eMagazine for Faith, Family and Life
Volume 4 Issue 2 First in Time, First in Right February 2012
58 organizations join Washington DC CFCFFL vigil for Life
NO RH B I Defu LL
un Planned d Parentho od
2 Page February 2012
SPECIAL TO HEADSUP
Not quite: just an orderly, prayerful show of indignation over anti‐life, anti‐freedom Philippine policies
In what could be the largest assembly of protestors in the history of Embassy Row along Massachussetts Avenue in Washington DC otherwise the strict confines of diplomats and consular officers, more than 300 men ,women and a few children from 58 national pro-life organizations, gathered to protest anti-life and anti-freedom policies in the Philippines last January 23, 2012 braving the wet cold of winter. Manila Mail, January 31, 2012—Church-backed Filipino-American grouped joined the March for Life and prayed the Rosary in front of the Philippine Embassy on January 23, a protest they say against efforts to legalize abortion in the Philippines. “We are making a stand and telling our leaders, we’re watching you,” said Margareth Paglinawan, who together with husband Adolfo, helped organized the prayer protest. They are both leaders of Couples for Chrsit Foundation for Family and Life (CFCFFL). “The Philippines is the last country standing where abortion is still illegal (other
than the Vatican),” noted Christa Lopiccolo, executive director of Life Issues in the Archdiocese of Washington. The March for Life is a yearly protest action timed with the anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision Roe v Wade on January 22, 1973. Their goal is to overturn it either by the High Triunal itself or through an act of Congress; hence activities centered on those two institutions, as well as the White House. “The prayer vigil is a protest against the Repreductive Health Bill in the Philippine Congress and the intrusion of Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the United States, to lobby for the RH bill,” Adolfo Paglinawan explained. He also assailed the administration of President Benigno Aquino III for the “vicious attack on the Judiciary” that could affect religious freedom, and the poor economic performance which jeopardizes the welfare of the poor. “The President”, he said, “appears to have pursued a scorched-earth policy and police state tactics sgainst its perceived detractors in a manner that reverberate the imposition of Martial Law in 1972.” In addition to CFCFFL members, the Philippine Embassy prayer protest was also joined by members of the Association of Ecclesial Movements and New Communities, and the Expose Planned Parenthood Coalition (National USA). The controversial RH bill has met stiff opposition and pitted President Aquino against the Catholic Church, one of the lynchpins of Philippine politics. Weeks of bitter floor debates failed to nudge the bill forward, and prospects P 11
(TOP) Margie Hermano, national co‐chair, CFCFFL Pro‐Life Ministry, assisted by Enrique Soros, president of the Schoenstatt Movement, opens the Holy Rosary with the mystery of the Anunciation. (LEFT) Lady hangs on to her beads with her left hand. (LEFT BELOW) Participants from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Illinois and Texas, each finding his and her own way to the Philippine Embassy. Oscar Sychua takes a firm hold of the New Jersey banner. PFO head Linda Men‐ doza is sighted, also praying. Man in red, rightmost is Manny Hermano, national chair , CFCFFL Pro‐Life Ministry. (RIGHT BELOW) Woman in beige overcoat is Ellen Carag who led her Bukas Loob sa Diyos delegates. On her right are Noel and Shonnie Montoro, VA chapter servants.
