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August 31 - September 13, 2015




Tagle hits abortion on global

day of prayer for creation

Junk normalization
of gay unions
CBCP president
ECHOING the teaching that
same-sex unions cannot be
called marriage in the truest
sense of the word, a Filipino
prelate has underscored the
duty of each Catholic to resist
attempts to make homosexual
acts culturally normal by
standing up for true human
In those situations where
homosexual unions have been
legally recognized or have been
given the legal status and rights
belonging to marriage, clear
and emphatic opposition is a
duty, says Lingayen-Dagupan
Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas in a recent statement.

By Roy Lagarde

CARDINAL Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila

denounced abortion as
an attack on human dignity an important facet
of respect for creation.

The Manila archbishop lamented attacks on human life which,

he said, mirror todays materialistic
If you are useful anymore, you
are dropped. It is not a contemplation of human dignity, Tagle said.
Even people are measured by
profitability that is why children
being conceived in the womb can
be aborted, he said.
Tagle made the strong antiabortion message during a Mass
on Sept. 1 for the first World Day
of Prayer for the Care of Creation
declared by Pope Francis.

Abortion, A6

Teach your children how to
pray! Pope tells parents, A3

The dignity and vocation of

homosexual persons, B1

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle blesses the ecology ministry volunteers of different parishes after a Mass to mark the first World Day of Prayer for the Care of
Creation at the Manila Cathedral on September 1, 2015. The occasion also coincided with the opening of the 3rd Season of Creation in the Manila archdiocese. ROY LAGARDE

PH teachers back Popes

plea for accessible education

Vatican City - May 30, 2015. Pope Francis met with a group of children who arrived at
the Vatican aboard the Childrens Train. CNA

FILIPINO Catholic educators

have taken as their own the papal
intentions for September, agreeing
with Pope Francis that education
and employment are two things
the youth most need.
World leaders have a duty to
take seriously the task of providing
their people easy access to education . Everyone must be given

the chance to a kind of education

that respects their ethnic background, cultural upbringing, and
socio-economic status, explained
Jeanette Javier Sumicad, a special
education (SPED) teacher at Siena
College Taytay, in an interview.
She went on to echo the
H o l y Fa t h e r s w i s h t h a t
Education, A6

Bishops-led movt for Mediatrix

dogma welcomed
DEVOTEES of Mary Mediatrix
of All Grace have received with
joy the revival of a movement led
no other than a group of bishops
calling for a dogmatic declaration
of the Blessed Virgins role in the
universal mediation of grace.
Very happy [for] all that is happening more surprises coming,
exclaimed Jovi Atanacio, founding
chair of Mama Mary Mediatrix:
Lay Devotees Initiative, an online
network of Mediatrix devotees in
the Philippines and abroad.
Lipa apparition
Speaking for his group, Atanacio expressed hope the movement
will finally succeed in getting the
Vatican to definitively affirm the
title with which Mary allegedly
made herself known in the 1948
apparition to Sr. Teresing L. Castillo at Lipas Carmelite Monastery
Mediatrix of All Grace.
Yes, I believe in the universal

CBCP agency bucks P50B mega prison project

THE Catholic Churchs
prison ministry is opposing a government plan to
build a Php 50 billion mega
prison, saying the project is
The CBCP Episcopal
Commission on Prison Pastoral Care (ECPPC) said
there are other much practical solutions to decongest the
national penitentiary.
For one, said ECPPC executive secretary Rodolfo
Diamante, the project is
not [in] the best interest
of the prison community
Not a solution
The ECPPC has long
opposed to the transfer on
the ground that it is not the
solution to the problem of

National Bilibid Prisons R. LAGARDE/CBCPNEWS

the Bureau of Corrections,

Diamante said.
What is needed, he said,
is the improvement of the
existing facilities in seven
colonies where inmates of
National Bilibid Prisons

(NBP) in Muntinlupa can

be transferred.
Moreover, there is the law
on GCTA (Good Conduct
Time Allowance) that if
applied would dramatically
Prison, A7

From left-right: Bishop George Rimando (Auxiliary Bishop of Davao); Bishop Antonieto Cabahug (Bishop of Surigao del Norte); Bishop
Antonio Raola, (Auxiliary Bishop-Emeritus of Cebu); Bishop Guillermo Afable (Bishop of Digos); Bishop Camilo Gregorio (Bishop Prelate
of Batanes); Bishop Romulo Valles (Metropolitan Archbishop of Davao); and Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo (Auxiliary Bishop of Cotabato)

mediation of Mama Mary. For

centuries, the Church has recognized her as Mediatrix of all
graces, but in Lipa she gave a more
profound, more Christocentric,

and more important title, Mediatrix of All Grace, he explained.

All graces to All Grace
While in the old title the

Shift from dirty to clean

energy now! AMRSP,
eco groups
AS one of its objectives
for the environment, various religious congregations of the country along
with concerned partner
groups have vowed to
fight for the transformation of Philippine and
global energy systems
with an emphasis on clean
and renewable energy in
the spirit of Pope Francis
encyclical Laudato Si.
Shift away
In a collective state-

ment, the Association of

Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines
(AMRSP), Caritas Philippines, and climate justice
movements nationwide
renew the call for a shift
away from dirty energy
that is harmful to people,
communities, and the
Meeting at a recent
Pope-inspired climate
conference, they reiterate
that these activities harm
Eco, A6

word graces are in lower case

and plural, Atanacio pointed out the one she revealed
at Lipa Carmel is in singular
Mediatrix, A7

We need the millennials, CBCP

says on saving environment


Throw-away culture
Taking a cue from the Popes
Laudato Si encyclical, he deplored
abortion as an indication of todays
throw-away culture and that is
why children are considered as liabilities and elderly people are not
cared for.
The Vaticans landmark document on environment contains
several strong pro-life passages,
denouncing abortion, population
control, and embryonic experimentation.

Normalization, A7

REFLECTING on the lessons of Saint Augustine, son

of Saint Monica , CBCP
Pr e s i d e n t A r c h b i s h o p
Socrates Villegas expressed
the need to reach out to the
millennial generation, most

especially in helping taking

care of the environment.
The urgent push to reach
out to the younger generation was spurred by Pope
Francis encyclical on the
Millennials, A6


Vatican Briefing
Pope to Catholic lawmakers: Be strong, protect life

On Sunday, Aug. 31, Pope Francis urged Catholic legislators to

be protectors of human life, calling them be strong against a
throw-away culture marked by Christian persecution, and the
rejection of the unborn and migrants. The pontiff made these
remarks during an audience with the International Catholic
Legislators Network. During the meeting, members of the
Network presented the Holy Father with a document outlining their commitment to promoting life in their respective
nations, especially in areas of abortion, Christian persecution,
and migration. U.S. Representative Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.),
a member of the Network present at the August 30 audience,
told EWTN News Nightly how the Pope concluded the audience with off-the-cuff remarks about the throw-away culture
where the unborn child, the migrant is not wanted. (CNA)

Former nuncio awaiting Vatican trial died of natural causes,

autopsy says

Initial autopsy findings indicate that disgraced former apostolic nuncio Jozef Wesolowski died of natural causes from a
cardiac event, the Vatican announced Saturday, Aug. 29.
The laicized archbishop was awaiting trial by the Vatican
court for possessing child pornography and sexual abuse of
minors when he died late Thursday evening at the age of
67. Wesolowskis death prompted the Office of the Vaticans
Promoter of Justice, also known as the Vatican prosecutor, to
order an autopsy.. According to a Vatican statement released
Aug. 29, the autopsy was conducted Friday afternoon. Based
on preliminary conclusions from the macroscopic exam, the
autopsy confirmed the natural cause of death, attributable to
a cardiac event, the statement said. (CNA)

Vatican: Pope did not endorse gay penguin book

The Vatican has rejected claims in the media that Pope Francis
is supporting a book on gay adoption, saying a letter responding to the author should not be interpreted as an endorsement.
In responding to the authors letter, the Vatican Secretariat
of State did not intend in any way to support behavior and
teachings which are not in accordance with the Gospel, and
using the Vatican response to imply otherwise is completely
out of place, said Fr. Ciro Benedettini, deputy director of
the Holy See Press Office, Aug. 28. The Holy See statement
came in response to a media frenzy following reports that
Francesca Pardi, author of a childrens book supporting gay
adoption, received a letter from Pope Francis that allegedly
encouraged her to keep up her work. Pardis book is titled
Piccolo uovo in Italian, Little egg. It includes the story
of two gay penguins who adopt a baby penguin, among other
non-traditional animal families. (CNA)

Pope Francis mourns death of 71 migrants who suffocated in

abandoned truck

In his Sunday Angelus address Pope Francis lamented the death

of 71 migrants mostly from war-torn Syria whose bodies
were found in an abandoned truck on an Austrian highway.
He offered prayers for the victims. Unfortunately in the past
few days many migrants have lost their lives in their terrible
journeys. For all of these brothers and sisters, I pray and invite
you to pray, the Pope said Aug. 30. He spoke to the pilgrims
gathered in St. Peters Square, offering his closeness to the
archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Cristoph Schnborn--who
was also present--as well as the entire Church in Austria. On
Thursday the bodies of the 71 migrants--most of them refugees fleeing Syria--were found inside of an abandoned truck
parked off Austrias A4 near the Austrian village of Parndorf,
close to the Hungarian border. (CNA)

Pope begs governments to act to stop anti-Christian persecution

Do something to put a stop to the violence and oppression,

Pope Francis asked the international community after calling
attention once again to the fate of persecuted Christians,
especially in the Middle East. After reciting the Angelus
Aug. 30, Pope Francis told thousands of people in St. Peters
Square that, the previous evening in Lebanon, martyred Syriac
Bishop Flavien-Michel Malke was beatified. In the context
of a tremendous persecution of Christians, he was an untiring defender of the rights of his people, exhorting all of them
to remain firm in their faith, the pope said. Today as well,
in the Middle East and other parts of the world, Christians
are persecuted, the pope said. May the beatification of this
bishop and martyr fill them with consolation, courage and
hope. (CNS)

Retired Pope Benedict celebrates Mass with former students

Celebrating Mass with his former doctoral students and a new

generation of scholars of his work, Benedict XVI focused his
homily on the importance of finding truth, love and goodness in God. Now 88, Benedict has met annually since the
1970s with what is known as the Ratzinger Schulerkreis
(Ratzinger Student Circle), which is made up of bishops and
scholars who earned their doctorates under him in Germany.
The schulerkreis gathers for a week of theological discussions;
the topic this year was How to speak about God today and
was by Mgr Tomas Halik, a Czech theologian and winner
of the 2014 Templeton Prize. The retired pope did not join
his former students for the discussions in Castel Gandolfo,
but spent the morning with them August 30 in the Vaticans
Teutonic College where the Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI
Roman Library will open to scholars in November. (CNS)

Vatican downplays U.N. flag flap

In the month before Pope Francis was scheduled to visit the

U.N. headquarters, a little flap unfurled regarding the flying of
flags. The Vatican said seeing the flags of the Holy See and Palestine flying with the banners of the 193 full member-countries
of the United Nations is not its desire. The Palestinian observer
mission at the United Nations formally asked that its flag and
the flag of the only other U.N. permanent observerthe Holy
Seebe flown at the U.N. headquarters and at U.N. offices.
Pope Francis is scheduled to visit the headquarters Sept. 25 and
address the General Assembly. According to the Reuters news
agency, the Palestinian resolution appeared to be making the
request on behalf of both the Palestinian and Vatican delegations. But, Reuters said, the Vatican asked the Palestinians to
remove any reference to the Holy See and any generic reference on behalf of the observer states. (CNS)

August 31 - September 13, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 18

CBCP Monitor

Ahead of papal visit, Cubas Women in White

fear government crackdown
HAVANA, Aug. 27, 2015The
leader of a human rights group
is concerned that the Cuban
government will repeat its 2012
crackdown on opposition activists when Pope Francis visits the
nation next month..
During Pope Benedict XVIs
visit three years ago, Cuban officials made arrests and took other
actions to keep the dissidents from
communicating with each other,
said Berta Soler, leader of Women
in White, a group of wives and
other relatives of jailed Cuban
Were really worried, Soler
told CNA last week. When Pope
Benedict XVI came to Cuba they
shut down telephone lines in an
area of some 15 to 25 miles. They
did the same to the cell phones of
human rights activists and their
close relatives.
She said the government put
them under surveillance three days
before Pope Benedicts arrival.
Cuban officials began arresting
all the human rights activists so we
couldnt participate in the Masses
the Pope celebrated in Santiago de
Cuba and Havana.
Were waiting (to see what will
happen), were thinking the same
thing is going to happen when the
Holy Father Pope Francis comes,
Soler said.
Nevertheless, she stated that
Women in White as well as other
human rights activists will try to

Women in White. CNA

go to the Masses because we want

to be close to the Holy Father. She
said they know that theyre going
to be arrested.
Soler met with Pope Francis
in Saint Peters Square in May
2013 and sent a letter to the pontiff through the nunciature and
through friends. She asked the
Pope: When you come to Cuba
could you listen to us even for a
few minutes?
The dissident leader reported
arrests of the Women in White
and other opposition activists on
recent Sundays.
Weve been going out now (to
march) for 18 Sundays and we can
take it for granted that the Castro
regime is going to come after the

Women in White and the human

rights activists on Sunday, Aug.
23rd because were deep into
our #TodosMarchamos (Were all
marching) campaign to free the
political prisoners.
She said that the Castro government is assembling paramilitary
mobs organized and financed by
(the regime) to physically and
verbally attack us. National police
and state security agents are also
According to Soler, at present
there are about 80 political prisoners and 42 who are only technically released or on parole. The
latter 42 could be arrested again
and sent back to prison without
trial at any moment.

On Sunday Aug. 16 more than

60 human rights activists along
with some Women in White were
restrained and arrested as they
were marching after Mass at Saint
Ritas Church in Havana.
As expected, over 50 human
rights activists and members of the
Women in White were arrested in
Havana on Sunday, Aug. 23 at the
end of their protest march. Soler
told the newspaper Mart News
that excessive force was used in
some arrests. Those detained were
released five hours later in different
parts of the city.
Some were released near nightfall in uninhabited areas where
they were at risk of violence or
assault, Soler charged. (CNA)

Its not over yet: Nebraska bishops, Catholics continue to fight death penalty
LINCOLN, Aug. 28, 2015Nebraskas three
Catholic bishops have asked all people of
goodwill to continue to fight the death penalty,
after it won a last-minute reprieve in the state
The group Nebraskans for the Death Penalty,
largely financed by Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts and his supporters, said it had gathered
166,692 signatures from all 93 of the states
counties, enough to briefly halt the repeal
of the death penalty approved by the states
unicameral legislature in May.
The advocacy group needed roughly 114,000
signatures to immediately halt the repeal of the
death penalty, a move which will likely place
the fate of capital punishment in the hands of
Nebraska voters in 2016.
Nebraskans sent a strong message about
crime and punishment in our state by signing
this petition in extraordinary numbers, said
state treasurer and former attorney general
Don Stenberg, a co-chair of the petition drive,
according to the AP.
The three Nebraskan bishops, who said
in May that capital punishment cannot be
justified in the state at present, asked in a
statement Thursday that all people of goodwill join them in continued opposition to the
death penalty.
Justice requires punishment, but it does
not require that those who have committed
serious crimes be put to death, the bishops

said in their Aug. 27 statement.

For the Catholic community, this issue
like all life issuesinvolves more than public
policy, they said. It involves our faith and
the central principle that human life is sacred.
Reflection on the God-given dignity of every
human person should guide all our decisions
about life, including refraining from the use of
the death penalty.
The bishops join the three most recent
PopesSt. John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and
Francisin opposing capital punishment in
most cases. As explained in the Catechism of
the Catholic Church, because life is sacred,
the death penalty should only be used if there
are no other means with which to protect the
In paragraph 2267, the catechism notes that
in the modern world, scenarios in which the
death penalty is an absolute necessity are very
rare, if not practically nonexistent, language
borrowed from St. John Paul IIs 1995 encyclical Evangelium vitae.
The collected signatures from Nebraskans for
the Death Penalty were delivered Wednesday to
the Nebraska secretary of states office, which
will verify them with each country as belonging
to registered voters. If the necessary number
was obtained, the death penalty repeal will be
blocked until voters decide on the issue in the
November 2016 general election.
Even if the repeal is blocked, Nebraska still

has no way to execute people on death row, as

it lacks two of the three legally required lethal
injection drugs.
In recent years, many domestic pharmaceutical companies have decided they do not want
to be associated with the taking of life and have
therefore stopped providing lethal drugs. This
causes states to look for companies abroad,
but since the European Union holds the death
penalty as a violation of human rights, it is illegal for European pharmaceutical companies
to sell the drugs to the United States.
When the Nebraska legislature repealed capital punishment in May, overriding Ricketts
veto, it became the first conservative state to
do so in 42 years.
In their statement, the Nebraska bishops
vowed to keep fighting capital punishment,
which they say does not clearly deter crime
and disproportionately affects minorities and
the poor.
Other means are available to punish
criminals and to protect society that are more
respectful of human life, they said.
This is the message Nebraskas three bishops
will take to the states 375,000 Catholics in the
coming year to encourage support for upholding the prohibition of the death penalty.
Nebraskas three bishops are Archbishop
George Lucas of Omaha; Bishop James Conley
of Lincoln; and Bishop Joseph Hanefeldt of
Grand Island. (CNA)

Baghdad patriarch calls for a government of national emergency to save Iraq

IRAQ, Aug. 29, 2015In a
letter to Iraqs highest political
authorities, including President
Fuad Masum, Prime Minister
Haider al-Abadi and Parliamentary Speaker Abdullah Salim
al-Jabouri, Chaldean Patriarch
Mar Louis Raphael I Sako calls
for "a government of national
emergency" that would represent
"all of the countrys components"whether Shia, Sunni,
Christian, Yazidi, Kurdish, Arab
and Turkmento ensure its salvation and unity in such a critical
moment of its history.
In the letter, of which AsiaNews has received a copy, His
Beatitude appeals to political
leaders and institutions as an
"Iraqi who loves his country"
and "respects all Iraqis."
The patriarch notes that Iraq
has been the scene of violence
and attacks, a reflection of a deep
sectarian divide and an ongoing
political and military struggle
between the countrys minority
Sunnis and majority Shias.

Against this background, the

Islamic State group was able to
seize large chunks of the countrys western and northern territory, including the city of Mosul.
The prevailing violence has
been compounded by corruption
and mismanagement, which the
current government has tried to
fight in an attempt to restore
unity and stability to the country.
However, for reforms to be seen
as legitimate in the eyes of ordinary Iraqis, they must be wisely
discussed, Mar Sako writes.
Moreover, the political class
must be "balanced" and respectful of the countrys various
components. People of great
integrity and professionalism"
should be chosen.
Urgent reforms are needed
to pull Iraq out the emergency
that has endangered the very
existence of the state.
The Chaldean Patriarchs priorities include the need to "integrate ethnic and sectarian
militias into the regular army

and police." These forces are

needed to ensure Iraqs security
and unity.
For him, armed groups operating across the country "cannot be
linked to political parties or factions, as is the case at present, acting on their own out of personal or
subjective interests, the exception
being the Christian community.
By bringing everyone under
a single roof, we can boost the
military and strengthen national
unity, Mar Sako said.
In his letter, the Chaldean
Patriarch also appeals to the
speaker of the Kurdistan Regional Parliament Mohammed
Yusuf Sadiq as a way to address
the "dear brothers who represent
the Kurdish parties".
First, Mar Sako notes that the
Kurdish region has welcomed
hundreds of thousands of Christian refugeeswho fled Mosul
and the Nineveh Plains from
advancing Jihadi militias. For this
reason, "Christians are part of it."
Secondly, he expresses hope

that great achievements like "stability, security, and economic,

cultural and social" prosperity
can be maintained. They are, in
his view, "a great blessing".
Speaking about the new constitution under consideration
by the regional parliament, Mar
Sako says he would like to see it
put off for now to avoid being
drafted too hastily. It would be
better to wait in order to draft
something that can stand the
test of time.
In this respect, he cites the
example of the Iraqi Constitution, which has failed to ensure
unity and security because it was
written "in haste" and has had
"painful" consequences.
Finally, the patriarch called
for the mandate of the regional
president to be extended by
two years through a political
consensus, and not an election.
The current situation requires
wisdom, and the public interest
should not be compromised.

Salesian leaders of South Asia meet in Bangalore

SRI LANKA, Aug. 28 2015Salesians in
Sri Lanka sought their Indian confreres help
to strengthen the congregations work in the
island nation at a meeting of the leaders of
Salesian Provincial Conference of South Asia
(SPCSA) in Bangalore last week.
All the members of the SPCSA Council - the
Regional Councillor Father Maria Arokiam
Kanaga, eleven Provincials of the various
provinces of India, the Superior of the Vice
Province of Sri Lanka and the Secretary of

SPCSA - were present for the August 21-22

Father Joseph Almeida, the new Superior of
the Vice Province of Sri Lanka, spoke about the
Vice Province, its activities and the enormous
scope and need for Salesian apostolate in the
island nation.
He stressed the urgent need for more Salesian personnel from India to strengthen the
work, which the congregation began over 60
years ago.

Father Maria Arokiam Kanaka inaugurated

the meeting with a brief inaugural message.
The Council discussed various important matters concerning the region during the two-day
Archbishop Bernard Moras of Bangalore
led the mass on the conluding day. On the
occasion of the Bicentenary of the Birth of
Don Bosco, he thanked God for the gift of
Don Bosco to the Church and the world.

CBCP Monitor


August 31 - September 13, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 18

Teach your children how to pray! Pope tells parents

VATICAN, Aug. 26, 2015On
Wednesday, Pope Francis continued his weekly catechesis on the
family, saying that parents have
the responsibility to teach their
children to pray.
Delivering his address to pilgrims and visitors, gathered under
the hot sun for the weekly general
audience in St. Peters Square, the
pontiff stressed the importance
of teaching children how to show
love for God through prayer.
It is beautiful when mothers
teach their little children to blow a
kiss to Jesus or to Our Lady. What
tenderness there is in this! he said.
In that moment the childs
heart is transformed into a place
of prayer. And this is a gift of the
Holy Spirit.
However, in off-the-cuff remarks, the Pope lamented how
there are children who are not
taught the most basic prayers by
their parents, a phenomena he said
he has witnessed in the city.
There are children who have
not learned how to make the
sign of the cross! he said. You,
mother, father! Teach your children how to pray, how to make
the sign of the cross!
Children should learn prayer

with the same spontaneity as

when they learn to say daddy
and mommy, so that it stays
with them forever, the Pope
The Popes August 26 address
was the latest in a series of catechesis dedicated to the family.
Since late year, the pontiff has
been centering his Wednesday
catecheses on this theme as part of
the lead-up to the World Meeting
of Families in September, as well
as Octobers Synod of Bishops on
the Family.
In his catechesis, delivered in
Italian, the Holy Father observed
how many Christians know they
need prayer, but do not have the
Their regret is sincere, certainly, because the human heart
always seeks prayer, even without
knowing it; and if it does not find
it, it does not have peace.
It is for this reason that Christians must cultivate a love for God,
he said.
While it is good to believe in
God, to have hope in him to help
at difficult times, and to be grateful to him, Pope Francis asked
whether or not we also love him.
He cited the scripture passage

from Deuteronomy, repeated by

Christ in Matthews Gospel, in
which we are called to love God
with all our heart, our soul, and
(This) formula uses the intense
language of love, poured into
God, the Pope said.
Pope Francis acknowledged
that we are able see God as the
one who gives us life and from
whom even death cannot separate
us, the great Being and Judge
who made all things and controls
every act, the Pope said. However,
these concepts only find their full
significance when God is the love
of our loves.
God could have simply made
us know him as the Supreme Being, given his commandments,
and awaited the results.
v Pope Francis acknowledged
how there is little time available
in family life. However, by finding
time to pray, we give time back to
God. In so doing, we escape the
obsession with not having enough
time, rediscover peace in the important things, and discover the
joy in unexpected gifts.
Encouraging the faithful to
read the Gospel every day, as he
has done on numerous occasions,

Rome, Italy - March 18, 2015. Pope Francis gives blessing to disabled at general audience. CNA

the Holy Father said this is a

particularly important practice
for families.
The Gospel, read and meditated on in the family, is like good

bread which nourishes the hearts

of everyone, he said.
Pope Francis concluded: In
the family of prayer, in strong
moments and in difficult periods,

may we be entrusted to one another, in order that everyone of

us in the family may be protected
by Gods love. (Ann Schneible/

The modern worlds biggest challenge, Former nuncio dies in

Vatican residence while
according to Benedict XVI
VATICAN, Aug. 27, 2015
Benedict XVI considers the quest
for God to be contemporary societys foremost challenge, according
to one of the emeritus Popes former students, who has organized
the annual meeting of Ratzingers
students to discuss that very topic.
The Ratzinger Schuelerkreis will
gather Sept. 28-30 to discuss the
theme set them by their former
professor. The group has gathered
to discuss topics in theology and
the life of the Church since 1978,
shortly after their mentor was
pulled from academia to become
a bishop.
Benedict XVI identified, from
his earliest theological studies, a
faith in the progress of man which
he deems to be an ideology, Fr.
Stephan Horn told CNA.
In reply to that ideology, Fr.
Horn said, Benedict has maintained that the center of history
is the living God who opened
himself in Jesus Christ, and true
progress is found in faith.
Fr. Horn, a Salvatorian, was
Ratzingers academic assistant
at the University of Regensburg
from 1971 to 1977, and is now
organizer of the annual Schuelerkreis meeting.
He related that the 40 or so
members of the Schuelerkreis
form a sort of theological family,
and that in addition to the historial nucleus of the group, there
was formed in 2008 a secondary
group of younger theologians who
have studied Benedicts thought
The idea for the annual meeting
arose in 1977, when Ratzinger was

Vatican City - June 16, 2015. Pope emeritus Benedict XVI meets with seminarians
from the diocese of Faensa-Modigliana, Italy on June 16, 2015 at the Vatican Gardens.

appointed Archbishop of Munich

and Freising, and when he moved
to Rome in 1981 to take up the
post of prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,
it continued.
Benedicts former students
thought that the annual tradition would have stopped once
Ratzinger was elected Pope, yet he
wanted to maintain the tradition
and continued to meet with his
former students.
Since his 2013 resignation,
Benedict has not attended the
Schuelerkreis, except to say Mass
for the group at its conclusion.
However, the Pope emeritus
closely follows the works of his
former students, and personally
chooses the themes of discussion
from among a set of three which
the members of the Schuelerkreis
present to him at the end of each
annual gathering. In recent years,

they have focused on the theology

of the cross; the question of God
amid secularism; and ecumenism.
Fr. Horn said Benedict did not
explain in-depth the reasons why
he asked us to discuss Speaking
about God in the contemporary
world, but is evident that to him
the Word of God is the true need
of todays world, and that the
Church needs to find new ways
to speak about God.
Fr. Horn underscored that todays culture itself makes speech
about God necessary, as there is
a different trendthat is, speaking only about what man can do,
about the so called homo Faber
and so there is a need for a new
way to search for truth and to meet
the great challenges of modern
According to Fr. Horn the
search for new means to speak
of God has been at the core of

Benedicts theological work since

the Second Vatican Council.
It been widely said that the
Second Vatican Council spoke
about the Church, and the relation between the Church and the
world. But Joseph Ratzinger saw
that the quest for God was the
main issue at the Second Vatican
Council, as was shown by the
fact that the very first document
issued by the council was the
constitution on the liturgy, Fr.
Horn explained.
The emphasis on liturgy was
further developed by Ratzinger
when he was appointed Archbishop of Munich and Freising
in 1977.
During the years he was
the Archbishop of Munich,
Ratzinger focused also on liturgy, according to what he had
developed in the previous years
as a professor in Regensburg,
when he tried to foster a way
to translate the language of the
faith for contemporary man, Fr.
Horn stressed
Fr. Horn also higlighted that as
Pope, Benedict emphasized the
education of priests and the people
of God, and he created a sort of
catechumenal theology.
Ratzinger has always thought
that the search for truth does not
merely come from an intellectual
action, but it is rather one of the
ways of life. And so theologians
must be beside the catechumens
that is, all who are on a Christian pathspeaking with them,
developing theology and faith.
(Andrea Gagliarducci/CNA/
EWTN News)

