‘John Paul II blessed!

’ – •A3 Pope Benedictispays tribute to his predecessor

‘He Gave •B1Strength toUs the Believe in Christ’


The Cross

A Supplement Publication of KC Life and the Order of the Knights of Columbus

Manila prelate hits P20 daily living allowance
WITH the rising commodity prices, what can you buy with the P22 increase in the daily costof-living allowance (COLA)? This was the question raised by Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo as he criticized the government’s approval of the COLA for workers in the National Capital Region. He said the increase is too small because with the prevailing minimum wage, people find it
Allowance / A7

May 9 - 22, 2011

Vol. 15 No. 10

Php 20.00

CBCP ends ‘futile’ RH bill talks with Palace
By Roy Lagarde

Remembering Blessed John Paul II

THE Catholic hierarchy pulled out of talks on a proposed birth control bill with the Aquino administration, saying it is a waste of time.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines on May 10 said that holding talks is futile as President Aquino said no one can stop him from pushing the measure. Msgr. Juanito Figura, CBCP Secretary General, insists the dialogue on the reproductive Health (RH) bill “would not yield any further positive results.” He said the consolidated RH bill in the House and Mr. Aquino’s five-point responsible parenthood agenda are deemed to be basically the same. “The bishops do not see any reason to further undertake a serious study/ dialogue on HB 4244 with the administration as was proposed by Pres. Aquino, himself,” said Figura, reading a statement of the CBCP. Malacañang immediately downplayed the CBCP decision to quit from the dialogue saying it has no major impact on the government. “I think it’s going to be their loss because whether you win in a debate or discussion, your voice ought to be heard,” Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda. “By moving away from the political arena they have abdicated their right to be heard insofar as the bill is concerned,” he said. He said the Palace is also dropping its plan to draft its own responsible parenthood bill in support to the HB 4244 that the church strongly opposes. The issue on birth control remains to be one of the highly-divisive issues between the Church and the State. ‘Excommunication’ Asked what the “last straw” was that spurred the bishops to quit from the talks, Figura cited the speech of Mr. Aquino gave during the graduation rites of the University of the Philippines last April. That time, Aquino said he is firm in his conviction to have the RP bill passed even if
Futile / A6
Photos courtesy of Prolife Philippines

By Francisco S. Tatad
ROME—Undaunted by forecasts of foul weather, the mammoth crowd of all nations filled St. Peter’s Square all the way down to the street above the Tiber on May 1, for the beatification of Pope John Paul II. They came prepared for a heavy downpour, but not a drop of rain fell as Pope Benedict XVI beatified his immediate predecessor, who died on April 2, 2005 after a long pontificate of nearly 27 years. Many saw it as yet another sign from the new blessed who, as the 263rd successor to Peter, had tried to spread so much faith, hope and love to billions of people. Most of the pilgrims had come from Poland, where the new blessed was born as Karol Josef Wojtyla on May 18, 1920, and had served the Church until he became pope on October 16, 1978. But each of the 104 countries he had visited as pope was assuredly represented in the Square. From the pope’s death to his beatification, it was by far the fastest such process in modern history. It took but six years and 27 days, surpassing by 17 days that of Blessed Mother Teresa
Remembering / A6

Some 4,000 pro-lifers staged a “Jericho March” outside the House of Representatives in Quezon City on May 10, 2011 to convince lawmakers not to pass the birth control measure. The march is just one of a series of peaceful mobilizations nationwide conducted by a growing number of citizens that are against the passage of the Reproductive Health Bill.

CBCP to assess implementation of PCP-II decrees
AT least 36 researchers from Catholic academic institutions across the country have gathered on April 26-27, 2011 at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center for a two-day meeting to evaluate Pastoral Plans of dioceses, 20 years after the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (PCP II). San Fernando de Pampanga Auxiliary Bishop Pablo Virgilio S. David, chair of the CBCP-wide assessment study, said the gathering hopes to review the Second Plenary Council after two decades. The 132 PCP II decrees have been implemented in two degrees, on the national level by CBCP Commissions and on the diocesan level by the Diocesan Pastoral Councils or other pertinent bodies. Caceres Archbishop Leonardo Z. Legaspi, OP, who was then at the forefront of the PCP-II, provided backgrounders on the Second Plenary Council and National Pastoral Council during the meeting. Legaspi said his talk “relived the memory of special grace of PCP-II to the Church.” When asked if the goals of the Second Plenary Council held in 1991 have been accomplished, the prelate said “only God can judge that but there are many solid indications that the dioceses, with different levels and different forms tried to accomplish something.” “He (Abp. Legaspi) was the one who presided over the Second Plenary

© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

Council of the Philippines including the drafting of the National Pastoral Plan,” David said, recalling that 10 years after the PCP-II, it seemed “nothing was happening and that PCP II was not moving.” A National Pastoral Consultation or NPCCR was called in 2001, Bishop David recalled. However, Legaspi said it may not necessarily be true that nothing was happening ten years after the national event at San Carlos Pastoral Complex in Makati City. The senior prelate opined it may have had something to do with what the people expected to happen after PCP II. “It’s more of an issue of describing

Pope names new papal nuncio to PH
POPE Benedict XVI on May 10 has appointed Italian Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto as the new apostolic nuncio to the Philippines. Archbishop Pinto will succeed Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams who has been reassigned to Greece. Adams left Manila last May 7. The archbishop’s appointment was officially announced in Rome at 12:00nn (6:00pm, Manila time). The Vatican aide was born on May 26, 1952 in Bari, Italy. He was ordained priest on April 1, 1978. Archbishop Pinto is a canon lawyer and fluent in four languages, speaking not only his native Italian, but also French, English and Spanish. The church official entered the Diplomatic Service of the Holy See on May 1, 1984 and has served successively in Papua New Guinea, Argentina and the Secretariat of State in Vatican City. He also served as Apostolic nuncio in Senegal, Cape Verde, Mali and Guinea-Bissau, and has been assigned as Apostolic Delegate to Mauritania. Prior to his current appointment, the 59 year-old archbishop was Apostolic nuncio in Chile since 2007. Archbishop Pinto will be the 16th in the line of Apostolic Delegates and Apostolic nuncios to the Philippines. An apostolic nuncio or papal legate is considered the representative or ambassador of the Holy See to the bishops of the Episcopal Conference and particular churches. His principal task, according to church law, is to make firm and effective the bonds of unity between the Pope and the heads of States and the bishops. (CBCPNews)

Hiking priest tells ordeal en route to Manila
REDEMPTORIST priest Amado Picardal, who is on a 58-day pilgrimage on foot around the country “for life and peace” arrived in Manila on May 7. Hike / A7


Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto

Illustration by Bladimer Usi






Don’t encourage Arab revolutions, Melkite patriarch tells Western leaders
DAMASCUS, Syria, May 5, 2011—Patriarch Gregorios III, the Syria-based head of the Melkite Greek-Catholic Church, is warning Western leaders not to encourage the revolutions currently shaking up the Middle East. “Our Arab countries are not ready for revolutions, and not even for democracy of the European kind and model,” the patriarch explained in a recent letter to Western leaders. “I am asking the West not to encourage revolutions unconditionally here and there in the Arab world.” In the patriarch’s native Syria, government forces have killed hundreds of protesters in response to continuing mass demonstrations. The patriarch said “social, religious, and demographic” factors could cause instability and violence if regimes are toppled rather than reformed. He called for “evolution, not revolution,” and said Western leaders should push for reforms. “Ask the heads of state of Arab countries to work for real development, and demand a clear, bold plan,” he stated. “But don’t encourage revolutions!” “Arab heads of state should be invited and encouraged to develop democratic structures, freedom, and respect for human rights,” wrote Patriarch Gregorios, the spiritual leader of 1.6 million Melkite Catholics. He said Arab leaders should also be “supported in promoting systems of medical and social welfare and housing,” to ease economic difficulties that have fueled many of the revolutions. The patriarch described Syria’s own instability, characterized by mounting public protests and increasingly violent responses by the government of President Bashar al-Assad, as a “tragic situation” for all concerned. But he rejected the notion of overturning the government. Many Syrian Christians are not supporting the protests, fearing that a sudden end to the Assad regime would plunge the country into a sectarian power struggle comparable to the aftermath of the Iraq war. “Already, the situation has deteriorated,” Patriarch Gregorios observed, citing reports of “organized crime, robbery, fear, terror being spread, and rumors of threats to churches … All this creates trauma.” Under its present government, Syria manages to keep a delicate balance between its Muslim majority and Christian minority. The patriarch described the country as a “model of faithful and open secularism,” and said the city of Damascus was “one of the most important cities in terms of Christian presence in the Arab world.” But this presence could come to an end if a sudden vacuum of power leaves Islamic extremists and others fighting to control the country. “Christians especially are very fragile in the face of crises and bloody revolutions,” the patriarch said. “Christians will be the first victims of these revolutions, especially in Syria. A new wave of emigration will follow immediately.” Patriarch Gregorios also asked the West to prioritize the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. He said the outcome of that project, which became stalled last year over the issue of Israeli settlements, would be decisive for the future of Christianity in the Middle East. (CNA)

World News

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 15 No. 10
May 9 - 22, 2011

‘Rerum Novarum’ panel says encyclical needed now as much as ever
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 6, 2011—At a time when workers continue to struggle for decent wages and rights, panelists at a conference marking the 120th anniversary of the encyclical “Rerum Novarum” made clear that the letter on labor and the rights of workers holds important contemporary lessons. After a daylong series of panel discussions May 2 at The Catholic University of America about the historic and contemporary context of the 1891 encyclical that is considered the groundwork for the church’s social teaching, a final session put the previous discussions into context. Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said at a May 3 closing program that current times call for renewed efforts to fulfill the demands of “Rerum Novarum.” He noted that the main functions of the state in the time of Pope Leo XIII and today are: pursuit of the common good, “which is not reduced to one’s nation but considered from a world standpoint; awareness that this good cannot be limited to material goods but must include the moral good of society;” placing priority on people and families; respecting the free initiative of people; and aiding the neediest in society. Putting those priorities into effect is necessary in these times, he said. In an earlier interview with Catholic News Service and the National Catholic Reporter, Cardinal Turkson fleshed out some of the themes of his remarks to the conference. He said numerous recent events point to the need for the modern world to take to heart the lessons of “Rerum Novarum.” The efforts in several U.S. states to do away with collective bargaining by state employees and huge demonstrations in Italy and England at the beginning of the year mounted by students who were worried about their ability to find work are examples of insecurity among workers in many parts of the world, the cardinal said. ‘”Rerum Novarum’ has won admiration and interest precisely because it lays down basic rules of the social question,” Cardinal Turkson said, particularly “how is human dignity ensured in the midst of turmoil?” Questions about worker rights, about the role of government in overseeing various aspects of society and about the power of capitalism come down to always ensuring human dignity, he said. “For me the criteria is how people are treated,” he said. “A society decides to entrust to a government ... to give it a mandate to ensure their well-being. I tend to judge every government by how well that government treats its own citizens.” A government should not interfere with its citizens, but it has an obligation to ensure their well-being and to protect them from becoming victims, including at the hands of unscrupulously run businesses, he said. “Governments at the end are judged by how well their citizens live, and how happily.” In one of two responses to Cardinal Turkson’s formal remarks, Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, Calif., said workers today face an economic revolution, much as was the case in the time of Pope Leo XIII. Bishop Blaire, who chairs the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, said “the current revolution is a technological one.” “Global poverty envelops the earth,” he said. “Millions are unemployed. Working conditions around the globe are often deplorable. Church-state relationships in many instances are adversarial.” An example of the current needs for the teachings of “Rerum Novarum” lies in the needs of the poor in this country to have a voice on Capitol Hill amid budget and financial reform, said Bishop Blaire. “The poor have no lobbyists with huge bank accounts to speak for them.” He cited the creation by more than 40 Christian leaders a week earlier of a “Circle of Protection,” a plan to stand with the poor amid budget cuts. “It requires shared sacrifice by all, including raising adequate revenues, eliminating unnecessary military and other spending and addressing the long-term costs of health insurance and retirement programs fairly,” he said, citing the statement of the group. (Patricia Zapor/Catholic News Service)

Cardinal Peter Turkson

Vatican Briefing
34 new Swiss Guards sworn in

Anglican priests ordained as catholic deacons
AYLESFORD, England, May 9, 2011—A dozen Anglican priests were ordained Catholic deacons last weekend, as a group of some 50 clergy continue their journey toward ministry as priests in the Catholic Church. Following the time schedule outlined shortly after the establishment of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, ordinations to the diaconate will be taking place through the Easter season. The men will be ordained Catholic priests around Pentecost. The rapid ordination process is enabling the clergy to continue ministering to those former Anglicans of their communities who have chosen to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church. The formation of these deacons and soon-to-be priests will continue after their ordination. (Zenit)

Nearly three dozen new recruits were sworn into the Pontifical Swiss Guard on May 6. At a 5 p.m. ceremony in the San Damaso Courtyard of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the new recruits were welcomed to the ancient force that protects the Pope. Members of the Roman Curia, diplomatic representatives, and civil and religious authorities from Switzerland also attended the ceremony. (Zenit)
Pope hoping for fresh insights on religious freedom

Prefect named for evangelization congregation
VATICAN CITY, MAY 10, 2011—Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop Fernando Filoni, 65, substitute for general affairs of the Secretariat of State, as prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. The Vatican announced today that the archbishop will succeed Cardinal Ivan Dias, 75, who resigned due to reasons of age after serving for five years as head of the dicastery that directs the missionary work of the Church. The congregation oversees the work of the Supreme Committee of the Pontifical Missionary Societies of the Propagation of the Faith, of St. Peter the Apostle, of the Holy Childhood and of the Missionary Union. It currently consists of 49 members: 35 cardinals, five archbishops, two bishops, four directors of the Pontifical Missionary Societies, and three general superiors. There is also a college of consultors from various countries. Archbishop Filoni has previously served as apostolic nuncio to Iraq, Jordan and the Philippines. He has also worked as a Vatican representative in Sri Lanka, Iran and Brazil. Born in Manduria, Italy, he was ordained a priest in 1970 for the Diocese of Nardo-Gallipoli. He was ordained a bishop by Blessed John Paul II in 2001. Secretariat of State Also today, the Vatican announced that the Pope named Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu, 62, apostolic nuncio to Cuba, as undersecretary for general affairs of the Secretariat of State. The undersecretary, or “sostituto,” is the second in charge of the secretariat of state and the principal aide of the cardinal secretary of state, a post currently held by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. The undersecretary directs the section of general affairs, one of the two sections of that Vatican dicastery. The other sec-

Benedict XVI is calling for fresh insights on the topic of religious freedom, noting how this fundamental human right was enshrined after the downfall of 20th-century totalitarianisms, but now again faces threats. The Pope made his appeal in an April 29 message to Mary Ann Glendon, president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, on the occasion of the academy’s 17th plenary session. The April 29-May 3 session focused on the theme “Universal Rights in a World of Diversity: the Case of Religious Freedom.” (Zenit)
Evangelization is a challenge in digital world, says official

Liturgy needs tradition and progress, says pope

The liturgy lives from a constant relationship between tradition and progress, according to Benedict XVI. The Pope made this observation today when he addressed participants in the 9th International Congress on the Liturgy sponsored by the Pontifical Liturgical Institute of Rome’s St. Anselm Pontifical Athenaeum. The congress, titled “The Pontifical Institute: Between Memory and Prophecy,” was celebrating the 50th anniversary of the institute’s foundation by Pope John XXIII. (CNA)
Bishop hopes canonization of Bl. John Paul II ‘will happen soon’

Bishop Jose Ignacio Munilla Aguirre of San Sebastian, Spain told CNA that he hopes the canonization of Blessed John Paul II “will happen soon.” “St. Theresa of Lisieux said, ‘I will spend my eternity showering roses upon the earth,’ and John Paul II is also doing this,” Bishop Munilla Aguirre stated. Regarding the call to make the new blessed the patron saint of young people, Bishop Munilla Aguirre noted that it would be difficult to make John Paul II the patron saint of one single cause. (CNA)

ROME, Italy, May 3, 2011—Archbishop Jose Ignacio Munilla Aguirre of San Sebastian, Spain expressed hope that Blessed John Paul II will inspire young people in Spain to attend World Youth Day 2011. Archbishop Munilla Aguirre told CNA that while large numbers of young people from abroad have registered for the event, the response from Spain has been slow. “We have the impression that the international presence in Spain is going to be the greatest of all the World Youth Days,” he said in the May 1 interview. The archbishop, who is also the director of the youth ministry department of the Spanish bishops’ conference, said the main challenge is motivating young people in Spain to attend. “The number of those coming from abroad is high, but right now we don’t have any idea about the Spanish young people. In recent years they have endured a deluge of very strong and harsh secularization. “We are praying to John Paul II for his intercession, that he touch the hearts of those who need to be touched so that they will come,” he added. (CNA)

Archbishop Fernando Filoni

tion, the section of relations with states, is directed by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti. The section of general affairs is similar to the ministry of the interior, and works closely with the daily business of the Holy Father. Born in Pattada, Italy, Giovanni Angelo Becciu was ordained a priest in 1972 for the Diocese of Ozieri. In 2001, he was ordained a bishop and was appointed apostolic nuncio to Angola and Sao Tome and Principe. He had already been serving in the Holy See’s diplomatic mission in Sudan, New Zealand, Great Britain, France and the United States. The prelate served there until 2009, when he became apostolic nuncio to Cuba. (Zenit)

© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

Evangelization in a world of communications technology is the biggest challenge the Vatican is facing today, according to the president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. Archbishop Claudio Celli said this at a study day organized by Italian Catholic Action, leading up to this weekend’s national assembly. “The new technologies place us before unimaginable possibilities,” the archbishop said. (Zenit)

Archbishop hopes JP II will inspire youth to attend World Youth Day



CBCP Monitor
Vol. 15 No. 10
May 9 - 22, 2011

News Features


‘John Paul II is blessed!’ – Pope Benedict pays tribute to his predecessor
ROME, Italy, May 1, 2011— Pope Benedict XVI has beatified Pope John Paul II. In a ceremony before hundreds of thousands of pilgrims in Rome he explained his great admiration and affection for his predecessor. “John Paul II is blessed because of his faith, a strong, generous and apostolic faith.” It’s estimated that two million pilgrims have descended on Rome for the occasion. The Pope told them that Blessed John Paul II, as he can now be called, had reinvigorated the Catholic Church following his election as pontiff in October 1978. “By his witness of faith, love and apostolic courage, accompanied by great human charisma, this exemplary son of Poland helped believers throughout the world not to be afraid to be called Christian, to belong to the Church, to speak of the Gospel.” “In a word: he helped us not to fear the truth, because truth is the guarantee of liberty. To put it even more succinctly: he gave us the strength to believe in Christ, because Christ is ‘Redemptor hominis,’ the Redeemer of man.” The presidents of Italy, Poland and Mexico were among some 90 heads of state and other dignitaries attending the beatification. Pope Benedict recalled for them the key role Blessed John Paul II’s pontificate played in the peaceful dismantling of communism. “When Karol Wojtyla ascended to the throne of Peter, he brought with him a deep understanding of the difference between Marxism and Christianity, based on their respective visions of man. This was his message: man is the way of the Church, and Christ is the way of man.” It was Blessed John Paul’s first papal visit to communistcontrolled Poland in 1979 that many historians pinpoint as the beginning of the end for communism. Today in St. Peter’s Square, the Polish flag was being waived everywhere by thrilled Poles. “He rightly reclaimed for Christianity that impulse of hope which had in some sense faltered before Marxism and the ideology of progress. He restored to Christianity its true face as a religion of hope, to be lived in history in an ‘Advent’ spirit, in a personal and communitarian existence directed to Christ, the fullness of humanity and the fulfillment of all our longings for justice and peace.” On very personal note, Pope Benedict also recalled his 23 years in charge of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith when worked closely alongside Blessed John Paul. “I was at his side and came to revere him all the more. My own service was sustained by his spiritual depth and by the richness of his insights. His example of prayer continually impressed and edified me.” The coffin of Blessed John Paul II will now be on display in St. Peter’s Basilica until tomorrow to allow pilgrims to venerate him. (CNA)

Evangelization is a challenge in digital world, says official

ROME, May 5, 2011—Evangelization in a world of communications technology is the biggest challenge the Vatican is facing today, according to the president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. Archbishop Claudio Celli said this at a study day organized by Italian Catholic Action, leading up to this weekend’s national assembly. “The new technologies place us before unimaginable possibilities,” the archbishop said. The Vatican is taking steps to rise to the challenge. Last Monday, it hosted a meeting for bloggers, and Archbishop Celli noted another meeting held for Twitter users. The 69-year-old prelate spoke of it as a phase of learning. He pointed to a problem that bloggers trying to defend the faith are sometimes “unable to establish a dialogue.” This is a very important point, he stressed, because the “Pope does not invite us to proselytism or to a form of aggressive defense of what we believe.” Not just words Archbishop Celli said Catholic communicators need to be aware of belonging to a Church “that does not just engage in communication but that is communication—not of intellectual concepts, as if it were an ideology, but essentially communication of the love of God, of a God who loves man and seeks him with tireless love.” Sadly, “there still exists in the Church an instrumental view of the media,” even though John Paul II already understood “that the new technologies were generating a new culture,” the prelate claimed. This new culture is reflected in the example of 400,000 primary school children in Uruguay studying on laptops, the archbishop proposed. “From first grade,” he said, “they learn to relate to and to know one another through the computer. To find out something they go to Wikipedia, and they connect from home with their friends. A child who lives in connection with others, for example, understands better what it means to be in communication.” And he will also be able “to understand better what the Mystical Body of Christ is” because he will understand better what it means to be in communication with the Church. Nevertheless, the Vatican official cautioned, a paradox exists, because “while one is connected, at the same time one is very alone.” Problem How well is the Church able to communicate and proclaim the Gospel in this digital culture? That is the basic problem, according to Archbishop Celli. “We should ask ourselves to what degree we minister in the digital realm, and we have to understand outright that we are still lacking in this regard,” he said. “To what degree do we know how to dialogue with the digital culture, with the youthful reality.” This is “the greatest challenge we are facing.” To meet it, the Church needs the language of the culture, which implies more than just technology, he suggested. What is entailed is a “cultural mediation in the context of this digital world,” which requires “an anthropological dimension of language,” Archbishop Celli said. “It is necessary to understand the problems of the man of today,” otherwise there can be technological initiatives that are beautiful, but ineffective, the prelate warned. There must be “a language that can be well understood, which succeeds in bearing within it the message of the Gospel.” (Zenit)

Thousands return to Vatican to give thanks for pope’s beatification
VATICAN, May 2, 2011—In the same square where Pope John Paul II was shot by a would-be assassin almost 30 years ago, thousands of people returned to thank God for the gift of his life and for his beatification. “We can never forget that 30 years ago, in this very square, he gave his blood for the cause of Christ,” his longtime personal secretary, Polish Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow, told an estimated 60,000 people gathered May 2 for the thanksgiving Mass. A Turkish gunman, Mehmet Ali Agca, shot Pope John Paul May 13, 1981, while the pope was riding through the square during his weekly general audience. A silver reliquary containing a vial of Blessed John Paul’s blood was carried into St. Peter’s Square at the beginning of the procession of 30 cardinals and 150 bishops who concelebrated the Mass. Pope Benedict proclaimed his predecessor blessed May 1 during a Mass that brought 1 million people to the Vatican and to video screens set up around Rome. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state, presided over the thanksgiving Mass. He thanked “the Lord for having given us a pastor like him” and for “having given us a witness like him.” He also thanked God for “having given us a pope able to give the Catholic Church not only a universal reach and a moral authority on a global level like never before,” but also one who helped Catholics be “more spiritual, more biblical and more centered on the word of God.” “Finally, we thank the Lord for having given us a saint like him,” Cardinal Bertone said. (CNS)

MANILA, May 11, 2011—The new executive secretary of the Episcopal Commission on Health Care (ECHC), Fr. Marcelo Pamintuan, MI, has vowed to form a network among local churches across the country, to conduct formation for health care workers, and to tap government and private sectors in the cause. Pamintuan, who assumed the post last April 1, aimed to revitalize and promote the Health Care commission all over the country. Together with Bishop Patricio Buzon, SDB, chairperson of ECHC, Pamintuan formed an ad hoc committee before his appointment as the executive secretary of ECHC to review and analyze the background and situation of the commission. “We had some seminar workshops thrice and some religious persons from other congregations were invited like the Hospital of Brothers, Sisters of Charity, Daughter of Benedictine (sic), dioceses from Biliran, and some lay persons,” Pamintuan said. The ad hoc committee came up with a decision to talk about the matters regarding ECHC, if not rehash the commission. The Committee revised the vision and mission of the commission, which Pamintuan said has a bigger scope. He said that the old vision and mission only focused along the side of the handicaps. With a new one in place, it aims

New Health Care Commission secretary sets three-point agenda
to expand and promote the commission on health care among dioceses and parishes in the country. To intensify the involvement of local churches, Pamintuan said that the first thing that they will do is to conduct a survey and go around dioceses to see if there is an existing health care program in each of them. “This was the first thing that was discussed. Do all dioceses have their own Health Care commission? We go down the level of diocese and parishes. If there is diocesan health care and parochial health care. We will do some kind of survey,” he said. He said that he will build a networking structure wherein the ECHC will be at the top and will oversee health care services that they aim to implement in local dioceses and parishes. “When you go to the level of ECHC you have a lot to do. So how will you handle that? So we go down the level of dioceses and parishes. So it looks like a networking,” he explained. He added that they plan to run a pilot test in a diocese somewhere in Luzon first before they implement any changes to other dioceses. “We should focus there first and boost its health care commission. Let’s see if it turns out to be okay and if it is, then it is time we share it to other dioceses. It’s part of seeing what could be effective in the process of promoting


the health care commission. It should be gradual, let’s not be abrupt,” he said. They also plan to have a formation for the health care workers who are already doing a great of job of helping the sick. He said that they would like to gather all health care workers who are focusing in helping the HSED, which is a Hebrew word meaning “compassion” that stands for the handicap, the sick, the elderly, and the dying. Pamintuan said that this formation shall intensify the commitment of health care workers and show them the importance of their worthy cause to the sick and all the people concerned. “[ECHC] is not about us doing the work, [but] it’s about supporting others and encouraging others to be sensitive in this kind of Health Care ministries,” he said. Soft transition Pamintuan shared that Buzon, who appointed him to the post, asked him to take the position last January 1, but he deferred and moved it to April 1 because he said he needed some time. “Bishop Buzon appointed me executive secretary on January 1. But I said I needed time, so I said let’s make it April 1. There was a soft transition. I started April 1. Although the letter Bishop Buzon sent me was dated for January 1,” he said. (Brylle B. Tabora)

Clergy group rejects hero’s burial for Marcos
MANILA, May 3, 2011―A group of clergy from the Visayan region has categorically rejected a hero’s burial for the late President Ferdinand Marcos. The Visayas Clergy Discernment Group (VCDG), consisting of bishops and clergy in the Visayas said a hero’s burial for the late dictator is totally out of the question given his atrocious human rights records. The VCDG statement on April 28 came as a response to a question raised earlier by Philippine Vice-president Jejomar Binay asking the group’s stand on the issue of allowing Marcos to be buried at the “Libingan ng mga Bayani”. VCDG head convenor and Jaro Auxiliary Bishop Gerardo Alminaza pointed out that thousands were illegally detained, tortured, executed and disappeared during the dark days of Martial Law. “Several of our clergy, religious and lay leaders were summarily detained just before Marcos’ new 1973 Constitution was to be ratified in the socalled “Citizens’ Assemblies.” The new Constitution was another ploy of Marcos to extend his presidential powers under Martial Law. So, anybody who was a potential organizer of opposition to the ratification of the new Constitution was detained, without warrant of arrest, or any specific crime,” Alminaza said. “Some of the victims were known personally to us, e.g. Fr. Rudy Romano of the Redemptorist Missionaries, Fr. Ed Kangleon of Leyte, Cebu student Levi Ybañez, labor leader Jimmy Badayos, catechists, seminarians, farmers, fisher folk, urban poor, etc.,” he added. Alminaza said lawyer Oliver Lozano and the Marcos family have insulted the intelligence of Filipino people by claiming that Marcos was not guilty of human rights violations that happened during his regime. “This lack of remorse is appalling,” the bishop said. He went on to say that the 216 Representatives in Congress who agreed to give Marcos a hero’s burial do not speak for the people. “We can forgive Marcos. But he has to serve in full the sentence for his crime— he cannot ever be buried in the ‘Libingan ng mga Bayani.’ Even a forgiven criminal remains a criminal and cannot be considered a hero,” Alminaza furthered. (CBCPNews)



Corruption and the RH

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 15 No. 10
May 9 - 22, 2011

GIVEN the prevailing notoriety of the Philippines that is perceived as the most corrupt country in Asia, at least according to the 2007 perception survey conducted by Political & Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC), it would not be too hard to swallow the exposè of Senate majority leader Vicente Sotto III last May 10 that P2.6 billion allocations of the Department of Health (DOH) for Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health and Nutrition (MNCHN) have not been received by some local government units (LGUs). According to Sotto he has ample proofs to back his claims. Ilocos Norte, for instance, which was supposed to have received P644,525.60 in 2008; P602,590 in 2009 and P2.48 million in 2010, was among the verified local government units that have not received the MNCHN funds. Other LGUs that claimed non-receipt of the same allocations are Batangas, Quezon and Lucena, while the verification of other provinces is still ongoing. Reportedly, the total budget of MNCHN program for the whole country from 2008 to 2010 amounted to P2.6 billion. The first question is, where have all this money gone? In an interview with GMA, former Secretary Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral defended that the release of the funds is performance-based, hence LGUs that have not “performed” are not supposed to be given the allocations. But still the question remains. The second is, if the government through the DOH is already operating on a well-funded program for Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health and Nutrition then why the aggressive pursuit for the legislation of the Reproductive Health Bill? The third question is, if the DOH has been implementing this MNCHN program—granting the funds really went to where it should have been—which by public knowledge uses some contraceptives that are abortifacient, is not the government going against its very own constitution that considers abortion a criminal offense? At the end of the day, it may not be farfetched to finally discover that the “pro-poor” and “pro-women” spins of those advocating the approval of the Reproductive Health Bill are not really serious. When money comes in the way, corruption certainly comes, sadly, as a matter of course—even at the cost of the lives of thousands of mothers and their babies. But Filipinos being too pliant have lived and have seemingly condoned corruption since this country started self-governance. But one wonders now, if they can tolerate a greater corruption, the moral one—the one, for instance, that will corrupt the minds of their children by studying a government-mandated 6 years, as if taking masteral and doctorate degrees, how to indulge in sex even without the benefit of marriage.

