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Pope Benedict’s WYD: Space made for silence, solemnity
The State of the Soul of the Nation
A Supplement Publication of KCFAPI and the Order of the Knights of Columbus
No divorce an ‘honor’ for PH―Nuncio
THE Philippines should take pride for being the only country in the world that does not have a divorce law, an aide of Pope Benedict XVI said. Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, papal nuncio to the Philippines, said that Filipinos should continue to protect the sacredness of marriage. “I think it is a point of honor for the Philippines and in keeping the family with the tradition according to the doctrine of the Church, of course in the Natural Law,” Pinto said. Discussion on the controversial divorce bill resumed after Malta, a largely Catholic country, ap-
Divorce / A6
August 1 - 14, 2011
Vol. 15 No. 16
Catholics mull charges vs CCP over ‘blasphemous’ exhibit
VARIOUS lay Catholic groups are now considering the filing of charges against those behind the “sacrilegious and blasphemous” art exhibit at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP). The complainants already sent a demand letter to the CCP and the artists who claimed to be from the University of Santo Tomas (UST) to stop the exhibit in 48 hours or face the legal consequences. Pro-life Philippines president Eric Manalang said the demand letter was sent to the CCP on August 1 but their ultimatum starts August 2. “By Thursday afternoon, we will file a case if they do not stop the exhibit and if they do not also make amends because stopping is not enough. The damage has been done,” Manalang said. He said they are currently looking into the possibility of filing charges against CCP officials and artists of the exhibit dubbed as “Kulo.” The exhibit features images of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary adorned with objects not related to Christianity. One even showed a crucifix with a condom. One Christ the King figurine had rabbit ears. Laywer Jo Imbong, executive director of the St. Thomas More Society Inc., said as a public agency, the CCP should not have allowed such exhibit for it contradicts its legal mandate. “It was created by law and funded by our taxes for the purpose of awakening the consciousness of our people to our cultural heritage,” Imbong said. “Is it our cultural heritage to mock and insult religious personages and icons? Is it aesthetic to vandalize a venerated representation of objects of worship and reverence? Is vulgarity and blasphemy a Filipino value? What Filipino pride can emerge for such works? Is this our national identity? And CCP promotes it?” she asked. Imbong said those responsible for the exhibit also violated Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code on Immoral Exhibitions. “Those responsible for the public exhibit…the artist…they have a liability because they offended the religious belief of a country that is 85 percent Christian,” she added. The CCP exhibit which opened last June 17 and will run until August 21, has received flak from various groups, including the Catholic Church, for the unconventional use of religious figures in the art pieces. (CBCPNews)
Bishops back FOI bill’s passage
By Roy Lagarde
PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III is confusing the public as to whether he remains committed to his anti-corruption agenda, a Catholic bishop said.
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo himself said he is wondering why Aquino did not at least clearly state his position on the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill during his State of the Nation Address (Sona). The measure, the prelate said, is needed because that would complement the President’s goal to achieve transparency and accountability in government. “But the FOI is not even one of President Aquino’s priorities. Is there something to hide that he doesn’t want the public to know?” Pabillo said. “If he is serious in fighting corruption, government transactions should be accessible to the public not just of the past but also of the present administration,” he said. Pabillo chairs the National Secretariat for Social Action – Justice and Peace of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). The controversial bill mandates all
public offices to give the public access to the budget spe nding and other related information. Pabillo expressed concern that the President appeared to be retreating from his earlier commitment to push the FOI bill, which would guarantee greater public access to official contracts, data and documents. During his presidential campaign, Aquino had repeatedly assured the media that he would back the bill as part of his push for transparency in government. Signature drive Two other prelates said they are one with various organizations calling for the FOI bill’s passage to institutionalize transparency in government. The church officials said they also support a signature drive by media groups for Aquino to prioritize the passage of the bill. According to Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, Aquino’s support for the measure would prove his sincerity to combat corruption in the government. Sadly, he said, there is no clear signal yet whether the President is for or against the FOI bill especially because Aquino did not categorically state his position on the issue during his State
FOI / A6
DISTRIBUTE LAND NOW. A Catholic nun joins farmers and agrarian reform advocates led by the National Secretariat for Social Action - Justice and Peace of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and Hacienda Luisita workers to denounce the Supreme Court order for another round of referendum among farmers to choose between stock distribution option (SDO) and land distribution during a protest rally outside the Supreme Court office in Manila, July 22, 2011.
CBCP launches website for CBCP to Santiago: RH bill not the answer in World Youth Day
THE Filipino youth who are unable to participate personally in the forthcoming World Youth Day celebrations in Madrid will have the opportunity to join the youth day celebrations in a virtual manner. The EpiscoFr. Conegundo Garganta, ECY executive secretary, led the launching of the WYD website (www.wydpinoy.com) that would provide continuous updates of WYD activities in Madrid from August 16-21. pal Commission on Youth of the “The media team is the 1st Catholic Bishops Conference happen for the entire dura- WYD Media Team April Frances Ortigas, Web media delegation consists of of the Philippines (CBCP) tion of WYD celebrations. The site will enable young Administrator of YouthPinoy six journalists [to] be sent to has launched a website that will provide young Filipino people who were not able will be heading the YP Media Spain to document what is happening with the PhilipCatholics the chance to par- to go to Madrid as well as Team for the WYD 2011. Ortigas said that their pine delegation during the ticipate in the various WYD parents of pilgrims to follow activities in Madrid from closely the events as they presence in cyberspace is a duration of the celebration unfold and will be able to response to the call of Pope of WYD,” she said. August 16-21. “We will [upload] personal The online portal www. communicate interactively Benedict XVI to make use wydpinoy.com will pro- with delegates as they post of digital media and social sharings and reflections, [as vide a continuous update of their sharings and testimoni- communications and to make well as] updates on what God visible in cyberspace. events and activities as they als online. Website / A6
ONE need not ask an expert in liberation theology to understand that the reproductive health (RH) bill is not the key in solving poverty in the country, a Catholic Church official said. Monsignor Juanito Figura, secretary general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, said that while liberation theology is good, the “social forces of oppression” must first be determined and be taken in the Philippine context. These “forces”, he said, could refer to the widespread corruption in the government, unequal distribution of land, widening gap between the rich and the poor, worsening criminality, severe incidents of hunger, and human trafficking. “I cannot see why I would support the RH bill because the good provisions, for the sake of mothers and children, are already stated in the mandates of government agencies,” Figura said. “The pro-poor provisions are also
© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media
Msgr. Juanito Figura
already with the agencies. There is no need for a new law. What we need is sincere and committed implementation of the already existing laws,” he said. The CBCP official was reacting to Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s call to the Catholic hierarchy to support the passage of the controversial RH bill. Santiago, who authored RH bill in
Poverty / A6
Priest, ex-PNP chief to run 2888 km marathon Church to put pressure on gov’t over Hacienda Luisita row for peace, unity
Illustration by Bladimer Usi
AN unlikely pair of friends is doing a marathon run across the country to promote peace and unity. Dilaab Foundation Inc., overall steward Fr. Carmelo O. Diola and former Philippine National Police Chief Superintendent Samson R. Tucay will run a 2,888 kilometer marathon traversing the Philippine Maharlika Highway. A support staff of five will accompany the duo as they begin their run through the country’s principal transport backbone on August 8, 2011.
Marathon / A6
AN official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said they will continue to put pressure on the government, asking it to ensure the distribution of the Hacienda Luisita land to the farmers. “We will take a watchful eye on this case and we will not allow another defeat for the Hacienda Luisita farm workers,” said Fr. Edu Gariguez, executive secretary of the CBCP’s National Secretariat for Social Action. The Church, he said, would make sure that social justice is served primarily in the 6,435 sugar estate in Tarlac owned
by the family of President Aquino. He also urged the Supreme Court to follow the government which earlier stated that it is standing by its order in 2005 for land distribution, not shares of stocks, to farmer-beneficiaries of Hacienda Luisita. “The stock distribution option and referendum should be junked. There can be no real agrarian reform without the distribution of land,” said Gariguez. “We cannot allow a confusing Supreme Court decision to galvanize the stranglehold of the Cojuangcos to the land,” he said. “In the name of social
justice, Hacienda Luisita should be distributed to the farmers. Time and again, the Cojuangcos have skirted the distribution of land to the farmers,” Gariguez said. On July 22, the Department of Agrarian Reform and Presidential Agrarian Reform Council asked the SC to order the land distribution of the Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI) by removing from its July 5 decision the provision giving farmer-beneficiaries the option to remain as stockholders. To recall, the SC, in its order, had
Hacienda / A6
© Ronalyn Regino / CBCP Media
© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media
Vol. 15 No. 16
August 1 - 14, 2011
Contraception mandate tramples religious freedom, US bishops say
WASHINGTON D.C., Aug. 1, 2011—The U.S. bishops spoke out on August 1 against federal rules requiring nearly all new health plans, including those of most religious agencies, to cover all government-approved methods of contraception as well as surgical sterilization. “Under the new rule our institutions would be free to act in accord with Catholic teaching on life and procreation only if they were to stop hiring and serving non-Catholics,” said Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life committee. “Although this new rule gives the agency the discretion to authorize a ‘religious’ exemption, it is so narrow as to exclude most Catholic social service agencies and healthcare providers,” the cardinal noted. The guidelines, announced by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on August 1, offer the exemption only if a religious employer “has the inculcation of religious values as its purpose,” “primarily employs persons who share its religious tenets,” and “primarily serves persons who share its religious tenets.” Cardinal DiNardo wondered whether the federal government may actually “intend to pressure Catholic institutions to cease providing health care, education and charitable services to the general public,” by forcing the institutions to choose between following Catholic principles on the one hand, and serving nonCatholics on the other. In a July 22 letter to Congress, the cardinal stated that “those who sponsor, purchase and issue health plans should not be forced to violate their deeply held moral and religious convictions in order to take part in the health care system or provide for the needs of their families or their employees.” “To force such an unacceptable choice,” he wrote, “would be as much a threat to universal access to health care as it is to freedom of conscience.” In his remarks on August 1, the bishops’ pro-life chairman also objected to Sebelius’ statement that the “historic guidelines” would “help ensure women get the preventive health benefits they need.” “Pregnancy is not a disease, and children are not a ‘health problem,’” Cardinal DiNardo said. “They are the next generation of Americans.” He added that Catholics were “not alone in conscientiously objecting to this mandate,” which would include drugs such as the controversial drug “Ella.” While it was approved as an emergency contraceptive, the cardinal noted, Ella “can act like the abortion drug RU-486,” and “abort an established pregnancy weeks after conception.”
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo
Peruvian cardinal: Life and the family must be protected
LIMA, Peru, July 26, 2011―Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani of Lima, Peru has issued a special call to protect human life and the family from the threats of abortion and same-sex marriage. He denounced the “foreign” agenda of abortion, euthanasia and gender ideology. “I don’t want that agenda to destroy the Peruvian family. I would like our agenda to be one that respects life from conception, one that respects the family consisting of a man and a woman, and the stability of the family. We should not be so concerned about these other side issues,” he said, during his radio program, Dialogue of Faith. Cardinal Cipriani said families deserve to live in an atmosphere of respect for human dignity and that more attention should be paid to the formation of a moral conscience, as Peru’s President-elect, Ollanta Humala, prepares to take office on July 28. “I am worried about the family, the education of children and morality,” the cardinal continued. “Salary increases, contract renewals and GDP growth are all fine, but the human being is not a consumption machine. He is a being that loves, and the great motivating factor for working is to provide for his family,” he stated. “We can’t be turning out kids who get involved in drugs or gangs because of poor education, nor can we lead young people to think that everything is just fun and games, booze, careers and sex,” he said. Cardinal Cipriani encouraged parents to provide a decent education for their children and to help them avoid falling into drugs and violence. “All these issues are linked,” he said. The Peruvian cardinal also thanked outgoing President Alan Garcia for his five years of service to the country. “Above and beyond the polls, I think an important era is coming to an end. The relationship with the Church has been one of respect. The relationship with the country has been one of improvement and growth.” He added that there is always work to be done, but warned against focusing only on the negative. Cardinal Cipriani also offered his best wishes to the new administration and his hopes that it would “promote unity, peace, order and moral growth.” “My best wishes and prayers of thanksgiving to Dr. Alan Garcia and that the Lord enlighten and strengthen Mr. Ollanta Humala. The Church never sides with any government, but at the same time she hopes that the Peruvian family will maintain its Christian roots and that development will take place in the area of morality as well,” he said. (CNA)
“The pro-life majority of Americans—Catholics and others—would be outraged to learn that their premiums must be used for this purpose.” Cardinal DiNardo said it was “now more vital than ever” for Congress to pass the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, so that “employers and employees alike will have the freedom to choose health plans in accordance with their deeply held moral and religious beliefs.” That proposal, which nine Republican and Democratic senators introduced in the House on March 17, would amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (popularly known as “Obamacare”) to allow conscientious objectors to opt out of providing some medical treatments. The conscience-protection proposal has made no progress in the House since its referral to a subcommittee on March 28. (CNA)
Abuse report will not delay Irish Eucharistic Congress
DUBLIN, Ireland, July 30, 2011—Ireland’s 2012 International Eucharistic Congress will continue as planned, from June 10-17, despite calls to postpone the event following the recently released Cloyne Report on clerical abuse. “It is especially important for people in times of challenge or crisis that they can gather in solidarity and rediscover their essential truths,” said Father Kevin Doran, secretary general of the Eucharistic Congress, on July 29. He told CNA that “Catholics are no different in this regard” and the Eucharistic Congress will “support that need” within the Church. Senator Cait Keane, a member of Ireland’s ruling Fine Gael party, had proposed the postponement, telling the Irish parliament on July 27 that “everyone will be better served, given the sensitivities around the findings of this report,” if the congress is “held at a later date.” The controversial Association of Catholic Priests, which calls for a “re-structuring of the governing system of the Church” and a “redesigning of ministry in the Church,” has backed the idea of postponement. But Fr. Doran said there was “substantial enthusiasm for the Congress,” both locally and internationally, and noted that the Church had been planning the event since June 2008. He added that the Congress is not just a week-long event but a “pilgrimage of renewal,” where participants can come together to explore the meaning of Eucharist in all its dimensions, including the challenge of acting justly and walking humbly with God.” (CNA)
‘Young Swiss Guards’ to greet Pope for World Youth Day
MADRID, Spain, July 30, 2011—Sixty children dressed in the uniform of the Swiss Guards will welcome Pope Benedict XVI during World Youth Day this August in Madrid. The director of the group, nicknamed the “Young Swiss Guards,” told Fides news agency that the group was born out of affection for the Pope after John Paul II’s first visit to Spain in 1982. Bl. John Paul II visited the country again in 1993 and 2003, always accompanied by the young Swiss Guards. The group will welcome the Pope at the airport in Barajas, Spain and will greet him there at the end of World Youth Day. Their uniforms took about 5,000 hours of work to create and used more than 450 meters of fabric and 4,200 meters of fabric tape. Unlike their young imitators, the Pontifical Swiss Guards number 110 and are responsible for the Pope’s safety. They guard his home and assist him during important ceremonies celebrated in the Vatican. The guard marked its 505th anniversary in January. On Jan. 22, 1506, 150 Swiss soldiers entered the Vatican at the request of Pope Julius II. It is the oldest standing army in the world. (CNA)
Cor Unum: Hundreds of thousands could die in East Africa
The Pontifical Council Cor Unum is warning that hundreds of thousands of people in the Horn of Africa are at risk of dying due to a lack of basic necessities. In a communiqué July 19, the council, which oversees the Church’s charity work, noted Benedict XVI’s appeal Sunday for international solidarity in response to the drought that has caused the emergency, complicated in some areas by violent conflict. Echoing UNICEF, Cor Unum called the situation a “critical humanitarian emergency.” (Zenit)
Vatican did not aid abuse cover-up in Ireland, says spokesman
Thousands of catechists meet across Vietnam
During his beatification ceremony on 5 March 2000, John Paul II said, “The words he repeated as he advanced on the path of martyrdom are the expression of what motivated his whole life: ‘Let us return love for love to our God, let us return life for life’.” For this reason, late July has been dedicated to catechists who bear witness to the faith and try to overcome the challenges of every day. In the Diocese of Đà Lat, all 185 catechists from the parishes in Bảo Lộc met on 14-15 July for a training course. On 22- 23 July, the Diocese of Phan Thiết held a meeting at the Saint Nicolas Seminary. The heads and deputy chiefs from 80 catechism committees came together from all of the diocese’s parishes. All catechists were thus provided with an opportunity to celebrate the Blessed Andrew. Speaking to the gathering, Bishop Joseph Vũ Duy Thống said, “Catechists have an important role in the development of catechism teaching and the communion with the Church. I have appreciated to your sacrifices in daily life. You have strived for co-operation with parishes, getting involved in Catholic faith education for children and young people”.
HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam, Aug. 1, 2011—In all of Vietnam’s 26 dioceses, July is a month dedicated to catechists. Conferences, seminars, forums, training courses and personal activities attract thousands of them, brought together by the memory of the Blessed Andrew of Phu Yen, “protomartyr of Vietnam”. Born in 1624, Andrew was an assistant to a Jesuit missionary. He was arrested in 1644 and put death on 26 July of that year after he refused to give up his faith.
On 25 July, all 250 catechists from the parishes of Hải Phòng diocese met in a friendly atmosphere in the Bishop’s Residence to discuss training orientation and share their experiences in teaching the catechism. During the meeting, Hải Phòng Bishop Joseph Vũ Văn Thiên said, “Teaching catechism is not a job, but a mission. We are invited to cooperate with the Church, which has entrusted us to go out to preach the good news, whilst bearing witness of our faith in our own lives.” In Ban Mê Thuật diocese, some 900 catechists met in Long Điền parish on 25- 26 July to take part in a conference titled “Meeting – dialogue to do witness”. “You are enthusiastic catechists,” Bishop Vincent Nguyễn Văn Bản told those present. In his address, he urged his audience to “continue this mission, because many people are in need of you.” On 26-27 July, Lạng Sơn Diocese, which is located in a mountainous region, organised its 12th examination programme in catechism and Bible studies. The twoday event brought together adults who shared their experiences and 200 children, who were able to learn more about the faith. Hundreds of young people from 13 parishes were also given a chance to learn and take the exam. In Ho Chi Minh City, the Archdiocese of Saigon organized a week (18-24 July) of activities centred on the theme ‘I choose Jesus’. Some 2,000 catechists took part in the event, which included seminars and assemblies. (AsiaNews)
Fr. Federico Lombardi said claims that the Vatican encouraged Irish bishops to not report sex abuse cases to police are untrue and ignore everything the Holy See has done to the counteract the issue. “In attributing grave responsibility to the Holy See for what happened in Ireland,” Fr. Lombardi, S.J., wrote, “such accusations … demonstrate little awareness of what the Holy See has actually done over the years to help effectively address the problem.” The Vatican spokesman made his remarks July 20 amid accusations by Irish lawmakers that a 1997 letter to Irish bishops sabotaged their child protection policy by instructing them to handle abuse cases strictly by canon law. (CNA)
Vatican expresses support for UN Conference on Weapons Regulations
The illegal weapon trade has contributed to numerous situations of human suffering, and a set of global regulations are needed, says the Holy See. In a statement prepared for the Third Preparatory Committee for the U.N. Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty, which took place July 11-15 in New York, the Holy See Mission to the United Nations expressed support for “a set of internationallyagreed standards,” which will be discussed at next year. “In many parts of the world,” the statement began, “the illicit trade of weapons and ammunition has led to human suffering, internal conflicts, civil unrest, human rights violations, humanitarian crises, crime, violence and terror.” (Zenit)
Pope remembers Cardinal Noe’s diligent work
Cardinal Virgilio Noe, archpriest emeritus of the Vatican Basilica, former vicar general for Vatican City, and president of the Fabric of St. Peter, died on July 24 at the age of 89. Pope Benedict XVI sent a telegram of condolence to the cardinal’s sister, Maria Noe, mourning the man. “In everything he did he provided highly-valued testimony of fervent priestly zeal and faithfulness to the Gospel,” the Pope wrote. He called the cardinal “a diligent collaborator of the Holy See, particularly in the Office of Liturgical Celebrations.” (CNA)
Vatican recalls nuncio in Ireland
The Holy See has recalled its nuncio in Ireland, Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza, to Rome for consultations with the Secretariat of State, the Vatican reported July 25. A communiqué issued by the Vatican press office said the recall comes after “the release on July 13 of the report by the Irish government commission of enquiry into allegations of abuse of minors by clergy in the diocese of Cloyne (the Cloyne Report), and in particular in the wake of the subsequent reactions.” (Zenit)
Vol. 15 No. 16
August 1 - 14, 2011
silver and gold usually housed in the Toledo cathedral. The traditional, s o l e m n sense communicated by the Toledo monstrance will be echoed in the papal liturgies throughout the trip, organizers said. “ T h e point is to highlight that the central person of World Youth Day is Jesus Christ, and the pope is coming to proclaim him,” said Father Javier Cremades, Madrid coordinator of the liturgies. However, not all of Father Cremades’ plans emphasize the formal. “We’ll wake the young people with mariachi music” the morning of Aug. 21, hours before the pope arrives to celebrate the final Mass at the Cuatro younger— members of choirs from around the world— will sing the hymns at the Mass. Blessed John Paul was the pope with the reputation for rallying and energizing thousands of young Catholics and particularly for drawing energy from them. But in a passage that sounds like he was surprised about the impact that the celebration had on him, Pope Benedict told an interviewer, “these youth days have actually turned out to be a genuine gift for me.” In the book “Light of the World,” he told Peter Seewald that he was struck by the “intense joy” and “the spirit of recollection that, amazingly, pervades the actual World Youth Days themselves.”
Talking about the experience in Sydney at WYD 2008, he said, “It was quite simply the common joy of faith that carried us through and that made it possible for hundreds of thousands of people to remain in silence before the sacrament and so to become one.” Pope Benedict has insisted that real, even prolonged moments of silence be added to every liturgy he celebrates. Visiting Sulmona, Italy, in 2010, he said, “We live today in a society in which every space, every moment must be ‘filled’ with initiatives, activities and sound,” so that there is no time for listening and dialogue. “Dear brothers and sisters, don’t be afraid of silence outside and inside ourselves, if we want to hear not only the voice of God but also of those who are close to us, the voices of others,” he said. Yago de la Cierva, executive director of World Youth Day Madrid, said that while organizers, priests and even the pope cannot control what the Holy Spirit does in the lives of the young pilgrims, they must be serious about preparing an atmosphere where the Spirit’s action can be recognized. “One important thing is to take great care with the liturgy, so the young will say, ‘Wow, the Mass is beautiful,’” he said. (CNS)
Pope Benedict’s WYD: Space made for silence, solemnity
VATICAN City, July 22, 2011—Pope Benedict XVI has put his own stamp on the church’s celebration of World Youth Day, and it’s especially clear in the gathering’s moments of prayer. In Cologne, Germany, six years ago—Pope Benedict’s first WYD as pope—he surprised the youths at the Saturday night vigil by urging them to quiet down. The Cologne event was where he started a major new WYD tradition: Instead of ending the vigil with a boisterous musical finale, he ended it with eucharistic adoration—with tens of thousands of young people kneeling silently in a field. The scene was repeated in Australia in 2008. During World Youth Day 2011, scheduled for Aug. 16-21 in Madrid, eucharistic adoration again will cap the pope’s participation at the vigil. Adoration and prayer also will continue throughout the night on the edges of the military airport where many of the young people are expected to camp overnight. In fact, organizers are planning to have 17 tents set up as chapels for allnight adoration. The visual focal point when the pope leads the adoration and Benediction will be a monstrance set into a towering 16th-century gothic structure of
VATICAN City, July 25, 2011— In the wake of two terror attacks in Norway that left at least 93 people dead, Pope Benedict XVI called for an end to hatred and ideologies that promote evil. “We are all deeply saddened by the serious terrorist acts,” the pope said after praying the Angelus with pilgrims at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo July 24. The pope launched an appeal “to abandon once and for all the path of violence and avoid principles of evil.” As a further expression of his condolences and prayers for those affected by the attacks, the pope sent a message to Norway’s King Harald V. Written on behalf of the pope by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone,
Pope decries terror attacks in Norway, calls for end to violence, evil
Vatican secretary of state, the pope said he was praying for all those affected by “the acts of senseless violence perpetrated in Oslo and Utoya.” The pope asked that the country “be spiritually united in a determined resolve to reject the ways of hatred and conflict and to work together fearlessly in shaping a future of mutual respect, solidarity and freedom for coming generations.” Explosives ripped through Norwegian government headquarters in Oslo July 22, leaving seven people dead and dozens injured. Shortly after the bombing, witnesses said a man dressed as a police officer shot at people attending a summer youth camp run by the country’s governing Labor Party on the island of Utoya. Police said at least 86 people died at the camp, but authorities were searching the island and the waters just offshore for several missing people. At least 96 other people were injured in the twin attacks. The suspect, 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik, has admitted to carrying out the killings but has not admitted any criminal wrongdoing. He pleaded not guilty in an Oslo court July 25 after being charged under the country’s terrorism act. His lawyer told journalists July 24 that his client thought “it was gruesome having to commit these acts, but in his head, they were necessary.” “He wished to attack society and the structure of society,” said the lawyer, Geir Lippestad. The suspect is believed to have links to far-right groups and to have produced materials espousing anti-Muslim and anti-immigration views, and a desire to bring about a revolution against the government in Norway. Meanwhile, Bishop Bernt Eidsvig of Oslo told Vatican Radio July 25 that the country was united in mourning for the victims and still in shock over the killings. “It has affected every one of us. Despite political differences or other differences, this is a tragedy,” he said. “We do not know anything like it in our history, that 100 people are killed in cold blood. So it is creating unity, and in spite of the grief, also strength.” Bishop Eidsvig said in the interview that people were shocked the prime suspect was Norwegian saying, “Of course in all countries, there are disturbed and misled persons. I am quite sure he is one of them. He must be mentally disturbed. I don’t think ideology is sufficient to explain this.” The bishop said he expected a traditionally lax approach to security around government buildings would be quickly reversed, saying they had already been planning to block off the street where the suspect allegedly parked a car with a bomb inside. “In Oslo, you’ve practically been able to drive your car to the
Vientos military airport, he said. “Young people will come to World Youth Day to celebrate with the Holy Father,” he said. “If they did not want to attend a liturgy in the pope’s style, they wouldn’t be coming.” Young women and men will proclaim the Scripture readings at the Mass and read the prayers of the faithful; seminarians will fulfill the role of altar servers. Up to 6,000 singers 25 years old and
prime minister’s office or to the king’s palace if you pretended to have business there. But I think all this will come to an end fairly soon,” he said. “I think we are waking up to reality.” President Barack Obama sent condolences to the people of Norway soon after the attacks. He said the incidents were a reminder that the world must work together to prevent future terror attacks. The president recalled in a statement the warm reception he received from Norwegians during his 2009 trip to Oslo to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. “So our hearts go out to them, and we’ll provide any support we can to them as they investigate these occurrences,” Obama said. (CNS)
Papal foundation plans to expand assistance to AIDS patients
VATICAN City, July 21, 2011—A papal foundation dedicated to AIDS patients may expand its services to include a global program of distributing anti-AIDS drugs, a Vatican official said. The initiative would respond to the shortage of antiretroviral and other drugs in poorer countries, where the vast majority of AIDS patients receive no adequate treatment, Msgr. JeanMarie Mupendawatu, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry, said in an interview July 21 with the Vatican newspaper. Msgr. Mupendawatu is a delegate to the Good Samaritan Foundation, established by Blessed John Paul II in 2004 to provide economic support to the sick who are most in need, particularly those suffering from AIDS. Msgr. Mupendawatu said the foundation planned to strengthen its activity, especially in Africa, by increasing its promotion of donations of pharmaceutical and medical material, and by working more closely with local Catholic leaders to place the church in the forefront of the care for AIDS patients. To favor these efforts, he said, the foundation may open offices on every continent, which would function in coordination with the central office in Rome. “The foundation is also studying the possibility of creating its own ‘pharmaceutical center’ which would allow the collection and distribution of medicines in poor countries,” he said. The center would work in cooperation with other church agencies. Msgr. Mupendawatu said that while more than 25 percent of the global health care to AIDS patients is provided by Catholic institutions, the church needs to do even more in the face of the epidemic, which infects about 7,000 additional people each day. One of the church’s priorities is to help make “universal and free access to treatment” a reality for all those infected with AIDS, he said. Today, only about 5 percent of people with AIDS patients receive adequate care, he said. “It’s enough to realize that the majority (of AIDS patients) in Africa live on a dollar a day and cannot afford any treatment. Therefore, it’s necessary to reach the essential goal of no-cost drugs,” he said. Msgr. Mupendawatu said the church’s insistence that education in responsible sexuality be part of any anti-AIDS strategy has found appreciation in scientific circles. The church’s position is that effective prevention of AIDS must include the abandonment of high-risk behavior and the adoption of a “balanced sexuality” based on premarital chastity and marital fidelity, he said. He noted that Pope Benedict XVI’s monthly prayer intention for July evoked the church’s commitment to AIDS sufferers: “That Christians may ease the physical and spiritual sufferings of those who are sick with AIDS, especially in the poorest countries.” (CNS)
Tribal women leaders give PNoy a failing mark Talks boost youth groups’
KORONADAL City, July 27, 2011―Indigenous women leaders gave President Benigno Aquino III a failing grade for his failure to deliver on promises made during the presidential campaign period and his first state of the nation address (SONA). At least 45 tribal women leaders representing 19 tribes and sub-tribes across the country gathered on July 23-24 at the Christ the King Retreat Center in Koronadal City to share with one another their thoughts and reflections regarding their life conditions under the PNoy administration. Aquino’s high popularity among the people partly due to his pedigree and people’s disenchantment of the previous government because of allegations of corruption, also led to high expectations from those who supported him that fundamental changes would occur once he is in power. But many people, including the IP women leaders expressed disappointment that one year into office, the Aquino administration appears to have no clear road map to guide its actions. Judy A. Pasimio, an NGO leader and organizer of the tribal gathering said that being at the forefront of struggles they have always dreamt of positive changes in the country every time a new administration sits in office. “In his speech in 2010, PNOY said ‘Ngayon, pwede na tayong mangarap.’ (We can now dream.) As women who are in the forefront of struggles, we have always kept our dreams. The more critical question is – do we have an ally in PNOY in moving closer to the fulfilment of our dreams?” Pasimio, who is also an officer of Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center (LRC-Ksk/Friends of the EarthPhils.), asked. Vital issues The women leaders also expressed MANILA, July 29, 2011—The youth are hungry for information about themselves and about vital issues of the day—this much was evident based on requests received by Filipinos for Life to deliver talks on the Reproductive Health (RH) bill at a school and to an audience composed of high schoolers. Some 150 students from various campus organizations of AMA East Rizal gathered for a symposium on the House Bill 4244, dubbed “RH Bill Awareness.” In a three-hour presentation, Dr. Melissa Poblete and Dr. Abraham Cruz tackled key portions of the bill and explained relevant medical studies to help the students understand the repercussions of allowing the measure to be enacted into law. Poblete, also a board member of Pro-Life Philippines, pointed out seemingly harmless sections of the P3 billion piece of legislation but devoted much time to tackle provisions that ought to be rejected and which the doctor referred to as coercive, anti-poor and anti-life. Armed with documented medical research, she presented how oral contraceptive pills—the procurement and distribution of which are mandated by the RH bill—are actually carcinogenic, specifically linked to an increase risk of breast cancer. “It is unethical for a medical professional not to disclose these medical facts,” Poblete said. She also pointed out to the students that these birth control pills as well as other contraceptive drugs and devices, are being pushed to
understanding of RH issues
be categorized as “essential medicines” under the law via the bill authored by Albay Representative Edcel Lagman. After the speaker’s presentation, the question about abortion being considered a “necessity” in some cases came up as a student queried, “Ano po ba ang masasabi ninyo sa aborsyon na isang option kung ang sitwasyon ay dapat papiliin, ina o sanggol?” “If a treatment should be applied on the mother, and the baby dies [as a result of] the treatment, that is unintentional. It is different from intentionally killing the baby,” Poblete replied. “It’s a matter of ethics that the life of the baby should be considered as well.” The youth parishioners of San Pablo Apostol in Tondo, on the other hand, were reminded about the importance of embracing chastity and keeping relationships pure, as Filipinos for Life founder Anthony James Perez provided a brief overture before nurse trainer Anna Cosio launched into a simple but informative talk on the medical aspects of the RH bill. The high school juniors and seniors of the parish were visibly fascinated by the knowledge they acquired through the talk even after the speakers bade them goodbye for the night. The forum was preceded by a Eucharistic celebration led by San Pablo Apostol parish priest Fr. Ricky Cabugsa FdCC, followed by a short musical performance by youth parishioners. (Raymond Bandril)
frustration on the government’s failure to address poverty and the fundamental issue of human rights. Keynote speaker Beverly Longid of Katribu Partylist explained that “food on the table and other basic needs are among the main concerns of most indigenous women, and PNoy failed to address these basic problems one year after his assumption to power.” She criticized PNoy’s 4P’s (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program), saying the program “perpetuate discrimination of indigenous women”, as well as “becoming another source of corruption among officials.” T’boli leader Amihan Ambag echoed the same sentiment saying that PNoy “failed to stop the continuing increase of prices of goods, oil, rice and [their] other daily needs.” The group lamented that they have yet to gain rightful ownership of their ancestral domain even as they noted that the government is not extending any help so they can develop their lands. Aquino also failed to stop militarization in the country sides which resulted in various cases of human rights violations, the group said. A ray of hope But with the appointment of a new chair in the National Commission for
Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) the women leaders expressed hope that some positive changes will happen in due time. NCIP chair Bridgettte Hamada, is an Ifugao and has been in the vanguard of struggle for the protection of IP rights. The Commission on Human Rights, which is headed by Etta Rosales, is also likely to “act on issues raised by indigenous communities, especially of women who are discriminated and threatened both as an indigenous people and as woman.” The group also expressed the desire to get involved and make their voice heard in the current peace negotiations between the government and rebels. “We hope that the peace talks will not just solve these political problems but also address the very issue of the lack of basic social services provided in far-flung areas. We reaffirmed in the sessions that basic needs such as food, education and health needs are not delivered in the poorest of the poor communities,” they said. The National Gathering of Indigenous Peoples had the theme “IP women weaving desires together, forging collective strength towards solidarity and genuine changes.” Proceedings of the two-day gathering will be put together into an IP women agenda and will be given to relevant agencies both at the national and local level. (CBCPNews)
Miriam’s theological tirade
Vol. 15 No. 16
August 1 - 14, 2011
IT was not easy to ignore the thesis of Sen. Miriam Santiago’s speech in co-sponsoring, after Sen. Pia Cayetano, the highly toxic population control cum reproductive health (RH) bill on the Senate floor on Monday. She made a great effort to present it as a dissertation on Catholic theology, titling it, “Primary of Conscience in Catholic Theology,” and signing it not as Senator, her rightful official title, but as “Doctor of Juridical Science, Master of Arts in Religious Studies, (cand.), which may not be relevant at all. Senators not sufficiently intimidated by the lady’s known facility with pejorative phrases were probably expected to see that as a challenge “to debate and perish.” And she may have instantly succeeded, not because they fear her purported debating prowess, but only because most of them may have come to believe, and correctly so, that any attempt to convince the Catholic Church to change her teaching on contraception and sterilization is extraneous to the official business or competence of the State or the Senate. The popular debate on the RH bill has not at all been wellframed, but Catholic opposition to it must be put in correct perspective, even at this late stage. The Church teaches in Humanae Vitae, and other papal documents, that contraception is intrinsically evil. The Church does not expect the State to act as the enforcer of that teaching, so she is not asking for a law that would prohibit contraception and sterilization, which are currently widely practiced by women and men belonging to different faith communities.