Return to your first love, Jesus bishop to religious

PATTAYA, Thailand, Aug. 27, 2015For
New Evangelization to take flight among Asias
consecrated men and women, they need to fall
in love againwith Jesus.
This was the message of Cagayan de Oro
Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, SJ to alll
the religious communities in Asia during a
symposium held by the Federation of Asian
Bishops Conferences Office of Consecrated
Life (FABC-OCL) from July 20 to 25 at the
Redemptorist Center in this city.
The New Evangelization thrust of the
Church calls us consecrated men and women
to return to our first love, who is God in
Jesus Christ to whom we are consecrated and
to whom we are to be configured, the prelate
Falling in love
This (falling in love) means to encounter the
person of the Son anew and allow the Spirit to
transform us into his likeness so that we can
bear witness to him and to the Gospel for all
peoples, he added
According to Ledesma, this relationship of
love with Jesus implies an integral and lifelong formation, which focuses on the radical
living of the Gospel nurtured by a life of
prayer, simple lifestyle, humility, and docility.
Making Jesus the central figure in the consecrated persons life denotes a certain lifestyle,
that of owning and living our charism; under-

going a process of conversion which involves

us as persons and as communities, as well as
our structures and institutions; rediscovering
the beauty of consecrated life with its joys,
hopes and challenges; becoming prophetic in
living the Evangelical Counsels; deepening an
awareness of Gods readiness for reconciliation and being forgiven; experiencing God in
real-life situations (natural and human-made
disasters, political issues, etc.) as sources of
hope and mercy
Consecrated life and the New Evangelization
According to Ledesma, living out these
counsels constitute being faithful to Jesus and
to the charism of their respective consecrated

The conference participants included 20
bishops, including three cardinals, 29 priests
and brothers, 45 religious sisters, and 7 members of secular institutes from China, Nepal,
Mongolia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Korea,
Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and
the Philippines.
Aside from giving the said talk entitled
Consecrated Life at the Service of New Evangelization in Asia, Ledesma also prepared the
preliminary Lineamenta for the conference.
He also helped draft the conferences Final
Statement together with Fr. Joe Mannath,
SDB, Sr. Victorina Palanca, ICM, and Sr.
Judette Gallares, RC. (CBCP News)

awaiting sex abuse trial

VATICAN City, Aug. 28, 2015
A Vatican official has ordered
an autopsy on the body of former
archbishop Jozef Wesolowski,
who was found dead Aug. 28 in
the Vatican residence where he
was awaiting trial on charges of
child sexual abuse and possession
of child pornography.
Jozef Wesolowski, the laicized
former nuncio (pictured in 2013
file photo), was dead this morning
in his Vatican residence. He was
awaiting trial on child sex abuse
charges. (CNS/EPA)
Jozef Wesolowski, the laicized
former nuncio (pictured in 2013
file photo), was found dead this
morning in his Vatican residence.
He was awaiting trial on child sex
abuse charges. (CNS/EPA)
Passionist Father Ciro Benedettini, Vatican spokesman, said
Wesolowskis body was found at
5 a.m. by a Franciscan priest who
lives in the building which houses
the Franciscans who hear confessions in St. Peters Basilica and
offices of the Vatican police force;
he was in front of a television,
which was on, the spokesman said.
Officials from the Vatican police, medical service and court
arrived quickly, he said, for an
initial verification, which indicated the death was from natural
The promoter of justice ordered an autopsy, which will be
carried out today, the spokesman
said. The results will be communicated as soon as possible.
In the statement, issued less
than four hours after Wesolowskis
body was found, Father Benedettini said Pope Francis had been
The spokesman told reporters
Wesolowski had been in ill health
and was under medical supervision at the time of his death.
Wesolowski was to be the first
person to be tried by a Vatican
criminal court on sex abuse charges. The first session of the trial had
been scheduled for July 11, but
was postponed when he was taken
to the hospital the day before
after suffering a collapse, Father

Benedettini said. He remained in

the hospital until July 17.
The Vatican court had not
announced a date for the continuation of the trial of the former
Polish archbishop and nuncio
Vatican ambassadorto the Dominican Republic.
In its official statement about
his death, the Vatican referred to
him as His Excellency Monsignor
Josef Wesolowski, even though
he was dismissed from the clerical
state in June 2014 after an investigation by the Congregation for
the Doctrine of the Faith.
His appeal of the dismissal was
denied, Father Benedettini said,
but was not officially communicated so as not to aggravate the
situation while he was awaiting
the separate criminal trial. He was
still listed as an archbishop in the
2015 edition of the Annuario
Pontificio, the Vatican yearbook.
Before his criminal trial was
postponed July 11, the Vatican
prosecution read out the five
charges against Wesolowski, which
included having corrupted, by
means of lewd acts, adolescents
presumably between the ages of
13 and 16, in the Dominican
Republic, where Wesolowski had
served as a Vatican nuncio from
2008 to 2013, when he was accused of abusing adolescent boys.
According to Vatican prosecutors, Wesolowskis crimes continued once he was brought back to
the Vatican. While being investigated, the court said, he procured
and possessed on Vatican City
State property and elsewhere, a
large amount of material from
Internet sites depicting minors
under the age of 18 in sexually
explicit acts or poses.
He also was charged with causing serious injury to adolescent
victims of sexual abuse, consisting
of mental distress and of conduct
that offends religious principles or
Christian morality by repeatedly
logging on to pornographic sites
while in the Dominican Republic,
Rome, Vatican City State and elsewhere. (Cindy Wooden/Catholic
News Service)

OFWs: Opening our gifts not

hero treatment
MANILA, Aug. 27, 2015Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW)
wasted no time in voicing their
disappointment over what they
consider the Bureau of Customs
(BOC) officials unjust and
unnecessary practice of customarily opening balikbayan boxes,
denouncing this as uncalled for
and a gross violation of their rights
to privacy.
Violation of OFW rights
What the BOC is doing is
nothing less than an infringement

of the rights of OFWs to express

their love to their families and
friends back in the Philippines, observed Edward Era, a former OFW
based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, who
now chairs Filipino Lifeline, a nongovernment organization (NGO)
pushing for OFW rights.
Token of love
He pointed out that for most
Filipino migrant workers around
the world, sending home gifts
earned with their hard-earned
OFWs, A7


August 31 - September 13, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 18

CBCP Monitor


IN a rather extraordinary but welcome move, Pope Francis has extended to all priests worldwide the authority to absolve women from
the sin of abortion during the Holy Year of Mercy which opens on
Dec. 8, 2015. This happy development was announced on Sept. 1
in a letter addressed to Archbishop Rino Fisichella, the president of
the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization.
The letter unfolds with the premise: With the approach of the
Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, I would like to focus on several points
which I believe require attention to enable the celebration of the
Holy Year to be for all believers a true moment of encounter with
the mercy of God. It is indeed my with that the Jubilee be a living
experience of the closeness of the Father, whose tenderness is almost
tangible, so that the faith of every believer may be strengthened and
thus testimony to it be ever more effective.
Indeed, extraordinarily extending to all priests the faculty to forgive
the reserved sin of abortion is nothing less than a tangible moment
of encounter with the mercy of God. A woman who obtains an
abortion automatically incurs a latae sententiae excommunication,
along with those who assisted her in the process. Because of this,
the sin of abortion is normally absolved only by a bishop or certain
priests appointed by him.
Says Pope Francis, I think in particular of all the women who have
resorted to abortion. I am well aware of the pressure that has led them
to this decision. I know that it is an existential and moral ordeal. I have
met so many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonizing and painful decision. What has happened is profoundly unjust;
yet understanding the truth of it can enable one not to lose hope.
The forgiveness of God cannot be denied to one who has repented,
especially when that person approaches the Sacrament of Confession
with a sincere heart in order to obtain reconciliation with the Father.
Of course, extending this faculty to priests is common with some
bishops especially during Lent and specific occasions. Yet, taking
this to a universal level is something that will raise the eyebrows of
some segments in the Catholic Church. But this is Pope Francis,
who, according to Cardinal Mauro Piancenza, head of the Apostolic
Penitentiary, is the pope of mercy and who looks at the confessional not as a torture chamber but a place where one leaves with
happiness of heart, with a face of radiant hope.

A universal communion
THE created things of this world are not free of ownership: For they
are yours, O Lord, who love the living (Wis 11:26). This is the basis
of our conviction that, as part of the universe, called into being by
one Father, all of us are linked by unseen bonds and together form a
kind of universal family, a sublime communion which fills us with a
sacred, affectionate and humble respect. Here I would reiterate that
God has joined us so closely to the world around us that we can
feel the desertification of the soil almost as a physical ailment, and
the extinction of a species as a painful disfigurement. (Apostolic
Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, 1109)
This is not to put all living beings on the same level or to deprive
human beings of their unique worth and the tremendous responsibility
it entails. Nor does it imply a divinization of the earth which would
prevent us from working on it and protecting it in its fragility. Such
notions would end up creating new imbalances which would deflect
us from the reality which challenges us. (BENEDICT XVI, Encyclical Letter Caritas in Veritate, 650) At times we see an obsession with
denying any pre-eminence to the human person; more zeal is shown
in protecting other species than in defending the dignity which all
human beings share in equal measure. Certainly, we should be concerned lest other living beings be treated irresponsibly. But we should
be particularly indignant at the enormous inequalities in our midst,
whereby we continue to tolerate some considering themselves more
worthy than others. We fail to see that some are mired in desperate
and degrading poverty, with no way out, while others have not the
faintest idea of what to do with their possessions, vainly showing off
their supposed superiority and leaving behind them so much waste
which, if it were the case everywhere, would destroy the planet. In
practice, we continue to tolerate that some consider themselves more
human than others, as if they had been born with greater rights.
A sense of deep communion with the rest of nature cannot be real if
our hearts lack tenderness, compassion and concern for our fellow human beings. It is clearly inconsistent to combat trafficking in endangered
species while remaining completely indifferent to human trafficking,
unconcerned about the poor, or undertaking to destroy another human
being deemed unwanted. This compromises the very meaning of our
struggle for the sake of the environment. It is no coincidence that, in
the canticle in which Saint Francis praises God for his creatures, he goes
on to say: Praised be you my Lord, through those who give pardon
for your love. Everything is connected. Concern for the environment
thus needs to be joined to a sincere love for our fellow human beings
and an unwavering commitment to resolving the problems of society.
Moreover, when our hearts are authentically open to universal
communion, this sense of fraternity excludes nothing and no one.
It follows that our indifference or cruelty towards fellow creatures of
this world sooner or later affects the treatment we mete out to other
human beings. We have only one heart, and the same wretchedness
which leads us to mistreat an animal will not be long in showing
itself in our relationships with other people. Every act of cruelty
towards any creature is contrary to human dignity.
-- Laudato Si, 89-92



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Forgiving the sin of abortion

Views and Points

Partial Divorce

Oscar V. Cruz, D.D.

IT is truly sad to know and be aware of

the fact that there are a good number of
incumbent public officials at the national level
of government who are bent on fooling around
with, if not doing their best to effectively
destroy the nature and finalities of marriage
as stipulated by Natural Law and affirmed
by ethical principles. This phenomenon has
particular relevance to the still--already too
long--ruling administration together with
its well-rewarded allies in the Legislative
Department. It must be admitted that they
are not simply sly but also ingenious in their
common venture to destroy the fundamental
assumptions as well as the essential finalities
of such a sacred and serious institution as the
Marriage Covenant which is definitely and
categorically very much more than a mere
contract in line with the business norm of
No exchange. No return. Instead of OK to
Change and Return.
Time and again it has been said and still
being mentioned that among the well-designed
and accordingly desired legislations of this

allegedly Daang Matuwid government, the

following take precedence: POPULATION
MARRIAGE--the last two of which are delayed
because of the unexpected BBL. It is rather
strange and quite interesting to take note of
the well-standing fact that the over-all Chiefin-Command is single to this date and time. So
it is that likewise time and again it is asked why
the deep and lasting interest and preoccupation
about the said three legislative fixations?
They already have succeeded in undermining
the significance and implications of Responsible
Parenthood by the so-called Reproductive
Health Law which is precisely against human
reproduction, not to mention the abortive
accompanying features thereof. One thing worth
noting is that those against human reproduction
are already reproduced by their parents.
As of now, Congress in fact already has the
draft of the Same Sex Marriage--the ultimate
camouflaged formal heading thereof is still
not yet known and might be even imprudent
to already disclose it. There is not the least

Torre de Babel,
IF monuments are a symbol of
heroism and skyscrapers are a symbol of progress, may they not stand
side by side with one another? If
my memory serves me right, Rizal
himself in his El Filibusterismo
wrote about a characters satisfactionwhile on a pleasure cruise
down the Pasig riverat seeing
the factories in Mandaluyong,
clear symbols of progress among
a people he did not wish to be
forever colonized.
In 1927, the tallest structure
in the Philippines was the newlybuilt Main Building of the University of Santo Tomas. The cross
crowning its tower (from which
Manila Bay was reportedly visible)
also served as Kilometer 0 from

which all distances to any point in

Luzon were measured. The cross
symbolizes the Pontifical Universitys mission of salvation through
the Cross of Christ, and within
the 21.5-hectare UST campus, no
structure was allowed to be built
higher than the towers cross.
On January 25, 2010, the UST
Main Building was declared by
the Philippine National Museum
a National Cultural Treasure,
along with the Central Seminary,
the Arch of the Centuries, and
the Open Space fronting the
Grandstand. In May 2011, the
National Historical Commission
of the Philippines declared the
UST a National Historical Landmark, citing its major historical

Candidly Speaking

maliciousness much less evil intention vs. the

LGBT in countering such a legislation with
manifest sexual implications--a legislation
which is a big futility vs. basic truth and
ground reality.
And here now comes the enigmatic opted
legislation curiously called Partial Divorce-or something the like. A divorce that is but
Partial and wherefore Total it is not? Does
that mean that there would be such a thing
as Partial Marriage as well--partial husband
and wife, partial marital life, partial parental
relationship? Amusing!
The truth of the matter is that the proposed
legislation essentially means the following:
When a marriage is between a foreigner and a
Filipino citizen, in the event that the former
files for and obtains a divorce, then the latter is
legally held capable of re-marrying too. How
many divorces one may file and obtain, how
many remarriages one may enter into--this
is not yet stipulated as of now. (Cf. Family
Code of the Philippines, Art. 26, pars. 1 and
2) Interesting!

And Thats The Truth

Teresa R. Tunay, OCDS
significance in Philippine history
from the Spanish to contemporary
At present, the 12-storey Blessed
Buenaventura Garcia Paredes, OP
Buildinginaugurated in 2014,
standing where the UST gymnasium formerly stoodapparently
rises higher than the Main Building towers cross, but is anyone
saying it is desecrating what that
cross stands for? I dare say, not
even the USTs most illustrious
son, Jose Rizal, would see anything
sacrilegious about that. Nor would
the 403-year-old UST itself balk
at the mushrooming of Torre This
or Tower That, condominiums,
and dormitories on the periphery
of its revered campus. I think

the venerable 403-year-old UST,

for all its contributions to Philippine culture, history and human
growth, understands the price of
urban development. Thats the
wisdom of the old and mellowed
by experience. Compelled to suspend its function as an institution
of learning during the Second
World Warwhen its campus
was used by the Japanese military
forces as an internment camp for
allied prisonersthe UST stands
as testimony to the fact that while
wars and the march of progress
can mar a symbol of greatness, it
cannot kill the spirit of greatness
it represents.
Lunetas Rizal monument is
And Thats the Truth / A6

Shaping the future

Fr. Roy Cimagala

If we want to see the future now, what we
have to do is to look at our youth today. Yes, the
youth indeed hold the key to what is to come.
How they are now determines to a certain
extent the character of the world in the next
generation. And so we need to see to it that our
young ones receive the proper formation now.
This is the challenge we, the elders, have.
Preparing the youth for the future is a task that
is becoming more exciting, more daunting,
precisely because of the complicated issues that
practically wrap the world today.
As recent Popes have been saying for some
time now, the world ethos today seems to be
saturated with what is more technically known
as moral relativism. Its an attitude, a mentality,
and even a lifestyle and culture that banishes
any moral absolutes, while making tolerance
an absolute law to follow.
It ultimately boils down to denying the
existence of God, and to the belief that things
just depend completely on us. So, morality or
what is to be considered good or bad would just
be a matter of opinions, consensus, and would
just be based on such criteria as practicality,
popularity, convenience, and the like.

In the end, we are making ourselves our own

God. We deny that we are creatures, that our
existence is something given and received, not
self-generated. We deny that we need to be with
God always, to set our mind and heart on Him.
With this mindset, a good part of the world,
especiallythe more developed Western part,
has gone to the extent of legalizing abortion,
mercy-killing, same-sex marriage, etc.
If we are not careful, this scourge is going to
enter our own country also. There are already
clear signs. The RH Law, touted Divorce bill
that some groups are pushing, the same-sex
marriage buzz that we hear aroundthese are
symptoms of an emerging moral confusion
that threatens to be made part of our law and
We have to give due attention to our youth
today, equipping them with the means that
would help them tackle the great responsibility
before them. I was happy to learn that a
big group ofyoung people went to a UN
conference sometime ago and made their
voices heard. They were complaining about a
document, still in the making, that contained
precisely questionable moral positions. Thats

a good sign.
In fact, we need to reclaim the original
meaning of morality, human sexuality,
marriage, etc., in order to help the youth
extricate themselves from the elaborate spin
used by those with the mindset of moral
Caring for the youth is no easy task at all.
My own experience with dealing with young
college students for many years indicates
that they need abiding attention, a lot of
patience, and understanding, a good amount
of flexibility and creativity, and at the same
time, an unwavering hold on the faith and the
doctrines that go with it.
Each one has to be handled in a very personal
way. Away with putting them in boxes and
branding and stereotyping them. Once this
personal relationship is established, then things
can be expectedto go far.
The young people need constant
encouragement. They sometimes strike me
as toddlers who are still learning to walk
properlyin the moral and spiritual life. They
can be up one moment, and down the next
Candidly Speaking / A7

CBCP Monitor


August 31 - September 13, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 18

By the Roadside

Of epal kin and queens

Rev. Eutiquio Euly Belizar, Jr., SThD

THE word epal is uniquely Philippinemade, but, I suspect, not the phenomenon
behind it. In the information super highway
(the old way of referring to the internet,
if you please) one finds quite a few vivid
descriptions of its meaning, some amusing,
others informative, still others too graphic to
mention. There seems to be a consensus that
its root is the word papel (paper) which, in
the Filipino psyche, does not solely refer to
the wood product we normally write things
on but also to some individuals, the epals if
you like, with the overriding devotion to selfpromote ahead of others by any means that
grab attention. In my book, then, the epal
is fundamentally an obsessive, aggressive
In this article epal is mainly a reference
to powerful, often suspiciously moneyed
people who use various means, but especially
projects or services that they render by virtue
of a public office they hold or a social status
they have achieved in aid of their election (or
re-election) to a public office. If you already
knew what I mean, youd probably say, Thats
a long way of describing a politician. Suffice it
to say that I neither confirm nor deny the above

Atty. Aurora A. Santiago

observation. By the way, even the expression

I neither confirm nor deny is very much of
a piece with the epal mindset.
Lately the epals hogged the headlines.
No, not through their usual avenues. Rather,
their creative juices instinctively were on
display in the media exposure they received
on the occasion of the INC protest rallies
that caused untold traffic and its horrific
consequences for Metro Manileos. A number
of media outlets gave them interviews that
appeared, on the one hand, sympathetic
to the frustrated, outraged public, and, on
the other, with eyes fixed on 2016 and the
prospect of the potential INC block-voting
benefits on their undeclared candidacies,
overly protective of the INCs constitutional
rights to freedom of expression or assembly
and freedom of religion. Understandably,
netizens and ordinary Filipinos have expressed
dismay or, more strongly, denunciation of
the subtle duplicity in their answers. Still,
the great majority of epals who preferred
silence to self-expression may not really be
less self-promoting; not saying anything
means not displeasing anyone, especially the
voting anyone.

When I think of home

To be fair, the epals are not solely to blame

for their doublespeak and aggressive selfpromotion. Pinoys have very short memories
of anyone or anything of value, what with the
information and image overload they have
to deal with on a daily basis. Name recall has
become not only a desirable pursuit but also
a commercial and political must in our highly
image-conscious, media-influenced society.
In short, the epal kings and queens in our
midst are our own creations. As we frown on
their ways, we must, at the same time, say firm
goodbye to our penchant to value image over
substance, appearance over character, words
over track records.
The epal king or queen is, after all, one
from among ourselves, a reflection of where
we are rather than where we should be. Where
we should be is where Truth lies. In the words
of St. Thomas Aquinas, What Gods Son has
told me I take for Truth.
And the words of Gods Son are unmistakable:
If you give something to the poor, do not let
your left hand know what your right hand is
doing, so that your gift remains secret. Your
Father who sees what is kept in secret will
reward you (Mt 6:3-4).

Pilgrim at the Periphery

Tessa G. Mangahas

PEOPLE have been ranting

about the horrendous traffic jams
the past few days. I have been
blessed not to have been caught
in these situations too often maybe
because I usually take a very early
schedule at work and end up with
appointments nearer to home at
the end of a work day.
But more than the snails pace
that traffic moves in the metro,
what bothers me most are the
scenes of children that ply their
trade in our streets while cars are
at a standstill. Everyone wants
to reach the comfort of their
homes as early as they can. But
what about the children who
have embraced the streets as
their homes?
How ironic that because of these
scenes of the homeless, we have
actually become world class and
at par with the greatest cities of the
world. In a recent Facebook post,
I came across a survey that shows
Manila, Philippines defeating
New York and Los Angeles as the
city with the biggest homeless
Consider these numbers. New
York City notched more than
60,000 people without a roof over
their heads, almost half of which
are children. Los Angeles has over
57,000 destitute, half of them

African American and a third on

drug abuse. On any given night,
Los Angeles has more than 12,000
people seeking refuge in shelters.
Well, at least they have shelters.
But move over Big Apple and
City of Angels. Manila, Philippines
beats you by leaps and bounds. The
United Nations Human Rights
Commission reports that the city
has 70,000 dispossessed people
and a staggering 1.2 million
children living on the streets!
These urchins dont just sleep on
the streets amid the elements.
They are also surrounded by the
presence of drug abuse, pedophiles
and sex tourists, and more hazards.
But there are pockets of hope
found in what Cardinal Luis
Antonio Tagle calls circles of
One such effort is the
Cardinal Tagle referred to as a
circle of integrity that pushes
for a higher level of public service,
anchored on transparency, good
governance, and grassroots
A year after it was formally
launched with Cardinal Tagle,
the UBAS fervor has caught on
at least 87% of the nation. These
days, UBAS is in the process of

partnering with key agencies to

curb the proliferation of street
children and rugby sniffers
in Metro Manila. The project
is called Oplan Balik Bahay
Sagip Buhay (OBBSB). The
initial salvo targets key areas
in Manila Malate, Ermita,
Tayuman, LiwasangBonifacio,
Ro x a s B o u l e v a rd , a n d t h e
Manila Cathedral. After Manila,
Quezon City will be the next
UBAS through faith-based
organizations, will help monitor
t h e p ro j e c t , a c t a s s t re e t
facilitators and assist in the
profiling of street children and
families to be relocated. The
barangays through the Liga
ng mga barangay, have been
requested to identify spaces that
the government can rent for
relocation of about 2,500 families.
Two thousand five hundred
families may seem a feeble effort
when 1.2M street children are
homeless, but as they say, every
little bit helps.
Recently, I attended a briefing
of the PPCRV in my diocese. They
talked about our roles in next
years elections, PCOS machines,
biometrics, and vigilance in
counting votes. They distributed
t-shirts that bore the text of the

Collection Box

7th commandment: WAG KANG

MAGNAKAW. At the end of the
seminar, they gave us binalot take
away lunches.
As I was driving off, I came
across a thin child, whose leg was
in a cast, scouring for food in a
garbage can across the Cubao
Cathedral. He turned to me and
suddenly I was reminded of the
verse; Foxes have holes and birds
of the air have nests, but the Son
of Man has nowhere to lay his
head. I handed him my binalot
lunch and his eyes lit up as if he
got a huge Christmas gift! While
this boys heart may have been
temporarily filled with happiness
because of the unexpected treat,
mine was filled with a sense
of helplessness because of his
situation and homelessness.
I will remember this boys eyes
in my ministry work leading up to
next years electoral exercise. I will
remember his smile of gratitude
when I cast my vote. I will
remember his hopeful expression
the next time I rant about traffic
as I rush home.
Perhaps when people work
together and choose the right
leaders, this boy and countless
others can rush to their homes,
a place where there is love


Fr. Jerome Secillano, MPA

AS expected, PNoy again lambasted former

Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in his last State
of the Nation Address. He highlighted once
more the failures and excesses of his predecessor
while trumpeting the perceived successes of
his administration. He praised his cabinet
members to high heavens while ignoring
the fact that many of them are also perhaps
guilty of the same sins that he accused his
predecessor of.
This is the problem with PNoy, he sees
only the good in his friends and allies but
always points out his political enemies flaws
and failures. He thinks perhaps, that it is
adorable to always remind the Filipinos of
what went before not realizing that these same
Filipinos are so desperately waiting for what his
government can offer to meet their needs and
to secure their future.
PNoy should stop blaming the former
president. He does not realize it, but some
of those he trumpeted as achievements of
his administration were actually carried over
from the previous one. The 4Ps (Pantawid
Pamilyang Pilipino Program) started with
the previous administration and was known
as the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCC).
The SCTEX was built under GMAs term,
and it benefitted not only travelers going to
Subic or Clark but also literally the AquinoCojuangco family as the government paid them
handsomely in order to obtain the publics
right of way since the expressway cuts into
the vast Hacienda Luisita. The Roll on-Roll off
(RoRo) project of GMA continues to benefit
the poor and those who cannot afford travelling
by plane. The previous administration also
provided the framework for educational
reforms that have now been incrementally
implemented together with the hotly debated
K12 program.

Duc In Altum

GMA is not a saint and she may not even

be one of the best presidents this country
ever had. That said, PNoy should just simply
move on and let the wheels of justice take its
course. Then he can now pay attention to his
own administrations defects and failures and
firmly crack the whip on those who continue
to plunder our countrys resources.
His budget secretary is purportedly
the architect of the much-maligned pork
barrel and yet he continues to defend and
trust him. Senators and Congressmen
took advantage of this windfall but their
supposed programs hardly changed the lives
of their constituents. How can a convention
center, for example, improve the lives of
poor people in Iloilo? This pork barrel in
the form of DAP (Disbursement Allocation
Program) and PDAF (Priority Development
Assistance Fund) are indications of the
loathed political patronage system that
destroys every inch of objectivity, decency
and morality in our society.
When PNoy delivered his address to the
nation, he was so confident to the point of
being arrogant. His sense of objectivity was
lost. He didnt realize that for every imagined
gain he attributed to his loyal minions,
hundreds of kapalpakan are committed by
the same.
While heaping praises on Sec. Jun Abaya of
DOTC, majority are in fact annoyed because
PNoy didnt even bother to offer a bandaid (literally) solution to the leaking roof in
our MRT. While commuters are drenched
with rain water, MRT officials are allegedly
enjoying their costume party in a hotel in
Manila. And so what if our airline carriers
are now allowed to fly to Europe? Other
air lines offer cheaper fares than our own.
Besides, passengers in our airports are most

of the time inconvenienced by either leaking

roofs, broken ceilings or busted air cons. If
they cannot address those simple problems,
how can we trust them to solve the more
complex ones?
Sec. Proceso Alcala was also extolled for
the lifting of the Yellow Tag that prevented
our fishermen from exporting fish to the
European Union. Though important for our
fisher folks, the guy still couldnt deliver on
other more pressing issues such as coco levy
funds, cocolisap, importation and shortage
of rice, existence of rice cartels, and many
And what about the Yolanda funds? Rep.
Jonathan de la Cruz of ABAKADA party list
said, COA reports show Soliman had failed
to account for billions in taxpayers money that
did not go to its intended purpose. This is not
the first time that the Commission on Audit
found irregularities in Solimans handling of
public funds. How come the President is not
doing anything about it? Why is she not being
made accountable?
Before ending his address, PNoy quoted
a line from St. Pauls letter to Timothy, I
have fought the good fight, I have finished
the race, I have kept the faith (2 Tim. 4-7).
By quoting it, one would think that this guy
has a deep sense of spirituality in him. He
even subtly taught us about respect when
he spoke of Sec. Mar Roxas as undeserving
of brickbats and condemnation while doing
his job. He said, You cannot put a good
man down.
Yes, Mr. President, you cannot really put a
good man down. But any decent, moral, and
Bible-reading person also knows that we dont
have the right to kick a person especially when
she is down.
And that is the greatest irony!

