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Monitor

CBCP

NOVEMBER 7 - 20, 2016 VOL. 20 NO. 28

PROTAGONIST OF TRUTH, PROMOTER OF PEACE

CBCPMONITOR@AREOPAGUSCOMMUNICATIONS.COM

WHATS INSIDE

THE CROSS

The Supplement Publication


of the Knights of Columbus
Fraternal Association of the
Philippines, Inc., and the Order
of the Knights of Colmbus

B1

CBCP pastoral exhortation


to open the year 2017
as the Year of Parishes,
Communion of
Communities

PH seafarers
toughest
competitor:
China
A REPRESENTATIVE of the
Vatican-based Apostleship of
the Sea-International has called
on Filipino seafarers to improve
their competitiveness to become
maritime officers as Chinese
sailors start to dominate the
world market.
Fr. Bruno Ciceri, C.S. said
Filipino seafarers and the
Philippine government should
work double time to keep up
with the global demand for
maritime officers, especially as
Chinese seafarers have already
overtaken Filipinos in numbers.
Filipino seamen must
improve their competitiveness to
beat back the challenge of China
as the worlds top producer
of seamen. The Chinese are
now taking over and there are
other nationalities that are
coming forward, especially for
the officers, and Filipinos should
work double time, he said in
a speech during the National
Seafarers Day held Sept. 25 at
the SMX Convention Center in
Pasay City.
Competitiveness, positive
attitude
According to the Scalabrinian
priest, Filipino seafarers are
the top choices of international
maritime companies due to
their good grasp of the English
language, competitiveness, and
positive attitude towards work.
However, Filipino sailors
are mostly classified as
ratings or non-officers. Data
from the Philippine Overseas
Employment Agency revealed
that out of 10 deployment
categories for Filipino seafarers,
seven were classified as ratings
and only three were officers.
This becomes a cause of concern
due to the rising demand for
ship officers across the globe.
Citing the latest reports from
the Baltic and International
Maritime Council and the
International Chamber of
Shipping, Ciceri said Chinese
seafarers are meeting the
demand and taking jobs away
from Filipinos.
Wanted: More officers
There are many Filipino
ratings but for Filipino officers,
we have less. We need more
Filipino officers, and I would
advise Filipinos to work hard
to improve their capacity to
become officers, because that
is what is lacking in the world
maritime industry.
China / A6

Nuns light candles and pray for those who died during the onslaught of typhoon Yolanda at a memorial dedicated especially for those whose bodies were not recovered after the catastrophe in Tacloban City,
November 8, 2016. Thousands of candles were also lined up along major roads in the city to mark the third anniversary of Yolanda. ROY LAGARDE

Bishops slam court


ruling on Marcos burial
By Roy Lagarde

CATHOLIC bishops have


deplored a court decision that allows a heros
burial for the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
In a strongly-worded statement,
the Catholic Bishops Conference
of the Philippines hit the Supreme
Courts verdict, which dismissed

all the petitions against the


governments plan to bury Marcos
at the Heroes Cemetery. (See full
text of the Statement in page B5.)
The burial is an insult to the
EDSA spirit. It mocks our fight
to restore democracy. We are
puzzled and hurt and in great grief,
said CBCP president Archbishop
Socrates Villegas.
It calls on us for greater courage
to make the full truth of the
dictatorship known, he said.

Voting 9-5 with one inhibition,


the High Court said the petitions
had no merit, adding that there
is no law that prohibits the burial
of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga
Bayani.
President Rodrigo Duterte has
repeatedly said his decision would
help bring healing among the
Filipinos.
But the bishops warned that
Dutertes move will not bring peace
and unity to the country.

Caritas honors heroes on Yolanda anniv


TACLOBAN City
Heroes come in many
forms.
There are those
who act to help
a friend or total
stranger in need or
in peril. And there
are those devote
time to improve the
lives of others and
strengthening their
communities in the
process.
The 27 local heroes
honored during the
third anniversary of
Typhoon Yolanda in
Leyte province run
the gamut.
They came from
the nine worst-hit

They also made it clear that peace


can only come if there is justice.
Justice demands recognition
of the harm done to the people
and restitution to the victims,
Archbishop Villegas said.
Since his demise in 1989, Marcos
burial at the heroes cemetery had
been strongly opposed because of
human rights abuses committed
during the Martial Law years.
The bishops said the dictator had
Condemn / A6

Caritas-member countries pledge


more Lawin aid

Aerial shot showing the devastation of Super Typhoon Lawin in Tuguegarao, Cagayan.
Palo Archbishop John Du blesses a memorial that marks a mass grave of hundreds
of victims whose lives were claimed by Typhoon Yolanda in Tanauan, Leyte, Nov. 8,
2016. EILEEN NAZARENO-BALLESTEROS

provinces of Leyte,
Samar, Eastern
Samar, Cebu,

Palawan, Antique,
Iloilo, Capiz and
Aklan and were

recognized for
their contributions
Anniv / A7

2 bishops back plan to reopen Mamasapano probea


AT least two Catholic bishops expressed
support for the plan to reopen the
investigation into the Mamasapano
encounter.
Archbishop Ramon Arguelles of Lipa and
Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez of Marbel said
it was clear the issue remains unresolved.
Arguelles, a former bishop of the
Military Ordinariate of the Philippines,
said the public, especially the families of
the victims, deserve to know the truth.
There were lies and inconsistencies in
the whole tragic affair. Even the role of
the USA needs to be clarrified, he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte said he may
order a new probe to be carried out into the
bloody January 2015 incident that claimed
over 60 lives, including 44 police commandos.

Eighteen rebels and five civilians were


also killed in the encounter between
government forces and armed rebel
groups, including members of the Moro
Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
In a speech at a business forum in
Beijing last Thursday, Duterte said he
wanted to know who got the $5-million
ransom reward for terrorist Zulkifli
Abdhir, also known as Manwar, who was
killed by the SAF troopers.
The Catholic Bishops Conference of the
Philippines previously said that peace in
the south can only be attained if justice
to the SAF commandos will be served.
For Gutierrez, a reinvestigation is
necessary for the truth to come out.
(CBCPNews)

PHOTO COURTESY OF CARITAS PHILIPPINES/SKYEYE/UNOCHA-COP)

AT least eight Caritas


Internationalis member
organizations pledged more
aid to help the survivors of
Super Typhoon Lawin.
As always, our heartfelt
thanks to the Caritas family
who worked side by side with
us in bringing humanitarian
aid to Filipinos affected by
strong typhoons since the
time of Yolanda up to now,
said Fr. Edwin Gariguez,
Caritas Philippines executive
secretary.
The support will be coursed
through Caritas Philippines,
which is leading the local
Churchs response to the
typhoons devastation.
Those that already
expressed support are
Caritas England and Wales,
Caritas Belgium, Caritas New
Zealand, and Caritas Canada.
Caritas E sp aola and

Caritas Luxembourg also


helped in finalizing the
response plans.
Earlier, assessment teams
from the Catholic Relief
Services (Caritas USA) were
also deployed to Isabela,
while Cordaid (Caritas
Netherlands) joined the rapid
assessment on Oct. 24.
These Caritas member
organizations have
been partners of Caritas
Philippines since the 1960s,
helping the Catholic Church
in the Philippines implement
various development,
advocacy, and humanitarian
programs.
One of the biggest
programs they supported
is the on-going Yolanda
rehabilitation program which
so far amounted to Php 4.6
billion and helped more than
Lawin / A3

A2 NEWS
t

Vatican Briefing
Pope seeks clemency for prisoners during Jubilee
After celebrating Mass for prisoners in St. Peters Basilica,
Pope Francis in his Angelus address appealed for better
prison conditions and asked that as part of the Jubilee
of Mer-cy, competent global authorities would consider
granting clemency to eligible inmates. I would like to make
an appeal for better conditions in prison life, so that the
human digni-ty of the detained is fully respected, the Pope
said Nov. 6. He emphasized the im-portance of the need a
criminal justice which isnt just punitive, but open to hope
and the re-insertion of the offender into society. (CNA)
Anyone could be forced to migrate, Pope says
In his most recent prayer video, Pope Francis focuses
on migrants, refugees and countries who assist them,
stressing that its possible for anyone to be placed in
a situation forcing them to leave home. The video,
released Nov. 4, shows men and women refugees, law
enforcement, media and a doctor walking through
a revolving door as the Pope asks the question, can
one country alone manage the problems of forced
migration? We must move away from indifference
and the fear of accepting others, he says in the video.
Because that other could be you. Or me (CNA)
Pope calls on religions to condemn acts of
terrorism, violence
Pope Francis spoke to representatives of different
religions Thursday, telling them that acts of terrorism
and violence must be very clearly condemned, while
love and mercy the heart of authentic religion must
be promoted. May there be clear condemnation of
these iniquitous attitudes that profane the name of
God and sully the religious quest of mankind. As part
of the Jubilee of Mercy, Pope Francis met with around
200 members of different religions at the Vatican
Nov. 3. The representatives included Christians, Jews,
Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and others, who all work
in fields related to charity and mercy. (CNA)
Church never likely to ordain women, pope says
The Catholic Church insistence that it cannot ordain
women to the priesthood and epis-copacy is a teaching
likely to last forever, Pope Francis said. After being
hosted by the Lutheran Church of Sweden, which is led
by Archbishop Antje Jackelen of Uppsala, the nations
first woman primate, Pope Francis was asked Nov. 1 if
the Catholic Church might one day have women priests
and bishops. As he has done in the past, the pope responded that the question was settled in 1994 by St.
John Paul II, who taught that because Jesus chose only
men as his apostles, the ordination of women in the
Catholic Church is not possible. (CNS)
As battle for Mosul rages, Pope appeals for an end
to violence in Iraq
With the Iraqi Army currently embroiled in an effort to
liberate Mosul and the Plains of Nineveh from the Islamic
State, Pope Francis Sunday offered prayers for an end to
vio-lence in the country so it can move forward on the
path of hope and reconciliation. In these dramatic hours,
I am close to the people of Iraq, in particular those from
the city of Mosul, the Pope said Oct. 23. Our hearts are
shocked by the heinous acts of violence that for too long
are being committed against innocent citizens, whether
they are Mus-lims, Christians or whether they belong to
other ethnic groups and religions, he said, and voiced
his sadness that many have been killed in cold blood,
including children. (CNA)
Fighting over liturgy distorts purpose of Mass,
papal liturgist says
When a choir director and parish priest differ over
liturgical music, the choir should fol-low in good faith
the wishes of the priest for the sake of unity, said the
papal liturgist. When it comes to celebrating the liturgy,
we should never fight, Msgr. Guido Marini told choir
members, directors and priests. Otherwise, we distort the
very nature of what the people of God should be doing
during the Mass, which is seeking to be one body before
the Lord. The papal master of liturgical ceremonies
spoke Oct. 21 at a conference opening a three-day jubilee
for choirs. Hundreds of people involved in providing
music for the liturgical celebrations in Italian dioceses
and parishessuch as singers, organists and musicians
attended, as did directors of diocesan liturgy offices and
schools of sa-cred music. (CNS)
The reality of poverty is challenging, but dont avoid
it, Pope says
Pope Francis said that while donating money to charity
might make us feel good, seeing real poverty in the flesh
is a challenge we have to face, rather than trying to avoid
it. Poverty in the abstract doesnt challenge us, it makes
us think, lament, but when you see poverty in the flesh
of a man, woman or child, yes, this challenges us, he
said Oct. 19. To see our brothers and sisters in this state,
he said, questions the attitude we have to run away, the
attitude of running away from the needy and not drawing
near to them. Pope Francis comments were made during
his catechesis for the general audience, which cen-tered
on the passage in James 2 that says faith without works
is dead. In particular, Francis highlighted the corporal
works of mercy of feeding the hungry and giving drink to
the thirsty. (CNA)
Popes Iraq envoy says peace stifled by lack of
political will
Archbishop Alberto Ortega, the Popes Apostolic Nuncio
in Iraq and Jordan, has said that in the midst of a drawnout humanitarian crisis and ongoing feelings of mistrust
and be-trayal, Christians can be a sign of reconciliation
where political efforts continue to fall short. In order for
current conflicts destroying much of the Middle East to
come to an end, there is first of all the political will,
Archbishop Ortega said. If the international community,
if they really want to make peace, to promote peace, they
can engage more intensively and to reach the agreements
necessary to reach peace, he said, stressing that dialogue
is also important. (CNA)

November 7 - 20, 2016 Vol. 20 No. 28

CBCP Monitor

Archbishop Gomez: Want to


make America great? Be saints
LOS ANGELES, Calif., Nov
3, 2016 With recent polls
showing an increasingly tight
presidential race, its still
unpredictable as to who will
come out next week as the
next president of the United
States.
But for Archbishop Jose
Gomez of Los Angeles, thats
okay. For him, knowing that
Jesus Christ is still King is
what really matters.
Politicians come and go;
nations rise and fall; empires
fade away what remains and
what continues is the Church
that Jesus established on the
rock of St. Peter, Archbishop
Gomez stated during the Red
Mass Dinner in Houston, TX
on Nov. 2.
No matter who wins next
Tuesday and no matter who
loses, we are called to follow
Jesus Christ as children of
God and missionary disciples.
To be faithful to Christ and to
build Gods Kingdom here on
earth, he continued.
Archbishop Gomez spoke
to a group of public officials
after the celebration of a Red
Mass at the co-Cathedral of
the Sacred Heart in Houston,
Texas, which is a tradition
dating back to the 11th century
in which attendees specifically
include members of the
judiciary and legal professions.
Throughout his speech,
Archbishop Gomez outlined
two signs of the times, which
he believes are helpful in
reflecting on the reality in the
United States. He first point-ed
to the signs of a post-Christian
America, noting the increasing
secularism in American society
and the resistance towards
religious freedom.
I think all of us can agree
that the elites who govern

Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, California. DANIEL IBANEZ/CNA

and shape the direction


of our societies are deeply
secularized and hostile to
religion, to religious values
and to traditional culture,
Archbishop Gomez stated.
Secondly, he underscored
the crisis of the human
person, saying that society
has lost the sense of the human
person. The California
archbishop mentioned
gender ideology and samesex marriage as part of the
false humanism promoted in
Ameri-can culture, leading
down the dangerous road of
false humanism.
He also highlighted the poor
treatment of the marginalized
in society, including migrants, the homeless, and
refugees, saying that society
has become indifferent and
unable to empathize with the
people around them.
We are becoming a society
with no mercy and again, it
is because we no longer see
the sanctity and the great
dignity of the human person.
However, the next president
isnt going to change the way
society treats religion or the
human person, Archbishop
Gomez stated. Instead, he

believes that individuals will


impact the future more than
a political party.
No matter who is
President, no matter what
party is in power we are
not going to restore religious
values from above, he said,
noting that every persons
identity is founded in Christ
not their political affiliation.
If we want America to be
greater, then we need men
and women like you and
me who are committed to
serving God and living their
faith in every aspect of their
lives, also noting that if we
want to live in a society that
promotes virtue and jus-tice
and human dignity if we
want leaders who reflect
these values then we need
to become leaders and role
models in our society.
On this point, Archbishop
Gomez said that only one
thing can change the world:
the call to be a saint.
This the reason we are here
to follow Jesus Christ and
to become more and more
like him, through the grace
of sacraments and through
our desire for holiness. This is
the beautiful truth about who

we are as children of God, he


said, emphasizing the need
for saints in every aspect of
human life.
His comments came only
a day after All Saints Day, in
which the Catholic Church
recognizes and celebrates the
lives of the saints. Archbishop
Gomez noted the timely feast,
encouraging the faithful to
emulate the example of these
saints who were in the middle
of the world and yet remained
untouched by its lures.
Thats another way to
answer the questions we have
about this election and the
is-sues we face in our culture
and our society. God wants
saints everywhere!
Instead of despairing at
the voting booth, Archbishop
Gomez encouraged the building of morality and spirituality
among individuals, saying
that personal renewal will
impact a cultural renewal,
no matter who wins the
presidential nomination.
He laid out concrete
examples of ways to pursue
renewal: strengthen personal
prayer and relationship with
God, build up communal
relationships in marriages
and families, and be witnesses
to the Church through
compassion and mercy.
Our country and our world
will be renewed not by
politics, but by saints. And that
means you and that means me.
If we want a greater America,
we need to become, by the
grace of God, greater saints,
Archbishop Gomez said.
No matter who is
President, Jesus Christ is
still the King. And we are
still called to be saints and to
renew this world in the image
of his Kingdom. (CNA)

In Albania, the Church honors martyrs of the communist era


SHKODR, Albania, Nov 2, 2016
During 40 years of communist rule in
Albania which in 1967 declared itself
the first completely atheist country in
the world praying, making the sign
of the cross, wearing a crucifix around
ones neck, or any other evidence of
being a believer in God were treated as
crimes.
Churches, mosques and other places
of worship were used as shopping
centers, sports halls, or theaters. That
too was the fate of the cathedral of
Shkodr, which was turned into a sports
arena. But on Nov. 5, it will the site of
the beatification of 38 Albanian martyrs.
Before they were tortured and
executed by firing squad, they all said:
Long live Christ the King, long live
Albania. We forgive those who kill us,
Archbishop Angelo Massafra of Shkodr
told international Catholic charity Aid to
the Church in Need. Among the martyrs
were a number of bishops, priests,
and ordinary faithful, includ-ing one
woman, Mara Tuci.
Mara was a teacher and she was
condemned to die for the crime of
reminding stu-dents of the presence
of Christ. Her death was excruciating,

after she had already been arrested


and tortured countless times. She was
finally put in a sack along with a cat.
The torturers repeatedly hit the cat with
a stick and their victim later died of the
injuries inflicted by the terrified animal.
Father Lazer Shantoja was tortured
so severely in the environs of Tirana
that his own mother begged that he be
shot to death to finally put an end to his
suffering.
Ndre Zadeja was the first to be
executed by firing squad; he was the
first martyr of the Albanian communist
dictatorship that finally collapsed in
1991. He died in Shkoder.
Archbishop Massafra, who serves
as president of the Albanian bishops
conference, said that all who were
murdered in that city were forced
to walk along a particular route that
ended at the cemetery wall. There they
were tortured, spat upon, and finally
executed by shooting. The route led
them past the cathedral.
This was done on purpose. It was to
remind them that they were suffering
because of their love for Christ, the
bishop said.
The beatification ceremony will be a

joyous festival. Thousands of Albanians


all over the world will be following the
proceedings, Archbishop Massafra said.
This small, but great Church has given
the world Church countless martyrs,
he added.
The martyrs beatification process
was begun in 2002 and was completed
in 2010. Pope Francis signed a decree
that authorized the beatification to take
place Nov. 5.
Muslims, who account for as much as 70
percent of the population of Albania, were
not spared either. Thousands of people
lived in concentration camps or languished
in prisons because they believed in God or
in Allah, the bishop said.
There have been notable survivors
of the reign of terror, including Father
Ernest Simoni, who spent 28 years in a
labor camp and whom Pope Francis has
just made a cardinal. Then there is Sister
Marije Kaleta. Both met the Pope during
his recent visit to the country, leaving
the Pontiff visibly moved.
Bishop Massafra spoke of them as
ranking among the secret consolers of
the other prisoners. Father Simoni was
able to secretly say Mass during his years
of captivity. (CNA)

Former Manchester United footballer to be a Dominican priest


LONDON, England, Nov
3, 2016You might have
heard of Phil Mulryne,
a Manchester United
footballer whos shared the
field with David Beckham
and brought fame to Ireland
with 27 caps international
appearances in his athletic
career.
But now, Mulryne is
setting aside his jersey to
pursue the vocation of a
Catholic Do-minican priest.
This for me was one
of the major reasons that
attracted me to the religious
life, Mulryne said in a
video interview posted by
the Daily Mail.
To give oneself
completely to God through
the profession of the
evangelical coun-cils, to
take him as our example and

despite our weakness and


our defects, trust in Him
that he will transform us
by his grace, and thus being
transformed, communicate the joy in knowing
him to everyone we meet
this for me is the ideal of
Domin-ican life and one of
the major reasons of what
attracted me to the order.
Mulryne, a 38-year old
Irishman, began his career
in football as a kid in 1994
when he attended the
Manchester United youth
academy, and eventually
joined the Nor-wich league
in 1999.
His teammates were
among the many of his
surprised acquaintances to
find out that he gave up his
global fame and 500,000
in career earnings to

pursue the vows of poverty,


chastity, and obedience as a
Catholic priest.
It was a complete shock
that he felt this was his
calling, fellow footballer
Paul McVeigh said,
according to the Daily
News.
After a series of major
injuries at the end of his
career in 2008, Mulryne
was faced with the future:
how would he spend his
post-footballing days?
According to McVeigh,
Mulryne began turning his
life around and was doing
a lot of charitable work
and helping the homeless
on a weekly basis. The
Catholic Herald reported
that Bishop Noel Treanor of
Down and Connor became
an influential figure during

Mulrynes conversion,
eventually inviting him to
enter the seminary.
I know for a fact that this
is not something he took
lightly as the training to
be or-dained as a Catholic
priest consists of a two-year
philosophy degree, followed
by a four-year theology
degree and only after that
will he finally be qualified
as a priest, McVeigh said.
In 2009, the Irish native
entered the Irish Pontifical
College in Rome, where
he has been pursuing the
priesthood through studies
in philosophy and theology.
Last week on Oct. 30,
he was ordained a deacon
in Belfast by Archbishop
Diarmuid Martin of Dublin,
and is set for priestly
ordination in 2017. (CNA)

CBCP Monitor

NEWS A3

November 7 - 20, 2016 Vol. 20 No. 28

Christs burial slab uncovered for the first time in centuries


JERUSALEM, Israel Have you
ever wondered what the tomb of
Jesus Christ looks like? National
Geographic recently detailed the
moment of revelation at the
Church of the Holy Sepulchre in
Jerusalem, which exposed the rock
slab on which Christs body is held
to have been placed after his death.
The slab had been covered for
centuries by a marble structure to
protect it.
The marble covering of the tomb
has been pulled back, said Fredrik
Hiebert, archaeologist-in-residence
at the National Geographic Society,
according to an Oct. 26 exclusive
from National Geographic.
It will be a long scientific

analysis, but we will finally be able


to see the original rock surface on
which, according to tradition, the
body of Christ was laid, Hiebert
continued.
The opening of the burial place
of Christ marks a historic exposure
for the first time in centuries, which
drew an excited frenzy among
archeologists, pilgrims, and various
religious groups.
Here we have Franciscans,
Armenians, Greeks, Muslim
guards, and Jewish police officers.
We hope and we pray that this
will be a real message that the
impossible can become the possible.
We all need peace and mutual
respect, Theophilos III, the Greek

Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem,


told National Geographic.
According to the Gospels, the
body of Christ was laid in a new
tomb hewn out of rock, in which
no one had ever been buried. The
Gospel of Mark details that the
women who went to the tomb to
anoint Christs body instead found
that he had risen.
Veneration of Christs burial
place dates back to St. Helena in the
fourth century, who discovered and
identified the tomb. St. Helenas
son, Emperor Constantine, built the
Church of the Holy Sepulchre in 326
and enshrined the tomb.
The shelf on which Christs
body was laid is the central point

of veneration, which has been


encapsulated by a 3-by-5 foot
marble structure, known as the
Edicule, since at least 1555. Over
the years, the Edicule has been
reconstructed and is currently
undergoing a multi-million dollar
preservation process by the National
Technical University of Athens.
We are at the critical moment
for rehabilitating the Edicule,
Professor Antonia Moropoulou,
Chief Scientific Supervisor
from the National Technical
University of Athens, told National
Geographic.
The techniques were using to
document this unique monument
will enable the world to study our

Woman came from Adams rib? A bishop explains why


MAKATI City--Seen as nothing more
than a Biblical myth by some, the
creation story, particularly that of how
the first woman, Eve, was formed from
Adams rib has striking theological
underpinnings that are meant to guide
modern couples, said Daet Bishop
Gilbert Garcera in a workshop for
Couples for Christs top leaders on Oct.
20.
It has a theological meaning Adam
slept, God took out his rib, and you
(woman) become part of the man, said
the chairman of the Catholic Bishops
Conference of the Philippines Episcopal
Commission on Family and Life during a
2-day workshop on Amoris Laetitia held
at the Lay Force, San Carlos Seminary.
Dont you know the meaning of
the rib? Because this (the rib) is very
symbolic of your love for your wife.
Close to the heart
According to the prelate, the woman
came from the mans rib not to be
inferior to her partner but to be his
equal, to be at his side.
The womans coming from mans rib,
said Garcera, signifies his role as the

womans protector.
Since the rib is also close to a mans
heart, it means a woman should be loved
and held close.
Man cant be alone There is always
a companion. It is always a community,
added Garcera.
This truth behind the dynamics
between man and woman, explained the
prelate, goes beyond the physical or the
merely sexual.
Marital union [is not] just about the
body or the sexual act No, it is always
a voluntary, self-giving love, not forced
Its love that binds you.
The hearts eyes
This design for the relationship
between the sexes is not man-made but
divine, said Garcera, noting how God
initiated womans creation as mans
natural companion while Adam was
asleep.
When you are asleep, you are
defenseless, you are at the mercy of
somebody.
But far from being a design for chaos,
the partnership of the sexes will bring
fruitful love into the world, explained

the prelate, who was also one of the


delegates chosen from the Church in the
Philippines to represent the country at
the Synod on the Family held in Rome
in October 2015.
Garcera said: What is this love?
Observe because the heart has eyes.
The heart has an ear to listen. If the heart
has an ear, it also has eyes.
In the eyes of your husband, you
are the most beautiful. Your heart saw
a unique beauty in her that no other
person has.
The prelate, who spent 2 days
discussing Pope Francis apostolic
exhortation on marriage, family, and
love, said it is the eyes that love that
move a person to fidelity.
[For your husband], youre the only
one. Your heart has eyes only for your
spouse, not [for] any other beauty
queen. Just her. Therefore your heart
has an eye.
Released on April 8, 2016, Amoris
Laetitia focuses on introducing new
pastoral approaches to adapt to new
challenges faced by marriages and
families. (Nirvaana Ella Delacruz/
CBCPNews)

KIRKUK, IraqSeven
young women in Kirkuk
credit the Virgin Mary for
their safety after spending
a harrowing eight hours
hidden underneath beds
while Islamic State group
fighters used their room as a
hideout during an assault on
the city.
The Virgin Mary was with
them, Fr. Roni Momika told
CNA Oct. 23.
The priest, who ministers
in refugee camps of Ankawa,
Erbil in northern Iraq, was in
cell phone contact with two of
the girls while they hid under
the beds. They gave him a
play-by-play account of what
was happening.
Seven women, university
students in Kirkuk, found
themselves threatened by the
Islamic State groups assault
on the city Friday, Oct. 21.
ISIS entered the house of
our students, the girls, the
priest reported.
When they heard the
militants coming, the women
quickly darted under four
beds in one of the rooms,
where they remained
undiscovered for eight hours
as ISIS fighters used the room
as a refuge to eat, pray and
hide from Iraqi Army forces.
I was speaking with them
all the time, Fr. Momika
said, noting how there was
a strong girl who told
him Father, I will continue
speaking with you and tell
you all our news and what
ISIS is saying.
For the duration of their
time there, the militants
not only ate and prayed, but
used the beds to care for two
of their fighters who were
wounded.
On one bed there is a lot of
blood, the priest said.
He shared with CNA some
photos taken of the room
after the soldiers left. He
explained that when ISIS
was attacked by our army
(the Iraqi Army) there were
two people from ISIS injured,
and ISIS put them here on
these beds...and under the
beds were the girls.
Fr. Momika said he was
in constant contact with the
girls, telling them not to

forget their faith, and to pray


to the Virgin Mary, she will
come to help you.
In what both the priest and
the girls view as a miracle,
ISIS didnt see them, Fr.
Momika said. One of the girls
told him later that when ISIS
entered our room, they didnt
see us (and) we feel that the
Virgin Mary closed their eyes
from seeing us.
The attack on Kirkuk took
place amid a wider offensive
on the part of the Iraqi and
Kurdish armies to retake
the city of Mosul, which was
taken by Islamic State group
forces in 2014 and declared
a caliphate.
On Oct. 17 Iraqi Prime
Minister Haider al-Abadi
announced the ground
offensive to retake Mosul
from the clutches of Islamic
State, which has been months
in the making.
In addition to the Kurdish
Peshmerga forces, U.S.
troops, British and French
Special Forces, and a number
of Turkish soldiers are
supporting the Iraqi army
in the battle, which was
initially expected to take
between several weeks to
several months to complete.
However, the process has
been going quicker than
expected.
Mosul is the last major
stronghold the Islamic State
has in Iraq. They have been
steadily retreating since the
end of last year in battles
against Iraqi and Peshmerga
forces, as well as airstrikes
from the U.S-led coalition.
The attack on Kirkuk left
some 80 people, mostly
security forces, dead. It was
largely seen as an attempt
to distract Iraqi and Kurdish
forces from the Mosul
offensive.
According to the U.K.
newspaper The Guardian,
at least 30 members of ISIS
were still holed up in different
parts of Kirkuk. However, the
assault was officially declared
over as of Saturday morning.
Fr. Momika explained that
the seven girls were among
more than 100 refugees
taking university classes in
Kirkuk after being driven out

MARIA TAN

Christian girls who barely escaped ISIS credit Mary for their safety

of their hometowns by the


Islamic State group in 2014.
Many of the girls come from
Mosul and other cities nearby
such as Bartella, Alqosh and
Telskuf, he said. All of them
had studied at the University
of Mosul before the invasion.
Although their families
are living inside the refugee
camps in Erbil, the girls, in
addition to a number of boys,
wanted to continue their
studies, but were unable to
attend university classes in
Erbil.
They then enrolled at the
University of Kirkuk. Since
traveling back and forth
everyday was dangerous,
they stayed in houses the
Church had been renting in
the city, returning to Erbil on
the weekends.
Fr. Momika said he is
happy that all of the students
escaped unharmed. Two of
his fellow priests, Fr. George
Jahola and another named
Fr. Petros, who was ordained
with him Aug. 5, traveled to
Kirkuk Saturday to pick the
girls up and bring them back
to Erbil.
He also spoke about the
liberation of his hometown,
Qaraqosh. The town was
formerly regarded as the
Christian capital of Iraq
before the invasion in 2014
forced 120,000 people to
evacuate in one night. Most of
its residents are now living in
refugee camps in Erbil.
On Saturday Iraqi and
K u rd is h f orce s e nt e re d
Qaraqosh, which sits about
20 miles from Mosul.
Although the town is said
to be largely empty, Islamic
State group militants have
destroyed much of the city.
They left landmines strewn

along the road to Mosul.