Oscar V. Cruz, DD

Views and Points
“PHILIPPINE politics—the way it is practiced—is possibly the biggest bane in our life as a nation and the most pernicious obstacle to our achieving full human development.” Above is an admittedly strong indictment of practical politics in the country. The evaluative pronouncement was not made by these or those rebels or ideologues. It was neither owned by these and those over idealistic individuals living in “Cloud 9”. Much less did it come from those who had nothing better to do and/or to say. Here is the source: CBCP Pastoral Exhortation on Philippine Politics, 16 September 1997. It is but right and proper to take note of the following observations for a better understanding of the above-cited formal and official written statement from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines: First, it expressly spoke of Philippine politics in practice. The CBCP wherefore subscribes to the significance and import of politics per se as human agenda with both sublime nature and beneficial features. But the way politics is done and lived in the country, is exactly the opposite. This is not hard to understand: Politics by nature is altruistic, i.e., service to others. But practical Philippine politics is by and

Painful yet truthful
large egoistic and selfish, i.e., service to oneself, to one’s family and friends. Second, it directly addressed Philippine politics—not necessarily Filipino politicians. In other words, there is much to censure in the way politics is done and observed in the country. But, just the same, ground reality says that a big number of Filipino politicians would find it a moral impossibility to become candidates for beatification, and much less for canonization. This is not difficult to understand: There is but a handful of politicians in the Philippines that have rightful claim to veracity and integrity. Third, it was categorically made no less than more than a decade ago. Hence, it was thought of and written down no less that many years ago. In the past the statement was made and in the past it should remained. Would that this were the truth. But, in all sincerity and candor, it would be plain hypocrisy if not inanity to think that the censure has become irrelevant these days and time. This too is not daunting to understand: Just listen to non-government radio and TV stations and/or read independent newspaper to know what politics and politicians are doing to the country and its people. Conclusion: The rebuke is painful but truthful.

Positive Values of the Devotion to Mary
AS a preparation for the writing of this Pastoral Letter, a survey was conducted on the devotion to Mary in the Philippines which, although limited in scope, was very precise in the questions proposed. From the answers given in the various ecclesiastical territories in the Philippines it seems clear that devotion to Christ’s Mother is a positive and powerful force in and for the Christian life of our people, although in some cases it must be purified and more vigorously incorporated into Christ’s mystery. Several facts have been brought up in this survey which in a remarkable way point to the same conclusion and serve to complement each other. We find them expressed in various forms. The love and veneration of Mary, especially by the celebration of her feasts, the pilgrimages to her shrines, the recitation of the rosary (a practice however not as flourishing as in the past) have given the faithful a community awareness, while promoting a Christian atmosphere, and continue to help keeping solidarity by making participants feel that they truly are brothers. Besides effects of a more general nature, these practices of Marian devotion have produced other concrete and perceptible results in our people. We do not speak only of the Marian life fostered by the Legion of Mary whose praesidia are widely disseminated in some dioceses, nor the fact that the Barangay Sang Birhen has taught a number of believers how to pray the rosary and continues to help many to build up Christian communities. We refer particularly to the fact that the cult of Mary and the devotion to her image have helped many simple people to remain Catholics. Although the religious practice of many is minimal, yet the devotion to the Mother of God helps them to keep their faith alive. In fact on the occasion of her feasts and during novenas in her honor, a perceptibly greater number of people receive the sacraments. Hence we may say that even a minimal form of devotion to Mary has consistently proven valuable. This has helped in many instances to keep and nurture the prayerlife of our people, but also—and this must be noted—it has given an added dimension by providing a powerful motivation for works of Christian charity, particularly by groups dedicated to her. It is to be hoped, however, that it will help them also to dedicate themselves with greater ardor to the apostolate of social justice, accepting Mary’s special role in humanity’s destiny, in the development of humanity to a community of justice and peace. Perhaps this is the place to reflect more deeply on an aspect of our Catholicism which on the one hand is characteristic of our people and on the other contains a richness of spiritual values which might not have been properly appreciated in the recent past or may have been placed out of focus. —Ang Mahal na Birhen, Mary in Philippine Life Today A CBCP Pastoral Letter on the Blessed Virgin Mary, 1975

Sr. Mary Pilar Verzosa, RGS

One person a day
“PEOPLE do not understand why we are against the RH Bill. So many are using contraceptives, pre-marital sex is rampant, ending in unwanted pregnancy and abortion. How do we get them to understand the pro-life position? Why are so many Catholics ignorant of the Catholic Church teachings?” How often have we heard pro-lifers speak that way, or have you said it? Well, have you yourself done anything in order to convince your neighbor, your friends, your co-workers, in fact your family? For the priests and catechists—what about your parishioners? Too difficult? Here is a way by which we can make our community a pro-life group within 5 months, if not within twenty days! Get your calculator if you are not too adept in math like me. OK. Let us do some adding and multiplying. If you talk pro-life to one person once a week, and that person you spoke with on the first week will speak to another person—there will be two of you talking pro-life to two persons on the second week. On the third week, there will be four of you talking to four people so that will make a total of eight of you who will convince others on the fourth week. From eight, you will be 16, then 32, then 64 and so on. That is what I mean that in 20 weeks, there will be 524,288 of you convincing new ones on the 21st week! And think of how much faster it would be if we all did it everyday—in 20 days, there will be 524,288. OK, everyday might too stressful with so many other concerns we have in life, so what about two or three other persons a week? You might say—wow! That is being fanatic! You might have heard that criticism and it could be intimidating to pro-lifers who want to be known for their openness and compassion and do not want to appear as irrational zealots. But if we, pro-lifers, are aiming to imitate the example of Jesus, then we know that such accusations sound very much what Jesus heard in the cross before he died. What then do we have to fear? Passion is an intense desire to give generously no matter what the cost. This kind of zeal gives us energy and courage to take our stand. Pro-abortion, pro-contraception and pro-population control groups know that if they can convince us that we are

Love Life
“wrong” to be enthusiastic about our cause, that we are just “fanatics”, they would have defeated us. As pro-lifers we are seen as strange to the modern eye and out of touch with the times, that we are not practical, that we do not see the poverty of our people because they have too many children, and because we acknowledge the truth that abortion, contraception, and euthanasia are evil and a violation of the laws of God. In answer to our critique’s bias—very often published in broadsheet newspapers or discussed in television paid talk shows, we must remember two things. First, it is not bad to be “extreme”. We appreciate people who are extremely skilled or virtuous, consistent and totally there. So if I am extremely prolife, God must be pleased, right? Secondly, passion does not mean irrationality. Our critics are equally “fanatical” in their own stand—using whatever means they can get and pouring in millions of pesos/dollars to accomplish their goals and programs—usually population control, contraceptive imperialism, and a continuing

Lovelife / A5

Rev. Eutiquio ‘Euly’ B. Belizar, Jr., SThD

www.cbcpmonitor.com cbcpmonitor@cbcpworld.net

By the roadside
THERE is out there a bitter battle whose roots are inside our souls. It is actually born of a war much bigger in magnitude, much deeper in reach and much more comprehensive in scope. And, by the way, this is no mountain out of a molehill I’m making. Paul the apostle to the Gentiles speaks part of what I’m saying as he warns the Ephesian Christians: “Put on the armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the evil one. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers, against the world rulers of this darkness” (Eph 6:11-12). This is not quite a description of pro-RH Bill advocates. And I don’t intend to enter into a name-calling game with any party on the issue. All I wish to make is perspective. Paul’s words remind us of the real war. What we have in the Philippines is a battle within it. The poet Dylan Thomas once wrote a poem that makes a counsel: “Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” That is what the Church in the Philippines seems to be doing. The Philippine Church at this day and age appears like a raging bull against the raring RH bill train. At least to me the observation holds. To the local media, though, caught in the habit of making a one-sided spin favoring the bill itself, the Church seems a raging bull, all right, but not against the dying of the light. Rather it rages against the light itself perceived as the rational, pro-poor, pro-chance, pro-development population

Raging against the RH Bill
plan that the bill embodies. The pro-RH Bill proponents are cast as enlightened, pragmatic, patriotic, compassionate and more numerous while the anti-RH Bill advocates to which the Church aligns herself are seen as antediluvian in thinking, narrowminded, extremely malicious allies of Padre Damasos that are behind the ‘dark ages’ mindsets they represent. Very often pro-RH Bill critics argue not against the Church’s position but against the persons perceived as Church, namely, the hierarchy. The Church’s stance cannot be supported, so the reasoning goes, because certain priests and bishops are child molesters, sex offenders, closet fathers etc. You can’t argue against the message. Hit the messengers. You can’t destroy their argument. Destroy those you argue against. Or cast them as very few in number. Let democracy rule. This reminds me of a news conference former US President Jimmy Carter once conducted in which he was asked if it was not fair that women who can afford abortions get them while women who cannot afford them are precluded. His reply: “Well, as you know, there are many things in this life that are not fair, that wealthy people can afford and poor people can’t. But I don’t believe that Federal Government should take action to try to make these opportunities exactly equal, particularly when there is a moral factor involved.” To this Pnoy, this strikes the heart of the matter. There is a moral factor involved in the
By the Roadside / A5

Pedro C. Quitorio

Pinky Barrientos, FSP
Associate Editor

Gloria Fernando
Marketing Supervisor

Roy Q. Lagarde
News Editor

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Circulation Manager

Kris Bayos
Features Editor

Marcelita Dominguez

The CBCP Monitor is published fortnightly by the CBCP Communications Development Foundation, Inc., with editorial and business offices at 470 Gen. Luna St., Intramuros, Manila. P.O. Box 3601, 1076 MCPO. Editorial: (063) 404-2182. Business: (063)404-1612.; ISSN 1908-2940

Illustration by Bladimer Usi

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 15 No. 10
May 9 - 22, 2011

My Blessed Pope John Paul the Great
the day Pope John Paul II presented himself to the world for the first time. He looked great, even gorgeous, if that term can be used. He threw a challenge, something like opening the doors of the world to Christ. I’ve heard that line before, but at that time it had a different ring. It fell on a ground that surprised me because the soil took it very seriously. So I followed him closely, at first, very discreetly, then later on, more energetically. I noticed how he used to the hilt all his Godgiven gifts of intellect, charm, prudence and fortitude. I feasted on his writings, which came copiously and all hard-hitting. A friend of mine used to joke that the Pope wrote faster than we could read. And I agreed, because trying to digest his words and thoughts was like swallowing a brick. But the moment, I managed, I felt greatly rewarded, as a new, strong light would be shed, clearly identifying my errors and ignorance and expanding my views and knowledge significantly. With those experiences, I understood more why love necessarily involves suffering. Then the Pope came to the Philippines in 1981. My excitement was indescribable. I did everything to get close to him. I made myself part of the press team, though I was not into writing at that time. Together with others, I filled the streets of Manila with the banners carrying his motto, Totus tuus, All yours. Then finally came the encounter. It was in Baclaran Church, the first stop the Pope made after his arrival. I placed myself right behind the chief security officer assigned to him by Marcos. When he stood up and made his way to shake hands with some people, I made sure I was one of them. And I got it. I’m usually blasé with personalities and celebrities, but at that moment, I practically melted. I could not forget his gaze on me. It spoke volumes. That sealed my attachment to him. I obviously had to purify it and put it in its proper place, but I knew it was like a pump that made me going and going until I finally got ordained a priest by him in Rome in 1991. I consider that a miracle because I never thought I would become a priest.

Fr. Russell Bantiles

Fr. Roy Cimagala

Candidly Speaking
I WAS in the spring of youth, at age 26, when a Polish Cardinal became Pope John Paul II in October 1978. That election electrified the world. He was the first non-Italian Pope after so many centuries. He came from behind the then Iron Curtain. He was relatively young as a Pope. He exuded a magnetism that attracted everyone instantly, honed in part by his background in the theater. As a consequence, he approximated the status of a rock star, adored by legions. All these qualities were amply backed by a solid theological and spiritual formation, forged to a large extent, especially at the start of his vocation, in secrecy and hard labor. His pastoral exposure was vast and deep. He was the right man to be in a communist country. When made a Pope, few doubted that he was the right man to deal with a world that at that time was in some kind of freefall to all sorts of anomalies and irregularities. There was the tension between the West and the East, the socalled free world and the communist states that was reaching breaking point. The world was wallowing in worldly mire, not anymore knowing how to extricate from it. Within the Church, the problems and challenges were no less daunting. Confusion, abuses and errors erupted after Vatican II in the fields of doctrine and practice. Vocations hit bottom, threatening affectivity in Church functions. On one side, many churchmen turned left and experimented on the so-called Liberation Theology that tried to hybrid Marxist principles with Christianity. On the other side, a good number also turned too far right, sticking to rigid traditionalism and dogmatism. In the Philippines, martial law reigned, enforcing an artificial system of peace and order, and economic prosperity and political stability. We all knew it was not going to last. The bubble would soon burst. In all these, I was just like everybody else, trying to make do with the status quo, contented with what I had at hand, which was already quite a bit then. More tellingly, I practically had no idea how to go forward other than just flowing with the tide. Somehow, the seeds of change and transformation were sown

Cogito Blessed John Paul II draws people to God
ROME, Italy―Over a million pilgrims from all over the world flocked to the St. Peter’s Square, Sunday, May 1, 2011, to witness how Pope Benedict XVI, in an unprecedented act in the history of the Catholic Church, beatified his immediate predecessor Pope John Paul II, six years after the latter’s death. The most attended beatification ever in history and the biggest crowd in Rome since the death of the beatified pope and the actual pope’s election in 2005, which gathered more or less four million people, the event was also attended by 62 delegations led by heads of states and governments as well as royal families like those of Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg, Lichtenstein and the United Kingdom. In anticipation of this overwhelming number, security had to open the gates as early as 2:00 a.m. instead of 5:30 a.m. as originally planned. Even so, only the early birds were able to occupy the St. Peter’s Square. Others had to be contented with the places nearby like the Via della Conciliazione and the streets along the Tiber River and side streets to the Circus Maximus. Big screens were also provided in other areas like in St. Mary Major Basilica and St. John Lateran Basilica. During the preparation at 9:00 a.m., the Choir of the Diocese of Rome conducted by Msgr. Marco Frisina led the people in singing hymns. Texts by Pope John Paul II in different languages were read by members of the Postulation who have worked on the process of beatification. As the beatification falls on the Divine Mercy Sunday, the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy Devotion was chanted in different languages like Polish, German, English and Italian. The image of Divine Mercy, carried from the church of Santo Spirito in Sassia, was also present in front of the Basilica until the beginning of Mass. Cardinal Agostino Vallini, Vicar General of the Diocese of Rome, read some biographical notes of the Servant of God. An astounding round of applause echoed the whole piazza as soon as Pope Benedict XVI declared in Latin the beatification formula: “We grant that the venerable Servant of God John Paul II, Pope, henceforth be called Blessed and that his feast may be celebrated in the places and according to the regulations established by law, every year on Oct. 22.” Almost everyone could not hold his tears as the choir’s Great Amen resounded, while the 1995 huge portrait of a smiling Pope John Paul II was unveiled in the central loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica. Sr. Marie Simon-Pierre of the Congregation of the Little Sisters of Catholic Maternity, who was miraculously cured of Parkinson disease on the intercession of the newly beatified, was one of the two nuns who brought the relics – a small ampoule of blood placed in a precious reliquary expressly prepared by the Office for Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff for the occasion. The other was Sr. Tobiana of the Congregation of the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus who served in the papal apartments throughout John Paul II’s pontificate. In his homily, Pope Benedict XVI, noting that the new Blessed died on the eve of Easter Sunday, highlighted how this event coincided with the Divine Mercy Sunday, established by John Paul II himself, with the first day of May, the month of Mary and with the Feast Day of St. Joseph, the Worker. The actual pope himself, wearing the same miter and chasuble, and using the same chalice that his predecessor often used during the last years of his pontificate, explained why the beatification was expedited. “Even then we perceived the fragrance of his sanctity, and in any number of ways God’s People showed their veneration for him. For this reason, with all due respect for the Church’s canonical norms, I wanted his cause of beatification to move forward with reasonable haste. And now the longed-for day has come; it came quickly because this is what was pleasing to the Lord: John Paul II is blessed!” Focusing on the Gospel’s message “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe” (Jn 20:29), the Roman Pontiff stressed that this “beatitude of faith” is particularly striking for us as “we are gathered to celebrate a beatification, but even more so because today the one proclaimed blessed is a Pope, a Successor of Peter, one who was called to confirm his brethren in the faith”. The Pope said that “John Paul II is blessed because of his faith, a strong, generous and apostolic faith”. At the end of the Eucharistic celebration, the Holy Father, together with the concelebrating cardinals, went the Basilica for an act of veneration before the body of the newly Blessed. He was followed after by the present authorities and the bishops and the other faithful present. The body remained in the Basilica these days for veneration. Davao delegation Archbishop of Davao Fernando R. Capalla led a small group of delegates from the archdiocese to witness this historical event. Among them was the Evangelista family who in 2004 received from then Pope John Paul II the expressed approval to use his name for the John Paul II College of Davao, the only Philippine school so far which bears it. Asked about his impression on this event, Fr. Junar dela Victoria, former Archdiocesan Procurator, and who had the chance to meet John Paul II in person, considered very touching the spirit of devotion and the universality of the Church that he witnessed in this once-in-a-lifetime event. “God has made a way for me to experience something holy, something mysterious that guides me in my life. I still cannot stand back, I know it is a blessing”, he said. JPIICD’s President Ernie Evangelista recalled how in the past ten years, the school has been so blessed and ascribed these blessings to the guidance and intercession of Blessed John Paul II. Mercy Evangelista, his wife, expressed her wish for good health, safety and that “John Paul II may guide April, the Staff and the students of our school”. “At sana magkaroon pa kami ng maraming estudyante”. For the School Director, April Evangelista, the Pope’s beatification signifies a lot for the school because it poses a challenge. “We are bearing the name of a famous person, a great pope, and a holy servant of God. As Spiderman said, ‘with great power comes great responsibility’. In bearing John Paul II’s great name, our school has the responsibility to maintain such greatness, such fame, such veneration that it deserves. And we can achieve that by doing our best in all we do”.

Thank you Lord for the gift of Mother!
MOTHER’S Day is celebrated all over the world every second Sunday of May. It is the day when we pay tribute to all Mothers, irrespective of race and religion. We honor our Mother for what she had done to us, for all the love and care she has given us, for all the sacrifices she endures to make us what we are and what we are not, and to be where we are now. Please allow me to greet my 93 years old Mother Gloria Angeles Santiago, who together with my Father Benito Santiago Sr. (he passed away 26 years ago), gave their all to nurture and mold us, their seven children, to become better persons and professionals—a lawyer, a doctor, two engineers, and three CPA’s. We all love you, Inay and Tatay. We are very proud of you that you are our Mother. May our Lord continue to protect you and give you good health. We thank the Lord for the gift of Mother. *** It is indeed a great honor and privilege for me to be invited at the Farewell Reception of His Excellency, Most Rev. Edward Joseph Adams, the Papal Nuncio to the Philippines. The much loved Nuncio has been assigned to Athens, Greece. The Nuncio is really loved not only by the Nunciature’s staff but also by the people. He will truly be missed. Never to be forgotten are his charitable projects to improve the living condition of the Filipinos. In his farewell speech, the Nuncio said “I appreciate your friendship and ask you

Atty. Aurora A. Santiago

Duc in Altum
offer our rosary prayers to our Congressmen, Senators and President Aquino so that they will be enlightened and will value life). In Agusan Del Sur, Butuan Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos said the church will also lead a protest against the passage of the RH bill. He said: “I will call my people to do this, let’s storm the heaven with prayers.” In Manila, the Church started a novenafor-life against RH Bill on May 1, Divine Mercy Sunday, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the chapel of the Arzobispado in Intramuros, Manila; the novena will end on May 09. Then on May 10, Pro-Life Philippines and Soldiers for Christ Catholic Community will have Jericho March Prayer at the Batasan. Assembly is at 1pm at the St. Peter Church in Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City to denounce the passing of the RH Bill. Please call up Pro-Life Philippines at 733-7027 and 734-9425 for details. *** With his beatification, we can now request the much-loved Blessed John Paul II to intercede for us. He was beatified at St. Peter’s Square on May 01, 2011, Feast of the Divine Mercy. Millions of people gathered at St. Peter’s Basilica to witness the ceremony. Led by His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, the faithful venerated Blessed John Paul II’s remains before it was reinterred in the Chapel of St. Sebastian on the main level of St. Peter’s Basilica in a ‘private’ ceremony, after the large crowds stopped coming to pay their respects.”

a favor. In the future when you think of this American Nuncio… and my time here with you… say a little prayer for me. Okay? Salamat po!” Please rest assured Your Excellency that you are always and will always be remembered in our prayers. May we also say: “In the future when you think of the Filipino people, and your time here with us, please also say a little prayer for us and our dear country. Salamat po!” The ever cariñoso and simpatico (pleasant and friendly), this American Nuncio made his guests comfortable by being kind enough to pose with them, including this writer, for souvenir photo. To the delight of everyone, the Nuncio also enjoyed being in front of the camera. *** The Catholic Church has declared May 9, Monday, as the National Day of Prayer to invoke divine intervention and guidance for legislators to reject the RH Bill. Congress resumes session on Monday and will again take up the proposed legislative measure on birth control. Everyone is requested to wear blue or white shirts or wear white ribbon pins and to hold prayer vigil on Monday. Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles enjoined the faithful to pray the rosary starting Monday and pray for the lawmakers to reject the bill. He said: “I-alay natin ang pagdarasal ng rosary sa mga Kongresista, Senador at kay Pangulong Aquino na maliwanagan ang kanilang pag-iisip at pahalagahan ang buhay.”(Let’s

Ambassador Henrietta T. de Villa

Faith and Fire
WHAT a marvelous blessing that the Philippines was visited by Blessed John Paul II the Great. He loved the Philippines and held the Filipinos dear to his heart. During the Jubilee Year 2000 of which Pope John Paul II was the architect, I was the Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See. I recall in late January 2011, Bishop (then) Stanislaw Dziwisz called me to the Apostolic Palace and asked me to write something for the Holy Father. Some Italian publishers were going to put together the laudatio of different world leaders in a book as a
Lovelife / A4

Shepherd-friend of humanity
him who was, who is, who forever will be. whom shall be send to proclaim the jubilee… From the very beginning this man from a far away country was in the heart of him who is the same yesterday, today, tomorrow. he will he send to lessen the world’s sorrow… This man from a far away country Karol Wojtyla at the start John Paul II to the end in Poland, in Rome heard the cries, saw the tears… himself cried out to the ends of the earth endure, endure, Christ wipes away all fears. This man from a far away country shepherd-friend of humanity poet-witness of the jubilee urged the young, held the wounded dear… He proclaimed here, there, everywhere Rejoice, rejoice, Christ is near, he is here.

homage to Pope John Paul II. The book was titled “Giovanni Paolo II e l Grande Della Terra.” I knew everyone would give their homage in essay form. I knew too that the Holy Father writes poetry and is delighted with it. So I thought of writing a poem for the Pope. It wasn’t hard writing or speaking of Pope John Paul II… he filled my heart, as did millions of women and men all over the world. Allow me to share that poem with you. From the very beginning the great jubilee year 2000 was in the mind of the creator

By the Roadside / A4

rape of our natural resources for the use of the rich countries. “Zeal” according to St. Thomas Aquinas, “is a necessary effect of love”. And it is love to which we are called. And it is with love that we persistently lobby in Congress to ensure that the so-called Reproductive Health Bills will not be approved—spending our afternoons from 4 to 8 p.m. in the Plenary Hall of the House of Representatives, giving our support to the pro-life oriented representatives, going from one congressman’s office to another to provide them with information on the evils of contraception and sterilization, as well the agenda of the population controllers. Or accepting invitations to give pro-life seminars even to out-of-town, struggling

through the traffic to go to a radio or TV station to defend and promote our side, or persistently attending organizing meetings to plan Prayer Rallies or other advocacy activities. So if you have a passion for life, join us in whatever way you can to save our country from the devastating effects of abortion, contraception, sterilization and the population control culture of death. And do start making a tally of the people you convert to pro-life anti-RH Bill TODAY! Call the Pro-life office at 733-7027 to refer people who need counseling, to invite speakers for pro-life talks, or to get pro-life materials. Our Fax is 734-9425, email: life@ prolife.org.ph and our website: www.prolife. org.ph

RH Bill and the bill as well as its proponents scarcely take it as crucial, which it is. Ironically, its principal proponent, President Noynoy Aquino, speaks of doing the “right thing”, walking the “matuwid na landas” as his reason in advancing the bill. There is no ‘right thing’ or ‘matuwid na landas’ that leads people away from God and his ways. The slip by Secretary Hillary Clinton who explained “reproductive health” in terms of giving people access to “contraception and safe abortions” indicates not only where the RH Bill may be ultimately headed but also what it ignores. It ignores the moral factor and when it does, what ‘landas’ (path) can be ‘matuwid’ (right)?


Local News
REGRETS always come too late, Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales said as he renewed his appeal to lawmakers to reject a birth control measure. Rosales said he is certain the government’s campaign for the use of contraceptives is taking the country to the wrong direction. Before it is too late, he said the lawmakers should ensure the welfare of the people by rejecting the proposed reproductive health (RH) bill. But if the measure would be passed, he said there will come a time when the government would realize its mistakes for supporting it. “The story is not yet done. It’s not the people who will end it but God,” Rosales said. “RH bill has no end… we still have a long [way] to go. This is not yet the end.” “They (pro-RH bill) are set to fail. We still have to go through a lot of things and in the end they will realize that (they are wrong),” he said. The cardinal made the statement May 9 as the church observed National Day of Prayer against the RH bill in many dioceses across the country. In Manila, a vigil which was started on May 1 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily ended May 9 at the chapel of the Manila archdiocese in Intramuros. The novena was spearheaded by Church-run Radyo Veritas, the CBCP Media Office, member organizations of Council of the Laity in the Philippines and various youth groups. (CBCPNews)

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 15 No. 10
May 9 - 22, 2011

Cardinal Rosales: RH bill set to fail
Govt agencies urged to act on child labor issue
GOVERNMENT agencies should provide income generating activities for poor parents to keep their children off the streets, a Church official said. Fr. Edwin Gariguez, executive director of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Social Action, Justice and Peace said various entities should appropriately respond to the problem of child labor through income-generating activities for children’s parents in order to support their brood. He said the presence of street children in every locality is a challenge to both the local government unit and the parish church. Gariguez said street children along with minors working in various livelihood activities need to enjoy child’s play and enough time for studies. “One need not pass ordinances to act and respond to these realities because it simply needs concern and reasonable resources,” Fr. Gariguez told CBCPNews. As the country’s wage-earners hope to hear some “good news” from the government on May 1, known as International Labor Day, the Catholic church through its various ministries will address concerns about child labor. The Philippine country office of the International Labor Organization (ILO) has recently presented a research titled “Towards a Child Labour-Free Philippines,” underscoring the existence of child labor in Bukidnon, Northern Samar, Quezon and Masbate provinces. ILO’s Giovanni Soledad quoted last year’s Labor Force Survey disclosing the presence of some 2.4 million child workers in the country. A more detailed survey will be made this year through the auspices of the National Statistics Office. Malaybalay Bishop Jose Araneta Cabantan admitted that a good number of children usually accompany their parents every harvest time, whether in sugar or corn lands. Bukidnon, a landlocked province in Southern Philippines hosts sugar and corn plantations. Cabantan, a licensed chemical engineer before he entered priesthood, said whenever there are working children, poverty exists. “In my talks with Catholic school officials, they said parents would usually request for their children’s presence during harvest seasons to augment their income,” the 53-year old prelate said. About 47% of those surveyed (1,632) said they are no longer in school. Meanwhile, Msgr. Melecio V. Verastigue, Diocese of Lucena’s Social Action Center director said child labor occurs in areas where people are poor. The International Labor Organization reported the existence of some 1,453 child labourers in Quezon Province, specifically Lucena City, Calauag and Catanauan towns. Some 24% are into informal sales, 18% into domestic work and another 18% scrap recycling. “Some of them come from broken families and having no one to depend on, they have to rely on themselves for their survival,” Verastigue said. Verastigue added there are also situations where minors work in order to support their respective families. This was further reinforced by the findings of the ILO in the Philippines. Some 85% of those surveyed minors said their reason for going to work is to support their families. Nearly half of the total number of minors surveyed (47%) said they cannot afford to go to school anymore. He said poverty may be used as an argument to have the Reproductive Health bill passed. Asked of possible programs to end child labour, Verastigue, a director of the social action ministry for the past five years said they will work hand in hand with local government units as in the case of men, women and minors manning the dangerous curves at the Quezon National Park, seeking coins from commuters almost 24 hours a day. (Melo M. Acuña)
© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales

Logging is ‘business as usual’ in Northern Mindanao despite ban
LOGGING in Northern Mindanao and in Lanao del Sur is “business as usual” despite the government’s declared moratorium on the cutting of forest timber. This after 20,000 board feet of lauan flitches on board two trucks, worth about P600,000, were confiscated in Barangay Puerto early morning of May 9 by the Environment department’s anti-illegal logging strike force. DENR operatives reported that one of the trucks tried to escape with its cargo and hurdled the checkpoint prompting authorities to chase it and caught up with it in Sitio Tin-ao, Puerto. The Isuzu 10-wheeler truck with plate number RJY 384, contained 148 flitches of lauan wood totaling 10,607.19 board feet. It is allegedly owned by a certain Emily Chua, who owns the White and Son Sawmill in Opol, Misamis Oriental. Chua has been in the logging business since the early 1990s. The driver of the second truck, a Fuso 10-wheeler carrying 141 lauan flitches
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totaling 9,584 board feet—a certain Casan Samer—has already been detained. The Environment department in Northern Mindanao said that based on their investigation, the logs came from Bumbaran, Lanao del Sur, a part of the critical Lanao Lake watershed. Investigation also found out that the DENR-Central Office in Manila has issued a permit on April 26, 2011to transport 1,668.28 cubic meters of logs from Maguing, Lanao del Sur to M and Jr. Sawmill in Camaman-an, Cagayan de Oro City and to the White and Son Sawmill. The signatory was former DENR-Northern Mindanao director and now DENR Undersecretary Ernesto Adobo. It was found out that Adobo issued the permit allowing the shipment of timber products from Lanao del Sur after DENR-ARMM Secretary Usman Saranggani certified that the logs, which are allegedly owned by the Bualan Rebel Retur-

ness Cooperative led by a certain Kumander Camar M. Disambaron, were harvested or “cut prior to the effectivity of Executive Order 23.” Executive Order 23 was signed by President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III on February 1, 2011 “declaring a moratorium on the cutting and harvesting of timber in the natural and residual forests and creating the anti-illegal logging task force.” The issuance of EO23 came following the destruction on various localities in the country by climate changeinduced floods and landslides. “It is a good that these things have come to public knowledge now. This should be investigated to verify if these timber products are just awaiting transportation or cutting operations are on-going despite the ban in the already scantily-forested areas of Maguing, Lanao del Sur,” said Sustines Magallanes of the Centre for Alternative Rural Technology, Inc. (CART), regarding the

claim that the apprehended lauan flitches were cut before EO23. DENR 10 Chief Legal Counsel Florenda LamasonYap said that they are filing criminal cases against the owners of the seized products for violation of Sec. 68 of the Philippine Forestry Law or P.D. 705. “They are facing a very big case since violators of Section 68 penalizes those engaged in cutting/ harvesting, transporting and trading of illegal logs with a maximum of 20 years imprisonment, a penalty similar to that imposed in cases of qualified theft,” she said. The trade of lauan, a dipterocarp tree that mostly grows in natural forests, is strictly regulated locally and internationally. The environmental watchdog Earthsites Institute, based in the United Kingdom, revealed that dipterocarp timber like lauan, bagtikan and bangkirai from Mindanao have found their way to the UK market. (Bong D. Fabe)

he would be excommunicated. Figura said Aquino’s statement was uncalled for because the CBCP never threatened the President of excommunication. Second time This is the second time that the CBCP halted the dialogue with the Aquino administration. Last February, the bishops suspended the dialogues citing the hasty process to pass the bill in Congress as among the reasons. The talks were eventually “lifted” in late March when Mr. Aquino sent a letter to the bishops convincing them to return to dialogue. In its last meeting with Malacañang in March, both parties agreed to form a team that will take part in a focus group discussion to study and discuss the mandated RH bill. Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes, Cavite Bishop Luis AnRemembering / A1

tonio Tagle, chair of the CBCP Commission on Doctrine of Faith, Parañaque Bishop Jessie Mercado, chair of the Commission on Laity were designated to compose the church panel. But the church officials no longer attended at the scheduled meeting on May 10 and instead sent Figura and CBCP legal counsel Jo Imbong as representatives. The meeting lasted for around two hours and ended with the CBCP finally putting an end to the dialogues. But Figura said they are not taking it personal against Mr. Aquino. “We are simply making a position just as any other stakeholders in the issue,” he said. The CBCP official also said Malacañang still expressed its desire for the church to keep its communication lines open. “It is the bishops’ decision and they will have to talk about it in the next plenary council meet-

ing,” he added. On the RH bill, Figura said the CBCP maintains that it really contains “bad” provisions that are interwoven with the good ones it carries. The bad provisions include the promotion and legalization of contraceptives as a mean to control population as well as the one that seeks to establish a mindset and value system that are “secularist, materialistic, individualistic and hedonistic” in the guise of development and modernity but are hostile to human life, family and religion. “The Philippines does not need this bill. All the good provisions it contains are already mandated in the Constitution and are already programs of the government agencies concerned. They simply need to be implemented through aggressive and sincere policy enforcement,” he said. (With reports from Melo M. Acuña)

rather than prescribing,” David said. David said his group of researchers will try to find out where the Philippine church and its people are and what the dioceses are doing and in what ways have they been implementing the decrees of the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines. “We’re trying to detect these through the output of the dioceses like their consultations and pastoral councils and pastoral plans they have produced,” David explained. He said they will also go through the available documents which could become basis for charting the serious implementation of the decrees of PCP II. Catholic universities that have research capabilities have been tapped to help. These are the University of Sto. Tomas, Ateneo de Davao, Ateneo de Zamboanga, University of San Carlos, University of San Agus-

tin, Xavier University, Adamson University, University of the Assumption, Aquinas University, and Holy Angels University. The researchers, together with Secretary General Juanito Figura and Assistant Secretary General Joselito Asis, would help the CBCP to assess the output of the dioceses. “On the basis of the documents we have in our hands and our knowledge of PCP II, we came up with an instrument of assessment,” David explained. He acknowledged a doctoral student who made a dissertation out of PCP II and proposed an instrument that would serve as tool for evaluating the pastoral plans of the dioceses so the implementation process could be assessed. Both Legaspi and David agreed most of the bishops who took part in the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines have all retired or may have passed

away. “Eighty percent of the bishops who participated in 1991 have either long retired or have gone ahead,” David said. Legaspi said it may be hard to assess PCP II without a living memory of the event. After the two-day meeting, the researchers hope to have understood the assessment study to be accomplished according to its criteria and target audience, determine the approach and design to make a full assessment of the pastoral plans and programs and to fine tune and test run the assessment tool to be employed in the study. The academicians also hope to schedule activities and submit deliverables according to their schedule. Figura said the two-day activity was anchored on commitment, capacity and control. (Melo M. Acuna/Vanessa Puno)

of Calcutta who died on September 9, 1997 and was beatified by Pope John Paul II himself on October 19, 2003. But counted from the start of the process (1999) to the beatification itself, Mother Teresa holds the fastest record of only four years. Pope John Paul II had helped to make that possible by waiving (in 1999) the usual five-year waiting period after the holy person’s death before the process could begin. Pope Benedict XVI did the same thing for his predecessor by waiving the five-year waiting period, 26 days after his death. Then Camillio Cardinal Ruini, vicar general of the Diocese of Rome, formally opened the process on June 28, 2005. The speed of the process seemed to correspond to the strong public clamor of “santo subito” (sainthood immediately) heard during the wake and funeral mass at St. Peter’s Square in 2005. But it would not have been possible if John Paul II had not lived the Christian virtues in a heroic way, and if at least one miracle, in this case the inexplicable cure of the French nun Marie Simon-Pierre Normand of Parkinson’s disease, had not been attributed to his intercession. In any case, so many people had long regarded him as a saint even before his death. Throughout the celebration, the crowd was asked to avoid applause

and flag-waving and observe prayerful silence. But people literally choked with emotion and broke into tears as the Holy Father pronounced the words of beatification and the Blessed’s giant portrait was unveiled above him. At least 16 heads of state and 87 official delegations were reported to have attended. Even Zimbabwe’s highly controversial President Robert Mugabe came, just as he did in 2005 when he, like then Philippine president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and so many others, attended John Paul II’s funeral. But this time there was no high-level state representation from the Philippines, which the late Pontiff had visited twice, in 1981 and in 1995. Philippine church participation was led by Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales and Cebu’s Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal who both concelebrated the Mass with Pope Benedict XVI. They were joined by Archbishop-Emeritus of Zamboanga Carmelo Morelos, Archbishop Paciano Aniceto of San Fernando, Pampanga, Archbishop Fernando Capalla of Davao, Archbishop Ramon Arguelles of Lipa, Batangas, Bishop Emeritus of Daet Benjamin Almoneda, Bishop Manolo de los Santos of Virac, and Bishop Antonio Tobias of Novaliches, and numerous priests. At a press conference organized by

the Pontificio Collegio Filippino (PCF) rector Father Gregory Gaston on May 2, Cardinal Rosales spoke of the impact of the beatification on the Philippines. Together with Bishop Almoneda, and Father Vicente Cajilig, O.P., a consultant of the Federation of Asian Bishop’s Conferences, I was asked to join, and contribute my layman’s perspective on the beatification. I have the most beautiful personal memories of that great Pope. With my wife, I had the privilege of meeting him at least ten times, and kneeling for over an hour near his catafalque inside St. Peter’s before his funeral. But what moves me most is his life of holiness as Servant of the servants of God, the work he did and the suffering he bore to prepare the Church for the third millennium. Through his 14 encyclicals, 15 apostolic exhortations, 11 apostolic constitutions, 45 apostolic letters, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the reforms of the Eastern and Western Codes of Canon Law and of the Roman Curia, his personal writings, his pastoral visits to 104 countries and to 146 places in Italy, not to mention the 317 of his 333 parishes in Rome, his bold thrust at dialogue with the other religions, and above all his personal witness, he gave us, in Pope Benedict XVI’s words, the strength to believe in—and to be one with—Christ.

In Tertio Millennio Adveniente (1994) and Novo Millennio Ineunte, he anticipated to us the manifold challenges and opportunities of the new millennium. As the pope for human life, marriage, the family, women and the youth, he labored tirelessly to promote the culture of life, breaking new ground in Evangelium Vitae, Veritatis Splendor, Familaris Consortio, Magnum Matrimonii Sacramentum, Mulieris Dignitatem, his World Meetings of Families and World Youth Days. He elaborated on the real meaning and value of labor in Laborem Exercens in a way no progressive mind had done before him or since. He enlarged our vision of our social concerns in Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, Centesimus Annus and related utterances and writings. He deepened the laity’s understanding of their role in the Church in Christifideles Laici; and that of the clergy and the religious in Fidei Depositum, Pastor Bonus, Pastores Gregis, Vita Consecrata, Pastores Dabo Vobis, Misericordia Dei, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis. He foresaw the moral relativism that would engulf our materialistic global society, and set the standards by which faith and reason should deal with each other in Fides et Ratio, a theme which Pope Benedict XVI has since carried forward with his eloquent call for the mutual purification of faith and reason.

Many Filipinos recall with profound gratitude that Blessed John Paul II canonized the first Filipino saint, St. Lorenzo Ruiz, in 1987, and beatified Pedro Calungsod in 2000. He also created two outstanding Filipino cardinals— Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal, now Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu, and Jose T. Cardinal Sanchez, former Secretary of the Congregation of the Evangelization of Peoples, and now Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Clergy— the first and so far only Filipino cleric ever to head a dicastery of the Roman Curia. At 91, the cardinal has given up his Vatican residence and offered to do whatever he can to help strengthen the pastoral life of the Church in the Philippines. My own undimmed memory of the new blessed is that of the immaculately garbed pilgrim pope kissing the ground at the Manila international airport and greeting the Filipinos in his rich booming voice, “I come in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, whose servant I am.” And then proclaiming to the biggest human assembly ever gathered on earth, up to that time, that “you are the light of Asia and the world!” It would seem to me an utter lack of gratitude if we fail to make that light burn as brightly as it should, in the face of the savage threat to extinguish it from the reproductive forces of darkness.

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 15 No. 10
May 9 - 22, 2011

Diocesan News


Solution to environmental problems depend on ‘saved’ stewards
MALAYBALAY City— The solution to environmental degradation depends not just on everyone but on “saved” people who know their role as good stewards of the earth. Bishop Jose Cabantan of Malaybalay Diocese stressed during a recent Mass at the Bukidnon State University (BSU) auditorium that Christ’s Paschal Mystery also extends to all of creation. The Mass was part of the Bukidnon Watershed and River Basin forum which the Archdiocese of Malaybalay organized in partnership with the Citizens Volunteer Assembly – People Power Volunteers for Reform of Bukidnon (CVA-Bukidnon PPVR), the Bukidnon State University, the Province of Bukidnon, Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF) and Foundation for the Philippine Environment (FPE). Cabantan, however, stressed that since Christ’s saving work through the Cross has been done, it is now the responsibility of people to save creation. Anchoring his message on the day’s liturgical readings, Cabantan said that God’s creation showed its cosmic power in raising Christ from the dead. “Have you wondered why there was an earthquake when Jesus died and also during his resurrection?” he asked. “These twin earthquakes showed us the cosmic power of creation. Or as St. Paul said in Romans, ‘all creation is groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time ’,” he explained. Prior to this passage, St. Paul has written that “the creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God” (Romans 8:19-21). “This pointed out our responsibility as saved children of the Father—our responsibility to His creation,” Cabantan said. But he lamented that the environment—God’s creation, which He described in Genesis as “good”— is in a mess. “We can only truly proclaim, as the Psalmist sang ‘O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!’ when we have restored God’s creation to its true glory. But since that is impossible, we are mandated by the sufferings, death and resurrection of Christ to do our best to protect the environment,” he said. Earlier, Cabantan said that the Bukidnon Watershed and River Basin Forum was “initiated as a follow through of the Bukidnon Environment Summit in 2008 because of the urgent need there to assess the impact of various development activities such as the expansion on the sectors of agriculture, industries, and the recent entry of mining operations in the province on the watersheds and the river systems of the province.” The forum was held at the Bukidnon State College auditorium from April 27 to 28. (Bong D. Fabe)

Bishop Jose Cabantan

CDO holds multi-sectoral prayer rally vs RH bill
CAGAYAN DE ORO City― The Catholic faithful of Cagayan de Oro has added their dissenting voices to the Church’s mounting opposition to the reproductive health measure being deliberated in Congress. With the blessing of Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ, the archdiocese hosted a multi-sectoral Pro-Life Prayer Rally against RH Bill at the Provincial Capitol, April 30, eve of Divine Mercy Sunday. Participated by the clergy, religious men and women, church workers, students, and members of Catholic lay organizations and pro-life groups, the rally began with two separate groups marching from the St. Augustine Metropolitan Cathedral and Limketkai Center and converging at the Capitol at 3 pm, where they were welcomed by San Antonio de Padua parish priest Msgr. Eutiquiano Legitimas. In his homily during the Holy Mass, presiding priest Fr. Florencio Salvador urged the congregation to “give mercy” to unborn children by supporting the culture of life, and to the poor by presenting positive alternatives to the RH Bill in the form of natural family planning (NFP), a set of methods which can be used to avoid or achieve pregnancy by means of observing the menstrual cycle. Dr. Rene Bullecer of Human Life International gave a talk on the “History of Anti-Life Agenda”, during which he also described the harmful effects of oral contraceptives on women. “Every time you hear the word reproductive health, it means abortion. Mao nang bagong ngalan sa aborsyon karon - reproductive health,” he stressed. Camiguin Congressman Pedro Romualdo, who opposes the RH Bill in Congress, also spoke during the rally underscoring that population control is not the solution to the

© Bong D. Fabe / CBCP Media

Church will prevail against RH Bill—Bishop
SAN PABLO City— A Catholic bishop said that Church will remain strong and will never bow down in its fight against the Reproductive Health bill because it is with the side of Jesus Christ. San Pablo Bishop Leo Drona said as long as people are faithful with Christ and the Holy Eucharist they will remain embolden in battling the anti-life, anti-family and anti-Christian RH Bill until they prevail in the end. In his homily, during the occasion of the 15th Foundation Anniversary (Crystal Anniversary) of the St. Gabriel, the Archangel Parish in Barangay San Gabriel here, the prelate challenged the parishioners to keep on praying for guidance from the Lord to preserve and strengthen the
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Philippines’ poverty problem. Three young speakers gave their views on the controversial issue: Windyl Salapang of Xavier’s Pro-Life Movement, who elucidated why young people must oppose the bill’s passage; high school student Mary Josephine Quimpo, who lived for a time in the United States and witnessed firsthand how sex education has led to more teenage

pregnancies and abortions; and EJ Aguila of Singles for Family and Life, who promoted chastity over premarital sex. Mrs. Norma Barcelita of the Christian Family & Life Apostolate briefly explained the different NFP methods, followed by two doctors: gynecologist Dr. Marites Echavez, who explained how contraceptives are actually harmful to women, and pediatric surgeon Dr. Nestor Lumicao, who spoke on the ill effects of contraceptives on unborn children. Radio Veritas commentator and Prolife Philippines resource person Lito David shared that the RH Bill may provide just enough leeway for abortion to be no longer considered a punishable offense in the Philippines. He also said proponents of the RH Bill may have received substantial financial support estimated at $434 million dollars from a U.S.-based organization called the Council on Foreign Relations for “development activities”. The event concluded with a synthesis by Jesus Nazareno parish priest and canon lawyer Msgr. Rey Monsanto and a candle-lighting ceremony at about 10 p.m. led by the event’s steering committee chairman Tootsie Besinga. San Antonio de Padua parish priest Msgr. Eutiquiano “Tex” Legitimas organized the rally, which carried the theme “FILIPINOS: UNITE FOR LIFE AND FAMILY – STOP THE RH BILL!” (Maria Teresa A. Veluz/James Sia)
Photo courtesy of Cagayan de Oro Archdiocese

FOI bill becoming an ‘orphaned cause’

CAGAYAN DE ORO City—The Freedom of Information (FOI) bill is fast becoming an “orphaned cause in government” as Malacañang and Congress continue to stall its enactment. “Pardon us, Mr. President, but we could not help but think that all too suddenly, save for a few consistent voices in Congress, the FOI bill has become an orphaned cause in government, a bill without fathers, mothers, friends, advocates, and champions under your administration,” said the Right to Know, Right Now! Coalition in a May 2 letter to President Aquino. (Bong D. Fabe)
Carbon stock decreases in Bukidnon watersheds

MALAYBALAY City—Scientists at the Ecosystem Research and Development Services (ERDS) of the Environment department has noted a significant reduction in the amount of carbon sequestered in Bukidnon due to an alarming rate of forest destruction. Forester Myrna Decipulo, ERDS senior scientist who headed the 17-year assessment, said that the destruction of Bukidnon’s natural and man-made forests contributed much to the 12.9 percent reduction in carbon sequestered during the period from 1990 to 2007. Decipulo said the decrease in carbon sequestration is highest in the Alanib, Maagnao and Kulasihan sub-watersheds of the Manupali River Watershed in the municipality of Lantapan, Bukidnon. (Bong D. Fabe)
RH Bill advocates using tactics of Satan—Vicar General

SAN PABLO City― A Church official has expressed dismay that high ranking people who promote the controversial Reproductive Health bill are employing the devil tactics of deception to lure unsuspecting Filipinos to favor its passage into a law. Msgr. Melchor Barcenas, Vicar General of the San Pablo Diocese, said he cannot believe that President Aquino and the Congressmen pushing for the approval of the bill do not know that by its very nature Reproductive Health and Reproductive Rights is endorsing first and foremost “the right to legal or safe abortion.” (Fr. Romy Ponte)
Charter change, answer to Bangsamoro problem— MILF

family and intensify their faith. The bishop also praised the parishioners for gathering and celebrating their Crystal Anniversary (April 29, 2011) as a good occasion to be grateful to God and to St. Gabriel for the growth of the parish as a Christian community conscious of its task to mould the youth and strengthen every member’s faith in Christ Jesus. Shortly after the Mass, Drona agreed that his earlier conviction was confirmed when he was shown a document that indeed RH Bill will ultimately lead to abortion as Reproductive Health Rights’ primary purpose is to give individuals (particularly women) “the right to legal or safe abortion.” The document taken from Wikipedia.org says: “reproducHike / A1

tive rights may include some or all of the following: the rights to legal or safe abortion, the right to birth control, the right to access quality reproductive healthcare, and the right to education and access in order to make reproductive choices free from coercion, discrimination, and violence.” The prelate noticed that proponents of the RH Bill in its Definition of Terms section defined Reproductive Health Rights by intentionally removing “rights to legal or safe abortion” and instead rephrased it with the euphemism “the rights of couples, individuals and women to decide freely and responsibly whether or not to have children.” Although the word “abortion” was not included in the

definition by RHB, the same meaning is implied when proponents of RHB rephrased it. The same version (decide freely and responsibly whether or not to have children”) similarly means abortion, said Fr. Jerry Oblepias, Director of Family Life Ministry in San Pablo Diocese. Drona recently called the RH Bill during an Interfaith Rally in the city as a design where its proponents are influenced by Satan. He said, “In this fight against RH Bill, our true enemies are not the people (who proposed it) but Satan. It is the evil that is manipulating the minds of all (pro RH Bill Congressmen) or those higher ups in the world. This is the reason why it is difficult to fight this enemy,” the prelate admitted. (Fr. Romy Ponte)

QUEZON City— A constitutionalist who is now a senior member of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has claimed Charter change is the only way to end the Bangsamoro problem. Atty. Michael Mastura, elected delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1971, said “there is no other way” to resolve the Bangsamoro problem but a Charter change “because our issue is a constitutional issue.” (Romy Elusfa)
Migrant workers’ group urges PHL gov’t to lift Bahrain ban

ANTIPOLO City—Migrant workers’ watchdog, MigranteMiddle East (ME) has urged the Philippine government to reassess the situation in Bahrain and if possible, lift the deployment ban it has imposed not so long ago. John Leonard Monterona, regional coordinator of Migrante-ME said that he issued the statement as the governments of Nepal and Sri Lanka (formerly Laos) has already allowed their citizens to fly to Bahrain as the political and social situations there have become more stable. (Noel Sales Barcelona)

difficult to cope up with rising costs. “Napakaliit niyan na P22 pesos kasi tumaas na ang lahat ng presyo ng bilihin. Parang pinagtatawanan at pinaglalaruan nila ang mga tao,” Pabillo said over Catholic Church-run Radyo Veritas. Pabillo chairs the National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace (Nassa) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). “Bakit mas madali silang magbigay ng pagtaas sa mga pamasahe at sa gasolina tapos sa pagtaas sa sahod ng mga manggagawa ay talagang naiipit,” he said. “Hindi lang yang sweldo… pati yang contractualization na yan ang banta sa mga laborers dapat din tugunan iyan at hindi kalimutan,” Pabillo added. Instead of a wage increase, the Labor department has approved the P22 increase in COLA for workers in NCR. The decision followed after the Wage Board adhered to the justification of many employers that the increase in fuel prices is just temporary. (CBCPNews)

Looking visibly tired, Picardal was received by priests and parishioners of Baclaran Church where he will stay until the 10th. In an interview, the priest recounted his ordeal during his 37-day journey to Manila which, according to him, “was not easy.” Picardal left Davao City in Southern Philippines on April 1 for his “journey of a lifetime” to Aparri, the northern tip of the country. Adjusting, he said, was difficult in the first few weeks but he still managed to walk and run at least 40 to 50 kilometers a day. On April 21, Picardal suffered from fever but still continued his on-foot pilgrimage. “I was really chilling,” he said. “But I did not really rest. I just stopped to pray for healing and then continued walking. The following day I was already fine.” But his ordeal did not stop there. When he reached Lucena City, the priest suffered severe diarrhea. “It really weakened me,” he said Picardal said the diarrhea might have been caused by drinking water which he

only took from water hydrants along the streets. “I don’t buy bottled water,” he said. “It must have been the water from the water hydrants,” he said. Despite what happened to him, the priest said his pilgrimage was worth it and expressed determination that he would finish it to Aparri as scheduled. “I love the experience especially in teaching people about the Holy Gospel of Life,” he said. On morning of May 10, Picardal said he would carry a letter to Malacañang on his way to Aparri in Cagayan. The letter, he said, contains his expression of support for the peace talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and with the National Democratic Front. He added that the letter would also contain his opposition to the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill, which according to him is not a solution to poverty. “I don’t expect to meet the President… I will just leave the letter at the guard house and then go on my way,” he said. Picardal targets to finish his 2,000km journey to Aparri by May 31. (CBCPNews)

Tuguegarao ends centennial celebration
TUGUEGARAO Cit y — The archdiocese of Tuguegarao closed the Jubilee Door of St. Peter’s Metropolitan Cathedral marking the end of a year-long celebration of its centennial last April 27. The Jubilee Door was solemnly opened last April 24, 2010. Tuguegarao Archbishop Diosdado A. Talamayan, DD led the solemn Eucharistic celebration at the patio of the St. Peter’s Metropolitan Cathedral. Themed 100 Years of Growing Together in Age, Wisdom and Grace (cf. Lk 2:52), the two-day closing celebration begun with a Holy Mass on the first day, followed by a procession of images of saints from the different vicariates. A Youth Vigil at the Cathedral Patio capped the day’s events. On the following day, delegates from the parishes gathered at the Archdiocesan Shrine of Sto. Niño de San Gabriel and given a catechesis on RH bill. They later joined the “Walk for Life” rally and marched towards the Cathedral. As a lasting souvenir of the events, a 45 meter long mural on the history of the Archdiocese called Panaddamman (Souvenir) was unveiled and blessed. The celebration coincided with the 25th Anniversary of the Installation of Archbishop Talamayan as Metropolitan Archbishop of Tuguegarao. (Fr. Emmanuel Quintos)


People, Facts & Places
PAPAL nuncio Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams has lauded Filipinos for the faith they continue to display despite many challenges. Adams praised the courage and faith of the people despite the “many obstacles” they are experiencing. “In [the] duration of my stay here I’ve seen that faith, your faith,” Adams said. “That faith is really alive; it’s a gift of God for you and for our world.” “I cannot end without saying my admiration for the people of the Philippines for your dedication and spirit of self sacrifice…,” he said. The papal envoy made the statement on May 4 during a farewell Mass at the Manila Cathedral along with several bishops and priests. Adams left the Philippines on May 7 to assume his post as Apostolic Nuncio to Greece. “Yes I’m about to leave. I’m going to Athens. I go with a heart full of gratitude

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 15 No. 10

May 9 - 22, 2011

Papal nuncio bids goodbye; lauds Filipinos’ faith

Cathedral’s Chapel-shrine of Holy Souls opens catechetical exhibits
THE Manila Cathedral’s Chapel of the Holy Souls has been transformed into an evangelizing Chapel Shrine with the opening of catechetical exhibits aimed at teaching the faithful about purgatory and intensifying the devotion to the Holy souls. Marking the event was a Eucharistic celebration on May 9 presided by Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales followed by the blessing and opening of the chapel’s exhibit on the holy souls in purgatory. Concelebrating with the cardinal were Cebu Archbishop-emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, Cardinal-protector of Prayer Warriors of the Holy Souls (PWHS) and priestsmembers and supporters of PWHS. The chapel-shrine dedicated to the holy souls is the first one of its kind in the country, according to a news update from the publication of the Prayer Warriors of the Holy Souls. Cathedral Rector Msgr. Nestor Cerbo, in a letter sent last year to PWHS executive director Chita Montfort, has requested the group to transform the chapel into an “evangelizing Chapel Shrine” by putting up catechetical exhibits about holy souls and purgatory. “In such a way that when the pilgrims and tourists visit it they are catechized on our faith on purgatory and our devotion to the holy souls through the exhibits that are to be installed in that chapel,” the letter stated. Cerbo recommended the features to be included in the exhibit panels, such as the biblical basis of the belief in purgatory and the devotion to the holy souls; historical evolution of the belief and devotion; groups involved in spreading the devotion to the holy souls; prayer warriors of the holy souls; saints and shrines on the devotions to the holy souls; and Manila Cathedral-Basilica Chapel Shrine of the Holy Souls.

to God for having allowed me to spend 3 and half years of grace here in the Philippines,” the nuncio said. “I thank you for your support and inspiration. Even though thousands of miles will separate us I will be remembering all of you in my prayers and I ask you to say an occasional prayer for me, for my new work, for the Holy Father,” he added. Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales said that Adams was the 14th Papal representative and the 9th Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines. In his homily, he thanked the Vatican envoy for his help to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). “Archbishop Adams was a friend who opened not just the Office of the Nunciature to every bishop but one who offered himself as a person who cares,” Rosales said. (CBCPNews)

© Noli Yamsuan / RCAM

The chapel of the holy souls is only one among the many chapels found inside the Manila Cathedral. But it was only in 2000, upon the permission of then Jaime Cardinal Sin that the chapel became a venue for a monthly mass celebrated for the holy souls, according to PWHS Deputy director Carlos Oda. The organization has about 180,000 members worldwide, according to Oda. PWHS has a chapter in Lipa where another chapel-shrine is currently being constructed. Other dioceses have PWHS prayer groups. The Prayer Warriors of the Holy Souls is a religious organization founded in 1992 by the late Dr. Narciso Montfort, a former congressman in Iloilo. Its members offer masses and prayers and do apostolic works of mercy for the intentions of uplifting the holy souls and help the living on how to avoid purgatory. (CBCPNews)

Santacruzan, an occasion to deepen one’s faith―prelate
THE Catholic faithful should take the traditional “Santacruzan” as an opportunity to deepen their faith and reflect on the meaning of the cross in their life, a Catholic bishop said. Kalookan Bishop Deogracias S. Iñiguez, Jr. said the Catholic Church on its part, should do everything it could to catechize and inform the faithful of the event’s significance. The “Santacruzan” has over time turned into popular beauty pageants and occasions for people to see movie and television personalities clad in pompous regalia. The prelate said the religious aspect of the popular tradition has steadily diminished over the years with the introduction of commercialism and other worldly activities. He added this is the appropriate time for Catholic church to teach everyone of the significance of the event which is a reenactment of Queen Helena’s finding of the cross in the Holy Land with her son Constantine. Iñiguez said the Santacruzan is part of the country’s popular religious tradition which requires catechism. “What is needed is religious formation,” the 70-year old prelate said. (Melo M. Acuña)

RE-ELECTED. Mother Ma. Evelyn C. Aguilar, RVM was re-elected Superior General of the congregation of the Religious of the Virgin Mary during its 19th ordinary general chapter held from April 25 until May 11at the Betania Retreat House, Tagaytay City. Elected General Consultors were Sr. Ma. Ceferina Bodiongan, 1st consultor; Sr. Ma. Eulalia Banawis, 2nd consultor; Sr. Ma. Marisa Viri, 3rd consultor; Sr. Ma. Clarita Balleque. Sr. Ma. Rosalia Nacionales and Sr. Ma. Ruth Linaac were elected Econome General and Secretary General, respectively. The following jurisdictional superiors were also appointed: Sr. Ma. Andrea Yee, Luzon; Sr. Ma. Adelaida Huizo, Visayas; Sr. Ma.