OFWs, the Evangelizing

Modern Day Heroes
OUR modern day heroes, the Overseas Filipino Workers
(OFWs), are not only contributing to our countrys economic
development but are also propagating our Catholic faith. When
one goes to a church in a foreign country, one can always see our
OFWs actively participating in the Eucharist and church activities
- as choir members, lectors-commentators, Extraordinary
Ministers of the Holy Communion, leaders/members of church
ministries, etc. The parish priests appreciate the role of our OFWs
in evangelization. They are the saving grace of our countrys
economic development, and yet, what had the government done
in return to our modern day heroes?
Recently, the government increased the fee which the
Philippine Overseas and Employment Administration
(POEA) charges to our OFWs. Then the Bureau of
Customs (BOC) issued a policy of opening balikbayan
boxes and imposing taxes based on the BOCs claim that
the government loses Php 50 million a month, or Php 600
million a year, on incoming boxes.
My goodness, what is Php 600 million a year compared with
the $26 million yearly remittance (or almost Php 1.2 billion) of
our OFWs? Php 600 million is a meager amount compared to
the billions of pesos that the government would lose if the BOC
would not run after big time smugglers of imported drugs, guns,
cars, rice, sugar, garlic, motorcycles, electronic gadgets, jewelries.
How come artificial rice found its way into the Philippines?
How come the BOC cleared the 13 containers of garbage from
Canada without inspection? God only knows what are inside
those containers--drugs, guns, or both?
After OFWs opposition to opening of boxes became viral in
social media, President Noynoy Aquino ordered the suspension
of the opening of boxes, requiring the use of scanners and
x-ray machines on those boxes, however, the BOC is still
given the discretion to open boxes should they feel there are
contrabands inside. Easier said than done. A BOC personnel
who is addicted to corruption can always say that those boxes
should be opened and inspected. Once it happens, the OFWs
right to privacy of communication is violated and desecrated;
the contents stolen.
As Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago stated: The government
must strive to achieve the delicate balance between, on the one
hand, fulfilling its mandate to curb smuggling, and, on the
other, protecting balikbayan boxes, which are often channels of
intimate communication among families. It is one thing to inspect
balikbayan boxes, another to desecrate them. The BOC seems
aware that balikbayan boxes, when opened by their personnel,
are sometimes pillaged. What have the officials done to rid their
ranks of thieves?
The use of BOCs hundreds of millions of pesos worth of
scanners and x-ray machines, together with sniffing dogs, are
enough to detect if there are contrabands inside those boxes; no
need to open them. To use BOC personnel to open and inspect
those boxes is very expensive and wastes more taxpayers money
since it requires more manpower and man hours. Moreover,
pilferage of the contents of those boxes is 100% sure due to great
temptation to steal since those who will open them can see and
touch those items.
Another reason why OFWs use boxes is to avoid excess baggage
when they go home for vacation since airlines charge exorbitant
fees on excess baggage which usually amounts to not lower than
$200 per box. That is too much for our poor OFWs, yes they are
poor, because no rich person would like to be an OFW.
The BOC must understand the hardships being experienced
by our OFWs while working abroad, miles away from their
families. It would take OFWs 3 to 6 months to fill those boxes
because they have to shell out their hard-earned money and
wait for the sale season to buy the contents of the boxes. Our
OFWs wanted their families to taste imported corned beef,
spam, tuna, sardines, shampoo, lotion, toothpaste, towels,
t-shirts which are the usual contents of the box. If BOC
would tax them, the tax will definitely be much higher than
the value of the contents.
Our OFWs are of great help to our countrys economy. What
had the big time smugglers and importers of Canadas garbage
contributed? Did the latter give more money than our OFWs?
In behalf of our OFWs, we appeal to our government officials
not to punish them. Living away from home is already stressful on
their part, please do not add to their worries that the contents of
their boxes will be stolen at BOC. I challenge the BOC personnel
to try working abroad, far from their family, and experience not
only the hard work but also the homesickness our OFWs are
going through.
As President Aquino said, Kung walang corrupt, walang
mahirap. Pero marami pa rin ang mahirap sa ngayon, ibig bang
sabihin, marami kasi ang corrupt? (If there are no corrupt, there
will be no poor. But the poor still abound, does it mean there
are many corrupt?)
The heavy traffic in Metro Manila has gone berserk.
According to study by Japan International Cooperation
Agency (JICA), the Philippines loses Php 2.9 billion a day
due to loss of manpower and manhours in traffic congestion,
which lasts for 3 to 5 hours. No less than His Eminence,
83-year-old Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, did his best in the
midst of stormy weather and came to the rescue of thousands
of stranded motorists, when he single-handedly untangled
the traffic jam. With no traffic policemen in sight, the good
Cardinal zipped up his raincoat and walked nearly a kilometer
to find out what was causing the 1.6-kilometer (1 mile) long
snarl. He discovered six cars fighting over two lanes. He used
hand signals to force the vehicles to back up, freeing up the
jam. His Eminence Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle advised the
government that it should enforce regulations on the release
of new vehicles into the streets to reduce number of cars on
the streets. He also hopes solutions to the problems through
the Philippine National Railways, the Metro Rail Transit and
buses. Filipinos can follow simple traffic rules while in foreign
countries. Why can they not do it in their own country?
Congratulations to Bishop Francis de Leon, Apostolic
Administrator of the Diocese of Kalookan, on his episcopal
anniversary. Let us pray for the eternal repose of the soul of Most
Rev. Francisco San Diego,D.D., First Bishop of Pasig, who joined
the Creator last August 26.


August 31 - September 13, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 18

Interfaith eco-movt launched

QUEZON City On the
eve of the Season of Creation
celebration, representatives
of the Catholic Church and
other Christian denominations on Monday, Aug. 31,
temporarily set aside religious
differences to launch the
Ecological Justice Interfaith
Movement (EcoJIM) in a
bid to rally people of various
creeds for the task of protecting what Pope Francis calls
their common home.
Moral obligation
we, members of the
Ecological Justice Interfaith
Movement, representing the
growing faith-based movements and networks within
the country and across the
globe in the fight for climate
justice, enjoin people of all

faiths and beliefs to share in

the collective responsibility
of addressing the ecological
crisis, declare Fr. Dexter
Toledo, OFM and other organizers of EcoJIM in a joint
According to them, the
fight for climate justice is
not just an act of kindness
or good will, but a moral
obligation that seeks to
ensure that no rights are
trampled upon and no duty
is forgotten.
We must take it upon ourselves the valiant task of securing and protecting peoples
right to energy, to sufficient,
healthy, and appropriate food,
water, and livelihood, and to
the security of possessions and
homes from climate impacts,
they add.

Junking exploitation
EcoJIM members argue it is
high time all act and confront
a system they believe uses and
promotes the exploitation of
natural and environmental
resources at the expense of the
common good.
Allowing this system of
exploitation to continue only
disparages the integrity of
all creation and widens the
gap between the rich and the
poor, instead of encouraging
compassion and cooperation,
they explain.
EcoJIM organizers point
out the problem of climate
change and the environmental
chaos it can cause cut across
religious, cultural, scientific,
and political ties, and exhort
the public to prepare to fight
for the survival of the planet.

Faith, fight for planet

As we ready ourselves for
the battle for our common
home before us, we call on
everyone to prepare and put
on a full armor that will enable us to stand and not lose
hope in this decisive fight,
they say.
While it recognizes the
role of faith in its advocacy,
the group goes on to underline the need to address
the ecological crisis with a
kind of discourse rooted in
Instead of contradicting
each other, empirical data has
supported and complemented
what our faith has taught us to
do: become good and caring
stewards of all creation or face
dire consequences. (Raymond
A. Sebastin / CBCP News)

Education, A1

young people be given the opportunities

which will enable them to develop their
full potential.
It can be remembered that the universal
prayer intention of the Holy Father this
September reads: That opportunities for
education and employment may increase
for all young people.
Noting the lack of confidence in many
of her students, Sumicad underlined the
indispensable role of parents and guardians in ensuring that their children receive
proper encouragement, starting in their
own homes.
Liberating experience
For Prof. Nestor Limqueco of Santa

Catalina College, education is a liberating experience that demands active

participation in the learners.
Education is a lifelong thing.
Because of this, it is important that
young people are educated in such a
way that they will see God in what
they do once they are employed, he
Limqueco, however, warned against
seeing employment exclusively as a
money-making affair.
Employment is not just about earning
money. It is also a means that allows us appreciate better the true essence and dignity
of labor of which the Man of Nazareth is
the best example, he said.

Meanwhile, Raymond Ramos, a science instructor at St. Vincent School in
Quezon City, invited fellow Catholics to
do what they can in order to help create
a society that has equal educational and
employment opportunities for all, especially the youth.
According to him, opportunities are
blessings from the Lord that should not
be taken for granted, but rather received
with joy.
Moreover, his intention for evangelization is: That catechists may give witness
by living in a way consistent with the faith
they proclaim. (Raymond A. Sebastin
/ CBCP News)

Sex change unnecessary prelate

PALO, Leyte It is clear as part of the
teaching of the Church that changes or
mutilation done in (ones) body which
is not necessary is putting themselves
as gods, says Bishop-elect Oscar Jaime
Florencio, known formator in the Archdiocese of Palo and former rector of the St.
John the Evangelist School of Theology, is
all for the need to analyze the real reasons
why a person wants a sex change.
He added, We have to ask ourselves
in our Philippine setting, Is it really
No discrimination
If we will have to answer and we see
there is a big (economic) gap between persons around us and it is not necessary or it
is just a caprice, then we have to ask What
is the problem?, the prelate commented.
Florencio, however, stressed that people
should not discriminate against those who
identify as LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual
and transgender).
These people should instead try to
consider what pushes them to actually
consider having surgical operations done
on their body, said Florencio.

faith as the times do, he said.

Villegas further explained
that millennials have the
power to communicate effectively and instantly compared to the older generations.
We hope that by reaching
out to them, they can help
us reach out to more people.
They do that so naturally and
so effortlessly already. The
same way the Word of God
is something were naturally
drawn to, we hope that they
share the same message of
caring for our only home,
he added.

Following Popes example

In the recent green encyclical, Pope Francis expressed
the pressing need to care
about the earth more than
ever. The ecological crisis, he
said, is a summons to a profound spiritual conversion
and to a way of life that clearly
shows they are believers.
The Pope added that the
annual World Day of Prayer
for the Care of Creation will
be a time for individuals and
communities to reaffirm
their personal vocation to be
stewards of creation, to thank
God for the wonderful handi-

work which he has entrusted

to our care, and to implore
his help for the protection of
creation as well as his pardon
for the sins committed against
the world in which we live.
The Pope has taken a
concrete lead for caring for
our Mother Earth and we
shouldnt let his visit here
earlier this year go to waste.
As the governing body of
Catholic religion and faith in
the country, we are dedicated
to following his example. We
are, after all, not masters of
the earth but stewards of it.
Villegas said. (CBCP News)

Earlier, the Archdiocese of Palo through its

spokesman Fr. Chris Arthur Militante declared
the local churchs stand on LGBT persons.
The Church, according to Militante,
does not discriminate against and instead
welcomes those who consider themselves
belonging to the said group.
Need for counseling
He, nevertheless, stressed that the
Church is constant and resolute in condemning homosexual acts.
Militante explained that in the Book of
Genesis it is clear that God created only
Adam, a man, and Eve, a woman, and no
in-between gender.
Florencio and Militante both recognize
LGBT individuals need for counseling.
Meanwhile, Bishop-elect Florencio is
set to welcome Papal Nuncio Giuseppe
Pinto to his episcopal consecration on
Sept. 4 at the Palo Cathedral.
Former Palo Archbishop and Cebu
Archbishop Jose Palma and Palo Archbishop
John Du will join the Nuncio as consecrator.
Following his episcopal consecration,
Florencio will be installed as Auxiliary
Bishop of Cebu. (Eileen Nazareno-Ballesteros /CBCP News)

Eco, A6

the environment, causing global warming

and climate change.
Renewable, clean energy
Collating their various inputs, they
promise to push for a swift and just
transition to democratic, public and
community renewable and clean energy.
Moreover, the eco warriors strive to do
their part in upholding peoples rights to
energy in keeping with their dignity and
well-being, and in stopping excessive and
wasteful energy consumption, particularly by corporations and elite groups.

Millennials, A1

environment, Laudato Si, and

the recent declaration of Sept.
1 as the World Day of Prayer
for Care of Creation.
We need the millennials.
The home that God entrusted
to us is dying and its obvious
with the climate change and
irresponsibility weve tolerated for too long, Villegas
We need their help because times are changing fast
and it is them who are at the
forefront of it. They bear the
responsibility of understanding and evolving not just with
the environment but with the

CBCP Monitor

Stop mining
More specifically, the eco groups advocate the following:
End of coal mining in the Philippines, stop the building of new coal power
plants, phase out of all existing coal power
plants and other dirty energy projects as
soon as possible, replacing them with
public and community-owned and -managed renewable and clean energy
Call for divestment from fossil fuel
and other dirty energy industries
Stop privatization and promote
democratic control and management
of energy
Repeal EPIRA
Stop public subsidies and public loan
financing of dirty energy projects
Rehabilitate Agos-Pulangui, a hydro

power plant in Bukidnon, and other

natural and renewable energy generating plants
Besides AMRSP and Caritas Philippines, the other convenors of the threeday national climate conference held at
the Asilo de San Vicente de Pal from
July 29 to 31 were:
Philippine chapter of the Global
Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM)
Fellowship of the Care of Creation
Association Incorporated (FCCAI),
Task Force Detainees of the Philippines
Philippine Alliance of Human Rights
Advocates (PAHRA)
Philippine Misereor Partnership
Philippine Movement for Climate
Justice (PMCJ), Freedom from Debt
Coalition (FDC)
Medical Action Group (MAG)
Bulig Visayas
Asian Peoples Movement on Debt
and Development.
Joining them were social workers,
Church volunteers, educators, representatives of different dioceses, religious
congregations, and other climate justice
advocates. (Raymond A. Sebastin /
CBCP News)

Abortion, A1

The encyclical specifically mentions that concern for the protection of nature is incompatible with
the justification of abortion.
At times we see an obsession
with denying any pre-eminence
to the human person; more zeal
is shown in protecting other species than in defending the dignity
which all human beings share in
equal measure, the Pope said.
See, judge, act
In his homily, Tagle also emphasized the importance of seeing and
judging the roots of destruction
and by acting to address the
Among the actions that can be
taken, he said, is education in
spirituality that can be manifested
in little gestures such as change
of lifestyle.
Since God is the Creator, He
is the owner of everything. We are
humble creatures. We are not the
owners, he said.
We are stewards. We are supposed to take care of Gods creation, added Tagle, who is also the
President of Caritas Internationalis.

Three Cs
The occasion also coincided with
the launching of this years Season
of Creation, a yearly event in the
Archdiocese of Manila that started
in 2013.
A series of activities promoting
environmental causes in different parishes, communities, and
schools will mark the month-long
This year, there will be ecology
exhibits, childrens fora on Laudato
Si, ecology quiz bees in schools, and
story-telling on the care of creation.
Priests, the religious, students,
and volunteers of ecology ministry
in various parishes of the archdiocese attended todays Mass.
Tagle also stressed the importance of contemplation, caring
and conversion in preserving and
protecting the environment.
Let us go back to contemplation, to that spirituality of being
able to look not because we want
to manipulate but to look because
God might reveal something to
us, he said.
Let us recover caring. Caring
does not mean we are spies. Caring

is attentiveness and concern that

allows something or someone to
grow and not to destroy.
This also requires spiritual
conversion a new vision. It requires
human conversion, a review of
our priorities and lifestyle, added
Ecological sins
In this Season of Creation, the
cardinal also called on the faithful
to ask for Gods forgiveness for the
many atrocities we have done and
by harming His beautiful creation.
And we hope to hear in confession ecological sins, Tagle said,
as he renewed the call for radical
changes in attitudes towards environment by thinking about the
countrys poor.
According to him, it is time to
listen to the cries of the poor and
the groaning of the earth.
He called on all people to be better stewards of creation for future
Tagle also called for a stop to the
greed of businesses which benefits
only a few and lays great burdens
on the poor.

Caring for creation as worship

In Leyte, which is still recovering from a powerful typhoon that
ravaged the area in 2013, an Opus
Dei priest equated care for the
environment with worship.
We can say then that to care
for nature is a form of worship.
Respecting and making the world
livable is a way of relating to God,
Fr. Gil Manaog explained. He
added that making good use of
the gift (and sharing it to the next
generation) is a form of respect and
gratitude rendered to the Giver of
the gift.
Manaoag warned, though, ingratitude is a terrible human defect, as all humans participate and
form part of nature-hood.
Environment Management subject
Super typhoon Yolandas massive
flooding and devastation in the
lowlands have also called the attention of local government units and
even the academic sector towards
Recently, the St. Paul School of
Business and Law in Palo town
joined the Department of Environ-

ment and Natural Resources in its

efforts to rehabilitate the mangrove
and beach forest.
According to the school president, Dean Erwin Vincent Alcala,
who is a church benefactor and
volunteer, they found inspiration
in Pope Francis encyclical which
calls on all men of good will to help
care for Mother Nature.
The school is now implementing
a new curriculum to include Environment Management among its
subjects, one that is outcome-based
and community-oriented.
Organic farming
Meanwhile, Catholics in Davao
Region have also resorted to organic farming and tree planting as
their contribution to this worldwide celebration.
On Sept. 1, the Archdiocesan
Social Action Center of Davao
(ASAC) organized a series of trainings for lay leaders and members to
learn about the benefits of organic
ASAC Coordinator Sr. Ma.
Marissa Arado, TDM, said ASAC
partnered with different agencies,

which specialize in organic farming, so they can share their expertise

to lay leaders and members who
will also pass on their learnings
to others.
Organic vs. synthetic
Organic farming, compared
to synthetic farming does not do
harm to the environment and to
human beings. Our aim is to make
organic farming as a way of life so
we dont rely on food production
that will harm our health and our
environment, Arado said
This is also our way of doing our
role as stewards of Gods creation
since it is also our vocation to care
for the environment, he said, adding that the month of September
will be their training for organic
farming in Wangan, a remote barangay in Davao City.
September also being the month
of vocation in the archdiocese,
Archbishop Romulo Valles presided over a Mass to mark its
launching at the San Pedro Cathedral. (with reports from Eileen
Nazareno-Ballesteros and John
Frances Fuentes)

And Thats the Truth / A4

now Kilometer 0, and the Philippines

is no longer a colonydo Filipinos still
think a photo bomber could diminish the
nobility of the hero that his monument
honors? Andres Bonifacios handsome
monument (Cry of Balintawak) is all but
choked by the commercial establishments
surrounding it, but why is no one complaining? Does this mean we see Andres
Bonifacio as a second class hero?
If the appearance of the Rizal Monument were so significant, why are the
loud voices being heard only now, now
that over 40 floors have already been
built? If I were DMCI, or bought a
unit at Torre, Id complain. Government
agencies involved should pull their act
together to avoid repetition of the same.
Id like to give the benefit of the doubt
to DMCI, after all, oral arguments reveal
that it has not violated any law in the
process. Besides, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines has

testified that the Torre de Manila project

site is outside the boundaries of the Rizal
Park and well to the rear (789 meters) of
the Rizal National Monument; hence
it cannot possibly obstruct the front
view of the said National Monument.
Judging from DMCIs projects, of all
the developments in its class, DMCI has
the best eye for the aesthetic aspects of
condo-dwellingthey are not afraid to
waste space in order to secure beauty
and healthful living for the residents.
Their low-rise communities are a picture
of order and harmony, ideal places for
young families to grow in. Most other
condo buildings look like artless shoe
boxes stacked to towering heights, but
DMCI for the same price as those shoe
box towers offers middle-income families with spacious recreational facilities,
well appointed study rooms, gorgeous
lobbies, and reception areas residents
may be proud to entertain in.

If I seem to be taking sides on this

issue, you can be sure its only the side
of reason and common sense. Torre
de Manilas bashers are an energetic
lot and its sad to see that much energy
being aimed at a mere photo bomber
as though the country (or even Manila
alone) were a picture of an immaculate
paradise. Hellooow! There are other
sights in Metromanila that violate
the visual integrity of our beloved
landmarks and are a real affront to the
ideals our heroes fought and died for.
Open thine eyes to the scores of other
photo bombers littering our metropolis! Ever since I took my first job at the
Manila Times (of Chino Roces days)
Ive been calling readers attention to
various illsbeggar syndicates, prostitution, child abuse, illegal recruitment,
OFWs broken families, mediocre
television programming, fraudulent
advertising, garbage mountains on our

streets, squatter shanties and clogged

waterways, unfair labor practices, etc.
Im already hoarse from crying for
families living on the sidewalks, small
children begging, girls selling sampaguita in the rain, boys gambling off alms
money from scrupulous Christians, to
name a few.
Instead of bashing well-meaning urban
developers and adding to the noise that
reduces Torre de Manila into a Torre de
Babel, perhaps the erudite and cultured
members of our society can combine
forces and encourage the production of
superior, well-researched films on our
heroesreal heroes who have been dead
at least 50 years, not political figures
catapulted to hero status by sheer luck.
Produce concerts or plays on their lives so
that our youth may be inspired by them
instead of just screaming over One Direction or paying thousands of pesos to see
Madonna. To our beauty pageants, add

essay-writing contests that draw out the

Filipinas feminine genius remember
what Rizal wrote to the young women
of Malolos?
The Torre? Leave it be. And let
other developers even out the skyline.
The problem will solve itself if handled
with reason. While still under construction, high-risers will naturally be
an eyesore, but once finished they will
provide an appropriately lit backdrop
for Rizals monument, hopefully luring
promenaders to the park, back from air
conditioned malls. Then I can hope I
will no longer hear what I heard from a
Latin American meeting a Filipino for
the first time: Before I met you I used
to think people in the Philippines were
like monkeys, living in trees Hah!
Living in trees! The world will come to
salute a blazing Rizal monument with
twinkling condo lights in the background! And thats the truth.

CBCP Monitor


August 31 - September 13, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 18

Bishop, clergy up in arms over mining in E. Samar

BORONGAN CityThe Catholic
clergy in Eastern Samar have vowed
to resist a government decision
to allow a mining firm to ship its
stockpile of nickle ore out of the
The clergy raised the issue to the
government again amid concerns
that there is no stopping the Hinatuan Mining Corp. from transporting ore stockpiles off Manicani
Island in Guiuan town.
HMC is an affiliate of Nickle
Aquatic, soil erosion
In another letter to the Department of Environment and Natural
Resources (DENR), they said
recent events have rekindled our
long-standing resolve that mining
should be permanently stopped,
including the loading of the existing
stockpiles in the island.
The manifesto, sent to DENR
Secretary Ramon Paje on Aug. 18,
was signed by Borongan Bishop
Crispin Varquez and the dioceses
more than 60 priests.

We cannot remain deaf and

blind and not denounce the excesses of mining while our people
suffer the consequences not their
own making, they said.
The operation of HMC has
been suspended since 2001 for
reportedly causing aquatic and
soil erosion.
It has since then sought a permit
to haul and load around 1.1 million metric tons of ore stockpiles.
Church officials said the permit
to transport goes against the suspension order which include the
cessation of exploration, operation,
extraction, and disposal.
Meanwhile, the PhilippineMisereor Partnerships Inc (PMPI)
called on the DENR to postpone
its decision on abandoned ore piles
in Manicani island until important
points have been clarified.
Mine waste
The PMPI sent an inquiry to
DENR and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau-Eastern Visayas
(MGB-8) regarding the inventory,

identity, and grade of the stockpiles.

This will be a big factor, it said,
in deciding whether to allow Hinatuan Mining Corporation (HMC)
to transport the remaining nickel
ore piles.
PMPI anti-mining campaigner
Ed Garingan, in a letter sent on
Aug. 24, 2015, explained that the
quantity and quality of the stockpiles must be documented first.
He also requested for copies of
relevant documents that will shed
light on the matter.
MGB-8 has labeled the ore piles
left in Manicani as mine waste.
We would like to know what
is the original plan or the protocol in managing or rehabilitating
mine waste. The said stockpiles
had been there in the island even
before Typhoon Haiyan; there
should have been plans about it,
said Garingan.
PMPI is a network of peoples organizations, faith-based groups, and
Misereor, the overseas development
agency of the Catholic Church in
Germany. (CBCP News)

Semirara mining R. LAGARDE/CBCP NEWS

Marikina parishes gather school supplies for needy Public invited to Monte Cristo caves
MANILA Three parishes in
pilgrimage site
Marikina are currently sourcing school supplies for at least
10, 000 less fortunate primary
school pupils.
The parishes of Antonio
de Padua, Nativity of Our
Lady, and the Immaculate
Concepcion are accepting
much-needed school items
starting September, said Fr.
Dari Dioquino, Immaculate
Concepcion assistant parish
Every month, the three parishes will ask for donations for
a particular school need until
supplies are sufficient, he said
Brand new school stuff
For September, they are asking for brand new or slightly
used pencils, said Dioquino,
who took charge of a home
for the aged in Antipolo for
over 10 years.
According to the priest,
the parishes will also ask for

Fr. Dari Dioquino. He took charge of home for the aged Kanlungan ni Maria in Antipolo for over 10 years. PHOTO GRABBED

other basic school needs, like

bag, paper, notebooks, erasers,
and scissors for the following
Church-goers can bring
the items on Sundays, Dioquino said, noting that as
much as possible materials
should be brand new or
slightly used.

Poor Luzon kids

Recipients of the project
are indigent primary school
kids in Luzon, he said. Specific recipient communities
and schools have yet to be
But Dioquino asssured beneficiaries will be the poorest of
the poor.

Lay people, who prefer

to remain anonymous, are
passionately supporting the
project, he said.
The said project will roll out
across the country once it gets
the necessary support to reach
a bigger number of indigent
school kids, the priest said. (Oliver Samson / CBCPNews)

OFWs, A3

money is just a simple way of showing

affection to their kin, and this should be
Of all the questionable transactions
happening right in their own backyard,
I wonder why BOC officials are more
interested in our balikbayan boxes. Why
pick on OFWs? asked Era.
For Mherl Ranque from Novaliches,
Quezon City, an office employee in
Doha, Qatar, opening balikbayan boxes
is unnecessary.

Why the need to open our things? What

are x-ray machines for? Im sorry, but what
they are doing is plain stupid, she said.
We work here day and night so that we
have at least something little to give our
families. And now this? Ranque added.
Meanwhile, Reth Ellen Se, a private
nurse working in Al-Taif, Makkah, Saudi
Arabia, whose father was also an OFW,
told CBCP News she now has reservations
about balikbayan boxes after the scandalous practice at BOC was confirmed.

These people want our balikbayan boxes

to themselves, but why not the crates of garbage Canada dumped on our shores? she
said, claiming there is a double standard.
While her salary in Saudi Arabia is
tax-free, the Iloilo native pointed out she
cannot help but take offense at the way
the Philippine government mistreats and
overburdens her and fellow OFWs with
taxes even as they are hailed the countrys
Bagong Bayani (Modern Heroes).
(Raymond A. Sebastin / CBCP News)

Normalization, A1

Gravely unjust laws

He goes on to remind Catholics to refrain from cooperating in the enactment or application of what he considers
gravely unjust laws.
According to him, this
means Catholics must not take
part in nor attend religious or
legal ceremonies celebrating
and legitimizing homosexual
Understandably, this will
be a particularly heavy cross
for families that have been
touched by homosexuality.
The Church reaches out with
compassion to these families
whose loved ones have entered
into such unions, he laments.
Giving witness

In the Aug. 28, document,

the head of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) stresses the need
for Catholics to give witness
to the whole moral truth about
human sexuality, especially in
countries where homosexual
unions still lack legal status.
Villegas points out this is
contradicted both by approval of homosexual acts
and the unjust discrimination
against homosexual persons.
Granting that many countries have legalized these, the
prelate remains firm in his
stand that there are absolutely
no grounds for considering
homosexual unions to be similar or even remotely analogous

to Gods plan for marriage and

the family.
Never a marriage
A homosexual union is not
and can never be a marriage
as properly understood and
While he admits sexual attraction towards the same sex
is in itself not a sin, Villegas
explains what the Church opposes are homosexual acts given
these deny the union of male
and female in a relationship of
natural complementarity.
Neither unitive nor procreative
Homosexual acts or practices that may arise from such

attraction, although they may

proceed from and be motivated by genuine affection
between two persons of the
same sex, are similarly not ordered to the union of the two
persons and to the procreation
of children, he says.
Because they are not unitive
and procreative--the distinct
qualities of a complementary
union of man and woman in
marriage--homosexual acts
or practices are contrary to
the natural law. Hence, they
are, from the perspective of
natural law, gravely disordered
and considered sins gravely
contrary to chastity, he adds.
(Raymond A. Sebastin /
CBCP News)

Mediatrix, A1

form and capitalized given that it refers

specifically to Jesus, who is Himself All
Grace personified.
According to him, if all graces has to
do with the signal blessings or material
things people asked Christ through the
intercession of His mother, All Grace
deals with matters more central to the
faith: among others virtues, salvation,
conversions, and sanctification.
Support needed
The Movement for a Dogmatic
Definition of the Blessed Virgins
Universal Mediation of Grace was
officially revived on Aug. 22, the 64th
patronal fiesta of Mary Mediatrix of All
Grace Cathedral in Digos City, coinciding with the Feast of the Queenship
of Mary.