Fr. Momika said that Iraqi
soldiers have raised the Iraqi
flag in Qaraqosh, replacing
that of the Islamic State.
Qaraqosh is liberated,
he said. He cautioned that
there are still dangers, like
Islamic State group fighters
who are hiding throughout
the city still.
He passed on a report that
Islamic State fighters made a
big, deep hole in the ground,
climbed into it and bombed
themselves as the Iraqi and
Kurdish armies advanced.
The priest, who was still a
seminarian when he himself
forced to flee the city, said
he finds it hard to talk about
what happened to Qaraqosh,
because we saw some photos,
and they made us feel sad.
There are a lot of places
destroyed, and ISIS burned
our church and ISIS broke all
our crosses that were above
the churches, he said. A
very important church in the
region had been destroyed.
Its difficult for us because
its our history. Its a big
church in the Middle East,
in Qaraqosh, he said,
explaining that the sight is
similar for the neighboring
town of Bartella. That
Christian village was recently
liberated by the Iraqi Army.
Yesterday the priests, they
entered the church in Bartella
and they saw everything was
dark, because ISIS burned
everything, he said.
He voiced hope that there
would be no sight of Islamic
State militants in Qaraqosh
as the city is secured over
the next few days. He had a
request: pray for us. (Elise
Harris/CNA/EWTN
News)

findings as if they themselves were


in the tomb of Christ.
Although the burial site is not
controlled by one particular group,
it does share ownership between
the Greek Orthodox Church, the
Roman Catholic Church, and the
Armenian Orthodox Church, with
a smaller influence from the Coptic,
Ethiopian Orthodox, and Syriac
Churches. Any major decisions
regarding the church are made in
an agreement among the Churches.
National Geographic will detail
the restoration process of Christs
tomb in the Explorer series, airing
in November on the National
Geographic Channel. (CNA/
EWTN News)

Parenting hats you should


know about

Over 1,000 parents, educators, and homeschoolers attended the Philippine Homeschool
Conference 2016 held at the SM Aura Premier, Oct. 23, 2016. NIRVA DELACRUZ

TAGUIG City Just as a child


grows, a parent learns to
evolve as well.
This is what Light
of Jesus preacher Bo
Sanchez told more than
1,000 parents, educators,
and homeschoolers at the
Philippine Homeschool
Conference 2016 on Oct. 23.
Even child-rearing has its
stages where parents learn to
wear different hats[Overparenting] happens when you
dont change parenting hats,
he said, noting that a parent
has 3 hats that are crucial
at certain stages of a childs
life, depending on the childs
skills and autonomy.
According to Sanchez, the
3 hats are: the controlling
hat; the coaching hat; and the
consultant hat
Be the culture
He said the controlling hat
is used at the earliest phase
in a childs life when he or
she learns the basics through
non-negotiable rules, rituals,
and discipline.
Kids want you to be in
control. Kids need structure.
[But] you need to outgrow the
controlling hat for your sake
and for the sake of your kids
or the wings wont come out.
Sanchez
quoted
Deuteronomy 6:7 to
emphasize the need to create
an immersive environment
for children, one that allows
good behavior and values to
be about something more
than than just prohibition.
You need to create an
immersive environment Its
not enough to lecture them
and tell them, This is what
you need to do, go do it, he
added.
The so-called immersive
environment is based largely,
said Sanchez, on parents
character and modelling to
their children.
You have to build a family
culture. Youve got to be the
culture. If you have to build
a culture thats the only
way. If you want a culture

of kindness, if you want a


culture of loving God, if you
want a culture of compassion,
of generosity, you have to be
that culture.
Coach vs. consultant
The coaching hat, on the
other hand, usually comes
out when when the child is
10-years old, said Sanchez,
noting that the coaching hats
main message is trust.
He explained: You have to
take off the controlling hat,
and you have to wear your
coaching hat. And the main
message [of the coaching hat]
is: I trust you to make the
right decision.
Lastly, the consultant
hat is more appropriate for
when a son or daughter is
already working, Sanchez
said, especially when he or
she is married.
The bestselling Catholic
author pointed out the main
difference between a coach
and a consultant by saying
a consultant will speak only
when hired.
Learning to let go
According to him, parents
need to accept the fact that all
children will reach a point of
autonomy, one when parents
advice or words of wisdom
wont always be seen as
Gospel truth.
At a certain point you
just have to say Ive done
enough There are times
you have to let go at a certain
point.
The afternoon sessions
featured workshops on
the benefits of reading
and writing, how to start
homeschooling ones kids,
and the basics of interestled homeschooling, among
others.
Organized by the
Homeschool Association of
the Philippine Islands (HAPI),
the conference carried the
theme From Roots to Wings:
Homeschooling through the
stages. (Nirvaana Ella
Delacruz/CBCPNews)

Lawin / A1

1.8 million Filipinos.


Initially, the Caritas
Philippines allocated Php
2-million from its Alay
Kapwa emergency funds
to support the on-going
relief operations in Northern
Luzon.
But with the increasing
number of affected
population and damage to
properties and agriculture,
Gariguez revealed that its
local emergency fund may
not be enough to cope with

the emerging needs on the


grounds.
Caritas Philippines is now
in the process of launching
an emergency appeal to the
global Caritas confederation,
added the priest.
Caritas Philippines, also
known as the National
Secretariat for Social Action
(Nassa), is the development,
advocacy, and humanitarian
arm of the Catholic Bishops
Conference of the Philippines.
(CBCPNews)

A4 OPINION

November 7 - 20, 2016 Vol. 20 No. 28

CBCP Monitor

EDITORIAL

THE obsession of the Marcos family to insist on burying


former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga
Bayani escapes many of us. He could have been buried right
away, as is normally done, when his remains were brought
to the country in 1993 instead of just keeping them in a
refrigerated mausoleum in Batac, Ilocos Norte.
The justification that he was a soldier is not plausible because
there are thousands of Filipino soldiers, bemedalled or otherwise,
who are not buried at the LNMB. Being president of the country
does not hold, too. Of the 16 Philippine presidents, 11 are deceased
and only two of them are buried at the LNMB, namely, Presidents
Carlos Garcia and Diosdado Macapagal. All the others are in
different cemeteries around Metro Manila. President Jose Laurel
is buried in his hometownTanauan, Batangas.
The Marcoses should have done a Laurel.
Making ones death or burial as turbulent as ones life is
not in the purview of the Marcoses. The fixation for LNMB
is something else. The waiting for the right time to be buried
at the LNMB, which is now 27 years from his death in 1989,
tells of something that can only fall short of a huge political
agenda. Otherwise, how else explain all this brouhaha
despite one of the daughters saying on national TV that all
the family wishes is a simple burial. There is no simplicity
in a burial that takes a Supreme Court to decide. Or one that
has provoked indignation rallies and reopened the horrible
wounds of the darkest years of Martial Law.
In the words of the CBCP president, Archbishop Socrates
Villegas, Burying Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani
will not bring peace and unity to the country. Peace can only
come if there is justice. Justice demands recognition of the
harm done to the people and restitution to the victims... The
burial is an insult to the EDSA spirit. It mocks our fight to
restore democracy.
Of course, it will bring something. But only the Marcoses
know what.

Yolanda three years after


TRACES of devastation three years after the worst nightmare
that has befallen on the country can hardly be seen now with
the rise of new infrastructures, business opportunities and the
influx of so many rehabilitation programs rendered by local
and foreign aid agencies.
At the surface, Tacloban, for instance, even looks better now
than it was before Yolanda. But deep in the hearts of every
survivor, the pain etched by the catastrophe remains inconsolable.
It will take a long time for the scars to finally settle. But beyond
the destruction due to the natural calamity, these scars will
remain a mute witness to governments neglect, lies, cover-up
and politicking especially for those who, three years after, are
still lodged in temporary shelters and those thousands who have
never benefitted any government aid until today.
The destruction brought about by Yolanda was unbearable
enough. But the wanton neglect, corruption and the politization
by the government in both the relief and rehabilitation work
made it doubly so. The government has received millions
of dollars in donation from foreign governments and aid
institutions for the victims of typhoon Yolanda. Until now those
donations have not all been put to good use. It was good that aid
agencies both local and international came to the rescue. These
aid agencies projected that in three years rehabilitation work in
Yolanda areas would be concluded. Until today rehabilitation
is not yet complete and many of these agencies are continuing
the rehabilitation work.
Responding to the clamor of typhoon victims and nongovernment organizations, such as Kusog sang Pumuluyo of
Iloilo, the current Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo has
recently submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte a report on
the irregularities in government aid for Yolanda victims. In
said report, Taguiwalo indicated that around 200,000 people
from Regions 6 and 8 have not received any assistance from the
government. She said in a press briefing that The money has
gone to the people but these are cases of irregularities or noncompliance...The exclusion of emergency shelter assistance is
widespread.
During the 3rd year anniversary observance on November
8, 2016, President Duterte was in Tacloban. He promised the
Yolanda survivors that their permanent housing will be done by
December this year. People are hoping the president will deliver.

Trumps victory are pro-lifers too


THE number of pro-life groups in the United States of America
which are mostly Catholic may not be that big to tilt national
elections. They are not even a whimper to reckon with when
it comes to influencing public policy. The only big thing are
the annual marches for life conducted in Washington D.C.
and elsewhere that gathered hundreds of thousands of warm
bodies, even at the tail-end of winter.
Most of them if not all endorsed Donald Trump who assured
them that he will govern in a pro-life stance contrary to Hilary
Clinton who is a hardcore anti-life and who has devoted much
of her policy to defending, expanding and funding abortion.
Pro-lifers feared that millions more babies will die under a
Clinton government.
According to Right to Life of Michigan, Donald Trump has
promised support for important prolife positions, especially judges
that believe in the rule of law. One could only hope that Trump
will change a prevailing landscape that has forced taxpayers to
pay for abortions and threatened basic conscience protection.

Monitor
CBCP

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ILLUSTRATION BY BLADIMER USI

A cemetery doesnt a hero make

Views and Points

A new normal

Abp. Oscar V. Cruz

SOMETHING new in the


Philippines is becoming
something normal as well.
This is anything but a secret
herein in the country
notwithstanding the Rule
of Reason and the Mandate
of Ethics, the fundamental
feature of Natural Law and
the consequent key provision
of the Philippine Constitution
itself to the contrary. It
became a blatant reality
but some months ago
something new. But not really
long thereafter, it slowly but
surely emerged as expected
day and night event
something normal. Strictly
speaking, New Normal is
not automatically wrong. But

then, if it is contrary to the


basic dictate of sound reason
such as when individuals
are presumed guilty unless
proven innocentthis in fact
is abnormal.
Although it is basically the
same realitythe common
denominator of which is
killing peopleit is by and
large called Extrajudicial
killing. Translations:
Nonchalantly gunned down.
Lives done away as a matter
of course. Spontaneous
and instant de facto death
sentences. Dead bodies
taped and thrown by the
sidewalks. Wrapped and
sacked corpses found here
and there. Mutilated bodies

Family challenges and


Church response

found in dirty boxes, stuck


in this and that old luggage.
Conclusions: Human lives
are cheap. Human rights are
things of the past. Counting
dead human bodies day and
night is a matter of course.
This is Normal.
While unsaid, though the
making, trading and use
of forbidden drugs are all
taboo, killing those involved
therein as a matter of course
is neither praiseworthy. The
flagrant truth however stands
that those high ranking
public officials identified with
big graft and huge corrupt
practices are much worse
for duping dutiful tax payers
and thus grossly denying

public welfare to the already


poor and even miserable
people. Yet they continue to
be revered and even free to
enjoy their stolen wealth. But
just in case they are caught,
they are accorded all the
possible remedies provided
by law such as hiring the
best lawyers, simply placed
under house/hospital arrest,
treated with reverence and
respectwhile their gross
offenses goes on and on
without end.
But then anybody but
suspected of prohibited drug
trade and/or use is ipso facto
condemned to death without
reservation and accordingly
Views and Points / A6

Living Mission

Fr. James H. Kroeger, MM

Year of Eucharist and Family Reflections


EARLY this year 2016 Pope Francis
issued Amoris Laetitia, The Joy of Love,
an apostolic exhortation that focuses on
the family and love. The pope explores
the current situation of families, drawing
heavily upon concrete data from both
the 2014 and 2015 Bishops Synods
held in Rome. Francis focuses on
concrete realities in order to improve
the Churchs pastoral response, because
he believes the welfare of the family is
decisive for the future of the world and
that of the Church (31).
An honest examination reveals that
families face many challenges: from
migration to the ideological denial of
differences between the sexes; from
a throw-away culture to the antibirth mentality and the impact of
biotechnology in the field of procreation;
from the lack of housing and work to
pornography and the abuse of minors;
from inattention to persons with
disabilities to the lack of respect for
the elderly; from legal challenges to
family life to violence against women;
from drug use to various addictions (cf.
39-56).
In facing all these challenges, Pope
Francis asks the Church to review her
pastoral approaches and to always offer
a word of truth and hope (57). The

pope anchors his pastoral reflections in


Church teaching and the Scriptures. He
begins with a meditation on Psalm 128,
a reading frequently chosen for both
Jewish and Christian wedding liturgies:
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
within your house; your children will
be like olive shoots round your table.
May you see your childrens children!
Pope Francis sees that Sacred
Scripture provides much insight into
the family within Gods loving plan for
his people. The couple that loves and
begets life is a true, living icon capable
of revealing God the Creator and Savior.
For this reason, fruitful love becomes a
symbol of Gods inner life (11).
The New Testament speaks of
churches that meet in homes. Thus,
a familys living space could turn
into a domestic church, a setting for
the Eucharist, the presence of Christ
seated at its table (15). The Bible also
presents the family as the place where
children are brought up in the faith
(16). Every family should look to the
icon of the Holy Family of Nazareth
(30).
Francis also notes in The Joy of
Love that the Bible is full of families,
births, love stories and family crises
(8). In fact, Jesus himself was born

Candidly Speaking

into a modest family (21). Jesus is


no stranger to family life; there are
numerous biblical events that recount
his interaction with families.
Jesus visits the home of Peter, whose
mother-in-law was ill and shows
sympathy upon hearing of deaths in
the homes of Jairus and Lazarus.... He
goes to the homes of tax collectors like
Matthew and Zacchaeus and speaks
to sinners like the woman in the house
of Simon the Pharisee (21).
Jesus knows the anxieties and
tensions experienced by families and
he weaves them into his parables. He
is also sensitive to the embarrassment
caused by the lack of wine at a wedding
feast (21).
Then, turning to Mother Mary, Pope
Francis recalls that her heart contains
the experiences of every family;
thus, she can help us understand the
message God wishes to communicate
through the life of our families (30).
Indeed, for Pope Francis all families
have a model to follow in the Holy
Family of Nazareth.
Thus, one can conclude that since The
Joy of Love begins with this biblical and
theological vision of family life, it should
NOT be overlooked, since it is the key to
reading Pope Francis entire text.

A good homilist

Fr. Roy Cimagala


PRIESTS should aspire to be
good homilists. They should
try their best that with their
homilies they manage to stir
the peoples heart in such a
way that they get moved to
love God and others more
and more. For this, a review
of what Pope Francis said
about homilies in his
document, Evangelii
gaudium (The joy of
the gospel) is definitely
worthwhile making.
There he clarifies the
nature and importance of
the homily. It should be an
intense and happy experience
of the Spirit, he said, a

consoling encounter with


Gods word, a constant source
of renewal and growth. (135)
In any event, the homily can
show how close
a priest is both with God
and with the people. A bad
homily would be torture to
both the preacher and the
listener.
Since it is done within the
liturgical celebration of the
Mass, it should not be so
much a time for meditation
and catechesis as a dialogue
between a God and his people,
a dialogue in which the
great deeds of salvation are
proclaimed and the demands

of the
covenant are continually
restated. (137)
As such, it cannot be a form
of entertainment though it
should be engaging, able to
give life and meaning to the
celebration of the Mass. He
should be brief, avoiding
the semblance of delivering
a speech or a lecture, and
much less, a scolding. In this
way, he can manage to make
Christ the center of attention,
and not his own self.
He should make his homily
assume the character of a
mother who speaks to her
child, knowing that

the child trusts that what she


is teaching is for his or her
benefit, for children know
that they are loved. (139)
He engages in a dialogue
where more than mere
communication of truths is
involved. He should exude
the joy of speaking that
expresses Gods love for the
people. He should not be
moralistic or doctrinaire in
his tone and style. He has
to make a heart-to-heart
communication.
Pope Francis made one
good observation about a
good homilist. He said: The
Candidly Speaking / A6

CBCP Monitor

Along the Way


Fr. Amado L. Picardal, CSsR, STD

THE Catholic Bishops


Conference of the Philippines
has declared 2017 as the Year
of the Parish as Communion
of Communities. The CBCP
pastoral exhortation On
Era of New Evangelization
describes the focus of this
year:
This is a year when we
more deeply discern not only
the structures of governance
of our dioceses and parishes
but also of the quality of
faith life in the parish, the
fellowship, belongingness, and
participation by its members.
In a special way we shall probe
into our efforts of making
the parish a communion of
communities, a communion of
Basic Ecclesial Communities
and of covenanted faithcommunities and ecclesial
movements. We shall discern
and implement measures
on how communities of
consecrated life may be more
integrated into the life and
mission of the parish. In brief,
our focus will be the building
of a parish that is truly a faith
community immersed in the
lives of its people.
The priority for this year is
forming and revitalizing of
Basic Ecclesial Communities
in every parish as agents of
communion, participation
and mission with the active
participation of other
faith communities, lay
organizations, movements
and associations (LOMAs).
The theme of 2017 is in line

OPINION A5

November 7 - 20, 2016 Vol. 20 No. 28

with the PCP II vision of a


renewed Church which is also
based on the Vatican II vision
of the Church: The Church as
Community of Disciples that
live in communion and that
participate in the mission
of the Church as a priestly,
prophetic and kingly people
and as the Church of the Poor.
For PCP II, this vision of the
Church finds expression in the
Basic Ecclesial Communities.
PCP II links communion
with participation and
mission. Participation is a
very important aspect of the
Church as communionIn
the Philippines, participation
largely means enabling the
laity to participate more fully
in the life of the Church and
in its task of mission. (PCP
II 98-99).
The link between
communion and mission is
further emphasized when PCP
II asserts that the Church
is a communion in a state
of mission. Participation
in Mission as Communion
does not simply mean that
everyone from hierarchy
to laity - participate in
decision making process or
in governance. Participation is
linked to Missionespecially
the three-fold prophetic,
priestly and kingly mission.
Thus, the Church is
communion that participates
in mission. The BECs which
is considered as a new way
of being Church is likewise
the locus and agents of

Basic Ecclesial Communities:


Agents of communion,
participation and mission
communion, participation
and mission.
In this article, I wish to
expound what BECs are and
in what way they are agents
of communion, participation
and mission.
In referring to the parish as
communion of communities
the primary reference is
to the BECs although not
exclusively. The BECs are
local communities of Catholic
Christians at the neighborhood
and villages within the parish.
The members are close to one
another and relate to each
other as friends, brothers
and sisters in the Lord. They
gather regularly to share the
Word of God and live it in
their daily life, to pray and
celebrate their faith. They
share their resources and
find ways to help and serve
one another and those who
are poor and address their
problems. They are known
by many local names (GKK,
GSK, MSK, Gimong, SISA,
etc.). There are various
forms and shapes: Chapelcentered communities40
to 100 families; Chapelcentered communities with
family groupings or cells
(composed of 7-15 families
per FG); Family groupings/
cells without chapels (link all
FGs as one community/BEC)
PCP II recognizes the
BECs as expression of the
vision on a renewed Church
which includes communion:
Our vision of Church as

Remembering our dearly


departed
THE Congregation for the Doctrine
of the Faith in Vatican has released
new guidelines for the cremation of
the remains of Catholics. Prior to
1963, the Catholic Church recognized
burial as the only means to bury the
dead due to the Christian hope in
resurrection. However, in 1963, the
Vatican explicitly allowed cremation
as long as it did not suggest a denial
of faith about resurrection. There are
various reasons why the Catholic Church
allowed cremation such as incidents of
plague, spread of virus and the high cost
of burial.
Funeral Mass should be held prior
to the rite of cremation when the
mortal remains of the deceased is
still present. Likewise, Vatican stated
that the cremated remains and bone
fragments should not be kept at home
because it would deprive the Christian
community from remembering the
dead. Neither should the ashes be
divided among family members or put
in lockets or other mementoes. The
ashes cannot also be scattered in the
air, land or sea because it would give the
appearance of pantheism, naturalism
or nihilism. These courses of action
cannot be legitimized by an appeal to
the sanitary, social, or economic motives
that may have occasioned the choice
of cremation. The Church should
designate a sacred place to hold them,

communion, participation and


mission, Church as Priestly,
Prophetic and kingly people,
and as Church of the Poor,
a Church that is renewed, is
today finding expression in
one ecclesial movement. This
is the movement to foster
Basic Ecclesial Communities.
(#137)
They are small
communities of Christians,
usually of families who gather
together around the Word
of God and the Eucharist.
These communities are
united to their pastors but are
ministered to regularly by lay
leaders. The members know
each other by name, and share
not only the Word of God
and the Eucharist but also
their concerns both material
and spiritual. They have a
strong sense of belongingness
and responsibility for one
another. (PCP II 138)
St. John Paul II describes
BECs as part of the effort
to decentralize the parish
community and regard them
as expressions and means for
a deeper communion: These
are groups of Christians who,
at the level of the family or in
a similarly restricted setting,
come together for prayer,
Scripture reading, catechesis,
and discussion of human and
ecclesial problems with a view
to a common commitment.
These communities are a sign
of vitality within the Church,
an instrument of formation
Along the Way / A7

Duc in Altum

Atty. Aurora A. Santiago

such as a cemetery, columbary or church


area. The Vatican further stated that
the body is not the private property
of the family. A dead person is a son of
God. It is part of the body of Christ, it is
part of Gods people. Thus, it is not only
a private rite for the deceased but it is a
public ceremony.
***
The Diocese of Kalookan, Diocese
of Novaliches and Archdiocese of
Manila launched its respective project to
rehabilitate drug dependents or persons
with substance abuse disorder.
Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, Bishop
of the Diocese of Kalookan, launched in
mid-October Task Force Salubong,
a community-based Rehabilitation
Program for drug dependents who
surrendered to the authorities
(surrenderers), through holding
of Diocesan Forum on Drug Abuse
and Rehabilitation attended by the
representatives from the Department
of Interior and Local Government,
the Office of the Mayor, the Anti-Drug
Abuse Council and the Chief of Police
of the three cities of Navotas, Malabon
and Caloocan which are within the
jurisdiction of the Diocese. Each of them
presented their respective rehabilitation
program while Fr. Ruben Maybuena,
the Vicar for Pastoral Affairs of the
Diocese, presented Task Force Salubong

Program which is a community-based


rehabilitation program to include Patient
Care, Family Care and Communitybased Care.
Task Force Salubong is biblicallyinspired by the Parable of the Prodigal
Son. The surrenderers, like the prodigal
son, might have personal or family or
career problems and resorted to the
easiest solution, go into drugs. There
is a need to help them since by their
voluntary surrender, they want be
reformed, desired to live a drug-free life
and wished to return to the mainstream
of society. They were lost and now were
found. As part of the pastoral care and
concern in this Extraordinary Jubilee
Year of Mercy, the clergy and the laity
of the Diocese of Kalookan banded
together to help in the elimination of the
problem through an entirely different
and more humane approach so that the
surrenderers will once again become
productive members of their community
The Council of the Laity of Kalookan,
headed by Atty. Aurora Santiago,
responded to the call to implement
Task Force Salubong by embarking
on Layko si Pads Level Up Concert
(Habag at Awa) that will raise funds
to finance the Rehabilitation Program.
The Concert will be held on November
18, 2016, Friday, 7pm at PICC Plenary
Hall, Pasay City. The Kalookan Clergy

By the Roadside
Fr. Eutiquio Euly Belizar, Jr. SThD

Perplexed by words
Have you seen a man hasty in words? There is more hope
of a fool than of him. Solomon in Proverbs 29:20
A COMMON saying to the effect that a picture paints a
thousand words was once met by a witty retort saying that it
takes words to say that. Whatever evaluation we give to words,
we cannot do without them. Leaders use them to inform, warn,
unify, secure, inspire and move people to action; so does the
Church, except that in her regard words are primarily tools of
proclaiming the truth of Gods saving love. In that sense they
are of primordial importance (pardon my making the point
using such a formal expression).
But what do we do when a leader uses words that inspire and
move his minions of supporters as well as perplex, anger,
confuse, deeply wound others, even creating enemies out
of friends here and around the world?
In the words of an American government official, one effect
of such use of words is unnecessary uncertainty (which
prompts me to ask, Are there necessary uncertainties and
Who decides on who can create them?) and consternation
particularly among erstwhile friendly people (which again
prompts me to ask if words from leaders of Third-World
countries are supposed mainly to please their hearers in the
developed world rather than advance the interests of their
own people).
I would not be surprised if even members of the Philippine
Church, both the hierarchy and laity, who are trying hard
to be as objective as possible to the plethora of words from
the countrys chief executive, could also be described as
perplexed. Often the combination of silence and expressions
of support or protest from various rungs of the hierarchy seems
more an indication of this perplexity than any clear direction on
what to do in the face of a predictably unpredictable leader.
Years ago we were already reminded by the Second Vatican
Council and the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines
that we cannot remain in a state of perplexity vis--vis the
political realities of our country or of any country simply
because we are the Church. In fact, as Church we are not only
bishops and priests but also the vast array of the lay faithful,
many of whom are deeply involved in various fields of politics.
Important words from Vatican II and PCP II tell us that even
the political exercise must follow guidelineswhich makes
necessary the Churchs intervention: first, that it must work for
the common good; second, that political authoritymust be
exercised within the limits of the moral order (The Pastoral
Constitution of the Church in the Modern Word or Gaudium
et Spes, no. 74; PCP II 334-337).
It occurs to me that because of this twofold guideline, the
Church in the Philippines might do well to:

1. acknowledge and support the words and actions
of the current leader of the country that uphold the common
good while opposing any violations of the moral order. Nothing
prevents us, for example, from standing behind his emphasis
on a real independent foreign policy (in the sense of one
beholden to no foreign country) but one, however, that creates
friends of all nations/countries and renounces words or actions
that create enemies of some. We must also unequivocally
commend the campaign against criminality and the illegal drug
menace, laudable in themselves, but to do so, while respecting
the sanctity of life and the rule of law at the same time.

