CFCFFL‐USA FAMILY AND LIFE MAGAZINE
Volume 3 Issue 8 First in Time, First in Right August 2011
Mary, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
Couples for Christ Foundation for Family & Life USA
2 P a g e Vo l u m e 3 I s s u e 8
The Virgin Mother and Abortion
By Fr Frank Pavone, Priests for Life
Abortion is largely a problem of mothers afraid to be mothers. That may be one of the reasons why there is such a strong devotion to the Blessed Mother within the Catholic element of the pro-life movement. Let's look at a few of the links between our beliefs about the Virgin Mary and our pro-life convictions.
There is one Mediator… Some Christians question why we give so much devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and claim that it compromises the unique worship which Christ alone deserves. We do not, of course, "worship" Mary in any sense. She, too, is a creature, and all her importance flows from the uniqueness of Christ. But how is it that Christ became the unique Mediator? A mediator is a bridge between the two parties being mediated, in this case, God and humanity. Christ was God from all eternity. It is precisely in taking upon Himself a human nature that He becomes the Mediator. This human nature is taken from Mary. The very fact that Christ is the one Mediator demonstrates the critical role of the one Mother from whom He became human. All the importance of Mary flows from her Son, and worship of the Son naturally leads to honoring the Mother. Right from this fundamental point, Marian devotion teaches us something about our pro-life commitment. Mother and child belong together. The difference between the pro-abortion side and the pro-life side is not that they favor women's rights and we love the baby. The real difference is that they think you can separate the two and we say you can't. The pro-abortion mentality claims you can love the mother while killing the child. The pro-life mentality asserts that you can't harm one without harming the other and you can't love one without loving the other. The pro-life position has never been, "Love the baby and forget about the mother." It is rather, always and only, "Let's love them both."
Mary was conceived without Original Sin. This favor was granted to her in anticipation of her role as the Mother of God. A fundamental truth that appears here, and is reflected in various Scriptures, is the relationship of God with the child in the womb and the manner in which he prepares that child for his/her mission. This doctrine likewise proclaims to us the broader truth about victory over sin. Mary was not exempt from the need of a Savior; He simply shared with her in a unique way the victory over sin that He offers all of us. Those who have abortions do not have them because of "freedom of choice," but rather because they feel they have no freedom and no choice. Mountains of pressure and confusion fall upon them. Yet in the struggle against temptation and sin, there is always sufficient grace to do what is right. "God keeps his promise. He will not let you be tested beyond your strength. Along with the test he will give you a way out of it so that you may be able to endure it" (1Cor10:13). This conviction is a key tool to help those who are tempted and to encourage those who counsel others against abortion.
Mary faces an unplanned pregnancy. Her response is Let it be done to me according to your word. She freely chooses to accept the Child, and in doing so, acknowledges the primacy of the word. In other words, the truth of God's Word exists before her own choosing. She submits to a word, a truth, she did not create. At the heart of the "pro-choice" mentality is the idea that we create our own truth. This mentality holds that the
The Feast of the Assumption set on August 15 is also called in old iturgical books, Pausatio, Nativitas (for heaven) Mors, Depositio, Dor‐ mitio S. Mariae. This feast has a double object: the happy departure of Mary from this world and the as‐ sumption of her body into heaven. It is the principal feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Today, the belief in the corporeal assumption of Mary is universal in the East and in the West; according to Benedict XVI (De Festis B.V.M., I, viii, 18) which to deny were impious and blasphemous.
value of the unborn child, and that child's very right to exist, depend upon the choice of the mother. In the pro-life mentality, on the other hand, the choice of the mother must respect the truth of the inherent value of the child, which does not in any way flow from or depend upon us. Let it be done to me according to your word. As we submit to that truth, God does not rob us of our freedom. Instead, He lifts it up to Himself.
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Authentic holiness makes us more aware of and responsive to the real needs of others. The pro-life movement responds to the real needs of real children and their mothers. We provide these mothers with the concrete medical, financial, psychological, and spiritual help they need. Nothing distracts us. This is Marian pro-life ministry. There is an axiom in psychiatry that says, "Believe behavior." See what the speaker does. The "pro-choice" (pro -abortion) movement masks over reality, and for all its rhetoric leaves women only three things: a scarred mind, a wounded body, and a dead baby. The pro-life movement, through more than 3000 helping centers throughout the nation, offers women real help in their need, and the gift of life. We learned this from a very special Mother.
Assumed into Heaven
The Assumption speaks of the victory of Life over death. "Today the virgin Mother of God was taken up into heaven to be the beginning and the pattern of the Church in its perfection..."(Preface of the Assumption, P59). The Assumption is not only about Mary; it's about us. Mary has a unique privilege. Being the Mother of God, she was taken at once into glory upon the completion of her earthly life. Yet the entire Church is the Body of Christ. As we pray on the Ascension, "where He has gone, we hope to follow" (Preface of the Ascension, P26). We, too, are called to share an everlasting life, in body and soul, in the company of Christ and all who are saved. "I will raise him up on the last day" (Jn. 6:54). The conviction, renewed by the Assumption, that the destiny of the human person is to be in the heights of heaven, is clearly incompatible with allowing human persons to be thrown in the garbage.
Mary's Practical Charity
received Gabriel's message and learned she would be the mother of God, she did not lose sight of the pressing needs of her kinswoman Elizabeth. She undertook the arduous journey to the hill country, and tended to Elizabeth's needs for three months. (See Lk.1:39-56). Mary kept in touch with both heavenly and earthly reality. The truth of her new status did not distract her from Elizabeth's needs. Mary responded to those needs in a very practical way. The same happened at Cana. The celebration there in company with Christ and the Apostles did not blind her to the real needs of the newlyweds. And she responded.
Mary was firmly rooted in the truth and in charity. When she
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady of Guadalupe is the Patroness of the Unborn. Her image was left on the tilma of Juan Diego at a time when human sacrifice was practiced by the Aztecs. They did this because of fear and despair, thinking the gods were against them and would destroy them. In her image, Our Lady is pregnant, and is carrying the God who is so much on our side that He becomes one of us! This Christian truth restored hope, and ended the practice of human sacrifice. In our day, the child sacrifice which is abortion is likewise fueled by despair and fear. The Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe continues to travel the nation and inspire people in their fight against abortion.
Union with God does not turn us in on ourselves.
PHILIPPINES Marriage going out of fashion?