In a statement, Digos Bishop Guillermo Afable invited all Filipino priests,

religious, and laity to support the cause
of the movement, and to do their part in
helping others become aware of it.
Sense of the faithful
He added this Marian group seeks to
continue the work began by Mechelen
Archbishop Dsir-Joseph Cardinal Mercier, who was one of the early champions
of the doctrine.
Its two main goals are: spreading the
Crusade of Prayer and Consecration, and
encouraging the worlds bishops to sign
the petition for the dogmatic definition
of the Mediatrix.
But before Pope Francis can step in and
consider raising the doctrine to the level
of dogma at par with the Immaculate

Conception and the Assumption, Afable

stressed the faithful must first establish the
existence of sensus fidelium.
Mediatrix bishops
Besides the bishop of Digos, the other
prelate-convenors of the movement include:
retired Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal
Vidal, Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo,
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, Batanes
Bishop Camilo Gregorio, Cotabato Auxiliary Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, and retired
Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Antonio Raola.
For inquiries, interested parties may
reach the movement through (+63)9077583-541, info@mediationofmary.com,
or its Facebook account Movement for
A Dogmatic Definition of Marys Universal Mediation of Grace. (Raymond
A. Sebastin / CBCP News)

One of the caves in Monte Cristo is called Kuweba ng Poong Nazareno where one can see a replica of
the Black Nazarene. YEN OCAMPO

NORZAGARAY,BULACAN--The indigenous Dumagats and the Blessed

Sacrament Missionaries of the Poor Inc.
(BSMP) together with the Sagip Sierra
Madre Environmental Society, Inc (SSMESI) invite the faithful to the Monte
Cristo Eco-tourism caves and pilgrimage site located in Sitio Suha, Brgy. San
Mateo, here.
The primary objective of this ecotourism project is forest protection. We
want to preserve our forest. When we
first came here, we thought this was a
virgin forest, but were wrong. The place
was already destroyed by the illegal loggers, charcoal makers, and even treasure
hunters. So what we did was, we made
the rocks in Monte Cristo habitable
and we made a prayer visit [stations],
said BSMP missionary and Sagip Sierra
Madre Executive Chairman, Bro. Martin
Francisco, BSMP.
Education, forest protection needs
They developed 4 out of 8 caves as
pilgrimage sites, which was originally
named the Sagip NPC Project Site,
later on becoming the Punduhan ng
mga Dumagat.
He said the area is open for a manageable number of tourists to visit as operations are not 100 per cent ready. The area
still lacks comfort rooms, signages, and
even training for Dumagats.
Francisco together with the SSMESI
address the health and education needs of
the indigenous Dumagats, aside from forest protection, eco tourism, and cultural
integrity training.

The Sagip Sierra Madre is not only

an NGO, this is also a community-based
organization with different tribes as members. We want the Dumagats to empower
and organize themselves. We are teaching
them on leadership training and how to
be an independent, Francisco added.
Wanted: Agriculturists
According to the religious brother,
the locals are in need of food assistance,
school supplies, medicine, and even
agriculturists who are willing to teach
them about farming and other soil-related
We need food assistance although
we introduced farming here, yet we are
focused on forest protection and on the
development of the area, so we have no
time for farming. We also need an agriculturists for soil alteration, Francisco
He also mentioned the need for construction materials for the pilgrimage site
like cement, ropes, metal, and people who
can help them make deep wells.
not only by kneeling, but our
spirituality can also be seen [through
our] fundamental interaction with our
indigenous peoples, he ended.
For assistance, interested parties may
contact Bro. Martin Francisco, BSMP at
+63917-5503182 or send him a message
on Facebook via https://www.facebook.
com/bromartin.francisco?fref=ts. Donations are also accepted at Punduhan ng
mga Dumagat, Sitio Suha, Brgy. San Mateo, Norzagaray, Bulacan. (Yen Ocampo
/ CBCP News)

Candidly Speaking / A4

moment. But they have a lot of energy

to go on.
We just have to make sure that they are
given the solid dose of formation in all
its aspectshuman, spiritual, doctrinal,
apostolic, and professional. We have to make
sure that these aspects are properly integrated
through the impulse of a genuine love for God
and for others, because only then can they
acquire a life and creativity of their own.
Caring for the youth actually never stops.
Its not just one stage in a life-long process.
We just have to make it clear to them that
our life requires continuing formation,

continuing conversions, and renewals.

In their weak moments or when they are
down, we have to be quick to re-motivate
them, showing them new horizons and
strong reasons to hope. We have to show
them the way, getting practical ourselves
and not just remaining in the theories.
We should try to adapt ourselves to
them, and if possible, to speak their
language, without abdicating our role as
elders and teachers. In the end, we can
only help them properly if we ourselves
take care of own spiritual and moral lives.
We cant give what we dont have.

Prison, A1

decongest the jails, Diamante said.

Approved by President Benigno Aquino
III in May 2013, the law cuts prison terms
of inmates for good behavior to decongest
jail facilities.
Real estate interests?
So theres really no need to spend Php
50 billion on what is believed to be a
modern Alcatraz, said Diamante.
The new prison facility will rise over the
next three years in Nueva Ecija that will
house convicts from the NBP.

The supposed state-of-the-art facility

will be built on a 500-hectare complex
within Fort Magsaysay, the countrys largest military reservation.
Diamante, however, claimed there
seems to be a deeper reason behind
the project and that is to give way
to commercial development in the
NBP area.
We suspect that the administration
wants to satisfy real estate developers who
are after the NBP reservation, he added.
(R. Lagarde /CBCPNews)


August 31 - September 13, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 18

KCFAPI launches new

lifetime protection product
THE Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc (KCFAPI) launched
its newest product, a limited pay
participating whole life plan, on
Aug. 21 through its Fraternal
Benefits Group Department.
Dubbed the KC Elite Pro:
Retire Right and be Protected for
Life the product provides lifetime
protection and anticipated living
benefits or cash bonuses.
As a proud member of this
plan, you also support charitable
causes and projects of the Knights
of Columbus in the Philippines
and other benevolent activities,
said KCFAPI FBG Vice-President,
Gari San Sebastian.
Contributions are payable within five (50, ten (10) or fifteen 15
years. Plan benefits include whole
life insurance benefits; accidental
death benefit rider; anticipated
living benefits; cash participation;
and cash value, among others.
Everyday in our lives we encounter the poor, poor in the sense
that lack of faith. As being missionaries of the poor, we evangelize

CBCP Monitor

Pinay sister says yes to

Sierra Leone mission

Bernardita Didith Otibar boards a boat for a local mission trip in the Philippines.

Knights of Columbus North Luzon State Deputy and KCFAPI President, Justice Jose Reyes, Jr gives a message during the launching
of the latest insurance product of KCFAPI, dubbed the KC Elite Pro: Retire Right and be Protected for Life, on Aug. 21, at the Fr.
George J. Willmann Building, Intramuros, Manila. YEN OCAMPO

and we spread the Gospel. This

is part of the mission of being a
brother knight, added Sebastian.
KCFAPI offers 3 groups of plans like
protection group; retirement group;
and savings & investment group.

An accidental death benefit rider may also be attached to the KC

Elite Pro Plan. KC members and
their immediate family members
who intend to have both whole life
protection will receive their retire-

ment benefits at age 60, 65 or 70.

For inquiries, interested parties
may contact the FBG Department
at telephone numbers (63) (02)
527-2223 to 27. (Yen Ocampo /
CBCP News)

Short course sparks interest in theology

AT least 70 people signed up recently for the
monthly theology crash course at the University of Santo Toms (UST), and more are
expected to join in the days ahead.
The first formal class was on Sunday, Aug.
23, 9:00 a.m., at the 2nd floor, Santo Toms
de Aquino Research Center, UST Graduate
School, Espaa Blvd., Sampaloc, Manila.

According to Hermosa, who works for a
private company as well as a youth minister at
Mandaluyongs San Felipe Neri Parish, handouts will be available to participants to enable
them to follow the lessons better.
Fr. Jos Antonio E. Aureada, O.P. is the
course facilitator.
A Dominican friar, he also is a regent of the
UST Graduate School, and a theologian who
specializes in the works of St. Thomas Aquinas.


Growing interest
We didnt expect that so many people would
be registering for it. It is good to know that more
and more Catholics are interested in taking their
knowledge of God beyond the basics, said
Louie P. Hermosa, one of the organizers of the
4th Sunday program, in an interview.
Launched on July 26, the series of lectures
held at the universitys Santo Toms de Aquino
Research Center, drew mostly Catholic professionals from Metro Manila who wish to deepen
their understanding of the faith, and satisfy
their hunger for theological truths.
The priest earned in 1994 his doctorate degree in
Sacred Theology major in Dogmatics in Angelicum,
the center of Thomistic studies based in Rome.

Besides teaching the fundamentals and the

history of theology, Aureada is set to tackle
Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization.

Biblical theology, New Evangelization

Aureada has written several scholarly articles
on the thought of his intellectual hero for various theological journals, both here and abroad.
His books are Angelic Mind in a Human Face:
Life of St. Thomas Aquinas in Visuals, and Thesis Writing for Theology Students: A Primer.

Ongoing registration
At the end of the three-unit course, each
student will receive a certificate on theology.
Registration is still open.
For more details and other information, contact (+63) 927-3967-776 and/or (+63)906-4100010. (Raymond A. Sebastin/CBCP News)

PHs Don Bosco choir to tour Italy, France

A FEW days from now, another

Camillian sister, a Filipina, will
set foot on Sierra Leone, an
African country stricken by the
deadly Ebola Virus in the last
Sr. Bernardita Didith Otibar
of the Philippines will join Sr.
Benedetta Odundo Akech from
Kenya, and the Camillian Task
Force in Post-Disaster Response
in Sierra Leone.
Sr. Didith, as she is fondly
called, has been working in the
Philippines among survivors of

super typhoon Haiyan in Basey,

Samar and nearby towns.
Camilllian Superior General
Mother Lauretta Gianesin and
the rest of the congregation calls
on the public to pray for Otibar
and for the success of the Sierra
Leone mission.
According to Camillian Delegation Council 4th Councilor
Sr. Daisy A. Carmona, Otibar
is known for her untiring and
devout services with her generous
and compassionate heart. (CBCP

Year of the Poor - inspired

Marian fun run set
MOVED by the love for Holy
Mary and inspired by the CBCPs
Year of the Poor, a group of students in Iloilo City organized a
fun run on Sept 6, 5 a.m., at the
Iloilo City Freedom Grandstand,
to celebrate the Blessed Virgin
Marys birthday.
The fun run, named Run for
Mary, was conceptualized by
senior students of the Bachelor of
Science course in Office Administration of the Iloilo City Community College (ICCC) in Molo,
Iloilo City, under the guidance
of Subject Instructor Prof. Rezlie
According to events chairman
Kimberly Paclauna, the studentorganized event, with the theme
Respect women, Value the poor,
is aimed to raise public awareness
on the conditions of the poor in
Iloilo City and on the effects of
poverty, especially on women.
Inspired by Pope Francis who
came to the Philippines for the
poor, we also intend to raise
funds and undertake projects,
such as feeding programs and the
distribution of school supplies to
schoolchildren in the poor communities, she added.
According to the student, they
chose the Immaculate Conception
Parish in Tanza, Iloilo City as their
project beneficiary because it has
the Blessed Virgin as patroness
and majority of its parishioners

are poor.
Explaining the need for such a
project, group member Alvin John
Sibugan said: Many women are
suffering from discrimination and
many others become victims of
human trafficking.
Maria Angelie Rada, one of the
groups co-organizers, observed,
Many mothers nowadays are
forced to fill in the fathers roles.
We need to respect mothers because they have to do many things
and sacrifice themselves for their
Run for Mary is open to everyone, even if they belong to other
faiths, as long as they would like
to help the cause of women and of
the poor, said Crisanto Veras, the
groups communications officer.
We are inviting as many persons as possible. Our target is to
get 2,000 runners. Those who
cannot run can also help by giving financial contributions, food
donations (drinks and ready-toeat snacks), school supplies for
children, Veras stressed.
Each registered runner will receive a free Rosary courtesy of the
Daughters of Mary Immaculate.
Interested parties may contact
Kimberly Paclauna (0927-7466631) or Julie Ann Jetano (0910064-4282), or visit Run for Mary
2015 www.facebook.com/irunformary. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas /

ORDAINED. Bishop-elect Victor De la Cruz Ocampo was ordained
on Aug. 29 to the episcopate at the Diocesan Shrine and Cathedral
Parish of St. Joseph in Balanga, Bataan. He will be installed as
the fifth Bishop of the Diocese of Gumaca on Sept. 3 at the San
Diego De Alcala Cathedral in Gumaca, Quezon.Ocampo was born
in Angeles City, Pampanga in 1952. He was ordained a priest of
the Diocese of Balanga in 1977.Since his ordination, he has also
served various pastoral and diocesan roles; and as member of the
College of Consultors.

SJB Choir

OFWS in Italy and France, read

The St. John Bosco Chorale
(SJB) is all set to take Europe by
storm in a three-week concertpilgrimage from Sept. 5 to 25.
The church-based music group
will go on a multi-city tour of the
continent, performing in various
venues in France and Italy, and
visiting places associated with
Catholic saints, especially their
patron, Don Bosco, whose 200th
birth anniversary was celebrated
Way of Don Bosco
Dubbed Via di Don Bosco:
Because We Believe, the oncein-a-lifetime concert-pilgrimage
aims to help communities raise
funds through its proceeds, while
treating Filipino expatriates to a
walk down memory lane with its
repertoire of homegrown music.
Composed of students and

young professionals, the SJB

Chorale under the direction of
conductor Vincent Olandesca
continues to fulfill their collective
mission of sharing their musical
gifts with people here and abroad
in Masses, concerts, festivals, and
A graduate of the Philippine
Womens University (PWU) with
a Bachelor of Music in Music
Education, Olandesca was a
full-time scholar of the Klassikal
Music Foundation.
The conductor currently pursues further studies as a candidate
for Masters of Music in Music
Performance with emphasis on
Choral Conducting also at PWU.
Also a solo singer, Olandesca
won the Grand Prize at the Annual Kundiman sa Makati in
2000, and was part of the PWU
Chorale that won first place at the

National Music Competition for

Young Artists (NAMCYA).
Humble start
Since its foundation in 2000 as
a parish choir, the SJB Chorale
has made a name for itself in
various local choral festivals and
The schedule of the concertpilgrimage in Italy will kick off
on Sept. 5-7 in Rome: Sacro
Cuore, Mass, Altar of Don Bosco;
Termini, Maria Maggiore; St. Peters Basilica, Vatican City; Mass,
concert, Sacro Cuore community;
Mass inside the Catacombs of
St. Callixtus; St. John Lateran;
Scala Santa.
On Sept. 8, the choir will be in
Lanciano: San Francesco Church;
on Sept. 9 in Assisi; Sept. 10 in
Florence: Mass, mini concert
for Filipino Community; Sept.
11 in Venice: Basilica di Sant
Antonio di Padova; welcome of

San Lorenzo Filipino community;

Meeting with San Lorezo Choir;
on Sept. 13 in Milan: Mass with
Filipino community; concert
at San Lorenzo Basilica; Expo
Milano 2015; in Sept. 15, the
choir will rerace the footsteps of
Don Bosco via Caravaggio, Sotto
il Monte at Bergamo, Valdocco;
on Sept. 16 to 18, they will be in
Turin to visit to birthplace of Don
Bosco; Chieri Concert for Don
Bosco; cultural visit of Turin;
Superga; Fraternal Charity Day
Concert for Don Bosco.
For the France leg, on Sept.
19 in Avignon; on Sept. 20-21
in Lourdes: Candlelight procession at Grotto, Day of Prayer; on
Sept. 22 in Lyons; on Sept. 23 to
25 in Paris.
For more information, interested parties may visit Facebook.
com/TheSJBChorale, or contact
(+63) 915-3728-559. (Raymond
A. Sebastin/CBCP News)

ORDAINED. Daet Bishop Emeritus Benjamin Almoneda, D.D.

ordained seven religious brothers to the Sacred Order of
Deacons on Aug. 29. Bro. Jessel Bangoy, RCJ, Bro. Harvey
Cestina, RCJ, Bro. Henrikus Gualbertus, RCJ, Bro. Tristan
Angelo Palado, RCJ, Bro. Welbert Llyd Suarez, RCJ, Bro.
Francisco Gringo Tagabi, RCJ, and Bro. Sherwin Valenzuela,
RCJ were ordained deacons at the Holy Spirit Chapel of the
Fr. Di Francia Center of Studies. Rev. Henrikus Gualbertus
is the first Indonesian Deacon from the Missionary Station
in Maumere, Indonesia, fruit of the prayers and hard work of
our missionaries there.
DIED. The first bishop of Pasig, Bishop-Emeritus Francisco C.
San Diego, passed away in his sleep early at 4.49 a.m. of Aug.
26. He was 79. Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara confirmed that San
Diego died of cardiac arrest at Cardinal Santos Memorial Hospital
before dawn. San Diego was born on October 10, 1935. He was
installed as first Bishop of Pasig on Aug. 21, 2003. After serving
the Diocese of Pasig for more than seven years, he retired on Dec.
21, 2010 at the age of 75.
DIED. Fr. Bob Suchan, S.J., who served in the Philippines for 56
years, died on Aug. 22, Feast of Mary the Queen, before 6 p.m. at
the infirmary of the Jesuit Residence. He was 89-years old, 71 years
of which he lived as a Jesuit, 59 years as a priest. A Funeral Mass
was held on Aug. 25, after which Suchans remains were interred
at the Sacred Heart Novitiate Jesuit Cemetery. He was born on
March 17, 1926 and was once the Director of the Rizal Library at
the then Ateneo School of Arts and Sciences.
DIED. Fr. Enrique Aloysius Ma. Alio of Diocese of Cubao passed
away on Aug. 30. His remains were brought to the Immaculate
Conception Cathedral, Lantana, Cubao, Quezon City at around 10
p.m. of the same day. A Mass for his eternal repose was celebrated
by Bishop Camilo Gregorio. Alio was the former parish priest of
Sto. Nino Parish Shrine in Quezon City.

CBCP Monitor


August 31 - September 13, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 18

The dignity and vocation of

homosexual persons


A Pastoral Response to the Acceptance of the Homosexual Lifestyle

Washington D.C. - June 19, 2014: 2014 March for Marriage in Washington D.C. on June 19, 2014.

The Nature of Marriage in the

Divine Plan
The creation narratives at the beginning of Sacred Scripture reveal that
God made human beings in His image
and likeness. He created them male and
female, equal in dignity but not identical
nor interchangeable.
He made one explicitly for the otherIt is not good that the man should
be alone (RSV, Gen. 2:18)1equal as
persons, not alike but complementary.
So that in relating to each other, as male
and female, one would complete the
other as two halves coming together to
be whole.
This complementarity between man
and woman, as St. Pope John Paul II has
pointed out, is observed and affirmed at

Marriage is also the form of life best

suited for the flourishing of children. As
St. Thomas Aquinas explained, human
children need, not only nourishment
for their bodies, but also education for
their souls. This they acquire best, according to St. Thomas, when they have
both parentsfather and mother, male
and femaleas their teachers and role
The Catechism of the Catholic Church
explains: The intimate community of
life and love which constitutes the married state has been established by the
Creator and endowed by him with its
own proper laws. . . . God himself is the
author of marriage.4
In sum, the Catholic Church teaches
that marriage is the institution estab-

tively disorderedin the sense that it is

not ordered towards the union of male
and female in a relationship of natural
Homosexual acts or practices that may
arise from such attraction, although they
may proceed from and be motivated by
genuine affection between two persons
of the same sex, are similarly not ordered
to the union of the two persons and to
the procreation of children.
Because they are not unitive and
procreativethe distinct qualities of
a complementary union of man and
woman in marriagehomosexual acts
or practices are contrary to the natural
law7. Hence, they are, from the perspective of natural law, gravely disordered
and considered sins gravely contrary to

Denying homosexual unions the social and legal status of

marriage simply affirms that these unions, as well
as other non-marital unions similar to them, are not
equivalent to marriage because they cannot give
society what marriages can give.
the biological, emotional, psychological, and spiritual levels. But it is most
manifest primarily in and through the
union of two complementary bodies,
male and female.
The body, which through its own
masculinity or femininity right from the
beginning helps both (man and woman)
to find themselves in communion of
persons, becomes, in a particular way,
the constituent element of their union,
when they become husband and wife.2
Simply put, human beings, created by
God as either male or female, are meant
to complement each other in a union of
the two intended from their creation.
And human sexuality, characterized as
distinctly masculine or feminine, is ordered by nature towards that union, of
one specifically with the other.
Having created man and woman,
Scripture continues, God instituted
marriage as the form of life in which the
complementarity of man and woman
would be fulfilled and perfected. Therefore a man leaves his father and his
mother and cleaves to his wife, and they
become one flesh (Gen. 2:24).
And as it is ordered or directed to
the union of man and woman, human
sexuality is also ordered towards the procreation and education of children. It is
in and through the conjugal union that
God has willed to give man and woman a
share in His work of creation: Be fruitful
and multiply (Gen. 1:28).
In the Creators plan we see, therefore, that sexual complementarity and
fruitfulness belong to the very nature of
marriage. In other words, marriage by
its very nature and intention is unitive
and procreative.

lished by God for the foundation of the

family: The matrimonial covenant, by
which a man and a woman establish
between themselves a partnership of the
whole of life, is by its nature ordered
toward the good of the spouses and the
procreation and education of offspring;
this covenant between baptized persons
has been raised by Christ the Lord to the
dignity of a sacrament.5
In other words, God created human
beings as male and female, complementary and specifically for each other, and
ordered or directed towards union and
procreation that are intended to be fulfilled and perfected in marriage.
The Nature of Homosexuality in the
Created Order
Created either male or female, and by
their masculine or feminine sexuality
thus directed towards union with the
other who complements them, men and
women are naturally drawn and relate to
each other in this order.
There are some men and women, however, often through no fault of their own,
who find themselves sexually attracted to
individuals of the same sex.6
A comprehensive explanation for
same-sex attraction or homosexual
tendencies and inclinations remains
elusive to this day, but research undertaken within various branches of
science and medicine at various levels
indicate that male and female homosexuality, though different in character,
have both biological and environmental causes.
Sexual attraction towards the same
sex is not a sin. But it is, in the light of
our understanding of marriage, objec-

The Catholic Church acknowledges
that the number of men and women who
have deep-seated homosexual tendencies
could be more than we think and that
this inclination constitutes for most of
them, a trial.9
The Catholic Church looks at her children who have deep seated homosexual
attraction with motherly compassion and
paternal love, even as she reminds them
that in cultures that have lost sight of
the richness and diversity of friendships
that enhance the human condition, those
who struggle with homosexuality are

The Social Reality of

Homosexual Unions
Over the past few years, in an increasing number of countries, including traditionally Catholic countries, homosexual
unions have been granted legal recognition equal to that of marriage.
In our understanding of Gods creation
of man and woman in complementarity
and in His establishment of marriage,
however, there are absolutely no grounds
for considering homosexual unions to be
similar or even remotely analogous to
Gods plan for marriage and the family.10
A homosexual union is not and can never
be a marriage as properly understood
and so-called.
In response to this emerging social
reality and for the guidance of the faithful, therefore, the Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith instructs:
In those situations where homosexual
unions have been legally recognized or
have been given the legal status and rights
belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic
opposition is a duty. One must refrain from
any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust
laws and, as far as possible, from material
cooperation on the level of their application.
In this area, everyone can exercise the right
to conscientious objection.11
Concretely, this means that Catholics
cannot participate in any way or even
attend religious or legal ceremonies that
celebrate and legitimize homosexual
unions. Understandably, this will be a
particularly heavy cross for families that
have been touched by homosexuality.
The Church reaches out with compassion
to these families whose loved ones have
entered into such unions.
In countries where homosexual unions
have not been legalizeda vast majority
of countries worldwide, including the
PhilippinesCatholics are called to give

tolerance [of homosexual unions] might be

exploited or used in the service of ideology;
Stating clearly the immoral nature of
these unions;
Reminding the government of the need
to contain the phenomenon within certain
limits so as to safeguard public morality
and, above all, to avoid exposing young
people to erroneous ideas about sexuality
and marriage that would deprive them of
their necessary defenses and contribute to
the spread of the phenomenon.13
Catholics are called to oppose all
gravely unjust laws that contravene both
divine law and natural lawincluding all
laws that legalize homosexual unions
because these unjust laws pervert and
undermine the common good.
They are at the same time called,
perhaps even more so in societies that
legally recognize homosexual unions, to
be charitable to every single homosexual
person they know.
In particular, families with members
who struggle with homosexuality are
called to love them unconditionally,
thereby outlasting all their other samesex loves. This love, however, must be a
love in truth that avoids praising, consenting to, or defending the so-called
homosexual lifestyle.
Finally, given their unique vocation,
Catholic politicians are obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual
unions in a particularly vigorous way.
When legislation in favor of this recognition is first proposed, the Catholic
lawmaker has a moral duty to express
his opposition clearly and publicly and
to vote against it. To vote in favor of a
law so harmful to the common good is
gravely immoral. 14
And, in countries where legislation in
favor of homosexual unions is already in
force, the Catholic lawmaker must try to
obtain at least the partial repeal of the

To families with members who struggle

with homosexuality and who are tempted
to ostracize their sons and daughters,
the Catholic Church is called to preach mercy
as her Lord did.
called to witness to the life-giving nature
of virtue-based friendships not ordered
to sexual acts.
Those who find themselves sexually
attracted to others of the same sex are
called to develop chaste friendships with
both men and women.
The Church certainly recognizes that
like all growth in virtue, this challenge is
a difficult one that will require a robust
supernatural life that is radically open to
the grace and mercy of God. Frequent
recourse to the sacraments of penance
and the Holy Eucharist is a necessary
condition for growth in holiness.

witness to the whole moral truth about

human sexuality, which is contradicted
both by approval of homosexual acts
and the unjust discrimination against
homosexual persons.12
Moreover, Catholics are called to resist
all attempts to normalize homosexual
behavior and homosexual unions in
their culture.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of
the Faith also recommends the following
actions that may be effective in societies
that may begin to manifest an inclination
to legalize homosexual unions:
Unmasking the way in which such

unjust law when its total abrogation is

not possible at the moment.15
Arguments Against the Legalization of
Homosexual Unions
Marriage is a social institution that has
been granted privileges and benefits by
the state because it is an institution of
the natural law that contributes to the
common good in a way that no other
relationship can, i.e., the procreation and
education of children.
Marriage binds a man and a woman
together for life so that the offspring

Homosexuality / B7


August 31 - September 13, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 18

CBCP Monitor

Godparents in baptism and confirmation;

but sponsors for marriage
By Fr. Jaime B. Achacoso, J.C.D.
My attention was caught by a
recent news coverage on the baptism
and confirmation of a 21-year old
TV celebrity, who had 32 godparents. I have always wondered at the
number of godparents at baptisms.

given a godparent (c.872). Thus,

it is not a requirement, even just
for licitude.
Nevertheless, while a wellprepared adult may not need a
godparent, it always sounds wise
that, aside from the parents, there
be someone who receives the duty
to raise the child as a good Chris-

or it seems to the parish priest or

minister that an exception is to be
made for a just cause;
3 be a Catholic who has been
confirmed and has already received
the sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist, and leads a life in harmony
with the faith and the role to be

Witnesses (or sponsors)

for marriage
An altogether different matter is
the case of marriage. In this case,
what Canon Law requiresthe
so-called canonical form or external formality, which is necessary
for the validity of the marriage
celebrationare the following:
(1) the assistance of a qualified
witness (the local Ordinary or the
parish priest, or a priest or deacon
delegated by either of them), who
asks for the contractants manifestation of consent and receives
it in the name of the Church; and
(2) two other witnesses (cf. c.1108,
The two other witnesses re-

2) In the case of an infant, the

godparentstogether with the
parentspresent an infant at
Godparents (or Sponsors) for
The presence of godparents in
Confirmation is an ancient cus-

We can conclude by saying
that there is a need for greater
instruction on the part of the
parish priests regarding sponsors
in the sacraments of Christian
initiation. Since most parishes
now have short seminars organized for parents who want their
children to be baptized, that
seems to be the best venue for
this instruction. We might add
that the real godparents should
be included in these seminars.
Specifically, the following can be
1. the great desirability (but
not necessity for validity
or even licitude) of having

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

Dominic Barrios

Q: At Mass, how relevant is it for a deacon (either a permanent

deacon or a deacon to be ordained a priest) to kneel down at
the altar when the consecration comes, as the faithful do in the
assembly?C.B., Nouan-le-Fuzelier, France

On the other hand, there seems to be

a shortage of them during confirmations. I have also wondered just how
seriously people take the condition
of being godparent, such that people
of quite questionable lives stand as
godparents in Catholic baptisms.
Finally, are
the so-called ninongs and
ninangs at weddings really godparents?
What does Church Law really
provide for these?