2. encourage frequent low-key visits by Church leaders
to whom the chief executive has friendly dispositions, in order
to clarify, explain or simply put across the Churchs concerns on
certain actions and programs of the government. Considering
his aversion to public criticism or his seeming hyper-sensitivity
to negative feedbacks, he might be more easily reached through
quiet recourses such as these or by tapping the help of faithful
sons/daughters of the Church from among his people in
making these concerns reach his ears .

3. although it is nigh impossible to crack, as it were, the
unpredictability of the chief executives words and actions, the
Church must also learn to prayerfully discern the right words
and actions to be adopted when addressing him and other
political leaders. We all must admit that this era is primarily
an invitation to deeper prayer and discernment among Gods
People in our land. In addition, we must also accept the
possibility that the Spirit might, at times, be using the chief
executive or other conscientious political leaders, to speak to
the Church and not only vice versa. The prophetic motto of
comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable does
not necessarily apply only to the Church in relation to political
leaders, but, however painful they sometimes are, even to
political leaders addressing or proclaiming the truth to Church
leaders and faithful. Prophetic words, as many proofs from
salvation and Church history attest, are not exclusive to bishops

Duc in Altum / A7

By the Roadside/ A7

Sorryful

Whatever
Fr. Francis Ongkingco
MOMMY, Im sorry, Im sorry, Im
sorry, Craig cried out.
Eeeasy, young man! I havent
even said something and youre
already saying sorry, his mom
removed her kitchen apron and
dried her hands with it.
Im sorry, coz I was playing
Pokmon again, Craig confessed.
So whats wrong with playing
Pokmon, dear? She suspiciously
wrinkled her right eyebrow.
Coz you said I could only play
after my homework! Craig started
sobbing.
And did you finish it like you
said you would? She feigned some
anger in her voice.
No! Thats why Im saying sorry
so you wont get mad.
Sit here, Craig dear, she pulled

him a chair.
Are you going to punish me,
mommy? Craig clambered up.
Nope, Im going to explain
something better, she said.
What?
You see, theres a little-big
difference between being sorry and
being sorrowful.
Sorrowful? Craig wiped his nose
on his right sleeve.
Yes. Its one thing to say sorry
and another to be sorrowful. She
said softly and finishing the job for
Craig with a napkin to clean his
running nose.
What is the difference mommy?
This time he wiped his nose on his
left sleeve.
Young man, if you dont stop
snotting around with your nose, I

can never always do snotting for


you, she glared at him.
Sorry, mommy, Craig shrugged
his little shoulders.
You see, Craig. If you only say
sorry but are not going to change
something bad you have done,
then you dont mean to change.
A sorrowful person, however, is
someone who may not even say
sorry but will do his best to change
the wrong he did.
Like how?
You say youre sorry for doing
something youre not yet supposed
to do, right?
Yeees!
So smart boy, what will you do
about it now?
I will go back to my room and
not play Pokmon until finish

studying!
That is being sorrowful, and
it makes Jesus and mommy very
happy! She gave him a kiss on the
forehead.
***
This scene reminded me about
St. Josemaras advice on the
importance of always being children
before our Father God. He says: ()
How often we have misbehaved and
then cleared the frowns from our
parents brows, telling them: I
wont do it anymore!That same
day, perhaps, we fall again... - And
our father, with feigned harshness
in his voice and serious face,
reprimands us, while in his heart
he is moved, realizing our weakness
and thinking: poor child, how hard

he tries to behave well! Weve got to


be filled, to be imbued with the idea
that our Father, and very much our
Father, is God who is both near us
and in heaven. (The Way, no. 267)
He taught that this filial stance
was essential in ones spiritual life.
It helps us not to get paralyzed
by our falls. Undoubtedly, we all
feel bad and guilty after doing
something wrong, but instead of
becoming pessimistic in our daily
battles Jesus wants to us encounter
Him even in the crossroads of our
greatest failures, weaknesses, and
miseries. St. Josemara stresses this,
saying: Weve got to be convinced
that God is always near us. We live
as though He were far away, in the
heavens high above, and we forget
Whatever / A6

A6

November 7 - 20, 2016 Vol. 20 No. 28

Bishop lauds Duterte for


opposing BNPP revival
PRESIDENT Rodrigo
Dutertes latest move to reject
the use of nuclear energy
in the country has been
well received by a Catholic
diocese.
Bishop Ruperto Santos of
Balanga told media on Friday
that the chief executive was
showing his concern and
care for the people and the
environment.
Now let us stop insisting
on rehabilitation of the
Bataan Nuclear Power Plant.
The President has spoken, so
be it, Santos said.
The bishop said majority
of the people and officials of
Bataan province are strongly
against the revival of the
mothballed project because
of safety concerns.
Its very dangerous and will
only be again source of graft of
corruption, Santos said.
Let us study, plan and
recourse to renewable
sources of energy like solar,
wind and water, he added.
President Duterte on
Monday thumbed down

Photo shows the main control room of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, in Bataan. FILE PHOTO

proposals to revive the


BNPP to bring down the
high costs of electricity in the
Philippines.
He assured the public that

nuclear power plants will not


operate under his presidency.
It has to be studied
carefully by Congress and
by the Filipino people. For

after all, if there is a leak


there, we will all be put in
danger and its our country,
remember that, Duterte
said. (CBCPNews)

Book launched for Year of Parish


IN anticipation of the Church
in the Philippines observation
of 2017 as the Year of the
Parish as Communion of
Communities, a new book
explaining how various
generations of Christians
lived their faith was launched
Nov. 5 in this city.
The book, titled Christians
in Community, Then and
Now: Early Christian House
Churches and Basic Ecclesial
Communities, presents a
socio-historical analysis of
the early Christian House
Churches in the Epistles of St.
Paul and a phenomenological
explanation of Basic Ecclesial
Communities (BECs).
As a rationale for the work
the author, Biblical theologian

Fr. Deogracias Aurelio V.


Camon, PhD, claimed that
a socio-historical study of
the early Christian House
Churches can yield important
insights and directions for
the present-day BEC.
Camon proposed that,
despite the wide historical
gap between the early
House Churches and the
BECs, we can still find some
significant and relevant
insights in relation to how
the Holy Spirit works in the
present life of the Church.

within a specific historical


context which inevitably
influenced how these
communities understood
itself and how it responded
to the challenges of its
particular society, explained
the Biblical theologian.
The priest believes the
present-day Basic Ecclesial
Community is undergoing a
moment in its own development
by which it is in a search for
a narrative that will unify the
various hermeneutics with
regard to the issue of BEC.

House Churches
Christian communities
whether it is the early
Christian House Churches
or todays BECsare situated

Free copies
Aside from the authors
research data and analysis,
the book utilized testimonies
of well-known proponents

of the BEC in the diocese of


Bacolod during the term of
the late Bishop of Bacolod
Antonio Fortich.
During a session of the
113th Catholic Bishops
Conference of the Philippines
Plenary Assembly on July 9,
it was announced that the
CBCP will issue a Pastoral
Letter on 2017 as Year of
Parish as Communion of
Communities, which will be
read on Nov. 27, 2016, the 1st
Sunday of Advent, in parishes
all over the Philippines.
Those interested to receive a
free copy of the book may reach
the author through his email
at rev.deocamon@yahoo.com.
(Fr. Mickey Cardenas/
CBCP News)

wronged, and our resolve to


return and amend for what
we have done because of love.
Pope Francis writes:
Jesus, seeing the crowds of
people who followed Him,
realized that they were tired
and exhausted, lost and
without a guide, and He felt
deep compassion for them.
() What moved Jesus in
all of these situations was
nothing other than mercy,
with which he read the hearts
of those He encountered and
responded to their deepest
need. () In these parables,
God is always presented as

full of joy, especially when


He pardons. In them we
find the core of the Gospel
and of our faith, because
mercy is presented as a force
that overcomes everything,
filling the heart with love and
bringing consolation through
pardon. (nos. 7 & 8)
***
Craig? Where are you,
honey? I baked some goodies
for you, his mother entered
his room.
She was a little surprised
when Craig silently appeared
behind her.
Where have you been,

young man? Would you


care for your favorite cheese
buns?
Craig was at first speechless
and then suddenly broke
down.
Whats the matter young
man, did you hurt yourself?
[SOB, SOB, SOB] No,
mommy, I was hiding in
my closet playing Pokmon
again!
Didnt we talk about that
already, dear?
Craig stopped sobbing and
took a deep breath.
Im sorryful, Im sorryful,
Im sorryful, mommy!!!

Views and Points / A4

gunned down without remorse. Never


mind the presumption of innocence until
proven guilty. Everybody whose name
is mentioned in the illegal drug circle is
already in the death list. Never mind
the principle of due process. Anybody
and everybody linked with the business
and/or consumption of forbidden drugs
are as good as de facto corpses. And
never mind the basic human right to

life. Drugs automatically equal death.


The Justice System is irrelevant, pass.
The objective truth never mind. Due
processwhat is that?
So it is that the New Normal is that
human life is in fact cheap. Killing these
and those people is a matter of course.
Getting rid of human existence day in
and day out is the in thing. In other
words: Human life is cheap. Killing

people is the rule. Selling-buyingusing drugs equals death. But graft and
corruption practitioners, hold-uppers
and swindlers, stealing and raping,
trafficking women and childrennever
mind. All these downright anti-social
and anti-human crimes incarnate can
wait, can be explained, can even be
forgotten.
Thou shall not kill. What is that?

China / A1

Before taking over the


helm of the Apostleship of
the Sea under the Pontifical
Council for the Pastoral
Care of Migrants and
Itinerant Peoples, Ciceri
used to work with migrant
workers and advocates in the

PH youth release
statement before COP22
A TOTAL of 137 Filipino
youth from different parts
of the country issued an
official statement on
climate change on the 3rd
anniversary memorial Super
Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda)
that devastated parts of the
Visayas in 2013, ahead of the
22nd Conference Of Parties
(COP 22) in Marrakesh,
Morocco.
Led by Climate Reality
Project Philippines, the young
leaders gathered during the
Youth Beyond Paris and
Future Negotiators Training
held in Luzon, Visayas and
Mindanao, from September
to October 2016.
Not just a mere paper
Dubbed the 2016
Philippine Youth Statement
on Climate Change, the
document will be submitted
to Philippine negotiators
and other youth delegations
at the ongoing COP22, from
Nov. 7 to 18.
The statement is not a
mere paper with words. It
carries the aspiration of
the Filipino youth of their
future. It carries the dream
of millions [of] Filipino
people, that should never
be taken for granted. This
statement is a reflection of
voices being threatened by
climate change, and the only
solution is climate justice.
This paper upholds our right
to develop and most of all,
live, said Ruzzel Morales,
representative from the
Visayas.
The youth statement
emphasized the Philippines
extreme vulnerability to
climate change as well as the
need to properly address the
plight of communities such
as women, children, people
with disabilities, indigenous
groups, and the marginalized
rendered twice vulnerable
by the devastation of such
natural calamities. The
document also recognizes
that the employment of the
human rights approach to the
negotiations is an imperative

for securing the most


ambitious commitments
from all parties.
The statement also
demanded that parties at the
United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate
Change seek to address
the worsening effects of
climate change through
the immediate ratification
of the Paris Agreement in
light of the goal to limit the
global temperature rise to
1.5 degrees Celsius. The
youth also stressed the
need to strengthen existing
mechanisms on mitigation,
adaptation, loss and damage,
technology transfer, capacitybuilding, and finance to help
climate vulnerable countries
such as the Philippines cope.
Non-negotiable future
Filipino youth also
reiterated that the future of
the Filipino youth is nonnegotiable, calling on the
Philippine government
to strongly consider the
ratification of the Paris
Agreement. Presently, there
are 10 out of 33 certificates of
concurrences for ratification
that have been submitted
to the Climate Change
Commission as of Nov. 3,
2016. These government
agencies include the
Department of Education;
the Department of Social
Welfare and Development;
the National Economic and
Development Authority; and
others.
Headed by Country
Manager Rodne Galicha,
Climate Reality Project (CRP)
Philippines is also guided
by Policy Research and
Advocacy Director Beatrice
Tulagan, who also leads the
Philippine youth delegation
in Morroco. CRP Philippines
is under the bigger nonprofit organization involved
in education and advocacy
related to climate change
established in July 2011
by Nobel laureate Al Gore.
(Carl Jamie Simple S.
Bordeos /CBCPNews)

Along the Way / A5

Whatever / A5

that He is also continually


by our side. He is there like a
loving Father. He loves each
one of us more than all the
mothers in the world can love
their childrenhelping us,
inspiring us, blessing... and
forgiving. (Op. cit.)
This is also what
Pope Francis, in his Bull
Misericordi vultus, wanted
to emphasize: that the most
important part of every
Christians conversion
more than being aware of
or shocked with the wrong
doneis our encounter with
a Person whom we have

CBCP Monitor

Philippines between 1985


and 1996. He also served as
director of the Stella Maris
International Service Center
in Kaohsiung, Taiwan
between 1996 and 2008,
and co-authored the book
Fishers and Plunderers:

Theft, Slavery and Violence


at Sea.
The Scalabrinian-led
Apostleship of the SeaInternational is present
in 300 sea ports in 30
countries across the globe.
It runs ove r 100 Ste lla

Maris Centers worldwide.


In Manila, the Apostleship
of the Sea operates at the
Pius XII Catholic Center
and runs two Stella Maris
dormitories for seafarers
in Manila. (Kris Bayos/
CBCP News)

Condemn / A1

made many people suffer by arbitrary


torture and death.
He has deprived many poor people
of their basic needs while his family and
cronies were enriched, said Archbishop
Villegas. We do not forget this!
We will not allow that this be
forgotten by the future generations
in order that the same strong-hand
oppression may not happen again,
he added.

The CBCP head also said that


those who do wrong should be made
accountable.
However, according to him, this is not
being recognized by the Marcos family
and his cronies up to now.
Then the victims of human rights
abuses have not been properly
compensated for, Archbishop Villegas
lamented. This is a matter of justice.
We see this as another step to build

the culture of impunity in the country.


Marcos is no hero! He should not be
presented as one, he said.
The Catholic Educational Association
of the Philippines (CEAP) earlier said
that Marcos burial at the heroes
cemetery will dishonor the efforts of
those who fought the dictatorship.
The CEAP also said it will invalidate
all that many heroes have spent their
lives fighting for.

and evangelization, and a


solid starting point for a new
society based on a civilization
of love. These communities
decentralize and organize
the parish community, to
which they always remain
united. They take root in less
privileged and rural areas, and

become a leaven of Christian


life, of care for the poor and
neglected, and of commitment
to the transformation of
society. Within them,
the individual Christian
experiences community and
therefore senses that he or
Along the Way / A7

Candidly Speaking / A4

challenge of an inculturated
preaching consists in
proclaiming a synthesis, not
ideas or detached values...
Where your synthesis is, there
lies your heart. The difference
between enlightening people
with a synthesis and doing so
with detached ideas is like the
difference between boredom
and heartfelt fervor. (143)
Of course, a good homilist
prepares his preaching with
a prolonged time of study,
prayer, reflection and pastoral
creativity. In fact, everything
in his life and ministry should
go into the preparation of
his homily. He therefore has
to be true and faithful to his
vocation, living a unity of
life and avoiding hypocrisy,
pretensions, etc. To be blunt,
the effectiveness of his homily
would somehow depend on
his level of holiness.
He should personalize
Gods word by entering into
its spirit. In that way, he
becomes a true witness of
Gods word and can relive
what Christ said to his
apostles: Whoever listens to
you listens to me. (Lk 10,16)
This is possible if the
homilist reads, studies
and handles Gods word
spiritually, the way St. Paul
handled Gods word. We
speak, not in words taught
us by human wisdom but in
words taught by the Spirit,
he said, explaining spiritual

realities with Spirit-taught


words. (1 Cor 2,13)
One reassuring advice the
Pope gives when the preacher
feels he is not yet ready to
fulfill what God seems to be
asking from him at a given
moment is to ask from him
what we ourselves cannot as
yet achieve. (153) A preacher
should not feel depressed at
his inability to do what knows
God is asking from him. He
just has to be humble and
patient and do whatever he
can.
A good homilist also needs
to keep his ear to the people
and to discover what it is that
the faithful need to hear. A
preacher has to contemplate
his people. (154)
This is very important and
the preacher simply has to
find ways to know his people
in an increasingly intimate
way. This is always possible
since he often receives
their confessions and gives
spiritual direction. Besides,
there are now many other
resources where the temper
and signs of the times and
peoples can be discerned.
Finally, a good preacher
gets down to brass tacks
by composing his homily,
knowing how to deliver it. He
should avoid being verbose.
He should try his best to
be simple and concise. His
homily should have an idea,
a sentiment, an image. (157)

CBCP Monitor

Confab recognizes womens


role in Eucharist

Thousands of women from all over the Philippines attend the Mother Butler Mission
Guilds (MBMG) 25th national convention themed Women and the Eucharist from
Oct. 22 to 23, 2016 at the SMX Convention Center in Lanang in Davao City. JOHN
FRANCES FUENTES

DAVAO City--Recognizing
the role of women in the
celebration of the Eucharist,
the Mother Butler Mission
Guilds (MBMG) held their
25th national convention
themed Women and the
Eucharist from Oct. 22 to
23 at the SMX Convention
Center in Lanang in this city.
Mother Butlers, who take
charge of priests vestments
during the dioceses big
events, devote huge chunks
of their time celebrating the
Eucharist, said MBMG Davao
City chapter president Maria
Socorro Feliciano.
The Mother Butlers
continue in serving the
Church, giving their time,
talents, and resources, she
said during her address.
She added that since the
Eucharist is the source and
summit of the Christian life,
MBMG members devote their
time in serving the Church
through their participation
in the Holy Mass.
Thousands of women
coming from the different
parts of the Philippines
gathered to participate in
the two-day convention with
Kalookan Bishop Pablo David
as keynote speaker.
The prelate also jokingly
stressed the centrality of
the Eucharist in the life of
Mother Butlers: If you dont
believe in the real presence
of Christ in the Eucharist,
you should have not been a
Mother Butler.
He added that in the old
times, women were only in
the background but during
the time of Jesus, women

became disciples too.


David said that while
women cannot celebrate the
Holy Eucharist, they can
still help the priests become
worthy of their noble vocation.
He added that MBMG
members in the parishes can
remind their priests about
their role in celebrating the
Eucharist, saying that if a
priest expresses his opinion
and not Gods word during
homilies, they can tell the
priests that people come to
listen to Gods word and not
to the priest.
Please pray for us.
Alalayan nyo sila. [Guide
them.] They are expecting
Christ to preside through the
priests, David explained.
Davao Archbishop Romulo
Valles officiated the closing
Mass and thanked the Mother
Butlers for their wonderful
apostolate, which touches
peoples hearts and faith.
The prelate also reminded
MBMG members to be
familiar with the liturgy so
that they may also grow in
faith.
Valles added that he cannot
imagine the Church without
the Eucharist, saying it is the
very central character of the
Catholic faith.
Because of the Eucharist,
we become Church day by
day, he said.
An exhibit of different
liturgical vestments was also
held at the ground floor of SM
Lanang Premier with Msgr.
Abel Apigo presiding over the
blessing during the opening
ceremonies. (John Frances
C. Fuentes/CBCP News)

Duc in Altum / A5

will perform together with


guest celebrities Pro Ecclesia
Et Pontifice Awardee Ms. Aiai Delas Alas, Gerald Santos,
Michael Angelo Lobrin,
Mr. Dingdong Avanzado
including Ms. Maine
Mendoza a.k.a. Yaya Dub.
Tickets may be obtained from
the respective Parish Pastoral
Councils of the Diocese or
may contact Gigi at 288-0935
or 287-3693.
***
The San Roque Cathedral
Parish of the Diocese of
Kalookan sponsored the
yearly Marian Exhibits during
the Rosary Month of October.
It also held its March of Saints
where participants wore

FEATURES A7

November 7 - 20, 2016 Vol. 20 No. 28

costume of saints instead


of the usual witch, devil,
ghosts and other trick or
treat Halloween costumes.
The Parish Pastoral Council
chaired by John Patrick dela
Cruz is on top of the two
events.
Likewise, the San Nicolas
Sub-parish of the Immaculate
Conception Cathedral,
Diocese of Pasig held its
Parade of Saints 2016, on its
3rd year. It started in 2013
where children wore costume
of saints, not Halloween
costumes. This years
winner is the boy who wore
St. Michael the Archangel
costume. The parade of saint
is spearheaded yearly by Bro.
Khing Latoja Macaranas.

BECs told: God is seen in unity


MARILAO, Bulacan-Speaking at the 9th annual
Toldang Tipanan held at
the National Shrine and
Parish of the Divine Mercy
in Sta. Rosa 1 in this town,
Oct. 29, Saturday, a bishop
tells the faithful that God can
be seen most clearly in people
united in love.
The absolute picture of
God is reflected [in] people
who are united in love,
Novaliches Bishop Emeritus
Teodoro Bacani Jr. told
Basic Ecclesial Community
delegates from 10 vicariates
under the Diocese of Malolos.
Our being Christians can
be seen on our unity and
love, stressed the prelate.
We gather as members of
BECs to share Gods grace
and mercy to each and
everyone.
The retired bishop briefly
explained that it is love

that unites the three divine


persons of God, thus, love
should also be the uniting
factor in each BEC cell
group. May all of us become
channels of Gods grace and
mercy.
Small Christian
communities
Bacani also revealed some
of the benefits of creating
BECs in parishes. According
to him, these include the
renewal of peoples devotion
in studying the Word of God,
their openness in sharing
their personal anxieties and
fears in the group, their
intense commitment to serve,
and their being united in
prayer.
Through BECs, the faithful
strive to follow Jesus Christs
teachings, said the prelate,
and to serve Him and His
people as they inspire their

peers to do the same.


The prelate also reminded
the attendees about the letter
of St. Paul to the Ephesians,
which talked about some
principles in building
communities.
Meanwhile, Fr. Federico
Trinidad, Assistant Director
of BEC in the diocese,
shared his thoughts on the
important role of the priests
in establishing BECs in
their respective parishes.
After the 2nd Synod of
Malolos, BEC is now being
taught in our seminary,
he said. Supporting BEC
has also been included in
the appointment of parish
priests.
On the other hand, Fr.
Anacleto Ignacio shared his
experiences as a long-time
advocate of the BEC. I have
learned so much from these
BECs, even more than what I

learned from the seminary,


he said.
Year of the Parish
To highlight the event,
Msgr. Bartolome Santos,
Vicar General of the diocese,
concelebrated a Mass with
Diocesan BEC Director Msgr.
Adalberto Vergara, Fr. Roger
Cruz, Fr. Rodel Ponce, Fr.
Rolando de Leon, Fr. Ignacio,
and Fr. Trinidad. In his
homily, Santos explained the
virtue of humility and how
the faithful should deal with
the less fortunate. Always
give priority to our needy
brothers and sisters, he said.
At the end of the mass,
Santos also announced the
formal launching of 2017 as
the Year of the Parish, carrying
the theme Communion of
Communities. (Myraine
Carluen-Policarpio/CBCP
News)

Our Lady of Hope devotion carries Yolanda anniversary theme


TACLOBAN City--With locals set to
commemorate the third anniversary
of Super Typhoon Yolanda on Nov. 8
through a candle-lighting ceremony, the
local church will mark the day by officially
culminating a 9-day devotion of Masses
and prayers to Our Lady of Hope of Palo.
Fr. Wilson Chu, co-parish priest of
coastal Sto. Nio Parish in Tacloban, said
the devotion is meant to both remember
and pray for those who perished in Super
Typhoon Yolanda, and to celebrate the
resurgence of hope among the survivors
because of their faith in the Blessed Virgin
Mary.
The Sto. Nio Parish has also
documented parishioners testimonies of
how they survived the storm surge and
twister-like winds by praying the Holy
Rosary. Others continued asking for the
Blessed Virgin Marys intercession as they
struggled to rebuild their lives in the wake
of the disaster.
Visit to mass grave
Aside from the devotion to Our Lady
of Hope of Palo, the presbyterium of the

Archdiocese of Palo is likewise scheduled


to visit a huge mass grave in Tanauan to
commemorate the victims of the super
typhoon, said the priest.
Beginning Oct. 30, the faithful
commenced the novena in honor of Our
Lady of Hope of Palo in Masses in parishes
all over the diocese, said Fr. Ronel Taboso,
parish priest of Sto. Nio Church.
Personally blessed by the Holy Father,
the life-size image of Our Lady of Hope
of Palo was a fixture in the altar at the
apron of DZR airport in this city for the
Mass presided over by Pope Francis on
Jan. 17, 2015.
Palo Archbishop John Du also gifted
Pope Francis with a miniature image of
the Our Lady of Hope of Palo at the altar
of Palo Cathedral during a supposed brief
meeting with clergy during his visit to
Tacloban.
Taboso clarified, however, that the
faithful should not consider the image of
Our Lady of Hope of Palo as particularly
belonging to the town of Palo town since
other images of the Blessed Virgin like Our
Lady of Fatima do not denote a devotion

exclusive for those in Fatima, Portugal.