January 23, 2012 His Excellency ISIA AMBASSADOR JOSE L. CU Embassy of the Philippines 1600 Massachussetts Ave. NW Washington DC 20036 edoms in the PhilipYOUR EXCELLENCY: ncern, attacks on religious fre d real co eptive devices, have We watch, with great pain an ng the use of artificial contrac at legislati ted, nor their supply has pines. Since 1998, attempts their use has not been prohibi t that been relentless despite the fac ral public. been inaccessible to the gene rsion where these devices legislations is its latest ve osed The boldest of these prop s”, a verbal engineering tial medicines and supplie ssen isease to be cured”. Its are being reclassified as “e sitioning pregnancy as a “d at po strategy obviously aimed on paper, the proposal innot legalize abor tion, but es at proponents claim that it do des punitive provisions th tes it. Worst of all, it inclu ita cludes language that facil . ence of Philippine citizens m the violate the rights of consci protection of the unborn fro Philippines provides for the to natural death, it The Constitution of the y for life from conception on e this guarant Bill, now renamed moment of conception. Besid . The Reproductive Health y of the family nt of these Constitualso provides for the sanctit unter to the letter and inte ll, runs co Responsible Parenthood Bi tional guarantees. use of artificial birth known dangers related to the to the e legalization of abortion It in fact subjects our people that has eventually led to th s track of Health has admitted in control methods and its viciou less than a former Secretar y es. No cause cervical cancer. and sodomy in other countri use breast cancer. IUDs do pills ca open hearings that hormonal y into Philippine society to the contraceptive mentalit sh tical companies, and of The bill only intends to pu l suppliers and phar maceu amercia especially when this legisl fatten the pockets of com ate increased pork barrel, ticip noncourse legislators, who an and distribution of these to engage in the purchase t tion allows the governmen ices. use essential products and serv w been filed to promote the l, separate legislations have no ic data, Encouraged by the RH bil Ds, when on top of scientif otection against AIDS and ST of condoms allegedly as pr its monumental failure. ailand on this matter, show the experience of nearby Th
February 2012 Page 5
Formal conveyance of official document completes protocol
A three‐page position paper of Couples for Christ Foundation for Family and Life, 37 national organizations in a Coalition to Expose and Defund Planned Parenthood and 20 members of the Association of Ecclesial Movements and New Communities, is presented to Sofronio Cortel, consular and legal officer of the Philippine Embassy, by Manny and Margie Hermano, CFCFFL national Pro‐Life chair‐ persons, and Margareth Paglinawan, co‐event organizer of the prayer vigil.
While above was happening, Ado Paglinawan, event organizer, reads the text of the letter to the participants (See right photo). Many who were not of Filipino descent were shocked to find out how their tax dollars are being used by the Obama ad‐ ministration to promote abortion domestically and export abortion abroad, notably to the Philippines that is 95% Christian and 5% Muslim.
y, bisexual, and to provide lesbian, ga n the Cond ation has also been file in our country where agai e speak, another legisl As w der (LGBT) “rights”
and transgen . transgender bisexual, arriage as a sacrosanct mbedded family es the institution of m n guarante ay against the long-i te w stitutio s. Therefore, we are going the opposi hese developments family life as blessing T d rent freedoms by at consider babies an itions and culture th n of our faith and inhe trad dictio gnation for the contra press our utmost indi ex legislations. lanned Parentanti-life and anti family s, the intr usion of P ese proposed rm th strongest possible te r outside forces, to We also condemn, in ted States, and othe e Uni quired by local laws, or tion provider in th a foreign agent as re hood, the largest ab g as or tion, in violation ll, without registerin lobby for the RH bi zations espousing ab ni local non-profit orga te sovereignty of the in collaboration with ersion of the absolu stitution and in subv of the Philippine Con the doms, in the midst of Filipino people. s for our religious free y, s our apprehension ntatives on the Judiciar Significantly, we expres the House of Represe the Presidency and administration. The recent vicious attack of the economic perfor mance of the present ctics against its a dramatic drop in licy and police state ta po and of iliprsued a scorched-earth of martial law in the Ph ency, it appears, has pu Presid sonate the imposition in a manner that re e for its people. perceived detractors, be unite and to provid l, will touch our iority ought to , gracious and mercifu s in 1972, when its pr pine y God od, and for the best e light of the Almight e for the common go Today we pray, that th at ar arginalized, who prioritize on matters th s who are poor and m vernment officials to go tizen and of many of our ci roductive Health bill. elfare of our women, w s of the curse of a Rep ost urgent and important message, ctim stand to be the first vi y will relay this m of both the House of t that Your Excellenc We tr us but to the members ines ident of the Philipp ppor t for these three not only to the Pres , to abandon any su te the Philippine Sena Representatives and ed legislations. listed in the following s and inutile propos dangerou lition and Associations esentation of the Coa . May our humble repr eness of our intentions riousness and deliberat t personal regards. page, express the se licitations and war mes rest fe Please accept our since fellow Filipinos, erely in Christ and as Sinc