HERE we have a question that
may be unique to the Philippine
setting, owing to our extended
family system and a deeply rooted
padrino or patronage systemi.e.,
a system where know who oftentimes prevails over know how in
the professional or career ladder.

b. Canonical Requirements
for Baptismal Godparents
Although more often than not
other reasonse.g., friendship,
kinship or even socio-economic
advantagesprevail in the choice
of baptismal sponsors, the Code
of Canon Law actually stipulates
canonical requirements.
1) General requirements.
These are laid down in c.874, 1

4 not be bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or

5 not be the father or the mother
of the one to be baptized.
We can add here that the Code
also requires that godparents (together with the parents) should
receive instruction regarding the
meaning of the sacrament and the
obligations which are attached to
it (c.851, 2).
2) Exclusion of Non-Catholics: A baptized person who belongs
to a non-Catholic ecclesial community may not be admitted except as a
witness to Baptism and together with
a Catholic godparent (c.874, 2).
c. Canonical Commitments of
Aside from the general function to help the baptized to lead
a Christian life in harmony with
Baptism and to fulfill the obligations
connected with it (c.872), the Code
stipulates additional functions of
the godparents, distinguishing
between the cases of Baptism of infants and that of adults as follows:
1) In the case of an adult,
godparents should assist him
in Christian initiationi.e. the
process of preparation of an adult
for the reception of Baptism and
incorporation to the Church: An
adult who intends to receive baptism
is to be admitted to the catechu-

tom, as the old c.793 of the Code

of Canon Law of 1917 explicitly
acknowledged. The actual c.892
gives juridic relevance to this custom: As far as possible a godparent
for the one to be confirmed should
be present. Just like in baptism,
the presence of the godparent in
confirmation is only highly advisable, but not absolutely necessary.
a. Duties of Godparents
The function of the godparent
in confirmation can be considered
in two levels:
1) Purely liturgical plane: This
refers to his desired presence in the
liturgical celebration of Confirmation mentioned in c.892.
2) Properly canonical plane:
It is for the godparent to see that the
confirmed person acts as a true witness to Christ and faithfully fulfills
the obligations connected with this
sacrament (c.892).
b. Requirements for Godparents
The Codes treatment of the requirements for godparents in confirmation is another manifestation
of the canonical parallelism of this
sacrament with baptism. In effect,
the Code regulates the matter in a
summary way as follows:
1) Same requirements as for
baptismal godparent. To perform
the role of godparent [in confirma-

Dominic Barrios

Godparents (or Sponsors) for

It is probable that the institution of godparents at baptism
arose for practical reasons, since
in the early Church, when nonChristian wanted to convert, he
had to be presented to the Church
elders by a known Christian who
could be the guarantor of his good
dispositions. Without going into
the details, suffice it to say that the
concept of spiritual paternity was
developed by St. Augustine, such
that the role of the godparent was

tian, in case the parents are unable

to do this for some reason. The
presence of the godparents is extra
assurance that the granting of the
grace of Baptism or Confirmation
to a child be not in vain.
But once the option is taken
to have godparents, the following
canonical dispositions relative to
them apply.
2) Choice. The choice of godparents corresponds to the adult to
be baptized, to the parents of the
child to be baptized or to whoever
takes their place, andin as a last
resortto the parish priest or
3) Number of Godparents.
Only one male or one female godparent or one of each sex is to be employed (c.873). Thus, other persons
actively involved in the Baptismal
rite (other than the parents) can
only be witnesses and will not be
entered in the Parish Registry of
Baptisms as sponsors/godparents.

identified with some sort of a new

spiritual generation. The canonical regulation of this traditional
practice can be summarized as
a. General Norms
1) Godparents are desirable
but not required. The Code
of Canon Law states: Insofar as
possible one to be baptized is to be

as follows: To be admitted to the role

of godparent, a person must:
1 be designated by the one to be
baptized, by the parents or the one
who takes their place or, in their absence, by the parish priest or minister
and is to have the qualifications and
intentions of performing this role;
2 have completed the sixteenth
year, unless a different age has been
established by the diocesan bishop

menate and, to the extent possible,

be led through the several stages to
sacramental initiation, in accord
with the order of initiation adapted
by the conference of bishops and the
special norms published by it (c.851,
What is prescribed in the
canons on the baptism of an adult is
applicable to all who are no longer
infants but have attained the use of
reason (c.852, 1).

tion], it is necessary that a person

fulfill the conditions mentioned in
c.874 [i.e., the requirements to be
a godparent in baptism].
2) Desirability of the same
godparent as in baptism. It is
desirable that the one who undertook
the role of godparent at baptism be
sponsor for confirmation (c.893,

A: The Church attributes a certain degree of importance to the

question of posture during the liturgy. The General Introduction
of the Roman Missal (GIRM) states in No. 42:
The gestures and posture of the priest, the deacon, and the
ministers, as well as those of the people, ought to contribute to
making the entire celebration resplendent with beauty and noble
simplicity, so that the true and full meaning of the different parts
of the celebration is evident and that the participation of all is
fostered. Therefore, attention should be paid to what is determined by this General Instruction and the traditional practice
of the Roman Rite and to what serves the common spiritual
good of the People of God, rather than private inclination or
arbitrary choice.
The specific norms regarding the deacon can be found especially under the heading Mass with a deacon in GIRM
numbers 171-186.
With respect to the posture of the deacon during the Eucharistic Prayer, the following is stipulated:
179. During the Eucharistic Prayer, the deacon stands near
the priest but slightly behind him, so that when needed he may
assist the priest with the chalice or the Missal. From the epiclesis
until the priest shows the chalice, the deacon normally remains
kneeling. If several deacons are present, one of them may place
incense in the thurible for the consecration and incense the host
and the chalice as they are shown to the people.
180. At the final doxology of the Eucharistic Prayer, the deacon stands next to the priest, holding the chalice elevated while
the priest elevates the paten with the host, until the people have
responded with the acclamation, Amen.
Therefore, the deacon should kneel during the consecration.
At this moment only the priest or priests offering the sacrifice
normally remain standing. This point is suggested, albeit not in
an explicit way, by GIRM, No. 93:
A priest also, who possesses within the Church the power of
Holy Orders to offer sacrifice in the person of Christ, stands for
this reason at the head of the faithful people gathered together
here and now, presides over their prayer, proclaims the message
of salvation to them, associates the people with himself in the
offering of sacrifice through Christ in the Holy Spirit to God
the Father, gives his brothers and sisters the Bread of eternal life,
and partakes of it with them. When he celebrates the Eucharist,
therefore, he must serve God and the people with dignity and humility, and by his bearing and by the way he says the divine words
he must convey to the faithful the living presence of Christ.
In fact, the rule of kneeling during the consecration would also
apply to a bishop or other priests who are attending the Mass
but not concelebrating.
However, this does not mean that the deacon always adopts
the position of the faithful. For example, in some countries the
practice of kneeling is different, as mentioned in GIRM, No. 43:
Nevertheless, it is up to the Conference of Bishops to adapt
the gestures and postures described in the Order of Mass to the
culture and reasonable traditions of the people. The Conference,
however, must make sure that such adaptations correspond to
the meaning and character of each part of the celebration. Where
it is the practice for the people to remain after the Sanctus until
the end of the Eucharistic Prayer and before Communion when
the priest says Ecce Agnus Dei (This is the Lamb of God), this
practice is laudably retained.
In such cases, the serving deacon does not follow the practice
of the faithful and kneels only during the time mentioned in
GIRM, No. 179. If he were to do so then, he would be unable
to carry out some of his proper diaconal duties, such as helping
the priest with the book and being ready to take the chalice for
the final doxology.
Finally, if it is necessary to remove a chalice pall, then the
deacon should do so just before the consecration before kneeling down.
quired have the sole function of
attesting to the manifestation of
the consent of the spouses in the
terms used by the liturgical formula. They have no other duties
towards the spousesi.e., unlike
the godparents in Baptism and
Confirmation who acquire certain
obligations as previously discussed.
Thus, it is improper to call them
godparents. However, there seems
to be no objection to calling them
Neither is there any objection to
having more than two sponsors,
especially to help in the logistical
requirements of the wedding celebration. In this case, however, only
two shall be recorded in the parish
marriage registry as witnesses.



godparents for baptism

and (later on) confirmation;
the maximum number of
godparentsi.e., two (of
different sexes) for baptism
and one for confirmation
(preferably one of the godparents for baptism); and
the propriety of making the
real godparents (among the
many ninongs and ninangs)
know their canonical status
as godparents;
the requirements for godparents;
the duties of godparents.
the true nature of marriage
witnesses vs. sponsors, none
of whom are godparents.


August 31 - September 13, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 18

James Benedict Malabanan

CBCP Monitor

Christ in you, our hope of glory

The Eucharist: Source and Goal of the Churchs Mission

Theological and pastoral reflections in preparation for the 51st International Eucharistic Congress
MISSION By her special relationship with the Eucharist,
Mary leads us toward this most
sublime sacrament to find in
it the source and goal of the
Churchs evangelizing mission.
As in her virginal womb, the
Son of God took on human
nature that made him the Sacrament of the Fathers love, so in
the Eucharist, Christ continues
to be Sacrament of the Father
through the sacramentality of
the Churchin the person of his
minister, in the proclamation of
the Word, in the assembly that
prays and sings, but especially in
the Eucharistic species. (Cf. SC,
7) The body given up for us and
made present under sacramental
signs was the same body which
Mary had conceived in her
womb! (John Paul II, Enclyclical Letter Ecclesia de Eucharistia:
On the Eucharist in its Relationship to the Church, 56, 17 April
2003, 56). By being closely associated with her Son in giving
himself as the Bread of Life and
Living Bread for the life of the
world by his sacrifice on the
Cross, Simeons prophecy that a
sword would pierce her heart was
fulfilled (cf. Lk 2:34-35).
From the school of Mary.
The Church can learn from the
school of Mary, the Woman
of the Eucharist, the necessary
and proper interior disposition
to fruitfully celebrate and live
out the mysteries of redemption:
attentive, contemplative and active presence, generous concern
for the rest of the world and
humanity, and openness to the
eschatological fulfillment of all
that humanity hopes for. Mary
exemplifies the Eucharistic worship that seeks to be concretized
in works of love and service
and that opens the faithful to
eschatological hope. For to the
Christian faithful at worship,
Mary stands as model in listening to the Word and taking it to
heart; in praising and thanking
God who has done great favors
to oneself and to the rest of
humankind; in bringing Christ
and his gifts of joy and salvation
to all that one meets, in praying
and interceding for the needs of
all, in nourishing the life of grace
which one receives through the
sacraments, in offering oneself
in union with Christs offering of himself to the Father, in
imploring the coming of the
Lord, and in waiting for it with

vigilance. (Cf. Congregation for

Divine Worship, Orientations
and Proposals for the Celebration
of the Marian Year 1987-1988, 3
April 1987)
Do whatever he tells you!
With these words Mary continues to tell her Sons Church to
take heed of his bidding to do
what he did at the Last Supper
and on Calvary in memory of
him. But she also summons the
Church to commitment to this
most sublime Mystery by her
quiet but active engagement in
its apostolic mission. She was

united indissolubly to these mysteries. (Congregation for Divine

Worship, Orientations cit, 19.
Cf. SC, 103; LG, 53, 57)
Finally, with Mary the Church
sings the Eucharist as her Magnificat, recalling the wonders
worked by God in salvation history in fulfillment of the promise
once made to the fathers, proclaiming the wondrous mysteries
of Christs redemptive incarnation, death and resurrection, and
awaiting the eschatological hope
of glory. (Cf. EDE, 58)

future glory. (Solemnity of the

Most Holy Body and Blood of
Christ, antiphon for the Magnificat, vesper II.) In the trustful
waiting that the blessed hope
is accomplished and our Savior
Jesus Christ may come. (Roman
Missal, embolism after the Our
The Eucharist which is at the
same time seed and goal of the
mission manifests the experience
of the glory of God that has at
its center the Paschal Mystery of
Christ, his passion and death, his
glorious resurrection. It is on the

manifested in the efforts to love

as Jesus loved. Gloria Dei vivens
homo; vita autem hominis visio
Dei. The glory of God is man
fully alive, and the life of man is
the vision of God. (Ireneus of
Lyons, Adversus haereses 4, 20,
7, SC 100/2, 648).
B. The Messianic Banquet
The meaning of the future
glory of the Kingdom that is
still to come is expressed by the
prophet with the image of the
eschatological pilgrimage of the
people to the holy mountain
of God where the mission is


(Last of a series)

with the Apostles of her Son as

they awaited in constant prayer
(cf. Acts 1:14.) the coming of the
Holy Spirit he promised them
to be their Teacher and Guide
in their mission (cf. Jn 14:1617; Jn 16:13-14). She must
have been with the first generation of Christians who devoted
themselves to the breaking
of the bread (Acts 2:42). She
continues to be present, with
the Church and as the Mother
of the Church, at each of our
celebrations of the Eucharist.
(Cf. EDE, 57). The Church,
therefore, never ceases to ask
for her prayer (at the Confiteor)
and to honor her (in the Eucharistic Prayer) for it is fitting
that the Eucharist, being the
most sublime celebration of the
mysteries of salvation worked by
God through Christ in the Holy
Spirit, must necessarily recall
the Holy Mother of the Savior

At the end of our journey,
let us return to the word of the
Apostle: Christ in You, hope
of glory to discover how the
Eucharist manifests, in time and
in history, the glory of God in
the anticipation of the coming
of the Lord.
A. The Eucharist and the
Glory of God
The acclamation of the Eucharistic assembly after the
consecration aptly concludes
the manifestation of the eschatological orientation that is
signified by the participation in
the table of the Lord (cf. 1 Cor
11: 26): we proclaim the death
and resurrection of Christ until
he comes again. The Eucharist is
tension toward the goal, foretaste
of the fullness of joy promised
by Christ (cf. Jn 15:11). In a
certain sense, it is anticipation
of the final Kingdom, pledge of

cross that the true glory of God

is revealed to us because there
the Father shows in his Son his
merciful face and his love up to
the point of death for the salvation of his creatures and creation.
Thus Christ in you, hope
of glory is revealed to us as no
other than the whole saving plan
of God realized in the Paschal
Mystery of Jesus , a plan that
continues to be present in the
world, through the elements of
time and history but which will
be accomplished when Christ
shall consign the Kingdom to
the Father.
From Sunday to Sunday, gathered in the name of the Lord,
we celebrate the glory of God
in every Eucharist. That Jesus
who was crucified we now encounter-- risen, living, raised
before the world who crucified
him. Now death is made joyful
by love and our resurrection is

The Church
can learn from
the school
of Mary, the
Woman of the
Eucharist, the
necessary and
proper interior
to fruitfully
celebrate and
live out the
mysteries of
concluded by the great Messianic Banquet prepared for all
peoples and nations: On this
mountain the Lord of hosts / will
provide for all peoples, / a feast
of rich food and choice wines, /
juicy, rich food and pure, choice
wines. / On this mountain he
will destroy / the veil that veils all
peoples. / The web that is woven
over all nations; / He will destroy
death forever. (Is 25, 6-8)
The Eucharist, prophecy of
this final banquet, appears as
the sacrament of the mission
accomplished where the common desire of humanity is fed:
communion with God, when
and where He will be all in all,
and universal brotherhood.
There, on the holy mountain
all the nations will gather to celebrate the definitive feast to the
Lord. They will contemplate the
face of God, they will become his
people and they will praise him

with pure lips: You are great,

and you do wondrous deeds;
you alone are God (Psalm
86:10). And to all the nations
of the world God will respond
with every wondrous blessing
that transcends all bounderies:
Blessed be Egypt my people,
Assyria the work of my hands,
and Israel my inheritance (Is
19:25). (Jaime Cardinal L. Sin,
The Eucharist: Summons and
Stimulus, Call and Challenge to
Evangelization, in Christ, Light
of Nations, 45th International
Eucharistic Congress; Citt del
Vaticano 1994, pp. 764.)
The eschatological tension
present in the Eucharist encourages our historical journey,
planting a seed of living hope in
the daily commitment of each
one to his or her particular tasks.
While indeed they await the
new heaven and a new earth
(cf. Rev. 21:1), Christians stimulate their sense of responsibility
toward the present world, making sure that they do not miss
to do the duties of their earthly
citizenship. At this historical
moment they in fact contribute,
in the light of Lukes Gospel, to
the edification of a world for the
sake of man and fully responding
to the will of God.
The celebration of the International Eucharistic Congress
prefigures the definitive banquet
at the end of time to which all
are invited.
C. The love of God
embraces humanity
We go back to the Eucharist,
sacrament of the presence of
Jesus Christ. In it, the Lord
embraces all people and realizes,
though not yet in full measure,
the unity of the whole creation.
The mission is , in its essence, the
work that goes with waiting for
the great Messianic Banquet at
the end of time. This movement
takes its beginning from every
Eucharistic assembly gathered
around the table of the Body and
Blood of the Lord.
Proclaiming the death of the
Lord until he comes again (1
Cor 11:26) entails for those who
participate in the Eucharist the
commitment to transform their
life, that it may become Eucharist. It is precisely this transfiguration of existence united
to the task for the evangelical
transformation of the world that
manifest the eschatological tension of the Eucharistic celebration and of the whole Christian
life: Come, Lord Jesus (Rev.
Eucharist / B7


August 31 - September 13, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 18

CBCP Monitor

Continued from previous issue

202. Many things have to change
course, but it is we human beings above
all who need to change. We lack an
awareness of our common origin, of
our mutual belonging, and of a future

208. We are always capable of going out of ourselves towards the other.
Unless we do this, other creatures will
not be recognized for their true worth;
we are unconcerned about caring for
things for the sake of others; we fail to
set limits on ourselves in order to avoid
the suffering of others or the deteriora-

needs educators capable of developing

an ethics of ecology, and helping people,
through effective pedagogy, to grow in
solidarity, responsibility and compassionate care.
211. Yet this education, aimed at
creating an ecological citizenship, is
at times limited to providing information, and fails to instil good habits.

spread. Furthermore, such actions can

restore our sense of self-esteem; they can
enable us to live more fully and to feel
that life on earth is worthwhile.
213. Ecological education can take
place in a variety of settings: at school,
in families, in the media, in catechesis
and elsewhere. Good education plants
seeds when we are young, and these

Laudato Si

stop and admire something beautiful,

we should not be surprised if he or she
treats everything as an object to be used
and abused without scruple. If we want
to bring about deep change, we need
to realize that certain mindsets really
do influence our behavior. Our efforts
at education will be inadequate and
ineffectual unless we strive to promote

Encyclical Letter of the Holy Father Francis on the Care of our Common Home
The existence of laws and regulations is
insufficient in the long run to curb bad
conduct, even when effective means of
enforcement are present. If the laws are
to bring about significant, long-lasting
effects, the majority of the members of
society must be adequately motivated
to accept them, and personally transformed to respond. Only by cultivating

continue to bear fruit throughout

life. Here, though, I would stress the
great importance of the family, which
is the place in which life the gift of
God can be properly welcomed and
protected against the many attacks to
which it is exposed, and can develop
in accordance with what constitutes
authentic human growth. In the face

the world around us. If we can overcome

individualism, we will truly be able to
develop a different lifestyle and bring
about significant changes in society.

sound virtues will people be able to

make a selfless ecological commitment.
A person who could afford to spend
and consume more but regularly uses
less heating and wears warmer clothes,
shows the kind of convictions and
attitudes which help to protect the
environment. There is a nobility in the
duty to care for creation through little
daily actions, and it is wonderful how
education can bring about real changes

of the so-called culture of death, the

family is the heart of the culture of life.
[149]In the family we first learn how
to show love and respect for life; we are
taught the proper use of things, order
and cleanliness, respect for the local ecosystem and care for all creatures. In the
family we receive an integral education,
which enables us to grow harmoniously
in personal maturity. In the family we
learn to ask without demanding, to say
thank you as an expression of genuine
gratitude for what we have been given,
to control our aggressivity and greed,
and to ask forgiveness when we have
caused harm. These simple gestures of
heartfelt courtesy help to create a culture of shared life and respect for our
214. Political institutions and various
other social groups are also entrusted
with helping to raise peoples awareness. So too is the Church. All Christian communities have an important
role to play in ecological education.
It is my hope that our seminaries and
houses of formation will provide an
education in responsible simplicity of
life, in grateful contemplation of Gods
world, and in concern for the needs
of the poor and the protection of the
environment. Because the stakes are so



203. Since the market tends to
promote extreme consumerism in an
effort to sell its products, people can
easily get caught up in a whirlwind of
needless buying and spending. Compulsive consumerism is one example
of how the techno-economic paradigm
affects individuals. Romano Guardini
had already foreseen this: The gadgets
and technics forced upon him by the
patterns of machine production and
of abstract planning mass man accepts
quite simply; they are the forms of
life itself. To either a greater or lesser
degree mass man is convinced that his
conformity is both reasonable and just.
[144] This paradigm leads people to
believe that they are free as long as they
have the supposed freedom to consume.
But those really free are the minority who wield economic and financial
power. Amid this confusion, postmodern humanity has not yet achieved a
new self-awareness capable of offering
guidance and direction, and this lack
of identity is a source of anxiety. We
have too many means and only a few
insubstantial ends.
204. The current global situation
engenders a feeling of instability and
uncertainty, which in turn becomes
a seedbed for collective selfishness.
[145] When people become self-centered and self-enclosed, their greed increases. The emptier a persons heart is,
the more he or she needs things to buy,
own and consume. It becomes almost
impossible to accept the limits imposed
by reality. In this horizon, a genuine
sense of the common good also disappears. As these attitudes become more
widespread, social norms are respected
only to the extent that they do not clash
with personal needs. So our concern
cannot be limited merely to the threat
of extreme weather events, but must
also extend to the catastrophic consequences of social unrest. Obsession with
a consumerist lifestyle, above all when
few people are capable of maintaining
it, can only lead to violence and mutual
205. Yet all is not lost. Human beings, while capable of the worst, are
also capable of rising above themselves,
choosing again what is good, and making a new start, despite their mental
and social conditioning. We are able
to take an honest look at ourselves, to
acknowledge our deep dissatisfaction,
and to embark on new paths to authentic freedom. No system can completely
suppress our openness to what is good,
true and beautiful, or our God-given
ability to respond to his grace at work
deep in our hearts. I appeal to everyone
throughout the world not to forget this
dignity which is ours. No one has the
right to take it from us.
206. A change in lifestyle could
bring healthy pressure to bear on those
who wield political, economic and
social power. This is what consumer
movements accomplish by boycotting
certain products. They prove successful
in changing the way businesses operate,
forcing them to consider their environmental footprint and their patterns of
production. When social pressure affects
their earnings, businesses clearly have to
find ways to produce differently. This
shows us the great need for a sense of
social responsibility on the part of consumers. Purchasing is always a moral
and not simply economic act.
[146] Today, in a word, the issue of
environmental degradation challenges
us to examine our lifestyle.[147]
207. The Earth Charter asked us to
leave behind a period of self-destruction
and make a new start, but we have not
as yet developed a universal awareness
needed to achieve this. Here, I would
echo that courageous challenge: As
never before in history, common destiny
beckons us to seek a new beginning
Let ours be a time remembered for the
awakening of a new reverence for life,
the firm resolve to achieve sustainability,
the quickening of the struggle for justice
and peace, and the joyful celebration of

tion of our surroundings. Disinterested

concern for others, and the rejection
of every form of self-centeredness and
self-absorption, are essential if we truly
wish to care for our brothers and sisters
and for the natural environment. These
attitudes also attune us to the moral
imperative of assessing the impact of our
every action and personal decision on


209. An awareness of the gravity of
todays cultural and ecological crisis
must be translated into new habits.


to be shared with everyone. This basic

awareness would enable the development of new convictions, attitudes and
forms of life. A great cultural, spiritual
and educational challenge stands before
us, and it will demand that we set out
on the long path of renewal.

Ecological education can take place

in a variety of settings: at school, in
families, in the media, in catechesis
and elsewhere.
Many people know that our current
progress and the mere amassing of
things and pleasures are not enough
to give meaning and joy to the human
heart, yet they feel unable to give up
what the market sets before them. In
those countries which should be making
the greatest changes in consumer habits,
young people have a new ecological
sensitivity and a generous spirit, and
some of them are making admirable
efforts to protect the environment. At
the same time, they have grown up in
a milieu of extreme consumerism and
affluence which makes it difficult to
develop other habits. We are faced with
an educational challenge.
210. Environmental education has
broadened its goals. Whereas in the beginning it was mainly centered on scientific information, consciousness-raising
and the prevention of environmental
risks, it tends now to include a critique
of the myths of a modernity grounded
in a utilitarian mindset (individualism,
unlimited progress, competition, consumerism, the unregulated market). It
seeks also to restore the various levels
of ecological equilibrium, establishing
harmony within ourselves, with others,
with nature and other living creatures,
and with God. Environmental education should facilitate making the leap
towards the transcendent which gives
ecological ethics its deepest meaning. It

in lifestyle. Education in environmental

responsibility can encourage ways of
acting which directly and significantly
affect the world around us, such as
avoiding the use of plastic and paper,
reducing water consumption, separating refuse, cooking only what can reasonably be consumed, showing care
for other living beings, using public
transport or car-pooling, planting trees,
turning off unnecessary lights, or any

It must be said that some committed

and prayerful Christians, with the
excuse of realism and pragmatism, tend
to ridicule expressions of concern for
the environment.
number of other practices. All of these
reflect a generous and worthy creativity
which brings out the best in human
beings. Reusing something instead of
immediately discarding it, when done
for the right reasons, can be an act of
love which expresses our own dignity.
212. We must not think that these efforts are not going to change the world.
They benefit society, often unbeknown
to us, for they call forth a goodness
which, albeit unseen, inevitably tends to

high, we need institutions empowered

to impose penalties for damage inflicted
on the environment. But we also need
the personal qualities of self-control and
willingness to learn from one another.
215. In this regard, the relationship
between a good aesthetic education and
the maintenance of a healthy environment cannot be overlooked.[150]By
learning to see and appreciate beauty,
we learn to reject self-interested pragmatism. If someone has not learned to

a new way of thinking about human

beings, life, society and our relationship
with nature. Otherwise, the paradigm of
consumerism will continue to advance,
with the help of the media and the
highly effective workings of the market.
216. The rich heritage of Christian
spirituality, the fruit of twenty centuries
of personal and communal experience,
has a precious contribution to make to
the renewal of humanity. Here, I would
like to offer Christians a few suggestions
for an ecological spirituality grounded
in the convictions of our faith, since
the teachings of the Gospel have direct
consequences for our way of thinking,
feeling and living. More than in ideas or
concepts as such, I am interested in how
such a spirituality can motivate us to a
more passionate concern for the protection of our world. A commitment this
lofty cannot be sustained by doctrine
alone, without a spirituality capable
of inspiring us, without an interior
impulse which encourages, motivates,
nourishes and gives meaning to our
individual and communal activity.
[151]Admittedly, Christians have not
always appropriated and developed the
spiritual treasures bestowed by God
upon the Church, where the life of the
spirit is not dissociated from the body
or from nature or from worldly realities,
but lived in and with them, in communion with all that surrounds us.
217. The external deserts in the
world are growing, because the internal
deserts have become so vast.[152]For
this reason, the ecological crisis is also a
summons to profound interior conversion. It must be said that some committed and prayerful Christians, with
the excuse of realism and pragmatism,
tend to ridicule expressions of concern
for the environment. Others are passive; they choose not to change their
habits and thus become inconsistent.
So what they all need is an ecological
conversion, whereby the effects of their
encounter with Jesus Christ become
evident in their relationship with the
world around them. Living our vocation
to be protectors of Gods handiwork is
essential to a life of virtue; it is not an
optional or a secondary aspect of our
Christian experience.
218. In calling to mind the figure
of Saint Francis of Assisi, we come to
realize that a healthy relationship with
creation is one dimension of overall
personal conversion, which entails the
recognition of our errors, sins, faults
and failures, and leads to heartfelt
repentance and desire to change. The
Australian bishops spoke of the importance of such conversion for achieving reconciliation with creation: To
achieve such reconciliation, we must
examine our lives and acknowledge the
ways in which we have harmed Gods
creation through our actions and our
failure to act. We need to experience a
conversion, or change of heart.[153]
219. Nevertheless, self-improvement
on the part of individuals will not by
itself remedy the extremely complex
situation facing our world today. Isolated individuals can lose their ability
and freedom to escape the utilitarian
mindset, and end up prey to an unethical consumerism bereft of social or
ecological awareness. Social problems
must be addressed by community networks and not simply by the sum of
individual good deeds. This task will
make such tremendous demands of man
that he could never achieve it by individual initiative or even by the united
effort of men bred in an individualistic
way. The work of dominating the world
calls for a union of skills and a unity of
achievement that can only grow from
quite a different attitude.[154] The
ecological conversion needed to bring
about lasting change is also a community conversion.
220. This conversion calls for a
number of attitudes which together
foster a spirit of generous care, full of
tenderness. First, it entails gratitude and
gratuitousness, a recognition that the
world is Gods loving gift, and that we
are called quietly to imitate his generosity in self-sacrifice and good works: Do
not let your left hand know what your
right hand is doing and your Father
who sees in secret will reward you
Laudato Si / B7

