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Obama meets with Pope at time of tense relations with Church


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John Paul II relic tour kicks off

WEEKS before his much-awaited canonization, relics of the late pontiff and saint-tobe John Paul II are currently on display at the Radio Veritas Chapel in West Avenue, marking the first day of the months-long tour of his relics. Relics curator Rey Isabelo said, they at Radyo Veritas are humbled and proud to be the first stop of the historic visit of the Blessed Pope John Paul II relics as part of the Totus Tuus Tour in the Philippines. Among the first-class relics displayed are
Relic / A6

Poverty rate spike despite GDP growth alarms Tagle

By Roy Lagarde
While the government continues to beat its chest over supposed economic growth, Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle said there remains the paradox of rising poverty and unemployment rate. In an interview on March 28 over Everyday Faith Live show of Tele Care, a New York-based Catholic television network, the cardinal discussed the imbalances in the Philippine economy. According to him, it is worth rejoicing that the Philippines last year registered the highest gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate in Southeast Asian regions. We have to salute our government and also the business sector, Tagle said. However, we were alarmed to see also that the level of poverty has not gone down.

March 31 - April 13, 2014

Vol. 18 No. 7

Php 20.00

THE Archbishop of Manila has raised alarm over the worsening unemployment and poverty in the country despite the economic growth trumpeted by the government.

So you ask the question where is this growth going? How come there is this very accelerated growth economically, but ordinary people remain poor? he said. The cardinal went to the United States to receive distinct honor from Fordham University, which conferred on him a Doctorate of Humane Letters, honoris causa. Little inclusive growth Last year, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) downplayed the supposed economic growth, noting that this has not trickled down to the poor. It was the strongest statement of the bishops collegial body, which was under the leadership of Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma against the Aquino administration. Growth itself, that is, more products and more money, should not be sole aim of development but also equity, the bishops said. The huge gap between the rich and the poor remains. There is little inclusive growth! they added. Instead of simply parading their achievements, Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes
Poverty / A7

Fr. Art Cablao, parochial vicar of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Guiuan, Eastern Samar, blesses new fishing boats donated by the Knights of Columbus to fisher folk who lost their livelihood to typhoon Yolanda, March 26. With the help of the government and different local and foreign organizations, residents of Guiuan, a costal town in one of the poorest provinces in the country, are gradually rebuilding their lives, but not yet their centuries-old heritage church that was reduced to rubble when Yolanda made landfall in the area last November.

Church ensures transparency in handling $7.7 million Yolanda aid

THE social action arm of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Saturday ensured transparency in the accounting of all donations given by different Church organizations to victims of super typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan). Fr. Edu Gariguez, executive secretary of the National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace (NASSA), said, all donations for the relief operations intended to help calamity victims are placed under strict and efficient accounting mechanisms and processes. We have our monitoring system, Gariguez said in an article posted in ucanews. com. All donations to Caritas Philippines and Internationalis have strict and efficient accounting mechanisms and processes. Gariguez, who noted that the CBCP has so far spent $7.7 million for relief efforts for calamity victims, said funds donated to the Church are audited by external accounting firms that follow international standards. We even publish reports for full transparency, Gariguez said. Now we are planning for the rehabilitation of nine affected dioceses. Yolanda ravaged Central Visayas last November 8 with tsunami-like storm surges and winds of up to 315 kilometers an hour, claiming the lives of at least 6,200 people with 2,000 others still missing. Nearly four million people were also left homeless as the super typhoon severely damaged 1.1 million houses. The Church official made the statement after the Philippine Senate directed the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to submit a list of organizations that gathered donations for Yolanda victims. According to the DSWD rules, organizations that raise funds for disaster victims must first secure a permit from the department and later on submit a report on how the donations were used. The Commision on Audit (COA) claimed that the lack of a systematic process in receiving relief aids made the tracking and auditing of

Roy Lagarde

Bishop underscores need to evangelize through social communications

SPREADING the Gospel need not be confined to churches and pulpits alone. Evangelization is at the religious and lay peoples fingertips through the utilization of social media, leading to the propagation of the good news on a wider scale. I see this new task with you as ministry of forming. In fact, I feel that I have to be the first one formed in many things about how to better communicate the Gospel in this day and age, said Pasig Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara, Chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Social Communications and Mass Media (ECSCMM) of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) during the recent BiAnnual Assembly of the Philippine Federation of Catholic BroadcastersCatholic Media Network (PCFB-CMN) held at the San Carlos Seminary. Vergara reiterated the call to Catholic media practitioners to bring the Gospel closer to the faithful by maximizing the technological advancements present in the modern world.
Evangelize / A6

Nuns from the Daughters of St. Paul (Paulines) help repack relief goods for distribution to typhoon victims at the Caritas Manila headquarters in Pandacan, November 12.

donations difficult. DSWD Secretary Corazon Soliman earlier admitted that due to the urgency of the situation, the govern-

ment had failed to strictly monitor funds raised by private organizations for victims of the recent calamity. (Jennifer Orillaza)

Caritas Manila to build multipurpose chapels in Leyte, East Samar

CARITAS Manila wants to build multipurpose chapels in Leyte and Eastern Samar, one of several projects funded by agency in the typhoon-struck provinces. Fr. Anton Pascual, Caritas Manila executive director, said that
Chapels / A6

Philippines and Vatican release More vocations predicted due to Francis Effect Pope Francis postage stamps
THE Philippine Postal Corporation, in collaboration with the Holy See, has released a commemorative postage stamp celebrating the pontificate of Pope Francis. The stamp will make this event memorable and will serve as a historical patrimony for the generations to come, Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See Mercedes Tuason told CNA March 21. The postage stamp is an effort of the Filipino ASIDE from heftier donations to the Church and more people seeking confession, an increase in vocations may also be attributed to the so-called Pope Francis Effect, says a Vatican expert. J e s u i t s around the worldthere has recently been a report from the
Vocations / A6


Countless churches and chapels were destroyed by super typhoon Yolanda in Leyte and Eastern Samar.

people to, in some way, materialize our thanksStamps / A7

Illustration by Brothers Matias

Roy Lagarde



World News

CBCP Monitor
March 31 - April 13, 2014

Vol. 18 No. 7

Cardinal Burke stresses Catholic medias supreme importance

R O M E , I t a l y, M a r 2 8 , 2014Cardinal Raymond Burke has praised the work of Catholic media, noting its importance in forming a pro-life culture that respects religious freedom and the nature of marriage. The culture of death advances, in large part, because of a lack of attention and information among the general public. What is more, the thoroughly galvanized anti-life and anti-family agenda of the pervasive secular mass media confuses and corrupts minds and hearts, and dulls consciences to the law written by God upon every human heart, Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, said March 24. Developing and supporting a truly pro-life and pro-family media is of supreme importance in an age characterized by its means of communication, he said. He also encouraged the organization of public manifestations in support of the inviolable dignity of innocent human life and the integrity of the family. Cardinal Burkes comments came in his address to Alliance Defending Freedoms Catholic Media Symposium, held in Rome from March 24-27. Alliance Defending Freedom, a U.S.-based legal group with almost 2,300 allied attorneys across 37 countries, organized the conference to help inform media professionals about its work in support of religious freedom. Cardinal Burke said the gathering had a critical importance for the future of our society and culture. He said communications media, with Gods grace, help Christians overcome any separation of the Gospel from life. This is especially true for the heart of the Gospel, which includes safeguarding and promoting human life, freedom of conscience and the right understanding of marriage and the family. Catholic media contribute in a most significant way to the work of a new evangelization, he said. Citing Bl. John Paul IIs encyclical Evangelium Vitae, he called for a united ethical effort to activate a great campaign in support of life. Every threat to human dignity and life must necessarily be felt in the Churchs very heart, he said. The truth, the goodness, and the beauty of human life, of marriage and the family, the cradle of human life, and of religious faith and practice as the font of stability and direction for marriage and the family have their only source in God Who is all true, all good, and all beautiful, the cardinal continued. He said these transcendentals are opposed by a society and culture that pretends to be self-made, without reference to God and to His law written into creation. Such a society does not recognize conscience, the privileged place of the human heart in which the law of God is known and observed. Rather, its authority becomes subject to the will of those who have the greatest power. Witnessing to the inviolable dignity of all human life, the integrity of marriage, and to the rights of conscience are the first and most fundamental way of radiating the living truth which Our Lord Jesus communicates to us in His Mystical Body, the Church. He said he hoped that his words would encourage those in Catholic media to take new courage and new energy from the Heart of Jesus. Alan Sears, president of Alliance Defending Freedom, said the media symposium comes at a pivotal point for liberty and for people of faith all around the world.

Vatican Briefing
Pope Francis shapes Vatican finances under advice from cardinals

Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, speaks at the ADF Media Conference in Rome, March 24, 2014.

The appointment of Msgr. Brian Edwin Ferme as prelate secretary of the newly established Council for the Economy shows Pope Francis will shape the council with the advice of his Council of Cardinals. Msgr. Ferme, a canonist, was reportedly the personal choice of Cardinal George Pell, a member of the Council of Cardinals and prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy. He is likely to take his post at the beginning of the summer. The priest will assist the Cardinal Coordinator in the fulfillment of the functions of the Council for the Economy, whose competences are associated with the guidance and supervision of the administrative and financial activities of the economic entities of the Holy See, noted the March 22 press release announcing the appointment. The cardinal coordinator is Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich and Freising, and also a member of the Council of Cardinals. (CNA)
Pope urges lawmakers to embrace faith over theology of duty

At every level there are direct efforts to stifle and limit human dignityto limit the free exercise of faith and religion, to obscure the exercise of rights of conscience, to suppress the natural family, and to interfere with the educational choices of parents, he said in his opening remarks March 24. He said there are serious efforts to limit religious freedom and the rights of conscience and growing efforts to punish those who dare disagree. He cited the threat of international judicial activism, cultural indifference to the sanctity of life, and a concerted legal and cultural effort to redefine

marriage and family. He said the organization opposes those that seek to cleanse society of our faith, our values, and the proclamation of Gods Truth to achieve their totalitarian aims. The legal group has supported conscience rights for pro-life medical professionals and midwives who are being ordered to participate in abortions. It has defended the presence of crucifixes in Italian classrooms and the rights of parents who wish to homeschool their children or to opt out of school courses that have explicit sexual content or have derogatory messages about Jesus and the Church. (CNA)

Daniel Ibanez/CNA

Saying Mass for some 500 Italian parliamentarians, Pope Francis warned them of the corruption of the heart, imploring them not to slip from the theology of faith to a theology of duty.Describing the religious leaders whom Christ encountered, Pope Francis said March 27, they resisted the salvation of the Lords love, and thus slipped away from the faith, from a theology of faith to a theology of duty.Because of the large number of parliamentarians who had asked to participate in a daily Mass with him, Pope Francis said Mass for them in St. Peters Basilica rather than in the Domus Sanctae Marthae chapel. Roughly half of Italys parliament attended the Mass.Pope Francis preached on the readings from the day, which he described as a dialogue between the lamentations of God and the justifications of men. (CNA)
German bishop accused of luxurious lifestyle resigns

Lawyer identifies key groups in European persecution of Christians

ROME, Italy, Mar 30, 2014Legal counsel Paul Coleman has spoken of the increasing persecution of Christians in Europe, identifying the main groups driving ideological agendas counter to Church teaching. Anti-Christian ideologies at the U.N. are being advanced by three different groups, Coleman told CNA in a March 23 interview, the first being activist organizations, the primary drivers behind the movement. Then you have liberal, primarily Western countries driving the movement, and finally the institutions themselves at the United Nations. Coleman is legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom at its office in Vienna, where he specializes in international litigation, focusing on European law. He was in Rome for the organizations March 24 27 Media Convention, during which he gave a testimony detailing his time working with the Blackstone Legal Fellowship leadership training program, which educates law students on issues regarding religious freedom, which are not typically taught in law schools. Explaining some of the trends currently taking place, Coleman observed that one of the biggest is the attempt to create a right to abortion in international law. There are many documents that are discussed at the United Nations where the phrase reproductive health and rights and sexual reproductive health and rights appear constantly no matter what the issue is thats being discussed, they always find a way to include those issues. Another growing theme is that of the SOGI movementsexual orientation, gender identity movementwhich has emerged forcefully only within the last decade, Coleman noted. Its seeking to promote the terms sexual orientation and gender identity on an international level, and seeking to provide protections and to change international laws to include those terms. One of the dangers present in this movement is that the terms sexual orientation and gender identity are terms that arent particularly well understood, he observed, adding that this terminology changes, and that it can mean whatever people want it to mean. In effect, sexual orientation is a code for homosexuality and homosexual behavior, the lawyer continued, and gender identity is a code for transsexualism or people who feel they are not male or female, but something different, something between, or nothing at all. Referring again to the three groups pushing these ideologies, Coleman stated that aligned together they can be very effective in advancing these causes. We see for example, the United Kingdom has said it would withhold aid for Third World countries if those countries dont change their laws on homosexuality and we see in America President Obama saying its a foreign policy priority to promote homosexuality across the world. These are powerful countries with huge international aid budgets, and theyre helping to push this issue around the globe. Explaining the process of how these agendas are being advanced, Coleman recalled how the U.N. was founded after World War Two in order to protect and secure human rights, and to guarantee the rights of man against the government and against government tyranny. Following the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was created in order to ensure this protection, the lawyer detailed how numerous treaties were created focusing on the safeguarding of the fundamental rights of the individual. Going on to describe what has happened in recent years, Coleman said these treaties are being re-interpreted. Where international treaties say, for example, that people have the right to health, thats being interpreted as saying, well, health includes reproductive health, and reproductive health, abortion; therefore there is a right to abortion. Turning to the topic of marriage, the lawyer observed that where a treaty says that everyone has a right to marry, the treaties actually say men and women of marry-able age have the right to marry, and thats being re-interpreted as saying well, there it says men and women. We should really interpret it in modern-day circumstances, so it should be man-and-man, and women-and-women. Another way in which these movements are advanced, he explained, is by ignoring the treaties completely, commenting that instead of these treaties which have been signed by nations and which have been approved at the very highest level, we find that lots of other documents are drafted and approved with very little scrutiny. They are used as a tool to kind of force nations to change their laws, the lawyer continued, noting that although nations can refuse, they dont want to be constantly harassed by the United Nations or the European Union for not keeping their human rights obligations, so they dont say anything. Eventually, he said, if theyre told constantly, you need to change your laws on abortion, you need to change your laws on homosexuality, then that pressure can lead to change at a domestic level. Coleman then offered comments on a recent report given by the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child report that condemned the Holy Sees child protection policies and called for the Church to change its doctrine regarding abortion and homosexuality. (CNA/EWTN News)

In a March 26 statement the Holy See announced its acceptance of the resignation of Bishop FranzPeter Tebarts-van Elst, noting that the situation in his diocese does not allow the full exercise of his ministry. Considering that in the diocese of Limburg a situation has arisen that prevents the fruitful exercise of the ministry of S.E. Mons. Franz-Peter Tebarts-van Elst, the statement read, the Holy See has accepted the resignation of the Bishop presented on Oct. 20, 2013. In comments made during a March 26 press conference in Berlin, Cardinal Reinhard Marx expressed that Now it is important that the diocese of Limburg is able to go down a good path with a common future. I will contribute to this process as much as I can and am entitled to. This requires willingness to reconcile, new trust and the power of prayer. Healing and a new start will be possible in this way. (CNA)
Vatican launches astronomy class for parish educators

The Vaticans Observatory has announced that for the first time it will be hosting a workshop analyzing the relationship of faith and astronomy for parish educators, which is slated to take place next spring.We had done something similar to this only for bishops, held in Rome back in 1990. After nearly 25 years it was certainly time to try it again! Br. Guy Consolmagno said on March 24. Br. Guy Consolmagno SJ is an American research astronomer and planetary scientist at the Vatican Observatory, which is an astronomical research and educational institution supported by the Holy See. Having received a masters degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. at the University of Arizonas Lunar and Planetary Laboratory in planetary science, the religious brother entered the Society of Jesus in 1989 and currently serves as curator of the Vatican Meteorite collection. (CNA)
Thousands of rare Vatican manuscripts to go online

Cradles increasingly empty as the number of births drops for 13th month in a row
S E O U L , S o u t h K o re a , March 28, 2014South Korea has experienced a drop in births for the 13th month in a row. Increasingly, the countrys empty cradles threaten its social development and economic stability. This January, the number of live births dropped by 6.3 per cent or 2,800 from the same month a year ago, an especially troubling figure since South Koreas birth rate (1,05 per cent) is one of the lowest in the world, this according to Statistics Korea. In a recent study, South Koreas statistical bureau reported 436,600 live births last year, a 9.9 per cent drop over 2012. The same paper showed that about 26,900 couples got married in January, down by 1,900 or 6.6 per cent from a year earlier. This trend is taking place despite efforts by government and religious leaders to push couples to have more children. Should it persist for any considerable period of time, the countrys welfare system, including health care and pensions, would be at risk. Aw a r e o f t h i s , t h e Catholic Church has always been involved in programmes to support families and procreation, this in a country where stem cell research is important, and genetics and cloning are major issues touching the population. In July 2012, the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs acknowledged the problem and called on the government to act by adopting profamily policies. According to the institute, too many people shy away from marriage and having children. The government must put in place a new system that provides health care and insurance to those who decide to start a family. We also need a change in mind-set, which is perhaps the most disturbing factor. In fact, economic growth and professional success have become the focus in the life of most South Koreans. Despite a slight rise since 2003, the number of women going on maternity leave in 2013 was only around 58,000. This is because, the report notes, people think that having children is a bad thing, or at least a problem. Instead, it is a good thing. (AsiaNews)

Thousands of rare manuscripts until now accessible only to scholars at the Vatican will go online over the next four years, thanks to help from a Japanese information technology company. Officials of NTT DATA Corporation and the Vatican Library announced their joint project at a news conference March 20. The library, founded by Pope Nicholas V in the 15th century, preserves some 82,000 manuscripts dating back to the early centuries of Christianity. Among its treasures are an illustrated edition of the works of the Roman poet Virgil, produced around the year 400, and illustrations of Dantes Divine Comedy by the 15th-century Renaissance master Sandro Botticelli. The library has been scanning its collection for several years with help from various nonprofit groups, and has already digitally archived 6,800 manuscripts, said Msgr. Cesare Pasini, the librarys prefect. But so far only some 300 documents are accessible on its website (vaticanlibrary.va). (CNS)
Job creation is essential for promoting human dignity, pope says


In making economic policies and decisions, solidarity is too often treated as a dirty word, yet the only way out of the global financial crisis is to put peoplewith their dignity and creativityfirst, Pope Francis said. Meeting March 20 with about 1,700 officials, employees, retirees and laid-off workers from a large steelworks in Terni, Italy, Pope Francis said each person will have to make some sacrifices in order to help the entire community. If everyone does his part, if they all put the human person and human dignitynot moneyat the center of their concern, if they can consolidate an attitude of solidarity and fraternal sharing inspired by the Gospel, then it will be possible to get out of the swamp of an economic and employment situation that has been hard and difficult, the pope said. (CNS)

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 18 No. 7
March 31 - April 13, 2014

News Features

God never tires of forgiving us, Pope reects

Obama meets with Pope at time of tense relations with Church

VAT I C A N , M a rc h 2 7 , 2014U.S. President Barack Obamas March 27 meeting with Pope Francis comes at a time of tension between his administration and the Church over religious liberty, several Catholic leaders have said. There has been a great deal of acrimony over issues related to religious freedom. This is something new and quite serious, since it affects the ability of the Church to carry out its mission, V. Bradley Lewis, a philosophy professor at the Catholic University of America, told CNA March 26. He said relations between the U.S. government and the Catholic Church are quite vexed I dont believe they have been this vexed in my memory. Many Catholic dioceses, charities, universities, health care systems, and even the Little Sisters of the Poor, have filed legal challenges against the Obama administrations mandate requiring most employers to cover or aid access to procedures and drugs that violate Catholic teaching: sterilization and contraception, including some abortion-causing drugs. Lewis said that the contraception mandate has been a source of great tension, it is not an isolated incident. The Obama administration has revised conscience protection rules in federal health care law, and argued against protecting the hiring decisions of religious groups before the U.S. Supreme Courtan argument rejected in a unanimous decision by the justices. The administration also since Obama is in Europe to host the Nuclear Security Summit. For the first time, a U.S. president has agreed to the Catholic Churchs call for a world free of nuclear weapons, Love said. She noted the U.S. and the Holy See can find common ground in opposition to world hunger and human trafficking. Immigration issues are another point of discussion. However, she noted that the U.S. government is arming and funding the military capacities of governments such as Israel, Egypt, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, as well as non-state combatants in Syria, while the Church has emphasized the need to reduce trade in guns and conventional weapons that can worsen conflicts. Bishops in Africa and Latin America will tell you that their countries are awash in guns that were Made in the USA, Love said. According to Love, both the Holy See and the U.S. government work for peace in the Middle East, though the Holy See supports stronger protections for Palestinians, including Palestinian Christians. Following Obamas meeting with Pope Francis, and later with officials of the Secretariat of State, the Holy See press office stated that views were exchanged on some current international themes and it was hoped that, in areas of conflict, there would be respect for humanitarian and international law and a negotiated solution between the parties involved. (Kevin J. Jones/ CNA/EWTN News)

Pope Francis receives the sacrament of Confession at a penance service held at St. Peters Basilica, March 28, 2014.

Pope Francis and US President Barack Obama speak during a private audience at athe Vatican, March 27, 2014.

