Crisis of ‘indifference’ shows need for New Evangelization, Pope says

of B1 ‘Promote the Goodthe Every Man and of Whole Man’


The Cross

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

Demolition of fish cages in Taal Lake sought
FOLLOWING the massive fish kill incident, a Catholic archbishop has called for the dismantling of fish cages in Taal Lake. Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles said that aside from being an eyesore, the fish cage operations are killing the lake, declared a protected area. Since May 26, some 800 metric tons of dead milk fish (bangus) and tilapia were seen floating on Taal Lake in Talisay. “I’m thankful that the tawilis and maliputo
Taal / A6

June 6 - 19, 2011

Vol. 15 No. 12

Php 20.00
By Roy Lagarde

Church summit to tackle plight of poor

THE continuing apathy towards the poor has spurred the Catholic Church’s social action arm to hold a nationwide summit on poverty in an attempt to come out with concrete actions to improve the life of the underprivileged.
The National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace (Nassa) of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines said it is another effort to understand poverty from the perspective of the poor themselves. Nassa executive secretary Fr. Edu Gariguez hopes that the summit will bring them to know the real causes of poverty and decide “which way to take.” Gariguez claimed that the current economic policies are going towards a direction “no different” from the past administration. “If we look at the Philippine Development Plan, for example, it’s like only a few are going to benefit from it again,” Gariguez said. It is also evident, he said, in the allocations of the national budget for 2011 which, according to him, has lopsided priorities. “All in all, it seems like there’s nothing new really,” he said. “Let’s discontinue the lapses of the past administration,” the priest said. “Current economic policies which do not really benefit the people should be improved.” Multi-sectoral participation Organized by Nassa, the upcoming summit on July 3-5 is convened together with other government agencies on agriculture, agrarian reform, health, labor, education and social welfare, in conjunction with basic sectors and non-government organizations. He said around 300 participants

The Episcopal Commission on Social Action, Justice and Peace chairman and Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo (extreme right) joins other environmental advocates as they run over a streamer of Mining Act of 1995 during celebration of World Environment Day, June 6. The advocates bike around the Quezon City Circle as they called for a reform in the government’s “flawed” mining policy.

Photo courtesy of CBCP-NASSA

Senate OK to postpone Prelates ARMM polls upsets bishops oppose moves to introduce divorce in PHL

Summit / A6


Bishop Martin Jumoad

Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo

ALLOCATING millions of pesos for House Bill 4244 means slashing the budget that would have otherwise been spent on education and other basic services, said a member of the House of Representatives in a recent press conference. Zambales Rep. Ma. Milagros Magsaysay pointed out that poli-

More funds for RH Bill mean less for basic services―solon
ticians, come election time, drum up the need to help the poor and get them out of poverty. “Pero kapag titingnan naman po ‘yung legislation namin through the budget, hindi naman po lalagyan ng pondo ang mga ahensiya na talagang makakatulong para maiahon ang mga mahihirap sa kanilang kahirapan.” “We can even see that the budgets for education, for tertiary educational scholarships, skills training, livelihood projects, assistance for farmers, agrarian reform beneficiaries, are being cut,” she added. These are the good pieces of legislation that would have

helped uplift the plight of the impoverished if these were provided with funding, the legislator said. She expressed feeling somewhat ashamed, that government policy sometimes ends up prioritizing the wrong things. “Sabi ho ng kabilang partido,
RH Bill / A6


CATHOLIC bishops in Southern Philippines expressed disappointment over a decision to postpone the elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. The bishops described the Senate’s approval of the bill delaying the ARMM polls set on August 8 as an apparent example of “Manila imperialism.” “The law is not respected and, we, here in Mindanao are not given the opportunity to choose our own leaders,” Basilan Bishop Martin Jumoad said. “We want the elections and not the imposition of (national) leaders,” he said. Cotabato Auxiliary Bishop Jose Colin

SOME prelates voiced out their strong opposition to yet another controversial measure that touches on the core of Filipino culture which the House Committee on Revision of Laws in Congress has began discussing last June 1. Butuan Bishop Juan De Dios Pueblos said the proposed divorce measure also known as House Bill 1799, is leading towards immorality in a society which begins at home. Pro-divorce advocates is pushing for the measure, saying only the Philippines is left without a divorce law as Malta, also a Catholic country, has recently passed its own divorce law. But Lipa Archbishop Ramon C. Arguelles called on

the Filipino Catholic faithful not to follow the bad examples of ‘de-Christianizing’ countries. “[Instead] they (other countries) should follow our example of Catholic fidelity,” the 66-year-old prelate added. For his part, Puerto Princesa Bishop Pedro V. Arigo, looks at the scheduled hearings and deliberations as a “waste of time and taxpayers’ money.” “There are more important issues to address,” he said. The introduction of the divorce bill may be part of the government’s psychological strategy against the Catholic Church because of the recent criticisms leveled by various Catholic leaders
Divorce / A6

Bishop urges calm over Spratly dispute
A CATHOLIC bishop has called for calm and restraint on all parties involved in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez said intimidation should be avoided over an island claimed by China and several of its Southeast Asian neighbors, including Vietnam and the Philippines. “We should always look for peaceful ways to resolve the matter. We owe it to our people and to the world to advocate and work for peace,” said Iñiguez. “Always go for dialogue and not conflicts,” he said. The bishop made the statement amid the recent flaring up of tension between the six countries claiming the island chain in the South China Sea. Smaller neighbors have earlier accused China of behaving like a bully in the South China Sea. The Communist giant, however, allayed fears that China would use its growing economic and military power to threaten its Asian neighbors. Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie said that “democracy in international relations” and respect for “each
Spratly / A6
Illustration by Bladimer Usi

No divorce, a distinction for PHL―CBCP

BEING the only country in the world that has no divorce law is an honor that every Filipino should be proud of, a former president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines said.

Distinction / A6

Listen to the CBCP Online Radio at: www.cbcponlineradio.com


U.S. Bishops to issue Document on Assisted Suicide
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 3, 2011― The U.S. bishops will debate and vote on a document on physician-assisted suicide at their spring general assembly, which will be held June 15-17 in Seattle. The document, “To Live Each Day with Dignity,” will be the first statement on assisted suicide by the full body of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). “After years of relative inaction following legalization of physicianassisted suicide in Oregon in 1994, the assisted suicide movement has shown a strong resurgence in activity,” said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of GalvestonHouston, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities. “This renewed effort has led to the passage of an Oregon-style law in Washington by popular referendum in November 2008, a state supreme court decision essentially declaring that assisted suicide is not against public policy in Montana, and concerted efforts to pass legislation in several New England and Western states,” Cardinal DiNardo continued in a press statement issued by the bishops’ conference. “The Church needs to respond in a timely and visible way to this renewed challenge, which will surely be pursued in a number of states in the years to come,” he added. That response will come in the form of the final document to be issued following the bishops’ meeting later this month. Love and mercy The text will highlight that “the way

World News

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 15 No. 12
June 6 - 19, 2011

cian-assisted suicide does not promote compassion because its focus is not on eliminating suffering, but on eliminating the patient. True compassion, it states, dedicates itself to meeting patients’ needs and presupposes a commitment to their equal worth. The statement says that “compassion” that is not rooted in such respect inevitably finds more and more people whose suffering is considered serious enough for assisted death, such as those with chronic illness and disabilities. Human Dignity Patients with terminal illness deserve life-affirming palliative care that respects their dignity and worth. “Assisted suicide is not an addition to palliative care,” the release said, “but a poor substitute that can ultimately become an excuse for denying better medical care to seriously ill people, including those who never considered suicide an option.” Citing the example of the Netherlands, the statement points out that voluntary assisted suicide has led to case of involuntary euthanasia. Also, the statement explains, the practice undermines patients’ freedom by putting pressure on them, once society has officially declared the suicides of certain people to be good and acceptable while working to prevent the suicides of others. Once the worth of a person’s life is diminished, their freedom and autonomy is diminished as well. (Zenit)

of love and true mercy” that John Paul II pointed to in “Evangelium Vitae” is the model for those who offer palliative care. Truly compassionate palliative care means eliminating suffering, not the sufferer, the bishops explained in a statement that summarized the main points of the document.

The issues the bishops will discuss include the hardships and fears of patients with chronic and terminal illnesses, concern for those tempted to commit suicide, the Church’s opposition to physician-assisted suicide, and “the consistency of this stance with the principle of equal and inherent human

rights and the ethical principles of the medical profession.” The bishops will also address arguments of the assisted suicide movement that claim its agenda affirms patient “choice” and expresses “compassion” for suffering. The bishops’ statement says physi-

Vatican Briefing
Palestinian President visits Benedict XVI

Music brings pope to reflect on God’s fidelity

Though mankind feels the weight of the evil that exists in the world, God does not abandon us. He never betrays and never forgets, Benedict XVI says. The Pope made this reflection May 27 after a concert offered in his honor by the president of Hungary, Pál Schmitt. The concert marked the Hungarian presidency of the Council of the European Union and the bicentenary of the birth of the Hungarian musician Ferenc Liszt. The Holy Father offered various reflections on the music, pausing in particular to speak about the setting of Psalm 13. (Zenit)
Croatia seals Church’s right to educate

The Holy See and Croatia sealed a treaty to implement an agreement on Catholic schools in the country. Archbishop Marin Srakić, president of the Croatian Episcopal Conference, and Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor, confirmed the agreement May 23 at the Episcopal conference headquarters, reported the bishops’ news agency. The agreement was signed 15 years ago and will now be implemented. The document recognizes the Catholic Church’s right to establish schools of all types and grade levels and specifies the respective obligations of the state, including regarding teachers’ salaries. (Zenit)
Italy releases over $33 million in Vatican bank assets

¡Gracias! In other World Youth Day news, the Foundation of the Atlético de Madrid soccer team, along with the World Youth Day organizers, revealed that a celebrity soccer match will take place on the final day youth event. The initiative, titled “¡Gracias!” (Thank You!), will feature a faceoff between a select group of former soccer players and others

from around the world at the Vicente Calderón Stadium. Enrique Cerezo, president of the Atlético de Madrid team, affirmed that “being able to contribute to events of this magnitude is always an extraordinary opportunity.” “World Youth Day,” he continued, “has an understanding of solidarity that goes hand-in-hand with the ideals of the Foundation Atlético de Madrid, and it gives young people the chance to have

a fulfilling experience in transmitting the message of solidarity.” The sporting event will be open to the public, and not only to the participants of World Youth Day, and the proceeds will go toward funding World Youth Day and to a charity project carried out in collaboration with the Foundation Atlético de Madrid. There are currently about 400,000 young people from 182 countries registered for World Youth Day in Madrid. (Zenit)

Rome’s attorney general has released 23 million Euro (over $33 million) in assets belonging to the Institute for Religious Works, also known as the Vatican bank. The money was frozen after an anti-money laundering investigation was launched against the president of the bank Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, and the general director of the Institute, Paolo Cipriani. The Institute for Religious Works is under the auspices of the Vatican. (CNA)
Pope urges peaceful resolution to Israeli-Palestinian conflict

The diocese of Sendai takes on Japan’s emergency: ‘New Creation’
SENDAI, Japan, June 3, 2011―The diocese of Sendai has put a structured plan in place to support people affected by the earthquake and tsunami of 11 March, entitled “New Creation.” The plan was decided on 15 April and has since been developing in practice. The bishop of the diocese, Msgr. Martin Tetsuo Hiraga, said: “We feel the mission to be close with this great number of people who are suffering. To execute this new project, we must live according to this attitude: be a Church that seeks a new creation, striving—where our forces allow—to maintain a special and profound approach to people and the most isolated places in a way that allows us to be close the people who inhabit them, so we can revive them, give them strength and walk with them.” Responding to urgent needs after enormous damage was done to the entire coastal area, the diocese of Sendai has raised some fundamental pillars for its action, basing them on establishing and promoting the “Sendai Diocese Support Centre” as a foundation for relief efforts and asking that all dioceses contribute to this effort. The Centre was formed on 16 March under the responsibility of the Bishop of Sendai to support, strengthen and increase its area of rescue. It brings together the staff, equipment and material which may be required. To finance this activity, donations received through Caritas Japan will be used. Continuing in a spirit of charity, the Centre not only assists fellow Catholics affected, but also supports all those who are in need of help. Currently, the Centre consists of a headquarters and several secondary centres in buildings and on various church grounds in the affected area. From now on, according to the needs of these areas, the centres will continue to give active help to the best of their abilities. Currently, the diocese of Niigata operates refuge centres and aid to those affected by the disaster. Similarly, the diocese of Saitama helps our brothers of the south coast of Fukushima, particularly in the city of Iwaki. The diocese of Sapporo is helping the community of the Church of Miyako and its surroundings. The archdiocese of Tokyo, thanks to its international pastoral centre, supports all these activities. (AsiaNews)

Pope Benedict XVI expressed the urgent need to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as he met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a June 3 audience at the Vatican. “A central issue of the cordial conversations was the troubled situation in the Holy Land. Particular stress was laid on the urgent need to find a just and lasting solution to the IsraeliPalestinian conflict, one capable of ensuring respect for the rights of all and, therefore, the attainment of the Palestinian people’s legitimate aspirations for an independent State,” reported the Vatican press office. (CNA)
Vatican calls for stronger assistance to victims of piracy

Shipbuilders and owners must adopt stronger security measures to prevent their vessels from falling prey to pirates, and international maritime organizations must be committed to helping the families of sailors held hostage, the Vatican said. “The phenomenon is not decreasing, considering that already (in 2011) there have been 214 new episodes with 26 ships and 522 sailors still held hostage by pirates,” said a statement May 26 from the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers. (CNS)
Caritas elects French secretary general, re-elects cardinal president

Lebanese Christians seek unity despite political differences
BEIRUT, Lebanon, June 2, 2011—The separation of religion and politics, the defence of Christian-owned land, a greater Christian presence in public institutions and the promotion of the common good “for the betterment of the country, society and government” were the goals laid out by Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rahi at a meeting with 34 Maronite political leaders, from both the ruling coalition and opposition parties, held at the Patriarchal See in Bkerke. For Mgr Rahi, Lebanese Christians, independently of their political beliefs, have a “collective responsibility” to promote the values of the Gospel and the teachings of the Church in society. “We are here to examine our reality and decide how to improve it, despite [our] different political beliefs, which still follow our values and culture, in light of the teachings of the Church and Lebanon’s special character.” Before the meeting, an agreement was expected on two topics, namely the sale of Christianowned land and the ways to enhance the Christian presence in public institutions. “Christians represent 30 per cent of the public work force. This is inacceptable,” Bishop Salim Mazloum said. “Only by participating in public institutions can Christians maintain an active presence,” the patriarch said. Some observers expected members of the ruling ‘8 March’ coalition to cause some difficul-

Members of Caritas Internationalis elected an official from the French charity Secours Catholique to be their secretary general and they re-elected Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa as president of the confederation of 165 Catholic charities. Michel Roy, director of international advocacy for the French Catholic charity, was elected by regional representatives making up the Caritas executive committee. His election was confirmed May 26 by delegates to the Caritas Internationalis general assembly. (CNS)

ties with respect to Hizbollah’s weapons and the international tribunal investigating the murder of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Apparently, the issues were discussed but nothing is known as to what was said. Still, the first comments following the meeting were positive. Participants also decided to set up a committee to prepare further meetings so that “Lebanon can remain an example of democracy and freedom.” (AsiaNews)


Benedict XVI and the president of the Palestinian Authority on June 3 discussed peace in the Middle East and a state for Palestine with internationally recognized borders. Mahmoud Abbas visited the Pope at the Vatican, going on to meet with the Holy Father’s secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for relations with states. According to a Vatican communiqué, the “central issue of the cordial conversations” was peace in the Holy Land. (Zenit)

Spanish royalty meet with WYD organizers
MADRID, Spain, June 2, 2011— From the Spanish royal family to the royalty of the soccer world, World Youth Day organizers are receiving a wave of well wishes and collaboration from Spanish celebrities. Earlier this week the Prince and Princess of Asturias, the heirs to the Spanish throne, received representatives of the World Youth Day Organizing Committee and the Madrid Vivo Foundation to show their support and enthusiasm for the work these organizations are doing to prepare for the event, which is set to take place Aug. 16-21 in Madrid. The prince and princess remarked on the great social significance of World Youth Day, which will be a unique opportunity for Spain and its capital city. Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco, the archbishop of Madrid and president of the youth day organizing committee, spoke to the royal couple of the “many young people from around the world who will come to World Youth Day and discover a vision of hope and joy for a life in which the ‘civilization of love’ is not merely a utopia.” As a sign of their affection, organizers presented the Prince and Princess of Asturias with World Youth Day T-shirts for their daughters and a World Youth Day watch for each of them. The Prince of Asturias, Felipe of Spain, was in Rome for the recent beatification of Pope John Paul II, where he bid farewell to Benedict XVI with the words, “Holy Father, we await you in Madrid!”


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 15 No. 12
June 6 - 19, 2011

Crisis of ‘indifference’ shows need for New Evangelization, Pope says
VATICAN City, May 30, 2011—Pope Benedict stressed the urgency of evangelizing modern society, saying that Christians today face the task of reaching a world that grows increasingly apathetic to the message of the Gospel. “The crisis we are living through,” he said, “carries with it signs of the exclusion of God from people’s lives, a general indifference to the Christian faith, and even the intention of marginalizing it from public life.” The Pope made his remarks on May 30 to members of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, as they prepare for their upcoming synod in 2012. During the meeting, which will take place Oct. 7-28 next year, bishops and other participants from around the world will discuss the late Pope John Paul II’s vision of proposing the Christian faith in new ways. Pope Benedict explained that “the term ‘new evangelization’ recalls the need of a new way of evangelizing, especially for those who live in a situation like today’s where the development of secularization has left deep marks on even traditionally Christian countries.” He noted that “proclaiming Jesus Christ, the sole Savior of the world, is more complex today than in the past, but our task continues to be the same as at the beginning of our history. The mission hasn’t changed, just as the enthusiasm and courage that motivated the apostles and first disciples should not change.” The Church’s message, he said, “needs to be renewed today in order to convince modern persons, who are often distracted and insensitive. That is why the new evangelization must find ways to make the proclamation of salvation more effective, the salvation without which life is contradictory and lacking in what is essential.” Pope Benedict observed a growing “phenomenon” of people in modern society “who wish to belong to the Church but who are strongly determined by a vision of life that is opposed to the faith is often seen.” “It is important to make them understand that being Christian is not a type of outfit that one wears in private or on special occasions, but something living and totalizing, capable of taking all that is good in modernity.” He emphasized that the entire Christian community “is called to revive the missionary spirit in order to offer the new message that persons of our times are hoping for.” The “lifestyle of believers needs real credibility,” the Pope said, adding that Christians should be “much more convincing” because the “condition of the persons to whom it is addressed” is dramatic. Pope Benedict asked the council members to outline “a plan to help the entire Church and the particular different Churches in the commitment of the new evangelization; a plan whereby the urgency of a renewed evangelization takes charge of formation, particularly that of the new generations, and is united to the proposal of concrete signs capable of making the Church’s response in this particular moment clear.” (CNA/EWTN News)

News Features


House Committee on Ecology assailed for endorsing Laguna lake project
MANILA, June 2, 2011—The fishers’ group, Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) slammed the House of Representatives (HOR) for endorsing the controversial P18.7 billion (US$432.62 million) Laguna Lake Dredging Project. The project has already been cancelled by the Aquino government last December 5, 2010. Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap calls the endorsement by House Committee on Ecology, composed by Representatives Dan Fernandez, Maximo Rodriguez, Rufus Rodriguez, Ma. Evita Arago, Justin March SB. Chipeco, Edgar San Luis, Rodolfo Biazon, Joel Roy Duavit and Isidro Roridguez Jr., as “betrayal” against the Filipino people and the environment as a whole. “What these congressmen did was a triple platinum betrayal of national interest. It is a red carpet endorsement of near future across-the-Laguna Lake environmental catastrophe and grand massacre of fishing rights and people’s livelihood. We don’t need the P 18.7 B investment if it will mean destruction to more than 6 million people in Laguna Lake,” Hicap said. In the House Committee Report No. 1022, the aforementioned lawmakers have recommended to President Benigno C. Aquino III, to reconsider the project as it was necessary to prevent more flooding in Metro Manila and other areas surrounding and near the lake. The lawmakers also stated in their report that the loan contract and other commercial financial terms offered by the Belgian contractor Baggerwerken Cloedt En Zoon (BDC) is a “laudable financial package” and therefore “will not be disadvantageous to the Philippine government.” Pamalakaya and the Sagip Laguna Lake Movement have protested the dredging of the lake for it is deemed more ‘corporate’ than ecological since it will pave to the “privatization” of the biggest freshwater lake in the country. The groups are referring to private companies that might capitalize on the newly rehabilitated lake, thus taking away the source of livelihood for more than 100,000 fishing families in the Laguna Lake. In the meantime, the same report stated that due to the “arbitrary” cancellation of the project, the State might face sanction as the Kingdom of Belgium might file a case against the Philippine government. If this happens, the lawmakers argued, the Philippines might lose a lot of money in litigation. (Noel Sales Barcelona)

Rome foundation offers course to help educators train healthy priests
VATICAN City, May 27, 2011— A Rome-based Catholic foundation is offering a course to help educators ensure the spiritual and psychological formation of candidates for the priesthood and the consecrated life. Cardinal Elio Sgreccia, who served for many years at the helm of the Pontifical Academy for Life, said May 27 that the crisis in the church over the problem of the sexual abuse of minors by priests was an important factor in establishing the course, but not the only one. The Italian cardinal is president of the Ut Vitam Habeant Foundation, which is working with the Camillianum International Institute of the Theology of Health Care to offer the course in Rome beginning in November. Canossian Father Amedeo Cencini, a psychologist and expert in religious formation, said the course is designed to ensure candidates for the priesthood and religious life are formed as whole people, with healthy and deep relationships both with God and others. The classes listed in the prospectus address the spiritual and psychological development of candidates. Sexuality is discussed from the cultural, biological and psychological points of view. A section on immaturity and psychological problems will include a discussion about masturbation, homosexuality and pedophilia. Dr. Manfred Lutz, who heads the psychiatry department at a German hospital and has acted as a consultant to the Vatican on the sex abuse issue, said the formation of a candidate for the priesthood or religious life is essential, but those responsible for preparing candidates also need to understand when a candidate is unfit. “There are people who cannot become priests, and it’s not just a question of the right formation,” he said. Lutz said that future priests and religious need to be well prepared for a life of celibacy, but insisted that celibacy was not the cause of sexual abuse of minors. Instead, celibacy “renders a priest free to develop his pastoral relations” and put all his energy and enthusiasm in his pastoral work, he said. Helping candidates learn to live happily in celibacy, he said, is much easier than helping a candidate overcome a tendency toward narcissism, a pathology he said was very difficult to eradicate even with good formation. Cardinal Sgreccia told reporters the course is the first of its kind to be offered to Catholic educators and “if the course is good and effective, others may follow” in other parts of the world. The course was designed as two intensive, three-week seminars in a two-year period. It is open to priests, religious and laypeople who educate candidates in seminaries or religious communities, as well as psychologists, doctors and others who support their work from the outside. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released a letter May 16 ordering bishops’ conferences around the world to draw up guidelines to protect children from harm. The letter reiterated the need for bishops and religious communities to exercise special care when accepting candidates for the priesthood or religious life and to provide them “a healthy human and spiritual formation” and a clear understanding of the value and meaning of chastity. (CNS)

RH legislation a ‘cultural intrusion’—CBCP lawyer
MANILA, June 1, 2011—While the formulation of Philippine laws is essentially based on the needs and conditions of the country’s citizens, the crafting of the Reproductive Health (RH) bill cannot be attributed to Filipino lawmakers but to foreign organizations, said Atty. Jo Aurea Imbong, Executive Secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Legal Office. “It’s really introducing a different culture and replacing our own with something else. It is a cultural intrusion [in which] you supplant a beautiful thing with something that is alien,” Imbong explained. “It’s quite disturbing because our culture, as it is, has very wholesome ideals, built on Christian values, and now they attack the very groundings of those values by attacking religion. When we talk of religion, we talk of values,” she added. The RH bill continues to face growing opposition from civic groups, child development experts and concerned families who assert that the measure violates Constitutional and religious freedoms, and risks the well-being and proper formation of children and the youth. House Bill 4244—or the Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population and Development Act of 2011— is the latest version of a piece of legislation that mandates taxpayer-funded procurement and distribution of the “full range” of birth control drugs, devices and services, a six-year sex education program in all schools, and the provision to employees by their employers of these same family planning drugs, devices and services. Also included in the bill, which proposes a P2 billion annual budget for its implementation, are a two-child ideal as regards family size, the classification of artificial contraceptives as “essential medicines,” and punitive actions for those who speak against the measure or who refuse to abide by its provisions. Imbong pointed to the Sixth Country Programme to the Philippines formulated by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)—a document that details the agency’s goals and directives on population and reproductive health policies in the country—as indicative of the foreign origins of RH legislation. Implications of the RH bill’s imperialist nature expressed by several lawmakers, social analysts and newspaper columnists, have often been met with skepticism by RH supporters, dismissing these as mere speculation or baseless opinions. However, according to the lawyer, publicly available documents which reveal the UN’s directives for countries such as the Philippines support such as-


sertions of cultural imperialism. “Based on the documents, the laws and ordinances for the local government councils are already ready, so the officials wouldn’t have to bother drafting these from scratch. They are responsible for the template that was used,” Imbong pointed out. International bodies United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and UNFPA are the ones primarily involved in this, the lawyer said. “You can see that the definitions and the terms—the language—[in international and local documents] are the same. In essence, the substance of the RH bill is not Filipino.” (Diana Uichanco)

Commercial interests, lack of information behind support of RH
MANILA, June 3, 2011―Sectors that stand to gain materially from a reproductive health law are among the supporters of House Bill 4244, asserted Sarangani Rep. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao. When asked why something like an RH bill is being proposed by Filipino lawmakers and being supported by many despite being a naturally liferespecting and God-fearing people, the solon said that this can be attributed partly to the presence of big companies in the local birth control industry. “Sa tingin ko ‘yan ay suportado ng mga naglalakihang companies dito sa atin―’yung mga gumagawa ng mga condoms, pills. Iyon ang sumusuporta dito para lumakas ang [business] nila.” Based on the DKT International website that detailed figures concerning the Philippine market, the company’s program in 2010 sold over 40 million condoms, over 27 million oral contraceptives, over 1 million injectable contraceptives, and over 30,000 IUDs. DKT is the distributor of Trust condoms and other birth control drugs and devices, as well as Frenzy condoms. Anthony Perez, founder of Filipinos for Life, posits that moral relativism is at the root of some people’s positive regard for the RH bill despite being reared with time-tested family values. “It’s due to the pervasiveness of moral relativism. For decades, we have embraced everything Western, from clothing to food to lifestyles, and this includes philosophies which run counter to our identities as Filipinos. We are now a nation that is experiencing the most resistance of religion in its history, and part of the blame may go to Catholic professors and teachers who teach about the faith but have been amiss in stomping out relativism in their students from its first onset,” he said. “Filipino Christians and Catholics must now realize that there is the need to educate our young people in the right way so that they do not fall victim to wrong doctrine and moral relativism,” he added. For Chet Espino, convenor of Families Against the RH Bill, a lack of correct information prevents many who profess a pro-RH position from forming sound judgments about the issue. “While it is difficult to question the motivations of people pushing for the RH Bill, it is quite apparent that the advocates are misinformed about the ill effects of contraceptive use and its social costs. We have observed that many people have made up their minds in support of the RH Bill for misplaced reasons,” he lamented. “Sadly they continue to refuse to accept the arguments, insisting on looking at it as a religious issue and an occasion to go against the Church―in the face of extensive scientific evidence on the negative effects on the users’ physical, psychological and emotional well-being; its adverse effects on the economy, let alone the moral fiber of society in general.” The RH Bill continues to meet mounting opposition from civic groups, faithbased organizations, and child development experts and family advocates, with protest demonstrations being held in various parts of the country. The opposition is due mainly to the measure’s mandate of taxpayerfunded procurement and distribution of a “full range” of birth control drugs and devices including abortifacients, six-year sex education program from Grade 5 to 4th year high school in all schools as well as among out-of-school youth, provision of birth control drugs, devices and services by employers to their employees, and punitive measures for those who speak out against the bill. (Diana Uichanco)

© Ronalyn Regino / CBCP Media


New Evangelization

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 15 No. 12
June 6 - 19, 2011

LAST month Pope Benedict XVI formally instituted a new dicastery or a new department at the Roman Curia named the “Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization.” Apparently, this has been in his mind for sometime now, perhaps taking cue from the Novo millennio ineunte of his predecessor, now Blessed John Paul II. Expectedly, this dicastery will become very handy during the forthcoming 13th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October 2012 that will dwell on the topic “New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith.” Human nature has not escalated a bit. And history has been repeating itself rather consistently. “What was, will be again, what has been done, will be done again, and there is nothing new under the sun,” or so says Qoheleth in Ecclesiastes. But in the last decade, or even farther down to the Second Vatican Council, the mode of understanding and expression in the context of rapid technological advances had been incomparable in time. Secularism, for instance, would have been understood and expressed differently, and perhaps more sluggishly if loosely during the time of the galleons of the colonials than, say, the Facebook that circulates influence in a “viral” way—as viral as the contagious Arab spring in the Middle East that is continuing today or the total demolition of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC) in 2009. During the first plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization held last month at the Vatican, the Holy Father addressed the participants: “The crisis being experienced bears in itself traces of the exclusion of God from people’s lives, of a generalized indifference toward the Christian faith itself, to the point of attempting to marginalize it from public life. In past decades it was still possible to discover a general Christian sense that unified the common feeling of whole generations, growing up in the shadow of the faith that had molded the culture. Today, unfortunately, we are witnessing the drama of a fragmentation that no longer consents to a unified point of reference; moreover, we often see the phenomenon of persons who wish to belong to the Church, but are strongly molded by a vision of life that opposes the faith.” The crisis that the Pope mentions is, of course, viral. Which is why, it is kind of alarming. Thus, taking note of this, he stressed that the New Evangelization need to address “the need for a renewed method of proclamation, especially for those who live in a context, such as the present one, in which the developments of secularization have left heavy traces even in countries with a Christian tradition… New Evangelization will have to be responsible for finding the methods to make the proclamation of salvation more effective, without which personal existence remains in its state of contradiction, deprived of the essential.” A legislator who, on National TV, proclaimed at the floor “I am congressman who happens to be a catholic but not a Catholic Congressman” is not too far from the case in point.