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world, along with Malta and the Vatican, where divorce Marriage is losing its lustre for many in the remains illegal. However the census showed that many couples were Philippines, with an increasing number of defying the nation's powerful Catholic bishops by not only couples starting families out of wedlock, the on having babies out of wedlock, but also by shunning government census office said on Friday. church weddings. More than 37 percent of the 1.78 million Marriages either solemnised by the church or by govbabies born in Asia's Roman Catholic outpost ernment officials fell 0.7 percent to 486,514 in 2008, according to the census. Just over a third of couples were in 2008 had unmarried mothers, it said in a statement, citing results of the latest popula- married in Catholic ceremonies, while four in 10 chose civil rites officiated by a person licensed by the census oftion census. fice. This was 12.5 percent higher than the preManila couple Alvin Ruiz, 24, and his girlfriend, Joann vious year, and compared with a 2.0 percent Lopez, told AFP as they visited the Manila Zoo that they increase for all births, the census office said. started living in together four years ago and now had a A growing number of Filipinos now treat marriage three-year-old son. as an option, rather than a requirement, for starting "Instead of spending for a wedding, we used the families, said Nene Baligad, a member of a unit of the money to buy infant milk," said Ruiz, who earns a living National Statistics Office that licenses people who by buying used cooking oil from restaurants then selling officiate weddings. them to companies that turn them into fuel for motor ve"Nowadays, some couples just live in and only get hicles. – AP married after having four or five children," she told AFP. "You can't really say it's for practical reasons, since you can be married on the cheap. It's more like, we Filipinos tend to follow what is in fashion." Eight out of 10 Filipinos are Catholic, and the Philippines is one of only three territories in the
(Left) Unmarried couple Joann Lopez, 23 and Alvin Ruiz, 24 visit Manila Zoo with kid. – AP (Top) Newly‐wed couples kiss their partners during a mass wedding in‐ side a mall in Paranaque city, metro Manila June 29, 2011. Marriage is losing its lustre for many in the Phil‐ ippines, with an increasing number of couples starting families out of wedlock. ‐ REUTERS
P5 e a d s U p H
August 2011 Page 5
On the eve of President’s SONA [State of the Nation Address], militants on Sunday ready effigies including this one of Aquino. ‐ INQUIRER
Aquino government tries muzzling Catholic Church, but fails miserably
To counterpoise the Catholic Church’s stand against the reproductive health bill, President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, unleashed his chairperson of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes to attempt to smear the biggest institution in the Philippines, but the lady instead ends up apologizing for the shrewd but miserable political maneuver. PCSO chair Maragarita Juico, the latest cannon fodder of the present regime, expressed her regrets before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing, in front of
6 P a g e Vo l u m e 3 I s s u e 8 H e a d s U p prelates who appeared and gave their testimonies before the legislative body. Earlier in the month, the PCSO chair, released to the press her interpretation of a report of the Commission on Audit that served as the most ignomious attack on the Catholic institution in the history of the country. The government propaganda was viewed by international pundits as proof of the growing misuse of presidential power and a growing pattern of totalitarian tendencies by the new president who was elected amid what some have claimed to be have been an unconstitutional and illegal process. The government and the Catholic Church has been at loggerheads over the controversial reproductive health bill that has been filed in the Philippine Congress, as a concession of the Aquino administration to the terms that the United States and the United Nations have attached to the Millenium Development Goals fund of about $400 million.
DEFENSOR DEFENDS BISHOPS, ASSAILS AUDIT COMMISSION FOR USURPATION
Before the Senate panel cleared the seven bishops, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago said the Commission on Audit (CoA) report that the grant of P6.49 million to certain dioceses of the Catholic Church violates the Constitution “is wrong and that there was no constitutional violation.” “Under the Constitution, the power of the CoA is to audit government funds, not to settle questions of constitutional law. That power is granted only to the Supreme Court. CoA should have recommended that the constitutional issue should be raised with the Department of Justice (DoJ) which is the official legal adviser of the executive branch of the government,” she said. Guingona expressed optimism that after the Senate committee hearing, the PCSO would issue clearer guidelines in the use of PCSO funds. “I am glad that they (protagonists in the controversy) all met here and this is a testament to the effectiveness of the Blue Ribbon Committee in seeking the truth,” he said. The committee resumes its hearing Thursday on other issues. These issues include questionable PCSO lottery equipment, the alleged 40-percent exaction by a PCSO officer from the advertising contracts of media organizations, and a closed door meeting with former PCSO General Manager Rosario Uriarte on the equally controversial and the alleged misuse of P325 million PCSO intelligence fund during the Arroyo administration.
Bishops cleared, PCSO donations to prelates legal ‐ rules PHL Senate
By MARIO B. CASAYURAN, Manila Bulletin July 13, 2011, 1:42pm MANILA, Philippines — For days, seven bishops were vilified and subjected to all sorts of name-calling for receiving Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) funds they used to purchase vehicles needed for their charity work. No matter what their explanations and justifications were, public opinion was against them. Wednesday, however, they suddenly turned immaculate after the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee considered the controversial case closed after hearing their side and the return of seven vehicles – the subjects of the controversy. “There was nothing irregular. The legal test has been met – that is the use of funds or vehicles was for a secular purpose, to help the people and not for religious purposes. We are very satisfied. There was closure (to the controversial issue). They were able to explain their side. The PCSO said they are sorry there were no Pajeros (involved but other sports utility vehicle models),” Sen. Teofisto L. Guingona, Blue Ribbon Committee chairman
4X4 VEHICLES RETURNED, NO PAJEROS
Hoping to douse cold water to the heat triggered by their receipt of PCSO funds, the seven Catholic Church prelates came to the Senate public hearing and returned their vehicles – mostly 4x4 vehicles. The return was officially announced by Archbishop Orlando B. Quevedo, OMI, of the Archdiocese of Cotabato, when he and several prelates, particularly the seven bishops, appeared before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee. “We express our sadness that our sincere desire to help people and receive necessary assistance for doing so has confused, disturbed, and even scandalized many of the Catholic faithful,” Quevedo said. “For this reason, regardless of whether the acquisition of the vehicles has been lawful or unlawful, constitutional or unconstitutional, we are returning the vehicles,” he added. Quevedo said the vehicles in Mindanao are ready
for immediate turnover to a duly authorized PCSO official. “The vehicles in Luzon are right now outside the Senate for immediate turnover to PCSO officials,” Quevedo said during the hearing chaired by Guingona. The receipt of the funds from the PCSO to buy vehicles of their choice triggered questions whether it was proper, legal, or constitutional owing it to the constitutional provision on the separation of Church and State. Senate President Pro Tempore Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, and Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson asked the bishops to reconsider their decision to return the controversial vehicles to the PCSO. Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile later joined the call of Estrada, Sotto, and Lacson that the bishops should keep the vehicles which are being used for their charity and community work in rugged, mountainous areas in Luzon and Mindanao. But Quevedo insisted that “we can do our job without encumbrances of politics and other reasons whatsoever.”
The request for donation was timed with his 66th birthday last year. The four prelates’ vehicles at the Senate parking are Isuzu Crosswind, Mitsubishi Strada, Nissan Pathfinder, and Mitsubishi L-300 passenger cab.
PCSO, PAGCOR CHARTERS TO BE REPEALED?
Meanwhile, Santiago, chairman of the Constitutional Amendments, Revision of Codes and Laws Committee, sought the repeal the PCSO charter and other laws that allocate PCSO funds to “alphabet-soup” national programs. In her proposed August committee hearing on her move to repeal of the PCSO charter, Santiago said she would also endeavor to limit the PCSO board only to the function of regulating and supervising sweepstakes and lottery operations. The lady senator also did not spare the state-run Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) from her legislative pruning knife as she stressed that the budgets and funds of both PCSO and Pagcor constitute as a “black budget.” “Black budget means a budget insulated from public scrutiny, confined to the dark and insulated from sunshine, sneaked through the back door instead of undergoing the open process of congressional budgetary authorization,” Santiago said. Santiago stressed these points when she addressed the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee during its public hearing on the controversial PCSO donation to Catholic Church prelates. Santiago also asked the Blue Ribbon Committee to immediately recommend to the Ombudsman the criminal prosecution of all PCSO officials responsible for depositing in 2009 with a private commercial bank the sum of P1.548 billion without prior approval of the Department of Finance (DoF) as required by DoF Order No. 2705. Under existing laws, PCSO generates revenues from the sale of sweepstakes and Lotto tickets with 55 percent going to the prize fund, 30 percent to the charity fund and 15 percent to the operating fund. Based on the 2009 COA report, the PCSO aggregate deposits from these funds amounted to P7.6 billion.
