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Volume 4 Issue 1 First in Time, First in Right January 2012
New Archbishop of Manila’s first homily: On dignity of human life
His Excellency Antonio Tagle waves a final goodbye to his former Imus constituencies.
January 2012 Page 2
Abp Tagle nixes RH bill with firm Pro-Life stand
By Rommel Lontayao, The Manila Times
CBCBP for Life also cited that last March, Tagle delivered the homily for the Thanksgiving Mass for the Newly-installed Manila Archbishop Luis An- gift of family and life at the Manila Cathedral. He said: tonio Tagle on Wednesday made it clear in his “[T]he forces against life are always present. Let us not delude ourselves that we have only one enemy, that life first homily as head of the country’s premier Catholic archdiocese that he will not soften the has only one enemy. There are many faces of those that Church’s pro-life stance, as well as its opposition are against life, so we have to pray.” (Dominic Francisco)
to the Reproductive Health (RH) bill.
He said that Pope Benedict XVI’s call for a “New Evangelization” required seeing the world with “new eyes,” and in the eyes of the Lord and seeing with new eyes meant that the “unborn is no longer seen as a burden,” “women are no longer seen as objects” and “creation is not manipulated.” Tagle’s installation coincided with the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the global pro-life movement. The former bishop of Imus (Cavite), who became the 32nd archbishop of Manila on Monday, had taken the campaign against the controversial RH bill to the Internet. His television show “The Word Exposed” is also on YouTube and some of its episodes had tackled provisions of the birth-control measure. In that TV show, Tagle earlier spoke out against the RH bill’s provision mandating sex education as early as Grade 5.“The concern of the Church is that in these modules, the approach to sex is too clinical. It is only an activity, [and] only factual, biological, on what is said, ‘How can you protect yourself?’ But the sexual act is always part of morality and relationship. And that is what is not being tackled,” he said. “This is where the biggest concern of the Church lies. Is sex education only just about a technique or how to do it, or [is it] part of the holistic view of man and relationships?” Tagle asked.
Archbishop waxes emotional at installation
by Melo M. Acuna, CBCPNews
MANILA, Dec. 12, 2011— The job as new head of Manila’s Catholic Church started Monday for Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle who turned emotional as the crowd praised him for his appointment.
In a related development, CBCP explained that the Catholic Church is opposing the passage of the bill because it promotes the use of artificial contraception, which the Church believes is tantamount to abortion. The Church favors natural birth control methods only
“We are grateful to the Holy Father for giving Manila the best in our own,” said Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. “Of course he has our own collaboration. Manila is the Archbishop Tagle grandmother of all the dioceses,” he said. Tagle, born in 1957 in Manila, was formally installed today as the 32nd archbishop of Manila in a solemn rite held at the Manila Cathedral. As the crowd heaped praise on Tagle, the church leader appeared emotional several times during the ceremony. He was seen wiping tears especially when he delivered his homily. Tagle also broke into tears at the part when he acknowledged the support extended to him by his parents and when he said goodbye to the clergy and faithful of Imus diocese where he served for the past 10 years. “You have loved me. You have directed me to the Lord. Please remember me as loving you,” said Tagle in his homily with his voice cracking with emotion. And in facing his new role as archbishop, Tagle said he is hoping that the Manila faithful would also wel-
come him as the successor of retired Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales. “There is much that I will learn and should learn from you. Teach me. Be patient with me. Let us love one another at all times,” he said. He also vowed that his new post, which had been occupied by one of the country’s prominent Church figures such as the late Jaime Cardinal Sin, will not change him the way he is. He said he will not allow himself to be “blinded” that his new post as Archbishop of Manila represents more power. “Love makes one a true shepherd, not position,” said Tagle. At least 90 cardinals, bishops and archbishops from all over the Philippines and several Asian countries and foreign dignitaries attended the historical event. Tagle was escorted by Rosales to his cathedra after the civil ceremonies outside the Manila Cathedral. Symbolic keys to their cities were turned over by Mayors Alfredo Lim of Manila, Guia Gomez Ejercito of
San Juan, Jejomar Binay, Jr. of Makati, Benhur Abalos of Mandaluyong and Antonino Calixto of Pasay City to the new Manila archbishop. “The mission of the Church should be wholly directed by the Lord who is always present as Shepherd and guide,” Tagle said in his 27-minute homily. He added human efforts should continue but he cautioned his congregation “unless the Lord directs the catch, we labour in vain.” The Papal Nuncio to the Philippine Archbishop Guiseppe Pinto and Archbishop Palma were Archbishop Tagle’s concelebrants. Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal also attended the installation rites. American Ambassador Harry K. Thomas told CBCPNews that he looks forward to meeting Archbishop Tagle in the near future. Swiss Ambassador to the Philippines Ivo Sieber, Sri Lankan Second Secretary Ruwani Cooray, Vietnamese Counselor Tran Thi Nam Phuong and several other dignitaries also witnessed the event. Other government officials present were Chief Justice Renato Corona, Senator Bong Revilla Jr. and wife Cavite Rep. Lani Mercado, Parananque Rep. Roilo Golez, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Chairperson Margie Juico. Other personalities present during the ceremony were President Benigno Aquino III’s sisters, Maria Elena “Ballsy” Aquino-Cruz, Aurora Corazon “Pinky” Aquino-Abellada, and Victoria Elisa “Viel” AquinoDee.
Lipa bishop criticizes BS Aquino III for snub
By Leslie Ann G. Aquino, Tempo
Manila, Philippines – A Catholic Church prelate criticized President Benigno S. Aquino III for not appearing at the installation of Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio “Chito” G. Tagle yesterday. Lipa (Batangas) Archbishop Ramon Arguelles said the absence of Aquino showed his lack of respect for the Church. “Of all our Presidents, he is the only one who didn’t show respect for the Church,” Arguelles said. “It’s very conspicious the absence of the President for the first time in the history of the Philippines,” added Arguelles. He said the President should have reset the date of the turnover rites for the new chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Lt. Gen. Jessie D. Dellosa if he really wants to attend the event. “This is an international event, the AFP can be reset tomorrow. I think he is really not interested in attending,” he said. #
January 2012 Page 4
Rome insiders say he could be Pope someday
Bus, bike riding bishop named top Philippine cleric
strong environmental streak. Tagle’s doctoral dissertation at Catholic University, written under Fr. Joseph Komonchak, was a favorable treatment of the development of episcopal collegiality at the Second Vatican Council. Moreover, Tagle served for 15 years on the editorial board of the Bologna, Italy-based “History of Vatican II” project founded by Giuseppe Alberigo, criticized by some conservatives for an overly progressive reading of the council. Alberto Melloni, an Italian academic and writer, directs the Bologna project. He calls Tagle “a thinker of real value,” whose dissertation represents an important chapter in the history of Vatican II, and someone who’s “talented and serious.” Back in the Philippines, Tagle, who goes by the nickname “Chito,” is well-loved for his warmth and humor, for his simplicity, for his ability to express complex ideas in attractive and understandable language, for his balance and openness, and for his lack of ego. He told Radio Veritas that when he first heard he was going to Manila, he didn’t tell anybody, because “I thought maybe the pope would change his mind.” One Filipino commentator said Tagle has “a theologian’s mind, a musician’s soul and a pastor’s heart.” In the Imus diocese, Tagle was famous for not owning a car and taking the bus to work every day, describing it as a way to combat the isolation that sometimes comes with high office. He was also known for inviting beggars outside the cathedral to come in and eat with him; one woman was quoted describing a time she went looking for her blind, out-of-work, alcoholic husband, suspecting she might track him down in a local bar, only to find that he was lunching with the bishop. Here’s another typical story. Not long after Tagle arrived in Imus, a small chapel located in a rundown
October 24, 2011, The Vatican - Luis Antonio Tagle of Imus, Philippines, a guitar-playing cleric who eschews clerical garb and takes public transportation, has been named the next archbishop of Manila, one of the most highprofile sees in Asia.
