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•A3 Purification of the clergy

topic of final Friday Lenten

•B1 ‘The Cross Is Part of the
Ascent toward the Height
The News Supplement
of Couples for Christ
meditation in Vatican of Jesus Christ’

Condoms distributed in Cardinal urges Catholics

RP, foreign funded—HLI to support Alay Kapwa
official says collection
AN official of Human Life International has MANILA Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal
pointed an accusing finger at some countries Rosales has encouraged all Filipino Catholics
as behind the Department of Health’s massive to support the Alay Kapwa collection, as the
distribution of condom in the country. Church ushers in the Holy Week with the cel-
Executive Director of Human Life Internation- ebration of Palm Sunday.
al-Pro Life Missionary Dr. Ligaya Acosta said the In a statement, Rosales said contributions
DOH’s eight million dollar budget for condom collected on Alay Kapwa Sunday are used to
distribution proved that international communi- support the various programs of the Church.
ties have been supporting this motive. For the archdiocese, the collection proceeds
“The fact that [Sec.] Cabral is ready to im- March 29 - April 11, 2010 Vol. 14 No. 7 Php 20.00 go to the disaster-preparedness fund drive of
Funded / A6 Collection / A6

Live a life of truth,

pope tells faithful
By Pinky Barrientos, FSP
For OFWs and
the sick, a ‘Visita
AMID the backdrop of
unrelenting attacks on
Iglesia’ online
his person in the resur- DON’T have the chance or enough time
for the traditional “Visita Iglesia” this
gence of sexual abuse Holy Week? Do it online.
scandals involving the The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of
clergy, Pope Benedict the Philippines reached out to the digital
generation again with the launch of their
ushered in the Holy “online Visita Iglesia” to help them reach
Week celebration with a people with the Scripture.
solemn Mass at St. Peter’s The website, a creation of the CBCP
Square, telling Christians Media Office, allows faithful to visit
seven famous churches in Metro Manila
to walk the path of Jesus, where they can carry out the fourteen
“towards the life accord- Stations of the Cross. It may be accessed
ing to the truth.” at www.cbcponline.net
Msgr. Pedro Quitorio, CBCP Media
The Holy Father said as Jesus Director, said the portal is only intended
walks he leads us to journey with as an “alternative” on an “extreme situ-
him… “to the courage that does ation” that someone cannot the visit the
not let itself be intimidated by the church for some valid reason.
gossip of dominant opinions; to “There is no liturgical activity that is
the patience that stands up for not communitarian. But there are excep-
© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

and supports the other.” tions such as in the case of OFWs work-
Unjust accusations of cover-up ing in a non-Catholic country,” explained
and failure to administer sanc- Quitorio.
tions to erring priests have been “For the sake of our brothers and sis-
hurled at the pope in the light of ters who are out of the country, the OFWs
sex abuse scandals in Europe and and the others, or those who are sick and
America. homebound, we are offering this online
Pope Benedict, on March 19 As Catholics solemnly enters the Holy Week observance, pilgrims flock to different pilgrimage sites throughout the country in the spirit of penance by visita iglesia,” Quitorio said.
issued a pastoral letter to Irish visiting churches or retracing the steps of Jesus through the Stations of the Cross. One of these is the Kamay ni Hesus (Hands of Jesus) Shrine, a 292- The Visita Iglesia is a traditional
Catholics, wherein he condemned steps hill with life size figures depicting the 14 stations of the cross, in Lucban, Quezon Filipino custom of visiting at least seven
strongly the abuse of children as “sinful and criminal.” youth, at St. Peter’s Square. churches on Holy Thursday.
The pastoral letter came as a response to a detailed report of the study of an The Holy Father reflected on the aspect of following Jesus Christ, which he Among the churches featured in the
independent commission in Ireland documenting cases of sexual abuse com- said clearly expressed the theme of Palm Sunday celebration. portal include the Manila Cathedral and
mitted by Church officials for years. “He leads us to availability to the suffering, to the abandoned; to the loyalty San Agustin Church in Intramuros; Mi-
The pope did not mention the issue in his homily on Palm Sunday, which that stands with the other even when the situation makes it difficult…to the nor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Qui-
incidentally, was also the 25th anniversary of World Youth Day. goodness that does not let itself be disarmed not even by ingratitude. He leads apo; San Lorenzo Ruiz Church and Santo
"Being Christian is a journey, or better: it is a pilgrimage, it is a going with us to love… to God,” the pope said. Niño de Tondo Parish in Tondo, Manila;
Jesus Christ,” the pope said to the thousands of people, majority of whom were Truth / A6 Nuestra Señora de Remedios in Malate,

Sex education may ruin moral values—bishop

Manila; and Our Lady of Perpetual Help
Shrine in Parañaque City.
“All one has to do is click on the
churches presented in the web pages,”
said Quitorio.
A CATHOLIC bishop said the Church still wants to keep sex educa- (STDs) in the country such as HIV/AIDS. flopping on its plan
One may also click on the audio and
tion programs out of schools, despite promises by proponents that “We should educate our students. When you have sex education, to teach sex educa-
accompany the praying of the station of
they would curb abortion and AIDS. you are opening their minds on how to do it tion in schools due to
the cross, he added, or simply read the
Archbishop Oscar Cruz, former president the proper way,” said newly appointed DepEd the Church’s strong
text of the Via Crucis. (Roy Lagarde)
of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Secretary Mona Valisno. position against it.
Philippines, said that the programs would “It is a very important topic that school chil- But Cruz said that
only increase sexual activity among teens, not dren should be educated about. As an educa- sex education, to be effective, should start from parents and this
decrease it. tion policy, we really need to do this, whether should happen in their regular interaction with their children
“Sex education will lead not only to sexual in elementary or secondary [level], it should at home.
promiscuity and sexual excesses, but it could be done,” she said. “Sex education especially with its human dimension and moral
affect the values of the youth,” he said. “Sex awareness” lessons are currently in- consideration are better left to the parents of the students,” said
The Department of Education yesterday re- corporated in different subjects under public, Cruz, archbishop-emeritus of Lingayen-Dagupan.
newed its intention to go full blast on teaching elementary and high school curriculums. He added that if the government really wants such program for
sex education in all public schools to deal with DepEd officials, however, stressed that the the school children, it should give its modules instead to the parents,
the country’s “population explosion.” lessons only put emphasis on topics about hu- and let them do the task which is proper for their children.
The agency has also been concerned about man reproductive system, hygiene, ovulation, “After all they should be the first and best teachers of their own
a sharp rise in underage pregnancies and the reproduction, and birth spacing methods. children in such fundamental matter as human sexuality,” he said.
rising cases of sexually transmitted diseases Archbishop Oscar Cruz The health department had long been flip- (CBCPNews)

Prelates lead nation in prayer Bishop dismayed over dubious party list groups
as world observes Earth Hour
MANILA Archbishop Gaudencio The 4th mystery was led by Malolos
MANILA Auxiliary Bishop Broderick
Pabillo expressed disgust as influen-
tial persons have found a relatively
party list system was provided for in the
1987 Constitution to make marginalized
sectors representation at the House of
it is the elite who get the chance to serve
in Congress through party list system)
Pabillo told CBCPNews.
easy manner of becoming lawmakers Representatives and guarantee their He called on the Commission on Elec-
Cardinal Rosales together with other Bishop Jose Oliveros at 9:05-9:10 p.m. through the party list system. participation in lawmaking. tions to release the names of various
prelates led the nation in praying the The reflection was given by Puerto Pabillo who also heads the Episcopal “Ang nakakalungkot ay ang mga party lists nominees to the media so vot-
rosary evening of March 27, in obser- Princesa Bishop Pedro Arigo. Commission on Social Action, Justice elitista ang nakakapasok and naluluk- ers can immediately look into them.
vance of Earth Hour. At 9:16-9:21 p.m. Kalookan Bishop and Peace of the Catholic Bishops’ lok sa Congreso sa pamamagitan ng Pabillo also called on the Supreme
In a message released in time for the Deogracias Iniguez lead the 5th mys- Conference of the Philippines said the party list groups,” (It is really sad that Court to immediately act on cases per-
global observance of the event, the Car- tery. Batanes Bishop Camilo Gregorio taining to the party list groups.
dinal urged the faithful to care for the provided the reflection. Earlier, various cause-oriented and
environment, and observe an alternative Meanwhile, in another Earth Hour party list groups protested the accredi-
lifestyle that would preserve the earth’s message, Tagbilaran Bishop Leonardo tation of party list groups claiming to
resources in view of future generations. Medroso lamented people’s current represent security guards and trans-
Failure of today’s people to care for lifestyle, saying that “our way of living port workers as its nominees included
the earth’s resources is akin to stealing make us hostile to our environment.” former lawmakers, local government
the future of the coming generations, “Our mother earth has been suffer- politicians and a cabinet secretary.
the cardinal said. ing and writhing with pain due to our He called on Filipino voters to work
The recitation of the rosary was aired folly we have inflicted on Earth. Due together and insulate the system from
live at Radio Veritas, the archdiocese’s to our greed or perhaps due to our traditional politics.
radio station, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. disregard, we have stripped her bare In a related development, Pabillo said
Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of the forest cover, cutting down trees he finds the present crop of Comelec of-
led the 1st Sorrowful Mystery from with abandon,” he said. ficials wanting in transparency.
8:30-8:36 p.m. followed by a reflection The bishop called on the people “They seem to lack engagement with
from Cardinal Rosales. to act decisively, by changing one’s the general public,” he said. The prelate
The 2nd mystery was led by Lipa lifestyle, before it is too late. said Comelec officials do not respond
Archbishop Ramon Arguelles at 8:43- Earth Hour is a global initiative properly to concerns being put forward
8:48. Imus Bishop Luis Antonio Tagle begun in 2007 by World Wildlife Fund
Illustration by Bladimer Usi

by the citizenry.
gave the reflection. (WWF) as a concrete action against He added that with the introduction
Antipolo auxiliary Bishop Francisco global warming. For one hour, indi- of the new Automated Election System,
de Leon led the 3rd Mystery from viduals, businesses, governments and it should be expected the general public
9:16-9:21, followed by a reflection communities are enjoined to turn off will have a lot of concerns that need
from Novaliches Bishop Emeritus lights to show their support for action immediate reply and assurance from
Teodoro Bacani. on climate change. (CBCPNews) Comelec officials. (Melo M. Acuña)
World News
CBCP Monitor
A2 Vol. 14 No. 7
March 29 - April 11, 2010

On 25th World Youth Day,

Pope Benedict renews call
for youth evangelization
More than 70,000 attend
WYD meeting with Pope
in St. Peter’s Square
VATICAN CITY, March 26, 2010—Thursday evening’s celebra-
tion of World Youth Day (WYD) 2010 at the Vatican drew a
staggering number of young people to the steps of St. Peter’s
Basilica. For nearly an hour, the Holy Father held the attention
of the crowd, teaching that love is the key to inheriting eternal
life and that life is meant to be lived “all the way.”
Entering the square aboard the popemobile to the light of
thousands of yellow and white prayer candles, the Holy Father
took the stage just after 8:30 p.m. to orchestral music accompanied
by a chorus and chants of “Ben-e-det-to,” which is “Benedict” in
Italian as well as “blessed.”

© www.secretsydney.com.au
This year the World Youth Day celebration is being held on
the diocesan level, but it will be held on an international level
in Madrid in 2011.

VATICAN CITY, March 28, 2010—The Holy Father welcomed XVI remembered the invitation from Pope John Paul II during the
the 25th World Youth Day in his remarks before the Angelus in inaugural celebration for young people to “profess their faith in
a St. Peter's Square full of flags and banners from all over the Christ who 'has taken the cause of man upon himself.'"
world. Pope Benedict said, "Today, I renew this call to the new genera-
From behind the altar at the entrance of the Vatican basilica tion, to give testimony with the meek and luminous strength of
where he had just celebrated Palm Sunday Mass, the Pope recalled the truth, so that the men and the women of the third millennium
the first World Youth Day and John Paul II's call for youth to be don't lack the most authentic model: Jesus Christ."
witnesses to the truth for their generation. The Holy Father hosted a celebration for WYD 2010 in the square
Noting the origins of World Youth Day (WYD) within the on Thursday evening at which more than 70,000 young people
United Nation's "International Year of Youth" in 1985, Benedict were in attendance. (CNA)

Possible JP II miracle has not yet been

examined, clarifies Vatican official
VATICAN CITY, March 26, 2010—The Before beginning the final examination,
After addresses by the Cardinal Vicar of Rome and a young
girl welcoming the Pope and thanking him for his presence, the
Holy Father was asked some questions regarding the theme
prefect emeritus of the Congregation for “the Congregation usually gets the opinion of this year’s 25th anniversary message for WYD2010, “Good
the Causes of Saints, Cardinal Jose Saraiva of two doctors beforehand” and keeps the teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
Martins, explained this week that the pos- information confidential. However, in the Before responding, he told the multitude of 75,000, “Thank
sible miraculous healing of a French nun case of the French nun, one of the doctors you from (the bottom of) my heart for your presence, for this
attributed to the intercession of John Paul expressed doubt and “the news came out,” marvelous witness of faith, to want to live in communion with
II has not yet been examined by the Vatican the cardinal said. He added that even so, Jesus, and your enthusiasm to follow Jesus and live well.”
Medical Commission. this does not mean that the miracle has been The Holy Father went on to teach that the keys to living well
Cardinal Saraiva made his statements to rejected, but rather, as is usually the case, the and attaining eternal life are held in the Ten Commandments,
a group of reporters in Rome in reference Congregation will ask for a third opinion the "rules of love" through which we are taught to love God and
to reports published a month ago in Poland before beginning the official examination. love our neighbors as ourselves.
claiming that the Vatican commission had If the evaluation by the doctors is positive, The Commandments, he said, "indicate the way of love with
dismissed the miracle supposedly experienced Pope John Paul II the miracle will be evaluated by a Theologi- these essential points: the family, as foundation of society; life,
by Sister Marie Simon Pierre. The cardinal said now I am cured. It is for the church to say cal Commission, which will study whether to be respected as a gift from God; the order of sexuality, as the
the miracle could not have been rejected “be- and to recognize whether it is a miracle,” Sr. or not the event is due to the intercession of relation between man and woman and, finally, the truth."
cause the doctors have not examined it yet.” Marie Simon Pierre told reporters in 2007. John Paul II. Then, it must pass analysis by God has a "precise project" for each person to find this "way
The nun had been suffering from Parkin- The procedure for approving a miracle the 30 members of the Congregation for the of love," said the Pope, and that regardless of one's vocation,
son's, a degenerative disease of the nervous through the intercession of a specific per- Causes of Saints, who are like the “Parlia- whether it is to be a scholar or a laborer, "everything is important
system, since 2001, but has testified that she son involves first “that it be approved by a ment” of the Congregation. in the eyes of God: it's beautiful if it is lived ‘all the way’ with
was cured in the night of June 2, 2005 after Medical Commission, which certifies that the Asked if this might delay the date of John that love that truly redeems the world."
praying to John Paul II, whose final years event is scientifically unexplainable and that Paul II’s beatification, Cardinal Saraiva said, “We ask the Lord to help us to find his will and to live it with
were also marked by the disease. the healing is instantaneous, complete and “It’s not a case of delaying because a date joy!” exclaimed the Pope.
“All I can tell you is that I was sick and lasting,” the cardinal explained. was never set in the first place.” (CNA) Offering advice on how to advance along the "way," Benedict
XVI listed, "listening, responding, entering into believing com-
munities, communion with Christ in the sacraments ... finally,

Pilgrims in England to walk 120 miles, bear life-sized cross doing, carrying out the words of faith that they may become the
strength of my life.” (CNA)

LONDON, England, March 25, The annual pilgrimage, called today than it has ever been for course in community living.”

Task force reaches out to

2010—During the upcoming Student's Cross, is the oldest those prepared to face its chal- Though the title of the pilgrim-
Holy Week, pilgrims from mul- in the nation and will bring lenges.” age bears the word 'student,' it
tiple areas in England will walk together more that 250 people. Reflecting on the pressures is intended for those of all ages
120 miles around the country
carrying a life-sized wooden
The pilgrims will set out on
March 27 from 10 different parts
and worries associated with
modern life, Stanley noted that
and has been since its inception
in 1948. Spanish-speaking Catholics
cross. The experience offers of the country and convene at the event has spiritual benefits “We are an immensely varied
participants an opportunity to the shrine of Our Lady of Wals- to it. “Going on pilgrimage is a group of people,” the director RAPID CITY, S.D, March 27, 2010—In May 2008, after spending
rejuvenate spiritually and is ingham in Norfolk on April 2, fantastic way to strip back to the noted. “From the very young four months studying Spanish in Cuernavaca, Mexico, Polish im-
“intense and rewarding.” Good Friday. The 10 groups basics, examine the fundamental to the very experienced. From migrant Father Janusz Korban was assigned special responsibility
will remain in questions in life and consider people who feel secure in their for Hispanic ministry in the Diocese of Rapid City. Bishop Blase
the area to cele- what is really important,” Stan- faith as Christians, to people Cupich appointed him and Deacon Raul Daniel to be co-chairs
brate the Easter ley said. who have simply found that of the new Hispanic Ministry Task Force which works to meet
Vigil. The pilgrimage can also offer walking with friends restores the current needs of Hispanic people and makes plans for the
“Pilgrimage a time for vocation discernment. them in some way. We are stu- future.
is an intense According to Stanley, it “enables dents, parents, teenagers and After the task
and rewarding people to think deeply about the children, people with jobs and force was formed,
experience,” direction they are taking, how people without. Fit and unfit, members immedi-
said Dave Stan- they can see their role in the wildly enthusiastic and appar- ately implemented
ley, Student's world and how God can play a ently reluctant. What we have a weekly Spanish
Cross 2010 part in their lives. It also offers a in common is that we find this language Mass
director on unique way to celebrate Easter— pilgrimage an invaluable way and reconcilia-
Tuesday. “It is both a chance to recharge your of connecting with what is most tion schedule. “We
more relevant spiritual batteries and a crash important in our lives.” (CNA) found a need for a
priest to say Mass

Vatican Commission calls for release of Chinese Bishops and hear confes-
sions,” said Father
VATICAN CITY, March 25, 2010—A Vatican connected with the task of evangelizing is not expressed without a personal com-
To make Mass more accessible, task force members look for
commission established by Benedict XVI is Chinese society which is so dynamic and mitment to searching for truth and spiritual
ways to incorporate aspects of the Mexican culture. One method
affirming its prayer that bishops and priests complex—represent considerable challeng- reconciliation,” the communiqué noted.
of doing this is pinpointing Mass celebrations important in Mexi-
imprisoned in China will be released and es,” the final communiqué affirmed. “At the same time, the participants
co. “Most of us immediately think of the Our Lady of Guadalupe
allowed to exercise their ministry. The Holy Father “underlined the need of expressed the unanimous hope that all
celebration. Many people come to the Guadalupe Mass because
This was one of the affirmations from a ensuring solid formation, based on friend- bishops in China may become increasingly
that is an import day in their tradition,” explained Deacon Daniel.
three-day meeting held by the commission ship with Christ, for everyone preparing for committed to favoring the growth of unity,
“Another important celebration is the Day of the Dead (All Souls
the Pope established in 2007 to study the the priesthood or consecrated life.” He said faith and life among all Catholics, avoid-
Day). Even those who do not attend regular Masses will make it
complexities of the Church in China. this would serve as a guarantee of success, ing gestures—such as, for example, sacra-
a point to come to these.”
One of the emphases proposed by the personally and pastorally. mental celebrations, episcopal ordinations
Task force member Liz McCarthy, Blessed Sacrament Church,
group was the issue of formation. Benedict The commission also emphasized the and participation in meetings—that run
Rapid City, has been working with Hispanic people in the diocese
XVI also took up this topic when he met path of unity within the Catholic Church counter to communion with the Pope who
for 10 years. McCarthy teaches baptism classes in Spanish, visits
with the participants at the end of their in China. appointed them pastors, and create diffi-
the jail, and helps with the parish hospital ministry. “I want to
discussions. “Progress made in response to the Pope’s culties—sometimes severe difficulties—in
make the Hispanic people aware that the church really cares for
“The difficulties that emerge in the field of call for authentic ecclesial communion was the bosom of their respective ecclesial com-
Spanish / A6
formation and new pastoral requirements— noted with satisfaction, a communion which munities.” (Zenit)
News Features
CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 7
March 29 - April 11, 2010

Purification of the clergy

topic of final Friday Lenten
meditation in Vatican
VATICAN CITY, March 27, 2010—Capuchin Fr. Raniero life, failing in duties... most of all regarding celibacy and
Cantalamessa dedicated his final Lenten meditation to chastity” and added, “We know from painful experience
the necessity of “an internal purification of the Church, how much damage can be done to the Church and souls
starting with its clergy.” He emphasized the importance by this type of infidelity.”
of love for Christ, fidelity and repentance in bringing This, said the priest, “possibly the hardest test” for the
about change. contemporary Church.
The call to conversion for those who are already within Referring to the letter to the people of Laodicea, he
the Church is a different one from that of non-believers and pointed out the call for a “lukewarm” Church to “be zeal-
neophytes and one that “concerns us closely,” explained ous and repent.”
Fr. Cantalamessa to Pope Benedict XVI and clergy pres- The preacher said he believes that this “’lukewarm-
ent in the Vatican’s Redemptoris Mater Chapel on Friday ness’ of a part of the clergy, the lack of zeal and apostolic
morning. inertia” serves to “weaken the Church more even than the
This call, the Capuchin friar said, “resounds in each occasional scandals of some priests...
of the seven letters to the Churches” in the Book of “Christ suffers more than us for humiliation of his
Revelation. priests and the affliction of his Church,” but, he added,
Drawing from the letter to the Ephesians, the Preacher “if he permits it, it’s because he knows the good that

© www.nihilobstat.info
to the Papal Household pointed out that the call to can spring from it, in view of a greater purity of his
conversion incites a return to “the primitive fervor and Church.”
love for Christ,” a return to the enthusiasm and grace He reflected on the response to the current trials, “If
of the moment they realized they were called to God’s there is humility, the Church will emerge more resplen-
service. dent than ever from this war!”
Another component exists in the letter to the Church of Smyrna, said the Capuchin Father, “Be faith- Fr. Cantalamessa concluded his meditation by saying that Christ’s invitation “Come to me, all you
ful until death and I will give you the crown of life.” who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest,” is today directed to his priests.
“Fidelity!” he exclaimed, recalling the Holy Father’s theme for the Year for Priests: “Fidelity of Christ He added, “The most beautiful fruit of this Year for Priests will be a return to Christ, a renewal of
and Fidelity of the Priest.” our friendship with him. In his love, the priest will find all of which he is humanly deprived and ‘one
He specified that to this fidelity is opposed “the betrayal of the trust of Christ and the Church, double hundred times more,’ according to his promise.” (CNA/EWTN News)

Holy Father accepts no excuses Pilgrims to Shroud of Turin will

see a ‘mirror of the Gospel,’
for clerical abuse, affirms cardinal Cardinal Poletto says
VATICAN CITY, March 25, 2010—The presi- His letter is “imbued with a sincere spirit of
dent of the Italian bishops’ conference, Car- contrition and the unquestionable testimony VATICAN CITY, March 25,
dinal Angelo Bagnasco, remarked this week of the Church, which is not on the defensive 2010—Cardinal Severino
that in the Holy Father's pastoral letter to when she must take upon herself the ‘con- Poletto, custodian of the
Irish Catholics, Pope Benedict XVI teaches the sternation,’ the ‘sense of betrayal,’ and the Holy Shroud and Arch-
faithful to not fear the truth about the sexual ‘remorse’ for what some of her ministers bishop of Turin, was in
abuse of minors by priests. Likewise the Pon- have done.” Rome on Thursday morning
tiff underscores his firm decision to confront “Benedict XVI leaves no room for uncer- to officially present plans
this issue without excuses or cover-ups. tainty or minimization,” Cardinal Bagnasco and progress at a press
Cardinal Bagnasco made his statements at said, adding that “the clear initiatives the conference for the Shroud's
a meeting of the Italian bishops’ executive Holy See has given for years confirm the exposition this spring. He
committee, which took place this week. The determination to arrive at the truth with the emphasized the "spiritual"
cardinal said, “The more attempts there are necessary means, once the facts have been benefits that will be pro-
to disparage his pure and kind character, the sorted out.” vided to pilgrims through
more the People of God view the Pope with “At this present time in which she feels hu- their contemplation of the
emotion and pride. For this reason too, we miliation, the Church learns from the Pope to image.
renew our strongest relationship, our deepest not fear the truth, even when it is painful, to The famous Shroud,
affections, and our full and solid commu- not hide it or cover it up. However, this does which is believed to be the
nion" with the Church. not mean enduring strategies to discredit her burial shroud of Jesus, will
In his letter, the cardinal recalled, the Pope in general,” the cardinal said. be on display in the Cathe-
confronts the painful truth about the clerical Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco “It is appropriate, then, that we all return dral of Turin from April 10 - May 20 of this year. Msgr. Giuseppe
sex abuse crisis and notes that the Church to calling things by their names at all times, Ghiberti, president of the archdiocesan commission on the Shroud,
must not fall back on the "tendency to drudge up excuses for the to indentify evil in all of its gravity and in the multiplicity of its said at the press conference that no research would be done on it
actions of certain clergy members.” manifestations,” he added. (CNA) during the days of the exposition.
Speaking about how the exposition will be the first in the new mil-

Bishop urges church groups to

lenium and the first since its restoration in 2002, Cardinal Poletto said
it must be remembered that the event should not be seen as "religious
tourism," but instead, as "a spiritual and pastoral initiative."

organize against condom distribution

"In the Shroud we are able to read all of the marks, all the particu-
lars of the person of Jesus as they are described in the Gospel. It's
clear that ... our Christian faith is not found in the Shroud," rather
it is based on the "Gospel and the witness of the Apostles who an-
nounced Jesus Christ as the only Savior of the world, crucified but,
MANILA, March 25, 2010—Saying that Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes said in a Bastes, who is a member of CBCP Per- most of all, resurrected."
organizing protests are the only way radio interview that he sees street protests an manent Council also asked CBCP president This exposition, he continued, is an "occasion to offer to the Chris-
to pressure the government to stop its effective way to make the government stop and Tandag Bishop Nereo Odchimar to tian faith, not the foundation ... but an aid to meditation, to prayer, to
condom distribution and sex education its distribution of condoms and the plans to issue a directive to the Council of the Laity the contemplation of a extraordinary, tragic ... mysterious suffering
programs, a Catholic bishop has urged teach sex education to students. to mobilize church organizations against that, as we believe, corresponds to the suffering of Christ."
church organizations to unite and make “Church Organizations like Knights of condom distribution of the Department Cardinal Poletto pointed out that regardless of the fact that there
their voices heard. Columbus, Couples for Christ, Catholic of Health (DoH) and sex education of the is no "certainty" about the origin of the linen, and even though no
Women’s League and Department of Education (DepEd). one has been able to reproduce it artificially, "our faith ... our prayer
the Parents and Teach- The bishop criticized the government ... our meditation is aided by the contemplation of this image."
ers Association should as promoting a contraceptive mentality He repeated the words of Venerable John Paul II, who said that the
unite. This (government among Filipino youth instead of pursu- Shroud is "the mirror of the Gospel" account, including its evidence
policy) is destroying our ing genuine programs that lead to human of whipping, nails and blood.
country. We have the development. "From a spiritual point of view it's important that we offer to the
right to protest. Let’s Meanwhile, Bastes said Filipinos should faithful the opportunity to see and to venerate this mysterious im-
take it to the streets,” not believe President Gloria Arroyo for age," the cardinal added.
Bastes said. she has no particular standpoint on the The Holy Father is one of over 1.3 million people, including 8,000
At least 3,000 people issues. Americans, who will be in Turin to see the Shroud in the nearly two
© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

participated in an earlier “She said before that her administration months of exposition. On May 2, among other events with the youth
simultaneous rally orga- would only support natural family plan- and local clergy, he will visit the Cathedral of Turin, where he will
nized by the Knights of ning. But look at her now she is already give what Cardinal Poletto called "a much awaited reflection" on
Columbus throughout in favor of condom distribution. She has the passion of Christ.
the country in protest of lost people’s trust. As president, she has The cardinal expressed gratitude for the "great gift" that Pope
what it dubbed as a con- no more credibility,” Bastes said. (Kate Benedict XVI will be making to the archdiocese and the city by
Bishop Arturo Bastes, SVD spiracy against life. Laceda/CBCPNews) visiting in person. (CNA/EWTN News)