MISTRUST INJECTED INTO RELATIONSHIP
“We shall collaborate with the PCSO but the environment has changed. Mistrust has been injected into that relationship,” he added. PCSO Chairman Margarita Juico stressed that the problem over the SUVs could not have come to fore had the funds given to the bishops to buy their vehicles had been taken from the charity fund and not from the “grants and subsidy” fund. Enrile thanked the prelates for their patience and forbearance in clearing up the issues needed in the current democratic system “so we can operate in a civilized manner, under a rule of law.” Aside from Quevedo, the other prelates present Wednesday at the committee hearing were Bishop Rodolfo F. Beltran, DD, Apostolic Vicariate BontocLagawe; Bishop Leopoldo C. Juacian, SVD, DD, Diocese of Bangued, Abra; Most Rev. Martin S. Jumoad, DD, Roman Catholic prelate of Isabela, Basilan; Bishop Juan de Dios M. Pueblos, Diocese of Butuan; Archbishop Romulo G. Valles, and Rev. David William Antonio, who represented Most Rev. Ernesto A. Salgado, DD, Archbishop of Nueva Segovia, Caritas Nueva Segovia. The PCSO funding for the bishops’ purchase of their 4x4 vehicles was highlighted by the letter of Bishop Pueblos to then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo asking for a donation of a rugged vehicle for his diocese which is considered the biggest diocese in Mindanao.
A YAWNING DEMOCRATIC DEFICIT
“To give the PCSO board the power to allocate the galactic sum of P7.6 billion a year is to excavate a yawning democratic deficit. The current situation is feudal and contrary to best international practice,” Santiago pointed out. “The best practice is the One-Fund concept under
8 P a g e Vo l u m e 3 I s s u e 8
m Message fro Tracing presidential wolf cries the Editor
to incompetence and insanity!
application of Section Par 2 of Article VI of the Philippine Constitution that says: “No public money or property shall be appropriated, applied, paid, or employed, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, sectarian institution, or system of religion, or of any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher or dignitary as such, except when such First, not one of the vehicles donated to the use of seven bishops was a priest, preacher, minister, or dignitary is assigned to the Armed Forces, or to any penal “Pajero”, a luxury model for a fourinstitution, or government orphanage or lepwheel drive Mitsubishi vehicle. Second, not one of the vehicles re- rosarium.” As constitutional lawyer Senator ceived by the prelates was being used Miriam Defensor correctly pointed for personal or church activities. The requests for the vehicles were precisely out, only the Supreme Court can interpret the Constitution, not PCSO, not for charity or distribution of relief goods to the poorest of the poor in far the Office of the Press Secretary not -flung locations that cannot be serviced even the Office of the President. The lady Senator said, the compeby ordinary vehicles. tent protocol should have been for the Thirdly, Juico and deputy presidenPCSO and the Office of the President tial spokeman Abigail Valte, had been to refer the matter to the Department massaging the press for about two weeks before the Senate hearing about of Justice before even making any press releases or interviews. the Commission of Audit’s ill-advised If the Aquino administration is so high-strung about the Philippine ConP7 MUZZLING CATHOLIC CHURCH stitution and law, then the very first which all government revenues constitutional issue that it should tackle are remitted to the Treasury and disare charges that the 2010 presidential bursed only as authorized by Conelection was unconstitutional and illegress,” she said. gal because the Commission on Elec“There should be no President’s tions outsourced its conduct to a forSocial Fund because the entire budget eign corporation (Smartmatic) and is already his budget. That is why we American at that! call it the President’s budget,” she exWhy because unless this is resolved plained. in his favor, the perception of an illeSantiago said that only the President gitimate regime will forever serve as and Congress should prioritize and dark clouds over Malacanang, in addiallocate the fund, except the five pertion to the gross incompetence that we cent of the lotto earnings which shall are seeing now. be given to local government units The return of the vehicles, to (LGUs) and only 10 percent should be PCSO is not just moral but a legal call. allocated for administrative purposes. The wisdom immediately painted (With a report from Edd K. Usman) good faith in their favor thus shifting
The pseudo-scandal brought about by the lies Margarita P. Juico, chairperson of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, has been spreading in the media, has recoiled to her face when the Senate investigated the charges.
is In necessari , in unitas opinabilibus libertas, in omnibus caritas.
LINAWAN ADO PAG
the benefit of the doubt to themselves. Moreover, it extinguished any legal liability completely. When Jocjoc Bolante, Mike and Gloria Arroyo trumped up graft charges against Luisito P. Lorenzo regarding “misuse” of his discretionary funds while he was Secretary of Agriculture to blackmail him to subservience, I recommended to him to pay the entire amount of the contested Php 8 million to fully liquidate the alleged liability. Those expenses were incurred to facilitate the various programs Lorenzo had implementing as part of the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act (AFMA). The secretary often took helicopters and planes to render Just-in-time (JIT) interventions to facilitate the programs that were running on a PERTCPM basis and had timelines. I knew firsthand because most of the time I was with him with camera and a notepad on hand for documentation. Of course every centavo of those expenses were legal and appropriate, but once and for all to stop the presidential persecution, a full payment would bring automatic closure to the matter.
As a result, the Arroyos and Bolante could no longer twist Lorenzo’s arm to cover up the fertilizer scam. Worse, none of the record-breaking achievements of the term of Secretary Lorenzo can thereafter be attributed to President Arroyo, as he had already paid for his own way. This is why the conjugal dictatorship resorted to shooting death threats not only to the Secretary’s direction but also his immediate family members. This is the reason why the Lorenzos had to go to the United States and are on self-exile, up to now. The same goes for the bishops. None of the charity they performed can now be said to have had the credit and collaboration of the PCSO, because the 4x4 vehicles have already been “retributed” or in the terminology of COA, fully liquidated by the bishops. Goodwill na sana, naging bato pa! This is the problem when the electorate chooses a nonachieving and autistic person to serve the highest post of the land. The first thing he does is bring birds of his same feather to help him “fly” the government. So he carts in drinking buddies, mates in the shooting range, family friends using a very low standard for hiring. Can you imagine the sitting president cannot be credited with a single legislation despite being in Congress and the Senate for nine years. The only executive credit to his short biodata was serving as officer of a security man-
August 2011 Page 9
ning agency (used as a dummy by his uncle-in-law surnamed Oreta), who got a license when his mother was president and who eventually was accused of killing at least seven demonstrators in the Hacienda Luisita massacre. Only the communists promote idiots to head a village, that was why they were called “village idiots”. Like a puppet who “acts and talks” depending on how a ventriloquist makes him perform, the sitting president who spends most of his working day playing video games and driving his newest four-wheel acquisition, only depends on the puppetmasters surrounding him to function. Now will she fire Juico for this fiasco? I doubt it. He could have stopped her. A true leader could have butted in and said, ops this has gone too far. But all we heard from Malacanang for about three weeks into this controversy is deafening silence. Often just like in the case of PCSO, he ends up goofing the job. The PCSO has just lost its best ally, the Catholic Church, in serving the poorest of the poor of this nation. But that’s the point - here silence meant not just acquiescence but conspiracy. In a tight political situation that we have now, only a mean bone would have preferred to violate commonsensical norms not just of simple etiquette but of national interest. No self-respecting clergy now would want to be associated with an Indian-giver who spits venom at its partners. The Church remains one of only two institutions in our country today that can hold the people together. The second one is not even the police but the military. This toy president is not only sick but could be murderous. His lame sense of budgeting clearly shows he is out to tear Philippine society apart . The wielding of power so irresponsably goes beyond Machiavelli. Only a twisted or impaired mind can play tricks pitting Filipinos against each other aimed towards polarities that are not even of national interest. Reduction in budgets: 25% for tertiary education scholarships, 83% in technical education and skills development, 50% in both agriculture and agrarian reform, 50% in housing, 73% in legal assistance to OFWs while essential medicines remains at P932 million. In contrast, the proposal is increase in reproductive health by 322% from P932 million to P3 billion. Mind you, 78% the current P932 million, or P731 million, is being used by the Department of Health to buy contraceptives alone. So if I were the bishops, I would break fast with Dean Melvin Magallona and Allan Paguia, and listen to their theories on the nullity of the 2010 elections. The bishops should invite Homobono Adaza to lunch and ask why he filed a case for nullification with the Supreme Court. Of course, no less than the Philippine Computer Society and the UP Center for People-Empowered Governance have documented multiple violations of statutes, especially the ECommerce and the Automation laws, a most fraud-ridden electoral exercise even dwarfing its 2004 counterpart. Because the Constitution gave the Comelec the exclusive mandate to conduct Philippine elections, Magallona has a piercing analysis and legal theory that it unilaterally surrendered its nondelegable rights. Only Congress can do that amendment! Paguia can translate those theories to layman’s language, the same way Rene Azurin has discussed the issues extensively in the BusineessWorld. This insane and fake president must be stopped now before he pied-pipers us all down the cliff!
