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IMPACT
Quote in the Act
“Maybe it’s the mother in me.”
Hilary Rodham Clinton, US Secretary of State; after North Korea engaged her
in a war of words at the Southeast Asian meeting in Thailand in reaction to her
saying that the best response to Pyongyang’s behavior would be to ignore it, as
one would a child clamoring for attention; South Korea called her “schoolgirl”
and “pensioner going to shopping.”


“It is time for new ideas, and new faces.”
Saburo Toyoda, a 54-year old Japanese salesman; like most Japanese, he
wants radical change such as the ousting of the Liberal Democratic Party which
has governed Japan for more than a half-century now, but could not improve the
worsening economic malaise of the country.

“Fifty years from now, we do not want the world
to lay the blame for environmental catastrophe at
the feet of China.”
Gary Locke, US Commerce Secretary; in a speech to the American Chamber
of Commerce saying that China shared a special responsibility with the US to
address global warming; China passed the US two years ago as the world’s
largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and together the two countries account for
42% of total emissions caused by humans.

“A culture of violence and death seems to have
taken over our society!”
Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of
the Philippines (CBCP); in a pastoral letter released after the bishops’ bi-annual
meeting in July 2009, entitled “A CBCP Pastoral Statement on Lay Participation
in Politics and Peace.”

"As a nation we cannot be defeated by terrorism."
Susilo Bambang Yudhohono, President of Indonesia; in a message sent to
the perpetrators of suicide bomb attacks in Jakarta that killed 7 people and
wounded 53 others at the adjacent JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels on July
23, saying that the country would not be cowed by terror.

“Enough is enough!”
Archbishop Orlando Quevedo, OMI, of Cotabato; in an open appeal for
peace and for evacuees, condemned in strongest terms as serious moral evil
the terrorist bombings and the brewing war in Southern Mindanao; appealed
to warring parties to go back to the negotiating table and allow thousands of
evacuees to return to their homes.
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Volume 43 • Number 8
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August 2009 / Vol 43 • No 8
EDITORIAL
We, the sovereign Filipino people .................. 27
COVER STORY
The Perilous Crusade for Social Justice .......... 16
ARTICLES
Working towards lay participation in social
change ................................................................. 4
The Heart of Social Docrtine Remains the
Human Person .................................................. 8
A new Benedict for a new Dark Ages ............ 11
Remembering Tiananmen ................................ 14
The Social Encyclicals ....................................... 19
DEPARTMENTS
Quote in the Act ................................................. 2
News Features ................................................... 21
Statements .......................................................... 23
From the Blogs ................................................... 26
From the Inbox .................................................. 28
Book Reviews ..................................................... 29
Entertainment .................................................... 30
News Briefs ........................................................ 31
CONTENTS
A
t the opening ceremonies of
the 99th Bishops’ Plenary
Assembly held July 11,
2009 at the Pope Pius Catholic
Center in Manila, Archbishop
Angel Lagdameo delivered the
traditional President’s Address.
(See page 4). (Perhaps enamored
with their sincerity and style, I
have personally gathered these
opening addresses of CBCP Presi-
dents as far way back as the 60s
with the thought of editing them
into a book one day).
Until the Presidency of Arch-
bishop Carmelo DF Morelos,
or so one loosely remembers,
these addresses used to be called
“President’s Report” since they
contained largely a report of un-
dertakings and directions of the
Episcopal Conference during the
bi-annum.
Moving along the mold of his
illustrious predecessors, Lag-
dameo opened his incumbency by
declaring 2006 as the Year of Social
Concern and issued a pastoral
statement “Renewing our Public
Life through Moral Values. This
has set the tone of his two-term
watch that spanned four years
with a determined agenda of set-
ting in motion the social teachings
of the Church.
Strangely, maybe, but his
social agenda that were loaded
with socio-political issues were
anchored on profound spirituality
and always under the patronage
of the Sacred Heart of
Jesus and the Immaculate
Heart of Mary—even until
his last pastoral statement
issued this July where he
says, “The loving obla-
tion represented by the
Hearts of Our Lord and
His Mother invites us to dedicate
ourselves fully to the two tasks of
peace building and social change.”
In the current social milieu, at
least since 2004, where the church,
(or particularly some members of the
CBCP who had been mischievously
but disturbingly referred to as “Mala-
cañang Diocese), has been perceived
and besmirched to be dancing with
the wolves of the incumbent politi-
cal leadership, Lagdameo was both a
consolation and a buttress that held
firmly the credibility of the church to
its pristine reputation.
His pastoral initiatives such as the
convening of the Second National
Rural Congress in 2008, which still
had the impetus of the first rural con-
gress that was held with the prodding
of Pope Paul VI who wanted to see
a concrete bedrock to both Vatican
II’s Gaudium et Spes and his own
encyclical Populorum Progressio, was
definitely a considerable leap towards
putting the social teachings of the
Church to where it should be—that
is, as a fruit of evangelization and,
therefore, of Christian life. After all,
the perfection of truth and piety is not
in themselves, but in charity viewed
in the perspective of social concern
and justice.
The church in the Philippines,
as perhaps in other countries,
too, has yet to see social concern
concretely moving as integral
part of its mission. While, admit-
tedly, about 60% of the CBCP’s
pastoral pronouncements carry
socio-political import, its wit-
nessing in the parish and personal
levels have been very anemic,
paling only in comparison with
the way Filipinos practice their
cultic religiosity.
The lamentable general situation
of the Philippines today cannot
but be a barometer of the brand
of Catholicism being practiced
by Filipinos for last four hundred
years. This maybe caricatured
graphically by a government
servant who never fails a Sunday
Mass in Church, but never failing,
too, to divest his countrymen of ev-
ery morsel of opportunity through
graft and corruption in office.
Augustus Caesar Guarin writes
the cover story of this issue:
“The Perilous Crusader for Social
Justice.” Amid the cacophony of
deceptive if pernicious ideolo-
gies, isn’t the social teaching of
the Church the way to authentic
social justice? Read on.
IMPACT • August 2009 4
ARTICLES
“We challenge our Catholic
Laity to take the lead in
the task of moral renewal
towards a deeper and
more lasting change in the
Philippine society… urging
(them) to give a concrete
expression to Christian
discipleship through
responsible citizenship.”
By Archbishop Angel N. Lagdameo
I
invite you to review with me what the CBCP, our confer-
ence, had articulated in our effort to shepherd and guide
our country in the last four years through our Pastoral
Statements and Exhortations.
The CBCP declared the year 2006 as a “Year of Social
Concerns” under the auspices of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. [cf. “Renewing our
Public Life Through Moral Values” Pastoral Statement,
January 29, 2006].
At that time we observed that economic benefits were
not being sufficiently shared with the poor, that apathy and
cynicism with regard to politics, and loss of trust in politi-
cal leaders, have taken hold of the mind and hearts of many
Filipinos. The root cause of this crisis, we said, is the erosion
of moral values. Among the responses we proposed were
the promotion of a spirituality of public service, integrity
and stewardship as well as the formation of BECs towards
a deeper spirituality of heroic Christian citizenship. But we
believed that even our best efforts in addressing the problems
will come to nothing without the help of the Sacred Heart
of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. (At that time
it was the 150th Anniversary of the Feast of Sacred Heart,
instituted in 1856.)
Other social concerns we identified were the mining
issues, the alleged “Peoples’ Initiatives” to change the
Constitution (which did not push through because of the
vigilance of the citizens), the controversial “Da Vinci Code,”
the notorious Fertilizer Fund Scam and the spread of Small
Town Lottery or STL.
The commitment of the Church would consist in build-
ing in our land “a civilization of love” (Centessimus Annus,
10), by building character through honesty and integrity, by
building capacity through empowerment of the poor, and by
building community through formation in the spirituality of
citizenship. [Pastoral Exhortation “Building a Civilization
of Love” May 11, 2006].
The Year of Social Concerns gave emphasis on the im-
Working towards lay participation in
social change
Volume 43 • Number 8
5
Working towards lay participation in
social change
In its commitment to build a civilization of
love and to empower the laity, especially the
poor, in effecting change in the country, the
Catholic Church has been very vocal in its
stand on various issues, such as mining and
environment (above), land reform program
(left), and a clean, honest, orderly, and peace-
ful elections (right).
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© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media
IMPACT • August 2009 6
ARTICLES
portance of the Social Doctrine of the Church as integral part
of our evangelizing ministry. This was further emphasized by
the publication of Pope Benedict XVI’s first Encyclical “Deus
Caritas Est.” Among the principles highlighted in addressing
social concerns were: the centrality of the person as subject
and object of development, the universal purpose of earthly
goods; the principle of social justice, love, peace and active
non-violence; and preferential love for the poor.
The burning issues which were being discussed were:
the family under siege by the reproductive health bills, the
prospect of charter change, the controversial impeachment
process, which did not occur, the clamor for the reform of
COMELEC, advocacy contra extra-judicial killings, endemic
corruption in public and private life. [Shepherding and
Prophesying in Hope, July 9, 2006]
In January 2007 the CBCP recalled the 40th anniversary
of the Rural Congress of 1967 which came to the crucial
conclusion that “The Church must go to the barrios.” The
greater number of the poor is in the rural areas. Therefore,
attending to the rural poverty would be to help lessen the
urban poverty. The CBCP said that the one big means of
alleviating rural poverty is through a determined and vigor-
ous implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform
Program (CARP). [Pastoral Statement: The Dignity of the
Rural Poor, January 28, 2007].
In 2007 the CBCP also commended the group of lay
faithful who worked with great enthusiasm and dedication for
the May 2007 elections. These lay groups were the PPCRV,
NAMFREL, NASSA-VOTE CARE, Simbahang Lingkod ng
Bayan, the Catholic Media Network, Legal Network for a
Truthful Election (Lente). These dedicated groups undoubt-
edly contributed to the emergence of a new political con-
sciousness among the electorate. Vigilance, volunteerism and
coordinated action characterized their work. We advocated
for Electoral reforms through revamp of the COMELEC, the
holding of those responsible for anomalies in past elections
as accountable to the people, and the modernization of the
electoral system in time for 2010 Election, continuing edu-
cation of voters, the cleaning and publication of voters’ list
long before election. [Pastoral Statement, July 8, 2007]
In July of 2007 the CBCP recommended a one-year
journey “Towards the Second National Rural Congress”
(July 16, 2007). The timetable included (1) Diocesan Con-
sultations on BECs in rural development; (2) Sub-regional
consultations on rural poor sectors and rural issues and (3)
the convening of the Second National Rural Congress in July
7-8, 2008, the following year. Overseeing the entire process
of the NRC-II was the Central Committee, with Archbishop
Antonio Ledesma and Bishop Broderick Pabillo as Executive
Chairman and Vice Chairman respectively. In the process
they adopted the SEE-JUDGE-ACT methodology.
In 2008 the CBCP stated that the “Darkness in our situ-
ation” which consists in the subordination of the common
good to private or personal good is due to the lack of a social
conscience. In the Pastoral Letter “Reform Yourselves and
believe in the Gospel” (Jan. 27, 2008), the CBCP said: “To
journey to the light, we need first to realize that we have
contributed not a little to the common malaise—because
of the decisions we have made, decisions that flowed from
what we have become because of our unconcern, inaction,
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Volume 43 • Number 8
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Working towards lay participation in social change
apathy, often thinking only of our interest. And so with little
sense of the future of our country, we vote for people we
should not vote for. . . We have to confess that corruption
is in truth our greatest shame as a people.”
There is need for personal and communal conversion
towards a social conscience. “This conversion is for all of
us: laity, religious, priests and bishops.” We reiterated the
call for “circles of discernment” in all sectors or levels of the
community, in order that through communal and prayerful
discernment, the roots of corruption may be discovered and
destroyed. [Pastoral Statement, Seeking the Truth, Restoring
Integrity, February 26, 2008].
As part of the celebration of the NRC-II, we advocated
for the extension of CARP with reform. “Abandoning the
agricultural sector will not only threaten the farmers but
also imperil food security itself. Conversely, distributing
land to small farmers will provide equitable economic op-
portunities on the rural area and eventually reduce poverty
and unrests.” (Agrarian Reform, May 18, 2008). Important
highlight of 2008 were the launching of the Year of St. Paul
and the holding of the Second National Rural Congress on
July 7-8, 2008 in San Carlos Seminary, Makati.
At the NRC-II the rural poor were given the opportunity
to articulate their concerns. It was an opportunity for the
church on various levels to listen and discern her specific
role in accompanying the rural folk in their journey; the small
farmers, landless workers, fisherfolks, indigenous people,
rural women and rural youth. (Pastoral Exhortation: God
Hears the Cry of the Poor, January 25, 2009).