The announcement of Tagle’s appointment, which puts him in line to become a cardinal, was made by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Oct. 13. The current archbishop, Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales, had reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 and resigned. Tagle told the church-run Radio Veritas that he was “overwhelmed” and “humbled” by the appointment. He said he had barely slept the night before the announcement and was tearful when he woke up. Tagle is a youthful-looking 54. The story goes that in the mid-1990s, when then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger introduced Tagle to Pope John Paul II as a new member of the Vatican’s International Theological Commission, Ratzinger jokingly assured the pope that the Filipino had, in fact, received his first Communion. Some church watchers in Rome and the Philippines say that Tagle could be pope someday. Born in Manila, Tagle went to seminary in Quezon City and later did his doctoral work at The Catholic University of America in Washington. He also studied in Rome before returning to the Philippines to serve as a pastor and teacher. He quickly came to be seen as a rising star in the Asian church, explaining his appointment in 1997 to the Vatican’s main doctrinal advisory body. He was named bishop of Imus in 2001. Theologically and politically, Tagle is considered balanced. He’s taken strong positions against the Philippines’ proposed Reproductive Health Bill, which includes promotion of birth control. Yet his towering social concern is defense of the poor, and he’s also got a
neighborhood was waiting for a priest to say Mass at around 4:00 a.m., for a group mostly made up of day laborers. Eventually a youngish cleric showed up on a cheap bicycle, wearing simple clothes and ready to start the Mass. An astonished member of the congregation realized it was the new bishop, and apologized that they hadn’t prepared a better welcome. Tagle said it was no problem; he got word late the night before that the priest was sick, and decided to say the Mass himself. Tagle is a gifted communicator, making him a sought-after speaker and media personality. He drew rave reviews for his performance at a 2008 International Eucharistic Congress in Quebec, where observers say he brought an entire stadium to tears. Vaticanwatchers also rated him among the most impressive contributors to both the 2005 Synod on the Eucharist and the 2008 Synod on the Word of God. He’s also a very 21st-century prelate -- he hosts a program on YouTube, and he’s got his own Facebook page. Though a loyal churchman, Tagle is unafraid to raise tough questions (at the 2005 synod, he pointedly said the church must confront the priest shortage, which struck some as a way of hinting at flexibility on celibacy) or to challenge what he considers abuses (some of the toughest language you’ll ever find denouncing clerical arrogance and privilege is in his writings). One Filipino priest wrote after Tagle’s appointment was announced: “Who knows, we may have in [Tagle] the first Asian pope.” Even if that doesn’t pan out, Tagle is destined to be an important face and voice for the burgeoning Catho-
lic population in Asia and the entire developing world, and that makes him someone worth getting to know.
Breaking News from the Vatican
Tagle has Oullet support despite Italian politics
December 20, 2011, The Vatican - Despite reports to the contrary, sources say there’s no particular Vatican concern about the new archbishop of Manila, the Philippines, over an article he contributed more than a decade ago to a controversial history of the Second Vatican Council. The article had not been part of the official documentation considered before his appointment.
Luis Antonio Tagle, 54, seen as one of the leading theological minds among the Asian bishops, was installed as the 32nd archbishop of Manila Dec. 12, after being named to the position by Pope Benedict XVI on Oct. 13. Though Tagle has been hailed as a rising Asian star and even a possible papal contender, a mid-November article by veteran Italian journalist Sandro Magister suggested that some in the Vatican may have second thoughts, related to an article Tagle authored for a history of Vatican II edited by Italian scholars Giuseppe Alberigo and Alberto Melloni, exponents of a pro-
Two blogs by JOHN ALLEN, an NCR senior correspon‐ dent. In 2000, Allen established the Rome office of the National Catholic Reporter. From that position, he broke stories on Rome's response to the American sex‐ ual abuse crisis, the Vatican's opposition to the U.S.‐led war in Iraq, the death of John Paul II and the election of Benedict XVI, and a wide variety of other important Vatican events. In the summer of 2006, Allen returned to the United States, allowing him to expand his cover‐ age of both the American church and the global Catho‐ lic scene, while continuing to keep his eye on Rome. Allen is the author of seven books on the Catholic Church, including All the Pope's Men, The Rise of Bene‐ dict XVI, Opus Dei, and A People of Hope (all from Dou‐ bleday), and serves as senior Vatican analyst for CNN. His weekly Internet column, formerly "The Word from Rome" and rechristened as "All Things Catholic," has a wide international readership. Allen's work is followed across the usual ideological divides in the church, and he speaks widely on Catholic affairs in the United States and around the world.
Abp. Tagle takes a rare photo opportunity with two of the Philippine cardinals, HE Ricardo Vidal of Cebu (left) and his predecessor HE Gaudencio Rosales of Manila (right), together with other Philippine bishops.
January 2012 Page 6
gressive current in Italian Catholicism known as the “Bologna school.” The Alberigo and Melloni history has been blamed in some quarters for promoting a distorted reading of Vatican II as a “rupture” with previous eras of church history -- as opposed to the “hermeneutic of reform,” emphasizing continuity with the church before Vatican II, promoted by Benedict. Tagle earned his doctorate at The Catholic University of America under Fr. Joseph Komonchak, the American editor of the Alberigo and Melloni history, and joined the project’s editorial team while a seminary professor. In 1999, Tagle contributed an essay to the fourth volume of the history on Vatican II’s so-called “Black Week,” which unfolded at the close of the council’s third session in 1964, when several actions by Pope Paul VI caused alarm among reform forces. Magister wrote that the cardinals and bishops who approved Tagle’s move to Manila learned of his connection to the Bologna school “only after the publication of the appointment,” because his essay on the “Black Week” was not part of the official ponenza, meaning the Vatican documentation supplied about candidates for bishops’ jobs. Some commentators have suggested the revelation might induce Benedict to omit Tagle from the list of new cardinals when he next holds a consistory, widely expected in February.
Yet a source close to Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the Vatican’s prefect for the Congregation for Bishops, told NCR this week that Tagle has Ouellet’s “full support,” even after the 1999 essay came to light. That support is telling, given that Ouellet is a protégé of Benedict. Several observers said that tensions over the Bologna school are viewed in the Vatican as largely an intra-Italian rivalry to which Tagle, as an Asian prelate, is seen as mostly extraneous. Speaking on background, one Vatican official said that he read Tagle’s 1999 essay after media reports highlighted it and found nothing objectionable. In fact, this official said, he was impressed by Tagle’s defense of Paul VI. (Tagle wrote that Paul followed a strategy of “listening to all views, especially opposing ones,” and was willing to “sacrifice his personal popularity to save the council and its future.”) This official also said it’s hard to suggest Tagle is opposed to Benedict’s reading of the council, since one of the sources Tagle cited was the writings of Joseph Ratzinger. Another official stressed that Tagle was not made a bishop until 2001, and what counts more in the Vatican analysis is his record since. Importantly, this official said, Tagle has helped articulate Catholic opposition to the proposed Reproductive Health Bill in the Philippines, which would promote birth control and mandate sex education. Last year, Tagle used his weekly television program, “The Word Exposed,” to object that the proposed sex education curriculum promotes a merely “biological” view of sexuality, as opposed to a view that includes morality. During his Dec. 12 installation Mass, Tagle said he wants humility and “loving discipleship” to be the guideposts of his ministry as the leader of Manila’s estimated 2.8 million Catholics. (Its total Catholic population of 75 million makes the Philippines the third-largest Catholic country in the TAGLE WITH HIS PRODUCTION CREW—One of the world, after Brazil and Mexico.) “impact” ministries, Msgr. Tagle runs is a television pro‐ “Merely assuming the position of archbishop of gram aired on Studio 23, ANC and PTV4 every Sunday. Enti‐ Manila does not guarantee that I will recognize the tled “The Word Exposed”, it is also archived at the You‐ Lord. If I am not careful, it might even blind me Tube. The Sunday bible study is featured in the to the Lord and others,” Tagle said. “It is rather by being a humble disciple content with the love of Archbishop’s own FaceBook. A blogger once commented: “The Word of God is exposed in a very powerful way when Jesus that I would see the advent of him whose it is narrated in the anvil of a concrete human experience.” love propels us to mission. Love makes one a true shepherd, not position.” #
Those who graduated from Tito Toto’s ‘boot camps’ are servanthood certified, ever mission ready.