World meeting will engage all of society to help strengthen families

VATICAN, March 26, 2014The World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia next year will be open to families and people of different faiths, including no faith at all, to engage the wider society in dialogue and to serve and strengthen all families, organizers said. The gathering Sept. 22-27, 2015, is meant to be a gift not just for Catholics in Philadelphia, but for every person of good will in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the surrounding regions and the wider world, said Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia. Meetings that bring together thousands of people from many different parts of the world with different experiences are a source of tremendous joy and grace and have the power to transform, in deeply positive ways, the whole public community, the archbishop said at a Vatican news conference March 25. Archbishop Chaput visited the Vatican with Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter as part of a delegation of government, religious and community leaders meeting with Vatican officials to plan the 2015 international family gathering. They also expected to have an audience with Pope Francis during their March 24-26 visit. While the delegation leaders vowed to convince the pope to travel to Philadelphia to celebrate the closing Mass of the eighth World Meeting of Families, Archbishop Chaput said confirmation of the pope using the occasion to make his first pastoral visit to North America was not expected anytime soon. Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, which is helping prepare the meeting, said confirmation could come as late as six months before the event. The aim of the global gathering will be to help all families of the world and accompany them with an intelligent, courageous and loving pastoral approach, the Italian archbishop said. Archbishop Paglia called for intelligence in being able to read the current situation of todays families; courage to face the complex and numerous problems; (and) love for trying to solve them, keeping ever present the Gospel of the family and life. Vatican and church organizers are looking for the widest participation and input possible, the two archbishops said, including from members and representatives of other Christian churches and communities, different religions and women and men who are not religious, but are committed to bringing peace and good will to our world. People from different Christian communities and faiths who place value on the family can teach us something, Archbishop Chaput said, and we are sincere about being available and open to all kinds of input.

ended a contract with the U.S. bishops to help human trafficking victims. Its allies opposed the grant because the program would not facilitate access to abortion and contraception. Lewis commented that Pope Francis is in a very strong position to make a case to the president about the importance of religious freedom, in a way that cannot be perceived as politically motivated. I hope the president will listen. Chad Pecknold, a religion professor at the Catholic University of America, agreed with Lewis that the Obama administrations relationship with the Catholic Church has been tense. Some bishops have described the administration as hostile to the Catholic Church, and coercive of conscience. He attributed these hostilities largely to the governments agenda, rather

from any hostility of the Church toward the dulyelected government. Pecknold said Pope Francis is not unaware of these tensions, and though he will have wanted to diffuse them, he will almost certainly seek to stand with the fight for religious liberty, to defend the weak and unborn against the unjust exercise of free choice. He said it was unusual for U.S. presidents to visit the Pope until after the Second Vatican Council; but since John F. Kennedys presidency, every U.S. president has met with the Pope. This particular meeting between President Obama and Pope Francis is significant as their first meeting, and because of perceived symmetries between them on questions of economic justice, Pecknold reflected. However, he added that such meetings are so often symbolic, and it is uncertain whether substantive

discussions take place. Lewis said the Pope is a unique world leader who has no particular political or geopolitical agenda or interest. His agenda is the Gospel and his authority is moral and spiritual in nature, he added, suggesting other world leaders value discussions with the Pope because he has no ulterior motives and because so many of their citizens consider him a spiritual leader. Maryann Cusimano Love, a fellow of the Catholic University of Americas Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies, said the Church and the U.S. government have many areas of common concern in foreign policy and Pope Francis and Obama were likely to discuss these. She noted their shared concern for peace and anti-poverty work, and suggested they could discuss nuclear weapons,

When asked to what extent the gathering will open discussion up to the realities of singleparent homes, the divorced and samesex couples, A r c h b i s h o p Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, left, and Pennsylvania Chaput said Gov. Tom Corbett and wife Susan Manbeck Corbett wait for the start of a press conference with a delegation from the church al- Pennsylvania at the Vatican March 25. A delegation from ways embrac- Pennsylvania was meeting with Vatican officials to plan next es people who years World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. differ with the church and I life, he said. hope thats a stance we all take. A marriage is more than probI think all of us here have some- lems. Its a grace, its a gift and one in our family who is divorced we really want to start there and and maybe remarried again, he not start off with problems and said, or have family members who differences and condemning. We are in a same-sex relationship. want it to be an occasion of honest These are the reality facing many reflection, the joyful commitment people today, so not to deal with to family life, he said. those kinds of issues would be to Corbett and Nutter told Cathoignore the situation many people lic News Service they are excited live in, he said. about hosting the World Meeting But were not going to start of Families and would love to to focus on the problems and the have Pope Francis attend. They conflicts, Archbishop Chaput said. cited a real need to help todays We certainly want everyone to families. have a chance to speak when those The family is so important to opportunities are provided, but society and, particularly in this day were not going to be promoting and age, I think we see very much positions that are contrary to the a greater need for greater emphasis churchs expectations about family on the family, Corbett said. life either. More attention and focus on the It is a Catholic gathering and it family would help solve some of will emphasize Catholic teaching the problems of cities and counabout the family and openness to tries, he said. (Carol Glatz/CNA)

VAT I C A N , M a rc h 2 8 , 2014Pope Francis dedicated his homily at Fridays Mass to the mercy of God, emphasizing that while God is firm in his call for conversion, he is always waiting to receive the sinner with open arms. The God of mercy; he does not tire of forgiving. We are the ones who tire in asking for forgiveness, but he does not tire, the Pope observed in his March 28 Mass. Speaking to those gathered in the Vaticans Saint Martha guesthouse chapel, the Roman Pontiff began by calling attention to the days first reading, taken from Hosea, in which the prophet encourages the people of Israel to return to the true God, and revealing to them the Lords desire to make them prosper and bear fruit. From this book we are able to see how God always speaks to his people with tenderness, the Pope reflected. Even when God is strict in his invitation to convert, Pope Francis observed, his words always include this loving longing which reflects the fathers words to the prodigal son, Come back. It is time to come back home. This is the heart of our Father. God is like that: he does not tire, he does not tire. And God did this for many centuries, with so much apostasy among the people. And he always returns, because our God is a God who waits. Recalling how Adam left paradise with a punishment but also with a promise, the Roman Pontiff explained that the Lord is faithful to his

promise because he cannot deny himself. He is faithful. And, in this way, he waited for all of us, throughout all of history. He is the God who waits for us always. Observing how there are some who are far from the Church who might say, But father, I have so many sins, I do not know if he will be happy, Pope Francis echoed the words a priest might say in response, encouraging the person But try! If you want to know the tenderness of this Father, go to him and try. Then come and tell me. Noting that God will not tire of forgiving us our sins, the Pope said: Seventy times seven, always.Let us go forward with forgiveness, Pope Francis stated, adding that from a business point of view, the balance is negative. He always loses: he loses in the balance of things, but he wins in love. However, God is the first to fulfill the commandment of love, he noted, highlighting that he loves and does not know how to do otherwise. When a sinner returns to God, he does not celebrate like the banquet of the rich man, who had the poor Lazarus at his door, the Roman Pontiff observed, but rather, he holds a banquet, like the father of the prodigal son. Each person who has the courage to approach God will find the joy of his feast, the Pope stated, praying that all would think of our Father, who waits for us always and who always forgives us and celebrates our return. (CNA/EWTN News)


Catholic News

Indian Paulines mourn Filipina pioneer

MUMBIA, India, March 21, 2014 Sister Paola Perez Floria died Thursday, March 20, in the congregations Indian headquarters in Mumbai. She was 92. The death came just eight days ahead of the 69th anniversary of her joining a convent after running away from home. Hundreds of people from all religions and section of society turned up for the nuns funeral and burial on Friday. Our chapel and adjacent foyer were overflowing with mourners during the funeral m a s s , S i s t e r C l a re Ukken, the Indian provincial, told Matters India. The nun was buried at a section reserved for the Pauline family in the Sewri Christian cemetery near Parel, a Mumbai suburb. Sister Paola came to India in October 1951, just two months after the congregation opened its first house in the country. The Filipina nun, who was fondly called Sister Paola, was a real Pauline who inspired several generations of Indian nuns with her hard work, dedication and humor, said Sister Ukken, who knew the pioneer nun from 1967 when she joined their Delhi house as a candidate for religious life. S r. P a o l a e n t e r e d the congregation in Lipa on March 28, 1943. (mattersindia. com)

Prelate to pro-lifers: Truth matters, not numbers

MANILA, March 22, 2014A high-ranking Church official reassured pro-life advocates that God will always be with them in their fight for family and life at the Nuestra Seora de Gua Shrine in Ermita on March 22, before a muchawaited Supreme Court decision on the RH Law. Why be bothered by our small number, the lack of popular support, when what is more important is that we know we are fighting for the truththe truth that life is sacred? asked Lipa Archbishop Ramn Arguelles, who had come all the way from Batangas to celebrate the Holy Mass with other members of the clergy. In time for the Day of the Unborn on March 25, which coincides with the Feast of the Annunciation, the prelate encouraged the congregation to continue campaigning for the rights of the unborn even as it seems there are only a few of us in the struggle. Arguelles praised the assembled pro-lifers for their commitment in upholding the sanctity of life and family. Noting that even the present Philippine Constitution guarantees every Filipino citizens rights to life and family, the Lipa archbishop slammed the proposed Reproductive Health (RH) Law, which he stressed undermines these most sacred of rights. Except for the Vatican City, the headquarters of the Catholic Church, the Philippines remains the only state in the world where abortion of any form and in any stage is considered a serious crime. The majority of countries, even some where Catholicism is the predominant religion, opted to allow legalized abortion. Arguelles asked the faithful to pray for the Supreme Court (SC) to junk the RH Bill in favor of life not only because it is constitutional, but also Biblical. He minced no words in condemning SC magistrates who will reason that their decision on RH has nothing to do with religion. He enjoined the congregation to stay vigilant, lest the forces of darkness would have their way. The archbishop lamented that there are Catholic individuals and institutions that, having been contaminated by evil, see nothing wrong with the RH Law. Arguelles pointed out that they cannot call themselves Catholic and prochoice at the same time because the labels Catholic and pro-choice are mutually exclusive concepts. He countered those who accuse the Church of being outmoded, explaining that the Catholic Church is the Body of Christ and not an association of powerful persons with vested interests. He also criticized President Benigno Aquino for going against the legacy of his mother, former President Corazon Aquino, who was one of the architects of the 1987 Constitution, which guarantees the right of the unborn. But Arguelles hopes that with fervent prayers, these prodigal sons would soon be brought back to the House of God where there is truth, goodness, beauty, and perfection. When that happens, we must welcome them back and rejoice their return We shall not fail, because the Lord shall not fail us. We go with God because God goes with us. We shall prevail. We shall defeat the Evil One, he added. (Raymond A. Sebastin)



Spot the difference

CBCP Monitor
March 31 - April 13, 2014

Vol. 18 No. 7

ARGUABLY, there will not be any dent of difference even if the extended status quo ante (SQA) on the Reproductive Health Law is lifted by the Supreme Courtnot substantially, anyway. The SQA was proof enough that there is sanity and reason to the pleadings of the petitioners that the Reproductive Health Law goes against the basic law of the land. In the same breath, its legislation by both houses of Congress and its hasty signature by Malacaang demonstrate enough the brand of politics in this country where, if the highly reliable source of a Manila Standard Today column, dated March 28, 2014, is correct, the Executive Department dangles P25 billion in between the eyes of some members of the legislative branch just to wreck its independence and have it approve a bill that is so divisive and unpopular, but obviously an obsessive favorite by the Palaceor by a superseding foreign intervenor. Proponents of the RH Law have been massively campaigning through media that the delay in the implementation of the health law has been causing the rise in maternal deaths and in HIV-AIDS incidence. And their allies in business have also been propounding that the inclusive economic growth in this country is being compromised by the inoperability of this law and that the staggering growth of the Philippine population is the primary culprit in the high incidence of poverty and joblessness. Of course, these claims are not any closer to the truth. The rise in maternal deaths and HIV-AIDS incidence, granting the proponents statistics are not doctored as was once admitted in one Senate hearing, has no bearing on the implementation or otherwise of this law. For as long as hospitals in this country remain decrepit and health services not easily accessible to the greater populationnot to mention a health system whose paradigm is not pro-poor and a health department that is mired in corruption and politickingthis law which is preferentially biased towards spending billions of pesos annually more for the procurement of condoms and contraceptive pills will not help in alleviating the health problems in the country. Associating the rising population with poverty has long been debunked as myth. Yet RH Law advocates still make use of this gambit to easily convince the hoi polloi that they have to self-constrict or else the Philippine will be at the tail-end of Afghanistan. The situation of China and other highly-populated countries in Asia that are very progressive is a loud counter argument. On the other hand, the demographic winter phenomenon that threatens to wipe out populations from the face of the earth is enough to send a legislature shivering, if only understood. So, will the health law make any difference? Diminishing the incidence of corruption will.
Illustration by Brothers Matias

Poor Filipinos
THE above expression may have one or more of the following understandings: One, it is a big and deep lamentation about the pervasive poverty and misery the people of the Philippines are immersed in. Two, it is a big worry about the pitiful plight of the Filipinos under the rule of the present administration that is known for many things except competence and industry. Three, it is a sad expression of a big disregard and profound indifference the people are undergoing during reigning and ruling governments. Let it be said outright that the above heading has reference to the third understanding. In other words, yes, a big majority of the Filipinos are poor and miserable and the present administration has become an expert in declamation, but basically zero in effective action and executive function. But over and above these, there is the distinct errant, as well as, erratic fact about the ruling government that cries to heaven for vengeance. There are certain signal and terrible truths that make Filipinos, not only poor, but also fools. For example: They are taxed from birth to death. They are fooled by a good amount of technical jargon and official blahblah. They are inundated by laws that are not implemented. There are heinous crimes daily here and there. Killing people has

Oscar V. Cruz, DD

Views and Points

become customary, be these by murder or summary execution. Thievery has become customary. More. The salaries of workers are meager as always, but the cost of living is ever increasing. They work much, but get paid little. More. They eat little, but spend much. Public utilities are infallibly paid for while public services are automatically priced. Basic goods, as well as, basic necessities cost more and more as the days pass by. It is thus not altogether false to say that only human lives have become cheaper by the day the same way that women and children become buy-and-sell business materials. But there is one particularly blatant reality that validates the cry Poor Filipinos! And as usual, this has something to do with the disgusting kind of politics in the country plus, the equally disgusting number of politicians there are. There is one concrete and official, glaring and infuriating phenomenon that was recently published on how much money a Senator of Poor Filipinos getsuch as for the year 2012. A grand total of Php 45,041,316.24 in favor of a senator who seems, not only unable to speak English, but also cannot understand serious Tagalog. And there is the topnotch senator who got a grand total of Php 123,457,526.16 Poor Filipinos!

Lay Spirituality
THE various aspects of Church and social life in which the lay faithful are called to fulfill their role require a certain spirituality. Vatican II has occasioned the development of such spirituality. In the past times, the spirituality of the clergy and that of the laity were hardly differentiatedleading to the clericalization of the laity, with the clergy presenting to the laity a modified version of the clergys form of spirituality. Today, we understand more clearly that: This lay spirituality will take its particular character from the circumstances of ones state in life, from ones state of health and from ones professional and social activity. Whatever the circumstances, each one has received suitable talents and these should be cultivated, as should also the personal gifts he has from the Holy Spirity. (Christifideles Laici, 56). It is in the soil of life situation that the seed of holiness grows and bears fruit. Lay spirituality consists in being able to see the will of God operating, precisely in ones secular duties, in the ordinary things that one does, and in fulfilling them with as much love as one can muster. It is neither a devotional escape nor a pietistic flight from the problems of human work, from the problems in politics, business, and family relationships. Lay spirituality is deeply rooted in the secular, in the Fathers business in the fields, in the factories, in schools, in offices and homes. It is to lead an unselfish, other-centered and Christ-centered life in the world and in the Church. The National Catechetical Directory of the Philippines suggests that Filipino Catholic spirituality should (a) respect the indigenous cultural aspect of a popular religiosity that has been purified and elevated to sound Christian devotion; (b) include social concern for justice and the poor as an integral component; (c) unify all dimensions of daily life personal, families; (d) stress the training of lay leaders to participate with clergy and religious in conducting retreats, recollections, etc.; and (e) bring out the missionary consciousness indicative of the Philippine Church, and its openness to Asian ways of prayer and mysticism that are consonant with authentic Christian worship. (NCDP, p. 115). The position paper submitted by the CBCP on the occasion of the 1987 Synod on the Laity considered the following elements are necessary for lay spirituality: A genuine love for and personal commitment to Jesus Christ; love for the church; fidelity to her teachings and respect for their pastors; dedication to their families and to the apostolate of the family; love for neighbor, especially the poor and those in need; faith that does justice by dedicating themselves to the promotion of justice with involvement in the socio-politico-economic problems of the society where they live; regular reception of the sacraments and certain practices of devotion, especially in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary. (Along the Pathways of the Council: The Laity. 1987 Synod of Bishops, By P. S. Achutegui, S.J.). (PCP-II Acts of the Council Nos. 439-443) Acts and Decrees of the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines

Teresa R. Tunay, OCDS

and thats the truth

COULD you please translate this for me: Pnajuna nya shubilang nyibayo nyobang pnaeskerda nya chi ang muchos na mga sho-o. What about this: Nag nyumakay na ang mga badeth sa ngungka, nag stop look and listen ang windaloo. The first one reads in Tagalog: Pinauna niya sila sa kabilang ibayo, habang pinaaalis niya ang napakaraming tao. And the second one, Nang makasakay na sila sa bangka, tumigil ang hangin. A new language? Speaking in tongues? Thats how the Scriptures will read if LGBT enthusiasts gain enough momentum to come up with a Beki Bible. Beki means gay. The idea is brewing in social media to have the Bible translated into baklese (beki lingo, that is) in the hope that this will make the Filipino LGBT community understand the life of Jesus. I got into the loop when a (non-practicing) lesbian friend forwarded to me the thread on the topic. It seems some are that desirous to have the Beki Bible started; and theres a suggestion to publish a Beki dictionary as well.

Bible or Babel?
carols and Broadway musicals: lighthearted and carefree. I picked up swardspeak from having to collaborate with fashion designers and models for magazine pictorials. As far as I knew, the swards (also called badaf then) invented swardspeak because they wanted a sign of belonging or exclusivity (like a fraternity ring), a virtual code spoken only with those they considered colleagues. Thus, using swardspeak they could ridicule any unsuspecting person right under his nose with him being none the wiser about it. Obviously, the intention behind the invention was somewhat snobbish and uncharitable, and I doubt that swardspeak (primarily a tool of satire) has evolved to such a degree as to be considered a medium for spreading the Word of God. Imagine a homily done in baklese! Instead of encouraging people to listen to Gods Word they will just be entertained and amused at best. Sa ngalan ni fafa, ng anakis, at ng espiritu ek-ek, achi-ching! It will distract from the message and make people focus on
And Thats The Truth / A5

Because my friend, a member of a religious third order, is in that stage whentouched by Gods loveshe is re-evaluating (her) spiritual life along the line of evangelization, she has actually volunteered to be in the Beki Bible translating team. She mused, Maybe this is what God is calling me to do. If I didnt believe shes dead serious about her newfound Christianity, I would have dismissed the idea with a click of the mouse. But she is not a flighty type, shes really looking for meaning in her life, and so I found myself typing: No, re-think it, and most of all be silent and wait for direction from above. My knee-jerk reaction to this is, a dictionary would be out of the question because gay talk changes constantly, and according to region or particular groups. Then, too, and this is the heavier concernfor sure a Beki version will trivialize the Bible. Back in 1969 when I wrote a feature article on swardspeakthe first ever, according to a prominent editor thenhomosexuals were called swards, and the word gay simply meant what it meant in Christmas

Nourishing our spirit

WE need to be more aware of this need and do all we can to develop the appropriate attitude and skills. In fact, we need to cultivate a culture that fosters due attention to this need. While its true that we have to take care of our physical and material needs, it is even more important to be mindful of our spiritual needs. Our problem now is that we tend to give a lot of consideration to our bodily needs at the expense of our spiritual needs. Let us clarify. We are made up of body and soul. Lets hope this truth, so basic, is no longer put into question and debated upon. That we have a body is obvious. We can see, touch and feel it. That we have a soul that is spiritual is actually also obvious, because we can think, know, choose, love, etc. These latter operations indicate that there is something spiritual in us since these operations are spiritual in nature. They may start with the material world, but they proceed in ways that are abstracted from the physical world, and therefore spiritual, as we now deal with ideas, judgments, reasoning and conclusions. Since we are capable of doing something spiritual, there must also be something spiritual in us. Thats because the character of an action indicates the nature of the one doing that action. If the action is spiritual, then it is presumed that the doer is also spiritual in nature, at least as a constituent part of that nature. The principle followed here is expressed in Latin as operare sequitur esse (operation follows being). In other words, ones nature determines the kind and scope of ones actions. What one is determines what one can do. The first step we do to nourish our spiritual needs is to start knowing things. Thats why babies are shown things and little by little, are taught what these things are, how they are. Then

Fr. Roy Cimagala

Candidly Speaking
the lifelong process of instruction, education and formation takes place. We should, however, realize that our spiritual needs would not be fully met unless we connect them to the very source of our spirituality. Since these spiritual needs would not be fully satisfied with its mere nourishment of worldly knowledge, we have to realize that they can only be fully met if they are related to their spiritual source. The knowledge of worldly things, like our sciences and arts that mainly deal with material and temporal objects, cannot fully satisfy our spiritual needs. That is why we have an innate desire for happiness that cannot be satisfied with material things alone, like money, health, and even power and fame. Our spiritual nature will always look for something that is spiritual in origin and in totality, and therefore eternal and immutable. This is when we get a primitive sense of religiosity, because we somehow would know that this spiritual origin must be a being we call God, a supreme being to whom we attribute all perfections even if we dont know what all these perfections are. This phenomenon is described in the Catechism in this way: In many ways, throughout history down to the present day, men have given expression to their quest for God in their religious beliefs and behaviorin their prayers, sacrifices, rituals, meditations, and so forth. These forms of religious expression, despite the ambiguities they often bring with them, are so universal that one may well call man a religious being. (CCC 28) This is the basis why we can say that to nourish our spiritual soul, we need to relate ourselves to God and not just to things of the world. And this relation
Candidly Speaking / A5

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CBCP Monitor
Vol. 18 No. 7
March 31 - April 13, 2014

Protect Life, Save Life!
(BECs). It is highlighted by the celebration of the Area Street Mass. For several years now, instead of having the Siete Palabras (7 Last Words) on Good Friday, the parish holds it from Holy Monday to Holy Wednesday. The 5 new ordained priests of the Diocese will give the reflections: Holy Monday, Fr. Ricky Omol (1st Last Word) and Fr. James Anthony del Rosario (2nd Last Word); Holy Tuesday, Fr. Caloy Ida (3rd and 4th Last Words) and Fr. Joey Enriquez (5th Last Word); Holy Wednesday, Fr. Ken Neral (6th and 7th Last Words). Everyone is welcome to join the Lenten activities prepared by the parish. As Pope Francis tweets Lent is a time of grace, a time to convert and live out our baptism fully. *** The Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas or Laiko (formerly Council of the Laity of the Philippines), Board of Officers and Trustees paid a courtesy call to His Grace Most Rev. Giuseppe Pinto, the Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines. The Board updated the Nuncio on the Year of the Laity activities. The Nuncio thanked the Laiko Officers and Trustees for being involved in propagating the faith. He said, there is one priest for every 10,000 faithful and the Church needs the laity to communicate to the lapsed Catholics the joy of the Gospel, the need to return to the Church, and to get involved in Church activities. As a souvenir of the Laikos visit to the Nunciature, the Nuncio gave everyone a holy rosary from Vatican City. Thank you very much, Nuncio Giuseppe Pinto; we pray for your good health. *** The Sangguniang Laiko regrets to inform you that the Pilgrimage to the Canonization of Blessed John Paul II and Blessed John XXIII In the Year of the Laity has been cancelled. Laiko was not able to gather enough participants to have a pilgrimage. The canonization of the two Popes is scheduled on April 27, 2014 at St. Peters Basilica Square. *** I wish to greet my brother, Roberto Santiago, and his wife, Ma. Loreto, a happy 24th wedding anniversary. Also I send out birthday greetings to Fr. John Benedict Cervantes, Fr. Antonio Nopasa, Fr. Ricardo Torrefiel, Fr. Leo Pepito, Fr. Rockmoore Saniel,OMI and Ryan Rezo from the Diocese of Kalookan, as well as my brother-in-law Celestino Rosales, the better-half of my Ate Lita Rosales.