Among the commitments we made at the Rural Congress
we declared that in the fight against graft and corruption,
we should encourage our lay faithful to accompany and
support upright public officials in their efforts to serve the
people in transparency and truth. We further declared that
“we shall direct church institutions and organizations to be
more engaged in works of solidarity, justice and charity for
the poor in rural areas.” Scripture warns us: “He who shuts
his ear to the cry of the poor will himself also call and not
be heard.” (Prov. 21/13)
In June of this year 2009, we declared the post-Pauline
year as the Year of the Two Hearts of Jesus and Mary for our
advocacy: Peace-building and Lay Participation in Social
Change, inspired by St. Paul’s reflection on “Christ as am-
bassador of Peace and Reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5/18-20; Eph.
2/12-18). In this year of the Two Hearts “We challenge our
Catholic Laity to take the lead in the task of moral renewal
towards a deeper and more lasting change in the Philippine
society … urging (them) to give a concrete expression to
Christian discipleship through responsible citizenship.”
What a providential coincidence, the Year of Two Hearts
which the CBCP announced for the Philippines has also been
declared by Pope Benedict XVI for the Universal Church as
“Year for Priests” with the theme “Faithfulness of Christ,
Faithfulness of the Priest,” in commemoration of the 150th
Anniversary of St. John Mary Vianney. Pope Benedict XVI has
articulated the purpose of this Year for Priests: “The Church
needs holy priests,” holy priests who will guide the lay faithful
in their participation in the renewal of church and society.
We have not planned it to be that way, but we see how
the hand of God is guiding the Catholic Bishops’ Conference
of the Philippines in this last four years: we placed 2006 the
Year of Social Concerns under the auspices of the Sacred
Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. And this
year in June we declared the Year of Two Hearts for Peace
and Lay participation in Social Change.”
As shepherds and guardians of the flock, our reading
of the “Signs of the Times” goes on as we have been doing.
Our advocacies for the good of the church and our country
continue. In our conference, no one can ever be an isolated
performer. The 10 member Permanent Council and the 30
Chairmen of the various Commissions, Committees and
Offices together with the Secretariates to all of whom I am
profoundly grateful, have all been working together each
with no little sacrifice, like a chorus singing the Magnificat
or the Gloria in Excelsis.
I had the distinct privilege of presiding at our General
Assembly. I am sorry for whatever mistakes or failures I may
have committed during my watch. But I was as confdent as you
were that it is the Lord that watches over our Conference.
My gratitude to you, Your Eminences and Your Excel-
lencies can never be as great and as profound as the trust
that you have gifted me with.
(An opening talk delivered by Archbishop Angel N. Lag-
dameo, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the
Philippines (CBCP), on the occasion of the 99th Bishops’
Plenary Assembly held on July 11-12, 2009 at the Pope Pius
XII Catholic Center in Manila.)
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IMPACT • August 2009 8
By Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes
I
have been asked to situate the
Encyclical "Caritas in Veritate"
within the context of the thought
and magisterium of Benedict XVI. His
first Encyclical, "Deus Caritas Est," on
the theology of charity, contained indi-
cations on social doctrine (nn. 26-29).
Now we have a text dedicated entirely
to this subject.
What strikes me from the outset is
that the central concept remains caritas
understood as divine love manifested in
Christ. This is the source that inspires the
thinking and behavior of the Christian
in the world. In its light, truth becomes
"gift …, not produced by us, but rather
always found or, better, received" (n.
34). It cannot be reduced merely to
human goodwill or philanthropy. In my
intervention, I wish to comment first
on social doctrine within the mission
of the Church, and then treat one of its
The Heart of Social Doctrine
Remains the Human Person
principles: the centrality of the human
person.
Social Doctrine in the Mission of the
Church
The Church's task is not to create
a just society
The Church was constituted by
Christ to be a sacrament of salvation
for all men and women (LG 1). This
specific mission subjects her to a con-
stant misunderstanding: secularization
to the point of making her a political
agent. The Church inspires, but does
not do politics. Drawing on "Populorum
Progressio," the new Encyclical states
clearly: "The Church does not have
technical solutions to offer and does
not claim to meddle in the politics of
the State" (n. 9). The Church is neither
a political party, nor a politicizing
actor. Woe to those who reduce the
Church's mission to a worldly pressure
movement to obtain political results.
Cardinal Ratzinger himself opposed
this possible misunderstanding in the
80's as Prefect of the Congregation for
the Doctrine of the Faith in the face
of certain theologies of liberation.
(Instructio of 6.8.1984).
This implies in turn that the social
doctrine of the Church is not a "third
way," that is a political program to
be implemented in order to attain a
perfect society. Whoever thinks in this
way risks—paradoxically—creating a
theocracy, in which the valid principles
concerning faith become tout court prin-
ciples to be applied for social life, both
for believers and unbelievers, embrac-
ing even violence. In the face of such
errors, the Church safeguards, together
with religious freedom, the rightful au-
tonomy of the created order, as assured
by the Second Vatican Council.
Social Doctrine as an element of
evangelization
Of course, the Encyclical "Caritas
in Veritate" expresses the import of the
Church social doctrine in various places,
for example number 15, which treats
the relationship between evangelization
and human promotion, from the start-
ing point of "Populorum Progressio."
Whereas, up until now, social doctrine
emphasized action to promote justice,
now the pastoral side is broached: so-
cial doctrine is affirmed as an element
of evangelization. That is to say: the
Church's perennial announcement of
Christ dead and risen has a consequence
also for social living. This affirmation
contains two aspects.
We cannot read social doctrine
outside the context of the Gospel and
its proclamation. Social doctrine, as
this Encyclical demonstrates, is born
from and is interpreted in the light of
Revelation.
On the other hand, social doctrine
cannot be identified with evangeliza-
tion, but is one element. The Gospel
deals with human acting also in social
relations and institutions born from
them, but cannot limit man to his social
life. John Paul II vigorously defended
this concept in "Redemptoris Missio"
(n.11). Hence, the Church's social doc-
trine cannot take over the announcement
ARTICLES
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Volume 43 • Number 8
9
of the Gospel in the person-to-person
encounter.
Social Doctrine: not without rev-
elation
A brief historical overview: as a
result of the industrial revolution (19th
century) and its negative consequences,
the Church's leaders urgently pressed the
State for a response in order to reestab-
lish social justice and the dignity of the
human person in philosophical terms.
Later, with "Pacem in Terris," John
XXIII focused largely on the horizon of
faith and spoke of sin and victory over
it through the divine work of salvation.
John Paul II then introduced the concept
of "structures of sin" and applied sal-
vation also to the fight against human
misery. His "Sollicitudo Rei Socialis"
integrated social doctrine within moral
theology: "This belongs, therefore, not
to the field of ideology, but theology,
and especially moral theology" (n. 41).
With this step, social doctrine enters
clearly into the theological domain.
The principles of social doctrine have
not remained merely philosophical,
therefore, but have their origin in Christ
and His word. In "Deus Caritas Est,"
Benedict XVI writes that faith purifies
reason and thus helps it to create a just
order in society; this is where social
doctrine is inserted (cfr. 28a).
This proceeds, then, upon the foun-
dation of a discussion accessible to all
reason, and hence on the basis of natural
law. But it recognizes its dependence
on faith.
The new Encyclical treats more
explicitly and more decisively all of
this, with charity as the foundation. It
teaches, "charity is the supreme path
of the Church's social doctrine" (n. 2).
Charity understood here as "received
and given" by God (n. 5).
The love of God the Creator Father
and His Redeemer Son, poured out in
us through the Holy Spirit, empowers
the social life of man on the basis of
certain principles. It affirms for devel-
opment the "centrality … of charity" (n.
19). Wisdom—it also says—capable of
orienting man "must be 'mixed' with the
'salt' of charity" (n. 30).
These simple—apparently obvi-
ous—affirmations conceal some impor-
tant implications. When it is loosed from
Christian experience, social doctrine
becomes that ideology which John Paul
taught it should not be. A political mani-
festo without a soul. Social doctrine
rather, in the first place, commits the
Christian to "incarnating" his faith. As
the Encyclical claims: "Charity mani-
fests always, even in human relations,
the love of God, it gives theologal and
salvific value to every worldly task"
(n. 6). To the oft-formulated question:
"What contribution does the Christian
make to the edification of the world?"
social doctrine provides the answer.
An anthropocentric approach
The heart of social doctrine remains
the human person. I already said that, in
a frst phase, the attention of this disci-
pline was oriented, rather, to problematic
situations within society: regulation of
work, right to a just wage, worker rep-
resentation. Later, these problems were
dealt with at an international level: the
disparity between rich and poor, devel-
opment, international relations. With
the theological emphasis, John XXIII
treats more decisively the question of
all this in terms of the human person
-- we are in a second phase in the evolu-
tion of this discipline. John Paul II then
reinforced this understanding centering
social refection on the anthropological.
This aspect is present in a striking way
in the document: "The frst capital to be
defended and valued is man, the human
person, in his entirety" (n. 25); "The
social question has become radically
the anthropological question" (n. 75).
Progress, to be truly so, must, therefore,
enable man to grow in his entirety: in the
text, we fnd references to the environ-
ment, market, globalization, the ethical
question, culture, that is, the various
places where man carries out his activ-
ity. This end remains a precious heritage
in social doctrine from its beginnings.
But, more deeply, the anthropological
question implies answering a central
question: which man do we wish to pro-
mote? Can we consider true development
a development that imprisons man in an
earthly horizon, formed only by mate-
The Heart of Social Doctrine Remains the Human Person
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The Heart of Social Doctrine Remains the Human Person
rial well-being, ignoring the question of
values, meaning, the infnite to which he
is called? Can a society survive without
foundational reference points, without
looking at eternity, denying man and
woman an answer to their deepest ques-
tions? Can there be true development
without God?
In the logic of this Encyclical, we
fnd then a further stage, perhaps a third
phase in the refection on social doctrine.
It is not by chance that charity is placed
as a key link: divine charity responds,
as a human act, through a theological
virtue, as I said at the beginning. Man
is not considered only as the object of a
process, but as the subject of this process.
The man, who has known Christ, makes
himself the agent of change in order that
social doctrine does not remain a dead
letter. Pope Benedict writes: "Develop-
ment is impossible without upright men
and women, without economical actors
and politicians who do not live strongly in
their consciences the call to the common
good" (n. 71). Here, we are in perfect
continuity with the Encyclical "Deus
Caritas Est," which, in its second part,
treats the characteristics of those who
work in charitable organizations. And
the horizon widens to the public world,
where often, in the north and south, we
experience phenomena that are all too
well-known, preventing the growth of
people: corruption and illegality (cfr.
n. 22), the lust for power (cfr. DCE 28).
The "original sin," as the text recalls
in n. 34, prevents the construction of
society in many places. Also in those
who guide society. We cannot confront
the social question without the ethical.
The Encyclical refers to the "new man"
in the biblical sense (n. 12). There can
be no new society without new men and
women. Social doctrine will not remain
a treatise or an ideology only if there are
Christians prepared to live it in char-
ity, with the help of God. Authenticity
on the part of all the actors is needed.
Formulated without any twist of words:
"Far from God, man is troubled and
sick" (n. 76). It is very signifcant that
the last paragraph of the Encyclical (n.
79) is dedicated to prayer and the call
to conversion: God renews the heart of
man so that he may dedicate himself to
living in charity and justice. Christians,
therefore, do not simply stand at the win-
dow to watch or protest, infected by the
modern culture of denouncing others, but
they allow themselves to be converted
to build, in God, a new culture. This is
true also for the Church's members, both
as individuals and groups.
Progress
I wish to end with a reflection on
the concept of progress. Paul VI -- this
Encyclical also recalls -- spoke about
it in a succinct way ("Populorum Pro-
gressio," n. 21). Unfortunately, human
growth has often been conceived as
independent from the question of faith,
as if human promotion is one thing, and
the proclamation of the faith another. In
addition to unifying the two dimensions,
this document introduces a further ele-
ment in the concept of progress: hope
(n. 34).
As Pope Benedict XVI stressed
in "Spe Salvi," hope cannot be that of
progress constructed for well-being in
this world (n. 30), since this does not
coincide with human freedom (nn. 23-
24); the foundation of Christian hope
is the gift of God (n. 31). Hence, hope
helps us not to enclose progress in the
edification of an earthly kingdom, but
it opens us to the gift: in God, we find
the crowning of the desire for man's
good. It is always within this optic that
the Church formulates social doctrine
and Christians find in it inspiration for
their engagement in the world.