February 2012 Page 7
FOR AND IN BEHALF OF:
The Coalition to Expose and Defund Planned Parenthood Live Action Susan B. Anthony List Family Research Council Concerned Women for America 40 Days for Life Students for Life of America Americans United for Life Action American Principles in Action RedState LifeNews.com Hispanic Leadership Fund Manhattan Declaration New Jersey Right to Life Catholic Advocate Catholic Vote Cornerstone of New Hampshire Family Foundation of Virginia Arizona Right to Life Iowa Right to Life Ohio Right to Life Oregon Right to Life Indiana Right to Life The Renewal Forum New York State Right to Life New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms Population Research Institute Pro-Life Action League LifeSiteNews Stand True Couples for Christ Foundation for Family and Life
Life Decisions International Generation Joshua Human Life International STOPP (Stop Planned Parenthood) Center for Bio-Ethical Reform American Values Priests for Life Association of Ecclesial Movements and New Communities Worldwide Marriage Encounter Teams of Our Lady Schoenstatt Movement Regnum Christi Prayer and Life Workshops Mother of God Community Madonna House Legion of Mary House of Adoration Handicapped Encounter Christ Focolare Movement Families of Nazareth Movement Faith and Light Cursillo Couples for Christ Couples for Christ Foundation for Family and Life Community of Sant ‘Egidio Communion and Liberation Catholic Worker Movement Catholic Charismatic Renewal Bukas Loob sa Diyos Covenant Community
8 Page February 2012
The prayer vigil was preceded by an Adult Rally and Mass under the auspices of the Association of Ecclesial Movements and New Communities. Fr. Agustin Mateo of St. Gabriel Parish in DC, presided over the Concelebration of the Eucharist.
Association liaison to the Archdiocese Manuel Aliaga emceed the rally. Terese Rigel of Mother of God Community exhorted everyone about adop‐ tion and Anne Colevac explained Project Gabriel. Keynote speaker was Loretta Fleming of the National Campaign for Human Life Amendment.
(TOP LEFT) Epistle readers Marilyn Boesch of Focolare and Maria Garcia of Prayer and Life Work‐ shops wait for their turn at the podium. (TOP RIGHT) Margie and Manny Hermano of CFCFFL, alternately read the Prayers of the Faithful. (CENTER RIGHT) Association chairper‐ sons Jeff and Kathy Foley of Worldwide Marriage Encounter sat with the audience. (BOTTOM RIGHT) Vibrant gospel music was provided by the Choir of St. Margareth Mary Parish at Seat Pleasant, Washington DC under the supervi‐ sion of Joseph Joy on the piano, for both the rally and the mass.
(TOP) Manny Hermano, CFCFFL Pro‐ Life National Chair, and Helen Ba‐ naria, lead the first batch of march‐ ers. (RIGHT) Joe de Leon joins VA servant leaders Noel Montoro, Jun “Lakay” Basilio and wife Lourdes, with Country Servant Ed Yamba slightly behind, takes on the second wave. (NEXT PAGE ‐TOP LEFT) Lourdes Basilio takes on a mystery of the Rosary. (TOP RIGHT) Ecclesial Movement leaders arrive. (BOTTOM LEFT) New York Area Servant Pepe Ruffy follows through with another mystery. (END RIGHT) Event organ‐ izer Ado Paglinawan acknowledges representatives of the Association of Ecclesial Movements and the Coalition to Expose/Defund Planned Parenthood who came.
P3 Occupy Embassy? are even dimmer in the short term because of the ongoing impeachment trial of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona. House majority leader Neptali Gonzales II said they hope it can be put to a vote before session ends in June. But former Senator Ernesto Maceda speaking about his impressions of the Corona impeachment, noted it was now almost impossible the Senate will have time to vote on the bill. The group earlier attended mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthews the Apostle, about 2 blocks away from the Philippine Embassy. They linked up with the larger March for Life events at the National Mall that featured speeches by House Speaker John Boehner and other ProLife legislators. They joined marchers around the Supreme Court and Congress. The events were capped by the “Rose Dinner” at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill where Attorney General Ken Cuccineli was keynote speaker. #
CARDINAL DONALD WUERL, archbishop of Washington, showed up at the mall after the humungous rally and mass at the Verizon Center, concelebrated by hundreds of bishops and priests from all over the country for about 20,000 youths. Another 10,000 youths were gathered at the DC Armory where Archbishop Di Nardo of Texas presided over the Eucharist. For the first time this year, the two youth venues were linked by short‐ circuit television for the rally. FR. FRANK PAVONE, making his first public appearance after a long retreat in Texas, greets John Boehner, speaker of the house of representatives, while an orthodox priest looks on. The cardinal, the speaker, and of course Fr. Pavone, addressed the rally at the mall preceding March for Life.