Nigel Zimmerman

Atty. Aurora A. Santiago

Duc in Altum
Give us the grace When the sacredness of life before birth is being attacked, to stand up and proclaim that no one ever has the authority to destroy the unborn life. ~ Blessed John Paul II. THE Justices of the Supreme Court will deliberate on the constitutionality of the RH Law (Reproductive Health) in April. We request everyone to pray for the intercession of our Blessed Mother Mary. May she cover our beloved Justices with her mantle so that they will be enlightened about the bad effects of the RH Law. Let us offer our fasting, abstinence and sacrifices this Lenten season, so that our dear Justices will decide that RH Law is really unconstitutional. Let us continue praying the Oratio Imperata for the Respect of all Human Life. God, our loving Father, Creator and lover of all life, You fashioned in your own image and likeness every human person. Give us the strength and courage to defend and protect human life from conception to natural death. We pray for your divine healing, comfort and peace for all affected by past abortions. Help us serve actively in alleviating the sufferings and troubles of all women with pregnancy problems. We pray that all our leaders and legislators may be guided by the grace of the Holy Spirit to act responsibly on this critical present issue. Mary, our loving Mother, to you we entrust the cause of life. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen! Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us! Saint Rosa of Lima, pray for us! Saint Lorenzo Ruiz, pray for us! Saint Pedro Calungsod, pray for us! *** Congratulations to 2014 Graduates; we wish you more success. Congratulations also to all parents who exerted their best effort to send their children to schools. You are holy heroes in your own way because you do not want your children to experience the hardships of life if they would not be able to go to school. Education is indeed the greatest legacy that you can bequeath to your children. God bless you all. *** The San Ildefonso de Navotas Parish decided to adapt, as its Lenten Recollection, the CBCP Episcopal Commission on the Laitys formation program for the Year of the Laity titled Holy Heroes: Called to be Saints Sent Forth as Heroes. It is now being conducted throughout the 5 Tuesdays of Lent from 7:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. The parish also conducts the Way of the Cross every Friday at 7:30p.m. in the Basic Ecclesiastical Communities

Pope Francis historic mission to the Middle East

The new Pope is popular because of his concern for the marginalized, but he is not neglecting Christian unity.
POPE Francis announced this month he will visit the Middle East in May this year. While it has been foreshadowed since the first weeks of his papacy, this event will place the Churchs first South American Pope in the historic homeland of Christian faith, the Holy Land, which has witnessed a significant decrease in its Christian population in recent years. Beyond the headlines, the long-term significance of the visit should be interpreted in light of the hope of unity between Christians. Notably, Francis has referred to the ecumenism of blood in parts of the world where Christians have lost their lives for the sake of their faith (ecumenism refers to efforts to unite Christians). Francis has encouraged all Christiansnot just Catholicsto pray for the gift of unity. In places where Christian numbers are dwindling, the Pope is urging churches to seek each other out in unity. In this difficult context, His Holiness has identified one principal goal of his pilgrimage: to commemorate the 1964 meeting in Jerusalem between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras I of Constantinople (the head of the Eastern Orthodox Churches). In fact, the announcement of this new anniversary tour was made on January 5, 2014, 50 years to the day since the first meeting between leaders of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. Pope Francis will meet with the Orthodox Patriarch, Bartholomew I at the site of the Holy Sepulchre, which Christians revere as the place of Jesus burial. The Bishop of Rome (Francis) will also visit Bethlehem, the birthplace of Christ, and Amman, Jordan, an important historical city for Christians, Jews and Muslims. It should be remembered that the Great Schismthe split between the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches, which became official in the year 1054resulted in the Western and Eastern traditions of the Church continuing to develop largely in isolation from one another. Out of the meeting in 1964 came the mutual rescinding of excommunications between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. Since then, neither Church has been in an official state of hostility or excommunication. For too long, the East and the West have been out of communion, and out of touch, but the new era, post 1964, has seen a renewed appreciation and attentiveness to one another. By focusing his Holy Land pilgrimage on commemorating the meeting of his predecessor with the spiritual leader of the Eastern Orthodox Churches, Pope Francis is putting into effect the sentiments of a Common Declaration jointly published by the Pope and the Patriarch after the latter visited Rome in 1967. There, both emphasized not only a commitment to the restoration of unity, but stated that: an essential element in the restoration of full communion between the Roman Catholic Church on the one side and the Orthodox Church on the other, is to be found within the framework of the renewal of the Church and of Christians in fidelity to the traditions of the Fathers and to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit Who remains always with the Church. This was no mere rhetoric. Despite serious hiccups along the way, the dialogue between East and West was pursued by a previous Pope, John Paul II, in his implementation of the Second Vatican Council and, following a sad respite from its work, was officially re-instated by Francis predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI. What Pope Francis has done is focus on Christian unity as a real and personal goal that will take place through a renewal of the Churchs mission. That is to say, as the Church continually returns to its roots; in Scripture, in the traditions of the first millennium, in the enactment of its proclamation of the Gospel, in its appeal to Gods mercy for every human person, so also will the Church discover the means by which the East and the West will return to full and tangible unity. Since his election in March last year, Pope Francis has embarked on a reform agenda that builds on the work of his immediate predecessors. There is a sense of renewed invigoration in the Catholic world that is, paradoxically perhaps, matched by the Popes popularity in the secular world, such as Time Magazines designation of Francis as Person of the Year. Many have struggled to comprehend what the driving force is in this appreciation for Francis, a preacher who kisses the disabled, denounces exploitation of the poor, encourages us all to give to others, and not to stop when it hurts. And perhaps that is the key: Pope Francis makes the Gospel a tangible, personal, face-to-face event. He wants to shake your hand, speak to each person in the room, tell every lost soul that God loves them. Historyand theologyfor Francis, is personal. The Holy Land pilgrimage will be an opportunity to extend this personal approach. In seeking out Christian unity in the midst of the troubles of the Middle East, the signs are that Francis will make this more than a dialogue. He will make it a personal relationship that helps to overcome the prejudices of history. It will be a large-scale echo of Francis famous embrace of Bartholomew I, the leader of the Eastern Orthodox Churches, at the Papal inauguration, during which Francis exclaimed My brother Andrew. Andrew was the brother of Peter, the first Bishop of Rome, and so the gesture was both symbolic and fraternal. However it goes, and whatever other issues are dealt with, Pope Francis journey to the Middle East and the Holy Land will be a defining journey on the question of Catholic-Eastern Orthodox unity. Attentive eyes will recognize this; much of the worlds media will misunderstand its historic and its personal importance. (Nigel Zimmermann lectures at the University of Notre Dame, Australia. This article is sourced from MercatorNet with permission).
Candidly Speaking / A4

Dont Let It Go!

FROM inside a confessional adjacent to the schools main auditorium, I audibly heard the students cheering! This was their last student assembly for the school year and after a week or two of grueling exams, school would be finally over. Their cheers gradually subsided. Another sound filled the auditorium and stole into the chapel. I couldnt resist humming to the tune since the familiar melody was so catchy and the rhythm just youthfully coool! It was Let it go! from Disneys movie Frozen. Even though the song was originally sang by a woman, the students couldnt keep themselves from shrilling at the top of their voices. This was only so obvious, especially when the message of this Oscar winning song is what every personyoung or old yearns for: independence or freedom! In or out of tune, the students triumphantly screamed the refrain: Let it go let it go! I readily related to them, because I knew exactly how it felt some years ago when I would have sang a similar tune to make a claim for my independence. As children grow, the natural desire to think, speak out and do what they felt like doing was a sign of growing up and acquiring ones identity. With young people I have talked with, the topic of independencenot to mention their so-called love-lifeis always an issue that arises. They feel that as they grow up, they expect their parents to trust them more. They feel parents dont give them the space they badly need to explore things and make decisions on their own. This is why many young people identity with Ana and Elsa, the two sisters in Frozen. Without really wanting to, their efforts to discover and grow in their freedom only chilled their relationship and eventually

Fr. Francis Ongkingco

any discernment. In turn, this prevents the formation of ideals and convictions. Finally, without a clear end in mind, the person is reluctant to make any commitment to God and others. A cold and unnatural fear develops that only leads to personal preservation, isolation and satisfaction. The secret to true freedom is not the false idea of letting go but of NOT letting go of God. Once we let go of God, we let go of everything, that is, life loses its true meaning. Sometimes holding on to God, to our faith and its demands, to obedience to our parents and to our chores or civil duties may not be easy. But in the end if all of these are done out of love, there will be a clearing moment when we will truly mature in our spiritual life and self-giving. Like Ana and Elsa, we will discover that the key to exercise our freedom properly is within the context of love: our love for God, our love for parents and friends. This is when we learn to nurture a nobler sense of independence in the form of reflective spontaneity, incisive creativity, discerning initiative, and a cheerful sense of service. Such splendid character traits are the true manifestations of youthful freedom in the person. These are the habits that will gradually remove the degrading forms of false freedom in laziness, egoistic entitlement, emotional indifference, rebelliousness and frivolous critical-mindedness. So when we feel or become aware of our disordered tendencies in our minds, hearts, passions and flesh, let us sing out a song a prayerto our Lord, singing, Dont let go! Dont let go! And with the words of St. Josemara we can repeat: Lord, may I have not other freedom, than the freedom of loving you!

froze it (as well as the entire kingdom) temporarily. But was it really their parents fault? Elsa and Anas parents felt that the best way to help their children was to keep Anas freezing power always concealed. As the movie narrates, and life as well, parents often have the best intentions to why they limit or give certain parameters to their childrens exploration of freedoms horizon. Adults have already experienced a great deal of life and do not to want their children to suffer what they have suffered in their own wrong notions of being free and independent. The plot freezes further in Frozen when the parents of Ana and Elsa tragically die. The sisters are left to manage their own lives. When things get out of hand, Elsa finally renders a chilling expression of breaking out of what she had hidden from everyone: Letting it go! Undoubtedly, letting go or removing certain physical and moral limits has its own apparent and temporary rewards. When everyone discovers what she had been hiding, Elsa flees and lets out a blizzard of powers she had never done before. She is now FREE! but more than ever ALONE! The sense of fulfillment that everyone feels, especially the young, when they manage to break away from certain moral or religious barriers is only temporary. They begin to realize that such a great power as freedom must be exercised with great responsibility. Misusing it, that is, employing it for limited selfish ends will only result to isolating oneself more and enslaving him to his vices. To equate freedom to simply doing what I like and how I feel like is not freedom but licentiousness. It does not allow any room for

Melo M. Acua

Issues and Concerns

IT was a red-letter day for both the Aquino government and the once-outlawed Moro Islamic Liberation Front last March 27, as both parties signed the much-awaited Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro. Of course, it was a historical event because it brought a ray of hope for peace to reign in one of the poorest areas of the Philippines, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. No less than Mohager Iqbal and Professor Miriam Coronal-Ferrer signed the agreement with members of both panels in attendance and witnessed by President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III and the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. Peace, as they say, will encourage local and foreign businessmen to consider Mindanao for their expansion programs. Having seen the vast areas of what used to be Camp
And Thats The Truth / A4

A Ray of Hope
make their presence felt in the countryside. While the government has successfully won over the MILF to its side, the sad reality remains: political warlords in the area still exist and some are even reportedly aligned with current national government leaders, while some are active Liberal Party members. The government expects the MILF to deliver on their promises. However, the possibility remains that traditional politicians and their private armed groups will manifest their presence and influence in southern Philippines. Despite all these, there still exists a ray of hope for Mindanao to reap the fullest benefits from the recently-signed CAB, that peace and development will eventually become a reality. whatever we undertakeespecially when its done in the name of Godwe need to purify our intentions. By doing this Beki Bible thing, can we honestly say we want God to increase, and we decrease? I concluded my post with No, lets not add to the confusion in Babel. And thats the truth.

Abubakar where then Chairman Hashim Salamat held fort, agricultural ventures would prove to be viable. In fact, ASEAN countries look forward to bringing employment to the once-neglected areas in Southern Philippines. No less than Nasser A. Marahomsalic, then Commission on Human Rights official, said the CAB is the best thing that ever happened to Filipino Muslims. Everything will depend on the Bangsamoro Basic Law, which both panels need to craft according to schedule. This organic law will have to pass Congress and would require President Aquinos signature. Barring constitutional issues, the MILF will take part in the political exercises in 2016. Should the MILF make good on their commitment with regard normalization and decommissioning, their candidates may lose should traditional politicians once again

the medium, dont you think? A huge chunk of the congregation would probably be giggling, while a handful will most likely ask the bishop to expel the priest. Back to the Beki Bible thread: I followed it, noticed that a certain Reverend is part of it. Hmmm I found myself typing again: What they want

done isnt that simple. Its a long process theyre facing and before they finish halfway, the gay vocabulary will have changed several times over due to its faddish naturethats the way it is. What I dont want to happen is for any so-called new Church project to be divisive: any projectnot just the Beki Biblewhich spawns

cliques in the Church. I have no problem with LGBTs, I would root for harmony for mankind -whatever the color of ones skin, one faith, or ones bed habits, doesnt matter. All to introduce a novelty and to say were doing this for God, but do we feel it in our core? There is such a thing as purity of intention, thus, in

with God is nourished and sustained through prayer, through familiarizing and meditating on the Word of God and the other things used by God to reveal Himself.. These other nourishing means can be the sacraments which God through Christ in the Spirit and in the Church has instituted to perpetuate His presence and action in us. Nourishment of the spirit can also be done by developing the

virtues that would make us better persons, and in effect would make us resemble God in whose image and likeness we are. It is also attained by taking care of our spiritual formation which we should pursue in a continuing way. Offhand, what I would like to stress is the meditation of the word of God as revealed to us by Christ, since that word contains all the wisdom we need to be true children of God!

Pro-lifers renew call to junk RH Law

Local News

CBCP Monitor
March 31 - April 13, 2014

Vol. 18 No. 7

Cardinal Tagle receives 6th Vatican appointment

MANILA Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle received another task in the Roman Curia in what is his sixth Vatican appointment. The latest is Pope Francis appointment of Tagle as member of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. The appointment was officially announced in the Vatican last Saturday as the pope continues Curia confirmations. This is his membership in as many Vatican offices, the Manila Archdiocesan Office of Communications said. The cardinals new appointment came two weeks after he was named among the three presidents delegate for the 3rd Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. Set to take place from Oct. 5 to 9 at the Vatican, the synod is being convened to discuss the theme of pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelization. The other presidents delegate of the synod include Cardinal Andr Vingt-Trois, Archbishop of Paris, France and Cardinal Raymondo Damasceno Assis, archbishop of Aparecida, Brazil Last February, Pope Francis also appointed Tagle as member of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. The cardinal is currently a member of the Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education. He is also a member of the Permanent Council of the Synod of Bishops. In 2012, he received two appointments: member of the Pontifical Council for the Family and the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant People. Tagle also served as member of the XIII General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization in Octo-

Pro-lifers marched from T. M. Kalaw Street and the Quirino Grandstand, bringing an image of Mary Mediatrix of All Grace, who has become an icon of the fight for life in the Philippines.

IN a relentless bid to continue raising public awareness on the alleged evil of the Reproductive Health (RH) Law, hundreds of Catholics from various lay and church groups trooped the Quirino Grandstand grounds last March 22 for a A Million PrayersA March for Life rally. Pro-Life Philippines executive director Lorna Barcarse Melegrito stressed, the RH Law, should it be finally implemented fully, would spawn a culture of death and sexual immorality among Filipinos, especially the youth. Confident that they are fighting for what is right, they circled the whole area between T. M. Kalaw Street and the Grandstand several times despite the dizzying heat in protest of the RH Law. Led by Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, the protesters prayed the holy rosary in the hope that this might help proponents of the RH Law see the light and reconsider their position. Before starting the rally, the prelate celebrated holy mass at the Ermita Shrine where he denounced supporters of the RH Law as having been misled by the evil one. Arguelles likened these prochoice and RH Law advocates to the Prodigal Son in the famous

Gospel parable. He urged the attendees to pray for the Supreme Court (SC) magistrates so that they would be divinely guided in their decision concerning the RH Law. The Batangueo archbishop particularly expressed his disappointment with President Benigno S. Aquino (PNoy) whom he observed is not living up to the legacy of his late mother, Corazon C. Aquino. After the success of the socalled People Power revolution in 1986, which sent dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos packing, then president Corazon Aquino called for the creation of a new charter which would accommodate a number of much needed amendments. Among the noteworthy achievements of what has been tagged the Freedom Constitution is its pronouncement on the sanctity of family life and the right to life of both the mother and the unborn. In Article II, Section 12 of this charter, it reads in part, 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. (Raymond A. Sebastin)

Raymond A. Sebastin

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle

2nd Peafrancia Short Film Festival launched

CACERES Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona together with Caceres Commission on Communications (CCCom) Director Fr. Luisito Occiano launched the 2nd Peafrancia Short Film Festival last March 25 with the theme, Choose to be brave, to live and love like Ina. This years film festival focuses on two important elements: celebrating the Year of the Laity and heeding the call to be like Mary. Participating film enries must have a story that centers on a strong and stirring devotion to the Lady of Peafrancia, Patroness of Bicolandia. While Mary is commonly called as Our Lady, Madonna, Nuestra Seora, Notre Dame, Mahal na Birhen, the Virgin of Peafrancia is fondly addressed by the Bicolanos
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ber 2012 and as vice-president of the Commission for the

Message of the same assembly. (CBCPNews)

as INA, an endearing Bicol term which literally means Mama. It connotes motherly protection and guidance; a refuge, said Church historian Fr. Rex Andrew Alarcon, describing the Bicolanos relationship with the Blessed Virgin. Hence, filmmakers must also be able to capture this prominent relationship, while featuring a deeply Bicolano culture, which inherently includes a deep sense of piety. The Festival, which is open to all nonprofessional and professional filmmakers, also enjoins participants to find inspiration in the call of the Year to be active witnesses of Christ who spread the Good News wherever they go. Interested participants must submit their registration form which includes
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a fee of PhP 2,500 on or before April 30. The film must not be more than 30 minutes in length and must be submitted together with the synopsis of the movie. Participants are allowed to shoot during the processions held over the Summer Peafrancia Festival, May 19 for the Traslacion and May 23 for the Fluvial Procession. All entries, however, must be submitted on July 30. Winners will receive cash prizes: PhP 100,000 (1st), PhP 75,000 (2nd), PhP 50,000 (3rd), and PhP 25,000 (Peoples Choice Award). Through the Peafrancia Short Film Festival, the CCCom opportunely encourages filmmakers to embark on a spiritual journey with Christ and His mother, Mary. (Natalie Hazel Quimlat)

Catechist shot dead in Misamis Occidental

AN active catechist, who was also a barangay councilor, was shot dead at close range last March 24. Nora Sumingit-Macan, also known as Angging, a Subanen, aged 43, was shot at approximately 9 a.m. while harvesting sayote in her garden, near the Dimoruk river, Barangay Lampasan, Don Victoriano Chiongbian, Misamis Occidental. At the time of the shooting, Nora Macan was with her husband, Sabilo Macan, and their neighbor Carling Gumapon, single, who was helping them with the harvesting. According to Fr. Brendan A. Kelly, MSSC priest in-charge of
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Don Victoriano Parish, Sabilo is alive, while the status of Gumapon is unverified. The killing, Fr. Kelly said, may have been politically motivated. The present situation is volatile. As of now, there is a prevailing and pervasive atmosphere of fear, he said. Nora Sumingit-Macan leaves three children: Norbilo, 19 years old; Jennyben, 17 years old (a seminarian) and Marvin, 13 years old. She was the daughter of the late Mr. Claros Sumingit and Mrs. Narcisa Jutba-Sumingit and sister of Villorimo, Federico, Evangelyn, Junito, Rosalyn, Elsa and Junel. (ECIP National Secretariat)

aside from church activities, the plan is for the structures to also serve as evacuation centers in times of calamities. What is important with these chapels is they are built in a way that it is reinforced to withstand Category 5 typhoons, Pascual said. It can also be utilized as evacuation centers since it will have faucets and comfort rooms aside from foremost being a chapel, he said. The social action arm of the Archdiocese of Manila is eyeing about 20 to 30 chapels, but Pascual said it still depends on the availability of funds. So far, he said that the

construction of eight chapels has already been completed, while 15 are still under construction. According to the priest, a chapel may cost at least P500, 000 to P900, 000, depending on its size. For those completed, I think we may have shelled out about P6 million already, more or less, Pascual added, as he appealed for more help for the project. He noted the difficulty in allocating funds for the cons t ruct i on of cha p els sinc e many donations are specified for livelihood, education and housing projects. (CBCPNews)

Young and old devout Catholics crowd the Radio Veritas Chapel to venerate several relics of Blessed John Paul II.

Jesuits in the U.Sare reporting that they have never seen a year like the last 12 months in terms of inquiries about priestly vocations. They are reporting a surge in vocations, CNN Vatican correspondent John Allen said during a recent press conference at the Divine Word Seminary. According to Allen, who has been covering the Vatican for the past twenty years, this phenomenon is probably because people are connecting the dots. They like what they see in Francis, they know that hes a Jesuit, so theyre reaching out to the Society of Jesus to sort of see if this might work for them as well, he explained. Though it is hard to conclude at present whether the spike in inquiries about the religious life for one male religious congregation would translate to an over-all increase in
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vocations over the long-term, Allen foresees the Francis Effect doing nothing but good in this area. My guess is that over time, I think you probably will see some slight upticks in vocations, in mass attendance, I think, particulary in demand for the sacrament of confession because thats such an emphasis of this pope, Allen, who is now the associate editor of The Boston Globe, added. Despite glowing reports about the purported ripples of the Francis Effect, Allen was quick to qualify that matters like vocations, mass attendance and even the number of people going to the Sacrament of reconciliation should not be the criteria for judging Pope Francis papacy. These are long term historical trajectories that depend on a lot of things that are not

under a popes control. I wouldnt want to make the measure of Francis success or failure quantifiable things like that, he said. Allen, who also writes the regular column, All Things Catholic, emphasized instead the centrality of Pope Francis vision of the Catholic Church becoming the field hospital in which the wounds of humanity are cured and how this should be the defining character of his papacy. If we pulls that off, his papacy would have been a success regardless of what happens to vocations and mass attendance, he concluded. Allen recently gave a talk on the impact of Pope Francis on media, and popular culture at the Divine Word Seminary last March 12. (Nirvaana Ella Delacruz)

In listening and learning, consequently, we go through a process of formation, our minds and hearts are formed to become better persons, perhaps better bearers of the Good News, better evangelizers, added Vergara. Social communicators Echoing the words of Pope Francis, Vergara noted the need for Catholic individuals to be more engaged in evangelizing the good news through social communications. Vergara mentioned how the Holy Father pointed out that the main challenge in social communications is not principally technological, but something personal. Even in the context of social communications, the Church is required to bring warmth, to warm heartsWe hold a precious treasure that is to be passed on, a treasure that brings light and hope, he noted.