Illustration by Bladimer Usi
But the Church does not expect the State to disrespect her moral teaching and attack it directly through an official program of contraception and sterilization, to be funded mostly by Catholic taxpayers. That would be tantamount to the State telling Catholics, “Listen to me, don’t listen to what your Church is saying.” That would constitute a grave moral and constitutional mischief. Santiago’s thesis dances away from this issue altogether. It focuses on the “right” of Catholics to deviate from Church teaching, by invoking “freedom of conscience.” She quotes a number of encyclicals from Populorum Progressio to Veritatis Splendor to show “the primacy of conscience.” And then she proceeds to declare that one can and should support the RH bill as a matter of conscience. We could turn to Pope Benedict XVI on this. This is what he says: “It is, of course, undisputed that one must follow a certain conscience, or at least not act against it. But whether the judgment of conscience, or what one takes to be such, is always right—indeed, whether it is infallible—is another question. For if this were the case, it would mean that there is no truth—at least not in moral and religious matters, which is to say, in the areas that constitute the very pillars of our existence. For judgments of conscience can contradict each other. Thus there could be, at best, the subject’s own truth…” Objective truth would then disappear. Conscience, to be certain and true, must be based on truth―the whole truth about God and man. This is where the teaching of the Church comes from. It cannot be based on consensus or prevailing opinions. But the question before the Senate is not theological but constitutional. It is not whether all Catholics are willing and able to follow the teaching of the Church on contraception, but whether the State has the right or the duty to control the conjugal lives of its citizens. It is whether the State can simultaneously act as the protector of conception under the Constitution and the preventer of conception under the RH bill.
Bp. Leonardo Y. Medroso, JCD, DD
IT is sad to observe how the unfolding of the public discussions and formal debates of the RH Bill has degenerated into personal attacks, unprintable verbal assaults, and wanton mudslinging unheard-of in civilized society. Religious and cultural sensibilities have with abandon been disregarded and ignored, the fine things in life as painting, poetry, and music used to hurl disdainful attacks at the very core of the faith of Christians. A defense of the faith, a sort of an ‘apologia’, is in order. Meantime, in the midst of all these negative incidents, a group of Catholic lay faithful came up with a rally of its own, the smile rally. It was meant to bring across Metro Manila the pro-life message, that is, to proclaim this message of life with a smile. Life after all brings with it joy, a message of
Message of joy and the RH Bill
living beings included, through mere evolutionary process. The reasonableness of faith in creation tells us that everything is ultimately dependent on the mind of God the Creator. He holds history and all peoples in His hands, the Creator of all things, the source of power, the God who provides. It is this faith in God the Creator that gives man the confidence that there is Someone who freely produced him out of sheer love. It also gives him the courage to face up life’s challenges and to take upon himself the great adventure of life, for God loves him first. Realization of the great truth that we come from God, that the universe is the product of his freedom, his knowledge, and his love, empowers man to relate with others with respect and poise, trust the other
Tidbits / A5
hope, an assurance of continuity, a message of vitality. Smile is the faint response to that invitation to the call to accept life and to uphold it. The pro-life group actually just echoes the stand made by the Catholic Church which with much confidence proclaims the Gospel of life no matter the objections of the RH Bill proponents. It is first of all based on the Church profession of faith in God as Creator. It is a belief that may not originally be its own, but inherited from the faith of the chosen people of God, the Israelites. It is the ground for its solid adherence to the respect and preservation of life. This credo immediately tells us who God is and who we are. The world is not a product of mere chance nor can it be reasonably explained by the big bang theory that proposes the existence of all things,
The Family-in-Mission: Announcing the Good News
IF the very nature of the Christian family is “good news,” everything about its mission is also Good News. As the domestic Church the family is always a family-in-mission. Like the whole Church the family is sent to announce the Good News of Jesus Christ to every strata of society and to every dimension of life, social, political, economic, and cultural. If, indeed, the Gospel of the Lord is summed up in the commandment of love, then it is the family’s “mission to guard, reveal and communicate love” (FC, no. 17). The first task of the family is to form itself into a community of love, love between husband and wife, love between parents and children. Marital love must reflect the divine “unconditional steadfastness with which God loves his people” (FC, no. 20). Because its source is God, the marriage bond cannot be morally broken by anyone, as the Scriptures say, despite the many, sometimes extreme, difficulties of married living. This is the fundamental reason that we must reject legislative proposals for absolute divorce. We must assist troubled marriages and strengthen the marital bond, but we have no authority to put it asunder. The second task of the family is to serve life. Husband and wife cooperate with God in “transmitting by cooperation the divine image from person to person” (FC, no. 28). This is why we reject abortion and the premises of the population control program of government as well as it contraceptive mentality. Yet we must reiterate what we have already taught. Parents “should strive to beget only those children whom they can raise up in a human way. They need to plan their families according to the moral norms taught by the Church” (PCP-II, no. 583). The other tasks of the family-in-mission are to help renew society and the Church. When parents as the first teachers of their children form in their children the values of Christ, they sow the seed of renewal for the entire society. Respect, justice, dialogue and love (see FC, no. 43) are characteristics of the family centered in Christ. By sharing these Gospel values with the wider society through authentic witnessing, the Christian family renews society from within. - The Christian Family: Good News for the Third Millennium, 2002
‘Iba talaga ang may ina’
HAVE I told you the story of Donna? This is a case of sex trafficking. Donna, 13 years, old, second year high school, was waiting for a jeep one evening in a park in Tondo when a man and a woman grabbed her, took her to a small rented room where they were staying as a live-in couple, had her change into sexy clothes then took her to a man who was waiting in another street corner. According to Donna, that man paid P400 to the couple, dragged her to a cheap hotel, then forced her into sex. That was her first tragic and painful and fearful experience of what should have been a beautiful bonding between husband and wife. That incident was followed by eight more. For the next five days and nights, the couple had a man use her, charging each of them P400 each. Of course, she never got a centavo. There were days when the couple would have her sniff drugs to quiet her down as they said she should not be crying when they brought her to a man. He would always hold a knife at her side while they are walking in the streets so she will not run away. She thought it was the end of the world for her and that no one would ever save her. In the meantime, her mother was desperately looking for her. She inquired around, asked the vendors, and finally was directed to go to a park where she was told the pimps stay around. Sure enough, one night, she saw her own daughter accompanied by a man and a woman. She ran up to them, grabbed Donna and hit the man with her umbrella. They ran quickly to a police station where her cousin was assigned. He lost no time in accompanying them to the room of the couple at eleven o’clock that night. As soon as he forced the door open, the man, who
Sr. Mary Pilar Verzosa, RGS
keeps his knife under his pillow, sprung up and slashed the left arm of the policeman. In turn, the policeman shot him fatally. The other policeman who was with him placed handcuffs immediately on his wife and took her to the station. Donna was taken to the Child Protection Unit in Philippine General Hospital who then referred her to Welcome House. The case of Child Sex Trafficking was filed against the woman-pimp. Court hearings are on-going. In a couple of weeks, she will definitely be sentenced, transferred from detention and put in jail. Donna is a lovely, bubbly teen-ager. In spite of the tragedy she underwent, she was able to integrate well with the other girls in the shelter. She faithfully took the antibiotics to cure the multiple sexually-transmitted infections the different men had given her. She was also prescribed HPV vaccines to prevent genital warts and possible cervical cancer in the future. Each vial costs P5,000 and she needed to be vaccinated three times at one month intervals. What made Donna rise above her tragic experience? She had very supportive parents, never once condemning or scolding her for what had happened. Her mother always came to accompany her to PGH for interview with the social workers, the psychiatrists and fiscal. She would be there for the court hearings, photocopy the many pages of court proceedings that Donna had to review well in order to be able to respond credibly against the prosecutor’s mean interrogations. Her mom would buy whatever medicines were prescribed with the money she earned as banana cue vendor. She would bring along the younger siblings of Donna to visit her in the shelter so that
Love Life / A7
Atty. Jo Imbong
WITH young yuppies as audiences in my talks, I would flash onscreen the usual still photo of a wedding kiss. I then ask them to sing a hit love song that captures the depth of young love. “You are the sunshine of my life . . . ♪ That’s why I’ll always be around . . . ♪ You are the apple of my eye . . . ♪ Forever you’ll stay in my hea – a- r- t . . . ♪.” The hall echoes in breathless melody. After those lines, I ask the audience to sing it again, this time while flashing onscreen the same bride and groom locked in a kiss, but with their heads masked so that they do not see each other’s faces. Surprise: the hall becomes quiet. There is no music. Just eyes transfixed at the screen. One solitary voice begins the first line, but hesitates and breaks into an embarrassed silence. I have always loved that silence! I love it because it redeems the audience. It tells me that the audience knows love cannot be anonymous. It tells me they know that love is centered on one identifiable, unique and special loved other, that it has no if’s, no
and the equinox! This is what is the matter with us. We are bleeding at the roots, because we are cut off from the earth and sun and stars, and love is a grinning mockery, because, poor blossom, we plucked it from its stem on the tree of Life, and expected it to keep on blooming in our civilized vase on the table.” The latter is what I want to call RH-based love. It will never grow. Because it is fake love. For “we are many-leveled beings; and the love which is spoken with the whole being includes all the levels”—good times, less than good times, all the joys and lows of child bearing and child rearing, all the tiers of tears—but of happiness mostly. That is why we call it life with an exclamation point! It wouldn’t be worthwhile otherwise. I run out of words for this mysterium tremendum. But let me try, with the help of Fr. Gerald Vann, O.P.: “ ‘With my body I thee worship’: not ‘My body worships thy body’—which is isolated pleasure-seeking;
Pro Bono / A5
Pedro C. Quitorio
Ronalyn R. Regino
Pinky Barrientos, FSP
Roy Q. Lagarde
Ernani M. Ramos
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
calculations, no underlying alter agenda There is, after all what masquerades as love—contracepted-love, which is also pleasure-love, vanity-love, expedient love. In pleasure-love, pleasure rules. Vanity enslaves the fake lover who always wants to score in expediency. But true love is “going out from oneself” (amor trahit amantem extra se) to the loved other, much like God himself going out of Himself for the good thief. It gives you Heaven, and clasping Heaven, there is nothing more to desire. But pleasure-love intoxicates the self with itself. Being false, its desire is “bottomless”, it is never sated. It consumes the fake lover who drowns in his own bottomless fall. A contemplative Dominican wrote about it many years back in words bristling in their subtlety: “Oh, what a catastrophe, what a maiming of love when it was made merely personal feeling, taken away from the rising and setting of the sun, and cut off from the magic connection of the solstice
Vol. 15 No. 16
August 1 - 14, 2011
to call attention to his work or to himself (as many artists do) but it could also be his veiled but desperate call for help to understand what the Church teaches. He is a product of poor catechesis, to say the least. So is Celdran. So are the so-called Filipino Free Thinkers. So there. It comes back to us who believe we know better. Do we know better, really? How are we communicating God to our churchgoers? To unbelievers? To “infidels”? If we see nothing amiss with our witness, then let us prepare to see more Mideo Cruzes rising from our present crop of kindergarteners. That’s all I can say, as I imagine Jesus writing in the sand. Shalom!” Another instance when my comment was sought involved an article written by Teodoro Locsin, Jr. titled “Damn the bishops for taking it lying down”. The piece extolled Senator Miriam Santiago who at the Senate hearing with the bishops “did what the pathetic bishops had failed to do for themselves, for their Church, and for her dismayed children”. Allow me to share excerpts from the 1,604-word article: “This shame cannot be wiped away until the Church pays back the government in the same coin it was dealt at the Senate. If it doesn’t go on the attack in every pulpit in the land, then should all true Catholics turn their backs on this ridiculous, faithless and timid religion… God damn the bishops for their timidity and abjectness… may they all go to hell for shaming our religion. In this scandal of lies, the government knocked the crown of glory from the head of the Church; if our bishops will stoop only to bow to their traducers rather than retrieve it, then every right thinking Catholic should pick it up from the gutter and shove it down the throat of the government.” All I could say to the persons who asked for my comment was,
And That’s The Truth / A7
Fr. Roy Cimagala
Teresa R. Tunay, OCDS
…and that’s the truth
WHAT would you say if you were asked for comment on these occasions? Last July 23, I got three emails from friends. One reacted to a TV coverage of an art exhibit at the CCP where the artist reportedly “disfigured the image of Christ… with obscenities”. Another suggested that the exhibit be stopped. The third one enclosed the video coverage of the contentious exhibit. Coming on the heels of the media-bloated Pajero-bishops brouhaha, this CCP thing understandably infuriated many devout Catholics like my friends who were rallying others to denounce the Church-bashers. I emailed them my take on it: “I’d leave it to others to ‘do something about it’. As far as I see it, this particular piece is not art; it is graffiti. Art elevates the soul; graffiti regurgitates all the dirt the artist has swallowed from his environment. Based on what the artist Mideo Cruz says in the TV interview, it seems his purpose for creating that piece is NOT to elevate the soul but to shock viewers. He doesn’t shock me. Nothing anyone can do to disfigure an image of Christ can change THE image of Christ He Himself has revealed to me. Neither can it arouse my indignation towards the vandal. As an artist, he’s free to express himself. And those who are offended by his act are free to hit him. Let’s hope he learns that he has brought it upon himself due to his less than noble intention. As for the alleged threats to the artist’s life on account of that work, I wouldn’t bite that naively. For all we know it’s coming from anti-Church folks, done purposely to make the Church look bad, and knowing media would pick it up. You know how such scandal mongers media can be. A true follower of Christ will never do that (threaten etc...) I don’t know Mideo Cruz from Adam but judging from the handful of his works I have seen online, I think he wants
Candidly Speaking The bully pulpit
THIS expression became famous when first used by US President Theodore Roosevelt. Initially, it had a positive meaning, as it simply meant a terrific platform from which to advocate an agenda. But now, it refers more to the undue advantage one can have because of his position, office or work to rally support for a particular view. I suppose it has reference to the church’s elevated stand, now hardly used, where priests preach at Mass. Obviously when priests abuse that function of preaching the word of God, and prefer to be demagogues or political partisans instead of being prophetic priests faithful to their mission, turning their homilies into harangues, complete with scolding and lecturing tones, they convert the pulpit into a bully. But the expression is now more associated with public officials, politicians, media people, public relations practitioners, big businessmen, celebrities, ideologues of the left and of the right, advocacy and cause-oriented groups. Not that these people are no good. They are necessary and relevant—in varying degrees, of course—in any society. But because of their money, power, privileges, connections, clout, etc., plus the pressures and challenges of their position, they can easily get intoxicated and trigger a mechanism that arouses their hatred, greed, lust, envy, or pure malice and lack of faith in God and a generalized skepticism toward everything and everyone, drowning in their own cynicism. They can finance demolition jobs, organize rallies and stage demonstrations, pay columnists and radio block timers, hire public relations outfits to build or destroy reputations. They can sow intrigues, plant moles in different places, do espionage and intelligence work. They can actually do anything just to achieve their evil ends. With the thinnest of basis like mere gossips and rumors, they can launch into an open, frontal attack on persons and institutions, generating a feeding frenzy and lynching mentality on their victims, not giving them the benefit of the doubt nor allowance to explain themselves. They make gratuitous comments, hardly supported by any trace of R & D (research and development), often transmitting them recklessly and with impunity. They like absolutizing their opinions. Their targets are automatically branded as guilty and the vilest of men, attaching to them the worst of motives. It’s good that we are aware of this phenomenon, so that we can be duly protected from the subtle twists and spins, the growing misinformation and disinformation that some people throw around to defend their self-interests at the expense of truth, justice and the common good. We cannot be naïve and passive every time we consider the views and opinions of people. At this time, we need to be extra discerning and even critical in the analytic sense, because it is beyond doubt that many forces are at play and a good number of them are on the sly. vTake, for example, the case of the global warming alarmists and the demolition job of the so-called “Pajero bishops.” In spite of the clarifications and corrections of some of their claims, they continue to rationalize their own positions and attribute bad intentions on those who disagree with them, even if these are already authorities and experts. Lately, the global warming alarmists have been corrected on their data about heat unable to escape the earth atmosphere and polar bears drowning in the North Pole supposedly because of massive melting of ice. In spite of contradicting data, they persist in their alarmism without offering counter-proofs. Regarding the “Pajero bishops,” some opinion-makers are impugning certain people who are trying to help bishops by initiating a fund campaign for the bishops. These commentators suspect the move is purely political. I suppose they only see what they want to see or the tricks that they themselves play. We have to examine ourselves and see to it that our integrity is intact and ever strengthened, grounded always on God and not just on us. Always a dynamic affair, it involves daily struggles against temptations and pressures. This is the indispensable element to assure objectivity and fairness in our judgments and pronouncements. We also need to cultivate the appropriate attitudes and skills to undertake a healthy dialogue and fruitful debate on issues—open-mindedness, courtesy, ability to listen and understand the positions of others, even if they are contradictory to ours, etc. These days, we have to be most aware of the need to have an interdisciplinary approach to the issues, giving special attention to the moral and spiritual aspects, and not just to the economic, political or social side.
Tidbits / A4
Are we emergencyready?
LOS ANGELES, California. The months of June to November are the rainiest and stormiest weather in the Philippines. Unlike in the past decades, one hour of continuous rains nowadays always result to heavy inundation, floods, landslides and mudslides not only in Metro Manila but also in the provinces. The worst flood that was experienced by the residents of Metro Manila was during Typhoon Ondoy. Many people drowned, several homes, high buildings and vehicles were damaged and destroyed by the flood. In the North, farms, roads and bridges were damaged by Typhoon Pepeng, not to mention lots of lives that were lost. The Philippines is always hit by typhoons during these months, but always, everybody is caught unaware, not ready, not prepared. Is it not about time that both the government and the citizenry take action and work together to be emergencyready? Recently, heavy flooding damaged many properties in Cotabato, Davao City, Central and Eastern Luzon, mudslide and landslides in Ormoc and other Visayan provinces as well as Northern Luzon. *** During Typhoon Ondoy, I received several calls from relatives and friends asking if we also experienced the heavy floods which residents of other towns and cities suffered. Their concern did not surprise me because even during sunny weather, Navotas and Malabon are always under water due to high tide, so what more of the heavy rains brought by Ondoy. Geographically, Navotas is bounded in the West by Manila Bay and on the East by NavotasMalabon River. It is like having Venice in
Atty. Aurora A. Santiago
Duc in Altum
Northern Luzon where the Bishops had given up the heavy duty vehicles. How do they now reach out to our countrymen in the far-flung places, where they have to pass through dirt roads, cross rivers because there are no bridges? What happened to the pork barrel given to the congressmen in their areas? Will there be Senate or House public hearing where those public funds go? Unthinkable? Who knows, it might be done! *** With deep sorrow, we would like to extend our condolences to the family of Lady Cely Antonio, a Papal Awardee from the Diocese of Kalookan, being a recipient of Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Award. Lady Cely served as member of the Special Ministry of the Word at Sacred Heart Parish in Morning Breeze, Caloocan City. At the time of her death, she was the Secretary of the Diocese of Kalookan Papal Family and the Sangguniang Laiko ng Kalookan. She was formerly a professor from the University of the Philippines’ College of Anthropology. To you Lady Cely, no more pains in the company of our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless and God speed! We will really miss you! *** Happy Birthday to two of the outstanding officers-trustees of Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas: Bro. Manuel Recto, Vice President for Ecclesiastical Province of Manila and officer of Buklod ng Pagibig, and Sis. Julieta “Maritz” Wasan, Secretary and an active officer of Pro-Life Philippines. Happy Birthday also to Rev. Fr. Ronaldo “Boyet” Pedroso and Rev. Fr. Joel Sabijon, both of the Diocese of Kalookan.
Metro Manila. Except for the very low lying areas, Navotas was very fortunate not to suffer heavy floods brought by Typhoon Ondoy; it is the only place in Metro Manila which was not so flooded. We thank God that at that time, high tide was in the morning and the heavy rains came after lunch. We also give credit to our local government officials, headed by our then Mayor and now Congressman Toby Tiangco. Before the onset of the rainy season, canals and drainage are cleaned, the “bombastic” pumps are ready and operational (these are the equipment which pump out flood water onto the river. Operation Disiplina is enforced, where residents are prohibited from taking out their garbage unless it is time for the garbage trucks to pick them up, which is three times a week. Lately, flood control was constructed in Navotas where flood gates are pulled down during high tide so that sea water will not flow inland, and when the sea water receded, flood gates are pulled up. *** When Typhoon Juaning and Kabayan struck the country last week, why is the country still not prepared when we expect typhoons to come during these months? In California, all government offices require their employees to take seminars on emergency-preparedness, thus, they will be the ones to reach out to those who are in need during calamities. Both the national and local government can also require their employees to attend seminars on emergency preparedness. If others can, why can we not? I cannot help but think about the areas in Mindanao and
Fr. Carmelo O. Diola
Spaces of Hope
PERHAPS by the time this article sees print, my friend Sam would have taken the first steps towards running the entire stretch of the 2888 kilometer Maharlika Highway, beginning with the launch on 8 August 2011 in Laoag City, traversing through Eastern Visayas, and ending in Zamboanga City eight months later. And I would be accompanying him. The long run between two unlikely friends, dependent on the hospitality of acquaintances and even strangers, is meant to highlight the nobility of character (“Maharlika”) of the Filipino and symbolize the singularity of vision to achieve unity. The event has the potential to unite people with the symbolism of connecting the whole nation with treads (i.e. running steps) across the breadth and scope of the Philippine archipelago. Sam and I will try to keep in step with each other even as we offer ourselves to be purified by God and to call on individuals and groups to sacrifice, and to live and lead by the basics of prayer, fitness, and citizenship. The run also calls on Filipinos to pray for the nation. ***** Samson Ramos Tucay is a retired PNP Chief Superintendent, a general. I first met him when he was still a full colonel in 2004 to plan out a national consultation on narcopolitics in Cebu City. He had been sent by the PNP. I still recall my initial mixed feelings upon meeting him one afternoon. After all, I had stereotyped images of police officers and academy graduates. But I was willing to suspend my judgments. Unknown to me, Senior Supt. Tucay was also eyeing the priest from Cebu to see whether he was for real or just a flash in the pan. My friend is a 1978 graduate of the Philippine Military Academy and I had begun my professional life as a graduate of the University of the Philippines at Los Baños in 1979. He was born in Nueva Viscaya to a farming family while I hail from Cebu. He is second to the youngest of four siblings and is the only boy. I am the oldest of eight where only two are girls. His diminutive figure belies a man with true grit tested many times in battle. My battles have mostly been in the hidden recesses of the human heart. The national consultation on narcopolitics went well. It was also the start of a journey between Sam – whom I now call “Kuya Sam” – and me. One could also add: between a man in uniform and that of the cloth. We were exchanging places. ***** Kuya Sam’s passion is running. He has been doing this for more than 30 years. In both active and retired capacities, he has gone around the whole country advocating running for fun and
transformation. He founded the Subic International Marathon, co-founded the “Camp Run Series” and the Runners Confederation of the Philippines. “Running,” Sam says is “fun, easy, cheap – and it works!” Unlike other sports that require many peripherals, running only requires a pair of running shoes. Some even promote barefoot running. Kuya Sam goes on to note that while making his rounds with various running groups and events all over the country, he has had the chance to do informal surveys with runners. One survey reveals that running and illegal drugs do not mix. He also found out that many runners go home early since most jog early in the morning. This gives them more time with their families. In addition, many positive and even life-changing ideas and decisions are made with others during a run. I speak from experience. Running has become a fad in the Philippines today. I sense though that this is not just about fitness but about the Filipino spirit yearning to break free from the many shackles that hinder its expression and growth. Yes, it is fun, easy, and cheap – and it works! ***** I used to jog in college as required in the ROTC but it never entered my system. As a seminarian and then as a priest, I must confess giving in to a subtle thinking that opposes the body with the spirit. As one seminarian told me when I first taught in the seminary: “Father, your problem is that your head is bigger than your heart.” Later one could have even added: “And your tummy is more prominent than your smile.” By 2004 I was a closet couch potato and by early 2008 there were days when I could walk only with great difficulty using a cane due to a very painful case of gout. That the disease was identified with royalty was no comfort at all. The Biblical understanding of the human person as being a body not just possessing one ― a being in the world communicating with other human beings through the body ― became all too real for me. My dysfunctional bodily self affected my relationship with others. Bodily toxins translated themselves into toxic feelings and even words. And medicine for gout is not exactly cheap. In the middle of 2008, I finally gave in to a three-day detoxification process involving the eating only of fruits and vegetables, which was suggested to me by Sam. Then someone suggested starting the day with five glasses of lukewarm water, about 1.5 liters. Then I began to alternate brisk walking with running. It was good to feel alive once more!
