m the most humble person in the world. I get awards for my profound humility. You know, I’m so humble that blah, blah, blah, blah, blah...) What does love demand in your life? Disturbing your prayer time because your little son wants you to carry him? Not attending your prayer meeting this week because it’s Mom’s birthday? Saying “yes” to a leadership position even if you really want something low-key? Saying “no” to an abusive friend even if everything about you wants to say yes? For me, it was the simple act of getting a cell phone. I also got myself a girlfriend who later became my wife, but that’s another story.


Moratorium on logging and mining
GROUPS from the Catholic clergy and people of Davao Oriental have been requesting a moratorium of the large scale mining and logging operations taking place in the same province. We believe this is for the good of the people. Considering the worldwide dangers of global warming and environmental calamities (e.g. floods) in many areas of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, it’s about time. The honorable mayor R. Hagedorn of the capital city of Palawan, namely Puerto Princesa, has clearly shown in word and example, how Palawan has progressively boomed through preservation of its natural resources of wood trees and mining minerals, thus preserving the economy by tourism and the usual and normal livelihood of the native or local inhabitants. He made a reversal in policy or conversion of heart from being a logger and miner previously. He even assured our priests of Davao Oriental that he is willing to talk about his success story in Palawan to our people here in Davao Oriental. You see for yourself and go to Palawan to see how truth speaks for itself. As the world has always shown, the temptation and corruption comes because of the money in the various sorts of commerce happening around. People get lured because of the money offers. But transactions done because of the money lead to self-destruction, as Judas Iscariot hanged himself, after betraying Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, and the many calamities causing loss of countless lives that came as a result of irresponsible logging or mining transactions. What is our guiding word from the Bible for genuine business people of our times? We have to approach the whole matter the way God wants us to do, putting first things first, seeking the will of God first or the true good of man, before the monetary considerations. “Set your hearts on his kingdom first, and on his righteousness, and all these other things will be given you as well” (Mt. 6:33). “The love of money is the root of all evils and there are some who, pursuing it, have wandered away from the faith, and so given their souls any number of fatal wounds” (1 Tim. 6:10). Remember Judas betrayed Jesus for the money, then hanged himself. The great business analyst Robert Townsend, author of Up the Organization, writing about 40 years ago (1970), had cautioned us: “Money, like prestige, if sought directly, is almost never gained. It must come as a byproduct of a worthwhile objective or result which is sought and achieved for its own sake.” Of the irresponsible people, logging and mining for the money, devastating the environment, we can only pray as Jesus did at the cross: “Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing” (Lk. 23:34).

Fr. Francis Ongkingco


‘Read to lead’
“AP-PLE…,” Jake was sweating profusely as he showed his Grade 1 pupils a reading exercise flash card. “Now, repeat after me…,” he patiently said. The children were quite restless in their rickety wooden benches. Jake could not help feel pity for them. “How could they even pay attention when four children were crammed into one seat? They were huddled together like a ball of sticky rice that had fallen to the ground and was smudged by grime all over.” “AP-PLE!” The kids repeated aloud together. Jake looked at his watch. He had been drilling them for nearly an hour. “What was all of this achieving?” He had volunteered for an activity called “Read to Lead” which sought to compensate in some way children’s reading skills. He was moved by the lamentable state of children’s reading skills. “One who didn’t know how to read, was like being born blind. One will not be able to see many of life’s beautiful realities and possibilities.” “BA-BY…,” he showed them another flash card. “BA-BY…,” the pupils repeated. Somewhere outside the school, someone started hitting a rusty water pipe hanging from an old Jackfruit tree. It bellowed a low clanging sound that signaled recess time and the end of the section’s reading class. As Jake left the room, he bumped into Mark who was going to also teach reading but in another section. “Hey, dude, how was the class?” Mark asked. “Pretty slow, Mark,” Jake said in a dissatisfied tone. “And you?” “Guess, we’re in the same boat,” Mark shrugged his shoulders. “I mean, these kids are so deprived of good education. We’re trying to teach them to read because it will give them an edge and hopefully allow them to lead in the future.” “But without proper teaching means, without good teachers and not to mention how they’re exposed overtime to media and gadgets that deteriorate their reading and writing skills. They don’t even hear English since most shows are dubbed in the vernacular. It would be great that they at least pick up some Japanese, Korean or Spanish from the numerous imported foreign shows.” “I was talking to the organizers the other day,” Mark commented. “I was telling them that this venture of Read to Lead might be a good idea, but not practical. Logistically, we can’t cover all eight sec…,” “Sir! Sir!” an old lady suddenly interrupted their conversation. She approached them and did not cease thanking them, “Salamat! Salamat! Salamat!” “You know this lady, dude?” Mark asked Jake. “Nope, but seems like she knows us,” Jake said. The woman started crying

Whatever / B7


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 17
August 16 - 29, 2010

Social Concerns
were restored with our new home. They brightened up our lives with goodness.” The houses are simple, yet durable: concrete, steel-framed units that are brightly painted and measure about 76 square feet each. Room is limited, especially for larger families, but there are outdoor common areas where families can gather and children can play. For the time being, residents use a deep-well pump for drinking and washing until the government extends water lines into the hills. Akin to the worldwide Habitat for Humanity program, residents provide “sweat equity” by joining hundreds of other skilled and unskilled volunteers in the construction process. Monetary donations to Gawad Kalinga provide the remaining construction funds. Knights in the Philippines have been major donors and volunteers since 2008. In addition, volunteers from KCFAPI have staffed a mission to monitor the health of village residents and to ensure that they understand the basics of nutrition and hygiene. The Gawad Kalinga project includes dozens of homes in addition to the K of C Village and seeks to build a community


By Roy Lagarde
IN a secluded village about 17 miles north of Manila, Knights of Columbus have assisted in building scores of new, colorful houses along the rugged hills. Many of the residents were formerly homeless, but now they and their children have a new start in life and hope for the future. Their houses comprise the Knights of Columbus Village, a building project funded by the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI), the insurance arm of the Order in the Philippines. Located in the city of San Jose del Monte of Bulacan, the village is part of a larger housing development sponsored by Gawad Kalinga, a faith-based organization whose name in Filipino means “giving care.” This past April, five new units in the complex were dedicated and named in honor of Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson. This made a total of 22 houses and one chapel built at the site by the KC Philippines Foundation with support from KCFAPI. Jocelyn Tusi, a mother of four children, said that coming to the village was an answer to her prayers. She and her husband helped to build their house and also took lessons from Gawad Kalinga instructors on building a better a life. “We live under one roof that we can now call our own,” she said. “It seems that our confidence, dignity and hopes
Social Media / B3

Building homes, building lives
© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

that is vibrant and sustainable, despite being isolated from the surrounding villages. It has a school program that provides children with a preschool, primary school and vocational education, and a livelihood program that develops farmland for the benefit of the whole community. The spiritual needs of the residents are met by Couples for Christ, a Catholic organization that provides Christian mentoring, prayer meetings and Mass, as well as catechetical programs for children. In addition, the Knights of

Columbus constructed a chapel named after Father George Willmann, a Jesuit missionary priest who is known as the “Father McGivney of the Philippines” for his work with the Order for 40 years until his death in 1977. Justice Jose Reyes Jr., chairman of the KC Philippines Foundation Inc., said that the new homes are just the beginning of an ongoing effort to house the area’s poor, who live in cardboard or scrap metal shacks along the highways and dirt roads of the country. “The Knights of Columbus has long

been helping the poor,” he said. “We really wanted to help this project … an honest to goodness help to the poor. This is now a realization.” According to Reyes, Knights maintain a close relationship with village residents and provide ongoing faith formation to help build a small Christian community among the people. (This article is lifted from the online version of the Columbia Magazine at http://kofc.org/ un/eb/en/columbia/detail/2010_08_homes. html)

information that may identify that minor. Parents must have access to everything provided to their children. For example, parents should be made aware of how social media are being used, be told how to access the sites, and be given the opportunity to be copied on all material sent to their children via social networking (including text messages). While parents should be provided with the same material as their children, it does not have to be via the same technology (that is, if children receive a
Norms / B2

reminder via Twitter, parents can receive it in a printed form or by an e-mail list). Church personnel should be encouraged to save copies of conversations whenever possible, especially those that concern the personal sharing of a teen or young adult. (This may be especially important with text messaging.) Make everyone aware of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which is federal legislation that oversees how websites interact with children under age 13.