1 0 P a g e Vo l u m e 3 I s s u e 8
A divisive issue in conservative Philippines
RH Bill aka ‘Responsible’ Parenthood Bill resurrects as Congress opens after SONA
Reproductive health is a cause of concern in the Philippines. According to the Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines (DSWP), a women's group that pushes for gender equality and women rights, 11 women die everyday due to maternal complications. While the DSWP believes that the immediate passage of a comprehensive health bill, particularly the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill authored by Albay representative Edcel Lagman, will address the issue of maternal deaths, the Catholic hierarchy in the country believes otherwise. The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is doing its very best to seal off the passage of the RH bill. During the past, the CBCP helped blocked several versions of the RH bill which was first proposed in 1998. The CBCP argues that the use of condom and other abortifacient contraceptives, which will be made accessible to poor Filipino families if ever the RH bill is passed into law, are direct attacks against the Roman Catholic Church and it teachings.
However, despite the strong contention of the CBCP against the RH bill, the people’s clamor for a comprehensive health bill seems to increase by the day. In November 2010, GMA News reports that 69 percent of Filipinos favor the RH bill while a mere 7 percent opposes it. The survey was conducted from October 20-29 2010, two months after tour guide and cultural activist Carlos Celdran stood before an altar during a mass inside the Manila Cathedral, flashing a sign bearing the words Damaso, in reference to Father Damaso, a fictitious villain in Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere. Celdran accused the CBCP of violating a section in the 1987 Philippine Constitution which calls for the separation of the state and the church. He was arrested (and was later released) for staging his creative one-man rally inside the Cathedral. However, the arrest of Celdran did not scare pro-RH bill advocates. In fact, Celdran became an instant celebrity and was even listed as one of Forbes’ “Names You Need to Know in 2011.” Even the threats of excommunication did not scare proRH bill groups. A local media outlet even re Big business for big government! ported that the president himself, the liberal-minded Noynoy Aquino (son of the late former president and devout Catholic Cory Aquino) was threatened of being excommunicated, if and when he does not withdraw his support for the RH bill. Celebrities like Jim Paredes, Mocha Uson and Lea Salonga have been vocal for their support for the passage of the RH bill. On the other hand, eight-division boxing champion and Saranggani congressman Manny Pacquiao, also one of Forbes’ highest paid athletes seems to be the biggest draw of the anti-RH bill camp. Social media has also become a platform for RH bill debates especially for the pro-RH camp. Philippine heroes and characters like Rizal, Melchora Aquino, Juan Luna and even Noli’s Sisa and Father Damaso were somehow resurrected and were used to push for RH bill agendas on the microblogging platform Twitter. While the word war on the streets, in the churches and in both social and mainstream media between the pro and anti-RH bill groups rages on, the real battle was staged inside the House of Representatives – the same venue where the past RH bill versions were denied of life. Apart from Rep. Lagman, the RH bill was originally co-authored by district representatives Janette Garin and Rodolfo Biazon and several party-list representatives
including representatives Kaka Bag-ao and Walden Bello. Reportedly, the co-authors of the bill increased drastically as the congressional session closed. Based on the records from the House of Representatives, The Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population and Development Act of 2011 or more popularly known as the RH bill now has a total of 96 coauthors. On the other side of the fence are the anti-RH bill congressmen led by Rep. Roilo Golez and Rep. Pacquiao. During the plenary debates last month, the antiRH bill congressmen based their arguments on morality and the sanctity of life. Rep. Pacquiao also referenced the Bible in his arguments while Rep. Golez argued that using condoms and contraceptives is tantamount to abortion. Rep. Lagman countered that the contraceptives the RH bill will make accessible are the ones that prevent conception. Therefore, dismissing any ideas of abortion as there is no life the moment that conception is blocked. Anti-RH bill congressmen also scrutinized and dissected the sections of the bill, emphasizing the importance of religious freedom and several studies suggesting that some contraceptives are found to be carcinogenic. The plenary debates ended in early June, signaling a ceasefire between the pro and anti-RH bill congressmen. It is expected, however, that the debates will push through as the session opens simultaneously with the president’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) next month. To a seemingly “conservative” and Catholic-dominated nation like the Philippines, the RH bill, which promises to not only solve the issue of maternal deaths but also possibly alleviate the lingering effects of poverty, has become a festive yet divisive issue. By John Louie Ramos, Digital Journal
Did you know $1 million a day of your tax‐ payers money subsidize an abortion mill?
Do you know that your tax dollars fund as much as one‐third of the budget of “Planned Parenthood”? (What sort of “parent” kills her/his own child?) The Catholic News Agency reports on July 17, 2011, that a new in‐depth report on Planned Parenthood (PP) by the pro‐life group, Americans United for Life, finds that $363 million – one‐third of PP’s annual budget – comes from the American taxpayer.
Americans United for Life’s report, “The Case for Investigat‐ ing Planned Parenthood,” is the result of their legal team re‐ searching more than 20 years of PP records, law enforcement reports, and other materials. The $363 million figure is by Planned Parenthood’s own accounting. At a July 14 press conference in Washington, D.C., hosted by Rep. Renee Ellmers (R‐NC) and Rep. Randy Hultgren (R‐Ill.), President of Americans United for Life Dr. Charmaine Yoest said, “While Congress is discussing going deeper in debt and raising the debt ceiling … our government is quietly subsidizing the world’s largest abortion provider with $1 million a day.” Here are some of the study’s findings: 1. Government taxpayers’ funding of Planned Parenthood has doubled since 1998 – as well as the number of abortions per‐ formed. 2. PP has committed numerous financial malpractices and human rights abuses over the last two decades, including failure to report criminal child sexual abuse, failure to comply with pa‐ rental involvement laws, and willingness to refer to substandard clinics. 3. Planned Parenthood has been documented as assisting peo‐ ple engaged in prostitution and/or sex trafficking, and has “dangerously” misused the abortion drug RU‐486. 4. PP has provided inaccurate and misleading information to women regarding fetal development, abortion’s health risks, and to patients on emergency contraception, including the pill “ella”. 5. PP committed Medicaid fraud — in California, New York, New Jersey and Washington state – where PP affiliates have been exposed for fraudulent overbilling practices. Yoest calls for an investigation and Congressional hearings into Planned Parenthood and its systematic abuse of federal funding: “American taxpayers are being forced to directly sup‐ port this abortion‐saturated organization which is fraught with fraud and misuse of government monies.”