I have grown weary about how our small area in the Metro Washington DC area had been without pastoral support. There had been many instances when we asked for missionaries and elders to help us, but to no avail, for reasonably the larger constituencies were being helped first. We simply had to wait for our turn. But when I appealed again in 1996 before the
The ways of Toto de la Cruz was a classic combina‐ tion of Petrine and Pauline disciplines, a true apos‐ tle of Christ and a follower of authentic Catholicism. international mission core, in Manila, a man more than ten years my senior approached me. That was my first close encounter with Toto de la Cruz. Like a flash, he introduced me to his meek and hospitable wife Delia and before that day was over, we had a simple plan. They were coming to the US upon the invitation of their daughter Bong to vacation in Maryland, and as a response to my request,
Sketch by Andrew Descallar
A Beautiful Story
they wanted to go trying a “little” missionwork during their free days. Well, the best plans are meant to be violated but quite uniquely in this case. When Toto and Delia finally landed at the Washington Reagan National Airport, their vacation would end in barely a week. The rest of the six months became a blasting series of Christian Life Seminars not just in Maryland, but also in Washington DC and Northern Virginia. He ended up training Jun Basilio and Tony Spiritosanto on how to setup the Couples for Christ culture. The two came up to the plate, not knowing that they would have to drive the De La Cruzes up and down the George Washington Parkway alongside the Potomac River, dividing Virginia and Maryland, not just for days but weeks that turned into months.
January 2012 Page 8
Toto de la Cruz
And if for some reason, no ride would be possible, Tito Toto and Tita Delia mastered the ways of the Metro Washington Subway System to get to the seminar locations. If my memory serves me right, before the De La Cruzes arrived, we only had three crippled households. Six months after, we had a full chapter, with two units in Maryland and one unit in Virginia, and a household in Washington DC! The collaboration would not end but just start from there. A year later my consultancy works blossomed in Asia, and I was assigned a household in Manila, serving as a servant of the Lord (older singles ministry) as my wife had to stay in Virginia with the children. I was grouped with the other brothers and sisters serving in the St. Thomas More & Associates (STMA), the socio-political ministry of CFC. It did not take long for Tito Toto to offer me an opportunity to square off the favor he did for me in the US. Instantly, I became the only non-Ilonggo member of the Western Visayas service team. He tapped my gift as an strategic planner, event organizer and a teacher. This was where I found out that the boot camp he gave us in Washington DC is very familiar to CFC leaders in Iloilo, Capiz, Aklan, Guimaras and An-
tique. I served with him for almost ten years until I rebased back in Washington DC in 2004. Shortly thereafter, he retired from active ministry but still consistently attended his household meetings. I visited Toto last year, and our conversation started at breakfast, continued on through lunch and had to end before 3:00 pm because he had to return to prayer at the hour of Divine Mercy. The next time I would get wind of him was when her daughter Cecy filed this headsup last December 1 ”Daddy suffered a stroke just a while ago. He and mommy are in Iloilo since Saturday, Nov. 26, because mommy's sister passed away Nov. 29. Daddy is being prepared now for surgery to relieve pressure from his brain. All our siblings in Manila are waiting at the airport for their 1:30pm flight to Iloilo. He is confined at St. Paul's Hospital in Iloilo. Please pray for daddy and request the rest of your friends for prayers.” Toto died morning of December 13 at Iloilo City in Southern Philippines. Immediately the internet was burning with news of his demise as he left behind across this world, a legion of former students, associates, and devoted friends, brothers and sisters in the CFC community. Ed Santos of North Carolina was first to respond to the announcement., “I remember Tito Toto giving a piece of his mind to a National Council member during a family ministry orientation . He didn't hold back until he was able to say his piece. We did see that elder was somewhat embarassed but did not answer back probably in deference & respect to Tito as a senior. The elder instead asked him to talk to him privately to discuss his concerns. Only
Tito Toto can do that and still command respect even among the council members. Wow that one was a strong statement, but I guess I will shortchange the readers if I did not present Tito Toto’s strong Petrine personality upfront. Agrees Ponet Ladrido, “Yes indeed! I second Toto's strict mentoring and the meetings he conducted up to the wee hours of the morning. Unforgettable indeed was when he took us on a one-to-one for a Household Heads training in his house because we missed the training for the group. This ended at two o'clock in the morning. He always took time to explain every small detail in our CFC Culture including why it is necessary to wear our CFC IDs.” Nonong Contreras wrote a long eulogy but we will quote as much as we could here for he captured many priceless facets of the man. He begins gingerly: “Only a little over a month ago, despite being in a convalescent state and sick on bed, he insisted, through his wife Del, that they host the household meeting. We met him very briefly and spared him from the prayer meeting to give him a much needed rest. “As I led the meeting that night, we would get glimpses of him lying on bed and typical of him, we all knew he was intently with us in prayer and worship. That was meant to be our last household meeting with him. And through it all, his gesture of insistence on having the household meeting that night turned out to be his message of saying his fond farewell to a household that had witnessed his endearing traits, listened to his exploits in the political arena, heeded his wise counsel on issues besetting the community and most of all, picking up meaningful lessons on sharing the faith as he held court on how he blazed trails
and founded untrodden paths of evangelization in India, the US, Indonesia and the Philippines. (India, no longer the USA, is now the biggest CFCFFL country.) “The full flowering of CFC in Metro Manila in an exponential way saw its roots in his own parish in Holy Family in Pasig and spreading its wings to the adjoining parishes of Sta. Rosa de Lima, San Antonio, and St. Francis. “Before we knew it, his evangelistic zeal bore fruit as other parishes as far north as Quezon City and down south in Pateros, Taytay, Binangonan and Taguig. Not to be spared by his unstinted and untiring evangelization efforts were the provinces in Western Visayas. “This story of a modern St. Paul with an inimitable flair and zest for evangelization is the story of Toto de La Cruz. He was an individualist, a frank constructor but walking to the synch of a different percussionist. “No one would ever match his seemingly insatiable passion for execution and getting results fast in opening up CLPs. “To accomplish this, he trained, coached and mentored countless numbers of leaders in what was to be called the “Toto de La Cruz School of Pastoral Management” and kept many of us quartered till the wee hours of the morning learning the intricacies of facilitating, being a Servant, or a Team Leader in a CLP. “His fame spread far and wide for being a master of the follow-through because he was sure to call you up at the office or at home if you missed a session or two of his teachings. “Anyone who ever talked to Toto for more than five minutes was soon to be acquainted with the "art" of pastoral conversation. He was a treasure trove of ideas and ideals, a veritable Funk and Wagnalls of how best to evangelize, that to chat with him for an evening was like a crash
ture Special Fea itor from the Ed
is In necessari unitas, in opinabilibus libertas, in omnibus caritas.