Personal Sites Personal sites of church personnel should also reflect Catholic values. Businesses are cautioning their employees that, while employees have a right to privacy and confidentiality regarding what their employers know about them, an employee’s use of social networking— because of its very nature—means he or she relinquishes some privacy and could be construed as representing the company’s ethics and values. Likewise, church personnel should be encouraged to understand

that they are witnessing to the faith through all of their social networking, whether “public” or “private.” Many employers and church organizations ask their personnel to consider including a disclaimer on their personal sites, especially if employees/church personnel are highly visible in the community and/or post material related to church work/ministry on their personal sites. One example: “The views expressed on this site are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.”

How to Report and Monitor Ask church personnel to report unofficial sites that carry the diocesan or parish logo to the diocesan communication office or pastor. It is important that the owner (the diocese or the parish) is able to protect its brand and identity. Inform church personnel whom to contact on the diocesan level (most likely the communication office) if they find misinformation on a site. This is especially important when responding to an incorrect wiki, such as Wikipedia, Masstimes.org, etc. Have a clear policy on

whether diocesan personnel should be expected to respond to defamatory, libelous, or slanderous comments— not original postings, but comments—on a site, such as a blog. Some policies indicate that the diocesan communication office will provide a response to a major news outlet’s blog or a popular blogger, but not to every comment on those blogs or to other bloggers. Consider posting these and similar policies and notices on your organization’s social networks.

Sedis Apostolicae conveniri debent personae, quae auctoritatem superiorem infra Romanum pontificem non habent, sive sunt personae physicae in ordine episcopatus non constitutae sive sunt personae iuridicae salvo can. 1063 § 4 nn. 3 et 4. [6] Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 751 - Dicitur haeresis, pertinax, post receptum baptismum, alicuius veritatis fide divina et catholica credendae denegatio, aut de eadem pertinax dubitatio; apostasia, fidei christianae ex toto repudiatio; schisma, subiectionis Summo Pontifici aut communionis cum Ecclesiae membris eidem subditis detrectatio. [7] Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 1364 - § 1. Apostata a fide, haereticus vel schismaticus in excommunicationem latae sententiae incurrit, firmo praescripto can. 194, § 1, n. 2; clericus praeterea potest poenis, de quibus in can. 1336, § 1, nn. 1, 2 et 3, puniri. - § 2. Si diuturna contumacia vel scandali gravitas postulet, aliae poenae addi possunt, non excepta dimissione e statu clericali. [8] Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium, can. 1436 - § 1. Qui aliquam veritatem fide divina et catholica credendam denegat vel eam in dubium ponit aut fidem christianam ex toto repudiat et legitime monitus non resipiscit, ut haereticus aut apostata excommunicatione maiore puniatur, clericus praeterea aliis poenis puniri potest non exclusa depositione. [9] Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium, can. 1437 - Qui subiectionem supremae Ecclesiae auctoritati aut communionem cum christifidelibus eidem subiectis detrectat et legitime monitus oboedientiam non praestat, ut schismaticus excommunicatione maiore puniatur. [10] Pontificium Consilium de Legum Textibus Interpretandis, Responsio ad propositum dubium, 4 iunii 1999 in AAS 91 (1999) 918. D. Utrum in can. 1367 CIC et 1442 CCEO verbum «abicere» intellegatur tantum ut actus proiciendi necne. R. Negative et ad mentem. Mens est quamlibet actionem Sacras Species voluntarie et graviter despicientem censendam esse inclusam in verbo «abicere». [11] Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 1367 - Qui species consecratas abicit aut in sacrilegum finem abducit vel retinet, in excommunicationem latae sententiae Sedi Apostolicae reservatam incurrit; clericus praeterea alia poena, non exclusa dimissione e statu clericali, puniri potest.

[12] Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium, can. 1442 - Qui Divinam Eucharistiam abiecit aut in sacrilegum finem abduxit vel retinuit, excommunicatione maiore puniatur et, si clericus est, etiam aliis poenis non exclusa depositione. [13] Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 1378 - § 2. In poenam latae sententiae interdicti vel, si sit clericus, suspensionis incurrit: 1° qui ad ordinem sacerdotalem non promotus liturgicam eucharistici Sacrificii actionem attentat... [14] Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 1379 - Qui, praeter casus de quibus in can. 1378, sacramentum se administrare simulat, iusta poena puniatur. [15] Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium, can. 1443 - Qui Divinae Liturgiae vel aliorum sacramentorum celebrationem simulavit, congrua poena puniatur non exclusa excommunicatione maiore. [16] Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 908 - Sacerdotibus catholicis vetitum est una cum sacerdotibus vel ministris Ecclesiarum communitatumve ecclesialium plenam communionem cum Ecclesia catholica non habentium, Eucharistiam concelebrare. [17] Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium, can. 702 - Sacerdotes catholici vetiti sunt una cum sacerdotibus vel ministris acatholicis Divinam Liturgiam concelebrare. [18] Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 1365 - Reus vetitae communicationis in sacris iusta poena puniatur. [19] Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium, can. 1440 - Qui normas iuris de communicatione in sacris violat, congrua poena puniri potest. [20] Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 927 - Nefas est, urgente etiam extrema necessitate, alteram materiam sine altera, aut etiam utramque extra eucharisticam celebrationem, consecrare. [21] Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 1378 - § 1. Sacerdos qui contra praescriptum can. 977 agit, in excommunicationem latae sententiae Sedi Apostolicae reservatam incurrit. [22] Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium, can. 1457 - Sacerdos, qui complicem in peccato contra castitatem absolvit, excommunicatione maiore puniatur firmo can. 728 § 1, n. 2. [23] Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 1378 - § 2. In poenam latae sententiae interdicti vel, si sit clericus,

suspensionis incurrit: ... 2° qui, praeter casum de quo in § 1, cum sacramentalem absolutionem dare valide nequeat, eam impertire attentat, vel sacramentalem confessionem audit. [24] Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 1379 - Qui, praeter casus de quibus in can. 1378, sacramentum se administrare simulat, iusta poena puniatur. [25] Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium, can. 1443 - Qui Divinae Liturgiae vel aliorum sacramentorum celebrationem simulavit, congrua poena puniatur non exclusa excommunicatione maiore. [26] Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 1387 - Sacerdos, qui in actu vel occasione vel praetextu confessionis paenitentem ad peccatum contra sextum Decalogi praeceptum sollicitat, pro delicti gravitate, suspensione, prohibitionibus, privationibus puniatur, et in casibus gravioribus dimittatur e statu clericali. [27] Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium, can. 1458 - Sacerdos, qui in actu vel occasione vel praetextu confessionis paenitentem ad peccatum contra castitatem sollicitavit, congrua poena puniatur non exclusa depositione. [28] Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 1388 - § 1. Confessarius, qui sacramentale sigillum directe violat, in excommunicationem latae sententiae Sedi Apostolicae reservatam incurrit; qui vero indirecte tantum, pro delicti gravitate puniatur. [29] Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium, can. 1456 - § 1. Confessarius, qui sacramentale sigillum directe violavit, excommunicatione maiore puniatur firmo can. 728, § 1, n. 1; si vero alio modo hoc sigillum fregit, congrua poena puniatur. [30] Congregatio pro Doctrina Fidei, Decretum de sacramenti Paenitentiae dignitate tuenda, 23 septembris 1988, in AAS 80 (1988) 1367. [31] Congregatio pro Doctrina Fidei, Decretum generale de delicto attentatae sacrae ordinationis mulieris, 19 decembris 2007, in AAS 100 (2008) 403. [32] Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 1362 - § 2. Praescriptio decurrit ex die quo delictum patratum est, vel, si delictum sit permanens vel habituale, ex die quo cessavit. [33] Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium, can. 1152 - § 3. Praescriptio decurrit ex die, quo delictum patratum est, vel, si delictum est permanens vel habituale, ex die, quo cessavit. [34] Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 1421 - § 1. In