There is great interest in this Encyc-
lical. When read well, Benedict XVI's
text is a light for society and, last but
not least, for us Christians.
(Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, presi-
dent of the Pontifical Council Cor
Unum, gave this talk at a press confer-
ence held in the Vatican on the day of
the release of Benedict XVI’s encyclical
Caritas in Veritate”, July 7, 2009.)
IMPACT • August 2009 10
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Volume 43 • Number 8
11
By Thaddeus J. Kozinski
I
bet it never crossed the minds of many living during the
Dark Ages that they were particularly dark, or of those
living during the decline and fall of the Roman Empire
that it was speedily declining, let alone falling. Since the Owl
of Minerva flies at dusk, and hindsight is 20/20, it appears
to be an inexorable law of both history and human nature
that men recognize the “signs of the times” only after those
times have passed.
One of the most astute “sign readers” of today is the reign-
ing Pope. Here is one of Benedict XVI’s
most startling yet accurate
readings: “We are moving
toward a dictatorship of
relativism which does not
recognize anything as for
certain and which has as
its highest goals one’s own
ego and one’s own desires.”
If I might put it into less
philosophical terms, what
the Holy Father is telling us
is that Western culture is de-
scending into barbarism.
We tend to associate
barbarism with images of
primitive savages loot-
ing and pillaging vil-
lages, razing the walls
of cities, and enslaving
women and children.
However, the Holy Father
is suggesting here an entire-
ly new kind of barbarism, one
with a distinctly spiritual character.
Civility is the quality of soul and society by
which we recognize not only that other people
exist, but also that they have the right to our
courtesy, dignity, and respect. Civilization, then,
as the opposite of barbarism, is founded upon the
recognition of the dignity and rights of the other. Thus, a
culture in which “the highest goals [are] one’s ego and one’s
own desires” is the very definition of barbaric.
G.K. Chesterton notes, “The simple sense of wonder at
the shapes of things, and at their exuberant independence of
our intellectual standards and our trivial definitions, is the
basis of spirituality.” Today’s barbarism is of a distinctly
spiritual nature. It is not so much a physical as a philosophical
barbarism that has overtaken Western culture, a barbarism
of the soul that is camouflaged by a quite “civilized” bodily
façade. Fr John Courtney Murray observed:
The barbarian need not appear in bearskins with a club
in hand. He may wear a Brooks Brothers suit and carry a
ARTICLES
A new Benedict for a new Dark Ages
The Pope's latest encyclical is another skirmish in his war
on the moral relativism which undermines our culture.
ball-point pen with which to write his advertising copy. In
fact, even beneath the academic gown there may lurk a child
of the wilderness, untutored in the high tradition of civility,
who goes busily and happily about his work, a domesticated
and law-abiding man, engaged in the construction of a phi-
losophy to put an end to all philosophy, and thus put an end
to the possibility of a vital consensus and to civility itself.
The most dangerous philosophical barbarians today
are not the relatively few fanatical atheists and dogmatic
relativists in academe, the courts, the government, and the
media, but the much more prevalent “practically minded”
sort. These do not deny the existence of other people,
but live as if they didn’t exist or had no worth
compared to their own; they are not certain that
God does not exist, or that the true, the good and
the beautiful are illusions; yet if He did happen to
exist, and if transcendentals were real, it wouldn’t
really matter much to their lives.
Feeding the hungry; instructing the ig-
norant
The philosophical barbarian does
not wish to have any external demands
imposed upon him, for he desires all
of reality to conform to his presup-
positions, prejudices, and plans.
He is unwilling to open his soul
fully to the objects and entities
around him, for he does not
trust that any good will come to
himself from such vulnerability.
Instead of accepting the imposi-
tion of an objectively real world
with infinite plenitude and profun-
dity, he imposes upon it his paltry perspective,
thereby rejecting a rich, resplendent reality for a
scanty and superficial one. He reduces reality
to the size of his shrunken soul. Since the
less there is to know, the less there is to love,
the end result of this barbaric state of soul, tantamount
to staring at one’s spiritual navel, is perpetual, relentless
boredom. Michael Hanby writes:
A world that is “beyond good and evil,” in which
nothing is either genuinely good or genuinely bad,
and no truth, goodness, or beauty are revealed, is a
world in which nothing is either intrinsically desir-
able or detestable. Such a world affords no possibility
of seeing and using things as holy, which means to
some degree letting them be, because in such a world
there can be no holy things. Boredom is therefore the
defining condition of a people uniquely in danger
of losing their capacity to love, that is, a people
uniquely in danger of failing to grasp “the mystery
© www.catholic-thoughts.info
IMPACT • August 2009 12
ARTICLES
of [its] own being” and losing
its very humanity.
Boredom is the telltale sign
of the starving soul, and today’s
barbarians are starving for the
two staple soul-foods: knowledge
and community. Modern secular
culture feeds its denizens plenty
of “knowledge” in the form of
technological know-how, scientific
facts, ephemeral trivia, and politi-
cally correct aphorisms, but this is
paltry fare with little nutritional
value compared to the sumptuous
banquet of truth they could have if
they only recognized their hunger
for it: they desire “know-how”
regarding their souls; they pine for
the meaning of things, not just for
facts; they yearn to partake in the
complex and elegant conversation
with “the best that has been thought and said” that we call
the Great Books, not politicized and pre-digested cant.
The new barbarians, however, are “people of the screen,”
who have all but lost the art of reading, thinking, and conver-
sation due to an overexposure to flashing images, meandering
chatrooms, and Facebook friendships. They have become,
to use T.S. Eliot’s stark phrase, “hollow men”:
Only a flicker
Over the strained time-ridden faces
Distracted from distraction by distraction
Filled with fancies and empty of meaning
Tumid apathy with no concentration
Men and bits of paper, whirled by the cold wind
That blows before and after time,
Wind in and out of unwholesome lungs
Time before and time after.
Immersed in the digitized echoes of iPods but not the
music of birds, in the virtual vertigoes of the video game but
not the cloud-tipped/dizzying mountain top, they are starving
for intimacy with the living, breathing Creation; the abstract,
vicarious, two-dimensional dose of documentary, regardless
of its cinematic quality, is like touching a ghost compared
to the visceral, toes-in-the-dirt, exhilarating experience of
immersing one’s five senses in the splendor of reality.
Most of all, these barbarians are starving for friendship,
for intimacy, for communion. Growing up in dysfunctional
families as orphans in their own homes, in neighborhoods
where no one knows each other, in rootless communities in
perpetual emigration, and in cities and suburbs where the
empty blandishments of consumerism and mall shopping are
what passes for festival; their desire for authentic friendship—
to know and be known—has become rapacious.
Nevertheless, the intellectual junk-food that pop-culture
and mainstream education has been
feeding them since their youth has
become satisfying, for their souls
have shrunk in adjustment, and they
have never tasted rich spiritual food
by contrast with which they could
detect the other as counterfeit. Be-
cause of this, as German philosopher
Josef Pieper suggests, they have
made their peace with illusions:
For the general public is
being reduced to a state where
people not only are unable to
find out about the truth but
also become unable to search
for the truth because they are
satisfied with deception and
trickery that have determined
their convictions, satisfied with
a fictitious reality created by
design through the abuse of
language.
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Volume 43 • Number 8
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Today’s barbarians, with all their myriad choices, are
in truth choiceless, for they do not themselves feel chosen
in their heart of hearts, as the great conservative Jewish
sociologist Philip Rieff has written:
There is no more feeling more desperate than
that of being free to choose, and yet without the
specific compulsion of being chosen. After all,
one does not really choose; one is chosen. This is
one way of stating the difference between gods and
men. Gods choose; men are chosen. What men lose
when they become as free as gods is precisely that
sense of being chosen, which encourages them, in
their gratitude, to take their subsequent choices
seriously.
We have all, barbarian or not, been chosen to become
something beautiful, unique, and irreplaceable—the image
of God on earth and an instrument of His love. It is the igno-
rance of this truth, perhaps caused by lack of acquaintance
with its living
embodi ment s,
that is the worst
bar bar i sm of
all.
A new St. Bene-
dict for the new
Dark Ages
If our read-
ing of the signs of
the times is cor-
rect, then what
we are moving
t owar ds —and
perhaps have
already arrived
at—is the fall
of Western clas-
sical and Chris-
tian civilization,
the emergence
of a sophisticated spiritual barbarism that makes the bar-
barism of the past look like high-culture, and a new Dark
Ages. Is it too late to save it? It is certainly far past preven-
tive measures, for our culture is already in the late stages
of its terminal illness. But with the grace of God, it is not
too late for a miraculous healing and full recovery—even a
resurrection—if only we could find the right cultural medi-
cine and plenty of trained doctors to administer it. Time is
running out, for the darkness is fast approaching, nay, is
already here. Alasdair MacIntyre, one of the preeminent
philosophical doctors of our time, offers his diagnosis and
prescription:
What they set themselves to achieve instead was
the construction of new forms of community within
which the moral life could be sustained so that both
morality and civility might survive the coming ages
of barbarism and darkness... What matters at this
stage is the construction of local forms of commu-
nity within which civility and the intellectual and
moral life can be sustained through the new dark
ages which are already upon us.
The “they” MacIntyre refers to here are St. Benedict and
his followers, men who had read carefully the signs of their
6th Century times, the first Dark Ages, and acted accord-
ingly. As the darkness of barbarism approached, they fled
to the desert, carrying with them as much of the precious
Christian and classical civilization as they could hold in their
souls. These were the seeds that, due to the pure water of
their prayers, the luminous light of their labors, and the rich
soil of their studies, would flower six centuries later as the
civilization we call Christendom. Alasdair MacIntyre ends
his stupendous analysis of modern culture, After Virtue, by
calling for a new St. Benedict to lead the barbarians out of
the spiritual desert that is our godless, technocratic, secular
culture to plant the seeds for a new Christendom.
In truth, we do have a new Benedict in our midst, and
his name is Joseph Ratzinger: Pope Benedict XVI. An expert
reader of the “signs of the times,” it is no wonder that the
world, in spite
of its protesta-
tions of disbe-
lief, still looks
to the Pope for
spiritual guid-
ance.
Caritas in
Veritate, “Char-
ity in Truth.” Our
new Benedict’s
encyclical is out,
and its essential
message, t he
power of love in
truth and truth in
love, when prac-
ticed, is precisely
what could con-
vert us love-sick
and truth-starved
barbarians. Pres-
ident Obama would do well to heed this encyclical’s wisdom:
“Without truth, charity degenerates into sentimentality.”
“Truth, in fact, is lógos which creates diá-logos, and hence
communication and communion.” “Fidelity to man requires
fdelity to the truth, which alone is the guarantee of freedom
(cf. Jn 8:32) and of the possibility of integral human develop-
ment.” “Only in charity, illumined by the light of reason and
faith, is it possible to pursue development goals that possess
a more humane and humanizing value.”
Let us answer our new Benedict’s clarion-call to topple
the dictatorship of relativism and help usher in a new civi-
lization of love under the reign of God in these new—and
perhaps last!—dark ages. Perhaps you have been chosen to
become one of the philosophical doctors and spiritual healers
our diseased and emaciated culture desperately needs. The
starving barbarians need you!
(Dr Thaddeus J. Kozinski is Assistant Professor of Hu-
manities at Wyoming Catholic College, in Lander, Wyoming.
This article is printed with permission by Mercatornet)
A new Benedict for a new Dark Ages
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IMPACT • August 2009 14
ARTICLES
Remembering Tiananmen
By Cai Chongguo
R
emembering Tiananmen means
first of all, remembering those
young people of ’89 who had
hope in their government, who were
only asking for political reform and
really believed that the government
would not seek revenge. But the gov-
ernment failed to understand them and
it resulted in tragedy: lack of compre-
hension became hate, and hate, violent
repression.
Twenty years after that protest and
the regime’s violent response, many
things have changed in China. At the
time the movement was made up for the
most part by intellectuals and students,
who demonstrated to ask for political
reform. In the aftermath of those months,
companies were privatized; there was
massive industrialization and foreign
investment. Society has changed and
with it social relations.
Now there are over 200 million
farmers who live in the city working
in humiliating conditions. At the same
time, many farmers have lost their land
because of requisitions and expropria-
tions. Now, twenty years later, the farm-
ers and workers are leading the protests
in every corner of China. With the help
of journalists and lawyers, they are the
real protagonists of society.
Twenty years ago the students’
demands were idealistic and perhaps
even abstract. But today the protago-
nists of this movement in society are
the workers and farmers who have very
precise demands: land, wages, pensions,
better working conditions, homes, and
the freedom to use internet. They only
want to defend their rights; they do not
have political demands. They are more
practical demands but they are always
linked to the question of democracy.