Can you find yourself in this human tsunami?
Thanks to the treacherous move of President Obama a few days before this year’s March for Life, giving Catholics exactly one year to learn to violate their consciences, the number of marchers increased by more than 25% from 400,000 last year to over half‐a‐million this year. In 2009, Obama virtually slapped all Marchers for Life when he signed an Executive Order rescinding the Mexico City policy that banned taxpayers dollars from being spent abroad. He did it again this year when he allowed Health Secretary Sebelius to impose mandatory insur‐ ance coverages for birth control phar‐
Only with your signature banner, you can!
maceuticals and devices . Marching for Life becomes harder and harder each year. Today, more than another hundred thousand have been added to the numbers. People come from as far as Maine from the north to Flor‐ ida in the South, and from California all the west from the west. The CFCFFL group had to cut way in front of the official March for Life sig‐ nature banner because it could not access into the national mall from the northeast coming from the prayer vigil at the Embassy. But everyone who came, promised to return next year, so where will that take the numbers to? Hopefully next year, we will be cele‐ brating a new President in the United States.
The March ends before these cold steps and columns of the Supreme Court, where because of a decision made in 1973, now in the United States close to 60 million babies have so far been aborted ...
Tips for next year...
Start very early whether by bus, train or plane, but once your are in the city, the best commute is the SUBWAY…. Or a short WALK to your destination, sometimes under the rain...
CFC-SFL Foto Essay
Darn great photos by Marion Basilio
February 2012 Page 1 5
Keep your SIGN up. It will lead you to your friends, old or young... And if you drop it, or if it’s too small, chances are, you’ll get lost.
So remember, when in DC you cannot stand In the middle of the road, or fence‐sit. YOU CHOOSE LIFE, not death. Thus you become the SIGN to others in your life, everywhere!
An unBeautiful Story
Since HeadsUp first saw print, we have printed beautiful sharings of pro‐lifers worldwide in their small and big victories. Today, we go the other way— we expose evil that men do in our midst.
It is no coincidence that the liberal, secularist, homosexualist and hedonistic culture, eating up the United States has metastasized to the Philippines. Just as the Americans voted in a Marxist Socialist to its presidency, we tolerate a village idiot to squat in Malacanang who has surrounded himself with Maoist rejectionists who has adopted the Saul Alinsky strategy of community-organizing punctuated with the Barack Obama twist of grabbing power through the electoral process. The life issues is where the main battle ground is, for it is when people loosened their consciences and start living immoral lives that its army of supporters thrive exponentially. The US model is inductive, subtle and a slow-burn because the Americans stand for their rights. From accepting the contraceptive mentality in the 60s, evil men resorted to verbal re-engineering in order to destroy the goods of marriage and the family.
The Lady Justice violated...
Destroying the family, almost 60 million babies have been aborted since Roe v Wade in 1973. To exterminate marriage, sodomy has been legalized thus relaxing laws that prevent same-sex unions. Finally, with marriage and the family on the rocks, the Obama administration has now ruled by executive fiat, the violation of the religious right to conscience protection, thus declaring a total war on Catholics. In the Philippines, where the traditions and the Catholic Church has stood the ground for life, the BS Aquino government, juiced-up by Akbayan’s platform in support for lesbians, gays, bi-sexual and gays, is going for a head-on confrontation. It first weakened tne military by reducing its budget
February 2012 Page 1 7 One of the more revealing moments of the impeachment proceeding was around the way the prosecution called for a more “liberal” and “flexible” enforcement of the rules of the trial. Some interpret this as an admission on the part of the prosecution that the evidence they present is not solid enough to withstand the scrutiny not only of the defense but of the more astute among the senator-judges. According to Rep. Neil Tupas, lead prosecutor of the House prosecution panel, the rigor being applied to the proceedings “has unduly restricted during the last two days the presentation of the evidence by the prosecution”. Enrile’s response was swift and sharp… “What way do you want me and the court to be more flexible? Are you suggesting that we should allow misleading questions? Are you suggesting that we should allow hearsay evidence? Are you suggesting that we should allow argumentative ?” Tupas said this was not his intenquestionstion and reiterated that they just want “flexibility” without sacrificing “due process.” “If you want me to relax the rules, then tell me how I must do it and to what extent. [I am willing to] bend, accommodate [your suggestion to] show you that this court is not for or against anybody… but I must conduct this proceeding in an orderly manner,” [Enrile] said. Tupas reportedly “could not explain what he wanted from the Senate”. Tupas and the prosecution team are evidently handily outclassed by Corona’s defense team. As such whether it is a strict or a “liberal” application of the rules, the defense will make minced meat of Tupas’s team. Tighten the way the rules are enforced and we will likely get more of the same of Tupas’s whining.