dioecesi constituantur ab Episcopo iudices dioecesani, qui sint clerici; § 2. Episcoporum conferentia permittere potest ut etiam laici iudices constituantur, e quibus, suadente necessitate, unus assumi potest ad collegium efformandum.; § 3. Iudices sint integrae famae et in iure canonico doctores vel saltem licentiati. [35] Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium, can. 1087 - § 1. In eparchia nominentur ab Episcopo eparchiali iudices eparchiales, qui sint clerici.; § 2. Patriarcha consulta Synodo permanenti vel Metropolita, qui Ecclesiae metropolitanae sui iuris praeest, consultis duobus Episcopis eparchialibus ordinatione episcopali senioribus permittere potest, ut etiam alii christifideles iudices nominentur, ex quibus suadente necessitate unus assumi potest ad collegium efformandum; in ceteris casibus hac in re adeatur Sedes Apostolica.; § 3. Iudices sint integrae famae, in iure canonico doctores vel saltem licentiati, prudentia et iustitiae zelo probati. [36] Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 1722 - Ad scandala praevenienda, ad testium libertatem protegendam et ad iustitiae cursum tutandum, potest Ordinarius, audito promotore iustitiae et citato ipso accusato, in quolibet processus stadio accusatum a sacro ministerio vel ab aliquo officio et munere ecclesiastico arcere, ei imponere vel interdicere commorationem in aliquo loco vel territorio, vel etiam publicam sanctissimae Eucharistiae participationem prohibere; quae omnia, causa cessante, sunt revocanda, eaque ipso iure finem habent, cessante processu poenali. [37] Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium, can. 1473 - Ad scandala praevenienda, ad testium libertatem protegendam et ad iustitiae cursum tuendum potest Hierarcha audito promotore iustitiae et citato ipso accusato in quolibet statu et grado iudicii poenalis accusatum ab exercitio ordinis sacri, officii, ministerii vel alterius muneris arcere, ei imponere vel prohibere commorationem in aliquo loco vel territorio, vel etiam publicam Divinae Eucharistiae susceptione prohibere; quae omnia causa cessante sunt revocanda et ipso iure finem habent cessante iudicio poenali. [38] Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 1720 - Si Ordinarius censuerit per decretum extra iudicium esse procedendum: 1° reo accusationem atque probationes, data facultate sese defendendi, significet, nisi reus, rite vocatus, comparere neglexerit; 2° probationes et argumenta omnia cum duobus assessoribus accurate perpendat; 3° si de delicto certo constet neque actio criminalis sit extincta, decretum ferat ad normam cann. 1342-1350, expositis, breviter saltem, rationibus in iure et in facto.

[39] Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium, can. 1486 - § 1. Ad validitatem decreti, quo poena irrogatur, requiritur, ut: 1° accusatus de accusatione atque probationibus certior fiat data sibi opportunitate ius ad sui defensionem plene exercendi, nisi ad normam iuris citatus comparere neglexit; 2° discussio oralis inter Hierarcham vel eius delegatum et accusatum habeatur praesentibus promotore iustitiae et notario; 3° in ipso decreto exponatur, quibus rationibus in facto et in iure punitio innitatur. § 2. Poenae autem, de quibus in can. 1426, § 1, sine hac procedura imponi possunt, dummodo de earum acceptatione ex parte rei scripto constet. [40] Ioannes Paulus PP. II, Constitutio apostolica Pastor bonus, De Romana Curia, 28 iunii 1988, art. 52, in AAS 80 (1988) 891: «§ 1. Praeterea [Supremum Tribunal Signaturae Apostolicae] cognoscit de recursibus, intra terminum peremptorium triginta dierum utilium interpositis, adversus actus administrativos singulares sive a Dicasteriis Curiae Romanae latos sive ab ipsis probatos, quoties contendatur num actus impugnatus legem aliquam in decernendo vel in procedendo violaverit. § 2. In his casibus, praeter iudicium de illegitimitate, cognoscere etiam potest, si recurrens id postulet, de reparatione damnorum actu illegitimo illatorum. § 3. Cognoscit etiam de aliis controversiis administrativis, quae a Romano Pontifice vel a Romanae Curiae Dicasteriis ipsi deferantur necnon de conflictibus competentiae inter eadem Dicasteria». [41] Secretaria Status, Rescriptum ex Audientia SS.mi Il 4 febbraio, quo Ordinatio generalis Romanae Curiae foras datur, 30 aprilis 1999, Regolamento generale della Curia Romana, 30 aprile 1999, art. 36 § 2, in AAS 91 (1999) 646: «Con particolare cura sarà osservato il segreto pontificio, a norma dell’Istruzione Secreta continere del 4 febbraio 1974». Secretaria Status seu Papalis, Rescriptum ex Audientia, instructio Secreta continere, De secreto pontificio, 4 februarii 1974, in AAS 66 (1974) 89-92: «Art. 1.- Secreto pontificio comprehenduntur: … 4) Denuntiationes extra iudicium acceptae circa delicta contra fidem et contra mores, et circa delicta contra Paenitentiae sacramentum patrata, nec non processus et decisio, quae ad hasce denuntiationes pertinent, salvo semper iure eius, qui ad auctoritatem delatus est, cognoscendae denuntiationis, si id necessarium ad propriam defensionem fuerit. Denuntiantis autem nomen tunc tantum patefieri licebit, cum auctoritati opportunum videatur ut denuntiatus et is, qui eum denuntiaverit, simul compareant; …» (p. 90).

Whatever / B6


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while firmly gripping on the arms of the two volunteers. They wondered about her reaction and asked what it was they did to receive such an immense gratitude. She said that her husband was given a new heart medication by the pharmacy. Yesterday, while she was in the market, her husband suddenly felt a tight sensation on his chest. He realized that he had not yet taken his medication. “When he opened package of the new medication, he was surprised to see that the tablets were inside a small plastic bottle. He tried to twist the cap but couldn’t open it. He wondered what could be so hard with this container’s lid. Suddenly, he panicked and started to hyperventilate. He tried other means but he was losing control and cried out

for help. “Our youngest daughter, who attends the morning classes, came and took the bottle. To my husband’s surprise and relief Anita managed to open it. Later on, he asked Anita how she did it. She replied that she simply read the words engraved on the cap: PRESS DOWN AND TWIST TO OPEN and then followed them. “My husband, who is a garbage collector, doesn’t know how to read. If it were not for your reading lessons, something terrible would have happened to my husband.” That day, Jake and Mark returned home, feeling consoled. They realized that no matter how simple and small their efforts were in teaching the children to read, something good was definitely going to come out of it.

Moral Assessment

Technical Assessment

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 14 No. 17

August 16 - 29, 2010

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

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

DOM Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) leads a team of spies/ thieves who illegally and unethically extracts the most treasured secrets of a person through intruding into their dreams using sophisticated technology. This and some details of his past, involving a dark secret about his deceased wife (Marion Cottilard), has made him a fugitive, and unable to return home to his two young children for quite a long while. So when an influential Japanese business magnate, Saito (Ken Watanabe), offers him to clean his legal records in exchange for a dangerous, nearly impossible mission, Cobb accepts. Instead of extracting, Cobb’s mission would be “inception” - that is, he would plant an idea into the mind of Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy), heir to a rival business which threatens Saito’s empire. To be able to do this, Cobb and his team must intrude into Fischer’s subconscious that lies in the deepest of his dreams. However, Cobb’s professionalism is always hindered by his personal inability to control his own distracting -subconscious brought about by his dark past. Inception is an out-of-the box spectacle that is able to exploit the limitless possibilities of visual storytelling. The premise dwells on a subject matter usually thought of as implausible for the cinema arts. At the onset, the audience is predisposed with another sci-fi flick but it turns out that Inception is more than that. There’s a lot of genius at work in the story that borders in the absurd and the insane but the writer-director, Christopher Nolan, is able to synchronize all

the plot elements in a cohesive whole. Things happen so fast in the film though, stories and complications of various layers pile up simultaneously which tend to make the audience breathless and sometimes, at a lost if they are unable to keep up with the film’s rapid pace. DiCaprio and the rest of the cast are at their best. They make a tremendous ensemble given the demands of the film’s convoluted plots, subplots and more subplots. For having pulled-off such a ridiculous, ambitious concept into a seamless, memorable cinematic experience, the Inception is more than exceptional. It is phenomenal. In today’s technological advancement and domination, everything seems possible. Eversince people have allowed technology to enter into their private spaces, they have already subjected themselves into public scrutiny. In Inception, even one’s subconscious can no longer be a secret. Much worse, one’s deepest secret can now be extracted and stolen just like everything else. In effect, everything is commodified. Hacking and piracy is no longer limited to ideas, computers and copyrights --- it now extends to one’s secrets, even those that lie in the deepest parts of their dreams and subconscious. It is now a dangerous world indeed. There’s no question that Cobb’s business is illegal and unethical. Their skills and genius went a little too far and they are all aware of it. The film, with all its spectacular technical magnificence, manages to consistently put into play the

Title: Inception Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe, Dileep Rao, Cilaian Murphy, Tom Berenger, Marion Cotillard, Pete Postlethwaite, Michael Caine, Lukas Haas Director: Christopher Nolan Producers: Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas Screenwriter: Christopher Nolan Music: Hans Zimmer Editor: Lee Smith Genre: Suspense-Sci-Fi, Drama Cinematography: Wally Pfister Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures Location: US Running Time: 148 minutes Technical Assessment: Moral Assessment:  ½ CINEMA Rating: For viewers 14 and above


rudiments of Cobb’s emotional and psychological turmoil with the kind of life and livelihood he has chosen. That in itself is punishment enough. No one would ever aspire for a life filled with guilt and resentments. In the blurring of lines between fantasy and reality, there’s still nothing worse than to be left in a limbo where love and meaningful relationships do not exist. Inception would make the audience look at dreams and realities in a different light. However, some scenes of violence, themes of suicide, and vulgar language (although in context) may not be suitable for viewers below 14 years of age.