This social movement that has been
formed also inspires the intellectuals
as we have seen in Charter 08, signed
by 300 Chinese personalities of note.
That charter insists on the division of
power, and this is a concrete request
because the Party and local governments
hold all power; there is no independent
judiciary in China, no independent press
and this feeds into the corruption of
local leaders.
Charter 08 demanded the same
thing that were being demanded 20
years ago, but now it is based on the
social movement of these workers and
farmers. This is of great importance: this
movement has created space in China
for civil society, a social democracy,
which sooner or later will become the
basis for political democracy.
The government’s attitude to this
movement is hesitant and not always
destructive. It is possible to discuss
many things in China today: wages,
democracy, injustices. A margin for
movement has been created that didn’t
exist before: there are even intellectuals
who discuss whether democracy can be
affirmed as a universal value or whether
it is possible to find a “Chinese way” of
doing it. Even the suppression of work-
ers is far less frequent than 20 years
ago. Once, if any workers protested,
they were immediately put in prison or
eliminated. Now the government even
arrives at the point of asking local au-
thorities to dialogue with them.
This, because by now, everyone
knows that the farmers and workers’
protests arise from their dramatic need,
Volume 43 • Number 8
15
Remembering Tiananmen
control is a barrier between government
and society.
2) Secondly, violence must be ex-
cluded from dialogue. This is why in-
dependent organizations must be legal-
ized. Without these associations, there
can be no social or political dialogue and
therefore there will be no opportunity
for mutual comprehension.
3) Finally, it must be said that there
are many people in China who want to
talk about Tiananmen. For the first time
19 intellectuals have organized a public
meeting to speak about Tiananmen. The
meeting was banned, but they dared,
and courageously published the texts
of their intervention and photos of their
meeting. Even the memoirs of Zhao
Ziyang, in English and Chinese, help
discussion. There is even a top figure
from Xinhua who published a 500-page
book on the suppression of ’89.
This shows that many Chinese
want to speak about this event. If we
do not speak about it then we will not
understand the society of today or the
history of modern China. And we will
not even understand ourselves.
Among those who took part in the
and not from political aspirations. The
injustices they are subjected to are evi-
dent and no-one can accuse the workers
of being counter-revolutionary or want-
ing to overthrow the party.
These protests are taking place
every day. Twenty years ago, strikes
and protests were rare. The govern-
ment, through its control of the media,
would say: They are bad, they want to
overturn social order…but now this lie
has become useless.
Dialogue and faith to avoid the
tragedy
Remembering Tiananmen means
remembering the truth and not forget-
ting. It means trying to understand
the reason for that suppression, which
made us all—government and people—
losers. From this memory we can trace
consequences for the future:
1) First freedom of press and dia-
logue between the government and
people is necessary. If this does not
happen, the government will never un-
derstand what the students and workers
really want. Then if the press is under
control, there is disinformation. Press
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Tiananmen movement or who work for
human rights, there are some who have
slowly discovered a religious faith and
often have become Christians. Among
these are Han Dongfang, Hu Jia, and I.
I often question faith. When you are
faced with a dictatorial regime, you have
even greater need for spiritual strength.
Mixed together with this dictatorial re-
gime are a regime of rampant capitalism
and the power of money. This is why
we need to search for spiritual sources.
Christianity gives strength and spiritual
power that goes well beyond the desire
for success.
When you hope for democracy,
for freedom, then you also ask the
question: Am I democratic? How can I
improve myself? How can I really be of
service to others? To find the answers
to these questions a transcendent power
is needed.
In the end, we see the need for a
social bond based on common values
and this is found in the Christian com-
munity.
(This article is printed with permis-
sion by AsiaNews)
I
IMPACT • August 2009 16
By Augustus Caesar Guarin
S
ocial justice is basically the collective
quest for the common good. Dur-
ing the 1930’s, a group of Ateneans
started their social justice campaign which
was eventually led by the Social Justice
Crusade of Fr. Joseph Mulry, S.J.
1
One
of the areas covered by the Crusade is
the problem on land reform, an area also
covered by the CARP or CARPER of the
present time.
The political-socio-economic prob-
lems besetting our country today are very
much similar to those that existed during
the pre-war period. But sadly, and more
surprising, the propaganda strategies used
for the social reforms, specifically for land,
were intrinsically different from what is
currently being done.
The strategies differ on the basis of
three significant points which touch upon
the following themes related to social jus-
tice: the first is on the primacy of religion;
the second is on the need for good gover-
nance; and the third is on the real thrust of
the propaganda for social justice.
First point: Fr. Mulry states that: “Re-
ligion is a vital factor to any meaningful
and lasting socio-economic reconstruction
of Philippine society. It was because man
had fallen away from basic Christian prin-
ciples of justice and charity that the socio-
economic-political problems of the day had
come about. There is need, therefore, to
return to Religion and to bring Christ and His
principles back into the people’s everyday
lives before the country’s socio-economic
problems could be solved.”
Cited as starting points for his crusade
are the papal encyclicals: Rerum Novarum
of Leo XIII (1891) and Quadragesimo Anno
of Pius XI (1931). Although the communist
movement, the precursor of Theology of
Liberation and the CCP-NPA (in vogue
during the 1960’s – present time) was al-
ready in existence during the late 1930’s, Fr.
Mulry made clear that communist principles
are antithetical to religion, much least to
Christian principles.
The Perilous Crusade
for Social Justice
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COVER
STORY
The Perilous Crusade
for Social Justice
The grave errors of communism how-
ever have already spread in our present
time. The move to eradicate all vestiges of
religious instruction in our public schools
for example is more a remnant of communist
thought than a seemingly progressive fea-
ture of modern secularism. Even philosophy
units and other value-laden courses have
been reduced in the curriculums of univer-
sities run by Catholic schools. Although
values education is said to be integrated on
a case to case basis in the core academic
subjects, it is still doubtful how moral values
can stand without religious truth.
The first fundamental point of Fr.
Mulry, therefore, may experience some
rough sailing today. Things may even get
complicated due to the presence of other
contemporary ideas apparently espoused
by the new age movements, narrow ecu-
menism, pro-choice, utilitarianism, mate-
rialism, and the like.
But be that as it may, it is consoling
that other significant papal encyclicals can
ably address some of the most distressing
issues of our time. Evangelium Vitae (1995)
for example, touches upon the unequal
distribution of wealth and materialism
which is probably responsible for our
present economic disorders. Discussing in
breadth and in depth one such significant
encyclical in the now powerful, wealthy,
and expensive Catholic private schools or
companies, may just be a deeply significant
step in the right direction.
Second Point: Fr. Mulry says: “The
Social Justice Crusade sought to achieve the
above task within existing political system
of Philippine society. They did not seek
to subvert the existing order; they strove
rather to work with and within the existing
political system. They felt that this was in
keeping with the papal encyclicals.”
During the 1930’s, the Crusade was
still adjusting to the US Colonial govern-
ment which was not all-out sympathetic
with the advocacies of Catholic-run private
schools. Nevertheless, efforts were made
to work “with” and “within” the existing
order. According to the crusaders, “the
laws were meant to protect the people…
and observance of these laws, together
with a faithful adherence to the papal
social teachings, would bring about the
desired socio-economic reconstruction of
the country.”
We are fortunate that most of the laws
and specific provisions enshrined in our
present constitution today are imbedded
with many of the social justice principles
in consonance with papal teachings. It is
however unfortunate, that many of these
laws have not been “observed” or imple-
mented.
Whatever colonial misgivings the US
may have had on us Filipinos, it cannot be
denied that they were able to effectively
rule their colonial subjects by conscien-
tiously delivering the basic social services
in the areas of health, education, civil
works, etc.
If the Americans had the political will
to govern us like heaven as their colonials,
then perhaps it is worth asking why we didn’t
have the same will to govern ourselves in
the same manner as an independent and
sovereign people.
Because what we experience today is
nothing more than bad governance, per-
chance a fulfillment of Quezon’s prophecy
that our government will be run like hell
by Filipinos. Our laws are undermined,
and thus render our attempts to work with
and within the framework of the existing
order, almost impossible. Nepotism, politi-
cal patronage, guns, goons, and gold—have
become the rules, not the exceptions.
Our politicians are in cahoots with
powerful individuals and vice versa. They
machinate the laws, exploit the ignorance
and passivity of the masses, and aggran-
dize themselves with ill-gotten wealth and
power. In due time, as the cycle goes, the
Filipino becomes fed-up, finds the abuses
unbearable, and eventually gains enough
impetus to subvert, via several coups and
the like, the existing political orders/
regimes.
Mischance, the communists lurk and
wait incognito at the sidelines. They subtly
exploit for their political advantage the
people’s discontent. The CPP-NPA is the
longest running insurgency movement in the
Philippines. And its survival can probably
be attributed to ideologies like Theology
of Liberation which runs parallel to the
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COVER
STORY
Marxist cause and is surprisingly advo-
cated (surprising by the standards of Fr.
Mulry) even by those in the ecclesiasti-
cal circles.
The continued existence of com-
munism can also be existential in nature.
Human rights violations committed not
just by the state, but by other institutions
as well could very well be the more
probable cause and motivation for leftist
groups to exist.
In any which way however, be it
ideological or existential or both, it is
noteworthy, that Fr. Mulry’s Social Jus-
tice Crusade did not fan the flames of
left-leaning subversives. The Crusade
was instrumental instead in keeping the
rednecks at bay. Fr. Mulry again made
it clear that:
“Communism, socialism and syndi-
calism cannot be downed by force. The
present tendencies of the Philippines
toward their social debacles are not due
to sympathy with their dogmas, but a
distrust in the Church and State to grant
fundamental human rights. The only way
to oust these upsetting influences is to
grant these rights.”
Today, there are too many human
rights violations that happen not only
among the lowly farmers. Violation of
rights due to corrupt practices happen in
business establishments, government of-
fices, law enforcement agencies, schools,
churches, and others.
In the quest for good governance
therefore in our present time, crusaders
for human rights, propelled by papal en-
cyclicals, can be initiated vertically and
eventually horizontally in scope among
the various institutions of the land. These
crusades may be assisted and spearheaded
by several movements and civic groups
which are already in place.
Third Point: Fr. Mulry says: “The
Crusade was a propaganda movement,
aimed essentially, but not exclusively at
the landed elite, and directed at changing
their attitude towards wealth and towards
the poor. …Although the Crusade cor-
rectly pointed to landlordism and tenancy
as the root cause of the Philippine socio-
economic problem, they perceived the
solution to such a problem to lie in getting
the propertied class of Philippine society,
i.e. the landlords and the capitalists, to
cooperate in eradicating this problem…
that socio-economic reconstruction could
only be achieved if both landlord and
tenant, capitalist and worker, together
imbued with Christian principles of love
and service, would seriously cooperate
in such a task.”
The Ateneo Social Justice Crusaders
of the late 30’s are commendable for hav-
ing placed their necks on the line. They
were in the forefront in their modest ef-
forts to restore socio-economic-political
reforms. The propaganda machineries
like radio, print, and open forums were
in fact written and conducted by them
in the hope that the landed “elites” and
big capitalists may be persuaded in the
Christian and non-violent way. They also
dealt with the masses and farmers and
used the vernacular in the open forums
where instruction on the Catholic faith,
confessions, holy masses, and even
spiritual retreats were given.
The Ateneans were peacemakers
more than anything else. They knew about
the imminent threat of social unrest that
may end in bloodshed; but they also real-
ized that such a threat can be defused with
genuine social reforms anchored not on
communist revolutionary ideologies but
on sound Catholic social teachings.
Today, farmers march hundreds of
kilometers inter-island in a fashion prob-
ably similar to the great march of Mao.
They confront direct, both government
and landed elites. And instead of be-
ing dissuaded and placed out of harm’s
way, they are given the go-signals and
blessings of the Church and other well
meaning groups.
The blessings may be well inten-
tioned. But aren’t the farmers, as part
of the flock to be shepherded, exposed
to the danger posed by the wolves? Or
have some shepherds already become
wolves themselves and only disguised
in shepherds clothes?
It would appear that the church,
schools, and others in the better know
are only playing second fiddle behind the
masses who are actually in the forefronts
in the fight for land and other reforms.
Common demonstrators and street march-
ers, more often than not, do not even
know why they demonstrate or march.
And it wouldn’t be surprising if they are
unaware of significant encyclicals that
morally defend their present course of
action. Moreover, the whole process has
now become more confrontational and
violent, making the already precarious
social milieu even more volatile. And so
we ask: where have all the peacemakers
gone?