Oscar V. Cruz, DD

Views and Points
MALACAÑANG is bent on doing away with poverty in the country. Good! It has prepared a legislative vehicle for the purpose. Great! It is ready to spend billions to accomplish its design to propel the economic development of the country. Bravo! How? Plain and simple! Do not allow babies to be born. Do not allow wives to become mothers. Do not allow husbands to be fathers. Get rid of people for the lesser they are, the better. The food on the table is not enough to feed the children around it. Solution: Lessen the children instead of making the food more. The houses available are few and/ or small to accommodate families. Solution: Make the families smaller or fewer instead of multiplying and/or enlarging houses. This is all that Malacañang knows and understands about people: The lesser in number, the better. The lesser people eat, the more food there is. The lesser people are housed, the more houses there are. The better Filipinos there are, the better Philippines there is. Never mind the truth that people are capital for trade and industry. It does not matter that people mean productive labor and beneficial employment. So what if children are potential productive workers or efficient managers, if they stand for fu-

‘Two children policy’
ture professionals and experts, if they are thus the ultimate resources for the socio-economic development of the country. Without saying much less knowing it, Malacañang is aiming for a deadly inverted pyramid of people as to their age with health implications. The natural and sound pyramidal structure of people is that the many young ones are at the base in support of the few elderly in top thereof. But Malacañang is now doing the exactly the unsound and dangerous opposite, viz., the pyramid is upside-down. Its base is on top and made up of many old people. Its tip at the base are composed of few young people “carrying”—supporting and providing for—the many elderly on top of them. In simple words, this is the phenomenon of an “old” or “aging” society. And this is precisely the reason why countries in such a predicament are importing people to man their factories, to build their structures, to care for their elderly and to attend to many other agenda. Recently someone advocated the old and tiring maxim of population control. When a couple has but two children, they are awarded with this and that privilege. Question: What about couples who have no children? Are condo units and other perks waiting for them? Cute!

Emergent values
HUMAN rights is another emergent value. As with democracy, awareness of this value was heightened during the martial law era because of numerous abuses, tortures, summary killings and “disappearances” which happened then. The idea that power and authority could be abused and human rights totally disregarded by the state and by those who held the reins of power sensitized us to the value of human rights. The political assertion of this value, however, has remained generally weak. Current discussions regarding compensation for the victims of human rights abuses under the military regime has failed to generate massive public support for the victims of human rights abuses. And personalities who were closely connected with that past oppressive regime and profited from it have managed to stage a political comeback, thanks partly to the cohesiveness of our elite class and the still strong influence of regionalistic loyalties, but partly too to what we talked about in our Exhortation on Philippine Politics two years ago regarding the corruptions of the political system. The same weakness and ambivalence in value commitment that have just been referred to above are evident likewise in the way we regard social justice or egalitarianism. While the traditional value system has mostly fostered a paternalistic value orientation, social justice and egalitarianism are beginning to redefine the way we view inter-class relations. Today we hear of certain public officials or policies of governance being described as “pro-poor” or “anti-poor,” an indication that there is a growing consciousness of social inequalities and the need to do something about them. Participative processes have become an important venue for articulating these egalitarian values. But these values still have to find expression in social policies. Since culture is in a very real sense a people’s collective psyche, it can bear deeper and deeper scrutiny, and the knowledge that comes from such a scrutiny is thus a form of self-knowledge. What we have attempted to present here is by no means exhaustive and it is our hope that a more thorough analysis of Philippine cultural values—and a deeper awareness of their implications—will be spurred on by this brief and selective description of our culture. Why the task of analysis is a necessary and constant one should be clearer after we look at why we have to be more concerned about our culture from the standpoint of our faith. ―Pastoral Exhortation on Philippine Culture, 1999

Sr. Mary Pilar Verzosa, RGS

Justice at last!
TWELVE years ago, Kay filed a case of multiple acts of lasciviousness, incest and rape against her father that started when she was nine years old and stopped only when she was placed for safe-keeping in the Good Shepherd Home for girls and women in crisis. That was in 1999. She was 14 years old then. And with the help of the Sisters, she was able to file the case in NBI against her abuser. But after filing the case, she did not receive any word at all from NBI or from any court. It was a big surprise then when one day, her father was arrested from his own home and put in their provincial jail. At first, she and her siblings thought he was being arrested for being an illegal logger, well known in his town, and a financier of many anomalous activities. But later on, she found out it was precisely for the case she had filed. Besides the case of rape on 52 counts, she had also filed a case of frustrated homicide when he came home drunk one day and shot her on the chest. She was rushed to the emergency room, underwent surgery for profuse bleeding of her lungs and was told she had a fiftyfifty chance of surviving. Even during her stay with the Sisters, her constant thought was why her father singled her out to be abused among her three other sisters. And to think that she was the eldest daughter. She said he exhibited such a hatred for her. Like most victims (survivors would be a better term), her anger, depression and confusion brought about negative behavior, driving people away from her. She was irritable, impatient, selfish, jealous and lazy. She did not seem to have any drive in life even if so many opportunities were offered her. She did finish high school in spite of the many blocks along the way, and somehow, she also worked her way through college, finishing BS Education. Her mother had always resented her decision to file a case against her father. She revealed that her mother was a battered woman herself and worked herself to the bone while her father spent most of the ill-gotten cash he got for his drinking sprees with other men. To pay for her college tuition, she would go to the next town to buy bread early in the morning and sell to her classmates and teachers. She was in her senior year when

Love Life
she got pregnant. She lived-in with this farmer for a couple of years and experienced battering herself. When she could not take it anymore, she returned to her family and begged her mother to take care of her son. It is a miracle how she was able to go back to college to graduate. After living-in with the farmer, she had a couple more illicit relationships. Looking back, she says there was always this question in her mind—“Will I ever be able to love and be loved?” Basically, she was looking for love in the wrong places since she never experienced that original love from her parents. What was supposed to be a loving act between married couples was rammed down on her in rape and violence. She would fall into a relationship too quickly in order to answer the nagging question of “Will I always feel so alone?” And because she realized that she doubted and distrusted all men, she would test it by going into risky behavior. As with most sexually- abused survivors, she was full of fear, hoping that someone would hold her
Love Life / A5

Fr. Roy Cimagala
www.cbcpmonitor.com cbcpmonitor@cbcpworld.net

Candidly Speaking
IF the Church really has to tackle the challenges of today more effectively, I think it has to be more active in the world of public opinion. That´s where a lot of action is taking place these days, action that both reflects the flowing signs of the times and helps to shape them. Without leaving behind or neglecting, but rather enhancing and purifying the traditional means, the Church has to go beyond preaching to the choir. She has to step into the more tricky and challenging waters of the secular world. I think this is what Pope Benedict has been saying when talking about communications. True, we should not leave the pulpits, but neither should we get stuck there. We have to go to the modern Areopagi that are now the media, the Internet, the blogosphere, social networks, etc. It´s important that as we tighten always to our faith, we also know how to loosen ourselves and flow with the times. We need to proclaim, explain and defend the faith there. My opinion is that we, priests, for example, should try to meet all kinds of people where they are—in the immense variety of human conditions—and try to bring them where they should be. But they have to be met first where they are. And that can mean to get ¨dirty¨ with them. Of course, we have to clarify that when we say Church involvement in public opinion, it does not only mean the priests and bishops. In fact, they should play

The world of public opinion
a more subsidiary role. The more prominent role should fall on the laity who should be more active here. They have to act not as longa manus of the clergy, but as citizens consistent to their faith. My experiences in school where I work and my exposure to the businesses of friends and relatives tell me how important it is to monitor developments continually and act promptly when prudence dictates some intervention is needed. Our fervent prayers and good intentions would not be enough if action is not taken. For example, though I have not been involved in business since I became a priest 20 years ago, I somehow get to know the pulse of the market because my sister, who owns a chain of department and grocery stores, frequently informs me about her business developments. I suspect she does it to fish out some ideas from me, since I had business experience before priesthood. Her info enriches me, since it expands my world, forcing me to go beyond my preferences, learn new things and enter somehow into the minds and hearts of people. Market trends reflect people´s state of mind, among other things. The world of public opinion nowadays precisely needs the presence of the Church, the indispensable contribution of faith and religion, since at the moment it is becoming a metastasizing blob of views and positions that confuse
Candidly Speaking / A7

Pedro C. Quitorio

Pinky Barrientos, FSP
Associate Editor

Gloria Fernando
Marketing Supervisor

Roy Q. Lagarde
News Editor

Ernani M. Ramos
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. 12
June 6 - 19, 2011

Tidbits Voice of the Laity and the RH Bill
senses feel and the unaided brain perceives, that is, the material surface of things. It penetrates through what is merely visible and appreciates the invisible yet evident workings of God in the daily occurrences of living. It is the very same faith that we have all received during our baptism. But, thanks be to God, our Christian family and our Church have patiently nurtured this faith through the teaching of the word of God and the administration of the sacraments. The word of God serves as the light to whatever happens to the baptized, giving the daily event in life a deeper meaning than what is being sensed and felt; the sacraments allow the baptized to continually commune in a personal way the God who created him and the God who saves him. It is within this environment that the faith of our lay faithful has developed. In time there has developed in them a sensitivity for divine activity, the instinctual appreciation to give to God what belongs to God. Our lay faithful who keep the faith have a world-view in dealing with the affairs of the universe. They uphold that the ultimate reality is God – the Creator of the universe and, therefore, utterly distinct from it. He is a personal God, eternal, and self-sufficient (Gn 1:1; Col 1:16). He has no beginning and no end, a God who is a person, not a force. Man is created by this God according to His own image and likeness. As such he possesses a nature that is unique in its value and dignity, possessing within himself the faculties of the intellect to know the truths
Tidbits / A7

Abp. Antonio Ledesma, SJ

Bp. Leonardo Y. Medroso, JCD, DD

Pastoral Companion All-Natural Family Planning: Going beyond the RH Bill
THE controversy over the Reproductive Health Bill has lately been reduced to a zero-sum proposition where concerned citizens are simply asked to say either “Yes” or “No”. On their part, the Catholic Bishops in their Pastoral Letter of 30 January 2011 have rejected the RH Bill, pointing out various objections—e.g., the non-consideration of moral principles, a contraceptive mentality that includes the adoption of abortifacients, compulsory sex education that infringes on the rights of parents, and the use of public funds for population management methods that go against the moral conscience of faith communities. On the other hand, the CBCP letter also articulates what the bishops stand for—in particular, that we are pro-life, and for the “responsible and natural regularization of births through Natural Family Planning.” I. It is in this light that here in the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro we can review and strengthen our All-Natural Family Planning program as a positive and proactive alternative to the RH Bill. In our program, All-NFP has three connotations: (1) We are including all modern scientific NFP methods; (2) We are reaching out to all parishes and chapel communities; and (3) We are promoting NFP all the way, without back-up contraceptives. Since the start of our All-NFP program in the latter half of 2006, we have already recorded more than 3,500 coupleacceptors. Ninety percent of our 58 parishes and chaplaincies have conducted orientation seminars followed by trainings of more than 2,000 NFP volunteer counselors. These counselors have their homes in nearly 500 chapel (or barangay) communities where they provide information and follow-up on all NFP methods to resident households. As of December 2010, these counselors have given more than 1,500 chapel-level orientations for roughly 22,000 couples. Moreover, over the past two years the provincial governments of Misamis Oriental and Camiguin as well as the city of Cagayan de Oro have started their own NFP programs. They have asked us for assistance in the services of our NFP trainors and in sharing our training manuals, which include values formation. In this regard, we have not hesitated to assist these LGUs in the promotion of NFP, particularly since they have issued executive orders and set aside their own budgets for the promotion solely of NFP. In their report for 2010, the NFP trainors of the Provinicial Government of Misamis Oriental conducted 345 barangay classes in the 24 municipalities of the province. In Cagayan de Oro, the city government has trained 721 NFP service providers in 62 barangays. We view this relationship of assisting local government units as engagement, not collaboration – since we keep the church’s NFP program separate and not dependent on the LGU’s program. Nonetheless, with the widespread promotion of NFP by both church and local governments, we can truly say that the whole area of the archdiocese has become “NFP territory.” The LGUs in their Responsible Parenting Movement-Natural Family Planning program have taken cognizance of our sixstep approach in implementation. These are: (1) parish orientation of key leaders; (2) training of NFP counselors; (3) chapel community orientation; (4) counseling of individual couples; (5) monitoring and tabulation; and (6) ongoing values formation. The LGUs have focused on the orientation of municipal and barangay heads followed by the training of Barangay Health Workers. These BHWs in turn help in conducting classes on NFP in their localities. II. Going beyond the step-wise implementation of NFP in order to reach out to the more remote areas, what is of greater significance for us is the overall acceptance by LGUs of our four pastoral guidelines and core values in promoting natural family planning. It is good to keep these parameters in mind since these are the points for dialogue with proponents of the RH Bill in its present form or with some future modifications. Our first core value which we consider a first and non-negotiable principle is that we are Pro-Life. We uphold the dignity of human life from the moment of conception. We condemn abortion which is also proscribed by the Philippine Constitution. We consider All-NFP as a proactive program that helps prevent the tragedy of unwanted pregnancies and resort to abortion. All-NFP also provides an alternative to contraceptive methods that may be considered as abortifacients. Our second core value is the exercise of Responsible Parenthood as the goal of our All-NFP program. Instead of “reproductive health,” church documents prefer the term “procreation” to stress the parents’ exalted role in giving birth to another person, body and soul, i.e., “transmitting by procreation the divine image from person to person.” (Familiaris Consortio, 28). The Second Plenary Council of the Philippines convened by the Catholic Bishops in 1991 explicitates the meaning of responsible parenthood, synonymous with responsible procreation: Christian parents must exercise responsible parenthood. While nurturing a generous attitude towards bringing new human life into the world, they should strive to beget only those children whom they can raise up in a truly human and Christian way. Towards this end, they need to plan their families according to the moral norms taught by the Church (PCP II, 583). (To be continued)
Love Life / A4

AMIDST the tensions and animosities which RH Bill has roused and whipped up, we are inspired to observe the persistent vigilance of the lay faithful. They have been there ever present in every discussion and debate to defend the sacredness of life and the rights of the family, never giving up the traditional stand of the Catholic Church vis-à-vis the many and formidable challenges put forward by the proponents of the proposed law. Yes, they have made the bishops proud. They are courageous bunch of individuals who have stood up for the Commandments of God and morality, the value of self-sacrifice and discipline. Many of them are faceless personalities yet brilliant and propound in their expositions of the faith to show to the postmodern citizens the existence of the bigger picture of human life. I see them in Congress explaining to the representatives of the people the value of human life and the importance of the objective standard of actions and nonnegotiable principles of morality in the legislation of a nation; I view them in T.V. parrying the objections brought forth by the RH Bill promoters, casually shrugging off some comments meant to put them on the spot and embarrass them, patiently explaining the stand of the Catholic Church on the beauty of life and the deep respect for the natural laws that govern the human body in the use of sex; I read them in the newspapers and magazines, expounding the need for discipline and morality in the exercise of sexuality, procreation, and love life. For them, the nation will be better off if it

follows the laws laid down by the Constitution, instead of resorting to contraceptives, sterilization and condoms, artificial means that downgrade human sexuality from what should be a loving act of the man and the woman into a mere exchange of bodily fluids for the sake of a fleeting pleasure. As Mr. Francisco Tatad eloquently put it: “(RH Bill)... is a naked attempt to impose a hedonistic sex-oriented lifestyle upon individuals and families—one in which marriage is reduced into a State-mediated partnership between two individuals whose primary purpose is to engage in a mechanical Statesupervised exchange of carnal sensations while doing everything to avoid its most natural consequence, namely, the conception of a child” (Cf. The Truth and Half-Truths About Reproductive Health, p. 4). Mr. Leonardo Montemayor, FFF National President, in the name of the Federation of Free Farmers, issued an official Statement against the RH Bills in Congress, upholding the sacredness of human life and integrity of the Filipino family as the bedrock of Philippine society, and, among others, declared: “Filipinos in general and farmers in particular consider their children a blessings to their families and as assets to society. In contrast, the RH bills seem to treat pregnancy as a disease and child-rearing as an affliction, both to be prevented or even eliminated.” Such a manifestation of courage and heroism bespeaks of an interior life that has grown mature; a Christian soul that is alive and sensitive to the promptings of the Spirit; a faith that sees beyond what the

The essence of not using contraceptives
WHILE the lawmakers are busy debating about the RH Bill, did it occur to them that had their mothers resorted to contraceptives, they would never have been in Congress? Had they ever thought of the possibility that a child might have been born who could have saved the Philippines from poverty had its parents not take contraceptives or use condoms? Blessed are the Mothers who bear children. Blessed are they who have experienced the gift of Motherhood, of carrying and nurturing for nine months the babies in their womb until they brought them out to this world. Blessed are they who have been given the capability on how to raise babies, to educate them and to bring them up to what they become now. Once the RH Bill becomes a law, less and less women would enjoy such opportunity. The Philippines will be like most of the European countries – extinct population, majority of the citizens are nearing old age, the youth is quickly vanishing. The same situation is now observed in Asia particularly in Japan and China. Not every woman has the privilege to experience the bliss to bear children and to experience the joy of becoming a Mother. My siblings and I thank the Lord that we are born to parents who never used contraceptives. We thank our mother Gloria and our father Benito for having nurtured us, cherished us, cared for us and educated us to become what we are now—professionals, good citizens and all standing firm in the faith. We did not come from a rich family. My Mother is a housewife while my Father was a World War II veteran who could not work due to the sickness he suffered for serving our country during the war. My parents made us aware the value of education, the best gift they could bequeath to us. Through the veteran’s pension of my father and some income from a small sari-sari store and shoe store, my parents were able to send us all to college; some of us were able to get scholarships. Our parents’ experience is more than enough proof that raising seven children, giving

Atty. Aurora A. Santiago

Duc in Altum
them college education, producing professionals out of them, making them good citizens and God fearing, are not really impossible tasks to do. The will and determination to live an honest and decent life is needed. Similarly, the government should have the political will to provide the basic necessities to the poor while the poor should not depend on dole-outs from politicians. To my Mother Gloria, I wish you all the best, good health and God’s blessings on your 94th birthday on June 13, the Feast of St. Anthony of Padua. *** The pro-RH Bill legislators should monitor this news from the U.S. Just a few days ago, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or FDA announced that they are conducting a safety review of contraceptives or birth control products containing drospirenone, a synthetic female sex hormone or progestin which may pose a serious risk of clots to women who take them. The German pharmaceutical maker is now facing lawsuits for misrepresenting the dangers associated with using contraceptives—side effects including stroke, cardiac arrest, blood clots and gallbladder problems. They should open their eyes and ears to the dangers pose by contraceptives to the health of women. As Chet Espino, convenor of Families Against the RH Bill, stated “it is quite apparent that the advocates of RH Bill are misinformed about the ill effects of contraceptive use and its social costs. Sadly they continue to refuse to accept the arguments, insisting on looking at it as a religious issue and an occasion to go against the Church―in the face of extensive scientific evidence on the negative effects on the users’ physical, psychological and emotional well-being; its adverse effects on the economy, let alone the moral fiber of society in general.” *** Let us ask the Lord for His divine guidance and assistance to enlighten the mind of our lawmakers, for them to find in their heart the rejection of RH Bill. Below is the Oratio Imperata, a mandated
Duc in Altum / A7

Fr. Carmelo O. Diola, SSL

Spaces of Hope
I WAS recently in Cagayan de Oro to celebrate mass for a good friend’s mother who had turned 80. The morning after the celebration, I was at the airport for a 5:30 am flight to Cebu―or so I thought. I presented my ticket to the airline personnel. She took a look at it and, with eyes squinting to check her observation, noted that the ticket was indeed for that day and time—only that it was from Cebu to CDO! The person who had purchased my ticket had overlooked the detail and so did I. It was a “senior moment” as we would conveniently say. Well, as I would sometimes say to myself, I am only too glad that I still have mostly “junior moments” rather than the other way around. I was able to purchase another ticket for a noon flight. Meanwhile my friend, his wife, and I had breakfast together. During our meal, the conversation drifted over to the issue of the RH bill and what we were doing about it. Although we had our initiatives, we felt that we needed to do more, particularly in the area of communication. We decided to meet again in Cebu and to invite others in the Church’s network. A few days later we met in Cebu with a group of concerned Catholics. An initial discussion looked at the Church’s communication effort on the RH bill. The group saw the need to complement existing Church efforts on the bill. Several focused group discussions with young people and three other gatherings with the larger group later, a picture had emerged. In the meantime we had touched base with the Catholic Media Network and the CBCP commission on social communications. We decided to focus on the youth even as we would support efforts to lobby our legislators.

The Gordian knot
formation especially for the youth had emerged. We began with a realization that most young people, like older Filipinos, have not really read the bill and only have impressions of it! We need to get them to read and make up their minds along a Christian framework. But engaging the youth, and even older people, requires that the approach be EPIC (i.e. engaging, participatory, image-rich, and have consistent connection), as a youthtrend expert tells me. The same person tells me, youth mindsets now change once every three years! With the short attention span of young people and their need for EPIC, effective communication is crucial. The process of conscience formation must propose, rather than even give the impression of an imposition (“The Church proposes, she imposes nothing” John Paul II). It avoids demonizing and a negative approach, especially sweeping statements. “Fear is useless, what is needed is trust,” our Lord Jesus reminds us. This calls for a Gordian-Knot approach. According to legend, Alexander the Great’s conquest of the known world came about when he cut the Gordian knot – a rope that had been drawn into a highly complex knot – using his sword. Earlier leaders had tried to slowly untangle the knot to no avail. This story is symbolic of efforts that cut through convoluted realities threatening to overwhelm or bog down any effort to solve the problem. The RH bill controversy is akin to a Gordian knot since it includes many issues and proposals brought together into a knotted whole. Hence, the bill could mean different things to different people. There is need to untangle the different issues so that the
Spaces of Hope / A7

We grounded our realities with the following realizations. The bigger picture is that a large proportion of Catholics (about 85%) are not evangelized or catechized. There is a fundamental gap between the teachings of the Church and many Catholics even before we deal with the RH bill. Are we reaching the youth? An informal survey in Metro Manila done by a priest in the last quarter of 2010 among graduating students from non-Catholic universities show that 70 to 80% of them favor the RH Bill. An informal FB survey by a well-known advertising person of students from PUP and other mass-based colleges (Question: “Purely from a marketing perspective, what do you think of the Church’s approach against the RH bill? What are they doing right? What can they do better?”) concludes: “Church responses all over the place; no focus in the overall CBCP communication strategy.” In short, according to this survey, there is need for a well-thought out and consolidated communication plan. Are we doing any better among students in Catholic universities? On the other hand, there is the result of online votation on RH debate over ANC last 8 May 2011 with 34% agreeing that the bill be passed and nearly twice at 65% that the bill be trashed. But, I was told, youth bloggers had a different opinion. In my experience, I have met young people who initially favored the RH bill but eventually had a change of heart. All of them began by getting information on a single dimension of the bill and latched on to it. When further questions were raised, they eventually saw that the bill leads to more problems than provide real solutions. A case for a long-term effort at conscience

hand in the dark, tell her that he understands her and that she will be alright someday. The helplessness that the abused experienced during the violence carries on for years, needing people who can offer them alternatives instead of telling them what they should do. They have to be helped to realize that they can regain control of their life, unlike during the time when they felt that all was lost – their dignity, their future, their health (some have gotten infected with STD), or their very life (abusers often hold them at gunpoint or threaten them with a knife) . Kay was assisted by the bishop in her own province (she has become an active member of her parish) to pursue the case. The Good Shepherd Sisters helped her get a pro bono lawyer who has generously been attending the court hearing and preparing

all her legal papers. She has not been charged a cent even if the lawyer would travel five hours away from Manila to attend the court case in the province. Last week, Kay sent me a text message—it will take only three more court hearings and her father will be sentenced for life. Her mother and family have accepted the fact of his deserving imprisonment. She is being hired for a permanent job as a grade school teacher this June. And she admitted, for the first time in her 24 years of life, she was able to sleep peacefully, thanks to the persistence and full support of so many people that God has sent into her life. If it seemed that the doors of her family support were closed, all this time, God had some windows wide open for so many other persons to give her strength, wisdom and love.


Local News
THE Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has tapped Catholic bloggers to strengthen its fight against a measure on contraceptives. The CBCP has been seeking to engage more with the online world particularly in its campaign against the reproductive health (RH) bill. On June 7, officials of the CBCP’s media affairs met with several bloggers, increasingly aware of the role that faith-based blogging is playing in spreading Catholicism. “Let’s make a new media. Let’s crusade for a new media founded on solid grounds,” Quitorio told the bloggers during the meeting. “Media is not only about talking or writing, it’s more than that. In our context (as Catholics), it’s about delivering Christ’s message,” he said. The meeting, said CBCP Media Office Director Msgr. Pedro Quitorio, was not designed as a how-to seminar, but rather to acknowledge the role of blogs in modern communications.