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without inhibition, and love as human beings without fear what the future would bring. As Benedict the XVI aptly put it: “God is the Lord of all things because he is their Creator, and only therefore can we pray to him. For this means that freedom and love are not ineffectual ideas but rather that they are sustaining forces of reality” (Ratzinger, ‘In the Beginning,’ p. 18). Faith in creation is reasonable. The argument that the existence of order, harmony, and beauty of the universe demands and calls for the existence of a creative Mind and Reason that causes the existence of the former may not be a conclusive one for modern thinkers due to some shortcomings, but creation is still a better alternative. As Benedict XVI argued that today, as in the time of Aristotle, the reasonableness of the universe provides us with access to God’s Reason: ‘God himself shines through the reasonableness of his creation’ and ‘in the
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Bible is and continues to be true enlightenment which has given the world to human reason and not to exploitation by human beings, because it opened reason to God’s truth and love’ (cf. Ibid., p. 17). For those who believe in God’s intervention in the world, they may look into the creation story in the Book of Genesis. For Christians, however, the normative scriptural account is John’s Gospel that says: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God, and the Word was God... All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made” (1: 1,3). God is a Creator. Man is a creature. The pro-life group in its campaign to spread out smile to all is actually proclaiming that profound reality of the Catholic Faith on life. Life comes from God; it has to be respected; it has to be celebrated; it has to be greeted with a smile.
not ‘I worship thee’—the ideal projection of a fantasy figure; not ‘With my body I seize thee, subjugate thee, possess thee’—which is the lust for power that can be stronger even than the lust for lust; but ‘With my body I worship thee’: I approach thee with wonder and awe and tenderness and humility, for ‘Thou’ is a mystery, and love is a mystery; and it is thee I worship with my body, the real person, this human being with faults and weaknesses, poverties and needs; and so here, and there, and again I will try to say ‘Not my will but thy will be done’.” Readers’ thoughts are welcome at email@example.com.
Archbishop Antonio Ledesma
Vol. 15 No. 16
August 1 - 14, 2011
IP group, supporters call for congressional inquiry into killings of lumad leaders
THE leaders of an indigenous peoples’ group and a representative of an alternative legal group fighting for the protection of the rights of marginalized people in Mindanao have called for a congressional inquiry into the unsolved murders of lumad leaders in Southern Philippines. Lawyer Jarley D. Trujillo of the Union of People’s Lawyers in Mindanao (UPLM) and Jomorito “Datu Inbanwag” Goaynon of the Higaonon tribe in Bukidnon urged congressmen to conduct an investigation into the high-profile killings of various datus (chieftains/leaders) of lumad groups in Mindanao which up to now has remained unsolved. The call came at the heels of the killing of Arpe “Datu Lapugotan” Belayong last June 30 by members of the paramilitary group Salakawan, led by a certain Laging Binsalan. Also killed on that fateful morning was his nephew Sulte San-ogan, when Binsalan’s group opened fire indiscriminately on the victims’ kubo in Mt. Manalog in Calabuan, Esperanza, Agusan del Sur. Injured were Belayong’s children aged 14 and four. In 2009, Belayong’s elder brother, Datu Mampaagi Belayong was also killed by members of the paramilitary groups Task Force Gantangan-Bagani Force and
The high profile murders of IP leaders in Mindanao which has remain unsolved up to now has prompted leaders of Higaonon tribe to call for a congressional inquiry. The latest victim, Arpe “Datu Lapugotan” Belayong and his brother were allegedly killed due to their opposition to mining activities within their ancestral lands.
the Bungkatol Liberation Front. Both Belayongs were killed due to their opposition to the mining activities within their ancestral land, said Goaynon, chairperson of the Kalumbay Regional Lumad Organization, which counts as members hundreds of lumad peoples irregardless of tribe from the provinces of Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon, Agusan del Sur and Agusan del Norte and even from the Davao provinces. Goaynon said that the principal suspect in the killings is former Mayor Deo Mambatilan of Esperanza, Agusan del Sur. Mambatilan is the uncle of
Goaynon by law as the former is married to the latter’s aunt. Datu Lapugotan’s wife, Mayse Belayong, alleged that Mambatilan had her husband killed because of his refusal to sign the document claiming 170,000 hectares in Esperanza as ancestral domain/ancestral land. “He is a true Higaonon but the people do not recognized him as their datu because he became a datu only through the government, which bestowed on him that title,” Goaynon said, adding that the Higaonon people of Esperanza recognized only one datu, Datu Mam-
paagi and subsequently his brother, Datu Lapugotan. “Because the brothers will not sign the document and the people do not recognized him as a consequence, he had them killed using paramilitary groups to sow fear among the people and drive them away from their ancestral land,” he added. Trujillo lamented that the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) has not raised a protest for the killings nor filed a single case against the suspect despite the high-profile killings of lumad leaders in the Caraga
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Region in the past several years. “It really is an inutile agency,” she said. “The killing of the lumad leaders in Mindanao is just a microcosm of what is happening to the lumads all over the Philippines,” she added. Because of this, Trujillo said, they have no other recourse but to ask for Congress’ intervention. On August 6, lumad peoples from Mindanao will protest before Congress to demand investigations into the killings. The younger Belayong’s murder last June 30 was sixth since 2005, said Goaynon. According to the Kalumbay leader, those killed since 2005 were Datu Manlugoyan, a Talaandig datu in San Luis, Agusan del Sur; Avelino “Datu Mansubaybay” Badbaran of San Luis, Agusan del Sur; Datu Mampaagi Belayong of Esperanza, Agusan del Sur; Datu Alvie Benangkasan of Gingoog City and Datu Pinakilid of Las Nievesm Agusan del Norte. Not listed in Kalumbay’s list of murdered lumad leaders is Datu Berting Pinagawa of Gingoog City, who was gunned down for fighting against the illegal logging activities in his ancestral domain by a logging company in 2009. (Bong D. Fabe)
Pagadian first anti-RH rally draws 8,000
AS an answer to the obstacles being posed by pro-RH goverment officials which prevent a culture of life from flourishing in the country, the bishop, clergy and lay people of Pagadian diocese with Human Life International (HLI) Pilipinas organized the first Pro-Life and Anti-RH Prayer Rally in the city on July 30. An estimated 8,000 pro-life rallyists trooped to the city’s public plaza to denounce the evils of the Reproductive Health (RH) bill. The event in Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur got going at 7:00 in the morning, starting with Holy Mass at the Santo Niño Cathedral. At exactly 8:30, thousands of placard- and streamer-bearing people—many of them, including students, coming from 24 different parishes—marched around the main streets of the city. Similar to the marchers of the Dipolog pro-life rally just a week before, a huge number of participants came from as far as 160 kilometers away, riding in open cargo trucks just to be able to manifest their desire to be one with the Church in opposing the RH bill. The march was followed by the rally which consisted of four major speakers shedding light on the issues at hand. First was Fr. Rico Sayson, who spoke on the moral and spiritual evils of the bill and why this bill can never be acceptable to the Church. Sayson reminded Catholics never to become traitors to the Church. Next to speak to the crowd was Dr. Rene Josef Bullecer,
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of the Nation Address. “Aquino should prioritize the passage of the FOI bill because that would help in the campaign against corruption in the government,” Arguelles told Church-run Radyo Veritas August 2. For his part, Digos Bishop Guillermo Afable said the passage of the FOI bill would curb anomalies in government transactions and would help improve Aquino’s approval rating. “Aquino should support it to strengthen his campaign anti ‘wangwang’ policy in the government,” Afable said. During his Sona last July 25, Aquino related the policy as a “symbol of change”, as wangwang (the use of sirens in vehicles) signifies abuse of authority over the past years. Palace draft Malacañang, however, said that it remains committed for the passage of the measure, saying that an inter-agency body is crafting its own version of the FOI bill. But advocates said they would not settle for the Aquino administration’s version of the measure which is appearing to be more restrictive. Several FOI bills have been filed in the House of Representatives and advocates said that Aquino’s position on the matter would determine the weight of his supposed anti-corruption drive.
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director of HLI Pilipinas, who discussed the origin of the P3 billion-legislative measure, the anti-life and pro-abortion forces behind it along with the demographic consequences of enacting it into law. Bullecer likewise showed why, based on the 1987 Philippine Constitution, the RH bill is unlawful on many levels. In addition, he enumerated the reasons why the Philippines remained poor despite the imposition of population control in this country as early as 1967 by then President Ferdinand Marcos, who advocated artificial family planning as a remedy to the so-called overpopulation and economic hardships.
He also delved on graft and corruption—which involves nearly all branches and departments of government—as the main cause of the misery and worsening hunger being experienced by the people. Encarnacion Blanchia, former town mayor, was the next to address the crowd, explaining the untold evils of the RH bill, including the destructive effects of contraceptive use on women’s bodies—something to guard against considering that birth control drugs and devices are expected to flood the country in the name of “reproductive health” and “reproductive rights.” A Muslim sultan then spoke to the thousands of rallyists,
explaining why the bill is contrary to the teachings of Islam. He called on the Filipino people to be united and work as one so that the controversial piece of legislation will never be passed in this country. Though unable to show up personally, Pagadian Bishop Emmanuel C. Cabajar, CssR had his prepared message read to the crowd. The bishop urged all Catholics to be good soldiers of Christ, ready to defend the faith, the sacredness of life and the sanctity of marriage, especially now that legislation on divorce and “homosexual rights” are also being filed in both Houses of Congress. (John Luke Evangelista)
the Senate, said that the desire to protect women and children from “unspeakable poverty” is a strong ground for passing the measure. Invoking liberation theology, she said that it revolves around the theory that the message of Jesus Christ is “above all a call to struggle against the social forces of oppression.” In Santiago’s first of her threepart co-sponsorship speech on the RH bill, she said that the proposed law is not against Church’s teachings. “Liberation theology sees Jesus’s message as a call to struggle against the social forces of oppression. The present struggle for an RH Act to protect the health and quality of life of mother and child in the context of unspeakable poverty in the Philippines is part of (this),” she said. Santiago said the Church must take a clear stand against social injustice and under liberation theology the first step to abolish it is to recognize that “the Church
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is tied to the unjust system that oppresses the very poor.” Unfortunately for Santiago, Msgr. Figura could not connect how the RH bill would be able to address these “social forces of oppression”. “I could not see the logic. I am sorry to say that,” he said. “Is RH bill a valid answer? Is it an answer to give solutions as early as possible or is RH bill just a little part, if that what it is, a little part of a bigger solution such as a sincere crusade against graft and corruption, the sincere commitment to distribute the land to whom they should belong, and sincere decision to stop human trafficking,” Figura added. Santiago has decided to divide her speech into three parts, starting with the issue of primacy of conscience in Catholic theology mainly because the Catholic Church has emerged as the biggest stumbling block to the passage of the bill which requires government funding for contraceptives. (CBCPNews)
the Filipino young people are doing, in the website, as it happens. That is the reason why there is a WYD website,” explained Ortigas. Ortigas also said that families and friends of the pilgrims will have first hand information on WYD events in Madrid as they unfold in real time. Even if they are in the Philippines, friends and families of the pilgrims will feel the presence of WYD in Spain here at home through the website, she said. Opportunity to animate co-pilgrims According to Maria Lea Dasigan of the National Secretariat for Youth Apostolate Filipino delegates will have the opportunity to animate co-pilgrims during the celebrations.
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“As for the Philippine delegation, we have special participations such as the animation of a catechetical site, next is the opportunity to animate the Eucharistic Adoration of the overnight vigil with the Pope where three Filipinos are chosen to [seat] near the Pope in WYD stage. The vigil will be on the last day of the celebration,” she said. Dasigan also explained that this World Youth Day celebration is not exclusive to young Catholics but also open to other religions. One of the delegates who will be joining their delegation is a Muslim, she said. Avenue of all WYDs Jan Perlas of the Salt and Light EDSA Shrine Community expressed her gratitude for establishing a website solely intended for
the World Youth Day celebration. Perlas added that the website will be a place where events and activities in Madrid will be well documented as they unfold. “This website is a living testimony of our firm faith, wherein it will be an avenue of the past, present and future World Youth Days and will be the central page of the youth where we can celebrate the WYD,” Perlas also said. The website (www.wydpinoy.com) is a joint initiative of the CBCP Media Office Director Msgr. Pedro Quitorio III and the CBCP-ECY Chairman and Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon and ECY Executive Secretary Fr. Conegundo Garganta. It will be maintained and managed by the YouthPinoy team of 6 journalists. (Jandel Posion/CBCPNews) Both higher officials and the rank and file members of the PNP also pledged help and cooperation for the success of the undertaking. A volunteer nutritionist and a doctor will check Diola and Tucay’s physical condition before and after the run. Expected to join the run are contingents from the marathon crowd, regional and district local groups from the civilian sector, military and police. Everyone who joins the run will be awarded with milestone certificates along the way. Those
revoked HLI’s previous stock distribution plan but directed DAR to facilitate secret voting among the 6,296 qualified farmer-worker beneficiaries on what to choose between land or stocks. The much-awaited court decision, however, did not sit well with the farmers saying that shares of stocks should no longer be an option because inequality will continue to fester. (CBCPNews)
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proved Divorce Bill and making the Philippines the only country in the world where divorce is illegal. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) already made a firm statement indicating their opposition to divorce. The prelates believe that legalwho will complete the entire 2,888 km run will be awarded with grand finishers’ certificates and other incentives. The runners A priest of the Archdiocese of Cebu, Diola is a seminary professor and a dedicated advocate in accompanying youth and public servants in their journeys towards integrity. He is also a part of a team working for the translation of the Bible from the original biblical languages to Cebuano. Tucay, meanwhile, is a multi-
izing the dissolution of marriage will just lead to more broken marriages in the Philippines. “The bishops are entitled to intervene and they did in fact with their declarations. This is their own,” said the Italian Archbishop. (CBCPNews) awarded retired general in the PNP who has been advocating running for fun and transformation. He was instrumental in introducing the non-traditional reformatory training modules for the PNP that led to the establishment of the PNP School for Values and Leadership. Takbo Maharlika is in partnership with PNP and Dilaab Foundation, Inc., a faith-impelled, volunteer-driven, and churchbased movement that seeks to help the nation journey towards integrity through circles of discernment. (CBCPNews)
Dubbed as “Takbo Maharlika Tungo sa Pagkakaisa”, the run will start from Laoag City, Ilocos Norte and end at Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur, covering 31 provinces in the Philippines. Diola and Tucay expect to reach their destination on March 28, 2012. The two will depend much on both friends and strangers on the roads at the duration of their marathon for peace. As they ask for prayers to bolster their advocacy, they also invite people they will meet along the way to join them for short distances whether it is through run-
ning, biking or brisk walking. The runners will be on the road five days a week, and on weekends will make themselves available “for group interaction promoting unity through prayer, fitness, and good citizenship.” According to Diola, the activity will involve providing evangelical formation and pastoral accompaniment to public servants, particularly those in the PNP and elected officials. It will also symbolize the elements needed for national unity. “I am no running priest but just a companion to a public servant
who runs and continues to serve the country by acting as a symbol of the call to sacrifice,” Diola said. The Dilaab Movement, which Diola heads works closely with the PNP in providing values formation program to members of the police force. The initiative of running for peace and transformation came to life while Diola and Tucay were training together. With support and encouragement from religious and sociocivic organizations and members of the PNP, the two went on to prepare for the run of their life.
Vol. 15 No. 16
August 1 - 14, 2011
God’s hand in daily life reiterated at Cebu pro-life rally
CEBU City―It was an occasion to remind people that attempting to disengage God from temporal matters would be futile. God’s inextricability from daily life was the main message at the Cebu anti-RH rally held July 23, which brought together an estimated 1,200 from faithbased groups, socio-civic organizations, and the youth sector. Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, who officiated the Eucharistic celebration, delved on living a life centered on God―the pearl of great price―in his homily. He pointed out the oft-repeated question when someone visits Cebu for the first time―”Did you visit the Sto. Niño?”―implying that a visit (whether social, cultural, or simply personal) always comes with a religious experience entwined into it. For the more devoted ones, also often included are visits to St. Joseph the Patriarch/Worker and to the Birhen sa Regla (“Virgin of the Rule”), manifesting the simple devotion to the Holy Family. Palma also shed more light on the separation of Church and State, and spoke out against keeping God out of government and its laws. Prior to the mass, the rally started off with praise and worship activities led by Couples for Christ, after which Dr. Rene Bullecer, director of Human Life International (HLI)-Philippines, welcomed the speakers for the afternoon’s event held at the pilgrim center on the grounds of the Basilica del Sto. Niño. Former Manila mayor and a driving force in the pro-life movement Jose “Lito” Atienza addressed the crowd, enjoining everyone to keep the will of God in married life, even in the matter of determining the size of the brood they will be blessed with. Atty. Romy Macalintal, another staunch pro-life advocate, zeroed in on the legal aspects of the Reproductive Health (RH) bill, divorce and same-sex unions. The RH bill basically proposes a nationwide taxpayer-funded and State-guaranteed provision of the full range of birth control supplies and services, a mandatory six-year sex education program for Grade 5 to 4th Year high school students in both public and private schools, as well as for out-of-school youth, and the requirement of employers to provide birth control supplies and services to their employees. The House version of this piece of legislation (House Bill 4244) has passed the Committee Level and has been the topic of plenary debates till Congress went on a 6-week recess. Sessions resume on July 25. (Erwin B. Daculan)
PNoy’s SONA, ‘good in form but no substance’―priest
SAN PABLO City― A Laguna priest said President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) is only “good in form but no substance,” but expressed pleasure that he did not push the issue on RH Bill and Divorce Law as priority matters in Congress. Fr. Jerry Oblepias of San Pablo City said there is nothing new that PNoy mentioned in the SONA. “Puro (all) accomplishments yet he never mentioned the true state of our nation kung ano ba ang kinakaharap natin (what state are we really facing).” However, the priest, who is the Director of the Diocesan Family and Life Ministry, said he was pleased that the issue on Reproductive Health (RH) Bill was not pushed. This would signal that the bill may no longer be a priority matter of the Aquino administration. He also commented on PNoy’s special mention of Cardinal Rosales and Cebu Archbishop and incoming CBCP President Jose Palma as kind of expressing reconciliation with the Church Hierarchy. “I guess that was his intention, to appear good and clean to the Church.” Meanwhile, a professor in Sta. Cruz town has observed that the SONA was generally good but he noted inconsistencies in some of PNoy’s statements. Professor Richard Ampo said in a text message that the SONA was clear on the accomplishments and plans of the government but he felt that the president is keeping plenty of hatred inside his heart. “He said, we will end the culture of negativism but he kept on saying bad things against his enemies. Is this not negativism?” Ampo said. Ampo expressed displeasure that the president boasted on his housing projects for the AFP, the PNP, BFP, BJMP but there was no mention about land reform particularly on the issue on
Hacienda Luisita. Fr. Raul Matienzo of Calamba City parish re-echoed Ampo’s observation. “I did not hear any mention about Hacienda Luisita,” and about land reform. But he was pleased that PNoy did not push the RH Bill. Matienzo however, praised PNoy for his consistent campaign against the “Wang-wang” mentality of some Filipino motorists. “I hope this will be totally eradicated.” (Fr. Romy Ponte)
Youth express views at ‘love’ forum
MALOLOS, Bulacan―At a recently held Love Rocks! Forum last July 23 in Malolos, Bulacan young people expressed their views and standpoint on the ever tricky topic of love. During the forum, young people asked the guests of the forum questions on love, commitment and even sex. The enthusiasm of the participants was evident through the candid questions, which included questions like “How important is love-making in a relationship?” and “Is courtship still relevant nowadays?” The two hosts and the five guests who have varied experiences on love took their time to share their personal stories and knowledge to answer the questions asked by the participants. Aside from the guests, members of the audience shared their opinions, specifically on premarital sex, stressing that sex is meant for marriage. Waiting for the “special person” During more in-depth interviews after the forum, some of the youth talked about their deeply-held beliefs about love. Bon Demetrio from Vicariate of Meycauayan said that love is God. “Kasi sa isang relationship, kung wala silang strong faith
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Quality education will improve lives of IPs, Muslims
MALAYBALAY City— Access to quality education for the indigenous peoples and Muslims in the Southern Philippines, coupled with a strong faith in God, will bring peace to conflict ridden Mindanao. Datu Mitocur Macabando, director of National Commission on Muslim Filipinos-Caraga Region (NCMF-13) said that only through quality education can Muslims and IPs, especially in Mindanao, uplift their lives and live as equals with others. (Bong D. Fabe)
Truce between AFP, NPA urged
kay God, sa tingin ko hindi magtatagal ang relationship nila,” he explained. Demetrio further added that a love for God would necessarily translate into respect for your partner. On the other hand, William Tiano from the same vicariate, said that aside from love for God and family, there is a love that means waiting for “a special person”. “Kung maaring mahintay mo s’ya sa tamang oras, hihintayin mo ‘yung tamang oras na ‘yun at sa tamang lugar,” he said, explaining that this sums up pitiable are the girls who have no mothers to restore that security and self-confidence that they lose due to the abuse. But the most tragic are the girls who were rejected from the womb of their own mothers, attempted abortion on, considered a mistake since she was on contraceptives at the time, sold or dumped into the hands of other caregivers. Yes, we do have
what he learned from the Love Rocks! Forum. Double blessing for Malolos Fr. Angel Santiago, Diocesan Youth Coordinator of Malolos, said in an interview that Malolos is enjoying a double blessing by hosting the Love Rocks! forum as well as the National Youth Cross at the same time. He also added that the forum would help the youth to be more open to service and “attain love”. Succeeding youth forums will also focus on the experience of such cases too here in Welcome House. And because they did not have the basic building blocks to recognize their own dignity and self-worth, it takes insurmountable amount of counseling and healing programs for them to move on. Some of them go from one tragedy to another – run away, dropped out of school, get involved in gangs and vices, pre-marital sex, abortion, early
love for the young person as well as on misconceptions that young people have about love, commitment and relationships. The Northern Luzon region is scheduled to host the next Love Rocks! Forum. Around 450 young people from the Central Luzon region comprised of the Archdiocese of San Fernando in Pampanga, the Dioceses of Malolos, Iba, Zambales, Balanga, Bataan, Cabanatuan and San Jose, Nueva Ecija, and Tarlac attended the pilot run of the Love Rocks! Forum. (Jandel Posion) live-in relationship, battered woman, illnesses, etc. I don’t understand how the RH Bill that promises to teens that contraception and a “free and satisfying sex life”, indirect abortion, and the “child is a burden” mentality will be of service to our nation that is now wallowing in pornography, irresponsible sex activities, corruption and ignorance.
Photo courtesy of Youth Pinoy
CAGAYAN DE ORO City— Expressing the popular sentiment of the grassroots searching for peace, the Provincial Peace and Order Councils (PPOCs) of Misamis Oriental and Agusan del Norte are urging for a ceasefire between CPPNPA-NDF and the government while the peace negotiation is ongoing. The PPOCs said that a declaration of a ceasefire by the NDFP and the government, through the Armed Forces of the Philippines, while the peace negotiation is ongoing will help in the crafting of substantive agreements leading to a just and lasting peace solution on the 42-year-old communist insurgency. (Bong D. Fabe)
Cebu prelate to say mass, dialogue with the poor
CEBU City— Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma will hold a dialogue with the urban poor of this city on August 7, as part of his ministry among the marginalized sectors of society. Task Force on Urban Conscientization, TFUC Cebu chair Fr. Cris Mostajo, CSsR said Palma will celebrate Mass for the poor communities at the Pasil Sports Complex, Pasil, Cebu City, after visiting families that are threatened by the demolition. The mass, according to Mostajo, is “geared to foster awareness and action of the church people on the problems of the urban poor.” (Noel Sales Barcelona)
Audit own intel funds, PNoy told
she will not feel she has been abandoned. Unlike the mothers of our other girls, survivors of rape or other abuses, she did not see the situation as a burden caused by her daughter. Indeed, she had the right attitude. So many people until now have misplaced beliefs. Instead of compassion for the rape victim, they blame her for the “disgrace”. More
Spaces of Hope / A5
QUEZON City— The Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) urged the Aquino government to properly, transparently and completely audit the intelligence funds, amounting to P1.46 billion (US$34.05 million), which Congress has approved last year. Fernando Hicap, Pamalakaya’s national chair, said the President should inform the public how the amount is used and being used, as the said fund is now hounded by controversy, in relation to the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office’s “intelligence funds scam,” which the Philippine Senate is now investigating. (Noel Sales Barcelona)
And That’s The Truth / A5
And the basics are provided free by God. We run to make the Holy Spirit feel comfortable in the temple of our bodies. ***** The idea of running the Maharlika Highway came as a convergence of events and inspiration. Sam, who had been at the forefront of promoting running as a spark for the PNP Integrated Transformation Program, had experienced an impulse to do even “more.” His advocacy had borne some fruit as evidenced in the professional and effective role and presence of the PNP during the May 2010 elections. There had been a “Run for HOPE” bringing together various sectors for a
credible election in the regional, provincial, and even local levels. This began with a launch, a run from Crame to Aguinaldo, on the early morning of Saturday 30 January 2010 bringing together the PNP, AFP, some partners, and chaplains from different Christian denominations and Islam. I was there and felt that we were breathing some wind of change during the run. As the run began, I recall reading the instructions from the military jeep in front that was providing the pace and direction: “Follow me.” I felt the mysterious echo of the Master’s voice. ***** After the elections, the PNP hierarchy, now led by Director General Raul M. Bacalzo,
himself a running enthusiast and advocate of back-to-basics self-transformation, and the PNP Program Management Office under Director Arturo Cacdac Jr. created a plan for the nationwide organizational participation to channel the desire for “more” through what is now the Maharlika Run. I am no running priest but just a companion to a public servant who runs and continues to serve the country by acting as a symbol of the call to sacrifice. During the run we invite individuals and groups to join us for an hour or two, maybe a week or longer. They can run, brisk walk, ride their bicycles, or just be with us at the starting point or finish line. Or they can just say a little
prayer for us. Some may even run with others near their place of residence and be registered as solidarity runners of Takbo Maharlika. As we aim to run the Maharlika Highway, I am reminded of Romans 12:1: “I appeal to you, therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship…” And, as the famous poem, “Lead, Kindly Light,” of Blessed John Newman eloquently puts it: “Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see the distant scene; one step enough for me…” The journey is indeed the destination.