LINAWAN ADO PAG
course in the EAPI with running footnotes to boot! “No one who knew Toto or heard him teach or preach can forget his single-mindedness for evangelization. This earned him the respect of the clergy. No less than the late Cardinal Sin did not think twice in conscripting Toto to blunt the campaign of then Sen. Flavier to ram through the first ever RH bill in Congress.” (Zoe Vidal, one of the top ProLife advocates in Manila says, “Toto was one of the first CFC members I met early 1994 who understood exactly what pro-life legislative advocacy meant, and who had the qualifications and inside knowledge of the workings of the Philippine Congress). Contreras continues, “And of course, endearing to quite a number of brothers and sisters and community was his own idiosyncratic argot devoted exclusively to his beloved kennel of black Labrador dogs. “Pretty soon, this canine devotion saw avid followers of his crash courses on rearing dogs properly and in the genteel way. No less than my wife was the recipient of a kind reprimand from this local Cesar Millan, as Toto gifted her a more gentle collar suited for Cocker Spaniels when he saw her tugging our dog with an "unkind leash" during a blessing for pets at St. Francis Parish Church. “Toto was an old-fashioned
gentleman and incurable romantic. He would readily shed a tear or two listening to or giving sharings in prayer assemblies. “The day we received news of his death, the message of 1 Cor 2:9 hit us - ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered in the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’ ” Contreras said that when he thinks of Toto, he is reminded of what God can do with one life dedicated to Him. He regarded Toto's ministry as having extended to countless lives through those he taught and touched, who in turn have passed on that special torch to new and more generations. And like Tita Delia, Contreras said “we were not blind to his frailties and shortcomings either. At times short tempered, brutally frank to a fault, weak when tempted with real good food, those foibles are all like the muted colors in the corner of a canvas of life painted from top to bottom and side to side with the blazing primary hues of his strengths and virtues.” Contreras confessed that “It’s right to mourn our loss, but we also have a responsibility to celebrate Toto's gain. There is so much to be thankful for in his home going. For one, he was able to say his proper goodbyes right in his hometown and in the company of loved ones and friends. He does not have to suffer any longer the infirmities of old age.” Part of celebrating his gain, Conteras shared a vision, “should be a picture in our collective minds of Toto arriving at the pearly gates and Jesus welcoming him inside. And after hearing Jesus’ words and seeing His face, Toto then hears near Jesus’ nail-pierced feet a familiar sound of padded paws, jingles, and barks, and his departed Labrador dogs chiming in: ‘Welcome home, good and faithful servant!’
January 2012 Page 1 0
‘MUST SURF’ 2011 FACTOID HIGHLIGHTS
1. 350 PESOS PER HAKOT— see Inquirer article: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/103857/no‐delay‐but‐rh‐bill‐ won%E2%80%99t‐be‐pas... ‐‐ The group scheduled the "peak" of its pro‐RH rally for September and set aside P1,750,000 to organize a rally of "at least 5,000 people." Each participant was budgeted P350. 2. MORE ANTI‐RH RALLYISTS THAN PRO‐RH— http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reproductive_Health_Bill#Ral lies 3. RH Bill CAN BE DEFEATED AT THE SENATE— http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/109363/hasty‐vote‐will‐kill‐rh‐ bill%E2%80%94enrile 4. MILLIONS OF DOLLARS FUNDING PRO‐RH LOBBY— http://cbcpforlife.com/?p=5141 5. PRO‐RH GROUPS SUPPORTING ABORTIONS— http://cbcpforlife.com/?p=3477 6. CABRAL ADMITS PILLS CAUSE CANCER— http://opinion.inquirer.net/5067/chant‐the‐rh‐mantras 7. PRO‐LIFE WINS TV DEBATES— http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reproductive_Health_Bill#Opi nion_polls_and_TV_debates 8. PRO‐RH MANUFACTURING STATISTICS— http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/49029/studies‐show‐ maternal‐deaths‐in‐philippines‐in‐decline / http://cbcpforlife.com/?p=3512 9. PRO‐RH LOBBYISTS UNREGISTERED BUT GETTING MASSIVE FUNDING FROM ABROAD— http://cbcpforlife.com/?p=5178 10. PRO‐LIFE WINS 2011— http://www.sunstar.com.ph/manila/localnews/2011/12/11 /anti‐rh‐groups‐declare‐victory‐over‐lobby‐money‐195246
TOP OF BILLBOARD ENTERTAINMENT 11. HITLER’S CONNECTION WITH POPULATION CONTROL http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleid=399988 http://newworldorderuniversity.com/?p=3930
HeadsUp reaps kudos: ‘La Solidaridad of our own modern‐day propaganda movement…’
Here it is! -- the most informative, most powerful overseas Filipino pro-life publication inspired by faith, science, wisdom, and dogged love of country! IMHO (In my honest opinion), this is the “La Solidaridad” of our own modern-day propaganda movement. Compulsory reading! As Filipinos, we must never forget Rizal's words: ¿No sabe usted que es inútil la vida que no se consagra á una idea grande? Es un pedruzco perdido en el campo sin formar parte de ningun edificio. Di niyo ba nauunawaan na walang halaga ang buhay na di nauukol sa isang layuning dakila? Para siyang isang batong ligaw sa linang, sa halip na maging bahagi ng isang gusali. Do you not see how useless a life is that is not consecrated to a great ideal? It is like a stone wasted on the field without becoming a part of any edifice. - ZOE VIDAL, Top ProLife Advocate in the Philippines Wow, these are fantastic! If you could use the files better than I, perhaps you should just keep them. This is fantastic work, especially on the CRR. Enclosed is another document you might be interested in. -BRIAN CLOWES, Human Rights Int’l Virginia Very, very impressive body of material. I take my hat off to you for your passion about pro-life issues and your focus against the RH Bill in the Philippines. Your work is a creative, attractive and effective advocacy channel. I am praying that it is reaching a wide audience and the readers are not only reading but taking action. Thank you very much for sharing this rich resource. And blessings always as you continue on this critical and important journey to keep life up front. - CECIL MOTUS, USCCB Cultural Diversity Thank you so much for this very important HeadsUp about "The Philippines: Preserving a Culture of Life". We taped the program, when it was shown here in EWTN at 10:30 am August 25th in our area Sacramento. Hopefully we can show it to our members next time we have a household meeting at our house, I am keeping it and hopefully be able to re-record it so we can have a permanent copy. God Bless you and everyone who made this possible, for us to be informed and timely at that !! - SONNIE & J HETZEL, California This is Baby Palabyab, a Prolife OBGYN and the current president of the newly organized Pro-life group DOCTORS FOR LIFE. I want to thank you for the free first year subscription to your Prolife mag HEADS UP... that a friend recommended to me about through email. Dashing salamat po! It's so meaty really for our Prolife cause... Aside from the fact that our pedia people can learn so much from them, we certainly plan to spread the word to our colleagues in the healthcare profession about these concerns. Please include the doctors in your prayer intentions especially with this contentious bill the RH bill.. As we cannot afford to corrupt our missionaries in the healing ministry.. The closest of professions to our heavenly healer himself.. God bless your mission to the world... Where Filipinos thrive and bring the good news... To all, all for the love of life! - ELEANOR DE BORJAPALABYAB, Doctors for Life My salute for such a great job. May everything we do glorify the Lord. Best regards and God bless! - LIGAYA ACOSTA, Human Life Int’l Ocenania Thank you for the inspiration. We are winning the cause because of people like you contaminating us with the Spirit of Life! ITO ZAMORA, CFC New York Thank you so much for this blessing. It does give us a "headsup!" - EDGARDO MOSO Good job of summarizing the years activities of the Pro- Life movement ! - GERRY FLORENDO, Baltimore top community leader I'm stunned by the audacity of a pro-RH congressman in stating that the RH bill has to be passed for the country to move on, that President Aquino has to step up his support of the bill because the success of his presidency will be gauged by its passage. Such statements should normally land in my spam mail, but I won't pass up the opportunity to once again point out the intrinsic contradictions and lies of the bill which I hope will expose his empty rhetoric. First, the bill speaks of Reproductive Health while its aim is Reproductive Death; Second, the bill talks about freedom of choice
January 2012 Page 1 2
but through massive propaganda and the treatment accorded to contraceptives as "essential medicines" virtually coerces women to choose artificial birth control methods; Third, the bill promotes condoms on the pretext of its anti HIV/AIDS potency, but conveniently omits the rise of AIDS virus in condom dominated countries like Thailand; Fourth, the bill states contraceptives to be effective and safe but fails to state a modicum of caveat that most contraceptives may have carcinogenic substances; Fifth, the bill aims to assure a safe and satisfying sex but doesn't say what is one and how to attain it; Sixth, the bill wants an early sex education to begin at near puberty age for convoluted reasons which achieve the opposite effect of arousing the curiosity of children to the point of experimentation and resulting unsafe early teen pregnancies; Seventh, the bill pretends to outlaw abortion but stubbornly refuses to acknowledge that countries which allowed a contraceptive mentality to creep into their societies eventually ended up allowing abortions on demand. Notable example is the USA; Eighth, the bill treats babies as liabilities and burden to society, but babies eventually become adults who will carry the burden of society and contribute to its wealth; Ninth, the bill claims to be pro-poor but is actually anti-poor as it deprives the poor of their only means of survival in their old age - their children; Tenth, the bill hides behind the euphonic phrase "responsible parenthood" and yet wants to accomplish it irresponsibly via costly and unsafe contraceptives versus safe, free and effective natural family planning methods; Eleventh, the bill aims to trim the population of the country to a "sustainable level" but fails to establish what that level is supposed to be, thereby courting the potential disaster of a demographic winter currently prevalent in highly developed countries. I honestly can't see by any stretch of imagination or logic how the country can move forward with the passage of this wretched bill. Moreover, it is presumptious for the congressman to say that the success of President Aquino's presidency will be "gauged" by the passage of the bill. I can't see how Aquino's current obsession of seeing Congresswoman Arroyo behind bar which seems to have become the main index of his success, can be remotely connected to the RH bill. - DOMINADOR “JUN” CHIPECO Ang Kapatiran Party
I ask for your full and unconditional support for Ed. The challenges in our work in the USA and beyond continue. The call for the USA to be our mission base for Latin America, the West Indies, and parts of Africa continues. The enemy rages even more as we effectively work for the renewal of the family and the defense of life. As one community in Christ we will experience the very strength of God. So please extend your respect, support and active submission to our brother Ed. Allow him to fulfill his task with joy and not with sorrow, for that would be of no advantage to you (Heb 13:17). I take this opportunity to thank everyone for their work in this year 2011. Have a joyful and Spirit-filled Christmas holiday. God bless you all and prepare you for the work in the new year.