The principles of love and service
are replaced by radical ideologies which
Volume 43 • Number 8
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strictly adhere to one’s loyalty, unques-
tioning obedience, and dispensability
in terms of life, work, and material sus-
tenance to the cause. And all these are
perpetrated at the expense of the poor,
the downtrodden, and the powerless. As a
result, cemeteries, and not arable lands or
employment, have become the common
lot of the dispensable common man. And
so we ask again: Have the peacemakers
now become the caretakers of people who
will eventually rest in peace?
The ambush of Sumilao farmer and
land reform advocate Renato Penas, 51,
last June 5, 2009 by unidentified persons,
only proves how low this supposedly
crusade for social justice has become.
The fight for the common good, the real
essence of social justice, has already
resulted into the senseless deaths, job
terminations, and many other sad and
unjustified fates of too many of our com-
mon folks who are only yearning for the
happiness that may be brought about by
a rightful share in the fruits of the land.
The death of Renato Penas, sadly
was a death against his will and of his
immediate family members and society
as well. Nobody would have wanted to
be killed after leading and winning an
The Social Encyclicals
Rerum Novarum (Of New Things) 1891, Pope Leo XIII—essentially the Big
Bang of Catholic social teaching, truly groundbreaking, and the standard
that popes have looked back to ever since (see below). This encyclical
tackles the turmoil surrounding laborers in the wake of the Industrial Revo-
lution, touching on issues including socialism, unbridled capitalism, a living
wage, the relationship between laborer and employer, and the relationship
between classes. Pope Leo also makes a first mention of the preferential
option for the poor.
Quadragesimo Anno (After Forty Years) 1931, Pope Pius XI—following
Rerum Novarum by exactly 40 years, this encyclical offers an update on
the state of labor and industrialization, also offering strong critiques on
communism, unrestrained capitalism and classism.
Mater et Magistra (Mother and Teacher) 1961, Pope John XXIII—issued
70 years after Rerum Novarum, this encyclical looks to the Church as the
"Mother and Teacher," calling the world to salvation and better social rela-
tionships with one another. It looks at science and technology, noting both
their power to improve the human condition, but also to limit human free-
doms, calling on governments to safeguard against this and ensure human
rights. The encyclical calls on wealthier nations to help poorer ones. It also
criticizes ideologies (not specifically naming communism) that promise to
create a paradise in this world, while disregarding religion.
Pacem in Terris (Peace on Earth) 1963, Pope John XXIII—issued only
two months before the pope's death, this encyclical is the first ever to be
directed to "all men of good will," instead of just the world's Catholics. In a
response to the Cold War, the encyclical outlines necessary conditions for
a lasting world peace, looking at the rights of individuals, the relationships
between individuals and states, the relationships between states, and the
relationship between leaders and the whole world.
Populorum Progressio (On the Development of Peoples) 1967, Pope Paul
VI—this encyclical, which Benedict's new encyclical is believed to echo,
looks at the economy on a global level and addresses the rights of workers
to unionize and to have secure employment, decent working conditions.
Laborem Exercens (On Human Work) 1981, Pope John Paul II—issued in
honor of the 90th anniversary of Rerum Novarum, this encyclical once again
looks at the rights and dignity of workers, with emphases including disabled
workers, emigration, materialism, and the spirituality of work.
Sollicitudo Rei Socialis (On Social Concern) 1987, Pope John Paul II—this
encyclical honored Populorum Progressio on its 20th anniversary, offering a
then-contemporary reading of the challenges first addressed in the earlier
encyclical.
Centesimus Annus (The Hundredth Year) 1991, Pope John Paul II—on the
100th anniversary of Rerum Novarum, John Paul II reflected on the current
state of issues that Leo XIII had assessed in his day. Leo XIII had issued
warnings about socialism before it had developed into a movement. John
Paul II wrote in the immediate wake of the fall of communism.
Caritas In Veritate (Charity in Truth) 2009, Pope Benedict XVI—this encycli-
cal is believed to follow up on the themes of Populorum Progressio. But
it trudges on new grounds, in microfinancing, intellectual property rights,
globalization and the concept of international financial reform.
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agrarian reform advocacy in congress.
Truth to tell, Renato’s death was of a
treacherous, sinister, and un-glorious
kind; where battle lines are not drawn
and enemy forces are not known. And to
make matters worse, Renato’s death has
already become a case of one death too
many. The incessant killings of farmers,
journalists, civilians, radio announcers,
ordinary foot soldiers and policemen,
common suspects, innocent bystanders,
students, human rights advocates, and
others—all aimed for social reforms, are
definitely borne of deceptive and perni-
cious ideologies on social justice.
Ideologies matter. But if ideologies
will only feed upon the deaths and mis-
fortunes of simple folks, ad infinitum …
pray tell: Where is the rub? Where is the
moral? Where is the good, common and
otherwise, to be found in all of these?
Should human lives be offered at
the altar of a late 19th century, useless
and reddish-hate-inspired, immaterial
dialectics? Should lives be sacrificed for
some reckless and odious theology of
liberation movements which are neither
theological nor liberating? Furthermore,
should precious lives be wasted, even
in the name of some lofty blue hued
advocacies and worthwhile causes like
land reform, peace initiatives, and good
governance?
For the land and other material re-
sources will always be here, there, and
everywhere. And the cravings and rant-
ing for and against anything of material
worth will remain the same.
But we cannot bring back the life
of fallen brothers and sisters who were
deceived and victimized by bedeviled
ideologies on social justice. Perhaps it’s
about time we exercise extreme caution
when being told about the goodness of red
apples and blue candies; especially when
all these are being said by cruel witches
who do not really mean well.
Comrades Stalin and Mao and the
other efficient-conscious-culture-of-
death-proponents of modern day, may
treat humans like some dispensable enti-
ties worthy of being exterminated, termi-
nated, jailed, purged, silenced, tortured,
and even demographically controlled
and aborted; if only for the good of an
abstract ideology and cause.
But in the eyes of God, everyone
is indispensably valuable: both capital-
ist and proletariat, both landlord and
tenant, and both victim and assailant.
And no ideology, however red or blue,
can ever replace the indispensability of
human life.
More than just condemning the kill-
ings therefore, an honest to goodness
re-assessment and critical re-evaluation
is necessary on how all concerned par-
ties like the Church, the State, and the
Citizenry, ought to deal with land reform
and the other pertinent issues related to
social justice.
The propagation of Catholic Social
Teachings in the realm of Social Justice as
propounded by Fr. Mulry of yore, is a task
which is deeply Christian in commitment,
highly patriotic in scope, and practically
existential in being made applicable for
all times and circumstances.
Even Solzhenitsyn of the Gulag real-
ized the important role of Christianity in
his vision of bringing about humane and
peaceful reforms in his beloved Russia;
even the Holy Father John Paul II brought
down the iron curtains in his dear Poland
on the strength of divine wisdom; and
even the great Cardinal Sin beckoned the
Filipinos to gather in prayer in defense
of their cherished democracy.
There are things in our past that
are worth remembering and doing. The
Christian principles—forwarded and
witnessed by Fr. Mulry’s Social Justice
Crusade and by the other Ateneans wor-
thy of the name, ought to be back in the
mainstream. Good memories are more
than just backwater stuff fit for some
nostalgic reminiscing. Our traditions
enrich our sense of history and identity
as a people.
As Filipinos, we are duty bound to
remember our past, lest we forget: “Ang
‘di lumingon sa pinanggalingan, ‘di
makakarating sa paroroonan.”
Endnote
1 Joseph Mulry, S.J., “And the Campaign for
Social Justice in the Philippines 1931-1941.”
(Kinaadman XII, 1991.)
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Volume 43 • Number 8
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NEWS
FEATURES
BEIJING, China, July 22, 2009—China's
fnancing investments in Africa rose from
less than US$ 1 billion a year before
2004 to about US$ 7 billion in 2006
and US$ 4.5 billion in 2007, according
to the World Bank.
Trade between the People’s Republic
and Africa surged from US$ 10.6 billion
in 2000 to US$107 billion last year. China
now ranks as Africa's second-largest trad-
ing partner behind the United States.
China likes to portray itself as an
equal partner (using the 50-50 formula),
with a desire to help developing coun-
tries. But increasingly voices are being
raised in poor countries that all Beijing
wants is their natural resources, indif-
ferent of whether benefts are broadly
distributed to the population or end up
in the pockets of small elites.
Beijing is offering easy loans in
exchange of raw materials and natural
resources, but this practice is coming
under fre for loading down already debt-
laden countries with even more debt.
Last year China extended the Congo
a US$ 9 billion loan to build railways and
dams. Loans will come from China's ex-
port credit agency, Export-Import Bank
of China, but the work will be done by
state-controlled China Railway Group
and Sinohydro Corp.
For the International Monetary Fund
the deal is bad because it is driving the
China’s economic colonization of Africa
Congo's debts to dangerous levels.
Chinese investments and loans are
certainly fuelling Africa’s economies
which jumped by 5.8 per cent in 2007.
However, not many local manufacturing
and service businesses are emerging,
which are crucial for medium and long
term development.
At the same time there have been
widespread reports about workers in
mines, smelters and other operations
run by the Chinese being poorly treated,
underpaid and forced to accept unhealthy
and dangerous working conditions.
In many cases in addition to manag-
ers and technicians Chinese companies
often bring in their own workers. When
this happens local economies benefit even
less little from the Chinese presence.
To counter such view China has
pointed to the advantages of its offers
to African nations.
In fact Western governments and
companies have been reluctant to invest
in politically unstable African coun-
tries.
Angola is one example. In 2004
bilateral trade stood at US$ 4.9 billion.
That same year Beijing and Luanda
agreed to a loan by China’s Exim Bank.
Under its terms Angolan government
would get Chinese loans on condition
that 70 per cent of public tenders for the
construction and civil engineering con-
tracts be awarded to Chinese companies.
In return, China gained a regular supply
of oil from Angola.
Other countries and international
agencies have refused to extend credit
to Angola without guarantees that the
broader population would also ben-
eft from loans and investments rather
than have the money remain among its
elites.
As of last year Angola is Africa's
biggest trading partner with China at
US$ 25 billion; it is also the mainland’s
third-largest supplier of crude oil behind
Iran and Saudi Arabia.
“Those who oppose Chinese invest-
ment ... All they need to do is to equal
the help we are getting from China,” the
late Zambian president Levy Mwana-
wasa told a business forum in 2007. “We
only turned to the East when you people
in the West let us down.” (AsiaNews/
Agencies)
Hindu extremists using death threats
to force Christians out of Nepal
ROME, Italy, July 16, 2009—
Following the recent bomb attack
on the Cathedral of the Assump-
tion, which was attributed to
the Hindu group Nepal Defense
Army, extremists are now threat-
ening priests and religious in
Nepal with death if they do not
leave the country “within one
month.”
The Apostolic Vicar of Ne-
pal, Bishop Anthony Francis
Sharma, said the threats were
made to the associate vicar, Fa-
ther Pius Perumana. L’Osservatore Romano reported that
the police have beefed up security at the diocesan chancery
in Godavari, where Father Perumana works.
Protestants have also received similar threats. One minis-
ter, who chose to remain anonymous, said he received a letter
also threatening him with death if
he did not leave the country.
L'Osservatore said one of the
messages sent by the Hindu ex-
tremists read: “We want the one
million Christians who reside in
Nepal to leave the country. If not
we will plant one million bombs
in all of their homes.”
“Christians do not hide their
concern about the threats and
intimidation, but they trust in the
will and the capability of coun-
tries to confront fundamentalist
groups,” Father Perumana said.
“We are on alert but our activities and our mission con-
tinue,” he added. “We have faith in the people and in our
leaders. We are a beloved and esteemed minority, and the
attacks have not destroyed our hope,” he said (CNA)
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NEWS
FEATURES
HANOI, Vietnam, July 18, 2009—Catholic villagers in Vietnam
say they are trying to follow Church teaching on contraception
in the face of high fnes levied against them under the country’s
two-child policy. They pay the fnes as a way of showing their
fdelity to Catholic teaching.
Since a 1994 nationwide “family planning” program, Viet-
namese have been required to have no more than two children
per family. Those with two children are told to use artifcial
contraceptives or undergo vasectomies free of charge.
Families with more than two children must pay rice to the
government as a fne, UCA News reports.
While many Catholics say they have done their best to remain
faithful to Catholic teaching, some have had to resort to contra-
Vietnamese Catholics pay high fines for
violating government's two-child policy
ceptives because they could not afford the signifcant fnes.