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LET’S TALK ‘NUMBERS’, OUTSIDE OF THE BIBLE
Psychotic budget reductions traced to extreme RH bias
By Diana Uichanco, CBCP News
MANILA, June 24, 2011—Funds from the national budget that could otherwise go to programs for farmers, overseas Filipino workers (OFWS), potential skilled workers and aspiring college students are being slashed to make way for a reproductive health law, even as the bulk of the proposed RH bill merely duplicates the Magna Carta of Women, an already existing law. Zambales Representative Ma. Milagros “Mitos” Magsaysay lamented the lopsided priorities reflected by the 2011 national budget decided on by the administration, then proceeded to detail the budgetary allotments.
people of opportunities to avail of skills-training programs offered by the government agency. Courses offered by TESDA are often the only realistic opportunity for those unable to finish their secondary or tertiary schooling to undergo training for gainful employment. Farming, housing, OFW legal assistance also affected. The congresswoman further pinpointed vital agencies black-eyed by the budget cuts. Both the Department of Agriculture (DOA) and the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) have to make do with funds slashed in half, affecting farmers and farming communities as well as all those who bank on agrarian reform benefits from the government. Besides, educational scholarships, the TESDA, agriculture and agrarian reform, housing as well as legal assistance for overseas Filipino workers(OFWs) are among the areas affected by the shift in priorities of the present administration. “The budget for housing is down from P10 billion to P5 billion,” Magsaysay revealed. “Sino ba ang nakikinabang sa housing program? Hindi ba ‘yung mga poor din, ‘yung mga walang bahay? Ang mga tinatawag na ‘squatter’?” Magsaysay asked. (Who benefits from housing programs? Isn’t it not the poor especially the inmformal settlers?) “Masakit man pong sabihin pero kung binawasan o ‘yung budget by P5 billion, itong mga nakikita nating kababayan natin dito sa Metro Manila, sila ‘yung mga hindi mabibigyan ng tamang pamamahay dahil [tinapyasan] mo ‘yung budget.” (It is painful to say that with a P5 billion budget reduction, the poor in Metro Manila will be most adversely affected.) According to her, the budget that would go to providing legal assistance to OFWs under the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is P27 million, down from the previous administration’s P100 million. “[Ang mga OFWs] po ang nagtatrabaho, nagpapakahirap
Education, TESDA budgets slashed “When we passed the 2011 budget of President PNoy, the P1.3 billion allotted by the previous administration for tertiary educational scholarships became P900 million. Sino po ba ang nakikinabang sa mga scholarships na ito? Hindi ba’t yung mga mahihirap na hindi kayang paaralin ang kanilang anak sa kolehiyo? So kapag binawasan mo ang budget by P100 million, ibig sabihin niyan ilang batang mahihirap ang hindi makakapag-aral dahil binawasan mo ang budget,” Magsaysay explained at a recent RH forum organized by the Knights of Columbus and held at St. Mary’s Academy of Caloocan. (Who benefits from government scholarships but the children of the poor who will not be able to go to school because of the budget cuts?) Next on the list to make do with heavily slashed budgets was the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the agency tasked with providing world-class technical education and skillstraining to members of the workforce. According to Magsaysay, the P5 billion budget of the previous administration for TESDA has become P700 million for this year. The removal of P4.3 billion from the agency’s funds translates to depriving more poor
sa ibang bansa para makapagpadala ng pera sa kanilang mga kamag-anak para umahon ang kanilang pamilya mula sa kahirapan. [Our economy is] being kept afloat only by the remittances of OFWs. Pero pagdating ng panahon na magkaproblema sila, for which they will need legal assistance, paano na?” (Our overseas workers are sacrificing to work in faraway countries so that they can send their children and relatives money for subsistence. In case they meet emergencies abroad, how will the government be able to help them?) An estimated 9 million Filipinos, or 10 percent of the country’s population, presently work as OFWs. The solon pointed out the oft-repeated call of RH advocates to diminish population numbers, and alluded to the contradiction between calling out the poor’s inability to care for their families and the administration’s budget cuts for programs benefiting the poor. Essential medicines vs. contraceptives After giving a rundown of the 2011 budget cuts made by PNoy’s administration, Magsaysay zeroed in on the Department of Health (DOH) and its mandate to provide essential medicines to the public via health facilities nationwide. She pointed out that while close to a billion pesos is reserved for the procurement of essential medicines, the amount set aside for artificial contraceptives comes close to that—P731 million.
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REPRODUCTIVE HEALTHCARE from Php 932 Million to Php 3 Billion
BUDGET CUT IN BASIC SERVICES
EDUCATION Technical and Skills ‐83% Training Tertiary Scholarships ‐25% AGRICULTURE ‐50% AGRARIAN REFORM ‐50% HOUSING ‐50% OFW LEGAL AID ‐73%
“Almost 1 billion po—P932 million—ang pambili ng national government ng essential medicines, meaning lahat ng gamot mula baby hanggang senior citizens,” Magsaysay explained. (The administration provided P932 million for essential medicines for babies to senior citizens.) “Pero naglaan naman ng P731 million out of the P932 million pesos for family planning and maternal care, for the procurement of contraceptives. “ She asked the audience how many among the entire population’s babies and children as well as senior citizens use contraceptives and how many would need medication for cough, cold, fever, primary complex, tuberculosis, as well as hypertension, diabetes and other such diseases. “Hindi po ba lopsided ang pagbigay ng budget o pondo ng national government? Almost one billion lamang para gumaling tayong lahat sa lahat ng klaseng sakit, pero pagdating sa condom at contraceptives, P731 million ang binibigay,” the Zambales Representative lamented. P3 Billion for RH bill Magsaysay is firmly opposing the passage of the RH bill, a measure with a proposed annual budget of P3 billion for its implementation and which seeks to mandate the provision of the “full range of methods, facilities, services and supplies” pertaining to reproductive health care nationwide. The solon remarked that with so many problems the country is facing, she believes P3 billion would go a long way if invested in education. “To the argument that curbing population is the solution to poverty, I would say that it is not the ultimate solution. The ultimate solution to poverty alleviation, besides good governance, is education.”
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Dignitatis Humanae: Catholic Teaching on Bioethics
From reproductive health to embryonic stem research
Christendom College held a oneday conference on Catholic bioethics featuring renowned speakers including Francis Cardinal Arinze, Bishop Robert Morlino, Dr. Janet Smith, and Rev. Tadeusz Pacholczyk. The conference, held on July 9, drew close to 300 attendees who enjoyed presentations on the full range of life issues – from reproductive health to embryonic stem cell research. Cardinal Arinze, a long time defender of the family and outspoken opponent of contraception, abortion, and euthanasia, launched the conference. Examining the anthropological foundation for Catholic bioethics, he said that fundamental human rights are inviolable because they are given by God and are inherent in the human person.
damaging effects of contraception on the marital relationship. “To have marital relations with a person and to not be open to having a child with that person would be to deny the reality that sexual intercourse leads to lifetime relationships,” she said. “This is meant to be something that you rejoice in, not as something you see as a punishment for having marital relations.” Smith, who has appeared on the Geraldo show, Fox Morning News, CNN and EWTN, explained that if the possibility of parenthood is excluded from marital relations, the character of the relationship between the partners automatically changes. It changes away from the unification in love and in the direction of mutual or rather bilateral enjoyment. Smith also said that John Paul II called on those who partake in the marital act to be conscious of the fact it might not only make babies, but it might also make parents of those who are engaging in it. Following Smith’s talk all gathered in Christ the King Chapel for a Votive Mass for the Family, celebrated by Cardinal Arinze.
Embryonic Stem Cells
After Mass, Rev. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D., of the National Catholic Bioethics Center addressed the issue of embryonic stem cell research. He explained that when a stem cell is taken from an embryo, the embryo is destroyed. “Human life is under attack at the earliest stages of its existence,” he said. Rev. Pacholczyk pointed out that not only is the practice immoral, it is also fruitless. Countless treatments have been developed with the use of adult stem cells, while no treatments have come from embryonic stem cells. Hollywood hype, scientific curiosity, and lucrative research patens are what keep the destruction of embryos for stem cells funded and active, he said. He pointed out the irony of a 1940 United States law that protects not only the bald eagle, but the bald eagle’s egg. “If we can see that destroying a bald eagle’s egg is just as bad as destroying a bald eagle, why can’t we see the same thing when it comes to human life?” he asked.