to half, then it attacked the Catholic Church by pitting Congressmen to legislate reproductive health, gay rights and free condom distribution. Facing formidable odds at that, it has now taken a short cut— the destruction of the tripartite system of government by subjugating Congress and tearing up the independence of the Judiciary, by impeaching the Chiuef Justice and placing him to be tried by the Senate. When the toy president, relying on his oligarchic roots and connections, and the pork barrel, and in conspiracy with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, however railroaded the impeachment of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, he screwed up on three areas. First, BS Aquino III did not come to court with clean hands. Ingrained in his fingerprints are generations of the abuse of Cojuangco-Aquino oligarchy relying on leveraging the judicial system, and the blood of Luisita farmers massacred when he was chief of security of the Hacienda. Second, he was making a monumental executive action without the building up from any past performance, in fact the country’s economy had gone moribund during his first full year in office registering not even half of the last year performance of his predecessor Gloria Arroyo. And third, just like himself who is wet behind the ears and grossly inexperienced, he is attempting to prosecute the Chief Magistrate of the land, who was schooled in Harvard for his Master of Laws, and who completed his PhD at the University of Santo Tomas as a summa cum laude, before accomplished men and women of law acting as jurors, but with a dubious team of greenhorns some of whom have even failed in the bar exams, not just once but thrice.
ge ecial Messa Sp itor from the Ed
is In necessari unitas, in opinabilibus libertas, in omnibus caritas.
LINAWAN ADO PAG
Loosen up on applying these rules and the defense team will also have more latitude to apply their brilliance to the destruction of the prosecution case. Either way, Tupas and his guys lose. The only way they can win is to learn to be better trial lawyers. That’s going to have to be a real hardcore crash course. Tupas’ acrobatics never ceased to amaze me ever since I heard the closing rhetoric at the opening of the impeachment trial where he compared himself with Oliver Cromwell, saying... “It is high time for us to put an end to your sitting in that place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice, you are an enemy to good government, as you have sold your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas Escariot betrayed your God for a few pieces of gold. Depart I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!” I have been going to bible study for the past thirty-one years and I bet you bible has that as a thirty pieces of silver and not “a few pieces of gold”. I am also well versed with children stories and fairy tales, before I retire to my senior moments, I thought that was in Goldilocks where a mess of pottage, or a bowl of porridge was eaten by Papa
Bear, Mama Bear and Baby Bear. Now pray tell me, what is the connection between Goldilocks and Oliver Cromwell? Oh, Tupas must be referring to the Php 70 million pesos of pork barrel that he and 187 other congressmen ate before signing the Impeachment Resolution Complaint, that by the way did not have page 24. Page 24 is the verification page supposedly attesting that all these 188 fools and corrupt congressmen personally appeared and swore before the appropriate House officer to the veracity of what they were asserting. Coincidental to my coming to Manila over the New Year was this impeachment, and as a member of the Solidarity for Sovereignty (S4S), I could not let this another anomaly in our history pass without being challenged. In the first place, the Chief Justice is being pilloried, excopriated and persecuted by a fake president, impeached corruptly by a fake Congress and is now being tried by a fake Senate. Last March 10, 2010, together with Bono Adaza and Mentong Laurel, I filed with the Supreme Court for the nullification of the 2010 presidential, national and local elections. We presented constitutional, statutory and criminal evidences to support our claim, and I will not go anymore into its nitty-gritty details here. On top of this, Rene and Tina Corona are good friends from way back college days. Rene who was from the Ateneo and editor of The Guidon, gave way to me, a Bedan, to be elected unopposed in the 1968 presidency of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines. I appointed him thereafter as Secretary-General. His wife, the beautiful Tina Roco
who was editor of the Chi Rho and a former president of the Student Council of Maryknoll College, was a member of my Secretariat before the elections. She was elected together with me as Vice President for Metro Manila. Two years after that memorable experience in Cebu, Rene and Tina got married. (I am also married to a Guilder, the former Margot Garcia of The Paulinian of St. Paul Manila.) This is an additional reason why this impeachment has incensed me, over and above the eight frivolous charges against the Chief Justice— This is the first time that a village idiot is accusing a man and woman of substance in our society, with nothing but innuendo, hearsay and fabricated “Goldilocks” stories with the profession of journalism (the Fourth Estate) that I have helped build, collaborating in the butchery. The oligarchs and the novo-riche have all plundered our national coffers, but the Coronas and the Rocos are God-fearing, pro-life, old-rich, highly educated and conservative families that have preserved their good name throughout generations. Worst of all, the weapon of choice by their detractors is “guilt by association” with a known and confirmed plunderer, who is Gloria Arroyo. If I fight for the rule of law, and that is why I am for an honest and clean election for the true representatives of our sovereignty in government, I also condemn any attempt of a lynch mob to burn good people at stake. My goodness, are we in an era resonating the Spanish Inquisition and the Marcos’ martial law? Compared to a terribly shy and cautious civil society, we at the Solidarity for Sovereignty, were the first to respond to defend the independence of the judiciary to save our democracy.
