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the •C1 keep make the True and flame of hope lit False interchangeable’

The News Supplement for Couples for Christ

Muslims join outrage vs birth control
A GROUP of Muslims has joined the growing chorus of voices opposing any effort by President Benigno Aquino III to promote artificial family planning. In what could be a boost to the Catholic Church’s campaign against contraceptives, the Imam Council of the Philippines said they are against birth control pills and condoms even among married couples. Ibram Moxir, council head, said the Islam
Muslims / A6

Church issues prayer to help fight gambling
THE Roman Catholic bishop in Nueva Ecija has brought its campaign against gambling to the highest level. For the Diocese of Cabanatuan, there is no doubt that the only way to stop the proliferation of gambling is to pray to God for help. Last October 8, Cabanatuan Bishop Sofronio Bancud has issued an obligatory prayer written in Tagalog to strengthen its fight against gambling—legal or illegal.
Prayer / A6

October 11 - 24, 2010

Vol. 14 No. 21

Php 20.00

Asian Church evangelizes through witness of life, says Cotabato prelate
DESPITE its being a minority in the world’s largest and most populous continent, the Catholic Church in Asia seriously responds to the challenges of evangelization through communion and witness of life. Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo said Catholics being a minority in Asia can be considered as a “little flock”. But being part of the minority also becomes a challenge “to make our communion a reality and a witness of the Lord,” he said. Quevedo, who is also the Secretary General of the Asian Bishops Conferences, is among the participants to the Synod of Bishops’ Special Assembly for the Middle East that is being held at the Vatican from Oct. 10 to 24. Speaking on Oct. 11 before the second general congregation, Quevedo shared on the Asian bishops’ experience in the light of the theme “The Catholic Church in the Middle East: Communion and Witness”. He said the call to give witness in the Asian context is a challenge that the Asian bishops have to seriously address to.
FILe Photo


And these challenges include “the phenomenon of migration which is sometimes called the new slavery, the negative impact of economic and cultural globalization, the issue of climate change, issues or religious extremism, injustice and violence; religious freedom, and biogenetic issues that threaten human life in the womb and
Asian Churches / A6

Church apologizes for sins against IPs

By Roy Lagarde

ADDRESSING the “sins” it committed against the tribal communities, the Catholic Church has begged for forgiveness from the indigenous peoples and vowed to do everything possible to protect them.
The Episcopal Commission on Indigenous Peoples of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said the church is sorry for its disrespect of other cultures such as colonization of native peoples in the past. ECIP chairman Bishop Sergio Utleg said they want to apologize for the times when they entered native communities “from a position of power, indifferent to their struggles and pains.” “As we continue to welcome IPs into the Catholic community, we ask forgiveness for suppressing their spirit as a people and the moments when we injured their personhood as they took on a new identity as Catholics,” Utleg said. “We ask forgiveness for moments when we taught Christianity as a religion robbed with colonial cultural superiority, instead of sharing it as a religion that calls for a relationship with God and a way of life.” The bishop made the statement as the church and various indigenous communities marked this year’s celebration of the IP Sunday in Baguio City on October 10. With the theme “Healing for Solidarity: Asking for Forgiveness for Sins against Indigenous Peoples”, most activities until October 12 were held at the Baguio Cathedral. Stronger ties A group of IPs, meanwhile, accepted the church’s apology as it noted that unity can be the “strongest asset of the indigenous peoples to change the flight we face.” “Learning from past mistakes forges stronger ties,” the group Katribu said in a statement. “Together with the Filipino people, the Church and indigenous peoples can work for a peaceful future,” it added. Katribu is the progressive party of the indigenous peoples which account for 15 percent of the country’s population. Tong-tongan, Bodong The “tong-tongan” reconciliatory rites

AN official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines recently said that exclusion of the right to life will not achieve justice. Rodolfo Diamante, executive secretary of the Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care said in a statement that any deprivation of life will

CBCP official says death penalty won’t gain justice
not satisfy justice for anyone. “We stand by our belief that any deprivation of the right to life will not gain justice for all. Rendering the death penalty as a means to obtain justice simply does the opposite as recent history has proven,” he said. He furthered that death penalty will only lead to more and constant injustice in the country. “The death penalty has not deterred criminality and has even spurred more injustice by killing the innocent, those wrongly accused, those without proper defense and those who have been deprived of the opportunity to

reform and restore the injury they caused others. This is because ours is a system of justice replete with human errors,” he added. In a press statement, Diamante reiterated an earlier call for the justice system to transcend from the punitive
Death Penalty / A6

© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

Hundreds of people register their opposition to the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill in a protest rally outside the Quiapo Church in Manila, October 2, 2010. Their message is clear: contraception is immoral and is not the solution to the country’s worsening economic woes. (Story in A6)

Apology / A6

Sumilao farmers get remaining 10 hectares from DAR
THE long wait is over! The famous Sumilao Farmers received on October 10 the remaining 10 hectares, plus 3 hectares, of the disputed 144hectare estate from Agrarian Reform Secretary Gil delos Reyes and DAR Undersecretary Jerry “Jing” Pacturan in a simple turn-over ceremony. The turn-over ceremony of the remaining 10 hectares came six months after they were awarded the 15 hectares of land outside the disputed 144 hectares estate of the San Miguel Corp. and another 50
Sumilao / A6

Cruz to Aquino: ‘I’ll be grumpier’

Illustration by Bladimer Usi

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III will need a lot of patience since retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz shows no sign of letup on making comments against his policy decisions.
Cruz / A6



FILe Photo



Population expert condemns China’s one-child policy on 30th anniversary
FRONT ROYAL, Va., Oct. 7, 2010—On Tuesday, population expert Steve Mosher condemned recent statements made by Chinese government officials praising the country’s one-child policy. Mosher, who helped voice alarm over the policy when it took effect 30 years ago, decried situation as an “unmitigated social disaster.” Commenting to China Daily on Sept. 27, National Population and Family Planning Commission leader Li Bin lauded the one-child policy, saying the country would continue to uphold it. Over the past 30 years in China, 400 million births have been prevented. “Historical change doesn’t come easily, and I, on behalf of the National Population and Family Planning Commission, extend profound gratitude to all, the people in particular, for their support of the national course,” Li Bin said. “So we will stick to the family-planning policy in the coming decades,” she added. In a statement on Oct. 5, however, Population Research Institute (PRI) president Steve Mosher called the country’s one-child mandate an “unmitigated social disaster,” making China the “ugly poster child of forced abortion and coerced sterilization.” Despite government officials’ claims that the policy has helped China’s economy and contributed to other social advances, Mosher argued that a primary goal of the mandate has been to “help maintain the muscular rigor of the oneparty dictatorship that rules China.” “China is a police state, after all,” Mosher continued, adding that “such a state, to remain strong, must have something to police. Economic controls have been loosened over the past 30 years, so control over other aspects of life must be tightened. The brutal one-child policy

World News

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 21
October 11 - 24, 2010

is one consequence of such a system’s relentless drive for control over people’s lives.” “The Chinese government,” he noted, “supported by foreign population control zealots, believe that its program should be held up as a population control role model for the rest of the world.” “In reality, it should be roundly condemned for its widespread and systematic violations of human rights, especially the rights of women.” Mosher has been joined in his criticism of the one-child policy by Rep. Chris Smith (RN.J.), who recently appealed to President Obama to speak out in defense of the Chinese people “on this terrible anniversary,” noting “what an encouragement that would be for hundreds of millions of Chinese hearts, to suddenly feel that the leader of the free world understands and empathizes with their plight.” (CNA)

7,000 volunteers working to prepare Youth Day
VATICAN City, Oct. 7, 2010—Some 7,000 volunteers are already hard at work to prepare the next World Youth Day, which will take place next August in Madrid. María Dolores Jaureguizar, assistant director of the event’s department of communications, reported this during a press conference in the Holy See Tuesday. The 2011 Madrid World Youth Day “is never asleep” because “someone is always awake” working for this event, she stated. She noted that many families in Spain have offered their homes to the hundreds of thousands of participants who will arrive from different parts of the world. Jaureguizar reported that there are also close to 70 community managers who translate the news of the youth day into 18 languages so that it will come to young people “in their language, the language of the social networks.” More than 200,000 people have become fans of the youth day through the online social networks. “They send us all kinds of suggestions, from the way to design the pilgrim’s cap (which will really be necessary with the heat of Madrid in August), to proposals of cultural activities of all types,” she added. However, they do not just work in Spain but in different countries of the world through the Internet, Jaureguizar said, as “all the information and all the promotional material can be found on the official Web site, the interaction of the social networks and videos on YouTube.” She highlighted the work of many young people who are collaborating as actors in the promotional videos “going through hard castings,” in which they give their image and time without charge. “And many other young people, from the other side of the camera or on computers of advertising agencies have produced these campaigns with all the eagerness in the world,” Jaureguizar said, “without even paying them for the filming expenses. She also highlighted the work of those who publicize the event in Spain’s universities, who “explain World Youth Day to friends, who perhaps don’t even have faith.” Cross Jaureguizar said that thousands of young people are pausing to pray before the famous cross and icon of this event, which since last year have been traveling to different dioceses of Spain. Hence this pilgrimage has become “a celebration, a moment of encounter with Christ and of true spiritual preparation for World Youth Day.” “They receive the cross with emotion


Vatican Briefing
Pope asks young to reject Mafia’s ‘path of death’

Benedict XVI called on the youth of Sicily to reject the “path of death” offered by the organized crime and to stand up to evil by following the Gospel. “Don’t be afraid to fight against evil!” he said during his visit to Palermo, the Sicilian capital on Oct. 3. “Don’t give in to the suggestions of the Mafia, which is a path of death, incompatible with the Gospel, as your bishops have so often said!” (CNS)
Piacenza named prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy

The 66-year-old secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy was appointed as its new prefect. Archbishop Mauro Piacenza will bring many years of inside experience to the role in which he will oversee the world’s Catholic priests. Piacenza’s appointment was made on Oct. 7 along with the news that the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum” had also received a new president. (CNA) and veneration in their parishes, in their schools, in their shrines,” she said, and “it is leaving a trail that nourishes the faith of thousands of people.” Jaureguizar took advantage of the moment to share the testimony of some young prisoners on the outskirts of Madrid, who received the pilgrim cross recently: “They told me that they, deprived of liberty, want to be present in World Youth Day with their prayers and that we can count on them.” She also mentioned the Solidarity Fund in which, through a text message from mobile phones, participants can donate money to help finance the trips of pilgrims from countries of scarce resources “or where the Church suffers for any reason.” (Zenit)
Pope urges Church-State collaboration

There should be “loyal and respectful collaboration” between the Church and state, Benedict XVI affirmed in speaking with Chile’s new ambassador to the Holy See, Fernando Zegers Santa Cruz on Oct. 7. The pope also stressed an appropriate relationship for Church and state, “independent and autonomous each in its own field,” but both called “to develop a loyal and respectful collaboration to serve the personal and social vocation of persons themselves.” (Zenit)
Vatican bank head named in money-laundering probe

The president of the Vatican bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, has been placed under investigation by Italian magistrates in a money-laundering probe, the Italian state television RAI reported. RAI, citing judicial sources, said the move followed the seizure Sept. 20 by Italian treasury police of 23 million Euros (US$30 million) that had been deposited in a Rome bank account by the Vatican bank. (CNS)
Book-length interview with pope to be released Nov.23

Cardinal lambasts ‘culture of death’
KOCHI, Oct. 11, 2010—The head of the Syro-Malabar Church says some people’s faith has become “ritualistic and superstitious” and that “practical materialism” has smothered life. A pastoral letter from Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil of Ernakulam-Angamaly read in all parishes of the Church on Oct. 10 says the outside world criticizes the Church because of “our failure to live according to our faith.” The three-page letter highlighted the outcome of the Church’s five-yearly Major Archiepiscopal Assembly that was held in August. His letter to the 3.8 million-strong Church said the bishops’ synod has set up a 15-member committee to implement the assembly’s proposals that discussed faith, life, countermeasures against the culture of death and Church responses to environmental issues. Cardinal Vithayathil, the major archbishop of the Church, says faith that ignores human rights is self-deception. For him, the basis for human rights is the Ten Commandments as it not only asks people to respect other’s rights, but to sacrifice “one’s own rights freely for the other.” He also criticized the abuse of sexuality as a commodity, couple’s reluctance to have children and the growing trend to wallow in selfish luxury. According to the prelate, children are the index of a nation’s economic growth. “However, the collective selfishness of those who are born and living denies life to those who are yet to be born,” Cardinal Vithayathil said. At the same time, the cardinal criticized procreation without “any sense of responsibility.” Lambasting the unscrupu-

“Light of the World,” a book-length interview with Pope Benedict XVI will be released Nov. 23 in the world’s major languages, including English, the head of the Vatican publishing house said. Salesian Fr. Giuseppe Costa said the text of the book based on interviews conducted in July by the journalist Peter Seewald had already been consigned to 12 publishing houses from around the world. (CNS)
Pontiff urges Eastern Catholics to maintain traditions

Benedict XVI urged the visiting participants in a congress marking the 20th anniversary of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches to maintain their ancient traditions, as witnesses to the important diversity of the universal Church. He also noted that the occasion was an important chance to examine its impact on the lives of Eastern Catholics, and to consider its effectiveness as an instrument for the unity of many self-governing churches that maintain communion within the Catholic fold. (CNA)
Vatican-ordered probe to focus on abuse victims

lous abuse of nature, he said that the world has “sufficient resources for the needs of everyone but the entire universe may not be sufficient for the greed of anyone.” Antony Kuriakose, a Catho-

lic, finds the pastoral letter timely and relevant. “We have come under the influence of culture of death knowingly or unknowingly. We have become selfish and need change,” he said. (UCAN)

In an Oct. 6 statement, the Vatican said that the apostolic visitation of Ireland’s Catholic Church will pay special attention to victims of clerical sex abuse to help the local church respond adequately to past cases of abuse and prevent it. “The visitators will give particular attention to victims of abuse and their families, but will also meet with and listen to a variety of people, including ecclesiastical authorities, lay faithful and those involved with the crucial work of safeguarding children,” it said. (CNS)
Organizers use YouTube, Facebook to promote WYD

Brazilian priest reminds Catholics they cannot support pro-abortion candidates
BRASILIA, Brazil, Oct. 7, 2010—The director of priestly formation at the Canção Nova Community in Brazil, Father Jose Augusto Souza Moreira, reminded Catholics this week that they cannot vote for candidates who support abortion. Dilma Rousseff, the Labor Party’s presidential candidate, is the favorite to win the country’s October 31 run-off elections. However, her backing of abortion, which she has recently tried to downplay, has led to a decline in voter support. “I did not vote nor will I vote” for the Labor Party because “I support life,” said Fr. Souza in a recent homily. Catholics must not vote for those who support the killing of the unborn, he said, and they must not remain silent when political parties promote abortion. Those who participate in an abortion are automatically excommunicated, he noted, adding, “It doesn’t matter how children come into this world, they have the right to life.” The founder of the Canção Nova Community, Bishop Jonas Abib, stressed that as Brazilians go to the polls, “We must be faithful to the values of the Church.” “Each person must vote according to his convictions and in accord with the social teachings of the Church,” he added. (CNA)

World Youth Day organizers, who are expecting more than 2 million participants, are preparing for the 2011 event in Madrid with Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and fundraisers using text messages. Social networking sites have been key outlets “for raising awareness, mobilizing, communicating and financing World Youth Day,” said Auxiliary Bishop Cesar Franco Martinez of Madrid, who is the general coordinator of the Aug. 16-21 international event. (CNS)
African prelate chosen by Pope to lead charity operations

On Oct. 7, Benedict XVI has appointed 65-year-old Archbishop Robert Sarah as the new president of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum.” He steps into the shoes of the now retired Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes in leading the Holy See’s department for charity and relief. Hand-picked from his place as secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Sarah will bring nearly a decade of experience in the Vatican to the mission of “Cor Unum”. (CNA)

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 21
October 11 - 24, 2010

News Features


Pope Benedict asks Catholic press to keep flame of hope lit
VATICAN City, Oct. 7, 2010— Noting the influence of media on perception of reality in an ever developing world, the Holy Father on Thursday called Catholic communications experts to base their efforts in the truth of the Word of God. The “Word,” he said, continues to be the “fundamental and ... essential instrument of communication.” The Holy Father met with participants on the final day of this week’s Catholic Press Congress promoted by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. The conference has examined the place of the Church in the digital age, inviting Catholic communications professionals from all over the world to the Vatican to share their experiences. Benedict XVI spoke of two aspects concerning Catholics working in the media: the nature of the press in a globalized era marked by changing technologies and how Catholic publications should strive to remain “explicitly and substantially” faithful to Church teaching by daily committing to follow the path of truth. “Catholic journalists must seek the truth with impassioned minds and hearts”, he explained, “but also with the professionalism of competent workers equipped with adequate and efficient means.” This is more important than ever today, he said, as the idea of “image” is becoming increasingly important. Explaining that there are positive aspects of putting increased importance on promoting “image” through new technologies, he said that it can also result in a detachment from reality, thus “giving life to a virtual world, with various consequences.” The first among these, he continued, is the “risk of indifference towards what is real,” that “technologies and the progress they bring can render the true and the false interchangeable, they can lead to a confusion between real and virtual.” This can lead to a perspective of seeing the events, regardless of nature, as mere spectacle and not as occasions for reflection, he noted. In this case, the Pope said, the “search for ways for an authentic promotion of man passes then to the second plane, because the event is presented mainly to arouse emotions. “These aspects resound as an alarm bell: they invite consideration of the danger that the virtual may distance (one) from the reality and might not stimulate the search for ‘the true,’ the truth.” “In this context, the Catholic press is called, in a new way, to give full expression to its potential and, day by day, to give

Vatican spokesman urges credibility, transparency in response to controversy
ROME, Italy, Oct. 6, 2010—In being truthful, transparent and loyal, the Church will be able to renew and purify itself from moral problems, Fr. Federico Lombardi said as he listed the Church’s priorities for responding to controversy at a conference on Tuesday. The Vatican’s spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi, addressed the Pontifical Council for Social Communication’s Catholic Press Congress on Tuesday afternoon. His address was delivered as part of a series of presentations made by panel members who examined the topic “Ecclesial Communion and Controversies. Freedom of Expression and the Truth of the Church.” After describing some of the ways the Holy See’s communications operations have adapted to a faster, more diverse and highly globalized news environment, he asserted that a strong grasp of the “correct ‘hierarchy’ of themes” is necessary for understanding the place of the different debates within the Church. Topping the list of “essential priorities” for the Church, he explained, are matters relating to “God and the religious dimension of man (faith as a friend of reason), Jesus Christ who reveals to us the true face of God (God is love), and ecumenism as loyalty to the command of Christ.” The final two priorities of Church communication, Fr. Lombardi said, are “the dialogue between religions to feed the transcendent dimension of life (and) the commitment to translating the faith into works of charity and solidarity for the construction of an integral development.” examples of this credibility, he noted that institutionally, as a result of cases of sexual abuse, there has been “a great loss of faith in the Church— in part justified, in part caused by the negative and partial presentation of the problems.” These damages, he added in reference to Benedict XVI’s words, can be “compensated by a ‘good’ if the direction of profound purification and renewal is continued so that this wound is overcome in a stable way. “One of the dimensions of ‘overcoming’,” he explained, “is the veracity, the transparency, the loyalty to see and confront the moral problems of the institution.” Noting the heightened public sensitivity to issues of “sex and money,” he said that “a credible Church in the face of the world is a poor and honest Church in the use of assets, capable of accounting for such use, integrated loyally and legally in the network of economic and financial relationships, without anything to hide.” The Vatican’s “bank,” the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), has been under investigation by Italian authorities since last month after it was seen that several transactions between IOR accounts at different international banks did not follow standard European procedures. Fr. Lombardi assured everyone that he is certain of the “upright intentions” of those in charge of the Vatican’s economic institutions, but ceded that there is still some work to be done to show the public the “correctness” of these operations. (CNA/EWTN News)

Pope to focus on truth, authenticity in media for 2011 communications day
ROME, Sept. 30, 2010—For World Communications Day 2011, Pope Benedict will emphasize that truth and authentic human experience must remain at the core of communication even in the digital age. Although technology might change the means of communication, the truth “must remain the firm and unchanging point of reference of new media and the digital world.” The theme of “Truth, proclamation and authenticity of life in the digital age” was chosen by the Holy Father for the 45th World Communications Day to be celebrated next year. A statement from the Holy See’s Press Office explained that this theme “is to be understood as focusing on the human person who is at the heart of all communicative processes. “Even in an age that is largely dominated, and at times conditioned, by new technologies, the value of personal witness remains essential,” the statement continues. “To approach the truth and

the reasons for its indispensable mission.” Reflecting on how Christianity shares a “fundamental structure with communication: the fact that the means and the message coincide,” Pope Benedict said that this facilitates the mission of the Catholic media. “Indeed,” he said, “the Son of God, the Word incarnate, is, at one and the same time, the message of salvation and the means though which salvation is achieved. This is not a mere concept but a reality accessible to everyone”. The “Word” continues to be the “fundamental and ... essential instrument of communication.” Saying that people who work in the Catholic press must “always put God at the top of their scale of values,” if they do not wish to be just a ‘clanging cymbal,’ he told them that their task is “that of helping modern man to turn to Christ, the one Savior, and to keep the flame of hope alight in the world, so as to live worthily today and to adequately build the future. “For this reason,” he concluded, “I exhort you to constantly renew your personal choice for Christ, drawing on those spiritual resources which, though undervalued by the modern mentality, remain valuable, indeed, indispensable.” (CNA/ EWTN News)


Fr. Federico Lombardi

to take on the task of sharing it requires the ‘guarantee’ of an authenticity of life from those who work in the media, and especially from Catholic journalists; an authenticity of life that is no less required in a digital age.” The statement highlighted that “(t) echnology, on its own, cannot establish or enhance a communicator’s credibility, nor can it serve as a source of the values which guide communication. The truth must remain the firm and unchanging point of reference of new media and the digital world, opening up new horizons of information and knowledge.” Pursuing the truth, the statement concluded, is ideally the “fundamental objective of all those who work in the media.” On the feast of the patron of journalists, St. Francis de Sales, on Jan. 24 of next year, the full text of Pope Benedict XVI’s message for World Communications Day 2011 will be released. (CNA/ EWTN News)

This sequence of themes offers a “positive, substantial and rich message” in today’s context, which is marked by the loss of “essential points of reference” in society. These priorities also serve as a “counter-current in the secularized world,” observed Fr. Lombardi. In this context where the Church is often “unarmed,” he underscored the importance of focusing on these central themes, “on which converge the serious attentions of the Catholic press and of secular communications concerned for the destiny of the person and of humanity.” Fr. Lombardi said that beyond this “central content,” the “credibility of the messenger,” whether a person or an institution, is also “essential.” Posing the two most recent Popes as


Bishop backs global ‘respect for recyclers’ drive
MANILA, Oct. 5, 2010—A Catholic bishop has joined calls for recognition, respect and support for recyclers, particularly the waste pickers, as governments meet in Tianjin, China to continue the stalled negotiations for a global climate agreement and action plan. “We are called upon to recognize our brothers and sisters who work very hard to reclaim and recycle tons of valuable resources from the bins, trucks and dumps,” said Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez. “As we struggle against the ecological crisis afflicting the planet, let us give the recyclers the recognition and respect they deserve for their service to the environment and society that we often take for granted,” he added. The Quezon City-based Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), which is currently in Tianjin together with its partner waste pickers’ groups, thanked the Caloocan Bishop for his timely statement. “We thank Bishop Iñiguez for encouraging our society to ponder and acknowledge the special role of waste pickers in helping to stabilize the earth’s climate through their painstaking labor,” said Manny Calonzo, CoCoordinator of GAIA. Bishop Iñiguez, who attended a waste pickers’ workshop organized by the EcoWaste Coalition last August, had earlier said that “the waste pickers belong to the poorest of the poor who work in the most difficult and toxic condition to make ends meet.”

NGOs urge gov’t to halt aerial spraying of banana plantations
MANILA, Oct. 10, 2010—A network of faith-based and non-government organizations has again urged the government to put a halt on aerial spraying of banana plantations in Mindanao. The Philippine Misereor Partnership (PMPI) said local and international studies have shown that aerial spraying of banana plantations “has ill-effects to the life and health of people, their livelihood and to the environment.” (PMPI) is a partnership of more than 200 faith-based non-governmental organizations (NGOs), peoples’ organizations (POs) and development associations in the country. In a press statement, PMPI criticized the government’s inaction on the matter and lamented that “the environment is being put in danger, including the health, livelihood and welfare of many poor people living around the plantations”, in exchange of short-term economic gains. Concerned companies, however, claimed the studies made are not convincing enough to effect a ban on aerial spraying. But PMPI argued that above all else, “the safety of the people and the environment should be given prior protection” while quoting Pope Benedict XVI that “every economic decision has a moral consequence.” PMPI said a ban on aerial spraying should be put in place, despite demands from companies to validate the studies made. The Arroyo administration failed to act on the issue despite calls from the Department of Health’s to stop aerial spraying because of its harmful effect on people’s health; and recommendations from the Commission on Human Rights to implement a ban “while studies are being conducted and validated.” With a new government led by Aquino, the group is hoping the ban will be implemented soon. “We call on President Benigno Aquino, which claims to walk the right path, and the Supreme Court to act decisively against this practice for the sake of the poor and the environment,” PMPI said. (CBCPNews)

Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez

“In appreciation of their role in the recycling chain, let us do whatever is necessary to make their work more humane and less injurious to their health,” said Bishop Iñiguez, who also chairs the Public Affairs Committee of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. According to the GAIA report “Respect for Recylers: Protecting the Climate through Zero Waste,” about 15 million people worldwide rely on waste picking and the recovery of discards for their livelihoods. Programs that reduce, reuse and recycle municipal waste are effective and high-impact means of reducing GHG emissions, the report said. (CBCPNews)


RH is not about health

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 21
October 11 - 24, 2010

NO, the Reproductive Health Bill is not about health. It is about population deceleration, so that if there is less population there will be less mouth to feed and therefore, or so the equation goes, better economy. It is about eugenics, so that in order to ascertain their happy survival the superior races, who are the wealthier, are financing the deterioration of the lower and poorer ones. It is about profit and all the money, including corruption, that goes with it, so that multinational pharmaceutical corporations that produce contraceptive products—such as condom, intrauterine device, pills the likes of RU-486 and Mifiprex that are euphemistically known as morning after pills—rake in billions of dollars once the government and millions of users start patronizing them. It is about a government trying its best to legislate couples’ right to choose and penalizing those who violate this law, granting it becomes one, with one to six months imprisonment or a fine of ten to fifty thousand pesos or both. It is all about something that it is not about. And yet it is seemingly getting the upper hand in the cold war of perceptions. Roberto Tiglao of Malacañang memory, in his recent column at the Philippine Daily Inquirer, dared a strong opinion that the threat of Church people to launch civil disobedience once this administration stubbornly push for the approval of the RH bill will not materialize because majority of the populace are for it. There had been social surveys, too, the other year telling the same thing, although questioned by pro-life groups for including wholesale questionnaires that were intrinsically deceptive. Believe it or not, the position of the Catholic Church is the only one that is true and free of other agenda. And yet there are less people, at least perception-wise, that seem to buy it. The reason is, the Church does not explain it well. Coming out with threats, say, civil disobedience—or even the misattributed excommunication—does not serve well. Instead of catechizing or clarifying the issues it has become counterproductive by provoking instead the “Damaso” rallying point of the RH supporters. The agenda surrounding the RH bill is gargantuan and gargantuan too are the logistics and tactics that have been heaped for its lobby in congress and in people’s minds through the media. Admittedly, the church, aside from its solid moral and theological foundations, is still groping for ways to communicate to the public the truth that, for instance, contraception is immoral and destructive and never will ever be the solution to the country’s worsening poverty.