“I don’t personally know Locsin, but I’m imagining Jesus scolding Peter “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.” The third “take” was sought by text a few hours after Sen. Miriam Santiago delivered her sponsorship speech at the Senate yesterday. The texter asked “How will CBCP or the bishops handle this?” I read Miriam’s speech in her blog. My semi-tongue-in-cheek reply was: “Why should CBCP or the bishops ‘handle’ it? This woman totally misses the point. She is so hell-bent on passing the killer bill that her own sound and fury deafens her to what the bishops and the pro-lifers are trying to say. Instead of dignifying her flawed treatise with a response, the bishops should chill it. Let’s pray they focus on inspiring and motivating the priests who would in turn set the pulpits
afire with the power of conviction. The fight for life goes on, the enemy’s cacophony notwithstanding. (We can even turn the senator’s argument against her. She insists on primacy of conscience? Why then should the government legislate a bill that violates conscience?) If in the process of conveying The Truth to the faithful the priests happen to mow down the senator, c’est la vie, but let not their moves be dictated by the misguided zeal of some. Rather, let us continue sowing good seeds and better deeds. The moral of the story: See what happens when a few units of Theology get into a brilliant student’s head.” I chuckled as that last sentence came with the image of Jesus telling His disciples, “Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind…” See—I may not always satisfy people who ask for comments, but at least I tell the truth. And that’s the truth.
People, Facts & Places
Vol. 15 No. 16
August 1- 14, 2011
Manaoag shrine declared affiliate of Marian basilica in Rome
THE Shrine of the Our Lady of Manaoag in Pangasinan has been declared an affiliate of St. Mary Major, one of the four papal basilicas in Rome. With this, the pilgrims who visit the shrine of Our Lady of Manaoag are assured of a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions, as if they actually visited the major basilica in Rome. The Marian shrine is the first, and the only church in the Philippines that has been given the title “affiliate” of one of the papal basilicas, according to LingayenDagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas. “This shrine, among all other shrines, has been honored by the Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome with a special bond of spiritual affinity in perpetuity!” said Villegas in his homily during mass on July 22 to celebrate the occasion. The spiritual bond of affiliation granted to Manaoag shrine by the Vatican is an honor to be celebrated with joy and gratitude, Villegas said. But he stressed that even before the affiliation of these two great edifices, “we have long been considered affiliates of God himself,” adding, that “no honor can equal that of being called a child of God.” He said human beings are destined for eternity, a life without destruction, not like edifices that may crumble in time despite their magnificence and grandeur. Villegas reminded the faithful that Manaoag’s affiliation to the Marian basilica in Rome “speaks more of duties than privileges.” “This affiliation demands from us greater fidelity to the Lord and to the Church. It calls on us for more heroic obedience. It challenges us to be more vigilant against the attacks to our faith, to be more humble and to be more repentant, to be more zealous and to be more loving. Truth to tell, the real indulgence is really when all of us live as faithful disciples of her Son,” the archbishop said. Villegas said the Holy Father has assured pilgrims who will visit the shrine of his apostolic blessings and spiritual graces of the Church. “In Manaoag, the rosary will be prayed without relent and vigil candles will burn day and night as a tribute of love to the handmaid of the Lord. In Manaoag, the Supreme Pontiff the Pope can always count on his spiritual warriors praying that the mission of Peter may continue in the church with loving children faithfully obeying him. In Manaoag, we commit to be proud of our Catholic faith, to defend it, to preserve it, to share it, to live it,” said Villegas. St. Mary Major is the oldest church built in honor of Mary as Mother of God as defined by the Council of Ephesus in 431 AD. It is in the same basilica that the relics of the crib where Jesus had lain when he was born from the Virgin Mary are being kept. Tradition also holds that the Virgin Mary had personally chosen the site when during a summer month in Rome snow appeared on the area where the present basilica now stands. The basilica also served as the temporary dwelling of the popes before the papal residence was later moved to the Vatican Palace. The biggest Marian image in Rome is found in the basilica. (CBCPNews)
Collegio Filippino to mark 50th foundation anniversary
THE Pontificio Collegio Filippino, home to Catholic Filipino clergy taking postgraduate studies in Rome, is celebrating its golden jubilee of foundation come October 4-9, 2011. Inaugurated on October 7, 1961 by then Pope John XXIII, the Collegio also serves as a temporary home to bishops who go to Rome for official business at the Vatican. Fr. Gregory Ramon D. Gaston, STD, the collegio’s rector, said the celebration is for both present resident priests and for Alumni Priests and Bishops. “The alumni may stay from October 4-9 at the Collegio Filippino and it will be ‘on the house’, though donations would be most welcome,” Gaston said. The tentative schedule of the jubilee celebration includes public audience with His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on October 5, followed by a recollection in the afternoon and fellowship in the evening. On October 6, both the residents and alumni will visit Scavi Vaticani (Necropolis). A Concelebrated Mass will be said at the Collegio at 6 pm with Rectors and representatives from other collegios, followed by dinner. The 50th anniversary celebration on October 7 will be highlighted by an academic conference scheduled at 10:00 am titled “The Role of Pontifical Colleges in Pursuit of Academic Excellence.” A concelebrated Mass will be held at 6:00 pm. at the Collegio chapel followed by a testimonial dinner with tribute to all the Collegio alumni to be held at 7:00 pm. A pilgrimage/excursion has been scheduled on Saturday October 8 while a Mass and reunion with the different Filipino Communities where the priests served as chaplains has been scheduled. All interested alumni can contact Fr. Greg Gaston for more information by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the PCF website at http://www. pcfroma.org/ (Melo Acuna)
Blood-letting activity to mark Cardinal’s birthday
BLOOD will surely flow on the birthday anniversary of Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales. The Archdiocese of Manila is organizing a blood-letting activity in collaboration with the Philippine National Red Cross to celebrate the birthday of Cardinal Rosales on August 10. Dubbed “RCAM Celebrating Life IV… a Birthday Gift to our Cardinal”, the blood-letting drive is scheduled on August 5, from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm at the 4th floor of the Arzobispado Building, in Intramuros. The faithful are encouraged to donate blood as a gift and as an expression of love for the cardinal. “Your precious blood will not only be a special gift to the Cardinal but a means for others to live,” explained Fr. Sanny de Claro, head of the Human Resource Development Department of Manila archdiocese. The activity started 4 years ago, and since then became a part of the birthday celebration of Rosales. A native of Batangas City, Rosales was ordained priest in March 23, 1958. He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Manila by Pope Paul VI in August 1974. Rosales was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of the Prelature of Malaybalay, Bukidnon (which later became a diocese) in June 1982. A staunch environmentalist, he denounced the rampant illegal logging in the diocese. He was appointed Archbishop of Manila by Pope John Paul II in September 15, 2003. Pope Benedict XVI made him a cardinal in March 24, 2006. Under his leadership, the archdiocese successfully established the Pondo ng Pinoy project in June 2004 in view of helping the poor. (CBCPNews)
© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media
www.static.panoramio.com / INSET PHOTO: Levine Lao
CELEBRATED. Bishop Pedro N. Bantigue, the first Bishop of San Pablo, celebrated the 50th anniversary of his Episcopal ordination on July 25, Feast of Saint James the Apostle. The celebration also coincided with the 24th Episcopal Anniversary of San Pablo Bishop Leo M. Drona, who was also ordained bishop on the same date last 1987. To mark the occasion, a solemn Mass was celebrated at 5:15 pm at the Cathedral of Saint Paul the First Hermit, San Pablo City, followed by a simple dinner at the Bishop’s Residence. Bishop Bantigue is currently the oldest living Filipino bishop, by age and by date of episcopal ordination. He was ordained bishop on July 25, 1961 by His Eminence Rufino Jiao Santos, the Cardinal-Archbishop of Manila, and was given the Titular See of Catula and appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Manila. Upon the creation of the Diocese of San Pablo, Bishop Bantigue was appointed its first bishop by Pope Paul VI. Born in Hagonoy (Bulacan) on January 31, 1920, Bishop Bantigue proved to be a trusted priest in the Archdiocese of Manila. Shortly after his priestly ordination in 1945, he served as Private Secretary to three archbishops of Manila: Archbishop Michael J. O’Doherty, Archbishop Gabriel Reyes, and Cardinal-Archbishop Santos. As a young prelate, he participated in the third session (14 September to 21 November 1964) of the Second Vatican Council. Upon becoming the first Bishop of San Pablo, Bishop Bantigue guided the newly erected diocese in its early years. One of his hallmark acts as its Bishop was the convocation of the First Diocesan Synod of San Pablo in 1994. After 28 years of being Pastor of the flock of San Pablo diocese, Bishop Bantigue retired at the age of 75 years and four months. He was succeeded by Bishop Francisco C. San Diego. At present, the Diocese of San Pablo has Bishop Leo M. Drona as its current shepherd. CONFERRED. Fr. Bienvenido Nebres,SJ, former president of Ateneo de Manila University, with Doctorate of Letters, honoris causa, at Liverpool Hope University in the United Kingdom; July 19, 2011. Nebres was conferred the honorary degree for his “record of leadership, scholarship and dedicated service...” Nebres served as president of Ateneo de Manila University from 1993 until June 2011. A scientist and mathematician, Nebres was also conferred the title of “National Scientist” together with economist Raul Fabella, by President Benigno Aquino last July 27, 2011. The Jesuit priest is a member of the board of trustees of Georgetown University, Regis University, the Asian Institute of Management and other colleges and universities in the Philippines. He is also a member of the board of directors of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, and presently the chairman of Synergia Foundation. As a Jesuit, Nebres has committed himself to teaching and development of mathematics and science in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia; administration in the university and in the Jesuit Order; and leadership in the socio-political concerns of the Philippines during the years of martial law and in the early years of democratic restoration. ORDAINED. Rev. Dexter Zamora Cariño to the sacred order of priesthood, July 25, 2011. Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas, DD, led the ordination rites at the Metropolitan Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Dagupan City. Auxiliary Bishop Renato Mayugba, DD and more than 60 priests in the archdiocese concelebrated with Archbishop Villegas. Also present to witness the solemn event were the new priest’s family, relatives and friends. Fr. Cariño is now assigned as parochial vicar in the Cathedral parish. DIED. Sr. Lily Palanca, OCDS, a member of the community of St. Therese of the Child Jesus in Davao City, passed away on July 25, 2011. She was 78.
Biblical association holds convention; elects new trustees
Manila to hold simultaneous WYD overnight vigil
AS tens of thousands of youth from around the world gather in Madrid for the World Youth Day celebrations, young people in the Archdiocese of Manila will likewise get together for a simultaneous WYD overnight vigil at the Ateneo de Manila University Campus on August 20-21. The youth event is being organized by the campus ministry of the Archdiocese of Manila together with the Ateneo de Manila University, Jesuit Communications Foundation of the Philippine province of Society of Jesus and Tanging Yaman Foundation, and the Diocese of Cubao. Dubbed “WYD 2011 Madrid to Manila”, the overnight youth vigil is an inspiring celebration of prayer, catechesis and reflection, worship and inspirational songs, liturgical celebrations, and sharing of faith stories. The youth vigil in Manila will be highlighted by Pope Benedict XVI’s message to the youth telecast from Madrid. In a communiqué, Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales urged all the clergy and members of religious and lay communities to promote the event and encourage the youth to participate. Chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Youth and Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon has likewise urged the youth to take part in the local celebrations of the 26th World Youth Day. “Be counted with the throng of young people who are willing to be rooted and built up in Jesus Christ. Be part of this celebration and allow the event to help you become more firm in the faith,” he said. The ECY will be heading a delegation of 387 registered pilgrims representing Catholic schools nationwide and youth organizations in the parochial and diocesan levels. Close to 2,000 young Filipinos are going to Madrid to participate in the WYD event. (CBCPNews)
THE Catholic Biblical Association of the Philippines (CBAP) elected its new board of trustees during its annual convention held at the Betania Retreat House last July 15-17. An association of bible scholars, CBAP has 60 members, among them bible exegetes, theologians and professors based in the Philippines. The organization was established in 1999, with the goal to advance biblical studies in
the country. The members meet yearly for a national convention and publish research and proceedings. Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo and San Fernando, Pampanga Bishop Virgilio Pablo David presented two major papers during the convention. David is also the current chair of the Episcopal Commission on Biblical Apostolate of the Catholic Bishops Con-
ference of the Philippines. Officers elected during the convention were Fr. Leander Barrot, OAR as president, and Sr. Nicetas Vargas, OSA, vice-president. Sr. Bernardita Dianzon, FSP and Fr. Clarence Marquez, OP, were re-elected secretary and treasurer, respectively. Also re-elected were Fr. Randolf Flores, SVD, Sr. Miriam Alejandrino, OSB, Fr. Fruto Ramirez, SJ, and Fr. Victor Nicdao, as members of the Board. (CBCPNews)
Youth leaders warned of moral corruption if RH bill is passed
YOUTH leaders were warned of the destructive outcome of the reproductive health bill on marriage and family life if the proposed measure pending in Congress is ever passed. The passage of the highly controversial RH Bill will lead to the moral corruption of the youth and foster a decadent lifestyle destructive of Filipino values and tradition, according to a pro-life lawyer. Lawyer George Dee, pro-life advocacy coordinator of the Commission on Family and Life of the Diocese of San Pablo, aired the warning in a special symposium held July 23 before a gathering of 200 youth leaders at the St. Michael’s Retreat House in Antipolo City. Dee told youth leaders not to be deceived by how the bill is crafted, with nice words and seemingly harmless language purporting to advance the interest and the well-being of women and the youth. He said the apparently harmless words are merely used as a cover up for the real design of the proposed measure which is a coercive birth control program intended to depopulate the country through an aggressive contraception and sterilization program. The lawyer stressed that the massive proliferation of contraceptive pills and devices readily accessible even to the young, plus the mandatory sex-education component of the bill geared for grade V to fourth year high school will lead to moral corruption of the youth. He said the bill’s objective of “satisfying and safe sex” for partners regardless whether they are married or not will destroy the sacredness of human sexuality as God-given gift for the exclusive enjoyment of married couples and would treat women as mere objects of pleasure. This mentality will foment a decadent lifestyle where the sanctity of marriage will be meaningless and the youth would be its foremost victim, he said. Dee also pointed out that the youth’s early exposure to sex education based on the population control agenda will strip them of their innocence and takes away from the parents the primary right to educate their children. He further explained that in situations where married couples have to space their children for grave reasons, resort to natural methods of fertility regulation is perfectly and morally acceptable. He urged the youth leaders to take their stand in the fight against the RH Bill and in other similar anti-life bills. The forum was organized by the Ministry of Youth Affairs of the Diocese of Antipolo whose bishop, the Most Reverend Gabriel Reyes was recently elected Chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines. He will take over the ECFL Chairmanship from Archbishop Paciano Aniceto in December this year. Fr. Melvin Castro is currently the Executive Secretary of the ECFL. (CBCPNews)
Vol. 15 No. 16
August 1 - 14, 2011
The State of the Soul of the Nation
(An abridged version of the message of the Congress of the Filipino Faithful at Club Filipino, Greenhills, San Juan, 25 July 2011)
WE gather here today in our own name, and in the name of all Filipinos who want to live in truth, justice, freedom, peace and love—in a country that fully recognizes and respects the inviolable dignity of every human person, the State’s irrevocable duty to every citizen, and God’s unfailing providence, from which “all blessings flow.” We come to examine our objective national condition, express our faith and hope in the good things to come and give voice to our just anxieties and fears about the new challenges we face and many recurring ills. It was from this hall that Mrs. Corazon Cojuangco Aquino, President Benigno S. Aquino III’s late mother, took her oath as revolutionary president after the EDSA revolt of February 1986. From this hall, which now bears her name, we now reach out to her son, whom many of our countrymen voted for in the last elections on the basis of what they believed the nation owes his parents. What we say here, we shall say it with charity and respect. But we shall say it with candor, without any doublespeak. We shall not speak at the top of our voice, but we shall speak from the bottom of our hearts. We ask the President and his administration to listen to us in the same spirit in which we shall speak to them—with open minds and hearts. We shall try to examine the state of the nation in all its aspects—the economy, peace and order, education, health, environment, agrarian reform, foreign affairs, the response of government to various issues. But beyond that, we shall try to examine the state of the soul of our nation. By that phrase, “the soul of our nation,” we mean the transcendental, moral, intellectual, spiritual and religious qualities that define our being as one people, that bind us together and make each one of us a part of the other in a covenant with the same Providence, and assure us that God was speaking to us when he said, “Hearken to my voice, for I will be your God, and you shall be my people” (Jer 7: 23). We need a strong sense of right and wrong, of good and bad to function as human beings. Above all we need God to help us rise above ourselves and transform this nation. We must trust in God, so he will continue to trust in us. Nothing like this has been done before. It is an awesome and audacious undertaking. We need both humility and courage to look at ourselves, both as individuals and as a people, and inquire into the state of good and bad and of right and wrong about us, without any prior assurance that what we shall see will all be pleasant and comforting to our self-esteem. Yet if we humble ourselves enough and find courage enough to want to see the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about ourselves, then we stand a fair chance of possessing the truth, by means of which alone we could transform ourselves and finally our nation. Let us then pray for that humility and that courage to look at our inner selves, and see for ourselves the true state of our own souls and that of the nation. So let us begin. The State of the Economy We are told that the economy grew by 7.6 percent last year, that our Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) remitted $18.8 billion, and helped to push our Gross International Reserves up to a record $63 billion, and that the foreign credit ratings agencies, namely, Standard and Poor, Moody’s and Fitch have all upgraded our credit rating. residential, and we have not been irrigating idle lands. Some P1.2 billion appears to have been lost to ghost farm-to-market roads, and has not been replaced. Employment. Unemployment is up at 11.1 million, and counting. Millions of those employed are on contracts that end after every five months. No new jobs have been created to replace those that had been lost in Libya, Japan, the countries visited by the Arab spring, and Saudi Arabia, which recently suspended the hiring of Filipino domestic workers. Poverty gap. Last year, more Chinese Filipinos made it to Forbes Magazine’s listing of the world’s dollar billionaires. And a number of unlisted, undocumented and untaxed billionaires seemed to be waiting in the wings. But from 2003 to 2009, poverty incidence rose from 24.9 percent to 26.5 percent, despite the fact that the average GDP growth rate of 5.4 percent from 2003 to 2006, and 4.3 percent from 2006 to 2009, had long surpassed the population growth rate of 1.9 percent. Foreign investments. No major investors have come in. Government efforts to attract foreign investments have had to contend with the cancellation of big contracts involving foreign parties. The most glaring example is the Laguna Lake Development Authority project, which has resulted in a multibillion peso legal claim filed by the Belgian partners. Tourism. To spur the industry, the President declared an Open Skies policy, even without full reciprocal rights for the Philippine Flag carrier. But the international downgrade on Ninoy Aquino International Airport continues, while NAIA III remains the subject of an unresolved legal dispute and has yet to be made fully operational. And Hong Kong, the U.S., U.K., Australia and New Zealand have not cancelled their travel advisories. Infrastructure. Last year the government appropriated nothing for infrastructure. So, not a single infrastructure project was undertaken. Many frontline departments, like the Department of Foreign Affairs, suffered budgetary cuts as well. DSWD alone got a bloated largesse of P21.9 billion, in conditional cash transfer. Cre a ting re c e s s io n. Then a ll departments were told to withhold 20 percent of their respective budgets as savings. So economic activity contracted. And while other economies were trying to cope with the recession from the trans-Atlantic meltdown, our economic planners seemed to be trying to create one for the Philippines. PPP. Not a single project under the much-ballyhooed PPP was awarded either. Inequalities. The nation’s wealth may have grown in real terms. But inequalities have also grown sharper. Between the super-rich and the dirt poor is a yawning gap and nothing is at work to make the poverty more bearable. The gap between the rich and the poor is wider in the Philippines than that in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam. In Metro Manila, the scavengers who once found a haven in Smokey Mountain before it was transformed into a settlement had reappeared in Payatas and other places. Pero kung noon ang buhay ay isang kahig, isang tuka, ngayon, sa hirap ng panahon, kahig sila nang kahig, bago makatuka. Punishing the OFWs. Nitong nakaraang taon nag-ambag ang mga OFWs ng $18.8 billion sa kaban ng bayan. Subalit, sa halip na maraming piso ang matanggap nila sa bawat dolyar, maliit na lamang ito sapagkat lumakas daw ang piso sa pagpasok ng naparami nilang dolyar.
© Roy Lagarde / CBCPMedia
We are further told that fewer Filipinos today consider themselves poor, that the government is doing everything to create jobs, ensure selfsufficiency in food, reduce the cost of doing business in the country through large infrastructure projects under its Public-Private Sector Participation program (PPP). That has been good to hear. But what
are the facts? Last year’s growth was mainly due to unregulated election spending, rather than to any economic program. And the credit for it, if any, would have to belong to the previous administration. The growth target has since been pared down to 4.9 percent. Apart from the OFW remittances, the call centers and other IT-related
services, we virtually have no other sources of income. Manufacturing is dead, agriculture is flat or down, the government has been importing rice while promising to support the farmers, and the smuggling of rice, sugar and other food products continues unchecked. Agriculture. We have been converting agricultural areas to commercial and
© Roy Lagarde / CBCPMedia
Soul / B2
Vol. 15 No. 16
August 1 - 14, 2011
The Canonical Imperatives of Sacred Liturgy (Part I)
By Fr. Jaime Blanco Achacoso, J.C.D.
I HAVE heard that the Church is engaged in an information campaign—catechesis was the word our Parish Priest used—to prepare for the introduction of a new English translation of the Roman Missal. I cannot help but wonder at all the excitement about the Roman Missal. In a larger context, why so much fuss about the liturgy? Is it really that important? 1. Sacred Liturgy and Liturgical Actions Vatican II affirmed that it is through the public worship of the Church that “the work of our redemption is exercised” and that the liturgy is “the outstanding means by which the faithful can express in their lives and manifest to others the mystery of Christ and the real nature of the Church” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, n.2). Therefore, the Council concludes, “the liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; at the same time it is the fountain from which all her powers flow” (Ibid, n.10). a. What is Liturgy? The Code of Canon Law gives a canonical definition in c.834 which states: — §1. The Church fulfills its office of sanctifying in a special way in the sacred liturgy, which is indeed the exercise of the priestly office of Jesus Christ; in it through sensible signs the sanctification of humankind is signified and effected in a manner proper to each of the signs and the whole of the public worship of God is carried on by the mystical Body of Jesus Christ, that is, by the Head and the members. — §2. This worship takes place when it is carried out in the name of the Church by persons lawfully deputed and through acts approved by the authority of the Church. b. Essential Elements of Liturgical Actions From the above, the following essential elements of a liturgical action can be deduced, the last three of which can be classified as veritable canonical requirements: 1) An exercise of the priestly office of Jesus Christ—which is a fundamental element of the liturgy. Thus, when a priest consecrates the Eucharist, Christ is present in the person of the minister; when the confessor absolves, it is Christ who forgives sins; when a faithful baptizes, it is Christ who baptizes. 2) The use of sensible signs, which both signify and effect the sanctification of mankind. In this regard, it is important to comment that the liturgical sign should keep close relation with the sanctification that it signifies (to the exclusion of the vulgar and the inane). 3) The public worship of God is carried out by the whole Mystical Body—i.e., it is offered in the name of the Church. Thus, c.837, §1 states: Liturgical actions are not private actions add, remove or change anything in them. — §2. The ministers are to celebrate the sacraments according to their own rite. 5) The actions are carried out by persons lawfully deputed—a deputation that is different, as previously mentioned, from that enjoyed by all the faithful by virtue of baptism, which is a sharing in the common priesthood mentioned in c.836 and described by Vatican II.1 2. Is there a Liturgical Law? Before going any further, we have to address the antijuridicist objection against the very notion of liturgical norms. A not-so-recent Instruction from the Congregation for Divine Worship resolves this issue by pointing out that the finality of the liturgical norm is not only to avoid errors, but above all and precisely to unify efforts in the transmission of the truth.2 In this regard, the liturgical norm finds its reason in the double quality of any liturgical act—i.e., they are public (of the community, of the Church), and they express the faith. Hence, not only is there a liturgical law, but we can even make a distinction between two normative phenomena: 1) Ritual or Ceremonial Law (ius in re liturgica) deals with properly liturgical norms—i.e., those whose object is the carrying out of what is signified by the liturgical acts and making them more dignified and fruitful. This includes everything relative to the rites and ceremonies with which the liturgy is celebrated, the contents of Ordos, Rituals and other liturgical books. The liturgy and the sacraments have always enjoyed a certain systematic normative autonomy at the margin of the Code of Canon Law. Thus c.2 declares: For the most part the Code does not define the rites which are to be observed in celebrating liturgical actions. For this reason current liturgical norms retain their force unless a given liturgical norm is contrary to the canons of the Code. a) Liturgical Law (ius de re liturgica) deals with the validity of liturgical acts and the juridic capacity to act of the different subjects. In other words, it deals with the canonical discipline (i.e., contained in the Code) insofar as it affects liturgical and sacramental acts and other acts of cult. This is the perspective I wish to take in this two-part article. Thus, we shall first look at the canons which establish the doctrinal principles regarding the nature of the liturgy and the sacraments, while at the same time establishing fundamental norms that regulate the matter. [To be continued.]
1 Lumen Gentium, n.11 states: “The faithful are deputed by the baptismal character to the worship of the Christian religion.” Cf. Vatican Council II, Sacrosanctum Concilium, n.14. 2 SCDW, Varietates legitimae (25.I.1994), n.2: in AAS, 87 (1995), 288-314; L’Osservatore Romano, 30.III.1994.
but celebrations of the Church itself, which is “the sacrament of unity”…therefore liturgical actions pertain to the whole body of the Church and manifest and affect it…. Every liturgical act is never just a private act of an individual, but constitutes the culminating moment when the whole Church renders public and
complete worship to God. 4) The actions are approved by the authority of the Church. Thus, c.846 explicitly establishes: — §1. The liturgical books approved by the competent authority are to be faithfully observed in the celebration of the sacraments; therefore no one on personal authority may
Doctrinal Formation and Communion Under Both Kinds
The Theology Behind Receiving Body and Blood
the body being received by the people without the blood: because the priest both offers and receives the blood in the name of all, and the whole Christ is present under either species” (Summa Theologiae, III, q. 80, a. 12, ad 3). So, under the species of bread there is also present, by concomitance, the precious blood. The purpose, then, of receiving Holy Communion under both kinds, is not that the faithful receive more grace than when they receive it under one kind alone, but that the faithful are enabled to appreciate vividly the value of the sign. Sadly, this distinction has not always been made clear and some people, when not offered Holy Communion under both kinds, have expressed a sense of bewilderment, even thwarted entitlement, or a feeling that Holy Communion under one kind alone was, to some extent, deficient. Bishops conferences and diocesan bishops, in particular, are the key to ensuring locally that Holy Communion is distributed with reverence and avoidance of misunderstanding. “Redemptionis Sacramentum” makes clear that the slightest danger of the sacred species being profaned is to be avoided (101). It also expresses concern about the “detriment of so great a mystery” (106). While “profanation” and the “detriment of so great a
By Fr. Paul Gunter, OSB
IN the ordinary form of the Mass, the distribution of Holy Communion under both kinds is an option whose usage has become a daily occurrence in many countries but, by no means everywhere, even in Europe. The instruction “Redemptionis Sacramentum,” promulgated in 2004, explains the context of this practice: “So that the fullness of the sign may be made more clearly evident to the faithful in the course of the Eucharistic banquet, lay members of Christ’s faithful, too, are admitted to Communion under both kinds, in the cases set forth in the liturgical books, preceded and continually accompanied by proper catechesis regarding the dogmatic principles on this matter laid down by the Ecumenical Council of Trent” (100). This laudable intention frequently meets the catechetical stumbling block mentioned. Undoubtedly, Holy Communion under both species illustrates Christ’s intention that we eat his Body and drink his Blood. However, that desire for Holy Communion in both kinds has not necessarily been accompanied by fidelity to the norms of liturgical
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books and supporting formation to protect against Eucharistic abuses and doctrinal misunderstandings. While many have grasped that the Eucharist is the “Source and Summit” of Christian life, the handing down of the dogmatic principles of the Council of Trent has been seen as old-fashioned. The instruction has made clear that, intrinsic to the “fullness of the sign,” is consistency with liturgical books and with the teachings of Trent. “Redemptionis Sacramentum” displaces ambiguities of Eucharistic practice and “is directed toward such a conformity of our own understanding with that of Christ, as expressed in the words and the rites of the Liturgy” (5). Not infrequently, essential lack of Eucharistic awareness is revealed when, for want of formation, commissioned extraordinary ministers make reference to “giving out the wine.” This very terminology suggests that, as part of their proper training, the dogmatic principle of Trent was not absorbed. Some might have heard about “substance” and “accidents” within the contexts of the religious education of yesteryear, but might have been encouraged to think that the Church had, somehow, moved on. For modern generations, the Council of Trent may not have been mentioned in their doctrinal formation which emphasizes that “nothing is lost by
mystery” suggest different levels of Eucharistic abuse, both levels are expressly mentioned so that they will be avoided. Every care should be taken to avoid the ministering of the chalice where circumstances suggest ambiguity of reception or a setting where the safety of the contents of the chalice might not be assured. “Redemptionis Sacramentum” states that where it is difficult to assess the quantity of wine needed for a particular celebration, owing to the large size of the congregation expected that the chalice is not to be ministered (102). Alternative methods could be equally difficult to envisage such as the use of a spoon or a tube where these options are not the local custom. For Holy Communion by intinction, “the communicant must not be permitted to intinct the host himself in the chalice, nor to receive the intincted host in the hand” (104). Forthcoming translations of the third edition of the Roman Missal mark, as the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales wrote in their joint pastoral letter of May 2011, “a moment of special grace.” It is to be hoped that the envisaged in-depth catechesis on the Mass will revisit the mentality and the manner in which Holy Communion is received.