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 15 No. 12
June 6 - 19, 2011

CBCP taps bloggers in RH bill fight

However, many participants offered their own thoughts on the appropriate approach for Catholics engaged in blogging. Carlos Antonio Palad, a young professional and blogger, cited the need to be proactive in campaigning against the RH bill. “Do not be afraid. Let’s engage our enemies (in the RH bill debate),” Palad said. Quitorio said the meeting was also aimed at creating a network of volunteer bloggers who will spread the “Gospel of Life” in cyberspace. Last month, the CBCP has launched an online portal resources on pertinent issues related to family and life issues. The portal (www.cbcpforlife.com) also contains independent position papers, as well as scientific and medical documents that back its stand against the RH bill. “So another reason is that we are trying to create a voluntary support system to that (portal),” Quitorio said. “What we want is not just media in the Church but media as Christians,” he said. (CBCPNews)

Cheaper Medicines Act a failure—HEAD
IT’S a total failure. This was the description of militant doctors from the Health Alliance for Democracy (HEAD) about the Republic Act No. 9502, also known as Universally Accessible Cheaper and Quality Medicines Act of 2008, since most of the Filipinos still cannot buy essential medicines because they remain costly. Citing a 2009-study published by the Health Action Information Network (HAIN), HEAD secretary general Dr. Geneve Rivera said that essential branded medicines remain unaffordable, while the cheaper generic brands—when given at a private medical facility—also become costly for a worker who is not receiving a minimum wage. “On the other hand, treatment courses using generic medicines in public facilities are generally affordable based on the salary of the lowest paid government worker. But, many Filipinos earn less than this wage and that managing an illness entails other costs that may eventually render even the lowest-cost treatments unaffordable, according to HAIN’s study,” the lady doctor said. Rivera said that only by weakening the influence of the ‘monopoly’ of transnational pharmaceutical companies in drug pricing in the Philippines, that essential medicines and other pharmaceutical products can become affordable. HEAD believes that essential steps in establishing a national, a truly Filipino drug industry must be undertaken. “While the immediate goal is to put an end to the monopoly pricing that has kept our people captive for decades, the more long-term goal is to institutionalize fundamental changes in the entire drug industry because this is the only way to ensure affordable and accessible medicine,” Rivera said. (Noel Sales Barcelona)

Divorce / A1

Distinction / A1

© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

against the Aquino administration, he said. The Committee on Revision of Laws chaired by Pangasinan Congresswoman Marlyn L. Primicias-Agabas 6th District, Pangasinan) summoned stakeholders on June 1 to discuss the issues pertaining to the controversial “Divorce Bill” Principal authors of House Bill 1799, Gabriela Representatives Luzviminda C. Ilagan and Emerenciana A. De Jesus, said the “sheer number of petitions that have been filed since 1988 for the declaration of nullity of marriage under Article 36 of the Family Code (commonly known as ‘annulment’) show that there are just too many couples who are desperate to get out of failed marriages.” Ilagan and De Jesus claimed that official figures disclosed 19 women were victims of marital violence daily. They also quoted a PNP report which revealed 72% of the different forms of violence against women in 2009 which reached 6,783, was wife battery. According to the authors, the DSWD has likewise recorded marital violence as the highest among different forms of violence against women at 1,933 cases. (Melo M. Acuña)

Love for the family is at the core of the cultural identity of Filipinos and should not be destroyed through divorce, said Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz during a press conference at the CBCP in Intramuros on June 3. “Kung sasabihin sa akin ‘kayo na lang ang natitira, Pilipinas, na walang divorce,’ Salamat sa Diyos! That is a distinction! I’m very proud of that!” he said. The Philippines holds the distinction of being the only country in the world that has no divorce law after Malta recently legitimized divorce in a referendum. He said the Filipino culture is renowned internationally as family and children oriented. In fact, he said when the Holy Father was once asked what the Filipino culture was noted for, the pontiff said it was ‘love for the family’. And this is seen through extended families, where grandchildren, even in laws sometimes live in the same house. Amid the controversy of Reproductive Health Bill or House Bill No. 4244, divorce as a legislative proposal surfaced, making the CBCP question where the legislators are heading to. The archbishop said the introduction of reproductive health

bill and divorce bill are the upshots of globalization. He said these ideas (RH bill and Divorce) are all imported. “Hindi ito kulturang Pilipino.” While the country is facing many social liabilities and natural calamities, Cruz asked why divorce is being brought about instead of dealing with and resolving the country’s many problems. CBCP Secretary General Monsignor Juanito Figura said the Church is exercising “pastoral prudence” by teaching, reminding and asking people what their priorities are in the face of many pressing problems in the country today. Will a divorce bill answer the country’s problems such as poverty, graft and corruption and criminalities, he asked. Instead of entertaining on the possibility of divorce, he said the government should focus more on helping to strengthen the family, and the husbandand -wife relationship by finding out the reasons why they break apart. Figura said poverty, unemployment, prostitution, are the ‘social cancers’ that the government should deal with instead of coming out with temporary remedies to address

the problems. Cruz said both RH and divorce bill seem to be diversionary tactics to divert the interest of the people away from the real issues. “In short, and I hope I’m wrong ,there is some kind of manipulation going on precisely to take the attention of the people away from the real problem,” he said. The consequence of divorce in western countries gives examples on the disastrous effects it has on families, said CBCP Legal counsel Atty. Jo Imbong. “Let’s look at the western countries, it was a disaster. Destroyed family, destroyed children, destroy stepchild/parents relationship, everything is in havoc. Now do you want that to happen in this country,” she asked? Those examples are irrefutable, “kitang kita na” she added. The Philippine Constitution mandates the protection of the family, Imbong said. It “recognizes the sanctity of life, and marriage as a sacred union.” You don’t destroy or attack something that is sacred. It is not even the Church that said it but the state, she added. (CBCPNews)

Summit / A1

from different marginalized sectors will be attending along with Catholic bishops, priests and religious, but convenors are yet to decide on the summit’s exact venue in Manila. The Church official is hoping the event would gather the broadest inputs on the government’s programs and policy directions and the way by which poverty will be eradicated. He also said that people’s participation may also be harnessed in partnership with the government. The gathering, Gariguez added, will also look into the country’s progress in the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) especially in education and poverty reduction. He said recommendations will be made on how to address such pressing issues to food insecurity, vulnerability to climate change and the impact of the global change. Gariguez said they will present
Taal / A1

an assessment of the country’s real situation to the government before President Benigno Aquino delivers his second State of the Nation Address in Congress on July 25. Regional and sectoral consultations Consultations are set to take place in various dioceses in preparation for the upcoming national summit on poverty. Simultaneous regional consultations are scheduled in the cities of Cotabato and Malaybalay on June 14-17, with Archbishop Orlando Quevedo, OMI and Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos as convenors, respectively. The Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines as civil society organization, is in charge of the two events The Diocese of Borongan is set to hold consultation simultaneously with Bacolod diocese on June 19-21.

AMRSP and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will assist Borongan diocese. Bacolod will also get its’ help from AMRSP together with Climate Change Congress of the Philippines. On June 22, simultaneous consultations will be held in Tuguegarao and Sorsogon with Archbishop Diosdado Talamayan and Archbishop Leonardo Z. Legaspi, OP. The National Secretariat of Social Action and the Department of Agriculture will provide the back-up services. Meanwhile, Bishop Ramon Villena will host the conference for the Southern Tagalog region on June 25. He will be assisted by the Climate Change Congress of the Philippines. Manila Archbishop Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales will host on June 26 the discussions with the urban poor from the National Capital Region assisted by the Climate Change Con-

gress of the Philippines; while Kalookan Bishop Deogracias Iniguez will host the consultation for laborers from the National Capital Region with the DILG and Climate Change Congress of the Philippines. ‘A vicious cycle of dependence’ Gariguez said the summit is an appropriate follow-up of the Second Rural Congress held in 2008. The Second Rural Congress reported that the rural poor are “trapped in a vicious cycle of dependence and hopelessness because they do not have access or control of their assets.” Despite bumper harvests, the rural poor have not enjoyed them. Farmers still have to own the land they till while fisherfolks are displaced and deprived of their fishing grounds either through pollution or encroachment of large-scale fishers. Even indigenous peoples’ culture

and ancestral domains have been threatened by large-scale mining. Climate change has also begun to take its toll on the rural poor. This was revealed in consultations made by government offices like the Department of Agriculture, Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Environment and Natural Resources along with the Climate Change Congress of the Philippines. (with reports from Melo Acuna)
Spratly / A1

other’s core interests” was necessary to ensure peace. Specifically, the Philippines is contesting the reported placing of a buoy and posts by the Chinese government near a bank in the part of the South China Sea that Manila claims as its territory. (CBCPNews)

RH Bill / A1

were spared from the fish kill. Bangus and tilapia are nonnatives species of the lake and are killing the lake,” Arguelles said. “In fact, I am pleased with the fish kill of bangus and tilapia because they will kill Taal Lake like what they did in Laguna Lake,” he said. The prelate called on the government to make the lake “100 percent fish cages free” to save it before it is too late. “The lake should be returned to Batangueños because most of its investors and operators are Koreans and Taiwanese,” he said. Aside from maliputo and tawilis, the world’s only commercial freshwater sardine, the lake is also home to endemic species duhol, one of the only three freshwater sea snakes in the world. Arguelles said the economic benefits the people could get from the fish farms in the lake is only temporary compared to the damage it will create. But he said many people focus on immediate economic gain irrespective of the damage to the same sources they are dependent on. (CBCPNews)

kaya daw po naghihikahos ang gobyerno ay dahil walang budget for stretching. Nanggaling na mismo sa kanila ang stretching... eh di kung linagyan pa po ng pondo na pambili ng condoms at contraceptives, eh di you stretch [the budget] further. So alin po ang willing i-sacrifice ng pro-RH legislators sa budget para lang po namin maisingit ang gusto nilang pondo para sa procurement of condoms and contraceptives?” Magsaysay stressed that her co-legislators are aware of the process, as they are involved in working out the budget for

each year. “Bilang mambabatas alam nila ‘yan, na kapag magdagdag ka sa isa ng pondo, may babawasan, may pagkukunan ka. So ano pa yung pagkukunan nila just to accommodate what they want?” The Zambales congresswoman became instantly recognizable among both camps of the Reproductive Health (RH) issue after a May 22 television debate about the measure. There she exposed the fact that an already existing law ―theMagna Carta of Women― encompassed a huge portion of the RH Bill; she also stressed education and

livelihood opportunities ―not population control and contraceptives-dispensation ―as the key to the improvement of lives and the elimination of poverty, according to research. “There are so many laws that we have passed. Kung talagang gusto niyo ng isang batas na dapat pangalagaan ang kalusugan ng kababaihan ―pregnancy complications at iba pa― nandoon ako. Dapat nga iniimplement na ng pamahalaan [ang Magna Carta of Women] ngayon, dahil batas na ‘yan eh. ‘Yun lang po kung nakita nating talagang may namamatay pa,

ang ibig sabihin ay baka nagkulang po ang ating pamahalaan in the implementation of the law,” she explained. “And as far as I’m concerned, ‘yung bawat provision ng RH bill at ng Magna Carta [of] Women, Section 17, 80% po ng RH bill, encompassed na po ng Magna Carta,” Magsaysay pointed out, adding that the only significant element in the reproductive health measure that is not included in the existing law is the budget for procurement of condoms, oral contraceptives and injectables.” “That’s why I don’t mind un-

masking this point. Kailangang maintindihan ng mga tao na kapag naglagay ako ng pondo sa pambili ng contraceptives, may mababawasan na basic services na hindi kayang ibigay ng gobyerno.” Magsaysay is among those scheduled to interpellate Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, the principal author of the Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population and Development Act of 2011, or the RH Bill, before Congress adjourns on June 10 for a six-week recess. (Diana Uichanco)

Bagaforo also echoed the same sentiments, adding that the ARMM elections should push through as scheduled. “The principle of autonomy is violated with that (Senate) vote,” said Bagaforo. Voting 13-7, the senators voted for the passage of Senate Bill 2756 that would synchronize the ARMM elections with the national mid-term elections in 2013. The move is seen as concurrence to the desire of President Aquino, who had long clamored for the postponement of the elections to pave the way for much-needed reforms. Bagaforo said that the decision may not sit well with the ARMM residents and generate negative reactions from them. “I think the protest on that decision will

continue,” said Bagaforo. Jumoad, for his part, warned that the postponement of the elections could result to renewed political tensions in ARMM. “The possibility of discontentment breeds lawlessness… If the heat is too much, the pressure cannot be controlled,” he said. Lethal blow to autonomy Fr. Eliseo Mercado, OMI, also the chairperson of the Kusog Mindanaw, said that what the Senate did in voting 13-7 in favor of the postponement of the ARMM elections was a “lethal blow to the little autonomy and self-determination” of the region. Mercado said that what the Senate did

was already an amendment of the Organic Act of the ARMM. Republic Act 9054 or the Organic Act for the ARMM provides that the President only has supervisory powers and not control over ARMM. Congress’s votes in postponing the ARMM elections (the Lower House had earlier approved a bill cancelling the scheduled ARMM elections in August) also gives power to the President to appoint his hand-picked people to govern ARMM, which runs counter to the Organic Act. Mercado said that the postponement of the ARMM elections is also a blow to the peace process as it gives license to the

combatants that “it is business as usual” in the region. He, however, advised ARMM stakeholders to “continue to fight for autonomy and self-determination.” And for ARMM politicians, he urged: “remove your price tag!” Mercado congratulated the seven senators who voted against the cancellation of the elections, calling them “the Magnificent Seven.” They are Senator Chiz Escudero, Senator Serge Osmena, Senator Joker Arroyo, Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senator Edgardo Angara, Senator Bong Revilla Jr. and Senator Bongbong Marcos, Jr. (CBCPNews / Bong D. Fabe)

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 15 No. 12
June 6 - 19, 2011

Diocesan News


Hundreds of Daet faithful march against RH bill
DAET, Camarines Norte―An estimated crowd of more than 500 individuals marched towards downtown Daet, bearing placards and banners, signifying their stand against the proposed Reproductive Health bill currently being debated in Congress. A cross section of society that includes women, children, youth, elderly and professionals braved the early morning sunlight on May 28 to participate in the “Walk for Life”, belying the popular notion that the bill is overwhelmingly endorsed by the majority of the Filipino people. Majority of participants wore T-Shirts emblazoned with slogan that reads: “Choose Love: Pro Love, Respect Life, Pro Life.” The march was spearheaded by the Catholic group Knights of Columbus and supported by the Council of the Laity of the Diocese of Daet. After the march, participants converged in downtown Daet for a short program and a concelebrated mass officiated by Fr. Cirilo Edgar Eboña, Diocesan Commission Head on Family and Life and assisted by Fr. Fidel Era and Fr. Andrei Uy. Representatives of various organizations spoke their sentiment against the proposed measure, now known as HB 4244 or the Responsible Parenthood bill. Archimmedes Yanto, a lawyer representing the Catholic group Couples for Christ (CFC) stressed that the provisions of the bill are very much against the core values of their group, which are “Pro God, Pro Life, Pro Family and Pro Poor.” Engr. Victorio Corporal of the Council of the Laity lambasted the evil intent hidden on the proposed bill, which is controlling the country’s population so as to protect the interest of the wealthy nations at the expense of destroying the values of the Filipino family. Prof. Rex Bernardo and vice chairman of St. John the Baptist Parish Pastoral Council argued that no one has the right to kill the helpless unborn child even for the reason of physical deformity. Speaking from his experience, Bernardo stressed that his disability did not hinder him from serving the community and becoming a productive citizen. Mayors from the two biggest municipalities in Camarines Norte also graced the event in their personal capacity. Daet Mayor Tito Sarion and Labo Mayor Dindo Pardo spoke about their personal convictions on being Pro-Life in raising their respective families. The “Walk for Life,” the first of its kind in Bicolandia, was widely covered in the local media and was featured in the Bicol TV Patrol News of ABS-CBN. (CBCPNews)

Don’t join bandwagon supporting divorce, priest cautions faithful
doorstep.” Oblepias was reacting to calls from lawmakers who took advantage of the news that an avid Catholic Malta has finally approved to legalize divorce in their country. A daily newspaper quoted Gabriela Rep. Luz Ilagan as saying, “Let us not keep our country in the dark ages… I appeal to my colleagues in Congress to let the legislative mill run its course on the divorce bill without further delay and give Filipino couples in irreparable and unhappy marriages this option.” Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, a widower, was also quoted as supporting the move, saying, “It is very difficult to let two people who cannot live together continue to live together.” Sen. Pia Cayetano, chair of the Senate committee on youth, women and family relations, was also quoted as supporting the proposal “to expand the definition of annulment of marriage granted under Philippine law on grounds of psychological incapacity.” Oblepias however, was adamant in saying that as an independent and Catholic nation Filipinos should stand on the side of morality no matter what happens. He said “it is good to stand out uniquely in terms of morality. No to divorce.” “Our uniqueness is a sign of our faithfulness to Him. Christ is not asking us of anything. He is just asking us to be faithful to Him,” he said. The priest urged fellow Filipinos not to be afraid of being unique. After all, as Filipinos, we are used to being unique in the world. We are the only country which held the Church-backed peaceful EDSA People Power which ended the infamous dictatorship in our archipelago. He also noted that we are the only country in the world whose Pambansang Kamao Congressman Emmanuel “Pacman” Pacquiao holds the first ever in boxing history to win an 8th division boxing Championship. The Philippines is also eternally unique for being the only Christian nation in the Far East. And there are countless other traits which make Filipinos different from other countries and the rest of the world, the priest added. (Fr. Romy Ponte)

SAN PABLO City―The Philippines should maintain its uniqueness throughout the world of being the only country against divorce, a priest in Laguna said. “Even if we are the only country in the world that has not legalized divorce, it does not mean that we have to join the bandwagon that supports it,” said Fr. Jerry Oblepias, Director of the Family Life Ministry of the San Pablo Diocese. He said “divorce remains to be part of the death culture that seeks to destroy the family. Once the family is destroyed, degradation of values is surely at the

Augustinians inaugurate new Mati friary
MATI, Davao Oriental―The Order of St. Augustine (OSA), Province of Sto. Nino de Cebu has inaugurated its newest community last May 26 in Mati, Davao Oriental. Mati Bishop Patricio H. Alo, DD, and Rev. Fr. Eusebio B. Berdon, OSA, Prior Provincial of the Santo Nino de Cebu Province, headed the ribbon cutting and the blessing of the corner stone (capsule burying) during the groundbreaking ceremony of the Friar’s residence. The St. Agustin Friary in Mati is the 15th community of the Augustinians of the Province of Sto. Nino de Cebu. Honorable Corazon N. Malanyaon, Governor of Davao Oriental, and Mati Councilor Glenda Rabat Gayta, one of the land
Candidly Speaking / A4

donors, assisted Alo and Berdon in the laying of the cornerstone. Half of the 20-hectare property was donated to the Augustinian Order by the heirs of the late Mr. Benito Rabat while the other half was acquired by the Augustinian Province of Santo Niño de Cebu through the University of San Agustin- Iloilo City. This property will hopefully be the future site of the Colegio de San Agustin (or the University of San Agustin – Mati Campus). During the program that followed the groundbreaking, Mrs. Gayta mentioned that the establishment of an educational institution in Mati was a dream Bishop Alo had shared with her father, then mayor of Mati. She said that her heart was filled with a deep sense of grati-

tude to the Lord for turning this dream into a reality. Berdon for his part also expressed his gratitude to the bishop and the land donors, citing the value of the educational apostolate of the Augustinian Order as the main reason for accepting the invitation of the bishop to establish an educational institution of higher learning in Mati. Present also during the affair were Rev. Fr. Rommel D. Par, OSA Assistant General and around 30 friars representing the different Augustinian Communities in the Philippines. Other guests who graced the momentous occasion were priests and nuns from the different parishes and religious congregations, officials from various Local Government Units, and

friends and benefactors of the Augustinians. About seventy percent of the perimeter fencing project covering the twenty-hectare area was already completed prior to the groundbreaking. The construction of the friars’ residence will soon start, followed by the school administration building and classrooms. At present, the friars assigned in the newly established community are Fray Efren del Rosario Objaan, OSA (House Prior), Fr. Alfonso Dayon Sedurifa, OSA (Sub-Prior), and Rev. Ronald Peñaflorida Siaga, OSA Deacon (Procurator). The members of the community expressed gratitude to all the people who supported and took part in this historic event of San Agustin Mati Community. (Rev. Ronald P. Siaga, OSA)

PNoy, JCPC urged to defer sale of Agus, Pulangi plants

CAGAYAN DE ORO City—The Coalition of Mindanao Power Consumers urged President Aquino and the Joint Congressional Power Commission (JCPC) to defer the sale or privatization of the Agus and Pulangi Hydro Power Plants in Mindanao. In a resolution, the CMPC said that “the best evaluated solution” to the Mindanao power crisis “is not necessarily the immediate sale of the aforementioned plants but the unbundling of the NPC-Mindanao Power Rates in order to attract more investors in the generation sector.” (Bong D. Fabe)
Federalism pushed to solve Mindanao conflict

GINGOOG City—Members of the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments have agreed that the federal form of government is ripe for implementation in the country and is the needed vehicle for the long-term solution to the so-called Mindanao conflict. “A shift to the federal form of government is the answer to the issue of autonomy raised by our Muslim brothers and sisters in Mindanao. But we can only implement this through Charter Change,” Committee chairperson Rep. Loreto Leo Ocampos (2nd District, Misamis Occidental) said. (Bong D. Fabe)
Episcopal Church joins Catholics in rejecting RH Bill

people more than enlighten them. The topics and issues discussed there are not anymore merely economic, social or political, but do have eminently spiritual and moral implications. There´s a lot of ignorance, confusion, outright error and, yes, malice, insofar as the spiritual and moral dimensions are concerned. In the current RH debate, for example, I realize how deep and extensive are the anti-Church and anti-religion sentiments of many people, including those who were educated by our socalled Catholic schools. It makes me wonder
Spaces of Hope / A4

what these schools have been doing for years. And we can expect more biases of this type, since we now hear not only RH, but also divorce being floated as another issue. We have reason to suspect then that more issues of this kind will come—same-sex marriage, abortion, euthanasia, etc. That seems to be trend in the world today. So we have to brace ourselves for them. Of course, we have to reinforce the traditional means—basic catechism in parishes, schools and families. Catholic schools should see to it that they teach integral Christianity, one that is

whole and organic, alive, and not a dysfunctional Christianity, more dead than alive. At the moment, we see a Christianity that does not know how to connect conscience with Church magisterium, spiritual life with prayer and sacrifice and recourse to sacraments and ongoing formations, etc. We have to see to it that appropriate structures, both hardware and software, are put up. We have to review the programs used in the radio stations, TV channels, newspapers. We have to train the right personnel, and inspire many to enter into the new technologies.

INITAO, Misamis Oriental— The primate of the Territory of Southeast Asia and Europe of the International Communion of the Charismatic Episcopal Church (ICCEC) urged the flock in the Diocese of Northern Mindanao to reject the reproductive health bill and protect the unborn. Archbishop Loren Thomas Hines said that the issue of the RH Bill is more than just a moral or as some sectors say, emotional, issue. “It is a spiritual issue and thus the fight for the rights and sanctity of life is a spiritual battle,” he said. (Bong D. Fabe)
RH bill supporters bankrupt of sensible arguments, priest says

Filipino youth can discern the realities that undergird the issues. But this is not all. Once these realities are identified, these realizations must be communicated effectively. In the case of the RH bill, GKN is of the opinion that the promotion of a contraceptive mentality is a dominant spirit in the RH bill. This mentality deserves to be revealed for the evil that it really is. Cutting the Gordian Knot of
Tidbits / A5

the RH bill with the youth requires, first of all, creating spaces for young people to be informed of the reasonableness of the Church’s position in order to facilitate their acceptance of such position. This can be through face-to-face meetings and the use of blogs, the YouTube, Facebook, and other forms of social networking. It also maximizes the use of stories. Principles and data are certainly needed but it

is stories that will change minds and hearts. As one branding expert puts it, “There is nothing like real-life stories to move people. The arguments must hit the gut to be persuasive. Rational arguments will only add to the debate which cannot be resolved. Stories. Stories. Stories. There is power there.” Of course, these efforts must be reinforced by creating media materials for disseminating
Duc in Altum / A5

through media, both traditional and new. In short, the Church’s sword would consist of an overall communication plan that brings different groups together for a united front. But the engagement should not rise and fall with the RH bill for promoting life should be proactive and continuing. But this is another story. I thank God for my senior moment in CDO.

SAN PABLO City―Those who say that Church oppose the reproductive health bill because it would lessen their income from the administration of the sacraments are bankrupt of sensible arguments to justify the bill, said Fr. Jerry Oblepias, Director of the Diocesan Family Life Ministry in Laguna. “They could be bankrupt of arguments for saying these baseless and shallow speculations,” he said. (Fr. Romy Ponte)
Manila will not fund contraceptives – Mayor Lim

MANILA—The city government of Manila has never and will not spend even a single centavo on contraceptives, Mayor Alfredo Lim said. Lim said he would instead allot the city government’s limited funds to education and basic services. “We never bought contraceptives and we will never use the city funds for it,” he said. (CBCPNews)

and facts of life, and of the will to love the good and the beautiful. This God communes with man. He is a God of history—a God who not only hears the cry of the poor, but had left His throne in heaven and became man in Jesus Christ, taking everything human unto Himself except sin. His purpose is to free man from sin, the curse of suffering and death. To do that He accepted His own death, a death that is ignominious, death on the cross (cf. Ph2: 6-8). In this world-view man is to live here on earth with a purpose. As he

came from God, he too has to return to Him. But as he was endowed with the freedom of choice, he can attain only that purpose of his life by choosing the good and avoiding evil. By that, he is made responsible for all the decisions and actions that he has done to his life, to render account to the Creator, and be judged accordingly. It is this kind of world-view that gives our lay faithful courage and perseverance to stand up in defense of the Catholic faith. The Church is deeply proud of them.

prayer for special intention for the dismissal of RH Bill. Let us lead our family, officemates and neighbors in this prayer. Oratio Imperata for the Respect of all Human Life God, our loving Father, Creator and lover of all life, You fashioned in your own image and likeness every human person. Give us the strength and courage to defend and protect human

life from conception to natural death. We pray for your divine healing, comfort and peace for all affected by past abortions. Help us serve actively in alleviating the sufferings and troubles of all women with pregnancy problems. We pray that all our leaders and legislators may be guided by the grace of the Holy Spirit to act responsibly on this critical present issue. Mary, our loving Mother, to you we entrust

the cause of life. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen! Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us! Saint Rosa of Lima, pray for us! Saint Lorenzo Ruiz, pray for us! *** Birthday greetings go to my brother Benito, Bishop Jesse Mercado, Fr. Robert Ramos, Merle Desiderio, Marie Perez, Fe Abina, Boy Marcelo and Man Caballero.



People, Facts & Places

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 15 No. 12

June 6 - 19, 2011

Blessed JP2 special stamps issued in PH
THE Philippine Postal Corporation has issued on Monday a limited edition of Blessed Pope John Paul II stamps. The stamps have a denomination of P7.00 and quantity of 140,000 pieces. Also issued is a souvenir sheet with a denomination of P40.00 and quantity of 7,000 pieces. The First Day Cover includes the block of four stamps. The papal stamps feature his pastoral visits in the Philippines and the millions of Filipinos who gathered to welcome him. “Usually the first day of issue of the stamps of a particular person, places or event has a special interest among collectors,” information officer Alvin Fidelson said. Stamps enthusiasts and collectors may avail of the stamps at the Postage and Philatelic Department located at the historic Manila Central Post Office Building in Liwasang Bonifacio. John Paul II passed away on April 2, 2005, and was beatified in Rome last May 1 before an estimated 1.5 million pilgrims from around the world. Since his death, thousands of people have been supporting the call for his beatification and sainthood. (CBCPNews)

Jescom Music ministry marks 25th year with recollection

Pauline Juniors tackle commitment, collaboration in annual assembly
THIRTY-THREE temporary professed members of the Pauline Family gathered for their 2nd Pauline Juniors’ Conference last May 23-25, aimed to deepen their commitment as young Paulines working in, for and with the Church. The assembly was also an opportune time for the young Paulines and their formators to cultivate the friendship and the spirit of collaboration that characterize their being brothers and sisters in the Pauline Family. The Pauline Juniors were composed of the Society of Saint Paul, Daughters of Saint Paul, Pious Disciples of the Divine Master and Sisters of Jesus Good Shepherd, four of ten Institutes founded by Blessed James Alberione. Participants took for their theme the words of Blessed John Paul II: “Meet Christ Who Gladdens Your Youth” on which the seminar-workshop given during this three-day conference focused. The three-day assembly had Pauline formators as speakers: Sr. Noemi Vinoya, FSP, Sr. Narci Peñaredonda, SJBP and Fr. Alan Gamutan, SSP.