CBCP Monitor


August 31 - September 13, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 18

Letter of His Holiness Pope Francis for the Establishment of the

World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation
September 1, 2015

Sharing the concern of my

beloved brother, Ecumenical
Patriarch Bartholomew, for the
future of creation (cf. Laudato
Si, 7-9), and at the suggestion of
his representative, Metropolitan
Ioannis of Pergamum, who took
part in the presentation of the
EncyclicalLaudato Si on care for
our common home, I wish to inform you that I have decided to
institute in the Catholic Church
the World Day of Prayer for the
Care of Creation which, beginning this year, is to be celebrated
on 1 September, as has been the
custom in the Orthodox Church
for some time.
As Christians we wish to contribute to resolving the ecological
crisis which humanity is presently experiencing. In doing so,
we must first rediscover in our
own rich spiritual patrimony
the deepest motivations for our
concern for the care of creation.
We need always to keep in mind
that, for believers in Jesus Christ,
the Word of God who became
man for our sake, the life of
the spirit is not dissociated from
the body or from nature or from
worldly realities, but lived in and
with them, in communion with
all that surrounds us (Laudato
Si, 216). The ecological crisis
thus summons us to a profound
spiritual conversion: Christians
are called to an ecological conversion whereby the effects of


To my Venerable Brothers
Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah
President of the Pontifical Council
for Justice and Peace
Cardinal Kurt KOCH,
President of the Pontifical Council
for the Promotion of Christian

Vatican City - September 1, 2015. Pope Francis celebrates World Day of Prayer for the Protection of Creation in St. Peters Basilica on Sept 1, 2015.

their encounter with Jesus Christ

become evident in their relationship with the world around
them (ibid., 217). For living
our vocation to be protectors
of Gods handiwork is essential
to a life of virtue; it is not an
optional or a secondary aspect of
our Christian experience (ibid.).
The annual World Day of
Prayer for the Care of Creation
will offer individual believers and communities a fitting
opportunity to reaffirm their

personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God

for the wonderful handiwork
which he has entrusted to our
care, and to implore his help
for the protection of creation as
well as his pardon for the sins
committed against the world in
which we live. The celebration
of this Day, on the same date as
the Orthodox Church, will be a
valuable opportunity to bear witness to our growing communion
with our Orthodox brothers and

sisters. We live at a time when

all Christians are faced with
the same decisive challenges, to
which we must respond together,
in order to be more credible
and effective. It is my hope that
this Day will in some way also
involve other Churches and
ecclesial Communities, and be
celebrated in union with similar
initiatives of the World Council
of Churches.
I ask you, Cardinal Turkson,
as President of the Pontifical

Letter of His Holiness Pope Francis According to

which an Indulgence is Granted to the Faithful
On the Occasion of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy
To My Venerable Brother
Archbishop Rino Fisichella
President of the Pontifical Council
for the Promotion of the New Evangelization
With the approach of the Extraordinary
Jubilee of Mercy I would like to focus on
several points which I believe require attention to enable the celebration of the Holy
Year to be for all believers a true moment
of encounter with the mercy of God. It is
indeed my wish that the Jubilee be a living
experience of the closeness of the Father,
whose tenderness is almost tangible, so
that the faith of every believer may be
strengthened and thus testimony to it be
ever more effective.
My thought first of all goes to all the
faithful who, whether in individual Dioceses or as pilgrims to Rome, will experience the grace of the Jubilee. I wish that the
Jubilee Indulgence may reach each one as a
genuine experience of Gods mercy, which
comes to meet each person in the Face of
the Father who welcomes and forgives,
forgetting completely the sin committed.
To experience and obtain the Indulgence,
the faithful are called to make a brief pilgrimage to the Holy Door, open in every
Cathedral or in the churches designated by
the Diocesan Bishop, and in the four Papal
Basilicas in Rome, as a sign of the deep desire for true conversion. Likewise, I dispose
that the Indulgence may be obtained in
the Shrines in which the Door of Mercy is
open and in the churches which traditionally are identified as Jubilee Churches. It
is important that this moment be linked,
first and foremost, to the Sacrament of
Reconciliation and to the celebration of
the Holy Eucharist with a reflection on
mercy. It will be necessary to accompany
these celebrations with the profession of
faith and with prayer for me and for the
intentions that I bear in my heart for the
good of the Church and of the entire world.
Additionally, I am thinking of those for
whom, for various reasons, it will be impossible to enter the Holy Door, particularly
the sick and people who are elderly and
alone, often confined to the home. For
them it will be of great help to live their
sickness and suffering as an experience of
closeness to the Lord who in the mystery
of his Passion, death and Resurrection indicates the royal road which gives meaning to
pain and loneliness. Living with faith and
joyful hope this moment of trial, receiving
communion or attending Holy Mass and

community prayer, even through the various means of communication, will be for
them the means of obtaining the Jubilee
Indulgence. My thoughts also turn to those
incarcerated, whose freedom is limited.
The Jubilee Year has always constituted an
opportunity for great amnesty, which is intended to include the many people who, despite deserving punishment, have become
conscious of the injustice they worked and
sincerely wish to re-enter society and make
their honest contribution to it. May they all
be touched in a tangible way by the mercy
of the Father who wants to be close to those
who have the greatest need of his forgiveness. They may obtain the Indulgence in the
chapels of the prisons. May the gesture of
directing their thought and prayer to the
Father each time they cross the threshold
of their cell signify for them their passage
through the Holy Door, because the mercy
of God is able to transform hearts, and is
also able to transform bars into an experience of freedom.
I have asked the Church in this Jubilee
Year to rediscover the richness encompassed by the spiritual and corporal works
of mercy. The experience of mercy, indeed,
becomes visible in the witness of concrete
signs as Jesus himself taught us. Each time
that one of the faithful personally performs
one or more of these actions, he or she
shall surely obtain the Jubilee Indulgence.
Hence the commitment to live by mercy
so as to obtain the grace of complete and
exhaustive forgiveness by the power of
the love of the Father who excludes no
one. The Jubilee Indulgence is thus full,
the fruit of the very event which is to be
celebrated and experienced with faith,
hope and charity.
Furthermore, the Jubilee Indulgence can
also be obtained for the deceased. We are
bound to them by the witness of faith and
charity that they have left us. Thus, as we
remember them in the Eucharistic celebration, thus we can, in the great mystery of
the Communion of Saints, pray for them,
that the merciful Face of the Father free
them of every remnant of fault and strongly
embrace them in the unending beatitude.
One of the serious problems of our
time is clearly the changed relationship
with respect to life. A widespread and
insensitive mentality has led to the loss
of the proper personal and social sensitivity to welcome new life. The tragedy
of abortion is experienced by some with
a superficial awareness, as if not real-

izing the extreme harm that such an act

entails. Many others, on the other hand,
although experiencing this moment as a
defeat, believe they they have no other
option. I think in particular of all the
women who have resorted to abortion. I
am well aware of the pressure that has led
them to this decision. I know that it is an
existential and moral ordeal. I have met so
many women who bear in their heart the
scar of this agonizing and painful decision. What has happened is profoundly
unjust; yet only understanding the truth
of it can enable one not to lose hope. The
forgiveness of God cannot be denied to
one who has repented, especially when
that person approaches the Sacrament of
Confession with a sincere heart in order
to obtain reconciliation with the Father.
For this reason too, I have decided, notwithstanding anything to the contrary,
to concede to all priests for the Jubilee
Year the discretion to absolve of the sin of
abortion those who have procured itand
who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness
for it. May priests fulfil this great task
by expressing words of genuine welcome
combined with a reflection that explains
the gravity of the sin committed, besides
indicating a path of authentic conversion
by which to obtain the true and generous
forgiveness of the Father who renews all
with his presence.
A final consideration concerns those
faithful who for various reasons choose to
attend churches officiated by priests of the
Fraternity of St Pius X. This Jubilee Year of
Mercy excludes no one. From various quarters, several Brother Bishops have told me
of their good faith and sacramental practice,
combined however with an uneasy situation
from the pastoral standpoint. I trust that in
the near future solutions may be found to
recover full communion with the priests and
superiors of the Fraternity. In the meantime,
motivated by the need to respond to the good
of these faithful, through my own disposition, I establish that those who during the
Holy Year of Mercy approach these priests
of the Fraternity of St Pius X to celebrate the
Sacrament of Reconciliation shall validly and
licitly receive the absolution of their sins.
Trusting in the intercession of the
Mother of Mercy, I entrust the preparations
for this Extraordinary Jubilee Year to her
From the Vatican, 1 September 2015

Council for Justice and Peace,

to inform the Justice and Peace
Commissions of the Bishops
Conferences, as well as the
national and international organizations involved in environmental issues, of the establishment of the World Day of
Prayer for the Care of Creation,
so that, with due regard for local needs and situations, it can
be properly celebrated with the
participation of the entire People
of God: priests, men and women

religious and the lay faithful. For

this reason, it will be the task
of your Council, in cooperation with the various Episcopal
Conferences, to arrange suitable
ways of publicizing and celebrating the Day, so that this annual
event will become a significant
occasion for prayer, reflection,
conversion and the adoption of
appropriate lifestyles.
I ask you, Cardinal Koch,
as President of the Pontifical
Council for the Promotion of
Christian Unity, to make the
necessary contacts with the
Ecumenical Patriarchate and
with other ecumenical organizations so that this World Day
can serve as a sign of a common
journey in which all believers in
Christ take part. It will also be
your Councils responsibility to
ensure that it is coordinated with
similar initiatives undertaken by
the World Council of Churches.
In expressing my hope that, as
a result of wide cooperation, the
World Day of Prayer for the Care
of Creation will be inaugurated
and develop in the best way
possible, I invoke upon this initiative the intercession of Mary,
Mother of God, and of Saint
Francis of Assisi, whose Canticle
of the Creatures inspires so many
men and women of goodwill to
live in praise of the Creator and
with respect for creation. As a
pledge of spiritual fruitfulness,
I impart my Apostolic Blessing
to you, Eminent Brothers, and
to all those who share in your
From the Vatican, 6 August
Feast of the Transfiguration of
the Lord.

Sons and Daughters of

the Church, Citizens
of the Republic
Catholic Response to the
Iglesia ni Cristo Rallies

WHAT do we Catholics do as our brothers and sisters of the

Iglesia ni Cristo throng around the EDSA Shaw area?
We, your bishops, offer you these guidelines:
1. PRAY WITHOUT CEASING for a peaceful and just
resolution of the present dispute, in a manner both pleasing
to God and in conformity with the democratic convictions
enunciated in our Constitution.
2. BE CHARITABLE AT ALL TIMES AND IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES. Jesus, the Lord, willed His disciples to be known
by their love. No Catholic should fan the flames of dissension by
rumor-mongering and by inflammatory statements. Let all be
kind in disposition,
respectful in speech
and prudent in action.
We appeal to our
Catholic lawyers, jurists and law professors to contribute
to the on-going discourse in a constructive manner, without
condemnation. We
seek to be enlightened on what the
fundamental law of
the land provides,
the boundaries of the
freedom of religion
and the rights and
the prerogatives of State.
4. RESPECT HOLY SITES. The EDSA Shrine is a Catholic
center of worship. It is a church. There is a Catholic priest
assigned to it. We ask that all respect the sacred character of
the Edsa Shrine.
5. ABIDE BY THE LAW. Unless it is convincingly shown
that a law offends moral precepts, obedience to the law is a
Christian duty. Sons and daughters of the Church cannot be
less observant of the law than other citizens of the Republic.
6. NO TO OPPORTUNISM. No politician should gain political
ground by abetting dissension or, worse, fostering disregard of the
Constitution and the law. Neither is it morally correct for any political party to aim at gaining an advantage by controlling a religious
sect known to propose to its members a chosen set of candidates.
If we turn to the Lord in sincere prayer, then, we are firm in
the faith that all wounds shall be healed.
From the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines,
August 30, 2015

Obedience to the
law is a Christian
duty. Sons and
daughters of the
Church cannot be
less observant of
the law than other
citizens of the

Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan
President, CBCP


August 31 - September 13, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 18

CBCP Monitor

Bishop Pat Alo


The chemicals
or Western
medicines were
extracted from
nature then
processed, so
at times these
might be too
strong or could
have side

Bo Sanchez


Just Diamonds

LET me tell you a story about true wealth.

One day, two very proud Jewellers were in the street,
debating who had the biggest, most beautiful diamonds.
Ive got the biggest diamonds! shouted one man. The
other said, Well, Ive got the most beautiful diamonds!
Their voices were loud and angry.
A third man approached them and smiled, My name
is Ibrahim Matta Zakariya Yunus Al-Yasa Efraim Dawud
bin Tariq bin Khalid Al-Fulan.
What? the two Jewellers asked.
Just call me Ibrahim. If thats still too long for you, you
can call me Ib. Im also a Jeweller. May I tell you a story?
Before they could answer, Ibrahim continued, One
day, I was going to another city to sell my diamonds.
And I had to cross a large dessert. But that day, a fierce
sandstorm came out of nowhere. It was the biggest and
fiercest sandstorms Ive ever experienced in my entire life.
And I got lost in the desert. After many days wandering,
I was dying of starvation and thirst
Oh no said the Jewellers, What did you do?
The two men had totally forgotten their argument and
were now totally mesmerized by Ibrahims story. (That
is why one of my crazy friends proposed that when
Congressmen are fighting in congress, they can show
Telenovelas during their session breaks. He said there
would be less fights.)
I sat on the sands, giving up all hope, Ib said, but
mindlessly, I went through my bags for the hundredth
time, looking for food. I imagined that perhaps there were
breadcrumbs that fell at the bottom of my bagand I
could lick my bag. Lo and behold, I saw a hidden pocket
I didnt see before. I opened it and saw a black pouch!
Oh, you can imagine how excited I was. Perhaps it was
bread. Or nuts. Or dried fruit! And so with trembling
fingers, I opened it
Was it food? one Jeweller asked.
Water perhaps? the other one said.
Neither. With great dismay and utter frustration, I saw
that the pouch was filled with nothing else but diamonds.
It was just diamonds!
Friend, there are some things more important than
As I write this, there are many rich people who are
dying on their death beds, surrounded by their millions,
but their hearts are hungry for loveand they find none.
Dont get me wrong. Money is important. After all, we
need to feed our families.
But our souls real food is love.
So yes, earn money. You need it.
In fact, be an expert in how money worksso that you
have passive income flowing into your lifeso that you
can focus on more important things.
Dont center your life on money.
Center your life on love.
Spend time with your family.
Invest in your friendships.
And give your life to God.

Jesus, the total healer

23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Mark 7:31-37 (B) September 6, 2015

By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
AS he was being led away from the crowd,
the deaf-mute in todays gospel text felt that
his days of humiliating silence were about to
be over. And so it was. At the touch of Jesus
hands and at the sound of his powerful word,
the ears of the deaf man
were cleared and his
tongue was loosed, as
Isaiah the prophet had
foretold. (See Is 35:5.6
and Mk 7:35.) The
saving power of God
had reached out to the
handicapped man, filling his life with sounds and words.
There are forms of deafness and dumbness
much more serious than the case mentioned
in todays Gospel. There are many people
who are deaf to the harmony of nature,
to the groans of the suffering and the oppressed. They are deaf to the voice of God!
Not a few perpetuate and increase their
deafness by burying themselves in the noisy

dens of vice...
Many are spiritually mute. A mysterious
moral weakness paralyzes their tongues. They
are unable to speak words of truth, justice,
wisdom. They are incapable of uttering
words of prayer to God . . . .
It is the sad plight of a humanity steeped
in sinthe sins of all generations, the sins of

But the result depends on our response. If

we, in our pride, close our hearts to Gods inspirations and calls, then His healing power
will pass us by, and we will remain locked
up in the voiceless grave of a sinful life. But
if we, like young Samuel, say: Speak O
Lord, for your servant is listening! (1 Sam
3:10), then miracles will happen. Lots of
them. Every day. The
Word of the Lord will
fill our heart with its
wisdom and life-giving
effects. And that very
Word that enriches
our heart will open
our lips in praise and
thanksgiving to Him,
in words of love, concern and solidarity
for our neighbor.
All this and much more will the Lord Jesus
achieve in us if we let him have his way. At
our baptism, our ears and lips have been
touched in blessing, and the word Ephphatha
(be opened) has been pronounced. It is for
us to let the power of that word of Christ be
constantly active in us.

Every day he comes to touch us with his

healing presence. He is ready to open
our ears and loose our tongues. He
addresses to us his Word of life.
our society, our personal sins. It is in order
to heal all men from these forms of deafness
and dumbness that the divine Healer became
one of us.
Every day he comes to touch us with his
healing presence. He is ready to open our
ears and loose our tongues. He addresses to
us his Word of life. He would like our lips to
echo his Word in faithfulness and sincerity.

The mystery of Gods messiah

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Mark 8:27-35 (B) September 13, 2015

Domenico Ghirlandaio

AS we grow older truly was it said in an ancient peoples expression: Gaudeamus igitur juvenes dum sumus. Post jucundam
juventutem, post molestam senectutem nos habebit humus. (Lets
rejoice while we are young, after a joyful youth, comes the
cumbersome old age and after that we go back to the earth.)
Naturally as we grow older there are age-related ailments, like
the plaques or cholesterol that hinder the nerve and veins
causing blocks that affect circulation of the blood and the
nervous system, resulting in paralysis and strokes.
Meantime, preventives are encouraged to avert the fatal
happenings since how true indeed an ounce of prevention
is worth a pound of cure.
Moreover, we must not
forget an overall principle,
necessary as ever for all
health aspects: Work
well and rest well. But
above all, trust in the
Lord (Prv. 20:22).
If you observe how
prices have soared in the
health care business, this
becomes the reason for
the poor people to seek
the natural remedies that
were passed on to them
from herbalists who observed the way animals
look for remedies for
bodily problems. There
is also one possible reason. The chemicals or
Western medicines were
extracted from nature
then processed, so at
times these might be too strong or could have side effects.
Even professional doctors have acknowledged the truth of
herbal discoveries after seeing the lengthy lives of those
making use of remedies.
We cannot, of course, deny the advances of modern
medicine without belittling the discoveries of ancient lore
about herbal remedies, which is the way the primitive tribes
survived. We can perhaps analyze why one reputable doctor (Dr. William Donald Kelly, D.D.S., M.S.) had said:
There are only two Physiciansthe Almighty and your
own body.

Washington Aliston

Health care

By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB

MEN have plenty of messiahsidealized figures of liberators in whom they concretize their
expectations, and the fulfillment
of their needs. Often, the fruit
of the frustrated aspirations of
social classes, groups or entire
nations, these messiahs have
always a limited and contingent
mission. In the eyes of men, the
signs of their authenticity are
their victories. Failure, on the
other hand, is the clearest sign
of their being fake messiahs.
Such has always been the pervading mentality. Such was the idea
which most of the Jews had of
the Messiah they were expecting.
Peters remonstration against
the prospect of Jesus being rejected and put to death by the
very authorities of Israel is not
just an expression of his sincere
love for the Master. It is also
a proof of the incompatibility
between the foretold sad events

and the common expectation

about the Messiah.
A crucified Messiah is also
the main obstacle found by innumerable people in accepting
Jesus as their Savior, as Paul
testifies: We preach Christ

not a social Messiah, i.e., one

who comes to lead the countries
of the Third World to economic
independence and prosperity.
He is not the one sent to lead
the exploited social classes in
their struggle for emancipation

Jesus is not the sort of

Messiah that people expect
and feel they need. He is not
a social Messiah, one who
comes to lead the countries of
the Third World to economic
independence and prosperity.
crucifieda stumbling block to
Jews, and an absurdity to Gentiles . . . (1 Cor 1:23).
This difficulty is a reality
even in our time. Jesus is not
the sort of Messiah that people
expect and feel they need. He is

and justice. Christ himself,

actually, is one of the oppressed
andby human standardsa
failure . . . . In him we are faced
with the scandal of the apparent
failure of the cross. What sort
of Messiah is Jesus then? He is

the Messiah of God, the Holy

One of God.
He achieves the final goal
of mankinds salvation not
through spectacular successes
but the humiliation of the
Incarnation (see Phil 2:7),
all a series of rejections (see Jn
1:11), a dreadful agony and a
most shameful death! These are
all facets of a very deep mystery
which, if it were the whole story,
would be not only incomprehensible but also unacceptable.
But the mystery of Jesus
messiahship includes also his
Resurrection. This final facet
of the mystery throws light on
all that preceded it, and makes
them acceptable (though not
fully comprehensible!) through
the help of Gods grace.
Such is the mystery of Jesus,
the Messiah of God, our Saviorthe mystery of the crucified
and risen Christ; the mystery of
life through death that we experience every day, both around us
and in our very selves.

CBCP Monitor
Laudato Si / B4

(Mt6:3-4). It also entails a loving

awareness that we are not disconnected from the rest of creatures,
but joined in a splendid universal
communion. As believers, we do
not look at the world from without but from within, conscious
of the bonds with which the
Father has linked us to all beings.
By developing our individual,
God-given capacities, an ecologi-


August 31 - September 13, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 18

possibly mistreat them or cause

them harm? I ask all Christians
to recognize and to live fully
this dimension of their conversion. May the power and
the light of the grace we have
received also be evident in our
relationship to other creatures
and to the world around us. In
this way, we will help nurture
that sublime fraternity with all
creation which Saint Francis of
Assisi so radiantly embodied.

for the opportunities which

life affords us, to be spiritually
detached from what we possess,
and not to succumb to sadness
for what we lack. This implies
avoiding the dynamic of dominion and the mere accumulation
of pleasures.
223. Such sobriety, when
lived freely and consciously, is
liberating. It is not a lesser life
or one lived with less intensity.
On the contrary, it is a way of

there is a general breakdown in

the exercise of a certain virtue in
personal and social life, it ends
up causing a number of imbalances, including environmental
ones. That is why it is no longer
enough to speak only of the integrity of ecosystems. We have to
dare to speak of the integrity of
human life, of the need to promote and unify all the great values. Once we lose our humility,
and become enthralled with the

Laudato Si

is filled with words of love, but

how can we listen to them amid
constant noise, interminable and
nerve-wracking distractions, or
the cult of appearances? Many
people today sense a profound
imbalance which drives them
to frenetic activity and makes
them feel busy, in a constant
hurry which in turn leads them
to ride rough-shod over everything around them. This too
affects how they treat the envi-

that unhealthy anxiety which

makes us superficial, aggressive
and compulsive consumers.
227. One expression of this
attitude is when we stop and give
thanks to God before and after
meals. I ask all believers to return
to this beautiful and meaningful
custom. That moment of blessing, however brief, reminds us
of our dependence on God for
life; it strengthens our feeling of
gratitude for the gifts of creation;

Encyclical Letter of the Holy Father Francis on the Care of our Common Home
cal conversion can inspire us to
greater creativity and enthusiasm
in resolving the worlds problems
and in offering ourselves to God
as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable (Rom12:1). We do not
understand our superiority as a
reason for personal glory or irresponsible dominion, but rather
as a different capacity which, in
its turn, entails a serious responsibility stemming from our faith.
221. Various convictions of
our faith, developed at the beginning of this Encyclical can
help us to enrich the meaning
of this conversion. These include the awareness that each
creature reflects something of
God and has a message to convey to us, and the security that
Christ has taken unto himself
this material world and now,
risen, is intimately present to
each being, surrounding it with
his affection and penetrating it
with his light. Then too, there
is the recognition that God
created the world, writing into
it an order and a dynamism
that human beings have no
right to ignore. We read in the
Gospel that Jesus says of the
birds of the air that not one of
them is forgotten before God
(Lk 12:6). How then can we


222. Christian spirituality
proposes an alternative understanding of the quality of life,
and encourages a prophetic
and contemplative lifestyle, one
capable of deep enjoyment free
of the obsession with consumption. We need to take up an
ancient lesson, found in different religious traditions and also
in the Bible. It is the conviction

living life to the full. In reality,

those who enjoy more and live
better each moment are those
who have given up dipping here
and there, always on the lookout for what they do not have.
They experience what it means to
appreciate each person and each
thing, learning familiarity with
the simplest things and how to
enjoy them. So they are able to
shed unsatisfied needs, reducing

possibility of limitless mastery

over everything, we inevitably
end up harming society and the
environment. It is not easy to
promote this kind of healthy
humility or happy sobriety when
we consider ourselves autonomous, when we exclude God
from our lives or replace him
with our own ego, and think that
our subjective feelings can define
what is right and what is wrong.

ronment. An integral ecology

includes taking time to recover
a serene harmony with creation,
reflecting on our lifestyle and
our ideals, and contemplating
the Creator who lives among us
and surrounds us, whose presence must not be contrived but
found, uncovered.[155]
226. We are speaking of an
attitude of the heart, one which
approaches life with serene at-

One expression of this attitude is when we stop and give thanks

to God before and after meals. I ask all believers to return to this
beautiful and meaningful custom.
that less is more. A constant
flood of new consumer goods
can baffle the heart and prevent us from cherishing each
thing and each moment. To be
serenely present to each reality,
however small it may be, opens
us to much greater horizons
of understanding and personal
fulfillment. Christian spirituality proposes a growth marked
by moderation and the capacity
to be happy with little. It is a
return to that simplicity which
allows us to stop and appreciate
the small things, to be grateful

their obsessiveness and weariness. Even living on little, they

can live a lot, above all when they
cultivate other pleasures and find
satisfaction in fraternal encounters, in service, in developing
their gifts, in music and art, in
contact with nature, in prayer.
Happiness means knowing how
to limit some needs which only
diminish us, and being open to
the many different possibilities
which life can offer.
224. Sobriety and humility
were not favorably regarded in
the last century. And yet, when

225. On the other hand, no

one can cultivate a sober and
satisfying life without being
at peace with him or herself.
An adequate understanding of
spirituality consists in filling out
what we mean by peace, which
is much more than the absence
of war. Inner peace is closely
related to care for ecology and
for the common good because,
lived out authentically, it is
reflected in a balanced lifestyle
together with a capacity for wonder which takes us to a deeper
understanding of life. Nature

tentiveness, which is capable of

being fully present to someone
without thinking of what comes
next, which accepts each moment as a gift from God to be
lived to the full. Jesus taught us
this attitude when he invited us
to contemplate the lilies of the
field and the birds of the air, or
when seeing the rich young man
and knowing his restlessness,
he looked at him with love
(Mk10:21). He was completely
present to everyone and to
everything, and in this way he
showed us the way to overcome

it acknowledges those who by

their labors provide us with
these goods; and it reaffirms our
solidarity with those in greatest
need. (To be continued)
Ende der Neuzeit, 9thedition, Wrzburg, 1965, 66-67 (English:The End
of the Modern World, Wilmington,
1998, 60).
[145]JOHN PAUL II,Message for the
1990 World Day of Peace,1: AAS 82
(1990), 147.
[146]BENEDICT XVI, Encyclical LetterCaritas in Veritate(29 June 2009),
66:AAS 101 (2009), 699.
[147] ID., Message for the 2010
World Day of Peace, 11:AAS 102
(2010), 48.
[148]Earth Charter, The Hague (29
June 2000).
[149]JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical LetterCentesimus Annus(1 May 1991),
39: AAS 83 (1991), 842.
[150] ID., Message for the 1990
World Day of Peace, 14: AAS 82
(1990), 155.
[151]Apostolic ExhortationEvangelii
Gaudium (24 Nov 2013), 261: AAS
105 (2013), 1124.
[152]BENEDICT XVI,Homily for the
Solemn Inauguration of the Petrine
Ministry (24 April 2005): AAS 97
(2005), 710.
Earth The Environmental Challenge(2002).
Ende der Neuzeit, 72 (The End of the
Modern World 65-66).
[155]Apostolic ExhortationEvangelii
Gaudium (24 November 2013), 71:
AAS 105 (2013), 1050.