It sounds restrictive to suggest that Holy Communion received fervently under one species is more fruitful than a tepid Communion received under both species when concrete objectives aimed at doctrinal formation, care and reverence in the liturgical celebration and organizational forethought could do so much to acknowledge and address the challenges that have arisen. The psalmist declares the imperative of that in-depth catechesis: “The things we have heard and understood, the things our fathers have told us these we will not hide from their children but will tell to the next generation” (Psalm 78:4). St. Ambrose discloses what people of faith gain from that knowledge: “For as often as we eat this Bread and drink this cup, we proclaim the death of the Lord. If we proclaim the Lord’s death, we proclaim the forgiveness of sins. If, as often as his Blood is poured out, it is poured for the forgiveness of sins, I should always receive it, so that it may always forgive my sins. Because I always sin, I should always have a remedy” (St Ambrose, De sacr. 4, 6, 28: PL 16, 464). (Zenit)
Para bagang nagkasala pa sila, at dapat parusahan sa pagpasok ng maraming dolyar. Peace and Order Dumako tayo sa kaayusan at kapayapaan. Manila hostage crisis. Isang bus na may lulang 25 tao ang nahijack ng isang dating pulis nnong 23 ng Agosto 2010. Walong (8) turistang taga-Hong Kong ang napatay. At hindi kapanipaniwala ang kawalang kakayahang ipinakita ng mga maykapangyarihan. Pinaimbestiga ng pangulo ang naganap na hijacking. Subalit pagkatapos ng imbestigasyon, binago ng Malacanang ang rekomendasyon ng mga imbestigador upang iligtas ang ilang opisyal sa kanilang pananagutan. Maguindanao massacre. Nangyari ito noong 23 ng Nobyembre 2009. Limampo’t walo (58) ang pinaslang, kabilang ang 34 peryodista―ang pinakamalaking bilang ng mga mamamahayag na napatay nang sabaysabay sa isang lugar na walang digmaan. Hanggang ngayon, wala pang solusyon ang krimen.
Routine killings. Sa iba’t ibang dako ng Pilipinas, walang tigil ang patayan. Mulang Enero hanggang Abril, halos 300 ang pinatay ng mga salaring naka-motorsyklo. Kabilang diyan ang ilan pang brodkaster at periodistang napatay. Walang balita kung mayroon mang nahuli’t naparusahan sa mga pumatay. NPA ambushes. Sa mga gubat, parang at kung minsan sa luob ng mga bayan-bayan, patuloy ang pagambush ng NPA sa kanilang mga kalaban. At walang sumisigaw na ito’y isang paglabag ng karapatang pantao ng mga napapaslang. Metro Manila carjacking. Sa kaMaynilaan, patuloy ang carjacking, kung minsan kasama ang kidnap, pagsakit o pagpatay sa may-ari ng sasakyan. Nahaluan na ito ng isang armed bank robbery sa Quezon City kailan lang. ASG kidnappings. Sa Muslim Mindanao, walang katigil-tigil ang kidnapping at panggugulo ng Abu Sayaf. Samantala, ang peace negotiation ng pamahalaan at ng Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) ay di maidaos ng tuloy tuloy. Widespread gambling.
Lalong lumaganap ang sugal, legal man o “illegal.” At kasama nito’y iba’t ibang bisyo’t libangan. Drug menace. Higit sa sugal, ang droga ay laganap na sa buong bansa. Maliban sa tatlong Pilipinong binitay sa China dahil sa droga kailan lang, mayroon pang 200 OFWs ang nakapiit sa China dahil sa droga. Sa Kalakhang Maynila, lahat ng barangay ay mukhang napasok na ng droga. At hindi malayo na ang “narcopolitics” ay kabahagi na rin ng ating pulitika. The President’s solution. Ngunit nakalulungkot na ang ating tanging solusyong nanggagaling sa Pangulo ay turuan ang lahat na humawak at magpaputok ng baril. Pati tuloy matatanda at malalaking tiyan na mga mahestrado ay nagumpisa nang magtarget shooting, kahit na “pam-press release” lamang. Education Pababa nang pababa ang kalidad ng ating edukasyon. Sa kabila nito, hindi pa rin natutupad ang utos ng ating Saligang batas, na ibigay ang pinakamalaking bahagi ng ating budget taon-taon sa edukasyon.
Sa halip, napupunta pa rin ito sa automatic debt service. Kulang tayo ng 113,000 guro at 124,000 silid aralan sa kasalukuyan. Pero pinipilit ipasok ang “sex education” mula sa Grade V hanggang fourth year High School, nang walang pahintulot o pakialam ang mga magulang. Health Care Ayon sa Department of Health ang mga pangunahing sakit na pumapatay sa pinakamaraming Pilipino ay ang sumusunod: 1) Sakit sa Puso; 2) sakit sa mga ugat; 3) cancer; 4) iba’t ibang aksidente; 5)pneumonia; 6) tuberculosis o tb; 7) iba’t ibang mga abnormalidad; 8) mga sakit sa baga kaugnay ng paninigarilyo at iba pa; 9) diabetes; 10) iba’t ibang sakit ng bagong silang na sanggol. . Subalit walang politikong proRH ang nakakapuna nito. Iisa lamang ang kanilang tugtog: na gamutin ng pamahalaan ang pagbubuntis ng kababaihan na kahit kailanman hindi pa naging sakit. Environment Why there are no trees. In
Marcos’s time, Presidential Decree 1153 required every citizen to plant ten trees in consultation with the barangay captain. When Marcos fell, that decree was repealed for no known reason at all. Mining. In 1995, Congress passed a new mining law to save the dying mining industry. It was hailed as one of the best mining laws in the world. But it was never enforced as intended. There has been wanton exploitation of our natural resources without regard for the environment. Illegal logging and mining continue. Agrarian reform The law is not being implemented as written, making a mockery of social justice. The President could provide a rare example by making Hacienda Luisita, his mother’s family’s big estate, a showcase. Land, not shares of stock, must be distributed to the famers. Foreign Affairs Initial run-ins with China.
The death of Hong Kong tourists during the Luneta Park bus hijacking gave the administration its rude awakening in international relations. Then followed the deportation to Beijing of Taiwanese fishermen caught in Philippine waters. Then came China’s execution of three OFWs for drug-dealing one month after they were given a reprieve on Vice President Binay’s spectacular initiative. Spratlys crisis. But the most serious challenge was triggered by China’s muscle-flexing in the Spratlys. We dispatched our only seaworthy vintage naval vessel to the area to show our resolve, then sent our Secretary of Foreign Affairs to Washington, D.C., to beg for arms from the US. Playing the US card. But before all this, the President boarded the US aircraft carrier Carl Vinson in international waters, accompanied by his Secretaries of Foreign Affairs, Defense and Finance and the Armed Forces Chief of Staff.
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Vol. 15 No. 16
August 1 - 14, 2011
Year of the Youth
WITH only three weeks to go before the World Youth Day (WYD) takes place in Madrid, Spain, the Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) urged Filipino delegates to prepare spiritually for the event. More than being financially ready to join the WYD, the delegates, including some 2,000 Filipinos, should be spiritually ready to participate in this global gathering of Catholic youth on August 16 to 21, according to ECY chairman and Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon. “Aside from the financial aspect, delegates should prepare spiritually for the WYD. They should not think of WYD only as an opportunity to socialize, to meet new friends and find an opportunity for relationships, but more importantly as a chance for a lifechanging experience, which they should get ready for,” Baylon said. The prelate said the WYD proved to be a life-changing experience for those who have attended it in the past, some even realizing their priestly and religious calling because of the event. “A lot of young people who have attended the WYD said doing so had been a life-changing experience for them. They said the WYD made them fully realize the youth’s role in the Church’s life and deepened their faith. Banking on their testimonials, WYD delegates should pray and ask for the Holy Spirit’s grace to make WYD truly a meaningful experience for them,” he added. Baylon likened the WYD to the Pentecost, where the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles, inspiring them to share the teachings of Jesus Christ with others. “Just like the apostles, may the WYD delegates get inspired by the Holy Spirit to share the Good News in WYD with our friends and peers back home. Let the WYD be a grace-filled occasion for our faith in God and in the Church to grow, bloom and bear fruit,” Baylon added. As per the records of the ECY, at least 2,000 Filipinos are attending the WYD in Madrid, 400 of them belong to the country’s official delegation named ECY-Philippines. Some of the delegates will fly to Spain as early as August 8 to participate in the days in the dioceses all over Spain. (YouthPinoy)
Prepare spiritually for WYD, bishop tells Pinoy delegates
ECY secretariat offers travel tips to WYD pilgrims
THE World Youth Day Delegation Secretariat of the Episcopal Commission on Youth has released a list of tips for WYD pilgrims, especially those traveling to Spain for the first time. According to the list, which was emailed to all the subgroups under the official Philippine delegation, the first thing to consider is ‘a bit of [a] Spanish backgrounder’. The pilgrims are encouraged to learn basic Spanish phrases that will come in handy in Madrid, such as “hola” or “hello” in English and “¿Como esta usted?” or “How are you?” Fr. Conegundo Garganta, part of the Core team of the Delegation Secretariat, said that learning Spanish phrases will help the WYD participants to relate and communicate with the locals. “Filipinos, especially the youth have the ability to adapt and to learn fast,” Garganta said, adding that he is confident the delegates would be able to learn new Spanish phrases. Tips for first time travelers to Spain Delegates were also given some pointers on what to expect as well as important things to bring with them for the trip. As August is a summer month in Madrid, pilgrims were advised to bring sunscreen and caps or hats to protect them from the sun. The Secretariat reminded delegates that it would be a welcome touch to bring tokens or gifts for their host family and other young people they will meet during the weeklong event. Delegates were given an overview of a ‘typical Spanish day’ and what kinds of food they can expect for breakfast, mid-morning snack, late lunch, merienda, and evening meals. The pilgrims were also told to leave copies of their travel documents at home for their parents, guardians or relatives’ reference. Likewise, the emergency hotline in Spain, 112, was given. Jesus Encounter The pilgrims were told to remember the WYD objective, that of personally encountering Jesus during the WYD. The WYD aims towards “spiritual growth, commitment to truth and justice, and progress in charity, heart-moving outcomes that only the Holy Spirit can truly evaluate.” Garganta further said that “this will be [a] meaningful and fruitful trip for a pilgrim, so the tips [will hopefully] help them to be focused on their objectives...” Some 2,000 delegates from the Philippines are expected to depart on August 8 for the World Youth Day in Madrid. (Jandel Posion)
Study Spanish language, bishop tells WYD delegates
BEFORE even flying to Madrid, Spain, Filipino delegates to the World Youth Day (WYD) should study basic Spanish words. According to Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon, a basic knowledge of the Spanish language will come handy for all WYD delegates, including some 2,000 individuals from the Philippines. Baylon, being the chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), is the head of the ECYPhilippines official delegation to WYD. “Reviewing the Spanish language is one of the most practical tips we want to share with WYD participants. Words like ‘donde’ or where, ‘gracias’ or thank you and ‘por favor’ or please are some of the basic words that will help them survive the language barrier in that foreign land,” Baylon said. Aside from studying basic Spanish words, WYD participants are repeatedly advised to stick to their group to prevent getting lost in Spain. “Stay with your group and don’t deviate from the WYD schedule so that you won’t get lost,” the prelate added. Baylon also warned Filipino WYD delegates against being robbed if they leave their groups and travel on their own. “Keep watch of your belongings and refrain from going to isolated areas alone,” he said, adding that he was once robbed in a Madrid subway with a friend. Earlier, Baylon urged WYD participants to prepare spiritually for the event. He said delegates should be ready for a life-changing experience that is the WYD. “Aside from the financial aspect, delegates should prepare spiritually for the WYD. They should not think of WYD only as an opportunity to socialize, to meet new friends and find an opportunity for relationships, but more importantly as a chance for a life-changing experience, which they should get ready for,” Baylon said. (YouthPinoy)
Pasig youth gather to share skills for youth ministry
HUNDREDS of young people in the Diocese of Pasig gathered on June 30 to explore some skills they can utilize in their ministry among fellow youth. The gathering assembled an estimated 500 young people “to introduce youth ministry tools/ skills that they can use as they live and share their faith to their fellow youth,” according to Pasig Diocesan Youth Coordinator Rhea Lavilla. One of the highlights of the event were the workshops which included topics like “Music in Animating Prayer”, “Worship through Liturgical Dance” and “Acting as Medium in Spreading God’s Word.” Explaining the organizers’ choice of workshops, Lavilla said “...Music is a powerful medium for youth expression. The workshop would introduce participants to some approaches to prayer using music as a tool.” She also explained that the “Worship through Liturgical Dance” introduced participants “to some body movements appropriate for worship in youth gatherings or occasions and where liturgical dance could help enhance the celebration.” The workshop on acting focused on the basics of theater arts like drawing out emotions, facial expressions, blocking and voice projection. Aside from the workshops, participants were also given time for sharing, prayer and reflection, specifically focusing on Acts 3:1-10, the passage on how the apostle Peter healed a lame beggar. The Pasig Diocesan Youth Ministry, Y! Fair’s main organizer hoped that the experience would encourage the participants to share their insights and learning to their fellow youth in their parish, school or community. Dubbed “Y! FAIR: LIVE AND SHARE, WE ARE CALLED TO MAKE A STAND”, the July 30 youth event was organized to celebrate the CBCP Year of the Youth.(Jandel Posion)
CBCP calls for nominations for outstanding youth ministers, orgs
THE Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Phili ppines (CBCP) is inviting dioceses and parishes to nominate youth ministers and organizations that have made a significant contribution to the growth of the youth apostolate in their respective locales. ECY chairman and Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon made the invitation as he announced the start of nomination for the Blessed John Paul II National Youth Ministry Awards. The awards, which will be conferred to 25 outstanding youth ministers and organizations during the National Youth Day 2011 celebration on November 14 to 19, was established in line with the ongoing celebration of the CBCP Year of the Youth on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of ECY this year. Baylon said the Blessed John Paul II National Youth Ministry Awards is meant to recognize the selflessness, commitment, and dedication of youth ministers and organizations in championing the cause of the youth and the youth ministry in their respective dioceses and parishes. “Help us identify these youth ministers and organizations by nominating those you think are worthy of recognition for the contribution they made for the youth ministry in the Philippines to grow, bloom and bear fruit,” Baylon said. According to Fr. Jose Favie Faldas, SDB, head of the ECY Recognition Committee, this year’s recognition of the sacrifices and dedication of youth ministers is “long overdue” considering that it took 25 years before the ECY established such an awardgiving initiative. “The awarding is long overdue for me. For so many years now, those who are in the youth ministry have been unappreciated, misunderstood and uncared for. It is about time that they are put in the pedestal,” Faldas told YouthPinoy. Faldas said the National Secretariat for Youth Apostolate (NSYA) has started writing diocesan youth ministry heads, calling on them to submit their nominations for the outstanding youth ministers, who may be ordained, religious, or lay, or groups of persons, institutions or organizations. From the nominations, the Recognition Committee, members of which were appointed by Baylon, will come up with a shortlist of 50 nominees, from which a 5-man jury will judge the top 25 nominees who will be awarded with trophy for having earned the merits to warrant a Blessed John Paul II National Youth Ministry Award. Mechanics According to the NSYA, anyone may nominate. An individual or a group only has to submit their filled out nomination forms. Submissions can be made through post mail addressed to Episcopal Commission on Youth, 3/F CBCP Bldg., 470 Gen. Luna St., 1002 Intramuros, Manila, or e-mailed to email@example.com. The deadline for submission of nominations will be on September 8, when the Recognition Committee will sift through the nominations and send certificates to all those nominated. The initial nomination fee of P1,000 was waived. “The award will be a special trophy befitting this first nationwide recognition of youth ministers,” the NSYA added. Inspiration According to Faldas, the John Paul II National Youth Ministry Awards was not only created to recognize outstanding youth ministers in the Philippines. He said the awards also aim to inspire the young and other youth supporters in uplifting the values and morale in the youth ministry. “More importantly, we want to generate Gospel models for youth ministers and for the youth in general from these awardees,” adding that awardees will be looked up for their commitment to the Catholic faith and outstanding leadership in the field of youth ministry. (YouthPinoy)
THE Diocese of Cabanatuan has pledged to plant 100,000 seedlings within the year as a sign of support for the celebration of the CBCP Year of the Youth (CBCP - YOTY), The Central Luzon region has originally given the diocese a quota of 20,000 trees as part of the 1 Million Trees project of the CBCP-YOTY, but the diocese’s youth commission committed to exceed it by planting 100,000 trees within the year. Fr. Denis De Leon, MMHC, priestin-charge of the Cabanatuan youth commission, said their participation has a dual purpose. According to him, it “is for the sake of ecology” and also, so that the youth will become aware of the value of nature. So far, 13 parishes, schools and youth groups have had tree-planting activities, bringing the total number of trees planted to 7,170. The St. Paul the Apostle parish planted the most trees,
Cabanatuan diocese commits to plant 100k trees
numbering 3,000. The parish volunteers chose a site in Gabaldon for their treeplanting activity. were not given a quota, but they just kept on planting as long as their energy lasted. 20k trees by September According to Joannie Bolisay, diocesan youth coordinator of Cabanatuan, the original quota of 20,000 trees will be met by the 1st week of September, as Fr. Chito Beltran, director of the diocesan Commission on Ecology, also suggested. For the 100,000-trees commitment, the entire diocese will be involved, not just the youth. De Leon added that September remains the best time to plant because the last quarter of the year will be rainy. The latest tree-planting activity was made by seminarians from the Maria Assumpta Seminary last July 16 where 25 seminarians and a priest planted 1,500 Ipil-ipil seedlings. Isagani Pamintuan, a 4th year college seminarian, said they Aetas help plant trees Pamintuan also shared that it was a unique experience because the Aetas helped them plant trees. He added that the experience was good but a bit difficult because of the hot weather. Bolisay and Pamintuan expressed confidence that the Aetas will help care for the trees, ensuring that they will grow well. De Leon added that they hope to involve all the parishes and Catholic schools for the Episcopal Commission on Youth’s 1 Million Trees project. Aside from tree-planting, the annual plan of activities of the diocesan youth commission mentions a feeding program, gift-giving, prison ministry, and immersion with the indigenous people. (Jandel Posion)
By Most Rev. Leonardo Y. Medroso
Birthing of a Boholano Catechism
needs. It is along this context that the publication of a Boholano Catechism is conceived. To accomplish this, the writers tasked to draft the project have to contend with questions relevant to the work. What is the level of faith of our people? How profound is their knowledge of God; how deep is their love for Him and how broad and encompassing is their concern for others, the environment, and other God’s creation? Has this faith been translated into human values that guide the day-to-day interrelationships of the community of people, the neighborhood, the family? Has it thoroughly influenced the culture of the Boholanos? Confronted with challenges of modern paradigms of thought, of new ideologies, of the advances of science and technology, of the materialistic way of living, secular thinking, relativistic and cafeteria manner of following the norms of law and dictates of conscience, the post-modern view of human person whose concept of freedom is to be limitless, not to be constrained by external authority and objective laws, how strong is their faith to parry all
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these? Have they learn good lessons from them, incorporating them in their way of Christian living, instead of being carried away by these dangerous teachings? Are our people mature enough in their faith to be a beacon of light to the world of today, even to the point of questioning many of their assumptions and biases? Is there a fresh new way of reaching this people, telling them with authority about Jesus and His answers to the deep longing of modern man? What method in catechism should we use today to reach our people sophisticated in the ways of the world, effectively proclaiming to them the Word of God, teaching them the content of the faith, leading them back to genuine Christian living, and, ultimately, bringing them back to God, to the true worship of Him, to prayer? It is within this context that the writers came up with a Boholano catechism book—a modest volume, seemingly insignificant to demand a place in any library, or, be displayed in the National Bookstore. But we are sure that in no time it will become a priceless possession of our BECs and
Vol. 15 No. 16
August 1 - 14, 2011
TO prepare for the forthcoming Diamond Jubilee of the Diocese of Tagbilaran the priests, the religious, and the lay faithful have decided to publish a catechism that is peculiarly their own. Its purpose is not to deviate from the traditional doctrine of the Catholic Church contained in the official “Catechism of the Catholic Church”, nor, to satisfy that fanciful pride to show off to the world that they have finally reached the age of maturity in faith, capable of producing a catechesis out of their own human resource, effort, and creativity. It is rather to meet the particular needs of our people, the BEC, our clusters, our parishes, our Diocese. The journey in faith together for the past seventy or so years, following faithfully the Sacred Scripture, traditional doctrine of the Church, and the Magisterium has formed within us a spirituality and culture that is uniquely Boholano. Because of its particularity the universal teaching of the Catholic Church cannot fully satisfy their cultural and spiritual
clusters, for it contains the content of our faith. However, it is so sequenced in accordance to traditional way of presenting our universal catechism that it may be mistaken as a mere reproduction of the same. But a keener study of the catechism book would yield the existence of an inner yet subtle logic that makes it unique in style and presentation. It starts with the study of the Trinity to show that our life is communitarian in origin and therefore communitarian in its nature, activity, and purpose. It ends with the presentation of the Kingdom of God to inculcate the lesson that we are not headed nowhere. As we come from God as a community so we return to him as the community of the redeemed. The style too is unique. It has adapted the process called ORID—a method that is behavioral and inductive. Its purpose is to engage actively the listener in the presented content of the faith. However, the catechism book would remain lifeless when left on the table. It acquires life only when the trained formator-catechists pick it up, go to the BECS of the parishes, present to the faithful the catecheses contained
in the book, facilitate the conduct of the seminar, and together with them actively listen and pay attention to the Lord who teaches. Through this the content of the message becomes alive because the catechists and the participants are engaged in a lively dialogue, preparing them to listen together to the God who speaks to them. Here, the people hear the words of the Scripture and catecheses no longer from the formator-catechists alone. They hear the words from each other. And, hopefully through this dynamic process they would finally recognize their true identity; that they realize that they are not just a group of people that is amorphous, individuals of different directions and prejudices, clinging to each other due to some organizational set-up in the parish, but a community chosen by God as uniquely His own, a community bound together by that divine love that calls them together in the act of evangelizing and catechesis. Only then will this Boholano catechism book serves its purpose and justifies its existence.
Save the Children, Reform the Prison System
By Fr. Shay Cullen
DESPITE all the problems in the Philippine courts and prosecution system where judges have outrageously ordered that children trafficked, raped and abused be returned to their pimps by the abuse of the Habeas Corpus law, good judges release minors from degrading prison conditions for transfer to healthy rehabilitation centers. Success in the campaign for freedom of children in subhuman prison conditions where their human rights are violated daily is gaining ground in the experience of the PREDA Foundation (www.preda.org). Hundreds of minors have been rescued by the foundation’s social workers with the court orders of good judges who implement the Juvenile Justice and Welfare law. Minors younger than 15 years old and below are not to be criminally charged under this law but are to be diverted to rehabilitation programs for counseling and character formation. Others, where municipal social workers can determine that the minors over 15 years-old have done a criminal act without discernment can also be diverted to a rehabilitation center while the prosecutor decides the case. This prevents the incarceration of these youngsters in prisons where they are influenced by the hardened criminals even if they are now kept in separate cells. However in many municipalities the police frequently detain the minors over 15 years-old in overcrowded holding cells with other adults accused of crimes. The big change is that rarely do they jail those kids under fifteen. This is a big development. In the past, kids as young as 6 years old were jailed and we must never forget these violations of children’s rights and how easily it became a regular practice. In some municipalities the police turn the street kids in conflict with the law over to the municipal social welfare office. They have no facilities and are incapable of dealing with the children and some even lock them up in overcrowded makeshift cells until the social worker can identify them and find their parents which is a near impossible task considering the slums where the shacks and hovels are piled on top of each other without street names or addresses. The positive developments since the passing of the Juvenile Justice bill and the non-stop work of PREDA social workers helping release children from prison and giving them a chance for a new life of dignity and healing has seen remarkable success. This shameful practice of jailing small children and teenagers while still innocent until proven guilty as seen in the past by the photos on our web site show that we can never return to this phase of child abuse. We must continue to campaign to stop its continued practice in some police jails and detention centers. The photos show how blatant was and is the violation of the human rights of children by the authorities against all the conventions and protocols signed by the Philippine government to protect children’s rights. While some government officials would like to ban and remove these photos from our website since they are an embarrassment and evidence of government neglect, we need them to help parents and social workers to identify them as lost and missing children and return them to their parents. Besides, they are evidence of human rights violations and should not be censored. Until there is a national database of missing children there is no other way to find missing, abducted or lost children. But let us not forget that it happened on a large scale and still happens to a lesser degree. But we cannot forget and continue the fight for the protection of human rights and show that the Philippines must never tolerate such practice ever again. We cannot rewrite this sad history but we can build a brighter future for children in conflict with the law. There are some police and politicians that would favor repealing the law protecting child from arbitrary detention and changing back to the law to hold minors younger than 15 years liable for prosecution and detention. The good news is that the Aquino government is getting serious about prison reform. It will benefit minors and we give full support to the progressive moves to reform the prison system where children are at times still jailed with adults. The most congested jails in Metro Manila are the Quezon City jail, with a congestion rate of 295 percent; followed by the Las Piñas City jail, 259 percent; and the Manila City jail, 195 percent. Camp Karingal’s Female Dormitory was found 197 percent crammed, while the Paranaque City jail was 132 percent packed. It is urgent to change this horrific situation of prisoners and treat them as human beings with rights and dignity despite their crimes. Above all children must never be jailed. There are other positive ways to help and treat them.