Massive voter disenfranchisement imminent—study CBCP exec to presidentiables: Bare

MANILA, March 17, 2010—The eleven-
hour voting period on May 10 would
not be enough to accommodate all
scan machine and three BEI members
for an average of 1,000 voters at every
clustered precinct.
added, the voter will be directed to the
BEI chairperson, who is the only person
who can issue the ballot, Tapang said.
plans on migration
voters, a study conducted by a poll “The whole voting process will take Tapang’s simulation also showed MANILA, March 19, 2010—An official
watchdog revealed. 11 hours,” Tapang said. “The simulation that the BEI chairperson has a maxi- of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference
Using computer simulation, the study shows that the minimum rate of arrival mum period of 40 seconds to verify of the Philippines (CBCP) called on
by a convener of Kontra Daya pointed should be at least 95 voters per hour to from the voter’s finger that he has presidentiables to have a concrete
© Kate Laceda / CBCP Media

to a “very high likelihood” of massive reach 1,000 by 6 p.m.” not cast his vote yet, give him the bal- platform of governance in alleviating
voter disenfranchisement. Upon arriving at the polling area, the lot, instruct him on how to fill it up, the plight of Overseas Filipino Work-
Prof. Giovanni Tapang of the UP’s first thing a voter should do is to look up give him a folder and have him sign ers (OFWs).
National Institute of Physics simu- his name and sequence number. several times. The voter should take Fr. Edwin Corros, executive secre-
lated a queue of voters using SimPy “A voter should take no longer than up no longer than 10 minutes o fill up tary of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commis-
(Simulation in Python), a programming 15 minutes to search for his name out his ballot. sion for the Pastoral Care of Migrants
language package, basing the steps on of a long list,” Tapang said. “If he takes “If the whole procedure takes longer and Itinerant People (ECMI), said
what a voter and the Board of Election longer than this, chances are that the than that, the number of voters unable that most of presidential aspirants do Fr. Edwin Corros, CS
Inspectors should do according to the queue will pile up and not everyone to vote beyond 6 p.m. drastically in- not show enthusiasm in ensuring the Corros said the country’s next leaders
general instructions issued by the Com- will be able to vote.” creases,” he said. rights and welfare of the OFWs and must solve the cause of the woes that
mission on Elections. If a voter manages to find his name “Applying these thresholds all at their families. people are facing and have forced mil-
There are more than 50.7 million and sequence number, the voter has to the same time and running the simula- He said Filipinos abroad want to know lions of Filipinos to leave their families
registered voters for the upcoming approach the BEI and the support staff tion, we get results showing that more whether the next president will have to try their luck overseas.
elections, with voters from more than to have his identity verified—a process than half of the 1,000 voters lining up programs that address economic woes, “We’ve been repeating the same thing
329,000 precincts expected to line up that should take 2.6 minutes at the most at the clustered precinct will not be particularly lack of job opportunities in from previous leaders up to the present;
at 76,000 clustered precincts. There ideal conditions, he said. able to finish by 6 p.m.,” Tapang said. the Philippines and the complete protec- the challenge is still the same,” he said.
will also be one precinct count optical And after successful verification, he (CBCPNews) tion of the OFW’s rights and welfare. (CBCPNews)
A4 Opinion CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 7
March 29 - April 11, 2010


A season of purification
GLOBAL news organizations hollered stories like “Pope opens
Holy Week amid sex abuse crisis” and variations on the resurgent
theme of a church put to shame by pedophiles among its ranks.
The New York Times have been singled out to have said the
loudest when it splattered on its front page last week the story
that the Holy Father had prevented sanctions against Fr. Lawrence
Murphy, a Milwaukee priest who abused about 200 deaf children
several decades ago.
Another blew up the story in London that people, but actually
only a few dozens, gathered outside Westminster Cathedral to
demand the Pope’s resignation. In Austria, the media unearthed
several cases in recent weeks which moved the archbishop of
Vienna to create a Church-funded independent commission to
look into Austrian abuse claims. In Switzerland, President Doris
Leuthard is reportedly planning to establish a central registry of
pedophile priests to prevent them from coming into contact with
more children.
In Rome, the media drumbeats stories about the Pope’s handling
of sex abuse cases when he was archbishop of Munich and when
he headed the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
He was the archbishop of Munich when a priest, who was later
convicted of abusing minors, was allowed to resume pastoral work
with children even while undergoing therapy for pedophilia.
At the other side of the fence, noted Catholic scholar George
Weigel wrote that the media portrayal that the Catholic Church
is “the epicenter of the sexual abuse of the young” is not true,
because “by empirical measure, the safest environment for young
people in America today” is the Catholic Church—where recent
studies show that 2% of sex abuse offenders were catholic priests
between the mid-1960s and the mid-1980s and thereafter seems
to have virtually disappeared except some 6 cases of clerical
sexual abuse in 2009. Illustration by Bladimer Usi

Be that as it may, but Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa,

preacher of the papal household—and of the recent 2nd National
Congress of the Clergy in Manila—is of the belief that the Church Fr. Roy Cimagala
and its members is called to purify themselves and, if there is
humility, then “the church will end up more resplendent than Entering the spirit of
Holy Week
ever from this war.”
Well meaning Catholics have looked with disdain on how the Candidly Speaking
media has seem to be ganging up on the church or as Weigel puts
it “has taken up the agenda to take the Church down and discredit WITH Holy Week, we mark the end of the Lenten season to enter into Faith is the ultimate source of truth. It’s not only what we see or
its moral authority.” But again the holy priest, Fr. Cantalamessa, the most important mystery of the redemptive work of Christ, which understand that gives us the truth. It’s what God gives us to under-
sees it differently when he said in a Lenten retreat given to the is his passion, death and resurrection, a.k.a the paschal mystery. stand, what he shows us and reveals to us that teaches us the truth.
pope and the Roman Curia of late, that “the media’s tenacity—and It’s like we were having a journey or a pilgrimage in Lent toward And that’s what faith is.
we have seen it in other cases—in the long run will bring about the most sacred event in our history, after which we will enjoy a We need to correct this mistaken mentality about faith that sadly
the opposite effect that they had hoped for.” period of supreme joy and peace in Easter that extends for some is spreading like wild fire especially among the young today. With
Indeed, the reform on this underside of priestly life which Canon weeks. a handicapped faith, we will fail to realize the eternal value of
Law and Church leaders could not do in centuries, the media did It’s important that we don’t lose our spiritual bearing as we go Christ’s cross, actually good news to all of us, never a wet blanket
in a few years—consciously or otherwise. through the Holy Week. Now we have to make some special effort or a nuisance.
to achieve this ideal, since the environment today is so paganized Christ’s Cross is that indispensable element that completes and
many people prefer to be in the beaches than in churches during perfects the process of our creation. It’s what gives meaning and
Holy Week. direction to our rich spiritual endowments we received in the first
Lay participation in social change The Holy Week is “the” week in the Church calendar. It also stage of our creation in Adam and Eve, making us the image and
should be so in the life of each one of us, believers and followers likeness of God, and with his grace, children of his.
FOR the past few months now, we have noted a mounting call for of Christ. If we go by our faith, it’s the week when we practice the Christ’s Cross gathers all the sins of men from the beginning of
“moral regeneration” in our country. Not only do we welcome most rigorous of our spirit of penance and sacrifice to match with time up to the end, making us to realize the true and objective malice
this; we your pastors are encouraged by the fact that this call the very passion and death of Christ on the Cross. of our sins that would require God to become man to save us.
has been coming mainly from the laity. You know that we have Why? Because we can only resurrect with Christ if we also suffer With the Cross, Christ makes all our sins his own, without com-
sounded this call too many times already in the past. Perhaps
and die with him. St. Paul describes it this way in his Letter to the mitting them, and dies to them so as to allow us to participate in
because this task is expected of us, there has been a tendency to
take it for granted that we are also to carry it out by ourselves. Romans: “If we have been planted together in the likeness of his his resurrection.
One journalist wrote in a commentary recently, “The task of moral death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.” (6, 5) We need to have a good grasp of the situation, and avoid being
regeneration is too big to entrust to religious leaders alone.” We We have to be familiar with this language of our faith, and in fact held captive by a reductive if not childish understanding of the
couldn’t agree more. make it as our own. That’s why we always need to exercise our faith, spirit of Holy Week. The Holy Week is the most exciting week of
and especially as we go through the many events of Holy Week. the year.
As your pastors, we exercise spiritual and moral leadership as Our faith is not an on-and-off affair, much less, an optional ele- It’s when the fullness of our being gets totally engaged with the
regards our communal and ecclesial life in our parishes and ment. It’s meant to be an abiding thing, the one that guides us all day. dynamics of love Christ our redeemer is offering us. It’s when we
dioceses throughout the country. But we cannot just extend that Considering it otherwise would actually be a disaster, since without are invited to give our all to correspond to the all God gives us. It’s
leadership into the spheres of politics and governance, in business faith we would just be left to our own devices. No matter how smart a dance of love involving our whole being and with cosmic dimen-
and economics, in the sciences and the mass media, etc., without we are, without faith we will fail to reach our ultimate goal. sions and eternal effects.
running the risk of being misconstrued as engaging in power-play Our usual problem is that we put our faith often in the mute mode, This is how we have to understand the Holy Week. It’s not just
or over-extending our sphere of influence beyond our offices. sometimes thinking that such faith takes us away from reality. Or one more week of the year, my dear. We have to be careful with the
The participation of the laity in moral leadership pertaining to that it is a bother to our spontaneous desires for fun and action. spiritually blind and deaf attitude that emerges in our society during
every specific discipline and institution in the Philippine society Hardly anything can be farther than the truth. Holy Week, emptying it of its true religious value.
is most essential, if we want the Gospel and the social teachings
of the Church to have a tangible and positive impact at all on our
life as a nation. Sr. Mary Pilar Verzosa, RGS
We challenge our Catholic laity, in particular, to take the lead
in the task of moral renewal towards a deeper and more lasting Men hurt too
change in the Philippine society. We challenge all lay people
involved in politics to renounce corruption and bond together in Love Life
the task of evangelizing politics for effective governance and the
pursuit of the common good. We challenge the laity involved in A FEW days before we celebrated the Na- of him, often saying that she does not know abortion meant—being a graduate nurse
legislation to unite themselves and consciously allow their actions tional Day of the Unborn last March 25, I what to do if he ever leaves her. At this and having gone to a Catholic high school.
to be guided by the truth of the Gospel and the Christian faith. received a text message from Anton (not point, he was not sure if they would go on On the day they went to an abortionist in a
We urge the Catholic lay people involved in legitimate business his real name) inquiring if I could talk to with their relationship or it is over. depressed area in Caloocan, she was very
to organize themselves and consciously practice their trade with him about the abortion of his girl friend. I What he described to me was a woman quiet throughout the trip.
a strong sense of corporate social responsibility informed by the gave him my landline and we talked for a suffering from post-abortion syndrome— They waited six hours for their turn as
social teachings of the Church. few minutes, and arranged a date when he insecure that she might lose a loved one there were nine others in the waiting room.
We enjoin all Catholic law enforcers to form associations among and his girl friend could come for counsel- again as she had lost her baby, distrustful, Some of the girls were also accompanied
themselves that consciously renounce violence, respect basic ing. He said he had been searching in the angry, and disturbed. by their boyfriends. He chatted with the
human rights, and truly work for the preservation of peace and internet, got into the Pro-life website and He admitted that he himself had not been “guards” there and was told that the place
social order. We call upon the Catholic laity involved in social read practically all the messages in the forum able to sleep well the past weeks and he had had been raided by the police a few years
communications and the modern mass media to form networks until he came across my reply to one woman lost a lot of weight. He cannot concentrate ago but they were back in “business” in a
among themselves that can articulate a genuinely Christian ethics who had an abortion and I had given my cell on his studies (he is graduating this March) few weeks. The woman-abortionist inserted
in their practice of their profession. We urge every Catholic lay phone number. and he has been spending a lot of time on something in her body and said it was
person to give a concrete expression to Christian discipleship He came alone. He and his girl friend the computer, searching on ways of coping to open up her cervix. They were told to
through responsible citizenship. had an argument that morning as to what with his guilt. return the next day. It took three hours of
time they would come. It ended up with her He also humbly admitted that it was he wait again the next day before the abortion
—Year of the Two Hearts for Peace-building and
Lay Participation in Social Change, 2009 refusing to come at all. He said that their who pressured the girl to have the abortion was performed, then three hours for her to
quarrels were getting more frequent since as he was in the midst of so many other recover enough to be able to walk out of the
the abortion six weeks ago. Although they family problems. He could feel that she was dingy apartment.
often argue, she has been more possessive hesitant and knew well what having an Love Life / A5
Fr. Melvin P. Castro
In the middle
Speaking of Mary of the world
Pedro C. Quitorio ST. JOSEMARIA would always say we are called to be saints, con- parts but never diverging teachings, one undermining the other.
Editor-in-Chief templatives even, in the middle of the world, to seek sanctity in the We in the Philippines have been spared, at least from the time
very place we are in right now, at home, at the workplace, at the being, from the engulfing flames of scandal and intrigue plaguing
Pinky Barrientos, FSP Kris P. Bayos school, or even at the hospital as a patient or as the one caring for the Church in Europe and America right now. With most of us so
Associate Editor Feature Editor the sick. engrossed with the upcoming national elections and other domestic
At times, however, (or should I say that is often the case), the issues, we have been insulated from these ugly talks right now.
Melo M. Acuña Laarni Bergado “world” would be very hostile, as it did reject Christ, and as His Most certainly, in the entire history of the Church, we have seen
Managing Editor Marketing Supervisor followers, we can expect no less. the many sinners and saints within her bosom. She remains holy
In this world that is growing steadily to be a militant secularist not because of her members but because of her Head who is Christ.
Roy Q. Lagarde Ernani M. Ramos
News Editor Circulation Manager and anti-religious environment, we are faced with a number of There were several instances when the Church was at the verge of
choices—to shirk from the challenges to stand up for the Faith so collapse but she never did because Christ sustains her.
Laurence John R. Morales Marcelita Dominguez as to avoid “confrontation,” or to “dialogue” and compromise so as Indeed, there were and there are many abuses in the Church, but
Layout Artist and Online Editor Comptroller to make our Faith still relevant to the present, or to be firm and be it does not “stain” her. The Church was already “stained” by the
labeled as “fanatic,” “closed-minded,” “antiquated.” Blood of Christ and the blood of martyrs, and that makes her holy
The CBCP Monitor is published fortnightly by the CBCP Com- I remember even one saying and writing that although there are and perfected.
munications Development Foundation, Inc., with editorial and official Church teachings, one can read, understand, and interpret What cover-up is to the secular media is the prudent judgment
business offices at 470 Gen. Luna St., Intramuros, Manila.
P.O. Box 3601, 1076 MCPO. them in a “liberal” or “conservative” manner. I imagine some to be of the Church on her members. She does not pass judgment and
Editorial: (063) 404-2182. Business: (063)404-1612. “moderates” in their interpretation of the Church. I never thought imposes penalty in a public manner. She does so silently, as a good
ISSN 1908-2940 there are groupings within the Church. There is only one Church mother does to her erring children.
embracing many charisms therein. One Body of Christ with different Mary / A6
CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 7
March 29 - April 11, 2010
Opinion A5
Jose B. Lugay
Unholy strategies Commentary
Laiko Lampstand during the Holy Week The gathering storm
THE press has made its headlines more sen- the Supreme Court’s decision or they will XVI’s pronouncement regarding politics in By Michael Cook
sational by imputing motives into President be held in contempt of Court. This is the his encyclical, Deus Caritas Est which we MEDIA coverage of sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Eu-
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s recent moves—to political scenario preceding the Holy Week quote: rope is being formatted according to the Watergate template:
run for congress; to appoint the replacement celebration in the Philippines. “The Church cannot and must not take sensational crimes, decades-long cover-ups, dogged reporters,
of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Meantime, in preparation for the rush go- upon herself the political battle to bring denials from official hacks, half-apologies from quivering bu-
even if there is a constitutional prohibition ing home to the provinces during this Holy about the most just society possible. She can-
reaucrats, threads leading to the dark lair of lies and obstruc-
for midnight appointments; to appoint the Week, the security forces were doubled in not and must not replace the State. Yet at the
tion. Only Deep Throat is missing.
AFP Chief closely associated with her and bus terminals while the newly organized Ma- same time she cannot and must not remain
“Abuse Scandal in Germany Edges Closer to Pope” was the
by-passing more senior generals; to snub the rina and Philippine Coast Guard personnel on the sidelines on the fight for justice. She
headline in the New York Times a week ago. The Times has
PNP Chief for vowing he would not support will see to it that there will be no overload- has to play her part through rational argu-
even set up a special blog to track and interpret the unfolding
extending her term. ing in sea vessels going to the provinces. ment and she has to re-awaken the spiritual
The no-election scenario for the failure of The declaration of holidays during the Holy energy without which justice, which always story.
the automated election has brought up the Week as well as the end of classes will surely demands sacrifice, cannot prevail and pros- Day by day, the drumbeat grows louder. Earlier this week
specter of a constitutional impasse—neither be a good occasion to enjoy a tour to the per. A just society must be the achievement the media’s favourite atheist, Christopher Hitchens, bundled
the persons of the Vice-President, the Senate well-advertised vacation resorts in Baguio, of politics, not of the Church. Yet the promo- together a handful of yellowing newspaper clippings and pack-
President, nor the Speaker of the House will Boracay, Bohol, Cebu, Palawan and Mind- tion of justice through efforts to bring about aged it as a sulphurous attack in the on-line magazine Slate:
be in readiness to take over the position of anao. Families of overseas workers with the openness of mind and will, to the demands “The pope’s entire career has the stench of evil about it.”
President since all these positions will be homecoming of their breadwinner who may of the common good, is something which Tomorrow Benedict XVI is to publish a letter to the Irish
vacated by the present occupants whose not opt to go elsewhere but stay home, will concerns the Church deeply. Catholic bishops about the horrendous scandal there. No doubt
terms will have ended. The media reporters surely want to celebrate the “Semana Santa” Referring to these authoritative words of this will prompt more speculation about whether sexual abuse
predict that by that time Gloria Macapagal in the usual way, together with its ornate Pope Benedict XVI, which of the present po- in Germany will be the Pope’s Watergate, about whether he
Arroyo would have won a congressional procession of the Santo Entierro preceded litical parties have platforms that support the will be forced to resign, about whether the Catholic Church
seat in the second district of Pampanga. It by the images of the Mater Dolorosa, Santa common good? We should not be surprised will have to abandon its tradition of clerical celibacy.
is not surprising that newscasters make the Maria Magdalena, Santa Maria Salome, if seven bishops already endorsed the plat- The scandal of clergy who sexually abused children is dia-
conclusion that she would be the next Speak- San Pedro with his rooster, San Juan the form of Ang Kapatiran Party who has spelled bolically real. It has to be confronted humbly and courageously
er of the House of Representatives. All these evangelist, and others. out its political platform in a pamphlet by the bishops who run the Catholic Church. Clergy who are
scenarios and media’s drum- up of the vocif- This Holy Week being a campaign period entitled, “Passport to a New Philippines,” found guilty should be punished. Higher-ups who shielded
erous complaint about the Supreme Court’s for the 2010 election, local candidates will endorsing the decrees of PCP II. Much work them should resign.
opinion that the President may appoint the surely be tempted to distribute their propa- has to be done by the laity active in advocacy There is no doubt that Pope Benedict is ready to take a tough
replacement of Chief Justice Renato Puno, ganda materials among the crowd. Advo- work, not only during the campaign period line on this. After all—contrary to what Hitchens claims—it
has become fodder to the leftist and rightist cacy groups for a clean election will spend for this May 10 elections but also during was he who established clear guidelines and he has enforced
organizations to show force to compel the time to promote their candidates for national the takeover of the Administration by the them sternly. On several occasions he has spoken of the “deep
Supreme Court to reverse its stand. With and local positions. Some lay groups in dif- newly proclaimed winners—President, Vice- shame” he feels at revelations that some priests had betrayed
patience and diplomacy, Atty. Midas Mar- ferent dioceses will organize the conduct of President, Senators, Congressmen and local their calling and preyed upon innocent children. When he
quez, the spokesman of the Supreme Court Holy Retreats and will take this occasion to executives. We have to be ready with our addressed American bishops in 2008 he spoke with a hint of
issued a warning to rabble rousers to respect remind the lay faithful about Pope Benedict scorecards for good governance. sarcasm, quoting their own words to say that the crisis had
been “sometimes very badly handled”.
Fr. Carmelo O. Diola, SSL But it’s important to remember that these scandals relate
to priests who offended decades ago. Wannabee Woodwards

Vote God and Bernsteins are deflecting attention from the crisis that is
happening right now, a crisis from which the media is averting
Spaces of Hope its eyes, just as the bishops did 30 years ago, a crisis in which
they play an active role.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel got it right this week. She
I MUST confess I was not exactly comfortable when I first heard the moments as a movement. denounced sexual abuse of minors as “a despicable crime” but
proposed name to our election campaign: “Vote God.” It sounded Jesus was a great communicator. He used images that people refused to single out the Catholic Church for special criticism.
so out of this world and maybe even escapist. Yet, as the commu- understood and he embodied their deepest aspirations. “Let’s not oversimplify things,” she said. “We need to speak
nication expert on the other side of the table handed over a piece of Elections 2010 offer an opportunity to evangelize politics. A about [changing] the statute of limitations, we can address the
paper with these two words inscribed in it, I saw a man saw serenely Dilaab communication plan will be released today as we call on idea of compensation, but the main issue is that this is a major
convinced about the campaign name. people, both candidates and voters, to choose the way of God challenge for our society.”
Then it slowly dawned on me. If Philippine elections and politics, during elections. The huge, unreported story is that we are in denial about a
as the Catholic bishops had written in 1997, “systematically exclude” We call it our “VOTE GOD” campaign. widespread, deliberate, systemic encouragement of people not
our Christian values, then we indeed need to choose God and the to control their sexuality. It’s as if a health department allowed
way of God during elections. So: “Vote God.” ***** witch doctors and Reiki therapists to edge out surgeons. Or as
My appreciation for this choice has since deepened. These two if a defence department allowed its tanks to rust. Fundamental
words capture succinctly where we presently stand as a movement Some people see a glass either half empty or half full. They are principles of a civilized society like sexual restraint, fidelity
by mirroring where we have been and where we are moving. “Vote either pessimistic or optimistic. I am not one or the other. I see a glass in marriage, and nurturing families, are being undermined.
God” is about an election initiative with God as choice. waiting to be filled to be brim. I am gifted with hope. The mind-numbing list of politicians caught with their pants
God, for sure, is not running for office and no single individual But I am not the only one. down, the tsunami of pornography, sky-rocketing teen sex—all
or even group can claim monopoly of God. But God is in all of us, When one first meets Fr. Virgilio “Ver” Pedrano, one does not get
these are warning bells about the consequences of creating a
through an embedded voice in the depths of human hearts. To obey the impression of a fiery, passionate preacher. He really is not one
hyper-sexualised culture.
this voice is to choose God and the way of God. The challenge is the nor does he need to be one. He leaves the loud histrionics to others.
Just take this week’s announcement by an Australian com-
many voices competing with this voice. It takes moral and spiritual He leads by example which is what really counts. “The modern
pany that it had sold the licensing rights to a testosterone roll-
discernment to sift through these voices; also moral, even spiritual, world no longer listens to teachers. They listen to witnesses. If they
on underarm deodorant to boost men’s flagging sex drive for
courage to choose good and reject evil. do listen to teachers, it is because they also happen to be witnesses,”
US$335 million to pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly.
“Vote God” takes its cue from the remarks of a woman who had Paul VI said something to this effect.
attended the first CiDE (circles of discernment for elections) seminar Fr. Ver is a man, a priest, of hope. And his hope is contagious. Or the news that the International Planned Parenthood Fed-
in a Cebu parish last year. Earlier during the day, she expressed When he was about to experience his first election as parish priest eration recently gave girl scouts a glossy pamphlet encouraging
despondency over politicians and elections. Yet, at the end of the of a mountain parish in Cebu, he thought to himself how sad it is them to have “lots of different ways to have sex and lots of
day she reversed her view: “We can still do something about elec- that the dignity of many of his poor parishioners would once more different types of sex”.
tions. Next year, I will ask all the local candidates: ‘Do you have be trampled upon as a result of vote buying and vote selling. Or the UK government’s new guidelines for sex education
God fearing?’” He decided to do something about it. for children as young as five.
Wrong grammar, but correct hope. He talked with candidates and asked them not to buy votes nor If a priest had suggested these ideas, they would have
do any of its variations. He talked with voters and asked them not been called grooming. And in fact, they are grooming—for a
***** to sell votes. He then preached about it during mass. “Those who lifetime of commercial exploitation. What kind of society are
will not sell or buy votes, God will reward. Those who will sell or we creating if we actively encourage children to treat sex as
When I was a little boy, I had the typical tendency to be choosy buy votes, God will remember,” he put it simply. entertainment and encourage men to remain in a constant state
about my food. My father had a very effective way of dealing with He then organized a candidates’ forum facilitated by a Church- of arousal? Sex is not a toy. Without clear moral standards, it
this defect. based organization. This ended with a covenant signing. is a natural passion which easily becomes an unnatural addic-
He would fire up my imagination by telling me that each food Some strange things began to happen, like local politicians cam- tion. Does anyone seriously believe that in 30 years’ time there
group actually played a critical role in the defense of my body. Rice paigning and, when their rivals happened to pass by, asking the latter will be less sex abuse after giving children classroom lessons
granules, for instance, were foot soldiers ready to engage minute to join them and say something to the gathering crowd. in how to masturbate?
enemies. Eggs were aircraft carriers. Tomatoes were grenades. Ba- A few days prior to elections, the good priest donned his sutana Of all our social institutions, it seems that only the Church
nanas were submarines. So on and so forth. and made the rounds of barangays where he gently reminded people realizes that a crisis is brewing for which we are going to
His approach was indeed convincing. This was my first exposure of their campaign against vote buying and vote selling. pay dearly in the years ahead. As Benedict told American
to a communication plan that changed behavior because it entered One woman “wholesaler” of votes saw Fr. Ver’s figure. She bishops:
the world of its target audience. returned the bagful of money she had received earlier. In all, Children deserve to grow up with a healthy understanding
Dilaab is blessed with very committed volunteers from the world based on interviews with locals, vote buying was reduced by 50 of sexuality and its proper place in human relationships. They
of communications. They advise us on how to focus on a single mes- percent. should be spared the degrading manifestations and the crude
sage and that less is more. They have been with us in our defining Not bad. Hope indeed is contagious. manipulation of sexuality so prevalent today. They have a right
to be educated in authentic moral values rooted in the dignity
Oscar V. Cruz, DD
‘You must love your of the human person... What does it mean to speak of child
protection when pornography and violence can be viewed in

neighbor as yourself’
so many homes through media widely available today?

Views and Points

Contrary to the impression conveyed in the media, the
Catholic Church has been incredibly successful in teaching
(Mt 22:39) its priests how to control and channel their sexuality. There
are 400,000 celibate priests in the world. The number of those
THIS is the lead banner, the battle cry, the Considering that the divine injunction of saying some prayers now and then. The who have been accused of sexual misconduct is a minuscule
centerpiece teaching of Christianity: Love loving one’s neighbor is the moral bundling crooked wealthy and powerful politicians fraction, even though the Pope surely feels that a single failure
your neighbor! In fact, no less than the Lord or the composite of no less than the last seven who draw comfort and even feel proud is too many. True, bishops and priests should rend their gar-
Jesus Himself categorically and clearly said Commandments relevant to man, its hard- for merely throwing some money to the ments in shame for the bestial crimes of their associates. But
that the Ten Commandments themselves hitting and serious-pounding meaning and poor, handling some food to the hungry, that must not keep them from warning the world about the
find their distillation into but two mandates: intent are basically the following—expressed if not simply smiling and waiving his or next abuse crisis.
First, love of God that covers the first three into the exact opposite of love. In other her hands to the crowd. If these cases and
Commandments. Second, love of neighbor words, one does not in any way love but instances mean loving one’s neighbor, then (Michael Cook is editor of MercatorNet. This article is pub-
that incorporates the last seven Command- altogether hate his or her neighbor when: the country would be over-flowing with lished under special arrangement with MercatorNet)
ments. He or she disregards or even despises his sickening love!
Question: What does love of neighbor or her parents.
really mean? It certainly means much more When he or she kills someone particularly Love Life / A4
that simply giving alms to the needy, merely so when this is still in the mother’s womb, Two weeks after, her girl friend called him up at 10 p.m. to go to confession.
providing some medicines for the sick or or somebody who is innocent. When he or saying she was bleeding. He crossed town in a borrowed Men involved in abortion hurt too. Very often, our
doing charitable works now and then—and she engages in stealing, in dishonest deals or car to get to her place and watched as she twisted in pain attention is only on the woman—we condemn her for
other periodic gestures of generosity like fraudulent transactions, or even but coverts until clumps of blood and tissue came out. They saved the “killing her baby”, oblivious of the desperation and
putting a coin in the can held by a beggar. the assets already owned by others. When remains of their “baby” in a bottle and have been keeping confusion she is going through. We generalize and
Yes, these are some expressions of loving he or she engages in promiscuity, fornica- it. Because he had read so many pro-life articles by then shrug off the fathers of those innocent babies—all men
one’s neighbor, but they are far from enough tion or adultery, or even but carnally covets from our website, he knew he had to name the baby. And are alike, just wanting sex and abandoning the woman
and thus fall rather short of what the key anyone not his or her spouse. When he or they both decided it was a baby girl. in her pregnancy.
Christian mandate really means and truly she indulges in telling lies, in engaging in He has the greatest fear right now of how the abortion But Anton is not an exemption in his contrition and
implies. duplicity, in living in hypocrisy, or engages has affected his girl friend, adding to his guilt of having search for healing. A lot of them, in their loneliness and
Furthermore, it is even offensive to the in other dubious and odious transactional turned away from his role as protector and provider— anger escape to addictions, violence, promiscuity or
mandate of love of neighbor to engage in ventures—all of which are contrary to real- the father of the baby. homosexual activities, in their fear of getting a woman
the following or similar supposedly chari- ity and truth. He enters into casual sexual encounters, thus piling pregnant again.
table acts: Handing a peso or two to poor Thus it is that the basic Christian man- up more guilt on his guilt-ridden soul. The Church—priests, pastoral workers, pro-life
children to use them for any propaganda date of loving one’s neighbor is better I could see from the tears in his eyes, his restlessness, advocates—should be more pro-active in extending the
purpose—which is in effect nothing else understood and appreciated—especially and persistence to find someone he could talk to—that he mercy of the Good Shepherd to our brothers and sisters
than exploiting the poor. Giving medi- on the part of the following individuals: was suffering deeply. He did say he felt much relieved involved in abortion; not only to the aborted woman,
cines to a needy community for self-praise Thieves and cheats who frequent certain that he had finally been able to speak about the incident but to the men too, their families, friends, and even to
intention—with proper picture taking, for religious events, and thereafter already fell with someone he could trust, and prayed that his girl the abortion providers. For more information on Post
proper here and there—using however good and holy. Criminals and hoodlums friend would agree to see me soon. I made an appoint- Abortion Healing, contact Pro-life at 733-7027 or life@
public funds. who think everything is all right, after ment with them to an OB doctor, and encouraged them prolife.org.ph.
Local News
CBCP Monitor
A6 Vol. 14 No. 7
March 29 - April 11, 2010

CBCP head warns vs hyping

electoral promises donations from political bets
Church not accepting
THE head of the powerful Catholic Bishops’ “We have to be mature enough as voters. CATHOLIC bishops vowed never to accept donations from
Conference of the Philippines has urged We have to be wise in our choice of candi- politicians who are running in the May 10 elections.
candidates, ahead of the May 10 elections, dates,” said Odchimar. Bishops Martin Jumoad of Basilan, Carlito Cenzon of Baguio
to curb attempts to dupe the people with The CBCP head also noted that the country and Dinualdo Gutierrez of Marbel are one in saying that they
proposals difficult to fulfill. is passing through hard times “but then we will decline any donations from politicians.
Considering the realities of economic must not lose hope.” Jumoad said it’s not proper for the church to accept financial
problems and unemployment, CBCP Presi- “One of the things that give us some vi- donations from political bets at the height of the campaign
dent Bishop Nereo Odchimar said the people sion of brighter future is the opportunity of period.
need viable proposals and not mere electoral this election year that there will be change “I will not accept any donations especially from politicians. It’s
promises. of people in the executive branch and also not right,” said Jumoad over Church-run Radyo Veritas.
“If candidates (in the past elections) only the legislative,” he added. According to Cenzon and Gutierrez, it’s not prudent for the
have the political will to comply with their The collegial body of the bishops earlier church to be accepting money from politicians who are seeking
promises, the Philippines would have been called on the people to be involved in the various government posts.
in a better position now,” said Odchimar of coming automated elections. “We are not going to accept it especially if we know that it
Tandag diocese. “This is an opportunity that we should came from bad sources,” Cenzon said.
He also called on the voters to be “vigi- not miss. We should vote according to our The three bishops made the statement as the Catholic Church
lant” against sweet-tongued politicians and conscience and not be swayed by promises,” prepares for the nationwide celebration of “Alay Kapwa” on
Bishop Nereo Odchimar avoid falling prey to their false promises. Odchimar said. (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews) March 28.

Poll watchdog urges public to report ‘dubious’ party-list groups, nominees

Alay Kapwa is a fund raising campaign program during the
Lenten season for the purpose of helping the needy during
emergency cases and calamities.
ELECTION watchdog Kontra Daya called on the public to report submitted their lists of nominees as of March 22 have nominees The campaign is implemented in all dioceses and requires the
to its hotlines the “dubious” party-list groups and nominees that that cannot claim to represent marginalized and underrepresented Catholic faithful to share their resources, time and talent with
they know of. sectors. their neighbors.
Fr. Joe Dizon, Kontra Daya convener, said exposing the question- The most glaring example, Dizon said, is Ang Galing Pinoy Party- Cardinal Ricardo Vidal of Cebu earlier admitted, however, of
able party-list groups is important in “preventing the bastardization” List, which claims to represent security guards and small business- receiving cash donations from the some politicians who asked
of the party-list system, which is supposedly meant to empower men. Its first nominee is Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” for his blessings.
marginalized and underrepresented sectors. Arroyo, son of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The group’s But the cardinal clarified that the financial contributions he
“These dubious party-list groups and nominees are crowding out second nominee is Dennis Pineda, mayor of Lubao, Pampanga and accepted were for Caritas, the Church’s social action arm, and
the groups that genuinely represent the marginalized and underrep- son of alleged jueteng lord Rodolfo “Bong” Pineda; while the third not for his personal account.
resented,” Dizon said. “Exposing them is an important contribution is Romeo Dungca, mayor of Bacolor, Pampanga. He also emphasized that he does not endorse candidates, say-
to getting them out of the way.” “More than a hundred party-list groups were accredited for the ing he’s preserving his non-partisan status.
The group recently filed before the Commission on Elections a May 2010 elections and most of them have yet to submit their lists Jumoad called on politicians to donate their money directly to
letter to Chairman Jose Melo, seeking the disqualification of the of nominees,” Dizon said. “We should expect more of these cases. other charitable institutions.
following party-list groups: Batang Iwas Droga (BIDA), Adhikain We urge the public to report to Kontra Daya these spurious party- “I challenge them. If they are really sincere in being one with
ng mga Dakilang Anak ng Maharlika (ADAM), Agbiag Timpuyog list groups and nominees.” the Church’s Alay Kapwa (program), they should give help
Ilocano (AGBIAG), Babae para sa Kaunalaran (BABAE KA), League Dizon said Kontra Daya may be reached through their hotline directly to those who are needy,” he said.
of Youth for Peace and Development (LYPAD), and Kalahi Advo- 09213953004 and its e-mail address, kontradaya@gmail.com. Con- Alay Kapwa, the Mindanao bishop said, is a sacred program
cates for Overseas Filipinos (KALAHI). cerned groups and individuals may also visit its website at www. of the Church for the poor. “They should realize that,” he
Dizon also noted that several of the party-list groups that have kontradaya.org. (CBCPNews) added.
Truth / A1 “I am appealing also to our politicians not to use Alay Kapwa
Sex abuse scandal ment to protect children from sexual abuse lished norms of canon law for the crime of to make it appear that they are for the poor,” Jumoad said.
In what some say an orchestrated agenda and weed out past offenders. child abuse," he wrote. (CBCPNews)
against the Church to bring it down and The Canadian Conference of Catholic Father Lombardi said impartial observers
“discredit its moral authority”, media at- Bishops also came out with a statement on would recognize that the pope and the doc-
tack on the pope had been unrelentless
since the sex scandal issue came out.
The sex abuse scandal came at the heels of
March 18 defending the pope against the
unjust accusations hurled at him.
Meanwhile, New York Archbishop Timo-
trinal congregation are continuing to guide
bishops and help them "combat and root out
the blight of abuse wherever it appears."
Bishop slams media reports
a detailed report of the study of an indepen-
dent commission in Ireland that documented
cases of abuse committed by the clergy that
thy Dolan said Pope Benedict is suffering
“some of the same unjust accusations, shouts
of the mob, and scourging of the pillar, as
The pope's strongly worded letter to Irish
Catholics earlier this month demonstrated
his commitment to "healing, renewal and
on poll failure, military junta
spanned 60 years. did Jesus.” reparation" in the church, he said. A CATHOLIC bishop has
Also this month, news report came out lost his cool due to “irre-
about a German priest accused of molest- No cover up ‘Cleanup’ sponsible” media reports
ing boys who worked in the Archdiocese of The Vatican has rejected claims that the Cardinal Walter Kasper, for his part, concerning the adverse
Munich and Freising, which then Cardinal pope covered up sex abuse by priests and admitted that the Catholic leadership had scenario of the May 10
Ratzinger headed. praising him as a leader determined to com- on occasion maintained stillness over sex automated elections.
Another story of a Wisconsin priest who bat scandals challenging the Church. abuse cases. Bayombong Bishop Ra-
was also involved in a sex abuse scandal, but In recent years, the pope has taken steps to The top Vatican official, however, de- mon Villena said reports
happened a long time ago likewise surfaced. combat such abuses by meeting and apolo- fended the pontiff, saying Benedict XVI “was like poll cheating and mili-
The priest has long since died. gizing to victims. the first one who—already as a cardinal felt tary junta takeover in case
Just very recently, the 83-year old pontiff the need for new, harsher rules.” of failure of elections have
In defense of the pope said he was “truly sorry” for the church’s Media attacks on the pope go "beyond any resulted to “unwanted
Some European and American prelates mishandling of widespread sexual abuse by limit of justice and loyalty," Kasper told Cor- speculations” about what
have defended the Holy Father against in- priests in Ireland that surfaced years ago. riere della Sera (Evening Courier), an Italian may happen after the elec-
sinuations of Vatican “cover-up” of the issue, In what appears to be his first pastoral daily newspaper. tions.
saying that the Church has not been negli- letter on the scandals, the pope said clergy- Kasper then urged for a cleanup within the “Because of this, some Bishop Ramon Villena
gent in “supporting and orienting the epis- men guilty of sex abuse should be held ac- church, adding that church officials must be people are confused and are focusing their attention on these
copates in combating and uprooting abuses countable for their crimes before “properly more aggressive in dealing with sex abuse speculations rather than information regarding how to go about
wherever they manifest themselves." constituted tribunals.” cases. the new system of voting,” Villena lamented.
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, direc- "Openly acknowledge your guilt, submit "We need a culture of attentiveness and The bishop then called on the media to be “prudent” in
tor of Vatican Radio, said, "the directives yourselves to the demands of justice, but do courage, and a housecleaning," said Kasper,
disseminating information and not become conduits of “un-
for the correct handling and prevention of not despair of God's mercy," he said. also a German.
founded news” which are sowing “seeds of fear” to many
abuses have been reemphasized, updated In the letter Benedict XVI also harshly criti- The Vatican officials said the pope’s letter
and renewed in Germany, Austria, Australia, cized the Irish Catholic bishops’ hierarchy in to the Ireland’s Catholic hierarchy alone is
“We appeal that we must extend a solid and urgent stop to
and Canada." dealing with the allegations. a strong indication that the church is not
Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nich- “You and your predecessors failed, at only equipped—it is an indication that the this irresponsible, damaging and detrimental spread of this scary
ols also stated the Church’s firm commit- times grievously, to apply the long-estab- pontiff is willing. and threatening bad news,” he said.
Villena made the statement Thursday after Caloocan Bishop
Mary / A4 Deogracias Iniguez said that some members of the clergy may
What I find unacceptable is see in the blogs and commentaries Church’s leaders and members. Paul II. I was able to accompany join mass actions in the event of scuttled elections.
what some secular media abroad of some of our countrymen, to do For indeed, as St. Paul rightly my Bishop since I was a seminar- “This (event) is one of those instances when people would
are doing, forcefully linking away with “organized religion,” asserts, where sin has abounded, ian then in Rome. When it was need guidance from us,” said Iñiguez who also chairs the Public
the person of the Holy Father what counts is one’s personal grace has abounded all the more. our turn to greet the Holy Father, Affairs Committee of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the
to these scandals, claiming his belief in God, they opined. Christ will never abandon His I had the opportunity to speak Philippines.
inaction and cover-up during his I do not blame them, probably Church. She was founded upon to him a little. I then said, Holy He also said the statements made by Malacañang officials in
time as Archbishop of Munich we in the Church are also at fault. the Rock who is Peter, human like Father I am a poor and sinful playing up the scenario of a military takeover in the event of poll
(Germany). But the Church is more than her us, a sinner like us, but a saint in seminarian, but I offer my life for failure are not helping President Arroyo.
Then immediately in this one members. The mistakes of her the end. Like St. Peter, we live Your Holiness and for the Holy The prelate added that it is up to each members of the
very famous international cable members and leaders ideally and struggle and will be victori- Mother Church. He then briefly CBCP to decide whether to join another popular revolt.
channel, repeated newscast or should not affect the Church, ous in the middle of this world. gazed at me and blessed me. (CBCPNews)
documentary on so-called Church but we live in the middle of This will be the first time that I hope, in our hearts and in
abuses. The same documentary the world. And in this world, I consign this into writing. A our prayers, you would join me
over and over again, and sudden- whether we like it or not, hu- grave sinner I was and a grave in that filial love towards the Collection / A1
ly, an interview with a supposed man imperfections turn off and sinner I am. I remember in Feb- Holy Father, Sinful and miser- Caritas Manila.
philosopher but admitted atheist scandalize many. ruary of 1997, when the Philip- able that I am, Holy Father, I “This fund is used in times of major crises like we experienced
asserting that we should do away But whenever there are crises pine Bishops had their ad limina renew my offering of my life for [during typhoon] Ondoy. We were also able to extend help to Haiti
with religion in finding our moral in the Church, it is when the Lord with the Holy Father, then the Your Holiness and for the Holy through this program of Caritas,” the cardinal said.
compass. Such assertions I often raises up many saints among the Servant of God, the Great John Mother Church. Rosales said Alay Kapwa Sunday is designated to raise funds for
social services and programs for the less fortunate.
Funded / A1 Spanish / A2 “Alay Kapwa Sunday has always been about the less fortunate.
port eight million dollars worth of condom only shows them,” she said. “It makes me proud and several other students are meeting But with the seriousness of the climate crisis and these calamities,
there’s truth in our previous exposés about the big that we here in western South Dakota when time allows. we, all of us, become the less fortunate,” he cited.
chunk of money that is being given to our country by are trying to minister to the Hispanic “It’s wonderful to watch the English A Lenten evangelization program of the Philippine Catholic
international community like the U.S.,” she said. people who are in the diocese.” speaking people (who also speak Span- Church, Alay Kapwa was instituted in 1975 by the Catholic Bishops
Acosta noted that Global Fund is giving 33 million dollars Ester Meza, a parishioner at St. Rose ish) being able to welcome others,” Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
while European Union is giving 33 million euros among of Lima Church, Hill City, said, “Hav- said Deacon Daniel. The program is now being implemented by the National Secre-
others to the Philippines for the condom distribution. ing Mass (in the Spanish language) Another project the task force mem- tariat for Social Action (NASSA) as part of “its commitment to bring
But the Executive Director said Global Fund has held means people are sharing their kind- bers hope to implement is adult faith out a society enlivened by the Gospel values of justice, peace and
the release of the money because the group has discov- ness, they are opening the doors for us formation classes. “In my background, love for our less fortunate brothers and sisters.”
ered that the money is being used on corruption instead to bring in our culture.” I was taught very little about the faith,” “As we make our offering, let us pray that God spares us from such
of condom distribution. Their culture includes the Spanish explained Deacon Daniel. “If I think calamities and disasters, and for God to rule our hearts,” he said.
Meanwhile, Acosta has also condemned the sudden language. “They are not in their na- about that and how it can happen in He also asked them to seek for God’s wisdom choosing the right
approval of President Gloria Arroyo of the eight-million tive country and they struggle with the United States, think about how leaders the upcoming May elections.
budget for condom distribution. the English language,” said Father little education people in a third world “We must also pray that we, as a people, select leaders who will
She said the hefty amount could have been used Korban. country would receive. They have never compromise the environment for economic gains, leaders who
instead to provide genuine livelihood opportunity and The English as a Second Language even less information about the faith can help protect and nurture what little we have left, leaders who
construct houses for the poor. program was tried in Hill City using a than we do. we can depend on in times of calamities and disasters.”
Acosta then reminded the general public not to vote for traditional classroom model. When it “It is a scary thought to me to have Rosales said the Lenten season also provides an opportune time
candidates who are supporting the reproductive health became evident that style of teaching people whose entire nationality is to reflect on one’s share of responsibility towards caring the envi-
bill and artificial contraception. was not working, plans were made to rooted in Catholicism and we do not ronment.
“They should never vote for them because it could be begin one-on-one classes at Blessed reach out as much as we can. There “The season of lent gives us the opportunity to reflect on our
a disaster to all Filipino people,” she said. (Kate Laceda/ Sacrament Church. Currently, eleven is a tremendous need out there.” lives. It is also a time to reflect on how we have served as stewards
CBCPNews) students meet once a week for classes (CNA) of God’s creation,” he said. (Kate Laceda/CBCP News)
Diocesan News
CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 7
March 29 - April 11, 2010

Briefing Eco group urges

a spartan Holy
Comelec urged anew to cleanse voters’ roll
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—To ensure a credible May 10 elec-
tions, the Commission on Elections must double or even triple
its efforts in cleansing the voters’ roll, a prominent Maranao
advocate of good governance said. Hadji Abdullah Lacs Dalidig,
chairman of the Islamic Movement on Electoral Reform and
Good Governance, said that the first step to ensure the May 10

Week observance
elections to be credible, clean and honest is to make sure that the
list voters all over the country is clean. (Bong D. Fabe)

Marbel to host the 19th Summer Bible Institute

COTABATO CITY—The Diocese of Marbel will be hosting the
19th Summer Bible Institute (SBI) at the Christ the King Spiritual
Center in Koronadal City on April 19-22, 2010. Organized by the QUEZON CITY—As the Catholic church ushers in the obser- mittee of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, has
CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Bible Apostolate, the activity vance of Holy Week, an environmental group urged people for praised the group’s green Lent advocacy.
aims to intensify the religious formation of the participants on a more frugal celebration that will not “I appreciate the EcoWaste Coalition’s
liturgy, sacred scriptures and the Bible. (Kate Laceda) cause further environmental stress and effort to promote awareness about the link
degradation. between faith and nature and I join them
The EcoWaste Coalition, a network of in requesting the faithful to observe an eco-
Set aside politics in naming chief justice, Arroyo told
some 100 groups working for Zero Waste simple Lent as we are all morally-bound to
TAGBILARAN CITY—A Catholic bishop called on President
and for environmental health, called on respect and protect the integrity of God’s
Arroyo to set aside political interests and be “responsible” in
the faithful to live simply during the Holy Creation. Let’s do our part and start living
appointing the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Bishop
Week and give up non-essentials not only simply and sustainably,” Iñiguez stated.
Leonardo Medroso said there should be no other consideration
for spiritual benefits but physical and eco- The group has come up with a list of sug-
in picking the next SC chief but “for the good of the justice sys-
logical as well. gestions the faithful can adopt and put into
tem and the Filipino people.” (CBCPNews)
Eileen Sison, an official of the Coalition practice not only during the Holy Week but
said the Lenten season offers a fitting even beyond.
‘PGMA under pressure in condom distribution’
time to reflect on God’s creation and gift Some options include giving up or fasting
LIPA CITY—Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, Vice Chair- of life. from food and other non-essentials and give
man of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, “The Holy Week, in particular, offers money saved to favorite charity; donate
said President Arroyo might be under pressure in her decision a week-long opportunity for us to avoid used books or clothing; reduce trash and
to support the distribution of condoms. Arguelles said that wasteful activities that fritter away re- sustain a healthy lifestyle.
“most of the time monetary consideration is the cause why sources and defile Mother Nature with “Above all, honor the Crucified Christ
our leaders follow the immoral dictate of the foreign people.” trash,” added Sison who is also the NGO by deliberately stripping away old habits
(Kate Laceda) Representative to the National Solid Waste and attitudes that continue to destroy the

© Noli Yamsuan / RCAM

Management Commission. environment and our social fabric, and
Sorsogon prelate advises Cabral to reflect this Lent “It is a time to simplify, strip down and resurrect as a more caring and respon-
SORSOGON CITY—Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes advised give up what we really do not need,” she sible Earthchild,” Marie Marciano of the
Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral who is leading the distribu- added. Sanib-Lakas ng mga Aktibong Lingkod
tion of contraceptives to meditate especially this Season of Lent. Kalookan Bishop Deogracias Iniguez, ng Inang Kalikasan (SALIKA) pointed out.
“During Lent, we are asked to renew our lives by more intense who is also head of the Public Affairs Com- (CBCPNews)
prayer, acts of penance by mortifications, give alms through

Bets urged to fulfill covenant or ‘forfeit soul’

charitable acts and meditate on the laws of God but Cabral
here is promoting immorality,” he said. Bastes said it is good
for Cabral to live with the teachings of the Church by conven-
ing programs that is in accordance to the Church’s principles.
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—An official line since you signed the covenant in the spearheaded the covenant signing, said that
(Kate Laceda)
of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the presence of God and His people.” candidates are not legally bound to do what
Philippines has urged candidates “to do Abacahin urged the candidates to listen to they signed.
CBCP officer claims ulamas’ fatwa to affect poll results all within their power” to fulfill what they their conscience and do all they can in fulfill- “But I am appealing to them to fulfill what
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—The recent fatwa declaration of promised when they signed the peace cov- ment of their responsibilities and duties as they promised in the covenant,” he said.
the Bangsamoro Supreme Council of Ulama in the Philippines enant or “forfeit their souls.” stated in the peace covenant they signed. Both Abacahin and Lerio appealed on the
against former president Joseph Estrada, Sen. Manuel Roxas III Msgr. Elmer Abacahin, executive secre- “Because you made a promise, you must candidates to avoid using “uncivilized and
and former senator Franklin Drilon will greatly affect the out- tary of the CBCP’s Office on Basic Ecclesial exert efforts that you fulfill it,” he said. undemocratic” methods during the cam-
come of the May 10 elections, a priest said. “The religious edict Communities, reminded the candidates thus: At least 80 percent of the 75 candidates paign just to score a few points against their
issued by the Ulamas has a very big implication to the voters “Because you here signed the covenant to make the May rivals to avoid precipitating trouble among
especially since there are many presidential candidates. It will have given 10 elections clean, peaceful and orderly im- their supporters.
divide the voters,” CBCP Basic Ecclesial Communities executive yourselves, mediately after the mass at the Our Lady of Abacahin said that legally, the candidates
secretary Msgr. Elmer Abacahin said. (Bong D. Fabe) including Fatima Parish in Camaman-an village re- cannot be “forced” to fulfill their promises
your soul cently in the presence of Archbishop Antonio stated in the covenant but “in terms of moral
Movement launched to counteract ‘culture of death’ since you Ledesma and Fr. Nathaniel Lerio, head of the principles, it is binding in conscience.”
MANILA—In an effort to counteract the ‘culture of death’ that were in the election watchdog Parish Pastoral Council “They are wooing our votes because they
is slowly encroaching the minds and lifestyle of the people, presence of for Responsible Voting. want to serve us. And at the end of the day,
particularly the youth, a movement called Filipino Families God, you “The inner voice of conscience is the voice this will return to them, unless of course if
for Life was launched at the Manila Cathedral, Intramuros, on must fulfill of God. So much more that they signed the their conscience is calloused,” he said.
March 24. The movement aims to unite all Filipinos, groups, what you covenant inside the Church immediately All the promises they made in the covenant
organizations, prayer communities, and parishioners through- have signed. after the mass, this only means that they “will be made known in the way they cam-
out the country to come together and be united in rejecting the Remember have made that promised in the presence of paign,” he stressed, adding: “It is one thing
‘culture of death’ through prayer and other spiritual activities. that you have God,” Abacahin said. to signify, to write on paper but it is another
(Kate Laceda) put your Lerio, who is also head of the Archdioc- thing to make it concrete and spell it out in the
Msgr. Elmer Abacahin souls on the esan Good Governance Apostolate, who daily translation to action.” (Bong D. Fabe)
Watchdog urges conduct of mock elections
QUEZON CITY—Election watchdog Kontra Daya challenged
the Comelec to dispel fears of a failure of elections by conduct-
ing mock elections. Kontra Daya convener Fr. Joe Dizon said
No shortage of priests in Eastern Samar – bishop
if there is so much apprehension about a possible failure of BORONGAN, Eastern Samar— cese of Borongan’s 30 churches some 68 million Catholics. which covers the dioceses of
elections, it is because the conditions warrant for it at present. Roman Catholic Churches here are have around 80 diocesan and According to the Catholic Bish- Antipolo, Imus, Malolos, Para-
“Among these are the persistent problems of ballot rejection keeping their pulpits filled better religious priests and more than ops’ Conference of the Philippines, ñaque, San Pablo, Taytay, Cu-
and failure to transmit results in field tests and mock polls,” he than any regions of the country. 150 seminarians in training. the ideal ratio should be one priest bao, Kalookan, Novaliches,
said. (CBCPNews) Across the nation there is a “The number of priests is not per 2,000 parishioners. Pasig and Puerto Princesa, will
shortage of priests, but the Dio- really a problem (in our diocese) But in metropolitan Manila need as many pastors as it can
because we have enough voca- alone, the ratio is one priest to churn out.
tions,” Borongan Bishop Crispin 20,000 parishioners. Varquez said the influx of
Varquez said. The Archdiocese of Manila, Catholics, which now stands
Varquez said there are at least at around 400,000, has helped
144 seminarians in the diocese, bring many young men who are
and 15 more studying in Manila interested to becoming priests in
and Palo, Leyte. his diocese.
“Last December, at least four “The only problem we have is
were ordained priests,” he said. the financial aspect of our semi-
“Also, another four seminarians narians due to lack of benefac-
are now preparing themselves tors,” he said.
for diaconate ordination by June “…But we are trying to help
or July.” them in the best we can so that
The Catholic hierarchy cited in the financial aspect wouldn’t
2004 that there is a serious short- be much of a problem in their
age of priests in the country, and seminary formation,” he added.
at least 25,000 are needed to serve Bishop Crispin Varquez (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews)

May They Be One Bible Campaign

Help Put a Bible in Every Filipino Home
“We had distribution
of more than 60 Ilocano MTBO PRAYER IN ILOCANO
MTBO Bibles to the poor people of Barangay Para-
tong, Vigan City. It’s the adopted barangay of Divine M – aaramid koma nga ayatenmi ti Saom, O Apo.
Word College of Vigan Elementary Department. For T – ignayenna kami a dumngeg ken agbiag a kas mayannurot
four consecutive Saturdays we conducted Bible iti Saom.
Awareness Seminar. They had their graduation on B – endisyonam Apo, dagiti mangiwaragawag iti Saom.
February 27. The people were so happy to own a O – ngapem dagiti pusomi tapno nabuslon koma iti itutulong mi
Bible and they promised to make use of them and
we promised to make follow ups too!” (Fr. Jaimelito
tapno ad-adupay dagiti makaawat ti naisurat a Saom.
“Heart” Gealan, SVD)
Pangasinense (2,010 cps.)
No. of Dioceses participating in the Bible Campaign: 65 out Target Coverage of Bible Distribution for April-June 2010
of 86 Dioceses (based on orders received):
Bible Distribution (Jan 2010 – Mar 24, 2010) Dipolog, Naval (Leyte), Zamboanga, Manila, Ipil (Davao del
Total Bibles distributed: 38,067 cps. (Jan - 11,896 cps; Feb – Sur), Lingayen, Davao, Pagadian, Butuan, Digos, Mati,
14,110 cps; Mar – 12,061 cps.) San Fernando (Pampanga), Borongan, Ozamis, Marbel,
Parishes/Communities served: 125 Paranaque, San Pablo (Laguna) , Cagayan de Oro, Imus,
Bibles Distributed by Languages: Tagalog (12,757 cps.), Marawi and Cubao
Cebuano (8,749 cps.), Ilocano (5,142 cps.), English Total Bible Distribution: (Jan 2009- Mar 24, 2010): 132,325
(3,622 cps.), Bicol (3,320 cps.), Hiligaynon (2,467 cps.), cps
Target No. of Bibles for Distribution for 2010: 200,000 cps.
Total Funds Needed for Printing of Bibles in 2010: P30M
(Funds raised as of March 19: P1.392M)

Support the May They Be One Bible Campaign and help

bring God’s Word to more Filipino homes. Your contribution
of at least P150/month will enable poor families to have their
own Bibles they can read, study and pray. For more Campaign
info-visit, email or call ECBA – Fr. Oscar Alunday, 470 Gen.
Luna St., Intramuros, Mla. Telefax no. 5279386; ecba_cbcp@
yahoo.com; www.ecba-cbcp.com; PBS-Mrs. Perry Cartera/
Mrs. Juliet Rivera at 890 UN Ave., Ermita Mla.; perry@
bible.org.ph;juliet@bible.org.ph; www.bible.org..ph Tel. nos.
5215785/5267777 loc. 600, Fax No. 5215803; 09178590019
/09156727492 /09182802775
A8 People, Facts & Places CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 7
March 29 - April 11, 2010

Filipinos celebrate Year

for Priests with pope
AROUND 200 Filipino priests, religious and seminarians in Rome and from other parts of Italy
attended the audience with His Holiness Benedict XVI at St. Peter’s Square on March 24.
Her Excellency Mercedes A. Tuason and staff members of the Philippine Embassy to the Holy
See had organized the activity as part of the celebration of the Year for Priests.
His Eminence Jose Cardinal Sanchez, former prefect of the Congregation of the Clergy also
attended the event. Cardinal Sanchez celebrated his 90th birthday last 17 March.
Filipino flags were prominently displayed and waved by members of the group as they made
their way to St. Peter’s Square from the Philippine Embassy to the Holy See. The Filipinos were
given seats in the special section on the stage nearest to the chair of the Pope, which brought
much consolation to all.
In his catechesis during the audience, the Holy Father spoke about Saint Albert the Great: “Saint
Albert shows us that faith is not opposed to reason, and that the created world can be seen as a
‘book’ written by God and capable of being ‘read’ in its own way by the various sciences.”
The Holy Father concluded his message in English by welcoming all the English-speaking
visitors, “especially a group of priests, religious and seminarians from the Philippines”. He also
invoked God’s abundant blessings on all who were present, and extended his blessings to their
families, especially children, the sick and suffering.
The Filipinos enthusiastically clapped and waved Filipino flags upon being acknowledged

Contributed photo
by the Pope. The Pope, reacting to the shouts of the Filipino contingent, turned a smiling face
to the Filipinos and opened widely his arms in welcome.
A festive lunch at the embassy followed after the Papal Audience.
For the Filipino priests, religious and seminarians in Rome, their participation in the Papal
Filipinos waved Philippine flaglets enthusiastically as the pope’s mobile passed their midst at St. Peter’s Square during the audience Audience was truly a graced experience of communion with our Holy Father and with each
on March 24. other during this Year for Priests. (Fr. Jose V.C. Quilongquilong, S.J.)

Pro-life couple represent Filipino youth in Rome

A YOUNG couple from the Couples for Christ-Foundation for Fam- Office, and Dr. Zenaida Rotea of the CBCP Office on Women. periences of Catholic youths in other parts of the globe.
ily and Life (CFC-FFL) and Pro-life Philippines have represented the “We felt so blessed, privileged and also humbled for being chosen “We expect to understand the situation of other Catholic youths in
Filipinos at the 10th International Youth Forum in Rome. to represent the Filipino youth, which is already a big responsibility different countries, especially those from places where Catholicism
Xavier and Dester Padilla joined some 200 individuals and couples by itself. I’m sure the judges saw that our involvement in the com- is not the majority religion. We’d like to know how they are able
who attended the Vatican-sponsored forum themed “Learning to munity makes our experience holistic enough for us to merit their to live up their faith despite the hurdles imposed on them. Those
Love,” held from March 24 to 28 at the Mondo Migliore Center in preference,” Xavier said. stories will certainly inspire us,” she said.
Rocca di Papa in Italy. In the forum organized by the Pontifical Council for the Laity, the The Padillas, together with the rest of the delegates, had a private
Xavier, 34, and Dester, 31, are married for four years and are par- Padillas shared their experiences as a young Catholic couple and audience with the Holy Father on March 27.
ents to three-year-old Sabine and one-year-old Aida. Xavier is the also as youth leaders to the rest of the delegates coming from all When asked earlier what they would tell the Pope if they will be
son of CFC-FFL Servant General Frank Padilla and his wife Gerry, over the globe. They also shared their opinions about the ups and given the rare chance to speak with him, Xavier and Dester momen-
who were re-appointed members of the Pontifical Council for Family downs of married life. tarily became speechless.
by Pope Benedict XVI himself. “As a couple, we both think that the problems in our society all boil “Perhaps, I’ll cry,” Xavier confessed. “But I will certainly tell the
The Padillas were among the four couples that underwent rigor- down to the problems of the youth. As such, we will share about our Holy Father that the Filipino youth is solidly behind him, supporting
ous screening and selection process of the Episcopal Commission on realization on the importance of good family relations and parenting him despite the controversies he is facing right now.”
Youth of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. as parts of attending to the ills of the society,” Xavier said, referring “I will tell the Holy Father to continue becoming as a beacon of
Among the judges of the screening process were Fr. Conegundo to the world-renowned Filipino value of close family ties. hope, especially to the youth, in the same manner that the Catholic
Garganta of CBCP-ECY, Msgr. Pedro Quitorio III of the CBCP Media For her part, Dester said she expected to learn a lot from the ex- faith remains as the light of the world,” Dester said.
Both Xavier and Dester Padilla are officers of Youth Pinoy, a

Thousands protest condom use

newly-formed organization with a tall order of evangelizing the
world through the internet. (Kris Bayos)

THOUSANDS of anti-condom demonstra- He also said that he believes the gov-
tors gathered in at least eight Philippine ernment should not enforce what couples
cities to protest what a Catholic Church should decide on family planning.
official described as a “grand conspiracy “I believe that couples should be left to
against life.” make their own decisions,” said Lim.
Organizers’ head Alonzo Tan said that Officials of the Roman Catholic Church,
“we have to admit that using condoms is meanwhile, reiterated that condom use is
equal to legalizing free sex.” not the solution to AIDS. AWARDED. Congregation of the Reli-
“The primary issue here is the value of Msgr. Pedro Quitorio, media office direc- gious of the Good Shepherd or Good
life… the beginning of life which is at the tor of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Shepherd Sisters (RGS) for its pastoral
conception and the cradle of life which is Philippines said that condom promotion is work on women and children by Zonta In-
ternational, February 24, 2010. Sr. Amelia
marriage,” he said. happening in many countries David, RGS provincial treasurer and Sr.
The government’s health department has Aside from promoting sexual promiscuity, Teresa Danganan, novice directress, ac-
recently increased condom distribution as he said the contraceptive also gives the per- cepted the plaque of recognition on behalf
part of its strengthened campaign to stop son the false security that they are protected, of the congregation during the awarding
ceremony by Zonta International, Area 1,
spread of AIDS and prevent unwanted hence; sexual activity increases. District 17, at the Top of the Citi, Citibank
pregnancies. He pointed out the experience of several Tower, Paseo de Roxas, Makati City. Founded in 1919 in New York, Zonta
© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

DOH Secretary Esperanza Cabral said they countries that saw the exponential rise of International is an organization that advances the status of women world-
have purchased 250,000 pieces of condoms for AIDS cases when they started using con- wide through service and advocacy. Organizers said RGS was chosen by
distribution and used money from the US$8 dom. 13 clubs and 350 members of Zonta’s Area 1 “as an outstanding institution
working for the advancement of women and children.” A short presentation
million it received from the Global Fund for Quoting Edward Green who wrote a book showcasing the works and ministry of the Good Shepherd congregation,
the country’s anti-AIDS campaign. on AIDS prevention, Quitorio said “The large both apostolic and contemplative was shown during the awards night. The
She said they have spent P375,000 to medical solutions funded by major donors award, incidentally, came propitiously as the congregation prepares for its
P500,000 for the procurement of condoms have had little impact in Africa, the hardest centennial of Philippine foundation on October 4, 2012.
coming from the Global Fund. hit by AIDS. Instead, relatively simple, low- INAUGURATED. Lipa Archdiocesan Pastoral Center,
At least 3,000 people had taken part in way of airing their opposition against the cost behavioral change program—stressing February 15, 2010 at Sabang, Lipa City. Archbishop
the protest march from Intramuros to Rajah Reproductive Health bill and the use of increased monogamy and delayed sexual Ramon Arguelles led the simple rites of blessing the
Sulayman Park in Manila on Saturday morn- contraceptives. activity for young people—have made the new pastoral center situated at the former convent
of the Missionary Catechists of the Sacred Heart.
ing, police said. Before the march, a Mass was held at the greatest headway in fighting or preventing The new pastoral center houses the offices of
The demonstration was organized by the San Agustin Church. the disease’s spread.” the Lipa Archdiocesan Commission on Missions
Knights of Columbus – Philippines, the big- Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim was among Tan said simultaneous rallies were also and Migrants, Commission on Family and Life,
gest organization of Catholic men with over those who joined the rally. According to Lim, held in Baguio, Bayombong, Tuguegarao, Archdiocesan Commission on Youth, Lipa Archdioc-
esan Social Action Center, Archdiocesan Confraternity
250,000 members across the country. he is a Catholic and it’s just right to follow Tarlac, San Fernando (Pampanga), Tacloban, of Christian Doctrine, Lipa Archdiocesan Divine Mercy
Demonstrators said the rally was their the teachings of the church. Cebu, Iloilo, Davao. (CBCPNews) Apostolate, BEC office and Pondong Batangan Commu-
nity Foundation, Incorporated.

Segunda Mana helps Youth leaders aim to preserve Filipino heritage LAUNCHED. Philippine Acad-
emy for Liturgical Research
by Filipino liturgists, March 8,

fund Caritas programs

AT least 100 youth leaders from all of Legaspi will celebrate the welcome 2010, Arzobispado de Manila,
over the country are set to gather late Mass to be held at the Our Lady of Intramuros. The academy
next month in a youth camp to discuss the Gate Parish in Daraga, Albay. was organized to provide a
the importance of preserving heritage Fr. Harold Ll. Rentoria, National venue for Filipino liturgists to
THE proceeds of the Segunda Mana Charity Store will gather annually for two days,
help fund the various social services program of Caritas Churches and other cultural treasures Commission for Culture and the Arts
and discuss liturgical research
Manila. so vital in enhancing one’s faith. (NCCA) commissioner and chairman through scholarly exchange. In
This was the assurance of Fr. Anton Pascual, Executive Those expected to attend the of the National Heritage Month Fes- his speech during the launching, Fr. Anscar Chupungco, OSB, the CBCP
Director of Caritas Manila, during the launching of the event include representatives from tival 2010 Steering Committee, will Executive Secretary of the Commission on Liturgy, said the annual gather-
the churches declared as UNESCO also grace the event along with other ing would give liturgists the opportunity to “share and discuss their thesis,
Segunda Mana Charity Store, March 18. particularly its methodology, bibliography and conclusion.” The Academy
Pascual said that the sales production will help pro- World Heritage Sites and National provincial and local government of- has at present 30 enlisted members who have academic degrees of doc-
vide additional funds for the scholarship and youth Cultural Treasures and other del- ficials of Albay. torate, licence or master in liturgy. Fr. Genaro Diwa, chairman of Manila’s
leadership programs as well as for prison ministry. egates from Luzon, Visayas, and The Angat Kabataan Camp 2010 Commission on Liturgy is the Academy’s president and convenor. Other
Mindanao. is made possible through the help of liturgists who helped in the establishment of the academy were Dean
“Fifty percent of the proceeds will go to the scholar- Josefina Manabat and Fr. Virgilio Hernandez. His Eminence, Gaudencio
ship program, 25 percent for preventive health and 25 Dubbed Angat Kabataan 2010, the the NCCA, Filipino Heritage Festival Cardinal Rosales also attended the launching.
percent for the restorative justice,” he said. youth camp and heritage tour will be Inc., the Catholic Bishops Confer-
Pascual cited that “one of the projects of Caritas is edu- held from April 30 to May 4 in differ- ence of the Philippines–Permanent DIED. Fr. Joseph A. Galdon, SJ, 82, at the Jesuit
ent venues in Legaspi City, Albay. Committee for Cultural Heritage, Residence Infirmary, March 15, 2010. A prominent
cation because it is the best way to poverty alleviation Jesuit professor and author, Fr. Galdon was born
and apart from that there are also health and livelihood The event is being organized by the Augustinians in the Philippines, September 24, 1928. He entered the Jesuit’s
programs for the urban poor families.” the Society of Ecclesiastical Archi- the Diocese of Legaspi, and the Uni- Novitiate in New York on July 30, 1946 after high
He added that Segunda Mana has already contributed vists of the Philippines, Inc. under versity of Santo Tomas–Center for school. In 1950, he came to the Philippines and
the auspices of CBCP Committee on Conservation of Cultural Property finished his AB and MA in Philosophy first at
to the Ondoy and Pepeng relief and rehabilitation pro- Sacred Heart Novitiate and later at Berchmans
grams recently to financially aid the victims of Haiti. Cultural Heritage in celebration of and Environment in the Tropics. College in Cebu City. He taught Latin, English and
For his part, Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Ro- the Heritage Month 2010. Themed “Preserving the Gift of Religion at Ateneo de Manila High School from 1953-
sales said the event is indeed “multiplying a lot of goodness” The event will feature a seminar- Faith”, the celebration is in lieu with 56 while doing his Regency. He went on to Woodstock
workshop with the foremost cultural Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s College, Maryland to study Theology from 1956-60. He was ordained to
to other people particularly to the urban poor families. the priesthood on June 20, 1959 by Cardinal Francis Spellman at Ford-
Segunda Mana is a charity in kind. It is sharing the heritage expert in the country Prof. proclamation No. 439, declaring the
ham University. In 1965, he completed his Ph.D in English/Comparative
blessings to help end poverty. Eric Zerrudo, audio-visual presenta- month of May as the National Heri- Literature at Columbia University. Fr. Galdon returned to the Philippines in
The store sells at very cheap prices various items from tions about the 33 churches declared tage Month. 1965 and taught English and Latin in the Jesuit Juniorate at Sacred Heart
clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, office equipment and by the United Nations Educational, Additional information on the Novitiate and Loyola House of Studies. From 1968 to 2003, he worked in
Scientific and Cultural Organization upcoming event can be obtained various capacities at the Ateneo de Manila University, serving as Dean of
books. These second-hand goods were collected from College of Arts and Sciences, Chair of Department of English, Rector of the
generous donors. (UNESCO) as National Cultural from Ms. Beverly Macayan at 0939- Jesuit Residence, Editor of Philippine Studies, and Director of Admission
Caritas Manila is the social arm of the Archdiocese of Treasures in the Philippines, and a 4047184, Telefax No. +63-2-4061611 and Aid. Regarded as an exceptional English professor to generations of
Manila and the integrator of the Church’s social services heritage tour in Albay in the Bicol local 4059 or through ust_cccpet@ Ateneans and Jesuit scholastics, Fr. Galdon will also be remembered as
region. yahoo.com/cccpet@mnl.ust.edu.ph. a spiritual guide and mentor to many Ateneans, especially to those who
and development in Metro Manila. (Kate Laceda) have participated in his Prayer Days for Coeds.
Bishop Joel Baylon of the Diocese (Levine A. Lao)
CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 7
March 29 – April 11, 2010 Pastoral Concerns B1

‘The Cross Is Part of the

Ascent toward the Height
of Jesus Christ’
Dear Brothers and Sisters, dimensions of our following of him become
Dear Young People! visible—the goal to which he wants to lead us:
to the heights of God, to communion with God,
The Gospel for the blessing of to being-with-God. This is the true goal, and
the palms that we have listened to communion with him is the way. Communion with
together here in St. Peter’s Square Christ is being on a journey, a permanent ascent to
begins with the phrase: “Jesus went the true height of our calling. Journeying together
with Jesus is always at the same time a traveling
ahead of everyone going up to together in the “we” of those who want to follow
Jerusalem” (Luke 19:28). Immediately him. It brings us into this community. Because this
at the beginning of the liturgy this day, journey to true life, to being men conformed to the
the Church anticipates her response model of the Son of God Jesus Christ is beyond
our powers, this journeying is also always a state
to the Gospel, saying, “Let us follow of being carried. We find ourselves, so to speak,
the Lord.” With that the theme of in a “roped party” [1] with Jesus Christ—together
Palm Sunday is clearly expressed. It with him in the ascent to the heights of God. He
is about following. Being Christian pulls us and supports us. Letting oneself be part of
a roped party is part of following Christ; we accept
means seeing the way of Jesus Christ that we cannot do it on our own. The humble act
as the right way of being human -- as of entering into the “we” of the Church is part of it
that way that leads to the goal, to a -- holding on to the roped party, the responsibility
humanity that is fully realized and of communion, not letting go of the rope because
authentic. In a special way, I would of our bullheadedness and conceit.
Humbly believing with the Church, like being
like to repeat to all the young men bound together in a roped party ascending to
and women, on this 25th World Youth God, is an essential condition for following Christ.
Day, that being Christian is a journey, Not acting as the owners of the Word of God, not
or better: It is a pilgrimage, it is a chasing after a mistaken idea of emancipation
-- this is also part of being together in the roped
going with Jesus Christ. A going in party. The humility of “being-with” is essential to
that direction that he has pointed out the ascent. Letting the Lord take us by the hand
to us and is pointing out to us. through the sacraments is another part of it. We
let ourselves be purified and strengthened by him,
But what direction are we talking about? we let ourselves accept the discipline of the ascent,
How do we find it? The line from our Gospel even if we are tired.
offers two indications in this connection. In Finally, we must again say that the cross is part
the first place it says that it is a matter of an of the ascent toward the height of Jesus Christ,
ascent. This has in the first place a very literal the ascent to the height of God. Just as in the
meaning. Jericho, where the last stage of Jesus’ affairs of this world great things cannot be done
pilgrimage began, is 250 meters below sea-level without renunciation and hard work (joy in great
while Jerusalem—the goal of the journey—is discoveries and joy in a true capacity for activity are
740-780 meters above sea level: an ascent of linked to discipline, indeed, to the effort of learning)
almost 1,000 meters. But this external rout is so also the way to life itself, to the realization of
above all an image of the interior movement one’s own humanity is linked to him who climbed
of existence, which occurs in the following of to the height of God through the cross. In the final
Christ: It is an ascent to the true height of being analysis, the cross is the expression of that which
human. Man can choose an easy path and avoid is meant by love: Only he who loses himself will
all toil. He can also descend to what is lower. find himself.
He can sink into lies and dishonesty. Jesus goes Let us summarize: Following Christ demands as a
ahead of us, and he goes up to what is above. first step the reawakening of the nostalgia for being
He leads us to what is great, pure, he leads us authentically human and thus the reawakening for
to the healthy air of the heights: to life according God. It then demands that one enter into the roped
to truth; to the courage that does not let itself be party of those who climb, into the communion of
intimidated by the gossip of dominant opinions; the Church. In the “we” of the Church we enter into
to the patience that stands up for and supports the communion with the “Thou” of Jesus Christ
the other. He leads us to availability to the and therefore reach the way to God. Moreover,
suffering, to the abandoned; to the loyalty that listening to and living Jesus Christ’s word in faith,
stands with the other even when the situation hope and love is also required. We are thus on the
makes it difficult. way to the definitive Jerusalem and already, from
He leads us to availability to bring help; to this point forward, we already find ourselves there
the goodness that does not let itself be disarmed in the communion of all God’s saints.
not even by ingratitude. He leads us to love—he Our pilgrimage in following Christ, then, is not
leads us to God. directed toward any earthly city, but toward the
“Jesus went ahead of everyone going up to new City of God that grows in the midst of this
Jerusalem.” If we read these words of the Gospel world. The pilgrimage to the earthly Jerusalem,
in the context of Jesus’ way as a whole—a way nevertheless, can be something useful for us
that, in fact, he travels to the end of time—we Christians for that greater voyage. I myself linked
can discover different meanings in the indication three meanings to my pilgrimage to the Holy Land
of “Jerusalem” as the goal. Naturally, first last year. First, I thought that what St. John says at
of all it must be simply understood as the the beginning of his first letter could happen to us:
place “Jerusalem:” It is the city in which one That which we have heard, we can, in a certain way
found God’s Temple, the oneness of which see and touch with our hands (cf. 1 John 1:1). Faith
was supposed to allude to the oneness of God in Jesus Christ is not the invention of a fairy tale. It
himself. This place thus announces in the first is founded on something that actually happened.
place two things: On the one hand it says that We can, so to speak, contemplate and touch this It is not necessary at the moment to reflect on the the king, in the name of the Lord.”
there is only one God in all the world, who is historical event. It is moving to find oneself in whole question that the Apostle was concerned And they follow this with an acclamation that
completely beyond all our places and times; he Nazareth in the place where the angel appeared with. It is important to stress that by the term “Law” recalls the message of the angels at Christmas,
is that God to whom all creation belongs. He to Mary and transmitted the task of becoming he does not mean the Ten Commandments, but the but they modify it in a way that gives pause.
is the God whom deep down all men seek and Mother of the Redeemer to her. It is moving to be complex way of life by which Israel had to protect The angels had spoken of the glory of God in
whom they all have knowledge of in some way. in Bethlehem in the place where the Word, made itself against paganism. Now, however, Christ has the highest heavens and of peace on earth for
But this God has given himself a name. He has flesh, came to live among us; to put one’s foot brought God to the pagans. This form of distinction men of divine goodwill. The pilgrims at the
made himself known to us, he has launched a upon the holy ground where God wanted to make was not to be imposed upon them. entrance to the Holy City say: “Peace in heaven
history with men; he chose a man—Abram—as himself man and child. Christ alone was given to them as Law. But and glory in the highest heavens!” They know
the beginning of this history. The infinite God is It is moving to climb the steps up to Calvary this means the love of God and neighbor and all well that there is no peace on earth. And they
at the same time the God who is near. He, who to the place where Jesus died on the cross. And that pertains to it. The Ten Commandments read know that the place of peace is in heaven. Thus
cannot be enclosed in any building, nevertheless then standing before the empty tomb, praying in a new and deeper way beginning with Christ this acclamation is an expression of a profound
wants to live among us, be completely with there where his holy corpse lay and where on the are part of this love. These commandments are suffering and it is also a prayer of hope: May
us. third day the Resurrection occurred. Following nothing other than the basic rules of true love: he who comes in the name of the Lord bring
If Jesus goes up to Jerusalem together with the material paths of Jesus should help us to first of all and as fundamental principle, the to earth what is in heaven. The Church, before
Israel on pilgrimage, he goes there to celebrate walk more joyously and with a new certainty worship of God, the primacy of God, which the the Eucharistic consecration, sings the words
the Passover with Israel: the memorial of Israel’s along the interior paths that Jesus himself points first three commandments express. They tell us: of the Psalm with which Jesus is greeted before
liberation—a memorial that is always at the same out to us. Without God nothing comes out right. Who this his entrance into the Holy City: It greets Jesus
time hope for the definitive liberation that God When we go to the Holy Land as pilgrims, we go God is and how he is, we know from the person as the King who, coming from God, enters in
will give. And Jesus goes to this feast with the there, however—and this is the second aspect—as of Jesus Christ. The sanctity of the family follows our midst in God’s name.
awareness that he himself is the Lamb spoken messengers of peace too, with prayer for peace; (fourth commandment), holiness of life (fifth Today too this joyous greeting is always
of in the Book of Exodus: a male lamb without with the firm invitation that everyone in that commandment), the ordering of matrimony (sixth supplication and hope. Let us pray to the Lord
blemish, which at twilight will be slaughtered place (which bears the word “peace” in name), commandment), the regulation of society (seventh that he bring heaven to us: God’s glory and peace
before all of Israel “as a perpetual institution” has everything possible so that it truly become a commandment) and finally the inviolability of among men. We understand such a greeting in
(cf. Exodus 12:5-6, 14). And in the end Jesus place of peace. Thus this pilgrimage is at the same the truth (eighth commandment). All of this is of the spirit of the request of the Our Father: “Thy
knows that his way goes beyond this: It will time—as the third aspect—an encouragement to maximum relevance today and precisely also in will be done on earth as it is in heaven!” We
not end in the cross. He knows that his way Christians to remain in the country of their origin St. Paul’s sense—if we read all of his letters. “Bear know that heaven is heaven, a place of glory
will tear away the veil between this world and and to commit themselves in an intense way to fruit with good works:” At the beginning of Holy and peace, because there the will of God rules
God’s world; that he will ascend to the throne peace. Week we pray to the Lord to grant all of us this completely. And we know that earth is not
of God and reconcile God and man in his body. Let us return once more to the liturgy of Palm fruit more and more. heaven until the will of God is accomplished on
He knows that his risen body will be the new Sunday. The prayer with which the palms are At the end of the Gospel for the blessing of the it. So we greet Jesus, who comes from heaven
sacrifice and the new Temple; that around him blessed we pray so that in communion with Christ palms we hear the acclamation with which the and we pray to him to help us know and do
in the ranks of the angels and saints there will we can bear the fruit of good works. Following pilgrims greet Jesus at the gates of Jerusalem. They God’s will. May the royalty of God enter into
be formed the new Jerusalem that is in heaven a mistaken interpretation of St. Paul, there has are the words of Psalm 118 (117), that originally the the world and in this way it be filled with the
and nevertheless also on earth. His way leads repeatedly developed over the course of history and priests proclaimed to the pilgrims from the Holy splendor of peace. Amen.
beyond the summit of the Temple mount to the today too, the opinion that good works are not part City but that, after a period, became an expression
height of God himself: This is the great ascent of being Christian, in any case they would not be of messianic hope: “Blessed is he who comes in the (The text above is the homily that Benedict XVI
to which he calls all of us. He always remains significant for man’s salvation. But if Paul says that name of the Lord” (Psalm 118[117]:26; Luke 19:38). gave in the Mass for Palm Sunday, March 28,
with us on earth and has always already arrived works cannot justify man, he does not intend by this The pilgrims see in Jesus the one whom they have 2010, at the St. Peter’s Square. Many young people
[in heaven] with God; he leads us on earth and to oppose the importance of right action and, if he waited for, who comes in the name of the Lord, participated in the celebration, which also marked
beyond the earth. speaks of the end of the Law, he does not declare indeed, according to the St. Luke’s Gospel, they this year’s World Youth Day, held on a diocesan
Thus in the breadth of Jesus’ ascent the the Ten Commandments obsolete and irrelevant. insert another word: “Blessed is he who comes, level worldwide.)
B2 Updates CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 7
March 29 – April 11, 2010

The Dualism of Church and State

© Roy Lagarde/CBCP Media

Fr. Jaime B. Achacoso, and Paul ordered the Christians desisting from contraceptive revolutions towards the end law respecting an establishment Natural Law the foundation of
JCD to obey the civil authorities in means, because the Church of the 18th century. However, of religion, or prohibiting the free the public order of the State, thus
those matters which were of their says so: that would indeed be despite their common ideological exercise thereof...” dissociating the
competence. an infringement of the Principle roots in the Enlightenment, the On the other hand, the French juridical order from the
EVEN if the so-called But the most decisive text─for of Dualism of Church and State. treatment of the religious factor Revolutionaries were reacting objective moral order. With its
Reproductive Rights Bill has the question we have at hand─can Rather, the State should not would not be the same in the against the institutions of a conception of man as a being
be found in the Acts of the propose contraceptive means Declarations of Rights which Catholic confessional and with total autonomy, and by
been once more defeated in Apostles (Acts 4, 19-20). Peter because the Natural Law (i.e., would emerge respectively from absolutist State. Hence, the relegating God to the world of
the Philippine Legislature, and John had been arrested by the the L.aw of God which is in the American and the French climate of religious tension the unknowable (Agnosticism),
thanks to the efforts of Sanhedrin─which was both the men’s hearts) says so: even the Revolutions. in which the revolution liberalism proclaimed the
Catholic pro-life and pro- religious and civil authority of the State must render to God what The framers of the American developed. Against the Catholic human reason as the absolute
Jews at that time─for preaching is God’s─unless it institutionally Constitution were not confessionalism of the Ancient criterion of truth and the human
family lobbyists, we can Jesus Christ and winning many denies His existence and His Law conditioned by past institutions Regime, the proponents of the will as the autonomous font of
be sure that just like in the converts. To the over Nature, as indeed how the (recall the opening lines of French Revolution postulated morality: “What I know is what
past several Congresses, its command of the Sanhedrin liberalist idea of “separation” Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address: the laicist character of the State, is true, and what I want is what
proponents will try again in for them to stop their of Church and State would “... conceived in liberty”), but which could hardly lead to is right.”
evangelizing activity, the have it. were rather moved by a strong respect for the independence of The norm of morality is thus
the next one. At times, even Apostles replied: religious ideal (“In God we religious confessions. Thus, the shifted from the objective Natural
I am starting to doubt the “Whether it is right in the sight The Liberalist deviation: the Trust”), and desired to construct French Declaration of Human Law, to the subjective rule of the
bases for all the resistance of God to listen to you rather than “separation” of Church and a modus vivendi for Christian Rights did not reflect the full majority: what the majority says
that my Catholic friends to God, decide for yourselves. For State migrants of different confessions protection of the manifestations would constitute what is right,
we cannot but speak of what we Without going into the details that would overcome the of the religious phenomenon. regardless of whether or not such
have to what seems to be more have seen and heard.” of the posterior deviations from religious intolerance of the Old Rather, it explicitly protected majority opinion is objectively
and more acceptable─i.e., In effect, the above-quoted the original Christian idea, World. Such consideration of only the freedom of opinions, right. Thus, in the US and many
reproductive rights. The statement of Christ (which suffice it to say that intolerance religion as a positive element including religious ones, for Western European countries,
oft-quoted argument is the risks being a tautology) must in religious matters did not in gave rise to a formulation of the expression of which public for example, the majority have
be understood in the light fact originate in the Church, but religious freedom that gave order constituted a limit to be legislated that abortion (killing
so-called “separation of of Peter’s declaration which rather in the absolutist monarchs greater juridical protection fixed by law. a helpless baby) is right; and in
Church and State.” Just gives it content: One must of post-Medieval Europe. This to religious expression: the Holland they have legislated that
what exactly does this indeed render to Caesar what was especially true after the idea of respect for Christian The agnostic state euthanasia (killing a sick person)
expression signify? is Caesar’s and to God what is Protestant inspired principle of pluralism (against the war In the European mold of is right.
God’s; but what is Caesar’s and cuius region eius religio (“he who between Catholic and Protestant the separation of Church and In effect, the liberalist doctrine
Christian Dualism of Church and what is God’s? The Natural Law possesses the kingdom controls princes in Europe) flowed State, despite the lip service to of Separation of Church and
State: Distinct not Separate is God’s, and man must obey it, its religion”) was installed in naturally into the wider notion freedom of opinion, the Liberal State was a declaration of the
The Liberalist idea of the despite any contrary disposition the Peace of Westphalia, ending of religious pluralism. State oftentimes gave a negative confessional principle of the
separation of Church and State of the State. The State and the Wars of Religion, but also The juridical formula, which evaluation of religion. This gave Agnostic State: a shift from
can be traced to the proponents the Church are distinct, with putting an end to a united wasconceivedtoattainthisrespect rise to a minimalist conception religious pluralism to the
of the French Revolution. But the distinct competencies; but Christendom. for religious freedom in pluralism, of religious freedom (leading to confessionally laicist State: a
Christian notion of the Dualism they are not separate because The idea of tolerance in religious was the separation between periods of veritable persecution state where man─embodied in
of Church and State far antedates they involve basically the same matters, at the face of the excesses the State and the Religious of the Catholic Church, first in the majority, or in the ruling
the former, starting with the well- subjects (the civic man is also of regal absolutism, found its Confessions. Consecrated in France and later on in Italy and party─is the absolute norm of
known Gospel dictum: “Render, a religious man), and are both theoretical basis in the 18th the First Amendment to the then in Spain). right and wrong. Unfortunately,
therefore, to Caesar the things under the same Natural Law Century under the influence of Constitution of the United Thus, liberalism proposed the this idea of separation of Church
that are Caesar’s and to God the of God. the Rationalist School of Natural States (1791), this was simply an ideal of the Laicist State: not in and State is what has prevailed
things that are God’s” (Mt. 22, Applying this to the present Law. These doctrinal roots empirical formulation, without the sense of religious pluralism as in the last half-century, even in
I5-22; Mk. 12, 13-17; Lk. 20, 20- controversy regarding certain gained strength in t h e thought any doctrinal discussion. The State enshrined in the First Amendment the U.S., and is what is being
26). Other less known texts can provisions of the so-called of the Age of Enlightenment, simply declared its incompetence of the US Constitution, but rather proposed now in the ongoing
be found in I Pet. 2, 13-17 and Reproductive Rights Bill, it and found concrete form in in religious matters, by stating postulating the Agnostic State. debate on reproductive rights
Rom.13, 1-7, where Sts. Peter is not a question of the State the ideological climate of the that “Congress shall make no This implied a rejection of in the Philippines.

Prostration and vestments on Good Friday

(Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university, answers the following query:)
Q: I have a question concerning the liturgy a contradiction as one document gives the
of Good Friday. The sacramentary in use option of kneeling while the other mentions
in the United States directs: “The priest only prostration.
and the deacon, wearing red vestments, go The rubric in the new Latin Missal (2002),
to the altar. There they make a reverence however, retains the option of kneeling albeit
and prostrate themselves, or they may “pro opportunitate.”
kneel” (Sacramentary, rev. 1985). ‘Paschales I would say, therefore, that rather than
Solemnitatis,’ the Circular Letter Concerning contradicting the Missal the circular letter
the Preparation and Celebration of the Easter wishes to stress that the two possibilities are
Feasts (Congregation for Divine Worship, not equal and that, from the liturgical and
1988) directs “The priest and ministers symbolic point of view, the preferred posture
make a reverence to the altar prostrating at this moment is prostration.
themselves. This act of prostration, which The option of kneeling is wisely retained
is proper to the rite of the day, should be as no small number of priests might find
strictly observed, for it signifies both the prostration to be a somewhat arduous or
abasement of ‘earthly man,’ and also the even hazardous task. In some cases the efforts
grief and sorrow of the Church.” These two required at getting down, and getting up
directives seem to be contradictory to me. again could be ungainly and distract from
Do you find them contradictory? And, if the overall somberness of the occasion.
so, which would take precedence?—M.E., With respect to the use of the chasuble: The
New York. liturgy for Good Friday prior to the reform
Why is a chasuble prescribed instead of of the Roman Missal prescribed a complex
a cope for Good Friday?—J.C., Rochester, series of rites and changes of vesture.
New York The priest wore an alb and black stole for the
entrance, prayers and Passion. He assumed
A: The above mentioned circular letter a black cope for the universal prayers but
itself clarifies the question of precedence in left the cope aside for the Adoration of the
No. 5 of the document: Cross. At the time of Holy Communion he
“[T]he Congregation for Divine Worship, substituted the black stole for a violet one
after due consideration, thinks that it is a and donned a violet chasuble in order to
fitting moment to recall certain elements, distribute Communion.
doctrinal and pastoral, and various norms When the rite was reformed the color
whic h h av e al read y b e e n pu b l i s h e d red was preferred to the use of black and
concerning Holy Week. All those details violet. And the rite was simplified with
which are given in the liturgical books the use of only one kind of vestment, the
concerning Lent, Holy Week, the Easter chasuble, throughout the celebration. The
Photo courtesy of Noli Yamsuan/RCAM

Triduum and paschal time retain their priest removes the chasuble (and may also
full force, unless otherwise stated in this remove his shoes) only while kneeling to
document. adore the Cross.
“It is the aim of this document that the great The chasuble was probably preferred to
mystery of our redemption be celebrated in the cope as a more suitable vestment for the
the best possible way so that the faithful may distribution of Communion and perhaps also
participate in it with ever greater spiritual for practical purposes as many poor parishes
advantage.” would find it difficult to purchase a red cope
At first appearance there appears to be to be used perhaps once or twice a year.
CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 7
March 29 – April 11, 2010
By Michael Cook Zambia and Zimbabwe. In Zimbabwe, are essential for preventing AIDS in are actually the best ways to fight AIDS. a simple solution in the face of
life expectancy at birth was 52 years in Africa. In the words of researchers at In 1991, the infection rate in Uganda calamity. I have an idea which will
1990, and only 34 in 2003 (7). the London School of Hygiene and was 21 per cent. Now, after years of a fix everything up.
ONLY a month after the death of his But there is something absurdly Tropical Medicine, “The condom is a simple, low-cost program called ABC, it While British journalists are busy
predecessor, the new Pope, Benedict medieval about making the Pope a life-saving device: it is highly effective has dropped to about 6 per cent. fulminating about appalling health
XVI, announced that he had launched scapegoat, as if the clouds would break in preventing HIV transmission if used ABC stands for Abstain, Be faithful, care in Africa, the British government is
the process which culminates in Catholic and the sun shine if we thrust enough correctly and consistently, and is the or use Condoms if A and B are not colluding in making it worse. According
sainthood. The Vatican normally moves pins through a JP2 voodoo doll. Pinning best current method of HIV prevention practiced. Ugandan President Yoweri to a recent issue of The Lancet, sub-
at a glacial pace in such things, so the the blame for the tragedy of African for those who are sexually active and at Museveni preaches the ABC of AIDS Saharan health personnel are flocking
unprecedented speed confirms what AIDS on one man is one of those ideas risk” (12). with the fervour of an evangelist. “I am to the UK, leaving their own countries’
most people feel about John Paul II—that that are, in the words of George Orwell, However, notice that this dogma is not in favour of condoms in primary and health care in a shocking state (20). An
he was an extraordinarily good chap. “so stupid that only intellectuals could limited by two significant qualifications: even secondary schools... Let condoms estimated 60 per cent of doctors trained
However, before the faithful get too believe them.” “if used correctly and consistently”. be a last resort,” he said recently at an in Ghana in the 1980s, for instance,
wound up, something has to be tidied How often can we expect this to happen international AIDS conference in his have left the country. Initiatives to
up: the little matter of whether Karol The role of Catholicism in southern Africa? If the experts haven’t capital, Kampala. “I have grown-up tackle AIDS, such as the World Health
Wojtyla was, in fact, the greatest mass Two such ideas run through all these been able to end AIDS in San Francisco children and my policy was to frighten Organisation’s goal of providing lifelong
murderer of the 20th century. If he criticisms. The first is basically this: and Sydney by promoting condoms, them out of undisciplined sex. I started anti-retroviral treatment, are being
was, canonisation might not be such a African Catholics are so devout that if what makes them think that they will talking to them from the age of 13, telling thwarted by a shortage of doctors.
good idea. they have sex outside of marriage, dally succeed in Africa? them to concentrate on their studies, that Unless doctors and nurses stay at home
Here’s what the devil’s advocates with prostitutes or take a third wife, they Amazingly, despite the dogmatic the time would come for sex” (17). instead of chasing better salaries in the
have had to say. will piously refrain from using condoms insistence that distributing condoms is Ms Toynbee contended in her diatribe UK, many, many more HIV infected
Nicholas Kristof, of the New York because the Great White Father told them the only way to stop AIDS in its tracks, in the Guardian that “abstinence and people will die.
Times, says that the Vatican’s ban on not to. Ms Toynbee darkly invokes “the there are very few studies to prove it. celibacy are not the human condition”. One person can put a stop to this
condoms has cost hundreds of thousands Vatican’s deeper power... its personal An article in the Bulletin of the World But Museveni—no innocent about the scandal: the British Prime Minister.
of lives, making it one of “its most tragic authority over 1.3 billion worshippers, Health Organization last year admitted human condition—thinks that they Perhaps if Polly Toynbee sticks pins
mistakes in the first two millennia of which is strongest over the poorest, most that very little research has been done are. “We made it our highest priority into a Tony Blair voodoo doll, the whole
its history” (1). The influential New helpless devotees.” on the impact of condom-promotion to convince our people to return to problem will go away. Silly? OK. But it
Statesman, in London, ran a cover story But she can’t have it both ways: these program on the actual incidence of HIV their traditional values of chastity makes a lot more sense than sticking
shortly after the Pope’s death claiming benighted dark-skinned Catholics infection (13). and faithfulness or, failing that, to them in the late Pope.
that he “probably contributed more to can’t be both too goody-two-shoes Furthermore, even if condoms are use condoms,” he told American
the continental spread of the disease than to use condoms and too wicked to “efficacious”—that is, they don’t break pharmaceutical executives a couple (Michael Cook is editor of MercatorNet.
the trucking industry and prostitution resist temptation. Journalist Brendan and don’t leak—Murphy’s Law says that of years ago. “The alternative was This article is published under special
combined” (2). O’Neill—who describes himself as an they will often fail. According to Family decimation” (18). arrangement with MercatorNet)

In search of a scapegoat
Was John Paul II responsible for the deaths of millions of African AIDS


victims because he refused to sanction the use of condoms?

Rosemary Neill, of the Australian, in ex-Catholic who has jettisoned Catholic Health International, an American group Behind the campaign Notes:
Sydney, opined that the intransigent teaching on sexual morality—sums up which supports reproductive health The campaign to blacken the name of 1 Nicholas D. Kristof. “The Pope and AIDS”. New
Vatican “will eventually be accused this patronizing argument in the on-line initiatives and vigorously promotes John Paul II with African deaths is so York Times. 8 May 2005.
of crimes against humanity” (3). journal Spiked: “The only reason you condoms, “condoms have to be used blazingly and bewilderingly brainless 2 Michela Wong. “Blood of innocents on his
Polly Toynbee, of the UK’s Guardian could believe the fantastically simplistic correctly and consistently to work”; that it amounts to conclusive proof of hands”. New Stateman. 11 April 2005.
newspaper, who clearly had something idea that Vatican edict = AIDS in Africa “correct use is more complicated than Orwell’s maxim. What could possibly 3 Rosemary Neill. “A Catholic culture of death”.
quite vile for breakfast that morning, is if you consider Africans to be little it may seem because there are lots of be behind it? Australian. 7 May 2005
compared JP2 to Lenin: “they both put more than automatons... who do as they ways to get it wrong”; and “some users There is a political answer. A slick 4 Polly Toynbee. “Not in my name”. Guardian.
extreme ideology before human life and are told” (8). will have difficulty using condoms campaign by disgruntled Catholics to 8 April 2005.
happiness, at unimaginable human cost” Superimposing maps of prevalence successfully and will experience more discredit the Pope and the traditional 5 “The Pope’s grievous errors”. The Lancet. 12
(4). Even doctors chimed in. The world’s of AIDS on prevalence of Catholicism than their share of breaks” (14). teachings of their Church has been March 2005.
leading medical journal, The Lancet, is enough to sink the link between In the chaotic social environment of operational for several years. A pro- 6 “Devastating setback in Africa.” Globe and Mail
accused an ignorant and rigid Pope of the Catholic Church and AIDS. In the many African countries, where poverty abortion group called Catholics for a Free (Toronto). 24 May 2005.
presenting “insuperable obstacles to the hospice which is Swaziland nowadays, is endemic, women are regularly abused Choice (CFC) launched an international 7 UNAIDS. “AIDS epidemic update 2004.”
prevention of disease” (5). only about 5 per cent of the population is and polygamy is widespread, men are PR drive in December 2001 to promote
I’m not aware of whether any of these their view that “good Catholics use 8 Brendan O’Neill. “Did the Pope spread AIDS in
Catholic. In Botswana, where 37 per cent unlikely to use condoms consistently. Africa?” Spiked. 8 April 2005.
writers have visited AIDS hospices and of the adult population is HIV infected, As President Museveni of Uganda has condoms”. Advertisements in the US,
embraced AIDS patients, as John Paul II only 4 per cent of the population is observed, “In countries like ours, where Mexico, the Philippines, South Africa, 9 World Health Organization, Epidemiological
Fact Sheets and The Hierarchy of the Catholic
did, or worked as hard John Paul II did Catholic. In South Africa, 22 per cent of a mother often has to walk 20 miles to Kenya, Chile and Zimbabwe marked Church
to get international funding for AIDS the population is HIV infected, and only get an aspirin for her sick child or five “the first phase of an effort to change
10 Ecclesia in Africa. 14 September 1995.
treatment. By and large, they seem to 6 per cent is Catholic. But in Uganda, miles to get any water at all, the question the Vatican’s policy and challenge its
be the same crowd who put the boot with 43 per cent of the population of getting a constant supply of condoms aggressive lobbying against availability 11 Javier Cardinal Lozano Barragán .“Message
for World AIDS Day.” 1 December 2004
into everything else he did. But they Catholic, the proportion of HIV infected may never be resolved” (15). and access to condoms in areas of the
have made their claim and it deserves adults is 4 per cent (9). A recent study of condom use in the world most at risk” (19). Subsequent “The Pope’s grievous errors”. The Lancet. 12
March 2005.
a hearing. Does it stand up? In fact, without the Catholic Church developing world in the journal Studies media coverage, at least in the UK, has
the situation might be much worse. The in Family Planning summed up the reflected the major themes of CFC’s 12 Anna Foss, Peter Vickerman, Charlotte Watts.
“The Ban That Kills”. Conscience. Spring 2005.
Terrifying statistics AIDS disaster in Africa weighed heavily situation with these damning words: ideology.
There’s no doubt that AIDS in Africa on the Pope. Ten years ago he appealed “no clear examples have emerged But on a deeper level, Catholic beliefs 13 King K. Holmes, Ruth Levine, Marcia Weaver.
is terrifying. The latest survey of AIDS “Effectiveness of condoms in preventing sexu-
to “the world’s scientists and political yet of a country that has turned back about sexuality clash with what John ally transmitted infections”. Bulletin of the World
prevalence in Swaziland, a tiny kingdom leaders, moved by the love and respect a generalised epidemic primarily by Paul II called a “pathology of the Health Organization, June 2004, 82 (6).
of 2 million people surrounded by South due to every human person, to use every means of condom promotion” (16). This spirit”. As an example of this, take Polly 14 “The Latex Condom: Recent Advances, Future
Africa, has reached 42.6 per cent, the means available in order to put an end is most clearly seen in southern Africa. Toynbee’s claim that “contraception Direction”. Family Health International
highest in the world. And climbing. to this scourge” (10). And Catholics have High HIV transmission rates have is women’s true saviour”. The Pope
15 Cited in Norman Hearst and Sanny Chen.
Three years ago, in 2002, it was 38.6 per responded. continued despite high rates of condom looked to a different saviour. He “Condom Promotion for AIDS Prevention in the
cent. “Swaziland will be wiped out,” About 27 per cent of health care for use. In Botswana, says Professor Norman knew that technology cannot repair Developing World: Is It Working?”. Studies in
said one AIDS activist despairingly (6). the wounded human condition. It Family Planning. March 2004.
HIV/AIDS victims is provided by Church Hearst, of the University of California at
Figures for other countries in southern organizations and Catholic NGOs, as San Francisco, condom sales rose from cannot inject self-restraint; it cannot 16 Norman Hearst and Sanny Chen. “Condom
Africa are almost as grim. even The Lancet has acknowledged one million in 1993 to 3 million in 2001 infuse respect for others; it cannot Promotion for AIDS Prevention in the Developing
World: Is It Working?”. Studies in Family Plan-
According to the Joint United Nations (11). They form a vast network of clinics while HIV prevalence amongst urban manufacture a sense of responsibility. ning. March 2004.
Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), which reach the poorest, most remote pregnant women rose from 27 per cent The only lasting salvation comes not
17 “Museveni Opposes Condoms in Schools”,
two-thirds of people with HIV/ and most neglected people in Africa. to 45 percent. In Cameroon condom from a pill or a latex tube but from a AllAfrica.com, 30 November 2004.
AIDS live in sub-Saharan Africa. At These statistics suggest that the true sales rose from 6 million to 15 million, conversion of heart. A technical patch
18 Cited in Joseph Loconte, “The White House
the end of 2004, 25.4 million people story may be quite the opposite to the while HIV prevalence rose from 3 per will leave Africa’s acute problems Initiative to Combat AIDS: Learning from Ugan-
there were infected, with about 3 tune sung by the media: that Catholic cent to 9 per cent. of gender inequality, poverty, low da”, Heritage Foundation, Executive Summary
million infected during the year. Life observance may, in fact, be the best education and social disruption #1692, 30 September 2003.
expectancy at birth has dropped below prophylactic. The example of Uganda unsolved. And without fixing these, the 19 www.condoms4life.org.
40 in nine countries: Botswana, Central In fact, the history of AIDS in Uganda AIDS problem is sure to get worse. 20 “Loss of health professionals from sub-
African Republic, Lesotho, Malawi, How effective are condoms anyway? supports the Church’s belief that But clearly a scapegoat for AIDS Saharan Africa: the pivotal role of the UK”. The
Mozambique, Rwanda, Swaziland, The second assumption is that condoms abstinence and fidelity within marriage in Africa fulfils a primal need for Lancet. 28 May 2005.
Features Social C
CBCP Monitor
B4 Vol. 14 No. 7
March 29 – April 11, 2010

What the Presidentiables sa

Benigno SIMEON Aquino III John Carlo De Los Reyes Joseph Ejercito Estrada RICHARD GORDON ANA CONSUELO
My stand from the very beginning has always Natural family planning is the most effective I believe one of the causes of poverty, aside from Our people are our country’s greatest resource. A reproductive policy
been responsible parenthood. We need a firm method that has no side effects, it is free and graft and corrupt practices, is the lack of population And this has been proven many times over by based. It should instea
policy that will address the serious problem on promotes a responsible and loving relationship control. However, I vow to respect the advocacy of our OFWs, our managers, our engineers, our that empowers women
population. We must understand that the popula- between couples. the Church against artificial methods. The Estrada artists and cultural workers. The Filipino is a great knowledge. We should
tion growth of our country is geometric and not Quoting its Declaration of a Consistent Ethic in Administration will seek to manage the population manager of his talent, and what is important is to well to be mendicants an
arithmetic in progression. We cannot allow our Life, “Ang Kapatiran Party upholds human life in by allowing access to modern methods. provide him with opportunity upon which there is heath materials being p
population to bloat at an alarming place any all its forms and stages. All are important. One a rule of law, and a regime of meritocracy. That is to the prejudice of our w
further if we intend to maximize our resources aspect of human life affects another.” why he succeeds abroad—when he works hard
and ensure that the basic needs of every citizen The candidate and the party stand is “Where he gets good compensation, when he is honest
are met. To address this problem, parents should human life is considered cheap and easily wasted, he is recognized for it, when he is productive he
play a key role in ensuring that each and every eventually nothing is held sacred, and all lives gets the best for it. I believe that our aim then
child they bring into this world has the opportunity are in jeopardy.” must be for a quality population. Population is not
to lead a good life. While it is the government’s AKP rejects Reproductive Health Bill 5043 as an excuse for non-development.
duty to support parents in their family’s endeav- the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Family and It depends on the kind of education we put in. I
ors, at the end of the day, the method with which Life stated in its Catechism on Family and Life for know many families with a lot of children but they
the family is planned and the size of the family, the 2010 Elections stated: It would not be morally come out as professionals, they come out helping
should all be left to the parents. The state must permissible to vote for candidates who support one another. You can have as many children as
respect each individual’s right to follow his or her anti-family policies, including reproductive health you want, that’s your choice.
conscience and religious convictions on matters (in the particular understanding being presented in Again, education, faith, and religious belief mat-
and issues pertaining to the unity of the family and the recent debates, which includes, among others, ter. I will support a massive campaign to ensure
the sacredness of human life from conception to promotion of abortifacients, or any other moral that our people understand that responsibility in
natural death. evil such as abortion, divorce, assisted suicide so far as rearing children is important. In relation
What the state can do is help parents, especially and euthanasia. Otherwise one becomes an ac- to this, my administration will create work and
the poor and disadvantaged, who are bereft of tools complice to the moral evil in question.” livelihood opportunities so that our people will not
to make an informed judgment. The government have to seek their future abroad but can find their
should educate the people about the means with future here in our native land, so that families will
which to plan their families so they can create no longer suffer the burden of years of separation
families based on their ability to sustain their and can be around to raise their children.
needs. In the process of providing a range of
options and information to couples, natural family
planning and modern methods shall be presented
as desirable methods.

Catechism on th
Catholic Bishops’
Continued from last issue... For them to take an active part in
partisan politics, with its wheeling
Part III: The Role of and dealing, compromises,
Clergy, Religious and confrontational and adversarial
Laity in Politics positions, would be to weaken
their teaching authority and
21. What are the roles of Clergy, destroy the unity they represent
Religious and laity with regard and protect. Still, it must be
to “partisan politics”? admitted that sometimes even
Traditionalwisdomandgeneral the teaching of moral principles
common sense, with support is actually interpreted by some as
from Canon Law (or the Law partisan politics, because of actual
of the Church), assign specific circumstances (PCP-II, 343-344).
roles for different members of the An example was the Bishops’ post-
Church. PCP-II pointed out these election statement in 1986 when
roles. “The Church’s competence they taught that a government
in passing moral judgments that has assumed power by fraud
even in matters political has had no moral right to govern. This
been traditionally interpreted teaching was considered partisan
as pertaining to the clergy. for the opposition presidential
Negatively put, the clergy can candidate and against the winner
teach moral doctrines covering proclaimed by a subservient
politics but cannot actively parliament.
involve themselves in partisan
politics. In practice, religious men 23. What is the specific mission
and women are also included in of the laity in politics?
this prohibition” (PCP-II, 340). The mission of the laity is
But certainly lay people “have the same as that of the entire
competence in active and direct Church, which is to renew the
partisan politics” (PCP-II, 341). political order according to
This general rule is certainly Gospel principles and values.
not rigid, because lay people But such renewal by the laity
themselves have a teaching role is through active and partisan
regarding politics, especially political involvement, a role
in their witnessing to gospel generally not allowed to priests
values in the world of politics. and religious men and women.
Concretely, priests, religious men This is the reason that PCP-II
and women, and lay people, i.e., urges the lay faithful not to
the Church “must be involved in be passive regarding political
the area of politics when Gospel involvement but to take a leading
values are at stake” (PCP-II, role. In fact, PCP-II states: “In
344). the Philippines today, given the
general perception that politics
22. Why should priests, has become an obstacle to integral
religious men and women development, the urgent necessity
refrain from involvement in is for the lay faithful to participate
partisan politics? more actively, with singular
As we have seen, the prohibition competence and integrity, in
is not because of any Philippine political affairs” (PCP-II, 348).
constitutional provision. But the Moreover, the laity must “help
Church prohibits Clergy and form the civic conscience of the
Religious from involvement in voting population and work to
partisan politics because they explicitly promote the election of
are considered the symbols of leaders of true integrity to public
unity in the Church community. office” (PCP-II, Art. 8, #1).
Concerns Statements
CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 7
March 29 – April 11, 2010

In view of helping voters discern and make the right choices in the forthcoming elections, the CBCP Media Office has sent letters to all
Presidentiables last February 25, 2010 requesting their positions on the following issues: corruption, gambling, mining, population, energy,
economy and peace building. There are, of course, more questions to be asked but limitation of space and time prevailed. In this issue, only one
question fits: “Some are of the opinion that the burgeoning population is the primary cause of poverty in the country. Do you believe in this? If
so, would you go for population management? Or population deceleration? How?”

y should not be product In general I am supportive of the thrust and intent (The CBCP Media Office spent over a month “Population explosion” is not the cause of poverty, I have always believed that a huge population
ad be based on a policy of the Reproductive Heath Bill, but with the following of waiting, from February 25, 2010 to March 29, it is the effect of poverty. The real issue behind is not necessarily a problem. I think the problem
through information and strong conditionalities. The Philippine Constitution 2010, and repeated telephone calls, but nothing is the need for equitable sharing of resources. is incompetence in managing the economy. Our
d now allow ourselves as forbids abortion and I am in total agreement with came from Mr. Teodoro. Perhaps next issue Abortion-inducing drugs should never be classified country has been mismanaged for decades and
nd reliant on reproductive this prohibition. The present vague language of maybe luckier) as common drugs or over-the-counter medicine. it has become convenient to put the blame on the
pushed by multinationals the Reproductive Health bill should be rewritten The health and welfare of women and children is huge population. Once we are able to manage
women’s health. to reflect this broad societal consensus against important to the state. Moral values should be taught this country very well, then things would not be
abortion. In addition, the present language of the more than technology or device. Children and youth constraints. In fact, 92 million will enable us to be
bill is too focused on rights of individuals. These should be protected from any unnecessary and a great nation. Our population should be viewed
should be balanced by language on the sacred- unhealthy exposure to sexual information. as an asset and we should focus on how economic
ness of the reproductive act and the human life My Party and I firmly believe that the life of the growth can be helped by population size. India
that results from it as well as the responsibilities unborn child begins at the time of conception. As and China are growing fast and they are the most
that individuals and couples have in connection such, we do not and will not advocate, institutionalize populated countries in the world.
with human reproduction. and/or legalize any practice of abortion or the use
I also do not support the use of artificial contra- of any abortion-inducing pills or drugs designed to
ceptives that do harm to individuals using them as terminate the life of an unborn fetus. Neither will
well as jeopardize the health and integrity of future the Party promote, advocate nor institutionalize
human conception. I will also encourage legislators the practice and use of any artificial contraceptive
to make a final round of genuine and respectful devices. However, believing in the divine right of
consultations with religious groups and other civil every individual to “free will” or the “right of choice”,
society formations to craft an integral language that Bangon Pilipinas believes that the State, as the
would acceptable to most, if not all stakeholders. guardian and as the constitutional protector of every
Meanwhile, my government, once elected by the facet of human rights of every Filipino, should not, in
people, will push for a massive campaign against any way, shape or form, interfere with the individual’s
poverty and redress the economic imbalances that inherent right of discretion and/or right to choose
ultimately fuel the continued high levels of fertility with birth control measure, artificial or otherwise,
rates in the Philippines. In short, the reproductive he/she may deem proper and appropriate under
health debate should be seen in the context of his/her particular circumstances, and according to
the broader unjust socio-economic structures that his/her faith or conscience.
force human beings, especially the poor, into using
questionable reproductive-related practices.

the Church and Politics

Conference of the Philippines
to Catholics there are many organizations, cooperating with
24. What truths should guide the political options that the Gospel non-government organizations;
laity’s political involvement? does not prohibit. Therefore, d. by pushing for structural
PCP-II underlined the following there is generally no such thing changes as a goal of pastoral
principles to guide political as a “Catholic vote” or “the action in the political field, such as
participation of Catholics: Bishops’ candidates”. This is urging for reforms in the electoral
a. That the basic standard for simply a myth. The Bishops processes in order to avoid delays
participation be the pursuit of the do not endorse any particular and ensure integrity throughout
common good; candidate or party but leave to the entire electoral process from
b. That participation be the laity to vote according to voting, to counting, to reporting,
characterized by a defence and their enlightened and formed and finally to proclaiming the
promotion of justice; consciences in accordance with winners;
c. That participation be inspired the Gospel. e. by political advocacy such
and guided by the spirit of as lobbying for legislation that
service; 26. Is there any case when the promote the common good and
d. That it be imbued with a love Bishops can authoritatively against bills that promote the
of preference for the poor; and order the lay faithful to vote vested interests of the few;
e. That empowering people for one particular and concrete f. by getting involved in
be carried out both as a process option? a movement of civil society
and as a goal of political activity. Yes, there is, and the case would (civic organizations, peoples’
(PCP-II, 351). certainly be extraordinary. This organizations, non-government
happens when a political option is organizations, associations of
But more than just political clearly the only one demanded by lay people and religious, school
involvement is the primary the Gospel. An example is when associations, etc.) to change
importance of the lay faithful a presidential candidate is clearly politics for the better;
being witnesses to the Gospel. bent to destroy the Church and its g. by organizing her own
John Paul II said: “The lay faithful mission of salvation and has all network of parishes and
must bear witness to those the resources to win, while hiding organizations, pastoral and social
human and Gospel values that his malevolent intentions behind centers, etc., such as NASSA
are intimately connected with political promises. In this case VOTE-CARE and PPC-RV, to
political activity itself, such as the Church may authoritatively help keep elections clean, honest,
liberty and justice, solidarity, demand the faithful, even under peaceful and orderly;
faithful and unselfish dedication pain of sin, to vote against this h. by the living witness of all
for the good of all, a simple particular candidate. But such the Catholic faithful to Christ
lifestyle, and a preferential love situations are understandably and to the values of the Gospel.
for the poor and the least” (CL, very rare. This is the most important
42). contribution of the Church to the
27. How does the Church fulfill evangelization of politics.
25. Are there so called “Catholic its mission on renewing or To be continued next issue...
candidates” or is there a “Catholic evangelizing politics?
vote”? a. by catechesis or Christian
The Gospel does not prescribe education in politics in order to
only one way of being political evangelize our political culture EDITOR’S NOTE:
or only one way of political which is characterized by a
governing (such as monarchical, separation between faith and
politics; Until May of this year, we
presidential, parliamentary, etc.), are devoting these pages,
much less only one political party b. by issuing guidelines on B4 and B5 for political edu-
or even one slate of candidates. properly choosing political cation. We are serializing
No one political option can fully officials, so that the people starting this issue a matrix
carry out the Gospel mandate of may have a properly formed of platforms of presiden-
renewing the political order or conscience in their electoral tiables. Send feedback,
choices; articles and ads by email to:
of serving the common good. No cbcpmonitor@cbcpworld.
one political party or platform or c. by helping keep elections net
set of candidates can exclusively honest, clean, peaceful, and
claim the name Catholic. Hence orderly through various church
Ref lections
CBCP Monitor
B6 Vol. 14 No. 7
March 29 – April 11, 2010

Bo Sanchez

The Significance of the Easter Gospel SOULFOOD

Your past does not
define your future
“WHERE are you here, son?”
I was five years old. I had just shown Dad my kindergarten class
photo—a free-for-all scene where kids were elbowing each other
for more photo exposure. Where was I? At the back of the pack,
peeking over someone’s shoulder. You could only see one-fourth
of my face.
Oh yes, I was small. I was thin. And I was also terribly shy.
Sheepishly, I pointed myself in the photo.
Dad blurted out, “Bo, why don’t you be like this boy here in
Ouch. I felt his words slice through my little heart.
He was referring to this mestizo kid who was big and boisterous,
his arms waving wildly, his face seemingly three inches from the
That day, I remember feeling very sad.
I told myself, “Yes Bo, there’s really something wrong with
(Parents, if you get anything from this story, I hope it’s this: Never
compare your child with anyone else. Not with other kids, not with
his brothers and sisters, not even with yourself when YOU were a
In Grade 2, my grades were plummeting. I remember getting
73% in Math. So my mother got a tutor to teach me twice a week.
Because of this, my grades improved: I got 75%. Not because I finally

learned Math but because the tutor Mom hired was my own Math
teacher in school.
When I was in Grade 4, I discovered I was also bad at sports. My
classmates held the basketball and flew with it. I held the basketball
and fell from its weight.

Easter Sunday – Year C; (Luke 24:1-12/John 20:1-9) April 4, 2010 In every game, my classmates laughed at me. Even my teachers
ridiculed me. At the start of every game, my classmates would ask
me, “Join the other team! Please Bo!”
Because of it, they took the No one wanted me. Because of this, I kept to myself most of the
By Msgr. Lope C. Robre- nation, opposing tax payment Hence, faith in the resurrection
dillo, SThD and pretending to be king (Luke cannot rest on an incontrovertible empty tomb as a sign that Jesus
empirical evidence. is alive. Faith thus comes from After grade school, I took the entrance exam for Ateneo high school.
23:3). And it is almost historically
How then, according to Luke, remembering what is heard (cf I flunked the test. I was devastated. My parents had to scrounge
certain that Rome gave the
do we know that Jesus rose from Rom 10:17). With this faith, they for another school for me at the last minute.
AN ancient wisdom advises that verdict: capital punishment.
the dead? First, God himself began to proclaim the Easter I remember Ariel, a good friend of mine. He was the first honor
if one wishes to conquer, he has But the end of Jesus was not
told us in the mouth of two Gospel (24:8-9). in class. He also was the school’s basketball and baseball star. One
to divide the enemy. However defeat. Those who opposed him
men in dazzling garments who What is the significance of the day, I thought about him and wondered, “Lord, why did you give
invincible one appears to be, it never triumphed. He was not a
said to the women: “Why do Easter Gospel? The resurrection of all the talents to others and none to me?”
is simply impossible to fight on goner, after all. For God reversed
you search for the Living One Jesus lies at the heart of Christian I felt incredibly sad that day.
many fronts and win, as Adolf the verdict. He raised Jesus from
among the dead? He is not here; faith. If he was not raised from Friends, I thought all about these things yesterday.
Hitler realized too late. If one the dead (1 Thess 1:10; Rom
he has been raised up” (Luke the dead, our faith is empty (1 Because yesterday, I had to email four countries: Australia, US,
wishes to reform the nation, 10:9). The Jewish and Roman
24:5b). (According to Jewish Cor 15:14). God vindicated the Singapore, and India. All of them wanted me to speak at their
he cannot therefore afford to leaders took his life; God gave
law, this testimony is conclusive persecuted Jesus—he was not conventions on the exact same weekend.
antagonize the people, quarrel him a new one. This is the Easter
because two witnesses made a false prophet, after all. On the The same guy who flunked tests. The same guy who got the
with the political establishment Gospel. Resurrection, however,
it [Deut 19:15]). Second, Jesus contrary, he is the Savior (Rom lowest grades. The same guy who was unwanted by everyone—is
and go up against the religious is a metahistorical event; it
himself prophesied it: “The 4:25), the living Lord (Rom 10:9; now desired by the nations.
establishment. Once he does transcends time and space. It is not
Son of Man must first endure 1 Cor 12:3), the Son (Acts 12:33; And ten years after flunking that entrance exam in Ateneo, I never
these, he will virtually be a goner. like a resuscitation to an old life,
many sufferings, be rejected Rom 1:34). In fact, all the books of imagined that I would one day be having lunch with the Dean of the
Nothing is in store for him except as in the raising of the widow’s
by the elders, the high priests, the New Testament were written College and hear him say, “Bo, how can we convince you to teach
defeat. The fate of Jesus appears son at Naim (Luke 7:11). It is a
and the scribes, and be put to from the point of view of his Theology in the Ateneo?”
to be like this. From the Roman new form of existence. Hence,
death, and then be raised up on resurrection. But not only that. I told him I’d love to teach, but my hands were full: Founding
and Jewish point of view, Jesus, in Luke’s resurrection narrative,
the third day” (9:22, 24; 12:50; Because God raised him, he will four organizations, writing best-selling books, preaching around
who had invited the people to only a negative witness could
17:35; 18:31-33). For Luke, the also vindicate those of us who the world, publishing the widest read Catholic literature in the
repent and enter the Kingdom be provided. When the women
guarantee of resurrection is the followed him (1 Cor 4:14). Those country…
of God, had to die. Because of entered the tomb, they did not
trustworthiness of Jesus’ words. who died with him will live with My message?
his teaching and behavior, the find Jesus’ body (Luke 24:3). But
Thus, at the instance of the him (2 Tim 2:11). Moreover, even You can fulfill your dreams!
Jewish leaders accused him, the empty tomb is not an apodictic
two men, the women disciples in the here and now, the life that Because your past does not define your future.
among others, of threatening argument for the resurrection. It
to destroy the Temple (Mark could be interpreted differently. (Mary of Magdala, Joanna, Jesus lives is given to us who
14:58), of leading people astray In Matthew, for example, the Mary the mother of James, etc. believe (Rom 8:12). This is made
as a false prophet (John 7:12; chief priests claimed that the [24:10]) remembered his words. possible through our baptism
Matt 27:63), and of assuming disciples stole the body (Matt Of course, they remembered (Rom 6:4-12). We acquire a new Bishop Pat Alo
divine prerogative (Mark 14:64). 28:12; cf John 20:2). Some claimed because they had accompanied being (2 Cor 5:17-21). Christ lives

These charges, of course, would that the empty tomb was simply him in his Galilean ministry in us (Gal 2:20). And in Luke’s
not make sense in a Roman a product of wishful thinking. (8:1-3), and they witnessed the Gospel, the first beneficiary of
trial. This is why the Jewish Others alleged that Jesus merely crucifixion (23:49) and burial this new being in Christ is the
leaders brought him to Pilate, swooned on the cross and (23:55). In Luke’s theology, what repentant criminal: “I assure you,
the Roman governor, on charges subsequently extricated himself the women heard was crucial in this day, you will be with me in
of insurrection: subverting the from the bands and the tomb. interpreting the empty tomb. paradise” (Luke 23:43).
The big
Fr. Francis Ongkingco issue
WHATEVER WHEN God created the world, of the things He created

The Devil’s boredom

man was the masterpiece, as the Scriptures record: “God
said, ‘Let us make man in our own image, in the likeness of
ourselves, and let them be masters of the fish of the sea, the
birds of heaven, the cattle, all the wild beasts, and all the
reptiles that crawl upon the earth’. God created man in the
image of himself, in the image of God he created him, male
ST. Michael decided to take a leisurely stroll “Oh, what I would give to do just that,” sulking around here?” Michael inquired. and female he created them” (Gen. 1:26-27). “God blessed
after making his usual rounds in Heaven and he sneered at the Archangel. “Well, I was actually lying when I said I them, saying to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and
making sure that its pearly gates were shiny “Hey, that doesn’t sound like you?” was bored,” Lucifer confessed. conquer it” (Gen. 1:28).
and sturdy. He found St. Peter busy with the “I’m bored with how things are turning “That’s really nothing new to you, being God’s plan therefore in its normal course is that man be “fruitful
books containing the names of those who up down there.” the father of lies,” Michael snapped. “So what and multiply, fill the earth and conquer it” (Gen. 1:28). You violate
were going to Heaven. “Bored?” Michael asked. “Isn’t that would be the real reason you’re here?” such design when you block the normal course of conception and
“So how have things been lately, Peter?” something humans are fond of saying?” “More than bored, I’m quite frustrated birth by contraceptive devices and abortion which the RH Bill
Michael asked. “Yup, but it looks like that much of my because even though we’ve literally tried to promotes or facilitates. Don’t you see that if contraception and
“Pretty much the same, except for the last work down there is pretty covered. I guess temp every pore in man to sin, he still manages abortion are thoroughly implemented in any place, population is
batch of businessmen and lawyers who died it was an oversight of ours; that we planned to get around his sins by going to confession,” heading towards self-extinction and destruction. Note places in
in a plane crash. Providence had it that there way too ahead of time that now most of us the devil snarled disgustedly. “Why can’t the world where the older ones are increasing while the younger
was a priest in that same plane who gave are out of commission in tempting people to humans be bored with going to Confession, generations are disappearing. That is the main issue why the
them the general absolution.” gravely sin and go to hell.” attending Mass and offering penance? Church goes against the use of the contraceptive devices and
“Wow! God truly has his ways of wanting “What makes you say that?” the Angel Couldn’t they just stick to their sins?” abortion because it forms part of the ugly face of the culture of
all men to be saved!” Michael remarked. “Oh, was quite suspicious at this strange remark, “Man’s freedom to choose between doing death. Such is not mercy or love when you block the possibility
did the priest come in too?” he was just a wondering what trick the devil might pull good or bad has always been a mystery to of new life by preventing conception or terminating human life
bit curious. on him. me,” Michael said. “One thing though I can at the incipient stage just because of worries regarding poverty,
“Nope,” Peter said and then added, “I’m serious,” Lucifer said. “Take the say, that he realizes he can never be happy overpopulation, lack of educational facilities or other commodities
“Actually, he survived the crash.” Internet, we don’t even have to tempt both sinning and something inside of him will in life. The Lord surely provides for our needs, if we do our part
“He must still have a lot of work to do young and old to log into bad sites. They’re always make him return to God, because he in respecting and helping one another.
down there. I can see how his guardian angels just a click away and the pop-ups do most of is aware that only God can forgive sins.” God’s word is infallible: “That is why I tell you not to be
must have been working overtime too,” the the work for us. So I just redeployed the rest “That’s unfair!” the devil screamed. “Why worried about food and drink for yourself, or about clothes for
archangel said. of the boys to try and distract people during doesn’t God just leave things as they are, and your body. Is not life more important than food and is not the
“Where are you headed for, Michael?” Sunday and prayer services.” not help man?” body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air;
Peter asked. “Oh, I see,” Michael realized the devil “That’s where you’re mistaken, Lucifer,” they do not sow, they do not harvest and do not store food in
“Oh, just to take a stroll. Perhaps, I can had a point. Michael corrected him. “In the end, it still barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not
catch Lucifer up to some mischief.” “Then there are the movies on television, rests on man to freely choose his eternal worth much more than birds? Can any of you add a day to
“I don’t think you don’t have to go too cable and also the Internet,” the Devil destiny. God never forces man to love Him, your life by worrying about it? Why are you so worried about
far,” Peter said, “I just spied him around the chuckled with delight. It’s not only the bad but neither will He refuse His mercy to your clothes? Look at the flowers in the fields how they grow.
corner brooding to himself.” ones, but all sorts of films that people watch anyone who comes to Him saying sincerely They do not toil or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in
“What!” Michael said surprised. “That’s indiscriminately and find themselves not that he’s sorry.” all his wealth was clothed like one of these. If God so clothes
strange! Shouldn’t he be working harder even having time for prayer, the family and Lucifer didn’t say anything. His face the grass in the field which blooms today and is to be burned
considering that his time is almost up?” serving the needy.” reddened with fury and he disappeared. tomorrow in an oven, how much more will he clothe you?
“I really don’t know, I tried pulling his tail, “But…,” Michael tried to interrupt him but What little faith you have! Do not worry and say: What are
but he didn’t say anything. Why don’t you Lucifer wasn’t paying attention. *** we going to eat? What are we going to drink? Or: what shall
ask him yourself,” Peter suggested. “And if people aren’t hooked to their we wear? The pagans busy themselves with such things; but
Michael went over to where the devil was. computers or T.V. sets, the wave of portable “Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. Set your
He was exactly as Peter said he was. Satan had gadgets, laptops, and tablets are now effective the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, hearts on his kingdom first, and on his righteousness, and all
a glum expression over his face that Michael mobile occasions of sin. So you see, we’re pretty seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in these other things will be given you as well. So do not worry
had never seen before. much ‘unemployed’, I guess when all of this is your faith, knowing that the same experience about tomorrow: tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day
“Hey, Lucifer! What’s up? Shouldn’t you be over, we will just have to enjoy harvest time.” of suffering is required of your brotherhood has enough trouble of its own” (Mt. 6:25-34).
down there rather than sit around here?” “But is that the real reason why you’re just throughout the world.” (1 Pt. 5:8-9)
CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 7
March 29 – April 11, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI with Israel’s religious leaders during an interfaith meeting at the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, Israel, on the occasion of the pope’s visit to Holy land on May 14, 2009.

‘Reinforce the Solidarity that has been shown so far’

(Letter the prefect of Your Excellency,
The preparation for Easter once again
Together with the ecclesial community
of Israel and Palestine I listened to “a
“loved us to the end”; to that place where
the Apostles with the Holy Mother of
entire Church.
I enclose an informative document
the Congregation for launches the appeal to the Pastors of the
universal Church to support the Holy
voice” of brotherhood and peace.
Strongly emphasizing the ceaseless
the Risen Crucified One experienced
the first Pentecost. We firmly believe in
that illustrates all that the Custody of
the Holy Land has been able to achieve
Eastern Churches, Land by offering prayers, attentive
participation and practical generosity.
problem of emigration, His Holiness
recalled that “in the Holy Land there
the “flame” of the Holy Spirit “which
is never extinguished” and which the
with the 2009 Collection. And I recall
that it is always thanks to the annual
Sensitivity to the needs of the Church is room for everyone”! And he urged Living One spreads in abundance. And Collection that various interventions can
Cardinal Leonardo in Jerusalem and in the Middle East finds the authorities to support the Christian let us work tirelessly to guarantee a be carried out by the Latin Patriarchate
its motivation in the “we” of the Church. presence but at the same time assured future to Christians in the place where of Jerusalem and by the Eastern Catholic
Sandri, sent to This sensitivity becomes help, like the the Christians of this land of the Church’s “the kindness and humanity” of Our Churches in Israel and in Palestine.
relief sent to the brethren who lived in solidarity. God and Father first appeared. I pray the Lord that he may lavishly
the bishops of the Judea (Acts 11:29-30); remembrance, like At Holy Mass in Bethlehem, he then The Pope has entrusted to the reward those who love the Land that
St Paul’s invitation in his Letter to the encouraged the baptized to be “a bridge Congregation for the Eastern Churches gave birth to him: it must remain,
world regarding Galatians (2:10), and a collection that of dialogue and constructive cooperation the task of keeping alive interest thanks to the “lively and youthful
responds to precise practical instructions in the building of a culture of peace to in that blessed Land. In his name Church” which works there, a witness
the collection for (1 Corinthians16:1-6) and is described
as the favor of taking part in the relief
replace the present stalemate of fear,
aggression and frustration” so that the
I urge everyone to reinforce the
solidarity that has been shown so far.
down the centuries to the great works
of salvation.
the Church in the of the saints (2 Corinthians 8-9 and
Romans 15).
local Churches might be “workshops of
dialogue, tolerance and hope, as well as
In fact, the Christians of the East have
a responsibility that belongs to the
In communion with the pastors and
Christians of the Holy Land, I wish you
Holy Land, which Our appeal this year is inspired by the
pilgrimage “in the historical footsteps of
of solidarity and practical charity”.
The Year for Priests involves the
universal Church, in other words the
responsibility to preserve the “Christian
an Easter filled with divine blessings.

traditionally takes Jesus” which the Holy Father Benedict

XVI made last May.
beloved priests and seminarians of
the whole Church, together with their
origins”, the places and people who are
the sign of them, so that those origins
Yours most devotedly in the Lord,
place on Good I had the honor of accompanying him
and of sharing the pastoral, ecumenical
respective Bishops, in a commitment to
the Holy Places. Let us, therefore, return
may always be the reference of the
Christian mission, the measure of the

Friday.) and interreligious concern that enlivened

his words and actions.
in our hearts to the Upper Room in
Jerusalem where the Teacher and Lord
ecclesial future and its security. They
therefore deserve the support of the
Archbishop Secretary

Reminders to candidates for the public Message of Cardinal

office and their supporters Rosales for Alay
Kapwa Sunday
AS the spiritual father of our appeal is for all candidates tity; the rule of law;
Local Church in Davao City, I and supporters to try to * testify to the credibility of * people who firmly maintain
am duty-bound to issue fatherly * think only good thoughts their claim as Catholic Chris- peace and order;
reminders to my spiritual more often; tians; * people who unselfishly pro-
children. * desire only the moral good; * glorify God Who by baptism mote the common welfare,
These reminders are being * speak only good and kind made them His children. not vested interests;
sent exclusively to our words; * people who freely and closely My dear brothers and sisters we, all of us, become the less
fe l lo w Cath o l i c s wh o a r e * perform only good deeds, not Fourth Reminder: To do strive to imitate the Lord Je- in Christ, fortunate.
running for public office as for popularity and fame; otherwise or the opposite is sus, the Son of God (there is Alay Kapwa Sunday is The season of Lent gives
well as to their supporters * establish only good relation- tantamount to no other) Who came not to the special day of the year us the opportunity to reflect
who are also Catholics. To ships that heal; * defying and disobeying be served but to serve; designated to raise funds for on our lives. It is also a time
non-Catholics and people of * pray a little but well. God; * people who are never so tall social services and programs to reflect on how we have
good will, these are friendly * insulting one’s very self; as when they kneel down to for the less fortunate. It served as stewards of God’s
suggestions. Third Reminder: By doing * scandalizing the public; pray; is also known as Caritas creations. What have we
the second reminder, they * mocking the democratic ex- * people whose greatness lies in Sunday. done to our environment?
First Reminder: On bended will ercise; their capacity to forgive and However, we are now This Palm Sunday, give
knees after communion (oratio * pacify the inner caprices of * depriving our city and people to ask for forgiveness. beginning to see and directly and help. And, as we make
imperata prayers for healing the heart; of good and dignified public experience the effects of our offering, let us pray that
and elections), we tell God * indemnify damaged proper- servants; Sixth and Last Reminder: To a crisis that we have been God spares us from such
that ties and return the ill-gotten * making our city morally and everyone, my humble prayers ignoring. It is not only calamities and disasters, and
* inborn goodness is in every- ones; spiritually corrupt; with a fatherly appeal to please climate change as some for God to rule our hearts.
one, even in non-Catholics; * rectify unjust relationships * reducing this beautiful place believe that it is never too late would want us to call We must also pray that we, as
* inborn goodness is God’s through humble forgiveness to morbid killing fields with- to change our lives. Sins, vices, it and believe. Mother a people, select leaders who
gift; and reconciliation; out a future; and crimes are human weaknesses Nature is reacting to what will never compromise the
* inborn goodness is a spark of * purify wrong superstitious * starting this from the womb and are man-made. With God’s we have done to her. Last environment for economic
the Divine; practices of the faith; until the tomb. grace they can be unmade by year, storms Ondoy and gains, leaders who can help
* inborn goodness is not and * dignify the electoral processes their makers. For, as St. Paul Pepeng ravaged Luzon. protect and nurture what
cannot be erased by sin and through honest, lawful, and Fifth Reminder: Public said: “Where sin abounds, These past few months, little we have left, leaders
crime; peaceful means; service is a sacred trust. It is there grace abounds even more” major earthquakes hit Haiti, whom we can depend on
* inborn goodness is a power- * edify the voters and the entrusted to (Rom. 5:20). Chile and Taiwan. In Haiti, in times of calamities and
ful source and resource for public with good exemplary * people whose aim is to reflect hundreds of thousands disasters. There will be very
good. behavior; God’s goodness in their pri- +FERNANDO R. CAPALLA of lives were lost. Here at rough times ahead.
* magnify with pride our com- vate and public lives; Archbishop of Davao home, we are again praying But, despite our bleak
Second Reminder: My earnest mon Filipino national iden- * people who resolutely uphold March 18, 2010 for rain, as billions of pesos outlook, my dear brothers
worth of crops, plants and and sisters, allow me to share
trees have dried up. with you that there is always
We have to prepare. We hope. The Palm branch and
have to be prepared. We Palm Sunday are symbols of
ha ve t o c ha ng e. Rea lly victory and welcoming the
change. Lord. Though Palm Sunday

CBCPMonitor Name _________________________________________________

(Family Name) (Given Name) (Middle Name)
This Palm Sunday, please
support the special Alay
Kapwa collection in your
is Jesus’ triumphant entry
to Jerusalem, it is also the
start of our Lord’s passion
parishes. This will go and suffering leading to His
SUBSCRIPTION RATES Mailing Address _______________________________________________ to the Caritas Disaster- death on the Cross. But we
Preparedness Fund Drive. also know that in the end,
_________________________________________________ This fund is used in times in the ultimate end, there
The CBCP Monitor is published fort- Phone No.: ________ Fax No.: ________ E-mail: ___________ of major crises like we would be Easter, God’s
experienced in Ondoy. We ultimate victory over death
nightly by the CBCP Media Office, with Mode of Payment were also able to extend and sin.
editorial and business offices at 470  Check/PMO enclosed  Cash Payment help to Haiti through this Return to the Lord your
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(Payable to: CBCP Communications Development Foundation Inc.)
Box 3601, 1076 MCPO Aside from the special and compassionate, slow
• Domestic collection, you may also to anger and abounding in
1 Year Php 500.00 _____________________________ support the drive by love, and he relents from
2 Years Php 900.00 depositing to the different sending calamity. (Joel
Signature accounts of Caritas 2:12-14)
• Foreign: Asia Manila. God bless us all!
1 Year US$ 55.00 Alay Kapwa Sunday has
• All Other US$ 80.00 always been about the less +Gaudencio Cardinal
PLEASE SEND TO: fortunate. But with the Rosales
seriousness of the climate Archbishop of Manila
CBCP Monitor, P.O. Box 3601, Manila, Philippines
470 Gen. Luna St., Intramuros, Manila, Philippines | Tel (632) 404-2182 • Telefax (632) 404-1612 crisis and these calamities, March 28, 2010
Or e-mail this at cbcpmonitor@cbcpworld.com
B8 Entertainment CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 7
March 29 – April 11, 2010

The movie takes place in a Western movies and modern Title: Book of Eli
world of chaos and mayhem 30 action flicks with its staging and Cast: Denzel Washington, Moral Assessment Technical Assessment
years after the apocalypse. Eli cinematography. The script is Gary Oldman, Mila Kunis
(Denzel Washington) has been intriguing but there are several Directors: Albert Hughes, Al-
len Hughes  Abhorrent  Poor
travelling on foot in search for loopholes in the storyline’s logic  Disturbing  Below average

water source. He is generally and Eli’s character. Fortunately, Producers: Broderick John-
son, Andrew A. Kosove,  Acceptable  Average

peaceful and quiet but has the visual play each scene provides Joel Silver, David Valdes,  Wholesome  Above average
superb combat skills he will not balances its shortcomings. Denzel Washington
hesitate to use if provoked. He Washington and Oldman play their
 Exemplary  E
Screenwriter: Gara Whitta
enters a dilapidated town built respective roles convincingly. Music: Atticus Ross, Leopold
and run by Carnegie (Gary The Book of Eli presents a bit Ross, Claudia Sarne
Oldman), an ambitious gang of a predicament. On the one Editor: Cindy Mollo
leader who desires to build hand, it might be possible to Cinematography: Don Burgess
more towns if only he can find excuse the brutality of the film Distributor: Warner Bros.
the only remaining copy of the and take this in the context of a Pictures
Location: USA
Bible. Impressed by Eli’s skills, chaotic world after the war. On
Running Time: 118 mins.
Carnegie decides to have him the other hand, one might wish
seduced by his blind concubine’s to just look at all the objectionable Technical Assessment:  ½
daughter, only to find out later violence and dismiss the movie’s Moral Assessment:  ½
that he carries the very book he values altogether. The movie may CINEMA Rating: For viewers
14 and above
has been searching for. Carnegie appear to be merely a violent film
then plots to kill Eli and take but if you will take a closer look passages from the Bible and
possession of the only copy of the movie is interspersed with emphasizes the need to look at
the King James Bible, while Eli, several religious ideologies. First, the spirit not just the words of
believing that God is on his side, there is Eli’s journey to faithfully the passages. He reveals that he
uses all his skills to protect his carry out and complete the walks by faith and not by sight.
precious cargo until he is able to mission entrusted to him. Second, However, several scenes have
properly turn it over. amidst a world consumed by intermittent strong language,
The movie offers a fresh breath chaos and violence, the Word violence and sexual innuendos,
of treatment for an old plot - a of God seems to be a beacon of although not endorsed as a way
peaceful man with a mission who hope and change. Third, Eli’s of life, they will still disturb the
is capable of killing his enemies spirituality is almost authentic as sensibilities of most people.
single handedly if provoked. The he not only carries and protects Film might not be appropriate
production is decent and engaging the Bible but also reads passages for children younger than 14 and
with an authentic interpretation of daily and has even memorized parents are cautioned to guide
a world that survived the worst. the entire book. He also prays a their teenagers when watching
One can see semblances of old lot, frequently quotes and shares the movie.

MAC en COLET Ni Bladimer Usi

Buhay Parokya
Look for the
and updated version that comes images of
Title: Alice in Wonderland
Cast: Mia Wasikowska, John- in 3D technology. As expected, Easter Eggs,
ny Depp, Helena Bonham- Tim Burton’s adaptation is dark Last Supper,
Carter, Anne Hathaway, yet full of substance. The core and Chalice.
Allan Rickman message remains faithful to (Illustration by
Director: Tim Burton the original although the entire Bladimer Usi)
Producer: Richard Zanuck feel is made contemporary
Screenwriter: Linda Woolver- and the look borderlines
ton into surreal aesthetics that is
Genre: Fantasy
Burton’s signature. Audiences
Distributor: Walt Disney
Location: UK are taken into a visual treat
Running Time: 105 min. this time with live characters
Technical Assessment:  and colorful magnificent
½ backdrops. The sound, scoring
Moral Assessment:  and cinematography are all
CINEMA Rating: For viewers in place. The real gem in the
age 13 and below with film is the performance of its
parental guidance actors. Wasikowska, perfect for
her role, does an excellent job
Young Alice has been having playing the grown-up Alice. Her
a recurring dream of going unique charm and combination
down a dark hole leading to a of cleverness and innocence
strange-looking place. When make her a memorable character.
she reaches 19 years old, Alice Hathaway’s appearance is
(Mia Wasikowska) is obliged to comparatively brief but
accept a public wedding proposal interesting just the same. Depp is
from a suitor whom she has no as usual fantastic, but Bonham-
Carter as the
Red Queen
with the
oversized head
every scene
she’s in with
Alice in
has brought
its audience
to a place that
exists only
in one’s wild
The film has
shown the
power of
believing in the
impossible. The
Red and White
Queens clearly
represent the
battle between
good and evil,
and this helped
bring to the fore
the maturing
of Alice
affection for. So when a white from adven-turesome girl to
rabbit wearing a waistcoat courageous young woman. She
distracts her, she runs from the has held dearly the teachings of her
crowd to follow the strange parents, except, understandably,
creature. In her pursuit of the when forced to marry somebody
rabbit, Alice falls into the rabbit she does not love. In this sense,
hole and finds herself in a place she has come of age, defying
that she has already seen in her authority and unexamined
dreams, Wonderland. However, social traditions to use her own
it’s no longer the happy place mind to do what is right. Alice’s
it once was. Alice bumps into character strongly depicts self-
Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) and confidence and optimism, traits
from him she discovers that her that are given recognition in
coming has been foretold for she the end when she is granted the
is believed to be the only one who opportunity to venture into the
can save the land by slaying the real world with real characters
Red Queen’s (Helena Bonham- and real challenges.
Carter) huge flying dragon, Due to the dark depiction and
the Jabberwocky, and restoring images (i.e., chopped fingers
power to the White Queen (Anne used as potion, smoking cat,
Hathaway). However, Alice is animals treated cruelly, etc.) that
reluctant for she believes all these may not appear wholesome to the
are just part of a dream and she very young audience, CINEMA
would soon wake-up. strongly recommends parental
This children’s classic by Lewis guidance for audiences below
Carroll is re-lived in this latest 13 years old.
CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 7
March 29 - April 11, 2010

The News Supplement of

Couples for Christ

CFC Europe: Inspired and

Empowered By Chastine Rodriguez
THE 2nd CFC Europe Leaders Summit held last 26-28 February 2008 in Geneva
(Switzerland) started with a Holy Mass officiated by Fr. Raymund Gaspar,
spiritual adviser of CFC Belgium.
In his homily, Fr. Raymund enjoined CFC members to be an
inspiration to the young as he said, “ As you grow older, the
more that household leaders should become an inspiration to
young people.” He reminded his congregation that “We need
the Lord to cleanse us. Let us accept our leadership with humil-
ity” and that the community should always “trust that the Lord
knows more than us.”
The Summit is emerging to be an institutionalized undertak-
ing held every two years by CFC Europe to serve as a venue for
leaders to share experiences and learn lessons from them, and
to use these as inputs in formulating a community action plan
for the succeeding two years focusing on matters of evangeli-
zation, the CFC’s twin missions of building the Church of the
Home and building the Church of the Poor, and Oneness with
the Catholic Church.
The first summit was held in Milan (Italy) in 2008 attended by
about 150 delegates who came from various CFC areas in Europe,
the Philippines and from as far away as Japan.
In this year’s summit in Geneva (Switzerland), there were 164
attendees representing 13 European countries and the Philippines.
The two-day affair was led by Bro. Joe Yamamoto, CFC Execu-
tive Director and European Coordinator, Bro. Mannix Ocampo,
ANCOP Operations Head and Austria Country Coordinator, and
Bro. Joe Tale, Chairman of the International Council.
It came as the community prepares for the biggest event of the
year, the megacon to be held this summer in Vienna (Austria)
entitled the EUROCON XV.

Mindanao Leaders Meet In Gensan

By Carlos Matela sardines, fruits, baked products
and offered them during the
SOME 3,500 leaders from all over Mindanao met in the tuna capital for bounty parade.
the annual gathering of leaders. The Mindanao Fullness in Christ Week- The “El Niño Phenomenon”
end was held from March 12-14, 2010 at the KCC (Koronadal Commercial did not stop the abundance of
Center) Mall of Gensan Convention Center in General Santos City. food as the leaders were offered
The delegates came in droves to Gensan from as far as Basilan and “tuna sashimi” sliced right in
Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte in Western Mindanao and Surigao del front of them together with other
Norte from Northeastern Mindanao. This was the biggest attendance fruits and seafood products from
of any Mindanao conference so far. South Cotabato and Sarangani.
Six of the seven International Council members – Joe Tale, Joe The second day of the con-
Yamamoto, Lito Tayag, Rouquel Ponte, Joey Arguelles and Manny ference began with a Hoy Eu-
Garcia - and their spouses, attended and were speakers and sharers charistic Celebration presided
at the said conference. by Rev. Fr. Joseph Benitez, the
The leaders’ weekend started with the Leaders’ Summit in the Spiritual Director of CFC South
morning participated in by members of the CFC Council in Min- Cotabato, and concelebrated by
danao. At 5:00 in the afternoon, a mass was celebrated by Fr. Jun Fr. Ronilo Huesca and Fr. Jun
Diamante, CFC Bukidnon’s spiritual director, who was also a par- Diamante. Fr. Benitez welcomed
ticipant to the conference. the delegates and thanked CFC
After the mass, a Harvest Festival in the nearby Conlu Ecopark for making General Santos the
was celebrated to welcome the delegates who also brought along venue for this year’s Mindanao
with them their harvests and delicacies from their own areas such as Leaders Conference.

Being the father of the city, “Journey in Faith” was given by Joey Arguelles with Tess Arguelles
Mayor Pedro “Jun” B. Acharon, and Jojo Coyugan as sharers. The session of the second day was
Jr., who is also an active member capped by a Mini-Praisefest led by Bebot Matela, member of the
of the CFC in General Santos, Provincial Council of South Cotabato.
welcomed the delegates and The third day was again started with a Holy Eucharist Celebration
cited different beautiful places presided by Rev. Fr. Ronald Plomillo, who was commissioned by
that the delegates can see during Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez, DD, Bishop of the Diocese of Marbel, to
their stay in the city. represent him. Fr. Ronald was joined by Fr. Jun Diamante and Rev.
CFC Chairman Joe Tale gave Jeff Agustin, a deacon of the Capuchin Order of Friars.
the overview of the conference. The last talk (Filled with Thanksgiving) was given by Manny Garcia
Talk 1 (Accepting the Call) was with wife Ditas sharing their “blessings of Ondoy” and Juvy Amadeo
given by Lito Tayag, with his of General Santos sharing how grateful she and her husband Toto
wife Linda and Boie Sescon as the were for the gift of love from God and the community. As the cul-
sharers. Talk 2 (One in Christ) minating activity, everyone, spouses particularly, thanked each other
was delivered by Rouquel Ponte for being blessings to one another. This was led by Joe and Babylou
with Nina as sharer. Tale who wrote thanksgiving love letters to each other and led in the
CFC Executive Director and singing of the song “Sometimes”. Members also thanked their leaders
Mindanao Mission Director Joe for shepherding them. The conference ended with a praisefest led by
Yamamoto opened the afternoon Alan Baiño, member of the Area Council of Davao City.
session with Talk 3 (Rooted in Everybody went home very grateful for the wonderful conference
Christ) with his wife Mila as they have attended. Ozamiz City in Misamis Occidental will be the
sharer. The last talk of the day next host of the 2011 Mindanao Leaders Conference.

By Zeny Gimenez
CFC Accepts Archdiocesan Task
a prerequisite to getting permission to wed in of the Post Cana Program, CFC will be in charge duct of MERs in some parishes, upon the invitation
the church. of forming the MER teams and speakers in coor- of the parish priests, for those who are not CFC
THE Archdiocese of Manila has tasked CFC to take 2. Post Cana Program - CFL has requested that the dination with the CFL Office. The Teen Sexuality members. “But it is providential that the conduct
the lead in implementing the Family Life Programs CFC conduct their Marriage Enrichment Retreat Seminar will be organized by CFL with the help of of our MER, done as a service in a few parishes, has
in all the 84 parishes of the archdiocese. (MER) for married couples in the parish who Singles for Christ and Youth for Christ volunteers prepared us for this much larger responsibility.”
CFC has gladly accepted and the agreement was are not members of any family-oriented groups. who will be trained in the TSS module. The archdiocese of Manila covers four of the
formalized during the Commission on Family and The target for 2010 is 1 MER per vicariate which Joe Tale disclosed that the agreement is the imple- 12 Metro Manila sectors, namely: West A, West
Life (CFL) Vicariate Priest Coordinators Meeting at means 13 vicarial MERs for the year.. mentation of a meeting with Bishop Broderick S. B, Central A and Central C. The other sectors
the Arzobispado de Manila last February 8, 2010. 3. Teen Sexuality Seminar (TSS) – This is a 3-4 hours Pabillo, DD, Auxiliary Bishop of Manila, organized are already cooperating fully and assisting the
Joe Tale, CFC Chairman, and Rev Fr. Joel O. Jason, chastity education seminar given to the youth in by Rene Perez, formerly a CFC Metro Manila sector parishes in their Family Life programs; however,
commissioner of the Commission of Family and schools and parishes and CFL intends to conduct head. In that meeting, held towards the end of last it is only with the archdiocese of Manila that the
Life, signed the agreement. at least one TSS per quarter per vicariate. year, the bishop invited CFC to take on this role in collaboration has been formalized.
4. Natural Family Planning (NFL) – CFC will help recognition of the fact that, of the 84 parishes in the According to Joe Tale, “This is a great responsi-
The agreement specified the areas where CFC in the program by providing the NFL teachers. archdiocese, roughly 30% of them already have bility. We thank the Lord for this recognition and
will help the parishes: Family Life coordinators coming from CFC. for the trust and confidence given to CFC. This
1. Pre-Cana seminars – This seminar is given to CFC volunteers will undergo necessary training With regard to the Post-Cana program, Joe Tale is a wonderful privilege – to be able to share CFC
couples who are about to get married and is with CFL in all the above programs. In the case noted that CFC has actually already begun the con- with others.”
C2 Ugnayan CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 7
March 29 - April 11, 2010

By Joe Tale, CFC Chairman

“LENT is like coming home”, yond the structure, a home is really the people one lives with, and has not had a home it could call its own. We have occupied rented
softly intoned Fr. Xavier among which, love abounds. “A house is not a home, when the two spaces all these years, transferring to different buildings at differ-
Olin, SJ as he celebrated mass of us are far apart, and one of us has a broken heart”, a popular Burt ent times. We have stayed in four different addresses, including
with us in the CFC Home Bacharach song in the 70s belts out. our present home office which we have occupied for the past 14
Office. Lent is about being closer to Jesus, who is our true home, Author Max Lucado, in his book “The Applause of Heaven” ex- years. All told, our rental payments have reached the amount of P30
he expounded. The message touched me in a special way, as I was presses the experience of home in a special way. He thanks his wife million, and will continue to increase, all these for a space that we
putting my thoughts together for this article. Earlier, as an inspira- for “making my coming home the highlight of my day”. It is not the cannot leave as a legacy to the next generations of CFC members.
tion, I had actually been led to write about “home”. clinched business deal, it is not the much applauded talk or speech, But of course, everything happens in God’s time, according to His
The experience of home has a special place in the life of all peoples, it is not even the promotion or awards received. All these are great, plan. This is what the Lord tells us in Ecclesiastes. We are heartened
but more especially for family oriented groups such as CFC. Home but the highlight of the day remains the coming home to a loving because the same book tells us that there is a “time to build”, and
is integrated in the experience of family, and family is experienced family. It is a line that inspires. It is a statement that we hope is true we strongly sense that God’s plan is for that time to happen now.
in the setting of a home. for us. It is a goal that we should all work for, everyday, whether And so, we have recently launched last March 19, 2010 (on the feast
For CFC, this clearly and distinctly resonates in its vision of we are husband, wife, child, brother, sister, lolo or lola. of St. Joseph, the carpenter who built a home for Jesus and Mary),
“Families in the Holy Spirit, Renewing the Face of the Earth” and its For us who have been blessed with a home, humble as it may be, a fund campaign to make our dream to have a CFC Home a reality.
two-fold mission of Building the Church of the Home and Building we should be filled with thanksgiving. At the same time though, Our prayer is that the Lord will bless us with enough to have our
the Church of the Poor. Even our mission of Building the Church of our hearts should be stirred into compassion and action to help ground breaking during our 29th anniversary in June of this year, and
the Poor is not just a random effort, but also targets renewal of the many others who are yet homeless, who cannot as yet relate to a home office of our own by the time we celebrate our 30th year as a
family among the poor – providing a home for the family through the experience of warmth and comfort that sometimes we take for community in June 2011! Please join us in prayer and in action.
ANCOP Homes, and continuing with spiritual and values formation granted. Let us care and love enough so that others may have their In addition to the truth of Jesus being our true home, the Lord also
for all members of the family both in GK sites and ANCOP Homes. own homes, too. For in a sense, our homes are not isolated spaces, wants to bless us with the wonderful experience of the other aspects
(ANCOP is acronym for Answering the Cry of the Poor, CFC’s but actually rooms in this big common home we all live in that we of home. The Lord wants us to have a foretaste of our heavenly home
expanded work for the poor). call earth. The other rooms do not as yet have roofs and walls. For with the blessing of an earthly home. Jesus prayed to the Father in
The ideal of home connotes warm feelings of love, peace, harmony, as long as these prevail, we do not really have a home, in the same the prayer that He taught us, “thy kingdom come, thy will be done,
a refuge where one can have respite from a hectic pace and a rough, way that a house is not yet a house when many of the other rooms on earth as it is in heaven.”
demanding world, a place where one is safe for he or she is among are still unfinished. Indeed, home is a blessing. Home is love. Home is God. May we
people who love. In a real way, home is a life support system itself. As families need a home, communities, too, as a big family, also all be blessed with our own true home, on earth, as in heaven.
Of course, a home does not just refer to a physical structure. Be- need a home. The CFC global family in its near 29 years of existence A meaningful Holy Week to all !

CFC World

ANCOP USA and CFC Tekton ANCOP signed a memorandum of agreement during the ANCOP USA Planning held last February 20-21.
CFC Executive Director Joe Yamamoto (seated, second from left) signed on behalf of CFC while Tony Ventura (seated, third from left),
Msgr. Allen Aganon, CFC IC’s spiritual director, conducted a spiritual recollection for the fulltime workers president of ANCOP USA, signed on behalf of ANCOP USA. Also present were Ricky Cuenca of CFC Canada and members of the CFC
and staff of CFC at the Home Office on March 3. USA National Council, among them, Jack Macalalad, Bobbee Mella, Rod Bustos, Glen Santayana and Rolly Ballanza.

By Joe Yamamoto, CFC Director

“I am the vine, you are the branches…” John 15:5 the most lasting and beautiful discourses in the ness. What was begun in our lives in our Baptism overcome,
Bible- the story of the Vine and the Branches, where with water, is further strengthened and constantly that purify
THE story of God’s relations with His people, from God the Father is the Vine Grower. renewed in the sacraments and by the regular, life- our inten-
the most ancient of the Bible history, has always Jesus spoke these words in what is known as the giving grace of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. tions, give us greater faith and reliance on God’s
been of Oneness – One Triune God, the unity of “Last Supper Discourses,” a stream of advice and And then there are the devotionals, the ways saving power and providence and make us worthy
the Father and the Son, and the unique singularity words of wisdom that Jesus spoke to His disciples that lead us to a life with Christ. As Catholics, offerings that are pleasing sacrifices to God.
of God’s purpose with man and His redemption. on the eve of His death. It was as if Jesus was pack- we have our devotions to our Blessed Mother, a The trials and persecutions that continue to
The anchor chapter and the contained verses are ing all the insights and treasures He had into the practice that conforms well with our appreciation challenge our community have a purpose – they
taken from John 15, the so-called “Vine and the very short time that He had left with His people. He of her importance in the salvific mission of her are God’s loving way to make us bear much fruit
Branches Discourse.” was summarizing the three years of teachings and Son, Jesus. As CFC, we look to her as our Star of for His sake and in His name. We have had to
Consider the two preceding chapters - Chapter discussions into the oral gems He was bequeathing Evangelization and most recently, as the Patroness endure much suffering but we have been given
13 dealt with the servant heart of the Messiah, to those who had remained loyal to Him, in spite of our work with the poor. much grace to simply lift up the pain and trials and
manifested in the washing of the feet of the dis- of all the trials they had gone through. allow God to take control of the situation.
ciples and in Jesus tenderly addressing them as These words best illustrate our life in Jesus; it Fruitfulness in Christ
little children. It is at this time that Jesus gave a speaks of the oneness with Him that leads us to The reward of our abiding in Christ is our fruit- Chosen by God
new commandment- to love one another as He grow more and more like Him. This verse also fulness, our capacity to bear much fruit in our new When we speak of our new life in Christ Jesus,
has loved them. A new standard has been raised speaks of our abiding in Christ, the primary req- life in the Lord. John 15:2 speaks of the obstacles we do not mean the good works that we have
and so has the level of the bar of love and service. uisite for us to remain connected to Him and be to our fruitfulness and of how God will work in learned to do and the holy lives we are trying to
Henceforth, believer and nonbeliever would rec- continually nourished by Him. The word “abid- our lives to restore us to fertile grounds. “He takes lead. Rather, it is our realization of the basic truth
ognize the disciples of Christ not by any emblem ing” is so expressive – it connotes not just a con- away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, that what we are now is simply because of God’s
or external markers but by their “deeds of love nection but also a closeness that is at once binding and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears love and providence. It is the acceptance, with
for another:” “By this all men will know that we as it is affirming and loving. Abiding is also unique more fruit.” much gratitude, of the basic fact that He chose us
are Jesus’ disciples.” It clearly defines oneness because it was offered to us by the God who initi- Despite our great resolve to abide always in from the beginning of time and nothing we do or
with Christ. ated the love affair with us, His people. God’s presence, we often fall and fail, acquiring say will change the truth of His love for us.
Chapter 14 opens with Jesus’ encouragement not character flaws and negative attitudes. In order What makes us pleasing to the Lord is not our
to be troubled about the events that were about to Abiding in Christ for every branch that does not bear fruit in us to be good works but our heart’s response to His call
unfold (his suffering and death). He reminded the How do we abide in Christ? removed, we need to reflect on our lives, beginning to draw closer to Him. In John 15:15b, Jesus says,
disciples to have faith in God and faith in Him, In Couples for Christ, we seem to have already with a nightly examination of how we have lived “I have called you friends…” What a wonderful
and that when He goes to the Father, He will pre- found the ways. Our covenant card spells out our day and how we have lived up to our name – privilege and what a humbling realization. Our
pare places for them. Jesus likewise declared that the responsibilities we take on as Christians, but Christian. In CFC, we have an excellent venue for response to God’s initiative is to exert our best
when He joins the Father, that would be the sign these actually are the very ways by which we being always kept aware of our need to evaluate efforts to remain, to abide in His presence. This
for the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Advocate , begin to draw close to God, to remain connected and examine ourselves – the pastoral cover that is means, unequivocally, avoiding sin because no
who will be with the disciples, past, present and to Him and achieve that deep abiding relation- available to each and every member. If we submit matter how small, sin always serves to block our
future, in the proclamation and propagation of ship with Him. ourselves willingly to pastoral guidance, our lead- drawing closer to God.
God’s kingdom. Prayer is the most essential requisite for abid- ers, who are tasked to help us in our faith-journey, When we lead holy lives and remain in God’s
A very powerful affirmation of the message of ing in Christ. This is our lifeline to God. Prayer, will lovingly guide us, who are God’s work in presence, we will truly bear much fruit that will
Christ was the solemn assurance of our Lord to the especially when one, through constant practice, progress, through our struggles. We have to par- last (John 15:16a). Our God, always loving and
disciples that whoever believes in Jesus, i.e. living has reached a level of prayer that fully allows ticipate actively in our community life so as to more faithful, reassures us that as we abide in Jesus, as

in unity with God, will do ‘the works that I do, the full contemplation of the presence of God, rapidly grow in the Spirit. Most important, we have we go deeper into a relationship with Him, our
and will do greater ones than these, because I am liberates, energizes and completes the connec- to have a heart for mission since this allows us to Father will give us whatever we ask in His Son’s
going to the Father. And whatever you ask in my tion to Him. partake of Jesus’ mission of salvation and gives us Name.
name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified The regular study of Scripture, because of a deeper perspective and appreciation of our role Being one with Christ is an ideal, but it is not an
in the Son. If you ask anything in my name, I will the richness of the text and the sheer volume of as co-evangelizers with the Church. impossible dream. The key to oneness with Christ
do it.” (John 14:12-14) wisdom contained in it, leads us to full reflection Our trials are great opportunities for pruning. is simply to follow His command to love one an-
After the Last Supper, where He also instituted of His Word and its application to our daily life The Lord allows trials in our life to make us stron- other (John 15:17). As we draw closer and closer to
the Eucharist, His everlasting Presence with His situations. ger in our faith and to make us desire and strive for Him, and begin to bear much fruit, then our lives
people, He led them to the garden of Gethsemane. Our sacramental life, which brings us sanctify- the humility to recognize our weaknesses and our begin to be modeled on His own. Loving as He
But before reaching their not too distant destina- ing grace and allows us to maintain that state of shortcomings. It is the challenges and trials that loves does not suddenly become easy but it does
tion, Jesus chose the moment to teach them one of grace, are major aids to our achievement of holi- we encounter and, with God’s grace, triumphantly become, with His grace, certainly doable.
CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 7
March 29 - April 11, 2010
Ugnayan C3