Fr. James H. Kroeger, MM

Living Mission
WHY mission? Why evangelize? These questions often come to the mind of any serious Christian, especially during October, the “mission month” of the Church. These questions become even more urgent when we consider the vastness of the Asian continent and its billions of peoples, the number, complexity and tenacity of its problems, the minority status of the Church in Asia (less than 3% of the more than four billion Asians are Christian). All these complex realities could cause paralysis and discouragement in Christians. Thus, the local Churches of Asia, clergy and laity alike, constantly need grounding and renewal in their motivation for mission. A creative expression of renewed mission motivation is in the FABC documents of the Asian bishops; five “core motives” can respond to the perennial question: “Why evangelize?” 1. Asia’s bishops (FABC V) assert: “We evangelize, first of all from a deep sense of gratitude to God, the Father ‘who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing’ (Eph 1:3)…. Mission is above all else an overflow of this life from grateful hearts transformed by the grace of God. That is why it is so important for us Christians to have a deep faithexperience of the love of God in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:39)…. Without a personal experience of this love received as gift and mercy, no sense of mission can flourish.” 2. Christians need to be aware that “mission is also a mandate. We evangelize because we are sent into the whole world to make disciples of all nations. The one who sends us is Jesus…. We cannot fulfill this mission apart from him (Jn 15:4-5).” Every Christian, regardless of nationality, must strive to take Christ’s mission commands to heart. 3. Why mission? We evangelize also because “we believe in the Lord Jesus. We have received the gift of faith. We have become Christians…. Unfortunately for many Catholics, faith is only something to be received and celebrated. They do not feel it is something to be shared. The missionary nature

Motives for mission
of the gift of faith must be inculcated in all Christians.” 4. “We evangelize also because we have been incorporated by baptism into the Church, which is missionary by its very nature…. The Church exists in order to evangelize…. Each member, by virtue of the sacraments of baptism and confirmation has received the right and duty to the apostolate from the Lord himself.” 5. “And, finally, we evangelize because the Gospel is leaven for liberation and for the transformation of society. Our Asian world needs the values of the Kingdom and of Christ in order to bring about the human development, justice, peace and harmony with God, among peoples and with all creation that the peoples of Asia long for.” In addition to the motives for mission, so sensitively expressed by the FABC for the Asian context, one finds helpful insights for engagement in mission in John Paul II’s Ecclesia in Asia. “The Church’s faith in Jesus is a gift received and a gift to be shared; it is the greatest gift which the Church can offer to Asia. Sharing the truth of Jesus Christ with others is the solemn duty of all who have received the gift of faith” (EA 10). “The great question now facing the Church in Asia is how to share with our Asian brothers and sisters what we treasure as the gift containing all gifts, namely, the Good News of Jesus Christ” (EA 19). “Only if the People of God recognize the gift that is theirs in Christ will they be able to communicate that gift to others through proclamation and dialogue” (EA 31). October, the “Month of Mission,” is a fine time for a little soul-searching: How deep is my personal motivation and desire to share my faith with others? Do I really care (or not) if others come to know and love Jesus? As I write this reflection, a song is ringing in my ears. Do you remember the Sound of Music (Oscar Hammerstein) and the one song which says: “Love isn’t love, “Til you give it away”? I believe: “Faith isn’t faith, ‘Til you give it away”—through mission!

The Changing Context
FOLLOWING the pattern of PCP-II, we sought to discern God’s call to renewal within our changing historical and ecclesial context. PCP-II pointed to the strengths and gifts of the Filipino people. It also indicated the ills of the nation stemming from tragically unbalanced economic and political structures and ambivalent cultural traits. Unfortunately much of what was said then is still true today. New causes and factors have spawned new forms of the old ills. The global economy, in tandem with superb new technologies and means of social communications, has produced a global culture that has been radically changing the culture of Filipinos, especially of the young, even in rural areas. Individualism, materialism, a “feel good” morality are eroding civic and religious values. Respect for tradition, committed relationships and self-sacrificing love are often sacrificed on the altar of pragmatism. New forms of oppression of the poor are appearing, systematically blinding and enslaving their minds and hearts. Corruption in government has reached scandalous proportions, as demonstrated by the scandal of a presidential impeachment trial. The Church in the Philippines has, to our shame, also remained unchanged in some respects. Due to weakness in formation and education, the lack of defined diocesan pastoral directions and programs, and deficiencies in structures, many prescriptions of PCP-II have not been implemented. But beyond these factors, we see that failures in renewal have come from a deeper source: our hardness of heart and resistance to conversion. We confess that among those who make up the Church, even among some in positions of leadership and responsibility, the new attitudes, options, and lifestyles demanded by a Church that is Community of Disciples and Church of the Poor have all too often been honored in words but rejected in life. Moreover, largely due to inaction, uncritical acceptance of values and patterns of behavior of the dominant society, lack of consistent witnessing, we, as Church have to confess some responsibility for many of the continuing ills of Philippine society. We rejoice, however, in the perseverance and increase of many movements of renewal in Philippine society that have promoted the causes of women, the youth, farmers, laborers, fisher folk, the urban poor, overseas workers, families, tribal communities and the environment. We rejoice, too, that in the Church many committed lay people, religious women and men, priests, bishops, Catholic communities and institutions have sustained efforts to effect renewal through faith formation, the building of Basic Ecclesial Communities, livelihood and political education programs, and election monitoring, to name a few.

Of mission and being missionaries
Reflections for World Mission Sunday, October 17, 2010 LET me tell you about Ate Melanie (not her real name), a distant relative. You would think ‘distant’ is an apt word because she and her family live on the far side of my hometown. I remember watching her when her son Jojo was stricken with tetanus. I thought she was desperate when she asked me to give him the Anointing of the Sick. It struck me that her son’s every spasm of pain also registered on her face and body. She was always by his side, forgoing eating or sleeping except when she was half scolded by her older siblings to do so. From her I saw the power of a parent’s love. It is a power that enables one to share in a loved one’ pains. If Jojo was celebrating a happy moment, you would have seen his happiness on her face too. Also that power enables a person to endure, even cast aside, one’s own suffering or hardship to bring relief to a loved one. Consider this: Ate Melanie, sleepless and hungry, pestering her son’s doctor and nurses just so that her son may be saved from death. Jojo eventually recovered. Only then did I see a smile on Ate Melanie’s face. I often think of Ate Melanie when I think of mission. The love that impelled her to go through anything or, as they say, “do anything, come hell or high water”, is to me symbolic of God’s love that pushes us on to mission. This is how I picture our whole situation. God sees our terrible suffering when sin has separated us completely from him. His heart bleeds. In response he sends his only-begotten Son, his most precious jewel, enduring the immeasurable pain of losing him from heaven’s infinite security and glory. As though being exiled from heaven was not enough, the Son, the first Missionary, had to endure poverty, hard work, obscurity, later misunderstanding and, worse, rejection from the very people whose loving acceptance was a logical response because they were the first object of God’s love. It’s small wonder then that the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, stresses the power of this love in his Mission

Rev. Euly B. Belizar, SThD

By the Roadside
don’t pray, like Moses’ hands falling down, we also fail in our missionary responsibilities. The Spirit does not enliven our efforts, we end up becoming the donkey pursuing people’s hosannas that truly belong to the One on our back. True prayer teaches us humility. ‘Humus’, the root of humility, reminds us of the earth from which we came and with Abraham we exclaim, “I am bold indeed to speak like this to my Lord, I who am but dust and ashes” (Gen 18:27). It teaches us that, contrary to our own feelings of self-sufficiency especially after experience, study and immersion in people’s lives have enabled us to forge strategies and approaches that confidently ensure success, everything still depends on God. It is his love that we must, in the words of the Holy Father, “make visible”, not the efficiency and glory of our talents and abilities. As I write I must confess that I’m a bit struggling with fear. My responsibility as pastor calls me to go to a far and difficult barangay in my parish. Even now I can see in my mind’s eye the daunting mountain climb that greets every traveler to the village and slippery, rocky mountainous pathways I need to negotiate to reach it. I think of some of my companions who had slipped into near deaths. But now I also pause to pray for fresh courage. I remind myself: It’s God’s love that I bring and must make visible, not my fears and hesitations. So please help me, Lord. Then I think of Ate Melanie and the power of her love as a mother. Now, more than ever, I pray for the humility that will help me put myself in the palm of God our Father’s hands, the power of whose Love is visible on Cross of his Son Jesus Christ. Together with Ate Melanie, I also think of my friend Mel. Forgive me for introducing him rather late. He is a shy painter who loves obscurity but paints such glowing colors of life as anyone can see in his paintings. I once requested him to restore the then time-worn and fading old Stations of the Cross portraits in my former parish church. The results speak for
By the Roadside / A5

“Behold I make all things new” (Rev 21:15); Message of the National Pastoral Consultation on Church Renewal, 2001

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Sunday message this year. We who engage in mission need to ever savor and allow ourselves to be like a collective sponge and soak ourselves in God’s love. “Nemo dat quod no habet,” our Scholastic professors constantly told us in college seminary. “Nobody gives what he doesn’t have.” I believe we should ask ourselves constantly: If God’s Love is not in me, how can I even try to proclaim it? “It is only from this encounter with the Love of God that transforms our existence,” the Holy Father insists, “that we can live in communion with Him and among ourselves and offer our brethren a credible testimony, giving reason for our hope (cf. 1 Pet 3:15).” The power of God’s love is at work in the way he answers the prayer of Moses being supported by Aaron and Hur in our first reading this Mission Sunday. In a real sense the love of Moses as well as of the men supporting him for their own people merely reflects the love of God for Israel, and for us. It is the all-powerful love of God that saves Israel from the forces of Amalek just as it is the all-powerful love of God that saves us from the forces of sin and death. It is this love that makes Israel a community anticipating that community of God’s Love we call the Church, a community approached by representatives of the human race with the request: “We wish to see Jesus (Jn 12:21)”. The power of God’s love is also at work in the widow of our gospel endlessly, relentlessly pestering an unjust judge for her just rights. We need to imitate her in relentlessly pestering our unjust world for justice to our poor, hungry and downtrodden. In fact, this power needs us, our bodies and spirits as disciples, as its instruments, as its servants. Because our bodies breathe, we live. When our spirits breathe, what they do is pray. Prayer is our spirits breathing in God’s breath, God’s Ruah, the Spirit. And the Spirit? He is “God’s Love in Person” according to Pope John Paul II (Dominum et Vivificantem, n. 8). Because of this the Spirit is also the “principle of evangelization” (DeV 45). Prayer therefore is key to mission. It is our life-blood. When we

Illustration by Bladimer Usi

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 21
October 11 - 24, 2010

the life of the Holy Father, irrespective of whether he dies or survives it. Three: Open advertisement, sale, distribution of chemical or synthetic contraceptives may be in particular promotional of promiscuity “without borders” and a great incentive to irresponsible copulation, irresponsible procreation and irresponsible parenthood. Strictly speaking as such, they are not subject to automatic excommunication. Incidentally, aside from “automatic excommunication”, there is the “Imposed Excommunication”. This species of excommunication undergoes administrative or judicial process prior to its penal imposition. This case has particular application to multinational pharmaceuticals who manufacture downright abortifacients as a mere business and money making venture. Let them know that those who receive, buy and use their products could in fact kill thousands upon thousands of the unborn. Needless to say, they have much to answer for their downright murders—especially before any god they might still have. As a final word, the Church cannot and may not play blind, deaf and dumb to the incursions of contraceptives and abortifacients in this country. Teach she does. Proclaim she insists. Act she must. Those who do not want to listen, to follow, to abide by the Church stand, then they are on their own. It is their own call. It is their own option. It is their own accountability.

Zac Alstin

Oscar V. Cruz, DD

Views and Points
THERE are many errant thoughts and angry talks, the good amount of confused and confusing claims, the sudden appearance of experts in the matter of “excommunication”— with bitter and insulting missives especially to the members of the hierarchy and the clergy amid confusion and hysteria that suddenly and bitterly emerged on the occasion. That being the case, it might be proper to briefly and candidly clarify the matter even if only through the few, simple and candid observations about the now infamous subject matter of “excommunication”— which is: One: An admittedly serious censure imposed upon Catholics for having effectively committed a serious forbidden act. While they may remain Catholics if they so desire, once excommunicated, they lose the privilege of receiving the Sacraments—Holy Communion in particular—in the same way that they are excluded from the beneficial prayers of the Universal Church the world over. Two: There are in truth but three categorical excommunications which are automatically imposed and incurred by Catholics who in fact committed the act precisely censured by the penalty of excommunication: One, the effective commission of abortion, not the mere desire or design thereof. Two, the effective violation of the Seal of Confession by a priest, not the mere plan or intent to do it. Three, the serious attempt on

Defending children against eroticised adult culture
WHO could have predicted even a decade ago that one of the pressing issues facing parents and psychologists in this century would be the marketing of adult sexuality to young children? Some optimists might dispute that producing little ballroom shoes with heels for two-year-olds amounts to any such thing; but thongs, bralettes and pole dancing kits for seven-year-olds are unambiguous signs of a trend that has forced professional groups and governments into action. In 2007 the American Psychological Association issued a report on the sexualisation of girls, noting that this form of self-objectification is linked with “three of the most common mental health problems of girls and women: eating disorders, low self-esteem and depression or depressed mood”. Soon after, an Australian Senate committee held a public inquiry and reported in 2008 that “the inappropriate sexualisation of children in Australia is of increasing concern” and a “significant cultural challenge”. Earlier this year a report commissioned by the British Home Office confirmed that the sexualisation of young people (not just girls) is a serious issue. And yet, the sexualisation of children says more about our attitudes to sex than our attitudes to children. The heart of the problem is that children—people who are culturally, physically, and mentally too young to engage sexually as adults—are being moulded and modelled to match an eroticized adult culture. Although this problem is epitomized by products and marketing directed at children, anti-sexualisation campaigners are just as likely to criticize sexualized material aimed more commonly at an older audience. Lingerie ads, “men’s magazines”, and the general “sex sells” principle evident in much advertising -- these are all fair targets of the anti-sexualisation campaign. Campaigners recognise that the objectionable concepts and material being promoted to young children are an extension of what is commonly available in the adult realm. Even critics of the campaign implicitly confirm that this is an issue of children being socialized into adult culture: “Trying to hold girls back from the natural desire to put on mum’s lipstick, read big sister’s magazines, play with Barbie— who after all looks like a grown woman—I can’t see how that’s going to have any more detrimental effect than [it did] on me and my generation back in the ‘50s and ‘60s.” There is some truth in this defence, as there is in the marketers’ refrain that they do not determine the values of the culture, but merely employ the most effective means to sell a product. Media and marketing constitute the vanguard of a sexualized culture, hence they are legitimate targets of concerned parents. But even the most egregious examples of sexualized marketing to children have not emerged from a cultural vacuum. The sexualisation of media and marketing is informed by the growing sexualisation of society and its culture, which can in turn be linked to changes in sexual behavior. In the past few decades, adult life has undergone significant changes in the context of sexuality. Three important factors are the increase in the age of first marriage, the increase in the age of parents, and the decrease in the age of first sexual intercourse. The median age at first marriage in Australia has increased from 23.8 years for men and 21.2 years for women in 1966, to 29.6 years for men and 27.7 years for women in 2008. The median age of parents has likewise increased: from 29.7 years for men and 26.9 years for women in 1983, to 33.1 years for men and 30.7 years for women in 2008. Reliable data for age at first sexual intercourse is harder to find, but a 2003 study titled Sex in Australia found that the median age for men had declined from 18 years among men born between 1941 and 1950, to 16 years among men born between 1981 and 1986. For women in the same age-groups, median age at first sexual intercourse declined from 19 years to 16 years. The pattern is very similar in the US and Britain. What these figures reveal is a growing rift between sexual experience and its traditional context within rites of passage such as marriage and having children. If young people can expect to have their “sexual debut” at age 16, but marry and have children anywhere from 11 to 17 years later, then sex is clearly no longer limited to the context of marriage and procreation. So what context does sex belong to now? When sex is part of the package of getting married and having children, it is subject to a tighter set of conditions and responsibilities. Practical considerations such as income, accommodation, and general stability necessarily apply. Sex becomes just one aspect of a lifelong commitment to another person. But if sex is divorced from all such conditions, then we are left with a merely natural and enjoyable act that is limited only by one’s choices and opportunities in life. This is the idealized form of sex in the modern world. All that remains is to maximize one’s sexual potential, by cultivating the sexual attributes considered most desirable in the present society. In the greater context of these opposing views of sex, the sexualisation of children has emerged as a point of conflict. The conflict arises because the vision of sex promoted by our culture is so free of constraints and responsibilities, that there is nothing in principle to dissuade or prevent children from being socialized into it. What, after all, are the requirements for sex in this idealized form? Consent, and opportunity. How can children prepare to take part in this aspect of the adult culture? By maximizing their sexual potential, in accordance with the sexual attributes considered desirable in our society. The disturbing truth is that our culture is doing what it is meant to do: prepare children for their future roles as adults. The problem is that in the context of sex, these roles require nothing more than achieving some semblance of the sexual ideals promoted within our culture – the fashion, the physique, and the attitude. Individuals do not need the long-term planning necessary to make life-changing commitments. They do not need the financial independence to support a family. They do not need to consider how they will relate to their sexual partner in ten, twenty, or thirty years’ time. Our culture does not require them to be adults, merely to look like them. If the sexualisation of children is a logical extension of our present sexual culture, then the rallying cry in defense of childhood innocence is at heart a truly counter-cultural movement. As a grassroots campaign, it holds great promise for highlighting both “corporate paedophilia” and the hyper-sexualisation of the surrounding culture. This groundswell may not have the power to resolve underlying cultural problems, but it gives parents the opportunity, and hopefully the courage, to take on the culture in defense of their children. (Zac Alstin works at the Southern Cross Bioethics Institute in Adelaide, South Australia; this article is reprinted here under special republishing arrangement with MercatorNet)

Walking out of the shadow
THE shadow of the hostage tragedy will be with us for some time. The day will come, however, when, like other issues, it shall be covered by the sands of time and other issues of national importance will grab our attention. We therefore need to take a long, reflective look upon this tragedy to learn from it. When the dusts of emotional agitation, latent racism, and finger pointing have settled, will we, as a nation, emerge stronger? Will our governmental institutions be strengthened and less susceptible to unwarranted political meddling? Will we become more united as a people? I suggest we focus on three areas. First, we need to pinpoint dysfunctions in our governmental institutions, from the PNP to LGUs and other government agencies, as well as the scoop-motivated imprudence of media which contributed to the botchedup rescue effort. Hard questions need to be asked but not in the spirit of convenient finger pointing, hindsight with axes to grind, and political positioning. Incompetence in the areas of knowledge, skills and resources needs to be admitted and effectively addressed. Political meddling and its impact on the rescue effort need to be looked into. After all, if the hostage rescue had been a success, how many politicians would be taking advantage of a photo-op instead of washing their hands? To what extent did the ego of individuals get the better of them in terms of making sound judgment? When fact-finding efforts result in concrete recommendations, what mechanism is there to

Fr. Carmelo O. Diola, SSL

Spaces of Hope
of value. The long view requires us to work hand in hand so that structural and institutional reforms at the level of the technological, economic and political spheres may be sustained by cultural transformation that really represent our ultimate goal. As one wise man puts it, “The futility of achieving meaningful social reforms through structural and institutional change without cultural change is a vain effort and constantly confirmed to be so in history.” This is not an instant process but a lengthy one, requiring loving patience from all our citizens as well as wise, competent and effective leadership from leaders on the journey towards integrity. We all can contribute something to this long-term endeavor. A friend of mine recently sent me an email she had received from a Chinese classmate of hers at the Asian Institute of Management. Let me share verbatim some portions of it: “…thank you for your message. actually I don’t know how to comfort your feeling about this hostage incident happened recently, but it is true, it happened, you can’t avoid it, although everybody who have just and fair heart would not bear it, that’s the real world, every day, somewhere might be the same thing happened or being happened, so what we need to do is just to try our best to make the world more peace and harmony. Hope you all walk out of that shadow, let the dead rest in peace, let the living be more health and happy, I think this is the world majority’s wish and hope. Yes, with God’s grace we can walk out of that shadow.”

ensure that these are indeed implemented and there is follow through for a cumulative process of learning? Where are the lessons of the 1989 hostage-killing of Brig. Eduardo Batalla and Col. Romeo Abendan in CawaCawa, Zamboanga City? Second, we should not allow this failure to define us as a people. Our prospects of learning from the tragedy hinge upon asserting our God-given dignity as Filipinos, both individually and as a nation. We need to be humble in admitting our failures yet we should not allow ourselves to be bullied and treated as doormats. This is not the first time a rescue attempt failed. Even world military powers have had their share of failures, as the 2002 Russian Nord-Ost Siege and the USA’s Operation Eagle Claw in 1980 to rescue hostages in Iran. These failures do not define these nations. We also need to remind ourselves that blood was spilled mainly because an agitated man with guns was not stopped in time by a poorly equipped and poorly led SWAT team. This was largely error in judgment and governmental dysfunction, not a bloodbath for ideological or racist reasons carried out deliberately and methodically. Let our sense of shame at our failure be put in proper perspective. Third, we Filipinos have a special calling to strike a balance between faith, democracy, and development. We have been gifted with tremendous natural resources and we are a very special people who put a human and religious face into globalization. This is the larger picture to be considered: the scales

Fr. Roy Cimagala

Candidly Speaking
EVERYONE is familiar with what is called “yellow journalism,” that kind that is screaming and sensationalistic, not averse to exaggerating things and even inventing and staging events to grab people’s attention. Yellowing journalism is the process involved in making it. It’s a dynamic mix of many elements and factors, conditions and circumstances, multilayered and multi-threaded, whose course is uncharted, like an adventure that gives suspense and excitement, except that it can end in a big destructive mess. The media coverage of the current RH bill controversy reminds me of this yellowing journalism. All the ingredients seem to be present and made to stew. There’s passion and emotion, slogans and buzz words, myths and speculations. Biases and questionable ideologies are the driving forces. If reason is ever used, it is made to serve the passions. Faith, that is supposed to guide reason, is considered Public Enemy Number One in what is supposed to be an objective pursuit for what is good for us. In fact, there’s a shrill cry for liberation from Church, faith, religion and the like. This yellowing journalism is not associated with the tabloids.
By the Roadside / A4

Yellowing journalism
shuts out the inputs of faith. Besides, they cite the scandals in the Church as reason to discredit the faith, a clear example of throwing the baby out with the bath water. As if there are no scandals in other places, forgetting we are all humans, with our own share of shortcomings irrespective of where we are placed. Remember that there was a Judas among the apostles. And Judases can spring up anywhere anytime. That’s always a possibility, given our weakened human condition. Our attitude should rather be to help one another, and be objective in distinguishing between the truths involved in an issue, derived from faith and our human sciences, and the personalities involved, between the office and the occupant, between the doctrine and the way it is lived. Faith-based morality is placed at the margins, since nowadays it seems to be the fad to deem morality to be nothing other than a result of economic, social, political and other human and earthly considerations. Sorry, but with this attitude, we are in deepening trouble. We won’t be getting nowhere. Since faith requires grace, then effort, often torturous, and even sacrifice, it’s no surprise it many times loses to the practicality of reason unburdened by faith. What aggravates this situation is the phenomenon of strange creatures who call themselves Catholics only to go against the Catholic faith. Their Catholicism is self-produced, self-arrogated and self-inflicted. They go around proudly proclaiming they are Catholics for Choice. These, I think, are the deadly elements present in yellowing journalism. They thrive in an environment stirred by emotions and passions, with reason playing second fiddle. Faith is ridiculed and ostracized. The crisis is at bottom a question of faith in relation to our earthly affairs. Worsening things is the emerging reality that much of what we see in the press today regarding the RH Bill seems to be orchestrated by a tremendous machinery of public relation outfits, clearly funded by moneyed international groups and helped by their local lackeys, the NGOs, etc. The fingerprints are all over. Unless faith is given a fair hearing in this debate, I don’t think we can really resolve this issue properly. Faith, the very soul of our reason, has to be given its proper place.

It affects more the broadsheets, the more standard and mainstream brand of journalism. They have become vulnerable because of certain journalistic requirements that have been neglected. Most of the media practitioners, from publishers down to the reporters, do not know the relation between faith and reason, between religion and their work, the spiritual and material aspects of man, Church and state, etc. These things are considered abstract and academic and are kept that way, with no effort to convert them into something concrete and practical. If ever they have to acknowledge these values, it’s mainly just lip service, for photo-ops, and not much more. Those who still care about their faith are ashamed to show it, let alone, to shape and define the character of their work and their life. So they become easy target to atheistic and agnostic sophistries that are often stuffed with immediate practical benefits. In fact, they usually frame issues like the RH Bill within a strictly economic or social point of view, as if problems are solved only in these levels. Purely human means are flaunted as our authentic savior. This is the tyranny of this kind of attitude. It

themselves: the mysteries of the sufferings and triumph of Jesus in living color. But it struck me one day how those bright living colors need the lowly canvas to be what it is in order for the artist’s ideas to be visible. That, I said to myself, is the same thing with every Christian and with every Christian missionary. God is the painter. It is his Love that is beautifully made visible first by Jesus Christ. Our mission, so says Benedict XVI, is to continue

making it VISIBLE in the world of our day and age. St. Ignatius of Loyola once encouraged his brothers with the words: “Make yourselves liked by all, become all things to all men in humility and love…” We best do it when we acknowledge the truth that we are the mere canvas, not the painter. We do so when, in faith, we put ourselves in God’s hands through prayer and then allow the power of his Love to propel our efforts to proclaim the Gospel.

Our aim is to do all we can, in obedience to the Spirit, so that our fellow human beings may be able to say with St. Therese of Lisieux: “One glance at the holy Gospel, and the life of Jesus becomes a perfume that fills the air I breathe.” That life has the power of Love written large in the Gospel, enabling anyone, especially the missionary, to climb the steepest mountains.