Today, our democracy is on its death throes. It is obvious from the opening day of the impeachment trial that the whole process has already been designed to frame the conviction of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The motion for the preliminary hearing was rejected without the benefit of a deliberation, without explanation and without votation. However this trial goes, Rene Corona will already go down the history of our country as the first Chief Justice to have built his own national constituency and the second martyr of the Supreme Court after the great Jose Abad Santos. But due process and equal protection under the law are guaranteed by our Constitution as a basic right to all citizens of the Republic. If the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court can be denied this right, what protection can still be available to ordinary citizens? Without due process, the Filipino people cannot have redress of their grievances. The licentiousness of media has also been co-opted by the BS Aquino III administration, thus preventing any free and onjective discussion of the issues. Meanwhile, we cannot allow this travesty of due process and equal protection under the law, to continue. 1) The chilling effect of this to all remaining judges and justices is immeasurable and could render the entire judicial system inutile. 2) Such a scenario will lead to a de-facto dictatorship and an emerging fascist state. The independence of the judiciary, at the end of the day, is the last bastion of defense for life So we call on all patriots in the judicial system, the military and the country as a whole, to rise up and demonstrate your rejection of this evil conspiracy that dooms our Republic onto a fascist state endangering our rights and the culture of life.#
Obama gives US Catholics one year to learn to violate their own consciences...
By Steve Ray, January 21, 2012
This morning President Obama called New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan to break the news. Secretary of Health and Human Services and proabortion Catholic Kathleen Sebelius just announced that the proposed mandate requiring all insurance plans to pay for contraception, sterilization and some abortion drugs is official — and Catholics cannot escape. …and the fig-leaf exemption for religious groups will not be modified, apart from allowing some groups an additional year to comply. Cardinal-designate Timothy M. Dolan responded minutes ago, saying: “In effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences.” Beginning August 1, 2012 (less than eight months from today), the insurance premiums we pay, including the insurance premiums paid by Catholics for employees of churches and schools — will be used to cover drugs and procedures that are in direct conflict with the teachings of our Church. Cardinal-designate, Archbishop Timothy Dolan opposes Obama! That’s right. Our government will now force us to pay for insurance coverage for birth control, sterilization and even some abortion drugs. President Obama ignored the organized efforts of Catholics across the country, including bold statements from the Bishops, university presidents (including Notre Dame’s Rev. Jenkins), and even his Catholic allies like Sr. Carol Keehan. Instead, President Obama stood with his real friends — Planned Parenthood. Make no mistake, this decision is a direct attack on you, our Church, and the religious liberty of all Americans. Just yesterday, Pope Benedict XVI addressed the bishops from the United States who were completing their “Ad Limina” visit in Rome. The Holy Father specifically cited the “grave threats” to the freedom of the Church in America, and urged the Catholic community to respond, especially with “an engaged, articulate and well-formed Catholic laity.” He’s talking to you and me. Finally, today marks exactly one year from Inauguration Day. In exactly 12 months, America will welcome a new president, or usher in four more years of Barack Obama and his assault on our liberties. This irony is not lost on us. For on a day such as this, we realize that elections indeed have consequences. The Catholic vote must rise up like never before.