Villagers in Thua Thien-Hue province spoke to UCA News
about the government's punishment.
Catherine Pham Thi Thanh, 44, said that since 1996 she
has been fned a total of 3,800 kilograms of rice for having
six children, who now range from two to 15 years of age. Her
family makes an annual proft of only 700 kilograms of rice by
producing rice alcohol and raising pigs.
She told UCA News she was fned 300 kilograms for her third
child, 600 for her fourth, 900 for her ffth and 2,000 for the sixth.
In 2007, she decided to use an intrauterine contraceptive device
to save her family from a 3,800 kilogram fne in the event she had
a seventh child. In 2005, village authorities had confscated the
possessions of a family who could not afford to pay such fnes.
Anna Pham Thi The, 50, has seven daughters ages two
through 29. She also produces rice alcohol and raises pigs. She
said she is willing to be fned for having more children because
her husband wants a son.
Father Joseph Nguyen Van Chanh, parish priest in Huong
Toan village, said 90 percent of his 1,200 parishioners have paid
their fnes as a way to be faithful to Church teaching. He told
UCA News that Catholics are taught family planning methods
during marriage preparation courses.
The two-family policy was in the news recently through-
out the country when the Vietnamese prime minister chided an
executive director of Vietnam Airlines for having a third child.
Vietnam’s population is close to 86 million and increases
by 1.12 million annually. (CNA)
Archbishop to warring parties: ‘Enough is enough!’
MANILA, July 23, 2009— Cotabato
Archbishop Orlando B. Quevedo, OMI
strongly condemned the methods be-
ing used by warring parties in his
ecclesiastical province which covers
the troubled Maguindanao and Sultan
Kudarat provinces and several towns of
Northern Cotabato.
In his statement titled “Open Ap-
peal for Peace and For Our Evacuees”
and released July 23 in time for the
SOBA – State of the Bakwits Address
(State of the Evacuees Address) at the
Notre Dame University in Cotabato
City, the prelate “strongly condemn[ed]
every violent act perpetrated that has no
concern for the innocent.”
The 70-year old prelate said “col-
lateral damage simply means murder
and deliberate unjustifable destruction
of property.”
He explained armed confict brings
“more destruction on civilians than on
combatants” because for every combat-
ant killed “scores of civilians suffer or
die.” He noted for the past 12 months, he
has seen thousands of civilians languish-
ing in evacuation camps “frst in Pikit and
PALMA areas and now in Datu Piang and
other places in Maguindanao.”
The Archbishop of Cotabato for the
past eleven years added that “evacuees give
birth to babies under dismal conditions,
they beg for food and water, they struggle
for life in the most miserable situation”
and “they die as statistics.”
He said “such human tragedy, spawned
brutal retaliatory terrorism elsewhere in
our region” in Southern Philippines.
“From the depths of my soul I can only
cry out to all warring parties, ‘Enough is
enough!’” as he appealed to the warring
factions to end their respective “search
and punish operations, end to terrorist
bombings, bombardments, raids because
‘Enough is enough.’”
The prelate said due punishment for
raids “has long been meted out in an attri-
tion of casualties and damaged properties.”
He added what remains is the “senseless
logic of war, of action and reaction” and
the “suffering of thousands of civilian
evacuees.”
“For the sake of our evacuees and in
the name of our one God of Peace, end
your war! Go back to the negotiating
table,” he added. He appealed to both
sides to let the thousands of evacuees to
safely return to their homes as he called
on to “collaborate with one another and
rehabilitate the evacuees’ destroyed
properties.”
“Give them another chance for a
truly human life,” the prelate added.
He concluded by saying “there is
no human confict that cannot be solved
through a genuine honest dialogue of
the heart.”
Fr. Eduardo Vasquez, OMI updated
the audience on the plight of the evacuees
affected by the armed confict.
Wire agencies reported evacuees at
temporary shelters from 300 to 500,000
over a month ago. (Melo M. Acuna/
CBCPNews)
Volume 43 • Number 8
23
STATEMENTS
B
eloved People of God:
Our mission as Church is to proclaim the Lord Jesus
as our Savior. In proclaiming him we necessarily proclaim
the Kingdom of God that he himself proclaimed. God’s King-
dom, St. Paul reminds us, is not a matter of drinking and eating,
but a matter of justice, peace and joy (Cfr. Rom 14, 17). It is in
the Kingdom of God where “Love and truth will meet; justice
and peace will kiss” (Ps. 85: 11). Therefore, in the light of our
mission to proclaim the Reign of God in Jesus Christ we your
pastors write you this urgent pastoral letter.
Recently we dedicated this year 2009-2010 in our country as
the year of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of
Mary. It is a “Year for Prayer and Work for Peace Building and Lay
Participation in Social Change.” The loving oblation represented
by the Hearts of Our Lord and His Mother invites us to dedicate
ourselves fully to the two tasks of peace building and social change.
Evidently these tasks will require the efforts of the whole Church
but especially the active participation of the laity.
Indeed our present situation poses a great and urgent challenge
for active lay participation in principled partisan politics.
In spite of our efforts on political education and poll watch-
ing, we continue to suffer the stranglehold of patronage politics,
even of family dynasties in many cases. Our electoral processes
have always been tainted with dishonesty since we became an
independent nation. Vast amounts of money are spent by candidates
in order to be elected with expectations that their “investment”
would have unaccountable fnancial returns. Politics has always
been a mirror of the imbalances in our society between rich and
poor. Many even believe that politics as practiced in our country
is a structure of evil. It is alarming that crippling apathy and cyni-
cism has crept in even among our young. Let us renew our efforts
to commit ourselves to work for change and bring hope.
Church teachings that guide us are very clear. To cite a few:
1. “Those with the talent for the diffcult and noble art of
politics … should prepare themselves for it, and forgetting their
A CBCP Pastoral Statement on Lay
Participation in Politics and Peace
“Love and truth will meet; justice and peace will kiss” (Ps 85, 11)
own convenience and material interests, they should engage in
political activity” (Gaudium et Spes 75).
2. “Direct participation in the political order is the special
responsibility of the laity in the Church…. it is their specifc task to
renew the temporal order according to Gospel principles and values”
(CBCP, “Pastoral Exhortation on Philippine Politics,” 1997).
3. Recently our beloved Pope Benedict XVI reminded the
lay faithful of their “direct duty to work for a just ordering of
society” and “to take part in public life in a personal capacity”
(Deus Caritas Est 29).
Therefore, today in the light of current political situations
we have decided on the following pastoral actions:
1. We call upon those who are competent, persons of in-
tegrity, and committed to change to get involved directly in
principled partisan politics, and become candidates for politi-
cal election, aware that the common good is above the good of
vested interests;
2. We remind the laity that it is within their right as well as
their duty to campaign for candidates they believe to be compe-
tent, honest, and public-service minded in order to reform our
country;
3. We enjoin all our parishes and educational institutions to
cooperate closely and even volunteer to work with credible citi-
zens’ electoral monitors such as NAMFREL and PPCRV especially
in safeguarding the integrity and sacredness of the ballot;
4. We commit our church personnel to the indispensable task
of raising social awareness and forming social consciences through
political education. We cannot say that we have done enough to
educate our people in the social teachings of the Church.
5. We call upon citizens to be vigilant and to safeguard the
entire system of automated election, before, during, and after the
electoral process; we strongly urge that any new electoral system
ensure secret voting and open public counting;
6. We unequivocally condemn as a betrayal of public trust
any attempt to abort the elections of 2010;
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STATEMENTS
7. We categorically say no to any attempt by congress to
convert itself into a constituent assembly (Con-Ass), and if charter
change be needed, let it be after 2010 and by a mode that is cred-
ible, widely participative, transparent and not self-serving.
While we train our sight towards the 2010 elections we cannot
close our eyes to the lingering problem of human rights abuses.
The participation of the laity is particularly urgent in the area of
pro-active peacemaking. Our situation of unpeace is not only
distressing. It is also disturbing and even tragic. A culture of vio-
lence and death seems to have taken over our society! In the past
year more than 50 bombings in Central and Southern Mindanao
have caused senseless deaths and created insecurity, if not terror.
Ambushes, kidnappings, extortions, and “revolutionary taxes” are
taking place without any end in sight. Unexplained killings and
disappearances of journalists, labor, peasant and political leaders,
and even of petty criminals take place apparently with impunity as
only few perpetrators are brought to justice. Torture and fear tactics
are being perpetrated. No armed group, left, right and center, is
absolved from crimes of violence. Even the law is being manipu-
lated to harass people by fling baseless court cases esp. against
the poor, and on the other hand, to let the guilty go free.
Deeply saddened and bothered by this deplorable situation
we cannot remain silent. The sanctity of Life in all circumstances
must be defended. “God proclaims that he is the absolute Lord of
the life of man who is formed in his image and likeness. Human
life is thus given a sacred and inviolable character…God will
severely judge every violation of the commandment ‘You shall
not kill.’ (Ex. 20,13)” (Evangelium Vitae 53).
The government has the primary responsibility to bring to
justice the perpetrators of human rights abuses from whichever
sector of society they may come from. “The authority of every
human institution…. is sent by God to punish those who do wrong
and to praise those who do right.” (1 Peter 2, 13-14) Hence we
implore government to fulfll its obligations to its citizens.
We ask all citizens not to take violence, killings, and abuses in
our society as something normal and no longer manifest indigna-
tion over abuses of the basic rights of fellow human beings.
In the light of this tragic situation of unpeace,
1. We strongly call on government to seriously heed the
recommendations of investigative bodies and not dismiss them
as mere propaganda or being simply misinformed.
2. We exhort the Philippine Government, the MILF and the
CPP/NPA to return to the negotiating table to fnd solutions that
would lead to lasting peace, thus preventing further violence,
death and displacement of innocent people.
3. With prayer in our hearts, we appeal to the God-given
humanity of death dealers from any side to listen to the voice of
God in their hearts and end the taking and abuse of human life
because no one is so wrong as to be judged unworthy to live.
4. As we commit ourselves to peacemaking we likewise
urge all religious leaders not to cease bringing out any abuse
and to untiringly teach our people about the commandments on
killings, lying and stealing.
5. We strongly recommend the establishment of multi-
sectoral groups at various levels to monitor the implementation
of laws as well as the prevention of criminality, graft and human
rights abuses.
6. Finally, we ask everyone to follow the path of peace. This
means the path of dialogue and openness. This means the path of
repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation. This means the path
of development and equitable distribution of goods.
Together let us intensify the signs of hope regarding poli-
tics and peace that we observe such as: young people, members
of civil society, mothers even children organizing themselves
for peace; military groups participating in formation towards a
culture of peace; lay organizations, faith communities, BEC’s,
and NGO’s spreading the good news of principled politics and
organizing themselves to reform our political culture; politicians
who pursue reform. Let such signs of hope fow as streams of
cleansing and renewal.
In this Year of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate
Heart of Mary, let our love for Our Lord Jesus and His Blessed
Mother intensify and sustain our efforts at building a just and
peaceful society. Peace is both our commitment and a gift of God.
Let the hope and the prayer of the Scriptures then be ours:
I will listen for the word of God; surely the LORD will
proclaim peace To his people, to the faithful, to those who trust
in him. Near indeed is salvation for the loyal; prosperity will fll
our land. Love and truth will meet; justice and peace will kiss.
Truth will spring from the earth; justice will look down from
heaven. (Ps 85: 9-12)
For the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines
+ ANGEL N. LAGDAMEO, D.D.
Archbishop of Jaro
CBCP President
July 12, 2009
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STATEMENTS
Statement of Appeal to the
Government of the Philippines
“You deceived the workers who harvested your felds but now their wages cry out to the
heavens. The reapers’ complaints have reached the ears of the Lord of Hosts.” (James, 5.4)
W
e rejoice with thousands of small farmers, civil society
groups and bishops who lobbied for the passage of
the extended and reformed Agrarian Law. On June 1
and 4, the Senate and House respectively passed their versions
of the CARP with Extension and Reforms (CARPer) Bill. The
Bicameral Committee finally passed a consolidated version on
June 9, which President Arroyo will sign into law on August 8
(with retroactive enforcement from July 1).
But the CARP with Extension and Reforms (CARPer) legisla-
tion cannot bring about tangible and lasting benefits to the small
farmers without an effective Implementing Rules and Regulations
(IRR) with specific targets, demonstrating the Government’s
clear political will to see the law brought to fruition.
We, the Catholic Bishops of the Philippines, assembled in
our Biannual Plenary Conference, appeal to the Government
on behalf of our small farmers.