JESUIT Communications is celebrating its 25th anniversary in the music ministry with a choir recollection at the Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord, SM Megamall on June 11. The event, dubbed as an “afternoon of friendship and camaraderie” and of “rekindling the commitment” to the music ministry will actually start at 10:00 am and will go on until 4:00 pm. Bro. Atoy Salazar, SJ, Director of the Jesuit Music Ministry, and Fr. Manoling Francisco, SJ, will guide the recollection while Hangad and Bukas Palad will lead the participants in song and prayer. The recollection will culminate with a Holy Mass in the afternoon. Participants will be issued tickets for P50.00 donation to help defray cost of recollection materials and ensure a comfortable seating arrangement. Tickets will be available at Tanging Yaman outlets at the 5th level of SM Megamall, Loyola House of Studies, and Jesuit Communications. Interested individuals may also log on to www.bukaspalad.com, connect with organizers on social networking sites (www.facebook. com/bukaspalad and www.twitter.com/ bukaspalad), email at info@bukaspalad.com, or text/call +63916-5759798. (CBCPNews)

Photo courtesy of Philpost

Vinoya conducted a seminar-workshop on “The Reality of the Youth Today” aimed to strengthen the Juniors’ living of the Pauline charism and mutual understanding and friendship that characterize their being Paulines. She also discussed the world and language of the contemporary youth from the viewpoints of a) scientific research, b) the experience of those who

work with the youth, and c) the youth themselves. She also highlighted several coordinates for a critical reading of the youth that are helpful for accompaniment of the youth. The talk served as an eye-opener for the Juniors about the context of the youth they are ministering to through their specific charism in the Pauline Family. For his part, Gamutan gave an input

titled “Navigating through Ministerial Boundaries” aimed to guide the young Paulines in learning about ministerial boundaries and on what makes for healthy and holy ministerial relationships. Gamutan stressed the importance of maintaining boundaries as a form of accountability to the people we serve. According to him, good boundaries

help a religious live a balanced and integrated life, both among peers and the people they serve. He also said that a climate of safety and freedom is created when one lives within the parameters of his/her commitment as a consecrated person. Peñaredonda meanwhile, expounded on Pauline mentality and spirituality through her talk, “Soul and Body for Evangelization,” guiding the Juniors in affirming their dedication and commitment to the apostolate as an expression of their authentic love for God. She invited the Juniors to constantly cultivate a life of interiority, by allowing the spirit of St. Paul to lead them into being happy Paulines and to possessing the spirit of Christ as he did during his lifetime. The Shepherdess sister also facilitated the “Circles of Love” activity where the Juniors affirmed each other about his/ her giftedness as a Pauline. The three-day conference was held in the various Institutes of the Pauline Family in Manila area. (Sr. Maria Jose Lorilla, FSP)

INSTALLED. Fr. Jean Rollin Marie Flores, SSP was installed as parish priest of the Our Lady of Sorrows Parish by Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales on May 29, 2011. Fr. Flores is a member of the Congregation of the Society of St. Paul, whose apostolic ministry is evangelization through the means of social communication. CELEBRATED. Nine members of the Society of the divine Word (Central Province), one of them a former diocesan priest have professed their final vows at the Divine Word Seminary in Tagaytay City last Sunday, May 22, 2011. Bangued Bishop Leopoldo Jaucian, SVD was main celebrant during the Eucharistic celebration while Fr. Jimenez, SVD accepted the vows. Those who professed their perpetual vows were Sherwin Tristan Aromin, Binmaley, Pangasinan; Louie Chris Gregorio, Davao City; John Paul Marquez, Manaoag, Pangasinan; Reniel Nachimma, Mayoyao, Ifugao; Sedfrey Nebres, Legazpi City; Gilbert Razon, Digos Davao del Sur; Peter Tran, Vietnam; John Mark Veloso, Tagbilaran City; and Fr. Peter Li Mei from China.The newly-professed missionaries are awaiting their first-ever mission assignments. CONFERRED. The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI has conferred the Ecclesiastical award Dame of the Order of St. Sylvester to nine illustrious Cebuanas, distinguished by their works of charity and long service to the Church. Dames Anita Cabinian, Julia Gandionco, Rosa Maria Garcia, Conchita Go, Lourdes Jereza, Lourdes Vilma Lee, Anita Sanchez, Alita Solon and Mariquita Yeung were conferred the papal award for their selfless service to the Church and the underprivileged during ceremonies held at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral on May 25, 2011. DIED. Fr. Ariel Sumpay, 38, of cardiac arrest, May 13, 2011. Fr. Sumpay was the parish priest of Nuestra Señora de Salvacion Parish in Banga Caves, ragay, Camarines Sur in the diocese of Libmanan at the time of his death. His body was found afloat the waters around Daruanak Island in Pasacao. According to Diocese of Libmanan website, Sumpay was with the staff of Caritas diocese of Libmanan (CdL) learning the rudiments of diving in relation with CDL’s current ECC-sponsored Coastal Resource Management, when the event happened.

Church ensures Pinoy WYD delegates return home
THE Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is ensuring that Filipino delegates to the upcoming World Youth Day (WYD) celebration in Spain would return home. CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY) said there are about 436 youth from various dioceses whose applications are “being screened” by the Church. Fr. Conegundo Garganta, ECY executive secretary, revealed that around 1,500 youths more have signed for WYD but they already belong to other groups. As far as the Church is concerned, he said the ECY is following the usual procedures of ensuring the applicants’ “real intention” in joining the celebration. “Our part is more on determining that their participation is really meant for that purpose to celebrate and share faith,” Garganta said. For instance, he said, one way of doing it is by looking at the applicants’ “level of involvement”


in their parishes or dioceses. “Their documents should really satisfy their objective and intention in joining the actual celebration,” Garganta said. But the CBCP official said the WYD celebration in Madrid on

August 15-21 is not just limited to those who are active in the Church. According to him, what is really important is the applicant’s “groundedness” in their intention to join the gathering and

“not just to become tourists.” “They can also be screened based on their involvement in their communities,” Garganta said. The ECY is assisting Churchbased applicants in their documents and acting as the “visa coordinator” with an endorsement by its chairman, Bishop Joel Baylon of Legazpi. “It is us who will be asked by the (Spanish) consulate [on] the standing of the participants so it’s really a huge responsibility,” Garganta added. “So it is very important for us to ensure the sincerity of those who will be going to Madrid,” he reiterated. The Church official acknowledged that some Filipino delegates did not return from the 2002 celebration in Canada and Germany in 2005. Garganta added the Spanish consulate has set June 30 as the deadline for all visa applications. (CBCPNews)

Daet youth sign manifesto against RH Bill
YOUTH delegates to the annual Diocesan Youth Day held in Daet have added their opposition to the RH Bill by signing a statement rejecting the proposed measure being deliberated in Congress. A total of 490 delegates representing 18 parishes and four quasi-parishes of Daet diocese met on April 28 to 30 to hold the annual diocesan youth day and celebrate the CBCP Year of the Youth. Through the statement, the youth appealed to the “legislators to abandon the controversial and faulty Reproductive Health Bill and strongly endorse (only) those bills and resolutions that uphold and protect life and the rights of the unborn child.” The delegates identified the problems present in the pending bill, namely: violation of the value of life; violation of moral values and principles; and a violation of the younger generation’s value for true freedom. They also expressed concern on the effect of the RH bill on their own future and of the coming generations. The youth asked the president and members of Congress and Senate to listen to their words, even as they appeal to “love us genuinely, fight for our future unselfishly and let us live freely.” The manifesto titled “Statement of the Youth of the Diocese of Daet on RH Bill,” was signed by all the delegates and turned over to the Representatives of the two districts of Camarines Norte. Themed “Tayo Tayo” (Let Us Stand), the celebration also coincided with the theme of the CBCP Year of the Youth: “Stand Firm in Faith, Do All Your Works in Love (1 Cor. 16: 13-14).” The three-day event was highlighted by the signing of the manifesto and the concluding Eucharistic celebration presided over by Rev. Fr. Ronald Bardon, the Diocesan Youth Director. (CBCPNews)

Swiss leaders hold training for Chiro counterparts
THE Chiro leaders from Luzon had a trainers’ training with their Swiss counterparts in Silang, Cavite last May 19-22 in preparation for the 60th anniversary of Chiro Philippines in 2012 Chiro will celebrate its 60 years of existence in the country next year by holding a national camp in Baguio City from April 28 to May 1. The nationwide gathering is themed “Chiri Hoho Rocksaroonie”, based on the story of Chiri Hoho Rocksaroonie, a sad clown who is looking for happiness. Pascal Vonlanthen and Erich Schwyter, leaders from Jungwacht and Blauring (JuBla) in Switzerland taught Chiro leaders from Northern and Southern Luzon about risk management, public relations, and group leadership. (Jandel Posion)

Photo courtesy of ECY

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 15 No. 12
June 6 - 19, 2011

(Address delivered by Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See’s permanent representative to the U.N. offices in Geneva at the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries [LDC-IV]; held May 9-13 in Istanbul.)
Mr. President, 1. The LDCs’ development paradigm implemented over the past years has proven ineffective. Since the early 2000s the continued growth (7% per year from 2002 to 2007) in many LDCs has not translated into an improved situation for the people. The number of very poor people has actually increased (more than 3 million per year from 2002 to 2007). In 2007, 59% of the population in African LDCs was living on less than USD 1.25 per day. 2. Currently the growth in many of these countries comes primarily from the exploitation and export of natural resources, especially mineral reserves, while growth across other sectors is not robust or consistent. Unfortunately the growth that is realized in the extractives sector is the subject of many controversies on revenue distribution and local community impact, and only creates a significant number of jobs in the exploratory and build up phase of the project but very few that are long term. This correlates with ILO research that shows the labor force in LDC countries increasing by 2.5% per year but the opportunities for employment are not commensurate with either the robust growth or the demand for employment. The impact of these limited employment opportunities is experienced particularly by the young and those who are entering the work force for the first time. The success stories are found in countries that have created some productive capacities such as horticulture, in the cases of Uganda and Ethiopia. Ghana and Kenya that are not LDCs have also shown good performance in this area. 3. The analysis of this current reality in the LDC group has led UNCTAD, in its Least Developed Countries report 2010, to propose a new international development architecture that calls for a more comprehensive approach to the challenges of development. It should be noted that at the session of the UNCTAD’s Trade Development Board (TDB) dedicated to LDCs, the majority of the groups were in favor of the proposed new international architecture for development. Several groups also insisted on the need to include specific considerations for post conflict management situations, the reconstruction of infrastructures and agricultural production, while others have insisted that regional approaches to these issues be considered. The Holy See supports this new approach and will focus its intervention on three themes. 4. The first theme looks at the Pillars of “integral human development”. In the encyclical letter “Caritas in Veritate” that was released on 7 July 2009, Pope Benedict XVI reviews the foundational teaching on development that was presented in the encyclical letter of Pope Paul VI, “On the Progress of Peoples (Populorum Progressio)” in 1967: “development cannot be limited to mere economic growth. In order to be authentic, it must be complete: integral, that is, it has to promote the good of every man and of the whole man.”1 It is important that we recall this foundational teaching on the nature of development and recover its central truth as we reflect on the specific challenges that the LDCs present at this ministerial conference. Since 1967 numerous theories and approaches to development have been proposed and tested and this has resulted in a much deeper understanding of the complex and evolving challenges that any consideration of this topic presents. It remains however true that there are still millions who have little or no access to the goods and benefits that development offers. An honest evaluation of the progress that has been made is reflected in the words of the Holy Father who writes that “...progress, remains an open question, made all the more acute and urgent by the current economic and financial crisis. If some areas of the globe, with a history of poverty, have experienced remarkable changes in terms of their economic growth and their share in world production, other zones are still living in a situation of deprivation comparable to that which existed at the time of Paul VI, and in some cases one can even speak of a deterioration.”2 In numerous other evaluations, including the aforementioned UNCTAD report, we have been reminded that a comprehensive and inclusive framework for international development is essential who are entering the employment sector. In LDCs for example, the agricultural value added for workers rose three times more slowly than the GDP per capita over the last 20 years. At the same time, LDCs’ dependence on imported food commodities has greatly increased (multiplied by 3 between 2000 and 2008). As a result it is among the 2.5 billion people dependent on agriculture for their daily sustenance that one finds most of the people who suffer from malnutrition and hunger. Any growth model that is adopted therefore must recognize and strengthen the central role of agriculture in economic activity; thereby reducing malnutrition in rural areas and increasing production per person in order to enhance local, regional or national food independence. Investments to improve productivity are required in the areas of seeds, training, sharing of tools for cultivation and by the presence of such actors as corporations, private foundations and private investors. There is, we believe, a need and room for all of these actors for they can bring different perspectives, modes of operating and can thereby make unique contributions to the development that is needed in LDCs. In this environment, however, the role of the state and of regional, international and global authorities is critical and must be supported and respected. Combined with the Catholic perspective on the responsibility of the state to guarantee the public order and promote the common good, these bodies must play a pivotal role in orchestrating and directing LDC development. This can be especially challenging in a post-conflict context and especially so in a “failed state” situation. The teaching of our tradition, when it comes to the responsibility of governments to enact the legal framework and rules so that financial and commercial activities fulfill their social purpose and function smoothly, has consistently asserted a positive role for a limited government, that is neither libertarian or collectivist. It became clear during the 2008 financial crisis that the market does not naturally contain in itself the ingredients for an automatic correction of errors and would have led to a collapse of the financial and economic system if the states had not acted. The rescue of the banks, necessary as it has been, did not prevent the painful impact of the crisis on the population since ultimately the correction of the market’s vagaries is carried out to the detriment of populations, states have a duty to intervene pre-emptively to avoid such suffering. “The articulation of political authority at the local, national and international levels is one of the best ways of giving direction to the process of economic globalization. It is also the way to ensure that it does not actually undermine the foundations of democracy”. While recognizing the benefits of free trade to promote development and therefore the urgency to close the gap at an affordable price in case of shock and they can play a moderating role against the volatility of local prices. The “developmental state” plays a unique and key role in the development of a country and with other regional and international authorities is expected to coordinate appropriate and constructive plans. In addition to the tasks already mentioned above, the responsibility of mobilizing the domestic resources that are regarded as a critical component of stable financing for government priorities and development needs has been identified as essential. This is a tedious and complicated undertaking, especially where no basic framework or infrastructure exists to advance such an objective. Alongside the other resources like FDI (Foreign Direct Investment), ODA (Official Development Assistance) and remittances from local citizens working abroad, these domestic resources will play an essential role in any development plan. Corporations: The presence of private corporations in communities, societies and countries continues to grow and they have a far reaching impact wherever they are located. Their influence on development, depending on their size and footprint, in local communities and across broad sections of society can be significant and should be monitored and evaluated by the state. They should also be expected to fulfill their obligations as good corporate citizens by keeping in mind according to the Holy Father that, “business management cannot concern itself only with the interests of the proprietors, but must also assume responsibility for all the other stakeholders who contribute to the life of the business: the workers, the clients, the suppliers of various elements of production, the community of reference.”7 Private Finance and Development; The presence of private finance institutions and actors, such as private equity and hedge funds, in countries and regions across the world continues to increase. Facilitated by the continued expansion and integration of all aspects of the global financial system, their presence presents a unique set of challenges in LDCs. It is important that LDCs be in a position to benefit from their presence and assure that their activities are making a contribution to lasting development. Once again Pope Benedict reminds all actors in this space and this applies especially to those investors in LDCs that, “What should be avoided is a speculative use of financial resources that yields to the temptation of seeking only short-term profit, without regard for the long-term sustainability of the enterprise, its benefit to the real economy and attention to the advancement, in suitable and appropriate ways, of further economic initiatives in countries in need of development. It is true that the export of investments and skills can benefit the populations of the receiving country. Labour and technical knowledge are a universal good. Yet it is not right to export these things merely for the sake of obtaining advantageous conditions, or worse, for purposes of exploitation, without making a real contribution to local society by helping to bring about a robust productive and social system, an essential factor for stable development.”8 7. Conclusion In conclusion, Mr. President, LDCs conPromote / B7

‘Promote the Good of Every Man and of the Whole Man’

Pastoral Concerns


if any enduring results are to be achieved. In the Catholic Social Teaching tradition the pillars for such framework have been identified as follows: respect for human dignity; protection of human rights; care of creation; participation in community, subsidiarity and solidarity. Other pillars that are judged to be constitutive of an integral development plan are education; natural resource exploitation; agriculture; manufacturing; trade; financial services; infrastructure and technology. As we continue to reflect on the specific challenges which development presents in LDCs it remains imperative that these pillars serve as a guide in our efforts to promote and sustain an approach to development that is integral and authentically human.3 5. The second theme deals with the kind of growth necessary for ‘integral human development”. Any approach to the challenge of development must recognize that “the development of individuals and peoples depends partly on the resolution of problems of a spiritual nature. Development must include not just material growth but also spiritual growth”.4 Too often the use of quantifiable metrics and economic criteria to measure such realities as gross domestic product or the narrow horizon of stock market growth fails to capture the full measure of what it means to be human, fails to appreciate the transcendent dimension of the person and therefore what it takes to promote the development of the whole person. Growth therefore that promotes “integral human development” is one that is inclusive of the pillars already mentioned above and evaluated by how well it promotes sustainable development and communities, creates decent jobs, alleviates people’s poverty and protects the environment. A model of growth that includes these objectives will build a domestic economic and commercial cycle that is sustainable, respects the environment and promotes development. Among the necessary elements in this growth model, especially in LDCs, are a vibrant agriculture sector and job creation across a number of sectors that will engage the large number of people

of the means for marketing. Structural changes are also demanded according to the specificity of individual states. For example, we must ensure security of land tenure for farmers, especially for those with small landholdings. The customary right of land ownership may be reconsidered. A clear property right gives the farmer the opportunity to pledge his land in exchange for seasonal credit to purchase necessary inputs. In addition, the aim of land tenure has now become increasingly important in the face of the expansion of the phenomenon of land grabbing. In Sub-Saharan Africa, 80% of the land is occupied by poor who have no land title. Across all sectors of society from agriculture to manufacturing to delivery of services we must remember that decent work “expresses the essential dignity of every man and woman in the context of their particular society: work that is freely chosen, effectively associating workers, both men and women, with the development of their community.”5 Work is not a commodity. Decent work gives everyone the opportunity to use his own talents and to be creative; it is a motor of sustainable growth at the service of the common good and so it must be a central objective of the new architecture. The final goal, then, is the creation of a “work that makes it possible for families to meet their needs and provide schooling for their children, without the children themselves being forced into labor; work that permits the workers to organize themselves freely, and to make their voices heard; work that leaves enough room for rediscovering one’s roots at a personal, familial and spiritual level; work that guarantees those who have retired a decent standard of living.”6 6. The third theme to be kept in mind is the role of the State in promoting “integral human development”. The number of institutions, agents and actors in the development space has increased exponentially over the years. The official development commitments of governments alongside those of voluntary organizations have been substantial during that time. They have now been joined and in some instances are dwarfed



in the Doha Development round, the implementation of the commitments to introduce duty free, quota free access to the market for the LDCs should be accompanied by adequate measures to protect farmers against price volatility which has a strong impact on food security for several reasons: high prices make food unaffordable for the poor and temporarily low prices give farmers the incorrect information on needed seedlings after harvest for the following year. To prevent price volatility or at least weaken its impact, local food crops need to be protected against sudden disruptions in international prices. For example, the establishment of regional stockpiles of raw food (cereals, oil, sugar) can have a twofold benefit: these stocks can be sold



CBCP Monitor
Vol. 15 No. 12
June 6 - 19, 2011

By Fr. Jaime Blanco Achacoso, J.C.D.

The Canonical Imperatives of Priestly Sanctity (Part I)
proper conduct, leaving it to each faithful to make responsible use of his freedom to act accordingly, Canon Law stipulates what is juridically binding and hence owed if not outright enforceable. In short, Canon Law adds the note of exigency to the desideratum of priestly holiness. The Code of Canon Law expresses this in a general way in c.276: Can.276, — §1. In leading their lives clerics are especially bound to pursue holiness because they are consecrated to God by a new title in the reception of orders as dispensers of God’s mysteries in the service of His people. perfection—followed by five numbers outlining a set of vital duties for clerics. In other words, what follows is not just a set of desiderata, but rather a set of norms which clerics must follow if they are to fulfill the juridical obligation to pursue holiness set by c.276, §1. In this issue and succeeding two issues of the CBCP Monitor, I propose to tackles these five paragraphs of c.276, §2, which I refer to as the Canonical Imperatives of Priestly Sanctity. 1st Imperative Can.276, §2 — 1º First of all, they are faithfully and untiringly organization of cooperatives, education in NFP). Properly speaking, the pastoral function consists in exercising the tria munera Christi, which can be summed up principally in delivering the salvific means entrusted by Christ to the Church—i.e., the Word of God and the Sacraments. In other words, it would imply a serious impoverishment of the person and mission of the priest, not to say of the Church herself, to reduce their spiritual mission to merely material tasks. With this I do not in any way deny either the timeliness or utility of many works aimed at Sacraments. Following is just a summary. A. General Provisions: 1) General availability for pastoral assignments: Unless they are excused by a legitimate impediment, clerics are bound to undertake and faithfully fulfill a duty which has been entrusted to them by their Ordinary (c.274, §2). More than specifying any task, this norm binds the cleric to undertake and faithfully fulfill—i.e., carry out and faithfully execute to completion—any and all pastoral assignments entrusted to him by his bishop.

Introduction The universal theme of the Year for Priests, launched by Pope Benedict XVI on 19 June 2009 was: Faithfulness of Christ, Faithfulness of Priests. That entire year was a wonderful occasion for the whole Church to reflect on the identity and ministry of priests, which is none other than the identity and ministry of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ himself. Allow me to recall at the outset what is specific in the sacramental character received in Holy Orders: not only a participation in the priesthood of Jesus Christ (which is proper to the universal or royal priesthood of all Christ’s faithful), but rather a configuration in persona Christi capitis, which therefore constitutes the priest in a sacred minister—alter Christus, ipse Christus—in the midst of the community of believers, at the service of and in order to nourish the universal priesthood of all the faithful. As Bl. John Paul II explained in , n.14: “For the sake of this universal priesthood of the new covenant Jesus gathered disciples during his earthly mission (cf. Lk. 10:1-12), and with a specific and authoritative mandate he called and appointed the Twelve ‘to be with him, and to be sent out to preach and have authority to cast out demons’ (Mk. 3:14-15).” However, that entire year’s reflection might very well be an exercise in futility, were it to be left precisely at the level of speculative thought. In effect, there is abundant literature on the life and ministry of priests— from charming biographies like those of the Curé d’Ars himself to treatises like those of Alphonsus Ligouri; from Papal Exhortations like Pastores dabo vobis to veritable Instructions like the Directory on the Life and Ministry of Priests. Despite all these, however, there continues to be glaring manifestations of lack of priestly holiness, not just in the past but even in the very year that was supposedly dedicated to foster priestly sanctity and fidelity. Hence, the importance of Canon Law. Because Canon Law begins where theology ends—i.e., in the level of due if not enforceable human conduct. Whereas moral, sacramental and even pastoral theology can only indicate what is fitting and

One observes that by itself, c.276, §1 may be doomed to go the way of many well-meaning but ineffective pastoral initiatives and guidelines. Staying within that section, one remains in the level of a desideratum, or in more juridical terms a pretension. Such pretension needs to be articulated into enforceable norms. Put another way, the pretension of priestly holiness needs to be spelled out into a set of normative conduct. This is what c.276, §2 sets out to do, clearly stating: In order for them to pursue this

to fulfill the duties of pastoral ministry. Before going any further, I think it is important to clarify the concept of pastoral ministry. In effect, under the guise of pastoral ministry, almost every conceivable initiative has been taken up by ordained ministers—ranging from works of purely material beneficence (e.g., relief of calamity victims) to socio-political and economic initiatives (e.g., education for the upcoming elections, parishbased mechanisms for the protection of the electoral process,

alleviating the socio-economic, political or even medical conditions of the people, carried out by ecclesiastical organizations with the help of the Hierarchy. What I want to do is to point out the danger of substituting the genuine pastoral function of the clerics with other charitable works, thereby confusing the priestly mission of the Pastors with that of the faithful in general. The Code of Canon Law spells out this particular imperative abundantly, both in general provisions and as regards the administration of each of the

In effect, one cannot help but wonder if the aforementioned cases of wayward initiatives of individual priests could have prospered had they been totally consumed by assignments of a genuinely pastoral nature from their legitimate hierarchical superiors. 2) Duty of residence: Even if they do not have a residential office, clerics nevertheless are not to leave their diocese for a notable period of time, to be determined by particular law, without at least the presumed permission of their proper Ordinary (c.283, §1). This

FIlE PhoTo

provision specifies further the availability of clerics for pastoral assignments by limiting their absence from the diocese. Indeed, it would be much more difficult for clerics to fall into unhealthy activism—with initiatives that are not strictly pastoral—were their presence in their own ecclesiastical circumscriptions more strictly enforced. 3) Prohibition from assuming public office: Clerics are forbidden to assume public offices which entail a participation in the exercise of civil power (c.285, §3). The relevance of this norm to the canonical imperative in question is quite clear: The cleric cannot give his 100% dedication to the pastoral ministry, were he to also participate in the exercise of civil government. For the priest, the Lord’s mandate to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s takes on an absolute value: The priest simply owes 100% of his potencies to God and his Church. Aside from strictly pastoral duties, the priest simply has no other time or energy for much else. 4) Prohibition from engaging in business: Clerics are forbidden personally or through others to conduct business or trade either for their own benefit or that of others, without the permission of legitimate ecclesiastical authority (c.286). It is interesting to note that the prohibition is quite all-encompassing: neither personally nor through others, neither for their own benefit nor for other (i.e., not even for their flock). The logic again is quite simple: a priest is ordained for pastoral tasks—the tria munera Christi— and not for other activities, unless legitimate authority permits (obviously for special reasons). (To be continued)

1 John Paul II, Post-Synodal Exhortation, Pastores dabo vobis, 25.III.1992. To my mind, this is one of the best syntheses of the Conciliar doctrine on the identity and mission of priests. 2

Congregation for the Clergy, Directory on the Ministry and Life of Priests, 31.I.1994. I consider this as the best little manual for the life and ministry of priests, a veritable vademecum specifically for the secular clergy who many times suffer precisely from a lack of specifically secular spirituality, as compared to the members of religious orders or societies of apostolic life who enjoy well-defined norms and means of ongoing formation that safeguard fidelity to their vocation.

(Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university, answers the following query:)
Q: In our archdiocese there is no uniformity in the way the altar is prepared or laid out for liturgical celebrations. In some cases, the altar is dressed as a conference table; in others, the stone is never seen the whole year round, with the exception of Holy Thursday when it is stripped. My question is: How should the altar for liturgical celebration be arranged?—V.A.F., Bamenda, Cameroon A: Total uniformity is probably not possible—and maybe not even desirable. In the first place, the missal itself offers several legitimate options, and second, the most appropriate layout depends on such factors as the size of the altar and sanctuary area as well as the possibilities of each parish. I will attempt to illustrate the various possibilities so that at least a common denominator can be established. The altar should be covered by at least one white altar cloth (see the General Instruction of the roman Missal, No. 304). It should at the very least cover the entire top of the altar table and preferably hang down on either side. It may also have a hanging fringe on the front and/or back of the altar, but this is not obligatory. It may be plain or adorned, in accordance with local tradition. If other cloths are used, then the white altar cloth is always the uppermost one. This cloth is obligatory for Mass and may be removed after the celebration. However, it is probably best to reserve the symbol of the stripped altar for Holy Thursday and Good Friday, and for this reason it is best to leave the altar cloth habitually upon the altar. Outside of Mass it is good to cover the altar cloth with another simple cloth or cover so as to keep it clean at all times. If desired and useful, another cloth may also be placed underneath the altar cloth. These undercloths may be of a different color and of a heavier textile than the altar cloth. This helps avoid creases and gives greater stability to the altar cloth. It is also a possible to use an antependium, or frontal. This cloth usually comes to the ground in front of the altar. It is usually a goodquality fabric a n d often embroidered with liturgical symbols. It may be white or the color of the liturgical season. Its use would not normally be recommendable if the altar is itself a significant work of art that is best left exposed. The crucifix should be placed upon the altar or near it (see GIrM, No. 308). The cross should be large enough to be visible to the faithful. In general, there should be only one crucifix in the altar area. Benedict XVI has promoted the practice of placing the cross at the center cross is large enough, it may double as an altar cross. Should there be a fixed cross in the sanctuary, the processional cross is placed out of view after the entrance procession. Two, four or six candles may be placed near or upon the altar (GIrM, No. 307). Seven may be used if the diocesan bishop c e l ebrates Mass. The candles may be arranged in several ways, but they should not obscure the view of the ritual action on the altar. In s o m e places the custom has develo p e d of using two candles for weekday Masses, four for feasts, and six for Sundays, solemnities and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. With respect to flowers, GIRM, No. 305, says: “Moderation should be obwww.s0.geograph.org.uk

Criteria for preparing the altar

of the altar between the priest and the people, but the present norms do not require this position. It is also possible to suspend the crucifix above the altar or on the wall behind it. If the processional

served in the decoration of the altar. During Advent the floral decoration of the altar should be marked by a moderation suited to the character of this season, without expressing prematurely the full joy of the Nativity of the Lord. During Lent it is forbidden for the altar to be decorated with flowers. Laetare Sunday (Fourth Sunday of Lent), Solemnities, and Feasts are exceptions. Floral decorations should always be done with moderation and placed around the altar rather than on its mensa.” regarding other elements necessary for Mass, No. 306 of the GIrM gives the overarching principle: “Only what is required for the celebration of the Mass may be placed on the mensa of the altar: namely, from the beginning of the celebration until the proclamation of the Gospel, the Book of the Gospels; then from the Presentation of the Gifts until the purification of the vessels, the chalice with the paten, a ciborium if necessary, and, finally, the corporal, the purificator, the pall, and the Missal. In addition, microphones that may be needed to amplify the priest’s voice should be arranged discreetly.” Therefore, it is not good liturgical practice to leave the corporal, missal, microphone, etc., habitually upon the altar. We have not been able to offer our reader a uniform criterion for the arrangement of the altar, but then this lack of total uniformity is something contemplated by the Church herself. We hope that what we have offered will at least offer some guidance in removing obviously erroneous practices.

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 15 No. 12
June 6 - 19, 2011


(Starting this issue, this section will serialize the ALFI RH Issue Papers of the ALLiance for the FAMILY Foundation, Inc.―Eds)

The Demographic Issue
HB 4244, Section 3, Guiding Principles, (j) There shall be no demographic or population targets and the mitigation of the population growth rate is incidental to the promotion of reproductive health and sustainable human development. This attempt to deny population targets is contradicted by the provision that defines the two-child as ideal family size. This policy statement will ultimately be translated as a target to field workers. Section 20, Ideal Family Size. – The State shall assist couples, parents and individuals to achieve their desired family size within the context of responsible parenthood for sustainable development and encourage them to have two children as the ideal family size. Attaining the ideal family size is neither mandatory nor compulsory. No punitive action shall be imposed on parents having more than two children. In Section 20 of the proposed bill when the proponents identify two children as the ideal family size, they belie their claim that their bill is not a population control legislation. repeatedly they emphasize that the population growth of the Philippines is too high, the family size is too large and that the population of the Philippines is too large. The NSCB website estimates the average annual rate of increase of population for 2007 as 2.07%. But using the standard computation (average exponential growth rate) used by the UN the Philippine population growth for 2010-2015 the Philippine growth rate is down to 1.68%. Why does NSCB use an estimation method different from the standard used by the UN? Could this be intended to confuse people and bolster the claim that the Philippines has a high population growth? The UN World Population Prospects 2010 revision show a very substantial decline from the 3.54% of the 1950-1955 period to the current rate of 1.68%. The proponents of the HB 4244 claim that the Philippines has a high population growth and blames this on the absence of a population policy in our country. How then do they account for the decline in population growth from 3.54% in the 1950s to the current growth of 1.6%? It would seem that the insistence of HB 4244 that couples be given reproductive Health assistance is based on the claim that fertility in the Philippines remains high. NSCB estimated Total Fertility rate for 1958-1962 to be 7.09 children per woman and for 2006 this was estimated to be down to 3.20 children per woman. This would mean that during the entire period that the Philippines did not have any population policy fertility rate went down by more than 50%. What could be the possible explanation for this fall?
FIlE PhoTo

ALFI RH Issue Papers #1

What is even more surprising is that when we look at NSCB estimates on Contraceptive Prevalence rates (the % of currently married women
Demographic / B5

Women’s Rights
ALFI RH Issue Papers #2
HB 4244, Section 2. Declaration of Policy, paragraph 2 states: “Moreover, the State recognizes and guarantees the promotion of gender equality, equity and women’s empowerment as a health and human rights concern. The advancement and protection of women’s human rights shall be central to the efforts of the State to address reproductive health care. As a distinct but inseparable measure to the guarantee of women’s human rights, the State recognizes and guarantees the promotion of the welfare and rights of children.” Section 3. Guiding Principles (d) The provision of medically safe, legal, accessible, affordable and effective reproductive health care services and supplies is essential in the promotion of people’s right to health, especially of the poor and marginalized; (k) Gender equality and women empowerment are central elements of reproductive health and population and development; The proponents of HB 4244 claim that their bill champions the advancement and protection of women’s rights. The medical facts regarding the following sideeffects of oral contraceptive pill (OCP in short) belie this claim: * The low-dose pill is a combination of two types of artificial hormones— estrogen and progestins taken by women for 21 days out of a 28 day cycle. It works by suppressing but not eliminating ovulation, thickening the cervical mucus, and by changing the lining of the uterus to prevent implantation of the fertilized ovum. * OCP’s increases the risk of breast cancer by 40% if taken before a woman delivers her first baby. Secretary Cabral publicly acknowledged that the pill causes breast cancer although she later claimed that the pill reduces ovarian cancer. Does she mean to imply that taking the pill is just a matter of choosing from a menu of cancers. * The risk increases by 70% if taken for four or more years before the first child is born. * Other side effects: high blood pressure, blood clots, stroke, heart attack, depression, weight gain, migraine, dark spots on the skin; difficulty in breast feeding; Increase in sugar level (for diabetics); AIDS virus more easily transmitted to women on the pill. * return of fertility for women who stop taking the pill may often take a year or longer. * Since the pill is an abortifacient it can induce abortion before the woman’s first full term pregnancy. In this case the woman’s risk of breast cancer increases by 50%. Depo-provera is long acting protestin hormone that is injected into every three months. Its mode of action is to also decrease ovulation, inhibit sperm transport and change the uterine lining. It has the following side-effects: * Women who take DepoProvera for two years or more before the age of 25 will have at least 190% increased risk in developing breast cancer. * Depo-Provera reduces bone density and worsens the woman’s cholesterol level. * Women using Depo-Provera for at least five years have 430% increased risk for cervical cancer. * In US 50,000 women have participated in law suits against pharmaceuticals producing injectables citing complaints of irregular bleeding, scarring, painful muscles, and headaches Norplant, the Patch, the “Morning After Pill,” the monthly injection Lunelle, hormone impregnated IUDs and vaginal inserts. Except for Norplant all these others are new and unsearched. * They all use the same chemicals as the Pill and can be expected to generally have the same effects. * In 2004—when 800,000 women were on the patch in the US—the risk of dying or suffering a survivable blood clot while using the device was about three times higher than while using birth control pills. (Associated Press, from Federal Drug Safety reports under the Freedom of Information Act) * In fact all chemical contraceptives have proven to be highly associated with heart and blood abnormalities: blood clots, hypertension and premature

cardiovascular arterial diseases. * All chemical contraceptives are associated with liver tumors which do not manifest harmful even when they become malignant. Given these side-effects how can promoting a reproductive Health program that is anchored on the distribution of oral contraceptive pills promote the advancement and protection of women’s rights? respect for the rights of women and the guarantee of freedom of choice should go hand in hand with full information about the health risks and the contra-indications of the various artificial contraceptive methods. This is the real meaning of informed choice in medical ethics. This is not the tenor of the following provisions of HB 4244 which pertain to freedom of choice: Section 3, Guiding Principles a) Freedom of choice, which is central to the exercise of this right, must be fully guaranteed by the State. g) The provision of reproductive health information, care and supplies shall be the joint responsibility of the National Government and Local Government Units; Section 4, Definition of Terms defines Family Planning refers to a program which enables couples, individuals and women to decide freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children, acquire relevant information on reproductive health care, services and supplies and have access to a full range of safe,

legal, affordable, effective natural and modern methods of limiting and spacing pregnancy; Section 4 also defines Reproductive Health Care refers to the access to a full range of methods, facilities, services and supplies that contribute to reproductive health and well-being by preventing and solving reproductive healthrelated problems. It also includes sexual health, the purpose of which is the enhancement of life and personal relations. The elements of reproductive health care include: (1) family planning information and services; (2) maternal, infant and child health and nutrition, including breastfeeding; (3) proscription of abortion and management of abortion complications; (4) adolescent and youth reproductive health; (5) prevention and management of reproductive tract infections (RTIs), HIV and AIDS and other sexually transmittable infections (STIs); (6) elimination of violence against women; (7) education and counseling on sexuality and reproductive health; (8) treatment of breast and reproductive tract cancers and other gynecological conditions and disorders; (9) male responsibility and participation in reproductive health; (10) prevention and treatment of infertility and sexual dysfunction; (11) reproductive health education for the adolescents; and (12) Mental health aspects of RH care;

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; Nowhere in all these definitions does it make any reference to inform women of the harmful effects of contraceptives and the need for a competent medical professional to ensure that women who have manifest contraindications are not given these chemical contraceptives given the heightened harmful risks that these contraceptives would pose to their health. The fact that can be easily verified at the field level is that the working definition of informed choice used in HB 4244 is the “narrow” definition of simply listing all the available methods. Naturally this definition is not compliant with the standards of medical ethics. Where is the respect for the advancement of women that HB 4344 boasts? There is another corollary ethical issue involved. In other countries particularly the US many pharmaceuticals have had to face legal suits as a consequence of the harmful effects of chemical contraceptives. HB 4244 is a Government funded program. Are we financially prepared to foot the medical bill for all the

women who will suffer from the harmful side effects of these contraceptives? Are we willing to put at stake the financial viability of PhilHealth to cover the medical expenses this will involve. This Government program is specifically targeted to the C, D, E socio-economic classes of our society. Targeting the program to the poor is the mandate found in: SEC. 13. Roles of Local Government in Family Planning Programs. - The LGUs shall ensure that poor families receive preferential access to services, commodities and programs for family planning. The role of Population Officers at municipal, city and barangay levels in the family planning effort shall be strengthened. The Barangay Health Workers and Volunteers shall be capacitated to give priority to family planning work. The poor are the least able to afford extra medical expenses. Are we going to be responsible for adding the medical expenses to the already heavy burden of poverty they face? Might it be said that the serious shortcomings of this bill arises from the fact that this should have been jointly studied by the Committee on Population and Family relations and the Committee on Health. It is therefore respectfully moved that this bill be recommitted to the Committee on Health.

FIlE PhoTo


Divorce a gross injustice to children
By Diana Uichanco
THE cost of divorce on children was among the crucial points repeatedly brought up at yesterday’s Congressional committee hearing on the divorce bill sponsored by Gabriela representatives Luzviminda Ilagan and Emerenciana de Jesus. “A bill like this can open the floodgates for all to be able to get a divorce for irreconcilable differences, which may be a dispute between couples on even minor matters. But the point is, solving the problem may lead to another problem, of families being destroyed, children growing up with only one parent. That is one of the worst punishments that we can give to a child. When one is absent and only one is present, when the most ideal for the family life is to have two parents taking care of the child, in one home,” said Cagayan de Oro rep. rufus rodriguez. “In the history of divorce in the Western countries, the perils and social cost are unquantifiable. In fact...10, 15, 20 years after divorce, the suffering is still there. The children, the divorced couples, suffer. The social cost is very high,” said Atty. Jo Imbong, Executive Secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Legal Office. “The destruction of the lives of children, delinquency, suicide―everything else happens after the divorce,” she added. Under the divorce bill, or House Bill 1799, a petition for divorce may be filed on any of the following grounds: de facto separation from one’s spouse for at least five years; legal separation from one’s spouse for at least two years; irreparable breakdown of the marriage as a result of the grounds for legal separation; psychological incapacity; irreconcilable differences. Co-author de Jesus explained that the measure is meant to help those who are suffering from unsuccessful marriages to come clean. “Kailangan talaga ng isang distinct amendment sa ating Family Code, which we call ‘divorce law Pinoy-style.’ Hindi ito anti-marriage; in fact, inasmuch as we appreciate and approve of good marriages, we recognize that we have economic, political and other components of our society that really can cause failure of marriage...and the relationship is irrevocable,” she said. “Having said that, we still can help especially our women and siyempre lahat ng gustong kumawala sa relasyon na hindi na sila maligaya, nakakaramdam na sila ng pang-aapi, at ang mahalaga rin dito ay hindi na sila magkaka-stigma. Dadaan sila sa isang proseso na kikilalanin na hindi sila lumabas sa isang relasyon na hindi naging matagumpay,” the solon pointed out. Ilagan expressed her belief that enacting absolute divorce in the country “may even strengthen the sanctity of marriage. Now people will not take you for granted. People will be very conscious that there are vows to be maintained, there are obligations to be fulfilled.”

Felix Manalo and his family of 16, strong case vs RH Bill
By Fr. Romulo O. Ponte
FELIX A. Manalo, did not finish even grade one due to poverty. He married Severina L. Dimaculangan, a native of Tiaong, Quezon who finished grade 5 and born him 16 healthy children. He was 18 and she was 14 when they were married 44 years ago. Manalo said he inherited more than a hectare of land in Brgy. Santiago Dos, about eight kilometers in the interior part of San Pablo where they do their farming. Beginnings They till their own farm. They sell their own products at their three vegetable vending outlets in the market. “I rented the vending spaces with a few pesos since the time the San Pablo City market was rebuilt from the ashes almost 20 years ago,” he said. “We earn just enough to support our children’s daily needs. We were also able to send them to elementary school in our barangay.” “My small kids then were helping us in the farm and in the market during free time. But we see to it that they go to the public school nearby. Ito lang ang tanging maipapamana ko sa mga anak ko kahit kaming mga magulang nila ay di nakatapos ng pag-aaral,” the 64 year old Felix narrated. He said life was too difficult during those times when they were raising their first few children. “But to educate our children in school was among our priorities as a family.” Due to their meager income Severina, 60, said, “we struggled to support the studies of our eldest daughter Juliana who could only finish a Medical Secretarial course at a local college”. “But luck was upon us as she was able later to work as an overseas worker in Taiwan,” enthused the mother. The oldest son Proceso was a tragedy because he died a violent death due to miss-identity at the age of 20. Generosity helps The mother said, Juliana’s job in Taiwan was a big boost to the family as she did not hesitate to voluntarily send money back home to help her sibling’s needs in school. “Napakabait talaga ng anak kong iyan.” “At those times, we could only afford to send our 3rd son Digno until high school due to financial difficulty. The 4th son Roberto could also finish until high school followed by Melvin who similarly graduated high school,” she revealed. “Juliana was the inspiration, challenge and big help financially for her younger brothers and sisters to aim high and dream to work abroad,” she said. “True enough, despite being high school graduate only, roberto was bold enough to apply work in Saudi Arabia and he luckily succeeded.” “Our 6th child Matilde also finished high school and she was also very fortunate as she got employed as an OFW in Canada.” “I am really grateful to God that my OFW children abroad were very sensitive to the needs of their siblings back home. They all send money here without being asked to help us support their younger siblings to school. They also send some amount to increase our capital in the market,” the father recalled. Heavy burdens turned light Felix said, “our heavy burdens of maintaining the farm, our business and supporting the studies of the rest of the children were beginning to be manageable and easy because my children abroad never abandoned us back home.” “Ngayon, walo (8) na ang mga anak kong nagtrabaho sa iba’t ibang bansa sa Canada, Taiwan at Saudi Arabia. Nagawa nila yon sa pagtutulungan.” (Eight of my kids are now employed in Canada, Taiwan and Saudi Arabia. They did it by helping one another), he revealed. The 12th daughter Mary rose who is a Computer Engineer is now employed in a banking institution in Manila. Thanks to the generous support of her older siblings abroad. Courtesy of brothers/sisters help abroad, the 14th child Marilou who is graduating in Psychology course is aiming to make it to Taiwan very soon. Back here in San Pablo, three of his sons are attending to their businesses in the city and two became political leaders in the locality. The two other youngest siblings are still finishing college studies. Discipline, hard work Felix Aquino Manalo and Severina Laylo Dimaculangan admitted it was not easy to raise their 16 children but discipline, had work, mutual cooperation among members of the family paid off. “Nuong una napaka dali namang pagsabihan ang mga bata. Sumusunod sila sa aking mga sinasabi. Ito marahil ang dahilan kung bakit ang mga anak namin ay pinagpala ng Diyos,” (Children in the past were easy to discipline. They always follow my orders. This was the reason perhaps why our children are blessed by God with success), Severina told the Inquirer. Hands-on family care She said she’s hands-on in taking care of their children. She saw to it that they are all home safe before evening or early in the evening. “Nuong binatilyo pa mga lalake ko minsan sila’y napapainum sa mga kaibigan at mga kanayon. Hindi ko hinahayaang uminum sila ng labis. Pinupuntahan ko na kaagad duon sa inuman at pinapakiusapan na sila’y umuwi na dahil masama ang masubrahan sa alak. Hindi ako umuuwi pag hindi ko sila kasama,” (When my male children were still adolescent they sometimes attend drinking sessions with few friends in the barrio. I give them instructions not to drink too much. When I think they need to go home, I would approach my kids and convince them to return home. I would not go home without my sons with me), the mother recounted. She added “Kahit ang mga anak ko ay pumupunta sa bayan (which is about 8 kilometers away) hindi ko hinahayaan na sila’y hindi subaybayan. Pag oras na ng uwi tinitiyak kong kasama ko na sila pagdating ko ng bahay.” (Even when my children are in the city proper, I would make it a point to follow them up closely. When it’s time to go home I made sure they are with me in going home). The husband on his part said that in disciplining children they should start when they are still young. “Dapat simula pa sa musmos pa ang mga bata simulan nang pangaralan ng mga mabubuting asal at mabuting gawi para paglaki nila sila’y magiging mababait. Pag malalaki na matitigas na mga ulo, hindi mo na madidisiplina,” (Disciplining and educating children on good moral characters should start when they are still very young to ensure they grow up being good adults. It’s difficult to discipline when they are already big kids and hardheaded). Natural family planning Severina told the Inquirer she was into natural family planning. She did not even bother knowing the location of their Health Center to get medication during pregnancy. ThecoupletoldtheInquirer,they agreed never to use contraceptive medicines as they believed they would only cause complications in their child rearing. Manalo said, “Ang gamot nakakasama sa katawan ng tao. Pag pinainum ko ng gamot ang misis ko baka mapasama pa siya dahil alam kong maraming nagkakasakit dahil lamang sa pag inum ng iba’t ibang gamot para di manganak” (I was afraid to let my wife take contraceptives because I know of women who experienced complications after taking birth control medicines). Severina said, she delivered all her children naturally without complications and at 64 she is still very healthy and capable of helping her husband attending to their pet project—a newly established fishpond and they are contemplating to construct a swimming pool inside their onehectare compound. Not health hazard She does not believe that bearing several children could cause her health problems or could lead her to die. “Alam mo ang bilis ko manganak. Wala akong kaproble-problema. Minsan hindi pa dumadating yong hilot tapos na akong nakapagluwal ng aking baby na walang problema,” (I give birth so easily. I have no problem. There are times when I have already delivered my baby smoothly before the midwife could arrive). When asked about the government’s plan to legislate the reproductive Health (rH) Bill to reduce children per family to two or three children, Manalo said, if he had only two or three children, he would not have known what it means to progress as a family. Faith in God Manalo, who just celebrated his 64th birthday last May 30 confessed that life with a big family like theirs is full of challenges. But their great faith in God had sustained them through thick and thin. The father admitted the family had also their share of griefs and tribulations. One of them was the untimely death of their eldest son Proceso, when he was still about 20 years old. A neighbor said, perhaps he was the one who was allegedly killed by an NPA due to mistaken identity. On his birthday celebration, Manalo saw to it that his newly bought statue of the risen Christ, the Mother of Perpetual Help, Our Lady of Manaoag and other images of saints would be blessed by their parish priest simultaneous with the blessing of their newly harvested fish farm, a few meters from their compound. The couple said, once the budget is ready, they would construct a chapel on top of a hill to house the newly acquired holy images for the family’s private devotion and for others too.


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 15 No. 12
June 6 - 19, 2011

FIlE PhoTo

Constitutional considerations “Would absolute divorce legislation be pursuant to the text, context and spirit of the 1987 Constitution? In light of repeated declarations in the Constitution, how could absolute divorce strengthen the Filipino family?” asked Imbong. According to Article XV, Section 2 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, Marriage, as an inviolable social institution, is the foundation of the family and shall be protected by the State. Likewise, The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. “How would absolute divorce make the family an inviolable social institution? It is untenable to say that by destroying the family, it is strengthened, and by dividing the family, it is made inviolable,” the lawyer said, adding that it is precisely the absence of absolute divorce in the Philippines that has kept many couples together through thick and thin till the end. A law on absolute divorce already threatens to violate the matrimonial vows even before they are pronounced, Imbong stressed, making couples “open to divorce even before they in fact get married.” “Stripping marriage of its inviolable nature is to openly tell to every child born of the marital union that he has but temporary parents, and has also a temporary family. This is nothing less than gross parental injustice to the children they brought to this world,” she added. Ilocos Norte rep. rodolfo Fariñas weighed in on the permanence of the institution of marriage. “Ang kasal ay for better or for worse. Hindi naman po puwedeng puro ‘happy-happy’ lang. At sa Amerika alam niyo may divorce. Mahigit kalahati sa kinakasal doon, [end up] divorced...dahil puwede eh. Ngayon kung ayaw mo na sa mister mo, puwede naman maghiwalay. Pero huwag ka nang magpakasal ulit para matuto naman tayo... kung mistake natin eh panagutan naman natin yung mistake natin,” the congressman remarked. Imbong ended her statement by alluding to the basics of the State’s duty to the family. “Would it be incongruous to ask why this much is being proposed in Congress on how to remedy ‘difficult marriages’ while practically nothing is said and proposed to strengthen marriages and prevent marriage failures?” No specific date has been set for another committee hearing on the bill, which was filed under the Committee on the revision of Laws.

A loving mother fights for her babies
determination to save her children. She found the courage to go to the authorities and the media. Eventually with the help of raffy Tulfo, a well known broadcaster who referred her to the Manila Public Attorney’s Office, they filed a petition for Habeas Corpus against the Sarmiento couple for the twins to be presented to the Olongapo Court. Branch 73, then under Judge Consuelo Bocar (now Judge Pamintuan) where Lourdes Sarmiento is a social worker. The Sarmiento couple failed to present the twins to the court, yet nothing happened to them, Lourdes Sarmiento being a Social Worker of that same court. However, according to Teresita, after office hours Mr. rico Amparo appeared with Chito Santos and Teresita was brought to the Public Attorney’s Office close to the court room and offered Php100,000 (€1,633, £1,413) to withdraw her petition. She adamantly refused as it was tantamount to selling her twins. The Olongapo court issued a subpoena for rico Amparo at his address in Cityland Condominium, Makati. The subpoena was not served. Teresita was now desperate. By November 2008 rico Amparo and rosa Erlinda Amparo filed a petition to the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 144 for the adoption of Joshua and Justine Legaspi using the affidavit of consent which Lourdes Sarmiento got Teresita to sign allegedly under a pretext. By December the Makati court wisely denied without prejudice that petition for adoption saying in effect that the affidavit of consent was null and void. Yet there was nothing further Teresita could do. All the forces of the law, money and power were working against her. It looked like there was no justice in the Philippines. But she would not give up. She took courage

By Fr. Shay Cullen
IN hospitals and in the hovels of the poor, vulnerable, impoverished illiterate mothers are hoodwinked into parting with their children under a pretext and many never see them again. Here is one true ongoing story of a court battle in which a brave and determined mother is fighting to get back her twins taken from her when they were barely one year old. On August 17, 2007, Teresita Legaspi gave birth to twin boys in a hospital in Olongapo City, Philippines. Being a poor illiterate mother and abandoned by the father of the children, she could not pay the hospital bill. riza Mendoza, who was then visiting the hospital offered to pay the bill if Teresita gave her one of the twins as collateral. Desperate and afraid of the police, she did. By November 2007, the baby was not returned so Teresita begged for help from Lourdes Sarmiento, the Olongapo regional Trial Court Social Worker. Within two weeks the child was returned. Teresita was overwhelmed with joy. Then the babies fell sick and Teresita had no money for a doctor but Lourdes Sarmiento and her husband romeo offered to help. Before taking the twins to the hospital they made Teresita sign a paper she could not read or understand. That was the last time she saw her babies. When she challenged the Sarmiento couple, they told her she had no right to the babies because she had signed an Affidavit of Consent to Adoption. The twins, Joshua and Justine were given to a couple by the name of rico and Erlinda Amparo in Makati City. Teresita was devastated and in shock for a few days but then she rose up with

and filed Kidnapping and Failure to Return a Minor under Article 270 of the revised Penal Code against the Sarmiento couple on September 20, 2010. Later, Olongapo City Prosecutor Melani Fay T. Banarez, ruled in favor of Teresita and the case was filed in court. It went to Court Branch 73 where the same case for Habeas Corpus had been filed and heard and where the accused Lourdes Sarmiento was, and is still is the Court Social Worker. The odds were stacked against Teresita. On April 25, 2011, the judge Norbert Pamintuan did not inhibit himself but dismissed the kidnapping charges. He has dismissed up to seven child rape cases based on affidavits of desistance. Judge Pamintuan ruled in favor of Sarmiento, his own accused social worker saying “probable cause to issue a warrant of arrest against the accused-spouses is wanting” and because the mother did not get hysterical or emotional in the court and demand back her children and because she signed an affidavit of consent of adoption according to Judge Norbert Pamintuan. Teresita denied she ever gave consent, a mother giving away her new born is highly unlikely. She is illiterate, not have reached grade 5 and can’t read English legal documents. She has been fighting for her children for almost four years. Besides, the judge should have inhibited himself and not pass judgment on his own social worker who is the accused. By now in May 2011, the dedicated Prosecutor ria Sususco, a special prosecutor from the Department of Justice, is fighting the case for Teresita. However the judge has ruled against the prosecutor and denied all her motions for reconsideration and the mother was never allowed to testify on her own behalf. Isn’t that Justice denied?