Title: Street Dance 3D Cast: Charlotte Rampling, Patrick Baladi, Nichola Burley, Chris Wilson, Eleanor Bron Directors: Max Giwa, Dania Pasquini Producers: Allan Niblo, James Richardson Editor: Tim Murrell Genre: Drama/ Dance Cinematography: Sam McCurdy Distributor: Viva International Pictures Location: UK Running Time: 98 mins. Technical Assessment:  Moral Assessment:  CINEMA Rating: For viewers 14 and above


Ni Bladimer Usi

Buhay Parokya
STREET Dance 3D features winners from the reality show Britain’s Got Talent and heavily borrows themes from previous dance movies: competition, fusion of styles and determination. The movie begins with Carly faced with putting together her dance crew after Jay, the leader and her boyfriend, announces that he is leaving. The crew also loses their rehearsal space and is to find alternative spaces which at times prove to be insufficient. The crew dreams of winning a dance off finals and make it to New York but things look impossible without an appropriate rehearsal space. Fortunately, Carly meets Helena, a ballet instructor running her own studio with a lot of talented but passionless dancers, in one of her deliveries. She manages to invite Helena to her crew’s rehearsal. Helena is impressed with the group’s vibrance and offers Carly free use of the ballet studio on condition that Carly would teachstreet dance to the ballet students. The task is difficult at first as the two dance disciplines clash with each other but in the end, the ballerinas and the street dancers become friends and come up with a unique dance choreography. The plot thickens as Carly falls for Thomas, one of the ballet students, while Jay tries to get back to her. Very seldom do we see a dance movie with a serious plot other than trying to win in a competition or pass an audition. Street Dance is not different. You’ve seen the storyline once too often that at the very first dance sequence, you already know the last one. The performances are a little too flat – a common dilemma in trying to cast real non-acting dancers. The dance disciplines are a bit type-casted. Ballet need not be stiff and snooty and street dance need not be carefree and crude. The choreography is good and entertaining but nothing really memorable that will be a signature move in the years to follow. However, Street Dance has one trick up its sleeves – the use of 3D technology. With a lot of stop-motions, intricate leaps and footwork and powerful music, the movie is very entertaining and enjoyable. There are two important lessons one can pick up from the movie. One is determination to succeed. In life, we always have a competition to win and a goal to accomplish. The movie reminds us that along the way to success are heartaches and challenges and we need not only a strong character but also resourcefulness and flexibility. There are times you have to work with people or circumstances that are completely the opposite of what you are used to. And learning to deal with such adversities strengthens your person and improves your creativity. Another lesson deals with unity as a fruit of respect and acceptance. People need to acknowledge the beauty and brilliance of another no matter how good he or she may be in one area. Learning to do so opens people up to cooperation and collaboration, thus leading to more refined and profound output.

Look for the images of baptismal candle, holy water font, and church bell. (Illustration by Bladimer Usi)

Vol. 14 No. 3 Vol. 14 No. 17

CBCP Monitor CBCP Monitor

February - - February August 16 1 29, 2010 14, 2010

C1 C1

The News Supplement of Couples for Christ

CFC Canada held their annual conferences on the last two weekends of July. CFC in Eastern Canada had their 2010 CFC Eastern Canada and Kids for Christ Kids Village Conference at Brock University in St Catharine’s, Niagara, while CFC Western Canada held theirs in Calgary.

CFC Canada Celebrates Fullness
Clarito, Regional Head for Ontario, officially declared the KFC and CFC conferences open. The Saturday session started with a mass celebrated by Fr. Mike McHugh, Parish Priest of Holy Family Roman Catholic Church also in Hamilton. This was followed by a series of talks, sharings and creative performances. The night ended with the very lively “Festival of Choirs” competition participated by all the areas. The KFC Kids Village conference, on the other hand, brought fun, laughter and lifelong memories for the kids through various activities, games and workshops all in a spirit of fun. They also held their own version of “KFC’s Got Talent” competition. Msgr. Wayne Kirkpatrick, AdminisWestern Canada MOST of the visitors who arrived in Calgary, Alberta during the first and second week of July came for the Calgary Stampede, dubbed as the “greatest outdoor show on earth.”But the 718 Couples for Christ and 133 Kids for Christ members came for something else entirely -- the 2010 CFC-KFC Western Canada Conference. The conference focused on the theme “Fullness In Christ,” which is taken from Colossians 2:6-7. As in any CFC conference, the rosary was prayed and a Mass celebrated firstasking the Lord’s presence for the entire conference weekend, with Fr. Andre of St. Patrick Church officiating and co-celebrated by Fr. Alfredo Perreira, spiritual director of CFC-Calgary. The conference was formally opened by the symbolic handing over by Roy Maligson of CFC-Victoria (host of last year’s CFC Western Canada Conference) of seedlings as a message of new life to Rosco and Sally Doromal of CFCCalgary. Vibrancy characterized the welcome presentation of each area during the “Harvest Festival of Colors” - Edmonton, Fort McMurry, Vancouver (who had the biggest delegation for out-oftown registrants), Lethbridge, Cranbrook, Winnipeg, Yellowknife Victoria and Regina, Saskatchewan. The second day also began with a Mass, officiated by Fr. John of St. Thomas Moore Parish., followed by the conference talks. The talks, given by CFC leaders led by CFC Executive Director Joe Yamamoto and CFC Canada National Council member Jun Clarito, were loud and clear in delivering God’s message of accepting His call, of being one and rooted in Christ on our journey of faith. The fellowship and dancing that followed the whole day session simply affirmed the community’s unity and love. Despite the late night dancing, the Sunday morning mass of Bishop Frederick Henry of Archdiocese of Calgary was well-attended. In his homily, Bishop Henry reminded the audience about the folly of being obsessed with work and busyness. The bishop asked: “Why

Eastern Canada Almost 800 CFC and KFC members from all over Toronto, Hamilton, Windsor, Ottawa, Montreal, Winnipeg, Bermuda and US, converged at Brock University to attend the 2010 CFC Eastern Canada and KFC Kids Village Conferences. The celebration centered on the 2010 CFC theme “Fullness of Life in Christ” and was based on Colossians 2:6-7: “Since you have accepted Christ Jesus as Lord, live in u n i o n with Him. Keep your roots deep on Him, build your lives on Him, and become stronger in your faith as you were taught. And be filled with thanksgiving.” The various talks were focused on a call to CFC and its Family Ministry members to experience more deeply the fullness of our life and mission in CFC which is anchored on the Lord Jesus Christ. The twin mission of building the Church of the home and building the Church of the poor with Christ at its center, remains as CFC’s holistic and integrated mission. The conference also sounded a renewed call for all members to strengthen the basics of personal and community life - to live in union with Christ, to keep our lives rooted in Him, to grow more strongly in faith and, to be thankful for all that He has blessed us with and for what is still to come. The conference started with a Mass celebrated by Fr. Gary Schlack, Parish Priest of Annunciation of Our Lord Parish in Hamilton. After the praise and worship, the conference continued with a Parade of Colors followed by a short but beautifully choreographed creative number from CFC Toronto. Ouel Gardon and Grace Parillas, FM coordinators and Jun

trator in the Diocese of St. Catharine’s, officiated the Sunday Mass. In his homily, he called upon all CFC members to be true instruments of God’s love, mercy and compassion by living their faith and giving their committed service especially to those who are in need. He thanked CFC for their strong commitment to evangelization and helping priests through their various work in their respective parishes. The mass was followed by praise and worship and the weekend was summed up by Melo Villaroman, CFC Family Ministries International Director. Ricky Cuenca, the newly-designated Chief Executive Officer of ANCOP, brought the conference to a fitting denouement by leading the final praisefest of the conference and getting everybody dancing, jumping and shouting for the glory of God. One word to sum up the entire conference --- AMAZING! At the closing rites, it was announced that the 2011 CFC Eastern Canada Conference will be held in Quebec.