Carl Vinson was the warship used to dump the body of Osama bin Laden in the Arabian sea, after he was killed by US Navy Seals in his hideaway in Pakistan. The presidential party took a US military aircraft to board the warship. Renouncing sovereignty. Tila walang nakapagsabi sa Pangulo na labag sa soberanyang dangal ng isang malayang bansa na ang kanyang presidente o pinuno ay sumakay sa isang eroplanong militar o buki de gyerang dayuhan, at ipailalim ang kanyang sarili sa kapangyarihan ng pamahalaang dayuhan na nagmamay-ari ng naturang sasakyan, lalong lalo na kung siya’y nasa luob ng kanyang bayan. The role of the left. Subalit, ang pinakamalaking sugat sa ating segurida ay maaaring nanggaling sa paghirang ng Pangulo sa ilang mga Marxista na maging kasama niya sa pagpalakad ng ating seguridad. Bagaman ang mga komunista ay pumasok na sa Kongreso bilang mga party-list congressmen, at kumandidato na rin sa Senado, tama kayang sila’y makasama sa pagpalakad ng ating seguridad habang ang iba sa kanila ay patuloy pa ring nakikipagbarilan sa ating mga kawal? The fight against corruption Kapuri-puri ang ating Pangulo sa kanyang hangaring linisin ang buong pamahalaan. At lalong kahanga-hanga na ni munting bahid walang dumapo sa kanyang pangalan hanggang ngayon. Ngunit magiging ganap ang ating pakikibaka laban sa korapsyon kung tayo’y magkakasundo na mas malaking korapsyon ang gamitin ang kapangyarihan upang ipagkanulo ang katotohanan tungkol sa ating pagkatao at kabanalan ng pamilya, matrimonyo at buhay. Praying for the President. Malaki ang pressure na dumarating sa ating Pangulo galing sa mga nagbibigay o nangangakong magbigay ng tulong sa pamahalaan. Subalit tayo’y nananalangin, huwag sana siyang maligaw. Lagi sana niyang isasapuso ang banal na sulat—“Anong mapapala ninuman kung mapasakanya ang buong mundo ngunit mawala naman ang kanyang kaluluwa?” (Mat 16:26) Kanyang tanggihan na sana ang population control cum reproductive health bill. Remembering Humanae Vitae. Sa araw na ito idinaraos natin ang ika-43 anibersaryo ng “Humanae Vitae”, ang “encyclical” ni Papa Pablo VI tungkol sa buhay. Ito ang unang nagbabala kung anong kasamaan ang darating sa mga pamilya at sa buong mundo kung lalabagin ang natural na paraan ng paglilihi, pagbubuntis at panganganak ng kababaihan sa pamamagitan ng “contraception.” Sinabi ng Santo Papa: The widespread use of contraception would “lead to conjugal infidelity and the general lowering of morality.” He also said that because of contraception “the man” would lose respect for “the woman” and would come to “the point of considering her as a mere instrument of selfish enjoyment, and no longer as a respected and beloved companion.” He also said that the widespread use of contraception would place “a dangerous weapon…in the hands of those public authorities, who take no heed of moral exigencies.” He warned that it would lead man to think that he had limitless dominion over his own body. Prophecies fulfilled. All these have come to pass. We have seen the family destroyed in countless homes around the world, women reduced into pure sexual objects, and public authorities stamping the boot of the Hitlerite state upon the face of the family and marriage, as evidenced by the present RH bill. Junk the RH bill now. We call on President Aquino, his Cabinet and his political allies to join us in celebrating the 43rd anniversary of these great prophecies by junking the RH bill now. The bill is totally unnecessary, totally unconstitutional, and completely oppressive. Even now, it has already divided the nation. Its passage, void as it is, would further divide the nation. No government enacts a law to divide the
nation. There is no exception to that iron rule. Contraception already widespread. If the purpose of this bill were to guarantee the “right” of women to contraception and sterilization, its proponents know there is no law that prohibits contraception or sterilization. Everyone is free to do it. The Department of Health and the Population Commission have been running their RH program since the 70s. And the national contraceptive prevalence rate is already 51 percent. Real purpose bared. But the real purpose of the bill is to require all couples to make contraception and sterilization an essential component of marriage, and to make the State the provider of contraception and sterilization. This is to legislate an “intrinsic evil” as part of our family life, in violation of the religious belief of the overwhelming majority of our population, and several other provisions of the Constitution. What the Constitution says. The Constitution provides, among other things, the following: 1. The family is the foundation of the nation. 2. Marriage is the foundation of the family and is an inviolable social institution. 3. The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. 4. The State shall defend the right of spouses to found a family in accordance with their religious convictions and the demands of responsible parenthood. 5. The State shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. 6. The State shall support the right and duty of parents as the natural and primary educators of their children. All these provisions are violated by the RH bill. How can anyone in the world possibly think of making a valid law out of it, even if the entire Congress should vote for it, 100%? Deceiving the poor. It has been a gross disservice trying to make our people believe that their poverty could be solved, simply by having the big foreign multinationals dump all their contraceptives and sterilization agents on the lap of our poor women. We ask President Aquino, his Cabinet and Congress allies to believe with us that this is no way to fight poverty. The real demographic crisis. Last June 30, in Moscow, demographic experts from 65 countries, assembled in a demographic summit, noted that 42 percent of mankind today live in countries where the replacement of old generations is no longer taking place. They identified “depopulation” as the world’s next serious crisis, and called on governments to stop interfering with the private life of families under the pretext of “family planning,” “protection of the rights of the child,” “gender equality,” etc. President’s leadership needed. We call on President Aquino, his Cabinet and Congress allies to take note of this lifechanging development, and to provide the leadership and the common sense that would jolt all our pro-RH supporters from their drugged sleep. We are a young nation with a robust and vibrant population. That is our primary and ultimate resource, our basic and abiding strength. We only need to invest in it and develop it. As a predominantly Christian and partly Islamic nation, we must resist the temptation of following everything that moves. Urgent Bills Therefore, rather than waste time, money, and effort on this bill, Congress should now devote its time and energy to crafting laws that would eradicate poverty, strengthen education, health care, workers rights, broaden democratic space and ensure the long-term peace and stability of our society. 1. It is time to enact the Freedom of Information Act. This will help the fight
against corruption and broaden democratic space for everybody. 2. It is time to enact a meaningful and effective gun control law. We must stop the rise of criminality. 3. It is time to enact a Kasambahay law. If we want foreign employers to treat our OFW domestic workers with dignity and respect, we must show them the way. 4. It is time to create an Overseas Filipino workers Bank. This is a long held dream and vision of our OFWs. Vice President Binay has broached this to the President, but Congress must work on it now. 5. It is time to revive the tree-planting law and cover the whole country with trees. The DENR aims to green 1,500,000 hectares at the cost of P14,000 per hectare. The old Marcos decree was cost-free to the government. 6. It is time to revisit the mining law. The loopholes certain parties had used to frustrate the original intentions of the law must be plugged. 7. It is time to enact an honest-to-goodness healthcare program that will address the leading causes of disease and death, upgrade all health services and facilities, and make it easy for the poor to enjoy free hospitalization and medical care anywhere in the country. 8. It is time to encourage home schooling, distance education, dual-tech, cooperative education, and family-run schools; upgrade the government’s support for all schools; and revisit the standards for the creation of state colleges and universities. 9. It is time to limit a candidate’s election expenses to not more than the equivalent of his/her emoluments during his/her term of office; allow a system of recall for all officials, outside of those who may be removed only by impeachment; permanently bar from public office anyone who had been involved in electoral fraud. 10. It is time to regulate political dynasties, particularly in local government and the Senate. 11. It is time to disqualify or remove from public office any person promoting a service or advocacy funded wholly or in part, directly or indirectly, by a foreign party and which undermines the Constitution, laws, customs and mores of Filipinos. Except for aid to victims of calamities and conflict, no foreign money shall be transmitted to any private party in the Philippines by any source, without the prior certification of the Department of Foreign Affairs that the fund will not be used to undermine the Constitution, laws and customs of the Philippines. 1. It is time to prohibit any gambling operation within a 25-km radius of a populated section of any city, municipality or barangay, and the participation of any government official, office or agency in any gambling firm or activity. 2. It is time to limit a person’s shares in any media organization to a certain percentage of the whole, provided such shares shall be limited to not more than one form or class of media. 3. It is time to strengthen the Department of Foreign Affairs as the primary arm in defending our sovereignty abroad and the interests of Overseas Filipinos, and in campaigning for foreign trade and investments. The DFA should assume the international trade functions of the Department of Trade and Industry while the DTI concentrate on domestic trade. The President’s options for ambassadorial appointments should be expanded to include retired career ambassadors and highly qualified noncareer senior individuals, if required by the service. Conclusion We want to help the President succeed. But we shall succeed only if everything we do is grounded on what is right and good, and not on what may be fashionable or politically correct. We are not a lost atom in a random universe, Benedict XVI says. Yet a storm is raging and the ship of state is caught in the high seas. Our captain needs a compass to bring the ship safely to port. He must use it. Until then, we wait.
Vol. 15 No. 16
August 1 - 14, 2011
AMRSP Statement on Climate Change Renewing the Face of the Earth
the earth, for creation, because this is a mandate from God, and because this helps us provide for a sustainable future for succeeding generations. We should continue to develop and strengthen a spirituality that approaches nature with reverence, listening to it with respect, recognizing and understanding its language, accepting that humankind is not the center of creation. As bearers of the Gospel, we accept the challenge to be agents of hope, ever striving to overcome the temptation to frustration and despair. We insist that we can still make a difference, even with seemingly small initiatives, in our communities, in our religious congregations, and in the Association itself. In this, we draw inspiration from various stakeholders in Puerto Princesa – the local government’s political will to preserve, protect and nurture environment’s integrity, the prophetic role assumed by the local church, and the witness and sacrifice of life by Dr. Gerry Ortega, and by many simple folks in Palawan who fight to save the environment. We are challenged to assert our collective responsibility as God’s co-creators and stewards. Creation has a soul and we have to recover the spiritual energy to assist in the healing process. We are challenged to help avert environmental disaster by contributing to the greening of our forests, the de-silting of our rivers, the reduction of greenhouse gas emission effects, the management of our waste disposal, the conservation of energy, and protests against indiscriminate mining and logging. We therefore re-commit ourselves to sustainable development. * We will help combat climate change through information dissemination regarding the man-made factors causing it and its atrocious effects on the world’s ecological systems. We throw our support behind advocacy activities for the environment – signature campaigns, lobbying, mobilization and networking on the local and international levels. We will participate in programs for reforestation, zero waste management (including recycling and waste segregation), composting and the use of organic farm inputs. * We will exert effort towards the reduction of greenhouse gas effects, through the use of renewable energy and by water and energy conservation. Such activities will be undertaken, like carpooling, biking, and using public transportation more to cut down on gas consumption. Likewise, the critical use of technology and her gadgets – cell phones, i-pods, the internet, and air condition units – will serve the same purpose. * We will work for disaster risk management, in order to prevent the occurrence of climate tragedies. This will mean promoting consciousnessraising, environmental science in the curriculum, and disaster preparedness in our communities and institutions. * We will continue to challenge the local and national government to implement already existing environmental laws and amend environmental policies contributing to environmental destruction and global warming. * We affirm the work of AMRSP’s Justice and Peace and Integrity of Creation Commission and other Mission-Partners and call for the organization of factfinding teams that will address the environmental concerns. * We take a stand alongside the many advocacy groups that work for the preservation of the remaining rich biodiversity in the country, like the “No to Mining in Palawan Movement”. We express our solidarity with the families of the victims of violence against the “champions” of the environment and join them in their cause to obtain justice for their loved ones. * We anchor all our efforts on a Creation-centered Spirituality. In the end, we humbly entrust all our resolve to protect, care for and love our planet Earth to the Lord of creation and universe, the ultimate source of all life and being, who alone can make our dreams come true and renew the face of the earth. Participants of the AMRSP Joint Biennial Convention July 4-8, 2011 St. Ezekiel Moreno Spirituality & Development Center San Jose, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Aquino’s First Year: A Dark Journey for the People
AFTER a year of rhetoric promises, the Noynoy Aquino’s administration has brought no significant changes to our nation. In the guise of what it calls the “right path”, it leads the nation in further darkness where majority of our people remains in abject poverty. More so, pressing issues on corruption, human right violations and election fraud of the past have not been addressed. In the midst of high hopes for significant changes after the last elections, majority of the people are suffering under inhumane condition. The 65M poor Filipinos who struggle to survive for less than P104 a day reflect the hunger and poverty besetting our country with an alarming 7.4% army of unemployed workers (NSCB data which is higher from the same period last year). The majority of those employed (at 16.5 million) have insufficient income far below from the P988 family cost of living. These hard situations have forced 4,400 fellow Filipinos daily to seek jobs overseas. Further, high prices of basic commodities and services are subjecting more people to starvation. On top of this is the non-stop threat of dislocations affecting millions of informal settlers most especially in the National Capital Region. Attesting to these are the ongoing various attempts and violent demolitions of urban poor communities in North Triangle in Quezon City, Corazon de Jesus in San Juan, Laperal Compound in Makati and more in other parts of the country. Moreover, the spate of extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances and other human rights violations continue to hound across the country. In almost a year of Pres. Noynoy’s governance, 48 cases of extra-judicial killings and thousands of human rights violations were recorded and sadly, none of the masterminds and perpetrators were made accountable. Under his presidency, the climate of impunity engulfs the country if not legitimized. Worst, Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her conspirators under her immoral, corrupt and brutal administration remain at large causing more pain and trouble to the already wounded nation. From the most miserable experience of the Filipino nation in the past nine years under GMA reign, the Aquino administration adopts the same economic, political and foreign policies. As a response to the cry of the people for change, the administration launched the numerous Pantawid Programs which were proven to be palliative measures. The Aquino government’s 2011-2016 Medium Term Philippine Development Plan is no different from the International Monetary Fund/World Bank/World Trade Organization imposed liberalize economic program, which is the cause of the persisting plunging of our local economy. The Public-Private Partnership is nothing but privatization of public utilities and services that tolerate increase of prices in basic services similar to what happen to MWSS and MRT/LRT fare. Deception in the name of peace and development is also the attempt of the administration through its Conditional Cash Transfer and National Internal Security Plan Oplan Bayanihan. These are two copy-cat programs from the previous government and US Security plan, respectively, which aim not to empower people to attain national development but rather to discredit and eliminate groups and individuals critical to the government. Instead of allocating sufficient funds for social services to give temporary remedy to the peoples’ suffering, the administration raised the military and foreign debt budget expenditures. Instead of heeding the call of the people for P125 wage increase and genuine land reform, they implement laws favoring foreign and local big business and landlord. Instead of protecting national patrimony and sovereignty, it staunchly defended US forces and other nations’ interest over our natural resources and integrity. Instead of good governance, President Aquino appointed his “Kaibigan, Kaklase, Kabarilan” in different key positions forming the same brand of political dynasty and nepotism. President Noynoy Aquino’s performance in his first year of office manifested that being an Aquino is not an assurance of good presidency. He failed to fulfill his promises to respond to the people’s clamor for genuine change. Rather, he shows his real character as man from a wealthy political dynasty representing the elite-ruling class and the interest of his foreign master, the United States. From this discernment, the people of faith are called to respond with their prophetic role in the midst of the signs of time. We must stand firm to defend our dignity as Filipino people by pursuing collective action for national freedom and democracy. MR. NARDy SABINO Secretary-General firstname.lastname@example.org
HUMANKIND is standing at the edge of a deep chasm due to an increasing global warming and we realize that we are losing our foothold. We cannot allow this to happen. We have to get our act together to hold our ground and prevent our fall. We, the members of the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines, were gathered for our Biennial Convention, on July 4-8, 2011, at St. Ezekiel Moreno Spirituality and Development Center, Puerto Princesa. In this “cleanest and greenest city”, we were privileged to see the grandeur of creation in the Underground River, the lush trees of this city within a forest, the rich mountains, the pristine rivers and seas. We were awed by its magnificent bounty and beauty, re-affirming that all these are gifts from God, flowing from our Creator’s limitless love. On the other hand, we are grieved by the continuing denudation of our forests, the plunder of our mineral wealth through reckless mining, the destruction of our biodiversity and the increasing depletion of our marine life and fresh water resources. We are losing our agricultural lands to
subdivisions, malls, memorial parks and golf courses. Our waters are contaminated. The air we breathe is polluted. All this environmental degradation across the country, contributes to global warming, which has, in turn, resulted in “climate change.” This climate change is already wreaking havoc on our earth, bringing death and disease to our peoples, damaging property and infrastructures, destroying crops, bringing in much flooding, soil erosion, and landslides. More of this will happen and worsen, unless something is done NOW. In the face of such contrasting realities, together with our mission partners and resource persons, we have reflected deeply in prayer, study, and discernment on our convention’s theme – Climate Change: Its Impact and Challenges. It disturbs us to recognize that even as we are agents of change and protectors of nature, we also intrude on her, and disturb her rhythm. We often forget that the web of life connects us all: what we destroy will destroy us in return. We realize that we must reclaim a sense of responsibility for nature, for
‘The Holy See Reaffirms the Right of Chinese Catholics to Be Able to Act Freely’
(Press Statement of the Holy See on the most recent Episcopal ordination in China without papal approval)
THE following clarifications are issued with reference to the episcopal ordination of the Reverend Joseph Huang Bingzhang which took place on Thursday, 14 July 2011: 1) The Reverend Joseph Huang Bingzhang, having been ordained without p ap al m an d at e a n d h e n c e illicitly, has incurred the sanctions laid down by canon 1382 of the Code of Canon Law. Consequently, the Holy See does not recognize him as Bishop of the Diocese of Shantou, and he lacks authority to govern the Catholic community of the Diocese. The Reverend Huang Bingzhang had been informed some time ago that he could not be approved by the Holy See as an episcopal candidate, inasmuch as the Diocese of Shantou already has a legitimate Bishop; Reverend Huang had been asked on numerous occasions not to accept episcopal ordination. 2) From various sources the Holy See had knowledge of the fact that some Bishops, contacted by the civil authorities, had expressed their unwillingness to take part in an illicit ordination and also offered various forms of resistance, yet were reportedly obliged to take part in the ordination. With regard to this resistance, it should be noted that it is meritorious before God and calls for appreciation
on the part of the whole Church. Equal appreciation is also due to those priests, consecrated persons and members of the faithful who have defended their pastors, accompanying them by their prayers at this difficult time and sharing in their deep suffering. 3) The Holy See reaffirms the right of Chinese Catholics to be able to act freely, following their consciences and
remaining faithful to the Successor of Peter and in communion with the universal Church. The Holy Father, having learned of these events, once again deplores the manner in which the Church in China is being treated and hopes that the present difficulties can be overcome as soon as possible. From the Vatican, 16 July 2011
Vol. 15 No. 16
August 1 - 14, 2011
Does God come to save his people in the midst of crisis?
19th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year A (Matt 14:22-33)August 7, 2011
By Msgr. Lope C. Robredillo, SThD
ON the question whether it was enough to rely on the technological revolution without reference to God, the late John Paul II once said: “Christ alone is the cornerstone on which it is possible to build one’s existence. The 20th century often tried to do without reference to Him. It ended by actually building that city against man.” Indeed, there has been much change in man’s attitude to God in the 20th century. Even in this country, the culture tends to do away with the spiritual dimension of life. In the countryside, fifty years ago, once the bell rang for the six o’clock, the whole family gathered in front of their altar to pray the angelus and rosary; and seldom does house construction provide for a family altar. Now, they gather for such primetime dramas as “Amaya” or “Time of My Life”. Indeed, how many people really make God the center of their lives? But at the same time, a man of faith asks—why does God allow these things to happen? Why does He not reverse the cultural transformation? Why does he not visibly help those who wish to build brick by brick the city of God within the city of man? Why doesn’t he teach godless men a lesson that they cannot build the city of man without reference to the spiritual dimension of their lives? It is possible that Elijah raised almost similar questions during his time. Around the middle of the ninth century, BC, God called him for a mission to bring back the people of Israel to true worship, because they had turned their back on Yahweh. Thus, he fearlessly spoke against the proselytizing efforts of the pagan queen Jezebel in the northern kingdom, and defeated her more than 800 prophets at Carmel (1 Kings 18). Since the queen was greatly displeased, Elijah ran for his life. And he felt frustrated that God seemed to have allowed him to battle against Jezebel alone, and that his mission had no success. So, he prayed for death: “This is enough, Lord! Take my life, for I am no better than my fathers” (1 Kgs 19:4b). But as the first reading indicates, it is not that God was absent in his fight against Jezebel; it is simply that he was not present in the way Elijah imagined: “A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the Lord—but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake—but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was fire—but the Lord was not in the fire. After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound” (1 Kgs 19:1112). Yes, the Lord was present, but in a new way—in a hidden way, as in a tiny whispering sound! to happen. But if the Gospel has anything to teach us, it is that in the direst need of the Church, when everything seems lost, Christ is there present in their midst: “Get hold of yourselves! It is I. Do not be afraid” (Matt 14:27). The saying “it is I” reminds us of Yahweh’s appearances in the Old Testament theophanies, as when God appeared to Moses saying “I am,” assuring him that Yahweh was there to save his people. The point of the Gospel is that Christ does not abandon the Church; when it faces crisis and persecutions, he is always there to save his people. What is important is that every Church leader or every Christian puts his trust in him. To stress this point, Matthew tells us the story of Peter who asked permission from the Lord to share in his miraculous power, but frightened by the power of the sea, the wind and the waves, became scared, buckled and started sinking. Like that of the disciples in the boat, the scene of Peter eventually collapsing is a picture of every Church leader or Christian who, in the face of crisis, is caught in a conflict between faith and doubt. (It is even probable that this scene anticipates for the reader the later failure of Peter in the passion narrative, when he denied the Lord three times, fearing that he might share in the latter’s fate!) Of course, it is not easy to face persecutions. When the going gets tough, more than toughness is needed to get going—especially when one experiences reversals or setbacks, one after the other, and there is no one to turn to, since the Lord himself seems to be absent or not to care. But like the story of the small whispering sound in the first reading, the story of the Lord coming to Peter indicates that the Lord is with the Christian, though not necessarily in the way the believer expects him to be present. Despite all appearances to the contrary, he does not abandon the Christian in crisis—he is always there to save. All the Christian needs is trust in his presence, and in his power to save. He is always there with him, watching him in prayer, even as Jesus was at the top of the mountain praying while the disciples were inside the boat (Matt 14:23). When the Christian faces crisis and persecution, Christ does not allow him to disappear, even as Jesus did not allow Peter to sink entirely (Matt 14:31). But it is faith that is decisive, it is faith that saves (Matt 14:32), for faith knows that God cares, despite appearances to the contrary. Which brings to mind the song Footprints in the Sand, a story about a believer who dreamed he was walking with the Lord along the beach. Scenes from his life flashed across the sky, and for each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, one belonging to him, the other to the Lord. In a
Crisis / B7
Can non-Christians be saved?
20th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year A (Matt 15:21-28) August 14, 2011
tyrannical rule, the Israelites tried to separate themselves from these nations. Indeed, the community of Israel would not even permit Gentiles to become members (cf Deut 23:2-8). There cannot be any salvation for these pagans. This religious culture seems to be the backdrop of today’s Gospel. When a Canaanite woman came to Jesus so that her daughter, who was tormented by a demon, could be healed, and his disciples told him about it, Jesus replied: “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Mark 15:24). In fact, he said to the woman, “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs” (Mark 15:26) “Children”, of course, represents Israel, while “dogs” is a Jewish term of contempt for Gentiles. But the exile of the Jews to Babylon transformed their view of the Gentiles. In Isaiah, for instance, the prophet envisages a time when nations will come to Jerusalem to learn the law: “Many nations shall come and say: ‘Come, let us climb the Lord’s mountain, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his paths” (Isa 2:2-3). The nations will be converted, justice will be established, peace will reign and all will worship one God. Thus the first reading: “My salvation is about to come, my justice, about to be revealed. And all foreigners who join themselves to the Lord and becoming his servants— them I will bring to my holy mountain, and make joyful in my house of prayer, for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples” (Isa 56:1.6-7). In this Isaianic tradition, which has a universalist outlook, all will share in the one salvation of God, but of course, this happens through Israel. No wonder, St Paul could write Timothy: “God wants all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim 2:4). This is why, despite the earlier claim that he was sent only to the house of Israel, Jesus expelled the demon from the daughter of the Canaanite (Matt 15:28). In principle, therefore, all Gentiles can share in the ultimate salvation. And just as Isaiah envisaged that the Gentiles will come to the Lord through Israel, so in the new order, all nations will receive salvation through the new
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Today’s Gospel conveys almost similar point. The narrative is rather symbolic: the scene of the disciples gathered in a boat is unmistakably a picture of the Church, and the rough waves raised by strong headwinds that tossed the boat could be easily identified with the persecution that the early Church must have experienced. Like the
persecutions by Jezebel, the persecutions that the early Church underwent shook the faith of the first Christians, some even giving it up. Others certainly raised questions whether Jesus still cared for them, since in their prayer they felt his absence. It is natural to expect that some would have wondered why Jesus allowed the persecutions
Reflections on the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A) Parish Priest’s Day August 7, 2011
By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
THE unexpected violent storm was frightening enough as it tossed the fragile boat with the twelve gasping disciples. Then the apparition of a man walking on the water as on solid ground just made things worse. It could only be a spirit – death itself, perhaps, coming to get them! . . . The reassuring words of Jesus, “It is I. Do not be afraid” needed to be verified. Peter thought he could put the Lord to the test. He did not realize that now he was the one being tested. His faith was tested. And it was soon obvious that he was failing the test. His daring request “Tell me to come to you across the water!” was about to cost him his very life. Good for him that Jesus was at hand. So Peter was saved – a seasoned, strong fisherman rescued by a carpenter/preacher who had seldom seen the sea in his life! The moment Jesus climbed the boat, “the wind died down!” (Mt 14:32) Thus, that night Peter and his partners added yet another memorable, incredible event to the already long list of unforgettable experiences they had gone through since the day they had met the young rabbi from Nazareth . . . . There is so much of Peter in each one of us. He is the head of a huge crowd to which we all belong. Though most of us are not fishermen and few may have been at sea in a fragile boat during a hellish night storm, many of us are over-confident, impetuous, lacking constancy... like Peter! And our life, from time to time, does resemble the stormy sea of Galilee, too! Sometimes, after daring too much and having used up the last ounce of our energies, gripped by the terror of the impending disaster, we too have found ourselves crying out: “Lord, save me!” These are the moments when our pride vanishes and the child that is in us, the believer that is in us, surface from the killer waves and bring us to clasp desperately the friendly, steady hand of Jesus, the only One Who can lead us to safety. So we have been saved time and time again not by our might, but by God’s merciful love. And thus, thanks to Him, we have continued our journey through the sea of life ever-confident of the nearness of the God Who always protects and saves those who trust in Him.
Security in God’s loving care
By Msgr. Lope C. Robredillo, SThD
WHEN it comes to the doctrine of salvation, there still seems to be exclusivism in the teaching of many ecclesial bodies and sects. In Isang Pagbubunyag sa Iglesia ni Cristo, the following is claimed: “Jesus taught that a person needs to enter into him in order to be saved… In Col 1:18, it says: ‘And he is the head of the body, the church… Christ is the head and the Church is Christ’s body. Whoever enters into Christ, enters into Christ’s head… Therefore, in order for a person to be saved, he must become a member of the Iglesia ni Cristo.” D. Platt’s Counterfeit!, from which the quote was lifted, states that according to the teaching of the Jehovah’s witnesses, only 144,000 will share in the heavenly glory, because this is plainly shown in the Scriptures. If this is true, will the more than two billion people in the world who do not belong to the Iglesia ni Cristo, or who are outside the 144,000, not share in God’s glory? Is one saved exclusively on the basis of the body he enters into, or of a required number? Will it be only on the basis of who are able to get into an island, as in the case of Ruben Ecleo’s PBMA which teaches that only those who come to Dinagat will be saved from the coming cataclysm? What does the Bible really say of salvation of peoples? The fate of other people, their salvation, was a great concern of the early Church. It was even so crucial not only in the discussion but also in the division of the first Christians. In its early history, Israel did not consider the Gentiles within the purview of salvation. For one thing, there was, as Grelot and Pierron note, scarcely anytime that the existence of Israel as a nation was not threatened, if not ravished, by the Gentile nations, caught as she was in the currents of international politics. If they opposed Israel which was the depository of essential values that pertain to salvation, they thereby set themselves in opposition to God’s plan. For another, the Gentiles represent paganism, idolatry and tyranny. Therefore, in order that Israel would not be contaminated by their pagan and idolatrous worship and
Reflections on the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A) August 14, 2011
By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
GOD is “Father”—Father to all human beings. And He wants all of them to attain the aim for which they were created: eternal life with Him. (See 1 Tim 2:4.) Unfortunately, however, sin has been a disruptive factor in human history. God’s plan to bring all men to eternal happiness has become a “rescue plan,” and the execution of His plan of salvation has to be actualized by stages. In God’s plan there exists a “core group,” the people of Israel, for whom He cared in a special manner, because it was from them that the Savior of mankind would come. But the formal offer of salvation to all other peoples was to take place only through the Church, founded by Christ and guided and enlivened by the Holy Spirit. This same Holy Spirit, however, has always been at work even among the pagans, gradually directing them to yearn for the salvation that comes from Christ. In ways known to Him alone, the Spirit has led every individual and every nation, through the meanders of history, toward the fulfillment of the Divine Plan. In the mysterious interplay of human freedom and divine grace, of man’s errors and God’s saving interventions, we witness the unfolding of the design of an all-encompassing love conceived by divine Wisdom and actualized at the proper time. Today’s Gospel passage verifies this truth as it conveys in a dramatic way the wonderful message that God loves all. His salvation does not exclude anyone,
God’s love is universal
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Fr. Francis Ongkingco
Youthful tips of Benedict XVI
“THE Pope’s really cool!” Tod said as he checked out a new website launched by the Vatican. “Why so?” Sheena asked as she curiously peeked behind his back to check out the Pope’s historic tweet: “DEAR FRIENDS, I JUST LAUNCHED NEWS.VA. PRAISED BE OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST! WITH MY PRAYERS AND BLESSINGS, BENEDICTUS XVI.” “Dude! He’s soooo cool! He’s the only Pope I’ve known who tweets, tweaks and ticks!” Tod replied. “This Pope is really catching up!” Sheena exclaimed. “I guess, more than catching up, he’s not going to take things sitting down and is eager to tweak us with his ticking insights.” *** Pope’s Benedict XVI’s historic tweet really made considerable media mileage. This isn’t only because of his being Pope, but also because many people who are still “stuck” with an archaic image of the Church, find it “strangely attractive” that a divinely founded institution would have recourse to something so modern and technologically synched with the times. Benedict XVI stands faithful to his words on the day of his inauguration: “The Church is alive!” Not only is She alive, but in fact sets the pace for humanity’s destiny: “And the Church is young. She holds within herself the future of the world and therefore shows each of us the way towards the future.” Thus, the Pope does not tire in reminding both the young and not so young about the most important truths about man’s life here on earth. They can be summarized in the following points: • Holiness and Happiness. In his address to the youth of UK’s Catholic schools he expressed this most striking invitation: “I hope that among those of you listening to me today there are some of the future saints of the twenty-first century. What God wants most of all for each one of you is that you should become holy. He loves you much more than you could ever begin to imagine, and he wants the very best for you. And by far the best thing for you is to grow in holiness.” (UK Catholic Schools, London, IX-17-2010) And one’s search for holiness becomes the answer to one’s longing for happiness: “The key to it is very simple – true happiness is to be found in God. We need to have the courage to place our deepest hopes in God alone, not in money, in a career, in worldly
Vol. 15 No. 16
August 1 - 14, 2011
By Ronalyn R. Regino
Childhope Asia Philippines: An International Movement in behalf of Street Children
visible among the street children in order to maintain and to establish trust among them. Street Education includes the school and wish to return to formal school are assisted with Non-Formal Accreditation and Equivalency classes as their preparation for the ALS street children so they would know how to save money and how to spend it wisely; (5) Health and Medical Services through Mobile Health Clinic which provides preventive health services, health awareness training and curative services to street children and referral services to hospitals and clinics for children affected with serious illnesses. This van goes once every two weeks per area of operation for better follow-up cases seen and managed; (6) Arts, Sports and Recreation such as sports festival and participation in music camps; and, (7) Development of Leadership and Organization Capabilities among Street Children where street children observed to possess leadership qualities are recruited and trained as Junior Health Workers full-time field workers who serve as the initial contact of the street children. There are two street educators assigned in each area – a teacher and a counselor or a social worker. They work from Tuesdays to Saturdays from 4:00pm to 9:00pm. They conduct alternative education sessions and individual psychosocial case management. They are considered as caregivers of the street children who help them develop resilience. According to Ms. Teresita Silva, CHAP’s President and Executive Director, several parishes in Metro Manila who have a program focus on children, including street children, have provided support to the street children assisted by Childhope. The Parish Priest of Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz in Binondo Manila, Msgr. Jerome Reyes, has for the last 11 years provided room facilities for basic education sessions for street children using the Alternative Learning System (ALS) Program in collaboration with Malayan Insurance Company. The Rector Parish Priest of Nuestra Señora De Guia Parish in Ermita, Manila, Fr. Sanny de Claro, has for the last 5 years, included the street children in seminars for the reception of the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and first communion, as well as catechism for street children and street mothers, daily nutrition feeding for 100 children, and facilities for vocational skills training for street youth. Meanwhile, the San Roque Parish in Blumentritt, Manila has integrated the participation of street children in their Christmas Parties, founding anniversaries and other activities, as well as provided venue for sessions on alternative education and similar activities. Furthermore, the Our Lady of the Airways in NAIA, Parañaque has also provided the sacraments of confirmation and facilities for alternative education sessions among the street children assisted by Childhope. CHAP operates in more than 20 locations within Metro Manila such as Manila, Quezon City, Caloocan, Pasay, Makati, Parañaque, and Marikina reaching over 250 street children every day.