...plays Catholic voters for fools
By Michael Gerson
Washington Post, January 30, 2012
In politics, the timing is often the message. On Jan. 20 — three days before the annual March for Life — the Obama administration announced its final decision that Catholic universities, hospitals and charities will be compelled to pay for health insurance that covers sterilization, contraceptives and abortifacients. Preparing for the march, Catholic students gathered for Mass at Verizon Center. The faithful held vigil at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Knights of Columbus and bishops arrived to trudge in the cold along the Mall. All came to Washington in time for their mocking. Catholic leaders are still trying to process the implications of this ambush. The president had every opportunity to back down from confrontation. In the recent Hosanna-Tabor ruling, a unanimous Supreme Court reaffirmed a broad religious autonomy right rooted in the Constitution. Obama could have taken the decision as justification for retreat. And it would have been a minor retreat. The administration was on the verge of mandating nearly universal contraceptive coverage through Obamacare without public notice. There would have been no
2 0 Page February 2012 controversy at all if President Obama had simply exempted religious institutions and ministries. But the administration insisted that the University of Notre Dame and St. Mary’s Hospital be forced to pay for the privilege of violating their convictions. Obama chose to substantially burden a religious belief, by the most intrusive means, for a less-thancompelling state purpose — a marginal increase in access to contraceptives that are easily available elsewhere. The religious exemption granted by Obamacare is narrower than anywhere else in federal law — essentially covering the delivery of homilies and the distribution of sacraments. Serving the poor and healing the sick are regarded as secular pursuits — a determination that would have surprised Christianity’s founder. Both radicalism and maliciousness are at work in Obama’s decision — an edict delivered with a sneer. It is the most transparently anti-Catholic maneuver by the federal government since the Blaine Amendment was proposed in 1875 — a measure designed to diminish public tolerance of Romanism, then regarded as foreign, authoritarian and illiberal. Modern liberalism has progressed to the point of adopting the attitudes and methods of 19th-century Republican nativists. The implications of Obama’s choice will take years to sort through. The immediate impact can be measured on three men: Consider Catholicism’s most prominent academic leader, the Rev. John Jenkins, president of Notre Dame. Jenkins took a serious risk in sponsoring Obama’s 2009 honorary degree and commencement address — which promised a “sensible” approach to the conscience clause. Jenkins now complains, “This is not the kind of ‘sensible’ approach the president had in mind when he spoke here.” Obama has made Jenkins — and other progressive Catholic allies — look easily duped. Consider Catholicism’s highest-ranking elected official, Vice President Biden. Biden had encouraged engagement with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on conscience rights. Now he will be remembered as the Catholic cover for the violation of Catholic conscience. Betrayal is always an inside job. Consider Catholicism’s most prominent clerical leader,Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan , head of the Conference of Catholic Bishops. Dolan had pursued a policy of engagement with the administration. In November, he met face to face with Obama, who was earnestly reassuring on conscience protections.
On Jan. 20, during a less-cordial phone conversation, Obama informed Dolan that no substantial concession had been made. How can Dolan make the argument for engagement now? The implications of Obama’s power grab go further than contraception and will provoke opposition beyond Catholicism. Christian colleges and universities of various denominations will resist providing insurance coverage for abortifacients. And the astounding ambition of this federal precedent will soon be apparent to every religious institution. Obama is claiming the executive authority to determine which missions of believers are religious and which are not — and then to aggressively regulate institutions the government declares to be secular. It is a view of religious liberty so narrow and privatized that it barely covers the space between a believer’s ears. Obama’s decision also reflects a certain view of liberalism. Classical liberalism was concerned with the freedom to hold and practice beliefs at odds with a public consensus. Modern liberalism uses the power of the state to impose liberal values on institutions it regards as backward. It is the difference between pluralism and anti -clericalism. The administration’s ultimate motivation is uncertain. Has it adopted a radical secularism out of conviction, or is it cynically appealing to radical secularists? In either case, the war on religion is now formally declared.
'This is not a Catholic issue, it’s an American issue!'