All this, however, requires a careful and thorough formation in this area for priests, for religious men and women, for laity. The great digital continent does not only involve technology, but is made up of real men and women who bring with them what they carry inside, their hopes, their suffering, their concerns, their pursuit of truth, beauty, and good, Vergara added. Tripartite mission Aside from undergoing formation, Vergara said, part of the tripartite mission to effectively evangelize is to listen to what the faithful have to say and to continuously learn from the Divine. In your job as broadcasters, you and I know that you care so much for your listenerswhat they listen to from the radio and how they react to what they listen to. In the same vein, I want

to assure you that my ministry in Social Communications will be a listening ministry, Vergara said. He told the audience that this listening ministry is something the masses, the poorest of the poor definitely need. I am aware that in order to know your needs, I have to listen first, listen well and listen with my mind and heart so that I can best respond to what is needed in our task to proclaim the Gospel so that [they], may be able to eventually listen to no one else but God who speaks through us, he added. Learning ministry Vergara, who served for eight years as Chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Seminaries prior to his appointment to the ECSCMM, admitted that he has a lot of things to learn in the ministry

of social communications. I make a leap of faith as I embark into this ministry of social communications. I must admit and I humbly tell you: I do not know a lot of things about this ministry, Vergara said in Filipino. He urged the faithful to take the task of evangelizing as a learning ministry that could help everyone explore more opportunities to reach out to those who need to know His Good News The process of learning may only be fulfilled through continuous unlearning and relearning of the lessons acquired through ones day-to-day living, he said. Let us just be consoled that we have only one teacher, our true Master, our only Rabbi our Lord Jesus Christ. So let us learn from no one less but Him, Vergara said. (Jennifer M. Orillaza)

hair strands and blood stains of the Pope. The rest, which are second-class relics, are his skullcap; a large piece of his cassock; a rosary; a purificator used during the beatification of San Lorenzo Ruz; a Missal; a papal medal; a piece of a chasuble; and a piece of the bed sheet on which the Pope died. These sacred relics are the closest we could get to Pope John Paul, since many of us here could never afford a plane ticket to Rome, said Gene Suarez, a retired grade-school teacher from Iloilo, who is a frequent visitor to the Veritas Chapel. Suarez could not contain her emotions upon viewing up-close the personal effects of whom she called her beloved Pope. I learned about this event only yesterday and I was almost literally flying from my house in Valenzuela just to get here before it gets too crowded, she explained. A widowed mother of four, the 67 year-old Suarez shared that she asked the Popes intercession that she may be given better health. When he was still alive, I was only able to see him on TV. His relics here make me feel as if the Pope is just here with us. I could not be any happier, she added. Totus Tuus Tour events chairman Dave Ceasar Dela Cruz said the tour aims to deepen Filipinos devotion to the late pontiff. He recalled that Filipinos have a special place in Pope John Paul IIs heart and this love had been reciprocated many times, especially during the pontiffs second and last visit to the country

where millions came to see him at the Quirino Grandstand for the 1995 World Youth Day. This papal crowd, which Guinness acknowledges as the biggest gathering of Christians on record, gave rise to the now famous concept of the Filipino Phenomenon which the pope himself noted. Dela Cruz added, the relics mean to bring Filipinos closer to the late pope, particularly those too young to remember him. But Radio Veritas news consultant Fr. Nick Lalog warned that the veneration of relics would be useless if the wonderful experience of them is not shared to others. If properly internalized, relics must lead us to God. They must show us the way to Christian living. If these conditions are not met, there is something amiss, he explained. In response to non-Catholics who accuse Catholics of idolatry because of the veneration of relics, Lalog said this is never the case. He explained, Catholics do not worship relics. Catholics attachment to relics can be likened to a golf enthusiast, who for some reason, has found Tiger Woods favorite golf club and decides to keep it to remind him of the legendary golfer. If we even treasure a handkerchief of our boyfriend or girlfriend, how much more of a person who has lived a life of holiness? For the complete schedule of the Totus Tuus Tour, please visit www.jp2relics.blogspot. com and www.facebook.com/ stjohnpaulrelics. (Raymond A. Sebastin)

Raymond A. Sebastin


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 18 No. 7
March 31 - April 13, 2014

Diocesan News


Caceres sets up ministry for PWDs

The Archdiocese of Caceres exerts extra effort to address the spiritual and physical needs of PWDs.

Pasig diocese holds 2nd Catholic Mass Media Awards

PASIG CityThe Diocese of Pasig will be honoring local individuals and institutions that have excelled in the field of media and communications at the second Pasig Catholic M a s s M e d i a Aw a rd s ( P C MMA) this coming June. The event aims to recognize the contributions of local print and broadcast journalists to the promotion of Catholic values through the mass media. Individuals and groups whether religious or secular, governmental or non-governmental, parishes or schools within the territory of the Pasig diocese are eligible to join. Non-Catholics are also welcome to participate. The deadline for submission of entries is on April 30. The screening period follows from May 1 to May 30. Winners will be recognized in the awarding ceremony slated on June 7. According to the diocese, entries will be judged based on their promotion of the following values: love for God, love for truth, love for family and life, love for positive Filipino values, and love for natural environment. Award categories include Best Newsletter/Magazine; Best News, Opinion, or Feature Article; Best Video Documentary or Narrative, Best News Photo, Best Website, and Best Facebook/Twitter Account. All entries must be those of products released from March 31, 2013 until March 30, 2014. Individuals and institutions may submit more than one entry in each category. Entries to be submitted need not be religious in nature. For inquiries, interested participants may call the PCMMA secretariat at 6410728 and 6402923. Nomination forms may be downloaded at www. dioceseofpasig.org. (Jennifer M. Orillaza)

NAGA CityWith the creation of the Archdiocese of Caceres special ministry for People With Disability (PWD), a total of 30 handicapped individuals were given wheelchairs by the American Wheelchairs Mission, headed by Chris Lewis, last March 20 at the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral. Fr. Jaime Danilo Viola, the first chairman of the Gilean Ministry, the Caceres Ministry for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), said, the ministry envisions to become a facilitator of Gods love for the differently abled, that they may feel loved, cared for, accepted, and a part of Gods wonderful creation.

Sorsogon reports BEC growth

SORSOGON CityThe number of small Christian communities or Saradit na Kristianong Komunidad (SKK) in the local tongue has grown remarkably in the span of five years as the diocese continues to give an extra push to engage more parishioners. In 2009, the diocese had only 6 active SKK or Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC). In 5 years, the number of organized BECs has grown to 64. Organizing and the strengthening of BECs had been the main push of the last quinquennium, said Rev. Fr. Philippe Andrew B. Gallanosa, the dioceses Commission on Media for Evangelization (CME) head. The assessment of the progress of these small communities is very positive and the Bishop (Most Rev. Arturo M. Bastes) likes it very much, he said. The volume of faithful during masses is suggestive of further growth in the number of BECs, Fr. Gallanosa said. In Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral alone, 7 masses are celebrated on Sundays, each is full of people, plus 8 masses outside. The diocese, in its continuing commitment to the BECs, also continues to oppose the current geothermal prospects in the province as geothermal explorations, and consequently, operations would devastate the environment in the area. All the concerns of the BECs became part of diocesan action, Fr. Gallanosa said. The local church had also undertaken action when overfishing off the coast of the province affected organized BECs. The local Church had also gone to the frontline of opposition to stop mining in the town

Presenting the functions and activities of the Gilean Ministry at the Priests Assembly last March 24, Fr. Viola said, the ministrys principal aim is to provide for the spiritual needs of PWDs through a holistic approach. Thus, the functions of the ministry include the following: to cater to the spiritual nourishment of PWDs and ensure that the sacraments are offered to them; to create awareness in the community regarding ones moral obligation to promote a PWD-friendly society; to set-up linkages with various organizations: civic, government and non-government; to better sup-

port the PWDs in their needs leading to a more dignified life; and lastly, to increase the selfconfidence of PWDs. Fr. Bernie Anthony Ramirez presided over a Eucharistic celebration at 10 a.m. prior to the giving of wheelchairs. Present during the distribution of wheelchairs were Caceres Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona, priest concelebrants and families of the recipients. The recipients came from various parishes in the Archdiocese and were coordinated with through the Gilean Ministry, which is named after St. Giles, one of the 14 Holy Helpers and Patron of the Disabled.

The Gilean Ministry was created in the latter half of 2013. Linkages with physicians in various specializations were also created early this year. In addition, Viola also presented the activities to be done during the suggested Parish PWD Day, which will focus mainly on the spiritual nourishment of PWDs. Disabilities, as reported, were classified into four: physical, sensory, mental, and developmental. Viola, who is the Parish Priest of St. Bernard Abbot Parish in Ocampo, Camarines Sur, has been celebrating the Parish PWD Day for five years now. (Natalie Hazel Quimlat)

Brian Christopher Quimlat

Bacolod holds Year of the Laity lecture series

BACOLOD CityThe Diocese of Bacolod goes all out with its commitment to learning more about the role of the laity with a special Year of the Laity lecture series starting March 20 until October 2014. The lectures will be held every Thursday, at 6:00 p.m. at the St. John Mary Vianney Hall at the 3rd floor of the San Sebastian R e c t o r y, S a n S e b a s t i a n Cathedral. According to Rev. Msgr. Felix P. Pasquin, Rector of San Sebastian Cathedral, the series of talks will focus on various topics that are related to the role and spirituality of the laity. The theme of the Year of the Laity is Called to be Saints, Sent Forth as Heroes. The year 2014 was proclaimed the Year of the Laity by the Catholic B i s h o p s C o n f e re n c e o f the Philippines as part of its Nine-Year Spiritual Journey for the Fifth Centenary of Catholicism in the Philippines in 2021. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas)

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Oliver Samson

said the important is where and how the gains translate to jobs and food for the poor. Jobs for new graduates San Jose Bishop Roberto Mallari called on the government to provide more job opportunities for the unemployed, especially for fresh college graduates. The vice chairman of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Youth said thousands of college students graduate each year, but many of them remain jobless. I really hope our government agencies will give our newly graduates opportunities, Mallari said. Addressing the unemployment problem should be one of the priorities of the government, he said. He also lamented the lack of job opportunities that consequently forces many college graduates to take jobs unrelated to their courses. College education is a huge achievement for students and providing them with decent jobs will be a good graduation gift, he added. While we are happy that we have students about to graduate, at the same time, we are sad because we know that most
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The Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral, constructed at the heart of Sorsogon City, faces Sorsogon Bay.

of Matnog after BECs were foreseen to be affected by the environmental destruction that the operation would entail, Fr. Gallanosa said. The local church also acted to hold the mining operator in Rapu-Rapu, Albay accountable when several months of fish kill starved the long line of fisherfolks along the coastal towns of Prieto Diaz, Gubat, and Barcelona in 2005, forcing the foreign company to indemnify the families in millions of pesos for the destruction of marine resources.

The typical constitution of a BEC is from 10 to 15 families, who talk and pray together, he said. The concept that inspired the building of these small communities originated in Latin America. Each of these small communities is typified by a neighborhood of 10 to 15 families, whose conduct of life is centered on the Word of God, who live their faith by concrete actions of cooperation and love, and who are connected to a parish. (Oliver Samson)

Laity, communicators not commentators priest

ILOILO City, March 21, 2014A recent media forum about the role of the laity in media highlighted how lay people should communicate more and not just comment about events. The laity should be more of communicators rather than commentators; more proposing rather than imposing, said Rev. Fr. Joenick Territorio, JCD, Director of Jaro Archdiocesan Commission on Laity, the resource speaker of a media forum organized by the Archdiocese of Jaro last March 13 at the Blessed John Paul II Hall, Archbishops Residence. He also cited the guiding principles on the vocation and apostolate of the laity, stressing that for the laity to be leaven in the world and in the Church, they need formation. Fr. Territorio pointed out the Jaro Archdioceses pastoral priority of reaching out to the faithful through the Magagmay nga Kristianong Katilingban (MKKs) or the BECs. Laitys moral compass When asked by Katesismo sa Kahanginan Apostolate (KSKA) covenant partner Emma Ingalla about how lay people should deal with questionable segments in some TV programs, Fr. Territorio said, these instances is where formation and the interior moral compass of the laity should come in. An open forum followed Fr. Territorios talk on the Laity in ton Sheen of Iloilo. The Venerable Fulton Sheen was an American archbishop known for his preaching and especially for his pioneering use of the mass media in the service of evangelization. In his inspirational message, Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo cited Msgr. Buenaflors work in his tri-media apostolate as the priests greatest legacy. The Archbishop said that the late clerics zeal and effortsdespite his advanced age of 88in media evangelization serve as an inspiration to priests and to the laity as well. KSKA Vice President and Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Iloilo Manager and Training Officer, Elsa Subong was the moderator of the media forum. Msgr. Sergio Jamoyot, Rector of the Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, imparted the blessing to the participants at the end of the event. The Media Forum was organized by the KSKA, under the leadership of its president, Rev. Fr. Elmo Montao, and in coordination with SocCom. The forum was attended by KSKA Covenant Partners, media practitioners, members of religious organizations, notably the Daughters of Mary Immaculate International (DMII), with its Archdiocesan Regent, Mrs. Emma Victoria, who is also KSKAs treasurer. (Lilia Robles/ Fr. Mickey Cardenas)

of them wont be able to find work, Mallari said. Disturbing The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) recently reported an increase of unemployed Filipinos despite the reported economic growth in 2013. In January, the PSA said the unemployment rate climbed to 7.5 percent from last years 7.1 percent even after the GDP last year grew 7.2 percent and the second fastest in Asia next to Chinas 7.7 percent. The report means that there are 2.96 million jobless Filipino families at the start of 2014, more than 2.78 million in 2013. A Social Weather Station survey released last January also found that more families considered themselves poor at the end of 2013. The SWS data showed that 11.8 million or 55 percent of families rated themselves as poor, while some 8.8 million families or 41 percent said they were food-poor. Both self-rated poverty and self-rated food poverty rose from the previous quarter, and are above their four-quarter averages for 2013, the SWS noted. This has really disturbed the initial exuberance in receiving the news, Tagle said.

The panel of reactors at this years Msgr. Jose Buenaflor Memorial Media Forum sees the potential of lay people to infuse media with Christian values.

the Church and in the World with a panel of reactors: Msgr. Joemarie Delgado, director of Jaro Archdiocesan Commission on Social Communications (SocCom), Mr. Francis Allan Angelo, executive director of The Daily Guardian, a local newspaper, and president of the Iloilo Press Club and Mr. Eric Divinagracia, TOYM Awardee and professor and artistic director of the Little Theatre of the University of San Agustin, Iloilo. Msgr. Delgado affirmed his co-reactors views that the laity are effective leaven in the dough, adding that the Church needs to be marinated in the world of media, such as through

the maximum use of cyberspace. He said, this is needed to establish an effective relationship between laity, Church and media. Dr. Dolores Octaviano, of the Archdiocesan Commission on Family and Life, reminded the participants to be brave in their mission as collaborators of the Church, in line with the 2014 Year of the Laity theme Called to be Saints, Sent forth as Heroes. Fulton Sheen of Iloilo The Archdiocese of Jaro holds the Msgr. Jose Buenaflor Memorial Media Forum annually on the occasion of the death anniversary of Msgr. Jose Pepe Buenaflor, considered the Ful-

giving to God for giving us Pope Francis and to ask him to continue to bless the Pope and guide him in his task. The stamp features a smiling image of Pope Francis and the words Pope Francis year II 2014. The Philippine Postal Corporation released the stamp March 19, while the Vatican Postal administration issued a similar one March 21. Tuason said that any memorabilia that has the Holy Father on it has the ability to warm hearts and connect people. She hopes this stamp will do just that, by reminding Filipinos that the true treasure that we have is our faith, our belonging to the Catholic Church. The Philippine Postal Corporation has printed 90,000 of the commemorative stamps so far. Featuring Pope Francis is relevantly significant to the Filipinos and its opportune to

honor his service at the commencement of his second year of his pontificate, said Philippine Postal Corporation and philatelic department head, Elenita San Diego. A large number of the Filipino population is also Catholic and we are interested in the Holy Father. San Diego confirmed that the Postmaster General Josie de la Cruz would present a souvenir frame containing the stamps to the Vatican during her official visit there next month. She added that there has been such an interest and demand both locally and internationally in the stamp that the Philippine Postal Corporation may release a second series. The Philippine Postal Corporation also plans to release a stamp commemorating the April 27 canonizations of John XXIII and John Paul II. (CNA/ EWTN News)

Elsa Subong


People, Facts & Places

CBCP Monitor

March 31 - April 13, 2014

Vol. 18 No. 7

Lenten exhibit recreates Gospel scenes

Three Filipinos ordained deacons in Spain

THREE Filipinos were among the fourteen deacons ordained by Archbishop Celso Morga, Secretary of the Congregation for the Clergy, at San Nicolas Parish Church, Pamplona City, Spain, last March 22, 2014. May you be deacons of mercy read part of Pope Franciss message to the newly-ordained deacons, which included Rev. Dennis Ordillos (Archdiocese of Tuguegarao), Rev. Jan Raymond Ramos (Archdiocese of Palo), and Rev. Mark Anthony Cayago (Diocese of Legazpi). The ordination ceremony was made more inspiring by a special message from Pope Francis.(Photo credit: Colegio Eclesiastico Internacional The ordination ceremony was made more inspiring by a special message from Pope Francis. Bidasoa) root and center of the diaconal ministry Bidasoa, which celebrates its 25th anIn the said message, which was read by Don Miguel Angel is the loving relationship with Christ. niversary this year. Through the Formation for SemiMarco, rector of the Colegio Eclesias- He reminded them that without this the tico Internacional Bidasoa, the Holy diaconal ministry will be fruitless and nary Formators of the Local Church project of the Theological Centrum and Father urged the deacons to accom- useless. The diaconal ordination was also fol- the Studium Theologiae Foundation pany the poor and the marginalized as they preach the Word, serve the lowed by viewers from different coun- based in the Philippines, seminarians people of God, and assist their bishops tries via live streaming. The deacons and priests from the Philippines are received their ecclesiastical formation able to enjoy specialized formation and priests. In a moving ceremony, participated at the Colegio Eclesiastico Internacional in the Faculties of Theology of the in by the faithful and clergy of the Bidasoa and their theological forma- University of Navarre (in Pamplona, Archdiocese of Pamplona, members tion at the Ecclesiastical Faculty of the Spain) and the Pontifical University of the Prelature of the Holy Cross and University of Navarre. Both institutions of the Holy Cross (in Rome). The three Opus Dei, student-priests, benefactors, are directed by the Prelature of the Holy Filipinos arrived in Spain in 2009 and and family and friends of the ordinandi Cross and Opus Dei in Navarra, Spain. will be back to the Philippines this year coming from six countries, Archbishop This ordination is another success to serve their respective dioceses. (Fr. Morga emphasized in his homily that the for Colegio Eclesiastico Internacional Dedert Duarte)
Colegio Eclesiastico Internacional Bidasoa Erickson Dela Cruz

The city government of Mandaluyong and a womens group teamed up to organize an exhibit of religious scenes and statues in time for Lent.

IN pious remembrance of Christs Passion, the city government of Mandaluyong and a womens group partnered to set up a religious exhibit as part of the citys annual Lenten observance. The City Government sees to it that an exhibit like this one is held every year as a way of strengthening the faith of Mandaluyong residents, Barangka Drive senior citizens association head Celso Lumaban, one of the individuals in charge of overseeing the exhibit, explained. The exhibit, a joint project of Mandaluyongs cultural affairs and tourism department, and the Kababaihan Kakaiba ng Mandaluyong, ran until March 22, Saturday. Dozens of life-size religious statues mounted on carrozas (special floats that carry these statues) owned by local collectors and custodians from the different barangays of Mandaluyong packed the Mandaluyong City Gymnasium since March 17 in anticipation of the observance of Holy Week. With Jesus occupying the central role, the religious statues depicted important events and highlights in the Passion, death, and resurrection of Our Lord as related in sacred Scripture. Displayed were some of the more famous scenes from the Gospels and Christian art his-

tory like the Last Supper, the Scourging at the Pillar, the Crucifixion, Stabat Mater, the Descent from the Cross, La Piet, El Cristo Entierro, the Risen Christ, among others. Aside from the Blessed Virgin and the apostles, the exhibit also included lesser known Biblical figures like Saints Longinus of Cappadocia, Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea, Lazarus, Veronica, Martha, among others. Visitors hoping to deepen their faith also saw relics at the exhibit like the Ex Ligno Crucis Domini Nostri Jesu Christi, which is believed to be a splinter of wood from the True Cross, and replicas of the Holy Face of Manopello and the Shroud of Turin which have touched the originals in Italy making them third-class relics. Each statue and set of statues came with short background information on what it represents such as biographical details in the case of individual saints, and quotations from the New Testament. A Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) prayer was provided for visitors who wanted to say their prayers first before admiring the items on display. Lumaban added that this years religious exhibit differs from its predecessors in that it also displays sacred relics. (Raymond A. Sebastin)

Raymond A. Sebastin

Film-viewing, concert, games to mark Calungsod feast day

ASIDE from nine-day novena prayers in honor of St. Pedro Calungsod, festive activities are scheduled on the days leading to the feast day of the second Filipino martyr. T h e m o v i e P e d ro Calungsod: Batang Martir will have a special screening on March 30 to celebrate the young saints feast day. According to Fr. Ronnie Samaniego, chaplain of the San Pedro Calungsod Chapel in Bonifacio Global City, there will be a film viewing of the Pedro Calungsod: Batang Martir movie on March 30. Film director Francis Villacorta will be giving a short message before the film is shown at 1 p.m. and viewers will be admitted based on available seats. Samaniego said, the chapel will also host a Palarong Pambata after the 3 p.m. mass on Sunday as a way to celebrate the youthfulness of Calungsod. A Taiz prayer, meanwhile, will also be held at the chapel on April 1 after the 6 p.m. mass. On the April 2 feast day, Samaniego said, t h a t t h e re w i l l b e a 4 p.m. procession of the image of St. Pedro C a l u n g s o d f ro m t h e lobby of SM Aura Premiere to the San Pedro Calungsod Chapel. There will be a High Mass at 6 p.m., which will be followed by a Parangal kay San Pedro Calungsod concert at 7 p.m. Samaniego said, a photo exhibit featuring the catechists of the Diocese of Pasig will also be set up at the chapel. In the provinces, the St. James the Greater parish in Dapitan City has organized a bloodletting activity dubbed Dugong Martir, Dugtong Buhay in honor of St. Pedro Calungsod on March 31. Meanwhile, the Archdiocesan Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi in Naga, Cebu will celebrate the feast day on March 29 with a 5 p.m. fiesta mass, a 6 p.m. procession, and Barkadahay ni Pedro at the Baywalk at 8 p.m. Cebu-based Barkada ni Pedro has revived its Tambayan ni Pedro Holy Mass starting this month. The activity will be held regularly every third Friday of the month at the San Pedro Calungsod Youth Center in Cebu City. A Vi s a y a n n a t i v e , Calungsod was canonized by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on October 21, 2012. He was beatified by the late Pope John Paul II on March 5, 2000. His cause for canonization was propelled by years celebration for the April 2 feast day of San a miraculous healing This Pedro Calungsod features several activities, including a film of a comatose woman showing of Pedro Calungsod: Batang Martir after her doctor asked for the intercession of also recovered fully de- coma for several weeks. Calungsod. The woman spite going in and out of (YouthPinoy)

SK Antonio Bugayong Borromeo

June 12, 1935 March 28, 2014

Insurance Professional with more than 42 years of experience in the industry

President KCFAPI (2002-2004; 2007-2010) Former President Keys Realty and Development Corporation President PhilAsia Life Assurance Corp. (1999-2000) Former District Deputy Knights of Columbus, M-44 4th Degree Knight Knights of Columbus Senior Executive Vice President First Lepanto Taisho Insurance Corp. (1994-1998) Former Executive VP Lepanto Investment Devt. Corp. President Phil. Fire & Marine Insurance Corp. (1984-1994) Deputy Insurance Manager Gen. Insurance Dept., Theo H. Davies FE Ltd.