Not just Palos
Palo here is Archdiocese of Palo and not
town of Palo, explained the priest.
A commemorative concelebrated Mass
is also set in the afternoon of Nov. 8 at the
Sto. Nio Parish here. A prayer wall will be
placed at the parish courtyard like last year.
On this wall, churchgoers can write and post
their prayer intentions for those who lost
their lives to Yolanda, said Taboso and Chu.
According to Brando Bernadas,
chairman of SNP Commission of Social
Action, the city government, headed by
Mayor Cristina Romualdez, is planning to
hold a commemorative Mass at the mass
grave for Yolanda victims at the Holy Cross
Memorial Park in northern Brgy. Diit.
This will be after the aurora (dawn
procession), said Bernadas.
An ecumenical community prayer is also
being planned in the afternoon of Nov. 8
at the Tacloban City Astrodome, which
served as an evacuation center during the
said calamity. (Eileen Ballesteros
Nazareno/CBCPNews)

Along the Way / A5

she is playing an active role


and is encouraged to share
in the common task. Thus,
these communities become a
means of evangelization and
of the initial proclamation of
the Gospel, and a source of
new ministries.
Because the Church is
communion the new basic
communities, if they truly
live in unity with the Church,
are a true expression of
communion a means for
the construction of a more
profound communion. They
are thus cause for great hope
for the life of the Church.
(RM 51)
How can BECs be genuine
expression of communion?
The members experience the
bond of unity which is based
on shared faith, celebrated
in the breaking of the bread,
concretely expressed in the
sharing of material goods
(Acts 2:42ff).
In the BECs the members
know each other, they have
a strong sense of belonging
and responsibility for one
another. They live as brothers

and sisters, as community of


friendskapuso, kapamilya,
kaibigan and kapitbahay.
The Catholic families are
linked to other families
in the neighborhoods
and organized as family
groupings or BECs cells.
The neighborhood cells or
family groupings are linked
to each other and comprise
the chapel-level or area level
BECs. These BECs are linked
to other BECs.
There are lots of celebration
and table-fellowship in
BECswith simple common
meals to fiesta celebration. The
celebration of the Eucharist is
more meaningful because
it expresses and celebrates
the life of communionof
unity, friendship, sharing
and participation among the
members.
The sharing of time, talent
and treasure is an essential
expression of communion.
This means practicing a
spirituality of stewardship.
This generates a spirit of
volunteerism (sharing of time
and talent). Some BECs adopt

a modified tithing system


(sharing of treasure) which is
voluntary by nature. There are
also mutual aid systems and
income generating projects
designed to help the members
who are needy and even those
who are not members of the
community. Some BECs in
the rural areas have set up
communal farms. Many have
organized cooperatives.
In the BECs, the members
express their communion
more fully as they unite
and actively participate in
fulfilling their threefold
mission. This is the prophetic
missionof proclaiming
and giving witness to the
Word of God, the Good
News, as well denouncing
the manifestation of evil
in society. This is the
priestly missionthrough
active participation in
the liturgical celebration.
This is the kingly/servant
missionof working for the
kingdom, for justice, peace
and the integrity of creation.
This is a mission of social
transformation.

The BECs carry out


their mission within the
parish, starting in their
own neighborhood, in the
barangay or village, in nearby
communities. They go to the
peripheries in the parish and
reach out to those who are
baptized but not evangelized,
those who are nominal or
seasonal Catholics and those
who are alienated from the
Church. They engage in
dialogue with Christians from
other denominations and
those who belong to other
religions.
Many BECs have not yet
realized this vision of a
renewed Church. The task of
the clergy and the lay faithful
during and beyond the Year
of the Parish as Communion
of Communities is forming
and revitalizing BECs so
that they truly become
agents of communion,
participation and mission.
In this way, they will
indeed become what Pope
Francis calls Communities
of Missionary Disciples.
(EvangeliiGaudium).

Anniv / A1
By the Roadside/ A5

and priests. Sensus fidelium


is a case in point.
4 .
not to refrain from exercising
the Churchs prophetic role
just because of the chief
executives tendency to get
back harshly at his critics.
The prophetic ministry,
Scriptures teach us from
the experience of Amos,
Jeremiah, Elijah etc., always
comes with the possibility,
nay, certainty, of rejection.
To renege on its exercise so
as to live in, or cultivate, a
smooth relationship with the
powers that be is a betrayal of
that ministry.
5. the words of a political
leader can decide the destiny
of the people he leads, but
only Gods words can lead
everyone to salvation. So
pivotal is Gods words to
his saving plan for mankind
that he himself sent us his

only-begotten Son as his


Word revealing not only that
saving will to us but also
being himself our Way to
hear and do Gods words.
Shakespeare once said: It
is a kind of good deed to say
well, but words are no deeds.
Profound, we might say; still
Shakespeare does not end the
perplexity.
Herod was perplexed
when he heard Gods Word
through John the Baptist; he
was even more perplexed
when he heard about Jesus.
But neither John nor Jesus was
perplexed. That is because both
knew their particular places in
Gods scheme of things. As St.
Augustine said, John was the
voice; Jesus is the Word.
And we? We can only stop
being perplexed by, like
Mary, hearing and doing
Gods words in the Word.

to the communities.
Fr. Edwin Gariguez, Executive
Secretary of Caritas Philippines, said
Yolanda taught the world many lessons
about faith, hope and charity and there
are still many untold stories of heroism
and resiliency of survivors.
And these people from different
far-flung communities devastated by
Yolanda are the unsung heroes, who
helped the community to recover and
build back better, Gariguez said.
The commemoration activities
opened with a Mass presided over
by Palo Archbishop John Du with
Caceres Archbishop Rolando Tria
Tirona, Caritas Philippines National
Director, in Tanauan town on
November 8.
After the Mass, a symbolic flower
offering was held in memory of the
victims of the typhoon in Tanauan, one
of the hardest hit areas in Leyte.
The activities include the True
Heroes of Yolanda photo exhibit which
was opened with a flash mob by 150
youth volunteers of the Sto. Nio Parish.

There was also a special screening of


nine documentaries about the Yolanda
heroes of different provinces during the
1st Caritas Film Festival in the malls
cinema.
New project proposals for Yolandaaffected communities in the nine provinces
were also presented to the representatives
of different Caritas member countries,
who are working with the local Church
in implementing various rehabilitation
programs for Yolanda survivors.
Caritas Philippines is currently
implementing the Catholic Churchs
largest three-year rehabilitation
program called REACHPhilippines.
We really make sure that transparent
and honest spending is being practiced
in all levels through regular financial
monitoring, evaluation and audit from
international auditing companies,
Gariguez said.
To date, the overall Caritas
response in the country, including
Caritas Philippines and the Caritas
Internationalis Member Organizations,
contributed more than P4.6 billion and

served over 1.8 million people.


These interventions cover the relief
up to the recovery phase such as the
provision of disaster-resilient shelters,
water and sanitation facilities, livelihood
assistance, and other infrastructures such
as schools and evacuation centers. There
are also hygiene promotion, communitymanaged disaster risk reduction trainings,
community organizing and ecosystem
rehabilitation services.
Currently, there are 11 Caritas
Internationalis Member Organizations
helping typhoon Yolanda survivors
in the country. These are: Caritas
Austria, Catholic Relief Services, Caritas
Germany, Caritas Italiana, Caritas
Switzerland, Caritas Czech, Caritas
Netherlands, Caritas Canada, Caritas
Belgium, Caritas Luxembourg and
CHARIS Singapore.
Caritas Internationalis, the Vaticanbased umbrella organization of 165
Catholic charities worldwide which
includes Caritas Philippines, is currently
headed by Cardinal Luis Antonio of Manila
as its first Asian president. (CBCPNews)

A8

November 7 - 20, 2016 Vol. 20 No. 28

Pope names new bishop


of Puerto Princesa
MANILA Pope Francis
has appointed Fr. Socrates
Mesiona as the new bishop of
Puerto Princesa in Palawan
province.
Mesiona replaced Bishop
Pedro Arigo, 77, whose
resignation has been accepted
by the Pope after the serving
the diocese for 20 years.
The announcement was
made at 12 noon the Vatican
(6pm, Manila time) on
October 28.
Mesiona, a known
missiologist, will be the
seventh bishop of the vicariate
since its establishment in 1910.
The 53-year old bishopelect is currently the executive
secretary of the CBCPs
Commission on Mission
and national director of the
Pontifical Mission Societies
(PMS) in the Philippines.
Mesiona was born in
Tagbilaran City, Bohol on
September 17, 1963.
After his secondary
school studies, he studied
Philosophy at the Immaculate
Heart of Mary Seminary in

Tagbilaran and Theology at


the Divine Word School of
Theology in Tagaytay City.
He was ordained a priest on
April 14, 1989 as a member
of the Mission Society of the
Philippines, where he also served
as its former Superior General.

BACOLOD City In anticipation of the


Church in the Philippines observation
of 2017 as the Year of the Parish
as Communion of Communities,
a new book explaining how various
generations of Christians lived their
faith was launched Nov. 5 in this city.
The book, titled Christians in
Community, Then and Now: Early
Christian House Churches and Basic
Ecclesial Communities, presents
a socio-historical analysis of the
early Christian House Churches
in the Epistles of St. Paul and a
phenomenological explanation of Basic
Ecclesial Communities (BECs).
As a rationale for the work the author,
Biblical theologian Fr. Deogracias
Aurelio V. Camon, PhD, claimed that
a socio-historical study of the early
Christian House Churches can yield
important insights and directions for
the present-day BEC.

In 1996, the bishop-elect


also obtained a Licentiate in
Missiology at the Pontifical
Gregorian University in
Rome.
Mesiona had also served as
Rector of the Mission Society
of the Philippines in Tagaytay

City and parish priest of the


Our Lady of the Abandoned
in Mandaluyong City.
Presently, he is also a
member of the International
Association of. Catholic
Missiologists (IACM).
(CBCPNews)

Camon proposed that, despite the


wide historical gap between the early
House Churches and the BECs, we can
still find some significant and relevant
insights in relation to how the Holy Spirit
works in the present life of the Church.
House Churches
Christian communities whether it
is the early Christian House Churches
or todays BECs are situated within
a specific historical context which
inevitably influenced how these
communities understood itself and
how it responded to the challenges of
its particular society, explained the
Biblical theologian.
The priest believes the present-day
Basic Ecclesial Community is undergoing
a moment in its own development by
which it is in a search for a narrative
that will unify the various hermeneutics
with regard to the issue of BEC.

Free copies
Aside from the authors research
data and analysis, the book
utilized testimonies of well-known
proponents of the BEC in the diocese
of Bacolod during the term of the
late Bishop of Bacolod Antonio Y.
Fortich, D.D.
During a session of the 113th
Catholic Bishops Conference of the
Philippines Plenary Assembly on July
9, it was announced that the CBCP
will issue a Pastoral Letter on 2017
as Year of Parish as Communion of
Communities, which will be read
on Nov. 27, 2016, the 1st Sunday
of Advent, in parishes all over the
Philippines.
Those interested to receive a free
copy of the book may reach the author
through his email at rev.deocamon@
yahoo.com. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas/
CBCP News)

Theologian offers handbook for cemetery visits, funerals, etc.


enhance our piety for the
dead, providing us with
appropriate prayers and
rites. It presents the Churchs
genuine teaching on the
commemoration of the dead
that will free the faithful from
traces of superstition that
unfortunately have found
their way into some practices
through the years.
Strong religious heritage
In the Philippines, people
are generally pious, he said.
Many families take part
in commemorations such as
All Saints Day and All Souls
Day, as seen in the vast crowds
congregating in the cemeteries
during those days.
Even Catholics who
seldom go to Mass on
Sundays, or holy days of
obligation, make the effort
to attend the wake or funeral
of loved ones and friends,
added Belmonte.

Priest-historian dies at 87
MANILA Dominican
Fr. Fidel Villarroel, an
educator and prolific
historian of Christianity,
died on Oct. 23 at the
University of Santo Tomas
Hospital. He was 87.
A longtime UST archivist,
the Spanish priest is a
renowned historian of the
Catholic Church in the
Philippines.
In brief statement posted
on its Facebook page,
the UST also described
Villaroel as a prolific
saint-maker.
He is also credited
for writing the positio

Pope Francis receives


artwork from Filipino artist

Bishop-elect Socrates Mesiona of Puerto Princesa

Book launched for Year of Parish

MANILA--To support the


Churchs effort to clarify
popular customs of visits
to cemeteries and other
occasions such as wakes or
funerals a Catholic author
produced Prayers for the
Dead, a handy booklet to
help strengthen Catholics
faith in the face of the death
and to guide them in offering
suffrages for the dead.
The books author Fr.
Charles Belmonte, a
theologian with more than
30 years of pastoral work
experience in the country,
pointed out that even in these
high-tech times, devotionals
like Prayers for the Dead
are still relevant. First, Our
goodwill for the dead is
seldom adequately supported
by solid Catholic doctrine; we
find ourselves at a loss, not
knowing what to say or do.
Second, the booklet will
help deepen our faith and

CBCP Monitor

that launched the


canonization cause of
San Lorenzo Ruiz de
Manila, the UST said.
Among his best
known works is the
2-volume A History of
the University of Santo
Tomas: Four Centuries
of Higher Education in
the Philippines, which
received the 2014 Gintong
Aklat Award.
In recognition of his
extraordinary service to
the Church, then Pope
John Paul II awarded him
the Cross Pro Ecclesia et
Pontifice. (CBCPNews)

Lack of atmosphere of
prayer
On the other hand, it has
been observed that many have
forgotten the true meaning of
these commemorations as
seen in the general lack of
atmosphere of prayer in the
cemeteries or during wakes.
Oftentimes, these
gatherings turn into mere
reunions, or worse, into
gambling or drinking sprees.
Spiritual work of mercy
Praying for the dead is
one of the spiritual works
of mercy. From the very
earliest days the Christian
religion has honored with
great respect the memory
of the dead and the Church
offers suffrages for them
because it is a holy and a
wholesome thought to pray
for the dead that they may
be loosed from their sins,
explained Belmonte.

Prayers for the Dead is a


material good to have at hand
by priests and lay persons
when visiting wakes or
cemeteries and in celebrating
funerals, death anniversaries,
or All Souls Day, added
Belmonte.
Belmonte is the author of
other best-selling Catholic
books such as Understanding
the Mass, Do You Want to
be Great? (On Humility),
Aba Ginoong Maria, and
The Echo of the Gospel.
He is editor of Faith Seeking
Understanding and coeditor of the Daily Roman
Missal, and of Handbook
of Prayers.
More information on
Prayers for the Dead can
be obtained by contacting
Sinag-Tala Publishers, Inc.
through telephone number
(02) 861-7084 or email stpi@
info.com.ph. (Fr. Mickey
Cardenas/CBCP News)

Br. Jaazeal Tagoy Dineros Jakosalem, OARs art work, Embracing Mercy, which
was presented to Pope Francis at the Sala Clementina, Vatican City after a special
papal audience granted to the Augustinian Recollects who participated in the 55th
General Chapter on Oct. 20.

VATICAN Pope Francis


personally received the
framed artwork Embracing
Mercy from a Filipino
liturgical artist at the Sala
Clementina, Vatican City,
Rome after a special papal
audience granted to the
Augustinian Recollects who
participated in the 55th
General Chapter on Oct. 20.
Br. Jaazeal Tagoy
Dineros Jakosalem, OARs
art work, Embracing
Mercy, which was presented
to Pope Francis at the Sala
Clementina, Vatican City
after a special papal audience
granted to the Augustinian
Recollects who participated
in the 55th General Chapter
on Thursday, Oct. 20. (Credit:
Br. Jaazeal Tagoy Dineros
Jakosalem)
The canvass shows Pope
Francis embracing the
Christ-child, fashioned
after the likeness of Alan
Kurdi, the 3-year old Syrian
refugee who drowned in the
Meditteranean Sea and was
washed ashore along with his
deceased mother and brother.
The photo of Kurdi face down
on a beach went viral last
year, increasing worldwide
attention and concern for the
massive European refugee
crisis.
Beautiful, I like it. Please
pray for me, young man, said
Pope Francis to Embracing
Mercys artist, Brother
Jaazeal Tagoy Dineros
Jakosalem, OAR, upon
receiving the artwork.
According to the Jakosalem,
Embracing Mercy
symbolizes the Churchs
motherly attitude towards
the plight of refugees. Pope
Francis personally lived it, he
said, as his own advocacy. In
the face of the global crisis,
the artist added, the Church

embraces the many faces


of injustice brought about
by poverty, neglect, and the
indifference of rich nations.
In a message intended
for the 2017 World Day
Message of Migrants and
Refugees, Pope Francis said:
I feel compelled to draw
attention to the reality of
child migrants, especially the
ones who are alone. In doing
so, I ask everyone to take
care of the young, who in a
threefold way are defenseless:
they are children, they are
foreigners, and they have no
means to protect themselves.
I ask everyone to help those
who, for various reasons, are
forced to live far from their
homeland and are separated
from their families.
Exactly a month ago, Fr.
Miguel Miro, OAR, Prior
General of the Order of
Augustinian Recollects,
commissioned Jakosalem
to create a work of art to
be given to Pope Francis
on the scheduled special
audience. With the able help
of his art mentee, Melvin
Laas, a Recoletos scholar
studying at the University of
San Jose Recoletos, Cebu
City; they were able to finish
the socially-conscious piece
of art.
Jakosalem has been
mobilizing young people to
participate in community art
projects for some time now.
Embracing Mercy is the
third piece from Jakosalems
artistic team to be presented
to Pope Francis. During his
January 2015 papal visit to
the Philippines, the Holy
Father blessed the pilgrim
art of Jesus of the Poor,
while the Laudato Si icon was
given to him last September
2016. (CBCPNews)

Initiative offers tutoring to public schools slow learners


MANILA--The typical Saturdays
of many CFC Singles for Christ
(CFC-SFC) members of East-B
changed forever once they started
volunteering to tutor selected
students from several public
elementary schools in Antipolo,
Marikina, San Mateo, and
Montalban.
For nearly 3 hours, youth and singles
tutor an estimated 150 grade II to III
students academically categorized
as slow readers, as part of the lay
Catholic community Couples for
Christ (CFC) initiative Cornerstone.
Its hard to measure the fruits
outside the program, but we see to
it that these children will be part of
the community through KFC (Kids
for Christ) after the school year.
[According to] the school, however,

we have feedback from teachers that


some children are getting better not
only academically but has also [have]
improved behavior, shared Ruel
Tenerife program head of Cornerstone
East B, who oversees 5 schools in
Antipolo, Marikina, San Mateo, and
Montalban where Cornerstone is
present.
The Cornerstone experience
is a hybrid immersion program
that calls for a more continuous
commitment, not to mention one
that has its own share of tearjerking revelations, shared Tenerife.
Cornerstone is present all over
the Philippines and benefits some
5, 550 students in 68 schools in
Metro Manila and 117 schools in
the provinces. (Nirvaana Ella
Delacruz/CBCPNews)

Students under the Couples for Christ's Cornerstone


program also receive regular formation from CFC-Youth
for Christ volunteers. PHOTO COURTESY OF RUEL TENERIFE

CBCP Monitor

PASTORAL CONCERNS B1

November 7 - 20, 2016 Vol. 20 No. 28

Forming BECs as agents of communion, participation and mission


Explanation of the logo
The circles of people whose
hands are intertwined symbolize the communion within
the BECs. These communities
are linked together by the outline of the cross which signifies the parish as communion
of communities. It also includes other faith communities and organizations that are
in the parish that - although
trans-parochial in nature- are
called to actively take part

in the life of the parish and


BECs. The outline of the cross
also symbolizes the vertical
and horizontal dimension of
communion - communion
with the Triune God and with
each other. The bread and
chalice at the center symbolize the Eucharist which is the
sacrament and celebration of
this communion. The bible
which is also at the center
symbolizes the Word of God
that is shared and proclaimed

which is the source of faith


and basis of communion and
which nourishes and build
up communion. The sun rays
symbolize the light of Christ
that shines in the life of the
members of parish and these
communities.
The theme: Forming BECs
that are agents of communion, participation and mission is a call to action for all
the members of the parish, the
BECs and the trans-parochial

faith communities and organizations to work together to


build up the BECs where communion is experienced and
that actively participate in the
prophetic mission of evangelization, in sanctification and
liturgical celebration, and in
the mission of social transformation and making the
kingdom of God - a kingdom
of justice, peace, harmony and
freedom - a reality.

Missionary Church, witness


forming BECs as agents of
communion, participation and
mission of mercy
Pastoral exhortation of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines to open the year
2017 as the Year of Parishes, Communion of Communities

Sto. Nio de Taguig Parish. FR. DANIEL ESTACIO

BELOVED people of God:


We welcome the year 2017 in our
novena-years of preparation for the
grateful celebration in 2021 of the five
hundredth anniversary of the first
coming and first receiving among our
people of the Gospel of Christ Jesus and
of His holy Church.
That forthcoming 2021 celebration, recalling the first Mass and first
baptisms in our shores, should be a
new and joyous explosion in our lives
of faith, hope and love throughout
our country. Surely such will be our
response to the free and gracious gift
from the heavenly Father which made
the year 1521, for us Christians first of
all, a memorable and incredibly significant new beginning in our history.
As we began this novena we raised
a banner of hope and renewal for the
Church in our land with the motto,
Live Christ, Share Christ! That is
the firm resolve with which we now
open the Year 2017, and the cry of all
of us, dear brothers and sisters is--Live
Christ, Share Christ!
This cry can rightfully be the motto
for the now-ongoing new evangeliza-

tion in the Philippines, which the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines
already proclaimed in 1991. To that
renewed evangelization we brought
with us all the hopes and dreams of our
people for a truly renewed Christian
society, life and culture based on
the Gospel Beatitudes, suffused with
Christian values of love and peace, of
joy and hospitality, of patience and
justice. Thus also did we resolve that
the Church in our land would become
truly a church of the poor! (from
The Message of the Second Plenary
Council)
Live Christ, Share Christ! As we
open the Year 2017, we pray that God
may grant us abundant grace to make
it a year of fuller fulfillment of that
motto and that hope. 2017 has been
programmed to focus on the parish,
a community of communities. As a
center and fountain of missionary discipleship and zeal for renewed evangelization, a genuine center of constant
missionary outreach. in Evangelii
Gaudium Pope Francis insists that the
parish is not an outdated institution
and can possess great flexibility still,

depending on the openness and missionary creativity of the pastor and the
community. (EG, 28)

Live communion, share


communion
The Church is a mystery of communion. Our communion flows from
the Trinity overflowing into humanity
and sharing a common faith journeying
together for the full unfolding of the
Kingdom of God. This communion,
made possible for us because of the
passion, death and resurrection of
Jesus Christ, always has a double dimensiona vertical communion with
God and a horizontal communion with
our brothers and sisters. The Churchs
life of communion is constantly open
to ecumenical and missionary action
because this communion is always in
a state of mission.
The Church in the Philippines is a part
of the communion of Churches which is
the universal Church. We are a part of
the one Church of Christ. In every particular Church the one, holy, catholic
and apostolic Church of Christ is truly
present and active (Christus Dominus,

11). For this reason, the universal Church


cannot be conceived as the sum of the
particular Churches, or as a federation of
particular Churches. Whoever belongs to
one particular Church belongs to all the
Churches; since belonging to the Communion, like belonging to the Church, is
never simply particular, but by its very
nature is always universal (cfr. Lumen
Gentium,13).
In celebrating 2017 as the Year of the
Parish as a Communion of Communities we are challenged to more deeply
discern not only the structures of governance of our dioceses and parishes
but also of the quality of faith life in the
parish, the fellowship, belongingness,
and participation experienced by its
members. In brief, our focus will be the
building of a parish that is truly a faith
community immersed in the lives of
its people. (CBCP Pastoral Letter Live
Christ Share Christ, 2012)
In the Philippines our vision of the
Church as communion is today finding
expression in one ecclesial movement
that is the movement to foster Basic
Ecclesial Communities (PCP II, 137).
Usually emerging at the grassroots,

Basic Ecclesial Communities consciously strive to integrate their faith and their
daily life. They are guided and encouraged by regular catechesis. Poverty and
their faith urge their members towards
solidarity with one another, action for
justice, and towards a vibrant celebration of life in the liturgy. (PCP II, 139).
How can we work at renewing our
parish communities so that they can
better respond to the challenge of restoring all things in Christ?

Celebrate communion, listen to


the Mother
2017 is the also the centennial year
of the apparition of Our Lady to three
children in Fatima. At Fatima, Our
Lady asked her children to return to
Jesus by the three fold paths of prayer,
daily Communion and reparation. The
message of Fatima still rings clearly and
strongly for us. If we dream of Church
renewal, let us return to prayer, let us
receive her Son in Holy Communion
and let us offer reparation for our sin.
As we pursue the dream to make
every parish community a family of

Parish / B7

B2 PASTORAL CONCERNS

November 7 - 20, 2016 Vol. 20 No. 28

CBCP Monitor

New norms on cremation


By Fr. Jaime B. Achacoso, J.C.D.
LAST 15 August 2016, Solemnity
of the Assumption of the Blessed
Virgin Mary, the Congregation for
the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) published a new Instructionentitled
Ad resurgendum cum Christo
(To rise with Christ)regarding the burial of the deceased and
the conservation of the ashes in
the case of cremation. With the
proximity of All Souls Day, which
in the Philippines is observed with
extraordinary attention steeped in
tradition, the document obviously
caused quite a bit of attention, even
in the mass media. What novelty has
it introduced?