(See full Lifesitenews article on Arinze following this report.)
Author and speaker Janet Smith then addressed the topic of contraception. Using the philosophy of personalism found in Blessed John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, Smith explained the
End of Life
Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison, Wisc., followed Rev. Pacholczyk with a presentation on the natural law and end of life discussions. “Every case of a terminally ill or close-to-natural-death person is unique,” Bishop Morlino said, “and somebody has got to get in there with the physicians and know the whole story.” The Bishop explained that before any discussions begin about what to do with a Smith Pacholczyk Morlino Cvethovich
Smith Pacholczyk Morlino Cvethovich
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person who is terminally ill or near natural death, one must get all the facts, not only from the physician, but also from the local priest. Then, once all the facts are known, an assessment can be made. “The assessments are not that hard to make,” Bishop Morlino said. “It’s the pastoral communication that is so difficult. If the person does not feel like a burden in anybody’s eyes and is not a burden in anybody’s eyes, the pastoral approach to the communication of the truth is much easier. To prepare for decisions for the terminally ill, the first thing to do is to appreciate them long before that moment arrives. And treasure them, so that they needn’t wonder, ‘what’s going to happen to me’ and ‘what do these people really have in mind.’”
August 2011 Page 1 5 Cardinal Arinze: law against murder is natural law, ‘not a tennis club regulation’
Catholics in Healthcare
Bringing the conference to a close Dr. Lorna Cvetkovich of the Tepeyac Family Center practice discussed the challenges today facing Catholics who practice medicine. “In our society 80% of women have been on birth control pills. If you are over 35 and have one child there is a 5060% chance that you’ve been sterilized, and the rate of IVF pregnancies just goes up and up every single year,” Cvetkovich said. “We have a lot to contend with.” She explained that Catholic medical professionals do not only need to worry about the reproductive health issues, but good business and research practices. A challenge for the medical profession is to understand and recognize when ideology has trumped our scientific ideal. “A lot of data and research has shown that abortion does increase the risk of breast cancer,” she said. “Why is there this cover up? In the past we could trust that people had the intent to do good research.” Concluding Cvetkovich said that she fears for the future of Catholic medicine. “We will have the choice to either practice anti-Hippocratic, pro-choice type medicine and keep our jobs or practice Hippocratic, Catholic, pro-life medicine and lose our jobs.”
FRONT ROYAL, Virginia, July 11, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) When it comes to “personally prolife” politicians who support proabortion legislation, the Vatican’s prefect emeritus of the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments minces no words. “Some ... say, I am personally not in favor of abortion, but I will not impose my views on others,” said Cardinal Francis Arinze. “It is like saying, I am personally not in favor of killing you. ... But since some people want to shoot all of you in the Senate and the House of Representatives, I won’t impose my views on them, it is pro-choice! “You are not serious! This is Divine law, it’s not a tennis club regulation.” The Cardinal, an Igbo Nigerian by birth who was a personal advisor to Pope John Paul II, also offered some food for thought to proabortion population control enthusiasts. “Some people say, ‘Ah, you see the population of the world is too much, so abortion is a means of birth control.’ Why don’t you allow yourself to be shot and reduce the population of the world?” he asked. He indicated that blaming a supposed food shortage for world hunger, rather than political conditions,
is misguided. “Modern science has the means to cultivate even the Sahara desert, if that is the political wind,” he said. Arinze focused on human dignity and good stewardship of the earth: “The meaning of human activity in the world is linked to the discovery and respect of the laws of nature that God has inscribed in the created universe, so that men and women may live in it and care for it according to God’s will.” Similarly, unless man is recognized as fitted into nature as its summit, he said, a host of evils are sure to follow as the meaning of human life - and the meaning of taking it - is forgotten. “Is it not highly illogical for some people to talk of some whales, and the chimpanzees, and trees as ‘endangered species’ which must be preserved - and if you torture a dog in some countries you will be brought to court for your cruelty to animals - while the killing of unborn babies is labeled ‘pro-choice’ instead of what it is: murder?” asked the Cardinal. “Call a spade a spade.” While ignoring the law of creation may appear to give us freedom, he said, the reverse is actually true. “Sinners are prisoners. They are prisoners of their undomesticated instincts and their uncontrolled desires,” said Arinze.
A Beautiful Story
Justin Bieber says he’s pro‐life
Though his views on political matters don’t matter much to national public policy, a Justin Bieber opinion on a hot topic like abortion could make waves for the millions and millions of adoring fans he has worldwide. He may not be old enough to vote, but the 16-year-old gave his impressions on political topics in an interview with Rolling Stone. About abortion, Bieber said: “I really don’t believe in abortion. It’s like killing a baby?” But he backed down when asked to talk about abortion in cases of rape or incest: “Um. Well, I think that’s really sad, but everything happens for a reason. I don’t know how that would be a reason. I guess I haven’t been in that position, so I wouldn’t be able to judge that.” In addition to his pro-life views, Bieber doesn’t push for abstinence until marriage but urges his legion of pre-teen and teen fans to wait to have sex. “I don’t think you should have sex with anyone unless you love them. … I think you should just wait for the person you’re … in love with,” he said. Bieber isn’t sure about which political party he supports, but he knows he doesn’t like the communist regime in North Korea: “I’m not sure about the parties,” Bieber says. “But whatever they have in Korea, that’s bad.”
“Sex can wait!”
Bieber’s comments drew praise from pro-life advocates. Scott Fischbach, who heads the pro-life group Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, had speculated before today’s interview went public that Bieber may be pro-life because so many millennials are pro-life based on abortion’s consequences and seeing ultrasound images.
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“Honest and frank talk from Justin Bieber about life issues is awesome and will hopefully encourage more young people to join the cause of life,” he told LifeNews.com. “Poll after poll show that younger people are pro-life and now Bieber joins those majority ranks. Gone are the days when pro-life artists and performers needed to hide or keep their prolife views out of the public.” “Years ago when Madonna released ‘Papa Don’t Preach,’ it touched off a wave of prolife sentiment as the lyrics boldly proclaimed, “I am keeping my baby.” Hopefully Bieber’s honest comments about how abortions kill babies will do the same. Pro-lifers can be proud to have another supporter like Justin Bieber,” he added. Erik Whittington of Rock for Life, a prolife group that focuses on using music to reach out on the issue of abortion, says he’s glad Bieber is pro-life on abortion but hopes he will rethink his position on abortion in cases of rape. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited that he is making this bold statement in Rolling Stone Magazine, but please let this be a learning experience for us all – when asked about abortion in the cases of rape we must answer a bit more convincingly than that,” Whittington said. He added, “Abortion is a violent act that takes the life of an innocent human person. When a mother has conceived in the very unfortunate circumstance of rape that doesn’t change the fact of what abortion is. Our response remains the same – abortion is a violent act that takes the life of an innocent human person’s life. No matter what the circumstance of conceiving is we pray for the mother considering abortion, offer her our help and resources and if she was violated we hope and pray that the perpetrator of the heinous crime is caught and brought to justice.”