CFC Executive Director Joe Yamamoto and wife Mila and CFC Family Ministries Director Melo Villaroman Jr, with wife Nini, led the celebration of ”Fullness in Christ” in both Canada conferences and attended the Clergy-Lay Congress, Top photo shows the CFC leaders, joined by Nick Borja, National Director for Canada, with Bishop Matthew McGrattan of Toronto, and in lower photo, with Bishop Frederick Henry of Calgary.

this obsession with work and busyness? Is it because our lives are empty and we need to fill them with busyness? Are we afraid of having nothing to do? Or do we actually believe that hard work and tireless activism is all that is needed to save the world? In truth, busyness is the supreme distraction. Busyness leaves us in the upside down world that Jesus tried to turn right side up. Choose life in Christ and abandon all loyalties.” Melo Villaroman, CFC Family Ministries International Director, summed up the weekend with a truly powerful and insightful talk and a very touching prayover session where couples prayed over

each other. The exchanges of gratitude and loving embraces that ended the morning session was heartwarming. George Fournier, head of CFCCalgary Family Ministry led the final praisefest, with the participants praising and worshipping the Lord for a remarkable weekend. As Nick Borja, National Director and Regional Head of Pacific Region, declared Whistler, British Columbia as the next venue of the Western Conference, the hall vibrated with claps and shouts of joy. (Stories contributed by Rico and Gina Tingin for Eastern Canada and Rey and Cheryl Guinsatao for Western Canada.)

Clergy and CFC Experience “Fullness in Christ”
1st CFC Lay-Clergy Congress in Toronto a very enlightening experience
tioned the importance of the continuing dialogue and cooperation between the Lay and the Clergy. The session opened with a very inspiring talk from Bishop McGrattan emphasizing the important role of lay movements, like Couples for Christ, in the church’s overall mission of evangelization. The Bishop, in his talk entitled “Lay Movements in the Life and Mission of the Church in Canada,” challenged CFC on the following areas: • As one of many lay movements, CFC must not be complacent with the success it has experienced in Toronto. Rather, the evangelization work must continue in bringing Christ to the rest of Canada, especially to remote places, and to the rest of the world. • CFC, its roots being in the Philippines, must set aside ethnicity that seems to caIndividuals for Christ but Couples for Christ for a reason.” It requires a relationship of and between couples, families and groups of individuals. The second talk was on “Evangelization of the Youth,” delivered by Melo Villaroman, Jr., member of the CFC International Council and Family Ministries Director. It centered on how CFC can tap and involve the youth in its evangelization mission. CFC, in particular, through the Family Ministries (YFC and SFC), should take advantage of and support the youth in this area. CFC leaders are also enjoined to ensure smooth transition of the youth from one ministry to the next, from KFC to YFC to SFC to CFC. The afternoon session was a series of workshops where the clergy joined CFC leaders in collaborating and formulating ways and strategies by which CFC can

By Rico Tingin
THE 1st CFC Lay-Clergy Congress to be conducted in Canada was held last July 28 at St Patrick’s Church in Markham, Toronto. It was a huge success not just in establishing directions and cooperation between the two groups but also in moving towards oneness with the Catholic Church in the country. Fifteen (15) members of the clergy from all over Eastern Canada, led by the Most Reverend William McGrattan of Toronto and at least a hundred CFC leaders attended the congress. The objective was to discuss and examine ways by which the lay and the clergy can work together in proclaiming Christ not just in Canada but all over the world. The day started with a Mass officiated by Bishop McGrattan. Nick Borja, CFC Canada National Director, in his opening remarks, men-

ter mostly to Filipinos. The community must reach out and share its passion and commitment to Christ with other nationalities and cultures. Called upon to rise above

individualism, CFC is encouraged to strengthen its relationships within the community in developing love for one another. In the same message, the Bishop said, “you are not called

effectively work hand-in-hand in fulfilling its Christ-centered mission of “building the Church of the home and building the Church of the poor.” The results gathered from the various workshops are being summarized and will be released to all members in the weeks to come. The third and final talk of the day, entitled “The Laity as Builders of Social Justice,” was delivered by Joe Yamamoto, CFC Executive Director. Joe emphasized that “Social Justice” is part of CFC’s overall mission. He stressed that CFC members, should not be satisfied with conducting CLPs. The overall core values of CFC as being ProGod, Pro-Poor, Pro-Family and Pro-Life, should be at the heart of each and every CFC member. These series of dialogues with the clergy will continue and hopefully forge a strong relationship between the laity, especially CFC, and the clergy in Canada.

Joe Yamamoto, CFC Director


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 17
August 16 - 29, 2010

Reflections on the Road
THE month of July, in any given year, is laden with schedules for talks in conferences in the US and Canada. And so we found ourselves ‘living out of our suitcases.’ The travels were hectic but most productive, affirming and heartwarming. They were not only occasions to meet the leaders and members of CFC in the areas but also to interact with them, to learn more about them and their community life. This year, the post-conference Clergy-Lay Congresses added a new dimension – of relating closely with the laity - which was certainly informative and upbuilding. CFC USA held their ClergyLay Congress in Houston on the second week of July while CFC Canada held theirs in two separate venues, Calgary and Toronto, on the last two weekends of July. These were occasions to meet and interact well with the pastors of the Church. The Canadian trip allowed my wife Mila and me, Melo and Nini (Villaroman), as well as the CFC Canada Council members, to meet three Canadian bishops who have been most supportive of the community for the many years that CFC has been present in their dioceses. Bishop Frederick Henry of the Diocese of Calgary gave the first talk of the Congress. He began by emphasizing the two greatest longings of contemporary man. The first was about a deep hunger for spirituality and the second, the quest for peace, compassion and justice. What he said resonated deeply in our hearts. People of today are indeed experiencing a deep sense of spiritual hunger that is probably heightened by the longer life span of man. While he lives longer in a modern affluent society, where healthcare, education and basic human services are adequate, somehow there is a lack that is represented by his search for inner strength. While this is obviously happening to us in CFC because of a vibrant Church life and strong community, the majority do not enjoy what we have simply because they are looking for the answer from the wrong direction and expecting instant gratification which the world repeatedly fails to provide. The good and affable bishop reiterated the message of John Paul II- ‘Be not afraid.’ This is of course Jesus’ message to us as well. This is not just a timely and appropriate message but one that embodies the answer to the quest. People who found Christ and lives in His presence will have that kind of assurance that no matter what the world hurls, the message and assurance remain for us to take courage for Christ already won the victory for us two millennia ago, in Calvary. For those who have yet to find Christ, they continue to be paralyzed by fear. In this regard, CFC as an ecclesial movement and community has all the encouragement to continuously proclaim Christ and His salvation in word and in action. “Be not afraid” applies to us not only in our daily ministrations to those in community but in a greater sense and with much urgency in the mission given us as Christ’s disciples to proclaim the message to those who have not yet heard the message of salvation – the message that will change lives. The metaphorical last two minutes of the clock continues to run its course and we have to do our share of bold gospel proclamation by opening more homes and territories to Christ. The message of Christ is the only message we need to carry but we must be the hands and feet that will help carry the good news. In the world today, there is a general sense of things falling apart. Everyone seems to speak of the good old days not really knowing what was good and meaningful in the old days. On the average, a person who lives longer today will definitely have more failures than those who are much younger. In short, there is a direct proportion to life span and occasions for failure. Lest people become insecure to the point of helplessness, there is a corollary message that an important lesson in life’s failures is not in not experiencing them but in learning the lessons and applying the solutions to the failures in their lives. The poet George Santayana once wrote that people who refuse to learn the lessons of history are bound to make the same mistakes. The first and greatest mistake of modern man is to try to find solutions in life from what surrounds him in this modern world, when the solution lies in knowing God who loves us greatly and unconditionally. The solution lies not in modernity but in the eternal truth of God’s love. You need not go far and wide to notice that everyone carries around a sense of woundedness and the desire to be healed. Countless people are living a life of isolation and are being cast adrift and cut off from the rest, perhaps from neglect of society and massive scandalous poverty, an offshoot of apathy due to selfishness. If anyone cares to notice, the young are searching for meaning and trying to resort to the wrong model – that of the supernatural. Lately there has been a stream of vampire movies, witchcraft and similar genre. Certainly, Hollywood makes much of it in terms of financial returns and questionable entertainment value. What the yearning for the supernatural hides is, in reality, the youth’s longing for God, a longing that they have not had occasion to entertain or explore, much less allowed to seep into their restive lives. The spiritual truths that the young search for have been quickly found by the renewed in our young family ministries. But these renewed youth have the obligation to proclaim their discovery among the peoples. Or else, this quest for meaning and significance, if not addressed in Christianity, will definitely find expression in modern day animism and paganism. Worldwide, there is a widening movement towards peace in a scale never seen before, not even during the height of the Vietnam war. This quest for peace is tied up with the search for compassion and social justice. Two world wars have not brought solutions to human misery and loss of millions of innocent lives. Poverty has become a systemic evil that haunts every nation of the globe. The decades following the establishment of the UN have seen more civil wars, fratricidal wars and genocides; world powers have conducted their proxy wars to the detriment of the poor and the innocent. The prevalent desire for peace not only among nations but especially among families have never been felt more acutely than today. Consider the reality that the most dangerous place for the unborn is in the mothers’ womb. More babies are killed by abortion than all the military and civilian casualties of all wars since recorded human history. According to Bishop Henry, there has been a globalization of compassion for the victims of wars. To date there have been attempts at showing varied expressions of compassion for the victims of wars and of violence especially to women and children. Global attention to the HIV epidemic is being enhanced and expanded. The tragedies of the December 2004 tsunami and the devastating hurricane Katrina, plus the recent Haiti earthquake emphasized the long overdue worldwide cooperation and involvement in the mitigation of human suffering. The biggest opportunity towards this goal has been the Campaign against Poverty launched in 2005. Much has been said about this and the world waits with bated breath if indeed, this initiative will make the difference. Consequentially for the rich nations, their attention is being repeatedly called by the clamor of the impoverished majority of nations for the condonation or even cancellation of their heavy indebtedness. The ball is in their court. Ironically, the peace in Ireland was brought about not by the political nor military leaders but by a group of women acting as unofficial leaders and taking the bold step of resolution and talking heart to heart with their counterparts. This peace may also happen in the Middle East. The mothers in that part of the world may find the elusive formula for peace. This deep hunger for spirituality is gradually and progressively being addressed in the Church by ecclesial groups responding in their particular charisms to the need for recreating the world today. Similarly, the same ecclesial movements are also finding many occasions and opportunities to share their vision and version of their work for social justice especially, in terms of work with the poor. We came away from the clergy-lay congresses affirmed that, whether clergy or laity, we all share the same call and the same mission. By including the youth and their expectations from the Church in the congresses, we have acknowledged that the future of the Church lies in the hands of the young. For CFC, we have long recognized the truth that family renewal – the transformation of the heart not just of the couple but of their entire family – is key to transforming society. We have also recognized that the Church is not simply the institution that Jesus founded but the Church is all of us, working together to proclaim the message of truth that Jesus Himself proclaimed two thousand years ago. And so CFC has enshrined our oneness with the Church in its vision and has encapsulated it in our two-fold mission -- Building the Church of the Home and Building the Church of the Poor.