Online missalette now available

MASS readings need not be printed on paper these days. Thanks to the Communication Foundation for Asia (CFA), online missalettes have been available since last month. Responding to the growing demands of the online Catholic community and the needs of the New Evangelization, the CFA decided to publish the Pagdiriwang Missalette online to make it more accessible to the public. The Pagdiriwang Missalette is useful for individual prayer and reflection, for families and small faith communities like BECs, for schools and adult catechism, for priests preparing their homilies, for religious sisters and brothers engaged in spiritual direction and pastoral action, the CFA said. The online missalette is published in English and Cebuano and may be downloaded from thehttp://cfamagazines.wordpress.com website. The online missalette is in line with the CFAs vision of the Integral Development of people through innovative learning processes using media technology and other forms of communication. (CBCPNews)

Bro. Tony has joined our Creator on March 28, 2014 at the age of 78. His KCFAPI family prays for the eternal repose of the soul of Bro. Tony and extends its condolences to his bereaved family.

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 18 No. 07
March 31 - April 13, 2014

Pastoral Concerns


Popes Homily at Reconciliation Service of 24 Hours for the Lord

Our Father awaits us, our Father forgives us; moreover, He celebrates. If you go to Him with your whole life, also with many sins, instead of reproving you He celebrates: this is our Father
not a sinner? No one. We are all sinners. The Apostle John writes: If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:8-9). This is also what is happening in this celebration and in this whole penitential day. The Word of God which we heard introduces us into two essential elements of Christian life. The first: To be clothed in the new man . The new man, created after the likeness of God (Ephesians 4:24), is born in Baptism, where Gods very life is received, which renders us His children and incorporates us with Christ and with his Church. This new life enables one to look at reality with different eyes, without being distracted any longer by things that do not count and cannot last long, by things that end with time. Therefore, we are called to abandon sinful behaviors and to fix our gaze on the essential. Man is worth more by what he is than by that which he has ( Gaudium et spes , 35). See the difference between the deformed life of sin and that illumined by grace. From the heart renewed according to God comes good behavior: to always speak the truth and to avoid every lie; not steal but rather to share what one has with others, especially with those in need; not to give in to anger, rancor or revenge, but to be meek, magnanimous and quick to forgive; to not fall into slander which ruins persons good reputation, but to look in the main on the positive side of everyone. It is to clothe oneself in the new man, with these new attitudes. The second element: To remain in love . Jesus Christs love lasts forever; it will never end, because it is the very life of God. This love overcomes sin and gives the strength to rise and begin again, because with forgiveness the heart is renewed and rejuvenated. We all know it: our Father never tires of loving us and his eyes do not grow heavy in looking at the road home, to see if his son who went away and was lost has returned. We can speak of Gods hope: our Father awaits us always, not only does He leave the door open for us, (On Friday afternoon, March 28, 2014, Pope Francis presided over a re c o n c i l i a t i o n s e r v i c e i n S t . Peter s Basilica. The event began the Festival of Forgiveness, or 24 Hours for the Lord, sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization. The initiative was echoed in dioceses around the world, which hosted their own round-the-clock prayer and penance services. After giving the homily, Pope Francis went to confession himself, before taking his place in one of the confessional booths.) DURING the Lenten Season, in the name of God, the Church renews her appeal to conversion. It is a call to change ones life. To be converted is not a question of a moment or of a period of the year; it is a commitment that lasts ones whole life. Who among us can presume that he is

You must say this; you must say it to many people today. He who experiences divine mercy is driven to make himself an architect of mercy among the least and the poor. Jesus waits for us in these littlest brothers (cf. Matthew 25:40); we receive mercy and we give mercy!
but He awaits us. He is involved in this awaiting of His children. And this Father does not even grow tired of loving the other son who, though always staying at home with him, is still not a participant in his mercy, in His compassion. Not only is God at the origin of love, but in Jesus Christ he calls us to imitate his very way of loving: as I have loved you, you also love one another ( John 13:34). In the measure in which Christians live this love, they become in the world credible disciples of Christ. Love cannot endure being shut-in on itself. By its very nature it is open, it spreads and is fruitful, it always generates new love. Dear brothers and sisters, after this celebration, many of you will become missionaries to propose to others the experience of reconciliation with God. 24 Hours for the Lord is the initiative in which so many dioceses in the world have joined. To all those you meet you will be able to communicate the joy of receiving the Father s forgiveness and to rediscover full friendship with Him. And you will say to them that our Father awaits us, our Father forgives us; moreover, He celebrates. If you go to Him with your whole life, also with many sins, instead of reproving you He celebrates: this is our Father. You must say this; you must say it to many people today. He who experiences divine mercy is driven to make himself an architect of mercy among the least and the poor. Jesus waits for us in these littlest brothers (cf. Matthew 25:40); we receive mercy and we give mercy! Let us go to meet them and let us celebrate Easter in the joy of God.

Jesus Christs love lasts forever; it will never end, because it is the very life of God. This love overcomes sin and gives the strength to rise and begin again, because with forgiveness the heart is renewed and rejuvenated.

L Osservatore Romano



CBCP Monitor
March 31 - April 13, 2014

Vol. 18 No. 07

The right to the sacraments

By Fr. Jaime B. Achacoso, J.C.D.
Two recent incidents in my family have provoked this letter. The first had to do with our handyman, who has been living-in with his girlfriend for more than a year. When I finally convinced him to get married in Church, he came back to me with a problem: His parish has a fee of P4,000 for the cheapest wedding! He couldnt afford it yet and will have to save till next year. The second incident had to do with my cousin, who wanted to get married, but couldnt attend the pre-Cana seminars since they were spread out to two Saturday mornings, and both he and his fiance had work on Saturdays. Despite their pleadings, they were not given any considerations, so in a huff they got married in an Aglipayan church. In contrast, I also know that in my parish, even if there is a requirement for parents from other parishes to attend a seminar for the baptism of their baby, the parish waives the requirement when the parents can produce proof of an equivalent catechetical instruction or formation received elsewhere. What does Canon Law really establish for these cases? THERE are several issues at stake in these incidents, and we have to tackle them separately. From the most general (and fundamental) to the most specific (and accidental), we can enumerate them as follows: 1) The fundamental right of the Catholic faithful to the sacraments; 2) the consequent optional nature of pastoral programs for their receptione.g., the Pre-Cana seminar and the pre-baptismal seminar; 3) the absolute injustice of charging a fee for the administration of any sacrament. The Fundamental Right of the Faithful to the Sacraments At first glance, no man should have a right to the channels of gracewhich are what the sacraments really aresince nobody has a right to grace itself, which is freely given by God. Nevertheless, God has wanted to redeem mankind by the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, who instituted the Catholic Church as his continuing presenceSacramentum magnumin human history, giving her the mandate to preach the Good News of salvation to all men, to baptize them and to lead them towards the fullness of Christian life. Concretely, Christ instituted the sacraments of the New Law as means of salvation for men (sacramenta propter homines), in order to enable each of them to participate in the fruits of the Redemption. Thus, through baptism, the faithful acquire the rightindeed not towards God but towards the Hierarchical Churchto have access to all the means of salvation. This fundamental right is enunciated by the Code of Canon Law in the following terms: Can. 213 The Christian faithful have the right to receive assistance from the sacred pastors out of the spiritual goods of the Church, especially the word of God and the sacraments. This juridic principle is complemented by another one, which stems from the need to safeguard the sanctity of the sacraments and the fact that their celebration always constitutes an act of public cult of the whole Church. This is enunciated by the Code in the following terms: Can. 843 1. The sacred ministers can not refuse the sacraments to those who ask for them at appropriate times, are properly disposed and are not prohibited by law from receiving them. 2. 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. Can.843, 1 makes it clear that the right of the faithful to the sacramentswhich are the means of salvation and sanctificationis limited only by three factors: 1) appropriateness of time, 2) proper disposition of the passive subject, and 3) absence of a prohibition by law. Furthermore, the second paragraph, far from adding another factor that may bar the faithful from receiving the sacramentsi.e., their possible 1) The so-called Pre-Cana Seminar. The ius connubithe right to marry, which is a consequence of marriage being a natural institutionis limited only by the so-called impediments. As we had previously seen, only the supreme authority of the Church can establish such impediments. Making the attendance to the so-called PreCana Seminar an indispensable requirement for marriage would be tantamount to adding a new impediment to marriagethat of non-attendance to the seminarsomething which nobody save the supreme authority in the Church is competent to do. 2) The seminars for parents and godparents (or sponsors). Can. 851, 2 provides that the parents of an infant and likewise those who are to undertake the office of sponsor are to be properly instructed in the meaning of this sacrament and the obligations which are attached to it; personally or through others the pastor is to see to it that the parents are properly formed by pastoral directions and by common prayer, gathering several families together and where possible visiting them. While such seminars are indeed desirable, it is clear from the tenor of the canon that the obligation is laid on the pastor to facilitate such instruction; but in no way does it say that he is to deny administering the sacrament if such previous instruction somehow were not feasible. The Sacraments cannot be conditioned by a Fee A consequence of the fundamental right of the faithful to the sacraments is the absolute prohibition of conditioning their administration to the payment of some fee or some other temporal goodwhich is tantamount to simony: the buying and selling of spiritual goods or realities attached to such goods. The Code is quite explicit on this point, typifying simony even as a crime in c.1380: A person, who through simony celebrates or receives a sacrament, is to be punished with an interdict or suspension. So strong is this prohibition against simony, that even the semblance of it is proscribede.g., c.947: Even the semblance of trafficking or trading is to be entirely excluded from Mass offerings. A different matter are the alms (stipends) which the faithful voluntarily giveeven based on a fixed suggested rateon the occasion of the celebration of some sacraments and sacramentals (e.g., Mass stipends, baptisms, weddings, funerals). This is what happens in the Philippines, where the bishops have adopted the socalled Arancel System , which lists fixed amounts for stipends to be offered to the Pastor on the occasion ofevery celebration of the sacraments, with an additional clause that free administration should be extended to the poor. Such stipends are not a payments or fees for the administration of the sacraments, but rather a practical way of quantifying another right-duty of the faithfulstipulated by c.222,1 of the Code of Canon Lawnamely that of supporting the ministers in particular and the whole evangelizing work of the Church in general. Conclusion It is licit for a parish to have a fixed amount for the celebration of marriageas decided by the Archdiocese and approved by the Holy See. It is even understandable for the parish to stipulate an additional amount to defray the cost of utilities and dcor that may go into more elaborate weddings. A tiered system of contributions can also be established, whereby those who can afford subsidize those who cant. However, nothing stands in the way of celebrating it (and any sacrament for that matter) without such costs, and thus without any stipend, for indigent parties. The Pre-Cana Seminar should never be made an indispensable requirement for marriage. The same can be said of what somebody has called Pre-Jordan Seminari.e., the seminar for parents (desiring to have their infant child baptized). They should be waived, when there is proof of a similar preparation acquired another way, thereby reasonably combining the pastoral aim of assuring proper reception of the sacrament with the right of the faithful to receive the means of salvation.

At first glance, no man should have a right to the channels of gracewhich are what the sacraments really aresince nobody has a right to grace itself, which is freely given by God.
lack of preparationin fact only strengthens their right to them by precisely declaring the duty of the pastors of souls and the rest of the Christian faithful to make sure that those who seek the sacraments are adequately prepared to receive themi.e., through the necessary evangelization and catechetical formation. The Optional Nature of Pastoral Programs for the Proper Reception of the Sacraments Because of the above, whatever pastoral programs or requisites may be formulated by the pastors of souls to assure the proper disposition of the faithful cannot be converted into sine qua non conditions for their access to the sacraments. The only exception would be if such indispensable condition is expressly stated by the Local Ordinary, subject to the approval of the Supreme Authority in the Church who is the only one competent to regulate the sacraments. This is stipulated by the Code: Can. 841 Since the sacraments are the same for the universal Church and pertain to the divine deposit, it is for the supreme authority of the Church alone to approve or define those things which are required for their validity; it is for the same supreme authority of the Church or other competent authority in accord with the norm of c.838, 3 and 4 to determine what pertains to their lawful celebration, administration and reception and also the order to be observed in their celebration. This acquires special importance for some sacraments, to wit:

Chrism Mass During Sede Vacante

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

A: If I have understood correctly the situation outlined by our reader, the bishops resignation was accepted by the Pope and then he was appointed administrator by the Holy Father. In this case the bishop would be, properly speaking, the apostolic administrator of the diocese until his successor is appointed. In this case then, the bishop retains all the powers proper to the diocesan bishop. The apostolic administrator, whether the see is vacant or not, is named during the Eucharistic Prayer, and he would also preside over the Chrism Mass. The figure of temporary apostolic administrator is used quite frequently today, in spite of not being mentioned in the current Code of Canon Law. He is usually a bishop named to govern a diocese for a certain period. Apart from the case of the bishop emeritus, when a

A relief sculpture of the coat of arms of the Holy See found on the faade of the Basilica of St. John Lateran

bishop is transferred to another diocese he is sometimes appointed apostolic administrator of his former diocese. This appointment is sometimes until he takes procession of the new diocese, although on occasion it is until a successor is appointed, so that for a time he effectively governs two dioceses. In some circumstances the pope will appoint a bishop of a nearby diocese as apostolic administrator of a diocese, so that it may be governed by someone having all the powers of the bishops office. This is usually only done when particular difficulties exist.

If the pope does not make any such provision, then the period of diocesan vacancy begins as soon as the bishops resignation or transfer is announced. In accordance with canon law a diocesan administrator is elected by the diocesan council of consultors to administer the vacant see until a new bishop is appointed and takes possession. The diocesan administrator is usually a priest but could also be an auxiliary bishop who is not a candidate for succession to the vacant see. He is not mentioned in the Eucharistic Prayer. If he is the only auxiliary

bishop, then he may be mentioned as such in the same manner as before the vacancy. The diocesan administrator has most of the bishops powers with some restrictions. He cannot change written dispositions made by the former bishop nor introduce important innovations. Nor can he do anything that requires episcopal ordination. If the diocesan administrator is an auxiliary bishop, then he may celebrate the Chrism Mass. If he is a priest, then he may either invite a bishop to preside over the Mass and bless the holy oils. Or he could choose not to hold the Chrism

Mass, and just procure the oils from a neighboring diocese. For example, in one Irish diocese there was no Chrism Mass during a vacancy from 2009 to 2013. In 2013 the apostolic nuncio presided over the Chrism Mass, in which the oils to be used in the ordination of the bishopelect were duly consecrated. Both solutions are possible. It is true that the unity of the presbytery around the bishops is especially underlined during the Chrism Mass. But the Mass also serves a practical purpose that remains even when the see is vacant.


Q: Pope Francis accepted our archbishops resignation last December. He then was appointed as the administrator until the new bishop has been appointed. From diocesan sede vacante time, the priests in the dioceses have omitted our bishops name in the Eucharistic Prayer. My question: During diocesan sede vacante, can the bishop emeritus celebrate the Chrism Mass with the priests of the diocesewith the understanding that the Chrism Mass is the symbol of the unity between the bishop and his diocesan priests? -- B.E., Malaysia


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 18 No. 07
March 31 - April 13, 2014



Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program:

Aquinos legacy or a mockery?
By Kris Bayos
ASIDE from restoring democracy in the Philippines in 1986, the administration of the late President Corazon Cory Cojuanco-Aquino was noted for instituting the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) that aims to give land to the landless. But 28 years later, the Cojuanco-Aquinos 5,000-hectare sugarcane plantation in Tarlac is yet to be actually distributed to the beneficiaries of her own social reform program. The Cojuanco-Aquinos Hacienda Luisita is one of the many vast parcels of agricultural lands that are under the mandatory coverage of CARP under Republic Act 6657. Each of the Haciendas 6,212 tenant-farmers is expecting to own at least 6,600 square meters of land from the 4,099-hectare distributable area of Hacienda Luisita. Despite the governments initial payment of at least P471 million as just compensation to Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI), the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is still struggling to install the beneficiaries in their CARPawarded lands. In September, DAR Secretary Virgilo delos Reyes said copies of Certificate of Land Ownership Awards (CLOA) are currently being distributed to the farmer-beneficiaries. But almost three years after the Supreme Court ordered the actual land distribution to Hacienda Luisita farmers in 2011, DAR is still in the process of surveying the boundaries of each of the parcels that will be awarded. Mr. delos Reyes himself could not say how soon the farmer-beneficiaries can access and till the land they have been promised to receive. The stock-distribution option (SDO), which has delayed the actual distribution of Hacienda Luisita, is among the many loopholes in the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988. Mrs. Aquino had included the SDO as a means for land-owning families like hers to evade the mandatory coverage of CARP. Under this loophole, corporate landowners may give farmerbeneficiaries the right to purchase capital stock of the corporation instead of turning over their land for CARP coverage. For years, farmers held HLI stock certificates instead of land titles in accordance with the program. Although the Supreme Court had finally ordered the nullification of the SDO deal between HLI and its tenant-farmers, it failed to finally declare the unconstitutionality of the SDO as many agrarian reform advocates would have wanted. Lawyer Christian Monson, who was appointed Election Commissioner under Mrs. Aquinos administration and was a member of the commission that drafted the 1987 Constitution, admitted that the SDO was proof that Mrs. Aquino would not betray her own kind: the landed. Despite being propelled to power by the very farmers she had promised land reform to, Mrs. Aquino only paid lip service to themjust like what her son does now despite referring to the masses, farmers includedas his boss. Looming expiry The land acquisition and distribution (LAD) component of CARP is due to expire on June 30. Although the CARP as a social justice program will continue, only the lands with notices of coverage (NOC) issued before the deadline would be processed. In a status report, Mr. delos Reyes disclosed that there are still 822,488 hectares of land that comprise the LAD balance as of June 2013. Of the LAD balance, 210,067 hectares have been tagged as problematic. Despite DARs backlog and the agencys need for more time to cope with the work load, Mr. Aquino is yet to respond to calls for him to support the extension of CARPs LAD component three months into the deadline. In an interview last February, Ifugao Representative Teddy Brawner Baguilat, chairman of the Congressional Committee on Agrarian Reform, said there are separate proposals to extend LAD by five more years, to amend the existing law on CARP and to legislate a new and genuine agrarian reform law. Baguilat admitted that his committee can endorse any of the proposed measures, but said the real battle will be at the plenary where landlords dominate the floor. It cannot be denied that majority of those in Congress are landlords or are scions of landed families. But there are younger set of legislators who are open to the concept of social justice and human rights. There is a general sense of social reform. But lets see (how they handle their biases) in the plenary, he said. Given the fast-approaching deadline, Baguilat said it may not be feasible for Congress to legislate a new agrarian reform law, but it would significantly help if the incumbent President would make a categorical statement or issue an executive order saying that all of the LAD balance are considered as covered, even if NOCs are not issued before the June 30 deadline. Although Mr. Aquino promised to complete CARP during the his third state of the nation address, the governments direction to wind down the operation of DAR and delegate its functions to other government agencies was seen as an outright contradiction of his claim. A n x i o u s a b o u t t h e a p p a re n t abandonment of the CARP, farmers made all sorts of noise just to get the governments attention and force it to seriously implement the program. Farmers from across the archipelago went on hunger strikes, barefoot marches, camp outs and demonstrationsthe latest of which was held inside Malacaang grounds last February 11but were ignored instead. Farmers were then arrested, and even harassed for pushing for justice that is due them. Some even failed to live long enough to hold their elusive CLOAs. Aware of the plight of the farmers, civil society groups and Church leaders have rallied to support moves to further extend CARP. Atty. Monsod, representing the Multi-Stakeholder Task Force on Agrarian Reform, and Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, representing the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace, were among the numerous signatories in a January 22, 2014 letter urging Mr. Aquino to extend CARP for two more years and to see the full implementation of the program until he steps down from the presidency in 2016. Decisive action to ensure the success of CARP will be especially timely, given that 2014 has been declared the International Year of Family Farming by the General Assembly of the United Nations. There would be no stronger statement that your administration champions the cause of family farmers by sustaining the very program that would give land to the landless, and thus allow the family farm sector to flourish within our country, the agrarian reform advocates told Mr. Aquino in their letter.

The issue of land reform is like a thorn in the side of countless Filipino farmers and their families and poses an economic hurdle to the Philippines, a largely agricultural country.