Local News
HUNDREDS of people trooped to Quiapo Church last October 2 for a “pro-life” prayer rally that included a Catholic archbishop who urged the government to rethink its position on contraception. A group of rallyists were holding a streamer bearing a sign of “Kontrasepsyon Bahagi ng Globalisasyon.” Another group carried the sign “Pondo sa Kontrasepsyon Ilagay sa Edukasyon at Health Services (allocate the fund for education and health services instead of contraceptives). Some priests, ministers, nuns and Black Nazarene devotees were scattered through the crowd, which organizers estimated at around 1,500 people. This was the first time that a Church-backed rally has taken place under the Aquino administration, which observers described as an “initial step” to air their opposition against a government plan to promote artificial birth control. The demonstrators were strong in opposing the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill which seeks to control the country’s growing population and the spread of HIV-AIDS through the promotion of contraceptives such as condoms and pills. Upon arrival from the United States, President Benigno Aquino has said he is determined to provide couples an informed choice in planning their families. “We are all guided by our consciences. My position has not changed. The state’s duty is to educate our families as to their responsibilities and to respect their decisions if they are in conformity to our laws,” he said. Aquino’s position earned the fury of many anti-abortion advocates and many Christian and Muslim leaders. Speaking to reporters at Quiapo Church, San Fernando Archbishop Paciano Aniceto called on Aquino to emulate the leadership of his mother, the late president Corazo Aquino, on the issue of family and life issues. “Our President should emulate his mother.... There is hope

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 21
October 11 - 24, 2010

Hundreds gather for anti-RH bill rally in Quiapo
that the President will listen. His mother and the bishops were close. We say his mother was very saintly. She listened to the Church. I think he will give importance and value to that,” Aniceto said. He said the country must learn to embrace the gift of life and to defend it against the “culture of death.” Aniceto chairs the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). The prelate also said that it was not just Catholics who are opposing artificial contraceptives but also Muslims and evangelical Protestants. (CBCPNews)

A NEOPHYTE lawmaker has filed a bill seeking the return of two church bells that were taken by US army in 1901 from Balangiga town, in Eastern Samar. In filing House Bill 460, Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone said the substantive meaning of the annual observance Balangiga massacre has been “diminished” year after year due to the absence of the bells. The three church bells were taken by the United States Army from the Balangiga after reprisals following the Balangiga incident in 1901 during the Philippine-American War. The bells were reportedly rung, without permission of the parish priest, to signal an attack on the American garrison that killed all but two of the regiment. At retaliation that burned Balangiga and neighboring towns while killing thousands of the natives, the 11th US Infantry Regiment confiscated the bells of Balangiga and brought them to US as “war booty.”

Solon seeks return of Balangiga bells
One church bell is in the position of the 19th Infantry Regiment at Camp Red Cloud, their base in South Korea, while two others are displayed on a former base of the 11th Infantry Regiment at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Evardone said that the bells have “lost” their historic significance in the eyes of the Americans contrary to the primacy of the importance the Filipino people have attached to them. “…Despite concerted efforts for the recovery of the said bells since the time of former President Fidel Ramos until the Arroyo administration, not a single bell has been returned…” said part of the resolution. “The changes in the administration of both the United State and the Philippines which saw the rise of populist leaders in President Barrack Obama and President Benigno Aquino III have opened fresh hopes of a shift in US policy towards returning the Balangiga

Bells,” it said. On September 28, people and public officials of Eastern Samar commemorated the 109th year of the celebration of the Balangiga Massacre. In his speech during the event, Evardone vowed to exert all means possible to restore the bells because “they rightly belong to the people of Balangiga.” “We will not stop until the bells will be returned to us,” he said. The Diocese of Borongan, meanwhile, has earlier stepped up its efforts by organizing a Diocesan Committee on Balangiga Bells composed of Filipinos from the Philippines and in the US. Last August, Bishop Crispin Varquez of the Diocese of Borongan met with the members of the committee in the US who are spearheading the lobby in the US Congress for the return of the bells for some years now. (CBCPNews)

Muslims / A1

© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

community is one with the Catholic hierarchy in opposing the passage of the Reproductive Health bill which seeks to control the country’s growing birth rate. “Sa contraceptives, hindi tayo pabor diyan para bawasan ang populasyon ng Pilipinas. Kontra po diyan ang Islam dahil bakit natin i-under estimate ang plano ng Panginoon,” he said over Radyo Veritas. Moxir also said he is saddened that the government is pushing for the legislation so that at least P100 will be allocated for the purchase of artificial contraceptives.
Prayer / A1

“Bakit hindi natin ilalaan ang nasabing pondo sa ibang kapaki-pakinabang na paraan? Baka maging immoral na tayo diyan. Bakit tayo mamahagi ng ganyan?” he said. President Benigno Aquino III earlier said he supports the use of contraceptives among couples because they should be the ones to decide what type of family planning methods they will use. It is, however, believed that the said statement might lead to the swift passage of the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill in Congress. (CBCPNews)


Asian Churches / A1

In the Sept. 27Oct 10, 2010 issue of Monitor the title of article on B7 should have been Diocesan Foundation feeds undernourished school children instead of Jesuit foundation feeds undernourished children. (Our apologies, Eds.)

Fr. Noel Jetajobe, chancellor, said the prayer is to be recited by the faithful at the succeeding “in all Masses and celebration of the Word of God without a priest.” “In line with our advocacy against gambling in the diocese, the bishop’s office has drafted an oratio imperata for the promotion of the dignity of labor and reiterating our stand against all forms of gambling,” he said. The Oratio Imperata, an ordered prayer for a special intention, was issued to all parish priests, shrine rectors, chapSumilao / A1

lains. Last August, Bancud and San Jose Bishop Mylo Huber Vergara led a mass demonstration to protest their strong opposition against the planned casino operation in San Leonardo town. The prelates believe that gambling would not bring good to society. They said that local officials should instead look for alternative livelihood instead of opening the casino. Proponents of casino gambling said that the revenues from it will be placed in a special fund to finance capital development

in health, education, and infrastructure projects. They also said that casino gaming would be a very viable industry for Nueva Ecija and has significant potential for direct and indirect employment. But the Church believes that all these projected social benefits brought about by gambling, if true, fail in proportion to the evil that it brings to society. In its fight against gambling, the Church has often forwarded a moral principle that the end, no matter how good, does not justify the means. (CBCPNews)

from conception to natural death.” Quevedo said that even with diverse cultural traditions, the Asian bishops have “gained a certain degree of communion, fellowship, solidarity, [and] cooperation,” which was made possible because of “a common vision of mission and pastoral priority.” And it is through the bishops’ leadership that “the Church in Asia continues to undergo waves of conversion or renewal, towards a renewed evangelization and discipleship of life, a Church renewed in the Word and Bread of God,” he said. Reflecting on the words of Pope Benedict XVI’s “without Communion there is no witness; the life of communion is truly the great witness,” Quevedo said witnessing is crucial for the church in Asia because “in many places in Asia where there is no freedom of religion the only way to proclaim the Lord is to witness to Him by a silent but truly faithful Christian life, a life of love for God and service to our neighbour.” The Synod of Bishops’ Special Assembly for the Middle East opened Oct. 10 with a Mass presided by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI at St. Peter’s Basilica. (CBCP News)
Cruz / A1

Men’s group vows to defend church’s stand vs RH bill
AMID a raging birth control debate, a group of Catholic men is girding to protect and defend the church’s position on the RH Bill. The 250,000-strong Knights of Columbus in the Philippines said they are ready to mobilize its forces and oppose a government plan to promote artificial contraception. Alonso Tan, K of C Luzon deputy, said they would join any activities initiated by the Church and even mass protests to uphold and promote their anti-reproductive health bill stand. Tan also criticized tourist guide Carlos Celdran for “disrupting” an ecumenical service at the Manila Cathedral. Celdran was arrested last September 30 after he walked at the cathedral’s main altar holding a placard with the name “Damaso,” and shouting, “Stop getting involved in politics.” The tourist guide was protesting the church’s opposition to President Benigno Aquino III’s position on artificial contraception. The following day, a rally was held at the gate of the main headquarters of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines in Intramuros by pro-RH bill supporters. The demonstrators also went shouting “unprintable words” and carried placards with the messages such as “Keep you rosaries out of our ovaries.” “The Knights of Columbus being pro-life, pro-family and pro-Church cannot just let these current onslaughts against the Church pass without doing something,” said Tan. “I therefore encourage my Brother Knights to uphold and promote our anti-RH bill stand and defend and protect the bishops, the priest and the church at large,” he added. (CBCPNews)

hectares within the 144 hectares last April 16, 2010. “Matapos ang tatlong taong pakikipaglaban sa aming karapatan sa lupa, naibalik na sa amin ang kabuuang 144 ektaryang lupain,” said Panaw Sumilao Multipurpose Cooperative Chairman and President Napoleon “Yoyong” Merida Jr. The 26 years old Merida took the mantle of leadership of the embattled Sumilao farmers after the killing of their famous leader, Ka Rene Peñas on June 5, 2009. Peñas was on his way home on board a motorcycle from a celebration following the successful passage of the CARPER law when he was ambushed and killed almost midnight along a
Apology / A1

secluded stretch of road in barangay San Vicente. Jan Perry Eugenio, lawyer of the alternative law group that serves as the Sumilao farmers’ lawyers, Balay Alternative Legal Advocates for Development in Mindanaw, Inc. (BALAOD-Mindanaw), expressed happiness that the battle is finally over. Eugenio also said that he is very happy that instead of 144 hectares, San Miguel gave the farmers a total of 147 hectares or 3 hectares over what the farmers were demanding. “San Miguel decided to award 13 hectares last Sunday because the area was contiguous and they do not want the hassle to subdivide it. So they gave the farmers

13 hectares for a total of 147 hectares,” he told this reporter. Merida said that 50 hectares of the 144 hectares have been distributed to 63 farmer-members of the Panaw Sumilao MPC; 50 hectares serve as communal farm of the cooperative; 34 hectares will be farmed by the Panaw Sumilao MPC farmers starting next year since these land, although already have a CLOA in favor of the farmers, are under leased by Del Monte Philippines, Inc. and are being planted with pineapples by DMPI. The 13 hectares awarded to them last Oct. 10, according to Merida, will be part of the communal farm of the Panaw Sumilao MPC. (Bong D. Fabe)

After all, Cruz said, his criticisms are meant to help the Aquino administration to become better in the long run. He said the President should discern between criticism that is meant to help, and the one that is just meant to harm his administration. “I’ll continue to do what I’m doing which is pointing out to realities in the administration which could help it better serve its purpose,” Cruz said. Aquino, in a press conference, yesterday lashed out the outspoken prelate whom he likened to the old characters in the “Grumpy Old Men”

movie. “Again, I might come to that state of being alone and old… it’s because I watched the Grumpy Old Men so I will try to understand him all the time,” he said drawing laughter from newsmen. The chief executive also noted that the church official never had good words for his administration. “I think the Bible says: ‘Blessed are the persecuted’ so I want to thank him because I would be blessed,” he also said. Mr. Aquino’s remarks stemmed from the observation of Cruz that he didn’t adopt the full recommendations

made the incident investigation and review committee (IIRC) on the Aug. 23 hostage crisis in Manila. Cruz said he was not offended, in any way, by Aquino’s comments against him but warned that grumpy old man could get grumpier as he gets older. “I thank him for this observation because it comes from the President, but now he can be assured that I’ll be older and grumpier,” Cruz said. “The older you get, the grumpier you are. I think that is the law of nature. There is nothing exceptionally extraordinary about that,” he added. (CBCPNews)

Death Penalty / A1

and other tribal rituals were also held at the cathedral on October 11. Officiated by elders, tong-tongan is one way of settling land disputes in the town of Buguias in Benguet province in northern Luzon. Majority of the IP participants from different dioceses across the country underscored the continuing encroachment of mining ventures into their ancestral domains and assault of indigenous cultures as their major concerns. The half-day activity also paved the way for the presentation of agreements and exchange of gifts, followed by the celebration of the Eucharist. Some bishops earlier asked the Truth

Commission created by President Benigno Aquino III to look into “environmental crimes.” A “bodong” (peace pact) ritual, popular in the neighboring Kalinga province in the Cordilleras, was also held on Oct. 12. During the ritual, the “hurts” caused by the church was expressed by the representatives of the IPs. Then, representatives of the church expressed the asking of forgiveness. It was followed by presentation of certain points of agreements, consisting of the calls of the IPs to the Church. An exchange of symbolic gifts to each party concluded the rite followed by the celebration of the Eucharist.

“This is evidently the beginning of a long-term process of dialogue between the Christian faith and the way of life of the indigenous peoples,” said Tony Abuso, program coordinator of the ECIP Secretariat. The dialogue is expected to lead to a “change of heart, ways of thinking, discernment, and theologizing, as well as, paradigm shifts in approaches and pastoral programs of the Church,” he said. Bishop Utleg also said that the church and government can work together to help solve the concerns of the tribal communities through consultation and a continuous cultural exchange.

to restorative justice. “We offer the tenets of restorative justice that while our justice system seeks to punish the wrongdoer, it should move beyond punishment and seek healing of all stakeholders, the victim, the offender and the society we all live in,” said Diamante. Meanwhile, Diamante called on other prison advocates to join them in recommending the alternative way of keeping peace in the community and generating an enabling environment to prevent criminality. On another development, the Executive Board of the International Commission of Catholic Prison Pas-

toral Care (ICCPPC) is set to meet on October 25-29, 2010 in Cavite to promote humanization, revision and reform of the prison system in the world. The meeting hopes to encourage the Church and the society of a “greater awareness” of the Prison Pastoral Care and to form pastoral information, courses and studies for the prison pastoral ministry. The assembly will be conducted right after the celebration of the 23rd Prison Awareness Week on October 19-24, 2010 which will be spearheaded by the CBCP-ECPPC. (Kate Laceda)

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 21
October 11 - 24, 2010

Diocesan News


Borongan to host 3rd Regional Youth Day
Photo courtesy of Lynlyn Pinarok

BORONGAN, Eastern Samar— Around 300 Catholic youth will gather here on Oct. 27 to 29 for the 3rd Regional Youth Day (RYD) with delegates coming from Central and Eastern Visayas regions. With the theme “Young Visayans: Come Together, Share the Word, Live the Eucharist,” the gathering hopes to continue the journey of the youth to grow in faith. Borongan Bishop Crispin Varquez said the gathering coincides with the Golden Jubilee

Manaoag shrine offers new facilities, attractions for pilgrims
MANAOAG, Pangasinan—The Shrine of Our Lady of Manaoag in Pangasinan has recently added new facilities and done improvements on existing ones to enhance the shrine’s prayerful ambiance. The Our Lady of Manaoag Museum, which houses the historic and religious articles related to the miraculous image offers an extended area for reflection to the pilgrims. Items, accompanied by historical notes, are arranged to tell the story of Manaoag—from the early missions of the Dominican Order in Pangasinan, to the apparition, to the construction of the “Church on a hill.” Displayed at the 14 x 10-meter hall are a vintage carroza, used to transport the image during processions; a collection of Pre-Vatican II garments, which some may date back to the 17th century; a variety of sacred vessels; and valuable accessories, vestments, and perfumes of the image. The museum is open to pilgrims for the whole week, except on Tuesdays, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. A more spacious new candle gallery can now accommodate the large number of devotees who light candles for their prayers and petitions. The candle gallery has been designed by Architect Armando “Don” de Guzman. Subdued lightings that accentuate the glares of candlelight also add solemnity to the place. At the center of the structure, a soothing fountain is yet to be completed, where a replica of the image of the Our Lady of Manaoag will be installed. Devotees who wish to have their religious articles blessed may ask a priest to bless the items at “blessing area” beside

Celebration of the diocese which will culminate on October 22. “This is indeed a grace-filled year for us and it is from here that we gather with the objective to grow in the common faith, deepen communion and inspire mission,” Varquez said. RYD, organizers said, is a “journey of faith” embarked by young faithful from the pastoral jurisdictions under the Central Eastern Visayas Regional Youth Coordinating Council (RYCC). Participants of this year’s gath-

ering would be coming from the archdioceses of Cebu and Palo, and the dioceses of Dumaguete, Tagbilaran, Maasin, Talibon, Calbayog, Borongan, Catarman and Naval. Since the inception of the Central Eastern Visayas RYCC, it has long been dreamed by its members that a youth day in the regional level be realized. The RYD was first held in the Archdiocese of Cebu in 2006 and then in the Diocese of Dumaguete in 2007. (CBCPNews)

City council urges people to ‘war’ vs. power interruption
CAGAYAN DE ORO City— Councilors of this city have urged Kagay-anons and the people of Mindanao to go to “war” against the National Power Corporation (NPC/NAPOCOR) and the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) over the resumption of two-hour rotating brownouts in Mindanao. Mayor Vicente Emano is personally leading this “war” against NAPOCOR and NGCP, including the local power utility Cagayan de Oro Power and Light Company (CEPALCO), which despite the brownouts have filed before the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) a petition for an increase in power rate per kilowatt hour, said Councilor President Elipe. Elipe, chairman of the adhoc committee charged to look into the brownouts by virtue of his being chairman of the City Council Committee on Energy, said people of Cagayan de Oro and Mindanao should now make their voices heard and let NAPOCOR, NGCP and CEPALCO explain to the people the real situation of power in the island. He said Kagay-anons should also register their vehement objection to CEPALCO’s petition for an increase in power rate per kilowatt hour which it planned to implement next year. Upon the resumption of rotating brownouts in Mindanao late last month, the power transmission company NGCP pointed the media to the NAPOCOR when asked for reasons of the brownouts. But when reached for their reaction, the NAPOCOR refer the inquiries to the NGCP. The NGCP, in a statement, blamed the brownouts to the “scarcity of power supply and generation” of NAPOCOR. It said that NAPOCOR’s power plants cannot meet the actual demand of customers connected to the Mindanao grid. “At any given time, two to three of NAPOCOR’s eight power plants (i.e. Agus 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, Pulangi, and Power Barge 104) are shut down for various reasons. Thus, lately, there is substantially less energy traffic within the Mindanao grid, and the energy demands of Mindanao cannot be met. It is for this reason that Mindanao has started to experience, again, a spate of brownouts,” it explained in its release. But NAPOCOR said its power plants are generating enough power to meet the demand of Mindanao and blamed the NGCP for the curtailment. As the two companies continue to trade accusations, Councilor Edgar Cabanlas strongly urged his colleagues to pass a resolution condemning NAPO-

the candle gallery. The area accommodates the blessing of holy water, religious items, and vehicles. Pilgrims may also find religious books and items at the newly-renovated religious stores in the shrine premises that sell a variety of rosaries, religious images, novenas and books. Recently, the Shrine has launched its website, www. manaoagshrine.org, and the DVD of “Manaoag: The Call of the Virgin,” the two-hour documentary that enjoyed high ratings during the Black Saturday of 2010 after being aired at GMA-7. Our Lady of Manaoag is a canonically crowned image of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, duly recognized by the Vatican and enshrined in a church under the Dominican Order in the country. (Levine Lao)


Solon says Aquino men needed to get acts together

COR, NGCP and even CEPALCO for conspiring against Kagay-anons. Cabanlas said these three companies are conspiring to raise electricity rates in the city and Mindanao to the detriment of the power consumers. “We are always on the losing end. They are only making fun of us. This is just a game for them,” an angry Cabanlas said in the vernacular, adding: “We don’t have access in the process of verifying” the true power situation in Mindanao. He said power consumers should not just accept any of these companies’ claim that power supply is at an all-time low in Mindanao because they are not providing enough data to support this claim. However, there is also no way for the ordinary power consumers to verify this claim. “I’m in a quandary every time these three claim that power supply is very low in Mindanao. Definitely, they are conspiring against the people,” Cabanlas said. Early this year when widespread brownouts hit Mindanao, power companies parroted the claim of NGCP and NAPOCOR that power supply was very low because there was not enough water in NAPOCOR’s hydro-power dams in Lanao del Sur and Bukidnon because of the El Niño. (Bong D. Fabe)

CAGAYAN DE ORO City—Sen. Francis Pangilinan said President Aquino can only be effective if his chosen Cabinet officials get their acts together and help him fulfill his campaign promises. Although Aquino got a “passing grade” from the people in his first 100 days in office, Pangilinan said the President still needs to show he is the leader and let his Cabinet toe the administration line. (Bong D. Fabe)
Aquino’s first 100 days full of ‘missed opportunities’

CAGAYAN DE ORO City—President Aquino III’s first 100 days in Malacañang were characterized by “missed opportunities” especially in promoting human rights, Amnesty International Philippines said. “During his first 100 days in office, President Aquino has highlighted serious human-rights issues in the Philippines, but has yet to take concrete action against them,” AIPh director Aurora Parong said. (Bong D. Fabe)
Power-Coop consumers assert right to legislate

LEGAZPI City—Multi-stakeholders of the power cooperative here have approved a resolution mandating the Board of Directors of the Albay Electric Cooperative (Aleco) to facilitate a special meeting of member-consumers on Oct.16, to come up with solutions that will bail out the ailing power facility. Aleco consumers asserted their right to call for a special assembly to find a way out of the problems hounding the power cooperative. (Elmer James Bandol)
14 OFWs in Saudi nabbed for practicing Christian faith

QUEZON City— Migrante Middle East (ME) appealed to the government to help the 14 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) arrested by the Saudi cultural police for participating in a Christian worship. John Leonard Monterona, regional coordinator of Migrante-ME said that the 14 OFWs, whose names are yet to be verified, were included to more than 100 foreigners apprehended by the Saudi authorities for practicing Christianity. (Noel Sales Barcelona)
Gov’t urged to probe rape of Pinay nurses in Saudi

Two bishops perform in piano concert
LAOAG City— Two bishops performed in a piano concert during a thanksgiving jubilee celebration at the Carmelite Monastery in Laoag on October 1. The night filled with resounding and melodious music when Bishop Sergio L. Utleg of Laoag and Bishop Camilo Gregorio of the Prelature of Basco, played the piano with grace during the concert. The performance featured UST Conservatory of Music scholar Jaenna Catherine Ku Peralta with Bishop Utleg as assisting artist. After Bishop Utleg played the Claire de Lune of Debussy, he announced a surprise performance of Bishop Gregorio. Introducing Bishop Gregorio to the audience, he told on how he first met the bishop back at the Central Seminary. Bishop Utleg said he was amazed when he first saw Bishop Gregorio playing the piano. They become friends eventually. He said that he followed Bishop Gregorio wherever he went. “When he went to Rome, I followed to Rome. When he went to US, I followed him to US. And when he became a bishop, I became a bishop too,” he said. “I was following, literally, his footsteps,” he quipped. (Mark Vertido)

MALABON City— An affiliate of a Filipino migrant rights group in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia urged the Philippine Embassy to conduct an investigation about the reported two separate incidents of abduction and rape involving Pinay Nurses. Kapatiran sa Gitnang Silangan chair Eric Jocson said they’re now conducting their own investigation about the reported 2 separate incidents of abduction and rape, the victims were Filipino nurses working in Riyadh hospitals. (Noel Sales Barcelona)
Tondo urban poor protests imminent demolition

MANILA—Urban poor families from Tondo protested an impending demolition of their houses that will give way to the Philippine Ports Authority’s and private corporations’ ‘developmental projects.’ More than 500 families from the Isla Puting Bato, Collector’s Road, and Slip Zero protested near Malacañang on Oct. 4 to protest the looming demolition of their houses on Nov.15. Joy Lumawod of the Tondo Foreshoreland People’s Alliance said that the current administration is not true to its words that it would uplift the lives of the poor. (Noel Sales Barcelona)


People, Facts & Places
solely rely on big projects. “The true change can come from the person who accepts the will of God for him or her,” Arsciwals said. “This is the triumph of the Blessed Virgin.” Themed “La Naval de Manila: Tagumpay sa Pagbabagong-buhay” (La Naval de Manila: Triumph in a Change of Life), the entire celebration was done in Filipino, departing from the usual practice of using the English medium. The move to hold the usual recitations of the rosary, novena, and masses from English to Filipino was meant to bring the faith closer to the people. Celebrants for the traditional novena masses for La Naval include Bishop Teodoro Bacani, retired auxiliary bishop of Manila; Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, OP, University of Santo Tomas rector; Fr. Ramonclaro Mendez, OP, Aquinas University rector; Fr. Mario Sobrejuanite, SSP, Director of the Center for Pauline Spirituality and Animation; Fr. Honorato Castigador, OP, Colegio de San Juan de Letran–Calamba rector; and Fr. Gerard Francisco Timoner, OP, UST Central Seminary rector. Completing the list of celebrants were Fr. Eugenio Cabillon III, Fr. Allan Lopez, Fr. Virgilio Ojoy from the Dominican Province of the Philippines. Novena started on Oct. 1, signaled by the enthronement ceremony for La Naval, and ended on Oct. 10 with the traditional grand procession. Our Lady of La Naval is a canonically crowned image of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, duly recognized by the Vatican and enshrined in a church under the Dominican Order in the country. There is a museum at Sto. Domingo Church that exhibits the history of the rosary and the convent, as well as vestments, important images and documents pertaining to the devotion to La Naval, including the antique religious items of the church. (Levine Lao)

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 14 No. 21

October 11 - 24, 2010

FOCUSING on the theme of renewal, the La Naval festivities kicked off on Oct. 1 with the traditional novena and enthronement of the Marian image at the Sto. Domingo Church, Quezon City. Fr. Giuseppe Pietro Arsciwals, OP, Sto. Domingo Convent prior said the focus of the La Naval celebrations—“Tagumpay at Pagbabago” (Triumph and Change) was inspired by people’s clamor for change as seen in the last elections. “After the elections, people continue to talk about change,” he said in an email. “And this change serves as inspiration and hope to our country.” Arsciwals explained that “triumph” has always been part of the saga of La Naval, citing the epic victory of trade galleons against the heavily armed Dutch armada in 1646 and the success of the People Power I in 1986. He added that the feast intended to remind people that the true change cannot be achieved through violence. Neither can it

La Naval festivities focus on change

Cardinal leads Bible Campaign anniversary celebration

MANILA Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales led the celebration of the 2nd year anniversary of the May They Be One (MTBO) Bible Campaign, a bible project that aims to distribute million of bibles to families in five years. Held at the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, Manila, the mass was presided by the Cardinal and concelebrated by Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines; Bishop Pablo David, Chairman of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Biblical Apostolate (ECBA); Lingayen-Dagupan Auxiliary Bishop Renato Mayugba; Sorsogon Bishop Arturo

Bastes; Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez; Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes, Legaspi Emeritus Bishop Nestor Cariño, Palo Emeritus Bishop Pedro Dean and the Metro Manila Priests. The celebration was jointly organized by the Episcopal Commission on Biblical Apostolate (ECBA) and the Philippine Bible Society (PBS). Bishop David led the Ecumenical prayer service while representatives from various religious and lay organizations shared scripture passages and reflections. Among the speakers were Bishop Fred Magbanua of the Jesus Our Life Church; Bishop

Nathanael Lazaro, Chairman of the National Council of Churches of the Philippines (NCCP); Ambassador Henrietta de Villa of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV); Edgardo Tria Tirona from the Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas and Rev. Charlie Pridmore, Union Church of Manila. Culminating the activity was a symbolic Bible Handwriting session of the “12 apostles” or the representatives from various sectors of society including the church, government, youth, persons with disabilities, business, military, media and urban poor. For the Church, the handwrit-

ing session was represented by Cardinal Rosales and the Papal Nuncio as well as some bishops that are participants in the campaign. Launched last 2008, the MTBO Bible Campaign intends to distribute five million Bibles to 5 million poor Filipino families within 5 years. It also encourages Filipinos to further study the scriptures for one’s transformation and the country’s total renewal. At least around 218,211 poor families in 814 parishes have already been provided with MTBO Bibles through the participation of 75 dioceses. (Kate Laceda)

A SEVEN-WOMAN delegation from various Catholic women’s groups will represent the country during the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations’ 2010 Centenary Assembly beginning October 5 until October 12 in Jerusalem. Dr. Zenaida Rotea, executive secretary of the CBCP Office on Women and incoming Catholic Women’s League national president Wennie Reyes, Atty. Roslina Edita Jinez and four others have left for Tel Aviv in time for the world meeting. The opening liturgy will be held at 10:00 a.m. at St. Saviour’s Church in Jerusalem. All other sessions will be held at the Notre Dame Auditorium. The participants will also visit

7 Filipinas join world meeting of women organizations

Mt. Olives on Thursday and proceed to the Garden of Gethsemane to visit the Church of All Nations. They will also have the chance to visit the Nativity Church. The delegates will likewise have a half-day tour of Jerusalem while a whole-day session has been scheduled on Saturday, October 9 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Dr. Rotea said they are also scheduled to visit Catholic parishes within Jerusalem and Bethlehem. The closing ceremonies will be held on Monday, October 11. A trip to Galilee has also been scheduled on Tuesday, October 12th. The other delegates are Eulado Diaz, Nelia Zamaco and Mesdames Batad and Abapo. (CBCPNews)


CELEBRATED. Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas, 25th anniversary of sacerdotal ordination, October 6, 2010; at the St. John Evangelist Cathedral, Dagupan City. Ordained priest by Jaime L. Cardinal Sin on October 5, 1985, Villegas served as secretary to the Cardinal soon after his ordination, a position he occupied until his appointment as Bishop of Balanga in 2004. He was named Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009, succeeding Archbishop Oscar Cruz who had retired upon reaching the mandatory age of retirement. Villegas is also the Chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education (ECCCE) of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines. ELECTED. Fr. Roberto C. Yap, SJ, as the new president of Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro City. Fr. Yap succeeds Xavier University’s outgoing president Fr. Jose Ramon Villarin. He will assume the post at the end of the current academic year. Jesuit provincial, Fr. Jose Cecilio Magadia announced the election of Yap by the university’s Board of Trustees in a letter sent to the academic community. Xavier University initially known as Ateneo de Cagayan was founded in 1933 by Fr. James T.G. Hayes, SJ, who became the first archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de oro. Ateneo de Cagayan was given its university status on August 27, 1958 and the name was changed to Xavier University. It was the first university in Mindanao, and the first Jesuit institution in the Philippines to be granted a university status. Xavier University has established the Research Institute for Mindanao Culture (RIMCU) in 1957 to study cultural issues in Mindanao and Southeast Asia Rural Social Leadership Institute (SEARSOLIN) in 1963 to train leaders from other countries in agricultural work. ORDAINED. Rev. Carlo Perez del Rosario and Rev. Adonis Galamgam Saclolo, to the order of priesthood, by Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, September 25, 2010; at the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Intramuros, Manila. The two deacons took their seminary formation at the UST Central Seminary and Redemptoris Mater Mission Seminary.