We most respectfully submit the following appeal:
1. Counter attempts to derail CARPer, such as the proposal
through Con-Ass to allow foreigners and foreign corporations to
own and control agricultural lands and other natural resources
of the country.
2. Counter the secession of 600,000 hectares of public
lands in Northern Luzon (more than one half of the entire land
reform target of CARPer) to Pacific Bio-Fields Holdings Inc.
for bio-fuel to be exported to Japan.
3. Favor the serious implementation of Land Acquisition
and Distribution (LAD) over large and contentious agricultural
estates immediately after CARPer is signed into law (with
retrospective enforcement from July 1).
“The problem of food insecurity needs to be addressed
within a long-term perspective, eliminating the structural causes
that give rise to it and promoting the agricultural development
of poorer countries…. All this needs to be accomplished with
the involvement of local communities in choices and decisions
that affect the use of agricultural land..…At the same time, the
question of equitable agrarian reform in developing countries
should not be ignored. The right to food, like the right to water,
has an important place within the pursuit of other rights, begin-
ning with the fundamental right to life. It is therefore neces-
sary to cultivate a public conscience that considers food and
access to water as universal rights of all human beings, without
distinction or discrimination...” (Encyclical Letter, Caritas in
Veritate, Of The Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI, On Integral
Human Development In Charity And Truth, N◦ 27, Solemnity
of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, 29 June 2009)
For the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines
+ANGEL N. LAGDAMEO, D.D
Archbishop of Jaro
CBCP President
July 12, 2009
T
o all Warring Parties:
As a Religious leader I
respect your causes, although I
may not agree with your methods.
But precisely because I am a
Religious leader I strongly condemn
every violent act perpetrated that has
no concern for the innocent.
I condemn in the strongest terms
as serious moral evil such crimes as
terrorist bombings that by their very
nature target the innocent, punitive
raids on villages, bombardments that
fall on civilian populations, landmines
that can kill any passerby. For me
“collateral damage” simply means
murder and deliberate unjustifiable
destruction of property.
War inflicts more destruction
on civilians than on combatants.
For every combatant killed, scores
of civilians suffer or die. In the past
twelve months I have seen thousands
An Open Appeal for Peace and for our Evacuees
of civilians languishing in evacuation
camps, first in the Pikit and PALMA
areas and now in Datu Piang and vari-
ous other places of Maguindanao. They
give birth to babies under dismal condi-
tions, they beg for food and water, they
struggle for life in the most miserable
situation. They die as statistics. Such
human tragedy, it is said, has spawned
brutal retaliatory terrorism elsewhere
in our region.
From the depths of my soul I can
only cry out to all warring parties,
“Enough is enough!” End your so called
search and punish operations. End your
terrorist bombings. End your bombard-
ments, end your raids, all you warring
parties! Enough is enough!
Due punishment for raids has long
been meted out in an attrition of casual-
ties and damaged properties. And now
what most sadly remains is the senseless
logic of war, of action and reaction. And
the suffering of thousands of civilian
evacuees. Enough is enough!
For the sake of our evacuees and in
the name of our one God of Peace, end
your war! Go back to the negotiating
table. Let the thousands of evacuees
return safely to their home. Collaborate
with one another towards this objective.
Together, rehabilitate their destroyed
properties. Give them another chance
for a truly human life.
With the grace of the Most Merci-
ful, Most Beneficent, Most Compas-
sionate God, the one unique God we all
believe in, there is no human conflict
that cannot be solved through a genu-
ine honest dialogue of the heart.
May the One Almighty Loving
God of all have compassion on us.
+Orlando B. Quevedo, O.M.I.
Archbishop of Cotabato
July 23, 2009
IMPACT • August 2009 26
‘Don Quixote of
la Mancha award’
I
t was recently reported with the proper “Oh’s and “Ah’s”,
that the Malacañang head and chief, leader and ruler,
master and commander, sovereign and czar—not to
mention titles of downright ignominy and profound shame—
has been chosen to receive the “Don Quixote of la Mancha
Award” somewhere in Europe, some time this year. While the
award-giver may deem the recognition as proper and right,
there are valid reasons to wonder what many others think
and conclude about the award-recipient—considering that
exactly the same award is a recognition of either two basi-
cally antithetical perception or contradictory judgment.
More commonly known as “Don Quixote de la Mancha”,
there are those who look at this unique persona as some kind
of a hero, a legend, a champion—someone whose courage
and determination are beyond question, particularly so in
the presence of a perceived evil. Reason: He was some
kind of a knight ready to go against anything—and prob-
ably against anybody as well—he saw as bad and should
wherefore be challenged to a gentleman’s combat. In other
words, “Don Quixote” is seen as a symbol of what is right
with some kind of a strong persistence to champion it, come
what may, no matter what people say.
On the other hand, many more people see the same
character as an incurable dreamer, a funny pretender, a
futile warrior. Reason: Complete with the proper shining
steel knight armor and firmly holding a long shining lancer
plus impressively mounted on a big fierce looking horse,
Don Quixote fought windmills as huge imagined enemies.
All these he did with a faithful, short, fat and dumb sidekick
named “Sancho Pancha”. Together, they made some kind
of a hopeless and hilarious pair. No imagination is needed
to say what happens to someone fighting windmills as hos-
tile foes! Thus stands the meaning of the term “Quixotic”:
Starry-eyed. Head-in-the-clouds. Mad-cap. Whimsical.
Utopian. Visionary. Preposterous.
It is but right and proper therefore that when someone
gets the “Don Quixote of la Mancha Award”, the recipient
thereof better think what the supposed recognition really
means. Again, this is not in anyway meant to doubt the sin-
cerity and intention of the prestigious foreign Award giving
body. What is herein being forwarded is the local eerie feeling
that the person awarded appears to fit exactly the quixotic
personality profile—the volatile characteristics—of the
figure after whom the Award is named. And this is neither
really intended to cast aspersion of the Award recipient,
but simply meant to convey the caveat that the one and the
same recognition is axiomatic with “Quixotic”.
Incidentally, in this day and age, one should be very
careful in seeing to it that the Award he or she buys locally
or from a foreign land, should be not only worth it but also
free from any negative connotation. Paying for something
only to be thereafter lampooned is something detestable.
This is not fair—to say it right! For the people to pay for a
chartered flight to a distant country simply for the recipi-
ent to get a possibly dubious Award, this is not right—to
say the least!
www.ovc.blogspot.com
‘No approved
therapeutic claim’
I
t is an hour by the hour, everyday the whole month
through, that people all over the country read or hear
the loud and clear, often repeated and much emphasized
statement that there is “No approved therapeutic claim”
about these and those supposedly herbal drinks, pills and
all other imaginable concoctions. More. For considerable
prices, they are available in prestigious pharmacies as well
as dark offices plus corner stores. And quite interesting is
the fact that the quoted disclaimer is made before and/or
after already numerous and still multiplying products are
exalted to high heavens allegedly with their overwhelming
cure-all and even miraculous claims.
This is neither to question or to doubt the distinct heal-
ing properties some plants and roots, leaves and seeds, and
what have you—with or without the hocus-pocus of this and
that village witch doctor, the omen given by this or that folk
anito. Pharmaceutical companies—local, foreign as well
as multinational ones have long since known what barks
and weeds and similar natural items have genuine curative
properties. These they harness and brought to market, but
with proper and official therapeutic approvals. The scientific
discoveries of such natural and/organic medicines have been
also long since the fond hope and big blessing of many sick
men, women and children.
What is not only confusing but also disturbing if not in
effect eventually damaging to health, is the proliferation of
the above miraculous or even mystical proclaimed cure-all
attribution of such acclaimed herbal potpourri—yet without
any approved therapeutic claim. There is even supposedly
a good number of testimonies about their super curative
features. Such many and different allegedly organic blends
are amazingly said to cure anything and everything, from
headache to cancer, from stomach to heart disease, from
toothache to mental disorder, and the like.
While some of them may actually have some potential
medical properties, and while still some of them are but
basic panaceas in nature and effect, what about certain
herbal and/or organic compounds that could have deleterious
physiological effects sometime after their prolonged usage?
What happens then? Who can be held responsible for such
harmful ventures, dangerous business and profit raking—
at the expense of gullible patients or clients? What agency
of government can be brought to Court for allowing such
harmful potpourri to flood the market?
In short, the question is plain and simple: Why are such
practically numberless concoctions altogether allowed to free-
ly flood the market—with great medicinal and/or supplement
impressive affirmations but precisely without any approved
therapeutic claim? Is such extensive practice ethical? Is it right
and proper for the government entity concerned to simply see
nothing and merely say nothing and wherefore do nothing at
all about such questionable if not also hazardous ultimately
profit making ventures? If so, any Tomas, Pedro and Niña
can put this and that thing together, and thereafter engage in
supposedly pharmaceutical businesses! What a farce!
www.ovc.blogspot.com
FROM THE
BLOGS
Volume 43 • Number 8
27
EDITORIAL
We, the sovereign Filipino people
N
othing less than the Preamble itself of the Philippine
Constitution and nothing either less than it’s very frst
line says: “We, the sovereign Filipino people… do
ordain and promulgate this Constitution.”
It cannot be more defnite and defned, more categorical
and offcial that the most basic constitutional provision of
the national Charter consists in the declaration that the Fili-
pino people have the sovereignty in this country. Neither the
Executive Department with all its power and might, nor it’s
predilects in the Judiciary or benefciaries in the Legislative
Department or all of them combined, hold sovereignty in the
Philippines.
Thus it is that the government is of the people or owned
by the people, by the people or a making of the people, and
for the people or in service to the people.
The ruling administration in particular, is in command of
all public funds plus all kinds of huge internal and external
credit. It is feared or adored especially by the poor, the weak
and the ignorant. It is an expert in graft and corruption. It is
known for belittling human lives and trampling upon human
rights. It is surrounded by individuals armed to the teeth. It is
keeping many ex-generals closed by appointing them in high
offces in its different lead agencies. And for all intents and
purposes, its highest public offcial is conveniently treated
as someone above the law—and wants it that way forever
and ever.
Dictatorship of any kind, authoritarianism in any degree,
a despot of any race, color and creed, can neither truly nor
may really be the sovereign in a nation—at whose command
everybody else trembles, at whose order all others bow or
kneel. Such fundamentally erratic system of governance, if
not actually inhumanity to man, has in fact happened in the
past and still happening in present history. Yet, it is also his-
tory that takes ample records that such reincarnations of odi-
ous slave drivers eventually have their fnal ending—usually
terrible ending. Meantime, the enslaved people ultimately
not simply survive the tyrant but eventually also have their
justice and freedom.
Why all oppressors do have infallible terminal reign?
The answer has already been said repeatedly, has long since
been known to and experienced by the civilized world. Here:
Nature is inherently an equalizer. All human beings are cre-
ated equal—equal before God, equal to one another, equal in
the face of truth.
If one or more of them become their leaders—this is be-
cause majority of the people wants them to be such until the
time comes when they want others to take their places. That
is why they are called “public servants”, i.e., they lead only in
serving the general public, the people in general. Thus stands
the essence of the consecrated principle known, accepted and
observed by civilized society: Sovereign resides in the people
who periodically choose them, house them decently and faith-
fully pay them as their public servants.
People of the Philippines beware! When your public
servants treat you as their serfs or vassals, when they thus use
and abuse you, when they pretend, behave and act as if theirs
is the sovereignty in the country—take courage! Such is the
time when you precisely begin to count their days.
Illustration by Bladimer Usi
IMPACT • August 2009 28
FROM THE
INBOX
From the e-mail messages of lanbergado@cbcpworld.net
Husbands for sale
W
hat a joy! To feel God’s
love embracing you as he
whispers, ‘Keep going. I
am with you not just on special days
but every moment in life.’

Whenever you share the good-
ness of your heart, you always end
up winning, because life is an echo.
It gives back to you what you have
given. Stay nice even when others
are not.

The two most important thoughts
a person should bear in mind: Use
things, not people. Love people not
things.

Everything can change in the
blink of an eye. But don't worry; God
never blinks.
One liners
It’s not what you gather, but what
you scatter that defines the kind of life
you have lived.
“Life is a coin. You can spend it
anyway you wish, but you can only
spend it once.”

To sin by silence when they
should protest makes cowards of
human beings.

In times of difficulties, never say
‘God, I have a big problem’ but instead
say, ‘Hey problem, I have a big God
and everything will be alright.’

Being happy doesn’t mean that
everything is perfect. It means that
you have decided to see beyond the
imperfections.
Only in a quiet water, things can
mirror themselves and only with a
quiet mind shall we be able to hear
God’s whisper into our hearts.