My dear brethren, our brother Nani Almanza is stepping down For to me as Country Serto live is vant, effective Christ, end of this year. I and to die am appointing ILLA is gain." FRANK PAD our brother Ed Yamba as the new Country Servant effective January 1, 2012. I commend Nani for his outstanding work, full of humility, generosity and perseverance. He has a strong missionary heart and is filled with zeal for evangelization and mission. I am ever grateful to him and to his wife Bing, for giving so much of themselves for our community and our work. They will of course continue to serve you all as the Lord sees fit.
Message from the CFCFFL l tSer vant-Genera
Nani and Bing Almanza
Ed & Melanie Yamba
FR PETER WEST:
RH bill is a threat to life, family in the Philippines
‘The bill was not written by Filipinos for Filipinos, but by international population control groups in secret’
People of good will throughout the world should be aware of a great threat to the children and families of the Philippines. Filipinos are overwhelmingly Catholic (81%) and prolife. Because of this fact, and because they are still having children, they have become a target of international population control organizations and pro-abortion groups. According to the UNFPA, outside organizations based in the United States and Europe have spent $962 million dollars to promote population control in the Philippines from 1991 to 2010. Since 1998, Filipinos have been fighting the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill, which mandates, among other things, comprehensive sex education, government funded contraceptives and aboritfacients and forced participation for doctors regardless of conscientious objection. The bill also labels contraceptives as “essential medicines.” With limitless funds aiding in its promotion, an increasing number of individuals and groups have fallen into the trap of thinking that the RH Bill is necessary for economic development. Many of them have also been convinced by the propaganda that paints the Catholic Church as the enemy of progress. With the unyielding support of the “Catholic” current president of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino, there is great danger that the bill could pass soon. So far, the Filipino people are holding strong. HLI has been part of a successful effort to educate the public about the dangers of this bill, including the production of a documentary that is being distributed throughout the Philippines, including to all of the Filipino Bishops. It is crucial to note that neither the enormous amount of money nor the language in the RH Bill comes from the Philippines. The bill was not written by Filipinos for Filipinos, but by international population control groups in secret. For a poor country, offers of enormous amounts of money are difficult to refuse unless people are well-grounded morally, and aware of the devastating effects that contraception and other anti-life practices can have on a country. For the time being, the RH Bill is not written to legalize abortion, which is still highly restricted in the Philippines; but it is widely understood that legalized abortion will follow soon after the RH Bill is passed – if it is passed. Fr. Paul Marx, OSB, founder of HLI, often said that in all his travels he had not seen one country where the widespread use of contraception did not quickly lead to widespread abortion. Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, the principal author of the bill, has claimed that opposing the RH Bill is tantamount to opposing religious freedom. However, contraceptives are legal and widely available in the Philippines, despite their harmful effects. The Church’s opposition to the RH Bill is based on natural law which is accessible to reason, no matter what faith one holds. Rather, it is the RH Bill which is a
January 2012 Page 1 4
Shenan J. Boquet, new HLI president on World Aids Day:
Condoms still the problem, not the solution
Father Shenan J. Boquet, president of Human Life International (HLI), released the following statement today to mark the occasion of World AIDS Day 2011:
“Despite enormous medical advancements over the past decades to combat HIV/AIDS, many of our brothers and sisters around the world continue to suffer, and the spread of the deadly virus remains a primary concern for all worldwide who seek peace and justice.
“The Catholic Church has been on the front line of the international fight against HIV/AIDS providing care and support for the sick and their families. But in addition to providing medical and financial support, the Church, through the teachings of and faith in Jesus Christ, also serves as an educational resource to help stop the spread of
“We’re closely monitoring the RH bill in your country, in fact we’re using the innocent face of a Filipino child in our poster,” Shenan Bouquet tells Margi Paglinawan when they met for a sidewalk evangelization in Fairfax, Virginia. Also in the picture (right) is Bob Blaird of the Tepeyac Medical Center for indigent pregnant women.
FR WEST: RH BILL A THREAT TO LIFE
threat to religious liberty. It forces medical professionals and businesses to promote and perform a full range of “reproductive health services,” against their consciences. It also mandates immoral Planned Parenthood-style sex education courses starting in the fifth grade, establishes population officers to pressure poor women to have fewer children and requires couples to undergo RH training with certification before they can obtain marriage license. Perhaps most onerously, the bill threatens imprisonment and fines for anyone who spreads “malicious disinformation” (a term that is ambiguous at best), and thus threatens to muzzle free speech and the freedom of choice that RH promoters claim to support. While the bill does not make abortion legal, the phrase a “full range of reproductive health services” is found throughout the bill, which is understood internationally as services including abortion. For example, during a 2010 visit to Canada, US Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton said, “You cannot have maternal health without reproductive health, and reproductive health includes contraception and family planning and access to legal, safe abortions.” The elites have made a temporary concession to staunchly pro-life Filipinos by not pushing for abortion to be included in the bill, but the history of other countries show that they will be back to press for repeal of laws which ban abortion and protect unborn children. Once a contraceptive mentality has taken hold, it is always easier to promote abortion. The bill is officially entitled “The Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population and Development Act of 2011.” Despite its title, the bill does not promote responsible parenthood. The experience of many other countries shows that widespread contraceptive use leads to rampant promiscuity, higher teen pregnancy rates, more STDs and more abortion. Contraceptives provide a false sense of security that erodes natural moral inclinations to restrict sexual activity to situations where people are open to children. Further, contrary to one of the most common taglines used to promote the RH Bill, it is not “pro-
HIV/AIDS, and offer hope for the future. “Sexual contact is the primary way the virus is transmitted, and we’re told by many international organizations that condoms are the solution to this problem. Sadly, though hundreds of millions of dollars are spent convincing our brothers and sisters in need that all they need to do is use condoms, we still await the first scientifically proven case of condoms stopping the spread of HIV/ AIDS in Africa. In fact, the opposite seems to be true. As Pope Benedict XVI stressed in 2009 while traveling to Africa, AIDS cannot be overcome by advertising slogans and the distribution of condoms. Such false solutions risk worsening the problem, and only through society-wide promotion of abstinence and fidelity in marriage has any nation ever seen a significant decrease in transmission rates. “The country of Uganda is a perfect example.
woman.” Overwhelming evidence show the link between hormonal contraceptives and various cancers. Manufacturers even concede that it can cause potentially fatal blood clots and strokes. Economic problems in the Philippines are not caused by over-population, but by high levels of poverty, mostly in urban centers. Many of their economic problems could be solved by eliminating rampant corruption, which is estimated to cost Filipinos 400 billion pesos annually. Unless the real causes of poverty are addressed, poor Filipinos will remain poor. Those of us who are concerned with the sanctity of life cannot afford to be indifferent to the situation in the Philippines – it would be a terrible blow if this very prolife and pro-family nation were to fall. We need to influence government leaders in our countries to offer real assistance to our brothers and sisters in need, and not false solutions and aggressively imperialistic threats, like those posed by the RH Bill.
