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Pope Francis celebrates a historic Mass for an estimated 170,000 Catholics

at Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi, Feb. 5, 2019. The three-day
UAE trip, which was focused on interreligious dialogue, was the first papal
visit to the Muslim Gulf. VATICAN MEDIA

Church mourns victims

of Jolo cathedral blasts
By Roy Lagarde
Bishop ‘deeply
POPE Francis led the saddened’ over
Catholic Church’s Saudi execution
m o u r n i n g o f
worshippers killed in of Filipina helper
twin blasts that rocked
A CATHOLIC bishop said he
a cathedral in southern was “deeply saddened” over
Philippines on Jan 27, Saudi Arabia’s execution of
killing 22 church-goers a Filipina household service
and seriously injuring worker found guilty of murder.
about a hundred. “This is a very sad and
tragic news, especially our
Speaking in Panama on the own is involved,” said Bishop
last day of World Youth Day, the Ruperto Santos of the Church’s
pope deplored what could be one Commission on Migrants and
of the deadliest attacks in recent Itinerant People.
years in a region long plagued by The bishop’s reaction came
instability. after the Department of Affairs
“I raise my prayers for the dead (DFA) confirmed Thursday
and wounded. May the Lord, prince that Saudi authorities carried
of peace, convert the hearts of the out the death penalty for the
violent and give the inhabitants of unnamed Filipina on Jan. 29.
that region a peaceful coexistence,” It is regrettable, he said that
he said. legal assistance to the 39-year-
Fr. Romeo Saniel, Apostolic old Filipina “was not enough”.
Administrator of Jolo, said that “Yet, assistance and help
most of those who died were his should still be extended to her
Blasts / A6 The scene outside the Jolo Cathedral after two bombs exploded Sunday, Jan. 27, while mass was in progress. AFP WESTERN MINDANAO COMMAND kin,” said Santos.
“We commend to God her

Filipino bishops to meet with Pope Francis in Vatican eternal rest, and we pray always
for the safety and security of
our overseas Filipino workers,”
THE bishops of the Philippines May and June. weeks of May and the first week This will be first ad limina visit he added.
will make a pilgrimage to Rome He said that the visit will take of June so each group will have a for the Filipino bishops under The DFA declined to identify
in the coming months where they place in three different groups: week in Rome,” Mejia said. Francis’ papacy. The last one was the Filipina, saying her family
will meet Pope Francis and report Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Aside from a personal meeting made in 2011 when they met with requested privacy.
the state of their dioceses. And since Luzon is a big with the pope, the visit also Pope Benedict XVI. It said the Philippine
Fr. Marvin Mejia, secretary delegation, the bishops under the consists of a pilgrimage to major The Catholic News Service Embassy “provided her with a
general of the Catholic Bishops’ Ecclesiastical Province of Caceres basilicas in Rome and encounters previously reported that Pope lawyer to assist her in all stages
Conference of the Philippines, will join the Visayas group and with various dicasteries of the Francis launched a new style of her trial, sent representatives
confirmed that the church those from the Ecclesiastical Roman Curia. of ad limina visit which is more to visit her, and provided her
hierarchy will undertake the “Ad Province of Lipa will be with the Ad limina visits traditionally informal and characterized family in the Philippines with
Limina apostolorum” (to the Mindanao prelates. have been scheduled every five by a free-flowing dialogue. regular updates about her
threshold of the apostles) visit in “It will be held in the last two years. (CBCPNews) case.” (CBCPNews)

Bishops to voters: Preserve checks, balances in May polls Bishops warn against attempts to
CATHOLIC bishops urged voters
to preserve checks and balances in
government by electing ‘principled’
foil midterm elections
candidates this coming midterm THE country’s Catholic bishops According to them, the charter
elections. have warned against attempts to change passed by the lower chamber
In a pastoral letter issued on Jan. avoid the midterm elections. and now being dangled to the senators
28 after their plenary assembly in In a statement, they urged the public is a serious and “more insidious”
Manila, the bishops stressed the to turn their attention to the “threat” matter that people should look into.
need for such system that restrain that the Lower House’s version of the “It takes away the term limits
not only government but those who federal constitution poses. (See full of most of the elected officials
run it. text of the statement in page B4) and allows political dynasties to
It is “crucial”, they said, because “Its version of federalism is vague continue,” they said.
the checks and balances in the and it will do away with the 2019 The draft federal constitution,
government today are being elections,” the bishops said. they claimed, also opens the national
“undermined”. “We denounce any attempt to resources to foreign ownership and
“We encourage voters to be more avoid the elections. This right of eventual control.
discerning in their votes,” reads the people to vote should not be “Let us be vigilant in what is
part of the statement. shelved,” they said. happening. Let us not just be on-
According to them, the Senate is The church officials issued the lookers but let us be involved,” the
the only government institution so More than 80 members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines gather at the Pope Pius warning after their plenary assembly bishops said. (Roy Lagarde /
Polls / A7 XII Catholic Center in Manila for their 118th plenary assembly, January 26, 2019. ROY LAGARDE in Manila over the weekend. CBCPNews)
A2 WORLD NEWS February 4 - 17, 2019, Vol 23, No. 03 CBCP Monitor

New movie tells story of abortion Vatican Briefing

clinic worker turned pro-life advocate
BRYAN, Texas— A movie its work, at first. Following Jesus is a daily choice, pope tells religious at Vatican
chronicling the conversion of a Just a few weeks The choice to follow God in life is not just a once-in-a-lifetime
former Planned Parenthood clinic later, however, opportunity but a decision that is made every day, Pope Francis
director who became a pro-life she was in the said. Christians truly encounter Jesus through concrete events in
advocate will be released in theaters nearby office of life that occur “every day; not every now and then,” the pope said
nationwide on March 29. the Coalition For in his homily for the feast of the Presentation of the Lord and the
A trailer for the film Unplanned, Life, telling its World Day for Consecrated Life. “When we welcome (Jesus) as the
which tells the story of Abby director Shawn Lord of life, the center of everything, the beating heart of everything,
Johnson, was released on Jan. 31. Carney –with then he lives and relives in us,” the pope said at the Mass Feb. 2 in
Based off Johnson’s book of the whom she knew St. Peter’s Basilica. The feast commemorates the 40th day after the
same name, Unplanned recounts her from his years birth of Jesus, when Mary and Joseph presented him to the Lord in
experiences in the abortion industry. of opposition the temple. (Junno Arocho Esteves/CNS)
After being first approached at an to Planned
on-campus activities fair, Johnson Parenthood–
began volunteering at Planned that she could no World needs courageous prophets, pope says at Angelus
Parenthood as a clinic escort. After longer continue The world is in need of true disciples of Christ who are prophets
graduation, she took a job with the helping women of hope to the poor and the downtrodden, Pope Francis said. All
company and eventually became the have abortions. men and women, especially those who are suffering, can gain hope
director of the Bryan, Texas clinic. In a 2011 by encountering “people who are courageous and persevering in
In 2008, she was named as the interview with responding to the Christian vocation,” the pope said before reciting
clinic’s employee of the year. CNA, Johnson the Angelus Feb. 3 with people gathered in St. Peter’s Square. The
During her time working at the said she joined world needs “people who follow the ‘push’ of the Holy Spirit, who
nation’s largest abortion provider, the pro-life sends them to proclaim hope and salvation to the poor and excluded;
Johnson herself had two abortions. movement to people who follow the logic of faith and not of miracles; people
Due to a personnel shortage, help women dedicated to the service of all, without privileges and exclusions,”
she was called in to assist in an understand he said. (Junno Arocho Esteves/CNS)
ultrasound-guided abortion for the the truth about
first time in September 2009. She abortion, not
was initially disconcerted to note to become a True love for God leads to compassionate care for others, pope says
how much the unborn child, after public figure. People cannot feel authentic compassion for others if they do not
13 weeks, looked like the image she She said that it feel true love for Christ, Pope Francis said. “Jesus wants us to touch
had seen of her own living daughter was Planned Parenthood, not the are currently expecting their human misery, to touch his flesh in the flesh of those who suffer in
while pregnant. Coalition For Life, that turned her eighth child. body or spirit. Touch in order to let ourselves be touched” by God,
The next few minutes changed departure into a public battle. And Then There Were None has he told members of the Hospitaller Brothers of St. John of God.
Johnson’s life irrevocably, as she “Planned Parenthood released helped nearly 500 former clinic Understanding God’s mercy and shaping one’s life to conform to
watched the baby –whom she had this to the media” in late 2009, she workers leave the abortion industry. Christ and his compassion lead to doing what is good in the world
believed to be incapable of feeling said. “Planned Parenthood made Unplanned stars Ashley Bratcher and healing all kinds of illnesses and infirmities, he said. The pope
anything– squirming and twisting this a news story. This is something as Johnson. During filming, made his remarks Feb. 1 during an audience with members of the
to avoid the tube into which it would that they did.” Bratcher discovered that her own order’s general chapter, which was taking place Jan.14-Feb. 6 in
be vacuumed. “This is not what I planned for my mother had planned on having an Rome. (Carol Glatz/CNS)
“For the briefest moment,” she life. But God set this up for me– and abortion when she was pregnant
wrote in her memoir, “the baby it would be the wrong thing, to turn with her, but walked out of the
looked as if it were being wrung like away from something that He has appointment instead. Vatican doctrinal official steps down amid investigation of solicitation
a dishcloth, twirled and squeezed. planned for my life.” Unplanned was written and An Austrian priest under canonical investigation stepped down as
And then it crumpled and began Johnson went on to found the directed by Chuck Konzelman and an official at the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
disappearing into the cannula organization “And Then There Cary Solomon, the writers of God’s in an effort “to limit the damage already done to the congregation
before my eyes.” Were None,” which seeks to Not Dead and God’s Not Dead 2. and to his community,” the doctrinal office said. The priest, Father
“The last thing I saw was the tiny, assist abortion workers with The movie was partially funded Hermann Geissler, “affirms that the accusation made against him
perfectly formed backbone sucked leaving the industry and finding by Michael Lindell, a born-again is untrue and asks that the canonical process already initiated
into the tube, and then it was gone.” a new career. Although not Christian and the founder of the continue. He also reserves the right for possible civil legal action,”
Shocked by what she had seen, shown in the film, Johnson company MyPillow. the office said in a note released by the Vatican press office Jan. 29.
Johnson still continued her work and her husband subsequently The film will be distributed by The 53-year-old theologian, who is a member of a community called
running the clinic and promoting converted to Catholicism and Pure Flix. (CNA) The Spiritual Family The Work, submitted his resignation Jan. 28
to the prefect, Cardinal Luis Ladaria Ferrer, who then granted his
Cuba’s first church inauguration since the revolution request. He had worked at the congregation for 25 years and had
been head of its doctrinal section since 2009. (Carol Glatz/CNS)
PINAR del Rio, Cuba— day,” said Father Cirilo to re-education camps. “From the day they put
The first new Catholic Castro, who supervised The Church was driven the first stone we have Vatican underlines support of universal health care coverage
church in Cuba since the the construction of the underground until been watching it grow The Vatican supports efforts to build stronger and sustainable
the country’s revolution church, according to CNN. religious tensions in the little by little. Patience has essential health care services on the way toward achieving universal
60 years ago was “We knew it would happen country began to ease given us this church,” said health coverage, a Vatican official said. The Catholic Church is
inaugurated on Saturday. one day,” he added. in 1991. St. John Paul II Aleida Padrón Zabala, part of this effort in providing primary care to people in need and
Sacred Heart of Jesus The church is a sign then visited the island a Sadino resident who always “with due recognition to the sacredness of human life, from
parish in Sandino, 45 of the country’s increase in 1998. Pope Francis attended the church’s conception to natural death,” said Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic, Vatican
miles southwest of Pinar of religious freedom. played a role in the 2015 inaugural Mass with her observer to U.N. agencies in Geneva. Speaking to the executive
del Rio, was inaugurated Communist rule was restoration of diplomatic family, according to CNN. board of the World Health Organization Jan. 28, the archbishop
Jan. 26. It is the first of established soon after the relations between Cuba Bishop Jorge Enrique noted the organization’s call for a renewal of primary health care
three new parishes to be conclusion of the Cuban and the US. Serpa Perez of Pinar and the Sustainable Development Goals’ target of universal health
completed; the other two Revolution in 1959, which The construction of del Rio commented: coverage to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at
will be in Havana and ousted the authoritarian Sandino’s new church “Sometimes you have to all ages.” (CNS)
Santiago. It was built on ruler Fulgencio Batista. building, which seats 200, overcome many obstacles
land granted by the state. Under communism was made possible by a but then you get to a
“To see this finished churches and schools $95,000 donation from point where things can Pope confirms November visit to Japan
is like coming out were closed, and priests St. Lawrence parish in be accomplished.” (CNA/ Pope Francis will visit Japan in November of this year. The
of the night into the were exiled or assigned Tampa, Fla. EWTN News) pope confirmed the timing of the upcoming trip during remarks to
journalists on the flight from Rome to Panama, Jan. 23. According
Indian court denies bail to Missionary of Charity accused of child trafficking to Vatican News, while greeting members of the media aboard
the papal plane, Pope Francis responded to a question from a
NEW DELHI, India— A religious The couple reportedly paid Indwar The Albanian-born Mother correspondent of the Japanese Kyodo News Agency, who asked if
sister with the Missionaries of 120,000 Indian rupees ($1,760) Teresa founded the Missionaries he will visit the country in 2019. “I’ll go to Japan in November, get
Charity accused of cooperating in for the child. They complained of Charity in Kolkata in 1950. She ready!” the pope said. Francis also expressed his desire to travel
the sale of a child from a home for that Indwar took their money in was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to Iraq but noted that the local bishops have made it clear the
unwed mothers has been denied exchange for the child, and that she in 1979, and canonized in 2016. country is not yet secure enough for a papal visit. Interim papal
bail by India’s Supreme Court, later took the child back from them, There are now 5,167 Missionaries spokesperson Alessandro Gisotti released a statement Jan. 23 to
according to UCANews. without returning the money. of Charity sisters, both active and say that a papal trip to Japan is in the “study phase.” (Hannah
Sister Concelia (Konsalia) was In a video, Sister Concelia said she contemplative, around the world. Brockhaus/CNA)
arrested July 4, 2018 in connection found out about the reported sale The order has 244 houses in India.
with the reported sale of a child after being questioned about it by After the incident, the
from the Nirmal Hriday home in the CWC. She asked Indwar, who Missionaries of Charity released a Vatican transfers task of Ecclesia Dei to the CDF
Ranchi. then allegedly admitted to having statement expressing regret, sorrow Pope Francis issued a motu proprio Saturday ending the
Her plea for bail was rejected tried to sell the child. Sr. Concelia and condemnation for the action, pontifical commission Ecclesia Dei and creating an office within
this week by the India Supreme said she then alerted the authorities and their willingness to cooperate the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith to focus on doctrinal
Court, due to a lack of formally filed about the matter and said the baby with authorities in the investigation. dialogue with traditionalist groups. For over 30 years, the
charges from the police on the case. should be brought back. They also announced that they pontifical commission Ecclesia Dei has “facilitated the full ecclesial
While the court urged police to file A police source said at the time were conducting their own internal communion of priests, seminarians, communities or individual
charges soon, Sr. Concelia remains that Indwar provided to police investigation of the case. religious linked to Mgr. Marcel Lefebvre’s fraternity, who wished
in custody in the eastern state of a handwritten note from Sister According to UCANews, local to remain united to the Successor of Peter in the Catholic Church,
Jharkhand. Concelia asking Indwar to take the media reports have said that the preserving their spiritual and liturgical traditions,” Pope Francis
It is the third time the sister has blame on herself, Matters India Jharkhand government has revoked wrote in the apostolic letter published Jan. 19. “The institutes and
been denied bail, but the Supreme reported at the time. the sisters’ licence to run the Nirmal religious communities that usually celebrate in extraordinary form
Court will allow her to apply again, Some Catholic bishops of the Hriday, but the sisters told UCA have found today their own stability of number and life,” the pope
UCANews reported Jan. 31. country have questioned whether that they have received no official noted. (Courtney Grogan/CNA)
Anima Indwar, an employee Sister Concelia is actually guilty of notification.
of the Nirmal Hriday home since collaborating with Indwar in the UCANews also reported that
2012, was arrested the day before sale, or whether she is the victim of some Christian leaders believe that Pope warns against ‘spirals of hatred’ on social media
Sr. Concelia, in connection to the a coerced confession. the incident is being used by pro- Pope Francis has warned against the increasing narcissism
reported sale of the child. Indwar “Nobody was allowed to meet Hindu groups to cast Christians and and “spirals of hatred” found on today’s social media networks,
had been entrusted with escorting Sister Konsalia in custody,” Bishop missionaries in a bad light. encouraging people to cultivate community through their internet
unwed mothers, their babies, and Theodore Mascarenhas, Auxiliary Bishop Mascarenhas told UCA interactions instead. In his World Day of Social Communications
their guardians to the hospital and Bishop of Ranchi, said at the time. news that he is concerned for the message, Pope Francis said that online discussion is “too often
to the Child Welfare Committee “Her advocate could meet her on health of Sr. Concelia, a diabetic, based on opposition to the other.” “We define ourselves starting
(CWC) office when the religious Wednesday, eight days after her while she is held in custody. with what divides us rather than with what unites us, giving rise
sisters were engaged with other arrest, only after we approached the “We feel very sad that an innocent to suspicion and to the venting of every kind of prejudice (ethnic,
duties. court,” he said July 12, according and physically unwell nun is behind sexual, religious and other),” Francis wrote in the letter published
Police were tipped off to the to the Hindustan Times. “During bars,” he said. “We are pained that Jan. 24. This creates a digital environment that nourishes “unbridled
possible sale when a couple the 10 minutes interaction that the an aged innocent nun remains in jail individualism which sometimes ends up fomenting spirals of
complained to the CWC in Ranchi advocate could have with her, she when murderers and other hardcore hatred,” he explained. (Courtney Grogan/CNA)
that they had paid for a baby boy who said she was forced by the police to criminals get bail.” (CNA/EWTN
was then taken away from them. give her statement.” News)
CBCP Monitor February 4 - 17, 2019, Vol 23, No. 03 NEWS FEATURES A3

Popes in the Middle East: Highlights of

papal outreach in the region
VATICAN— Pope Francis celebrated John Paul II went to Damascus’
the first papal Mass on the Arabian Umayyad Mosque, which had been
Peninsula during his Feb. 3-5 visit built in 715 on top of a fourth-
to Abu Dhabi, capital of the United century Christian cathedral said
Arab Emirates. to contain the head of John the
The pope’s Mass at the Zayed Baptist.
sports stadium on Feb. 5 drew In March 2003, days before
at least 135,000 people. Many in US President George W. Bush
attendance were migrant workers announced the official start of the
from Asia residing in the UAE, a Iraq war, St. John Paul II called for
country in which 89 percent of the a worldwide fast for peace in the
population are not citizens. It was Middle East.
not only the first papal Mass on the The Polish pontiff, known for his
peninsula, but the first public Mass extensive papal travels during his
in the country. 27-year pontificate, was also the
Since the Second Vatican first pope to visit several Middle
Council there have been significant Eastern nations, including Egypt,
milestones in Muslim-Catholic Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey.
relations in the region. Here is a
look at some of the highlights: First synod for the Middle East
Benedict XVI called for the first
First pope on a plane special Synod of Bishops focused
The first time a pope ever traveled on the Middle East over two weeks
on a plane was on a trip to the in October 2010. His post-synodal
Middle East. Saint Paul VI flew apostolic exhortation, Ecclesia in
from Italy to Jordan in January Medio Oriente, focused on the role
1964, making history as the first of Christians living in the Middle
pope to leave Europe. Paul VI East, predicting before the Arab Pope Francis celebrates Mass at Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Feb. 5, 2019. VATICAN MEDIA
met with King Hussein in Amman Spring that many Christians would
before continuing his journey to face a decision to emigrate due to papal trip to the Arabian Peninsula. al-Azhar for the fifth time and will On the way to World Youth Day
Jerusalem. the changing political situation in The focus of the pope’s two-day also visited the great mosque of in January, Pope Francis expressed
The following year, Paul VI issued their countries or to remain as a visit was interreligious dialogue, Abu Dhabi. his desire to visit Iraq, but noted
Nostra aetate, the Second Vatican witness to the faith. particularly with Islam. However, The UAE trip continues Pope that the local bishops have made it
Council’s declaration on the relation Benedict XVI also added Arabic as the papal Mass also made history Francis’ emphasis on a culture clear the country is not yet secure
of the Church to non-Christian one of the official languages in his as the first public outdoor Mass on of encounter and interreligious enough for a papal visit.
religions, which stated that “the weekly General Audience addresses the peninsula, where each country dialogue. Pope Francis previously In Bahrain, construction is
Church looks upon Muslims with in St. Peter’s Square. His final papal has restrictions on the freedom of visited Egypt in 2017 and plans also underway for the biggest Catholic
respect” as worshipers of the one trip was to Lebanon in 2012, the first worship. to visit Morocco March 30-31. cathedral in the region, due to be
God. papal trip to the region following the Pope Francis earlier said that he completed in January 2021. The
outbreak of the Arab Spring. hopes his trip to Abu Dhabi will be History still to be made mother church of the Vicariate
First pope in a mosque “a new page in the history of the The Middle Eastern countries of Apostolic of Northern Arabia will be
Saint John Paul II made history First papal Mass in Arabia relations between the religions” Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, the first consecrated under the title
as the first pope to enter a mosque Pope Francis’ trip to the United in the region. During the journey Kuwait, Qatar, and Bahrain have yet Our Lady of Arabia. (Courtney
during his visit to Syria in May 2001. Arab Emirates Feb. 3-5 was the first Francis met the Great Imam of to receive a papal visit. Grogan/CNA)

Rebuilding broken hearts: A Syrian sister’s prayer for her country Major Japanese convenience
ALEPPO, Syria— As the
people of Syria work to
country, the civil war in Syria
may be winding down, but it
stores ban pornography
rebuild the cities, hospitals, is unclear whether the nation TOKYO, Japan— to become more family
homes, and schools that were will find peace in the postwar T h o u s a n d s o f oriented.
destroyed through years of era. convenience stores in “As the role and usage of
conflict, they also face a more Sister Demerjian requested Japan will stop selling 7-Eleven stores has changed
difficult task, according to prayers for those directly pornographic magazines, in recent years, 7-Eleven
one Syrian Catholic sister: involved with the conflict. “I a move they say will help became an important
repairing broken hearts. want to pray for every person create an environment shopping destination for
“It is easy to rebuild a who carries arms, who has more conducive to families, children and
house, but it is difficult to killed other people, that the families. elder people as well,” the
rebuild a broken soul,” said Lord will enlighten their Both Lawson Inc. spokesperson said.
Sister Annie Demerjian, of mind and their hearts to see and 7-Eleven Japan “In order to create
the Community of Jesus and the truth, to see that life is a Co. announced earlier a proper shopping
Mary. gift from the Lord and only this week that the retail environment for all our
The Syrian sister, who He has the right to take it,” companies plan to stop customers, we decided to
has remained in Aleppo she said. selling pornography in their stop handling sales of adult
throughout the nearly 8-year Many Christians are stores, which combined magazines.”
Syrian Civil War, told CNA coping with a sense of loss, included nearly 34,000 The distribution of
that there is a great need for vigil sponsored to Aid to the healthcare facilities in not only from those who locations in Japan. pornography is common
psychological healing from Church in Need last fall. Syria have been attacked have died, but also from Campaigners praised the in Japan’s convenience
the trauma and anguish her Demerjian cited a statistic and at least 768 medical the loss of community due change on Wednesday, stores, including the sales
people have suffered during from UNICEF that an professionals killed in to emigration, she said. saying that the development of comic books containing
the conflict. estimated 3.7 million Syrian the conflict, according to According to the U.N., more could help to prevent the sexualized cartoons.
“It is very hard to lose children have been born since Physicians for Human Rights. than 11 million Syrians have sexual exploitation of Many such magazines are
someone, harder when the the Syrian Civil War began. “For years, priests and fled their homes. women. displayed openly on sales
death [is] not in a normal “Born and raised during sisters have lived this “Many Christians Kanae Doi, the director racks.
way -- either by killing or this time, they know only nightmare alongside our emigrated to the West, while of Japan’s Human Rights Japanese activists have
by bombs or persecution,” of destruction, violence and people...There were those without means and Watch, told Reuters that said that pornography is
Demerjian said. death,” she said. many long nights without connections fled to Lebanon, “this is certainly a welcome a contributor to gender
Many Syrians are coping She particularly noted the electricity, which meant Jordan, and Turkey. The move.” inequality and rising sexual
with such a loss. In addition pain of children who have lost working and praying by Christian population in Syria “It has been very violence against women in
to violence at the hands of one or both parents. candlelight, often under has fallen from 1.4 million shameful ... you can see the country.
ISIS, more than 400,000 “It is very hard to keep this heavy shelling. It meant in 2011 to an estimated pornography everywhere Caroline Norma, a senior
people have died since the great wound, you know. I ask hearing of all the deaths, 450,000,” Demerjian said. in Japan. Women are still research fellow at RMIT
Syrian Civil War broke out the Lord to heal the wounds and waiting and wondering However, the sister said seen as sex objects and not University, told Reuters
in March 2011, according to in their hearts and to make who would be next,” Sister that she is encouraged by the treated equally,” she added. that the accessibility of
estimates. At least 28,226 them accept with a heart of Demerjian said. great faith she finds in the The 7-Eleven stores pornography in Japan
of these casualties were forgiveness.” While the Islamic State’s Catholics who have chosen will phase out the explicit annually pushes an
children, according to the Children have been territorial caliphate has to remain. material by August. The estimated 500 women into
Syrian Network for Human impacted in other ways as collapsed, an estimated “Anytime we ask the transition will take place the sex industry.
Rights. well. Syria has the lowest 20,000 to 30,000 ISIS faithful how they are coping ahead of the 2019 Rugby “Any measure to
“The war has robbed school attendance rates in the fighters still remain in Iraq their answer is: ‘Thanks be World Cup and the 2020 suppress the products and
children of their childhood world after tens of thousands and Syria today, according to God.’ This is a sure sign Tokyo Olympics. activities of the sex industry
and innocence and killed of teachers fled the country to a recently released report of the hope and trust they A spokesperson for in Japanese society will
the brightness in their eyes; and one in three schools by the Center for Strategic have in the Lord Jesus, who 7-Eleven Japan Co. told ease an environment of
they have been spectators closed due to damage. and International Studies. is crucified with us and who Reuters that the stores, sexual objectification and
and unwilling actors in a hell Hospitals have also become And with government forces will not leave our side.” previously patronized exploitation that is mostly
they did not create,” Sister military targets during the focusing on the few remaining (Courtney Grogan/ mostly by men, have unregulated and culturally
Demerjian shared at a prayer civil war. More than 300 rebel-held territories in the CNA) developed in recent years celebrated.” (CNA)