Contemplative Workshop - The Journey Begins
By Jan Chavez & Annette Taguba
AS a follow through of the initiative of Sister Mary Niere to introduce CFC to contemplative prayer, a three-day contemplative workshop was conducted for the CFC-Vietnam expat community on July 23-25, 2010. Rouquel and Nina Ponte spearheaded the workshop. The first session saw Rouquel explaining the purpose and idea behind the workshop. He described how the words of God can give life, nourish, encourage and deepen one’s relationship with God. He said that throughout the workshop, the participants may receive God’s messages in different forms. He emphasized the importance of adopting an attitude of receptivity -- of welcoming, listening and trusting the Lord so the walls that block an individual’s heart would be toppled and bridges could be built to connect a heart-to-heart relationship with God. Nina began the workshop proper on the second session with a short prayer centered on the idea “that all will get out of that place not the same person as they came in.” Nina emphasized the importance of opening the door of our hearts because it is at its depths where we will encounter God. It is the place where we can have full knowledge of God, of ourselves and of the world. As we aim to go deeper into our hearts, we will discover God in our own realities. She described how the three levels of prayer can lead us to a heart-to-heart relationship with God: from being vocal, to being reflective until we become contemplative in prayer. The more prayerful we become, the deeper our relationship with God would be. By becoming more connected to God, we also become, little by little, more like God in how we view and interact with the world. Our daily experiences and activities would then become a sort of prayer. As a result, we become a blessing to others through humility. The third day began with the Holy Mass, followed by the workshop proper. If the first night was an opener to become receptive to God’s words and the second night was the revelation and the birth of God’s words in our hearts, the third day was the affirmation of the central essence of the workshop: ‘God’s Love.’ Rouquel and Nina led more contemplative exercises. From God’s initial invitation to “come and see”, the different colorful images of God’s love were uncovered as each participant went deeper and deeper into their discovery of the vivid truth of God as a loving Father. The three-day workshop has fortified the awareness that Sister Mary Niere initiated in February. The seed of knowledge, which Sister Mary Niere planted, has been nourished into an actual experience of God speaking to each participant in a unique way.

Tithing: A Key to Prosperity

By Fr. Elmer B. Gonzales
WHAT is tithing? Tithing is the practice of turning over ten percent of whatever blessings we have received back to God. It comes from the old english word teotha, which means “a tenth.” The first recorded act of tithing in the Bible was when Abram gave a tenth of everything he had to the high priest Melchizedek (Genesis 14:18:20). But the tithing system started during the time of Moses when God declared that the tenth of all the produce of the land belonged to him (Leviticus 27:30). Tithes were assigned to the Levites, who were consecrated to serve the Lord because they didn’t possess any land (Numbers 18:20-24). According to Deuteronomy 14:22 (TLB), “The purpose of tithing is to teach you always to put God first in your lives.” Is tithing a Catholic teaching? Yes, it is. In fact, the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines espouses it, proposing that it replace the current arancel system in the Church where the faithful give a contribution or payment for every service they avail of (baptism, weddings, house blessing, etc). Church teaching is quite clear that we have the responsibility to support both the Church - that is, its ministers, and the structural obligations that go with running

His Excellency Bishop Gabriel V. Reyes of Antipolo, with the CFC Provincial Council of Rizal and YFC leaders, headed by its Provincial Area Director Rommel Serrano. The good Bishop accepted the group’s invitation to say Mass in the Southern Tagalog YFC Regional Conference in Rizal. He asked CFC to move on in its task of evangelization and to continue with its revitalized work with the poor, the ANCOP.

an organization (Code of Canon Law (CIC) Canon 222 and 1260) and the poor and disadvantaged (c.f. CIC Canon 1262). Isn’t tithing only for the Old Testament? No. In fact, Jesus himself refuted this in the New Testament. He said, “Woe to you Pharisees! You pay tithes on mint and rue and all the garden plants, while neglecting justice and the love of God. These are the things that you should practice, without omitting the others” (Luke 11:42). In the New Testament, we are taught that we are to give generously according to what we have decided (2 Corinthians 9:6-15). We also recall the story of Annas and Sapphira (Acts 5) where they held back the proceeds of the sale of some goods from the service of the Lord. This does not mean that we should go without but what we should remember is that everything we have is a gift from the Lord and we should be willing to treat it as such. The two texts, when coupled together, teach us that it is the spirit behind what we are doing when we give that is most important. Furthermore, the parable of the widow’s mite reminds us again of this. Jesus says that her two copper coins are more than the large amounts of the rich as she gave from her need and not just from her excess. To whom should we turn over our tithes? Malachi 3:10 says, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse…” Storehouse, in this

passage, refers to your source of spiritual sustenance, where you are getting fed spiritually. That may be your parish church, your spiritual director, or the ministry or community you belong to. What has tithing got to do with financial prosperity? Malachi 3:10 is the only passage in the Bible wherein God tells us to put Him to the test. “Try me in this, says the Lord of hosts: shall I not open for you the floodgates of heaven, to pour down blessings upon you without measure?” Tithing not only opens up God’s abundance to us; it also promises to protect our possessions and blessings we have received. The most important thing is the attitude behind our giving. If it is freely given in love and out of generosity, than you have the perfect example of giving according to the New Testament. Whatever it is, 10%, 5% or 45% is irrelevant! For some, to tithe 10% may well be too big a burden, and for the very rich, far too little! It is up to the individual to give what he or she determines God wants of him or her, and to make sure it is given in love. (Fr. Elmer is the parish priest of Maliwalo, Tarlac and the spiritual director of CFC Tarlac.) References: Catechism of the Catholic Church, http://www.Catholic. Org.Uk