There, the president instituted a national program encouraging abstinence and fidelity, and while in 1992 the adult HIV/AIDS infection rate was an astounding 30 percent in the capital of Kampala and other large urban areas, the adult HIV/AIDS infection rate dropped 80 percent in just ten years following the adoption of the “ABC” model (Abstinence, Be Faithful, and Condoms as a last resort – although condoms were not widely promoted as a solution to AIDS). While no studies have shown definitively that the increased use of condoms has stopped the spread of AIDS, the Ugandan model and other examples around the world prove that this deadly virus can only be overcome with a change in the behavior and attitudes of our brothers and sisters; one which emphasizes respect for the dignity of the human person and for sexuality as it was intended. “On this World AIDS Day 2011, we should be reminded that communities must be encouraged to turn away from the propaganda of population control groups and the contraception agenda, and embrace a lifestyle that respects the dignity of the human person, and promotes fidelity in marriage between man and woman.”
LifeNews.com reprinted with permission from Human Life International’s World Watch forum
After praying the rosary in front of an abortion clinic at Route 29 in Northern Virginia, Margi Paglinawan invites Bishop Paul Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington to the CFCFFL‐led prayer vigil on January 23, and briefs him about the RH bill in the Philippines. The Arlington bishop says a mass for the unborn moving from one parish to another and leads the power of the beads in front of the closest abortuary.
Congressman Pablo Garcia
US bankrolling RH bill with up to P50 million US bankrolling RH bill with up to P50 million
PDI, December 5, 2011— The oldest lawmaker in Congress has accused his colleagues of being bankrolled by a huge United States lobby in pushing for the adoption of a population control measure in Congress. The privilege speech of Cebu Representative Pablo Garcia, 86, in which he claimed the existence of a P20 million to P50 million lobby fund for the passage of the reproductive health (RH) bill had prompted one of its proponents, Bayan Muna partylist Representative Teodoro Casiño, to ask whether the US government was indeed meddling in Philippine affairs. “I think Congressman Garcia’s accusations are too serious to be ignored and we should look at this closely,” said Casiño in a phone interview. Garcia said the US lobby’s main vehicle in Congress was the Philippine Legislators Committee on Population and Development led by Minority Leader Edcel Lagman.
“This committee is funded and maintained by foreign agencies and institutions in the service of a foreign power. This committee receives P20 million to P50 million a year from its foreign benefactors such as USAID, Ford Foundation, Packard Foundation, United Nations Fund on Population and other institutions engaged in world population control. “For several years and until 2009, this committee held office in the Batasan complex, whether in the north wing or south wing. Now it is holding office somewhere else after its presence in the Batasan complex was denounced by a member of the House on the floor,” said Garcia. Garcia described the panel as the “unelected de facto committee on population.” Some of the efforts of the US lobby to rush passage of the RH bill, he said, included referring the measure to the House committee on population and family relations instead of the committee on health (Garcia said the bill was not primarily about population); letting Lagman instead of the committee chairman, Biliran Representative Rogelio Espina sponsor the bill, and allowing the sponsors to take first crack at the floor debates on the bill. Lagman did not return the Inquirer’s calls or text messages. In his privilege speech last week, Garcia said he wanted to speak out against the “conduct of some of our colleagues that in my judgment raises questions of potential conflict of interest or the possible transgression of the boundaries of appropriate ethical conduct.” Garcia said the United States was working to “seduce, manipulate or coerce” the state into passing the RH bill, or House Bill No. 4244, so that not even leftist and hyper-nationalist groups know that they had aligned themselves to the interest of a foreign power. Garcia said the Philippines was only one of 13 countries that the US had targeted for “aggressive and coercive population control” using millions of dollars “ostensibly as benevolent funding assistance but actually in pursuit of its own global population-control strategy.” He cited the National Security Study Memorandum-200 as his basis. Garcia said that under that study, it was the interest- strategic and economic factors that the population growth of certain countries in the world was controlled. It included the Philippines as one of the 13 countries with which their population growth must be controlled. Garcia said that this was a topsecret document but was declassified in 1989 and published in 1990. “Aid or any assistance to these countries are subject to a condition that they will institute some population control measures,” he said. He also named Nigeria, Brazil, India and Bangladesh included in the 13 countries. Garcia noted that these 13 countries belonged to the less developed ones. He named USAID (United States Agency for International Development), World Bank and United Nations Population Fund Activities as some of the firms who have been implementing these measures. “I have the records. I was waiting for them to ask me questions,” he said. #
Philstar: Shooting Straight
Tracking unregistered foreign secret agents
By Bobbit Avila
A very impatient Pres. Benigno “P-Noy” Aquino III has tasked House Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte Jr. to push harder for the passage of the Reproductive Health (RH) bill, but the House Speaker pointed out that there are still a lot of people who want to interpellate this in the plenary hall. Now why is the President so much in a hurry to push the RH bill? Is he under some kind of outside pressure? If so, who is pressuring him? Surely, it is not the Americans pressuring him because last week I met with US Ambassador Harry Thomas at the Cebu Country Club and he told me in no uncertain terms, “The United States does not have a policy regarding the RH bill in the Philippines.” With that statement, then there must be others who are pressuring the President to speed up the passage of this bill. P-Noy should also show some kind of respect to House Speaker Belmonte; after all, he is also the head of a co-equal branch of the government, which should not be subservient with the Executive Branch. Having said that, I can understand why Speaker Belmonte told the President that there are still many Congressmen who have questions in their minds to ask especially who are the foreign backers of the RH bill? Does the President even know that there is a law dubbed Batas Pambansa Bilang 39, An Act Regulating the Activities and Requiring the Registration of Foreign Agents in the Philippines” or the Foreign Agents Act of 1979? Why am I mentioning this? Well, I gathered that there’s a group called the Forum for Family Planning Development who I heard was trying to recruit prominent or celebrity Catholics to back the RH bill. Just a week ago, I saw a vehicle with a loudspeaker going around the streets of Cebu espousing the need for an RH bill. Where did this people get the funding for this? Come on guys, we were not born yesterday, someone is paying the tab for this and it surely isn’t the Catholic Church! So could they very well be funded by those so-called “foreign agents?” In section 3 of BP No. 39, a “foreign agent” refers to any person who acts or agrees to act as political consultant, public relations counsel, publicity agent, information representative, or as agent, servant, representative, or attorney for a foreign principal or for any domestic organization subsidized directly or indirectly in whole or in part by a foreign principal. The term “foreign agent” shall not include a duly accredited diplomatic or consular officer of a foreign country or officials of the United Nations and its agencies and of other international organizations recognized by the Republic of the Philippines. Ask where is the headquarters of the Forum for Family Planning Development and you will know if they are foreign agents or not. So now that we are clear on this, we should allow our Congressmen and Women to interpellate in the plenary session as to who are the principal backers of the RH bill and why there’s so much money being poured into this controversy and this country, Gads, even ABS-CBN came up with its own RH promo. So now let’s ask them who paid the bill for that promo? There’s also a group called the Wallace Global Fund or the Catholics For Choice that gave $75,000 in the year 2009 for a pilot program dubbed “Translating Research into Action” in support of the advocacy for Reproductive Health Rights in the Philippines. Is this group registered under BP No. 39 or the Foreign Agents Act? There are many other such organizations that have apparently targeted the Philippines for funding in support of the RH bill and I shudder to think that some members of the House of Representatives could have gotten a piece of this fund, which is why they are so rabidly promoting the passage of the RH bill. #
Abortion lobbyists used ‘Batasan’ facilities for its office until recently exposed...