Homosexuality / B1

of their union would have the experience and benefit of the complementary
male and female presence in their total
Homosexual unions, on the other
hand, do not have the basic biological
and anthropological elements of marriage and family. They are not able
to contribute in a proper way to the
procreation and survival of the human
race16, and thus it would be an injustice
to grant them legal recognition along
with the same benefits and privileges
accorded to marriage.
Neither can this injustice be mitigated
by allowing homosexual couples to either
adopt children or use artificial reproductive technologies to engender them.
Such actions would intentionally deprive
these children of the experience of fatherhood or of motherhood that they would
need to develop and flourish, not only as
human persons, but as persons living in
a gendered society where socialization
involves the learning of gendered social
This too would be a grave injustice,
especially in light of the principle,
recognized by the United Nations
Convention on the Rights of the Child,
that the best interests of the child, as the
weaker and more vulnerable party, are
to be the paramount consideration in
every case.17
It would likewise be unjust if homosexual unions were granted privileges and
benefits identical to those of marriages
because this act would redefine marriage,
making it an institution devoid of essential reference to factors [that are necessarily] linked to heterosexuality; for example,
procreation and raising children.18
Responding to Arguments for the
Legalization of Homosexual Unions
In any debate that runs current to a
proposal to legalize homosexual unions,
four major arguments have been and will
continue to be advanced.
The following enumeration and discussion is presented for the understanding and enlightenment of Catholics
seeking appropriate responses to such

1. To deny homosexual unions the
legal status of marriage is to unjustly
discriminate against homosexual persons
who simply wish to express their love and
commitment to their same-sex partners as
heterosexual spouses do.
The Catholic response: Distinguishing
between persons or refusing social recognition or benefits to specific individuals
or groups of individuals is immoral only
when it is contrary to justice. Marriage
is more than just the mutual affirmation
ones love and commitment to a beloved.
This is why the state regulates and licenses
marriage in a way that it does not regulate
other types of friendship, which to some
degree, all involve the mutual affirmation
of love and commitment between and
among friendsbecause only marriage can
naturally and directly contribute children
and a stable environment for the raising
of those children, to the common good.
Denying homosexual unions the social
and legal status of marriage simply affirms that these unions, as well as other
non-marital unions similar to them, are
not equivalent to marriage because they
cannot give society what marriages can
give. This is not opposed to justice. On
the contrary, justice demands it.19
2. Homosexual unions should be legally
recognized because individuals, whether
they are heterosexual or homosexual, should
have the right to do whatever they want to,
if doing so does not hurt or impinge upon
the freedom of others.
The Catholic response: As the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
explains, it is one thing for individual
persons to freely engage in their private
activities, and another very different
thing for them to demand that the state
sanction these activities, especially when
they would harm the common good.
This would be the case if homosexual
unions were legally recognized.20
Rightly respecting individual autonomy does not mean that society has
to do everything that an autonomous
individual demands that it do.
3. Homosexual unions should be legally
recognized because they are occasions for

virtue, and as such, are good for society.

There are many instances where same-sex
couples have clearly grown in virtue, for
example, the virtues of patience, forgiveness,
and generosity, in and through their efforts
to build a life together.
The Catholic response: It may be
true that homosexual unions, in certain
cases, may be occasions for the growth of
imperfect natural virtue. However, this
alone would not be a reason for granting
them the legal status of marriage, because
they still do not and cannot contribute
to the common good in the same way
that marriages do.
Moreover, the Catholic Church has
the obligation to remind same-sex
couples that natural virtue is insufficient
for salvation and for the eternal beatitude
to which everyone is called. Only the
supernatural virtues are salvific.
4. Marriage as a social institution has
evolved and changed numerous times over
the course of human history to accommodate the needs of a particular society and
culture. Thus, marriage should evolve once
more to accommodate our contemporary
notions of human sexuality that recognize
the fluidity not only of gender identities but
also of sexual orientations.
The Catholic response: The truth
about marriage, i.e., that it is a social
institution ordered towards the lifelong union of a man and a woman and
the procreation and education of their
children, is attainable by human reason.
However, given fallen human nature,
especially given the interior disarray
of our carnal desires that obscures our
intellect, it is a truth that is often hard
to grasp, and only after a long time, and
with the admixture of many errors.
Not surprisingly, therefore, there has
been and will continue to be throughout history, much confusion about the
nature of marriage. Nonetheless, error is
not a reason to abandon truth.
A Pastoral Response to the Legalization of Homosexual Unions
In societies that have legalized homosexual unions and in societies that are
inclined to grant homosexual unions

legal status, the Catholic Church is

called, like her Lord did in his own time,
to preach the good and saving news of
marriage, by turning once again to Gods
plan in the beginning, especially as it
has been taught in the papal magisterium
of Pope St. John Paul II in his Theology
of the Body.
To the Catholic people and to other
Christian believers, the Catholic Church
is called to renew her efforts to catechize
the faithful about the true nature of
creation and marriage. This is especially
urgent for our young people who may be
led into error and doubt by those social
movements that want to normalize homosexuality and to legalize homosexual
For the Filipino people, we the Catholic bishops will be publishing a short
catechism that specifically responds in
simple language to the most common
questions and objections raised by critics of the Churchs teaching on marriage and homosexual unions. Notably,
however, we also acknowledge that the
confusion surrounding the true nature
of marriage cannot be driven out of the
culture without the penance, prayer,
and fasting of Gods holy people (cf.
Mk. 9:29).
To families with members who
struggle with homosexuality and who
are tempted to ostracize their sons and
daughters, the Catholic Church is called
to preach mercy as her Lord did, without forgetting that the mercy of Jesus
is always accompanied by his challenge
to the woman caught in adultery that
from now on, do not sin again (Jn.
For the Filipino people, we the Catholic bishops consider addressing the familial shame that is experienced by Filipino
families touched by homosexuality. It is
a shame that needs to be redeemed in
Christ through the intercession of Mary,
the Mother of God.
Finally, and most importantly, to homosexual individuals who are tempted
either to pride or to despair, the Catholic
Church is called to preach the power of
grace through prayer and Holy Com-

munion, and the mercy of Jesus Christ

through the sacrament of penance.
It is Jesus Christ, and he alone, who
can heal every broken human heart
that yearns for unconditional love and
authentic friendship. It is Jesus Christ,
and he alone, who faithfully accompanies the homosexual person from grace
unto glory.
From the Catholic Bishops Conference
of the Philippines, August 28, 2015
Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan
President, Catholic Bishops Conference
of the Philippines
1 Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1605.
2 Pope John Paul II, Marriage, One and Indissoluble in the First Chapters of Genesis,
General Audience, November 21, 1979,
Vatican City.
3 St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra gentiles
4 Vatican II, Gaudium et spes, 48 1. (cf.
CCC, 1603)
5 Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 1055 1; cf.
Gaudium et spes, 48 1.
6 In the United States, the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention reported in 2014 that
1.6% of the U.S. population identify themselves as gay, lesbian, and that 0.7% consider
themselves bisexual. For details, see Ward
et al., Sexual Orientation and Health Among
U.S. Adults: National Health Interview Survey,
2013, National Health Statistics Reports Number 77, July 15, 2014.
7 Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2357.
8 Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,
Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give
Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons, June 3, 2003, 4.
9 Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2358.
10 Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,
Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give
Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons, June 3, 2003, 4.
11 Ibid, 5.
12 B Ibid.
13 Ibid.
14 Ibid., 10.
15 Ibid.
16 Ibid., 7.
17 Ibid.
18 Ibid., 8.
19 Ibid.
20 Ibid.

Eucharist / B3

Many are the demands that

ask for attention on the horizon
of our time: peace, justice, and
solidarity in the relationships
among peoples, the defense of
human life. And many are the
contradictions that obscure the
heaven of our globalized world
where the weak, the smallest,
and the poorest have very little
to hope for. Here and now the
Christian hope should shine! For
this too the Lord has willed to
remain with us in the Eucharist,

inscribing his presence with the

promise of a humanity renewed
by his love. Significantly, the
Gospel of John, instead of narrating the institution of the
Eucharist, presents the story
of the washing of the feet in
which Jesus is made Master of
communion and service (cf. Jn
13:1-20). And the apostle Paul,
for his part, calls unworthy the
participation of the community
in the Supper of the Lord when
it takes place in a context of divi-

sion and of indifference toward

the poor (cf. 1 Cor 11:17 f ).
(Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 20)
In the Eucharist the diversity
of cultureof languages, history
and traditionsis received as
an expression of human richness, of the infinite variety of
the resources and of the gifts of
humanity. This diversity does
not hinder Christian unity but
enriches and incarnates it. Nations shall walk by your light, /
and kings by your shining radi-

ance. / Raise your eyes and look

about: / they all gather and come
to you: / your sons come from
afar, / and your daughters in the
arms of their nurses. / For the
riches of the sea shall be emptied
out before you, / the wealth of
the nations shall be brought to
you. (cf. Is 60:3 ss).
The wealth of the nations
are no other than the diverse cultures and religious experiences,
which the peoples have created
with their intelligence and their

hands, the treasures of their wisdom and their secular traditions,

the various and concrete ways of
the human beings.
While the Messianic Banquet
is prepared in which Christian
communion will transcend every human border, already now,
in the Eucharistic assembly,
the various ethic, economic,
political, and social cultures are
transformed by the Spirit in a
thanksgiving that points to a
new civilization.

In every Mass, God pronounces his blessing upon every

race and nation with prophetic
words that illumine our way:
Blessed be Egypt, my people;
Assyria, the work of my hands
and Israel my inheritance (Is.
19:25).. Blessed be Russia, Somalia, Bolivia, China, works of
my hands, and blessed Philippines, Philippines, my inheritance... Amen. Amen. (Jaime
Cardinal L. Sin, The Eucharist,
cit., pp. 766)


August 31 - September 13, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 18

Moral Assessment

CBCP Monitor

Buhay San Miguel

Brothers Matias

Lolo Kiko

Bladimer Usi



Technical Assessment

Below average


Above average

THE life of 11-year old Riley

(Dias), is almost perfect until
her father gets a new job in San
Francisco and relocates the entire
family. The once happy daughter slowly breaks down with this
new episode in her life as she
copes to let go of what she has
been used to and learns to embrace the sudden changes. And
we see all this emotional struggle
inside her mind as five personified emotionsJoy (Poehler),
Sadness (Smith), Anger (Black),
Fear (Hader) and Disgust (Kalingman the control center of
her brains and help develop core
memories which in turn fuel
personality islands that make up
Rileys character. Inside Rileys
mind, Joy desperately attempts
to keep the former happy and
Sadness out of the way since
she does not find her existence
useful. During a struggle, Joy
and Sadness are accidentally
sucked out of the control center
of her consciousness and into the
deep recesses of Rileys subconscious mind. With Riley already
emotionally unstable because of
the events in her life and Joys
absence, Fear, Anger and Disgust try hard to regain control.
Meanwhile Joy and Sadness,
with Rileys long lost imaginary
friend, Bingbong, discover each
others purpose in a persons life.
There is an undeniable genius
in Pixar and Disneys attempt to
visualize the abstract concepts of
emotion, memory and personality. While there had been professional arguments discounting
accuracy of the interpretation,
Inside Out is foremostly a movie
and not a psychological dissertation, so it has license to be
more lax in its interpretation of
scientific concepts. That being
said, CINEMA can name four
main reasons why it is a film
that deserves its own niche in the
movies you should not miss section: (1) The brilliant story and
storytelling, as it clearly shows
us Rileys struggle to face a new
chapter in her life and brings us

along Joy and Sadness journey

to discover their purpose. As a
side trip, we see how the different
emotions mature and shape a person. (2) The humor and drama
are perfectly balanced, so that a
child, a teenager and an adult
will be treated to an emotional
rollercoaster ride with Riley and
the team. (3) The creative amalgamation of truth and fantasy,
such that it is able to tread along
the world of science with fun,
creativity, and functionality as it
translates abstract concepts like
nightmares, imaginary friend,
forgotten and long term memories into something tangible and
relatable. (4) The audience leaves
with a message that feels made
just for him/her. Whether it is
the humorous way five emotions
have matured inside Daddy or
Mommys heads, or how nightmares are hidden in the recesses of
our subconscious and resurrected
as nightmares or how part of our

childhood fantasy struggles to

resurface as we grow up or how
an adolescent boy panics at the
sight of a girl, or how our external apathy is actually an internal
chaos, the movie speaks directly
to its audience. And speaks loud
and clearly.
There are so many things that
could be picked up with Inside
Out but we will zero in on two
very strong messages. First, a
well rounded person has mature
emotions that do not control
each other but work together

DIRECTION: Pete Docter, Ronnie del Carmen
CAST: Amy Poehler, Phyllis
Smith, Bill Hader, Lewis
Black, Mindy Kaling, Richard Kind, Kaithlyn Dias,
Diane Lane Kyle MacMaLachlan
Pete Docter, Ronnie del
Carmen, Meg LeFaueve,
Josh Cooley
GENRE: Animation
LOCATION: Minnesota, San
RUNNING TIME: 102 minutes


CINEMA Rating: V13

MTRCB rating: PG

to create layers in the personality and respond to the situation

in the best possible way. For a
while, it seemed that Joy and all
her energy and positivity are the
only ones needed for Riley to
overcome her issues, but it turned
out Sadness is not just about feeling down and needy but showing
vulnerability and crying for help
so that love and support may be
felt. But for an emotion to serve
its real purpose, it has to mature
and get over the initial automatic
response to stimuli. We saw
how Mom and Dad, with more
mature emotions, do not have
Joy commanding the control
center. What is more important
than staying
positive all the
time is learning how to
harness that
positive behavioural response of ones
basic emotions: caution
and preparation in fear, assertiveness and
identity in anger, sensitivities of values
and hygiene
in disgust, resilience and
in joy, and love
and sympathy
and empathy
in sadness.
Second, the
movie shows
that to move
forward, we
must learn to let go of part of
ourselves. In the same way that
Joy let go of her notion that
Sadness does not help fix a situation, or how Riley let go of old
memories to make room for new
ones. And who can forget that
heart- wrenching scene when
Bingbong literally let go and
allowed himself to fade away
so that Joy can move on and
save Riley. Love, although not
personified as a character, spoke
loudly every time someone chose
to forget himself/herself for the
sake of someone else. Overall,
Inside Out is more than a fantastically crafted storyit shares
with us a message of knowing
and being true to ones core. Very
young children might not fully
appreciate its metaphors and
symbols, but for older children
and adolescents, with proper
parental guidance, Inside Out
makes a superb textbook for SelfKnowledge 101.

Buhay Parokya

Look for the images of Holy water,

Archangel Gabriel and Saint John Paul ii.
(Illustration by Bladimer Usi)

The Cross

A Supplement Publication of KCFAPI and the Order of the Knights of Columbus

CBCP Monitor. Vol. 19. No. 18

August 31 - September 13, 2015

KCFAPIs 57th Weeklong

Anniversary Celebration
THE Knights of Columbus Fraternal
Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) will hold a weeklong celebration to
mark its 57th founding anniversary from
September 6 to 14.
Various activities are expected to fill the
week at the KCFAPIs main office.
The celebration will begin with the
KCFAPI Annual Fun Run on September
6 dubbed as The Great Walled City Run
A Eucharistic celebration will be offered on the feast of the Nativity of Our
Lady on September 8 where a Marian
Exhibit will likewise be showcased. Other
activities lined up for the week are as follows: September 9 TV Mass at the San
Agustin Church to commemorate the
38th death anniversary of the Knights of
Columbus local founder, Fr. George J.
Willmann, SJ and to celebrate the 57th
Founding Anniversary of the KCFAPI.
There will also be an anniversary program
in the afternoon and prepared activities
for the Benefit Certificate Holders as it
also marks the BC Holders Day; September 10 Bloodletting activity, September
11 Fraternal Benefits Day where a Sales
Olympics will be conducted by the Fraternal Benefits Group.
The weeklong celebration will culminate with a Eucharistic Celebration on
September 14 at the Fr. George J. Willmann Chapel. A wreath laying ceremony
will follow at the statue of Fr. Willmann
in front of the KCFAPI building.
All these activities are intended to
celebrate KCFAPIs humble beginnings.
It was in 1958 when Fr. Willmann,
who is sensitive to the needs and restricted
resources of the economically underprivi-

leged members of KC-Philippines, moved

to implement the Orders mutual benefit
objectives by spearheading the organization of a local KC insurance system.
The Knights of Columbus Supreme
Council approved the establishment of
Philippine Fraternal Insurance through

the then Territorial Deputy Rev. Fr.

George J. Willmann, SJ and granted
permission to use the name Knights of
On August 1, 1958, the Knights of
Columbus Fraternal Association of the
Philippines, Inc. was incorporated and

registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Then, on

September 9, 1958, KCFAPI was duly
licensed by the Insurance Commission
to operate as an insurance system for the
exclusive protection of the members of
the Knights of Columbus and their im-

KCFAPI Launches KC Valiant:

Elite Pro series
THE newest product of the
Knights of Columbus Fraternal
Association of the Philippines,
Inc. (KCFAPI) was launched last
August 21 thru its Fraternal Benefits Group.
Tagged as KC Valiant Elite
Pro series: Retire Right and be
Protected for Life, Elite Pro is a
limited pay participating whole
life plan that provides lifetime
protection and anticipated living
benefits or cash bonuses.
As a proud Benefit Certificate
holder of this plan, you also support charitable causes and projects
of the Knights of Columbus in the
Philippines and other benevolent
activities, said KCFAPI FBG Vice
President, Gari San Sebastian.
The contribution periods are
payable for five (5), ten (10) or
fifteen (15) years. Plan benefits
include whole life insurance benefits, accidental death benefit rider,
anticipated living benefits, cash
Valiant, C3

New Board Member of Mace

Insurance Agency, Inc.
was born in Bulakan, Bulacan, on
June 13, 1949. He graduated from
the University of the Philippines
with the degrees of Bachelor of
Science in Foreign Service in 1970,
and Bachelor of Laws in 1974. He
joined the Department of Justice
(DOJ) in 1975 during the term
of Justice Vicente Abad Santos
and Undersecretary Catalino Macaraig. He resigned from the DOJ
to engage in private practice of his
profession until he retired.
His Journey of Service in the

Knights of Columbus started when

he was initiated in the First Degree
on October 2, 1998 at the Marikina
Valley Council 6178, Marikina
Mace, C2

New KCFAPI Corporate Secretary

Knights of Columbus Luzon North Deputy and KCFAPI President, Justice Jose Reyes, Jr. gives his message during the launching of
the latest insurance product of KCFAPI dubbed as KC Valiant Elite Pro series: Retire Right and be Protected for Life held last August
21 at the Fr. George J. Willmann SJ Building in Intramuros, Manila.

Team Generous: Our Elderly

At family reunions they never

grow tired of telling stories about
their younger years. For our elderly Lolos and Lolas, to see their
family around them is an event
Generous, C3

SK Ramoncito Monchet A.
Ocampo was appointed by the
Supreme Knight as Luzon South
Deputy beginning Columbian
Year 2015 to Columbian Year
2017. Likewise, during the last
Organizational Meeting of the
Knights of Columbus Fraternal
Association of the Philippines,
Inc. (KCFAPI), he was elected
to the following positions of the
Corporate, C3

TEAM KCFAPI CARES: Reliving the TEAM LOVE BANK: Light warriors
Works of Fr. George J. Willmann
for the Elderly

The Team KCFAPI Cares together with the Elderly of Sto. Nio de Tondo Parish
during their Year of the Poor Activity held last August 20, 2015.

FAMILY gatherings are never

complete without the elderly, our
Lolos and Lolas. Their elation in
seeing their children, especially
the grandchildren always brightens the mood of the gathering.

mediate family members. Its initial capital

of P32,000.00 represented the total contributions of sixty-four Filipino Knights
and Councils who donated P500.00 each.
Fifty seven years (57) later, it is now a Php
4.7 Billion financial institution. (Yen

THEY say that it is very dangerous when you go to Tondo, a

connotation that has been around
for years due to what is known
for its history. For the month of
August, the activity was intended

for the care of the elderly. The

team chose the elders from Tondo
because of two main reasons, first
is to be connected and relive the
works done by Fr. Willmann for
KCFAPI Cares, C3

GMRC test, question number one:

You are about to
go through a door
with an old folk
at the same time,
what will you do?
Elementary, my
dear Watson. Age
before beauty.
We a l w a y s
Members of Team Love Bank preparing food for the elderly of
knew what this
phrase meant and The Missionaries of Charity Home of Joy in Tayuman.
that is to let the old folks pass genuine beauty, you must go
through first. Nonetheless, lets through age. True enough, people
try understanding this particular nowadays fear getting old, having
phrase beyond its denotation. For wrinkles, scars, white hair, flabs,
instance, before you can achieve
Love Bank, C3


August 31 - September 13, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 18

Arsenio Isidro G. Yap

Ma. Theresa G. Curia

Chairmans Message

Curia Settings

Mary -- The Listener, The Obedient,

The Faithful One

Fr. Willmann and the Legacy he left behind

MANY of us tend to forget or ignore those
who had helped us to be where we are today.
Such is the case with Fr. George J Willmann,
the supposed to be Fr. Michael J. McGivney of
the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines.
We celebrate and commemorate his death
anniversary annually. This coming September
14 is no different. As a group, the Knights of
Columbus in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, KCFAPI and its subsidiaries will celebrate his 38th Death Anniversary. The question is, how many
of us really know him? How many of us really want to know and live by
his deeds? Although its in the program and needs to be done every year,
very few brother knights would know and care for what he has done.
I for one am guilty. I really do not know him that well. I could not
fathom what he has done for the Knights of Columbus. As far as I know,
he was the one responsible in growing the membership in the Philippines from a few thousand to about thirty thousand at the time of his
death on September 14, 1977. Most of the councils in the provinces
that were established during his time were mostly composed of farmers
and fishermen. Come to think of it, how could these knights be successful? With the guidance of Fr. George J. Willmann, these farmers and
fishermen were able to organize cooperatives that helped one another
address the many financial challenges that they faced. Unable to get any
form of assistance from the government and private sector, they were
able to slowly develop a system that would not only benefit themselves
and their families but the parish and community as well.
In 1958, Fr. George J. Willmann also founded the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) which is
the insurance program for members and their families. This is probably
an offshoot of what I could perceive as his grand design to replicate
what the Knights of Columbus in the United States was doing for its
members and their families. Somehow, I could discern that Fr. Willmann
was able to perceive what Fr. McGivneys plan was for the Knights of
Columbus. He was able to fit himself into the shoes of Fr. McGivney
and instinctively or not, he executed what still remains to be in thoughts
of Fr. McGivney. He founded the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO)
for out of school youth primarily up to age twenty five but was also open
to former Columbian Squires who were reluctant to join the knights.
How I wish I had known him better. How I wish I could be an
instrument in educating our knights about the man who had laid the
foundation of what the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines is
all about. From about 30,000 strong members in his time, the Order
grew to 342,076 members as of June 30, 2015, equivalent to an average annual growth of 9,000 for the last 38 years. From 32,000 pesos
contributed by well-meaning brother knights and councils KCFAPI
and its subsidiaries has now over four billion pesos in total resources.
The last Columbian Year 2014-2015 was the most productive year
ever for the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines. The three jurisdictions of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao were recipients of the Pinnacle
Award, the highest award any jurisdiction could ever achieve from the
Supreme Council. The feat of the three jurisdictions could now well be
the turning point of a new era for the legacy that Fr. George J. Willmann
has left for us to nurture and care for.
May we renew in us the very essence of Fr. George J. Willmanns plan
as he was able to perceive the plan of Fr. Michael J. McGivney for the
Knights of Columbus in particular and for Catholic men in general,
to address the needs and the plight of the poor.

Jose C. Reyes, Jr.

Presidents Message
Remembering Fr. George J. Willmann
THIS September, the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines is celebrating
the 57th founding anniversary of the
Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI)
on September 9 and is commemorating
the death of its founder, Fr. George J.
Willmann on September 14.
Looking back, we can only praise and
thank God for giving Fr. Willmann to the Philippines. He was
born in Brooklyn, New York on June 29, 1897. He first came to
the Philippines in 1922 as a Jesuit seminarian. He went back to
the United States to finish his studies and was ordained there. He
was sent back to the Philippines, where he spent the rest of his
priestly life.
In 1938, Fr. Willmann joined the Knights of Columbus (KofC),
primarily motivated by his concern for the underprivileged youth. A
Youth Program was launched by Manila Council 1000. He gave the
organization new vitality and a new orientation. He also led KofC
members and their families in providing relief to victims of war,
both soldiers as well as civilians. Some KofC members even gave
up their lives to resist the Japanese invasion. When food became
very scarce, Fr. Willmann himself raised hogs for food and for sale.
In 1948, Fr. Willmann organized the first KofC District in the
Philippines composed of three councils: Manila Council 1000,
Cebu Council 3106 and Cagayan de Oro Council 3108. He
became the first District Deputy, the highest KofC leadership.
During his six-year term (1947-1953), significant developments
in KofC history unfolded. The first KofC National Convention in
the Philippines was held from November 29-December 2, 1948.
In 1954, Fr. Willmann was conferred the status of Territorial
Deputy with authority to appoint District Deputies. In every
Supreme Board of Directors meeting, Fr. Willmann would request
for the creation of councils and these were approved. Fr. Willmann
then realized that members now included those from lower income
groups. A protection plan, just like in the United States, became
imperative. Sixty-four KofC members contributed Php500 each
amounting to a total of Php32,000 that served as seed capital.
Thus, on Sept. 9, 1958, the KCFAPI was issued a license by the
Office of Insurance Commissioner as a mutual benefit association.
KCFAPI has grown into one of the most stable institutions in the
industry with a total asset of Php4.51 billion as of December 31,
2014. It now has five wholly-owned or majority owned companies
and foundations namely, Kompass Credit and Financing Corporation (KCFC), a credit and financing corporation, Keys Realty
and Development Corp. (KRDC) that operates the Holy Trinity
Memorial Chapels and Crematorium, Mace Insurance Agency, Inc.
engaged in non-life insurance, Knights of Columbus Fr. George
J. Willmann Charities, Inc (KCFGJWCI) that provides religious
scholarships to poor diocesan priests, and KofC Phils. Foundation,
Inc. (KCPFI) that provides Collegiate scholarships to qualified but
poor high school graduates.
KCFAPI is truly a fulfillment of the primordial purpose of the
Order of the KofC that is To render pecuniary aid to its members,
their families and beneficiaries. For all that Fr. Willmann has
done, let us continue to pray that he will eventually be canonized
a saint.

The Cross

[September is a month to remember! This month,

we celebrate not just the anniversary of KCFAPI
(Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the
Philippines, Inc.) and the death anniversary or the
new birthday of Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ, the
Father of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines and the Founder of KCFAPI and the DMII
(Daughters of Mary Immaculate International),
the then Daughters of Isabella, among other organizations. This month, we celebrate the birthday
of our Mother Mary and as I choose to talk about
her in this article, I remember my favourite bible
verse from St. Luke : I am the handmaid of the
Lord, be it done to me according to His Word.]
WE celebrate the birthday of Mary on September 8. Celebrating her birthday means
celebrating her memory and proclaiming that
we are happy that she lived among us. Thus
we give her the honor that she deserves. She is
the Mother of Jesus, the Mother of humanity,
the honor of our race.
But if we truly honor Mary, we must be ready
to want to be like her in ways that we are called
to. She belongs to us; she is one of us. But she
was chosen from among all of us to play a very
special role in the history of our salvation. To
this choice, she responded fully with all her
might. By our Baptism we were also chosen
to be children of God and followers of Jesus.
Like Mary, we are also invited to respond fully
to Gods call.
How do we respond to what God wants us to
do? What do we do to be worthy of our name
children of God, children of Mary?
On the month of her birthday, let us pay

attention to at least one way with which Mary

responded to the Spirit. Knowing her response,
perhaps we can imitate her path. We honor
Mary best when we put into practice how she
followed the Spirit.
Mary heard God speaking to her heart and
she listened. We honor Mary because she
listened well. Mary, the Listener, heard Gods
whisper of love and mission and she followed.
She listened and heard her mission because
she paid attention to what was going on. She
devoted precious moments of listening and
praying. She kept silent and she listened with
an open heart and mind; and she heard the
message well.
What do we learn from Marys listening?
We learn that God speaks to all of us all the
time. We are never far away from Gods presence. But we need to be equally present to Him.
We need to be attentive to His motions, to the
inner stirrings of our hearts, to the ideas and
inspirations that are whispered in our hearts.
That is what Mary did and she tells us now
that we can also be like her in her capacity to
listen. We can also listen to God and hear His
voice. Only if we listen can we know what God
wants us to do. If we know what God wants
from us, then we can follow. If we follow what
we hear, then we are faithful to the Voice that
speaks within us. Being faithful results to doing
what we know we should do. If we do what
God wants, then we are obedient. Obedience
in faith is putting into practice what we believe
and know to be Gods will for us.
Mary obeyed even in moments when she
was in the dark. When she was told that she

would be the Mother of Jesus, she accepted it

even if she did not know how it will happen.
She let go of Jesus when He left to be an itinerant Preacher, although it meant living alone
and missing her only Son. She obeyed when
she accepted how her Son was threatened to
be killed, when they accused Him falsely and
finally put to death. What pain, what darkness,
what anxieties accompanied her obedience! But
she never doubted that Jesus knew what to do.
Despite the unknowing and the unseeing, she obeyed, trusting Gods Providence.
Her tears were expressions of pain, never of
distrust nor refusal to obey. As Jesus obeyed,
she obeyed. And behold, just as Jesus obedience was rewarded with Resurrection, Marys
obedience was gifted with a Mothers exquisite
joy in seeing her Son alive. Her obedience, like
Jesus obedience was the fruit of her total trust
in Gods will.
Mary is our model and our guide in being
disciples of Jesus. She showed us how obeying
God is the basic attitude needed by the disciples
of Jesus. But we can only obey if we hear well.
Like Mary, let us pay attention to the Spirit
speaking within us. What we hear in the dark or
in the silence of our hearts, let us heed. Where
she leads us, we shall follow.
When we spend time before Marys picture,
dont we feel her close to us? When we pray the
Rosary or our novenas in her honor, do we not
feel that God is telling us to imitate her?
So let us ask Mary to teach us how to listen
and how to hear the Spirit calling. Mary is the
one who will tell us: Do whatever He tells

Michael P. Cabra

My Brothers Keeper

Birth and Death of a Gentle Warrior

LAST month we celebrated the
Birth and Death of a venerable
man, Fr. Michael J. McGivney.
This month of September, we are
celebrating another important Birth
and Death: the Birth of the Knights
of Columbus Fraternal Association
of the Philippines, Inc. or KCFAPI,
and the Death of Fr. George J. Willmann, the Fr. Michael McGivney of
the Philippines and Founder and
Father of KCFAPI.
KCFAPI started its operations
last September 9, 1958 after it
obtained the necessary license
from the Office of the Insurance
Commission. Nineteen years after,
September 14, 1977, Fr. George J.
Willmann succumbed to a cardiac
arrest and joined our Creator.
We at KCFAPI will be observing
a week-long festivity beginning
September 6, 2015 with a Great
Walled City Run or Fun Run, to
be followed by a Eucharistic celebration in honor of our Blessed
Mother on September 8, a TV

Mass at San Agustin Church on

September 9 in commemoration
of the 38th Death Anniversary of
Fr. Willmann and in celebration
of the 57th Founding Anniversary
of KCFAPI. BC Holders Day and
Anniversary program will likewise
be held on the same day. On September 10, there will be a Blood
Letting in cooperation with the
Philippine National Red Cross,
Fraternal Benefits (FB) Day on
September 11, 2015, and a Eucharistic Celebration on September
14th at the Fr. George Willmann
Chapel to be followed by a simple
wreath-laying ceremony to culminate the week-long celebration.
Indeed another reason to celebrate
birth from a significant death.
In the same way, more than a
thousand of our KC Brothers, immediate family members and beneficiaries who availed of KCFAPI
fraternal benefits experienced the
same reason to celebrate birth
from a memorable loss of a fam-

ily member. The birth of a new life

brought about by the proceeds of
a benefit certificate. Their new life
made possible because a responsible
Brother Knight and immediate family member availed of an insurance
plan during his/her younger or
healthy years. Without the benefit of
a benefit certificate or life insurance
there is not much to celebrate after
death for these bereaved beneficiaries
of a Brother Knight and immediate
family members.
Speaking of a better life after
death, when you join our Creator
anytime soon, will your death give
a better life for the living members
of your family or will it just be a
burden to them? Will you leave
them a legacy or will you just
become a part of history in the
family? Are you KC ENOUGH
when you join our Creator? KC
Enough means you lived the primary objective of the Order which
is To provide pecuniary aid to the
members of the KofC Order, their

immediate family members and

their beneficiaries. If you are not
sure yet, I suggest you contact your
council fraternal counselors and
avail of our KC Family Protect 10.
KC Family Protect 10 is a
participating whole-life plan with
ten (10) years contributions only.
For example, if you are at age
40 now, all you have to do is
save Php12,000 every year for
the next ten (10) years (for a
total of Php120,000) and your
family is already assured of an
insurance coverage amounting
to PhP200,000 by the time you
join our Creator. It is also available from ages 10 to 70 for all
KC Brother Knights and their
immediate family members. The
younger you are, the more affordable are the contributions.
Together, just like Fr. George
J. Willmann, let us insure that
there is a much better reason in
celebrating birth, that is, providing a better life after death.