Have an awesome day and know
that someone who thinks you’re great
has thought about you today.
A
store that sells husbands has just
opened in New York City, where
a woman may go to choose a
husband. Among the instructions at
the entrance is a description of how the
store operates. You may visit the store
ONLY ONCE!
There are six floors and the attri-
butes of the men increase as the shopper
ascends the flights. There is, however,
a catch you may choose any man from
a particular floor, or you may choose to
go up a floor, but you cannot go back
down except to exit the building!
So, a woman goes to the Husband
Store to find a husband.
On the first floor the sign on the
door reads:
Floor 1 - These men have jobs and
love the Lord.
The second floor sign reads:
Floor 2 - These men have jobs, love
the Lord, and love kids.
The third floor sign reads:
Floor 3 - These men have jobs, love
the Lord, love kids, and are extremely
good looking.
‘Wow,’ she thinks, but feels com-
pelled to keep going. She goes to the
fourth floor and the sign reads:
Floor 4 - These men have jobs, love
the Lord, love kids, are drop-dead good
looking and help with the housework.
‘Oh, mercy me!’ she exclaims, ‘I
can hardly stand it!’ Still, she goes to
the fifth floor and the sign reads:
Floor 5 - These men have jobs,
love the Lord, love kids, are drop-dead
gorgeous, help with the housework, and
have a strong romantic streak.
She is so tempted to stay, but she
goes to the sixth floor and the sign
reads:
Floor 6 - You are visitor 4,363,012
to this floor. There are no men on this
floor. This floor exists solely as proof
that women are impossible to please.
Thank you for shopping at the Husband
Store. Watch your step as you exit the
building, and have a nice day!
Volume 43 • Number 8
29
book
Reviews
The Updated Philippine Program
of Priestly Formation
Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines
Episcopal Commission on Seminaries
The phenomenon of globaliza-
tion has put all aspects of hu-
man existence in a constant fux.
Even the Philippine Church ac-
knowledges how this phenom-
enon has left its mark on and
shape Philippine society and
culture. Fully conscious of the
fact, the Plenary Council of the
Philippines, in 1991 proposed
that an updated Philippine Pro-
gram for Priestly Formation be
drafted for seminarians that
they “may be better prepared
to become agents of renewal in
the Church and society through
the priestly ministry.” This book
is the fruit of labor of various
agents of seminary formation,
pastors, theologians and spe-
cialists who, on various occasions have gathered together to
discuss, refect and pray in order to come out with a document
that would help prepare future priests to respond creatively to
the signs and challenges of the times.
Care for Creation
A Franciscan Spirituality of the Earth
Ilia Delio, OSF, Keith Douglass Warner, OFM, & Pamela
Wood
This book comes just as timely
as the issue of climate change
and its irreversible impact on the
environment is becoming a major
global concern. Drawing from the
Franciscan spirituality of creation,
the authors discuss the integral
relationship that exists between
human beings and the earth. The
book is divided into four sections,
each section comprising three
chapters, one each on ecology,
theology and refective action. The
frst chapter of each section talks
about the application of ecology to
current environmental problems.
The second chapter proposes a
deeper understanding into the
relationship between God and the
world and the place of human beings in God’s creation, while
drawing inspiration from the theological insights of Franciscan
saints. In the third chapter, some practical steps are provided
in the form of prayers, meditations, spiritual practices and
group activities as a means to re-connect and nurture a right
relationship with the earth. Heavily endorsed by contemporary
theologians, this book “provides a great service to the earth and
all its inhabitants,” while showing a “contemporary Franciscan
spirituality of creation, following the footprints of Jesus” with the
hope of renewing the “face of the earth in our own time.”
Invoking God in a Secular Senate
Senator Aquilino Pimentel, Jr.
In a catholic country like the Phil-
ippines, any common program or
activities, however secular it may
be, always start with an invocation
to God blessing his goodness,
whilst asking for divine provi-
dence. With so many religious
practices being observed, de-
voutly or otherwise, in government
institutions, congress included,
one should surmise that civil lead-
ers should have received enough
enlightenment and guidance in
their duty of putting the good of
others ahead of their own. In his
introduction, Lingayen-Dagupan
Archbishop Oscar Cruz says,
“With God in mind and at heart,
man cannot but pray—real l y,
fervently and trustingly pray.” The
prayers found in the book convey the desires and aspirations
of a man who is deeply aware of the presence of God in his
life and surroundings. Said at various times during Senator
Pimentel’s three terms in the Senate, the invocations cover a
wide area of concerns and troubles people usually encounter
in their daily lives. Refected in the prayers is the author’s deep
faith in God’s unconditional love for his people “that in the midst
of all the problems besetting the country, the Almighty would
never let his people down even if the leaders failed to measure
up to the heavenly mandate.”
Living a Spirituality of Action
A Woman’s Perspective
Joan Mueller
Catholic theologian Joan Muel-
ler avers that what the world
needs at present is a “wise
mother”. For Mueller, the con-
cept of motherhood is essential
because “so many vulnerable
people in the world need tender
care”; and that motherhood
should be coupled with wisdom
“because tenderness without
wisdom cannot be sustained.”
Involved in a program for Suda-
nese refugees for many years,
Mueller writes that everyone
can make a difference in this
world, even how little or seem-
ingly insignificant a person’s
contribution may seem to be
before the eyes of others. This
book of refections and stories,
borne out of many years of
working with Sudanese refugees, will certainly inspire women
of all ages—mothers, daughters, students, artists, business-
women, writers and chemists. “It is a book meant to encourage
women to own their gifts and use them to make the world a
better place.” Indeed, living a spirituality of action is nothing but
concretizing one’s faith into loving one’s neighbor. A Franciscan
Sister of Joy, Mueller, has dedicated her life to organizing and
developing networks of people whose purpose is to make a
true difference in the lives of the poor. She is the founder and
executive director of Project Welcome Sudanese Community,
and promotes the educational and social development of Su-
danese refugees in Omaha.
IMPACT • August 2009 30
ENTERTAINMENT
CATHOLIC
INITIATIVE
FOR ENLIGHTENED
MOVIE APPRECIATION
T
he movie opens with the Death
Eaters attacking London while
Dumbledore (Michael Gambon)
takes Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) to
befriend and unlock the memory of
former Hogworts potions professor,
Horace Slughorn (Jim Broadbent)
who once taught Tom Riddle—the
young Lord Voldemort. Meanwhile,
Harry’s nemesis Draco Malfoy and
Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher
Severus Snape (Alan Rickman) have
joined the Death Eaters. All the while,
Harry is picking up magical tips from
a mysterious character known as the
Half-Blood Prince—a previous owner
of the used Potions textbook Harry is
now using. However, Harry and friends
face a bigger challenge than the return
of Lord Voldemort—raging adoles-
cent hormones and teenage romance.
Harry falls in love with Ginny Weasley
(Bonni Wright) who unfortunately
is already dating someone else and
Hermoine (Emma Watson) is seething
with jealousy when Lavander Brown
decided Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint)
is the one for her.
HARRY POTTER AND THE
HALF-BLOOD PRINCE looks like a
conduit to the climax to the whole Harry
Potter series so in reality the movie
does not really reach a climax. The
battle scenes and love stories at times
struggle for dominance and the movie
could have benefited if the director
made a clear choice are fantastic and
breathtaking. This combined with great
performances from the actors who have
matured before the world makes the
movie memorable and worthwhile.
While the violence, witchcraft and
darkness are more subtle, parents are
strongly advised to accompany their
very young children when watching.
Although the movie has several efforts
to moralize—for instance, the code
of honors of good witches, as well as
values taught to Hogwart students—
these values are only applied to up
to a certain problem faced by the
characters. Case in point, honesty is
emphasized but in certain occasions
stealing is tolerated.
The most powerful theme in the
story is “fitting in”. Most characters
crave for a sense of being part of a
group and being accepted as himself.
Take the Professor Snape and Draco
Malfoy who joined Voldermort because
of their innate desire to be accepted.
Even Harry, who lost his parents and
was raised by an unloving family, found
confidence and strength in his friends
at Gryffindor. The real magic of Harry
Pottter lies not in the supernatural
power or spells or potions but in finding
a home for the heart where friendships
and love are able to grow.
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma
Watson, Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman
Director: David Yates
Producers: David Barron, David Heyman
Screenwriters: Steve Kloves, J.K. Rowling
Music: Nicholas Hooper; Editor: Mark Day
Genre: Fantasy Adventure
Cinematography: Bruno Delbonnnel
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
Location: Bjorli, Norway
Running Time: 153 min.
Technical Assessment: ½
Moral Assessment: 
CINEMA Rating: For viewers 14 and
above
Volume 43 • Number 8
31
NEWS
BRI EFS
INDIA
Mumbai gunman asks
to be hanged
The lone surviving gun-
man from last year's Mum-
bai terrorist attacks has
asked the court to hang
him. Mohammad Ajmal
Amir Kasab has confessed
to his role in the killings and
said he would rather be
punished in this world, than
be punished by God.
CHINA
Swine fu vaccine trial
starts
A Chinese pharmaceuti-
cal frm says it will test a
swine fu vaccine on more
than 2,000 volunteers, in
the eastern province of
Jiangsu. The Hualan Bio-
logical Engineering said
the vaccine could hit the
market in September, with
production of up to 600,00
doses per day.
JAPAN
Landslides kill 6
Torrential rain has
caused more two dozen
landslides in Japan late
July, killing at least six peo-
ple including residents of a
nursing home. Reports say
elderly residents died and
at least four went missing,
when an avalanche of mud
slammed into a nursing
home in western Japan.
MALAYSIA
Officials nabbed for
traffcking
Police have arrested
fve immigration offcials
for involvement in an in-
ternational traffcking syn-
dicate dealing in refugees
from Burma. The arrested
were among nine people
detained for receiving pay-
ments from a syndicate that
sold refugees.
CAMBODIA
Swine fu cases rising
Health officials here
have recorded fve more
cases of swine fu, bringing
the country's total number
of confrmed cases to 14.
Cambodia has not yet re-
corded a fatality from swine
fu, and all of the country's
H1N1 cases have been
imported so far.
NEPAL
UN head seeks exten-
sion of mission
UN Secretary General
Ban Ki-moon has sug-
gested the UN’s special
mission to Nepal, which
was established to sup-
port the ongoing peace
process, be extended for
another six months. He
said Nepalese believe the
presence of the mission is
needed until the integration
and rehabilitation of Maoist
army personnel.
VIETNAM
6 to be tried for propa-
ganda vs state
At least six dissidents will
be prosecuted for spread-
ing “propaganda” against
the government. The min-
istry of foreign affairs said
the state prosecutor will try
them for having distorted
and humiliated government
information.
AFGHANISTAN
Bomb attack kills 5
kids
A roadside bomb alleg-
edly planted by Taliban mili-
tants has killed 11 civilians,
including fve children, in
southern Afghanistan. The
bomb hit a vehicle carrying
a group of men, women
and children on their way
to visit a shrine in Kanda-
har province's Spin Boldak
district.
THAILAND
Govt moves to seize
Shinawatra’s wealth
Prosecutors have start-
ed proceedings to fully
seize $US2.2 billion in as-
sets belonging to convicted
former PM Thaksin Shi-
nawatra. The hefty funds
were frozen in 2006 after
Thaksin was ousted in a
military coup.
IRAN
Govt ‘framing’ critics—
HRW
Authorities here are co-
ercing detained supporters
of reform presidential can-
didates to implicate leading
reformists in illegal acts,
Human Rights Watch said.
Intelligence forces have
also intensifed pressure on
the families of detainees to
be silent about their cases,
it added.
N. KOREA
No nuke talks until US
softens
North Korea said the
6-party disarmament talks
over its nuclear program
are dead. Ri Hung-Sik, di-
rector-general of the North
Korean Foreign Ministry's
international organization
bureau, said the US has a
hostile policy towards his
country and there will be no
dialogue until it changes.
INDONESIA
JI behind attacks in
Jakarta
The Indonesian po-
lice have announced that
the Jemaah Islamiyah is
behind the kamikaze at-
tacks that took place in
Jakarta during the night
this past July 16-17, caus-
ing 8 deaths and over 60
wounded. The attacks were
on two luxury hotels in Ja-
karta, the Marriott and the
Ritz-Carlton, which often
host businessmen from all
over the world.
PHILIPPINES
RP human rights grim—
CBCP
In a statement the Cath-
olic bishops warned of an
escalating culture of vio-
lence due to government’s
failure to tackle human
rights abuses in the coun-
try. The bishops said there
is a need for authorities
and various sectors of the
society to work together
in solving human rights
problems.