Photos courtesy of Childhope Asia Philippines
BEING a third world country, in the Philippines, the sight of street children roaming the metropolis’ main thoroughfares is a common spectacle. It is not unusual for people to see a number of street children every day. There are government agencies handling this case; however, only a few knows that there are selfless institutions which were founded to defend the rights of the street children; one of them is Childhope Asia Philippines. In 1986, Childhope is an international movement for children’s welfare. During the First Regional Conference on Street Children held in Manila, Childhope established Childhope South East Asia with its headquarters in Manila on the same year. It was only in 1995 when Childhope in the Philippines became an independent Philippine nongovernment organization and registered with Security and Exchange Commission as Childhope Asia Philippines. Childhope Asia Philippines is a non-profit, non-political and nonsectarian organization which advocates for the cause of street children in the Philippines and Asian regions. They implement programs and services to educate, protect, counsel and assist the indigent children as well. CHAP’s programs include street education, consultancy services to their sister organization Tahanan Sta. Luisa (drop-in) center, advocacy training and capacity building, community mobilization against child abuse and substance abuse and databank or resource center. The Street Education program— CHAP’s main mission—aims to aid street children in protecting themselves and encourage them to give up life on streets through reunification with families or referral to temporary shelters such as Tahanan Sta. Luisa. This goal, however, entails long term psychological counseling and support. Hence, Childhope Asia Philippines’ street educators and counselors spend plenty of time being
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following services: (1) Psychosocial Intervention wherein street children are provided with individual and group counseling geared towards positive behavioral change to help them cope with their problems and difficulties in life; (2) Alternative Education regarding UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Spiritual and Value Formation, Substance Abuse Prevention Education, STIHIV/AIDS Prevention Education, Protective Behavior against Child Sexual Abuse, Para-legal Education, Life Skills and Life Goal Planning, Adolescent Reproductive Health, Gender Sensitivity, Primary Health Care, Basic Numeracy and Literacy and Financial Education. These services are conducted on sidewalks, under the trees, parking lots, churches or wherever there is adequate space and privacy with the help of Mobile Education Van; (3) Basic Literacy and Numeracy or Alternative Learning System (ALS) wherein children who were out of
exam conducted by Department of Education-Bureau of Alternative Learning System; (4) Financial Education among older
(JHWs) and/or Junior Advocates (JAs). CHAP’s street educators and counselors are dedicated professional
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success, or in our relationships with others, but in God. Only he can satisfy the deepest needs of our hearts.” (Ibid.) • Encounter with Christ. He then reveals to his listeners that this wonderful design of God for every person can only take place if we center ourselves in Christ. “He is your contemporary! He seeks you even before you seek Him! While fully respecting your freedom, He approaches each one of you and offers Himself as the authentic and decisive response to the longing deep within your hearts, to your desire for a life worth living. Let Him take you by the hand! Let Him become more and more your friend and companion along life’s journey. Put your trust in Him and He will never disappoint you.” (Message to Croatian Youth, Zagreb, VI-4-2011) And this daily encounter becomes the starting and enduring conversion of every person. He says: “And once you enter into friendship with God, everything in your life begins to change. As you come to know him better, you find you want to reflect something of his infinite goodness in your own life. You are attracted to the practice of
virtue. You begin to see greed and selfishness and all the other sins for what they really are, destructive and dangerous tendencies that cause deep suffering and do great damage, and you want to avoid falling into that trap yourselves. You begin to feel compassion for people in difficulties and you are eager to do something to help them. You want to come to the aid of the poor and the hungry, you want to comfort the sorrowful, you want to be kind and generous. And once these things begin to matter to you, you are well on the way to becoming saints.” (London, IX-17-2010) • Spreading the faith. This encounter with Christ will allow one “to fully become the person he is meant to be.” And this will naturally flow outwards in one’s generosity to give witness of this encounter. “As you grow in friendship with the Lord through His word, the Eucharist and life in the Church, you will be able, with the help of your priests, to testify to the complete joy of having encountered the One who always stands at your side and enables you to live in confidence and hope.” (Zagreb, VI-4-2011) • Pointing out the obstacles. The Pope warns us that this
lofty goal can be thwarted if one is not vigilant against the world that can stifle God’s love in us. He says that many young people want to be happy, “but one of the great tragedies in this world is that so many people never find it, because they look for it in the wrong places.” (London, IX-17-2010) He adds: “Do not let yourselves be led astray by enticing promises of easy success, by lifestyles which regards appearances as more important than inner depth. Do not yield to the temptation of putting all your trust in possessions, in material things, while abandoning the search for the truth which is always greater, which guides us like a star high in the heavens to where Christ would lead us.” (Zagreb, VI-4-2011) • Pointing out the means. He says that this will be possible if, –following the theme of the upcoming world youth day this August in Madrid– we are “rooted and built up in Christ, and established in the faith. (Col. 2:7)” This is made possible when we each take up seriously our commitment to Christ through a plan of prayer and sacrifice, a dynamic Sacramental life and generous
service of the Church. This is also accompanied with the company and example of the saints. “Let it (the truth) guide you to the very heights of God! In this springtime of your youth, you can find support in the witness which so many of the Lord’s disciples gave in their own days by treasuring the newness of the Gospel in their hearts. Think of Francis and Clare of Assisi, Rose of Viterbo, Theresa of the Child Jesus, Dominic Savio: think of all the many young saints in the great company of the Church!” (Zagreb, VI-4-2011) Finally, one’s struggle for holiness cannot be without the help of our Lady, Holy Mary. “This young life, completely given over to love, bears the fragrance of Christ; it invites all of us not to be afraid and to entrust ourselves to the Lord as did the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church. (…) She did not fear to surrender Herself completely to God’s plan; in Her we see the goal to which we are called: full communion with the Lord. Our entire life is a journey towards the Unity and Trinity of Love which is God; we can live our lives in the certainty that we will never be abandoned.”(Zagreb, VI-4-2011)
remarkable dialogue, the believer asked: “Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you’d walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why when I needed you most you would leave me.” But the Lord replied:
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“My son, my precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.” Of course, being saved does not always mean being freed from death; it could also mean being saved even in death.
though its concrete actualization may have “stages” that do not always coincide with our expectations. But, in the end, the great truth shines forth: for those who love God and trust in Him, everything works out for their greater good – everything, including illness and suffering! The immediate need that brings them to Him may be their need to be healed from a grave illness, or a demonic possession, as we hear in today’s Gospel. But what brings these people to Jesus is something deeper than the immediate need: it is FAITH – the firm conviction that God is at work in Jesus of Nazareth, and he can grant the salvation they need. Indeed, God’s redeeming love knows no frontiers and faith is the “bridge” that enables us to reach out to Him and be saved by His love.
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Israel, Jesus himself. “God has not destined us for wrath, but for acquiring salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess 5:9). In the plan of God, then, salvation is not dependent on a required number, or limited to a sect, or to those who can get into an island in time for the great catastrophe. No! All nations are included in God’s plan of salvation in Jesus Christ. This biblical faith is likewise the faith of the Catholic Church. Says the Declaration Dominus Iesus on the Unicity and Salvific Universality of Jesus Christ and the Church: “It must therefore be firmly believed as a truth of Catholic faith that the universal salvific will of the One and Triune God is offered and accomplished once for all in the mystery of the incarnation, death and resurrection of the Son of God” (n 14). But how does a man or woman, Gentile or not, respond to God’s offer of salvation? In today’s Gospel, Matthew tells us that the response of faith is salvific. When the woman insisted, saying, “Please, Lord, even the dogs eat the leavings that fall for their masters’ table,” Jesus told her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your wish will come to pass.” And Matthew adds that that very moment, her daughter got
better (Matt 15:27-29). By faith of course is not meant simple trust or confidence. Rather, in the words of the same Declaration, it is “by which man freely entrusts his entire self to God, offering the full submission of intellect and will to God who reveals, and freely assenting to the revelation given by him. Faith is a gift of grace: in order to have faith, the grace of God must come first and give assistance, there must also be the interior helps of the Holy Spirit, who moves the heart and converts it to God, who opens the eyes of the mind and gives to everyone joy and ease in assenting to and believing in the truth. The obedience of faith implies acceptance of the truth of Christ’s revelation, guaranteed by God, who is Truth itself: faith is first of all a personal adherence of man to God. At the same time, and inseparably, it is a free assent to the whole truth that God has revealed. Faith, therefore, as a gift of God and as a supernatural virtue infused by him, involves dual adherence: to God who reveals and to the truth which he reveals, out of the trust which one has in him who speaks. Thus, we must believe in no one but God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” (n 7).
Vol. 15 No. 16
August 1 - 14, 2011
Abhorrent disturbing Acceptable Wholesome Exemplary
Poor Below average Average Above average Excellent
TITLE: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 2) CAST: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Gary Oldman, Ralph Fiennes, Jamie Campbell Bower, Helena Bonham Carter, Jason Isaacs, Tom Felton, Alan Rickman DIRECTOR: David Yates WRITERS: J.K. Rowling, Steve Kloves GENRE: SciFi/Fantasy, Action/ Adventure RUNNING TIME: 130 minutes Technical Assessment: 4 Moral Assessment: 3.5 CINEMA Rating: For viewers age 14 and above.
VOLDEMORT (Ralph Fiennes) takes possession of the Elder Wand, the most powerful wand in the world that can render its wielder invincible. Meanwhile, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint), determined to put down Voldemort, pursue their search for the remaining Horcruxes containing pieces of Voldemort’s soul—the destruction of which would lead to his death. The trio learn that one of them is in a vault at the goblin bank, and to find the others they need to go to Hogwarts. But the Deatheaters and the Dementors are hovering over the place; besides, masterof-treachery Severus Snape (Alan Rickman) is now Hogwarts headmaster. In the somber atmosphere of Hogwarts which is now on lockdown, everybody is pinning their hopes on Harry Potter who has grown from terrified lad to a powerful, selfassured wizard. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 2) crowns the ten-year saga involving eight films helmed by four directors. The series also made its leads Radcliffe, Watson and Grint among the youngest child star millionaires in film history. The series seems to have evolved
along with the maturing of its three young lead characters— with the childish Quidditch games gradually giving way to wizardry employed in earnest by the characters who have recognized their destiny as champions of good versus evil. The film provides a satisfying conclusion to the Harry Potter series that has thrilled audiences of all ages on a magical roller coaster ride and earned over six billion dollars from box office sales alone. What is so potent about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 2) is not so much the pyrotechnics (although the movie is far from short on that department) but the subtler ways through which the drama and the tension between good and evil are portrayed through an interweaving of magic and reality. Sure there are spells and wands and goblins and giants plus one rabid dragon coming into play but when the smoke clears the glory of the human spirit shines. Those who have read the book would know what we are alluding to, but those who have followed only the movie version may be in for startling revelations. We do not mean to spill out spoilers but something must be said about this story that has taken a whole decade and almost 20 hours of screen time to tell. For some it could present a lesson in rash judgment. Just as CINEMA refrains from critiquing a film before we see it—that’s why what we write are called “reviews”: first we viewthe film, then re-view it with a more critical eye—we can also only assess the merits of an epic fantasy after it is sealed by its concluding episode. When the first of this J. K. Rowling series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, came out in 2001, not a few observers thought it was but another potboiler glamorizing witchcraft and sorcery at the expense of young people’s perception of reality. But
the subsequent box-office success of the series points to a satisfied need in the viewer, something we dare not delve into in this review. Whether it is a simple need to be entertained or one that seeks profound metaphysical answers, we can’t tell, but this concluding series begs to be viewed in the context of the whole epic narrative. It is nothing short of grace, quiet grace that falls like rain on parched earth, that comes upon us as we see the final minutes of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. We see Harry, Hermione and Ron almost two decades after the battle at Deathly Hallows, but instead of wishing they were back on their flying brooms we heave a sigh of relief that they are where they are. We realize these “kids” have become part of our life. We have seen them grow into their roles through ten years of fantasy and adventure and now that they have come of age, we wish every good thing for them as though they were part of our family. While we found amusement in their juvenile exploits we now experience amazement in their ordinariness. Showing the three principals wearing wedding rings and pushing baby prams, this film roots for family life as the ultimate in human fulfillment. The single scene that ought to redeem J. K. Rowling’s opus in the eyes of its early critics and raise its moral value a notch higher is the one shot among Hogwart’s ruins, with Harry holding the Elder Wand which is rightfully his. Ron says, “It’s the most powerful wand in the world, it makes you invincible… what do we do with it?” Hermione turns to Ron and exclaims, “We?” Harry doesn’t say a word but does something in reply that stuns his two companions. When you see the movie and come to this scene, watch your thought to see what it reminds you of. Surprise!
MAC en COLET
Ni Bladimer Usi
Look for the images of the Chalice, Saint Luke and Archangel Gabriel. (Illustration by Bladimer Usi)
TITLE: The Adventures of Pureza: Queen of the Riles CAST: Milai Canteveros, Jason Francisco, Martin Del Rosario, Bianca Manalo, Bekimon, Nico Antonio, Joem Bascom, Ms, Gina Pareno DIRECTOR: Soxie Topacio PRODUCER: Star Cinema & Cine Screen DISTRIBUTOR: Star Cinema GENRE: Romantic Comedy LOCATION: Manila RUNNING TIME: 115 minutes. Technical Assessment: 3 Moral Assessment: 2.5 CINEMA Rating: For viewers age 14 and above.
NAKATIRA si Pura (Melai Cantiveros) sa gilid ng riles kasama ang itinuturing niyang nakababatang kapatid na si Ulam (Martin del Rosario). Lahat ng trabaho ay pinapasok ni Pura para maipantustos sa pangangailangan nilang magkapatid at lalo na para sa pag-aaral ni Ulam. Sa gitna ng kabi-kabilang mga raket ay pinakamataas na pangarap pa rin ni Pura ang maging isang modelo. Ang matalik na kaibigan naman ni Pura na si Ruben (Jason Francisco) ay nagta-trabaho bilang driver ng isang sindikato. Magpupumilit si Pura nang minsang utusan si Ruben ng sindikato na sunduin ang isang paparating na modelo galing Brazil. Sa di sinasadyang pangyayari ay mawawala sa kanilang paningin ang Brazilian model at manganganib ang kanilang buhay sa sindikato kung kaya’t susubukan ni Pura na humalili sa mga dapat sana’y gagampanan ng modelo tulad ng pagrampa, pag-pose sa pictorial at iba pa. Pero mas magiging simula pa lamang ito ng mga nakaambang panganib sa buhay ng magkaibigang Pura at Ruben. Hindi malinaw ang takbo ng kuwento ng pelikula. Lumiko-liko ito sa maraming direksyon ngunit hindi pa rin nagkaroon ng malinaw na patutunguhan. Bagama’t nakasentro ang kuwento sa buhay ni Pura, sumasanga-sanga ito sa kung saan-saan. Resulta tuloy ay pawang sabog at peilkula at di nito gaanong naaliw ang manononood. Nasayang ang husay ng mga nagsiganap lalo na ang bida na si Cantiveros at Francisco. Nagkulang sa hagod ang mga esksena na pawang minadali lang lahat. Labas tuloy ay nagkulang sa pagiging komedya ang pelikula. Sa dami rin ng gusto nitong sabihin ay hindi pa rin siya nakarating sa nais nitong paroonan. Karamihan din sa mga sangkap ng patawa na ihalo sa pelikula ay gasgas na kundi man muling ibinabalik ang ‘toilet: humor.” Ang bidang si Pura ay larawan ng isang uliran kapatid at kaibigan. Bagama’t sumasabog ang kuwento ng The Adventures of Pureza: Queen of the Riles ay maliwanag naman ang mensahe nito ukol sa paggawa ng kabutihan at pag-iwas sa gawaing masama. Sa kabila ng pagkapit ni Pura sa patalim sa panahon ng kagipitan, nakuha pa rin nitong ipaglaban ang mga kaibigan at isakripisyo ang kaligtasan ng kanyang buhay alang-alang sa kapatid at mga kaibigan. Yun nga lang, nakababahala ang ginawang pagsisinungaling ng ilang tauhan sa oras ng pangangailangan. Baka isipin ng mga mas nakababatang manonood na ang pagsisinungaling ay tama. Nariyan din ang nakababahalang paggamit ng pelikula ng sinaunang “toilet humor” na ginagawang kasangkapan sa pagpapatawa ang mga bagay na dapat sana’y sa pribadong pagkakataon lamang ginagawa at pinag-uusapan. Sa kabila nito, nariyan pa rin ang pamamayani ng pakikipag-kapwa-tao, pagkiling sa mabuti, paggawa ng kabutihan at pagmamalasakit sa kapwa maging kadugo man ito o hindi. At sa pagkakaroon nito ng bidang katulad ni Cantiveros, mabibigyan ng pagasa ang maraming mga katulad niya na kadalasan ay agad nahuhusgahan dahil sa panlabas na anyo. Pwede rin palang maging bida sa pelikula kahit hindi mestiza at ang lahat ay may karapatang mangarap, umibig at ibigin.
Vol. 15 No. 16
August 1 - 14, 2011
A Supplement Publication of KCFAPI and the Order of the Knights of Columbus
2011 Search for KCFAPI holds workshop to Philippines’ increase employees’ auditing skills Fathers for Good,
THE Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines Inc. (KCFAPI) has initiated various activities to meet its corporate quality objectives and to ensure external and internal customer satisfaction.
process. Ms. Andres tackled about the various audit principles related to auditors such as ethical conduct; the obligation to report truthfully and accurately; application of diligence and judgment in auditing; independence; and evidence-based approach. KCFAPI continued to be ISO certified with the confirmation of its certifying body, the Certification International (CI). On July 7, the surveillance audit found its Quality Management System (QMS) in compliance with the requirements of ISO 9001:2008. This is a systematic process of obtaining and examining the transparency and truthfulness of financial records, the principles of which were applied by Fr. George J. Willmann, the founder of the Knights of Columbus in the country. (KCFAPI News)
KCFAPI President, Guillermo N. Hernandez (center) and EVP, Ma. Theresa G. Curia (4th from left), during the awarding of Certificate of Authority given by Deputy Commissioner, Ms. Vida Chiong (3rd from left) of the Insurance Commission. Also present in the event are the KCFAPI Executives.
Recently, DTI Representative, and Internal Quality Audit Trainer, Ms. Ermelinda Andres, conducted a two-day workshop to more than 15 KCFAPI employees to serve as a refresher course for experienced auditors and a formal training for new ones. This was held at the KCFAPI head office in Intramuros, Manila. The workshop aimed to increase the employees’ level of competence and familiarity to audit procedures and equip them for the actual audit
DTI Representative, Ms. Ermelinda Andres during her two day lecture with the Internal Quality Auditors of KCFAPI.
KCFAPI Chairman urges knights to seek Fr. Willmann’s intercession
FORMER Chief Justice and KCFAPI Chairman Hilario G. Davide, Jr. has appealed to fellow knights to continuously invoke the intercession of Fr. George Willmann in asking for particular graces from God. “We further urge you to fervently seek Fr. Willmann’s intercession in all your petitions for God’s graces and to report to the Knights of Columbus Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ Charities Inc. all blessings you may have received with the intercession of Fr. Willmann,” he said. Davide, who also chairs the National Committee for the Beatification of Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ cited that the process of beatification is a long, tedious, and expensive one. He expressed hope that through faith and prayer, and support of the believers, God will hear their petition for Fr. Willmann to be raised to the honors of the altar. On May 19, 2011, a resolution was approved in order to establish the National Executive Committee for the Cause for Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ. The Board of Trustees also approved the Working Committees and Members on July 1, 2011 to assist the NEC in advocating the life and works of Fr. Willmann. Aside from being an advocate in spreading the sanctity of Fr. Willmann and the graces that come with it, Davide also extended invitation to join Fr. Willmann Fellows to further the Cause for Fr. Willmann, who is also the founder of KCFAPI. The fellowship was launched by the Knights of Columbus Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ Charities, Inc. on June 29, 1997 during the Centennial birth Anniversary of Fr. Willmann. This is a fund-raising drive aimed to finance the theological research being done for the beatification of Fr. Willmann. The fellowship will serve as cosponsor in the work of spreading the values and merit of Fr. Willmann’s life, works, and holiness. The members’ one-time monetary donation of P1,000.00 or more is a lifetime subscription to the initiative of the Knights of Columbus in promoting awareness about Fr. Willmann in order that authentic devotion to him may be encouraged among the faithful, especially those who need his intercession to obtain God’s grace and blessings. Father Willmann Fellows is open to all Knights of Columbus councils, members and their families, friends and even to business institutions. As memorabilia, each fellow is entitled to receive a certificate of membership, lapel pin, and pamphlet titled “A Quest for the Cause for Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ.” Numerous individuals (1,063) and institutions (32) all over the country have already joined as of April 30, 2011. For inquiries, please call telephone number (+63) (02) 527-2223 loc. 230 or visit the website www. frgeorgewillmann.org or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Anyone interested may also visit the main office at KC Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ Center, Gen. Luna corner Sta. Potenciana Sts., Intramuros, Manila, Philippines. (KCFAPI News)
IN order to provide inspiration to all members and to live up to the cardinal principles of charity, unity, fraternity, and patriotism, the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines is in search for “model fathers” who made significant contribution in the church and in the community. The search for 2011 Fathers for Good–Philippines is now open. The activity is part of KCFAPI’s advocacy to showcase contemporary Catholic fatherhood, and aims to recognize KC members who exemplify the inspiring characteristics, virtues and role model qualities of a good Catholic father through responsible parenting. The search also seeks to make known the mission of the Order of the Knights of Columbus as a means to attract new members. One winner will be chosen per State Jurisdiction. The awarding ceremonies will be held during the State Dinner of the 9th National Convention of the Knights of Columbus in Manila on April 2012. Winners will each receive a trophy, round trip air fares, hotel room accommodations for 3 days and 2 nights in the venue of the convention, cash prize, convention registration fee and State Dinner ticket for two. The KC councils and parishes where the winners belong to, will also receive cash prizes. Official nominees to the 2011 Search for Fathers for Good–Philippines will be published in The Cross
supplement of the CBCP Monitor while sharings and testimonials will be posted in the KCFAPI/KC Website. Finalists and their inspirational stories will also be published, and together with their spouses, will be treated to a dinner specially prepared for the occasion during the State Dinner of the National Convention scheduled in 2012. Excluded from the nomination are former and incumbent members of KCFAPI Board of Trustees/ Directors of subsidiaries, KCFAPI employees, area managers, team leaders, the 5 State Officers, the State Program and Membership Directors for the past 3 Columbian years, members of the board of jurors, winners of The Outstanding Knights of Columbus Awards together with their immediate families and subsidiaries. The nomination and endorsement must be received by the secretariat office not later than October 31, 2011. The board of jurors will choose the winners not later than March 31, 2012. The activity is a joint project of the KCFAPI and Father George J. Willmann Charities to recognize fathers who have shown exemplary values of a father. For inquiries, please call telephone numbers (02) 527-2243 or (02) 5272223 to 27 and look for Bro. Gari San Sebastian or Bro. Michael Medina. (Yen Ocampo)
Cause for Fr. Willmann’s beatification moves forward
THE noble Cause for the Beatification of Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ is currently being advanced by the Order of the Knights of Columbus (K of C) in the Philippines. Fr. Willmann spent most of his time, talent and life in the service of Filipinos. It is high time to reciprocate his generosity by perpetuating his model life and virtues and serve as prime model for Filipinos to emulate. At present, Brother Knights are challenged to unearth additional materials and gather testimonies that will help support the Cause of Fr. Willmann. Although some concrete moves had started to fall into place, the Jesuit Father Provincial in 2001 cited that it was premature for the Jesuits to promote Fr. Willmann’s Cause due to need to ascertain the existence of a true and widespread “fama sanctitatis” (reputation of sanctity). This worthy initiative slowed down and only few major activities were geared to pursue the Cause from 2002 up to present. Meanwhile, a Board Resolution No. 25-2011 was approved on May 19, 2011 forming a National Executive Committee for the Cause of Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ. The Board decided to create a Working Committee during its first regular meeting on July 1, 2011 at the KCFAPI building Social Hall, Intramuros, Manila. The National Executive Committee (NEC) is headed by Former Chief Justice and KCFAPI Chairman Hilario Davide, Jr. together with CBCP Media and KCFAPI Spiritual Director Msgr. Pedro Quitorio III as Vice-Chairman. Members are Canon Lawyer Msgr. Joselito Asis, KC Fr. George J. Willmann Charities Chairman Justice Jose Reyes Jr., KCFAPI President Guillermo Hernandez, KC Fr. George J. Willmann Charities President Alonso Tan, Luzon State Deputy Arsenio Isidro Yap, Visayas State Deputy Rodrigo Soroñgon, Mindanao State Deputy Balbino Fauni, KCFAPI Executive Vice President Ma. Theresa Curia, and KC Foundations Executive Director Roberto Cruz. The Working Committees provide an overall, top-level supervision, guidance and coordination to establish a deep and widespread national awareness and appreciation of the life and works of Fr. Willmann. The KC Fr. George J. Willmann Charities Working Committee led by KC Foundations Executive Director Roberto Cruz has to, as one of its tasks, consolidate and finalize the reports submitted to the NEC. Comprising this group are Fr. Jeronimo Ma., Cruz, Carmelita S. Ruiz, Edwin B. Dawal and Denise C. Solina. The Publications Committee which is responsible for the origination, production, organization and continuous dissemination of relevant publication materials related to Fr. Willmann and his cause is headed by KCFAPI Executive Secretary Annie M. Nicolas. Members are Annalyn D. Malong, Juno V. Mancenido, Marianne M. Malabanan, and Maria Loreto S. Gregorio. Chaired by KCFAPI Vice President for Finance and Human Resources & Corporate Communications Mary Magdalene G. Flores, is the Ways and Means Committee, which is responsible for sourcing the required funding for the implementation and realization of all activities for the furtherance of the Cause. Members of this group are Rowena M. Diapolit, Ma. Kristianne G. Pascual, Christine B. Valencia, and Jocelyn B. Panadero. In order to promote the Cause for Fr. Willmann through available means of social communication, a Promotions Committee was established. KCFAPI Vice President for Fraternal Benefits Group Joseph P. Teodoro leads the group with Ronald T. Vargas, Rudolph Gerard M. Elizaga, Adrian B. Boston, and Michael F. Medina as members. The Research and Documentation Committee led by KCFAPI Vice President for Actuarial and Business Development Angelito A. Bala is responsible for the planning, organization and complete documentation of relevant interviews and testimonies to support the Cause. Members are Ira J. Tee, Celine B. Tabin, Gregorio E. Asis, and Gloria O. Alegre. The Logistics Committee which provides the necessary logistical support to the NEC and to all other Working Committees and Support Groups for the Cause is headed by KCFAPI Senior Manager for Corporate Audit Pedro P. Lubenia. The latter’s subordinates are John Enri B. Dañganan, Gerard Joseph C. Francisco, Lady Romelie M. Gatdula, and Rowena P. Patricio. Support Groups were also formed which is composed of LUZVIMINDA State Working Committee. Headed by their State Secretary, each jurisdiction (Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao) is predisposed for the effective implementation of the Cause for Fr. Willmann in their respective areas. Moreover, the Chairpersons of the different committees are also members of the KCFAPI Working Committee on the Cause headed by devoted KCFAPI Vice President for Information and BC Holders’ Services Ronulfo Antero G. Infante. The committee ensures that all things are consistent with the objectives set by the NEC. As the consolidator, the KCFAPI Working Committee ensures that a proper attention and monitoring will be given to all designated groups as they seriously, effectively, and efficiently pursue their defined share of responsibilities for the Cause for Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ. The actions taken by the Working Committees emphasize that the fight for a Cause for “The Gentle Warrior” still continues. (KCFAPI News)
Hilario G. Davide, Jr.