The New Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Tagle
By Artemio V. Panganiban
Philippines Daily Inquirer With Due Respect, 12/17/2011
FOR OUR RELIGIOUS FREEDOMS
is universal. It operates in every na tion, in every place where there are souls to be saved and served. It is present not just in the Philippines. It is present in China, India, Russia and Vietnam. If perceived as an unwanted interventionist in strictly secular affairs and as a threat to civil governance, the Church will be stifled by the authorities in these populous countries from its primary mission of saving souls. Absent a direct, clear and present danger to the faith, he will—I think—stay in the cloisters of the Church. Personally known to and having worked closely with Pope Benedict XVI when the latter was still president of Vatican’s International TheTheological Commission, Archbishop Tagle is familiar with Vatican affairs. Clarity of person. His clarity of mission is matched only by the clarity of his persona. Those who really know him are enthused by his legendary humility. Former Ambassador to the Vatican Henrietta (Tita) de Villa never tires of relating how, as the then bishop of Imus, Monsignor Tagle arrived in a tricycle at a fiesta in Cavite, “He must have sensed my consternation. A bishop riding in a tricycle! But he had no pretenses, no arrogance. He matter-of-factly replied, ‘Mas praktikal po ang sumakay sa tricycle. Madaling makalusot sa traffic.’” Inquirer Chair Marixi Prieto is also his unabashed admirer. She works with him in supporting
Focus on Jesus. His answer to these questions during his first homily at the Manila Cathedral on Nov. 12 was crisp and clear, “(Don’t look at me, I am not important.) But like John the Baptist I am inviting you to focus on the One mightier than all of us, Jesus Christ, the Risen One and the True Shepherd of the Church. My Episcopal Motto says it plainly, ‘Dominus est! It is the Lord!’ ” Plainly then, he does not want to be known as the head (technically, he leads only one archdiocese but traditionally the archbishop of Manila is regarded as the primate of the Philippines); instead, he points to Jesus Christ as the real Leader, Teacher and Master of all. And like the Lord Jesus, his role model, he nonetheless made absolutely clear who he was (a disciple of the Great Master), what his objectives were (to follow His directions) and how he intended to accomplish them (to have faith fueled by prayer and love). So, he exclaimed, “…when we
What kind of a leader is the new Archbishop of Manila, Luis Antonio G. Tagle? What are his vision, mission, values and plans? Does he have an activist streak, an inclination to lead another People Power revolution? Will he speak out on public issues? Or will he be conservative and stay close to faith and morals in leading the people of God?
pray, we are transformed, we see differently. A child, especially the unborn, is no longer seen as a burden but a gift, the youth are not a problem but a promise, women are not objects but persons, laborers are not machines but partners, the poor, the differently abled are not nuisance but our jewels, and creation is not an object of manipulation but a sign of God’s sustaining love.” Clarity of mission. How well indeed he articulates the theology of faith, life, marriage and social reforms; so simply worded, but so deeply meant; so humbly said, but so loftily aimed; so directed at old problems but so transforming with new solutions. I do not think he will be a fire and brimstone orator; he is more effective with his soft eloquence; he speaks from the heart. I think he will be firm on social issues, like the right to life that is being eroded by the Reproductive Health bill; or the sanctity of marriage that is being vilified by a creeping divorce mentality. I do not see him interfering in strictly secular and divisive political events. In his homily, he emphasized the need for unity in the mission of Christ. In his words, “…we need to follow the Lord in our mission not individually, but together as the disciples did… Divisiveness and destructive competition will only help sink the boat. Let us look to the one Shepherd who gathers his sheep instead of scattering them.” And this mission of unity does not apply only to Catholics in the Philippines but to all in the whole world. Indeed, the Catholic Church
New Year of Skepticism Grave Threat TO over Aquino intentions OUR
By Armando Doronila
Philippines Daily Inquirer Analysis, 01/02/2012
tion of the faltering national economy.
The New Year portends threateningly significant events for most Filipinos. By midJanuary, the Senate ignites the fireworks of a potentially tumultuous year with the start of the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona. The year 2011 came to a politically turbulent close with the controversies over the corruption-ridden legacy of the previous Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration. If the past year was a year of high expectations for political reform and transparency by the crusading Benigno Aquino III administration, it was also one of public disappointment over the results in the campaign to root out all vestiges of corruption, and even more over the revitalizaLUIS ANTONIO G. TAGLE… the Sisters of Mary establish several “Boystowns” and “Girlstowns” that serve as schools and “live-in” homes for deserving indigent youth by giving them free food, clothing, shelter, medical-dental services while enjoying full high school and vocational education. In these benevolent schools, two in Cavite and two in Cebu, every student is a full scholar. Those who regularly follow his Sunday TV program “The Word Exposed” rightly swear to his depth
The New Year promises to be the beginning of a season of skepticism over the good intentions of the Aquino government, with the virtuous slogans driving the administration’s “daang matuwid” in the past one-and-a-half years as the sole justification of the President’s mandate following his landslide election victory in May 2010. After more than a year of nonperformance and failure to deliver concrete results on election promises, including the reduction of poverty, people are now less inclined to swallow hook, line and sinker pious protestions from the administration propaganda organs. They are beginning to demand, “where’s the beef?” Many are now asking, is the jailing of Arroyo, the impeachment of the alleged pro-Arroyo Chief Justice and the revamp of a Supreme Court packed by Arroyo appointees enough of a claim of achievement for a results-deficit nearly two-yearold Aquino government? More and more people are asking, are the poor of thought and simplicity of language. Ever aspirational, he aims high but is never quixotic. He realizes the eternity of his mission, but he also concedes the human limits of his person. He is a consensus builder rather than a solo performer.I am grateful for the many times I have met him. I see him leading the people of God to a new beginning, a new transformation, a new evangelization rooted in timetested values of Christian hope, faith and love. #
any less poor than before May 2010? Where are the jobs that give incomes to the poor and enable them to buy more food for their families and to send their children to school? More of these questions will be asked as the administration pursues its anticorruption crusade with deadly earnestness. These questions will continue to be asked even during the Corona impeachment trial that is certain to provide entertainment for the public and divert attention from the issues of poverty that afflict the majority of Filipinos. They cannot be ignored by the Aquino government without eroding its popularity in the opinion surveys. Defining images The events during the past two months—the administration’s efforts to stop Arroyo from attempting to escape prosecution for alleged electoral sabotage and the rush to impeach Corona by the House of Representatives—have projected the defining images of the democratically elected almost two-year-old Aquino government. These are the images that have defined the character of the democratically elected Aquino government: First, that it is vindictive; second, it is intolerant of dissent; third, it is willing to drag the country into a witchhunt of demons by which it has tagged personages of the past regime it deems as “obstructing” its all-
Bursting with Pro-Life fervor
Handmaids for Family and Life in Seattle
Every year, the Handmaids for Family and Life holds an annual conference, but it is the only CFC FFL ministry that caps its activity with an actual prayer vigil in front of an abortuary. Camille Pauley, co-founder, President of Healing the Culture, prestaged the vigil with a talk on the role of women today in our complex society. Then the handmaids delegates and members of CFC-FFL boarded six buses, which transported everyone to a Planned Parenthood facility located in Tacoma (about 30 minutes South of the conference site). A very solemn atmosphere greeted