Diminished crowds at World Youth Day in Panama

PANAMA CITY, Panama— The not yet been released, but the park country, and that she enjoyed the here in Panama, and I will go to the of 600,000 people packed the park
15th international World Youth had an official capacity of 700,000. difference in the cultures of Panama next one, to Portugal,” he told CNA. for the all-night vigil, according to
Day ended Sunday with a Mass Despite the large crowds, the and Poland. “Brazil had more people, but official figures.
celebrated by Pope Francis attended Mass had far fewer people attending “In Krakow it was totally different here it’s almost the same. Very The young people were awoken
by hundreds of thousands of young than previous World Youth Days. In because I was a volunteer, and now organized, the food is good, the around 6 am with loud music and
people from around the world. 2016’s Krakow gathering, the final I get to experience it as a pilgrim,” language is not a problem for me, shouts of “Buenos dias!” Mass
At the end of the Jan. 27 Mass, it Mass attendance was estimated at she told CNA. I think everyone is enjoying this... began around 8 am.
was announced that the next World 2.5 million. Even more Catholics “There are a lot of different In Poland, it was almost the same. The best attended World Youth
Youth Day will be held in Lisbon, showed up for the final Mass on people here...I don’t think [it feels I think it’s because the people here Day was held in Manila in 1995; 5
Portugal in 2022. Portuguese Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro smaller].” have the same ideas.” million are estimated to have attend
president Marcelo Rebelo de - about 3 million. Raphael Volcof, 27, echoed Ola’s Pope Francis led Eucharistic the closing Mass with St. John
Sousa was in attendance, as well as Ola, a pilgrim from Poland, told sentiments, saying it didn’t feel all adoration with the young people Paul II. At the last World Youth
several other political leaders from CNA after the final Mass in Panama that different than previous years Saturday night, and later the Day celebrated by Benedict XVI, in
throughout Central America. that she didn’t feel as though this despite the smaller numbers. pilgrims prayed the joyful mysteries Madrid in 2011, between 1.4 and 2
The official count for the World Youth Day was “smaller” “I enjoyed WYD in Rio de Janeiro; of the rosary before settling in for an million were in attendance. (Jonah
attendance at the final Mass has than the one held in her home in Krakow, Poland; and now I’m all-night, festive campout. A total McKeown/CNA)
A4 OPINION February 4 - 17, 2019, Vol 23, No. 03 CBCP Monitor


Bigger than bombs

THE Cathedral of Our Lady of Mr. Carmel has been a
punching bag of about 8 or so bombings already, not to
mention the killing of its 4th bishop Benjamin de Jesus, OMI,
in 1997. Since its first Ordinary, Francis Joseph McSorley,
OMI, who took possession of the Vicariate of Jolo in 1954, the
Oblates could easily be the poster boy of the Catholic Church’s
resilience in mission. Not a day have they abandoned their
post despite the constant and persistent threat of violence.
The latest and the most devastating bombs that tore through
the Cathedral on January 27 while Sunday mass was in
progress and killed at least 23 Church-goers and wounded
about a hundred, will not set off-track the quest for peace.
Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma said that the
peace process must continue to pursue the end of decades of
rebellion in the country’s restive south. “We hope that the
incident will not sidetrack us to lasting peace,” said Ledesma.
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle has called
on Filipinos, “not to abandon our commitment to peace.” In
a statement, he said, “Only good can combat evil. Instead of
being discouraged, let us strengthen our resolve to work for
peace based on justice, truth, love and respect for human life


and dignity. Let us multiply good and honorable thoughts,
sentiments, word and actions. Let us not abandon our efforts
to dialogue with people who differ from us.”
Few days before the conduct of the plebiscite on the
Bangsamoro Organic Law several bishops of Mindanao issued
a statement that prayed for “a lasting peace in Mindanao—a
gift and a task—that respect cultural and religious diversity…”
For sure, people’s faith which is the very foundation of their
quest for lasting peace will neither be deterred nor annihilated
by bombs.
Hearing the voice Living Mission
God and the digital age of the young Fr. James H. Kroeger, MM

THE final report of the Synod of Bishops on young people,

faith and vocational discernment that concluded last October
has an interesting observation regarding the digital culture POPE Francis has frequently noted that for the opening Mass of the Synod of it to Mother Mary so that the Church’s
that is now pervasive in the world. It talks about the great the Church desires to hear the ideas of Bishops on the Youth on Oct. 3, 2018, “dreams and hopes” for young people
benefits and the dangers that the digital world is giving us. young people. In his 2017 letter to youth, Pope Francis invoked the assistance of will be concretized and achieved.
It is intriguing to note that the good and bad things in this one step in the Church’s preparation for the Holy Spirit to “rekindle and renew” Need to listen intensely. At the closing
world are becoming more and more blended. They do not the Synod on Youth held on Oct. 3 - 28, in the Church “the capacity to dream and Mass of the Synod on the Youth, Pope
come to us anymore in some clear-cut ways, but rather in a 2018, he wrote: “The Church wishes to to hope.” This demands an “attitude of Francis noted that there are three pivotal
united way, so subtle that we now hardly can distinguish which listen to your voice, your sensitivities docile listening to the voice of the Spirit” steps in the journey of faith: listening,
is which. Our new technologies are like Trojan horses that can and your faith; even your doubts and on the part of all the bishops “gathered being neighbor, and bearing witness.
appear to us as a great gift to humanity, but actually they your criticism. Make your voice heard, from all parts of the world.” Francis notes that listening begins the
contain a lot of concealed dangers. They are very treacherous.
let it resonate in communities and let it Such dreaming and hoping “can journey of faith. “It is the apostolate of
Whatever benefit and sense of success and accomplishment
be heard by your shepherds of souls.” broaden our horizons, expand our hearts, the ear: listening before speaking.”
they bring are akin to a Pyrrhic victory when the good things
are somehow nullified by the bad things they also cause. These inviting words were translated and transform those frames of mind that Francis asserts that careful listening
The new technologies and the digital culture have into deeds. Francis convoked a “pre- today paralyze, separate, and alienate us is central for the success of the Synod.
significantly changed the way people understand things in synod meeting,” held in Rome on March from young people, leaving them exposed “May we too ask for the grace of a heart
general and as a consequence, their behavior also. They create 19-24, 2018, seven months prior to the to stormy seas, orphans without a faith that listens. I would like to say to the
an “approach to reality that privileges images over listening Synod. Young people (both Christians community that should sustain them.” young people, in the name of all of us
and over reading that influences the way people learn and the and the followers of other faiths) came For Pope Francis, “hope asks us to adults: forgive us if often we have not
development of their critical faculty.” It’s like we are having “to express their expectations and get up and look directly into the eyes of listened to you…. As Christ’s Church,
a new ball game. desires as well as their uncertainties young people and see their situations.” we want to listen to you with love….
It’s true that these new technologies give a lot of benefits. and concerns in the complex affairs of Today’s youth “ask us and demand of Your lives are precious in our eyes.”
They provide “an extraordinary opportunity for dialogue, today’s world.” Similar events will be us a creative dedication, a dynamism We pray that our local Church here
encounter and exchange between persons, as well as access to unfolding throughout the Philippines which is intelligent, enthusiastic, and in the Philippines will become a truly
information and knowledge.” It can “facilitate the circulation during the 2019 Year of the Youth. full of hope.” For Francis, the Synod is a “listening community” during this Year
of independent information that can provide effective To dream and to Hope. In his homily unique gift of the Spirit; he also entrusts of the Youth!
protection for the most vulnerable, etc.”
As to its dark side, the report says that the “digital
environment is also one of loneliness, manipulation,
Another Angle Good politics at the
exploitation and violence…Digital media can expose people to
the risk of dependency, isolation and gradual loss of contact Fr. Emmanuel Mijares
service of peace
with concrete reality, blocking
the development of authentic interpersonal relationships.”
Besides, the report noted that “there are huge economic
interests operating in the digital world, capable of exercising IN his annual message, during the 52nd even if so far it remains a “war of words”. any price leads to abuses and injustice.
forms of control as subtle as they are invasive, creating year of Peace, Pope Francis dedicated If this kind of dialectics underlines our Politics is an essential means of building
mechanisms of manipulation of consciences and of the his theme on good politics at the service political environment, then it would human community and institutions,
democratic process. of peace. rather serve war rather that peace. This but when political life is not seen as a
“The way many platforms work often ends up favoring This has a significant importance is a very dangerous trend especially that form of service to society as a whole,
encounter between person who think alike, shielding them in our country. A political analyst on Filipinos seem to be apathetic to what it can become a means of oppression,
from debate. These closed circuits facilitate the spread of President Duterte, Amado Picardal is happening. marginalization and even destruction.
fake news and false information, fomenting prejudice and wrote: “What has become obvious is This theme “good politics at the So the Pope reminds that “political
hate…” We don’t have to look far to validate these very that Duterte is waging a war against the service of peace is a challenge” for all office and political responsibility (thus)
serious observations and they definitely have to be addressed Church.” . . . . “the extrajudicial killings Filipinos. “In sending his disciples forth constantly challenge those called to the
accordingly. The only way to handle this predicament is to that has reached more than 27,000 on mission, Jesus told them: “Whatever service of their country to make every
teach everyone to actively look for God every time they get victims, [and counting] the unchecked house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to effort to protect those who live there and
into the digital world. entry of tons of drugs into the country . this house!’ And if a son of peace is there, to create the conditions for a worthy and
There is no other way. Either one is strongly with God to be . . the collapse of the peace process with your peace shall rest upon him; but if just future.”
with the right footing in that very treacherous world or he is the NDF” and, we could include, that not, it shall return to you” (Lk 10:5-6). He continues, “if exercised with basic
simply lost and carried away from the strong and irresistible since the bulk of the national budget is Pope Francis explains that: “the respect for the life, freedom and dignity
forms of self-seeking that can only lead us nowhere. I would not on education or health but on the “house” of which Jesus speaks is of persons, political life can indeed
say that the real challenge of the digital age is not so much on military, the beating of the drums for every family, community, country and become an outstanding form of charity.”
how to handle these technologies with technical competence
war, certainly goes away from peace. He continent, in all their diversity and This is not only for politicians however
and some norms of prudence to keep us safe and maintain
opines that “Duterte’s war on the Church history. It is first and foremost each but for all vocations. Pope Benedict
a semblance of sanity and fairness. It is a serious call for
everyone to be more authentic in their need and relation with may (also) be traced to a mixture of fear individual person, without distinction XVI noted that “every Christian is
God. It is for everyone to be truly holy and apostolic. and anger vis-a-vis the Church which or discrimination. But it is also our called to practice charity in a manner
It is a call to know more about God who in fact is the very he believes has the capacity to resist “common home”: the world in which corresponding to his vocation and
foundation of reality, of what is truly good, beautiful and fair him and bring him down.” This mental God has placed us and which we are according to the degree of influence he
in this world. Our main problem is that God is not properly framework of the present leadership is called to care for and cultivate. wields in the pólis… When animated
known, much less, loved by many, and so he is somehow not for peace but on a dialectics of war We know that the thirst for power at Another Angle / A7
regarded as irrelevant in dealing with this challenge of the
digital age. We need to wake up from our spiritual and
religious stupor to properly handle this tremendous challenge
Charity purifies and Candidly Speaking
of the digital age.
sanctifies our powers Fr. Roy Cimagala

WE have to accept the fact that all of it. The secret, of course, is to be vitally would be misusing these divine gifts.
us are notorious for abusing the many united with God. That is to say, to make Also, we need to realize that if true
good things we receive from God, our the constant effort to be with him, which charity is to inspire the use of our human
PROTAGONIST OF TRUTH, PROMOTER OF PEACE Creator and Father. Our intelligence, means that we should be full of love, powers, then we would use them to serve
talents, health and whatever privileged since God is love, “Deus caritas est.” (1 everyone, and not just some people.
Pedro Quitorio endowments and blessings God has Jn 4,8) Everyone, including our enemies or
Editor-in-Chief gifted us, are often used to simply And this love has been shown to us in those who oppose us or do not like us.
pursue our own interest and personal full by Christ who reminded us to love This is what charity is! (cfr. Lk 6,27-36)
Nirva’ana E. Delacruz Ron Ramos, Sky Ortigas goals, with hardly any reference to God God with all our might and to love our It has a universal scope with no trace of
Design Artists
Associate Editor from whom all good things come, (cfr. neighbor as ourselves. (cfr. Lk 10,27) discrimination
James 1,17) and to our duty towards Later on, he perfected these indications at all.
Roy Lagarde Mercedita Juanite others. by giving us the new commandment: It is this charity, as shown to us
News Editor Circulation Manager
This is, of course, a grave anomaly that that we love one another as he himself by Christ and commanded on us by
Christine Paguirigan Marcelita Dominguez will do us a lot of harm sooner or later, has loved us. (cfr. Jn 13,34) him, that will enable us to use our
Managing Editor Comptroller even if it can give us some advantages From all these above-mentioned faculties and powers properly. It is this
and conveniences at the beginning. It is considerations, we can say that we really charity that will purify our God-given
The CBCP Monitor is published fortnightly by the notorious for giving us a sweet poison need to be more conscious of rallying all endowments that have been stained
CBCP - Media Office with editorial and business offices
at 3rd Floor, CBCP Compound, 470 General Luna that will turn us in eventually. our human powers and blessings to give by our sin. It is this charity that will
Street, Intramuros, Manila. Email Address: cbcpmonitor@ We need to be more aware of this glory to God and to serve everyone. Yes, eventually sanctify these powers and, Business: (632) 404 - 1612.
ISSN 1908-2940. anomaly and try our best to be guarded this is the real purpose of our human enable them to bring us to God and to
against it and to do something about faculties and powers. Short of that, we Candidly Speaking / A5
CBCP Monitor February 4 - 17, 2019, Vol 23, No. 03 OPINION A5

Where is your mercy?
Craig Blewett
Fr. Wilfredo Samson, SJ

The global decline

ANOTHER moral disaster and grave
injustice in our society. This time, the
It intends to please our President and
gain favor in his eyes. They could have
you know what you are talking about? In
our complex world, the mind of a nine- in fertility is
children are the innocent victims.
On Jan. 21, the Justice Committee in
Congress approved the bill criminalizing
made a bill instructing all stakeholders
to help the government in finding a more
humane and more pro-children solution
year old is incapable of making sound
I am begging for mercy from the rest
“simply astonishing”
minors in conflict with the law. Nine out to this problem. The Church is aware of our congressmen and senators to WILL the world’s population really reach 11.2 billion in
of ten voted in favor of the bill. There of the problem of our children today in speak out and stop this senseless bill. 2100? This week The Guardian provides a good summary
is something gravely wrong here! I can conflict with the law, but criminalizing This is your opportunity to show your of alternate world population projections which challenge
smell a wolf hiding in sheep’s skin. Is them is not and will not be the best love for our children and for our future. this United Nations figure, and casts doubt on whether the
it really for the benefit of the children solution. Mercy must be in our hearts Be merciful. Be selfless. Think of our world’s population will really continue to grow until the end
in conflict with the law, or is it for your and minds when we think of these children. Please be the servants of the of this century.
own benefit? children in conflict with the law, and not people, and not the servants of “other The United Nations bases its population projections on a range
I’m so sad this justice committee think simply punishment. They should have gods.” Seek God’s approval and not of of uncertain assumptions about fertility and mortality. Its most
they know everything about children’s consulted all stakeholders, including mere mortals. They are not always in likely current estimate is that world population will reach 11.2
formative correction. Other stakeholders the Church and NGOs involved in power. Know what counts most in this billion by 2100, and then stabilize and slightly decline.
like the church and other NGOs were not helping the children. To Presidential life. It’s mercy and compassion. The UN is not the only international body to project world
consulted. The committee insisted this Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, please Dear Lord, population, and the various demographers are certainly not in
is neither anti-poor nor anti-children. never say “bringing the minimum age have mercy on our lawmakers. agreement. A key question is whether Africa’s fertility will remain
But try to check the juveniles in conflict of criminal liability down to nine is I believe they are intelligent. at current rates, or will drop to follow Western low fertility trends.
with the law in our jails and DSWD now, ‘fine’ for they can already discern.” They know what they ought to do, The Guardian discusses some of the alternate projections:
all of them are coming from the poorest How could you say this? Where are you yet they choose to close their hearts. Jørgen Randers, a Norwegian academic who decades
of the poor! This bill is an easy way out. coming from? Where is your data? Do Have mercy on them. Amen. ago warned of a potential global catastrophe caused by
overpopulation, has changed his mind. “The world population
Listen to our shepherds Duc in Altum
will never reach nine billion people,” he now believes. “It will
peak at 8 billion in 2040, and then decline.”
Similarly, Prof Wolfgang Lutz and his fellow demographers
Atty. Aurora A. Santiago at Vienna’s International Institute for Applied Systems
Analysis predict the human population will stabilize by mid-
century and then start to go down
DURING the Plenary But “freedom of expression our prophetic role, especially “Be merciful, just as [also] A Deutsche Bank report has the planetary population
Assembly of the Catholic does not include a license that of giving voice to the your Father is merciful.” peaking at 8.7 billion in 2055 and then declining to 8 billion
Bishops’ Conference of the to insult other people’s voiceless. As Paul once said, Conquering Evil With by century’s end.
Philippines (“CBCP”), our faith, especially our core “Woe to me if I don’t preach Good is the challenge of our Since 1970, a sharp global decline in fertility has occurred.
bishops deliberated on issues beliefs. We know that this the Gospel!” (1 Cor 9:16)” Shepherds. Our strength lies In the United States, all of Europe, and much of the rest of
affecting the Church and cuts deeply into the souls God’s Image And in keeping our communities of the West, fertility is now actually below the replacement level
the State in order to come of our people—especially Likeness—The bishops faith intact. The faithful must of 2.1 children and will eventually lead to population decline,
up with the much awaited the poor, because faith is reiterated the right to life even “use conscience in the choice unless those countries can attract enough immigrants to
Pastoral Statement which the only thing they have to of the unborn because human of leaders, in the exercise of sustain current population levels. In fact, many European
will serve as guide and hold on to… It sustains them beings are created by God their vocation as citizens, countries may almost cease to exist by 2300 if low fertility
encouragement to the flock. when they feel alone and in His image and likeness. in the raising of families, persists and migration does not intervene, according to the
Entitled Conquering Evil defenseless in foreign lands They stressed that those in their work and chosen most recent United Nations long-term population projections.
With Good, it was inspired where they work.” Admitting who are brutally murdered professions, in the efforts According to The Guardian:
by Romans 12:21 “Do not Our Shortcomings—“We bow by mere suspicion that they to care for the environment, Already, almost two dozen countries are getting smaller every
be conquered by evil, but in shame when we hear of are opponents of government etc. Let conscience speaks its year, from Poland to Cuba to Japan, which lost almost 450,000
conquer evil with good.” Fr. abuses committed by some had the right to life; so are wisdom consistently in every people in 2018. In these countries, women have fewer than the
Tim Ofrasio, SJ translated of (us)... we hold ourselves those who are summarily aspect of our life.” 2.1 babies that they must produce, on average, for a population
in Pilipino the Pastoral accountable for their actions, executed by armed groups. “The battles that we fight to remain stable. The population decline would be even steeper
Statement and, although and accept our duty to correct Even those who may have are spiritual.” (Ephesians were it not for steadily increasing life expectancy.
unofficial, has been posted in them.” committed criminal offenses 6:10-17). St. Peter The fertility rate in the UK is 1.7. Most population growth
social media and had reached Not Against Fighting Illegal should also be treated in a admonishes us to “be sober in the UK today is the result of international immigration,
not only Catholics but every Drugs—The bishops are not humane way, even as justice and alert” especially when according to the Office of National Statistics. Without
citizens of the world. It was against the government’s demands that they be held the enemy attacks “like a immigrants, Great Britain would eventually enter an era of
read in all Sunday Masses efforts to fight illegal drugs, accountable for their actions. roaring lion, looking for population decline.
so that many people would it means maintaining law Save The Children—The someone to devour.” (1 Peter More old people and fewer young people place an increased
better understand what our and order, and protecting bishops appealed to the 5:8) As members of God’s strain on society’s ability to generate the wealth and taxes
Shepherds say and what they the citizens from lawless lawmakers the harm that may flock, we must learn to be needed to fund, among other things, healthcare for the old.
want us to know. elements. They know that be caused on the children (in brave, to stick together, The really big news, however, is found in the large
It discussed different illegal drugs are a menace to conflict with the law) by the and look after one another. countries of the developing world, where the great majority
topics: Responding With society and their victims are bills making them criminally Let this moment be a time of people live. There, declines in birth rates have been simply
Silence. Our bishops are the poor people. However, liable. Most of those children to pray, to be strong, wise, astonishing. China, the world’s largest country, has a fertility
aware of the culture of when they heard that mostly “come from very poor and committed. Let this rate of 1.5, lower than Britain’s. India, soon to overtake China
violence in the country that poor people “are brutally families and were born and be also a teaching moment as the world’s most populous nation, is at the replacement
destroys “the moral fabric of murdered on mere suspicion raised in an environment of for us all - a moment for rate of 2.1 and falling. Brazil, the fifth most populous country,
our country.” The President of being small-time drug abuse.” They do not deserve relearning the core beliefs, has a fertility rate of 1.8.
of the Philippines himself users and peddlers while to be treated as criminals, principles and values of our One cause of the accelerating decline in fertility is
hurled cruel words against the big-time smugglers and they should be rescued. They faith, and what it means to urbanization. In 2007, for the first time in human history, the
our faith and our shepherds, drug lords went scot-free, encouraged that Bahay-Pag- be a Catholic Christian at majority of people in the world lived in cities. Today it is 55%
even telling the “tambays” they started wondering about asa shelters, for the care of this time.” Thus, in this very and, in three decades, it is expected to reach 66%.
(street goon) to rob and kill the direction this “drug war” children in conflict with the trying time in the Catholic Currently, Africa has the highest fertility rates in the world
the bishops, and decapitate was taking.” They said that law, should be improved. Church history, we need and the majority of the world’s population growth is coming
them. Our bishops said they they do not want to interfere The Perspective Of Mercy to defend, encourage and from that continent. Yet, sub-Saharan Africa is also the fastest
noted all of them in silence in State affairs. “But neither - Being civilized is “being inspire our shepherds when urbanizing part of the world, with annual urban population
and it is piecing “into the soul do we intend to abdicate more humane to the poor, they themselves are the increases of 4%, twice the global average. This is a factor in
of the Catholic Church like our sacred mandate as the weak, the disadvantaged, persecuted in our country. the expectation by many demographers that African fertility
sharp daggers”. They follow shepherds to whom the Lord the elderly, the children, rates will continue to decline.
instead Pope Francis who has entrusted his flock. We those with special needs and *** According to The Guardian, “Population decline is not a
says: “the best response is have a solemn duty to defend all those who tend to be left Allow me to greet good thing or a bad thing. But it is a big thing. It’s time to
silence and prayer.” our flock, especially when out in society… The law of the February Birthday look it in the eye.”
Faith: Our People’s Source they are attacked by wolves(!) retaliation “an eye for an celebrators in our family: my Over the past few decades world leaders have compelled
Of Strength—Our bishops We do not fight with arms. eye and a tooth for a tooth” nephew Romarico Santiago, people to have fewer children, often in the euphemistic name
said they respect the freedom We fight only with the truth. has long been repudiated my niece and new doctor of reproductive and sexual health. The United Nations itself
of conscience and religion of Therefore, no amount of in Christian tradition. As in the family Ria Edeliza gave its first population award to both the Chinese minister
people of other faiths and intimidation or even threat to Christians, we have to learn Imperial, and my sister-in- for population and the Prime Minister of India for their work
the freedom of expression. our lives will make us give up the way of Jesus who says, law Leonisa Santiago. initiating family planning and sterilization programmes, forced
abortions and sterilizations and all. Vincenzina Santoro points
out that the Guttmacher Institute jointly accepted the most