Nullify circumventions The agrarian reform advocates and farmer groups have also urged the Chief Executive and Congress to create an independent commission to look into the land-owners who have avoided or circumvented the law, specifically through voluntary land transfer (VLT), unwarranted exemptions and conversions, excessive retentions, fake joint ventures. This commission will also take steps to have them declared null and void and subject the lands to coverage and distribution. Aside from the SDO, the VLT had also been another means for landowners to circumvent the law on agrarian reform. Under this option, landowners may enter into arrangements of land transfer directly to qualified beneficiaries. But Monsod said farmers are usually shortchanged under these arrangements. Government must not allow landowners to negotiate directly with farmers because the bargaining positions are not the same. The farmers are in an inferior and weaker position, he said. Citing stories from the grassroots, Bishop Pabillo said landowners who have availed of the VLT have actually defied the purpose of CARP when they identify the beneficiaries, who are usually their dummies or their family members. The law also allowed landowners and farmer-beneficiaries to enter into leasehold agreement. Leasing back the lands from the farmers is actually considered a transition period where the farmers are being taught capacity building as owner-cultivators of the farmlands, but Monsod assailed DAR for consenting to leasehold agreements lasting for 20 years with some applying for further extension. How can a transition period be as long as 20 years? Five years is enough. It is very difficult for them to undergo the transition from tenant-worker to owner-cultivator that is why the government should step in a big way to help them towards this transition. Monsod said these lands that evaded

the law should be brought back to CARP coverage. If you allow landowners who circumvented and defied the law to keep the land, it will make a mockery of the CARP. They are keeping their land and they brag about the fact that they were able to circumvent the law. How can that be social reform when you allow that to happen? But Monsod also admitted that from the beginning of its institution, CARP was meant to fail. All social reform laws have loopholes because they were legislated by the elite and for the rich and the powerful to take advantage of, he said. Give it a chance Agrarian reform advocates who wrote Mr. Aquino last January also urged the government to condone all unpaid amortizations for lands awarded under CARP. Ideally, farmers will pay for their awarded lands within 30 years, but almost 90 percent of the farmers have been delinquent in their obligation. Pabillo said the lack of support services like credit facility, planting technology, irrigation systems and farmto-market roads have greatly affected the productivity of farmer beneficiaries. Its best to condone the unpaid amortization and unconditionally award the land to the farmers because there have been no support services to make them productive enough to earn, the prelate said. The lack of support services for farmers was traced to the underfunding of CARP. Initially, the program had a funding requirement of P225 billion for its 20-year implementation. However, landlord-dominated Congress only allocated P175 billion for the program and appropriated less than the P150 billion funding requirement for the five-year extension. Monsod added that recouping the investment from CARP or merely meeting targets should not be governments motivation. They missed the point, agrarian reform is not about numbers or deadlines. It is about the outcome. Have the lives of the farmers improved? Has rural poverty been

reduced? The deadline is only for the acquisition and distribution of lands, he added. The support service will still go on. We hope that there will be a massive example of this government of funding support services to show what can be done if it is done right. Give CARP a chance is the farmers outstanding appeal to Congress. Monsod said a proper audit of the DARs performance and the continued implementation of CARP will put new life into the farming sector. Imagine what that can do to the morale of the poor farmers? Earth belongs to all For his part, Pabillo said the Church would continue to rally behind the farmers in pursuing their rights under CARP. The CBCP-NASSA has been instrumental in arranging farmers meetings with government officials, providing food and lodging to farmers during their marches and camp outs. According to the social teachings of the Church, the earth belongs to all and not only to some. It is not justice if only a few have lands, while the majority are landless, he said. Until justice is not met, the Churchs support to the poor and oppressed will continue. Pabillo lamented the governments lack of resolve in implementing agrarian reform and the Aquinos real intentions for not making CARP succeed. Is it by design or by incompetence that the CARP is not completed? the prelate asked. I dont know if it is just a lack of resolve or if there is really an intention to not make agrarian reform succeed. Mrs. Aquino may have restored democracy in a country torn by dictatorship, but her leadership only ushered in an era that stinks of oligarchs and breeds political dynasties. She may be regarded as an icon of democracy, but her track record of serving her familys interest over the common good will remain a stain on her and her sons brand of leadership and a kind of legacy nobody in their family would be proud of.



Help Put a Bible in Every Filipino Home

CBCP Monitor
March 31 - April 13, 2014

Vol. 18 No. 07

May They Be One Bible Campaign

Pope Francis supports May They Be One campaign
IN Rome, Pope Francis expressed delight over the May They Be One (MTBO) Bible campaigns focus of making Bibles available to families and encouraging them to read it. At a morning audience with Rev. Dr. Rudi Zimmer, Chairman of the UBS Global Board, Pope Francis face lighted up when he heard about the MTBO Bible campaigns approach and said Go ahead. I particularly showed him the Poverty and Justice Bible (Catholic Edition) and the May They Be One Bible and explained that the Bible Societies are producing them with the full support of the Catholic Church, says Zimmer. His (the Popes) support is very precious to us, he added. The Popes meeting with Dr. Zimmer was held in Rome in October, on the sides of the Bible and Familys partnership meeting between the United Bible Societies and the Catholic Biblical Federation (CBF). During the partnership meeting, Bible Society and CBF representatives from more than 30 countries met and discussed the spiritual pressures on the family in modern society and how they can collaborate on projects to address these. Topics included the central remaining place in todays society where there is hope of passing faith onto future generations, said Monsignor Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Holy Sees Pontifical Council for the Family. It is vital that we take up this challenge and develop practical ways of encouraging families to engage with the Bible, he said. Members of the MTBO Advisory Committee include Bishop Broderick S. Pabillo DD, Fr. Oscar A. Alunday, Mr. Rod G. Cornejo, Mr. Rene E. Cristobal Sr., Dr. Philip C. Flores, Mr. Dante M. Lanorio, Fr. Antonio B. Navarrete, Dr. Natividad B. Pagadut, Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno and Mr. Albert S. Tanlimco. To learn more about how you can be part of the MTBO campaign and make significant change, call Helen at PBS 5245337, ECBA 527-9386 or visit www.bible.org.ph and www.ecba-cbcp.com. Donations can be made by making a deposit to the following bank accounts: PBS-MTBO Account #3903-0649-34 (BPI Sta. Mesa Branch) Fax deposit slip to 521-5803 or ECBACBCP Account #02510 2 1 3 7 6 ( B P I - Ta y u m a n Branch) Fax deposit slip to 527-9386. For credit card payments, visit the PBS website (www.bible. org.ph)

role of women in family life; how to get families reflecting on and engaging

with the Bible; and translating, publishing and distributing the Bible

with Catholic families in mind. The family is the one

Asian Values in Family Enterprises

By Bernardo M. Villegas
VALUES prominent in the corporate culture of family enterprises all over the world have actually resulted from the institutionalization of human virtues lived by the founding entrepreneurs. These human virtues, like prudence, justice, self-control, courage, humility are universal and, therefore, can transcend citizenships, cultures and creeds. Justice, for example, is the habit of giving everyone his due and can be cultivated by a Chinese, a German or an American. Humility inclines one to overcome selfishness and to serve others habitually in whatever nation or culture. Does it make sense then to talk about Asian values that should be nurtured in family enterprises in the Asian region? Without getting into the debate that raged in the 1990s to justify authoritarian regimes in Asia such as those led by Lee Kuan Yew in Singapore or Mahathir Mohammad in Malaysia, let me limit the discussion to whether or not certain ways of living the human virtues in Asian societies can be the bases for strong corporate cultures of family businesses in East Asia, the region in which many of the most rapidly growing economies will be found in the twenty first century. From the outset, let me say that I am inclined to agree with Indian Nobel laureate in economics, Amartya Sen, who pointed out in his article Democracy as a Universal Value, that no universal Asian value system could possibly exist, because the diversity of Asia is far too great for there to be a single set of common values across the region. In the design of a political system, one has to contend with such schools of Asian values as Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Integral yoga, Islam, Taoism, Shintoism, along with other phi-

In China, the one-child policy can complicate succession planning in family enterprises. Although there have been recent moves to relax this policy, the experiences of other East Asian countries like Singapore and South Korea show that low fertility rates are very difficult to reverse in an industrialized and consumerist society.
losophies and religions. Anyway, the defenders of Asian values as a rationalization for the lack of human freedom in some authoritarian states lost a lot of their clout during the 1997 East Asian financial crisis when it became obvious that Asia as a whole lacked a regional institutional mechanism, and much less any system of cooperation to deal with the crisis. If we limit the discussion about Asian values to the level of the business firm, I can see a distinct advantage of the prevalence of the Confucian ethic in East Asian societies in the fostering of strong cultures in family enterprises. As Martin Jacques wrote in his bestselling book titled When China Rules the World, For two thousand years China was largely shaped by the principles of Confucius (551 to 479 B.C.) and the Analects became established as the most important book in Chinese history. Confucianism was a syncretic mode of thinking, which drew on other beliefs, mostly Taoism and Buddhism, but Confuciuss own ideas remained by far, the most important. His emphasis on moral virtue, on the supreme importance of government in human affairs and on the overriding priority of stability and unity, which was shaped by his experience of a divided country, have informed the fundamental values of Chinese civilization ever since. All of Northeast Asia (China, Korea and Japan) are fundamentally Confucian societies. Because of the estimated 50 million overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia, the majority of whom are the leading founders of family enEnterprises / B5

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 18 No. 07
March 31 - April 13, 2014


Respect Human Life and Promote Human Rights
(A Statement of the Ecumenical Bishops Forum on the Killing of Romeo Capalla)
WE, the Ecumenical Bishops Forum (EBF), grieve with much sadness the senseless killing of a good man of God, Romeo Capalla, younger brother of Archbishop Emeritus Fernando Capalla, a fellow member of the EBF and former chairperson of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). The younger Capalla, 65 years old, was gunned down in the early evening of March 15, 2014 at the Oton public market in Iloilo province by unidentified killers. He was felled by two gunshot wounds to the head, and was pronounced dead on arrival at the Western Visayas Medical Center. Brother Romeo has done no wrong to merit his untimely death. On the contrary he was working for the people, particularly the women of Panay in their program to export certified organic muscovado sugar and banana chips in international fair trade centers. At the time he was killed brother Romeo was a member of the Board of Directors of the Panay Fair Trade Center (PFTC) which he formerly managed. The PFTC is a member organization of the International Federation for Alternative Trade (IFAT), an international network of fair trade organizations with more than 350 members from more than 70 low income countries including Asia, Middle East, Africa and South America. IFATs mission is to improve the livelihood and well being of disadvantaged producers by linking and promoting Fair Trade Organizations and speaking out for greater justice in world trade. Earlier in August 2005 brother Romeo was falsely charged of arson and was illegally arrested and detained. The fire was allegedly committed by the New Peoples Army (NPA) in Guimbal, Iloilo. Charged with brother Romeo was Fernando Baldomero, a councilor of the town of Oton at the time. The two were released after the charges against them were dropped by the court for lack of evidence. Incidentally Baldomero was killed on July 5, 2010, five days after President Benigno S. Aquino III assumed office, making the former the first victim of extra-judicial killing under the Aquino administration. While it was true that brother Romeo used to be in the underground as confirmed by his Archbishop brother, he has since decided to live a quiet life and began helping the poor particularly through the PFTC, advocating fair trade and producing organic food. God, the Creator of life, intended long life for all of Gods people. And its only God who has the right to take life back. We, together with the Church, believe that the ultimate source of human rights is not found in the mere will of human beings, in the reality of the State, in public powers, but in man himself and in God his Creator. These rights are universal, inviolable, inalienable. Universal because they are present in all human beings, without exception of time, place and subject. Inviolable insofar as they are inherent in the human person and in human dignity and because it would be vain to proclaim rights, if at the same time everything were not done to ensure the duty of respecting them by all people, everywhere, and for all people. Inalienable insofar as no one can legitimately deprive another person, whoever he/she may be, of these rights, since this would do violence to his/her nature. (Compendium of Social Doctrine of the Church, IV. A. 154b.) We, therefore, condemn the killing of brother Romeo by wicked people allegedly belonging to the government armed forces. This evil deed must be punished. We call on President Aquino, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the chief servant of every Filipino citizen, to do the following: 1. Create as soon as possible an independent fact-finding team composed of representatives from the Church, the Commission on Human Rights, the local government unit and human rights groups that will immediately look into the killing of brother Romeo Capalla. 2. Respect human life by ending the spate of extra-judicial killings. Brother Romeo is the 11th victim of extra-judicial killing since January 2014, and the 180th to date since July 2010 when President Aquino took office. 3.Protect and promote human rights by scrapping Oplan Bayanihan which sanctions human rights violations. Red tagging, illegal arrest and detention, enforced disappearances and extra-judicial killings are done in its name. 4. Teach lesson to people, officers and/or civilians, by meting out proper punishment to the guilty. Issued and signed this 25th day of March, Year of the Lord 2014 in Quezon City. MOST REV. DEOGRACIAS S. INIGUEZ, JR., D.D. Co-chairperson BISHOP FELIXBERTO L. CALANG, IFI Co-chairperson

Signing of Peace Agreement

LIKE all peace loving Filipinos, we rejoice with our countrymen as we mark a milestone in the peace process with the signing of the peace agreement between the Philippine Government and the MILF. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. We pray that this first courageous breakthrough will be followed by more steps leading to true and lasting peace in Mindanao. I appeal to the Philippine government panel to continue the process of wide spread consultation and an honest, open and trusting dialogue with other communities in Mindanao, especially those who feel marginalized and ignored like the MNLF. It is so important for peace to be sustainable that it be inclusive and all embracing. The strength of the signing agreement lies in its willingness to reach out to everyone including those who are antagonistic to it. A continuing dialogue will strengthen our peace even more. It is very urgent that economic activity in Mindanao be enhanced immediately. There can be no peace without human development. Development and the promotion of human progress is another name for peace. The promotion of total human development is long delayed. It cannot wait further. The people of Mindanao have been suffering for decades. May we all be ready to become channels of peace! Peacemakers are children of God. +SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan CBCP President March 27, 2014

CBCP President Archbishop Socrates Villegas

Bishops Letter to President Benigno Simeon Aquino, Jr.

Anti-mining activists painted and stepped on a streamer with faces of prominent businessmen involved in the industry during a rally outside Malacaang Palace in Manila on March 13.

Dear Mr. President: The Cardinal, Archbishops and Bishops listed below strongly urge you not to allow Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI) to mine the mountain of Tampakan, South Cotabato, for copper and gold. Our opposition to SMI Glencore/Xstrata Copper-Gold Project is based on moral grounds, namely: (1) The destruction of almost 4,000 hectares of forested and agricultural land and biodiversity is against the integrity of Gods creation (cf. Gen. 2: 15); (2) The dislocation of almost 6,000 surface dwellers, mostly Blaans, from their ancestral land is against human rights; (3) The threat to food security and human life through the use of cyanide and heavy metals for processing ore is very real; (4) The past killings and future violence as the Blaans will defend their ancestral landsource of food, building material, burial grounds of their ancestors and place of living will adversely affect peace and harmony. (5) Up to now SMI Glencore/Xstrata has
Enterprises / B4

not given any proof that open pit mining preserves the integrity of Gods creation. The cost, Mr. President, will far outweigh the benefits to government and the Filipino people. Praying for your God-enlightened decision, 1. Orlando B. Cardinal Quevedo, OMI, D.D. - Archbishop of Cotabato 2. Archbishop Fernando R. Capalla, D.D. - Archbishop Emeritus of Davao 3. Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ, D.D. - Archbishop of Cagayan de Oro 4. Archbishop Romulo G. Valles, D.D. - Archbishop of Davao 5. Archbishop Jesus A. Dosado, CM, D.D. - Archbishop of Ozamiz 6. Bishop Guillermo V. Afable, D.D. - Bishop of Digos 7. Bishop Patricio H. Alo, D.D. - Bishop of Mati 8. Bishop Emmanuel T. Cabajar, CSsR, D.D. - Bishop of Pagadian 9. Bishop Antonieto D. Cabajog, D.D. - Bishop of Surigao 10. Bishop Jose A. Cabantan, D.D. - Bishop of Malaybalay 11. Bishop Romulo T. de la Cruz, D.D. - Bishop of Kidapawan

12. Bishop Edwin A. de la Pea, MSP, D.D. - Bishop Prelate of Marawi 13. Bishop Elenito R. Galido, D.D. - Bishop of Iligan 14. Bishop Dinualdo D. Gutierrez, D.D. - Bishop of Marbel 15. Bishop Martin Jumoad, D.D. - Bishop Prelate of Isabela, Basilan 16. Bishop Angelito Lampon, OMI, D.D. - Vicar Apostolic of Jolo 17. Bishop Jose R. Maguiran, D.D. - Bishop of Dipolog 18. Bishop Wilfredo D. Manlapaz, D.D. - Bishop of Tagum 19. Bishop Nereo P. Odchimar, D.D. - Bishop of Tandag 20. Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos, D.D. - Bishop of Butuan 21. Bishop Julius S. Tonel, D.D. - Bishop of Ipil 22. Bishop Jose Colin M. Bagaforo, D.D. - Auxiliary Bishop of Cotabato 23. Bishop George B. Rimando, D.D. - Auxiliary Bishop of Davao +DINUALDO D. GUTIERREZ, D.D. Bishop of Marbel March 13, 2014



CBCP Monitor

Name: _______________________

terprises in Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam, one can safely say that Confucian values have facilitated the fostering of moral virtues among a good number of entrepreneurs who established family enterprises. In his study of Chinese society, Martin Jacques identified the two most obvious continuities in Chinese civilization, both of which can be traced back to Confucius. The first is the primordial role of the State and the other is the highest value to be given to education (which includes parenting). The roots of Chinas -- and those of other Asian societies influenced by the Chinese civilization -- distinc-

tive concept of education and parenting lie deep in its civilizational past. Confuciuss disciple, Mencius (372 to 289 B.C.), further elaborated on human nature as being essentially good and that if children are brought up in the right manner through appropriate parenting and education, they would acquire the correct attitudes, values and self-discipline. The emphasis on moral virtues in Confucian cultures has actually been reinforced by Christian values in societies in East Asia where the high quality of education imparted in the schools established by Christian missionaries (in such key cities as Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Bangkok, Ho

Chi Minh) motivated overseas Chinese merchants and entrepreneurs to send their children to these schools. The challenge to family enterprises in East Asia is how to sustain the strong family ties that are supported by both Confucian and Christian principles in the face of forces of family disintegration afflicting modernizing societies in both the West and the East. The prevalence of divorce and frequent remarriages has obvious repercussions on the stability of family businesses. In China, the one-child policy can complicate succession planning in family enterprises. Although there have been recent moves to relax this policy, the

experiences of other East Asian countries like Singapore and South Korea show that low fertility rates are very difficult to reverse in an industrialized and consumerist society. Even the most attractive financial and other incentives to encourage larger family sizes have had very little success. It may be wise for countries in Asia that still have young and growing populations to create conditions favoring large family sizes, at least among the entrepreneurial classes. Family businesses will constitute a strong foundation of the economies of emerging markets for decades to come, especially in East Asia. For comments, my email address is bernardo.villegas@uap.asia.

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Ref lections
5th Sunday of Lent, Jn. 11:1-45(A), April 6, 2014

CBCP Monitor
March 31 - April 13, 2014

Vol. 18 No. 07

Christ, the resurrection and the life

By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
DEEPLY rooted in the heart of every human being lie the aspirations to be happy and live forever. But these aspirations are continuously frustrated by suffering, and especially by death. It is death, more than any other unpleasant event in our existence, which shatters our deepest yearning for life and happiness. All men, even the richest and most powerful have to surrender. All are made equal in the parts of our bodies. While this is a poor illusion, it does show mans innate desire to live forever. Such desire, however, can be satisfied not by mans grabbing life at all costs, but only by Gods granting the fullness of life that has its ultimate source in Him. This gift of life beyond death and despite death is offered to all in Jesus Christ, the buster of death. With the coming of Christ, however, the power of death was challenged and defeated.

squalid kingdom of those struck by its deadly blow. Nowadays, the progress of technology and medicine have pushed back the boundaries of death. Some even dare to think that, one day, death will be postponed almost indefinitely by replacing the defective or worn out

Thrice, during his apostolic ministry, Jesus challenged the power of death by calling back to life two young people who had died. (See Mk 5:38-42 and Lk 7:11-15.) Those two instances of resuscitation left people astonished and overjoyed. The most spectacular

of all, however, was the resuscitation of his friend, Lazarus, who had been in the tomb for four days. No one could speak of apparent death in that case. And while everybody thought that Jesus had arrived too late and that his visit to the gravesite was only a belated homage to

a friend now gone forever, he proved that he had power over death. When Lazarus came out of the tomb at the command of Jesus, a great desire was granted-not just the petitions of Martha and Mary -- but the yearning of all men who could now look forward to a final victory over death.

(See Jn 11:1-44.) A day will come, in fact, when all tombs will be left empty, thanks to Christ, the first-born of the dead (Col 1:18). He, in fact, is the Resurrection and the Life, as he will prove through His own rising from death. There is also another type of death continuously

Bishop Pat Alo

ONE thing which we have to learn in life is to be able to face reality bravely. Part of the reality we have to face is our own weaknesses and shortcomings. But sure indeed one of the surest signs of bravery is to be able to face the reality of your own weaknesses and

Facing reality
only lead to greater disappointments and failures. As one famous writer once said in his book titled Powers That Be, he was quoted as saying: Face the Situation Fearlessly and There is no Situation to be Faced. Many problems in society may certainly have an adequate solution if only we faced them. This may turn out a failure for you just because you never bothered to give it a try. Usually, successful people have been thoroughly persistent in their quest for success.

From exaltation to rejection

threatening us: the spiritual death caused by sin. Unlike physical death, our dying to Gods grace is not inescapable. Yet many of us do, on occasion, die spiritually. But there is also, thanks to Jesus, Lord of Life and Forgiveness a spiritual resurrection which takes place in us whenever

we allow the life-giving strength of the risen Jesus to flow into us and do away with the corruption of sin. It is resurrection day for us, too. Then we experience personally all the power of his Resurrection, and the truth of His promise: Whoever lives and believes in me will never die (Jn 11:26).

limitations. You cannot remain a coward all your life just because you are paralyzed by fear that haunts you. H o w e v e r, y o u can vanquish that subjective fear by learning to face re a l i t y. Make an effort to remedy such cowardice, since it can

Passion/Palm Sunday, Mt 26:14-27:66 (A) April 13, 2014

By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
AS Jesus decided to move toward Jerusalem one week before the Passover celebration, His disciples were jubilant. And when both the people of Jerusalem and the many thousands of pilgrims joined hands in giving the prophet from Nazareth an enthusiastic reception, the disciples felt sure that finally, Jesus was going to openly proclaim that He was the awaited Messiah, and that He would have been crowned king of Israel. But in Jesus mind, the decision to enter Jerusalem in such an official manner had a very different aim. He had a better Kingdom to proclaim and establish than a temporal reign. His mission was to dethrone Satan, and to establish the sovereignty of God in the hearts of all. Jesus knew that the moment had come for the fulfillment of the most important stage in the Fathers plan: the redemption of sinful mankind through his sacrificial death. He was fully aware of the very high price He would have to pay. Yet, He did not back off. On the contrary, He took the decisive step of entering the Holy City in such a provocative manner, as a sign of His determination to do the Father s will. The following days he would already be lashing out, not at the Romans, but at the hypocrisy of the religious leaders. (See for instance, Mt 23.) Clearly, Jesus was not trying to be popular with the authorities who could have supported his bid for power. Like in the episode of the temptation in the desert, He preferred to be the Messiah of God, rather than the temporal messiah expected by people who have no time for a spiritual kingdom. He chose to be the humble servant of all, rather than a victorious and arrogant king of this world. (See Mt 20:26-27 and Lk 22:26.) Such an attitude could not meet the approval of glory-minded and power-addicted people like Judas and those cast in the same mould. Feeling disillusioned, they rejected Jesus disdainfully, as a useless messiah. Jesus determination to remain faithful to Gods plan turned the tide against Him. It turned the crowds against Him, especially through the crafty manipulation orchestrated by the Jewish authorities. That was how the joyful shouts of Hosanna! turned into a thunderous demand that Jesus be crucified; the gentle palm branches waved in welcome turned into the merciless scourges that plowed His body, and into the nails that pierced His hands and feet. What about us? Shall we shut Him out of our lives as a disappointing messiah, or shall we accept Him as the embodiment of right priorities, and as the only bearer of Gods salvation? The first choice would associate us with Judas and the likes of him. The second choice would place us among those who open their hearts in gratitude to Christ as their Lord and Savior. With this second option we would declare our readiness to stand by Him to the very end, no matter what the cost. This is the JESUS OPTION.