SKEPTICISM OVER AQUNO... consuming campaign to hold them accountable for past wrongdoing and abuse of office; and fourth, it is uninclined to respect due process in bringing cases against its targets. Disturbing questions With these haunting images, legal circles have started to raise disturbing questions, such as the toll inflicted on independent constitutional institutions (such as Congress and the judiciary) in the pursuit of the clearly evident political objective of making the legislature and the judiciary subservient to the President. Of course, there are the disclaimers made by the presidential mouthpieces, that the President’s actions in impeaching Corona and in seeking to purge the Supreme Court of some of the Arroyo appointees are intended not to erode the independence of the high court but to restore its integrity and public confidence in its fairness and impartiality in the administration of justice. We are told that the strike on Corona is not an attack on the independence of the Supreme Court but is aimed at removing its head whose decisions, since he accepted the midnight appointment as Chief Justice just weeks before Mr. Aquino was to take office, are alleged to have been antagonistic to the Aquino government and biased for his supposed patron, Arroyo. Without going into the details or the merits of the impeachment article alleging bias on the part of Corona, let me say that the determination of this issue is now in the hands of the Senate impeachment tribunal, which is the most competent body mandated to do this function. Sophist claims What I wish to point out is that there’s a lot of sophistry in the claim that the attack on Corona is not an attack on the high court as an institution. There are reasons to be cynical about this claim. When and if Corona is removed, there will be a vacancy in the Supreme Court. There are reports that two or more justices, all Arroyo appointees, are also being eyed for impeachment. Should these planned impeachments come to pass, there will be two more vacancies created. Added to that of Corona’s—if he were to be found guilty and removed—there would be three vacancies and three new justices that the President can appoint to reduce the number of Arroyo appointees in the high court. This will create an Aquinodominated Supreme Court that can be made to toe the line under the already proven method of browbeating by the President, as has been done on the House of Representatives and Corona. The more vacancies, the more aspirants for Supreme Court justiceships, the more people salivating for appointments to the high court, including those media commentators whose applications had been rejected and who are now displaying their legal expertise, calling attention to their eligibility as candidates for associate justice. An undemocratic gov’t In assessing the accomplishments of the Aquino regime, it is difficult for journalists to turn a blind eye on the defining character of an administration in its first one and a half years—which is that it is an undemocratic government. This is not the Aquino who mesmerized the people to vote for him in 2010 with promises of a caring and honest government. The basis for his continuing popularity requires closer examination. The media cannot be, and should not be, party to propagating a momentary fad in the shifting sands of public opinion. To do so would be to abdicate their duty as sentinels warning against the deployment of the superior powers of the state against the weak and disadvantaged—no matter how popular that regime is. #
January, 2012 Page 2 1
each person as each person disembarked from the buses. The participants alternated singing songs and praying their rosaries, demonstrating a prayerful stance even holding lighted candles on an empty lot provided by Pathway Church, situated across the abortuary. Fr. Ed White, Fr. Felino Paulino, and Fr. Rey Yu were present as well to lead everyone in fervent prayer for an end to abortion. What an awesome grace from God has been unleashed to pray for the unborn and to make a bold pitch to innocent lives from the fate of death.
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An HLI Front
HERMANO RALLIES FILAMS:
The slim defeat of a historic bill in Poland is reason why Filipinos need to be vigilant against RH bill!
By Manny Hermano
When Margie and I went to Poland last August to attend the wedding of my nephew to a nice Catholic girl, two things caught my attention. First, I thought we will not be meeting any of our CFCFFL brothers and sisters there because the wedding was in a small Polish town 3 hours by car from Warsaw. Well, Margie and I met several of them as we later visited many Catholic churches in Warsaw. Interestingly, one of their incessant prayer requests was for the defeat of the Reproductive Health (RH) bill in the Philippines. Secondly, as our trip was coming to a close, there was a grassroots push by the Polish pro-life movement to have a historic Polish bill voted in their parliament to ban all abortions in that country. Well, the bill was eventually defeated in the parliament last August 31 – but with only a narrow margin of 5 votes (191 -186) - which probably was a result of five abstentions on the Parliament floor and sevCFCFFL National ProLife Chair
enty eight lawmakers absent, in what could have been a slackening of vigilance on the part of the Polish pro-lifers. Upon our arrival in the US, I discussed this matter with CFCFFL pro-life advocate Ado Paglinawan. He reported that recently, Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III was quoted by Philippine newspapers as saying: “the RH bill is meant to exterminate or limit procreation.” Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, himself even made an analogy of the RH bill to euthanasia, eugenics, and Hitler’s extermination of the Jews or Cambodia’s and Iraq’s mass killings of their own people. He quoted the statement of the Polish March for Life spokesperson Anna Kniolek released thru LifeSiteNews, saying: “the ruling Civic Platform Party (PO) introduced ‘party discipline’ to compel its members to vote against the bill, even though it had previously permitted its members to vote according to their conscience on ideological issues.” Finally, Paglinawan warned
that the same thing could happen in the Philippines considering that the Polish abortion ban bill lost in the Parliament vote despite a massive grassroots campaign that received tremendous popular support. It was reported that to bring the abortion ban before Parliament under Poland’s political system, the sponsors of the bill needed to collect 100,000 signatures within three months. They got 600,000 in two weeks. That’s right, two weeks! Under the current Polish law, abortions can only be obtained where the child is diagnosed with a serious defect or disease, where the mother is diagnosed with a health problem, or where the pregnancy resulted from “illegal activity.” The bill had sought to get rid of these exceptions, rationalizing that murder in any form is not permissible under any circumstances. In the case to defeat the RH bill in the Philippines, the entry of many international players in the local scene is ominous. Paglinawan said: “Initially, it was just the Millennium Devel-
opment Goals, and then came Hillary Clinton. Now Planned Parenthood has brought in Php26 million for lobby money. Unfortunately, it is well known that many of our lawmakers in the past have a weakness for corruption and could therefore readily swing their positions to support the RH bill once they get a share of this lobby money.” For my part, I pointed out that there are two quick lessons from the Polish experience. First, every informed Catholic must aggressively participate in public debates in and out of the legislature in order to uphold the pro-life positions and drive away all anti-life lies. I also note that a newspaper report from Poland’s pro-life commentator and Fronda.pl editor Tomasz Terlikowski, said that despite “the defeat of the entire project, it still was a huge success.” It was a success because the cause for a total ban on abortion has been brought to the forefront as a result of the public debates of the issues and therefore has brought about a realignment of the Catholic church position and teachings on abortion in the consciences of all God-fearing people in Poland – a feat unthinkable in other European countries. Second, the debates on the RH bill in the Philippines must extend to the run-off to the forthcoming Philippine
H e a d s U p J a n u a r y 2 0 1 2 P a g e 2 3
tive that the Filipino people elect a clear majority of prolife lawmakers in the coming 2013 elections. But no pro-lifer can be over -confident because despite the fact that the Polish people are predominantly Catholic and therefore had overwhelming support of the bill for a total ban of abortion in their country, their move was still defeated in the Parliament’s vote. Because of the Polish experience, Paglinawan and I have agreed to collaborate in conecting to all Filipinos in the United States to appeal to their MANNY HERMANO with wife relatives and friends back Margie and grandson Gabriel home not to leave any page congressional and senatorial unturned in insuring the defeat elections in May 2013, which is of the Reproductive Health less than 18 months away. I bill that has been re-filed in the noted that in the case of PoPhilippine Congress. land, parliamentary elections As my final thought - Alare scheduled for October 9 though we may do all we can (this month) but as early as July and continue to be pro-active and August, the PRO Founda- in letting our voices heard – we tion, the organization behind know that in the end it is still a the abortion ban, was already spiritual battle against the certifying lawmakers and parlia- forces of darkness. mentary candidates based on So let’s all come back to the their pro-life, pro-family posiLord of light and life, visit tions. Him in the Blessed Sacrament, It is a fact that earlier verbe fortified by Him in the sacsions of the current RH bill in raments of Reconciliation and the Philippines, have been deHoly Eucharist, and pray that feated in the last 12 years, so it this evil bill be defeated for all should be doable that this pro- times – so that the Philippines posed RH bill be defeated once be a beacon to guide all peoagain. And in order to make ples not only in Asia but the sure no further versions are whole world.” # filed in the future, it is impera-
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