Faith and Culture Human love and divine recent annual Population Prize of the United Nations last June.
As more people seemingly begin to realize that the world
Cristina Montes love in fantasy does not have a population spiraling out of control, but instead
a soon to be declining one, let’s look the forced taking of life,
the abuse of women, and the thousands of dollars of aid and
public “health” money spent in the name of population control
in the eye too.
AS Valentine’s Day approaches and This quote is very significant, coming version of the story, after Aragorn had
advertisers exploit it for marketing from someone who understood romance defeated his enemies in battle and Candidly Speaking / A4
gimmicks, it is so easy to scoff at the well enough to include touching claimed his throne, he received a sign
occasion. It is, indeed, lamentable that romantic sub-plots in his fantasy trilogy, that Arwen was destined to be his bride. serve everyone.
Valentine’s Day has degenerated into a The Lord of the Rings. In the movie version, Arwen’s death was That is why we really need to continually rectify our
commercial gimmick, or worse, nothing The main romantic sub-plot in hastened and only Aragorn’s victory in intentions and to see to it that our actions would truly conform
more than the celebration of Eros even The Lord of the Rings was the love battle could prolong her life. In any case, to the requirements of charity. In this regard, we have to forget
in its illicit forms. between Aragorn, a mortal man of royal after the evil Sauron was defeated and ourselves and our self-interest, and to think simply of God
We forget that Valentine’s Day is lineage who was heir to the throne of Middle Earth was saved, Aragorn and and the others, always ready to follow Christ all the way to
a saint’s feast day, and that noble, Gondor, and Arwen, an elf. The elves, Arwen were married. facing and bearing all kinds of suffering and eventual death.
pure human love—even romantic in Tolkien’s imaginary universe, were It was the same writer of this love We should not be afraid to do all this, because we have been
love—is a reflection of God’s love for powerful, immortal beings who did not story who wrote to his son, “ the assured that “if God is with us, who can be against us?” (Rom
us, and of how we should respond die unless they were killed. In the story, Blessed Sacrament…you will find 8,31) It is charity that will disarm our enemies, that will melt
to that love. Arwen faced a choice between her love romance.” Indeed, in the Blessed away our weaknesses, that will heal the sin-inflicted wounds
One person who understood the for Aragorn and her immortality: if she Sacrament, we find a God Who of our human condition in this world.
relationship between romantic love and were to wed a mortal, she would have to hides behind the appearances of It is not enough that we be smart, clever, practical, etc.
the love of God for us was the famous become mortal as well. In the end, she perishable bread and wine and suffers We need to live charity. Without charity, our smartness and
fantasy writer, J.R.R. Tolkien. In a chose mortality. maltreatment and profanation out of cleverness can even pose as a grave danger to us. They can
letter to his son, he wrote: “Out of the Aragorn was no less noble. He knew of His desire to stay with us. We find a deceive us with the thought that we are doing well in our life
darkness of my life, so much frustrated, the choice Arwen had to make and was God who does not force us to love Him when, in fact, we are heading through a sweet slide toward
I put before you the one great thing to willing to let her go, although it made but woos us, respecting our freedom perdition.
love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament… him suffer. Then, he had to leave her as while pining for our company. We need to make many acts of charity before, during and
There you will find romance, glory, he went on several quests to help save It is a more compelling love story after doing our tasks, using all our God-given human faculties
honor, fidelity, and the true way of all Middle Earth. All throughout, however, than the romance between Aragorn and and powers. And these acts of charity should be our vital
your loves on earth”. he remained true to Arwen. In the book Arwen, and it is a true story. contact with Christ!
A6 LOCAL NEWS February 4 - 17, 2019, Vol 23, No. 03 CBCP Monitor

CBCP to lawmakers: Reconsider Bishop: ‘Even atheists

are seeking God’
move to lower criminal age
THE Catholic Bishops’
Conference of the Philippines
on Jan. 28 appealed
to legislators to do some
“serious rethinking” on the
proposal to lower the age
of criminal liability in the
In a pastoral statement
issued shortly after their
plenary assembly in Manila,
the bishops warned that
the move could harm than
protect the children.
“There is no way we can call Novaliches Bishop Antonio R. Tobias, DD explained how everyone is “seeking God,”
ourselves a civilized society if during the send-off Mass for the diocese’s World Youth Day (WYD) 2019 Panama
we hold children in conflict delegates, Jan. 6, 2019. PHOTO COURTESY MINNIE AGDEPPA
with the law criminally
liable,” they said. “ALL of us are seeking God God are like the first type
According to them, — including non-believers.” of seekers.
children who get involved This was the message “There are those who say
in crimes are “victims that Novaliches Bishop Antonio things that destroy what we
need to be rescued” instead R. Tobias, D.D. gave to believe in, that our people
of treating them as ordinary World Youth Day (WYD) have long been holding onto.
criminals. 2019 delegates during their [They say,]’There is no God,
The bishops noted that CBCP President and Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles (center) answers questions from the media during a press conference after send-off Mass held at the that’s fiction…but those
the bishops’ plenary assembly in Mania, Jan. 28. ROY LAGARDE
children who get involve in Cathedral Shrine and Parish priests, they are sinners,’
crimes come from “very poor The House of as young as 12 liable for minimum age of criminal of the Good Shepherd on so they do not really hear
families and were born and Representatives on Jan. 28 crimes. responsibility from 15 to Jan. 6, 2019. the calling of the Lord,” he
raised in an environment of approved a measure which The lawmakers earlier nine, and then revised it to Explaining the Feast of the emphasized.
abuse”. seeks to make child offenders sought to reduce the 12. (CBCPNews) Epiphany, the prelate said
the feast is a celebration of Two types
“ordinary people seeking Tobias said even church

Pope assures support for Filipino bishops God–of seeking a prosperous

life.” Tobias noted: “All of us
are seeking God” and “God is
people have a tendency to
fall into the first category.
“I do not exclude bishops,
POPE Francis assured his support for part of that prosperous life”. priests, seminarians, and our
the Filipino bishops as they gathered He exhorted the diocesan Church leaders here. They
Jan. 26 to discuss matters that affect delegates to the WYD in know, but some they do not
the Church and the country. Panama to resist people who do anything about what they
In a message to the bishops, the say God does not exist. know,” he explained.
pope encouraged them to continue On the other hand, the
in their efforts “to shepherd in truth ‘God-seekers’ second type of seekers, who
and love those entrusted to your “Do not believe anyone are represented by the Magi,
pastoral care”. who tell you that there is no are those who ask questions
He particularly lauded local initiatives God. Do not believe them!” and seek God with the intent
“to advance the mission of the Church Tobias stressed. “Because of encountering God and
in the Philippines”. if you believe them, you too acting on this reality.
The pope’s letter was relayed to the will go nuts and all of us will Meanwhile, young
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the fall together.” people cannot find Jesus in
Philippines by Vatican Secretary of State According to the bishop, their homes, said Tobias,
Cardinal Pietro Parolin. there are actually two because their parents
More than 80 members of the CBCP types of “God-seekers” as are either separated or
are gathered at the Pope Pius XII shown in the Gospel. The are too busy with work.
Catholic Center for their 118th plenary CBCP President and Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles greets Archbishop Gabrielle Caccia, the Apostolic Nuncio in first one is the one who According to him, they
assembly. the Philippines, at the start of the bishops’ plenary assembly in Manila, Jan. 26. ROY LAGARDE knows all the answers but end up searching for Jesus
The meeting was opened with a who is content in simply elsewhere like in Church,
Mass presided over by Papal Nuncio by Archbishop Romulo Valles being the of a president, vice president, an ten knowing. Tobias said these among their peers, or
Archbishop Gabrielle Caccia. president of the bishops’ collegial body. regional representatives— four for are like the priests and the among their neighbors.
The pontiff also sent his blessings The plenary assembly meets in regular Luzon, two for Visayas, three for learned men of the Old Tobias praised the young
to the CBCP, wishing their meeting session twice a year— in January and in Mindanao. Testament who knew where people attending the WYD
bear much fruit in the service of the July. When they are not in session, the During the three-day meeting, the the Messiah will be born in Panama, saying, they
faithful, helping them to grow in faith Permanent Council acts and in behalf of bishops are also expected to discuss but never actually went are “getting near God…”
and charity. the conference. reports from various commissions of there to verify it. He said (Minnie Ageppa/
The three-day meeting was presided The Permanent Council is composed the CBCP. (CBCPNews) those who say there is no CBCPNews)

Next World Youth Day to be held in Portugal Blasts / A1

personal friends. Sulo at about 8:30am as “This is the action of evil

“They bravely stayed in worshippers were gathered people with utter disregard
Jolo in spite of the threats for mass. for the sacredness of human
and insecurities. I believe Few minutes later, another life and of human dignity,”
they have died for their explosion hit the parking lot they said.
Christian faith,” said Saniel. of the cathedral. Quevedo served as parish
“No words can describe The incident came a priest of Jolo while Lampon
the sorrow and pain that we week after Muslims voted is the vicariate’s erstwhile
feel these days. May they be for the creation of the new bishop.
given justice in God’s time,” autonomous region in Lampon succeeded
he said. Mindanao. Quevedo as archbishop of
Saniel was attending the Sulu, on the other hand, Cotabato after the cardinal
bishops’ plenary assembly voted against the ratification resigned from the post in
in Manila when the “tragic” of the Bangsamoro Organic November last year.
incident happened. He cut Law (BOL). The church leaders also
Pope Francis leads the World Youth Day prayer vigil at St. John Paul II Field in Panama City Jan. 26, 2019. PAUL HARING/CNS short his attendance to As the region begins a appealed to authorities “to
return to Jolo on the day of new phase in the peace flush out the perpetrators of
PANAMA City—Lisbon, encouraged young Catholics happen with us. We do not the attack. process, the bishops asked this barbaric crime and bring
Portugal, will open its doors to be engaged in the world always believe that God “I know that the friends of the Christians to “join them to justice”.
to the world’s young people today to ensure a better can be that concrete and the victims, both Muslims hands with all peace-loving “We entrust the innocent
in 2022 for the next World tomorrow. commonplace, that close and Christians, are mourning Muslim and indigenous victims to the Lord’s
Youth Day. “You, dear young people, and real, and much less that and in deep sorrow today,” people communities in the compassion and pray for
The announcement are not the future but the now he can become so present he added. advocacy against violent their grieving families,” they
of Portugal was made by of God. He invites you and and work through somebody Saniel also called for extremism”. said.
Cardinal Kevin Farrell, head calls you in your communities like a neighbor, a friend, a prayers for the families of “May all our religions of
of the Vatican’s Dicastery for and cities to go out and find relative,” the pope said. the soldiers who died while peace guide us in our quest Peace process
Laity, the Family and Life, at your grandparents, your Young people, he warned, securing the cathedral. for a brighter future for the Meanwhile, Jesuit
the final Mass of World Youth elders; to stand up and with risk looking at their mission, peoples of Mindanao,” they Archbishop Antonio
Day Jan. 27. World Youth them to speak out and realize vocation and even their ‘Act of terrorism’ said. Ledesma of Cagayan de Oro
Day officials confirmed the the dream that the Lord has lives as something far off The Catholic Bishops’ said that the search for peace
year and city. dreamed for you,” he said. in the future and “having Conference of the ‘Most heinous in Mindanao should not be
Upon hearing the location The pope reflected on nothing to do with the Philippines also condemned desecration’ derailed by the deadly blasts.
of the next celebration, the Sunday Gospel reading present” while adults can what it called as an “act of The deadly blasts at the Ledesma said the peace
Portuguese erupted in cheers, from St. Luke in which Jesus fall into the trap of inventing terrorism”. Our Lady of Mount Carmel process must continue to
waving their country’s flag begins his public ministry by a “hygienically sealed future The bishops also prayed Cathedral have also been pursue the end of decades
and chanting “We are the proclaiming in the synagogue without consequence where for the victims and their described by two bishops of rebellion in the country’s
pope’s youth!” that “this Scripture has been everything is safe, secure and relatives and asked God to as the “most heinous restive south.
Pope Francis then greeted fulfilled in your hearing.” ‘well insured.’” bring an end to violence desecration” of a sacred “We hope that the incident
Portuguese President Proclaiming the Good “The Lord and his mission during the second day of place. will not sidetrack us to
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, News of God’s promise to free are not a ‘meantime’ in our their meeting when the Cardinal Orlando Quevedo lasting peace,” Ledesma
who attended the Mass. captives and the oppressed life, something temporary. attacks occurred. and Archbishop Angelito said in a press conference
In the early morning hours, was an important moment They are our life,” Pope “We condole with the Lampon deplored the attacks after the bishops’ plenary
pilgrims were awakened by in Jesus’ life, the pope said. Francis said. “Do you want families of the several soldiers made “on a sacred day, assembly on Jan. 28.
sounds of upbeat music as Nevertheless, he continued, to live out your love in a and civilians who were killed and at a sacred moment of The attack came despite
the hot Panamanian sun many of those in the practical way? May your ‘yes’ by the explosions,” said worship”. a martial law in effect since
rose. Despite the heat, the synagogue were incredulous continue to be the gateway Archbishop Romulo Valles, “It is truly a satanic act 2017 after Islamic State
pilgrims danced and sang and not prepared “to believe for the Holy Spirit to give us CBCP President. that all sacred religions militants seized Marawi,
along, awaiting Pope Francis’ in someone they knew and a new Pentecost for the world A bomb exploded inside must condemn,” said the considered the Muslim
arrival. had seen grow up.” and for the church.” (Junno the Our Lady of Mount two former religious leaders capital of the largely Catholic
In his homily, Pope Francis “The same thing can also Arocho Esteves/CNS) Carmel Cathedral in Jolo, of Jolo. Philippines.
CBCP Monitor February 4 - 17, 2019, Vol 23, No. 03 DIOCESAN NEWS A7

Christians, Muslims hold ‘unity Davao churches ban

bags, backpacks
walks’ in wake of attacks after Jolo blasts

Christians and Muslims, together with Msgr. Albert Songco of the Military Ordinate of the Philippines and Aleem Said Ahmad Basher of the Imam Council of the Philippines,
exchange a Bible and Qur’an as symbolic gesture for peace during a “solidarity walk” at the Quezon Memorial Circle on Feb. 3. The interreligious gathering also deplored the
deadly blasts that rocked the Jolo catheral last Jan. 27. MARIA TAN
San Jose Cathedral in Davao City. PHOTO FROM DAVAO CATHOLIC HERALD
CAGAYAN DE ORO City— in Cagayan de Oro City on entire nation in a divisive of goodness, justice, love, and
Christians and Muslims in Feb. 2 to mark the start of effort to further widen the peace in our communities.” DAVAO City—The “current threat of violence”
the Philippines held “unity the observance of “World gap between Muslims and On Feb. 3, prayer intentions Archdiocese of Davao has in the region.
walks” to call for peace Interfaith Harmony Week.” Christians.” during Sunday Masses in released a list of prohibited He also said that the
following deadly blasts that Monsignor Rey Monsanto Alec Mohammad, a Muslim Manila Archdiocese included items inside churches archdiocese have to take up
rocked the south of the admitted that there was “a religious leader in Cagayan the victims of the bombings following the bombings of security measures upon the
country last week. sense of fear” among Catholic de Oro, however, said the in Jolo and Zamboanga. Jolo cathedral. advice of law enforcement
In Manila, hundreds of clergy in Mindanao and that violence “will not break the Meanwhile, the Minor Bags and boxes are among agencies.
people gathered for a prayer the bomb explosions in Jolo spirit of the long-standing Basilica of the Black Nazarene the many items included on The death toll in the twin
rally on Feb. 3 to show “the and Zamboanga could spark relationship” among in Manila, has beefed up the list. blasts that rocked the Jolo
world that Filipino Muslims further violence. Mindanao’s peoples. security following the Jolo Knapsacks, backpacks, cathedral in Sulu has climbed
and Christians are one.” “We are worried that In Zamboanga City, Muslim incident. cartons, and the likes are to 22 and a scores of wounded
They condemned the Christians and Muslims will religious leaders appealed for Sniffer dogs and security also banned inside parish remain in hospitals.
bombing of a Catholic begin blaming each other,” calm, saying any attack on a personnel have been deployed churches and chapels. Pope Francis has earlier
cathedral in Jolo province said the priest, adding that place of worship “can never be to patrol the church, also “Only small purses and the condemned the violence that
that killed at least 22 people they might use religion as an justified by rhyme or reason.” known as Quiapo Church, like are allowed,” Archbishop “causes more mourning in
on Jan. 27 and a grenade excuse to wage war. In Manila, Monsignor and the surrounding area. Romulo Valles of Davao said the Christian community”.
explosion in a mosque in Abdulnasser Masorong, Albert Songco, vicar-general The Archdiocese of Davao in a circular issued on Jan. “Let us pray for the victims
Zamboanga City that killed director of the National of the Military Ordinariate earlier prohibited backpacks 29. of the terrorist attack on
two on Jan. 30. Commission on Muslim of the Philippines, urged and boxes inside churches as The archbishop said the the cathedral of Jolo, in the
In Mindanao, an interfaith Filipinos, said the violence people during the “unity a security measure. (Jigger directive will be in effect Philippines,” he said. (CBCP
prayer rally was also held “has caused harm to the walk” to “activate the forces Jerusalem/UCAN) until further notice due to News)

Drug users in Mindanao parish Another Angle / A4

by charity, commitment status of objects and to of human beings. But it message:

get new lease of life to the common good

has greater worth than
a merely secular and
deny their dignity.” Pope
Francis’ words are clear
against the tendency to
is also a challenge that
demands to be taken up
ever anew. It entails a
Blessed be the politician
with a lofty sense and
deep understanding of
TACURONG City—Jonathan community members to support political stand would sow fear: “We state once conversion of heart and his role.
Padrones has been hooked on illegal drug abusers by forgiving and have… Man’s earthly more that an escalation soul; it is both interior Blessed be the
narcotics for years but is trying to accepting them after they have activity, when inspired of intimidation, and and communal; and it has politician who personally
“redeem” himself with the help of completed the program. and sustained by charity, the uncontrolled three inseparable aspects, exemplifies credibility.
his parish church, he says. Many of those who signed up for contributes to the building proliferation of arms, is which the Pope himself Blessed be the politician
Padrones, 44, said he first tried the program surrendered to the of the universal city of contrary to morality and enumerated: who works for the
hydrochloride, a methamphetamine police as part of the government’s God, which is the goal of the search for true peace. – peace with oneself, common good and not
commonly known by its street name controversial Oplan Tokhang policy. the history of the human Terror exerted over those rejecting inflexibility, his or her own interest.
“shabu” in the Philippines, out of Tokhang is a portmanteau that family”. (Encyclical Letter who are most vulnerable anger and impatience; in Blessed be the politician
curiosity when he was in his 20s. loosely translates as “knock appeal,” Caritas in Veritate (29 contributes to the exile of the words of Saint Francis who remains consistent.
“I ended up getting hooked,” he referring to how officers visit the June 2009), 7). entire populations who de Sales, showing “a bit Blessed be the politician
said, adding this soon made him homes of suspected drug users and In our country “This is seek a place of peace.” of sweetness towards who works for unity.
“public enemy number one” in his peddlers and try to convince them to a programme on which “There is a need to oneself” in order to offer Blessed be the politician
community. give up their illegal activities. all politicians, whatever reaffirm that peace is “a bit of sweetness to who works to accomplish
Padrones said he would spend Father Robles said four groups their culture or religion, based on respect for each others”; radical change.
up to US$20 a day buying shabu. have finished the church program, can agree, if they wish person, whatever his – peace with others: Blessed be the politician
Eventually, he began peddling which has become a special to work together for or her background, on family members, friends, who is capable of listening.
illegal drugs to sustain his addiction. ministry of Cotabato Archdiocese the good of the human respect for the law and the strangers, the poor and Blessed be the politician
When President Rodrigo Duterte in Mindanao. It involves a five- family and to practice common good, on respect the suffering, being who is without fear.
launched his “war against drugs” day seminar on spirituality and those human virtues that for the environment unafraid to encounter The coming election
in 2016, Padrones was placed on a the importance of nourishing key sustain all sound political entrusted to our care and them and listen to what in our country and
police watch-list. values. activity: justice, equality, for the richness of the they have to say; those who wished for
Instead of mending his ways, After completing this, participants mutual respect, sincerity, moral tradition inherited – peace with all re-election, in every
he went into hiding. This changed undergo a six-month “community- honesty, fidelity” Pope from past generations.” creation, rediscovering stage of public life, “is
when he heard of a Catholic Church- based rehabilitation program” Francis suggested. Our thoughts also turn the grandeur of God’s gift an opportunity to return
run program for drug addicts called that includes a weekly assessment One could readily in a particular way to all and our individual and to the original points of
“Help Care for Change, Hope and meeting at the parish. see that this is a good those orphaned children shared responsibility as reference that inspire
Learning.” At the end of the rehabilitation framework for those who currently living in areas of inhabitants of this world, justice and law. One
Father Salvador Robles, the period, the beneficiaries, who are wanted to run and serve the infamous war against citizens and builders of thing is certain: good
parish priest of Tacurong City in known as “empowered brethren,” the common good. drugs, and to all those the future.” politics is at the service
the southern Philippines, said are given starter kits of their choice On the other hand, in who work to defend their We end with the so- of peace. It respects and
that when Duterte launched his by government agencies to help this war against drugs, for rights and take care of called “Beatitudes of the promotes fundamental
campaign against narcotics, at least them establish new livelihoods. example, the Pope gave them. Politician”, proposed human rights, which are
100 people availed themselves of Padrones asked for a “cosmetic us an insight that: “peace Peace is a high ideal by Vietnamese Cardinal at the same time mutual
the program. beauty parlor kit.” His notoriety in can never be reduced but attainable. It “is the François-Xavier Nguyễn obligations, enabling
The government’s war on drugs the community has now become a solely to a balance fruit of a great political Vãn Thuận, a faithful a bond of trust and
has claimed over 20,000 lives, thing of the past, he said. between power and fear. project grounded in the witness to the Gospel gratitude to be forged
according to human rights groups. Mayor Lina Montilla of Tacurong To threaten others is mutual responsibility who died in 2002 which between present and
In August 2017, Duterte vowed to in Sultan Kudarat Province has to lower them to the and interdependence Pope Francis wrote in His future generations.”
press on with the campaign even even praised Padrones for his
though soldiers have described it transformation.
as “an unwinnable war.” “When you have the will, you can
Father Robles said the church become productive members of
project employs “a holistic approach society,” Montilla said during the
that includes spiritual nourishment, graduation rites of the fourth batch
behavioral change, skills training of “empowered brethren” on Jan. 11.
and livelihood opportunity.” Apart from helping to organize
Both Christian and Muslim community activities, Padrones has
experts in this field manage the begun soliciting donations for poor
program, which the priest said school children.
“aims to help drug victims get a new “Through these social
lease on life.” engagements, I hope to erase the
He described it as promoting a negative stigma caused by my
“therapeutic community approach” [former] addiction,” he said. (Bong
that encourages families and Sarmiento/UCAN)

Polls / A1

far that is holding out as the country candidates well.

is inching towards “total control”. They also urged lay people to
“It is very crucial therefore that participate actively in politics and
we elect public officials who are work for the renewal of the country’s
principled, courageous and who political system.
have the common good as their “Christians are also encouraged
main concern and not their own to engage in principled partisan
political interests,” they said. politics. This means that they can
As a concrete step, the bishops campaign for good candidates as an
encouraged lay groups to engage in exercise of their Christian faith,” the
“discernment circles” to know the bishop said. (CBCPNews)
A8 PEOPLE, FACTS, AND PLACES February 4 - 17, 2019, Vol 23, No. 03 CBCP Monitor

New Cotabato archbishop installed amid tight security

THE new archbishop of Cotabato in In his homily, the first cardinal “You are not alone. We are with
southern Philippines was installed of Mindanao, which has endured you, all of us,” Caccia said.
on Jan. 30 under heightened one of the world’s longest-running At one point of his speech, he
security, just three days after twin Muslim insurgencies, said that also thanked Quevedo for his great
explosions rocked Jolo cathedral. one must be “spirit-filled and service to the universal Church. 

Churchgoers had to go through spirit-driven” to be an effective “He (Quevedo) has been very
tight security put up around the bishop. much appreciated by the Holy
Immaculate Conception Cathedral “No more, no less,” Quevedo Father and the other cardinals all
to welcome Archbishop Angelito said. over the world,” added Caccia. 

Lampon as their new shepherd. “Only when he is in communion Lampon was the apostolic vicar
A number of policemen and with the Holy Spirit, only when of Jolo since 1997 until November
soldiers have been deployed in the Spirit dwells in him, will he be 2018 when Pope Francis appointed
the area and its perimeter to make a prophet with courage, without him as Cotabato archbishop. 

sure it is safe from any threats. fear, in season and out of season,” Last Jan. 27, at least 22 people
Some of the visitors were he said. 
 were killed and injured dozens
around 25 bishops from different In a region marred by tension more when two bombs exploded
dioceses including Papal Nuncio and insecurity, he said that a at the Jolo cathedral where a mass
Archbishop Gabriele Caccia and shepherd must bring hope to was being held. 