Evangelical group declares ‘electionconsciousness week’
AN alliance of evangelical organizations engaged in voters’ education has declared an ‘election-consciousness week’ in view of the forthcoming nationwide barangay elections. VoteNET Philippines has declared October 10-17 as “Puso sa Puso ElectionConsciousness Week” to educate the public on their responsibilities as voters. Bishop Efraim Tendero, National Director of Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches and Chairman of VoteNET Philippines, in a letter, has invited voters to attend the “election-consciousness” week and make a difference for the good of the country. “We encourage you to participate during the “Puso sa Puso ElectionConsciousness Week” for the glory of God and for the church to grow as salt and light of this country,” he said. Tendero said that during last elections, many have “actively engaged in the election process [by] praying, educating others, and poll-watching.” “Our involvement has led us to reflect on how we can be more effective in our participation in this political exercise,” he said. In the guidelines it issued for the electionconsciousness week, the group recommended to the member churches/organizations to pray for candidates and other election stakeholders to achieve an honest and credible election on Oct. 25. It also urged the pastors to discuss the biblical principles of elections and good governance with their congregation. Other guidelines include a candidates’ forum; education of voters; help clean the voters’ list; not to sell one’s vote; be a peacemaker; and guarding of the vote at election time. The week-long activity aims to “raise the consciousness of the Christian community on the Biblical basis [of their] participation; organize an avenue where [they] can get to know more about the candidates and their platform of governance; enhance the skills in educating others; collectively pray for Honest, Orderly, and Peaceful Election (HOPE); promote clean elections through pollwatching and refusing vote-buying; and use the wave of election as platform to share Jesus in our communities.” (CBCPNews)

YOUTH ministers nationwide are set to gather in a biennial conference organized by the Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY) of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). Themed “Youth Ministers: Disciples of the Lord, transforming the world”, the conference will be held on October 18-22, in Bukidnon, Malaybalay City.

Youth leaders to gather in national confab
The assembly intends to strengthen the coordination and collaboration among the youth ministries in the dioceses and youth organizations. Organizers said the gathering is also a venue for formation and fellowship as well as an occasion for affirmation of the identity and mission of the youth ministers, of the community of the youth minister, of the task of youth ministers in the bigger mission of the church. Among those who will be attending are the youth directors, coordinator and leaders from the dioceses and the FNYO memberorganizations. Discussions about evangelization; more intense discipleship and more committed involvement in social transformation will be tackled during the confab.

Prayers, reflections, workshops and other related activities will also part of the youth’s gathering. The event will be hosted by the Diocese of Malaybalay headed by Bishop Jose Cabantan. Meanwhile, Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon, Chairman of ECY, hopes the conference will become instrumental in deepening the faith of young people in their ongoing journey. (Kate Laceda)

LAUNCHED. The Pontificio Collegio Filippino has launched its 50th anniversary celebration with a solemn Mass on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, October 7, 2010. Fr. Gregory Ramon D. Gaston, Collegio Filippino’s new rector, presided over the Eucharistic celebration. The Collegio is directly under the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines and the Congregation for Catholic Education of the Vatican. It is a community of secular priests from the different Philippine dioceses, and from a few guest countries, who are taking up further studies in various ecclesiastical disciplines. Aside from Gaston, the team of Collegio Administrators include the Vice-Rector and Procurator, Msgr. Wilfredo E. Andrey of the Diocese of Gumaca; and the new Spiritual Director, Fr. Domingo M. Salonga of the Diocese of Malolos. Four Filipina Dominican Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary help in the day to day services of the Collegio.


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 21
October 11 - 24 2010

‘Catholic Press is different… Because it shares in the Mission of the Church’
(Address given by John Thavis, Rome bureau chief of Catholic News Service; at the World Press Congress that concluded October 7, 2010, organized this past week by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.)
painful. None of us in the Catholic press want to be seen as apologists for perpetrators or inept bishops. At the same time, there’s a sense that much of the mainstream reporting has not done justice to the complexities of this issue. I want to focus on two things today: first, how the Englishlanguage Catholic press has reported on the sex abuse scandal over the last 20 years; and second, some distinctive differences between the Catholic press and the secular press in covering this issue today. In a sense, for U.S. Catholic media this past year has been déjà vu. In 2002, the clerical sex abuse scandal broke into the public domain with a vengeance. Boston was the epicenter, but soon enough past cases of abuse were emerging in many dioceses (much like we’re seeing today in Europe.) But that’s not the full history. The revelations of 2002 seemed to replay similar revelations in the United States from the early 1990s. In fact, in 1993, the editors of CNS client publications chose clergy sex abuse as the top story of the year. 1993—a year when cases of clerical sex abuse were made public; when major lawsuits were threatening the financial wellbeing of local churches; and when many U.S. dioceses established policies to prevent this HOW Catholic communicators deal with controversy is not a theoretical exercise: the priestly sex abuse crisis is a kind of classic case of how Catholic media have had to respond to bad news inside the church. The events of recent months have been very painful for Catholics. The facts are painful. And the news coverage has been kind of abuse and deal with it. I think Catholic media have been on a learning curve since that time, nearly 20 years ago. We need to be honest here. For a long time, local diocesan media were reluctant to report on sex abuse cases, often because their bishop didn’t want it in the
Catholic Press / B5

Pastoral Concerns


‘New Technologies ... Can Make the True and the False Interchangeable’
(Address of the Holy Father to the Participants of the World Press Congress which ended Oct. 7, 2010; sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.)
Esteemed Cardinals, Venerated Brothers, Distinguished Gentlemen and Ladies, I RECEIVED you with joy at the end of the four days of intense work promoted by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and dedicated to the Catholic press. I cordially greet all of you—coming from 85 countries—who work in newspapers, weeklies or in other periodicals and Internet sites. I greet the president of the dicastery, Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, whom I thank for giving voice to the sentiments of all, as well as the secretaries, the undersecretary and all the officials and staff. I am happy to be able to address a word of encouragement to you to continue, with renewed motivations, your important and qualified work. The world of the media is going through a profound transformation also within itself. The development of the new technologies and, in particular, widespread multimedia, seems to call into question the role of the more traditional and consolidated media. Appropriately, your conference pauses to consider the specific role of the Catholic press. A careful reflection on this field, in fact, brings up two particular aspects: on one hand the specificity of the means—the press, that is, the written word and its timeliness and efficacy, in a society which has seen antennas, satellite dishes and satellites multiply, becoming almost the emblem of a new way of communicating in the era of globalization. And the other point, the connotation “Catholic,” with the responsibility that derives from it to be faithful in an explicit and substantial way, through the daily commitment to follow the masterful way of truth. The search for truth must be pursued by Catholic journalists with a passionate mind and heart, but also with the professionalism of competent staff who are equipped with adequate and effective means. This is even more important in the present historical moment, which asks of the figure itself of the journalist, as mediator of the flow of information, to undertake a profound change. Today, for example, the world of the image with the development of ever new technologies has ever greater weight in communication. But if on one hand this entails undoubtedly positive aspects, on the other hand, the image can also become independent of reality; it can give life to a virtual world, with several consequences, the first of which is the risk of indifference to truth. In fact, the new technologies, together with the progress they entail, can make the true and the false interchangeable; they can induce one to confuse the real with the virtual. Moreover, the recording of an event, joyful or sad, can be consumed as a spectacle and not as an occasion for reflection. The search for the paths of an authentic promotion of man then takes second place, because the event is presented primarily to arouse emotions. These aspects sound like an alarm bell: They invite consideration of the danger that the virtual draws away from reality and does not stimulate the search for the true, for the truth. In this context, the Catholic press is called, in a new way, to express to the heights its potential and to give a reason day in and day out for its mission that can never be given up. The Church has a facilitating element, since the Christian faith has in common with communication a fundamental structure: the fact that the means and the message coincide; indeed, the Son of God, the Incarnate Word, is at the same time message of salvation and means through which salvation is realized. And this is not a simple concept, but a reality accessible to all, also those who while living as protagonists in the complexity of the world, are capable of preserving the intellectual honesty proper to the “little ones” of the Gospel. Moreover the Church, Mystical Body of Christ, present at the same time everywhere, nourishes the capacity of more fraternal and more human relations, being a place of communion among believers and, at the same time, a sign and instrument of everyone’s vocation to communion. Her strength is Christ, and in his name she “pursues” man on the roads of the world to save him from the “mysterium iniquitatis,” insidiously operating in him. The Catholic press evokes more directly, as compared to other means of communication, the value of the written word. The Word of God has come to men and has been given to us also through a book, the Bible. The word continues to be the fundamental instrument and, in a certain sense, the constitutive instrument of communication: It is used today under various forms, and in the so-called civilization of the image it also keeps its entire value. From these brief considerations, it seems evident that the communicative challenge is, for the Church and for all those who share her mission, very involved. Christians cannot ignore the crisis of faith that has come to society, or simply trust that the patrimony of the values transmitted in the course of past centuries can continue inspiring and shaping the future of the human family. The idea of living “as if God didn’t exist” has shown itself to be deadly: The world needs, rather, to live “as if God existed,” even if it does not have the strength to believe; otherwise it will only produce an “inhuman humanism.” My very dear brothers and sisters, whoever works in the media, if he does not wish to be “a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal” (1 Corinthians 13:1)—as Saint Paul would say—must have well-rooted in himself the underlying option that enables him to deal with the things of the world placing God always at the top of the scale of values. The times we are living through—despite having a notable positive weight, because the threads of history are in God’s hands and his eternal design is ever more revealed—are also marked by many shadows. Your task, dear members of the Catholic press, is to help contemporary man to orient himself to Christ, only Savior, and to keep burning the flame of hope in the world, to live worthily our today and to build the future appropriately. Because of this I exhort you to constantly renew your personal choice for Christ, drinking from those spiritual resources that the worldly mentality underestimates, despite the fact they are valuable, more than that, indispensable. Dear friends, I encourage you to continue in your endeavor that is not easy, and I accompany you with my prayer, so that the Holy Spirit will always make it fruitful. My blessing, full of affection and gratitude, which I am pleased to impart, intends to embrace all of you here present and all those who work in the Catholic press worldwide.




CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 21
October 11 - 24, 2010

Collaboration of Non-Ordained Faithful in the Sacred Ministry of Priests (Part IV)
Breaking of the Host
(Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university, answers the following query:) Q: Why is it that within the institution narrative, before the words of consecration, the priest doesn’t break the bread while he is saying, “He broke the bread, gave it to his disciples ....” I mean, why does he still wait for the Agnus Dei to break the bread? I think this question rings out also in the head of some priests; that is why, in order to make sense, some would really break the bread during the institution narrative. Kindly help me out!—X.A., Quezon City, Philippines A: Before addressing the motive why the host should not be broken at this moment, I recall that this practice has been specifically addressed in the instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum, No. 55: “In some places there has existed an abuse by which the Priest breaks the host at the time of the consecration in the Holy Mass. This abuse is contrary to the tradition of the Church. It is reprobated and is to be corrected with haste.” There are several reasons why the Latin rite tradition does not ritually break the host at the above-mentioned moment, and we will try to illustrate some of them. The institution narrative describes four actions of Christ: taking the bread, giving thanks and praise, breaking the bread, giving it to the disciples. These four moments constitute what the erudite Anglican liturgist Gregory Dix called the “shape” of the Eucharistic liturgy. Indeed, the Latin Church has ritually structured the Liturgy of the Eucharist and of holy communion around these four moments. Taking the bread is expressed above all by the rite of presentation of the gifts. Giving thanks and praise is the essence of the Eucharistic Prayer. Breaking the bread is carried out in the fraction and giving it to his disciples is done at communion. The institution narrative is within the Eucharistic Prayer and thus falls within the context of giving thanks and praise to God the Father. The supreme act of thanks and praise is the paschal mystery of Christ, the Word made Flesh. In the institution narrative the Church relates to the Father the action of his Eternal Son and his command to continue this memorial action. This efficacious memorial is not limited to the transubstantiation of the sacred species but makes present the whole mystery of salvation in recalling Christ’s death, resurrection and ascension into heaven. No other act of thanks and praise to the Father can equal what occurs during the Eucharistic liturgy. Now, since the object of the Eucharistic Prayer is offering thanks and praise to the Father, dramatic gestures directed toward the faithful such as breaking the host or making a gesture of proffering while saying “Take this, all of you” are misplaced and actually detract from the essential meaning of the rite at this moment. It could be adduced that the above argument would also suggest that the Latin-rite practice of the priest’s taking the host and chalice in his hands and showing it to the faithful after the consecration is equally out of place. Theologically speaking, the gestures of handling and showing are not strictly necessary for the validity of the consecration, as is demonstrated from the practice of some Eastern Churches. It is also true that historically the rite of showing the host and chalice was introduced in response to a devotional desire to see the sacred species. Notwithstanding these origins however, the rite of showing the host and chalice enjoys the favor of almost 1,000 years of approval as part of the Church’s universal liturgy and, as a consequence, has guided and fostered faith in the Real Presence for centuries. It must therefore be considered as a legitimate organic development of the liturgy. I believe that the gesture of breaking the host before the consecration cannot be seen in the same light, and not only because it has been specifically reprobated. The Roman rite, in placing the fraction after the Eucharistic Prayer and accompanying it with the chant “Lamb of God,” underlines that we share Christ our Redeemer and not just ordinary bread. We participate in a sacrificial banquet. Our request for mercy and peace is strengthened by this faith. Breaking the host before the consecration, and thus before completing the thanks and praise, impinges upon this meaning. A final, albeit weaker, argument could be made from the point of view of ritual logic. If it were to be accepted that the words “He broke the bread” necessarily implies ritually executing the gesture, then it could equally be argued that the same should apply to the words “He gave it to his disciples.” We would logically have to distribute a host to everybody before pronouncing the words of consecration. I cannot imagine how to handle the giving of the chalice. This argument is, of course, absurd and only serves to point out that not all ritual words require an accompanying gesture, especially when the liturgy itself explicates their deepest meaning in a fuller way. regarded as sacraments, whose administration is proper and exclusive to the Bishop and to the priest.” 3) “In no instance may the nonordained perform anointings either with the Oil of the Sick or any other oil”─i.e., not even by way of a para-liturgical rite. 4) “The priest (is the) only valid minister” of the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick...No other person may act as ordinary or extraordinary minister of the sacrament, since such constitutes simulation of the sacrament” (§2). Finally, we might add that even if the Instruction does not specifically mention it, the administration of Holy Eucharist to the sick seems to be one where the extraordinary─nonordained─ministers of the Holy Eucharist can really play an important role, given the shortage of priests. Article 10: Assistance at Marriages The Instruction first states “the possibility of delegating the non-ordained faithful to assist at marriages” since, on the one hand this is strictly an ecclesiastical norm (for the canonical form of marriage); and on the other hand, because such delegation “may prove necessary in special circumstances where there is a grave shortage of sacred ministers” (§1). It then proceeds to remind the Bishops of the following norms: 1) Only “the diocesan Bishop may concede this delegation” (§1).
Collaboration / B7

By Fr. Jaime Blanco Achacoso, J.C.D.
In a recent Workshop of the Executive Committee of the Canon Law Society of the Philippines, a nagging question was again raised: What is the canonical status of Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC)? The matter was raised by the canon lawyers from Mindanao (priests and a bishop), because of the growing frictions between the ecclesiastical organization and the so-called basic ecclesial communities. In the past, this question had always been sidelined by the lack of any clear theological notion of such communities; hence—the argument went—it was futile to attempt a canonical analysis of the problem. This time, however, it was pointed out that even if it might be premature to attempt a definition of the canonical status of Basic Ecclesial Communities, some working guidelines might be in order, by way of delimiting the scope of pastoral action of such communities, in accordance with Church Law. In short, even if it might not be possible to categorically state what Canon Law states these communities are, it might be possible to draw from existing legislation what these communities are not. In more practical terms, perhaps we can glean from Canon Law what these communities may and may not do. In fact, this is the task that the Canon Law Society of the Philippines proposed to tackle in its National Convention in May 2011. As a starting point for the canonical investigation, the CLSP Execom identified a little-known document of the Holy See, which was issued in 1997. To arouse interest in this topic, we are revisiting that document in a 4-part series that started three issues ago of the CBCP Monitor, which we conclude with this present issue. Specific Practical Provisions Article 6: Liturgical Celebrations Two areas are covered in this article of the Instruction: 1) The Holy Mass in particular - “Abuses which are contrary to c.907 are to be eradicated” (§2) to wit: a) “Deacons and non-ordained members of the faithful may not pronounce prayers─e.g., especially the Eucharistic Prayer with its concluding doxology─or any other parts of the liturgy reserved to the celebrant priest”. This abuse is not uncommon in the Philippines. To be sure many times it could be by the initiative of the faithful, but even so it should be the duty of the pastor to explain these matters to them, even by way of a general advertence even within the Mass itself, in the moments permitted to him by the rubrics (e.g. before the final blessing). b) “Neither may deacons or non-ordained members of the faithful use gestures or actions that are proper to the same priest celebrant.” This is another area where abuses have proliferated in Philippine churches, many times at the instigation of the priests themselves. The rubrics of the Roman Missal and the provisions

of the General Instructions for the Roman Missal (IGMR) are quite explicit and specific as regards the gestures and postures of the celebrant and the congregation during the Holy Mass, precisely because the liturgy is the public worship of the Church−i.e., its regulation cannot be left to private and individual initiative. Thus, the Code clearly stipulates: “The liturgical books approved by the competent authority are to be faithfully observed in the celebration of the sacraments; therefore no one on personal authority may add, remove or change anything in them” (c.846, §1; emphasis added). Examples of such abuses are: the faithful extending and/or lifting their arms and/or holding hands with each other during the Our Father; the celebrant inserting words of his own composition--ad lib--into the text of the Missal, especially inbetween major prayers or when he addresses the faithful, and even before the Consecration; the non-fulfillment of the stipulated postures and procedures when Holy Communion is received by the hand. 2) Use of Sacred Vestments in General - Two possible abuses are addressed: (§2) a) “The sacred ministers are obliged to wear all of the prescribed liturgical vestments”. Again, the practice in many parishes─especially during concelebrations─of concelebrants just using a stole (without chasuble alb or sometimes even just over street clothes) during the Holy Sacrifice is a flagrant violation of this norm. b) “The use of sacred vestments which are reserved to priests or deacons (stoles, chasubles or dalmatics) at liturgical ceremonies by non-ordained members of the faithful is clearly unlawful”. Article 7: Sunday Celebrations without a Priest The Instruction starts by stating that “much good derives for the local community from this useful and delicate service” in those cases when “in the absence of priests or deacons, nonordained members of the faithful lead Sunday celebrations” (§1). However, it clarifies that this is only so when such is carried out “in accordance with the spirit and the specific norms issued by the competent ecclesiastical authority”─specifically: 1) “A special mandate of the Bishop is necessary for the nonordained members of the faithful to lead such celebrations. This mandate should contain specific instructions with regard to the term of applicability, the place and conditions in which it is operative, as well as indicate the priest responsible for overseeing these celebrations” (§1). 2) “The practice of inserting into such celebrations elements proper to the Holy Mass─e.g., the use of the Eucharistic Prayers, even in narrative form─is prohibited” (§2). 3) “It should be emphasized

(to) those participating, that such celebrations cannot substitute for the Eucharistic Sacrifice, and that the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday and holy days of obligation is satisfied only by attendance at Holy Mass” (§2). Article 8: The Extraordinary Ministry of Holy Communion It is in this article perhaps where the most obvious abuses can be observed. Thus, the Instruction starts by categorically stating that “the canonical discipline concerning extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion must be correctly applied so as to avoid generating confusion”. It proceeds to concretize this criterion: Main Principle: “A nonordained member of the faithful, in cases of true necessity, may be deputed by the diocesan Bishop (...) to act as an extraordinary minister to distribute Holy Communion outside of liturgical celebrations ad casum vel ad tempus or for a more stable period” (§1). Thus, the so-called extraordinary ministers (or lay ministers of Holy Communion as they are commonly called) are so deputed, in principle, only for distributing Holy Communion outside liturgical celebrations (i.e., outside the Mass or Holy Week services). 1st Exception: “In exceptional cases or in unforeseen circumstances, the priest presiding at the liturgy─supposedly this includes the Mass─may authorize such ad casum” (§1). Again we have to note that this should be in exceptional or unforeseen circumstance. Obviously, if such were to happen Sunday after Sunday, it wouldn’t be exceptional or unforeseen anymore; thus, to make use of this prerogative regularly would be an abuse. 2nd Exception: “Extraordinary ministers─i.e., those deputed as such by the diocesan Bishop─may distribute Holy Communion at Eucharistic celebrations (e.g., Holy Mass) only” in any of the following situations: (§2) 1) when there are no ordained ministers present; 2) when those ordained ministers present at a liturgical celebration are truly unable to distribute Holy Communion; 3) when there are particularly large numbers of the faithful such that the liturgical celebration would be excessively prolonged because of an insufficient number of ordained ministers to distribute Holy Communion. It is important to note that the Instruction categorically states that this exceptional function “is supplementary and extraordinary, and must be exercised in accordance with the norm of law” (§2). This norm of Law is precisely concretized by the three situation outlined above by the Instruction. In the case of a Mass, the first situation cannot arise (since the celebrant is precisely an ordained minister); the second situation hardly arises, since the celebrant normally should be able to

distribute Holy Communion himself. Thus, normally, only the third situation would be the probable cause for exercising this prerogative, and even then, the Instruction itself considers as an abuse “the habitual use of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion at Mass, thus arbitrarily extending the concept of a great number of faithful” (§2 in fine). This is perhaps one of the more glaring inconsistencies between the norm and the present praxis in the many parishes, where lay ministers distribute Holy Communion on a regular basis, Sunday after Sunday, and even daily. This obviously needs to be addressed by the Bishops, according to the tenor of the present Instruction. Other possible abuses: Aside from the previously mentioned phenomenon of the regular use of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, the Instruction points out “certain practices to be avoided and eliminated where such have emerged in particular Churches”: 1) “Extraordinary ministers receiving Holy Communion apart from the other faithful as though concelebrants”─e.g., in the sanctuary. 2) “Association (by the extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion) with the renewal of promises made by priests at the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday, as well as with other categories of faithful who renew religious vows or receive a mandate as extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion.” In both cases, what is obviously at stake is the danger of eroding in the mind of the faithful the conviction of the essential difference between the common and the ordained priesthood, and the danger of clericalizing the laity and thereby disempowering them from fulfilling what they really─vocationally─ought to do: to proclaim Christ in the midst of temporal (secular) realities. Article 9: The Apostolate of the Sick The Instruction begins by affirming that “in this area, the non-ordained faithful can often provide valuable collaboration” and that “these constitute a Christian presence of the greatest importance to the sick and the suffering” (§1). In fact, this seems to be one area where the laity can really collaborate with the pastoral work of the priests, given the shortage of sacred ministers and the non-sacramental nature (at least for the most part) of this ministry. Thus the Instruction reminds the Pastors of the following (§1): 1) “The non-ordained faithful particularly assist the sick by being with them in difficult moments, encouraging them to receive─and by helping them to have the dispositions to worthily receive such─the sacraments of Penance and the Anointing of the Sick.” 2) “In using sacramentals, the non-ordained faithful should ensure that these are in no way

© Noli Yamsuan / RCAM

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 21
October 11 - 24, 2010




By Conrado Ll. Lorenzo, Jr., M.D.