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 17
August 16 - 29, 2010



Healing Happens in a Loving Community
By Arnel Santos
THERE are many stories of healing and of loving in the CFC community. The following are stories from only one sector (West B in Metro Manila): • • A CFC household member donated his kidney for transplant to a fellow household member. A now 83-year-old CFC leader overcame Stage 3 colon cancer in 2002; angioplasty in 2005; cancerous cyst in the head in 2007; and 41 radiation therapy sessions for prostrate cancer in 2010. He is now healed, and still a very active member of CFC WB Sector Governance Team (SGT). A CFC leader had a vision, during an almost fatal seizure, of being told to go back because a lot of people are praying for her wellness, especially from among the CFC community. A reputable hospital is puzzled by an influx of blood donors for a CFC leader who just underwent a hysterectomy. A sector-wide intercessory prayer brigade is conducted for the healing of the sick members of the community every 8 AM daily. Home visits, hospital visits, outright financial assistance and free medical attendance by CFC doctors are provided to indigent CFC members, and regular prayer petitions on behalf of terminally ill members of CFC are said during household meetings and prayer assemblies. CFC members stricken by ailments and diseases, the leaders and members of CFC West B Sector gathered together on July 29, 2010, at the Sacred Heart Parish in Kamuning, Quezon City, for a Healing Assembly, dubbed as “Habag at Awa ng Diyos” (HAND). With close to a thousand members in attendance, the event was opened by a Spirit-filled worship and prayer assembly led by West B SGT member, Joven Floren, and capped by a healing mass celebrated by Fr. Mario Bije, SVD. Healing sessions were conducted after the mass by Fr. Mario, assisted by the medical professionals of the sector who were earlier prayed over to receive the gift of healing. They were Dr. Maricel Regino, pediatric cardiology; Dr. Amado Regino, general surgery; Dr. John Duenas, internal medicine; Dr. Tine Duenas, pediatrics; Dr. Chris Disioco, a general practitioner; Dr. Ross Aquino, a dentist, and Dr. Karen Gail Floren, daughter of Joven and Glo Floren. The doctors thought that they would just recite the Prayer for Consecration and Empowerment. However, they were prayed over by Fr. Mario, who right then and there, commissioned them to conduct healing sessions during the assembly. ““Touch them,” said Fr. Mario, “if God wills it, kaya ninyong magpagaling.” The assembly became a visible expression of the CFC community’s utmost love and care for fellow members. Aside from accompanying them in worshiping, praying and in hearing mass, CFC members have made voluntary contributions to raise funds for their brethren’s medical expenses. Donations ranging from five pesos to P 20,000.00 reached P62,685.00 on the night of the assembly alone. Indeed, as Fr. Mario emphasized in his homily; “Healing happens in a loving community.” The assembly was also an eye-opener for the medical professionals of the sector. Dr Maricel Regino said she was the one healed. She first felt unworthy to pray over the CFC members who lined up to be touched by her. She turned around and saw the altar. She turned back and saw a lot of people in need of prayer for healing. She thus commenced with the healing session with many being slain. Dr. John P. Duenas said, “it was a great privilege to be empowered.” What he witnessed were miracles. There were instances that “nag-uumpisa pa lang na-slain na” and there were moments when he and the person being prayed over were just standing still and in tears. He felt the “Lord was working through us.” This gave him a broader perspective even in his medical practice. He now deliberately prays for his patients, not only for physical but for spiritual and emotional healing as well. Dr. Ding Regino said that the experience gave him a “strong connection with the people by immersing and empathizing with them.” He became aware that he should not rely on his “own galing as a doctor but as a channel of God’s blessing.” He now focuses not on the sickness, but on the love.

As thanksgiving for all these healing stories and to seek God’s healing for the

CC Family Day turns into big bash
By Fernando Academia
COUPLES for Christ (CFC) Central C sector and its family ministries held their annual Family Day last July 31, 2010 at the Arellano Law School. According to Chino Caluag, FamilyMinistry head of Central C, the activity, dubbed “Pista sa Centro,” was meant “to gather the members in Central C in an event that will allow them to know one another and the unique qualities of each ministry in a spirit of celebration, fun, fellowship and worship.” He added that the Pista was a prelude to the sector’s Crossover Activity on September 4. Crossover is an activity to transition members to another ministry namely: Kids for Christ (KFC) to Youth for Christ (YFC), YFC to Singles for Christ (SFC), SFC to CFC and CFC to Handmaids of the Lord (HOLD) or Servants of the Lord (SOLD). The Pista turned into a truly festive day with the Lord through fun-filled activities, free food and an experience with the whole CFC family of Central C. Entire families got involved in the group games, such as the family sack race, sack race doubles, chess and dart games and tug of war. Other fun activities were the Wacky Hat Photo Booth, balloon bursting booth and the SFC Café. There was even free “taho” for everyone. Each ministry had a booth, with the KFC doing brisk business selling souvenir T-shirts for the Singapore KFC Kids Village and the HOLD being once again colorful in their flashy “Kumukutitap” booth. The day did not lack for entertainment, with home-grown talents amazing everyone with their performances, particularly during the Central C Got Talent portion, the HOLD dance number, the Ikaw, Tayo, Iisa kay Kristo (ITIK) SFC singers vocal renditions and Wonder Boy the Magician of KFC’s tricks. The event had a fitting ending -- Holy Mass presided by Fr. Jean Marie Rollin Flores of Our Lady of Sorrows and praisefest led by Francis Diaz, chapter head of SFC Makati 1D.

Top Ancop/CFC Leaders Define Mission; Discuss Projects During Texas Summit
THE Woodlands, TEXAS - Top officers of ANCOP (Answering the Cry of the Poor) -Tekton and North America took turns in defining the group’s mission and in discussing projects for poor Filipinos during the well-attended ANCOP Summit held last July 5, 2010 at the Marriott Waterways Hotel in this Texas township. Jose Tale, ANCOP-Tekton and CFC Chairman, traced the history of ANCOP since its founding in Barangay Bagong Silang, Caloocan City, in 1994 as a pastoral formation project for the youth of Bagong Silang. “In the beginning, there was no GK, only ANCOP. We started our work for the poor by repairing houses,” shared Tale. He continued, “Later on, when GK was born, we started to build houses for the poor. But due to fundamental differences, CFC granted independent status to GK last year, thus, ANCOP was born again,” the CFC chairman concluded. In defining the group’s mission, Tale said ANCOP “shares Christ’s love with the poor as an instruCFC Chairman Joe Tale delivers a talk during the summit.

ment for healing, addressing their relevant needs (material, physical and emotional) and fulfilling their yearning for a better future through personal and family transformation that leads to a just and caring society and a life of dignity for all.” In his talk, Jose Yamamoto, CFC Executive Director and

ANCOP Tekton President, revealed that health is part of ANCOP’s projects. A cardiovascular surgeon by profession, Dr. Yamamoto said it was everyone’s moral and religious duty to preserve health, it being a gift from God. The ANCOP-Tekton President asked CFC members who are in the health care industry to vol-

unteer their services through ANCOP. Ricky Cuenca, newlydesignated Chief Executive Officer of ANCOP, urged the formation of a strong marketing team for ANCOP. As ANCOP CEO, he announced that he will focus his efforts on three points, namely: a) strong marketing; b) efficient program implementation and delivery, and c) transparency in reporting and communications system. Tony Ventura, ANCOP U.S.A. President, gave a lengthy and thorough discussion of ANCOP U.S.A.’s vision and mission as well as updates on projects. He also set the directions of his group’s activities in the future. Glen Santayana and Roger Santos, both ANCOP U.S.A. Directors, spoke about two ANCOP projects, namely: the Children Sponsorship Program (CSP) which sponsors poor Filipino children to be able to acquire education, and North America Walk for the Poor, a 3-mile walk to be held simultaneously in 12 cities around the U.S. on August 28, 2010 to raise funds for CSP.

First-timers Lead Youth Camp!
By Beth and Glen Santayana, CFC – USA
THE weekend of July 23 – 25 was, for us, truly a family affair with the Lord. Our son, Matthew, led the camp along with Jea Campued, the daughter of the area’s YFC coordinators. We parents, along with other parents of the youth-servants, were there to see our children serving and sharing their faith with other youth. It was a humbling experience for the parents to see the children showing total dependence on the power of the Holy Spirit. The CFC youth coordinators, the Campued and Dela Cruz couples, showed great dedication, as they stayed night and day at the venue, the Sacred Heart Retreat Center of St. Bartholomew Parish in Miramar Parkway, Florida to support the youth. It was a wonderful experience, not just for the youth who attended and were introduced to the YFC way of life, but to us parents. It was most wonderful for the youth who served and who experienced the joys of serving our amazing God.

Ipil Prelature Now a Diocese
By Vic Lauro
THE prelature of Ipil was officially elevated to a diocese last August 7, 2010. On the same day, Most Rev. Julius Sullan Tonel, D.D. was installed as the first Bishop of the diocese by Most Rev. Romulo G. Valles, D.D. Archbishop of Zamboanga City. The Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, Most Rev. Edward Joseph Adams, D.D., together with 20 bishops and priests from all over the Philippines, attended the celebrations. The CFC Council Members of Zamboanga City, Vic Lauro, Nanding Gonzales and Joel Gregorio traveled to Ipil to share with all the CFC members in the area their joy at the elevation and installation.

The young YFC campers ham it up for the camera at the end of the weekend activity.