The previous legislation was


against cremation
The old Code of Canon Law of
1917 (also called the Pio-Benedictine Code, in honor of the two Popes
directly involved in its redaction and
promulgation) expressly prohibited
the practice of cremation of cadavers, denying ecclesiastical funeral
to those who have been cremated
or who had willed themselves to
be cremated. Other documents of
the Holy See of the epoch provided
the same thing.1 This was based on
a long-standing tradition from the
early days of Christianity whereby
the cremation of cadavers was
considered anti-Christian (in fact it
was really a pagan practice), while
inhumation (or burial in the earth)
was deemed as the normal Christian
practice.
The reason for this Christian
tradition in favor of burial stems
from the latters strong religious
symbolism. The paschal meaning of
Christian deathfaith in the resurrection of the body: that one day all
the saints will rise from the dead
for eternal glory, as Jesus Christ
has risen from the deadis better
expressed with the burial of the
cadaver.2 On the other hand, there
are very numerous Old Testament
texts showing the practice of burial
of the dead (cf. Gen 23,9-20; Jos
24,32-33; Tob 1,18), and the same
is true in the New Testament (cf.
Lk 7,12; Jn 19,40-42; Acts 8,12).
Finally, burying the deadit was
arguedfollows the example of
Christs own will to be buried.3
With the Instruction Piam et

Constantem of 5 July 1963, the then


Holy Office (precursor of the CDF)
established that all necessary measures must be taken to preserve the
practice of reverently burying the
faithful departed, adding however
that cremation is not opposed per
se to the Christian religion and that
no longer should the sacraments
and funeral rites be denied to those
who have asked that they be cremated, under the condition that this
choice has not been made through
a denial of Christian dogmas, the
animosity of a secret society, or hatred of the Catholic religion and the
Church. Later this change in ecclesiastical discipline was incorporated
into the Code of Canon Law (1983)
and the Code of Canons of Oriental
Churches (1990).

[cremation] has been chosen for


reasons which are contrary to Christian teaching. The full breadth of
this limitation can be gleaned from
the 1963 Instruction of the Holy
Office mentioned above, which first
allowed cremation, provided the
reason for choosing it did not stem
from a denial of Christian dogmas,
the animosity of a secret society, or
hatred of the Catholic religion and
the Church. In this case, Canon
Law expressly prohibits ecclesiasitical funeral, as stated in c.1184, 1:
Unless they have given some sign
of repentance before their death,
the following are to be deprived of

2. When cremation is held after


the funeral Mass, the rite of final
commendation and committal concludes the Mass. While cremation
is taking place (a process that may
take several hours), the family and
friends of the deceased are encouraged to gather in prayer. A liturgy
of the Word may be celebrated or
devotional prayers like the holy rosary may be said. After cremation,
the ashes are placed in a worthy urn
and carried reverently to the place
of burial.
3. When cremation precedes
the funeral Mass, the rite of final
commendation and committal may

scattering the ashes in the sea or


from the air is not in keeping with
the Churchs norm regarding the
proper disposal of the remains of
the dead. Likewise the urn should
not be kept permanently at home or
family altar. If there is to be a delay
in the proper disposal of the ashes,
these may be kept temporarily in an
appropriate place.
5. For the sake of reverence for
the remains of the dead, it is recommended that in churches or chapels,
a worthy container be provided in
which the urn is placed during the
liturgical celebration.
6. Columbaria should not be

The present legislation


earnestly recommends
burial...
Can. 1176, 3 of the actual Code of
Canon Law is quite clear:
The Church earnestly recommends that the pious custom of
burying the bodies of the dead be
observed; it does not, however,
forbid cremation unless it has been
chosen for reasons which are contrary to Christian teaching.
As can be seen from the first clause
of c.1176, 3, the practice of burial
(or inhumation) is earnestly recommended, for the reasons previously
mentionedi.e., its religious symbolism, its concordance with Sacred
Scripture and its long practice in the
Christian community.
but Allows Cremation
without any Reticence
As the aforementioned canon
states: [The Church] does not,
however, forbid cremation Thus,
the previous contrary discipline ha
been derogated. Furthermore, the
present Code of Canon Law does not
require any special reason for the
choice of cremation, thereby coming into line with the praxis that is
legally authorized and progressively
more frequent. Such practice, on
the other hand, may be motivated
by varied reasonsof both public
and private nature, of hygiene, of
economics, etc.that have nothing
to do with religion.
The only limitation to this acceptance of cremation is that which is
stated at the end of c.1176, 3: unless

An urn containing cremated remains is seen in a niche in the Holy Rood Cemetery mausoleum in Westbury, N.Y., in 2010. GREGORY A. SHEMITZ/CNS

ecclesiastical funeral rites: 2 persons who had chosen the cremation


of their own bodies for reasons opposed to the Christian faith.

CBCP Liturgical Guidelines


on Cremation
Long before the present Instruction, the Episcopal Commission
on Liturgy of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines
(CBCP) had issued Liturgical Guidelines on Cremation, the dispositive
part of which can be summarized in
the following norms:
1. Cremation may take place after
or before the funeral Mass.

be performed in the crematorium


chapel before cremation. After
cremation the funeral Mass may
be celebrated in the presence of the
cremated remains. If funeral Mass is
not celebrated, the funeral liturgy is
held in the presence of the remains.
The rite of final commendation and
committal concludes the Mass or
the funeral liturgy. If the rite has
not taken place before cremation.
Adaptations such as remains in
place of body are made in the
liturgical formularies.
4. The cremated remains should
be buried in a grave, mausoleum
or columbarium. The practice of

constructed in the main body of


the church, but in a separate chapel
adjacent to the church or in a crypt.

So what is new?
At first glancegiven the aforementioned CBCP Guidelines on
Cremationthe present Instruction
does not seem to present much of a
novelty (at least in the Philippine
setting), except perhaps a presentation of the theological reasons for
the earnest recommendation for the
practice of inhumation (instead of
cremation).
However, a closer look reveals
Cremation / B7

(The following is the full text of the Instruction of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Ad
resurgendum cum Christo, regarding the burial of the deceased and the conservation of the ashes in
the case of cremation, published October 25, 2016 and signed by Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Mller
and Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, respectively prefect and secretary of the dicastery.)

Instruction Ad resurgendum cum Christo regarding the burial of the deceased and
the conservation of the ashes in the case of cremation, 25.10.2016
1. To rise with Christ, we must
die with Christ: we must be
away from the body and at
home with the Lord. With the
Instruction Piam et Constantem of 5 July 1963, the then
Holy Office established that all
necessary measures must be
taken to preserve the practice
of reverently burying the faithful departed, adding however
that cremation is not opposed
per se to the Christian religion
and that no longer should the
sacraments and funeral rites be
denied to those who have asked
that they be cremated, under
the condition that this choice
has not been made through a
denial of Christian dogmas, the
animosity of a secret society, or
hatred of the Catholic religion
and the Church. Later this
change in ecclesiastical discipline was incorporated into the
Code of Canon Law (1983) and
the Code of Canons of Oriental
Churches (1990).
During the intervening years,
the practice of cremation has
notably increased in many
countries, but simultaneously new ideas contrary to
the Churchs faith have also
become widespread. Having
consulted the Congregation
for Divine Worship and the
Discipline of the Sacraments,
the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts and numerous
Episcopal Conferences and
Synods of Bishops of the Oriental Churches, the Congregation

for the Doctrine of the Faith has


deemed opportune the publication of a new Instruction, with
the intention of underlining the
doctrinal and pastoral reasons
for the preference of the burial
of the remains of the faithful
and to set out norms pertaining
to the conservation of ashes in
the case of cremation.
2. The resurrection of Jesus
is the culminating truth of the
Christian faith, preached as an
essential part of the Paschal
Mystery from the very beginnings of Christianity: For I
handed on to you as of first importance what I also received:
that Christ died for our sins in
accordance with the scriptures;
that he was buried; that he was
raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures; that
he appeared to Cephas, then to
the Twelve.
Through his death and resurrection, Christ freed us from
sin and gave us access to a
new life, so that as Christ was
raised from the dead by the
glory of the Father, we too
might walk in newness of life.
Furthermore, the risen Christ
is the principle and source of
our future resurrection: Christ
has been raised from the dead,
the first fruits of those who
have fallen asleep [] For as in
Adam all die, so also in Christ
shall all be made alive.
It is true that Christ will raise
us up on the last day; but it is
also true that, in a certain way,

Cardinal Gerhard Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, speaks
at a Vatican news conference Oct. 25. Cardinal Muller said that while the Catholic
Church continues to prefer burial in the ground, it accepts cremation as an option, but
forbids the scattering of ashes or keeping cremated remains at home. PAUL HARING/CNS

we have already risen with


Christ. In Baptism, actually, we
are immersed in the death and
resurrection of Christ and sacramentally assimilated to him:
You were buried with him in
baptism, in which you were also
raised with him through faith in
the power of God, who raised
him from the dead. United
with Christ by Baptism, we
already truly participate in the
life of the risen Christ.
Because of Christ, Christian
death has a positive meaning.
The Christian vision of death
receives privileged expression
in the liturgy of the Church:
Indeed for your faithful, Lord,
life is changed not ended, and,
when this earthly dwelling
turns to dust, an eternal dwelling is made ready for them in
heaven. By death the soul is
separated from the body, but in
the resurrection God will give
incorruptible life to our body,
transformed by reunion with
our soul. In our own day also,
the Church is called to proclaim
her faith in the resurrection:
The confidence of Christians
is the resurrection of the dead;
believing this we live.
3. Following the most ancient
Christian tradition, the Church
insistently recommends that
the bodies of the deceased be
buried in cemeteries or other
sacred places.
In memory of the death,
burial and resurrection of the
Lord, the mystery that illu-

mines the Christian meaning


of death, burial is above all the
most fitting way to express faith
and hope in the resurrection of
the body.
The Church who, as Mother,
has accompanied the Christian
during his earthly pilgrimage,
offers to the Father, in Christ,
the child of her grace, and she
commits to the earth, in hope,
the seed of the body that will
rise in glory.
By burying the bodies of the
faithful, the Church confirms
her faith in the resurrection of
the body, and intends to show
the great dignity of the human
body as an integral part of the
human person whose body
forms part of their identity.
She cannot, therefore, condone attitudes or permit rites
that involve erroneous ideas
about death, such as considering death as the definitive
annihilation of the person, or
the moment of fusion with
Mother Nature or the universe,
or as a stage in the cycle of regeneration, or as the definitive
liberation from the prison of
the body.
Furthermore, burial in a
cemetery or another sacred
place adequately corresponds
to the piety and respect owed
to the bodies of the faithful
departed who through Baptism
have become temples of the
Holy Spirit and in which as
instruments and vessels the

Instruction / B7

CBCP Monitor

FEATURES B3

November 7 - 20, 2016 Vol. 20 No. 28

Communion of communities:
Ecclesiological perspective
By Fr. Amado L. Picardal, CSsR, STD
2017- Parish as Communion of
Communities: In this year we will
discern the quality of faith life in
the parish, the fellowship, belongingness, and participation experienced by its members. Efforts will
be focused on making the parish
a communion of communities,
a communion of Basic Ecclesial
Communities and of covenanted
faith-communities and ecclesial
movements. All these various communities should be thus integrated
into the life and mission of the parish
so that the parish will be truly be a
faith community immersed in the
lives of its people.

Etymology of communion
Koinonia
Communion is a translation of
the original Greek koinonia which
has several connotations: Union,
unity; Fellowship; Community;
Friendship; Sharing; Participation;
Partnership;
Koinonia in Sacred Scripture
In the New Testament, there are
several texts that refer to the theme
of koinonia. Among these are the
following: John 17:20-24 they
may be one, as we are one; 1 Cor 12:
Body of Christ; 2 Cor 13/Phil 2:1
Communion of the Holy Spirit; Acts
2:42-46, 4:32-35 life of the early
Jerusalem community.
In these texts, Koinonia has both
vertical and horizontal dimension:
communion with the divine and
communion among the believers.

newal of the Church in the spirit of


Vatican II depends to great extent
on the authentic deepening of faith
in the Church as community whose
essential bonds that of communion.
(Sources of Renewal)
Ecclesial Communion is also
manifested among the bishopsin
relation to each other and in relation
to the pope. This is referred to as
hierarchical communion: In order
that the episcopate itself, however,
might be one and undivided he put
Peter as the head of the apostles, and
in him he set up a lasting and visible
source and foundation of the unity
both of faith and of communion.
(LG 18)
This hierarchical communion is
associated with collegiality. It refers
to the bond of unity that links the
bishop with the college of bishops
and with the Roman Pontiff (LG
22). This aspect of communion
affirms the vision of the Church as
communion of local and particular
Churches.

The ecclesiology of communion in PCP II


The vision of the Church as communion is a constitutive dimension
of the vision of the renewed Church:
The Church as Community of Disciples; Living in Communion; Participating in the Mission of Christ;
as Priestly, Prophetic and Kingly
People; And as Church of the Poor.
This finds expression in BECs
How does PCP II view commu-

the three-fold prophetic, priestly


and kingly mission. Thus, as communion/community the leaders
and members of the Church actively
participate in Christs mission as
prophet, priest and king. Participation in decision-making, planning,
implementation and evaluation
should focus on this three-fold mission: Propheticevangelization,
catechesis, gospel sharing, denunciation of social evil; Priestlyworship, liturgy; Kinglycharity, social
action.

Communion of communions:
Levels of communion
The Church is a communion of
communionsa community of communities. There are various levels
of communion: Communion of
local Churches (universal, regional,
national); Communion of parish
communities (within the diocese);
Communion of BECs and other faith
communities (within the parish);
Communion of families/domestic
churches (BECs, neighborhood and
family groupings)
Communion among particular Churches
The universal Church is regarded
as a communion of communionsa
communion of local and particular
Churches: Communion requires
that the particular Churches remain
open to one another and collaborate
with one another, so that in their
diversity they may preserve and

continues to be the customary place


where the faithful grow in holiness,
to participate in the mission of the
Church and to live out ecclesial communion. PCP II 598.
A parish should be a dynamic
Eucharistic and evangelizing community of communities, a center
that energizes movements, Basic
Ecclesial Communities and other apostolic groups and in turn nourished
by them. Pastors therefore should
have to devise new and effective
ways of shepherding the faithful,
so that the faithful will feel part of
the parish family where each one is
important, each one is needed, each
one served and called to serve PCP
II 600-601.
St. John Paul II likewise affirms
the vision of the parish as the locus
of ecclesial communion and participation in mission made possible
through pastoral planning: The
parish remains the ordinary place
where the faithful gather to grow in
faith, to live the mystery of ecclesial
communion and to take part in the
Churchs mission Pastoral planning with the lay faithful should be
a normal feature of all parishes.
(Ecclesia in Asia 25).
In his exhortation to bishops, St.
John Paul II recommends this can be
made possible by setting of up Basic
Ecclesial Communities: One practical way of sub-dividing parishes in
certain regions is through the establishment of what are called basic
ecclesial communitiesgroups of

The priest should promote this


ecclesial communion within families
(the domestic church) within the
BECs regarded as communion of
families and family groupings and
between BECs (zones, district, and
parochial levels). Communion requires that the priest is united to his
flock. He develops closer relationship with the members of the parish
community and BECs. This requires
knowing them, becoming close to
them, spending more time with
them and developing friendship with
them. Having table-fellowship with
them can be an expression of and a
means for deepening communion.
The Eucharist becomes a meaningful celebration of this communion.
The priest must also promote communion among the members of LOMAS (lay organizations, movements
and associations) and the BECs, and
encourage their members to actively
participate in their respective BECs.
Thus, as servant of communion,
the priest has the responsibility to
unite and coordinate all the various
communities and groups within the
parish the BECs, the faith-communities and LOMAs, the youth, etc.
Thus, when viewing the parish
as communion of communities the
primary reference point is the BECs
the parish as communion of BECs.
The BECs are the basic pastoral unit
of the parish they are an organic
part of the parish, subject to the
authority and pastoral care of their
pastors. There are also trans-paro-

Christians who gather together to


assist each other in the spiritual life
and in Christian formation and to
discuss shared human and ecclesial
problems related to their common
goal. Such communities have given
proof of efficacious evangelizing,
above all in parishes in rustic or rural
settings. It is important, however, to
avoid every temptation to become
isolated from ecclesial communion
or ideologically exploited. JP II,
Apostolorum Successores 215
Likewise, Pope Francis views the
parish as community of communities and environment of living communion and participation, although
it is a dream and still to be realized
in many parishes: The parish encourages and trains its members to
be evangelizers. It is a community of
communities, a sanctuary where the
thirsty come to drink in the midst of
their journey,and a center of missionary outreach. We must admit
that the call to review and renew
our parishes has not yet sufficed to
bring them nearer to the people to
make them environments of living
communion and participation, and
to make them completely mission
oriented. (EG 28)
The role of the priest vis--vis the
vision of the Church as communion
and the parish as communion of
communities is clear: In union
with the bishop and closely related
to the presbyterium he builds up the
unity of the Church community in
the harmony of diverse vocations,
charisms and services. The ecclesiology of communion becomes decisive
for understanding the identity of the
priest, his essential dignity, and his
vocation among the people of God
PDV 12

chial faith communities or covenant


communities and LOMAs that are
in the parish and whose members
belong to the parish. They need to
align their activities with the pastoral thrust and priorities of the parish
and be actively involved in BECs.

Dimensions of communion
An analysis of the description of
Koinonia in Acts 2:42-47 and 4:3235, would show that communion
has four dimensions that are interrelated: Communion of Mind and
Heart (community, solidarity, fellowship, friendship); Communion
of the Word/Faith (apostolic teachings), Unity in Faith; Communion
of the Table (Table-Fellowship,
Eucharist); Communion of Goods
(sharing of material/spiritual resources, stewardship)collection in
liturgykoinonia
Communion is to be lived and
expressed within communities and
between communitiesat the local,
regional, universal levels.
Up to the middle of the first millennium, the dominant model of the
Church was that of the Church as
communion. This model was later
deemphasized with the dominant
model of the Church as institution.
This was retrieved by Vatican II.
Communion in Vatican II
The dominant image of the Church
in Vatican II is that of communion. It
is linked with the Church as People
of God.
General heading of ch 1 Lumen
Gentium: the Mystery of the Church.
Church is regarded as the sacrament
of communion: since the Church, is
in the nature of sacramenta sign
and instrument, that is, of communion with God and of unity among
all men. (LG 1)
It is grounded on the Holy Trinity.
Echoing St. Cyprian, Vatican II views
the Church as a people made one
from the unity of the Father, the Son
and the Holy Spirit (LG 4). Thus,
Ecclesial Communion is a reflection
of Trinitarian Communion.
The Church is the moon that reflects the light from the Sun (Trinity).The loving union (perichoresis)
of the Father, Son and the Holy
Spirit is the model and goal of Ecclesial Communion.
Vatican II links communion with
the people of God: Hence the messianic people, although it does not
actually include all men, and at times
may appear as a small flock, is, however, a most sure seed of unity, hope
and salvation for the whole human
race. Established as a communion of
life, love and truth, it is taken up by
him also as the instrument for the
salvation of all; as the light of the
world and the salt of the earth (cf
Mt 5:13-16) it is sent into the whole
world. (LG 9)
In a commentary written before
he was elected pope, Karol Wojtyla
explains how communion is intimate related the Church as People
of God: Communion is the link
binding together the community of
the People of God. Thus it appears
that internal development and re-

ROY LAGARDE

nion? PCP II echoes both Vatican


II and the Acts of the Apostles: In
community a Christian grows in
faith. We are called as individuals,
and each one must give a personal
response. But Christ calls us to form
a Christian community. He wants
the Church to be a communion of
life, love and truth (LG 9) a community of faith, hope and charity
(LG 8). The first disciples expressed
this in their own lives. They formed
a community in which they devoted
themselves to the teaching of the
apostles and to the communal life,
to the breaking of the bread and to
the prayers (Acts 2:42). They were
one heart and mind and shared
even the things they owned so that
no one among them was in want
(Acts 4:32-35). (PCP II 89-90).
Communion includes the following: Unity in Diversity; Equality in
Dignity; Mutual sharing and interaction; Sharing of material/spiritual
goods, human resources, etc.
The ecclesiology of communion is
linked with the idea of participation
and mission.
Participation is a very important
aspect of the Church as communionIn the Philippines, participation largely means enabling the laity
to participate more fully in the life
of the Church and in its task of mission. (PCP II 98-99).
The link between communion and
mission is further emphasized when
PCP II asserts that the Church is a
communion in a state of mission.
Participation in Mission as Communion does not simply mean that
everyonefrom hierarchy to laity
- participate in decision making
process or in governance. Participation is linked to Missionespecially

clearly manifest the bond of communion with the universal Church.


Communion calls for mutual understanding and a coordinated approach to mission, without prejudice
to the autonomy and rights of the
Churches according to their respective theological, liturgical and spiritual traditions.
(John Paul
II Ecclesia in Asia 26)
There are other expressions of
communion among local and particular churches such as the synod
of bishops, the conference of episcopal conference of bishops (CELAM
in Latin America and FABC in Asia).

The diocese as locus of communion


If the universal Church is a communion of particular Churches,
so also each particular Church is a
communion of parish communities:
Each particular Church must be
grounded in the witness of ecclesial
communion which constitutes its
very nature as Church. It is primarily in the Diocese that the vision of
a communion of communities can
be actualized in the midst of the
complex social, political, religious,
cultural & economic realities of
Asia. (EA 25).
The parish as communion of
communities
PCP II regards the parish as the
customary place for the living out of
ecclesial communion: The second
community that needs renewal but
is at the same time a very important
means and venue of Church renewal
is the parish. It is here that the full
ministry and life of the Church is
experienced by the faithful in a regular basis. In the diocese the parish

BECs as locus of communion


In referring to the parish as communion of communities the primary reference is to the BECs although not exclusively. The BECs
are local communities of Catholic
Christians at the neighborhood
and villages within the parish. The
members are close to one another
and relate to each other as friends,
brothers and sisters in the Lord.
They gather regularly to share the
Word of God and live it in their daily
life, to pray and celebrate their faith.
They share their resources and find
ways to help and serve one another
and those who are poor and address
their problems.
They are known by many local
names (GKK, GSK, MSK, Gimong,
SISA, etc.). There are various forms
and shapes: Chapel-centered communities 40 to 100 families; Chapel-centered communities with family groupings or cells (composed of
7-15 families per FG); Family groupings/cells without chapels (link all
FGs as one community/BEC)
PCP II recognizes the BECs as expression of the vision on a renewed
Church which includes communion:
Our vision of Church as communion, participation and mission,
Church as Priestly, Prophetic and
kingly people, and as Church of
the Poor, a Church that is renewed,
is today finding expression in one
Communion / B4

B4 PASTORAL CONCERNS

November 7 - 20, 2016 Vol. 20 No. 28

CBCP Monitor

Human dignity is the right of all


By Fr. Shay Cullen
WE are bombarded daily by the news
and images of violence and mayhem.
The bombing of Yemen and Aleppo,
the horrific war in Iraq and Syria,
conflicts in Sudan in Africa and
with the deaths and suffering of migrants and refugees fleeing violence
and war. It gives us urgent reason
to feel the human suffering and to
think and act about our humanity.
What are we as a species that we do
violence to each other?
As a species, are we more animal than human, more violent
than peaceful? Has our intelligence
brought greater, more efficient
means of killing and exterminating
others than building equality and
peace, ending hunger and poverty
of hundreds of millions of people?
It seems we, humans with the big
brains and intelligence, are damaging ourselves and our planet beyond
repair and recovery.
Are we not like a shipload of
humans fighting among ourselves
and causing the ship to sink? The
aggressors tend to demonize their
opponents, to take away their self-

worth and self-respect and deprive


them of their dignity. They do so to
exert superiority over them. Racial
hatred is the result and it is on the
rise in the world today.
The human has evolved as the
most aggressive and destructive
species on the planet to the extent
of one more powerful group in a
community or country striving
hell-bent on dominating or even
exterminating others they dislike
and whom they consider to be
inferior, different or dangerous to
them. When two or more groups
feel threatened by others, they arm
themselves and are ready for aggression or self-defense, violence,
war and retaliation.
Doing nothing is to forfeit our
rights and dignity. We are in this
planet together and we must work
together to live in peace and harmony with equality and justice.
Dialogue, discussion, talking over
differences, getting to know and
understand those who are different
from us in race, religion and economic status can bridge the gap. It is
when we engage and look each other
face to face and listen to each other

and protected from those who would


deny them. Thats why awareness of
these rights and dignity is essential
to defend and promote them and
that is to promote peaceful living
together in cooperation and mutual
respect. The most successful nations are built on the respect and
adherence to the rule of law that establishes and defends human rights
and dignity.
These rights declared by the United Nations in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and specified
in various international conventions
are the bedrock upon which people
of the world are supposed to live
lives of dignity and harmony with
justice and equality.
They are also at the heart of Catholic Social Teaching, which traces as
its source of wisdom and enlightenment the faith and belief in a loving
greater power that exists within and
beyond the physical universe and
imbues every creature with value
and worth. It is a belief that every
human being comes to life no matter
their condition, status, race, religion,
disability, rich or poor. They have
equal value and rights that is estab-

lished in the image and likeness of


universal goodness and love.
This is inherent self-value and
worth of every individual and the
recognition that they have equal human dignity that cannot and should
not be taken away from them. From
this universal recognition of human
dignity of each person by all nations
derives all other rights. We ought to
recognize and respect in all others
that which we want to be recognized
and respected in us, too. At the very
least such universal rights, based on
the dignity of each human person,
is a shared strategy for survival and
success. At its highest level it brings
about a well-ordered peaceful and
prosperous, united community
where the dignity of each is respected and protected.
It has to be this recognition of the
dignity, integrity and empowerment
with equality of the human person
that has to be highly valued above
all else. It is not the strongest that
ought to survive at the expense of
the weaker but respect for human
dignity of each person is what will
bring about just, peaceful communities and nations.

Why are priests so maligned?