Why is House Bill No. 96 Pro-abortion?
endometrium hostile to the fertilized egg. So when the fertilized egg attempts to implant itself in the endometrium, it is rejected and dies. Many authors call this mechanism medical abortion in contrast to surgical abortion. The latter is carried out by scrapping or pulling out a perfectly healthy foetus from the uterus. This same Sec. 3 (e) by virtue of the phrase, “shall promote, without bias, all modern natural and artificial methods of family planning that are medically safe, legal and effective”, promotes the use of the different kinds of “the morning after pills”, such as RU-486, which is marketed in the United States as MIFIPREX and others such as PLAN B and OPTINOR. How does MIFIPREX work? Mifiprex uses a combination of two medications, namely: mifepristone and misoprostol. The first medication, mifepristrone is usually given in the clinic. It blocks progesterone, a hormone which is needed to maintain the pregnancy, causing the endometrium to slough off. Bleeding occurs and the cervix softens. Then, 24 to 72 hours after the first medication, the second medication, misoprostol is given which causes the uterus to contract. The pregnancy is usually expelled within 6 to 8 hours. When these two drugs are used in combination, they are 95-97% effective. In the same bill, Sec. 9, Family Planning Supplies as Essential Medicines, states: “Hormonal contraceptives, intrauterine devices, injectables and other safe and effective family planning products and supplies shall be part of the National Formulary and the same shall be included in the regular purchase of essential medicines and supplies of all national and local hospitals and other government health units.” This section mandates the State to buy intrauterine devices (IUDs) and the morning after pills (both of which are abortifacients) and supply all government hospitals and health units in the entire country. Consequently, the State not only promotes and mandates the use of abortifacients like the IUD and the morning after pills, it also penalizes health providers (doctors and nurses) who refuse to insert IUDs or dispense the morning after pills with imprisonment of one month to six months and/or a fine of P10,000 to P50,000 pesos. Sec. 23, on Penalties reads: “Any commission of the prohibited acts or violations of this Act shall be penalized by imprisonment ranging from one (1) month to six (6)months or a fine of Ten Thousand (P10,000) to Fifty Thousand pesos (P50,000) or both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the competent court; ....” One of several prohibited acts stated in Sec 22. a) 2 reads: “Refuse to perform legal and medically-safe reproductive health procedures on any person of legal age .....” This means that a Catholic doctor or midwife, who refuses to insert an IUD or dispense any of the morningafter pills because they go against his/ her religion, can go to jail and/or be fined. Clearly, HB 96 not only subverts the moral fibre of Filipinos by promoting medical abortion it also goes against the Constitution of the Philippines. The present Constitution of the Philippines enacted in 1987, pronounces as among the policies of the State that “[The State] shall e q u a l l y protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception.” (Sec 12, Art. II) And as everybody knows abortion is criminalized by the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines, which was enacted in 1930 and remains in effect today. Articles 256, 258 and 259 of the Code mandate the imprisonment for the woman who undergoes the abortion, as well as for any person who assists in the procedure even if they be the woman’s parents, a physician or midwife. It is therefore indisputably safe to conclude, even from the medical point of view, that HB 96 IN ITS PRESENT FORM is not only PROABORTION AND IMMORAL, it is also UNCONSTITUTIONAL. (Conrado Ll. Lorenzo, Jr., M.D., is of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department of Makati Medical Center)

HOUSE No. 96 was introduced by Rep Edcel Lagman, at the First Regular Session of the Fifteenth Congress, July 1, 2010. It is a revised version of the earlier House Bill No. 5043, which was also authored by Rep. Edcel Lagman. It is pro-abortion, pure and simple. Sec. 3 (e) of this bill states: “The State shall promote, without bias, all modern natural and artificial methods of family planning that are medically safe, legal and effective.” In effect, this provision mandates the State to promote the Intra-uterine device (IUD) which causes “medical abortion”. But how does the IUD work? The IUD is a plastic device (usually a coil) that is inserted into the uterine cavity and left there for as long as the woman wants to contracept. It may be replaced after a few years. The IUD does NOT prevent ovulation nor does it prevent the sperm from fertilizing the ovum (egg). Being a foreign body, it triggers a “foreign body reaction” in the inner lining (endometrium) of the uterus. The foreign body reaction renders the

Contraceptives are harmful to women’s health
By Dr. Bernardo M. Villegas
THOSE who are advocating the passing of the Reproductive Health Bill in the Philippine Congress are guilty of gross misrepresentation. They maintain that the bill is intended to promote the health of women. That claim could not be farther from the truth. There are abundant scientific and medical evidences that the socalled “modern methods” of family planning, such as birth control pills, intrauterine device (IUD), barrier methods (condoms/diaphragms) and ligation can have harmful effects to millions of women all over the world. In a most enlightening paper by Dr. Angelita Miguel-Aguirre, M.D., Fellow and Diplomate of the Philippine College of Physicians and Chairperson of the Committee on Ethics of the Makati Medical Society, the ill effects of contraceptives on women’s health are very well documented. Unfortunately, these harmful consequences of contraceptives are hidden by the promoters of birth control, especially from unsuspecting poor women who have no access to the information that experts like Dr. Miguel-Aguirre provide to the public. Even worse, there are advertising and marketing campaigns funded by the anti-life people (such as those appearing in some local T.V. channels) that present contraceptives as “essential medicines,” peddling outright lies that pills and contraceptives can cure cervical cancer and other female diseases. What does an expert like Dr. Miguel-Aguirre say about birth control pills? According to her, on top of numerous studies showing the carcinogenic properties of birth control pills since the development of the synthetic estrogens in 1938 by Sir Edward Charles Dodds, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) announced last July 29, 2005 that “after a thorough review of the published scientific literature, it has concluded that combined estrogen-progestogen oral contraceptives (and combined estrogen-progestogen menopausal therapy) are carcinogenic to humans (Group 1 category, which is used prospective users have to sign a seven-page document before the device is inserted in the U.S. Because an abortion actually takes place here, there is also the psychological trauma that can cause long-term depression symptoms among women who have undergone abortion. The barrier methods−condoms and diaphragms−have the highest rate of failures among birth control methods, varying from 4 to 30 percent, depending on the age group surveyed. These are the causes of most of the so-called unwanted pregnancies which generally end up with abortion. These devices also contribute to increased incidence of sexually transmitted disease/ infection (STD/STI). The widespread use of condoms in Thailand ironically has led to an explosion in the number of women infected with HIV. Because condoms encourage promiscuity, they also indirectly contribute to the spread of the Human Papiloma virus (HPV), which is the major cause of cervical cancer. Barrier methods are ineffective since shedding occurs from widespread areas of the perineum. HPV causes warts anywhere on the skin and mucous membranes. The adverse effect of tubal ligation are also well known. They are hemorrhage and bleeding; increased risk of heavy menses in the long term; increased future gynecological rate of surgery, including hysterectomy; adverse anesthesia effects; and posttubal ligation syndrome. There are so many health risks that accompany the use of artificial contraceptives or abortifacient devices that they far outweigh the dangers of pregnancy and childbirth to a woman’s health. It would be wiser for the Government to invest instead in basic obstetric care and emergency obstetric care equipment and services and provide skilled medical staff to the childbirth centers. The bill, if it is at all to be considered for final legislation, should focus on how to make available to all poor women the basic obstetric care and emergency obstetric care that can significantly cut down the number of women dying in childbirth. The focus should be on maternal health, not on preventing maternity. For comments, my email address is bvillegas@uap.edu.ph.

when there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in humans). Prior to this announcement, a respected journalist from Columbia University, Barbara Seaman, after years of research, published several books exposing estrogen’s detrimental effect on the health of women. Notable among these books are the “The Doctor’s Case Against the Pill,” and “The Greatest Experiment Ever Performed on Women. Exploding the Estrogen Myth.” Barbara Seaman is a co-founder of the National Women’s Health Network, a women’s advocacy group in Washington D.C. that refused money from the drug industry as part of its charter. There are numerous adverse effects of the pill on women that have been equally well documented. They are breast cancer, cervical cancer, liver cancer, premature hypertension and coronary artery disease leading to heart attacks and strokes, thromboembolism/pulmonary embolism. Other negative side effects are decreased libido, infertility, leg cramps, gallstone formation, nausea, and bloatedness. Although some women

may notice improvement in their complexion, others may develop acne by using the pill. It is claimed to reduce the risk for ovarian cancer. But evidently this is outweighed by its numerous risks for more common forms of cancer. Unfortunately, the side effects most frequently communicated to potential users, in order to qualify for “informed choice,” are simple headaches, increased weight or increased appetite or other minor ailments. The top three causes of mortality in the Philippines are 1) diseases of the heart; 2) diseases of the vascular system; and 3) malignant neoplasm. With the aggressive promotion of the contraceptive pill, many of the casualties of these diseases will be women who will be suffering from the adverse effects of synthetic estrogen as is already happening in developed countries. It must be pointed out that next to lung cancer, breast cancer is the most common cause of malignancy in our country and only 5 to 10% of those women with breast cancer have a genetic predisposition. There are studies in Indonesia (Bustan

Contraception 1993) which show that the risk of breast cancer among Indonesian women is 210% for those who started taking the pill at age 22 and below; 70% risk for women age 22 to 26 and 60% risk for women age 27 and up. Another contraceptive being promoted by the population control advocates is the intrauterine device or the IUD. The IUD is not a contraceptive. As categorically stated by Dr. Jerome Lejeune, the late expert on Fundamental Genetics of the University of Paris, “the IUD acts primarily by preventing the embryo from implanting−not by preventing conception. It is, therefore, an abortifacient, not a contraceptive.” A textbook titled “The Reproductive System, Principle of Anatomy and Physiology,” by Tortora and Grabowski provides a succinct description of the IUD: “IUDs cause changes in the uterine lining that prevent implantation of the fertilized ovum.” The effect is known to both the promoters and manufacturers of IUDs. Because of the high incidence of litigations resulting from the adverse effects suffered by women in the U.S.,


By Fr. Mario Antonio Villegas Baclig, SDB
DESPITE my long experience with the Youth Encounter (Virac model), having accompanied more than a thousand batches in a variety of Philippine situations and conducted numerous seminar-workshops for facilitators, I had every reason to be a bit nervous. This Youth Encounter, dated September 24-26, 2010, was different! To get to the venue meant hopping into the “Stoos Express,” a cable train pulled by giant steel cables to a mountain village 1300 meters above sea level. In fact, some participants missed the last trip of this cable train and settled for a more daring climb in the cable car. They arrived a few minutes before midnight! All around the rented house were snow-capped mountain peaks, birch trees awaiting the go-signal for autumn, and world-famous Swiss cows grazing quietly except for the occasional sound of their large cowbells. No wonder that the youth feasted on pizza and pasta, milk and cheese, and the drink from milk whey, Rivella! Fortunately, heaters kept the place warm and welcoming despite the cold outside. I put aside my warmers and began walking around in slippers. Lester, a young Filipino, prepared a poster in the dining room, with “Willkommen” in big letters, and “Kain na kayo” in smaller ones. This Youth Encounter was

The Virac Magic in Switzerland


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 21
October 11 - 24, 2010

meant for the youth of Filipino families based in Switzerland. It was part of the 4-year pastoral plan of the Philippine Swiss Catholic Mission, headed by Fr. Johan Dumandan. Eleven young people signed up and came, plus the young couple Jojo and Susan from Basel—all in all, 13 participants. It was already past midnight when I began distributing the handouts for Session no. 1,

“Welcome,” and played the timeless tune “Welcome to the family.” Within minutes, I realized that the Youth Encounter magic was just as powerful and alive, as in all other batches. This Youth Encounter, indeed so far away from Virac (Philippines), was not at all different! I could feel the presence of Msgr. Ping Molina, founder of the Youth Encounter, his guiding hand reaching

down from heaven. I quickly regained my confidence in the Youth Encounter—the official formation program for Filipino youth, approved and endorsed by our bishops in 1986. After all, in front of me were Filipino youth. I could hear them making remarks and sharing stories in Pilipino, inserting German and English words as they went on. I could sense their interest in the stories I shared,

many of them culled from my many contacts with Filipino youth. During meals, I could see them filling their plates with rice and adobo, and sipping their glasses of soda. During the sessions, I was able to share their dreams and aspirations, their problems and concerns at home and in school, their desire to relate with God in a deeper way, and their longing for genuine friendship.

Many spoke German and English. A few were just beginning to learn German. But the language of the Youth Encounter toppled down communication barriers. Working alone, in small groups, and in assembly, they breezed through the input sessions and reflection moments. By Sunday, the last day, they were ready to draw up their vision as young agents of transformation in their families and communities. I helped them imagine World Youth Day in Manila, 15 years earlier, with stories of the Youth Jubilee Cross moving through all the dioceses of the Philippines and of John Paul II, the great Pope of the youth. I kept repeating: “You are the future of your families, of your communities, and of Switzerland!” I challenged them to continue their journey and prepare for the WYD 2011 in Madrid. The final Eucharist was a touching moment of bonding— with God and with one another. “Walang iwanan!” was my refrain. “Remember the Encounter dream!” After our Mass, we braved the cold and posed for a final photograph. As we walked down to the cable train station, the clouds began covering the mountain peaks. Deep in my heart, I whispered my final prayer to God, that he keep the Youth Encounter flame alive and burning in the hearts of those young Filipinos. May the Virac magic continue to inspire and renew many more young Filipinos!

ECM Fun Run: Missionary Spirit on Display
By Nirva Delacruz
ONE hundred seventy-three runners put the vibrancy and excitement of missionary life on display during the Run for Life, Run for the World Fun Run. Seminarians, students, missionaries and religious coming from 10 missionary communities and organizations ran around the Quezon city circle last September 26 to promote the lay missions as a vocation in celebration of the Feast Day of San Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Filipino saint and a model lay missionary. Organized by the Episcopal Commission on Mission (ECM), the run brought together people from all over with a passion for bringing the Good News. Interestingly, several placers for both the 4 and 6-km divisions for both men and women, were not even Filipinos. The run specifically aimed to promote and raise awareness regarding the Catholic lay missionary communities and congregations in the Philippines, their work and service. Truly global winners The fact that several of the placers came from different countries seems to show the truly global reach of the Filipino missionary spirit. Tang JinKun
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from China bested other runners with his record time of 17 minutes, 28 seconds for the 4-km, men’s division; Gerry Monera bags 2nd place with 20 minutes, 12 seconds; Fr. Polash of Bangladesh comes in at 3rd place with 22 minutes, 43 seconds. For the 4-km, women’s division, Qin Li snatched the top spot at 21 minutes, 48 seconds; Elizabeth crossed the finish line in 22 minutes, 8 seconds; lastly, Aye Aye Kyu of Myanmar places 3rd with 23 minutes, 2 seconds. For the 6-km, men’s division, Ephraim Vasquez left the rest in the dust with a personal time of 20 minutes, 8 seconds; Kimbert Sarmiento was 2nd place with 22 minutes, 35 seconds; Yang Zuxin, the third fastest with 25 minutes, 28 seconds. Grabbing 1st place with the biggest margin is Princess Guanze for the 6-km, women’s division with 39 minutes, 8 seconds. The next fastest runner at 2nd place, following her only after a little less than 10 minutes, is Julie Ann Regeneia with 49 minutes, 35 seconds. Lastly, Arlene Prado is in 3rd place with 50 minutes, 35 seconds. Collaborative effort of missionary groups Fondacio, Catholic Lay Missionaries, Couples for Christ, Institute of Consecrated Life in Asia (ICLA) and the

Vincentian Brothers were just some of the communities that participated in the run, making the Quezon city Circle such a colorful and spirited sight so early in the morning. The Missionary Servants of the Blessed Sacrament community had the biggest group with 35 runners. Fr. Soc Mesiona, the executive secretary of the Episcopal Commission on Mission and the National Director of the Pontifical Missions Society, evaluated the run, “Masaya ako kasi ‘di ko ineexpect na gano’n ‘yung turn out ng participants. Kasi this is the first time, wala tayong basis kung pa’no i-organize. It was very, very successful. [I’m happy because I didn’t expect that we would have such a turn-out of participants. Since this was the first time, we didn’t have any basis on how to organize it.]” The run is the first collaborative effort of some eight Philippine Catholic lay missionary groups. Bishop Edwin Dela Peña of the ECM, who was also present at the run, expressed such enthusiasm for the event that he even talked about having Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao legs for the Missionary Fun Run in the future. The run ended with the placers receiving medals and cash prizes; every runner got a complimentary shirt that had the word ‘MISSIONARY’ printed on the back. The run may have ended, but everyone’s mission continues.

ECM Fêtes Lay Missionaries
By Nirva Delacruz
POPE John Paul II spoke about a “Springtime of the Church”, emphasizing the significant contributions of lay missionaries to the propagation of the faith. It is in acknowledgment of this that the Episcopal Commission on Mission under the CBCP held the Consumed by Love: a Missionaries’ Ball last September 28 at the Greenmeadows Clubhouse in Libis, Quezon City. More than 200 missionaries, friends and collaborators dressed up for a night of good music, sharing and of course, dancing, dancing and more dancing! Missionary essence is love The gathering was also a chance for the missionaries to revisit the essence of their vocation—love. Fr. James Kroeger, MM, one of the top missiologists in the country, gave a 20-minute refresher on missionary leadership. He quoted Mother Theresa by saying that missionaries are just people who do not necessarily love in extraordinary ways; they are just people who love without getting tired. Fr. Kroeger, who also teaches at the Ateneo, talked about how missionaries should have a capacity for solitude and should know their boundaries when serving people. He stressed that ultimately, evangelizing is about befriending people. Stellar performances The ball was a much-needed and long overdue effort to gather all the Catholic lay missionary groups for some honest to goodness fellowship. Despite coming from various groups, missionaries and supporters had a lot of shared fun that night with stellar performances from artists like Top Susara, Mayumi and Makisig Morales. The charming brother and sister tag team of Mayumi and Makisig wowed the missionaries, particularly when they sang a moving rendition of “You Raise Me Up.” Top Susara, who used to be the vocalist for R&B band Freestyle, made the ladies swoon in their seats with popular ballads. Popular singing groups Hangad and Bukas Palad, who have rarely performed in public together also sang that night, saying that “it was a true privilege to perform for you, missionaries.” The inspiring Minnie Juan shared about how she overcame her blindness through faith and trust in God. The 26-year old Minnie also entertained everyone with a song that best describes her life, “Go the Distance”. One of the highlights of the evening had to be when the missionaries started doing a train dance on the dance floor as the 29 A.D. Musicionaries sang an 80’s medley of hits like Buttercup, Mama Mia and Achy Breaky Heart. Nearly everyone was dancing; no one really wanted to go home. The audience was also particularly blown away by the group’s version of Don’t Stop Believing á la Glee. Honoring those behind the scenes The night was also an opportunity to recognize and honor the eight lay missionary groups that helped organize the ball. Fr. Soc Mesiona, MSP, executive secretary of the ECM and National Director of the Pontifical Missions Society; Clarke Nebrao, event head for the ball; and Fr. Kroeger presented certificates of appreciation to several groups for their mission readiness and willingness to get involved in an entirely new endeavor. Fondacio Philippines, Inc, Philippine Catholic Lay Missionaries, Columban Lay Missionaries, FMAA, Couples for Christ, Vincentian Missionaries, Theresian Association and the FMMA were recognized that night. In an interview, Clarke Nebrao of Couples for Christ who also happens to be the event head for the ball talked about the challenges of organizing such an event, “It’s challenging to put everyone together, from different communities, from different backgrounds in their service in the Catholic Church. But I guess the major success of this event is just putting them together and allowing them to see a bigger picture of how we can promote the missions, especially, the lay missions. Surely, it will be a yearly thing for us to promote the Catholic lay missions and at the same time, to promote the vocations for the lay missions.” The night wound down with the 29 A.D. Musicionaries singing “Still”, reminding everyone that the reason for our being missionary is simply God’s love. The missionaries’ ball was the first of its kind; it will definitely not be the last.

Biblia sa Bawat Bahay
DURING the May They Be One (MTBO) Bible Campaign 2nd Anniversary Celebration at the Manila Cathedral on September 30, 2010, the Philippine Bible Society (PBS) staff offered up their coin banks to provide MTBO Bibles for poor parish communities. The coin banks were part of Biblia sa Bawat Bahay (BBB), a project launched in December 2009, to mobilize the PBS Community to give their share to the Bible Campaign. PBS staff gaily decorated their coin banks into which they dropped loose change to save up for the MTBO Bible campaign. On top of the coin savings, the staff also pledged amounts from their own salaries as their main contribution. To date, giving has exceeded BBB’s target amount of P100,000 and has reached P113,899.20. Of this amount, PhP 23,399.20 came from the coin bank collections. PhP 20,000 more is expected to be collected from total pledges until December 2010. Selected as first beneficiaries of BBB were the families of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Marikina, led by parish priest Fr. Emanuele Borelli. It would be recalled that the parishioners lost most of their Bibles in floods brought by Ondoy last year. An initial MTBO Bible distribution in November 2009 significantly boosted the parish’s effort to recover their lost Bibles. BBB subsidized 50 additional MTBO Bibles for the parish’s 2nd Bible distribution held in Sept 29, 2010, bringing much joy and encouragement to members hungry for God’s Word.
No. of Dioceses participating in the Bible Campaign – 76 out of 86 Dioceses; Bibles Distributed (Jan 2010 – Sept 20, 2010): 140,466 cps; Bibles Distributed by Languages - Tagalog (35,785 cps.), Cebuano (42,212 cps.) English (25,896 cps.); Ilocano (14,147cps.), Hiligaynon (11,416 cps.), Bicol (6,151cps), Pangasinense (3,858 cps.), Pampango (1,001 cps.); Parishes/Communities served: 472; Total Bible Distribution: (Jan 2009 - Sept 20, 2010): 244,726 cps; Target No. of Bibles for Distribution for 2010: 200,000 cps; Total Funds Needed for Printing and Transport of Bibles in 2010: P30M To learn more about how you can be part of the Campaign and make significant change, call us at PBS 526-7777, ECBA 527-9386 or visit www.bible.org. ph and www.ecba-cbcp.com. Donations can be made by making a deposit to the following bank accounts: PBS-MTBO Account#393-0649-34 (BPI Sta. Mesa Branch) Fax deposit slip to 521-5803 or ECBA-CBCP Account #0251021376 (BPI-Tayuman Branch) Fax deposit slip to 527-9386. For credit card payments – go to PBS website (www.bible.org.ph)

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CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 21
October 11 - 24, 2010


PHiliPPiNE-MiSEREoR PaRTNERSHiP iNC. 19th National Coordinating Committee (NCC) Meeting September 27-30, 2010

Let the stones shout!

Ban aerial Spraying now!
IN the letter of Pope Benedict XVI titled “If you want to cultivate peace, protect creation” for the World Day of Prayer for Peace on January 1, 2010, he clearly pointed out: “Environmental degradation is often due to the lack of farsighted official policies or to the pursuit of myopic economic interests, which become a serious threat to creation…. Every economic decision has a moral consequence!” We, the Philippine Misereor Partnership Inc. (PMPI), a partnership of more than 200 faith-based non-governmental organizations (NGOs), peoples’ organizations (POs) and development associations, see this statement applicable to the practice of aerial spraying over banana plantations in Mindanao. Aerial spraying is an agricultural practice of spraying fungicides over plantations using airplanes. For the sake of short-sighted economic gains the environment is being put in danger, including the health, livelihood and welfare of many poor people living around the plantations. We call on the government to ban aerial spraying. Many local and international studies have shown that the present practice of aerial spraying in the banana plantations has illeffects to the life and health of people, their livelihood and to the environment. The Holy Father reminds us: “The primary capital to be safeguarded and valued is the human person in his or her integrity. The human being is the source, the focus and the aim of all economic and social life.” (Caritas in Veritate 25) Even if it is claimed by the companies affected that the studies are not conclusive, the precautionary principle states that if there is doubt, the safety of the people and the environment should be given prior protection. Let a ban of aerial spraying be put in place, while studies are being confirmed, if this is what the companies are demanding. The previous administration has not addressed this issue in spite of the stand of the Department of Health (DOH) against this practice and the recommendations of the Commission of Human Rights (CHR) to immediate effect a ban while studies are being conducted and validated. We call on President Benigno Aquino, who claims to walk the right path, and the Supreme Court to act decisively against this practice for the sake of the poor and the environment. Ban aerial spraying now!

Pastoral Letter of His Grace, the Most Reverend Leonardo Z. Legaspi, O.P., D.D., On the Right of the Church to Proclaim the Truth and her Duty to lead the Faithful to True Freedom in and for the Truth
introduction The tercentenary of the gift of devotion to Ina, Our Lady of Peñafrancia, has brought us together to celebrate as a community and as a Church. The celebration has offered us great joy to remember with gratitude the many blessings that God has bestowed upon us through Ina; and has given us hope to share this gift of devotion with loving concern to those in need especially the poor. Recently, however, when the issue on Reproductive health bill sprung up, it scattered along with it the seeds of division, cynicism and animosity among us. Malicious and tasteless name-calling and criticism hounded the Church’s stand on responsible parenthood. The prophetic role of priests and bishops were challenged on the basis of their “inexperience” on matters like family planning. Some politicians even argue that the Church does not have the right to intervene in political affairs since this is not her field of competence. Likewise, they say that the right of the Church should only concern the saving of souls rather than meddling in the affairs of the state. If the Church truly has the concern for the poor, why does she oppose the seemingly noble and well-meaning RH bill, which according its proponents, is a potent solution to poverty? My brothers and sisters, are all these: division, animosity, wavering faith, vague understanding of the mission of the Church, the fruits of the three hundred years of the gift of devotion to our Ina, here in Caceres? Objective of the Pastoral letter It is obvious that the issue at hand is complicated. A thorough discussion of the specific issues cannot be carried out by a homily. It requires a series of “feeding the lamb.” I intend to develop the different themes but for this Sunday, I wish to clarify the following: 1. The Right of the Church, through her ministers: the Bishops together with the priests, to proclaim the Gospel of Life and Truth and thus permeate the socio-political arena with the Gospel values.
Catholic Press / B1

2. The Duty of the Church to lead the faithful to true freedom in and for the truth that leads to integral salvation. 3. Reproductive Health as a Constitutional and Moral Issue The Right of the Church to Proclaim the Truth Why does the Church have the right to speak about social, economic or political issues? First of all, the Church is a mother and teacher. As a mother, she has the heart of Christ, who calls her to preach with fidelity the Gospel of Life and Truth![1] As the Church proclaims this Gospel, which she has lovingly received from Christ, to the people, who are constantly barraged by social, economic and political problems,[2] her preaching serves as: 1) a light that illumines, 2) a spiritual force that needs to critique the social and political affairs, [3] 3) the leaven that renews and empowers[4] the society and 4) the good news to the people of every age and culture. [5] Since the Church has been entrusted by the Lord with the mission to proclaim the Truth and abide by the Truth, she speaks and must always speak about it with clarity, firmness and consistency, whereby she can never agree to call good evil and evil good.[6] The Duty of the Church to lead the Faithful towards True Freedom Every right has a corresponding duty or responsibility. What then is the sacred duty of the Church, which impels her to address the problems of our society? The Church as a herald of the Gospel of Truth aims to bring the Filipino Catholics to their true destiny. [7] And what do we desire as a nation? The Preamble of our Constitution expresses this national aspiration: “We, the sovereign Filipino people, imploring the aid of Almighty God, in order to build a just and humane society and establish a Government that shall embody our ideals and aspirations, promote the common good, conserve and develop our patrimony, and secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of independence and democracy under the rule of law and a regime of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality, and peace, do ordain and

promulgate this Constitution.” This reinforces even more the duty of the Church to remind the government of her constitutional mandate to protect this aspiration. And what does the Church desire for us? The Church desires that all of us may have life, that we would be able to establish a free nation: where human dignity and solidarity are respected and promoted; where moral principles prevail in socio-economic life and structures; where justice, love and solidarity are the inner driving forces of development.”[8] Is this not the same aspiration written in our Constitution? The Church envisions that we don’t just have life but eternal life.[9] This desire of the Church regarding life urges her to remind the faithful through her teachings that real concern for our fellowmen, most especially for the poor, begins with the respect for human life,[10] respect for human dignity and freedom.[11] The journey to eternal life begins with the encounter with Christ. The Church helps the person encounter Christ who will accompany him in this journey of life.[12] As the “pillar and bulwark of truth”[13] the Church helps us to walk in truth and freedom by forming our conscience through the moral principles that she proclaims.[14] In the midst of growing voices that call for absolute freedom or right of choice, let us not harden our hearts so as to also hear the voice of truth coming from the Church: “The freedom of man is the acceptance of Truth which leads the human person to his true good: to live in Truth and to live for Truth.”[15] This duty of the Church to lead the people to genuine freedom in and for the truth is her faithful obedience to the Word of God, “which must be free of intellectual conformism or facile accommodation to the spirit of the age.”[16] The Reproductive Health Bill as an issue Why does the Church oppose the passing of the RH bill into law? 1. The RH bill is not just a legislative but a constitutional issue. We have cited above the Preamble of the Constitution that enshrines our aspiration as a

people desiring to live under the providence and aid of God, in a nation where the regime of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality, and peace reign. Does the RH bill respect or violate this spiritual aspiration of the people? Only in an environment of dialogue are we able to uphold this constitutional aspiration. It was along this same line that our bishops before sought to clarify the same concern with the cabinet members of then President Corazon Aquino on the issue of Population Control.[17] 2. The RH bill is a moral issue. As a moral issue, RH bill engages all of us to know the issues contained therein. RH bill is not just about family planning. It includes among others the issues on development, sexual health, rights of women and children. These issues require a thorough study and careful analysis. Conclusion The teachings of the Church concerning prevailing social issues that affect people are not merely limited to renunciation of immoral acts, but in a more positive light, these teachings seek to form and illumine our conscience to enable us to choose the good and to genuinely decide in accordance with what is true.[18] In this sense, the Church is a vital contributor in the political debate, a transformative resource[19] insofar as she helps in purifying and shedding light upon the application of reason to the discovery of objective moral principles.[20] Ultimately, the right and duty of the Church to speak about the Truth and to form conscience in the Truth is rooted not so much in her doctrinal statements and pastoral letters but in her fidelity in following Jesus.[21] Let the stones shout! Let the Church built upon the solid rock of faith of the Apostles, fulfill its task of proclaiming the Truth for it is the truth, which sets us free! The truth will bring us freedom if this truth is founded on the Rock of Truth, who is Christ! Given this 9th day of October 2010 in the year of Our Lord from the Office of the Archbishop, City of Naga. +lEoNaRDo Z. lEgaSPi, o.P., D.D. Archbishop of Caceres