Vol. 15 No. 16
August 1 - 14, 2011
The theme of The Cross for the month of August centers on Fr. Michael J. McGivney, now a Venerable Servant of God, whose canonization must be the focus of our unceasing prayers. Without Fr. McGivney, there would have been no Knights of Columbus, now the world’s biggest organization of Lay Catholic gentlemen, whose membership in the Philippines has shown tremendous growth because of the inspiration of Fr. McGivney, and Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ who can rightfully be called the father of the KC in the Philippines and the founder of KCFAPI. Fr. McGivney wanted the KC to be an instrument for the fulfillment of the Divine purpose of glorifying God through Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism. Since one of the core values of this mission of the KC is the care of the widows and the orphans, the KCFAPI was established in the Philippines primarily for that purpose. We know that God has a special bias for the widows and the orphans (Deut. 10:18; Ps 10:14-18;149:9). He always warns His people not to take advantage of them (Exod. 22:21-22:Deut.24:17; Ps 82:3; Isa 1:17). Thus in each widow and orphan we must see God Himself. We must, therefore work for the sustained growth of the KCFAPI for its primary beneficiaries are the widows and orphans. As we dedicate the month of August to Fr. McGivney, let us pray daily for his canonization, may God glorify him so that his mission for the KC may continue to flourish and prosper with vigor and love throughout the world, especially in the Philippines. City of Manila, 28 July 2011
LUZON Deputy Arsenio Isidro G. Yap called on fellow knights to look ahead and prepare themselves for next year’s walk for life. “Please prepare for the next “Walk for Life” on March 24, 2012,” Yap said during the Installation of Officers of Manila Council 1000 held last July 17 at the KCMC 1000 Gymnasium, Intramuros, Manila. The successor of former Luzon Deputy Alonso L. Tan cited that symposiums, seminars and exhibits will be conducted to enlighten the people on the value of life and the horrors of abortion. To serve as a reminder that abortion is not
Luzon Deputy calls on fellow knights to prepare for 2012 “Walk for Life”
only a sin but a crime against life, a “Monument to the Unborn” will be unveiled in every council within the jurisdiction. The 2012 “Walk for Life” will be conducted simultaneously all over the Jurisdiction similar to “Independence Day” parade in Kawit, Cavite, among other activities. A former Columbian Squire, Yap also emphasized the importance of the youth in the society. He emphasized the idea of having every council under the jurisdiction its own Columbian Squires Circle which could help develop the potential and talent of the youth. The Squires’ circle can become a regular source of qualified and well formed
San Roque de Navotas Council holds charter presentation, installation of officers
future knights. This year’s “Walk for Life” promotes natural family planning methods and condemned the Reproductive Health bill in which more than 70 parishes, various individuals and institutions including the Knights of Columbus participated in. Yap stressed that whenever a challenge is presented, it is Jesus Christ himself who’s calling upon His servants. “To be a knight is to be able to address the challenges presented whether they are the GK, FN, DD, an officer or an ordinary member, it doesn’t matter,” Yap added. (KC News)
Guillermo N. Hernandez
August is providential to the Order of the Knights of Columbus as this is the month when our founder, Fr. Michael J. McGivney was born and likewise, the month when the Lord Almighty took him away from us (August 12, 1852-August 14, 1890). This must be the reason why the Knights of Columbus has designated the 2nd week of August for each and every year as the Orderwide celebration of Family Week. We all know how Fr. Michael J. McGivney, together with 7 other Catholic men, founded the Order on March 29, 1882 at the basement of St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, Connecticut to render pecuniary aid to its members and their families. This eventually gave birth to an elementary system of insurance, now known as a pillar of financial strength for Brother Knights. As we set foot at the threshold of the month of August this year, we cannot help but reflect on the vision of our Founder that providing adequate care for the widows and orphans of our Brother Knights should always be paramount. To this end, may we enjoin all the members of the Board of Trustees of KCFAPI and its subsidiaries, the State Officers and Officials, the District Deputies and the Grand Knights to take the lead in prioritizing the future of their families. KCFAPI is truly an instrument of the Order of the Knights of Columbus in providing the essential element in ensuring financial security for the Knights of Columbus family. Taking the lead now becomes a moral imperative and as true members of the Order, we all must strive to achieve our goal of protecting the Filipino families. Vivat Jesus!
Luzon Columbian Squires cite members for leadership development
EMPOWERED by the spirit of Christ’s examples, the Knights of Columbus’ Columbian Squires of the Luzon Jurisdiction has recently recognized some of its members for their devotion to become worthy and motivated leaders. Brother Knights cited the following awardees in reference to Circular 2010-11-10 regarding Luzon Jurisdictions’ Recognition for the Dedication of Columbian Squires and Knights of Columbus Members in Establishing and Strengthening Columbian Squires Circles. Francisco V. Caoli achieved the Most Outstanding Squires Area Chairman for Circle Development. Caoli led the Diocese of Baguio in achieving the highest net gain in Circle Development with 4 New Circles and 1 Reinstituted Circle. George Michael T. Tuyay got the Most Outstanding Squires Area Chairman for Membership Development for leading the Diocese of Parañaque in achieving the highest net gain in Membership Development with 415 new Squires. The Luzon Deputy Award for Circle Development for the District was achieved by DD Alfredo G. Lallana, B23, Diocese of Baguio with the highest net gain in Circle Development at 4 new Circles and 1 reinstituted Circle. DD Ruben L. Gutierrez, P21, Diocese of Parañaque also received the Luzon Deputy Award for Membership Development for the District with the highest net gain in Membership Development at 132 new Squires. As of June 15, the Luzon Circles Develop-
Former Luzon Deputy and Supreme Director, Alonso L. Tan, during the presentation of the charter certificate from the Supreme Council to District Deputy SK Florencio A. Pineda, Jr. and Grand Knight, Bro. Jesus Villaflor of District K01 of the San Roque de Navotas Church. Carrying the Charter Roll is Chief Squire, Johnhenry A. Pineda.
THE San Roque de Navotas Council 15288 held its charter presentation and installation of officers on June 24, 2011 at San Roque de Navotas Church in Brgy. San Roque, Navotas City. The 30 charter members began the important affair with a thanksgiving Mass. Immediate Past Luzon Deputy and Supreme Director Alonso Tan presented the charter certificate from the Supreme Council to charter Grand Knight Jesus N. Villaflor and Chaplain Fr. Lauro S. Firas. Grand Knight Francis Santos and Charter Grand Knight Villaflor each conveyed their inaugural address respectively. SK Jojo Manlapaz gave the welcome remarks, while Navotas Mayor John Rey Tiangco delivered an inspirational message. (Vanessa Puno)
ment has reported 20 newly established and reinstituted circles with 10,574 total members nationwide. The Columbian Squires, the youth organization of the Knights of Columbus, is one of the most dynamic leadership development organizations for young Catholic men in the world with more than 25,000 members, ages 10 to 18, in over 1,400 circles worldwide. In the Philippines, Luzon has more than 10,300 members in 441 circles, Visayas 2,826 members in 133 circles, and Mindanao with 3,531 members in 183 Circles. Meanwhile, Luzon Columbian Squires Chairman Jose F. Cuaresma and immediate Past Luzon Deputy Alonso L. Tan conveyed to the awardees their heartfelt congratulations. (KC News)
The Cause for the Beatification of Father George J. Willmann, SJ
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. 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, 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 Father Willmann, may we call on all Brother Knights, their families and friends to respond to the following appeal: 1. Submission of testimonies on Fr. Willmann’s heroic virtues; 2. Recitation of Prayer for his Beatification in private and during K of C meetings and affairs; 3. Invocation of his intercession in our prayers; 4. Submission of Reports on answered prayers through the intercession of Father Willmann; 5. Visitation of his tomb in the Sacred Heart Novitiate Cemetery, Novaliches, Quezon City. 6. Membership to Fr. George J. Willmann Fellows. This is a challenge for all of us Knights of Columbus members, who dearly love Father George J. Willmann, SJ.
“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 McGivney 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.”
Vol. 15 No. 16
August 1 - 14, 2011
‘Idedication to evangelizeLooked for John Paul II’s legacy Have young Catholics, we continue Blessed You’ In our
John Paul II revolutionized youth ministry and their contribution today. By Supreme Knight Carl A. AnderFuture generations may look back with by means of the nine international World son ONE of the most extraordinary moments in Blessed John Paul II’s long pontificate occurred during the last hours of his life as thousands of young Catholics gathered to pray in St. Peter’s Square. When told of their presence, the pope reportedly said, “I have looked for you. Now you have come to me, and I thank you.” Pope Benedict XVI, in his homily during the inaugural Mass of his papacy in 2005, reflected on the impact his predecessor had on young people. “During those sad days of the pope’s illness and death,” he said, “it became wonderfully evident to us that the Church is alive. And the Church is young. She holds within herself the future of the world and therefore shows each of us the way towards the future.” So remarkable was John Paul II’s outreach to young adults that an entire generation of Catholics—the John Paul II Generation— has been named after him. As a priest, professor and bishop, Karol Wojtyła “looked for” this generation in his university teaching and his pastoral ministry to young married couples and families in Poland. As pope, he broadened this outreach in unimaginable ways. Youth Days that he celebrated— including those in the United States, Canada and the Philippines. These encounters between the pope and young people have resulted in countless vocations to the priesthood and the religious life, as well as to marriage and family. The pope understood well that the global Church is a young church. In fact, it is likely that a majority of Catholics in the world today are under 30 and eligible to attend World Youth Day as official pilgrims. John Paul II also knew that the Church must effectively evangelize the next generation of Catholics and that this cannot be done simply by imitating the latest “youth culture” fad. Instead, World Youth Day must be an occasion for authentic Catholic witness and communion. This is why the Knights of Columbus has joined with the Sisters of Life and other Catholic organizations to sponsor the Love and Life Centre for English-speaking pilgrims at this year’s World Youth Day in Madrid. We hope this work will be an historic expression of the Order’s dedication to the evangelization of young Catholics. John Paul II captured the heart of World Youth Day when he said, “The future starts today, not tomorrow.” Our Church and our world cannot wait until some future time to benefit from the energy and commitment of young Catholics. We need their commitment envy that we experienced firsthand the life and papacy of Blessed John Paul II. We had the privilege to see and hear him, either in person or on television. We have known him—and known him to be a special friend of the Knights of Columbus. But if future generations envy us, I think they will also ask us what we did to keep his memory, his legacy, his vision and his mission alive. In a special way, all of us have been touched by the pontificate of John Paul II and so— no matter our age—we are all part of the John Paul II Generation. Therefore, we all— especially the Knights of Columbus—bear a special responsibility to ensure that the pope’s legacy lives on for future generations. As we move forward this fraternal year in our work of charity, evangelization, education and membership, let us make Blessed John Paul II’s words—”I have looked for you”—our own. Let us rededicate ourselves to expanding our programs benefiting young Catholics and let us also bring into our ranks as both members and leaders this generation of young Catholics. So, let future generations be envious of us— not only because Blessed John Paul II was with us, but because in a thousand different ways we were with him. Vivat Jesus!
Joseph P. Teodoro
For Brother Knights by Brother Knights
Angelito A. Bala
Fathers for Good
THE number of nominees for the Search for Fathers for GoodPhilippines has started to come in after the project was officially launched during the District Deputies Organizational Meeting in three (3) separate venues; Manila, Iloilo, and General Santos City. Initial List of Nominees for Fathers for Good Philippines 2011 (as of July 26, 2011) To date, there are 13 nominees received by KCFAPI. Six came from Luzon, two from Visayas and five came from Mindanao. All of them will be receiving their certificate of nomination.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What happens to unclaimed life insurance benefits? A. When a death in the family occurs, a member normally files an insurance claim against an insurance company. If a relative purchased a life insurance many years ago, kept the contract in a safe-deposit box, dies or disappears unknowingly, what happens to the life insurance benefits? If the family member is aware of the insurance, the family can execute an affidavit of loss contract and submit the same with the other death claim requirements to the insurance company. The problem is addressed differently if the family is not aware of the insurer. The relatives can ask the regulator for assistance. The regulator through its public assistance sector may contact and inquire each and every domestic insurance company if they have an insured client similar to the one named by the family relatives. Yet hundreds of millions of pesos become unclaimed each year for the simple reason that the beneficiaries do not know the money exists. Insurers send out notices to designated beneficiaries only to learn belatedly that the company can no longer locate the beneficiaries: moved out, refused to collect the benefits, or are simply not interested because of the long list of requirements. On some old contracts, there is a tiny provision there that mentions the beneficiaries are entitled to 1% to 2% p.a. interest income on the death proceeds from the time of death until the full settlement of the claim. Unfortunately, this condition is no longer found on more recent contracts. In the US, the sums of money do not stay in the insurer for an indefinite period. Depending on the state, between 2 to seven years from being inactive, the money is transferred to the state property unclaimed divisions. The state then publishes the names of the deceased in local publications or in their websites. In the meantime, the sums go into their general fund until they are formally claimed. Per The New York Times estimates, insurance companies had a conservative total unclaimed insurance liabilities of 1.3 billion dollars, $351 million transferred to state coffers in 2009 alone. (25 Feb 2011 edition article by Paul Sullivan) Some enterprising individuals have found a niche market and have set up a LOST and FOUND service facility for unclaimed insurance benefits by their beneficiaries. One firm acts as repository of insurance information and regularly monitors the insured list. If the insured is no longer alive, the firm notifies the beneficiaries and collects a nominal fee. Life insurance contracts provide assistance to those who will be left behind, most especially to cover the final expenses or for some, estate taxes. Make life insurance work for you. Inform your loved ones of your insurance benefits, now.
FLORES SR. LALLANA
204 MAGALLANES POBLACION, 5663 LUNA LA UNION 13 MORNING STAR RD. LOWER 6287 LOURDES SUB. BAGUIO CITY 2600
6/26/2011 6/28/2011 7/5/2011 7/15/2011 6/17/2011 6/23/2011 6/23/2011 6/27/2011 6/28/2011 6/28/2011 7/6/2011
EFRAIM GEORGE NOEL JESUS PABLO JOSE ISIDRO NILO AVELINO LAMBERTO CARLOS PAULINO
P. O. M. V. I. B. D. G. T. A. R.
BAUTISTA ATALLI ASPREC CANADIDO SR. RICAFRENTE CAGA DELA CRUZ DIONGSON TALIP JOMEN REOMERO
OB 005 BOTED, TAWANG, LA 11637 TRINIDAD, BENGUET POBLACION, TINGALAN, KAL- 11989 INGA 3804 20 ARMADA ST., STO. ROSARIO, 4640 PATEROS, M.M. 94 P RAMOS ST. POBLACION WEST 10643 ASINGAN PANGASINAN 2439 0505 G. PASTRANA ST. KALIBO 4491 AKLAN POOC OCCIDENTAL, TUBIGON 11073 BUHOL ST. MATTHEW ST. CROSSING 7994 BAYABAS, TOTIL, DAVAO CITY 0219 VETERANCE AVE., EASTSIDE, 5097 ISABELA CITY, BASILAN 108 DATOK ST. , PAGADIAN CITY 4019 NTNL.HW., BRGY. CAPAYURAN, 6974 PIGCAWAYAN, COTABATO P 18, COLLEGE PARK, CMU, MUSU- 5098 SAN, MARAMAG, BUKIDNON
NL NEL MMC CLC WVC CVB EM SWM NWM NCM NM
LUZ LUZ LUZ LUZ VIS VIS MIN MIN MIN MIN MIN
The deadline for submission of nominations will be on October 31, 2011.
Atty Rizal V. Katalbas, Jr.
From the Legal Standpoint
Preserving Your Benefit Certificate
years of the policy beginning with the year in which the values and options become available , together with a provision that in the event of the failure of the policy holder to elect one of the said options shall automatically take effect and no policy holder shall ever forfeit his right to the same by reason of his failure to select”. Pursuant to the above-mentioned provision, KCFAPI incorporated in its benefit certificate (BC) the “Non Forfeiture Options”. Except for the first option (par.f.1) the BC holder is given the means to preserve his benefit certificate in the event he or she fails to pay beyond the grace period (31 days after due date) the contribution due, provided the following conditions are met; 1) a cash value is available and 2) the BC Holder makes a written request to avail one of the options. If these conditions are present, the BC holder may preserve his/her coverage by choosing either the Paid-Up Insurance, or the Extended Term Insurance (ETI). In the Paid-Up Insurance, the certificate is reduced to a Non-participating certificate (not entitled to dividends) and with a reduced amount of insurance but under the same terms and conditions. In the ETI the certificate continues as nonparticipating without further contributions but for a specific duration. The amount of insurance under the ETI is equal to amount of insurance appearing on the face of the certificate. (For the details of these options you may get in touch with your fraternal counselor or with the KCFAPI home office) Pursuant to par. h of Section 227, the Insurance Commission also issued Circular Letter No. 18-94, dated August 15, 1994, which provides that in the event that there is default in the premium payment and no option is elected either in the application or within the time specified in the policy, one of the paid-up options specified in the policy shall take effect. Compliance to this circular can be seen in the last paragraph of the Non-Forfeiture Options which state: “If the Owner/Payor does not elect any of the options above and a contribution due remains unpaid at the end of the grace period, the “Paid-up Insurance Option” automatically applies, and this Certificate will be kept in force in accordance with the provisions of the said options.” In 1993, the Insurance Commission issued Circ. Letter No. 14-93 CL which prescribes the standard provision in an insurance policy. The circular requires that an Automatic Premium Loan be contained in the policy. This provides another option for the BC holder to preserve his or her coverage. Compliance to this circular may be seen in the Benefit Certificate under Contribution Loan Option. In this option, the BC Holder elects to allow KCFAPI to withdraw from the net cash value and accumulated dividends under the benefit certificate the amount due, if the latter fails to pay his contribution after the grace period. Benefit Certificate holders should always be aware of the features in their benefit certificates not only with regards to what they are entitled to receive but with the options available to them to prevent a lapsation or forfeiture of the benefit certificate.
OFTENTIMES benefit certificates end up in forfeiture for failure to pay the contribution due after the grace period. The law looks at forfeitures with disapproval and courts have more often ruled against forfeiture of insurance policies. However the Insurance Code now carries provisions intended to reduce its occurrence and trends in the insurance business have shifted towards to providing the insured means to preserve their insurance coverage. Thus, Section 227 of the Insurance Code prescribes the following: “In case of individual life or endowment insurance, the policy shall contain in substance the following….. (f) A provision specifying the options to which the policy holder is entitled to in the event of default in premium payment after three full
annual premiums shall have been paid. Such option shall consist of: (1) A cash surrender value payable upon surrender of the policy which shall not be less than the reserve on the policy, the basis of which shall be indicated, for the then current policy and any dividend additions thereto, reduced by a surrender charge which shall not be more than one-fifth of the entire reserve or two and one-half per centum of the amount insured and any dividend thereto. (2) One or more paid-up benefit on a plan or plans specified in the policy of such value as may be purchased by the cash surrender value.” While in par. (h) of the same provision its states; “A table showing in figures cash surrender values and paid-up options available under the policy each year upon default in premium payments, during at least twenty
TRAINING is the key to competitiveness and staying competitive is the key to sustainability. With that aim in mind, the Fraternal Benefits Group (FBG) of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) held a two-day fraternal service training for prospective fraternal counselors of Luzon from July 19-20, 2011 at the KCFAPI Social Hall in Intramuros, Manila. The participants for the monthly training came from Bicol, Bulacan, Pangasinan, Metro Manila, Cagayan, North-Western Luzon, Southern Luzon, and South-Western Luzon. The training sessions provided the participants opportunity in attaining their personal growth. Fraternal Benefits National Manager Gari San Sebastian and VP for Fraternal
Benefits Group Joseph P. Teodoro tackled various stages of sales process and the relevance of KCFAPI to the order of the Knights of Columbus, while Jemwell Santillan facilitated the discussion about KCFAPI’s plans and programs. Benefit Certificate Holders’ Relations Office Manager Edwin B. Dawal and Underwriting Department Manager Carmelita Ruiz discussed the support functions of their respective areas, while KCFAPI President Guillermo N. Hernandez and KCFAPI Executive Vice President, Ma. Theresa G. Curia delivered their inspirational messages. Moreover, the FBG acquainted the fraternal counselors with the Order of the Knights of Columbus and the history of the insurance arm of the Order, that is KCFAPI. (KCFAPI News)
Vol. 15 No. 16
August 1 - 14, 2011
FBG holds service training for Fraternal Counselors
KC Luzon new State Deputy, State Officers, District Deputies installed
THE installation of the Knights of Columbus Luzon Jurisdiction’s new Luzon Deputy, State Officers and District Deputies for Columbian Year 2011-2012 was held during the second day of the 2011 Organizational Meeting of District Deputies at Manila Grand Opera Hotel last July 3, 2011. After the blessing of the jewels of the State Officers and District Deputies by Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio III during the fraternal Mass, immediate past Luzon Deputy Alonso L. Tan installed Msgr. Quitorio as Assistant State Chaplain, Arsenio Isidro Yap as Luzon Deputy, Joven B. Joaquin as State Secretary, Joseph P. Teodoro as State Treasurer, Justice Jose C. Reyes, Jr. as State Advocate and Pascual C. Carbero as State Warden. New Luzon Deputy Yap afterwards installed the District Deputies for CY 2011-2012. Seventy District Deputies who will be serving their respective districts for the first time were invested with their jewels by Msgr. Quitorio and Yap. After the Mass, as a sign of recognition and appreciation for the support of the ladies to the service of the Knights of Columbus, Yap pinned corsages to his wife and his two daughters, who did likewise to the other ladies present. T h e Roberto V. awarding Valiente of of the most Dist. T 53 outstandin the Arching and diocese of outstandTuguegaing District rao, Glenn Deputies A. Serrano for the CY of Dist. T 2010-2011 47 in the also took Archdioplace on cese of Tuthe second guegarao day. By and Pepito rank, they G. Paradeare as folro of Dist. lows: Most S 54 in the OutstandDiocese of ing DD San Pablo. – Francis T h e Jehu C. t op t hree Sebastian Service of Dist. S Program 56 in the Awards Diocese of Contest San Pablo, winners in Photo taken during the installation of officers for the Luzon Jurisdiction. Standing from left: Justice Jose C. Reyes, Jr., Joven B. Joaquin , Arsenio Isidro G. Yap, Alonso L. Tan and Miguel C. Carbero. Outstandeach of the ing DDs six categoRogelio F. Madamba of Dist. A 11 in the – Dominador S. Macaraig of Dist. L ries were also awarded plaques and Diocese of Antipolo, Santiago V. Barba 45 in the Diocese of Lipa, Edward F. cash. The top one for each category of Dist. B 41 in the Diocese of Bangued, Antonio, Sr. of Dist. B 21 in the Diocese will be sent to compete in international Rolando B. Bragado of Dist. B 86 in the of Baguio, Elson L. Tabor of Dist. T contests and they are as follows: Church Apostolic Vicariate Bontoc-Lagawe, 30 in the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao, Activity - SK Yodolfo D. Devalla of
Newly Trained Fraternal Counselors with their respective Area Managers, along with the newly hired employees of KCFAPI, KCFAPI Underwriting Manager, Carmelita S. Ruiz, Fraternal Benefits Group National Manager, Gari M. San Sebastian and Executive Vice President, Ma. Theresa G. Curia.
KCFAPI Unites for a Cause
IN line with the theme of the Knights of Columbus for this Columbian year “I Am my Brother’s Keeper “, District – 14 in the Archdiocese of Davao in cooperation with the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) and Knights of Columbus Mindanao Jurisdiction C- 95, distributed bags and school supplies to 100 needy elementary school children last June 3, 2011 in People’s Park, Davao City. The Solo Parent Organization in Solidarity against Oppression (SPOSO) partnered with KC Mindanao and KCFAPI in this noble cause. Members of this organization are widowed, abandoned parent or spouse and unmarried mothers. As a parent, they perform dual roles, thus they are more vulnerable to problems related to housework, employ-
Council No. 4265 in Cavite City with their entry “Memorial Shrine of Blessed Pope John Paul II,” Community Activity - SK Danilo F. Del Rosario of Council No. 12308 in Sta. Mesa Heights, Quezon City with their entry “A Knight to Remember,” Council Activity - SK Jordan R. Chavez IV of Council No. 14323 in San Pedro, Laguna with their entry “Adopt a Student, Family Activity – SK Narciso N. Gelle of Council 8451 in Dasmarinas, Cavite with their entry “Knights We Care,” Youth Activity – SK Fernando F. Abrera, Jr. of Council No. 8708 in Bacoor, Cavite with their entry “Share a Smile-Christmas Gift Giving Project,” and Pro-Life Activity – SK Potenciano C. Villena of Council No. 6613 in Plaridel, Bulacan with their entry “Bantayog ng Buhay.” Meanwhile, Tan, immediate past Luzon Deputy and Supreme Director gave a consolidated report for the past four years on the first day of the said meeting. Former Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr., Incumbent KCFAPI Chairman delivered his inspirational message. All State Officers and State Officials were recognized for their valuable service to the Luzon Jurisdiction for the past four years by giving them plaques and certificates.
KC Manila Council installs new officers for 2011-2012
LEADERSHIP is an important function of management which helps to maximize efficiency and to achieve organizational goals. On July 17, 2011, a new leadership was written in the history books of the Knights of Columbus Manila Council 1000. The organization installed its officers for Columbian Year 2011-2012 and inducted its Service Directors and Committee Chairmen at the main office in Intramuros, Manila. “With this, my brother-knight, we would like to enjoin you and your family to be our inspiration and strength in committing ourselves to perform our respective tasks with utmost pride and excellence,” Grand Knight Diosdado A. Sapo cited on his invitation letter to his fellow knights to witness the event. “Indeed seeing you and your beloved family exchange sweet smiles among our fellow Brother-Knights on this momentous event will be highly appreciated,” Sapo added. The new officers are expected to perform
ment, finance and in sending their children to school. “This gift-giving activity is dubbed as “Gift of Wisdom” to highlight KCFAPI’s and Knights of Columbus’ support to the children’s right to proper education” said Davao Gift-Giving Project Chairman and KCFAPI FBMU – Mindanao SK Adrian Boston.
SK Boston added that this kind of activity was also done in Manila and in other Service Offices of KCFAPI specifically in Cabanatuan, Iloilo, Cebu, Zamboanga and Cagayan de Oro cities. For this activity, SK Rogelio Tadura, District Deputy of D – 14 cited the valuable help of the K of C Mindanao Jurisdiction, the
Davao Cathedral Council 3289, St. Jude Council 5831 and Davao San Pedro Council 6512 and all brother Knights who unselfishly supported this activity. SK Reynaldo Trinidad, the Regional Secretary of DADITAMA (Davao, Digos, Tagum and Mati) also graced the activity where he encouraged the children to study hard and to take good care of the K of C bags and school supplies they received. Ms. Ma. Divina Cabahug, the President of SPOSO thanked the Knights of Columbus for choosing them as partner for this activity and in helping them to give their children a good education. The activity started with fun games, which were participated in by both parents and children and ended with simple snacks for everyone. (Adrian B. Boston)
KCFAPI Officers with the Certification International Philippines’ Managing Director and Lead Auditor, Mr. Renato V. Navarrete during the awarding of ISO certification to KCFAPI for passing the recently held surveillance audit. The certification proves that KCFAPI’s Quality Management System (QMS) is in compliance with the requirements of ISO 9001:2008.
KCFAPI - CDO Service Office goes to Bahay Bulilit Day Care Center
their duties truthfully, initiate action, motivate their fellow brother knights, provide guidance to them, create confidence, build morale, establish a good work environment, and bring about good coordination among the members. These are the keys for the continuous success and blessings received by the Knights of Columbus, which started by the Knights of Columbus founder, Fr. George J. Willmann. (CBCPNews) “Education means inspiring someone’s mind, not just filling their head. - Katie Lusk FOR the first time, the Cagayan De Oro Service Office personnel of KCFAPI, held a gift-giving activity. Their chosen beneficiary for the said activity was the Bahay Bulilit Day Care Center, located at Brgy. 24, in Cagayan De Oro City. The objective of this activity is to extend KCFAPI’s efforts to inspire as much students as possible and to strengthen their interests towards learning and proper education. The KCFAPI CDO Service Office representatives, led by Service Office Assistant, Ms. Mary Ann San Juan, were overwhelmed when around 15 kids started to fall in line as soon as they arrive in the day care center. They were all ecstatic to receive the school supplies. With the help and efforts of the barangay officials in the area, namely: Brgy. Capt. Placido Floirendo, Kagawad Milagros Floirendo, Kagawad Mildred P. Floirendo & Brgy. Sec. Jellyn Pacho, Ms. San Juan together with her companions were able to carry out their first-ever gift-giving experience successfully. (KCFAPI News)
Officers and board members of KCFAPI and KC Foundations turned over the P763,000.00 income from the CBCP Seed of Hope Fund to CBCP President, Most Reverend Nereo P. Odchimar, DD during the Annual Plenary Assembly in July. KCFAPI set up the amount of P10,000,000 in 2008 wherein yearly earnings from the Fund are intended to be donated to CBCP for their projects.