By Steven Ertelt, LifeNews.com
...and spurs a liberal meltdown in the process
Justin Bieber has riled the left. Bieber, who happens to be a Christian, was asked in a Rolling Stone interview to express his views on abortion. Not only did he equate abortion with murder, he suggested that it is wrong even in cases of rape and incest. Some in the media flipped out and immediately became dis-Beliebers. The liberal panelists on ABC’s “The View” provide a prime example. Guest co-host KaDee Strickland said, “He [Bieber] won't be in that position because he cannot give birth.” She added that “he doesn't have a choice like that.” Joy Behar fumed over Bieber's “everything happens for a reason” comment regarding a rape induced pregnancy, saying that it was “really insulting to people who have been raped or victims of incest. There is no 'reason' for that.” Both co-hosts had trepidation about whether Bieber’s views might influence his fans. Beleaguered “View” host Elisabeth Hasselbeck was left to defend the pop star on her own, saying, “I don't think we can discount somebody's opinion because they happen to be 16.” Barbara Walters fretted that the reporter had been “asking questions that may or may not be appropriate. You think they are; I think it may be a bit of a stretch.” Curiously, Rolling Stone took the unprecedented step of amending Bieber's comments on abortion, claiming that the magazine had made an editing error that included an incomplete quote from the teen star. On its website, the magazine republished the revised quote as follows: “Um. Well, I think that's really sad, but everything happens for a reason. I don't know how that would be a reason. I guess I haven't been in that position, so I wouldn't be
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LIBERAL MELTDOWN able to judge that.” The New York Times responded with a navel gazing critique titled “Twilight of the Teen Idol.” The Times suggested Bieber had overstepped his bounds, stating, “By taking a stand against abortion, Mr. Bieber risks finding out how frail and tenuous that bond might be.” The CNN website touted an article with the headline: “Backlash over Bieber's view on abortion.” A Boston Herald blog titled its analysis of the singer’s position as “Justin Bieber Sounds Like an Idiot.” On her Twitter account, Rolling Stone reporter Vanessa Grigoriadis defended herself on the issue of whether the subject matter was appropriate. “A 16-year-old kid, to be 17 in a couple weeks, who has control over a large population should be asked all questions,” Grigoriadis wrote. The reporter also explained Bieber's remark that “everything happens for a reason.” “I think he meant that God has a plan,” Grigoriadis told PopEater. “Even for the most diehard Christian, it's hard to justify rape as part of God's plan, and harder to justify rape that leads to pregnancy and abortion. I think he [Bieber] was wrestling with that in his answer, which I found to be solid and logical.” She added, “I think it is being widely misunderstood. He did not say that rape was part of God's plan.” By James Hirsen, newmax.com
Culture of Life from Egypt
Abortion has been with us since time immemorial, and widespread forced abortion has also already been state policy in the past. Pharaoh commanded the Hebrew midwives to kill the unborn or newly born child. “When you act as midwives for the Hebrew women and see them giving birth, if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, she may live.” (Ex 1:16).
The contemporary of the Egyptian abortion policy today is that of China. In the case of China, the girls rather than the boys are being killed. As the state has decreed its one-child policy, many parents choose to abort those who are female, since they prefer to have a male child. Such a policy, aside from the terrible holocaust of millions of the unborn, has resulted in a demographic imbalance, with males far outnumbering females in the nation. This presents its own problems, as the Chinese try to cope with the imbalance. Millions of Chinese men are now unable to find a bride. Unmarried men from 20 to 44 already outnumber their female counterparts two to one. What alternatives do the Chinese now have? (1) Kidnapping of women, both within China and from other countries, to be sold as brides. There is already a thriving business in this. (2) Homosexuality. If a Chinese male cannot find a female, then look to another male. There are plenty of them around. (This promotion of homosexuality will please Obama, the European Union and the United Nations). (3) War. With tens of millions of excess men, a solution to the imbalance is in getting them killed in battle. A bonus to the Chinese government is the prod to its expansionist and imperialist ambitions. (Beware SouthEast Asian nations. China has already claimed the whole South China Sea and is building more fortifications with heavy weaponry on atolls). Why did Pharaoh institute such a policy? They were afraid of the Israelites who were growing in population. “Look how numerous and powerful the Israelite people are growing, more so than we ourselves! Come, let us deal shrewdly with them to stop their increase; otherwise, in time of war they too may join our enemies to fight against us, and so leave our country.” (Ex 1:9-10). There are a number of realities that, just as then, are so today. (1) Population is power! “Look how numerous and powerful the Israelite people are growing.” The words “numerous” and “powerful” go together! The western world today wants to limit the populations of the developing world, because such large nations are a threat to their dominance. “The Egyptians, then, dreaded the Israelites” (Ex 1:12b). (2) The populations of the western world have peaked and in more and more cases are beginning to decline, resulting in the so-called demographic winter. “Look how numerous and powerful .... (they) are growing, more so than we ourselves!” By their own choice in adopting abortion, homosexuality and a selfish lifestyle that does not want children, the peoples of the developed world face a bleak future. What could be bleaker than outright extinction as a people, as a race? Now that is their choice. The problem is
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liberal, so-called progressive and hedonistic agenda on the rest of us. “Come, let us deal shrewdly with them to stop their increase.” How do we, the people of God, respond? We of course must defend life. We must fight for the culture of life. Further, since we face Goliaths in our anti-life enemies, we must be prepared to be oppressed, persecuted, to suffer for the cause. With laws on such abominations as abortion, divorce and same-sex marriage already in place, further laws will be passed (already passed in some countries) to stamp out opposition, such as laws on hate speech or the abrogation of conscience protection. If we violate these laws, we can be jailed, our property confiscated, our business shut down. However, in such oppression, we must know a fundamental truth. “Yet the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread.” (Ex 1:12a). Our Christian faith spreads and thrives on the shedding of the blood of the martyrs. We are called to take up our crosses, in imitation of Christ. So the more we are persecuted, the more we ought to grow strong. The more we grow. We must not only have more children (that we can properly care for), we must also grow in our Christian faith and in our passion for the defense of the culture of life. “The midwives, however, feared God; they did not do as the king of Egypt had ordered them, but let the boys live.” (Ex 1:17). Authentic faith leads us to renew the family and to defend life. The family is a creation of God, and life is fundamental to family. The ultimate strength and well-being of a nation depends on the well-being of its families, the basic units of society. If we look to faith, family and life, then our nation will be strong, with the very strength of God. “Therefore God dealt well with the midwives. The people, too, increased and grew strong. And because the midwives feared God, he build up families for them.” (Ex 1:20-21).
that they want to drag other coun1975. tries into the mire. They want to Its basic thesis was that population totally transform the pro-life and growth in the least developed countries pro-family traditional values of (LDCs) was a concern for US national much of the developing world. This security and inimical to the national inis cultural imperialism at its worst. terests of the US. It gave paramount im(3) Western nations and western portance to population control measures powers remain selfish, colonialist, and the promotion of contraception imperialist and now diabolical. It is among 13 countries (Bangladesh, Brazil, all about self-interest. Knowing that Colombia, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Indopopulation is power, they want to nesia, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philiplimit the potential power of future pines, Thailand, Turkey). opponents. Opponents in what? It recommended that the US governOne, military power. “Come, let ment influence naus deal shrewdly tional leaders of these with them to stop countries in the push their increase; for population reducotherwise, in time tion efforts. It recof war they too ommended increased may join our eneemphasis on mass mies to fight media. It recomagainst us ....” mended pushing Two, economic population educaFor to me power. “.... and so tion programs by is to live leave our counthe UN, USIA and Christ, try.” The west just USAID. and to die wants the reThese are what we DILLA FRANK PA is gain." sources of the are seeing being world, and to keep done vigorously today. the hungry populaWhy are these things happening? tions of the developing world in First, there are those in power who servitude, either producing low-cost do not know God or who have rejected resources for their use, or as domesGod. The US is now prohibiting prayer tics and other low-paying jobs in or the display of the Ten Commandtheir countries. The poor of the ments in schools and government ofworld are the slaves of the dominant fices. For a nation founded on God and rich, and the resources of the poor on Judeo-Christian traditions, that is a countries are “stolen” to satisfy the radical shift indeed. Obama is just the rapacity of the rich. “Accordingly, latest (and possibly worst) in a long line taskmasters were set over the Israelof government officials who either do ites to oppress them with forced not live out their faith or have turned labor. Thus they had to build for away from their faith. “Then a new king, Pharaoh the supply cities of Pithom who knew nothing of Joseph, came to and Raamses.” (Ex 1:11). power in Egypt.” (Ex 1:8). The fear of This is what was behind the infa- the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. If mous “NSSM 200.” This is the we reject God’s ways, then we certainly “National Security Study Memoranwill go astray. dum 200: Implications of WorldSecond, the world has lost sight of wide Population Growth for U.S. God’s plan, of the importance of the Security and Overseas Interests” family and of life. Much of the world just issued on December 10, 1974 by the wants power, possessions, pleasure. US National Security Council under Much of the world has looked to secular Henry Kissinger. It was adopted as ideals, taking on the very wisdom of the official US policy in November world. And they want to impose their
Message from tthe ServantGeneral
With the Ynares sta‐ dium in Antipolo, Rizal filled to the rim, it was still warm despite the AC units at full blast! It became even sweaty when the Sold‐Out Band (Boy Katigbak, Sandra Viray, Bambi Urgino, Pompoy Dinglasan and company) started jam‐ ming praise songs in unique contrapunto, and elders across 30 years riled the crowd with familiar Glory tunes. Flags, candles and power sharings punctuated the Anniver‐ sary show that fea‐ tured, kids, youths, sin‐ gles, handmaids and servants telling their own part of the CFC‐FFL story. Founder Frank Padilla delivered the keynote proclaiming that the best is yet to come, after his children Xavy and Vania struck nostalgic showing dated pictures of trying but fulfilled moments of the Padilla family in CFC history.