Signed: MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL COORDINATING COMMITTEE CLUSTER POINT PERSONS: Carlito Dumulot, Central Luzon Cluster Sr. Crescencia Lucero, SFIC, NCR-National Cluster Fr. Jose Dizon, Southern Tagalog Cluster Fr. Ramoncito Siguebense, Bicol Cluster Jose Mabulay Jr. – Eastern Visayas Cluster Ms. Jacqueline dela Peña – Central Visayas Cluster Fr. Edwin Laude – Negros Cluster Marilou Llvan – Panay-Romblon Cluster Paul Paraguya – CABUSTAM Cluster Annie Sandalo – DAVAO Region Cluster Fr. Jose Ante, ZAMBASULI Cluster PMPI CO-CONVENORS: Cesar Villanueva, Chairperson Marietta Paragas, Co-Convenor for Luzon, Northern Luzon Cluster Point Person Fr. Romeo Catedral, Co-Convener for Mindanao EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS: NASSA – Fr. Edwin Gariguez Misereor – Mr. Elmar Noe BISHOP CO-CONVENERS: Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, DD – NCR-Urban Cluster Most Rev. Deogracias S. Iñiguez,Jr. DD – NCR National Cluster Most Rev. Jose R. Manguiran, DD – DOPIM Cluster PMPI SECRETARIAT: Yolanda R. Esguerra, National Coordinator Chito Aguilar, Deputy National Coordinator TECHNICAL WORKING GROUP Tessie Fernandez, Chairperson, TWG on Family Life and Gender Beth Yang, Chairperson, TWG on Peace and Human Rights Vince Cinches, Chairperson, TWG on Fisherfolk Concerns

diocesan paper. And this raises some serious questions: What happens when the bishop is the publisher of the newspaper, or directly manages other media in the diocese? If you are a professional communicator and a Catholic who is loyal to the church, where does the commitment to journalistic excellence end? Over the years we’ve had a series of statements in the church about the need for clear and open communications: Pope John Paul II said the church should be a “glass house.” More recently Pope Benedict said the sex abuse crisis calls for transparency and “absolute sincerity” in the church. In light of this, perhaps Catholic communicators should examine their own consciences and ask: Have we held ourselves and, in some cases, our superiors, to these higher standards? Or have we been part of the problem? Covering the sex abuse story over the last 20 years was much easier for Catholic News

Service. We ran hundreds of stories on the topic in the 1990s, and hundreds more over the last decade. It was easier for CNS because although we’re associated with the US bishops’ conference, we are an editorially independent wire service, and our client newspapers expect us to cover all the news, good and bad, that directly affects the Catholic Church. I think the events of 2002 began to change the paradigm of Catholic news coverage of the sex abuse scandal. First, because many in the Catholic press shared the sense of outrage over these disclosures. Keep in mind that by this time, the Vatican and the pope had come forward with their own condemnations of sex abuse. It’s simple, of course, to express outrage over the sexual abuse of minors. It’s much more difficult to assess how well bishops handled these cases, what should be done to perpetrators, what protection policies should be put into place. But increasingly, in 2002,

Catholic media joined this discussion. There were critical voices in the Catholic press, then and now, over the way the hierarchy responded. To cite just one example, Russell Shaw, a longtime Catholic journalist, a onetime spokesman for the US bishops and a consultor to this pontifical council, said a culture of clericalism and unnecessary secrecy in the church were primary contributing causes of the sex abuse scandal. Eight years ago was also a time when many Catholic bloggers emerged, and they gave voice to grassroots questions and criticisms over the sex abuse scandal. Because they were less tied to existing institutions like a diocese or a religious order, they wrote and spoke more freely. They were always opinionated, not always correct with their information, but they contributed greatly to the sense that this was a real conversation among Catholics, and not something being handled behind closed

Catholic Press / B7



Ref lections

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 21
October 11 - 24, 2010

Justification before the Judgment Seat of God
30th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C (Luke 18:9-14) October 24, 2010
By Msgr. Lope C. Robredillo, SThD
LAST September 2001, an evening television show featured the Mangyans in Mindoro. At one point, the reporter asked one of their chiefs if they had any desire to improve their situation by, say, making more money in order to buy elegant clothes, construct beautiful houses, and own the latest vehicles. The chief answered that it was not in their culture to accumulate and concentrate wealth and that they were happy the way they were. His answer was, of course, flabbergasting to us. But that is because we were brought up in a culture far removed from the one in which the Mangyans live and survive. Culture largely defines our values, and therefore the way we look at people. But our culture has largely been defined by the West. And if we ask: who is acceptable to our community that has been shaped by Western values, the answer would be entirely different. Before the judgment seat of our culture, one must not only be good, but even more important, he must have an achievement—political, economic, cultural, religious— in order to be considered praiseworthy. No wonder, precisely because of our cultural make-up, many people parade their stockholdings, land titles, bank accounts, palatial houses, academic degrees tacked to their names and framed citations, among others. How they display their assets! Of course, these are important. To have bank accounts, academic degrees, land titles, framed citations— one needs them in order to live what people brand as respectable life. To live without them—how would one appear before our people and society if sinfulness, it was because he is a God who loves the humble and despises the proud and the disdainful (Luke 1:51-52). One’s achievements in religion could become a cause for pride and contempt for men and women who cannot come up to what common religiosity requires. It often happens, for instance, that those who go to church Sundays, fast, contribute sizable amount to the parish projects and programs and practice virtues think that they have enough reason to be proud of themselves as Catholics who belong to a stratum formed by the elite in religiosity and, as a consequence, to criticize those who do not reach their standard. This happens, too, in the secular world. Many think that they form an elite enclave within the greater society on account of their wealth, education and upbringing. At its marrow, however, the story is not simply about how we pray, but really about our justification before God. As J. Fitzmyer observes, “one achieves uprightness before God not by one’s own activity but by a contrite recognition one one’s own sinfulness before him.” The reason why it was the tax collector who was ultimately pleasing before God is that, before his judgment seat, human achievements, both in religion and in the secular world, are not decisive, however important they may appear to our Western culture. God is not a God who can be controlled by any human achievements. Quite the contrary, man cannot claim to be just on account of his achievements, because these do not count before him in the first place. “What man thinks important, God holds in contempt” (Luke 16:15). It is not man who makes himself just. It is God, who gives justice as a gift. Man does not attain it through his own effort. What is ultimately decisive is that one puts his trust in God, abandons himself to him. And this is what the tax collector did. In terms of religious achievements, he had accomplished nothing to present before God. But by acknowledging his sinfulness, unworthiness, and nothingness, he allowed God to give him the gift of being right before him. The parable, therefore, teaches us about the failure of human achievements and of self-righteousness to justify oneself. It is God who justifies us sinners, and justification is always received as a gift from him. We have nothing to boast before him.

not a destitute, with nothing to survive on in this competitive world? It is interesting to note that such outlook has been transferred, or at any rate can be found, in our life of faith. In the realm of religion, it is likewise important for many people that one must have something before God. In today’s Gospel (Luke 8:914), this is well illustrated in the prayer of the Pharisee and the tax collector. What the Pharisee was able to accomplish made himself respectable, and obviously he lived within a circle

of people whose social stratum and achievement no one at the time of Jesus would criticize: he did not extort, did something unjust, nor committed adultery. On the contrary, he did more than what the law required: he fasted in food and drink twice a week (Monday and Thursday), although fasting was obligatory only on the Day of Atonement (Lev 16:29-31; Num 29:7); he tithed all his purchases, which was more than what the law stipulated (Deut 14:22-29). He would be like a Catholic who never transgresses any of the Ten

Commandments, fasts Tuesdays and Fridays, and contributes much to the Church. God would certainly be pleased with such religiosity! On the other hand, almost at the extreme end of the cultural and religious spectrum in Jesus’ day was the tax collector who had nothing to his name. A known collaborator with the Romans who were the enemies of the Jews, he was avoided by his own people and excluded from the company of respectable men in the Jewish society. An extortionist, he would have to make restitutions for his ill-gotten


Bo Sanchez

Are negative emotions causing you to get sick?
That means that among the 17 million people who died of heart disease last year, and among the 7.2 million people who died of cancer last year, 85% of those diseases were rooted in their emotions. Man! If only someone taught them to work on their emotions (not just on their bodies), some of them might still be alive today. Here’s what I believe. Most of our diseases are messages. What message? Diseases are telling us that we have a spiritual need that we need to fill. But instead of listening to the message, we kill the messenger. We get rid of the sickness without addressing our soul needs. Very soon, the sickness will reappear. Sometimes, in a fatal way. For example, our sickness may be telling us, “You need to forgive and get rid of your anger,” but instead of forgiving, we take a pill. Or our sickness is telling us, “You need to stop worrying and trust God more,” but instead of trusting, we take a pill. Or our sickness is telling us, “You need to stop working too hard and relax more with your family,” but instead of playing with our kids, we take a pill. In primitive societies, doctors were also priests. When people got sick, the cure was holistic. Aside from giving them herbs, doctors told them to pray, to forgive, to trust in God. And then the scientific revolution came, and doctors focused purely on the body. Today, the old model is coming back. Because now, my friend doctors are praying with their patients, are telling them to have faith, to forgive, and to spend time with their families. They’ve become doctors and priests again.

ONE day, a man had a flu. So he won’t spread his germs, his wife dropped his plate and utensils in boiling water. Their 5 year old daughter saw this and asked, “What are you doing Mommy?” “I’m boiling the dishes to kill Daddy’s germs,” she said. The girl remained quiet. After awhile, she said, “I have an idea. Why not just boil Daddy and kill all his germs?” Germs. We blame them for our sickness. But that’s only partly true. Our immune system is so terrific, it can fight almost all germs. But we get into trouble when our immune system gets weak. And one thing that causes it to weaken is our negative emotions. This blew my mind. Studies show that 85% of all diseases are rooted in our emotions. Wow.

wealth before he could ever hope to be forgiven, if one goes by the teaching of the Pharisees. Of course, even in our own society, any person like this particular tax collector would have difficulty in being accepted. The Gospel today tells us that these two went to the Temple to pray, the Pharisee reciting a catalogue of his achievements and a litany of his own praises, the tax collector an inventory of his faults and a recital of his lack of achievements. But in telling this parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, Jesus surprised us with his concluding comment. What transpired was a reversal of fortune, which would not have been acceptable, since normal Judaism took for granted that the Pharisee was a justified person, and the tax collector could only be such if he made retribution in addition to giving one-fifth to all those whom he had swindled, and reformed his life. Hence the question: What went wrong? Does the parable mean that God is happier with a sinner provided he repents, than with a virtuous man with all his merits and achievements? On the surface, one may readily affirm that if God accepted the tax collector despite his

Bishop Pat Alo


Fr. Francis Ongkingco


Major, major, major…mistake!
HOW would you have answered the question addressed to Maria Venus Raj, the Philippine’s contestant to Miss Universe: What is one big mistake that you’ve made in your life, and what did you do to make it right? Her rather unexpected and incomplete reply surprised the judges and many other expectant viewers who saw the stunning young lady as one of the most likely candidates to win the contest. “Wrong answer, no crown!” ABS News reported. What made such a simple question so hard to answer? Putting myself in her stilettos (ouch!), I believe she may have been so rattled to her heels that she was not able to fully grasp the question. Her answer shows that she may have heard it right but understood it as: “What is the greatest or most serious problem you have had in your life, and how did you solve it?” Mistakes, after all, are often considered as problems. Interestingly, the same report by ABS News on the event delved not so much on Raj’s imprecise answer. It was baffled with the difficulty of answering such a “simple” query which is so common in job interviews. It went on to show interviews where even prestigious individuals (e.g. ex-U.S. President George Bush and their own colleagues in news media) failed to give a satisfactory response to the same question. Their conclusion: “No one wants to admit he makes mistakes.” They ended their report with an interesting point: “Admitting one’s flaws would have been the perfect answer.” *** Admitting our flaws, however, isn’t one of our favorite casual daily chores. We have a rather natural allergy to the word mistake. It’s hard to bare one’s shortcomings to the four winds because doing so would render one vulnerable to a host of other undesired reactions (i.e. criticism, rejection, contempt and anger). This negative reaction seems to be hardwired in man from the very beginning. Adam and Eve were described as “hiding from God” when they “disobeyed” His command. When they are “found” by God, they “gave excuses” to justify their actuations. Every person has a similar experience: the natural aversion to making mistakes, and when we are “caught” we find it hard to admit it. In facing many of life’s dilemmas, we somehow comfort ourselves by often having recourse to sayings like “nobody’s perfect” or “I’m only human”. Despite this, we cannot escape the uneasy and uncomfortable feeling of having “fallen short”, “not having reached certain expectations” or “having let down others” due to our shortcomings. Why? The answer rests in our concept of what “ought to be” or “what is good”. This interior evaluating mechanism is something rooted in the fact that man is called or created for “the good”, “for perfection” and “for Heavenly bliss” by God. Thus, we have a natural consciousness of and feelings of shame for having strayed from these standards desired for our own good by God. When we commit mistakes, however, God doesn’t simply accuse us. From the episode of Eden, God was walking through the garden looking the first man andwoman.WhenHefoundthem He didn’t act harshly, –although all-knowing of man’s failure– to correct their sin. Instead, He encouraged in them sincerity, humility and conversion. But Adam and Eve chose otherwise: they lied, blamed each other and were punished for their disobedience. When God asks man to admit his mistakes, He doesn’t require that it be announced publicly. It

IN the present debates concerning the RH Bill that seems to push for artificial contraception and abortion, we know the many pros and cons being advanced. In all the din and hullabaloo we know that eventually truth will triumph. It would be good and beneficial to be on the side of the simple and humble truth. That’s what the expression above implies. One way or another, in spite of all efforts to conceal it, the truth will come to be known. For example, check what perhaps the motives behind. Some may be after base gain, or other worldly interests. Who or which side is working for the common good of the people and the human person’s benefit of both body and spirit? After all, we know life on earth is but a transitory stage and someday we have to face the judgment of God who rewards according to our deeds. Are we here to limit the guests to life’s table or must we rather work to increase resources and facilities for the betterment of life’s condition? Who is really working for the good of man, not just pretending to do so out of ignorance or self-interest? Since God alone reigns forever and above all, what is really God’s will in the issue at hand? Money seems to be the enduring symbol of power, pleasure and greed. Who then are being enslaved by it? “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). We care for life now and for the future of our land and nation. Let’s not forget the gospel truth that what we do for others shall eventually come back to us. “Do not judge and you will not be judged yourselves; do not condemn and you will not be condemned yourselves; grant pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and there will be gifts for you; a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap; because the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given back”(Lk. 6:36-38).

Truth will be out

Whatever / B7


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 21
October 11 - 24, 2010

Social Concerns


Mati celebrates Indigenous Sunday with Lumads’ cultural exhibits
By Sr. Marietta Alo, OND
THE Diocese of Mati’s Indigenous People’s Apostolate or IPA (Apostolado sa Lumad) marks celebration of Indigenous Sunday with a traditional Lumad concelebrated Mass and cultural exhibits. Mati Bishop Patricio Alo will preside on October 10 the 8:00 a.m. Eucharistic celebration at the Divine Mercy Shrine and Parish. A socio-cultural program supervised by diocesan IPA director Fr. Roberto Ombon, will follow at the St. Therese Gym in the Clergy House Compound, in Madang. Lumads in their colorful costumes will once again present ethnic songs and dances, and meaningful rituals to delight the audience and share the richness of the Mandayan culture and heritage. Church and government leaders, as well as non-government organization (NGO) assisting the lumads of Davao Oriental, such as Lungga Mangmang Agong Center, Inc. (LMACI) will deliver their messages during the program. In the afternoon, the LMACI or Lungga Center will spearhead the opening of KAMUNAAN, an exhibit and lecture series on the Mandaya culture. KAMUNAAN comes from the Mandaya rootword MUNA (meaning ANCESTORS). It refers to the ways and things of the Lumads’ ancestors or of the past. The activity will be open daily to mark
Catholic Press / B5

the October IP month until its closing day on October 31at the Mati SocioCultural Center, Sainz, Mati, Davao Oriental. An accredited activity of the Sambuokan Festival 2010 of Mati, the event is supported by Mayor Michelle N. Rabat and the LGU of Mati and other culture-loving officials and individuals, the Indigenous Peoples Apostolate (IPA) of Mati diocese, and the Mandaya communities of Sangab, Pantuyan, and Calapagan. The lungga Center The Lungga Center or LMACI was founded in 2000 by KAMUNAAN chair Atty. Alejandro “Al” Aquino, a Mandayan native from Caraga, Davao Oriental, and official lawyer of the diocese of Mati. Aquino studied at the Maryknoll School of Caraga (now St. Mary’s Academy of Caraga) and finished his law course at the San Beda Law School in Manila. He was one of the four selected lumads in October 2008 to represent the Philippines in the Geneva international human rights assembly for indigenous peoples. Aquino became known as the dangpanan, because of his dedication to the lumads of Davao Oriental. He proposed the first KAMUNAAN to enable more and more people to know and appreciate the richness of the Mandayan culture. The exhibit is scheduled at 8:00

to10:00 a.m. and 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., and the lectures from 10:00 a.m. to12 noon, and 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., except on Fridays when actual demonstrations will be conducted. The lectures will cover the cultural history of the Mandaya tribe, Mandayan religious rituals, Environment and Ancestral Domains, Traditional Community Life and Leadership,

Tools, Utensils and Weaponry, Agriculture and Traditional Livelihood, Legends, Folklores, Poems and Songs, Indigenous Foods and Drinks, Sounds and Music, Origin and Significance of the Dagmay Woven cloth, embroidery and ornamentals, and IPRA and related laws. The three-week long event hopes to awaken appreciation and love for the God-given Mandaya legacy.

With free admission, the exhibit is open to the public, government employees, professors, students, lumads, christians, muslims and all groups and sectors. For more information, contact Lungga Center or Aquino Law Office, Madang, Mati at telephone numbers (087)3884308 and (087)8112485, and cellphone number 09097181487 and look for Laarni M. Passion.

doors. The adoption of US sex abuse norms in 2002 was a focus of this conversation. I cannot remember a topic that was so thoroughly examined and debated, in such detail, in the Catholic media in the United States. You rarely have Catholic reporters and bloggers talking about the finer points of canon law, but in this case you did. I think US Catholics and Catholic media felt some tension with the Vatican over this; this was evident after Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, at a Vatican press conference, suggested that sex abuse was a problem primarily in the English speaking world. That prompted a reaction among many US Catholic journalists: the cardinal’s comment was seen as evidence that the Vatican just didn’t get it. But in fact, I think the Vatican was slowly “getting it” and Cardinal Castrillon was becoming a minority voice. When the Vatican approved the US sex abuse norms, it marked a turning point in the handling of the abuse
Collaboration / B2

crisis. It led to additional Vatican provisions in 2003. And this past year, when many of those provisions were made part of universal church law, it was a sign of how much has changed at the Vatican. Let me give you an example of what has changed: In 2001, CNS broke the story of Pope John Paul’s motu proprio “Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela,” which reserved sex abuse cases to the doctrinal congregation, and set up strict new procedures to deal with offenders. We worked for weeks on the story, and we had to squeeze information out of Vatican officials. And this was not a “bad news” story; this was a “good news” story about the Vatican taking action, taking these sins more seriously. You would think they would want the world to know; but they didn’t. Today, it’s completely different. As you know, the Vatican has made so much information available about sex abuse policies and procedures that I bet there are

very few in this room who have read it all. They have a Vatican Web page dedicated to the issue. The Vatican today is proactive. In terms of information, in terms of journalism, these are hard-won battles. In recent months, as we all know, the re-emergence of the sex abuse scandal has drawn coverage by Catholic and secular media. And I think this time around, Catholic media share in the disappointment felt by bishops and the Vatican at the way the mainstream media has reported the issue. Here are some distinctive traits that I think Catholic media have brought to this coverage, traits that are often missing among secular journalists: 1. Context: Because Catholic media are familiar with what happened in 1993 or in 2002, they know the church has already responded with some very good steps and programs. 2. Time frame: Catholic media know that most cases of clerical abuse are from past decades, with very few occurring today—

something that I think most readers of newspapers still don’t understand. 3. Fairness: There has been, I think, a “gotcha” mentality in efforts to somehow lay the sex abuse scandal at Pope Benedict’s doorstep. Catholic journalists know that this is simply not how it happened, and that the current pope took many steps as head of the doctrinal congregation to deal with the problem. As with many things, he was methodical and determined and patient. In the eyes of some critics, perhaps too patient and deliberate. But certainly he was moving in the right direction. The portrait of Pope Benedict as an architect of cover-up is a false caricature, in my opinion. 4. Perspective: Catholic media have resisted, by and large, the trend toward hammering one big story incessantly, almost to the exclusion of anything else. For the first six months of this year, if you read a story about the Vatican in a major US newspaper,

it was probably about sex abuse. This is a hallmark of the cablenews mentality that seems to have invaded every newsroom: a big story is established and then fed daily, like a beast. The essential storyline is never questioned. Details, subtleties and ambiguous information all fall by the wayside. You keep the big story going: this is the gospel of the modern mass media, I think largely for economic reasons. And fortunately, the Catholic press has managed to resist this and keep a perspective, reporting on sex abuse as a painful failure, but not as if it were the only aspect— or even the main aspect—of contemporary church life. What worries me is that Catholic communicators, with all their perspective, context and fairness on the sex abuse story, have not really had much impact beyond their own limited audience. We feel frustration at times over how the mainstream media treats the church; but this frustration is often translated into

a kind of closed-circuit discussion among ourselves. There’s a risk of becoming too self-congratulatory. We need to ask: how well do we really communicate with the modern world, the wider world, beyond our own ecclesial borders? One final point: in terms of communion and controversy, the Catholic press is different and distinctive because it shares in the mission of the church — to spread the Gospel through contemporary means of communication. This is exactly what Catholic News Service says in our own mission statement. We want to tell the truth, and we want to do it fairly and fully. And if I may, I’ll close by reading from our mission statement about how we cover the news: “Some of that news is good and some is bad, but it is what readers need to know in order to work for salvation. They need to know that there are saints in the making in the Church today and they need to know that there are sinners too.”

“With the exception of an extraordinary case due to the absolute absence of both priests and deacons who can assist at marriages, no ordained minister may authorize the non-ordained faithful for such assistance. Neither may an ordained minister authorize the nonordained faithful to ask or receive matrimonial consent according to the norm of c.1108, §2” (§3). 2) The diocesan Bishop may concede this delegation “subject to the verification of three conditions” (§1; cf. c. 1112, §1): 1° “there are no priests or deacons available;” 2° “after he shall have obtained for his own Diocese a favorable votum from the Conference of Bishops” regarding this move; 3° “the necessary permission of the Holy See”.

3) “In such cases, the canonical norms concerning the validity of delegation, the suitability, capacity and attitude of the non-ordained faithful must be observed” (§2). Article 11: Extraordinary Minister of Baptism “Apart from cases of necessity, canonical norms permit the nonordained faithful to be designated as extraordinary ministers of Baptism”, but the Instruction reminds the Pastors of the conditions for the licitude of this extraordinary designation: 1) “There is no ordinary minister or in cases where he is impeded, (but) care should be taken to avoid too extensive an interpretation of this provision and such a faculty should not be conceded in a habitual form.” 2) The Instruction concretizes a negative list of reasons for that

deputation, which would therefore make such deputation illicit: 1° “the ordinary minister’s excessive workload”; 2° “his non-residence in the territory of the parish”; 3° “his non-availability on the day on which the parents wish the Baptism to take place.” Article 12: Leading the Celebration at Funerals The Instruction reminds the Pastors of the following norms as regards obsequies: 1) “It is desirable that priests and deacons, even at some sacrifice to themselves, should preside personally at funeral rites in accordance with local custom, so as to pray for the dead and be close to their family, thus availing of an opportunity for appropriate evangelization.”

2) “The non-ordained faithful may lead the ecclesial obsequies”, with the following conditions: 1° “There is a true absence of sacred ministers.” In the absence of further explication within this article of the term true absence of sacred ministers, we have to attend to the sense given to this term in the previous article as regards the sense of lack of ordinary minister for baptism, including the negative list of situations when this is not verified. 2° The deputed non-ordained extraordinary minister must “adhere to the prescribed liturgical norms”, and should therefore “be well prepared both doctrinally and liturgically”. Conclusion The Instruction ends by re-stating the two fundamental criteria in this matter:
Whatever / B6

First, the need to reinforce the identity of the ministerial priesthood, by respecting the principle of diversity in the People of God and more specifically of the proper status and mission of the laymen. “The Holy Father reminds us that the particular gift of each of the Church’s members must be wisely and carefully acknowledged, safeguarded, promoted, discerned and coordinated, without confusing roles, functions or theological and canonical status.” Second, the shortage of ordained ministers must be addressed by fostering vocations to the priesthood, not by substituting priests with laymen. “Solutions addressing the shortage of ordained ministers cannot be other than transitory and must be linked to a series of pastoral programs which give priority to the promotion of vocations to the Sacrament of Holy Orders.”


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is sufficient for one to be sincere before God, admitting one’s sins and infidelities, and resolving to begin again with more trust in God’s help. God has left us marvelous “silent channels” to admit our mistakes, so that they can be remedied by our sorrow and His mercy. These channels are: a) Prayer. This means placing our shortcomings before God. This is done one on one, face to face. The fruit of this admittance is a resolution borne out of love to try one’s best to avoid committing the same mistakes in the future. b) Confession. This is perhaps, one of the most wonderful and powerful means where one can “openly admit one’s deepest mistakes” with the confidence not only of being forgiven, but the humble awareness that all men –even the confessor

himself– require God’s grace for conversion. This also gives us the necessary grace to reject future sins and temptations. c) Spiritual direction. It is good for man not only to know his mistakes and limitations but to admit them in order to acquire better self-knowledge and perfection. This is best achieved by humbly and sincerely seeking the advice of a director or counselor whocanprudentlyandconsistently guide the person, and lead him up an incline plane towards a more fruitful union with God. Although these are unseen channels, they effectively open our souls and cleanse it of our debilitating attachment to sin and mediocrity. When we admit our flaws before God, we are not only forgiven, strengthen and consoled, but are further perfected according to His beauty and image.


Moral Assessment

Technical Assessment

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 14 No. 21

October 11 - 24, 2010

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

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

BROTHERS Soren and Kludd may look the same outside but inside these barn owlets are worlds apart. Soren (voiced by Jim Sturgess) won’t get tired of the bedtime story their father tells about the Guardians of Ga’Hoole, a noble band of warriors who vanquished the evil army named the “Pure Ones”. For Kludd (voiced by Ryan Kwanten), however, such are silly stories only daydreamers like his brother could buy. Sneaking out of the family nest one night to try their wings at “flying”, barn owlets Soren and Kludd tumble off a branch to the ground. But before they are captured by a hungry wild boar, they are swooped away in the talons of huge mean-looking owls. Their captors turn out to be the minions of the Pure Ones who run an “orphanage”—in reality a training camp that brainwashes abducted owlets to serve their wicked purposes. Aware of their captors’ nefarious activities to annihilate the owls of the “lesser species” (meaning those outside of the Pure Ones’ dominion) but deceived by the promises of their evil Queen Nyra (voiced by Helen Mirren), Kludd accepts to be a future soldier while Soren is sent to the camp’s slave labor area when he defends a tiny elf owl Gylfie (voiced by Emily Barclay). Soren and Gylfie think the owldom must be warned of the Pure Ones’plan to wipe them out, but who will escape the camp to do it? An old warrior from the ranks of the Pure Ones, Grimble (voiced by Geoffrey Rush) trains the young pair to fly so that they may one day escape the camp and warn the unsuspecting owls. Directed by Zack Snyder and brought to the screen by Animal Logic, the same studio that made

that penguin movie, Happy Feet, this owl film is definitely something worth hooting about. It’s a visual treat, right from the start. The animators certainly created a magical world—forest, sea, sky—that one could only wish to be real in its majesty and beauty. This is one time you’ll forget about those plastic 3D glasses you’re wearing as you note the fine details, colors and textures that the film is never short of: the subtle lighting shifts on the owls’ feathers ruffling in the breeze, on the scenic backdrops of sea or storm, on Soren’s flight through a nasty funnel cloud, or on the clouds made translucent by their gliding across the sun. Such gorgeous photo-realism takes Legend of the Guardians several notches higher than even the better animation films so far made, especially with the impressive rendering of the owls’ eyes. From childhood we know that owls, with their wide, intelligent looking eyes, have traditionally symbolized wisdom, but being nocturnal, they can hardly be scrutinized at the zoos, so we have never really seen how they move their eyes. But now, Legend of the Guardians gives us owls with eyes as expressive as humans’. We know a bit about CGI and how difficult artists find it to capture the eyes in animation, but here we have owls’ eyes so realistically conveying human emotions about equally human concerns, like their family’s future or vanquishing evil, that we could come to think they’re not really owls, much less animated owls, but actually human beings in owls’ clothing! Preposterous though that may sound, Legend of the Guardians

Title: Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole Technical Assessment:  ½ Moral Assessment:  Rating: PG 13 (Aged 13 and below with parental guidance)

depicts laudable ideals and most assuredly delivers a message on the human condition. Perhaps the story and the script are rather familiar to adults, but to preteens in search of heroes a tale of bravery like this would be uplifting, inspiring us to selfconfidently keep our head and heart in the right place in the face of adversity. The movie is definitely worth a peek for viewers of all ages, but please keep the younger children (below primary school age) and nervous 10-year olds out of the audience. Although it’s a worthy story about the quest toward self-awareness, the dark story is generously spiked with intense situations, and startling fierce encounters between good and bad owls—the stuff nightmares are made of. You’d never think that owls would be concerned with heroism, honor, adventure, peace, legends, power, family, orphans and class distinction butLegend of the Guardians says they are, indeed. Well, as we have said, these owls to us feel like humans. The only thing that will probably jolt you out of this “humanowled” world is the warriors’ intricately crafted combat masks. Appreciating the craftsmanship you’d think, “Gee, how could owls make such exquisite metal masks?” Then you’ll realize: it’s only a movie! (Teresa R. Tunay, OCDS)

Title: I do Cast: Erich Gonzalez, Enchong Dee, Dennis Padilla, Pokwang, Isay Alvarez ; Director: Veronica Velasco; Producer: Malu Santos; Screenwriter: Veronica Velasco; Distributor: Star Cinema; Genre: Comedy/ Drama; Location: Manila; Running Time: 100 minutes Technical Assessment:  Moral Assessment:  ½ Rating: For viewers 14 and above


Ni Bladimer Usi

SI Yumi (Erich Gonzalez) ay naniniwala sa kapalaran at nangangarap na balang araw ay makikilala niya ang kanyang Prince Charming at sila’y ikakasal sa kanyang dream wedding. Nang makilala niya si Lance (Enchong Dee), aakalain niyang ito na ang kanyang hinihintay. Magiging mabilis ang pangyayari sa kanilang dalawa at makalipas lamang ang ilang buwan ay magugulat na lamang si Yumi na siya ay nabuntis na pala. Sa takot ni Yumi sa kanyang pamilya ay agad niyang niyaya si Lance na magpakasal kahit hindi pa ito handa, bukod sa hindi rin matanggap ng pamilya ni Lance na ikakasal ito sa isang hindi nila katulad na Tsino. Magiging malabis ang kalituhan ni Lance at hindi nito itutuloy ang pagpapakasal kay Yumi. Maraming beses silang mag-uurong-sulong sa pagpapakasal dala ng maraming aberya, pati ang komplikasyon sa kanikanilang pamilya, damay na rin ang kanilang anak. Matupad pa nga kaya ang inaasam ni Yumingdream wedding? Bagama’t kung tutuusin ay gasgas na ang kwento ng I do, nagawa nitong bigyan ng bagong bihis ang tila palasak nang konsepto. Maraming nakakaaliw na eksena na binigyang buhay at kulay ng mga batikang komedyante at aktor. Ang mga bida naman, bagama’t halatang mga pa-cute pa ay nagawa namang umarte sa mga eksenang kinakailangan at sadyang ibinagay sa kanila ang kani-kaniyang papel. Pero nagkulang pa rin sa hagod ang pelikula. Bukod sa kakulangan ng hagod ang pag-arte ng mga pangunahing tauhan lalo na si Dee, kulang din sa lalim ang kabuuang pagkukuwento ng pelikula. Hindi gaanong napalalim ang mga tunay na isyung dapat tinalakay. Sa halip, nasobrahan ng pagkakasentro sa kasalan ang kwento, kaya’t halos mawalan na ito ng saysay. Maaring ito rin ang gustong palabasin ng pelikula sa kabuuan ngunit nabigo ito dahil sa mahinang pundasyon ng kuwento. Sa kabuuan tuloy ay madali ring makakalimutan ang pelikulang ito. Ang kuwento ng mga kabataang mapupusok na nauuwi sa di-inaasahang pagbubuntis ay palasak na rin sa lipunan. Isa itong problemang dapat pagtuunan ng pansin at hindi magkakaroon ng solusyon kung dadaanin na lamang sa tawa. Ito ang ginawa ng I Do – ang gawing katatawanan ang isang napakaseryoso, at maging mga sagradong sitwasyon. Walang nakakatawa sa maagang pagbubuntis nang wala pang kasalan. Magiging sanhi ito ng marami pang komplikasyon na dapat sanang ipinakita sa pelikula upang maging halimbawa sa mga kabataang manonood. Oo nga’t mabigat na ang buhay at hindi na dapat lalo pang pabigatin ngunit sa ginawang pagpapagaan ng I Do sa sitwasyon ay lalo itong naging nakakabahala. Wala ngang matinding halikan o hubaran na ipinakita ngunit ang pagkauwi ng isang bubot na relasyon sa pagbubuntis ay hindi dapat ipinagsa-walang bahal ng perlikula. Wala man lang matapat na pagsisisi mula sa sinumang tauhan. Bagkus, nakatuon pa rin ang babaeng tauhan sa maraming ilusyon— ilusyon ng pag-ibig at pagpapakasal. Hindi dahil sa isa itong mahalagang sakramento kundi dahil, isa itong magandang palabas. Hanggang sa huli’y parang hindi naman nabago ang pagtingin na ito. Para bang ninais pa nitong sabihin na, basta’t mahal mo’y, yun na. Hindi isina-alang-alang ang kahalagahan ng sakramento at ang malalim na inspirasyong kaugnay dito. Sa malaking bahagi ng pelikula, naging insidental at tila palamuti na lamang ang naging anak ng dalawang tauhan. Kahit paano mo ito tingnan, ito’y isang kamalian. (Rizalino Pinlac, Jr.)

Buhay Parokya

look for the images of nun, chalice and crucifix.

Vol. 14 No. 3 Vol. 14 No. 21

CBCP Monitor

October 111 - February 14, 2010 February - 24, 2010

C1 C1

The News Supplement of Couples for Christ

By Zeny Gimenez

Filled With Thanksgiving: CFC Celebrates!
ting manner last Saturday, October 2 in an event aptly called: “Filled with Thanksgiving: CFC Celebrates!” The Ultra reverberated with songs of praise and worship, shouts of joy and joyous dances as CFC partied. All the Family Ministries participated, presenting dance numbers that showed their joy and exuberance. The International Council spoke for the entire community when they expressed their happiness at this momentous event, which aptly comes at the end of a year that the Lord had declared as a year of Fullness in Christ. They pointed out that every single CFC member, young and old, rich and poor, has a stakehold in this new home. They also emphasized that the reason the center of CFC’s operations is not called CFC Head Office or CFC Center but rather CFC Home Office is because this is truly our home, our heart. Fr. Fernando Suarez officiated at the Holy Mass that kicked off the celebrations. He affirmed CFC’s priorities putting Christ in the Eucharist first before anything else -- saying that no organization will flourish if its center is not Christ. He was assisted by Msgr. Allen Aganon, spiritual adviser of the IC, and two members of his congregation, Companions of the Cross, Fr. Francis Donnelly and Fr. Jeff Shannon. At the end of the evening, everyone offered a flower on a giant cross, symbol of their oneness with the community’s goals and aspirations, all of which are founded on Christ. The occasion also saw the relaunching of the Build My House campaign, meant to gather donations from the entire CFC global family in order to fund the purchase of the new CFC home. The CFC Council reminded all the leaders present that the new home comes with a responsibility for everyone to share in making sure that our dream becomes reality. Everyone was urged to bring down the message to the members that for this dream to come true, all everyone has to do is to be a “brick,” or to contribute at least P100 each. With more than 600,000 members in the Philippines, each person’s contribution of P100, if everyone gives, will translate to P60 million, exactly the amount needed for the first phase of the dream – to purchase the building and make the necessary repairs and renovations so that the transfer can be effected before 2010 is over.

COUPLES for Christ is indeed filled with thanksgiving! Aside from the many blessings in its evangelization and mission efforts these past months, CFC has one great reason to celebrate -- CFC finally has a home it can call its own! The community celebrated in a fit-

IC members Joey Arguelles, Lito Tayag, Joe Yamamoto, Joe Tale and Melo Villaroman, Jr. pose in front of the gigantic flower cross.

One Heart: Southern Tagalog Regional Conference
By Jed Juntereal
LAST September 3-5, the CFC Singles for Christ Southern Tagalog held their ONE HEART Regional Conference in the Province of Rizal. More than 700 delegates from the region arrived at the Casimiro Ynares Sr. Memorial Gymnasium in Binangonan town. The conference kicked off on Friday morning with the various competitions. Basketball, volleyball, and badminton tournaments were held in two venues a few minutes away from the Ynares Gym, while the main venue hosted the creative competitions. Once the tournaments wrapped up, the delegates gathered back at the main venue for the Holy Mass. The celebration was conducted by Bishop Gabriel Reyes of the Diocese of Antipolo, who spoke of having one heart for God and for the Church. The conference proper opened afterward, with the first talk, “A Heart Made for God,” delivered by YFC International Coordinator Rommel Ancheta, who spoke of God’s extravagant love. The first day ended with an advocacy concert highlighting the various SFC advocacies: One Life, One Hope, One Earth, and One Nation. Each advocacy called for a specific action: One Life called for support for House Bill 13 providing for the safety and protection of the unborn. One Hope encouraged love offerings for the CFC’s Build My House campaign. One Earth urged proper waste management through reuse-reduce-recycle approaches and One Nation exhorted the application of the Twelve Little Steps Filipinos Can Do in the lives of the SFC. The concert was capped by a candle-lighting ceremony signifying the commitment of SFC Southern Tagalog to these advocacies. Saturday morning saw the delegates heading off to their various workshops, as they learned more creative means of listening to and sharing God’s message to the people around them. After lunch they headed back to the main venue to listen to Junie Romero talk on “Heartwired to Christ.” As part of her talk, Junie exhorted the delegates to confess their sins and wrongdoing to the priests who were there at the venue, ready to hear them, as well as to seek individual counseling from the nuns, who were also on hand to give counseling service. The third talk, “Heart to Heart,” was given by Adrian Enaje. The Bishop Gabriel Reyes delivers his homily. session ended with a celebration of the Holy Eucharist, fol- a song number. The Mass was lowed by the Holy Hour, both followed by the fourth talk, led by Msgr. Allen Aganon. “One Heart in Christ,” wherein Through these activities, the the speaker, Shok Arriola, enp a r t i c i p a n t s treated the participants to love w e r e a b l e God in all ways—offering every t o c o n v e r s e opportunity as a reason to love with God and Him. As the conference drew to k n o w m o r e a close, the delegates watched a b o u t h o w presentations of the upcoming His heart pen- International Conference in etrates to the Camarines Sur as well as the depths of our Island Conference in Palawan, souls, while both to be held next year. we learn His Truly, God has blessed each ways. and every one of the attendees The last day of the conference. It often hapo f t h e c o n - pens that He offers His heart f e r e n c e b e - solely and exclusively for us. gan with the The SFC Southern Tagalog will H o l y M a s s never cease to be amazed and celebrated by be awed by God’s everlasting Fr. Jun Tena, and extravagant love, and will who also en- never cease to explore every tertained the chance to be with Him and love delegates with Him in return.

CFC Cooperatives Federation, Co-Ops for Christ-Manila Partner with CISP
THE CFC Cooperatives Federation or CCF, now under the ANCOP umbrella, signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Cooperative Insurance System of the Philippines (CISP) to join and form the CISP Mutual Aid Benefit System (CISP MABS). The vision is for all Couples for Christ members and their families to be covered by an affordable but significant life insurance. This will ensure that families who are left behind will receive adequate financial support to help them in their time of bereavement. During the MOA signing at the Sulu Riviera Hotel in Quezon City last September 21, 2010, the CISP, headed by President and CEO Ambrosio Rodriguez, welcomed the CCF as the first Cooperatives Federation to enter into a partnership with them. The CISP MABS would take the place of the Mutual Aid System and the Mutual Aid Benefit, the CCF’s welfare programs which provide death benefits to members and their beneficiaries. Together, the CCF and Co-ops for Christ-Manila has transferred the enrolment of a total of 4,668 active MAB/MAS members to the CISP MABS. Members will enjoy better long term benefits under the new program. Cooperative Membership (Number of Years) Benefit 1 to 3 years Php 30,000.00 4 to 6 years Php 60,000.00 7 to 9 years Php 90,000.00 10 to 12 years Php120,000.00 13 years & over Php150,000.00 Any CFC member may join this program by becoming a regular member of any Co-ops for Christ Primary in their province. CFC is given up to December 30, 2010 to enrol members above 65 years old. After December 30, the age cap for first time enrolees will be 65 years old. An annual premium of Php 250 per member is required in order for the members or their beneficiaries to avail of the assistance. Aside from this, the partners will further study and improve the financial assistance to possibly include health and retirement benefits to the members in the near future.

CCF President Pol Pinera and CISP President and CEO Ambrosio Rodriguez seal the deal with a handshake as CCF officials look on.

Joe Tale, CFC Chairman


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 21
October 11 - 24, 2010

A Time for Thanksgiving
(Exhortation during the “Filled with Thanksgiving: CFC Celebrates” event held at the Ultra on October 2, 2010.) GOOD evening brothers and sisters. This is truly a night of celebration, a night of thanksgiving. Let us give thanksgiving to the Lord before anything else, just for making this evening possible. Let’s thank the Lord that we are here. This event was somewhat spontaneous. And the reason we decided to hold this event is because we really thought that this year, we have been truly blessed. We have been blessed with a theme that has guided us through the months from January up to now and will serve us to December. That theme is “Fullness of life in Christ.” And one of the key verses there, in fact the very last verse, but actually the most important verse, is “Be filled with thanksgiving.” This verse is appropriate for our lives because it shows us that we really have to be grateful to God for everything. This evening is an example of gratefulness. I know that you all have other activities, maybe other events you need to attend, many reasons for not being here but you are here to celebrate and so we thank the Lord for that. One of the first memos we in the International Council sent at the start of our new term in 2009 was a memo that said, “As we prepare for our 30th anniversary in 2011, let us claim from the Lord the gift of a new home.” At that time, we had not even begun to look for a new home. At that time, that statement was truly just our hearts’ desire expressed in faith. And this is why the readings at today’s Mass are so beautiful and so meaningful, because they all speak of the gift of faith. It says in the reading that even if our faith is as small as a mustard seed, the Lord will bless it. And so we stepped out in faith. Deep in our hearts, we knew, with expectant faith, that by the time we celebrate our anniversary in June next year, it will also be the time that we will bless our new home, our new building. our own – a building at 156 20th Av- time, the Lord has deemed it right to But our Lord can never be outdone in enue, Cubao, Quezon City. bless us, Couples for Christ, with a His love and His generosity. He gave us Many of you are aware that we home of our own. our new home way in advance -- nine looked at many sites, we explored many And so we gather in this spontaneous months before our 30th anniversary! options. Many of them, just by looking thanksgiving celebration. We gather We have a home of our own given in at them, we felt right away that it was tonight in this spontaneous offering to advance from all our prayers. And so not THE place for us. There were some God of everything that we have, eveit really feels as if the Lord is giving this places that we thought, “Maybe this rything that we are because He blesses home to us as a gift. is it” but somehow our plans did not us continuously. Brothers and sisters, In all of its 29 years, CFC has been push through. But we kept, deep in we now have our new home but we all moving from home to home, from office our hearts, the knowledge, the expect- need to work together in order to keep to office. I would like to thank the Lord ant faith, that the Lord will bless us it. One other reason that we gather tofor each of the offices that we were in with a home in His own time and in night is so that all of us are made aware for the past 29 years. They all served the His own way. and all of us will pass on to all our brethpurpose for ren around the commuthe world the nity at that great joy that time. we have and T h e r e also the great might be opportunity some of us for everyone who still reto help make member our this a realfirst home, ity. which was In my rein 300 P. flection, as Guevara. I was offerAnd then ing my own we moved to prayers of Grace buildthanksgiving along ing to God Ortigas alfor our new though we home, asking didn’t stay Him what there very He has in long. Then store for us we moved in the future, to Strata 200, I sensed this where we clear messtayed for sage from about two or Him: “As I three years. give you this At this time, home, I also we are in 349 Chairman Joe Tale and Executive Director Joe Yamamoto (front) and ANCOP President and CEO Ricky Cuenca would like recently met with Ric Pascua of the Bukas Loob sa Diyos. Ortigas Avall of you to enue, Greenbe more comhills East. In today’s reading, in Habakkuk, it is mitted. I would like all of you to give In all of these places, the Lord blessed said that sometimes, we grow weary, more of yourself to Me.” The Lord is us. In all of these places, even if we were we get disappointed because the Lord asking all of us in CFC to do things only renting, they were still home. But seems to be taking a long time to answer the best we can because He deserves now I believe the Lord is leading us our prayers but actually, the Lord is the best. to greater heights of serving Him and never delayed, the Lord is never late. These are indeed exciting times for serving one another. The Lord is also The Lord is always on time, at the right CFC. We now have a new home. It will blessing us with a permanent home of time for everything. Today and at this be a great place to gather together. It will be a great place for us to experience God’s love. It will be a great place for us to really experience the love of one another. It will be a great place for us to continue serving God. It is not a fancy home. It is a very simple structure but we know that this is the best home for us at this time. And so, as we thank the Lord, it is also the time for us to commit and to strengthen our commitment to serve Him through this community that we love – Couples for Christ. Last September 22, we had the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement with the owners of the building. That signing was announced at practically the last minute. We didn’t invite everyone and yet our brethren went there to be part of this exciting and historic occasion. Our excited brethren filled the small room that was originally the venue for the signing, and so the owners had to hurriedly look for another venue – one of their conference rooms. It just shows the commitment of everyone to support our community’s project of finding a new home. It shows everyone’s support for our Build My House program to raise funds for our new home. We thank the Build My House committee members who are giving their all, so that we all can enjoy the benefit of our very own home. They spend practically every waking moment calling leaders, reminding them about their and their members’ commitment to fund our home. But our new home is not just the work of the committee. We are all in this together. As we really pour ourselves here, as we unite, as we really make every effort to ensure that everyone is counted, then this home will become more meaningful. Let us offer this great gift from the Lord back to Him. It will be a place where we will worship Him, we will proclaim Him, we will exalt Him and we will commit to more mission for Him. We will do all these for Him for He alone is enough for us. And everything that we do is always so that He may be glorified!

Joe Yamamoto, CFC Director

Duc In Altum
“GO into the deep” is the bold motto of the Apostolic Vicar of Brunei, Bishop Cornelius Sim, whom I had the good fortune to meet in the course of a pastoral visitation to Brunei, where CFC celebrated 16 years of evangelization work. I chanced upon seeing the herald of the bishop during the night that I gave a teaching to our CFC members in their parish church and outright I connected those Latin words to the very reason for our work- to go into the deep and cast the nets of evangelization. In December 1975, Pope Paul VI issued the very important encyclical, Evangeli Nuntiandi (Evangelization in the Modern Word), summing up the responsibility of the church, both clergy and laity, in the task of proclaiming the Gospel. The document stresses that “the Church exists in order to evangelize.” Pope Paul VI further said that “the whole church therefore is called to evangelize”. In other words, when the church, including the laity, fails to take evangelization seriously, the true identity of the church is compromised and is therefore in danger of irrelevance. At the time of the first call of the disciples, Jesus declared “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men” and thus, the erstwhile fishermen broke out of their old mold and became fishers of men. The mission call remains as timely and as relevant today as it was when originally handed out. The recently held Vatican initiated lay congress in Seoul, South Korea, calling the laity to task in the great Asian landmass, posed the big challenge of “Proclaiming Jesus Christ in Asia Today” (August 31 to September 5, 2010).While pointing to the Asian continent as a huge area that is home to two-thirds of the world’s population, the church pastors and leaders appropriately emphasized the awesome challenge to the work of evangelization. Both clergy and laity are urgently called to the gospel proclamation, the misio adgentes. The awesome magnitude of the task is underscored by the reality that despite the passage of two millennia, Christianity remains a religion of the minority in the vast Asiatic land mass. In a continent characterized by a wide disparity in wealth between the rich and the poor, there is also the challenge and barriers of geography and terrain, diverse cultures and ethnicity, with the attendant multiplicity of languages and dialects. Asia likewise has relatively very few open societies where religious freedom is allowed. The Seoul conference in Seoul is a fitting and timely reminder for the Catholic laity regarding the challenges as well as opportunities for the work of evangelization. The clergy and the laity spoke clearly about what needs to be done, with the conference providing a point of reference in their respective roles of Co-Responsibility. The Seoul event was a followthrough to the 2006 Conference in Chiang Mai, Thailand where the meeting announced the thrust of “telling the story of Jesus to Asia.” Clergy and lay will have to work closely as never before to make this story telling wonderful and real. By this, it is taken to mean that those who are sharing Christ must show Him to be real and personal to the recipients of the message. Perhaps, a simple anecdote is worth narrating, taken from “Defining Moments”, the latest book of Fr. Jerry Orbos, SVD (p.19): “One early morning at Lake Galilee, I (Fr. Orbos) passed by a fisherman fishing at the shore and saw his little catch. A few moments later, I saw another fisherman come in a boat, and saw his bountiful catch. The difference?- One did not leave the safe, familiar shore- while the other dared and ventured into the deep.” Isn’t that what “duc in altum” is all about? To go into the deep and cast our lot , not to fear and not to rely on chance , but unto the Lord. 1. Identity and dignity of the lay faithful Primarily, the laity belong to the secular world, not in a negative connotation but as those having been placed in a specific environment for their existence and therefore, sphere of influence. The first and most important part of society where the Christian faithful must exercise his vocation conferred by Baptism is in its basic unit- the FAMILY. First and foremost in the formation of Christians is for the parents to animate the lives of their children with the love of God, by presenting them to God and for God to be present in the families through the parents. In other words, if all of us are called to holiness, the very first place that it must be learned is within the intimacy of family life led by Godly parents. The lay people carry with them the following distinguishing marks: 1. Active member of the people of God 2.participating in the mission of the whole church, especially in the circles of family, society at large and the professions 3.jointly responsible for the church (aka Co-responsible) 4. Not ordained and not belonging to the religious order 5.engaged in world affairs 6. Makes Christ visible in the world, as witnesses and bearers of the good news 7. Permeates the world with the Holy Spirit. The laity share, through Baptism, in the three-fold mission of Christ as Priest, Prophet and King. But most importantly, there is a unique distinguishing mark of the laity that is not available to the clergy, and that is their secular character. The situation is best described as “being in the world but must not be of this world” because of the vocation of the laity as evangelizers. As a matter of importance, in the thinking of the Church, the world is the particular environment and means for the fulfillment of the lay vocation. 2. The call to Holiness The first and most fundamental aspect of the lay faithful’s call to holiness is the vocation to the ‘perfection of charity,’ a demonstration that requires true witnessing to a life in and with Christ and where there is vital synthesis between faith and life’s daily duties. The important encyclical, Christifidelis Laici should become our Vade Mecum, a small document or book that we carry around for regular reference. The document sees this living holiness of the laity, emanating from their participation in the Church’s holiness. After all, personal and corporate holiness is an essential and indispensable condition for carrying out the Church’s mission of salvation. In the proclamation and living of the gospel, holiness and a deep life of prayer are vital necessities. Hope as Common Denominator The Congress also emphasized that the common denominator of the Church through Asia is HOPE. Since the Seoul meeting is in a big sense an occasion of learning and realization, it has become therefore a school of Hope where the more than 400 participants will now in turn echo the same message to their peers back home. The learners have to become the messengers of that important message. Pope Benedict XVI, in his encyclical Spe Salvi noted that “We live in a world, which, despite its celebrated scientific and technological progress, is permeated by a painful inability to hope.” He lamented that postmodern man has forgotten God, having been permanently burned by the failure of false paradises promised by failed ideologies. Where there is lingering hopelessness, the Pontiff strongly countered that HOPE comes from Christ and it is “linked to a lived union with a people.” Thus, every Christian is called to witness to that hope to the world and by the lives they lead must be able to readily explain the very reason for their hope- Christ. The congress gives a mandate to all who profess to be followers of Christ in Asia to “announce hope to this continent.” Again, in Christifidelis Laici, Pope Benedict says that “The church today ought to take a giant step forward in her evangelization effort and enter into a new stage of history in her missionary dynamism.” This means that the lay faithful is called to take their role as persons who have “co-responsibility” in the life and mission of all Christian communities. Our Responsibility as Evangelizers The scale of the evangelical harvest in Asia gives urgency to the Great Commission. It assumes urgency also because of the dangers of the relativistic mindset that is creeping in the modern world with respect to evangelization, among them: • the propensity to replace mission with dialogue in which all positions are equal; • the tendency to reduce evangelization to the task of simple human development, believing that it is enough to help people to become more human or more faithful to their religion; • a false concept of respecting the freedom of others, which leads to a relinquishing of the call to conversion. All Christians must recognize, simply by virtue of their being “for Christ,” that evangelization is an explicit mandate from Our Lord. It is not an ancillary activity of the Church, but rather the very reason for its being. The heart of the mission for every member of Couples for Christ and all laity must always be the heart of Christ. In Redemptoris Missio, the Pope emphasized that evangelization is an issue of faith, “an accurate indicator of our faith in Christ and his love for us.” It becomes our primary responsibility simply because “the love of Christ impels us.” (2 Cor 5:14) In short, there can be no true evangelization without the explicit proclamation of Jesus as Lord, by word and witness of life. This is in recognition of the fact that people today put more trust in witnesses than in teachers, in experiences than in teaching and in life and action than in theories. It is important to remember that the foundation of effective evangelization is a life of prayer. Thus our words of proclamation must always be bathed in an intense life of prayer. Corollary to prayer, and one which must likewise stem from a prayerful life, is humility. This is the message of the parable of the mustard seed, that great realities often have humble beginnings. Humility dictates that evangelizers must not expect immediate results nor demand that these results be attuned to their own will and timing. For the Lord of the harvest is God. He alone decides the pace, the timing, and mode of growth of the seed. We only need to remind ourselves of this truth in order to be protected from being discouraged as we discharge our missionary commitment. Formation of the Laity Formation of the lay faithful
Duc / C3