By Fr. Vidal J. Gornez Jr., SJ


WHY are we priests so viciously maligned? There
never has been a time perhaps
in recent memory that the
Catholic clergy have been so
publicly insulted and vilified.
We have been accused of
many things; our bishops and
leaders are summarily thrown
into the baddest of light. Yes,
the insults and profanities
may not have come totally
undeserved or unprovoked
there must have been some
loose triggers somewhere just
waiting to be pulledbut to
be abused and beaten with
such uncanny rudeness and
unrelenting impunity is way
out of reasonable proportion.
We the clergy are no living
saints on high church pedestals. Even the devoutest
among our flock can count
among their clergy some wayward souls: brother priests
who haved sired children and
lived double lives; prodigal
priests who dip their fingers
into the Sunday collection
box; worldly priests who make
of their sacramental minis-

that there is a chance for peaceful


negotiation and understanding can
be reached.
Troops and weapons are being
sent to Eastern European countries
by North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to counter the threat of
Russia to wage war by proxy as it did
in Crimea and Ukraine. The Russian
leadership feels threatened by the
increasing number of states joining the NATO and intends to assert
itself. Diplomacy and persuasion is
the road to peace.
Violence in a family, a community
or between nations can begin when
some members are considered to
have less rights and dignity than
another. One group will dominate
another and deprive them of freedoms and rights. Motives differ,
some want to exploit and grow rich
on the backs of the poor; others want
to take over the nations natural
wealth. It is the greed and will to
have power over others that drive
the violence in our world.
Peaceful community life and coexistence is possible when the universal human rights of all members
of a group are recognized, cherished

ROY LAGARDE

tries a profitable enterprise;


carnal clerics who prey on
the most vulnerable among
their flockwe indeed come
from the same stock of Adam,
marked by the same mysteri-

ous scourge of Original Sin


like the rest of the human
race.
But we too call God Abba,
Father, just like the ordinary
churchgoer during Sunday

mass. We kneel and pray together before the same Lords


altar. But what keeps us apart
from the rest of the people of
God is that we alone profess
publicly to live a certain way

of life embracing willfully,


though imperfectly the life of
the High Priest Jesus Christ.
We alone spend long years
of priestly formation and
lengthy hours of structured

prayer hoping to be shaped


into the likeness of Christ the
Servant of all. We become
Christs priests, but by the
mercy and grace of God alone.
What have the Catholic
clergy contributed to society?
We are taunted to make an
account. Certainly, we are
not ordained to craft public
policies, but we do have the
acquired wisdom and formed
intellect to discern the good
policies from the bad. We
surely are not missioned to
run manufactories or manage
the nations economy but we
do teach what gainful and decent employment does to the
making of a Christian family.
We too advocate for equitable and inclusive economic
growth as the goal which
comes closer to the purposes
of God. We do not command
government offices, but we do
have the keen sense of justice
and the common good drawn
from learned experience and
from opening our ears to the
various voices in society, as
far as the Spirit of God guides
our steps and vision.
Some quarters say that we
Priests, B5

Communion / B3

ecclesial movement. This is the


movement to foster Basic Ecclesial
Communities. (#137)
They are small communities of
Christians, usually of families who
gather together around the Word of
God and the Eucharist. These communities are united to their pastors
but are ministered to regularly by
lay leaders. The members know each
other by name, and share not only
the Word of God and the Eucharist
but also their concerns both material
and spiritual. They have a strong
sense of belongingness and responsibility for one another. (PCP II 138)
St. John Paul II describes BECs
as part of the effort to decentralize
the parish community and regard
them as expressions and means for
a deeper communion: These are
groups of Christians who, at the
level of the family or in a similarly
restricted setting, come together
for prayer, Scripture reading, catechesis, and discussion of human
and ecclesial problems with a view
to a common commitment. These
communities are a sign of vitality
within the Church, an instrument of
formation and evangelization, and a
solid starting point for a new society
based on a civilization of love.
These communities decentralize and
organize the parish community, to
which they always remain united.
They take root in less privileged and
rural areas, and become a leaven of
Christian life, of care for the poor
and neglected, and of commitment
to the transformation of society.
Within them, the individual Christian experiences community and
therefore senses that he or she is
playing an active role and is encouraged to share in the common task.
Thus, these communities become a
means of evangelization and of the
initial proclamation of the Gospel,
and a source of new ministries.
Because the Church is commu-

nion the new basic communities,


if they truly live in unity with the
Church, are a true expression of
communion a means for the construction of a more profound communion. They are thus cause for
great hope for the life of the Church.
(RM 51)
How can BECs be genuine expression of communion?. The members
experience the bond of unity which is
based on shared faith, celebrated in
the breaking of the bread, concretely
expressed in the sharing of material
goods (Acts 2:42ff).
In the BECs the members know
each other, they have a strong sense
of belonging and responsibility for
one another. They live as brothers and sisters, as community of
friendskapuso, kapamilya, kaibigan and kapitbahay. The Catholic
families are linked to other families
in the neighborhoods and organized
as family groupings or BECs cells.
The neighborhood cells or family
groupings are linked to each other
and comprise the chapel-level or
area level BECs. These BECs are
linked to other BECs.
There are lots of celebration and
table-fellowship in BECswith
simple common meals to fiesta celebration. The celebration of the Eucharist is more meaningful because
it expresses and celebrates the life
of communionof unity, friendship,
sharing and participation among the
members.
The sharing of time, talent and
treasure is an essential expression of
communion. This means practicing
a spirituality of stewardship. This
generates a spirit of volunteerism
(sharing of time and talent). Some
BECs adopt a modified tithing system (sharing of treasure) which is
voluntary by nature. There are also
mutual aid systems and income generating projects designed to help the
members who are needy and even

those who are not members of the


community. Some BECs in the rural
areas have set up communal farms.
Many have organized cooperatives.
Thus, in the BECs the members
express their communion more fully
as they unite and actively participate
in fulfilling their prophetic, priestly
and kingly/servant mission.

Lay organizations, movements and associations (LOMAs) and communion


There are many Catholic organizations, movements and associations in the parish. They co-exists
with BECscompeting with them
at times, collaborating with them
at other times with some of their
members actively involved in BECs.
There are some parishes where the
parish priest think that they should
be considered as BECs or BECized
while others priests think that they
should not be part of the parish.
There is a need to clarify the nature
of LOMAs and their relationship
with BECs and the parish. This is
found in PCP II (608):
They respond to the need of the
lay faithful to belong to a group
supportive of Christian aspirations.
They provide an environment and
support for apostolic endeavors.
Basic Ecclesial Communities do not
necessarily make such associations
superfluous, for these latter usually
have a wider scope of service and
draw their membership from the
whole parish. But such associations
must not degenerate into elitist religious clubs.
They should become schools of
sanctification, and reach out to the
un-churched and the poor. While
they should continue to foster national and international ties with
their mother organizations, their
members should be encouraged to be involved in BECs
and their parochial activities

should be in accord and in coordination with parish pastoral


priorities and programs.
In Ecclesia in Asia St. John Paul
II affirms the role of LOMAs in
building communion: The synod
also recognized the role of renewal
movements in building communion,
in providing opportunities for a
more intimate experience of God
through faith and the sacraments,
and in fostering conversion of life.
It is the responsibility of Pastors to guide, accompany and
encourage these groups so that
they may be well integrated into
the life and mission of the parish and Diocese
Those involved in associations
and movements should offer their
support for the local Church and not
present themselves as alternatives to
Diocesan structures and parish life.
Communion grows stronger
when the local leaders of these
movements work together with
the Pastors in a spirit of charity
for the good of all (EA 25)
What is then the difference between BECs and LOMAs? BECs
and LOMAs have some similarities
but they are not the same. Unlike
BECs which are territorial by nature
and an organic part of the parish
and under the direct authority and
pastoral care of the parish priest/
clergy, LOMAs are trans-parochial
by nature, they are in the parish but
not of the parish, having their own
lines of authority and accountability
beyond the parishat the regional,
national and international levels.
They possess a certain degree of
autonomy from the parish priest and
conduct their internal affairs without
interference from him. Nevertheless,
in so far as they work and operate within the parish, they are still
regulated by the parish priest and
are expected to be integrated in the
life and mission of the parish. Their

members are expected to be actively


involved in their respective BECs,
help in their formation and evangelization and also provide leadership if
needed. This is a concrete expression
of their communion with the parish
and the BECs.
Concluding remarks
The vision of the Church as communion veers away from an institutional and bureaucratic model of the
Church. The Church is experienced
as a community and an extended
family where the members feel at
home, experience a sense of belonging, solidarity and sharing. There are
Filipino cultural values expressed
in local language that are associated with communion: kapuso,
kapamilya, kaibigan, kasama and
kapitbahay. The intimacy, friendship, sharing and participation
can be experienced more intensely
at the local community or BEC
levelamong family groupings, at
the neighborhood and villages. The
sense of belonging and solidarity is
felt at the parish level (the parish as
a network or communion of small
communities), the diocesan level,
and the universal level. Beyond the
level of the local community, what
prevails is the spirit of unity and
solidaritya mystical communion.
The Church indeed is a web of relationships. But, ecclesial communion
is not automatically experienced by
the members of the Church. The
pastoral priority is to form genuine
Christian communities, especially at
the neighborhood and village level,
within the parish where communion
is truly experienced. This is the
primary responsibility of the parish priest as part of his ministry of
pastoral leadership and communion.
Through his efforts, inspired by the
bishop, and with the active participation of lay leaders the parish grows
as a communion of communities.

CBCP Monitor

STATEMENTS B5

November 7 - 20, 2016 Vol. 20 No. 28

Statement on the Supreme Court decision to allow the burial of


former President Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani
WE do not forget!
We are saddened by the
decision of the Supreme
Court to allow the burial of
former President Marcos in
the Libingan ng mga Bayani. We see this as another
step to build the culture
of impunity in the country. Marcos is no hero! He
should not be presented as
one. During Martial Law

he had made many people


suffer by arbitrary torture
and death. He has deprived
many poor people of their
basic needs while his family
and cronies were enriched.
We do not forget this! We
will not allow that this be
forgotten by the future generations in order that the
same strong-hand oppression may not happen again.

Those who do wrong


should be made accountable. First they should admit
the wrong they have done.
Up to now this is not being
recognized by the Marcos
family and his cronies. Then
the victims of human rights
abuses have not been properly compensated for. This
is a matter of justice.
Burying Marcos in the

Libingan ng mga Bayani will


not bring peace and unity to
the country. Peace can only
come if there is justice. Justice demands recognition of
the harm done to the people
and restitution to the victims. We as Church work for
peace and unity that is based
on truth and justice for all,
especially for the poor and
the victims.

We are very sad. The


burial is an insult to the
EDSA spirit. It mocks our
fight to restore democracy. We are puzzled and
hurt and in great grief.
It calls on us for greater
courage to make the full
truth of the dictatorship
known.
Yes, we do not forget and
we will not forget!

From the Catholic Bishops Conference of the


Philippines, November
9, 2016
+SOCRATES B.
VILLEGAS
Archbishop of LingayenDagupan
President, Catholic Bishops Conference of the
Philippines

Be strong in the Lord (Eph 6:10)

Pastoral Letter on the Third Anniversary of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan)


BELOVED People of God:
Grace and peace of our Lord
Jesus Christ!
1. Three years ago Super Typhoon Yolanda hit our area and
many parts of the Visayas region,
bringing horrific destruction on
our homes, livelihood, farms,
churches, chapels, government
facilities, infrastructures, and others. Most of all, many lives were
lost in one terror-stricken sweep.
All of these we cannot and must
not forget.
2. May I congratulate you all
for the courage and sacrifices that
you have shown in our common
efforts to rise from the depths of
such a tragedy. I believe it was our
common faith and trust in God
that gave us all the hope and the
inspiration to live and move on.
3. We pray in a special way for
those who are still in the process of
recovery. And, without diminishing
the memory of their lives, let us
continue to pray for our beloved
dead that they may find peace in
Gods heavenly kingdom.
4. Please allow me to address
the families who are still living in
temporary shelters. In two or three
years your temporary homes need
replacements that are stronger
against any possible emergency.
I am deeply concerned that these
shelters are built mostly of coco
lumber. Seeing how obviously
helpless these shelters are against

must hurdle together:


i. the restoration to normalcy of
our ecological order;
ii. the protection and conservation of our environment;
iii. planting of trees and the
greening of our surroundings;
iv. reuse and recycling of goods
and products;
v. continuing and better use of
renewable energy; and
vi. reduction of energy consumption through austere and simple
lifestyle.

Borongan Bishop Crispin Varquez visits the convent of the Guiuan Parish Church in Eastern Samar that was destroyed during the onslaught of Yolanda, November
21, 2016. ROY LAGARDE

another Yolanda or Ruby, I urge


you to find suitable remedies to
your homes that need them.
5. We all have seen how even foreigners were awed by our resilience
after Yolanda. But we must all acknowledge the fact that our faith in
God has made individuals, families

and communities resilient in the


aftermath of climate change disasters like Yolanda. Therefore, let us
treasure and keep our faith burning.
To do so we must live and share
that faith with others. Resilience
also requires us to build houses and
infrastructures able to stand against

super typhoons, flooding and earthquakes. Equally important, we must


cultivate livelihoods and sources
of income resilient to calamities,
that is, we must be able to support
our families despite acts of nature
beyond our control.
6. There are other challenges we

Conclusion
The third anniversary of Yolanda
cannot lead us to complacency.
It should and must lead us to
watchfulness and preparedness
marked by informed resilience. In
this regard I urge everyone to be
ever attentive to official news and
information sources, such as PAGASA on crucial details as the location, path, strength and projected
effects of typhoons, storm surges
(tidal waves) and other calamities
or emergencies. If there is no substitute to victory in war, neither is
there any substitute to preparedness in any emergency.
May Mary, our Mother, intercede
for our deliverance from all evil.
Yours in the Lord,
+CRISPIN VARQUEZ
Bishop of Borongan

Human dignity is not negotiable or determined


by national laws
(Statement of Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy
See to the United Nations, 71st Session of the UN General Assembly on the elimination of racism,
racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance; November 3, 2016)
MADAM Chair,
Last year marked fifty years
since the adoption of the International Convention on
the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination. At
the time, it was a landmark
adoption, signaling the conviction of the international
community that racism of
any kind cannot be tolerated.
However, as we look at the
world today, especially in the
context of global migration
and displacement, we must
admit that much of the progress on eliminating racism,
racial discrimination, and
xenophobia is in serious risk
of being eroded, sometimes
intentionally.
In this regard, my delegation welcomes the recent
report of the Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights
Council on contemporary
forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and
related intolerance, in which
he outlines in stark detail
the threat that the spread

of extremist political parties, movements and groups


in many parts of the world
pose to the realization of the
peaceful, just and inclusive
societies that the Member
States of the United Nations
have committed themselves
to realizing through the implementation of the 2030
Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New York
Declaration for Refugees and
Migrants.
It is, in particular, a grave
cause for concern that, according to the report, there
has been a marked increase
in the number of racist and
xenophobic incidents of violence, especially in the public
sphere. This resurgence,
in many instances politically motivated, seems to be
driven by fear of the other, in
particular, the fear in front of
our responsibility to care for
the marginalized and vulnerable, for those in desperate
need of our compassion and
solidarity.

This year alone, the United


Nations High Commission
for Refugees (UNHCR) cal-

endar year, the number of


deaths of refugees and migrants crossing the Mediter-

Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Vatican nuncio to the United Nations, speaks at the Holy
Sees Permanent Observer Mission to the U.N. in New York City. GREGORY A. SHEMITZ/
CNS. GREGORY A. SHEMITZ/CNS

culates that, even with still


two months left in the cal-

ranean has already reached a


record high. Despite a signifi-

cant decrease in the number


of people seeking to cross the
Mediterranean to Europe,
the UNHCR reported that
3,740 lives have already been
lost in 2016, just short of the
3,771 reported for the whole
of 2015
Madam Chair, migrant or
resident, human dignity is
not negotiable or determined
by national laws. The human
rights of every individual,
rooted in the innate dignity
of the human person, are inviolable, without distinction.
This is not only a founding
principle of the United Nations Charter and affirmed
in the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights: it is also
enshrined in human experience, and represents an
enduring truth that we must
not only recognize when
convenient but at all times.
As Pope Francis reminds
us, from this perspective,
it is important to view migrants not only on the basis
of their status as regular or

irregular, but above all as


people whose dignity is to
be protected and who are
capable of contributing to
progress and the general
welfare. This is especially the
case when they responsibly
assume their obligations
towards those who receive
them, gratefully respecting
the material and spiritual
heritage of the host country,
obeying its laws and helping
with its needs.
Madam Chair, alarmed by
todays many manifestations
of racial discrimination and
other forms of intolerance,
the whole human family
must reaffirm once more its
common determination to
fight all forms of discrimination and intolerance as
contrary to the dignity and
equality inherent in all human beings, and remain
resolute to adopt all necessary measures to eliminate
them in all their forms and
manifestations.
Thank you, Madam Chair

Priests / B4

priests have no measurable contribution at all to development and


nation-building. We are neither
politicians nor technocrats but
what we are and have, we give. We
administer the sacrament of reconciliation and somehow our words of
absolution in the secrecy of the confessional find their way into the contrite heart of a government official,

potent enough to begin change. We


celebrate the Eucharist and somehow the Real Presence is brought
and shared into homes and public
squares. And wherever Gods presence is experienced, the sad reality
of our countrys present brokenness
and painful division and the lulling
effect of a creeping culture of crime
and violence are exposed. Yes, we

dispense certain truths visible and


measurable only through the weighing scales of faith. So that, the more
conscientious among us, touched by
these truths, are compelled to seek
for the higher liberating truths which
they know not even their most competent and brilliant leaders can give.
We are only priests of Christs
Church. We are only his lowly ser-

vants. Why this targeted contempt


and ruthless shaming on us? But
we can only find our consolation
from the One High Priest who was
maligned first, way before us, who
was falsely and outrageously accused
of expelling demons by the power of
the Prince of Demons but who, just
the same, commanded his followers
to pray for their persecutors.

These are certainly not the best of


times for us priests of God. But we
strive to remain Christs faithful followers despite insult, despite injury,
and despite ourselves. Pray for us
your sinful priests.
(Rev. Fr. Vidal J. Gornez Jr., SJ
is the Parish Priest of the Archdiocesan Shrine of the Most Sacred
Heart of Jesus, Archdiocese of Cebu)

B6 REFLECTIONS

November 7 - 20, 2016 Vol. 20 No. 28

CBCP Monitor

The day of perfect justice

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (C), Luke 21:5-19; November 13, 2016
By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
JERUSALEM was particularly dear
to all the members of the Chosen
People. And in the whole City, the
dearest part of all was the Temple.
This was the pride of every generation; the source of inspiration for every young Israelite;
the most sacred place where
every pious Jew could experience Gods special presence
and favor.
For many generations, the Temple
had been a source of security and
hope, for many thought that the
Lord would never allow His House
to be profaned, and even less to be
destroyed. When Jeremiah dared
to question that certitude, he was
accused of treason and blasphemy
(see Jer 7:3-15.26:2-11), but the
events of history vindicated him:
the whole of Jerusalem, including its
Temple, were razed to the ground by
the Babylonians. (See 2 Kgs 25:9.)
For a time, the people of Judah
learned to put their trust in the living and all-holy God, rather than in

buildings, no matter how majestic


and sacred. They learned that what
matters most in the eyes of God
is the heart of man what he
chooses and what he rejects,
what he treasures and what
he despises.

But soon, they forgot it again.


Their pride blinded them. As
a consequence, they were not able
to recognize the time of the Lords
visitation. They rejected the Messiah of God the terrible crime,
in punishment for which the re-

constructed Temple and the whole


of Jerusalem would be reduced to
rubble and ashes. Jesus foresaw
it with tearful sadness. He wept
over the Holy City. (See Lk
19:41.) He wept over all those
who fail to set their hearts on
the values of Gods Kingdom.
Only those who choose and
treasure God and His will can
count on His protection. They
become His living Temple. No
lasting harm will touch them, for
they belong to Him and He to them.
Even when their earthly Jerusalem what they hold most dear
and sacred on earth is torn down,
they are able to find consolation in
the thought that the enduring
and more splendid Jerusalem
is the one that awaits them
in heaven. That is where they
belong.
Persecutions of many kinds may
strike fiercely those who have
vowed their hearts to Christ. As
long as they do their best to live
up to their commitment, the Lord
will never forsake them. Noth-

ing of what they ARE will be


lost, even when they lose their
physical life. The world may end
(and the world does come to an end
for millions of humans, every day),
but for those who have set their
hearts on loving God and neighbor,
and do what is right, the world of
Gods eternal love will never
come to an end.
Such are the truths and fundamental attitudes that should be
paramount in us when we reflect
on the passing splendor of this
earth, and the inevitable end that
will come for everything that is
temporal, and for everybody.
Reckoning time need not be a
time of terror. It can be it should
be!a time of trust, hope, and
fulfillment. The time of that wonderful face-to-face encounter with the
One that in our earthly days we have
perceived only in a vague manner
from behind the veil of our limitations and suffering. It is up to us
to transform an inevitable end
into the beginning of an endless
fulfillment.

Solemnity of Christ the King


By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
THE title King of the Jews
written on the name board
hanging over the head of the
crucified Jesus was meant to
be a mockery of him and an
insult to the whole Jewish
nationPilates mean revenge
against the religious authorities whose demands he had
been forced to grant!
Yet, in spite of the wrong intention and of all appearances, the title king given to the
Man agonizing on the cross
was absolutely appropriate
and well-deserved, for Christ,
indeed, was and is king. He
was born king before all
ages, the only begotten
Son of the eternal King of
the universe. If anyone on
earth ever deserved the royal
title after God the Father, that
was surely His eternal Son
who became a human being

known by the name Jesus of


Nazareth.
Unlike most earthly rulers,
however, Jesus was not
after the title king. He
never claimed it, and actually
he seemed bent on concealing his royal dignity
under the appearances
of a life lived in poverty
and obedience to family
and religious authorities. Indeed, there were no
signs of kingly pageantry in
the cave of Bethlehem; in his
flight and stay in Egypt as a
child refugee; in his life at
Nazareth, where everybody
knew him as the carpenter
(Mk 6:3) and the son of the
carpenter (Mt 13:55). During his apostolic life, when
at the height of their enthusiasm, the crowds wanted
to proclaim him king, Jesus
simply made himself irretrievable. (See Jn 6:15.) And
when Pilate questioned him

Bishop Pat Alo

ENCOUNTERS
Beyond
appearances
TO truly live the faith is to be strongly rooted in the
love of God, over and above obeying His law and
following external observances. As we live out our
faith, we must be careful that it is not reduced to mere
external expressions or appearances. Jesus warned
His disciples against the hypocrisy of the Pharisees:
So then, you Pharisees, you clean the outside of the
cup and the dish, but inside yourselves you are full
of greed and evilA curse is on you, teachers of the
Law, for you have taken the key of knowledge. You
yourselves have not entered, and you prevented others from entering (Lk. 11:39; 52).
Where the law of appearances matters more than
reality, it becomes easy to confuse the priorities. Or
where people obey all rules and attend Mass regularly, they may think this suffices for the standard
of goodness. While the external observances are
good, they are not the sole measure of ones goodness, especially if the underlying motive is pride or
vanity, or to pretend to be what one is not. A saying goes, Better to be than to impress. God looks
at the inner motive to please Him above self in the
service of others, especially those in need. Thus the
caution of Jesus to beware of the self-righteous path
of the Pharisees.
The path of Jesus in self-sacrifice for others leads
to self-purification and inner freedom. When one is
preoccupied with impressing or surpassing others,
one forgets the real source of any power or talent and
to whom all glory belongs. The way to the kingdom
goes beyond superficial appearances and points to
an inner journey of the heart with Jesus, praying,
reflecting, and discerning Gods will in our sinful
lives. Let us listen to St. Pauls plea: I plead with
you as a prisoner of the Lord, to live a life worthy of
the calling you have received, with perfect humility,
meekness, and patience, bearing with one another lovingly (Eph. 4:1). As we go about our works of charity
and mercy, may the external activity further deepen
our quest for God and communion with His loving
will. May God strengthen you inwardly through the
workings of His Spirit... so that you may attain to the
fullness of God himself (Eph. 3:16;18).

about his kingship, Jesus


answer was so evasive, that
the Procurator himself could
not find in it any ground for
the charge of conspiracy or
insurgency.
Though in his earthly life
Jesus refused to be called
king and avoided appearing
like one, he did exercise his
kingly power to subdue
Satan, the great enemy
of his Kingdom. (See, for
instance, Mk 1:23-27 and
9:25-26.) And, just a short
while before he breathed his
last, he granted entry into
his heavenly kingdom to the
repentant criminal, the only
one on Calvary who made an
explicit profession of faith in
his kingly role. (See todays
Gospel passage.)
Jesus kingship is not like
the dominions of this world,
limited to one nation, perishable, and to be defended by
armies His kingdom is

universal and eternal. Its


power shares in the omnipotence of God, but allegiance
to it depends totally on the
freedom of every individual.
Membership in Christs
kingdom depends solely
on faith and the keeping
of the rule of love. Only
those who love and trust him
can belong to his reign. That
is why the seat of his kingship is the heart of any
human being who loves
and obeys him.
The reign of Christ will
reach its full manifestation
at the end of the world, in
the new age when all will be
subjected to the Son and he
will hand over the Kingdom
to God the Father. . . so that
God may be all in all (1 Cor
15:24.28). Blessed will
be those who have acclaimed Christ, in words
and deeds, as their king
already in this life.

Jesus Leadership as a Scathing Critique of


Leadership in Churches and in the World
Homily on the Solemnity of Christ the King
Luke 23:35-43, November 20, 2016
By Msgr. Lope C. Robredillo, SThD
TWO decades ago or thereabouts, I read a
book entitled Night, written by a Hungarian Jewwas it a certain Wiesel?about
the execution of three men by the Gestapo
in front of thousands of spectators in a
Nazi concentration camp (in Auschwitz?
Buchenwald?). The three were mounted
onto the chairs, and when the nooses
were placed on their necks, two of them
shouted, Long live freedom! while the
third, a child, simply kept silent. Then
someone from among the crowd commented, Where is God? presumably asking why such a cruel fate should befall on
the threesome. At a given signal from the
head of the camp, the chairs tipped over,
and in a jiffy, two of them were dead. The
small boy, however, was still alive, and for
about an hour, he hung there, suspended
between heaven and earth, suffering the
agony of dying slowly. Then, the same
man from the crowd, who probably could
not comprehend why such a child should
suffer agony, asked again, Where is God?
Then in answer to the question, a voice was
heard, Where is God? There he ishanging on the gal-lows.
That one sees God in a condemned child
hanging on the gallows, that is something
concealed from the eyes of many, for one
does not normally associated God with
de-feat, or condemnation in the hands of
sinful men. Our image of God is one who
is always triumphant, always in control
of everything, and ever above human
contin-gency and suffering. The same
may be said of Kingship. In our common under-standing, a reigning king is
always associated with absolute authority
and power. A ruling king who acts like a
slave, is treated as a slave, who is in fact a
slavethat is something beyond imagination. But that precisely what Jesus is: a
servant-king. It is therefore understandable that, in todays Gospel (Luke 35-43),

the Jews could not believe in the kingship


of Christ. If anything, he was, in their perception, exactly the opposite. That is why
the leaders mocked him; if he were a king,
they thought, God would not have allowed
him to die just like that; if he were Gods
anointed, he should have saved himself
(Luke 22:35). The soldiers, too, mocked
him in the same vein, placing an inscription over his head: King of the Jews (v
36). And one of the criminals derided him,

convinced as he was that Jesus could not


have been the Christ for he was powerless;
to prove his messiahship, Jesus should
have saved him-self and the two of them
who shared his fate (v 39).
But Jesus kingship can be perceived
only by those who have faith. Only one
who has faith can see the kingship of Jesus in powerlessness, weakness, pain and
suffer-ing. And precisely because he is a
kinga crucified kingLuke is subtly suggesting that rather trying to understanding
the kingship of Jesus in terms of what we
know from kings who ruled in history, we

have to understand what it really means to


be a king in terms of the kingship of Jesus.
That is to say, the analogue by which we
judge what actions are proper to a king is
none other than Jesus himself. It is the
way Je-sus rules that gives us the standard
and meaning of kingship. Kings stand or
fall on their conformity or non-conformity
with the life of Jesus. Because Jesus is a
king, as the inscription over his head itself
reads, his kingship from the cross is thus a
cri-tique of how secular kings and leaders
must comport themselves.
In todays
Gospel (Luke 23:35-43), Luke focuses on
the declaration of faith by the good thief.
Unlike the bad thief who shared his fate on
the cross, but who uttered blas-phemous
words to Jesus, demanding that the latter
should prove his messiahship by saving
them from the cross, he looked on Jesus
with the eyes of faith. Because of this faith
encounter, he was moved to acknowledge his sinfulness, and appealed to the
compassion of Jesus: Jesus, remember
me when you come into your kingdom
(Luke 23:42). He could make this appeal
because he knew, through the eyes of
faith, that Jesus is the real King who could
grant him salvation. And his hope was not
dis-appointed: Truly I say to you, today,
you will be with me in paradise (Luke
23:43). This recalls the words of Jesus to
Zacchaeus, Today, salvation has come to
this house (Luke 19:9). Both Zacchaeus
and the good thief were notorious and lost,
but, by their faith and by opening their
lives to Jesus, they received salvation. And
because he could dispense salvation to
those who have faith, Jesus is thus a king.
At the same time, Jesus comportment
is actually a scathing critique of leadership, both secular and ecclesiastical. Luke
seems to be saying that now we have a new
paradigm of leadership: to be a leader is
not to subjugate and dominate people or
do them violence, subtle or not; leadership
Poverty / B7

CBCP Monitor

SOCIAL CONCERNS B7

November 7 - 20, 2016 Vol. 20 No. 28

Bahay Kubo: Not just a song but a lifestyle!