Thousands of Parañaque youth run for life

Lorina Jumawan, Northern Mindanao; Sr. Ma. Corazon Agda, Southern Mindanao; Sr. Mar. Yasintha Hoar Asa, Indonesia; Sr. Ma. Gloria Bonghanoy, Italy; Sr. Ma. Teresita Francia, Ghana, West Africa; and Sr. Ma. Concepcion Cambaya, USA/Canada. The chapter had the theme “Living more vibrantly the Ignacian humble servanthood in today’s world.” Delegates deliberated during the chapter on the following: Ignacian spirituality and charism; apostolic community and formation; retreat and education ministry; social ministry; dormitory ministry; special ministry; overseas mission; temporalities; Mother foundress/Mother Ignacia movement; governance and leadership; Southern Mindanao province and lay associates; and the finalization of the congregation’s vision and mission. LAUNCHED. The Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP), a broad alliance of lay and religious missionaries in the countryside, together with the peasant sector, had launched the “Friends of the Rural Poor,” in Escalante City, Negros Occidental. Formally inaugurated on March 3 to 4, at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish Seminar House in Escalante, it highlighted the creation of the Peasants’ and Church people’s agenda aimed in addressing the issues and problems that farmers and fisherfolks are facing in the country. In a press release published in the Order of the Carmelites’ website, the programs of Friends of the Rural Poor are the community immersion program, support program and direct services to peasants and fisherfolks, social investigation, liturgical and peasants’ celebrations, issues on genuine land reform, training and education. The RMP is an organization, with a national scope, which was founded in 1969. It is composed of religious men and women, priests and lay people and was created under the auspices of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of Women in the Philippines (AMRSWP), with the aim to forge a church response to the social volcano that was Rural Philippines. CELEBRATED. The Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro marked the silver jubilee of the sacerdotal ordination of Fr. Florencio Salvador of Immaculate Conception Parish in Aluba, and Fr. Raul Sesante of Sta. Cruz Parish, Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental on April 10 and April 29, 2011, respectively. CELEBRATED. Sr. Nenita Rivera Omongos and Sr. Celia Felix Macabagdal, first profession of vows among the Congregation of the Sisters of St. John the Baptist; May 7, 2011. Fr. Christian Emmanuel C. Gabinete presided the Eucharistic celebration attended by members of the congregation, families, relatives, friends and benefactors of the sisters. DIED. Fr. Hermie Bacareza, SVD, April 23, 2011; Fr. Erasio Flores, SVD, April 28, 2011; Sr. Rafaella Magsarili, FSP, May 6, 2011.

MORE than 2,000 youth and parishioners of Parañaque diocese participated in a run for life against the passage of the reproductive health bill. Led by the diocesan Commission of Youth under its social advocacy arm, BIDAChange (Being God’s Instruments through Discipleship and Social Action), this year’s Takbo Para Kay Kristo aimed to create awareness on the sanctity of Life and to defend it from all forms of threats specifically from the passage of RH Bill. Parañaque Bishop Jesse Mercado lauded the youth’s advocacy saying, “Mens sana in corpore sano (a healthy mind/soul/ spirit in a healthy body)!” He said the young people of the Commission on Youth are using a popular healthy physical exercise in order to proclaim three important spiritual Gospel values: that Life is sacred! (Respect it from the

moment of its conception!); Life is beautiful—when lived chastely! (Live Pure); and that Christ’s Life is lived in us and through us! (an Easter message). He added that this is what Takbo Para Kay Kristo! is all about. Diocesan Youth Coordinator Peter Pardo said the fun run showed the youth’s willingness to espouse the advocacy of fighting for life. “…in this Takbo Para Kay Kristo, the youth of the Diocese of Parañaque are ready and willing to defend life against all forms of threats and will obey God’s will and reject RH Bill! That’s our battlecry because we are choosing God, we are choosing Life!” he said. When asked about their suggested concrete actions on how to combat the passage of RH bill, Pardo said that, “in our Diocese, especially in our Youth Com-

mission we have undertaken as early as February and will still continue our series of activities intensifying our formation on pro-life among the youth. We likewise mobilized the youth of our Diocese to go to Congress and attend Plenary Sessions whenever the RH Bill is being discussed on the floor.” Pardo who also happens to be the Regional Coordinator for the National Capital Region Youth Ministry urged fellow youth to make their voice heard and act together against the passage of RH bill. “The young people as some always say are the future not only of our society but also of our Church. But I believe that we are not just the future, but we are also the NOW, the PRESENT of our Society and our Church. The young people should not wait for tomorrow before they

act and participate in the business of our society. We should act now. What we will do or will not do now will have an effect to our future children, the future youth. RH Bill is aimed to distort and weaken the moral foundation of our young people. Let us not allow this to happen. Let us not take this sitting down. Let us lead the fight and work together on this. After all we are the now and the future of the Church and our country. Let us continue to choose God and choose life. Let us BIDA Change! (Be Instruments of God through Discipleship and Social Action) Stand and defend Life!” he said. Takbo Para Kay Kristo was just one of the series of events that will be spearheaded by the Diocesan Youth Commission to intensify its formation program on pro-life among the youth in the Diocese. (Jandel Posion)

Dominican foundress’ canonization cause now in Rome
THE Catholic faithful of the Archdiocese of Jaro hopes a homegrown Dominican nun may soon become their first saint, now that the archdiocese has closed the diocesan process for her canonization, January 3 this year. The process for the cause of canonization of Mo. Rosario Arroyo, foundress of Dominican Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary in Molo, Philippines has now reached Rome after having completed the diocesan inquiry―the initial step of a long and painstaking process required before a person of heroic virtues can be proclaimed blessed and eventually a saint. Sr. Ma. Visitacion Alecto, OP, archdiocesan commission head on Mo. Rosario’s cause of canonization, said they have already sent all the documents on Mo. Rosario Pidal Arroyo to their postulator Fr. Samson Silloriquez, OAR in Rome. “After the appointment of the members of the commission who will look into the documents, a formal inquiry will be made and they will ask the postulator later for his positio,” Sr. Ma. Visitacion said. She added they will look into Mo. Rosario’s heroic acts and virtues before they give her the title “Venerable.” Once proclaimed Venerable, a miracle attributed through the intercession of Mo. Rosario would have to be recognized by the Church before she can be beatified. Another miracle would again be required for her to be proclaimed a saint. Asked of the candidate’s virtues that are essential for the canonization process, Sr. Visitacion said Mo. Rosario was noted for her charity to the poor, the needy and the sick. “She lived a life of poverty, simplicity and her prayerful life and devotion to the Holy Eucharist and the Blessed Virgin Mary,” she further said. “She and two others, all perpetually professed members from the Beaterio de Santa Catalina, at the request of Bishop McCloskey, established the new Dominican congregation in Iloilo City,” she said. Bishop James McCloskey, then Bishop of Jaro, was given permission by the Holy See to establish a foundation of the Dominican nuns in the diocese on July 24, 1925. The Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena allowed Mother Rosario Arroyo and two other Sisters to start the foundation. Mo. Rosario’s parents, the late Don Ignacio Arroyo and Dona Maria PidalArroyo, both noted for their piety, gave part of their wealth to finance the foundation of the new Congregation. Mo. Rosario was 27 years old and a teacher before she entered the religious life. She was the grand aunt of former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo and Negros Occidental’s Fifth District Congressman Iggy T. Arroyo. (Melo M. Acuna)

Photo courtesy of Peter Eric Pardo

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 15 No. 10
May 9 - 22, 2011

(A Vatican translation of the homily given May 1, 2011 by Benedict XVI at the beatification Mass of Pope John Paul II)
DEAR Brothers and Sisters, Six years ago we gathered in this Square to celebrate the funeral of Pope John Paul II. Our grief at his loss was deep, but even greater was our sense of an immense grace which embraced Rome and the whole world: a grace which was in some way the fruit of my beloved predecessor’s entire life, and especially of his witness in suffering. Even then we perceived the fragrance of his sanctity, and in any number of ways God’s People showed their veneration for him. For this reason, with all due respect for the Church’s canonical norms, I wanted his cause of beatification to move forward with reasonable haste. And now the longed-for day has come; it came quickly because this is what was pleasing to the Lord: John Paul II is blessed! I would like to offer a cordial greeting to all of you who on this happy occasion have come in such great numbers to Rome from all over the world ― cardinals, patriarchs of the Eastern Catholic Churches, brother bishops and priests, official delegations, ambassadors and civil authorities, consecrated men and women and lay faithful, and I extend that greeting to all those who join us by radio and television. Today is the Second Sunday of Easter, which Blessed John Paul II titled Divine Mercy Sunday. The date was chosen for today’s celebration because, in God’s providence, my predecessor died on the vigil of this feast. Today is also the first day of May, Mary’s month, and the liturgical memorial of Saint Joseph the Worker. All these elements serve to enrich our prayer, they help us in our pilgrimage through time and space; but in heaven a very different celebration is taking place among the angels and saints! Even so, God is but one, and one too is Christ the Lord, who like a bridge joins earth to heaven. At this moment we feel closer than ever, sharing as it were in the liturgy of heaven. “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe” (Jn 20:29). In today’s Gospel Jesus proclaims this beatitude: the beatitude of faith. For us, it is particularly striking because we are gathered to celebrate a beatification, but even more so because today the one proclaimed blessed is a Pope, a Successor of Peter, one who was called to confirm his brethren in the faith. John Paul II is blessed because of his faith, a strong, generous and apostolic faith. We think at once of another beatitude: “Blessed are you, Simon, son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven” (Mt 16:17). What did our heavenly Father reveal to Simon? That Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. Because of this faith, Simon becomes Peter, the rock on which Jesus can build his Church. The eternal beatitude of John Paul II, which today the Church rejoices to proclaim, is wholly contained in these sayings of Jesus: “Blessed are you, Simon” and “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe!” It is the beatitude of faith, which John Paul II also received as a gift from God the Father for the building up of Christ’s Church. Our thoughts turn to yet another appeared irreversible. By his witness of faith, love and apostolic courage, accompanied by great human charisma, this exemplary son of Poland helped believers throughout the world not to be afraid to be called Christian, to belong to the Church, to speak of the Gospel. In a word: he helped us not to fear the truth, because truth is the guarantee of liberty. To put it even more succinctly: he gave us the strength to believe in Christ, because Christ is Redemptor hominis, the Redeemer of man. This was the theme of his first encyclical, and the thread which runs though all the others. When Karol Wojtyła ascended to the throne of Peter, he brought with him a deep understanding of the difference between Marxism and Christianity, based on their respective visions of man. This was his message: man is the way of the Church, and Christ is the way of man. With this message, which is the great legacy of the Second Vatican Council and of its “helmsman”, the Servant of God Pope Paul VI, John Paul II led the People of God across the threshold of the Third Millennium, which thanks to Christ he was able to call “the threshold of hope”. Throughout the long journey of preparation for the great Jubilee he directed Christianity once again to the future, the future of God, which transcends history while nonetheless directly affecting it. He rightly reclaimed for Christianity that impulse of hope which had in some sense faltered before Marxism and the ideology of progress. He restored to Christianity its true face as a religion of hope, to be lived in history in an “Advent” spirit, in a personal and communitarian existence directed to Christ, the fullness of humanity and the fulfillment of all our longings for justice and peace. Finally, on a more personal note, I would like to thank God for the gift of having worked for many years with Blessed Pope John Paul II. I had known him earlier and had esteemed him, but for twenty-three years, beginning in 1982 after he called me to Rome to be Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, I was at his side and came to revere him all the more. My own service was sustained by his spiritual depth and by the richness of his insights. His example of prayer continually impressed and edified me: he remained deeply united to God even amid the many demands of his ministry. Then too, there was his witness in suffering: the Lord gradually stripped him of everything, yet he remained ever a “rock”, as Christ desired. His profound humility, grounded in close union with Christ, enabled him to continue to lead the Church and to give to the world a message which became all the more eloquent as his physical strength declined. In this way he lived out in an extraordinary way the vocation of every priest and bishop to become completely one with Jesus, whom he daily receives and offers in the Church. Blessed are you, beloved Pope John Paul II, because you believed! Continue, we implore you, to sustain from heaven the faith of God’s people. You often blessed us in this Square from the Apostolic Palace: Bless us, Holy Father! Amen.

‘He Gave Us the Strength to Believe in Christ’

Pastoral Concerns


beatitude, one which appears in the Gospel before all others. It is the beatitude of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of the Redeemer. Mary, who had just conceived Jesus, was told by Saint Elizabeth: “Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord” (Lk 1:45). The beatitude of faith has its model in Mary, and all of us rejoice that the beatification of John Paul II takes place on this first day of the month of Mary, beneath the maternal gaze of the one who by her faith sustained the faith of the Apostles and constantly sustains the faith of their successors, especially those called to occupy the Chair of Peter. Mary does not appear in the accounts of Christ’s resurrection, yet hers is, as it were, a continual, hidden presence: she is the Mother to whom Jesus entrusted each of his disciples and the entire community. In particular we can see how Saint John and Saint Luke record the powerful, maternal presence of Mary in the passages preceding those read in today’s Gospel and first reading. In the account of Jesus’ death, Mary appears at the foot of the cross (Jn 19:25), and at the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles she is seen in the midst of the disciples gathered in prayer in the Upper Room (Acts 1:14). Today’s second reading also speaks to us of faith. Saint Peter himself, filled with spiritual enthusiasm, points out to the newly-baptized the reason for their hope and their joy. I like to think how in this passage, at the beginning of his First Letter, Peter does not use language of exhortation; instead, he states a fact. He writes: “you rejoice”, and he adds: “you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Pet 1:6, 8-9). All these verbs are in the

indicative, because a new reality has come about in Christ’s resurrection, a reality to which faith opens the door. “This is the Lord’s doing”, says the Psalm (118:23), and “it is marvelous in our eyes”, the eyes of faith. Dear brothers and sisters, today our eyes behold, in the full spiritual light of the risen Christ, the beloved and revered figure of John Paul II. Today his name is added to the host of those whom he proclaimed saints and blesseds during the almost twentyseven years of his pontificate, thereby forcefully emphasizing the universal vocation to the heights of the Christian life, to holiness, taught by the conciliar Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium. All of us, as members of the people of God - bishops, priests, deacons, laity, men and women religious - are making our pilgrim way to the heavenly homeland where the Virgin Mary has preceded us, associated as she was in a unique and perfect way to the mystery of Christ and the Church. Karol Wojtyła took part in the Second Vatican Council, first as an auxiliary Bishop and then as Archbishop of Kraków. He was fully aware that the Council’s decision to devote the last chapter of its Constitution on the Church to Mary meant that the Mother of the Redeemer is held up as an image and model of holiness for every Christian and for the entire Church. This was the theological vision which Blessed John Paul II discovered as a young man and subsequently maintained and deepened throughout his life. A vision which is expressed in the scriptural image of the crucified Christ with Mary, his Mother, at his side. This icon from the Gospel of John (19:25-27) was taken up in the episcopal and later the papal coatof-arms of Karol Wojtyła: a golden cross with the letter “M” on the lower right and the motto “Totus tuus”, drawn from

the well-known words of Saint Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort in which Karol Wojtyła found a guiding light for his life: “Totus tuus ego sum et omnia mea tua sunt. Accipio te in mea omnia. Praebe mihi cor tuum, Maria—I belong entirely to you, and all that I have is yours. I take you for my all. O Mary, give me your heart” (Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, 266). In his Testament, the new Blessed wrote: “When, on 16 October 1978, the Conclave of Cardinals chose John Paul II, the Primate of Poland, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński, said to me: ‘The task of the new Pope will be to lead the Church into the Third Millennium’”. And the Pope added: “I would like once again to express my gratitude to the Holy Spirit for the great gift of the Second Vatican Council, to which, together with the whole Church ― and especially with the whole episcopate ― I feel indebted. I am convinced that it will long be granted to the new generations to draw from the treasures that this Council of the twentieth century has lavished upon us. As a Bishop who took part in the Council from the first to the last day, I desire to entrust this great patrimony to all who are and will be called in the future to put it into practice. For my part, I thank the Eternal Shepherd, who has enabled me to serve this very great cause in the course of all the years of my Pontificate”. And what is this “cause”? It is the same one that John Paul II presented during his first solemn Mass in Saint Peter’s Square in the unforgettable words: “Do not be afraid! Open, open wide the doors to Christ!” What the newlyelected Pope asked of everyone, he was himself the first to do: society, culture, political and economic systems he opened up to Christ, turning back with the strength of a titan — a strength which came to him from God ― a tide which

‘Let Us Make the Most of His Human and Spiritual Heritage’
(Address delivered by Cardinal Agostino Vallini, the Pope’s vicar for Rome, at the vigil held at the Circus Maximus, April 30, 2011; the event was organized by the Diocese of Rome.)
DEAR brothers and sisters! Divine Providence gives us this evening the joy of a great experience of grace and light. With this Marian prayer vigil we hope to prepare ourselves for tomorrow’s celebration, the solemn beatification of the Venerable Servant of God John Paul II. Even though it has been six years since the death of the great Pope— Bishop of Rome and Pastor of the universal Church for 27 years—his memory is particularly vibrant. We feel veneration, affection, admiration, and deep gratitude for the beloved pontiff. We, above all, remember his witness of faith: a convinced and strong faith, free from fear or compromises, true until his last breath, forged by trails, fatigue, and illness, whose beneficent influence has spread throughout the Church, indeed, throughout the world. His witness, through his apostolic travels, inspired millions of men and women of all races and cultures. He lived for God. He offered himself entirely to God to serve the Church as a sacrificial offering. He would often repeat this prayer: “Jesus, Pontiff, who handed himself to God as offering and victim, have mercy on us”. His great desire was to become more and more one with Christ the Priest through the Eucharistic sacrifice from which he drew strength and courage for his tireless apostolic action. Christ was the beginning, the center, and the apex of each of his days. Christ was the sense and the purpose of his actions. From Christ he drew energy and fullness of humanity. This explains the need and the desire he had for prayer: Each of his days was dedicated to long hours of prayer and his work was penetrated and infused by prayer. In this faith, which he lived in his most inner being, we can understand the mystery of the suffering that marked him from when he was young and which purified him like gold that is tested by fire (1Pt 1:7). We were all amazed by the docility of spirit with which he faced the pilgrimage of his disease, even to the point of agony and death. He was witness to the tragic age of big ideologies, totalitarian regimes, and from their passing John Paul II embraced the harsh suffering, marked by tension and contradictions, of the transition of the modern age toward a new phase of history, showing constant concern that the human person be its protagonist. He was a staunch and credible defender of the human person to the nations and the international institutions, which respected him and have paid him homage, recognizing him as a messenger of justice and peace. With his gaze fixed on Christ, the Redeemer of humanity, he believed in humanity and showed his openness, trust, and closeness. He loved the human person, pushing us to develop in ourselves the potential of faith to live as free persons, cooperating in the realization of a more just and caring humanity, as workers for peace and builders of hope. Convinced that only the spiritual experience can satisfy humanity he said: the fate of every person and of all peoples is tied to Christ, the only liberator and Savior. In his first encyclical he wrote: “Man cannot live without love. … His life [remains] senseless, if love is not revealed to him … Christ the Redeemer “fully reveals man to himself” (RH, 10). He began his pontificate with these vibrant words: “Don’t be afraid! Open, open wide the doors to Christ! … Christ knows what is in the human person. Only he knows!”. These words bear witness that he believed that God’s love is inseparable from the love for humans and their salvation. In his extraordinary energy of love for humanity he loved, with a kind and tender love, all those “wounded by life”, as he called the poor, the sick, the nameless, and those excluded a priori—but he had a particular love for the youth. His calls for the World Youth Days had the purpose of making youth into the protagonists of their own future, becoming builders of
Heritage / B7


When 2 deacons are present
(Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university, answers the following queries:) Q: At a Mass where there are two deacons and one of the deacons is going to be preaching the homily, which deacon should proclaim the Gospel? Should the deacon who is going to be preaching proclaim the Gospel, or should one deacon proclaim the Gospel and the other preach the homily? In a similar situation, who proclaims the Gospel when a bishop is the main celebrant and a concelebrating priest is going to preach the homily, but there is more than one priest concelebrating and there is no deacon? Does one priest proclaim the Gospel and another preach, or does the priest who is preaching proclaim the Gospel?—R.B., Marquette, Michigan A: The norms on this point are not absolute and allow for a certain degree of flexibility in order to adapt to special circumstances. At the same time, there are some aspects of liturgical decorum that should be respected as far as possible. One principle that should be respected is that if a deacon is present, it is he who reads the Gospel. A priest should proclaim only if the deacon is impaired for some exceptional reason, for example, if he did not know the language of the Gospel in a multilingual celebration. All things being equal, when there are two deacons they are usually divided as the deacon of the Word and the deacon of the Eucharist. Apart from proclaiming the Gospel and the general intercessions, the deacon of the Word takes his place to the celebrant’s left during the Liturgy of the Eucharist or may also incense the Blessed Sacrament during the Eucharistic Prayer. The deacon of the Eucharist takes care of the habitual diaconal functions during the preparation of gifts, the Eucharistic Prayer and the sign of peace. Another general principle in liturgy is to avoid useless movements. In this light a deacon who is to preach should usually take the role of the deacon of the Word so as to carry out both functions with ease and without interruptions. There may occasionally be good reasons for a change in minister. For example, if the Gospel is to be sung, then the deacon better qualified for this task may proclaim the sacred text, even though another will preach. In the case of concelebration without a deacon, the principal celebrant, bishop or priest should not read the Gospel even though he would normally be the one to preach the homily. If a priest other than the principal celebrant is to preach, then in general he should also read the Gospel. The fact that several priests may be concelebrating is not enough reason to divide up the tasks between several ministers and thus multiplying unnecessary movements. Exceptions to this general rule of thumb may be made for reasons similar to those mentioned for deacons: difference of language, singing the text, etc.


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 15 No. 10
May 9 - 22, 2011

Towards a Canonical Status for Basic Ecclesial Communities (Part II)
By Fr. Jaime B. Achacoso, J.C.D.
I am a priest in a diocese in Mindanao, where there is a strong impetus for the establishment of Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs). The work these are doing for the Christian faithful is undeniable, especially in those areas hardly reached by the inadequate number of priests. However, at times I have been at odds with such groups because of a certain tendency to supplant the parish. It has even happened that such groups in the rural areas outside the poblacion even dissuade their members from going to town to attend Mass on holy days of obligation, with the reason that they already have what they call a “dry Mass”─basically a liturgy of the Word with the administration of Holy Communion outside Mass─in their chapel. In matters of governance too, at times such BECs are at odds with our Parish priest, because they impose requirements on their members (beyond those required by the Parish) in order to be included in the roster for the reception of Confirmation and Baptism, and even for Marriage. What does Canon Law say about this? A New Way of Being Church? It has been said that the BECs constitute the new way of being Church. This may seem like an innocuous expression, but it has very serious theological and canonical implications. In the the ological─ecclesiological─sense, it might even be misunderstood to mean that the Church is evolving by the initiative of the people. In this particular case, even starting from the grassroots. But the Church did not arise─and neither can it unfold and develop─from a people power initiative. The people of God, which is the Church─comes about from a Trinitarian initiative. By the will of God the Father, Jesus Christ instituted the Church by (1) calling together the Apostles and empowering them to teach, sanctify and govern in his name, and (2) sending the Holy Spirit on Pentecost to inhabit a community of disciples, together with the Apostles. In other words, the Church came about by a Divine design and constitution. It also develops historically by a Divine design and providence. Thus, if we are to understand the Basic Ecclesial Communities as the new way of being Church, we need to look at them from the perspective of the Church, as Christ established it and how it has received from the Pope, the Vicar of Christ (successor of Peter, upon whom Christ promised to build his Church), the mandate to be the proper pastor of the aforementioned portio populi Dei. 3) A group of ordained ministers, who─ontologically configured with Christ as head of the mystical body, and canonically invested with a specific participation in the pastoral mission of the bishop─act in persona Christi capitis to deliver to the faithful the means of salvation─i.e., the Word and the Sacraments. Properly speaking, it is the aforementioned interaction of the ministerial priesthood (of the Bishop helped by his clergy) at the service of the universal or common priesthood (of the rest of the faithful) which brings about the congregation of believers which is called Church. In other words, the Church─as a visible structure and organization─has come about as a result of the unfolding of the mandate of the Resurrected Christ to Peter, to “feed my lambs” and to “feed my sheep”. In order to effectively deliver the means of salvation─the Word of God (revealed by Scripture and Tradition, and authoritatively taught by the Magisterium) and the Sacraments─to all the is thought to be helpful, there may be established in a given territory particular Churches distinguished by the rite of the faithful or by some other similar quality. Can. 373 ─ It is within the competence of the supreme authority alone to establish particular Churches; once they are lawfully established, the law itself gives them juridical personality. B. Parishes and Quasiparishes. Can. 515 ─ §1 A parish is a certain community of Christ’s faithful stably established within a particular Church, whose pastoral care, under the authority of the diocesan Bishop, is entrusted to a parish priest as its proper pastor. ─ §2 The diocesan Bishop alone can establish, suppress or alter parishes. He is not to establish, suppress or notably alter them unless he has consulted the council of priests. ─ §3 A lawfully established parish has juridical personality by virtue of the law itself. Can. 516 ─ §1 A quasiparish is a certain community of Christ’s faithful within a particular Church, entrusted to a priest as its proper pastor, but because of special circumstances not yet established as a parish. Unless the law provides otherwise, a quasiparish is equivalent

When the Liturgy of the Eucharist is fast
Q: Even as young children unable to fully grasp the depth of the Eucharistic Prayer, we were taught it was a very sacred time where we knelt, avoided distraction and focused our attention on the priest and altar. Decades later, I am saddened to see the solemnity and sacredness of it being lost. In an average Mass lasting an hour, the first half-hour goes in the readings and homily. Usually, from the prayer of the faithful to the concluding “Great Amen,” the average time taken in most parishes is about 6 minutes. In some places, the announcements after Mass take more time! What can be done to slow down somewhat this pace that is over “in the wink of an eye”?—L.E., Mumbai, India A: Our reader broaches an important pastoral point. There is frequently a lack of balance in the celebration of Mass that easily leaves the impression of excess haste in the most sacred moments. This is not an easy question to address. On the one hand, the present structure of the Sunday Mass, with the Gloria, three readings, homily, creed and prayer of the faithful makes it inevitable that the first two parts take up the bulk of the time available. This is not something new. In his explanation of the Mass addressed to the Roman authorities, St. Justin Martyr (circa A.D. 100-165) explained that Scripture readings and preaching continued as long as the time available allowed. His description of the subsequent Eucharistic rite indicates that it was relatively simple and brief, although lived with an intensity befitting a persecuted Church. The question of balance is not, therefore, one of attempting to equalize the amount of time dedicated to the various parts of the Mass (something which is neither possible nor desirable) but of giving due weight to the Eucharistic rites. I believe that the difficulty can be overcome with careful liturgical planning in accordance with the solemnity of the occasion. The present liturgy allows for a wide range of choices in the use of music and rites that make it relatively easy to avoid concentrating all effort at solemnizing the Mass in the Liturgy of the Word. Briefly, I would suggest some elements which can be used to increase the faithful’s attention and the sense of sacredness during the Liturgy of the Eucharist: 1) Avoid the use of Eucharistic Prayer II on a Sunday. While not forbidden on feast days, this prayer was specifically included in the missal with daily Mass in mind. Its sheer brevity on a Sunday effectively makes the Mass appear rushed. 2) Use more music. Singing all or part of the ordinary of the Mass such as the preface, the Sanctus, the consecration, the mystery of faith, the final doxology with its great Amen, the Our Father and its embolism, the Lamb of God, etc., adds to the sense of solemnity and underlines the importance of the Eucharistic rites. 3) Use incense and candles. On solemn occasions incense may be used at all foreseen moments. Even if incense is not used for the entrance, Gospel and offertory on a normal Sunday, it may still be used along with candles during the Eucharistic Prayer. This latter use adds nothing to the length of the celebration and is an optimal means of enhancing the sense of the sacred and concentrating attention on the liturgical action. 4) Finally, the priest should strive to overcome the routine that can creep into frequently proclaimed prayers and make each Mass an authentic encounter with God. Pope Pius XI (1922-1939) once told someone newly ordained that he hoped that the priest’s first Mass would be the least fervent of his life. The Holy Father was not thus promoting priestly mediocrity but challenging the young cleric to seek ever increasing fervor in celebrating the inestimable gift of the Eucharist.

WE resume our discussion of Basic Ecclesial Communities with a brief outline of what we shall tackle in this part. 1) There is an existing phenomenon, which in the Philippines we have given the name of Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs). Like many things in the Philippines, it manifests the vibrancy of our culture in general, and of the Catholic Church in this country in particular. However, like any new thing, it also has its pains. Already, we see shadows together with the lights: frictions with the hierarchical structures (parishes), abuses in liturgical practice (proliferation of so called “dry Masses”) and even an under-valuing of the Sacramental life─all of these mostly due to a sore lack of doctrinal foundations. 2) But, for the meantime at least, the BECs are there and are even spreading─due in no mean part to the encouragement of the hierarchy itself. On the other hand, we see why the hierarchy is encouraging the BECs, especially in Mindanao: given the acute shortage of clergy, the BECs seem to be the way to address the pastoral needs of the faithful, especially in those areas of difficult access to the hierarchically constituted pastoral structures─i.e., the parish. 3) Hence, we ask ourselves: is there a way for these BECs to develop more systematically─i.e., more ecclesiologically? Are there provisions in Canon Law that can serve as guidelines of what the BECs can do, and what they should not do?

developed through the centuries under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. More specifically, if the BECs are really to be ecclesial, they must be constituted and they must operate according to the parameters set by the Supreme Authority of the Church in her reflection on what the Church is and how it is constituted. We can arrive at this by a deductive process, starting from the concept of the Church as laid down by Vatican Council II and later expressed in juridic terms by the Code of Canon Law of 1983. Based on the essential structural elements of the Church, as established by Jesus Christ, we can encounter the canonical locus of the BECs in the hierarchical structure of the Church. In other words, through the right application of Canon Law, the BECs can indeed be a way of being Church. The Traditional Way of Being Church Vatican Council II─in the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium─already set forth the essential structural elements of the Church of Christ as follows: 1) A community of believers, who─regenerated in the new life of children of God by the sacrament of Baptism and subsequently nourished in their different ecclesial situations by the Word of God and by the other Sacraments─march in pilgrimage towards their definitive home in union with God. Together they constitute a portio populi Dei (a portion of the People of God, which is the Church). 2) A shepherd, who─as a successor of the Apostles─has

baptized, the Church organizes itself. Traditionally, this has been through the constitution of particular Churches (under the care of bishop as its proper Pastor), which are subdivided into parishes or quasi-parishes (each under the care of a priest, under the authority of the bishop, also as its proper pastor). The traditional canonical expressions of this reality are the particular church and the parish. A. Particular Churches: The Diocese Can. 368 ─ Particular Churches, in which and from which the one and only catholic Church exists, are principally dioceses. Unless the contrary is clear, the following are equivalent to a diocese: a territorial prelature, a territorial abbacy, a vicariate apostolic, a prefecture apostolic and a permanently established apostolic administration. Can. 369 ─ A diocese is a portion of the people of God, which is entrusted to a Bishop to be nurtured by him, with the cooperation of the presbyterium, in such a way that, remaining close to its pastor and gathered by him through the Gospel and the Eucharist in the Holy Spirit, it constitutes a particular Church. In this Church, the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church of Christ truly exists and functions. Can. 372 ─ §1 As a rule, that portion of the people of God which constitutes a diocese or other particular Church is to have a defined territory, so that it comprises all the faithful who live in that territory. ─ §2 If however, in the judgment of the supreme authority in the Church, after consultation with the Episcopal Conferences concerned, it

to a parish. ─ §2 Where some communities cannot be established as parishes or quasiparishes, the diocesan Bishop is to provide for their spiritual care in some other way. Can.517─§1Wherecircumstances so require, the pastoral care of a parish, or of a number of parishes together, can be entrusted to several priests jointly, but with the stipulation that one of the priests is to be the moderator of the pastoral care to be exercised. This moderator is to direct the joint action and to be responsible for it to the Bishop. ─ §2 If, because of a shortage of priests, the diocesan Bishop has judged that a deacon, or some other person who is not a priest, or a community of persons, should be entrusted with a share in the exercise of the pastoral care of a parish, he is to appoint some priest who, with the powers and faculties of a parish priest, will direct the pastoral care. Can. 518 ─ As a general rule, a parish is to be territorial, that is, it is to embrace all Christ’s faithful of a given territory. Where it is useful however, personal parishes are to be established, determined by reason of the rite, language or nationality of the faithful of a certain territory, or on some other basis. Can. 519 ─ The parish priest is the proper pastor of the parish entrusted to him. He exercises the pastoral care of the community entrusted to him under the authority of the diocesan Bishop, whose ministry of Christ he is called to share, so that for this community he may carry out the offices of teaching, sanctifying and ruling with the cooperation of other priests or deacons and with the assistance of lay members of Christ’s faithful, in accordance with the law. (To be concluded.)

© Roy Lagarde / CBCPMedia

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 15 No. 10
May 9 - 22, 2011

Specific Infirmed Provisions of the RH Bills Section 13 of HB 96 Thereferencedprovisionwould force students starting from grade five up to fourth year high school to undergo “mandatory age-appropriate reproductive health and sexuality education”. The Bills define “reproductive health” as the state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing . . . in all matters relating to the reproductive system and its functions and processes”, and implies the ability “to enjoy responsible and safe sex . . .” (at Sec. 4). CFC-FFL objects for several . . . particularly of parents . . .consistent with their religious convictions (and) cultural beliefs . . .”— one among several instances of the RH Bills’ selfcontradiction. Second, because of its intrusive effect, the provision runs counter to the State’s commitment to “protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution”. (Ibid.) If allowed to pass, the RH Bills would invade the sanctity of family life by imposing behavioral patterns that may undermine family values. Third, the prescribed sex education wrongly assumes and their children to comply with the requirement on sex education–contradicts the RH Bills’ own guiding principle in Section 3(a), which states that the right to make free and informed decisions–central to the exercise of any right–shall not be impaired. Compulsion is anathema to an individual’s right to make free and informed decision. 1. Penal Provisions of the RH Bills By way of general opposition, CFC-FFL respectfully submits that the penalties imposed in the RH Bills represent a discriminatory bias in favour 22-a). By forcing the health care provider to speak the line of contraception–and punishing him for expressing his own opinion and beliefs against it–the provision clearly impinges on the individual’s freedom of speech and religion. To the extent that it restrains his desire to speak his mind, the prohibition constitutes prior restraint. Section 22 (a)(2) is objectionable to the extent that it allows the beneficiary of reproductive health services to proceed with the procedure despite protest from his/her spouse. Such evident bias for population control promotes division and

provisions of the law. The threat of imprisonment and/or fine— found in Section 23–would create a chilling effect among those who disagree with the law for any reason, effectively muzzling their opinion. It would also open the floodgates for crackdowns and the filing of harassment suits. By all legal yardsticks, the provision constitutes a direct affront to the Bill of Rights. 2. Section 7 of the RH Bills This provision would require PhilHealth to “pay for the full cost of family planning for the next three (3) years” if the beneficiary “wishes to space or prevent her next pregnancy”. Why is family planning given special attention? There are thousands of destitute citizens afflicted with tuberculosis, diabetes, dengue, cancer and other kinds of illness, who need the support of Government. Who will provide the cost of their medicine? Why are they left out? Why are beneficiaries of family planning singled out for a guaranteed financial support from government? CFC-FFL sees no valid classification for this warped sense of prioritization, and opposes it on the ground that it violates the equal protection clause enshrined in the Constitution. 3. Section 9 of the RH Bills Article II, Section 15 of the Constitution obligates the State to “protect and promote the right to health of the people . . .” The RH Bills would undermine this obligation by classifying hormonal contraceptives, intrauterine devices, injectables and other family planning products (e.g., condoms) as “essential medicines”, in the process diverting scarce funds that would otherwise go to the purchase of truly essential medicines and equipment necessary for the treatment of cancer and other deadly ailments. Provisions of the RH Bills are self-contradictory HB 96 and the other RH Bills are mired in fatal inconsistencies and contradictions. To cite some glaring examples: 1. Section 3(a) of the RH Bills guarantees the right of every individual to make free and informed decisions, and to be free from any form of restraint or coercion. This is contradicted by the subsequent Penal Clauses (e.g., Sec. 22 of HB 96), which would imprison or fine any person for expressing an opinion contrary to the law or for refusing to perform reproductive health services. Another contradiction

The RH Bills are inherently unconstitutional The underlying premise of the RH Bills is that life begins at implantation. It is this fundamental assumption that breathes life to their cause—the cornerstone upon which they build the legal framework that will mandate the promotion and distribution of “artificial methods of family planning”, particularly all forms of contraceptives. Without this foundational anchor, the RH Bills will collapse under their own weight, deprived of legal moorings. CFC-FFL humbly submits that the premise upon which the RH Bills have been conceived is wrong. Life begins at conception, not implantation. The medical experts have said so, most recently through the Philippine Medical Association. They have confirmed that life commences upon fertilization of the ovum, which is the point they technically refer to as “the moment of conception”. The framers of the Constitution had the same notion about the onset of life when they adopted Article II, Section 12 of the 1987 Constitution, which pertinently provides that “[t]he State . . . shall equally protect the life of . . . the unborn from conception.” Thus, during their deliberations to clarify this provision, the authors adopted the medical definition of the term “conception” (i.e., fertilization of the ovum). Attached are relevant excerpts of the Records of the Constitutional Commission No. 85, dated September 17, 1986 confirming this fact. Since life begins at conception, then any post-conception act of preventingorstoppingthenatural development of the fertilized ovum—an essential element of which is its implantation in the uterus–is an attack against that life. If the assault is done deliberately—and succeeds–it may well qualify as statutory murder. In any case, the act falls squarely within the legal meaning of abortion. Many contraceptives exist for this specific purpose. They prevent the fertilized ovum from implanting itself in the uterus, depriving the ovum of its natural habitation and life support. Except for the relative degree of helplessness, the effect is no different from where an assailant deprives an infant of oxygen by suffocation. By indiscriminately promoting all types of contraceptive devices and services, the RH Bills violate Article II, Section 12 of the Constitution.

CFC-FFL Position Paper on the RH Bill

reasons. First, since matters of sex raise issues of morality, the provision contravenes the State’s principle that “the natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth . . . for the development of moral character shall receive the support of the State.” (Constitution, art. II, sec. 12). The RH Bills would snatch from parents their sacred right and duty to teach morality and sexuality to their growing children within the privacy of their home and in accordance with their religious beliefs. Yet, the RH Bills would declare as a policy that “the State recognizes and guarantees the exercise of the universal basic human right to reproductive health

that children as young as 10 years old have the discernment and emotional/psychological maturity to handle properly the delicate topic of sex and its ramifications. Under Republic Act No. 9344, otherwise known as the “Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006”, a child 15 years of age or under at the time of the commission of the offense is exempt from criminal liability, because the law assumes that the child could not act with discernment. Without the ability to discern, how could students 15 years old and below be expected to process correctly and responsibly such a complicated topic as sex? Fourth, Section 13 of HB 96—to the extent that it forces families

of contraceptives and against natural family planning methods, in wanton disregard of the equal protection clause. Worse, the prohibitions ignore Constitutionally-protected personal and property rights. One example is Section 22(a) (1) of HB 96 (with equivalent provisions in the other HBs), which penalizes any health care provider who “knowingly withhold information or restrict the dissemination thereof, and/or intentionally provide incorrect information regarding the programs and services on reproductive health, including the right to informed choice and access to a full range of legal, medically-safe and effective family planning methods” (Sec.

disunity in the family, at the expense of the Constitutional principle recognizing “the Filipino family as the foundation of the nation” and directing the State to “strengthen its solidarity and actively promote its total development.” (See art. XV, sec. 1 of the Constitution). Section 22(a)(3) of HB 96 is defective because it would force the health care provider to extend health care services to a beneficiary even if it would not be medically safe for the latter. For stifling dissent and legislating prior restraint, Section 22(f) violates free speech and religious freedom. The provision would penalize any person who maliciously engages in disinformation about the intent or

By Rev. Fr. Romy Odchigue Ponte

Ang nagsasabi na walang ABORTION sa RH Bill ay hindi lamang BAD FILIPINOS, they are also LIARS!
na sinadyang alisin ang salitang ABORTION sa orihinal na definition at gumawa ng EUPHEMISM na linguahe para takpan ang mabigat na salitang ABORTION ngunit abortion din ang patutungohan. Ganito ang lumabas sa RH Bill: “Reproductive Health Rights refer to the rights of couples, individuals and women to decide freely and responsibly whether or not to have children; to determine the number, spacing and timing of their children; to make decisions concerning reproduction free of discrimination, coercion and violence; to have relevant information; and to attain the highest condition of sexual and reproductive health.” Kung suriin nating mabuti ang mga katagang: “the right to legal or safe abortion,” sa orihinal ay pinalitan ng salitang: “rights of couples, individuals and women to decide freely and responsibly whether or not to have children.” “To decide freely and responsibly whether or not to have children” ay mapaglinlang na salita upang iwasang sabihing direkta ang Abortion. Sa katagang ito pinababayaan sa mga babae ang desisyon kung gusto niyang isilang ang bata o hindi. Kung hindi niya gusto na isilang ang bata, Abortion nga ang mangyayari. Itong deceitful na Euphemism na ginamit upang itago sa madla ang tunay na kulay at hugis ng Abortion ay isang paraan na DESPERADO. Gaano po ba ka desperado ang mga proponents nitong RHB upang maipasa ito? Bakit kelangan pa ninyong bihisan ng magandang damit ang ABORTION para lamang maisabatas ang RH Bill? Gayahin ninyo ang dating First Lady ng US Hillary Clinton na prangka at transparent nang sabihin niya na: “reproductive health includes contraception and family planning and access to legal, safe abortion.” At nais kong paalalahanan ang mga mambabatas at sinumang nag imbento nito, na walang “Safe Abortion.” Wala pong Ligtas na ABORTION. Wala pong Ligtas na PAGPATAY. Wala pong ligtas na MURDER. Ang pagpatay ay pagpatay at ang murder ay murder. Tun g k ol n a m a n s a k a t a g a n g REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH. Ang sinabi ng reproductive-health-journal. com tungkol sa katagang ito ay: “(it is) a state of physical, mental, and social well-being in all matters relating to the reproductive system, at all stages of life. Good reproductive health implies that people are able to have a satisfying and safe sex life, the capability to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when, and how often to do so.” Mag-ingat tayo dito sa sinabing “SATISFYING AND SAFE SEX LIFE” sapagkat mapanganib ito. This will lead to INFIDELITY. Ang dapat dito ay “LOVING, MEANINGFUL, FAITHFUL RELATIONSHIP.” Ayon sa aking pagsasaliksik, you can never satisfy sex. It is insatiable. You can make love with various men and women and end up unsatisfied. Ganyan palagay ko ang nangyayari sa madalas na pagdidiborsiyo at sa mga palihim na nagwa-wife-swapping (sa ibang bansa.).” God forbid na mangyari ito sa Pilipinas. Ako po’y humahanga kay US State Secretary Hillary Clinton sapagkat siya ay candidly frank, transparent at hindi nagsisinungaling sa kanyang paliwanag sa REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH nang sabihin niya: “And if we’re talking about maternal health, you cannot have maternal health without reproductive health. And reproductive health includes contraception and family planning and access to legal, safe abortion.” Kita mo? Pag binanggit mo ang Reproductive Health, abortion nga ang isinusulong dito. At least, ang dating First Lady ng US ay hindi gumamit ng taktikang palihim sa kaalaman ng mga tao. Hindi siya nagsisinungaling. At hindi siya nagkukunwari na WALANG ABORTION DITO. Hayagan niyang inamin na kelangan talaga ang abortion to reduce the population, among other reasons. Dinagdagan pa ni Clinton ang kanyang paliwanag: “I believe in the freedom of women to make their own decisions about the most personal and significant matters affecting their lives.... I also believe that abortion should be safe, legal and rare and that the government should do much more to support women so that the right guaranteed in our constitution is exercised in rare circumstances.” Pero sa uulitin, gusto kong i-correct ang dating First Lady ng US sa sinabi niyang “Safe Abortion.” Wala pong Ligtas na ABORTION. Wala pong Ligtas na PAGPATAY. Wala pong ligtas na MURDER. Ang ABORTION, PAGPATAY, MURDER ay pareparehong mapanganib, hindi makatao, hindi ligtas at hindi maka-Diyos. Kaya pag sasabihin mong “AYAW MO NG ABORTION” pero deklarado mong paninindigan na dapat maging batas at maipasa ang Reproductive Health Bill or HOUSE BILL 4244, tatlo ang ibig sabihin nito: Kulang ka sa pagsasaliksik, gusto mong traydorin ang bansang Pilipino o ikaw ay desperadong maipasa ang RHB at all human costs. Tungkol sa ilang mga Katoliko at Christian Sects or denominations na deklaradong sumusuporta sa RH Bill, dagdagan pa po ninyo and mga pag-aaral at pagsasaliksik tungkol sa panukalang batas na ito. Sana’y magbabago pa kayo at magbabalikloob sa Diyos ng Katotohan at ng Buhay. Sana’y huwag nating pagtaksilan muli si Hesus na namatay at muling nabuhay upang magkaroon tayo ng buhay. Tayo’y magtutulungang magdadasal na ang ating mga halal na mga mambabatas at mga leaders ng lipunan ay huwag magpadaig sa mapanuksong alok ng materyal na kayamanan, kapangyarihan at kapalaluan. Huwag na sanang pamarisan si Judas Iscariote na palihim na pinagtaksilan si Kristo Hesus dahil lamang sa halagang 30 pirasong pilak. Nawa’y maunawaan ng mga leaders natin na kung mahalaga man ang KAYAMANANG PERA (Financial Resources) mas LALONG HIGIT NA MAHALAGA ANG KAYAMANANG TAO (Human Resources). Kung pinarami natin ang pera (Financial Resources) at pinatay natin ang tao (Human Resources) dahil sa pagsasabatas ng RH Bill, “AANHIN NGAYON NATIN ANG DAMO KUNG WALA NA ANG KABAYO?” Tingnan mo ang lesson ng Japan. Marami nga silang pera. Pero 40% ngayon ng kanilang population ay mga matatanda dahil sa mahabang panahon ay pinagpapatay nila ang mga bata sa ABORTION. Huwag nating patayin ang tao (ABORTION) dahil lamang sa pera. Bagkos ang tao at pamilya ay ating paunlarin, bigyan ng trabaho at alagaan. Ang RH Bill ay disenyo ng kamatayan. Hindi tunay na pag-unlad ang pagpaparami ng pera, pagpapatuloy ng katiwalian at pagkikitil sa buhay ng tao. Tuluyan nang puksain, durugin at ibaon sa kanyang hukay ang Reproductive Health Bill. Tuluyan na itong ibasura at sunugin at huwag nang hayaang lumitaw uli sa ating paningin.

ANG mga gumawa ng panukalang batas na Reproductive Health Bill (RHB), na tinatawag din na House Bill No. 4244 (the proposed Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population and Development Act of 2011) at mga sumusuporta nito na nagsasabi na hindi tinutulak dito ang ABORTION ay hindi lamang mga MASAMANG PILIPINO kundi sila’y SINUNGALING, TRAYDOR at DESPERADO. Unang una dapat malaman ng bawat Pilipino na ang bumuo ng panukalang batas na ito ay nanghiram lamang ng dayuhang mga kataga at terminolohiya na tinatawag na “REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH” na malaki ang kaugnayan sa “REPRODUCTIVE (HEALTH) RIGHTS”. Hindi ito sariling imbensyon ni House Minority Leader Edcel Lagman, ang principal author ng House Bill No. 4244 at mga kasamang sumulat ng nasabing panukala. Uunahin ko ang tungkol sa international na katagang REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS na ginawang REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH RIGHTS ng gumawa ng RHB 4244. Ang orihinal at kumpletong definition nito ayon sa Wikipedia.org ay: “Reproductive rights may include some or all of the following: the right to legal or safe abortion, the right to birth control, the right to access quality reproductive healthcare, and the right to education and access in order to make reproductive choices free from coercion, discrimination, and violence.” Sa Definition of Terms sa RHB 4244, may katusohan ang ginawa ng mga mambabatas sa kanilang definition sa REPRODUCTIVE (HEALTH) RIGHTS

© Roy Lagarde / CBCPMedia


Blessed John Paul II and his legacy to the Pontificio Collegio Filippino
Filipino Capuchins celebrate roots
By Fr. Rolly O. Briones, OFMCap
THE Kapatirang Capuchino ng Pilipinas will culminate the year-long observance of its 25th anniversary of foundation in the country in solemn festivities on Saturday, May 21, 2011. Centered on the theme “Nag-aalad na Capuchino Samasamang humayo sa Beinte-singko”, the half-day celebration will begin with a solemn procession from the Sta. Teresita del Nino Jesus Parish at Kanlaon St., Sta. Mesa Heights to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes. A video presentation of the Capuchin history in the Philippines will be shown at 10:00 a.m. followed by a Solemn Eucharistic Celebration at 11:00 a.m. with His Eminence Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales as main presider and Diocesan of Ilagan (Isabela) Bishop Joseph A. Nacua as homilist. Brief History The Capuchin Franciscans, a religious order that has produced an army of saints including the famous Padre Pio, is celebrating 25 years in the Philippines as a Province. But their roots in the country stretch much farther into the past, with color and drama that kept in step with the history of the people it faithfully and bravely ministered. The first Capuchins arrived in the archipelago in 1886 amid the intensity of the Philippine Revolution. Actually, they were missionaries to the Caroline Islands who intended to make the country simply as a supply base. But because they came when other missionaries were already leaving because of the socio-political unrest, these hooded and bearded Capuchins, carrying only the Cross of Christ and by their attitudes, works, and charity, answered the needs of the Church and became instruments in preserving the faith that was being threatened by anti-clericalism and insurgent nationalist fervor. True to their charism to serve where others refuse to serve, the Capuchin Franciscans eventually took up some abandoned parishes in Bicol, Batangas, Pangasinan and Quezon and helped nurture the one, true faith back to life. By 1957, the Philippines became a “Custody” or community under the Navarra Province of Spain and embarked on a new mission: to open their doors to get home-grown vocations. It was at this time that a seminary was built to cater to Filipino Capuchin aspirants. From humble beginnings at the ground floor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Tagaytay City, the Our Lady of Lourdes Seminary was erected in Lipa City in 1969 to welcome and form the increasing number of young men from all over the Philippines who wished to follow St. Francis along the Capuchin way. And by June 17, 1970, the Philippines had become a Vice-Province. Like the Proverbial Mustard Seed The Order continued to grow roots and bear fruit in the Philippines, establishing more friaries in Manila, Baguio, Cavite, Laguna, and Batangas. Finally, on April 23, 1985, the “Kapatirang Capuchino ng Pilipinas” or the Philippine Province of the Order of Capuchin Friars Minor was established in the presence of then-Minister General Fr. Flavio Carraro, OFMCap and the Provincial Minister of Navarra, Fr. Eleuterio Ruiz, OFMCap. Fr. Troadio delos Santos, OFMCap became the first Filipino Capuchin Provincial Minister. And until today, two Spanish Capuchin missionaries continue to faithfully serve the Philippines which they come to consider home: Fr. Manuel Remirez, OFMCap. and Fr. Mateo Goldaraz, OFMCap. In the words of Fr. Ruiz, the establishment of the Philippine Province is without a doubt a historical date: a dream target for those who, assigned there by obedience, have dedicated an important part of their lives to serve and cooperate in the evangelization of the young Filipino Church then. In a prodigious coincidence, 1986 not only marked the EDSA Revolt but the Centenary of Capuchin Presence in the Philippines. Twenty-five years later, the Philippine Capuchin Province has further spread into Mindanao with five friaries, two of which are mission posts among B’laan and Manobo communities. It also holds under its maternal wings the Custody of Malaysia, as well as consistently sending out missionaries to the Middle East, New Zealand, Spain, and the United States. Indeed, this Silver Jubilee Year of the Kapatirang Capuchino ng Pilipinas is a celebration of thanksgiving and praise to the Lord who continuously guides the Province in its commitment to evangelize the country and the rest of the world. Their growth in apostolate and mission areas and in number is a sign of God’s love and protection. In his message during the opening of the year-long Silver Anniversary Celebration of the Philippine Capuchin Province last April 23, 2010, the current Provincial Minister, Fr. Cesar Acuin, OFMCap reiterated that the twenty-five year journey of the Province is a realization of their being evangelizers and agents of renewal, of their being missionaries, and of their Gospel brotherhood molded into the matrix of the Filipino culture. The Philippine Capuchin Province has indeed inculturated the Gospel and the Capuchin charism within the Filipino soul. As it culminates the Jubilee year this May 21, 2011, the Philippine Province eagerly looks forward to the next twentyfive years as they continue their commitment to the works of evangelization, in a humble service to the people especially to the underprivileged members of the society. (With reports from Melo M. Acuña)


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 15 No. 10
May 9 - 22, 2011

By Fr. Garret Alfonso U. Ulanimo

The Beatification It was a cold, cloudy and a bit windy early morning of May 1, 2011. The most anticipated event in the history of the Church in modern times―the Beatification of John Paul II―was about to happen. Together with the members of the Philippine hierarchy led by Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales and Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, Archbishop Paciano Aniceto, Archbishop Carmelo Morelos, Archbishop Fernando Capalla, Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, Bishop Benjamin Almoneda, Bishop Antonio Tobias, the priests and the entire staff of Collegio Filippino will forever cherish the momentous occasion of being witnesses to the beatification ceremony of the best-loved pope in modern Church history. There is no doubt the same feeling is shared by all Filipinos especially by those who had the opportunity to live in Rome during the pontificate of John Paul II until the time he left the world and joined the Father in April 2, 2005. John Paul II´s life, words and works testify to his sanctity and charisma in touching the lives of so many people. The Filipinos in Rome will always remember his love and prayers for them. The roads leading to Saint Peter´s Square were already occupied by thousands of pilgrims both coming from the vigil at Circo Massimo the previous evening and from other places. Some were just seated

people were moved to tears as they witnessed the declaration of Pope Benedict XVI announcing to all that after 5 years since his death, John Paul II is now a BLESSED. Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, who was cured by Blessed John Paul II of Parkinson´s disease, accompanied by Sr. Tobiana, a nun who served the Pope, brought a relic of John Paul II near the altar for the veneration

“Totus tuus” (“I am all yours O Mary”) to demonstrate how he dedicated his papacy to Our Lady. The Collegio Filippino Community also entrusts itself to the protection and care of Our Lady. JP II and the Filipino Family At a press conference during the launching of the PCF media office on May 2, His Eminence Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales,

with Blessed John Paul II. “He is truly a saint even then...” they agreed. “It was such a privilege celebrating the Holy Mass with him and greeting him personally.” Former Senator Francisco Tatad was also present to deliver his message from the perspective of the lay faithful. “Holiness, like how John Paul II lived his life, is open for everybody and to become a saint, in our own unique way, is a calling for everybody,” he said. Inspired by the pope’s example The priests staying in PCF who were sent by their bishops for further studies are inspired by Blessed John Paul II to persevere in their studies and most especially in holiness. John Paul II has visited Collegio Filippino in 1986. His visit to PCF left a mark in the hearts of priests who were in Rome to pursue specialization in various fields like Scriptures, Biblical Theology, Philosophy, Social Communications, Canon Law, Spirituality, Ecumenism, and Islamic Studies so that they would become more equipped to help in the collaborative work of evangelization and universal call to holiness upon their return to their respective dioceses. The Beatification of John Paul II highlighted also this year´s 50th Anniversary of the Pontificio Collegio Filippino (1961―Oct. 7, 2011). Indeed this is a year of grace, a year of favor for PCF and for the whole Philippines. This is a moment in history never to be missed.


The Pontificio Collegio Filippino led by Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales (left) and PCF Rector Fr. Gregory Gaston (extreme right) held a press conference, May 2, at the launching of their media office in Rome attended by the local media that covered the May 1 beatification of Pope John Paul II.

on the road, others, were still pushing their way to get closer to the altar but to no avail. However, several large television screens were put up to compensate the visibility problem of most of those who attended. They were placed in key areas near and around St. Peter´s Square. Police estimated the attendance to reach 1.5 million attesting to the great impact of John Paul II had on every soul. And as the veil was lifted up to reveal the image of John Paul II, the sun rose to its peak with a clear blue sky in the horizon, the Sistine Chapel Choir accompanied the moment with a heavenly chorus and all the

of the faithful. The relic was a small ampoule of blood placed in a precious reliquary. JP II and Our Lady In the afternoon of May 1, Collegio Filippino celebrated the feast day of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage. It was presided by His Eminence Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales with the presence of other bishops, priests, religious and lay faithful. There were about 700 people who participated, coming from the beatification. The Filipinos have a special place in the heart of John Paul II because of their common affection for Our Lady. The blessed Pope took the motto;

Most Rev. Benjamin Almoneda, Fr. Vicente Cajilig, OP and Fr. Greg Gaston told the media some important messages in relation to the beatification of John Paul II. Cardinal Rosales emphasized the value and dignity of the family. “As the smallest unit of society, the family needs to be formed and protected from immorality and vices including all threats to life and marriage,” he said. John Paul II stressed in his encyclicals, like the Evangelium Vitae, the promotion of the dignity of life. Bishop Almoneda, Fr. Cajilig and Fr. Gaston recounted the memorable encounter they had

Media office launched On May 2, 2011 at 4:30 p.m. the Pontificio Collegio Filippino launched its Media Office, in a press conference attended by TV5, ABS CBN and GMA networks. Ambassador Mercedes Tuazon, and several lay faithful were also present during the said press conference. The launching of a media office was a response to the increasing demand for news gathering between the events hap pening here in Rome (especially with regards to the Filipino overseas workers) and the Media Office of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

Michael Perreau visits Cardinal Rosales, discusses ways to work for poor
By Rene Aguila
MR. Michael Perreau, General Secretary of the United Bible Societies, was received in an audience by His Eminence Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, Archbishop of Manila, on Holy Monday, 18 April. He was joined by Mrs. Nora Lucero, General Secretary of the Philippine Bible Society, Dr. Medarlo Rivera, former PBS General Secretary, Mrs. Juliet Rivera, Resource Development Manager, and other members of the PBS staff. During the audience, Mr. Perreau noted the United Bible Societies’ support for the May They Be One Bible Campaign, a PBS project developed in cooperation with the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines. Mrs. Lucero updated Cardinal Rosales on the May They Be One Bible Campaign and thanked the Cardinal for his support. Mrs. Lucero and Mr. Perreau presented the Archbishop with two gifts. Noting the Cardinal’s concerns for the poor and for social justice, they presented The Poverty and Justice Bible, an edition of the Contemporary English Bible from the British and Foreign Bible Society highlighting scriptural references to poverty and justice. The Cardinal also received the Proclaimer™, a device used under the Faith Comes By Hearing audio Bible program, and was treated to a demonstration using John 1 in Tagalog. During the meeting, the Cardinal and Mr. Perreau spoke about the involvement of Cardinal Rosales’s colleagues in the College of Cardinals in the work of UBS and especially about projects and programs to improve the lives of the poor. The Cardinal also discussed how particular communities in the Archdiocese, especially the BASECO area, could possibly benefit from the MTBO Bible Campaign. Mr. Perreau ended by commending the Cardinal for his care for the poor, and the two agreed, along with the PBS contingent, to explore ways by which the UBS, the PBS, and the Archdiocese could continue to cooperate in that regard. The audience was part of Michael Perreau’s four-day visit to Manila, his first as the UBS General Secretary. He assumed the position in November 2010 following the UBS Global Assembly in Seoul, South Korea. During the visit, he also addressed the members of the Philippine Bible Society at their 46th Annual Membership Meeting, preached at Cosmopolitan Church, and gave an interview to the CBCP News Online group (available at http://cbcponlineradio.com/?p=3112). Mr. Perreau also gave an inspirational message at the Friends of the Bible dinner held later that day. The gathering brought together friends and key supporters of the May They Be One Bible Campaign.

Photo courtesy of PCF

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 15 No. 10
May 9 - 22, 2011

Today, Atty. Oliver Lozano and the Marcos family shamelessly insult the intelligence of the Filipino people by still claiming that Ferdinand Marcos had no hand in these violations of human rights; that he was not guilty. This lack of remorse is appalling. The 216 Congress Representatives do not speak for us when they agreed to bury Marcos in the “Libingan ng mga Bayani.” Rather, we follow the example of Pope John Paul II, who will be beatified on May 1, 2011. After he recovered from a gunshot wound, he visited the convicted assassin in jail. He forgave him. And, he also told him that he had to serve in full his jail sentence. We can forgive Marcos. And, he also has to serve in full the sentence for his crime, namely—HE CAN NOT EVER BE BURIED IN THE “LIBINGAN NG MGA BAYANI.” EVEN A FORGIVEN CRIMINAL REMAINS A CRIMINAL AND CANNOT BE CONSIDERED A HERO.
© Roy Lagarde / CBCPMedia


An Open Letter to Vice President Binay
Dear Mr. Vice President, Earlier this month, you asked, “…May I seek your personal stand, as well as the official stand of your organization on the issue?”—referring to whether Marcos should be buried in the “Libingan ng mga Bayani.” After prayerful discernment, we express to you the stand of the Visayas Clergy Discerment Group (VCDG), consisting of bishops and clergy in the Visayas. Several of our clergy, religious and lay leaders were summarily detained just before Marcos’ new 1973 Constitution was to be ratified in the so-called “Citizens’ Assemblies.” The new Constitution was another ploy of Marcos to extend his presidential powers under Martial Law. So, anybody who was a potential organizer of opposition to the ratification of the new Constitution was detained, without warrant of arrest, or any specific crime. Several thousands in the whole country were illegally detained. As the opposition to Marcos’ Martial Law escalated, more were detained, summarily executed, or simply made to disappear. Some of the victims were known personally to us, e.g. Fr. Rudy Romano of the Redemptorist Missionaries, Fr. Ed Kangleon of Leyte, Cebu student Levi Ybañez, labor leader Jimmy Badayos, catechists, seminarians, farmers, fisher folk, urban poor, etc.

Let the workers enjoy the fruit of their labor
“Remuneration is the most important means for achieving justice in work relationship.” (No. 302 Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church)

In behalf of the Visayas Clergy Discernment Group, +GERARDO A. ALMINAZA, D.D. Auxiliary Bishop of Jaro Head Convenor Visayas Clergy Discernment Group April 28, 2011

Do we need this RH Bill HB 4244?
By Bishop Broderick S. Pabillo. D.D.
particular cases contraceptives do not treat any medical condition. On the contrary they are used upon perfectly healthy women to restrict a natural THE Philippine Constitution states: function. The government cannot even procure “The State recognizes the sanctity of family life real basic medicines as paracetamols, antibiotics and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic and other basic medicines, and we will stretch out autonomous social institution. It shall protect the our meager resources to buy commodities that can life of the mother and the life of the unborn from be done away with, with enough information and conception. The natural and primary right and responsible self-control. By labeling these agents as duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic essential medicines, the bill promotes inaccuracy. efficiency and the development of moral character They place matters within the province of choice shall receive the support of the government”. (Sec alongside those which are largely outside of it. That 12, Art II) is to say, healthy people can choose whether to use “The State shall defend the right of spouses to contraceptives or not, unhealthy peoples’ choices found a family in accordance with their religious are seriously limited and their need for genuinely convictions and the demands of responsible essential medicines is realistic and warranted. parenthood”. (Sec 3(1) Art XV) 8. The money to be spent to provide for this The State shall defend “the right of families or “essential medicine” will be taxpayers’ money. family associations to participate in the planning Most of the taxpayers are Catholics in this country and implementation of policies and programs that and their money will be spent on something that affect them.” (Sec 3 Art XV) they believe to be wrong and immoral. (Will you 1. Due commendation is to be given to the authors allow your money to be used to buy condoms and of the bill 4244 when they made several amendments pills to be given to the people?) Let the people to it on March 15, 2011. The amendments take away who believe in the good of these devices provide some of its objectionable features. The amendments them freely to others. No one is hindering them are: from doing it. They have freedom of choice. These a. The wording on Sec 13 asking the barangay devices are already available in the market in the health workers and volunteers to “be capacitated first place. If the government wants to help the poor to give priority to family let it give them the basic planning work” was For the authors of this bill, reproductive health is an necessities: light, water, changed. The phrase issue of population and not of health. But why should it truly basic medicine, “give priority to family free hospitalization, be? Is population a disease? planning work” is basic education, and deleted. Barangay health workers are not there to brings the message: any sexual activity is alright, the like. prioritize reproductive health. There are so many just prevent its undesirable consequences, which are 9. The basic presupposition of this bill is that health issues to be addressed, and very grave and sexuality transmitted diseases and pregnancy! the number of children and consequently the basic ones too, in our barangays. 5. There is no mention of the value of life of the number of population is a hindrance to sustainable b. In Sec 15 the Mobile Health Care Service unborn, the value of family, and the value of the development. This has already been debunked by that each congressional district are mandated to sexual act. However, by promoting contraception many studies. This fallacy is so prevailing that great have will no longer be funded from the Priority devices a value is being subtly put forward without responsibility to execute this bill, if it becomes a Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), popularly even mentioning it: one can engage in sex as long as law, is given to the Commission on Population known as the Pork Barrel, but instead “the one does not get unwanted pregnancy or one does not both in the LGU and the national level. For the procurement and operation of which shall be get sick. In truth if one does not want to get unwanted authors of this bill, reproductive health is an issue funded by the National Government”. This may pregnant and sexual disease the solution that is and of population and not of health. All the talks about be a way to get the support of some congress men without cost and complication is to abstain from any “reproduction” and “health” are misnomers or may and women who do not want their Pork Barrel to inappropriate sexual behavior. But proper sexual even be an intent to deceive. Yes, it is true that the be reduced. This is more of a political ploy. values are not promoted. There is even no mention of PopCom is under DOH, but why should it be? Is c. The controversial Sec 16 which deals with sex abstinence and fidelity in marriage in the bill. population a disease? education titled: “Mandatory age-appropriate 6. There are many provisions that say that devices, 10. It is known in the medical field that the reproductive health and sexuality education” has commodities, and supplies are to be promoted, made artificial planning devices that are in use are not been diluted with the addition of another paragraph available and provided. This already shows the bias 100% sure both in protecting oneself from STI and which reads: “Parents shall exercise the option of towards artificial family planning methods which “protecting” oneself from pregnancy. This makes not allowing their minor children to attend classes would have need of these supplies. Money is to be the idea of “protection” dangerous. With the pertaining to reproductive health and sexuality given for these supplies and commodities to make confidence given by this “protection” as advertised education.” This may be a concession but how many them available while no mention of money to be spent by the proponents, people will engage more, and not parents will exercise this option, and whether their on teaching people, which natural planning methods less, in inappropriate sexual activities. With more option will be respected in our public schools. require. The mention of the natural family planning frequent sexual activities the effectivity of their d. Sec 20 on the “Ideal Family Size” has been is just a palliative in the bill with no real intention of “protection” lowers down. They put themselves totally deleted, and rightly so. While this section promoting it. Instead there is great intent to promote all the more at risk. recognized the rights of parents on how many the “devices”. 11. The artificial devices also have medical sidechildren they may have, still it is suggested that 7. Sec. 10 titled “Family Planning Supplies as effects and are shown to lead to certain diseases, two children is the ideal. A law, if it is a law, is Essential Medicines” is totally unacceptable! such as cancer, high blood and cardiovascular mandatory and not exhortatory. Medicines are for the sick. What sickness do “Family diseases. Naturally so! One is putting something e. Sec 21 on “Employers’ Responsibilities” has Planning Supplies” cure? These supplies are surely in the body that should not be there! There is RH Bill / B7 been entirely deleted on the reason that “this contraceptive pills, IUDs and condoms. Except in provision is a restatement and amplification of the existing Art 134 of the Labor Code.” f. Another contentious section is on the Prohibited Acts, Sec 28 (e). One of the prohibited acts is “any person who maliciously engages in the disinformation about the intent and provisions of this act.” This infringes on the freedom of expression. This part is deleted. 2. With these amendments, can we say that the bill 4244 is now acceptable? I say no! The some basic objectionable elements are still there. 3. Reproductive Health is now seen by its international promoters as including the control of population, the provision of abortion, the promotion of contraception (including agents and methods known to be abortifacient), promotion of a particular form of sexuality education, and the promotion of an ethic with regard to sexuality that separates it from life and self-giving love. Though the present bill says that it does not promote abortion yet it cannot detached itself from the ideology espoused by the language of reproductive health. The elements of the reproductive health ideology are in the present bill. 4. There is no mention of the sexual act. Mention is made of pregnancies and HIV and STI, which are results of sexual actions. The bill wants to prevent the results but do not attack the root. Results are to be controlled but not the sexual actions. In a way it

THE Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR) salutes the Filipino workers and those of the world as we commemorate the victory of their struggle on the 1st of May. The handiwork and sacrifices of the working class are omnipresent in every aspect of our private, corporate, collective and communal life. In spite of their labor and hard work in building our nation they are suffering in abject poverty due to low wages, inhumane working conditions, job insecurities and other exploitative scheme. They were not also spared from oppressive measures that disallow them to practice their basic human rights. The last Social Weather Station survey reveals that 51% of Filipinos consider themselves become poorer despite the installation of the new government. Likewise, Ibon foundation estimates 64M people living with less than P104/ day. Our workers and their family cannot cope up in the skyrocketing prices of oil, basic goods and services. The minimum wage of P404 is far from the needed P983 set by NCSB as the family living wage. This only sends more Filipinos to inhumane situation. On the contrary, the government’s claim of increase in GDP by 7.3% last year seems to benefit not the working class but the foreign and local big business. These are evident with the inclusion of some richest Filipino in the latest Forbes Magazine report. Furthermore, the reported 32.2 billions of pesos income of three big oil companies display the large income gap between minimum wage earner and big corporations. The Aquino government’s response through its so-called “Pantawid” program to the increasing poverty cases will not solve the perennial problem. While he promised that he would uplift the living condition of the people, he could not assure the workers with any increase in the minimum wage. Worst, Malacañang spokespersons are threatening the public of the so-called negative implication of wage increase. Furthermore, many workers are victims of different exploitative scheme like contractualization and labor-export policy that ruin their security for living. We believe that the workers have all the right to enjoy the fruit of their labor especially in these days of crisis. We are fully supporting the call for a nationwide increase in the minimum wage with P125 across the board for private entity and P6000 for public offices. We would like also to register our strong condemnation on the continuing violations of workers’ rights for job security and the right to association. The dignity of labor must be protected and defended. We believe that the injustices being suffered by the workers contradict the will of God for an abundant life for all. As we observe the Labor Day, the PCPR as a community of faith, renews its commitment to work with our poor brothers and sisters in their struggle for justice and freedom. MR. NARDY SABINO General Secretary PCPR


to Section 3 is the provision on sex education (Section 13 in most RH Bills), which would compel parents and their children to comply with mandatory sex education. 2. The RH Bills purportedly aim to protect the rights of adolescents and children (see Section 3(b)). However, they would expose these hapless individuals to the complications of sex through mandatory sex education, and would even allow them to decide for themselves whether or not to ask for and accept any form of reproductive health services, despite scientific findings that children 15 years old and below are without adequate discernment. CFC-FFL respectfully submits that the duty

to protect these youth includes the obligation to protect them against themselves. 3. Section 3(c) concedes that “human resource is a principal asset of the country”. Yet, practically all the provisions of the RH Bills seek to stunt the growth of this valuable resource through a well-orchestrated and funded promotion of contraceptives and other forms of artificial family planning. 4. In Section 3(e), the RH Bills proclaim that “the State shall promote, without bias, all modern natural and artificial methods of family planning”. But considering that practically all of the important provisions relate to the promotion, implementation and funding of artificial family

planning, e.g., Section 9 (“Family Planning Supplies as Essential Medicines”), Section 10 (“Procurement and Distribution of Family Planning Supplies”), Section 12 (“Mobile Health Care Services”), Section 13 (“Mandatory Age-Appropriate Reproductive Health and Sexuality Education”), Section 16 (“Capability Building of Barangay Health Workers”), Section 18 (“Employers’ Responsibilities”), Section 19 (“Multi-Media Campaign”), Section 20 (“Implementing Mechanisms”), Section 21 (“Reporting Requirements”), Section 22 (“Prohibited Acts”), Section 23 (“Penalties”), and Section 24 (“Appropriations”), there is hardly any doubt that

the RH Bills are tilted heavily towards contraceptives and other forms of reproductive health services. 5. The RH Bills claim that these are not changing the law against abortion (Section 3(i)), but the fact that these would allow the use of contraceptives that prevent implantation of the fertilized ovum negates such gratuitous claim. 6. Section 3(l) admits that the State has “limited resources”, and that the same cannot be “suffered to be spread thinly”. If so, why then would the RH Bills appropriate scarce resources for the propagation of contraceptives (see Sections 9, 10 et seq. of HB 96), instead of channeling these resources to the containment of killer diseases?

No Compelling Need for the RH Bills At this day and age, contraceptives and other kinds of artificial family planning are readily available in the market. Condoms and birth-control pills can be purchased over the counter or through third parties, invariably without need of medical prescription. There are even herbal concoctions sold in the corners of Manila, and unscrupulous practices of “mang-hihilot,” that produce the same effect. Truth be told, there is no cogent need for the RH Bills. If they become law, the RH Bills will do nothing more than force or condition the mind of people to use contraceptives and other

forms of reproductive health services—this, at the expense of the fundamental rights of the people. With the liberties of the citizenry trampled, and the national coffers poorer–only the manufacturers and distributors of these artificial family planning devices and services—and others with their own hidden agenda— stand to benefit from the passage of the RH Bills. For the foregoing reasons, CFC-FFL humbly asks that the RH Bills be recalled, withdrawn, or rejected by the Honorable House of Representatives. COUPLES FOR CHRIST FOUNDATION FOR FAMILY AND LIFE (CFC-FFL) March 14, 2011


Ref lections
4th Sunday of Easter – Year A (John 10:1-10) May 15, 2011
teaching that Jesus fulfills God’s promise that he will send a shepherd after the figure of David. As the true shepherd of Israel, Jesus lays down his life for his people, unlike a thief who seeks their death. Rather than taking advantage of them, he willingly sacrifices his life for them. He takes so much care of them that he knows each by name: “The sheep hear his voice and he calls his own by name, and he leads them out” (John 10:3). But if he is intimately close to his flock, if he wholeheartedly gives up his life for his people, it is because all he wants is to give them life, life in abundance: “I came that they might have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). By life John, of course, means the life that a disciple shares with God, which implies love and unity that prevail in the community of disciples. It is divine life shared among community members. That is what leadership is all about. It is not about having more (in terms of wealth, power and prestige), but about giving up. This what biblical language describes as good shepherding. Shepherding applies not only in the Church but also in the secular world—in business and economy, culture and politics. What this means in politics, in the present circumstances, the Bishops of the Philippines put it this way: “We need a President whom the people can look up to, who can inspire confidence and motivate them to unite and conspire towards the common good. Leadership is not the same as popularity or prowess in oratory. Neither is it the capacity to manipulate people towards self-serving ends. Leadership is rather a way of serving that draws people together and draws the best from them so that they dare to forge a better future despite all obstacles” (CBCP, Pastoral Exhortation on the 1998 Elections). In business, to shepherd could, for instance, mean “to attract, retain, and motivate individuals—recognizing their intrinsic differences and lifestyles—and to assist and make possible in every way the achievement of their personal objectives in the accomplishment of our corporate goals.” sick, the poor and the oppressed; they ruled them harshly and cruelly; and instead of uniting them, they scattered them. If the people suffered in their exile in Babylon, it was the fault of the political and religious leaders who never concerned themselves with the welfare of the people. They were only after their own interest which they identified with the interest of the nation (Ezek 34:1-6). Himself a prophet, Jesus followed the prophetic tradition. According to John, the leaders misgoverned the nation, as evidenced by the way they treated the man born blind (John 9:1-42). They themselves were blind to the needs of the poor and the disadvantaged, because they chose to see only their advantages and privileges. The fact that John tells us the parable of the good shepherd (John 10:1-6) immediately after the story of the man born blind indicates that, for him, these leaders were blind guides because they failed to recognize God’s work in Jesus who cares for people, even as he cared for the man born blind. Not surprisingly, in today’s Gospel, Jesus carries on the prophetic critique against the political and religious leaders of his time. For him, these leaders of Israel had no claim to real leadership. He calls them thieves and bandits: “Whoever does not enter the sheepfold through the gate but climbs in some other way is a thief and a marauder” (John 10:2). Here it is most likely that Jesus has in mind the Sadducees and the Pharisees, and is probably comparing them with the high priests, the religio-political leaders, at the time of the Maccabees. Of course, the Sadducees controlled the Temple complex, and it is curious as well as instructive that in Mark’s Gospel, Jesus refers to the Temple as a den of thieves (Mark 11:17-18). One wonders whether in Mark, the thieves have reference to the priestly aristocracy that dominated it. There is something positive, of course, in today’s Gospel. In sharp contrast with them, Jesus presents himself as the shepherd of the sheep (John 10:2b). In depicting Jesus under the image of a shepherd, it is most likely that John is

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 15 No. 10
May 9 - 22, 2011

What leadership is really all about
By Msgr. Lope C. Robredillo, SThD
IN a collection of essays assessing the Estrada years entitled, Between Fires, edited by Amado Doronila, Katrina Constantino-David, in “Surviving Erap,” said of Erap’s leadership: “There was no shred of professionalism and decency in his government. Here was a president who did not have any capacity to govern and did not care. Here was an administration where Cabinet members were routinely denied the courtesy of trust and where cronies and relatives treated the state as their own private playground. Here was a government that had squandered all the goodwill and hope that the masses had placed in it. At that moment, I became convinced beyond any doubt that this was an administration I could no longer be part of, and that this was a president who would only bring the entire nation down.” Probably, no one challenged David’s right to criticize Erap’s government. After all, she was an insider, and knew where she spoke. But listen to this: “We stand by the moral conviction,” said the Presbyteral Council of the Archdiocese of Manila, “that [Estrada] has lost the moral ascendancy to govern.” This was said in the last days of the Estrada regime. Some quarters viewed this statement as a form of interference of the Church in what they perceived as an exclusive domain of the State. They thought that Christ never bequeathed to the Church a mission to proclaim a message of such nature. Nothing, of course, could be farther from the truth. The Church has a prophetic function, and in the Old Testament, the prophets could not, on God’s instruction, remain silent in the face of injustice committed against his people. Prophet Ezekiel accused the political and religious leaders of his time of various offenses which have a very contemporary ring: instead of taking care of the people, they took care of themselves; they enriched themselves in office while the people wallowed in poverty; they failed to look after the

Bishop Pat Alo


5th Sunday of Easter – Year A (John 14:1-12) May 22, 2011
By Msgr. Lope C. Robredillo, SThD
ONE of the recurring themes of the late (now Blessed) John Paul II’s visit to Ukraine on June 23-27, 2001 was unity. In his Mass at the hippodrome of Lviv for the beatification of Bp. Josef Bilczewski and Fr. Zygmunt Gorazdowski, he said, for instance: “Let us feel ourselves gently nudged to recognize the infidelities to the Gospel of not a few Christians of both Polish and Ukrainian origin living in these parts. It is time to leave behind the sorrowful past. The Christians of two nations must walk together in the name of one Christ… May the purification of historical memories lead everyone to work for the triumph of what unities over what divides, in order to build together a future of mutual respect, fraternal cooperation and true solidarity.” At the Lviv airport before leaving for Rome, he said that unity “is the secret of peace and the condition for a true and stable social progress.” This means not only that nations should not quarrel, but also that a nation may isolate herself. Like America. As Michael Hirsh puts it in his article “The Death of the Founding Myth” Newsweek (Special Davos Edition), “like it or not—and clearly large numbers of Americans don’t— we Americans are now part of an organic whole with the world that George Washington wanted to keep distant. The international community consists of nations that have different characters but are sinewed together through deeper markets than have ever existed and a historic level consensus on the general shape of societies, politics, human rights and international law.” For a Christian, however, there is a deeper rationale behind human solidarity. There is something that engulfs all of us, draws us together, and to which our earthly pilgrimage leads us. That something is our origin is God, and we will be at peace with ourselves and with others only when we have become united not only with mankind but with God himself. Thus, St Augustine can say that our heart has been made for God, and it will remain restless until it rests on him. Which is why Jesus, in today’s Gospel, speaks of preparing a place for us so that where he is we may also be: “In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places… I am indeed going to prepare a place for you and then I shall come back to take you with me, that where I am you also may be” (John 14:2-3). But how can one dwell in the mansion of God? How can he be united with the Father? Jewish conventional wisdom teaches that it is achieved through the observance of the law: “Who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell in your holy mountain? He who walks blamelessly and does justice” (Ps 15:1-2). Literally of course, the text is about one’s being worthy to enter God’s sanctuary, but the substance is there. Thus Prophet Baruch: “Had you walked in the way of the Lord, you would have dwelt in enduring peace” (Bar 3:13). For a Christian, however, it would not be enough to follow the law. Keeping the law may
Way / B7

Jesus as the Way to the Father

An alarm cry
AN anonymous person wrote me and some other bishops asking if we could do something to help the plight of girls being victimized into prostitution at the big cities here and elsewhere. The complexity of the problem is worsened when the dangers of the HIV AIDS virus are being spread this way (in sexual contacts) plus the other sexually transmitted diseases. One problem is at present there is yet no clear medicine for HIV as this is still being researched scientifically, and expenses too may be mounting. It’s true prostitution is an age-old profession, not because it’s moral or legal, but because of human weakness and sinfulness. The person who wrote me told about some big popular cities being punished by God with various calamities: earthquakes, tsunamis and floods because of syndicates and persons of influence that beguile young girls into forced prostitution, under threats, holding their airline tickets, pressuring them into disreputable ways of livelihood just because of their indigent situation. Some of these prostitution joints are being handled or owned by DOM (dirty old men), from ages 40, 50, 60 and above who come from some big nations of the world around us to indulge in their immoralities. These were his exact words of caution which I quote in part below to make our people aware of such problems, especially for the girls of the third world who may seek employment in the big cities: “As a Christian in America connected with Filipina women groups I wrote your Bishops several years ago on hundreds of young foreign degenerate, ugly old men 50s-60s in the country to sexually target young Filipina whores for money while your Bishops are blind and deaf to this and one day GOD will severely judge your souls for cowardice and negligence. GOD hit Japan with two disasters because it’s a major country where many foreign young women from Asia and Eastern Europe are tricked into Japan by fake jobs and given “free” one-way tickets then outside the airport taken to rented buildings owned by dangerous criminals and subjected to violent threats, beatings and raped over days and those who still refuse get death threats against family members to force them to “cooperate.” From material I’ve seen many are either infected with aids and others become insane and likely murdered and their bodies cremated. As I wrote prostitution brings crime, violence, drugs, corruption, and the deadly aids and still your Bishops do very little but very tough to condemn condom use in Philippine high schools…” This situation is supposedly an open secret that comes out in the news because of the problems encountered by those victimized. It might as well be exposed (Jn. 3:19-20) for the sake of saving young lives and putting a stop to the evils in our midst. If it came as an appeal through an anonymous letter, yet because most know of its existence by some sad news of the victims or many off-hand information we get from people, from the Internet, it’s an open secret and God asks us to be concerned, from the conclusive words of the last judgment of each and everyone of us to determine our very final destiny of either everlasting happiness in Heaven or the eternal punishment in Hell. “What you did for the least of my brothers and sisters, you did it for me.” (see Mt. 25:31-46).

Fr. Francis Ongkingco


A map for God
SONNY was concentrating on drawing while lying on the floor on his tummy. “What are you so busy with?” his dad asked. “’m drawing maps,” he said without interrupting his work. “Maps?” his dad asked. “What for?” “Johnny and I are going to play hide-andseek.” “But you don’t need maps for that,” his dad laughed. “Oh, yes he will.” “Why?” “’coz I told him I will hide so hard. And if he can’t find me, he owes me a gallon of ice-cream.” *** Today, men without knowing it, are actually searching for God. This is shown in their eagerness to be happy, healthy, rich, admired, successful, etc. But all this fall short of what the true inner longings in man’s soul are. Even Augustine realized this when he said: “Our hearts are restless, oh Lord, until they rest in You.” Man’s endless –almost infinite desire to be fulfilled– can only be satisfied by an eternal-infinite good, and this can only be God. But, one may ask, how does one find God? Is there some sort of map to this secure and final port of man’s earthly journey? God who so loved man did not –as the deist believed, and their now modern version in the form of freemasonry—whimsically abandon the world that popped out of his wildest imaginings. Instead, He became so much a part of it: He became a man like us in everything, except our sinfulness. The humanity of Christ—perfect God and perfect man—has become the Way, the Truth and the Life. Christ is our map to God. This Christ-map is so detailed and continues to be enriched and made timely for us by the Church. She is like God’s cartographer. She draws out for us how the map of God’s will is for us and teaches us the means. She Herself, through history, has become this patent map or modern indicator of God’s Plan of Salvation (G.P.S.). In Her we also encounter visible sources of grace: the Sacraments, the liturgy, the numerous gifts initiated by the Holy Spirit, etc. However, as much as we need a map to God, God also needs a map to our hearts. And this is one to ‘help’ Him find us. Isn’t He all-knowing enough to know where we are and how we are? But we are speaking of a terrain where God cannot enter or force Himself without our express permission: that is within our heart. And the door that either opens or closes our heart to God’s love is our freedom. Either we open up this horizon for God to enter, or we lock ourselves within walls built for us by our slavery to our vices, attachments and base tendencies. The element that blocks God from entering is our willful attachment to sin or self-love. This is what hides us from God. In fact, just an amusing thought, one could say that the first game ever invented was ‘hide-and-goseek’. Adam and Eve invented this when they hid from God after sinning. Of course, the next game they thought of was charades: they had to let God guess what they did. In short, they chose to lie to God. Let us, therefore, draw a map of love for God to find us. Let us have a plan of love that would always help us enter the power of His light and mercy. A resolution: to be constant with our daily prayers, reading of the Bible and frequenting the Sacraments, especially the Holy Mass and Confession. *** “But what happens if he doesn’t find you even with your maps?” his father asked. “Well, I left this last note that will tell him exactly where I am,” Sonny said. “Then what’s the fun in hiding?” “’Coz he said that if I help him to find me, then he’ll give me another gallon of ice-cream.”


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 15 No. 10
May 9 - 22, 2011

Social Concerns
mining industry distorts the goal of genuine development. By singlemindedly pursuing the economic benefits or financial gain, it failed to weigh the greater consideration in the equation—the human and ecosystems’ well-being, the human rights of the indigenous peoples and the local communities, the food security and ecological integrity of the country. For the affected communities, large-scale mining does not promote pro-people development but in fact, it poses an imminent threat to their livelihood and the already fragile ecology. It is precisely for this reason that the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines categorically calls for the repeal of the Mining Act of 1995 stating that: We reaffirm our stand for the repeal of the Mining Act of 1995. We believe that the Mining Act destroys life... Our experiences of environmental tragedies and incidents with the mining country. Canadian Mining—for the good or bad? Globalized mining industry and the destructive character of its operation spell misery and suffering to vulnerable groups and sectors like the laborers, farmers, urban poor, indigenous peoples, among others. In effect, globalization and its lopsided trade liberalization undeniably result to unprecedented adverse consequences at both global and local level, characterized by ever-growing inequity in wealth distribution and ever-worsening poverty. The Canadian mining industry is active in over 100 developed and developing countries, and is involved in over 8,000 exploration projects and mining operations worldwide. Mining, with over C$66 billion in direct investment abroad in 2008, represents over 50% of Canadian direct investment abroad in natural These firms claim to be the source of positive economic and social benefits, including poverty reduction, economic diversification and the enhancement of local infrastructure and social and health services. But we claim otherwise. As the Policy Paper of the National Alliance Against Mining attests: “the performance of the Philippine mining industry is dismal. It failed to deliver on its promises on revenues, investments and employment. Its contribution to the Philippine economy is relatively insignificant compared to Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. Adding tourism to the equation (whose operations are directly impacted by mining), then you have an imbalance.” And to cite instances of how mining, particularly by Canadian companies, has brought human rights violations and threatens ecological integrity of island 12,023,360 special warrants at a price of $3.50 per special warrant for aggregate gross proceeds of $42,081,760. The private placement was led by Macquarie Capital MarketsCanadaLtd.andCitigroup Global Markets Canada Inc. 2. On April 19, 2011, President Benigno Aquino III cancelled the Financial and Technical Assistance Agreements issued to MBMI Resources, Inc. covering some 12,000 hectares of land in the municipalities of Rizal, Bataraza and Narra in Southern Palawan. MBMI Resources Inc. is a Canadian-based mining company focused on the exploration and development of nickel mineral properties in the area. Palawan is a small island ecosystem and mining will definitely put the communities in real danger and will threaten the extremely rich biodiversity of the island. Indigenous peoples in Palawan were also surprised last year when they were given

indigenous peoples in a highly questionable manner. Withtheabove-givenexamples, and more similar cases all over the country, we affirm the findings in the research study conducted by The Canadian Center for the Study of Resource Conflict in 2009, that the Canadian mining companies had been prominently involved in environmental degradation, unethical behavior and in propagating conflicts among communities. Also, the aggressive pursuit of mining investments has necessarily spawned numerous human rights abuses, especially against individuals and communities opposed to mining. The abuse has included both physical and psychological harassment. A number of antimining advocates have also been killed. As of February 2011, at least seven anti-mining activists have sacrificed their lives in defense of their land and natural resources. One incident of this kind happened in Sibuyan, Romblon, now a Canadianowned mining concession, Altai Resources, subsidiary of Altai Philippine Mining Corp. The purpose of killing is clear, to cultivate a climate of fear and stifle opposition. But instead, it is breeding resistance and is strengthening a grassroots antimining movement. The transnational corporations have become very powerful players, doing intensified economic transactions that cross national boundaries. The policy or investment decisions are being formulated primarily by market considerations and not by national interest. As in the case of the Philippines and other developing countries, what is ironic is that national policies are being framed or reformulated to suit the dictated interest of the mining investment. The arena of struggle for antimining campaign should not totally rely on the strength of local victories. Since the issue and the new hierarchy of power have assumed global character, the campaign necessarily has to assume global engagement. Largescale mining is not an isolated economic activity. It is always within the ambit of a larger network of interconnections and the dangers or risks that it poses are common to all other sites in other parts of the world. Given this situation, any effort to create global solidarity and cooperation, particularly among the church network, is a very welcome initiative. (This piece was delivered by Fr. Edwin Garriguez, Executive Secretary of Episcopal Commission on Social Action, Justice and Peace, at the Ecumenical Mining Conference in Toronto, Canada, on May 1-3, 2001)

By Fr. Edwin Gariguez

Canadian mining in the Philippines: development for whom?

Aggressive Mining Promotion in the Philippines Mining of the Philippine’s rich mineral resources is pursued within the context of colonial trade liberalization that sets as a backdrop for the globalized economy. What is particularly alarming in the present process of global trade is the immensity and the exceptionally rapid degree of global integration affecting the terms of production and exchange that cross national boundaries, while at the same time undermining the power of the state in imposing its internal trade policies. In the case of the Philippines, the policy recommendation made by Asian Development Bank and the United Nations’ Development Programme, backed by the World Bank, greatly influenced the government’s move to liberalize national legislation on mining. Liberalization is attained by changing the economic policies of the state to make them more attractivetoglobalcompetitiveness and to provide more incentives to the entry of the transnational corporations. The Mining Act of 1995 is a crucial legislation enacted to liberalize the mining policy in the Philippines in unequivocal terms. Admittedly, the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 is essentially crafted to attract foreign investors because with its provisions, the country’s right to sovereignty is relaxed in order to provide palatable incentives to transnational mining investors. Among the attractive features granted under the provisions of the Mining Act are as follow: 100% foreign ownership of mining projects, allowing foreign company to have a concession area of up to 81,000 hectares on shore and 324,000 hectares off shore, 100% repatriation of profit, 5 years tax holiday later extended to eight, and deferred payment are allowed until all cost are recovered, enjoyment of easement rights, and other auxiliary rights in mining concession, mining lease for 25 years, extendable to another 25 years, losses can be carried forward against income tax, among others. The Mining Act of 1995 was primarily intended to serve foreign interest and not the local communities and it is never meant to legislate equitable sharing of resources, but on the contrary, it guaranteed clear profit margin to mining corporations, while selling our national patrimony for mere pittance share of taxes. The mining law which lays down the policy for the government’s near-fanatical campaign to attract foreign investors to invest in the
Way / B5

Fr. Edwin Gariguez (inset) speaks of the ecological destructions and human rights violations the globalized mining industry has brought to the Philippines during an ecumenical Mining Conference held in Toronto, May 1-3, 2011.

transnational corporations belie all assurances of sustainable and responsible mining that the Arroyo administration is claiming. Increasing number of mining affected communities, Christians and non-Christians alike, are subjected to human rights violations and economic deprivations. We see no relief in sight... The promised economic benefits of mining by these transnational corporations are outweighed by the dislocation of communities especially among our indigenous brothers and sisters, the risks to health and livelihood and massive environmental damage. Together with the Church’s position, the prevailing position among members of the social movement on the mining issue is that destruction that it causes is detrimental to genuine peoplecentered development. They claim that the global character of mining industry, together with the policy of liberalization imbedded in the Mining Act of 1995, facilitated the pouring in of mining applications in the

resources. In their activities in the Philippines, the Canadian firms claim to be the source of positive economic and social benefits, including poverty reduction, economic diversification and the enhancement of local infrastructure and social and health services. Our country also has a fair share of contributions to Canada’s income from mining. There are 11 Toronto Stock Venture Exchange listed mining companies with 39 properties in the Philippines, namely, Altai Resources Inc, Canada Resources Corporation, Crazy Horse Resources Inc, MBMI Resources Inc, Metallum ResourcesInc,MindoroResources Ltd, Panoro Minerals Ltd, Philex Gold Inc, Philippine Metals Inc, Rugby Mining Ltd, and Tiger International Resources Ltd, and 6 Toronto Stock Exchange mining companies with 28 properties in the Philippines, namely, CGA Mining Ltd, Crew Gold Corporation, Medusa Mining Ltd, Oceana Gold Corporation, Olympus Pacific Minerals Inc, TVI Pacific Inc.

community, there are three more recent incidents: 1. On January 10, 2011 the PhilippineCommissiononHuman Rights (CHR) promulgated a resolution recommending cancellation of the mining contract issued to Oceana Gold because of strong evidence that their presence in Nueva Vizcaya has caused human rights violations. The CHR cited complaints that Oceana Gold “had illegally and violently demolished some 187 houses in Didipio: “Residents who resisted and tried to save their homes had been beaten, including their neighbors who helped them; houses had been bulldozed off cliffs and set on fire,” the CHR resolution added. But despite the categorical findings on human rights violations, the company acted with impunity and is determined to speed up the construction phase of the operation. Oceana Gold Corporation is an Australian company listed under Toronto Stock Exchange. In 2010, Oceana Gold had completed a private placement in Canada of

a permit to mine despite the opposition of communities. Recently, a radio commentator and environment advocate opposing mining in Palawan was gunned down. This provided a protest action with the civil society launching the initiative to gather 10 million signatures to ask the government to stop mining in biodiversity rich province. 3. On April 20, 2011, Mindoro Resources Inc., a Canadian junior company based in Edmonton and listed in Toronto Stock Exchange announced that it will commence the Pre-Feasibility study for Agata Nickel Project in Surigao, Mindanao. In July 2010, Mindoro Resources was granted 2.1 Canadian dollars by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to support this project. However, the Environmental and Social Review Summary of 2008 did not address the concern that the area for mining is part of the Lake Mainit watershed, the 4th largest lake and home to 31 coastal villages. There are also allegations that the company secured the needed consent of the

bring some form of peace to a person or to a community, but it would never bring one to an experience of God’s life. It is not insignificant that Matthew makes Jesus declare: “Unless your holiness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of God” (Matt 5:20). The unity with God is given to a Christian not so much by following the law, as by being in communion with Jesus, for “no one comes to the Father but through me” (John 14:6b). To bring home the point, John has Jesus say: “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6a). These three terms used to describe Jesus has to be explained. The term “way” depicts the mediatorial role of Jesus between
RH Bill / B5

the community of men and God the Father. It is unfortunately that, for some people, religion is about theories or laws that should regulate relationships. Of course, these are important, but these do not belong to the heart of Christianity. It is not even about duplicating the crucifixion, as some people are inclined to think. Christianity is first of all about the person of Jesus. It is Jesus who is the way to God, not a formula to be observed or magic words to be uttered. If we wish to be united with the Father, then we have to be united with Jesus, we have to be committed to him, and follow his way of life. That is why Paul can say: “Continue to live in Christ the Lord in the spirit which you receive him” (Col 2:6). The way

of life that he lived, which is that of a loving obedience to the Father’s will, is what is of importance. Hence, Paul says: “Follow the way of love, even as Christ loved you. He gave himself for us as an offering to God, a gift of pleasing fragrance” (Eph 5:2). The claim that he is the truth underlines his mediation of the Father’s revelation. He is the way precisely because he is the truth. This recalls what the Matthean Jesus affirms: “No one knows the Son but the Father, and no one knows the Father but the Son—and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him” (Matt 11:27). It is strange that some people are anxious to hear about new revelation from God, when God has already fully revealed himself in Jesus. The life of Jesus, that is

the life of God; what Jesus taught, that is the teaching of God. In the words of a New Testament writer, “in this the final age, [God] has spoken to us through his Son” (Heb 1:1). John himself makes a similar affirmation: “No one has ever seen God. It is God, the only Son, ever at the Father’s side, who has revealed him” (John 1:18). Hence, if we wish to know the goal of our existence, and the way how to reach it, we only have to hear it from Jesus himself. The reason for this is that he is the life. If the term “way” depicts his mediatorial role between God and men, and if “truth” expresses his mediation of revelation, the term “life” used to describe Jesus emphasizes his mediation of salvation, which is none other then life
Heritage / B1

with God, unity with him. As we noted earlier, it is only in being in communion with Jesus that one can be in communion with the Father. It is for this unity and life that he came: “I came that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). So long as we do not have life, our heart will remain restless, because it was for the experience of this life that we were created. In fact, the present realization that all mankind is just one family, the experience that after all the world is one global village—this is to be taken as sign that finally the world is becoming aware that we are moving to a certain goal, which for a Christian is none other than union with God, but made possible through union with the risen Lord.

Photo courtesy of Simon Chambers

no mention in the bill that the women who are victims of these devices will be provided with free health care afterwards. The bill claims to champion the health of women but in truth and in the long run it does harm to them. Besides, with the claim of men that they are now “protected” they will easily deal with the women as objects to be used and not as persons to be respected. 12. Other countries have the reproductive health services in place for many years already but they still have the problems that our law makers claim will be solved by this bill: a. Even more abortions. In fact they have to legalize abortion in these countries. In international circles abortion is part of the reproductive right! Either the promoters of HB 4244 are naïve or they are cunningly deceptive when they say that they are

not for abortion. All those who promote contraception end up upholding abortion, if they are consistent with their position of contra-ception! b. Even more teen-age pregnancies, so more unwanted pregnancies. This is the result of more promiscuity and less respect which stems from the ideology of contraception. By the way, there is no mention the word ‘contraception’ in the bill but its ideology is all over in the language of ‘Reproductive Health’. c. Their poor people are not improved by the availability of these devices. The poor do not get a better chance in life even if they have fewer children if basic services are not given to them and if the perspective of governance is pro-foreign investment rather than harnessing local resources, pro-investor rather than prolabor, increased GDP rather

than equity. 13. There is the concern that many people die because of unwanted pregnancies. Many of these devices, IUDs and Pills among them, are contraceptives and abortifacients. They really kill the life that is already there. The bill and the contraceptive mentality behind it do not recognize the equal dignity of life of all—preferring that of the woman than that of the child that she had engendered. It is killing the ones who are innocent and defenseless. No wonder insensitivity to life in contraception eventually leads to abortion. 14. In is noteworthy that the bill speaks both of the youth and the adolescent. It defines who the adolescent is but not who the youth is. It really targets the adolescent, both for its sex education and for the services of its “devices.”

15. There are several good provisions in the bill. Among them are Sec 5 “Midwives for skilled attendance” and Sec 6 “Emergency Obstetric and Neonatal Care”. Both demand that there be enough personnel and hospital facilities to address maternal care. Both end with this sentence: “Provided that people in geographically isolated and depressed areas shall be provided the same level of access.” Beautiful words, but will the government do this? The bill does not provide where the money shall come from for these services, and this is indeed a very basic need which can really address a lot of deaths and sufferings among women and children. Are these then just dressings to the real intent of the bill, not to really help the poor and the women but to put forward the contraceptive mentality?

history. The youth, he said, are the wealth of the Church and of society. He invited them to prepare for the big choices to be made, to look ahead with confidence, trusting in their own abilities and following Christ and the Gospel. Dear brothers and sisters, we all know John Paul II’s singular devotion to the Madonna. The motto on the coat of arms of his pontificate, Totus tuus, summarizes well his life, which was oriented toward Christ by means of Mary: ad Iesum per Mariam. As the disciple John, the “beloved disciple”, under the Cross at the Redeemer’s death, took Mary into his home (Jn 19:26–27), John Paul II wanted to always keep Mary mystically close to himself, making her part of his life and his ministry, feeling embraced and loved by her. The remembrance of our beloved pontiff, prophet of hope,

should not mean a return to the past for us, but let us make the most of his human and spiritual heritage; let it be an impetus to look forward. May the words that he wrote in his apostolic letter Novo millennio ineunte from the great Jubilee Year of 2000 resound in our hearts: “Let us go forward in hope! A new millennium is opening before the Church like a vast ocean upon which we shall venture, relying on the help of Christ. The Son of God … is at work even today: we need discerning eyes to see this and, above all, a generous heart to become the instruments of his work.” The Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, so dear to Pope John Paul II, whom we now call upon in the praying of the Rosary, help us, in every circumstance, to be witnesses of Christ and proclaimers of God’s love in the world. Amen.

Moral Assessment

Technical Assessment

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 15 No. 10

May 9 - 22, 2011

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

 Poor  Below average  Average  Above average  Excellent TITLE: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules CAST: Zachary Gordon, Devon Bostick, Robert Capron, Steve Zahn, Rachael Harris, Peyton List, Ben Hollingsworth, Robert Capron, Michelle Harrison, Grayson Russell DIRECTOR: David Bowers WRITERS: Gabe Sachs, Jeff Judah, Jeff Kinney GENRE: Comedy, Drama RUNNING TIME: 96 minutes. TECHNICAL ASSESSMENT:  ½ MORAL ASSESSMENT:  ½ CINEMA Rating: For viewers age 14 and above

DIARY of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules takes off from last year’s surprise comedy hit about the Heffley family of three sibling brothers Rodrick (Devon Bostick) , Greg (Zachary Gordon) and toddler Manny and their parents Susan(Rachel Harris) and Frank (Steve Zahn). Rodrick as usual bullies his kid brother 7th grader Greg who has no choice but to play along with him or else. Mom knows it and would give anything to see her two boys living in peace and harmony—to the extent of paying them a dollar for each trouble-free hour they’re together. Susan and Frank one day decide they would go on holiday and leave the house to Greg and Rodrick, extracting a promise from the kids that they would behave while on their own. As soon as their parents leave their sight Rodrick prevails upon Greg to throw a party—but it would be boozeless, relatively safe. But as it turns out, a party’s being alcohol-free is no guarantee of order. The two are caught red-handed and get the appropriate punishment from their disappointed parents. As far as its genre goes, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules plays the game by the rules, following a formula that is sure to click

with its target audience—kids and families—as the first Diary… did, reportedly making a neat profit for its makers. The viewer can forget about its being fiction as it more or less fairly reflects 21st century parenting American style. You can’t fault the actors for being unbelievable—they’re such naturals given the plot and the never-a-dull-moment script. As for the other things that make a movie technically correct— Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules has them all neatly pulled together. It is an entertaining movie that its makers have taken pains to keep wholesome, so much so that even the stricter critics in the US have freely given it a rating of “PG for some mild rude humor and mischief”. If you’ve ever been a parent you’ll understand that all Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules is saying is “kids will always be kids but hang on, they’ll grow up, too, and outgrow their mischievous ways”. And CINEMA agrees. Our 2.5 Moral Assessment score doesn’t mean the movie promotes destructive values—it simply means that parental explanations are in order if you allow your children to watch this movie. The parents (Susan and Frank) have good intentions

and their children’s best interests at heart, although they could be mistaken for being so naïve or lenient—something that’s balanced by the father of Rowley (Robert Capron), Greg’s chubby best friend, who makes sure his son follows his rules. The movie’s many humorous moments and funny scenes are interspersed with not-so-desirable instances some youngsters might imitate but the resolution at the end gives the viewer a better picture of its optimistic message. In real life, we see worse examples, and children eventually grow up to be mature adults in spite of them.


Ni Bladimer Usi

TITLE: Beastly CAST: Vanessa Hudgens, Alex Pettyfer, Mary-Kate Olsen, Peter Krause, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Neil Patrick Harris DIRECTOR: Daniel Barnz WRITERS: Alex Flinn, Daniel Barnz GENRE: Romance, Drama RUNNING TIME: 95 minutes Technical Assessment:  Moral Assessment:  ½ CINEMA Rating: For viewers age 14 and above

Buhay Parokya

Look for the images of Pope John Paul II, Chalice and Bread, and the Immaculate Conception. . (Illustration by Bladimer Usi)

MAKE a person rich and smart and good looking and in no time at all that person will be a beast inside. That’s what Kyle Kingsberry (Alex Pettyfer) is, mocking all the unbeautiful creatures in the Buckskin Academy High School campus. In fact, running for president, Kyle has for his motto “Beautiful people get it better; that’s just the way it is.” Kyle openly derides a campus mate who has Gothic fashion and makeup leanings, Kendra (Mary-Kate Olsen), rumored to be a witch. Alas, it is not mere rumor, for the offended Kendra retaliates by casting a spell on him that turns him, once he gets home, into a beastly looking creature. However, Kendra is not entirely merciless, for she says she will lift her spell provided Kyle finds someone who’ll love him within a year. That someone turns out to be Lindy (Vanessa Hudgens). From there you can expect a fairytale ending. Most actors in this movie are necessarily young, the story being set in a school environment, but it gives the young characters enough interaction scenes with adults, and with good results. Pettyfer (I am Number Four) and Hudgens (High S c h o o l Musical) surprisingly show promise as dramatic actors here. Not that the script is that demanding, but at least theirs is a timely departure from the musical or the CGI adventure that they first came to be known for, preventing them from being filmdom stereotypes. Give them meatier roles and good directors and they’ll probably metamorphose into real seasoned actors in due time. Beastly tries to play up to the YouTube-and-tattoo generation by not making a werewolf out of Kyle. Rather, he simply loses his blondie-blond hair and gets covered with scars, metal hoops and ever-morphing tattoos which would actually make him just so cool in Punkland, USA. As Lindy says when he uncovers himself before her eyes, “I’ve seen worse…” Beastly is obviously a retelling of Beauty and the Beastand the one outstanding message is “it’s not to your credit that you were born rich and smart and good-looking so chill out or lose it all.” Kyle is humbled by becoming disfigured, and learns to start loving when there’s no longer himself to love in the mirror. We can’t really say Lindy has learned to love Kyle in spite of his beastly appearance for as we said, he doesn’t look all that beastly, but rather, she appreciates the transformation within Kyle, from the conceited egomaniac that he was to someone who has learned to care for another.

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 15 No. 10
May 9 - 22, 2011


The Cross
By Vanessa Puno

A Supplement Publication of KCFAPI and the Order of the Knights of Columbus

KCFAPI Chairman Hilario G. Davide, Jr., Pres. Alonso L. Tan, EVPMa. Theresa Curia, VP-Fraternal Benefits Group, Joseph P. Teodoro, VP-Actuarial and Business Development, Angelito A. Bala & Fraternal Benefits Services Manager, Gari San Sebastian posed with the Salesforce during the two-day event at Morong Bataan.

Deserving FCs receive KCFAPI Executive Summer Sales Awards
This first quarter incentive program of KCFAPI which started from the first working day of January 2011 and ended on March 31, 2011 was intended for fraternal counselors who have shown creditable sales performance and potential to attain sales prominence. In each of the four levels of the program, fraternal counselors have to achieve specific minimum requirements. Danilo Tullao of North Eastern Luzon Cavaliers received a cash award from the Association. He is the FC who obtained the highest annualized
Awards / C2

KC Philippines Foundation organizes seminar on backyard gardening
THE KC Philippines Foundation, Inc. (KCPFI), on April 5, has organized and sponsored a lecture/ seminar on Backyard Gardening and Organic Vegetable Production held at the KCFAPI Social Hall, 3rd floor, KC Fr. George J. Willmann Center, Gen. Luna St., Intramuros, Manila. Resource speaker for the lecture/seminar was Mr. Romeo P. Ayos, Senior Agriculturist of the Crop Production Division of the Bureau of Plants Industry. The event was attended by members of the Board of Trustees of both the KCPFI and the KC Fr. George J. Willmann Charities, Inc., headed by President and Supreme Director Alonso L. Tan, the three KC State Deputies and selected State Officers as well as certain Board members and key officers of KCFAPI, Keys Realty Development Corporation and Mace Insurance, Agency. The lecture/seminar included a power point presentation that covered the importance of home/backyard farming, the different approaches to the culture of vegetables (i.e. pots, improvised mesh wire, hollow blocks, other containers, fences, raised beds or vacant lots) and the culture and management of a backyard
Gardening / C3

EIGHTY-FOUR fraternal counselors (FCs) of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines Inc. (KCFAPI) received the Luzon Presidential Visitation awards last April 15 to 16, 2011 at Sunset Cove Resort in Morong, Bataan.

BROTHER Knights from Central, Eastern and Western Visayas gathered in the 8th Visayas Convention held at the Cebu International Convention Center in Mandaue City, Cebu on April 30, 2011. The convention opened with a concelebrated mass officiated by Archbishop of Cebu, His Excellency Jose S. Palma along with the Bishop of Borongan, Msgr. Crispin B. Varquez, and the two priests of Cebu, Msgr. Carlito V. Pono
Visayas / C3

8th Knights of Columbus Visayas Convention held

Davao hosts State Columbian Squires KC Luzon holds and KC Mindanao Conventions 11th State Convention
HUNDREDS of Columbian Squires and Brother Knights from all over Mindanao gathered in Davao City to attend the 3rd State Columbian Squires Convention held at the Holy Cross College of Sasa last April 29, 2011 and the 14th Mindanao State Convention held at the Waterfront Insular Hotel from April 30–May 1, 2011 respectively. The theme for both conventions is “I am My Brother’s Keeper”. Participating Squires did not only gain valuable knowledge on the structure of the Columbian Squires, the
Davao / C3

Supreme Director and LD Tan attends JP II shrine’s inauguration, blessing

KCFAPI extends its warmest Congratulations to the incoming State Deputies: SK Arsenio Isidro G. Yap of the Luzon Jurisdiction, SK Rodrigo N. Soroñgon of the Visayas Jurisdiction and SK Balbino C. Fauni of the Mindanao Jurisdiction.

SEVEN hundred State Officers, guests, speakers and members of the Order convened for the 11th Luzon State Convention held on April 30 at the Le Pavillon, Metropolitan Park, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City with the theme “I Am My Brother’s Keeper.”

Luzon / C2

Hon. Hilario G. Davide, Jr. delivers his speech for the Knights during the Luzon State Convention held on April 30, 2011 at the Le Pavilion, Metropolitan Park in Pasay City.

Southern Tagalog 4th Degree District holds 42nd Exemplification

SUPREME Director and Luzon Deputy Alonso Tan, one of the honorary members of the “Memorial Shrine of the Blessed Pope John Paul II” project attended its inauguration and blessing last May 2, 2011, a day after Pope John Paul II’s beatification. Led by Bishop Ruperto Santos of the Diocese of Balanga, the inauguration and blessing were held at the Bataan Technology Park, Inc. (BTPI), a former refugee

camp to 400,000 Vietnamese, Laotian, and Cambodian, in Morong Bataan. Sir Knight Tan together with other co-sponsors, namely Congresswoman Imelda Romualdez Marcos, Representative of the 2ndDistrict of Ilocos Norte and former Minister of Human Settlement; Congresswoman Herminia Roman, Representative of the 1st District of the Province of
Tan / C3

Ma. Kristianne G. Pascual
Human Resources and Corporate Communications Manager
AFTER her tough and rigid hard work, she made it through and rose from the ranks. Her humbling years at KCFAPI started in 2003 as Human Resources Staff. Wherein after five formative years she succeeded and was promoted as Human Resources and Corporate Communications Su-

Pascual / C2

THE Knights of Columbus Southern Tagalog 4th Degree District held the 42nd Fourth Degree Exemplification last April 9, 2011 at Tayabas East Central School in Tayabas City. Joseph P. Teodoro, Luzon Membership Director and Vice President for Fraternal Benefits Group of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) was the guest of honor and speaker of the said affair. He talked about the role of the fourth degree in the order.

Class honoree Fr. Gilbert Talabong delivered a spiritual message while Master of the Fourth Degree Sir Knight Isagani B. Maghirang led the fourth degree exemplification of the 158 members of the Knights of Columbus. The primary purpose of the Fourth Degree is to exemplify the cardinal principles of Patriotism and responsible Catholic citizenship.” The said exemplification was hosted by the Western Tayabas Assembly. (Vanessa Puno)

Hilario G. Davide, Jr.

The Cross

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 15 No. 10
May 9 - 22, 2011

Chairman’s Message
MAY each one of us keep aflame the eternal message of Easter through the faithful and unceasing pursuit of the theme of the state conventions last 30 April 2011 of the Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao Jusrisdictions: I am my Brother’s Keeper. The heart of this theme is Jesus’ proclamation at the Last Supper of his New covenant: “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another” (John 13:34-35). And love is the heart, soul and strength of the cardinal principles of the Knights of Columbus: charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism. Unless we love one another, unless we are our brother’s keeper, we cannot and we should not pretend to be Knights of Columbus. A knight of Columbus is a knight of Christ- this is what KC should really stand for. We should be Christ’s true followers and this would not be difficult thing to do so because He assures us that His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Mt. 11:30). Everything that is done for love with love and because of love is the most sublime and noble deed that glorifies God. Our times and seasons are deeply troubled by crises of every kind, nearly unparalleled in proportions and perhaps never imagined to ever simultaneously occur. Yet these crises provide us the singular opportunity to demonstrate our abiding concern for others- for our brothers. Thus, “I am my brother’s keeper” all the more gains spiritual and Biblical moorings. Say it everyday and you will truly be a KC.

KC Parañaque Assemblies observe Araw ng Kagitingan
VARIOUS assemblies of the Knights of Columbus in the Diocese of Parañaque celebrated the Araw ng Kagitingan with honor guards in their complete regalia on April 9. Led by District Marshall Sir Knight Christian M. Balis, Kagitingan Assembly, Our Lady of Buensucesso Assembly and Padre Pedro M. Dandan Assembly of Parañaque marched from San Antonio de Padua Parish, Valley 1 in Sucat, Parañaque to Parañaque City Hall grounds. Parañaque City Mayor Florencio M. Bernabe, Jr. led the flag raising ceremony assisted by Sir Knight Lorenzo B. Garcia, Faithful Navigator (FN) of Kagitingan Assembly, Sir Knight Roberto Cuera-o, FN of Our Lady of Buensuceso Assembly and Sir Knight Arsenio S. Rodriguez, FN of Padre Pedro Dandan Assembly. Sir Knight Deovides F. Reyes, Master of the Fourth Degree of 4th District, NCR delivered a message to the participants. Representing the Luzon Jurisdiction was Luzon State Treasurer, Joven Joaquin who also delivered his message during the celebration. The symbolic turnover of the Philippine flag to the three Faithful Navigators and the giving of two hundred fifty Philippine flags to the participants which typifies patriotism highlighted the ceremony. Another highlight of the celebration was the passing of a City resolution that requires a Philippine flag in every home. The resolution was an offshoot of a project by the Knights of Columbus in Parañaque diocese to have a flag in every K of C home. The project was initiated by past Faithful Navigator Manuel Jacela last year. (Vanessa Puno)

New KC Assembly organized in Capiz
THE Knights of Columbus in the archdiocese of Capiz has a new KC Assembly named St. Gemma Assembly No. 3285, with 32 charter members based at the municipality of Dumalag, Capiz, Philippines. This is the fourth KC Assembly organized in Capiz. The first, is the Capiz Assembly No. 1796 (now known as the Archbishop Antonio Frondosa Assembly, CAN-1796, chartered on April 21, l979, based in Roxas City); the second, Atty. Roberto A. Bereber Assembly No. 2535, chartered on June 16, 1998, based in Pontevedra, Capiz; and the third, Vicente A. Bolante, Sr. Assembly, CAN-2614, based in Dao, Capiz. The approval of this new assembly came from Dennis J. Stoddard, Supreme Master, Supreme Council Office, New Haven, CT, USA, through a letter addressed to Pedro M. Rodriguez, Jr., PSD, Vice Supreme Master, 72 Veterans Ave., Zamboanga City, dated April 7, 20ll. According to SK Mussolini B. Baticados, District Deputy V-l43, who initiated the organization of St. Gemma Assembly, the Councils affiliated to this Assembly are: St. Thomas Aquinas Council No. 5639, Tapaz, Capiz; Nuestra SRA dela Consolacion Council No. 7651, Dumalag, Capiz; Sto. Nino Council No. 14579, Dumalag, Capiz. Councils 5639 and 7651 were detached from the Capiz Assembly, ACN-1796. Council No. l14579 was detached from the SK Vicente A. Bolante, Sr. Assembly, ACN-2614. SK Elwin I. Corvera, KC Provincial Deputy, said there are 33 councils of the Knights of Columbus in seven districts in the province of Capiz. (SK Bienvenido Cortes)

Alonso L. Tan

President’s Message
OUR theme for the convention “I Am My Brother’s Keeper” was inspired by one of the talks in our last National Convention in Cebu. The choice is very opportune and very relevant. For a Knight, to become “my brother’s keeper” means only one thing and that is: to be faithful to the principles of the Order, which are: Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism. These four principles go beyond the ordinary way of “keeping one’s brother”. They transcend the common meaning of fraternity in the sense that we go deeper into the very roots of why our brother has to be “kept” in the first place. And the roots are the very causes of why our “brothers” have degenerated to where we are now. By “brother”, I don’t mean only the members of the Order, but especially our brother Filipinos: because Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism by definition are not exclusive but rather extended to a bigger community. We are called to respond and be more actively committed to living out the Social Teachings of the Church. We are called to take the lead in the task of moral renewal towards a deeper and more lasting change in Philippine society today. We, the members of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines become primary “agents of social transformation.” After all, this is what Pope Benedict XVI is asking us to do in his first encyclical “Deus Caritas Est”. God has called on us to be in the Knights of Columbus. He has called us for a mission which was started by a young Catholic Priest, Venerable Fr. Michael J. McGivney, the Founder of the Knights of Columbus. Fr. McGivney’s vision gave birth to an organization that today has over 1.8 million members spread over 15,000 councils all over the world. He envisioned a strong family with a deep faith in God. We in KC Luzon envision to be each other’s Brother’s keeper. I felt the strong support of each and everyone during the convention and in my four year term as State Deputy and for that I thank all of you who have invaluably supported all our activities throughout the years. Vivat Jesus!

The Cause for the Beatification of Father George J. Willmann, SJ
EMULATING the virtues that bespeak of sanctity of a person, like Father Geroge J. Willmann, is what we need today to draw us into a deeper living out of the fullest meaning of our Catholic Faith in the context of increasing secularism. Thus, we believe, is one of the most important objectives in initiating the Cause of the good Father George. As prescribed by the ConAwards / C1

gregation for Causes of Saints in Rome, a person may be elevated to the honors of the altar if he has lived up to a “heroic” degree of the supernatural virtues of faith, hope and charity, as well as the cardinal virtues of prudence, justice and fortitude and temperance. We believe that Father Willmann practiced them all to an exceptional degree. In order to establish and wid-

en the fame of Sanctity of Father Willmann, may we call on all Brother Knights, their families and friends to respond to the following appeal: 1. Submission of testimonies on Fr. Willmann’s heroic virtues; 2. Recitation of Prayer for his Beatification in private and during K of C meetings and affairs; 3. Invocation of his intercession in our prayers;

4. Submission of Reports on answered prayers through the intercession of Father Willmann; 5. Visitation of his tomb in the Sacred Heart Novitiate Cemetery, Novaliches, Quezon City. 6. Membership to Fr. George J. Willmann Fellows. This is a challenge for all of us Knights of Columbus who dearly love Father George J. Willmann, SJ.