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 15 No. 12
June 6 - 19, 2011



‘To Proclaim Jesus Christ ... Seems More Complex Today’
(Address of His Holiness Benedict XVI to the participants in the first plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, at the Vatican on May 30, 2011)
persons who wish to belong to the Church, but are strongly molded by a vision of life that opposes the faith. To proclaim Jesus Christ the only Savior of the world seems more complex today than in the past; but our task remains the same as at the dawn of our history. The mission has not changed, just as the enthusiasm and the courage that moved the Apostles and the first disciples must not change. The Holy Spirit who pushed them to open the doors of the Cenacle, making them into evangelizers (cf. Acts 2:1-4), is the same Spirit that moves the Church today in a renewed proclamation of hope to the men of our time. St. Augustine said that one must not think that the grace of evangelization was extended only to the Apostles and with them that source of grace was exhausted, but that “this source LOrD Cardinals, Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate and the Priesthood, Dear Brothers and Sisters, WHEN last June 28, at First Vespers of the Solemnity of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, I announced that I wished to institute a dicastery for promoting the New Evangelization, I gave an operative beginning to a reflection that I had had for a long time on the need to offer a concrete answer to the moment of crisis in Christian life, which is being verified in so many countries, above all those of ancient Christian tradition. Today, with this meeting, I can see with pleasure that this new pontifical council has become a reality. I thank Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella for the words he addressed to me, introducing me to the work of your first plenary assembly. My warm greetings to all of you with my encouragement for the contribution you will make to the work of the new dicastery, above all in view of the 13th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops that, in October of 2012, will in fact address the topic “New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith.” The term “New Evangelization” speaks of the need for a renewed method of proclamation, especially for those who live in a context, such as the present one, in which the developments of secularization have left heavy traces even in countries with a Christian tradition. The Gospel is the ever new proclamation of the salvation wrought by Christ to render humanity a participant in the mystery of God and in his life of love and to open it to a future of sure and strong hope. To underscore that at this moment in the history of the Church she is called to carry out a New Evangelization, means intensifying missionary action to correspond fully with the Lord’s mandate. The Second Vatican Council reminded that “the groups among which the Church dwells are often radically changed, for one reason or other, so that an entirely new set of circumstances may arise” (Decree Ad Gentes, 6). With farsighted understanding, the Conciliar Fathers saw on the horizon the cultural change that today is easily verifiable. Precisely this changed situation, which has created an unexpected situation for believers, requires particular attention to the proclamation of the Gospel, to give the reason for one’s faith in situations that are different from the past. The crisis being experienced bears in itself traces of the exclusion of God from people’s lives, of a generalized indifference toward the Christian faith itself, to the point of attempting to marginalize it from public life. In past decades it was still possible to discover a general Christian sense that unified the common feeling of whole generations, growing up in the shadow of the faith that had molded the culture. Today, unfortunately, we are witnessing the drama of a fragmentation that no longer consents to a unified point of reference; moreover, we often see the phenomenon of
Demographic / B3

We are not the vine, we are only the branches
(Homily of His Eminence Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, archbishop emeritus of Cebu, at the conferment of the ecclesiastical award of the Order of St. Sylvester, at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, May 25, 2011) THE Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI has honored us once again with the conferment of the Ecclesiastical award Dame of the Order of St. Sylvester to nine illustrious Cebuanas, distinguished by their works of charity and long service to the Church. As I congratulate you, Dames Anita Cabinian, Julia Gandionco, rosa Maria Garcia, Conchita Go, Lourdes Jereza, Lourdes Vilma Lee, Anita Sanchez, Alita Solon and Mariquita Yeung, I also thank you for the work you have done for the Church and for the underprivileged. Through your apostolates, you have given the Church in Cebu a heart that truly cares for the poor. There are many who profess to take the cudgels for the poor nowadays. They say they empower the poor by giving them control over their lives. Yet, instead of providing them basic medicine, they gave them contraceptive pills that can cause cancer. Instead of curbing corruption so that basic services may reach the poorest of the poor, they focus on pushing a bill that has been rejected so many times before, as if it is the only bill that really matters for all Filipinos. It is difficult to be Catholic nowadays. To profess the Catholic faith nowadays, in its integral fullness, is to be labeled “medieval”, “outmoded”, “bigoted.” We are the ones given all kinds of names, yet we are also accused of name-calling. We are challenged to argue our case with sobriety and intelligence, yet, no matter how you explain the matter comprehensively, only sound bites, taken out of context, many times portraying the Church in a bad light, see print or is carried on television. Sometimes one wonders whether the media are deaf, blind or simply biased. We have said it before, and will say it again, contraception is immoral, and no one has the option to be immoral, whether you are rich or poor. They would argue that contraception is immoral only for Catholics, and many Catholics do not even think it immoral. reducing morality to a matter of faith or personal opinion is precisely what the Church is warning against. If today they say everyone must be given freedom of choice, and the object of the choice is contraception, tomorrow they will say everyone must be given freedom of choice, but the object of the choice would be abortion, homosexual marriage, divorce or euthanasia. You may say it is far-fetched, that contraception is far less serious a sin than the ones I have mentioned. But the logic by which contraception is pushed is the same logic by which all the others are proposed: the key words are “freedom of choice” and “moral relativism.” The argument goes as follows: because we cannot agree on what is moral or not, we might as well allow everything and anything. After all, everyone must have freedom of choice. It is true, the rH Bill prohibits abortion today, but the language of the bill already prepares the way for abortion to be legalized. Hillary rodham Clinton, the current US Secretary of State and former First Lady was quoted as saying thus: “… 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.” (end of quote) Do you really think they will stop at contraception? Morality is the limit of freedom. Or rather, morality is the perfection of freedom. We become more free by moral choices. We become less free by immoral decisions. Some say we Bishops do not listen that we are narrow-minded and are concerned only of preserving our power at the expense of those who wallow in poverty. I say we listen first and foremost to the Chief Shepherd, for we are not the vine, we are only the branches. Apart from Him, we can do nothing. Some say we should listen to what the people say. “Vox populi, vox dei.” I say, if such is the case, then Moses should have listened to the Israelites who wanted to return to slavery in Egypt, and Barabbas should have been hailed Messiah instead of Jesus, for the crowd preferred that rebel over our blessed Lord. So, after all is said and done, when the dust of this battle settles, will the poor have hope for the future? Let us not use the name of the poor in vain. If you really cared for the poor, you would have crafted laws to bring down the cost of medicine and basic necessities. You would have liberalized restrictions to attract more investments, clamp down on corruption to encourage investors, focused on building homes and schools and infrastructure to shelter and educate and promote development. Instead, the nation’s energy is wasted on a bill that, in its positive aspects, is already in place, but only needs implementation. Some argue we are just too many, our meager resources are overwhelmed by the sheer number of people to house, to educate, to hire, to feed. They conveniently forget that the Marcos years saw the most aggressive population program in our nation’s history. It did not bring us anywhere, for unless we root out corruption from our system, we will always have meager resources, whether we are only 40 or a hundred million. I would like to apologize to our awardees if I used this occasion to engage in polemic over an issue that has no bearing on today’s festive occasion. But does it not have any bearing at all? Is not the essence of this award the catholic character of your work? I chose to speak on this subject today because of its urgency. I chose to speak on this topic on this occasion because as Catholics awarded for loyalty and devotion, you need to understand what you believe, so that in understanding, your faith may grow ever stronger, your devotion ever more fervent, your work to help the poor and support the Church ever more zealous. May the Lord bless you and your families. May the Lord bless our nation and enlighten our leaders. Amen. We are not the vine, we are only the branches
© Roy lagarde / CBCP Media

essential. Even in one who remains linked to his Christian roots, but lives the difficult relationship with modernity, it is important to make it understood that being Christian is not a sort of uniform to wear in private or on particular occasions, but is something alive and all-encompassing, able to take up all that is good in modernity. I hope that in the work of these days you will be able to delineate a plan able to help the whole Church and the various particular Churches, in a commitment to the New Evangelization; a plan where the urgency for a renewed proclamation will take care of formation, in particular for the new generations, and be combined with a proposal of concrete signs able to make evident the answer that the Church intends

manifests itself when it flows, not when it ceases to be poured out. And it was in this way that, through the Apostles, grace also reached others, who were sent to proclaim the Gospel ... what is more, it has continued to call, up to these last days, the whole body of his only-begotten Son, namely, his Church spread throughout the earth” (Sermon 239, 1). The grace of the mission is always in need of new evangelizers capable of receiving it, so that the salvific proclamation of the Word of God will never diminish in the changing conditions of history. A dynamic continuity exists between the proclamation of the first disciples and our own. In the course of the centuries the Church has never ceased to proclaim the salvific mystery of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, but that same proclamation today needs a renewed vigor to convince contemporary man, often distracted and insensitive. Because of this, the New Evangelization will have to be responsible for finding the methods to make the proclamation of salvation more effective, without which personal existence remains in its state of contradiction, deprived of the

to offer in this peculiar moment. If, on one hand, the whole community is called to reinvigorate the missionary spirit to give the new proclamation that the men of our time await, it must not be forgotten that believers’ style of life needs to be genuinely credible, convincing all the more when the life situations of those who see it is all the more dramatic. It is because of this that we wish to make our own the words of the Servant of God Pope Paul VI when, in regard to evangelization, he said: “It is therefore primarily by her conduct and by her life that the Church will evangelize the world, in other words, by her living witness of fidelity to the Lord Jesus—the witness of poverty and detachment, of freedom in the face of the powers of this world, in short, the witness of sanctity” (Apostolic Exhortation “Evangelii Nuntiandi,” 41). Dear friends, invoking the intercession of Mary, Star of evangelization, so that she will accompany the bearers of the Gospel and open the hearts of those who listen, I assure you of my prayer for your ecclesial service and impart to all of you the apostolic blessing.

using contraceptive methods) it would appear that the level of contraceptive prevalence in the Philippines is low compared to other countries. If women are not inclined to use contraception what then explains the fall in fertility? This data would indicate that clearly contraception cannot explain the decline in fertility in the Philippines. It is hence clear from the data that a reproductive Health Program anchored on the promotion of modern contraceptives is not needed in the Philippines. Why are the proponents of the bill, against

all common sense insisting on the passage of this bill? In the words of the Honorable Cong. raul Del Mar, this bill pushes open an already open door. What is the sense in spending so much money to force fertility down when it has been going down since fifty years ago? It is important to discover the true reason behind pushing this bill. There is every reason to believe that in fact the engine promoting the legislation of these bills come from multinational pharmaceutical companies who would like to cash in on the potential market that would be

created by this legislation. Based on National Census Statistics Board data 2000, about 24 percent of the Philippine population is above 20 years old. Based on the same statistics, about 50 percent of that are females. This would translate into 11 million women as a target market. At a P1,000 a month budget for contraceptives the annual take of the pharmaceutical companies will be a cool P132 Billion per year. Of course since a huge part of this market belong to class C, D and E an enabling legislation is needed to make sure that the government can foot the bill. If

sexuality education becomes a success the 10-15 year old population will become another market. This could mean another 4 Million potential users that will translate to another P48 billion. This means a total market of P180 billion! This is a great travesty— if this bill were to pass rich multinational pharmaceuticals will be enriching themselves out of the hard-earned tax money of the republic of the Philippines. So many other worthwhile priorities in education and health will have to be foregone! It is therefore fitting to move for the rejection of House Bill 4244!



Ref lections

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 15 No. 12
June 6 - 19, 2011

The Tower of Babel
Pentecost Sunday - Year A (John 20:19-23) June 12, 2011
By Msgr. Lope C. Robredillo, SThD
SINCE all political parties in the Philippines are expected to offer platforms through which they can help solve national problems, would it be a sound idea to bring them together to discuss the ills of the country? One could not agree more. It might be recalled that, a decade or so ago, an “All Parties Conference” summit was organized to bring together 12 national parties, eight regional parties and 12 party-list groups, to address problems of our political system. But amid the disclosure of the result of a UP survey indicating that Filipinos were becoming disenchanted with our kind of democracy and system of government, the summit, which has “Modernizing the Political Institutions of a Democratic and Prosperous National Community” for its theme, opened on sour note, as one daily headlined it. The LDP (Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino), the PDP-Laban and the Reporma-Lapiang Manggagawa boycotted it. The party-list groups Bayan Muna, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan and Sanlakas refused to join it. Each opposition party. of course, had its own agenda for not coming to it, but nationalism, reconciliation and communion could hardly be invoked. If anything, all this shows how fractious and fragmented we could get—a dubious distinction that could be duplicated in many attempts to forge national unity. If this event had any indication, it is that we are still far removed from being a people of reconciliation and communion. This brings to mind the famous story of the tower of Babel (Gen 11:1-9) in the First reading of Pentecost Vigil. According to the narrative, the people of Shinar wanted to build a city with a tower, but God punished them. As can be inferred from v 4 (“to make a name for themselves, lest we be scattered”), it seems that they sinned not only for trying to make a name for themselves on their own initiative and quite independent of God, but also for refusing the command of God to fill the earth (1:28). Of course, others think that their sin consists in trying to build a tower with its top in the sky (11:4) as a sign of pride and rebellion against God, but there seems to be no basis for this conclusion. At any rate, as used in the narrative, the story is meant to teach us about the ongoing sin of man and, when read together with the next chapter, which focuses on Abraham, about true greatness whose origin is God (12:2), and about the birth of Israel through whom all nations will be blest. Originally, however, the story was an aetiological legend about the origin of the diversity of languages and nations. In v 7, the Yahwist writer uses the word balal, which means to mix, to confuse: “Come, let us go down and confuse the language.” The city, with its tower, was left unfinished because Yahweh confounded the speech of the builders; hence, its name became Babel , or confusion. In English, the word babble means confused or incoherent speech. Because of the confusion of language, people could no longer understand each other; on the contrary, unable to reach agreement, they could not be united. Hence, the quarrel among nations, and their lack of communion and reconciliation. Because they could not get through their head, they were fractious and fragmented. Today, we celebrate the feast of Pentecost. For Christians, it is not simply the 50th day after the Lord’s resurrection; rather, it is also the time when the Church, through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, received its mission to bring all people to God. Thus, in the Gospel, Jesus gives the Holy Spirit to the early Church: “As the Father has sent me, so I send you. receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive men’s sins, they are forgiven them. If you hold them bound, they are held bound” (John 20:21.23). Pentecost signifies that the risen Lord is active in the world, reconciling all men to God and to one another. Thus, one of the theological meanings of the event is that Pentecost is a time of reconciliation and communion. Indeed, from linguistic evidence, there is no doubt that the account in the First reading (Acts 2:1-11) is meant to reverse the experience of Babel. Luke says that the Jews who came from every nation under heaven and were staying in Jerusalem witnessed the outpouring of the Spirit on the apostles, “they were much confused because each one heard these men speaking his own language. The whole occurrence astonished them” (Acts 2:6). If in the story of the tower of Babel, people were confused because of their different languages, here the Jews who came from every nation on earth were confused because each one heard the apostles speaking in his own particular language. Thus, Pentecost overcomes the division of men at Babel. That is why Luke uses tongues as of fire (v 3) to convey this signification. This means that through the tongue of the Spirit, which is ultimately charity, all men will be reconciled. Pentecost is thus a time of reconciliation and fraternal communion. It might be difficult to expect our political parties to be reconciled to one another and establish fraternal communion so that the country could move toward achieving the kind of society that our constitution envisages. But a Christian always expects that the Church be a community of reconciliation and communion. And precisely because the Spirit that was poured out at Pentecost is active in the Church, such a community could be promoted if Christians are to be informed with a spirituality of communion. According to John Paul II in his Tertio Millennio Adveniente, this spirituality means that we are able to think of our brothers and sisters in the faith within the profound unity of the mystical body; it means sharing their joys and sufferings; it
Babel / B7

The enriching and unifying role of the Holy Spirit
Reflections on Pentecost Sunday
Experience shows that sin remains a sad reality to this very day, both in ourselves and around us. Jesus knew it would be so. That is why he repeatedly promised and eventually gave the Holy Spirit to the Church that she might continue his healing mission in the power of the Source of all unity, wholeness, and holiness. Thus, Jesus completed his redemptive work by commissioning the Church to carry on the struggle against all that divides mankind, all that makes us selfish, proud, aggressive, and oppressive. And this is what the Church has been doing in her 2000 years of existence, in spite of all the limitations and weaknesses


By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
JESUS freed us from sin through his passion, death, and resurrection. Thanks to him, salvation is made available and offered to all human beings. But this does not mean that we are all herded into heaven. Christ destroyed sin, but not our freedom. It can still happen that we say once again “No!” to God. As long as we live on earth, sin remains a “possible accident” caused by a number of factors, the main ones of which are the devil’s temptations, the negative influence of the environment in which we live, and especially the moral weakness of our wounded nature.

that come to her from her “human component.” The Holy Spirit, present in her as her “soul,” is the divine Power that keeps the Church alive, constantly renews her, guides her into an ever greater appreciation of the truths of revelation, sanctifies her, and strengthens her against all dangers and oppositions. And so the mystery of the Incarnation continues—God saving men through men, not just through the all-holy Jesus, but also through the ministry of frail and defective people, sanctified and strengthened by the Spirit of love, unity, and holiness. We will never be able to fully appreciate the importance of the role of the Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit / B7

Trinity Sunday - Year A (John 3:1618) June 19, 2011
By Msgr. Lope C. Robredillo, SThD
ON June 1, 2011, the Department of Health-Food and Drug Administration (DOH-FDA) issued a warning against using intravenous skin whitener (Glutathione 4) because it could lead to death. But the product is so popular, because it is claimed to whiten the skin. Probably millions of Filipinos want to change their color because, according to them, white is beautiful. That is why entertainers have to whiten themselves, if they do not want to appear ugly and be laughed at. But as Nestor Torre correctly pointed out in one of his columns, “it really is quite funny-peculiar to see Filipinos, many of whom are rather darkcomplexioned themselves, poking fun at black people… For their part, our black entertainers should also stop poking fun at themselves and their coloring. They’re aiding and abetting the cruel bias of the racists, which won’t change for the better until they are bluntly made to realize that black can be beautiful and is definitely not funny! Above all, it’s we, the members of the local entertainment audience, who have to change. For decades now, we have poked fun at people just because they have dark skin, or flat noses, or are ‘vertically challenged,’ or look and speak ‘funny’ or come from the Visayas—all superficial factors that don’t define the kind of persons that they really are. And yet, because our colonizers have successfully taught us to use Caucasian standards or beauty as our own, we look down on non-whites, not realizing that we are in fact poking sadistic fun at ourselves!” Torre finds our racist attitude wrong on the ground that color does not define who we are and that it has a cruel, painful effect on others. On the feast of the Trinity, however, we as Christians are given a deeper basis for rejecting it. But before going into that, let us see first the principles that the Gospel teaches us: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him may not die but may have eternal life” (John 3:16). With these words, John makes it clear that the purpose of Jesus’ coming is to give us eternal life, which is John’s term for salvation. Elsewhere, however, John describes the purpose of Jesus’ incarnation and death in terms of gathering people: “Jesus would die for the nation—and not for this nation only, but to gather into one all the dispersed children of God” (John 11:52). If salvation is about gathering people into one community that experiences the life of God, then we can say that it is Jesus who, by his coming, communicates this divine life to the community. No wonder then that elsewhere in the New Testament, we are told that this life that comes from God first of all flows to Christ who in turn shares it with the community: “In Christ the fullness of deity resides in bodily form. Yours is a share of this fullness in him” (Col 2:9). A similar teaching can be found in the letter addressed to the Christians in Ephesus: “May Christ dwell in your hearts through faith and may charity be the root and foundation of your life. Thus you will be able to grasp fully, with all the holy ones, the breadth and length and height and depth of Christ’s love, and experience this love which surpasses all knowledge, so that you may attain to the fullness of God himself” (Eph 3:18-19). Salvation or eternal life is therefore achieved when Christians share Jesus’s life of love that has its origin in the Father. Because they share in the life of the Father and Jesus, Christians therefore become one with the Father and his Son and with other Christians who receive this divine life. Understandably enough, the same letter describes Christians as “one new man” (Eph 2:15). Consequently, there cannot be division in the Christian community. Precisely because God, by sending Jesus to communicate his life to us, shows himself as the Father of the community, all of us who share his life have become brothers and sisters. Whatever and whoever we are, we form one family where there is no division: “Each one of you is a son of God, because
Poking / B7

Poking fun at colored people

The source of all life and goodness
Reflections on the Solemnity of the Blessed Trinity
Jesus is essentially a “mystery of love”—a love that is both the source of all that exists, and the fulfillment of all creatures. The love of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is so perfect and so pervading as to make of the three Divine “Persons” one single reality – the Blessed Trinity. This term is not in the Bible. It has been created by the theologians to express in a concise manner the mystery of one God who consists of three Divine Persons, equal in majesty, distinct from one another, but undivided. God alone could reveal what He is like in His very being, as well as in His relationship with all that exists, especially mankind. He did just that, especially in the life and teaching of Jesus Christ. From Jesus, we learn that we are all intimately related to the Blessed Trinity and immensely loved by Him. We are not only created in the image of this tri-personal Love, but also redeemed and sanctified by Him. In Baptism, we are created anew and brought even closer to the
Trinity / B7

By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
IT would be much more comfortable for us to believe in only one God who is also one person. Such is the faith of Judaism and Islam. Such is also the God that can be “discovered” by philosophy. But the God revealed by Jesus Christ is a much richer reality. He spoke of God as “Father” who has a “Son,” and of a “Spirit,” who is the expression of their mutual love, and binds them together in love. The God revealed by

Fr. Francis Ongkingco


The smile
“WE can wait here for a while. It won’t be long before he arrives,” the man said. The two men sat down. “What do you call this place?” the other man asked. “It doesn’t really have a name. I mean...,” he scratched his head. “Here...it really doesn’t make any sense to give it a particular name.” “Why is that?” “Simply that this place is what you call ‘heaven’ when you were still alive,” the other explained. “So this is heaven…,” the other man repeated. “So why can’t we simply call it by that name?” “Because you’re about to enter it and the One you find here is what naturally defines the place,” the angel explained. “To be here is to be with God, and once you’re inside, there’s no way to describe what it is to be with God. But in your case Dimas, we have to wait a little till he comes.” “Till he comes…,” Dimas simply repeatedly whispered the angel’s words. “Of course, you must be experiencing an indescribably happiness now that you’ve made it!” his angel mused. “I don’t know…,” he said. “But what about you?” “If for a moment we can call it happiness, then you can say I’m beyond happiness. You don’t realize the joy angels experience when the one they were entrusted to finally reach this place.” “Aren’t you supposed to know how we feel?” Dimas asked. “Well, yes. But we can’t read minds. Only God can do that. We can only discern or perceive things in a more precise manner what men intend to do.” “Wow! But I don’t even recall what happiness means. I just remembered the word when you asked me how I felt. I don’t even know ‘what to feel’ is right now! What and where I am now, however, doesn’t have a word. It’s like having something at the tip of his tongue, knowing fully what it is but one is incapable of expressing it.” “Well, when He comes you might even forget yourself,” the angel teased him. “Was that supposed to be a joke?” Dimas asked and laughed. “By the way…,” the angel said. “I hope you don’t mind me asking you something.” “I don’t mind. Besides, even though

Whatever / B7


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 15 No. 12
June 6 - 19, 2011

Social Concerns


Bukidnon governor taps Church leaders to implement livelihood program
By Ann Noble
AIMING to counter insurgency by providing sustainable livelihood to the province’s needy constituents, Bukidnon Governor Alex Calingasan has tapped the help of the clergy of Malaybalay diocese to assist in the implementation of the provincial livelihood program. The move is part of the peace initiative jointly handled by the local government and church leaders of Bukidnon. The partnership in the implementation of the provincial government’s flagship program was conceptualized after the bishop of Malaybalay, Bishop Jose AranetaCabantan along with Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma and some local leaders paid a visit to the governor to discuss the issue of insurgency and the peace and order situation of the province. It was learned that various incidents of NPA attacks have happened in the province, the latest of which was in the remote town of Malitbog where the local authorities’ post was overran and the policemen disarmed by alleged members of the New Peoples’ Army. The business sector also decries the harassment and rampant extortion activities of individuals claiming to be members of NPA and collected revolutionary tax from businesses operating in the province especially the multinational companies engaged in agribusiness. The meeting between the Governor and church leaders paved the way to forge partnership between the
Poking / B6

local government and the church in the implementation of the provincial livelihood program. Poverty was seen as one of the root causes of the unrest especially among the grassroots thus the need for an immediate action in order to attain peace and order.

During the forum, Indigenous Peoples Apostolate (IPA) director Fr. Pablo Salingua said that it needs more than providing the constituents fund for their livelihood. What is lacking is the proper formation to make the recipients ready to handle whatever livelihood projects are entrusted to them, he added. Failed to reach target “Proper formation, to mold the During the livelihood partnership people’s character to be more forum held Monday, appreciative to what June 1, Calingasan is given to them and admitted that the learning to value it provincial government should be the first steps is not satisfied with the in the implementation outcome of its livelihood of this program,” projects saying that the Salingua explained. program did not really The priest, being the improve the economic head of the diocese’s status of the constituents apostolate for the as what was projected. indigenous peoples of Calingasan said the Bukidnon has worked provincial government with the Lumads or has poured around natives of the province. P47 million in various He said it is important livelihood projects and for the government indigency support to the to acknowledge the people but still, poverty culture and traits of lurks especially in the its own people to fully remote hinterlands. understand why the “This is the reason why livelihood projects in many people, especially Archbishop Antonio Ledesma the past failed to uplift Bishop Jose Cabantan those who have lesser the economic condition education, succumbed of the grassroots. to the enticement of the NPAs to join squandered the money given to them “It’s important that with formation, them because they have nowhere else and remained poor,” Calingasan, a we also have to educate the people, to go and these rebel groups promise devout Baptist said. especially the natives,” Fr. Abling as them reforms so naturally they he is fondly called, said. would be converted to join them,” Need for formation Salingua presented at the forum Calingasan said during the forum. The clergy however said there is a IPA’s BB 4IP’s 2Dev project which Calingasan saw that the church has need for formation before the people is Bridging Bridges for Indigenous direct connection with the people, could appreciate the government’s peoples Towards Development. even in remote barangays through efforts to alleviate the peoples’ In it, he presented the project goal its various apostolates. which is to connect with the IPs and discontent. “People tend to trust the clergy’s sincerity in the implementation of the program rather than us politicians whom they think they could pay back during elections,” the governor laughingly added. “Tapping the church’s help may give this initiative more meaning to the people and they might value it to sustain their livelihood, unlike in the past where most recipients just
FIlE PhoTo FIlE PhoTo

to help them attain improved food sufficiency and cash income. Eye opener Fr. Virgilio Delfin, president of the church-run San Isidro College, lauded the governor’s effort in countering the worsening peace and order situation with the livelihood implementation partnership with the church. Fr. Delfin said the initiative is an eye opener that the government could work with the church in its programs for the people. He asked though that a comprehensive research study on the indigenous peoples should be done. The Lumads constitute the majority of recipients of livelihood program considering they are located in the hinterland areas where there is an influx of rebel groups. The livelihood partnership forum was also attended by some IP leaders, the academe, the Bukidnon environment office represented by Cecille Egnar, representatives from the Philippine Army and of some agri-based multi-national companies operating in the province like A Brown Company, Del Monte Philippines, SUMIFrU and Bukidnon Sugar Milling Corporation (BUSCO). Calingasan is also keen on tapping the support of the business sector to assist the livelihood program as part of each company’s corporate social responsibility. ruffy Magbanua of A Brown Company acknowledged the governor’s effort saying that the company has already funded several IP scholars and also planned on setting up a school of living tradition for the Lumads.