By NASSA / Caritas Philippines

Evelyn Duplito of Ajuy in Iloilo happily tends her vegetable garden, which is now her familys daily food source. CARITAS PHILIPPINES

BAHAY Kubo was just an


ordinary folk song until Typhoon Yolanda came and
brought the song to life.
Yolanda survivor Evelyn
Duplito of Barangay Bato Biasong in Ajuy admitted that
life was already difficult even
before the typhoon devastated
parts of Iloilo province. Lack
of food due to poverty was
among her familys day-today problems, which even
worsened when Yolanda
destroyed her home and livelihood. At least in the first few
months, Duplito thought.
Never did she imagined that
the typhoon will be the start
of a better life.
It all started with the song
Bahay Kubo which was
turned into a healthy lifestyle.
Duplito, whose family was
among those chosen to receive
a new shelter from the Jaro
Archdiocesan Social Action
Center, was tasked to plant at

least 17 vegetables mentioned


in the song Bahay Kubo at
her own backyard.
At first, I couldnt understand why we had to plant all
those vegetables, especially
that not all of us have that
much space. But when vegetables started to grow, it became
clear to us. Those vegetables
became our lifesaver during
difficult times, the 56-year
old housewife said.
Duplito also drew inspiration from the very persistent
community organizers of the
social action center. She said
that if not for their constant
guidance especially when
confronted by problems such
as lack of space and soil, she
and her family wouldnt be
reaping the rewards right at
their own table.
We learned that if theres
a will, theres certainly a way.
If we dont have enough space
at our backyard, we can plant
vegetables in containers,
Duplito explained.
Now, Duplito said that she

and her family would just


harvest vegetables from their
garden as part of their daily
meal. She also initiated to
plant other crops including
fruits that were not necessarily mentioned in the song. She
even shared some seeds to her
neighbors, who also started
to grow their own fruit and
vegetable gardens.
Planting at our own backyard does not only save us
money, it is also healthy for
the whole family, she happily exclaimed.
Some say the worst scenario is the ultimate test of
a persons strength which
can either lead in two things:
destroy you or bring out the
best in you.
In this case, Yolanda was
the ultimate test that brought
out the best in typhoon survivors like Evelyn Duplito.
For she did not only receive a
new and improved home, the
typhoon also enabled her to
stand on her own and secure
food for her family.

Parish / B1

families and a communion of communities, let us avail of the message


of Our Lady of Fatima to help us reach
our vision.
In the months of May to October
2017, Catholics all over the world,
led by Pope Francis, will recall and
celebrate the centenary of the six apparitions of Our Blessed Mother to
the three children of Fatima- Lucia
dos Santos and her cousins Francisco Marto and his sister Jacinta.
As we in the Philippines celebrate
our parishes as communion of
communities, we will also turn with
prayer and devotion, deeper reflection and rededication to the Fatima
Message of Our Lady. All these
activities will enable us to learn or
relearn what Fatima was all about;
how important and relevant Fatima
still is for our time, and how we can
and should put into practice what
Fatima asks of us today, so we can
renew and reinvigorate our parishes
in the Philippines.

The relevance of parishes, the


call of Fatima
The present efforts at Church
renewal should center on the parish.
Without parish renewal, the family

and Basic Ecclesial Communities will


not find strong supportive ambience,
and will continue to feel isolated. (PCP
II, #604). In the same vein, it would
be a lost opportunity if the year of the
parish as communion of communities
would ignore the clarion call of Fatima
for prayer, penance and communion.
Pope Benedict XVI took pains to
spell out the fundamental significance
of the Fatima events and of the message
of Our Lady of Fatima. He believes that
the point of Fatima was not directed
only to the emergence of the disastrous
dictatorship of the twentieth century in
Russia and Germany. No, it referred to
a critical moment in history when the
whole power of evil came to a head
not only in and through those godless
regimes but in another way is still at
work today in our time, in the suffering
of the Church and the weakening of the
forces of good and of the work of God
in our world.
If the nation needs healing, the healing will start in our parishes. If the nation needs to crush the forces of evil, it
will start in our parishes. If the nation
needs to strengthen the presence of
God in society, the strengthening of the
parishes is the only way.
Pope Benedict has written, that the

answer to the power of evil in the world


of our time can only come from the
transformation of the heart, through
faith, hope, love; through penance and
conversion. In this sense, the message
of Fatima is precisely not a thing of the
past. The Church continues to suffer
even now there is tribulation. There is
the power which tries to trample down
the faith.
What we beg and pray for is this:
that the power of evil be restrained,
that the energies of good might regain
their vigor. You could say that the
triumphs of God and the triumphs
of Mary are quiet, but they are real
nonetheless, said Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict tells us, then, that the
framework and meaning of the message of Fatima is the struggle of the
work of God in our world today and
the struggle of the life of church and
of Christians, that struggle in our own
time against the massively-spreading,
active forces of evil and sin in todays
world, in our communities and societies, in our own homes, in our own lives.

New wellsprings of prayer and


mercy
Let us move toward some proposals
for a program of action for our par-

ishes and basic ecclesial communities,


a program which flows from the Fatima
message. Pope Paul VI, in his own
summing up of the Fatima message,
defined it as a message of prayer and
penance. So let it be for our parishes!
Our communion of communities needs
a renewed and passionate program of
intense prayer and penance.
Parishes and communities will be
renewed only through personal and
community prayer. Our first mission in
the world is to be a leaven to teach our
society how to pray. Our first duty in
communion is prayer. The prayer of a
shepherd for his sheep is always music
to the ears of God. Prayer is an act of
love. Every prayer whether of praise or
contrition or petition is always a plea
for mercy. Prayer is our parish anchor.
Prayer is our cornerstone. Parishes and
BECs will be renewed as oasis of mercy
through reparation for sins, frequent
confession and acts of mercy.
Parishes and communities will be
renewed by living the Eucharist whom
we receive every day. The Eucharist
is the poverty of Jesus disturbing the
complacency of the wealthy; it is the
wealthy sacrificing house, family, and
fortune to lift up the poor from their
poverty. It is the Word of God inviting

the confused, the lonely, the bored, the


suffering to the joy of the Gospel. It is
Gods life humanized in his incarnation; it is human life divinized in his
suffering, death and resurrection. It is
the compassion of the Father touching
the life of the sinner; the conversion of
the sinner practicing the compassion
of the Savior.
Let us envision parish renewal from
the Immaculate Heart of Mary and
through the means she gave us at
Fatima--prayer and penance intensified in every parish.
From every parish and basic ecclesial
community, let us raise our voices in
prayer Oh my Jesus, forgive us our
sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead
all souls into heavens especially those
in most need of your mercy.
May Our Lady of Fatima whom we
also invoke as Mother of the Church
pray that for us that every parish truly
become oases and wellsprings of renewal and mercy!
From the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, November 27,
2016, First Sunday of Advent
+ SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS
Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan
President, CBCP

Instruction / B2

Spirit has carried out so many


good works.
Tobias, the just, was praised
for the merits he acquired in
the sight of God for having buried the dead, and the Church
considers the burial of dead one
of the corporal works of mercy.
Finally, the burial of the
faithful departed in cemeteries
or other sacred places encourages family members and the
whole Christian community
to pray for and remember the
dead, while at the same time
fostering the veneration of
martyrs and saints.
Through the practice of burying the dead in cemeteries, in
churches or their environs,
Christian tradition has upheld
the relationship between the
living and the dead and has
opposed any tendency to minimize, or relegate to the purely
private sphere, the event of
death and the meaning it has
for Christians.

4. In circumstances when
cremation is chosen because
of sanitary, economic or social
considerations, this choice
must never violate the explicitly-stated or the reasonably inferable wishes of the deceased
faithful. The Church raises no
doctrinal objections to this
practice, since cremation of the
deceaseds body does not affect
his or her soul, nor does it prevent God, in his omnipotence,
from raising up the deceased
body to new life. Thus cremation, in and of itself, objectively
negates neither the Christian
doctrine of the souls immortality nor that of the resurrection
of the body.
The Church continues to
prefer the practice of burying
the bodies of the deceased,
because this shows a greater
esteem towards the deceased.
Nevertheless, cremation is
not prohibited, unless it was
chosen for reasons contrary to

Christian doctrine.
In the absence of motives
contrary to Christian doctrine,
the Church, after the celebration of the funeral rite, accompanies the choice of cremation,
providing the relevant liturgical
and pastoral directives, and
taking particular care to avoid
every form of scandal or the
appearance of religious indifferentism.
5. When, for legitimate motives, cremation of the body
has been chosen, the ashes of
the faithful must be laid to rest
in a sacred place, that is, in a
cemetery or, in certain cases,
in a church or an area, which
has been set aside for this purpose, and so dedicated by the
competent ecclesial authority.
From the earliest times,
Christians have desired that
the faithful departed become
the objects of the Christian
communitys prayers and remembrance. Their tombs have

become places of prayer, remembrance and reflection. The


faithful departed remain part of
the Church who believes in the
communion of all the faithful of
Christ, those who are pilgrims
on earth, the dead who are being purified, and the blessed in
heaven, all together forming
one Church.
The reservation of the ashes
of the departed in a sacred
place ensures that they are not
excluded from the prayers and
remembrance of their family
or the Christian community. It
prevents the faithful departed
from being forgotten, or their
remains from being shown a
lack of respect, which eventuality is possible, most especially once the immediately
subsequent generation has too
passed away. Also it prevents
any unfitting or superstitious
practices.
6. For the reasons given
above, the conservation of

of action cannot be legitimized


by an appeal to the sanitary,
social, or economic motives
that may have occasioned the
choice of cremation.
8. When the deceased notoriously has requested cremation
and the scattering of their
ashes for reasons contrary to
the Christian faith, a Christian
funeral must be denied to that
person according to the norms
of the law.
The Sovereign Pontiff Francis, in the Audience granted
to the undersigned Cardinal
Prefect on 18 March 2016,
approved the present Instruction, adopted in the Ordinary
Session of this Congregation
on 2 March 2016, and ordered
its publication.
Rome, from the Offices of
the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 15 August
2016, the Solemnity of the
Assumption of the Blessed
Virgin Mary.

Cremation / B2

Poverty / B6

is not about the exercise of absolute


author-ity and power: Earthly kings
lord it over their people. Those who
exercise authori-ty over them are
called their benefactors. Yet, it cannot
be that way with you. Let the greater
among you be as the junior; the leader
as the servant (Luke 22:25-26).
Leadership is rather about searching
for the lost and saving them, like the
good thief and Zacchaeus, the lost
sheep, the lost coin, the lost son, the
woman of ill-repute, etc. It is about
forgiveness. It is about service in the
manner of a slave (Luke 22:26). Far
from doing violence, a real leader
allows himself to be derided, or even
crucified for the sake of the lost (Phil
2:11). As can be gleaned from the
2nd Reading (Col 1:12-20), Jesus is
a leader who frees people from the
power of darkness and brings salvation to them by his own death, not by
absolute power or force: He res-cued
us from the power of darkness and
brought us into the kingdom of his
beloved Son. Through him we have

the ashes of the departed in


a domestic residence is not
permitted. Only in grave and
exceptional cases dependent on
cultural conditions of a localized nature, may the Ordinary,
in agreement with the Episcopal Conference or the Synod of
Bishops of the Oriental Churches, concede permission for the
conservation of the ashes of the
departed in a domestic residence. Nonetheless, the ashes
may not be divided among various family members and due
respect must be maintained
regarding the circumstances of
such a conservation.
7. In order that every appearance of pantheism, naturalism or nihilism be avoided,
it is not permitted to scatter
the ashes of the faithful departed in the air, on land, at
sea or in some other way, nor
may they be preserved in mementos, pieces of jewelry or
other objects. These courses

the redemption, the forgiveness of


sins (Col 1:13-14).
Understandably enough, the attitude of the Bible toward human
kingship or leader-ship is ambiguous.
Although there is a tradition that approves of the institution of kingship
over Israel (1 Sam 9:1-10:16; 11), a
different strand of tradition altogether rejects it. Precisely because it
saw how kingship was exercised by
its pagan neigh-bors, Israel rejected
it; in Jothams fable, only a useless
person would accept it (Jdgs 9:8-20).
Historically, of course, Israel had bad
leaders (1 Kgs 16:25-28.30-33), as did
Judah (2 Kgs 16:2-5). An example of
a despotic monarch who was guilty
of apos-tasy and lawlessness was
Manasseh (2 Kgs 21:1-18). That is
why some prophets like Samuel were
not in favor of its institution (2 Sam
8:101-8), and Jeremiah minced no
words in his indictment against Jehoiakim: Your eyes and hearts are
set on nothing except on your own
gain, on shedding innocent blood, on

practicing op-pression and extortion


(Jer 22:11). Of course, Israel looked
on David as an ideal leader, one who
shepherds the people of Israel (2 Sam
5:3, 1st Reading), but that is because
the Jews were of the belief that David
approximates the leader that God
had in mind: He tended them with a
sincere heart, and with skillful hands
he guided them (Ps 78:72).
To be sure, Jesus, who in Luke is
Davids son (Luke 18:38; 20:41), is
the ideal king and leader. More than
David, he is the Leader God had in
mind, because the Spirit of God is
with him; in him all the qualities that
a leader must have reside in him. And
as crucified leader, who gave his life
for the salvation of all, he continues to
be an embodiment of Gods critique
of our present dictators, presidents,
prime ministers, chief executives,
leaders in the Church and powersthat-be who continue to take their
rule in terms of power, privilege and
domination, not in terms of suffering
and servanthood.

a few normative novelties as regards the treatment of the ashes


after cremation, now referred to as
the cremains. If the earlier CBCP
guidelines might have left a tiny
bit of leeway, the following extracts
from the Instruction strictly lay
down the norms, even imposing
a penalty for a contrary behavior,
as follows:
1) The conservation of the ashes
of the departed in a domestic
residence is not permitted. Only
in grave and exceptional cases dependent on cultural conditions of a
localized nature, may the Ordinary,
in agreement with the Episcopal
Conference or the Synod of Bishops
of the Oriental Churches, concede
permission for the conservation
of the ashes of the departed in a
domestic residence. Nonetheless,
the ashes may not be divided among
various family members and due
respect must be maintained regarding the circumstances of such a
conservation (n.6).

2) In order that every appearance


of pantheism, naturalism or nihilism is avoided, it is not permitted
to scatter the ashes of the faithful
departed in the air, on land, at sea
or in some other way, nor may they
be preserved in mementos, pieces
of jewelry or other objects. These
courses of action cannot be legitimized by an appeal to the sanitary,
social, or economic motives that
may have occasioned the choice of
cremation (n.7).
3) When the deceased notoriously
has requested cremation and the
scattering of their ashes for reasons
contrary to the Christian faith, a
Christian funeral must be denied to
that person according to the norms
of the law (n.8).
Footnotes:
1
Cf. Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office
(formerly called the Inquisition and now called
Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith), Decree, 15.XII.1886; Decree, 27.VII.1892; Decree,
19.VI.1926, in AAS 18 (1926), p.282.
2
Cf. I Cor 15:37, 42-44; Catechism of the Catholic
Church, nn.2300, 999 & 1006).
3
Congregation for Divine Worship, Rite of Funerals: Introduction, 15.VIII.1969, n.15.

B8 ENTERTAINMENT

November 7 - 20, 2016 Vol. 20 No. 28

Moral Assessment

CBCP Monitor

Buhay San Miguel

Brothers Matias

Lolo Kiko

Bladimer Usi


Abhorrent

Disturbing
Acceptable
Wholesome

Exemplary
Technical Assessment


Poor
Below average

Average

Above average
E
xcellent

A TEENAGER from Florida,


Jacob (Asa Butterfield) is close
to his grandfather Abe (Terence Stamp) who regales his
grandson with stories of his
own youth spent in the magical
Home for Peculiar Children run
by Miss Peregrine (Eva Green).
When Abe dies, the curious Jacob persuades his father to take
him to Wales to see if the stories
about the Home by the sea are
real. There he finds his grandfathers tales coming aliveMiss
Peregrines Home is indeed
populated by the peculiars,
orphans who possess paranormal qualities. A cute little
girl eats through a monstrous
mouth in her nape, another
has the strength of ten men, a
boy can turn invisible at will,
another boy breathes out bees
like a fire-breathing dragon, etc.
Jacob himself becomes fond
of the teenaged Emma (Ella
Purnell) who without her lead
shoes floats in the air, and soon
he is helping the orphans fight
off Barron (Samuel Jackson)
who hunts down the peculiars
to survive.
With young adults as target
market, Burton presents yet
another mixture of adventure
and fantasy thats loosely lifted
from the Riggs opus with the
blessing of the novelist who
says the movie captures the
essence and tone of his book.
Fantasy fiction translated into
film appeals to moviegoers of
all ages, and when they are as
well conceived and delighful
as this one, its easy to see why
Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children has been one of
the longest-running movies of
late in Metromanila. Besides
being populated by lovable and
relatable children under the
aegis of a divaesque Green, the

story must be a familiar one


as indicated by a huge crowd
that welcomed author Ransom
Riggs at a book signing in March
2013 at Bonifacio High Street.
While the antics of the peculiar children employing their
paranormal powers in fighting
off the baddies satisfy the audiences sense of wonder, Miss
Peregrines Home for Peculiar
Children is not recommended
for young children. The violence may be stylized and hardly
bloody, but some images can

MISS
PEREGRINES
HOME FOR
PECULIAR
CHILDREN

DIRECTOR: Tim Burton


CAST: Asa Butterfield, Eva
Green, Ella Purnell,
Samuel L. Jackson, Chris
ODowd, Terence Stamp,
Finlay MacMillan, Lauren
McCrostie, Judi Dench, Allison Janney, Rupert Everett
RUNNING TIME: 127 mins.
TECHNICAL ASSESSMENT:

MORAL ASSESSMENT:
CINEMA rating: PG 13
MTRCB rating: PG

be disturbing, and the chase


scenes might be too scary for
kids whod rather be entertained
by dancing penguins and adventuresome parrots. Spoiler
coming: even some adults might
find particularly icky that scene
where Barron and his cahoots
are feasting on human eyeballs,
slurping them down whole like
oysters. So, careful which child
to bring along to this movie;
you can always take the younger
kids to see Trolls.

JACK Reacher (Cruise) is back and this time he allies with Major
Susan Turner (Smulders) to help him arrest criminals across
America. He develops fondness for the Major and arranges to
finally meet her and probably date her. But when he arrives in the
camp quarters, he learns the Major has been arrested for treason.
Suspecting foul play, Reacher investigates and outsmarts authorities to break Turner out of prison before henchmen murder her.
Along the way, he is told that a paternity suit has been filed against
him and that he is the father of 15-year-old street smart Samantha
(Yarosh). Thinking Sam is Reachers daughter, a paid assassin
called The Hunter (Heusinger) goes after her, forcing Reacher to
take her along in their quest to uncover the truth. The trio travel
to New Orleans to question the only eyewitness to the case, clear
Turner and Reachers name from the murders they have been
framed for and keep Samantha safe from assassins trying to teach
Reacher a lesson.
British writer Childs Reacher
novels are about the adventures
of an American military-copturned-vigilante who hitchhikes
across his broken country seek- DIRECTION: Edward Zwick
Tom Cruise, Cobi smoling justice that institutions and CAST:
ders, Aldis Hodge, Danika
politicians deny him. How does
Yarosh, Patrick Heusinger
Reacher in the novels compare Screenplay: Richard Wenk,
Edward Zwick, Marshall
with Reacher in the movies?
Herskovitz
What Jack Reacher had in the
Running Time:130 minutes
first movie that viewers fell in TECHNICAL ASSESSMENT:
love with is diluted in this sequel.

For one, Reachers street smart MORAL ASSESSMENT:


analysis and quick wittedness is CINEMA rating: V14
overrated. The action is poorly MTRCB rating: PG
paced and screaming for conciseness. The rawness of his character is replaced with a glossy Hollywood
caricature. The father-son daughter is stretched so thinly it fails to
deliver any authentic connection with the viewers. We do not think
the narrative would have suffered if her subplot was removed, more
so because the Samantha character comes across as annoying. (Is
that the natural outcome for children of an obscure paternity?) The
character development and dialogue are sometimes too clich and
cheesy. Overall, the movie benefits from good performances from
Cruise and Smulders, the clean technical direction, but falls bland
and formulaic. It is not that bad but it is not any good with or without
the predecessor. The title should serve as a subtle warning.
Quest for the truth comes with a cost. You take risks and go the
extra mile just to make sure that the truth is revealed, protected,
and respected. There are many instances in Jack Reacher when
the quest for truth was the motivation of the characters: Reacher
finding out if Sam was his daughter, Turners men investigating the
involvement of a general in arms and opium trade, Turner herself
clearing her name and giving justice to the death of the men, Sam
looking for the connection between herself and Reacher. The quest
for their truths came at a very heavy and disturbing cost.mostly
violence and dead bodies. Could it have been done otherwise? Not
with the chosen narrative flow of the director; not in an amoral
world of espionage and megalomania. It seems that violence was
the framework of the film that Reachers brand of honesty, Turners
patriotic integrity, and even Samanthas street smart instincts gave
way to say that was the only way to stay alive and protect the truth.

JACK REACHER:
NEVER GO BACK

Buhay Parokya

Look for the images of Saint John Paul II,


Saint Lorenzo Ruiz, and Holy Candle.
(Illustration by Bladimer Usi)

THE CROSS

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


CBCP Monitor Vol. 20, No. 28

November 7 - 22, 2016

Columbus Plaza Hotel bags


Golden Globe Annual Awards
THE Columbus Plaza Hotel was
recognized as the Best Business
Hotel Accommodation (General
Santos Awards) by the Golden Globe
Awards for Business Excellence
on September 24, 2016 at the
Manila Hotel Centennial Grand
Ballroom, One Rizal Park, Manila.
The Golden Globe Annual Awards
for Business Excellence (GGAABE)
is a recognition that searches for
companies and brands that exhibit
innovative business practices,
deliver quality products and services,
epitomize customer concern and
engagement, exemplify a reputable
and ethical business image, display
excellent value proposition and
pricing, and serve truthfulness in
business management.
We received a letter last September
24 that we are going to receive an
award. We asked the organizers what
are their basis on giving this award.
They told us that they are looking for
the Columbus Plaza Hotel because of
their third party clients. The organizers
conducted interviews, inquiries from
the past clients and surveys as well.
They [organizers] said that our hotel is
the best in that category based on the
response and feedback, said Mr. Riz
S. Nicolas, Vice President for Finance
and Realty Operations.
Keys Realty and Development
Corporation (KRDC) is one of the
five wholly-owned companies of
the Knights of Columbus Fraternal
Association in the Philippines

Knights of Columbus State Deputies together with Keys Realty and Development Corporation key officers led by KRDC President and KCFAPI Chairman Arsenio
Isidro G. Yap proudly displays the Certificate as the Best Business Hotel Accommodation awarded by Golden Globe Awards for Business Excellence.

(KCFAPI), the insurance arm


of the Knights of Columbus in
the Philippines which manages
Columbus Plaza Hotel. The hotel was
inaugurated on November 28, 2015.
Those people coming to
Columbus Plaza Hotel are for
business purposes, Nicolas cited.
This recognition is conferred by
the Philippines Best Companies.
Com In., Sinag News Magazine,

Sining at Gabay ng Buhay (SINAG)


Foundation Inc., and the National
Data Research Examiner and
Marketing Services (NADREMS)
Inc. It was signed by Dir. Ramon
Juanito Balunes Y. Paras, Chairman
of the Research Committee.
In addition to that, KRDCs
President Arsenio Isidro G. Yap said,
The mission of Columbus Plaza
Hotel is to make the most of your

stay. Whether guests are here for an


important business meeting, wants
to explore the city or reconnect with
old friends, guests will find themselves
surrounded by enthusiastic insiders
who delight in sharing the best of what
General Santos has to offer. It has 29
guest rooms and 10 commercial units
and the place is accessible to both the
provincial and city halls of General
Santos.

The location of the hotel is


strategic. All government regional
offices are located near the hotel.
Although we are not a five start hotel,
but we have our own generator and
elevator in a four-storey building.
Not all hotels in General Santos have
elevators, Yap said.
It offers timeless hospitality
service in the heart of General
Santos City. It is situated in General
Santos, the Tuna Capital of the
Philippines. The Columbus Plaza
hotel boasts easy access to business
entertainment and recreational
options.
Guestrooms are designed to
provide an optimal level of comfort
with welcoming dcor and offers
convenient amenities like internet
access-wifi connection, non-smoking
rooms, air conditioning, hot and cold
shower, electronic door lock, cable
TV and wake up service.
With 29 non-smoking guest
rooms that will definitely give you
complete comfort. Columbus Plaza
is the perfect place for a memorable
time in General Santos City! Room
categories are as follows: single
room, standard room, premium
room and family room.
The Columbus Plaza Hotel is
located exactly at Osmena corner
Champaca Streets, General City with
contact numbers (083) 552-7998 or
552-7990 and cellphone numbers
0977-8053315 or 0926-6226495.
(Yen Ocampo)

K of C Philippines Unites with Local


Government on Linis Kalikasan 2016
AS its continuing response
to the call of Pope Francis in
his encyclical Laudato Si
to take care and protect our
mother home, the Earth and
in commemoration of the
39th Death Anniversary of
Fr. George J. Willmann, the
officers and members of the
Knights of Columbus Luzon
South Jurisdiction again
embarked on its 2nd Coastal
Clean Up project called
Linis Kalikasan 2016.
Held last October 1,
2016 at the Las Pinas
Paranaque Critical Habitat
and EcoTourism Area
(LPPCHEA), two thousand
strong force of Brother Knights
and Columbian Squires from
Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna
and other towns in Southern
Luzon attended the event.
This was spearheaded by
Luzon South State Deputy
and Kompass Credit and
Financing Corporation
President Ramoncito A.
Ocampo together with the

Officer and members of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines - Luzon South
gathered together during its community service called Linis Kalikasan 2016 led by
Luzon South State Deputy Ramoncito A. Ocampo

other State Officers, namely:


State Program Director Elmer
Eroles, State Community
Director Pitt Paradero and
State Ecology Chairman
Willie A. Monzon.
Garbage and thrash
weighing nearly two (2) tons,
consisting mostly of plastic
materials and other nonbiodegradable debris were
collected from the shores
of Freedom Island Bird
Sanctuary at the Manila Bay
Reclamation Areas, whereas
the Environment and Natural
Office from the Municipality

of Paranaque City assisted


the team on proper waste
disposal.
Also gracing the event to
extend their unwavering
support was: Paranaque
Citys Honorable Mayor
Edwin L. Olivares,
Department of Environment
Natural Resources (DENR)
Manila Bay Reclamation
Area OIC/LPCCHEA Carlito
Castaneda, Philippine
Coast Guard Auxillary
and representatives from
International Elevator and
Equipment (IEE).