CBCP Monitor

Vol. 14 No. 17

August 16 - 29, 2010

CFC-Singles for Christ Metro Manila Conference 2010

By Nirva de la Cruz

The Heart of the Matter
Last July 23, 25, SFCs from all over Metro Manila gathered at the Rogationist College in Silang, Cavite for the SFC MMC with the theme, “One Heart“taken from the verse “I love you just as the Father loves me; remain in my love” (John 15:9). The weekend was powered by speakers who spoke about God’s passionate love and how it is a love that we will never quite comprehend. For the first session, Lawrence Quintero, an SFC missionary, emphasized that our hearts are really fashioned for God’s love; nothing else will quite fulfill us the way only God can. With such a love, we would think that only happy endings are possible but often, we choose to harden our hearts against God’s ways. The second speaker, Hazel Lasala, compared us to sheep who are basically near-sighted, helpless and stupid. In our stubbornness, we choose to overlook that God is our Shepherd, the One who truly watches over our welfare and ultimate happiness, making us “lie down in green pastures.” Undeniably, the sharers for each talk stole the show and provided the “riveting” part of the conference. There were life stories shared by a former professional thief, of being crushed by heartbreak, of getting uprooted from the U.S. and serving in Manila and feeling God’s unspeakable love in a Jolo convent, among others. But no other personal experience moved the singles more than the story of Donna Carreon of SFC – West whose struggle with cancer has become nothing less than a faith experience. Donna shared with the unmistakable bravado of a person who has seen death and has come back stronger. For her, to rely fully on God as her strength is not a mere concept, but a baffling reality. Workshops also provided new per-

Awesome, riveting and heart-warming. For the more than 2,500 singles who attended the Singles for Christ - Metro Manila Conference 2010, that pretty much sums up this shared God experience. It is impossible to describe it any other way as the conference mainly revolved around the most central and powerful part of the human person – the heart.

spectives and insights into what it means to “remain in God’s love.” Most notable were the workshops on the Sacrament of Reconciliation (The Heart of Confessing) and how this sacrament is nothing but the Father’s limitless mercy made available to us; a workshop on healing the family tree (I Will Survive: Family Edition) also discussed how prayers can heal an inheritance of sin, sickness and weakness; and Beyond Borders, a workshop on choosing to go on international mission. There was also a time for private

consultations with our priest and nun friends. The conference grounds were full of snaking lines of singles, bursting to share their heart concerns with the religious. What more can one say about a weekend in heaven? The conference ended Sunday noon with a praisefest that can only be described as God’s pure enjoyment. And as God’s children, SFCs could not help but respond with a lot of hugging, jumping up and down, crazy singing, laughing and crying. Crazy? Try God’s crazier love.

By Lorraine HodgesRamjit

Fullness of Life in the Caribbean
Philippines and host Trinidad and Tobago. Archbishop Gilbert was assisted during the Mass by Archbishop Robert Rivas of the Archdiocese of Castries St Lucia, five priests concelebrating and permanent deacon Rev Lennox Toussaint. In his homily, Archbishop Gilbert underscored the role of CFC in renewing families through its various ministries. He said CFC’s “witness as individual families and as a community of families is a powerful form of ministry,” but reminded them of the challenge they face. “My advice to you is: do not concentrate on numbers. Concentrate on your mission. Concentrate on mutual support. These conferences are a form of your support.” Each year the regional conference is held in a territory in which CFC is established, and gives the CFC regional family the opportunity to share each other’s experiences and come together to renew their focus on building the Christian family. Among the series of talks presented by CFC representatives from Curaçao, Trinidad, St Lucia and the USA at the conference were: “Accepting the Call”, “One in Christ”, “Rooted in Christ” and “Journey of Faith”. CFC Caribbean coordinator Joe Duran delivered the final talk, “Filled With Thanksgiving”. The Philippines-born US-based coordinator implored all present to find every opportunity to give thanks and to evangelize, re-evangelize and invite the intercession of our Blessed Mother, Mary. As host country, the Trinidad and Tobago team gave visiting delegates a cultural treat through their local cuisine and a cultural night filled with a delightful mix of calypso, song, steelpan music

FOCUS on your mission and witness of Christian family life to society. That was the essential message from Archbishop Edward Gilbert to members of the Couples for Christ (CFC) Ministries at the opening Mass of the 11th Annual CFC Conference. The conference was held last July 16-18 at the Daaga Hall Auditorium, University of the West Indies, St Augustine. It had as its theme Fullness of Life in Christ (Col 2: 6-7). A parade of flags officially opened the conference, with the following participating countries: Antigua, Aruba, Curaçao, Jamaica, St Maarten, St Vincent & the Grenadines, St Lucia, Canada, United States, the

with talented pannist Johann Chuckaree, a Pierrot Grenade, a Carnival head-piece costume display, all completed by tassa drummers and dancing moko

jumbies. The weekend culminated with a closing Mass celebrated by Bishop Luis Secco of the Netherland Antilles, Fr Simon

Wilson of Curacao and Fr Manuel Antao of St Maarten. The annual CFC Caribbean Conference will be hosted in St Maarten in 2011.

CFC Seychelles turns 4!

the families led by Clarke Nebrao, head of the International Missions Office (IMO) of CFC. It was a rare opportunity for healing and prayer with even the kids having a turn in lifting up their families in prayer to the Lord. The experience of fullness of life in Christ is one that will continue to inspire our Seychellois community. New leadership anointed for CFC Seychelles A new Governance Team has been appointed to lead the CFC community in Seychelles. The appointment was done in consultation with all the leaders and the community’s spiritual chaplains, and with International Missions Coordinator Clarke Nebrao. Msgr. Denis Wiehe remains as the spiritual director of CFC Seychelles, with Fr. Lonnie Adrienne appointed as CFC chaplain and Fr. Collin Underwood as chaplain for the Family Ministries.

COUPLES for Christ in Seychelles celebrated their fourth year anniversary last July 4, 2010. The anniversary Mass was held at the parish of St. Thérèse de Liseux, Plaisance with members of CFC and its Family Ministries sponsoring and animating the mass. The church was filled with CFC members and their families from all over the island of Mahé, where the CFC community started 4 years ago. The Fullness of Life Conference, an annual retreat centered on the community’s theme for the year, capped the anniversary week. It was held on July 10 at St. John Bosco Parish, Pointe Larue. Members of the CFC community gathered at 8 AM for the Holy Mass, celebrated by Father Lonnie Adrienne, parish priest of Pointe Larue. The conference marked the first time that all ministries of Couples for Christ in Seychelles came together in one assembly. All took part in serving at the conference, from the Kids for Christ helping with the church cleaning to the Handmaids of the Lord setting up flower arrangements in the church. For the first time also, CFC members from the island of Praslin attended, and were able to join in praise and fellow-

ship with the whole community of CFC Seychelles. One of the highlights at the end of the day was a moment of prayer for and by

Shown in photo are the new governance team members with the community’s spiritual advisers: Standing from left to right: Joseph Gozun (in charge of Family Ministries), Fr. Collin Underwood, Monsignor Denis Wiehe, Theo Rachel (National Director and Island Mission Head for Praslin and La Digue) and Michael Adela (Chapter Head of CFC Mahe); Seated, from left to right: Allison Gozun, Marlene Rachel, Marie-Cecile Adela, Rosy Denis (Administration/Secretary). Not in photo is Geoffrey Leon (Evangelization and Mission)

Golfing for ANCOP
THE Alex Chiu Golf Tournament is an annual event managed by Councilor Alex Chiu of Markham, Ontario, Canada. The tournament raises funds for charity and, this year, the designated beneficiary was the ANCOP Homes Shelter Program of ANCOP Canada, specifically the Villa Monique Markham ANCOP Village in Las Pinas City, Philippines. Councilor Alex and his wife Alice visited Villa Monique last May to meet the families benefited by the initial 10 homes built from donations from Alex Charities. This year’s tournament, participated in by 264 golfers, donated $50,000 to build another 20 homes in the project. Ms Tessie Ting, chairperson of the event and Councilor Alex Chiu presented the check to Ricky Cuenca and Temi Pangilinan, Chairman and President, respectively, of ANCOP International Canada Inc. Villa Monique is one of the many ANCOP Homes Village projects for the poor in the Philippines. When completed, the village will consist of a total of 52 homes for the family beneficiaries. Groundbreaking was done in early 2010 and the first 10 housing units were completed in May, 2010 by CFC ANCOP Tekton, ANCOP Canada’s agency partner and builder of ANCOP Homes in the Philippines. The units were turned over to the beneficiary families in a simple ceremony attended by representatives of both companies.

Tessie Ting (left) and Alex Chiu (right) present the check to Ricky Cuenca (second from left) and Temi Pangilinan.

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