Whatever / B6

of your faith in Christ Jesus. All of you who have been baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with him. There does not exist among you Jew or Greek, slave or freeman, male or female. All are one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28). The early Christians saw the implication of this teaching. Luke tells us, for example, that in the early Church, the Christians were one in heart and in mind. No one claimed anything as his own; rather, everything was held in common (Acts 4:32). In other words, the Christian community is a place where people are accepted and welcomed. The basis for accepting and welcoming every Christian to the community is simply the fact that he is a Christian—he partakes of God’s divine life.
Babel / B6

Consequently, in a Christian community, there cannot be any discrimination on any basis—be it sex, power, merits, wealth, culture or race. Earlier, we noted that discrimination of colored people is wrong on the ground of its superficiality and its effect on others. But a meditation on the Gospel provides us with a deeper basis: we have become one with Christ. All of us share in the status of being God’s children. Therefore, no one can claim superiority over others. In the words of the Latin American bishops, “we are all fundamentally equal, and members of the same race, though we live our lives amid the diversity of sexes, languages, cultures, and forms of religiosity. By virtue of our
Holy Spirit / B6

common vocation, we have one single destiny” (Puebla 334). No doubt this statement is based on the Constitution of the Church: “Although by Christ’s will some are established as teachers, dispensers of the mysteries and pastors for others, there remains, nevertheless, a true equality with regard to the dignity and the activity which is common to all the faithful in the building up of the Church” (Lumen gentium, 32). This why is our racist streak—poking fun, for example, at colored entertainers and at our colored neighbors—is wrong, and nothing could make it right. If we stressed this implication of the Gospel today, it is with the purpose of showing that the doctrine of the Trinity need not be taken as an esoteric teaching

that has no connection with the everyday life of the Christian. In the past, we looked at God in himself, and we tried to explain the Trinity in terms of Greek categories that are difficult to comprehend unless one has a background of Greek philosophy and culture. Here, however, we simply tried to present how the Trinity is experienced in our lives, and we found that, among others, our faith in God as Father and in his Son makes us realize that it is wrong to discriminate people on any basis, precisely because of their fundamental equality that is guaranteed by God’s sending his Son to the world so that it may be saved. In this sense, Nestor Torre hits the nail on the head: “Let’s all agree to stop being racist and sadistic—right now.”

Trinity / B6

implies the ability to see what is positive in others; it means knowing how to make room for others, bearing their burdens, and resisting temptations that constantly beset us and provoke competition, careerism, distrust and jealousy; and above all, it means our contemplation of the Trinity dwelling in us. If people can see this spirituality shining on our faces, they will certainly recognize the miracle of Pentecost working in the Church and, who knows, our political structure and system could be affected in the long run. And the Babel among our political parties will be transformed into reconciliation and communion.

in the Church and in each of us. Without him the Church would be just a human institution, destined to perish like all other institutions, empires and civilizations. But the Church will last until the end of time only because the Lord of Life animates her. Thanks to the presence of the Spirit, the gift of salvation and all other gifts of the risen Christ are channeled to people, especially through those sacred acts that we call “sacraments.” In particular, the forgiving love of God becomes a reality for us, today, through the sacrament of reconciliation, which enables us to rise after every fall, purified and strengthened by God’s forgiving love.

Divine Pattern since we are made adopted children of the Father, brothers/sisters of the Son, and temples of the Holy Spirit. We will find our fulfillment and complete happiness in Him alone. Our lifetime on earth is not enough to fathom all the preciousness of the personal relationship that binds us to each Divine Person. It is only in the life to come that we shall see this wonderful God “face-to-face,” i.e., we shall come to know Him as He really is in Himself and for us. And this “knowing” and loving Him will be the essence of the eternal blessedness which will make us perfectly happy for ever.

we’ve only just met, I feel like you have known me ever since,” Dimas replied. “If you recall, you just shared with Him the singular honor of accompanying Him crucified to a cross,” the angel said. “I guess I didn’t have any choice,” Dimas replied. “Maybe that of being crucified, yes. But of turning to Him and asking Him to remember you, when He enters His Kingdom, that I believe was a free choice you made.” “Well, I guess I came to my sense about my entire life. I realized what I had done, and how all that was not going to outweigh all the injustices I have committed,” Dimas said. “And yet, mysteriously you uttered a prayer to Him, and to which He replied with granting you entrance into paradise with Him.” “If you can call it a prayer, well, I guess so…,” Dimas sighed. “I never learned to pray even as a child.” “But what exactly was it that made you ask Him for that request?” “When we got to Calvary, I was struck about how serene and peaceful He was. And yet, I could see how much He suffered more than my companion and me.” “Did any of these impressions change as they were crucifying you?” “I don’t recall now, since I
Promote / B1

can’t even recall what pain is now that I’m here.” “But there must have been something that He did that caught your soul’s attention. Dimas paused for a while, and thought deeply. Then he said, “Yes! I do recall what it was that finally moved me pray to Him.” “What was it?” “After He spoke with that woman…,” “You mean His mother?” “That was His mother?” Dimas asked. “She was so calm and she’s so beautiful!” “Well, let’s not get distracted,” the angel said. “Oh, yes. I don’t know exactly how to describe it,” Dimas continued. “So what was it?” “After He spoke to His mother and said some other things I didn’t quite understand, He turned to me…,” “What did He say?” “He didn’t say anything,” Dimas clarified. “But you both spoke, right?” “Yes, but only after He looked at me with those eyes as though He knew me all His life…,” “And?” “And He smiled at me!” *** “There are some exchanges of love which can be made only on the Cross.” (St. Elizabeth of the Trinity)


Name _________________________________________________
(Family Name) (Given Name)

(Middle Name)

The CBCP Monitor is published fortnightly by the CBCP Media office, with editorial and business offices at 470 Gen. luna St., Intramuros, Manila. Po Box 3601, 1076 MCPo • Domestic 1 Year Php 500.00 2 Years Php 900.00 • Foreign: Asia 1 Year US$ 55.00 • All other US$ 80.00

Mailing Address _______________________________________________ _________________________________________________ Phone No.: ________ Fax No.: ________ E-mail: ___________ Mode of Payment  Check/PMO enclosed  Cash Payment
(Payable to: CBCP Communications Development Foundation Inc.)

_____________________________ Signature
PLEASE SEND TO: CBCP Monitor, P.O. Box 3601, Manila, Philippines 470 Gen. Luna St., Intramuros, Manila, Philippines | Tel (632) 404-2182 • Telefax (632) 404-1612 Or e-mail this at cbcpmonitor@cbcpworld.com

tinue to face enormous challenges as they search for the resources and the path to development for their citizens. There remains no easy formula for success but the promise of solidarity can be a foundation for the renewal of commitment by those who have wrestled with this challenge for decades and a guidepost for the new actors in this space. There are numerous different and essential roles and responsibilities for the successful implementation of the development process in the LDCs. Thus, the Holy See anticipates a new Programme of Action for the LDCs for the coming decade. Now is the time to translate into concrete action the commitments that have been made in these days. The future well being of the LDCs depends to a great extent upon the spirit of gratuitousness that motivates our common efforts. Working together in a coordinated and cooperative fashion

the institutions and actors from all sectors can and must support the efforts of all LDCs to achieve their goals as members of the one human family.
NOTES [1] Paul VI, Encyclical Letter, Populorum Progressio; On the Development of Peoples, no. 14 [2] Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter, Caritas in Veritate: Charity in Truth, no. 33. [3] Ibid., no. 23 Pope Benedict reiterates this approach when he writes; “Many areas of the globe today have evolved considerably, albeit in problematical and disparate ways, thereby taking their place among the great powers destined to play important roles in the future. Yet it should be stressed that progress of a merely economic and technological kind is insufficient. Development needs above all to be true and integral.” [4] Ibid., n. 7 [5] Ibid., no. 63 [6] Ibid., [7] Ibid., no. 34 [8] Ibid., no 40


Moral Assessment

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 15 No. 12

June 6 - 19, 2011

Technical Assessment

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

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

The paranormal investigation job of Dylan Dog (Brandon routh) takes a back seat after the death of his girlfriend at the hands of a vampire clan. He does not accept related cases like the mysterious death of a rich importer which appears to be murdered by a warewolf. However, when his friend Marcus Adams (Sam Huntington) becomes the next victim, Dylan does not have second thought of going back to the business of penetrating the world of vampires, warewolf, and zombies. The mysterious people behind these creatures turn out to be Dylan’s friends with whom he maintains relationships for old time sake. In the course of his investigation for the case of the rich importer whose daughter becomes his close allies together with his dead friend Marcus who is now a zombie, he discovers that the key to stopping the deadly creatures is an artifact burried with one of the vampire in the crypt. Dylan got this artifact sooner, but of course, his “friends” would not like it and they want to make sure they have the artifact in their possesions. The film Dylan Dog: Dead of Night is a combined comedy and suspense thriller. Whilst there is a central character, it does not help to put subplots together

to establish a strongly-focused story. The role of Elizabeth which is like a wall flower has no impact at all despite the surprising revelation of her connection to the villains at the end of the film. The antagonists are not as remarkable so viewers could hardly hate them. Nevertheless, Dylan Dog: Dead of Night as an italian comic adaption is entertaining, primarily as an effect of the tandem of Dylan and Marcus. The humor brought by the character of Marcus is effectively carried by Huntington. routh, on the other hand, hardly acts on this film like an eternal good looking zombie. He survived all the fights and hard beats of the beasts yet preserves the good looks as if nothing touches his face. The gory scenes of dead corpses and worms are not necessarily in bad taste but the director has the tendency to prolong and overdo. The makeup and overall production design are fine but there are more to desire with regards to lighting and compositions. The special effects are a bit of a hard sell too. Overall, the film falls average in the technical aspect. The film shows how friendship is valued and that a friend is willing to sacrifice in order to seek justice for a lost friend and be motivated

TITLE: Dylan Dog CAST: Brandon Routh, Sam Huntington, Anita Briem, Peter Stormare, Taye Diggs, Brian Steele, Kurt Angle, Marco St. John,Courtney Shay Young, Gabrielle Chapin DIRECTOR: Kevin Munroe WRITERS: Thomas Dean Donnelly, Joshua Oppenheimer GENRE: Horror, Suspense/ Thriller RUNNING TIME: 107 min. Technical Assessment: 2.5 Moral Assessment: 1.5 CINEMA Rating: For viewers age 18 and above.

to take on bigger responsibility of ensuring victory of good over evil. However, if Filipino myths has manananggals, kapre, tyanaks, the European culture has vampires, zombies and human warewolves. This European supernatural forms is the context of the film Dylan Dog: Dead of Night and it shows that they do exist and live among the living like normal people. The film naturalizes zombies culture. It shows dead corpses and body parts as commodities which is contrary to the respect that Filipinos give to bodies of departed love ones.


Ni Bladimer Usi

TITLE: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides CAST: Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Ian McShane, Kevin R. McNally, Astrid Berges-Frisbey, Sam Claflin, Geoffrey Rush DIRECTOR: Rob Marshall WRITERS: Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio GENRE: Action/Adventure, Comedy RUNNING TIME: 137 min. Technical Assessment: 3.5 Moral Assessment: 2.5 CINEMA Rating: For viewers age 14 and above.

Buhay Parokya

Look for the images of the Holy Trinity, Crucifix and Chalice with Host (Illustration by Bladimer Usi)

SYNOPSIS: Crossing paths with the enigmatic Angelica, Captain Jack Sparrow is not sure if it’s love -- or if she’s a ruthless con artist who’s using him to find the fabled Fountain of Youth. When she forces him aboard the “Queen Anne’s revenge,” the ship of the legendary pirate Blackbeard, Jack finds himself on an unexpected adventure in which he doesn’t know whom to fear more: Blackbeard or Angelica, with whom he shares a mysterious past.
TITLE: Kung Fu Panda 2 CAST: Angelina Jolie, Seth Rogen, Gary Oldman, David Cross, Jackie Chan, Jack Black, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dustin Hoffman, Lucy Liu, Michelle Yeoh DIRECTOR: Jennifer Yuh WRITERS: Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger GENRE: Animation, Action/Adventure RUNNING TIME: 91 minutes. Technical Assessment: 4 Moral Assessment: 4 CINEMA Rating: For viewers of all ages.

SYNOPSIS: In “Kung Fu Panda 2,” Po is now living his dream as The Dragon Warrior, protecting the Valley of Peace alongside his friends and fellow kung fu masters, The Furious Five. But Po’s new life of awesomeness is threatened by the emergence of a formidable villain, who plans to use a secret, unstoppable weapon to conquer China and destroy kung fu. He must look to his past and uncover the secrets of his mysterious origins; only then will Po be able to unlock the strength he needs to succeed.

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 15 No. 12
June 6 - 19, 2011


KCFAPI top sales force bask in Kuala Lumpur sights
By Vanessa Puno
SEVENTEEN top sales force of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) basked in Kuala Lumpur’s prime attractions last May 24-26, 2011, as a reward for their commendable sales performance for 2010. Dubbed as “Asian Trip,” the tour around Kuala Lumpur, a melting pot of races and religions, is KCFAPI’s reward for sales agents who sustained effort and admirable skills in achieving an optimal performance in reaching the sales targets from January to December last year. According to Gari San Sebastian, Fraternal Benefits Services Manager who was part of the group, the fraternal counselors and area managers who joined the tour had the time to bond, recharge, relax and be inspired to do more for the rest of 2011. The tour to a chosen Asian country is being given annually to top sales producers intended to motivate them to attain creditable sales performance each year. The top sales force of 2010 have also
Kuala Lumpur / C2

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

The top sales force pose with the Petronas Twin Towers as background during their visit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

NEWLY appointed Fraternal Counselors (FCs) from Central Luzon, Bicol and Cordillera attended the 5th Batch of fraternal service training (FST) at the Fr. George J. Willmann SJ Center in Intramuros, Manila last May 17 to 18, 2011. The FST was conducted by the Fraternal Benefits Group (FBG) of Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI), a mutual benefit association. Speakers of the training were Joseph P. Teodoro, Fraternal Benefits Group (FBG) Vice President and Gari San Sebastian, Fraternal Benefits Services Manager. Teodoro discussed on the ways participants can improve their skills in sales performance such as techniques and approaches and on directing themselves to work their best in every sales opportunity. Meanwhile, San Sebastian zeroed in on the Knights of Columbus insurance arm’s plans, products and its background. He also oriented the 11 participants with the Order’s significant role in society and its contribution towards the realization of the vision and mission of KCFAPI. (KCFAPI News)

FCs attend FST in Manila

Incoming Luzon Deputy, youngest to hold the post in KC Phils

The Newly Oriented Fraternal Counselors with FBG Manager Gari M. San Sebastian

The New Mindanao State Deputy
BROTHER Balbino Fauni was initiated to become a member of the Order on 1997. A year after that, he was requested to charter a council at Doña Soledad Subdivision in General Santos City where he became the Charter Grand Knight of Immaculate Conception Council No. 12608 for two years, and was appointed as the District Deputy. Balbino was born in Alapan, Imus, Cavite 65 years ago. He attended his elementary school at Anglo Chinese School in 1958, and finished his secondary school at the Notre Dame of Dadiangas Boys Dept. in 1962. In 1966, he finished Bachelor of General Science major in Psychology at the University of Sto. Tomas in Manila, and in 1975, he finished the Degree of Bachelor of Science, Commerce, major in Management at the Notre Dame of Dadiangas College in General Santos City. Sir Knight Fauni was initiated to the First Degree on February 16, 1997 at the Holy Cross Parish Council No. 10457 and was elected as 3-Year Trustee in 1998. He became the Charter Grand Knight of the Immaculate Conception Council No. 12608 in Columbian year 2000 to 2002. He was elected as a 3-Year Trustee of Council No. 12608 in CY 2009-2010. In the year 2002, he was appointed as District Deputy of M-85 up to year 2006 and as
Mindanao / C2

INCOMING Luzon State Deputy Sir Knight Arsenio Isidro G. Yap, at 56, is the youngest among the incumbent and past State Deputies of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines. Yap, fondly called “Boy” by his peers will be taking over the post of Luzon State Deputy now Supreme Director, Alonso L. Tan on July 1. He attributed his appointment by Supreme Knight Carl Anderson to hard work and his “credibility in holding positions” in the said organization. Being the only former Columbian Squire as Luzon Deputy among the aspirants, it was evident that he was honed at a tender age to become the future leader of the Knights having exhibited the abilities and skills. He joined the youth arm of the KC Order at 13 and became the Chief Squire of Gomburza

Circle No. 1320 at age 17. At 22 years old, he was elevated as a 4th degree Knight, the youngest in his batch. In a short period of time, he gained the respect and trust of his brother Knights. He was entrusted the responsibility as a Grand Knight of Gomburza Council No. 5310 at 26 and was re-elected for a second term in 1982. In 1988, at age 33, he was elected as Faithful Navigator of the Padre Gomez Assembly sans having served any position in the assembly, since it was apparent that his talent and dedication to the Order had earned him the status. His natural ability for holding the said position was highly commended by the members of the assembly that he served his duty for three consecutive terms, “the only one so honored to this day since the establishment of the assembly in 1955. His loyalty and ardor secured him various positions in the Knights of Columbus Luzon Jurisdiction; as District Deputy of District M-44 for two terms from 1995-97, State Auditor from 2000-01 and State Secretary from 2007 to 2011. His ability to lead is also shown to be his dominant trait by the positions he held and maintained outside the KC Order. At 18 years old, he began holding several positions in a familyowned corporation, the Alysons’ Chemical Enterprises, Inc., where he is currently the Chief Operating
Luzon / C2

Incoming Visayas Deputy-Sir Knight Rodrigo Nonato Sorongon

KCFAPI donates tables, chairs to Intramuros Day Care Center
KCFAPI will surely put a smile on every kid in the Intramuros day care center this coming academic year. Through the well supported fund raising activity of the KCFAPI gift-giving committee the Brgy. 658 Day Care Center in Intramuros was provided with thirty tables and chairs instead of the school supplies the KCFAPI initially intended to give to twenty beneficiaries. The gift-giving committee this year drew inspiration from Fr. George Willmann, the founder of KCFAPI, who during his lifetime spearheaded socio-civic projects addressing the needs of the youth and children. A substantial fund was raised from the activity dubbed “Search for 2011 KC Sikat” among KCFAPI employees, which enabled the committee to buy tables and chairs for the twenty beneficiaries. Barangay representatives Kagawad Ricky Martinez and Sec. Joan Dayao received the donations from KCFAPI officials led by giftgiving committee chairman Ronulfo Antero G. Infante, Vice President, Information & BC
Intramuros / C2

BROTHER Rodrigo is a native of Sta. Barbara Ilo-ilo. He was born on September 4, 1947. He was a graduate of Human Resources Management at Naval Training Center Memphis Tennessee. Afterwards, he became the US Naval Instructor/facilitator on Leadership and Management. It was on April 9, 1996 when he first joined the Knights of Columbus as a 1st Degree Knight at Nevada USA he then ascended to becoming a 2nd and then 3rd degree Knight on September 4, 1996 and on July 25,1998, He became a 4th Degree Knight at Bacolod City, Negros Occidental. His active participation in his council branched out to holding of various positions such as Past Grand Knight, Former District Deputy, Past Regional Secretary, Past Visayas State Secretary and Past State New Council Development and State Council Reactivation Director. He was also a recipient of the Knights of Columbus Circle of Honor Award as State

Council Membership Director where he was one of those who were awarded with a Caribbean cruise. Mr. Sorongon is married and blessed with two children who are both settled now abroad. He is a retired US Navy where after returning to his homeland, he presently holds the position of Visayas Jurisdiction Executive Secretary and as a Municipal Councilor (Sanguniang Bayan Member) of the Sta Barbara Ilo-ilo. (Juno Amaris Mancenido)

(From left) VP-FBG Joseph P. Teodoro, Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio III, State Secretary Arsenio Isidro G. Yap, Pres. Alonso L. Tan, Brgy 658 Kagawad Ricky Martinez and Secretary Ms. Joan Dayao, MACE President Antonio T. Yulo, EVP-Ma. Theresa G. Curia, Arsenio Lopez and Gift Giving Committee Chairman VP-Information and BC Holders’ Services Mr. Ronulfo Antero G. Infante.

Hilario G. Davide, Jr.

The Cross
DYNAMIC Fraternal Counselors, Team Leaders and Area Managers from Visayas and Mindanao who qualified in the yearly Presidential Visitation challenge, have gathered at Sarrosa International Hotel located at Ayala Access Road, Mabolo, Cebu City on May 14, 2011 for the KCFAPI Executive Sales Visitation. A day before the event, Vice President for Fraternal Benefits Group, Mr. Joseph P. Teodoro called a meeting of VISMIN Area Managers and Team Leaders administered by FBSD Manager, Mr. Gari M. San Sebastian at the Cebu Service Office conference room. The qualifiers were described as the cream of the crop Fraternal Counselors for their laudable production in the first quarter for the year 2011. VP-FBG, Joseph P. Teodoro welcomed the attendees and gave a lecture on a range of selling techniques and schemes heading to the 2011 Annual Awards. The three state deputies namely: Bro. Alonso L. Tan, Bro. Dionisio R. Esteban Jr. and Bro. Sofronio R. Cruz for Luzon, Visayas and Mindnao, respectively, delivered their inspirational mes-

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 15 No. 12
June 6 - 19, 2011

Chairman’s Message
THE month of June 2011 has a very special significance for the Philippines and imparts a special message to the Filipino people. We will celebrate on 12 June the 113th anniversary of the Declaration of our Independence, and on 19 June the 150th anniversary of the birth of our national hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal. The declaration of independence put an end to the nearly 350 years of foreign rule characterized by oppression and injustice, and gave birth to a nation of freedom and democracy. More than breaking the colonial yoke, the Declaration was a sacred charge to build up the institutions of our country, to shape the frontiers of destiny and to mark out the great epochs that have yet to come. The birth of Jose P. Rizal was God’s gift to the Filipino people; he nurtured the spirit of one’s love of country. With his bloodshed in martyrdom on 30 December 1896, he sparked the revolution that hastened the Declaration of Independence. Without Rizal and the 12 June 1898 Declaration of Independence the Philippines would not have been what it is today whose standing in the community of democratic nations is a model for new and restored democracies. Without Rizal and the Declaration of Independence the Filipino people would have remained in slavery. Let us then rejoice as we celebrate the 113th anniversary of our independence and the 150th birth anniversary of Dr. Jose P. Rizal. Above all, let us on bended knees thank God for his continuing love and blessings for the Philippines and the Filipino people.

2011 Vis-Min Executive Sales Visitation

sages. The Executive Vice President, Ms. Ma. Theresa G. Curia provided KCFAPI Updates and the Association’s financial highlights followed by the President’s Report of Bro. Alonso L. Tan. KCFAPI Chairman, former Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr. focused his stimulating message on the theme of the

recent State Convention: “I Am My Brother’s Keeper”. Fellowship Dinner culminated the VISMIN Executive Sales Visitation, a vehicle promoting virtuous camaraderie among Fraternal Counselors from Visayas and Mindanao as well as KCFAPI officers. (Allen C. Bohol)

Alonso L. Tan

President’s Message

THE Columbian Year 2010-2011 is about to end several days from now and a new one to begin on July 1st 2011. While we still have about one month left, it is wise to zero in on what we can do in order for our councils to attain its goals for the Columbian Year. Foremost is on the submission of the reportorial requirements such as audit report, fraternal survey, lists of chosen officers, application for star council and service program recognition and Form 100. Second is the required new members’ recruitment target. Third is service program undertakings left unaccomplished. Fourth is the promotion of the fraternal benefits program of the Order handled by KCFAPI. At this time allow me to take the opportunity to welcome three (3) distinguished Knights who will assume mantle of leadership in the three (3) Philippine Jurisdictions. They are: Arsenio Isidro G. Yap for Luzon Rodrigo N. Sorongon for Visayas Balbino C. Fauni for Mindanao Let us all extend our helping hands and prayers that they will succeed and surpass the achievements of their predecessors. To my fellow State Deputies Bro. Jun Esteban and Ponying Cruz and all other State Officers and District Deputies I offer my thanks for their generous assistance and congratulations for a job well done. Vivat Jesus.

MS. Sonia Richelle B. Magdaraog, a scholar of KC Philippines Foundation Inc. (KCPFI), recently graduated Cum Laude with the Degree of Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Catanduanes State Colleges, Virac, Catanduanes. She is one of the sixteen KCPFI scholars who graduated last March and April 2011 from various colleges and universities around the country. Ms. Magdaraog is the daughter of Bro. Rey and Sis. Evelyn Magdaraog of the Knights of Columbus Council No. 4266 located in Virac, Catanduanes. She has been a consistent honor student since high school and was active in various school activities and organizations. Ms. Magdaraog received a five-year scholarship grant from the Foundation starting with schoolyear 2006-07. Currently, she is enrolled in a six-month review course in preparation for the Civil Engineering Licensure Examination in November. As of to date, the KC Philippines Foundation, Inc. has successfully provided assistance to 263 collegiate, 114 vocational and 1 high school students from all over the country. Congratulations to Ms. Magdaraog and to our newest batch of KCPFI scholar-graduates.
Intramuros / C1

KC Philippines Foundation Scholar Graduates With Honors

Messages of KC Scholars

AT last, my four years of studies in St. John the Evangelist School of Theology in Palo, Leyte has ended successfully. I owe these for a great part on your philanthropic foundation which fully provided for my financial obligation in the seminary. I thank the Almighty Lord for your existence which is ever benevolent to extend the needed support to indigent seminarians like me. May He bless your foundation forever. All I can do and say is to express my humble, wholehearted and sincere acknowledgment, and appreciation of God’s gift given to me through your ever magnificent foundation— truly a source of strength and inspiration and a wellspring of life for seminarians. I infinitely owe my life in the seminary through your renowned foundation for without it, I would not have been where I am at present. Now, as I am getting nearer to the altar of God, I vow to dedicate my whole being in the service of God through our Holy Catholic Church. Together with my family, I pray and wish for your eternal existence always ready to extend assistance to seminarians in need. Deep in my heart and soul, I express my thanks and solemn gratitude to your foundation. Long live and God bless us all. Sincerely yours in Jesus Christ, SEM. Anthony G. Salazar

Mindanao/ C1

a DD, he organized two councils namely: Lanton Council No. 13769 and FVR Council No. 14065, all in General Santos City. In 2004, Bal Fauni was appointed as Secretary of the Association of the Knights of Columbus in the Diocese of Marbel (AKCDM) which lasted to 2007. In 2005, Kuya Bal, [as he is fondly called], was elected Faithful Navigator of Sarangani Bay Assembly, ACN1770. A year after that, he was appointed as the Provincial Secretary for General Santos City and Sarangani Province, CY 2006-2007, and later became the Regional Secretary for Region XI-B, Diocese of Marbel in CY 2007-2008. At the same time he was elected as the President of the AKCDM from 2007-2009 and prior to the end of his term, he was appointed as the Regional Secretary for Region XII composed of the Dioceses of Kidapawan, Marbel, and Cotabato (KIDMACO), up to the present. Sir Knight Bal Fauni worked with the Metro Drug Corporation and was awarded as Top Salesman of the Region (Mindanao) in 19791980. In 1990, he was able to achieve the Best Area Manager citations by

the First Pacific Metro Marketing Incorporated. Two years ago, he received the Top Agency Manager Award given by the Caritas Health Shield, Inc., General Santos Branch, where he works up to the present as the Agency Manager. Brother Bal received a District Star Award for M-85 during his leadership in CY 2004-2005, and a recipient of Perfect Attendance Award from year 2000 to 2006 in his council. From 2002 to 2009, Kuya Bal was a consistent awardee of Giver of Life Award for his council 12608. Outside of the Knights of Columbus, Bro. Bal also had been an active Purok (village) Chairman at Doña Soledad Subdivision in 2002-2004, and was reelected in 2008-present. As a Member of the Board of Trustee, he is also an active affiliate of South Mindanao Habitat for Humanity in General Santos City. Married to Ruby Adrinela, a government High School teacher, Bro. Bal was blessed with four children; three of whom were successfully employed, while the youngest still in sophomore high school.