KC Philippines update

The Knights of Columbus in the Philippines Luzon South State Deputy and Kompass
Credit and Financing Corporations President Ramoncito A. Ocampo (far left)together with
Paranaque City Mayor Edwin L. Olivarez (far right) clean up the shores of Manila Bay.

Visayas Jurisdiction led by State Deputy Anthony P. Nazario together with other State
Officers and KCFAPIs Vice President for FBG Gari M. San Sebastian, held its very first
eastern college council meet at the Philippine Science High School, Eastern Visayas
Campus, Palo, Leyte last October 23, 2016.

Last October 14, 2016 Luzon South Officers handed over Certificates of Recognition to
participating students who have completed the recently conducted seminar workshop
on Cooking and Food Processing program, headed by Luzon South State Deputy
Ramoncito A. Ocampo.

C2

November 7 - 22, 2016 Vol. 20 No. 28

Arsenio Isidro G. Yap

Chairmans Message
DO you believe in a guardian angel?
After all according to many writings
not necessarily of the Faith, guardian
angels have been with us from the very
beginning. But what does it do or what
is the very purpose of its existence? It
is an accepted fact in the Faith that we
are all born with a guardian angel who is
assigned to each of us to guide and protect
us from harm and sin. However, in the
final analysis, its still our choice to heed
the warning or refuse the help of our personal guardian angel.
Even our Lord Jesus Christ confirms the existence of
guardian angels when He admonished his disciples in the
treatment of children saying, See that you despise not one of
these little ones: for I say to you, that their angels in heaven
always see the face of my Father who is in heaven (Mt 18:10,
emphasis added). This statement alone coming from our Lord
Himself not only confirms the very existence of a guardian
angel but defines its very role to each and every one of us.
Very few of us however, realize this or would even bother to
learn about them. Most of us would just consider our guardian
angels a mere pigment of the imagination inculcated in our
minds at an early age to keep us within the confines of our Faith.
Lets go further and try to learn more about these heavenly
beings. Here are some statements, writings and or beliefs
about our guardian angels as stated by the authorities of our
catholic faith.
1. Guardian Angels are with us from the very beginning of life
Saint Thomas Aquinas holds that, from the very moment of
his birth man has an angel guardian appointed to him (Summa
Theologica, I, 113, 5). Even more so, Saint Anselm states that at
the very moment of the union of soul and body God appoints
an angel to watch over him/her. This would mean that during
pregnancy a woman would be surrounded by two guardian
angels. They watch over us from the very beginning and it is up
to us to allow them to fulfill their duties for the rest of our lives.
2. We will NOT become a Guardian Angel when we die
All of the angels in the world were created at one instance at
the very beginning of creation. One theory that we are allowed
to believe is that on the first day when God made light, the
light He made was the angels (Gen. 1:3). This is further
confirmed when God divided the light from the darkness,
referring to the rebellion of the angels led by Lucifer (Gen. 1:4).
This is brought forth by Saint Augustine in City of God: For
when God said, Let there be light, and there was light, if we
are justified in understanding in this light the creation of the
angels, then certainly they were created partakers of the eternal
light which is the unchangeable Wisdom of God, by which all
things were made, and whom we call the only-begotten Son
of God; so that they, being illumined by the Light that created
them, might themselves become light and be called Day, in
participation of that unchangeable Light and Day which is
the Word of God, by whom both themselves and all else were
made. (Book 11, Chapter 9, emphasis added)This makes sense
as the Sun and Moon was not created until the fourth day!
As a result, angels are a separate part of Gods creation and
we do not become an entirely new being when we die. We
remain human and if we are granted the Beatific Vision, we
will be transfigured and receive our resurrected bodies at the
end of time.
3. Guardian Angels communicate to us through thoughts,
images and feelings (on rare occasions with words)
Angels are spiritual beings and do not have bodies. They can
sometimes take the appearance of a body and can even influence
the material world, but by their nature are pure spirits. It then
makes sense that the primary way they communicate to us is
by offering to our intellect thoughts, images or feelings that
we can either accept or reject. It may not be clearly evident
that it is our Guardian Angel communicating to us, but we
may realize that the idea or thought did not come from our
own minds. On rare occasions (like those in the Bible), angels
can take physical appearance and speak with words. This is
not the rule, but the exception to the rule, so dont expect your
Guardian Angel to show up in your room! It may happen, but
it only occurs based on the circumstance.
4. Our Guardian Angels do have names, but those names are
given to them by God
Holy Mother Church has instructed us that the practice of
assigning names to the Holy Angels should be discouraged,
except in the cases of Gabriel, Raphael and Michael whose
names are contained in Holy Scripture. (Congregation of
Divine Worship and the Sacraments, The Directory of Popular
Piety, n. 217, 2001).
The reasoning behind this is that a name contains a certain
amount of authority over another person. If I know your name
I can call you whenever I want and can feel a certain amount of
authority over you. We do not have authority over our Guardian
Angels. They only report to one Commander: God Himself. We
can ask for their assistance or help, but we should not feel like
they are at our beck and call.
The Church then discourages us from naming our Guardian
Angels as we may receive a name, but it may not be divinely
inspired. It could be influenced by the devil or by our own
human thoughts. We have only three names confirmed in
Scripture and so any other name we receive is invalid as it is
hard to confirm if it is from God or from some other source.
5. Guardian Angels can move faster than Superman
According to Saint Thomas Aquinas:[T]he swiftness of
the angels movement is not measured by the quantity of his
power, but according to the determination of his will (Summa
Theologica, I, 53, 3, ad 1)Angels are not bound by a material
body like we are and so they can move super-fast, the speed
of thoughtmuch faster than Superman. So if you ask your
Guardian Angel to help someone else out, they will be back at
your side before you realize.
I believe that with all the statements above, even the most
skeptic would have to believe that he also has his very own
guardian angel, ready and willing to guide and protect him
from harm and sins.

THE CROSS

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

The Cross Editorial Board

Chairman : Mr. Arsenio Isidro G. Yap


President : Mr. Jose C. Reyes, Jr.
Executive Vice President : Ms. Ma. Theresa G. Curia
Spiritual Director : Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio III
Editor in Chief: Ms. Mary Magdalene G. Flores
Associate Editor: Ms. Julie Ann M. Padrones
CBCP Staff-in-Charge: Ms. Gecerin Sayen DC. Ocampo
Contributors: Mr. Erwin John B. Mallari,
Mr. Jerome P. De Guzman

The Cross

Justice Jose C. Reyes, Jr.

Presidents Message

Remembering the Saints and our departed loved ones


ALL Saints Day and All Souls Day are two
occasions that are observed by the whole
country as a holiday to give time for
people to visit their dead relatives in the
cemetery. This practice is not just among
Catholics because the occasion is also an
opportunity for families to get together
with relatives they see only once a year.
We honor the dead, pray for them
and even ask them to pray for us. It is
a happy occasion because of the sharing
of food and stories of how things are in
the recent past. The cemetery livens
up with beautiful flowers and smiles
of people no longer grieving. In some
cemeteries, people clean and repaint
tombs of their loved ones, then lay
flowers to honor them.
Among Catholics, we offer masses for
them that they may have eternal rest

with God and that they will soon join the


angels and saints, who in turn, will pray
for us and offer our petitions to God.
While we remember our departed
loved ones, let us remember also the
Saints, who have given their lives to
God and have died in defense of our
Catholic faith. This day is not the only
day we should remember them. Let us
commemorate the lives of the Saints
during their feast days. Let us also read
about how they lived their lives that
God became pleased and made them
saints. They are ordinary people who
are also sinners like us but chose to offer
their lives to God and be our model and
inspiration. They are our intercessors
who help and give hope to us.
My mother for one is a devotee of our
Mother of Perpetual Help from whom

she asked for a son and then, I was born.


My mother in-law, on the other hand,
consecrated her daughter to our Lady
of Lourdes, who interceded through
her life-saving healing during my wifes
infancy. We can continue with many more
stories of miracles and surely, you each
have your own experiences of answered
prayers through the intercession of our
beloved Mama Mary and Saints.
For us members of the Knights of
Columbus, let us not forget to pray to
our beloved Servant of God, Fr. Michael
J. McGivney, who can also intercede for
the souls of our brother Knights, our
departed family members and even for
the works we do for our Order. He will
surely guide and help us. Praise God for
Mama Mary, for all the Saints and for Fr.
Michael J. McGivney!

Ma. Theresa G. Curia

Curia Settings

Mother Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us


WHY is Mother Teresa very
interesting for me? First
because she is a nun and I
am a married woman, yet
I look up to her as a model
in many ways. She worked
to serve the most needy,
and I am working in the
corporate world managing
money and material
resources of people, yet she
teaches me eloquently the
value of faithful, dedicated,
and honest service. She
was in the convent and I am
in the work force; we are
in almost two continents
apart, but she is a model
of being Christian just the
same. She prayed often,
while my schedule prevents
me from dedicating as
much time to formal prayer
as I would like, but the
invitation to follow the
Lord is not different.
I was very surprised to
know that Mother Teresa
was often attacked by bouts
of darkness, depression and
loneliness. I thought that
when one does heroic, even
saintly things inner peace
is a by-product. I thought
that assisting the dying to
be able to experience Gods
love and mercy just before
they die always gives joy
and fulfilment. She lived
up to a ripe age, faithful
to the great idea that God
planted in her soul, but she
did not give external trace
that she was besieged with
inner turmoil.
It was only after her death
that the letters she wrote

to her spiritual director


revealed her struggles.
During her life time she
faithfully dedicated her
energy and strength to
prayer, to ministering to
the old and the lonely on
the streets of Calcutta. She
even founded institutes
around India and later
around the world to attend
to the poorest of the poor.
Not long after she
started her work, many
young people came to
volunteer and later to join
her congregation. The
many young people who
come to her centers up to
now shows us that silence,
prayer, austere life and
total generosity to the
most needy still appeal
to our youth. But there
are also older people who
support her work through
prayer, and through
physical and material help.
This work magnetizes and
gives meaning to the lives
of young and old, simple
folks and celebrities. We
feel and see that there
are still people who have
sensitivity of spirit to hear
Gods whisper, calling
them to a life of self-giving
no matter what they do
in life, no matter where
they are.
What is beautiful
is the awakening of
volunteerism in many
hearts. Men, women,
families, institutions and
associations regularly come
to volunteer their time,

talents, professional help


and financial contributions
to the works of Mother
Teresa.
Indeed, Gods call
comes in various ways and
intensities. Mother Teresa
was called from her original
convent to dedicate her
life and ministry to the
neglected people dying
on the streets. It was a
major decision on her
part, but it was also a new
endeavour in the Church.
In fact, she thought she
was only personally called
to assist the needy that
she saw from her window
in the convent. She later
found herself being also the
founder of the Missionaries
of Charity so that the work
that was begun with her
could continue.
I am sure that many of
us who hear her stories
and who support her works
are also moved to pray for
them. There are some of us
who have no means to help
materially, but nonetheless
offer our prayers for the
good works that they do.
Perhaps we are not able to
go to her centers, but we
are moved to help those
around us who may also
be needing our help and
attention. When we visit
the sick, give help to those
who need most, when we
visit and counsel those
in jail or give a listening
ear to the confused and
the lonely, we are surely
contributing to the works

of Mother Teresa.
What do I learn from
Mother Teresa of Calcutta?
The call to holiness and
to service is open to the
religious and to the laity.
The convent and the
world are both venues
where we can follow and
meet the Lord.
Loneliness and
depression should not stop
us from doing what the
Lord wants us to do.
Inner conflicts and
struggles are not obstacles
to following the call to
holiness.
If we open the eyes and
ears of our hearts, we will
see the hand of God leading
us to do works of justice, of
love and mercy around us.
Millions of people in
the world belong to the
last, the least and the lost.
Many are helpless and
hopeless; let us not be
heartless.
May Mother Teresa and
all the saints who have
gone ahead of us inspire
us to love God and our
neighbours and to offer our
lives in service to others.
[The author, Maria
Theresa G. Curia, is the
Executive Vice President
of the Knights of Columbus
Fraternal Association
of the Philippines, Inc.
and also the Diocesan
Regent of the Daughters
of Mary Immaculate
I n t e r n a t i o n a l Diocese of Malolos.]

Erwin John Mallari

Todos los Santos


ALL Saints day is a Christian festival
celebrated in honour of all saints.
It is celebrated on November 1st of
every year in the belief that there is
a prayerful spiritual bond between
those who are in heaven and those who
are still among the living. There are
about 10,000 named saints and beati
throughout history and not all of them
are well known nor have their own
feast day, thus, this day is celebrated to
commemorate all of them. At its core,
All Saints Day is about giving solemn
thanks to God for the lives and deaths
of his saints.
In the Philippines, this day is
known as Undas and Todos los
Santos (Spanish for all saints). It
is traditionally celebrated by families
in cemeteries, tombs, and memorials
in honour of the departed and is
popularly known as Araw ng mga
Patay, which technically, is on the
following day, November 2 also known
as All Souls Day. This is the day wherein
we commemorate our faithful departed
and pray for their souls. Bonds are
formed and strengthened anew by

families who are reunited during


this day, and stories about the dearly
departed are shared, flowers offered
and candles are lighted in honour of
their memory.
The age-old tradition of bringing
flowers to the gravesite has been
around for perhaps, thousands of years.
One possible origin may have been
using flowers to mark the burial sites
of noteworthy individuals. While in
Ancient Rome, flowers were also used
to create a comforting environment
in which the deceaseds spirit could
wander around the grave. Flowers are
traditionally known as a symbol of love
and placing flowers on the gravesite
of a loved one is a beautiful act of
remembering and celebrating those
who are no longer with us.
The lighting of candles is like we are
lighting of the way for the dead. How
so? Read on to find out. Candles have
always been traditionally lighted in
rituals and to honour the dead even
during the pre-Christian era and
has been carried over after cultures
adopted Christianity. Candles play a

large role in Catholic masses, services


and prayer. Being the symbol of the
light of Jesus Christ in Catholic faith,
candles occupy a special place on the
altar during mass. Catholics also often
use them to pray for specific people
or to pray with saints. The practice
of praying for loved ones does not
stop when those loved ones pass on;
therefore, we often light candles for the
dead. We frequently do so in prayer at
cemeteries, shrines or altars at church.
Candles also play an important role
during funeral services.
Although candles can be lit for the
dead in remembrance or prayer at any
time, we light votive candles during All
Souls Day practices in remembrance
of our departed loved ones. I guess, it
really does not matter when or where
we celebrate all saints day and all
souls day. Whats important is that we
remember and honour the legacy of
saints and loved ones who have passed
away. Let us pray for them and thank
them for guidance and for always being
there for us even though they are no
longer with us.

The Cross

C3

November 7 - 22, 2016 Vol. 20 No. 28

Conscience and the right to life

The Church clearly teaches that faithful citizenship begins with protecting innocent human life
By Supreme Knight
Cark A. Anderson
RECENTLY, Pope Francis was
asked to counsel Catholics in
America on how to approach
this years election. During
political campaigns, I never
say a word, he replied. I
would only say, study the
proposals well, pray and
choose with your conscience.
So, how do we choose with
our conscience?
Conscience must be
informed and moral judgment
enlightened, explains the
Catechism of the Catholic
Church. The education of
conscience is indispensable
for human beings who
are subjected to negative
influences and tempted by sin
to prefer their own judgment
and to reject authoritative
teachings (1783).
Our popes have provided
just such authoritative
teaching to guide Catholics
making moral decisions in the
political process.
In 2006, Pope Benedict

XVI said this: As far


as the Catholic Church is
concerned, the principal
focus of her interventions
in the public arena is the
protection and promotion of
the dignity of the person, and
she is thereby consciously
drawing particular attention
to principles which are not
negotiable.
He then listed those nonnegotiable principles, the first
of which was the protection
of life in all its stages, from the
first moment of conception
until natural death.
In his exhortation on
the mission of the Catholic
laity, Christifideles Laici,
St. John Paul II stated the
reason for this primacy of
the right to life: Above
all, the common outcry,
which is justly made on
behalf of human rights for
example, the right to health,
to home, to work, to family,
to culture is false and
illusory if the right to life, the
basic and fundamental right
and the condition for all

other personal rights, is not


defended with the maximum
determination (38).
And in his encyclical
Evangelium Vitae, St. John
Paul II stated with maximum
clarity the definitive teaching
of the Catholic Church: In the
case of an intrinsically unjust
law, such as a law permitting
abortion or euthanasia, it
is therefore never licit to
obey it, or to take part in
a propaganda campaign in
favor of such a law, or vote
for it (73).
This is because, as John Paul
wrote earlier in the encyclical,
the direct and voluntary
killing of an innocent human
being is always gravely
immoral (57).
During last Augusts
Supreme Convention, I
affirmed that the responsibility
of faithful Catholics is to
build a culture of life and
a civilization of love. I also
observed that I did not see
how it is possible for us to do
this when Catholic voters elect
public officials who promote

abortion, which in the United


States alone has resulted in
nearly 60 million deaths since
1973.
Legalized abortion in the
United States has become
a form of killing on such a
massive scale that no other
political issue outweighs its
human devastation.
In my annual report, I
said, We need to end the
political manipulation of
Catholic voters by abortion
advocates. It is time to end
the entanglement of Catholic
people with abortion killing.
It is time to stop creating
excuses for voting for proabortion politicians.
It has been said that the
legal regime of abortion
established by the Supreme
Court in its Roe v. Wade
ruling and subsequent
decisions constitutes what the
Catechism calls structures
of sin.
This election presents us
with candidates throughout
the United States who are
dedicated to building up and

The Gentle Warrior


By James B. Reuter, SJ

CHAPTER THREE: Boot Camp


GEORGE wrote:
The Supreme Board of Directors were
reluctant in granting this permission.
Their fixed policy had been to refuse
growth of the Order in foreign countries.
They maintained that since the Knights
of Columbus was organized specifically
to meet the American way of life, its
regulations and traditions might prove
to be unacceptable in countries in other
parts of the world.
Another Supreme Knight said, much
later:
On account of the difficulties of
transportation and communication
we had very little contact with Manila
Council for many years and there
was serious question as to whether it
had not been a mistake to extend the
Order into the Philippines even for that
one council.
The feeling that the Philippines were
hopelessly remote from our Orders
headquarters seems to have been
accepted simply as one of the unalterable
facts of life and this acceptance continued
even beyond the time when travel and
communication by air had been fairly
well developed.
So George came back from New Haven
to Woodstock, mildly disappointed. He

tried, but he did not succeed.


The life of a young Jesuit theologian
at Woodstock was as regular as a clock.
George did almost the same things, at
the same time, every day. This appealed
to him. It suited the German sitzleden
that he had inherited from his father,
from his grandfather and from all the
Willmanns.
Studying theology at night, in Latin,
in his little room on the third floor,
underneath the eaves. Going down the
hall to the washroom, now and then, to
splash cold water on his face, so that
he would stay alert. Looking up the
exact meaning of the words in the Latin
dictionary, to be sure that he really
understood the text.
Kneeling in the chapel, in the early
morning, his eyes on the tabernacle,
praying for the light to understand and
to remember all the things that he was
learning. Praying for the grace to love the
subjects and the books. Praying for the
courage and strength and energy to stay
with it. Praying for his family, praying
for the friends that he had left behind in
the Philippines.
Going to class in the morning, with
an armful of books. Taking notes while
the Professor was lecturing, so that he

would remember. Most of the professors


in Woodstock had written their own
textbooks. They knew their subjects,
inside and out. And they kept abreast
of advances in the science, studying all of
the periodicals on theology, in English,
in French, in German.
To be continued

strengthening this structure


of sin. They are pledged to
repeal the Hyde Amendment
restriction of taxpayer
funding of abortion that has
saved more than 2 million
unborn children. And they are
committed to the appointment
and confirmation of judges
who will oppose abortion
restrictions. As a result, this
election presents the greatest
threat to the right to life of

Prayer for the


Beatification of the
Servant of God Fr.
George J. Willmann

BLESSED are You,


Almighty Father, source of
all goodness and wisdom.
Look down upon us Your
children, who are trying to
serve You with all our heart.
Deign to raise Fr. George J.
Willmann to the honors of
the Altar.
He was the prayerful,
strong, dauntless model that

Come join the Father McGivney Guild!


THE Knights of Columbus established the Father
McGivney Guild to promote the cause for canonization of our founder, Venerable Michael J. McGivney
(1852-1890). The goal of the Guild is to spread the
good word about his holiness of life, to encourage
devotion to his memory, and to seek his intercession
before the throne of God. The Guild serves as a clearinghouse for information about Father McGivney, his
life and works, and any favors attributed to his intercession. Father McGivney is a unique model today for
both Catholic laymen and priests because of his attention to the social ills and injustices of his day and
his collaboration with the people of his parish. He was
zealous for the life of union with God through prayer
and the sacraments, and would have been right at
home in todays world. He was then and would be today an eager apostle for the Gospel of life, and active
in building a civilization of love.
Membership in the Guild is open to anyone who
wishes to share in this mission of making known the
life and work of Father McGivney and of encouraging
devotion to his memory. To join, fill out the attached
application and mail it to the address given. There is
no charge to enroll, and you need not be a member of
the Knights of Columbus.
The Guild is anxious to receive reports of favors
received through Father McGivneys intercession. It is
not only miracles that are required to move the cause
forward, but witnesses to the power of the servant of
Gods prayers before the throne of God.
As a member of the Guild you will receive a newsletter and periodic updates on the progress of his
cause for canonization. We ask your prayerful support that Gods will be done and that the Holy Spirit
guide us at each step along the way. Welcome to the
Guild!

To start your free membership


and receive the Guild newsletter,
please complete the form below
and return to: Father McGivney
Office - Philippines,a Knights of
Columbus Fraternal Associaation
of the Philippines, Inc. Center,
Gen. Luna cor. Sta. Potenciana
Sts., Intramuros, Manila 1004,
Philippines
Names: _____________________________
____________________________________
____________________________________
____________________________________
____________________________________
Complete Mailing Address: __________
____________________________________
____________________________________
____________________________________
____________________________________
City/Province: _______________________
Country:

__________________________

Zip Code: _________________________

unborn children since the Roe


v. Wade decision.
I urge every brother Knight
to take the words of Pope
Francis to heart study, pray
and vote your conscience!
And when you do, remember
also these words of the pope:
Each child that is unborn,
but is unjustly condemned to
be aborted, bears the face of
Jesus Christ.
Vivat Jesus!

we all need in this new era, he


was a pastor in the care and
formation of the youth; the
relief of victims of war and
violence; the alleviation of the
suffering of the poor and the
preservation and promotion
of the sanctity of life, marriage
and the family.
Make him the lamp on the
lampstand giving light to all
in the house. Make him the
city set on the mountain,
which cannot be hidden, so
that all of us may learn from
his courage, his integrity,
his indomitable spirit in
propagating and living the
Gospel.
Through his intercession,
bestow on us the favor we
ask You in faith (pause
here and silently entrust to
the Lord your petitions).
Through Christ our Lord.
Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary,
Glory be.

C4

November 7 - 22, 2016 Vol. 20 No. 28

The Cross

KCFAPI introduces Bro.


Jacinto S. Pancha as the
New Board of Trustee

In preparation for the business strategic planning of KCFAPI and its wholly-owned companies, officers and employees attended PDTs Planning Conference last September
21, 2016 facilitated by Mr. Paul Singh. The workshop was held at 3rd floor Social Hall, KCFAPI Center, Intramuros, Manila. This event was initiated by KCFAPI Vice President
for Financial Reporting and Controls Rowena M. Diapolit (1st row, far right) together with EVP Ma. Theresa G. Curia and KCFAPI Chairman Arsenio Isidro G. Yap.

THE Knights of Columbus


Fraternal Association of the
Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI),
the insurance arm of the
Knights of Columbus in the
Philippines, is pleased to
introduce its newly elected
Independent Board of Trustee,
Bro. Jacinto S. Pancha.
Bro. Pancha assumed the
office of KCFAPI and the KC Fr.
George J. Willmann Charities,
Inc. in July 2016 as one of
their board of trustees. He is
currently the operations/sales
and marketing manager for
VisMin of Sagrex Corporation.
He was exemplified in April
1987. Among the other civic,
business and local affiliations of
Pancha are: barangay councilor
in Sasa, Davao City from 2000
to 2008; company member
of Davao City Chamber of
Commerce and Industry, Inc;
lecturer in specialized balance
nutrition on plants; he was also
an adviser on plant nutrition
and has a radio program aired
at DXRP Radio Station.
Bro. Pancha received an
award and recognition for

being the Knight of the Year


Council 8764; Family of the
Year; District Deputy Award;
among others.
The newly elected Board
of Trustee, Bro. Jacinto
S. Pancha was born on
September 11, 1951 in
Loboc, Bohol. He finished
his Bachelor of Science
in Commerce at the
International Harvardian
University; and earned
units in post graduate
diploma at the Ateneo De
Davao University; he had
specialized course on good
agricultural practices at the
Townsville and Brisbane,
Australia. (KCFAPI News)

Last October 27, 2016 members of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines together with KCFAPI employees celebrated Mama Marys Living Rosary. The said event was led
by the Spiritual Committee.

The beneficiaries of the late Brother Knight Romeo Ampil recently received the latters
special insurance the Special Plan for Elderly Knights (SPEK) given by former Area
Manager of Southwestern Luzon Stars Bro. Nonie D. Ayon (KCFAPI News).

An awarding ceremony was conducted by the Fraternal Benefits Group of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) on October 20, 2016 for
the qualifiers and awardees of the third quarter sales incentive program. Among the awardees who graced the program are Bros. Manuel Naldoza, Efren Casupanan, Edilberto
Fernandez, Ricardo Boringot and Mauricio Pangda together with FBG Manager Michael P. Cabra (far right) and FBG Staff Kris Jay Rolex Yngco (far left).

The Fraternal Benefits Group of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the
Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) holds the KC Care-avan in Palawan on October 1, 2016 at the
Aquari Hotel, Puerto Princesa, Palawan. KCFAPI Vice President Gari M. San Sebastian
and FBG Manager Michael P. Cabra spearheaded the said event.