Roberto T. Cruz

Touching Base with the Foundations

A Legacy of Continuing Care and Assistance

THIS month of September, we commemorate
the 38th Death Anniversary of the Father of
the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines,
Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ. As we honor the
memory of Fr. Willmann who died in 1977,
let us take a look at the seeds he sowed then
and the fruits that these have been able to bear
through the years.
Fr. Willmann, in his simplicity, humility and
low profile, undeniably created a significant
impact on the lives of so many people around
him then during his four decades of love, service
and dedication to the poor and underprivileged.
Of course, we all know how he opened the
doors of the K of C Order to the ordinary
Filipino citizen; thus, giving an opportunity for
the poor and even the jobless to join the ranks
of Brother Knights and enjoy the brotherhood
and insurance protection offered by the Order.
Fr. George was a prolific planter as he
ensured that he would be able to reach out to
help ALL members of the family. He not only

helped spread the growth and membership of

the Knights of Columbus for the men and heads
of families. He also set up the Catholic Youth
Organization (CYO) and Columbian Squires
for the children and youth, the Daughters of
Isabella, which later re-organized as Daughters
of Mary Immaculate (DMI) for the mothers
and wives and even formed Cooperatives for
the poor and under-employed.
With his establishment of the Knights of
Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI), Fr. Willmann addressed
the need of brother knights and their families for
the security of their future. And with the formation of the two Foundations, KC Philippines
Foundation, Inc. (KCPFI) and the Knights of
Columbus Fr. George J. Willmann Charities,
Inc. (KCFGJWCI), Fr. Willmann gave hope
thru scholarship grants to the poor youth as well
as to those with unfulfilled religious vocations
that their dreams for improving their respective
lives and missions would become reality.

How LIFE-CHANGING is it for a child of

informal settlers or families with zero income
to be given the one chance to complete his/
her education and qualify for a respectable job/
profession that will allow that child to escape the
pestering clutches of poverty and hopelessness.
This September therefore, we recall the 38th
death anniversary of Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ.
At this time, we can only admire all the goodness
and benefits so many have received and enjoyed
as the resulting fruits of all the seeds that Fr.
George sowed then. The biggest monument that
bears witness to Fr. Willmanns productive endeavors is none other than KCFAPI itself which
is also celebrating its 57th founding anniversary
proudly providing insurance protection and
peace of mind to thousands of brother knights
and their families.
Thank you, Fr. George, for your legacy of
setting up so many different ways to continuously help protect and improve all of us in your
K of C family.

Mace, C1

Rizal. He held various positions

in the Order as follows: Elected as
Grand Knight of Marikina Valley
Council 6178, Marikina Rizal
during the CY 2002-2003; Elected
Faithful Navigator of the Marikina
Valley Assembly 1827, NCR District IV, Ferdinand Magellan Province during the CY 2010-2011;
Re-elected Faithful Navigator for
the CY 2011-2012 and the only

re-elected FN of that assembly up

to the present: Appointed District
Deputy and served during the time
of Luzon Deputy Arsenio Isidro
G. Yap during the CY 2012-2013
(Star District DD); CY 2013-2014
(Star DD); and CY 2014-2015
(All Star DD and Outstanding
DD) of District A-14 in Marikina,
Diocese of Antipolo. He also served
as the Chairman of the Round

Table of District Deputies of the

Diocese of Antipolo during the CY
2013-2014 and CY 2014-2015.
He became the Administrative
Affairs Chairman, K of C Fourth
Degree District IV, Ferdinand
Magellan Province, Philippine
Jurisdiction from 2010 to 2013
and the Chief-of-Staff from 2014
up to the present.
A recipient of several commen-

dations, recognitions and awards

from the Order, Atty. Fidelino
is now the State Advocate of the
Luzon South Jurisdiction and the
Corporate Secretary of MACE
Insurance Agency, Inc., a wholly
owned subsidiary of the Knights
of Columbus Fraternal Association
of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI)
catering to the non-life insurance
needs of members and the public

The Cross


August 31 - September 13, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 18

The Parish: A Family of Families

The vitality and mission of the local Church is closely linked to the formation and evangelization of families
by Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori
IN his apostolic exhortation The Joy
of the Gospel, Pope Francis speaks
about the importance of parish life.
He affirms St. John Paul IIs description of a parish as the Church living
in the midst of the homes of her sons
and daughters (cf. Christifideles
Laici, 26). He then goes on to say:
This presumes that [the parish]
really is in contact with the homes
and lives of its people, and does not
become a useless structure out of
touch with people or a self-absorbed
group made up of a chosen few
(Evangelii Gaudium, 28).
Pope Francis insists that a parish
is called to be the presence of the
Church in a community, providing
a place where people can hear Gods
word, grow in discipleship, and extend themselves in love to the poor
and needy a place where they
can pray, worship and celebrate.

As I reflect on Pope Francis

words, I think about my own experience. Almost every weekend I try
to visit at least two parishes. Usually I celebrate a Sunday Mass and
meet informally with parishioners
afterward. Time and time again, I
am struck by how families are the
heart and soul of our parishes. It
is a special joy when I see young
families taking part in the Mass and
engaged in the life of the parish. I
do not mind when babies are crying or fidgety children are making
a lot of noise; these are signals that
the Church is young and alive.
Likewise, what a beautiful thing
it is to see an extended family at
Sunday Mass. You can sense the
joy of grandparents when they see
that they have managed, in spite
of so many challenges, to pass the
faith along to the next generation.
So often, these are the families
who welcome newcomers and who
open their homes to those who
have lost loved ones or lack support. Indeed, in a 2005 address,
Pope Benedict XVI described the

parish itself as an extended family that brings together brothers

and sisters who have no desire for
power or selfish interests but who
live in the joy of the charity of God
who is love.
This is a beautiful vision, but
it should also cause all of us,
myself included, to do some soulsearching. As happy as we are to
see wonderful families at Mass on
Sunday, shouldnt we ask about the
families who arent at Mass? How
many other families have drifted
away from the Catholic Church?
What about those parents who
send their children to Catholic
schools or to religious education
and youth programs, but who
never find their way to Mass or to
other parish activities? We need
to ask whether our dioceses and
parishes are adequately welcoming
and supporting such families or
in Pope Francis words, whether
we really are in contact with the
homes and lives of the families
that make up our dioceses and

At the diocesan level, this means

evaluating what is in place to help
couples in their marriages. This
includes a marriage preparation
program, a natural family planning office, and programs and
resources designed to strengthen
and support family life in these
challenging times. How effective
are such programs in helping
parishes reach out to couples,
especially those who may be struggling or in the critical early years
of their marriages?
God has called most of the
people in our congregations to
the vocation of holy matrimony
and family life. Nonetheless, how
many homilies are addressed to the
concerns of families? How many
convey the authentic teaching
of the Church on marriage and
family, or hold up the high ideals
of married life in the Church and
society? How many encourage
struggling families or address
young people? Again, I ask these

The Gentle Warrior

By James B. Reuter, SJ

Part III of Chapter Two of The Gentle Warrior series

--------.--------The Ateneo de Manila

FOR religion, he tried to make his classes

practical. He tried to discover what were
the real problems of his students. How
deep was their faith? Was it true that
religion was forced upon the Filipinos,
by conquest, and was only surface deep?
He discovered that --- in his Ateneo boys
--- the faith was in their blood stream. It
was in the marrow of their bones.
One day he saw a woman moving down
the center aisle of San Ignacio Church,
on her knees. She went all the way from
the door of the church to the altar, on
her knees! She was holding the hand of

a little boy, her son, only three years old.

He was walking beside her. George said, in
wonder, to the student who was with him:
Did you ever see that before? The college
boy looked up at George and smiled. He
said: The first time I saw that . I was
the little boy!
All of the Ateneo boys carried the rosary. It was their mark. The Ateneo teams
were called, even in the secular press,
the Hail Mary Team. When the going
was tough, on the basketball court, or on
the football field, they would kneel, all
together, and pray. And then they would
come out, screaming. And, strangely
enough, they usually won!
Of all the college teams in Manila,
Ateneo was the hardest to beat!
In the month of October, all of the
Ateneo boys wore the medal of the Virgin
Mary. It was their mark. During October,
college boys gave talks on the Virgin, in
the assembly hall, to all the students. The

and above. Our Vice-President,

Ms. Mary Magdalene G. Flores
talked about the life and works
of Fr. George J. Willmann.
This was followed by singing
and dancing with the elderly
As we spent more time with
the elderly residents we learned
more about their past. There
was an elderly who narrated
that she served as a household
helper and at age 62 she was left
there by the homeowner. Then
there was Lolo Jose who had
been in the shelter for 10 years
who, not only was too glad to
see us but was entertained as
well. He then intimated that
deep inside he had nothing to
hold on to but fond memories

boarders lived like religious. They went to

Mass and Communion every morning.
The Sodality of the Blessed Virgin
Mary was the strongest organization in
the school. No student could be chosen
as the captain of a team, or be elected as
President of a student organization, unless
he belonged to the Sodality. George was
embarrassed at the fact that he, a newcomer, should be the Moderator. He felt
that he did not have sufficient experience,
that he was not thoroughly inculturated,
that he was not worthy. But he was proud
of his boys when they marched with
their banners, when they went to Holy
Communion as a body on First Fridays,
when they prayed together at the regular
Sodality meetings. He understood, now,
how it was that Jose Rizal, as Prefect of
the Sodality, was the natural leader of
the school.
(To be continued on the next issue.)

of his family and loved ones

and as he begins the twilight
of his life he still longs for the
time when he was still with his
family. There was Lola Teofila
who at her fragile condition
had to be fed since she could
no longer feed herself. (Lola
Teofila appears at the photo
of this article). After conversing with several other resident
elderly, it became apparent to
us, what Lolo Jose shared with
us expressed what every elderly
in the shelter yearns.
The visit at the shelter was
brief but the experience with
the residents deeply embedded
in our hearts a lesson. The elderly deserves our respect and
to live a life with dignity. They

have selflessly devoted their

lifetime building a better life
for their families and served
in our society. The residents of
the San Lorenzo Ruiz Home
for the Elderly reminds us of
the harsh reality of how some
view our needy elderly and
that they deserve all the love
and support the society can
give them. It also reminds us
that time will come when we
too will reach that ripe old age
and our children shall have
their own families and their
own lives to live.
For the people of the San
Lorenzo Ruiz Home for the
Elderly as well as for all elderly
in our society you will always
be in our prayers. (Greg Asis)

KCFAPI Cares, C1

the poor of Tondo. Second, unlike other

elders housed in Homes for the Aged
or under other agencies or associations
for the care of the elderly, they are not
well-funded and deprived of any special
treatment and care.
When the team arrived at the parish,
they started the activity first by attending
the Holy Mass together with some of the
elderly and their companions. Afterwards,
before the start of the program, the team
had an informal discussion with the elderly to get a better picture of their situation.
Most of the elders were left by their children who are already living their own lives,
while some are widows/widowers already.
Some of them have small rickety houses,
some have improvised houses made from
kariton while some only live beside the
streets and only takes shelter inside the
parish when there are strong rains and
typhoons. Some of them have small livelihood such as sari-sari stores and some are
even pedicab drivers despite their old age.
They sometimes even take their daily ration of food from the parish as much as it
can provide them. The team also met Rev.
Fr. Estelito Villegas, the parish priest of
Sto. Nio de Tondo. Fr. Villegas together
with Bro. Roel Calpotura, the Social Ser-

vices and Development Ministry head,

explained the feeding program intended
for the elderly within their vicinity. Aside
from the food, the parish provides basic
catechism and formation for the elderly
so as to nourish not only their body but
also their soul.
During the talk about the life of Fr.
Willmann, the elderly were able to listen
and participate well. They felt connected
because they were able to relate themselves
with the people that Fr. Willmann helped.
Some of them might even be descendants
of whom were helped by Fr. Willmann.
Before the end of the program, Mr. Roberto Cruz, one of the members of team
KCFAPI Cares and Executive Director of
the KC Foundations, expressed his idea of
the livelihood program that is currently
being planned by the Foundation that
will be hopefully approved by the end of
the year. He also told them of the scholarship programs that are given to those sons
and daughters of underprivileged Knights
of Columbus members. In connection
to membership under the Order of the
Knights of Columbus, Atty. Neil Jerome
Rapatan, also one of the members of team
KCFAPI Cares and Legal Manager of
the Knights of Columbus Fraternal As-

loved the people of the parishes

he served. He understood their
joys and sorrows, leaving plenty
of evidence of how engaged he
was in their lives. In founding the
Knights of Columbus, he involved
husbands and fathers more deeply
in the faith. He reached out in
concern to widows and their
children. In these and many other
ways, he envisioned the Knights
as a way to transform our parishes into extended families. How
important, therefore, that our K
of C council meetings and local
programming help to build up
family life and make each parish
a family of families.
Not long before he died, St.
John Paul II spoke to pastors and
young couples in four parishes in
Rome. Guide with tender concern those families in difficulty or
in precarious conditions, he said,
helping them to understand and
carry out Gods authentic plan
for marriage and the family. We
should take this parting advice
to heart.

Valiant, C1

participation, cash value, among others.

Only accidental death benefit rider may
be attached to KC Valiant: Elite Pro series
Plan. This is suitable for KC members and
their immediate family members who
intend to have both a whole life protection and a retirement benefit at age 60,
65 or 70.

KC Valiant: Elite Pro series Plans are

participating whole life plans that provide
retirement benefits offered in four options, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum.
For inquiries, please contact the FBG
Department at telephone numbers (63)
(02) 527-2223 to 27. (Yen Ocampo)

Corporate, C1

Generous, C1

they always look forward to.

But for some of the needy
elderly in our society they are
left without a family. Worst,
they are abandoned by their
families and left to tend for
themselves and toil for their
own subsistence.
It was a cloudy afternoon
on August 22, 2015 when we
arrived at the San Lorenzo Ruiz
Home for the Elderly, a shelter
for the needy and abandoned
elderly in Manila ran by the
Little Sisters of the Poor Congregation. We were greeted by
one of its staff who gave a brief
background of the institution.
After a while we were introduced to the elderly residents
who were mostly 70 years old

questions not only of others but of

myself. The fallout from the recent
Supreme Court decision on samesex marriage sets in sharp relief
the evangelical and catechetical
challenges that are before us.
An important principle comes
to mind: No one can faithfully,
joyfully and fruitfully live any
vocation in the life of the Church
alone and isolated. As a bishop and
priest, I need the prayerful support
of other bishops and priests, often
in small informal gatherings where
we can pray, listen to Gods Word
and speak from the heart. Such
opportunities are also necessary
for parish families. It might be a
womens group that gets together to
study Scripture and seeks to apply
it to their lives and marriages. It
might be small groups of couples
that get together to pray and discuss
the art of parenting. Couples also
need support in being formed in
the faith so that they can form their
children in the faith.
We know how well Father
Michael J. McGivney knew and

sociation of the Philippines Inc., shared

a short story on how being a member of
the Order helped him and his family. He
likewise encouraged the elderly and their
sons to join the Order.
For the past five months, it has been a
great and memorable journey for everyone
in the team to partake in this challenge and
respond to the call of mission for the Year of
the Poor. Starting with our brothers from
Makati Youth Home, orphan brothers
and sisters from Associacion De Damas
De Filipinas Inc., sick brothers and sisters
from the pediatrics ward of the Philippine
General Hospital, little brothers and sisters
who dwell within the streets of Intramuros,
and lastly, our fathers and mothers within
the vicinity of Sto. Nio de Tondo Parish.
Do not sharply rebuke an older
man, but appeal to him as a father. Treat
younger men as brothers, older women
as mothers, and the younger women as
sisters with complete purity. 1 Tim
5:1-2 (Adrian Jimenez)
Erratum: The authors of the article entitled Team GenerousC h i l d r e n o f t h e S t r e e t s p u b lished last month were MR. GREG
A S I S A N D M S . E VA D AWA L .

KCFAPI and its wholly-owned or majorityowned Corporations and Foundations:

Corporate Secretary of KCFAPI and Keys
Realty & Development Corporation, Trustee of the Knights of Columbus Fr. George J.
Willmann Charities, Inc. & KC Philippines
Foundation, Inc. Most importantly, we are
very proud to have Bro. Ocampo as President of Kompass Credit & Financing Corp.
(KCFC), the newest KCFAPI Company
established on March 13, 2014.
Bro. Ocampo is a member of the
Knights of Columbus San Lorenzo Ruiz
Council No. 10971 in Aniban, Bacoor,
Cavite. He was exemplified in the First
Degree in 1995. He was State Officer/
State Council Director, State Community
Director, State Program Director of the
3 Past Luzon State Deputies, Antonio T.
Yulo, Alonso L. Tan, and Arsenio Isidro
G. Yap, respectively.

Aside from his activities in the Knights

of Columbus, Bro. Ocampo is also serving his own Parish, the San Lorenzo Ruiz
Parish. He was Past President of the Parish
Pastoral Council and former Lay Minister
of the Holy Eucharist. At present, he is a
member of the Lectors and Commentators Guild, Cursillo Movement and Parish
Renewal Experience.
Bro. Ocampo is a Professional Mechanical Engineer. He graduated from
the De La Salle University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical
Engineering in 1978. He is the President
of International Elevator & Equipment,
Inc. (IIE), an affiliate of MITSUBISHI
ELECTRIC Group of Japan.
He is married to Sis. Carolina D. Ocampo and blessed with three daughters
Catherine Lou, Racquel Ann and Carla.
(Annie Nicolas)

Love Bank, C3

and telling how long youve been here

on earth. Really, what is to be ashamed
of about that? Imagine yourself, aged 80,
youre all smooth and unscathed. Amazing,
but tell me what did you go through? Let
smoothness speaknothing. Now thats a
shame. As Polish aphorist Stanislaw Jerzy
Lec puts it, Youth is a gift of nature, but
age is a work of art.
Alas, reality check, not everyone values
the wisdom and appreciates the beauty of
our elderly. Lets try putting ourselves in
their shoes; well start asking Why are they
ignoring me? Am I such a burden now?
Nobody wants that but thats how they
feel. We can change that. They carried the
torch of light before us and now its our
turn to carry it for them and to transfer
the light for the next generation.
For the heroic month of August, Team
Love Bank acted as light warriors and
brought the radiance of their love upon
the elderly of The Missionaries of Charity Home of Joy in Tayuman, Manila.
The Missionaries of Charity is a religious
congregation founded by the Blessed
Mother Teresa of Calcutta in 1950,
and the members cohere to the vows of
chastity, poverty, obedience, and to give
wholehearted free service to the poorest
of the poor. The teams battle for goodness
began with unsheathing the sword of love
by helping the M.C. Sisters in the distribution of breakfasts, their gears for the day
ahead. Then they charged the suns heat
by hanging the folks laundered clothes to
dry. They even challenged the rivers and
seas by descaling the fish donated to the
organization by another army of light.
As the dawn of victory peeps, Team Love
Bank celebrated the Holy Eucharist with
the sisters and the elderly. Afterwhich, the
team unfurled the love through songs such
as Tell the World of His Love and Hands
of Love, and performed an interpretative
dance to convoy with the Beacon of Love.
As these wonderful moments unfolded,
the beautiful old folks cant help the tears
stream down their lovely faces as they
watched and sang along. As lunchtime
arrived, the warriors of light strike again
with feeding the elderly by themselves.
The team prepared giniling (a Filipino dish
primarily made of pork, potatoes, carrots,
and, tomato sauce), rice, and banana. Dur-

ing the feast, the team shared the life and

works of Fr. George J. Willmann to inspire
the folks that its never too late to continue
living no matter how they feel theyre about
to meet the end of the line. Then, Team
Love Bank offered gifts to The Missionaries
of Charity such as cash donations, sacks of
rice, medical gauzes and tapes. With that,
the two armies of light and love exchanged
words of gratitude and priceless smiles of
peace. Peace begins with a smile. Right
you are Mother Teresa.
Our old folks never showed disappointment in aging. They shamelessly smiled
toothlessly, twinkled their cataract-clouded
vision, glowed with their wrinkled skin,
and laughed with their husky voices. Hear
ye elder rights activist Maggie Kuhn, who
said, Old age is not a disease; it is strength
and survivorship, triumph over all kinds
of vicissitudes and disappointments, trials
and illnesses. It is inevitable to grow old
and brittle, but getting to that stage can
be anticipated differently and with enthusiasm if we live our lives purposely and
wisely. Theyve been through battles that
we are still about to encounter in life and
with that theyve grown taller, fruitful, and
wiser. Now, dont get too impatient if your
parents or grandparents call you and start
chattering away their lifes stories. Listen
closely, they are teaching you the ways in
the war of life and sharing with you their
swords and mail armors that would help
you go through lifes spears and angry roars.
They are the trees that hold us and we are
the leaves clinging onto them. Once they
let us go and we fall, it is now up to us how
will we be carried by the east wind and the
rapid current of waters. And by then and
only then we will get to appreciate the true
beauty of the tree that held us from afar as
we traverse life.
Theyve been building the home to shelter us in the future and now that theyre
old, how hard is it for us to simply wipe
their sweats and serve them water to drink?
It will be our turn soon to strengthen that
home they are building. Surely, we would
hope for the next generation to do the same
for us, wouldnt we?
Not all of us can do great things. But
we can do small things with great love.
Blessed Mother Teresa (Concha Luz


August 31 - September 13, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 18

The Cross

DMII Holds Regional

Assembly in Bulacan

Former Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See and Chairman of Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), Henrietta T. De Villa receives a plaque
of appreciation from DMII Regional Representative, Sister Fely Gallardo and Diocesan Regent and KCFAPI Executive Vice President, Sister Ma. Theresa G. Curia.

THE regional assembly of the Daughters

of Mary Immaculate International - Diocese of Malolos, Bulacan (Region IV) led
by its Diocesan Regent, Ma. Theresa G.
Curia was held last August 29, 2015 at
the Hiyas Convention Center, Malolos,
With the theme DMII Missions:
Reaching Out To The Poor With Mercy
And Compassion the assembly was
graced by former Philippine Ambassador

to the Holy See and Chairman of Parish

Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting
(PPCRV), Henrietta T. De Villa.
We should look at the poor not as
opportunity to do charitable services but
as Jesus Himself. We should learn how
to ask the poor and not just assume that
we already know what they need, said
De Villa.
Diocesan Spiritual Director, Msgr.
Albert Suatengco led the Eucharistic cel-

ebration. He urged the DMII to be the

protagonist of truth and be inspired by the
virtue of San Juan Bautista -the promoter
of truth and Jesus.
Msgr. Suatengco says We must set
aside our personal interests and choose
to follow Christ instead.
We [Catholic faithful] must be proud
and stand for our faith because we cannot
close our own eyes on what is the truth,
he added. (KC News)

Join the Father Michael J. McGivney Guild!

The Father McGivney Office - Philippines, together with the Knights of Columbus Luzon Jurisdiction
and Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc., commemorated the birth and
death anniversary of Venerable Fr. Michael McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus, last August
12 and 14, respectively, through a wreath-laying ceremony and a Eucharistic Mass attented by KC
members and KCFAPI staff. The Mass was presided by Msgr. Pedro Quitorio (bottom), the director of
FMO-PH and was held at the Father McGivney Oratory in KCFAPI Center, Intramuros, Manila.

To start your free membership and receive the Guild newsletter, please complete the form below and return
to: Father McGivney Office - Philippines, Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines,
Inc. Center, Gen. Luna cor. Sta. Potenciana Sts., Intramuros, Manila 1004, Philippines
Complete Mailing Address: _________________________________________________________________
City/Province: _____________________________ Country: ______________________________________
Zip/Postal Code: ___________________________ K of C Membership No. (If applicable): ____________

Please list below the names and addresses of any family members or
friends who might be interested in joining the work of the Guild.
Name: _____________________________________
Complete Mailing Address: ___________________
City/Province: _______________________________
Country: ______________ Zip/Postal Code: _______
K of C Membership No. (If applicable): _________

Name: _____________________________________
Complete Mailing Address: ___________________
City/Province: _______________________________
Country: ______________ Zip/Postal Code: _______
K of C Membership No. (If applicable): _________

Mass for Guild Members

Names to be remembered for specific intentions at the regular Mass of Guild members
1. _________________________________________
3. _________________________________________
2. _________________________________________
4. _________________________________________

The Fraternal Benefits Group of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc.
(KCFAPI) conducted product knowledge and fraternal service trainings in Butuan with participants
from Agusan Del Norte and Agusan Del Sur last August 15 to 16. The event was led by Agency Unit
Manager for Northern Eastern Mindanao Radiant Sun, Jose Amoroso and was attended by KCFAPI
FBG Vice President, Gari San Sebastian and Fraternal Benefits Services Manager, Michael Cabra.

The Fraternal Benefits Group of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines,
Inc. (KCFAPI) held a two-day Fraternal Service Training program last July 25 to 26 at the KCFAPI
main office. Participants were from Isabela, Cagayan and Quezon. Speakers were Fraternal Benefits
Services Manager Michael P. Cabra, Fraternal Benefits Grp. Assistant, Blenda Porillo and Fraternal
Benefits Group Staff, Jennifer Rose Bautista.

MANILA COUNCIL 1000. Luzon South Deputy Ramoncito A. Ocampo together with the Supreme
Director, Alonso L. Tan graced the 111th Installation of Officers and Induction of Service Directors
and Committee Chairmen for the CY 2015-2016 of the Knights of Columbus Manila Council 1000
last August 30, 2015 at the Manila Grand Opera Hotel, Manila. Immediate past Grand Knight, Jun
S. Florendo along with the rest of the members of Manila Council 1000 welcomed the new Grand
Knight, Fernando R. Sumang. (KC News)