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 21
October 11 - 24, 2010



YFC ANCOP Scholars’ Night
By Robert Jaldon
SEPTEMBER 25, 2010 was a memorable night for CFC Youth for Christ. On this day, YFC conducted the first-ever YFC ANCOP Scholars’ Night at the Lay Formation Center, San Carlos Seminary in Guadalupe during which 16 YFC ANCOP scholars were formally introduced to YFC Couple Coordinators of Metro Manila and to people serving in ANCOP. “Tonight is a gift from God. We are blessed to have this opportunity to respond to our calling to work with the poor”, said Jeremy Quimpang, YFCANCOP Program Head. Accompanied by their proud parents, the young scholars accepted the scholarship and expressed hope that this will be the start of great things for their future. They acknowledged that the scholarship would allow them the opportunity to finish college, have a degree, and later have a decent job to help their family rise above their financial constraints. The sixteen young scholars are active YFC members in Metro Manila. They are: Analyn de Guzman, Carlos Guillera Jr., Jasmine Rose Casipe, Jessa Desoyo, Mariah Jesabelle Simanca, and Roseann Banaag of South Sector A, Angeline Rosette Dazo, Jonald Balorio and Ma. Valerie Espenido of East A, April Elalpe, Reygie Ranga, and Roel Espadilla of West B, Ma. Belinda Dela Cruz, Jonathan Figuracion, Marcelino Nemedez Jr., and Sherley May Altar of West C. Rommel Ancheta, YFC International Coordinator, stressed in his opening remarks that the reason behind this development is to answer and affirm the Lord’s call for YFC. “The highest calling of YFC is to study, that’s the reason why we are here and that is the reason why we have chosen to respond to the work with the poor in terms of education” he said. He further stressed that education is important “because [of the desire] of every youth, especially the poor, to fulfill the call that the Lord has given them. And that is the reason why we are here, and that is the reason why we have chosen the part of scholarship. What is important is we start with our obedience and faithfulness.” According to the statistics presented by Jeremy Quimpang, out of every 1000 students enrolled in Grade 1, only 650 will finish Grade 6. Of these, only 580 will enter high school and only 420-430 of them will graduate from high school. Of the high school graduates, only 230 will enroll in college and only 120 will earn a degree. This represents a dropout rate of 88% out of every 1000 students who started Grade 1. It is also important to note that out of the 120 college graduates, only one of them will come from the ranks of the poorest of the poor. One of the 16 scholars, Jasmin Rose Casipe, in her response, said: “In behalf of the ANCOP scholars, gusto ko po magpasalamat sa lahat po na tumutulong sa aming pagaaral. Maraming, maraming salamat sa ANCOP, sa mga sponsors, sa coordinators at mga aming parents na patuloy po sumusuporta sa amin. Sobra kaming naniniwala na kaya kami nandito ngayon kasi gusto ni God na mag set kami ng example sa mga kabataan at para patunayan sa lahat na hindi po sagabal ang pag serve sa pagaaral, [and] in fact ito pa po makakatulong sa amin para maaabot [ang] mga pangarap namin sa buhay. “ (On behalf of the ANCOP scholars, I would like to thank all those who are helping us with our education. Many, many thanks to ANCOP, to the sponsors, the coordinators and to our parents who continue to support us. We firmly believe that the reason we are here today is because God wants us to set an example for other youth and to prove to all that our service in the community is not an obstacle to our studies but rather a help to us so we can attain our dreams.) Jerry Tanigue, ANCOP Marketing and Media head and ANCOP Country Coordinator of Middle East, gave an overview of ANCOP, its vision and mission. He also announced that at present, there are a total of 1,793 ANCOP scholars. Of this figure, 1,170 (29 in college), are sponsored by ANCOP Canada, 520 (123 in college) sponsored by ANCOP USA, 17 (1 in college) sponsored by CFC Freemont, USA, 24 (9 in college) funded by Spain, 15 by Switzerland, 17 (all in college) sponsored by Saudi Arabia, 14 by HOLD and the 16 new scholars sponsored by YFC. YFC sees this scholarship program as part of God’s greater plan for YFCANCOP and that nothing is too big and difficult as long as they are obedient and faithful to what the Lord is telling them to do.

BDO partners with CFC-ANCOP Tekton
ON the first year anniversary of typhoon Ondoy, BDO Unibank, Inc. through its social responsibility arm, BDO Foundation, donated two parcels of land with a total area of almost 8, 500 square meters located at Barangay Hinukay, Baliwag, Bulacan to the municipality. The site will serve as resettlement site for typhoon victims in this municipality and those still living in the danger zones along the Angat tributaries. This project is a partnership with the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) through the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) who will fund and build over one hundred twenty five (125) transitory houses, Couples for Christ Answering the Cry of the Poor (CFC ANCOP) Tekton Foundation, Inc. who will provide the values formation program of the beneficiaries, and the city government who will do the site development and planning. At the signing ceremony of the Deed of Donation (DOD) and Memorandum of Agreement on Usufruct (MOA), BDO President Nestor Tan reiterated the bank’s role in the recovery and rehabilitation phase of last year’s disaster. The bank was also actively involved in the relief operations. Present during the signing ceremony were CFC Chairman Joe Tale, Nestor V. Tan, President of BDO Unibank, mc; Gwendolyn T. Pang, Secretary General of Philippine Red Cross, Selvaratnam Sinnadural, Country Representative, Philippine Delegation of International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Maureen C. Abelardo, Managing Trustee of BDO Foundation, Inc., Ricky Cuenca, CEO of CFC-ANCOP Tekton Foundation and Hon. Romeo M. Estrella, Municipal Mayor of the Municipality of Baliwag, Bulacan. The market value of the property donation is P8.5M. The land value is expected to reach about P18M after the development and transitory houses are turned over. This is the second resettlement site that BDO Foundation is building for typhoon victims. The first one was in Calumpit, Bulacan, in partnership with another international humanitarian agency, CRS (Catholic Relief Service) through the Diocese of Malolos and the municipality of Calumpit. The signing ceremony was held at The Anvil, BDO Corporate Center, South Tower last September 29, 2010.

Joe Tale (third from left) and Ricky Cuenca (third from right) pose with BDO officials after the MOA signing.

Proclaiming Jesus Christ in Asia and to the World
By Raymond Bucu
“CFC, your problems are over!” Thus reported Jose Tale, CFC Chairman, during the Metro Manila Mission Core regular teaching Night held for the first time in Meralco Theater in Ortigas Avenue last September 21, 2010. He attributed this statement to Professor Guzman Carriquiry, undersecretary of the Pontifical Commission for the Laity during the Vatican-sponsored Congress on Asian Catholic Laity held last August 31 to September 5, 2010 in Seoul, South Korea. Tale said that Professor Carriquiry later clarified the statement to mean that, as CFC undertakes its role in the Catholic Church, faithful and committed to the Vatican statutes as an International Association of the Catholic Faithful, it has the support and encouragement of the Pontifical Council of the Laity. Several instances of affirmation was received by CFC during the event, among them the comment that CFC is on the right track in defining its mission of global evangelization, attested by its presence in nearly all countries of the world, and further attested by the fact of CFC’s presence in the conference. The country report of Nepal specifically mentioned CFC and the important role it is playing in the Church’s mission of evangelization in that country. Rouquel Ponte, who also attended the event, later synthesized one of the talks given by Bishop Joseph Clemens during the Congress, entitled, “Vocation and Mission of the Lay Faithful in Light of Christi Fideles Laici.” Christi Fideles Laici (Christ’s Faithful People) was an apostolic exhortation issued in 1988 by Pope John Paul II a year after the Bishops’ Synod in Rome in 1987 to guide the laity in particular and the Church in general to see our vocation and mission of evangelization in light of the world, as we see it today. According to Rouquel, Christi Fideles Laici is deemed truly relevant for three reasons; one is that it has become the Magna Carta or handbook for the laity as it summarizes the teachings of Vatican II, the Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, which was the twenty-first Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church. It opened under Pope John XXIII on 11 October 1962 and closed under Pope Paul VI on 8 December 1965. Secondly, the apostolic exhortation provides guidance and discernment to ecclesial movements such as Couples for Christ with regards to their experiences, trends and other forms of lay participation in light of the Church’s own mission of evangelization. Lastly, it aims to stir up and promote awareness among the lay faithful of their God-given gift and responsibilities that everyone shares in the life and mission of the Church.
Duc / C2

Rouquel also echoed the talk’s emphasis on four crucial elements of the apostolic exhortation, which include the following; 1. The study of the Word of God and obedience to what the Holy Church teaches and proposes for our belief; 2. The mission of evangelization must be accomplished through a deep and intense personal prayer life; 3. The recognition of gifts and charisms should be put together for the life of the community; 4. A look at the signs of the times especially in light of what is happening in the world around us must guide us in the manner by which we move our community forward. On the other hand, Joe Yamamoto, CFC Executive Director, recalled that Pope Benedict XVI wrote in Spe Salvi (Saved in Hope) that “we live in a world where despite the celebrated technological and scientific progress,

we are permeated by painful inability to hope.” Joe Yamamoto also reflected that the laity are not just passive observers or mere onlookers in the greater scheme of things but that they are called to play a very pro-active role as being coresponsible to the life and mission of all Christian communities. In this manner, “the Church is relying more and more on empowered lay communities like Couples for Christ, considering the scale and scope of evangelistic harvest in Asia which thereby gives urgency to the Great Commission.” The change in venue was enthusiastically received by the Mission Core members. In a later memo, Joe Tale clarified that while CFC will try its best to hold teachings in Meralco Theater, the venue may not always be available. Thus, the teaching night in October will be at Irwin Shaw Theater in Ateneo but will be at Meralco Theater again in November.

YOUTH for Christ Zambales held its first provincial youth conference recently with the theme ONLINE based on the anchor verse “Now is your time of grief but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.” John 16:22. With the word ONLINE denoting connectedness to God, the conference focused on how the youth could be restored in terms of their relationship with God. More than 160 youth delegates from all over Zambales came for the conference and reveled in the joy of simply being together for the sports and the creative competitions, but especially for the messages that they heard during the talk and the testimo-

YFC Zambales Holds 1st Prov’l Conference
nies. The talk was given by Alvin Morada, island head of Luzon and Region Head of YFC Central Luzon, who spoke of the seven capital sins that break the connection between man and God.

Eros Quiabang, Central A Chapter Head, and Melanie Guiang, Central B Chapter Head shared about their struggles with obedience, self control and humility. Melanie’s sharing was made

more poignant by what happened afterward. Realizing their daughter’s struggles and understanding her better because of her sharing, parents Danny and Melinda Guiang were moved to embrace Melanie and the family professed to be further strengthened by the love of God. A week later, Melinda died suddenly from a massive stroke. Of course, the conference would not be complete without the celebration of the Holy Mass, which was officiated by Fr. Reymand Katindig and the prayers and songs from the opening worship, led by Jhyro Aguanta, and the praise fest led by Mark Cruz, Provincial head of YFC Zambales.

must be one of the priorities of the diocese and the whole community (clergy, lay faithful and religious) must converge on this goal. Lay formation is a duty and at the same time a right of the laity. Formation must aim to lead the faithful to a constant review of their Christian commitment, active participation in the life of the Church and constant deepening of their shared responsibility for the Church’s mission in the world. The lay faithful, because of their secular state, are in truth called upon to contribute to the development of society, guided by the principles of the Church’s social doctrine. But in all of these, in the midst of all our efforts to renew the face of the earth according to the likeness of our Lord and Saviour, the end goal of Christian formation remains to be HOLINESS. We are called to be individually and collectively holy, as the Lord is holy. And that holiness must radiate and be seen by all. As disciples of the Lord, we are called to be

salt that gives flavor as well as the lamp on the lampstand that spreads the light to the world. In being salt and light, in following our Master, it can sometimes mean making radical choices, even to the extent of going against the trend in society. A case in point is the raging conflict between pro-life and pro-choice advocates over the issue of the Reproductive Health Bill that is now being pushed into law. As Christfollowers, where do we stand? It is lamentable to note that some Catholics are even openly going against the stand of the Church and advocating pro-choice, in direct reaction to what they see as “meddling” by the Church in secular matters. How naïve of them to think that life and its preservation and protection is a monopoly of the state. There is a tendency to forget that the vocation of the laity is to be agents of change for Godly purposes in society. This is precisely why the Second Vatican Council emphasized the laity as existing in the secular order. Is this not more a matter

of urgency for the Church and for us Christians -- who need to be holy as Christ is holy- to be protective of life and creation as God who created all life expects us; to proclaim God’s truth in the limelight rather than in the sidelines ? Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, during his closing remarks, brought home this message to all Christians in Asia, and particularly to the entire community of CFC when, in his closing remarks, he quoted the same Gospel verse that has inspired our community life for 2010: “So as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in him, rooted in him and built upon him and established in the faith as you were taught.” (Col 2:6). This is the very message of Fullness of Life in Christ! “Duc in altum.” Go out into the deep! As we face the challenges of our modern times, and as we weather the storms that continue to beset our community, this remains our mandate – to evangelize, to proclaim God, to witness to our Christian identity, by our words, our actions and our aspirations.

CFC Vietnam is 12 Years Old!

By Emmy Pineda
JUST as an adolescent individual is ushered into adulthood, the CFC community in Bataan came of age when it celebrated its 21st anniversary last 26 September. The global CFC community’s theme of “Fullness of Life in Christ” this year proved to be apt as the local CFC in the province was blessed to experience a grand anniversary celebration that was so full of life and centered on the Lord Jesus Christ. The Area Council, after praying for discernment, arrived at a consensus to adopt a purely praise-and-worship format for this year’s anniversary celebration, instead of the usual talksand-presentations program. The main objective was, of course, to offer to God a special thanksgiving for His faithfulness to CFC Bataan for the past 21 years through a continuous and lively praisefest, in line with the local theme “Full of Life”. There was, however, a secondary purpose – to encourage all chapters to form their respective music ministries from among their members. Guided by the discerned format, a storyline on the “love affair” between God and CFC Bataan was developed by assigning praise and worship songs to each talk in the Christian Life Program, with three (3) songs for each of the thirteen (13) topics, starting from the Orientation Talk up to the Dedication Talk. Each song was prayerfully chosen to reminisce and highlight how the Lord has lovingly and faithfully blessed CFC Bataan through the years. Music Ministries with full band complement (at least one each of electric, acoustic and bass guitars and a drum set) were identified. Nine came from among the CFC chapters, while another three were from the Family Ministries, namely the Provincial YFC, SFC, and SOLD. The Provincial (MCG) Music Ministry completed the line up of 13 bands to play 3 songs each assigned to a particular CLP topic. Praisefest leaders and group performers or song action interpreters were also assigned, chosen from the other CFC chapters in order to ensure participation from all chapters. The anniversary celebration was ushered in at 1:00 pm by a concelebrated Mass, with the Most Rev.

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 14 No. 21

October 11 - 24, 2010

Anniversaries and Milestones

CFC Bataan at Twenty-One

By Annette Taguba and Ed Ubaldo
CFC-Vietnam kicked off a 3-day celebration commemorating its 12th year anniversary. The celebrations began on August 20, 2010. George and Cynthia Campos (Vietnam Country Coordinator), accompanied by their entire family, were the special guests during the activity. On the first day, Vietnam Country Head Antit Macatol delivered a talk on the Fruits of the Holy Spirit with the venue being his own residence. The talk was followed by fellowship highlighted by a very sumptuous dinner. The second day of celebration, August 21 was another remarkable day, filled with praise and music. It was held at the Pastoral Building, Tan Dinh Church, District 1, HCMC. After the praise and worship, former leaders of the country were honored for their dedication in planting the seed of faith and the seed of love in Vietnam. But the night was geared mainly for entertainment and so music, dancing and and laughter filled the whole place.

The main event of the celebration was on the final day, August 22. The community, garbed in their designated colors, gathered together at the St. Paul’s Convent in Saigon. Fr. Lito Ancla celebrated Holy Mass which, for all CFC, is always the center and the apex of every activity. An Assumption nun, Sister Vi Lyn, who is very supportive of CFC, joined in the celebration. After the mass, Praveen D’ Souza from CFC India, led everyone in a rousing praise and worship, accentuating the need for everyone to draw upon that deep connection with God. The anniversary session began with a brief history of CFC Vietnam given by Antit, followed by inspirational messages from George and Cynthia Campos. Sharers, who testified to the presence of God in their lives and to the transformations wrought by God in their lives were Hyatt, Ed and Agnes Ubaldo (from Phu My Hung). Lina Escobia (SFC), and Liezl Dawa (from An Phu). After lunch, the SFC conducted a mini sports activity. A spirited and vibrant praisefest capped the 3-day celebrations.

Bataan leaders pose with Bishop Santos and Fr. Joen after the anniversary Mass. Also in attendance were Bataan Provincial Head Vic Yamamoto and wife Nora (fifth and fourth from right) and Central Luzon Regional Head Nonong Ignacio (third from right).

CFC Zamboanga Sibugay Celebrates 15th Year Anniversary
By Lovely Enteria
COUPLES for Christ-Zamboanga celebrated their 15th Anniversary in Marian College, Ipil, Zamboanga, Sibugay last August 21 to 22, 2010. The two-day affair was well attended by CFC members from 16 different towns of Zamboanga, Sibugay. Guests from Manila, Iligan and Zamboanga City also graced the celebration. The theme of the anniversary revolved around the message: “Build on Christ” taken from 1 Corinthians 3:11 “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” The festivities started with a sports fest. In the afternoon, everyone trooped to St. Joseph Cathedral for some teachings. Nonoy Dalman, Area Head of Zamboanga City, talked about discipleship while Vic Lauro, Area Head of Zamboanga Sibugay, emphasized the importance of CFC’s Family Ministries. A Holy Mass celebrated by Rev. Fr. Rex Rocamora capped the afternoon event. But the festivities were not over. A Bounty Parade followed as well as competitions in singing, dance and band. The Holy Mass on the following day, Sunday, was celebrated by His Excellency Bishop Julius S. Tonel, DD, of the Diocese of Ipil. In his homily, Bishop Tonel reminded CFC that being a member of the community is not a guarantee that we can enter the narrow gate to heaven unless we strive to be holy like God.

Ruperto C. Santos D.D., Bishop of the Diocese of Balanga, as the main celebrant, and the Very Rev. Joen Buenaventura, a former member of the CFC Singles for Christ and now the Assistant Priest of the Cathedral Parish of St. Joseph and CFC Bataan Spiritual Director, as co-celebrant. The songs during the Mass were led by the CFC Kids for Christ. Right after the Mass, anniversary messages were given by Nonong Ignacio, CFC Central Luzon Regional Head, and Vic Yamamoto, CFC Bataan Area Head. Nonong congratulated CFC Bataan for its many blessings in all of its 21 years of existence and for its very well-attended celebration. Vic expounded on what it takes to have the fullness of life in Christ, and cited how CFC Bataan is so full of life through the example of Lita Mendoza and Ellen Atenta. Lita became a National Awardee of “Dangal ng Bayan 2010” for returning to the teller an excess of PhP750,000.00 from the amount she withdrew from a local bank. Ellen consistently attends all CFC activities, including this anniversary celebration, despite her being a Stage 4-cancer patient. Then followed the almost four-hour

praisefest that truly manifested how CFC Bataan is so full of life – singing, praising, worshipping, dancing, clapping, jumping, raising hands, embracing each other and/or holding hands all throughout. The enthusiastic participation in the entire event was further elicited by the interpretative dances, presentations, banner parades and action-leadings by the selected brethren that complemented well the exhortations and prayers of the praisefest leaders. The prayer for empowerment of new leaders, as well as the recitation of the expanded CFC Global Vision and Mission, was also fittingly incorporated. Although there was so much challenge on the technical aspects of the praisefest, especially during the transitions from one band to the other, the bands blended relatively better than expected, and resulted to a “seamless” praise and worship from start to finish. These despite the fact that instructions were given out during only two (2) service meetings within a span of only 2 weeks before the anniversary. Everybody agreed that the event was hugely successful because everyone was able to focus on the Lord of the celebration, instead of just the celebration.

CFC: One with the Church Even in Partying
By Nirva de la Cruz
CATHOLIC lay missionaries partied together for the first time! Couples for Christ was part of the serious fun last September 28 at the Greenmeadows Clubhouse in Libis, Quezon city with a couple of hundred other lay missionaries, friends and collaborators. The event entitled Consumed by Love: A Missionaries’ Ball was organized by the Episcopal Commission on Mission under the CBCP to gather all Catholic lay missionary groups for fellowship. The night was a celebration of a vibrant Catholic Church with performances from self-described missionaries of music – Hangad, Bukas Palad, and CFC’s very own Minnie Juan, who shared how she transcended her blindness through God’s grace. CFC lent its own brand of entertainment with the 29 A.D. Musicionaries’ rousing performance. This healing music ministry, composed mainly of CFC and SFC members, delighted everyone with Don’t Stop Believing, followed by songs from the 80’s that made everyone feel the sudden urge to get

Marajaw Karajaw CFC Surigao!
By Joven Z. Inosanto
OVER 5,000 members of CFC Surigao del Norte celebrated God’s sufficient grace, unbounded love and outpouring generosity during their 18th anniversary last September 26. By 7 AM of the anniversary day, the streets of Surigao City were filled with noise and enthusiasm as the street and float parades threaded their way to the main venue: the Surigao City Sports Complex. Different chapters of CFC Surigao City, the province of Surigao del Norte, and the chapters of Dinagat Island expressed their creativity in different float designs. The celebration formally opened with an opening worship led by the chapter head of the Dinagat Island, Ondoy Guaco, followed by the welcome remarks of the Provincial Area Director, William Lim. Aside from the sports competitions, one of the highlights of the anniversary was the praise parade of the different chapters wherein each chapter was able to showcase their talents in dancing and creativity in every presentation. Another highlight was the raffle draw where the winners received rice and grocery items. Adding color to the event was the presence of the remaining 1st batch of the first Christian Life Program (CLP) - 18 people symbolizing also the 18th year of CFC Surigao del Norte. International Council member Joey Arguelles and his wife Tess joined in the celebration, with Joey giving the traditional anniversary message. The celebration would not be complete without the Holy Mass which was celebrated by the Bishop of the Diocese of Surigao, Bishop Antonieto Cabajog D.D, con-celebrated by Fr. Manny Quiban DCS, parish priest of St. John the Baptist Parish, Ipil, Surigao City. The day of celebration ended with a spirit-filled praise fest led by YFC Fulltime Pastoral Worker Joven Inosanto.

on their feet and dance. Dict Jadulco, a missionary for Singles for Christ who came with his wife, Babes, enthused, “It was awesome! I really enjoyed the night.” CFC was honored that night for helping organize the event. For several months, some eight lay missionary communities and groups met regularly to plan and coordinate for the ball. Fondacio Philippines, Inc, Theresian Association and the Columban Lay Missionaries were just some of the other groups honored and acknowledged that night. Fr. Soc Mesiona, MSP, the executive secretary of the ECM, presented the

groups with plaques to express the Church’s appreciation for all their hard work. CFC missionary Sky Ortigas, who actively helped in the preparations of the event in behalf of CFC, likewise shared her enjoyment, saying, “[It was] affirming as a missionary to meet other missionaries. [You realize] you’re not alone. It’s not just your community but there are others.” Over-all, it was a great chance for CFC to unite itself even more to the Body of Christ, the Church. Who imagined it would be so much fun?

By Nirva de la Cruz

CFC on a Mission Run

COUPLES for Christ proved that aside from going on actual mission, they can also run for mission. CFC was one of the Catholic lay missionary groups and communities that participated in the Run for Life, Run for the World Fun Run, an even organized by the Episcopal Commission on Mission (ECM). CFC, specifically members of the West sector, which covers a part of Quezon city, handled the nitty gritty of the run operations like fielding marshals to man the run perimeter, coordinating with the Office of the Mayor for security needs and basically managing how the fun run would flow. As early as three o’clock in the morning, CFC missionaries and members were already setting up at the Quezon City circle, anticipating the arrival of

hundreds of runners from congregations and communities like the Vincentian missionaries, the Philippine Catholic Lay Missionaries and the Theresian Association. Fresh from a missionary stint in East Timor, CFC missionary Anthony Rodriguez who helped with secretariat work for the run shared, “It was a good event. It was my first time to attend an event like this.” The first time proved to be a charm, as CFC’s involvement in the fun run points to deeper and more committed efforts to work with the Church and other communities in the future.

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