Bo Sanchez


Do For Your Soul What You Do For Your Body

I HAVE a couple of questions for you. Can you imagine yourself taking a bath only once a month? Youll freak out, right? But lets say theres a water shortage and a presidential decree was issued that showers can only be taken every thirty dayswith a maximum of two gallons of water for each Filipino per bath. (Out of our ingrained hospitality, foreigners are allowed to use two-and-a-half gallons.) Entering into an airconditioned room or bus will be a nightmare, as various toxic odors will hang so thickly in the air, it may coagulate into gel form. Prayer meetings will prohibit the lifting of hands. The basketball ring will be lowered to four feet. And I presume that an accidental spark in a crowded elevator will be fatal, as the fumes of a sweating humanity will be flammable by that time. Too gross for you? Lets change the topic. What would it be like if you brushed your teeth only once a year? Lets say some loony scientist

discovered that the up and down motion of brushing teeth has a direct impact to the thinning of the ozone layer. (Who knows?) So brushing of teeth has been banned by legislative decree number 9002except on New Years eve. That is the only day you can brush your teeth. Imagine how thick your mouth will feel by November. Think with me. Lets say youre out on a romantic date on December. Not much kissing will take place, believe me. And as you look at your beautiful damsel, you notice a bit of green lettuce jutting between her teeth. So you tell her, I know what you had for lunch this morning. What pray tell? she teases you. Lettuce! you grin. She chuckles, Youre wrong! Thats what I ate last March! Ah, these situations will be quite normal. My message? That you and I do more deranged things than bathing monthly and brushing teeth annually. For example, when we do not forgive others every day.

Our bodies need regular washing because we get dirty every day. But so do our hearts! Because each day, people hurt us, offend us, forget us, snub us, step on us, reject us. But if we choose to forgive everyone every day, we cleanse our hearts! We wake up the next morning refreshed and pure and lovely! Some people, however, will not wash themselves from the hurts of each day but rather accumulate them week after week, month after month, year after year. Perhaps, in some annual Holy Week retreat, they decide to forgive all their enemies. Perhaps, when someone close to them dies, they remember to cancel debts and live for something more noblerather than collecting bitterness. But without these rare events, they just become filthier each day. Their spirits begin to smell. And their stench becomes flammable. For these people, hell begins now. Do for your soul what you do for your body.

Leland Francisco

Congratulations and Prayers to


With Love and Best Wishes, Immaculate Conception Academy City of Batac, Ilocos Norte

Alessandra Magnasco

Nowadays, the progress of technology and medicine have pushed back the boundaries of death. Some even dare to think that, one day, death will be postponed almost indefinitely by replacing the defective or worn out parts of our bodies. While this is a poor illusion, it does show mans innate desire to live forever.

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 18 No. 07
March 31 - April 13, 2014

Social Concerns


Religions unite against trafcking of persons

By Fr. Shay Cullen
IT was a solemn moment in the great meeting hall in the Vatican where the joint agreement and statement was to be signed by the representatives of the great world religions. It was not some lofty, irrelevant declaration to work for mutual respect for different faiths but to launch the Global Freedom Network. Its goal is to eradicate modern forms of slavery and human trafficking. The agreement to work together was because they shared abhorrence at the growing numbers of victims and the searing personal destructiveness of modern slavery and human trafficking. The statement calls for urgent action by all other Christian churches and global faiths. This is a historical cooperation agreement and gives hope to many that people of faith will work together to stop it or reduce it significantly. Pope Francis was represented by Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and Social Sciences. Present too were Mahmoud Azab, on behalf of the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Egypt, Rev. Sir John Moxon, on behalf of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, and Andrew Forrest, founder of the Walk Free Foundation. It is an important undertaking and a major change in Church policy and practice. In the past, it was generally ignored, now it is taking center stage. This modern form of slavery comes as bonded T h e Va t i c a n p r e s s statement underlined just how important this move is where millions of children are raped every year like Jezebel. According to the Joint Statement, Modern slavery and human trafficking are crimes against humanity. The physical, economic, and sexual exploitation of men, women and children condemns 30 million people to dehumanization and degradation. Every day we let this tragic situation continue is a grievous assault on our common humanity and a shameful affront to the consciences of all peoples. Any indifference to those suffering and exploitation must cease. We call to action all people of faith and their leaders, all governments and people of goodwill, to join the movement against modern slavery and human trafficking and support the Global Freedom Network. We have to take a stand and speak out. Silence can even be misunderstood as consent. The faith that does not flow over into action for justice is dead, says Saint James. We cannot be the walking dead, we need to be filled with the Spirit and have compassion and concern and take action. Faith is at its highest point when we become disciples of Jesus and go imitate the good done by the Samaritan. There is an important challenge to all of us in this statement and initiative. Taking action to save the victims of abuse and exploitation is what Jesus of Nazareth did and expect the same from His followers. (shaycullen@preda.org, www.preda.org)

labor where people are enslaved to pay a debt, or pressured and threatened if they dont work as unpaid labor and worst, trafficked into sex slavery. The International Labour Organization estimates that women and girls represent the largest share of forced labor victims with 11.4 million trafficked victims (55 percent) compared to 9.5 million (45 percent) men. Most of the girls and women are forced into sex bars and clubs and brothels that are operated with local government permits in the Philippines and elsewhere.

Thousands of young teenage children, mostly girls are lured away from their families and villages with offers of fine jobs and are sold into brothels from where they have no escape. There is an estimated 25 million people in slavery today, an illegal business that generates as much as US$34 billion a year. It is estimated that US$15 billion is generated in the developed countries. The trafficking of children and rape even in a police station is shocking but all too frequent. Take the case of the latest child victim

It is an important undertaking and a major change in Church policy and practice. In the past, it was generally ignored, now it is taking center stage.
at the Preda center for abused children. Jezebel was only 13 years old when her stepfather tried to rape her, but she was quick and agile enough to escape his clutches and ran away. She found a job in a store in Limay, Bataan, but was accused of stealing and was brought to the Limay police station. There, after a while, she was forced into an empty cell by a prisoner trustee and was raped. The police officer on duty saw her being raped and ignored it. Some days later, Jezebel with her trusted aunt,

went back to the police station to file a charge of rape, but the female police officer did not give them a certificate to have a medico-legal examination and they were advised to forget it. A case was filed but after several months, the prosecutor in Balanga, Bataan has not acted on it. Thats the state of justice and the Church and human rights advocates ought to take up this case and go write to the media, the Secretary of Justice and the Secretary of Interior and Local Government about this case.

Thomas Wanhoff

By John Mulderig, Catholic News Service
NEW YORK (CNS) -- Noah (Paramount), which begins as a fairly straightforward recounting of the biblical story of the flood, eventually veers off into a grim, scripturally unfounded drama about a family dispute. This clan conflict is driven by the titular patriarchs (Russell Crowe) misguided interpretation of Gods purposes in causing the deluge. Though Noahs extreme pro-nature, anti-human reading of the situation is corrected in the end, his temporary fanaticism requires that viewers approach the film with mature discernment and with a solid grounding in the relevant, sometimes mysterious passages of the Old Testament. Even early on, the narrative of the Book of Genesis is padded out, and there are some borrowings from other parts of the Bible as well as from noncanonical works. Thus, in convincingly portraying the wickedness from which the earth is to be cleansed, director and co-writer Darren Aronofsky embodies the range of sinful tendencies on display in the impious person of self-proclaimed King Tubal-Cain (Ray Winstone). The single verse of Scripture that refers to Tubal-Cain -- Chapter 4, Verse 22, of Genesis -- tells us only about his genealogy and his role as, more or less, the first metalworker. But there is a tradition that at least part of Tubal-Cains craft involved forging weapons, so perhaps he can reasonably be enlisted as the prototype of arms merchants and war-profiteers. A more questionable exercise of creative liberty presents us with a race of giant creatures called the Watchers. Their background

Moral Assessment

CBCP Monitor

March 31 - April 13, 2014

Vol. 18 No. 07

Technical Assessment

story, meant to connect them to the shadowy Nephilim mentioned in Chapter 6 of Genesis, describes them as angels who voluntarily fell to Earth to help the fledgling human race. The idea of angel-like Watchers also evokes the Book of Daniel and the extra-canonical books of Enoch and Jubilees. Still, the opening sequences are largely faithful to the original story, though in place of a direct revelation by God, Noah is tipped off to the fate of humanity by a dream. He interprets this vision -- acknowledging that it was sent by the Creator, as God is always called in the dialogue -with the help of his grandfather, Methuselah (Anthony Hopkins). The building of the ark and the gathering of the animals are also according to Hoyle, and are accomplished through predictably impressive special effects. On the eve of the flood, though, the stage is set for the familial clash that will occupy the audiences attention throughout the arks forthcoming voyage. This necessitates not just a departure from the text of Genesis, but a direct contradiction of it. The Bible tells us that all three of Noahs sons -- Shem (Douglas Booth), Ham (Logan Lerman) and Japheth (Leo McHugh Carroll) -- were accompanied onto the ark by their wives (Chapter 7, Verse 13, of Genesis). On screen, Shem has his destined bride in Ila (Emma Watson), an orphan Noah and his wife, Naameh (Jennifer Connelly), long ago rescued and adopted. But Ham has no spouse, and Noah systematically thwarts his efforts to acquire one, while Japheth is barely a teenager. Noah, it emerges, believes that the only reason he and his relatives have been rescued by

God is so that they can keep the animals safe during the flood. Having seen to all the other creatures survival, it will then be wicked humanitys destiny to die out, restoring the natural world to a pure and innocent state. This ultra-environmentalist outlook not only puts Noah at odds with Ham but -- through a late-blooming crisis not to be outlined for fear of a spoiler -- with everyone else on board except Japheth. Since Noah will stop at nothing to carry out the apparently anti-life mission the Deity has entrusted to him, what we are left with, for the time being at least, is not a model of faith but an image of unbalanced zealotry. All this is somewhat mitigated, and explained away, before the closing credits. And Aronofskys script, penned in collaboration with Ari Handel, approaches its weighty themes of righteousness and evil, punishment and redemption, with due seriousness. But, taken together with the elements listed below, the movies dramatic deviations from its inspired source material mean that young viewers would be better directed -- initially at least -- to more literal-minded adaptations, rather than this very free variation on a theme. The film contains much stylized violence with minimal gore, an offscreen encounter that may be premarital, distant partial nudity and some mild sensuality. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. (Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.)

Abhorrent Disturbing Acceptable Wholesome Exemplary DIRECTOR: Scott Waugh; LEAD CAST: Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, Imogen Poots, Ramon Rodriguez, Michael Keaton SCREENWRITER: George Gatins PRODUCER: John Gatins, Patrick OBrien, Mark Sourian EDITOR: Paul Rubell, Scott Waugh MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Nathan Furst CINEMATOGRAPHER: Shane

Poor Below average Average Above average E xcellent

Hurlbut; GENRE: Action and Adventure; DISTRIBUTOR: Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture; RUNNING TIME: 130 mins Technical Assessment: 2 Moral Assessment: 2.5 CINEMA Rating: V18

Buhay San Miguel

Brothers Matias

Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul) is a mechanic by day and an underground street racer by night. The basic plot has Marshall traveling cross country from New York to California to take part in an underground race set u p by a guy named Monarch (Michael Keaton). Marshall has forty-something hours to get to California in order to participate in the race. He manages Marshall Motors Garage, a sinking business his father put up. One day, Dino, (Dominic Cooper) an old acquaintance, asks Tobey to assemble an unfinished Ford Mustang originally designed by legendary car customizer Carroll Shelby and offers him 25% of the selling price. Being deep in debts, Tobey agrees despite his crews hesitation. However during the post-auction race, Dino runs Tobeys best friend, Little Pete (Gilberston) off the road to his death and frames Tobey for the crime. After serving two years in prison for a crime he did not commit, Tobey decides to avenge his fate and his friends death through an underground winner take all race wherein only selected drivers are invited. Tobey gets together his old Marshall Motors crew and Julia (Poots) to condition another Mustang and give Dino a taste of his own medicine. Their crosscountry adventure from New York to California and their actual participation takes up most of the running time of the movie. Lets talk about the more tolerable part of the film first. The performances are blandly boring and there is just no chemistry between the male and female romantic leads. While Coopers Dino delivers some texture, it does so in a clichd villainy

fashion. As an action film i t does deliver enough to reach the classification but barely keeps the audience awake and sane with its ever so slow pacing and ridiculous stunts. Cinematography, and car race sequence choreography, despite being on point fails to bring home a maximum impact because of the very thin storyline. Now for the killer: Need for Speed made lame attempts to anchor characters and scenes from other successful movies (e.i Smokey and the Bandit, Speed Racer, Fast and the Furious) but nowhere did it come close in chemistry, wisdom or sensuality to sell the plot. The story is poorly constructed and the script even more pathetic. For a franchise off a popular highadrenalin video game with a sure following, Need for Speed is a very big disappointment. How many people have met their untimely demise because of irresponsible egoistic drivers who care not for anyones safety? Other race movies try to justify its existence with a good soul of a hero who is just so talented at racing and may have been forced to ignore safety rules for the greater good. But Need for Speed, perhaps because it is based on a video game with no responsibility to deliver a rational storyline, neglects

every rule of story telling and just throws in an identifiable hero, a lot of expensive cars and even more crashes and speed. It is simply offensive to see how it puts bystanders at riskand such carelessness is glorified. More disturbing is the fact that the offenders were merely given a slap on the wrist by the police when they were arrested. Impressionable teenagers, who are more likely also supporters of the video game, will get the wrong message about safety, concern for others and getting away with it.

Vol. 18 No. 07

CBCP Monitor

March 31 - April 13, 2014


The News Supplement of Couples for Christ

Canadian High School Sends Volunteers to CFC ANCOP

Holy Cross Crusaders, counterclockwise from top: the students wearing their bright green AGW shirt; getting ready to board for Manila; some initial activity after touchdown; dancing for the AKC ANCOP scholars; playing with kids from AKC.

By Alma Alvarez
ThiRtY-two students from Grades 11 and 12 of Holy Cross Regional High School, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada came to the Philippines last March 18, 2014 to participate in what they call the Holy Cross Mission Trip 2014. The trip, organized by ANCOP Canada in partnership with CFC ANCOP in the Philippines, brings students from Catholic schools in Canada to immerse in the Building the Church of the Poor program of Couples for Christ, particularly the ANCOP Shelter Program. Holy Cross is the biggest high school in British Columbia, and it is their first time to immerse in ANCOP. Last November, the Toronto Catholic District School Board sent a simi-

lar delegation for this program. The students, chaperoned by 7 members of the Holy Cross faculty and Fr. Patrick Tepoorten, pastor of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Delta, British Columbia, arrived at 7:30 AM Manila time. After a quick freshening up, they were ushered to the ANCOP Kapatid Community (AKC) in Caloocan City. While there, the ANCOP scholars of CFC Metro Manila North A entertained the guests with cultural dances. The Holy Cross kids also had the chance to play with the children and dance with the teens. Working in ANCOP The next day, the Holy Cross group had a taste of working under the sweltering Manila heat. After the Mass officiated by Fr. Patrick, the group received instructions from Ganny Evangelista, the Shelter Program Coordinator of Metro Manila West C sector. The students and teachers worked up until they breaked for lunch. After their lunch break, the group

resumed working until about 4:00 in the afternoon. This was a typical day for the enthusiastic workers, which went on for the next 6 days. But it was not all work and no play. In between shoveling, carrying debris, laying bricks, and painting houses, the Holy Cross missionaries found time to have fun with the children, teens, and even the moms and dads in AVANAI. On Day 3, the group held a talent show where both the kids from AVANAI and Holy Cross showcased their talents. On Day 5, the AVANAI teens played a mean game of basketball with the Holy Cross Crusaders. March 25 was the groups last day in ANCOP AVANAI. After the days work, the community hosted a dinner/ serenade for the Canadian guests. The following day, the group went up to the Our lady of Banneux Community in San Mateo, Rizal. It was a different experience for the students and teachers, from urban AVANAI
Holy Cross / C2

Building homes... touching lives... more fun in the Philippines! Students and teachers from the Holy Cross Regional High School did not mind the sweltering Manila heat as they worked and played with the residents in AVANAI.

Holy Cross Regional High School at the Our Lady of Banneux ANCOP Community

A welcome break from the construction work was the trip to Saint Martin de Porres Childrens Center in Tondo, Manila and the historical tour of the Intramuros.

SOLD International Conference: Turning Point

Almost 500 men from the Servants of the Lord and CFC spent the last weekend of March in fellowship, fun and faith during the SOLD/ CFC Mens International Conference 2014. The Conference, titled Turning Point, was held at the Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary in Baguio City. The balmy weather in the countrys summer capital made the PBTS an ideal venue for these true men of God to encounter the Lord and Mother Maryto Behold and Ponder. Speakers and shares alike delivered inspiring messages that brought profound insights to the participants. The outdoor a c t i v i t i e s w e re n o t o n l y e n j o y able, but also spirit-led, making each activity an avenue for the participants to feel the brotherhood and camaraderie unique to the ministry. At the end of the weekend conference, the SOLD and CFC men went home with renewed conviction in becoming more and more true men of God.

SOLD and men in CFCcalled to be True Men of God!

Ricky Cuenca

Holy Cross / C1

CBCP Monitor
March 31 - April 13, 2014

Vol. 18 No. 07

Just call me Lolo

I am now a lolo (grandfather). And whenever I am asked how it feels to be a grandfather, I cannot hide the excitement and happiness I feel. You see, for me, becoming a grandparent is a stage of life and I know that we will eventually come to that. And having an apo (grandchild) is truly a blessing! In fact I have two, one each from my daughters, who came one after the other. My daughter Jacqueline and her husband JP were the first to make me a lolo when their daughter Jillian Elise was born. Tw o w e e k s later, it was my daughter Crissy and her husband Jose who gave us our second, Aria. In my trip to the US and Canada last February, our family celebrated a very joyous occasion. Aria, my granddaughter who lives in Canada, was baptized last February 9. It was a very small partywe were only in one table. But it was truly a spirit-filled event! As a new lolo, I am giddy with excitement over my grandchildren. Masarap pala! (I never knew it would feel great!) I remember someone asking me, What would you like your grandchildren to call you? I replied, I want them to call me Lolo! Hindi naman halata, di ba? (It doesnt really show, does it?). And speaking of serving in CFC, I can see that my apos will grow up to be God-fearing, obedient, kind and generous individuals because they would grow up in the community. Both my children and their spouses are actively serving as leaders in Couples for Christ, and I truly look forward to seeing my grandchildren grow in the Lord. I remember one time, when Aria was three months old, the doctor specifically told her parents not to take her out because of the extremely cold weather. However, there was a leaders training Crissy and Jose were scheduled to attend. And so Aria had to come with them, all bundled up and cozy. I remember experiencing this with our own daughters who grew up in a CFC environment. Irma and I would take them everywhere Household prayer meetings, assemblies, and all of the CFC activities. And the Lord always protected them from the elements. Even when they were growing up, God shielded them from bad company. In fact, one of my daughters wanted to become a nun, and almost entered the convent! Who knows, my granddaughters might become nuns later on. The strong Catholic foundation that these children would be raised in can make that possible. And that would truly bring us joy. As a matter of fact, my daughters nun-friend has consecrated these little ones to the Lord. What a joy it is to be a grandfather!

to the quiet and rural OLB Community. Yet, the Canadian missionaries experienced the same warm welcome from the families living there. Visiting Saint Martin Among the places the Holy Cross delegates visited was the Saint Martin de Porres childrens center in Tondo, Manila. After the Mass concelebrated by Fr. Pat and Msgr. Matt Garcia, the high school kids spent time with the children and gave them gifts. One of the students, 12th grader Courtney Barich, prior to her trip to Manila, had pledged to raise money for the said center when she opted to forego the purchase of a gown for her graduation dance. Instead of an expensive gown, she decided she would wear a dress made from a potato sack, use the money shell save to start the fund-raiser, and hopes to send $10,000 to Saint Martin. (See Courtney Barich story at http://tinyurl.com/k9w5hct). After that encounter with the street children of Tondo, Vida Cuares, CFC ANCOP Coordinator for Canada, took the party to a brief historical tour of Manila, with a kalesa ride being the highlight of the tour. Personal mission Among the missionaries were the motherdaughter tandem of Wendy and Rachel Beauchamp. Wendy, who is also a teacher at Holy Cross, came to Manila with another goalto fund the building of a house in honor of Tessa, her daughter who had died of cancer a year ago. In a symbolic turnover, Wendy and Rachel personally awarded the house to a family in AVANAI, together with framed photographs of Tessa. Through this home, I know Tessa will have a family here in the Philippines, Wendy added.

We came as strangers Judging from how these kids related with the children in the places they immersed in, it can be surmised that the Holy Cross students, and even the teachers, made a mark in the lives of the families in ANCOP AVANAI and the OLB Community. As the kids shared during their last day in AVANAI, they were amazed how they were treated like celebrities. But more than the royal treatment, what truly made an impact in the students lives was the fact that although they arrived as strangers, they were leaving as family. For Rachel Beauchamp, the experience opened her eyes to the realities of life. According to Fr. Patrick, although the Holy Cross kids come from middle class families, the experience has made the students more appreciative of what they have back home. They were likewise amazed at how hardworking the volunteers in AVANAI were. The huge gulf that somehow separated the young people from AVANAI and Holy Cross in the beginning was quickly bridged at the end of six days. Gifts were exchanged between the missionaries and the residents. Even the younger children of AVANAI, OLB and Saint Martin de Porres appreciated the gifts from the kids from Star of the Sea Elementary School. For the students, the bake sales, the Dollar for Jeans Day, the lumpia (spring rolls) sales, participating in the ANCOP Global Walk 2013 in Surrey (they raised $12,000 from AGW alone), and the other creative ways they did to raise funds for the trip were all worth it. As of press time, the group has flown back to Canada, eager to share their stories and hopefully inspire more students, even from the other Catholic schools, to have the same experience with CFC ANCOP.