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Celebrating the pearl of great price!
My wife Gerry and I were there when CFC started in June 26, 1981. Now, 30 years later, with graying hair (only for myself), we are still here. It has been a wondrous and truly blessed journey with Jesus. And now it is not just the two of us. Aside from the million of brethren who have crossed our lives and whom we have journeyed with, we have 5 children and 5 grandchildren (going on 6), From a couple for Christ, and growing to be a clan for Christ. That CFC is evangelistic ministry founded on family renewal has become a vibrant reality for us. We have been through a lot. Just as marriage has its better or worse, so does community life and mission. I have been attacked physically by the enemy, almost losing my life on mission a number of times. I have been attacked verbally… by brethren. But with all the ups and downs, my life in Christ has matured and deepened. It is all worth it, and I would not have it any other way. What does the future hold? Well, the important thing is who holds the future. And that is the Lord Jesus. He raised us, He restored us. He continues to send us forth to reach out to others. Our mission remains the same. We are evangelizers and missionaries. We fight for family and life. Jesus wills to make us “a light to the nations, that (His) salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” (Is 49:6b) So what can we look forward to? More of the same, and then some. We are going to do rapid, massive and worldwide evangelization. We will continue to work to renew the family and to
CFCFFL 30th Anniversary
Bp. Odchimar MANILA, June 29, 2011― In his homily , Catholic Bishops Confer‐ ence of the Philippines’ president and Tandag Bishop Nereo Odchi‐ mar urged his CFC‐FFL to fight against the forces that seek to destroy the family and life in general – such as the di‐ Bp. Reyes vorce and re‐ productive health bills. He stressed that God overwhelms us everyday with His goodness and love, even in the little things. We just need to open our eyes and hearts to recog‐ nize them, he added. Odchimar was the principal celebrant at the CFC FFL anniversary mass together with Bishop Gabriel Reyes of Anti‐ polo, Bishop Valentine of Gabo‐ rone, Botswana, Fr. Peter West the associate director of Priests for Life in the USA, Fr. Francis Gustilo of the Vatican’s International Theological Commission and more priests from around the Philippines and the world.
suffering and pain. This is why God defend life. We will build communities among the poor. We will send out has taught us about redemptive sufmore missionaries. We will raise many fering, which is the very way of Jesus on the cross. So third, we deny vocations to the priesthood and reliourselves and embrace the cross. gious life. This after all is Jesus’ definition of In doing such massive work, we discipleship. We can only truly serve will need to give more of ourselves, God according to His call if we more than what we have given in all of 30 years. We have entered the end shed all selfishness and be fully selftimes and the final conflict is at hand. less for Christ. We can only truly be effective in our work if we look to We in CFCFFL are an army that has the banner of the cross, rejoicing at been thrust in the thick of the war. the privilege of suffering for Christ. We know that the victory is already I do not know how many more the Lord’s, but we continue to face tough times ahead, as the enemy goes years I have to give for my Lord Jesus. Whether there is much more all out to seek to bring as many of toil for me on earth or my time is God’s people to perdition. God of course knows all this. Hav- up, it does not matter. “For to me life is Christ, and death is ing formed and trained us for 30 gain.” (Phil 1:21) What I do know is years, now he further equips us. that God has made clear what misNow God offers us the fullness of sion is, what purpose for our exisHis strength. What we need to do is tence as CFCFFL is. Further, God to become those instrument who are has already put in place the next willing, and eager, to be formed, and generations, so that our work will to receive what God offers. First, we continue until the Lord Jesus remust continue to grow in holiness. turns once again in glory. We are made in the image and likeThe relationship with the Lord ness of God. We are God’s witnesses has always been the same. He loves to the world. We are servants doing us eternally, He uses us for His purthe very will of the Master. We are poses, He provides whatever we instruments to be wielded by the need in order to do His will. Our Spirit. So we must holy as God is part then is to humble ourselves, to holy. We must strive for the perfecobey without reservation, and to tion of the Father. How can that happen? So second, give our all. When we do that, then we will have a glorious next 30 we must be faithful to our covenant. years, and beyond. God gives us our covenant in Let us then go forth in the very CFCFFL not as a burden, but as the help we need in order to be holy. strength of God. ‐ A SHARING BY Fully striving to live out our covenant THE SERVANT GENERAL is the gauge by which we can see if we are truly willing to Scandinavia respond fully to the Lord’s call. When we live out our covenant, then we receive the help and grace by which we grow to maturity in Christ. Our community life is God’s blessing and provision for us. Then, as we enter deep into the fray, we will be bruised and bloodied. We will experience
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India Southeast Asia
The Middle East Africa
The anniversary symbol—the pearl of great price held up by five family ministries for kids, youth, singles, handmaids and servants banded together by Cou‐ ples for Christ, together a Foun‐ dation for Family and Life. And more… International Country Servants express unanimity, wav‐ ing the flags of their respective territories. A three‐day meeting immediately followed the anni‐ versary weekend to pray and compare best practices.
Country Servants share best practices
4: 7-16 on how brothers and sister should be mobilized according to his spiritual gifts. John Peter Vui of Vietnam shared how the practice of Lectio Divina has enhanced the prayer life of his members. Ray Pascual said that CFCFFL in Myanmar flourishes in exhibiting their spirituality in terms of stewardship; his parting shot is do not say give until it hurts, say give until it no longer hurts. All sessions were held at the Meralco Conference site in Antipolo and facilitated by Bob and Reena Murga. The three -day session ended with Fr. Francis Gustilo hosting the delegates at the Amici restaurant at the Ayala Triangle where this photo was taken.
Servant-General Frank Padilla set the tone by saying that yoked together, we must put our talents at the foot of the community for the glory of God, our Lord. This, he adds, must flourish in all country servants through their daily prayer, their drinking of the spirit of Christ Jesus, their remaining in His love, and being in community. He stressed that the country servants are responsible for the fullness of the life and mission of CFC-FFL in their respective countries, producing servant leaders with zeal for the kingdom, men with integrity striving for the meekness and obedience of Moses. Tony Correia of India drew perspectives from Ephesians
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