Luzon Columbian Squires organize fundraising project
THE Columbian Squires Luzon Jurisdiction has organized a fundraising project dubbed as “Connect IT! Raffle Extravaganza” to support the activities of the upcoming 6th Luzon State Squires Convention from May 20 to 22, at the FVR gymnasium in Baguio City. Holders of winning tickets will have a chance to win an Apple Ipad for first prize, Mini netbook, second prize; Nokia 3G cellphone, third prize; and various consolation prizes. The draw will be held on May 21 during the Columbian Squires Luzon Socio-Cultural Night at the FVR gym in Baguio City. Themed “Columbian Squires: Young Disciples, Standing in Faith with Christ,” the convention will gather the members of the youth arm of the Knights of Columbus all over Luzon, who will listen to talks on columbianism, evangelization and discipleship, pray Taize together, participate
Pascual / C1

contribution of more than P500,000.00 and more than 24 new paid lives. Teofilo Samson of Southern Luzon Lakers also received a cash award being the FC with the second highest annualized contribution of more than P250,000.00 and more than 12 new paid lives. Those who have reached Level C were awarded cash prizes since they have achieved 12 new paid lives. These are FCs of Central Luzon Believers Bonifacio Morales and Eduardo Cruz; FCs of Central Luzon Conquerors Jeffrey Rey Guillermo, Nazario Timbresa and Delfin Lazaro; FC of Northeastern Luzon Cavaliers Mauricio Pangda, FC of Northwestern Luzon Thunders Reynaldo Segismundo, and FC of Southern Luzon Lakers Hugo Goce, Jr. Six new paid lives were attained by FCs who have reached Level D. They are: FCs of Bicol Sauro Francisco Escio, Manuel Dugan, Romeo Masagca; FCs of Central Luzon Believers Rodolfo Alongalay, Ariston Francisco, Virgilio Clavio, Jr. Alfredo Noriega, Lauro Evangelista, Julian Pacheco, Luis Ferrer, Veronica Casupanan, Ronando Rodriguez, Zenaisa Fabregar, Patriocio
Luzon / C1

Sicat and Joselito Santos; FCs of Central Luzon Conquerors Rolando Frany, Nancy Baluyot, Danilo Guinto, Rex Blanco, Rene Cruz, Rolly Ramos, Eleno Sta. Ana, Larry Santos, Edwin dela Cruz, Francisco Hilario, Francisco Ballesteros and Edgardo Sumpay; FCs of Central Luzon Diamonds Amado Miranda, Joselito Guzman and Melissa Lourdes Reyes; FCs of Metro Manila Achievers Jaime Gacita, Jose Rolando Sanoria, Vicente Honorio Llamas, Leonardo dela Cruz, Constantino Degisica, Apolinar Lavares, Jr. Emmanuel Reyes and Vicente Medeseo, Jr.; FCs of Metro Manila Chancellors Francisco Reyes, Atilano Casintahan Jr., Rosa Hernandez and Rodolfo Salcedo; FCs of Metro Manila Dragons Ephraim Nialda and Juan Castillo, Jr.; FCs of Metro Manila Excellence Evelyn Caparas, Rodrigo Saligumba and Dionisio Marasigan; FCs of Northeastern Luzon Cavaliers Gabriel Chocyagan, Lerio Cagampang, Rogelio Oriel, Rafael Avila, Jr. Delmor Datul and Frederick Cadatal; FC of Northeastern Luzon Gold Miners Virgilio Duldulao; FCs of Northwestern Luzon Thunders Perlita Valencia, Santiago Barba, Romarico Javier, Aniceto

Lozano and Aquilino Cuaresma; FCs of Southern Luzon Lakers Teodoro Rada, Gerardo Vila, Dante Zagala, Teodoro Baguisi III, Apolinar Olipernes, Raymundo Alkuino and Lauro Villamayor, Jr., Angelito Lat, Angel Casiding Jr., Dominador Mandapat, Cipriano Ramos and Ricardo Curatchia; FC of Southern Luzon Palawan Tamaraws Luis Castillet and FCs of Southwestern Luzon Stars Vicente Espiraz and Jocelyn Ravina. KCFAPI Chairman and former Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr. was the guest speaker of the two-day Luzon Presidential Visitation conference. KCFAPI President, Alonso L. Tan and Executive Vice President, Ma. Theresa G. Curia, also gave their respective messages. Fraternal Benefits Group Vice-President, Joseph P. Teodoro and Vice President for Information and Benefit Certificate Holders’ Services, Ronulfo Antero G. Infante were the speakers during the said conference. Meanwhile, Fraternal Benefits Services Manager, Gari M. San Sebastian facilitated the team building and area meetings on the last day of the conference. (Vanessa Puno)

in workshops and other activities as well as showcase the talents of each Circle. Jose Cuaresma, Luzon Columbian Squires Chairman said that the 6th Luzon State Circle Convention is “envisioned to bring the Squires back to evangelization, leading to more intense discipleship and more committed involvement in social transformation.” The Knights of Columbus Columbian Squires is an international dynamic organization for Catholic youth ages 10 to 18 which endeavors to develop the members’ leadership qualities and provide holistic formation through a Columbian Squires program aiming to produce good leaders of our community, and country. It was founded on August 4, 1925 with the institution of Duluth Circle 1 in Duluth, Minnesota. At present, the organization has more than 25,000 Catholic young men in over 1,400 circles worldwide. (Vanessa Puno)

pervisor. She was then tasked to coordinate, supervise and implement various activities involved in Human Resources functions. Mrs. Pascual presently manages the Human Resources and Corporate Communications department as she was promoted as Department Manager on March 1, 2011. Aside from her usual responsibilities, she is also taking an active part in their parish as the Head Coordinator of the Ministry of Lectors and Commentators. Tin-Tin as she is dotingly

called is a native of Makati City and is now married to Mr. Patrick Pascual. She had her Primary and Secondary education at Paco Catholic School. She was then sharpened up at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. She was also able to earn her certification in HR Planning and Acquisition and Compensation Management at Miriam College. (Juno Amaris Mancenido)

All delegates were present at 7:00 a.m. during the concelebrated Holy Eucharist presided over by Luzon State Chaplain and Cubao Bishop Honesto F. Ongtioco. The prayers of the faithful were read by several Knights in Bicolano, Tagalog, Ilocano, Kapampangan and Ibanag. A prayer for priest was recited by Vicente V. Ortega, State Church Director before Bishop Ongtioco gave the final blessing. Luzon Deputy and Supreme Director Alonso L. Tan called the convention to order immediately after the entrance of colors by the District IV-NCR. It was followed by an opening prayer for the beatification of Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ. The national anthem was led by Pascual C. Carbero, State Warden and the opening ode was expressed by Bonifacio B. Martinez, State Program Director. The welcome address was delivered by Arsenio Isidro G. Yap, State Secretary and State Convention Chairman. A video greeting of Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson for the said convention was also shown. Tan conferred the Squires of the Body of Christ award to Morris Castillo of Gat. Blas F. Ople 4863 in Calumpit, Bulacan; Bryan Brix Par, Raphael Julian Roxas, and Joshua Cocal of Christ the King Circle No. 4537 in Filinvest, Novaliches; and Lorenz Edwin Boneo of Circle

No. 3776 in Bacoor, Cavite. Yap then introduced the dignitaries present and also reported on credentials and attendance. The three past Luzon Deputies: Rodolfo C. Magsino from 2003 to 2007, Antonio Yulo from 1999-2003 and Arsenio R. Lopez from 1995 to 1999; and KCFAPI Executive Vice President, Ma. Theresa G. Curia attended the convention. Tan being the Luzon Deputy and KCFAPI President presented the State of the Jurisdiction report highlighting its accomplishments as well as the KCFAPI report. Eduardo G. Laczi, Knights of Columbus Director, Fraternal Service for Philippine Affairs discussed the Order’s membership growth. Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr. currently Chairman of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) delivered his inspirational talk stressing on loving one another as Jesus has loved us which embraces not only the brother Knights but also the sisters and brothers in our midst, and “doing everything in the service for the greater glory of God.” Citing the many problems besetting the country such as poverty, hunger, graft and corruption, he said “You cannot be a brother’s keeper if we will allow graft and corruption to thrive in the Philippines.” Tan officially announced the

appointment of Arsenio Isidro Yap as Luzon Deputy by Supreme Knight Carl Anderson starting July 1, 2011. A prayer for the family in Tagalog was also recited by Alejandro V. Alvaira, State Family Director. Atty. Jo Aurea Imbong, Executive Secretary of CBCP Legal Office and Dra. Angie Aguirre talked on the legal and medical side respectively, of the Reproductive Health Bill. Thousands of leaflets on “Ang Katotohanan tungkol sa Reproductive Health Bill” with the Columbian Squires logo were distributed to the attendees in support of the Church’s stance against the RH Bill. Msgr. Joselito C. Asis, CBCP Assistant Secretary General was also one of the speakers of the said convention who discussed the topic of freemasonry. At 3:00 p.m. all the delegates prayed the rosary contemplating on the glorious mysteries. It was followed by a prayer for the youth led by 4th Degree Knight Fernan O. Dealca, the first Squires of the Body of Christ in the Philippines and second Orderwide. Jose F. Cuaresma, Columbian Squires Chairman, delivered a talk on Columbian Squires, the youth organization of the Order while Joven B. Joaquin gave the State Treasurer’s report. The resolutions committee headed by State Advocate Justice Jose C. Reyes, Jr. and State War-

den Pascual C. Carbero adopted the 16 resolutions presented to the assembly. Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio, III, Assistant State Chaplain showed a documentary video on the life of Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ revealing his passion for the poor, which Msgr. Quitorio further discussed. It was recalled that Fr. Willmann would buy low-cost things for his personal use because he was aware of the presence of the poor and their needs. In his keynote address, Msgr. Quitorio stressed on the biblical foundations of the theme “I am my brother’s keeper” which is the Orderwide theme for this Columbian Year. He developed the theme following the four key principles of the Knights of Columbus, namely, charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism; and concluded with the social teachings of the Church. A powerpoint presentation on the project memorial shrine of Pope John Paul II by Commodore Amado A. Sanglay, District Deputy of Diocese of Imus and the project’s executive director and administrator and COO, Bataan Technology Park, Inc. (BTPI) was shown before the convention ended. Yap led the closing ceremonies, followed by the closing prayer for the canonization of Venerable Fr. Michael J. McGivney and closing ode by Ortega and Martinez, respectively. (Vanessa Puno)

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 15 No. 10
May 9 - 22, 2011

The Cross


Through our witness of charity, unity and fraternity, we can help others to encounter Christ
By Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson
EARLY in his priestly ministry, thenFather Joseph Ratzinger told a group of university students, “In our generation, the Christian faith finds itself in a much deeper crisis than at any other time in the past.” He added that “what really torments us today” is “the question about the Gospel of the Lord: What did he actually proclaim and bring among men?” Four decades later, with the publication of the second volume of Jesus of Nazareth, Pope Benedict XVI provides us with a rich opportunity to deepen our understanding of and encounter with the person and message of Jesus. The pope has given the Church a great gift with his new book, which is subtitled Holy Week: From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection. In his introduction, Pope Benedict writes, “I have attempted to develop a way of observing and listening to the Jesus of the Gospels that can indeed lead to a personal encounter.” Christianity is the religion of the Word of God who “became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (Jn 1:14). Jesus entered the world in a way that sought precisely this personal encounter. From his first moments of life, born in the poverty of a manger surrounded by animals, to his last, dying in agony surrounded by criminals, Jesus was fully engaged in the drama of human existence. His ministry was a ministry of encounter: I want to see; I want to walk; my child is sick. He engaged not only the physical drama of human existence but also the moral drama: How many times do I forgive my brother? What do we do with the woman caught in adultery? Do we pay taxes to a corrupt and oppressive government? We, too, are called to be a part of this human drama in both its physical and spiritual dimension by reflecting the face of Christ to everyone we meet. This is the “charity which evangelizes” of which Blessed John Paul II spoke. As followers of Jesus, we are invited to walk this path. It is the path that Father Michael J. McGivney walked and the path that he encouraged us to walk as Knights of Columbus, supported by our principles of charity, unity and fraternity. Our journey as Knights must continue this encounter with the Lord. But we can only reflect the face of Christ to those we meet if we have first deepened our personal encounter with him. His presence through Scripture and the Eucharist must illuminate our principles more profoundly. This must be especially true of the ceremonials of the Order— the honored tradition by which we introduce our way of practicing charity, unity and fraternity. As Christians, we can neither blindly accept nor run away from the way things are. In his most recent apostolic exhortation, Verbum Domini, Pope Benedict writes, “The word of God makes us change our concept of realism” (10). We are called to change lives and to transform the world. As Knights of Columbus, we are called to do so by living more completely our principles and by bringing them to life in the lives of others. At the conclusion of Jesus of Nazareth, the pope reflects on the power of the Lord that “comes in ways that change the world” through the work of his saints. After naming many of these well-known saints, Benedict notes that they “all opened up new ways for the Lord to enter into the confused history of their century as it was pulling away from him. His mystery, his figure enters anew — and most importantly, his power to transform men’s lives and to refashion history becomes present in a new way.” We pray that Father McGivney will one day be listed as one of the saints through whom the Lord entered history “to transform men’s lives,” and that we, too, may be faithful witnesses. Vivat Jesus!

Joseph P. Teodoro

For Brother Knights by Brother Knights

Angelito A. Bala

Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is a mortality table? How is the table applied in life insurance? A. A mortality table, together with interest assumption, is the cornerstone of life insurance pricing. Insurance companies gather and collect the birth and death statistics of their insured clients in order to produce mortality rates. These rates, a mortality rate for each age, are based on the observations of the number of deaths in their observed population and are used to predict the probability of dying of a certain individual based on the insurance age. For a new insurance company, they rely heavily on published US mortality tables. The more common ones are: 1941 Commissioner’s Standard Ordinary (CSO) Mortality Table, the 1958 CSO Mortality Table, 1980 CSO Mortality Table and the more recent table, the 2000 CSO Mortality Table. The ‘C’ stands for the gathering of state insurance commissioners in the US, the ‘S’ refers to standard risks only and the ‘O’ is for ordinary lives, meaning individual lives. The year indicates not the release date of the table but rather the year of tabulation of data. Previously, mortality rates are gender neutral, meaning, the same mortality rate for male and female clients is used but with a 3 to 5 year setback for female lives. This is due to the fact that females tend to outlive their male counterparts for the same insurance age group. Hence, starting on the 1980 Table, there is now a gender specific rate to recognize the improvement in female mortality rates. Further improvements were made in the 2000 table, there now being a distinction between non-smoker and smoker rates. A mortality table does not reflect accurately the life expectations of the entire population as the data were extracted from insured lives only, limited to those who purchased life insurance policies/certificates. In addition, a loading factor was added to the rates to add conservatism in the calculation of legal reserves. The rates are meant to apply only for a large number of insured. Just like probability topics, they follow the axiom or law of large numbers – as the number of samples increase, the actual coincides with the estimate. A portion of the 1980 CSO table is reproduced below (mortality rates on a per 000 basis) value at the rate of 12.5% per year thereby doubling the death benefit on the 9th year and before the maturity date. Like any other KCFAPI plan (except CMBP) Super Saver benefit certificate holders participate in the net surplus declared and paid every year. If this interests you, call us up or any fraternal counselor nearest you. We are more than glad to discuss further details about the Super Saver.

Super saver newest best seller
THE KCFAPI Super Saver Plan which was launched in 2008 together with the other gold series plans has become this year’s best seller with 26% of the total premium as of March 31, 2011. 1. One-time payment scheme. The single premium feature of the plan eliminated the trouble of paying premium for a number of years and also the worry of the possibility of lapsation. The plan is ideal for those seasonal earners like businessmen, agricultural and
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aqua-cultural workers and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). 2. Endowment after 10 years. The Super Saver matures after 10 years which is shorter than the traditional 20-year endowment. This feature enables the benefit certificate holder to have a concrete plan for a specific project he intends to undertake. There are parents who earmark the Super Saver maturity amount for their children’s education. 3. The plan provides for cash

values at the start of the second year thereby providing the benefit certificate holder a source of fund for emergency or other needs. We know of some farmers who borrowed from the cash value during planting season and paid the loan after harvest. Indeed, it is true that getting benefit certificate loan is a lot easier than borrowing from the bank. Bonus insurance coverage. Super Saver carries the unique provision of increasing face

and Msgr. Ruben Labajo. The homily of Archbishop Palma was a momentous one focusing on the convention theme: “I Am My Brother’s Keeper.” The message of the Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson was broadcasted on a video presentation, followed by the speech of Keynote Speaker, Most Rev. Julito B. Cortes, Auxiliary Bishop of Cebu. The three regions of the Visayas represented by its Regional Deputies namely Dalmacio Grafil of Eastern; Pepito J. Guyos of Western and Lino Jose Aguilar of Central, presented their individual reports preceding the report of the Visayas Deputy, Dionisio R. Esteban Jr. Bishop Crispin B. Varquez was the speaker during the Convention Luncheon that ended the morning session.
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The Marian Hour of Prayer was presided by Msgr. Esteban S. Binghay contemplating on the Holy Rosary. This was followed shortly by the message of the Director for Philippine Affairs, Mr. Eduardo G. Laczi, where he intimated among others the prompt submission of pertinent reports needed by the Supreme Office and the membership development particularly in the Visayas. Mr. Alonso L. Tan also delivered his speech after he was introduced by the Visayas Deputy as a man of three personalities: the Supreme Director, KCFAPI President and Luzon Deputy. Following this was the announcement of the newly appointed Visayas Deputy who will succeed Mr. Dionisio R. Esteban, Jr. as he ends his term on June 30, 2011. Mr. Eduardo Laczi read the appointment of Mr. Rodrigo

Sorongon as the incoming Visayas Deputy. The appointment was duly signed by the Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson. The Keynote Speaker for the Convention Dinner was the Steward of DILAAB Movement, Rev. Fr. Carmelo Diola who made an impressive power point presentation raising “Am I My Brother’s Keeper? Fellowship and Raffle Draw was the last part of the Convention Program. A musical variety show, featuring the three regions was also presented with raffle draws as intermission. In line with the event, KCFAPI campaigned in the Search for Fathers For Good–Philippines. A tarpaulin banner was displayed visibly at the Cebu International Convention Center and guidelines were distributed to the attendees of the Visayas Convention. (Allen C. Bohol) Benefits Group and Sir Knight Gari M. San Sebastian, Fraternal Benefits Services Manager also showed their support to the endeavor of the Mindanao Jurisdiction. Towards the end of the convention were series of raffle draws which made fourteen brothers and sisters a few thousands richer. The major prize went to Sir Knight Alberto M. Malcampo of Davao City who went home with his Toyota Revo. Mindanao State Deputy Sofronio R. Cruz together with Sir Knight Gerry T. Mission, thanked everyone in behalf of the organizers for making the 14th Mindanao State Convention a huge success. (Adrian B. Boston)

duties and responsibilities of Circle officers and counselors but also got to bond with each other through various activities such as the Joint Investiture lead by Sir Knight Hernando J. Jordan, Free Throw Contest, Catechism Quiz and Essay Writing Contest. The young counselors were inspired by the convention’s keynote speaker, Rev. Fr. Lt. Col. Bernardo T. Odfina, CHS, Chaplain of Armed Forces of the Philippines―Eastern Mindanao Command. The convention culminated with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist by the Auxiliary Bishop of Davao, Most Reverend George B. Rimando, DD. The Squires Convention Chairman, SK Victor Emmanuel R. Pretila and his committee
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members were successful in making the 3rd State Columbian Squires Convention a memorable one. The 14th Mindanao State Convention on the other hand, was marked by the Opening Convention Mass celebrated by Most Reverend Orlando B. Quevedo, OMI, D.D., Archbishop of Cotabato. Guest speakers during the convention were Sir Knight Hilario G. Davide Jr., Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Incorporated (KCFAPI) Chairman and former Chief Justice of the Philippines, Sir Knight Eduardo G. Laczi, Director for Philippine Affairs Fraternal Services and Sir Knight Alonso L. Tan, Supreme Director, Luzon Deputy and KCFAPI President.

Leaders of the Order who also graced the convention were members of the Board of Trustees of KCFAPI, Visayas State Deputy Sir Knight Dionisio R. Esteban Jr., and some members of the Board of Trustees of Keys Realty and Development Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of KCFAPI. Former Mindanao State Deputies namely Sir Knight Pedro M. Rodriguez Jr. (incumbent Vice Supreme Master), Sir Knight Alfredo O. Taruc, Alberto P. Solis (former Supreme Director) and Ernesto B. San Juan also graced the occasion. KCFAPI officers led by its Executive Vice President, Sister Ma. Theresa G. Curia, together with Sir Knight Joseph P. Teodoro, Vice President for Fraternal

The table above shows that for a person age 40, out of 1,000 insured lives, three males will die before the end of one year. When the applicant is 60 years old, there will be 16 male deaths compared to only 9.5 female deaths. The last column says that the probability of dying is higher for males, a low of 128% to a high of 181% of the female rates. This is what we meant by, quantitatively, women outliving their male counterparts for the same issue age.

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vegetable garden (accessibility, garden size, plot preparation, crop planning, planting, sowing and transplanting). There were twenty-one participants who were given the free hand to ask pertinent questions at any point during Mr. Ayos’ lecture/seminar. He also provided three sets of handouts plus complimentary copies of the book “Panimulang Aklat sa Paggulayan” as written by authors Villareal, Shanmugasundaram and Chadha. Immediately after the lecture, the participants were given the chance to apply the knowledge they gained regarding the correct method for planting various vegetable seeds and transplanting of different seedlings. The Bureau of Plants Industry provided 30 complimentary packs of mixed vegetable seeds that included: ampalaya, upland

kangkong, bush sitao, okra, tomato, pechay, eggplant, hot pepper, squash and mustard. KCPFI, on the other hand, supplied the necessary garden soil, organic compost (purchased from BPI), containers as well as garden gloves. Subject lecture/seminar on Backyard Gardening and Organic Vegetable Production is the first of a series of projects planned for the year by the KC Philippines Foundation. KCPFI, through Executive Director, Bro. Roberto T. Cruz, expressed hope that with the lively participation of the top-level Board members/key officers of the KCFAPI Group of Companies and the three State Deputies and their officers in the seminar/lecture, these select leaders will be able to mirror and cascade the acquired knowledge and interest in backyard gardening and organic vegetable

production to the units/personnel under their respective supervision to establish a growing corps of enthusiasts. If the filtering down of this enthusiasm in backyard gardening pushes through and with 2,353 KC Councils distributed nationwide, surely this would be a good start in addressing the recurring hunger pains of the common Filipino who will now be able to eat better, healthier and more regularly with his own supply of home-grown food and vegetables. As such, we not only would have helped create a healthy environment, but we would also be encouraging a simple and quiet way to attain personal relaxation and fulfillment once we see and enjoy the fruits (literally) of our gardening labors. (Bro. Roberto T. Cruz)

Bataan and Project Honorary Chairperson; and DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson, unveiled the image of Blessed Pope John Paul II, which was immediately blessed by Bishop Santos. Luzon State Officers Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio III, Assistant State Chaplain; Arsenio Isidro Yap, State Secretary; Joven Joaquin, State Treasurer; State Chairman Jose Cuaresma, Columbian Squires, Ramon Sanchez, Secretary to the Board of Luzon Jurisdiction and Florencio Lucio, District Deputy, Diocese of Balanga; witnessed the historical event. The Knights of Columbus and honor guards of the Diocese of

Imus led by Retired Commodore Amado A. Sanglay, District Deputy of I31 were also present during the entire event. Meanwhile, before the inauguration, the honor guards in complete regalia led the procession of the image of Our Lady of Assumption from the BTPI to its place beside the memorial shrine of the Pope. The entrance of the “Wooden Cross” was escorted by the honor guards. The said cross was crafted by a Vietnamese refugee and given as a gift to the Pope on his visit to the BTPI, formerly called Philippine Refugee Processing Center (PRPC) on February 21, 1981. (Vanessa Puno)


The Cross

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 15 No. 10

May 9 - 22, 2011

FBG holds service training for Luzon Fraternal Counselors
We are pleased to inform you that KCFAPI needs members and KC family members (wife and children) as fraternal counselors. The applicants for the positions must possess the following qualifications: 1. Male or female, married 2. College education 3. Between ages 35-55 4. Trainable and must be willing to be trained 5. Willing to travel and work long hours Successful fraternal counselors face the prospect of lucrative income, travel here in the country and abroad for free and earning recognitions from the Order. For interested parties, you may call 527-22-23 loc. 224 or 225 and look for Mr. Gari San Sebastian or Mr. Joseph Teodoro.

THE Fraternal Benefits Group (FBG) of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) held a two-day fraternal service training for Fraternal Counselors of Luzon from April 28 to 29, 2011 at the KCFAPI Social hall in Intramuros, Manila. The participants of the said training were from Bicol, Central Luzon, Northeastern Luzon,

THE Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree District IV, NCR hosted the 1st NCR Master’s Cup Golf Tournament held last April 2, 2011 from 6:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Club Intramuros Golf Course in Intramuros, Manila. Proceeds of the event will help upgrade the District IV, NCR Fourth degree exemplification team equipment, spiritual and patriotic course equipment as well as procure uniforms of special Fourth degree honor guards. Luzon Deputy and Supreme Director Alonso Tan graced the event and awarded the trophies and major prizes to the champion and winners. He was assisted by Sir Knight German F. Martinez, Jr., tournament chairman of the Ad-

KC 4th Degree District IV hosts 1st NCR Master’s Cup

Northern Luzon, Metro Manila and Southwestern Luzon. Fraternal counsellors listened to the talks of the speakers about KCFAPI plans, programs, products, as well as the strategies on sales performance. KCFAPI President and Supreme Director, Alonso L. Tan and KCFAPI Executive Vice President, Ma. Theresa G. Curia, also delivered their inspirational messages.

Gari San Sebastian, Fraternal Benefits Services Manager and Joseph P. Teodoro, Fraternal Benefits Group (FBG) VicePresident were the trainers and speakers of the training. Moreover, the FBG made the fraternal counselors familiar with the Order of the Knights of Columbus and the history of the insurance arm of the Order. (Vanessa Puno)

ministrative Affairs committee and Sir Knight Ruben O. Delos Reyes, tournament director, respectively. Sir Knight Deovides F. Reyes, Master of the Fourth Degree, 4th District-NCR delivered an inspirational remark. Sir Knight Delos Reyes welcomed the 92 players, major-

ity of them were faithful navigators, past faithful navigators, and district deputies. Msgr. Arnel Lagarejos, parish priest of Our Lady of Light Parish in Cainta, Rizal and Fr. Bonnie Chavez also participated in the said event. Sir Knight Rodolf C. Dauz, tournament chairman of the Ways and Means committee awarded the consolation prizes to the deserving enthusiasts. The creditable sponsors of the said golf tournament were Mandaluyong City Congressman Neptali Gonzales, Mandaluyong City Mayor Benjamin Abalos, Paranaque City Mayor Florencio Bernabe, Jr., Caloocan City Vice-Mayor Edgar Erice, Air Philippines Express, Petron Philippines and Puyat Steel Corporation. (Vanessa Puno)

The Board of Trustees Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. Report on the Financial Statements We have audited the accompanying parent company financial statements of Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (a nonstock, not-for-profit fraternal beneficiary society), which comprise the parent company statements of financial position as at December 31, 2010 and 2009, and the parent company statements of revenue and expenses, parent company statements of comprehensive income, parent company statements of changes in net worth and parent company statements of cash flows for the years then ended, and a summary of significant accounting policies and other explanatory information. Management’s Responsibility for the Parent Company Financial Statements Management is responsible for the preparation and fair presentation of these parent company financial statements in accordance with Philippine Financial Reporting Standards, and for such internal control as management determines is necessary to enable the preparation of parent company financial statements that are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error. Auditors’ Responsibility Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these parent company financial statements based on our audits. We conducted our audits in accordance with Philippine Standards on Auditing. Those standards require that we comply with ethical requirements and plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the parent company financial statements are free from material misstatement. An audit involves performing procedures to obtain audit evidence about the amounts and disclosures in the parent company financial statements. The procedures selected depend on the auditor’s judgment, including the assessment of the risks of material misstatement of the parent company financial statements, whether due to fraud or error. In making those risk assessments, the auditor considers internal control relevant to the entity’s preparation and fair presentation of the parent company financial statements in order to design audit procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances, but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the entity’s internal control. An audit also includes evaluating the appropriateness of accounting policies used and the reasonableness of accounting estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial parent company statements. We believe that the audit evidence we have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our audit opinion. Opinion In our opinion, the parent company financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. as of December 31, 2010 and 2009, and its financial performance and its cash flows for the years then ended in accordance with Philippine Financial Reporting Standards. Report on the Supplementary Information Required Under Revenue Regulations 15-2010 Our audits were conducted for the purpose of forming an opinion on the basic financial statements taken as a whole. The supplementary information on taxes and licenses in Note 30 to the financial statements is presented for purposes of filing with the Bureau of Internal Revenue and is not a required part of the basic financial statements. Such information is the responsibility of the management of Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. The information has been subjected to the auditing procedures applied in our audit of the basic financial statements and, in our opinion, is fairly stated in all material respects in relation to the basic financial statements taken as a whole. SYCIP GORRES VELAYO & CO.

Michael C. Sabado Partner CPA Certificate No. 89336 SEC Accreditation No. 0664-AR-1 Tax Identification No. 160-302-865 BIR Accreditation No. 08-001998-73-2009, June 1, 2009, Valid until May 31, 2012 PTR No. 2641561, January 3, 2011, Makati City April 6, 2011