Holders’ Services; Alonso Tan, KCFAPI President and Ma. Theresa Curia, KCFAPI Executive Vice President, at the KCFAPI head office last May 23. The large amount raised from the recent employees’ fund raising activity was mainly achieved through the sustained effort and support of the KCFAPI employees, fraternal counselors, benefit certificate holders and friends. Joseph P. Teodoro, Fraternal Benefits Group Vice President likewise donated t-shirts to the Intramuros day care students. The considerable amount generated from fund raising activity held from March to April also enabled the committee to extend its gift-giving activities to beneficiaries selected from each of the KCFAPI service offices in Visayas and Mindanao. Ten selected students from each service office will be provided with school supplies. “The gift-giving committee is very thankful for the all-out support given by the employees. All these were made possible because of them,” said Infante. (KCFAPI News)
Kuala Lumpur / C1

Members of the KCFAPI board and some KCFAPI officers during the signing of the National Convention Manual of the Knights of Columbus of the Philippines on the occasion of the May 19, 2011 board meeting.

a ch i e v e d t h e t i t l e s of F r a t e r n a l Counselor (FC) of the year, FC Runners up, Area Manager (AM) of the Year, AM Runners up, and members of the Fr. Willmann Knights of the Round Table (WKRT). Among the tourist attractions visited by the group include the King’s Palace, National Museum, Monument and Mosque, Independence Square, Chocolate Gallery, KLCC (Twin Tower), and the Putrajaya. Prior to their departure for Malaysia, the Fraternal Counselors and Area Managers were given a tour briefing at the KCFAPI headquarters on May 23. Ma. Theresa Curia, KCFAPI Executive Vice President pepped them with her welcome remarks while San Sebastian presented a video that gave an overview of Malaysia’s culture, population, weather, food and what the participants had to expect and bring to the trip. S h a r on S a n t os An g of S a m s Travel gave the itinerary, travel reminders, tips and provided the awardees with tour kits. The awardees were later treated to a dinner at the Zamboanga restaurant in Malate Manila, together with Alonso Tan, KCFAPI President, Joseph Teodoro, Fraternal Benefits Group Vice President, Ms. Curia and Mr. San Sebastian. The sales force enjoyed their stay at Hotel Sentral Pudu where they were billeted for two nights which is located at the center of commercial, business and shopping

districts of Kuala Lumpur. San Sebastian challenged the sales force to perform better for a higher reward. He said they can aim to participate in the FOCUS Challenge 2011 incentive program which runs from January to December 2011, wherein an FC must attain a target of 5 million first year contribution income and to get a free ticket to an Asian tour and as a bonus, the privilege to attend the supreme convention. Lorenzo Dufale, Sr., the Fraternal Counselor (FC) of the Year achieved the highest first year contribution income and insured fifty creditable new paid lives. Conrado Dator, Jr. of Southern Luzon Lakers, the Area Manager of the Year attained the highest number of new paid lives. Second in rank is Efren Casupanan of Central Luzon Believers who attained his total first year contribution income target and at least 80% of his total number of lives target and Josefino Valencia. The three runners-up FCs of the Year, Teofilo Samson, Reynaldo Segismundo and Danilo Tullao, also took the opportunity to relax in Kuala Lumpur. These runners-up have attained at least two million first year contribution income and have insured a minimum of fortyeight creditable new paid lives. Others who also joined the elite group were members of the Fr. Willmann Knights of the Round Table (WKRT); Jose Larry Mendoza, Maria Teresa De La Mota, Jeffrey Rey Guillermo, Diego Marquez, Angel Rivada, Angelito Lat, Veronica Casupanan and Lauro Evangelista.

I AM writing to express my sincere gratitude to the KCPFI for making me one of your scholars for five years. The financial assistance you provided have been of great help to me in paying my educational expenses, and allowed me to concentrate more of my time in studying. I am deeply appreciative of your support. I recently earned my degree in Civil Engineering at Catanduanes State Colleges. After a month of vacation, I am planning to take a 6-month review before taking the Civil Engineering Licensure Examination in November. Thanks to the Knights of Columbus, I am onestep closer to becoming an engineer. Thank you again for your generosity and support. The Knights of Columbus had not only helped me financially but also became one of my inspirations to study well. I promise you I will work very hard and do my very best to reach my goal and eventually give something back to others. I hope one day, I will be able to help students achieve their goals just as the Knights of Columbus helped me. Sincerely, Sonia Richelle B. Magdaraog
Luzon / C1

Officer. He became the president of the Philippine Association of Chemical Suppliers, Inc. from 1997-98. Even in his formative years, he was devoted to serving the Church, showing his love for God by becoming a member of the Knights of the Altar of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart School Chapel at 12 years old until he was 16, from 1967-1973. Since December 2000 up to present, he is the overall lay coordinator of the Most Holy Redeemer Parish Pastoral Council. Born on May 15, 1955 in Manila, Yap obtained his bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts major in painting at the University of Santo Tomas in 1977. He married Ana Maria V. Rubio on July 8, 1979 with whom he is blessed with five children. In an interview with CBCPNews, Yap disclosed his vision of improving the operation, policies and programs of the Luzon Jurisdiction during his term beginning July 1, 2011. “I want change or reform. I don’t want stagnation. I see the need to upgrade the system; not to circumvent but to enhance it so that it becomes even stronger and efficient,” he said. Recalling his years as a fine arts student with his classmates, he said they were formed to experiment, “We explore, we look outside the box, we experiment,” and that particularly in devising procedures, that he has contributed uniquely to the Luzon Jurisdiction. (CBCPNews)

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 15 No. 12
June 6 - 19, 2011

The Cross


Why John Paul II was beatified
Blessed Pope John Paul II was an extraordinary witness of faith and love, seeking unity with Christ above all
his funeral Mass when hundreds of thousands of people chanted, “Santo Subito!” (“Sainthood now!”). To be sure, the beatification of John Paul II is not a scorecard on his papacy. Rather, it is a judgment on his living the Christian life. But the beatification does tell us something very important about the papacy of his successor, Pope Benedict XVI, and about the papacy in general. Many may remember the common wisdom among journalists that was expressed during the conclave held after the death of John Paul II. Some thought the pendulum had swung too far in one direction and that the new pope needed to be a “corrective,” to return the Church to some unspecified “middle ground.” While the image of a swinging pendulum may be appropriate in a secular political context, where public attitudes shift back and forth between the political left and right, it is not adequate to understand a Church guided by the Holy Spirit along the sure path of salvation history. A shining example of this reality was the election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to succeed

By Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson
DURING the days leading up to the beatification of Blessed John Paul II, I was frequently asked by journalists whether I thought the Vatican was rushing John Paul II’s path to sainthood. My answer was simple: “If the Lord had not wanted John Paul II beatified now, he would not have granted the miracle that was attributed to his intercession.” The so-called “waiting period,” which was shortened in the case of Pope John Paul II, is one way to help ensure that procedures are followed and requirements are met. The important test is that the pope and the Congregation for the Causes of Saints are satisfied that all the standards have been fulfilled. As Pope Benedict XVI observed in his homily during the beatification Mass May 1, he wanted the cause of beatification “to move forward with reasonable haste” because “of the ways God’s people showed their veneration” for John Paul II and “because this is what was pleasing to the Lord.” The world saw the extraordinary witness and heroic Christian virtue that marked the nearly 27 years of John Paul II’s papacy. We might say that the world pronounced its judgment on him during Pope John Paul II. Pope Benedict XVI’s episcopal motto—”Cooperators veritatis” (“Co-workers of the truth”)—provides a key to our understanding. If we recognize the fundamental responsibility of a bishop to be a teacher, that is, to be a cooperator with the truth, then the pope is an unparalleled example of this teaching office. As Pope Benedict observed in his homily, during his 23 years of service as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he was one of John Paul II’s closest co-workers. In that capacity, he came “to revere him all the more.” Benedict also referred to the “witness of faith, love and apostolic courage” of Blessed John Paul II, whom he said exemplified “a personal and communitarian existence directed to Christ.” In the closing words of his homily, Pope Benedict gave the clearest reason for the beatification of John Paul II: “He lived out in an extraordinary way the vocation of every priest and bishop to become completely one with Jesus.” For more than three decades, the Knights of Columbus has been privileged to be “co-workers” with these two great popes and has supported

many projects essential to their ministry. But our greatest privilege has been to experience their “witness of faith, love and apostolic courage” and in our own way to be their co-workers in this sense. May the prayers of Blessed John Paul II sustain us in this work. Vivat Jesus!

Joseph P. Teodoro

For Brother Knights by Brother Knights

Sales Performance Posts Growth
KCFAPI insurance contribut i o n f r om n e w b u si n e s s e s posted a positive growth of about 21% compared with the record last year. The record growth is expected to increase by May 31, 2011 based on favorable reports from the field. This development is attributable to a number of factors initiated by the Fraternal Benefits Group. The Executive Sales Visitations held in Morong, Bataan (for Luzon) and in Cebu City (for VisMin) is one of the key factors for improved performance. The inspiration and challenges were provided by Hon. Hilario G. Davide, Jr., KCFAPI Chairman, Bro. Alonso L. Tan, KCFAPI President and Sis. Ma. Theresa G. Curia, KCFAPI Executive Vice President. The State Deputy Award which ended May 31, 2011 spiced up the enthusiasm of the awardees to nail-down 50% of the requirement for the annual awards. The Kuala Lumpur trip will assure that the top performers will maintain, if not, heighten the sales records they made in 2010. To keep the momentum going, KCFAPI has prepared the Fraternal Benefits Group a new organizational set-up which will result to recruiting more new fraternal counselors and better training, supervision and motivation scheme.

Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What are the conditions to claim double indemnity? A. KCFAPI offers, for a small additional consideration, a supplementary contract that provides the insured an additional amount equal to the face value of the benefit certificate (BC) if the cause of death is by accidental means. Accidental death is defined as “death of the insured must occur as a result from bodily injury effected directly and independently of all causes through external, violent and accidental means within 180 days from the date of accident which have caused such injuries and of which, except in the case of drowning or internal injuries revealed by a medical examination or an autopsy, there is a visible contusion or wound on the exterior of the body, and provided that such accident occurred during the effectivity of the coverage”. The supplementary contract is attached to the BC upon issue date and the provision states that the accident must occur before the end of the BC year prior to the insured’s sixtieth (60th) birthday. The contract provision does not apply if the BC was converted to Reduced Paid Up or Extended Term insurance. Moreover, the contract does not in any way affect the cash values of the BC. Note that from the definition above, the death of the insured must have resulted from accidental bodily injury. Only those bodily injuries which resulted from acts that are unforeseen or unexpected are considered. A person carrying a heavy load on his back may suffer strain or back pains. The person may have suffered accidental bodily injury but the injury is not the result of an accidental means. But if he trips over an object, falls and breaks his arm, the injury has resulted from an accidental means. It is also worth repeating the phrase “directly and independently of all other causes”. Insurers insert this condition to eliminate pre-existing conditions, such as abnormalities or diseases, as loss causes and restrict recovery only to those injuries caused exclusively by accidents. If a man suffers a heart attack and falls, the heart attack is the immediate cause of any injuries sustained and has not resulted directly and independently of all other causes. Injuries as such are not compensable. But if an insured suffers internal bleeding and infection that led to his death following a vehicular accident in which he was involved, it is possible that the contract will be held to cover the loss of life if it can be proven that the disease, injury is the direct result of the accident. This follows the doctrine of proximate cause which reads: “In the event of the concurrence of several causes, the loss will be deemed to have been caused by the dominating peril so long as there exist an unbroken chain of cause and effect between the peril and the loss, whether or not the peril is active at the consummation of the loss.” The injury suffered must also be a result of external and violent means showing visible wounds or contusions on the body of the insured. Most courts consider all force violent including the bite of a tiny insect but the accident must sufficiently show abrasions, bruises, cuts on the corpse. Exceptions are made in the contract such as accidental drowning or internal injury as exposed/revealed in an autopsy. (Some texts, definitions and concepts were lifted from the book, Modern Life Insurance: A textbook of Income Insurance” by Robert Mehr and Robert Osler.)

Angelito A. Bala

From the Legal Standpoint

Atty Rizal V. Katalbas, Jr.

A Case of Reinstatement
KEEPING your insurance coverage in force is crucial as it spells the future of your loved ones, paying your contributions/premiums on time is equally crucial since it is the lifeline of your insurance coverage. One should therefore keep abreast with his or her premium/contribution payments, for failure to pay your contributions on time may cost a lifetime’s investment. A case in point. The husband of the petitioner applied for a life insurance policy with the insurer. The insurer, then issued Policy No. 9011992 in favor of the husband wherein insured’s wife and the petitioner in this case was named as the primary beneficiary. The terms of payment of premiums are on a quarterly basis. The Policy also contained a provision giving a grace period of 31 days for the payment of each premium subsequent to the first. If the premium remained unpaid until the end of the grace period, the policy would automatically lapse and become void. From issue date up to October 1997 the insured paid the premiums due. However, he failed to pay the premium due on 24 January 1998. As the 31 day grace period passed-by without making any payment his policy lapsed and became void. The insured submitted an Application for Reinstatement, through his agent, together with the premium due. However, the insurer notified the insured that his Application for Reinstatement could not be processed because the overdue interest amounting to P322.48 remained unpaid. The insurer then instructed the insured to pay the amount of interest and to file another application for reinstatement. The insurer’s agent also advised the insured to pay the premiums which became due on 24 April 1998 and 24 July 1998, plus interest. On 17 September 1998, the insured submitted a second Application for Reinstatement, including the amount of P17,500.00 inclusive of overdue interest on the premium. The Application for Reinstatement was received by the insurance agent’s husband who then issued a receipt for the amount the insured deposited. On that same day, 17 September 1998, the insured died of cardio-respiratory arrest secondary to electrocution. Not knowing of the insured’s death, the agent, forwarded the second Application for Reinstatement and P17,500.00 deposit to the Insular Life. However, upon learning of the insured’s demise Insular Life deferred action on the second Application for Reinstatement. The insured’s wife filed a claim with Insular Life but was denied by the latter on the ground that his Policy had already lapsed, and failed to reinstate the same. Furthermore the Application for Reinstatement, stated that it would only be considered reinstated upon approval of the application during the applicant’s “lifetime and good health”. Likewise Insular issued a check, representing the full refund of the payments made by the insured on Policy No. 9011992. The petitioner requested for reconsideration but was denied by the insurer. The petitioner then filed a Complaint for Death Claim with the Regional Trial Court alleging that the insurer engaged in unfair claim settlement practice and deliberately failed to act with reasonable promptness on her insurance claim. The insurer in its answer maintained that Policy No. 9011992 was rendered void by the non-payment of the premium and non-compliance with the requirements for the reinstatement of the same. After trial the RTC rendered a decision in favor of the insurer. Based on the evidences presented it was shown that the insured failed to pay his premiums after the 31 day grace period and as a result, his insurance policy lapsed, in accordance with the provisions of the insurance policy. Also, a perusal of the provision on the 31 grace period in the insurance policy and the conditions for reinstatement in the application was not ambiguous. The case was brought to the Supreme Court. Among the issues raised by the petitioner was whether or not the insured was able to reinstate the lapsed insurance policy on his life before he died. The Supreme Court affirmed the ruling of the trial court. When Policy No. 9011992 lapsed this was not disputed by the insured. All the more when he filed an application for reinstatement through the agent this constituted an admission that his policy had lapsed. Then when the insured submitted his application form along with the unpaid premiums, the amount paid was sufficient to cover only the overdue premiums and did not include interests, hence Insular did not act on the application and his payment was treated as a deposit. By the time the insured submitted a second application for reinstatement the subsequent premiums were also due. That same day the second application was submitted through the insurer’s agent the insured died. Looking over the provisions in the Insurance Policy and the Application for Reinstatement the court opined that said provisions in the insurance policy and reinstatement were clear and did not need further interpretation. Thus the reinstatement of Policy No. 9011992 depended on the insured’s compliance to the conditions under the application for reinstatement. Unfortunately, at the time the second application was submitted, the insured died. For this reason, Policy No. 9011992 could not be considered as reinstated since one of the conditions in the Application for Reinstatement is that it must be approved by the insurer during the lifetime of the insured and in good health. (Lalican vs Insular Life Asurance Co. Ltd. G.R. No. 183526, August 25, 2009)

“The Father McGivney of the Philippines”
A Primer on Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ
Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ. is referred to as the “Father Mc. Givney of the Philippines” because, like the venerable founder of the Knights of Columbus, he vigorously pursued the growth of the Order and dynamically worked for the radical transformation of faith into action. His Life •Fr. Willmann was born on June 29, 1897 to very devout Catholic parents in Brooklyn, New York. He had one brother and four sisters, one of them became a nun of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary assigned in Mindanao. •Belonging to a Society of Jesus (Jesuits), Fr. Willmann came to the Philippines in 1922 as a seminarian to teach at the Ateneo; returned to USA in 1925 to finish his theological studies. After his ordination to the priesthood in 1928, he came back to Manila fired up with a strong sense of mission. •Imbued with the Ignatian spirituality, Fr. Willmann had a burning zeal to work for the poor – in fact, “it was his concern for the poor, for the underprivileged, for the men of Manila who were like sheep without a shepherd, that led him to the Knights.” His Ministry •Fr. Willmann’s first 10 years in the priesthood was mostly confined at the Ateneo where he held various ministries; his competence was hailed as session director of the first National Eucharistic Congress with over a million participants. •On the 10th year of his priesthood he was allowed by his superiors to serve the Knights of Columbus. It was here that, according to Fr. James Reuter, he found “his corner of the sky…it was a new blood for the Knights. It was a turning point in their history. It was a new vitality, a new vision, a new direction, new life.” •Past Supreme Knight Virgil C. Dechant summarizes the ministry of Fr. Willmann with the Knights of Columbus this way: “Father Willmann spent 44 fruitful and productive years in the Philippines, serving young people, the poor, the sick, the orphans, the oppressed, the lonely and the desolate.”

EMULATING the virtues that bespeak of sanctity of a person, like Father George 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 J. Willmann. As prescribed by the Congregation 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 widen the fame of Sanctity of

The Cause of Father George J. Willmann, SJ

Father Willmann, may we call on all Brother Knights, their families and friends to respond to the following appeal: • Submission of testimonies on Fr. Willmann’s heroic virtues; • Recitation of Prayer for his Beatification in private and during K of C meetings and affairs; • Invocation of his intercession in our prayers; • Submission of Reports on answered prayers through the intercession of Father Willmann; • Visitation of his tomb in the Sacred Heart Novitiate Cemetery, Novaliches, Quezon City. •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.


The Cross

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 15 No. 12

June 6 - 19, 2011

AT least one thouWinners were sand members of proclaimed immethe Knights of Codiately after the lumbus and their games and were immediate famiawarded with trolies participated in phies and medals the KC Family Day by Luzon Deputy and mini Olympics Tan, assisted by held at the AmoYap, Martinez and ranto Sports ComEroles. plex in Quezon The Over-all City last May 7. Champion for this Dubbed as “7th year’s Mini-OlymFr. George J. Willpics was Manila mann, S.J. FamCouncil 1000 of ily Day and MiniIntramuros MaOlympics 2011”, nila followed by the recent sports Council 12125 of event had the bigPuntorin, Valengest turn out of atzuela City as first tendance since the runner-up. CounKC began the accil 5124 of Balut tivity seven years Tondo, Manila ago. and Council 14359 The family event of San Sebastian aims to encourage Recoletos, Cavite strong comradeCity were proship among the claimed 2nd and Knights with their KC Family in action, during one of the sports events held on the occasion of the 7th KC Luzon Family day and Mini-olympics. 3rd runners-up, immediate famirespectively. The The highlight of the event was lies. said councils received trophies the KC family paid tribute to Fr. According to Supreme Director George J. Willmann, S.J., Father the lighting of olympic flame by and cash award. and Luzon Deputy Alonso Tan of Knights of Columbus in the State Advocate Justice Jose Reyes, Other councils who bagged special “the objective of holding such Philippines. Jr., assisted by State Warden Pasawards and given trophies and cash an event is to enhance physicual Carbero and State Council award were Council 1000 for the BigThe activity started with a cal fitness, health consciousness celebration of the Holy EuchaDirector Eroles. gest delegation with 141 members; and above all to promote closer rist presided over by Fr. Rudy The games started at 9 a.m. and Council 12308 of Sta. Teresita, Quezon relationship, friendship and ca- Magbata, Assistant Parish Priest lasted until four in the afternoon. City for the Best in Uniform; Council maraderie.” Forty-nine councils with their 10582 of Calumpit, Bulacan as the Farof St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Tan in his message also stressed Quezon City. family came from different parts thest delegation; and 20 year old Ms. that the Knights of Columbus as a of Metro Manila and nearby provRuby Christine Domingo of Council The event was organized by family organization advocates the Luzon Deputy Tan, Ex-Officio inces of Cavite and Bulacan. 12125 as the Best Muse. involvement of family members in Chairman, State Secretary ArKCFAPI employees with their The organizers awarded 69 KC activities. immediate families, and Columgold medals, silver medals and senio Isidro Yap, Ex-Officio Co“We are a family organization, Chairman, State Program Director bian Squires competed for the place bronze medals each to the dewhile members of the Knights of Bonifacio Martinez, Chairman, in the 15 events. serving winners for individual Columbus are Catholic gentlemen, State Council Director Elmer The basketball game has more and group events. service activities and social events Eroles, Vice Chairman, and State participants this year compared to Everyone enjoyed the funusually include the entire family. I Athletic Events Chairman Noel the usual number of delegates who filled activity which was concongratulate our brother Knights Lacanilao. participated in the past years. cluded with closing remarks who are here today with their famMeanwhile, the Columbian from State Secretary Yap. KCFAPI Executive Vice Presiily members, as players or even as dent, Ma. Theresa Curia was also Squires held its investiture in the KCFAPI, and Nestle Philippines cheerers only,” Tan said. afternoon, adding 11 new members sponsored the sports event. (KC present to witness the event toThis is also an event at which gether with KCFAPI employees. to the KC youth organization. News)

KC Luzon holds 7th Family Day, mini olympics

LD Tan to Squires: Be steadfast in faith, continue to be disciples of Christ
IN addressing the Columbian Squires, the youth arm of the Knights of Columbus, Luzon Deputy Alonso Tan said that they must be steadfast in faith and continue to be disciples of Christ. “May you not be influenced by the modern ways of our world today and continue to propagate the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ,” Tan said. In a message delivered to 282 participants of the 6th Luzon State Circle Convention at the FVR gymnasium in Baguio City on May 20-22, Luzon Deputy and Supreme Director Alonso Tan encouraged the Squires to carry on their good works and “continue honing their skills for the good of the Order and of the nation.” The outgoing Luzon Deputy also expressed his thanks for the extended support of the Columbian Squires during his term. The Columbian Squires has 10,575 members in 509 Circles in Luzon. Citing several achievements of the Luzon Squires which received praises and prestige not only in the Philippines but also in the Supreme Council, Tan honored these young gentlemen who stand to their motto, “Be Worthy.” “The membership of the Luzon Columbian Squires continues to soar up the membership ladder, ahead of everyone, and during my term of office a number of Squires were awarded the “Body of Christ” and the installation of area chairman for every archdiocese/ diocese,” he said. SK Tan added that Squires have likewise proven themselves worthy of emulation when they participated in the Knights of Columbus’ “Walk for Life” rallies promoting the sanctity of life and the fight against the Reproductive Health/Responsible Parenthood Bill. He also emphasized the important role of the Counselors who have become an inspiration for the Squires. Aside from their parents, the counselors also act as mentors to the youth to become effective leaders of today’s generation. Through the Squires program the young men are being formed to become good leaders of the organization, community and the Church through “leadership training and moral guidance needed to succeed in life.” The convention had the theme “Columbian Squires: Young Disciples, Standing in Faith with Christ.” (KC News)

Regional Refresher Seminar of Formators held
SPIRITUAL Formators of Regions 1 (Ilocos), 3 (Central Luzon) and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) specifically of the areas of Benguet-Lagawe, Tabuk, Ifugao, La Union, Pangasinan, Northern Tarlac and Northern Nueva Ecija have convened for a refresher seminar and re-training course on May 22. The seminar held in Baguio City was concretized through the efforts of Diocesan Coordinator Salvador Aspuria and direction and guidance of Luzon State Spiritual Formation Chairman Luis Adriano, Jr. Resource speakers were Edwin Dawal, who talked about “Christ in the Knights of Columbus”; Raoul Villanueva on “Christ in the Mass and Christ in the Church”; Jaime Tolentino, Jr. on “Christ in the World”; Luis Adriano on “Christ in the Churches”; and Greg Gonzales on “Christ in the Bible”. The re-training of formators followed the refresher seminar. Adriano gave an orientation on what are expected of a spiritual formator while Tolentino gave pointers on public speaking skills and techniques. An actual individual presentation of the formators was facilitated by the Chairman and Team leaders. The spiritual formators are the ones tasked to equip and hone the Knights to become practicing Catholics who conform to the teaching of the Church and to be knowledgeable in the Catholic faith. (KC News)

Families of KCFAPI, subsidiaries celebrate Family Day at Ocean Park

THE Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) will confer the Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ Award for Academic Excellence to members of the Knights of Columbus and children who have shown an exemplary academic performance this Columbian Year from July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011. The awarding ceremonies will be held in their respective KC councils or districts to be facilitated by the KCFAPI area managers. The program is aimed to

KCFAPI to award academic Excellence
inspire with courage the members of the KC family to excel academically which could serve as an asset in forming a ‘strong Catholic society.’ The various categories of this award are as follows: Elementary level for Valedictorians of graduated class 2010-2011; High School level for Valedictorians of graduated class 2010-2011; Collegiate level for four or five year course Cum Laudes and higher of graduated class 20102011; and Bar or Board passers of examinations given from July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011.

A parent of the applicant or the applicant himself or herself must also be a benefit certificate holder of the insurance arm of the KC Order with a face value of P100,000.00 or higher to receive the award. Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ medallions and certificates will be awarded to all the qualified applicants, and awardees will have the prestige of having their names and pictures posted at the KCFAPI website and published in the Cross supplement of CBCP Monitor. (Vanessa Puno)

EMPLOYEES of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) and its subsidiaries: MACE Insurance Agency, Inc., and Keys Realty and Development Corporation with their families enjoyed the first ever outdoor experience of the “Family Day” held at Manila Ocean Park on May 28, 2011. The Manila Ocean Park, located behind the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta is said to be “the first marine-themed park in the Philippines” that gives shelter to diverse marine life. One hundred thirty-six employees and their immediate families had glimpses of wild water creatures and incredible vistas most of which are found in the belly of the deepest seas. The group met and greeted Icis and Ira, the South American Sea Lions, and watched them display their intelligence and charm in an entertaining live show. They were captivated by jellyfishes that danced elegantly in the water. They also learned about the different jellyfish species from the smallest, largest and the most dangerous. After lunch, children were treated with fun games, trivia games and bring-me contest. In the afternoon, the participants were enthralled by the wonders of the sea in the Oceanarium, a breath-taking marine life exhibit of over “5,000 varieties of marine creatures from around 300 species, all indigenous to the Philippines and the Southeast Asia.” They walked through the underwater viewing tunnel, stretching 25 meters and witnessed how different reef fishes interact with each other. The Committee on Family Day led by BRO Manager Edwin B. Dawal expresses its gratitude to the KCFAPI Management headed by Executive VicePresident, Ma. Theresa G. Curia for the unique and memorable Family Day spent at the famous ocean park. (KCFAPI News)

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful