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A3 must begin with the heart, Pope teaches New evangelization B1 Pondo ng Pinoy @
A3 must begin with the heart, Pope teaches New evangelization B1 Pondo ng Pinoy @
A3 must begin with the heart, Pope teaches New evangelization B1 Pondo ng Pinoy @
A3 must begin with the heart, Pope teaches New evangelization B1 Pondo ng Pinoy @


must begin with the heart, Pope teaches
must begin with
the heart, Pope

New evangelization

must begin with the heart, Pope teaches New evangelization B1 Pondo ng Pinoy @ Seven B5


Pondo ng Pinoy @ Seven
Pondo ng
Pinoy @ Seven
begin with the heart, Pope teaches New evangelization B1 Pondo ng Pinoy @ Seven B5 ECY


ECY @ 25 25 years of youth service
25 25 years
of youth service
Pinoy @ Seven B5 ECY @ 25 25 years of youth service June 20 - July
Pinoy @ Seven B5 ECY @ 25 25 years of youth service June 20 - July

June 20 - July 3, 2011

Vol. 15 No. 13

Php 20. 00

Manila to hold 60-hour adorationfor pope’s 60th sacerdotal anniv

THE Archdiocese of Manila will hold a 60-hour Eucharistic adoration to mark the 60th anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s sacerdotal ordination on June 29. In a communiqué sent to all parish priests, rectors and religious superi- ors throughout the archdiocese, Ma- nila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales said the 60-hour adoration “presents an inspired occasion for us to

Sacerdotal / A6

Church soon to implement changes in Mass translation

By Pinky Barrientos, FSP

CHANGES in the English translation of the Order of the Mass are soon to hit parishes across the country when the full implementation of the new liturgical text is adapted next year. The adoption of the new English translation of the Ro- man Missal has been approved by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) during its plenary assembly in January this year. Some parts of familiar responses and prayers have been amended to reflect the true meaning in the original Latin text, the language of the Roman liturgy. In the Introductory Rites, for instance, the response of the faithful “And also with you” to the priest’s greeting “The Lord be with you” has been replaced with “And with your spirit.” Similar changes have also been introduced in other parts of the Mass, such as the Liturgy of the Word, Liturgy of the Eucharist and the Concluding Rites. Also in the Eucharistic prayer, the text “…cup of my blood” has been changed to “…chalice of my blood.” Likewise, the text “it will be shed for you and for all men” has been changed to “which will be poured out for you and for many.” English-speaking countries including the Philippines are currently using the 1973 English translation of the Ro- man Missal prepared by the International Commission on English Liturgy (ICEL) which followed a sense translation. Catechesis To prepare the faithful for the liturgical changes, the CBCP has asked Fr. Anscar Chupungco, OSB, former executive secretary of the Episcopal Commission on Liturgy, to make a catechetical primer on the liturgical development. Chupungco was a professor and president of St. Anselm Pontifical Institute of Liturgy in Rome and currently the director of the Paul VI Institute of the Liturgy in Bukidnon.

Mass Translation / A6

© Noli Yamsuan / RCAM
© Noli Yamsuan / RCAM

Catholic bishops lead the launching of a Festschrift in honor of Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales (right) during the Pondo ng Pinoy 7th anniversary celebrations at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City on June 9, 2011. The festschrift, a German word for a volume of writings as a tribute or memorial, especially to a respected person during his lifetime, features articles from 29 experts in Church teachings and theology.


Aquino told to take a stand on Hacienda Luisita case

A CATHOLIC bishop said there was no room for neutrality when agrarian reform is con- cerned and the plight of farmers of Hacienda Luisita, owned by President Benigno Aquino III’s family, is at stake. Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo called on President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to finally make a stand on the Hacienda Luisita issue and whether he is for the farmers or not. “As president of the people, PNoy can no longer stay neutral on this issue. We call upon

Hacienda Luisita / A6


Bishop Broderick Pabillo

Church appeals for Mindanao flood aid

THE Archdiocese of Cotabato has ap- pealed for emergency aid for Southern Philippines where thousands of people have been evacuated due to floods. The move comes days after flooding disrupted livelihoods of many in the western side of the region where vast rice fields are now under water. Incidents of diarrhea, pneumonia and other upper respiratory diseases have already been recorded among the evacuees. Cotabato Auxiliary Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo made the appeal Wednes-

day over Catholic Church-run Radyo Veritas to meet the needs of the affected residents. “We are appealing for donations to buy the needs of those who are in the evacuation centers for a week already,” Bagaforo said. “I also urge donors to generously sup- port priority needs such as mosquito nets, medicine, clean water and food,” he said. In an initial report, the archdiocese’s Disaster Management Committee said that around 10,000 families have been affected by the flooding in Cotabato

City alone.


tions Office of the 6th Infantry Division also showed that about 396,738 indi- viduals from 62,349 families are affected by recent heavy rains and floods in the provinces of Sultan Kudarat, Cotabato and Maguindanao.

Bagaforo attributed the flooding in several parts of Mindanao to the piling up of huge volumes of water hyacinths at a portion of the Rio Grande de Min- danao, blocking the flow of the river. (CBCPNews)

ECY records decline in number of Pinoy delegates to WYD

LESS than two months before the most anticipated World Youth Day (WYD) in Madrid, Spain, young Filipino Catholics hopeful to participate in the global event are now processing their application for a Schengen Visa to be able to travel to Europe. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY) is currently processing at least 436 Visa applications from delegates wishing to be part of the country’s official delegation to the WYD 2011. According to Maria Victoria Tacderas, senior staff of the National Secretariat for Youth Apostolate (NSYA), it is the

CBCP ECY that is coor- dinating the Visa appli- cations with the Spanish Embassy in Manila on the delegates’ behalf. But application under the CBCP ECY is not a guarantee for approval of the Visa application. But if the 436 delegate- applicants will success- fully secure Schengen Visas, Tacderas said the number of would-be delegates for this year’s

Photo courtesy of CBCP ECY
Photo courtesy of CBCP ECY

ECY / A6

Green group lauds people’s triumph vs. mining firms

THE Kalikasan People’s Net- work of the Environment (KPNE) lauded the people of Romblon as they have pushed the Department of Environ- ment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department Interior and Local Government (DILG) to impose a mining ban in the province. In a statement, KPNE nation- al coordinator Clemente Bau- tista Jr. said that the victory is “the fruit of the steadfast and fearless struggle of the Rom- blomanons against mining.” “They (Romblomanons) have shown an example of

what collective struggle can do and [this] has set another milestone in the [history of] people’s struggles against cor- porate mining from destroying the environment,” Bautista said. Bautista said that last Valen- tine’s Day, thousands of Rom- blomanons led by the Romblon Ecumenical Forum Against Mining (REFAM) and Alliance of Students Against Mining (ASAM) had spent their day at a protest rally in Odiongan, Romblon, against the proposed mining operation of Ivanhoe Philippines Incorporated in the

island of Tablas. “There were also a series of similar protests have lead to the filing of House Bill No. 4815 titled “An Act Declaring the Province of Romblon a Mining Free Zone and Provid- ing Penalties for Violations Thereof” by Congressman Eleandro Madrona. The bill has already passed the second reading in the House of Rep- resentatives and is projected to be passed when Congress reconvenes next month,” said Bautista. The environmental activist also said that if HB 4815 would

be approved and effectively implemented, it will perma- nently stop the destructive mining activities in the island. However, KPNE cautions the provincial and national gov- ernment not to make HB 4815 a “pacifier” against protests. The group said that to prove sincer- ity on the government’s side, it should revoke immediately the mining permits issued to Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) issued to Altai Philippines Mining Corporation (APMC) and its subsidiary Sibuyan Nickel

Green Group / A6

RH Bill is anti-women, anti-human –lawyer THOUGH often touted by its proponents as a necessary
RH Bill is anti-women, anti-human –lawyer
THOUGH often touted by its proponents as a necessary measure that responds
to the needs of women, the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill is nothing like the
pro-women piece of legislation its supporters make it to be, asserted a lawyer
during a four-hour forum at the Sta. Isabel College, Manila.
“Marami diyan ang nagsasabi na pro-women sila. ‘We are for women, they
say, but I tell you, nothing can be more anti-women than the RH bill. Bakit? Sino
ang pinapalagok ng pills? Babae. Sino ang nagkaka-kanser? Babae. Sino ang ginagami-
tan ng condoms? Babae,” said Atty. Marwil Llasos, one of three representatives of
Filipinos for Life.
Anti-women / A6
Illustration by Bladimer Usi


World News

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 15 No. 13

June 20 - July 3, 2011

Bishops approve first major statement on physician-assisted suicide

WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 10, 2011—The U.S. bishops are expressing support for the No Tax- payer Funding of Abortion Act (H.R. 3), noting that this proposed ban is “long overdue.” On Tuesday, Richard Doerflinger, a repre- sentative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, made this affirmation in a testimony to the Subcommittee on the Con- stitution of the House Judiciary Committee. Doerflinger, the associate director of the USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, un- derlined the prelates’ stance that a permanent ban on abortion funding should have been enacted years ago. “H.R. 3 will write into permanent law a poli- cy on which there has been strong popular and congressional agreement for over 35 years,” he stated. “The federal government should not use tax dollars to support or promote elective abortion.” Doerflinger continued: “Since 1976 this principle has been embodied in the Hyde amendment to annual appropriations bills funding the Department of Health and Hu- man Services (HHS), and in numerous similar provisions governing a wide range of domestic and foreign programs. “It has consistently had the support of the American people.”

He noted that “even public officials who take

a pro-choice stand on abortion have supported bans on public funding as a middle ground on

this contentious issue—sometimes observing that it is not pro-choice to force others to fund

a procedure to which they have fundamental

objections.” The bishops’ representative noted, “So secure is this legal and political consensus, in fact, that some have assumed it is already fully implemented at all levels of our federal government.” He lamented, “The fact is that Congress’ policy has been remarkably consistent for decades, but the implementation of that policy in practice has been piecemeal, confusing and sometimes sadly inadequate.” Doerflinger concluded: “H.R. 3 is a well- crafted and reasonable measure to maintain longstanding and widely supported policies against active government promotion of abortion. “It consistently applies to all branches of the federal government the principle that govern- ment can encourage childbirth over abortion through its funding power, and that it should not coerce anyone’s involvement in abortion.” He asserted, “It merits prompt and over- whelming support by this congress.” (Zenit)


Vatican Briefing

Winners of Ratzinger prize announced

The first three winners of the Ratzinger Prize for Theology are an Italian lay- man, Manlio Simonetti; a Spanish priest, Olegario González de Cardedal; andaGermanCistercian,FatherMaximilianHeim,allchosenbecausetheir theology is anchored in reality. The Ratzinger Prize was inaugurated by the new Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation, founded last March. These first three winners will get their prize—€50,000 ($70,000)— from the Holy Father on June 30. The ceremony will include an address fromFather Heim and from thePontiff.(Zenit)

Benedict XVI urges spouses to pray together

Many couples might arrive to their wedding day without ever having

prayed together, but Benedict XVI is urging spouses to join together in prayer

so that their love can be “ever truer and lasting.” The Pope made this invita-

tion at the end of June 15 general audience, when he offered his traditional greeting to youth, the sick and newlyweds. “Dear newlyweds,” he said, “I offer the heartfelt wish that you learn to pray together, so that your love be evertruer and lasting.” (Zenit)

Culture Council partners with US Stem Cell Company

The Pontifical Council for Culture is collaborating with a U.S. company dedicated to research on adult stem cells. The council’s partnership with NeoStem was announced June 16 in the Vatican. Father Tomasz Trafny, director of that dicastery’s Science and Faith department, spoke about the motives for the collaboration. “The interest we have in this particular

investigation is quite circumscribing: it aims to explore the cultural impact

of research on adult stem cells and of regenerative medicine in the long and

medium terms,” he said. (Zenit)

Pope to Indian bishops: Promote unity in charity

Bishops are called not only to teach, sanctify and govern their flocks, but also to promote unity and to “mould his flock into one family,” says Benedict XVI. The Pope reflected on the duty of a bishop to promote unity upon receiving in audience today Group IV of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference


India, at the end of their five-yearly “ad limina” visit. “By the laying on


hands and the invocation of the Holy Spirit,” he began, “you are set over

God’s people as pastors, and you are called to teach, sanctify and govern thelocalChurches.” (Zenit)

Without God, man falls into idolatry, Pope warns

“When God disappears, man falls into the slavery of idolatry,” Pope Benedict XVI said at the June 15 General Audience in St. Peter’s Square. This phenomenon, he said, is clearly “shown by the totalitarian regimes of our time and with various forms of nihilism, which make man dependent

on idols and idolatry, which enslave.” The Pope said that this “seduction”

of “the illusion of being able to ‘serve two masters’” has been a “constant

temptation to believers” throughout salvation history. (CNA)

Pope urges world leaders to embrace refugees

Pope Benedict stressed the importance of global leaders welcoming refugees

in light of recent violence that’s displaced thousands of people in Africa and

the Middle East. “I invite the civil authorities and all people of good will to ensure refugees are welcomed and given dignified living conditions as they await the chance to return freely and safely to their own countries,” he said before praying the Angelus on Sunday. World Refugee Day is celebrated annually on June 20. (CNA)

Major conference on clerical abuse announced in Rome Organizers revealed new details about an international conference on cleri- cal sex abuse slated for February of next year in Rome. “We want to share the best practices” in combating the issue, Fr. Hans Zollner S.J., Head of the Preparatory Committee of the Symposium, told CNA on June 18. “So we’ve invited speakers who are experts in the field of working with victims and also those who are experts in understanding the psychology of perpetra- tors.” The “Towards Healing and Renewal Symposium” will take place February 6-9, 2012, at the Jesuit-run Gregorian University in Rome. (CNA)

Plans for Pope Pius XII museum revealed

A leading Italian politician is giving his support to plans for a museum in

Rome to commemorate the memory of the wartime pontiff, Pope Pius XII. “I’ve taken on the impetus of this important idea that wishes to give the proper place in history to this great Pope,” Italian Senator Stefano De Lillo told CNA. “During his life he was exalted by all, and at the time of his death the Prime Minister of Israel, Golda Meir, said that he died a ‘grande giusto’—a ‘great, just man.’” (CNA)

Hedonism clouds judgment, risks annihilating morality, pope says

Hedonism clouds people’s judgment and risks annihilating morality, Pope

Benedict XVI said. It also fools people into thinking their real worth lies in their social or personal standing and their ability to control reality, he said during a one-day visit June 19 to the Republic of San Marino, a tiny nation completely surroundedbyItaly.LikemanyWesternnations,SanMarinotodayfacesmany difficulties and challenges, the pope said in his homily during a Mass held at

an open-air stadium. (CNS)

Pope says Croatia can promote Catholic values in Europe

Croatia has the responsibility to promote Christian values and the role of the family in education and social life as it prepares to enter the European Union, Pope Benedict XVI said. In his first public appearance since returning from a pastoral trip to Croatian capital of Zagreb June 4-5, the pope also emphasized the essential role of marriage and marital fidelity in a Europe, which has rising rates of divorce and separations. (CNS)

China ‘postpones’ ordination of bishop lacking Vatican approval

VATICAN City, June 7, 2011—The pro- posed ordination of a Chinese bishop with- out Vatican approval has been postponed at the last minute. The decision comes only two days before the ordination was sched- uled to take place. “Reports from China have just come through saying that the ordination of Father Shen Guoan as Bishop of Hankou has been postponed to an ‘unspecified date,’” John Pontifex of Aid to the Church in Need told CNA on June 7. “If these reports are true—and we have no reason to doubt them—it will come as a major relief to the Vatican.” The ordination of Fr. Guoan, 50, was set to take place at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Hankou on Thursday, June 9. Chinese government authorities were planning on making him a bishop despite having no approval from the Vatican and protests being raised by local Catholics. It’s even been suggested that Fr. Guoan himself was

strongly opposed to the idea. The backdrop to today’s events is the continuing attempt by China’s communist regime to control all aspects of Chinese life, including the Catholic Church. The Chinese government created and continues to run the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, which does not acknowledge the authority of the Pope. Diplomatic progress seemed to have been made in recent years, with some bishops receiving the approval of the Pope. But on Nov. 20, 2010 Chinese officials proceeded with the ordination of Fr. Joseph Guo Jincai as Bishop of Chendge, without approval from the Pope. The consecration of Bishop Jincai earned a sharp rebuke from the Vati- can and was seen as a serious setback. Thus, the ordination of Fr. Guoan threat- ened to deal another major setback to Vatican-Chinese relations. “It is about time the Chinese authorities recognized that the right to appoint bishops

is the preserve of the Pope and that this should not be seen as undue interference in internal Church affairs,” says Pontifex. “Barely three weeks ago, the Pope re- newed calls for Chinese clergy to stay loyal to Rome and not become ‘ensnared by the false flattery of opportunism,’” Pontifex adds. The stakes are high due to the fact that the continuing stand-off between the Vatican and the Chinese regime sees many Catholic dioceses now lying vacant without a bishop. “We know there are a lot of episcopal ordinations coming up as one generation of bishops reaches retirement and hence this decision to postpone could prove crucial, setting the precedent for other appoint- ments,” observes Pontifex. It’s estimated there are some 6 million Catholics in China, although millions more are worshiping outside the official state-controlled church. (CNA/EWTN News)

Pakistani Christians shocked by proposed Bible ban

LAHORE, Pakistan, June 7, 2011—A Catholic bishop in Pakistan is expressing concern about an Islamic group’s petition to ban the Bible. The extremist group says the Christian scriptures contain “blasphemy” and “pornography.” “We Christians are in Pakistan, and we have a right to our Bible,” said Auxiliary Bishop Sebastian Shaw of Lahore. On June 6, he told the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need that people were “very shocked” by the campaign. The Islamist po- litical party Jamiat- Ulema-e-Islami has asked Pakistan’s Supreme Court to declare certain Bible passages as “blasphe- mous.” If their de- mand is not met, the political party will request that the Bible be formally banned in the country. Christians who criticize Islam al- ready face persecu- tion under Pakistan’s “blasphemy law.” But Lahore’s auxil- iary bishop does not expect the Bible itself to be condemned of- ficially. He said most Muslims respect the Bible more than the members of Jamiat-Ulema- e-Islami. The Islamist political party’s leader, Maulana Abdul Rauf Farooqi, says that some Bible passages describe prophetic figures, such as David and Solomon, as engaging in moral crimes not mentioned in the Quran. Farooqi acknowledged that the proposed ban was partly a response to U.S. pastor Terry Jones, who was involved with a burning of the Quran in March. Bishop Shaw called for calm, saying that the request was an attempt to provoke Christians.

“Problems like this are happening one after the other,” he said. “If we give the right response, the matter will die away just like any other debate that suddenly flares up.” Pakistan has been embroiled in a number of religious and political conflicts this year. Federal minorities minister Shahbaz Bhatti and Governor of Punjab Salman Taseer were both killed after expressing their disagreement with the blasphemy law.

Taseer, killed in March, sought to grant pardon to Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of five sentenced to death un- der the blasphemy law. Bhatti was a Catholic who pursued religious freedom and peace in Pakistan, despite be- ing subjected to threats against his life. He was murdered by Islamic extremists this past January. Meanwhile, the kill- ing of Osama bin Laden has intensified anti- Western sentiments. Bin Laden’s death in May prompted Pakistani Christians to prepare for potential attacks.

Schools and Christian institutions were closed during this time, and local churches were guarded with high security measures. Christians also received security from Pakistani authorities. In this tense atmosphere, Bishop Shaw said Pakistani Christians should remain careful—and prayerful. “If we want to make an issue out of it, it will certainly become one,” he observed. “We must be wise and instead ask people to pray for us, to remember us before God.” “What we need right now,” he said, “is prayers and patience.” (CNA)


Bishops’ committee okays early introductionof some newMass responses

WASHINGTON D.C., June 19, 2011—Diocesan bishops will be allowed to gradually introduce the musical set- tings for Mass parts from the new Roman Missal beginning in September, Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans announced June 16. “I ask you to encourage this as a means of preparing our people and helping them em- brace the new translation,” Archbishop Aymond told the bishops during their Spring Assembly near Seattle. This announcement pri-

marily affects the “Gloria,” the “Holy, Holy, Holy” and the “Memorial Acclamations” of the liturgy. The change will allow parish communities to learn the various parts of the new translation “in a timely fashion and an even pace.” The bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship, which Arch-


bishop Aymond chairs, made the decision in response to several bishops’ requests to allow early preparation ahead of the full-scale implementation scheduled for Nov. 27, the first Sunday of Advent. Some bishops suggested that the various acclamations could be more effectively introduced throughout the fall so that when the full Missal is implemented the congregation will already be familiar with the sung prayers. The new English translation of the Roman Missal—the official book of prayers and instructions for the celebration of the Eucharist—follows the original Latin more closely while using richer and more accurate language. The new version involves the most significant changes to the liturgy since 1974. Bishops in the U.S. have also made efforts to prepare for the upcoming implementation of the revised missal by offer- ing workshops to priests and diocesan officials throughout the last year, as well as launching a website dedicated to the new translation. The Catholic Church in England and Wales has also planned an early start. Catholics there will begin using the changed portions of the Mass in September. (CNA/EWTN News)

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 15 No. 13

June 20 - July 3, 2011

News Features


New evangelization must begin with the heart, Pope teaches

ROME, June 14, 2011―The effort to renew the evangelization of mankind begins in the human heart, Pope Bene- dict XVI told the clergy, religious and laity of the Diocese of Rome, June 13. “To be effective the proclamation of faith must begin with a heart that be- lieves, hopes, loves, a heart that loves Christ and believes in the power of the Holy Spirit!” the Pope told those gath- ered at St. John Lateran Cathedral for the Rome diocese’s annual convention. The Pope pointed to how St. Peter’s proclamation of Jesus’ resurrection at Pentecost was “not confined to a simple list of facts” but “cut to the heart” of those who heard him. “The resurrection of Jesus was able

and is able to illuminate human exis- tence. In fact, this event has seen a new understanding of the dignity of man and his eternal destiny.” Mindful of his responsibility to lead the 2.5 million Catholics in the Diocese

of Rome, Pope Benedict told those in

St. John Lateran that there was a real danger to the health of the Church if it downplays the divinity of Jesus Christ. “ I f p e o p l e f o r g e t G o d i t i s a l s o because the person of Jesus is often reduced to that of a wise man and his divinity is weakened, if not denied. This way of thinking prevents people from grasping the radical novelty of Christianity, because if Jesus is not the only Son of the Father, then God never came to visit the history of man.” This message was crucial to renew- ing Christianity within the ancient See of Rome, the Pope recalled, saying it is “the task not only of some, but all members of the Church” to proclaim it. “In this hour of history, is this not the mission that God entrusts to us:

to announce the permanent newness of the Gospel, as Peter and Paul did when they came to our city? Do we not also need to show the beauty and the reasonableness of faith, bringing the light of God to man in our time, with

courage, conviction, and joy?” He particularly urged that the teach- ing of the Christian faith—known as catechesis—be undertaken not only with children and young people but also with “adults who have not re- ceived baptism, or who distanced themselves from the faith and the Church.” The consequence of people lack- ing such an intellectual and spiritual formation is that they can sometimes acquire a distorted view of Jesus Christ and Christianity. Such people “do not know the beauty of Christianity, indeed, sometimes they even consider it an obstacle to happiness,” Pope Benedict said. He finished his address by urging all present to pray to his predecessor Blessed Pope John Paul II, “who until his last strove to preach the gospel in our city and loved its young people with particular affection.” (CNA/ EWTN News)


Cardinal Bertone calls business leaders to be daring

Says taking social doctrine seriously means heading into newterritories


ROME, June 17, 2011―Benedict XVI’s sec- retary of state says that ethical business leaders today face the great challenge of aiming at a goal higher than profit, while not rejecting profit. Business leaders who do this, says Car- dinal Tarcisio Bertone, are those who “see their activity as a task and a vocation.” The Vatican official said this Thursday when he opened a three-day conference on business ethics, sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. “Nowadays business leaders who want to take the Church’s social teaching seriously will need to be more daring, not limiting themselves to socially re- sponsible practices and/or acts of philan- thropy―positive and meritorious though these may be―but striking out into new territories,” the cardinal said. He went on to mention two such areas.

The first dealt with the growing demand for employment. “Innovation and new initiative are needed if business, the economy and the market are to include those presently excluded,” Cardinal Bertone observed. “Today as in the past, the economy and the business sector fulfill their duty to serve the common good when they man- age to incorporate broad sectors of the marginalized―one need only think of the factory workers of the last century―and to ensure that these people become, not problems, but resources and opportuni- ties: for themselves, for business, and for society as a whole.” Proper management Secondly, the cardinal spoke of the challenges regarding “common goods,” such as water and energy. “Business today has to become more

and more involved with these common goods, since in a complex global economy it can no longer be left to the state or the public sector to administer them: the talent of the business sector is also needed if they are to be properly managed,” he proposed. “Where common goods are concerned, we urgently need business leaders for whom profit is not the exclusive goal. More and more, we need business leaders with a social conscience, leaders whose innova- tion, creativity and efficiency are driven by more than profit, leaders who see their work as part of a new social contract with the public and with civil society.” The Pope’s secretary of state spoke of two types of business leaders: They are “either ‘civil,’ in the sense that their commercial activity serves to build up the common good, the good of all and of every individual, or else they are the

reverse, as when they fail to produce quality products, ignore innovation, fail to create wealth and jobs, and pay no taxes.” Cardinal Bertone affirmed that the Church, as an “expert in humanity,” knows that “like other aspects of human life and perhaps even more so, the sector of economics and labor is prone to the temptations of selfishness and narrow self-interest.” “At the same time, though,” he said, “the Church sees the world of econom- ics, labour and business in a positive light as a significant sphere for creativity and service to society, a positive ele- ment in human affairs. Like any other component of the body politic, it can sometimes develop pathologies, yet its functioning is usually sound, civil and humane.” (Zenit)

Cardinal encourages 60 hours of adoration to celebrate Pope’s anniversary

ROME, June 17, 2011―Bishops around the world are encouraged to promote 60 hours of Eucharistic adoration for the sanctification of all priests, for new vocations, and for Pope Benedict XVI, who will celebrate 60 years as a priest on June 29. Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, head of the Vatican’s Congregation of the Clergy, said this would be an ideal time to “gather around the pontiff and show him our gratitude, our affection and our communion for the service he offers to God and the Church.” Above all, he continued, it will show the commit- ment to “making the truth shine out in the world,” which characterizes his pontificate. In his statement published June 16

by L’Osservatore Romano, the cardinal said the 60 hours of Eucharist adoration could be continuous or spread out over the month of June and should be em- braced “particularly by priests.” The statement was also signed by the congregation’s secretary, Archbishop Celso Morga Iruzubieta. The Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (the Day for Priestly Sanctification) would be an ideal day to conclude the Eucharist adoration, Cardinal Piacenza added. Through this special initiative, the cardinal continued, “We could offer homage to the pontiff with an extraordi- nary crown of prayers and supernatural unity that shows the real center of our lives, from which all missionary and

pastoral effort springs forth, as well as the authentic face of the Church and her priests.” The Congregation for the Clergy recommended meditating on biblical passages featuring the Apostle Peter, the first Pope. It specifically mentioned chapters 20 and 21 of the Gospel of John, in which the Lord asks Peter if he loves him more than the rest, and chapter 16 of the Gospel of Matthew, in which Christ tells him, “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church.” Pope Benedict was ordained on June 29, 1951, together with his brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, at the Cathe- dral of Freising in Germany, on the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul. (CNA/ EWTN News)

Deferment of Govt-NDF talks worries Church leaders

MANILA, June 10, 2011—

A faith-based peace advo-

cacy group is worried about the looming delay of the peace talks between the government and the communist rebels set this June. In a statement, the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform (PEPP) said postponing the talks “douses the jubilation” that both parties had following its resumption in February. National Democratic Front chief negotiator Luis Jalandoni earlier called for the talks’ postponement until imprisoned rebels have been released. Jalandoni is demanding the release of two NDF consul- tants, Allan Jazminez and Tirso Alcantara but the government

rejected the appeal.

The NDF claims that Jazmines and Alcantara are covered by the Joint Agree- ment on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG). The government, through the Department of National Defense, however, refused to release the two saying that the NDF should not use the formal talks to secure their release. “The PEPP is apprehensive over the news that [the] second round of the formal peace talks between the government and the NDF, may not take place in June as scheduled, following an impasse,” it said. The statement is signed by the PEPP’s co-chairpersons Cagayan de Oro Archbishop

Antonio Ledesma, SJ and Sha- ron Rose Joy Ruiz-Duremdes and Caloocan Bishop Deogra- cias Iñiguez as head of the secretariat. The church leaders then urged both parties to remain focused on seeing the peace pro- cess through by honoring The Hague Joint Declaration and all other bilateral agreements. “We call on the two parties to follow the spirit of the JASIG as it is a crucial issue around the formal peace talks,” the PEPP said. “Its faithful implementa- tion enables the two parties to resume the negotiations in earnest.” “On the agenda of the formal peace talks are the social and economic reforms. This second

substantive agenda is very central to the negotiations as it seeks solutions to address the roots of armed conflict that has afflicted our land for decades,” it added. The PEPP also reiterated its call for the people to support the peace negotiations by being “vigilant lest groups or acts that undermine our aspiration for a just and lasting peace take the upper hand.” “A just and peaceful country is possible if we remain focused on the road to peace. We owe it to ourselves and the future generations,” it said. PEPP claims to the largest ecumenical formation of church leaders in the Philippines. (CBCPNews)

Mindanao floods send thousands to evacuation centers

MANILA, June 15, 2011―

Continuous southwest mon-

s o o n r a i n s a g g r a v a t e d b y clogged waterways due to unabated growth of water

u n t o l d

m i s e r i e s t o M a g u i n d a n a o and North Cotabato resi -

d e n t s , s e n d i n g t h o u s a n d s

to seek shelter in public and private schools and Catholic churches. R e p o r t s f r o m t h e l o c a l social welfare and develop- ment office disclosed that 10,398 families in 23 baran- gays of Cotabato have been affected by floods, although only 1,435 families sought shelter in evacuation cen- ters. Fr. David Procalla, Cotabato Archdiocesan Social Action Center Director said nearly 400,000 individuals from 17 towns of Maguindanao have

h y a c i n t h s

b r o u g h t

a l s o b e e n a f f e c t e d b y t h e floods. T h e t o w n o f L a m b a y o n g in Sultan Kudarat province likewise had 1,697 families (8,485 persons) affected by the disaster. Auxiliary Bishop Jose Co-

l i n M . B a g a f o r o s a i d h e

received reports that more than 75% of Cotabato City has been flooded as weather forecasters said rains will

c o n t i n u e f o r t h e n e x t f e w


“ W i t h t h e c o n t i n u o u s

rains, the situation would turn worse due to a possible low pressure area which is

b y w h a t

forecasters describe as inter- tropical convergence zone,”

the prelate told CBCPNews. He expects more families to be displaced, the bishop said. The towns of Kabacan, Pikit and Carmen in North Cotabato have also been submerged due to continuous rains, but other villagers refused to be trans- ferred to evacuation centers. B a g a f o r o s a i d t h e y h a v e appealed for assistance to help the evacuees in need of foodstuff, medicines, potable d r i n k i n g w a t e r , m o s q u i t o needs, blankets and sleeping mats. The evacuees also need cooking and kitchen utensils. “The students have begun their fund campaign through the piso-piso drive and par- ishes have been encouraged to assist flood victims while the ecclesial province will also give its share,” the auxiliary bishop explained. Bagaforo said that the Catholic Church will simply complement local government units, the city and municipal governments and barangay leadership to maxi-

mize resources. (Melo M. Acuna)

f u r t h e r w o r s e n e d

Whistleblower cites value of honesty among Church financial administrators

MANILA, June 15, 2011— Main- tain honesty in government, busi- ness and even in the Church, and the country would be doing away with a lot of scandals. This, according to whistleblow-

er Heidi Mendoza in a speech

Tuesday afternoon before Catho- lic Church’s financial administra- tors, is the moral force that could bring change in the country. “We cannot dream of an honest government without doing any-

thing. We need to do something,” said Mendoza, who was recently appointed as commissioner to the Commission on Audit. The government official, who blew the whistle on the alleged

corruption in the military, also asked the church workers to do a similar act in their workplaces. One way of maintaining hon- esty, she said, “is constant dedica- tion to your faith.” “The only key is by being true

to God,” she said. “If you have faith you don’t have to worry about many things that might come along your way.” Mendoza was the guest speak- er at the Archdiocesan/Diocesan Financial Administrators of the Philippines 13th National Con- vention currently being held at the Pius XII Center in Paco, Manila. The yearly gathering which will end on Friday is focused on

the theme, “Sustaining Opportu- nities towards Success.” The convention has around 140 participants, mostly lay people, including some priests, nuns and bishops led by Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco, treasurer of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. Mendoza stressed it is difficult to hold money “especially if they are not yours” but “it’s not true that it’s hard to be honest even in

times of need.” “I’m not holy or religious but I’m always looking at God’s will,” she said. “Another way to (maintain honesty) is constant prayer.” “I’m always proud that I am a Catholic. I’m always proud that I’m a Filipino. I’m always proud that I’m a public servant,” Men- doza added. Mendoza worked for the COA for over 20 years and had been

part of fraud audit investigations of government transactions. She made headlines in Febru- ary after her explosive testimony before Congress on the alleged misuse of military and United Nations (UN) peacekeeping funds. Mendoza resigned from the COA in 2005 and had worked with the Asian Development Bank before appearing in the con- gressional probes. (CBCPNews)




CBCP Monitor

Vol. 15 No. 13

June 20 - July 3, 2011




A COLUMNIST and supporters of the Reproductive Health Bill now

crawling in social networks zeroed in on half-hazard financial data of some dioceses and religious congregations that reportedly have placements in banks and investment houses allegedly running into billions of pesos. Obviously, the equation they are trying to crack is to project the Catholic Church in the Philippines to very wealthy and consequently relate it to her position against the passage of the RH bill that they tagged as pro-poor. This logic, of course, is flawed. Irrespective of

whether the Church is rich or poor, that bill is definitely anti-poor in that it is founded on the bedrock of eugenicists the likes of Margaret Sanger who have a deep-seated bias against the poor that they claim should not thrive on the face of the earth. If the Catholic Church in the Philippines is really wealthy, that should be a happy development indeed, because, unlike the pastor- centered protestant churches in the west (e.g. the Osteens and the Swaggarts) that personally own the assets of their churches, it only means that they have managed well their resources that belong to the parishes or dioceses and not to person of the priests or the bishops. Cardinal Jaime Sin, for instance, died poor and did not bequeath to his relatives the assets of the Archdiocese of Manila. Church assets are owned by the particular Christian community for the use of their pastoral and social programs. But then it is not even correct to lump the Catholic Church in the Philippines as wealthy as if it were a centrally managed organiza- tion (like Iglesia ni Kristo is) because each of the 86 ecclesiastical jurisdictions in the country is independent from the other. While a few dioceses in the country maybe well-off financially, the majority

is not. The Diocese of Borongan (in Eastern Samar), for instance, has

a number of parishes that barely make both ends meet. The friar lands that critics still impute to the church till today is a historical baggage that now is in never-never land. Time to correct wrong perceptions.

The Evils of Rampant Gambling

THE moral evil of such large-scale, systematic gambling is not simply

because it is illegal. It is truly immoral under the circumstances that

it operates and in the evil effects that it has spawned. Today, gambling is, indeed, a social cancer, gradually and surely

destroying a great many of our positive social and moral values. It is

a social scourge that is debilitating even our moral sense, our ability

to distinguish right from wrong. It is deeply infecting us as a people.

Rampant gambling, particularly in its form of jueteng, has become

a way of life for many. People no longer care or dare to condemn it

because: (a) no effective action against gambling has ever been taken by our political and police authorities, except through some token occasionalraidsagainstsmall-timegamblingoperators;and(b)very powerful people operate gambling. The truth is: The victims of gambling are the many thousands

of credulous and generally poor people who risk their hard earned

incomes to face odds that are heavily stacked against them. The situation is even aggravated, according to popular belief, by the manipulation of winning numbers—a likely possibility, given the secrecy with which winning numbers are often determined. The whole racket constitutes a systematic fleecing of the poor. Whether the victims are willing or not, the end result is the same— objective exploitation of the poor by the powerful. As in our economic system in general, so in jueteng: the rich, powerful and apparently untouchable operators get richer while thousands of poor bettors get poorer. A situation which recalls the social evil condemned by the prophet Amos: “They trample the heads of the weak into the

dust of the earth and they force the lowly out of the way” (Am. 2:7). For such social and moral evil to exist, can graft and corruption

be far behind? Thepopularbeliefhasneverbeendisprovedthatprotectionmoney

is handed down in liberal proportions to police, military, and political

officials. It is even said that the control and operation of gambling are in the hands of some politicians. If what many people say are true,

and there seems to be no solid reason to disagree, then we have in the North a social plague of unrivalled scale. The fact that gambling operations employ some thousands of

people in the whole North has become an excuse for government officials not to abolish gambling. They stop searching for alternative and productive sources of employment. Furthermore the popular belief remains that jueteng profits serve as


of money are freely withdrawn to support political candidacies. Again, whether true or not, such a belief among ordinary people points to the values that have grown out of the vice of gambling. Through jueteng and other forms of rampant gambling, values are distorted. Hard work, rational reflection and planning that are trademarks of responsible human work are substituted by irrespon- sible risk-taking. Laziness is promoted while the dream of easy money becomes an obsession. The poor are exploited. Power and money are used to protect—as well as to enforce submission to—the system. The values of the Gospel and of the Kingdom of God are put aside for the sake of profit. So long have we complained about the disappearance of such values as industry, thrift, truth, honesty and integrity, and justice. We must moreover open our eyes to the close connection between the poor values promoted by rampant gambling and the disvalues

(or lack of values) in public and private lives, that have wrecked great havoc on our country. A liberal attitude towards rampant gambling

is linked to a permissive attitude towards graft and corruption.

Because we do not act against one social vice, we tend not to act on other vices as well.

―Make Yourselves a New Heart and a New Spirit, A Joint Pastoral Letter on Gambling, 1993

www.cbcpmonitor.com cbcpmonitor@cbcpworld.net Pedro C. Quitorio Kris P. Bayos Features Editor Editor-in-Chief Pinky
Pedro C. Quitorio
Kris P. Bayos
Features Editor
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Marketing Supervisor
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Managing Editor
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News Editor
The CBCP Monitor is published fortnightly by the CBCP Communica-
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Editorial: (063) 404-2182. Business: (063)404-1612.; ISSN 1908-2940
Illustration by Bladimer Usi
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Bp. Leonardo Y. Medroso, JCD, DD Tidbits
Bp. Leonardo Y. Medroso, JCD, DD

THE life-style and behavior of priests and deacons are sometimes a puzzle to some of our lay faithful. They behave and they dress not like any other mortals. Because of these they seem to be out of this world, irrelevant to the rhythm of the time. What is the reason for their different ways of life and behaving? Are they mere fanciful creation of the laws of the Church, an irrational sticking to tradition? As the Sacrament of Sacred Orders makes a person a sacred minister; the Church law enacts an intricate complex of laws and guidelines that define the proper conduct of an ordained individual. The Sacrament of Sacred Orders endows spiritual powers to the sacred minister to carry out within the Community the office of priest, servant-leader, and teacher; the Church discipline comes out with norms of how he should licitly and validly fulfill this mission to the Community. The Sacrament of Sacred Orders transforms a mere human being into a man of God; the law sets down obligations, rights, suggestions and even prohibitions in order that this man of God appears before the People of God and before civil society as a man that bears the mark of the divine. The norms dealing with the juridical status of clerics have therefore the purpose of reflecting and canonically protecting the identity of clerics and give them the space to perform properly their ministry, the office received from Holy Orders. Characteristics of the Clerical Status 1. It is not temporary. Furthermore, it should be noted that the Sacrament of Sacred Orders imprints an indelible character in the sacred minister, making this configuration with Christ as some- thing perpetual. Herein follows the nature of the juridical status of the clerics: it too is not ad tempus. Henceforth, as a result of valid ordination the life of the sacred minister will be regulated by this set of special norms, determining his way of life, obliging him to carry out the roles and the functions specifically laid down for him. These will apply through all his life, and even into retirement. Fr. Luis Navarro eloquently puts it this way: “From what has been said

Called to mission Philippine bishops speak

Clerical Decorum

it can be concluded that the personal juridical status of clerics is with them always, day and night and wherever they are. Therefore it is not legitimate to consider that a cleric exercises his rights and fulfills the canonical norms only during the time in which he performs some ministry. This would reflect a functionalistic view of his identity and ministry” (“The Juridical Status of the Clergy”, Luis Navarro, Philip- pine Canonical Forum, CLSP, January-December 2001, vol. III, p. 43). 2. It is not optional. This juridical status of the clergy is not some- thing optional. The norms are obligatory. After all it is established in close connection with the sacrament of holy orders, translating his sacramental identity into the area of his mission, wherein he has to function properly as demanded by law. Secondly, this sac- ramental reality has to influence, evolve and develop in his own personal life, his priestly decorum, his lifestyle, wherein he has to conduct himself properly before the Christian Community and to the world. The faithful has all the rights to see in their minister all the elements that make him genuine minister. Pope John Paul says it bluntly: “Thus, permanent formation is a requirement of the priest’s own faithfulness to his ministry, to his very being. It is love for Jesus Christ and fidelity to oneself. But it is also an act of love for the People of God, at whose service the priest is placed. Indeed, an act of true and proper justice. The priest owes it to God’s people, whose fundamental right to receive the word of God, the sacraments and the service of charity, the original and irreplaceable content of the priest’s own pastoral ministry, he is called to acknowledge and foster. Ongoing formation is necessary to ensure that the priest can properly respond to this right of the People of God” (Apost. Exhort. Pastores dabo vobis, n. 70). For the priest therefore to be considered distinct from the lay faith- ful in his lifestyle and conduct is not at all intended to set up a new form of snobbery or elitism. It is the Church’s way of making her priest always and everywhere what he already is in the sacramental way: true and genuine minister of Christ.

Fr. James H. Kroeger, MM Living Mission
Fr. James H. Kroeger, MM
Living Mission

POPE John Paul II, recently beatified by Pope Benedict XVI, vigorously promoted the celebration of the Jubilee Year 2000. In 1994 he issued the Apostolic Letter, The Coming Third Millennium, setting in motion a variety of activities for spiritual renewal in the Church worldwide. The final three pre-Jubilee years were dedi- cated to Jesus Christ (1997), Holy Spirit (1998), and the Father (1999). John Paul also emphasized the importance of local Jubilee activities and celebrations. The pivotal Jubilee event in the Philip- pines was the National Mission Congress in Cebu from September 27 – October 1, 2000. There were 2,300 official delegates from every sector of the country. To ad- equately prepare for this national event, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) issued a beautiful pas- toral letter on the Church’s mission in the new millennium. A brief glimpse at that letter can help us appreciate how the local Church is encouraged to respond to the permanent mission mandate of the Lord. The CBCP mission letter opens by re- calling the vision of the Second Plenary

Council of the Philippines which asserts that the local Church is “a communion in a state of mission” because “the community of disciples does not exist only for itself…. It exists for the world.” The CBCP also recalled the challenging words of Pope John Paul II during his 1981 visit to the Philippines: “There is no doubt about it:

the Philippines has a special missionary vocation to proclaim the Good News, to carry the light of Christ to the nations.” Some highlights from the CBCP mission letter are now presented:

“Of the 125 million Christians in Asia, some 70 millions are Filipinos, that is, more than one-half are from our country. It is clear that the challenge of proclaiming Christ in Asia is a summons addressed first of all to us, to share the gift of faith that we ourselves received. It is a chal- lenge we cannot refuse….” “We as Church are called to be in our part of the globe ‘the universal sacrament of salvation,’ sent out by the Lord on a mission to the whole of the human race…. Hence to each local Church the mandate is also given to proclaim Jesus’s message

and invitation, to give living witness of God’s love in Christ Jesus, and to share the gifts it has received from the Lord. For the Church in the Philippines, for every one of our local Churches, there is a new insistence and a new urgency to fulfill this mandate….” “There is a sense in which mission in Asia today will reproduce in a new way the missionary mind and heart of Jesus…. Today, in her mission to Asia, the Church will not come in power and wealth. The Church on mission will have to do mis- sion in relative poverty. The Philippine Church, being a Church for the poor, will have ‘to glory in weakness’ and simplic- ity, so that the real power of God may be revealed…. Let this be a special mark of the Philippines’ missionary endeavor, this likeness to Jesus, poor and lowly of heart….” “Mission in Asia will call for new consciousness and knowledge regard- ing other religious traditions here in this continent in which almost all the great re- ligions of humanity have been born…. At-

Living Mission / A7

Fr. Roy Cimagala Candidly Speaking
Fr. Roy Cimagala
Candidly Speaking

“PEACE be with you, bro or sis.” I feel like saying these words to those who in discussing sensitive issues like the RH Bill and lately, divorce, spew venom to those who differ with them, and that’s likely, those who still defend their Christian faith in these issues The underlying tragedy that explains this unfortunate phenom- enon is that many people have lost the sense of unity of knowl- edge. In pursuing knowledge, they cannot relate to the spiritual and supernatural realities. They stay simply on the material and purely natural levels. This, plus a host of other reasons and factors, like some sad ex- periences with the Church, with priests, etc., that make them lose

Crackpots on the warpath

their sense of balance and proportion and become more emotional than rational, and that veritably turn them into crackpots on the warpath. Everything now is a matter of opinion, of one’s personal experi- ence, of one’s preferences and estimations. Things have become so subjective that the objective truth, let alone, God-given faith, are all but forgotten, and even ridiculed. Notice the arguments and tools used. Calling for women’s rights even at the cost of the rights of the children, the family and even the unborn. Polls and surveys are now the sources of truth and of

Candidly Speaking / A7

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 15 No. 13

June 20 - July 3, 2011



Oscar V. Cruz, DD Views and Points
Oscar V. Cruz, DD
Views and Points

RH Bill (Once more with pleasure)

FOR a start, it is good to recall that God Himself gave but Ten Com- mandments to rule the whole world, the whole of humanity all over the globe. And the Lord Jesus Christ even reduced them into but Two Commandments:

Love God. Love others. The first Three Commandments are for the love of God. The other Seven Commandments are for love of others. It requires but these Commandments for all peoples to live in truth, to get justice, to live in peace. On the other hand, it is worth asking how many thousands of laws have the present and immediately past Legislative Department enacted? Three

thousand? Four thousand? As

a valid consequential question, it

comes in order to ask how many laws have the Executive Depart- ment succeeded in having duly implemented? One thousand? Two thousand? And as a logical follow-up question, how many violators of the law has the Ju- dicial Department brought to justice? Answer: Just guess. Such would be enough, given a long existing dysfunctional justice system in the Philippines. But lo and behold, the present

legislature is again poised to en- act another law—The Reproduc- tive Health Bill (RH 4244) which

in truth is a contra-reproduction

and anti-health legislation—pre-

venting conception through the

use of chemical pills and injec- tions plus mutilations in terms of vasectomy for men and tubal ligation for women. For those who want to listen, well and good. For those who do not, this is their call—their responsibility and account- ability. The RH bill: Promotes pro- miscuity and praises irresponsi- bility. Deadens conscience and destroys delicadeza. Cultivates self-rule and selfishness, af- firms immorality and ushers in amorality. Causes health hazard if not downright sickness as

cancer. Leads to defective births and dangles abortion. Despises

pregnant women and hates the birth of children. Impugns the Filipino cultural values of love of children and of the family. Gives big profits to multinational pharmaceuticals manufacturing contraceptives and an erratic government collecting much taxes therefrom. The RH bill: Ascertains mate- rial abundance and economic development. Guarantees the inflow of big capital invest- ments and much employment. Promises the absence of crimi- nality and ascertains the pres- ence of justice in the land. Assures the reign of peace and order. Envisions Philippines as a First World Country. Ha?

Atty. Aurora A. Santiago Duc in Altum
Atty. Aurora A. Santiago
Duc in Altum

Lord, thank you for the gifts of fathers and freedom!

LOS ANGELES, California. The Los Angeles City Council honored the Philippines through

a Resolution declaring June as the Philippine

Independence Month. The City Council, repre- sented by Council members Richard Alarcon, Tom Labonge and Jose Huizar, presented the Resolution to the Filipino-American Commu- nity, led by very lovely Consul-General Mary Jo Bernardo Aragon. Also present during the ceremony, where

I was privileged to witness together with

my sister Vicky and my brother Benny, were Walnut Mayor Antonio Cartagena, Cerritos Councilmember Mark Pulido and the newly- appointed head of the L.A. City Department of Transportation Jaime dela Vega, who are all of Filipino parentage. The Council members also paid tribute to the Filipino army and war veterans for hav- ing fought side by side with the Americans during World War II. The veterans present and their dependents were requested to stand and were honored with deafening and long

applause. How my siblings and I stood at the L.A. City Council Session Hall, proud of being the children of a Filipino World War II veteran.

I could feel my father beaming with his usual

jovial smile. The St. Genevieve Parish High School Band and singer Sean Collado entertained the Coun- cil members and those present. After the ceremony at the Session Hall, the Independence Day parade followed starting from L.A. City Hall Spring Steps to the L.A. Triforium (Fletcher Bowron Square) at the northeast corner of Temple and Los Angeles Streets. Program with cultural presentations, lunch reception and vendors showcasing Philippine

products, arts and artifacts were held. The event was sponsored by the officers and mem- bers of the Los Angeles Filipino Association of City Employees (LAFACE) led by its president Ms. Cora Aragon Soriano and the Los Angeles County Filipino American Employees Asso- ciation (LACFAEA). Not to be outdone, Walnut City Mayor Antonio Cartagena and members of the City Council also presented a Resolution to Consul General Aragon proclaiming June 8 to 14, 2011 as the Filipino-American Heritage Week. The Resolution affirms the achievement and contri- butions of the Filipino-American community of East San Gabriel Valley. In thanksgiving, the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles, in cooperation with the Filipino Ministry of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, sponsored the Holy Mass to commemorate the 113th Anniversary of the Declaration of Philippine Independence Day with the theme “Kalayaan: Paninindigan ng Bayan” at St. Stephen Martyr Catholic Church in Monterey Park, California. Most Rev. Bishop Oscar Solis was the main celebrant. I wish to thank Consul General Mary Jo Bernardo Aragon and Walnut Mayor Antonio Cartagena for being kind enough to give data which we mentioned in this column. We are proud of you for making the Philippines and the Filipinos excel in the American soil. More power to both of you! ***

Every third Sunday of June, we honor all the fathers by celebrating Fathers’ Day. We also give tribute to our spiritual fathers—the Cardinals, Bishops and priests. In the Roman Catholic tradition, Fathers are remembered on Saint Joseph’s Day, commonly called Feast of

Saint Joseph, March 19. My mother Gloria and my siblings give tribute and pray for the soul of our father Benito Sr. who served our country during the World War II as member of the Commonwealth Army. When Bataan fell, my father continued his mission by joining the Anderson’s Guerilla. Tatay, we all love you and we miss you! God bless! To all the fathers and spiritual fathers, we wish you all the best and God’s abun- dant blessings! ***

On June 19, the Philippines celebrated the 150th birth anniversary of our national hero, Dr. Jose Protacio Rizal. By the power and might of his pen, he courageously wrote Noli Me Tangere and El Filibuster- ismo, campaigned for reforms during the Spanish colonial era and in the process, inspired his countrymen, the likes of An- dres Bonifacio and Emilio Jacinto among others, to fight the Spanish conquerors. Dr. Rizal came from a very big family, the 7th among the 11 children, meaning, his parents did not believe in contracep- tives, otherwise, the Philippines might have lost a Filipino hero and missed the freedom that we now enjoy. *** The deliberation of the controversial RH Bill at the House of Representatives was not completed when it adjourned. Take note that its supporters will never stop and will bring it up again when Congress resumes in July. Let us con- tinue praying the Oratio Imperata, which we published last issue, so that our legislators will finally reject it.

One woman’s story, as told to…

Teresa R. Tunay, OCDS …and that’s the truth
Teresa R. Tunay, OCDS
…and that’s the truth

FOLLOWING is the story of a public school teacher who went with friends to the Batasan to give moral support to the spon-

sors of the RH Bill. Here’s her account, as told to this writer:

“I am a public school teacher.

I grew an interest in the RH Bill because of my friends who work in a Non Government Of- fice (NGO) and are in favor of the bill’s passing. Ever since I learned that we women would have at last a law dedicated to our health and empowerment,

I followed the developments in

the news. I watched ‘Harapan’ and ‘Grand Debate’ on televi- sion. I rooted for the pro-RH side, convinced beyond doubt that I would be among the first to benefit from the RH Bill if passed. I voted online for the bill’s passing, and although I wondered why the anti-RH gathered more votes, I thought people voted against the bill be- cause they did not know what I and my friends knew; or maybe they were nuns and society women who do not experience the same problems we lower class women do. “I am still of reproductive age, I take the pill, and I am married to a brute. My children are aged 8, 7 and 5. When talking with my friends about the helplessness of women in our society and under the law, I would get mad and think ours is really a male- dominated society. Women who get to the top (like women in politics, business or movie stars) do so because they are born rich or beautiful and therefore have the support of men in power. They have the luck which we other women do not have, but I am not complaining. At least I finished college and have a good job; however, that does not put me in a much better place than my fellow Filipinas who never

even got beyond Grade 6.

My NGO friends “I first heard about the RH Bill when my NGO friends invited me to their meetings, and that’s where I became convinced that

RH would really be good for me and the poor women in our country, the underdogs in our male-dominated society. I was thankful to have met also big names like Congressman Risa Hontiveros and Janet Garin,

and for the first time in my life,

I felt those lucky influential

women do feel for us ordinary Filipinas after all. Somehow I felt that among my friends and those women of power I would find support in enduring a bad marriage. “I was thankful that it was school vacation when my friends invited me to join them

at the Batasan to give support to our pro-RH Congressmen during interpellations on May 18, 24 and 25 and on June 1 and 7. I met again Cong. Janet Garin who willingly posed for

a photograph with us. I saw

Congressman Manny Pacquiao

but when I suggested we take

a snapshot with him, my com-

panions held me back and said

‘sa kabila iyan!’. I was frustrated but I did not mind. I was so ex- cited to be there among valiant women pushing the bill to help our poor sisters


Nothing prepared me “On my third time at the Batasan, May 25, something

happened in me that up to now

I cannot understand. My NGO

friends did not notice it but I knew I had begun to be less and less eager to join them, because

I realized that nothing in my

association or discussions with them prepared me for what I was to hear from ‘sa kabila’, like

Congressman Roilo Golez and Pablo Garcia. “I began to have this feeling that my friends had actually betrayed me although I could not pinpoint how. As I listened intently to the interpellations of the anti-RH Congressmen and the replies of the RH Bill sponsors, and overheard some remarks of the ‘purple people’ in our gallery, so many questions kept popping up inside of me but I did not have the nerve to ask my friends because I felt they

would not know the answers themselves. Worse, I suspected that even if they did know the answers, they would not tell me the truth. It was a very strange feeling that came with every discovery. For example, I did not know about a ‘Magna Carta for Women’ until I heard Congress- man Mitos Magsaysay interpel- lating, and I honestly thought she made sense in saying all RH Bill’s concerns about women’s health are already addressed in the Magna Carta for Women, making RH Bill practically a

useless carbon copy. I also had that strange feeling when the interpellation revealed that the

contraceptives to be dispensed freely by the government would be bought with the people’s money. However, I kept silent and tried to enjoy my time with my NGO friends, the burger meal we would share after each

session, and I stuck it out with them up to the last date when the session was suspended.

New knowledge

“When the session resumes in July, I know I will tell them I cannot join them to Batasan anymore since I cannot be absent

from my classes. My unasked questions simmered in my head, leading me to reexamine my own personal situation in the

light of the new knowledge I have gained from the arguments of the ‘kabilang side’. For my own good and for the sake of my children’s future I believed such new knowledge should not be dismissed as propaganda as my friends believe. “I take the pill, I told you, but nobody ever told me about the side effects that Congressman Carlo Nograles reported during interpellation. All I knew was what my doctor said when I asked her if I could take the pill. She assured me my monthly pe- riod would for certain come ev- ery 28 days for as long as I’d take them; I heard nothing about how it could ‘regulate my period’ or what the pill did to my insides. I would recall, however, that my doctor taught me how to exam- ine my own breasts and be alert for lumps or a ‘palpable mass’ but she never mentioned about breast cancer, and I trusted her too much to bother reading the medical literature that came with the pill pack.

With Aling Marcia “Then I thought, too, about the poor women who hope to benefit from the passing of the RH Bill. In one of those Batasan sessions I sat next to Aling Marcia, a woman from a depressed community in Metro Manila. She said she would welcome the free birth control pills because her common law husband maltreats her and she does not want to add to their three children. We are on the same boat: a brute of a partner, three children, and but I did not tell her. I was too ashamed to. She puts up with her partner because she has nowhere else to go, having reached only Grade 6 and having no skills to be on her own; I stick to my husband

And That’s The Truth / A6

Abp. Antonio Ledesma, SJ Pastoral Companion
Abp. Antonio Ledesma, SJ
Pastoral Companion

All-Natural Family Planning:

Going beyond the RH Bill

(2nd of two parts)

III. IF responsible parenthood is the goal of Christian couples, Natural Family Planning is the means considered consistent with the moral norms taught by the Church. This then is our third core value. But why NFP? The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes the nature of NFP and its rationale:

Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality. These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom (CCC,


From our pastoral experience in Cagayan de Oro (and earlier in Ipil Prelature), family life workers report various reasons why couples are attracted to NFP:

• Normal intercourse is preserved without any artificial barriers.

• NFP is morally acceptable to people of all religions and cul- tures. The twofold unitive and procreative ends of marriage are not separated.

• NFP can be used to avoid or to achieve pregnancy.

• There are no inherent health risks in NFP methods, unlike the use of contraceptives.

• NFP is pro-poor. No costs are involved once the method has

been learned. Couples do not need to go to health centers, donor agencies, or drugstores. Unlike contraceptives, NFP is not for profit.

• NFP is sustainable across generations. Mothers can readily

pass on the practice of NFP to their daughters.

• NFP engenders sexual discipline for the spouses, mutual car-

ing, and the development of self-control that is carried over in the

upbringing of the children.

• NFP enhances communication between spouses and a whole-

some family life. From comparative studies, NFP couples seldom

or never end up in separation or divorce, or resort to abortion.

• NFP methods are effective and reliable, based on scientific studies.

• Modern simplified methods of NFP are much easier to learn

and can be adopted by many more couples. In our All-NFP program, we have included six modern scien- tific methods—i.e., the Basal Body Temperature, Billings Cervi- cal Mucus, SymptoThermal, Lactational Amenorrhea, Standard Days, and Two Day methods. The most widely acceptable among these is the Standard Days Method. This is a simplified, standardized, calendar-based method of NFP developed over the past decade by Georgetown University through computer simulation and the science of statistical probability. Based on our periodic reports, SDM users range from one-half to two-thirds of all NFP adopters. In terms of efficacy rate, SDM has a slightly lower score compared to BBT or BOM, but this is more than offset by its much higher accept- ability rate. Many couples have also learned to combine SDM with mucus observation as a double check. Despite the allegation that SDM may be used with back-up contraceptives, the bishops in plenary assembly arrived at a consensus statement, first in 2003 and again in January 2009, stating that “SDM, provided it is not mixed with contraceptives, is a natural family planning method and is consistent with the moral teaching of the Catholic Church.” While acknowledging the individual bishop’s pastoral discernment to promote SDM or not, the consensus statement adds that “the bishop may not prohibit any couple in his diocese from using SDM as their method of natural family planning.” In a personal audience with the Holy Father or 25 February 2011, I presented to him two publications, including the train- ing manual, on our All-NFP program and briefly explained our inclusion of simplified methods such as SDM. Pope Benedict’s immediate response went to the heart of the matter: “Yes, simpli- fied methods are good for simple people.” IV. Our fourth core value and pastoral guideline in All-NFP promotion is to enable couples to make an Informed and Morally

Responsible Choice according to the dictates of a right conscience. The Church’s role in this regard is twofold: 1) to help couples for a right conscience through values formation so that they are able to make a morally responsible choice; 2) and to provide informa- tion on all scientifically-based NFP methods. Information on all valid NFP methods becomes a pastoral imperative, particularly in the light of three felt needs among a growing number of couples today. First, they want to plan their families in terms of spacing births and determining family sizes. Secondly, they prefer natural family planning, provided they are given adequate information on fertility awareness and the various NFP methods. And thirdly, they also want to choose among NFP methods according to their own circumstances and preference. It is not for us to choose beforehand what the “best NFP method” is for couples. Neither did Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI’s encyclical “On the Regulation of Birth,” equate NFP with a particular method. On the contrary, it extended a general appeal

to scientists: “It is particularly desirable that

medical science

succeed in providing a sufficiently secure basis for a regulation of birth, founded on the observance of natural rhythms” (HV, 24). Pope John Paul II repeated this appeal to doctors, teachers, and couples “for a broader, more decisive and more systematic effort to make the natural methods of regulating fertility known, respected and applied” (FC, 35). On the other hand, the role of government is also acknowledged in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

The state has a responsibility for its citizens’ well-being. In this capacity it is legitimate for it to intervene to orient the demogra- phy of the population. This can be done by means of objective and respectful information, but certainly not by authoritarian, coercive measures. The state may not legitimately usurp the initiative of spouses, who have the primary responsibility for the procreation and education of their children. In this area, it is not authorized to employ means contrary to the moral law (CCC, 2372). In this regard, reiterating what we have already said in our pas- toral letter of 25 July 2008, we join our voices with other dioceses and church groups in rejecting legislative measures that would include subtle forms of coercion, infringe on the rights of parents, or allow the inclusion of family planning methods that may be considered abortifacient. On the other hand, a church congress declaration, referring to NFP methods, points out a likely role for government with regard to NFP methods: “All couples have the right to know of them and to have access to them. Governments should offer resources for natural family planning services and research without imposing discriminatory conditions.” On his part, Pope John Paul II has gone beyond the “anti-life” labeling and pointed out the distinction between contraception and abortion:

From the moral point of view contraception and abortion are specifically different evil: the former contradicts the full truth of the sexual act as the proper expression of conjugal love, while the latter destroys the life of a human being; the former is opposed

Pastoral Companion / A6


Local News

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 15 No. 13

June 20 - July 3, 2011

Newly-appointed bishops vow to live up to challenges

He was sent to San Jose Seminary at the Loyola School of Theology in Quezon City where he acquired his degree in Theology from 1981-1986. Bantolo obtained an M. A. in Educational Management from Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro City and a licentiate in Philosophy from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, from 1996-1998. From 2005-2006, he studied at the School of Applied Theology at the University of Berkeley in California, USA. The influential Manila Archbishop Jaime L. Cardinal Sin ordained Bantolo to the dia- conate in August 3, 1985 at the Sta. Maria dela Strada in Balara, Quezon City. Then San Jose de Antique Bishop Raul Q. Martirez ordained him to the priesthood last April 26, 1986 at the Immaculate Conception Parish in Guisijan, Laua-an, Antique. Bishop-elect Joe has been a parish priest and school administrator all his life aside from being chaplain to various lay organi- zations. Aside from his travels to Italy and the United States, he has been to Banalore in

Bishop’s helpsought for quick retrieval of victims’ remains fromill-fatedship

TWO new bishops appointed by the Vatican yesterday reflected on the pastoral chal- lenges of the episcopacy, saying they will

try their best to live up to the challenges that come with the task. Masbate’s incoming prelate Msgr. Jose Bantolo, said his appointment was more of a great surprise, and that he accepted the latest assignment with “mixed feelings.”

“I feel honored with the appointment and

must carry on the tasks that go along with the assignment as Masbate’s third bishop,” the bishop-elect told CBCPNews. When told that he would be shepherd- ing one of the country’s poorest provinces, Masbate’s third prelate expressed optimism

that he would be able to accomplish what is expected of him. Bantolo succeeds Bishop Joel Z. Baylon who was appointed Legazpi Bishop in October 1, 2009.

A product of the government’s public el-

ementary school system, the latest appointee

finished his grade school at Guisijad (An- tique) Elementary School. He later enrolled

at St. Peter’s Seminary for his high school

and college education from 1973-1981.

India and several places in Indonesia. He looks forward to his Episcopal ordina- tion on the second week of August in San Jose, Antique and his installation as Bishop of Masbate before the end of August this year. As far as Nueva Segovia Vicar General Monsignor David William Valencia Antonio is concerned, he was “somewhat nervous” when he received word of his appointment because of the responsibilities that go along with the task. He told CBCPNews he will have to rely on the grace of God to fulfill whatever re- sponsibilities Archbishop Ernesto Salgado would give him. He added that he looks forward to doing what he could to accomplish his assign- ments. Asked how his latest appointment would affect his everyday life, the 47-year old auxil- iary bishop said he would be “busier” because aside from being a “formator” and having a parish, he teaches Sacraments and Pastoral Theology at the Immaculate Conception School of Theology in Vigan. (Melo M. Acuña)

RELATIVES of dead and missing victims of the sunken passenger ship “Princess of the Stars,” have found com- fort and solace from Cebu Archbishop Jose S. Palma. Thirty-eight years old Ro- wena Barret, who lost her 27- year old brother Armand in the tragedy, said the Cebu’s fifth archbishop has assured them of his spiritual and moral support in their quest for justice. “He accommodated us and listened to our clamor for government to pursue the recovery of those still under the wreckage,” she told CB- CPNews after the Memorial Mass officiated by Fr. Robert Reyes at the Public Attorney’s Office in Quezon City. She said her group of eight and closest relatives of those who died or have been de- clared missing in the sinking of the ill-fated “Princess of the Stars” sought the 61-year old prelate’s support in their desire to ask government to pursue the retrieval and re-

covery operations to get the remains of some 300 to 400 passengers and crew. Thelma Recla said she was more than delighted to listen to the prelate’s assurance that he would be the vic- tims’ “bridge” to govern- ment agencies to relay their request. Recla, whose husband Avelino also perished in the disaster said their meet- ing with Archbishop Palma lasted for nearly an hour and was exhaustive enough. “We only have one request and that is for the retrieval and recovery operations to continue so we could give our kin the appropriate burial,” Recla told CBCPNews. The meeting took place last Friday, June 17 at the Archbishop’s Residence in downtown Cebu City. The catastrophe happened June 21, 2008 off the coasts of San Fernando town in Rom- blon, central Philippines at the height of Typhoon Frank. (CBCPNews)

Hacienda Luisita / A1

him to intervene on the

side of the farmers,” said Pabillo, chairman of the National Secretariat for So- cial Action of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. He believes that whatev- er decision Aquino arrives

at will have huge moral and

political impact particu- larly on the current peace

process between the gov- ernment and the National Democratic Front (NDF). Pabillo added that the agrarian reform will re-

main a central issue in the peace talks and that many Filipinos are hoping on Aquino that he is for the poor. “The resolution of the Hacienda Luisita case is

a test of the administra-

tion’s political will. It will send a strong signal for the successful, or failed,

implementation of agrarian reform,” he said. Pabillo also called on the Supreme Court (SC) to settle the issue it had been handling since 2005, saying its continued stalling has already raised suspicions of possible political color. The case had previously been decided by the De- partment of Agrarian Re- form and the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council that the stock distribution option (SDO) of the Haci- enda Luisita was a failure and the land should be distributed to the farmer beneficiaries according to the intention of the Com- prehensive Agrarian Re- form Program (CARP). At the behest of the Co- juangco-Aquino clan, how- ever, the High Court issued

a temporary restraining

order (TRO). Last week, the SC did not

succeed in resolving the case after the justices failed

to come up with their deci-

sion on how to cast their vote on it and decided to settle it this week.

The SC was supposed to decide by last week the legality of earlier orders of the PARC and DAR to distribute the land to the farmers and the revocation of the SDO offered by the Hacienda Luisita to 10,000 farmer-beneficiaries. But the magistrates de- ferred making a ruling after failing to come up with a decision on how to cast their votes on the case. “The High Court, we are

certain, knows full well the fact that political ‘issues’ impede the implementa- tion of agrarian reform,” Pabillo said. “Hence, we call on the Supreme Court to facilitate the birth of institutional reforms capable of activat-

ing all factors that will seri- ously implement agrarian reform.” “ T h i s i s b e s t d o n e through the speedy dis- pensation of justice that

is devoid of political color

and solely based on the merits of the case,” he said. Pabillo led many Haci- enda Luisita farmers in a prayer vigil in front of the Supreme Court in Manila on June 14. “Let us appeal to PNoy and SC to give justice to the 50-year old struggle of the farmers. Let us call for the distribution of the biggest hacienda in the country,” he said. (CBCPNewsv)

Mass Translation / A1

Addressed to both clergy and laity, the primer explains the major changes in translation and gives an analysis and cateche- sis on the translated text. “The text to be discussed is shown in Latin and in the 1973 and 2010 English translations. This facilitates quick compari- son between the Latin text and its translations,” Chupungco explained in the primer’s preface. He said the catechesis offered in the primer is in the form of reflection on the text or a part of the Holy Mass. “Comprehension of the meaning of liturgical prayers and other formulas is necessary for active participation as desired by the Second Vatican Council,” Chupungco explain.

‘Tools for translators’ Although the primer has been prepared mainly to aid pas- tors in catechizing the faithful regarding the changes, Chu- pungco said the material also serves “to provide some tools for translators in other languages”. He explained that translations of the liturgy in other lan- guages should be made from the original Latin text. Translat- ing from English is not advisable, he said, “because English has linguistic and cultural properties that are proper to it and may not be present in other languages.” The Holy See has twice issued Instructions on how translations of the Roman Missal to other languages should be done, first in 1969 and second in 2001. The first Instruction preferred the sense translation while the second insisted on literal translation. Because of almost 40 years of familiarity with the 1973 Eng- lish translation, there is a need to explain well to the people the rationale behind the changes, Chupungco said. “It should be pointed out that the previous and the new trans- lations do not differ in doctrinal content, although each expresses it in distinctive styles proper to the methods of translation known as dynamic equivalence and formal correspondence,” he said. For his part, Fr. Genaro Diwa, executive secretary of the Epis- copal Commission on Liturgy said any changes always usher in some difficulties, hence the need for liturgical catechesis for everybody, including the bishops and priests. The new translation will be introduced throughout the Phil- ippines on the first Sunday of Advent in December 2, 2012. The season of Advent is the beginning of a new liturgical season in the Church calendar.

Sacerdotal / A1

present a sincere manifestation of our spiritual union” with the pope.

The Holy hour will be offered for the sanctification of priests and will begin on June 29, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, (also the pope’s presbyteral ordination date) and ends on July 1, Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

A prayer booklet in English and Tagalog has been prepared by the

archdiocese’s Liturgical Commission to be used for the occasion by parishes and religious communities. The cardinal further urged the parish priests, chaplains, rectors and religious superiors to document their 60-hour adoration or part of it and furnish the archdiocesan chancery with a copy together with a written summary of the activities. The documentation will be sent to the Holy Father, Rosales said. The Vatican’s Congregation of the Clergy on June 16 has encour- aged bishops all over the world “to promote 60 hours of Eucharistic adoration for the sanctification of all priests, for new vocations, and for Pope Benedict XVI, who will celebrate 60 years as a priest on June 29.” (CBCPNews)

Anti-women / A1

And yet who basks in the pleasure everytime, he asked the audience. “Mga lalaki.” No self-respecting woman should support the bill “because it violates your personhood. Ang babae sa ating pananampalataya ay minamahal, inaaruga at inaalagaan,” he said to the audience, composed mostly of female high school and college students as well as faculty members, who at this point responded with thunderous applause to Llasos’ statements. The lawyer, also a staff apologist of the Defensores Fidei Foundation, expressed misgivings about the controversial bill for its apparent basic as- sumption that persons are incapable of self-control and of understanding truths about human sexuality. “[In the RH bill] you are reducing a human being into nothing but an object, he said, adding that its proponents fail to understand the difference between man and animals. “A human being is rational. He is endowed by God with will. We have

a will to say no to ourselves—pwede mong pagilin ang iyong sarili. Kung

ang tao ay nakakaramdam ng sexual urges sapagka’t tao ka, maaari mong

pigilin at maaari kang magtimpi,” he explained. “Hindi po tayo parang mga aso sa kalye. If they are in heat they have to do the sexual act because they have no will to control their actions. But we are human.” The RH Bill, or House Bill 4244, has been generating a growing opposition in recent months due to provisions on taxpayer-funded procurement and distribution of the “full range” of artificial c ontraceptives and reproductive health services, a mandatory six-year sex education program in all schools from Grade 5 to 4th year high school, and the required provision by employers of artificial contraceptives and reproductive health services to their employees. Also included in the panel of speakers at the June 17 forum were Atty. Jo Imbong, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Legal Office Executive Secretary, Prof. Aliza Racelis of the University of the Philippines, and Anna Cosio, RN. (Diana Uichanco)



NO other than retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz has branded as ‘a joke’ a supposed online movement for him to enter politics. Cruz denied any knowledge about the “Archbishop Oscar Cruz for Senator Movement” created recently over popular social networking site Facebook. The archbishop said he is also clueless about the people behind it but said it is something worth ignoring. “I find the FB amusing. It’s also ridiculous. It’s a joke,” Cruz said Tuesday. “Even as barangay police my mother will not vote for me.” The prelate is known for criticizing the Aquino administra- tion over several socio-political issues. He also became the subject of attacks by supporters of a proposed birth control measure known as the reproductive health (RH) bill. But whether the page has its real intention or meant to ridi- cule him, Cruz said he has no idea and stressed that that he has never considered running for public office. “For one thing it is not my line, prohibited by church law, and third I do not know how,” said Cruz. “I could most probably evaluate people in their respective political positions but it does not mean it would be better if I’m there.” “I’m just saying that even if I am dull, lazy, and incompetent at least I am not the president.” (CBCPNews)

Green Group / A1

Properties Development Corporation (SNPDC), which operates in an area considered as “center of biodiversity” in the province. “We urge Romblomanons to keep their vigilance against attempts by mining companies to conduct operations in their province and call for the cancellation of the permit issued to APMC. Let us continue this struggle in memory of Armin Marin and dozens of others who died or were enforcedly disappeared because of their advocacy against plunder by large scale corporate mining,” Bautista stated. (Noel Sales Barcelona)

ECY / A1

WYD is almost half of the number that the CBCP ECY sent to par- ticipate at the previous WYD in Sydney, Australia. Tacderas said the number of delegates under CBCP ECY del- egation, which excludes the other 1,400 delegates that have regis- tered outside the official group,

may still decrease mainly because of the some delegates’ inability to raise funds to finance their trips. “Money is a major concern for most delegates. There are some that reach the last phase of the application and still back out because they can’t reach the minimum monetary requirement

to sustain their trip,” she said. Tacderas said that the distance of Spain from the Philippines also dictates the monetary requirement that each delegate should meet. “If delegates during the WYD in Sydney only need at least $1,200 to cover their trip, delegates to the WYD in Madrid need to raise

$1,500 to $1,800 each,” she added. WYD delegates under the CBCP ECY will participate in the Days in the Diocese from August 9 to 14 in Coria Caceres, unlike other groups outside the CBCP ECY who only intend to attend the WYD celebration in Madrid. (Kris Bayos)

Pastoral Companion/ A5

to the virtue of chastity in marriage; the latter is opposed to the virtue of justice and directly violates the divine commandment, “You shall not kill!” (Evangelium Vitae, 13).

In the final analysis, the most effective way of saying “No! to the RH

Bill” is by saying “Yes! to All-NFP” and operationalizing this in all our parishes and chapel communities. If the RH Bill is shelved by Congress,

it would still be incumbent for us in the local church to promote All-NFP

to address the felt needs of couples, particularly among the urban and rural poor, for family planning. On the other hand, if the RH Bill is passed, all the more do we have to show a positive alternative to the practices of

artificial means of birth control. Meanwhile, in the archdiocese we are gratified to receive an increasing number of requests from other dioceses, civil society organizations, and government agencies for our All-NFP training seminars and manuals. We also commend our lay religious organizations like the Catholic Women’s League and Couples for Christ whose members have worked together with our volunteer resident counselors in promoting All-NFP throughout the archdiocese. There is wisdom and a note of urgency in a family life worker’s remarks: “The more we promote natural family planning, the more contraceptives will die a natural death.”

And That’s The Truth / A5

because in spite of my college degree I do not know any better.

“On the way home that night, I came upon the truth that yes, I take the pill, but not because I don’t want more children. I love children and am not really against having more, if only my domestic situation were not so bad.

“I realized that through all those five years

I have taken the pill, no child has been added,

true, but my husband grew even worse. He knows I am on the pill, so when he claims his ‘marital rights’ I cannot use the fear of pregnan- cy as an excuse to turn him away. He insists on those “marital rights” on demand, and because he has superior strength, I am helpless. Is that

not rape? When he comes home way past mid- night, his breath reeking of beer and cigarettes combined with a strange perfume, and then robs me of sleep as he forces himself upon me, it is hell! It must be the same hell Aling Marcia goes through, and I seriously doubt now if the

RH Bill can really help us women who are poor and powerless and suffering in more ways than its sponsors can ever imagine. True empowerment for women ‘Do they really believe that just because we’re using contraceptives, it would be right for men to use us when and as long as they want to? That we would enjoy unlimited sex simply because we are not afraid to get preg- nant? There are many other reasons we would rather not have sex: when we sense infidelity in a husband, as when he takes his cellphone to the bathroom, comes home with lipstick on his collar, locks his account on the family com- puter, takes on too much ‘overtime’ without any explanations, so many other things. “Anyone who wants to really empower women should give us true education, the kind that teaches us how to stand on our own, to esteem ourselves as anybody’s equal. They should implement programs to equip us to

help out with family finances or become eco- nomically autonomous if need be. They should create more opportunities for our husbands to become better providers, and implement laws that teach them a lesson when they have been bad to their wives. The state should support our efforts at giving our daughters a well-rounded education that will make them explore their potentials and be fulfilled as hu- man beings. “I have discovered enough from those Ba- tasan sessions to be able to say that life in our country cannot be improved by an extensive sex education program and free contraceptives for the poor. I have to thank my NGO friends who brought me to Batasan, but if I am fortu- nate enough to hear more interpellations in the next Congress, I plan to do so from the side of the people who wear red. I may lose my friends in the process, but at least I will be true to the emerging new me.”

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 15 No. 13

June 20 - July 3, 2011

Diocesan News


Mindanao dioceses, Catholic universities urged to help push peace process


Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ

CAGAYAN DE ORO City—A Jesuit archbishop has urged all dioceses and Catholic universities in Mindanao to

help in pushing forward the peace pro- cess between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) “for the greater good of Mindanao.” Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, chairman of the Episcopal Com- mission on Inter-religious Dialogue

( E C I D ) o f

Conference of the Philippines, said it is the responsibility of all Catho- lic faithful to help push the peace negotiations toward its expected result—genuine and lasting peace in Mindanao. “We in the Inter-religious Dialogue also would like to involve the many different peace-building centers and Catholic universities and also the different dioceses here in Mindanao to push forward the peace process,” he said. Instead of just watching the nego- tiations from the sideline, Catholic schools and peace-building centers, like the peace and development non- government organization Balay Mind- anaw Foundation, Inc. (BMFI), should initiate moves and discussions on how best they can help in the achievement

t h e C a t h o l i c B i s h o p s

of genuine and lasting peace in Min- danao through a political settlement with the MILF. “Central to the discussion, I believe, is the Comprehensive Compact which the MILF had presented the govern- ment peace panel,” he said. T h e C o m p r e h e n s i v e C o m p a c t (ComCom), which was presented to the government panel on February 9, 2011, contains the MILF proposal for a negotiated political settlement to the so-called Mindanao Conflict (Moro Question). Prof. Abhoud Syed Lingga, execu- tive director of the Cotabato City- based Institute of Bangsamoro Stud- ies, said that the MILF ComCom “is the formula of peace through the ex- haustion of all democratic remedies to solve a home-grown sovereignty- based conflict, which, following the same approach, other similar global sovereignty-based conflicts have been successfully resolved, such as in South Sudan and Northern Ireland.” During the Fellowship Dinner ten- dered by the Provincial Peace and Or- der Council (PPOC) of Misamis Orien- tal, headed by Gov. Oscar Moreno and Vice Governor Norris Babiera, for the MILF Peace Panel at the Rey Magno

Teves Equity, Development and Peace (RMT-EDP) Hall of the International Center for Peace (IC Peace) in Min- danaw of BMFI, Ledesma expressed hope that the MILF and the Aquino administration will finally resolve all issues attendant to the Moro Question and sign a final peace agreement. Ledesma, also a member of the Tri- partite Commission of the Bishops- Ulama Forum (BUF) said that the CBCP as well as the BUF have been discussing about the peace negotia- tions and the challenges of building peace in Mindanao. “Over the past 14 years now in the BUF, we have also been dialoguing with our Muslim counterparts about the peace process and the challenge of peace building here in Mindanao,” he said. MILF peace panel chairperson Mo- hagher Iqbal, for his part, said that while the issues surrounding the Moro Question are hard, it is of utmost importance that ordinary people talk about it to know the truth even if it hurts. Iqbal also lauded efforts by the Catholic Church to achieve the genu- ine and lasting peace in Mindanao. (Bong D. Fabe)

Fatherhood is both gift and responsibility—prelate

NAGA City―Paying tribute to fathers on Father’s Day, Caceres Archbishop Leonardo Legaspi, OP said fatherhood is both a gift and a responsibility because it includes “the power to bring forth life, [and] a participation in the creative act of God.” The value of fatherhood is so great that it “should not be left to chance nor enjoyed simply for oneself,” the archbishop said. He said fatherhood is only realized with the union of a man and a woman in a marriage founded on love. “The fruit of this union is a human being en- dowed with dignity, intellect and will –a human person, with a soul. Thus, for us Christians, every human life has to be protected and cared for from the very moment of conception up until its natural end. This too is fatherhood!” he said. The archbishop noted that fatherhood today is

faced with challenges, and is oftentimes “under- valued.” But he said it is encouraging to see fathers who rise up to the situation by “showing utmost respect for their wife and children… communicating sin- cerely with their wife and children, [and working] hard daily to support and accompany the family.” Legaspi said he is aware of the “many inspiring stories of fathers who sacrifice their own enjoyment, even personal dreams and gain for the welfare of their family.” He also lauded those fathers “who have turned their back from vices to dedicate themselves more fully to the family.” Aware of the difficulties many fathers are expe- riencing due to separation from family, poverty, sickness, or failure to provide family with a decent life, the archbishop called on them to rise above

the situation. “To these fathers I say: Put your confidence in the Lord. Rise above your failures. Straighten what is wrong. Recover the sense of respect for oneself and for your family. Support and pray for your wife and children. You know well the sufferings of children who grow without their fathers.” He further urged fathers to remain strong in the face of adversity and “face the challenges of fatherhood squarely.” He reminded every father to protect his wife and care for their children and “lead them to the way of Truth, lead them to God, the Holy Trinity, the source and model of communion.” Fathers should strive to be good examples and inspiration to their children, he said. He also took time to admonish the young men who wish to have their own families, to prepare well for marriage and family life and be prepared

to embrace the responsibility of being a husband and father with utmost seriousness. “Marriage and fatherhood are not games of chance because these are grace and responsibility and never entertain illusions because the mark of real manhood is not machismo but being responsible.” He called on everyone to pray for the misgivings of previous fathers and ask for God’s mercy and forgiveness “without forgetting that this requires our choice and acceptance.” “I ask you, especially the young, to pray for your fathers as they too need your appreciation, support and care,” he said. The archbishop’s reflection on fatherhood was part of the pastoral letter released in time for the celebration of the fetast of the Holy Trinity on June 19, also observed worldwide as Father’s Day. (Fr. Louie Occiano/Melo M. Acuna)


MILF admits urgency to resolve ‘Mindanao Conflict’

CAGAYAN DE ORO City—The Moro Islamic Liberation Front admitted the urgency of putting a closure to the so- called “Mindanao Conflict” even as it scored some of those in government as “peace spoilers.” “Honestly, there is really an urgent need to put closure to the Moro Question and the armed conflict in Mindanao by fast-tracking the GPH-MILF peace negotiation,” said MILF Peace Panel chairperson Mo- hagher Iqbal. (Bong D. Fabe)

Oblate priest scores Senate vote on ARMM poll postponement

COTABATO City—The director of the Institute for Autonomy and Governance of the Cotabato City-based Notre Dame Uni- versity scored the Philippine Senate for postponing the August 8 elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Fr. Eliseo Mercado, OMI, chairperson of the Kusog Mindanaw, said that the Senate ruling was a “lethal blow to the little au- tonomy and self-determination” of the region. (Bong D. Fabe)

Bishop urges calm over ARMM election delay

CALOOCAN City—Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez has called for calm after the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao elections has been postponed. Iñiguez was reacting to reports that many voters are opposed to the election delay and that it could trigger political tension in the region. He said there are other ways of raising sentiments and not through violence means. (CBCPNews)

Seafarer center to continue campaign for MLC ratification

MANILA—The International Seafarer Action Center (ISAC) Philippines Foundation had vowed to continue its campaign for the ratification of the Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) of 2006 to ensure the safety and welfare of more than 250,000 seafarers working at different fleets all over the world. Atty. Edwin de la Cruz of the ISAC said that there’s an urgent need for the MLC adoption by the Philippine government as the MLC can be the key to stop all kinds of abuses and unfair labor practices happening in different ships, especially those who are under the flag of convenience (FOC) vessels. (Noel Sales Barcelona)

Environmentalists assail DOJ decision in Ortega killing

QUEZON City— Environmentalists were disappointed over Department of Justice’s ruling to clear former Palawan Gov. Joel Reyes from criminal charges filed against him, in connec- tion with the killing of anti-mining activist Dr. Robert Ortega last Jan. 24. Marjorie Pamintuan, one of the conveners of the Task Force Justice for Environmental Defenders, said that Roland Edad Jr.’s statement was enough to implicate Reyes in the case. Edad, a close aide of the victim said that it was Reyes who plotted against Ortega as the former is the governor’s strong critic. (Noel Sales Barcelona)

Migrants’ watchdog sounds alarm over imminent layoffs in Saudi

ANTIPOLO City—Migrante Middle East sounded the alarm over the impending massive layoffs in both local and interna- tional companies in Saudi, as the Saudi monarchy will soon be implementing its Nitaqat system. John Leonard Monterona of Migrante-ME said, the Nitaqat system aims to ensure that Saudi nationals will be secured a job, however endangering the employment status of an alien worker. He said that 350,000 Filipino and Filipina workers would be laid off if the Nitaqat system will be fully implemented. (Noel Sales Barcelona)

Bishop slams DOJ ruling in Ortega case

PUERTO PRINCESA City—The Depart- ment of Justice (DOJ) ruled that there was no evidence that would implicate former Palawan Governor Joel Reyes to the killing of anti-mining broadcaster Gerry Ortega last January. Now the bishop of Puerto Princesa, Pedro Arigo, is asking the community to help send a message to the DOJ. “The whole Palawan will shout against it! We are definitely going to hold a protest anytime soon,” Arigo said. “That’s really a big blow to the family (of Ortega).” “What kind of justice system do we have? That decision is really a big miscar- riage of justice,” he lamented. In a 21-page resolution dated June 8, the DOJ panel has cleared Reyes, who was accused of masterminding the kill-

ing of Ortega, a hard-hitting broadcaster in Palawan. Citing similar reason, criminal charges of other respondents, namely: former Marinduque Gov. Jose Carreon; former Palawan provincial administrator Romeo Serratubias; Coron, Palawan Mayor Mario Reyes, and suspects Arturo Regalado and Percival Lecias were also dismissed. The DOJ panel, however, recommended the filing of murder

Bishop Pedro Arigo
Bishop Pedro Arigo

charges against Rodolfo Edrad Jr., a former close-in security aide of Joel Reyes and Carreon; suspects Armando Noel, Dennis Aranas, and Arwin Arandia. Ortega was shot in the head last January 24 inside a used-clothing shop in Puerto Princesa. The gunman was arrested. Ortega was a known hard-hitting critic of mining operators and mining support- ers in his radio program, “Ramatak”. Prior to his killing, Ortega was coordi- nating a project with the “Save Palawan Movement” which gathers at least ten million signatures to call for a total mining ban in Palawan. Arigo believes that the broadcaster’s murder was related to his stand against mining projects in the province. Ortega had reportedly been receiving death threats since late 2009, when his radio program on dwAR went back on air. Arigo said Ortega’s murder was a great loss to the Palaweños. He was “a man who has dedicated his life to making Palawan a better place to live in,” he said. The incident also spurred Church leaders and civil society groups to strengthen their campaign against mining in the province. (CBCPNews)

Candidly Speaking / A4

what is good and evil in life. And impertinent slogans and rallies now replace civilized discourse. One lady columnist argued that the unborn are not yet children and therefore are not yet subject to rights. She said that those bills proposed in Congress recently are unfair to the mothers, since they seek to give protection only to the unborn. She conveniently forgot what the Philippine constitution said under Article 2, Section 12: “The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception…” Earlier, she made herself like a one-woman demolition crew against the Catholic Church by exposing the supposed wealth of the Church. Frankly, she drew pity more than anything else. She can be the face of many of those who are pro-RH and pro-divorce, driven more by hate, discontent, ignorance and error than anything else. There’s no metaphysics, no serious philosophy, much less, the- ology. Everything seems to derive from pure reason alone, based on personal, social, economic or political considerations. And the discussion is supposed to stick in those levels. Straying from them would be deemed foul. So we now have a cacophony of views and opinions that echo the discordant voices in the Bible episode of the Tower of Babel. And I’m afraid we have to brace for more action and confusion, since after the RH and divorce, for sure there will come other hot-button issues like gay marriage, abortion, euthanasia, etc. In fact, a well-known lady columnist in a mainstream paper now

openly bats for abortion. While she was coy about it years back when she was just talking about contraception, now she has no qualms about supporting abortion. That’s another proof that the RH bill which only allows contra- ception, as of now, will end up legalizing abortion in our country. I know that the slippery slope is one informal fallacy in logic. But this time, with what we see in other countries and what are emerging now in our country, this slippery slope is anything but a fallacy. To weaken the position of the Church, some opinion-makers try to frame the Church position as a Catholic option that should not be imposed on others who are not Catholics, or who are Catholics but do not want to follow the Church teaching. Forgotten is the fact that the Church also gives teachings that are ethical in nature, and that ought to bind everyone since they are universal in scope. In fact, a well-known priest-lawyer has said as much. With his solomonic posturing, he makes all sorts of legalistic distinctions without arriving at a clear conclusion. If anything, he concludes that the RH bill is ok because the Church cannot impose its views on the others. There are, of course, others who think faith, religion and the Church have no place in the public discussion of issues. That would be fine if the issues are purely social, economic or political in nature. But if they prominently touch on spiritual and moral questions, why would faith, religion and Church be excluded? Truth, of course, should be pursued in charity. But also, charity should be pursued in the truth.

Living Mission / A4

titudes of genuine respect and reverence for others’ beliefs and spiritualities must precede and accompany all interreligious dialogue and all mission….” “We cannot end these reflections without speaking of the great gift to our people on March 5 of this year [2000]: the beatification of Pedro Calungsod [who] … gave his life as a missioner of the Gos-

pel in Guam on 2 April 1672…. Modern missionaries must be aware that mission work is as difficult and dangerous today as in the past….” “We want to begin the millennium by pledging that our local Churches will be truly missionary in spirit and in action, that we will try to realize, every one of us, our call to be missionaries, in our own

land, and in our great Asia continent.” Although written a decade ago, this CBCP mission letter remains a sincere invitation for the Philippine Church to become a “community in the permanent state of mission.” Blessed John Paul II, as- sist us to become mature Christians with the minds and hearts of missionaries—all for the love of God!

© Diana Uichanco

A8 People, Facts & Places CBCP Monitor Vol. 15 No. 13 June 20 - July 3,

People, Facts & Places

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 15 No. 13

June 20 - July 3, 2011

CBCP Monitor Vol. 15 No. 13 June 20 - July 3, 2011 Thousands join Bulacan pro-life
CBCP Monitor Vol. 15 No. 13 June 20 - July 3, 2011 Thousands join Bulacan pro-life

Thousands join Bulacan pro-life rally

June 20 - July 3, 2011 Thousands join Bulacan pro-life rally THOUSANDS of people in Bulacan

THOUSANDS of people in Bulacan showed their anti-RH bill sentiments during a rally for life on June 10. According to police estimates, some 20,000-25,000 people gathered at the Provincial Capitol in Malolos and marched afterwards towards the Basilica Minore of the Immaculate Conception. Bulacan local officials as well as legislators came to sup- port the event’s cause, all addressing the huge crowd with short messages. Besides Bulacan Governor Willy Alvarado, the province’s House Representatives came in full force to demonstrate their opposition to the Reproductive Health (RH) bill: Reps. Ma. Victoria Sy-Alvarado (1st district), Pedro Pancho (2nd district), Joselito Mendoza (3rd district), and Linabelle Ruth Villarica (4th district). Also present were Rep. Arturo Robes (District of San Jose del Monte City) and Valenzuela Reps. Rex Gatchalian (1st

district) and Magtanggol Gunigundo (2nd district). Bearing streamers and an assortment of signages expressing their pro-life, anti-RH bill sentiments, lay men and women as well as clergy and religious walked to the former Malolos Cathedral, unmindful of the afternoon sun and paying no attention to a brief rainshower. As the march concluded at the Cathedral, the people were treated to talks and messages that boosted the call for a cul- ture of life and the rejection of the RH bill. Present to give short talks supporting the event’s cause were Episcopal Commission on Family and Life (ECFL) Executive Secretary Rev. Fr. Melvin Castro, Sen. Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, Parañaque Rep. Roilo Golez, former Senator Francisco “Kit” Tatad and former Manila Mayor Jose “Lito” Atienza. The event culminated in a Eucharistic celebration led by Malolos Bishop Jose F. Oliveros, D.D. with the Malolos clergy. (Diana Uichanco)

Cardinal Rosales honored for fighting poverty

THE head of Manila’s Roman Catholic Church has been recognized for his commitment to the poor with a fest- schrift made in honor of him. In a ceremony at the Cuneta Astro- dome in Pasay City held on June 9, Rosales got a round of applause as the book, titled “Katesismo ng Pondo ng Pinoy” was formally launched. The 103-page festschrift features scholarly writings from 29 experts in Church teachings and theology. The launching was one the highlights of the 7th anniversary of Pondo ng Pinoy, a poverty-alleviation program started by Rosales in 2004. The principle behind Pondo ng Pi- noy is “small acts of goodness done frequently, regularly and consistently

will lead the person doing it to heaven.” The emphasis is on acts of goodness and the 25 cents that are put in a bottle each day is the symbol of these small acts and when pooled together becomes an instrument for helping the poor. In June last year the total collection of Pondo ng Pinoy already exceeded 200 million pesos. The amount funded a total of 1,081 projects as of June 2010 in health, education, micro-finance, micro-enterprise and housing. In his homily during the Mass, Ro- sales noted how the program brought about not only the development of the people, especially the poor, but also transformation of their lives. He also told the around 6,000 crowd how the program started and how

some people doubted the concept of the program. “It was a suspicious idea. Some re- luctantly believe that wealth can be collected from as little as twenty-five centavo coins. Probably it was from the simplicity of the scheme that doubts arose,” said the 78-year old prelate. “But it took only three years to prove to many Doubting Thomases that with the Blessings of the Providence the movement of Pondo ng Pinoy was not only real and genuine, but also cred- ible.” “Little acts of kindness if sustained by similar constant little acts can grow into great expressions of daily charity and compassion,” Rosales said. (CBCPNews)


A MAJOR basilica in Rome has granted ple- n a r y i n d u l g e n c e t o those who will visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Manaoag in Panga- sinan. Catholics visiting the site will be able to re- ceive an indulgence, which the Church teach- es as a full pardon of the temporal punishment due to sins which have already been forgiven. Thousands of pil - grims visit Manaoag everyday because of the many miracles at- tributed to Our Lady of the Holy Rosary. Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said the special indulgence has been authorized by the Cardinal Archpriest of the Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome. Cardinal Bernard Francis Law, he said, has granted the Manaoag Shrine “a special bond of spiritual affinity through

© Levine Lao
© Levine Lao

which the pilgrims who visit the said Marian Shrine are assured of the blessings of the Lord as if they actually visit the said major basilica in Rome.” “The Manaoag pil- grims are assured by the Sacred Penitentiary of a plenary indulgence un- der the usual conditions of the Church when they visit the Shrine Our Lady of Manaoag,” Vil- legas said in a circular dated June 13. Pilgrims receive the indulgence by goi In order to commemo- rate the “honor” granted to a sanctuary within his archdiocese, Villegas will celebrate a Mass at the Manaoag Shrine on

July 22. “…During which the appropriate documents from the Holy See will be formally announced to the Catholic faithful,” he said. (CBCPNews)

Markings APPOINTED. Laoag Bishop Sergio Utleg was named by the Vatican archbishop of Tuguegarao in


Markings APPOINTED. Laoag Bishop Sergio Utleg was named by the Vatican archbishop of Tuguegarao in Northern

APPOINTED. Laoag Bishop Sergio Utleg was named by the Vatican archbishop of Tuguegarao in Northern Philippines. Utleg will suc- ceed Archbishop Diosdado Talamayan, 78, whose res- ignation, which he filed in 2008 upon having reached the age limit of 75, has finally been accepted by the pope. The archbishop-elect will serve the archdiocese with around 1.3 million Catholics, 82 priests and 122 religious. Utleg is currently the chair- man of the Episcopal Com- mission Indigenous Peoples of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). APPOINTED. Monsignor Jose Bantolo, vicar general of the

APPOINTED. Monsignor Jose Bantolo, vicar general of the Diocese of San Jose de Antique as the new bishop of Masbate. Bantolo was born in Guisijan town in Antique on November 12, 1960 and ordained priest on April 21, 1986. The Diocese of Masbate has no prelate since 2009 after Bishop Joel Baylon was transferred to the Diocese of Legazpi. Bantolo will serve the diocese with a population of 704,000 Catholics, 56 priests, and 18 religious.

APPOINTED. Pope Benedict XVI named Monsignor David William Valencia Antonio, who is currently the vicar general of the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia, as auxiliary of the same archdiocese. Antonio was born in Nagtupacan, Sto. Domingo, Ilocos Sur on December 1, 1963 and ordained a priest on December 1, 1988. The appointment of the three prelates was made at the Vatican on June 15, 2011.

ORDAINED. Fr. Rodolfo Arias, to the priesthood by Boac Bishop Rey- naldo Evangelista on June 7, 2011 at Holy Cross Parish, Sta. Cruz, Marinduque. A native of Buyabod, Sta. Cruz, Marinduque, Arias was born on August 8, 1980 to Rodolfo Arias, Sr. and Rosalinda Deligero, a secondary school teacher. He finished his elementary education and high school in Makapuyat Elementary School and Makapuyat National High School in 1993 and 1997 respectively. Arias obtained his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Mt. St. Aloysius College Seminary in Gumaca, Quezon, and finished his theology at St. Alphonsus Regional Seminary in Lucena City. Fr. Arias is current assigned as parochial vicar of St. Isidore Parish in Mogpog, Marinduque

ORDAINED. Reverends Edgardo Delarmino Baculi and Mark Anthony Yuaga Ventura were ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacons on June 10, 2011 in a solemn ceremony held at the Our Lady of Chartres Chapel at St. Paul University in Tuguegarao City. The following day, June 11, Reverend Bernice de la Pena Rio was ordained to the Sacred Order of Priesthood at St. Peter Thelmo Parish Church in Aparri, Cagayan. The newly ordained deacons and priest belong to the Archdiocese of Tu- guegarao. Most Reverend Diosdado Talamayan led the ordination rites.

PROFESSED. Three novices of the Society of St. Paul, Lawrence Paulus de Peralta, Vicente Pablo Rey Duron, and Paul Brian Tayag; professed their first religious vows in a simple ceremony at the St. Paul Novitiate Chapel, San Fernando Pampanga on June 5, Solemnity of the Ascension.

LAUNCHED. Doctors for Life, a non-profit public service organization composed of medical professionals and other holders of a doctoral degree, whose goal is to uphold the sanctity of human life and the fam- ily. Inaugurated on June 17 at the Makati Medical Center, the fledgling organization is one of the fruits of an international pro-life conference held in 2010. Included in Doctors for Life’s mission statement is its declaration that all human beings regardless of their size, age or dependency deserve full protection of the law and that the group promotes and protects the human rights of the unborn, the defenseless, the aged, the disadvan- taged and all human life. The primary purpose of Doctors for Life is to teach “through factual information about human embryonic development, abortion, fetal vaccines and [their] moral alternatives, birth control pills, euthanasia and related issues” to enable the general public to make informed choices, based on the group’s statement. Doctors for Life is composed of professionals holding a doctoral degree that include but are not limited to doctors of medicine, doctors of jurisprudence, doctors of philosophy, and doctors of theology.

Pro-life talks held in schools

PRO-LIFE speakers are doing the rounds of Catholic schools in the metropolis and nearby provinces to talk to teachers and students about Reproductive Health (RH) Bill and how it goes against Fili- pino values. On June 16, a group of speak- ers gave a talk on the issue at St. Paul University in San Miguel, Bulacan, from 10:00-12:00 noon. “[The RH bill] undermines Filipino values such as bayani- han, family-centeredness, God- centeredness, respect, hospital- ity,” said Filipinos for Life’s Noel G. Bernardo, one of the speakers at the activity. “The ‘Demographic Win- ter’ videos, in their conclusion, strongly pointed to the decay of values as one of the main culprits of the culture of death,” he added. The two-hour talk, dubbed

“Filipino Life is Good!” was given by Noel Bernardo and An- thony Perez of Filipinos for Life. The activity brought the truth about the P3 billion-RH Bill and related issues to the high school and college students, as well as faculty and administration of St. Paul University in San Miguel, Bulacan. Meanwhile, the same topic was tackled in another talk with faculty and staff, held at Sta. Isabel College in Manila on June 17 at 2:00-5:00 pm. Speakers who discussed the various aspects of the RH bill were Atty. Jo Aurea Imbong, Executive Secretary of the Catho- lic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Legal Of- fice; Prof. Aliza Racelis of the University of the Philippines Diliman; and Anna Cosio, RN. (CBCPNews)

Studentleadersboost formation of fellow youth on RH bill

THE student leaders of CATALYST, the outreach organization of the University of Asia and the Pacific, are making use of the lull in Congress to concentrate on strengthening the formation of the youth. Catalyst leaders are concerned that the RH Bill promoters will pour more money in “mis-educating” people during the next six weeks leading to the resumption of Congress. The youth group has invited an international speaker to speak on Blessed John Paul II’s Theology of the Body and the reproductive health bill to help equip the people. Christopher West, an acknowledged expert on the topic is coming to the University of Asia and the Pacific on June 27, to speak to 3rd and 4th year high school, and all college students from 1 pm to 3 pm. (See http://www.christopherwest.com/). During the 2008 World Youth Day held in Sydney, West was a big hit to the 5,000 youth who heard him speak at the Sydney Opera House. Noting the relevance of the subject and urgency of the theme, the youth organization is inviting fellow youth in various communities and schools to join in the activity. The symposium will be held at the Li Seng Giap Auditorium, with simultaneous CCTV feed in Telengtan Hall and PLDT Hall at the University of Asia and the Pacific. Participants will be charged for admission tickets at P100 and P200 only. Interested individuals are urged to contact CATALYST, Univer- sity of Asia & the Pacific, at telephone number 637-09-12 local 277, or cellphone 0908-864-84-91 for more details. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas)

© Noli Yamsuan / RCAM

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 15 No. 13

June 20 - July 3, 2011

CBCP Monitor Vol. 15 No. 13 June 20 - July 3, 2011 Pastoral Concerns B1

Pastoral Concerns

15 No. 13 June 20 - July 3, 2011 Pastoral Concerns B1 Pondo Ng Pinoy @
15 No. 13 June 20 - July 3, 2011 Pastoral Concerns B1 Pondo Ng Pinoy @
15 No. 13 June 20 - July 3, 2011 Pastoral Concerns B1 Pondo Ng Pinoy @

Pondo Ng Pinoy @ seven

offer, all need to begin from a common starting point. The heart of PONDO NG PINOY is the love of the Lord Jesus Christ, the very heart of the Gospel. This is where everyone finds the beginning. This is what makes this movement and PONDO NG PINOY different from other movements and Foundations. As a foundation, it is registered at SEC as a people’s foundation, a community foundation, but under stewardship of the Bishops and Priests, because all the values and motivation for the people’s community foundation is from the

(Homily of His Eminence Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales, Archbishop of Manila during Mass in celebration of the 7th Anniversary of Pondo ng Pinoy on June 9, 2011 at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.)

SEVENyearsagoPONDONG PINOY was only a concept. It was a suspicious idea. Some reluctantly believe that wealth can be collected from as little as twenty-five centavo coins. Probably it was from the simplicity of the scheme that doubts arose.

Perhaps it was because of the uncommonness of the idea in the world that fed on greed and the longing for the great things and amount (macro) that retarded the acceptance of Pondo Ng Pinoy. But it took only three years to prove to many Doubting Thomases that with the Blessings of the Providence the movement of Pondo ng Pinoy was not only real and genuine, but also credible. Pondo ng Pinoy has not only helped build houses for the poor in a quiet way, but has also daily fed more than a hundred and twenty thousand malnourished children all over the country through Hapag-Asa. It put up start-up funds for little entrepreneurs, farmers and fishers and fisherfolks. It provided funds for artisan and drinking water wells in Barangays where no potable water was immediately available. PONDO NG PINOY has picked up well among the youth in schools and parishes, but slackened somehow in some communities. It is still struggling and perhaps stunted in its natural growth.

It is claimed that the seventh year is

the age of the child when reason ripens.

It is the reason when understanding

sharpens in the growing young individual. Today it is our intention to usher PONDO NG PINOY to its destined and desired growth. And obviously with the help of God and your prayers, we can bring in the participation of everyone in a movement of charity based on love

of God.

A story of two men who were vying

for the better and who among them was the wiser one. They approached

a trusted friend for judgment. The

first proudly claimed, “I know what is right”. The second said, “I know what

is wrong”, the other immediately said.

The elderly friend told the two, “Good! Together you make one wise man”.

In the PONDO NG PINOY, we will

come together, no matter what each one can give and what little the other may offer. The only condition of for joining PONDO NG PINOY is that whoever wants to join and whatever s/he can

Jesus said that the issues are crumbs. No larger than scraps. And the failure to let the scraps fell in the beggar’s lap meant the punishment (of hell). It takes only love and a little compassion to let down the crumbs for the poor. However, insolence, conceit or plain greed can further widen the distance between the rich and the poor. But happily the Lord Jesus left us with the story that can also be the source of blessings. PONDO NG PINOY has calculated it for us that a crumb today is worth

the poor is that love is given in little doses of compassion born of an honest love for God. PONDO NG PINOY is compared to “little kisses” taught to a little child to give an elder, the parents or siblings that will one day grow into respect, reverence an ultimately love for a lover in the family. Although charity is the soul of Pondo ng Pinoy, that charity Jesus bequeathed to that charity couched in the Eucharist. When we speak of the spirituality of PONDO NG PINOY we always refer to the Eucharist that makes Jesus Christ present in the Altars of Sacrifice, summing up our prayers and offering to the Father, but making us remember an urges to reach out to our brothers and sisters who are in need. The Eucharist is an active prayer and sacrifice. It leads us to those in need, bringing them the love of the Father, released to us in Jesus Christ and which we re-express in the little ways, crumb-like pieces, yes, small, but nonetheless, still little acts of love, small in the sights of man, but large in the heart of God. This is the miracle that the Lord Jesus is encouraged to make every time a person reaches out in charity to another. He can make tiny scraps with an ounce of compassion big before God, an act of love that opens Heaven to the little giver. The neglect of the poor spoils the Eucharist that we offer to God, when at the table of our own meals we neglect to reserve a little share for the poor, “for when the eating begins, each one of you has his own supper first, and there is one going hungry, while another is getting drunk. Or have you such a disregard for God’s assembly that you could put to shame those who have nothing”. (I Cor. 11:21-22). Aside from its spirituality, there are the ordinary challenges to Charity. The first challenge is to live in the love of God who inspires and urges us to be the “salt of the earth”. But to reside in that love one has to be “at home” in the compassionate thoughts of Jesus; this is done with relative ease when the person longs to pray and to reflect. The second challenge is to reach out to and share with those who are in need; this is the task of Charity. The Eucharist makes this possible as a challenge to those who are in love with God. “Do this in memory of me” applied primarily to the offering and sacrifice of the Body of Christ. But it also can include any act of love for the poor, such as the little twenty-five centavo coin, given out of love and in the memory of Jesus, the Lord. Blessed John Paul II had these disturbingly encouraging words for

Pondo / B7

poor beggar, uncared for, waiting only for scraps and crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table sat completely abandoned at the rich man’s door. In that closeness of the banquet table to the door where the beggar Lazarus lay, there was “great uncovered distance” between the rich and the poor. No wonder the Lord Jesus insisted in the teaching story that “(But) that is not all:

between us and you a great gulf has been fixed, to prevent those who want to cross from our side to yours or from your side to ours” (Luke 16:26). There

© Noli Yamsuan / RCAM
© Noli Yamsuan / RCAM

Gospel of the Lord. As a movement, all the rationalizations and motivation come from the Gospel of Love of Jesus Christ. The numbers – 16 – 19 – 31 – are already accepted slogans in PONDO NG PINOY. It is in Chapter 16 of the Gospel according to St. Luke that we read verses 19-31. The chapter deals about the most damaging story ever told in the entire Gospels of Jesus Christ. It has simple ideas that help bring people to the Father’s Kingdom and be cuddled in the bosom of “father Abraham.” On the other hand it shows how some, refusing to drop crumbs and morsels for the poor can be excluded from God’s presence. The story opened with the rich man daily feasting abundantly, while the

are many reasons why that “remaining distance” exists. And, would to God that you and I are not the reasons why such destructive gap remains in our society. It is not only in the next life where the diving gap exists; the cultural and social distance has already been crafted and defended by culture in this life and the selfish economics that exists here. Jesus taught us how important were the crumbs and the scraps were in real life. He was not talking about the big wealth, sharing of crumbs from which threatened the wealthy. No! Jesus was speaking of crumbs and morsels that go to waste if they are not channeled through gainful and encouraging way. The channel and the way we now know are PONDO NG PINOY.

only twenty-five centavos. But that little crumb needs to be shared in the spirit of faith and of love. “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you say to this mountain, “move” and it will move”, Jesus told his disciples. (Matthew 17:21). The Kingdom of God, the very hub of God’s love, was compared to a mustard seed, the smallest of seeds, but capable of growing to large plant, resembling trees. Little acts of kindness if sustained by similar constant little acts can grow into great expressions of daily charity and compassion. Constancy or repetition is the mother of virtues. PONDO NG PINOY relies on the availability of love fed to it by the unfailing repletion of the littlest charitable acts, so easy to repeat, because the insistence of Jesus and



CBCP Monitor

Vol. 15 No. 13

June 20 - July 3, 2011

Wearing stoles over the chasuble

(Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university, answers the following query:)

Q: I have been in the habit of wearing my stole under the chasuble, as I was taught and as I have always found in the instructions. In our country, however, the stole is generally worn above the chasuble. Some bishops follow this practice, too. I was told several times that my way of wearing the stole was wrong. Somebody explained to me that the chasubles we use are “gothic chasubles”; they have no special decoration in the front, while the accompanying stoles do carry elaborate artwork. This would be the reason for wearing them above the chasubles. I searched for further details about this matter, but I found none. If I am in the wrong, I would rather change my habits. Is there any indication about this?—P.V., Colombo, Sri Lanka

A: Your practice of wearing the stole under the chasuble is correct, according to the Church’s most recent legislation. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal says in No. 337, “The vestment proper to the priest celebrant at Mass and other sacred actions directly connected with Mass is, unless otherwise indicated, the chasuble, worn over the alb and stole.” The fashion for designing chasubles with external stoles became popular during the 1970s and early 1980s but is now definitively on the wane. Some countries have received specific permission from the Holy See to adopt special liturgical vestments such as a kind of combined alb-chasuble which necessarily requires the external stole. But this rather ugly and ungainly vestment has never quite caught on.

Traditionally the stole is seen as a symbol of priestly authority while the chasuble is a symbol of charity. It was often argued, therefore, that the reason why the stole is beneath the chasuble

is that charity must always cover authority.

Whether this reasoning is authentic or not, the relative position of stole and chasuble has nothing to do with the use

of gothic or Roman styles or with the decorative elements of these sacred vestments. Indeed, the stole is placed under the chasuble in all historical vestment styles. The external stole

is a recent and transitory fad which is now contrary to the

universal liturgical law. There have been many forms of chasuble over the centuries. The earliest form of liturgical chasuble resembles the so-called

monastic style, a full-cut roughly oval garment often falling to the celebrant’s shoe tops and at times furnished with a hood. Modern monastic chasubles tend to be square-cut rather than oval. Since this form of chasuble required the arms to be gathered up to be used freely, from the 12th century on, the sides were gradually shortened to ease movements. Thus the gothic chasuble was developed. This form gradually tapers from the shoulders to a near point at the base but with both sides of equal length. The semi-gothic form is similar but slightly shorter. Most contemporary chasubles are inspired by these two forms although frequently with a gradual rounding from shoulder to base or with rectangular or square cuts. From the 16th century on, the size and shape of the chasuble was further reduced in length front and back and the arms were left completely free. This was done, above all, to facilitate certain movements such as joining the hands and incensing the altar. This kind of chasuble was often elaborately embroidered with Christian symbols and made quite stiff and heavy with the use of rich materials such as silk, gold and brocade. Within this form there were several stylistic differences. One of the most common was the Roman, or fiddleback, chasuble with a rectangular front and a back vaguely resembling

a violin. The Spanish-style chasuble is even shorter; its rounded

front and back give it a distinctive shape sometimes referred to as a “guitar” chasuble. The Germanic style is simpler, with

a rectangular front and back. The early 20th century saw a tendency to return to earlier forms, especially the gothic. At first this practice met with resistance, and the Congregation of Rites replied to a 1925 query in terms which many bishops interpreted as cautiously favorable. Thus the revived form slowly spread in the Church. In 1957 the congregation wrote to the bishops, leaving decisions regarding the use of older forms of the chasuble to their prudent judgment. Present legislation allows for the use of practically all historical styles of chasuble.

Wearing the rosary as a necklace

Q: I have seen people wear the rosary as a necklace and, in fact, I had a fifth-grader ask me during CCD if that was a sin. I told her that I didn’t believe it was a sin per se, but that as it is

a wonderful prayer and most favored by the Blessed Mother,

that I thought it disrespectful, not very reverent (regardless if the rosary is blessed or not). The student promptly asked about my decade rosary bracelet, “What about wearing it like a bracelet?” It’s a good question, in light of the cross and rosary “look-alikes” that seem to be ubiquitous these days in fashion jewelry. What do we tell young girls?—J.M., Leavenworth, Kansas

A: The closest resemblance to a norm on this topic is found in

Canon 1171 of the Code of Canon Law. To wit: “Sacred objects, set aside for divine worship by dedication or blessing, are to be treated with reverence. They are not to be made over to secular or inappropriate use, even though they may belong

to private persons.”

It is probable that this law does not fully apply to our case, since it refers primarily to sacred objects for liturgical worship

such as chalices and vestments rather than to rosaries. At the same time, the intimation to treat sacred objects with reverence and respect can logically be extended to rosaries, crosses, medals and similar items. Also, wearing a sacred object is not the same as using it in

a secular or inappropriate manner. In fact, many religious

congregations wear the rosary as part of their habit, usually hanging from a belt. There are also several historical cases of laypeople wearing the rosary for devotional purposes. For example, in his book “The Secret of the Rosary,” St. Louis de Montfort illustrates the positive results of this practice in an

episode from the life of King Alfonso VI of Galicia and Leon. I think that the key to answering this question can be found in St. Paul: “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do,

do everything for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). In other words, there should be no indifferent or irrelevant actions

in the life of a Christian. If the reason for wearing a rosary is as a statement of faith,

Rosary / B7

The Canonical Imperatives of Priestly Sanctity (Part II)

File Photo
File Photo

By Fr. Jaime Blanco Achaco- so, J.C.D.

AS we saw in the previous issue, the entire Year of the Priest a year ago might well be an exercise in futility were it to be left at the level of speculative thought. Hence, the importance of Canon Law, because Canon Law begins where theology ends—i.e., in the level of due if not enforceable human conduct. Whereas moral, sacramental and even pastoral theology can only indicate what is fitting and proper conduct, leaving it to each faithful to make responsible use of his freedom to act accordingly, Canon Law stipulates what is juridically binding and hence owed if not outright enforceable. In short, Canon Law adds the note of exigency to the desideratum of priestly holiness. In the previous issue, we had tackled the first part of the first canonical imperative of priestly holiness, contained in c.276, §2, 1º: the duty of priests to faithfully and untiringly fulfill the duties of pastoral ministry. After seeing the general provisions of Canon Law in this regard, let us consider the specific content of this norm.

B. Duties towards the AdministrationoftheSacraments:

1) General duty to administer

the Sacraments abundantly: The sacred ministers cannot refuse the sacraments to those who ask for them at appropriate times, are properly disposed and are not prohibited by law from receiving them (c.843, §1). The minister—furthermore— should ask nothing for the administration of the sacraments beyond the offerings defined by the competent authority, always being careful that the needy are not deprived of the help of the sacraments because of their poverty (c.848).

2) General duty to prepare the

faithful for the reception of the Sacraments: Pastors of souls and

the rest of the Christian faithful, according to their ecclesial function, have the duty to see that those who seek the sacraments are prepared to receive them by the necessary evangelization and catechetical formation, taking into account the norms published by the competent authority (c.843, §2).

3) Duties of parish priests as

regards the administration of Baptism and Confirmation:

a) It is the duty of the parish


of baptism be properly prepared:

(1) an adult who intends to receive baptism is to be admitted to the catechumenate and, to the extent possible, be led through the several stages to sacramental initiation, in accord with the order of initiation adapted by the conference of bishops and the

special norms published by it; (2) the parents of an infant who is to be baptized and likewise those who are to undertake the office of sponsor are to be properly instructed in the meaning of the sacrament and the obligations which are attached to it (c.851). b) The pastor of the place where the baptism is celebrated must carefully and without delay record in the baptismal book the names of those baptized, making mention of the minister, parents, sponsors, witnesses if any and the place and date of the conferred baptism, together with an indication of the date and place of birth (c.877, §1).


pastors, are to see to it that the

faithful are properly instructed to receive [Confirmation] and approach the sacrament at the appropriate time (c.890). The sacrament of Confirmation is to be conferred on the faithful at about the age of discretion, unless the conference of bishops determines another age, or there

is danger of death, or in the

judgment of the minister a grave cause urges otherwise (c.891).

4) Duties of parish priests as

regards the administration of the Holy Eucharist:

a) It is the responsibility, in the

first place, of parents and those who take their place as well as the pastor to see that children who have reached the use of reason

are correctly prepared and are nourished by the divine food as early as possible, preceded by sacramental confession. It is also for the pastor to be vigilant lest any children come to the Holy

Banquet who have not reached the age of reason or whom he judges are not sufficiently disposed (c.914). b) [Holy Communion] should be administered outside Mass

to those who request it for a just cause, the liturgical rites being observed (c.918).

c) Holy Viaticum for the sick is

not to be delayed too long; those

who have the care of souls are to be zealous and vigilant that they

are nourished by Viaticum while they are fully conscious (c.922).

5) Duties of priests as regards

the administration of the Sacrament of Penance:

a) Individual and integral

confession and absolution constitutes the only ordinary way by which the faithful person who is aware of serious sin is reconciled with God and with

the Church (c.960). Only a priest is the minister of the sacrament of penance (c.965).

b) All to whom the care of

souls is committed by reason of an office are obliged to provide that the confessions of the faithful entrusted to their care be heard when they reasonably ask to be heard and that the opportunity be given to them to come to individual confession on days and hours set for their convenience (c.986, §1). In urgent necessity any confessor is obliged to hear the confessions of the Christian

faithful, and in danger of death any priest is so obliged (c.986, §2).

c) Absolution cannot be

imparted in a general manner to a number of penitents at once without previous individual confession unless:

1º the danger of death is imminent and there is not time for the priest or priests to hear the confessions of the individual penitents; 2º a serious necessity exists— i.e., when in the light of the number of penitents supply of confessors is not readily available rightly to hear the confessions of

individuals within a suitable time so that the penitents are forced to

be deprived of sacramental grace or holy communion for a long time through no fault of theirs.

(c.961, §1). It is for the diocesan bishop to judge whether such condition exists (c.961,§2).

d) The proper place to hear

sacramental confessions is a church or an oratory (c.964, §1). Confessionals with a fixed grill between penitent and confessor [should be] always located in an open area so that the faithful who wishtomakeuseofthemmaydoso

freely (§2). Confessions should not be heard outside the confessional without a just cause (§3).

e) In hearing confessions the

priest should remember that he acts as a judge as well as a healer and placed by God as the minister of divine justice as well as mercy (c.978, §1). In the administration

of the sacrament, the confessor, as a minister of the Church, is to adhere faithfully to the doctrine of the magisterium and the norms enacted by competent authority (c.978, §2).

6) Duties of priests as regards

the Anointing of the Sick:

a) Every priest and only a priest

validly administers the anointing

of the sick (c.1003, §1). All priests to whom the care of souls has been committed have the duty and the right to administer the anointing of the sick to all the faithful committed to their pastoral office; for a reasonable cause any other priest can

administer this sacrament with at least the presumed consent of the aforementioned priest (c.1003, §2).

b) This sacrament is to be

conferred upon sick persons who requested it at least implicitly

when they were in control of their faculties (c.1006).

7) Duties of parish priests

as regards the celebration of Marriage — Can.1063 is quite explicit. Pastors of souls are obliged to see to it that their own ecclesial community furnishes the Christian faithful assistance

so that the matrimonial state is maintained in a Christian spirit and makes progress toward perfection. This assistance is especially to be furnished through:

1º preaching, catechesis adapted to minors, youths and adults, and even the use of the media of social communications so that through these means the Christian faithful may be instructed concerning the meaning of Christian marriage and the duty of Christian spouses and parents; 2º personal preparation for entering marriage so that through such preparation the parties may be predisposed toward the holiness and duties of their new state;


of marriage clarifying that the spouses signify and share in that mystery of unity and of fruitful love that exists between Christ and the Church; 4º assistance furnished to those already married so that, while faithfully maintaining and protecting the conjugal covenant, they may day by day come to lead holier and fuller lives in

thief families. Before leaving this particular imperative, I want to point out the priority given to it. Indeed, if the faithful and untiring fulfillment of the duties of their pastoral ministry constitutes a primordial obligation of the priest, it also constitutes for him the principal means for struggling and expressing his priestly sanctity. Put another way, the priest who

struggles to fulfill these duties is clearly on his way to holiness. (To be continued.)

Photos courtesy of CBCP-eCY

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 15 No. 13

June 20 - July 3, 2011



ECY @ 25

25 years of youth service!

By Lea Dasigan

YEAR 2011 is such a grace-filled time for the Filipino Catholic youth. The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) dedicated 16 December 2010 to 16 December 2011 as “Year of the Youth”. This great celebration of the gift of our presence in the Church is in view of the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY). It’s a two-fold celebration for the Church this year. As the young people celebrate with joy this year that is dedicated to them, they are also joining the ECY in thanksgiving for all the significant milestones in its journey of accompanying the youth of our Church towards growth in their

young people to be formed and guided in living out their faith. More so, through these letters, our leaders expressed their immense trust on the capability of the youth to make a positive transformation in our society as bearers of Christian faith, resonating Dr. Jose Rizal’s view of the Filipino youth as the “hope of our nation.” The Filipino youth then were caught in the midst of confusion and struggles from the various realities surrounding them. During the 1970 to 1980’s, the Youth Committee of the Episcopal Commission on Lay Apostolate (ECLA) addressed the needs and challenges faced by the youth through studies and surveys concerning them in partnership with other schools and institutions. Youth ministry continued to grow as it

representation and participation in the Philippine Church. During the CBCP Plenary Assembly in July 1986, the bishops, acknowledging the need for a commission that addresses all youth ministry concerns distinctively, unanimously approved the creation of the Episcopal Commission on Youth! (KA-LAKBAY, p. 157-158) Since its birth in 1986, the ECY accompanied the life and journey of youth ministry, like Jesus who accompanied and revealed Himself the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, a Scripture image that is very much dear to the youth ministry. More meaningful events and endeavors took place in the journey of the ECY: During the term of Most. Rev. Jose Sorra, DD, the first bishop-chairman

constitute a large and dynamic portion

of the laity, the youth ministry should

be assured of the fullest attention and

highest priority in every way by all in the Church.” (PCP II Decrees, article 50) Also, in 1991, our Church in the Philippines hosted the Taizé Pilgrimage ofTrustonEarthinFebruary,participated by young people from all over the Philippines and around the world.

It was also during this year that

the Federation of National Youth Organizations was officially founded,

bringingthevariousyouthorganizations together to establish stronger link with the Church, collaboration and sharing

of charisms among youth organizations.

From the WYD celebration that has truly revived and empowered our ministry to the young, the leadership

out to more young people. In 2002, the results of the first ever survey of Filipino Catholic youth were published, where we have seen that the target of our youth ministry are, in general, family-directed, highly interpersonal but not very society-oriented, personal but individualist in relating with God, nominal in their faith, decreasing in their traditional appreciation of the

sacraments, and distant from the Church’s teachings and life in spite of their feeling of belongingness to her. Through this more recent study about the profile and reality of today’s youth has accompanied the youth ministers in its creation of a document that is truly ours; something which we can proudly claim as fruit of our love for them, a product of collaboration among the

CBCP ECY Bishops Patricio Buzon, SDB, DD of Kabankalan, Joel Baylon of Legazpi and Roberto
CBCP ECY Bishops Patricio Buzon, SDB, DD of Kabankalan, Joel Baylon of Legazpi and Roberto
The NSYA staff takes a break from work for their Lenten Recollection last March in Pampanga.
Mallari of San Fernando were at the launching of the National Youth Cross last January 24.
of the ECY was passed on to Most Rev.
Rolando Tria-Tirona, OCD, DD (1995-

faith. The seed of Christianity that Spain planted in the Philippines during the sixteenth century was welcomed and deeply embraced by the Filipinos. In fact, it has also inspired the young people back then to live and stand up to their Christian faith. And one who outshined was Beato Pedro Calungsod—a lay missionary, catechist and martyr, a young Filipino who gave his life for the sake of his faith. The active participation of the young people in the Church can already be traced back in as early as 1925 to 1930’s. Youth organizations and movements started to emerge during this period. Most of these groups were school- based and began in the cities, and then eventually, they had reached the provinces and some far-flung areas. Some of the oldest youth organizations are the Columbian Squires that started in 1925, Student Catholic Action of the Philippines in 1936, Catholic Youth Organization in 1938, and Chiro Youth Movement in 1958. It is also worth noting that even then, the Church had already shown its concern and love for the young. There were statements and letters published in the past where our Church leaders acknowledged the continuing need of

developed its structure in the dioceses, led by diocesan youth directors, coordinators and leaders. It was also during this period that more youth groups and organizations were formed, at a time when freedom was suppressed again as our government was under the rule of dictatorship. As change is inevitable and these changes can make or break the identity and dreams of young people, youth ministers acknowledge the pressing need for the youth to have significant place in the Church, recognizing them as sharers in the mission of proclaiming Christ to their fellow youth. And so during the National Conference of Youth Ministers in January 1986, the youth ministers— youth directors, coordinators, and leaders—proposed for the creation of a separate commission specifically for the youth, because: 1) majority of the population belongs to the youth; 2) the ECLA, dominated by lay adults with their own unique needs and concerns, cannot adequately meet the particular demands of ministering to the young; 3) the youth and youth ministry exhibit unique needs and aspirations—calling for a corresponding response that is concrete, adequate and complete; 4) the youth deserve fuller and more direct

of the ECY (1986-1989), the CBCP has approved the institution of the National Youth Day every 16th of December and the establishment of Youth Councils in every diocese. The Youth Encounter, a formation program for the Bicol Region, was also approved to be a national formation for youth and youth ministers. The Second Plenary Council of the Philippines in 1991, an occasion which happened during the term of Most Rev. Leo Drona, SDB, DD (1991-1995), proclaimed their love for the young and the poor, as expressed in the following statement from its Conciliar document:

“As we in this Council have declared our evangelical love of preference for the poor, so it would appear to us now to declare a preferential apostolate for children and youth.” (PCP II, Conciliar Document, article 385) And, more strongly, the same Council has decreed that, “Since the youth

During this time, the nationwide gathering of National Youth Day began, and this celebration has since then become a tradition, as dioceses went around the country, with host-diocese welcoming young people, and becoming

a fruitful sharing of youthfulness,

culture, and faith. These events have truly made a special mark in the youth ministry journey. Yet, along with these successes and

achievements, youth ministers are still seeking for ways and means to truly deepen and improve the ministry to be truly effective and make a meaningful impact in the lives of the young. The endeavor towards a more effective and more life-giving ministry

to the young continues on. The National

Pastoral Consultation on Church Renewal in 2001, happening 10 years after the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines, resounded once more the

call to place our special attention to the young: “We shall engage in dialogue with the youth, strive to enter their world and journey with them towards Christian maturity.”

A huge, renewing step was taken by

the youth ministry in its desire to reach

members of the Church. It was then, another special blessing for us, the creation of KA-LAKBAY: Directory for Catholic Youth Ministry in the Philippines, in 2004. With this special gift which our youth ministry has received through this Church document, it has found a clearer direction in doing all its efforts for the young. The succeeding occasions and programs spearheaded by the ECY increased the commitment of youth and youth ministers alike to follow Christ. After Bp. Tirona’s term, the ECY chairmanship was transferred to our current Chairman, Most Rev. Joel Baylon, DD. It was during his term that our Church welcomed the World Youth Day Cross and Icon of Our Lady in 2007, as part of its pilgrimage towards the WYD celebration in Sydney in 2008. We once again opened our doors to welcome young people from all over the Philippines and the entire Asian continent as we hosted the 5th Asian Youth Day in 2009, as well as the Taizé Pilgrimage of Trust on Earth 2010, hosting this event for the second time. And to reach out to more young people who are active in the digital world, it launched the www.youthpinoy.com, the

website of the Filipino Catholic youth,

ECY / B7

Reports of healing surround Youth Cross’ Mindanao visit

By Nirva’ana Delacruz

REPORTS of physical and emotional healing surround the National Youth Cross’ visit to Mindanao since it arrived in the region on May 10. Regional Youth Ministry Coordinator for Cabustam (Cagayan, Butuan, Surigao, Tandag and Malaybalay) RB Bocboc, in an interview said that at least three young people reported some form of healing after touching the Cross during its visit to Agusan del Sur.

The Cross of life heals One parish youth minister said that he had been experiencing intense body pain the entire day, but after touching the Cross, he noticed that the pain had stopped. Another youth said that she had been suffering from dysmenorrhea or painful menstrual cramps, but it also subsided after she had physical contact with the Cross. The last young person did not mention physical healing but said the Cross’s visit had given him peace after battling feelings of frustration and hopelessness due to an internal conflict for quite some time. Similar healings were reported in Samar; a kargador at the seaport who helped unload the Cross from a boat touched the Cross and the body pains he had been experiencing disappeared. Another was the case of a

mother and daughter who got healed of body pain and high fever respectively after rubbing themselves with a handkerchief that had touched the Cross. Though some may explain these incidents as cases of automatic suggestion or classic placebo effect “healing”, as many as 100

which brought the Cross to Malaybalay, Bukidnon, got a flat tire on May 19. The group was on their way home to Butuan passing through Cagayan de Oro at around 11 o’clock in the evening. They were in the middle of nowhere and it was raining. No one in the group

Photo courtesy of CBCP-eCY
Photo courtesy of CBCP-eCY

youth in Agusan del Sur reported feeling a “magnet-like energy” when they touched the Cross. But whether or not the Cross caused the healings remains a matter of personal faith more than a subject for scientific conjecture.

Mysterious, joyful encounters with the Cross In a Radio Veritas interview, Bocbocalsonarratedamysterious incident where the pick-up truck of a group of youth ministers,

knew how to change a flat tire, but they continued to pray the rosary. Suddenly, a delivery truck pulled up and the driver offered to change the tire. When asked how he knew about their predicament, the driver simply said that someone told him that they needed help. Refusing the token the youth ministers wanted to give him in exchange for his help, the driver dashed off after changing the tire. To this day, no one can explain how the driver

knew about their situation. The pilgrimage of the Cross across Mindanao where inter- religious conflict and violence still exist has been a journey of intense joy, festive welcome and adventure. On average, the Cross gathers 700 to 1,000 young people during activities organized specifically for the Cross. All over the regions making up the Mindanao-Sulu Pastoral Conference, there have been vigils, Taizé prayers and confessions. In Butuan, some 300 youth danced in the streets to welcome the Cross. Notably,afluvialprocessionwas made across the Agusan river to transporttheNationalYouthCross from Bayugan, Agusan del Sur to Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte last May 18. Around 100 youth joined in the fluvial procession from half past nine o’clock in the morning until half past four in the afternoon. There was a youth band playing aboard the Cross’ boat and young people were reciting the divine praises. When it arrived in Cabadbaran, there was a motorcade of about 25 vehicles; this drew the biggest crowds in Mindanao. Youth from Bayugan, the previous diocese to host the Cross also came to turn over the Crosstothenexthost,Cabadbaran.

From reflection, to action Bocboc described the impact to the youth of the Cross’s pilgrimage to Mindanao. “‘Yung Cross, ‘yung visit is isa

Cross / B7

Kalookan youth get educated on RH bill

By Jandel Posion

YOUTH leaders coming from different parishes, schools, trans- parochial communities and movements in Kalookan gathered last June 11 to fully understand the Church’s stand on the RH Bill through a module specially designed for the youth. Some 62 youth listened to a team of facilitators from the Catechetical Foundation of the Archdiocese of Manila (CFAM) explain, in particular, the main points of the CBCP pastoral letter, “Choosing Life, rejecting RH bill”, which talked about how the RH Bill would undermine the sanctity and value of life. In his inspirational message to the participants, Kalookan Bishop Deogracias Iniguez, has encouraged the young people

to reach out to their fellow youth especially with regard to the issue of life. “Continue defending and valuing the sanctity of

life by empowering them to make a stand

Following an open forum where the youth were able to clarify points about the CBCP pastoral letter and the RH Bill issue as a whole, Vicar General Msgr. Alex V. Amandy challenged the youth leaders “to be on guard” and to share what they had learned to other young people in their areas.

CBCP urges reciting of Prayer for the Youth in flag ceremony, school Mass

he said.

By Kris Bayos

WITH the onset of the new school year, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has urged the reciting of the Prayer for the Youth during flag ceremonies and student Masses in public and private schools to promote this year’s celebration of the Year of the Youth. Fr. Conegundo Garganta, executive secretary of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth, has asked parish priests and parish pastoral councils nationwide to encourage schools within their respective turfs to habitually recite the Prayer for the Youth to encourage students to participate in year-long celebration of the CBCP Year of the Youth (CBCP YOTY). The CBCP official also urged parish priests, cathedral rectors and school administrators to post tarpaulins about the CBCP YOTY inside, outside and around of their church buildings and school campuses.



CBCP Monitor

Vol. 15 No. 13

June 20 - July 3, 2011

Defense of the Stand of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines on the House Bill 4244 (Reproductive Health Bill)

By Most Rev. Gabriel V. Reyes, DD

ONE of the main reasons, if not the main reason, why the Catholic Church is against the House Bill 4244 (Reproductive Health Bill or Responsible Parenthood Bill) is that the bill directs the government to promote contraception and to give free contraceptives to people. According to Father Bernas, SJ (Sounding Board, Philippine Daily Inquirer, May 23, 2011), this opposition of the Church is against religious freedom. He says that, because of religious freedom, “the state should not prevent people from practicing responsible parenthood according to their beliefs nor may churchmen compel President Aquino, by whatever means, to prevent people from acting according to their religious belief.” First of all, by opposing the RH Bill, the Catholic Church is not moving for the ban of contraceptives (the non- abortifacient ones), although she would be happy if these contraceptives were banned. At present, in the Philippines, anyone can buy contraceptives from drugstores and even from some “convenience stores”. What the Church is against, I repeat, is that government should promote contraception and provide free contraceptives

to people. Therefore it is wrong to say that the Church wants the government to “prevent people from practicing responsible parenthood according to their religious belief” and that the Catholic churchmen are compelling “President Aquino, by whatever means, to prevent people from acting according to their religious beliefs.” What the church does is to try to convince President Aquino and our senators and congressmen not to enact a law that directs the government to promote contraception and provide free contraceptives to people. It is also good to point out that the church teaching regarding contraceptives is not based on Faith or revelation, although it is confirmed by our Faith. This church teaching is based on natural law, which we know through natural reason. By studying through correct reasoningthenatureofthehuman person, we arrive at this teaching regarding contraception. All human beings, Catholic or not, are obliged to act according to right reason. By the efforts of the Church to go against the RH Bill, the Church is not imposing her religious beliefs on others. She is trying to stop a bill which is against natural law, a law which all human beings, Catholic or not, should follow. The RH Bill, judged from the principles of natural law, is against the good of the human person

and the common good. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in its “Doctrinal Note regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life” tells us that all citizens, including Catholics, have the right “to base their contribution to society and political life—through the legitimate means available to everyone in a democracy—on their particular understanding of the human person and the common good.” In a democracy, any group of citizens has the right to campaign and lobby so that what they consider to be good for the country are enacted into law and what they deem to be harmful for the country are not enacted into law. Father Bernas says further in his column that we live in a pluralist society. This is true and, therefore, we should respect the beliefs and opinions of others. But there is a limit to this pluralism. We cannot accept an “ethical pluralism “which ignores the principles of natural ethics and yield to ephemeral cultural and moral trends, as if every outlook on life were of equal value.” (Doctrinal Note on the Participation of Catholics in Political Life) Father Bernas also quotes the “Compendium on the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church:

“Because of its historical and cultural ties to a nation, a religious community might be given special recognition on the part of the

State. Such recognition must in no

way create discrimination within the civil or social order for other religious groups” and “Those responsible for government are required to interpret the common good of their country not only according to the guidelines of the majority but also according to the effective good of all the members of the community, including the minority.” The Church, by opposing the HB 4244, is “interpreting the common good of the country not only according to the guidelines of the majority but also according to the effective good of all the members of the community, including the minority.” In opposing the bill the Church is interpreting the common good according to the guidelines of natural law, which is valid for all, the minority as well as the majority. Benedict XVI says that natural law must be the foundation of democracy, so that

those in power are not given the

chance to determine what is good or evil [Zenit.org. Vatican City, Oct. 5, 2007]. Regarding freedom, Benedict

XVI said in his Address to

the International Congress on Natural Law: “…yet taking into account that human freedom is always a freedom shared with others, it is clear that the harmony of freedom can be found only in what is common to all: the truth of the human being, the fundamental message of being itself, exactly the “lex naturalis.”

File Photo
File Photo

Renewing priests of the present to renew priests of the future

Fr. Augusto Angeles and Fr. Kenneth Masong

THIRTY formators coming from 17 seminaries graduated from Assisted Intensive Renewal (AIR) for Seminary Formators jointly conducted by the CBCP Commission on Seminaries and the Staff of Galilee Center. The seminar was held at the St. John Mary Vianney Galilee Development and Renewal Center, Tagaytay City from April 25 to May 26, 2011. The fourth batch of AIR for Seminary Formators was composed of thirty priests coming from eight seminaries in Luzon and nine seminaries in Mindanao. Although predominantly diocesan priests, two were from separate religious communities. They have named their batch Air4orce. The Assisted Intensive Renewal for Seminary Formators was born in 2007; a year after Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara took the helm of leadership of the Commission on Seminaries in 2006. The program was conceived through the help of Fr. Peter Lechner and Fr. Augusto Angeles, Executive Secretary of the Commission on Seminaries. Since its beginning in 2007, the program has produced 127 graduates from different seminaries all over the country. Since the AIR for Priests has been able to assist many priests undergoing difficulties, it has been suggested that an AIR for Formators may be able to help Seminary Staff in their work in the spiritual, pastoral and human formation of seminarians. The basic ideaforanAIRforSeminaryFormators is to let seminary formators go through an intensive community renewal (or transformation) experience, involving both grace and human developmental dynamics, oriented to discovering even more deeply the identity of themselves as individuals, priests and formators. It is believed that such an experience, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, will help bring to light the needs and resources among those being formed in seminary formation today. It is likely that the very dynamics the formators experience will parallel what the seminarians need and would be willing to undergo. Presence. This word summarizes the reason why Christ called his disciples, that is, that they may be with him. This same word summarizes the means by which a seminary formator can be effective in his ministry to candidates to the priesthood. Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, former head of the Commission on Clergy, reiterated the same insight in his homily during the closing mass and graduation of the fourth batch of renewalists. The five-week long renewal

program began with the opening mass presided by Most Rev. Mylo Hubert Vergara, DD, bishop of Pasig and chair of the Commission on Seminaries. In his homily, he reiterated on the need for openness and honesty as entry doors for any experience of renewal. Msgr. Chito Bernardo facilitated a three-day disposition retreat on the spirituality of the earthen vessel to dispose the participants to openness and honesty. He reminded the participants that their renewal program started during the Easter octave, a unique grace for the group. As such, awareness of our own woundedness signified by the wounds of the crucified Jesus should never be divorced from the joyful message of Easter renewal foreshadowed in transfigured image of the resurrected Christ. As Christ has invited Thomas to touch his wounds in order to be in touch with his own wounded and doubting

facilitating insights into core values that make a high performing team. Following the image of a flying “V” each bird in

a group has to collaborate towards a

shared leadership in order to achieve the intended goals. The bulk of the second week was devoted to an extensive treatment on human development as the foundation for vocational growth. Through the morning lectures of Fr. Jaime Noel Deslate, PsyD, program director of AIR, one gained not only a deeper understanding of who we are now because of the history that constitutes the self, but more importantly the freedom that one possesses in order to achieve

“an affective and relational maturity.” As Scholasticshaveinsistedthatgracebuilds on nature, so does God’s call, which is a grace that works in the context of human nature. John Paul II has insisted that “the work of priestly formation would be deprived of its necessary foundation

devoted to the principles and practice of counseling given by Fr. Deslate and

spiritual direction in the seminary by Fr. Augusto Jesus B. Angeles. Fr. Deslate and Fr. Angeles underlined that both counseling and spiritual directions are helping relationships and are immensely advantageous in seminary formation. As

a priest formator, one needs to be adept

about the basic principles and skills in counseling and spiritual direction, without however confusing the two. If counseling is focused on the mental and emotional dimensions of human development, spiritual direction is focused but not limited to prayer life, religious experience and one’s conscious relationship with God. If in counseling one gets in touch with thoughts, feelings and moods, in spiritual direction, one needs to acquire a gentle attentiveness to the leadings of the spirit. Although both deal with human experience, spiritual

CoNtRiButed Photo
CoNtRiButed Photo

self, so also are we invited to be in touch with our selves, to dig constantly into our own histories. Msgr. Prescilo P. Iral carried this theme forward in the Intensive Journal Writing workshop he conducted at the end of the first week. Through journaling, one explores into the experiences and feelings one has had in order to gain a deeper awareness of one’s identity. As Fr. Pedro Dumpayan, Jr. of the Immaculate Conception School of Theology, Vigan testified later on, his “most memorable experience is knowing myself and our sacramental brotherhood” as priests. If the first week was focused on laying the foundation for renewal in the interiority of the self, the second week centered on laying the foundation of renewal exterior to the self, namely, others and one’s psychosocial environment. The subject of personal identity, which concluded the first week, was complemented during the second week by various group activities for community building organized by LUBID, Inc. This two-day event aimed at

if it lacked a suitable human formation”

(Pastores dabo vobis, no. 43). The most senior among the participants, Msgr. Pepe Lagdameo of St. Alphonsus Regional Seminary, Lucena and the elected coordinator of Air4orce, commented later on that one of his realizations was “one should know oneself better if one should be of help to future priests.” Utilizing the eight stages of psychosocial development of the psychologist Erik Erikson, Fr. Deslate outlined the trajectory of human maturity in the context of vocational growth and the possible “back subjects” that one may have to address due to certain drawbacks in each stage of psychosocial development. In order not to give the participants an overload of lectures, sessions were held only in the morning. Afternoons were devoted to spiritual directions, individual counseling, group sharing both supervised and unsupervised. On this regard, particularly in view of acquiring the necessary skills and proficiency, the third week was

direction sees experience in the light of spiritual concern. The sessions on the fourth and last week dealt with specific issues among priests nowadays. Hence they need to be addressed squarely by any seminary formator in view of preparing candidates for the priesthood. Fr. Renato Naca, house director of Galilee Center, gave a two-day lecture on human sexuality and

the celibate life of priests. After lecturing on psychosexual development, Fr. Naca reminded that the goal of psychosexual maturity will always be the capacity to love and it is in this context that one acquires a positive and healthy attitude towards chaste celibacy, not as a denial of sexuality, but as a form of apostolic loving characterized by renunciation of marriage and consecration of self for total service to others. After the lectures on the psycho-developmental view of sexuality, Fr. Deslate and Fr. Philip Lazatin, SDB, gave a series of lectures on homosexuality, various forms of


a predominant addiction among priests

today,cybersexaddiction.Fr.Deslate discussed intervention in the external forum of the seminary emphasizing that seminary discipline aims at formation on moral development, following Laurence Kohlberg’s theory. To cut the intense lectures of the fourth week, a batch weekend outing was scheduled sponsored by the formators of St. Alphonsus Regional Seminary. The three-day outing started on Friday afternoon with an itinerary that brought the participants in and around the four provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas and Quezon. Highlighting the outing were a visit to Rizal’s House in Calamba, night swimming at the warm pools of Pansol, visit to various historic churches and religious places within the surrounding area, culminating in

a Sunday concelebrated mass with

Most Rev. Emilio Z. Marquez, DD,

bishop of Lucena, presiding and preaching at the San Fernando Cathedral. The fifth week continued the themes covered during the week before. Fr. Peter Lechner,

SP, an American licensed clinical


of ministering to priests struggling

with forms of addictions, lectured for three days on spotting and dealing with more serious problems in the seminary, the healing of victims and victimizers and a review of the pastoral guidelines on sexual abuses and misconduct by the clergy and how these guidelines find application in the context of seminary formation. Although the last two weeks of AIR were focused on problematic issues besetting priests of today, the goal was not to conclude the renewal program with

a sad tone of negativity. One has to

address wounds, both of persons and institutions, and find God’s touches of healing in these. As Fr. Angeles commented on his final message, “I have so much hope in this group. I hope and I pray that they will really become the hope of seminaries in the Philippine church of today.” The last day was highlighted with the planning and implementation of AIR in the participants’ respective seminaries. Cardinal Rosales graced the closing mass and graduation distributing the certificates of participation with the assistance of Bishop Vergara at the conclusion of the mass. A closing party held at the entrance of Galilee Center capped the whole renewal program. Some participants belted their voice in the tune of their favorite songs; some tried their chances to win in a game of pusoy

Renew / B7

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 15 No. 13

June 20 - July 3, 2011



t o r Vol. 15 No. 13 June 20 - July 3, 2011 Statements B5 ‘I

‘I Am

Ascending to My Father and

3, 2011 Statements B5 ‘I Am Ascending to My Father and Your Father; To My God

Your Father; To My God and Your

God’ (John 20:17)

(Holy Trinity Sunday Pastoral Letter: On God, the Father and for fathers.)

© Pinky Barrientos, FSP / CBCP Media
© Pinky Barrientos, FSP / CBCP Media

DEAR Brothers and Sisters in the Faith, Last Sunday we celebrated Pentecost— the descent of the Holy Spirit. The whole season of Easter, was recalling the resurrection of Jesus, the Son. Today, Holy Trinity Sunday, I invite you to turn your attention to God, the Father as I also address fathers on the occasion of the Father’s Day.

God, the Father Each time we make the sign of the cross, weinvoketheFatherfirst. Inthefirstpages

of the Bible, especially the book of Genesis,

God reveals himself as Creator of all who provided sustenance for all creatures. Of all creation, man is of highest stature, as he was created in God’s image and likeness:endowedwithdignity;giftedwith thepowertothinkandtochooserightfrom


fashioned from his ribs, is man’s suitable partner. Although they disobeyed and sinnedagainstGod,theFathercontinuedto makecovenantwiththefathersofdifferent generations: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob etc. (Cf. Exodus 3:13ff) The Father guided and protected the chosen people in the desert. He remained faithful to the covenant despite the infidelity of the chosen people. Such faithfulness is depicted in the book of the Prophet Hosea; proven true when He sent his promised Savior, the Son and the Spirit of Truth. God,theFatherisCreatorandProtector. He is Provident and Faithful. He is the ‘God of our fathers.’ (Cf. Acts 3:13)

The Value and Meaning of Fatherhood

Today, I invite you, brothers and sisters, to re-discover the immense value

of fatherhood. Fatherhood is both a marvelous gift and

a serious responsibility. It includes the

power to bring forth life, a participation in the creative act of God. Fatherhood, therefore, should not be left to chance nor be enjoyed simply for oneself.

A man becomes a father only with the woman.Manbyhimselfcannotbringforth

a child. Neither can the woman alone.

There is no other way of bringing forth

a child into the world but by the union

of the seed of man and woman. And the

honest situation of this union is marriage.


unionislovewhichinvolvesthegiftofself. Respect for each other is a fundamental requirement of such love. However, the same loving union can be betrayed by dishonesty, force, violence, exploitation, hedonism and egotism. The fruit of this union is a human being endowed with dignity, intellect and will—a human person, with a soul. Thus, for us Christians, every human life has to be protected and cared for from the very moment of conception up until its natural end. This too is fatherhood!

The Different Faces of Fathers Today, fatherhood is also challenged

and undervalued. And we oftentimes wonder: Where are the fathers? Yet, it is


respect for their wife and children. It is

edifying to find fathers communicating sincerely with their wife and children.

It is inspiring to see fathers who work

hard daily to support and accompany the family. There are many inspiring stories of fatherswhosacrificetheirownenjoyment, even personal dreams and gain for the

welfare of their family. There are likewise fathers who have turned their back from vices to dedicate themselves more fully

to the family.

As I mention all these, I am aware of the hardships of many fathers: those separated from their families due to work or other reasons; those who find no vision for their family; those who have failed their wife and children; those who have lost their family; those who are gripped by poverty; those who are sick and in pain.

To these fathers I say: Put your confidence in the Lord. Rise above your failures.Straightenwhatiswrong.Recover the sense of respect for oneself and for your family.Supportandprayforyourwifeand children. You know well the sufferings of children who grow without their fathers. To young men who are seeking to have a family of their own―I admonish you:

prepare well for marriage and family life. Be ready to embrace the responsibility of being a husband and father with utmost seriousness. Marriage and fatherhood are not games of chance. For us, these are grace and responsibility. Do not have false illusions. The mark of real manhood is not machismo, but being responsible. For the misgivings of our fathers, let us pray for God’s mercy and forgiveness, without forgetting that this requires our choice and acceptance. To beg for forgiveness without a sincere desire and effort to change for the better is to be irresponsible.

Conclusion: Further Admonition Fathers, do not lose heart. Take courage andtakeresponsibility.Facethechallenges of fatherhood squarely. Protect your wife and care for your children. Lead them to the way of Truth. Lead them to God, the Holy Trinity, the source and model of communion. Strive to be good examples and inspiration to your children. Dear Brothers and Sisters, I ask you, especially the young, to pray for your fathers. They too need your appreciation, support and care. May the Father, Son and Holy Spirit bless the fathers especially today. May the same Trinity grant them the graces they need wherever they are. Happy Father’s day! Happy Feast of the Holy Trinity!

+LEONARDO Z. LEGASPI, DD Archbishop of Caceres June 19, 2011 Naga City

‘Stolen Land’

CBCP-NASSA’s Statement on Hacienda Luisita

“The joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the men of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these too are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ.” ― (Opening line of The Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes, of VC II).

THE CBCP-National Secretariat forSocialAction,JusticeandPeace (CBCP-NASSA JP) lobbying for the proper implementation of agrarian reform, expresses solidarity with the landless farmers and farm workers of Hacienda Luisita. In exercising our prophetic ministry, we pursue the calls (1) to revoke the stock distribution option (SDO)―a scheme that runs contrary to the spirit of the Constitution, and (2) to lift the TRO on the compulsory acquisition of Hacienda Luisita. Cries for justice reach the ears of the Lord; we are one with our smallfarmers.NASSArecognizes thatthemostfundamentalpillarof

agrarianreformistheenforcement of the “land to the tiller principle”. Land distribution, with sufficient support services, holds promise as a means to stem rural poverty and the wave of rural-urban migration. History shows that the redistribution of land to landless and poor farmers can be a very effective way to improve rural welfare. Thus, it is disappointing to note that the Cojuangcos have managedtoevadeagrarianreform for more than five decades, even as the legitimate beneficiaries of the land continue to live in grinding, abject poverty. On behalf of our small farmers, we appeal for truth, equity, dignity and justice. The SDO not only allowed the HLI to retain its ownership of the land but also “legitimized” the giving out of paltry shares of stocks to the farmers. NASSA’s opposition to SDO is grounded on the social teachings of the Church, which explicitly condemn exploitation of human labor, especially when rewarded with wages or

other forms of payment that are unworthy of human dignity, such as in the case of the farmers in Hacienda Luisita. We rely on the integrity of the Supreme Court to exercise its intrinsic political independence and resolve the case according to the spirit of distributive justice of the Constitution. The High Court, we are certain, knows full wellthefactthatpolitical“issues” impede the implementation of agrarian reform. Hence, we call on the Supreme Court to facilitate the birth of institutional reforms capable of activating all factors that will seriously implement agrarian reform. This is best done through the speedy dispensation of justice that is devoid of political color and solely based on the merits of the case. We call on the government to activate an efficient agrarian reform program which is respectful of the people’s needs for justice and answers in an adequate way their needs for integral development. Both


former President Cory Aquino

and President Benigno Aquino

III promised the distribution of

the land during their election campaigns. But now, PNoy is taking a hands-off stance on the issue on the account of his owning only “insignificant” share in the HLI. If the so-called compromise agreements hold out, the farmers will end up, after five decades without land, without jobs and

in deep poverty, with only 1,400 hectares out of the original 6,443, while the Cojuangcos get to keep 4,227 hectares (about 800 hectares having been sold or used by HLI). This, certainly, is not what agrarian justice is about. As president of the people, PNoy can no longer stay neutral


this issue. We call upon him


intervene on the side of the

farmers. Whatever decision he arrives at will have huge moral and political implications particularly on the current peace processwithNationalDemocratic Front (NDF) in which agrarian

Luisita / B7

THE Sowing the Seeds of Peace calls on the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines to persevere in overcoming current issues that are stalling the scheduled continuation of the peace negotiations in June this year. We call on both parties to comply with the “GPH and NDF Oslo Joint Statement of 21 February 2011” signed in Oslo, Norway in the presence of the representatives of the Royal Norwegian Government. The pertinent sections of that statement read: “… Based on the Joint Notes dated January 18, 2011, the GPH shall continue to work on appropriate measures to effect the expeditious release of all or most of the fourteen (14) NDFP listed JASIG consultants and personalities before the second round of formal talks, subject to verification as provided in the JASIG Supplemental Agreement dated June 26, 1996, or on the basis of humanitarian and other practical reasons. The NDFP added four (4) names (Danilo Badayos, Leopoldo Caloza, Alan Jazmines and Ramon Patriarca), whose release shall be subjected to the same process. The GPH as confidence-building measure reiterated its commitment to undertake steps

for the release of prisoners and detainees, including those committed to be released as found in the Second Oslo Joint Statement of 2004…” We believe that the spirit and intent of that joint statement calls for continued confidence building measures to sustain the peace talks. With this in mind, we were thus pleased when peasant rights advocate Angelina Bisuna Ipong, the country’s oldest woman political prisoner, was released on 17 February 2011 as the GPH-NDPF peace talks were being held in Oslo. The NDFP has announced a possible postponement of the talks pending release of political prisoners which, they say, has not been complied with by the GPH. We see this as an unfortunate development worthy of serious consideration by both sides and of advocates like us who are supporting the peace process. We call on President Benigno Aquino III to ensure that the talks are not stalled anew on this account. We hope that the GPH will eventually uphold its civilian authority over voices within the AFP which, at the moment, are opposed to such release. Political authority should be

of primordial consideration over tactical concerns of the military establishment. After all, it is incumbent upon any state to release “prisoners of conscience” in adherence to international human rights and humanitarian law. The same principle applies when NPA prisoners of war are released on humanitarian grounds and as an exercise of the political authority of the NDFP over its armed revolutionary army. On an equal vein, we call on the NDFP as well to release prisoners of war as a way to reciprocate confidence measures which we expect the GPH to adopt in the days ahead. We call on both sides to agree to a definite timeline that will allow GPH compliance with release of political prisoners. We believe that whenever there is political will from both protagonists in the armed conflict, there is time. Our hope lies in the following paragraph which the Oslo Joint Statement of 21 February 2011 contained:

“The two Panels expressed satisfaction over the achievements of the first round of formal talks. They also expressed

Press / B7

Statement on the Extra- Judicial Killing, Harassment, Land Grabbing and other Rights Violations in Casiguran, Aurora

WITH the local Church of the Prelature of Infanta, we in the National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA), strongly condemn the murder of one of our advocates for indigenous peoples’ rights in Casiguran, Aurora. Armando Maximino, Chieftain of the Agtas in Sitio Delebsong, Barangay Nipoo was shot dead last May 17. The suspected perpetrators belonged to the security personnel enlisted by the contesting party that falsely claims ownership of the ancestral domain, even with the reported knowledge of

the city mayor, local police, and other officials. Denied burial at his property among departed kin, Armando was instead laid to rest at the site where he took not one but several bullets. When the Agtas briefly left their vigil at the grave, they returned to find six of their houses burned. Previously, barbed-

wire fences were installed around their property by the suspects.

When they questioned the move, five members of their tribe were arrested, with some women wounded from the resulting scuffle, but eventually released because there were no grounds to file charges against them. Despite longstanding and rightful ownership of 49 hectares of the disputed land, supported by official documents and upheld by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), Armando, members of his family and community, have endured threats, harassment, and outright violence. Against powerful enemies, the Agtas have retreated out of fear and left the area. The Church, in its prophetic ministry of promoting social justice, stands in solidarity with the indigenous peoples in their struggle for their rightful claim for the land. We condemn the senseless killing of the Agta Chieftain, Armando Maximino, and the continuing suppression to silence the protest of the community against the impending development aggression. We enjoin all Filipinos to do the same and demand the impartial and comprehensive investigation of the incident, and its swift and just resolution. We appeal to President Benigno Aquino III and concerned government agencies to uphold our laws on indigenous peoples’ rights and agrarian reform, in order to safeguard the welfare of our local communities, as well as the fundamental freedoms violated by Armando’s adversaries. His death exemplifies a recurring cautionary tale, when equal access to resources and justice by vulnerable sectors is continually denied. It underscores the need to address the absence of truly participatory and people-centered development programs, in order to bridge the social, political, and economic divide that bring about conflict in areas like Aurora. And in fulfillment of our mission we believe that “before today’s forms of exploitation of the poor, the Church

she condemns many injustices which

cannot remain silent

unfortunately, even today are committed to the detriment of the poor” (Pope John Paul II, quoted in PCP II, Acts No. 131).

† BRODERICK S. PABILLO, DD Auxiliary Bishop of Manila Chairman, CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Social Action, Justice and Peace June 9, 2011

© Noli Yamsuan / RCAM


Ref lections

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 15 No. 13

June 20 - July 3, 2011

The Eucharist, greed and the poor in our midst

Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of the Lord - Year A (John 6:51-58) June 26, 2011

and Blood of the Lord - Year A (John 6:51-58) June 26, 2011 By Msgr. Lope

By Msgr. Lope C. Robredillo, SThD

ONE of the reasons why our country cannot provide adequate service to the people is the government debt. Since about 1/3 of the yearly total budget is earmarked for servicing the country’s debt, or more exactly, to its interest payment, only a paltry sum goes to health, education and other public services. And because, for many years, the Philippines resorts to borrowing from creditors to pay its debts, the country continues to sink deeper in debt. No doubt about it, the government debt, both internal and external, is onerous. It condemns its people to hopeless poverty and misery. And it making debt service a

to hopeless poverty and misery. And it making debt service a By Msgr. Lope C. Robre-

By Msgr. Lope C. Robre- dillo, SThD

LAST Sunday (June 19), Federico

Pascual raised a rhetorical question in his column Postscript, “Why spend P400 million in rehabilitating Macabalan Port in Cagayan de Oro when a French contractor of modular ro-ro (roll-on, roll-off) ports has a standing offer to build

a new wharf and passenger

terminal for only P143 million?” Palace watchers described this as “patently disadvantageous to the government,” while former Senator Nene Pimentel calls it “plain and simple highway robbery.” And what motives move people to do this—greed? This calls to mind the twists and turns in the court battles among lawyers over the coconut levy in the Philippines. “The levy,” as Neal Cruz put it in simple terms, “was imposed and collected by the government for public purposes to benefit coconut farmers. It is clear that it is a public fund. The clarity and

simplicity of it is clear to laymen;

it is only lawyers who make it

confusing.” It being an enormous sum, many want to take hold of it. In an earlier column, Cruz asserts: “Greed is still the top sin of Filipinos. And ironically, the richer they are, the greedier they become.” Hence, “while there are billions of sequestered pesos and dollars still out there waiting… there will always be ‘commissioners’ who will try to negotiate a compromise for a piece of action. Treasure hunting

is a popular endeavor in the Philippines. It is easier to dream of instant riches than to work hard for it. And the coco levy… [is] like the fabled Yamashita treasure that continues to boggle the imagination and whet the appetite of scores of treasure hunter.” Greed is the exact opposite of what today’s feast of Corpus et Sanguis Christi implies—which is sharing so others might live. But that is going ahead of what should be noted first. Today’s Gospel is the second part of Jesus’ discourse on the bread of life (John 6:35-58). Whereas in the first part (vv 35-50), the nourishing heavenly bread is

second one (vv 51-58), it is the Eucharist. Though both parts speak of giving life, they differ in that, while in the first part eternal life is given through belief, in the second it comes from feeding on the flesh and drinking the blood of Jesus. Thus, this section has a Eucharistic theme, and exclusively so. Raymond Brown notes two impressive indications that the Eucharist is in mind. First, the narrative stresses the eating of Jesus’ flesh and the drinking of his blood—which cannot be taken as a metaphor or symbolically. Rather, if Jesus’ words about eating his flesh and drinking his blood are to have any favorable meaning, they must refer to the Eucharist, reproducing the words of institution in the Synoptics. Second, what Jesus says in v 51 (“The bread that I shall give is my flesh for the life of the world”) resembles the Lucan form of the words of institution (“This is my body which is given for you”), and most likely preserves the Johannine form of the words of institution. Thus, for John, eternal life is given to those who communicate the body and blood

Eucharist / B7

the teaching of Jesus, in this

Lightening the burden of the oppressed

of Jesus, in this Lightening the burden of the oppressed 14th Sunday of Year A (Matt
of Jesus, in this Lightening the burden of the oppressed 14th Sunday of Year A (Matt
of Jesus, in this Lightening the burden of the oppressed 14th Sunday of Year A (Matt
of Jesus, in this Lightening the burden of the oppressed 14th Sunday of Year A (Matt
of Jesus, in this Lightening the burden of the oppressed 14th Sunday of Year A (Matt
of Jesus, in this Lightening the burden of the oppressed 14th Sunday of Year A (Matt
of Jesus, in this Lightening the burden of the oppressed 14th Sunday of Year A (Matt
of Jesus, in this Lightening the burden of the oppressed 14th Sunday of Year A (Matt
of Jesus, in this Lightening the burden of the oppressed 14th Sunday of Year A (Matt
of Jesus, in this Lightening the burden of the oppressed 14th Sunday of Year A (Matt

14th Sunday of Year A (Matt 11:25-30)July 3, 2011

heal the sick nor bind up the injured. You did not bring back the strayed nor seek the lost, but you lorded it over them harshly and brutally. So they were scattered for lack of shepherd and became food for wild animals” (Ezek 34:2b-5a). But if the poor people felt that life has become burdensome, this was not simply due to the political leaders who failed in their responsibilities to the sheep. It was also because the religious leaders laid heavy burdens on them. In his denunciation of the Pharisees, for example, Jesus said: “They tie up heavy burdens [hard to carry] and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them” (Matt 23:4). The way the Pharisees and the teachers of the law interpreted the commandments of God has become

of the law interpreted the commandments of God has become priority of the budget, the government

priority of the budget, the government practically ignores the welfare of the people. No wonder, many people have been clamoring for its cancellation— the government debt is a burden that consigns many to a miserable life. Life can be like the country’s debt, onerous, but it is always the poor who carry the weight. This is true not only of today but also of Jesus’ time. As we noted two Sundays ago, Jesus, during his public ministry, saw the poor in the eyes of prophet Ezekiel― tired, leaderless, and neglected: “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who have been pasturing themselves. Should not shepherds, rather, pasture sheep? You have fed off their milk, worn their wool, and slaughtered their fatlings, but the sheep you have not pastured. You did not strengthen the weak nor

burdensome to the poor people. The law on the Sabbath is a good example. In their interpretation of the law, the Pharisees had to ask what activities constituted work and therefore were prohibited on the Sabbath—matters which probably were never envisaged by Moses himself. In Matthew, we encounter people known as sinners (Matt 9:10), and in the consensus of present-day scholars, the term refers to people who by their very profession could not, according to the teachers of the law, observe the commandments. The law was intended to give life to those who keep them (Ezek 20:13), but because of wrong interpretation, it became an onus for the poor. What must the poor do to liberate themselves from the heavy load? At the time of Jesus, the poor people

had options. They could follow the Pharisees in their meticulous observance of the law, in the hope that God would ultimately liberate them from all evil. Some did join the social bandits, not only to ease the burden of poverty, but also to get even with the rich. Others later on joined the revolutionary movement— which engulfed the whole nation in the end. Today, several choices present themselves. The poor can go to the street to denounce the various burdens that the government imposed on them and ask that they be scrapped unconditionally. Or, since they cannot lick them, they can join as well the corrupt and the greedy in fleecing the government, with the thought that, after all, justice cannot follow

Burden / B7

thought that, after all, justice cannot follow Burden / B7 The humilityand love that lightenall burdens

The humilityand love that lightenall burdens

Bishop Pat Alo


Greatest conquest, conquest of self

By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB

THE Israelites always treasured the remembrance of the daily manna and the water from the rock enjoyed by their ancestors during their long wandering in the desert. They saw in the manna and the water eloquent signs of the Lord’s caring love for them. But the manna and the water in the desert were only symbols of a much more precious food and drink which Jesus would offer to his disciples: his body and his blood, commonly referred to as “the Eucharist.” This is the wondrous

fully. And He will surely do this in the life to come. But He starts doing this already in this life, though in a “sacramental” manner, i.e., through “sacred signs” which communicate the spiritual gift they signify. Of these signs, the Eucharist is the most revelatory and effective, for it manifests and actualizes Christ’s total gift of self to each believer and to the whole community. This gift was foreshadowed by the miraculous multiplication of bread and fish (see Jn 6:3-13); it was formally established by Jesus at the Last Supper (see Mk 14:22- 24 and parallels), and has been

Last Supper (see Mk 14:22- 24 and parallels), and has been means through which Jesus shows

means through which Jesus shows all the depth of his love for us, a means through which he satisfies the many yearnings of our hearts. We do experience several forms of hunger and thirst. In addition to our physical need for food and drink, we hunger and thirst for acceptance, appreciation, forgiveness, trust, sharing, love Indeed, “not on bread alone does man live.” These affective and spiritual needs can be satisfied by other human beings only to a limited extent. Only God can satisfy them

treasured and celebrated by the Church ever since. In this celebration/re- enactment of what Jesus did “on the night when he was betrayed” (1 Cor 11:23), our deepest forms of hunger and thirst for love, sharing, and communion with God and others are satisfied to the highest degree possible on earth. At the same time, the Eucharist is also a foretaste of that perfect communion with God and neighbor which will be a feature of the everlasting happiness prepared for us in heaven by our loving Lord.

THE many sages of the past have said so. For this we need God’s help and grace (see Mt. 19:26). We might think fulfillment is in making money,winningingames,orpolitics and getting a famous name, but what can bring us to peace inside and in the final eventuality is really the conquest of self in the direction of fulfilling God’s will every time, anywhere. The saints were always happy even when they were left unattended,unknownorneglected, for their trust was always in God. So Jesus had reminded us— “What will a man gain if he wins the whole world and ruins his

life? Or what has a man to offer

in exchange for his life?” The very

finalities of man can be reduced to four last things, as taught in Christian catechesis: Death, Judgment, Hell or Heaven. At the very last you either end in Heaven

or in Hell. Jesus clearly talks about

this as He discussed on the narrow and hard road to Heaven and the spacious and wide road to Hell in Mt. 7:11-12, and about the decisive question that will be required of you for entrance to eternal bliss in Paradiseoreternaldamnationwith the devils in Hell. Read that in Mt.




will depend your ultimate destiny. Don’t be too late on reading such important reminder in that short but important chapter. It asks to be not so selfish and

greedy but always considerate on others’ needs, rights and feelings. Why did the Lord God Almighty in sharing man’s lot by taking up our humanity in His Son, Jesus, chose always the line of humility in word and the example of His life? “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the man who humbles himself will be exalted

(Lk. 14:11, Lk. 18:14, Mt. 23:12). “I honor my Father but you want to dishonor me. Not that I care for my own glory, there is someone who takes care of that and is the judge of it” (Jn. 8:50). For all our efforts to reachsalvationwemustremember how much we are in need of God’s grace.ButGod’sinfalliblewordwill not fail in His promises. “Ask, and itwillbegivenyou;search,andyou will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For the one who asks always receives; the one who searchesalwaysfinds;theonewho knocks will always have the door opened to him”: (Mt. 7:7).

will always have the door opened to him”: (Mt. 7:7). Fr. Francis Ongkingco WHATEVER God facebooking

Fr. Francis Ongkingco


God facebooking

JESUS was looking intensely at the flickering computer monitor. [CLICK, CLICK, CLICK!] “It hasn’t changed much,” Jesus sighed. “What hasn’t, Lord?” St. Peter asked from the other table. “My friends in FaceBook,” Jesus said. “But Lord, you only started a few weeks ago,” St. Peter said. “Oh, yes, but even before FaceBook was, I was already inviting every person to my love.” “Maybe they’re just a little busy, and may later confirm your invitation.” “I guess so, in the meantime I will continue inviting the newborn ones,” Jesus smiled.

* * * Even before FaceBook came to existence, our LordhasnotceasedtoinviteustoHislove.“You are my friends, if you do what I command you,” HesaidinJohn’sGospel.FriendshipwithChrist is something conditional, that is, He leaves us to freely choose to respond to His invitation. God’s offer to every man and woman is nothing less than Heaven: eternal life and happiness. It is the answer to every person’s earthly longings. Still He doesn’t impose it on us. Man’s free response is indispensable if this

response is to be called love. Ifthisisso,whydoonlyafewpeoplerespond to God’s invitation? Why are we, so to speak, only satisfied with clicking on LIKE instead of choosing to CONFIRM His call? The answer is found in man’s ignorance, and also as a consequence his reluctance to complicate his life due to his attachment to life’s immediate material gratification. Thus, Pope Benedict XVI says: “Happiness is something we all want, but one of the great tragedies of this world is that so many people never find it, because they look for it in wrong places. The key to it is very simple—true happiness is to be found in God. We need the courage to place our deepest hopes in God alone, not in money, in a career, in worldly success, or in our relationships with others, but in God. Only He can satisfy our deepest needs of our hearts.” (Address to Students of UK Catholic Schools, 17-IX-2010) To accept God’s invitation means “doing what He commands us to do.” In other words, to do His will, to allow Him into our life, and to become His instruments. Indeed, God can complicate our lives beyond the simple POKE or LIKE because He wants to transform and identify us with His Life. Thus, St. Teresa of

Avila, once complained to our Lord when she figuredinacarriageaccident.OurLordreplied, “This is how I treat my friends on earth.” The saint wittily replied, “No wonder you have very few friends here on earth.” In the same address, the Pope underlined God’s desire to become our friend. “God wants yourfriendship.Andonceyouenterintofriendship with God, everything in your life begins to change. As you come to know Him better, you find you want to reflect something of His infinite goodness in your own life. You are attracted to the practice of virtue. You begin to see greed and selfishness and all the other sins for what they really are, destructive and dangerous tendencies that cause deep suffering and do great damage, and you want to avoid falling into that trap yourselves. (…) You want to come to the aid of the poor and the hungry, you want to comfort the sorrowful, you want to be kind and generous. And once these things begin to matter to you, you are well on the way to becoming saints.” Let us be sensitive to God’s unceasing invitations. It is through this friendship –both humananddivine—withJesusthatfillsuswith the greatest confidence before our Father God when our Lord says: “and then the Father will give you anything you ask Him in my name.”

© Ronalyn Regino / CBCP Media

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 15 No. 13

June 20 - July 3, 2011

Social Concerns


r Vol. 15 No. 13 June 20 - July 3, 2011 Social Concerns B7 White Cross
r Vol. 15 No. 13 June 20 - July 3, 2011 Social Concerns B7 White Cross
r Vol. 15 No. 13 June 20 - July 3, 2011 Social Concerns B7 White Cross
r Vol. 15 No. 13 June 20 - July 3, 2011 Social Concerns B7 White Cross

White Cross Children’s Home

3, 2011 Social Concerns B7 White Cross Children’s Home Wheremiraclehappenseveryday By Ronalyn Regino Two years
3, 2011 Social Concerns B7 White Cross Children’s Home Wheremiraclehappenseveryday By Ronalyn Regino Two years