Archbishop Romulo Valles of people “who look for light in a Both Quevedo, who once served
Davao, president of the Catholic cultural darkness and mutual as parish priest of Jolo cathedral,
Bishops’ Conference of the biases and prejudices”. Archbishop Angelito Lampon was installed as the new head of the Cotabato archdiocese on Jan. 30.
and Lampon deplored the incident
Philippines. “He must lead his flock and CONTRIBUTED PHOTO as being the “action of evil people
Lampon replaced retired Cardinal those who are not of his flock to with utter disre gard for the
Orlando Quevedo who served the peace and harmony,” the cardinal In his message, the papal nuncio closeness and support for Lampon sacredness of human life”. (Roy
archdiocese for two decades. added. conveyed Pope Francis’ spiritual and his new pastoral ministry. Lagarde/CBCP News)

Catholic rite elevates Badoc shrine to basilica

IT wasn’t the breathtaking Worship and the Discipline Virgen Milagrosa,” and there 26 Martyrs of Japan, a great
beaches that attracted the of the Sacraments, was read is no “Virgen Milagrosa” fiesta to Japanese Catholics.
visitors and locals to Badoc in its original Latin text by without the persecuted The Mass ended with
town in Ilocos Norte on Feb. Laoag’s Chancellor, Fr. Rey Christians of Japan who the Apostolic Blessing
5. Respicio and the English shipped out at sea the image, with Plenary Indulgence
Rather, they flocked to the Translation by the Rector together with the black especially granted by Pope
St. John the Baptist Parish of the Basilica, Fr. Freddie crucified Christ of Sinait, to Francis to the occasion and
Church, also known as the Astudillo. avoid being destroyed by the was imparted by Archbishop
Shrine of La Virgen Milagrosa In his homily, Cardinal Japanese persecutors. The Valles.
de Badoc, for a ceremony Orlando Quevedo, local fishermen fished off the A thanksgiving Mass
elevating the shrine to minor Archbishop Emeritus of box that contained them from and installation of the first
basilica status. Cotabato, said that Francis’ the sea. basilica rector followed in the
Thousands of people decision to elevate the shrine’s This is the reason of the afternoon and was presided
filled the pews and queued status is a recognition of its presence of Cardinal Thomas over by Bishop Renato Thousands of faithful attend the solemn declaration of the St. John the Baptist Parish
Church, also known as the Shrine of La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc, as a minor basilica
around the centuries-old role in the diocese and the Aquinas Manyo Maeda of Mayugba of Laoag. on Feb. 5, 2019. PHOTO COURTESY OF ATTY. NESTIE CORPUZ
baroque style church, where whole church. Osaka during the historic A solemn procession of
the “La Virgen Milagrosa” “Becoming a minor basilica declaration of the Badoc “La Virgen Milagrosa” was of plenary indulgence to Solemnity of Saints Peter
is currently enshrined, to is a strong call to the people basilica. also held around the town whoever visits the church and Paul, on the anniversary
witness the historic occasion of Badoc and Ilocos Norte, as Cardinal Maeda said that of Badoc participated in by under the necessary of the granting of the title
in the Diocese of Laoag. well as a call to all pilgrims… the “Virgen Milagrosa” thousands of pilgrims. conditions of sacramental of basilica, once a year on a
On behalf of Pope Francis, to strive daily to walk in the looks like the Our Lady of Built in the 17th century, confession, Eucharistic day to be determined by the
the declaration was made spirit of integrity,” Quevedo the Hidden Christians, the the Badoc Church is among communion and prayer for bishop and once a year on a
by Archbishop Gabriele said. image which the persecuted the eleven Filipino-Hispanic the pope’s intention. day freely chosen by the each
Caccia, Apostolic Nuncio in The Ilocos Norte-born Christians of Japan prayed baroque churches in Ilocos These concessions of the faithful.
the Philippines, in a Mass cardinal also explained the to during the more than two Norte. are received during the The said concession also
presided over by Archbishop connection of Japan and centuries of hiding from As minor basilica, following celebrations: on the grants to the church the use
Romulo Valles of Davao and the Philippines through persecution. according to the decree anniversary of the dedication of “the papal symbol, that is,
president of the Philippine Apo Badoc, the cause of the He further spoke of a of concession, the church of the same basilica, on “crossed keys,” which may
bishops’ conference. elevation of the church to coincidental connection, enjoys “all the attached rights the day of the liturgical be exhibited on banners,
The decree declaring this basilica. the date of the Solemn and liturgical concessions” celebration of St. John on furnishings, and on the
Vatican concession, issued by He said that there is no Declaration of the Badoc pertaining to the privilege. the Baptist and La Virgen official seal of the basilica.
the Congregation for Divine minor basilica without “La Basilica is the Feast of the These include the granting Milagrosa de Badoc, on the (CBCPNews)
CBCP Monitor February 4 - 17, 2019 Vol. 23 No. 3 PASTORAL CONCERNS B1

Catholic bishops gather for their 118th plenary assembly at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center, Jan. 26. ROY LAGARDE

Conquering evil with good

CBCP Pastoral Statement
“Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.” (Romans 12:21)
OUR dear People of God, It could also mean we have failed in our our lives will make us give up our prophetic makes us more superior as creatures is not
preaching. Perhaps we have not been effective role, especially that of giving voice to the our impulse to dominate each other but our
Peace be with you. We are aware that many of enough in our catechesis about the faith? voiceless. As Paul once said, “Woe to me if I innate sensitivity and capacity to love, to
you have been wondering why your bishops Perhaps we should find better and more don’t preach the Gospel!” (1 Cor 9:16) respect, to care for one another, to be both
have kept a collective silence over many appropriate ways of communicating the faith. just and merciful, to be compassionate,
disturbing issues, about which you may have Our preparation for the celebration of the God’s image and likeness to build community and to be genuinely
felt you urgently needed our spiritual and 500th year of Christianity in the Philippines Our faith informs us that no human concerned about the common good. The law
pastoral guidance. Forgive us for the length could serve as a perfect opportunity to being in this world deserves to be treated of retaliation that demands “an eye for an eye
of time that it took us to find our collective embark on a renewed integral evangelization as a “non-human”, not even the mentally and a tooth for a tooth” (Exodus 21:24) has
voice. We too needed to be guided properly in word and witness. ill, or those born with disabilities. This is long been repudiated in Christian tradition.
in prayer and discernment before we could consistent with our defense of the right to As Christians, we have to learn the way of
guide you. Admitting our shortcomings life even of the unborn, because we believe Jesus who says, “Be merciful, just as [also]
Like the leaders and members of any that all human beings are creatures in God’s your Father is merciful.”(Luke 6:36)
Responding with silence other human institution, no doubt, we, your image and likeness, imbued with an innate
For the past few months now, we have bishops and priests have our own share of dignity. We also must consider the right to Conquering evil with good
observed how the culture of violence has failures and shortcomings as well. We have life of people who are brutally murdered More than ever, as members of the Church,
gradually prevailed in our land. The recent already mentioned in our previous statement just because they are suspected of being we must realize that our strength lies in
bombing of the cathedral of Jolo where scores that “we bow in shame when we hear of abuses opponents of government, as well as those keeping our communities of faith intact. We
of people were killed and several more were committed by some of (us)…”, that “we hold who are summarily executed by armed must educate the faithful in the application of
injured is a further evidence to the cycle of ourselves accountable for their actions, and groups. Everyone in the civilized community their conscience to the complex and myriad
hate that is destroying the moral fabric of accept our duty to correct them…” of nations would agree that even those who problems of life—in the choice of leaders,
our country. Lately, we have also been on the may have committed criminal offenses should in the exercise of their vocation as citizens,
receiving end of cruel words that pierce into Not against fighting illegal drugs be treated in a humane way, even as justice in the raising of families, in their work and
the soul of the Catholic Church like sharp There are people who, perhaps out of demands that they be held accountable for chosen professions, in the efforts to care for
daggers. From deep within, the body of Christ concern for us, have warned us about being their actions. the environment, etc. Our faith must try to
is crying out in anguish as he did to Saul of critical of the government’s fight against hold these different aspects of life together
Tarsus on his way to Damascus. (Acts 9:4) We illegal drugs. Perhaps we need to make Save the children into an integral whole—letting conscience
have silently noted these painful instances ourselves clear about this issue. We are not There is no way we can call ourselves a speak its wisdom consistently in every aspect
with deep sorrow and prayed over them. We against the government’s efforts to fight civilized society if we hold children in conflict of our life.
have taken our cue from Pope Francis who illegal drugs. We do respect the fact that it is with the law criminally liable. Children who Finally, we reiterate what we said in the
tells us that in some instances, “…the best the government’s duty to maintain law and get involved in crimes, such as those who previous statement that “the battles that
response is silence and prayer.” order and to protect its citizens from lawless are used as runners by adult drug pushers, we fight are spiritual.” (Ephesians 6:10-
elements. We have long acknowledged that do not deserve to be treated as criminals; 17). In the midst of spiritual warfare, St.
Faith: Our people’s source of strength illegal drugs are a menace to society and that they are victims that need to be rescued. It Peter admonishes us to “be sober and alert”
We respect the freedom of conscience and their easier victims are the poor. Like most is obvious that most children in conflict with especially when the enemy attacks “like a
religion of people of other faiths, including other Filipinos we had high hopes that the the law come from very poor families and roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”
former Catholic Christians who may have government would truly flex some political were born and raised in an environment of (1 Peter 5:8) As members of God’s flock, we
already renounced their faith. We also will to be able to use the full force of the law abuse. We beg our country’s legislators to must learn to be brave, to stick together,
respect the freedom of expression of our in working against this terrible menace. It give the bills they are drafting some serious and look after one another. Let this moment
fellow citizens in this country, including was when we started hearing of mostly poor rethinking and consider the greater harm that be a time to pray, to be strong, wise, and
their personal opinions about faith and people being brutally murdered on mere such a move can cause on the young people committed. Let this be also a teaching
religion. But as far as we know, the freedom suspicion of being small-time drug users and of our country. We commend the initiatives moment for us all—a moment for relearning
of expression does not include a license to peddlers while the big-time smugglers and to improve the Bahay-Pag-asa shelters for the core beliefs, principles and values of our
insult other people’s faith, especially our core drug lords went scot-free, that we started the care of children in conflict with the law. faith, and what it means to be a Catholic
beliefs. We know that this cuts deeply into wondering about the direction this “drug Christian at this time.
the souls of our people—especially the poor, war” was taking. The perspective of mercy
because faith is the only thing they have to As bishops, we have no intention of Being civilized is not just about more For the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the
hold on to. It gives them hope and strength interfering in the conduct of State affairs. But advanced technology and infrastructure Philippines:
to continue living and working despite all neither do we intend to abdicate our sacred but about being more humane to the poor,
the odds that come their way. It sustains mandate as shepherds to whom the Lord has the weak, the disadvantaged, the elderly,
them when they feel alone and defenseless entrusted his flock. We have a solemn duty the children, those with special needs and +ROMULO G. VALLES, D.D.
in foreign lands where they work. to defend our flock, especially when they are all those who tend to be left out in society. Archbishop of Davao
When people do not understand our attacked by wolves(!) We do not fight with We are not just creatures endowed with President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of
essential doctrines as Roman Catholic arms. We fight only with the truth. Therefore, intelligence and guided by the evolutionary the Philippines
Christians, we have also ourselves to blame. no amount of intimidation or even threat to instincts of “survival of the fittest”. What January 28, 2019
B2 FEATURE February 4 - 17, 2019 Vol. 23 No. 3 CBCP Monitor

Confronting the specter of a Philippine Divorce Law (II)

Defective consent as ground for the declaration of marriage nullity
By Fr. Jaime B. Achacoso, J.C.D.

AS most people know, a house bill for divorce

had already been passed. What may have
escaped most Catholics is that a similar bill
has now been filed in the Senate. If that bill
should pass, we would be just a step short
of having divorce finally instituted in our
country, the last remaining state (aside
from the Vatican) that has no divorce law.
Rather than fight that bill—which has a valid
pretension (to find a solution for the situation
of people trapped in an irreparably broken
marriage)—we might instead convince
the Senate to introduce reforms in the
present Family Code in order to facilitate
the declaration of nullity of most of those
irreparably broken marriages, rather
than making all marriages dissoluble by
instituting divorce. In other words, since the
urgent problem motivating our legislators—
and all the pro-divorce forces—to craft a
divorce law seems to be the extreme case of
irreparably broken marriages, if a way can
be found to declare the non-existence of most
of those marriages, perhaps there would be
no need to legislate divorce. As a Spanish
saying goes: “Muerto el perro, se acabó la
rabia” (With the dog dead, that’s the end of
its rabies). In the first part of this long article,
we tackled the first cause of marriage nullity:
lack of capacity in either or both of the A groom and bride hold hands on their wedding day. JON L. HENDRICKS/CNS
spouses to validly contract marriage. Now
we shall tackle the second cause of marriage reflecting the reality that the human act of cause such incapacity. What constitutes the marry you provided you pass your medical
nullity: lack of valid consent. consenting implies several things. ground for consensual invalidity—and what board exams by the time I give birth to our
needs to be proven in court—is not so much first child”—invalidates consent (c.1102, §1).
Matrimonial consent The intellectual component of the existence of a psychic abnormality but The reason is that the condition on which the
Provided the first constitutive element of matrimonial consent rather the incapacity to assume the essential reality of the marriage rests is not yet there,
marriage is present—i.e., the capacity of both While the act of consenting is one—i.e., it obligations of marriage. so the marriage cannot come about either. On
parties to contract marriage—the second is the whole person who consents—one can Ignorance of the procreative and sexual the other hand, a marriage based on condition
and most important constitutive element analyze that act and identify predominantly aspects of marriage—i.e., that marriage is concerning the past or the present is valid or
of marriage is the consent of both parties intellectual components in the one hand, and a permanent consortium between a man invalid insofar as the subject matter of the
to contract marriage. As the classic formula a predominantly volitive (pertaining to the will and a woman, which is ordered toward the condition exists or not (c.1102, §2)—i.e., “I
states: Consent brings about marriage. This or voluntas in Latin) component in the other. procreation of offspring by means of some marry you provided you really are a virgin as
principle is enunciated by the Code of Canon Such a division is even pedagogically helpful. sexual cooperation—invalidates consent you claim”. However, the Law also states that
Law as follows: Canon Law has established the following (c.1096, §1). Such ignorance is not presumed it is not licit to put such condition of the past
Can. 1057 — §1. Marriage is brought factors that can vitiate the intellectual after puberty (c.1096, §2). or present without the written permission of
about through the consent of the parties, components of consent to the point of Error concerning the person—i.e., his or the local Ordinary (c.1102, §3).
legitimately manifested between persons invalidating them: her identity—invalidates consent (c.1097, §1).
who are capable according to law of giving Lack of sufficient use of reason—either One can’t get married to the wrong person. Volitive component of consent
consent; no human power can replace this habitual (e.g., intellectual retardation) or However, error concerning a quality of the Can. 1103 — A marriage is invalid if it is
consent. temporary (e.g., influence of drugs or alcohol person, even if such an error is the cause of entered into due to force or grave fear
§2. Matrimonial consent is an act of the at the moment of giving consent)—invalidates consenting to marriage, does not invalidate inflicted from outside the person, even when
will by which a man and a woman, through consent (c.1095, 1°). the marriage, unless such quality was directly inflicted unintentionally, which is of such
an irrevocable covenant, mutually give Grave lack of discretion of judgment and principally intended (c.1097, §2). A type that the person is compelled to choose
and accept each other in order to establish concerning the essential matrimonial rights woman who married a man, because she marriage in order to be freed from it.
marriage. and duties, which are to be mutually given erroneously thought he was very rich, cannot There must be free will in
No human power can replace this consent— and accepted in marriage, invalidates consent sue for nullity afterwards; unless she married consenting to marriage. There is no free will
continues the canon. Thus, if subsequent to (c.1095, 2°). Lack of due discretion (LDD) is him precisely and principally for that. when there is external force (violence), or
the wedding—even many years afterwards— one of the most common grounds of marriage Error concerning the essential properties grave fear inflicted (even unintentionally)
it can be proven in court that the consent nullity, and together with the so-called of marriage—i.e., unity, indissolubility from outside the person—i.e., the trepidation
(expressed at the time of the wedding) was psychological incapacity is the most abused and sacramental dignity—does not vitiate of the mind in the presence of an impending
defective to the point of invalidity, then the as well. matrimonial consent, provided it does not evil (physical or moral) that compels the
competent Church tribunal can declare that Incapacity to assume the essential determine the will (c.1098). Such error is person to consent to a marriage in order to
the marriage was null and void from the obligations of marriage, due to causes of similar to the error regarding a quality of escape such evil.
beginning. a psychic nature, invalidates the consent the person: it does not really invalidate the Examples of such perceived impending evils
What can vitiate consent to the point of (c.1095, 3°). This has been erroneously consent unless it was determinant of the that can cause fear are a threat of bodily harm
making it invalid, such that the marriage labeled—especially in the civil courts— will—i.e., one would not have consented to (e.g., shotgun marriage), threat of shame
contracted is null and void from the start? as psychological incapacity, causing a marriage had he/she known of such quality (e.g., pregnancy due to a premarital sexual
Simply stated, valid matrimonial consent is misunderstanding of the real ground of nullity of the person or of marriage. relation), or even the threat of displeasing
a human act that needs the intervention of and the object of proof. Simply put, one Fraud concerning some quality of the other a person or persons that one holds in high
both intellect and will—the intellect to know cannot validly assume an obligation which he party which of its nature can seriously disturb esteem (the so-called reverential fear), as
the true nature of the marriage institution is incapable of fulfilling. Since marriage is a the partnership of conjugal life, perpetrated when parents have arranged a marriage. If
and its sacramentality, with the discretion natural institution (in fact all normal human to obtain consent, invalidates such consent it is proven in court that such threats caused
to know what this person and marriage to beings even have a right to contract marriage), (c.1098). Examples of such qualities which such trepidation of mind so as to consent
this person means; and the free will to want what c.1095, 3° simply states is that such of their nature can seriously disturb conjugal to a marriage that otherwise wouldn’t have
to contract marriage with this person here and incapacity to assume the essential obligations life are drug addiction, homosexuality or a been consented to, the court can declare the
now. Canon Law has further broken down this of marriage can only be due to reasons of a peculiar professional lifestyle. marriage invalid for lack of consent. (To be
constitutive element into different aspects, psychic nature. But not all psychic disorders A condition concerning the future—e.g., “I concluded.)

Extraordinary ministers nearing the altar

(Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy and dean of theology at the Regina Apostolorum university, answers the following query:)

Q: I am updating our liturgical containing the species of the Most is reserved for the Most Blessed variations: general silence of the liturgical
minister guidelines and have run Holy Eucharist for distribution to Sacrament, as well as for the Holy “242. Once the prayer for books on this topic would suggest
into a question regarding our the faithful.” Cross from the solemn adoration Communion has been said, the that nothing should be done that
extraordinary ministers of Holy The instruction Redemptionis during the liturgical celebration on principal celebrant genuflects and would draw undue attention to this
Communion: When they approach Sacramentum states: Good Friday until the beginning of steps back a little. Then one after moment of extraordinary ministers
the sanctuary after the priest’s “88. The faithful should normally the Easter Vigil. another the concelebrants come to approaching the altar by converting
communion, do they make a bow receive sacramental Communion “During Mass, three genuflections the middle of the altar, genuflect, it into a special ceremony.
toward the altar, or a genuflection of the Eucharist during Mass are made by the Priest Celebrant: and reverently take the Body of With this in mind, I would
(as the Blessed Sacrament is now itself, at the moment laid down namely, after the elevation of the Christ from the altar. Then holding say that since, in most cases, the
present on the altar), before they by the rite of celebration, that host, after the elevation of the it in their right hand, with the left extraordinary ministers will first
enter the sanctuary? — J.H., Colbert, is to say, just after the Priest chalice, and before Communion. hand placed underneath, they receive Holy communion from the
Washington celebrant’s Communion. It is the Certain specific features to be return to their places. However, the priest and afterward receive the
Priest celebrant’s responsibility observed in a concelebrated Mass concelebrants may remain in their sacred vessels, then they should
A: The General Instruction of the to minister Communion, perhaps are noted in their proper place (cf. places and take the Body of Christ make whatever gesture is common
Roman Missal (GIRM) says: assisted by other Priests or Deacons; nos. 210-251). from the paten held for them by in the region before receiving
“162. In the distribution of and he should not resume the “If, however, the tabernacle with the principal celebrant or held by Communion but make no special
Communion, the Priest may be Mass until after the Communion the Most Blessed Sacrament is one or more of the concelebrants gesture on receiving the sacred
assisted by other Priests who of the faithful is concluded. Only situated in the sanctuary, the Priest, passing in front of them, or they vessel.
happen to be present. If such Priests when there is a necessity may the Deacon, and the other ministers may do so by handing the paten However, if it happens that
are not present and there is a truly extraordinary ministers assist the genuflect when they approach the one to another, and so to the last extraordinary ministers receive
large number of communicants, the Priest celebrant in accordance with altar and when they depart from of them.” the sacred vessels before they take
Priest may call upon extraordinary the norm of law.” it, but not during the celebration of It is also general practice for Communion, then a genuflection
ministers to assist him, that is, duly Both of these documents are Mass itself. the thurifer, boat bearer and could be an appropriate gesture
instituted acolytes or even other silent on the gesture used by “Otherwise, all who pass before torchbearers to genuflect to the made before or just after they enter
faithful who have been duly deputed extraordinary ministers before the Most Blessed Sacrament Eucharist upon the altar before the sanctuary, but they should not
for this purpose. In case of necessity, approaching the altar. There are, genuflect, unless they are moving retiring during solemn Mass after genuflect near the altar as would
the Priest may depute suitable however, some indications which in procession. Ministers carrying the the doxology at the end of the concelebrants.
faithful for this single occasion. might help us with regard to the processional cross or candles bow Eucharistic Prayer. Likewise, if there are numerous
“These ministers should not gesture of genuflection or bows. The their heads instead of genuflecting.” The above norms give us some extraordinary ministers, or they
approach the altar before the Priest GIRM indicates: The following norm will suffice hints, but they do not give us any are already in the sanctuary area
has received Communion, and they “274. A genuflection, made by for the general practice for definitive answer to our reader’s during Mass, then I suggest that the
are always to receive from the hands bending the right knee to the ground, concelebrating priests although question. least complicated solution should
of the Priest Celebrant the vessel signifies adoration, and therefore it the missal contemplates several Personally, I think that the be adopted.
CBCP Monitor February 4 - 17, 2019 Vol. 23 No. 3 FEATURE B3

Excerpts of Pope Francis’ in-flight press conference

from Abu Dhabi to Rome on February 5, 2019
Pope Francis: First of all, hello, announcement on building a church
thank you for the company. It was of St. Francis next to a mosque of the
too short of a trip, but for me it Imam el-Tayeb?
was a great experience. It’s that I
think that every trip is historic, also Pope Francis: The document
each of our days, to write the story was prepared with much reflection
of every day... no story is small, and also praying; the Grand Imam
every story is big and worthy even and his team and me with mine.
if [judged to be] bad, the dignity is We prayed a lot to be able to make
hidden, can always come up. Thank this document because for me
you so much for your collaboration. there is one single great danger
in this moment: destruction, war
Sargon Hurmez Barham, Sky and hatred between us. And, if we
News Arabia: Holiness, what believers are not capable of giving
will be the outcome of this trip each other a hand, embracing each
and what were your impressions other and even praying, our faith
of the country, of the United Arab will be defeated. This document
Emirates? is born from faith in God, who is
the Father of all and the father
Pope Francis: I saw a modern of peace, and condemns every
country. The city struck me, even destruction, every terrorism. The
the cleanliness of the city, also first terrorism in history is that
small curiosities like how do they of Cain. It is a document that was
water the flowers in this desert? developed over almost a year, back
But also a modern country... also and forth, prayer. It remained a little
welcoming of so many peoples that confidential so as to mature, to not
come here, but also a country that give birth to the child before the
looks to the future. The example: time, that it might be mature.
the education of children. They
educate them looking to the future, Jörg Herbert Seisselberg, Pope Francis answers questions from journalists aboard his flight from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, to Rome Feb. 5, 2019. Also pictured are Msgr. Mauricio
always. So they have told me. Then ARD Radio: Holy Father, this Rueda, papal trip planner, and Alessandro Gisotti, interim Vatican spokesman. PAUL HARING/CNS
a thing that struck me, the problem trip has been full of encounters,
of water... they are considering in impressions, and images. The be used by Muslims. historic document signed yesterday that letter and I will see what can be
the near future to take water from images of your arrival, the honorary is very ambitious for education. done. But the initial conditions are
the sea, to make it potable and even military welcome, and the military Pope Francis: But not only In your perspective, can this truly that both parties ask. We are always
the water of the humidity to make planes that made the design in the Muslims... they accuse me touch the Muslim faithful? Thanks. willing. The same when people go
it drinkable... always searching for the sky with the Vatican colors of allowing myself to be used by to the parish priest because there
new things. And I even heard from remained in my mind. I ask myself: everyone, even by journalists, it is Pope Francis: I know and I’ve is a problem between the husband
someone, “one day the petroleum What does this have to do with Pope part of the job. But I want to say heard from some Muslims that it and wife... one goes and the other
will be gone. We are preparing Francis, with the Pope that comes one thing. This I emphasize clearly. needs to be studied in universities, comes or does not come? He wants
ourselves for that day, now, to have with a message of peace? What do From the Catholic point of view, at least in Al-Azhar for sure, and or does not want to go? Both parties
something to do.” This is a country you think of this? What did you the document does not pull away in schools. It must be studied, not are always needed. This is the secret.
that looks to the future. feel, what do you think in these one millimeter from Vatican II, imposed… studied! This to begin And [for] the countries [this] is
Then it seemed to me [to be] an moments? which is even cited a few times. The from the end of your question. a condition that that they must
open country, not closed, even Again on this theme of your appeal document was made in the spirit of It’s a bit by chance the proximity do, think before asking -- [for a] a
the religiosity of Islamism, it is for peace in Yemen: what reactions Vatican II. I wanted, before making of the two trips because I wanted facilitation or presence of a savior
an open Islamism, not closed, of did you receive in your meetings that the decision, to say it good that to go to Marrakesh but there were or mediation. Both parties always.
dialogue, a fraternal and peaceful create hope that this message was way and let’s sign it, at least on my protocol issues and I couldn’t go to Thank you! And I’ll go to Spain, eh?
Islamism. On this [point], they received, that steps towards peace side, I had some theologians read an international encounter without
emphasize education to peace, that will be taken in Yemen? [the document] and even [had it first making a visit to the country Nicole Winfield, AP: Holy Father,
is felt to be a duty, although there read] officially by the theologian of but I didn’t have time. And for last week the women’s magazine of
are some problems of some wars in Pope Francis: Thank you. I the Pontifical Household, that is a this we postponed the visit and L’Osservatore Romano published an
the area, but this I have not heard... interpret all of the gestures of Dominican, and with the beautiful it’s in coincidence with this. And article denouncing sexual abuse of
it was the Secretary of State to go consecrated women in the Church.
to Marrakesh. It’s a question of Adult women, sisters, by clergy.
diplomacy and of education, as well, Some months ago, the Union of
but it wasn’t a planned thing. In Superiors General, UISG, also
Morocco, I follow in the footsteps made a public denouncement of
of St. John Paul II who went there. this problem. We know that the
He was the first to go. It will be a coming meeting in the Vatican will
nice trip. Then, invitations have be on the abuse of minors, but can
arrived from other Muslim countries we think that the Holy See might do
but there’s not time this year. We’ll something to confront this problem,
see next year. I or the other Peter, maybe with a document, guidelines,
someone will go. etc?

Maria Sagrario Ruiz (Radio Pope Francis: I will respond to

Nacional Espana): Good evening, this question, but I prefer to finish
I have a question in Spanish. Vatican with the [questions about the] trip
diplomacy has a great history and and then first thing I will respond to
practices this diplomacy of small yours. Is it okay like that?
steps in areas of conflict, and how can
we not recall concretely 1978, when Angelina Condé (Rome
John Paul II, with his mediation Reports): Good evening Holy
averted a war between your country, Father, on behalf of the Spanish
Argentina, and Chile. We know from group I’ll ask you the question in
yesterday that Nicolas Maduro – Spanish, I think that’s okay for you.
and we arrive at Venezuela – has You had a meeting with the Council
sent a letter asking for help to restart of Elders. From what you can tell
the dialogue. There is Secretary of us, what issues did you touch upon
State Parolin who knows the country and did you return to Rome with the
perfectly, all eyes are on you, on impression that your message was
Pope Francis and the Vatican. What received by their representatives?
Pope Francis boarding his plane to return to Rome from Abu Dhabi after a trip to the Middle East, February 5. VATICAN MEDIA
is the Vatican doing or what do you
think? Are you willing to mediate, if Pope Francis: The elderly are
Then for me the meeting with welcome as gestures of goodwill; tradition of the Dominicans not to go asked, at what point, at what time? truly wise. The Grande Imam spoke
the elders was very touching. The everyone does them according on a witch-hunt, but to see where is first, then each one of them spoke
elders of Islamism, it is a profound to their own cultures. What did I the right thing... and he approved it. Pope Francis: Thank you. The starting with the eldest, who yes,
thing, they were a little from find here? Such a great welcome If anyone feels bad, I understand it, mediation between Argentina and spoke Spanish because he was from
everywhere, of various cultures. that they wanted to do everything, it is not an everyday thing... not a Chile was truly a courageous act Mauritania and learned it there.
This shows, however, the openness small things and big things, because step back. It is a step forward. But, of Saint John Paul II that averted Elderly, eh, 80 years old, up to the
of this country to a certain regional, they felt that the Pope’s visit was step forward that comes after 50 a war, which was at the point [of youngest, who is the secretary of the
universal, religious dialogue. Then I something good. Someone also years, from the Council, that must be happening]. But there are little Council of Elders. He spoke a little
was struck also by the interreligious said a blessing...God knows…But developed. The historians say that a steps, the last is mediation. There bit but said everything in a video: the
convention, this is a strong cultural they wanted me to feel that I was council takes 100 years to take root are little initial or facilitating steps, unique thing about him is that he is
event. And also I mentioned in my welcome. in the Church. We are halfway. And but not only in the Vatican, in all a communicator. I liked this, it was
speech what they did here, last year, About the problem of wars. You this draws even my attention. I will diplomacy; closeness to one another a beautiful thing.
[a conference] on the protection mentioned one. I know it’s difficult tell you that I saw a phrase, but this to start the possibility for dialogue. They spoke...they started...The
of children, but in media, on the to give an opinion after two days phrase I do not know if it is sure, but This is done in diplomacy. I believe keyword is “wisdom.” Then “loyalty.”
internet... in these things... because and having spoken about the issue, it is a phrase from the Council... It that from the Secretariat of State, Then they emphasized a way of life
child pornography today is an but with few people. I will say that has surprised even me... Also in the they will be able to explain well all in which this wisdom grows and
industry with a lot of money, and I found goodwill in initiating peace Islamic world there are different of the different steps that can be the fidelity becomes strong and
they profit from children and this processes. This I found. A common opinions, there are some more made. I knew before the trip that a from there the friendship between
country realized it and did that. denominator with those I have radical than others. Yesterday in the letter from Maduro arrived in the people is born. They were different,
Positive things. Surely there are spoken with about war situations. council of the elders there was also at diplomatic pouch. This letter I have I don’t know how to explain it. One
problems, negative things, but in you mentioned Yemen: I found least one Shiite, and that gave a very not read it yet, this one that arrived. was Shia Islam, others of different
a trip of less than three days these goodwill to initiate peace processes. great universality, and he spoke well. We will see what can be done. But nuances...Then wisdom and fidelity
things are not seen and if you see There will be - I don’t know well - but in order for us to take the last step, is the important path to building
one, a person looks the other way. Domenico Agasso, La Stampa: there will be discrepancies, but it is mediation, it takes the will of both peace because peace is a work of
Thank you for the hospitality. Holy Father, after the historic a process and processes mature like parties. If both parties ask...this was wisdom and fidelity; Human fidelity
signing of the document on fraternity flowers, like fruit. the case for Argentina and Chile. between people and all of this. I have
Nour Salman, Emirates News yesterday, in your perspective The Holy See in Venezuela was been left with the impression of
Agency: Holy Father, thank you what do you think could be the Mathilde Imberty (Radio present in the time of dialogue being in the midst of true wise men
very much for your activity. The consequences in the Islamic world? France): Good afternoon, Holy with your compatriot Rodriguez and this is a guarantee for the Grand
question I would like to ask you: Thinking especially of the conflicts Father. You’ve just concluded a visit Zapatero, a first meeting with Imam to have this advice. You are
now that the declaration of Abu in Yemen and Syria... And what the to the Emirates and in a very short Monsignor Tscherrig initially, and satisfied, I suppose?
Dhabi on fraternity has been signed, outcomes will there be even among time you’ll go to Morocco. We seem then continued with Monsignor Celli
how will this document be applied Catholics, considering the fact that to understand that you chose to … and there gave birth to a mouse, Condé: Yes. Very satisfied. Thank
in the future and what are your there is a part of Catholics that speak with very precise interlocutors nothing … smoke! you.
thoughts on Prince Mohammed’s accuse you of allowing yourself to of Islam. Is it a conscious choice? The Now, I do not know, I will look at Excerpts / B7
B4 STATEMENTS February 4 - 17, 2019 Vol. 23 No. 3 CBCP Monitor

Seek the common good

Love and truth will meet; justice and peace will kiss.” (Ps 85:10)
EVERY election period is a promise taught: “‘A good Catholic doesn’t
of better times or a foreboding of meddle in politics.’ That’s not true.
what is worse to come. The choice is That is not a good path. A good
in our hands. It is as if God is telling Catholic meddles in politics, offering
us “I have set before you life and the best of himself, so that those
death, the blessing and the curse. who govern can govern…. None
Choose life, then, that you and your of us can say, ‘I have nothing to
descendants may live.” (Deut 30:19). do with this, how they govern.’ …
The year 2019 is not just No, no, I am responsible for their
an ordinary election year. The governance, and I have to do the
midterm election on May 13 is in best so that they govern well, and I
itself already crucial. In our country have to do my best by participating
today the checks and balances in the in politics according to my ability.”
government are being undermined. (Pope Francis September 16, 2013)
So far the Senate is the institution in Furthermore, we heed the appeal of
the government that is holding out as Pope Francis in his message on the
our country is inching towards total World Day of Prayer for Peace of
control. It is very crucial therefore this year that good politics is at the
that we elect public officials who service of peace.
are principled, courageous and who No one can say in this age of the
have the common good as their main social media that she/he cannot
concern and not their own political participate in politics. Each of us can
interests. We encourage voters to be let our voice be heard and be a part
very discerning in their votes. Let the of national conversation by posting
lay groups engage in discernment our views in the social media, but
circles to help one another know with great respect for others and
the candidates well and choose the with the end of advancing the truth.
candidates  with the common We especially encourage the youth
good of the whole country whose future is very much at stake
in mind and not according to Bishops gather in plenary assembly at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Manila, Jan. 26. ROY LAGARDE
to participate in the electoral process
what the candidates promise, much especially by using their skills
less according to what voters have dynasties to continue. It opens DAY MOVES FOR CHARTER central authority.” and knowledge of the social
received from these candidates. the national resources to foreign CHANGE issued on January 29, Our dear People of God, we are media to advance what is true,
Participation in politics for Christian ownership and eventual control. Its 2018) We do not see the proposed in a crucial moment of our history. what is just, and what is for the
lay people is not just to be limited version of federalism is vague and it revised constitution approved by In our hands is the direction of our common good.
to non-partisan involvement. will do away with the 2019 elections. the Lower House as an improvement country. Let us be vigilant in what Let the common good be the aim of
Christians are also encouraged We denounce any attempt to of the 1987 constitution but is a is happening. Let us not just be on- our politicians and let the common
to engage in principled partisan avoid the 2019 elections. This self-serving attempt of present lookers but let us be involved. good be the basis of our choice for
politics. This means that they can right of the people to vote should politicians to remain in power. Pope Benedict said: “A big part of our next set of public officials, then
campaign for good candidates as an not be shelved. We reiterate what We stand by what we have stated the vocation of Christian lay people truly, “love and truth will meet;
exercise of their Christian faith. we have taught before: “If the in the aforementioned letter: “As is their participation in politics justice and peace will kiss” (Ps 85:11)
However, more than the elections, Constitution is to be revised at servant leaders, we have listened in order to bring justice, honesty in our land.
another serious, and perhaps more all, the process should lead to a to many others who believe that and defense of true and authentic
insidious, matter that we should greater defense and promotion of the solution to our problems is values, and to contribute to the For the Catholic Bishops’
pay attention to is the threat the moral values of human dignity not a revision of the Constitution, real human and spiritual good of Conference of the Philippines,
the version of constitutional and human rights, integrity and but a full implementation of society. The role of the laity in the
change and federalism approved truth, participation and solidarity, the 1987 Constitution (e.g., on temporal order, and especially in + ROMULO G. VALLES, D.D.
by the Lower House and now being and the common good.” (CBCP political dynasties & on freedom of politics, is key for the evangelization Archbishop of Davao
dangled to the senators. It takes PASTORAL GUIDELINES FOR information), and a revision of the of society.” (Pope Benedict XVI on President, Catholic Bishops’
away the term limits of most of the DISCERNING THE MORAL Local Government Code, originally receiving the Bishops of Paraguay Conference of the Philippines
elected officials and allows political DIMENSION OF THE PRESENT- designed to devolve power from in September 2008) Pope Francis January 28, 2019

Protect our children, no to lowering of minimum age of criminal responsibility

“Let the little children come to Situation Analysis of children in communities. What our children
me and do not hinder them, for the Philippines, Unicef Philippines, need from duty bearers are support,
kingdom of God belongs to such as pp.312-324). Poverty and lack of care, and policies that will protect
these.” (Mark 10:13) opportunities to the majority of their rights and that will hone and
Filipino families in our country are encourage them to be productive
THE Philippine Interfaith the very same drivers that breed members of our society. To protect
Movement Against Human vulnerability to children to be in their rights, and ensure their safety
Trafficking (PIMAHT) strongly conflict with the law. They become is our utmost concern. A violent
condemns the approval of the bill an easy prey to criminal syndicates, and punitive environment is not
to lower the age of Minimum Age and thus, only exacerbates their the answer.
of Criminal Responsibility (MACR) situation to be more exposed to As Child Rights Advocates, the
by the House of Representatives. more risks and dangers, as their recent statement by the Office of
As an alliance which works for the basic needs are being neglected. the President, backing the law that
protection of victims of human Data states that 45% of the offenses will lower the minimum age to 9
trafficking, we also advocate for attributed to children are petty theft, or 12 years old is unacceptable to
a safe, peaceful, and nurturing robbery and other offenses against us. Instead, we demand that the Criminal Responsibility Act, and BISHOP REX R.B. REYES
environment for children. property, while 65% of children government implements fully the other acts that hinder our children National Council of Churches in the
While contrary to common offenders come from poor families. provision of the Juvenile Justice Law to be an integral member of our Philippines
knowledge, children represents a low We strongly encourage our and institute measures to strengthen community, fulfilling their God-
percentage of the total population in government to focus its attention the Filipino families and the network given potentials to the fullest. BISHOP NOEL PANTOJA
conflict with the law despite many on the promotion of the rights and of care, including churches, schools Children are not criminals. This Philippine Council of Evangelical
reports that the juvenile crime rate welfare of children, and address and various stakeholders, for at-risk bill, if implemented, would be our Churches
is increasing and that children under the roots of social problems and vulnerable children among our greatest sin to children, and to the
15 are committing crimes under the driving children to commit crimes. midst. next generations to come. MS. FE FORONDA
control of crime groups. Statistics Government should deliver We call on our all churches, Philippine Children’s Ministries
shows that in 2013, a mere 2.4% programs that cater to children’s communities of faith and other Network
of crime is committed by children needs, creating conditions that will children’s welfare organizations to BISHOP RUPERTO SANTOS, D.D.
compared to adult and most of develop and nurture and mold them join us in opposing the House Bill Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the SR. VIVIAN FERNANDO, HFB
these are petty crimes. (Source: to be responsible members of our No. 002, or the Minimum Age of Philippines Talitha Kum-Philippines

Position statement of the Sangguniang Laiko ng

Pilipinas on the proposed House Bill No. 8858
“If anyone causes one of these little conflict with the law. question which remains to be (Section 43-A) was inserted which less than one year. After that 72
ones to stumble, it would be better • To increase the penalties for answered with certainty is: in effect will prevent any appeal hours, no person can have access
for them to have a large millstone the exploitation of children “Can the Bahay Pag-asa and the or reconsideration or correction in to the records or any information
hung around their neck and to be for the commission of crimes. Agricultural Camps and Training the judgments given to these young in relation to the proceedings.
drowned in the depths of the sea.”  Facility to be established, maintained, offenders, to wit: Therefore, No DSWD, NGO or
(Matthew 18:6) Granting that these objectives supervised and controlled by DSWD SEC 43-A. PENALTY Charitable Institution can help
are reasonable and most ideal in in PARTNERSHIP the BUCOR FOR VIOLATION OF these children because NO ONE
THE House of Representatives the current situation, the MAIN (Bureau of Corrections) and TESDA, CONFIDENTIALITY OF WILL GIVE OUT ANY RECORD
under the Speakership of Gloria ISSUE remains: Will lowering provide and deliver its mandate RECORDS- ANY PERSON WHO OR INFORMATION UNDER THE
Macapagal Arroyo, is now rushing down the age of criminal “to design and implement the HAS BEEN FOUND GUILTY PAIN OF STIFF PENALTIES.
for the approval of the act amending responsibility address the rehabilitation and intervention OF DIVULGING, WILFULLY We also propose the following to
and expanding the RA 9344 “The causes why children commit programs in these specialized OR THROUGH GROSS our Legislators:
Juvenile Justice and Welfare crimes? facilities in order to prepare the INEXCUSABLE NEGLIGENCE, 1. Give priority to the effective
Act of 2006” which will LOWER The Sangguniang Laiko ng residents therein for successful THE RECORDS OR ANY implementation of   RA 9344.
DOWN THE MINIMUM AGE OF Pilipinas firmly believes, together reintegration into their families and INFORMATION RELATION 2. Increase the penalties against
CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY OF with other organizations concerned communities upon discharge and TO THE PROCEEDINGS the exploiters of children.
CHILDREN FROM 15 YEARS OLD with the welfare of children, that the release?” INVOLVING CHILDREN  
TO 12 YEARS OLD. root causes are: Pending conclusive proof of IN CONFLICT WITH THE With all the foregoing, the
The proposed bill was introduced 1. Poverty and lack of access the viability and success of these LAW, SHALL SUFFER THE SANGGUNIANG LAIKO NG
with the following objectives: to opportunities and programs in these very expensive PENALTIES IMPOSED IN PILIPINAS calls upon our
• To protect minors from being government services “SPECIALIZED FACILITIES”, of TITLE VII, CHAPTER 3 OF citizenry to OPPOSE AND
exploited by syndicates and 2. P o o r P a r e n t i n g a n d which our government has no model THIS ACT.” MAKE A STAND AGAINST
unscrupulous persons that Supervision to show, we simply cannot abandon Simply put, once a child has THIS HOUSE BILL 8858.
use minors to escape liability 3. Peer Pressure the future of these “children in been arrested, the court, within  
for crimes and other illegal 4. Prevalence of and unabating conflict with the law” to chance. 72 hours, has to make a decision For the LAIKO Board of Directors,
activities. criminality resulting to Each life is invaluable. Bawat for the petition for an involuntary
• T o p r o v i d e a d e q u a t e unhealthy social environment isang buhay at kinabukasan ay commitment to these specialized JULIETA F. WASAN, Ph.D.
intervention and diversion   mahalaga. facilities. The initial period of the President
measures for children in A secondary objection and Lastly, a very dangerous section placement of the child shall not be January 24, 2019
CBCP Monitor February 4 - 17, 2019 Vol. 23 No. 3 STATEMENTS B5

CBCP statement on the Message of Cardinal

Jolo Cathedral bombings Filoni for Jolo
WE, Catholic Bishops gathered in our Plenary As we begin a new phase in the peace process
Assembly in Manila, received today the sad with the creation of the Bangsamoro Autonomous
news from Fr. Romeo S. Saniel, OMI, Apostolic Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARRM), we ask
Administrator of Jolo, of the bombing of the Our our Christian brethren to join hands with all
Lady of Mt. Carmel Cathedral in Jolo during the peace-loving Muslim and Indigenous People
Sunday Mass. communities in the advocacy against violent
We condole with the families of the several May all our religions of peace guide us in our
soldiers and civilians who were killed by the quest for a brighter future for the peoples of
explosions. We also express our sympathies Mindanao.
with those who were wounded and extend our
solidarity with the rest of the church-goers From the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the
inside the Cathedral and the rest of the church Philippines
community in the Apostolic Vicariate of Jolo.
At the same time, we condemn this act of Archbishop of Davao
terrorism that has taken place only a few days President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the
after the plebiscite on the Bangsamoro Organic Philippines
Law. January 27, 2019

Statement of Antonio Cardinal Tagle

on the Jolo Cathedral bombing

Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. ROBERT

TO THE REV. FR. ROMEO S. victims, their families, and all of the
SANIEL, O.M.I. Apostolic Vicariate of Jolo.
Apostolic Administrator of Jolo At this time of deep sorrow, we
join also with all the people of the
WITH a deeply saddened heart, on Philippines in praying for hope,
behalf of the Congregation for the encouragement, and guidance in
Evangelization fo Peoples, I wish the coming days, so that peace may
to express my sincere condolences be restored permanently by the help
to all those affected by the terrorist of God and through the good will of
attacks, which took place at the Ca- all concerned.
thedral and have caused numerous
deaths, injuries and damages. +FERNANDO CARDINAL FILONI
We pray to Almighty God for all
those affected by this tragedy and we +PROTASE RUGAMBWA
especially offer our prayers to all the Archbishop Secretary

A most heinous
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila. FILE PHOTO

THE bombing in the Cathedral We are one with the families of the love and respect for human life and
desecration of a
sacred place
of Jolo and in the parking area is dead and the wounded and the dignity. Let us multiply good and
senseless because it is inhuman. community of Jolo. You have a honorable thoughts, sentiments,
That it happened during the family in us. We are ready to assist word and actions. Let us not
Eucharistic celebration on a you in your needs. abandon our efforts to dialogue
Sunday, the commemoration of We urged those who planned with people who differ from us. AS former religious leaders of Jolo appeal to our security and military
Jesus’s triumph over death, makes and executed this brutal act to ask Bridges are more useful than walls. we totally condemn the criminal forces to flush out the perpetrators
it abominable because it violates forgiveness of God and humanity, We affirm our faith in Jesus who bombing of the Jolo Cathedral. It of this barbaric crime and bring
the sense of God present in every to leave behind their destructive is our peace and reconciliation. As is the most heinous desecration of them to justice. May the One God
human heart. Shock, anger and ways and to start a new life of Jesus accepted death with and for a sacred place, on a sacred day, and of all preserve us from evil and lead
sadness envelope our hearts. What truthfulness, justice and love us, so will the dead, the wounded at a sacred moment of worship. It us to the way of peace.
has happened to humanity? Is there befitting true human beings. We and our people rise again with and is truly a satanic act that all sacred
no more room for decency and call on all Filipinos, especially for Jesus. Mary, Mother of hope, religions must condemn. This is
conscience? Catholics and Christians not to walk with us. the action of evil people with utter +ANGELITO R. LAMPON, OMI
We in the Archdiocese of Manila abandon our commitment to disregard for the sacredness of Bishop Emeritus of Jolo
unite ourselves with the civilians peace. Only good can combat evil. +LUIS ANTONIO G. CARDINAL human life and of human dignity.
and military personnel who died. Instead of being discouraged, let TAGLE We entrust the innocent victims to ORLANDO B. CARDINAL
You are in our prayer. Be assured us strengthen our resolve to work Archbishops of Manila the Lord’s compassion and pray for QUEVEDO, OMI
that you will be given divine justice. for peace based on justice, truth, January 27,2019. their grieving families. We strongly Former Parish Priest of Jolo

Statement of concern and solidarity

“Through the holy prophets, God Let us not be afraid and together
promised of old to save us from our declare with confidence that our God is
enemies, in control and that He will “set us free
from the hands of all who hate us; from the hands of our enemies, free to
to show mercy to our forebears and to worship Him without fear.”
remember the holy covenant. Though we strongly condemn this
This was the oath God swore to our senseless act of violence done towards
father Abraham innocent and praying people, we also
to set us free from the hands of our entrust the perpetrators of this bombing
enemies, free to worship without fear, to the sacred heart of Jesus and His
holy and righteous in the Lord’s sight, divine mercy.
all the days of our life.” (Luke 1:70-75) Lastly, we appeal to our national
leadership to avoid fostering an
THE Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas atmosphere of hatred and encourages
joins the entire Catholic Faithful and the citizens to go against our Church
all men of goodwill in praying for the pastors and instead call for sobriety,
victims of the Jolo Cathedral bombing. solidarity and mutual respect.
We mourn with and express our deep Jesus, King of Mercy, we trust in you!
concern for the families of those who
perished and those who were injured For the LAIKO Board of Directors,
in this terroristic act. We also stand in
solidarity with them and encourage all
groups and communities who can extend MA. JULIETA F. WASAN, Ph.D.
help, to send them through trustworthy President
channels and organizations. January 29, 2019
B6 REFLECTIONS February 4 - 17, 2019 Vol. 23 No. 3 CBCP Monitor

The preacher of God’s Word- Called to be God’s

sinful, but touched by the Lord partners
5th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, (Luke 5:1-11) 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, (Luke 5:1-11)
February 10, 2019 February 10, 2019

By Msgr. Lope C. Robredillo, SThD By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB

IT must have been quite a shocking catch of fish was a prophecy: Simon
experience for seasoned fishermen and his partners and their
like Simon (Peter) and his associates successors would share in
to haul in that extraordinary catch Christ’s mission of “catching
of fish. They had been toiling the men” (see Lk 5:10), i.e. rescuing
whole night but in vain. Then, when them from the deadly power
the sun was already high, at a time of the forces of evil symbolized
when no fisherman would have by the sea.
hoped to get even small fry, that big That miracle, then, was not
catch had come which left everybody just Jesus’ way of expressing his
astonished! And this happened just gratitude to Simon for allowing him
because that wandering preacher to preach from his boat. (See Lk
from Nazareth had invited Simon 5:13.) It was part of a well thought-
to lower the nets at such an unlikely out plan: the plan to bring God’s
hour . . . . salvation to mankind through
There was something unusual the cooperation of frail and
in that young preacher—some sinful creatures like Simon Peter
extraordinary, or even divine and his associates; people like the
power. Simon was the first to Pope and the Bishops; people like
sense it. And at the same time, you and me.
he experienced what all honest The miraculous “catch,” i.e.,
souls feel in the presence of the the salvation of men, goes on
supernatural: a deep awareness of throughout the world, century after
one’s sinfulness and unworthiness. century, in spite of the inadequacy of
Hence the plea: “Leave me, Lord. the fishermen. It goes on because
I am a sinful man!” (Lk 5:8). it is the work of God’s power;
Almost eight centuries earlier, the work of God’s love and
Isaiah had experienced the trust. In spite of His omnipotence
same feeling during the theophany and holiness, He does not disdain to
he witnessed in the Temple (Is 6:5). avail Himself of our cooperation, no
Utter terror grips an honest person matter how feeble and inadequate it
at the prospect of what an all-holy may occasionally be.
Being can do to a sinful creature. We are all in the saving boat
But Jesus doesn’t enjoy terrifying of the Church. We all share
people. He immediately reassured in the salvation wrought by
the poor Simon who was trembling Christ. But we also share in
at his feet. And he did more than that. the mission of helping Jesus to
The miracle he had just performed save others, for, thanks to him, we
was only a beginning. It was a too have become “life-savers,” under
symbol of something far greater the guidance of Simon Peter, the
that would keep happening until master of the fleet of God’s rescue
the end of time. That miraculous team.

Called to share the

values of Christ
6th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, (Luke 6:17, 20-26)
February 17, 2019
WHAT qualifies an evangelist? Isaiah was chosen by God to be a of conversion from sin, and sets By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
If we go by popular standard, we prophet to Israel for many years; himself apart from sinners, he has
would think that only those who despite his betrayal, Peter became hardly any credentials to a claim
are clean of heart deserve to be the first head of the Church; of a personal encounter with God. IF some of the Beatitudes in the their best to do His will. It is this
called ministers. If this is the way and Paul became an unrivalled And second: having experienced Gospel of Matthew surprise us, all type of believers and doers, tested
we think, it is because, when we missionary to the known world at the Lord and having gone into the those in the Gospel of Luke shock in the most adverse circumstances,
are in the realm of religion, we that time. depth of his sinfulness, one begins us. In fact, they sound not only whom Jesus calls “blessed,” for
seem to approach the problem What gives? If we go back to to proclaim the Word of God, and blunt, but alienating, as they project God will welcome them into His
of ministry by considering who the readings, we will notice that nothing can stop him from doing into a vague, unrealistic future the Kingdom. He will fully satisfy all
God is, and once we are able to there is one thing common among it. He may even leave everything straightening up of situations that their needs; He will amply make
identify him, we start talking the three: they experienced the that made him secure. Isaiah left are definitely against our most up for their past sufferings, and
about the person who is fit to Lord. The Lord touched their the comfort of wealth and the natural aspirations. A superficial give them the reward of the saints.
serve him. For many, God is lives. Isaiah was probably an company of powerful men. On reading of these four Beatitudes This is what the four Beatitudes of
all-powerful, without sin, and aristocrat, because he could get the contrary, he even experienced would easily lead us to conclude the Gospel of Luke are all about.
incapable of error. We attribute near to the King. One time he persecution because of the Word that Karl Marx was right when he The four “woes” that
to him almost all the qualities went to the Temple , and there he proclaimed. Having seen the stated that “religion is the opiate of follow focus on an opposite
that are exactly the opposite of he was overwhelmed by a vision vision on the road, Paul became a the people.” orientation in life. They speak
ours. And so, we believe that the of God. He saw him, and that Christian and nothing could stop But a more attentive reading about those who walk the road
stronger, the less sinless and the experience touched his life. From his missionary activity. “Woe to of both “Beatitudes” and “Woes” that leads to eternal death.
more correct a person is, the more then on, he became a proclaimer me if I do not preach the Gospel” (1 enables us to realize that they are They are the people for whom,
he deserves to be God’s minister. of God’s Word. Paul had a vision Cor 9:16). He left the comfortable not a sort of consuelo de bobo, apparently, things go well but who
So true is this that when we know of Jesus, while he was on the way life of a Pharisee, and in his but a striking restatement, have committed the tragic mistake
of someone’s skeleton in the to Damascus. Before he entered ministry as missionary, he was within the perspective of the of trusting excessively in themselves
closet, we immediately question the city, he was struck by a vision, often flogged, stoned, and placed Kingdom of God, of the ancient and other creatures, giving to them
his qualification to preach the and from then on, he became a in dangerous situation. saying of the “two ways,” the the total priority which should be
Gospel. Typical of this line of different man. In the Gospel, Peter The vocation to be a minister one that leads to life and the given to God alone. Their wrong
thinking is the assertion of a encountered God not in a place like of the Word requires more than other that leads to death. choice has brought them to pin
former ambassador, made at an the Temple, but in an event. He a vast reserve of accumulated Behind those four shocking their expectation and hopes in
interview on a TV channel, that the experienced the presence of the knowledge about the Scriptures. statements which call “Blest” people something or someone that, in
Church has no business speaking Lord in the abundant catch of fish. It would seem that if few of us who suffer in one way or another, the end, will prove incapable of
about morality in politics, unless The point of all these is that we will persevere in proclaiming the good there lies the unstated reason fulfilling them. Their situation
it first cleans its own backyard. truly become spokesmen of the news and have the zeal in doing the for such “blessedness”: their is that of one who is building on
Today’s readings, however, give Lord only if we have an experience mission, despite our initial interest trust in the Lord and their the clouds or has entrusted one’s
the lie to that impression. In the of him. (No wonder that, because and training, it is because the Lord choice to build their life on money to a bank that is doomed
1st Reading , Isaiah describes of this lack of experience of his has not yet touched us. That is Him. This is their “fundamental to go bankrupt.
himself as a man of unclean lips presence, many of us look for him why, no amount of seminars and option,” rooted in humble faith. Those who have made such a
(Isa 6:5). In the 2nd Reading, in astrology, feng sui, born-again lectures can motivate us to be This is what brings them to rely fully choice, may—for a time—feel rich,
Paul tells us that he was formerly sects, transcendental meditation, zealous ministers, unless we are on God’s love, faithfulness, wisdom, have all their cravings satisfied,
a persecutor of the Church, and and new age movements, and we first given this initial push, this and justice, even in situations of enjoy life and popularity . . . . But
hardly deserves the name apostle consult all kinds of charlatans just divine touch. What matters, in poverty, hunger, pain, persecution, that condition won’t last, for nothing
(1 Cor 15:9). Finally, in the Gospel, to encounter him.) the end, is not really who we are. and any other form of suffering lasts for ever in this life. And for as
Peter, who denied Jesus thrice, is But how do we know we had It does not matter whether we are human beings can experience long as they make these enjoyments
described as telling Jesus to stay an experience of the Lord? The persecutors of the Church and on earth. What makes them their highest aspirations—their
away from him because he was a authenticity of our experience, at public sinners, or whether we are blessed is not their condition of gods!—their life orientation will
sinful man (Luke 5:8). And yet, least from the standpoint of the equipped for the ministry or not. deprivation or rejection, but their remain a perversion, and its final
these three men were proclaimers readings today, is verified in two What matters is the finger of God, basic attitude of trust in the outcome a complete failure. The
of the Lord’s Word. In light of acts. First is the consciousness the touch by the Holy Spirit. Of Lord, while doing their best road that seems so attractive and
this, it would be wrong to say that that we are sinful, and therefore course, there are people for whom to cope with such arduous and easy, in reality turns out to be
only those who are good deserve ability to accept the sinfulness of this is not acceptable. They are challenging situations. deceptive and treacherous for it
to be preachers, for in these three others. ”Leave me, Lord, I am a even afraid to commit mistakes; For those who build on such a leads to irreparable disaster.
we have almost the exact opposite sinful man,” said Peter (Luke 5:8). they want to be like God so that solid foundation, even conditions of With his stern “woes” Jesus
of goodness. This point is worth “Of these [sinners],” confessed nothing bad could be said of them. poverty, hunger, pain, persecution today warns all those who are
emphasizing because many of Paul, “I myself am the worst” (1 But such a life misses the whole and rejection—and any other form walking “the road of death”
us think that, because the Church Tim 1:15). Indeed, it would seem point of what life is all about. We of suffering—will not be frightening to realize the danger of their
is holy, it does not have a place that only a person who is able to see cannot be like God through our own or hopeless, for they do not last for present situation and make
for sinful people. How often we the depth of his sinfulness can say effort in the first place. What is ever. In the faith perspective of an about-face before it is too late.
distance ourselves from those we that he has truly experienced the ultimately decisive is that we allow eternal life, what lasts for ever is And to those who are on “the
perceive to be sinful members! We presence of God. The opposite is the Spirit to move us. And after the fulfillment of God’s plan and road of life” Jesus offers his
do not accept them as members completely true. If a person comes that, nothing in us really matters, the reward which He has in store encouragement to persevere
of religious organizations or faith parading that he is very good, and not even ourselves. Besides that is for those who have entrusted in it, for that is the road of the
communities in the parish! Yet, criticizes others for their need probably hypocrisy. themselves to Him and have done Kingdom.
CBCP Monitor February 4 - 17, 2019 Vol. 23 No. 3 SOCIAL CONCERNS B7

Children are treated as criminals

By Fr. Shay Cullen, MSSC

THE lower chamber of the Philippine

Congress is going to approve the
lowering of the minimum age of
criminal liability of a child from
the present 15 years-of-age to
12-years-of-age. They really want
to reduce it to 9 but public outcry
forced the politicians to change.
Yet, 12-year-old is too young to
impute criminal liability. What
knowledge and discernment do
uneducated, impoverished hungry
street children at 12 years old know
and understand?
The Juvenile Justice and Welfare
Act is a good law if it were to be
implemented. But it is not. Out
of more than a hundred highly-
urbanized cities and provinces that
are supposed to build homes for
the children, only 40 have done
it. Unfortunately, some of these
supposedly homes for children
called Bahay Pag-asa are in reality
jails for children where thousands
now languish hungry, underfed and
At present, these are cruel
detention centers where the children
are mostly treated as criminals
held for weeks and months behind
steel bars. Practically no activities,
exercise, entertainment or education
is provided in most places. Many of
the children suffer bullying, sexual
and physical abuse by the older
detainees. If the minimum age of
criminal liability is lowered to nine
or 12, even more will be added to
these numbers.
This we know since our work at
the Preda Foundation for the past
45 years has been to rescue them
and give them a happy home in an Children behind bars in the Philippines where the country’s lawmakers are planning to lower the minimum age of criminal liability from 15 years old to nine. PHOTO COURTESY OF PREDA FOUNDATION
open center without guards, gates
or fences. We give the freedom of and Welfare Council (JJWC) and better. then the Philippines is getting a very age. Children nine to 11 years of age
choice to decide to stay and get to mandatorily fund its operation Millions of pesos have been low score if any at all. The national are responsible for 7 percent of all
educated and 95 percent choose every year. Local governments must provided to the Juvenile Justice pride of the Philippine nation is wrongdoing by minors. Then minors
to stay. They are not criminals in not put children behind bars. The Welfare Council established to absent when it comes to the plight 12 to 15 years of age are responsible
the power of criminal syndicates as congressmen and senators will not oversee the implementation of the of its neglected street children. for 43 percent of wrong doing by
congress people assert. call child victims of these horrid Republic Act 9344 or the Juvenile National dignity is sullied and it is minors whereas youth 15 to 18 years
This is the present reality of child cells to testify before them. They Justice and Welfare Act but much of nowhere to be found. of age are responsible for 48 percent
detention centers with only a few might hear the truth. They have the money has gone unused. Local The officials and politicians, all of alleged wrong doing committed
encouraging exceptions. Thousands never visited the child detention mayors do not listen or follow the uncaring rich elite having never by minors.
of small children are in fact behind centers and they know nothing advice of the Council. The JJWC been deprived of anything, unjustly It is clear that the 2 percent of
bars in sub-human conditions, their about human suffering. has no power to compel compliance and wrongly call the thousands crimes committed by minors is
rights violated day and night. It is These child detention centers have with the law. of hungry children criminals and miniscule and does not deserve
a horrific disgrace for the proud a small cell with a dozen teenagers The local government officials accuse them of working for crime harsh treatment and punishment.
Filipino people. and small children crammed inside are not interested in building a syndicates and drug delivery boys The children see that some of
This law is not being implemented in some of them. There is a dirty nice, clean well-managed home for and girls. But there is no sound, the rich politicians get away with
to this day. The small children, some stinky toilet clogged with human abandoned children at risk or in dire proven information or evidence to massive crimes of plunder and
as young as ten, are in fact locked waste. They sleep on the concrete circumstance or in conflict with the back up that unrehearsed assertion wallow in putrid corruption creating
up in these overcrowded cells in floor in most of these child detention law. The politicians consider the and false accusation. poverty and homeless children. The
stinking, sub-human conditions. centers. ragged, hungry, homeless abused Child detention in the Philippines children struggle to survive and eat
The Philippine Congress, in its lack It is untrue and a wild fantasy street children, not as children today is a horrific, unjust, one scant meal a day.
of understanding and knowledge of congress people to think the in need of help, but as vermin, undeserved punishment that is Preda Foundation was founded 45
about this reality, will condemn children will have recovery, therapy, pests, undeserving poor, throwaway detrimental and destructive of the years ago to help children at risk and
many children as young as 12 to rot values formation, medical care, creatures, useless and not even child. Look at the facts: Out of all in conflict with the law and those
in jails where they will be sexually education in nice children’s homes human. “They have criminal minds,” recorded crimes, 98 percent are falsely accused and abused and
and physically abused. That will be run by a caring, benevolent local one top official said about street done by adults and only 2 percent jailed without evidence. The many
on their conscience. government. It is the opposite: the children. by minors. children rescued have the given
They should make it mandatory children are treated as criminals If a nation is judged in its Out of all alleged wrongdoing testimony of what they suffered.
for each local government to build and suffered hardship, hunger and reputation as a moral upright done by minors themselves, only They were saved and started a new
a real home for children under the are devastated as human beings that dignified nation by the way it treats 2 percent are allegedly committed happier life at the Preda open center
direction of the Juvenile Justice do not even have hope of anything its poor and its neglected children, by children less than nine years of of freedom and dignity.

Excerpts / B3

Sofia Barbarani, The National: during this trip I spoke about it, I the UAE, to demonstrate their faith told that the beginning of the history sexual slavery, by clerics or by the
Good evening! The question we don’t remember where, but I spoke and belief. So, is there anything that of women’s jewelry came about in founder. Sometimes the founder
wanted to ask you on behalf of the about it. I don’t know, I think that has actually changed beyond today? an ancient country, I do not know, takes the freedom, empties the
group of newspapers from Abu the document was more about unity of the East, where there was the freedom of the sisters, it can arrive
Dhabi was: today a little girl brought and friendship and I underscored Pope Francis: Processes have a law of chasing away, repudiating, to this.
you a letter, she ran to you when you that… but now it comes to mind, beginning, right? You can prepare the woman. If the husband - I don’t About Pope Benedict I would like to
were in the car. We would like to also the document condemns something and you make it and that’s know if it’s true or not - said to her, underscore that he is a man that had
know if you have read the letter yet violence and some groups that it. There’s something before and “go away,” in that moment with the courage to do many things on this
and if you knew what… call themselves Islamic (the elders something after it. I think religious what she was wearing she had to theme. There’s an anecdote: he had
say it’s not Islamism) persecuting liberty is in process, always more, go without taking anything. And all the papers, all the documents, on
Pope Francis: Not yet. The letters Christians. I remember that father, always forward. I was impressed by there, they began to make jewels of a religious organization that had
are there, they’re organizing them on Lesbos, with three children who a conversation I had with a 13 year gold and precious stones, to have within it even sexual and economic
for me to read afterwards. was 30 years old and he cried: “I’m old kid in Rome, before leaving. (...) something to survive. I don’t know corruption. He went there, there
Islamic, my wife was Christian. The He told me: “Holiness, I want to say if it’s true or not, but it is interesting. were filters, he couldn’t arrive. In
Barbarani: Can you tell us what ISIS terrorists came, they saw the that I am an atheist. What should I Do the investigation. the end, the Pope, with the will to
impression that made on you when cross and they said to her, convert, do as an atheist to become a man of It’s true, within the Church there see the truth, called a meeting and
you saw this little girl coming and then they cut her throat in peace?” I told him: “Do that which have been clerics who have done Joseph Ratzinger left there with
towards you, this little girl who front of me.” This is our daily you feel,” then I spoke to him a little this. In some civilizations a little the folder and all of his papers.
escaped from the crowd? bread of terrorist groups, not only bit more, but I liked the courage stronger than in others. It is not When he came back, he said to his
of Christians, also the destruction of this boy. He is an atheist but he a thing that all have done. There secretary: put it in the archive, the
Pope Francis: She’s a brave girl! of the person. The document was searches for the good. have been priests and also bishops other party won. We mustn’t be
But she was stopped... Let her come, strongly condemnatory in this sense. That path is also a process, a who have done that. And I believe scandalized by this. They are steps
but that little girl has a future. She process that we should respect that it may still be being done. in a process. But when he became
has a future and I dare say, poor Inés San Martín, Crux: Holy and accompany. To accompany all It’s not a thing that from the Pope, the first thing [he said was]:
husband. She has a future, but is Father. One question related to processes for good, all, whatever moment in which you realize it, bring me this from the archives
brave, I liked it! It takes courage what my colleague has just asked, color they are, of any color. I think it’s over. The thing goes forward and he began. The folklore about
to do that, and then another one since we didn’t have the time to these are the steps forward. like this. We’ve been working Pope Benedict makes him seem so
followed her, there were two, she arrange it. As I told you in the on this for a long time. We’ve good -- he is good, a piece of bread
saw that one and she took courage. last trip, I interviewed the new Pope Francis: It’s true, it’s a suspended some clerics, sent them is worse than him -- but weak, but
Archbishop of Mosul in Iraq. He problem. The mistreatment of away for this, and also - I don’t there’s nothing weak [in him].
Franca Giansoldati, Il always says that they are waiting for women is a problem. I would dare know if the process is finished - He’s a strong man, a consistent
Messaggero: Your Holiness, Imam you. He also denies that the bishops to say that humanity still hasn’t dissolved some women’s religious man... and he started, and there
el-Tayeb denounced Islamophobia, are arguing about it, they are just matured. The woman is [considered] congregations that were very tied in that congregation there was this
emphasized Islamophobia, the waiting for you. You have spoken “second class.” Let’s begin here: it’s a up in this, a corruption. I cannot problem that you say. Pray so that
fear of Islam… Why didn’t we hear about religious liberty, saying that cultural problem. Then one arrives say: at my home... It’s true! Must we can move forward. I want to go
anything about Christianophobia or it goes beyond freedom of worship. up to femicide. There are countries something more be done? Yes. Do forward. There are cases, yes. But
about the persecution of Christians? Can you explain this subject? We are in which the mistreatment of women we have the will? Yes. everywhere, but in some preferably
coming back from a country that it reaches [the point of] femicide and But it is a path that has come from new congregations, some, and in
Pope Francis: Indeed, I spoke is known for its tolerance but many before arriving to your concrete afar. Pope Benedict had the courage some regions more than others.
about the persecution of Christians, Catholic people that were today in question, a curiosity that they have to dissolve a women’s congregation Yes. And this... We are working.
not in that moment, but I’m also the stadium have the opportunity, told me, but you do the investigation that had a certain level because this (A transcription of Catholic News
talking about it frequently, also just today since they first arrived to to know if it’s true or not: I’ve been slavery of women had entered, even Service)
B8 ENTERTAINMENT February 4 - 17, 2019 Vol. 23 No. 3 CBCP Monitor

Buhay San Miguel Brothers Matias

Otlum TERIBOL OG Bladimer Usi

DIRECTOR: Jovenor Tan
STARRING: Ricci Romero, Jerome
Ponce, John Estrada, Kiray Celis,
Irma Adlawan, Pen Medina, Buboy
Villar, Michelle Vito, Vitto Marquez
and Danzel Fernandez.
Jovenor Tan
GENRE: Horror
Horseshoe Studios
COUNTRY: Philippines
LANGUAGE: Filipino
RUNNING TIME: 1 hour 30 minutes

Technical assessment: 1.5

Moral assessment: 1.5
CINEMA rating: PG13
MTRCB rating: PG
at kataka-taka naman talaga

Buhay Parokya
Nais mabapilang ni Fred na ito ay nakapasok dito
(Buboy Villar) sa barkadahang bilang kalahok. FIND 3 MISSING THINGS:
pinamumunuan ni Allan Malabo rin ang nais 1. HOLY CHALICE
(Jerome Ponce). Subalit sa ipahiwatig ng pelikula kung 2. ST. LORENZO RUIZ
simula pa lang ay pawang usaping moral ang pag- 3. HOLY WATER FONT
ayaw na nila dito sa paniniwala uusapan. Nariyang may
nilang hindi ito nababagay sa isang batang hindi malaman
kanilang grupo. Magpupumilit kung bakit niya kailangang
pa rin si Fred at sa kabila ipagpilitan ang kanyang sarili
ng maraming insidente na sa isang barkadahang pang-
siya ay pinahiya at pinaasa, aalipusta lamang ang inaabot
papayag pa rin siya sa mga niya. Hindi malinaw kung
ipapagawa sa kanyang bakit mababa ang kanyang
pagsubok. Pinakamatinding pagtingin sa sarili  —   b ukod
pagsubok na ipapagawa sa pasaring na hindi siya
sa kanya ng grupo ay ang tanggap ng kanyang ina
manatili nang magdamag sa (na hindi rin malinaw kung
isang abandonadong bahay- bakit) at lumaki rin siyang
ampunan na pinaniniwalaang walang kaibigan (na hindi
pinamamahayan ng mga rin alam ng manonood kung
multo dahil sa madilim bakit) — wala nang mapiga pa
nitong nakaraan. Makayanan sa kanyang motibasyon. Sa
kaya ni Fred ang huling katagalan ay labis na sasama
pagsubok na ito? Anong ang loob niya nang malaman
misteryo ang nagtatago sa ang katotohanang wala siyang
loob ng abandonadong bahay- pag-asang mapabilang sa
ampunan? barkadahan nila Allan (isang
Isang payak at masasabing barkadahan ng mga walang
hindi gaanong pinag-isipan kuwentang mga nilalang
ang pelikulang Otlum. Mula bukod sa may mga itsura silang
sa pamagat nito na tila wala lahat) — at dahil dito’y kikitilin
nang maisip talaga — Otlum niya ang kanyang buhay sa
ay millennial speak kuno na hangaring maghiganti bilang
“multo” na binaligtad tulad ng multo? Katawa-tawa sa halip
lodi para sa idol — hanggang na nakakatakot. Kataka-
sa kakatwang mga kuwento taka din na pawang hindi
at mga karakter na malabo naman siya ang naghihiganti
ang pinanggagalingan. kundi mga ibang multo pa
Maging ang mga dayalogo at sa bahay-ampunan. Ano
linyahan ay pawang katawa- kaya yun? Sa mga multo siya
tawa bagama’t katatakutan nakatagpo ng barkada? At
ang genre ng pelikula. talaga bang magsisilbing aral
Luma na rin halos lahat ng sa mga taong matapobre at
ginawa nilang pakulo upang mapagmataas ang sila ay
manakot. Dismayado tuloy multuhin at patayin? Walang
ang maraming manonood katanggap-tanggap alin man
na umaasang sila ay sa mga ito. Nariyan din ang
makakaranas ng katatakutan. anggulo ng pang-aabuso at
Nasayang ang husay ng mga pang-momolestiya sa mga
aktor na karamihan naman bata ng isang pari sa dating
ay may ibubuga sa pag-arte bahay-ampunan. Wala ring
tulad nila Villar, Ponce, Kiray naging kaparusahan sa kanya.
Celis , mga beteranang sila Siya pa ang nagpakamatay
Irma Adlawan, Pen Medina at at sa bandang huli’y galit na
John Estrada, at maging ang naghihiganti. Bakit siya pa ang
baguhan na si Ricci Rivero. Sa galit? Katawa-tawa rin talaga.
kabuuan ay walang sentro ang Bagama’t ipinakitang sa huli’y
pelikula — hindi nila malaman nanaig ang kapangyarihan
kung saan at kaninong ng krus upang masugpo ang
kuwento ang kanilang pagmumulto ng pari, wala
susundan. Isang malaking pa rin itong saysay dahil
kapabayaan ang ginawa nila hindi katanggap-tanggap ang
sa pelikula na kung tutuusin kuwentong pinanggalingan.
ay maraming pwedeng Isang malaking insulto
nagawa kung pinagbuhusan ang Otlum sa mga
lamang ito ng panahon at manonood — usaping teknikal
pag-iisip. Halatang minadali man o moral. Maging ang
na lamang ang lahat upang mga taong walang magawa
makaabot sa taunang MMFF sa buhay ay mababagot sa
(Metro Manila Film Festival) pelikulang ito.

Rainbow’s Sunset
Director: Joel Lamangan
Lead Cast: Eddie Garcia, Tony
Mabesa, Gloria Romero, Aiko sa bawal na relasyon. Hindi rin nakabinbin. Ano ang nangyari sa ang pagkakagawa rito kung na nating hindi at naging matalik
Melendez, Sunshine Dizon, maitatanggi ang makatotohanang kasintahan ni Fe? Hindi ba nahuli tutukuyin ang homosekswalidad na magkaibigan lamang ang
Tirso Cruz III damdaming ibinigay ni Melendez si Emman sa kanyang iligal na bilang te ma. M atagu mpay dalawang magkababata. Hindi
Screenwriters: Ferdinand bilang Mayora. Isang malaking transaksyon? Anong klase ang namang ipinakita nito na may pa rin naging makatwiran ang
Lapuz, Joel Lamangan, Eric tagumpay ang masusing pagbuo asawa ni Mayora na may mga iba’t ibang mukha ang pag-ibig desisyon ni Ramon na basta na
Producer: Dennis Evangelista ng disenyo ng nakaraang limang lihim na iligal na gawain? Hindi at walang dapat humusga sa lamang iwan ang asawa upang
Editor: Mail Calapardo dekada habang sinusundan ang mahigpit ang pagkakatahi ng kabusilakan ng nag-iibigan. tumira sa bahay ni Fredo at
Musical Director: Emerzon kabataan ni Ramon at Fredo. Sa kwento bagama’t nasalba ito ng Malinaw ding ipinahatid ang lantarang ipakita ang kanyang
Tecson unang pagkakataon din ay may kahusayang teknikal at ng drama halaga at suporta ng pamilya damdamin. Hindi para lang
Genre: Drama pagkakahawig ang mga mukha sa dulo. at ng kabutihang laging walang masabi ang ibang tao
Cinematographer: Rain Yamzon ng mga batang bersyon at ng kani- Ang unang mapapansing tema sinusuklian ng kabutihan. Ang pero para pangalagaan naman
Distributor: Heaven’s Best kanilang mga supling. Maganda ng pelikula ay ang homosekswal problema ay hindi dahil sa pag- ang damdamin ng mga mahal
Productions naman sa kabuuan ang pelikula na relasyon nina Ramon at iibigang homosekswal, kungdi niya sa buhay. Maaaring
Location: Bulacan, Philippines at nakuha ang damdamin ng mga Fredo. Pinili nitong tahakin ang tahasang pangangaliwa ni marangal ang intensiyon ni
Running Time: 1 hr 51 mins subalit hindi ang mga anak na manunuod sa biglang pagkabig ng ang matamis na pag usbong Ramon. Papaanong magiging Ramon na makapiling si Fredo sa
Technical assessment: 3.0
Moral assessment: 2.5 sina Mayor George (Melendez), kwento sa huli. Kung bubusisiin ng inosenteng pag-ibig na katanggap-tangap sa isang babae mga huling sandali ng kanyang
CINEMA rating: V13 Emman (Cruz) at Fe (Dizon). nga lang ay masisilip ang mga lumalim at tumibay hanggang sa (o lalaki man) na may ibang buhay, pero ito ay desisyon ng
MTRCB rating: PG13 Lalo na nang aminin ni Ramon na kahinaan nito, tulad ng hindi katandaan. Sa mga konserbatibo, mahal ang kanyang asawa? isang makasariling bata. May
mahal niya ang kanilang ninong makatotohanang pagpili ng mga hindi katanggap-tanggap ang Pambayad-utang ba ang isang sinumpaang pagmamahal at
Nang mabalitaan ni Ramon Fredo katulad ng pagmamahal salita, ang malabnaw na pagbuo relasyong ito. Sa kabilang asawa? Sukli ba ang pang- legal na obligasyon ang kasal.
Estrella (Garcia) na pinili ni niya sa kanilang ina. Ang sa motibasyon ng mga tauhan, dako, ang mga naturingang unawa ni babae sa pagsuporta Kung mahal niya si Sylvia, dapat
Fredo (Mabesa) na sa bahay na paghantad ni Ramon ng kanyang at ang sala-salabat na alitan “liberated” at mga kapatid na ni Fredo sa mga pinansyal niyang kinalimutan si Fredo.
gugulin ang nalalabing araw, kasarian ay naging kontrobersyal ng mga pangalawang tauhan LGBT ay magdiriwang sa walang nilang pangangailangan? Hindi Kung mahal niya si Fredo, hindi
dali-dali siyang nagdesisyon na na usapin. Nangingibabaw sa halip na ituon ang pagdaloy takot na pagsulong ng pelikula naging malinaw kung nagtuloy siya dapat bumuo ng pamilya kay
iwan ang pamilya at alagaan ang dito si Mabesa sa kanyang ng kwento sa masalimuot na sa relasyong homosekswal ang sekswal na relasyon nina Sylvia. Hindi isyu ang LGBT…
kababata. Madaling pumayag mahinahong pagbalanse sa hirap relasyon nina Ramon, Sylvia at bilang tunay na pag-ibig. Ramon at Fredo habang kasal ang isyu ay ang katapatan sa
ang asawang si Sylvia (Romero) ng cancer at sa diskriminasyon Fredo. Marami tuloy ang naiwang Masasabi rin namang malinis ang una kay Sylvia. Ipagpalagay taong minamahal.
CBCP Monitor Vol. 23 No. 3 February 4 - 17, 2019 C1

CFC Light in the Lord Weekend Retreat:

Allowing the Light of Christ to Shine Through CFC
By CFC Global Comm
THE COLD Baguio weather did
not dampen the high spirits of
Couples for Christ Mission Core
members as they made their
way to the CAP John Hay for
the Light in the Lord Retreat.
Having come from the CFC
Leaders’ Conference two weeks
prior, and the Mission Core
Teaching Night the previous
week, CFC leaders were enthusi-
astic to listen to the third of the
“trilogy” of inspirational, pas-
toral and directional activities
that opened the year for CFC.
The retreat, which took place from
January 25 to 27, was a seeking of
grace for the light of the Lord to
shine within and through each one.

This present darkness

The opening session by ANCOP
Chairman Lito Tayag was about
“Darkness in the Home”.
He said, “The home is the primary
place where we hope to experience
fully the love of God. It is the do-
mestic church where we can find our
true identity as children of God.”
Stressing that there are no perfect
families, Tayag noted the many
threats confronting the family—
busy-ness, indifference, secularism,
relativism, consumerism and the
throw-away culture.
However, Tayag reminded every-
one that being CFC families, they
are bearers of God’s light.
“Our way forward to counter the
darkness of the world is to lead
each member of our families to a
relationship with Christ. How? By
proclaiming and witnessing to them
personally through love,” Tayag
shared. He added, “We must remem-
ber, Jesus is LIGHT IN THE LORD, C2

MC TEACHING NIGHT Awake. Arise. Fulfill: The CFC Leaders Conference 2019
Bishop Pabillo to CFC: ‘Live as children of light!’ THE ANNUAL Couples for when the world is wrapped in night How can CFC then live as children of
Christ Leaders Conference gath- and darkness. light? According to Ponte, each person
are in the light, we must According to Ponte, Pope Francis must choose to eschew the lifestyle of
expose darkness, because
ered 15,000 leaders from the has given us the way toward the light his old fallen human nature and to put
it is “shameful even to Metro Manila, Philippine and when he said “And this is our Christian on the way of life of the new humanity,
mention the things done International Missions, as well hope. The light of Jesus, the salvation that is, to live in union with Christ.
by them in secret”. as the CFC Family Ministries, at that brings us Jesus with his light that CFC is called to do two things: to be
Man does not commit the SM MOA Arena on January saves us from the darkness”. with Christ, and to imitate and follow
sin openly, rather he 12, 2019. The CFC Leaders Confer- In the ancient Church as in the Him. And since CFC is God’s people—
hides the sins he com- modern world, there are customs and a chosen race, a royal priesthood—all
mits. However, every- ence is a much-anticipated event symbols that present the light and how are therefore compelled to wake up
thing exposed to the where top leaders receive pastoral the faithful come into the light. Thus from slumber, arise from sleep, and
light becomes seen, be- direction from the International everyone should heed the call of St. to combat evil with righteousness and
comes visible. Council for the year, based on the Paul: Awake, O sleeper, and arise from goodness through the light of Christ.
Other biblical texts on community’s theme. the dead, and Christ will give you light. “Therefore, Couples for Christ, Arise!
the light This year, the theme “Rekindle the (Ephesians 5:14) Awake! Fulfill!”, Ponte exhorted.
The passage above is Gift, Fulfill your Ministry; Live as “Now is the time to be awake, to “There are no magical answers to the
quite a beautiful passage Children of Light” is a continuation arise from our sleep, and to combat how. But we are called to a “pastoral
to reflect on. There are of the 2018 theme from 2 Timothy, evil with goodness, righteousness and conversion” in our lives as a Church,
also other biblical texts with an additional message taken from truth through the light of Christ,” not only in our language but in our
(The following are ex- ing evident the contrast that talk about the light, Ponte exhorted lifestyle if we are to connect with the
cerpts from Bishop Brod- between light and dark- Ephesians 5: 8-9, 14.
such as the one from CFC Pastoral Formation Office youth who will inherit our community
erick Pabillo’s talk dur- ness. John 8:12: Jesus spoke to How have we rekindled? and the world.”
ing the January 15, 2019 …you are light in the Director Rouquel Ponte, in the first
them again, saying, "I am session titled “Awake! Arise!”, took the CFC is about to complete its 38 The challenge then, according to
Mission Core Teaching Lord. the light of the world. years. Over the years, particularly Ponte, is the question: “Are we Couples
Night held at the Christ First, there is the state- meaning of “rekindling” and “fulfill-
Whoever follows me will ing” to a higher level this year, urging recently, CFC has had to grapple with for Christ? Or are we merely members
the King Parish.) ment, “You are light in not walk in darkness, questions such as: What is CFC’s role of Couples for Christ?”
You (CFC) have taken the Lord…”, and there is the brethren to put into action Paul’s
but will have the light teaching to the Ephesians in living as in today’s generation? Are we gaining
this topic from the letter the imperative, “…live as of life." This verse talks more Timothy’s or are we losing them? ‛CFC is sacred space’
of Paul to the Ephesians children of Light.” What children of light.
about how one can come Are our methods still effective? And On a directional note, Evangeliza-
(to be your anchor verse would be the result of to the light—by follow- are we still at the forefront in the battle tion and Missions Director Arnel
for the 2019 theme), and living in the Light? The Awake, O sleeper!
ing Jesus who is the light. Ponte expounded on the question, against evil? Santos talked about Couples for Christ
I would like to take the verse says, “For light In doing so, one will not Ponte said, “The Lord challenges us as ‘God-enlightened space’. The term
whole context of that produces every kind of “What does it mean to be a Christian?”
walk in darkness nor live In the general sense, this means to look to rekindle, to use our gifts as CFC to was first used by Pope John Paul II, to
letter. goodness and righteous- in secret. be light to the world by truly living as describe a place in which “we experi-
“For you were once ness and truth.” So we to the light, to continue to practice the
Another text comes profession of faith in the light, even children of light.” ence the hid- LEADERS CONFERENCE, C3
darkness, but now you know that if we live as from John 12:35: Jesus
are light in the Lord; children of Light, we said to them, "The light
live as children of Light. will produce goodness, will be among you only
For light produces ev- righteousness and truth. a little while. Walk while
ery kind of goodness This is something you have the light, so
and righteousness and complete, and this would that darkness may not
truth. Try to learn what mean that if we produce overcome you. Whoever
is pleasing to the Lord; goodness, righteousness walks in the dark does
take no part in the fruit- and truth, we learn to be not know where he is
less works of darkness; pleasing to the Lord. going.”
rather expose them, for At the baptism of the Jesus said this towards
it is shameful even to Lord, a voice was heard the end of His ministry.
mention the things done from on high, “This is My It was a premonition of
by them in secret; but ev- beloved Son, in whom I His death and rising up
erything exposed by the am well pleased.” When to heaven. Jesus is saying
light becomes visible, for we were baptized, God that while we have the
everything that becomes also said the same—He light, while we have the
visible is light. There- was pleased with us. But truth, walk according
fore, it says: “Awake, O the question now is, is to the light so that we
sleeper, and arise from He still pleased with us? will not be covered by
the dead, and Christ will To please God then is darkness.
give you light.” (Ephe- to respond to His call, The world nowadays
sians 5:8-11) for us to “take no part is characterized by dark-
The verses in bold font in the fruitless works ness, confusion and vio-
speak about light, mak- of darkness”. When we MCT, C3
C2 February 4 - 17, 2019 Vol. 23 No. 3 CBCP Monitor


Rouquel Ponte


(“Rekindle the Gift. Fulfill Your Min- light dies.” In the east, on the other world that seems to grow darker by it’”. “In living the Gospel, we cannot with all that he is and does. We are
istry!” was the community’s theme hand, is where we see the first light of the day. expect that everything will be easy”. all in communication always. We
for 2018, repeated in 2019 with the the dawn, casting away the darkness. But Pope Francis also explains all live communicating and we are
addition of the admonition to “Live The Pope explained that in the Goodness that “The saints are not odd and continually poised between the truth
as Children of Light.” This was in ancient Church, during the rite of “Charity at the core. We need to aloof, unbearable because of their and lies.”
response to the pervasive reality of Baptism, the catechumens would keep reminding ourselves that there vanity, negativity and bitterness. The truth is so much more than
darkness in the world and to God’s make the first part of their profes- is a hierarchy of virtues that bids us The Apostles of Christ were not like presenting facts, in the Holy Father’s
direction that the community should sion of faith facing the west. When to seek what is essential”. In other that”. The apostles enjoyed favor view. Actually, selecting certain facts
work harder, pray harder and live questioned, “Do you renounce Satan, words, “amid the thicket of precepts “with all the people.” ”Persecutions in an effort to defame another person
exemplary Christian lives so that his favors, and all his works?”, they and prescriptions, Jesus clears a way are not a reality of the past, for today is what a gossip does – and Pope Fran-
the darkness may be dispelled. This would respond “I renounce!” They to seeing two faces, that of the Father too we experience them, whether by cis has little good to say about gossips.
article will focus on this new admo- would then turn to face the east, the and that of our brother”. the shedding of blood, as is the case “Beware! A gossiper is a terrorist
nition “Live as Children of Light!”). direction of the Orient, where the sun This is the great criterion which we with so many contemporary martyrs, because with his tongue he hurls the
The additional anchor verse for the begins to shine, for the question: “Do will be judged on. Pope Francis recalls or by more subtle means, by slander bomb and leaves calmly and that
2019 theme is taken from Ephesians you believe in God the Father, the Jesus’ words about feeding the hungry and lies”. hurled bomb destroys others’ reputa-
5:8-9 - “For you were once darkness, Son and the Holy Spirit?” this time and welcoming foreigners, presenting tion,” the Pope warned. “Don’t forget:
but now you are light in the Lord. responding, “I believe!” them as “a rule of behavior by which Truth to gossip is to kill.”
Live as children of light, for light In our own Baptisms today there is we will be judged. If I encounter a “What is the truth?” That was Pope Francis challenges us to live
produces every kind of goodness and the beautiful sign of the lit baptismal person sleeping outdoors on a cold Pilate’s question as he judged Jesus. the truth in all aspects of life: Let us
righteousness and truth. For every- candle, showing the importance of night, I can view him or her as an (John18:37). Through the witness ask ourselves: what truths attest to
thing that becomes visible is light.” light. The Pope said: “the life of the annoyance, an idler, an obstacle in of his passion and death, Jesus gave our works, our words or our choices
The verse is, in effect, telling all of Church is contamination of light.” my path, a troubling sight, a problem witness to the truth. as Christians? Each one can ask
us to truly be Christian in everything And he also asked “I would like to ask for politicians to sort out … Or I can “The truth finds its full realization himself: am I a witness of truth, or
that we say and do. you: how many of you remember the respond with faith and charity, and in the person of Jesus himself (Cf. am I more or less a liar disguised as
date of your Baptism?” “Think, and see in this person a human being John 14:6), in His way of living and a truthful person?
What does it mean to be Christian? if you do not remember it, today you with a dignity identical to my own, dying, the fruit of His relationship The Pope continues: “Not to bear
It means to look to the light, to have homework: go to your mom, a creature infinitely loved by the with the Father,” the Holy Father false witness means to live as a child
continue to practice the profession your dad, your aunt, your uncle, your Father, an image of God, a brother or explained. “This existence as children of God, who never, never denies him-
of faith in the light, even when the grandmother, grandpa and ask them, sister redeemed by Jesus Christ. That of God, He, risen, gives it also to us by self, never tells lies; live as children of
world is wrapped in night and dark- ‘What is my Baptism date?’” is what it is to be a Christian!” sending the Holy Spirit who is Spirit God, letting emerge in every act the
ness. And this is our Christian hope. He instructed them not to forget of truth, who attests to our heart that great truth: that God is Father and we
It is, as Pope Francis tells us, “The it, adding that our date of baptism, Righteousness God is our Father (Cf. Romans 8:16). can trust in Him.”
light of Jesus, the salvation that “which is the date of rebirth, is the “Blessed are those who hunger and The Holy Father explained that This letter of St. Paul to the Ephe-
brings us Jesus with his light that date of light, it is the date in which… thirst for righteousness, for they will being truthful is much more than sians is a masterpiece and one of the
saves us from the darkness.” we have been contaminated by the be filled”. (Matthew 5:6) simply being precise, exact or sincere. greatest treasures that compel us to
Pope Francis, in one of his homi- light of Christ.” Pope Francis further explains that It is about communications, for the wake up from our slumber. Now is
lies, explained that there was a time Paul’s instruction about Christian “Jesus offers a justice other than that Catechism says the eighth command- the time to be awake, to arise from
when church buildings faced toward conduct still holds true. of the world, so often marred by petty ment “forbids misrepresenting the our sleep, and to combat evil with
the east, such that when a person en- The same attitudes of humility, interests and manipulated in various truth in our relations with others” goodness, righteousness and truth
tered the doors from the west, he or gentleness, patience and forbearance ways. Experience shows how easy it (n. 2464). through the light of Christ.
she walked eastward toward the altar. are key to preserving the Spirit’s gift is to become mired in corruption, “To live in inauthentic commu-
This building trend has fallen out of unity in families, parishes and ensnared in the daily politics of quid nication is grave because it impedes Reflection Questions:
of custom but it’s still an important religious communities. pro quo, where everything becomes relationships and, therefore, impedes What is an area of darkness I am
symbol. Why? We must choose to put off the business. This has nothing to do with love,” the Pope continued. “Where experiencing in my life now? How
Pope Francis explains: “We men of lifestyle of the old fallen human the hunger and thirst for justice that there is a lie there is no love, love will I let the Light of Christ overcome
modern times, much less accustomed nature and to put on the way of life Jesus praises”. can’t be exercised. And when we this darkness?
to grasping the great signs of the cos- of the new humanity, that is, to live The Pope warns: “Unless we wish speak of communication between How can I be an instrument of
mos, we almost never notice such a in union with Christ. We must be to sink into an obscure mediocrity, persons, we mean not only words the Light of Christ that others may
thing,” he said, noting that the west is acutely aware of our true identity in let us not long for an easy life, for but also gestures, attitudes, even si- see goodness and righteousness
the direction of the sunset, “where the Christ and be a shining witness in a ‘whoever would save his life will lose lences, and absences. A person speaks and truth?



Living as children of light

Our community’s theme this year is taken from Ephe- Creator, man is the creature. He is teaching that God
sians 5:8-9,14: For you are once darkness, but now you created man not just “good” but “very good” – because
are light in the Lord. Live as children of light, for light man is created in God’s own image. He is teaching the
produces every kind of goodness and righteousness truth that the world has been organized by God and
and truth. Therefore, it says: “Awake, O sleeper, and man is to be sovereign over the created world.
arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” We must not allow the author’s idea of the
In these three verses, “light” is mentioned four cosmos to distract us from his religious in-
times, indicating its importance. sight. Imagine a man who says to his beloved,
These verses call to mind the story of creation in “As the sun always rises in the east and sets in
the Book of Genesis: Then God said, “Let there be the west, I will always love you.” If the woman
light,” and there was light. God saw how good the responds, “Since the earth is round and rotat-
light was. God then separated the light from dark- ing in space, the sun is not actually rising and
ness. God called the light “day” and the darkness he setting,” it would be ridiculous and totally still the answer to the chal- these is none other than Jesus requires striving to live in
called “night.” Thus evening came, and morning fol- off the point. The man in love is not talking lenges to the family.” Christ,” Yamamoto said. holiness, and being commit-
lowed—the first day. (Genesis 1:3-5). In these three about science. He is expressing his profound Countering darkness in CFC may have been trans- ted to the Church and the
verses, “light” is mentioned five times. love. If we miss the expression of love because the family entails practical formed to be followers of community of CFC.
During a recent prayer meeting of our household, we focus on the extraneous details, we miss and doable actions such as Jesus, to be men and women Yamamoto explained, “As
our members expressed the view that one of the the point entirely. When we read the creation heeding God’s leading at of the light, to live in the full- children of light, we must
practices that we need to rekindle in the commu- story, we should keep in mind that the author all times; having complete ness of life in Christ. But the refuse to yield our ground
nity is Bible study. We need to know and live the is not teaching science but explaining a real- trust and faith in God’s love reality is that in the journey to the wiles of evil. We must
Scriptures if we are to be children of light. ity. And since it is the truth, we believe that and providence; surrender- as a people of God, everyone not allow apathy and indif-
We all already understand that the Bible is not the story is divinely inspired. ing everything to the Lord is confronted with challenges ference to creep into our work
a history book. It is rather a collection of books of The second creation story is concerned with the and spending time in silence of faith, and there are tempta- of evangelization and family
different literary forms. Some are history, others human’s relationship with the soil, with the relation- with Him; opening lines of tions because of the pervasive renewal. We must stand defi-
are legend, or letter, or poem, or debate, or parable, ship between man and woman, and with the reason communication in the fam- evil in the world. ant and resist the assault on
or fiction, or other forms. Narrative is the primary for human suffering. ily; being patient with others The truth, however, is that our Christian identity by the
literary form in Genesis. And the dominant form It is evident that the story is drawn from the au- and with ourselves; accepting light overcomes darkness, false promises of the world.”
of narrative in Genesis is the saga or story that has thor’s experience in an agricultural society. The story each other’s limitations; lean- goodness prevails over evil, And if CFC would take all
basis in fact but expanded and enhanced by non- presents man as coming from the ground, dependent ing on each other more than and Jesus is the light. these to heart, the community
factual elements. upon the ground for life, and in death will return to usual; talking to each other “To live as children of the will reap the fruits of living in
Genesis has two versions of the creation story—the the ground. It teaches that woman is the only suitable respectfully and listening to light, we must be equipped the light: God’s goodness that
first or Priestly Creation Account (1:1-2:4a) and the partner for man, since she is formed from human each other’s concerns; mend- with the full armor of God, be leads to repentance; a life of
second or Yahwist Creation Account (2:4b-3:24). The flesh. The attraction of the sexes and the institution of ing relationships; and enrich- on guard against the dangers righteousness or being always
literary form of these stories may be called myth marriage are described as the natural destiny of man ing family life with time. of evil, and be role models as justifiable in Jesus; and living
defined as an imaginative story which uses symbols and woman, flowing from the way they were created. The acronym HOME makes disciples of Christ,” Yama- in truth.
to speak about reality, but a reality which is beyond a And finally, the story explores the reality of suffering all these easier to remember: moto exhorted. “The light of Christ must
person’s comprehension. and asks, “Why do human beings suffer?” H - heed God’s leading at Donning the full armor of illumine our journey from
What are the realities or truths dealt with in In this story, the tree of knowledge of good and evil all times; O - open lines of God requires bathing oneself pain to purpose, being able
these two creation accounts? is not a physical tree. It is a symbol for the au- communication; M - mend in prayer and being immersed to put up with hardships,
The first creation account deals with the mystery of thor’s belief that there is a spiritual order in the relationships; and E - enrich in the Word of God. Partaking traversing from success to
our origins, the reality of our existence. We know that universe. And if there is a spiritual order, then family life with time. of the sacraments is also a way significance, blooming where
we exist. But how did all that exist come to exist? The there is the possibility of acting contrary to that Joe Yamamoto, in the sec- to wear this armor. one is planted, and doing ev-
author answers this by using an imaginative story. His order. People may act in accordance with God’s ond session, talked about To stand guard against evil erything for the glory of the
answer – it is God’s work. God creates the world solely order and prosper, or they may act contrary to belonging to God and con- is to be wise in recognizing Lord,” Yamamoto concluded.
by the power of the Divine Word. To express this truth, God’s order and suffer and eventually die. Sin is ducting oneself in goodness, evil and the dangers that lurk
the author draws from his own experience as one who committed when a person knows the spiritual or- righteousness and truth. in the darkness. Another is The aroma of Christ
comes from an organized society that has a six-day der and chooses to act contrary to it. The author “Everyone struggles with by exposing darkness and The smell of freshly brewed
work week and one day Sabbath rest, and uses this as dramatizes sin creatively. Sin is something we pain; everyone longs for evil into the light. Being coffee or bread baking in the
the structure of his creation story. choose to do. Eating is something we also choose success. And the answer to role models of discipleship LIGHT IN THE LORD, C3
The author uses these six days to divide up the to do. Thus eating is a good symbol for sin. What
reality which he knows from experience. Thus he we eat becomes part of us. When we sin, it also
allocates three days to divide and three days to becomes part of us, sin becomes part of who we
populate what has been divided. On the first day God
divided light from darkness. On the second day he
are. Through sin we grow in our knotwledge of
evil. When we sin, we figuratively do eat of the Ugnayan
divided the waters above the vault from the water tree of knowledge of good and evil. THE NEWS SUPPLEMENT OF COUPLES FOR CHRIST

under the vault. And on the third day he divided The second creation story does not describe Michael C. Ariola
the water from the dry land. On the fourth day God historical chronology. Rather the story is born IC Oversight
populated the vault of heaven with the sun, the from the experience of living in a world where
moon, and the stars. On the fifth day he populated people suffer. The author is aware of suffering Zenaida A. Gimenez Alma M. Alvarez
the waters with fish and put birds under the vault. and asks, “Why?” He then composes an inspired Editor-in-Chief Associate Editor
And on the sixth day he populated the dry land with story through which he expresses his belief – God Deomar P. Oliveria Evangeline C. Mecedilla
every kind of vegetation and with human beings. is loving. Man’s rightful partner is a woman. Man
Then God rested on the Sabbath, just as the author’s suffers because man sins. Suffering is the natural Layout Artist Circulation Staff
society keeps the Sabbath. result of acting contrary to the spiritual order set The Ugnayan News Supplement is published by the Couples for Christ Global Mission Foundation, Inc., with editorial offices at 156 20th
Avenue, 1109 Cubao, Quezon City. Editorial trunk line: (+63 2) 709-4868 local 31 Direct line : (+63 2) 709-4856
The author is not teaching science. He is teaching by God from the beginning. When we sin, we do
the relationship between God and man – God is the not live as children of light.
CBCP Monitor February 4 - 17, 2019 Vol. 23 No. 3 C3