CFC Toronto In a Courtesy Visit to Cardinal Collins

Present during the meeting are (L-R)Kevin Muico Fulltime Pastoral Worker for CFC-Youth; NoliArzadon, Regional Head (RH)-Western Canada; Greg Parillas, CFC-National Director; Jun Clarito, RH-Eastern Canada and wife Malou; His EminenceThomas Cardinal Collins; Eric delos Reyes, Country Coordinator-Couples for Christ Canada and wife Carina; Jimmy Arzadon, Area Head (AH) Vancouver; and Francis Yap, AH-Toronto and wife Jessie.

By Francis Yap
Couples for Christ Toronto was given the privilege to pay a courtesy visit to His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto last March 10, 2014. During the meeting, CFC updated His Grace on the communitys work towards New Evangelization, stressing out CFCs mission of Building the Church of the Home, which is focused on Family Evangelization, and Building the Church of the Poor through ANCOP. His Eminence was also very pleased to hear about updates with CFC Youths active presence in schools and the ministrys coordination with Fr. Frank Portelli of the Office of Catholic Youth. For his part, His Eminence mentioned the importance of supporting movements that focus on family like Couples for Christ and would like to see the community spread throughout the whole diocese. He likewise spelled out the Archdiocese Pastoral Plan which focuses on evangelization and caring for the needy which is an affirmation of the work of Couples of Christ. He ended by thanking the community for all the work CFC is doing in the archdiocese, exhorting the leaders and members to continue to stress on the virtues, provide alternatives and draw energy towards the good. The short visit ended with His Eminence blessing the whole Couples for Christ community and humbly saying, You pray for me and I will pray for you.

CFC ANCOP helps build Samar Church

Global Pinoy Singing Idol USA Finals to be held in Orlando

By ANCOP USA Communications

By Rizal Ting
On the rainy afternoon of March 22, 2014, CFC ANCOP, composed of Eastern Leyte PAH Willie Padida, PAD Roger Chua, ANCOP Head Jun Derion and CFC ANCOP HQ Operations Rizal Ting, visited Barangay Bua Bua, Salcedo, Samar in response to the request of ANCOP Bermuda regarding their effort to help the parishioners of the Our Lady of Salvation Parish to rebuild their church. The town of Salcedo was badly hit by Yolanda and most of the residents were living in tents. The group arrived at around 3:00 in the afternoon. Barangay Chairman Severino Bagon introduced them to the Parish Priest, Fr. Alfonso Pony Asis. Upon inspection of the parish church, the team found that the roofing was ripped out, and there was heavy damage at the altar area. A temporary shelter was made at the back of the parish where the priest celebrated Mass, and a small room at the side of the church served as the room of the parish priest. The parish priest welcomed the support of ANCOP Bermuda and presented the group an estimated BOM amounting to Php1.530M to provide roofing for the church. This did not include the labor and other incidentals. CFC ANCOP pledged to get back to the parish as soon as the donation of ANCOP Bermuda is finalized. The funds will be downloaded thru CFC ANCOP Eastern Samars account. Likewise, ANCOP proposed for the area to be part of the adopt-a-barangay Community Development program of ANCOP, as there has been an established relationship with the parish priest and the barangay officials. ANCOP hopes to be back early April to download the approved funds for the parish roofing and firm up the proposal to help rebuild the community thru the ANCOP Shelter Program.

FoR the third year, ABS-CBN/ DZMM and CFC ANCOP USA are co-sponsors for the grand finals of the USA Global Pinoy Singing Idol (GPSI) competition in Orlando, Florida on April 5, 2014. Fourteen singers from seven states will compete. They are Aaron Caras (FL); Giselle Delos Reyes (MN); Vanessa Quillao (FL); Michael Toledo (FL); Ian Ramos (FL); Kyle Mercado (FL); Cheryl Badiola (FL); Jozen D De Leon (TX); Jolilorlyn Q Wenghofer (IL); Michael Rey Calalang (NJ); Alessja Morales (CA); Martin Honor (MD); Maria Raina Rivere (MD); Rodel Sajor (CA). Singer Pops Fernandez and actor Gaby Concepcion will be the guest performers during the competition. Awell Paz and Melody Garcia-Muniz of DZMM will co-emcee the five-hour singing contest that will be carried live by DZMM in all it coverage areas around the world. According to Roger Santos, Executive Director of ANCOP USA, two first prize winners will be awarded $1,000 each, plus free round-trip tickets and weeklong stay in Manila for the Global Finals of GPSI sometime in January 2015. Proceeds from the event will go to CFC ANCOP USAs ongoing projects for the poor in the Philippines, including the victims of Typhoon Yolanda.

The News Supplement of Couples for Christ

The Ugnayan News Supplement is published by the Couples for Christ Global Mission Foundation, Inc., with editorial offices at 156 20th Avenue, 1109 Cubao, Quezon City. Editorial trunk line: (+63 2) 709-4868 local 23 Direct line : (+63 2) 709-4856 www.couplesforchristglobal.org cfcglobalcommunications@gmail.com facebook.com/CFC.Global.Mission


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 18 No. 07
March 31 - April 13, 2014

Jun Uriarte

CFC in the New Evangelization (Part 2)

CoFC Manila holds 14th GA and Board Elections

THE following is the content of the talk of Bro. Jun Uriarte during the 2nd Global Leaders Empowerment Convention last January 12, 2014. Part 1, from the February 3, 2014 issue of the UGNAYNAN, discussed the Scope of and Need for New Evangelization. This second part tackles the Strategies of evangelization as employed by St. Patrick and St. Francis Xavier. What will be the approaches to new evangelization as defined initially by Pope Benedict, and, then now, clearly, in Evangelii Gaudium? However, for us to be able to state the approaches that CFC should take, Id like to bring you over quickly and share with you some vignettes short storiesabout evangelization in the past. And then perhaps we can learn from them. I used to work for the United Nations in Thailand for 8 years, and so I travelled to the U.N. Headquarters in New York very often. I always stayed in a hotel that was within walking distance from the U.N. Headquarters, and at the same time also within walking distance from the Cathedral of St. Patrick. There is always an early morning Mass, at 7:00, and so, even during winter, I would walk from the hotel to St. Patrick to hear Mass daily. After Mass, at around 7:30, I go to this nice restaurant near St. Patrick and have breakfast there before heading back to the U.N. Headquarters for our meeting. During those years that Ive been going there, I always reflect and ponder, and marvel at that great Cathedral of St. Patrick and try to remember the person whom that Cathedral was named after. St. Patrick was born in the west coast of the British Isles in 398. At the age of 14, he was captured by a raiding party and became a slave in pagan Ireland. After 6 years he escaped, and he returned to his family in Britain. Later he studied in Gaul (which is now modern-day France) under Egyptian monks. He was ordained a priest and later became bishop. And then he was sent as a missionary to Ireland. The conversion of Ireland was due to great missionary work of St. Patrick. In evangelizing and converting Ireland, St. Patrick had a strategy. And this is the reason why we want to recall these vignettes about past evangelizationto learn what were their strategies that worked so that we too might be able to adapt those in our work of new evangelization. What did St. Patrick do? He put particular emphasis on the evangelization of the aristocracy. Its not my recommendation, its not the ICs recommendation, it was St. Particks strategy. And I am merely sharing with you these vignettes. He said that once the aristocracy converts, the others would follow. And the aristocracy provided protection for the converts from the lower class, from the masses. And it worked. Because we know that Ireland is strongly Catholic. Learning from St. Patrick I did not only live in Bangkok for 8 years, I also lived in Jakarta for 12 years. Let me share with you some vignettes of the missionary work in Indonesia. When we arrived in Indonesia, there was a small group of Couples for Christ, but they were not growing. And so we adapted a strategy, and I remembered the strategy of St. Patrick. And so I said, Why dont we evangelize the expatriates first? The expatriates were very well paid in Indonesia at that time. We get them converted, we convert their wallets too. And the Holy Spirit allowed it. I remember when I was the head of the expatriate group in Indonesia, we had people tithing regularly at $2,000 a month! And then we said, What about the locals? and so we modified the strategy. We evangelized the locals who can speak Bahasa Indonesia fluentlyand there were many! And so we purposely and strategically invited them and we were able to bring them into the community. And then they were able to go out with resources that have been provided. And with their fluency in the local language, they were able to travel and spread the gospel in the community in Indonesia. Then we said, Well, the expatriates are purely Filipinos. What about the other expatri-

ates?, and that was difficult. A Filipino lecturing to Caucasians? Aha! Lets invite Jack Burgoyne! Those who remember our brother Jack Burgoyne know that hes tall, Caucasian-looking, but he is Filipino and speaks Tagalog. And so we invited him to come over to Jakarta and told him, Jack, dont ever speak Tagalog! Always speak in English. Theyll think you are an American. I said, You give the first three talks. That was the strategy. And he did. He came over, and to cut the long story short, there was one time we had 13 nationalities in our community in Indonesiawe had British, Australian, Indian, New Zealand, Singaporean, Malaysian And the best proof of that success in that strategy is that now, the leadership is within Indonesians, proven by our brother Alex and sister Suaning. A brief history of evangelization Christian evangelization began in Jerusalem at Pentecost. Peter was the first to convert, we know that from the Acts of the Apostles3,000 people in one day. Christianity was first established in Jerusalem and in Antioch, where the followers of Jesus (followers of the Way) were first called Christians. Bartholomew preached the Gospel in northwest India, Thomas established the church in Malabar in south India, but the greatest missionary to Asia was St. Francis Xavier. In just a decade, St. Francis converted an estimated 700,000 people. He established Christian communities along the western coast of India, from Goa to Cape Comorin. He established Christian communities in Sri Lanka, Malacca, and Japan. Now here is the secret, and we hope we can discuss this in the workshops because this is the very purpose of GLEC: the success of his evangelization is attributed to 6 things, from the reflections of those pondering about this saints writings: 1. Visible holiness not just holiness, but visible holiness; people seeing Christ in us, which comes out of a life of constant prayer. 2. Unceasing preaching the equivalent to this at this moment is constantly inviting people to our Christian Life Program. 3. Unrelenting pastoral work the equivalent to this being the unceasing mending of our nets. We should not lose people that we have caught. We have to continue to mend our nets. Remember, ne as defined by Pope Francis already includes pastoral work. 4. Techniques unique to each situation and methods consistent with conditions of the people in practical terms, to be an effective evangelizer, we must learn the language of the people we are trying to reach. 5. Minister to the sick like what St. Francis did. For CFC, that is our BCOP. 6. Preach the gospel in our Christian Life Program Francis wrote and taught and catechism. We need to know our religion, know who Jesus Christ really is. We need to know the story of Jesus. And he established a school in Goa to train missionaries. Thats what Francis did. So after three years in India, he went to Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam. And then there was a convert in Goa, a Japanese named Anjir who was later on baptized as Paul. In 1549, Francis and Paul (Anjir) went to Japan, and in two years were able to convert 2,000 in Japan. And it was the love and concern for each Japanese that brought many to Christianity. But then, here is again another very important strategyFrancis noted that the Japanese looked up to China as the source of civilization. And Francis said, If I can convert the Chinese, since the Japanese look up to the Chinese, the Japanese will follow. Sounds familiar? This was St. Patricks strategy also. And so Francis returned to Goa, he prepared for a mission to China and in 1552, he sailed from Goa to China. He reached the island of Sancian near Canton, but God had another plan. Francis became sick and he died before he could enter China. And so the other Jesuits continued the evangelization of China, the most important being Fr. Alessandro Valignano. (To be continued)

CoFC gets ready for year 15, clockwise from top: the Board of Directors, both incoming and outgoing; Chairman Victor Hizon presiding over the assembly; members line up for the automated elections; the five new members of the Board.

Co-ops for Christ Manila conducted its 14 th General Assembly and elections of the members of the Board of Directors last March 29, 2014 at the Obispado de Cubao in Quezon City. After the declaration of a quorum by Secretary Margarita Uy, CoFC Chairman Victor Hizon called the meeting to order.

After the consideration of the Minutes of the last regular General Assembly and Special General Assembly and the matters arising from the minutes of the meeting and the approval thereof, Co-ops General Manager and COO Letty Jayme gave the Management Report to the body.

This was followed by the election of 5 members of the Board of Directors from the 8 nominees. After the canvassing of the automated election returns, the following were elected to the CoFC Board: re-electionists Tess Cecilio, Baby Dacanay, and Ted Topacio; and new members Emil Reyes and Nick Olivar.

ANCOP USA turns over equipment, medicines

Dr. Raul Banias presents the medicines to Governor Defensor.

The team makes a through inspection to make sure the equipment that each would be in optimum condition.

After the inventory, these medical equipment were turned over to WVSUMC.

Dr. Jerry Alabado inspects the medical equipment and supervises the inventory of the items.

By Nathaniel Gomez

ANCOP USA, following their recent medical mission to Iloilo, turned over medical equipment and medicines to the province via the West Visayas State University Medical Center and the provincial Governor. The equipment and medicines came from Direct Relief International, a non-profit organization that focuses on improving the quality of life by bringing critically needed medicines and supplies to local healthcare providers worldwide. The donation was made through the initiative of Rene Palma of AUSA. Gerry Alabado, Provincial Area Director of Iloilo, who is a physician himself, and CFC Iloilo AGT member Dr. Giovanni delos Reyes, VP for Medical & Allied Sciences, and OIC, Medical Center received the brand new medical equipment for WVSUMC. Afterwards, the group proceeded to the Provincial Capitol where they turned over the medicines to Governor Arthur Defensor and City Administrator Dr. Raul Banias.

Cornerstone tutees move up

At the end of each school year, Cornerstone conducts a Moving Up Day to honor the students for their perseverance and hard work, as well as the public school teachers and principals who embrace what Cornerstone embodies. During the Moving Up ceremonies, tutors and coordinators give out certificates and special cita-

tions to the students in order to give recognition and continue inspiring them to become better in the next school year. Aside from the Moving Up rites, high school students under the Cornerstone Program were also given leadership and capability training in order to equip them even after graduation.

MoRe than 1,700 mission core members of CFC Central Luzon gathered at the Baguio Convention Center on March 15-16, 2014 for the Beloved Weekend. The Conference service team was the province of Bulacan, who warmly welcomed representatives of the different provinces as they practiced their entry for the Songs of the Beloved. Day 1 of the program started with the praying of the Rosary, followed shortly by the celebration of the Mass by Fr. Allan Antonio, the spiritual director of CFC Bulacan. CFC Central Luzon Regional Head Romy Alfaro gave the Prologue, highlighting CFC Central Luzons spiritual journey with Mother Mary from 2012 until today, and relating them to the topics to be discussed on this two-day gathering. The first talk, Ponder, the Family of Love, was given by Family Ministries Director Mannix Ocampo. His wife Aileen and their children inspired the audience with heartfelt sharing about their family life and how they are blessed by God as they put complete trust in the Lord. The sharing of the family of Rey and Anne Atessor also confirm how God takes good care of his faithful servants. Mon de Leon, through a video sharing, expressed his gratitude for the opportunity given to them in serving CL. The whole Central Luzon offered prayers for the complete healing of his wife, Penny. The former provincial area heads and area directors were also acknowledged for their sacrifices and dedication in leading the community to where it is now. The afternoon session brought the attendees to a deeper reflection, as


CBCP Monitor

March 31 - April 13, 2014

Vol. 18 No. 07

Central Luzon MC Members gather for the Beloved Weekend

and Nueva Ecijas entry titled Its About Love by Perry Modesto, ranked second and third place, respectively. The songwriters of entries from Aurora, Bataan, Tarlac and Zambales were also given plaques of recognition for their participation. The winning province brought home an image of Mama Mary who will continue to journey with them. The second day, after the recitation of the Rosary, Aurora PAH Mon Baas led the inspiring worship. The last session begun with the sharing of Jei and Winkie Aligada, whose full trust in the Lord allowed them to be healed of their illnesses and be blessed with a baby girl, despite complicated and late pregnancy of Winkie. Mimai Parangue, who was afflicted by cancer, shared how she was healed because of her faith and full support from the community, family and neighbours. CFC Executive Director George Campos, who delivered the 4 talk, Behold, The Beloved Son , stressed on how CFC can become another Christ, a beloved son and daughter. His wife Cynthia shared about the challenges in their married life and how Gods grace has kept their union intact, and how they are able to fulfil their mission of serving the Lord as a family. To close the conference, Ben Babilonia led the attendees to a powerful praise fest. It was followed by the Holy Mass with Fr. Allan Antonio as celebrant. The two-day echo conference was truly spirit-filled. And as it ended, the conference opened the new journey to becoming beloved sons and daughters of God, and by being the ears, the mouth, the hands and feet of the Lord.

former International Council Member Joe Yamamoto, who was celebrating his birthday on that day, gave his insights on the second talk, Ponder, the Mangers Message. His wife Mila shared her humble beginnings, their sacrifices and the people who have been used by God to support her in becoming a good doctor. The ANCOP scholars further gave testimonies on how their lives have been changed and how they have become spirit-filled individuals full of hope and gratitude. The third talk, Behold, The New Mission given by the CFC Chairman Ricky Cuenca kept the audience excited as he shared his own experi-

ences in doing evangelization work in foreign lands, and how his strong faith in God and devotion to Mama Mary led him to people who paved the way in undertaking the CFC mission. His wife Irma, in her sharing, recalled how their lives have been transformed, from a worldly to a spirit-filled life, through fasting and prayers of their first household leaders. She also stressed how the full support she extended to her husband led them together in joyful service to CFC worldwide. Chito Magsajo shared how CLPs can be undertaken in the workplace here and abroad, while his wife Chichi talked

about their journey of hope in the Lord when Chito was diagnosed of cancer 12 years ago while serving as area head of Pampanga. Young couple Raymond and Minette Rimando likewise inspired the audience with their courage and creative approaches in evangelization. The high-energy level of the attendees continued until evening for the Songs of the Beloved segment hosted by Bulacan Provincial Area Head Raffy Ballesteros and his wife Amie. Pampangas rendition of the song Mahal Naming Ina, composed by Kenneth Makapugay won first prize. Bulacans entry Birheng Maria by Gil Cruz and Dexter Domingo

CFC Migrants Program in SM Global Pinoy

By Jess Ferrer
The partnership between the CFC Migrants Program and SM Global Pinoy will push thru with its initial activities starting April 1, 2014 and all succeeding Tuesdays of April thereafter. Through the partnership, CFC shall be conducting the Moral Values Reorientation Program (MVRP) using the Family Circles module to First Set, April 1, 8, 15 & 22 Mall SM City North EDSA SM City Sta. Mesa SM City Bicutan SM Southmall SM City Rosario SM City Sta. Rosa SM City San Pablo SM City Lucena Second Set, July 1, 8, 15 & 22 Mall SM City Baguio SM City Tarlac SM City Pampanga SM City Rosales SM City Marilao SM City Lipa SM City Consolacion SM City Bacolod SM City Davao SM City General Santos SM City Cagayan de Oro SM City Manila Events Center Atrium / Cinema area Cinema Events Center Events Center Food Court Annex Events Center Events Center Events Center & Enclosure 215-217 Seafarer Center also expects CFC members to attend and participate in the workshops. Further, it would also be an opportunity for our CFC members to appreciate the Migrants Program and learn from these sessions. As such, CFC leaders of the sectors and provinces are encouraged to participate, support and learn from these engagements. This would also be an opportunity for non-CFC participants to feel the warmth, expressions of faith and solidarity of CFC at the venue in the hope of affecting them positively. All dates confirmed All dates confirmed All dates confirmed All dates confirmed except July 15 due to PR event All dates confirmed All dates confirmed All dates confirmed All dates confirmed All dates confirmed Venue Confirmed dates Events Center Bldg. B Events Center Events Center Events Center Activity Grounds Events Center Events Center Venue 3rd Floor City Center benefit the members of SM Global Pinoy who are families of OFWs. The Global Pinoy Centers are present in 35 SM Malls all over the Philippines out of the total of 48, and is part of SMs Corporate Social Responsibility for OFW Family members. Below is the schedule of the activities:

ANCOP Global Walk 2014 Make dreams come true

SM City Iloilo Events Center will be the venue for all Tuesdays of September. SM Fairview, Taytay, Valenzuela and Dasmarinas, Cavite schedules will be announced later on. The sessions will start at 1:30pm and end at 3:30pm. Snacks will be provided for the participants and facilitators. Furthermore, participants who will finish the 4 sessions will be given a Certificate of Attendance. With this partnership, apart from the Global Pinoy registered members who will be invited to attend the MVRP, the SM GPC

Since the ANCOP Global Walk was launched in 2011 during the 30th Anniversary of Couples for Christ, people from all walks of life (and even dogs) have walked and sent more or less a thousand scholars to school. But did you know that 51 scholars who were recipients of the AGW scholarship have graduated? This means that the lives of at least 51 families have been given the opportunity to live better lives through education! This May, give them the gift of an ANCOP scholarship once again. And make an impact on the lives of these children. Register for the ANCOP Global Walk. Its high time we WALK THE TALK!

CFC Mission Team Pays Courtesy Visit to Laos Bishop

stay in the Philippines, particularly with the close friendship that he has with His Eminence, Orlando Cardinal Quevedo, who also belongs to the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) congregation. The group gave Bishop Khams an update on the CFC programs in Laos, including the program to plan to reach out to Laotians. Bishop Khams expressed hope that there will be positive developments in the renewal of the Catholic Church in Laos, with the Filipino clergy and laity playing a vital role in the call to new evangelization. On behalf of CFC, Manny Panagsagan invited Bishop Khams to attend the Clergy-Lay Congress on June 19, 2014 during the CFC 33rd Anniversary Week.

AfteR a Spirit-filled weekend conducting the Covenant Orientation, Spiritual Warfare, and the Healing and Deliverance Talks last March 22-23, 2014, CFC Laos Country Heads, John Jevy and Rea Ancog, together with the Manila Mission Team led by Country Coordinators, Manny and Grace Panagsagan, Mila Ladrido, Phil de Guzman and Tony and Tess Concepcion, met with the Apostolic Vicar of Vientiane, Laos, Bishop Jean Khams Vithavong, OMI. Bishop Jean warmly welcomed the group with a smattering of Filipino words, learned during his four-year stint at the Loyola School of Theology in Ateneo de Manila. He spoke fondly of his