By Richie Tolentino
In Defense of Life The Church’s All-NFP program covers all modern NFP methods, reaches out to all chapel communi-
ties and households, and totally rejects the use of any back-up contraceptives. NFP is preferred by the
NATURAL Family Planning (NFP) and Responsible Parenthood were the key topics of the CFC Mission Church because: (1) it preserves normal (or natural) intercourse; (2) it is acceptable to all religions and
Core teaching given at the Xavier School Gym last March 16. In his talk entitled “In Defense of Life: cultures, and does not separate the love-giving and life-giving dimensions of the marital act; (3) its
A Call to Action for the Laity,” Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, S.J., of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de methods post no inherent health risks; (4) its methods are effective and reliable; (5) it entails no cost
Oro, discussed the pastoral guidelines and core values in the promotion of NFP. once the method is learned; (6) it is sustainable from generation to generation because its practice can
He began by citing what priests and family life workers have ascertained as the three felt needs of be passed on by a mother to her children; (7) it promotes shared and responsible parenthood because it
couples: (1) that couples want to plan their families in terms of size and spacing of births; (2) that they involves a joint decision by the couple; (8) it brings about sexual discipline for the spouses, and fosters
prefer NFP, given sufficient information on fertility awareness and NFP methods; and (3) that they want mutual caring and respect for their bodies; (9) it engenders an innate respect for human life, such that
to be able to pick the NFP method suitable to their circumstances. According to Archbishop Ledesma, NFP users rarely or never resort to abortion; and (10) it improves communication between husband
the best answer to these needs is to provide a positive alternative, especially since the latest surveys and wife, which is why NFP users rarely or never separate or get divorced.
reveal that less than one percent of couples use NFP, while the majority adopts no family planning The fourth guideline asserts that the Church is for enabling couples to make an informed and morally
measures at all. The rest use either traditional or modern methods to plan their families. responsible choice according to the dictates of a right conscience. Here Archbishop Ledesma spoke of
The Church follows four pastoral guidelines in promoting NFP. The first is a staunch pro-life stand three kinds of freedom: the ontological freedom of every person to choose good or evil; the social and
that upholds the dignity of the human life from the moment of conception. The Church maintains that political freedom of each citizen; and the authentic freedom of every human being, which has to do
the human person is (1) created in the image of God; (2) created with doing what ought to be done. Authentic freedom follows
by God in unity of body and soul; (3) open to transcendence, the prompting of one’s conscience. Thus, the formation of
to the infinite, and to all created beings; (4) endowed with a conscience through values formation programs is an integral
moral conscience that enables him to distinguish between part of promoting NFP and Responsible Parenthood.
good and evil; (5) a social and relational being; and (6) sinful In closing, Archbishop Ledesma stressed that in making their
but called to salvation. decision, couples need to consider the future of their children—
The second pastoral guideline maintains that the Church is both already born and yet unborn—their particular material
for Responsible Parenthood and thus calls on married couples and spiritual situation, and the overall good of their family, the
to plan their families according to the moral norms of the society, and the Church. Meanwhile, the local church is called to
Church. This involves making a deliberate decision regarding spread the word about NFP to as many couples as it can reach,
the number of children and the spacing of births. Responsible not with an attitude of condemnation or denunciation, but with
Parenthood takes into consideration the following roles that charity, compassion, and the formation of conscience.
the Christian family plays, which include: (1) forming a com- Ana Lea Pielago, who is an NFP Coordinator and part
munity of persons that fosters life and love, thus being a school of Archbishop Ledesma’s NFP team in Cagayan de Oro,
of deeper humanity; (2) serving life by passing on the divine supplemented the Archbishop’s talk by discussing details
image from person to person, therefore being a school of social of the Responsible Parenthood and All-NFP Program that is
living; (3) participating in the development of human society currently being implemented in the province. She shared her
by seeking to live out the values of truth, justice, freedom, and insights about her actual experiences in the field and urged
love; and (4) sharing in the life and mission of the Church by CFC to engage in a more extensive partnership with the local
fulfilling its role as domestic church and making Christian churches for the promotion of NFP.
marriage itself a profession of faith. Also in attendance that evening was Mitos Rivera of the
The third guideline affirms the Church’s pro-NFP and anti- Archbishop Ledesma poses for a photo with, from left, a member of his staff, Joey and Tess Arguelles, Institute for Reproductive Health, which provides informa-
DIDO (Drugs, Injections, Devices, and Operations) position. Joe Tale, Joe Yamamoto and Cholo and Christy Labog. tion on NFP technology and values.

Our Journey As Couples For Christ

By Arnel Santos ence,” explained Msgr. Aganon, care of by the Father. The lesson
“some NGOs were not able to is: ”Do what God says, and He
MONSIGNOR Allen Aganon was appointed Spiritual Director of do what they were meant to do will save you.”
Couples for Christ only recently, yet he was able to summarize the because they focused only on the
journey of the members of Couples for Christ, both as individuals technical, isinantabi ang Diyos. The third temptation
and as a community, through the Lenten Recollection he facilitated (God was put aside.) Nothing The third temptation (“I will
for CFC Mission Core Group on March 7, 2010, at the Ateneo Grade happened despite the good in- give you all the power and
School Gymnasium. tentions, they did not have God this wealth”), in Luke 4, was
Msgr. Aganon spoke about the three temptations of Christ (Lk 4: with them; they relied only on a prodding by Satan, “You
1-11), based on the inspiration he gathered from the book of Pope money and technology. ” can be king. You can rule this
Benedict XVI, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Msgr. Aganon emphasized earth with benevolence, if you
that “if you want to do good worship me.”
The desert things, put God first in your list.” Jesus was being tempted
Msgr. Aganon first discussed the biblical meaning of a “desert.” Marxism and Capitalism failed to “save man by ruling over
He associated the “desert” where Jesus was tempted by the Devil, “God was not there. This time, them. Why wait? If you want
with the “desert” that Israel had to traverse for forty years during let us put God first to find the to be a savior, use power and
the time of Moses. solutions to human problems.” use it for the common good.
He explained that it could have been a short journey from Egypt Thus, in the other parts of the And do it NOW.”
to the Promised Land, but the Israelites wandered for forty years Bible, there was multiplication But Jesus knew, said Msgr.
for three reasons. of the loaves, but this miracle Aganon, that earthly kingdom
The first was for them to “experience purification.” Four hun- was performed by Jesus because does not last. That is not Jesus
dred years in Egypt meant the absorption by the Israelites of a “people went to him to hear the Christ’s kingdom. So he said,
polytheistic culture. They had to undergo a purification process in Word of God” and not for the “The scripture says, ‘Worship
the desert to enable them to gravitate from polytheism to monothe- bread. the Lord your God and serve
ism. They had to be purged of old beliefs and practices. only him.”
The second was to “form them as a people.” And to be “isang bayan,” The second temptation
they had to undergo a lot of “unlearning, to receive new things.” In the second temptation (Matt. 4: 15), the Devil said to Jesus: “ The issue is God
The third was for them to experience that “privileged opportu- If you are God’s son, throw yourself down, for the Scriptures says Msgr. Aganon highlighted that the issue in the Temptation
nity to be close to God.” God will order his angels to take good care of you.” of Christ is God – “Who is God to us? Is our God different from
In the same light, according to Msgr. Aganon, Jesus was tempted Msgr. Aganon said that here, “Satan was tempting Jesus to show the God of Jesus?” He then asked the members of CFC Mission
in the desert for Him to understand fully His mission. Himself as God but based on Satan’s criteria,” i.e. the need for Core Group to reflect: “Look on how you do your mission, is God
miracles to be popular. there? Are you able to present God in the way you act or are you
The first temptation In today’s context, “if you are on mission and when you proclaim presenting another god?”
The first temptation (turning stone into bread), was made by God’s word, get the media and have your photo splashed all over After silent reflection, Msgr. Aganon once again asked: “Who
Satan so that Jesus might be deceived into thinking that his mis- the front page. Then it will be easier to convince people.” It was is God? We can answer this if we know who Jesus Christ is. Satan
sion was to save man from hunger, in human terms. Satan was in a temptation to start Jesus’ mission with a big miracle, to earn for wanted God to stay in the heavens but God wanted to intervene in
effect asserting that “You will save the people when you turn the himself his “credential”. our lives. He decided that He wanted to intervene in our history.
rock into bread.” Jesus did not jump and instead said “Do not put the Lord your But it is not easy to intervene. Jesus became one with us, not just
“The temptation is not bad,” said Msgr. Aganon, but it was God to the test.” in the photo ops, but in all things, even unto death.”
meant to hide from Jesus his real mission and priority in life. Indeed, according to Msgr. Aganon, “when you put God to the Msgr. Aganon concluded the Lenten recollection saying: “When
When Jesus answered “It is written, one does not live by bread test, we will not see Him.” He gave the example of some people who we accept God, we are accepting the way of Jesus; not our way.
alone,” Jesus was teaching us that it must be “God first, not bread.” If “listen to God only if He blesses them in human terms.” Slowly, gradually, hopefully we can imitate Him, He who became
you put material things first, there would be chaos and disorder. Eventually, “Jesus went down to the depths of man’s suffering” by man, who became bread. He became the weakest in order for us
This reflection has far-reaching repercussions. “In our experi- being nailed to the cross. He did this out of love, and he was taken good to receive Him as bread.”

Learning contemplative prayer from a contemplative

SR. Mary Niere, a 78-year old Carmelite nun, that indeed, contemplative weaknesses and to make CFC Missionaries
and a staunch advocate of Contemplative Prayer, prayer is both doable and the necessary personal- Love alone affects lives -- this is what Sr. Mary
visited Vietnam and Cambodia from March 11-23, definitely more satisfying. ity adjustments. She cited Niere, OCD, stressed during a half-day talk with the
giving talks, providing counseling and sharing her St. John of the Cross who CFC international missionaries last March 10, the
insights with CFC and non-CFC members alike. Vietnam said that we should all “be eve of her departure for Vietnam and Cambodia.
Sr. Mary, in spite of being elderly and with The CFC Vietnam fam- inclined to do what is most Ultimately, being in love is a requirement for being
weak knees, and being Carmelite (which means ily, together with friends difficult.” a missionary since “love is the strongest force.”
dedicated to a life of silence, contemplation and from the Divine Mercy And one cannot really be in love unless he first
the cloistered life), has been going around the Apostolate and other lay Cambodia deals with his own personal issues. According to
Philippines and the world on what she calls her leaders, gathered on March The Cambodian leg of Sr. Mary, people have 8 conflicts at specific stages
“mission”—to give everyone, especially laymen, 11-15, 2010 to listen to Sr. St. Mary’s trip took place in their lives that correspond to the 7 capital sins.
an appreciation of the value of contemplative Mary. It was a first in many on March 19-21 at the St. They are as follows:
prayer as a means to draw even closer to the Father. ways: it was the first time Joseph Parish.
Her mission is understood and appreciated even that a Carmelite nun had come to visit the Filipino Sr. Mary began with the introduction to Con- Infancy (0 -1 yr.) affection
by her own community, as she is allowed to leave expat community in Vietnam, it was the first time templative Prayer given in her usual humorous I am what I am given.
the confines of her convent in order to spread the for the Carmelite nun to visit a CFC unit outside style, and interspersed with her own experiences Toddler (1- 3 yrs.) assertion
word on contemplative prayer. the Philippines; it was the first time that members as a novice nun and as someone struggling with I am what I feel.
Sr. Mary has also been doing the rounds of the of different Church organizations came together her own personality quirks. She expounded on the Play age (3 – 5 yrs.) affirmation
Philippine Mission, having met with most of the for one purpose. power of contemplative prayer - how it can change I am what I imagine.
Manila sectors and having gone to many provinces. The Filipino expats in Vietnam learned that us as a whole and our attitude towards trials and School age (6 – 11 yrs.) appreciation
In all of her sessions with CFC, her talks have contemplative prayer is simply an expression transcend to a deeper kind of prayer, allowing us I am what I can do.
been met with appreciation and a sense of wonder of the mystery of prayer and that all one needs in turn to have a deeper relationship with God. Adolescence (12 – 20 yrs.) acceptance
are simple words that best support our intention In the sessions that followed, she spoke of how I am I.
to be in the Lord’s presence. Basically the main everyone goes through the Dark Night of the Learning / C4
purpose of contemplative prayer is to clear one’s Senses and how, as we walk through
mind of rational thought in order to focus on the this dark night, we discover our true
in-dwelling presence of God. selves. Only when we survive the dark
In Vietnam, Sr. Mary also discussed the seven nights of the senses will we be able to
stages of prayer and the challenges that we will reach the contemplative state - a state of
encounter as we try to go beyond the natural levels, integration, transformation and where
into the supernatural levels. She also untiringly one is empowered by the Holy Spirit.
conducted spiritual counseling. According to Sister Mary, Jesus is the
The Vietnam sessions culminated in a discussion best example of how to get through the
on personality development and the various per- dark night of the senses successfully.
sonality types. The main takeaway that Sis Mary While processing the happenings in our
Niere taught on this topic is to reflect on what lives, we also need to actively imitate Je-
personality type we possess, to be mindful of our sus in His dark nights - with humility.
C4 Ugnayan CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 7
March 29 - April 11, 2010

CFC Japan 14th Anniversary By Dennis Diaz

THE CFC family in Japan had their hearts and minds
filled with thoughts about Christ and His call for dis-
cipleship as they celebrated their 14th anniversary on
March 7, 2010.
About 200 members from all the family ministries of
CFC across Japan were treated to a one-day festive affair
of listening to inspiring talks by CFC Executive Director
and CFC Japan Country Coordinator Joe Yamamoto,
Melo Villaroman, a member of the CFC International
Council, CFC Japan Country Head Dennis Diaz, and
CFC Yokohama Area Head, Solphie Confiado.
Japan is one busy place, with weekdays and even
weekends filled up with work, assignments and many
other errands, but on the 7th of March, CFC Japan
members filled the University of Sacred Heart hall in
Tokyo to reaffirm their journey in faith and simply bask
in the joy of reuniting with fellow brothers and sisters.
Truly, a beautiful, Spirit-filled weekend celebrating the
fullness of life in Christ.

Build My House!
THE CFC community has a dream and it is about to become a real-
ity. This dream – for the community to have its very own building
- was first unveiled during the 28th anniversary of CFC at the Luneta
in June 2009. It has slowly gained momentum with members so
excited about it that even without any official program, they have
been committing their pledges of support, with some leaders from amounts ranging from P1,000 to P9,999, the “Beams,” for amounts groups, in Metro Manila and in each major country or regional
Mindanao even actually donating funds. ranging from P10,000 to 49,999) and the “Foundations” for amounts grouping. This is inspired by the story of Gideon in the Bible who,
In January this year, during the Global Leaders Summit, the ex- above P50,000. tasked by God to battle against the Midianites, formed an army to
citement was such that, in response to a question from the floor on The “Foundations” are also called the “Gideon’s 300.” Under fight with him. He started off with 10,000 men but, fearing that
whether the community has plans for its own home, the members the program scheme, groups of 300 individuals, each contributing any victories he would attain he would attribute to himself and not
spontaneously dug deep into their pockets and raised, in the space P50,000, will be formed in each of the three major Philippine island to God, he began to whittle down the number of his army, until he
of thirty minutes, a total of P5.28 million. This was enough to was down to 300 men. At last,
spur further interest in the plan, leading the International Council he thought, this was the number
to create a special building committee to draft the mechanics of a he needed; if he wins the battle,
fundraising campaign. he and the world would know
Last March 19, the feast of St. Joseph the Carpenter, CFC officially that it was only because God was
launched its “Build My House” campaign, targeting the community’s fighting alongside them.
30th anniversary in 2011 as the year when a CFC building will start The dream of a home, after al-
to rise. The campaign also finds inspiration in the 1st reading of that most 29 years of rentals, comes at
day taken from 2 Samuel 7: 4-17 – “Thus says the Lord: ‘Should you an opportune time. The commu-
build me a house to dwell in? I have not dwelt in a house from the nity has weathered many trials, es-
day on which I led the Israelites out of Egypt to the present, but I pecially during the past two years,
have been going about in a tent under cloth. In all my wanderings and has undergone much pruning.
everywhere among the Israelites, did I utter a word to any one of As Joe Tale aptly put it, during the
the judges whom I have charged to tend to my people Israel, to ask: launch, there were many opportu-
Why have you not built me a house of cedar?’” nities in the past years to build our
The launch will be replicated in all the sectors of Metro Manila own home, but none materialized.
and the provinces, as well as abroad, in a bid to involve each and It is perhaps because, as the Book
every member in the project. Thus, the project envisions that each of Ecclesiastes says, there is a time
member will enroll in the category that they are comfortable with. and a season for everything. To-
The basic category, which is a must for ALL members, is the “Bricks” day, now, we strongly sense, is the
category, where every member is requested to contribute a minimum appointed time for CFC to build a
of P100.00 (with the exception of Kids for Christ who are asked The IC wives and the Metro Manila sector heads’ wives met with the Build My House Committee to discuss the mechanics home that is dedicated to the Lord
to give P30.00 only). The other categories are the “Columns,” for of the fund campaign. and His work.

CFC Batangas Holds ANCOP Breakfast Forum Learning Conflict Styles for the Mission
COUPLES For Christ - Archdiocese of Lipa held The program started with the celebration of By Gail Lozare [SFC – Thailand] of all the parties involved. This style is important
the 1st CFC ANCOP (Answering the Cry of the the Holy Eucharist presided by Archbishop when one is seeking to gain commitment from the
Poor) breakfast forum in RCAL GK Village at Ramon C. Arguelles, Archbishop of Lipa, and AS missionaries, we often come across different per- other parties, when the nature of the work requires
Marawoy Lipa City last March 3, 2010. The event concelebrated by Fr. Nonie Dolor, manager of sonalities and encounter various conflict situations. constant creativity in problem solving, and espe-
gathered almost 250 guests -- businessmen, entre- Pater Putativus in Marawoy, Lipa City, Fr. Totit Being missionaries, we are called upon to witness cially when teamwork is the goal.
preneurs, representatives of big corporations, the Mandanas Jr., parish priest of Lipa Cathedral and to Christ in every situation, and most particularly in 3) Competing, Accommodating and Compro-
academe, church/religious groups, provincial Fr. Jun Quiambao, parish priest of St. Therese of conflict. Knowing how to manage potentially explo- mising styles, all of which aim to create good will
and city officials and all sectors of society. The the Child Jesus in Talisay, Lipa City. sive interactions is an important interpersonal skill while developing personalities and seeking a com-
forum served to introduce CFC’s work with the The program highlight was the turnover of within community, but especially in the missions. mon ground for concerns at hand.
poor (ANCOP) in the province, with the first ac- the P5 million by the Lipa City Government to Last March 8, the CFC international missionaries The seminar brought out the important point
tivity slated to be the building of houses for poor jumpstart the project. The city officials promised attended Face to Face with Conflict: A Seminar- that, after identifying each party’s particular man-
families in the ten barangays of Lipa, specifically that their individual pledges of one house each Workshop on Conflict Management conducted agement style, the parties should agree on the rules
those situated along the old Philippine National will be turned over to CFC by the third week of by Gabriel Lazo in U.P. Diliman. The seminar- of engagement and assign a facilitator during the
Railways railroad tracks. March 2010. Mayor Gozos articulated his seri- workshop explored the different personal conflict conflict resolution. This creates a well-balanced
Local public officials headed by Vice Governor ousness and wholehearted involvement in this management styles, based on the Thomas-Kilmann power structure where all the parties concerned
Mark Leviste, the City Mayor of Lipa, Hon. Oscar work to help alleviate poverty in his area. The Conflict Management Model, namely: will be able to identify and clarify their concerns.
Gozos, the Lipa City Council and the ten Barangay Archbishop, on the other hand, stressed that this 1) Avoiding style - portrays an unassertive and All concerns can be voiced, hence a peaceful at-
Captains of the area graced the event. Joey Ar- is the call for everyone, especially in this Lenten uncooperative personality that neither pursues his mosphere is established and a win-win situation
guelles, representing the CFC International Council, Season, to care, be involved and be united in own concerns nor those of the other parties. This is successfully achieved.
along with the provincial CFC leaders, welcomed helping our less fortunate brethren. style is most often resorted to when information is It was a productive workshop in that the mis-
the guests, among them De La Salle Lipa, CSL Agro- The breakfast forum was sponsored by the incomplete, when a negotiation needs more time, sionaries are now better prepared to handle the
Industrial Corporation, JCRD Realty, Jollibee from Local Government Unit of Lipa City, through and when control is not within reach. different situations they may be confronted with
SM and Fiesta World Mall, Mel-Jean Construction the efforts of Mayor Oscar Gozos and the City 2) Collaborating style - the individual attempts and to interact with the different personalities and
and N.L. Villa Memorial Medical Center. Social Welfare Development Office. to find some solution to fully satisfy the concerns cultures they will meet.

Run for the Bible!

The Biblical Apostolate Director of the The program started at Laurel Park, the Bible and how it can change lives
Archdiocese of Lipa, Fr. Rustam Sabu- Rosario Batangas. The opening prayer and facilitate a moral and spiritual
larse, the Youth Director of the Arch- was led by Lawrence Tapalla (Over transformation throughout the country.
diocese, Fr. Dakila Ramos and the very all Sector Youth Head, YFC Batangas). Rev. Fr. Oscar Alunday, Chairman of
CFC – Youth for Christ in Batangas has youth parishioners in vicariates of the supportive parish priests of Rosario and Just before the run, warming and ECBA, enlightened everyone on the
begun an annual tradition – they stage Archdiocese of Lipa participating. Padre Garcia, Fr. Norman Banzuela and stretching exercises were led by the mission of MTBO to raise 5 million
love runs (fun runs). Last February 14, This year’s run was staged in coop- Fr. Ferdinand Jauod respectively, led SIKAL Dance Troupe. The gymnasium bibles in 5 years. CFC YFC Batangas
2010, in its 4th year of sharing convic- eration with the Episcopal Commission the activity. They explained who the at Padre Garcia, Batangas was the fin- took this challenge and pledged 1,000
tions and running lengths in the prov- on Biblical Apostolate (ECBA) and the potential beneficiaries can be, the differ- ish line and it reverberated with song Bibles to given out to the poor.
ince of Batangas, the YFC organized a Philippine Bible Society (PBS) in line ent schemes of distribution, the conduct and merriment as the runners began The symbolical turnover of the May
5 K run, from Rosario to Padre Garcia, with the two organizations’ MTBO of Bible studies and how the programs straggling in, They Be One Bibles followed, led by
with more than 1,300 YFC, CFC and (May they Be one Bible) Campaign! The can be sustainable. To raise funds, the Holy Mass followed the end of the Rev. Fr. Oscar Alunday of ECBA, Ms.
members of other family ministries, activity aimed to raise 1,000 Bibles, to be participants paid a registration fee of run, after which the participants were Helen Saldana of PBS and Ompong
students from different campuses and distributed and given to poor families. P150 and got Run for One Shirts. shown a video about the importance of Manalo, and Lorenz Villa of YFC.

Canadian donors visit ANCOP Village

Learning / C3
Young adult (20 – 34 yrs.) affiliation
We are what we love.
Middle age (35 – 65 yrs.) importance
I am what I care about.
By Vida Maria M. Cuares Old age (65 yrs. & above) integration
LAST March 9, 2010, Councilor Alex I am what survives of me.
Chiu and Alice Chiu visited their vil-
lage, Villa Monique Markham Village. Left unchecked, a person can carry issues from his younger years
Aside from the guests, the occasion with him, thus becoming a 35-year old “toddler,” whose issue re-
was also attended by Lito Tayag,the mains assertion. When such a person becomes a leader, this social
members of the caretaker team and the sin of the leader becomes the sin of the group he leads. In the fam-
beneficiaries. Dan Cayabyab, Cluster ily, the unresolved conflict of the parents becomes the unresolved
Head of SA5 together with his wife Do- conflict of the children as well.
rie spearheaded the event by welcoming For a person to address these issues, he needs to undergo “dark
the guests, PD Fidel Parco provided nights” or personal crises. This is where negative cultural values and
project updates and future plans. Two issues will get purified. For missionaries, their dark nights would
(2) beneficiaries were given the chance require that they become people who live in a deeper level of prayer.
to thank the donors and shared their Sr. Mary stressed some points on prayer and the missionary life:
experience living in a much better en- • Unless prayer touches the deeper consciousness, there can be
vironment. Councilor Chiu committed no real change.
to build all the shelter requirements of • The primary goal of missionaries is not to teach people but to
the site, multi-purpose center for the learn who God is to them and to discover God in them. This is the
children’s education because he doesn’t essence of GOING ON MISSION.
want that any of the beneficiaries will • We are like a brush in the hands of the painter. The more humble
suffer the same plight as he experienced the instrument, the more God can use it.
when their house was razed by fire in
Avenida. On the other hand, his wife Further, missionaries are called to embrace the Cross more fully
Alice, gave a very short message of and deeply than the ordinary man and woman of faith. They can
commitment and expressed happiness only really do it when they are in love with Christ. (Articles con-
on the status of the build. tributed by Annette Taguba and Jan Chavez of Vietnam, Hannah
Lyn of Cambodia and Nirva de la Cruz of IMO)