Joe Tale Michael “Shok” Ariola

Marriage is Beautiful JUST DAWNED ON ME

2019 remains to be a year for rekindling and Lamb of God
THIS episode, I begin to write benefit of the sacrament of that indeed Marriage is Beau- fulfilling the ministry. To ensure such a jour- We behold your splendor
stories on ordinary people matrimony. So they decid- tiful and that Family is a Gift, ney, the Lord “re-calls” Couples for Christ to Seated on the throne
who are doing extraordinary ed that instead of throwing and would like many more to “Live as children of light.” “For you were once Robed and crowned with glory
examples on putting their a big party on their 25th experience it with the bless- darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Evermore,
faith in action. anniversary as many are ing of a wonderful God. Live as children of light,…” (Eph 5:8-9) Mighty Lord!
Gerry and Carol Fetalvero wont to do, they decided So, while our so-called Simply put, if we want to rekindle and fulfill Mighty Lord!
are leaders of Couples for to sponsor the church wed- people's representatives are our ministry, then we need to live as children
Christ based in Batangas ding of 25 couples. CFC busy with legislation that will of light. In the CFC year of “Behold and Ponder”
City. Presently, Gerry also and the other volunteers in formally allow the breakup --- (CFC theme for 2014), we dared to define “be-
serve as Provincial Area Head their parish helped prepare of marriages, and with it the To “live as children of light” is a call that is hold” as “to hold in view”, “to gaze, study, and
of CFC Mindoro Occiden- the documentation needed break up of families, here is special to CFC. Note the use of the plural form analyze, and in the process, be astonished”. In
tal, and goes to Mamburao for the weddings. Of course, one couple who are silently “children”, instead of the singular “child”. The the words of the contemplatives and mystics,
once a month to serve the the silver celebrants served working, doing their part, in Lord knows that the journey to light cannot be to behold is “to see reality as it is” and “to
community there. They also as Ninong and Ninang to preserving and even advanc- done alone. There must be “an-other”. There experience an event fully”.
previously served in the CFC the 25 couples who were ing this gift of the Lord. must be community. There must always be Now, go back to the line “We behold Your
Family Ministries and Kids being married. And they have been God. Precisely, the very gift to Couples for Splendor”
for Christ. It did not end there. Three blessed. Their children are Christ! How can we possibly behold splendor?
When they celebrated more couples were added just about to turn profession- Couples for Christ never journey alone. How can we hold in view or gaze at such
their 25th Wedding An- to the number, and such als - a doctor, a dentist, and an There is always the spouse. There is always great brightness, such magnificent light, such
niversary on May 14, 2012, weddings became an annual architect. How cool is that? the family. There is always the service team. glory, such resplendence, such refulgence?
they thought of celebrating event. All told, since they And we wish the best for There is always the community. There is (Refulgence by the way also means “to shine
it in a special way. Since started, they have sponsored Gerry and Carol and their always the Church. There is always history. brightly.”) It will be like us looking directly
Gerry was also President of a total of 92 weddings! children. They put their In each, there is light. In all, Light is there. at the midday sun with our naked eyes! Defi-
their Parish Pastoral Coun- And one good move de- faith in action on what is --- nitely, it will be beyond our capacity to do so.
cil in the Basilica of the serves another. Since they basic - the strengthening “Light”. What a beautiful word. And power- ---
Immaculate Conception, continued to monitor the of marriage and family. ful too. This is why we start with little. We start
the couple were familiar situation in the families, they Strong marriages leads to In one household meeting, we sang the wor- anew at “rekindling”.
with the situation of the also sponsored the baptism of strong families which leads ship songs “Behold” and “You alone are Holy”. We re-acknowledge that our light is one that
lay faithful in their parish, some of the children of their to strong societies! I took a keen and renewed interest in the use needs constant renewal, one with permanent
specifically that of couples sponsored couples. Gerry and Carol, we honor of the words “splendor” and “glory”. need of nurturing and a vigilant blowing to
living together without the Gerry and Carol believe you and your family! “Splendor” and “glory”, by definition, remove the ashes covering the firewood or
have actually something to do with “light”. smoldering the wick.
Yes, splendor means “great and impressive We even recognize that we are not the light.
beauty”, but it also means “great brightness”, We can only look at the light, and be recipient
“magnificent light”. “Glory” means “praise, of its illumination and shine. We can only
honor and distinction”, but it also means journey to become light in the Lord.
“something marked by resplendence.” And so, we re-start at dawn. It is grace
The Thesaurus even goes on to assert that enough to be illumined by the light of dawn.
“glory” and “splendor” are synonymous to We expect to be awed by daybreak and we
each other. anticipate with much excitement, even trem-
In this sense, we can now see the power in bling, the moment when everything comes
“light” and the power in the call to “Live as to light.
children of light”. The call to light is actually But for now, we content ourselves for mat-
a call to victory! And, to “live as children of ters to “dawn on us”.
light” actually means to “Live as children of ---
Glory” or “Live as Children of Splendor”! To dawn on us, like the foregoing insights
--- – if one may call them as such – have dawned
Now, look at our song “You alone are holy”. on me. By grace, they have just dawned on
You alone are holy us. As we now pray for more and share more.
You alone are Lord Let us rekindle the journey to a Light-filled
You alone are worthy life. May God bless us all!


den presence of the Risen Lord,” “family life renewal” these questions that since last
citing Matthew 18:20: “For Quoting Fr. Francisco fur- year the community has been
oven are aromas that attract many, causing the temporary fragrance of wealth or power where two or three are gathered ther, Santos noted that from its exhorted: Rekindle the Gift…
people to “follow their noses” to get to the or fame. together in my name, there am inception, CFC has been envi- Fulfill your Ministry! It is God’s
source of the scent. It is the same with Jesus. “Our divine nature in Christ allows us to I in the midst of them.” sioned as a worldwide network way of reminding us of the need
He exuded such a powerful “aroma” that love intimately, forgive unconditionally, The God-enlightened space, of committed Christian couples for constant renewal, a constant
people couldn’t help but be attracted to Him. radiate the aroma of Christ wonderfully, and or sacred space according to and families: What God started rekindling, a constant prayer to
James Solano, in his session titled “Radiate fulfill the demands of our ministry sacrifi- scientists, architects and histo- in the Philippines was not desire gifts and charisms and
Christ’s Fragrance and Aroma” spoke about cially,” Solano exhorted. rians, does not only talk about meant to be just for Filipinos, a firm longing to take part in
how CFC, as disciples of the Lord Jesus, could Allowing Christ’s aroma to exude through the physical, but also mental— or just for Asia, but was to be fulfilling our ministry.”
exude the aroma of Christ, and get people to one’s life is allowing Christ to be perfected how the space reflects and rein- an instrument of renewal for “God wants us to grow. There
be attracted to Him. in one’s weakness. And recognizing that forces man’s understanding of the whole world” must be, in the words of Nina
CFC members’ attraction to Christ caused one’s weakness means Christ’s strength, one sanctity, divinity and himself. Santos added, “In other words, Ponte speaking in a prophecy
them to join the Christian Life Program and is able to allow the Lord to use him or her to Santos quoted Fr. Mario for him, anywhere where CFC last year: Expansion of the
to strive to live as He instructs, to fulfill the accompany others in their spiritual weakness Francisco, S.J., former President is may be marked as “created Spirit! Explosion of Blessings!
mission He has tasked the community with. as well. of Loyola School of Theology in sacred space”—a worldwide net- Enlargement of the heart!”
To equip each one, the Lord gave gifts, gifts “Jesus told us to ‘Do as He did’, ‘Walk as 2010, who, in his study of CFC, work of committed Christian Santos exhorted.
which enable each person to perform the mis- He walked’, ‘Think as He thought’. God said, wrote in his scholarly article couples and families.” Enlightened Hearts, Mar-
sion given to him. Solano posed this question ‘Be holy as I am holy’. This is true Christian- titled Mapping Religious and He also spoke of CFC trans- riage, Homes, and the World
to CFC: What gifts will you rekindle this 2019 ity—to emit fragrance that is pleasing to Civil Spaces in Traditional and forming civil spaces, even the Santos also cited Fr. Raine-
in order to fulfill your ministry? God,” Solano exhorted. Charismatic Christian Commu- peripheries into “scared spaces”. rio Cantalemessa who spoke
Jesus is the greatest gift. However, people “Remember, the best representatives of God nities in the Philippines: “Hav- This, Santos emphasized, is of “rekindling” this way: “To
nowadays are hesitant to receive this gift of are not the most intelligent, the most elo- ing defined its place within the what CFC calls ANCOP and the rekindle (anazopurein) literally
Christ’s divinity. Solano said, “Most of our quent, or the most gifted. The best representa- church’s governance structure Social Development Programs. means ‘to blow on the flame’,
failure in meeting the demand of God to tives of God are the kindest and most humble based on territorial jurisdic- ‘to remove the ashes in order
“Fulfill our Ministry” springs from our failure people. Those who know they’re not perfect. tion and its relations with its “The questions, however are: to revive the fire again’.
to live our identity, to share Christ’s gift to Those who deeply respect people, no matter corresponding authorities, the Are the “lights” in these spaces Santos said, “Today, let us
us. We fail to live and accept the divine in us what they have done in the past,” he added. CFC has been able to construct still lit now? Are they brightly try to seek the action of the
because we focus more on our humanity—our Solano concluded, “God’s fragrance will be religious space beyond paro- shining or wavering, even dim- Holy Spirit to blow on the
sinfulness and limitations.” manifested by our kindness. God’s aroma will chial boundaries and move ming? Have they been spread- flame and remove the ashes
There is the danger of being attracted to be radiated by our goodness and holiness. And into directions linked to the ing? Are they being passed on?”, in us. We shall start to do two
the temporary aroma of leadership, leaving the world will know Jesus by our love.” two other areas of its mission— Santos asked. basic steps: by remembering
leaders unable to let go of self-entitlement, or LIGHT IN THE LORD, C4
“global evangelization” and He added, “It was because of and re- LEADERS CONFERENCE, C4


lence. We do not know where we are produces every kind of goodness and rules that each member abides by. is important is that we are aware 4. Share the truth. Do not argue. Just
heading. Many of you are afraid for righteousness and truth. Instead, each one pursues his own of these biases. It is then impor- present your ideas with gentleness.
your children: what kind of world 'We are not creators of light' version of truth. tant to constantly do not only an (1Peter 3:15-16 ) We must be like
will your children find themselves in? In creation, the first thing that Another attack on the truth and examination of conscience, but an John the Baptist, pointing to Jesus
Part of the darkness and confusion came about was the light. Then God on light is fake news—the deliberate examination of consciousness in who is the light. (John 1:6-9)
is the issue of truth. What is truth? said: Let there be light, and there was propagation of falsehood in order to order to know oneself. 1 John 3:19- 5. Do not be offended if people do
There is a cacophony of voices ped- light. God saw that the light was good. pursue one’s agenda. The spread and 21 supports this. not seek the truth. Trust that God
dling truth. What before was false is God then separated the light from the the power of social media is being uti- 2. Pray for Divine guidance. God is also loves them and has his own
now presented as truth. darkness. (Genesis 1:3-4) lized for this. With fake news, what a revealing God. Jesus has come way with them. Darkness will not
The prophet Isaiah wrote one of his Man did not create the light. The is important is not the objective truth for the truth. (Psalm 18:29; Psalm overcome the light! (John 1:4-5)
oracles of lament, “Ah! Those who call word of God brought forth the light, but the perception of the people. This 36:10) When one is in darkness, 6. Accept the fact that accepting the
evil good, and good evil, who change so God is the only creator. But we par- perception can be then turned to divine guidance will reveal the truth, being in the light, is not only
darkness to light, and light into dark- ticipate in it as co-creators, when we seem like “what the majority wants”. truth. Even when Jesus Himself a matter of intellectual capability.
ness, who change bitter to sweet, and separate light from darkness, when What also prevents us from seeing stood before Pilate, He revealed the A deep moral state has something
sweet into bitter!” (Is. 5:20) An example we subject ourselves to the truth. the light of the truth are prejudices reason for which He existed, to bear to do with it. That is why enlight-
of falsehood masked as truth is abor- and biases. Biases are created by at- witness to the truth. Commitment enment is also another word for
tion, which is presented as a right for Attacks on truth tacking the credibility of the mes- to the truth is commitment to Jesus. conversion. (1 John 2:8-11)
women. Then there is gender orienta- Truth is being attacked especially sengers rather than engaging with the When one is ashamed to reveal the
tion and extrajudicial killings. in our time. First, there is the phe- message. Connected with this is the truth, he is ashamed of Jesus. Be- What do we do to be enlightened
Truth is important in any society, nomenon of relativism, where “Truth creation of personality cults. People cause Jesus said, “I am the way, the by Christ, to walk in the light, to do
because without it, there cannot be is what I believe to be true.” People do believe whatever a person says or does. truth and the life.” the truth?
justice. Without truth there cannot not believe in objective truth, instead This has become idol worship. The 3. Seek the truth. Make use of the 1. Be humble. Accept the Lordship
be peace. The reason why negotia- they live by the slogan: Do what you words of Socrates, a Greek philoso- internet not to be blinded by bi- of Jesus. Be like little children in
tions fail is because one or both par- feel is good. pher who lived some 500 years before ases but as a means to search for trusting God as Father and in Jesus
ties hide the truth from the other. People do not bother to seek the Christ, still ring true: “Strong minds the truth. Make your households as Teacher. (Luke 18:17)
Without truth there cannot be love. truth, much less subject themselves discuss ideas, average minds discuss as discernment groups. Do not be 2. Form your conscience in prayer
Truth, justice, peace and love are the to the truth, but they seek what they events, weak minds discuss people.” afraid of divergent opinions. All and allow it to be guided by the
four virtues that make any coming to- want, and what they want becomes the divergent opinions will ulti- authority of the Church (Magis-
gether of people, any society, function truth for them. They make the truth! How do we live as children of light mately converge to the truth if all terium, Sacred scripture, sacred
well. When people come together—in In this way, there is no cohesion in these situations? have the basic aim and the humil- tradition).
the family, in the community, in the in society. Each one is on his own in 1. Develop self-honesty. Know our- ity to seek the truth. Tolerance just 3. D o the truth. Share it and live
country, in the world—they need pursuit of his truth. selves and our biases, and constantly because one is afraid that the truth it. The truth is to be lived and
truth, justice, peace, and love. Ephe- In the family setting, this becomes examine ourselves. Everyone has might divide people is not seeking not only to be believed. (2 Cor-
sians 5: 9 reiterates this: for light apparent when there are no agreed his or her personal biases, but what the truth at all. inthians 13:8)
C4 February 4 - 17, 2019 Vol. 23 No. 3 CBCP Monitor

CFC ANCOP Now Recommended for ISO 9001:2015

CFC ANCOP Global Founda- for sustainable community develop- auditor, visited one of the ANCOP
tion, Inc. (CAGFI) has been suc- ment program is commendable. project sites in Cavinti, Laguna, where
The utilization of technology in the auditor noted that the shelter
cessfully recommended for ISO the system, such as social media. FB construction is of high quality. The
9001:2015 Quality Management Messenger chat groups (total of 100 in- TÜV Auditor likewise gave recom-
System (QMS) Certification by its ternational, provinces, and Metro Ma- mendations and opportunities for
certifying body, TÜV Rheinland nila sectors) and online cloud storage improvement intended to contribute
Philippines, Inc. service (OneDrive) is commendable. to the continuous improvement of the
After the extensive preparations The methodology used in Customer site’s system.
that started in May 2018, CFC ANCOP Satisfaction Survey is commendable and; In a statement, Gaspillo said, “This
has finally passed the two stages of cer- The general Documentation struc- is a new beginning for us to be able
tification audit, the first in December ture is properly organized. to implement the tremendous work/
13, 2018 and the second on January The TÜV Audit team stated that, programs ahead in a more efficient
28-29, 2019. overall, CFC ANCOP has established way that will benefit our brethren in
On the official report, which reflects and maintains an effective system to need—for the glory of our Lord!”
the recommendation of awarding the ensure compliance with its policy and CFC ANCOP is grateful to all the
certificate and with zero non-confor- objectives, and that the organization’s people who made this dream possible—
mity, the certifying body commended management system complies with, the CAGFI staff and CFC Laguna,
the efforts of CFC ANCOP to standard- adequately maintains and implements who dedicated their time and effort
ize the systems and procedures of all the requirements of the standard. to process everything needed for the Aquino, for their excellent insights largest standards organization in the
its programs and departments. This is the first time the auditors certification; CFC-Global Mission and services; and to everyone who world that has a network of standard
The auditors included the following handled a non-profit organization Center staff for supporting ANCOP; fervently prayed for the fulfillment institutes in 159 countries with a
positive findings in their report: applying for ISO Certification, making the brethren from Couples for Christ of the certification. central office in Geneva, Switzerland.
The current accreditations (PCNC, CFC ANCOP the only non-government/ who actively share their relevant With this milestone, CFC ANCOP as- Moreover, ISO 9001:2015 Quality
BIR Tax Exemption as Donee Institu- non-profit organization recommended experience and support; PJ Mungcal, sures its excellent services to brethren in Management System (QMS) is the ISO
tion, DSWD, etc.) of CFC ANCOP are for ISO 9001:2015 Quality Manage- the ISO consultant, for sharing his need, and to improve and strive for ex- standard that helps companies meet
noteworthy. ment System (QMS) - Certification. expertise, time and treasure; the audi- cellence in answering the cry of the poor. their customers’ requirements for the
The establishment of Research and CAGFI President Rudy Gaspillo, tors from TÜV Rheinland Philippines, ISO or the International Organi- products/ services they offer. (CFC
Development Department’s initiatives together with the CAGFI Team and Inc., Mr. JF Faustorilla, Jr. and Mr. J. zation for Standardization is the ANCOP Communications)

ANCOP Canada Celebrates God’s Love CFC Co-ops Fed Forge New partnerships
with a Philippine Celebration Tour
ANCOP Canada gathered Couples for Christ ambang Community). They attended several
from all around Canada for its first-ever ANCOP activities such as groundbreaking and turnover
Canada Celebration Tour. The tour’s purpose ceremonies, immersion with home partners in
and highlight was the visit to several ANCOP Paniqui, Tarlac, and a fellowship night in Mala-
Canada-sponsored sites in the Philippines. The siqui, Pangasinan.
visits allowed the “tourists” to see for themselves Ricky Cuenca, ANCOP Canada President,
the fruits of their donations and volunteering acknowledging that ANCOP home partners are
activities for CFC ANCOP Global Foundation. grateful for the assistance they have received,
The tour started on January 22, and ended with told them that ANCOP Canada is also grateful
the group taking part at the CFC Mission Core for being part of the lives of the families.
Retreat at Baguio City from January 25-27. Cuenca reminded the home partners to take
Thirty-five participants, composed of CFC care of the gifts they have received, as these are
couples and HOLD members from different also fruits of the hard work of brethren in CFC
provinces in Canada, visited sites in Moonwalk Canada who consider their ANCOP work as part
Parañaque (PAR 2 Homes); Tala, Caloocan (Fr. of their service to God.
Hofstee-PCCF Community); Malabon City (San As for the participants, they are now much
Miguel Ville Homes), Bulacan (Starville-Tony more eager to help poor brothers and sisters,
Vickar Homes); Paniqui, Tarlac (ANCOP Van- as they have experienced being in fellowship
couver Homes); and Bayambang, Pangasinan with the families in the ANCOP sites. (CFC
(ANCOP Canada-Calgary-Mojares-KKSBF-Bay- ANCOP Communications)

The CFC Co-operatives Federation forged two new partnerships to further the services of the Federation to its member primaries. The
first partnership, with NationLink PayAll, a diigital payment gateway, aims to improve transactional activities such as remittances,
payment in conferences, purchases, loading of mobile phones, point of sales transactions, bills payment, among others. Mr. Jesus dela
Cruz (top photo, second from left) and Victor Hizon (3rd from left) seal the deal with the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement.
The CCF likewise signed a MOA with Fortune General Insurance Corporation for the Online Compulsary Third Party Liability Insurance
(CPTL) application. This offers car owners in the CFC community a hassle-free vehicle registration process, at the same time a reliable
insurance provider. Mr. Manuel Maloles, (bottom photo, second from left) represented Fortune General in signing the partnership.

Couples for Christ Joins ISAO CONFERENCE

COUPLES for Christ was part of the Phil- Padilla, Apostolic Nuncio of Gulf Countries;
ippine delegation to the 4th ICCRS-ISAO H.E. Bishop Camillo Ballin MCCJ, Apostolic
Vicar of Northern Arabia; H.G. Archbishop Jose
CONFERENCE 2018. Serofia Palma, DD, Archbishop of Cebu, Philip-
LEADERS CONFERENCE, C3 The conference, held in St. Anthony of Padua pines; H.E. Bishop Francis Kalist, Member of
calling how in the first place ing and formation, financial He added, “We go back to the Church, Ras Al Khaimah-UAE from Novem- ICCRS Council from India; Rev. Fr. Ani Xavier
God has ignited and re-ignited stewardship, a life of mission CFC identity, as per Vatican ber 30 until December 2, 2018, had as theme OFM Cap Spiritual Director, NCST-UAE; Rev.
His light upon us all; and by and evangelization. description, and realize that “One Body, One Spirit, One Mission in Christ”. Fr. Varghese Chempoly OFM Cap Ex-Spiritual
“understanding” how God ever since, CFC has been called (Ephesians 4:4) CFC members in the area also Director, NCST-UAE; Jim Murphy, President
wants us to fan the flame so Rekindled and Enlightened to live as children of light: CFC attended the event. The conference was filled of ICCRS from USA; Cyril John, Chairman of
that it can serve its purpose.” to Fulfill is made up of families who with praise and worship, Eucharistic celebra- ISAO from India; and Ann Brereton, Member
Paraphrasing Pope Francis, Having brought the gifts and have taken up Christ’s exhorta- tions, inspiring teachings, workshops, anointing of ICCRS Council from Australia.
Santos explained that the Lord the ministry of CFC to light, tion to be leaven and light in sessions, healing service, and a cultural and ICCRS- ISAO stands for International Catholic
wants man’s encounter with Santos reminded the congrega- the world, and to spread the musical evening. Charismatic Renewal Services Sub-Committee
Him to begin “today” and con- tion that it is time to talk about Good News of the liberation The clergy delegates were led by H.E. Bishop for Asia-Oceania.
tinue tomorrow, in the home, how best CFC can heed God’s of humanity. Through their Paul Hinder, Apostolic Vicar of Southern A total of 19 countries were represented in
since that is where Jesus wants call to “Fulfill your ministry”. commitment to the Church’s Arabia; H.G. Archbishop Francisco Montecillo the event. (Text & photos: Victor G. Abarquez)
to meet each one thenceforth. According to Santos, it is this: evangelizing work, promoting
“The Lord doesn’t want to “Live as Children of Light!” peace and justice, defending LIGHT IN THE LORD, C3
remain only in cherished Individually, “Fulfill your the poor and the oppressed,
memories. He wants to enter ministry” means living and and promoting the unity of Be the light gins who were vigi- a “business-as-usual” us not be sleeping
every home, to dwell in His upholding one’s life and mis- Christians, they cooperate with Reggie Ragojos lant and ready with attitude, from self- giants! It is time to
beloved children’s daily lives, sion in CFC through Prayer, the work of the Holy Spirit who delivered the final oils in their lamps, entitlement. It is im- shine, especially in
their work, their friendships Scripture, Service, Fellowship, gives life to a new humanity. session, encouraging eager to meet the portant to shine once the dark places.”
and affections, their hopes Sacrament. These are basically Thus we continue to evange- CFC to be beacons bridegroom when he again, by empower- “Be excited! Be
and dreams.” the ways CFC can “Live as Chil- lize! CFC is in a “permanent of light and power- comes. They must ing the young, wit- vibrant!,” Ragojos
Santos exhorted, “Now let us dren of Light!” state of mission”.” ful witnesses of Jesus not be like the other nessing as a family, added. “Just like Je-
try to “understand” God’s gifts Santos shared, “As a couple “Finally, since our communi- Christ, and despite five who fell asleep accompanying others sus who humbled
to CFC and in the process, let and as families, take heed of ty is composed of families and challenges, ready and and missed the bride- who need minister- himself, and came
us allow ourselves to admire this message from Pope Fran- is about marriage and family, brave to keep Christ’s groom’s coming. ing to, and by inten- down to be with us,
in gratitude, see with clarity, cis in Amoris Laetitia 317: If we need to ensure that our very light radiant. In CFC, members sifying the mission to let us go out of our
to taste, to possess that we are a family is centered on Christ, own families are themselves Ragojos exhorted and leaders can fall the poor. comfort zones. Let
here not talking just about pro- he will unify and illumine its God-enlightened spaces. Our CFC to be not only into the same trap of Ragojos exhorted, us go to the periph-
grams, or activities, or events— entire life …Married couples families must be living a life recipients of grace falling asleep, of ne- “CFC is blessed to eries! As long as we
but moments and ways of living shape with different daily ges- of prayer, scripture, service, and light, but bearers glecting their tasks. be one of the biggest have the strength
as children of light!” tures a “God-enlightened space fellowship and sacrament,” and vessels of light There is therefore Catholic groups be- and capacity to
And these moments include in which to experience the hid- Santos added. (CFC Global as well. CFC must be a need to rise from cause of our world- serve, let us use our
CFC’s “womb to tomb” teach- den presence of the risen Lord.” Communications) like the five wise vir- complacency, from wide presence. Let gifts to the full!”