‐ USCCB President and NY Archbishop Dolan
“We cannot – we will not – comply with this unjust law. People of faith cannot be made second class citizens…”
‐ Bishops Loverde and DiLorenzo of Virginia
January 30, 2012 Dear Brothers and Sisters, We write to you co ncerning an alarmin g and serious matter the United States, di that negatively impa rectly, and that strik es at the fundamenta ct of any faith. The fe l right to religious lib s the Church in deral government, w erty for all citizens hich claims to be “o heavy blow to almos f, by, and for the pe t a quarter of those ople,” has just deal people – the Cathol who are served by ta ic population – and the Catholic faithfu to the millions mor l. e The U.S. Departmen t of Health and Hum most all employers, an Services announ including Catholic ced a little over a we employers, will be ek ago that alerage that includes forced to offer their sterilization, abortio employees’ health n-inducing drugs, an ers will be forced to covd contraception. Al include those “servi most all health insu ces” in the health po viduals will be forc rlicies they write. An ed to buy that cove d almost all indirage as a part of their In so ruling, the Adm policies. inistration has cast United States, deny aside the First Amen ing to Catholics ou dment to the Consti r Nation’s first and tution of the liberty. And as a re most fundamental fre sult, unless the rule edom, that of religio is overturned, we Ca our consciences, or us tholics will be com to drop health cove pelled either to viol rage for our employ The Administration’ ate ees (and suffer the s sole concession w penalties for doing as to give our institu so). We cannot – we will tions one year to co not – comply with th mply. class citizens. We is unjust law. Peop are already joined by le of faith cannot be our brothers and sis made second will in this importa ters of all faiths and nt effort to regain ou many others of good r religious freedom come to these shores . Our parents and gr to help build Amer andparents did not ica’s cities and tow enterprise and cultu ns, its infrastructure re, only to have thei and institutions, its r posterity stripped past, the Church ha of their God given s always been able rights. In generatio to count on the faith and duties. We hope ns ful to stand up and and trust she can co protect her sacred rig unt on this generatio dren and grandchild hts n of Catholics to do ren deserve nothing the same. Our chilless. And therefore, we w ould ask of you thin selves to prayer and gs. First, as a comm unity of faith we m fasting that wisdom ust commit ourand justice may prev stored. Without Go ail, and religious lib d, we can do nothin erty may be reg; with God, nothin recommend visiting g is impossible. Se www.usccb,org/cons cond, we would also cience, to learn mor liberty, and how to e about this severe contact Congress in assault on religious support of legislatio decision. n that would reverse the Administration’ As the bishops of V s irginia’s two Cathol ic dioceses, we will fied voice wheneve r religious liberty iss also to continue to speak with a uniues surface in our Co Conference, which mmonwealth. The represents us in the Virginia Catholic halls of state govern science protection fo ment, is currently w r faith-based child-p orking to ensure co lacing agencies and areas. Please visit nto safeguard religio www.vacatholic.or us liberty in other g and sign-up for th Together, we are th e Conference’s aler e people – more than ts and updates. Catholic community 700,000 of us – that . Standing together for our Commonwea , we must defend ou lth’s vibrant express our concerns r right to practice w and convictions abou hat we profess and t religious freedom to our elected offic ials. Faithfully yours in Christ,
Choose life then, that you and
your descendants may live…Deuteronomy 30:19
I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse.
Highlights of the first day of the CFCFFL Community in Baguio City included a fireside chat type of teaching where Bro. Francis Rodrigo discusses with his wife Sis. Debbie, certain nuances of our becoming living witnesses to the gospel of life. The first day ended with the Oblefias couple leading a fellowship session entitled Vive la Vida , topped by line dancing and raffles. Fr. Francis Gustilo presides over the Eucharist on the second day celebrating the feast of the Sto. Nino that culminated with the blessing of the children. Finally, Bro. Frank Padilla gives the participants the take‐home message on how to actualize the weekend learnings in our respective stations.
THE PHILIPPINES AT THE CROSSROADS OF LIFE Our country is undergoing a deep, severe and dangerous curse of a Constitutional crisis. Violent forces are threatening to take over rule of law, including the freedom of our conscience. It only goes to show, as the Bible says: we cannot put our trust on men (our political leaders) nor on a piece of paper (our Constitution). Our true sovereignty, and thus our only hope, comes from God. Choose God. Choose life.
Hindi ako luntian. Hindi ako pula. Hindi ako bughaw. Hindi ako kahel. Hindi ako puti o itim. Ito ang kulay ko, Likha akong ganito.
HINDI AKO DILAW.
AKO AY PILIPINO!